vladimir putin – Draft Gore 2008 http://draftgore2008.org/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 22:31:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://draftgore2008.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon-2022-01-14T222418.754.png vladimir putin – Draft Gore 2008 http://draftgore2008.org/ 32 32 EU imposes fourth round of sanctions on Russia for war | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/eu-imposes-fourth-round-of-sanctions-on-russia-for-war-national-policy/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 21:04:52 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/eu-imposes-fourth-round-of-sanctions-on-russia-for-war-national-policy/ By RAF CASERT – Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union announced late Monday that the 27-nation bloc had approved a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. France, which holds the EU presidency, said the bloc “in consultation with our international partners, has approved a fourth set of […]]]>

By RAF CASERT – Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union announced late Monday that the 27-nation bloc had approved a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

France, which holds the EU presidency, said the bloc “in consultation with our international partners, has approved a fourth set of sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in the aggression against Ukraine, as well as several sectors of the Russian economy”.

The French presidency said in a statement that the bloc had also approved a statement to the World Trade Organization “on the suspension of the application of the most favored nation clause for Russia and the suspension of the examination of Belarus’ application for WTO membership”.

If Russia is suspended, its companies would no longer receive special treatment across the bloc.

The announcements were in line with what the leaders said at the Versailles summit last Friday that a tough set of sanctions would be forthcoming if Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. The exact details of the latest sanctions package will only be known after publication in the official EU journal.

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Since the start of the war last month, the EU has adopted tough measures targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s financial system and its demanding oligarchs. Last week, the bloc countries agreed to impose new sanctions on 160 people and added new restrictions on the export of maritime navigation and radio communication technology.

They also decided to exclude three Belarusian banks from SWIFT, the dominant system for global financial transactions. In total, the EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 862 people and 53 entities.

In a statement released after the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the fourth sanctions package would further isolate Russia “and drain the resources it uses to finance this barbaric war”.

She said the EU would work closely with the Group of Seven countries to increase pressure against Moscow.

Efforts to agree on an oil boycott against Russia are complicated because some EU countries, including Germany and Italy, are much more dependent on Russian energy than others. Showing the range within the EU, Poland gets 67% of its oil from Russia while Ireland only gets 5%.

Follow all AP stories about the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Russia strikes near Ukrainian capital; besieged port city | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/russia-strikes-near-ukrainian-capital-besieged-port-city-national-policy/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 19:27:25 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/russia-strikes-near-ukrainian-capital-besieged-port-city-national-policy/ By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV and YURAS KARMANAU – Associated Press MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pounded the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday, bombarding its downtown as residents took cover at an iconic mosque and elsewhere to avoid blasts. fight also raged in the suburbs of the capitalKiev, while Russia continued its bombardment of […]]]>

By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV and YURAS KARMANAU – Associated Press

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pounded the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday, bombarding its downtown as residents took cover at an iconic mosque and elsewhere to avoid blasts. fight also raged in the suburbs of the capitalKiev, while Russia continued its bombardment of other cities in the country.

Mariupol has endured some of Ukraine’s worst punishments since the Russian invasion. Incessant barrages have repeated failed attempts to bring food, water and medicine to the city of 430,000 people and to evacuate its trapped civilians. More than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during the siege, according to the mayor’s office, and the shelling even halted efforts to bury the dead in mass graves.

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Talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire broke down again on Saturday, and while the United States announced its intention to provide another $200 million to Ukraine for weapons, a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow could attack foreign shipments of military equipment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of employing “a new stage of terror” with the alleged detention of a mayor of a town west of Mariupol.

Outside Mariupol, Russian soldiers looted an aid convoy trying to reach the town and blocked another, a Ukrainian official said. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces captured the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, tightening their siege of the strategic port. Taking Mariupol and other ports on the Sea of ​​Azov could allow Russia to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

“They bombard it (Mariupol) 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It’s hate. They kill children,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address. Satellite images released on Saturday by the Maxar company showed fires in parts of the city and extensive damage to apartments, houses and other infrastructure.

An Associated Press reporter in Mariupol witnessed tank fire on a nine-story building and was with a group of hospital workers who came under sniper fire on Friday. A worker shot in the hip survived, but conditions at the hospital were deteriorating: electricity was restricted to operating tables and people with nowhere to go lined the hallways.

Among them was Anastasiya Erashova, who was crying and shaking as she held a sleeping child. The shelling had just killed her other child as well as her brother’s child, Erashova said, her scalp covered in blood.

“No one could save them,” she said.

In Irpin, a suburb about 20 kilometers northwest of central Kiev, bodies lay in the open on Saturday in the streets and in a park.

“When I woke up in the morning, everything was covered in smoke, everything was black. We don’t know who is shooting and where,” resident Serhy Protsenko said as he walked through his neighborhood. Explosions rang out in the distance. “We have no radio or information.”

Some Irpin residents took shelter in a pitch-dark basement, unsure where they might go or how they would find food if they left. Others were carrying luggage on planks on a waterway where a bridge had been damaged.

Zelenskyy encouraged his people to maintain their resistance, which many analysts say prevented the quick military victory the Kremlin was likely expecting.

“The fact that the entire Ukrainian people resisted these invaders has already gone down in history, but we have no right to relax our defense, however difficult it may be,” he said. Later Saturday, Zelenskyy reported that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had died since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Zelenskyy again deplored NATO’s refusal to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine and said Ukraine had been looking for ways to procure air defenses, although it did not give details. US President Joe Biden announced an additional $200 million in aid to Ukraine, with an additional $13 billion included in a bill which was passed by the House and should be passed by the Senate within a few days. NATO has said imposing a no-fly zone could lead to a wider war with Russia.

Ukraine’s president also accused Russia of detaining the mayor of Melitopol, a town 192 kilometers (119 miles) west of Mariupol. The Ukrainian leader called on Russian forces to heed calls from protesters in the occupied city for the release of the mayor.

In several areas around Kiev, artillery barrages sent residents rushing to safety as air raid sirens sounded. The British Ministry of Defense said Russian forces which had been massed north of the capital had come within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the city center and dispersed, likely to support an attempted attack. encirclement.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that seven people in a convoy of people fleeing Peremoha, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Kiev, were killed when Russian forces fired on the group.

Ukrainian military and volunteer forces are preparing for an all-out assault on the capital. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Thursday that around 2 million people, or half of the metropolitan region’s residents, had left and “every street, every house…is being fortified.” .

