Удар по Харкову: Синєгубов припускає, що пошкоджений будинок частково знесуть

За даними влади, зараз підрозділи ДСНС визначають аварійність цього будинку

Russians Gone From Ukraine Village, Fear and Hardship Remain

When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours sunflower oil that aid groups gave her into a jar and seals it with a wick-fitted lid. A flick of a match, and the make-do candle is lit.

“This is our electricity,” Trofimenko, 68, says.

It has been over 11 weeks since Ukrainian forces wrested back her village in Kherson province from Russian occupation. But liberation has not diminished the hardship for residents of Kalynivske, both those returning home and the ones who never left. In the peak of winter, the remote area not far from an active front line has no power or water. The sounds of war are never far.

Russian forces withdrew from the western side of the Dnieper River, which bisects the province, but remain in control of the eastern side. A near constant barrage of fire from only a few kilometers away, and the danger of leftover mines leaving many Ukrainians too scared to venture out, has rendered normalcy an elusive dream and cast a pall over their military’s strategic victory.

Still, residents have slowly trickled back to Kalynivske, preferring to live without basic services, dependent on humanitarian aid and under the constant threat of bombardment than as displaced people elsewhere in their country. Staying is an act of defiance against the relentless Russian attacks intended to make the area unlivable, they say.

“This territory is liberated. I feel it,” Trofimenko says. “Before, there were no people on the streets. They were empty. Some people evacuated, some people hid in their houses.”

“When you go out on the street now, you see happy people walking around,” she says.

The Associated Press followed a United Nations humanitarian aid convoy into the village on Saturday, when blankets, solar lamps, jerrycans, bed linens and warm clothes were delivered to the local warehouse of a distribution center.

Russian forces captured Kherson province in the early days of the war. The majority of the nearly 1,000 residents in Kalynivske remained in their homes throughout the occupation. Most were too fragile or ill to leave, others did not have the means to escape.

Gennadiy Shaposhnikov lies on the sofa in a dark room, plates piled up beside him.

The 83-year old’s advanced cancer is so painful it is hard for him to speak. When a mortar destroyed the back of his house, neighbors rushed to his rescue and patched it up with tarps. They still come by every day, to make sure he is fed and taken care of.

“Visit again, soon,” is all he can muster to say to them.

Oleksandra Hryhoryna, 75, moved in with a neighbor when the missiles devastated her small house near the village center. Her frail figure steps over the spent shells and shrapnel that cover her front yard. She struggles up the pile of bricks, what remains of the stairs, leading to her front door.

She came to the aid distribution center pulling her bicycle and left with a bag full of tinned food, her main source of sustenance these days.

But it’s the lack of electricity that is the major problem, Hryhoryna explains. “We are using handmade candles with oil and survive that way,” she says.

The main road that leads to her home is littered with the remnants of the war, an eerie museum of what was and what everyone here hopes will never return. Destroyed Russian tanks rust away in the fields. Cylindrical anti-tank missiles gleam, embedded in grassy patches. Occasionally, there is the tail end of a cluster munition lodged into the earth.

Bright red signs emblazoned with a skull warn passersby not to get too close.

The Russians left empty ammunition boxes, trenches and tarp-covered tents during their rapid retreat. A jacket and, some kilometers away, men’s underwear hangs on the bare branches. And with the Russians waging ongoing attacks to win back the lost ground in Kherson, it is sometimes hard for terrorized residents to feel as if the occupying forces ever left.

“I’m very afraid,” says Trofimenko. “Even sometimes I’m screaming. I’m very, very scared. And I’m worried about us getting shelled again and for (the fighting) to start again. This is the most terrible thing that exists.”

The deprivation suffered in the village is mirrored all over Kherson, from the provincial capital of the same name to the constellation of villages divided by tracts of farmland that surround it. Ukrainian troops reclaimed the territory west of the Dnieper River in November after a major counteroffensive led to a Russian troop withdrawal, hailed as one of the greatest Ukrainian victories of the war that’s now in its 12th month..

The U.N. ramped up assistance, supporting 133,000 individuals in Kherson with cash assistance, and 150,000 with food. Many villagers in Kalynivske say the food aid is the only reason they have something to eat.

