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Russia will not steal Christmas, says Kiev mayor as he inaugurates festive tree

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Officials in the Ukrainian capital lit up a Christmas tree in the city center on Monday, assuring that they would not let Russia “steal” this Christmas from Ukrainian children.
 
The day began with a series of attacks on a set of critical infrastructure in Kiev. But by the end of the day, a 12-meter-high artificial tree was installed in the center of the capital, symbolically decorated with doves of Peace.
 
A few dozen residents braved the freezing cold to admire the tree – which is adjacent to Kiev’s Saint Sophia Cathedral and its famous golden domes – and take selfies.
 
Among them, the tour operator Natalya. She is delighted with the AFP: the tree “brings a festive atmosphere in such a difficult period ».
 
It is such an emblematic element of our holiday season,” she added, pointing to the tree illuminated by a constellation of blue and yellow dots, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
 
At the top is the country’s coat of arms, which represents a golden trident.
 
“The Russians are trying to deprive our citizens of a normal life, but we will not let them steal the biggest holidays – New Year and Christmas – from our children,” said the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, at the inauguration of the tree.
 
According to Orthodox tradition, Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7, but polls show a growing number of people preferring to move the date to December 25, in line with other churches.
 
An Interfax-Ukraine poll shows that support for this change has increased from 26% in 2021 to 44% in 2022.
 
Kiev City Hall had initially hesitated to install the tree, said the mayor, referring to the attacks by Russian forces that caused power outages and exhausted the Ukrainian electricity grid.
 
As a result, millions of people were left without electricity in the middle of winter.
 
In this context, the city has adapted. The fairy lights of the tree are therefore powered by a diesel generator, and the decorations from previous years are reused.
  
“We called it ‘the Christmas tree of Ukrainian invincibility,'” Klitschko said, stressing that everything was done “to make sure that children have a vacation despite the difficult times.”
 
But it is difficult to ignore the conflict and get into the Christmas spirit.
 
“There is no particular festive atmosphere,” Tetyana Prykhodko, an accountant, told AFP.
 
She has just moved from Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine occupied for months by Russian forces.
 
“I just hope that, finally, everything will end, and peace will come. We are all waiting for it,” she says.

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In front of Tucker Carlson, Vladimir Putin ironizes on the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

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In front of Tucker Carlson, Vladimir Putin ironizes on the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines., Magnate Daily
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Steph Deschamps / February 10, 2024
 
Nearly two years after the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian president was interviewed by the former Fox News star host, who is hardly critical of Moscow.
 
A joke and a laugh, proving that Vladimir Putin was rather relaxed for his first interview with a Western journalist since the start of the war in Ukraine. The Russian president was interviewed on Thursday February 8 by former Fox News star Tucker Carlson, who is not very critical of Moscow. Vladimir Putin took advantage of this favorable interlocutor to slip in a little joke.
 
The conservative journalist, who is close to Donald Trump, asked the Kremlin leader about the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022.
  
“Who blew up Nord Stream?” he asked. “You did,” Vladimir Putin replied with a smirk. With an embarrassed laugh, Tucker Carlson continued: “I was too busy that day. I didn’t blow up Nord Stream”. “You personally have an alibi, but the CIA doesn’t,” retorted the Russian president, more seriously.
 
The explosion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines on September 26, 2022, causing four huge gas leaks into the international waters of the Baltic Sea, has given rise to numerous nebulous theories on Russia’s part. Many of these point to Ukraine’s responsibility.
 
Various media investigations have attributed this responsibility to Ukraine, Russia or the USA, but all have denied it. Three investigations have been opened into the matter, in Germany, Sweden and Denmark. The Swedish investigation was the first to end on Wednesday, without any prosecution.
 
“There is no indication that Sweden or Swedish citizens were involved in this attack, which took place in international waters,” the Swedish prosecutor said in a statement. “The conclusion of the investigation is that it is not within Swedish jurisdiction and that the investigation should therefore be closed,” he said.
 
