An increase in beatings, vandalism and episodes of racism against Central Asian migrants has been reported in Russia since the deadly attacks at Moscow's Crocus City Hall last Friday. Four Tajik nationals have been accused of killing 140 people in the attack, claimed by jihadist group Islamic State. Several other suspects have been arrested, all of Central Asian origin. Forecasting a rise in tensions in the aftermath of the Moscow murders, the embassy of Tajikistan in Russia warned its citizens at the weekend not to leave their homes unless necessary. Central Asian migrants make up a sizeable proportion of Russia's migrant labour population, particularly in the retail, transportation and construction sectors. Many already experience high levels of discrimination. They are "often confronted with broad social xenophobia that sees them as something of an underclass," Prof Edward Lemon of Texas A&M University told the BBC - BBC


Russia has increased gasoline imports from neighbouring Belarus in March to tackle the risk of shortages in its domestic market because of unscheduled repairs at Russian refineries after drone attacks, four industry and trade sources said on Wednesday. Usually Russia is a net exporter of fuel and a supplier to international markets, but the disruption of Russian refining has forced oil companies to import. Already Russia banned gasoline exports from March 1 to try to secure enough fuel for its domestic market after repeated Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries since the start of the year. Russia normally imports very little fuel from Belarus, although it turned to it last August-to-October, when it faced fuel shortages that led to a rapid rise in gasoline prices and prompted another oil product export ban. - Reuters

At least 32,490 Palestinians have been killed and 74,889 injured in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said on Wednesday.

Kharkiv has taken the drastic step of moving classrooms for primary and secondary education underground. About 1,500 children attend classes in five subway stations. Kharkiv is also building nine subterranean schools to accommodate up to 9,000 children from kindergarten to grade 11. The first one is set to be completed sometime this spring. With Russia's war on Ukraine in its third year, and Russian troops on the offensive, it's a realistic long-term solution for families who want to stay in Kharkiv, says Mayor Ihor Terekhov. "Lives should not stop because of war," he says. "Life should go on. And our main task is to help people feel secure and live their lives to their full extent." - NPR


Poland has dismissed a top general from his position as commander of a European military body, the defence ministry said, after the country's counterintelligence service launched an investigation into his security clearance. Lieutenant General Jaroslaw Gromadzinski had been serving as commander of Eurocorps, a joint military group of some EU and NATO states, since June 2023, after a career that had seen him serve in Iraq and command Poland's 18th Mechanized Division. It did not give details of the investigation. Reuters was not immediately able to reach a Eurocorps spokesperson for comment - Reuters


The head of Myanmar’s ruling military council marked Armed Forces Day on Wednesday with a speech claiming that the nation’s youth were being tricked into supporting the resistance against army rule, and that ethnic armed groups allied with the resistance engage in drug trafficking, natural resources smuggling and illegal gambling. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing spoke in the capital, Naypyitaw, where thousands of military personnel paraded in an annual show of strength, even as the army has suffered a series of unprecedented battlefield defeats that have tarnished their once invincible reputation. Min Aung Hlaing touched on familiar themes, urging the international community not to support the resistance forces, whom he blamed for disturbing the process for planned but not yet scheduled elections. Earlier this month, he told Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency that elections might be held in parts of the country that are peaceful and stable - AP

Five of Germany's economic research institutes slash Germany's GDP outlook, citing low domestic demand, and high gas and electricity prices hitting exports. A group of leading economic think tanks in Germany have released their six-monthly "collective diagnosis" of the Germany economy. A forecast made last autumn of 1.3% growth has been revised down to 0.1%, with the  report saying that consumer's purchasing power would be crucial to improving the economic forecast. "The economy in Germany is ailing. An economic weakness that lasted until the end is accompanied by dwindling growth forces. Economic and structural factors overlap in the sluggish overall economic development. Although a recovery is likely to begin in the spring, the overall momentum will not be too great, the report said - Euronews

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