Hundreds of people protested on February 16 in front of the Russian embassies in several countries after reports of the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. In his native Russia, people laid flowers at the buildings where Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) was headquartered before the government shut it down after labeling the organization "extremist,” RFE/RL reported. More than 100 people are reported to have been detained in Russian cities.

Police in Moscow have blocked access to a spot where Russians had left tributes to Navalny; the flowers were scooped up & removed. The authorities don’t want the size of the pile of flowers to show the scale of support for Putin’s biggest rival, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford posted. Separately, at least 177 people were detained at events in Russia on Friday and Saturday in memory of Navalny, according to rights group OVD-Info.

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A New York judge has ordered Donald Trump to pay $354m (£280m) in a landmark fraud case. The ex-president has also been banned from doing business in New York for three years. His sons and co-defendants Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump have been fined $4m (£3.17m) each and hit with two-year bans on doing business in New York. But the judge stopped short of cancelling Trump's business licenses, which some experts said could have effectively ended his business empire. Trump and his two adult sons were found to have massively inflated the value of their properties by hundreds of millions of dollars to get better loans. Trump's team say they will appeal the ruling, which the Trump Organization called a "gross miscarriage of justice" - BBC

US House Approves Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid, Threatens TikTok - A Summary
Other Topics of Interest

US House Approves Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid, Threatens TikTok - A Summary

What the US House finally approved on April 20 and the implications.

Russia is trying to develop a nuclear space weapon that would destroy satellites by creating a massive energy wave when detonated, potentially crippling a vast swath of the commercial and government satellites that the world below depends on to talk on cell phones, pay bills, and surf the internet, according to three sources familiar with the intelligence. The weapon is still under development and is not yet in orbit. This kind of new weapon — known generally by military space experts as a nuclear EMP — would create a pulse of electromagnetic energy and a flood of highly charged particles that would tear through space to disrupt other satellites winging around Earth - CNN

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Ukraine's military chief said early Saturday that he's withdrawing troops from Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, where they've battled a Russian assault for four months. In a short statement posted on Facebook early Saturday, Oleksandr Syrskyi said he had made the decision to avoid encirclement and "preserve the lives and health of servicemen." The commander-in-chief added that troops were moving to "more favorable lines." - AP

Russia has probably spent up to $211 billion in equipping, deploying and maintaining its troops for operations in Ukraine and Moscow has lost more than $10 billion in canceled or postponed arms sales, a senior U.S. defense official said on Friday. "I don't think we've talked quite as much about the costs that Russia has already incurred and continues to incur," the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters. The war had cost Russia an expected $1.3 trillion in previously anticipated economic growth through 2026 and about 315,000 Russian troops had either been killed or injured so far, the official added - Reuters

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Almost 100 citizens from across Ukraine have been scammed of over $1.1-million by two women and a ringleader believed to be overseas who are alleged to have falsely raised money for drones for the Armed Forces. The pair has “previously used emergency situations in the country to defraud citizens,” cops say. The maximum penalty for the large-scale fraud is only 12 years in prison. Police say an international warrant has been issued for the third suspect

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration ordered a group of Russian political strategists to use social media and fake news articles to push the theme that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “is hysterical and weak. … He fears that he will be pushed aside, therefore he is getting rid of the dangerous ones.” The Kremlin instruction resulted in thousands of social media posts and hundreds of fabricated articles, created by troll farms and circulated in Ukraine and across Europe, that tried to exploit what were then rumored tensions between Zelensky and his then top military chief, Valery Zaluzhny. That’s according to a trove of Kremlin documents obtained by a European intelligence service and reviewed by The Washington Post. The files, numbering more than 100 documents, were shared with The Post to expose for the first time the scale of Kremlin propaganda targeting Zelensky with the aim of dividing and destabilizing Ukrainian society — efforts that Moscow dubbed “information psychological operations.” - Washington Post

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This review is reprinted with the author’s permission from his World Briefing blog. See the original here.

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