Russian officials said Friday they had arrested three people plotting an attack in the country's south, a week after the assault on a Moscow concert hall killed at least 144 people. The FSB security agency said it had "put an end to the terrorist activities of three nationals from a Central Asian country", Russian news agencies reported. The three suspects had been "planning to commit a terrorist act by blowing up a device in a public place in the Stavropol region", it added. Russian television showed images of several men pinned to the ground by FSB agents. The RIA Novosti news agency said the ingredients for an improvised explosive device (IED) and chemical substances had been found at the home of one of the suspects. The Stavropol region sits in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia, bordering Dagestan and Chechnya among others - AFP

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Overnight into Friday Ukraine's air force said it had shot down 58 drones and 26 missiles and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said energy infrastructure had been damaged in six regions, in the west, centre and east of the country, BBC reported. Ukraine's national energy company has announced emergency blackouts in three regions of the country - Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kirovograd - and have urged consumers to limit electricity use. The provider, Ukrenergo, blamed "the massive Russian attack on Ukrainian power plants overnight." It’s been estimated that about 10 percent of generating capacity was lost in the strikes.

Guerrillas Sabotage Near Russian-Occupied Oleshki, Triggering Large-Scale Fire
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Guerrillas Sabotage Near Russian-Occupied Oleshki, Triggering Large-Scale Fire

As a result of the sabotage, Russian weapons and food warehouses were destroyed, and twenty Russian servicemen received severe burns.

Ukraine's newly appointed commander-in-chief Gen Oleksandr Syrskiy admitted in a rare interview that Russia was outgunning Ukrainian forces "about six to one" on the front line. “The defence forces are now performing tasks along the entire vast front line, with little or no weapons and ammunition," he warned in an interview with the Ukrinform news agency, saying the situation was "tense" in some areas. Gen Syrskyi said Ukraine had lost territory it would "undoubtedly have retained" with "a sufficient number of air defence systems and artillery shells", and said the country hoped to receive more aid and missiles soon - BBC

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Kazakhstan has advised its citizens in Ukraine to leave Kharkiv and Odesa regions due to “the growing tension and unstable security situation.” The alert comes amid a significant uptick in Russian missile & drone strikes across Ukraine

The Biden administration in recent days quietly authorized the transfer of billions of dollars in bombs and fighter jets to Israel despite Washington’s concerns about an anticipated military offensive in southern Gaza that could threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians. The new arms packages include more than 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK82 500-pound bombs, according to Pentagon and State Department officials familiar with the matter. The 2,000 pound bombs have been linked to previous mass-casualty events throughout Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. These officials, like some others, spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity because recent authorizations have not been disclosed publicly. The development underscores that while rifts have emerged between the United States and Israel over the war’s conduct, the Biden administration views weapons transfers as off-limits when considering how to influence the actions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Washington Post

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The US is to enact new visa restrictions upon multiple Hong Kong officials in light of what it deems a crackdown on rights and freedoms. A Friday statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that – over the past year – Beijing has “continued to take actions against Hong Kong’s promised high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and rights and freedoms.” It said the recently-enacted homegrown security law, Article 23, has provisions that “both be used to eliminate dissent inside Hong Kong and applied outside of its borders as part of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] ongoing campaign of transnational repression.” - HKFP

The influential Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate Israel’s detention of Palestinian journalists. Israel is utilizing administrative detention to hold a record number of Palestinian journalists without charge during the war. CPJ is calling on the Working Group specifically to investigate the cases of detained journalists Moath Amarneh, Mohammad Badr, and Ameer Abu Iram. “The alarming use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities amid the Israel-Gaza war represents the silencing of dissenting voices, most notably journalists,” said CPJ Director of Advocacy and Communications Gypsy Guillén Kaiser. “The incidence of administrative detention is a concerning bellwether for Israel’s efforts to restrict the public’s right to know what is happening in Gaza.”

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