Ukraine

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — One was asked to be an informant for Russia. Another's 16-year-old son was abducted as leverage. A third is still in Russian custody. Here are just a few portraits of prominent Ukrainian politicians, journalists, pastors and more who ended up on Russian lists for abduction, in an effort to strip Ukraine of its leaders.

    ___

    VIKTOR MARUNIAK

    Two carloads of Russians came for Viktor Maruniak on his 60th birthday.

    It was March 21. Maruniak, the head of Stara Zburivka village, in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, said he and three other local men were taken to a nearby hotel, blindfolded, handcuffed, beaten, strangled and forced to strip naked in below zero weather.

    “They’d point a gun toward our heads or toward the head of someone else, saying if you don’t say something, we will kill them,” Maruniak said. “Something was turned off in my head. It helped me survive. I was out of my body.”

    After several days, he said, he was taken to a second detention center and tortured with electric shocks. They asked where weapons were stored. He said his captors’ vehicles and uniforms, along with documents he spotted and conversations he overheard, indicated that he had been taken by a special paramilitary police force under Russia’s National Guard.

    To his surprise, he was released three weeks later, on the condition that he return to his village as an informant.

    Instead, he fled to Latvia. He said he had nine broken ribs. Photographs taken after his ordeal show him thin and withered, with injuries to his hands, back, buttocks and leg. He looks with a level gaze at the camera, a man beyond shock or sorrow, as if nothing human beings might do to each other would surprise him anymore.

    “They kept kidnapping people in my village,” he said. “Nobody knows where they are kept and why they are kidnapped.”


    continues.....


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 26,288
    I hope one day Putin gets blown up! 
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 20,431
    mrussel1 said:
    MAGA tears about this. 
    did you see the maga tears about how zelenskyy was dressed last night at the address?

    also, why did boebert and gaetz neither applaud or stand at any point during the address? hmmmmm.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 26,288
    mrussel1 said:
    MAGA tears about this. 
    did you see the maga tears about how zelenskyy was dressed last night at the address?

    also, why did boebert and gaetz neither applaud or stand at any point during the address? hmmmmm.
    Attention seekers that’s all they are good at! And both are giant asshole human beings at best..
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    mrussel1 said:
    MAGA tears about this. 
    did you see the maga tears about how zelenskyy was dressed last night at the address?

    also, why did boebert and gaetz neither applaud or stand at any point during the address? hmmmmm.
    Tom Cotton didn't even show.  


  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 20,431
    mrussel1 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    MAGA tears about this. 
    did you see the maga tears about how zelenskyy was dressed last night at the address?

    also, why did boebert and gaetz neither applaud or stand at any point during the address? hmmmmm.
    Tom Cotton didn't even show.  


    he is one of these guys that will be like "wHy ShOuLd We GiVe UkRaInE aId WhEn We HaVe AmErICaNs ThAt NeEd HeAlTh InSuRaNcE aNd HoUsInG??" all while opposing all 3 of those things.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • mrussel1 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    MAGA tears about this. 
    did you see the maga tears about how zelenskyy was dressed last night at the address?

    also, why did boebert and gaetz neither applaud or stand at any point during the address? hmmmmm.
    Tom Cotton didn't even show.  


    These guys are shameless. Part of me says every dem should just resign and refuse to run and let them have a 100% repub majority just so the "Murican people can see how quickly of a shit show their incompetence and backward way of thinking/vision would be if it ever came to fruition. These folks aren't going away.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377
    The peculiar Russian missile 'cemetery' in eastern Ukraine
    By VASILISA STEPANENKO
    Today

    KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — The eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has a peculiar “cemetery,” one that recalls some of the worst damage done since the Russian invasion: the debris of rockets used against this town and its people.

    The graveyard has more than a thousand missiles, or parts of them. Local authorities hope they can help provide information for any prosecution case against Russians authorities and soldiers. And one day, maybe, they will become part of a museum of the atrocities in the country.

    The blueish cylinders are lined up in rows according to their size, making an impressive if shocking sight from the air.

    Dmytro Chubenko, spokesman for the Kharkiv region’s Prosecutor Office, said that the rockets have been collected since the first attacks, and after some time officials decided to organize them by type.

    “These are pieces of evidence that an international criminal court would use,” he said during a visit to the place. He mentioned that some specialists have already come to the city to analyze the material.

    The missiles, he added, were used against some important residential areas, like North Saltivka and Oleksiivka. He said that the authorities estimate that at least 1,700 people have been killed by shelling, including 44 children, in Kharkiv and its surroundings.

    In summer, the buildings in areas like Saltivka were severely damaged, some blackened and others crumbling. There were practically no activities, with shops closed and apartments destroyed. The winter has not improved anything.

    “We have lost everything, and it is not clear at all what we can expect in the future,” said Anna, a North Saltivka resident who left months ago and who didn't give her last name for security reasons.

    Ihor Deshpetko, 44, still lives in Kharkiv, despite what he has to suffer.

    "There is no heating in my house, (and) unfortunately there won't be until the end of the winter,” he said, adding that he now tends to call the area he lives the “black neighborhood.”

    Back in the missiles “cemetery,” Chubenko, from the prosecutors' office, said that they will keep the rockets as long as needed so any expert or prosecutor can take the information they need to use as evidence against Russians.

    And after that?

    “I don’t know what will happen next," he said. “Maybe we will make a museum.”

     

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,172
    Chiming in late.  I thought the speech was great and it definitely swayed me more on the support of all the spending.  Like many professional commentators have stated if we are funding them to defend themselves and retake their territory it is a lot cheaper than if we were to enter open war with Russia and send our own people over.  I saw figures that we have already spent more on Ukraine than Russia spends on its entire military. If true, I would think Russia would go broke soon.

    As far as the sweatsuit.  I don't think it showed a lack of decorum or anything, but it did seem a little bit like a scene made for an epic film  that was intended to help influence things from a PR angle, especially with the unfurling of the Ukrainian flag.  I can't blame them for trying whatever they have to do to garner support though.
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    static111 said:
    Chiming in late.  I thought the speech was great and it definitely swayed me more on the support of all the spending.  Like many professional commentators have stated if we are funding them to defend themselves and retake their territory it is a lot cheaper than if we were to enter open war with Russia and send our own people over.  I saw figures that we have already spent more on Ukraine than Russia spends on its entire military. If true, I would think Russia would go broke soon.

    As far as the sweatsuit.  I don't think it showed a lack of decorum or anything, but it did seem a little bit like a scene made for an epic film  that was intended to help influence things from a PR angle, especially with the unfurling of the Ukrainian flag.  I can't blame them for trying whatever they have to do to garner support though.
    Propaganda is a real thing.  And that wasn't just for the US audience, but his people back home.  If you're on the front lines or a wife/mother worried about your soldier, seeing Z garnering the full attention of the world's most powerful deliberative body and unfurling the flag must be quite stirring and motivating.  Makes me tear up just a touch.

