Tag Archives: Eastern Europe

Weather and protests hamper Ukraine quarantine efforts


Ukraine’s effort to evacuate more than 70 people from China due to the outbreak of a new virus has faced obstacles

Ukraine’s effort to evacuate more than 70 people from China over the outbreak of a new virus faced setbacks Thursday as weather conditions delayed the return of the evacuees and protests broke out near a hospital where they are to be quarantined.

Dozens of local residents protested Thursday morning seeking to prevent the evacuees from being quarantined there because they fear being infected. People put up road blocks and burned tires, while Ukrainian media reported that there were clashes with police.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy weighed in saying that those demonstration show “not the best side of our character” and sought to assure people that the quarantined evacuees wouldn’t pose any danger to local residents.

In a statement published on his Facebook page, Zelenskiy said the people evacuated from China are healthy and will live in a closed medical center run by the National Guard in the village of Novi Sanzhary as a precaution.

“In the next two weeks it will probably be the most guarded facility in the country,” Zelenskiy said.

In the early hours of Thursday, a plan with plane with 45 Ukrainians and 27 other foreign nationals took off from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak that has infected more than 75,000 people worldwid e and killed over 2,100.

The plane stopped off in Kazakhstan to drop off two Kazakh passengers. Later, it sought to land in Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine, but could not due to bad weather conditions.

Instead it flew to Kyiv to refuel, and eventually arrived inKharkiv.

Also Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Japan said that two more Russians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan have been diagnosed with the virus, the Russian Embassy in Japan said. That raises to three the number of Russians on the ship confirmed to have the virus.

The two will be transferred to a hospital in Japan for treatment, according to the embassy.

The Diamond Princess has been docked in the Yokohama port near Tokyo since Feb. 4, when 10 people on board tested positive for the virus. So far 621 cases of the virus, which has been named COVID-19, have been confirmed among the the Diamond Princess’s original 3,711 people on board.

Russia so far has reported only two cases of the disease on its soil. Two Chinese nationals diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized in two different regions of Siberia in late January have recovered and have been released from hospitals.


See more AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak


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Anniversary of Baltic Sea ferry wreck that killed 852 marked


The sinking of a Baltic Sea ferry that killed 852 individuals has been noticed 25 years after one in every of Europe’s deadliest maritime disasters.

The MS Estonia was broken by excessive waves and sank whereas touring from Estonia’s capital to Stockholm early on Sept. 28, 1994. The wreck had 137 survivors.

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid marked Saturday’s anniversary by laying a wreath at a memorial in Tallinn for the victims. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Crown Princess Victoria led the same commemoration in Stockholm.

Together with the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, the MS Estonia wreck is among the many worst peacetime disasters involving a European ship.

The our bodies of most victims stay entombed on the ferry, which rests on the seabed some 80 meters (264 toes) beneath the ocean’s floor.


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Russia requested to clarify alleged doping knowledge tampering


The World Anti-Doping Company is giving Russia three weeks to clarify attainable indicators of tampering with knowledge from its doping laboratory that was essential to prosecuting circumstances in opposition to athletes alleged to have cheated on the 2014 Olympics and different main occasions.

WADA heard in regards to the attainable tampering at its govt committee assembly Monday in Tokyo. Turning over the info was a key requirement for the reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping company, and WADA has formally opened a compliance process that would result in a brand new ban if the info was manipulated.

Russia’s sports activities minister Pavel Kolobkov mentioned his workplace had been instructed in regards to the discrepancies between the info turned over by a whistleblower and knowledge from the lab, which was getting used to corroborate the whistleblower data. He indicated that Russian technical specialists can have entry to the assessment.

“What, precisely, these inconsistencies are and what they’re associated to, that can be cleared up by specialists within the area of digital know-how from either side, who’re already cooperating,” Kolobkov mentioned. “From our facet, we are going to proceed to supply all attainable help.”

The info was handed over to WADA in January after Russia breached an earlier deadline of Dec. 31, 2018. It has already been used to convey circumstances in opposition to athletes in weightlifting and biathlon, and WADA mentioned it will proceed to pursue circumstances whereas this newest assessment is ongoing.

WADA has been criticized for reinstating RUSADA beneath phrases much less stringent than the unique roadmap. However director normal Olivier Niggli instructed The Related Press he stood by the choice.

“I imagine it was really a vital choice and completely the correct choice,” Niggli mentioned. “I am satisfied that we’d not have the info if we had not taken that call, so we’d not even be speaking about it at present. There would nonetheless be a cloud of suspicion and nothing would have gone ahead.”

WADA wouldn’t set a agency timetable on a choice. The case is heating up a couple of days earlier than the beginning of the monitor world championships in Doha, the place 30 Russians will compete as impartial athletes whereas Russia’s monitor federation stays beneath suspension by the game’s governing physique.


AP Sports activities Author James Ellingworth reported from Duesseldorf, Germany.


Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Sigmund Jaehn,1st German in area as 1970s cosmonaut, dies


Sigmund Jaehn, who turned the primary German in area on the peak of the Chilly Warfare in the course of the 1970s and was promoted as a hero by communist authorities in East Germany, has died. He was 82.

The German Aerospace Heart mentioned Sunday on its web site that Jaehn died Saturday. The middle didn’t give the reason for dying. German information company dpa mentioned he died at his house in Strausberg, outdoors of Berlin.

Astrophysicist Pascale Ehrenfreund, who chairs the German Aerospace Heart’s govt board, mentioned the middle was deeply saddened by Jaehn’s dying and that German aerospace had misplaced a “globally revered cosmonaut, scientist and engineer.”

“The primary German in area at all times noticed himself as a bridge builder between East and West and for a peaceable use of area” Ehrenfreund mentioned.

Jaehn flew to the Soviet area station Salyut 6 on Aug. 26, 1978 and spent virtually eight days in area. Upon his return, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. The East German authorities showcased his achievement as proof of the communist state’s superiority over capitalist West Germany.

Whereas Jaehn was a family title for a era of East Germans, he remained largely unknown in West Germany. German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Jaehn final 12 months on the 40th anniversary of his area flight as “a powerful man and a reasonably quiet hero.”

“It’s excessive time for his braveness and his work to be acknowledged not simply within the east however in all of Germany,” Scholz mentioned.

Jaehn was born Feb. 13, 1937, in Morgenroethe-Rautenkranz, a village close to the Czech border. After he completed college, he educated as a printer earlier than becoming a member of the East German air drive in 1955. He turned an officer and a fighter pilot with the Nationwide Individuals’s Military within the late 1950s.

Between 1966 and 1970, he studied on the Gagarin Navy Air Academy in Monino, close to Moscow. After returning to East Germany, he labored within the air drive administration, the place he was in control of pilot training and flight security.

After the autumn of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Germany’s reunification a 12 months later, Jaehn turned an adviser to the German Aerospace Heart and the European Area Company. He helped put together future astronauts for area missions till his retirement in 2002.

Recalling his seven days, 20 hours and 49 minutes in area, throughout which he orbited the Earth 124 occasions, Jaehn mentioned final 12 months that he vividly remembered the various sunrises he noticed throughout his mission.

“It is not just one; each 1½ hours you’ll be able to see the solar rise. It’s extremely quick. One can see precisely how the solar goes up and down and exhibits its many colours,” Jaehn informed the day by day Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Jaehn mentioned that not like many individuals, he had no issues getting used to zero gravity. “I did not even get sick. I assumed it was very nice,” he mentioned.

He mentioned if he had grown up in West Germany, he in all probability would by no means have made it into area.

“I did not go to college instantly. … I used to be the perfect scholar, however my father needed me to grow to be a printer. While you’re 14, you hearken to your dad and mom,” he remembered.

“I caught up on the whole lot later, received my college entrance diploma, went to college,” he added. “However within the West, they nonetheless typically prefer to say: This Jaehn, he solely was a easy employee.”

Jaehn was married and had two daughters.


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Protests erupt in opposition to proposed waste plant in NW Russia


A number of thousand folks took to the streets throughout northwest Russia on Sunday to protest a controversial plan to construct a serious waste plant there.

Police within the regional capital of Arkhangelsk mentioned that about 1,000 folks attended a rally there whereas native media reported that greater than 2,000 protesters confirmed up. Locals held Russian flags and placards saying, “Let’s stand for the Russian north.”

Protesters additionally rallied in opposition to the dump in additional than a dozen cities.

Russian media reported that three activists had been detained on the Arkhangelsk rally on costs associated to their participation in unsanctioned rallies earlier this 12 months.

The outcry in opposition to plans for the waste plant in a pristine Russian forest gained nationwide prominence earlier this 12 months after the regional authorities agreed to course of and bury a few of Moscow’s waste at a brand new web site at a distant railroad station.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has requested native officers to heed public considerations however the development challenge has not been shelved.


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Albania inspects quake damages, sees over 100 aftershocks


Many Albanians within the capital of Tirana and the port metropolis of Durres haven’t gone again house after a 5.eight magnitude earthquake injured 105 individuals and broken a whole lot of houses.

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Authorities say the Saturday afternoon quake was adopted by greater than 100 aftershocks. It additionally broken about 600 houses and knocked out energy and water services in Tirana, Durres and another western and central districts. Many individuals fled their houses and had been staying in short-term shelters as specialists inspected broken houses Sunday.

Protection Minister Olta Xhacka, talking at a Cupboard assembly Sunday that felt one of many aftershocks, mentioned “fortunately oil wells weren’t broken.”

Positioned alongside the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is earthquake-prone and registers seismic exercise each few days.


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Estonia plans to limit govt use of Huawei 5G expertise


Estonia, which is amongst Europe’s most wired and technologically superior nations, is ready to limit the usage of tools and expertise from Chinese language telecom large Huawei in its authorities sector, citing safety issues and suggestions by the U.S., a key NATO ally.

