Russia Attacks Ukraine - 23 Feb 2022 **Media Thread** NO DISCUSSION #4

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War Crimes Watch: Targeting schools, Russia bombs the future​


''KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As she lay buried under the rubble, her legs broken and eyes blinded by blood and thick clouds of dust, all Inna Levchenko could hear was screams. It was 12:15 p.m. on March 3, and moments earlier a blast had pulverized the school where she’d taught for 30 years.

Amid relentless bombing, she’d opened School 21 in Chernihiv as a shelter to frightened families. They painted the word “children” in big, bold letters on the windows, hoping that Russian forces would see it and spare them. The bombs fell anyway.

Though she didn’t know it yet, 70 children she’d ordered to shelter in the basement would survive the blast. But at least nine people, including one of her students — a 13-year-old boy — would not.

“Why schools? I cannot comprehend their motivation,” she said. “It is painful to realize how many friends of mine died … and how many children who remained alone without parents, got traumatized. They will remember it all their life and will pass their stories to the next generation.”

''But the destruction of hundreds of schools is about more than toppling buildings and maiming bodies, according to experts, to teachers and to others who have survived conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, in Syria and beyond. It hinders a nation’s ability to rebound after the fighting stops, injuring entire generations and dashing a country’s hope for the future.''
___

This story is part of an ongoing investigation from The Associated Press and the PBS series “Frontline” that includes the War Crimes Watch Ukraine interactive experience and an upcoming documentary.''
 

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MAY 17, 2022
[...]

Russia on Tuesday called the operation a mass surrender. The Ukrainians avoided using that word — but said the garrison had completed its mission, and that they were working to pull out the fighters that remain.

[...]

Oleksandr Danylyuk, a Ukrainian former national security chief and finance minister, told the BBC that because Ukrainian forces were unable to liberate the plant, the negotiated evacuation to Russian-controlled territory had been “the only hope” for Azovstal’s defenders.

Those remaining in the plant are still “able to defend it. But I think it’s important to understand that their main mission is completed and now their lives need to be saved,” he said.

A full negotiated withdrawal could save lives on the Russian side, too, sparing Russian-backed troops from what almost certainly would be a bloody and difficult battle to wrest the labyrinth-like plant from Ukrainian control.

Danylyuk added that those evacuated should be swapped for Russian prisoners — but Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, said without evidence that there are “war criminals” among the plant defenders and they should not be exchanged but tried.

[...]
 

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Krasnopol: The latest Russian weapon killing civilians in Syria​

In 2021, The White Helmets (Syria Civil Defense) witnessed a new trend in attacks on civilians in Northwest Syria.

Over the past decade, the Assad regime and Russia’s forces have relied on a scorched-earth policy in Syria, employing a huge arsenal of artillery, missile weapons, and airstrikes that affect a wide area, or using weapons that are indiscriminate and scatter and disperse over a wide area such as internationally prohibited cluster bombs, chemical weapons, and phosphorus munitions.

Consequently, we now witness the same scenario being repeated in Ukraine, as reports of Russia’s use of Krasnopol missiles in Ukraine surface and as we continue to see civilians, aid work, public facilities and hospitals targeted in Ukraine. The use of laser-guided missiles against civilians is a concerning new trend for 2021. If accountability is not taken, these highly advanced and destructive weapons will continue their high toll on innocent civilian lives.

Krasnopol: The latest Russian weapon killing civilians in Syria - Syria Civil Defence
 

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Finns stock up on food, check bomb shelters after NATO move

Residents are stocking up on food and preparing for a potential conflict with Russia, which shares a more than 800-mile border with the Nordic country.
www.newsweek.com
www.newsweek.com
 

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Russia-Ukraine war: Zelenskiy says Donbas is ‘completely destroyed’ – as it happened

Russian minister says access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports linked to sanctions; Ukrainian PM compares Donbas to hell
www.theguardian.com
www.theguardian.com
4h ago18.01