    The Russian people probably don't love it though.
  • PoncierPoncier Posts: 14,609
    mrussel1 said:
    static111 said:
    Chiming in late.  I thought the speech was great and it definitely swayed me more on the support of all the spending.  Like many professional commentators have stated if we are funding them to defend themselves and retake their territory it is a lot cheaper than if we were to enter open war with Russia and send our own people over.  I saw figures that we have already spent more on Ukraine than Russia spends on its entire military. If true, I would think Russia would go broke soon.

    As far as the sweatsuit.  I don't think it showed a lack of decorum or anything, but it did seem a little bit like a scene made for an epic film  that was intended to help influence things from a PR angle, especially with the unfurling of the Ukrainian flag.  I can't blame them for trying whatever they have to do to garner support though.
    Propaganda is a real thing.  And that wasn't just for the US audience, but his people back home.  If you're on the front lines or a wife/mother worried about your soldier, seeing Z garnering the full attention of the world's most powerful deliberative body and unfurling the flag must be quite stirring and motivating.  Makes me tear up just a touch.

    The Russian people probably don't love it though.
    In Russia, flag unfurls you!
    This weekend we rock Portland
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,172
    Poncier said:
    mrussel1 said:
    static111 said:
    Chiming in late.  I thought the speech was great and it definitely swayed me more on the support of all the spending.  Like many professional commentators have stated if we are funding them to defend themselves and retake their territory it is a lot cheaper than if we were to enter open war with Russia and send our own people over.  I saw figures that we have already spent more on Ukraine than Russia spends on its entire military. If true, I would think Russia would go broke soon.

    As far as the sweatsuit.  I don't think it showed a lack of decorum or anything, but it did seem a little bit like a scene made for an epic film  that was intended to help influence things from a PR angle, especially with the unfurling of the Ukrainian flag.  I can't blame them for trying whatever they have to do to garner support though.
    Propaganda is a real thing.  And that wasn't just for the US audience, but his people back home.  If you're on the front lines or a wife/mother worried about your soldier, seeing Z garnering the full attention of the world's most powerful deliberative body and unfurling the flag must be quite stirring and motivating.  Makes me tear up just a touch.

    The Russian people probably don't love it though.
    In Russia, flag unfurls you!
    Lol
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

      
    Some Ukrainians move up Christmas to part ways with Russia
    By RENATA BRITO and HANNA ARHIROVA
    18 mins ago

    BOBRYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainians usually celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, as do the Russians. But not this year, or at least not all of them.

    Some Orthodox Ukrainians have decided to observe Christmas on Dec. 25, like many Christians around the world. Yes, this has to do with the war, and yes, they have the blessing of their local church.

    The idea of commemorating the birth of Jesus in December was considered radical in Ukraine until recently, but Russia's invasion changed many hearts and minds.

    In October, the leadership of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is not aligned with the Russian church and one of two branches of Orthodox Christianity in the country, agreed to allow faithful to celebrate on Dec. 25.

    The choice of dates has clear political and religious overtones in a nation with rival Orthodox churches and where slight revisions to rituals can carry potent meaning in a culture war that runs parallel to the shooting war.

    For some people, changing dates represents a separation from Russia, its culture, and religion. People in a village on the outskirts of Kyiv voted recently to move up their Christmas observance.

    “What began on Feb. 24, the full-scale invasion, is an awakening and an understanding that we can no longer be part of the Russian world,” Olena Paliy, a 33-year-old Bobrytsia resident, said.

    The Russian Orthodox Church, which claims sovereignty over Orthodoxy in Ukraine, and some other Eastern Orthodox churches continue to use the ancient Julian calendar. Christmas falls 13 days later on that calendar, or Jan. 7, than it does on the Gregorian calendar used by most church and secular groups.

    The Catholic Church first adopted the modern, more astronomically precise Gregorian calendar in the 16th century, and Protestants and some Orthodox churches have since aligned their own calendars for purposes of calculating Christmas.

    The Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine decreed in October that local church rectors could choose the date along with their communities, saying the decision followed years of discussion but also resulted from the circumstances of the war.

    In Bobrytsia, some members of the faith promoted the change within the local church, which recently transitioned to being part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with no ties to Russia. When a vote was taken last week, 200 out of 204 people said yes to adopting Dec. 25 as the new day to celebrate Christmas.

    “This is a big step because never in our history have we had the same dates of celebration of Christmas in Ukraine with the whole Christian world. All the time we were separated,” said Roman Ivanenko, a local official in Bobrytsia, and one of the promoters of the change. With the switch, he said, they are “breaking this connection” with the Russians.

    As in all the Kyiv region, Sunday morning in Bobrytsia began with the sound of sirens, but that didn’t prevent people from gathering in the church to attend a Christmas Mass on Dec. 25 for the first time. In the end, there were no attacks reported in the capital.

    “No enemy can take away the holiday because the holiday is born in the soul,” the Rev. Rostyslav Korchak said in his homily, during which he used the words “war,” “soldiers,” and “evil” more than “Jesus Christ.”

    Anna Nezenko, 65, attended the church in Bobrytsia on every Christmas since the building was inaugurated in 2000, although always on Jan. 7th. She said she did not feel strange doing so Sunday.

    “The most important is the God to be born in the heart,” she said.

    In 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church, granted complete independence, or autocephaly, to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Ukrainians who favored recognition for a national church in tandem with Ukraine’s political independence from the former Soviet Union had long sought such approval.

    The Russian Orthodox Church and its leader, Patriarch Kirill, fiercely protested the move, saying Ukraine was not under the jurisdiction of Bartholomew.

    The other major branch of Orthodoxy in the country, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, remained loyal to Moscow until the outbreak of war. It declared independence in May, though it remains under government scrutiny. That church has traditionally celebrated Christmas on Jan. 7.

    ____

    Arhirova reported from Kyiv, Ukraine. The Associated Press religion correspondent, Peter Smith, contributed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    ___

    Follow AP's coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    The AP Interview: Ukraine FM aims for February peace summit
    By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO and HANNA ARHIROVA
    Just now

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s foreign minister said Monday that his nation wants a summit to end the war but he doesn’t anticipate Russia taking part, a statement making it hard to foresee the devastating invasion ending soon.

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Associated Press that his government wants a “peace” summit within two months at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as mediator.

    Kuleba said that Russia must face a war-crimes tribunal before his country directly talks with Moscow. He said, however, that other nations should feel free to engage with Russians, as happened before a grain agreement between Turkey and Russia.

