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Ukraine UPDATES: House Passes $40 Billion Bill, 44 Bodies Found in Collapsed Building

Ukraine UPDATES: House Passes $40 Billion Bill, 44 Bodies Found in Collapsed Building

Russia still attacking Odesa, which will make the food crisis worse.

Thank you, everyone, who reads these posts.

The House passed the $40 billion modern-day Lend-Lease Act to expedite military aid to Ukraine.

Officials also discovered more mass graves as Russia continued to pummel the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

Russian Soldier Stands Trial in Ukraine

He is the first one to be tried for war crimes:

On Feb. 28, four days into Russia’s invasion, Sergeant Shysimarin and four other servicemen stole a car at gunpoint while fleeing Ukrainian forces and drove into the village of Chupakhivka in the Sumy region, about 200 miles east of Kyiv. There they saw an unarmed 62-year-old resident biking on the roadside and talking on the phone.

Sergeant Shysimarin was ordered to kill the man so he would not report them. He fired a Kalashnikov rifle out of the car window at the man’s head and killed him on the spot, just a few dozen yards from his home.

Sergeant Shysimarin faces 10 to 15 years in prison. It was not immediately clear how he came to be in custody or when the landmark trial may begin.

Both Ukrainian and international investigators have undertaken vast efforts to document evidence of potential war crimes in areas where Russian forces have retreated. Hundreds of bodies have been recovered for forensic examination, and U.N. officials are rushing more resources to the Ukrainian authorities to help prosecute growing reports of rape by Russian soldiers.

Pro-Russians in Kherson Want to be Annexed

The Pro-Russians in Kherson won’t even bother with a referendum. They’re asking Putin to annex it:

Kirill Stremousov, the Russia-installed deputy head of the Kherson administration, also said that a referendum to secede from Ukraine into a Kherson People’s Republic, similar to two pro-Russia rebel regions in Donbas, had been scrapped.

Thousands of people have fled Kherson since Russian soldiers took control and the admission that Kherson won’t bother with a referendum, unlike Crimea in 2014 which did, suggests that even the collaborationist authorities know they would lose a vote so badly it would be too difficult to fix.

“This will be one single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the President of the Russian Federation, and this will include the region inside the Russian Federation,” Mr Stremousov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Kherson was the first region in Ukraine to fall to Russia after Putin ordered his invasion on February 24 and represents by far the biggest gains made by the Russian army. There was little fighting in Kherson and most of its infrastructure remains undamaged.

The mayor says no:

Kherson’s Ukrainian-elected mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev – who was deposed after the Russian takeover – has now responded.

“I know for sure that the people of Kherson see themselves exclusively as part of Ukraine,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “No one has the right to quietly make such a fateful decision for them.”

He appealed for immediate intervention from Ukraine’s presidential office, asking for an official statement confirming that Ukraine is fighting for Kherson and “appreciates each of its inhabitants who did not leave the city to be torn to pieces”.

He said in the city there are currently residents representing more than 114 nationalities, with women, children and elderly people among them, who “have not left their homes due to the lack of safe green corridors”.

Odesa

Russia is still going after Odesa, which could cause a bigger food crisis:

Even if Russia falls short of severing Ukraine from the coast — and it appears to lack the forces to do so — the continuing missile strikes on Odesa reflect the city’s strategic importance. The Russian military has repeatedly targeted its airport and claimed it destroyed several batches of Western weapons.

Odesa is also a major gateway for grain shipments, and its blockade by Russia already threatens global food supplies. Beyond that, the city is a cultural jewel, dear to Ukrainians and Russians alike, and targeting it carries symbolic significance.

Russian forces have made slow advances in the Donbas, but there have been multiple setbacks. Military analysts suggest that hitting Odesa might serve to stoke concern about southwestern Ukraine, thus forcing Kyiv to put more forces there. That would pull them away from the eastern front as Ukraine’s military stages counteroffensives near the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Russia Seized a Lot of Eastern Ukraine…DUH

Broken record time: Russia has had eastern Ukraine since 2014 thanks to the pro-Russian separatists. Don’t tell me that no one expected this full-scale invasion:

The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday that its forces in eastern Ukraine had advanced to the border between Donetsk and Luhansk, the two Russian-speaking provinces where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukraine’s army for eight years.

The ministry’s assertion, if confirmed, strengthens the prospect that Russia could soon gain complete control over the region, known as the Donbas, compared with just a third of it before the Feb. 24 invasion.

That is a far cry from what appeared to be the grand ambitions of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia when he launched the invasion: quick and easy seizure of vast swaths of Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, the overthrow of a hostile government and a replacement with unquestioned fealty that would ensure Ukraine’s subservience.

