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    RUSSIAN special forces are one of the prime suspects in the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines which has triggered a disaster in the Baltic Sea. Vladimir Putin's regime are feared to have attacked the key gas link in an effort to continue stoking the brewing energy war with Europe amid tensions over Ukraine. 9Russia's so-called 'Frogmen' are an elite special forces unitCredit: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS 9The divers are armed with special underwater gunsCredit: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS 9They use robot submarines on missions 9Russia also has trained military dolphinsCredit: Mikhail Semenov/The Siberian Times Behind the attack could have been the so-called "Frogmen" special forces commandos - who work for both the Russian Navy and Putin's spies, the GRU, who were behind the Salisbury poisonings in 2018. It is feared Russia could have either used deep sea divers or drone submarines to trigger massive explosions which blew two holes in Nord Stream 1 and one hole in Nord Stream 2. Putin's equivalent of the SAS, Spetsnaz troopers have a reputation for being well armed, highly trained and ruthless. And the so-called "Frogmen" with...
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the official date for accession of occupied territories to Russian Federation will soon be announced Vladimir Putin's chief press officer has teased a formal announcement that occupied territories of Ukraine will soon be formally incorporated into Russia, even while referendums on the issue are still ongoing.  The Kremlin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow this morning that the date of the official admission of new regions to Russia would be announced in short order, TASS reported. The statement came despite the fact that the referendums in several regions of occupied Ukraine, where citizens are expected to vote on whether to join Russia, are not scheduled to finish until Tuesday. '[The announcement] will be preceded by a certain procedure associated with legislators,' Peskov said cryptically. 'We will inform you in a timely manner.'  The Kremlin has maintained the referendums in the Russian-controlled Luhansk, Kherson, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions are democratic and will show a strong desire among the citizens of these territories to become part of Russia. But video footage circulated on social media in recent...
    The Kremlin appears to have sent soldiers to force Ukrainians to vote in its staged referendums at gunpoint, according to residents who say troops came to their homes in occupied territories to enforce the 'vote'. 'My family was just forced to vote at gunpoint in Russian cosplay of a "referendum” in southern Ukraine,' said Maxim Eristavi, journalist and co-founder of Hromadske International, a broadcasting station in Ukraine. The Ukrainian journalist posted a video purporting to show armed soldiers entering the hallways where his family live and forcing them to vote in favour of joining Russia. Western countries have accused Russia of staging illegitimate referendums in Ukraine as a pretext for annexing parts of its neighbour. Kyiv called out the exercise as a bare-faced attempt by Russia to hold on to occupied territory now threatened by the Ukrainian army's counter-offensive. Eristavi added that his family members were also forced to take part in the same exercises in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 — in an attempt to fool foreign audiences into thinking the voting was free and fair. Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia,...
    Brutal realizations have been raining upon the Kremlin’s top propagandists—and when it rains, it pours. The same pundits who used to threaten NATO countries with nuclear strikes are begrudgingly acknowledging that Russia’s Armed Forces have suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in Ukraine. Appearing on Russia’s NTV show The Meeting Place on Monday, policy analyst Viktor Olevich surmised: “Unfortunately, the situation is difficult. Can we say that the Russian forces moved closer to meeting the goals and carrying out the tasks set by the president at the beginning of the special operation—or did they get further away? Obviously, we’re now further away.” Bogdan Bezpalko, member of the Council for Interethnic Relations under the President of the Russian Federation, was even more outspoken. “For two months, Ukrainian Armed Forces and military equipment have been massing in that area, all Telegram channels have been writing about it. Where was our damn reconnaissance? All of their heads should be laying on Putin’s desk, hacked off at the base... Of course, this is a tactical defeat. I hope it will be very sobering.” On...
    RUSSIA has reportedly moved a nuclear submarine armed with cruise missiles into the Mediterranean for a NATO showdown over Ukraine. Vladimir Putin's deadly sub appears to be playing cat and mouse with NATO forces in the waters off the coast of Italy. 2The Russian Northern Fleet’s nuclear submarine Severodvinsk during a military drillCredit: Getty 2 According to submarine expert H.I Sutton, open source intelligence suggests Russia has deployed the sub as tensions mount with the West over the Ukraine war. It's thought the vessel could be Russia's most powerful submarine - the Severodvinsk. Severodvinsk can carry up to 40 Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles with a range of 1,600 miles - and any of these could be nuclear-tipped. The sub is the most advanced in the Russian arsenal, with Russian media claiming it has unmatched stealth technology, active anti-torpedo defences and anti-air capability. Read more on the Ukraine warPIPE DOWN Russia's Gazprom says gas flow to Europe to remain shut, sparking shortage fearsAXIS OF EVIL Russia & China begin war games with 50,000 troops in message to the West The...
    The Ukrainian military has lost roughly 9,000 soldiers since Russia invaded almost exactly six months ago, said the top commander of the armed forces of Ukraine. Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi said at a veterans event that Ukrainians need to take care of children if “their father went to the front line and, perhaps, is one of those almost 9,000 heroes who died,” per the Associated Press. SEE IT: RUSSIAN FORCES SHIELD MILITARY VEHICLES INSIDE UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR PLANT The number, which the Washington Examiner was unable to verify, represents a much smaller KIA total than that of the Russians, whom the Pentagon believes have had between 70,000 and 80,000 forces killed or wounded in action. "It's safe to suggest the Russians have probably taken 70,000-80,000 casualties in less than six months," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl explained in a briefing earlier this month. "That's a combination of killed in action and wounded in action. That number might be a little lower, a little higher, but that's kind of in the ballpark, which is pretty remarkable." More than 13,000 Ukrainian civilians have...
