Dhaka August 08 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 08 2022
Russian foreign ministry in contact with Cuba on fire at oil storage facility — diplomat
MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. Russia’s foreign ministry is in contact with the Cuban side to coordinate efforts to put out fire at an oil storage facility in the Matanzas province, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
“Following the disaster, Cuba has requested international assistance. Russia’s foreign ministry and relevant agencies are in contact with the Cuban side to coordinate possible joint actions and necessary assistance,” she said.
“In these hard for Cuba days, the Russian foreign ministry offers the sincerest words of support to the Cuban friends, extends condolences to the families of those killed and wishes the soonest recovery to those injured,” she said.
The fire at an oil storage facility in the Cuban province of Matanzas, which held around 25,000 cubic meters of oil, broke out on August 5 after a lightning strike. Several explosions followed. Firefighting operations continue, involving Cuba’s air forces. According to official data, several people died, dozens were hurt and many more are missing. Some 2,000 people have been evacuated from the accident zone. Cuba’s Minister of Energy Nicolas Arronte Cruz is among those hurt, the ministry recalled.
Most Ukraine aid is a ‘scam’ – US lawmaker
Two GOP congresswomen have cited a media report showing that most weapons shipped to Kiev aren’t making it to the front lines
Republican lawmakers are feeling vindicated for opposing a $40 billion Ukraine aid package after a CBS News report showed that only 30% of the Western weapons flooding into the country are actually making it to the front lines in Kiev’s conflict with Russia.
“This [is] one of the reasons I voted ‘no,’” US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) said on Twitter in a retweet of the CBS News post. Greene was among 57 House Republicans who voted against the massive aid bill, which passed overwhelmingly in May with the support of all Democrats and most GOP lawmakers. Eleven Republicans opposed the bill in the Senate, where it passed by an 86-11 margin.
The CBS story noted that with nearly $60 billion in US and Western European aid approved for Ukraine since Russia’s military offensive began in February, most of the weaponry has failed to get through to Ukrainian fighters. Getting weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players,” the outlet cited Lithuanian aid group founder Jonas Ohman as saying. Amnesty International senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera told CBS that “there is really no information” on where the weapons are going.
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) said such scrutiny had been dismissed prior to the CBS report. “How many people were called Russian bots for saying this exact same thing since March? Now, when CBS says it, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever the case, glad the facts are out now. The majority of the Ukraine aid is a scam.”
How many people were called Russian bots for saying this exact same thing since March?Now, when CBS says it, it’s perfectly fine.Whatever the case, glad the facts are out now. The majority of the Ukraine aid is a scam. https://t.co/8AdHTA4n4i
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) August 6, 2022
US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) delayed the Senate’s vote on the Ukraine aid bill by insisting on adding a provision appointing an inspector general to monitor how the money was being spent. His colleagues refused to include the oversight requirement and passed the massive package a few days later. A US intelligence official told CNN in April that arms shipments were dropping “into a big black hole” once they reached Ukraine.
Greene, Boebert and other lawmakers who voted against the aid bill were pilloried by critics for failing to support Ukraine. After Greene argued that the US government was focused on sending billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine at a time when American mothers couldn’t even buy formula for their babies, Democrats accused her of standing “with President Putin in the face of Russian aggression.” Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) said she was “repeating Putin’s propaganda and disinformation” and “appeasing imperialist assaults on sovereign nations.”
The Georgia lawmaker also tussled with a fellow Republican after Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) defended the Ukraine aid package by saying “investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military, without losing a single American troop, strikes me as a good idea.” Greene replied, “So you think we are funding a proxy war with Russia? You speak as if Ukrainian lives should be thrown away, as if they have no value. Just used and thrown away.”
Amnesty apologizes after Ukrainian pressure
However, the rights group insisted that it “fully” stands by its findings about Kiev’s behavior
International human rights group Amnesty International has issued an apology for the consternation triggered by its recent report, which, among other things, accused the Ukrainian armed forces of violating “international humanitarian law and endanger[ing] civilians.” The organization has, however, refused to disavow its findings.
In an e-mail sent to Reuters on Sunday, Amnesty said that it “deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused,” as cited by Reuters.
The rights group went on to explain that its “sole objective” in publishing the analysis was to ensure that “civilians are protected.” It also made it clear that it “fully stand[s] by our findings.”
In its email, Amnesty insisted that its observers had sighted Ukrainian forces in the vicinity of residential areas in at least 19 towns and villages across the country. According to the organization, by positioning its forces in such a manner, the Ukrainian military endangered the civilian populations there by subjecting them to the danger of incoming Russian fire.