Nonetheless, the Donbas seizure, combined with the Russian invasion’s early success in seizing parts of southern Ukraine adjoining the Crimean peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, gives the Kremlin enormous leverage in any future negotiation to halt the conflict.

Izyum

Izyum is located in Kharkiv Oblast on the Donets River. Russia took control of it on April 1.

But some rescuers found 44 bodies in a building:

The five-storey building collapsed in March as residents hid in the basement from Russian shelling.

But rescuers have only just been able to reach the building, one local official told the BBC.

And there are fears the death toll could rise further, as another building in the same street was also targeted.

“We know there were people in there as well. The search work is continuing and I think we will know more numbers of victims soon,” Izyum mayor Valeriy Marchenko told the BBC.

Russia seized control of Izyum on 1 April and troops have occupied the city since.

Mr Marchenko said when the buildings were attacked, Russian troops had seized control of half of the city.

As troops tried to advance, they fired directly at the building where the bodies have now been retrieved.

Rescuers only been able to reach it now because the apartment block was in an occupied area of the city.

“It only became possible a couple of days ago for our State Emergency Service to get there and start taking apart the rubble,” he said.

Aid

I wrote yesterday about Biden’s modern-day Lend-Lease Act for Ukraine, which puts us deeper into the war.

The House passed the bill 368-57:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier in the day that after the House approved the package, the Senate “will move swiftly” to get the measure passed and sent to Biden’s desk.

Aid to Ukraine has been a rare bright spot of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill with Democrats and Republicans largely rallying around a call to help the nation as it faces Russian attack.

Lawmakers unveiled the bill text earlier in the day ahead of the House vote. The legislation the House approved provides funding for a long list of priorities, including military and humanitarian assistance.

The bill includes an increase in presidential drawdown authority funding from the $5 billion the Biden administration originally requested to $11 billion. Presidential drawdown authority funding allows the administration to send military equipment and weapons from US stocks. This has been one of the main ways the administration has provided Ukrainians with military equipment quickly over the past 75 days of the conflict in Ukraine.

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Comments

So as I recall the arguments Russia is bad because they wanted to turn Ukraine into a client State dependent on Russia. Instead Ukraine has decided to become/remain a client State of the US. This is better why exactly?

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2022 at 11:26 am

    ‘Murikuh! USA USA USA!

    chrisboltssr in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Exactly correct, but if you point this out you’re accused of being a Russian Putin stooge lackey. It seems to me many Ukrainians want to be a client state of Russia, but the Ukrainian leadership has other thoughts and is sacrificing them for whatever they consider independence.

      Here’s a new and exciting idea: say what you think and believe. Then someone else may say something that changes your mind or makes you rethink your stance, or you may just believe what you believe upon pondering the new input.

      All of this is to the good.

      What the left wants to do is control thought. They want to start with social media, etc. but the goal is clear: if you are not one of them, you will be lambasted, mobbed, cancelled. Once we shut our fat traps, the commie Utopia will manifest by magic. And stuff.

      CommoChief in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 11, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      That’s true. The d/prog playbook is very clear; opponents must be demonized as some sort of ‘ist’ who are filled with ‘isms’. RacIST, NationalIST guilty of engaging in raceISM, NationalISM and so forth. They have used this playbook for the past 50 years because it was effective, but that has changed in the last seven to ten years. People are catching on that these attacks are not borne out of belief but out of malice, fear and desperation to silence any effective opposition.

      There was a vampire movie in which the agnostic protagonist tried to use his Mother’s crucifix to ward off the vampire. The vampire feigned injury then laughed at the protagonist telling him ‘ it doesn’t work unless you believe’.

      That should be our response to these false claims of ‘isms and ists’. Bemused scorn and outright laughter. While the wierdo fringe comprising 10-15% of the d/prog base may believe the d/prog power brokers and officials themselves don’t truly believe that we are actually guilty. No, it’s simply their preferred standard playbook. We must uniformly laugh at their false charges, reject their false premise, deny the power of their lies and continue to challenge their failed policies and bad ideas.

      Evil Otto in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 11, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      Really? It “seems” to you? What are you basing that on? And how “many” Ukrainians want that? By all means, give me a percentage.

      Russia INVADED Ukraine. It is an independent country, not a client state.

        chrisboltssr in reply to Evil Otto. | May 11, 2022 at 6:15 pm

        Yes, it seems to me. And I don’t have a percentage of Ukrainians who want to be a part of Russia. It’s an interesting question. It’d be mice if we had reporters who asked Ukrainians this question and not make an assumption that all Ukrainians want to repel Putin.

        And yes, Ukraine is an independent state. How many Ukrainians should die to guarantee that independence? Civilizations and countries do die. So you tell me, what percentage of Ukrainians need to die in order for this independence to be secured?

