Brazil’s elections test the political power of religion

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Brazil's elections test the political power of religion

Brazil is still the largest Catholic country in the world, but Protestant evangelicals are a fast-growing segment of the population. And they’re making their presence felt politically.

The WorldOctober 1, 2022 · 6:00 AM EDT

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro waves to supporters as he is surrounded by his security detail upon arrival to a motorcycle rally as he campaigns for a second term in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil, Sept. 30, 2022. Brazil's general elections are scheduled for Oct. 2.

Andre Penner/AP

The World's Carol Hills and reporter Michael Fox explore institutional religion in Brazil, how President Jair Bolsonaro tapped into religion in his rise to the presidency, and the ripple effects of his alliance with evangelicals throughout the country. This special edition of The World is part of our reporting series called, Sacred Nation, focused on the intersection of religion and nationalism around the globe.

US senators demand full White House investigation into shooting of Palestinian American journalist

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>US senators demand full White House investigation into shooting of Palestinian American journalist

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen speaks to The World's host Marco Werman about a renewed call by himself and other Senate Democrats for a full inquiry into the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh earlier this year.

The WorldSeptember 30, 2022 · 4:00 PM EDT

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen speaks during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 3, 2022.

Mariam Zuhaib/AP/File

US Congressional Democrats are calling on the White House to conduct and release the findings of a full investigation into the shooting death of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May.

An investigator from the research group Forensic Architecture shared with The World a computer reconstruction, built by its team, of the spot in the West Bank where Abu Akleh was shot. It determined that she was shot by an Israeli marksman and that she was clearly identifiable as a journalist. 

Earlier this month, the Israeli military announced long-awaited results of its investigation into the deadly shooting of Abu Akleh, saying there was a “high probability” an Israeli soldier had mistakenly killed her during a raid in the occupied West Bank last May.

But the military provided no evidence to support its claim that a fierce gunbattle was under way at the time that Abu Akleh was shot.

Now, the US Congress is pushing for further accountability. Democrats Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Chris Van Hollen and others have reached out to the State Department with a series of questions about the case.

Sen. Van Hollen joined The World's host Marco Werman to discuss why a US-led independent invesigation into the case matters. 

Marco Werman: I'd like to begin with what's known as the Leahy Laws, named after Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. The law basically says the US government will not provide assistance to foreign security forces where there is a credible implication of gross violations of human rights. Does the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh activate the Leahy Laws? Sen. Chris Van Hollen: Well, that depends on all the facts. And we've been trying to get the facts so that we can have accountability in this case. The most recent analysis that you are reporting on is consistent with analysis done by The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post. And it's why we keep pushing the Biden administration to conduct an independent analysis of their own, reach their own conclusions, about what happened so that we can consider the next steps for accountability. But getting the facts is a prerequisite to applying any of those laws. What has been the response from the White House to your request?Well, so far, the White House and the State Department have not been responsive. As Sen. Leahy, myself and others wrote to Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken on July 12, with a series of questions trying to get the facts in this case. We have yet to get a response. And it's my view that the Biden administration has a duty to get to the bottom of the killing of an American citizen and a journalist — where the Biden administration says a high priority is to protect journalists in conflict zones — that we have to pursue the facts wherever they lead us. That's what Secretary Blinken himself said some time ago, and we're going to continue to hold the administration to that.You and Sen. Leahy have authored an amendment that would force the State Department to issue a report on Shireen Abu Akleh's killing. If the killing were found to be intentional, what would that mean for lawmakers?Well, again, I just don't want to jump to the conclusions of a report. This is why we keep pushing for the facts. And we are totally not satisfied at all with what the Biden administration has provided. As you probably know, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a report claiming that the shooting was justified because there was an ongoing exchange of fire at that time between IDF forces and Palestinian militants. But this most recent evidence, along with the earlier evidence from independent news sources — again, like The New York Times, Washington Post and others — indicates that there was no such exchange of fire. And this is the key issue we have to resolve. And the Biden administration has a duty to work with us to get the facts.So, given all the sources you have, what other facts are lawmakers looking for?Well, what we're looking for is for the Biden administration to conduct this independent analysis, because they ultimately are the ones that have to make the determination under US law. So, this is why getting the facts is so important, and we're going to continue to push to do that. I also included an amendment in the State Department authorization bill that was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the other day to require the administration to provide us with a copy of a report done by the United States security coordinator on the ground there. They have not provided that to us yet, despite the fact we asked for it back in July.If a State Department report showed her killing as intentional, would you press to cut funding to Israel?Well, again, I don't want to get ahead of the facts. Clearly, if that were the case, that would trigger the Leahy Laws. Sen. Leahy himself made that statement on the floor of the Senate. But that, obviously, is contingent on the finding of the facts. And this is why it's important that the administration not sweep this under the rug, and we're going to hold their feet to the fire so that they can't do that.Senator, with some exceptions, there has long been an overarching belief in Congress that the US bond with Israel is unbreakable. Are we at a moment where that's being questioned?I think it is unbreakable. I think we have a very strong partnership with Israel, which is why it is especially disappointing in this case that we can't get more facts and cooperation. Secretary Blinken asked the IDF to review their rules of engagement after this case. In other words, review when fire is appropriate and when it's not. He pressed that for a little while, but then he dropped that request when he got some pushback. So, we have a close partnership. So, this is a moment where we want the Israeli government to help us get to the bottom of the shooting death of an American citizen and a journalist. And we need the Biden administration to be very focused on getting the facts. Secretary Blinken, himself, originally called for an independent investigation. Those were his words. We said, "Yes, we agree." He's backed off. We haven't. We need the Biden administration to do its duty in this case of a killing of an American citizen and journalist.World leaders and human rights groups have pointed to what they see as a pattern of human rights violations over the years that Israel is responsible for. Why is the death of this Palestinian American journalist different for Senate Democrats?Well, all violations of human rights, wherever they happen in the world, are important. What we have here is a situation where you do have an American citizen — a Palestinian American. You also have a journalist. And the Biden administration has repeatedly said that protecting journalists in conflict areas is one of their top priorities. So, if that's true, if protecting journalists is a top priority and protecting American citizens is a top priority, this is a clear case where the Biden administration has to show that it means what it says.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. AP contributed to this report. 

Lula battles Bolsonaro for chance to defend the poor again in Brazil

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Lula battles Bolsonaro for chance to defend the poor again in Brazil

Two presidents are battling for power in Sunday’s elections. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is hoping to unseat current far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. 

The WorldSeptember 30, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

A demonstrator dressed in the colors of the Brazilian flag performs in front of a street vendor's towels for sale featuring Brazilian presidential candidates, current President Jair Bolsonaro, center, and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 27, 2022. 

Eraldo Peres/AP

This Sunday’s upcoming elections in Brazil are being closely watched. 

It’s the battle of two presidents. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is hoping to unseat current far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been a close ally of Donald Trump. (In Brazil, presidents are allowed two terms and they can run again, after at least one term has elapsed.)

Lula is poised to take this first round vote on Sunday. He leads the latest polls by 14 to 17 points. If he can win half of the valid votes, he can take the election in the first round. 

Despite spending time in prison for a corruption conviction, Lula continues to have much support. Many Brazilians believe he can bring back better days. 

“At the moment, I will vote for Lula, because he’s kind of our light at the end of the tunnel. He’s our hope,” said one computer programmer in northeastern Brazil.

Lula has been campaigning up and down the country in recent weeks. Videos shared across social media show big rallies, events and marches.

Last weekend, a crowd broke out into spontaneous applause at a food court in an upscale shopping mall in the southern Brazilian city of Florianopolis, chanting “Lula.” 

Bolsonaro has gutted workers rights, social policies and state institutions. Many blame him for his dismal approach to COVID-19, which has led to nearly 685,000 deaths. Brazil is now facing rising unemployment, inflation, poverty and hunger.

According to a recent study, 33 million Brazilians don’t have enough to eat each day. 

That number has doubled in just the last two years. Lula has promised to fix it if he’s elected again.

“We have to guarantee that every person in this country can wake up and have breakfast, lunch and dinner, each day,” he told supporters at a rally in Amazonas state.

Lula is familiar with hunger pains. 

He was born poor in northeastern Brazil, in a home with dirt floors. 

As a union leader in São Paulo, in the late 1970s, he led huge strikes that would signal the beginning of the end of the country’s 21-year dictatorship.

He went on to establish the Workers Party and won the presidency in 2002, governing the country for two terms and lifting tens of millions from poverty. 

When he left office his approval rating was nearly 90%.

“My four children studied at the university, because of him,” said Dona Rosa, a former street vender turned businesswoman, who spoke at a Lula rally this week.

That sentiment is held across the country. 

Vinicius Castello is a city councilman in the northeastern city of Olinda.

“Lula was the president that made it so that poor people had a right to exist,” Castello told Kawsachun News recently. “And that’s the country we have to build now,” he said.

People have felt this excitement for Lula before. 

Four years ago, he was also leading the polls in the lead-up to the presidential elections. 

But he was jailed and blocked from running after he was convicted of allegedly accepting a beach-side apartment from a company seeking government contracts. 

His imprisonment was part of a widespread anti-corruption operation, which, over seven years, issued 1,400 search and seizure warrants and convicted almost 280 people. 

Many of them were top politicians, including members of Lula’s Workers Party. 

Lula’s conviction opened the doors for Bolsonaro’s rise to the presidency.

But the former president’s supporters rallied in his defense. They set up a vigil outside the jail and said his conviction was politically motivated.

And that’s what the Supreme Court eventually found, too.

Lula was freed after 580 days.

Over the next two years, this and more than two dozen other corruption cases against him would all be tossed out for a variety of reasons. 

“It was clear that the law here was being used as a political weapon,” said 

Fabio de Sa e Silva, a professor of Brazilian studies at the University of Oklahoma. 

“I mean, you can't file 20-something lawsuits against somebody and have all those lawsuits being deemed, you know, lacking. Grounds to proceed with by several judges in the country. There's clearly something wrong here with the way you're using your prosecutory power and your power as a judge.”

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes called the country’s anti-corruption operation the biggest scandal that has befallen the Brazilian judiciary in the country’s history.

But it’s left its mark — on Brazil, and on Lula.

“Though the convictions against Lula have been annulled by the Supreme Court and proven to be politically motivated, it has tarnished the image of the Workers Party and that has an impact into Lula’s popularity,” said Rafael Ioris, a professor of Latin American history at the University of Denver.

Roughly 40% of the population says they would not vote for Lula under any circumstance.

But Bolsonaro’s rejection rate is even higher — more than half of Brazilians say they would never support Bolsonaro. And that’s going to make it difficult for the current president to make up ground against Lula in the coming days. 

Brazilians will find out on Sunday. 

Tense atmosphere as voters head to the polls in Brazil’s most diverse elections ever

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Tense atmosphere as voters head to the polls in Brazil's most diverse elections ever

Brazilians will vote in presidential elections on Sunday. They will also vote for a host of other government officials. This year, more Indigenous people, women and Black candidates are running for office than ever before.

The WorldSeptember 30, 2022 · 2:45 PM EDT

Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wave Brazilian flags during a motorcycle campaign rally in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil, Sept. 30, 2022.

Victor R. Caivano/AP

The feeling on the streets of Brazil is one of both tension and excitement. 

The country is preparing for the first round of its presidential elections on Sunday. The vote is between far-right President Jair Bolsonaro — an ally of former US President Donald Trump — and former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula is well ahead in the polls.

Marches and rallies in defense of both candidates have littered the country in recent weeks. And their videos have been shared across social media.

