Wednesday 24th of April 2024

putin: worse than hitler, not as bad as tony blair, george w bush and john w howard…….

bojobojoUkraine: Boris Johnson in Kyiv meeting with Zelenskyy — live updates


Boris Johnson made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital. US and UK officials have warned of increased Russian attacks in the east after a deadly train station strike. DW has the latest.


This article was last updated at 20:48 GMT/UTC.

Moscow: More than 700,000 Ukrainians evacuated to Russia

Russia has evacuated more than 700,000 people from Ukraine to its own territory since its invasion began on February 24, according to Moscow's military.

Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev of the Russian Defence Ministry said almost 27,000 people left for Russia on Saturday alone.

Mizintsev said that 134,000 people had been rescued from the southern port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian forces since the beginning of March.

Kyiv accuses Moscow of bringing refugees to Russia against their will, which it says is a violation of international law.


Ukraine: Third prisoner swap with Russia underway

Ukraine says 12 Ukrainian soldiers and 14 civilians are returning home following a prisoner exchange with Russia.

"On the order of President Zelenskyy, the third prisoner exchange took place today. 12 of our servicemen are returning home, including one female officer," Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

Fourteen civilians including nine women were also on their way home, she added.

Vereshchuk did not say how many Russians had been released.

Pro-Russian convoys protest in German cities

Pro-Russian convoys have been staged in several German cities. They called for an end to discrimination against Russians, which they say has spiked since its invasion of Ukraine.

Vehicles rolled through Frankfurt, Hanover and Stuttgart — where protesters used the motto "Against Discrimination Toward Russian-speaking People."

"Stop Russophobia" banners were also seen, while some called for an end to intolerance towards Russian-speaking children in schools.

German authorities have banned protesters from supporting the conflict or using the letter "Z,"  which has become a symbol of Russia's invasion.

A similar convoy in Berlin caused upset last weekend, as it took place on the day that alleged Russian atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha were revealed.

More than 400 hate crimes related to the war have been recorded in Germany since the conflict began.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told local media that 308 crimes against Russian nationals were recorded, including 15 acts of violence.

Some 109 crimes against Ukrainians were registered, including 13 acts of violence.


Report: Tank full of nitric acid explodes in Donbas

Ukrainian media say a tank containing nitric acid has exploded in the east of the country.

TV station Hromadske said the blast happened in Rubizhne, in Donbas region.

Local residents have reportedly been ordered to stay indoors and keep their windows shut.

The TV channel said Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk regional state administration, had reassured the public that there is “no threat” from the leak.

Russia's NTV news channel blamed the blast on the Ukrainian military.

A similar blast involving a nitric acid tank occurred on Tuesday near Rubizhne, a city that Kyiv says the Russians have been trying to seize.

Nitric acid is highly toxic if inhaled, swallowed, or if it comes in contact with skin and mucous membranes.


UK's Johnson declares 'unwavering' support for Ukraine

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed his unannounced visit to Kyiv for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy as "a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine."

"We're setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country's struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign," Johnson tweeted, following the talks.


On Friday, Johnson pledged another 100 million pounds (€120 million, $130 million) in high-grade military equipment, including additional Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions capable of lingering in the sky until directed to their target.

While in Kyiv, he promised to deliver 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems.

Zelenskyy called on the West to provide more weapons to Kyiv while imposing harsher sanctions on Russia, saying they should "follow the UK's example."

The UK leader also spoke out about the discovery of hundreds of civilian bodies in Ukrainian towns near Kyiv last weekend after Russian forces left.

"What Putin has done in places like Bucha and Irpin is war crimes that have permanently polluted his reputation and the reputation of his government," Johnson said.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry later posted a video of the two leaders walking through the streets of Kyiv.


€9.1 billion raised for Ukrainian refugees

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that a donor conference organized by Global Citizen, the United Nations and the Canadian government had raised €9.1 billion ($9.9 billion) for displaced Ukrainians, both internally and as refugees abroad.

On Twitter, von der Leyen wrote, "Today we raised 9.1 billion euros for the people fleeing the invasion, inside Ukraine and abroad. And more will come!" 


In addition to the funds generated by the donor conference, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) pledged an additional €1 billion in loans for displaced people — bringing the total amount of aid to €10.1 billion.

The event was held in the Polish capital Warsaw. Over 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland since Russia's invasion began in February.

Global Citizen organized around 130 celebrities, musical artists and activists to take part in a social media campaign for the conference — including stars such as Bono, Elton John, Madonna, and Celine Dion.