Catch up​

  • Russia’s foreign ministry said it will only consider opening access to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports if the removal of sanctions against Russia is also considered. Remarks by the Russian deputy foreign minister, Andrei Rudenko, came after the UN food chief, David Beasley, pleaded with Vladimir Putin, saying millions would die around the world because of the Russian blockade of the ports.
  • Ukraine’s top presidential adviser and member of the negotiating team, Mykhailo Podolyak, said a ceasefire with Russia is “impossible without total Russian troops withdrawal”. Podolyak said Kyiv is not interested in a new “Minsk”, referring to the 2015 Minsk agreement, brokered by France and Germany, which attempted to secure a ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine.
  • Russia’s defence ministry said 1,730 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered from Azovstal since Monday. That includes a further 771 who surrendered, they said, in the last 24 hours. Eighty were wounded. The ministry said “those in need of inpatient treatment receive assistance in medical institutions” in Novoazovsk and Donetsk.
  • The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, said more than half of the Ukrainian fighters who were inside Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant have now left the plant. The reports are unclear on an exact number and have not been independently verified. There has been confusion over exactly how many fighters were besieged in the plant.
  • The US president, Joe Biden, said Finland and Sweden “meet every Nato requirement and then some” to join the alliance and have the “full, complete backing” of the US. Speaking at a joint press conference at the White House, Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, said Russia’s “full-scale aggression” against Ukraine led to the “watershed moment” for her country to decide to apply for Nato membership. Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö, said his country was open to discussing Turkey’s concerns over its application to join Nato.
  • Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said he had told allies he would “say no” to Finland and Sweden’s Nato membership bid. He also accused Sweden and Finland of harbouring and financing “terrorists” and supplying them with weapons, adding: “Nato is a security alliance and we cannot accept terrorists to be in it.”
  • Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, expressed confidence that there was a way to assuage Turkish concerns over bids by Sweden and Finland to join Nato. “We believe that the Turkish concerns about the accession of Sweden and Finland that have been expressed by Erdogan and others can be addressed and can be resolved,” he said. British defence minister Ben Wallace delivered a similar message to UK parliament
  • A court in Kyiv met for a second hearing in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia’s 24 February invasion. Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old tank commander, asked a Ukrainian widow to forgive him for the murder of her husband after pleading guilty yesterday to killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian in the north-east Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February.
  • The UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, held a phone conversation with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to discuss military support and global food security. The pair looked at options to “open up critical sea and land supply routes for Ukrainian grain stocks”, Downing Street said. Zelenskiy said he also updated Johnson about “the course of hostilities and the operation to rescue the military from Azovstal”.
  • The evacuation of Ukrainian troops from the southern port city of Mariupol continues, according to a Ukrainian general. Oleksiy Gromov, the deputy chief of the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, said: “In the Mariupol direction, measures are being taken to evacuate our heroes.” He did not provide details.
  • The US Congress on Thursday approved $40bn in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, with both parties eagerly backing the latest effort to support an ally under brutal assault by Russia. Biden thanked Congress for working together – a rarity these days.
  • G7 financial leaders have agreed on $18.4bn (£14.7bn) to help Ukraine and said they were ready to stand by Kyiv and “do more as needed”, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the US, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Italy are holding talks as Ukraine is running out of cash.
  • More than a million Ukrainian refugees have already returned home, according to the country’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko. He said that the mayors of Kyiv and Kharkiv had had to tell people not to return to the cities as it was still unsafe.
  • In his nightly address, Zelenskiy gave a dire assessment of the situation Donbas. “There’s hell, and that’s not an exaggeration,” he said. “Donbas is completely destroyed.” As the war drags on, the monthly budget deficit in Ukraine is $5b, he said. “And to endure the war for freedom, we need quick and sufficient financial support.”
 

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Zelensky mocks Russia over ‘complete failure of invasion’ - live

Latest Ukraine updates today

''Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has branded Russia’s claim to be using laser weapons “a sign of the complete failure of the invasion”.

Moscow said it was using a new generation of the powerful weapons to burn up drones to counter a flood of Western arms supplied to Ukraine.''

Mr Zelensky mocked the claim, saying Russia was looking for a “wonder weapon”, something Nazi Germany did when it was losing the Second World War.

Meanwhile, Russia has fired some of its most senior military commanders over the failure to capture Kharkiv and the sinking of the Moskva warship in April, the UK’s ministry of defence (MoD) has said.

“Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel, who commanded the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, has been suspended for his failure to capture Kharkiv,” officials said.

They added: “Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, who commanded Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, has also likely been suspended following the sinking of the cruiser Moskva in April.”

The defence ministry said a “culture of cover-ups and scapegoating is probably prevalent within the Russian military and security system”.
 

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Turkey to block Sweden, Finland NATO bids over 'home to terrorists' claims

Turkey doubles down on blocking Sweden and Finland bid to join NATO amid security concerns from Russia.
www.foxnews.com
www.foxnews.com

This news article says that today, Thursday, President Erdogan of Turkey reiterated his decision that he would not support Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

Article says that Findland and Sweden will send diplomats to Turkey to discuss the situation, and Erdogan says "don't bother." Sounds like he isn't open to negotiations on this, but of course things may change.

For now, however, he appears adamant about Turkey's decision.
 

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"As far as expansion goes, including new members Finland and Sweden, Russia has no problems with these states - none. And so in this sense there is no immediate threat to Russia from an expansion to include these countries," Putin said.

www.reuters.com

Ukrainian force begins evacuating from last Mariupol stronghold

Troops holed up in the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged port of Mariupol began evacuating on Monday, appearing to cede control of the once prosperous city to Russia after months of bombardment.
www.reuters.com
www.reuters.com


“The situation is, of course, changing radically in light of what is happening,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Monday. “The fact that Finland and Sweden’s security will not be strengthened as a result of this is very clear to us.”

