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TOPIC: war crimes

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

“Everything Was Blown Away” — In Dnipro, Voices Of The Survivors

A Ukrainian reporter on the scene of one of the worst attacks on civilians since Russia's invasion began.

DNIPRO — I met Oleg in one of the hospitals in Dnipro. His body was covered with wounds and scratches.

Oleg was with his wife in their apartment in a high-rise building in this central Ukrainian city on what seemed like an ordinary weekend. Then a Russian missile hit — and they miraculously survived, among the 75 wounded. As of Monday morning, 40 of their neighbors are confirmed dead, and at least 35 still missing.

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Oleg tries to piece together the moment of the strike:

"There was a long explosion. Everything was blown away," he recalls. It is still difficult for him to speak and keep his eyes open for any extended time, because of burns and wounds from the glass.

"We could not leave the apartment by ourselves because the door collapsed. Rescuers got us through the window of the 4th floor. I am glad that I am alive and that my wife is fine. I thank our rescuers, medics, and the Armed Forces. I hope everything will be fine," Oleg says on Sunday, still apparently under shock.

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Massive New 600 Billion Euro Estimate Of War Damage, EU Says Russia Will Pay

The European Union is committed to setting up a special court with the backing of the UN to investigate and prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine, and force Russia and its oligarchs to pay the growing pricetag for the destruction of the country.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised in a video statement that “Russia’s horrific crimes will not go unpunished.” She said that it was estimated so far that 20,000 Ukrainian civilians and 100,000 Ukrainian military officers had been killed so far.

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War In Ukraine, Day 279: New Kherson Horrors More Than Two Weeks After Russian Withdrawal

While retreating from Kherson, Russian troops forcibly removed more than 2,500 Ukrainians from prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers in the southern region. Those removed included prisoners as well as a large number of civilians who had been held in prisons during the occupation, according to the Ukrainian human rights organization Alliance of Ukrainian Unity.

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The NGO said it has evidence that these Ukrainians were first transferred to Crimea and then distributed to different prisons in Russia. During the transfer of the prisoners, Russian soldiers also reportedly stole valuables and food and mined the building of colony #61.

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Macron Calls Putin’s Airstrikes On Civilian Infrastructure A War Crime

The French President leads a growing chorus of outrage against Russia, including the strongest condemnation to date from Pope Francis.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday led a rising chorus of outrage after unprecedented Russian air attacks on civilian infrastructure targets, which left up to 75% of Kyiv residents without power and water, and killed 10 people across Ukraine.

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“Strikes against civilian infrastructures are war crimes and cannot go unpunished,” Macron said.

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Ideas
Dominique Moïsi

Why Ukraine-Russia Peace Talks Are Now More Impossible Than Ever

The reconquest of Kherson seemed like a turning point in the Ukraine war. But while Kyiv and the West can see it as an encouraging sign for the long-term fate of the war, it makes negotiations a veritable non-starter now. A cold, hard analysis from French geopolitical expert Dominique Moïsi.

-Analysis-

The liberation of Kherson two weeks ago brought Ukrainian forces closer to Crimea and pushed the Russian army further from Odessa. It was a strategic and symbolic turning point. The images that emerged evoke the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Although it is a show of strength from Ukraine and a sign of Russian weakness, it does not mean that the time has come for negotiations to begin.

Far from it, in fact.

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Up until the Ukrainian army retook Kherson, it was still possible to imagine that Russia and Ukraine might reach a compromise on territory, redrawing the borders as they were on Feb. 23, 2022. That is no longer the case today. For Kyiv, there is no longer any question of going back to February 2022, but rather to January 2014: before Moscow seized Crimea by force.

In nine months of war — with nearly 100,000 victims on both sides — millions of Ukrainians have been displaced, towns and cities have been systematically targeted and infrastructure has been destroyed.

Russia has committed multiple war crimes, perhaps even crimes against humanity. Unable to compete on the ground with the Ukrainian forces — who outnumber the Russians, are better equipped (thanks to Western aid) and above all are more motivated — Moscow has had no other choice than to try and bring the Ukrainian people to their knees through hunger and cold, while hoping to sow division among Kyiv’s allies.

So far, this strategy has had the opposite of the desired effect. Now that Ukraine has retaken Kherson, and after the G20 summit in Bali, Russia is more isolated than ever on the global stage.

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In The News
Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

Iran-Israel Proxy War? Israeli Military May Send High-Tech Missiles To Kyiv

Sending Ukraine advanced weaponry would be a response from Israel to reports that Tehran is sending ballistic missiles to Moscow.

Israeli state media corporation Kan 11, citing the head of the National Security Council of Israel, Eyal Hulat, reported that Israel might transfer high-tech missiles to Ukraine if Iran supplies ballistic missiles to Russia.