    The AP interview offered a glimpse at Ukraine's vision of how the war with Russia could one day end, although any peace talks would be months away and highly contingent on complex international negotiations.

    Kuleba also said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the U.S. last week, and he revealed that the U.S. government had made a special plan to get the Patriot missile battery ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. Usually, the training takes up to a year.

    Kuleba said during the interview at the Foreign Ministry that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war in 2023.

    “Every war ends in a diplomatic way," he said. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that no Ukrainian peace plan can succeed without taking into account “the realities of today that can’t be ignored” — a reference to Moscow’s demand that Ukraine recognize Russia’s sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed in 2014, as well as other territorial gains.

    Kuleba said the Ukrainian government would like to have the “peace” summit by the end of February.

    “The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit, because this is not about making a favor to a certain country," he said. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”

    At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy made the long-distance presentation of a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.

    Asked about whether they would invite Russia to the summit, he said that Moscow would first need to face prosecution for war crimes at an international court.

    “They can only be invited to this step in this way," Kuleba said.

    About U.N. Secretary-General's role, Kuleba said: “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. So we would welcome his active participation.”

    The U.N. spokesman’s office had no immediate comment.

    Other world leaders have also offered to mediate, such as those in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

    The foreign minister again downplayed comments by Russian authorities that they are ready for talks.

    "They (Russians) regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.

    Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed few days ago that his country is ready for talks to end the war in Ukraine, but suggested that the Ukrainians are the ones refusing to take that step. Despite Putin's comments, Moscow's forces have kept attacking Ukraine — a sign that peace isn't imminent.

    Zelenskyy's visit to the U.S. was his first foreign trip since the war started on Feb. 24. Kuleba praised Washington's efforts and underlined the significance of the visit.

    "This shows how both the United States are important for Ukraine, but also how Ukraine is important for the United States,” said Kuleba, who was part of the delegation to the U.S.

    Ukraine secured a new $1.8 billion military aid package, including a Patriot missile battery, during the trip.

    Kuleba said that the move “opens the door for other countries to do the same.”

    He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”

    While Kuleba didn't mention a specific time frame, he said only that it will be "very much less than six months." And he added that the training will be done “outside” Ukraine.

    During Russia’s ground and air war in Ukraine, Kuleba has been second only to Zelenskyy in carrying Ukraine's message and needs to an international audience, whether through Twitter posts or meetings with friendly foreign officials.

    On Monday, Ukraine called on U.N. member states to deprive Russia of its status as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and to exclude it from the world body. Kuleba said they have long “prepared for this step to uncover the fraud and deprive Russia of its status.”

    The Foreign Ministry says that Russia never went through the legal procedure for acquiring membership and taking the place of the USSR at the U.N. Security Council after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    “This is the beginning of an uphill battle, but we will fight, because nothing is impossible,” he told the AP.

    ___

    Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    Sitting ducks? Russian military flaws seen in troop deaths
    By FELIPE DANA and JOANNA KOZLOWSKA
    Today

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian military’s top brass came under increasing scrutiny Wednesday as more details emerged of how at least 89 Russian soldiers, and possibly many more, were killed in a Ukrainian artillery attack on a single building.

    The scene last weekend in the Russian-held eastern Ukrainian town of Makiivka, where the soldiers were temporarily stationed, appears to have been a recipe for disaster. Hundreds of Russian troops were reportedly clustered in a building close to the front line, well within range of Ukraine’s Western-supplied precision artillery, possibly sitting close to an ammunition store and perhaps unwittingly helping Kyiv’s forces to zero in on them.

    It was one of the deadliest single attacks on the Kremlin’s forces since the war began more than 10 months ago and the highest death toll in a single incident acknowledged so far by either side in the conflict.

    Ukraine’s armed forces claimed the Makiivka strike killed around 400 Russian soldiers housed in a vocational school building. About 300 more of them were wounded, officials alleged. It wasn't possible to verify either side's claims due to the fighting.

    The Russian military sought to blame the soldiers for their own deaths. Gen. Lt. Sergei Sevryukov said in a statement late Tuesday that their phone signals allowed Kyiv’s forces to “determine the coordinates of the location of military personnel” and launch a strike.

    Emily Ferris, a research fellow on Russia and Eurasia at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told The Associated Press it is “very hard to verify” whether cellphone signaling and geolocation were to blame for the accurate strike.

    She noted that Russian soldiers on active duty are forbidden from using their phones — exactly because there have been so many instances in recent years of their being used for targeting, including by both sides in the Ukraine war. The conflict has made ample use of modern technology.

    She also noted that blaming the soldiers themselves was a “helpful narrative” for Moscow as it helps deflect criticism and steer attention toward the official cellphone ban.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to move the conversation along, too, as he took part via video link in a sending-off ceremony Wednesday for a frigate equipped with the Russian navy’s new hypersonic missiles.

    Putin said the Zircon missiles that the Admiral Gorshkov frigate was carrying were a “unique weapon,” capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and with a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Russia says the missiles can't be intercepted.

    Meanwhile, away from the battlefields, France said Wednesday it will send French-made AMX-10 RC light tanks to Ukraine — the first tanks from a Western European country — following an afternoon phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

    The French presidency didn't say how many tanks would be delivered and when. The NATO member has given Ukraine anti-tank and air defense missiles and rocket launchers.

    Later Wednesday, President Joe Biden confirmed that the U.S. is considering sending Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine. The Bradley is a medium armored combat vehicle that can carry about 10 personnel, or be configured to carry additional ammunition or communications equipment.

    The Pentagon has already provided Ukraine with more than 2,000 combat vehicles, including 477 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and more than 1,200 Humvees.

    The weekend Makiivka strike seemed to be the latest blow to the Kremlin’s military prestige as it struggles to advance the invasion of its neighbor.

    But Ferris, the analyst, said “there should be a bit of caution around leaning too heavily on this (attack) as a sign of (the) Russian army’s weakness.”

    As details of the strike have trickled out in recent days, some observers detected military sloppiness at the root of so many deaths.

    U.K. intelligence officials said Wednesday that Moscow’s “unprofessional” military practices were likely partly to blame for the high casualties.

    “Given the extent of the damage, there is a realistic possibility that ammunition was being stored near to troop accommodation, which detonated during the strike, creating secondary explosions,” the U.K. Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

    In the same post, the ministry said the building struck by Ukrainian missiles was little more than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the front line, within “one of the most contested areas of the conflict,” in the partially Russian-occupied Donetsk region.

    “The Russian military has a record of unsafe ammunition storage from well before the current war, but this incident highlights how unprofessional practices contribute to Russia’s high casualty rate,” the update added.