Soon after the findings were published, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Amnesty of trying to shift the responsibility away from Russian troops. Addressing these criticisms, the group stressed that its findings do not suggest that “Amnesty International holds Ukrainian forces responsible for violations committed by Russian forces, nor that the Ukrainian military is not taking adequate precautions elsewhere in the country.”
The rights group added: “Nothing we documented Ukrainian forces doing in any way justifies Russian violations.”
The report in question was published on Thursday. While lambasting Russian forces, the investigation also took aim at the Ukrainian military, claiming that it had displayed a troubling pattern of “putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war” by operating from residential infrastructure, including schools.
Commenting on the group’s findings, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, emphasized that “being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”
Zelensky, however, lashed out at Amnesty, proclaiming that anyone who doubts that “Ukraine is a victim” is an “accomplice of Russia – a terrorist country – and a terrorist themselves and a participant in the killings.”
Ukrainian officials have also insisted that Kiev is doing its best to evacuate civilians out of harm’s way.
Russia, in turn, pointed out that it had repeatedly called out Ukrainian troops for using civilians as “human shields,” and Amnesty’s findings only serve to confirm that.
Roger Waters Slams ‘War Criminal’ Biden for ‘Fueling the Fire in Ukraine’
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is touring the US with his solo concert and multimedia installation This Is Not a Drill. The legendary artist, who has taken a principled stand regarding the US-NATO involvement in the Ukraine conflict, earlier warned fans that if they can’t stand his politics, they might just as well “F*** off to the bar”.
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has slammed “war criminal” Joe Biden for “fueling the fire in the Ukraine”.
The English musician, singer-songwriter and composer, 78, is at present on his This Is Not A Drill tour across North America. Waters was interviewed by CNN anchor Michael Smerconish, as the media outlet covered his performances. When the host questioned elements of Waters’ set on stage, such as a ‘War Criminals’ montage featuring a photo of Joe Biden, the musician said:
“Well, he’s fueling the fire in the Ukraine, for a start. That’s a huge crime. Why won’t the United States Of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?”
Joe Biden is fueling the fire in Ukraine, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters said in an interview with CNN. “That’s a huge crime. Why won’t the United States of America encourage Zelensky to negotiate?”
According to Waters, what is happening in Ukraine is a reaction to the approach of NATO to the Russian borders, which happened despite promises not to do so.
“What would the United States do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico and Canada?” Waters asked the interviewer.
The CNN host attempted to push the typical western narrative, saying, “But you’re blaming the party who got invaded… You’ve got it reversed.”
However, Waters continued in the same breath:
“Well, any war, when did it start? What you need to do is look at the history, and you can say, ‘Well, it started on this day.’ You could say it started in 2008… This war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border, which they promised they wouldn’t do when [Mikhail] Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the USSR from the whole of Eastern Europe.”
As Smerconish attempted to disagree, saying, “What about our role as liberators?” Waters came down hard on the anchor.
“We have no role as liberators… I would suggest to you, Michael, that you go away and read a bit more, and then try and figure out what the United States would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico and Canada.”
Waters’ tour offers a musical, visual and intellectual experience where he condemns the ruthlessness of the ruling elite in the US and around the world. His songs lay emphasis on such issues as fascism, the plight of refugees, global poverty, social inequality, and the danger of nuclear annihilation.
During a rendition of the 1992 anti-war song ‘The Bravery of Being Out of Range’, Waters incorporates images of each US president since Ronald Reagan, superimposing the words “War Criminal” on every one. In the case of President Joe Biden, Waters specified that he was “Just Getting Started”.
Waters has railed against lack of coverage of his tour in the mainstream press, recently denouncing the Toronto media after his two-night performance there and attributing it to his stance regarding the Ukraine conflict. He was cited as saying that a “long drawn-out insurgency in Ukraine would be great for the gangster hawks in Washington. It’s what they dream of.” On 1 August, as he gave a concert at Target Center, Minneapolis, he addressed the audience, saying:
“If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd but I can’t stand Roger’s politics people,’ you might do well to f*** off to the bar right now.”
The special military operation in Ukraine was launched by Russia on 24 February to stop the eight-year war waged by Kiev against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk. Over the past months, Moscow repeatedly called out Kiev for targeting civilians in Donbass using weaponry funneled into the country by the US and its western allies. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the self-harming sanctions regime imposed by the US, EU and their allies against Russia, together with billions of dollars of military aid pledged to the Kiev regime only serve to exacerbate the crisis.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Kiev’s attacks on Zaporozhye NPP put nuclear security of entire Europe at risk — diplomats
WASHINGTON, August 8. /TASS/. The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Kiev government forces create a radioactive threat for Ukraine and the entire Europe, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Sunday.
“We paid attention to the disinformation campaign unfolding in the US media in order to attribute responsibility for the situation with the Zaporozhye NPP to our country. It is indiscriminately claimed that the Russian military launched artillery strikes on the territory of the nuclear power plant,” the embassy said.
