subheading: Though insects are a part of our daily lives, they provoke strong and often negative emotions. And yet, they are precious allies of biodiversity. What if we learned to get to know them, so as to better appreciate them?

Since Russia's invasion, Ukrainian artists and cultural workers swiftly has been shifting their focus to contributing to war efforts, including on the front lines. But they are also working to maintain and promote Ukraine's unique artistic and cultural heritage.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again reiterated his favourite sentiment: “It was only after the October Revolution that various quasi-states appeared and the Soviet government created Soviet Ukraine. It is a well-known fact.” To historian Alexander Orlov such statements are not only incorrect, but they show the Russian government's "passeism", the hostility towards the present and future.

The textbook (without giving context) quotes Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov’s statement regarding Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union: “Our cause is just! The enemy will be defeated! Victory will be ours!” It is supposed to become a part of the school curriculum starting September 1, 2023. However, the publication Podyom (“Rise”) writes that the textbook will not be mandatory, citing the Russian Word publishing house.

Over the last 14 months, Russia has abducted thousands of Ukrainian civilians, from volunteers and journalists to former soldiers and officials, and locked them in Russian prisons. Most of them are not allowed to communicate with their lawyers or loved ones and without knowing reasons for their incarceration. Now Ukrainians who have been released from the facilities, as well as with their relatives and lawyers, talk about how this clandestine prison system works.

Press freedom advocates have increasingly been criticising “lawfare”, the misuse of the law to silence critical voices. It typically involves charges not directly related to journalism and is more and more a common tool among corrupt and authoritarian regimes keen to fight freedom of expression. Instead of being targeted for the words published or spoken, journalists, publishers and editors are pursued on supposedly unrelated charges.

“We need to stop disguising military threats as ‘political compromises’”: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk warns of Russian imperialism
The Ukrainian laywer and human rights activist says that Putin does not fear Nato but democracy and claims that Russia "has to be stopped in Ukraine" to not go further in its imperialistic expansion. "The imprisoned peoples of Belarus, Chechnya, Dagestan, Tatarstan, Yakutiia, and others endure forced russification, the expropriation of natural resources, and prohibitions on their own language and culture." [Speech transcript in English and German, or watch the recording in English.]

Iryna Gorobtsova was abducted by Russian forces from the home where she grew up in Kherson. She has now spent a year in a Crimean prison, with virtually no contact with the outside world.

True Russia, a non-profit organisation founded by Russian artists and economists who oppose the war, have created a constantly growing database of social, cultural and scientific initiatives of communities around the world - from distance jobs for academics to remote IT assignments, and from housing initiatives to psychological help.

Over 100 Nobel Laureates demand release of Belarusian peace laureate Ales Bialiatski
PEN International, the literary and free expression organisation, has released a letter signed by 103 Nobel Laureates, expressing solidarity with writer, human rights defender, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and PEN member Ales Bialiatski, and condemning the Belarusian authorities’ brutal, relentless, and systematic crackdown on independent voices.

Imagine if every person in the world could have a conversation with another person, across all borders. A Chinese woman from Shanghai and an American woman from the Rust Belt would exchange stories about their lives. A coal miner from Germany and a small farmer from Madagascar could share their experience of climate change. A cleaning woman from Greece could debate a teacher from Hungary about migration and LGBTQ rights. What would such conversations change?

Book bans by the Russian government increased soon after the invasion in Ukraine, with literature featuring LGBT themes and works by authors critical of Putin became scarce. But the censorship triggered a notable reaction as the Russian book market experiences a rise in sales of books by “foreign agents” such as Mikhail Zygar and Tamara Eidelman, and there is increased demand for dystopian novels and books exploring German life during World War II.

Between 2017 and 2022, more than 7,000 human rights violations were documented in occupied Crimea by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, 5,613 of which were against members of the Crimean Tatar people. Since Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, repressions have persisted, marked by accusations solely based on ethnicity and the Crimean Tatar's unwavering fight for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The relentless onslaught against the peninsula's Indigenous people is nothing but a genocide, a researcher says.

True Russia, a non-profit organisation founded by Russian artists and economists who oppose the war, have created a constantly growing database of social, cultural and scientific initiatives of communities around the world - from distance jobs for academics to remote IT assignments, and from housing initiatives to psychological help.

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