    At first glance it seems to be a terrifying vision of the war in the future: A robotic attack dog, armed with grenade launcher, designed to hunt and kill tanks. But upon closer inspection the new 'weapon', unveiled at Russia's Army-2022 defence exposition in Moscow, actually appears to be a Chinese 'home helper' that anyone can buy online for as little as £2,500.  Far from blowing up heavily armoured vehicles, the dog is actually designed to follow a human companion around like a pet, carrying relatively-light loads of up to 7lbs - or roughly the weight of an unloaded grenade launcher.
    ONE of Vladimir Putin's most loyal allies has issued a chilling warning to the West that any attack on Russia would be a "threat to humanity". Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's former president, threatened the West with an all-out attack if it punishes Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 3Dmitry Medvedev, former President of Russia, is seen as Vladimir Putin's 'Yes Man'Credit: EPA 3Medvedev warned the West messing with nuclear-armed Russia is a 'threat to humanity'Credit: East2West "The idea of punishing a country that has one of the largest nuclear potentials is absurd. And potentially poses a threat to the existence of humanity," Medvedev, now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said on Telegram on Wednesday July 7. Known as Putin's "yes man", 56-year-old Medvedev was previously seen as more moderate than the Russian leader, although he has taken an increasingly hard line in recent years. His warning comes amid heightened tension with the West over its involvement in the Ukraine war, and the near-daily threats by Putin’s propagandists to deploy atomic weapons. These threats also come as Putin staged terrifying nuclear drills with...
    (CNN)Russian troops have left Snake Island in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Thursday, after they carried out what they said was a "successful" operation.The small but strategic territory was the scene of one of the opening salvos of the war in Ukraine, with demands from a Russian warship calling for the Ukrainian defenders to surrender, who boldly replied with "Russian warship, go f*** yourself."Known as Zmiinyi Ostriv in Ukrainian, Snake Island lies around 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the coast of Ukraine and is close to the sea lanes leading to the Bosphorus and Mediterranean.Moscow had never laid claim to Snake Island before this year, and it's a long way from any part of the Russian mainland. It's over 180 miles from Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and so there is no geographical or historical basis for Russia to claim it now.On Monday, the Ukrainian military said it hit a second missile system on the island, as well as multiple Russian personnel in their efforts to keep them at bay.Read MoreIn a short post on Telegram...
    Russian forces have left Snake Island in the Black Sea, according to Ukrainian military officials. The island, where Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed in the first few days of the invasion, was abandoned after a recent operation. Ukraine attacked the island on Monday, claiming it hit a second missile system on the island while trying to keep Russian forces at bay. They reportedly retreated on Thursday. ZELENSKY CHIDES NATO: 'WE ARE DETERRING RUSSIA FROM DESTROYING US AND DESTROYING YOU' “The enemy hastily evacuated the remnants of the garrison in two speedboats and probably left the island," the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a Telegram post on Thursday. Ukrainian military officials said the results of an overnight operation were still being assessed but were viewed as a "success" due to evacuations. The "occupiers were unable to withstand the fire of our artillery, missile and air strikes," according to Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander in Chief Valeriy Zaluzhny. He thanked the forces from the Odesa region "who took the maximum measures to liberate a strategically important part of...
    It's extremely rare for a Russian military expert to criticize the performance of the country's armed forces. But according to Mikhail Khodaryonok, a defense analyst, his country's war in Ukraine isn't going according to President Vladimir Putin's plan -- and likely is failing. The BBC's Francis Scarr, who regularly monitors Russian state TV, posted a subtitled video clip on Twitter in which Khodaryonok offered his bleak assessment of the war effort in Ukraine. "First of all, we shouldn't take information tranquilizers," he said, "because sometimes information is spread about some morale and psychological breakdown in the Ukrainian armed forces, which are allegedly on the verge of some kind of crisis of morale and so on. All of that, to put it mildly, is false." Khodaryonok noted that the United States shipments of advanced military weapons to Ukraine are being effective in helping the country defend itself against the Russian onslaught, "despite the resistance of a single senator." Kentucky Republican Rand Paul last week blocked Senate consideration of a new U.S. aid package to Ukraine. "A million armed Ukrainian soldiers need...
    Russian State TV analyst Mikhail Khodaryonok gave a damning assessment on Monday of Russia’s operations in Ukraine, saying that it “will frankly get worse.” The analysis was translated by the BBC’s Francis Scarr. On Rossiya-1, Khodaryonok said, per Scarr’s translation: Every matter should be viewed as a whole from the overall strategic position and desirably taking into account the near term strategic outlook. First of all, I must say that we shouldn’t take information from tranquilizers. Because sometimes information is spread about some moral and psychological breakdown in the Ukrainian armed forces, which are allegedly on the verge of some kind of crisis in morale and so on. All of that, to put it mildly, is false. Of course there are particular cases, prisoners of war, certain units, but they’re individual cases. But as we’ve just said, we should always look at the matter as a whole. And as a whole, the situation is this… Commentator Olga Skabeyeva, known as “The Iron Doll of Putin TV,” interrupted and said, according to the translation, “But they are individual cases which determine...
