Watch full interview: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to BBC: “Russia is not spotlessly white. We are not ashamed to show who we are”

UN reporting of Russian military crimes against innocent civilians in Ukraine calls Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “fake news” in a rare interview with British broadcaster BBC. But Russia is not completely spotless, he admits.


Russia’s war in Ukraine is not an invasion but a special military operation, NATO is to blame and Russia is “denazifying” Ukraine: In an exclusive interview with British broadcaster BBC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov quotes yet again the same catchphrases. The conversation took place on the sidelines of the annual Economic Forum of the Roscongress Foundation in St. Petersburg, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

But harrowing stories about how Ukrainian civilians are being treated by Russian soldiers abound. “Is that fighting against Nazism?” asks the BBC journalist when he presents one of those situations to the Russian minister. Lavrov admits this is regrettable, but also that the UN is being used to amplify fake news from the West.

“So again: is Russia spotlessly white?” the interviewer throws to him. “No, Russia is not spotlessly white”, Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed to show who we are.”

The Netherlands: Intelligence agencies must remove large bin of data of Dutch citizens

A Google data center in Belgium – GOOGLE

Dutch intelligence agencies AIVD and MIVD are violating the law by storing data of citizens that are not the subject of investigation for a long time. That is the conclusion of the watchdog for the intelligence agencies, the Commission of Supervision of the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD). The data must be deleted.

This is not about what critics call the ‘sleepnet’ (or ‘dragnet’ in English), which is used by the intelligence agencies to retrieve data from many people at the same time via untargeted internet taps. Instead, it concerns large amounts of private data that the agencies have received via, for example, a hack. The privacy impact of such a ‘bulk dataset’ can be comparable or even greater than an internet tap.

For example, an intelligence agency could hack a telecom provider to get the bills of all customers, and then retrieve the call history of possible terrorists. A mail provider could also be hacked. It is not known what kind of data is involved; it can concern both Dutch citizens and foreigners.

“The law states that these data may be kept for a year and a half, but they have kept them much longer,” said Addie Stehouwer from CTIVD. “That includes data they know will never be relevant.”


The verdict comes after a complaint from action group Bits of Freedom. It is not the first time that the regulator has warned about this, but now the judgment is binding. “We are very happy with the ruling, which says that these data must now be destroyed,” said Lotte Houwing of Bits of Freedom.

“We filed our complaint because the agencies broke the law, but the government did nothing about it,” says Houwing. “It’s problematic that this is happening and that our surveillance system is incapable of solving it on its own.”

The CTIVD is not warning for the first time that the law does not allow this at all. As early as 2019, the CTIVD wrote that the way in which the gigantic data sets are treated is wrong. In 2020, the agencies were warned again, and the CTIVD ruled that several datasets had to be destroyed. That didn’t happen.

The AIVD did not want to comment; the MIVD could not be reached for comment.

Putin’s son was allegedly born in Ticino, Switzerland

There have long been rumors that the alleged lover of the Kremlin boss is said to have given birth to their children in Switzerland. The rumor has been confirmed by s Swiss doctor with Russian roots.

President Vladimir Putin listens to Alina Kabayeva, gymnastics world champion, during his meeting with the Russian National Olympic team in the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin met with members of the Russian National Olympic Team to wish them success at the Sydney Olympics. Olympionikin Kabajewa, Sportsfreund Putin. Photo: MIKHAIL METZEL/ AP

The rumor persisted: in an exclusive clinic in the Swiss canton of Ticino, the Russian athlete Alina Kabaeva gave birth to a boy whose father is Vladimir Putin. The Swiss “Sonntags Zeitung” is now said to have confirmed the birth of two of Putin’s sons by a confidant of the doctor.