The event ended with a performance from Julian Lennon, the son of the late John Lennon. Julian sang his father's song "Imagine," in an appeal for peace. In a social media post, he said it was the first time he sang the song in public.


Boris Johnson meeting with Zelenskyy

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has traveled to Kyiv and has met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to the Ukrainian embassy in the UK. 


The Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Sybiha said on Facebook UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently in Kyiv meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"Great Britain is a leader in Ukraine's defense support. Leader in the anti-war coalition. Leader in sanctions against the Russian aggressor," Sybiha wrote. 


Ukraine 'still ready' to negotiate with Russia after Bucha

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is "still ready" to negotiate with Russia after the deaths of civilians in Bucha. When Russian forces withdrew, numerous civilians were found dead on the streets of the town.

In a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who visited Bucha, Zelenskyy said, "Ukraine has always said it is ready for negotiations and looking for any way to stop this war."

The last face-to-face negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow occurred on March 29.


Austrian Chancellor visits Kyiv

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer visited Kyiv in a gesture of solidarity. He is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.

Nehammer is also scheduled to visit Bucha, where numerous Ukrainian civilians were found dead on the streets when Russia withdrew its forces following a five-week occupation.

Austria has provided 10,000 helmets and 9,000 vests to Ukraine for civilian use. The Central European nation is not a member of NATO.

Scholz accuses Russia of war crimes

Speaking at a rally ahead of state elections in Schleswig-Holstein, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russian leader Vladimir Putin of "war crimes."

At a rally, Scholz said, "These are war crimes," as he called on those responsible for massacres in Bucha to be held responsible.

Scholz also said Germany will continue to provide Ukraine with weapons.

Defense Minister, Christine Lambrecht had said earlier on Saturday Germany was at its limit in terms of what weapons it could supply in to Ukraine for national security reasons. Future aid may have to be handled through industry, Lambrecht said.

In Lübeck, Scholz said, "It is right that we provide them with defensive weapons. We have done it and we will continue to do so." 


EU chief says Russian forces appeared to have committed war crimes

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russian forces appeared to have committed war crimes in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where civilians were discovered bound and left dead on the streets following Russia's withdrawal.

As she boarded the train to Poland, von der Leyen told reporters, "My instinct says: If this is not a war crime, what is a war crime, but I am a medical doctor by training and lawyers have to investigate carefully."

"It is extremely important that it is well documented, to prevent defeats in court because the evidence is not good enough," she added.

On Friday, a forensics team began exhuming a mass grave where local officials say civilians were killed during Russia's weekslong occupation. Von der Leyen said the EU was working with Ukraine to gather evidence in the event that there could be future prosecutions. 


Italy to reopen Kyiv embassy after Easter

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Rome will reopen its embassy in Kyiv immediately after Easter.

Di Maio noted, "We were the last to leave Kyiv and we will be among the first to go back."

He added, "At the same time we must intensify diplomatic pressure to bring Putin to the negotiating table and reach a cease-fire."

S&P downgrades Russia's foreign currency payments to 'selective default'

Following Moscow's decision to pay a dollar-denominated debt in rubles this week, the credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings downgraded Russia's foreign currency payments to "selective default."

S&P does not believe investors will be able to convert ruble payments to dollars or the equivalent amounts originally due or Russia will be able to convert the payments within the 30-day grace period.

The rating agency said in a statement that Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine will increasingly hamper Russia's "willingness and technical abilities" to honor its debts to foreign creditors.

Russia was able to meet many interest payments through March after the US Treasury permitted foreign currency Russia held abroad to be used to pay the country's external debts. However, on Monday, the US reversed course and permitted Russia to repay debt only with dollars held in US banks, with JPMorgan refusing to allow payment.

On Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Finance said a payment of nearly $650 million due on April 4 was made in rubles.

In accordance with EU sanctions, fellow credit rating agencies Fitch and Moodys have stopped ranking Russian government or business debt. S&P was due to cease its rankings as of April 15 but said Saturday it would do so immediately.

Poland hosts refugee donor conference

Warsaw will host a donor conference for the 11 million displaced Ukrainians, both internally and as refugees, at 3 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

The conference was organized by the NGO Global Citizen, the European Commission, and the Canadian government. The money will largely fund UN programs and a local aid group.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are set to appear. Von der Leyen visited Kyiv and Bucha, the site of civilian massacres by Russian troops on the streets, Friday. Canadian President Justin Trudeau will join by video. 