    SHOCKING new video captures the moment one of Russia's flagship tanks is completely destroyed following a strike by Ukrainian forces. In the clip, the new Russian T-90M war machine explodes in an enormous fireball during fighting in the east of Ukraine. 5Russia's most advanced tank has been wiped out in a Ukrainian rocket blastCredit: Twitter/@DefenceU 5Dramatic drone footage shows the tank exploding in a huge fireballCredit: Twitter/@DefenceU 5Black smoke rises into the sky following the rocket launcher attackCredit: Twitter/@DefenceU At the start of the video, smoke and flames can be seen rising from several other spots along the country line, implying it was filmed in the midst of a fierce firefight. Suddenly, a stationary tank is obliterated by a rocket strike, sending fire and bits of metal leaping into the sky. The drone footage, which was issued by Ukraine's Ministry of Defence on Tuesday, was reportedly filmed during the battle for Stary Saltiv, north of the country's second city of Kharkiv. In a further humiliation for the Kremlin, the multi-million-pound tank was reportedly wiped out by a rocket launcher worth just...
    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been hampered by strategic incompetence that has left its armed forces 'significantly weaker' and less feared, despite Moscow doubling its military budget in 13 years, Britain's Ministry of Defence says. According to the MoD, from 2005 to 2018 Russia pumped billions into its 'New Look' military modernisation project, investing heavily in its land, air and sea capabilities. This has seen the development of new missile systems (that have been hailed by President Vladimir Putin as being superior to western equivalents), the overhaul of its Soviet-era tactics and the procurement of more modern military equipment. However, despite spending more than $65billion on its military in 2021, Russian forces have been unable to dominate Ukraine due to poor strategy and execution, the MoD said. In an update yesterday, the MoD said that Russia has lost a quarter of its combat forces deployed in Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. According to intelligence experts, Russia committed more than 120 battalion tactical groups, some 65 per cent of their entire ground combat strength. As a result, Putin's forces have been...
    A cemetery worker took a rest from digging fresh graves in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, as Ukrainians mourned the mounting death toll of Russia’s assault with prayers, flowers and toys left in memory of the dead. One 75-year-old woman, Tetyana Gramushnyak, was killed by shelling while cooking outside her home in Bucha. Her body was lowered into a grave Thursday inside a purple casket topped with a cross. Elsewhere in Bucha, sunlight cast an eerie red glow over the darkened bedroom and vacant expression of Nadiya Trubchaninova, 70, who cradled a portrait of her sons. Oleg and Vadym Trubchaninov, aged 46 and 48, were killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha, where officials say over 400 bodies have been found and the toll could rise as minesweepers comb the area. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, armed servicemen in combat gear detained a man suspected to be a Russian collaborator inside a residential building. A woman opened her door with a look of terror on her face, as she saw the helmeted, armed figures holding shields in the hallway. Inside...
    Britain could go it alone in responding directly to a chemical agent attack by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, the armed forces minister has suggested. James Heappey said the Russian president is wrong if he thinks a response to him using banned weapons would require a Nato vote. He was speaking following the reported chemical attack on the remaining Ukrainian troops in Mariupol by Russian forces who are desperate to dislodge them. Earlier this week soldiers from the Azov Regiment said they were suffering from shortness of breath, eye irritation and muscle spasms, supposedly after a mysterious white gas was released from a Russian drone.  Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky distanced himself from the claims but fears remain that an increasingly desperate Putin could use chemical weapons. Yesterday Mr Heappey said: ‘There have been plenty of occasions where countries have acted unilaterally in response to outrages and others where smaller bi-lateral or tri-lateral responses have come together quickly. ‘President Putin cannot think there is any safety for him in knowing international consensus would need to be achieved. It does not have to...
    A RUSSIAN Armed Forces' botnet hacked thousands of Americans as the Justice Department says victims are still not safe. The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that a court-authorized operation which was conducted in March 2022 disrupted a "global botnet of thousands of infected network hardware devices." 1The botnet was disrupted by a court-authorized operation The devices were under the control of a threat known as Sandworm. Previously, the US has attributed Sandworm to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (the GRU), according to a news release from the Department of Justice. The operation worked to copy and remove malware from vulnerable devices Sandworm was using for command and control (C2) of the botnet - or robot network. By disabling the C2 mechanism, the Justice Department says, it severed the bots from the control of the Sandworm. READ MORE ON RUSSIAN HACKSGOING VIRAL Google warns a MILLION devices have been infected in 'Russian hack'CYBER BATTLE Hackers ‘target 300 Russian websites’ and offer troops $50k to surrender tanks “This court-authorized removal of...
    Hanna is calling from the shattered balcony of her second floor flat. 'Such a golden piece of land, what a beautiful town and such lovely people!' she shouts – at me and the rest of the world outside the Kremlin. 'And then they did this! The oligarchs in Russia stole their billions and now they make war on us!' Hanna is 83 years old, poor and sick. She once worked in a clothing factory in Kyiv. Today, every window in her apartment block has been broken by a blast. Some of the frames have been sucked out and lie in what passes for the surrounding garden. But Hanna is lucky, relatively. She is still alive. And what she can see, from up there, is far, far worse. But you don't need a grandstand view to appreciate the apocalyptic demolition of Borodyanka. It has – or at least, had – about the same population and lies the same distance north west from the centre of the Ukrainian capital as the Hertfordshire town of Tring does from London. The destruction of housing...