“We note that this is not the first provocation by Kiev at radiation-hazardous sites. The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Ukrainian armed formations is deliberate. In order to discredit Russia, the Ukrainian authorities do not shun anything, creating a real threat to the nuclear security not only of Ukraine, but of Europe as well,” it said.
Russia takes out 45,000 tons of NATO ammo – MoD
A depot housing Western-supplied ammunition has been destroyed in Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed
The Russian military has taken out a depot in southern Ukraine that stored NATO-supplied ammunition, the Defense Ministry claimed on Sunday.
“In the Voznesensk area of the Nikolaev region an arsenal that stored 45,000 tons of ammunition recently supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by NATO countries has been destroyed,” the ministry stated, adding that Russian forces eliminated five other ammo depots.
Meanwhile, the Russian army conducted strikes on the deployment point of units of Ukraine’s 72nd mechanized brigade at an agricultural facility in the Donetsk People’s Republic city of Artemovsk, wiping out up to 130 soldiers and eight transport and armored vehicles, the ministry’s statement read.
Moscow’s forces, the ministry continued, also used high-precision air-based missiles to attack a howitzer battery of Ukraine’s 95th Air Assault Brigade in the village of Dzerzhinsk in the DPR. According to the statement, the strike killed up to 70 service members, destroyed three 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled guns and four vehicles.
The Russian Defense Ministry noted that faced with high losses, “the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is taking measures to make up for the shortage of military personnel” in Donbass. Kiev, the statement said, has decided to send to the frontline mobilized Ukrainian citizens from a training center, as well as wounded service members who did not have enough time to fully recover.
On Tuesday, Zelensky said that the fighting in Donbass was “hell,” claiming that Kiev’s military remained heavily outgunned and even outnumbered by Russia. He appealed to the US and its allies for even more weapons, in particular the HIMARS rocket launchers.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Kiev, saying it only prolongs the conflict, increases the number of casualties, and will result in long-term consequences.
Ukrainian troops make another strike on Zaporozhye NPP – city administration
MOSCOW, August 7. /TASS/. Ukrainian troops once again shelled the Zaporozhe nuclear power plant, with the spent nuclear fuel storage area coming into the impact zone, the press service of Energodar’s military-civilian administration said on Sunday.
“At night, Ukrainian armed units made a strike using a 220mm rocket of the Uragan MLRS,” it reported. When approaching the power units, the rocket released submunitions, the press service said.
“The damaged zone included the area of the storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and the station for computer-assistant monitoring of the radiation situation,” it said. Administrative buildings and the adjoining territory of the storage facility were damaged by the projectiles,” the report said.
All fires that broke out in the area of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar as a result of shelling from Ukrainian troops, have been put out, Vladimir Rogov, a council member of the Zaporozhye Region’s military-civilian administration, told TASS on Sunday.
“All fires have been put out completely,” Rogov stressed.
The West is silent as Ukraine targets civilians in Donetsk using banned ‘butterfly’ mines
The use of PFM-1 explosives against civilians is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions – but this evidently isn’t stopping Ukraine
On Saturday night, just after 9 pm, thunderous explosions rocked central Donetsk. Shortly after, there were announcements that air defense had shot down Ukrainian-fired missiles containing “Butterfly” (or “Petal”) mines. Given that over 300 of these explosives. are packed into each of the Ukrainian-fired rockets, central Donetsk could literally become a minefield if they successfully landed.
Social media and Telegram warnings urged residents to stay inside, to wait for Emergency Services to clear the streets and sidewalks – which they began doing during the night. But come daylight, untold numbers of these tiny devices still remained. More warnings were issued to stay at home – better to be late for work than lose a leg. Residents that absolutely have to go out are advised to keep their eyes down to watch where they step, avoid grassy areas, and walk extremely carefully.
While Ukraine has been using these mines on Donbass for many months, in recent days, they have intensely bombarded neighbourhoods with them. Initially targeted were the hard-hit districts of Kievskiy in the north, Kirovsky in the southwest, and Kuibyshevkiy in the west. But as of Saturday night, Ukraine hammered central Donetsk with them.
And now, walking in the city center is a nightmare, one I had to endure to document how widespread these mines are here: in central streets and walkways, near apartments, in parks…
Even with warning, these nefarious “petal”/”butterfly” mines dropped by Ukraine on Donetsk are hard to see & easy to miss. Ukraine is committing war crimes against the civilians of the Donbass, and has been for 8+ years. pic.twitter.com/p5byG95GVG
— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) August 1, 2022
Difficult to spot, easy to trigger
As it turns out, the ‘petals’ are not only widespread but often very difficult to spot – even if warning signs have been placed right next to them. Their small shape and dull color blends in with the surroundings and if you aren’t actively looking at the spot they’re in, you could easily miss them.
