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  • OSINTSUM: Monday 13 May 2024

OSINTSUM: Monday 13 May 2024

Shoigu replaced as Russian defence minister, AfD extremist designation upheld, and Argentinian poverty rises

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OSINTSUM
Global Situation Update
Monday 13 May 2024

International

Climate Change: Analysis of the world’s top 60 banks underwriting and lending policies shows they have given nearly $7tn worth of funding to the fossil fuel industry since the 2016 Paris agreement was signed by 196 countries with the intention of limiting global warming as a result of carbon emissions.
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Africa

Burundi: Rwanda has denied claims by neighbouring Burundi that it armed the RED-Tabara rebel group suspected of carrying out a grenade attack on Friday which injured 38 people, in an incident that has further strained already tense relations between the two countries.
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Sudan: Weaponised fire destroyed more villages and towns in the west in April than in any other month since the country’s civil war began just over a year ago according to a report by Sudan Witness, a project run by the Center for Information Resilience. 72 settlements were destroyed or damaged by fire last month, bringing the total number since the conflict began to 201.
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Tunisia: The National Guard reported a 22.5% rise in the number of migrants being “intercepted on shore or rescued at sea” as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Italy. It added that 21,545 people were intercepted between 1 January and 30 April, compared to 17,756 in the same period last year.
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Asia/Oceania

Armenia: Police detained 88 people at an anti-government protest in the capital Yerevan, where demonstrators were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his decision to cede several border villages to neighbouring Azerbaijan.
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Vietnam: Russian President Vladimir Putin is thought to be scheduled to visit Vietnam as early as next week in what would be his first visit to the country since 2017. Vietnam is not party to the Rome Statute, so is not compelled to arrest Putin for war crimes under the arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court.
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Europe

Georgia: Thousands of people again protested against the Georgia’s proposed foreign agents law - which critics liken to Russian legislation and say is a threat to media freedom and the country’s aspirations to join the European Union - over the weekend.
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Germany: A Muenster court upheld a 2022 ruling that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, BfV, was justified in designating the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as a suspected case of extremism. AfD could still seek to appeal the verdict at a federal court.
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Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party won a clear victory in Catalonia’s regional election, with Carles Puigdemont and fellow separatists losing their majority after ten years in power and seven years after Puigdemont led a failed independence bid that triggered the country’s worst political crisis in decades.
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Turkey: Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to visit Ankara for talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan aimed at maintaining the positive momentum the countries’ historically-strained bilateral ties have been building over the past months.
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UK: The government’s advisor on political violence has recommended introducing a new category for designating and banning “extreme protest groups” - defined as those employing “criminal tactics” to achieve their aims - naming Palestine Action and Just Stop Oil as two groups who would fall under the definition.
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UK: Three men have been charged under the National Security Act for allegedly assisting Hong Kong intelligence services and foreign interference.
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Israel/Hamas

Israel: Thousands of Israelis joined protests over the weekend to call for a deal to bring home hostages still being held in Gaza by Hamas, early elections, and the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Hamas: Israel is unsure of the whereabouts of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar - one of their most wanted individuals - according to officials, but believe he may be in underground tunnels in the southern Khan Younis area.
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US: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has defended a decision to pause a delivery of 3,500 bombs to Israel over concerns they could be used in the Gazan city of Rafah, saying Israel lacked a "credible plan" to protect the 1.4 million civilians sheltering there.
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Latin America/Caribbean

Argentina: Almost 60% of Argentinians are now living in poverty compared with 44% in December last year according to a report by the Catholic University. The rise has been put down to the loss of thousands of jobs caused by President Javier Milei’s closure of various government agencies, a halt on almost 90% of public construction works, and low levels of beef consumption.
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Middle East

Iraq: Companies from China have won five more bids to explore Iraqi oil and gas fields, meaning Chinese companies now have licenses covering ten oil and gas fields, while the Iraqi Kurdish KAR Group has two. There are still another 17 licenses to be awarded.
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Iraq: Iraq’s government has called for the United Nations to end the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), its long-standing political mission in Iraq, by 2025, saying it has outlived its necessity and was restricting the country’s sovereignty.
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Syria: The Syrian regime has appointed a number of officers close to Russia to high-level positions in its Air Force Intelligence branches in Homs, Hama, and the coastal region, pulling these teams away from Iranian influence.
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Russia/Ukraine

Russia: President Vladimir Putin has removed Sergei Shoigu as defence minister and replaced him with civilian economist and former deputy prime minister Andrei Belousov. Shoigu will replace Nikolai Patrushev as secretary of Russia’s Security Council.
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Russia: Gas company Gazprom announced an annual net loss of $7bn - its first since 1999, indicating that its increased sales to China are not filling the gap left by its lost sales to Europe - its largest customer until 2022 when the EU cut imports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Ukraine: Thousands of civilians have been evacuated from the front lines in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region as Russia’s fresh ground offensive saw it capture four more villages in the area yesterday.
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Image of AfD members at a conference in 2017 by Olaf Kosinsky / kosinsky.eu

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