    As Ukrainian troops regained control of the Kyiv region over the weekend, the armed forces of Ukraine on Monday updated its estimate on the number of Russian soldiers killed in action to more than 18,000. Russia's combat losses since the invasion began on Feb. 24 thru Sunday include approximately 18,300 personnel, 147 aircraft, 134 helicopters, 647 tanks, 330 artillery pieces, 1,844 armored personnel carriers, 147 multiple-launch rocket systems, seven boats, 1,273 vehicles, 76 fuel tankers, 92 drones, and 54 anti-aircraft systems, according to Ukrainian armed forces. The figures have not been independently verified. "18,300 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. And I’m not sorry for any one of them. #WarDay #40," Ukrainian Member of Parliament Lesia Vasylenko posted on social media Monday after the release of the new estimates. ???????? Загальні бойові втрати противника з 24.02 по 04.04 орієнтовно склали / ???????? The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 03.04 were approximately:особового складу / personnel - близько/ about 18300 осіб, танків / tanks ‒ 647 од, pic.twitter.com/8aZfRWF0gu— ????????Armed Forces (@ArmedForcesUkr) April 4, 2022 Ukrainian troops have reportedly...
    Chechen soldiers have been prowling the shelled-out streets of Mariupol – engaging in fierce firefights as they try to take the besieged city. The feared troops, armed with machine guns and rocket launchers, have been used as a PR tool in Vladimir Putin's war, and photos of them in the city suggest the dictator believes he is on the verge of taking it. Propaganda channels have previously pumped out pictures and videos of the notorious fighters in conquered territories to boost Russian morale. Some Chechen soldiers are fighting alongside the Russian military, which waged two wars against Chechnya – a Muslim republic in southern Russia – between 1994 and 2000. Chechen soldiers have been prowling the shelled-out streets of Mariupol – engaging in fierce firefights as they try to take the besieged city. Propaganda channels have previously pumped out pictures and videos of the notorious fighters in conquered territories to boost Russian morale Among the Chechen fighters pictured in Mariupol was the regiment commander Zamid Chalaev (above, on Thursday), who is accused of human rights violations Some Chechen soldiers are fighting...
    A US nuclear bomber was spotted flying near the Russian border in a chilling message to Vladimir Putin. The warning comes after the Russian tyrant reportedly sent bombers armed with nukes to Sweden but were intercepted by fighter jets. 5The US bomberCredit: AP 5The B52 US bomber was seen flying near the Russian border According to Flightradar data, the B-52H Stratofortress took off from Cotswold Airport today. Swedish media reported yesterday that four of Vladimir Putin's warplanes swooped in over the Baltic towards the island of Gotland. TV4, Expressen and Aftonbladet all reported the formation was two Sukhoi Su-24 bombers and two Sukhoi Su-27 fighters. The bombers - as seen in the photos with the single stabiliser tails - were the ones reportedly armed with the nukes. Stockholm's military has not yet confirmed the incident - despite widespread reporting in Sweden. READ MORE ON UKRAINEVLADDY SHAMBLES Hero Ukrainian repairmen blitz Russians with their OWN tanks & missilesBLOODY CARNAGE Raging Putin sees 8th colonel killed & ‘loses 17k troops’ The warplanes took off from the Russian airbase in...
    A man rides his bike past a destroyed Russian tank in Trostyanets following a decisive Ukrainian victory, March 30, 2022. The first time that representatives from Ukraine and Russia met at the Belarus border was only four days after Vladimir Putin had sent roughly 70% of the Russian military charging into Ukraine. At that meeting, Ukraine made it clear what it wanted: for Russian forces to cease fire and withdraw. Russia also made it clear what they wanted: for Ukraine to stop fighting and surrender. Clearly, positions that amounted to “You surrender” and “No, you surrender” left a lot of room for negotiations. Even so, there were some indications of progress. Soon after that, the idea of a sort of three-part settlement began to form. Ukraine would meet Russian demands for demilitarization by agreeing not to join NATO. It would agree not to host military bases for other countries. And Ukraine would agree to some form of “referendum” on Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk—though the details of that were vague. In exchange, Russia would do the things that Ukraine cared about, which was to...
    RUSSIAN bombers armed with nukes reportedly entered EU airspace before being intercepted by fighter jets. Swedish media reports four of Vladimir Putin's warplanes swooped in over the Baltic towards the island of Gotland. 2Pictures of the incident released by Sweden's armed forces 2The two jets flying nose to tail in this picture were allegedly armed with nukes TV4, Expressen and Aftonbladet all report two the jets - Sukhoi Su-27s - were armed with nuclear weapons. It is a chilling escalation as tensions continue to rage between the West and Russia over Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The warplanes have taken off from the Russia air base in the enclave of Kaliningrad. Sources told TV4 the move is believed to have been a deliberate attempt to intimidate Sweden. Most read in US NewsTAKE COVER Residents urged to seek shelter during tornado warnings and wild weatherFIGHT BACK Moment 'arms depot' in Russia hit by 'Ukrainian missile' sparking huge explosion'MURDEROUS TERROR' Arab gunman kills five in Tel Aviv shooting amid ‘wave’ of atrocitiesDEATH HIKE Mystery as woman falls to her death...
