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The Ukraine war in maps: Russians completely withdraw from Kyiv and Chernihiv | International

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April 7 | Fighting continues in the south and southeast

Russian forces continued to withdraw from the north of Ukraine. According to Ukrainian authorities, they have already left the Kyiv and Sumy regions entirely and are about to do the same in the Chernihiv region. the US Defense Department has confirmed that there are no Russian troops left around the cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), retreating Russian troops are redeploying to Belarus and the Russian region of Belgorod. And in the east, “Russian and proxy forces are likely attempting to consolidate forces and material for an offensive in the coming days,” according to the ISW.


City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

Experts were expecting some Russian forces to redeploy to reinforce the Izyum-Slovyansk axis, in the northeast. From there, the Russians were trying to advance in order to encircle Ukrainian forces fighting in the eastern Donbas region. The city of Izyum may have already fallen, according to Reuters, but the fighting continued south of there in the direction of Slovyansk. According to the ISW, Russian troops have made no major advances in the last few hours, and they are being slowed down by Ukrainian forces defending the road that connects both cities. Russian troops could try to find alternative ways to advance towards the Donbas.

In the southeast, the battle of Mariupol continued unabated. Russian forces with heavy air and artillery support continued assaults on Ukrainian positions in Mariupol, said the ISW. A high-ranking US Defense Department source said that Mariupol remains isolated but that the Russians have not taken it despite sources who claim the contrary. But verified information about the city’s status is limited, said the ISW, and it is unclear how much longer its defenders will be able to hold out.

April 6 | Withdrawal in the north, fighting in the south

Russian forces stationed since February in the northern half of Ukraine continued to reposition. The withdrawal from Kyiv is largely completed and troop movement is now taking place in the Sumy region, in the northeast. The Russian town of Belgorod, located 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from the border, remains the main concentration point for regrouping forces.

It is still unclear whether the withdrawal from Sumy will lead to a redistribution of troops or whether these will try to maintain some of their positions along this axis, according to the latest assessment by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).


City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

“Russia has not yet committed forces withdrawn from the Battle of Kyiv back into the fighting in eastern Ukraine,” said the ISW. And US intelligence services said that the units withdrawn from Kyiv will not be combat-ready again for some time, and could potentially be ordered to return to Russia instead.

In the east, attacks against the Donbas region continued. The ISW reported on Russian operations against the towns of Popasna and Rubiyne. Some 240 km (149 miles) to the north, in Kharkiv, there was more shelling. And troops concentrated around Izyum persisted in their attempts to reach Slovyansk. On Tuesday Russian forces captured Braykivka.

In the south, the embattled city of Mariupol continued to resist. The 160,000 or so residents who have not been evacuated are surviving without electricity, communications, medicines, heating or running water, according to the latest reports by British intelligence services. “Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, likely to pressure defenders to surrender,” said the UK Defense Ministry in its daily update. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Tuesday that fighting in southern and eastern Ukraine could intensify in the coming weeks.

April 5 | Russian troops withdraw from the north

In the regions of Chernihiv and Sumy, there are barely any Russian soldiers left any more as troops continue to move north. This is partly due to the Ukrainian advance and partly to the Kremlin’s shift of strategy to focus on the eastern part of the country.

Part of these retreating forces will be redirected towards the Donbas region though not all, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which noted that Russian troops “continue to make little to no progress in frontal assaults to capture Donetsk and Luhansk.” This is the area where Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to concentrate the war effort last week.


City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

Russian forces have already captured Izyum and troops are reportedly trying to encircle the Ukrainian defense in the Donbas. “Efforts by Russian forces advancing from Izyum to capture Slovyansk will likely prove to be the next pivotal battle of the war in Ukraine,” said the ISW.

In the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Russians failed to gain ground and continued to suffer from morale and logistical issues. This is not likely to improve despite a potential arrival of reinforcements from the northeastern front.

On the coast of the Sea of Azov, Mariupol’s defenders have been holding out for longer than most observers had expected them to. The Russians have almost reached the city center, but it is still not under their control. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russians are suffering significant losses during the siege of Mariupol, The city is strategic because it could serve as a “bridge” between Moscow-controlled areas in the Donbas and the Crimea peninsula, which it annexed in 2014.

April 4 | Ukraine wins the battle for Kyiv and Russia looks east

Russian troops are reorganizing in order to focus on the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, in line with the Kremlin’s new strategy. British intelligence services warned that Russian soldiers and mercenaries were moving eastward.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) considers that Ukraine has won the battle of Kyiv: Russian troops who had been posted near the capital ever since their swift advance from Belarus at the start of the invasion have now withdrawn from their positions on both sides of the Dnipro river. Although the main contingent has withdrawn to Belarus, leaving land mines in their trail, the withdrawal “has been sufficiently disorderly that some Russian troops were left behind,” said the ISW.


City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled

by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

City controlled by the Russians

Annexed by Russia

in 2014

Note: What does “control” mean? It requires exerting a physical influence over an area to prevent its use by the enemy. It could be achieved by occupying the area or by holding power over it with weapons. It does not imply any form of governance or legitimacy. Sources: Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (for advances and areas under control); UK intelligence (besieged cities); EL PAÍS and other sources (fighting and airstrikes).