“One of the biggest challenges is that the people who are there are the most vulnerable. It’s mainly the elderly, many who have a certain kind of disability, people who could not leave the area, and are really reliant on aid organizations and local authorities who are working around the clock,” says Saviano Abreu, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The shelling is constant.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reports near daily incidents of shelling in Kherson city and surrounding villages, including rocket, artillery and mortar attacks. Most fall closer to the river banks nearer to the front line, but, that doesn’t mean those living further away feel any safer. On Friday, a missile fell in the village of Kochubeivka, north of Kalynivske, killing one person.

“Kherson managed to resume most of the essential services, but the problem is the hostilities keep creating challenges to ensure they are sustained,” Abreu says. “Since December, it’s getting worse and worse. The number of attacks and hostilities there is only increasing.”

Without electricity, there is no means to pump piped drinking water. Many line up to fetch well water, but a lot is needed to perform daily functions, residents complain.

To keep warm, many forage around the village for firewood, a task that presents danger post-occupation.

Everyone in Kalynivske knows the story of Nina Zvarech. She went looking for firewood in the nearby forest and was killed when she stepped on a mine.

Her body lay there for over a month because her relatives were too afraid to go and find her.

Friends Mourn Foreign Volunteers Killed Helping Civilians in Ukraine

Friends and volunteers gathered Sunday at Kyiv’s St. Sophia’s Cathedral to say goodbye to Andrew Bagshaw, a New Zealand scientist who was killed in Ukraine with another volunteer while they were trying to evacuate people from a front-line town.

Bagshaw, 48, a dual New Zealand-British citizen, and British volunteer Christopher Parry, 28, went missing this month while heading to the town of Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting was taking place.

Volunteers spoke of their memories of Bagshaw and read tributes from his family.

Nikolletta Stoyanova, a friend in Ukraine, shared memories of his bravery.

“Even if no one wanted to go to Soledar, they can do that. Because if he understood that someone needs help, they need to do this help for these people,” Stoyanova said, speaking in English.

Bagshaw’s father, Phil, told reporters in New Zealand that his son wanted to do something to help.

“He was a very intelligent man, and a very independent thinker,” he said. “And he thought a long time about the situation in Ukraine, and he believed it to be immoral. He felt the only thing he could do of a constructive nature was to go there and help people.”

Ukrainian police said Jan. 9 that they lost contact with Bagshaw and Parry after the two headed for Soledar. Their bodies were later recovered. A Ukrainian official reported Wednesday that the defending forces made an organized retreat from the salt-mining town.

In a Jan. 24 statement, Parry’s family said he was “drawn to Ukraine in March in its darkest hour.” They said he’d “helped those most in need, saving over 400 lives plus many abandoned animals.”

Friends said the men’s bodies would be handed over to relatives in the U.K.

In the south of Ukraine, Russian forces Sunday heavily shelled the city of Kherson, killing three people and wounding six others, the regional administration said. It said the shelling damaged a hospital, school, bus station, post office, bank and residential buildings.

Among those reported injured were two women in the hospital at the time: a nurse and a cafeteria worker. Russian forces retreated across the Dnieper River from Kherson in November, but still hold much of the province of the same name.

On Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine and its Western allies of war crimes in connection with the shelling of two hospitals in Russian-held parts of Ukraine.

Russian officials said 14 people died Saturday when a hospital in the eastern Luhansk province settlement of Novoaidar was struck. They said shells also fell on the territory of a hospital in Nova Kakhovka, a Russian-occupied city in Kherson province where a strategically vital bridge across the lower reaches of the Dnieper is located.

“The deliberate shelling of active civilian medical facilities and the targeted killing of civilians are grave war crimes of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The lack of reaction from the United States and other NATO countries to this, yet another monstrous trampling of international humanitarian law by Kyiv, once again confirms their direct involvement in the conflict and involvement in the crimes being committed.”

Russian forces have shelled hundreds of hospitals and other medical facilities in Ukraine since the war began, reducing more than 100 of them to rubble, according to the Ukrainian Health Ministry.

Russian state TV aired footage of what it said was the damaged hospital in Novoaidar. It said rockets hit the pediatric department of the two-story building.

“There are no military factories here. There are no military vehicles, no tanks. Who did you shoot at?” Olga Ryasnaya said in an interview on Russian TV, which identified her as a pediatric nurse.