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The Washington Post reported last month that Tehran could supply such missiles to Moscow, as well as Russia beginning to produce Iranian-designed drones on its own territory. Russia’s Chief of the Defense Intelligence Kirill Budanov stated that Moscow could use Iranian short-range ballistic missiles against Ukraine, which would have no effective means of combating Iranian rockets of this type.

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Russia
Yulya Krasnikova

The Prigozhin Method: Inside Wagner Group's Russian Prison Recruitment

An inmate of the penal colony in the town of Kopeysk reveals the different ways convicts are recruited in the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, whose founder and Putin confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin personally sought the most violent criminals with vows to pay big sums and expunge their sentences.

The Wagner Group, also known as Wagner PMC, is a private military force with close links to Vladimir Putin. Officially, they do not exist. Their presence in Ukraine made headlines and caused concern as UN investigators and rights groups have accused the group of targeting civilians and conducting mass executions.

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The group first emerged in 2014, reportedly financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and associate of Putin. Videos emerged online of Prigozhin recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine in exchange for shortened sentences. Just last week a new video emerged of the execution of the Russian prisoner Evgeny Nuzhin who had joined Wagner and later surrendered to the Ukrainian army and testified against the Russians. The video in question shows Wagner recruits executing Nuzhin by smashing in his head with a sledgehammer.

Independent exiled Russian news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii was the first to report on the recruitment of convicts to the Wagner PMC in July from the St. Petersburg area, which has since expanded to penal colonies in the Ural, Siberia, the Far East, and even the Arctic Circle.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

After Iran, North Korea Accused Of Secretly Supplying Russia With Arms

Moscow has been forced to turn to rogue regimes for military supplies for its stalled invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. officials have accused North Korea of secretly supplying shipments of ammunition to Russia. According to newly declassified intelligence, quoted by CNN, the regime in Pyongyang was trying to hide the shipments by making it appear as though the ammunition was being sent to the Middle East or North Africa.

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U.S. intelligence had earlier reported that Russia was purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to use in Ukraine.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

Fresh Troops Arriving As Final Battle For Kherson Appears Imminent

A missile attack early Friday kills four, as civilians try to evacuate the largest Ukrainian city under Russian occupation.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff reports that up to 2,000 Russian troops have arrived in the wider occupied Kherson region to replenish losses and reinforce units on the southern front line. These troops are believed to be made up of men called up in Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization,” brought in for what many believe will be a major battle for the key port city and regional capital of Kherson.

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The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian forces overnight of targeting civilians evacuating from the Russian-controlled city of Kherson, after a missile attack killed at least four.

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Geopolitics
Clemens Wergin

Putin's Thirst For Blood Is A Reckoning For The West

The Russian military is systematically committing war crimes - now for all to see in the middle of Kyiv. It is shameful that the West is not helping adequately, for example with appropriate air defense systems. The time for political excuses is over.

-Analysis-

BERLIN — It was the worst assault of rockets since the first days of the war in late February. Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities are being targeted primarily against civilians and civilian targets, yet another brazen Russian violation of international law.

We are told it is retaliation for the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to Ukraine's Crimea.

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Like a small child throwing a tantrum, Russia's President Vladimir Putin is lashing out with missile attacks that have no military utility whatsoever, designed instead only to terrorize the population.

This coincides with the arrival of Sergey Surovikin as Russian commander-in-chief of the Ukraine war. His resume includes having flattened the city of Aleppo in the Syrian civil war. Now he has begun using the same terror tactics against Ukrainian cities.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Irina Dolina

"Better If They Shot Me" — New Details Revealed Of Russian Torture Of Civilians

Testimonies have been gathered from victims who had been detained by the Russian military near Kyiv in the early weeks of the war. Some were held in a pit, others had their hands beaten with hammer, others with an axe and rifle butt. Some never made it out alive.

KYIV — In the early days of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military moved quickly to the outskirts of Kyiv and began conducting searches and arrests there. Residents of three settlements — Dymera, Kozarovichi, and Katyuzhanka — have recounted to human rights activists in recent months how they had been detained, beaten, and tortured during the occupation.

These testimonies have formed the basis of the report "Unlawful Confinement and Torture in Dymer, Kozarovychi, and Katyuzhanka in Ukraine," released together by three human rights organizations, the International Partnership for Human Rights, Truth Hounds, and Global Diligence.

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Russian-language media Vazhnyye Istorii reports some of the most heinous parts of the findings (the names of the victims have been changed).

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In The News
Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger, Meike Eijsberg, Sophia Constantino, and Emma Albright

Is He Bluffing? Warnings Issued After Putin’s Nuclear Threat

Backed in a corner with this month’s successful Ukrainian counter-offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin made allusions last week to Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. Putin’s veiled threat has prompted a mixture of warnings and posturing over the past 72 hours.

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U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a weekend interview on U.S. network NBC that “If Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia. The United States will respond decisively.” Sullivan added that the United States has been in frequent and direct contact with Russia to discuss the situation in Ukraine as well as Putin’s actions and threats.

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