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ukraine

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Xi tells Putin China is ready to partner with Russia to ‘lead world’

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Forumlar Majmuasi Complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Thursday.
  • During their first meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi said China is ready to team up with its ally to “set an example of a responsible world power and to play a leading role in putting a rapidly changing world on the track of sustainable and positive development.”
  • Addressing Putin as his "dear and long-time friend," Xi said the two leaders had maintained “effective strategic contacts, particularly through phone calls” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Although the Russian president praised China’s “balanced position” on the matter, he conceded that Beijing had “questions and concerns” over Russia’s military action.
  • “We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. We understand your questions and concerns in this regard,” Putin said. “During today's meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before."

Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that China is ready to team up with Russia during their sideline talks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in Uzbekistan.

Addressing Putin as his “dear and long-time friend,” Xi said the two leaders had maintained “effective strategic contacts, particularly through phone calls” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Putin slams US lawmakers’ visits to Taiwan, blames US for Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine

Putin
  • Addressing an international security summit attended by military officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused “Western globalist elites” of trying “to shift the blame for their own failures to Russia and China.”
  • According to Putin, the United States is to blame for the continued fighting in Ukraine, as it is acting “in exactly the same way trying to fuel conflicts in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
  • Putin’s condemnation of Western powers comes amid a series of sanctions imposed by the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries.
  • Putin also referenced U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan to accuse Washington of promoting instability around the world.
  • According to Putin, attempts by so-called “Western elites” to cling to the “current globalist model” are already doomed. “The era of the unipolar world order is nearing its end,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the United States for the continued fighting in Ukraine during an international security summit on Tuesday. 

Speaking to an audience attended by military officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Russian leader accused “Western globalist elites” of shifting the blame “for their own failures to Russia and China.”

‘Things are very, very rarely black and white’: Ukraine volunteer Elliot Kim reflects on serving in Russo-Ukrainian War

  • Ukraine volunteer Elliot Kim sat down with NextShark to share his experiences in the Russo-Ukrainian war zone, including what he did beforehand to prepare, how he got into the country and what he saw once he landed.
  • Kim participated in Ukraine as a soldier in an international volunteer legion from the end of April to mid-June. After his time volunteering, he returned home to Atlanta.
  • Similar to many other U.S. volunteers, Kim also had a military background, having joined the army right out of high school in 2005.
  • When faced with the opportunity to fight in Ukraine, it had been 11 years since he left the army. There was a lot of uncertainty, Kim admits, as to whether he could make a difference in Ukraine.
  • “There's just this feeling amongst a lot of civilians that the world may have forgotten or is okay with what’s going on over there,” says Kim.

Ukraine volunteer Elliot Kim sat down with NextShark to share his experiences in the Russo-Ukrainian war zone, including what he did beforehand to prepare, how he got into the country and what he saw once he landed.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 left the rest of the world scrambling to deal with the repercussions. 

Ukraine’s first lady wears elegant kimono-inspired jacket in interview with Japanese television

  • First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska chose to wear an elegant, sky blue kimono-inspired jacket in an interview with Japan’s national television and radio company NHK.
  • The wool pantsuit came from the fall-winter 2022 collection of Ukrainian brand Bobkova, a collection that was reportedly inspired by Serbian artist Marina Abramović.
  • Zelenska covered a wide range of topics during her interview with NHK, including the devastation of war in her country, her many meetings with world leaders such as U.S. President Joe Biden, her family and the tragic death of a 4-year-old girl named Liza to a missile attack.
  • Zelenska has been in the spotlight since the Russo-Ukrainian conflict began, with the first lady acting quickly to rally up global support for Ukraine’s stand against Russia.

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska chose to wear an elegant, sky blue kimono-inspired jacket in an interview with Japan’s national television and radio company NHK. 