    The Russian Defense Ministry, in a rare admission of losses, initially said the strike killed 63 troops. But as emergency crews searched the ruins, the death toll mounted. The regiment’s deputy commander was among the dead.

    That stirred renewed criticism inside Russia of the way the broader military campaign is being handled by the Ministry of Defense.

    Vladlen Tatarsky, a well-known military blogger, accused Russian generals of “demonstrating their own stupidity and misunderstanding of what’s going on (among) the troops, where everyone has cellphones.”

    “Moreover, in places where there’s coverage, artillery fire is often adjusted by phone. There are simply no other ways,” Tatarsky wrote in a Telegram post.

    Others blamed the decision to station hundreds of troops in one place. “The cellphone story is not too convincing,” military blogger Semyon Pegov wrote. “The only remedy is not to house personnel en masse in large buildings. Simply not to house 500 people in one place but spread them across 10 different locations.”

    Unconfirmed reports in Russian-language media said the victims were mobilized reservists from the region of Samara, in southwestern Russia.

    The Institute for the Study of War saw in the incident further evidence that Moscow isn’t properly utilizing the reservists it began calling up last September.

    “Systemic failures in Russia’s force generation apparatus continue to plague personnel capabilities to the detriment of Russian operational capacity in Ukraine,” the think tank said in a report late Tuesday.

    Ferris, of the Royal United Services Institute, said the Makiivka strike shows the Russian army is more interested in growing its number of troops, not in training them in wartime skills.

    “That’s really how Russia conducts a lot of its warfare — by overwhelming the enemy with volume, with people,” she said. "The Kremlin view, unfortunately, is that soldiers’ lives are expendable.”

    In a grinding battle of attrition, Russian forces have pressed their offensive on Bakhmut in Donetsk despite heavy losses. The Wagner Group, a private military contractor owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire businessman with close ties to Putin, has spearheaded the Bakhmut offensive.

    U.S. intelligence officials have determined that convicts Wagner pulled from prisons accounted for 90% of Russian casualties in fighting for Bakhmut, according to a senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the finding.

    The White House said last month that intelligence findings showed Wagner had some 50,000 personnel fighting in Ukraine, including 40,000 recruited convicts. The U.S. assesses that Wagner is spending about $100 million a month in the fight.

    ___

    Kozlowska reported from London. Aamer Madhani in Washington contributed to this report.

    ___

    Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    Putin orders 36-hour holiday cease-fire in Ukraine
    By ANDREW MELDRUM
    9 mins ago

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered Moscow’s armed forces to observe a 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine this weekend for the Russian Orthodox Christmas holiday, the first such sweeping truce move in the nearly 11-month-old war.

    Putin did not appear to make his cease-fire order conditional on a Ukrainian agreement to follow suit, and it wasn’t clear whether hostilities would actually halt on the 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) front line. Ukrainian officials have previously dismissed Russian peace moves as playing for time to regroup their forces and prepare for additional attacks.

    At various points during the war that started on Feb. 24, Putin has ordered limited and local truces to allow evacuations of civilians or other humanitarian purposes. Thursday's order was the first time Putin directed his troops to observe a cease-fire throughout Ukraine.

    “Based on the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a cease-fire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ,” according to Putin’s order, addressed to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and published on the Kremlin’s website.

    Putin acted at the suggestion of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who proposed a truce from noon Friday through midnight Saturday, local time. The Russian Orthodox Church, which uses the ancient Julian calendar, celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7 — later than the Gregorian calendar — although some Christians in Ukraine also mark the holiday on that date.

    Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak dismissed Kirill's call as “a cynical trap and an element of propaganda.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had proposed a Russian troop withdrawal earlier, before Dec. 25, but Russia rejected it.

    Kirill has previously justified the war as part of Russia's “metaphysical struggle” to prevent a liberal ideological encroachment from the West.

    Adding to the possibility of a cease-fire were diplomatic efforts. Putin spoke by phone with Turkey’s president on Thursday and the Kremlin said Putin “reaffirmed Russia’s openness to a serious dialogue” with Ukrainian authorities.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Putin to implement a “unilateral cease-fire,” according to a statement from the Turkish president’s office.

    Erdogan also told Zelenskyy later by telephone that Turkey was ready to mediate a “lasting peace.” Erdogan has made such an offer frequently. It has already helped broker a deal allowing Ukraine to export millions of tons of grain, and it has facilitated a prisoner swap.

    Russia's professed readiness came with the usual preconditions: that “Kyiv authorities fulfill the well-known and repeatedly stated demands and recognize new territorial realities,” the Kremlin said, referring to Moscow’s insistence that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia and acknowledge other illegal territorial gains.

    Previous attempts at peace talks have fallen at that hurdle, as Ukraine demands that Russia withdraws from occupied areas at the very least.

    Elsewhere, the head of NATO said he detected no change in Moscow’s stance on Ukraine, insisting that the Kremlin “wants a Europe where they can control a neighboring country.”

    “We have no indications that President Putin has changed his plans, his goals for Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Oslo.

    Ukraine's Western allies have renewed a vow to keep supporting Kyiv for as long as it takes to defeat Russia.

    In the latest pledge of military help, the French Defense Ministry said it plans talks soon with its Ukrainian counterpart on delivering armored combat vehicles. France’s presidency says it will be the first time this type of Western-made wheeled tank destroyer is sent to Ukraine's military.

    Also, U.S. President Joe Biden said Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a medium armored combat vehicle that can serve as a troop carrier, could be sent to Ukraine.

    The fighting in Ukraine has increasingly become a war of attrition in recent weeks, as winter sets in.

    Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said Thursday at least five civilians were killed and eight wounded across the country by Russian shelling in the previous 24 hours.

    The ongoing intense battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut has left 60% of the city in ruins, Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said Thursday. Ukrainian defenders were holding the Russians back, but the Kremlin's forces have pummeled the city with months of relentless shelling.

    Taking the city in the Donbas region, an expansive industrial area bordering Russia, would not only give Putin a major battlefield gain after months of setbacks, but it also would rupture Ukraine’s supply lines and open the way for Moscow's forces to press on toward key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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  • lastexitlondonlastexitlondon Posts: 10,022
    Its been around  a year of this. Its so heartbreaking 
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    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377
    gift article......


