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'Never saw such hell': Russian soldiers in Ukraine call home

One Russian soldier tells his mother that the young Ukrainians dead from his first firefight looked just like him. Another explains to his wife that he's drunk because alcohol makes it easier to kill civilians. A third wants his girlfriend to know that in all the horror, he dreams about just being with her.

About 2,000 secret recordings of intercepted conversations between Russian soldiers in Ukraine and their loved ones back home offer a harrowing new perspective on Vladimir Putin's year-old war. There is a human mystery at the heart of this conversations heard in intercepted phone calls: How do people raised with a sense of right and wrong end up accepting and perpetrating terrible acts of violence?

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International community marks one year since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine

The Embassies of Australia, Denmark, Japan and the United Kingdom in Lebanon will light up on Friday night their shared Embassies’ Complex in Beirut in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

"Today marks a year since the brutal, unjustified and unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. In that year, thousands of innocent Ukrainian people have been killed, and millions forced from their homes," the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, and Japan said in a joint statement.

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Year of worsening Israel-Palestinian bloodshed

The deaths of 11 Palestinians in an Israeli raid in the West Bank comes a year into a spiral of violence that has killed over 250 Palestinians and 35 Israelis in the past 12 months.

AFP looks back at some of the deadliest incidents since a spate of attacks in Israel in spring last year prompted authorities to launch a series of ever deadlier "counter-terrorism" raids.

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In Russia-Ukraine war, information became a weapon

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II, and the first to see algorithms and TikTok videos deployed alongside fighter planes and tanks.

The online fight has played out on computer screens and smartphones around the globe as Russia used disinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories to justify its invasion, silence domestic opposition and sow discord among its adversaries.

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What's behind the Israeli army's deadly Nablus arrest raid?

The northern West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian commercial center, resembled a war zone on Wednesday, after a daytime Israeli military raid triggered a firefight that killed at least 10 Palestinians and wounded more than 100 others.

It was the latest bloody escalation in a monthslong surge of Israeli raids into the the occupied territory that has led to the deaths of some 200 Palestinians and the arrest of at least 2,600 others. Last month, a similarly deadly raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin triggered a Palestinian attack outside a synagogue in Jerusalem and a burst of rocket fire from Gaza.

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Calls for change in Iran reach even Shiite heartland of Qom

Iran's city of Qom is one of the country's most important centers for Shiite Muslim clerics, packed with religious schools and revered shrines. But even here, some are quietly calling for Iran's ruling theocracy to change its ways after months of protests shaking the country.

To be clear: Many here still support the cleric-led ruling system, which marked the 44th anniversary this month of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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Turkey quake fuels conspiracy posts on HAARP project

Conspiracy theories about a U.S. research station have resurged, with social media users falsely blaming it for the Turkey-Syria earthquakes, following debunked claims it causes weather disasters and spreads the coronavirus.

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Key moments in a year of war after Russia invaded Ukraine

The war in Ukraine that began a year ago has killed thousands, forced millions to flee their homes, reduced entire cities to rubble and has fueled fears the confrontation could slide into an open conflict between Russia and NATO.

A look at some of the main events in the conflict.

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After quake, war-hit Syrians struggle to get aid, rebuild

After years of war, residents of areas in northwest Syria struck by a massive earthquake are grappling with their new and worsening reality.

Almost one week after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Syria and neighboring Turkey, the United Nations has acknowledged an international failure to help Syrian quake victims.

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A glance at the world's deadliest quakes in past 25 years

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing more than 4,000 people in the two countries. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers working in cold and snow look for trapped people in the rubble of toppled buildings.

Here are some of the world's deadliest earthquakes in the past 25 years:

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