The Wagner Group, a shadowy mercenary group that has been operating for many years in African countries such as Sudan, Mali, the Central African Republic, and other mainly Francophone countries, has again been thrust into the limelight due to its involvement in the Ukraine war on behalf of Russia.
In 2021 alone, almost 24,000 grave violations of children’s rights in war were documented by the United Nations – these included killing and maiming, sexual violence, use and recruitment, and abductions. Schools and hospitals were destroyed, and humanitarian relief was denied on arbitrary grounds, depriving children of vital services. More children now live in conflict zones than in the past two decades.
Once the money-making businesses have turned Asia and Africa into their low-cost factories, to produce and market at higher prices their clothes and footwear, obtaining more profits by selling to these two continents around 90% of all their used and textiles waste.
Apologies to those Western politicians and media who continue to say that Ukraine's brutal proxy war stands behind whatever catastrophes, disasters or crises occur in the Planet.
The arrest of a US journalist in Russia has not only sent a chilling warning to foreign reporters in the country but is a sign of the Kremlin’s desire to ultimately stifle any dissent in the state, press freedom watchdogs have warned.
If an alien landed on Planet Earth today and started watching television and reading the newspapers, it would probably not realize that humanity and the natural world face an existential threat - one that has taken us into the Sixth Mass Extinction, is already devastating the lives of many, especially in the Global South, and is set to hit the rest of us soon.
“People want the abortion laws here liberalised. Society has changed; even the politicians can see it,” Kinga Jelinska, a Polish reproductive rights activist, says. “In four or five years, I believe, the abortion laws here will be liberalised, because it’s what the people support.”
In the wake of Finland's announcement last fall that it will build a barrier along its border with Russia, the discussions surrounding the European Council meeting of 9 February 2023 confirmed that the tide had turned.
The woman we're meeting in a house on the outskirts of Biarritz -800 kilometres southwest of Paris- is a university professor, the author of several books and hundreds of articles, and a well-known human rights activist.
Given the complex interplay between geopolitics and financial markets, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 sent shockwaves across the global economy. Admittedly, the implications both within and between countries have varied. However, there were some common denominators, including higher commodity prices.
Since the war in Ukraine started in February last year, at least 1.5 million Russian citizens have crossed the Russia-Georgia border, official data states. However, as of today, it needs to be clarified how many of them stayed in the country, but walking the streets of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the presence of Russian nationals can be seen almost everywhere.
Georgian civil society can breathe a sigh of relief. A proposed repressive law that would have severely worsened the space for activism has been shelved – for now. But the need for vigilance remains.
Every year, Afghan journalists celebrate their national day on 18 March. This year, there is little reason to party, because of general restrictions, increasing intimidation and a recent attack on journalists. However, at a unique gathering in Brussels, Afghan journalists showed resilience.
Last October, Ales Bialiatski was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was one of three winners, alongside
two human rights organisations: Memorial, in Russia, and the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine. The Nobel Committee recognised the three’s ‘outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power’.
There are 151 wind turbines and more than 130 kilometres of connection routes and power lines on the Fosen peninsula, 530 kilometres north of Oslo. Norwegian judges say that they should not be there, and the owners of those lands since time immemorial do too.
When D.A.* first heard about the fatal attack on a gay bar in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, last October, their first reaction was a mix of grief, shock and anger.
But then, soon after, the university student and member of the country’s LGBTQI community immediately began to worry.
Putin’s regime recently suspended Russia’s participation in a nuclear arms agreement with Washington. After the decision Putin declared that the move was a retaliation for the US’s, France’s and Britain’s “targeting” of Russia with nuclear weapons. He was forced to take action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability”:
The overwhelming political, economic and military support for war-ravaged Ukraine seems never ending—even as the Russian invasion moved into its second-year last week.
The US and Western allies have vowed to help Ukraine "as long as necessary" with no reservations or deadlines.
Over the year since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, on one side of the border civil society has shown itself to be a vital part of the effort to save lives and protect rights – but on the other, it’s been repressed more ruthlessly than ever.
Chances are that the fruits and vegetables sold in European supermarkets have been picked and packed by a migrant worker in southern Spain. By the tens of thousands, they work there, in sweltering hot plastic greenhouses - often underpaid and without residence permit - in the vegetable garden of Europe. "Cheap vegetables, yes. But at what price?"
Paralysed by its own Charter and structure, the world organisation that is charged with preventing wars confronts an existential challenge from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.