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The trial of a Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian opened Friday, the first war crimes trial since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.
Scores of journalists packed inside a small courtroom in the Ukrainian capital where the suspect appeared in a small glass cage for the start of a trial that has drawn international attention amid accusations of repeated atrocities by Russian forces.
Sgt. Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, is accused of shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka. He could get up to life in prison.
The killing occurred in the early days of the war, when Russian tanks advancing on Kyiv were unexpectedly routed and tank crew retreated.
Shyshimarin, a member of a tank unit that was captured by Ukrainian forces, admitted that he shot the civilian in a video posted by the Security Service of Ukraine.
“I was ordered to shoot,” said Shyshimarin, of the killing on Feb. 28. “I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept on going.”
Shyshimarin’s video statement is “one of the first confessions of the enemy invaders,” according to the Ukrainian security service.
The trial comes as Russia’s campaign to take Ukraine’s east slowly grinds on — but its invasion has resulted in widespread repercussions beyond the battlefield.
Two and a half months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through Moscow’s neighbors, Finland’s president and prime minister announced Thursday that the Nordic country should apply right away for membership in NATO, the military defense pact founded in part to counter the Soviet Union.
“You (Russia) caused this. Look in the mirror,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
Finland’s Parliament still has to weigh in, but the announcement means it is all but certain to apply — and gain admission. The process could take months to complete. Sweden, likewise, is considering putting itself under NATO’s protection.
That would represent a major change in Europe’s security landscape: Sweden has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, while Finland adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviets in World War II.
The Kremlin warned it may take retaliatory “military-technical” steps.
Public opinion in both nations shifted dramatically in favor of NATO membership after the invasion, which stirred fears in countries along Russia’s flank that they could be next.
Such an expansion of the alliance would leave Russia surrounded by NATO countries in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic and would amount to a stinging setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He had hoped to divide and roll back NATO in Europe but is instead seeing the opposite happen.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance would welcome Finland and Sweden with open arms.
NATO’s funneling of weapons and other military support to Ukraine has been critical to Kyiv’s surprising ability to stymie the invasion, and the Kremlin warned anew that the aid could lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia.
“There is always a risk of such conflict turning into a full-scale nuclear war, a scenario that will be catastrophic for all,” said Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council.
On the ground, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Friday that Russia has not made any significant advances despite concentrating forces in the Donbas after withdrawing troops from other areas.
British military officials said Russia lost “significant” elements of at least one battalion tactical group — about 1,000 troops — and equipment that were used to quickly deploy a makeshift floating bridge while trying to cross the Siverskyi Donets River west of Severodonetsk.
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.
As the fighting and Russian strikes persisted, teachers were trying to restore some sense of normalcy after the war shuttered Ukraine’s schools and devastated the lives of millions of children. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, lessons are being given in a subway station used as a bomb shelter that has become home for many families.
“It helps to support them mentally. Because now there is a war, and many lost their homes … some people’s parents are fighting now,” said teacher Valeriy Leiko. In part thanks to the lessons, he said, “they feel that someone loves them.”
Primary school-age children joined Leiko around a table for history and art lessons in the subway station, where children’s drawings now line the walls.
An older student, Anna Fedoryaka, was monitoring lectures on Ukrainian literature being given by Kharkiv professor Mykhailo Spodarets online from his basement.
Internet connections were a problem, Fedoryaka said. And, “it is hard to concentrate when you have to do your homework with explosions by your window.”
At least two civilians were killed on the outskirts of Kharkiv on Thursday, authorities said. The attacks also damaged a building housing a humanitarian aid unit, municipal offices and hospital facilities, Vyacheslav Zadorenko, the mayor of the suburban town of Derhachi, wrote in a Telegram post.
None of the sites “had anything to do with military infrastructure,” Zadorenko said.
The Ukrainian military chief for the eastern Luhansk region said Friday that Russian forces opened fire 31 times on residential areas the day before, destroying dozens of homes, notably in Hirske and Popasnianska villages, and a bridge in Rubizhne.
Russia’s advance in the Donbas has been slow, but its forces have gained some ground and taken some villages.
In other developments, Ukrainian officials said their forces took out another Russian ship in the Black Sea, though there was no confirmation from Russia and no casualties were reported.
The Vsevolod Bobrov logistics ship was badly damaged but not thought to have sunk when it was struck while trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island, said Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president.
In April, the Ukrainian military sank the Moskva cruiser, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. In March it destroyed the landing ship Saratov.
Ukraine said Russian forces fired artillery and grenade launchers at Ukrainian troops around Zaporizhzhia, which has been a refuge for civilians fleeing Mariupol, and attacked in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions to the north.
