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Iran: Forces of order fire heavy artillery at protesters – News

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Videos circulating online show dozens of protesters taking cover in back alleys as the sound of heavy artillery fire echoes through the streets. In some, people lie on the ground, motionless and bloody, while in others, residents flock to the local hospital to donate blood.

Iran became the scene of protests against the Islamic regime after the September 16 death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish Mahsa Amini in Tehran, three days after she was brutally attacked and detained by the “vice police” for violating a strict female dress code because, although she wore a “hijab” (Islamic veil), it allowed part of her hair to be seen. On that day, Amini was hospitalized already in a coma and died three days later.

The protests, which were initially centered in the western Kurdish region of Iran, where the young woman was from, spread across the country and escalated into calls for the overthrow of the Islamic fundamentalist clerics who had been in power in the country since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Kurdish rights group Hengaw said security forces fired heavy artillery at protesters in the city of Javanrud, where a funeral was held for two demonstrators killed the previous day, citing witnesses that Iranian forces fired machine guns at them.

Hengo also reported that seven people were killed today, while another group, the Kurdish Human Rights Network, estimated that five had died.

The latter group elaborated that many of the wounded were being treated at home for fear of being detained in hospitals, making it difficult to confirm the balance of casualties. He also reported that several of them had been shot in the head or chest.

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Iranian authorities severely restrict news coverage of the protests and periodically cut off internet access, making it difficult to confirm the details of the unrest, which has been going on in the country for more than two months.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported on the protests in Javanrud on Sunday evening, saying security forces had been fired upon with live ammunition and two people were killed and four wounded. To date, there have been no reports of such episodes of violence in the state media.

Funeral ceremonies have often been the scene of renewed protests in recent weeks, as was the case during the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought the clerics to power. The demonstrations of the past two months represent the biggest challenge to the theocratic regime in more than a decade.

At least 426 people have been killed and more than 17,400 arrested, according to Human Rights Defenders in Iran, a group that monitors an ongoing protest movement that has also killed at least 55 Iranian security forces.

Jalal Mahmudzadeh, an MP representing the Kurdish city of Mahabad, told the daily Etemad that 11 people have been killed during protests in the city since late October, many of them in recent days. The MP referred to the fact that some security forces fired on houses and commercial facilities on Saturday, and called on the authorities to take a more moderate position.

Social unrest in the country also marred the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which saw Iran face England, with Iranian players failing to sing their country’s national anthem and some fans chanting Amini’s name in the 22nd minute of the game.

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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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