Despite the failed attempt to capture the capital, the war goes on and Russia still has the capacity to conduct an offensive operation in eastern Ukraine. The current line of Russian occupation in the south and the east represents significant territorial gains from what it was before the conflict began. Russia is in control of the south of Crimea and east of Donbas, and the ISW warns that “if a ceasefire or peace agreement freezes a line like the current front-line trace, Russia will be able to exert much greater pressure on Ukraine than it did before the invasion and may over time reassemble a more effective invasion force. Ukraine’s victory in the Battle of Kyiv is thus significant but not decisive.”

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Bereaved then evicted by in-laws: Kenya’s widows fight disinheritance | Global development

Voice Of EU

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Within months of the death of her husband in 2014, Doreen Kajuju Kimathi, from Meru, eastern Kenya, was told that his bank accounts had been frozen, and she had been forced out of her home by her in-laws.

The pregnant 37-year-old was left with no resources to fight back, and returned to her parents’ home. “It was traumatising, and I went into depression for five years,” says Kimathi.

Doreen Kajuju Kimathi
Doreen Kajuju Kimathi, who now volunteers for a widows’ support group. Photograph: Courtesy of Widows Empowerment Initiative for Africa

Her experience is far from unique. While Kenya protects widows’ inheritance in theory, the patriarchal culture and the influence of colonial legislation that restricted married women’s property rights means the law is often not enforced.

“There is an entire parallel system operating outside succession laws,” says Roseline Njogu, a Kenyan lawyer. “Years of law reform have led us to formal equality, but equality of law doesn’t mean equality of power, and that’s where we get tripped up.”

Human rights groups report that discriminatory practices in marriage limit women’s capacity to own land. According to the Kenya Land Alliance, only 1% of land titles are registered to women, and another 6% are registered jointly with a man.

While children have equal inheritance rights, land is more often passed on to sons, leaving daughters with fewer assets, and making a future wife vulnerable to eviction if her spouse’s family regard the property as theirs.

For young widows such as Kimathi, it can be even harder to hold on to marital property. “You’re considered less entitled to it because you’re expected to remarry,” she says.

But a fightback is under way. Grassroots organisations are emerging all around the country to build community awareness of women’s legal rights. One group, the Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization (CTWOO), has offered legal advice and support to nearly 500,000 widows since 2013.

The NGO is trying to address disinheritance at its roots. It works with other groups to increase financial and legal literacy across the country, especially among married couples, encouraging them to discuss finances openly, and to write wills.

Dianah Kamande, the founder of the Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization.
Dianah Kamande, the founder of the Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization. Photograph: Courtesy of CTWOO

The founder, Dianah Kamande, says that – contrary to popular belief – most dispossessed widows are middle-class, like Kimathi, not poor. The poor usually have less property, and the rich have access to lawyers.

Kamande says death and estate planning are still taboo topics for many married couples, and that some people obscure their wealth. “Men keep lots of secrets about money from their wives, and trust their mothers and siblings more – who in turn disinherit the wife and children,” she says.

Widows Empowerment Initiative for Africa logo
Grassroots groups are emerging to build awareness of widows’ rights. Photograph: Courtesy of Widows Empowerment Initiative for Africa

The country’s Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority says it has 50bn Kenyan shillings (£347m) in unclaimed assets, and about 40% is money left by people after they die. Concerned by the rising number of unclaimed assets, research by the authority found roughly 43% of Kenyan respondents said they would not disclose their financial assets to anyone – even people they trusted.

“There’s secrecy around financial investments. For many of the people who find out about the assets left by their spouse, it’s a eureka moment,” says Paul Muya, of the UFAA.

Five years after being widowed, Kimathi’s life was still on hold. She had looked into hiring a lawyer but could not afford it. Without access to the family property, it was difficult for her and her son to get by, and she had to rely on help from her parents and sister.

But through the CTWOO, she found out that she did not need a lawyer to access the courts. She filed a claim, and within a year had gained access to almost all of her dead husband’s property. Last year, Kimathi opened a bar and restaurant in Kitui, 110 miles east of Nairobi.

“It was a huge relief to get the money. Being a widow in Kenya is financially and socially isolating, and knowing what that’s like pushed me to help others in the same situation,” says Kimathi, who now volunteers with a widows’ support group.

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WHO concerned about first cases of monkeypox in children | Science & Tech

Voice Of EU

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Reports of young children infected by monkeypox in Europe – there were at least four in recent days, with a fifth one recorded a few weeks ago – have raised concern about the progress of an outbreak now affecting more than 5,500 people in 51 countries.

The health organization’s Europe chief, Hans Kluge, also warned on Friday that overall cases in the region have tripled in the last two weeks. “Urgent and coordinated action is imperative if we are to turn a corner in the race to reverse the ongoing spread of this disease,” said Kluge.

The WHO has not yet declared the outbreak a global health emergency, however. At a meeting last Saturday, the agency ruled it out but said it could change its views if certain scenarios come to pass, such as a spike in cases among vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people. Available data shows that children, especially younger ones, are at higher risk of serious illness if they become infected.

