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MAJOR: 15 Civilians wounded in Ukrainian shelling of Gorlovka, Donbass – Mayor reports

This comes not long after US-Ukraine Representative Kurt Volker visited

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The latest reports have come in from Horlovka, Donbass, indicating that around 15 peaceful, law-abiding residents have been harmed by the shelling of Kiev’s forces. The civilians were wounded as part of Kiev’s latest May Offensive, which cynically occurred as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker visited the front lines. Around one thousand artillery rounds were fired at the people around the time of his visit.

According to the Mayor of Horlovka, Ivan Prikhodko, the total number of residents injured from the Ukrainian shelling, which began on May 9th, and continued throughout the May offensive has risen to 15.

Prikhodko said that on the night of May 24th, in the raion (district) of Zaitsevo, a home was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling, though, Thank God, in that incident, no one was killed.

Mayor Prikhodko was quoted as saying:

Unfortunately, now there is a shelling in the districts of Zaitsevo – Holma – Dolomite – Bayrak, in the fields.

Since May 9th … 119 houses have been destroyed or damaged in Gorlovka. Four civilians were killed, and eleven wounded.”

As noted, events have really heated up in Donbass since early May, in what many are referring to as the May Offensive. Ollie Richardson wrote a very detailed article covering these events at Stalkerzone, an excellent website for following the Ukraine Crisis. In the article, he provided much evidence, as well as an overview of the events that occurred during this month. It was noted that within 24 hours prior to the arrival of US Representative Volker, Kiev fired on Donbass around 534 shells. During Volker’s visit from May 14th to the 16th, around 701 one shells were fired.

On May 17th, 35-year-old humanitarian aid worker Elena Voronenko was killed when an artillery shell exploded through her roof.

This is what the residents of Horlovka have to live with on a daily basis.

Horlovka, also called Gorlovka or Horlivka – depending on language and accent, was a beautiful and peaceful city before the war, not a resort city, but it always had a certain industrial charm to it.

It’s that’s hard to describe, but if you know Eastern Ukraine, it is an unmistakable atmosphere.

The Mayor of Horlovka, Ivan Prikhodko, has become a bit of a local hero, as he takes the safety of his citizens very seriously. The Mayor has spoken before on the Humanitarian Crisis in his city, which was known for its chemical and coal industry.

Another distinguishing feature of Horlovka is it’s famous mines, which are very iconic and typical for the region.

Hands down one of the most beautiful things in the entire region (second only to Svyatogorsk Lavra) is Theophany Cathedral.

The Cathedral is home to one of the most beautiful Iconostas I have ever seen in any small provincial town.It’s small, yet it’s gold and silver opulence easily rivals the cathedrals in the great cities.

It’s truly something of rare beauty, and never reported on in the mainstream media. People have heard of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and those in the major cities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev, yet they often assume the countryside is filled with nothing. They have no idea of the beauty in small provincial cities like Horlovka.

This Cathedral is also home to some of the greatest Heroes in the entire Ukrainian crisis, who go completely unsung and without proper praise for their Podvig of mercy. I am speaking about the clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the most popular religious community in Ukraine, and the only canonical Church recognized by the international Orthodox community.

When bombs were falling left and right on the women and children of Donbass, the Church quickly opened her golden doors, and silver floors, as shelter, covering, and protection for Ukrainian families, and the Cathedral served also as a bomb shelter.

The Church is filled with people who without want for weapons or armor, do everything a human can possibly do, and somethings impossible for mortal men, to save their fellow people. And Clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Onufry never ask, nor care which language a refugee speaks. The doors of mercy and compassion are constantly open for all.

Even my pronunciation of the city’s name is “surzhik”, a dialect between Russian and Ukrainian. This is the way Ukraine was prior to the war, it did not matter what part of the country you were from, we are all human, and we are one Rus’ people. And now Rus’ people are being put to fire and sword by the those with the same fascist ideology as those who invaded in 1941, on the Day of all Saints Resplendent in the Russian lands.

Annunciation Church burning in Ukraine, a result of bombing, note the children’s playground on the right.