Zelenskyy said on Saturday that Russia would have to bomb Kiev and kill its inhabitants to take the city.

“They will only come here if they kill us all,” he said. “If that is their goal, let them come.”

French and German leaders held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday in an unsuccessful attempt to reach a ceasefire. According to the Kremlin, Putin set the conditions for ending the war. To end hostilities, Moscow demanded that Ukraine drop its NATO candidacy and adopt neutral status; recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which it annexed to Ukraine in 2014; recognize the independence of the separatist regions in the east of the country; and agree to demilitarize.

During a 90-minute call with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday, Putin raised “issues related to agreements being discussed to implement Russian demands” to end the war, the Kremlin said without providing details.

Zelenskyy told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Saturday that he would be willing to meet Putin in Jerusalem to discuss ending the war, but first there would have to be a ceasefire. Bennett recently met in Moscow with Putin, who ignored previous offers of talks from Zelenskyy.

In Mariupol, the Ukrainian government said on Saturday the Sultan Suleiman Mosque had been hit, but an unverified Instagram post from a man claiming to be the president of the mosque’s association said the building was spared when a bomb fell about 750 yards (700 yards).

The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey said 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among those who sought refuge in the mosque, which is modeled after one of the most famous and largest mosques in Turkey. Istanbul.

With the port’s electricity, gas and water cut off, aid workers and Ukrainian authorities described an ongoing humanitarian disaster. Aid group Doctors Without Borders said Mariupol residents are dying from lack of medicine and draining heating pipes for drinking water.

Russian forces struck at least two dozen hospitals and medical facilities, according to the World Health Organization.

The Russian invaders seem to have struggled far more than expected against determined Ukrainian fighters. Yet the stronger Russian military threatens to overwhelm Ukrainian forces, despite a steady stream of weapons and other aid from the West to Ukraine’s democratically elected, west-facing government.

A senior Russian diplomat has warned that Moscow could attack foreign shipments of military equipment to Ukraine. Speaking on Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow had warned the United States “that the pumping of weapons from a number of countries which it is orchestrating is not just a dangerous move – it is an action that makes these convoys legitimate targets”.

Thousands of soldiers on both sides were reportedly killed along with scores of civilians, including at least 79 Ukrainian children, according to his government. At least 2.5 million people have fled the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

One of them is Elena Yurchuk, a nurse from the northern city of Chernihiv, which was heavily bombed. She was at a Romanian train station on Saturday with her teenage son, Nikita, unsure if their house was still standing.

“We have nowhere to go back,” said Yurchuk, 44, a widow who hopes to find work in Germany. “There was nothing left.”

Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press reporters Felipe Dana, Andrea Rosa in Irpin, Andrew Drake in Kyiv and other reporters from around the world contributed.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Ukraine says Russia bombed mosque in besieged Mariupol | United States government and politics https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-says-russia-bombed-mosque-in-besieged-mariupol-united-states-government-and-politics/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 10:24:59 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-says-russia-bombed-mosque-in-besieged-mariupol-united-states-government-and-politics/ By Yuras Karmanau – Associated Press LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian government said the Russian military shelled a mosque housing more than 80 people in the besieged city of Mariupol. A government statement released on Saturday reported no immediate casualties. The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey reported earlier that a group of 86 Turkish nationals, […]]]>

By Yuras Karmanau – Associated Press

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian government said the Russian military shelled a mosque housing more than 80 people in the besieged city of Mariupol.

A government statement released on Saturday reported no immediate casualties. The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey reported earlier that a group of 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among those seeking refuge from an ongoing Russian attack on the beleaguered port city.

An embassy spokeswoman cited information from the town’s mayor. She noted that it was difficult to communicate with anyone in Mariupol.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces appeared to be advancing from northeastern Ukraine in their slow fight to reach the capital, Kiev, as tanks and artillery pounded places already besieged with such heavy shelling that they prevented the inhabitants of a city from burying the growing death toll.

In past offensives in Syria and Chechnya, Russia’s strategy was to crush armed resistance with airstrikes and sustained bombardments that leveled population centers. This type of assault has cut off the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, and a similar fate could await Kiev and other parts of the country if the war continues.

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In Mariupol, incessant blockades thwarted repeated attempts to bring in food and water and evacuate trapped civilians. On Friday, an Associated Press photographer captured the moment a tank appeared to fire directly at a building, wrapping one side in a puffy orange ball of fire.

The death toll in Mariupol exceeded 1,500 in 12 days of the attack, the mayor’s office said. A strike against a maternity hospital in the city of 446,000 this week that killed three people has sparked international outrage and allegations of war crimes.

The continued shelling forced crews to stop digging trenches for mass graves, so “the dead aren’t even buried”, the mayor said.

Russian forces have struck more than a dozen hospitals since invading Ukraine on February 24, according to the World Health Organization. Ukrainian officials reported Saturday that heavy artillery damaged a cancer hospital and several residential buildings in Mykolaiv, a town 489 kilometers (304 miles) west of Mariupol.

The hospital’s chief medical officer, Maksim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were at the facility during the attack, but no one was killed.

The invading Russian forces struggled far more than expected against determined Ukrainian fighters. But the stronger Russian military threatens to overwhelm the defense forces, despite a steady stream of weapons and other aid from the West to Ukraine’s democratically elected, west-facing government.

The conflict has already caused 2.5 million people to flee the country. Thousands of soldiers on both sides were reportedly killed along with many Ukrainian civilians.

On the ground, Kremlin forces appeared to be trying to regroup and regain momentum after encountering fierce resistance and racking up heavy casualties over the past two weeks. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was trying to reset and “reposition” its troops, preparing for operations against Kiev.

“It’s ugly already, but it’s going to get worse,” said Nick Reynolds, a war analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank.

Russian forces blockaded Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, even as efforts were made to create new humanitarian corridors around it and other urban centers so that aid could enter and residents can go out.

Ukrainian emergency services reported on Saturday that the bodies of five people – two women, a man and two children – had been removed from a building that was hit by shelling in Kharkiv,

The Russians have also stepped up their attacks on Mykolaiv, located 470 kilometers (292 miles) south of Kiev, in an attempt to encircle the city.

As part of a multipronged attack on the capital, the Russian push from the northeast appears to be making progress, a US defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to give the US assessment of the fight. Combat units were moved from the rear as forces advanced within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of Kiev.