The last known case of a child contracting monkeypox was reported on Tuesday in Spain, where a three-year-old was confirmed to have the disease. Cases in Spain are now in excess of 1,500 according to health reports filed by regional governments.

Also on Tuesday, Dutch authorities reported that a primary school student had become infected and that contact tracing had been initiated to rule out more cases within the child’s close circle of contacts. On Saturday, France reported one confirmed case and one suspected case among elementary school students.

The UK has so far recorded at least two infections in minors. The first case, reported in May, involved a baby who had to be taken to intensive care for treatment with the antiviral Tecovirimat, of which few doses are available but which has already begun to be distributed in several countries. British authorities this week reported a second case of a child with monkeypox. The UK currently has the biggest monkeypox outbreak beyond Africa.

The main vaccine being used against monkeypox was originally developed for smallpox. The European Medicines Agency said earlier this week it was beginning to evaluate whether the shot should be authorized for monkeypox. The WHO has said supplies of the vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic, are extremely limited.

Until May, monkeypox had never been known to cause large outbreaks beyond Africa, where the disease is endemic in several countries and mostly causes limited outbreaks when it jumps to people from infected wild animals.

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Jury calls for sweeping reforms to Canada’s approach to femicide | Canada

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A community in rural Canada has made a series of transformative recommendations at a coroner’s inquest that – if adopted – could position the country’s most populous province as a leader in preventing femicides, particularly those carried out by an intimate partner.

The jury in Renfrew County, Ontario, just west of Canada’s capital, delivered 86 recommendations this week in a unanimous verdict on the deaths of three local women, who were killed by the same man on a single morning nearly seven years ago.

The boldest was to have the Ontario government “formally declare intimate partner violence as an epidemic” that requires “significant financial investment” and deep systemic change to remedy.

Since the triple homicide on 22 September 2015, 111 women in Ontario have been murdered by their current or former partner, the inquest heard. Every six days in Canada, a woman is killed by her intimate partner, according to Statistics Canada.

The jury also recommended official prominence be given to the word “femicide” – to have it be listed as a manner of death by coroners in the province and added to the criminal code of Canada to underscore the misogyny beneath the killings of women and girls because of their gender.

“A lot of the recommendations are groundbreaking,” said Pamela Cross, a lawyer and expert on intimate partner violence in Ontario who testified at the inquest.

The inquest, which heard from nearly 30 witnesses over three weeks, was meant to examine the systems that broke down in the weeks, months and years leading up to the day Basil Borutski got in a borrowed car, drove to Carol Culleton’s cottage and strangled her with a coaxial cable, then moved on to Anastasia Kuzyk’s house where he shot her to death and then to Nathalie Warmerdam’s farm where he shot her too.

All three women had previously been in an intimate relationship with Borutski. He had been in and out of jail for assaulting Kuzyk and Warmerdam and was on probation at the time of the murders and subject to a weapons ban.

Borutski had been flagged as “high risk” two years before the triple homicide, the inquest heard, and exhibited 30 out of 41 risk factors identified by Ontario’s domestic violence death review committee – including a deep sense of victimhood and the ability to convince new partners he was innocent and unfairly targeted by police in his prior convictions.

Police witnesses told the jury Borutski was very good at “manipulation” and constantly flouted court orders, including never showing up to a mandated partner assault response program.

The jury heard from family members, including Valerie Warmerdam, Nathalie’s daughter, who painted a nuanced and empathetic picture of Borutski as a troubled stepfather. It heard from a frontline worker who described Warmerdam and Kuzyk’s constant terror that Borutski would kill them or harm their family.

The inquest jury demanded decision-makers make “significant financial investments” in ending violence, have police all use the same records management system and create clear guidelines for flagging high-risk abusers. It urged the study of disclosure protocols like Clare’s Law, which is used in the United Kingdom and in parts of Canada to allow a concerned person to check if their partner has a police record of intimate partner violence.

Valerie Warmerdam welcomed the verdict, but underscored the need for action on the part of governments who will receive these recommendations in the wake of the inquest. “I want change,” she said. “These recommendations are a good start, if they are actioned. That’s a big if.”

Kirsten Mercer, counsel to End Violence Against Women Renfrew County (EVA), noted that it was the jury themselves who added the epidemic recommendation among 13 others, including creating a registry of high-risk offenders akin to the sex offenders registry, and exploring electronic monitoring of those charged or found guilty of an IPV-related offence.

“The jury has asked that we tell the truth about intimate partner violence,” Mercer told the media after the verdict. “The jury has asked that we put our money where our mouth is.”

The idea to add femicide to the coroner’s list of manners of death and to the Criminal Code of Canada came from the joint submission. Countries in Latin America have already added this as a criminal offence, she said, and should be looked to as a model for how to do it here.

Accountability was a priority for this jury, Mercer said. The verdict called for the creation of an accountability body akin to the United Kingdom’s domestic abuse commissioner and a specific committee to make sure this verdict does not just languish in decision-makers’ inboxes.

“We are not going to wait forever any more.”

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