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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 8

The use of phosphorous bombs is curtailed but not outright banned under international law.
By Daniel Arkin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces of using phosphorus bombs in their latest wave of attacks on his country, telling NATO leaders in Brussels that “people were killed,” including children. “Europe is going through a war, every day of which is full of war crimes of Russian troops,” Zelenskyy said, according to an NBC News translation. “This morning, I received information that Russian troops had used phosphorus bombs against civilians in Ukraine.” He did not provide evidence in his address, and the Pentagon said it was not able to confirm the Ukrainian leader’s allegation when contacted by NBC News. It is difficult to verify the claims without U.S. personnel on the ground, three U.S. defense officials said.

Sarakshi Rai

(The Hill) – A Ukrainian historian wrote in an opinion piece in The New York Times on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin made two major miscalculations regarding the invasion of Ukraine. Yaroslav Hrytsak, a historian and professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University, wrote that “Russian aggression has been met with heroic Ukrainian resistance and united the West.” He referred to Putin as a “master tactician but inept strategist” and said he has made his most profound miscalculation by not anticipating a response from the West and Ukrainian resistance. “First, he was hoping that, as had been the case with his war against Georgia, the West would tacitly swallow his aggression against Ukraine. A unified response from the West was not something he expected. Second, since in his mind Russians and Ukrainians were one nation, Mr. Putin believed Russian troops needed barely to enter Ukraine to be welcomed with flowers. This never materialized,” he wrote.

Xander Landen

Germany said Sunday that it had reached a deal on an energy partnership with Qatar, as the European powerhouse seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine. Robert Habeck, Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Sunday. State-owned QatarEnergy said in a statement that the two countries "would re-engage and progress discussions on long term LNG supplies," Reuters reported. While Qatar didn't say that an agreement had been reached, and a German spokesperson told the news outlet that a deal between the nations had been finalized. "The companies that have come to Qatar with (Habeck) will now enter into contract negotiations with the Qatari side," the German spokesperson said, according to Reuters. The deal with Qatar comes as Germany has taken other steps to reduce its dependence on Russian energy in recent weeks.

By Monique Beals

Some Chernobyl nuclear plant workers were permitted to go home on Sunday after roughly 600 hours at the facility following its seizure by Russian forces invading Ukraine. In a Facebook post, the plant said 64 people were sent home after they “heroically performed their professional duties and maintained the appropriate level of safety.” The departing employees were replaced by 46 “employee-volunteers.” Roughly 300 people have been held at the facility since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, according to The Washington Post.

Moscow, saying ‘terrible humanitarian catastrophe’ is unfolding in city, offers safe passages to fighters who give in
Guardian staff and agencies

Russia has given Ukrainian forces a deadline of 5am Moscow time (2am GMT) on Monday to lay down their arms in the eastern port city of Mariupol, where it said a “terrible humanitarian catastrophe” was unfolding. “Lay down your arms,” Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Defence Management Center, said on Sunday in a briefing. “A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed,” he said. “All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.” The deadline was quickly rejected by Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk saying that there can be “no question” of surrender. “There can be no talk of any surrenders, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this,” she said, according to online news site Ukrainska Pravda. “Instead of wasting time on 8 pages of letters, just open a [humanitarian] corridor.”

By Hindustan News Hub

Russia is sending cadets of military schools to Ukraine for war, said Alexei Arestovich, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office. “According to official reports, the Russians are throwing even cadets of military schools into battle. In particular, such information comes from the Serpukhov School, where second-year cadets were thrown into the war in Ukraine. This means that the entire powerful Russian army can no longer cope with Ukraine. The Ukrainian people and the Armed Forces. This means a catastrophe from the point of view of the military administration, because the cadets of the schools are not touched until the last moment, “Arestovich said at a briefing at the President’s Office on Wednesday afternoon. He added that Russia’s attempts to involve the Belarusian army can be included here.

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now

Zelenskiy called out Israel for its hesitancy to provide military aid to Ukraine and join in international sanctions against Moscow even as Russian bombs destroy Holocaust sites.

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that he's "ready for negotiations" with Russian President Vladimir Putin but warned that if they fail "that would mean that this is a third World War."
"I'm ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war," he told CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War," he added. Zelensky has urged more negotiations in recent days as Russia's invasion of Ukraine nears its fourth week. In a video message posted Saturday, he called for talks "without delay," warning that otherwise Russia's losses would be "huge."