     When Russia bombs a building full of people, this is the aftermath
    By Siobhán O'Grady and Anastacia Galouchka
    January 14, 2023 at 18:38 ET
    DNIPRO, Ukraine — Two hours after a Russian missile slammed into a Ukrainian apartment complex on Saturday, shocking the city that has served as a relatively safe haven for the war’s displaced, rescue workers digging through rubble spotted a sudden movement from above.
    On the eighth floor, they could see the arm of a bloodied elderly woman, so buried in debris she could barely move, waving a piece of red fabric. Below her, dozens of apartments had collapsed, swallowing residents into some 30 feet of rubble.
    From inside the damaged building, she was somehow alive — and calling for help.
    Russia’s blatant attack on civilians here — the worst to strike this city since Russia invaded Ukraine last February — came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed his most senior military officer, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, as the new overseer of his relentless war in Ukraine.
    The strike, which coincided with the Orthodox New Year, served as a grim message that Putin’s close confidant is likely to continue the violent missile strikes on civilian targets that have become a hallmark of Russia’s assault. The bombing, one of a wave of attacks Saturday across Ukraine, may have destroyed as many as 30 apartments in the sprawling complex, said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who shared a video of the destruction.
    Residents were trapped as flames engulfed part of the structure, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said on Telegram.
    At least 12 people died in the apartment building Saturday and dozens of others were wounded. At nightfall, about 20 people had been rescued, he said. Many more are believed to be buried in the ruins. . As the city neared its midnight curfew, dogs wearing specialized shoes to protect them from injuries were scaling the mound of debris, sniffing for survivors. Off to the side, the dead lay on the ground in white bags, red and white tape wrapped around them.

    continues......

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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    US, Ukraine top military chiefs meet in person for 1st time
    By LOLITA C. BALDOR
    Today

    A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHEASTERN POLAND (AP) — The top U.S. military officer, Army Gen. Mark Milley, traveled to a site near the Ukraine-Poland border on Tuesday and talked with his Ukrainian counterpart face to face for the first time — a meeting underscoring the growing ties between the two militaries and coming at a critical time as Russia's war with Ukraine nears the one-year mark.

    Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met for a couple of hours with Ukraine’s chief military officer, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, at an undisclosed location in southeastern Poland. The two leaders have talked frequently about Ukraine's military needs and the state of the war over the past year but had never met.

    The meeting comes as the international community ramps up the military assistance to Ukraine, including expanded training of Ukrainian troops by the U.S. and the provision of a Patriot missile battery, tanks and increased air defense and other weapons systems by the U.S. and a coalition of European and other nations.

    It also marks a key time in the war. Ukraine's troops face fierce fighting in the eastern Donetsk province, where Russian forces — supplemented by thousands of private Wagner Group contractors — seek to turn the tide after a series of battlefield setbacks in recent months.

    Army Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, told two reporters traveling with the chairman that the two generals felt it was important to meet in person. The reporters did not accompany Milley to the meeting and, under conditions set by the military, agreed to not identify the military base in southeastern Poland where they were located.

    “These guys have been talking on a very regular basis for about a year now, and they’ve gotten to know each other,” Butler said. “They’ve talked in detail about the defense that Ukraine is trying to do against Russia’s aggression. And it’s important — when you have two military professionals looking each other in the eye and talking about very, very important topics, there’s a difference.”

    Butler said there had been some hope that Zaluzhnyi would travel to Brussels for a meeting of NATO and other defense chiefs this week, but when it became clear on Monday that it would not happen, they quickly decided to meet in Poland, near the border.

    While a number of U.S. civilian leader s have gone into Ukraine, the Biden administration has made it clear that no uniformed military service members will go into Ukraine other than those connected to the embassy in Kyiv. Butler said only a small group — Milley and six of his senior staffers — traveled by car to the meeting.

    He said that the meeting will allow Milley to relay Zaluzhnyi's concerns and information to the other military leaders during the NATO chiefs' meeting. Milley, he said, will be able to “describe the tactical and operational conditions on the battlefield and what the military needs are for that, and the way he does that is one by understanding it himself but by also talking to Zaluzhnyi on a regular basis.”

    Milley also will be able to describe the new training of Ukrainian forces that the U.S. is doing at the Grafenwoehr training area in Germany. The chairman, who got his first look at the new, so-called combined arms instruction during a nearly two-hour visit there on Monday, has said it will better prepare Ukrainian troops to launch an offensive or counter any surge in Russian attacks.

    More than 600 Ukrainian troops began the expanded training program at the camp just a day before Milley arrived.

    Milley and Zaluzhnyi's meeting kicks off a series of high-level gatherings of military and defense leaders this week. Milley and other chiefs of defense will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, and then the so-called Ukraine Contact Group will gather at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Thursday and Friday. That group consists of about 50 top defense officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and they work to coordinate military contributions to Ukraine.

    The meetings are expected to focus on Ukraine's ongoing and future military needs as the hard-packed terrain of the winter months turns into muddy roads and fields in the spring.

    After several months of losing territory it had captured, Russia in recent days claimed it took control of the small salt-mining town of Soledar. Ukraine asserts that its troops are still fighting, but if Moscow’s troops take control of Soledar it would allow them to inch closer to the bigger city of Bakhmut, where fighting has raged for months.

    And in a barrage of airstrikes over the weekend, Russia struck Kyiv, the northeastern city of Kharkiv and the southeastern city of Dnipro, where the death toll in one apartment building rose to 44.

    Western analysts point to signs that the Kremlin is digging in for a drawn-out war, and say the Russian military command is preparing for an expanded mobilization effort.

    ___

    Follow the AP's coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    German caution on Ukraine arms rooted in political culture
    By GEIR MOULSON
    Today

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany has become one of Ukraine's leading weapons suppliers in the 11 months since Russia's invasion, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz also has gained a reputation for hesitating to take each new step — generating impatience among allies.

    Berlin’s perceived foot-dragging, most recently on the Leopard 2 battle tanks that Kyiv has long sought, is rooted at least partly in a post-World War II political culture of military caution, along with present-day worries about a possible escalation in the war.

    On Friday, Germany inched closer to a decision to deliver the tanks, ordering a review of its Leopard stocks in preparation for a possible green light.

    There was still no commitment, however. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius rejected the suggestion that Germany was standing in the way but said, “we have to balance all the pros and contras before we decide things like that, just like that.”

    It's a pattern that has been repeated over the months as Scholz first held off pledging new, heavier equipment, then eventually agreed to do so.

    Most recently, Germany said in early January that it would send 40 Marder armored personnel carriers to Ukraine — doing so in a joint announcement with the U.S., which pledged 50 Bradley armored vehicles.

    That decision followed months of calls for Berlin to send the Marder and stoked pressure for it to move up another step to the Leopard tank.

    “There is a discrepancy between the actual size of the commitment and weapons deliveries — it’s the second-largest European supplier — and the hesitancy with which it is done,” said Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, a Berlin-based senior analyst with the German Marshall Fund of the United States think tank.

    Scholz, an unshakably self-confident politician with a stubborn streak and little taste for bowing to public calls for action, has stuck resolutely to his approach. He has said that Germany won’t go it alone on weapons decisions and pointed to the need to avoid NATO becoming a direct party to the war with Russia.

