«Це ще один аргумент на користь того, що Європа вже зараз має переходити до життя без російського газу»
«Учора на засіданні ставки обговорювалося питання Білорусі»
Емманюель Макрон заявив про це після зустрічі з президентом України Володимиром Зеленським у Києві
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Russia is causing casualties and suffering among civilians in its war against Ukraine by using antipersonnel landmines that have been banned internationally.
In a report published on June 16, HRW says that while both Russia and Ukraine have used anti-vehicle mines, Russia is the only party to the conflict that is documented to have used banned antipersonnel mines that are injuring civilians as well as disrupting food production.
The report, titled Landmine Use in Ukraine, describes seven types of antipersonnel mines documented to have been used by Russian forces in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
The 19-page report says Ukraine appears to be respecting its obligations as a signatory of the international treaty prohibiting antipersonnel mines that Kyiv ratified in 2005.
“Russia’s brazen use of antipersonnel mines in a country that has explicitly prohibited these weapons is unprecedented and deserves strong global condemnation,” said HRW’s Steve Goose.
“Antipersonnel landmines should never be used due to their inevitable and long-term threat to civilian life and livelihoods,” he said.
Russia, which has not responded to the HRW report, is not a party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty that has been ratified by 164 countries. Besides forbidding the use of such weapons, the treaty also requires the destruction of stock, clearance of mined areas, and assistance to victims.
The report says that Russia even used its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine to test in combat several types of landmines newly produced by state-owned manufacturers. One such mine, first produced in 2021, is particularly vicious, HRW said.
The POM-3 antipersonnel mine launches to a height of 1 to 1.5 meters when activated, before detonating midair and spreading shrapnel lethal up to about 16 meters away. Its seismic fuse makes it prone to detonate when approached. The mine has a timer that allows it to self-destruct after a certain period.
Because of the use of landmines by the Russian invaders, agricultural production in Ukraine has also been impacted, as the use of farm vehicles in fields and on rural paths and roads has become risky.
The report quotes statements by local residents in the Kharkiv region as saying that retreating Russian forces failed to clear the mines they had laid, mark the area, or warn locals to avoid the mine fields, prompting at least one incident in which a farm worker was wounded.
HRW said it has also documented the use by Russian forces in Ukraine of victim-activated booby-traps, which are prohibited by international treaties.
The report urges Moscow to immediately stop the use of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine. It also calls on Ukraine to ensure that its forces continue to respect their obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty.
“Developing and producing landmines that most countries have rejected is a morally reprehensible investment,” Goose said.
“Mines set to self-destruct at random intervals only increase the risk of civilian harm, especially for deminers tasked with safely destroying them.”
Britain announced a new round of sanctions Thursday against Russia, targeting the head of the Russian Orthodox Church for his prominent support for the war in Ukraine as well as Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, who Britain said is responsible for the forced transfer and adoption of hundreds of Ukrainian children into Russia.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has “repeatedly abused his position to justify the war” on Ukraine. Kirill is a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Truss also targeted children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, who has been accused of enabling the taking of 2,000 vulnerable children from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine and facilitating their forced adoptions in Russia.
Others on Thursday’s list include four colonels from a brigade known to have killed, raped and tortured civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
Truss also said Britain’s government is “taking all steps we can” regarding two British citizens sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.
She said officials are in regular talks with the Ukrainian government about Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner, who were sentenced last week alongside a Moroccan, Brahim Saadoun, for allegedly fighting as mercenaries by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
“These people are prisoners of war. They were fighting legitimately with the Ukrainian army,” Truss said. “What Russia has done is a complete violation of the Geneva Convention. We are taking all steps we can.”
Детально про результати зустрічі Андрій Єрмак не повідомив, але запевнив, що Україна має стійку підтримку міжнародної коаліції
Двоє американських бійців, що воювали на Харківщині, тиждень не виходять на зв’язок
Дунайська комісія – одна з найстаріших у світі міжнародних організацій, що займається питанням судноплавства на Дунаї
Вибух у Чорнобаївці, поблизу ринку, стався 15 червня
Протягом травня Росія могла незаконно вивезти з тимчасово окупованих територій України понад 180 тисяч тонн українського зерна
Україна внесла пропозицію на асоційоване членство в Міжнародному енергетичному агентстві
The truck driver had the radio on, his daughter’s stuffed toy keeping him company, and was bouncing his lumbering vehicle down one of the innumerable dirt tracks in Ukraine that are vital thoroughfares in the country’s vast agricultural heartlands.
