US officals feel the conflict will last for a while…..
The Mass gaves at Izyum….
Putin wants the Donbus teritory as his new scaled down objective….
- Ukrainian authorities and United Nations monitors are investigating a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izyum. Military and police investigators at the site said there are 445 single graves and at least one mass grave containing 17 bodies. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the bodies show signs of torture and include children. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, said Friday that 22 bodies have been exhumed.
- The bodies discovered in Izyum will be handed over to experts for identification, Ukraine’s commissioner for missing persons said in a statement on Telegram on Friday, adding that the number of dead may exceed those killed in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha at the beginning of the war. Zelensky also posted to Telegram graphic images of forensic experts gathering evidence from unmarked graves and the mud-caked remains of the deceased.
- Reports of graves in Izyum are “horrifying” and “repugnant,” White House spokesman John Kirby said Friday. “Sadly, it’s in keeping with the kind of depravity and the brutality with which Russian forces have been prosecuting this war against Ukraine and Ukrainian people,” he told reporters at a briefing, adding that the United States would continue to help efforts to document war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine to hold alleged Russian perpetrators accountable.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow is not to blame for Europe’s energy crisis — pushing the European Union to lift sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. His remarks came during an appearance in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
- The U.N. nuclear watchdog urged Russia to “immediately cease all actions” at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. In a resolution passed by its Board of Governors on Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said hostilities against nuclear facilities in Ukraine have raised the risk of a disaster. Russia’s ambassador in Vienna said Friday that Moscow would not withdraw from the site, state media reported.
- Several pro-Moscow officials in occupied areas of Ukraine were killed Friday, including in shelling or explosions that Russian media reports blamed on Ukrainian forces. An explosion killed the prosecutor-general of the Russian-controlled Luhansk region and his deputy at their office in eastern Ukraine. Shelling also hit a building of the Russian-appointed administration in Kherson, killing one, and pro-Moscow authorities in Berdyansk accused Ukraine of killing the occupied city’s deputy chief and his wife in a “double murder.”
- The Biden administration anticipates months of intense fighting, despite Ukraine’s latest startling gains, prompting U.S. plans for an open-ended campaign, U.S. officials said. The United States has authorized an additional military aid package for Ukraine valued at $600 million which includes more ammunition for the HIMARS multi-rocket launchers.
- Germany will also send more aid including armored vehicles and multiple rocket launchers, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said. Absent from the latest list are German-made tanks that Kyiv had requested…
At a regional summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, Mr. Putin reiterated that the “main goal” of his “special military operation” was to seize the Donbas, despite losses in the northeast and Ukraine’s ongoing offensive in the south, near the port city of Kherson.
The State of the War
- Dramatic Gains for Ukraine: After Ukraine’s offensive in the country’s northeast drove Russian forces into a chaotic retreat, Ukrainian leaders face critical choices on how far to press the attack.
- In Izium: Following Russia’s retreat, Ukrainian investigators have begun documenting the toll of Russian occupation on the northeastern city. They have already found several burial sites, including one that could hold the remains of more than 400 people.
- Southern Counteroffensive: Military operations in the south have been a painstaking battle of river crossings, with pontoon bridges as prime targets for both sides. So far, it is Ukraine that has advanced.
- An Inferno in Mykolaiv: The southern Ukrainian city has been a target of near-incessant shelling since the war began. Firefighters are risking their lives to save as much of it as possible.
A Ukrainian missile strike there leveled a cotton mill that was used as a Russian base, Ukrainian officials said Sunday, after taking credit for an attack on a courthouse downtown that served as a headquarters for the Kremlin-backed military administration.
Another challenge to Russia’s claim that it has full control of the security situation in the city came late Saturday, when a firefight broke out in the streets of the city and continued overnight, according to video released by Russian military bloggers. Kherson remains the only regional capital in Ukraine captured by Moscow since the invasion.
It was unclear who was involved in the fighting. The local Russian authorities spoke of a raid targeting Ukrainian guerrilla fighters. The Ukrainian military had no official statement, but officials suggested it was possibly factional fighting among those on Moscow’s side….