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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ June.14, 2022 @acebreakingnews

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 14/06/2022

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The Real Russia. Today. The end of Kyiv’s friendship monument, Putin’s domestic policy czar is tarnished in media hack, and a mayor in the Donbas changes sides: Published Monday, June 13, 2022

In today’s newsletter:

  • Latest news
  • The end of Kyiv’s Soviet monument to friendship with Russia
  • Ilya Yashin’s strange resilience
  • Revoking a climate activist’s Russian citizenship
  • The felony case against an antiwar former priest

Major recent events in Russia and Ukraine

  • 🎨 Chilling street art: Yekaterinburg’s eerie new artwork: Street artist Timofey Radya has published a video and photos of his newest installation: the words “Live in the past!” in large block letters on top of the roofs of two apartment buildings on Kosmonavtov Prospekt in Yekaterinburg.
  • 🕯️ Another mass grave outside Bucha: Officials outside Kyiv near Bucha reported the discovery of a new mass grave containing the bodies of seven civilians. Many had their hands bound and had suffered gunshots through their knees. Officers said there were signs that the victims had been tortured before they were shot in the head. Ihor Klymenko, the chief of Ukraine’s National Police, says his agency in investigating the deaths of more than 12,000 civilians killed during Russia’s invasion. In the area surrounding Kyiv, which Russian troops occupied in March, at least 1,500 civilians were killed.
  • 👾 A newspaper ‘hack’ raises political questions: On Monday, the pro-government newspaper Izvestia briefly published a story about an article allegedly written by Sergey Kiriyenko, President Putin’s domestic policy czar, declaring that the Donbas would be rebuilt even at the expense of Russians’ living standards. Izvestia later said the report was the work of hackers (the newspaper also denied that Kiriyenko ever made the remarks in question). Analysts like Dmitry Kolezev and Tatiana Stanovaya speculated that Kiriyenko’s rivals within Russia could be trying to turn the president’s paranoia against his first deputy chief of staff.
  • 🪖 Calling in reinforcements: Amid a rising number of reports in the Russian state media about the Ukrainian military shelling the city of Donetsk (including claims on Monday that artillery fire hit a maternity ward), the head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, declared the need for “additional allied forces” from Russia to defend the territory.
  • 🤝 The mayor who changed sides: After accusing the Ukrainian military of setting fire to one of the buildings at the Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery, the Ukrainian mayor of Sviatohirsk, Vladimir Bandura, officially crossed over to the side of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” on Monday. After meeting personally with DNR head Denis Pushilin, he was formally reinstated as Sviatohirsk’s DNR “city administrator.” Kyiv promptly charged Bandura with treason.
  • 👮 A law-and-order shuffle: Officers in Russia’s Rostov region are reportedly being sent “on assignment” to police the streets of cities in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republicans (where the local militia are all gone to fight on the frontlines against Ukrainian troops), according to 161.ru.
  • 🚢 America’s push for more Russian goods: The U.S. government is “quietly encouraging agricultural and shipping companies to buy and carry more Russian fertilizer,” people familiar with the efforts told Bloomberg, citing fears about spiraling global food costs. According to Bloomberg, overcautious shippers, banks, and insurers have avoided Russian fertilizers, fearing sanctions violations, even though Washington has built food-related exemptions into its sanction. “U.S. officials, surprised by the extent of the caution, are in the seemingly paradoxical position of looking for ways to boost them.”
  • 🛢️ Russia’s new friends in the oil biz: Russia became India’s second biggest supplier of oil in May, outpacing Saudi Arabia (but not Iraq), reported Reuters. Supplies from Russia accounted for about 16.5 percent of India’s overall oil imports in May, helping to reduce India’s imports from the Middle East to about 59.5 percent.
  • 🚰 Meet Borjomi’s new boss: The Georgian government has obtained a 7.73-percent stake in Borjomi, one of the nation’s largest mineral water producers, “free of charge.” Operations at the company’s plants have been suspended since late April due to Western sanctions against Mikhail Fridman, the cofounder of Alfa Bank, which owned a majority stake in Borjomi International. Last week, hundreds of workers went on strike to protest recent layoffs.

🕊️ The long road to dismantling Kyiv’s Soviet monument to friendship with Russia (8-min read)

At the end of April, the city of Kyiv dismantled a Soviet-era statue that was meant to symbolize friendship between Russia and Ukraine. The sculpture was part of a complex in the city center that includes the Peoples’ Friendship Arch — a massive rainbow-shaped structure that was recently renamed the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian people. Writing for Meduza, architectural journalist Asya Zolnikova digs into this monument’s controversial history — and future.

⚖️ Opposition politician Ilya Yashin is still in Russia and still speaking out. So far, he’s stayed out of prison. (7-min read)

Russia has effectively been under martial law for three months now. Anti-war protests are illegal, independent media outlets have been blocked, and anyone who spreads “fake news” about the Russian army (such as reports of war crimes) can face up to 15 years in prison. Naturally, a huge number of journalists, activists, and opposition politicians have left the country. Ilya Yashin is a rare figure: he’s chosen to stay in Russia, but he also openly refers to the war as a war (which violates Russian law). Four administrative offense reports have been filed against him as a result. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter spoke with Yashin about what’s changed in Moscow since February 24 — and why he’s chosen to stay in Russia.

🛂 The Russian authorities are threatening to revoke the citizenship of the country’s most prominent climate activist (8-min read)

Arshak Makichyan is a Russian climate activist and Greta Thunberg ally. On the day the war began, Makichyan was getting married to fellow activist Polina Oleinikova; their wedding turned into a public statement against the war (Makichyan’s shirt had the words “Fuck the War” written on it) and the couple later left Russia. In May, Makichyan learned that the Russian authorities wanted to revoke his citizenship. He’s currently in Europe, where he continues to fight for a more sustainable planet and for Ukrainian sovereignty — but with a visa expiration date looming, his future is uncertain.

☦️ St. Petersburg priest faces criminal charges for condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine (3-min read)

Former priest and Doctor of Theology Ioann Kurmoyarov has been jailed for two months pending trial on felony charges of spreading “false information” about the Russian military. St. Petersburg’s Kalininsky District Court remanded Kurmoyarov in custody on Saturday, June 11. According to the rights group OVD-Info, the criminal case against Kurmoyarov was launched over a video posted on YouTube, in which he condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and maintains that according to Christian dogma, those who unleashed the war will go to hell.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: June.14: 2022:

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