Face-to-face talks between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine have yielded modest progress with tentative agreements on prisoner exchanges and a total ceasefire, but no political breakthrough to the five-year old conflict in south-east Ukraine. Monday’s talks were the first meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected in a landslide victory in April and made ending the war one of his campaign promises. Officials in both countries expected the talks to make little progress towards ending the conflict with separatists backed by Russia’s military, which has left more than 13,000 dead and millions displaced. Zelenskiy has faced vocal opposition at home to making concessions to Putin under the slogan “No capitulation!”. Putin believes Moscow is negotiating from a position of strength and has shown little inclination to reduce pressure on Ukraine. In the end, the two men largely stood their ground. “I … [Read more...] about Russia-Ukraine: tentative progress at first talks for three years
Sanction to russia
Russia has landed two nuclear-capable “Blackjack” bombers in Venezuela as part of a joint training exercise experts say is designed to showcase Moscow’s growing military prowess and shore up the position of Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro. The Tu-160 planes touched down at the Simón Bolívar international airport near Caracas on Monday morning, according to Venezuelan state media. Russia’s defence ministry said the strategic bombers – used during the country’s campaign in Syria – were part of a larger fleet also including an An-124 military transport plane and an Il-62 passenger jet that had flown more than 10,000km to Venezuela. Venezuela’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino López, said the arrival of the aircraft for joint manoeuvres was not intended as a provocation. “We are makers of peace, not war,” he was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster Venezolana de Televisión … [Read more...] about Venezuela welcomes Russian bombers in show of support for Maduro
The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, has warned his regime’s “imperialist” foes in the United States, Colombia and Brazil their troops “will not make it out alive” if they dare invade a single inch of Venezuela’s “sacred soil”. Addressing thousands of armed members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian militia in Caracas, Maduro declared himself a “warrior of peace” who hoped to bring happiness and prosperity to his crumbling nation. But amid rising tensions between Venezuela and its regional neighbours, Maduro ordered his troops to meticulously prepare to repel and crush foreign invaders. Militiamen and women needed to be ready “to go to the heart of the enemy who dares touch Venezuelan soil – to go to the heart of the enemy and to tear out his heart in his own territory”. Maduro warned it was possible an “imperialist force” might seek to storm some corner of the country. “But what the … [Read more...] about Venezuelan president says invaders ‘would not make it out alive’
It was exactly a fortnight after round one of Brazil’s poison-filled presidential election that Aretha Sadick found herself sprinting for her life away from a man wielding an iron bar. “It was a hate crime. No doubt about it. Hate is the only word,” recalled the 29-year-old black transgender artist and campaigner, still shaken by her run-in with death. “It was on a street I always walk down. An area where I always go. And I’ve never experienced such an overt act of hostility,” she said. “These things don’t happen by accident. There’s been a validation.” Sadick and fellow members of São Paulo’s LGBT community are clear who they blame for legitimising such violence: a far-right firebrand who is notorious for his spiteful, homophobic remarks and looks very likely to become Brazil’s next president on Sunday. In nearly three decades as a congressman, Jair Bolsonaro has never concealed his dislike of gay people. … [Read more...] about Brazil’s fearful LGBT community prepares for a ‘proud homophobe’
With Liverpool strolling towards the title without any of their rivals being able to lay a glove on them, Sadio Mané is being sized up for an enquiry as to whether a similar experience at Paris Saint-Germain might suit him. According to France Football, the Senegal forward is prominent in the club’s thoughts, especially if Neymar stomps off elsewhere. PSG would, of course, have to reckon with Jürgen Klopp’s unwillingness to let his in-form man go, and the fact that Mané’s contract ties him to Anfield until 2023, so the sum involved would need to be colossal. But PSG do like a challenge. Despite three stunning quickfire goals on Monday night, large parts of Arsenal’s game, and matches, are still a bit rubbish and they could do with tightening up. Enter the rejuvenated Chris Smalling, who is impressing on loan at Roma from Manchester United, and who the Mirror reports is being tracked by the Gunners with a view to a permanent deal. Internazionale, … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: PSG to move for Liverpool’s Sadio Mané?