A new U.S. intelligence assessment found it is likely that some employees of a United Nations agency that distributes aid to Palestinians took part in Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel, but says the U.S. can’t verify Israeli allegations that a larger number of U.N. workers have links to militant groups, people familiar with the report said. Washington and other Western capitals last month suspended funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which supplies aid to Palestinians, after Israel shared findings that at least 12 UNRWA employees were connected to a series of Hamas raids last October - WSJ

Viktor Orban, the populist prime minister who has repeatedly clashed with the EU, hailed the ‘longstanding friendship’ between Budapest and Beijing as he signed a security pact with China. It includes an agreement for joint police patrols, in a new sign of his determination to allow Beijing a stronger foothold in the European Union - The Times


Russian authorities say a teenager has been arrested for setting a local office of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party on fire as “revenge for Alexei Navalny.” The incident occurred on the evening of Feb. 16, just hours after Navalny’s death was announced, according to Baza, a Telegram channel that has been linked to Russian security services. A half-minute video, which was reportedly circulated on anonymous Telegram channels, shows a figure throwing a Molotov cocktail at the office in the Moscow region as he yells, in a digitally altered voice, “Freedom to Russia” and “It’s my choice.” The fire was reportedly quickly extinguished, and it appeared to have been contained to the roof of the entrance to the building. United Russia has said it is viewing the arson as an “act of terrorism” and that the firestarter explicitly said he was acting in response to Navalny’s death. The teenager has so far only been charged with “hooliganism.” - Daily Beast


Iran has provided Russia with approx 400 ballistic missiles, including many from the Fateh-110 family, such as the Zolfaghar. In contrast with North Korean BMs, Iranian made ones are known to be considerably more accurate. “This is a major escalation in Iranian material support for Russia and will strain Ukrainian's Patriot batteries even further at a time when they can least afford it,” said a security expert.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been told to his face that he cannot afford to sit on the sidelines when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the comments while giving the keynote speech at India’s premier foreign affairs conference — the Raisina Dialogue — which began in Delhi on Wednesday. Modi himself did not speak but was in the front row to listen to his Greek counterpart. Mitsotakis acknowledged that ‘maybe there was some truth’ to the complaints by Global South countries that Europe focussed too much on Ukraine at the expense of other raging conflicts. ‘But I would like to make the point here in Delhi that Urakine is much more than a local war on European soil,’ the Greek leader said. ‘It is a brutal challenge to international stability and the international rules-based order that India has supported and has every interest in maintaining - By Latika Bourke.


The ex-husband of Ksenia Karelina, a dual US-Russian citizen facing a life sentence from the Kremlin for donating $50 to the Razom for Ukraine charity, broke his silence to The New York Post Wednesday. “It’s crazy,” Evgeny Khavana said from outside his home in the suburbs of Baltimore. “She must be going through a nightmare.” Karelina, 32, an amateur ballerina who works at a spa in Beverly Hills, was arrested last month in her hometown of Yekaterinburg for “petty hooliganism,” with charges later upgraded to treason, according to Russian media. “I understand why she went,” he said. “She has parents over there, she went to visit her parents. It’s stupid politics.” Karelina was paraded blindfolded and handcuffed as she appeared in a Russian courtroom on Tuesday, charged by the state Federal Security Service, Vladimir Putin’s secret police force, with making a donation of $51.80 to Razom, a Ukrainian nonprofit based in New York.

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


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