    Russian troops are trying to "break through" Ukrainian defensive positions northwest and east of Kyiv in an attempt to advance toward the capital city, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Monday. The sound of explosions and artillery fire could be heard from the Kyiv city center on Monday, according to reports, as Russian troops moved to capture nearby roads and villages. "The grouping of Ukrainian forces and means of defence of the city of Kyiv is deterring the Russian enemy, which is trying to break through the Ukrainian defence from the Northwest and East in order to take control of key roads and settlements," the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post on Monday. Reports of Russian forces trying to seize control of more ground outside Kyiv stand in contrast to reports on the state of Vladimir Putin's army outside the capital city from last week. RUSSIA TREATING ITS WAR DEAD IN UKRAINE WORSE THAN WHEN 'DOG OR A CAT DIES': ZELENSKY Last week, Ukraine ratcheted up the pressure against Russian forces near Kyiv, putting its...
    THE Ukrainian port of Kherson was the first major city to be captured by Vladimir Putin. But in the past 48 hours home forces have launched a heroic retaliation that symbolises the spirit of their nation. 4Kherson airbase after an alleged airstrike against Russian forces occupying the baseCredit: AFP 4Demonstrators in Kherson Russian troops throw stun grenades as they protestCredit: Reuters 4 And Markian Lubkivskyi, an adviser to the Ukrainian defence minister, said yesterday: “I believe that today the city will be fully under the control of Ukrainian armed forces. “We have finished the operation in the Kyiv region so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part, trying to free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities.” Kherson fell to the Russians on March 2 but its people have been protesting daily in the city’s central Liberty Square. On Monday, a student in her early 20s was there amid a peaceful protest when a stun grenade exploded and there was gunfire. Read more on UkraineLINE OF FIRE Scary moment news crew come under Russian artillery fire &...
    The State Department announced that the U.S. government reached the formal assessment that the Russian military has been committing war crimes over the course of their invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden is in Europe for a high-stakes NATO summit on the Ukrainian crisis, and on Wednesday, Secretary Antony Blinken released a statement accusing Vladimir Putin of unleashing “unrelenting violence that has caused death and destruction across Ukraine.” After citing “numerous credible reports” on the attacks the Russians perpetrated against civilian targets, Blinken re-affirmed his agreement with Biden “that war crimes had been committed by Putin’s forces in Ukraine” based on all available evidence. From the statement: Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources. As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports...
    They may not be dressed for war, but these women training to use assault rifles show Odessa is determined to repel invaders.  A soldier manning a sandbagged barricade on the beach was even reminiscent of Normandy in 1944.  But Russian warships lurk over the horizon. Strategically vital, the Black Sea port may shape the course of the war.  Members of the public learn to handle weapons during a civilian firearms training class in Odessa, southern Ukraine, yesterday One of the participants in the Odessa training class takes aim at a target Ukrainians in Odessa have resorted to training themselves to repel enemy invaders Residents fear Odessa will be taken in an amphibious assault combined with paratrooper landings, effectively making Ukraine landlocked.  On Monday it was shelled from the sea – the first time the Russian navy had turned its guns on the city since the invasion.  Yesterday it was on high alert, its air defences blasting Russian reconnaissance drones out of the sky.  A Ukrainian soldier stands guard with his gun next to barricades at the beachfront near Lusanivka in Ukraine...
    JOE Biden branded Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" as he unveiled a fresh £600million aid package for Ukraine - including armed drones. The US president's sharp rebuke came after Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky made a desperate plea to US Congress for help to fight Russia's invading army. 3Joe Biden branded Vladimir Putin as 'war criminal'Credit: AFP 3Putin his back at Biden's commentsCredit: AP 3Thousands have died in the Russian invasion of UkraineCredit: AP Biden pledged: "We’re going to give Ukraine the arms to fight and defend themselves through all the difficult days ahead." And referring to Putin, he told reporters: "I think he is a war criminal." The Kremlin punched back and condemned Biden's "unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "We consider unacceptable and unforgivable such rhetoric of the head of state, whose bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world." Read more on the Ukraine warHOPE IN SIGHT Russia claims a PEACE DEAL is close after Putin’s army pummelled by UkraineSLAUGHTERED 10 ‘killed by shelling queuing for bread as surrendering civilian is shot dead’...
    Ukraine and Russia are making 'significant' progress towards agreeing a ceasefire and a withdrawal of troops with a 15-point draft agreement for peace. The document would see Kyiv agree to neutrality and accept limits on its military to stop the barbaric attacks against its civilians by Putin's forces. It would also see Volodymyr Zelensky renounce his NATO ambitions and promise not to host Western military bases or weaponry in exchange for protection. Sources briefed on the talks told the Financial Times that another provision includes enshrining rights for the Russian language in Ukraine. But the biggest sticking point remains Russia's insistence that Ukraine recognises the annexation of Crimea and the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk.  Putin insists that the whole of the Donbass should split from Ukraine, and not just the parts occupied by pro-Moscow rebel forces before fighting broke out.  Ukraine and Russia are making 'significant' progress towards agreeing a ceasefire and a withdrawal of troops with a 15-point draft agreement for peace The proposals were discussed in full for the first time on Monday, and both sides said...
