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Ukraine: Portuguese couple accused of defrauding philanthropists in several countries

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At least three people contacted by Lusa accused the couple, who live in Portugal, of fraudulently exploiting the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, a country invaded by Russia in February. process.

The war mobilized countless organizations to help people and, later, animals. In the case of animals, several organizations took advantage of social media to call for transportation and subsequent adoption, and it is in this context that the Portuguese Rui de Souza and the Ukrainian Alina Kozak will act, offering their services to deliver food and medicine, asking for donations.

Debra Michaud lives in Chicago and claims to have received a contact from Ruy de Souza saying that he would go to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission to support the military and that he would have ten days off to help animals.

Activist Debra Michaud “was in contact with several families, with a lot of animals that needed to be saved” and Rui Souza promised to help “people and animals outside of Mariupol”.

“He told me that he only needed 1,400 euros for the trip as he had several GoFundMe campaigns but they weren’t raising money fast enough. So I thought, if I lend him 1,400 euros and he gives me back the money when the funding comes in, he can leave now, get the insulin and supplies he needs for the army, and then be free to help these families. [com animais] who are asking for help,” he said.

Debra Michaud told Luce that she sent him $1,550 via the Wise platform, money that will be used for fuel that will carry three donation trucks to Ukraine.

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As the days passed, Ruy de Souza continued to call for donations, which made Debra suspicious. “I sent him an annoyed text asking why he was collecting money instead of going on the road when I had already sent what he said he needed.”

According to Debra Michaud, Ruy de Souza would present several excuses that he was first in Ukraine, then in Poland, until he found out from someone that he would be in Portugal.

“At that moment, I realized that it was a scam and started to find other people who were also scammed by it,” he said.

The couple have set up several Facebook groups — first Soutal Nova and now Slava UA — where they post recurring photos of animals supposedly in need of rescue, others supposedly rescued, and more goods they claim were purchased with the money. collected donations.

Alyn Kozak also created the Power of the World page, which bills itself as “a small organization that provides shelter, medical support, and food distribution for people and animals.”

The names listed on the organization team are Aline Kozak, Rui de Souza and Jozef Reba, while the MBWay donation number is Rui de Souza’s mobile phone used on other pages (Souta Nova and Slava UA).

Rui de Souza denies the allegations and says he is asking for the goods he has collected to be transferred to Ukraine and says he is the victim of baseless attacks, which he attributes to people connected to illegal situations such as the animal trade.

Without specifying the amount collected so far, claiming that once he receives a donation, he spends everything on buying goods to send, he promises in statements to Luce to bring all those who accuse him to justice.

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Ann Holvoet, a Belgian living in Romania, where she built a shelter for stray dogs, offered to accept animals rescued from the war in Ukraine.

“Our teams rescued dogs from all over Ukraine, and for those who remained, we delivered tons of food and supplies,” he told Lusa.

At that time, Ann became aware of the existence of Alina Kozak and Rui de Souza when she realized that they had been misusing on their Facebook page (Sotal Nova) photos of food deliveries that her team and another were doing in Kharkiv and Odessa.

The two use the page of Laika Global Rescue, an organization Ann founded, “to advertise themselves using our organization’s banner and using social media to denigrate those who do serious work by calling us drug dealers.”

“They are criminals, they are in Portugal, pretending to be in Ukraine,” he accused.

In Portugal, Carlos Gómez, who works in the security sector and is president of the 1122 technical training and humanitarian association, has been raising funds for fuel, supplies and medicine.

“Our mission was clear: medical assistance in refugee areas, delivery of food to a military unit in Lviv, diapers and products for children to an orphanage, and food for animals. On the way back, we brought a couple with three dogs,” he told Luce.

While preparing the mission and gathering funds and resources, he received an indication that Rui de Souza was carrying out similar activities and tried to contact him, but received no response.

“Only when we posted on our page what we have collected, what we have and what we are going to do, he contacted us and said that he was also interested in going with our caravan,” he said.

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At that time, he added, he realized that the Soutal Nova page had posted images of goods collected by the 1122 association and a call for donations with the account number of Rui de Souza.

“I contacted him and said that he could not ask for humanitarian aid at private expense and that he had to justify what he received, as people become very embarrassed,” he recalls, claiming that Rui de Souza ignored him .

“When we went to Ukraine to fulfill our mission, he continued to publish images, including of our departure, and to call for donations to his personal account,” he said.

