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Ukraine’s president says Putin has become ‘a terrorist’


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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday of becoming “a terrorist” leading a “terrorist state” and urged Russia’s expulsion from the United Nations.

In a virtual address to the U.N. Security Council, Zelenskyy urged the U.N. to establish an international tribunal to investigate “the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil” and to hold the country accountable.

“We need to act urgently to do everything to make Russia stop the killing spree,” Zelenskyy said, warning that otherwise Russia’s “terrorist activity” will spread to other European countries and Asia, singling out the Baltic states, Poland, Moldova and Kazakhstan.

“Putin has become a terrorist,” he said. “Daily terrorist acts, without weekends. Every day they are working as terrorists.”

In urging Russia’s ouster from the 193-member United Nations, Zelenskyy cited Article 6 of the U.N. Charter which states that a member “which has persistently violated the principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

Russia’s expulsion, however, is virtually impossible. That’s because as a permanent council member Russia would be able to use its veto to block any attempt to oust it.

Ukraine called the council meeting after Russia’s recent upsurge in attacks including Monday’s fiery airstrike on a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk that Zelenskyy said killed at least 18 people and wounded 30 others. “Dozens are missing” and body fragments have been found including hands and feet, he said, adding that unfortunately there may be more victims.

The Ukrainian leader began his speech listing Russia’s attacks in recent days and giving the first names and ages of many of the victims. He ended his address asking the 15 Security Council members and others in the chamber to stand in silent tribute to commemorate the “tens of thousands” of Ukrainian children and adults killed in the war.

All members rose including Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky.

When he took the floor later, Polyansky protested against giving Zelenskyy a second opportunity to address the Security Council, a decision by Albanian which holds the council presidency this month.

The Russian envoy said the Ukrainian president’s video address violated the council’s traditions and existing practices which state that leaders who wish to speak to the council must be present in the chamber.

“The U.N. Security Council should not be turned into a platform for a remote PR campaign from president Zelenskyy in order to get more weapons from participants at the NATO summit” starting Wednesday in Madrid, Polyansky said.

He claimed that there was no Russian strike on the shopping center in Kremenchuk, saying Russian precision weapons struck hangars in the Kremenchuk road machinery plant with weapons and ammunition from the United States and Europe destined for Ukrainian troops in eastern Donbass.

The shopping center was some distance away but the detonation of ammunition “created a fire which then spread to the shopping center,” Polyansky said.

The Russian envoy told Western nations that by supplying weapons to Ukraine they were prolonging the time when Ukraine’s leaders “will sit down at the negotiating table with a realistic position rather than with slogans.”

“We began a special military operation in order to stop the shelling of Donbass by Ukraine and so that the territory of this country, which has been turned into anti-Russia at the behest of a number of Western countries, as well as its nationalist leadership, ceases to pose a threat to Russia or the inhabitants of the south and southeast of Ukraine,” he said. “And until those goals are achieved, our operation will continue.”

U.S. deputy ambassador Richard Mills, like many other Western ambassadors, accused Russia of destroying the shopping center, saying the attack “fits into a cruel pattern, one where the Russian military kills civilians and destroys civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”

He stressed that there is ample publicly available evidence “that Russia, and Russia alone” is responsible for this and other attacks.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Group of Seven leaders and EU representatives via video link at the G7 summit in Germany on June 27.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Group of Seven leaders and EU representatives via video link at the G7 summit in Germany on June 27.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies called a Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping center in Ukraine on June 27 a war crime and vowed to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable.

The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, meeting on the second day of a summit in Germany, issued a statement after 15 people were reportedly killed and 50 wounded in the attack in the central city of Kremenchuk.

“Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” the leaders said in the statement, adding that they “solemnly condemn the abominable attack” in Kremenchuk.

An earlier Russian missile strike in Lysychansk on June 27 killed eight and wounded 21 others, said Serhiy Hayday, the head of the military administration of Luhansk where Lysychansk is located. Lysychansk is the last big city still held by Ukraine in the eastern Luhansk region. Ukraine immediately called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. A spokesman for the Albanian mission, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, said it would take place on June 28.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who earlier on June 27 addressed the G7 summit, said Russia should be legally recognized as the largest terrorist organization in the world.

“The Russian state has become the largest terrorist organization in the world. And this is a fact. And this must be a legal fact,” Zelenskiy said in a video. “And everyone in the world should know that buying or transporting Russian oil, maintaining ties with Russian banks, paying taxes and duties to the Russian state is giving money to terrorists.”

The G7 leaders said earlier they would keep sanctions on Russia for as long as necessary and intensify international economic and political pressure on Putin and his supporters in Belarus.

The earlier statement said the G7 countries were “committed to sustaining and intensifying” sanctions and would continue to use them as needed “acting in unison at every stage.”