    RUSSIA is now trying to attack Kyiv from two sides in an attempt to surround the city. Putin's forces are thought to be approaching from the northeastern and northwestern borders ahead of a potentially large and bloody battle, Ukraine's armed forces revealed. 16 They have already seized parts of northwestern suburban towns with vehicles and infantry, setting up checkpoints. And civilians have been fleeing to Kiev from fierce battles and shelling in surrounding areas like Hostomel, Bucha and Irpin. Read more on UkraineCAUGHT RED HANDED Ukraine says thousands of Russians have been captured in bungled invasion'DISCONTENT GROWING' Putin could face Russia coup sending him 'to grave or to retirement' Dmytro Tkachuk, a Bucha resident, told the Kyiv Independent how they jumped out of the way of numerous explosions and demolishing buildings as they headed for a river crossing to get to Kyiv. One of two grandmothers travelling with the family had to be carried en route to the bridge when her leg gave out. Tkachuk said: “The granny was screaming for us to leave her and run for the...
    FURIOUS Ukrainian President Zelensky compares Putin's troops to ISIS terrorists as he slams the armed kidnap of the Melitopol mayor by Russian troops. Zelensky is calling for the immediate release of the mayor, whose abduction was partially caught on video and shows him being taken from a government building with a bag over his head. 1Zelensky called for the immediate release of the Melitopol mayor Zelensky posted a video to Telegram Friday night with the message. "It is a democratic world here therefore the capture of the mayor of Melitopol is a crime not only against a particular person," Zelensky said. "Not only against a particular community. And not only against Ukraine. This is a crime against democracy. "Obviously, this is a sign of the weakness of the invaders. "They did not find collaborators who would hand over the city and the power to the invaders. "Therefore, they have switched to a new stage of terror when they are trying to physically eliminate representatives of the legitimate local Ukrainian authorities." More to follow...For the latest news on this story...
    Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Ukrainian officials accused Russia of destroying a maternity and children’s hospital in the besieged port city of Mariupol, even after both sides had agreed to a tentative ceasefire to allow civilians to escape. Victims, including children, were trapped beneath the wreckage, Ukrainian authorities claimed. Photos taken in the aftermath of the bombing showed rescue workers evacuating pregnant women covered in dust.  Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded the attack an “atrocity” and reiterated his call for world leaders to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.  Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity. pic.twitter.com/FoaNdbKH5k — Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 9, 2022 Over the last week, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has entered a more vicious phase as Russian armed forces began to...
    The Ukrainian army posted a video to Facebook showing a Russian helicopter being hit by a missile, then leaving a trail of black smoke before crashing and being engulfed in flames. The Ukrainian government is claiming it has destroyed nearly 100 enemy aircraft and helicopters as of Sunday amid the war that broke out following Russia’s invasion 11 days ago. “That’s how Russian invaders die! This time in a helicopter!” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Facebook. “Beat the pickles! Together we will win!” Another video posted to Twitter by Defence of Ukraine showed cheering and clapping as a Russian aircraft was shot down near Chernihiv, Ukraine. UPD❗Щойно на околицях Чернігова фахівці ППО збили ще один ворожий штурмовик! pic.twitter.com/D3yiff8uyr— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) March 5, 2022 There were reportedly as many as eight Russian aerial forces lost on Sunday. In a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pleaded for additional anti-aircraft defenses. “It’s no secret that the...
    THE mayor of a town in the shadow of a nuclear power plant set ablaze by Russian forces held a grenade in each hand last night and vowed: “We are ready to defend ourselves.” Gennady Brokovik banged the grenades on his desk and added: “We have to defend our children.” 6Mayor Gennady Brokovik held a grenade in each hand and vowed: 'We are ready to defend ourselves!' 6Gennady Brokovik banged the grenades on his desk and added 'We have to defend our children' He spoke as smoke billowed over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — the largest in Europe — after Russian troops seized control in a ferocious all-night battle. The Sun reached the banks of the Dniepr river alongside the plant hours after Russian troops fought their way in. And Mayor Brokovik revealed that he had triggered emergency plans to cope with a possible meltdown when he heard the news of the battle at dawn. The mayor added: “We are handing out anti-radiation tablets, iodine tablets.” It came amid dire warnings from Ukraine’s foreign minister that if it blows...
    Pain for Putin THE Ukraine carnage grows ever more horrific, with worse to come. What can we do? For all the heroism of its resistance, the stricken country’s brave citizens are now being indiscriminately slaughtered and its proud cities bombed to ruins. 1Putin is perhaps still most likely to be stopped by his own nervous generalsCredit: Getty The Kremlin monster Putin denies Ukraine’s right to exist. If it won’t surrender he’ll wipe it off the map, emboldened by the West’s refusal to risk the nuclear Armageddon he has threatened. He may well be bluffing on that. What if he’s not? Nato is right not to gamble with hundreds of millions of lives by launching air strikes on Russian forces. But we SHOULD hugely increase the supply of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, drones and other weapons to Ukraine’s soldiers. And though President Biden is quick to say what he WON’T do to help, he too can provide much greater support given his vast military resources. Putin is perhaps still most likely to be stopped by his own nervous generals or...