New commercial satellite images have emerged capturing artillery fire on residential areas that lay between the Russians and the capital. Images from Maxar Technologies showed muzzle flashes and smoke from large guns, as well as impact craters and burning houses in the town of Moschun, 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) from Kiev, it said. the society.

Residents of a devastated village east of the capital clambered over toppled walls and swinging metal strips into the remains of a pool hall, restaurant and theater freshly destroyed by Russian bombs .

With temperatures dropping below zero, villagers quickly spread plastic wrap or nailed plywood over the blown windows of their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “created this mess, thinking he will be in charge here,” said 62-year-old Ivan Merzyk. He added: “We’re not leaving.”

On the economic and political front, the United States and its allies decided to further isolate and sanction the Kremlin. President Joe Biden announced that the United States will significantly downgrade its trade status with Russia and ban imports of Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds.

The decision to revoke Russia’s most favored nation status was taken in coordination with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries.

“The free world is coming together to take on Putin,” Biden said.

As the invasion enters its 16th day, Putin said on Friday that there had been “some positive developments” in the ongoing talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators. He gave no details.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared on video to encourage his people to keep fighting.

“It is impossible to say how many more days we will need to liberate our land, but it is possible to say that we will,” he said from Kyiv.

Zelenskyy said authorities were working to create 12 humanitarian corridors and trying to ensure that urgently needed food, medicine and other basics reached people across the country.

He also accused Russia of kidnapping the mayor of a city, Melitopol, calling the kidnapping “a new stage of terror”. The Biden administration had warned before the invasion of Russian plans to detain and kill targeted people in Ukraine. Zelenskyy himself is likely a priority target.

US defense officials said Russian pilots flew an average of 200 sorties a day, compared to 5-10 for Ukrainian forces, which focus more on surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and drones to eliminate Russian planes.

The United States also said Russia launched nearly 810 missiles at Ukraine.

Until recently, Russian troops had made their greatest advances on eastern and southern cities while struggling in the north and around Kiev. They have also started targeting areas in western Ukraine, where large numbers of refugees have fled.

Russia said Friday it used high-precision long-range weapons to disable military airfields in the western cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk. The Lutsk attack killed four Ukrainian servicemen, the mayor said.

Russian airstrikes also first targeted Dnipro, a major industrial hub in the east and Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, with around 1 million people. One person was killed, Ukrainian officials said.

In footage of the aftermath released by Ukraine’s emergency agency, firefighters extinguished a burning building and ash fell on bloody rubble. Smoke billowed from the broken concrete where the buildings once stood.

The United Nations political chief said the international organization had received credible reports that Russian forces were using cluster bombs in populated areas. International law prohibits the use of bombs, which disperse smaller explosives over a wide area, in cities and towns.

Associated Press reporters Felipe Dana and Andrew Drake in Kyiv, Ukraine, and other reporters around the world contributed.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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History is abused to support Putin’s Russia policy https://draftgore2008.org/history-is-abused-to-support-putins-russia-policy/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/history-is-abused-to-support-putins-russia-policy/ Russia’s war in Ukraine is as much about the past as it is about the future. Three days before the start of the massive military invasion of Ukraine, Russian state television broadcast an hour-long speech in which President Vladimir Putin claimed that historically Ukraine has always been linked to Russia. For him, the independent Ukrainian […]]]>

Russia’s war in Ukraine is as much about the past as it is about the future. Three days before the start of the massive military invasion of Ukraine, Russian state television broadcast an hour-long speech in which President Vladimir Putin claimed that historically Ukraine has always been linked to Russia. For him, the independent Ukrainian state is the result of a historic mistake first made by the Bolsheviks who granted Ukraine the status of a republic within the Soviet Union. According to his account, this contradicted the historical roots of Ukrainians in the Russian state and sowed the seeds of a radical nationalism that made Ukrainians susceptible to the West’s false promises when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Katja Bruisch is Ussher Assistant Professor of Environmental History at TCD

When the Russian army entered the Donbass after Putin’s speech, it continued the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity that began in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Putin’s claims about Ukrainian history weren’t entirely new either. In July 2021, his essay “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians” argued that Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians were “one people”, organically linked by their common history, culture and territory. Putin’s account denies that Ukrainians can tell their story differently and contradicts what historians know about Ukrainian nationalism. Its interpretation is also not legally relevant. However we write the history of Ukraine, the invasion is an attack on a sovereign state whose borders are subject to international law. And yet, Putin’s historical narrative cannot simply be dismissed as an irrelevant delusion of a madman: it is a crucial instrument of his political actions domestically and internationally. The story is used to underpin Putinist Russia policy.

Putin’s account denies that Ukrainians can tell their story differently and contradicts what historians know about Ukrainian nationalism

Laying out an ideological foundation for the war, Putin’s February 21 speech also marked the culmination of a domestic trend in Russia, where the state has become the ultimate watchdog of historical narrative. The consequences for those who write and think about history have been significant. Remarkable is the fate of Memorial, a human rights organization whose origins date back to the years of perestroika. Memorial played a crucial role in restoring truths about the Soviet totalitarian past, compiling lists of more than three million victims of state terror.

Political repression

Memorial’s headquarters in Moscow houses a rich archive documenting personal stories of political repression and has served for many years as a space for critical debate about the present as much as the past. Under pressure for years, the organization has been accused of supporting ‘terrorism’ and breaking Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ law, leading to the Russian Supreme Court’s decision to ‘liquidate’ Memorial in December 2021. On February 28, as Russian and Ukrainian delegations were meeting for negotiations on the Belarusian border and Russian units shelled the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Memorial’s appeal against this decision was rejected. The verdict ends three decades in which professional historians and activists have shed light on human rights abuses in both Soviet and post-Soviet times.

