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Musings From Abroad

$1m bounty placed on Putin but Facebook yanks off post. What we know about the instigator

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A Russian-American billionaire businessman has offered a $1 million bounty for Vladimir Putin’s arrest.

The $1 million bounty was put on the Russian leader over alleged war crimes.
The $1 million bounty – Wanted: Dead or alive – was said to be for operative(s) who can arrest the Russian President.
The businessman, Alex Konanykhin, said he wanted the Russian leader to go on trial.


The California-based businessman triggered headiness and no small controversy when he offered the money on social media, along with a picture of Mr Putin and a caption that read: “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder.”


He added: “I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws.”


Konanykhin said the county, as much as millions of people, including him, would celebrate the news of his death – but not for his assassination which according to him would be illegal.


Facebook later took down the post, but Konanykhin told The Independent he had not intended his words to encourage someone to go and kill Mr Putin. Rather, he insisted, he wanted the Russian leader to go on trial.


“I’d like to make it explicitly clear that my offer is for an officer, who is fulfilling his constitutional duties, can arrest him for war crimes committed under international laws.


“For years, Putin he could do whatever he wanted to do. Or faced sanctions that were frankly laughable,” he said.

Who is the Russian-American businessman?


Konanykhin, 55, moved to the US in 1992 with his family, a former banker, now heads several technology companies.
His company’s website claims he established Russia’s largest bank by the age of 25.


Reports said Russia accused Konanykhin, 55 of embezzling money, which he had denied and was eventually granted political asylum.

Musings From Abroad

Russia’s African influence grows as envoy claims 1,890 ‘instructors’ in Central African Republic

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The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic, Alexander Bikantov has revealed that the country’s military presence in the insurgency-plagued African country.

Bikantov said in an interview published on Friday that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country. He mentioned that a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.

“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R.. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council”. Bikantov was quoted by the state-owned news agency RIA.

Russia’s influence among African countries battling insurgency has been on the rise lately, with solidified ties with West African country, Mali and much more recently its neighbours Burkina Faso. Both countries, which are under military dictators have reportedly engaged Russian mercenaries – the Wagner Group in the bid to overcome the uprising in their territories.

There are however reports of likely cases of crimes against humility by the government of Mali in its fight against terrorism in connection with its engagement with the Wagner group.

Although it is mineral-rich, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Musings From Abroad

Israel, Sudan advance talks normalise relations

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Following a transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in Khartoum, Israel, and Sudan have finalized a deal to normalise relations.

The Israeli foreign ministry made the revelation on Thursday, noting that the deal was agreed upon during a visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to “move forward towards normalising relations between the two countries.”

The visit is the first by an Israeli official acknowledged by Sudanese authorities, though there had been a series of exchanges by officials in recent years.

According to a statement by the Israeli foreign ministry, “… the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalised the text of the agreement.”

“The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country,” it said.

“We definitely look forward to signing the agreement and then to having diplomatic representatives both in Israel and in Sudan,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the foreign ministry who took part in the delegation, Cohen told newsmen.

“We are (now) building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three No’s’ will become the ‘Three Yeses’,” he said. “Yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples.”

In January 2021 Sudan said its then-justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the Abraham Accords during a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A joint statement issued by the governments of Israel, Sudan, and the United States said that “The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations.”

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