KYIV, Ukraine — Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last year, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck. In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups. The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II. That relationship has become especially delicate because President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has falsely declared Ukraine to be a Nazi state, a claim he has used to justify his illegal invasion. Ukraine has worked for years through legislation and military restructuring … [Read more...] about Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History
Russia says Ukraine is launching major attacks; Kyiv accuses Moscow of misinformation
By SUSIE BLANN (Associated Press) KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces were making a major effort to punch through Russian defensive lines in southeast Ukraine for a second day, a Moscow-installed official said Monday as Russia’s Defense Ministry declared that it had foiled an assault in an illegally annexed region of the invaded country. Kyiv authorities suggested the attack reports were a Russian misinformation ruse as the Ukrainian military prepares for a widely anticipated counteroffensive. Vladimir Rogov, an official in the Russia-backed administration of Ukraine’s partly occupied Zaporizhzhia province, said that fighting resumed on its border with the eastern Donetsk region on Monday after Russian defenses beat back a Ukrainian advance the previous day. “The enemy threw an even bigger force into the attack than yesterday (Sunday),” and the new attempt to break through the front line was “more large-scale and organized,” Rogov said, adding: “A battle is underway.” Rogov … [Read more...] about Russia says Ukraine is launching major attacks; Kyiv accuses Moscow of misinformation
Who’s Behind the Drone Attacks Inside Russia?
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photo: GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images Russia has been bombarding Ukraine from the air for more than 15 months, but recently, the tables have turned. In May, drones buzzed harmlessly near the Kremlin in what Vladimir Putin nonetheless called an assassination attempt. Later in the month, drones targeted residential areas in Moscow , in a remarkable demonstration of impunity. Meanwhile, pro-Ukrainian militants have launched several attacks into Russian territory in the Belgorod region, and Ukrainian shelling in the area has killed multiple people. Some Russians are now living in fear , the way many of their Ukrainian counterparts have been since February 2022. I spoke with Dr. Stephen Hall, an assistant professor in Russian and post-Soviet politics at Bath University, about who is probably behind the drone attacks and the psychological and practical effect that repeated incursions into Russian territory could have on the war. … [Read more...] about Who’s Behind the Drone Attacks Inside Russia?
Manafort Was Paid Millions To Represent Putin Interests
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked to advance Russian government interests for a billionaire as early as 2005, The Associated Press reports . Manafort was employed to the tune of $10 million a year by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time. Manafort proposed a variety of pro-Putin policies to Deripaska that would “greatly benefit the Putin Government,” according to strategy memos obtained by the AP. Deripaska was described as one of the most “faithful” businessmen in Russia to Putin as late as 2009. The memos continue that Manafort already had access to the “highest levels” of the Bush administration and could leverage these connections to push pro-Russian oligarch policies. He proposed mounting a lobbying campaign which would push pro-Russian policies within the U.S. government, which might allow oligarchs to retain former Soviet Union state assets in Ukraine. Manafort also proposed mounting offensive … [Read more...] about Manafort Was Paid Millions To Represent Putin Interests
Wagner Parades Captured Russian Colonel as Feud With Kremlin Boils Over
Spiraling tensions between Wagner Group and Moscow’s regular forces verged on outright conflict on Sunday night as the mercenaries released a video claiming to have captured a Russian officer. Dark footage purports to show Lieutenant Colonel Roman Venevitin, reportedly the commander of Russia’s 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade, being interrogated. With what appears to be an injured nose, the captured commander confesses to having attacked a Wagner vehicle during the bloody battle of Bakhmut in May. After identifying himself, Venevitin says in the video that he “opened fire” on the vehicle while “intoxicated from alcohol.” When asked why he’d done so, he answers: “Due to my personal animosity.” Pressed by his interrogator as to why he has animosity toward Wagner, Venevitin appears dejected and says: “I don’t know.” Venevitin also goes on to confess that he and a group of 10 to 12 of his Russian army subordinates had “disarmed” a Wagner rapid response group, again citing his … [Read more...] about Wagner Parades Captured Russian Colonel as Feud With Kremlin Boils Over
Hundreds of thousands march in Poland anti-government protests to show support for democracy
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in an anti-government protest in Poland’s capital on Sunday, with citizens traveling from across the country to voice their anger at officials who they say have eroded democratic norms and created fears that the nation is following Hungary and Turkey down the path to autocracy. Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who belongs to the opposition party that led the march, estimated that 500,000 people took part. The Onet news portal estimated there there were at least 300,000 at the march’s culmination. Large crowds also gathered in Krakow and other cities across the nation of 38 million people, showing frustration with a government that critics accuse of violating the constitution and eroding fundamental rights in Poland. Former President Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity movement that played a historic role in toppling communism in Poland, marched alongside the leader of the opposition Civic Platform party, ex-Prime Minister … [Read more...] about Hundreds of thousands march in Poland anti-government protests to show support for democracy