The wool pantsuit came from the fall-winter 2022 collection of Ukrainian brand Bobkova, a collection that was reportedly inspired by Serbian artist Marina Abramović

Zelenskyy urges opportunity to speak with Xi because China has power to stop Russian invasion

  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44, has continued to seek out an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • Zelenskyy argued that China has the political and economic influence necessary to “put the Russian Federation [in] a certain place.”
  • While China has sought to maintain a “balanced” attitude toward the war, Zelenskyy argued that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked.
  • According to an Aug. 1 record by the United Nations Human Rights Office, at least 5,327 people have been killed and 7,257 have been injured since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
  • Chinese state media previously reported that Beijing is “doing its best” by “making unremitting efforts to defuse tensions and working actively to promote dialogue.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44, has continued to seek out an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, arguing that China has the political and economic influence necessary to “put the Russian Federation [in] a certain place.”

In an exclusive 40-minute interview with South China Morning Post, the Ukraine leader urged the world’s second largest economy to use its influence over Russia as well as in the United Nations Security Council to bring its current conflict to an end. 

Ken Rhee, facing prosecution for going to Ukraine to fight: It would be ‘a crime not to help’

  • Former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee claims he has no regrets fighting in Ukraine and says it would have been a “crime” not to use his military experience to help.
  • In an interview with AFP, Rhee compared his decision to saving a drowning person to illustrate why he felt it was his moral duty to serve despite South Korea’s travel ban on Ukraine.
  • "You're walking down the beach and you see a sign by the water saying 'no swimming' -- but you see someone drowning. It's a crime not to help. That's how I see it," the 38-year-old serviceman said.
  • Rhee initially announced on March 6 that he and his hand-selected team of special forces had “informally” left South Korea for Ukraine.
  • Rhee was aware that he could return home to prison time and a fine of 10 million won ($8,115) for entering a travel-banned country, but says he was ready to face the consequences and openly criticized the South Korean government for withholding support.

South Korean ex-Navy SEAL-turned YouTuber Ken Rhee claims he has no regrets fighting in Ukraine and says it would have been a “crime” not to use his military experience to help.

In an interview with AFP, Rhee compared fighting in Ukraine to saving a drowning person to illustrate why he felt it was his moral duty to serve despite the fact that the South Korean government had made it illegal to travel to Ukraine.

US Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi is third American to go missing in Ukraine this week

  • Former U.S. Marine Corps officer Grady Kurpasi, 49, who has not been heard from since April 23, is the third American to be reported missing in Ukraine this week.
  • Kurpasi arrived in Ukraine on March 7 after deciding to volunteer as a soldier in the Ukrainian war. Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, before retiring in November 2021, he felt that his skillset would be valuable to the cause.
  • The other two American soldiers to be reported missing include Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, both from Alabama and both of whom have military experience.
  • Videos of Huynh and Drueke surfaced on Friday on RT, a Russian state-controlled international television network, showing they had been captured by Russian forces.
  • When asked to comment about the captures of American soldier volunteers, Biden reiterated on Friday, “I’ll say it again, Americans should not be going to Ukraine.”

Former U.S. Marine Corps officer Grady Kurpasi, who has not been heard from since April 23, is the third American to be reported missing in Ukraine this week.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced during a press conference on Thursday that a third American had gone missing, although the name was not said.

Why Zelenskyy wore a T-shirt designed by a Singaporean teen during a recent international summit

Ava Soh Ukraine
  • During the Shangri-La Dialogue, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was seen deviating from his usual attire in favor of a T-shirt designed by 16-year-old Singaporean Ava Soh.
  • The shirt he wore featured an NFT of a girl on a ladder, spray painting a large Ukrainian flag.
  • The NFT represents a “young Ukrainian girl defiantly painting a new future because self-belief is the best middle finger to oppression,” according to Soh’s company website.
  • Ava Soh first created her brand, Daughters of the Revolution, at age 14 to “empower the next generation of 21st century heroines through self love.”
  • In his address, President Zelenskyy presented Ava Soh and her initiative as an example of the support Ukraine has gained worldwide, citing it as why Ukraine will prevail.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy broke from his usual attire in favor of a young Singaporean designer’s T-shirt for a recent international appearance.

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy attended the annual 19th Regional Security Summit Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore to present a special virtual address to delegates. The Ukrainian president was seen on screen deviating from his usual green or brown attire by wearing a black T-shirt designed by 16-year-old Singaporean Ava Soh.