    As pressure mounted last week, he declared that he wouldn't be rushed into important security decisions by “excited comments.” And he insisted that a majority in Germany supports his government’s “calm, well-considered and careful” decision-making.

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Scholz listed some of the equipment Germany has sent to Ukraine, declaring that it marks “a profound turning point in German foreign and security policy.”

    That is, at least to some extent, true. Germany refused to provide lethal weapons before the invasion started, reflecting a political culture rooted in part in the memory of Germany's own history of aggression during the 20th century — including the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

    “No German chancellor, of no party, wants to be seen out front in pushing a military agenda — you want to try all other options before you resort to that,” Kleine-Brockhoff said. “And therefore for domestic consumption, it is seen as a positive thing for a German chancellor not to lead on this, to be cautious, to be resistant, to have tried all other options.”

    Scholz does face calls from Germany's center-right opposition and some in his three-party governing coalition to be more proactive on military aid; less so from his own center-left Social Democratic Party, which for decades was steeped in the legacy of Cold War rapprochement pursued by predecessor Willy Brandt in the early 1970s.

    Scholz “decided early on that he does not want to lead militarily on Ukraine assistance,” Kleine-Brockhoff said, though “he wants to be a good ally and part of the alliance and in the middle of the pack.”

    But the cautious approach “drives allies crazy” and raises questions over whether they can count on the Germans, Kleine-Brockhoff acknowledged.

    Berlin kept up its caution on the Leopard tank even after Britain announced last week that it would provide Ukraine its own Challenger 2 tanks.

    The hesitancy isn't just an issue between Berlin and Kyiv, since other countries would need Germany's permission to send their own stocks of German-made Leopards to Ukraine. On Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would consider giving its tanks even without Berlin's permission.

    “Consent is of secondary importance here. We will either obtain it quickly, or we will do the right thing ourselves,” Morawiecki said.

    British historian Timothy Garton Ash wrote in The Guardian and other newspapers this week that “to its credit, the German government’s position on military support for Ukraine has moved a very long way since the eve of the Russian invasion.”

    But he argued that the tank issue has become “a litmus test of Germany’s courage to resist (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s nuclear blackmail, overcome its own domestic cocktail of fears and doubts, and defend a free and sovereign Ukraine,” and that Scholz should lead a “European Leopard plan.”

    Whether that will eventually happen remains to be seen. Scholz's government has insisted on close coordination with the United States, a possible reflection in part of the fact that Germany — unlike Britain and France — relies on the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

    On Friday, Scholz's spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, denied reports that Germany had insisted it would only deliver Leopard tanks if the U.S. sends its own Abrams tanks. He rejected the notion that Berlin is trailing others and insisted it is taking the right approach.

    “These are not easy decisions, and they need to be well-weighed," he said. "And this is about them being sustainable, that all can go along with them and stand behind them — and part of a leadership performance is keeping an alliance together.”

    The U.S. has resisted providing M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, citing extensive and complex maintenance and logistical challenges with the high-tech vehicles. Washington believes it would be more productive to send German Leopards since many allies have them and Ukrainian troops would need less training than on the more difficult Abrams.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    US, Germany sending battle tanks to aid Ukraine war effort
    By FRANK JORDANS and KIRSTEN GRIESHABER
    36 mins ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany and the United States said Wednesday they will send battle tanks to Ukraine, the first stage of a coordinated effort by the West to provide dozens of the heavy weapons to help Kyiv break combat stalemates as Russia’s invasion enters its 12th month.

    U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of persistent arguments by Washington that the tanks were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.

    The U.S. decision follows Germany agreeing to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks. Germany had said the Leopards would not be sent unless the U.S. put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the U.S. similarly committing its own tanks.

    “This is the result of intensive consultations, once again, with our allies and international partners,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz told German lawmakers. “It was right, and it is important that we didn’t let ourselves be driven" into making the decision.

    Biden said European allies have agreed to send enough tanks to equip two Ukrainian tank battalions, or a total of 62 tanks.

    “With spring approaching, Ukrainian forces are working to defend the territory they hold and preparing for additional counter offenses,” Biden said. “To liberate their land, they need to be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield in the very near term.”

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed satisfaction at the news. Several European countries have equipped their armies with Leopard 2 tanks, and Germany's announcement means they can give some of their stocks to Ukraine.

    “German main battle tanks, further broadening of defense support and training missions, green light for partners to supply similar weapons. Just heard about these important and timely decisions in a call with Olaf Scholz,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. “Sincerely grateful to the chancellor and all our friends in (Germany).”

    Scholz spoke by phone Wednesday with Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, the German chancellery said in a statement. The exchange focused on the security situation in Ukraine and continued support for Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression.

    All five leaders agreed to continue military support to Ukraine in close Euro-Atlantic coordination.

    The long-awaited decision came after U.S. officials revealed Tuesday a preliminary agreement for the United States to send M1 Abrams tanks to help Ukraine's troops push back Russian forces that remain entrenched in the country's east almost a year after Russia invaded its neighbor. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been made public.

    It is not clear when or how the tanks would be delivered to Ukraine, or how soon they could have an impact on the battlefield. Military analysts have said Russian forces are thought to be preparing for a spring offensive.

    The $400 million package announced Wednesday also includes eight M88 recovery vehicles — tank-like tracked vehicles that can tow the Abrams if it gets stuck.

    Altogether, France, the U.K., the U.S., Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden will send hundreds of tanks and heavy armored vehicles to fortify Ukraine as it enters a new phase of the war and attempts to break through entrenched Russian lines.

    While Ukraine's supporters previously have supplied tanks, they were Soviet models in the stockpiles of countries that once were in Moscow's sphere of influence but are now aligned with the West. Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials insisted their forces need more modern Western-designed tanks.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Germany’s decision. "At a critical moment in Russia’s war, these can help Ukraine to defend itself, win and prevail as an independent nation,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

    Russia's ambassador to Germany, Sergey Nechayev, called Berlin’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “extremely dangerous,” saying it “shifts the conflict to a new level of confrontation and contradicts the statements of German politicians about their reluctance to get involved in it.”

    Scholz had insisted that any decision to provide Ukraine with the powerful tanks would need to be taken in conjunction with Germany's allies, chiefly the U.S. By getting Washington to commit some of its own tanks, Berlin hopes to share the risk of any backlash from Russia.

    Ekkehard Brose, head of the German military’s Federal Academy for Security Policy, said tying the United States into the decision was crucial, to avoid Europe facing a nuclear-armed Russia alone.

    But he also noted the deeper historic significance of the decision.

