Ukraine’s case for pursuing Russia and its leadership for war crimes now includes Moscow’s current strategy of trying to cut off energy supplies to Ukrainian civilians by destroying the country’s power grid. Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Andriy Kostin told the BBC that strikes on key energy infrastructure targeted "the full Ukrainian nation," which fall under the purview of attempted genocide.
In contrast to other war crimes, genocide is the intention to physically destroy members of a particular population group or ethnicity. Kostin says the evidence of genocide against Russia has already included its forcibly taking Ukrainian children to Russia and giving them for adoption to Russian families; organizing so-called “filtration camps,” torturing and killing civilians — and now Moscow’s waging war against the entire population of Ukraine by trying to deprive millions of light, heat, and water in the winter.
Emergency power cuts continue throughout the country Monday, with the situation aggravated by the onset of winter: Nighttime temperatures have dropped to -8 °C, and -5 °C during the day.
Kostin said that since the beginning of the war, approximately 11,000 Ukrainian children had been forcibly deported to Russia. His office was investigating reports of more than 49,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression since Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.
Yevheniy Yenin, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, also cites data on the massive abuse of civilians on the territory of Ukraine. "We continue to find bodies with signs of violent death, and there are many of them. These are broken ribs, broken heads, men with tied hands, fractured jaws, cut-off genitals," said Yenin.
Ukrainian officials say that since the beginning of the war, more than 32,000 civilian buildings have been deliberately targeted by the Russian army. Over the past day, missile attacks aimed at residential infrastructure hit targets in the Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv regions.
Ukrainians Flee Kherson Amid Renewed Russian Shelling
People waiting to board the evacuation train in Kherson amid increased Russian shelling
In the past 24 hours, the recently liberated city of Kherson has been struck by Russian missiles 30 times, reports Yaroslav Yanushevich, the governor of the Kherson region wrote this morning on Telegram. At least one person has been killed in the shelling.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Ukrainians fled Kherson on Sunday to escape Russian shelling. This comes two weeks after its recapture from Russian occupying forces. Evacuations began last week amid fears that damage to infrastructure caused by the war was too severe for people to endure over Ukraine’s harsh winter.
The reasons for the continuous shelling on Kherson are not clear. According to The Guardian Russia is either trying to consolidate its defensive positions across the Dnipro and prevent the Ukrainians from attempting a new attack, or Moscow is trying to retake the city. Others contend it is simply revenge after Russia lost the only regional capital it had conquered since the invasion began.
Russian Moms Launch Anti-War Petition On Russian Mother’s Day
Putin Meets With Special Military Operation Servicemen Mothers
A group of mothers of Russian soldiers joined an activist group demanding the withdrawal of Moscow’s troops from Ukraine as they launched an online petition Sunday. Organized by the Russian Feminist Anti-War Resistance group, chose Mother’s Day in Russia to launch the petition on change.org, addressed to the State Duma and the Federation Council.
"Everything that happens in Ukraine and Russia worries our hearts. Regardless of what nationality, religion or social status we are, we — the mothers of Russia — are united by one desire: to live in peace and harmony, raise our children under a peaceful sky and not be afraid for their future,” reads the petition. "We are against the participation of our sons, brothers, husbands, fathers in this. Your duty is to protect the rights and freedoms of mothers and children, you should not turn a blind eye to all this."
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin used Mother’s Day to meet with a handpicked selection of mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine for a carefully staged meeting. This comes after dozens of mothers have gone public in saying they were snubbed by the Kremlin. Putin sat down with a former government official, the mother of a senior military and police official from Chechnya, and other women active in pro-war NGOs financed by the state. None of these mothers have been critical about the war.
“It is clear that life is more complicated and diverse than what is shown on TV screens or even on the internet — you can’t trust anything there at all, there are a lot of all sorts of fakes, deception, lies,” Putin told the women.
U.S. May Supply Ukraine With Cheap Boeing-Made Bombs
The Pentagon is considering a Boeing proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs fitted into abundantly available rockets, which would allow Kyiv to strike far behind Russian lines, according to a Reuters report.
