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South Tyneside Stop the War / Hands Off British Virgin Islands
« on: May 05, 2022, 03:46:28 PM »
Hands Off British Virgin Islands
Caribbean Organisation for Peoples Empowerment, A.T. Freeman

May 4, 2022

   On Thursday 28 April, the Caribbean awoke to the news that the Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Andrew Fahie, along with that country's port director, Oleanvine Maynard, had been arrested in Miami and charged with drug trafficking and money laundering. The following day, the British appointed colonial governor of the BVI, Mr John Rankin, released the report of a one-man commission of enquiry that had been established by his predecessor in January 2021 with terms of reference to " inquire into whether there is information that serious dishonesty in relation to public officials may have taken place in the BVI in recent years, and to make recommendations with a view to improving the standards of governance and operation of the agencies of law enforcement and justice".

The principle recommendation of this report, written by retired British judge Gary Hickinbottom, was that in the BVI, Britain should revert to its method of governing its colonies prior to the achievement of universal suffrage in the region. This would mean the British governor, representing the British monarch, governing the BVI with the help of an advisory council. Making clear that this was his intention, Hickinbottom declared in his report, "I have concluded that the only way in which the relevant issues can be addressed is for there to be a temporary suspension of those parts of the Constitution by which areas of government are assigned to elected representatives Such a suspension would mean that the Governor would temporarily take over executive powers that are currently exercised by the elected Ministers".

Given the long history of Britain's colonial intrigues in the region, the close juxtaposition of these two events aroused suspicions across the Caribbean as to exactly what was going on. A message circulated on social media which claimed to be from the imprisoned Premier Fahie declared, "My people of the Virgin Islands, I was framed by our colonial masters, with the help of the United States, to oust myself from office, embarrass the VIP [Virgin Islands Party] but most importantly bring doubt and shame to the people of the Virgin Islands. Do not be fool by this. The God of the Universe allows no weapon to prosper against the righteous, and I know that I will prevail. I will not submit my resignation to His Excellency the Governor and upon my expected release under bail conditions this Wednesday, I will resume my role as Premier of our beautiful land Now is the time to Unite and rally against Britain, which I intend to lead. Please do not allow this minor British led entrapment, to divert our eyes and mind from the true issue at heart, right and determination to set our own destiny as a people". Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Statement

On the 2 May, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) issued a statement opposing the efforts of the British government to revert to direct colonial rule in the BVI. The statement declared, "The OECS has noted the position taken by the duly elected Government of the BVI which, while welcoming the recommendations arising from the Inquiry, rejects the intention of the British Government to impose direct rule on the BVI. It is clear to us that, in principle, it is ill advised to impose direct colonial rule and the history of such imposition in the Caribbean has never delivered the desired result . The OECS concurs with the elected representatives of the people of the BVI that abolition of Parliament with direct rule from London represents a retrograde step in the evolution of the democratic process that is inconsistent with the United Nations Proclamation of Human Rights to be free of colonial rule. The UN Declaration on granting independence to colonial countries and peoples – Resolution 1514 of 1960 is an international commitment to which Britain is itself bound". CARICOM Statement

On 3 May, CARICOM issued a statement supporting the position taken by the OECS and describing the proposed move as a "retrograde step" which would be inconsistent with Britain's obligations under the relevant United Nations resolutions. Britain's naked colonialist move has also been met with protests by the people of the BVI who are demanding that their voices be heard by the colonial governor John Rankin and Amanda Milling, Britain's previous Minister for Overseas Territories, who was despatched to the territory by the British foreign Secretary, Liz Truss.

Hickinbottom's report, which is the basis for the moves to return governance in the BVI to the one-man colonial dictatorship of the British governor, is a document rooted in the racist ‘white man's burden' ideology of Britain's ruling elite and cannot contribute to solving the problems of governance in the BVI.

Hickinbottom pins all the blame for the failures of the undemocratic Westminster system on the BVI politicians while denying that any responsibility in this regard rests with the colonial governor or the British government. Ironically, he condemns the lack of transparency in political decision making in the BVI as if this is not a feature of the Eurocentric ‘representative democracy' system. But the lie is given to his claim by the fact that his own appointment as a one-man commission by the governor and the very drawing up of his terms of reference took place with no transparency for the people of the BVI and certainly without their participation. He criticises the BVI politicians for abusing their power by knowingly taking into account private interests when making decisions. Clearly Mr Hickinbottom has zero understanding of how ‘representative democracy' works and does not understand that, in this system, public decision making is driven precisely by the private interests of the wealthy. Most offensive in its racist character is his declaration that the UK government owes the people of the BVI "an obligation not only to protect them from such abuses but to assist them to achieve their aspirations for self-government as a modern democratic state". Racist Colonial Narrative

The racist idea that the British government has an obligation to protect the people of the BVI from abuse because they are unable to protect themselves is straight out of Britain's racist colonial narrative that the colonised people are ‘child-like' and need to be looked after by the colonial master. This deeply offensive racist argument is further exhibited in Higginbottom's claim that the British government has to assist the people of the BVI to achieve a modern democratic state. He clearly thinks that the people of the BVI are incapable of achieving this, themselves.

For Mr Hickinbottom's information, the British government has been one of the most consistent and determined enemies of human freedom, human rights and democracy in the Caribbean. From its repeated efforts to suppress the efforts of enslaved Africans to achieve their freedom up to the shooting and imprisonment of those who raised the demands for universal suffrage and independence across the region in the 1930s, the British government has been an implacable foe of every step for human upliftment in the Caribbean. It has no role to play in the struggle of the people of the BVI for a democratic state. It speaks volumes about Hickinbottom's own vision of democracy that he proposes a one-man dictatorship of Britain's colonial governor as the best way of achieving it.

It is now over 60 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples which recognised that "the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations .and that an end must be put to colonialism". It is unacceptable that in 2022, Britain's ugly colonial head is once again reared in the Caribbean. Time is overdue for the people of the Caribbean to put an end to British, French, Dutch and US colonialism in the region.

Hands off the BVI!


   On Lavrov's Spat With Israel - Who Is Right?
Moon of Alabama

May 4, 2022

   Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in a spat with Israel over its support for Nazis militia in the Ukraine.

The immediate cause is a passage in an interview Lavrov had with the Italian TV network Mediaset:

Question: This is how you see it, while Vladimir Zelensky puts it differently. He believes denazification doesn't make any sense. He is a Jew. The Nazis, Azov – there are very few of them (several thousand). Vladimir Zelensky refutes your view of the situation. Do you believe Vladimir Zelensky is an obstacle to peace?

Sergey Lavrov: It makes no difference to me what President Vladimir Zelensky refutes or does not refute. He is as fickle as the wind, as they say. He can change his position several times a day.

I heard him say that they would not even discuss demilitarisation and denazification during peace talks. First, they are torpedoing the talks just as they did the Minsk agreements for eight years. Second, there is nazification there: the captured militants as well as members of the Azov and Aidar battalions and other units wear swastikas or symbols of Nazi Waffen-SS battalions on their clothes or have them tattooed on their bodies; they openly read and promote Mein Kampf. His argument is: How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if he is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews. "Every family has its black sheep," as we say.

The Zionist entity in Palestine reacted with harsh words:

The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, condemned on Monday a recent claim by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, that Jews were "the biggest antisemites."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry also summoned the Russian ambassador to Israel to explain Mr. Lavrov's remarks, while the Israeli foreign minister, Yair Lapid, demanded an apology. ... Mr. Bennett said that he viewed Mr. Lavrov's remarks with the "utmost severity," saying that the comments were "untrue and their intentions are wrong."

Mr. Bennett added, "The goal of such lies is to accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history, which were perpetrated against them, and thereby absolve Israel's enemies of responsibility."

Separately, Mr. Lapid said that Mr. Lavrov's comments were "both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error."

"Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust," he added. "The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism."

Mr. Lapid has a big mouth that hides the whitewashing of Jewish Nazi collaborators in which his own family was involved.

But first let us tackle the question of Adolf Hitler's ancestry. The History channel has a piece on it:

In the decades since Adolf Hitler's death, the Nazi leader's ancestry has been a subject of rampant speculation and intense controversy. Some have suggested that his father, Alois, born to an unwed woman named Maria Schickelgruber, was the illegitimate child of Leopold Frankenberger, a young Jewish man whose family employed her as a maid. (She subsequently married Johann Georg Hiedler–later spelled "Hitler"–whose surname her son adopted.)

In 2019 the Jerusalem Post reported of new research on the issue:

[A] study by psychologist and physician Leonard Sax has shed new light supporting the claim that Hitler's father's father had Jewish roots.

The study, titled "Aus den Gemeinden von Burgenland: Revisiting the question of Adolf Hitler's paternal grandfather," which was published in the current issue of the Journal of European Studies, examines claims by Hitler's lawyer Hans Frank, who allegedly discovered the truth.

Hitler asked Frank to look into the claim in 1930, after his nephew William Patrick Hitler threatened to expose that the leader's grandfather was Jewish.