By Melissa Quinn

Washington — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Sunday a chemical or biological weapons attack by Russia in Ukraine would prompt a "significant reaction" from the United States, as well as global allies and partners. "If a chemical or biological weapon was used, you'd see a significant reaction from not only the United States, but also the global community," Austin said in an interview on "Face the Nation." "I don't want to speculate about what exactly would change our calculation. I think engaging in hypotheticals is probably not helpful here either, but this is a very serious step and as you heard our president say, we won't take that lightly."

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says Russia is deliberately targeting population centers as its campaign stalls due to Ukrainian defenses
By Alan Cullison and Isabel Coles

KYIV, Ukraine—Russia’s assault on Ukraine has forced more than 10 million people to abandon their homes, the United Nations said, with the scale of the humanitarian disaster showing little sign of easing as Moscow presses its attack with missile strikes and artillery fire. “The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled—either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Sunday. That means almost a quarter of the country’s prewar population has been uprooted.

By Alan Crawford

Russia’s use of hypersonic missiles against Ukraine appears to mark a shift in strategy in response to its losses on the battlefield, one that may signal a new phase of the war while serving to show the world its abundant firepower. Western military analysts point to President Vladimir Putin’s ground campaign getting bogged down, with Russian troops failing to achieve their initial objectives and underestimating the scale of Ukraine’s resistance. They say the result is likely to be increased use of artillery bombardments, causing even more civilian casualties.

Joel Shannon, Ana Faguy, Ella Lee, Tom Vanden Brook, Bart Jansen, Jeanine Santucci | USA TODAY

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has entered its fourth week without capturing Kyiv or toppling Ukraine's government, but the bombardment of Ukrainian cities continues — a move western defense experts warn could be a sign of a cruel and intentional strategy. The situation grew increasingly dire in the port city of Mariupol, where Russian forces pushed deeper Saturday in an area already experiencing what onlookers describe as a humanitarian crisis. "Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said in a video filmed Friday that was authenticated by The Associated Press..

Alia Shoaib

An elite Ukrainian drone unit is destroying the weaponry of the invading Russian forces as their soldiers' sleep, The Times of London reported. Aerorozvidka, a specialist air reconnaissance unit within the army, says it has destroyed dozens of "priority targets" including Russian tanks, command trucks, and other vehicles in nighttime raids, the paper reported. Russian forces stop moving during the night and typically hide their tanks in between houses in villages where conventional artillery cannot strike them, Yaroslav Honchar, the unit commander based in Kyiv, told the paper. But the elite drone unit, which has dozens of squads of expert drone pilots, has these stationary vehicles in its cross-hairs. more...

Barak Ravid, author of Axios from Tel Aviv

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday criticized the Israeli government for not standing unequivocally on the side of Ukraine and against the Russia invasion during a virtual address to Israeli lawmakers.

Why it matters: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is one of the few leaders who is in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been passing messages between Putin and Zelensky in an attempt to reach a ceasefire.

Around 110 of the 120 members of the Knesset logged in to watch the speech. It was also broadcasted live on all Israeli TV networks and aired during a big pro-Ukraine rally in Tel Aviv.

What they are saying: "Why are you busy with calculations [regarding Russia]? Mediating without taking sides? You can mediate — but not between good and evil," Zelensky said. more...

By DAVID SHARP

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Lagging behind Russia in developing hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Navy is rushing to field its first, with installation on a warship starting as soon as late next year. The United States is in a race with Russia and China to develop these weapons, which travel at speeds akin to ballistic missiles but are difficult to shoot down because of their maneuverability. The Russian military says it already deployed hypersonic missiles, claiming on both Saturday and Sunday to have deployed them against targets in Ukraine marking the weapon’s first use in combat. The Pentagon couldn’t confirm a hypersonic weapon was used in the attacks. The American military is accelerating development to catch up. The U.S. weapon would launch like a ballistic missile and would release a hypersonic glide vehicle that would reach speeds seven to eight times faster than the speed of sound before hitting the target. more...

Reuters

LVIV, Ukraine, March 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy chided Israel in an address to its parliament on Sunday, asking why it was not providing missile defences to his country or sanctioning Russia over its invasion. Replying to Zelenskiy, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was non-committal, saying in a statement that Israel, which has sent a field hospital and other humanitarian aid to Ukraine, would continue to assist its people "as much as we can". A mediator in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, Israel has condemned the Russian invasion. But it has been wary of straining relations with Moscow, a powerbroker in neighbouring Syria where Israeli forces frequently attack pro-Iranian militia. "Everybody knows that your missile defence systems are the best … and that you can definitely help our people, save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews," Zelenskiy, who is Jewish himself, told the Knesset in a video call. more...