Then the right rear wheel hit a Soviet-era TM-62 anti-tank mine. The explosion blew Vadym Schvydchenko and his daughter’s toy clean out of the cabin. The truck, and his livelihood, went up in flames.
Astoundingly, the 40-year-old escaped with just minor leg and head wounds. Others haven’t been so lucky. Russia’s war in Ukraine is spreading a deadly litter of mines, bombs and other explosives. They are killing civilians, disrupting planting, complicating the rebuilding of homes and villages, and will continue taking lives and limbs long after the fighting stops.
Often, blast victims are farmers and other rural workers with little choice but to use mined roads and plow mined fields, in a country relied on for grain and other crops that feed the world.
Schvydchenko said he’ll steer clear of dirt tracks for the foreseeable future, although they’re sometimes the only route to fields and rural settlements. Mushroom-picking in the woods has also lost its appeal to him.
“I’m afraid something like this can happen again,” he said.
Ukraine is now one of the most mined countries in Europe. The east of the country, fought over with Russia-backed separatists since 2014, was contaminated by mines even before the February 24 invasion multiplied the dangers there and elsewhere.
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said last week that 300,000 square kilometers — the size of Arizona or Italy — need to be cleared. The ongoing fighting will only expand the area.
The war’s deadly remnants will “continue to be a hidden threat for many years to come,” said Mairi Cunningham, who leads clearance efforts in Ukraine for The Halo Trust, a de=mining NGO that got $4 million in U.S. government funding in May for its work in the country.
There’s no complete government count of mine deaths since the invasion, but every week authorities have reported cases of civilians killed and wounded. Cunningham said her group has counted 52 civilian deaths and 65 injuries since February and “that’s likely underreported.” The majority were from anti-tank mines, in agricultural areas, she said.
On a mobile app called “Demining Ukraine” that officials launched last month, people can send photos, video and the geolocation of explosive objects they come across, for subsequent removal. The app got more than 2,000 tip-offs in its first week.
The track where Schvydchenko had his brush with death is still used, despite now being marked with bright red warning signs bearing a white skull and crossbones. It scythes through corn fields on the outskirts of Makariv — a once comely town west of Kyiv that bears the battle scars of Russia’s failed assault on the capital in the war’s early weeks.
Even with the Russian soldiers gone, danger lurks in the surrounding poppy meadows, fields and woodlands. Deminers found another explosive charge — undetonated — just meters away from Schvydchenko’s blown-up truck. On another track outside the nearby village of Andriivka, three people were killed in March by a mine that ripped open their minivan, spewing its cargo of food jars and tin cans now rusting in the dirt.
In a field close by, a tractor driver was wounded in May by an anti-tank mine that hurled the wreckage onto another mine, which also detonated. Halo Trust workers are now methodically scouring that site — where Russian troops dug foxholes — for any other devices.
Cunningham said the chaotic way the battle for Kyiv unfolded complicates the task of finding mines. Russian forces thrust toward the capital but were repelled by Ukrainian defenders.
“Often it was Russians held an area, put some anti-vehicle mines nearby — a few in and around their position — and then left,” she said. “It’s scattered.”
Mines are still being laid on the battlefields, now concentrated to the east and south where Russia has focused its offensive since its soldiers withdrew from around Kyiv and the north, badly bloodied.
A Ukrainian unit that buried TM-62 mines on a forest track in the eastern Donbas region this week, in holes scooped out with spades, told The Associated Press that the aim was to prevent Russian troops from advancing toward their trenches.
Russian booby-trapping has sometimes had no clear military rhyme or reason, Ukrainian officials say. In towns around Kyiv, explosive experts found devices in unpredictable places.