    “German-made tanks will face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once more,” he said, adding that this was “not an easy thought” for Germany, which takes its responsibility for the horrors of World War II seriously.

    “And yet it is the right decision,” Brose said, arguing that it was up to Western democracies to help Ukraine stop Russia’s military campaign.

    German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius cautioned that it would take about three months for the first tanks to be deployed in Ukraine. He described the Leopard 2 as “the best battle tank in the world.”

    “This is an important game change, possibly also for this war, at least in the current phase,” he said.

    The German government said it planned to swiftly begin training Ukrainian tank crews in Germany. The package being put together would also include logistics, ammunition and maintenance.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described German and U.S. intentions as a “a rather disastrous plan.”

    “I am convinced that many specialists understand the absurdity of this idea,” Peskov said.

    “Simply because of technological aspects, this is a rather disastrous plan. The main thing is, this is a completely obvious overestimation of the potential (the supply of tanks) would add to the armed forces of Ukraine. It is yet another fallacy, a rather profound one,” the Kremlin official said.

    Peskov predicted “these tanks will burn down just like all the other ones. ... Except they cost a lot, and this will fall on the shoulders of European taxpayers.” he added.

    Germany has already provided considerable amounts of military hardware to Ukraine, including powerful PzH 2000 howitzers, Iris-T air-defense systems and Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns that have proved highly effective against Russian drones. It also announced plans to supply a Patriot air-defense battery and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

    Ahead of Scholz's official announcement, members of his three-party coalition government welcomed the Cabinet's agreement to supply the domestically made tanks.

    “The Leopard’s freed!” German lawmaker Katrin Goering-Eckardt, a senior Green party lawmaker, said.

    However, two smaller opposition parties criticized the move. The far-right Alternative for Germany, which has friendly ties to Russia, called the decision “irresponsible and dangerous.”

    “Germany risks being drawn directly into the war as a result,” party co-leader Tino Chrupalla said.

    Scholz sought to reassure people in his country who were concerned about the implications of sending tanks to Ukraine.

    “Trust me, trust the government,” he said. “By acting in an internationally coordinated manner, we will ensure that this support is possible without the risks to our country growing in the wrong direction.”

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who had previously called into question Germany's commitment to helping Ukraine, thanked Scholz on Twitter for the “big step towards stopping Russia.”

    Other European nations, such as Finland and Spain, indicated a willingness Wednesday to part with their own Leopard or similar battle tanks as part of a larger coalition.

    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, which had said it planned to send 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, welcomed Germany’s decision to further "strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower."

    "Together, we are accelerating our efforts to ensure Ukraine wins this war and secures a lasting peace,” Sunak said on Twitter.

    Still, it isn't clear whether Ukraine will receive the estimated 300 tanks that analysts say are required to keep Russia from advancing in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia provinces and to press a counteroffensive in the country's southeast.

    ___

    Lolita C. Baldor and Matthew Lee in Washington, Vanessa Gera in Warsaw and Jill Lawless in London contributed.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377
    gift article......


     

    Russia Freed Prisoners to Fight Its War. Here’s How Some Fared.

    Tens of thousands of inmates have joined a mercenary group fighting with the Kremlin’s decimated forces in Ukraine. Some of them are returning to civilian life with military training and, in many cases, battlefield traumas.

    Image
    A poster showing a member of the Russian military near the headquarters of the Wagner private military company in St Petersburg Russia
    A poster showing a member of the Russian military near the headquarters of the Wagner private military company in St. Petersburg, Russia. Credit...Olga Maltseva/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    By Anatoly Kurmanaev, Alina Lobzina and Ekaterina Bodyagina

    Jan. 30, 2023Updated 3:03 p.m. ET

    Sign up for the Russia-Ukraine War Briefing.  Every evening, we'll send you a summary of the day's biggest news. Get it sent to your inbox.

    He was released from a Russian prison and thrown into battle in Ukraine with a promise of freedom, redemption and money. Now, Andrei Yastrebov, who was among tens of thousands of convict soldiers, is part of a return from the battlefield with potentially serious implications for Russian society.

    Mr. Yastrebov, 22, who had been serving time for theft, returned home a changed man. “We all feel like he is in some sort of hypnosis, like he is a different person,” said a relative of his, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “He is without any emotions.”


    continues.....


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

      
    US to send Ukraine longer-range bombs in latest turnaround
    By TARA COPP, MATTHEW LEE and LOLITA C. BALDOR
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of agonizing, the U.S has agreed to send longer-range bombs to Ukraine as it prepares to launch a spring offensive to retake territory Russia captured last year, U.S. officials said Thursday, confirming that the new weapons will have roughly double the range of any other offensive weapon provided by America.

    The U.S. will provide ground-launched small diameter bombs as part of a $2.17 billion aid package it is expected to announce Friday, several U.S. officials said. The package also for the first time includes equipment to connect all the different air defense systems Western allies have rushed to the battlefield and integrate them into Ukraine's own air defenses, to help it better defend against Russia's missile attacks.

    For months, U.S. officials have hesitated to send longer-range systems to Ukraine out of concern that they would be used to target inside Russia, escalating the conflict and drawing the U.S. deeper in. The longer-range bombs are the latest advanced system, such as Abrams tanks and the Patriot missile defense system, that the U.S. has eventually agreed to provide Ukraine after initially saying no. U.S. officials, though, have continued to reject Ukraine’s requests for fighter jets.

    Ukrainian leaders have urgently pressed for longer-range munitions, and on Thursday officials said the U.S. will send an undisclosed number of the ground-launched, small diameter bombs, which have a range of about 95 miles (150 kilometers). The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the aid package not yet made public.

    To date, the longest-range missile provided by the U.S. is about 50 miles (80 kilometers). The funding in the aid package is for longer-term purchases, so it wasn't clear Thursday how long it will take to get the bomb to the battlefield in Ukraine.

    Ukraine's defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said Thursday the country is prepared to offer guarantees to its Western partners that their weapons won’t be used to strike inside Russian territory, adding that Kyiv needs weapons with a range of up to 300 kilometers ( about 185 miles) to expel the Russian forces.

    “If we could strike at a distance of up to 300 kilometers, the Russian army wouldn’t be able to mount a defense and will have to withdraw,” Reznikov said at a meeting with EU officials. “Ukraine is ready to provide any guarantees that your weapons will not be involved in attacks on the Russian territory. We have enough targets in the occupied areas of Ukraine, and we’re prepared to coordinate on (these) targets with our partners."

    The U.S. aid package includes $425 million in ammunition and support equipment that will be pulled from existing Pentagon stockpiles and $1.75 billion in new funding through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which is used to purchase new weapons from industry.