John Bacon, David Jackson, Jorge L. Ortiz | USA TODAY

The pounding of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol intensified Sunday and a top U.S. official expressed concern about the prospect of Russian-organized "concentration and prisoner camps" as Russia's bloody assault on Ukraine waded deeper into its fourth week. The Mariupol city council accused the Russian military of bombing an art school where about 400 people had taken shelter. There was no immediate word on casualties at the school, but the city council said on social media the building was destroyed and people could remain under the rubble. A few days earlier, Russian forces bombed a theater in Mariupol where civilians took shelter. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Azov Sea, has been encircled by Russian troops for weeks, cut off from energy, food and water supplies and facing a relentless bombardment. more...

Anderson Cooper 360

Melitopol, Ukraine, Mayor Ivan Fedorov tells CNN's Anderson Cooper about his kidnapping by Russian troops.

By Pavel Polityuk

LVIV, Ukraine, March 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia's siege of the port city of Mariupol was "a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come", while local authorities said thousands of residents there had been taken by force across the border. "Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory," the city council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday. Russian news agencies have said buses have carried several hundred people Moscow calls refugees from Mariupol to Russia in recent days. The council also said Russian forces bombed a Mariupol art school on Saturday in which 400 residents had taken shelter, but the number of casualties was not yet known. more...

12,000 Russian soldiers allegedly KIA * Russian major general among those slain * Over 60 Ukrainian hospitals out of action
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, MICHAEL STARR, REUTERS

Russia is reportedly enlisting a thousand mercenaries from the "Wagner" group and freezing all contracts of military personnel. "Russia is conducting covert mobilization, forbade the fighters to terminate contracts and plans to transfer up to a thousand militants from the private military company "League", formerly Wagner, to Kyiv." The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has reported. "In order to stop the outflow of personnel, the military leadership of the RF Armed Forces decided to ban the termination of contracts for military service. In order to strengthen the grouping of troops in the direction of Kyiv, Russia plans to transfer up to a thousand militants from the private military company "League" (former "Wagner")" The ministry explained.

By Giulia Carbonaro

In a heartfelt 20-minute speech to the German parliament on Thursday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Germany to help tear down the "wall" that Russia is building between Western and Eastern Europe. Echoing a famous speech by Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987, when the American president stood in front of the Berlin Wall and asked then-President of the Soviet Union ​​Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall," Zelensky asked the Bundestag to fight the division Vladimir Putin is creating in Europe. "Dear Mr. Scholz [Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor], tear down this wall," he pleaded in his address on Thursday.

Ellen Knickmeyer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The signs are abundant of how Ukraine frustrated Vladimir Putin's hopes for a swift victory and how Russia’s military proved far from ready for the fight. A truck carrying Russian troops crashes, its doors blown open by a rocket-propelled grenade. Foreign-supplied drones target Russian command posts. Orthodox priests in trailing vestments parade Ukraine's blue and yellow flag in defiance of their Russian captors in the occupied city of Berdyansk. Russia has lost hundreds of tanks, many left charred or abandoned along the roads, and its death toll is on a pace to outstrip that of the country's previous military campaigns in recent years. Yet more than three weeks into the war, with Putin’s initial aim of an easy change in government in Kyiv long gone, Russia's military still has a strong hand. With their greater might and stockpile of city-flattening munitions, Russian forces can fight on for whatever the Russian president may plan next, whether leveraging a negotiated settlement or brute destruction, military analysts say. more...

CARA ANNA

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pushed deeper into Ukraine's besieged and battered port city of Mariupol on Saturday, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help. The fall of Mariupol, the scene of some of the war's worst suffering, would mark a major battlefield advance for the Russians, who are largely bogged down outside major cities more than three weeks into the biggest land invasion in Europe since World War II. “Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said from a rubble-strewn street in a video addressed to Western leaders that was authenticated by The Associated Press. more...

Joel Shannon, Ana Faguy, Ella Lee, Tom Vanden Brook, Bart Jansen and Jeanine Santucci | USA TODAY

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has entered its fourth week without capturing Kyiv or toppling Ukraine's government, but the bombardment of Ukrainian cities continues — a move western defense experts warn could be a sign of a cruel and intentional strategy. The situation grew increasingly dire in the port city of Mariupol, where Russian forces pushed deeper Saturday in an area already experiencing what onlookers describe as a humanitarian crisis. "Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said. more...

