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European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) to discuss democratic governance and deliberative democracy

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The 15th meeting of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) is taking place on 21-22 April 2022 in Strasbourg, in a hybrid format.

Strasbourg, Apr.21.– The CDDG will discuss a draft Recommendation on Principles of Good Democratic Governance applicable to all levels of government, building on the 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance at local level. Furthermore, the CDDG will start its work on Deliberative Democracy based on a study prepared recently by the Elections and Participatory Democracy Division of the Council of Europe. Various interventions will be heard, including from Mr Art O'Leary, Secretary General of the Electoral Commission and Secretary to the Citizens' Assembly of Ireland and Mr George Papandreou, Chair of the sub-committee on Democracy, Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly.

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Russian oligarchs' secret finances revealed

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) investigations over the years have uncovered massive money movements by prominent
Russians close to President Vladimir Putin who have earned scrutiny by international authorities.

 Apr.21.– Russian oligarchs Boris Rotenberg, Igor Rotenberg and Gennady Timchenko have been sanctioned by the U.K., along with five Russian banks, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine last February.

For more than a decade, ICIJ has tracked flows of money globally – stories that have commonly involved wealthy Russians with elite political connections. These projects included the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers, FinCEN Files, and the Pandora Papers.

Here are five oligarchs whose financial dealings have been uncovered by ICIJ investigations – and who have received additional scrutiny from authorities.

Alisher Usmanov

Politically connected Uzbek-Russian billionaire.

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403 bodies found so far in Bucha, Ukraine, murdered by Russian troops

► The lifeless bodies of at least 20 civilian men line a single street in the town of Bucha near the Ukrainian capital. Some lie face down on the pavement while others are collapsed on their backs, mouths open in a tragic testament to the horrors of Russian occupation.
► The hands of one man are tied behind his back with a piece of white cloth. Another man lies alone, tangled up in a bicycle by a grassy bank. A third man lies in the middle of the road, near the charred remains of a burned-out car.
► The shocking images of the carnage in Bucha were captured by Agence France-Presse on Saturday, the same day Ukraine declared the town liberated from Russian troops.

Bucha mass gravez Bucha, Apr.11.– The town of Bucha captured the world’s attention with its images of horror. They gave a glimpse into the terrible consequences of a conflict prosecuted without limits.

Today the drive into Bucha looks very different to those first hours after it was liberated.

A gruesome video showing the bodies of civilians left decomposing where they fell, was the first indication of the war crimes perpetrated here.

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Israeli military surprised at how the war in Ukraine is going

  • Anna Ahronheim // The Jerusalem Post
  • Category: Headlines
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A month after Russia invaded, Moscow has yes to achieve its goals.

A month into Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, Israel’s military is surprised about what they are seeing.

Comparing it to “a war of the past,” senior military officers have said that while Russia has deployed a large number of troops to its neighboring country and a large number of military platforms, they have yet to make use of any of their advancedRussian Helicopter Mil Mi-28NE. Image under license CCA. Attribution:  Anna ZverevaRussian Helicopter Mil Mi-28NE. Image under license CCA. Attribution: Anna Zvereva weaponry.

Over 12,000 Russian troops are said to have either been killed or injured so far and Ukraine claims to have destroyed at least 49 fighter jets, 81 helicopters, 335 tanks, 1,105 armored vehicles, 123 artillery systems and more.

Despite spending millions on its military, Russian forces have used a large amount of indirect fire and dumb bombs similar to those used in the 20th century fired from truck-mounted launchers instead of precision missiles against Ukrainian targets.

Due in part to poor weather and poor visibility, Russian planes and helicopters have needed to fly low to the ground in order to drop their munitions, placing them at risk of being hit by anti-aircraft systems or even shoulder-fired anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) used en mass by Kyiv.

A month into the conflict, the IDF is surprised that the air over Ukraine is still contested. Despite far overpowering Ukraine’s air force even before the war, Moscow has been unable to gain any sort of aerial superiority with Ukrainian pilots still flying several sorties a day against their enemy.

READ more: The Jerusalem Post

Russian troops in full retreat on Ukraine's war

«There are good reasons to question the Russian armed forces’ ability to seize and hold the portions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts that it does not currently control», reports the Institute for the Study of War with HQ in Washington, DC. Ukraine war zones Apr.10

Washington DC, Apr. 9.– We assess that the Russian military will struggle to amass a large and combat-capable force of mechanized units to operate in Donbas within the next few months. Russia will likely continue to throw badly damaged and partially reconstituted units piecemeal into offensive operations that make limited gains at great cost. The Russians likely will make gains nevertheless and may either trap or wear down Ukrainian forces enough to secure much of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, but it is at least equally likely that these Russian offensives will culminate before reaching their objectives, as similar Russian operations have done.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) reported on April 8 that the Russian armed forces have lost 15-20 percent of the “combat power” they had arrayed against Ukraine before the invasion. This statement is somewhat (unintentionally) misleading because it uses the phrase “combat power” loosely. The US DoD statements about Russian “combat power” appear to refer to the percentage of troops mobilized for the invasion that is still in principle available for fighting—that is, that are still alive, not badly injured, and with their units. But “combat power” means much more than that.

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