World briefs

Brandan Massoud, Staff Writer

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Russia

Boris Nemtsov, a Russian political opposition leader, was shot and killed on Saturday, Feb. 28 in Moscow, Russia. The assassination led to a demonstration of upwards of 70,000 people in central Moscow on Feb. 29 in support of Nemtsov.

Protesters were heard yelling the phrase “I am not afraid.”

Nemtsov served as deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin, and became one of current President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken criticizers over the past few years.

According to Nemstov’s associate, Nemstov had planned to keep reporting the fighting going on in Eastern Ukraine, which would have contradicted the government’s claims of a current ceasefire between the two nations.

Outrage among the Russian population continues; as Putin denied any involvement in the shooting.

ISIS

On Monday, March 2, the Iraqi government launched a 30,000-troops-military attack on the city of Tikrit in an attempt to retake the city and gain ground on ISIS.

ISIS had executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers in their takeover of the city last June, so a victory in Tikrit meant more than just military strategy.

The United States has not provided any support to the government in their efforts to re-establish a presence in Tikrit.

Furthermore, the Egyptian President Adbel Fatteh el-Sisi stated on Feb. 23 that there was a need for a unified Arab force against ISIS. This was largely in response to the killings of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya on Feb. 16.

“Strategically and politically for the region, this is a big deal, and it’s absolutely the right first step,” CNN military analyst James Marks said about the potential for an Arab coalition.

Boko Haram

On Feb. 21, militants from Boko Haram attacked a village in Southeast Niger. The assault was met by the Nigerien army, and left 21 people dead.

Recently, Boko Haram began expanding its region of influence from Northern Nigeria into the neighboring countries of Chad and Niger. Efforts by both the Chadian and Nigerian armies have been effective in securing their borders.

Boko Haram is a radical-Islamic terrorist group originating in Northern Nigeria. The name “Boko Haram” literally translates to “Western education is forbidden.” The group started in 2002 in response to British influence in Nigeria and since 2009 it has attempted to establish an Islamic state.

In 2013 President Barack Obama deemed Boko Haram a terrorist organization, but the United States has not yet taken any military action against it. The Nigerian government, however, is currently trying to wipe out the group as it continues to garner support throughout the northern part of the nation.