Ryabkov added that the two Nordic nations “should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it”, warning that the move was “another grave mistake with far-reaching consequences” and the “general level of military tension will increase”.

https://www.websleuths.com/forums/proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.guim.co.uk%2Fimg%2Fmedia%2F6ff32ebc9bc356ec2af90813a3b7a52ec3dc305f%2F1048_289_4642_2785%2Fmaster%2F4642.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1200%26height%3D630%26quality%3D85%26auto%3Dformat%26fit%3Dcrop%26overlay-align%3Dbottom%252Cleft%26overlay-width%3D100p%26overlay-%3DL2ltZy9zdGF0aWMvb3ZlcmxheXMvdGctZGVmYXVsdC5wbmc%26enable%3Dupscale%26s%3D70a87584399f635787ff991fd4e0e87b&hash=3e43e07ae9f110c209ab29dad6e36a0f&return_error=1

Turkey says it will not approve Sweden and Finland joining Nato

Turkey’s justice ministry said it objected on grounds that the two countries had failed to respond positively to extradition requests
 

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"In the series 'The New Wall', Europe correspondent Saskia Dekkers travels through a rapidly changing Europe. Her first report was from the Norwegian Arctic town of Kirkenes, which borders Russia. In part 2 she visits the Norwegian fishing island of Vardø..."

www.google.com

Amerika bespioneert Russen vanaf dit kleine Noorse eiland

Drie grote bolvormige radarstations op een klein Noors visserseilandje behoren tot de meest geavanceerde ter wereld. En ze zijn gericht op Rusland.
www.google.com
www.google.com
@Chiatos - did you saw Nieuwsuur?
#ArjenKamphuis.
GPS Russian jamming -Norway
 

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MAY 19, 2022
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS
They were husbands and fathers, grocery store and factory workers who lived ordinary civilian lives before the war. But with restrictions on men leaving the country, coupled with a resolve to protect their communities, most of the men joined various defense forces in the days before they were killed. Nearly all of them lived within walking distance of the courtyard in which their bodies would later lie.

MAY 20, 2022
[...]

The International Committee of the Red Cross gathered personal information from hundreds of the soldiers — name, date of birth, closest relative — and registered them as prisoners of war, as part of its role in ensuring the humane treatment of POWs under the Geneva Conventions.

[...]

At least some of the fighters were taken by the Russians to a former penal colony in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. Others were hospitalized, according to a separatist official.

But an undisclosed number remained in the warren of bunkers and tunnels in the sprawling plant.

[...]

While Ukraine expressed hope for a prisoner exchange, Russian authorities have threatened to investigate some of the Azovstal fighters for war crimes and put them on trial, branding them “Nazis” and criminals.

[...]
 

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www.cp24.com

Russia claims to have taken full control of Mariupol

Russia claimed to have captured Mariupol on Friday in what would be its biggest victory yet in its war with Ukraine, after a nearly three-month siege that reduced much of the strategic port city to a smoking ruin, with over 20,000 civilians feared dead.

In other developments Friday:

''- Zelenskyy said Russia should be made to pay for every home, school, hospital and business it destroys. He called on Ukraine's partners to seize Russian funds and property under their jurisdiction and use them to create a fund to compensate those who suffered.

Russia “would feel the true weight of every missile, every bomb, every shell that it has fired at us,” he said in his nightly video address.

- The Group of Seven major economies and global financial institutions agreed to provide more money to bolster Ukraine's finances, bringing the total to $19.8 billion. In the U.S., President Joe Biden was expected to sign a $40 billion package of military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies.

- Russia will cut off natural gas to Finland on Saturday, the Finnish state energy company said, just days after Finland applied to join NATO. Finland had refused Moscow's demand that it pay for gas in rubles. The cutoff is not expected to have any major immediate effect. Natural gas accounted for just 6% of Finland's total energy consumption in 2020, Finnish broadcaster YLE said.

- A captured Russian soldier accused of killing a civilian awaited his fate in Ukraine's first war crimes trial. Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, could get life in prison.

- Russian lawmakers proposed a bill to lift the age limit of 40 for Russians volunteering for military service. Currently, all Russian men 18 to 27 must undergo a year of service, though many get college deferments and other exemptions.

Heavy fighting was reported Friday in the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking expanse of coal mines and factories.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, said Russian forces shelled the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway from multiple directions, taking aim at the only road for evacuating people and delivering humanitarian supplies.

“The Russians are trying to cut us off from it, to encircle the Luhansk region,” he said via email.''
 
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