The statement adds that the G7 countries “will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

RFE/RL’s Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia’s ongoing invasion, how Kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and refugees, and Western aid and reactionFor all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the pledges were necessary to maintain pressure on Putin.

“Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, sovereign, independent territory,” Johnson told the BBC. “The lessons for that would be absolutely chilling. The point I would make to people is I think that sometimes the price of freedom is worth paying.”

The G7 leaders are committed to exploring new ways to isolate Russia from participating in the global market and to crack down on evasion of existing sanctions, the statement said.

The countries pledged to take steps to further reduce their dependency on Russian energy and to expand sanctions to further restrict Russia’s access to services and technologies, particularly those supporting its armament industry, the statement said. They also pledged more sanctions on individuals responsible for war crimes.

The statement, issued by Germany, the current holder of the G7’s rotating presidency, also said the group was ready to provide more funding to help shore up Ukrainian government finances. The budget support that has been pledged and provided thus far in 2022 amounts to $29.5 billion, the statement said.

The G7 leaders said they recognized the devastating level of destruction of infrastructure in Ukraine caused by the war and stood ready to support an international reconstruction plan.

Separately, the United States said it was finalizing a weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air-defense systems — arms that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy specifically requested when he addressed the leaders by video link earlier in the day.

Zelenskiy urged G7 leaders to do everything in their power to end Russia’s invasion of his country by the end of the year as Ukraine’s military says it continues to fend off an attempted encirclement in the eastern city of Lysychansk.

Zelenskiy told the leaders that he wanted the war to end before the winter set in and battle conditions would make it tougher for his troops as they mount their fightback, several diplomats were quoted as saying by international media outlets after the speech.

Zelenskiy also asked for air-defense systems, more sanctions on Russia, and security guarantees as he addressed the summit at the Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, diplomats said, adding that the Ukrainian leader stressed the necessity to keep applying “heavy” punitive actions on Russia and “not lower the pressure” following multiple rounds of sanctions that Western allies have imposed on Moscow.

Zelenskiy also asked for help to export grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid, they said.

The Ukrainian military command said earlier that it had repelled Russian attacks west of Lysychansk and prevented an encirclement of the strategically important Donbas city.

“Near Verkhnyokamyanka, the defense forces inflicted significant losses on the enemy and forced them to retreat,” the Ukrainian General Staff reported. Verkhnyokamyanka is located on an important supply road only a few kilometers west of Lysychansk.

Serhiy Hayday, the head of the military administration of Luhansk, where Lysychansk is located, urged inhabitants of the city to leave immediately as Russian forces level large swaths of the town, where about 100,000 people lived before the invasion.

“The disastrous ‘Russian World’ is trying to wipe from the world’s map our history by destroying the cultural institutions and architectural monuments of the Luhansk region,” Hayday wrote on the Telegram messaging app, accusing Russian forces of already destroying more than 60 such institutions and monuments in the city.

The military command separately said on June 27 that a missile strike had hit the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, a day after Russia launched strikes against the capital, Kyiv, and other Ukrainian cities.

The command said the missile, which was fired from a Russian-type Tu-22 strategic bomber, caused six casualties including a child. It was not clear whether the authorities were reporting injuries or deaths.

“The strike in a residential area of a civilian settlement destroyed several residential and farm buildings over around 500 square meters,” the command said, adding that firefighters were still battling the flames.

Meanwhile, the United States plans to announce as soon as this week that it has purchased an advanced, medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defense system for Ukraine, CNN and AP reported on June 27, citing sources familiar with the issue.

Ukrainian officials have asked for the missile defense system known as NASAMS that can hit targets more than 160 kilometers away, the sources said.

Washington last week announced an additional $450 million in military assistance for Ukraine, giving it four more multiple launch rocket systems and artillery ammunition for other systems.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration said it was providing an additional $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine that will include additional howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems.

More and more analysts envision a protracted battle in the eastern part of Ukraine, with high human and equipment losses on both sides.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin on June 27 that, in the following weeks, Russia, which has reportedly suffered a high rate of casualties, is “highly likely” to rely increasingly on reservists.

However, British intelligence suggested that the Russian leadership “likely remains reluctant to order a general mobilization,” despite a permanent shortfall in the number of reservists who can be deployed in Ukraine.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, TASS, and AFP
NYC Mayor Eric Adams “Shocked” To Find Out “Just How Bad” The City Is

How long has Eric Adams been mayor now? You’d think at some point he would have taken the time to have a tour of his own city, but it looks like that may not have ever been the case – until he rode the subways for 3 hours last week. 

That’s because the Mayor was reportedly “shocked” to learn just “how bad [New York City] is,” according to exclusive comments he made to the New York Post this week. 3 hours on the subway last week was apparently all it took. 

