Live blog | Nearly 64,000 Ukrainians in the Netherlands; Russia focuses on relations with China

This is the live blog on Tuesday, May 24 about the war in Ukraine and all its consequences. Follow this live blog to stay informed.

ANP / Anadolu Agency

Zelensky’s wife announces mental health tool

05:15 | Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, has announced the launch of a national program to provide mental health assistance to Ukrainians. Zelenska gives the reason for the launch of the “mental crisis and shock” in the country as a result of the war. According to a statement, the Ukrainian government will develop the program “shortly” in cooperation with the World Health Organization WHO.

“No Ukrainian, whether an adult or a child, can be sure he or she will wake up tomorrow,” Zelenska said in a video message on social media. “Because of everything they went through during the occupation, at the front, in bomb shelters and abroad, they need rehabilitation just like the people with physical injuries.”

According to Zelenska, Ukraine wants to increase support for the psychological well-being of people experiencing a war. The country wants to serve as an example for other countries.

Almost 64,000 Ukrainians are registered in the Netherlands

04:45 | Since the start of the war in Ukraine, more than 63,800 Ukrainians have registered in a municipality in the Netherlands. The peak of registrations was in late March and early April. Then the municipalities registered more than 21,500 Ukrainian refugees in two weeks, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Since then, the number of Ukrainians who signed up for a municipality has dropped significantly. In the first half of this month, there were about 3,600 sign-ups a week and last week there were less than 2,500 sign-ups, though CBS warns that the numbers for the past few weeks may not be complete yet. It is not known how many Ukrainians have come to the Netherlands but have not registered.

Two-thirds of registered Ukrainians are women and one-third are men. A third is also 18 years or younger.

Zelensky and Putin on the list of most influential people

03:30 | Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin are both on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people. The American magazine on Monday published the list for 2022 on its website.

Zelensky’s name is accompanied by a caption written by US President Joe Biden. “In President Zelensky, the Ukrainian people have a leader worthy of their bravery and resistance at a time when citizens across the country are fighting for their homes and their freedom,” Biden wrote, referring to the war in Ukraine.

“Every time we speak, I hear in President Zelensky’s voice the relentless determination of a man who deeply believes in his duty to his people and who takes responsibility every day to get his country through this dark and difficult time.” , said the US president. , which is also on the list.

Dutch organizations want to reverse the blockade of Russian sites

01:15 | A Dutch coalition fighting for press and internet freedom wants the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to consider blocking Russian state media such as RT and Sputnik. A petition to that effect will be submitted on Tuesday by the group, which includes the Dutch Journalists’ Association (NVJ) and the civil rights organization Bits of Freedom.

According to the coalition, which calls itself the Freedom of Information Coalition (FOIC), the European decision to censor these channels has been taken ‘in a hurry’. It was a few days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. FOIC points out that there has been no independent and careful review. “This raises questions about our rule of law and what we stand for as a society,” she said in a statement.

“This is a political decision without judicial control,” said Rejo Zenger of Bits of Freedom. “The decision to make information inaccessible should not be in the hands of our heads of government, but in the hands of independent judges.”

The organizations acknowledge that the Russian channels are not objective and do not support the content they distribute, they emphasize. But, says Thomas Bruning of NVJ, ‘disinformation in a state governed by the rule of law should not be combated with censorship’. According to Anco Scholte ter Horst of Freedom Internet, the move is also ‘contrary to the principle of net neutrality’. It is the legal obligation of providers to treat all data traffic equally.

In addition to Freedom Internet, ISPs A2B Internet and BIT are also members of the coalition. They are plaintiffs in the case.

‘Russian focus on developing relations with China’

00:30 | Moscow is willing to consider any attempt by the West to restore ties with Russia, but Russia’s focus is currently on further developing its relations with China, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. According to the Foreign Minister, Russia only wants to restore ties with the West if necessary.

“If they want to offer something to continue the relationship, we will seriously consider whether we find it necessary or not,” he said during a speech. At present, however, Moscow prefers to focus on China.

“Now that the West has taken the position of a dictator, our economic ties with China will only grow faster,” Lavrov said.

China is an ally of Russia. The country has previously voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution investigating alleged atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine.

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