"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence, clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary" -- H.L. Mencken

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Russian troops are firmly in control of the battlefield situation and are steadily pushing back Ukrainian forces, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said.

Speaking at the meeting with top Russian commanders on Monday, the minister announced that Moscow had liberated the villages of Pervomayskoe and Novomikhailovka, west and southwest of the Russian city of Donetsk, as well as the settlement of Bogdanovka not far from Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut. The latter strategic city was captured by Russia last year after months of bitter fighting.

He added that the control zone was also being expanded in Berdychi and Georgievka, north and west of Donetsk.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The UK has revealed plans to provide the largest package of British military assistance to Ukraine. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will officially unveil the new aid plan when he travels to Warsaw on Tuesday for talks with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk.

The package is valued at £500 million ($617 million) and will include more than 400 vehicles, 60 boats, and an undisclosed number of long-range Storm Shadow missiles, Sunak’s office said in a statement, calling it the “largest-ever provision of vital munitions.” The announcement comes as the US is expected to approve a $61 billion military and aid package for Kiev.

“Defending Ukraine against Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital for our security and for all of Europe,” Sunak claimed. “If Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border.”

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Japan’s coastguard has extended an initiative designed to help other nations’ counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea to two Pacific island countries: the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

The Mobile Cooperation Team (MCT) initiative was first set up in 2017 as part of Tokyo’s efforts to train and equip the coastguards of Southeast Asian nations that felt threatened by China’s presence in the disputed waterway.

With Beijing actively looking to expand its sphere of influence further into the Pacific, Japan has now enlarged the project and two MCT units were dispatched on one-week missions to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia in January, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, JAPAN, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Columbia University officials have ordered classes to be held virtually as they seek to de-escalate tensions on the New York City campus during pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

“To deescalate the rancor and give us all a chance to consider next steps, I am announcing that all classes will be held virtually on Monday,” Columbia President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik said in a note addressed to the school community.

She said faculty and staff should work remotely when possible and students who do not live on campus should stay away.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION
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German defense company Rheinmetall has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lithuania to initiate the construction of an ammunition manufacturing facility.

The project, revealed in January, will establish a factory for NATO-standard 155-millimeter artillery shells for the Lithuanian armed forces, their German counterparts, and other EU partners.

Documents approved during the event specified the intentions and obligations to greenlight the infrastructure project in the country, setting out the implementation procedures to begin.

Tags: GERMANY, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The incumbent prime minister of Solomon Islands was set to fall short of an outright election majority Monday, forcing the pro-Beijing Pacific leader to woo an unwieldy mix of potential coalition partners.

Manasseh Sogavare's Our Party has won 12 seats with six contests still in play, according to provisional results reported by the public broadcaster — well short of a majority in the 50-seat parliament.

Coalition negotiations will be closely watched from afar, with major consequences for Beijing's push into the South Pacific.

Sogavare signed a security pact with Beijing in 2022, and has overseen the rapid expansion of Chinese interests across the archipelago.

Tags: PACIFICA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Anti-Israel protestors armed with flares and Palestinian flags marched towards the headquarters of the NYPD on Monday night only hours after officers wearing riot gear stormed an NYU protest 'Gaza Solidarity' encampment protest in Greenwich Village.

More than 150 students, staff and faculty members were reportedly arrested by police after ignoring warnings to vacate the campus plaza where the protest was being held.

But those who finally left had other ideas with the mob reconvening in another march - this time through New York's Chinatown and One Police Plaza the HQ of the NYPD. 

The streets were lit up in bright orange while holding flares in the air as marchers waved flags and carried anti-Israel signs and banging drums and blowing whistles as they walked downtown.

Those carrying flares could be heard chanting 'Gaza' - while also being careful to wear face masks so as to conceal their true identity. 

Webmaster addition: This has a feel of the J6 fedsurrectioin about it. Might this be a propaganda stunt to try to build sympathy for Israel?

Tags: EDUCATION, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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By Web Desk
April 23, 2024
 
 
 
(From left to right) PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan, chairman Gohar Ali Khan, secretary general Omar Ayub Khan, and SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza address a press conference in Islamabad on April 22, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Facebook/@PTIOfficial
(From left to right) PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan, chairman Gohar Ali Khan, secretary general Omar Ayub Khan, and SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza address a press conference in Islamabad on April 22, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Facebook/@PTIOfficial
 
Imran-founded party announces utilising entire political force in forthcoming protests, power shows commencing from Faisalabad

Terming the entire exercise of Sunday’s by-elections on 21 national and provincial seats “fraudulent”, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced organising a nationwide protest against “by-poll rigging” on Friday (April 26).

PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, addressing a press conference alongside other leaders including Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, termed the by-elections “fraudulent” — a major electoral event after the February 8 nationwide polls.

He also alleged the suspension of internet and mobile services was one of the tactics for “rigging” the electoral process. Khan also claimed that a PML-N candidate secured more votes than Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the by-elections which was a pure example of poll result “manipulation”.

The politico urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to notify results in those constituencies where rigging complaints had been lodged besides demanding the top electoral body launch a thorough probe.

Claire's Observations;  It will be interesting to see how these protests evolve, and I am hoping not with violence.   As reported on 1 April, 2024, by Reuters, Islamabad:

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistan-court-grants-imran-khan-appeal-graft-conviction-sentence-suspended-2024-04-01/

He remains in jail on other charges, but it looks as though the graft charges may be dropped.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, PAKISTAN/ INDIA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Forced to continue fighting, the Kiev regime is desperately trying to supply its troops on the front lines with new recruits. Having already exhausted its reserves, the Ukrainian government is now betting on recruiting children in schools as an efficient way of replacing its casualties on the battlefield. From a realistic point of view, however, such a measure tends to further increase the regime’s unpopularity.

A bill is being discussed in the Ukrainian Parliament to establish basic military training in the country’s schools. Ukrainian high school students would be required to undergo military training classes in schools, in which they would learn basic combat lessons, weapons handling, as well as receiving a “patriotic education” – which in Ukraine, as well known, basically means neo-Nazi, anti-Russian brainwashing.

According to the Parliamentary Committee on Youth and Sports, this type of measure would “contribute to the improvement of initial military training and military-patriotic education of Ukrainian youth.” The proposal appears to have broad support from both the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Both institutions are expected to jointly develop the military curriculum that will be added to ordinary activities in Ukrainian schools.

Webmaster addition: Towards the end of WW2, the Nazis started mobilizing children. It was seen, correctly, as a sign of impending defeat.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The Biden administration is breathing a sigh of relief that it has so far avoided a wider regional war between Israel and Iran. But that self-congratulation should be tempered with realization that it was a close call and that the incentives for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his hawkish governing coalition to provoke one are still present.

The Biden administration’s rhetorical outrage at Iran’s forewarned and well-choreographed symbolic missile and drone attacks on Israeli territory conflicts was absurd, as was its crowing that Israel, with U.S. and allied help, had already “won” by knocking down almost all the sequenced projectiles. American policy has long been so “in the bag” for its Israeli ally, no matter what its behavior, that such silly kabuki has been normalized.

Despite the U.S. declaration of victory, designed to dissuade Israel from a strong escalatory response to the Iranian strike, the Israeli leader came close to ordering a much larger “retaliatory” strike than the limited one the Israelis executed, according to the New York Times.

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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How to interfere, once again, in British politics and further curtail fundamental civil liberties on behalf of a foreign power, Israel – all egged on by the political and media establishment – in seven easy steps:

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, DICTATORSHIP, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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By NINIEK KARMINI and FADLAN SYAM

 

 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s top court on Monday rejected appeals lodged by two losing presidential candidates who are demanding a revote, alleging widespread irregularities and fraud at the February polls.

The 5-to-3 majority decision by the eight-judge panel of the Constitutional Court rejected the arguments, saying the legal teams of the losing candidates had failed to prove allegations that Prabowo Subianto’s victory was the result of widespread fraud.

The Court “rejects the petitioner’s appeal entirely,” Constitutional Court Chief Justice Suhartoyo said Monday, after a panel of eight judges took a marathon six hours to publicly read its reasoning in turn on both separate appeals. The verdict cannot be appealed.

The General Elections Commission, known as KPU, had certified a landslide victory for president-elect Subianto, but his rivals, former Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan and former Central Java Gov. Ganjar Pranowo alleged that the victory had depended on large-scale fraud and widespread state interference.

They also alleged nepotism, challenging the candidacy of outgoing President Joko Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, as Subianto’s running mate.

Tags: ASIA, CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Right-wing Israeli groups are planning to slaughter red heifers at Al Aqsa Mosque in the hope of fulfilling a Jewish prophecy. Some believe it's where the first and second ancient Jewish temples once stood. According to Jewish tradition, the ashes of a perfectly red heifer cow are needed for the ritual purification that would allow a Third Temple to be built in Jerusalem's Old City known as the Temple Mount. There are fears this could strengthen calls for the demolition of Al Aqsa Mosque and escalate tensions in the region.