    A Ukrainian freelance journalist has claimed that numerous reporters have armed themselves, and are fighting to help halt a Russian offensive to take the country’s capital. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of the country last Thursday. Causalities on both sides have been confirmed. On Monday, the fifth full day of fighting, Ukrainian forces had managed to prevent their invaders from taking Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv. While Russian forces are presumably attempting to encircle and occupy the city, civilians have joined military forces to fight them back. Many have armed themselves with both automatic rifles and Molotov cocktails. Keteryna Malofieieva, whose work has been published by Buzzfeed News, joined Eric Bolling on Newsmax TV’s The Balance to share her personal account of being in the war-ravaged country. Bolling asked the reporter to give his viewers a sense of what is happening in Ukraine. “Well, of course, I am concerned,” she said. “The air raid sirens that I have been hearing today, throughout the day in Dnipro, in the city where I am staying currently, approximately six times, two...
    RUSSIAN troops have reportedly seized a Ukrainian town with a naval base as tanks rolled in and armed soldiers took over buildings. As Vladimir Putin's army continues their stumbling but deadly assault on Ukraine, Russian forces are said to have taken control of Berdyansk - a port city of 100,000 on the Azov Sea coast. 5Footage appears to show Russian tanks rolling into the townCredit: Facebook 5It's reported Russian troops have taken control of BerdyanskCredit: Facebook 5Oleksandr Svidlo announced the town had been seized on FacebookCredit: Facebook Oleksandr Svidlo, acting mayor of the town close to the Crimea peninsula, confirmed on Facebook that troops had taken over on Sunday, as footage showed tanks moving in. "A few hours ago, you and I witnessed how heavy military equipment and armed soldiers entered the city and began advancing throughout our hometown," he said. "As soon as I learned about that, I tried to inform all the residents of the city so that you have the opportunity to hide in shelters." Svidlo - an adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office - said "armed soldiers"...
    Russian forces are said to have taken a small Ukrainian town in the south of the country on Sunday night. Berdyansk, is a port city with a naval base on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, in the south-east Ukraine is home to 100,000 people.       It is located close to the Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and from which it launched one of several invasion forces.  The acting mayor of the town, Oleksandr Svidlo, confirmed on Facebook that Russian forces came into the town and took control. 
    Chortkiv should be finishing off preparations for its 500th anniversary celebrations this summer — but instead the small medieval town in western Ukraine is preparing for war. Road signs are being removed, street lights switched off, checkpoints built on entry points, battle plans drawn up and hundreds of men drafted into military units. Today, the police plan to give lessons to volunteers on how to make and throw Molotov cocktails — although they call them kokteli shchastya (‘happiness cocktails’) since they do not want to sully their mouths by using the name of a Russian Soviet-era politician. Such preparations in a historic town 300 miles from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, far from the Russian border and the fighting that erupted after President Vladimir Putin ordered in his forces last week, highlight the terrifying speed with which war has changed this country. ‘We are getting ready to defend ourselves because we think there is a strong possibility that we will be attacked,’ said the mayor Volodymyr Shmatko. Chortkiv has already seen missiles fly overhead on their way to destroying an airport and...
    Ukrainian soldiers armed with rocket launchers were seen taunting invading Russians as fighting raged on near the capital city of Kyiv. Dramatic video footage, circulated on Saturday, appeared to show Ukrainian forces battling Russians in Ivankiv, near Kyiv. In the clip, a Ukrainian soldier is heard yelling 'die f***ing animals' before saying that he will not 'speak in Russian' once the war is over. As he walks behind another soldier, who appears to be holding a rocket launcher, he says: 'Be prepared, f***. That's it, it's coming. Russian f******. Die f***, f***ing animals, die! For every tear, every tear, f***. Many have fled to underground shelters in a bid to stay safe, although other men and women have taken to the streets with weapons in a bid to fend off any Russian advance. BNO News also shared footage of heavy shelling in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, with the night sky there lit up by the orange glow of explosions. Around 200 Ukrainian civilians are estimated to have been killed so far. Meanwhile, Ukraine has claimed to have killed 3,500 Russian troops,...
    THIS IS the moment a brave Ukrainian woman confronted heavily-armed Russian soldiers hours after they invaded, demanding to know what they were doing in her country. The furious woman shouted: "What the f*** are you doing in our land?" and told them they would "die" if they remained in Ukraine. A number of Twitter users hailed her courage after footage of the confrontation went viral. 5A Ukrainian woman confronted Russian soldiers 5More than 1,000 protesters have been detained in Russia in the past dayCredit: Rex 5Huge demonstrators broke out in Moscow and Saint PetersburgCredit: Rex 5Russian authorities have branded the protests 'treasonous'Credit: Rex It comes as protests against the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out around the world, including in Moscow, where Russian police violently broke up demonstrations and arrested scores of their own citizens. The clip of an angry woman confronting the two soldiers was filmed in the port city of Henichesk on the sea of Azov, less than 18 miles from the annexed Russian territory of Crimea. One of the soldiers, appearing embarrassed, tries to calm her down...
    A brave Ukrainian woman voiced the outrage of her nation today as she confronted heavily armed Russian soldiers and demanded to know what they were doing in her country. The woman shouted at two of the invaders: 'What the f*** are you doing in our land?' while one of the embarrassed soldiers in Henichesk, a port city on the sea of Azov, tried to calm her. She walked away, then called back: 'You should put sunflower seeds in your pockets so that they will grow on Ukranian land after you die.' On Twitter, she was hailed for her courage, with one admirer commenting: 'The bravery is amazing! Thank you! We stand with you!'
