Good morning. We report on Russian rocket attacks in Kiev and the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Russian missiles hit Kiev
Early Sunday morning, at least five rockets hit Kiev, the first Russian strike in the Ukrainian capital in more than a month. At least one person was injured, officials said, as the city’s sense of relative security tore.
Russia said the missiles destroyed tanks and armored vehicles supplied by Ukraine’s Eastern European allies. A rocket bound for Kiev “flew at critically low altitude” over a nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s state nuclear power company said. Here are live updates.
The attack, after 100 days of war, came as President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would hit targets it had previously avoided if western countries started delivering longer-range missiles to Ukraine.
The East: Fighting still raged around the disputed city of Sievierodonetsk. “We are surrounded on all sides,” says a farmer, who still tries to feed his neighbors despite the danger. Powerful explosions were also heard in and around Kramatorsk, the capital of the Ukraine-controlled areas of the Donetsk region.
Africa: The Wagner Group, an opaque network of Russian mercenaries, mining companies and political influence operations, is aggressively expanding across part of the continent. In Sudan, an ally of Putin became rich while crushing a democratic movement.
The Ukraine national football team lost to Wales on Sunday, shattering hopes of taking part in the World Cup.
A Ukrainian official angrily rejected a plea from France’s President Emmanuel Macron not to “humiliate” Russia and instead seek a negotiated settlement.
Russia has arrested thousands of its citizens, while the Kremlin is cracking down on criticism of its war.
Hindus flee Kashmir amid violence
Hundreds of Hindu families have fled the region of Kashmir in recent weeks amid a spike in targeted militant attacks. Last week, three Hindus were murdered, including a teacher who was shot outside her school.
Many more people want to leave and are seeing disturbing echoes of the 1980s and 1990s, when militant attacks also caused an exodus of Hindus. Some are demanding that the government relocate their jobs and families to safer places outside the predominantly Muslim region.
But Kashmiri Hindus are meeting resistance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, who they say have erected blockades around their neighbourhoods. Like many Indian governments of the past, Modi has portrayed the Hindu presence as an illustration of the restless stability of the Himalayan region. A mass exodus would hardly support that story.
Background: In 2019, Modi’s government dissolved the elected government of Kashmir and revoked its semi-autonomous status. Since then, the Indian government has suppressed the dissent. Kashmiri Hindu organizations say the renewed wave of targeted killings is clear retaliation for the policy.
History: India and Pakistan have disputed Kashmir since the end of British rule in 1947. In the late 1980s, a Kashmere separatist movement targeted the Hindus in the region. After a mass exodus, the government encouraged Kashmiri Hindus to return by offering them government jobs and payments to buy or rebuild homes.
An anniversary at Tiananmen Square
On June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers crushed protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. For decades, Hong Kong held a large candlelight vigil in Victoria Park to commemorate the victims of the uprising.
This year, the city did not keep a vigil: China’s campaign to stifle dissent brought an end to the annual gathering. It banned the June 4 vigil in 2020 (though many people defied the ban) and again last year, citing Covid-19 restrictions.
Taipei – the capital of Taiwan, which has long resisted China’s claims to sovereignty – has since become the new memorial center. Crowds mourned the people who died 33 years ago in Beijing as well as the erasure of political freedoms in Hong Kong and the victims of China’s draconian policies in Xinjiang and Tibet.
Background: In 2020, following the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law. Since then, the local government has banned public commemorations of the 1989 murders, wiping out a student-led protest movement calling for democratic change in China.
immigrants: In the UK, former Hong Kong residents settle but long for the city they left behind.
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ART AND IDEAS
New Zealand’s Biodiversity Crisis
About 4,000 of the country’s native species are classified as “endangered” or “endangered” — the highest percentage of endangered native species in the world. Some of the most iconic native creatures are flightless, making them vulnerable to introduced predators such as stoats.
“Many of our species give our country its sense of identity,” said Kiri Allan, New Zealand’s conservation minister. “In danger is our sense of nation.” So in 2016, the government pledged to eliminate most non-native predators by 2050.
The campaign has had significant success: 1,000 square miles of land is under constant predator control and predators have been eradicated from 117 of the country’s 600 or so islands. But the country’s conservation community is struggling over whether it can reach its 2050 target — and at what cost.
Some conservationists believe complete elimination of non-native predators on schedule with increased funding and focus. Others view the goal as ambitious and want the government to focus on predator-free reserves — which, while also expensive, offer immediate security.