In his 1946 memoir, which was published seven years after he was executed during the Nuremberg trials, "Frank claimed to have uncovered evidence in 1930 that Hitler's paternal grandfather was a Jewish man living in Graz, Austria, in the household where Hitler's grandmother was employed," and it was in 1836 that Hitler's grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber became pregnant, Sax explained. ... Sax writes in the study that according to the letters in Frank's memoir, "Frankenberger Sr. sent money for the support of the child from infancy until its 14th birthday."

"The motivation for the payment, according to Frank, was not charity but primarily a concern about the authorities becoming involved: ‘The Jew paid without a court order, because he was concerned about the result of a court hearing and the connected publicity,'" the letters state.

It seems to me that Lavrov has that one right. It really seems that Adolf Hitler had some Jewish ancestors who even paid for the upbringing of his father.

Now onto the other issue, Lavrov's claim that:

.. the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews. "Every family has its black sheep," as we say.

Yair Lapid does not agree with that. Well, his father didn't either until, to his embarrassment, some new facts proved him wrong. There is for example the well known case of Rudolf Kasztner in which Lapid's father was involved.

As the Times of Israel reported in 2016:

[The British Jewish historian Paul] Bogdanor was "extremely shocked" to find that everything pointed towards Kasztner's having been "a collaborator" with the Nazis, and a "betrayer of the Zionist movement and the Jewish people."

Bogdanor's new book, "Kasztner's Crime," published in October, sets out the case against the Jewish leader in damning detail. Even the most devoted defender might have second thoughts after reading his book. ... Kasztner was a leader of a small Zionist grouping in Budapest towards the end of World War II. He led a Jewish rescue committee which, before the Nazis entered Hungary, did succeed in saving the lives of a number of Jews. But once the Nazis arrived, Kasztner, an ambitious lawyer, became embroiled in prolonged negotiations with the Nazi leadership, particularly Adolf Eichmann.

After complex dealings with Eichmann, Kasztner succeeded in getting the Nazis to agree to the deportation of a group of 1,684 Hungarian Jews, the so-called "Kasztner Train," who eventually ended up in freedom in Switzerland.

But thousands more continued on the doomed path to Auschwitz. Bogdanor says that not only did Kasztner know they were being sent to their deaths, but that he actively kept such information secret from other Jews in Hungary and the wider Jewish world.

Kasztner deliberately put selected strong Zionists who wanted to emigrate to Palestine on his list. Those Hungarian Jews who did not want to emigrate were deceived by him to believe that the Nazis were no danger to them. Kazstner himself later found a role in the Zionist establishment:

Kasztner himself did not get on the train, but survived the war and made his way to Palestine. By 1952 he was a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and a would-be member of Knesset, though he did not succeed in obtaining a place high enough on the Mapai list to become elected.

Nevertheless, when, in 1953, an embittered Hungarian Jew named Malkiel Gruenwald distributed a pamphlet about Kasztner, naming him as a Nazi collaborator, the Israeli government thought highly enough of him to bring a libel suit on his behalf, accusing Gruenwald of defamation.

During the trial, dozens of witnesses testified about Kasztner's actions during the war. The case lasted 18 months and did not end well for him. The presiding judge ruled that Kasztner had indeed collaborated, and in words which echo down the years, said he had "sold his soul to the devil."

The Israeli government of the day fell and Kasztner and his family became virtual prisoners in their home. He resigned from his post, his wife sank into depression and his daughter spoke, years later, of having been ostracized and mocked by other children at school.

On March 3, 1957, right-wing extremists shot Kasztner dead. The following year, too late for him, the court verdict was reversed, suggesting that much of what was claimed against him was not correct. Leading the campaign in ensuing years to rehabilitate Kasztner was journalist and political Tommy Lapid, himself a Hungarian Jew and father of Yair Lapid, the leader of today's Yesh Atid party.

The father of the current Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid tried to rehabilitate Kasztner. But the British historian found that Kasztner was indeed guilty:

"Kasztner didn't start out as someone evil," says Bogdanor. "He started out as someone who wanted to rescue Jews, and before March 1944, he did rescue Jews. But when the Nazis occupied Hungary, he began negotiating with them and, very quickly, I argue, he became a collaborator." ... The central charge made against Kasztner by the surviving Hungarian Jews was, says Bogdanor, "not just that he failed to warn them [of the Nazis' intention]. It was that Kasztner had instructed local Jewish leadership to mislead them, and to deceive them into boarding the trains to Auschwitz. After Kasztner had visited the local communities, the leadership spread false information — which he had given them — that the Jews were going to be resettled inside Hungary. Agranat and the other judges overlooked this matter of deception."

Bogdanor admits to being profoundly shocked by the depth and extent of what he found out about Kasztner. It would have been bad enough, he argues, if Kasztner had passively collaborated with the Nazis. But he actively collaborated, he says, taking steps to mislead both Jews inside Hungary and his Jewish contacts in the outside world.

Yair Lapid, just like his father, is wrong. There were quite a number of Jewish collaborators and some were even officers in Hitlers Wehrmacht.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to Yair Lapid's false accusations:

Michael Elgort ?????? @just_whatever - 9:18 UTC · May 3, 2022 Today Russian @mfa_Russia has officially replied on its telegram channel to @yairlapid statement that you see below and this reply deserves to be translated and posted in full. A long thread with full translation below, link to the source in the end

The complete translation of the Foreign Ministry statement is here. It says (format edited for readability):

We paid attention to the anti-historical statements of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, which largely explain the course of the current Israeli government to support the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv. The Israeli minister said literally the following: "The Jews did not destroy themselves during the Holocaust. Blaming Jews for antisemitism is a blatant level of racism against Jews".

For some reason, the Western press (and some of our liberals) still argue about whether there are neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The Jewish origin of Vladimir @ZelenskyyUa is given, as one of the "reinforced concrete" arguments. The argument is not only untenable, but also crafty. History, unfortunately, knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and the Nazis. In Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe, the Germans appointed Jewish industrialists as heads of ghettos and Jewish councils ("Judenrats"), some of whom are remembered for absolutely monstrous deeds.

Jakub Leikin in Warsaw conducted surveillance of the Jews and reported everything to the German occupation administration, dooming his compatriots to certain, and sometimes painful death, and Chaim Rumkowski generally offered the Jews of Lodz to give their children to the Nazis in exchange for saving the lives of adult residents of the ghetto, there are many evidence of his words. It only remains to agree with H. Dreyfus a professor of history at Tel Aviv University, that the complicity of Jews in the Holocaust is a "marginal phenomenon" (but not a taboo and is the subject of research). ...

The Foreign Ministry then points to Israeli government sources which documented a big increase of antisemitism in Ukraine since the 2014 Maidan coup:

Since the coup in 2014, antisemitism has flourished in Ukraine. The report of the Minister for Relations with the Diaspora of Israel, @naftalibennett (PM now), indicates that in 2017 the number of antisemitic incidents including dozens of acts of vandalism in museums, synagogues and memorials, increased manifold in Ukraine.

Ukraine has become the leader among all the countries of the former USSR in terms of the number of antisemitic incidents, and some publications indicate that Ukraine generally surpasses all the countries of the former USSR combined in their number. One of the prominent representatives of the Jewish movement in Ukraine, Eduard Dolinsky, recently feared the termination of the activities of his organization ("Ukrainian Jewish Committee").

There is a certain tradition of collaboration between Zionists and antisemitic people. Event the founder of the Zionist movement to establish a 'Jewish state', Theodor Herzl, was guilty of it:

[A]s the Austro-Hungarian writer Theodor Herzl was about to publish his manifesto The Jewish State in February 1896, he faced intense pressure from Vienna's Jewish community to halt publication. Herzl rejected the pleas, published the book, and launched a movement that ultimately led to the establishment of modern Israel. Around the same time, the residents of Vienna elected an anti-Semitic mayor. To the relief of Vienna's Jews, the emperor refused to approve Karl Lueger, but Herzl lobbied the prime minister to accept the people's choice, arguing that boycotting the populist leader would only increase hatred of Jews.

Herzl had hoped that the installment of an anti-semitic mayor would push more Jews in Vienna towards supporting his idea of a 'Jewish state'.

Israel's arming of fascist militia in Ukraine may well have a similar motive:

Israel is keen on bringing in Ukrainian Jewish refugees for the purpose of maintaining Jewish demographic "supremacy" over the Palestinian population, academics and analysts say.

Since the outbreak of the war with Russia on February 24, the Israeli government has called on Ukrainian Jewish refugees to immigrate to Israel and removed bureaucratic hurdles to secure their arrival as quickly as possible.

"We call on the Jews of Ukraine to immigrate to Israel – your home," Israel's Ministry of Immigration and Absorption said in a statement on February 26.

Does that also explain why Igor Kolomoiski, the Ukrainian Jewish oligarch who lives in Israel, has financed the Azov battalion and other fascist militia in Ukraine?