Putin is said not to have been present at the birth

According to this, the first son of the Russian President and the athlete is said to have been born in Ticino in 2015. The Swiss doctor with Russian roots is also said to have accompanied the birth of the second son – but in Moscow. According to the source of the “Sonntags Zeitung”, this is a longtime confidant of Putin, whom he is said to have known from his youth in Saint Petersburg. The doctor is said to have emigrated to Switzerland more than 30 years ago, given up her Russian maiden name and accepted Swiss citizenship.

The woman is said to have worked in the Clinica Sant’Anna. This is one of the most renowned maternity wards in Ticino, and on its website it advertises for international clients, especially Russian ones. The source of the Swiss newspaper dismissed rumors that Putin was present at the birth of the child.

Even before he divorced his wife Lyudmila Putina in 2014, Putin is said to have had a relationship with Kabaeva. The 38-year-old European and world champion in rhythmic gymnastics is described in the media as the »most agile woman in Russia«. Kabaeva has been a member of the governing body of Putin’s United Russia party since 2001, and in 2007 she became a member of the Russian parliament. In 2014 she took over the management of the “National Media Group”, one of the largest media companies in Russia. According to media reports, her annual salary should have been almost 10 million euros.

According to the Sunday newspaper, Kabaeva also remains close to power ideologically. Last month she condemned the sports sanctions imposed on Russia. In their eyes, the Russian attack on Ukraine served only to “protect Donetsk and Lugansk from the Nazis.”

Some Amazing Facts About World War I

First World War
  • An explosion on the battlefield in France could be heard in England. In Messines Ridge Belgium, miners detonated more than 431,000 kilograms of explosives, destroying the German front line. The explosion was so loud and powerful that it was heard by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, 140 miles away on Downing Street.
  • World War I journalists risked their lives reporting on the war. The government tried to control the flow of information from the front lines during the war and journalists were banned from reporting. The Ministry of War (British Government) regarded reporting on the war as helping the enemy and if journalists were caught, they were sentenced to death.
  • Every week, 12 million letters were delivered to the front line. Even in times of war, it took only two days for a letter from Great Britain to be delivered to France. By the end of the war, more than two billion letters and 114 million packages had been delivered to the trenches!
  • Plastic surgery was invented because of the First World War. One of the earliest examples of plastic surgery came about during World War I when a surgeon by the name of Harold Gillies helped shrapnel victims with horrible facial injuries.
  • The youngest British soldier in the First World War was only 12 years old. More than 250,000 underage soldiers fought in the First World War. The youngest was a boy named Sidney Lewis who was just 12 years old but lied about his age to get involved. There were many thousands of underage boys who signed up and most lied about their age. Some participated out of love for their country, while others did it to escape the bad conditions, they lived in.
  • Blood banks were developed during the First World War. It was during World War I that the routine use of blood transfusion was used to treat wounded soldiers. In 1917, a US Army physician, Captain Oswald Johnson, established the first blood bank on the Western Front. He used trisodium citrate to keep the blood from clotting and making it unusable. The blood was kept in ice for 28 days and transported to the casualty shelters as needed for use in lifesaving operations for soldiers who had lost a lot of blood.
  • 9 out of 10 British soldiers survived the trenches. British soldiers were rarely in the firing range in World War I. They moved continuously in the trench system and were usually shielded from the dangers of enemy fire. Most of the British soldiers who fought in World War I had a regular routine and dullness.
  • British army generals had to be banned from going ‘over-the-top’. A common stereotype is that regular soldiers were used by the higher ranks. Because incompetent generals do not spend time on the front line while thousands of soldiers were killed. In fact, so many British generals wanted to fight and had to be banned from going for it because they could be killed, and a general’s experience was too important to lose.

Covid-19 is een ziekte aan de bloedvaten en geen ademhalingsziekte

Covid-19 tast bij sommige patiënten niet alleen de longen, maar ook de hersenen aan. Het blijkt dan ook geen ademhalingsziekte te zijn, maar een ziekte die lekkende en ontstoken bloedvaten veroorzaakt.