After returning from Ukraine, Carlos Gomes filed a complaint against Ruy de Souza for fraud at PJ de Aveiro.

Lusa was contacted by a source from the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), who said that the DIAP Regional de Coimbra was under investigation and that the information received relates to facts that may be part of the crime of fraud. According to information collected by Lusa, there are complaints in other countries, namely in the United States.

Rui de Souza told Luza that he was not aware of any investigation and that he had not been contacted by any authorities so far.

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G20 summit: Draghi says Putin’s personal involvement ruled out

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday that the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the next G20 summit in Bali was ruled out by the Indonesian presidency of the body.

At the summit of the group of seven most industrialized countries of the world (G7), which ended this Tuesday in Germany, they asked about The Kremlin’s announcement that Putin would attend the Bali summit in November, Draghi said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo ruled out the possibility.

Widodo “was categorical: he [Putin] not to come. What could happen – I don’t know what will happen, but what it could happen, maybe it’s remote interference“said Draghi, whose the country will hand over the G20 presidency to Indonesia in Bali.

The information has not been This was stated by the head of the Indonesian state, Joko Widodo. who will meet on Tuesday in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart in an attempt to achieve a ceasefire in the conflict caused by the Russian invasion.

Joko Widodo, who attended Monday’s G7 summit in Germany, is already on his way to Kyiv, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said. accompanies the head of state in a video message.

After a visit to Ukraine and meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, The Indonesian leader is heading to Russia, where he will meet with Putin on Thursday, becoming the first Asian leader to visit the two countries since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Before leaving on Sunday, Widodo said he was going to ask Zelensky and Putin an immediate ceasefire and the search for a peace agreement through dialogue.

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in spite of pressure from countries such as the US, Canada and Australia to keep Putin out of the G20 summit from 11 to 13 November.on the island of Bali, Indonesia still retains its invitation to the Russian leader.

In April, the President of Indonesia, publicly known as Jokowi, sent Zelensky a G20 invitation and said Indonesia was ready to “contribute to the peace effort”.

In the past decade, Russia has been excluded from the group of industrialized countries then known as the G8, renamed the G7 after the 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula.

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“War will end only when Ukrainians surrender,” Moscow says – Observer

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Russia announced on Tuesday that it would end its offensive in Ukraine, launched more than four months ago, only when the Kyiv authorities and the Ukrainian army surrender and accept “all Russian conditions.”

The Ukrainian side may end [a guerra] during the dayThis was stated by the official representative of the Kremlin (President of Russia) Dmitry Peskov, whose words are quoted by the French news agency AFP.

For this, according to Peskov, it is enough that the Kyiv authorities ordered the “nationalist detachments” and Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and that “all the conditions set by Russia” be met.

“Then it will all be over in one day,” a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Moscow.

Peskov reacted to the appeal of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to the leaders of the G7. do everything to end the war before the end of the yeardue to the harsh winter in Ukraine.

Zelenskiy asks G7 for defense systems and solutions to restore and lockdown wheat

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The leaders of the seven most industrialized countries (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) and the European Union (EU) conclude their meeting on Tuesday in Elmau in southern Germany ahead of the summit. NATO in Madrid.

No deadline or timetable has been set by the Russian side for ending what Moscow officially calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Peskov said.

“We are guided by the statements of our president,” he said.

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Peskov again assured thatspecial operation going according to plan“.

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NATO will strengthen troops in Eastern Europe and identify Russia as the main threat

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At the Madrid summit, NATO will identify Russia as its biggest and most immediate threat and must approve the strengthening of high readiness forces and military personnel in Eastern Europe.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels that the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries hope to reach an agreement in Madrid this week. to increase the high readiness force to more than 300,000 soldiers, as well as to strengthen the battalions stationed in Eastern Europe.

In Madrid, the Atlantic Alliance for Defense and Military Cooperation between European and North American countries, Russia should also be identified as the biggest and most immediate threat to NATO member states in the organization’s new strategic concept, this will be adopted at the summit, Stoltenberg said.

Strategic Concept, one of the key documents of NATO, outlines the security issues facing the organization and outlines political and military priorities develop to resist them.

The Madrid summit is taking place in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and will update NATO’s strategic concept for the last decade in Lisbon in 2010, which was then marked by an intention to move closer from the Atlantic to an alliance with Russia.

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