Bastille Day parade a salute to Ukraine

  • France’s traditional Bastille Day parade on Thursday is a nod to Ukraine, and to France’s eastern European allies who are among guests of honour, officials say.
  • The mayor of the port city of Mykolaiv reports “powerful explosions” as the city reels from days of shelling.

Ukrainian athlete says she doesn’t want ‘killers on the track’

Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh has said she doesn’t want to see “killers on the track” when asked about the prospect of competing against Russians again in the future.

Mahuchikh’s rival and Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Maria Lasitskene won’t be in Eugene, Oregon for the World Athletic Championships which start on Friday because of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ban on Russian athletes competing at the event.

The Ukrainian said she had a good relationship with Lasitskene before Russian invaded her country on February 24th but “that day changed everything”.

“She wrote that she can’t compete because she’s Russian, well our people are dying because they’re Ukrainian,” said Mahuchikh. “I don’t want to see on the track killers. It’s really killers because a lot of sportsman support this war.”

France nods to Ukraine in Bastille Day military parade

Paris’s traditional Bastille Day military parade on Thursday is a salute to Ukraine and to France’s Eastern European allies who are among guests of honour, officials have said.

“The parade is marked by, and takes account of, the strategic context,” an official in Macron’s office said. “The idea is to highlight the strategic solidarity with our allies.”

Almost five months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the parade on the Champs-Elysees will open with the presentation of the national flags of nine allied guest countries, most of them neighbours of Ukraine or Russia: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Troops representing France’s contingent on NATO’s eastern flank will be next. Paris expedited the deployment of 500 soldiers to Romania days after the Russian attack on Ukraine, and has signalled its readiness to boost numbers if needed. France also participates in ground and air operations in Estonia, and has sent Rafale fighter jets to bolster Poland’s air defences.

Germany’s heating bills to triple next year: Regulator

Germany’s energy regulator estimates that consumers in the country are likely to see their monthly heating bills triple next year due to dwindling Russian gas imports.

“For those now receiving their heating bill, the payments are already doubling – and that is before taking into account the Ukraine war,” Klaus Muller, head of the Federal Network Agency, told news outlet RND.

“From 2023, customers must prepare for bills to at least triple,” he said, adding that market prices were increasing sevenfold in some cases.

‘I’m not afraid’, says jailed Russian war critic

Ilya Yashin, an opposition figure in Russia and critic of its war in Ukraine, says he knew he would be arrested since Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

“When the war began, I promised that I would not run away anywhere and would speak the truth out loud for as long as I can. And when they arrest me, I would take it with dignity. I’m keeping my word,” read a post that appeared on Yashin’s Facebook account after he was remanded in custody on Wednesday.

“Don’t worry about me, friends. And I beg you, don’t let them intimidate you. I am not afraid – and you don’t be. No to war.”

A court in Russia ruled Wednesday to keep Yashin in custody pending an investigation and trial over his public criticism of Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine. Yashin’s lawyer says Russian authorities launched a criminal case against the opposition figure for allegedly spreading false information about the army – a charge that carries a potential sentence of 15 years in prison.

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