Luhansk province, where Novoaidar is located, is almost entirely under the control of Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists. Russian and separatist officials alleged the hospital was deliberately targeted. The movements of journalists are restricted in areas of Ukraine under Russian control.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said Ukrainian forces were likely increasing strikes on Russian positions deep inside Luhansk province, closer to the Russian border, in an effort “to disrupt Russian logistics and ground lines of communication.” It said the strikes could be part of preparations for a future counteroffensive.

In another development, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday that Ukrainian tank crews have arrived in the U.K. to begin training on the Challenger 2 battle tank. The U.K. government has said it would send 14 of the tanks to Ukraine, which also was promised advanced battle tanks from the U.S., Germany and other European allies.

Pastor Prays for Peace After Brutal Beating of Tyre Nichols

The pastor at the Memphis church where Tyre Nichols’ family spoke from the pulpit urging peace after his brutal killing reiterated the call for calm Sunday following the release of video showing the fatal beating by police. 

Cities nationwide have braced for protests after body camera footage was released Friday showing Memphis officers beating 29-year-old Nichols, who died of his injuries three days after the January 7 attack. However, protests in Memphis, New York City, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, have been scattered and nonviolent. 

“We’ve had calm so far, which is what we have been praying for,” Pastor Kenneth Thomas said before the service began at Mt. Olive Cathedral Church. “And, of course, we hope that continues.” 

Thomas also offered a prayer for Nichols’ family, asking God to “shower them with your blessings.” 

Later, more than a dozen sign-carrying protesters marched to a Memphis police station not far from the beating, pounding on the door and demanding to be let in. Getting no response, they made their way to a nearby gate, guarded by three officers. 

Some protesters taunted the officers with vulgarity, and all chanted: “Quit your job!” But the protest remained peaceful. 

The protesters then observed a three-minute silence, designed to match how long Nichols was beaten. 

When it concluded, protester Jennifer Cain yelled: “Say his name!” And the group responded: “Tyre Nichols!” 

“Now, just imagine being beat by people that’s over 1,000 pounds on you and you’re only less than 150 pounds,” Cain said. “That’s three minutes of beating, screaming and yelling for his mom.” 

“When does it stop?” she asked. “When does it end? Are we going to continue to let it happen?” 

The loss is “still very emotional” for the family, a lawyer representing them said Sunday, but they are using all their energy to advocate for reforms both in Memphis and on the federal level. 

“His mother is having problems sleeping but she continues to pray with the understanding, as she believes in her heart, that Tyre was sent here for an assignment, and that there will be a greater good that comes from this tragedy,” Attorney Ben Crump said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

Crump welcomed disbanding the city’s so-called Scorpion unit, which Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis announced Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from the newly released video. 

Davis acted a day after the harrowing video was released, saying she listened to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision. Her announcement came as the nation and the city struggled to come to grips with the violence of the officers, who, like Nichols, are Black. The video renewed outrage over repeated fatal encounters with law enforcement despite nationwide demands for change. 

Crump told “This Week” that Nichols’ case points to a systemic problem in how people of color are treated regardless of whether officers are white, Black or any other race. 

The “implicit, biased police” culture that exists in America is just as responsible for Nichols’ death as the five Black officers who killed him, Crump said. 

“I believe it’s part of the institutionalized police culture that makes it somehow allowed that they can use this type of excessive force and brutality against people of color,” Crump said. “It is not the race of the police officer that is the determinant factor whether they’re going to engage in excessive use of force, but it is the race of the citizen.” 

He alleged other members of the Memphis community have been assaulted by the now-shuttered Scorpion unit, which was composed of about 30 officers whose stated aim was to target violent offenders in high-crime areas. The unit had been inactive since Nichols’ January 7 arrest. 

Scorpion stands for Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods. 

The officers involved in Nichols’ beating — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith — have been fired and charged with murder and other crimes in Nichols’ death. They face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. 

Video showed the officers savagely beating Nichols, a FedEx worker, for three minutes while screaming profanities at him. Nichols called out for his mother before his limp body was propped against a squad car and the officers exchange fist-bumps. 

Brenda Goss Andrews, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, told The Associated Press she was struck by the immediate aggression from officers as soon as they got out of the car. “It just went to 100. … This was never a matter of de-escalation,” she said, adding, “The young man never had a chance.” 

