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‘Trapped in Putin’s panic room’ – journalist receives Russian sanction

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Some people might complain about receiving a speeding fine, or spilling your morning coffee… but how would you feel if you were sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin?

WATCH – Exclusive interview with war correspondent Misha Zelinsky

Well, that’s the story for war correspondent Misha Zelinsky who received a warning from the Russian leader.

A massive list of 121 well-known Australians have been added to Russia’s blacklist, with the group “indefinitely” banned from the country.

The blacklist has been put together in response to “the growing sanctions of the Australian government, which apply to an increasing number of Russian citizens,” according to Russia’s foreign ministry.

“I woke up this morning, if you asked me earlier this year, what list I would likely end up with that included Gina Reinhart and Twiggy Forest, I knew it wouldn’t have been Australia’s richest 200 people, probably the least likely after that would have been Putin’s sanctions list,”

Misha told ticker NEWS

Misha is a war correspondent for the Financial Times, previously reporting in Ukraine as war atrocities unfolded before his eyes.

Now, Misha is banned from entering Russia.

Russia has accused the sanctioned figures of promoting a “Russophobic agenda”

Misha believes there’s a ‘tit for tat’ going on in regards to sanctions.

“Russians have been sanctioned all over the world, the wealthiest oligarchs are basically trapped in Vladimir Putin’s Panic Room nation. It’s a little bit a tit for tat going on. Russia is rich, Russians are stuck in Russia and unable to holiday, unable to go to London, unable to put their kids in private schools in Europe, versus people like myself are unable to travel to Russia, where you can’t get a Big Mac,”

Misha says.

“I’ll leave it up to viewers to decide who’s got the better deal there,” he jokes with ticker anchor Holly Stearnes.

However, jokes aside, Misha stands by the work he has complete in Ukraine, reporting on the horrific war.

“The biggest fear and concern I have is for people that are dying right now in Ukraine, myself, right now. I’m quite safe, and I’m feeling okay.”

Are journalist’s intimated by Putin’s power play?

Russia announced a similar move against dozens of British journalists on Tuesday, in what Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”.

Misha says getting reporting out of Russia, legitimate reporting has been extremely difficult for a very long time.

“You can’t really trust any social media or any reporting coming out of Russia in the sense that the government has enormous control of that information,” he says.

“There are ways to get information out of Russia, you get a lot of Intel out of telegram channels, and other websites. But I don’t think journalists are going to be intimidated on reporting the facts.”

So ultimately, Misha says people aren’t going to be intimidated from telling the truth here, “the truth is on your screens, it’s in your social media feed.”

“The truth is irrefutable that Putin and his cronies are committing war crimes every day in Ukraine, and every day that those stories get told is a critical one.”

The leaders of Europe’s three largest economies – France, Germany, and Italy have visited Ukraine, what does the war-torn country need right now? 

EU leaders gather in Kyiv (REUTERS)

Misha says if you listen to the words of Ukrainian leaders, they say they’ll enjoy support they really need weapons, at the moment of fighting is very localised in the eastern part of the country and Donbas region is almost back to where it started in 2014.

The war reporter says some estimates have the artillery advantage to Russia at a 15 to one “so the Ukrainians are desperate for weaponry, they’re relying at the moment on old Soviet era weapons and the polish and other Warsaw Pact countries have been giving the weapons.”

He continues to say that “they’re running out of the shells that go into that weaponry, and they’re desperate for long and medium range weaponry out of the west out of NATO allied nations. And the promises are on the table.”

However, there has been a delivery gap there and the Germans have been held up as one example of not really meeting what they’ve promised.

So – what do we need to see next?

Misha says it comes down to closing the gap between what’s promised and what’s delivered.

“That needs to happen urgently, joining the EU would be nice, but ultimately not win yet. Candidate status, it’ll probably take 10 years before you actually went from being a candidate to fully integrated because it takes a very long time to synthesise your laws and your legal system and all the bits and pieces that go into joining the EU,” he says.

“So right now that’s going to save lives or win the war, and that’s what’s desperately needed is an evening up of artillery power in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

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“Woman. Life. Freedom,” Iran protests now on the world’s stadium

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Protests are engulfing Iran as a revolution against oppression spills onto the global stage, with the world unable to turn a blind eye

In Iran, protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression. 

Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

“Woman. Life. Freedom”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

Women in the country and around the world, are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption.

“What is happening in Iran fills me with both fear and hope… Hope that there might be some meaningful change.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Pure desperation

For nearly forty years, women in Iran have faced a life of control and oppression. Subject to the strict Islamic Republic rules, bound by religion.

There have been protests in Iran before, but nothing like what we see today.

Women and men are filling the streets of the entire country, in a show of solidarity against the regime, putting their lives on the line.

Footage of Iranian women burning the hijabs and cutting their hair has encapsulated social media.

“People are risking their lives… The regime is very brutal. It significant that this time round that there is international focus and attention on Iran.

One thing is clear…The revolution is taking place, at least in people’s hearts and minds.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Spilling onto the global stage

The uprising against the regime in Iran and its treatment of women is openly and loudly spilling onto the global stage.

Its voice is so powerful it is even flooding into the sporting arena. In Qatar, Iranian soccer players refused to sing their national anthem before their World Cup game.