Reuters

March 19 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday called for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow, saying Russia would otherwise need generations to recover from losses suffered during the war. Zelenskiy said Ukraine had always offered solutions for peace and wanted meaningful and honest negotiations on peace and security, without delay. "I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk," he said in a video address released in the early hours of Saturday. more...

Drew Tiene

The current wave of attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine should come as no surprise to those familiar with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s record of decimating cities in order to win wars and expand Russian influence. It’s a disturbing history, and here is a brief synopsis of it. In 1999, during the Second Chechen War, Russian troops were stalled in their advance by Chechen fighters on the outskirts of their capital Grozny. Putin’s response was to authorize a missile attack using cluster bombs and thermobaric warheads, which landed in the central bazaar district. Hundreds of civilians were killed. Ultimately, as many as 8,000 were estimated to have been killed in Grozny by the end of the siege. In 2003, a United Nations report described it as the “most destroyed” city on Earth. more...

Analysis: Safe in his palace, Syrian leader appears to have given Moscow carte blanche to airlift his army
Martin Chulov Middle East

After 11 years of war, the destruction of towns, cities and much of the Syrian military, Bashar al-Assad’s army has launched a recruitment drive. But the recruits are not fresh from bootcamps and will not fight on the home front. They are the vanguard of what could be the biggest state-backed mercenary force in the world. Within days, Syrian troops could be deployed to reinforce the stalled Russian frontlines in Ukraine, where Vladimir Putin is about to extract a lethal price for Moscow’s rescue of the Syrian leader. The first Syrian troops to join Putin’s ranks – an advance force of 150 – arrived in Russia on Thursday, European intelligence officials claim. Ukrainian military intelligence, echoing a claim by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, believes 40,000 Syrians have signed up to fight – a figure that would represent a sizeable chunk of the battle-ready capacity of the country’s entire military. more...

NBC News

Russia is facing allegations of committing war crimes against Ukrainian civilians as the invasion escalates, with President Biden labelling President Putin as a “war criminal.” Human rights lawyer and head of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, Oleksandra Matviychuk, joins News NOW to explain how war crimes compare to conventional warfare and whether the allegations could impact U.S. involvement in the conflict. video...

Charles R. Davis

The World Health Organization has documented 43 attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities in Ukraine since the Russia invasion, at least 33 attacks have involved violence with heavy weapons, meaning armed forces attacked using firearms, tanks, missiles, bombs, or mortars. "The health system in Ukraine is teetering on the brink," Dr. Mike Ryan, director of WHO's health emergencies program, said at a press conference on Wednesday, the BBC reported. Ryan described attacks on medical facilities as an effort to achieve "the destruction of hope." more...

CNN

CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh reports on a Russian air strike targeting a theater-turned-civilian bomb shelter in Mariupol, Ukraine, despite "children" being marked in large lettering on either side of the building. video...

CNN

The people of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, face crushing uncertainty and terrifying challenges as they await the Russians' advance. video...

Amanda Macias

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that he believes Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine, citing numerous instances of attacks on civilians. “President Biden said that, in his opinion, war crimes have been committed in Ukraine. Personally, I agree. Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime,” Blinken said during a press conference at the State Department. “After all, the destruction of the past three weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise,” he added. more...

By Victoria Butenko, Olga Voitovych, Andrew Carey, James Frater and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Lviv, Ukraine (CNN) People sheltering in a theater in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol are emerging from the building after it was bombed, the former head of the Donetsk region said Thursday. Hundreds of people were thought to have taken shelter in the theater amid the ongoing Russian siege of Mariupol. Russian forces have bombarded the coastal city for weeks, trapping hundreds of thousands of people. Ukrainian officials estimates 2,500 civilians have died in the fighting. "After an awful night of not knowing, we finally have good news from Mariupol on the morning of the 22nd day of the war. The bomb shelter [of the theatre] was able to hold. The rubble is beginning to be cleared. People are coming out alive," the former Donetsk region head Sergiy Taruta wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. more...

Sky News

Sky's Ashish Joshi gets the latest on the situation on the ground in Ukraine with Air Marshal Edward Stringer, a former Director of Operations at the Ministry of Defence. video...

