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In The News

Can Influx Of Western Weapons Shift Direction Of War?

Kyiv's ambassador in Washington hints that long-range (up to 300km) missiles may finally be coming from the U.S.

Can Influx Of Western Weapons Shift Direction Of War?

A gun-howitzer captured from the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

Ukrainian PresidentVolodymyr Zelensky has said that an influx of Western weapons is shifting the direction of the war. In his daily video message, he said that Ukraine had inflicted “significant losses” on the Russian military.

"It is increasingly difficult for the Russian army to hold positions on the captured territory," Zelensky continued. "Step by step, we advance, disrupt the supply of the occupiers, and identify and neutralize collaborators."

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Kyiv hopes the arrival of longer-range artillery can help Ukraine strike far beyond Russian lines in the east of the country.At least 20 attacks have been carried out in Russian-occupied territory in recent days.

Meanwhile,Ukrainian forces are also repelling renewed Russian efforts to break through their defenses. Russian forces have been trying to reach the city of Sloviansk in the region of Donetsk in east Ukraine.

Ukraine Ambassador To U.S.: Washington May Be Set For Reversal On Long-Range Missiles

Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S. indicated that Washington may be set to send long-range missiles to Kyiv, which would be a reversal of previous policy and could be crucial in the fight to push back advancing Russian forces.

Ambassador Oksana Markarova gave an extended interview to the Ukrainian edition of Radio Svoboda, responding to a key question on the minds of Ukrainians: Will the U.S. send Ukraine missiles with a range of 300 kilometers?

"I will not divulge details, but we will surprise our opponents on the battlefield," Markarova replied.

The Ukrainian army has been asking for missiles for the HIMARS systems with a long range — currently Kyiv’s HIMARS fire no further than 80 km — not enough to suppress Russia artillery fire, which covers the whole of Ukraine.

Although the ambassador's answer remains ambiguous, its tone could signal significant progress in weapons negotiations. Indeed, Russia’s advantage in terms of heavy artillery has played a key role in helping Moscow capture more and more Ukrainian territory and hit targets far beyond the front lines.

Putin In Tehran, as Iran And Russia Aim To Open Up New Trade Route

Caspian Summit in Turkmenistan June 2022 Russian president and Iranian President

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran on Tuesday will be dissected on multiple fronts, as its his first trip outside his home region since he launched the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin’s scheduled talks with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei come just days after U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, and signals Moscow's plans to forge closer strategic ties with Iran, China and India amid all of the Western sanctions.

Chief among those links are trade and commerce, notes Paris-based business daily Les Echos. One week ago, a train departing from outside of Moscow reached Iranian territory after a journey through several former Soviet republics, signaling the opening of a new trade route between Iran and Russia — a symbol of the strengthening of trade between the two countries.

On board the train were 39 freight containers which are to be delivered to a cargo ship in the port of Bandar Abbas, located in southern Iran, and then shipped to India. Due to the North-South Corridor (INSTC), this route should become essential for trade between Russia, Iran, India as well as other countries in Central Asia. With the West imposing sanctions on Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine, this seems to be economically beneficial to Moscow.

This new transport route is 4,474 miles long and was first designed in 2000. It avoids the Suez Canal, which speeds up the delivery of goods by several dozen days, and furthermore reduces their cost by 30%. For Iran this is also an opportunity to place its route as a part of a new commercial crossroads. Iran, isolated diplomatically and economically, is seeking to open up by increasing its trade with Russia.

Ukraine First Lady Visits Washington

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska will meet U.S. First Lady Jill Biden on Tuesday in Washington.

Zelenska also plans to address members of Congress of Wednesday, as Kyiv seeks more military aid and political backing as Russia’s war in Ukraine nears the five-month mark.

Zelenska met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Monday shortly after her arrival, on what most believe is her first visit outside Europe since the war began. During his meeting with Zelenska, Blinken emphasized the U.S.’ “commitment to support Ukraine’s victory.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that Blinken had reiterated that the U.S. will continue to help Ukraine respond to the significant and humanitarian challenges it faces, including Zelenska’s mental health initiative for citizens affected by the war. The visit comes as the U.S. is sending nearly $40 billion in aid appropriated by Congress, and is expected to be fully delivered by the end of September.

North Korean Labor To Rebuild In Donbas

Russia’s ambassador in Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora


North Korea may begin sending workers to Russian occupied territories in Ukraine, according to Russia’s ambassador in Pyongyang. According to a Seoul-based website, NK News, ambassador Alexander Matsegora said North Korean workers could help rebuild destroyed infrastructure in the self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.

He told the Russian newspaper Izvestia in an interview, according to NK News, that “highly qualified and hard-working Korean builders, who are capable of working in the most difficult conditions, could help us restore our social, infrastructure and industrial facilities”, adding there are “a lot of opportunities” for economic cooperation.

This comes days after North Korea became one of only a few countries to recognize the Russian occupied territories and accused the Ukrainian government of being part of Washington’s “hostile” stance towards Pyongyang.

The Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Russia’s appeal to North Korea for support showed that Moscow had “no more allies in the world, except for countries that depend on it financially and politically”.

Video Shows Village Kneeling For Funeral Of 7-Year-Old And His Mother

Screenshot of video on Facebook

Ірина Лупещенко

A series of videos published on Facebook by journalist Irina Lupeshchenko shows locals in the Ukrainian village of Malaya Mochulka kneeling on the side of the road as vehicles pass carrying the bodies of Victoria Rekuta, 35, and her seven-year-old son Maxim Zhoriya.

According to online Russian media Meduza, the mother and her son were killed when Russian rockets hit Vinnytsia on Thursday, in an attack that left at least 24 dead. The two residents of Malaya Mochulka were reportedly in Vinnytsia for a medical appointment. Their bodies were repatriated two days later, and as Ukrainian media Rubryka reports, a funeral was held Sunday.

Cyberspace: Another Frontline Between Russia And Ukraine

Russian daily Kommersant reports on how cyberspace has become another front in the battle between Russia and Ukraine. This comes a day after pro-Russian RaHDIt hackers announced they have given authorities a list of Russian citizens working with Ukrainian intelligence.

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Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

Horror films have a complicated and rich history with christian themes and influences, but how healthy is it for audiences watching?

Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

"The Nun II" was released on Sept. 2023.

Joseph Holmes

“The Nun II” has little to show for itself except for its repetitive jump scares — but could it also be a danger to your soul?

Christians have a complicated relationship with the horror genre. On the one hand, horror movies are one of the few types of Hollywood films that unapologetically treat Christianity (particularly Catholicism) as good.

“The Exorcist” remains one of the most successful and acclaimed movies of all time. More recently, “The Conjuring” franchise — about a wholesome husband and wife duo who fight demons for the Catholic Church in the 1970s and related spinoffs about the monsters they’ve fought — has more reverent references to Jesus than almost any movie I can think of in recent memory (even more than many faith-based films).

The Catholic film critic Deacon Steven Greydanus once mentioned that one of the few places where you can find substantial positive Catholic representation was inhorror films.

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