Jennifer Keating is Assistant Professor of Modern Eastern European History at UCD

Meanwhile, the distortion of history takes physical form in Ukraine. On February 28, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced that 25 paintings by famous Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko had been destroyed after the museum in Ivankiv, a town near Kiev, was hit by Russian fire. In an attack on Kiev’s television tower, reports suggest that Russian forces also damaged the Babyn Yar memorial site which commemorates one of the biggest massacres of the Holocaust. The following day, Kharkiv National University, an important center of learning since the early 19th century, was heavily damaged by a Russian missile. Putin’s narrative has countless blind spots. It disregards the fact that much of Ukraine’s territory lies outside the borders of Imperial Russia and refutes stories of nationalistic expression to which the empire responded with strict Russification measures. Likewise, he is silent on the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s and the Holocaust and has nothing to say about the broad popular support for Ukrainian independence in 1991. The war is now turning historical reductionism into tangible destruction. .

military prowess

Given Putin’s previous career as head of the KGB, his policies have been mislabeled as an attempt to revive the Soviet Union. Yet while he called the Soviet collapse the major geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, his history and politics defy simplistic attributions. They combine the imperialist aspirations and conservative values ​​of the Russian Empire, the glorification of military prowess that was central to Soviet identity after World War II, and frustration with the Eastern European countries that define their national policy more and more by turning towards the European Union, and not Russia. Putin’s story is not a step back in time: it is rather the creation of a new past, one that responds to the contexts of the beginning of the 21st century.

While he called the Soviet collapse a major geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, Putin’s history and politics defy simplistic attributions

Putin’s distorted language about Ukraine, the crackdown on narratives that do not match those of the state, and the catastrophic damage already done to people and places in Ukraine are intrinsically linked. Since the start of the war, Russian authorities have detained thousands of anti-war protesters and shut down the few remaining independent media outlets in the country. Scholars, journalists, scientists and others published and signed open letters calling the war a war and calling on the government to stop it. Many historians have joined these initiatives. Words, signatures and protests may seem insignificant in the face of tanks and airstrikes, but it all matters. Mobilizing the past in service of the present is by no means Putin’s only domain, but this horrifying iteration must be recognized and denounced for what it is: a violence that seeks not only to distort and erase the past, but also to legitimize, galvanize and authenticate the encroaching actions of an autocratic regime that now threatens the lives of millions beyond Russia’s borders.

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Fire at Ukraine’s key nuclear power plant amid Russian attacks | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/fire-at-ukraines-key-nuclear-power-plant-amid-russian-attacks-national-policy/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 06:38:33 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/fire-at-ukraines-key-nuclear-power-plant-amid-russian-attacks-national-policy/ By JIM HEINTZ, YURAS KARMANAU and MSTYSLAV CHERNOV – Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant sparked by Russian bombing has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities said Friday, and Russian forces have taken control of the site. Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory authority said no changes in radiation levels had been […]]]>

By JIM HEINTZ, YURAS KARMANAU and MSTYSLAV CHERNOV – Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant sparked by Russian bombing has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities said Friday, and Russian forces have taken control of the site.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory authority said no changes in radiation levels had been recorded so far. He said staff were surveying the site to check for further damage to the No. 1 reactor compartment at the Zaporizhzhia power plant in the town of Enerhodar.

The regulator noted in a statement on Facebook the importance of maintaining the ability to cool nuclear fuel, saying the loss of such ability could lead to an even worse accident than the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the world’s worst disaster. nuclear power in the world or the 2011 Fukushima collapses in Japan. . He also noted that there is a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at the site, although there are no signs that the facility has been hit by shelling.

The bombing of the factory came as the Russian army continued its attack on a crucial Ukrainian energy-producing city and gained ground in its bid to cut the country off from the sea. As the invasion entered its second week, another round of talks between Russia and Ukraine resulted in an agreement in principle to set up safe corridors to evacuate citizens and deliver humanitarian aid.

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Leading nuclear authorities were worried — but not panicky — about the damage to the plant. The assault, however, led to phone calls between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden and other world leaders. The US Department of Energy has activated its Nuclear Incident Response Team as a precautionary measure.

Earlier, nuclear power plant spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells fell directly on the facility and set one of its six reactors on fire. This reactor is being renovated and not working, he said.

The Zaporizhzhia regional military administration said measurements taken at 07:00 (0500 GMT) on Friday showed that radiation levels in the region “remain unchanged and do not endanger the life and health of the population”.

The mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, announced on his Telegram channel on Friday morning that “the fire at the (nuclear power plant) has been extinguished”. His office told The Associated Press that the information came from firefighters authorized to enter the site overnight.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in the ‘next hours’ to raise the issue of Russia’s attack on the nuclear power plant, according to a statement from his office. .

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted that the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia plant were protected by strong containment structures and were shut down safely.

In an emotional speech in the middle of the night, Zelenskyy said he feared an explosion that would be “the end for everyone.” The end for Europe. Evacuation from Europe.

“Only urgent action from Europe can stop Russian troops,” he said. “Don’t let Europe die from a nuclear power plant disaster.”

But most experts saw nothing that indicated impending doom.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the fire did not affect critical equipment and Ukraine’s nuclear regulator reported no change in radiation levels. The American Nuclear Society agreed, saying the latest radiation levels remained within natural background levels.

“The real threat to the lives of Ukrainians continues to be the violent invasion and bombardment of their country,” the group said in a statement.

Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar, said Russian shelling had ceased hours before dawn and residents of the city of more than 50,000 who had spent the night in shelters could return home. The city woke up to no heat, however, as the bombardment damaged the city’s heating pipe, he said.

Prior to the bombing, the Ukrainian Atomic Energy Company reported that a Russian military column was heading towards the nuclear power plant. Heavy gunfire and rocket fire were heard Thursday night.

Later, a security camera streamed live from the Zaporizhzhia factory homepage showed what appeared to be armored vehicles entering the facility’s parking lot and shining spotlights on the building where the camera was. climb.

Then there was what appeared to be muzzle flashes from vehicles, followed by near simultaneous explosions in surrounding buildings. The smoke was rising in the frame and moving away.

Vladimir Putin’s forces have deployed their superior firepower over the past few days, launching hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and other sites across the country and making significant gains in the south .

The Russians announced the capture of the southern city of Kherson, a vital Black Sea port of 280,000 people, and local Ukrainian officials confirmed the takeover of the seat of government there, making it the first big city to fall since the invasion started a week ago.

A Russian airstrike destroyed the Okhtyrka power plant on Thursday, leaving the town without heat or electricity, the region’s chief said on Telegram. In the early days of the war, Russian troops attacked a military base in the city, located between Kharkiv and Kiev, and officials said more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

“We are trying to find a way to get people out of the city urgently, because in one day apartment buildings will turn into a cold stone trap without water, light or electricity,” said Dmytro Zhyvytskyy .

Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, on the Sea of ​​Azov. The fighting destroyed the city’s electricity, heating and water systems, as well as most telephone services, officials said. Food deliveries to the city have also been cut.

Associated Press video from the port city showed the assault lighting up the darkening sky over deserted streets and medical teams treating civilians, including a 16-year-old boy inside a clinic that could not be saved. The child was playing football when he was injured in the shelling, according to his father, who cradled the boy’s head on the stretcher and cried.

Cutting Ukraine’s access to the Black and Azov seas would deal a crippling blow to its economy and allow Russia to build a land corridor to Crimea, seized by Moscow in 2014.

Overall, the outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainians put up stiff resistance, preventing the quick victory that Russia seemed to expect. But a senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia’s capture of Crimea gave it a logistical advantage in that part of the country, with shorter supply lines who facilitated the offensive there.

Ukrainian leaders called on the people to defend their homeland by cutting down trees, erecting barricades in cities and attacking enemy columns from the rear. In recent days, authorities have distributed weapons to civilians and taught them how to make Molotov cocktails.

“Total resistance. … This is our Ukrainian asset, and this is the best we can do in the world,” Oleksiy Arestovich, an aide to Zelenskyy, said in a video message, recalling guerrilla actions in occupied Ukraine by the Nazis during World War II.

The second round of talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations was held in neighboring Belarus. But the two sides seemed very distant at the start of the meeting, and Putin warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin’s request for its “demilitarization” and declare itself neutral, renouncing its candidacy for NATO.

Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron he was determined to continue his attack “all the way”, according to Macron’s office.

Both sides said they had tentatively agreed to allow ceasefires in areas designated as safe corridors and would seek to work out the necessary details quickly. An adviser to Zelenskyy also said a third round of talks will take place early next week.

Despite a wealth of evidence of civilian casualties and destruction of property by the Russian military, Putin denounced what he called an “anti-Russian disinformation campaign” and insisted that Moscow uses “only precision weapons to exclusively destroy military infrastructure”.

Putin claimed that the Russian military had already offered safe corridors for civilians to flee, but he claimed without evidence that Ukrainian “neo-Nazis” were preventing people from leaving and using them as human shields.

The Pentagon set up a direct communication link with the Russian Defense Ministry earlier this week to avoid the possibility that a miscalculation could trigger a conflict between Moscow and Washington, according to a US defense official who s is expressed on condition of anonymity because the link had not been announced.

Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Chernov reported from Mariupol, Ukraine. Sergei Grits in Odessa, Ukraine; Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv; and other AP reporters around the world contributed to this report.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Twitter suspends GOP congresswoman over tweet about women’s sports https://draftgore2008.org/twitter-suspends-gop-congresswoman-over-tweet-about-womens-sports/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 18:19:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/twitter-suspends-gop-congresswoman-over-tweet-about-womens-sports/ By Michel GryboskiSenior Church Editor | Wednesday 02 March 2022 The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA | Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid A Republican member of the US House of Representatives who is running for the US Senate this year has had […]]]>
Twitter
The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA |

A Republican member of the US House of Representatives who is running for the US Senate this year has had her Twitter account suspended because she opposed allowing trans-identified biological men to be allowed to compete in sports feminine.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri was suspended Monday for posting a tweet stating, “Women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.

She included an ad criticizing policies allowing trans-identified biological men to compete in women’s sports, which have been put in place at the Olympic, college and some high school levels.

Hartzler’s Senate campaign manager Michael Hafner posted a screenshot of the notice Hartzler received from Twitter explaining that the post violated the platform’s rules. rules on “hateful conduct”.

Hafner caught on Twitter to call the social media site hypocritical because Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Twitter account remains active. He called Twitter’s actions a “sleep of stupidity”.

“Good: murderous psychopath who invades a sovereign nation causing death and destruction,” he tweeted on Monday. “WRONG: [House Armed Services Committee member and] Member of Congress who says women’s sport for women. MADNESS!”

Under Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy, users may not “promote violence against or directly attack or threaten others based on race, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious illness.

“We also don’t allow accounts whose primary purpose is to incite harm to others based on these categories,” the policy says.

Twitter says “research has shown that certain groups of people are disproportionately targeted for online abuse.” These groups include “women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gay, intersex, asexual, marginalized and historically underrepresented communities.”

Although Twitter claims to protect “a wide range of views”, the platform is “committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, especially abuse that seeks to silence voices of those who have been historically marginalized”.

Twitter sent a statement to Fox News saying Hartzler’s account can be reinstated 12 hours after deleting the tweet in question.

“The account owner will need to delete the offending Tweet and spend 12 hours in read-only mode before regaining full access to their account,” Twitter said.

“Consistent with this policy, we prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes, or other content that is intended to dehumanize, degrade, or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a Protected Category. This includes targeted gender errors or dead names of transgender people. »

Hartzler has no intention of deleting the tweet, his campaign told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The campaign called the suspension “shameful, utterly ridiculous and a horrific abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech.”

Last October, Republican Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana had his Twitter account temporarily blocked after calling US Undersecretary of Health Rachel Levine, who was born male but currently identifies as female, male .

In response to the punishment, Banks posted a statement on his Instagram account decrying Twitter’s actions, saying the social media site was censoring “a fundamental truth.”

“My tweet was a statement of fact. Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you,” he said.

“We can’t allow Big Tech to stop us from telling the truth. When Republicans take over the House next year, we must restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech to account.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or facebook

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One move from Putin and behold: Western unity tightens overnight | National policy https://draftgore2008.org/one-move-from-putin-and-behold-western-unity-tightens-overnight-national-policy/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 16:04:34 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/one-move-from-putin-and-behold-western-unity-tightens-overnight-national-policy/ By RAF CASERT – Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — In a matter of days, Russian President Vladimir Putin achieved what remained out of reach for the European Union for many decades — jointly buying and sending weapons to a war zone — and restored something that was broken for years – trans-Atlantic unit. For years, […]]]>

By RAF CASERT – Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — In a matter of days, Russian President Vladimir Putin achieved what remained out of reach for the European Union for many decades — jointly buying and sending weapons to a war zone — and restored something that was broken for years – trans-Atlantic unit.

For years, Putin has been able to sit back and savor unseemly scenes of Western disunity – ranging from Britain’s Brexit exit from the EU in 2016, Hungary’s longstanding antipathy to its EU seat and , also, of the divide created by former President Donald Trump. which is far from completely healed under Joe Biden.