But the presidential candidates are not the only ones organizing.

Brazilians will also elect 500 congresspeople, more than a thousand state lawmakers, two dozen senators and 27 state governors. Plus, this year, more Indigenous people, women and Black candidates are running for office than ever before.

For the first time, the country’s largest Indigenous organization APIB is fielding Indigenous candidates in states across the country, with the hope of launching a congressional caucus of Native peoples. The first female Indigenous congressional member, Joênia Wapixana, was only elected just four years ago.

“Hey folks, I’m here to talk to you about the importance of putting our Indigenous people in important positions of power,” said Indigenous activist Samela Sateré Mawé in a video posted online.

“We have suffered violence against our people,” Sateré Mawé went on. “There have been bills pushing [for] the destruction of our territories, the environment and against our lives, and we need to change this.”

They are hoping to push back on the country’s big ag (agriculture) caucus in Congress. That group includes roughly half of the members of the lower house, who have been important allies for Bolsonaro and his aims to open up the Amazon for development.

But Indigenous peoples are not the only ones hoping for change.

Leaders of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement met with the press to discuss how they’ve helped to launch thousands of local grassroots committees. They are now organizing in neighborhoods up and down Brazil in support of Lula’s candidacy.

The landless movement is also fielding its own candidates for the first time. Fifteen members are running for state and federal office in a dozen states, with campaigns focused on promoting local family farming, labor rights and environmental sustainability.

“These candidates are a sign of the landless movement’s achievements,” said activist Luma Vitorio, who has been working closely with the movement. “We need to speak for ourselves. We can’t continue to outsource that job to others.”

These groups are hoping to gain ground against the far-right wave of candidates that rode into local and national office in 2018 on Bolsonaro’s coattails.

“The more that we have diversity of representation in legislative bodies, the better it is for our political system.”

Luciana Santana, political scientist, Federal University of Alagoas

“These legislative elections will be important,” said Luciana Santana, a political scientist at the Federal University of Alagoas. “The more that we have diversity of representation in legislative bodies, the better it is for our political system.”

But this campaign season has not been easy, with some candidates facing intimidation. 

“We were marching and we were intimidated,” said Lula ally and Workers' Party Congressman Paulo Guedes in a video shared widely over social media. “A member of the military police shot three times into our sound truck. Thank God he’s now detained. But this is absurd. And it’s the third time it’s happened.”

Black, gay and transgender candidates have also been in the crosshairs.

Matheus Gomes is a Black city councilman in Porto Alegre, who’s running for a seat on the Rio Grande do Sul state assembly. He and other members of the city’s Black caucus received a new string of death threats over email.

“They’re trying to intimidate us,” Gomes told The World. “The last message I received said that I should give up politics. They mentioned Bolsonaro. This is, by far, the most tense feeling on the streets I have ever experienced during an electoral campaign.”

That tension is palpable. According to reports, this is one of the most violent electoral seasons on record.

In a recent poll, two-thirds of Brazilians said they were afraid of being attacked because of their political preferences. Many blame the violent rhetoric of Bolsonaro and his allies for instigating the threats and attacks. But Bolsonaro insists he is not responsible for local actions and that the conflict goes both ways. 

Luciana Santana, the political scientist, said that the violence is the result of the country’s deep political polarization.

“It’s a very delicate situation,” she said. “And it’s really concerning, because some public officials are even empowering these people who are carrying out these violent actions.”

Many Brazilians are hoping that these elections may start to turn the tide.

The polls are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, with results expected to be released only hours later.

Related: Evangelicals in Brazil want to make contact with Indigenous groups. But why?

Safe and unsilenced: Afghan scholars find refuge at US universities

class=”MuiTypography-root-229 MuiTypography-h1-234″>Safe and unsilenced: Afghan scholars find refuge at US universitiesThe WorldSeptember 30, 2022 · 12:45 PM EDT

Masuma Mohammadi sits on a bench at San José State University, where she's been hired to research Afghanistan from a safe distance. 

Courtesy of Sara Arman

Masuma Mohammadi was a radio reporter for the United Nations News service for a popular news program in Afghanistan called “Hello Countrymen, Countrywomen,” before the Taliban took over the country in August of 2021.

Her work as a journalist and women’s rights activist made her a target for the Taliban. She was forced to flee and found refuge in the US, a country she had visited only once, years ago.

Mohammadi has been in San Jose, California, with a residency at San Jose State University, for six months now. Her research detailing the persecution of the ethnic Hazara in Afghanistan is work she could never do in her home country.

“Afghan women have been completely removed from the structure of [public] life in Afghanistan,” Mohammadi said, adding that the country is experiencing a profound human rights and humanitarian crisis.

Girls aren’t allowed to attend high school, women are barred from working in offices and nongovernmental organizations, and they’re not allowed to travel or go long distances without a male chaperone.

But through the power of the internet, she and other Afghans like her — journalists, activists and academics — are able to continue their research outside of Afghanistan in the US, thanks to the Afghan Visiting Scholars program, a collaboration between some Bay Area universities.

The program is the brainchild of Halima Kazem-Stojanovic, who was a refugee herself more than 40 years ago when Afghanistan fell to the former Soviet Union.

“My family came as Afghan political refugees in what I call the first migration of Afghans into the United States,” Kazem-Stojanovic said. “My parents knew other Afghan families who lived in San Jose including [the famous author] Khalid Husseini's parents. Our fathers were friends.”

The family settled in San Jose just before she started kindergarten.

Kazem-Stojanovic is now an oral historian on Afghanistan at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, but for 10 years, she was a journalism and human rights professor at San Jose State — and a core faculty member of its Human Rights Institute.

Because her work has often taken her to Afghanistan, she has many connections there.

“This has meant incredible opportunities to make very close friendships in Afghanistan. I trained more than 300 journalists in the last 20 years in Afghanistan,” she said. “Many became wonderful friends, and that's a very dear title we have among Afghans, when you're considered a cousin, even though you're not by blood.”

As Kabul fell to the Taliban, she received hundreds of messages on her WhatsApp and Signal accounts, like: “How do we get out of here?” “Can you send money?” “I can't go home.”

Kazem-Stojanovic said most of the people she was in contact with are in hiding. One photographer she knew dug a hole in his yard to bury his awards, including his Pulitzer Prize.

She reached out to her network in the US to help Afghan academics and journalists get out of the country — but also, to support people once they arrived in the US.

As the child of an economics professor who couldn’t teach in the United States, Kazem-Stojanovic was keenly aware that these refugees would need financial and professional support to establish themselves on this side of the Pacific.

“I thought, possibly, I could give some — a few — an opportunity not only to come here, but continue their public-facing work,” Kazem-Stojanovic said.

She found ready collaborators at the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center and her own San José State University. And so began the Afghan Visiting Scholars program.

“Together, we quickly rolled out a crowdfunding campaign [now ended] because universities work very slowly, the wheels don't turn very fast and we were in an emergency.

“We were in a crisis,” Kazem-Stojanovic said ruefully. “I think we raised over $300,000. And that was the easy part, because then it was, 'all right, well, how do we get people here?'”

She added, “We thought that if we could reach out to members of Congress and senators with lists of people … but they couldn't do very much. The evacuation lists were so long. There were so few places.”

The list of schools that have taken on more Afghan scholars, and participated in the work involved to apply for J-1 academic visas and J-2 visas (for immediate family members), is small but growing; including the University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as Yale University, Tennessee State University and The University of Texas at El Paso. 

‘Room and space for Afghans to do the work’

One year later, Kazem-Stojanovic maintains a list of roughly 130 people waiting for academic visas, many of them in Pakistan, India and Turkey. Others are already in the US on humanitarian parole, which allows them to stay for two years.

People get on the list in a variety of ways — starting with an application process.

“Placing the applicant depends on where they are geographically, the field they are in and a variety of immigration factors,” she said. “We have various routes for bringing scholars here. We have to be creative because each person has a unique situation.”

So far, she has found placements for 15 Afghan scholars.

In addition to helping bring Afghans to safety, she said, the program is an avenue for illuminating stories that are often untold in the West.

“There's still so much need to understand this country [Afghanistan] and this part of the world. And I would like to see native Afghans contribute to that,” Kazem-Stojanovic said. “So much of what's published in the West is by non-Afghans. You know, a lot of American and European anthropologists and historians. And there's room and space now for Afghans to do the work.”

The Afghan Visiting Scholars program isn’t the only one of its kind. Stanford University is working with New York-based Scholars at Risk, and the New University in Exile Consortium boasts nearly 60 universities around the world that agreed to host displaced scholars from countries where their lives were in danger.

According to the International Refugee Assistance Project, an estimated 83,000 Afghans were evacuated to the United States, and about 76,000 of them do not have access to a pathway to permanent legal status. The Afghan Adjustment Act, now pending on Capitol Hill, would allow them to apply for permanent legal residency, as happened for Vietnamese people after the Vietnam War, and Kurds after the Iraq War.

“Pass the Afghan Adjustment Act,” Kazem-Stojanovic said. “The people who are here have gone through so much. They need peace of mind. They need to know that their lives are secure in the future and they will be wonderful, incredible assets to this country.”

Expanding possibilities in the US

Faisal Karimi is another Afghan who has benefited from the Afghan Visiting Scholars Program.

After 20 years as a journalist, academic and women’s rights activist, Karimi’s life was turned upside-down last year. The assistant professor of journalism and communications at Herat University in western Afghanistan had to flee, along with his wife and children.

“I produced dozens of stories about Taliban policy and ideology. My life, my family was in danger. … We received many calls, threats and messages from the Taliban.”

Karimi destroyed his SIM card to obscure his movements, but managed to get in touch with nongovernmental organizations that had worked with him in the past, to evacuate his colleagues, as well as himself, within 10 days of the collapse of Herat to the Taliban.

The 22-hour public bus trip to Kabul over bombed-out roads was harrowing, as was the refugee camp his family lived in for seven months in Albania, but so was the prospect of starting from scratch in a strange land he’d visited once in 2013.

“I never [thought] that I’d come back again forever, to be a San Josean.”

So many refugees evacuated to the US and other countries wind up doing poorly paid or physically demanding jobs in health care, meatpacking and restaurants.

At an American university, Karimi is able to continue to make use of his intelligence and education, not to mention his English-language skills. Today, he’s a visiting research scholar at San Jose State, studying the Taliban and publishing news stories from the US.

“From here, we’re covering women’s challenges in Afghanistan, women's protests,” he said. “The local media, they’re not allowed to.”

Karimi hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in communications here, and then a career as a journalism professor.

“California and the United States is my second home. I really appreciate America’s people: their support, their kindness, everything they’ve provided for me and my family to stay in the United States.”

For Mohammadi, too, the chance to keep working is important. Although she's still learning to navigate an entirely new system and culture, she said that she is grateful to be in a position to make a positive difference in her home country from the relative safety of San Jose. And, it’s work that would be hard for a non-Hazaras, she said.

“We don’t hear stories from people, stories from victims, what situation they are living under, what their problems [are], what’s their request from the US, from the international community. In this way, we raise their voices,” Mohammadi said.

An earlier version of this story was published by KQED.

‘We’re done’: A new generation of Iranians are using this app to track the country’s morality police

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>'We're done': A new generation of Iranians are using this app to track the country's morality police

The mapping app Gershad, launched in 2016, allows people in Iran — primarily women — to mark the location of the country's morality police so that others can avoid them. Human rights activist and app co-founder Firuzeh Mahmoudi joined The World's host Marco Werman to talk about the app amid current protests.