Abramovich yacht changed hands day of Ukraine invasion: report

The Guardian reported that a 50-meter yacht called Aquamarine belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich saw its ownership transferred on the day Russia invaded Ukraine, February 24, to his close associate, Russian businessman David Davidovich. The Aquamarine is the fifth yacht to be linked to Roman Abramovich.

The EU and the UK placed Abramovich under sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine for his relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Following the wave of sanctions against him, two of Abramovich's megayachts, worth over $1 billion (€920 million), scrambled to the port of Bodrum in Turkey while two other minor yachts remain docked in the Caribbean.

Davidovich told The Guardian that he owned the Aquamarine and the Jersey-registered company MHC Jersey Ltd, which formally owns the Aquamarine, according to maritime database MarineTraffic. He also said he was unaware of the ship being subject to any sanctions.


Another British Islands-registered company, Norma Investments, which is the only shareholder of MHC Jersey Ltd, was also previously controlled by Abramovich, but ownership was transferred to Davidovich, as well, on February 24, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. Abramovich has been linked to Norma Investments in public filings.

Currently, Aquamarine is in the Dutch port of Vlissingen at a dry dock belonging to the company Damen Shiprepair, a Dutch company specializing in the construction and repair of luxury yachts, where it is being retrofitted. An anonymous source at the shipyard told The Guardian that it was understood Aquamarine belonged to Abramovich.

Aquamarine was also built by the Dutch firm Heesen and delivered only last year. The luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report placed Aquamarine's value at $40.3 million.


More than 1,000 seafarers stranded in Ukrainian waters

Around 1,000 seafarers are stranded on merchant ships in Ukrainian waters, United Nations agencies have said. 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) cautioned that the situation was "becoming increasingly untenable," underlining the risks posed by the war and shortages of food, fuel, fresh water and other essentials.

According to a joint statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the UN Refugee Agency have been called on to help with the restocking of the ships.

The statement stressed that ships at the beleaguered port of Mariupol are particularly at risk. 

The IMO and ILO said that work is underway to establish a safe maritime corridor in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

"However, at present, the establishment of such a corridor is severely hampered by the ongoing security risks, which constrain the option for ships to depart from ports in Ukraine," the agencies added. 

As of March 30, there were 86 reported merchant ships stranded in Ukrainian ports and waters, the agencies said.

Ukraine says 10 humanitarian corridors agreed for Saturday

A total of 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from Ukraine's besieged regions have been agreed for Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

The corridors include one for people evacuating by private vehicles from the port city of Mariupol, Vereshchuk added.

Those in the cities of Enerhodar, Tokmak, Berdyansk and Melitopol will be able to evacuate to Zaporizhzhia, while the residents of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna, Girske and Rubizhne can evacuate to the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.


UK intelligence: Russian air activity expected to increase in Ukraine's south, east

British military intelligence said in a statement that Russian forces are continuing to hit non-combatants in Ukraine, such as those killed in Friday's rocket attack on the Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine.

The statement said that Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbas region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv. 

The operations are supported by continued cruise missile launches into Ukraine by Russian naval forces, the defense intelligence said.

"Russian air activity is expected to increase in the south and east of Ukraine in support of this activity," the statement added. 

The UK defense intelligence said that Russia's attempts to establish a land corridor between Crimea and the Donbas "continue to be thwarted" by Ukraine. 





FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


GusNOTE: THE Bucha MASSACRE WAS EITHER STAGED OR performed BY the UKRAINIAN FORCES —  not by the Russian troops. The timelines and the stories peddled by the Ukrainians do not match and cannot stand up to scrutiny.

a map from le monde…...




GUSNOTE:  Mariupol has a small part still defended by the Ukrainian Azov Nazi battalion who use civilians as shields. Ukraine government has tried to resue the Nazi commanders. Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down by the Donbass military. The Ukrainian chopper crew were grateful to be rescue and looked after by the Russians and their doctors. On the night of the 8th of April:


Russian forces and Donetsk People's Militia units encircled the Azov Sea coast city of Mariupol in early March, trapping thousands of Ukrainian troops, neo-Nazi Azov Regiment fighters and foreign mercenaries in the strategic port hub. In recent days, Ukrainian forces have made several attempts to evacuate commanders from the city's ruins.

The Apache, a dry cargo ship sailing under the Maltese flag, abruptly changed course while en route through the Azov Sea and attempted to break through the naval blockade of Mariupol enforced by ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and border patrol, Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman Igor Konashenkov has announced.


