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Deserted, beautiful and wild, Castro Laboreiro lives in the past, waiting for the end | Photo

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At an altitude of more than a thousand meters, in the island and rocky mountains of Alto Minho, is the village of Castro Laboreiro, known among its few inhabitants as “Boca Negra”. “The elders say that this name comes from the black color of the mouth dog de Castro Laboreiro,” Bruno Fernandes, a photographer also known as Albano Rodaswho was born 33 years ago in this frontier village belonging to the municipality of Melgas.

In the images created by castrejo over the past seven years, an older woman guides our gaze. “My grandmother Maria plays an important role in the project,” he says. “At 83, she lives for the sun.” During the long summer days, Maria gathers vegetables in the garden, walks with her herd across the plain, and at the end of the day even exchanges a few words with her neighbors, who are getting older and less frequent.

“Summer is also a time for family dinners and get-togethers,” he adds. Although Bruno never lived in Castro Laboreiro but lived in Paris, Braga and Porto, his family has roots there for over a century. “The village has become my refuge; the tranquility of the scenery makes me forget the stress of city life.”

The union of parishes where the village of Castro Laboreiro is located has a total of 503 inhabitants. —​less 23.4% than ten years ago, according to census the latest. More than half of them are over 65 years of age, suggesting an unfavorable future for these villages.

O depopulation it is the source of countless problems for those who remain in the village. Without people, “maintaining traditions, pilgrimages, folk festivals” becomes difficult, says photographer resident of Porto, as well as “protection of the biodiversity of the region, its fauna and flora”. “Keeping our dialect, Castro [o mais próximo do galaico-português], our dog and all intangible heritage becomes impossible as it is passed down from generation to generation.” And the lack of public services, he emphasizes, “of which there are fewer and fewer in the village,” only scares away those who want to come up.

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Winters in Castro Laboreiro are long, dark and very cold. “The inhabitants knew how to adapt to a hostile territory with an unfavorable climate,” he assures. A small part of the population still shares its stay between mild and winter, depending on the season. This does not apply to her grandmother Maria, who lives in one place all year round. “During the cold months she spends her time in the solitude of remembrance by the fire, in the company of her only salvation, knitting.”

Maria is just one of many women who survived the painful 20th century. “To be immigration village, men went abroad in search of work, money, in order to be able to buy real estate, build houses, ”says Bruno. His two grandfathers lived in France, always leaving their wives in the village of Mignot. Your grandparents’ parents were already immigrants but the destination then was Brazil.

The women of Castro Laboreiro lived without parents, without grandparents, who often did not return for years. “They left women in black who took on all the responsibilities: childcare, animal care, summer harvests, moving between cold and winter.”

In addition, they traveled miles in smuggling routes, at night, “evading the border guards, loaded with goods bought in Spain at a fairer price.” “My grandmother is one of those women,” says Bruno proudly. “Therefore, the highlight of the project is the castrekha woman in general, her strength and her important role in caring for the family.”

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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