The WorldSeptember 29, 2022 · 5:30 PM EDT

In this Sept. 21, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, protesters make fire and block the street during a protest over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in downtown Tehran, Iran.


In Iran, a phone app called Gershad is in huge demand right now. The mapping app, launched in 2016, allows people in Iran, primarily women, to mark the location of the country's morality police. That way, other people can avoid them.

Protests sparked by the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody are not letting up in Iran. Amini was stopped by the morality police for not wearing her hijab properly.

Now, the app has been updated to also include the location of riot police. The app currently has over 10,000 users, according to its website. 

Firuzeh Mahmoudi, one of the founders of the app, is also the executive director of the human rights group United for Iran. She joined The World's host Marco Werman from San Francisco to tell us more about the app and the uprising taking place in the country now. 

Marco Werman: Tell us a little bit more about how the Gershad app actually works here.Firuzeh Mahmoudi: So, it essentially allows users to report and view the location of the morality police throughout the country.Right. So, it's crowdsourced and then, wherever those forces are, there's a pin drop, that kind of thing?Exactly. And if multiple users use the same point near the same area, they get all clumped together. And users can only report if they're within a 500-meter vicinity of a location to avoid spamming by government officials. I mean, we hear a lot about the morality police. That's actually shorthand for a much longer title. Who are they exactly? The morality police were created under President Ahmadinejad. Essentially, their role is to ensure that that people are being proper, they're using their hijab properly, and they stop — 90% of who they stop are women — and it's essentially one of the government's arms to oppress people, using this ideology. And the hijab is a physical thing, but it's much more than that. It's a tool of oppression, to oppress half of the population. And that's the identity by which the Islamic Republic has built its name on.I'd like you to help us understand what it's like to live with the morality police around you all the time. I know you were once arrested by the morality police. Tell us about that experience.I left Iran when I was 12. My mother could not leave. So, I went back to Iran when I was 16 and I was arrested quite briefly, five hours. My mom and me and my sister, we all went together because they did not want me to go in alone. I had to sign that next time I would get 50 lashes and then we were released. It's horrifying, the idea of "getting 50 lashes next time." I was worried I was not going to be able to leave the country because I have a bit of an accent in Farsi. But that is nothing compared to what Iranian women face and fear every day. They don't have body autonomy, like they cannot just go out as they wish. The control and the power is not just on their physical body, but its permeates their emotions, their spirit, everything. It's their entire body — being oppressed.When you think about what is happening in Iran right now, what occurs to you? What occurs to you about right now and the future?It's heartbreaking to see millions and millions of people oppressed and being forced to lead a life that they don't want. And it's just absolutely heartbreaking, it is also so inspiring. They are incredibly brave, this young, new generation. They have no fear in their eyes. I see the fear on the other side. Although they're the ones with bullets. What are the chances — there are more of us than there are your bullets. So, we don't know exactly how this round is going to go. This protest has turned into an uprising and a movement. And I feel like the genie is out of the bottle. They have no place to go. They've created a situation where they either have to give up their entire identity, which is no longer going to be the Islamic Republic or they are forced to continue to oppress. And the people are essentially saying, "We're done."

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity across China as govt creates incentives

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Electric vehicles are gaining popularity across China as govt creates incentives

China started investing in new electric vehicles years ago. This year, about 25% of new cars sold there are electric. They're gaining in popularity, especially among the younger generation.

The WorldSeptember 29, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

Mini EV cars seen in Zhumadian, China.

Rebecca Kanthor/The World

Jenny Liu is a schoolteacher in Zhumadian in central China. With about 7 million people, it's still considered a small city. When she’s not working, her days are spent on the go, shuttling her kids around town.

Liu drives a Seahorse, a Chinese brand mini-electric car.

China started investing in new electric vehicles (EV) years ago. This year, about 25% of new cars sold there are electric.

Liu told The World that she’s usually driving around in her electric car from morning until night.

One day, her first stop was dropping off her daughter at kindergarten.Next, she took her 12 year-old son to his tutoring session and picked up some groceries. In the afternoon, it was more pick-ups, drop-offs and errands.

“Everyone here has an electric car,” she said. Liu’s family actually owns three electric vehicles — the mini-electric car, an electric scooter and a three-wheeled golf cart. They’re all for short trips within the city.

They also own a gas-powered car, but Liu said they only use it for long-haul trips outside the city.

Car buyers check out the Avatr 11 electric vehicle in China.


Rebecca Kanthor/The World

“It’s just too expensive to drive,” she explained. The mini-EV costs her family less than $4 a week to charge up. Gas and parking would cost at least five times as much.

Across Chinese cities, electric cars can be seen everywhere, and can be spotted by their green license plates. Tiny mini-EVs are especially popular in smaller cities. They’re even smaller than the SmartCars seen on roads in the US. And these mini-EVs are customized with colors and decals — for example, some cars are decorated with Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty or the black-and-white splotches of a dairy cow.

Zhang Bo, 32, owns a shiny silver Wuling Hongguang, which was the best-selling EV in China, a Chinese joint venture with GM. He uses his car to commute to work. 

“It’s really convenient for city driving,” he said. It’s also budget-friendly. This model goes for under $5,000.

Yang Jian, a journalist who writes about the car industry in China, said that government subsidies have been a big reason for the EV market’s success, but he senses that it is now growing even stronger because buyers are interested in the cars themselves, not just the subsidies.

“Now there is a real demand for EVs, especially among the young population.”

Yang Jian is, journalist

“Now there is a real demand for EVs, especially among the young population,” he said. “They really like the car, from the exterior to interior to [its] performance. They like to try new things.”

And there are plenty of options to try, for every budget, from tiny, cheaper models all the way up to luxury cars made by Chinese and foreign automakers.  

Bill Russo is a car industry expert in Shanghai. He said that the range of options is key to China’s EV success.

“If the Chinese EV market were an ice cream shop, it would be Baskin Robbins,” he said. “You know, 31 flavors. There’s basic EVs, midmarket EVs, and then there’s more premium [ones with] more technology. I call them smart EV offerings — even some high end brands, like the Hi5 — which is selling an EV that is more than $100,000.

In the coastal city of Shanghai — a city of 25 million people — you can see the full range of electric vehicles on the roads, from electric scooters and electric buses, all the way to Teslas and other luxury cars. Hart Yang, 24, is a physical education teacher at an elementary school, and like many people in China from his generation, he’s the first car owner in his family. He bought a black Tesla Model 3.

“I chose an electric car mostly for the free license plate,” he said. In Shanghai, the cost of a license plate alone is more than $13,000, Yang explained. But electric and hybrid car buyers in Shanghai get a green license plate at no cost.

That perk will be taken away from hybrid car buyers at the end of this year, but the Chinese government has signaled it will continue to support the EV car market into 2023.

Tesla, which has a factory in Shanghai, is a popular EV car purchase in bigger cities. But Chinese brands are competitive, with names like Future and Build Your Dream. High-end Chinese EV makers are tapping into an aspirational market.

A mini-electric vehicle parked in the street, Zhumadian, China.


Rebecca Kanthor/The World

At a recent luxury car event on the outskirts of Shanghai, people were milling around an Avatr 11. It’s a high-tech collaboration between Changan, one of China’s biggest car companies, and Huawei, the mobile phone company. The car sells for nearly $50,000.

Elliot Richards, who makes YouTube videos about Chinese electric cars, said that for top-end electric car buyers here, it’s all about the technology.

“Chinese consumers think that this is like a mobile phone purchase,” he said. “They just change it every six months into the new technology, like an iPhone. Let’s drive this for six months, enjoy it, sell it. Get the new model from another company.”

The model he’s driving doesn’t require a key. You use your phone to unlock the doors. The car is full of perks: three large screens on the dashboard and the backseats even feature back massagers. Cameras and sensors are positioned throughout the car.

YouTuber Elliot Richards test drives a Chinese luxury electric vehicle.


Rebecca Kanthor/The World

When the onboard computer senses its passengers are in a happy mood, an automated woman’s voice offers to put on some upbeat music and lighting inside the car.

These high-tech features will eventually be standard in most Chinese EVs, Richards said.

Electric cars in China benefit from a strong infrastructure that supports the industry. In Shanghai, there are 109,000 public charging stations.   

“There are so many,” Richards said. “And if I go further outside of Shanghai, I know the motorway network, every service station has chargers. It’s so easy that I didn’t even consider it a problem in China.”

But others find it more difficult to drive electric cars on long-haul trips. Hart Yang, the Tesla owner, said he ran out of power for his car on a trip into the mountains several hours away from Shanghai. The remote rural area he traveled to was not well equipped with charging stations, so he had to come up with an alternate solution.

Outside of China’s wealthier coastal cities, though, many people still rely on China’s extensive rail network or gas-powered cars for longer trips.

The Chinese government has announced that it is investing in new charging stations for rural areas across the country, in the hopes that a stronger charging infrastructure will pave the way for Chinese drivers to go all in on electric.

No contradiction in supporting protesters while pursuing nuclear deal with Iran, US special envoy says

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>No contradiction in supporting protesters while pursuing nuclear deal with Iran, US special envoy says

Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, joined The World's host Marco Werman from Washington to discuss how the Biden administration views the current protests and what this could all mean for efforts to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.

The WorldSeptember 28, 2022 · 5:15 PM EDT

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during his press conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. Raisi warned that any roadmap to restore Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers must see international inspectors end their probe on man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in the country. 

Iranian Presidency Office/AP

Protests in Iran show no signs of letting up. Yesterday, riot police clashed with demonstrators in dozens of cities across the country. Today, students at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences chanted slogans.

They were condemning police brutality and calling for more freedom for Iranian women. The demonstrations come after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was accused of violating the law on headscarves. Amini died in police custody.

Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, joined The World's host Marco Werman from Washington to discuss how the Biden administration views the protests and what this could all mean for efforts to secure a nuclear deal with Iran. 