Make no mistake, Children are specifically the target of the fascists. The actions of those who spread terror on Ukrainian soil against peaceful residents will never be forgotten by Ukrainians and Russians, nor will it ever be forgotten when President Poroshenko said:

Our Children will go to school – theirs (Eastern Ukrainians) will be hiding in bomb shelters

The real question is, will the rest of the world remember? Do they even care?

“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and bitter lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more…глас в Раме слышен, плач и рыдание и вопль великий; Рахиль плачет о детях своих и не хочет утешиться, ибо их нет…Чути голос у Рамі, плач і ридання та голосіння велике: Рахиль плаче за дітьми своїми, і не дається розважити себе, бо їх нема.”

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Why The Senate Vote To End Yemen War Is So Important

Stopping US participation in this brutal war is by itself a wise and correct move, even if it comes years too late.

Ron Paul

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Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute:


Last week something historic happened in the US Senate. For the first time in 45 years, a chamber of the US Congress voted to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.

While there is plenty to criticize in the War Powers Act, in this situation it was an important tool used by a broad Senate coalition to require President Trump to end US participation in the Saudi war against Yemen. And while the resolution was not perfect – there were huge loopholes – it has finally drawn wider attention to the US Administration’s dirty war in Yemen.

The four year Saudi war on neighboring Yemen has left some 50,000 dead, including many women and children. We’ve all seen the horrible photos of school buses blown up by the Saudis – using US-supplied bombs loaded into US-supplied aircraft. Millions more face starvation as the infrastructure is decimated and the ports have been blocked to keep out humanitarian aid.

Stopping US participation in this brutal war is by itself a wise and correct move, even if it comes years too late.

The Senate vote is also about much more than just Yemen. It is about the decades of Presidential assaults on the Constitution in matters of war. President Trump is only the latest to ignore Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which grants war power exclusively to Congress. Yes, it was President Obama who initially dragged the US illegally into the Yemen war, but President Trump has only escalated it. And to this point Congress has been totally asleep.

Fortunately that all changed last week with the Senate vote. Unfortunately, Members of the House will not be allowed to vote on their own version of the Senate resolution.

Republican Leadership snuck language into a rule vote on the Farm Bill prohibiting any debate on the Yemen war for the rest of this Congressional session. As Rep. Thomas Massie correctly pointed out, the move was both unconstitutional and illegal.

However as is often the case in bipartisan Washington, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Republicans were able to carry the vote on the rule – and thus deny any debate on Yemen – only because of a group of Democrats crossed over and voted with Republicans. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer is being blamed by progressives for his apparent lack of interest in holding his party together.

Why would Democrats help a Republican president keep his war going? Because, especially when you look at Congressional leadership, both parties are pro-war and pro-Executive branch over-reach. They prefer it to be their president who is doing the over-reaching, but they understand that sooner or later they’ll be back in charge. As I have often said, there is too much bipartisanship in Washington, not too much partisanship.

Americans should be ashamed and outraged that their government is so beholden to a foreign power – in this case Saudi Arabia – that it would actively participate in a brutal war of aggression. Participating in this war against one of the world’s poorest countries is far from upholding “American values.” We should applaud and support the coalition in the Senate that voted to end the war. They should know how much we appreciate their efforts.

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EU’s ‘toothless’ response to creation of Kosovo army risks worsening the crisis – Moscow

Russia’s ambassador to the UN said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army.

RT

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Via RT…


The creation of Kosovo’s own 5,000-strong army is a threat to peace and security in a turbulent region and may lead to a new escalation, Russia’s UN envoy has warned, calling the EU’s lackluster response irresponsible.

Speaking at the UN Security Council emergency meeting on Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzya said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army to replace its lightly armed emergency response force.

“The EU reaction to the decision by Pristina cannot be described as other than toothless. This irresponsible policy has crossed the line,” Nebenzya said, after the UNSC meeting on Monday.

The diplomat said the lack of decisive action on the part of the 28-member bloc was a “great disappointment,” adding that the EU seems to “have turned a blind eye on the illegal creation of Kosovo’s ‘army.’”

The law, approved by Kosovo lawmakers on Friday, paves the way for doubling the size of the current Kosovo Security Force and for turning it into a de facto army, with 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists.