The West is currently struggling to meet Ukraine’s demands for more weapons, with U.S. and European military inventories low, and Ukraine faced with an growing need for more sophisticated weapons as the war rages on. The invasion of Ukraine drove up demand for American-made weapons and ammunition, while U.S. allies in Eastern Europe are "putting a lot of orders," in for a range of arms as they supply Ukraine, Doug Bush, the U.S. Army's chief weapons buyer, told reporters.
Ukraine Still Playing Catch-Up In Drone War
French daily Le Monde is reporting on the ground in Bakhmut, a small town in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas that is now one of the centers of the Kremlin’s attention.
There, Ukrainian forces are increasingly relying on drones to monitor the situation on the frontlines and coordinate their military strategy — but are facing problems on three major fronts:
- icy rains that have prevented the drones from taking off;
- power outages that cut communication between the “birds” and their operators;
- and more importantly, the general state of the Ukrainian army’s drone fleet, either crowdfunded by the Ukrainian authorities or relying on private donations.
The increasingly crucial role played by drone reconnaissance in the conflict leads Ukrainian outlet Livy Bereg to write that “a new front is opening in the rear — an industrial front, a production front.” And as the daily laments, Kyiv’s drone situation is “is still as shameful as it was at the beginning of the [...] invasion,” in comparison with its Russian adversary.
Instead of buying expensive, Chinese-made drones, Livy Bereg continues, Ukraine should focus on the domestic production of more efficient and cheaper devices.
Number Of Ukrainian Refugees Across Europe Tops 4.75 Million
The number of Ukrainian citizens registered as refugees has topped 4.75 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as a direct result of the Russian invasion.
The data relies on the number of Ukrainian nationals who have registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe.
Among European countries, Poland has seen the largest influx of refugees from Ukraine, followed by Germany and the Czech Republic.
Russia Insists It Won’t Give Up Control Of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Russian authorities have denied Ukrainian claims that Moscow is planning to pull its troops back from the Zaporizhzia nuclear power plant. Russia has accused Ukraine of “actively spreading fakes'' about a possible Russian withdrawal from the area. On Telegram, the occupying administration wrote, “this information does not correspond to reality” and that Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant “remains under Russian control."
On Sunday, Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy provider, said the company had received information that Russian forces may be preparing to leave the facility. However the Russian-backed administration said that Rosenegeatom, a Russian state-run firm, has announced plans to “create a back-up power supply source for Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
The plant and the area around it, have endured persistent shelling, which has raised fears of a nuclear accident. Russia and Ukraine continue to blame each other for the shelling.
How The Kremlin’s Patriotic Education Looks To Russian Students, Teachers, Parents
In Russian schools last spring, lessons on "important things" became a part of a compulsory hour pushing state propaganda. Independent Russian media outlet Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories spoke to teachers, parents and students about the patriotism brought into the classroom, especially since Putin launched the nationwide mobilization that may soon include some of the high school graduates.
Report: Ukraine War Blocking U.S. Strategy To Arm Taiwan Amid Rising China Tensions
Washington fears the war in Ukraine is deepening delays in sending a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, The Wall Street Journal reports.
With the U.S. supplying billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the defense industry is unable to to fulfill “the longer-term demands of a U.S. strategy to arm Taiwan to help it defend itself against a possible invasion by China,” the WSJ writes, noting that the backlog of weapon deliveries has grown by more than $4 billion to $18.7 billion.
Tour Of "Points of invincibility" in Kyiv
In a newly-released video, Ukrainian outlet Pravdashows us around Kyiv's so-called "invincibility points" shelters.
Ukrainian authorities announced the deployment of such "invincibility points" last week across the country. Their aim it to provide heat, water, electricity, internet, first-aid kits — and a place to rest, sheltered from Russian strikes.
During the recent outages caused by Moscow’s strikes on the energy grid, an estimated 500 people passed through one such point per day. The Pravda journalists still note there have been delays in opening a number of “invincibility points.”