   Why is the U.S. Seeking to Prolong the Ukrainian Crisis?
DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs

May 3, 2022

   The prolonged Ukrainian crisis produces complicated international problems.

The world economy is in the grip of depression, and the international relations based on the principles of mutual respect and equality get disintegrated. As a result of this, structure of acute confrontation between the progressive and reactionary forces has been formed.

The chief culprit, which is inciting and fanning up such a situation, is none other than the U.S.

Not long ago, the U.S. defense secretary, during his trip to Kiev, asserted that they want to see Russia weakened through this war. Thus, he revealed once again that the ultimate goal of the U.S. policy towards Russia is to totally collapse it.

The international society can hardly refrain from their consternation at the aggressive and open reckless remarks made by the U.S. defense secretary, imitating what the U.S. president just said that Vladimir Putin should step down from power.

It is not surprising that even BBC news of the UK, an ally of the U.S., criticized the U.S., saying that such a remark can hardly be expected to be coming out from the mouth of the defense secretary.

What the U.S. needs now is only Ukraine which can wear and weaken Russia. Save for this, nothing comes into its consideration.

The experts appraised that the U.S. triggered the present Ukrainian crisis by maximizing the security threat, socio-economic instability and international isolation against Russia under the 2019 strategy of Rand Corporation and that everything is going now according to that scenario. This vividly proves that the U.S. is none other than the chief culprit in the aggravated Ukrainian crisis and the heinous war maniac.

Under the intentional plan of the U.S., Ukraine is being turned into a place of arms sale and test of the U.S. and Western countries as well as a theater of proxy war to plunge Russia into a total ruin, and the government of Gilinsky is paying its price with the blood of innocent Ukrainian people.

The economic crisis is becoming a reality with a record high inflation rate in recent decades caused by a mountain of national debt which is snowballing. But the offering "unstinted military assistance" to Ukraine. It is to satisfy the greed of the munition monopolies which are trying to hit the jackpot through the war.

It is no accident that an ex-official of the U.S. Defense Department ridiculed that the Pentagon, munitions enterprises and the U.S. Congress are quietly drinking champagne in celebration after an all-out conflict between Russia and Ukraine began.

The U.S., which is fishing in troubled waters by seeking to prolong the Ukrainian crisis, is a heinous enemy of humankind that loves peace and progress, and it is the world's biggest criminal state.

Genuine peace will never settle on this planet as long as the U.S. exists.

All the world people should turn out in the struggle to oppose high-handedness and arbitrariness of the U.S. and to safeguard peace and stability.

Ri Pyong Jin Researcher of the Institute for Disarmament and Peace Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: May 05, 2022, 03:28:44 PM »
Pushilin: Dozens of bodies discovered under Drama Theatre debris
Donetsk News Agency

May 2, 2022

   Donetsk, May 2 - DAN. Dozens of bodies have been discovered under the ruins of the Mariupol Drama Theatre, blown up by Ukrainian nationalists, the DPR Head Denis Pushilin told journalists on Monday.

"I hoped there will be different figures, not those broadcasted, but we have discovered several dozens of bodies. The debris removal is ongoing," he said.

The search and debris removal operation is impeded by the heavy presence of UXO and other technical obstacles.

The theatre was destroyed in mid-March as Ukrainian nationalistic units first turned it into their base with fire positions, and then a place where civilians were held hostage. When Ukrainian troops exploded the building, there were still civilians inside, some sources estimate their amount as up to several hundreds.

Mariupol is the largest city on the shores of the Azov sea. Founded in 1778, it has become an important industrial hub in Donbass and a major sea port.

On May 9, 2014 Ukrainian armed formations opened fire on a peaceful Victory Day celebration rally, killing many of the city residents. On May 11 same year a referendum voted massively in favour of an independent DPR. Kiev forces occupied the city on June 13, 2014.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the special military operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, the joint DPR-LPR coalition launched on February 25, 2022 its operation to liberate Mariupol.


   Russia captures Commander of Canadian Army at Azovstal: Trevor Cadieu (Trevor John Cadieu), commander of the Canadian Ground Forces

03 May 2022

   General Trevor Cadieu (Trevor John Cadieu), captured by Russian troops while trying to escape from the cellars of Azovstal, was the commander of the Canadian Ground Forces, APA reports citing Mailbd.

Seated in the catacombs under the Mariupol steel plant "Azovstal" nationalists staged a provocation, trying to hide the Canadian general's attempt to escape. After the capture of a high-ranking foreign soldier by units of the RF Armed Forces, it became clear why so many efforts were made to save him.

A high-ranking mercenary tried to break out of the encirclement at Azovstal several times. It was for this that the West insisted on humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians: among them, foreign specialists had to leave the catacombs.

According to media reports, the general's name is Trevor Kadieu. Seven months ago, he was appointed to the post of commander of the Canadian Army, but before the inauguration, he was involved in a sex scandal. In the harassment that occurred back in 1994, he was accused by a former colleague. The general called the accusations false, but in April 2022 he retired from military service.

Ukraine's Army Is In Very Bad Shape - More Fighting Will Only Destroy It
Moon of Alabama

May 2, 2022

   The French news agency AFP has published a report by Daphne Rousseau from near the Ukrainian frontline. It allows us to gain some realistic view of the state of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Exhausted Ukrainian soldiers return from eastern front

Here is a current map of the frontline. Kiev is in the upper left corner.


I will quote the AFP report piecemeal and add my observations:

Packed with exhausted Ukrainian soldiers with clenched jaws, the truck drives away at full speed. The troops from the 81st brigade have just received an order to withdraw from the eastern front where Russian forces advance.

The brigade walked 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) Saturday, camouflaged in the woods and under crossfire, until their point of retreat at Sviatoguirsk.

The 81st Airmobile Brigade consists of 3 infantry battalions equipped with BTR-70 armored personnel carriers that can be loaded onto a plane. It also has a strong artillery group with 3 gun and missile battalions, and the usual hodgepodge of support units.

As the Ukrainian troops had to walk 12 kilometers a question arises. Where are their armored carriers? Even when infantry is deployed in dugouts and trenches its transport should always be nearby (~3 km) to be able to quickly pick it up when necessary.

The most likely answer is that those BTR-70, as well as the brigade's artillery, no longer exist. From today's 'clobber list' as published by the Defense Ministry of Russia (emphasis added):

In total, 146 aircraft and 112 helicopters, 683 unmanned aerial vehicles, 281 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,756 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 316 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,234 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,563 units of special military vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed during the operation.

Those numbers will be, like all such counts, somewhat exaggerated. But they do tell a story.

Sviatoguirsk, the extraction point for the troops, is some 10 kilometers southeast of Izium which the Russian forces have taken a while ago.

More from the AFP piece:

For a month, the 81st -- whose motto is "always first" -- battled to push back the Russian advance in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region where Moscow's troops move forward slowly, taking villages one by one.

"Everyone understands that we must guard the line here, we cannot let the enemy move closer, we try to hold it with all our force," says lieutenant Yevgen Samoylov, anxious that the unit could be hit by Russian fire at any point.

"As you can hear, the enemy is very, very near," he says, pointing to the sky. The line of Russian tanks is on the other side of a hill, around seven kilometres (4.3 miles) away.

The troops walked 12 kilometers and are now on trucks. The enemy is currently 7 kilometers away. Simple math will explain that with a 5 kilometer deep gain by the Russian forces.

At 21 years old, Samoylov, an officer from the Odessa military academy, finds himself managing 130 conscripts, often twice his age.

"It's my first war. I was supposed to graduate in four months, but they sent me here," says the baby-faced officer with a short black beard.

What a disaster. 130 conscripts up to age 40+. These ain't well trained warriors but teachers and car mechanics or farmers drafted into the war. With 130 troops the unit has about the size of a company. Infantry companies in the Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian army are relative big:

[T]he strength of a tank company is 31-40 people, and the number of servicemen of a motorized rifle company ranges from 150 people. Often a company is commanded by an officer with the rank of captain, and only in some units this position is occupied by a major.

The junior lieutenant Samoylov, who did not even finish his officer course, is leading a unit that is usually led by an officer two to three ranks higher than his. Where are the higher officers?

More from AFP:

The unit swung into action on February 23, a day before Russia launched the invasion.

At the start of the war, they spent a month defending Izium, which fell on April 1, before joining the fighting around the village of Oleksandrivka.

"Some really difficult battles," says the quiet Samoylov.

Izium is at the northern front where Russian force press towards the south. There are several Oleksandrivka (Alexandrovka) named settlements in the Ukraine, three of them in the Donetsk oblast. There may be more unofficial ones with that name. Two of the known ones are in the north west of Donetzk Oblast some 20 kilometer southwest and southeast of Izium respectively.

The map shows Izium in the north, the western Oleksandrivka is on the bottom left. The other Oleksandrivka lies on the west periphery of Kramatorsk city, to which it practically belongs. It is not named on the map.

