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  • OSINTSUM: Thursday 13 June 2024

OSINTSUM: Thursday 13 June 2024

Russian naval vessels arrive in Cuba, China criticises EU tariffs, and India requests Russia return its citizens

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OSINTSUM
Global Situation Update
Thursday 13 June 2024

International

Humanitarian: The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, reported that a record 120 million people have been displaced worldwide due to war, violence, and persecution in places such as Gaza, Sudan, and Myanmar, a number it describes as a “terrible indictment on the state of the world”.
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NATO: Secretary-General Jens Stoltenburg said the bloc is adapting its nuclear arsenal and other capabilities in response to Russia’s latest nuclear rhetoric and drills ahead of a two-day NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, which will include a gathering of its nuclear planning group.
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Africa

Canary Islands: An unprecedented nearly 5,000 migrants have died at sea in the first five months of 2024 trying to reach the Canary Islands, according to a report released by migration rights group Walking Borders yesterday.
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Italy: Africa is set to be high on Italy’s agenda at this year’s G7 Group of Nations leaders meeting, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni aiming to position her country as a key energy hub between the continent and Europe.
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Niger: The withdrawal of US assets and forces from Niger has progressed from initial preparations to redeployment with the departure of a US C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Air Base 1010 in Niamey last week.
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South Africa: Politicians are expected to elect South Africa’s president tomorrow after being sworn in at the first sitting of parliament which will also reveal what kind of unity government the ruling African National Congress has managed to put together after it lost its majority for the first time since 1994 in recent national elections.
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Sudan: Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been accused of violating a UN arms embargo by supplying drones to the warring sides in Sudan’s 14-month civil war, with Iran alleged to be supplying the Sudanese Armed Forces and the UAE thought to be supplying the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
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Asia/Oceania

Myanmar: Myanmar’s military government is increasing its use of Chinese UAVs in its fight against rebel militia groups, having procured thousands of commercial UAVs at the start of the year which it is now arming with locally-manufactured munitions.
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North Korea: China and Russia failed in an attempt to block a UN Security Council meeting on human rights abuses in North Korea yesterday. They argued that due to its topic the meeting - which heard that life for North Koreans is a “daily struggle devoid of hope” - should have been held by the UN Human Rights Council.
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Europe

Armenia: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Armenia is to leave the Collective Security Treaty Organisation - a Russia-dominated security alliance of several ex-Soviet nations - in further evidence of a widening diplomatic rift with Russia.
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Armenia: Protesters have again gathered outside the Armenian parliament as pressure grows on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign over a controversial peace deal with neighbouring Azerbaijan.
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Europe: Airbus has highlighted the impact of growing trade tensions after the EU followed the US in raising tariffs on Chinese electronic vehicles. While not commenting on the move directly, it said trade tariffs were challenging for global businesses and increased complexity and costs for their supply-chain.
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Europe: China has described the recently imposed EU tariffs on its electric vehicles as protectionist behaviour and stated it hopes the bloc will correct its “wrong practices” and handle trade frictions through dialogue.
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Germany: Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced plans to introduce new legislation that would fast-track the entry of young men into joining its depleted military which would allow the government to send letters to all young men who turn 18 - around 400,000 per year - asking about their willingness to serve.
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Hungary: The European Court of Justice has fined Hungary 200 million euros and a further one million euros per day for failing to comply with the bloc’s asylum rules, saying it had not taken measures necessary to comply with a previous judgment it made in 2020.
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Israel/Gaza

Gaza: The World Health Organisation warned a significant proportion of Gaza’s population are now suffering from “catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions”. Over 8,000 children under five have been diagnosed for acute malnutrition, 1,600 of which are categorised as “severe”.
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Lebanon: Hezbollah said it would intensify its attacks along the Lebanon-Israel border in revenge for the killing of its most senior military commander. Abu Taleb, by Israel since Hamas’ 7 October incursion last year.
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Latin America/Caribbean

Argentina: Violent protests have broken out in Buenos Aires after the Senate narrowly approve President Javier Miliei’s first set of austerity measures, which will see large-scale economic deregulation and cuts to public services, with police deploying water cannon and tear gas.
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Bolivia: China is providing financial support and strategic investments to Bolivia as the South American nation faces one of its worst economic crises in its history, in a move which is likely to shift its economic dependence away from the US.
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Cuba: Russian frigate the Admiral Gorshkov and nuclear-powered submarine Kazan have arrived in Cuba along with a tug boat and a fuel ship for a five-day visit which is being seen as a “show of force” by Moscow amid rising tensions over its invasion of Ukraine.
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Middle East

Iran: Iran is responding to last week’s International Atomic Energy Agency board resolution against it by expanding its uranium-enrichment capacity at two underground sites, but the escalation is not as big as some diplomats predicted.
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Iran: French national Louis Arnaud has arrive in France after being released by Iran, where he had been imprisoned for 20 months for allegedly taking part in nationwide anti-government protests.
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Qatar/Bahrain: Qatar and Bahrain announced the exchange of ambassadors for the first time since 2017 in the latest in a series of steps aimed at improving bilateral relations since the Gulf reconciliation in 2021.
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Russia/Ukraine

India: India has urged Russia to return Indian citizens fighting in its army against Ukraine after two were recently killed. India has avoided voting against Russia - with whom it cooperates on defence, energy, and space exploration - at the UN or criticising President Vladimir Putin since the invasion began.
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Russia: The United States is aware of what it said were credible reports that Russia was listing abducted Ukrainian children on adoption websites, according to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who described it as "despicable and appalling".
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Saudi Arabia: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an unannounced visit to Jeddah yesterday, where he discussed preparations for a peace summit this weekend with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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Ukraine: Ukraine’s military launched its new Unmanned Systems Force, a new branch focused exclusively on drone warfare, after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously announced the creation of the branch in February.
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Ukraine: Leaders of the G7 Group of Nations have agreed to engineer a $50bn loan to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, and will use interest earned on profits from frozen Russian assets as collateral.
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US: The US has expanded its Russia-related sanctions to target 300 individuals and firms in China, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates accused of aiding Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
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US/Canada

US: US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said he believes China’s primary focus is on its economy and that it is determined to work on improving and stabilising bilateral relations with the US. While answering questions about Chinese activity in the South China Sea, he stated “It’s very hard for China to take certain steps without harming its own economy”.
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