Marco Werman: Rob Malley, what's going through your mind as you watched day after day these protests in Iran? Are they a game-changer for the country?Robert Malley: We've all watched, sort of transfixed at the sight of brave Iranian women and men protesting. And what we do know is what we're going to do. We're going to speak forcefully about the fundamental rights of the Iranian people as we want to do across the world. We're going to condemn and sanction those Iranian institutions that were responsible for the death of Mahsa Amini. We've already sanctioned Iran's morality police and finally, and importantly, we're going to continue to help the Iranian people find ways to exercise their right to access information in the face of Iranian government attempts to block their access to the internet. We've taken steps already by loosening our sanctions in a way that would allow Iranians to talk to each other, communicate with each other and with the outside world.Well, as you say, as Iran has gone to shutting down the Internet quite forcefully, the US in response, has been trying to get communications equipment into the hands of demonstrators. Has that been successful?So what we really have done is try to open the door to US companies to allow them to provide tools to ordinary Iranians and allow them to overcome and circumvent the surveillance tools on censorship. We've seen that it's had some effect already, but of course, it's in the face of a widespread attempt by the Iranian government to block that communication.So in 2009, when there were widespread protests in Iran, culminating in that killing of a 26-year old Neda Agha-Soltan, the Obama White House did not want to support the protests, fearing charges of foreign interference. Now the US is engaged and supporting the protesters. What changed? I wasn't part of the Obama administration at the time. I think the Obama administration in due course, did condemn the repression. But listen, all I could speak about is what the Biden administration is about. And it's not about regime change. This is not a policy that is trying to fuel instability in Iran and try to topple the regime and the government. It's a policy that is trying to be true to US beliefs that people have the right to exercise fundamental freedoms.At the same time as these demonstrations are happening, there is the languishing Iran nuclear deal with discouraging levels of progress recently to revive the 2015 agreement. With that effort stalled. How has that changed the calculus with supporting these protests? In other words, how do you see the relationship between the protests and the nuclear talks?Some people have asked us why would we continue to pursue a nuclear deal in the face of the repression of this Iranian government. It didn't take what just happened, the tragedy that occurred to Mahsa Amini, for us to know what this Iranian government is about. The reason we're pursuing a nuclear deal is [that] we don't want this government to have its hands on a nuclear weapon. It's really as simple as that. And so that remains a fundamental national security interest of the United States. And, yes, we can do both things at the same time. We can be true to our values and speak out forcefully on behalf of ordinary Iranians who want to exercise their fundamental rights, even as we pursue another fundamental national security interest, which is to make sure that Iran doesn't acquire a nuclear weapon. And so those who say we shouldn't engage with them, we would ask the question, "What are we going to do to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?" Isn't diplomacy the best way, if we can do it? And by the way, we also have to engage with the Iranian government to secure the release of four of our citizens who have been unjustly detained, one of them for seven years. And to those who think that there's a contradiction, I would ask, what would they do to try to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?A US diplomat told journalists this week that the negotiations on that nuclear deal with Iran have hit a wall. What is the wall? How do you see it? We were close to a deal, we thought about a month ago, and then Iran, for its own reasons and reasons that one should ask them, decided to reintroduce an issue that has nothing to do with the deal, which has to do with the International Atomic Energy Agency's investigation into past Iranian activities, and in particular, the presence of uranium particles on the site. So without getting into the details, what Iran has asked for is for us, the United States and European countries to put pressure on the international agency to conclude those investigations. That has nothing to do with the deal, number one, and number two, it's something that we won't do. It's a decision Iran has to make. So that's the wall we're facing right now. But it's a wall that only Iran could overcome. What we can do is continue to maintain our pressure to make sure that Iran doesn't acquire a nuclear weapon.As you pointed out, Rob, President Trump famously exited the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. One thing Iranian negotiators have said is that they want guarantees that the election of a new Republican president in 2024, if that happens, would not mean the US will back out of another nuclear deal. Do they have a point? I can understand why they would want that guarantee. We've told them from the minute these negotiations began over a year and a half ago, that's not the way our system works. If a future president decides again recklessly to unilaterally withdraw from the deal at a time that the deal was working, if that's what they decide to do, there's nothing we, as in Biden, can do to stop that.Rob, finally, is Iran intent on having nuclear weapons? I mean, is that what US policy assumes? Is that the underlying belief?Without getting into sort of what our intelligence community would say, I think at this point, it doesn't appear that Iran has made a decision to acquire a nuclear weapon. It doesn't mean that they're not expanding their program so that they could be on the threshold of doing so. But they do not appear today to have made that decision. Again, we can't build our policy on what we assess to be Iran's intent. We base our policy on what we see Iran is doing. And our policy is guided by the president's very firm commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons through diplomacy, if that's at all possible.Rob, as you've served in this role as US special envoy for Iran, is there an anecdote you can share with us that kind of really sheds light on where things stand at this moment in time with Iran?You know, I don't think there's an anecdote that I would be prepared to recount at this point. I do think, though, that it is quite telling that we have been relatively close to a deal on more than one occasion, last spring and in August. And both times, Iran, for some reason and again, you should ask them and have their officials on your program, once, because they wanted us to commit to lifting the foreign terrorist organization designation of the IRGC, or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has nothing to do with the deal. And we we spent a lot of time in which we told them, you want that lifted, you gotta do something in exchange in terms of the behavior of the IRGC. In the end, they dropped that. Now it's this question of the investigation by the IAEA. Again, nothing to do with the deal, delaying the deal. What does that say? You'd have to ask them. Are they at the moment of truth? Do they take a step back? Are they not prepared to to get back into the deal? Are they hoping for concessions that won't come? Our door is still open, if they want to go through, if they want to, to get this deal. But those two episodes show that at some point, the real discussion that needs to take place is not so much between the US and Iran, it's between Iran and itself. Is it prepared to take the steps necessary to get back into the deal? And if the answer is no, then we're going to have to see what other paths are available. But that's the urgent conversation that we think needs to take place.It sounds like you're take is that it's hard to negotiate with a country that moves the goalposts.Yes. It's also hard to negotiate with a country that refuses to talk to us, which has made everything more difficult, more time consuming, more prone to misunderstanding. We're prepared to have direct talks. They're not. So we've had to make do with with a very unsatisfactory, indirect conversation. 

This interview was lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

Art and religion remix at this goddess festival in Kolkata

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Art and religion remix at this goddess festival in Kolkata

The five-day Durga Puja festival brings the city of Kolkata, India, to a standstill as throngs of people visit elaborate temples to the Goddess Durga that spring up everywhere.

The WorldSeptember 28, 2022 · 3:00 PM EDT

Kolkata's artists had to burn the midnight oil to get their Durga pujas ready early for the special art preview for visiting dignitaries. 

Sandip Roy/The World

The sounds of drums at this time of the year in Kolkata mean only one thing — it’s time for Durga Puja, the festival of the Hindu Goddess Durga as she comes home to Earth with her family. 

The five-day festival brings the city to a standstill as throngs of people visit the temporary temples to the goddess that spring up. 

This year, the main festival kicks off on Oct. 2, but the drums have been beating a few days earlier than usual to welcome UNESCO officials and international guests. Durga Puja was recently added to UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. This will be the first Durga Puja with that UN recognition. 

The goddess Durga riding on a truck en route to worship.


Courtesy of Bishan Samaddar

Dol Das, with a big drum slung across his shoulder, said the government summoned him to Kolkatta from his village to play drums a few days earlier than usual, but he's not complaining. The extra festivities during Durga Puja means extra money. 

Durga Puja is a religious festival filled with prayers, chanting and elaborate ceremonies led by Hindu priests. But it’s also full of artistic expression. 

"At the end of the day, this is completely art, art and art," said Dhrubojyoti Bose Suvo, the secretary at MASS ART. He’s organized a preview festival of some selected pujas so foreign guests can get a sense of how Kolkata “transforms to a public gallery.” Up to 3,000 temporary temples called pandals spring up on the streets and in parks, community centers and apartment complexes, to house clay images of the goddess. Some are just cookie-cutter boxes made of cloth and bamboo. Others are elaborate installations.

Durga Puja was once all about the goddess herself, with her 10 arms riding a lion and killing the buffalo demon. But past Durga pujas have reproduced a Thai temple, Dubai's Burj Khalifa and the Hogwarts castle. 

Theme pujas have become all the rage. 

One ordinary street in a residential south Kolkata neighborhood has a pandal that pays tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. Sunflowers nod overhead while waves of speckled blue paper billow above, all made of paper and cloth. 

“We’ve pulled his starry night out of the frame and spread it across the whole neighborhood,” said Ram Kumar Dey, one of the organizers of this year’s Durga Puja.

Some of India’s most well-known artists have designed the Durga image in earlier years, but he said now Durga Puja has gone international and his neighborhood club, which is organizing this year's Durga Puja, felt they needed an “A-list international name” like Van Gogh. Their theme is “Starry Night.” 

The Bakul Bagan Durga puja chose Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night" as their theme in 2022. 


Courtesy of Bishan Samaddar

This year's pujas also pay tribute to India’s freedom struggle, the war on plastic pollution and a folk art museum. 

A Durga Puja installation covering 6,000 square feet was created by the Vivekananda Park Athletic Club in Kolkata. 


Courtesy of Bishan Samaddar

One Durga Puja installation by the Vivekananda Park Athletic Club plays with the theme of perspetives, using iron pipes and sheets spread over 6,000 square feet to create the illusion of an old mansion on its side. The effort required the labor of 44,100 total hours.

Niladri Chatterjee, an academic who has documented pujas for years, said that over time, he has seen Durga pujas making social commentary on hot-button issues like literacy, wife-beating and domestic violence. 

“At first I was disturbed,” he said. “I thought, ‘What is this nonsense?’”

But he realized this was a new kind of social messaging via popular art, reaching huge crowds. 

During the pandemic lockdown, a Durga Puja reimagined the goddess and her family as a migrant mother and her children struggling to get home. It became the talk of the town. 

As Durga Pujas got more creative, Chatterjee said it was an “enormous boon” for young artists who had graduated from art colleges and were looking for “any kind of lucrative work.”

The festival is now a major driver of the state’s economy, according to Debanjan Chakrabarti, the director of British Council East and NorthEast India, which commissioned a report on it. The report found the total economic worth of Durga Puja in 2019 was a little over $4.5 billion, despite 2019 being a down economic year.

“That’s just about a shade under 3% of the state’s GDP [gross domestic product] from a 10-day festival,” Chakrabarti said.  

That money reaches deep into the unorganized sector of the economy, going to carpenters, electricians, clay workers, food vendors, painters. 

Many get over half their annual income from this one festival. 

Now, the Durga Puja festival is being rebranded as a citywide pop-up art installation to attract new audiences. But it’s not a biennale with a single curator.

Currently, most of the art work ends up as scrap after the festival, while a handful make their way to collectors. Preview organizer Suvo said he wants to create an online auction so that art lovers around the world can purchase Durga Puja artifacts.

And Suvo is already planning next year’s preview.

A stylized Durga image at an installation in Kolkata. 


Courtesy of Bishan Samaddar

But the artistic reinvention of Durga Puja has led some to wonder how well art and religion can mix. 

The Durga Puja preview is a way for foreign dignitaries and art lovers to get a taste of the festival’s artwork before the actual religious rituals begin and mammoth crowds choke the streets.

Art historian Tapati Guha-Thakurta, who prepared the Durga Puja dossier for UNESCO, said Durga Puja was “never purely religious, it was always a communitarian space, and now it’s becoming more and more an exhibition space.” 

But she added that despite its reputation for excess and revelry, “the purely liturgical element is still retained.” Even if a theme puja comes with a cutting edge fiber-glass Durga, there is still a small clay Durga or pot that gets worshiped over five days and eventually immersed in the river.

Some politicians are raising eyebrows at one of this year’s big theme pujas — a reproduction of the Vatican, but housing a Hindu goddess. 

“The history of art is really rooted in humanity’s sense of wonder and trying to make sense of a very chaotic world,” Chakrabarti said. 

That is just as true about faith as it is about art.

‘We are forced to be bank robbers,’ desperate Lebanese citizens say amid financial crisis

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>'We are forced to be bank robbers,' desperate Lebanese citizens say amid financial crisis

Banks in Lebanon have partially reopened this week after the government had ordered them to be shut down. The closures were prompted by a spate of bank heists conducted by people whose savings have been stuck in banking system.

The WorldSeptember 28, 2022 · 2:00 PM EDT

A Lebanese policeman stands guard next to a bank window that was broken by depositors to exit the bank after attacking it trying to get their money, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 14, 2022.

Hussein Malla/AP/File photo

Twenty-eight-year-old Sali Hafiz never imagined she’d rob a bank.

But on Sept.14, that’s exactly what she did.

Hafiz walked into her bank in the Lebanese capital Beirut, waved a gun in the air and demanded $20,000.

The whole incident was live-streamed online. And it’s not a one-off. There were at least eight similar incidents by other bank customers the same week, according to media reports.

Bank heists have become common in Lebanon amid the country’s economic crisis, and people have started using them to demand their own savings frozen by the financial system.

People waiting outside a Fransabank branch to withdraw money, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 26, 2022.