Neither town is directly on the current frontline which runs about 10 kilometer to the north. Sviatoguirsk, the extraction point, is much nearer to the front. That is where the troops likely were before they walked towards the trucks.


The AFP piece continues:

In this brigade, like the others, they don't say how many people have been killed.

When the subject comes up, Samoylov's gaze becomes misty. The pain is raw.

A deadly silence takes over the military truck during the drive to the abandoned building where the soldiers will stay during their week of rest.

Samoylov's 130 men are unlikely to be from one original company. They are probably all what is left from a battalion that originally had three companies and more than 400 men.

When the convoy passes a truck loaded with long-range missiles dashing to the front, the soldiers automatically make a "V" sign for victory with their fingers before fixing their gaze once more on their feet or the horizon in silence.

Is there still some morale in these men or is that just a routine gesture? I believe it is the later.

On arrival at the base, the soldiers unload their weapons, remove their kit and immediately go into one of the dilapidated rooms without electricity where they undergo a medical examination after returning from the front.

For the survivors, "there are small injuries on the forehead, those who were buried under the rubble during a bombing have fractures and (injuries) linked to shrapnel," says Vadym Kyrylov, the brigade's doctor.

"But we mainly see somatic problems, like hypertension or chronic illnesses that have worsened," the 25-year-old adds.

Each battalion of the 81st brigade should have a doctor with a more senior one serving in the brigade's headquarter company. That a 25 year old one is in the brigade's doctor role again points to a lack of men.

- 'Trench foot' -

The men also greatly suffer from "trench foot" syndrome caused by prolonged exposure to moisture, unsanitary conditions or the cold.

"For a month they are not able to dry their shoes... so there are many feet-related injuries, mainly fungi and infections," the doctor says.

Military boots should be watertight. During my time in the military we trained in some very muddy areas but I never got my feet wet. One wonders what quality Ukrainian army boots have.

After the medical visit, they all have the same reflex: to isolate and use their phone to call a female partner, a child or a parent.

Soldiers cannot use their phones on the front, and any application that requires geolocation is banned.

How strict is the control of those policies? Experience says that if soldiers are allowed to have phones with them they will inevitably use them. That is why Russia prohibits its soldiers to carry phones.

Four soldiers reassemble the rusty metal bed frames and sweep the floor coated with dust to make a semblance of a room.

That does not sound like a fun place for rest and recreation. Are there even mattresses for those metal frames?

"It's the moment for the guys to relax, to take care of their physical and psychological injuries, to regain their strength before returning to battle," Samoylov says.

"They'll sleep warm, eat normal food and try to more or less get back on their feet."

Those troops were nine weeks on the frontline and now only get one week of rest in a miserable place. Samoylov is an optimist. None of those injuries, especially not the psychological ones, will heal within a week. It takes years to overcome the cruelties of war and sometimes more than a lifetime.

The Ukrainian army is obviously in a very bad shape as it pushes barely trained conscripts to the frontline where Russian artillery will eat them up. That it is in such a state is not astonishing though.

The Swiss military intelligence officer Jacques Baud has worked in the Ukraine and has written about the current war (here, here and here). He describes the sorry state the Ukrainian military was in from the get-go:

The Ukrainian army was then in a deplorable state. In October 2018, after four years of war, the chief Ukrainian military prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, stated that Ukraine had lost 2,700 men in the Donbass: 891 from illnesses, 318 from road accidents, 177 from other accidents, 175 from poisonings (alcohol, drugs), 172 from careless handling of weapons, 101 from breaches of security regulations, 228 from murders and 615 from suicides.

In fact, the army was undermined by the corruption of its cadres and no longer enjoyed the support of the population. According to a British Home Office report, in the March/April 2014 recall of reservists, 70 percent did not show up for the first session, 80 percent for the second, 90 percent for the third, and 95 percent for the fourth. In October/November 2017, 70% of conscripts did not show up for the "Fall 2017" recall campaign. This is not counting suicides and desertions (often over to the autonomists), which reached up to 30 percent of the workforce in the ATO area. Young Ukrainians refused to go and fight in the Donbass and preferred emigration, which also explains, at least partially, the demographic deficit of the country.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense then turned to NATO to help make its armed forces more "attractive." Having already worked on similar projects within the framework of the United Nations, I was asked by NATO to participate in a program to restore the image of the Ukrainian armed forces. But this is a long-term process and the Ukrainians wanted to move quickly.

So, to compensate for the lack of soldiers, the Ukrainian government resorted to paramilitary militias. They are essentially composed of foreign mercenaries, often extreme right-wing militants. In 2020, they constituted about 40 percent of the Ukrainian forces and numbered about 102,000 men, according to Reuters. They were armed, financed and trained by the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France. There were more than 19 nationalities—including Swiss.

The Ukrainian army will not win the war nor will the fascist militias. The country simply has no chance.

'Western' governments are abusing the Ukraine and its soldiers. They want to 'weaken Russia' and do not allow the Ukraine to sue for peace.

That is criminal.

Jacques Baud again:

[D]espite [President Zelensky's] probable willingness to achieve a political settlement for the crisis with Russia, Zelensky is not allowed to do so. Just after he indicated his readiness to talk with Russia, on 25 February, the European Union decided two days later to provide 450M in arms to Ukraine. The same happened in March. As soon as Zelensky indicated he wanted to have talks with Vladimir Putin on 21 March, the European Union decided to double its military aid to 1 billion on 23 March. End of March, Zelensky made an interesting offer that was retracted shortly after.

Apparently, Zelensky is trying to navigate between Western pressure and his far right on the one hand and his concern to find a solution on the other, and is forced into a " back-and-forth," which discourages the Russian negotiators. ... Today, Zelensky must lead his country under the sword of Damocles, with the blessing of Western politicians and unethical media. His lack of political experience made him an easy prey for those who were trying to exploit Ukraine against Russia, and in the hands of extreme right-wing movements. As he acknowledges in an interview with CNN, he was obviously lured into believing that Ukraine would enter NATO more easily after an open conflict with Russia, as Oleksey Arestovich, his adviser, confirmed in 2019.

The Ukraine has lost the war. All the weapons systems the 'west' is now pushing into it are of no use as the Ukraine obviously lacks the men to field them. They will likely get pilfered and in future some of them may well be used against the 'west' itself.

They would do some bloody justice.

A Recap Of The War In Ukraine - by Gonzalo Lira
Moon of Alabama

April 26, 2022 Gonzalo Lira just delivered a decent recap of the war in Ukraine.

   Gonzalo Lira @GonzaloLira1968 - 10:28 UTC · Apr 26, 2022

Quick recap for those who haven't followed what's been going on in Ukraine but want to understand: 02/24: The Russians invaded from the south, south-east, east and north, in a lightning campaign. The Russians invaded with 190K troops—against 250K combat troops from Ukraine.

The RF put 30K troops near Kiev—nowhere near enough to capture the city—but enough to pin down some 100K AFU defenders. The RF also launched several axes of attack, with reinforcements on standby (including a famed 40km long tank column), to see where they might be needed.

Crucially—the Russian's blitz on several axes pre-empted an imminent UKRAINIAN blitzkrieg. The AFU had been about to invade the Donbas. This was the immediate motivation for Russia's invasion: To beat them to the punch and scuttle Ukraine's imminent invasion—which they did.

Also, by attacking from the north and south, the Russians disrupted weapons supply chain from NATO. Had the RF only attacked in the east to prevent the AFU invasion of Donbas, there would have been an open corridor for resupply from the West. Threatening Kiev stopped that.

So the main AFU army was left stranded in east Ukraine, with the rest of the Ukr. forces isolated and pinned down—with no easy resupply from the West. The RF then went about hitting AFU command/control and resupply links, further isolating and immobilizing Ukrainian forces.

The Russians soon nominally controlled land the size of the UK in Ukraine—but it was a tenuous control. The south of Ukraine was more fully in Russia's grip. The AFU around Kherson simply scattered. Mariupol became a clear battleground, as did the Donbas proper.

What the Russians initially wanted was to:

Short-circuit the imminent Donbas invasion - which they did. Scare the Zelensky regime into negotiating a political settlement - which they failed to do.

Kiev had no intention of negotiating a ceasefire because of orders given to them from Washington: "Fight Russia to the last Ukrainian!" Also, the Neo-Nazi goons around Zelensky threatened him if he negotiated and surrendered because they are terrified of the Russians.

So Zelensky launched a massive PR and propaganda campaign, primarily to motivate AFU forces to fight to the death. Myths were created (Ghost of Kiev), false flags were carried out (Bucha, Kramatorsk) and relentless media stories were flogged relentlessly.

The Russians kept negotiating and trying to NOT destroy Ukraine infrastructure. In fact at first they were even trying to minimize AFU casualties. The evidence for this is overwhelming: The RF did not hit civilian infrastructure - water, electric, phone, transportation. They did not hit AFU barracks, command centers, government buildings, etc.

The Russians' initial priority was for a *negotiated settlement*. But by late March, they realized this was impossible.

