A Soviet monument in the Lithuanian village of Gribine was defaced with swastikas over the weekend, as seen in footage shot on Tuesday.

The perpetrators have yet to be identified by local police, who've launched an investigation into the act of vandalism.

The monument stands on a small hill in a village in which there are only a few houses. It was erected at the site of the death of more than 20 Soviet activists who were ambushed on June 4, 1946, by members of the armed anti-Soviet underground.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif raised their "common concern" over the current developments in Afghanistan while speaking at a joint press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

"The long-standing presence of the USA and NATO has not yielded peace and stability in Afghanistan," Lavrov stated. "Unfortunately, [it has] not downgraded the terrorist threat."

"We are very much concerned about what is going on in Afghanistan. We are very much concerned about the growth of the Islamic State's influence over there," the Russian diplomat added.

Talking about the current developments in Syria's Afrin, where Turkish forces are currently in the midst of a combat operation in Kurdish-held areas, Lavrov said Moscow acknowledges Ankara's "concerns with regard to what is going on in Syria", but also stated there is worry over the presence of other external forces, particularly the US, who are "pursuing their own geopolitical short-sighted interests" in the country.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council in Moscow on Tuesday.

The discussion focused on the situation in Syria's Afrin, where Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish forces. Domestic issues were also discussed.

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Mandatory credit : Knesset Channel

Head of Israeli Police Roni Alsheikh affirmed that investigators tasked with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption probes have not leaked information to media, during a Knesset Internal Affairs Committee meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Police Chief Roni Alsheikh had been summoned to Knesset over an interview earlier this month in which he accused "powerful" elements involved in investigations on alleged corruption by Netanyahu of trying to collect information about police officers.

"Someone is trying to show as if the police are leaking because he (someone) wants to publicly defend himself," Alsheikh said during the meeting, prompting heated reactions of Knesset members.

"This is unfair toward the police and the public deserves to know, once and for all, how this is being handled. I fight the leaks. We forbid police officers to speak directly to the media," Alsheikh continued.

On February 13, the Israeli police recommended that Netanyahu should be indicted for bribery and fraud.

Over the past year, Netanyahu has been questioned in two corruption probes, which he claims to be false accusations from his opponents. The final decision on whether the Prime Minister will face charges will be made by the attorney general's office.

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Pro-Syrian government militias have begun entering the Kurdish-dominated region of Afrin on Tuesday, amid Turkish threats of escalation.

Footage captured from the al-Ziyara gate leading to Afrin shows vehicles carrying fighters and heavy machine-guns as they made their way through the enclave.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised Russia's participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Tuesday, during a meeting with Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee Igor Levitin and other sports officials at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Tuesday.

"We are very grateful that Russia sent a big sports team to the Olympic Games in spite of difficult circumstances", said Moon.

"Of course, the very participation of the Russian team in the Olympics is of great importance, since Russia is the former hostess of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, this is the first. And the second, such a great support and active participation of the Russian team in our Olympiad says that the current Olympiad is a peaceful festival of all mankind", he added.

In turn, Levitin thanked Moon Jae-in "for the reception and support".

In an interview after the meeting, Levitin also commented on the doping scandal with the Russian curling athlete Alexander Krushelnytsky, saying that "the Federation will need to understand how this could happen".

Officials from the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) committee confirmed on Sunday evening that Krushelnytsky, who won bronze in mixed-doubles curling modality in the current Olympics, was under investigation for the failed doping test.

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Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak is holding a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday, February 19 to announce the sponsors and the team with whom she will participate in the elections, as well as her election program.

On October 18, 2017, Sobchak announced her candidacy for the Russian presidential elections, which are due to take place on March 18, 2018.

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Slovenia has failed to qualify to the quarterfinals of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament on Tuesday in absence of their key forward Ziga Jeglic, who was slapped with a doping suspension right head of the match.

The Slovenian Olympic team was defeated by Norway 1:2 in overtime, however the Balkan state's squad had been leading 2 periods 1:0 and even after the Vikings managed to equalise were close to decide the match in their favour due to the constant attacks in the end of the match and power play four against three in overtime.

Right ahead of that match the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) announced Slovenia's 29 years old forward Ziga Jeglic, who is currently playing for HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, had tested positive for banned drug fenoterol and had to leave the athletes' village within 24 hours.

In his defence, Jeglic, who scored his team's decisive penalty shot against Slovakia last Saturday, claimed he had taken the mentioned drug due to asthma under medical advice and that he forgot to declare it as a therapeutic use exception. He will become the third athlete to be penalised for doping at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Speaking on the case of Ziga Jeglic, captain of the Slovenian Olympic hockey team and also his team mate in HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Jan Mursak said: "Of course Ziga [Jeglic] is a big part of our team and we wished he would be on the ice with us but I'm sure, I'm sure they are going to figure it out. I'm sure that he's innocent.

Norway qualified to the quarterfinals of the Olympic men's ice hockey tournament, where they will face Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) on Wednesday, February 21st.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gives a rare address at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on Tuesday, February 20, during a monthly meeting on the Middle East.

The meeting is taking place following escalating tensions between Palestinians and the US, ever since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Former President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Artur Mas testified at the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid on Tuesday, as part of the investigation into the Catalan independence referendum process.

Mas was subsequently released without precautionary measures, reports say, after testifying that the declaration of independence was "symbolic."

"Ask yourself why Belgium does not have the crime of rebellion in its criminal code, and why Spain has in its code the crime of rebellion," Ester Capella, Deputy of Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), told journalists outside the court.

She added, "This general cause against the independence movement is not just against the independence: it is against democracy, against fundamental rights and against the rule of law."

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Spanish actor and Oscar winner Javier Bardem presented his upcoming documentary about the Southern Ocean and launched an attack on US President Donald Trump's attitude towards the environment at a Greenpeace press conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

Bardem alongside scientists Dr. Susanne Lockhart (California Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Sandra Schottner (Greenpeace Germany) showed some excerpts from the rare footage they filmed in January during an expedition to the Southern Ocean aboard Greenpeace's boat Artic Sunrise.

Bardem also reflected on the role of Trump in environmental issues.

"The fact that he is against it [climate change] makes more people on-board with our cause. It is like if you see him doing something, do the opposite and you'll be right," Bardem said.

The documentary named Sanctuary, which Bardem co-produced with Greenpeace, is part of a broader EU proposal to set up the largest protected area on Earth, a 1.8 million square km (695,000 square miles) wildlife reserve in the Southern Ocean.

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The plane wreckage of an Aseman Airlines flight, which crashed with 65 people on board, was found on Tuesday in the Zagros mountains after three days of search operations.

According to a helicopter pilot who spotted the wreckage, the plan crashed 30 metres (100 feet) from a peak on Mount Dena in the Zagros Mountain range.

"The airplane has been found, but the situation of bodies are not very clear because around two meters snow has covered the wreckage," said an emergency services spokesman.

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