NBC News

While blaming the West and Ukraine’s leaders for the conflict, the Russian president alluded to the possibility of talks, as long as “the problems which are fundamental for Russia” are on the table. video...

Steve Inskeep

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that merely stopping the invasion of Ukraine may not be enough for Russia to gain relief from Western economic sanctions. The U.S. also wants an assurance that there will never be another such invasion. In an interview with NPR, Blinken spoke of Western sanctions that cratered the Russian ruble, led global firms to shutter their Russian operations, and closed the Moscow stock market. He said the unplugging of much of Russia's economy from the West is beginning to wreak long-term effects that are "growing over time." He insisted that U.S. sanctions against Russia are "not designed to be permanent," and that they could "go away" if Russia should change its behavior. But he said any Russian pullback would have to be, "in effect, irreversible," so that "this can't happen again, that Russia won't pick up and do exactly what it's doing in a year or two years or three years." more...

Two powerful explosions have rocked Kyiv while Russia says its forces have taken control of all territory in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region
Martin Farrer and Léonie Chao-Fong

It is 7.15pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand now: A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighbourhood in the capital on Tuesday morning, igniting a huge fire and prompting a frantic rescue effort in a 15-storey apartment building. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said five people were killed in the airstrikes on residential buildings this morning. more...

Karen Gilchrist

The Russian journalist who interrupted a state TV news bulletin and denounced the war in Ukraine has been fined 30,000 rubles ($280) by a Russian court. Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Russian-owned Channel One, burst onto the set of a live broadcast of the nightly news on Monday evening, holding a sign protesting the Russian invasion and shouting “stop the war.” Concerns for the journalist’s safety quickly arose after a human rights lawyer said she had not been heard from for several hours. However, a photo surfaced on Tuesday afternoon showing Ovsyannikova with her lawyer. more...

Chris Stokel-Walker and Dan Milmo

Ukraine appealed for a global army of IT experts to help in the battle against Putin – and many answered the call. We speak to people on the digital frontline. Kali learned how to use technology by playing with his grandfather’s phone. Now, the Swiss teenager is trying to paralyse the digital presence of the Russian government and the Belarussian railway. Kali – and many others who contributed to this article – declined to share his real name because some of the action he is taking is illegal and because he fears Russian retaliation. He is one of about 300,000 people who have signed up to a group on the chat app Telegram called “IT Army of Ukraine”, through which participants are assigned tasks designed to take the fight to Vladimir Putin. In so doing, they are trying to level the playing field between one of the world’s superpowers and Ukraine as it faces bombardment and invasion. more...

By Mark Lungariello

Russia has been accused of launching so-called “cluster bombs” in its invasion of Ukraine, unleashing a brutal weapon known to kill and maim civilians when used. Moscow has denied the use of the weapons, which detonate in mid-air and release smaller “bomblets” in order to hit multiple targets over a large area. “We have seen the use of cluster bombs and we have seen reports of other types of weapons which would be in violation of international law,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on Friday. “This is brutality. This is inhumane.” more...

The independent OVD-Info human rights group said the woman had been detained and taken into custody.
By Tim Stelloh and Rhoda Kwan

A protester interrupted Russia’s main evening news broadcast Monday, holding a sign saying “No War” and telling viewers not to believe the station’s “propaganda.” The brief protest occurred on the state-owned, widely watched Channel One. The independent OVD-Info human rights group said the woman was named Marina Ovsyannikova and that she had been detained and taken into custody. Her whereabouts and condition were unclear as of Tuesday morning. Ovsyannikova, an employee of the TV station, described the situation in Ukraine as a "true crime" in a video shared by the human rights group after her protest. more...

By Pavel Polityuk, Natalia Zinets and Omer Berberoglu

LVIV, Ukraine/KYIV, March 15 (Reuters) - Three European prime ministers rode a train for Kyiv on Tuesday, the first visit by foreign leaders to the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its invasion, and a striking symbol of Ukraine's success so far in fending off Russia's assault. "It is our duty to be where history is forged. Because it's not about us, but about the future of our children who deserve to live in a world free from tyranny," said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who set off across the border with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Janez Jansa of Slovenia. more...

It may seem a hypothetical too far to imagine the trial of the Russian leader – an exercise in wish-fulfilment at a time when NATO is impotent even to stop his bombings of hospitals and at the Security Council Russia commands a veto that would stop any trial in its tracks.