This is why the RF withdrew from Kiev. There was no sense putting men near the city when they were not doing what they were supposed to do - putting political pressure on the Zelensky regime to negotiate. This withdrawal was claimed as a "victory" in the "Battle of Kiev"! lmao

Starting in late March, the Russians pulled back and solidified their control over the area they had captured, ceding to the AFU areas that were either pointless to or potentially too costly to control. The Ukraine propaganda machine called all these pull- backs "victories".

There was still a glimmer that the war might end in a negotiated settlement but that ended in early April. After the Istanbul talks of 3/30, the Ukraine side gingerly agreed to some compromises but within a week publicly disavowed those concessions.

That's when the Russians realized the Zelensky regime was agreement-incapable: Their Washington masters, Victoria Nuland and Anthony Blinken in particular, wouldn't allow a peace. They want this war to sap Russia dry. It is a classic proxy war and Ukraine will pay the price.

Something else the Russians realized: Sanctions. They hurt but Russia bounced back with remarkable speed. They didn't really hurt that bad. But the theft of Russia's $300 billion in foreign reserves by the West DID hurt - badly. The Russians realized they were in a total war with the West and since their foreign reserves were lost forever (likely to be pilfered by corrupt Western politicos), the Russians now have nothing left to lose. By stealing their reserves, the West lost all power over Russia.

This has sealed Ukraine's fate: The Russians now have no incentive to give up what they have conquered. It has cost them too much in terms of men and treasure. And they know that they can't negotiate a ceasefire. The Zelensky regime will simply break it later.

Which means:

The Russians intend to conquer and permanently annex all the south and east of Ukraine. This is why their strategy on the battlefield has dramatically shifted: Now they are carrying out a slow, methodical grinding down and destruction of the AFU.

The war in the first 30 days was speed, feints, nominally capturing vast swathes of Ukraine territory, with the aim of pressuring the Zelensky regime into a negotiated settlement. But the West's total financial and political break with Russia means they have nothing to lose. And they have a lot to gain: The Donbas is mineral rich, the really productive farmlands of Ukraine are in the east and south, Kharkov is a major industrial city, the Sea of Azov has untold natural gas reserves.

And besides - the people love them. Why would the Russians now give up this hard-won prize?

And they *have* won - make no mistake. Ask any military man who is not a system pig, he'll tell you: There is no way for the AFU to retake their country. They have no armor, no air defense, no fuel, no comms - it's over.

The great tragedy is that so many THOUSANDS of young men will die, and die NEEDLESSLY!!, in order to postpone the inevitable. These brave boys will have fought so valiantly - and died so young, so cruelly -because of the evil of the Zelensky regime.

That's the hard truth.

And in the end, this will be the map that will remain—a bitter image of Ukraine's future. Russia will pour billions into their newly acquired territory. It will prosper and flourish. But the rump-state of Ukraine will be left poor, destroyed, forgotten.

A tragedy.

I concur with the above except for two minor detail. The move on Kiev was not intended to hinder resupply to Ukrainian troops in Donbas but to 'fix' potential reinforcement around the capital. That enabled Russian troops to open the corridor from Crimea to the Russian boarder as well as to cross the Dnieper in the south and to take Kherson. Those were the most important moves for the further development of the war.

I also do not believe that Russia will 'annex' the areas it is liberating from fascist control. Once librated the people in those areas will vote on becoming independent from Ukraine and the various regions, Donbas, Luhansk, Kherson, Odessa, will form states that will become part of the Federal Republic of Novorossia.

That country will be recognized and supported by Russia and its allies.

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 26, 2022, 04:53:07 PM »

   U.S. Media Are Lying About Russian Atrocities in Mariupol, Says Embedded Reporter at Ground Zero
Covert Action Magazine, Sonja Van den Ende

April 23, 2022

   [This article is written by a reporter embedded in Ukraine with the Russian army. We believe that if people want to understand the war in Ukraine, they need to read widely about it, from different perspectives, including the Russian one, to try and discern the truth about what is going on for themselves.—Editors]

Where shall I begin?

Can a man endure so much suffering? Can you write about so much suffering without getting emotional?

Probably not.

Mariupol has been wiped out, buildings have collapsed mostly due to rocket attacks and, of course, there have been bombings as well.

The Western media, of course, blame the Russians for these bombings, but Ukraine also has planes that drop bombs, so how on earth can you say a few thousand kilometers away that it is the Russians?

It is not like in the West where, when there was a terrorist attack, the perpetrators left their passports or IDs.

This is a war of destruction that I have seen before—in Syria, in Homs. Perhaps also like in Dresden, toward the end of World War II, although, of course, Dresden I cannot verify.

The West has turned it into a propaganda war. All the while it sponsors the Ukrainian army and its neo-Nazi battalions.

For years the media ignored the Ukrainian army assaults on the people of Eastern Ukraine, who were forced to survive in underground bunkers.

They act as if the war started in February, when it actually started in 2014 as a war by the Ukrainian government against its own people.

Eight years of destroyed villages and towns—why? Because eastern Ukraine is inhabited by a predominantly Russian-speaking population, who grew up in the Soviet system.

After the 2014 Maidan coup backed by the U.S., they were supposed to become part of the EU and the pro-European "puppet" government in Kyiv. All their values, norms, culture and language had to be thrown overboard.

In order to achieve these ends, first President Petro Poroshenko and then Volodymyr Zelensky, have carried out "special operations" which they called "fighting terrorists." Imaginary threat: in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine accused Russia of preparing a "full-scale military aggression" - Teller Report

The Ukrainians started bombing the Donetsk airport and then carried out attacks on the civilian population. A picture containing sky, outdoor, snow, plane Description automatically generated

When this did not go as planned, they recruited and made the Azov Battalion and other right-wing groups part of the regular army.

These battalions are indeed neo-Nazis, from father to son they are indoctrinated with the Nazi ideology of the Stepan Bandera cult.

You can compare them to jihadists of ISIS (DAESH), ideologically indoctrinated and fighting on speed or other drugs so, as many witnesses say, they kill civilians randomly.

This is exactly the same script that happened in Syria, where jihadists even cut out the hearts of the Syrian Army soldiers and hung their chopped heads on poles.

The "bombed" city theater

On March 16, 2022, the Donetsk Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, was allegedly bombed. It was reportedly used as an air raid shelter during the siege of Mariupol, allegedly holding 1,300 civilians in the days before March 16, and at least 300 victims might have been killed.

According to Western media, the theater was bombed by the Russian forces. According to the Russian spokesman and many eyewitness accounts, who lived near the theater, they did not hear any bombardment in their neighborhood and the theater.

So, again, the Western media appear to be lying—blaming Russia for every atrocity in the war without proof, while failing to give any context for how the war started and who is responsible.

The goal is clearly to mobilize public opinion against Russia in support of regime change or even a full-scale war against them.

I was given a completely different story about the Mariupol theater "bombing" from a Russian army spokesman whom I interviewed. He said the following:

"According to eyewitnesses, there were about 300 people in the theater, but this cannot be verified, the Ukrainian army and battalions did not keep records of the attendance, so it could be more or less people. The cellars were used as bomb shelters for rocket attacks and bombs. On the day of the destruction, March 16, 2022, according to eyewitnesses, there were no bombings, but heavy rocket attacks. Ammunition and explosives from the Ukrainian army and its battalions were stored in the cellars. The Ukrainian army and battalions heard that the Russians were coming and detonated the explosives in the shelters, where many people still took refuge from the ongoing fighting. This is not new for the Ukrainians to perform such deeds, especially the AZOV battalion, who, just like in Syria at the time of the war, the jihadists were high on drugs, Captagon and speed, which explains their brutality and violent reaction. Same as for these neo-Nazi fighters who are highly infiltrated in the Ukrainian army."

The media in the West, in conjunction with politicians, sell stories to the public, at least half of which I dare to say are fabricated or used from other conflicts.

Mariupol is destroyed and most likely more than half of its inhabitants fled the city, either to the West, to Russia or surrounding villages and towns. Nobody knows at the moment. People are afraid and searching for their relatives, who might have been killed.

As I said earlier, food and water and other humanitarian help is distributed on a daily basis by the Russian army—every day in a different place because, when the Ukrainian army and its Nazi battalions know the place, they will try to shell it and kill the people.

It will take a while before the city can be rebuilt. The Azov steel factory is the last stronghold of the Azov Battalion. The Russian army, as of this writing, is fighting a heavy battle there whose outcome seems foreordained.

Everyone is anxiously waiting to see if the NATO command center, which is most likely under the factory, is being dismantled. Whether a biological (one of many) laboratory is really located under the Azov steel factory, we will soon see. I will definitely report on it again.

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 22, 2022, 10:38:59 PM »
DPR questions Guterres' initiative on ceasefire in Ukraine
Donetsk News Agency

April 20, 2022

   Donetsk, Apr 20 - DAN. DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova dismissed the calls of UN Secretary-General António Guterres for ceasefire in Ukraine as inexpedient, as Kiev will use it only to regroup and strengthen its positions.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine to allow delivery of life-saving aid as well as evacuations in Mariupol, Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk.

