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May 31, 2022

CI Files: Weekly World's Report, May 31, 2022 Show Notes


Ethiopia unrest: Sudden arrest of 4,000 spells fear in Amhara

Ethiopia set a world record for displacements in a single year: 5.1 million in 2021

A new report from the group Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says that five point one million Ethiopians were displaced within the country in 2021. Internally displaced in this context means people who were forced to flee their homes, but stayed within their country. In Ethiopia, people have been forced from their homes due to a number of reasons, including violent attacks on people, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities, as well as famine.

This number of internally displaced people within Ethiopia is the highest number on record, with the previous record being three point five million people in Syria in 2013.


Palestinian report says Israel deliberately killed Al Jazeera's Shireen Abu Aqla

The Palestinian investigation reports that it has determined that Israeli forces did shoot and kill Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and that she and other journalists grouped with her were intentionally targeted by Israeli forces. The Palestinian Attorney General says that Israeli forces were the only people doing any shooting. 

News outlet Al Jazeera says it’s submitting this case, as well as Israel’s bombing of Al Jazeera’s offices in Gaza in 2021, to the International Criminal Court.

Other news outlets, including Bellingcat, CNN, and the Associated Press, say their own investigations also reinforce the likelihood that Abu Akleh was targeted and killed by Israeli forces.

Israel’s defense minister calls the claims a blatant lie and says Israel is conducting its own investigation.


Ship to take metal from Mariupol to Russia; Kyiv decries looting

A ship entered the port of Mariupol on Saturday, May 28 to be loaded with almost three thousand tons of metal, which will be shipped back to Russia, according to Russian state-owned news agency TASS. There was no word on where the metal was produced or what it will be used for, but it is worth noting that Mariupol is the home to the Azovstal steel plant, where a small group of Ukrainian fighters managed to hold off Russian forces for some time. The metal may also have come from Ukrainian metal company Metinvest.

Putin says he's willing to discuss resuming Ukrainian grain shipments

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’s willing to consider allowing Ukraine to resume grain exports through the Black Sea. He also said that Russia would increase exports of its own fertilizers and other agricultural products if sanctions were lifted.

Kremlin officials think Russia can win Ukraine war by fall, predicting allies will 'get tired of helping,' report says

‘We’ll grind them down in the end’ Sources tell Meduza that the Kremlin is considering another assault on Kyiv and planning victory in Ukraine by the fall

News outlet Meduza dot IO reports that Russian officials are confident that they will achieve most, if not all of their military goals in Ukraine. Meduza says unnamed sources tell them that the Kremlin’s minimum requirement for achieving victory is gaining control of the Donbas region, but they are still considering another assault on Kyiv.

From Meduza dot IO:

We’ll grind them [the Ukrainians] down in the end. The whole thing will probably be over by the fall,” one source told Meduza.

They also report:

Kremlin officials are skeptical that Western nations can sustain their massive financial and military support to Ukraine if the war drags on. “Sooner or later, Europe will tire of helping. This is both money and arms production that they need for themselves. Closer to the fall, they’ll have to negotiate [with Russia] on gas and oil, before the cold season arrives,” one source told Meduza.


Russia pummels eastern towns in bid to encircle Ukraine forces

Ukraine war: Troops could quit Severodonetsk amid Russian advance - official

Russian forces have started to push into the eastern city of Severodonetsk. From Reuters:

Slow, solid Russian gains in recent days point to a subtle momentum shift in the war, now in its fourth month. The invading forces appear close to seizing all of the Luhansk region of Donbas, one of the more modest war goals the Kremlin set after abandoning its assault on Kyiv in the face of Ukrainian resistance.

Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk, said that Russian troops are in the city, and residents may have to flee. Haidai says that more than half the homes in the city have been destroyed, and most of the buildings have been damaged. 

Lithuanians raise $4.7 million to buy drone for Ukraine

Ukraine receives Harpoon missiles and howitzers, says defense minister

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to receive weapons and aid from the West. They recently received howitzers from the United States and Harpoon shore-to-ship missiles from Denmark, which Ukrainian officials say will be used to defend the coast near Odessa.

And Lithuanian citizens came together to crowd-source the purchase of a Baykar Bayraktar TB2 advanced military drone for nearly five million dollars.


Samoa signs China bilateral agreement during Pacific push by Beijing

Deal proposed by China would dramatically expand security influence in Pacific

A leaked document appears to show China’s intentions to increase its influence with smaller Pacific nations. From The Guardian:

A draft of the deal, written in a similar style to the controversial bilateral security deal signed by Solomon Islands and China last month, and a five-year action plan, both of which have been obtained by the Guardian, cover a huge range of issues, including trade, financing and investment, tourism, public health and Covid-19 support, establishing Chinese language and cultural exchanges, training and scholarships, as well disaster prevention and relief.

On Saturday, May 28, Samoa signed a deal with China that is believed to be similar to the one with Solomon Islands.


Customs and Border Protection bulletin: American fighters headed to Ukraine questioned at U.S. airports 

Politico reports that Americans leaving the U.S. to fight in Ukraine are being questioned at U.S. airports before they leave. Politico says it acquired an intelligence bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

From Politico:

The document shows that the U.S. government is gathering information about Americans traveling to Ukraine and is interested in their activity after they return. But critics say the focus on “violent extremist-white supremacists” echoes one of the Kremlin’s top propaganda points: that supporting Ukraine means also supporting neo-Nazis.

Politico also says the document notes another concern of Homeland Security: white supremacists and extremists returning to the U.S. with military training.

Authorities investigating if retired federal agent knew of Buffalo mass shooting plans in advance

U.S. authorities believe a retired FBI agent, along with five other individuals, may have known in advance about Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron’s plans to target black people at a supermarket on May 15, where the shooter gunned down ten people. One law enforcement officer told the Buffalo News:

“These were like-minded people who used this chat group to talk about their shared interests in racial hatred, replacement theory and hatred of anyone who is Jewish, a person of color or not of European ancestry. What is especially upsetting is that these six people received advanced notice of the Buffalo shooting, about 30 minutes before it happened.

The Buffalo News reports:

The two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation stated these individuals were invited by Gendron to read about his mass shooting plans and the target location about 30 minutes before Gendron killed 10 people at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue on May 14.

China President Warned Biden Democracy Is Dying: 'You Don't Have the Time'

While speaking to the graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday, May 27, President Biden said that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned him that democracy will fail. 

Biden said:

"I've met more with Xi Jinping than any other world leader has. When he called me to congratulate me on Election Night, he said to me what he said many times before. He said democracies cannot be sustained in the 21st century, autocracies will run the world. Why? Things are changing so rapidly. Democracies require consensus, and it takes time, and you don't have the time."

UN Warns of ‘Total Societal Collapse’ Due to Breaching of Planetary Boundaries

One issue that will play a part in this is global warming and its effects on global society.

Earlier this month, the United Nations published its Global Assessment Report on Disaster Reduction, which was not optimistic. 

From the Byline Times:

Buried in the report, which was endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is the finding that escalating synergies between disasters, economic vulnerabilities and ecosystem failures are escalating the risk of a “global collapse” scenario.

The report discusses “planetary boundaries” laid out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework. 

From the Byline Times:

The planetary boundaries framework was developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2009 to provide what it calls a “science-based analysis of the risk that human perturbations will destabilise the Earth system at the planetary scale”. This framework identifies a range of nine key ecosystems which, if pushed passed a certain threshold, will dramatically reduce the “safe operating space” for human habitation.