Tags: ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, RELIGION/ATHEISM
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BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink's efforts to push 'wokesim' or environmental, social, and governance policies across corporate America have been in reverse in recent years amid the backlash from Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill and 19 state attorneys general in conservative states, including Arizona and Texas, who have been fed up with ESG-related policies hurting the economy. 

Supposedly, the backlash by anti-woke activists has forced BlackRock to triple Fink's home security spending. Financial Times says the CEO has become "a target for anti-woke activists and conspiracy theorists." 

According to FT's numbers, the $10.5 trillion money manager spent $563,513 to "upgrade the home security systems" at Fink's residences during 2023, on top of $216,837 for bodyguards. 

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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As the IMF’s Gita Gopinath highlights the repercussions of high U.S. deficits on global economic dynamics, concerns arise over the sustainability of economic growth amid rising deficits and the need for comprehensive fiscal reforms.

Tags: ECONOMY
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More than 3,000 German military personnel are taking part in the Grand Quadriga 2024 drills that kicked off in Lithuania on Tuesday. The maneuvers are part of the larger, months-long Steadfast Defender 24 series of NATO exercises that began in late January.

Lithuania shares a border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, as well as Moscow’s closest ally, Belarus. In a separate development earlier this month, Berlin deployed an advanced military team to the Baltic country as part of plans for a full-strength armor brigade permanently stationed there. Moscow has described the plans as a threat requiring “special measures” in response.

The Grand Quadriga 2024 exercise is scheduled to wrap up in late May, and will involve 200 pieces of German military hardware, including Leopard tanks as well as Puma and Boxer infantry fighting vehicles.

Tags: GERMANY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The paramilitary wing of the Lebanese political party Hezbollah on April 21 used a surface to air missile to destroy an Israeli Hermes 450 drone over Southern Lebanon, marking the latest development in over six months of escalating hostilities between the two opposing forces. "Islamic resistance fighters shot down an enemy drone over the Al Aishiyeh area in southern Lebanon at 10:50 p.m. [19:50 GMT] on Sunday," a statement from Hezbollah claimed, with this later confirmed by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The IDF subsequently claimed that it had launched air strikes to neutralise the Hezbollah air defence sites responsible, and subsequently pledged that it would continue to operate aircraft in Lebanese airspace to safeguard Israeli interests. The shootdown of the Israeli aircraft follows prior successes by Hezbollah’s air defences on April 6, when another Israeli Hermes 450 and a Hermes 900 were shot down. The Hermes 450 has been evaluated highly positively in Western assessments, particularly compared to its European and American equivalents fulfilling comparable roles, while the larger Hermes 900, with an estimated cost of $30 million, is among the most high value unmanned aircraft in the Israeli inventory. 

Tags: ISRAEL, LEBANON, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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President Biden Smears Pro-Palestinian Protesters as ‘Antisemitic’

by Dave DeCamp 

On Monday, President Biden smeared protesters at college campuses around the country opposed to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza as “antisemitic.”

“I condemn the antisemitic protests. That’s why I’ve set up a program to deal with that,” Biden told reporters. “I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”

Biden’s comments came as the media is focused on Columbia University in New York City, where students have set up a camp named the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.” Some of the students involved in the protest were arrested last week and suspended by the university, prompting a walkout by faculty members to show support for the students.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also smeared protesters as “antisemitic,” saying, “I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.”

The demand of the protesters is for Columbia University to divest from companies profiting from the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians and the occupation of the West Bank. Al Jazeera reported that the protest is being organized by the student-led coalition Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace. According to the CUAD’s website, the coalition includes 116 organizations.

The situation at Columbia has led some members of Congress to call for the National Guard to break up the protests, including Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

Critics of the protests have accused the demonstrators of harassing Jewish students, which has been a common claim about recent college protests in general. Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of Jewish Currents, made the point on X that Jews are usually “overrepresented” among pro-Palestinian protesters at colleges. “Sometimes they’re the largest identity group. Maybe folks calling for cracking down on protesters in the name of Jewish safety should consider their safety too,” he said.

Claire's Observations:  Criticizing Israel's genocidal policy is NOT anti-Semitic; it is not critical of the Jewish faith, but what it's leadership right now, appears to be hell-bent on doing; organising a complete destruction of as many Palestinians as is humanly possible, by the IDF. 

THIS is genocide, pure and simple, no matter the weasel-wording the Israeli government gives as its "excuse" for so doing.  When alleged "self defense" becomes conflated with massive assassinations of unarmed non-military personnel (like the women and children, who are the primary victims here), this is no longer self-defence, but extrajudicial assassinations; no judge; no jury; just the executioner's bullet or bomb. 