Bilal Hussein/AP

The government finally ordered all the nation’s banks to be shut down, and only partially reopened them this week. The Association of Banks in Lebanon said that they would reopen in a limited capacity to businesses, educational institutions and hospitals. Many banks have also now hired security guards, according to Naharnet news website.

Reached over WhatsApp at an undisclosed location in Lebanon, Sali Hafiz said she doesn’t consider herself a criminal for what she did. And she even had to adopt a persona to be able to go through with the plan.

“In my mind, I pretended I was a character in a movie,” she said.

After a few tense minutes, bank employees scrambled to give her handfuls of cash, and Hafiz walked out with $13,000.

In the end, no one was hurt and the gun Hafiz used turned out to be a toy that belonged to her nephew.

But the anger continues across the country.

“What we’re witnessing in Lebanon is just a symptom of the economic violence that has been enforced on the people for decades.”

Hussein Cheaito, economist, Tahrir Institute

“What we’re witnessing in Lebanon is just a symptom of the economic violence that has been enforced on the people for decades,” said Hussein Cheaito, an economist with the Tahrir Institute.

Since 2019, he said, Lebanon’s currency has lost 90% of its value. Foreign investment mostly dried up and many depositors withdrew their money from the banks. This led to a shortage of foreign currency, including US dollars. In response, the banks set a limit on how much customers could withdraw — between $200 and $400 dollars a month, depending on the bank, Cheaito said.

Customers can also exchange their dollars for Lebanese pounds at a much lower rate.

A worker at a money exchange bureau counts Lebanese pounds in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 22, 2022.


Bilal Hussein/AP/File photo

“So, these heists are just, in a way, an expression of hopelessness really, because there are no other channels for people to regain access to their savings,” Cheaito explained.

Hafiz, who held up the bank earlier this month, said she needed the money for her sister’s cancer treatment. 

She was in hiding when she spoke with The World.

Samia Sibaii, who works with an advocacy group called “The Depositors Outcry Association,” said there are many people like Hafiz in Lebanon who can’t withdraw their savings for emergency needs.

“Depositors in Lebanon are around 2 million,” she said.

Sibaii, a math teacher, said all her own inheritance money is frozen in a bank.

“I’m facing many problems. Like, I couldn’t pay for my son’s university fees. Then he stopped studying for about six months,” she said.

She went on to add that for the last three years, her advocacy group has tried everything from filing multiple lawsuits to protesting in the streets to pleading face-to-face with the president and the prime minister.

“Nobody, nobody in this whole country is willing to give solutions,” Sibaii said.

People stand inside the money transfer offices of Western Union and OMT in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 22, 2022.


Bilal Hussein/AP/File photo

These multiple bank heists in Lebanon might be surprising to those living outside the country, said 45-year-old Ibrahim Abdallah.

“People will not understand that because it’s like against [the] law or something. It’s not against [the] law. The banks are against [the] law,” he said.

Abdallah has been protesting in front of banks for months, he said. He has about $3 million that he can’t take out. It’s his savings from 16 years of working in Dubai as a sales manager for a real estate developer.

“I don’t want to die, I don’t want to be a criminal. The bank is enjoying profits [from my money] and I can’t afford medicines for my parents, I can’t afford food, I can’t afford electricity bills,” Abdallah said.

Abdallah returned to Lebanon to be closer to his parents who are in their 70s and 80s. He also wanted to study for an MBA. Instead, he said, his life is consumed with figuring out how to get back his own money.

“They are forcing us now to become part of attacking banks,” he said. “It’s not our nature. It’s not us.”

Related: ‘We live paycheck to paycheck’: Workers at a paper factory in Beirut worry about making ends meet in a dire economy

The Italian job: Part I

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>The Italian job: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the prosecutor’s office in Rome, Italy. From 1975 to 1991, this office was able to use gatekeeping to shield politicians from corruption charges. When those protections ended, the stable coalition system was overturned.

Inkstick MediaSeptember 28, 2022 · 12:15 PM EDT

A view of a courtroom inside Rome's tribunal Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, during the first hearing of a trial of involving politicians and businessmen. An Italian court began the trial of 46 politicians, businessmen and others in a still-expanding corruption probe investigating Rome's City Hall that has revealed a well-oiled system of alleged kickbacks, payoffs, and Mafia-style intimidation to gain control of millions of dollars of city contracts. 

Alessandro Di Meo/AP/Pool

This analysis was featured in Critical State, a weekly foreign policy newsletter from Inkstick Media. Subscribe here.

The Italian Constitution was adopted in 1947, years after the overthrow of Benito Mussolini’s fascist state at the hands of liberating allies and Italian anti-fascist partisans. Enshrined in that constitution, and enforced in the decades since, is a principle of judicial prosecution. Because all cases were pursued, the venue where the cases are tried and charged matters a great deal, as the discretion of the prosecutor manifests not in case selection but instead in sentencing and rigor of pursuit.

In “Prosecutorial Gatekeeping and Its Effects on Criminal Accountability: The Roman Prosecutor’s Office and Corruption Investigations in Italy, 1975–1994,” Lucia Manzi looks at the particular structural role of the Rome prosecutor’s office.

This office, as the jurisdiction overseeing the seat of government, was able to use gatekeeping to shield politicians from corruption charges up through 1991. Then, following a change in the judicial philosophy of the prosecutor in charge of Rome, an end to those protections cleared the path for the Mani Pulite ("Clean Hands") corruption investigation, which overturned the stable coalition system of the Cold War and led to the political reality of the present.

“Due to its geographical location at the heart of the country's capital, where all government institutions and political parties' headquarters reside, the Roman prosecutor's office could potentially claim jurisdiction over most, if not all, criminal violations committed by elected officials and political personalities,” Manzi writes. 

The Italian judiciary is structurally independent and responsible for the appointment and advancement of its members. After the 1970s, this was by seniority, but prior to that, it hinged on evaluation by superiors, encouraging ideological homogeneity among the profession.

Confounding the hopes of those who would want to prosecute corruption was a long-standing belief among the conservative elite of the Italian legal establishment that shielded government officials from the investigation, starting with a refusal to hold fascist officials accountable under laws punishing “particularly cruel barbarity” passed after the overthrow of fascism. 

This meant, Manzi writes, “the use of gatekeeping powers to shield state agents from accountability followed a much broader logic, rooted in Italian legal positivism's traditional hostility toward the use of investigative powers against the state.”

Manzi details two prosecutions of corruption scandals by the Milan office. A 1981 look into corruption by the Italian Socialist Party, a regular feature of Italy’s governing coalitions, unearthed deeper webs of connections and Swiss bank accounts for payouts. But, looking to shield the state from accountability, the Rome prosecutor's office claimed jurisdiction, blocked the Milan team from requesting Swiss records, and steered the investigation from above.

In 1992, the Milan team pursued a similar set of leads under a different Roman prosecutor. Without interference from Rome, their corruption investigation was allowed to proceed, kicking off the start of a sweeping investigation that found all parties of Italy’s stagnant governing coalition entwined with bribery for contracts and other kinds of corruption.

Manzi concludes that the “preferences of the prosecutorial actors in charge of gatekeeping institutions may have massive implications for the quality of democracy and the rule of law.”

Related: Political theater: Part II

Critical State is your weekly fix of foreign policy analysis from the staff at Inkstick Media. Subscribe here

It’s hard, scary, but necessary. History of 1941 mobilization

Plot Partial mobilization in Russia

It is often believed that on June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union in many ways plunged into uncontrollable chaos, since both the state and the military leadership of the country turned out to be un prepared for an attack of such magnitude.

«1905−1918 inclusive»

It would seem this is confirmed by the events of the first months of the war. Yes, there were serious mistakes and miscalculations. But the mechanisms that ultimately ensured the victory started working from the first day of the Great Patriotic War.

The Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated June 22, 1941 read as follows: Constitution of the USSR The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR announces mobilization on the territory of military districts — Leningrad, Baltic special, Western special, Kyiv special, Odessa, Kharkov, Oryol, Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Ural, Siberian, Volga, North Caucasian and Transcaucasian. Persons liable for military service born from & nbsp; 1905 to & nbsp; 1918 inclusive are subject to mobilization. Consider June 23, 1941 as the first day of mobilization.

General mobilization — This is a term that should not be taken literally. The first wave of military mobilization did not affect absolutely the entire mobilization resource of the country. Moreover, the decree of  22 June affected only about every fourth or fifth of conscripts. Of 17 military districts, mobilization affected 14.

Pre-war preparations and plan MP-41

In fact, the decree on mobilization did not start, but continued the process. In January 1938, the number of the Red Army was less than 1.6 million people. Hitler's expansion in Europe by this time left no doubt the inevitability of a major crisis.

In  1939, the Universal Conscription Act came into force, reducing the age of conscription from 21 years to 19 years. Lowering the age of service has also reduced the number of possible reasons for granting deferrals, etc. In addition, the holding of training camps for reservists in the spring of 1941, as well as an increase in the number of conscripts at the end of 1940, together ensured an increase in the number of the Red Army to 5 million people by 22 June 1941      /p>

According to pre-war plans, this was supposed to be half the size of the army that is needed in the conditions of a large-scale war.

In  in accordance with the mobilization plan MP-41, brought into action on June 23, 1941 , in the period to 1 July in the Red Army, 5.3 million people were mobilized, of which about 500 000 reserve officers .

The data on devaders — their number was less than 1 percent. This was explained both by the consciousness of Soviet citizens, and by the fact that many expected something like the liberation of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, or, in the extreme case, the Soviet-Finnish war.

Everything according to staff

A common misconception based on Soviet war  — mobilized directly from the railway station went to the front. It's not quite true. Such a situation began to arise when the situation on the front was becoming absolutely catastrophic. Initially, the flows of mobilized were strictly divided. Those who were assigned to units based in western districts were sent to concentration areas. Assigned to units advancing to the battlefields from places of permanent deployment, they arrived in garrisons assigned to departed units, where they were used to create reserve formations (reserves of warring regiments and brigades). The third part of the mobilized went to the rear to form new units. The fourth part went to an even deeper reserve in remote districts.

The pre-war plans of the General Staff of the Red Army assumed that this would be enough to stop the enemy’s breakthrough, and then push him back, proceeding to offensive actions.

Severe necessity: what was done when everything went wrong    plan

We know what really happened in the first days of the war. Already in the first ten days of July, a resolution of the State Defense Committee “On the formation of additional rifle units” was issued. Large losses in killed, wounded and prisoners are forcing the Red Army command to switch to what is called “permanent mobilization”.

Contemporaries recalled that the July mobilization — August 1941 looked truly tragic. Women, seeing off fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, could already imagine what was happening, and understood that their relatives were going to certain death. But, nevertheless, it is not necessary to speak about the manifestation of cowardice.

By the end of summer, the mobilization of those liable for military service born in 1895-1904 began, and in the late autumn of 1941 approximately 300,000 people born in 1890-1894 were called up. These older ages were used in the formation of auxiliary units, employed together with civilians in the construction of defensive structures.

At the same time, the formation of parts of the people's militia was going on, where people were enrolled who, for one reason or another, did not fall under mobilization. Here the principle of voluntariness was applied. At the same time, command personnel were allocated to the militias from among the regular officers.

Mobilization of recruits. Moscow, June 23, 1941. Photo: RIA Novosti / Anatoly Garanin

The surprise of Franz Halder

As a result, by the end of 1941, about 14 million people were mobilized. Of these, about 2.2 million were sent as the so-called marching replenishment to the units operating directly on the front. The rest were sent either to the formation of new rifle, tank and cavalry formations, or, as already mentioned, to construction units.