Korean ex-Navy SEAL and YouTuber Rhee Ken is promoted to leader in Ukraine army

  • Former Korean Navy SEAL lieutenant-turned-YouTuber Ken Rhee, 37, has reportedly been promoted to a leadership position in the Ukrainian military.
  • On Monday, Anton Gerashchenko, the official advisor for the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, posted on his Twitter that Rhee was being placed in a “leadership position” given his “special operations experience.”
  • The new rank would give the former Navy SEAL “a lot of leeway in planning missions against [Russian] forces,” added the official.
  • In an interview on Saturday, Rhee also shared that he had been injured while fighting Russian forces in Irpin, Ukraine, and was currently hospitalized.
  • Korean law forbids its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and violators of the law, including Rhee, risk prison time and a potential fine of 10 million won ($7,913).

Former Korean Navy SEAL lieutenant-turned-YouTuber Rhee Ken, 37, has reportedly been promoted to a leadership position in the Ukrainian military. 

On Monday, Anton Gerashchenko, the official advisor for and former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, posted on his Twitter that Rhee, a volunteer fighter for the International Legion, was being placed in a “leadership position” given his “special operations experience.” 

YouTube suspends channel of Chinese vlogger who posts about his life in war-torn Ukraine

Wang Jixian Youtube Ukraine
  • Wang Jixian, a 36-year-old Chinese programmer living in the Ukrainian city of Odesa, is known for posting videos of himself openly criticizing Russia.
  • He said that YouTube suspended his account for a week in March after one of his videos supposedly violated its policy against violent content.
  • The Beijing native, who has become an unofficial voice of Chinese resistance against Russia’s actions, blames the “ulterior motives” of the person who reported him to YouTube.
  • Prior to the suspension, Wang purportedly received messages and comments that discouraged him from provoking the Chinese government and being “too aggressive” with his words.
  • For now, Wang posts videos on his Twitter account and his other YouTube channel. Meanwhile, all of his Chinese social media accounts have been shut down.

YouTube has reportedly suspended a Chinese vlogger from posting videos of his daily life in war-torn Ukraine over a violation in content policy.

Wang Jixian, a 36-year-old programmer living in the city of Odesa, has openly criticized Russia in his videos, while his native Beijing reportedly supports Moscow behind closed doors.

China accuses Taiwan for ‘taking advantage’ of Ukraine crisis by giving financial aid to its refugees

  • China criticized Taiwan on Wednesday for sending aid to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia, saying the island was “taking advantage of others’ difficulties.”
  • The allegation came after Taiwan announced an $11.5 million donation for displaced Ukrainians on Tuesday, following an initial donation of $3.5 million and salary pledges from top government officials.
  • China also said Taiwan “only has itself to blame” if it gets sanctioned by Russia. Last week, Russia added Taiwan to its list of “unfriendly” countries and territories.

China has accused Taiwan of using Ukraine for its own political advantage as the self-governed island delivers a new round of aid for refugees this week.

After an initial donation of $3.5 million, Taiwan is sending another $11.5 million to help displaced Ukrainians, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday. Earlier this month, President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang each pledged a month’s salary to donate to Ukrainian refugees.

Hundreds of Taiwanese reservists train for combat as Ukraine crisis stokes fear of Chinese invasion

taiwan training
  • Around 400 military reservists in Taiwan reportedly participated in combat training exercises on Monday as part of a new program launched earlier this month.
  • The program requires reservists to train for two weeks instead of the previously required five to seven days.
  • The recent target practice exercise reportedly simulates defense of a beach near Taipei.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 has fueled fears of a Chinese invasion and mobilized the island’s defense efforts.
  • Over the weekend, President Tsai Ing-wen cited Ukrainian resilience as an example to urge Taiwanese people to unite.

Around 400 military reservists in Taiwan reportedly participated in a combat training exercise on Monday, responding to President Tsai Ing-wen’s call for unity amid fears of a Chinese invasion.

The training program, which involved target practice and a defense simulation of an area near the capital of Taipei, reportedly started earlier this month and has been extended to two weeks, compared to the previously required five to seven days for reserve training.