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. and France criticized mercenaries in the Central African Republic from the Russian security company Wagner, accusing them on Tuesday of executing civilians, attacking U.N. peacekeepers and targeting predominantly Muslim communities in their military operations. Russia never mentioned mercenaries or Wagner in responding, but said that “Russian specialists” are working “successfully” in the African nation at the request of its government, including training the military. The exchange came at a U.N. Security Council meeting during which outgoing U.N. special representative Mankeur Ndiaye said that “the Central African people are still awaiting the dividends of peace.” He also never mentioned Wagner, but he called on government authorities to take immediate and tangible measures to prevent human rights violations committed by defense and security forces “and other security personnel.” The mineral-rich but impoverished Central African Republic has faced deadly intercommunal fighting since 2013, when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power and forced President Francois Bozize from office. Mostly Christian militias later fought back, also targeting civilians in the streets. Untold thousands were killed, and most of...
    The urgency of diplomatic steps to avert a war in Eastern Europe reached new heights Tuesday following Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to recognize two breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent and deploy troops—described as "peacekeeping" forces—to the Donbas, heightening fears of an all-out military conflict. In a statement late Monday, a spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that he is "greatly concerned by the decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine." Guterres "calls for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, as endorsed by the Security Council in Resolution 2202," said the spokesperson. "The secretary-general urges all relevant actors to focus their efforts on ensuring an immediate cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, preventing any actions and statements that may further escalate the dangerous situation in and around Ukraine, and prioritizing diplomacy to address all issues peacefully." The statement came as the U.S., the European Union, and the United Kingdom prepared to respond to...
    Service members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces drive tanks during tactical drills at a training ground in the Kherson region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released February 7, 2022.Ukrainian Armed Forces Press Service | via Reuters WASHINGTON – Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered U.S. troops who deployed to Ukraine last year to leave the country and reposition elsewhere in Europe. The new marching order comes as an estimated 100,000 Russian troops equipped with advanced weaponry line Ukraine's eastern border and the northern border with Belarus, a Moscow ally. In November, 160 members of the Florida National Guard, assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, deployed to Ukraine to train with local forces. "The Secretary made this decision out of an abundance of caution — with the safety and security of our personnel foremost in mind — and informed by the State Department's guidance on U.S. personnel in Ukraine," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby wrote in a statement. "This repositioning does not signify a change in our determination to support Ukraine's Armed Forces, but will provide flexibility in assuring allies and deterring aggression,"...
    Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko has branded Germany's latest offer of 5,000 helmets to Ukraine a 'joke' in the latest swipe at Olaf Scholz's lack of support for the threatened country. The former boxer said he was left 'speechless' by Germany over their refusal to give substantial military aid and drop their support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline while Russian troops continue to amass on Ukraine's border.  He told Bild: 'The behaviour of the German government leaves me speechless.  'The defence ministry apparently hasn't realised that we are confronted with perfectly equipped Russian forces that can start another invasion of Ukraine at any time 'What kind of support will Germany send next. Pillows?' Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko has branded Germany's latest offer of 5,000 helmets to Ukraine a 'joke' A Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fires during anti-aircraft military drills today Germany says it has long refused to export arms to conflict zones and is declining Ukraine's appeals for weaponry Earlier this week, Klitschko accused Germany of 'betraying' his country for their 'failure to provide assistance...
    RUSSIA's giant "city killer" submarine packed with "apocalypse" drones designed to trigger a radioactive tsunami is primed to enter service in months. The Belgorod - which at 604ft is twice the size of the Royal Navy's Astute-class attack subs - is hailed as a "game changer" for Putin's forces. 6The 604ft Belgorod - the world's biggest submarine - is ready to enter service in 2022 6 The 14,700-ton war machine was made even longer so it can carry the new devastating nuclear-tipped Poseidon torpedoes guided by artificial intelligence. It also has Bond villain-style secret compartments to launch mini-subs and drones for covert sabotage ops - such as cutting undersea cables. The fearsome Belgorod quietly took to sea for the first time last year amid threats to sink British and US warships in the Black Sea. Now sources have told Russia's Tass news agency the final sea trials are almost complete. "The transfer of the Belgorod nuclear submarine to the fleet is planned for the summer of 2022," it reported today. "It is assumed that this event can be timed to...
    Ukraine says it has dismantled a group of Russian-backed saboteurs who were planning attacks in border regions with the aim of 'destabilising' the country.  The 'criminal' group was preparing a 'series of armed attacks' on city infrastructure 'coordinated by Russian special service', Ukraine's SBU security service said today. Raids were carried out on the gang in Kharkiv, an eastern Ukrainian city just 20 miles from the Russian border, and Zhytomyr, western Ukraine, on Tuesday. It comes amid a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine, with the US warning Moscow may launch 'false flag' attacks in border regions to justify an invasion.  Ukrainian security service agents raid a property they say was being used by a criminal gang to plan a series of robberies in border regions Guns, ammunition, a bomb, radio frequency jammers and other equipment was seized by agents in the raids on Tuesday Ukrainian agents say the gang were planning a series of robberies against 'urban infrastructure', including 'commercial' properties. The gang was allegedly organised by two men, one with Russian citizenship, who recruited other criminals using the guise of...
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