August 11, 1941 Chief of the German General Staff Franz Haldernoted in his diary: “By the beginning of the war, we” had about 200 enemy divisions against us. Now we already have 360 ​​enemy divisions. These divisions, of course, are not as armed and not as well-equipped as ours, and their command is tactically much weaker than ours, but be that as it may be, these divisions exist».

The mobilization process did not stop there. The heavy losses of the Red Army in 1941 in killed, wounded and prisoners demanded compensation. And young men who reached military age went to the front.

Wartime demobilization: who and why were they sent home?

In total, during the years of the Great Patriotic War, about 34.5 million people served in the units of the Red Army. At the end of hostilities, there were 12.8 million left in the army, of which about 1 million were in hospitals.

The total irretrievable losses of the Red Army amounted to about 11.5 million (died in battles, died of wounds, tortured by the Nazis in captivity, missing).

During the war, almost 3.8 were demobilized million military personnel. Most of they returned home due to the effects of injuries, but there were those who were fired due to old age. There were  servicemen discharged due to pregnancy — Yes, don don forget that women also fought, but remained women.

More than 3.6 million people were sent to serve in the rear formations that were not part of the defense department, and also to work in industry. About 1.4 million were seconded to serve in the NKVD, and also to complete the allied armies (primarily the Polish Army).

Unpleasant, but necessary mention — over 430,000 servicemen were convicted for various crimes.

The last military draft: how guys born in 1927 served for 8 years

In the autumn of 1944, the State Defense Committee announced the last military draft — young men born in 1927 were mobilized (during the war years, the draft age was reduced to 17 years).

These conscripts were already deliberately protected, trying not to be sent to the front line. Nevertheless, among them were those who fell into hell, including participated in the storming of Berlin, and then fought militaristic Japan. And  the boys died along with the elders.

In 1946 1948 there was no conscription for military service in the USSR. There was a reverse process — gradual reduction of the Armed Forces to peacetime norms. The demobilization was carried out in six waves, the last of which occurred at the beginning of 1948 of the year. At this point, the backbone of the Soviet Army was made up of conscripts born in 1926 & ndash; 1927.

The new law on universal conscription was adopted in 1949 . He assumed a 3-year service in ground forces and aviation and 4-year — in navy. But these norms did apply to soldiers of the last military draft, whose service life was indefinite. As a result, they served in the army for 6-8 years. So the history of the mobilization of the Great Patriotic War could be considered completely ended only from 1953 .

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The authorities will allocate more than ₽21 billion for the work of movements of children and youth

By the end of the year, the government and authorities of Moscow must allocate and transfer to the new youth movement the premises where its board will be located .jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The authorities will allocate more than ₽21 billion for the work of children's and youth movements

Starting next year, 21.35 billion rubles will be allocated for the work of the recently created all-Russian movement of children and youth. per year, follows from the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, published on the Kremlin website.

In 2022, the authorities will allocate 379 million rubles to Rosmolodezh to financially support the work of the new movement, including to pay its employees. from the government's reserve fund.

The presidential administration was instructed to introduce the state post of chairman of the board of the movement by October 1. Until December 31, the government, together with the authorities of Moscow, must allocate and transfer premises to the movement for its administration.

The bill on the children's movement was submitted to the State Duma on May 19, the centenary of the pioneer organization. The explanatory note to the document stated that the law was developed to promote “the implementation of state policy in the interests of children and youth,” as well as “for the participation [of the state] in the upbringing of children, their professional orientation, and leisure activities.” The State Duma and the Federation Council approved the amendments, and the President signed the law on July 14.

The movement will be voluntary, and students over the age of six will be able to join. Mentors-counselors will be adult Russians, these cannot be foreign agents and persons affiliated with them. Organizations-foreign agents will not be able to participate in the work of the movement.

At first it was planned to name this movement “Big Change”, but in the end, the deputies decided to give its participants the opportunity to choose a name for its participants at the congress in December. The movement will have its own symbolism— anthem, emblems and flags — and get the opportunity to open branches abroad.

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Russia will not appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future

Moscow does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future after the departure of Vladimir Chizhov and will be represented at the level of charge d'affaires, RBC learned 9/71/756644707963719.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi) ” >

Russia will not appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future

Russia's permanent mission to the EU will be headed by a charge d'affaires, Moscow does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative after Vladimir Chizhov's departure, two sources familiar with the discussion told RBC. “In the near future, Russia does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative and will be represented in Brussels at the level of charge d'affaires. The issue is suspended indefinitely»,— one of them told RBC.

Another RBC source familiar with the discussion of the issue said that such an appointment is not planned in the near future.

The press service of the Russian permanent mission to the EU told RBC that “the timing of the appointment of a new permanent representative depends on many internal and external factors.” “At the same time, it is obvious that the activity of any Russian foreign agency implies the presence of its head, appointed by presidential decree. Until that time, Russia will be represented in EU Brussels at the level of Acting Permanent Representative,— added in the Russian diplomatic mission.

The permanent mission noted that they had repeatedly heard that the EU was in favor of maintaining channels of political dialogue. “However, in the current and future work in this area, the confrontational statements of the European Union, including those made by its leaders within and on the margins of the session of the UN General Assembly in New York, also have to be taken into account,” — concluded in permanent representation.

In turn, the official representative of the EU Foreign Service, Peter Stano, told RBC that he could not publicly comment on the process of issuing agremans and nominating permanent representatives. “We also do not comment on what steps the partners are taking in this regard and when they request (agrement) from us,” — he explained.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Thursday that Russia has not yet asked the EU for a new envoy.

RBC sent a request to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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The new EU Ambassador to Russia, Roland Galyarag, presented copies of his credentials to Grushko on September 27, after which he was able to start working as head of the EU diplomatic mission. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on September 15 on the air of the Soloviev Live TV channel stated that Galyarag was already in Moscow. Stano also spoke about this to RBC. However, the diplomat did not participate in the ceremony of presenting his credentials to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which took place in the Kremlin Palace on September 20.

Vladimir Chizhov has served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union since 2005. On September 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin released him from his duties by decree. Chizhov, 68, said earlier. “I am no longer comfortable acting as a living monument to the strategic partnership between Russia and the EU,” — the diplomat told reporters on 12 September. He noted that during his “farewell visits” told his European colleagues that “burning bridges is much easier than rebuilding them later.”

As early as July 25, he became a candidate for the post of senator from Karelia. On September 11, elections of the head of the region were held in the republic, according to the law, during registration, candidates propose their three candidates for the post of senator. Chizhov was a candidate for senators from the executive branch of the current head of Karelia, Artur Parfenchikov, who won the election. On September 27, Chizhov was appointed a senator.

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The United States wants to become the main moderator of the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Will the new mediators help Yerevan and Baku come to an agreement Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have intensified. The United States became the main mediators of the process. Yerevan is dissatisfied with Moscow's passivity, but Armenia has nothing to offer new partners yet, experts say =”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The US wants to become the main moderator of the talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan

White House

On September 29, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the need to deploy international observers on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, where it is still restless. The day before, the ceasefire regime was again violated on it, for which the parties accused each other. According to Yerevan, three people died from the Armenian side.

This happened against the backdrop of the negotiation process between Yerevan and Baku that intensified in the second half of September, the main moderators of which are trying to be the United States and the European Union. RBC examined how successful their mediation could be.

Intensification of negotiations

On September 28, a meeting was held at the White House between Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan and Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev.

Yerevan said that the talks were held on the initiative of the American side. Grigoryan assessed the meeting in Washington as fruitful, and also stated that the September escalation was stopped thanks to the United States, among other things. According to Grigoryan, Armenia and Azerbaijan are discussing five interrelated problems— the return of prisoners and other humanitarian issues, the unblocking of transport communications in the region, the demarcation and delimitation of borders, as well as the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. “In these directions, we tried to clarify how we should move forward. They are interconnected. In other words, the specifics were around these topics, how do we move forward, — Grigoryan said.

Hajiyev, who is considered one of the most influential persons in Azerbaijan's foreign policy, noted: “The main aspect here— continuation of efforts on the peace agenda within a specific time frame. The meeting discussed negotiations on a peace agreement, the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the opening of transport lines, as well as the issues of anti-personnel mines and missing persons, which are part of the humanitarian agenda».

RBC wrote more than once, which is why the parties cannot agree. The main contradictions are connected with the uncertain status of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as with the desire of Baku to open a land corridor to Nakhichevan. It is noteworthy that in New York, a few days before the meeting between Grigoryan and Hajiyev, during the high week of the UN General Assembly, also with the mediation of the United States, Foreign Ministers of the two countries Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov met.

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An even higher level meeting may soon follow. On October 6, Pashinyan will fly to Prague for an informal EU summit, where he can present a preliminary version of a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, Armenian media report. It is possible that on the sidelines of the summit, the Armenian prime minister will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said a week ago. This was confirmed on Thursday by Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Special Representative at the talks on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations Ruben Rubinyan. “Such a meeting can indeed take place. Meeting agenda— process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey»,— he said. The Turkish authorities also spoke about the possibility of such a meeting. Ilham Aliyev may also be invited to the talks in Prague.

Change of landmarks

During the September aggravation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, when, according to official data, 207 Armenians and 77 Azerbaijanis were killed in a week of fighting, the United States, as well as some European countries, openly declared the inadmissibility of violating the territorial integrity of Armenia. On September 17, a delegation of the US Congress headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Yerevan on a three-day visit; she again described the position of Washington and held talks with representatives of key departments of the republic.

Russia, an ally of Armenia in the CSTO and a partner in the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, took an essentially neutral position during the escalation, although Yerevan has repeatedly stated that Azerbaijani troops entered the territory of Armenia and “occupied” her.

Even the pro-Russian forces in the republic are dissatisfied with the way Moscow behaved in September, which, in this regard, proposed changing the guidelines for foreign policy. On September 28, Robert Kocharyan, leader of the oppositional Armenia Alliance, which has almost a third of the seats in parliament, and a personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, proposed at a press conference in Yerevan that Iran be included in Armenia's new security architecture. “We should re-evaluate our security architecture, we should soberly assess which states can influence Azerbaijan and Turkey. It should be assessed that the levers of influence of Russia and the CSTO have significantly decreased, — Kocharyan said bluntly.

Tehran, at the height of the fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, unequivocally stated that it would resist Baku's attempts to cut a corridor to Nakhichevan by force and “any scenario that would damage the Iranian-Armenian border, which is a historical route connecting two neighboring countries.”


Yerevan is dissatisfied with Moscow not only because of its non-intervention during the September aggravation. On September 29, Pashinyan, without naming specific countries, said that Armenia's allies were not fulfilling their obligations on the supply of weapons. “We have cases when hundreds of millions of dollars have already been paid for weapons, but the obligations for deliveries in relation to Armenia are not fulfilled, including from the side of the allied countries. This is a painful reality, and we must analyze it, & mdash; he said at a government meeting.

On the same day, the Indian edition of The Economic Times reported that India would supply armaments and ammunition to Armenia for almost $250 million. Sources of the publication report that the order includes Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems.


“We see an attempt by Yerevan and Baku, that is, by both opposing sides, to look for a more influential mediator than Russia,” — notes an expert on Central Asian countries Arkady Dubnov. “I don’t see anything that Russia can offer today in the South Caucasus. Moscow's mediation has reached a dead end. And this impasse is caused by the abstraction of means— peacekeepers, the army and everything else,»,— he explained. However, it is difficult to say what the Americans and Europeans can offer Yerevan, except for observers from the OSCE, the UN or other peacekeeping contingent. According to Dubnov, it is extremely problematic to persuade Yerevan now to sign a peace treaty on Baku's terms.