          AnAdultInDiapers in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 12, 2022 at 3:57 am

          Whatever percentage it takes to avoid 100% of the ones left alive having to live under occupation and slavery. Well, 100% of the ones not genocided.

        CommoChief in reply to Evil Otto. | May 11, 2022 at 8:30 pm

        Ask the opposition party in Ukraine… Oh wait …

        Dude, if someone else is paying your bills you ain’t independent. In fact you are dependent. For Nation States that status is client state. They are in the same position that the governments of Afghanistan or South Vietnam found themselves in, neither turned out well for their people.

      geronl in reply to chrisboltssr. | May 11, 2022 at 5:40 pm

      No, they don’t want to be part of Russia. That’s why Tsar Putin invaded. Putin has been talking about rebuilding the empire for 20 years.

        chrisboltssr in reply to geronl. | May 11, 2022 at 6:10 pm

        Well, what was mentioned in this article says otherwise, regardless of what Putin’s ambitions are.

    Observer in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    More opportunities for multi-million-dollar graft for the spawn of Slow Joe Biden, Jon Kerry, etc.
    (And 10% off the top for the Big Guy, of course).

taurus the judge | May 11, 2022 at 9:15 am

Another collaborative scam between the socialist left and the globalist RINO to further enrich themselves while sacrificing us.

Imagine where we could be if all this effort and money was devoted to MAGA and US citizens and fixing our infrastructure.

    CommoChief in reply to taurus the judge. | May 11, 2022 at 9:37 am

    DJT – ‘ Hey, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan can we get funding to build a border wall; the pre imminent issue of my campaign and the focus of MAGA voters who elected us’?

    McConnell/Ryan – ‘gosh we want to but ….the media and d/prog will call us names plus the corporate overlords want more cheap labor so no $20 billion is too expensive’.

      taurus the judge in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2022 at 10:25 am

      What needs to happen is a series of ads highlighting what they told Trump ( as RINOs) versus what they later voted for.

      Right now, Trump is about 58-1, that type of add would probably increase his average.

      Remember, the RINO is more dangerous and damaging to us all than the left is capable of.

      The Left CANNOT succeed without the assistance of the RINO.

      Focus on the RINO/GOPe

      Paddy M in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2022 at 11:03 am

      My McConnell nut-hugging friend blames Trump for McConnell and Ryan doing exactly what you posted. Trump broke his brain like so many others.

JackinSilverSpring | May 11, 2022 at 10:46 am

Russian forces appear to be killing civilian non-combatants with impunity. Where are all the NGOs who condemn Israel whenever a non-combatant is killed in Gaza despite the care Israel takes to avoid such events? Their silence is deafening. We now know just how evil they are.

Damn fool Republicans giving Biden anything. But don’t worry Americans, it’s bad at home but stoking more domestic inflation to make sure Ukraine’s government can pay its salaries is more important.

Funds to Ukraine: 40 Billion
Funds to Soc Sec Shortfall: 0

    alaskabob in reply to Peabody. | May 11, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    40 billion and Ukraine GDP at about 150 billion. IF Ukraine is really putting it to the Russians , then why so huge a amount of weaponry… maybe it will be Afghanistan II Flea Market. All of this would not have happened if not for Obama/Biden/Nuland/RIce/etc… Now.. it is a major global mess… but then for those depopulation fanatics this is good news as 2 billion people are at risk of starving to death.

So, dealing with record-high inflation, incoming food shortages, record high fuel costs and possible incoming weapons stockpile issues we still have money to piss away $40 billion on Ukraine?

    Peabody in reply to Ironclaw. | May 11, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    That $40 billion is gone so fast you couldn’t hold on to it with an ironclaw. They even made a movie about it, “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

    Observer in reply to Ironclaw. | May 11, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Obviously it’s better for us to piss away $40 billion (more) that we don’t have on a war that doesn’t involve us, than for rich European countries to pay the tab for fighting a war in their own backyard against a foe who poses much more of a threat to them than it does to us.

      alaskabob in reply to Observer. | May 11, 2022 at 4:27 pm

      And in so doing, putting the largest bullseye on the USA. When the USA dwarfs everyone else in their “donations” to Ukraine … plus the history of grifting by US politicos… putting Russia in a corner is becoming more solely USA as Europe bends to the Ruble and pay their due to Russian energy. Trump was laughed at for telling Germany and Europe to wise up. Now, Europe can “duck” as the battle is USA vs Russia. While there will be no out and out “winners” … the USA is becoming more of a loser.

A billion dollars to NGO’s??
The government should never, ever give money to NGO’s

    CommoChief in reply to geronl. | May 11, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    This has been going of for decades. Our govt funnels huge amounts to NGO; look at the Catholic affiliated charities for starters. Recall ACORN? Take a look at the budget and where funds flow, you will be disgusted.

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