But Vladimir Putin, at age 69, could live another 30 years, and who knows what may happen in that time – a coup, or a later government that surrenders him, like Slobodan Milosevic, in return for Western aid, or his capture in pathetic retirement like some old Nazi. It took 20 years to bring the butchers of the Balkans – Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic – to justice, and Putin’s crimes are so serious that he should never be given immunity from prosecution. more...

The West condemns Russia’s aggression as “barbaric” and “horrific,” as Biden warns that conflict could drag on for weeks or months.
By Robin Wright

In the eyes of the world and almost certainly history, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday was an epic miscalculation, drawing comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein for cold-blooded aggression that could challenge the world order and change its borders. The Russian leader appeared almost delusional in a pre-dawn speech from the Kremlin announcing a “special military operation” to “protect” Donbas, the eastern region where Russian-backed separatists have waged a war for eight years. Putin, instead, immediately ordered Russian tanks into Ukraine and air strikes on the capital and more than a dozen cities in a country of forty million people. “Peace on our continent has been shattered,” the NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told reporters. “We now have war in Europe on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history.” Putin’s “reckless” attack risks “countless innocent lives,” Stoltenberg warned. more...

By John Simpson

Some people are anxious to get out of Russia because there has been a persistent rumour that President Vladimir Putin's government might soon introduce martial law to deal with demonstrations against the invasion of Ukraine. With flights to Europe halted, the only way out of the country is by car - crossing this border - or by train. We spoke to one young Russian woman who was leaving for the West - one of the lucky ones who had an EU visa before the sanctions were announced. She was in despair at what has been happening. more...

BBC News

In the early days of the invasion, Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine fought back a Russian armoured column. Since then, it has suffered nightly Russian airstrikes and shelling, with dozens of civilians killed and hundreds injured. The BBC's Quentin Sommerville and cameraman Darren Conway have spent the week with the Ukrainian forces as they fight to stop a further Russian advance. This report contains material some viewers will find disturbing.The first casualty of war is time. Ask the young soldier at the front when the attack happened, or the old lady in the hospital bed when her home was shelled, and they look at you confused. Was it 24 hours ago, or 48? The days have become one, they tell you. In Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, time is elastic. It's close to the border with Russia and the nightly shelling from Russian artillery and warplanes gives no rest. The past two weeks have seemed like an eternity, yet peace can be remembered as if it were yesterday.more...

By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — A pregnant woman and her baby have died after Russia bombed the maternity hospital where she was meant to give birth, The Associated Press has learned. Images of the woman being rushed to an ambulance on a stretcher had circled the world, epitomizing the horror of an attack on humanity’s most innocent. In video and photos shot Wednesday by AP journalists after the attack on the hospital, the woman was seen stroking her bloodied lower abdomen as rescuers rushed her through the rubble in the besieged city of Mariupol, her blanched face mirroring her shock at what had just happened. It was among the most brutal moments so far in Russia’s now 19-day-old war on Ukraine. The woman was rushed to another hospital, yet closer to the frontline, where doctors labored to keep her alive. Realizing she was losing her baby, medics said, she cried out to them, “Kill me now!” more...

CBS News

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has put a spotlight on alleged racism. The concern: immigrants from Africa and other people of color who call Ukraine home. As millions flee Ukraine, there are accusations of discrimination toward these refugees. In the United States, the issue has gotten the attention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League, which signed a letter to the president of the European Union calling for fair and humane treatment for all. more...

By Brendan Cole

Video of a Russian pilot apparently admitting he had been ordered to bomb a civilian target has been widely shown on Ukrainian media. During a press conference streamed by Interfax Ukraine, the pilot, who gave his name as Maxim Krishtop, described how he had learned of his orders, which he carried out before being shot down on March 6 and captured by Ukrainian forces. "In the process of completing the task, I realized that the target was not enemy military facilities, but residential buildings, peaceful people. "But I carried out the criminal order," said Krishtop, a lieutenant colonel and deputy commander of the 47th Aviation Regiment, adding that he was shot down by Ukraine's air defense system and taken prisoner. more...

Tom Boggioni

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Shannon Vavra, officials at the Pentagon told reporters on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's desire to bring in foreign fighters to help with his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is not going well. With the western world uniting against Russia's war on Ukraine -- and the invasion and subjugation of the country taking way longer than Putin reportedly believed it would -- "Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that Russia is recruiting 16,000 people from the Middle East to help fight in Ukraine," the Beast reported. However, as Vavra notes, U.S. military officials are claiming they aren't seeing an influx of foreign fighters headed into Ukraine. more...

