Nearly 20,000 Ukrainian nationalist protesters, veterans, and far-right activists take to the street in response to President Volodymyr Zelensky's dealings with Russia on Monday, Oct. 14 2019. Efrem Lukatsky/AP Images

This Week Around the World – Oct. 14–19

Oct. 14 Kyiv, Ukraine: Approximately 20,000 protesters marched through central Kyiv in reaction to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s deal with Russia, which grants pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine special status and allows them to hold their own elections. Nationalist groups and veteran associations organized and led the protests against the plan. 

According to The Guardian, a recent poll revealed the majority of Ukrainians are against granting eastern Ukraine special status despite the violence that has been ongoing since 2014. “We are for peace, but we want it done differently,” protester Ludmyla Linnyk told Reuters. “We also want our boys not to die, but we want our land to remain our land and that there are no enemies on our land.”


Oct. 16 Kenya: Kenya’s Ministry of Education announced hundreds of informal schools would be closed by the government following the collapse of a school in September. The school collapse killed eight children and injured dozens more. The collapse was blamed on poor construction and overcrowding. According to Al Jazeera, the collapse led to the government tightening regulations on schools. The thousands of students attending the informal schools that will be shut down will be transferred to public schools close by, but many of them are already overcrowded. 


Oct. 16–17 Mindanao, The Philippines: At least five people died due to a 6.3 magnitude earthquake centralized near the Philippines’ second-largest island of Mindanao on Oct. 16. Over two dozen people were injured. The earthquake triggered several landslides, one of which killed a mother and her child, according to Al Jazeera. Hospital patients were evacuated to the streets and residents were advised to avoid buildings that may have been structurally damaged by the earthquake. The Independent reported a 5.3 magnitude aftershock occurred the following morning on Oct. 17. 


Oct. 16 Kanduna, Nigeria: In the third raid of October, police freed over 600 students from schools in Nigeria, many of whom were chained to walls, molested and beaten. The schools, called Almajiris, educate about 10 million children. Authorities have performed several raids on the schools in October and have released more than 1,000 students. Police arrested the owner of the facilities, along with two teachers. Police also told Reuters newcomers and misbehaving students were separated and placed in buildings where they experienced regular abuse. “No responsible democratic government would tolerate the existence of the torture chambers and physical abuses of inmates in the name of rehabilitation of the victims,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement in support of the police raids, according to Reuters.


Oct. 19 Siberia, Russia: At least 15 gold miners died after a dam collapsed and partially flooded a mining encampment in remote Siberia. As a result of the dam collapse, two dormitories at the mining camp flooded, injuring 16 people and leaving another 13 missing. The New York Times reported the dam was not registered or approved by Rostechnadzor, Russia’s agency for “technological and ecological oversight.” Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered state agencies to investigate the disaster and prevent additional damage to neighboring communities.