Patiënten krijgen te maken met verlies van reuk, hoofdpijn, verwarring, hallucinaties en delirium, en soms met depressies, angst en slaapproblemen. Soms krijgen ze een beroerte of hersenbloeding. Wetenschappers beginnen te begrijpen wat het virus in de hersenen doet, zegt Elyse Singer, een neuroloog van de University of California in Los Angeles (VS) in tijdschrift Science News.

Patiënten kunnen zes maanden na de infectie nog steeds last hebben van deze symptomen. Ongeveer 2% van de mensen met Covid-19 kreeg een beroerte. Bij mensen met ernstige infecties die gepaard gingen met delirium had 1 op de 11 een beroerte gehad.

In de bloedvaten van patiënten zijn kleine stolsels aangetroffen. De vaatwanden waren soms ongewoon dik en ontstoken, en er lekte bloed naar het hersenweefsel. Het blijkt nu dat het zogenaamde spike-eiwit van het virus ontstekingen in endotheelcellen aan de binnenkant van de slagaderwanden veroorzaakt. Covid-19 is dus geen typische aandoening van de luchtwegen, maar van de bloedvaten. Dit verandert de kijk op de ziekte en ook de behandeling.

Lees meer:

The Lancet: 6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236 379 survivors of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records

The New England Journal of Medicine: Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19

Journal of the American Heart Association – SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2

What did Roman Emperors really look like?

You have probably seen tranquil-looking concrete busts of Roman emperors. They do, however, have no pupils in the eyes, lack any sort of color, and don’t look very real.

An artist named Haround Binous is bringing the dusty emperors back to life in a series of hyper-realistic illustrations. Haround, from Université de Lausanne, Switzerland is combining facial recognition AI, Photoshop, and historical references to revive all the Roman emperors, from Augustus to Valentinian III.

The result is so precise and true to life! Look for yourself.

AUGUSTUS (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14)

PHILIPPUS II (237 – 249)

GALBA (24 December 3 BC – 15 January AD 69)

NERO (15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD)

PHILIPPUS ARABS (c. 204 – September 249)

GORDIANUS II (c. 192 – 12 April 238)

CALIGULA (31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD)

DOMITIANUS (24 October 51 – 18 September 96)

TIBERIUS (16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37)

CLAUDIUS GOTHICUS (10 May 214 – January 270)

TRAJANUS (18 September 53 – c. 9 August 117)

HADRIANUS (24 January 76 – 10 July 138)

MARCUS AURELIUS (26 April 121 – 17 March 180)

GORDIANUS III (20 January 225 – 11 February 244 AD)

TACITUS (c. 200 – June 276)

VITELLIUS (24 September 15 – 20 December AD 69)

LUCIUS VERUS (15 December 130 – 23 January 169)

DIOCLETIANUS (22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311)

THEODOSIUS I (11 January 347 – 17 January 395)

ANTONINUS PIUS (19 September 86 – 7 March 161)

COMMODUS (31 August 161 – 31 December 192)

GORDIANUS I (c. 159 AD – 12 April 238 AD)

CLAUDIUS (1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54)

VALERIANUS (c. 199 – 260 or 264)

NERVA (8 November 30 – 28 January 98)

CARACALLA (4 April 188 – 8 April 217)

MAXIMINUS THRAX (c. 173 – May 238)

MAXIMINIANUS (c. 250 – c. July 310)

TITUS (30 December 39 – 13 September 81 AD)

OTHO (28 April 32 – 16 April 69)

How fast can vaccination against covid-19 make a difference?

Israel has some answers


Hospitals around the world are, once again, buckling under a torrent of covid-19 patients. In places as far apart as London, Cape Town and Los Angeles ambulances wait for hours to unload the sick, and refrigerated lorries have been brought in to hold the dead. Vaccines are the only way out of this. The question is, how quickly can they turn things around?

Vaccines reduce deaths and hospital admissions in two ways: they protect the vaccinated directly, stopping them becoming ill; and they offer indirect protection to the unvaccinated, because those already jabbed will be less likely to infect them.

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