The move did not go down well even with Kosovo’s usual backers, with both NATO and the EU voicing their indignation. NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called the decision “ill-timed” and lamented that Kosovo’s authorities had ignored “the concerns expressed by NATO.”

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has echoed those concerns, saying in a statement that the mandate of Kosovo’s forces “should only be changed through an inclusive and gradual process” in accordance with the state’s constitution.

The only nation to openly applaud the controversial move was the US, with its ambassador to Kosovo, Phillip Kosnett, saying that Washington “reaffirms its support” for the upgrade as it is “only natural for Kosovo as a sovereign, independent country” to have a full-fledged army.

The Kosovo MPs’ decision has drawn anger in the Serbian capital Belgrade and provoked a strong response from Moscow, which calledon the UN mission in Kosovo to demilitarize the area in accordance with UNSC resolution 1244, and to disband any armed units.

Nebenzya pointed out that the UN resolution does not allow any Kosovo Albanian military units to be present in the region’s territory. He accused Western countries, including members of the NATO-led international peacekeeping force (KFOR), of “condoning and supporting” the violation by Pristina of the resolution.

It is feared that the army, though a relatively small force, might inflame tensions in the region and impede attempts at reconciliation between Pristina and Belgrade. Serbia has warned that it might consider an armed intervention if the army becomes a threat to the 120,000-strong Serb minority in Kosovo.

“The advance of Kosovo’s army presents a threat to the peace and security in the region, which may lead to the recurrence of the armed conflict,” Nebenzya stated.

In addition to creating its own army, Kosovo in November hit Serbia with a 100 percent import tariff on goods, defying calls by the US and the EU to roll the measure back.

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Why are Russian Tu-160 Nuclear Bombers in Venezuela? (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 40.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Russia’s military cooperation with Venezuela, and how this military partnership leaves neocons in Washington crying ‘Russian aggression’.

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Via Press TV


A pair of Tu-160 bombers, known as Blackjack”, landed in Caracas on Monday following a 6,200-mile flight, which is said to be aimed at showcasing Moscow’s growing military prowess and shoring up the position of Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro.

The planes touched down at the Simón Bolívar international airport as part of a larger fleet also including an An-124 military transport plane and an Il-62 passenger jet

The Russian defense ministry said the bombers were shadowed by Norwegian F-18 fighter jets during part of their flight.

Venezuela’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, said the arrival of the aircraft for joint maneuvers was not intended as a provocation. “We are makers of peace, not war,” he was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).

Russia’s ambassador in Caracas, Vladimir Zaemskiy, told VTV the deployment reflected the “very fruitful” military partnership that had developed since the relationship was forged by Venezuela’s late leader Hugo Chávez in 2005.

However, specialists say the move is designed to signal to Washington that Caracas is not without international support.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at last week’s meeting with Lopez that Russia would continue to send its military aircraft and warships to visit Venezuela as part of bilateral military cooperation.

Russia sent its Tu-160 strategic bombers and a missile cruiser to visit Venezuela in 2008 amid tensions with the US after Russia’s brief war with Georgia. A pair of Tu-160s also visited Venezuela in 2013.

Russia-US relations are currently at post-Cold War lows over Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. Russia has bristled at the US and other NATO allies deploying their troops and weapons near its borders.

Asked about the Russian bombers, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said he had no specific information about the deployment.

The bombers’ deployment follows Venezuelan President Maduro’s visit to Moscow last week in a bid to shore up political and economic assistance even as his country has been struggling to pay billions of dollars owed to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday voiced support for Venezuelan leader, telling him, “We support your efforts to achieve mutual understanding in society and all your actions aimed at normalizing relations with the opposition.”

Russia is a major political ally of Venezuela, which has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the US and the European Union, which accuse Maduro of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis that is worse than the Great Depression.

Hit by low oil prices and the impact of US sanctions, Maduro is seeking support from allies after winning a second presidential term this year.

Maduro, who took over following the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, has come under strong pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration.

After talks last year between Maduro and Putin, Russia, Venezuela’s major creditor, agreed to restructure $3.15 billion of debt from a loan taken out by Caracas in 2011 to finance the purchase of Russian arms.

Russia and Venezuela enjoy a long history of ties and Maduro’s predecessor Chavez, known for his passionate tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.

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