On a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden, Crump and Nichols’ parents discussed the need for federal reform like the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would prohibit racial profiling, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, limit the transfer of military equipment to police departments, and make it easier to bring charges against offending officers. 

Biden said he told Nichols’ mother he would be “making a case” to Congress to pass the Floyd Act “to get this under control.” 

Memphis Police had already implemented reforms after Floyd’s killing, including a requirement to de-escalate or intervene if they saw others using excessive force. 

Speaking on “This Week,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said Congress can pass additional measures like “screening, training, accreditation, to up the game so that the people who have this responsibility to keep us safe really are stable and approaching this in a professional manner.” 

The fact that law enforcement is primarily a state and local responsibility “does not absolve us. Under the federal Constitution we have standards, due process standards and others, that we are responsible for,” Durbin said. 

“What we saw on the streets of Memphis was just inhumane and horrible,” he said. “I don’t know what created this — this rage in these police officers that they would congratulate themselves for beating a man to death. But that is literally what happened.” 

Пам’яті Ендрю і Кріса. У Києві попрощалися з британськими волонтерами (фото)

29 січня у Трапезній церкві на території Софії Київської відбулася церемонія прощання з двома британськими волонтерами.

Congress Takes Over National Prayer Breakfast 

The National Prayer Breakfast, one of the most visible and long-standing events that brings religion and politics together in Washington, is splitting from the private religious group that had overseen it for decades, due to concerns the gathering had become too divisive.

The organizer and host for this year’s breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, will be the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation, headed by former Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat from Arkansas.

Sen. Chris Coons, a regular participant and chairman of the Senate ethics committee, said the move was prompted in part by concerns in recent years that members of Congress did not know important details about the larger multiday gathering.

Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said that in the past, he and Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the committee’s vice chairman, had questions about who was invited and how money was being raised.

The annual event “went on several days, had thousands of people attending, and a very large and somewhat complex organization,” Coons said in an interview. “Some questions had been raised about our ability as members of Congress to say that we knew exactly how it was being organized, who was being invited, how it was being funded. Many of us who’d been in leadership roles really couldn’t answer those questions.”

That led to lawmakers deciding to take over organizing the prayer breakfast itself.

Pryor, president of the new foundation, said the COVID-19 shutdown gave members a chance to “reset” the breakfast and return it to its origins — a change he said had been discussed for years.

“The whole reason the House and Senate wanted to do this was to return it to its roots, when House members and Senate members can come together and pray for the president, pray for his family and administration, pray for our government, the world,” Pryor said.

Pryor said members of Congress, the president, vice president and other administration officials and their guests are invited to Thursday’s prayer breakfast, which will be held at the visitors’ center at the Capitol. He anticipated between 200 and 300 people would attend.

Pryor said he hoped the smaller event will regain the intimacy that is similar to the weekly nondenominational prayer gatherings on Capitol Hill. Groups of senators and representatives have long held unofficial meetings for fellowship and to temporarily set aside political differences.

The prayer breakfast addressed by the president has been the highlight of a multiday event for 70 years. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to attend, in February 1953, and every president since has spoken at the gathering.

The larger event, put on by a private religious group called the International Foundation, has always been centered on “the person and principles of Jesus, with a focus on praying for leaders of our nation and from around the world,” the group’s spokesman, A. Larry Ross, said in an email.

More than 1,400 people are registered for the two-day event, with one-third of those from outside the United States.

President Joe Biden, who has spoken at the breakfast the past two years, is set to do so again. In 2021, he made remarks from the White House during a virtual breakfast the month after the building was attacked by supporters of former President Donald Trump intent on trying to stop the certification of the 2020 election.

At last year’s address from the Capitol, Biden talked about the need for members of Congress to know one another more personally.

“It’s hard to really dislike someone when you know what they’re going through is the same thing you’re going through,” he said.

In recent years, questions about the International Foundation, its funding and attendees led some to reconsider the involvement of Congress.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, stopped coming in 2016 because the event “had become an entertainment and lobbying extravaganza rather than an opportunity for spiritual reflection,” a Kaine spokesperson wrote in an emailed response to questions. Kaine will attend Thursday.