"On the evening of 8 April, the regime in Kiev made a new unsuccessful attempt to evacuate the neo-Nazi fighters' leaders [trapped in Mariupol] by sea. In the evening darkness the Ukrainian dry cargo vessel Apache, assigned to the Maltese port of Valletta and flying the Maltese flag, followed a caravan of ships from Taganrog Bay to the Kerch Strait," Konashenkov said in a briefing Saturday.


"At 10:38 pm, 30 km southeast of Mariupol, the vessel abruptly changed course and attempted to break through to the Mariupol port, blocked from the sea by forces of the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet," the officer said.



The vessel ignored demands by Russian patrol vessels to communicate via an international channel, and warning fire failing to alter its course, according to Konashenkov. Instead, the ship's radio transmitted the message "This is 'Maniac', I am coming for you," and signal fires were observed from Ukrainian-controlled areas of the shore.


In order to block the further movement of the intruding vessel, a ship of the Black Sea Fleet and Russian border patrol boats opened fire on the Apache. A blaze broke out aboard the vessel after a direct hit to the stern. The ship began to drift, and its crew initiated communications with Russian vessels asking them to hold fire and promising to carry out their orders.


The Apache's crew was not injured, and managed to extinguish the fire independently. After inspection, the ship was escorted to the port of Yeysk in Russia's Krasnodar region.





FREE JULIAN ASSANGE TODAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dying for Washington...


Washington Will Fight Russia To The Last Ukrainian

Kiev faces a choice: make peace for its people or war for its supposed friends?


Russia’s war against Ukraine rages on. The U.S. and Europe continue to support Kiev. But not, it seems, to make peace. Rather, the allies are prepared to back the Zelensky government as long as it fights Moscow to the last Ukrainian—which has always been the West’s approach to Kiev.

Ukraine has become a cause célèbre in the West. People who normally pay little attention to international affairs have gone all-in for Ukrainians. Indeed, frenzied backers have borrowed the practice of self-criticism from China’s Cultural Revolution and demanded that Russian athletes, singers, conductors, and others make public confessions, abasing themselves and denouncing Putin, or lose their jobs.


Allied governments have offered abundant weapons to Kiev and imposed excruciating sanctions on Moscow, all of which serves to keep Ukraine in the war. America and the Europeans have made clear that they do not intend to take part in combat. Equip Ukrainians to fight, sure. Help Ukrainians fight, forget it.

Most disturbing is the apparent failure of the allies to support what the Ukrainian people need most, peace. Writer Ted Snider observed that “Next to starting a war, the most reprehensible act would be keeping one going when more people will die with little hope the outcome will improve,” yet evidence suggests “the U.S. is inhibiting a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.”

Obviously, a clean repulse of Russia would be the best outcome for Ukraine. However, that is impossible. Moscow holds substantial territory in the east and appears determined to finally concentrate its efforts to make further gains. Moreover, Russia possesses a firepower advantage it has yet to fully deploy. An increasingly desperate Russian government and military could abandon any inhibition in their use of force.

In any case, the longer the war goes on, the greater the number of deaths and amount of destruction. The fight between Russians and Ukrainians is not occurring in a modern coliseum, confined to the combatants. Moscow is besieging and bombing cities. As evidenced by the town of Bucha, atrocities have been committed. The tragedies will likely worsen the longer the conflict continues.

Although life is returning to Kiev, no longer threatened by nearby Russian troops, normalcy remains far away. Moscow could change course again. Millions of refugees, along with many people displaced internally, will hesitate to return home so long as bomb, missile, and drone attacks are possible. The World Bank estimates that Ukraine’s GDP in this year alone could be cut almost in half. The costs will multiply if combat continues.

Obviously, it is up to Ukrainians to decide under what circumstance they will cease fighting. However, the U.S. and European governments should offer at least as much support for peace as war. The allies have long put Western domination in Ukraine above peace with Russia, even when the opportunity for peace presented itself after the 2014 hostilities. Snider observed that “Having failed to support Zelensky on a diplomatic solution with Russia, Washington then failed to pressure him to return to the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.”

Today Washington officials appear to be discouraging Ukrainian leaders from considering compromises for peace, preferring pious talk about broader principles that Ukrainians should die for. For instance, State Department spokesman Ned Price reluctantly acknowledged that Kiev had the sovereign right to decide its own foreign policy, but appeared to discourage the Zelensky government from yielding the right to join NATO, which no one in the alliance intends to allow it to exercise, all in the name of principle.