    The assistance initiative, which will pay for the longer-range bombs and the air defense system integration, also funds two HAWK air defense systems, anti-aircraft guns and ammunition, and counter-drone systems.

    Since Russia's invasion last February, Western allies have pledged a myriad of air defense systems to Ukraine to bolster its own Soviet-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems, and the latest aid package aims to provide the capability to integrate them all, which could improve Ukraine's ability to protect itself against incoming Russian attacks.

    The U.S. has pledged medium- to long-range National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, and truck-launched short-range Avenger air defense systems; the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S. are sending Patriot missile defense systems; Germany is sending medium-range IRIS-T air defense systems; and Spain is sending Aspide anti-aircraft air defense systems.

    The addition of longer-range bombs to the latest aid package was first reported by Reuters.

    Ukraine is still seeking F-16 fighter jets, which U.S. President Joe Biden has opposed sending since the beginning of the war. Asked Monday if his administration was considering sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Biden responded, “No.”

    On Tuesday, the Ukrainian defense minister was asked if Biden’s ’’no” to F-16s was the final word.

    “All types of help first passed through the ‘no’ stage,” Reznikov said. “Which only means ‘no’ at today’s given moment. The second stage is, ‘Let’s talk and study technical possibilities.’ The third stage is, ‘Let’s get your personnel trained.’ And the fourth stage is the transfer (of equipment).”

    —-

    Associated Press writer Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed to this report.


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377

     
    Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap
    47 mins ago

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said Saturday.

    Top Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed.

    He said the released POWs include troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow’s monthslong siege that reduced the southern port city to ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the Kherson region and snipers captured during the ongoing fierce battles for the eastern city of Bakhmut.

    Russian defense officials, meanwhile, announced that 63 Russian troops had returned from Ukraine following the swap, including some “special category” prisoners whose release was secured following mediation by the United Arab Emirates.

    A statement issued Saturday by the Russian Defense Ministry did not provide details about these “special category” captives.

    At least three civilians have been killed in Ukraine over the past 24 hours as Russian forces struck nine regions in the country’s south, north and east, according to reports on Ukrainian TV by regional governors on Saturday morning.

    Two people were killed and 14 others wounded in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region by Russian shelling and missile strikes, local Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Telegram update on Saturday morning.

    The casualty toll included a man who was killed and seven others who were wounded Friday after Russian missiles slammed into Toretsk, a town in the Donetsk region. Kyrylenko said that 34 houses, two kindergartens, an outpatient clinic, a library, a cultural centre and other buildings were damaged in the strike.

    Seven teenagers received shrapnel wounds after an anti-personnel mine exploded late on Friday in the northeastern city of Izium, local Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram. He said they were all hospitalized but their lives were not in danger.

    Elsewhere, regional Ukrainian officials reported overnight shelling by Russia of border settlements in the northern Sumy region, as well as the town of Marhanets, which neighbors the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Kyiv has long accused Moscow of using the plant, which Russian forces seized early in the war, as a base for launching attacks on Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnieper river.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377
    Rick Wilson of The Lincoln Project , podcast The Enemies List......

    The Russian Media Propaganda Machine. Episode: https://www.podcastrepublic.net/episode/85343189585 . Media: https://audio3.redcircle.com/episodes/373cffb0-9f92-40bc-ab74-281c9d73cba4/stream.mp3 . -- Sent from Podcast Republic.
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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,377


     
    Ukraine defense minister expects help from West on warplanes
    By HANNA ARHIROVA
    Yesterday

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's defense minister expressed confidence Sunday that Western allies would agree to the country's latest weapons request — warplanes to fight off Russian forces that invaded nearly a year ago.

    Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told a news conference in Kyiv that Ukraine has already received everything from its “wish list to Santa,” except planes.

    “There will be planes, too," Reznikov predicted. “The question is just what kind exactly.... Consider that this mission is already completed.”

    So far, Ukraine has won support from Baltic nations and Poland in its quest to obtain Western fighter jets. But several Western leaders have expressed concern that providing warplanes could provoke the Kremlin and draw their countries deeper into the conflict, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and wreaked massive destruction.

    Kyiv says such jets are essential to challenging Russia’s air superiority and ensuring success in a Russian offensive that Reznikov predicted could begin around the war's one-year anniversary, Feb. 24.

    "Not all Western weapons will arrive by then, but we have the resources and reserves to help stabilize and sustain the offensive,” Reznikov told reporters.

    Since the war began, Western leaders have balked at some of Ukraine's requests, such as for longer-range missiles and tanks, only to agree later. The warplanes are the latest example.

    Ukraine has relocated its warplanes and concealed air defense assets, hampering Moscow’s efforts to gain full control of the skies. After suffering early losses, the Russian air force has avoided venturing deep into Ukraine’s airspace and mostly focused on close front line support.

    German-made tanks are on the way to Ukraine. Reznikov said his forces would begin training on Leopard tanks in Europe on Monday, before their delivery to Ukraine. So far, Canada, Poland, Germany, Great Britain and the United States have announced they will supply tanks to Ukraine.

    The Kremlin has said Western countries' supply of increasingly sophisticated and more weapons will only prolong the conflict, and it has characterized NATO as a direct participant. Reznikov, commenting on the supply of Western weapons and the state of the Ukrainian army, took the rhetoric further on Sunday, telling reporters: “I absolutely boldly claim that we have become a de facto NATO country. We only have a de jure part left.”

    Ukraine has applied to join NATO, as have two of Russia's other neighbors, Finland and Sweden.

    On the battlefield, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said four people were injured Sunday when a Russian S-300 missile fell near an apartment block in Kharkiv city, and another was hurt when a missile hit a university building. Video showed the building hit was the National Academy for Urban Economy, about 700 meters from the city's central square.

    Meanwhile, heavy fighting continued in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, one of four regions that Russia illegally annexed last year even though its forces do not fully control the area. Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said five civilians were wounded in rocket attacks during the night in the city of Druzhkivka and that the town of Avdiivka and its outskirts were also fired on.

    In the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of the fiercest fighting in Ukraine, the Ukrainian military said Sunday it had repelled Russian attacks. The founder of the mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said in a Telegram post that Kyiv's forces were not retreating and that “there are fierce battles for every street, every house, every stairwell.”

    In the Black Sea port of Odesa, workers labored to connect temporary generators shipped in to restore electricity. The city and surrounding area were plunged into darkness over the weekend following a large-scale network failure.

    Grid operator Ukrenergo said that the failure involved equipment “repeatedly repaired” after Russia’s savage strikes on Ukraine’s energy grid, and that residents should brace themselves for lengthy blackouts.

    As of Sunday afternoon, about 280,000 customers — 40% of the customers — remained without power, said prime minister Denis Shmyhal.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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