"Ukraine has used ceasefires (within the framework of the Minsk Agreements) to regroup, to fortify positions. Every time, ceasefires ended up in reinforced barrages and civilian casualties and victims. We, for our part, doubt the efficacy of this kind of ceasefire," Nikonorova said, speaking live on the Russia-24 TV channel.

She said that all those willing to lay down arms or leave the conflict zone can use humanitarian corridors that are regularly opened.

"But a humanitarian corridor is one thing, a ceasefire along the line of conflict is quite another. These two concepts are matching, but not identical," Nikonorova said. Russia started a special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the decision was made after the DPR and LPR Heads addressed him asking for help.

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 22, 2022, 10:33:30 PM »

   Donbass – the martyrdom of Mariupol civilians from 2014 to 2022, as told by its inhabitants
Donbass Insider

April 20, 2022

   On 16 April 2022, we returned to Mariupol, very close to the Azovstal factory where the last Ukrainian troops are located. We went to three different locations around the factory to talk to civilians, who told us how the Azov soldiers were shooting at them and their homes. Many of them also told us what happened on 9 May 2014, but also in January 2015, during the shelling of the Vostotchny district, which had been allocated to the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic).

For the martyrdom of the city of Mariupol did not begin in 2022, but eight years earlier, with the massacre of 9 May 2014.

In the courtyard of their building near the Azovstal factory, Valentina and Svetlana tell us what happened on 9 May 2014, Victory Day. One week after the Odessa massacre, and while Donbass rose up against the coup d'état that took place in Kiev, and is preparing for the referendum of 11 May 2014 proclaiming the creation of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, a new chief of police in Mariupol is appointed by the post-Maidan authorities, Valery Androchtchouk.

On 9 May 2014, while the Victory Day ceremonies were in full swing, Androchuk ordered the Mariupol police to arrest the demonstrators. An order they refused to carry out. Faced with this rebellion, the new police chief shoots one of his subordinates, barricades himself in an office, then calls in the National Guard. The latter, led by the Ukrainian deputy of the Radical Party, Oleg Liachko, attacked the police building and shot at both the policemen who had sided with the demonstrators and the civilians who had come to support their policemen. Two policemen and seven civilians were killed in the clashes.

Two days after the massacre, the population of Mariupol will vote en masse in the referendum of 11 May 2014, which will validate the creation of the Donetsk People's Republic, as Valentina and Svetlana, who voted that day, tell us.

Svetlana accuses the then mayor, Yuri Khotlubay, of having been "mysteriously absent" on that famous day of 9 May 2014. An absence due to the fact that, according to her, the mayor of Mariupol was aware of what was going to happen, just as he was aware in January 2015, that his city was going to be bombed, not by the DPR, but by the Ukrainian army!

In January 2015, when the Rada was preparing to declare Russia an "aggressor state", a similar vote was held in Mariupol in the city council, according to Svetlana. But the result was not what was expected. Khotlubay's raised hand was met with silence in the chamber of municipal deputies. According to her, it was as punishment for this failure that the bombing of the Vostotchny district was organized on 24 January 2015.

This eastern district of Mariupol was then subjected to intense shelling with Grad and Hurricane multiple rocket launchers, which resulted in 31 deaths and 117 injuries. Most of the victims were civilians, including children. According to Svetlana, the rescue vehicles stood by in a column far from the bombed area, and set off once the shelling was over. According to her, the mayor had been warned about what was going to happen.

Unsurprisingly, this shelling was attributed to the DPR, including by the OSCE, despite the fact that the DPR has never possessed a Uragana multiple rocket launcher (unlike Ukraine). I will not go back over the obvious partiality of the OSCE, which it was recently discovered by the two people's republics, that its ceasefire surveillance cameras were in fact used to spy on the soldiers of the people's militia and to correct the artillery fire of the Ukrainian army (which could moreover control the said cameras)!

Svetlana's testimony confirms that it was not the DPR, but the Ukrainian army that fired on Marioupol on 24 January 2015, warning the mayor in advance, who was thus able to put the rescue trucks under cover while waiting for the end of the shelling!

See the report filmed in Marioupol on 16 April 2022, with French subtitles:

Valentina, and other civilians interviewed at the various locations we visited, also told us about the crimes committed by soldiers of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment against civilians over the past two months. Azov soldiers have fired mortars at civilians fetching water, occupied the upper floors of a nearby hospital, thrown a grenade into a flat where two women pensioners were staying, and fired on buildings to destroy them when neither the Russian army nor the DPR people's militia were in the area!

Since then, Russia has repeatedly offered the Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the Azovstal factory to surrender, with guarantees that they will not be killed, and that they will be treated properly and with dignity according to the standards of international law. Despite this, the Ukrainian soldiers refused to surrender, before shouting everywhere that there would be a thousand civilians with them in the underground, and that humanitarian corridors are needed to evacuate them, once the assault on the factory has begun!

As some Russian commentators have pointed out, if there were civilians with them in the Azovstal basement, and they wanted to evacuate them, why didn't they let them leave the plant when Russia opened safe corridors for the soldiers to surrender? If they prevented these civilians from leaving, it means that they are holding them hostage to use them as human shields! This means that the Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal are nothing more than terrorists!

Moreover, the videos supposedly proving their presence in the underground do not actually prove anything. As the Telegram channel "????? ? ???????" (war on fakes) pointed out, the setting of the videos showing the Ukrainian soldiers, and those showing the civilians allegedly with them is different.

The women and children interviewed said they were in a basement but did not specify whether it was the Azovstal basement. Moreover, the basement shown is at most a hundred people, not a thousand, and its size is more like that of a typical building basement, rather than the (huge) factory basement. The video with the civilians shows a noisy basement, while the one with the soldiers is quiet, and the color of the walls is not the same either. The shelter with the civilians has green walls and grey plastic pipes, while the one with the soldiers has blue walls and white pipes.

Moreover, the few Azov soldiers captured recently have stated that there are no civilians in the factory, and even Zelensky in his recent interview spoke only of Ukrainian soldiers. And magically this story about civilians came out when the Russian and DPR armed forces began the assault and took control of the northern part of the Azovstal factory. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to see that this is a sordid fake to try to prevent the complete elimination of the soldiers of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment in the basement of the factory.

But to make sure that it cannot be accused of crimes against civilians, Russia today organized new secure corridors and a ceasefire, so that those inside the Azovstal factory (civilians or military) can evacuate or surrender.

While no civilians (or soldiers for that matter) came out of the basement of the factory itself, this humanitarian corridor allowed more than 120 civilians trapped in the basements of the houses right in front of the main Azovstal checkpoint to come out, and finally be evacuated, as our colleagues from War Gonzo show.

According to a message published by Ramzan Kadyrov, Azovstal will be under Russian control very soon, which will mark the end of the battle for Mariupol, and the beginning of the battle for Kramatorsk and Slaviansk.

Christelle Néant

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 19, 2022, 01:25:40 PM »
Where the Russian Army Will Advance to After the Sweep of Mariupol
GrayZone by Ollie Richardson

April 18, 2022

   Azovstal — the last hotbed of resistance On April 16, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said that the destruction of the troops trapped in Mariupol "will put an end to all negotiations". This, according to a number of military experts, is proof that the militants of the "Azov" battalion and Ukrainian units who have been surrounded are on the verge of defeat, and the words of the President of Ukraine are the last attempt to manipulate the current situation.

The question of why the Russian army and the DPR forces took so long to capture Mariupol is gradually disappearing from discussion on social networks. The main achievement of the last few hours was the active advance of Russian troops in the north-east of the city. There, a large hotbed of resistance on the territory of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works was eliminated. According to some reports, Colonel Andrey Gnatov, commander of the headquarters of the 36th Marine Brigade in Mariupol, was captured during the sweep.

In the case of "Azovstal", there is no longer any division between the nationalist battalions and the Ukrainian Armed Forces. After 1,350 servicemen of the 36th separate Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy laid down their weapons, the remnants of the unit moved to the positions of the militants of the "Azov" nationalist battalion, and Major Sergey Volyna took command of the new "formation". According to some reports, this could be the last personnel decision in the area — already on Friday there were reports that Volyna was captured after Gnatov.

According to the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, in Mariupol at the time of its encirclement on March 11, there were: the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, the 109th Territorial Defence Brigade, the 503rd Separate Marine Battalion, a company of the 53rd Separate Mechanised Brigade, units of the 17th Anti-tank Brigade, nazi formations, police and the State Border Service of Ukraine units, as well as foreign mercenaries.

Many reputable military officials, including Scott Ritter, a former US Marine officer who is well acquainted with US and NATO tactics, have spoken out about the fate of the militants trapped in Mariupol. According to him, Russia uses the only correct tactic that allows to save the maximum number of soldiers and resources in this operation and does not leave the enemy any room for manoeuvre.