Credit: Al Jazeera

While the move from the sporting stars was seen by a global audience, a cloud of fear now looms over the safety and wellbeing of the players returning to their homeland.

“The players have been extremely brave. This is a significant issue for them. Enough to take a political stand to refuse to sing the national anthem.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

As history shows us, sport has often been used as an avenue to express a political stance.

At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith raised his black-gloved fist, in defiance of racial segregation.

This is perhaps one of the most iconic moments, illustrating the blurred line between politics and sport.

Credit: The New York Times

UN finally calls out Iran

During the Iran protests, footage of authorities using brutal force against protestors sparked global attention and outrage.

Now, the United Nation has called out Iran’s actions.

At its 35th special session, the UN Human Rights Council launched a new investigation. It will independently investigate alleged human rights violations during the protests.

“It will be independently investigated.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

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Is Musk flushing Twitter down the drain?

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk has made plenty of changes to Twitter, but will it make or break the social media platform?

When Elon Musk walked into Twitter with a sink you knew things were about to get interesting. 

It’s been a chaotic few weeks of change for the social media platform. Musk quickly showed thousands of employees the door.

Noticeably, he also upended the iconic ‘blue tick’ hierarchy. 

The new boss is adamant in making the platform a place of free speech, often using public Twitter polls to dictate his next move.

It’s not very often you have a billionaire and CEO of a tech giant communicate with people everyday via a tweet thread.

“As far as communicating with people, that is something we haven’t seen. You don’t see Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates out there communicating like this or any other billionaire.”

greg nibler, tech expert

While people have been quick to judge Musk’s changes, he remains one of the most successful businessmen in history.

He lead the charge on flying to space with his SpaceX empire and was ahead of the game in the electric vehicle market.

Perhaps, the changes to the platform are a smart move for the company to succeed, despite the abruptness of them.

Proof is in the pudding because the numbers show Twitter has added 1.6 million daily users this week alone, which is an all-time high.

“It is a reality show on Twitter and people want to see it…
Is that going to turn into profitability, I don’t know.”

Greg nibler, tech expert

Plus World Cup traffic hit almost 20,000 tweets per second today, breaking another record. 

It’s likely Twitter may be more successful in private hands. Financially though, the company has declined, causing widespread concern about its economic stability.

Musk wants to vastly increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions, but a question mark looms over its ability to triumph.

“The way in which Twitter has lost so much money in value so quickly must also be a concern to people who have lent money to Musk… Wondering has it been a good investment for them.”

KEITH SUTER, international affairs commentator

Suspended accounts debate

Previously, Twitter had banned the accounts of many users, particularly those prone to far-right rhetorics.

Former President Donald Trump’s account had been suspended for nearly a year, alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and controversial Andrew Tate.

Musk asked his followers in a poll if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts? As Musk says, they haven’t broken the law?”

It all follows a turbulent economic time for the social media giant as it finds its place in the ever changing cyber sphere. 

Whether or not Twitter goes down the drain, remains to be seen. 

But love him or hate him, Musk has created an entertaining platform, with millions flocking to get a taste of what is the Twitter saga.

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Does Donald Trump need Twitter to win in 2024?

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Donald Trump is making a political comeback in 2024, but can he gain relevance without Twitter?

Donald Trump is making his political comeback, and Twitter boss Elon Musk has welcomed the former President back to the platform with open arms.

It was only a matter of weeks after taking over that Musk decided to lift Trump’s nearly year-long suspension.

Many expected Trump to jump at the offer and begin flooding our Twitter feeds again.

However, the former President may not want to return to Twitter, but why?

U.S. Commentator Susan Tehrani believes Trump’s decision to withhold his return to Twitter comes back to money.

“It might have to do with millions of dollars… [If he returns to Twitter] He may stand to lose a lot of money…

If Trump’s company goes public and only for him to go back on Twitter, start Tweeting and devalue Truth Social… He’s going to give his followers a reason to abandon Truth Social.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Twitter was Trump’s favourite app when he was President. He used the platform to drum up support and create buzz. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably had people right around the world speaking about his latest thought.

In today’s society, people consume news via social media, in particular via Twitter.

With Trump absent from Twitter, it raises question about how he will maintain relevance in social media sphere in the lead up to his 2024 return.

Trump heads his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’, but it has just four million users, opposed to Twitter’s more than 200 million.

“With El on Musk at the helm it encourages a health debate…Then it going to be a place where Donald Trump can once again bypass even the mainstream media…And communicate directly with a wide audience.

Donald Trump would stand winning if he came back on Twitter.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Does Twitter need Trump, more than Trump needs Twitter?

With Musk at the reigns of Twitter, the social media giant is shifting its direction. Musk has made it clear he doesn’t believe in the previous ‘blue tick’ hierarchy, quickly scrapping the process.

He has been vocal about his desire for free speech on the platform. However, many are concerned that the changes may have a negative impact.

Although, change isn’t always a bad thing and perhaps Twitter needed a makeover, to keep up with today’s evolving society and array of opinions.

While Twitter is still popular, Musk’s move to reinstate Donald Trump’s account might have been strategic.

Trump is a bold politician, and regardless of his Twitter status, many are wondering what his next move will be.

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