When Tetiana Kutsenko, 71, got back her home near Makariv that Russian troops had occupied, she found bloodstains and an apparent bullet hole on the bathroom floor and tripwires in her back yard.
The thin strands of copper wire had been rigged to explosive detonators.
“I’m afraid to go to the woods now,” she said. “Now, I’m looking down every time I take a step.”
Two U.S. veterans from Alabama who were in Ukraine assisting in the war against Russia haven’t been heard from in days and are missing, members of the state’s congressional delegation said Wednesday.
Relatives of Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, of Trinity and Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa have been in contact with both Senate and House offices seeking information about the men’s whereabouts, press aides said.
Rep. Robert Aderholt said Huynh had volunteered to fight with the Ukrainian army against Russia, but relatives haven’t heard from him since June 8, when he was in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine, which is near the Russian border. Huynh and Drueke were together, an aide to Aderholt said.
“As you can imagine, his loved ones are very concerned about him,” Aderholt said in a statement. “My office has placed inquires with both the United States Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation trying to get any information possible.”
Rep. Terri Sewell said Drueke’s mother reached out to her office earlier this week after she lost contact with her son.
The U.S. State Department said it was looking into reports that Russian or Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine had captured at least two American citizens. If confirmed, they would be the first Americans fighting for Ukraine known to have been captured since the war began Feb. 24.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with Ukrainian authorities,” the department said in a statement emailed to reporters. It declined further comment, citing privacy considerations.
John Kirby, a national security spokesman at the White House, said Wednesday that the administration wasn’t able to confirm the reports about missing Americans.
“We’ll do the best we can to monitor this and see what we can learn about it,” he said.
However, he reiterated his warnings against Americans going to Ukraine.
“Ukraine is not the place for Americans to be traveling,” he said. “If you feel passionate about supporting Ukraine, there’s any number of ways to do that that that are safer and just as effective.”
A court in Donetsk, under separatist control, sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan man to death last week.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the Americans “have enlisted in the Ukrainian army, and thus are afforded legal combatant protections. As such, we expect members of the Legion to be treated in accordance with the Geneva convention.” It was unclear whether Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, had any further information about the men.
He was commenting on a tweet sent earlier Wednesday by Task Force Baguette, a group of former U.S. and French servicemen, saying that two Americans fighting with them were captured a week ago. The group said Ukrainian intelligence confirmed the information.
Early in the war, Ukraine created the International Legion for foreign citizens who wanted to help defend against the Russian invasion.
«Ми не можемо їх порушувати, особливо тому, що ми отримуємо попередження про можливі так звані вторинні санкції проти нашої економіки з боку Заходу, якщо ми порушимо санкції»
Президент Франції заявив у Кишиневі, що хоче досягти консенсусу щодо надання Молдові, а також Грузії та Україні, статусу офіційних кандидатів
The United States imposed sanctions Wednesday on two backers of an “ethnically motivated violent extremist group” called the Russian Imperial Movement, or RIM, one of whom visited the United States to make connections with far-right and white nationalist groups.
The U.S. Treasury Department named the two as Stanislav Shevchuk, a Europe-based representative of RIM, who traveled to the United States in 2017 seeking connections with “extremist” groups, and Alexander Zhuchkovsky, a Russia-based supporter of RIM, who has used his Russia-based social media platform to fundraise and recruit for the group.
Since 2014, Zhuchkovsky has raised more than $3.4 million to purchase weapons and military equipment for RIM and other pro-Russian fighters in the Donbas region in Ukraine and facilitated the travel of RIM fighters to the region, the Treasury said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Zhuchkovsky has continued using his social media accounts and online payment methods to purchase military equipment and supplies for Russian fighters carrying out the invasion and fighting in the Donbas, it added.
“The Russian Imperial Movement has sought to raise and move funds using the international financial system with the intent of building a global network of violent groups that foster extremist views and subvert democratic processes,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
The Treasury said it also imposed sanctions on Swede Anton Thulin for his pursuit of terrorist training even after serving his prison sentence for his 2017 attacks in Sweden, which it said showed he continues to be a terrorism threat.
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