The fate of the remnants of the nationalist battalions and soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces surrounded in the basements of "Azovstal" is a foregone conclusion — units of individual battalions of the advancing army, such as the "Sparta" Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion of the DPR forces, have already reached the sea and the city coastline, from where the plant's workshops are a few minutes on foot.

The next step, previously announced by the press secretary of the DPR military command Eduard Basurin, has already been taken — the nationalist battalion militants and the Ukrainian Armed Forces are beginning to cut off the way to the surface, after which Chemical Protection Troops with smoke and thermobaric weapons can join the case.

Ukrainian troops prefer to surrender to the Russian army and the DPR forces en masse — 50-100 people go into captivity, which, according to Major Kirill Latukhin, a veteran of the special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, simplifies the task of conducting a special operation: "Mass handing over brings a lot of valuable data, with which it's possible to adjust the course of the cleansing and avoid unnecessary difficulties. 130 people — this is a whole company, the dislodging of which could have taken several weeks. Every hundred surrenders — this is plus a week, or even two to the speed of progress."

It is interesting that when examining the basements that the Ukrainian military who remained at "Azovstal" are gradually coming out of, the DPR and Russian Army inspection teams find a large number of foreign weapons for "Soviet" calibers. Among the trophies found are dozens of anti-tank missile systems and hundreds of boxes of ammunition, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the nationalist battalions could not use due to heavy losses and high fire density. The vast majority of ammunition arrived in Mariupol from Poland and Bulgaria.

Where has the Russian army advanced in Ukraine? In addition to cleansing Mariupol in the southern direction, a safe area has been created with the help of Russian aviation and "Kalibr" cruise missiles. Thanks to the high coordination of actions, the Kherson–Melitopol–Mariupol line was quickly liberated from the Ukrainian army. Clearing out the Ukrainian army and restoring normal, peaceful life on the territory of the "southern line", where not only coastal cities are located, but also the city of Energodar, located near the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, make it possible to free up a significant number of military personnel and equipment for the general battle in Donbass. However, for the last, decisive defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it's necessary to properly prepare.

There are many ways to use the southern dimension. The first is the continuation of the defeat of the Ukrainian army in the southern direction. According to some reports, in an attempt to create a "picture resistance" to the Russian army rushing towards Mariupol and the DPR forces, almost all combat-ready units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were ground up.

Some of them managed to retreat to Nikolaev and tried to regroup there. However, to the lack of fuel and the shortage of shells, another difficulty was added. According to unofficial information, in radio intercepts of the UAF command from the Nikolaev area, the phrase "depletion of personnel" is often found, which in translation into ordinary language means the physical elimination of most experienced Ukrainian officers and middle-level commanders. None of the surviving commanders were able to lead the units, so the UAF was left where they managed to escape, until further notice.

In addition, the Ukrainian military and militants of the nationalist battalions could not quickly and competently withdraw from Mariupol due to confusion in documents. Eight years of active work to turn the Novoazovsk-Mariupol-Granitnoye triangle into a fortified area for various branches of the Armed Forces led to the fact that a single plan for all communications and positions did not exist in principle, and preparations for the March offensive on the LPR and DPR only worsened these problems.

This led to the fact that UAF troops fleeing from Mariupol stumbled upon ambushes arranged by the UAF and the nationalist battalions, after which the national battalions entered into skirmishes with the Ukrainian army while trying to separate their own from others. After the Russian army and the DPR forces approached the city, there were several more attempts to escape the Ukrainian military from the garrison, which ended in a fatal outcome. Some units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that miraculously managed to escape from Mariupol a few days before the complete encirclement entrenched themselves in Nikolaev.

The plight of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, whose command in the southern direction is almost completely absent, opens up operational space for the Russian army, where it is possible to act both directly and not rush things. One of the likely outcomes may be the division of the southern group of the Russian Armed Forces and the DPR forces into two parts: the first may remain and control the southern flank in the direction of Nikolaev-Krivoy Rog-Energodar-Kherson. In the same direction, near Odessa, Russian air defence systems shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane delivering a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries.

Map of military operations in Ukraine At the same time, the losses of Ukrainian servicemen during Russia's "Operation Z" do not correspond to official data. According to the statements of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, they amount to "about 2500-3000 dead and 10,000 wounded". Veteran of the special forces of the Airborne Forces and commander of an intelligence company Anton Ryzhanov believes that these figures are understated several-fold: "These losses can only be attributed to some command or group of troops. Even if we simply analyse how the Ukrainian Armed Forces tried to fight in Mariupol, we can conclude that the losses in this area on the Ukrainian side are about 4,000-5,000 just for those killed, and the wounded can be several times more."

According to the Russian Defence Ministry on the evening of April 16, the irrecoverable losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces amount to 23,367 people.

These guesses are also confirmed by the words of the Russian Defence Minister. At the end of March, Sergey Shoigu said that the main tasks of the first stage of the special military operation in Ukraine were completed, and during it the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered significant damage: "The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, which allows us to focus our main attention and efforts on achieving the main goal — the liberation of Donbass."

In fact, with the fall of Mariupol, the entire flank of the UAF's defence built over eight years collapsed — the loss of a 50-thousandth contingent and a huge amount of equipment almost completely deprives the Ukrainian army of manoeuvre in this direction. Completing the picture is the regular destruction of military infrastructure facilities by cruise missiles: fuel storage facilities, repair shops and parking lots with equipment are destroyed by the Russian Army around the clock. This approach, according to the experienced military men, allows part of the southern group of Russia to move forward to meet the "northern group" and begin gradual preparations for the destruction of the UAF in the Donbass pocket.

Sergey Andreyev


   Russia presents new evidence on Ukraine biolabs, comments on links to Biden and US
RT posted by CubaSi

31 March 2022

   The Russian military has presented documents showing Ukraine's interest in using drones to deliver weaponized pathogens developed in US-funded biolabs. Names of US officials involved in the biolabs projects, and the role the current US president's son played in the program, were also made public during the special briefing on Thursday.

One of the key pieces of evidence was a letter from the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina – makers of the Bayraktar TB2 and Akinci UAVs – dated December 15, 2021. The Ukrainians specifically asked if the drones could carry 20 liters of aerosolized payload to a range of 300 kilometers – putting them in range of a dozen major Russian cities and almost all of Belarus.

"We are talking about the development by the Kiev regime of technical means of delivery and use of biological weapons with the possibility of their use against the Russian Federation," said Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces. RT© Russian Ministry of Defense

Kirillov also referenced a US patent (No. 8,967,029) for a mechanism to deploy aerosolized pathogens from a drone. The US response to a 2018 Russian inquiry about this patent did not deny its existence, but claimed that it technically did not violate Washington's obligations under the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, he pointed out.

Kirillov showed signed contracts between US government agencies – Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Pentagon, the Department of State – and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, as well as the specific facilities inside Ukraine. The Pentagon spent more than $30 million for biological research at just one Ukrainian facility, the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health, according to the Russian military.

DTRA official Robert Pope was "one of the key figures" in the program, and "the author of the idea of creating a central depository of especially dangerous microorganisms in Kiev," Kirillov said. The Pentagon's biological projects in Ukraine were coordinated by Joanna Wintrol, head of the DTRA office in Kiev, until she left in August 2020. She directly supervised projects UP-4, UP-6, and UP-8 to study deadly pathogens, including anthrax, the Congo-Crimean fever, and leptospirosis, according to Kirillov.

The US agency's point of contact was Ukraine's Health Minister (2016-2019) Ulyana Suprun, herself a US citizen, Kirillov noted, while a major go-between was the private contractor Black and Veatch, whose Kiev office was headed by Lance Lippencott. Another Pentagon contractor, Metabiota, also had a role in the project.

Kirillov said that Hunter Biden – son of the current US President Joe Biden – played "an important role in creating a financial opportunity to work with pathogens on the territory of Ukraine," pointing to several emails between him and executives of Metabiota and Black and Veatch. In particular, he described the Metabiota VP as "a confidant of Hunter Biden," based on their correspondence. According to the general, the "Western media" has confirmed the authenticity of these emails – presumably a reference to materials published last week by the British newspaper the Daily Mail.

Even Kiev was concerned about the biolabs, according to a memo Kirillov showed. A 2017 letter from the Kherson department of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said that DTRA and Black and Veach intend to "establish control over the functioning of microbiological laboratories in Ukraine conducting research on pathogens of particularly dangerous infections that can be used to create or modernize new types of biological weapons."

Pointing to a June 2019 document from the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Kirillov wondered why it insisted on secrecy and required that "serious" incidents "including the death of the subjects" had to be reported to the US bioethics authorities within 24 hours – when other documents about that specific program only reference standard blood sampling work.

"We do not exclude that the official research program is only the ‘visible part of the iceberg', while in practice, volunteers were infected with the Congo–Crimean fever virus, hantaviruses and the causative agent of leptospirosis," the general said, accusing the US of "a dismissive attitude towards the citizens of Ukraine," and treating them as guinea pigs for biological and medical experimentation.

