Ukraine: Refuge from Putin in Odessa | Focus on Europe - Spotlight on People | DW | 24.02.2022

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Focus on Europe

Ukraine: Refuge from Putin in Odessa

Fearing an invasion by Putin, more and more internally displaced people are fleeing eastern Ukraine and arriving in the Black Sea resort of Odessa. Almost one in every three is of Russian heritage.

Tensions are running high. 

 

Also on Focus on Europe:

 

France: Dangerous Escape Over the Alps

Migrants are crossing from Italy to France over the mountains at night. Thousands are putting their lives at risk, and are forced to hide from the French border police.

Residents of the French municipality of Montgenèvre have set up a “solidarity mountain hut.” Here, volunteers provide first aid for frostbite and offer hot drinks and beds to the exhausted refugees and migrants who arrive. To date, they have accommodated more than 15,000 people who made the trek across the mountains.

 

Poland: Vaccinated and Ostracized

In a village in Poland, many people are getting vaccinated in secret. They are too afraid of the loud, aggressive antivaxxers who continue to deny that the pandemic is real. The village mayor and one of its doctors are at a loss.

In Czarny Dunajec, in the very south of Poland, the pandemic doesn’t seem to exist. Masks are rarely worn here. Most people are ignoring corona vaccinations. A mere 22 percent of the population here has been immunized against Covid. The anti-vaccination movement uses life-sized posters that propagate the idea of medical experiments to advertise their beliefs.

 

Romania: A Billion-Dollar Trash Business

Romania's capital, Bucharest, is drowning in toxic smoke from burning trash coming from Germany. Tires, batteries, even asbestos are not recycled - but buried or burned. It's a lucrative business that is now the subject of an international investigation.

Octavian Berceanu, former commissioner of the Romanian environmental police, is tracking down the garbage smugglers. The climate activist is certain of one thing: "These are organized crime structures!" The Romanian public prosecutor, Teodor Nita, is also investigating the garbage mafia together with Europol, the European police authority. But it is difficult to prove concrete malfeasance by any of the companies, intermediaries, or buyers involved.

 

Turkey: Inflation and the Skiing Circus

Because the weakened Turkish lira, wealthy Turks are choosing to ski in their own country. Luxury hotels are fully booked. But in the valley below, country’s poorest communities are struggling with skyrocketing food prices.

President Erdogan's unrelenting pressure on the central bank to lower interest rates has caused the value of the lira to fall dramatically. The result has been a whopping 49% in inflation - officially. But experts have long estimated the rate to be more than 80%.

 

 

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