Putin declares 'four new regions of Russia' as he annexes parts of Ukraine

News Network
September 30, 2022

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Moscow, Sept 30: President Vladimir Putin has signed treaties on the inclusion of four former Ukrainian regions, into the Russian Federation. Friday’s ceremony marked the start of the formal process of their accession. 

The heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, as well as the leaders of Kherson and Zaporozhye, Vladimir Saldo and Evgeny Balitsky, signed the documents together with Putin.

The move follows official requests by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the two southern Ukrainian regions, which had declared independence, to join Russia. All four territories held referendums on the issue between September 23 and 27, which saw overwhelming support for the move, according to results announced earlier this week by local election committees.

In Donetsk, 99.23% of the people voted to reunite with Moscow, with Lugansk showing a slightly lower figure of 98.42%. Zaporozhye Region highly supported the idea of splitting from Ukraine and joining Russia, with around 93% of voters backing it. Some 87% voted in favor in Kherson Region as well.

The treaties will now be submitted to Russia’s Constitutional Court, which will assess them to ensure they do not violate Russian law. Once they are cleared, the agreements will have to be ratified first by the State Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament – and then by the Federal Council, its upper house. 

The lawmakers will also need to pass legislation on incorporating the two republics and two regions into Russia. The Donbass republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye, will become part of Russia no sooner than the law is signed by Putin. 

On Thursday, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the lower house of Russian parliament would convene on October 3 to discuss a number of issues, including the treaties’ potential ratification. The Federal Council could also discuss the ratification at its regular session on October 4, the upper chamber’s head, Valentina Matviyenko, confirmed on Wednesday. “I do not see the need for extraordinary sessions,” she told journalists at the time. 

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states, accusing Kiev of failing to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014.

On February 24, Russia sent troops into Ukraine, citing the need to protect Donbass. It also demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

Most of the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions were seized by Russian forces soon after the start of the conflict. Officials have repeatedly considered the idea of joining Russia since then before eventually holding referendums in September. 

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News Network
November 22,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 22: In a new twist to the row over viral videos of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages in jail, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s claim that these were "physiotherapy sessions" has been refuted by sources who say the "masseur" in the video is a prisoner in a rape case.

The man giving the AAP minister a massage in the security videos is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, according to official sources at Tihar Jail. He was arrested last year after his own daughter, a class 10 student, accused him of assaulting her.

The CCTV videos, dated September 13, 14 and 21, are the subject of a fierce row between the AAP and the BJP in the run-up to the Delhi civic elections next month.

The videos surfaced days after the Enforcement Directorate accused Mr Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case, of getting special treatment inside Tihar Jail. The "VIP treatment" allegation led to the transfer of at least 12 Tihar jail officials besides the Director General (prisons), Sandeep Goel.

Mr Jain was seen getting massages and chatting with people sitting in his cell, which is not allowed in prison. Neither are physiotherapy sessions allowed in a prisoner's cell, said officials.

As the videos went viral, bolstering the BJP's demand to move the minister out of Tihar Jail, AAP leaders claimed Mr Jain was receiving physiotherapy for a spinal injury.

AAP has not commented on the new revelation, which was seized by the BJP.

"Rape accused Rinku was giving massage to Satyendra Jain. Rinku Accused under Pocso and IPC 376. So it was not a physiotherapist but a rapist who was giving maalish to Satyendra Jain! Shocking. Kejriwal must answer why he defended this and insulted physiotherapists," tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.

Even on Monday, Arvind Kejriwal strongly refuted the BJP's allegation of VIP treatment to his minister, sticking to the "physiotherapy, not massage" argument.

"They are calling it a massage and VIP treatment, but it's merely physiotherapy," Mr Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of his campaign in Gujarat's Vadodra.

Mr Jain has been in jail since June. A Delhi court denied his bail request last week.

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News Network
November 13,2022

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Chikkamagaluru, Nov 13: Right wing outfit Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik on Sunday said 25 fierce Hinduwadis including him will contest the 2023 Assembly polls in Karnataka, as independent candidates, aimed at protecting Hindus.

He alleged that the BJP which came to power with the support of Hindus has failed to protect the community and Hindutva.

"The BJP was born for and because of Hindutva...other than Modi (PM Narendra Modi) at the centre and Yogi (CM Yogi Adityanath) in Uttar Pradesh, we are not able to see anyone else working or running the administration to save Hindutva.

The BJP that won in Karnataka because of the hard work of Hindus, could not protect Hindus and Hindu Karyakartas," Mutalik said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, even today Hindu Karyakartas are suffering with Goonda Act cases against them and their names are mentioned in the rowdy sheet, and the BJP despite being in the government did not show any mercy on them by making efforts to take back cases, also there have been killings of many Hindu Karyakrtas.

"As Hindus in BJP who have won, have not been able to do anything, we fierce Hinduwadis in Karnataka like- karyakartas who are there for Hindutva and Swamijis- have resolved to enter politics to save Hindutva. So in the upcoming 2023 Assembly polls 25 fierce Hinduwadis will contest as independent candidates," Muthalik said.

To liberate Datta Peetha, to stop killings of Gomatha (cows), to free from Christian religious conversion, to save Hindu women from Love Jihad, they are contesting polls, with a resolve to protect Hindus, he further added.

The Datta Peetha shrine issue has been a controversial one in Karnataka for several years.

A temple in the name of Dattatreya and a dargah in the name of Sufi saint Baba Budan Dargah are located at the cave in the Bababudangiri Hills of the Western Ghats. Muthalik had recently said that he will contest in the next Assembly elections and that a study is on to finalise a constituency from where he has to contest.

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News Network
November 18,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism, which cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality or group.

He also said that terrorists are constantly finding new ways to carry out violence, radicalise youth and raise financial resources and the darknet is being used by terrorists to spread radical content and conceal their identities.

"Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the most serious threat to global peace and security. But I believe that the financing of terrorism is more dangerous than terrorism itself because the 'means and methods' of terrorism are nurtured from such funding. Furthermore, financing of terrorism weakens the economy of countries of the world," Shah said addressing the third 'No Money for Terror Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing' hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs here.

He said, "We also recognise that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, or group".

"To confront terrorism, we have made significant progress in fortifying the security architecture, as well as the legal and financial systems," the Union home minister said.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Shah said there are countries that "seek to undermine or even hinder, our collective resolve to fight terrorism".

"We have seen that some countries protect and shelter terrorists, protecting a terrorist is equivalent to promoting terrorism. It will be our collective responsibility that such elements never succeed in their intentions," he said. 

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