новини, секрети, скандали

У Криму близько 20 людей засудили за «участь у кримськотатарському батальйоні» – правозахисники

З початку окупації Росією Криму щонайменше 18 людей отримали вироки за «участь у кримськотатарському батальйоні». З них четверо – 2023 року, повідомляє правозахисна організація «Крим SOS».

На думку аналітика організації Євгена Ярошенка, російська влада півострова використовує «справу батальйону ім. Номана Челебіджихана» як «універсальну» статтю для переслідування нелояльних кримчан.

«Завдяки звинуваченню у причетності до батальйону можна охопити ширші категорії кримських татар. У випадку з батальйоном набагато менше потрібно доказової бази», – зазначив він.

У Криму зафіксовано десятки випадків переслідування громадян за нібито участь у «кримськотатарському батальйоні ім. Номана Челебіджихана». Багато затриманих отримали реальні терміни і вже відбувають покарання у російських в’язницях. Останній вирок оголосили 1 червня – кримчанин отримав два роки позбавлення волі.

ФСБ Росії внесла «кримськотатарський добровольчий батальйон ім. Номана Челебіджіхана» до списку «терористичних організацій» у 2022 році.

Дискусія про створення «кримськотатарського батальйону» у складі структури правоохоронних органів України триває з 2016 року. У Нацгвардії України, яка входить до системи Міністерства внутрішніх справ України, зазначали, що заяви про створення у їхній структурі «кримськотатарського батальйону» залишаються на рівні заяв, які не закріплені законодавчо. Його керівник Ленур Іслямов закликав привласнити «кримськотатарському батальйону імені Номана Челебіджихана» номер військової частини.

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Повітряний щит України потребує забезпечення усім необхідним на постійній основі – Зеленський

«Займаємося коаліцією «Петріотів» та коаліцією сучасних винищувачів – щодня активно»

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US Businesses Facing Backlash for Pride Month Campaigns

The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, the retail giant Target, the brewer of the beer Bud Light — in the past month, all these businesses have been the focus of consumer boycotts for marketing to LGBTQ+ customers. From Los Angeles, Genia Dulot has the story.

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Biden Administration Urged to Back UN-Sanctioned Tribunal on Russian Aggression

Two influential Democratic senators are urging the Biden administration to change course and back the establishment of a U.N.-sanctioned special tribunal to hold Russian leaders accountable for the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Democrats Ben Cardin and Tim Kaine, both prominent members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution calling on the administration “to use its voice and vote in international institutions to support the creation of a special international criminal tribunal to hold accountable the leaders of the Russian Federation who led and sanctioned aggression in Ukraine.”

The resolution supports a long-standing Ukrainian demand: a special tribunal for Russia’s “crime of aggression.” The U.N. General Assembly would have to greenlight the proposed tribunal, terms of which Ukraine and the United Nations would negotiate.

Different treatment

The crime of aggression – defined as “planning, preparation, initiation or execution” of an act of aggression, such as an armed invasion – is distinct from war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

The International Criminal Court can prosecute those other crimes, but not the crime of aggression. Its jurisdiction over this crime extends only to countries that have ratified the Rome Statute that established the court. Russia, like the United States, is not a party to the treaty.

That is why Ukraine and its allies have been pushing for an alternative mechanism to hold Russian leaders accountable.

In March, the Biden Administration proposed an “internationalized tribunal” within Ukraine’s judicial system but with outside support.

International elements

“We envision such a court having significant international elements — in the form of substantive law, personnel, information sources and structure,” Beth van Schaack, the State Department’s top diplomat for global criminal justice, said in announcing the administration’s endorsement.

The court could initially function outside Ukraine, elsewhere in Europe, she said.

The U.S. plan has the support of the Group of 7 bloc of nations but faces opposition from Ukrainian officials who say implementing it would require a constitutional amendment that is impractical during wartime.

Ukrainian officials say a U.N.-sanctioned, Nuremberg-style tribunal would close a “gap in accountability” in international law and, unlike a court based in Ukraine, enjoy international legitimacy. Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his call for such an initiative, which is supported by several small European countries.