In addition to the Nord Stream sabotage, Vladimir Putin also spoke at length with Tucker Carlson about the war in Ukraine. In particular, he felt that a Russian defeat in Ukraine was “impossible”. “It will never happen [defeat]. It seems to me that now, those in power in the West are also aware of this,” added the man who launched the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
 
In his two-hour message to America and the West, he also said: “If you really want to stop the fighting, you must stop supplying arms”, in reference to Western aid to Kiev, as Politico points out. He added: “The situation will be resolved in a few weeks. » 
  
The Kremlin leader also ruled out an invasion of Poland or Latvia. “Can you imagine a scenario in which you send Russian troops into Poland?” asked Tucker Carlson. “Only in one scenario, if Poland attacks Russia,” Vladimir Putin replied.
 
The Russian president also took the view that the election of a new US president, scheduled for November 5and expected to pit Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Joe Biden, would not change relations between the United States and Russia.
 
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are both full of praise for each other. The former has boasted, without further elaboration, that he could resolve the war in Ukraine in 24 hours if re-elected. President Joe Biden, on the other hand, has described his Russian counterpart as a war criminal, and is unwavering in his support for Kiev.
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King Charles III diagnosed with cancer, Prince Harry to visit UK

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King Charles III diagnosed with cancer, Prince Harry to visit UK, Magnate Daily
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Steph Deschamps / February 7, 2024

 

The 75-year-old British monarch was diagnosed with cancer during prostate surgery ten days ago.
 
Prince Harry, exiled to the USA with his family, has spoken to his father King Charles III after his cancer diagnosis and will visit him in the UK in the next few days, the British news agency PA quoted a source close to the Duke of Sussex as saying.
 
The 75-year-old British monarch was diagnosed with cancer during prostate surgery ten days ago, and has begun treatment, although he has no plans to cease all activities, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday.
 
Charles’s youngest son, who lives in California with his wife Meghan and their two children, will therefore be returning to British soil despite notorious tensions with his father and older brother William, the source said. For security reasons, details of his trip to the UK have not been released.
 
Harry, 39, and his wife Meghan, 42, relinquished their royal duties in early 2020 due to conflicts and tensions, including accusations of racism, and media pressure.
 
The couple subsequently continued to criticize the British establishment, through an uncompromising autobiography by the prince, a documentary series on Netflix and an interview with the influential Oprah Winfrey.
 
Since the funeral of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Prince Harry has made only one whirlwind trip to his father’s coronation on May 6, 2023 – without Meghan – and another a few weeks later to testify in a trial pitting him against a tabloid newspaper, against which he is waging numerous legal battles.
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Second day in hospital for King Charles III

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Second day in hospital for King Charles III, Magnate Daily
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Sylvie Claire / January 29, 2024

 

King Charles III, who underwent prostate surgery on Friday, is spending his second day in a London clinic on Saturday, where he was visited by his wife Camilla.
 
The 75-year-old king arrived with Camilla at the London Clinic on Friday morning, where Kate, wife of Crown Prince William, who underwent abdominal surgery last week, is also hospitalized.
 
Shortly after Charles’ operation, the Queen told people inside the clinic on Friday afternoon that Charles was “doing well”, according to British media reports. It was not specified when he would be discharged.
 
Camilla visited him mid-day on Saturday for around three hours.
 
Last week, Le Palais announced its diagnosis of prostate hypertrophy, to encourage screening for this very common and generally harmless condition in men of a certain age.
 
The Palais insisted on the routine nature of this procedure, which affects “thousands of men every year ».
 
Charles III, who succeeded Elizabeth II in September 2022, had cancelled several public engagements last week to rest. Following his operation, he will have to undergo a “short period” of convalescence, the duration of which has not been specified.
 
Princess Kate, 42, has been hospitalized at the London Clinic since January 16. The pathology from which she suffers has not been revealed.
 
The princely couple’s departments assured us that her abdominal surgery had been “successful”, and asked that her privacy be respected, demanding “that her personal medical information remain confidential”. The only information leaked by the monarchy was that it was not cancer.
 
On January 17, the princely couple’s staff indicated that she would have to remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days. She is unlikely to resume her public activities before the end of March.
 
Prince William has cancelled a number of public engagements while she recovers from her operation.
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