dpatopbilder - 04.07.2022, Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk: Ein Landwirt sammelt in der Region Dnipropetrowsk die Ernte auf einem Feld neben einem Krater ein, den eine russische Rakete hinterlassen hat - zehn Kilometer von der Frontlinie entfernt, wo heftige Kämpfe stattfinden. Schätzungsweise 22 Millionen Tonnen Getreide sind in der Ukraine blockiert, und der Druck wächst mit Beginn der neuen Ernte. Normalerweise liefert das Land etwa 30 % seines Getreides nach Europa, 30 % nach Nordafrika und 40 % nach Asien. Doch aufgrund der anhaltenden russischen Seeblockade der ukrainischen Schwarzmeerhäfen können Millionen Tonnen der letztjährigen Ernte noch immer nicht ihr Ziel erreichen. Foto: Efrem Lukatsky/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Russian army of torture, illegal arrests and deprivation of liberty of civilians in southern Ukraine. “Russian troops have turned the areas they have occupied in southern Ukraine into an abyss of fear and wild anarchy,” said HRW Ukraine representative Yulia Gorbunova.

In addition to torture, Gorbunova also mentioned “inhuman treatment”, “arbitrary arrests” and “deprivation of liberty” in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. The Russian authorities must ensure that this abuse ends immediately.

According to HRW, they interviewed more than 70 Ukrainians, who described more than 40 cases of abuse and torture. They therefore testified that they were tortured or witnessed torture. The victims were beaten or electrocuted, they suffered injuries to their ribs or teeth, burns or concussions.

More than a million people lived in the Kherson region before the Russian invasion. After the invasion began on February 24, the region was almost completely occupied by Russians.

Around 1.7 million people lived in the Zaporizhia region east of Cherson before the war. The region is now partially controlled by Russian troops, in particular the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. (AFP)

According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the billion-euro rescue of the gas importer Uniper can also be a success story for taxpayers. He referred to the discounted purchase of Uniper shares by the federal government and the example of the Lufthansa rescue, said the Chancellor on Friday in Berlin. In this case, draw a success story. “Of course we hope for the company and for all of us that it will be like this again here.” (Reuters)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees Russia as an unsafe gas supplier. It won’t be any safer than it is, Scholz said on Friday in Berlin. He made it clear that Germany could no longer rely on Russia. “That’s why we prefer to play it safe.” Scholz referred to measures that have already been decided to reduce gas consumption. We will do everything we can to get through this situation as a country. (dpa)

In view of the high prices for energy, the federal government wants to further relieve the burden on citizens. There will be a major housing benefit reform at the beginning of next year, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Friday in Berlin. Among other things, the circle of beneficiaries will be expanded. “It will be very important that the citizens’ income actually comes by January 1, 2023,” said Scholz. This is designed for people with lower incomes and retirees.

According to Scholz, the planned relief is “a joint decision by the government”, which was made in consultation with Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner, among others. (dpa, tsp)

According to MI6 chief Richard Moore, half of all Russian spies in Europe have been expelled since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began. According to the last count, there are “about 400 Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover,” Moore said at the US Aspen Security Conference.

According to the head of the British secret service, the expulsion of around 400 diplomats from European countries such as France and Germany drastically reduced the Kremlin’s espionage capacities. “That probably cut in half their ability to spy for Russia in Europe,” Moore said. Western intelligence agencies have made concerted efforts to disrupt Russia’s spy networks since the invasion in February.

In April this year, Germany expelled 40 Russian diplomats and France 41. Great Britain is one of the few countries that has not expelled any diplomats since the beginning of the war of aggression. The reason is the previous expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats after the poisoning of defector Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter in 2018, as reported by the British newspaper The Guardian. (Alexandra Best, tsp)