Bodies of two Britons killed in Ukraine recovered as part of prisoner swap

Chris Parry and Andrew Bagshaw died in Soledar area while helping to evacuate people from frontline

The bodies of two British volunteers killed in Ukraine while carrying out a humanitarian evacuation have been recovered, a Ukrainian official has said.

Chris Parry, 28, and his colleague Andrew Bagshaw, 47, who held dual UK and New Zealand citizenship, had been trying to evacuate an elderly woman from Soledar when their car was hit by an artillery shell.

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Ex-Russian president suggests Japanese PM should ritually disembowel himself

Dmitry Medvedev accuses Fumio Kishida of shameful subservience to US after Joe Biden meeting

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has accused Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida of shameful subservience to the US and suggested he should ritually disembowel himself.

His remarks on Saturday were the latest in a long line of shocking and provocative statements from Medvedev, who was once seen as a western-leaning reformer but has reinvented himself as an arch-hawk since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

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Family of Briton missing in Ukraine ‘very worried’ about him

Chris Parry and fellow Briton Andrew Bagshaw had been helping people evacuate from frontline

The family of one of the two British men missing in Ukraine have said they are “very worried” about his disappearance.

Chris Parry, 28, was last seen on Friday with fellow Briton Andrew Bagshaw, 48, heading to the town of Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine.

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The world in 2023: what our writers say you should watch out for

From Ukraine developments and China’s Covid surge to renewable energy and hope for the Amazon

A near-inevitable global recession sparked by a lengthening war in Europe’s frozen east; an energy crisis coupled with soaring inflation; Covid-19 finally running rampant in China – predictions for 2023 are grim. Still, there are reasons to be hopeful. That same energy crisis has spurred an unprecedented demand for renewables, which are expected to boom, while in Brazil, a new president has sworn to protect the Amazon. Repressive regimes, meanwhile, will be nervously looking at Iran, where hardline clerics are locked in a struggle with a formidable pro-democracy uprising that threatens to overwhelm them next year.

Guardian correspondents across the globe have provided their take on what to watch out for in 2023:

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Putin invites Xi to Moscow as Russia pursues alliance with China

Analysts say Chinese leader has leverage as Russian counterpart ‘has no one else to turn to’ amid Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin invited his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Friday to make a state visit to Russia next spring, as Moscow seeks to deepen its ties with China amid growing international isolation over the war in Ukraine.

Speaking to Xi via a videoconference, Putin said Russia’s ties with China are the “best in history”, expressing his wish to extend military collaboration and inviting Xi to visit Moscow.

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Indian leather companies accused of enabling Russia’s war effort

Soldiers’ boots are made from imported Indian leather as country’s trade with Russia soars by 400%

Indian companies have been accused of enabling Russia’s war effort after exporting leather to Russian companies that make boots for its military in the months since the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and India have longstanding ties and Narendra Modi’s government has not joined western countries in openly criticising Moscow over the war nor stopped Indian companies trading with Russia.

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Indian police investigate Russian politician’s hotel death

Death of Pavel Antov, who reportedly criticised Ukraine war, comes days after his travelling companion died at same hotel

Indian police are investigating the sudden deaths at a luxury hotel of a wealthy Russian politician who reportedly criticised the Ukraine war, and his travelling companion.

The body of Pavel Antov, 65, was found on Saturday in a pool of blood outside his lodgings in eastern Odisha state, where he was on holiday with three other Russian nationals.

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Surge in China’s military operations reflects ‘new normal’ under Xi Jinping

President has made escalations against foreign powers more common amid drive to beef up People’s Liberation Army

A rush of Chinese military activity across the region this month has capped off a year of increased aggression, as President Xi Jinping displays China’s increased military might despite economic struggles and the impact of the zero-Covid policy and its sudden end.

This month the People’s Liberation Army – the Chinese Communist party’s military wing – has broadened its aerial incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (Adiz), come to blows with Indian troops in the Himalayas, run military drills near Japan and participated in major joint exercises with Russia.

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Putin’s grip on regional allies loosens again after Armenia snub

Damaging optics of ‘family’ photo at CSTO summit highlights fragility of Russia’s influence in wake of war in Ukraine

Armenia has asked the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to chair peace talks with Azerbaijan in a fresh challenge to Vladimir Putin’s increasingly loose grip on Russia’s regional allies in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

The snub from a traditional ally to Putin, who had hosted an inconsequential meeting of the warring countries’ leaders last month, comes immediately on the back of his disastrous summit with six former Soviet states.

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Three men found guilty of murdering 298 people in MH17 shooting down

Court says Russia had overall control of the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine at the time when the plane was shot down

A Dutch court has found three men guilty of the murder of 298 people on board flight MH17, which was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile when it was flying over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The court handed down sentences of life imprisonment to Russian nationals Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, after finding them guilty of bringing down the plane and the murder of everyone on board. They were also ordered to pay “more than €16m” in compensation to the victims. The three men remain at large and it remains unclear if they will ever serve their sentences.

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‘China can play mediating role’: Macron to visit Xi Jinping over war in Ukraine

French president believes China can help push Russia to de-escalate Ukraine war

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has said he intends to visit Beijing in the new year and believes his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, can play a mediating role that prevents a resumption of large-scale land fighting in Ukraine in February.

Speaking at the close of the G20 in Bali, a summit dominated by the Russian attack on Ukraine and its implications for the world economy, he said he believed China could take a mediating role in the conflict.

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Five key takeaways from the G20 meeting in Bali

From Xi Jinping’s first international appearance in three years to leaders snubbing Russia, here are the significant moments

The G20 meeting in Bali signalled Xi Jinping’s emergence from three years of self-imposed pandemic isolation, with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, among those keen to secure a chat and photo opportunity with the Chinese leader.

Despite condemnation of Chinese human rights abuses and anxiety over its intentions in the Taiwan Strait, the largely positive tone set by Xi’s bilateral with US president Joe Biden continued until the end of the summit.

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G20’s dysfunctional family show little sign of working together in a crisis

Communique unlikely to stretch beyond usual platitudes despite the need for a global plan for recovery

The Cambodian prime minister, Hun Sen, was struck down by Covid, the Argentinian prime minister, Alberto Fernández, had gastroenteritis and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, either did or did not have chest pains that sent him to hospital. Given that Indonesia’s G20 slogan plastered all around Bali says: “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, it was not an auspicious performance by the world’s leaders.

Unfortunately, there is precious little sign of recovery at the G20, either at a political or economic level.

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Russia strives to avoid G20 isolation as China and India distance themselves

Traditional allies voice concern over Ukraine war as draft communique highlights damage to world economy

Russia has been battling to prevent diplomatic isolation at the G20 summit in Bali as its traditional allies – China and India – started to distance themselves from the war in Ukraine, which a draft communique said had caused untold economic damage to the world.

Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, and Xi Jinping, the president of China, both voiced concern about the war without breaking from their previous defence of Moscow.

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Five key takeaways from Biden and Xi’s first meeting as leaders

Taiwan, trade, Ukraine and the climate crisis among issues discussed when presidents of US and China met

At the G20 summit in Bali, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held their first ever face-to-meeting as leaders, in an attempt to reduce tensions over Taiwan and trade that have sent US-China ties to their lowest level in decades. Here are the five key takeaways:

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