On the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to visit the war-torn country and show support to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Over the weekend, Vice President Kamala Harris chimed in more than the American people have become accustomed to.
“From the starting days of this unprovoked war, we have witnessed Russian forces engage in horrendous atrocities and war crimes,” Harris said the annual Munich Security Conference.
“We have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: These are crimes against humanity” she continued.“Let us all agree on behalf of all the victims, both known and unknown, justice must be served.”
President Joe Biden expressed his support by taking a train to meet President Zelensky and walking the streets of Kyiv as sirens blared in the background. Biden promised Ukraine a new half-billion dollar package of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars.
National Review reports: “In total, Congress has authorized $113 billion in military and economic funding for the war-torn country. About $30 million in spending was also authorized to keep track of the war crimes Russia has been committing, the Wall Street Journal noted.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a statement Saturday referencing war crimes as well: “We reserve crimes against humanity determinations for the most egregious crimes,” he said. The formal declaration from the U.S., he said, “underlines [the] staggering extent of the human suffering inflicted by Moscow on the Ukrainian civilian population.”
National Review reports on what accusations of war crimes means:
The determination is mostly symbolic and does not yield immediate repercussions for Russia, but it demonstrates the United States’ continued resolve against the aggressor in the conflict.
The United Nations defines a crime against humanity as an act, including murder, extermination, enslavement, and others, that is done as part of widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.
National Review adds that Russia has rejected allegations that it has conducted criminal campaigns against civilians in Ukraine.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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