For Putin, the timing seemed perfect for his invasion of Ukraine, as it had the potential to open the cracks of division even further, with a war on the continent forcing everyone out of their diplomatic comfort zones.

“And just as Vladimir Putin thought he would destroy European unity, exactly the opposite has happened,” European Council President Charles Michel said in an interview with a small group of Europeans on Monday. journalists.

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“The cooperation is rock solid,” he said. “This is required by the circumstances of the story. Required by circumstances none of us could have imagined,” added Michel.

On Monday, Biden was leading another videoconference with the EU, Britain and other Western leaders to solidify a common set of sanctions of unprecedented scope and unity. Over the weekend, Brussels and Washington announced financial sanctions within minutes of each other, all targeting the central bank and cutting Russia off from much of the SWIFT international financial transaction system.

Together they closed their airspace to Russian planes, agreed on lists of Russian oligarchs to hit. Seeing the West merging instead of splitting apart, Putin on Monday picked up on the old lingo the West loved to use during the Cold War era of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.

Centering his anger on Washington, he described Western allies as “American satellites who humbly flatter him, bow down to him, copy his conduct and happily accept the rules he proposes to follow”.

“So it’s fair to say that the whole western bloc formed by the United States to their liking represents an empire of lies,” Putin said.

Western powers will take such unity as a compliment these days, and it was unheard of before Putin started massing troops on the Ukrainian border.

In particular, the position within the EU27 is a sea change that has been achieved in some ebb and flow.

“This is a watershed moment,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said following Sunday’s EU decision “to fund the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to an attacked country”.

This is the same European Union based on a post-World War II peace project that would only turn swords into ploughshares to recreate a continent of welfare of unprecedented wealth. It was this same European Union that received the Nobel Peace Prize 10 years ago for what it could achieve without the use of weapons.

It’s also the same bloc that for years has touted the value of what it calls soft power – diplomacy, aid, cultural exchange – instead of the raw power that comes through the barrel of a rifle.

All that changed in just a week. Now, Michel says: “There is no room for weakness and we must be firm.”

Nowhere has the change been more pronounced than in Germany, the EU’s leading economic power, but also a country that has been reluctant to invest heavily in military might, largely because of its militaristic past that has led to the horror of World War II.

Germany has faced persistent criticism in recent years for failing to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of its gross domestic product on defence. On Sunday, however, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would commit 100 billion euros ($113 billion) to a special fund for its armed forces and increase defense spending above 2% “from now, year after year”.

Scholz also flip-flopped on Germany’s refusal to export weapons to conflict zones, pledging to send anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine.

“If our world is different, then our politics must be too,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. The political U-turn was executed by a government led by centre-left Social Democrats sometimes criticized as soft on Russia and a Green party that has a pacifist heritage

This world has also changed for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – often seen as Europe’s version of an autocratic leader not unlike Putin. For years he denounced the EU as indiscreet, was friends with Putin and was seen as someone who could break the bloc from within.

Especially since the EU sanctions against Russia require the unanimity of the 27, the time had come. Yet Hungary has aligned as much as the others on sanctions – within days.

“I spoke immediately with Viktor Orban when we faced this new situation and I can tell you that it was less difficult than expected to have the support of Hungary,” said Michel.

However, the war may still be in the early stages and tougher times could come with even bigger decisions to make, especially since Putin and his entourage have had time for many years to prepare for any eventuality.

“They have the ability to go on for a while despite the pain,” said Amanda Paul of the European Policy Center think tank. “So that means the West will have to be very engaged and very determined to keep pushing and pushing.”

Geir Moulson in Berlin, and Lorne Cook and Mark Carlson in Brussels, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Iran supports diplomatic settlement of Ukraine crisis – Politics News https://draftgore2008.org/iran-supports-diplomatic-settlement-of-ukraine-crisis-politics-news/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 06:23:00 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/iran-supports-diplomatic-settlement-of-ukraine-crisis-politics-news/ “The Islamic Republic of Iran supports any effort that would lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine and is ready to play a role in helping to restore peace in any way possible,” Raisi told a cabinet session. in Tehran on Sunday. “Based on the fundamental principles of its foreign policy, the […]]]>

“The Islamic Republic of Iran supports any effort that would lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine and is ready to play a role in helping to restore peace in any way possible,” Raisi told a cabinet session. in Tehran on Sunday.

“Based on the fundamental principles of its foreign policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran opposes both hegemony and submission to hegemony, and supports the right of all nations to self-determination” , he added.

Raisi said while emphasizing the need to protect the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of all countries, “The Islamic Republic of Iran understands the security concerns stemming from decades of NATO expansionism.”

“We firmly believe that diplomacy and sincere respect for international obligations by all parties is the only sustainable and just way out of the current situation,” he added, Press TV reported.

In a televised address early Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarizing” the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine, collectively known as Donbass.

The two regions split from Ukraine in 2014 after refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russia administration.

Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years have suffered persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime”.

The UN Refugee Agency says more than 120,000 Ukrainians have left the country since Russia launched the military campaign against Ukraine on February 24.

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Ukraine rejects Belarus as venue for talks with Russia | National Policy https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-rejects-belarus-as-venue-for-talks-with-russia-national-policy/ Sun, 27 Feb 2022 07:24:50 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/ukraine-rejects-belarus-as-venue-for-talks-with-russia-national-policy/ By YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and ZEKE MILLER – Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has said his country is ready for peace talks with Russia, but not in Belarus, which was a staging ground for the invasion of Moscow 3 days ago. Speaking in a video message on Sunday, President […]]]>

By YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and ZEKE MILLER – Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has said his country is ready for peace talks with Russia, but not in Belarus, which was a staging ground for the invasion of Moscow 3 days ago.

Speaking in a video message on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky named Warsaw, Bratislava, Istanbul, Budapest or Baku as alternative locations. He said other locations were also possible, but clarified that Ukraine did not accept Russia’s selection of Belarus.

The Kremlin said on Sunday that a Russian delegation had arrived in the Belarusian town of Homel for talks with Ukrainian officials. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the delegation included military officials and diplomats.