He said he was taken back by the poor “deployment of resources”. “Let me tell you something: When I started looking into this, I was shocked at how bad this place is,” he later commented to the Post

Adams started to get a glimpse at how poorly run the city was when reviewing plans his first week in office, the report says.

“It was probably the third — third or fourth week in January. I spent a lot of time in the office,” he said. “And I started peeling back layers and what it started to unveil to me is how we just had this good shell, but underneath — it’s bad.”

Crime skyrocketed in the final years of deBlasio’s tenure as NYC’s Mayor. As the Post notes, grand larcenies and auto thefts have skyrocketed 50% and 48% and robberies are up about 40%.

Speaking about the NYPD, Adams commented: “We have not utilized this amazing agency and all our skills.”

“You know, they hold onto this one thing,” he said, criticizing his predecessors like Bill deBlasio, for focusing on a sole project instead of improving the city as a whole. “That’s why when people try to say, ‘OK, Eric, you know, what is your one or two things?,’ I’m saying: To fix this mess!”

Adams said his first initiative would be to crack down on rule breaking in the subways and stop homeless people from living in stations. 

You have to start somewhere, we guess…

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 – 17:05

Turkey Pride crackdowns only strengthen LGBTQ resistance  Washington Blade

2643932 “puerto rico police department” – Google News

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide for Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified on June 28 that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had reached out to Meadows to say that Cabinet secretaries behind the scenes were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office. Hutchinson said Pompeo also expressed concern for Meadows’ “positioning with this.”

In a public hearing before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, Hutchinson also shared details about efforts to persuade Trump to speak out the next day and what the president wanted and didn’t want in the remarks — including wanting to avoid talking about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent.

Trump spoke on Jan. 7 at the urging of some of his advisers, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, she said. They argued that his previous statement on Jan. 6 was not strong enough, that his legacy was being damaged and that the 25th Amendment could be used to unseat him from power.

“‘Think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency. If we don’t do this, there’s already talks about invoking the 25th Amendment. You need this as cover’,” Hutchinson recalled their thinking in an earlier deposition.

She also testified that Trump wanted to include language in that speech about pardoning those who took part in the attack, an idea that she said Meadows encouraged but that the White House counsel’s office disagreed with. According to Hutchinson, both Giuliani and Meadows suggested or sought presidential pardons for themselves, as well.

The hearing was unexpectedly announced a week after the Jan. 6 committee said they were taking a break until the month of July. In the year since its creation, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.

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PBS NewsHour live episode, June 28, 2022

posted at 21:07:28 UTC by PBS NewsHour via PBS NewsHour

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Reuters @Reuters

posted at 21:07:49 UTC by Reuters via Reuters (Twitter)
Witnesses testifying before the Jan. 6th panel, including those who served under former President Trump, were contacted by ex-colleagues and pressed to demonstrate ‘loyalty,’ revealed Republican Rep. Liz Cheney at the sixth day of Capitol attack hearings reut.rs/3QU2Bu5

Reuters @Reuters

posted at 21:07:49 UTC by Reuters via Reuters (Twitter)
‘Russian Salad’ on the menu at NATO summit cafe in Madrid raises eyebrows reut.rs/3AdnBpS

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Reuters Business @ReutersBiz

posted at 21:07:49 UTC by Reuters Business via Reuters (Twitter)
Reuters retweeted:
Wall Street tumbled in a broad sell-off as dire consumer confidence data dampened investor optimism and fueled recession fears reut.rs/3bA7isR

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Reuters @Reuters

posted at 21:07:49 UTC by Reuters via Reuters (Twitter)
Russia fines foreign firms for alleged data storage violations reut.rs/3HYugps

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Россия продолжает военное вторжение в Украину, начатое 24 февраля по приказу Владимира Путина. DW следит за событиями 28 июня.

2643421 Deutsche Welle: DW.COM News Russia

KT “Special Intelligence Operation” @KremlinTrolls

posted at 21:08:00 UTC by KT “Special Intelligence Operation” via KT CounterIntelligence (Twitter)
He used his tiny hands.. https://t.co/LNAUY46A2C

He tried to strangle a secret service officer
U.S. Stocks Fall as Consumer Optimism Wanes

posted at 21:08:20 UTC by The Wall Street Journal via WSJ Minute Briefing

Dow falls 1.5%. S&P 500 declines 2%. Consumer discretionary stocks suffer broad declines, but energy stocks are among the day’s winners. J.R. Whalen reports.

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Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

posted at 21:08:25 UTC by Bloomberg Markets and Finance via Bloomberg TV Markets and Finance

Ghislaine Maxwell was ordered to spend 20 years in prison after a hearing at which victims described how their lives had been devastated by the sexual abuse they suffered at her and Jeffrey Epstein’s hands. Taylor Riggs reports on “Bloomberg Markets: The Close.”

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