When walking, you learn to avoid any objects that could be covering a mine, and tread only on bare streets or sidewalks.
The first bunch of mines I saw were circled in chalk, a warning sign placed in front to keep cars from driving over them, and people from stepping on them. This was on a central Donetsk street, a residential area with shops and a park nearby. The entire area was littered with the ‘petals’. DPR sappers worked methodically, clearing area by area. But, given that hundreds of the mines were dropped all over the city, this is painstaking work.
Near some apartment blocks, numerous mines had been found and warning signs put out: “danger, mines,” it said by the tiny explosive circled with chalk or a tire or whatever was available to draw the eye to its presence.
But, on many occasions, looking at the area designated as containing a mine, it took me a good while to actually see it. Now imagine if there were no signs at all … a bloodbath for civilians, and animals too, since it doesn’t take significant weight to set them off.
Butterfly mine basics
Around the size of an average lighter, the ‘petals’ are tiny but still very powerful. A clip shared on Telegram illustrates this: A soldier chucks a tire at one of the mines, and the tire is flung high in the air from the blast. It doesn’t take a powerful imagination to estimate what would happen if a person stepped foot on one of them. The explosives are placed via remote delivery methods – meaning they can be spread by mortar, missile, or artillery, dropped by helicopters and planes.
According to DPR Emergency services, Ukraine is using Hurricane MLRS-fired rockets to spread the mines. Each contains 12 cluster munitions, each cluster has 26 mines inside. So each bomb has 312. The cluster explodes in the air, disseminating them widely, scattering in different directions. Their butterfly-like design enables them to glide and land without exploding, usually. Then they lie in wait for someone with bad luck to step on them.
Some of these anti-personnel mines have a self-destruct timer. Others, including the ones Ukraine is firing, have a years-long shelf life. They do pretty much no damage to military vehicles, and as such their use in Donbass is insidious – deliberately targeting civilians, to leave them maimed.
On July 30, in a densely-inhabited working-class district of western Donetsk, in a field with garden plots for nearby apartment residents, I saw the same nefarious mines. Originally scattered, they had been collected and awaited destruction by DPR Emergency Services.
In the large courtyard of an apartment complex, I watched from a safe distance as Emergency Services timer-detonated eight mines they had found around the grounds. The day prior, they destroyed 26. Another 150 were located and destroyed using a radio-controlled minesweeper. But there remains much to be done to restore the streets and courtyards to safety.
Since the mines were scattered on Saturday evening, the DPR Representative Office at the JCCC has created an interactive map showing the areas most contaminated by the mines, giving residents a general warning of which areas to avoid while walking or driving in. While some cars have been lucky enough to only have a tire blown out, were the mine to detonate near the gas tank, the entire vehicle could explode.
Multiple civilians have been killed by the mines since they were scattered over Donetsk, and, even now, wounded civilians are still coming to the city’s hospitals. According to Vadim Onoprienko, the deputy director of a trauma surgery center, ten amputations have been performed over the last week – victims of Saturday’s mines and ones that had been dropped earlier, one of whom was an 83-year-old man.
All evidence points to Ukraine
Pro-Ukrainian commentators are, unsurprisingly, blaming Russia. Journalists claiming to care about civilians are perpetuating Ukrainian propaganda saying that Moscow’s forces are scattering the mines over civilian areas, nevermind the fact that these territories are controlled by Russia’s allies. Among them is the would-be war hero Malcolm Nance, who temporarily abandoned his job as a notoriously anti-Russian MSNBC analyst to apparently actually fight the Russians in Ukraine.
This is the kind of projection I have seen ad nauseam when reporting from Syria and dealing with the Western propaganda there. Ukrainian nationalists openly admit they do not see the Donbass people as human and encourage their murder. Ukraine has been killing and maiming civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic for over eight years, including firing cluster munitions into the heart of cities, targeting hospitals, markets, schools and busy streets. Given all of this, scattering butterfly mines over Donetsk is hardly surprising. It’s criminal, but not surprising.
One argument used by pro-Ukrainian commentators is that Kiev has been destroying these mines under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which it signed in 1999. However, out of the six million such mines Ukraine initially declared in its possession, only two million have reportedly been destroyed as of 2018.
Ukraine has good reason to believe it will not be held accountable for using them against civilians, given its Western backers’ and their allies’ penchant for using prohibited weapons on civilians without repercussions – including Agent Orange in Vietnam, depleted uranium in Iraq and Syria, and white phosphorous and dart bombs in Gaza.
The fact the Western media turns a blind eye is also a boon to Kiev.
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