“If we want true justice, we should not look for excuses and should not refer to the shortcomings of the current international law but make bold decisions that will correct the shortcomings of those norms,” Zelenskyy said in a speech at The Hague last month.

In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of forcibly deporting hundreds of Ukrainian children to Russia. But the warrant was for Putin’s involvement in alleged war crimes, not the crime of aggression.

Russia has blasted the arrest warrant and questioned the legitimacy of a special tribunal.

Legal experts say the U.S. plan hinges on Ukrainian support. They also say Putin and his inner circle will escape prosecution as long as they remain in power.

“I’m worried that by supporting this sort of hybrid model, the message that the U.S. sends is that it cares about accountability for aggression in a way that protects the architects of the crime,” said Rebecca Hamilton, an associate professor of law at American University, Washington College of Law,

A State Department spokesperson said the department does not comment on proposed legislation or resolutions and referred VOA to van Schaack’s testimony.

“As Ambassador… Van Schaak has expressed: There can be no peace without justice in Ukraine. Justice for the millions who have had their lives disrupted and destroyed, as a result of the senseless, unprovoked, and illegal war of territorial conquest launched by Vladimir Putin,” the spokesperson said.

The last time the crime of aggression was prosecuted was in the 1940s when German and Japanese leaders were tried in Nuremberg and Tokyo for what the International Military Tribunal called the “supreme international crime.”

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday, Senator Cardin criticized the Biden Administration’s plan. A Ukraine-based tribunal, Carden said, would face questions about “perceived impartiality” and potential claims of immunity from Russian officials.

Under international law, no national court can prosecute another country’s head of state or equivalent officials.

“I don’t know how you overcome that with the method you’re pursuing,” Cardin told van Schaack, referring to the court’s perceived impartiality.


Van Schaack responded that the Administration opted for a hybrid model because a U.N.-backed tribunal would face legal and practical hurdles of its own.

Legally, the U.N. General Assembly may lack the authority to set up a court with jurisdiction over Russia’s leaders.

Practically, “there are some serious concerns about whether we have the votes within the General Assembly to create a body of this nature,” she said.

But Cardin pushed back, urging the administration to enlist international support.

“It cannot be a sole U.S. effort,” Cardin said. “It has got to be a collective action. You’ve got to nurture this before you take it to a vote.”

A Cardin spokesperson said other senators might join as co-sponsors of the resolution but so far only Cardin and Kaine have signed on. She said in an email to VOA that there is no fixed date for a vote on the resolution.

Hamilton said the Cardin-Kaine resolution is significant because it is “a strong signal that [Congress] wants to go in a different direction from the one that the administration is proposing.”

“And I think it may also be significant for the proponents of an international tribunal, outside of the U.S. and in particular Ukraine, to hear that there are parts of the U.S. system that at least would support a truly international tribunal,” Hamilton, a former lawyer in the prosecutorial division of the International Criminal Court, said in an interview.

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Biden to Deliver Remarks on US Avoiding Default

President Joe Biden is set to sign the Fiscal Responsibility Act, legislation that suspends the U.S. government’s debt limit through January 2025 and avoids a potentially disastrous default on U.S. financial obligations.

He is scheduled to deliver remarks on the legislation’s passage Friday evening.

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday night 63-36 in support of the measure. Democratic senators John Fetterman, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats, joined 31 Republicans in voting against the bill.

“Tonight, senators from both parties voted to protect the hard-earned economic progress we have made and prevent a first-ever default by the United States,” Biden said in a statement Thursday.

The bill allows the government to continue to borrow more money over the next 19 months to meet its obligations, exceeding the current $31.4 trillion debt limit.

Despite objections by far-right Republican lawmakers who said it did not go far enough to cut spending and from Democratic progressives who said it trimmed too much, the bill passed the House of Representatives under a 314-117 vote Wednesday night.

The legislation does not set a new monetary cap, but the borrowing authority would extend to January 2, 2025, two months past next year’s presidential election.

In addition, the legislation calls for maintaining most federal spending at the current level in the fiscal year starting in October, with a 1% increase in the following 12 months.

“With the latest debt limit debate now behind us, our leaders must get serious about reforming this process so that we never again jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States,” Kelly Veney Darnell, interim CEO of the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in a statement sent to VOA.