The US has long claimed that allegations about Pentagon-funded biolaboratories in Ukraine were "Russian disinformation." Earlier this month, however, US diplomat Victoria Nuland testified before the Senate that "biological research laboratories in Ukraine" did exist, and that Washington was working with Kiev "to ensure that the materials of biological research do not fall into the hands of Russian forces."

According to Kirillov, all pathogenic biomaterials stored in Ukraine were "transported by military transport aircraft to the United States via Odessa," in early February 2022. On February 24, as Russian troops entered Ukraine, the ministry of health in Kiev ordered the remaining strains to be destroyed, the general said.

Kirillov said that the Russian intervention halted activities at five Ukrainian biolabs that had been working with anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, cholera, leptospirosis, and African swine fever.

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 14, 2022, 09:09:36 PM »

   Donbass Situation Update
Donetsk News Agency

April 13, 2022

   Mariupol: More than 1,000 Ukrainian servicemen laid down their arms in Mariupol, the Headquarters of the DPR Territorial Defence said.

"Another 1,009 Ukrainian servicemen laid down their arms in Mariupol, who decided to save their lives and surrender to the DPR troops," the statement said.

The Headquarters said that a designated telegram bot (@want_to_give_up_bot) is still available for those who want to surrender: using it the personnel of the Ukrainian army can receive all the necessary assistance in the process of defection to the side of the Russian Federation, the DPR and the LPR.

TASS reported: Over 1,000 Ukrainian troops, including 162 officers and 47 female service members surrendered in Mariupol, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"As a result of successful offensive operations by the Russian forces and militia units of the Donetsk People's Republic, 1,026 Ukrainian troops of the 36th marine infantry brigade voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered in the area of the Ilyicha metals factory in the city of Mariupol. Among those who surrendered, there are 162 officers and also 47 female service members," the spokesman said.

A total of 151 wounded Ukrainian servicemen of the 36th marine infantry brigade received primary medical assistance at the scene, following which all of them were taken to the Mariupol city hospital for medical treatment, the general specified.

Criminal Case Against Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Arestovich: April 13, 2022 DPR Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal case against Ukrainian presidential adviser Alexey Arestovich on suspicion of engaging in extremist activity, the press office of the DPR Prosecution said.

"The DPR Prosecutor General's Office has qualified Arestovich's activity as criminal, falling under Art.325 P.2 of the DPR Criminal Code (Public Appeals for the Performance of Extremist Activity)," the report reads.

On April 5, Arestovich, speaking live on the air of the all-Ukrainian telethon of the "Ukraine 24 online" TV channel, called on Ukrainians to engage in extremist activity by committing murders motivated by bias against political views or ethnicity. *

EU morphed into a military organization – Lavrov
RT - Daily news

11 Apr, 2022

   Russia's foreign minister reacts to bloc's foreign policy chief statement that the conflict in Ukraine "will be won on the battlefield"

The EU made a "serious U-turn" by morphing into a military organization acting in the interests of Washington and NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday in an interview with Russian media. He cited a remark that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell made last Saturday.

The European official said the conflict in Ukraine "will be won on the battlefield" as he announced more European military aid to Kiev. Lavrov called the statement "outrageous."

"When a diplomatic chief says a certain conflict can only be resolved through military action Well, it must be something personal. He either misspoke or spoke without thinking, making a statement that nobody asked him to make. But it's an outrageous remark," Lavrov told Rossiya 24 news channel.

The EU has made a noticeable U-turn in its attitude towards Russia because Western powers are furious at Moscow for defending its vital interests in Ukraine instead of accepting a subservient role in the Washington-dominated "rules-based order", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Western nations acting in pursuit of American interests were trying to turn Ukraine into "a foothold for final suppression of Russia," Lavrov said. After Moscow used force to counter that threat, European nations made a rapid shift in their attitude towards Russia. Now it "reflects spite and fury" towards the country. The dramatic change is evidence that the conflict in Ukraine is not about Ukraine, Lavrov believes.

"Western propaganda shifted gear into depicting Russia as pure evil and [Ukraine] as pure good. The current Ukrainian regime is presumably a beacon of democracy, justice, freedom that is drawn to everything European, to the values that Europe claims it always adhered to," the minister said.

Neither is true, Lavrov argued. Ukraine is a hotbed of radical nationalism while Western powers easily break any norms when it fits them, while telling others to comply.

"Kosovo can be recognized as independent without a referendum. Crimea cannot, despite holding a referendum observed by [many international monitors]," he offered as an example of double standards.

"In Iraq, 10,000 kilometers away from the US, they imagined some threat to their national security. They bombed it, found no threat. And didn't even say they were sorry," he added. "But when right at our border they grow neo-Nazi ultra-radicals, create dozens of biolabs working on bioweapons, as documents prove, we are told we are not allowed to react to those threats," he added.

Russia launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine in late February, following Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two rebel regions by force.

For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: April 13, 2022, 08:10:13 PM »
Donbass – Mariupol port now fully under DPR and Russian control
Donbass Insider, Christelle Neant

April 12, 2022

   On 11 April 2022, the entire port of Mariupol came under the control of the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) and Russia. At the same time, Russian and DPR assault groups underwent special training to eliminate the Ukrainian armed forces still entrenched in the Azovstal factory.

On 2 April 2022, we returned to Mariupol, bringing humanitarian aid to the civilians we had found in the eastern district of the city. We then headed to the sea, to meet Chechen soldiers fighting Ukrainian soldiers near the Azovstal factory and the port of Mariupol.

They told us how Ukrainian soldiers sometimes literally hide behind civilians to shoot at Russian and DPR armed forces, which considerably slows down their progress.

They also told us how, once cornered, both ordinary Ukrainian soldiers and the neo-Nazis of the Azov regiment try to flee by disguising themselves as civilians. This is not a very effective technique, especially for the female snipers, who are unmasked by the marks left by their rifle scopes! They also confirm that foreigners are fighting on the Ukrainian side, since they have confronted and found the bodies of several black fighters, who the Ukrainian soldiers send to be killed first in order to spot the Chechen soldiers!

See the report with French subtitles:

The Chechen soldiers also explain the help they are giving to the inhabitants of Mariupol, who lack everything, especially water. They also tell us about the terrible conditions in which civilians were held in the city by Ukrainian soldiers. The inhabitants continue to evacuate the city with the help of Russian and DPR soldiers. Currently, more than 135,000 inhabitants of Mariupol have already been able to evacuate the city. The testimonies of the Chechen soldiers confirm those of the civilians we interviewed in the western part of Mariupol on 31 March 2022.

See the report with French subtitles :

Several Mariupol residents confirmed that Ukrainian soldiers were sitting in flats shooting, that they did not provide any help to civilians, and that they even let a man die after being wounded in a shelling by taking his neighbors prisoner as they searched for an ambulance to take him to the hospital after the curfew. One of the residents even told us that the Ukrainian soldiers took a child as cover when they retreated from the AC2 bus station. We were also able to visit a school, which the Ukrainian soldiers had turned into their headquarters, making the building a military target.

Chechen soldiers also told us that the behavior of the Ukrainian soldiers they capture suggests drug use, as they are like zombies, indifferent to everything, even to pain.

The incredible discipline of the Chechen soldiers who follow their superiors' orders to the letter (to advance while protecting civilians as much as possible), despite the risks involved, clearly shows that the Russian bogeyman stories invented by Ukrainian propaganda (such as the story of the Bucha massacre) do not hold water.

In the meantime, hiding behind the inhabitants, but also behind the crews of the ships trapped in the port of Mariupol did not save the Ukrainian soldiers. The port is now fully under DPR control, and the assault on Azovstal is ready. Experience from the assault on the Ilyich Metallurgical Plant has shown that the use of flamethrowers is effective in the underground, so they will be used by the Russian and DPR armed forces in the attack on the last pocket of Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol.

Faced with the inevitable, many Ukrainian soldiers from the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are surrendering to the Russian and DPR armed forces in Mariupol. After a group of more than 250 soldiers, then a second group of 160 soldiers, a third group of about 100 Ukrainian soldiers has just surrendered. The crew of one of the ships taken hostage by soldiers of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov regiment (the ship "Azov Concorda"), explained how the latter boarded the ship on 24 March, threatening the crew with weapons, before stealing their phones, computers, personal belongings and money. The Azov soldiers then destroyed the ship's radio equipment and navigation instruments, stole the food on board and threatened the sailors with reprisals if they tried anything.

The day after they took control of this part of the port, DPR soldiers boarded the ships and the day after they brought them humanitarian aid, and allowed them to call their relatives by providing their own phones (something many journalists also do to reassure the relatives of civilians stranded in Mariupol).

The battle for Mariupol is coming to an end, and the battle for Kramatorsk and Slaviansk will soon begin. The new municipal authorities, already appointed, will be able to start assessing the damage and determine which buildings can be repaired, and which will have to be demolished and totally rebuilt, in order to launch the reconstruction of Marioupol as soon as possible.

Christelle Néant

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