“The Russian delegation is ready for the talks, and now we are waiting for the Ukrainians,” Peskov said.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, with troops flowing in from Moscow’s ally Belarus in the north, as well as from the east and south.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Street fighting erupted early Sunday in Kharkiv as Russian troops entered Ukraine’s second-largest city, a regional official said, following a wave of attacks elsewhere targeting airfields and fuel installations that seemed to mark a new phase of an invasion slowed by fierce resistance.

The United States and the EU responded with weapons and ammunition for outnumbered Ukrainians and powerful penalties intended to further isolate Moscow.

Russian troops approached Kharkiv, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the border with Russia, shortly after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. But until Sunday they remained on the outskirts of the city of 1.4 million people without trying to enter as other forces drove past, pushing their offensive deeper into Ukraine.

Early on Sunday, Russian troops moved in and were engaged by Ukrainian forces, said Oleh Sinehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional administration, who told civilians not to leave their homes. He gave no further details.

Videos circulating on Ukrainian media and social media showed Russian vehicles driving through Kharkiv and a light vehicle on fire in the street.

Elsewhere, huge explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, where people hunkered down in homes, underground garages and metro stations ahead of a full-scale assault by forces Russians.

Flames rose into the pre-dawn sky from an oil depot near an airbase in Vasylkiv, where there was heavy fighting, according to the town’s mayor. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said another explosion occurred at Zhuliany civilian airport.

Zelenskyy’s office also said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, prompting the government to warn people to protect themselves from the smoke by covering their windows with a damp cloth or gauze.

“We will fight as long as necessary to liberate our country,” Zelenskyy promised.

Terrified men, women and children sought safety indoors and underground, and the government maintained a 39-hour curfew to keep people out of the streets. Over 150,000 Ukrainians fled to Poland, Moldova and other neighboring countriesand the United Nations has warned that number could rise to 4 million if fighting intensifies.

President Vladimir Putin has not disclosed his ultimate plans, but Western officials believe he is determined to overthrow the Ukrainian government and replace it with his own regime, redraw the map of Europe and revive the influence of Moscow during the Cold War era.

To help Ukraine hold its ground, the United States pledged an additional $350 million in military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, body armor and small arms. Germany said it would send anti-tank missiles and weapons to the beleaguered country and close its airspace to Russian planes.

The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed to block “selected” Russian banks from the global financial messaging system SWIFT, which transfers money to more than 11,000 banks and other financial institutions around the world. world, as part of a new round of sanctions aimed at imposing a severe cost on Moscow for the invasion. They also agreed to impose “restrictive measures” on Russia’s central bank.

Responding to a request from Ukraine’s digital transformation minister, tech billionaire Elon Musk said on Twitter that his Starlink satellite internet system was now active in Ukraine and there were “more terminals on the way”.

It was unclear how much territory the Russian forces had seized or how much of their advance had been blocked. The British Ministry of Defense said that “the speed of the Russian advance has temporarily slowed, probably due to acute logistical difficulties and heavy Ukrainian resistance”.

A senior US defense official said that more than half of the Russian combat power that was massed along Ukraine’s borders had entered the country and that Moscow had to commit more fuel supplies and weapons. other support units inside Ukraine than originally planned. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal US assessments.

The curfew forcing everyone in Kyiv indoors was due to last until Monday morning. The relative calm of the capital was sporadically disturbed by gunfire.

The fighting on the outskirts of the city suggested that small Russian units were trying to clear a path for the main forces. Small groups of Russian troops were reported inside Kiev, but Britain and the United States said the bulk of forces were 30 kilometers from the city center on Saturday afternoon.

Russia claims his assault on Ukraine north, east and south targets only military targets, but bridges, schools and residential areas were hit.

Ukraine’s health minister announced on Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than 1,000 injured in Europe’s largest ground war since World War II. It was unclear whether these figures included both military and civilian casualties.

A missile struck a high-rise building in the southwestern outskirts of Kiev, near one of the city’s two passenger airports, leaving a jagged hole of ravaged apartments over several floors. A rescue worker said six civilians were injured.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova said troops in Kiev were fighting Russian “sabotage groups”. According to Ukraine, some 200 Russian soldiers were captured and thousands killed.

Markarova said Ukraine was gathering evidence of bombings of residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals to submit to The Hague as possible crimes against humanity.

Zelenskyy reiterated his openness to talks with Russia in a video message, saying he welcomed an offer from Turkey and Azerbaijan to stage diplomatic efforts, which so far have failed.

The Kremlin confirmed a phone call between Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev but gave no indication on whether talks would resume. A day earlier, Zelenskyy offered to negotiate a key Russian demand: to abandon ambitions to join NATO.

Putin sent troops to Ukraine after deny for weeks that he intended to do so, while building up a force of nearly 200,000 men along the countries borders. He says the West has not taken Russia’s security concerns about NATO, the Western military alliance that Ukraine aspires to join, seriously. But he also expressed his contempt for Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state.

In addition to Kiev, the Russian assault appeared to be focused on Ukraine’s economically vital coastal areas, from the Black Sea port of Odessa in the west to beyond the Mediterranean Sea port of Mariupol. ‘Azov to the east.

Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol were guarding bridges and blocking people from the shore, fearing that the Russian navy would launch an assault from the sea.

“I don’t care who wins and who doesn’t,” said Ruzanna Zubenko, whose large family was forced from their home outside Mariupol after it was badly damaged by shelling. “The only important thing is that our children can grow up smiling and not crying.”

Fighting also raged in two eastern territories controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Authorities in Donetsk said the hot water supply to the city of around 900,000 people had been suspended due to damage to the system caused by Ukrainian shelling.

The United States and its allies have been building up forces on NATO’s eastern flank, but have so far ruled out deploying troops to fight Russia. Instead, the United States, the European Union and other countries slapped extended penalties on Russia, freezing the assets of companies and individuals, including Putin and his foreign minister.

Isachenkov reported from Moscow and Miller from Washington. Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv; Mstyslav Chernov and Nic Dumitrache in Mariupol, Ukraine; and other AP reporters around the world contributed to this report.