The gathering came under heightened criticism in 2018 when Maria Butina, a Russian operative, pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiring to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups with the aim of advancing Russian interests. According to court documents, she attended two breakfasts in hopes of setting up unofficial connections between Russian and U.S. officials.

It took on political undertones with Trump shattering the custom of the address being a respite from partisan bickering. He used his 2020 speech to criticize his first impeachment and attack political opponents, including Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California.

Earlier this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter signed by 30 groups to the White House and members of Congress asking them to boycott the event because of questions about the International Foundation.

The organization’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said the foundation’s basic concerns with the breakfast remain despite the split with the larger religious gathering.

“For decades, FFRF has protested the appearance of the National Prayer Breakfast being a quasi-governmental gathering, which pressures the president and Congress to put on a display of piety that sends a message that the United States is a Christian nation,” she wrote.

Germany Won’t Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine, Says Scholz

Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Sunday that Germany will not send fighter jets to Ukraine, as Kyiv steps up calls for more advanced weapons from the West to help repel Russia’s invasion.

Scholz only just agreed on Wednesday to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and to allow other European countries to send theirs, after weeks of intense debate and mounting pressure from allies.

“I can only advise against entering into a constant bidding war when it comes to weapons systems,” Scholz said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

“If, as soon as a decision (on tanks) has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, that doesn’t come across as serious and undermines citizens’ confidence in government decisions.”

Scholz’s decision to green-light the tanks was accompanied by a U.S. announcement that it would send 31 of its Abrams tanks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Berlin and Washington for the move, seen as a breakthrough in efforts to support the war-torn country.

But Zelenskyy immediately stressed that Ukraine needed more heavy weapons from NATO allies to fend off Russian troops, including fighter jets and long-range missiles.

Scholz in the interview warned against raising “the risk of escalation,” with Moscow already sharply condemning the tank pledges.

“There is no war between NATO and Russia. We will not allow such an escalation,” he said.

The chancellor added that it was “necessary” to continue speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The last phone call between the leaders was in early December.

“I will talk to Putin by phone again,” Scholz said. “But, of course, it’s also clear that as long as Russia continues to wage war with unabated aggression, the current situation will not change.”

Key US Lawmaker Calls for Reassessment of Police Hiring

A key U.S. congressional leader called Sunday for a national conversation on policing in America in the aftermath of the brutal beating of a Memphis, Tennessee, man at the hands of five police officers who stand accused of murdering him after a traffic stop.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told ABC’s “This Week” show, “We’ve got to do better.”

Durbin called for better screening and training, so that police officers who are hired “really are stable.”

Durbin said he did not know how a situation could exist, as shown on videos of the pummeling of Tyre Nichols, where police are “literally congratulating each other in beating a man to death.”

Nichols, a Black, 29-year-old FedEx worker, died earlier this month, three days after crying to see his mother as police beat and kicked him while he was on the ground after the officers captured him when he attempted to flee on foot after the traffic stop.

While many contentious street confrontations with U.S. police have involved white officers shown abusing Black suspects, in this instance the officers are also Black. They were fired as details of the Nichols case first became known and then last week they were charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, representing the Nichols family, told CNN’s “State of the Union” show, that “a culture” exists in U.S. policing, no matter the ethnicity of the police officers involved, in which “somehow it’s allowed to trample on the rights” of suspects.

“How many of these cases do we have to see on video to say, ‘We have a problem America,’” Crump said. “This video is a watershed moment. What are our leaders going to do?”

He called again, as other civil rights activists have, for congressional passage of a police reform measure named after George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody. In that incident, in 2020, officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd down with a knee to Floyd’s neck on a street in Minneapolis, Minnesota for several minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital. Chauvin was later convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. 

Three other officers involved in the incident also were fired and later convicted and are now imprisoned for three years or more.

The legislation addresses a wide range of policing practices and law enforcement accountability and would restrict some police activity, such as no-knock raids, chokeholds and carotid holds. The then-Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved it in 2021, but it later collapsed in the Senate over Republican opposition.

Its current chances for approval would appear slim, with Republicans now controlling the House and the makeup of the Senate little changed.

In the aftermath of the death of Nichols, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn (CJ) Davis on Saturday disbanded the police unit the accused officers were part of that targeted illegal activities in high-crime neighborhoods. It was called a SCORPION unit, an acronym for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.