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“Every minute was a test because it could be my last”

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HIn early April, a car with civilians leaving Melitopol passed a Russian checkpoint in the occupied city of Vasilyevka in Zaporozhye, at which point a Russian serviceman approached the car and saw a teenager checking something on his mobile phone.

What are you doing, filming me? the soldier asked before taking his cell phone and pulling him out of the car. “Should I shoot him right now or smash his phone?” he shouted, pointing the gun at the boy.

The man dragged the teenager into the nearest yard where Russian troops were based, leaving those in the car speechless and frightened.

After an hour of checking his identity, the Russian military realized that he was Vladislav Buryak, the son of one of the highest Ukrainian officials in the region, Oleg Buryak, head of the state administration of the Zaporozhye region.

According to the publication, the next 90 days, the 16-year-old boy was in Russian captivity. Kyiv independent, locked in a small cell where he heard the screams of Ukrainian prisoners of war being tortured by Russian soldiers. He saw how some of them died after many hours of torture, and was forced to clean the blood-soaked place.

“Every minute was a very serious test, because every minute could be my last,” the boy said during an interview with his father.

Vladyslav Buryak com o pai Oleh Buryak© Reproduction in social networks

Vladislav is not the only Ukrainian underage who has spent a lot of time in Russian captivity since the start of the war in Russia on February 24: according to the governor of the Zaporizhia region, Oleksandr Starukh, the Russians held five minors captive in that city, two of them from late July.

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In total, at the beginning of August, 203 children were missing in Ukraine, most of whom disappeared in hot spots. Official figures show that at least 358 children have died as a result of the Russian invasion as of August 4, and these figures are estimated to be higher because they do not include casualties in Russian-occupied territories and in areas where fighting is taking place.

Among all the atrocities of Russia against Ukrainian children, the story of Buryak has a happy ending: on July 7 he was released.

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World

“Victory will be ours!” Putin assured on Red Square

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“Victory will be ours!” shouted the President of Russia to the applause of a crowd of thousands.

“Welcome home!” – Putin said, addressing the residents of the annexed Ukrainian territories, believing that they “returned to their historical homeland.”

“Russia does not just open the doors of its home to people, it opens its heart,” he said from a stage specially installed on the symbolic square near the Kremlin wall (the residence of the President of Russia).

Many Russian flags fluttered among the crowd in attendance, and some people also wore black and orange striped St. George ribbons, an old tsarist military award that became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Several giant screens and a powerful sound system were also installed so that people could follow the speech of the President of Russia and the performance of various Russian pop stars who performed on stage.

The Russian head of state, in power for 22 years, referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” at a time when Russian soldiers are “heroically defending the people’s choice” in Ukraine, he said.

“We will do everything to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporozhye, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, improve their security, restart the economy, restore,” he also said, hours after signing the annexation of these four Ukrainian regions, in a ceremony in the Kremlin.

After this symbolic act in the Kremlin, which was a new step in his war against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country, Putin defended his mantra with a raised microphone that Russia created modern Ukraine.

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“I can’t help but remember how the Soviet Union was formed. It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, transferring significant territories there, the historical territories of Russia itself along with the population,” Putin said.

“We are stronger because we are together. The truth is with us, and there is strength,” Putin said, adding once again: “Then victory will be ours!”

Kyiv and its Western allies have widely condemned such an annexation, with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Western defense bloc) classifying it as “illegitimate” and the countries of the European Union (EU) and the G7 (a group of the most industrialized countries in the world : Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the UK) declared that they would “never recognize [tais] alleged annexations.

Putin has no intention of visiting the four Ukrainian regions now annexed by Moscow in the midst of a military conflict with Kyiv, a Kremlin spokesman said.

“Not yet, because at the moment there is a lot of work ahead, but this will definitely happen after some time,” said Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Russian news agencies and asked about the possibility of such a visit.

The four occupied regions of Ukraine, whose annexation treaties Putin signed today, make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory – Donetsk and Lugansk (which he had already recognized as independent republics shortly before the invasion of Ukraine), Kherson and Zaporozhye (which hosts the largest nuclear power plant in Europe). ).

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries – according to the latest UN figures, which rank this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

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The Russian invasion, justified by Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions against Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war, which entered its 219th day today, 5,996 civilians killed and 8,848 wounded, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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EU Agreement on Excess Profit Tax and Energy Savings

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This Friday in Brussels, European Union energy ministers reached an agreement on emergency intervention in the face of rising energy prices, which includes a solidarity contribution to the exceptional profits of companies in the energy sector.

The regulation, proposed this month by the Commission and given political approval this Friday 27, provides for a 33 percent tax on excessive profits from fossil fuel companies, to be converted into a “solidarity contribution” to be redistributed to the most vulnerable, a profit ceiling companies producing low-cost (renewable) electricity, and plans to reduce electricity consumption, voluntary (10% for total demand) and mandatory (5% during “peak hours”).

“Agreement! The ministers reached a political agreement on measures to reduce high electricity prices: a mandatory reduction in electricity demand, limiting the market revenues of over-marginal electricity producers and solidarity contributions from fossil fuel producers,” announced the current Czech Presidency of the Council. EU.

At the meeting, represented by Portugal’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Duarte Cordeiro, 27 countries will discuss policy options to reduce high gas prices, but no decision is expected today despite a large group of 15 member states. , including Portugal, demanded a “ceiling” on gas prices.

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Milhazes commented on Putin’s decision: “For one night Kherson and Zaporozhye will become independent”

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President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine, which are under Russian rule. This decision is made the day before the celebration of joining the territory of Russia. José Milhazes, SIC commentator, explains why.

“Why is it being done today [quinta-feira] in the evening? Because tomorrow [sexta-feira] these republics will ask Russia to integrate them into the Russian Federation. That is, Kherson and Zaporozhye will become independent for one night. They are no longer part of Ukraine, as Donetsk and Luhansk have already done,” the commentator says.

Ukraine’s independence will only last one night, as four regions are already scheduled to join this Friday. Moscow prepares a holiday to welcome these regions to Russia

“We will have an orgy of patriotism in Russia. Putin will insist on the reception of patriotism, will make a solemn speech in the Kremlin, both houses of parliament will immediately support the president. He will make a very patriotic speech about Russia being attacked by the West and NATO,” he says, adding that it is possible that Putin “makes a peace proposal that is a priori known, that Ukraine cannot accept.”

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