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey from comedy to warlord | National Policy https://draftgore2008.org/zelenskyys-unlikely-journey-from-comedy-to-warlord-national-policy/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 19:39:14 +0000 https://draftgore2008.org/zelenskyys-unlikely-journey-from-comedy-to-warlord-national-policy/ JOHN DANISZEWSKI – Associated Press WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was growing up in southeastern Ukraine, his Jewish family spoke Russian and his father once forbade young Zelenskyy from going to Israel to study abroad. Instead, Zelenskyy studied law at home. After graduating, he found a new home in film and comedy – […]]]>

JOHN DANISZEWSKI – Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was growing up in southeastern Ukraine, his Jewish family spoke Russian and his father once forbade young Zelenskyy from going to Israel to study abroad. Instead, Zelenskyy studied law at home. After graduating, he found a new home in film and comedy – exploding in the 2010s to become one of Ukraine’s top entertainers with the TV series ‘Servant of the People’.

In it, he portrays an adorable high school teacher who is fed up with corrupt politicians who accidentally becomes president.

A few years later, Zelenskyy is the real president of Ukraine. At times, as the Russian invasion approached, the comedian-turned-statesman had seemed incoherent, chastising the West for scaring one day and not doing enough the next. But his bravery and refusal to leave as rockets rained down on the capital also made him an unlikely hero for many around the world.

With a courage, good humor and grace under fire that has rallied his own and impressed his Western counterparts, the 44-year-old compact, dark-haired former actor has stuck around even though he says he has a target on his back from from Russian. invaders.

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After a US offer to transport him to safety, Zelenskyy fired back on Saturday: ‘I need ammunition, not a round,’ he said in Ukrainian, according to a senior US intelligence official. having direct knowledge of the conversation.

On Saturday, Russian forces surrounded Kiev on the third day of the war. The main goal, military observers say, is to reach the capital to depose Zelenskyy and his government and install someone more in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The boldness of Zelenskyy’s stand for Ukrainian sovereignty might not have been expected from a man whose greatest political responsibility for many years was a feeling that he was too inclined to seek a compromise with Moscow. He ran for office partly on a platform that he could broker peace with Russia, which seized Crimea from Ukraine and backed two pro-Russian breakaway regions in 2014, leading to a frozen conflict. which had killed about 15,000 people.

Although Zelenskyy succeeded in a prisoner exchange, reconciliation efforts have failed as Putin’s insistence on Ukraine departing from the West grows increasingly intense, portraying the government in Kiev as a nest extremism led by Washington.

Zelenskyy used his own story to demonstrate that his country is a land of possibilities, not the hateful politics of Putin’s imagination.

Despite Ukraine’s dark history of anti-Semitism, dating back centuries to Cossack pogroms and the collaboration of some anti-Soviet nationalists with the Nazi genocide during World War II, Ukraine after Zelenskyy’s election in 2019 has become the only country outside of Israel with both a president and prime minister who were Jewish. (Zelensky’s grandfather fought in the Soviet army against the Nazis, while another family died in the Holocaust.)

Like his TV character, Zelenskyy came to power in a landslide Democratic election, defeating a billionaire businessman. He promised to break the power of the corrupt oligarchs who had haphazardly controlled Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

That this newcomer, campaigning mostly on social media, could come out of nowhere to claim the country’s highest office was likely troubling for Putin, who has slowly tamed and surrounded his own political opposition in Russia.

Putin’s main political rival, Alexei Navalny, also a comedian and anti-corruption campaigner, was poisoned by the Russian secret service in 2020 with a nerve agent applied to his underwear. He was fighting for his life when he was allowed, under international diplomatic pressure, to leave for Germany for medical treatment, and when doctors rescued him he chose to return to Russia despite certain risks.

Navalny, currently being held in a Russian prison, denounced Putin’s military operation in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy and Navalny seem to share a perspective that they have to face the consequences of their beliefs no matter what.

“It’s a scary experience when you come to visit the president of a neighboring country, your colleague, to support him in a difficult situation, (and) you hear from him that you may never see him again because he stay there and will defend his country until the end,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday.

He spent time with Zelenskyy on Wednesday just before the fighting began, one of several political leaders who have met with Ukraine’s president over the past month, including US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Zelenskyy first came to the attention of many Americans during the administration of President Donald Trump, who in a phone call with Zelenskyy in 2019 leaned on him to dig up dirt on the presidential candidate. Biden and his son Hunter who could help Trump’s re-election campaign. . This “perfect” phone call, as Trump later called it, resulted in Trump being impeached by the House of Representatives for using his office and threatening to withhold $400 million in authorized military support from Ukraine, for personal political purposes.

Zelenskyy declined to criticize Trump’s appeal, saying he did not want to get involved in another country’s politics.

Putin’s attack, which the Russian president called a “special military operation”, began early Thursday. Putin for months denied intending to invade and accused Biden of stoking war hysteria when Biden revealed the number of Russian troops and weapons. which had been deployed along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus – surrounding Ukraine on three sides.

Putin justified the attack by saying it was to defend two breakaway districts in eastern Ukraine from “genocide”.

With Russian media presenting such an image of his country, Zelenskyy recorded a message to Russians to refute the idea that Ukraine is the aggressor and that he is some kind of warmonger: “They told you that I I ordered an offensive on the Donbass, to fire, bombard, that there is no doubt about it. But there are questions, and simple ones. To fire on whom, to bombard what? Donetsk?

Recounting his many visits and his friends in the region – “I saw the faces, the eyes” – he said: “This is our land, this is our history. What are we going to fight for and with who ?”

Unshaven and in a khaki olive green shirt, he has recorded other messages to his compatriots on the Internet in recent days to boost morale and stress that he will not go anywhere, but will stay to defend Ukraine. “We are here. Honor to Ukraine,” he said.

In the run-up to the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy criticized President Joe Biden’s open and detailed warnings of Putin’s intentions, saying they were premature and could cause panic. Then, after the war began, he criticized Washington for not doing more to protect Ukraine, including defending it militarily or accelerating its NATO bid.

Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena, an architect, have a 17-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. He said this week that they had remained in Ukraine, not joining the exodus of refugees, mostly women and children, seeking safety abroad.

“The war transformed the former comedian from a provincial politician with delusions of grandeur into a true statesman,” Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center for Foreign Affairs wrote on Friday.

While he could be faulted for not pushing through political reforms fast enough and dragging his feet on hardening Ukraine’s long border with Russia over the past year, Haring said, Zelenskyy “showed a stiff upper lip. He displayed enormous physical courage, refusing to sit in a bunker but openly traveling with soldiers, and an unwavering patriotism that few expected from a Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraineer.”

“To his great credit, he has been irremovable.”

Associated Press writer Monika Scislowska contributed to this report from Warsaw.

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