 And THIS from the country which has declared itself "the only Democracy in the Middle East"?!?  What about democracy and a legitimate, peaceful  voice for the Palestinian people?!?  Apparently, according to Netanyahu and his minions,  that CANNOT exist, and the only response possible... is mass murder.

There is something so fundamentally morally , reprehensibly wrong and rotten with this, that I do not know where to start. I want to see Israel flourish and grow economically, and I want to see a viable Palestinian state established, and for that to flourish and grow. But these two factions are desperately in need of some "Adults in the Room" on both sides, and a willingness to "cage" a century-old rage at the expulsion of Palestinians after the Balfour Declaration.

This CAN be done, with some moral courage and grit, but cannot happen, until the current Israeli regime has changed, and the Palestinians find their voice through a responsible, intelligent leader who wants peace and a legitimate place on this earth.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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When the House voted to pass Biden's long sought after foreign aid package Saturday, which will deliver over $60 billion to Ukraine, included in this was passage of the REPO Act, which paves the way for the Biden administration confiscate billions in Russian sovereign assets which sit in US banks.

The US administration has been pursuing a controversial plan to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine for reconstruction, and has been aggressively lobbying G7 countries to jump on board, also given most of the $300 billion in Russian assets are held in Europe - particularly France, Germany, and Belgium.

A summary of the REPO Act - H.R.4175 - on the Congressional website, reads: "This bill requires or authorizes various actions related to the confiscation and disposition of Russian sovereign assets (which include funds and other property of Russia's central bank, direct investment fund, or ministry of finance)."

Webmaster addition: 

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Day one of former President Donald Trump’s so-called “hush-money” trial concluded early on Monday after Judge Juan Merchan said that an alternate juror can visit a dentist appointment (despite previously telling Trump he would have attend every day without fail - missing his son's graduation - or face jail).

Judge Merchan had previously planned to adjourn the trial at 2 p.m. ET due to the Passover holiday. But he said Monday that it would adjourn at 12:30 p.m.

He previously said he would end at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for the holiday.

Jack Phillips reports, via The Epoch Times, that the early adjournment came after prosecutors and defense lawyers make their respective cases for why the former president should be convicted or acquitted. In the case, President Trump is accused of falsifying business payments during the 2016 campaign by allegedly paying a former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to bury negative stories.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Do not forget that ‘there are no NATO troops on Ukrainian battlefields’. While thousands of ‘volunteers’, ‘humanitarian workers’, ‘military advisers’ etc, are dying on Ukrainian frontlines, NATO member states are trying to hide the losses. While the Alliance ‘does not intend to engage in the direct war against Russia,’ some of its members are sending more and more ‘military advisers’ to Kiev.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that, following the United States, several NATO members decided to increase the number of military advisers in Ukraine, while ‘the Alliance has no plans to deploy its troops in the war-torn country’. According to Stoltenberg, the advisers will coordinate the actions of the Ukrainian army with advises, but they will not participate in the fighting.

‘There are no plans for a NATO presence in a combat role, but of course some NATO allies there have men and women in uniform in embassies who give advice and so on,’ — the Secretary General said, but did not go into details.

Tags: NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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The EU and NATO appear to be preparing for war, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday, referring to the posture of the two blocs on the Ukraine conflict.

Much of the meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers in Luxembourg was devoted to sending more ammunition and weapons to Ukraine, Szijjarto noted.

“Brussels is reacting to the increasingly deteriorating situation for Ukraine at the front by preparing for a world war,” he told Hungarian TV at a press conference afterward.

Tags: NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The US-led collective West could cause a potentially catastrophic war between global nuclear powers due to its openly hostile stance toward Russia and efforts to undermine existing arms control agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

Addressing the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference organized by the Centre for Energy and Security Studies, Lavrov noted that the globe is in a state of crisis with regard to mechanisms for arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation and that this jeopardizes international security. He placed the blame for this on Washington, which, according to the diplomat, has been “cynically combining the deliberate destruction of balanced and equal [arms control] agreements” with “blatantly dishonest schemes” that are advantageous solely to the US.

Tags: NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Ukrainian troops are trying to flee the settlement of Ocheretino in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in small groups along the road shelled by Russian artillery, adviser to the DPR head Igor Kimakovsky told TASS on Monday.

"One of the most numerous brigades of Ukrainian armed formations has been finally routed in the community of Ocheretino. The remaining forces are trying to leave the settlement. There are also few routes left for them. There is one more or less suitable road but it is also being shelled," the adviser said.

"The Ukrainian troops are attempting to leave Ocheretino in small groups," he added.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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