“Bipartisan legislation like the Responsible Budgeting Act, introduced in the last Congress, would require lawmakers to routinely address our fiscal health by annually debating and voting on significant deficit reducing legislation — but without the full faith and credit of the country hanging in the balance,” she said.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who negotiated the deal with Biden, told reporters that getting the bill passed “wasn’t an easy fight.” He emphasized the budget savings and criticized Democrats who wanted to separate the debate about future government spending from the need to suspend the debt limit so current financial obligations could be met.

“We put the citizens of America first and we didn’t do it by taking the easy way,” McCarthy said. “We didn’t do it by the ways that people did in the past by just lifting [the debt ceiling]. We decided you had to spend less, and we achieved that goal.”

McCarthy said he intends to follow Wednesday’s action with more efforts to cut federal spending.

The measure does not raise taxes on the wealthy, a step wanted by Democrats. Nor will it stop the national debt total from continuing to increase, perhaps by another $3 trillion or more over the next year-and-a-half until the next expiration of the debt limit.

Other pieces of the legislation include a reduction in the number of new agents hired by the country’s tax collection agency, a requirement that states return $30 billion in unspent coronavirus pandemic assistance to the federal government and extending from 50 to 54 the upper age bracket for those required to work in order to receive food aid.

Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report.

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Вірменія не є союзницею Росії у війні проти України – Пашинян

Попри цю заяву Пашиняна, на міжнародній арені, зокрема, під час голосувань в ООН, Вірменія дуже часто йде у фарватері позиції Росії

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Зеленський: створення коаліції Patriot обговорювалося з учасниками «авіаційної коаліції»

«Наше завдання – не 70, 75 відсотків ураження цілей, а 100 відсотків. Так, це амбітна мета, вона дуже непроста через Patriot і не лише»

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US Wants to Engage Russia on Nuclear Arms Control, Officials Say

The White House is ready to have talks with Russia without preconditions about a future nuclear arms control framework even as it is enacting countermeasures in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend the last nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will make clear the Biden administration’s desire for talks on building a new framework during an address to the Arms Control Association on Friday, according to two senior administration officials who previewed the address on the condition of anonymity.

Putin announced in February he was suspending Russia’s cooperation with the New START Treaty’s provisions for nuclear warhead and missile inspections amid deep tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russia, however, said it would respect the treaty’s caps on nuclear weapons.

The officials said that Sullivan would underscore that the U.S. remains committed to adhering to the treaty if Russia does but will also “signal that we are open to dialogue” about building a new framework for managing nuclear risks once the treaty expires in February 2026.

The officials said that the Biden administration is willing to stick to the warhead caps until the treaty expires. Figuring out details about a post-2026 framework will be complicated by U.S.-Russia tension and the growing nuclear strength of China.

China now has about 410 nuclear warheads, according to an annual survey from the Federation of American Scientists. The Pentagon in November estimated China’s warhead count could grow to 1,000 by the end of the decade and to 1,500 by around 2035.

The size of China’s arsenal and whether Beijing is willing to engage in substantive dialogue will impact the United States’ future force posture and Washington’s ability to come to any agreement with the Russians, the officials said.

U.S.-Chinese relations have been strained by the U.S. shooting down a Chinese spy balloon earlier this year after it crossed the continental U.S.; tensions about the status of the self-ruled island Taiwan, which China claims as its own; U.S. export controls aimed at limiting China’s advanced semiconductor equipment; and other friction.

The White House push on Moscow on nuclear arms control comes the day after the administration announced new countermeasures over Russia suspending participation in the treaty.

The State Department announced Thursday it would no longer notify Russia of any updates on the status or location of “treaty-accountable items” like missiles and launchers, would revoke U.S. visas issued to Russian treaty inspectors and aircrew members and would cease providing telemetric information on test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The United States and Russia earlier this year stopped sharing biannual nuclear weapons data required by the treaty.

The treaty, which then-Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed in 2010, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers and provides for on-site inspections to verify compliance.

The inspections have been dormant since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions on resuming them were supposed to have taken place in November 2022, but Russia abruptly called them off, citing U.S. support for Ukraine. 

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