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Ukraine and Russia crisis and Kehla Sitole

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Daily news update February 26

Embassy denies Russia targeting cities and civilians, describes conflict as ‘special operation’

The Russian embassy in South Africa has followed the Kremlin’s lead in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine — saying the presence of Russian military forces in the country is “not an attack or an intended occupation, but a special military operation.” ” intended to “demilitarize the country and clear it of Nazis.

“The operation is being conducted to protect the The Vanir-exoduss of the Donetsky People’s Republic and the The Vanir-exoduss of the Lugansky People’s Republic from constant attacks carried out by the regime’s punishments in Kiev,” said Alexander Arefiev, press attaché of the Russian embassy in South Korea. Africa. said.

According to the embassy, ​​Russia had been trying for eight years to convince the Ukrainian authorities “to stop these inhumane attacks on the civilians – children, women and the elderly” in the Donbas region.

South Africans in Ukraine urged to leave

SA calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine
A man sits outside his destroyed building after bombing the city of Chuguiv in eastern Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, as Russian forces invade Ukraine from various directions. Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP

The department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) on Friday appealed to South Africans in war-torn Ukraine to try to leave for neighboring countries.

All this as Russian bombing continued into Ukrainian towns and villages, with tanks approaching the capital Kiev on Friday. Russia’s military attack sparked condemnation from around the world and prompted the US and EU to immediately impose sanctions on Russia.

Residents fled the country and some reached neighboring countries such as Romania and Poland.

According to the UN refugee agencyabout 100,000 people have been displaced since the Russian invasion in the past two days.

AfriForum takes government to court over R50 million donation to Cuba

R50 million donation to Cuba
Image for illustration. (Photo by Katell ABIVEN / AFP)

Lobby group AfriForum said Friday it would approach the courts to obtain an urgent injunction to prevent the government from donating $50 million to the Cuban government for hunger relief.

Earlier this month, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes said, informed Parliament’s portfolio committee on international relations on emergency aid restitutions.

Botes said the donation was due to the socio-economic challenges Cuba faces as it battles United States sanctions that threaten food security in the country.

Level 2 warning for excessive lightning strikes, severe thunderstorms in Tshwane, Limpopo

Weather alert: Weekend rain expected over large parts of SA
Image: iStock

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a level 2 yellow warning for severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and excessive lightning over the Mpumalanga Highveld as far as the escarpments, the boundary of the northeastern Tshwane metro and the extreme south central parts of Limpopo on Saturday.

This can lead to localized flooding, damage to infrastructure, settlements (informal), property, vehicles, livelihoods and livestock, local and short-term disruption to municipal and other essential services, localized flooding of vulnerable roads, low-lying areas and bridges, and small car accidents, the weather service warned in a statement on Friday.

Gauteng records highest increase in homicides in five years

Police release identities of victims of Christmas massacre in Limpopo
Image: iStock

Gauteng police recorded an increase in murders between October and December last year.

“A further 243 people were killed in Gauteng during the period under review, reflecting an 18.3% increase,” he said. Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela.

It also represents the highest increase in homicides in five years.

“Gauteng is the second province with the highest number of homicides in the reporting period, mainly due to the size of its population,” Mawela emphasizes.

A total of 41 homicides over the same period involved domestic violence, with the majority of the victims being women (23).

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole resigns

Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole
National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole. Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has resigned and will serve his last day on March 31.

The Presidency confirmed that Sitole’s early termination of his contract term was by mutual consent.

“President Ramaphosa and General Sitole agree that the early termination of the commissioner’s contract is in the best interest of the country,” the statement said. presidency in a statement.

“The time until General Sitole’s departure will allow for a proper handover of various duties, including all ongoing investigations, to one of the senior members of the Saps team who assisted General Sitole.”

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