Tuesday ReadsPosted: March 15, 2022
Ukraine continues to dominate the news as Putin levels cities with brutal attacks on civilians. How much longer will western government allow these war crimes to continue? President Voldymyr Zelenskyy continues to reach ask them for help. This morning he addressed the Canadian Parliament and once again begged for a no fly zone. Tomorrow he will speak to the U.S. Congress.
Today the leaders of three NATO countries are traveling to Ukraine to meet with Zelenskyy.
The Guardian: Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers travel to Kyiv.
The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia are travelling to meet Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv even as pre-dawn Russian shelling killed more civilians in an apartment building in Ukraine’s capital.
In statements from their respective capitals, the three leaders said they would be offering their support to Ukraine’s president as representatives of the other 24 EU heads of state and government.
The move by Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, his Czech counterpart, Petr Fiala, and Slovenia’s Janez Janša was said to be an attempt to bolster Ukraine in its fight for its sovereignty. They will also meet the Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhal.
Fiala tweeted: “The aim of the visit is to express the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine and its freedom and independence.
“At the same time, we will present a broad package of support for Ukraine and its citizens during the visit. The international community has also been informed of this visit by international organisations, including the United Nations.”
The announcement came as the emergency services in Kyiv said said two people had died in an attack on a 15-storey apartment building shortly before dawn on Tuesday.
The situation in Southern Ukraine is getting increasingly desperate.
The Washington Post: In embattled Mariupol, glimpses of devastation and misery emerge.
Early this morning, The Washington Post reported that, according to her lawyers, she had disappeared overnight, but later on she did appear in court. The Hill: Russian TV employee who protested Ukraine war on air appears in court.
The Russian journalist who held up an anti-war sign during a state-run news broadcast in Russia appeared in court on Tuesday to be tried on a misdemeanor charge.
Ovsyannikova faces up to 10 days in jail, Seddon said, because she is not being charged under the “Fake News” law the Russian parliament passed after the invasion of Ukraine, which can carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison….
Russia has enforced strict laws that prohibits news services from even calling the conflict in Ukraine a war, instead publications and channels must refer to it as a “special operation.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday expressed gratitude for Ovsyannikova’s protest, saying he was “grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth.”
Maybe the Russians are afraid of coming down too hard on her after all the publicity? Raw Story reports on the Russian public reaction to the protest: Russian State TV protest ‘sent shockwaves through all of Russian society’ says American on the ground.
Yakov Kronrod went back to Russia to care for his mother months before the invasion of Ukraine, so he was on the ground watching as a Channel One editor took the bold move to stage a protest on live television….
According to Kronrod, even pro-Putin outlets have reported on the story, he said, delivering her message even farther to more people.
“It sends shock waves through all of Russian society. Yandex News had a story about it, and they rarely have anything that’s against the main narrative,” said Kronrod. “Her Facebook page was getting thousands of people commenting every minute. Literally, it exploded. Everyone was texting each other, calling each other saying, did you see? Did you see what happened? And many of the human rights activists that I’m talking to feel this may very well be the start of the wave to see someone like that Channel 1 has 250 million viewers, it’s the number one watched station by most common Russians. For a lot of Russians, this was the first time they saw any dissenting voice.”
Watch Konrad’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the Raw Story link.
At The Daily Beast, Julia Davis has more on Russia’s crazy state TV: Wild Kremlin TV Hosts Threaten the U.S. With Nuclear Strikes Unless Sanctions End and Reparations Are Paid. It’s a long piece that is well worth reading in full. Here’s a sampling of the insanity:
In the surreal world of Russian state television, Russia is about to prevail in its war against Ukraine, which is being presented as a battle against the United States and NATO. According to top Kremlin propagandists, it’s only a matter of time before the West admits its defeat and pays reparations to Moscow or risks a devastating nuclear strike….
In recent days, Russian state television regressed from Orwellian lies to Kafkaesque nightmares, as pundits started to promote the idea of executing Ukrainians resisting Putin’s war of aggression by hanging. They noted that the so-called “constitution” of the rogue “republics” created in Ukraine by Russian forces conveniently allows for the death penalty. Last Thursday on The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, after listening to other pundits and experts endorse the idea of executing Ukrainian citizens by hanging, doctor of political sciences Elena G. Ponomareva argued: “Never let morality prevent you from undertaking correct actions. I understand the importance of a humanitarian component… but morality shouldn’t get in the way.”
Sunday’s Vesti Nedeli hosted by Dmitry Kiselyov continued the theme of public hangings, broadcasting the scenes from the public execution of German Nazi soldiers on Kyiv’s Independence Square in 1946. The segment was entitled “Denazification of Ukraine—the new opportunities for growth” and appeared to serve as a tool to desensitize the Russian population for the grotesque war trials and executions the Kremlin is reportedly planning to conduct in Ukraine, perhaps in the same public square captured in the historical video.
Bloomberg previously reported that, according to an unnamed European intelligence official, Russia’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, has drafted plans for public executions in Ukraine after cities are captured. Russian state media appears to be laying the groundwork to normalize such an idea, in order to make it seem acceptable to average Russians.
Back in the USA, some January 6 news broke late last night in the case against Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio. The New York Times: Document in Jan. 6 Case Shows Plan to Storm Government Buildings.
A document found by federal prosecutors in the possession of a far-right leader contained a detailed plan to surveil and storm government buildings around the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, people familiar with the document said on Monday.
The document, titled “1776 Returns,” was cited by prosecutors last week in charging the far-right leader, Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys extremist group, with conspiracy. The indictment of Mr. Tarrio described the document in general terms, but the people familiar with it added substantial new details about the scope and complexity of the plan it set out for directing an effort to occupy six House and Senate office buildings and the Supreme Court last Jan. 6.
The document does not specifically mention an attack on the Capitol building itself. But in targeting high-profile government buildings in the immediate area and in the detailed timeline it set out, the plan closely resembles what actually unfolded when the Capitol was stormed by a pro-Trump mob intent on disrupting congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Many questions remain about the document, including who wrote it and how it made its way to Mr. Tarrio, according to prosecutors, on Dec. 30, 2020, as President Donald J. Trump was engaged in a series of overlapping schemes to keep himself in power. The people familiar with the document said other evidence the government has gathered suggests that it may have been provided to Mr. Tarrio by one of his girlfriends at the time.
Prosecutors have not accused Mr. Tarrio of using the document to guide the actions of the Proud Boys who played a central role in the Capitol attack. Nor do the charges against him offer any evidence that he shared the document with his five co-defendants: Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe and Dominic Pezzola.
But the document could help explain why prosecutors chose to charge Mr. Tarrio with conspiracy, even though he was not at the Capitol during the attack. And it appears to be the first time that prosecutors have sought to use evidence of a specific written plan to storm and occupy government buildings in their wide-ranging investigation into the attack and what ledTh up to it.
Read the rest at the NYT.
That’s it for me today. What stories are you following?