The Daily Populous

Sunday July 16th, 2023 evening edition

image for Putin says Russia will use cluster bombs in Ukraine if it has to

Cluster munitions are banned in more than 100 countries because they typically release large numbers of smaller bomblets that can kill indiscriminately over a wide area.

Some of them inevitably fail to explode and can pose a danger for decades, particularly to children.

Kyiv has said it will use cluster bombs to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers when trying to take back its own territory, but will not use them on Russian territory.

"I want to note that in the Russian Federation there is a sufficient stockpile of different kinds of cluster bombs.

Putin said he regarded the use of cluster bombs as a crime and that Russia had so far not needed to use them itself despite having suffered its own ammunition issues in the past.

Human Rights Watch says both Moscow and Kyiv have used cluster munitions.

Russia, Ukraine and the U.S. have not signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the production, stockpiling, use and transfer of the weapons. »

Future Flashpoint: Armenia & Azerbaijan

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While Armenia and Azerbaijan are next-door neighbours, like many next-door neighbours, they hate each other like the Devil hates holy water.

While the Soviet Union was in its hay-day, the Iron Curtain stretched far and wide across this region.

The fact that they presented themselves as Christians meant they could leverage huge amounts of support from the rich Western Christian world. »

Twitter's free speech approach backed by Taliban official

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Elon Musk's approach of rejecting censorship and defending freedom of speech on Twitter has received some unexpected support from Afghanistan's ruling Taliban.

Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban official with no government portfolio, said that the social media platform had "two major advantages" over other platforms.

Anas Haqqani, brother of the influential Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, is one of the young figures of the Taliban movement. »

'Simply Medieval': Russian Soldiers Held In Pits And Cellars For Refusing To Fight In Ukraine

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RFE/RL was unable to independently confirm that Frolov was held in that cellar for refusing to fight in Ukraine, though the Spassk-Dalny military court's website states he was convicted of insubordination.

He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, according to Astra, which cited his relatives and fellow soldiers.

Popova told RFE/RL's Russian Service that soldiers who are subjected to such punishment are often hesitant to undertake a legal fight as well. »