By Tim Lister, Laura Smith-Spark, Olga Voitovych and Rob Picheta, CNN

Kyiv, Ukraine (CNN)An injured woman, heavily pregnant, is carried on a stretcher past the smoldering wreckage of Mariupol's maternity and children's hospital. Her face is pale, one hand cradles her belly in a protective gesture. Every window on that side of the building appears to be blown out; wreckage litters the ground around it. The searing image was taken following a Russian airstrike on the hospital Wednesday that injured 17 people, including children, women and doctors, according to Mariupol city officials. "Three died, among them one child, a girl," the city council said Thursday. The city in southeastern Ukraine has been besieged by Russian forces for days, its trapped residents forced to shelter underground, melt snow for water and scavenge for food. Now, even a hospital caring for pregnant women, newborns and children is not safe. more...

Chloe Taylor

Talks between Russia and Ukraine have failed, with foreign ministers from both countries making no progress on a potential cease-fire agreement. The discussions came a day after Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol — an attack which Ukrainian authorities say killed three people, including one child. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov played down the “so-called atrocity” to CNBC Thursday, but presented no evidence for his claim that the hospital was in the control of Ukrainian radicals. more...

By Ellen Mitchell

The Russian Ministry of Defense claims it has used a thermobaric rocket launching weapon in its deadly attack on Ukraine, the United Kingdom (U.K.) announced Wednesday. Moscow “confirmed the use of the TOS-1A weapon system in Ukraine,” the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense tweeted. The statement was accompanied by a video of the Soviet-era weapon, which launches rockets from atop a tank body that suck in surrounding oxygen, creating higher temperatures and more damaging explosions that last longer than conventional blasts. "The impact of the TOS-1A is devastating," the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said in the video. "It can destroy infrastructure and cause significant damage to internal organs and flash burns, resulting in death to those exposed." more...

By Tucker Reals

The power supply was cut to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities said, blaming Russia's invading forces for the blackout and warning that it could lead to "nuclear discharge." The U.N.-backed global nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, downplayed concerns of an imminent radioactive release, but a Ukrainian national emergency services agency said if power to the plant's cooling systems — which keep spent nuclear fuel safely surrounded by water — is not ensured, it could create a "radioactive cloud" to blow over "other regions of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Europe." more...

By Natalia Zinets

LVIV, Ukraine, March 9 (Reuters) - Ukrainian's president accused Russia of carrying out genocide after officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children's hospital on Wednesday, burying patients in rubble despite a ceasefire deal for people to flee the besieged city of Mariupol. The attack, which authorities said injured women in labour and left children in the wreckage, is the latest grim incident of the 14-day invasion, the biggest assault on a European state since 1945. The Mariupol city council said the hospital had been hit several times in what the White House called a "barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians". more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is like the West's moral conscience, with his daily video commentary highlighting his country's heroism in resisting a Russian invasion that has degenerated into murderous barrages against civilians. But while he's making it impossible to look away from his nation's agony, Zelensky, who on Tuesday accused the outside world of not doing enough to stop "genocide," is increasingly running headlong into the war's harsh reality: President Joe Biden and European leaders face political and geopolitical red lines that Russian President Vladimir Putin, a nuclear-armed tyrant, simply does not in his relentless destruction. more...

“I have to take a photo. This is a war crime.”
By Dialynn Dwyer

The front page of The New York Times on Monday displayed a photo that captured the deadly toll of Russia’s war on Ukrainian civilians: a family of four splayed out on the ground, victims in a Russian mortar attack. The mother and her two children were killed, while Ukrainian soldiers tried to save the wounded father. The image of the Sunday attack in Irpin, Ukraine, was captured by New York Times photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who has been documenting the Russian invasion since it began. Addario has been sharing her experience in the moments before and after she witnessed the mortar hit the family, who, laden with backpacks and suitcases, were fleeing over the Irpin River to Kyiv when they were attacked. more...

Nabih Bulos

Jackson is a singer. So, even though he was standing in a trench in this suburb northwest of Kyiv, even though a massive column of Russian soldiers and weaponry lay just a mile or so up the main road, it didn’t take much prompting from his friends in his Ukrainian army unit to goad him into song. He laughed, leaned back, looked away for a moment and — just when it seemed he wasn’t going to do anything at all — launched into a creditable rendition of Nina Simone's “Feeling Good”: more...

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