Said Price:

this is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine, however—however important and however monumental the stakes are in this, in President Putin’s war against Ukraine. The key point is that there are principles that are at stake here that have universal applicability everywhere, whether in Europe, whether in the Indo-Pacific, anywhere in between. And those are the core principles that President Putin has sought to violate and flout and that our Ukrainian partners, backed by the international community, have sought to defend—the principle that each and every country has a sovereign right to determine its own foreign policy, has a sovereign right to determine for itself with whom it will choose to associate in terms of its alliances, its partnerships, and what orientation it wishes to direct its gaze. In this case, Ukraine has chosen a democratic path, a path—a Western-looking path, and that is something that, clearly, President Putin was not willing to countenance.

Also critical is Western silence on the standards for removing sanctions. Some analysts appear ready to keep sanctions even after the fighting stops, especially if outsize war aims have not been met. Putin’s ouster is one possible objective. War-crimes trials for Putin and other officials is another. Making Russia pay reparations is a third; some analysts have suggested simply transferring seized and frozen assets to Ukraine.

Yet such strategies, while superficially attractive in principle, are dubious in practice. There is no guarantee that Putin’s replacement would be an improvement. Putin and those around him are hard men, but no evidence has yet emerged that they ordered what look like atrocities— terrible, but the sort of crimes also committed by the allies’ armed forces (remember My Lai in Vietnam?). And lawlessly distributing frozen assets, which Washington also is doing in Afghanistan, contributes to civilian malnutrition and hardship and will drive other nations to move their resources outside of Western control.

Worse, all these steps would encourage Moscow to keep fighting. Rather like demands for unconditional surrender, these threats discourage peace, especially if Moscow believes it still has a reasonable chance of victory, even if that requires employing greater, more-destructive firepower. Ukrainians no doubt desire victory, but they should remember that the allies will not give it to them. Rather, the West will ensure that Ukrainians can fight forever to achieve it. Which still might mean never.

At least the Biden administration can’t yet bring itself to demand that Ukrainians keep fighting if peace becomes possible. Some U.S. analysts don’t feel so inhibited. “Ukraine must win,” declared the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum. Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges announced: “The administration and NATO need to talk about winning, about helping Ukraine win, not just about avoiding losing, or preventing Russia from winning.”

Most revealing, perhaps, was a declaration by the Economist that a Ukrainian victory would be a “prize for the West.” Indeed, not just the West, but “the whole world”would gain. So why make peace easy, wondered foreign policy official and journalist David Rothkopf? He tweeted: “To those who have called for an ‘off-ramp’ for Putin, I have just one question. Don’t you feel ashamed of yourselves?” The war risks becoming about everything and everyone except the Ukrainian people.

It is Ukraine that is being ravaged by war. It is Ukrainians that most need to halt the ongoing conflict. Moreover, they most need a permanent, stable settlement. That is best achieved with an agreement that addresses the causes of the conflict, particularly Russian security concerns. The West wantonly and recklessly ignored both Russian interests and consequent threats, leaving Ukrainians to pay the price. Staging a repeat while reestablishing peace would be foolish.

Indeed, past efforts to crush opponents economically and impose punitive settlements have not ended well. Neither would the U.S. and Europe treating Russia as a giant North Korea, only with many more nuclear weapons, and access to much of Asia, Africa, and South America, especially since the U.S. and Europe would be no more likely to defend Ukraine in the future than they are now.

Should Ukrainians take a chance on the roll of the dice, and like Dirty Harry, confront Russia and tell it to ask: “Do I feel lucky?” Only the Ukrainians can answer that question.

The government of Russia bears full responsibility for invading Ukraine. However, U.S. and European governments share blame for causing the conflict. Filled with arrogance and self-righteousness, they were determined to treat Moscow of no account. For that, the world is now paying a high price.

The allies should not make a similar mistake at the end of this war. Let them moralize about their inherent goodness and the Kremlin gang’s perfidy. Let them fantasize about Vladimir Putin in the dock at Old Bailey in London or, better yet, before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Let them rhapsodize about the good they intend to do for the world by extinguishing Russian autocracy. And then let them join with Ukraine, seeking to end this terrible war and create a peace settlement likely to last—which is what the people of Ukraine, Russia, and Europe all desperately require.



Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.







I hoped people would have understood the satirical reversed psychological nature of the heading at top.... It seems not... The cartoon should give it away nonetheless....


GusNote: the US game is to destroy Russia and China no matter who dies...