It cannot be said that American efforts or the efforts of other countries are ousting Russia from the region as a mediator, Armenian political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan believes. “It is impossible to oust Russia from all directions. Russian peacekeepers are located along the perimeter of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and ensure the physical safety of the people living there. Therefore, the roles of the United States and France are different: they can provide platforms for negotiations, while Russia has the opportunity to influence the situation on the ground, — Iskandarian explained and acknowledged that the ability to maintain peace in the region is “extremely limited, to put it mildly.” «All negotiation platforms— not the most efficient. And it cannot be said that one of them displaces the other, — he summed up.

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Putin demanded to correct “all mistakes” made during mobilization

It is necessary to understand separately in each case when a mistake was made, Putin said. We are talking about such groups of citizens as fathers with many children, people with chronic diseases or those already out of military age, he noted


It is necessary to correct all the mistakes made during the partial mobilization and return home those who were called up without proper reason, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council.

According to the President, during the mobilization events, “a lot of information” comes from citizens; about the organization of conscription, quality, supply, living conditions and other issues.

“In the course of this mobilization, many questions arise. And you need to correct all the mistakes and avoid them in the future. Those citizens who, for example, are entitled to a delay. For example, we mean fathers of many children, or people suffering from chronic diseases, or who have already passed the draft age, — Putin said.

He added that each such case should be dealt with separately. “And if a mistake is made, I repeat: it needs to be corrected, to return home those who were called without proper reason,” — noted the president.

He also called on Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov to respond immediately to reports of violations. “On my instructions, the recruitment commissions, which are headed by the heads of the regions, also include prosecutors of the corresponding levels,” — he explained.

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Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia on 21 September. Since the beginning of the mobilization activities, the authorities of a number of Russian regions began to report mistakes made in the framework of the draft campaign. For example, in the Belgorod region, after complaints were received, the conscription of 75 people was canceled. According to the head of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov, the appeals were mainly related to the call-up of students and representatives of professions important for the economy and the region.

The decision to call up a 59-year-old senior lieutenant of the reserve was canceled in the Saratov region . His daughter said that the man had no combat experience, he was only at a three-month training camp 40 years ago, and received the title after graduating from the military department. And in Buryatia, after clarifying the data, 70 fathers with many children were released, said the head of the region, Alexei Tsydenov. Also, the head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev, also announced cases of errors. He noted that “this is unacceptable” and “erroneously called up will be returned.”

In a number of regions, special working groups have been created at the military registration and enlistment offices that accept appeals about errors during mobilization. They can also be submitted to the regional branches of the All-Russian Popular Front.

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Erdogan asks Putin to ‘give peace a chance’

Erdogan urged Putin to give the peace talks a chance by once again offering mediation efforts to Turkey. The President of Russia, in turn, declared the transparency of the referendums held and their compliance with international standards ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Recep Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Erdogan called on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to take steps to reduce tensions around Ukraine and extend the deal on the export of Ukrainian grain. This is reported by Reuters with reference to the Turkish presidential administration.

Erdogan, touching upon the issue of referendums in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, also invited Putin to give the world another chance.

“President Erdogan called on Russian leader Vladimir Putin to give another chance to negotiations and said he was ready to play the role of mediator in this process,” says the Turkish presidential administration (quote from Habertürk).

The Kremlin report on the telephone conversation between Putin and Erdogan, in turn, says that during the conversation, the Russian president stressed that “the vote took place in a transparent manner, in full compliance with the norms and principles of international law.” “The inhabitants of these regions have exercised their right to self-determination in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, the international covenants on human rights of 1966 and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975,” indicated in it.

The grain agreement that Russia and Ukraine signed separately in July with Turkey and the UN expires at the end of November. With the consent of all parties, the contract can be extended. The agreement provides for the operation of a humanitarian corridor for the export of Ukrainian grain, as well as the involvement of the UN in lifting restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets.

Referendums were held from 23 to 27 September. The authorities of the DPR, LPR and the territories of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by Russian forces recognized the vote as valid. According to the data they provided, the voters supported the entry of the territories into Russia.

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In Ukraine, referendums are considered “another attempt to annex Ukrainian territory.” If Russia recognizes their results, Kyiv will have “nothing to talk about with the President of Russia,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Western countries, including the European Union and the United States, also refused to recognize the results of the vote.

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Vladimir Putin

politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952

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Putin told Erdogan about the “unprecedented sabotage” on the “Northern

Putin, in a conversation with the Turkish president, called what happened at Nord Stream an act of international terrorism and recalled that Russia decided to convene the UN Security Council

On the Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines and Nord Stream 2 an “unprecedented sabotage was committed, in fact— an act of international terrorism,” President Vladimir Putin said during a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin reports.

Putin said that the country is bringing this issue to the UN Security Council.

Among others The Kremlin named referendums in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, as well as a deal to export Ukrainian grain as topics of conversation.

The Turkish side's statement, quoted by the Anadolu agency, does not mention the situation with Russian gas pipelines.

On the morning of September 27, “daughter” Gazprom, the operator of Nord Stream AG, announced “unprecedented destruction” that occurred simultaneously on three lines of gas pipelines. The day before, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pressure dropped sharply. The Danish Maritime Authority reported a gas leak in the exclusive economic zone of the country and Sweden, local seismologists recorded powerful explosions. Nord Stream 2 AG establishes the causes.


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Some countries in Europe, including Sweden and Poland, regarded what happened as sabotage. The intentional nature of the attack that led to the leak was also announced by the EU and NATO. The Kremlin called the emergency on gas pipelines terrorist attacks at the “state level”.

The Danish authorities believe that more than half of the volume of gas from the damaged gas pipelines has leaked, and the rest will end by the end of the week. Approximately the same terms are given by Nord Stream AG, noting that it is now impossible to approach the scene of the incident.

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Vladimir Putin

politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952


Guterres said that the annexation of Donbass will not have legal

UN Secretary General Guterres: the entry into Russia of new territories will not have legal force Putin previously stressed that Russia will support their results and will not hand over “close people to be torn to pieces” 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The entry of the DPR and LPR, as well as the territories of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions controlled by Russian troops into Russia will not have legal force and “deserves condemnation”, said UN Secretary General António Guterres.

According to him, Russia, as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, “bears a special responsibility for the observance of the charter”; this organization. “Any annexation of the territory of a state by another state as a result of the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law,” said Guterres.

He noted that the UN took an unequivocal position on the past referendums. “We are fully committed to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and in accordance with UN resolutions,” — said the Secretary General.

He added that the referendums in the territories lost by Ukraine were held “under the conditions of the ongoing armed conflict”; and “outside the Ukrainian legal and constitutional framework.” “They cannot be called a real expression of the people's will,” — Guterres emphasized.

Referendums in the DPR, LPR, as well as in the territories of the Kherson region and the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine controlled by Russian troops were held from September 23 to 27.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would support the results of the vote. “We cannot, we have no moral right to hand over people close to us to be torn to pieces by executioners. <…> We will support the decision about their future, which will be made by the majority of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, — he said in an address to the Russians.

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Putin will sign the treaties on the inclusion of new territories into Russia on September 30th. On the same day, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will hold an urgent meeting of the country's National Security Council. Kyiv considers the past referendums illegal and accuses Moscow of attempting annexation. Western countries, including the European Union and the United States, also refused to recognize the past votes and began to prepare new sanctions.

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The military commissar of Derbent apologized for the loudspeakers on the cars

After criticism from the head of Dagestan, the military commissar of Derbent apologized for a car with a loudspeaker calling on all the men of the city to report to the military enlistment office


Head of the Military Commissariat of Derbent Farid Musaev apologized for the loudspeakers on the cars cars, from which calls were heard for all men to come to the military registration and enlistment office.

“I apologize for the incorrect information that was distributed through the loudspeakers today,”— he said. He asked the residents to remain calm and not panic.

Earlier, a video appeared on the networks, in which in Derbent a car of the local department of civil defense and emergency situations drives around the city and invites men to the military registration and enlistment office. The head of the press service of the city administration, Telman Radjabov, assured that this does not mean the mobilization of all men: the measure is due to the fact that it is difficult to find some of those liable for military service who need to hand over the summons at the place of registration.

The initiative of the local authorities was criticized by the head of Dagestan Sergey Melikov. At a meeting of the Security Council of the Republic, he showed a video and addressed the audience with the following question: “Tell me, what kind of idiots are these? “All male citizens must urgently arrive at the military commissariat, have a military ID with them.” What are you, morons?»

Melikov said that this is “the dissemination of fake information, for which criminal liability is provided.”

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The US Senate passed a bill with assistance to Ukraine for $12.3 billion

The government of Ukraine will receive, among other things, $4.5 billion for its own needs and $3 billion worth of weapons. The project was supported by 75 senators, only 25 Republicans opposed it. The minority leader called the document a contribution to US security

The US Senate approved a bill on short-term government spending until mid-December, which provides for the provision of financial and military assistance to Ukraine for $12.3 billion, writes The New York Times.

72 senators voted for, against— 25, and all who voted against were Republicans. After approval in the Senate, the bill is sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The approved aid package for Ukraine includes, inter alia, $4.5 billion for the country's government fund, $3 billion for weapons, equipment and other military support, $2.8 billion for the Pentagon, which will allow President Joe Biden to transfer up to $3.7 billion

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell emphasized that the allocation of funds to help Ukraine is not “some nice symbolic gesture”, but an investment in US national security and the security of allies.

The United States began to support Ukraine before the outbreak of hostilities and stepped up support after Russia launched a special operation. Biden, with the approval of Congress, signed two documents on the supply of weapons to Ukraine— Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act and Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act. The first provides assistance for a total of $13.6 billion, the second— $40 billion

During several months of the conflict, by the end of June, the United States became the largest donor of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. By that time, Kyiv received from Washington humanitarian support for $9.4 billion, financial support for $9.5 billion, military support— $25.5 billion, calculated RBC. By mid-September, the Pentagon reported on the transfer of 140 artillery systems and 660 thousand shells and missiles to Ukraine by mid-September.

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Russian authorities criticize Western military support for Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would achieve its goals, and such actions only prolong the conflict. The Foreign Ministry believes that the United States has become “actually a party to the conflict”, accusing Washington of “losing touch with reality”.

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Trump offered his mediation to Russia and Ukraine

Former US President Trump has asked if he could lead a negotiating team on Russia and Ukraine The conflict in Ukraine has “the whole world at stake,” but both sides would like to agree on an end to hostilities, Trump said. He also saw the risk of “serious escalation or war” in the situation around Nord Stream ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Trump offered his mediation to Russia and Ukraine

Former U.S. President Donald Trump asked on Truth Social if he could lead a negotiating team between Russia and Ukraine, Business Insider writes.

“Be strategic, be smart. Close the deal now. Both sides need it and want it. The whole world is at stake. Shall I lead the group?,— he wrote.

Trump also expressed confidence that the Nord Stream pipeline would sabotage occurred, warning of the risk of “major escalation or war.” The ex-president of the United States called on the country's authorities to be calm and calm in relation to what happened with Nord Stream. The incident should not provoke a “big decision, at least not yet,” Trump warned.

Trump has previously said that, prior to the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, he considered the increase in tension in this situation to be a “smart way to negotiate.” Trump expressed confidence that hostilities in Ukraine would not have begun if he had retained the presidency. “There will be nothing left but death and destruction” if there are no negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, the ex-President of the United States emphasized.