The Estonian information web site Delfi reported Friday that International Commerce and Expertise Minister Kert Kingo started an professional group in June with the intention of setting insurance policies and requirements this yr for the usage of expertise in Estonian authorities establishments.

Its chief, Raul Rikk, mentioned the group had already taken a transparent place that Huawei shouldn’t be allowed to offer expertise for 5G networks in Estonia.

Rikk mentioned the difficulty is not the standard of Huawei’s software program and {hardware} “however whether or not these units can be utilized for political functions sooner or later.”


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Prague to take away monument to WWII Soviet commander


A district in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is ready to take away a statue of a Soviet World Conflict II commander Ivan Konev from its website, a transfer that may probably anger Russia.

Marshall Konev led the Crimson Military forces that liberated giant elements of Czechoslovakia from the Nazi occupation in 1945. His monument, unveiled within the Prague 6 district in 1980, has been a supply of controversy.

Russia vehemently protested when an explanatory textual content about Konev’s position in crushing the 1956 anti-Soviet rebellion in Hungary and making ready the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia was connected to his monument final yr.

After it was focused by vandals, Prague 6 representatives agreed Thursday to take away it, a transfer that has been criticized by Russia and pro-Russian Czech president Milos Zeman.

Konev must be changed by a brand new monument.


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General: US faces ‘Sputnik moment’ in space race competition


The U.S. has reached a new “Sputnik moment” in which the military must act to keep the nation’s competitive advantage in space against adversaries such as Russia, China, and to a lesser extent, Iran and North Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

Gen. Joseph Dunford made his comments during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base recognizing the re-launch of U.S. Space Command.

He compared President Donald Trump’s re-boot of the U.S. Space Command to President John Kennedy’s call to action after the Soviet Union started the space race with Sputnik, the first space satellite launched in 1957, and with 1961’s first manned trip into space.

“In my view, it’s not an overstatement to say that we’re at another Sputnik moment,” Dunford said. “And you could argue that the stakes are much higher than they were in the late 1950s and early 1960s.”

The Pentagon had a U.S. Space Command from 1985 to 2002, but it was disbanded in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks to focus on homeland defense. Trump said in December he would re-establish the Space Command with the goal of improving the organization space operations across the U.S. military and to speed up technical developments.

Space Command is not Space Force, a separate military service that Trump wants but which Congress must approve. In a White House ceremony last week, the president said Space Command represents a recognition of the central role of space in security and defense.

Russia and China are placing greater emphasis on their space capabilities, and have developed technology and weapons that could disrupt or destroy satellites, Dunford said.

Iran and North Korea have less developed capabilities, they still pose a threat, he added.

Space Command has become necessary to not only compete, but will be essential to the nation’s ability to fight wars, he said.

“I learned early in my career the value of seizing the high ground in a fight,” Dunford said. “Space command will seize and hold the high ground.”

Space Command’s new commander, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, said he wants to deter war in space by focusing on building forces that would win a cosmic battle and keep U.S. “space superiority.”

“We will develop ready and lethal space forces,” Raymond said. “We will take our existing space warfighting culture established by the original United States Space Command, honed in the Cold War and hardened in the many conflicts since, and adapt it to today’s strategic environment.”

The initial Space Command headquarters is Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, which is also home to other units with space operations, including missile defense warning systems.


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Russian army says 2 useless, four injured by rocket explosion


Russia’s Protection Ministry mentioned a rocket engine exploded throughout a check Thursday, killing two folks and injuring 4 others. Native officers reported a slight improve in radiation ranges in a close-by metropolis.

The ministry mentioned the explosion occurred at a army capturing vary in Nyonoksa within the northwestern Arkhangelsk area, inflicting a hearth. It mentioned six servicemen and civilian engineers have been injured, and two of them later died of their accidents.

Some Russian information stories cited unidentified sources who mentioned as much as 15 folks have been injured.

Nyonoksa hosts a navy facility that serves as a base for testing intercontinental ballistic missiles meant for nuclear submarines.

The ministry mentioned there was no launch of radioactivity or any poisonous substances, however the native administration in Severodvinsk, 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Nyonoksa, reported a small, transient improve in radiation ranges.

The town administration mentioned the radiation degree rose to 2 microsieverts per hour for about 30 minutes earlier than returning to the pure degree of 0.1 microsieverts per hour. In keeping with customary procedures, emergency officers issued a warning to all staff to remain indoors however authorities insisted that the town’s residents by no means have been in any hazard.

The radiation degree of two microsieverts per hour is just barely larger than the pure background radiation, which might fluctuate between 0.1 and 0.four microsieverts per hour. It is decrease than the cosmic radiation that aircraft passengers are uncovered to on a trans-ocean flight.

Nonetheless, the radiation warning spooked residents, upsetting intense discussions on social networks.

The explosion Thursday in Nyonoksa adopted a large fireplace that erupted Monday at a army ammunition depot close to Achinsk in jap Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk area. The blaze triggered highly effective explosions that continued for about 16 hours, killing one individual, injuring 13 others and forcing over 16,500 folks to flee their properties.


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