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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ June.01, 2022 @acebreakingnews
The Real Russia. Today. Biden’s NYT op-ed, assessing ‘Putin’s war,’ and the story of the woman on trial for ‘disinformation’ against Russia’s military: Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2022
In today’s newsletter:
- Latest news
- Don’t just call it ‘Putin’s war’
- 3,000+ Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine
- Meet the first person in Russia to be prosecuted for a new “disinformation” crime, as described by her girlfriend
Major recent events in Russia and Ukraine
- 🕊️ POTUS speaks: In an op-ed published in The New York Times, U.S. President Joe Biden writes, “We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow. So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces. We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”
- 🪖 Another major city nearly lost: Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, reported on Tuesday that Russian troops now occupy most of Sievierodonetsk. He added that roughly 90 percent of the city’s critical infrastructure is in ruins. At the moment, both the delivery humanitarian supplies and evacuation routes for civilians remain impossible, Haidai warned. Also on Tuesday, Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that “the cleansing of Sievierodonetsk” is complete. On many occasions during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kadyrov has prematurely reported the capture of cities.
- 🚨 Criminal sympathies: Ukrainian security forces arrested the head engineer of the Antonov State Enterprise aircraft manufacturing plant for the felony offense of justifying Russian aggression in posts on social media, including one message that read, “There’s no such country as Ukraine; there’s just Russia’s edge.” If convicted, the man would face up to five years in prison. On May 23, Ukrainian President Zelensky signed a law that also allows the state to seize the property of individuals and legal entities convicted of publicly justifying Russia’s invasion.
- 🚫 More demands for Google: Citing a ruling by a court in Saratov, Russia’s federal censor has demanded that Google remove the Tor Browser from the Google Play app store. The court also ordered a ban of Tor itself, arguing that “the software application allows access to prohibited content and facilitates the commission of criminal offenses.” In mid-May, the Russian state media reported that Google’s legal entity in Russia has filed for bankruptcy, following a series of large fines imposed by regulators for noncompliance with censorship demands. Google has promised to continue providing access to users in Russia, though the company has reportedly started disconnecting some ISPs in Russia from its Google Global Cache system.
- ⚖️ Navalny says added charges are coming: Speaking on social media through his representatives on Tuesday, Alexey Navalny reported that he’s being charged with felony extremism — an offense that could add another 15 years to his current 12.5-year prison sentence. Based on Navalny’s brief remarks, the added charges appear to be related to his advocacy for protests against his imprisonment in January 2021.
- 🧠 A conspiracy theory that says more about the theorist: Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in a speech in Kazan on Tuesday that Poland has begun to “seize western Ukrainian territories” as part of a plot by the West to “take advantage of the current situation for its own selfish interests.” As evidence to support this outlandish claim, Patrushev cited remarks by the Polish president during a recent visit to Kyiv about vanishing boundaries between Ukraine and Poland. Patrushev did not say if Moscow is participating in this “partition” of Ukraine, though Russia has annexed the Crimean Peninsula and occupied large regions of eastern Ukraine, including areas outside the Donbas, where two separatist “republics” claim independence.
- ⚖️ Another verdict against war criminals: After confessing to war crimes in artillery strikes against residences and a veterinary school in the Kharkiv region, two captured Russian soldiers, Alexander Bobykin and Alexander Ivanov, were each sentenced to 11.5 years in prison on Tuesday. Prosecutors asked for 12 years.
- 🏴☠️ Yo ho mateys: The head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, announced on Tuesday that his forces have seized several foreign ships docked at Mariupol’s port. The vessels, which reportedly come from at least six different countries, will form the basis of the DNR’s “merchant fleet.” Pushilin says he expects Mariupol’s port to be operating again at full capacity by late June, adding that it will be an important hub for receiving materials and equipment needed to rebuild cities across the region.
🧠 Political scientist Kirill Rogov on why Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t just ‘Putin’s war’ (8-min read)
It will take a lot of time and research to answer the question of what led to Russia’s monstrous war against Ukraine. After Moscow launched its full-scale invasion on February 24, the notion quickly spread around the world that this was “Putin’s war” and that he personally made the decision to invade. In this essay for Meduza’s “Ideas” section, political scientist Kirill Rogov breaks down why this reasoning is more of a convenient pretense than a real explanation of how Russia reached this point.
Using open sources, BBC Russia has identified 3,052 Russian soldiers and officers killed in Ukraine since Moscow began its full-scale invasion on February 24. Together with a team of volunteers, BBC Russia journalists tracked reports of military fatalities published by the heads of the Russian regions where the servicemen in question were born or lived, as well as reports published by local media outlets and educational institutions where the deceased studied. The BBC’s tally only includes those soldiers whose full names could be confirmed. And it does not include the reported deaths of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who are reportedly fighting in Ukraine.
⚖️ The girlfriend of Sasha Skochilenko, the first person in Russia to face felony charges for ‘spreading disinfo’ about the military,’ describes her case (14-min read)
Drawing by Sasha Skochilenko while in pretrial detention
The “Free Sasha Skochilenko!” Telegram Channel
On April 13, a court in St. Petersburg jailed artist Sasha Skochilenko for replacing price tags at a local grocery store with stickers bearing anti-war messages. Skochilenko stands accused of the felony offense of spreading “disinformation” about the Russian military. Meduza spoke to her girlfriend, Sofya Subbotina, about the artist’s life before and after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, her arrest, and the conditions of her pre-trial detention, which now jeopardize Skochilenko’s life.
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