The negotiation process between Russia and Ukraine was frozen in early April after publications about the deaths of civilians in the city of Bucha, Kyiv region, the Russian authorities consider reports of this to be a staged and provocation. Kyiv warned that the dialogue would be impossible to resume if Moscow recognized the referendums in the Russian-occupied Kherson and part of the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine, the LPR and the DPR. “Another attempt to annex Ukrainian territory will mean that we have nothing to talk about with the President of Russia,” — noted at the end of September, President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Treaties on the inclusion of new regions into Russia will be signed by the president on Friday , September 30, announced in the Kremlin.

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DPR confiscated the assets of the leader of the Opposition Platform for Life, Pshonka and the “master of Donbass”

The DPR confiscated the assets of the oligarch Akhmetov, the leader of the Opposition Platform for Life Boyko and another 140 people The DPR imposed sanctions against the leader of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – For Life Boyko and ex-Prosecutor General Pshonka, their assets were confiscated. At the end of June, the HLE assets were confiscated by the Ukrainian authorities, suspecting it of having links with Russia =”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The State Defense Committee of the DPR deprived of property 142 people, among them the head of the Opposition Platform— For life» Yuriy Boyko, former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party Petro Symonenko, oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and others. The document was published on the website of the head of the republic.

According to the resolution, “the right of ownership and other rights in rem” are terminated <…> to real estate objects located on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, <…> turning them into state property without compensating the owners for the cost of such property.

Pshonka headed the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine from November 2010 to the end of February 2014, when a change of power took place in the country as a result of the Euromaidan , he was one of those close to the ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Sanctions have been imposed against Pshonka in Ukraine.

Boyko, after the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, called for immediate negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, but at the end of March, the activities of the Opposition Platform for Life were suspended along with ten other parties during martial law by decree of President Vladimir Zelensky. These political forces in Kyiv were considered connected with Russia. In mid-May, the Opposition Platform for Life faction in the Verkhovna Rada was liquidated. A month later, the court handed over to the state all the property and assets of the Opposition Platform for Life and banned its activities.

Akhmetov before the change of power in 2014 was called the “master of Donbass”, he — the richest Ukrainian, according to Forbes, his fortune at the beginning of March was estimated at $ 4.2 billion. Akhmetov, in a conversation with the building, said that he was waiting for Ukraine's victory, promising to take part in the restoration of the country, “regretting neither money nor effort.” In the DPR, sanctions were imposed against him six years ago— in 2016, banning entry.

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Russia recognized the independence of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions

Russian President Putin signed decrees on the independence of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions -width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Russia recognized the state sovereignty and independence of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, the relevant decrees were signed by President Vladimir Putin. They are published on the Legal Documents Portal.

The decision was made “in accordance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international norms of international law, recognizing and confirming the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” enshrined in the UN Charter and taking into account the “will of the people” in a referendum, the decrees say.

Five days before (from 23 to 27 September) in the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, as well as in the LPR and DPR, referenda on joining Russia. According to the data provided by the authorities of these territories, the majority of residents supported this development of events.

At the same time, the Kherson military-civilian administration (formed after the capture of the region by Russian troops) said that independence would not be declared, despite its actual existence within a certain period of time after the vote. “We have a slightly different situation than the LPR and DPR, Kherson region— immediately part of the Russian Federation”, — explained the head of the CAA Vladimir Saldo.

The material is being supplemented.

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Mikhalkov asked for a delay for participants in socially significant

Mikhalkov said that he was asking not for release from the army, but for a deferment from conscription for film industry employees engaged in socially significant projects that “have artistic and moral value”

Nikita Mikhalkov

Chairman of the Union of Cinematographers, director Nikita Mikhalkov asked Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin for a deferment from the call for mobilization of film industry specialists employed in socially significant projects. It is reported by TASS with reference to the director's press service.

In his appeal, Mikhalkov emphasized that he was not asking to release anyone from the army, but insisted that the filming processes, launched mainly with state money, “if they really have artistic and moral value,” should be completed. “It is for this period that I ask for a reprieve for those without whom these projects cannot be completed,” — representatives of the director give his words.

Mikhalkov added that most of his colleagues “are ready to help their country in every possible way at this difficult moment.”

Partial mobilization has been going on in Russia since September 21. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assures that the authorities are going to mobilize 300,000 Russians, or about 1% of the country's total mobilization reserve, and will not hesitate to organize a “large-scale harvester to capture everyone quickly.” However, the authorities of some regions admitted mistakes when people were called up without proper grounds. President Vladimir Putin demanded that they be fixed.

The Ministry of Defense reported that representatives of certain professions who have received specialized education and work full-time can be exempted from service as part of partial mobilization. According to the “Explain.rf” portal, citizens working in organizations of the military-industrial complex, employees of accredited IT companies involved in the development of IT solutions, and employees of registered media, radio broadcasters, TV broadcasters, included in the list of backbone involved in the production and distribution of information products.

A few days after the announcement of partial mobilization, the presidium of the Russian National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it would not send a Russian film to the Oscars this year, without specifying the reasons. After that, the head of the Russian Oscar Committee, People's Artist of Russia Pavel Chukhrai decided to leave his post in protest, he was supported by director Nikolai Dostal. On leaving the Oscar commission, the jury of the film awards “Golden Eagle” and “Nika”, as well as the Union of Cinematographers, director Andrey Zvyagintsev announced, saying that he did not want to be involved in the “crazy decisions” made in the country.

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In the DPR, the assets of the leader of the Opposition Platform for Life, Pshonka and the “master of Donbass” Akhmetov were confiscated

Over 140 people were confiscated.

The authorities of the Donetsk Republic confiscated the assets of the leader of the pro-Russian “Opposition Platform – For Life” Yuriy Boyko, ex-Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka, leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine Petro Symonenko, businessmen Sergei Kurchenko and Rinat Akhmetov, ex-Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andrei Klyuev, and more about 140 people.

It is known that at the beginning of summer, Kyiv decided to confiscate the property of Pshonka and Boyko, because. they were suspected of having links with the Russian Federation.

Now, the State Defense Committee of the DPR has made a similar decision.

In total, there are 142 people on the list who were affected by the sanctions. In the text, which is posted on the portal of the government of the DPR, all participants are deprived of “property rights and other real rights”, which affect “immovable property” on the territory of the DPR.

All of them turn into state property and their loss will not be compensated to the owners.

It is known, according to RBC, that Pshonka was a member of the inner circle of the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

Boyko called for negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv at the beginning of the NWO.

Akhmetov was considered “the owner of Donbass”, according to Forbes, in March 2022 he owned $4.2 billion, and declared confidence in the victory of Ukraine.

Kurchenko fell under EU sanctions for seizing control of large metallurgical, chemical and energy plants in the Donbass.

Klyuev is suspected of embezzling 1.5 billion hryvnia in the course of a fictitious transaction, 610 million of which were appropriated by an enterprise controlled by him.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that the Russian Federation confiscated six apartments in Moscow that belong to the ex-leader of Uzbekistan.


The general spoke about the effectiveness of the Verba and Igla MANPADS during the NWO

Russian man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) “Verba” and “Needle” they proved themselves well during the special operation in defeating suddenly appearing air targets both at low and extremely low altitudes.

This was discussed in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper; Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, General of the Army Oleg Salyukov, said.

According to him, these MANPADS account for a third of the destroyed manned aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense showed a video with Ka strikes -52 on strongholds and armored vehicles of the Ukrainian military, footage of the combat work of the crews of Su-35S fighters and the training of crews of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

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How will the Marker robot be finalized to participate in hostilities in Ukraine?

Plot Russian special operation in Donbass and Ukraine

In Russia will create a new version of the promising robotic platform "Marker". It is being upgraded to perform special tasks in Ukraine. It is known that the combat robot will retain its weight and dimensions, but at the same time, its functionality will be significantly expanded.

At present, the project has been launched, the selection of enterprises is underway, which will have to adapt weapons systems intended for installation on this Marker-2 robotic platform. It is assumed that the new robot will be able to work both in urban conditions, and in the frontline zone. The tasks are not set yet quite specific — protection, liquidation of consequences of emergency situations and maintenance of auxiliary works.

Previously, for military use "Marker" taught to work with small arms and destroy ground and air targets. He has a Utes machine gun in  and a block of two RPG-26 grenade launchers. With this weapon, the platform has successfully passed a series of firing tests, during which the firing algorithm of machine guns was worked out in automatic mode, and also under the control of an operator. Also, this platform can autonomously aim at mobile and fixed targets, although it opens fire only on the operator's command.

Also confirmed the possibility of “Markers” use intelligence, control and communications complexes. A module with unmanned aerial vehicles can be installed on its board, which provides autonomous launch of a large group of unmanned aerial vehicles. This option was confirmed by the successful pilot launch of 20 multirotor drones. During the experiment each performed the tasks in as a group and individually. In the  perspective, the complex can be armed with kamikaze strike drones.

This combat platform was created according to the modular principle, it is a technological constructor that allows you to quickly install a variety of payloads and surveillance systems on the robot. The robot is equipped with remote control means, an autopilot, a computer system, and technical vision, etc.  The composition of the equipment can be changed to perform different tasks. The robot can operate both in autonomous mode and in radio-controlled distance from two to five kilometers. But in the perspective, the developers want to teach the robot to perform tasks at a removal of the operator hundreds and of kilometers.

Marker robotic platform project started in March 2018 as a joint development of the Advanced Research Foundation and Android Technology Research and Production Association, the latter made the Fedor robot. In total, two tracked and three wheeled autonomous platforms were made, equipped with a unified payload module and a cluster launch module for unmanned aerial vehicles. “Marker” has two versions: tracked and wheeled, the first has a weight of 3 tons, accelerates to 70 km/h and can drive 600 km on one charge, the second — 4.5 tons, maximum speed 80 km/h, has a cruising range of 1 thousand km.

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Will life insurance be valid if a person is mobilized?

Story Partial mobilization in Russia Expert's answer 0 + –

According to the law, mortgage lenders must insure the collateral — apartment or house. Banks usually offer life insurance to borrowers in exchange for a reduction in housing loan rates. The cost of such insurance depends on various factors — the size of the mortgage, gender and age of the borrower. For example, a 35-year-old man who has borrowed 10 million rubles from a bank, life insurance will cost more than 20 thousand rubles a year.

Life insurance protects the borrower (and also his heirs) from the occurrence of undesirable events associated with disability or death — if their appearance, the mortgage is reset to zero.

And does apply such insurance to mobilized people? According to  head of the Bureau of Lawyers, Honorary Lawyer of Russia, Vice-President of the Guild of Russian Lawyers Nikita Filippov, it is usually stated in the  insurance contract that military measures are the basis for exempting the insurer from insurance compensation. Simply put, if the mortgage lender is mobilized, life insurance ceases to operate.

  Article 964 of the Civil Code expressly states that the insurer is exempt from payment of insurance indemnity and the sum insured when the insured event occurred as a result of the effects of a nuclear explosion, radiation or radioactive contamination, military operations, and also maneuvers or other military events, civil war, civil unrest of any kind or strikes, — Filippov explained

In    Vice-President of the Association of Lawyers for registration, liquidation, bankruptcy and legal representation, Deputy Head of the Federal Mediation Center, Chairman of the All-Russian Trade Union of Mediators Vladimir Kuznetsovadds that the life of military personnel is insured by the state — such insurance is not  individual, but collective, and applies to all servicemen.

«Payment, which is provided for this type of insurance, consists of two parts: insurance compensation and   — at the moment, with the death of a serviceman, they amount to 2.968 million rubles and 4.453 million rubles, respectively, in the amount — 7.421 million rubles" — notes Kuznetsov.

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