The Ukrainian military also said Russian forces were transferring additional artillery units to border areas near Chernihiv, where overnight strikes killed at least three people. It said that Russian troops fired rockets at a school and student dormitory in Novhorod-Siversky and that some other buildings, including private homes, were also damaged.
In his evening address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the assaults.
“Of course, the Russian state is in such a state that any education only gets in its way,” he said. “But what can be achieved by destroying Ukrainian schools? All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick and incurable.”
The southern port of Mariupol has largely been reduced to smoking rubble with little food, water or medicine, or what the mayor called a “medieval ghetto.” Ukrainian fighters there continued to hold out at the Azovstal steel plant, the last stronghold of resistance in the city.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said negotiations were underway with Russia to win the release of 38 severely wounded Ukrainian defenders from the plant. She said Ukraine hoped to exchange them for 38 “significant” Russian prisoners of war.
By: Ny Post
Naomi Campbell supports Kate Moss after Johnny Depp testimony
Naomi Campbell will always have Kate Moss’ back.
The model took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday to praise her pal for taking the witness stand on behalf of Johnny Depp and his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
“YES WAGON TELL IT !! @ katemossagency,” Campbell, 52, wrote, using the nickname she has used for Moss, 48, for years.
Campbell’s words were accompanied by a screengrab of an article recapping Moss’ statements in court, in which the model denied Heard’s claim that Depp pushed her down a flight of stairs during their ’90s romance.
As previously reported, Moss was called as a rebuttal witness for Depp, 58, in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, 36. The trial is now in its sixth and final week in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
“He never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs,” Moss said over video from Gloucester, England.
Moss told jurors that she fell down a flight of stairs and injured herself during a rainy night in Jamaica at the GoldenEye Resort.
“Johnny had left the room before I did, and there had been a rainstorm. And as I left the room, I slid down the stairs and hurt my back,” she testified.
“I screamed because I didn’t know what happened to me and I was in pain. And [Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”
Depp’s attorney Ben Chew then asked Moss, “Did Mr. Depp push you in any way down the stairs?”
She asserted, “No.”
Moss was 20 and Depp was 31 when they dated from 1994 until 1997. Following their split, the actor moved on with now-ex Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Paradis, 49, share kids Lily-Rose, 22, and Jack, 20.
Though Moss once described her breakup with Depp as a “nightmare,” she has remained resolutely supportive of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me,” Moss told Vanity Fair in 2012. “Johnny did for a bit.”
By: Ny Post
Ari Emanuel to marry Sarah Staudinger in St. Tropez this weekend
Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel will seal his latest deal this weekend.
Sources confirmed to Page Six that Emanuel — the hard-charging inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on the HBO hit “Entourage” — will tie the knot with designer Sarah Staudinger in a star-studded ceremony in St. Tropez, France.
Conveniently, the nuptials will coincide with the end of the nearby Cannes Film Festival.
Insiders told Page Six that guests are already headed to the wedding location for the upcoming festivities.
While the guest list currently remains under wraps, Emanuel is known to rep A-list names including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Christian Bale, Whoopi Goldberg, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Larry David and Joaquin Phoenix. He also previously represented Donald Trump in his “Apprentice” days.
On the family side, his brothers are former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Staudinger’s fashion line, Staud, has celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie.
Page Six exclusively revealed last May that Emanuel and Staudinger got engaged. They started dating in 2018, after he and his first wife, Sarah Addington, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. They reportedly separated in 2014, and have three kids together.
Emanuel, 61, and Staudinger, 33, broke up in 2020, then reconciled around the start of 2021. He popped the question after his company, Endeavor, debuted on the stock market, a source told us at the time.
The Brentwood, Calif., home he shared with Addington went on the market last year for $25.9 million, while he bought a 2-acre Beverly Hills estate for $27.5 million in October 2020.
A rep did not comment.
The Wrap was first to report on the Emanuel wedding.
By: Ny Post
Heat trapped by greenhouse gases reached highest level yet in 2021, scientists say
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities trapped much more heat in 2021 than they did three decades ago, according to scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an update to its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index on Monday. The index is used to provide a measurement of the amount of heating greenhouse gases are causing.
In 2021, the index reached a value of 1.49, which is 49% more than 1 value that is assigned to 1990 – the year of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the earliest binding climate change agreements signed by 192 countries. The value of 0 is assigned to the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750.
Carbon dioxide levels
According to scientists, carbon dioxide is the most abundant of the green greenhouse gases and grew by 2.6 parts per million last year. The level has risen by 61 ppm since 1990, and accounts for 80% of the increased heat shown in the AGGI.
“CO2 is the main player because it stays in the atmosphere and oceans for thousands of years and it is by far the largest contributor to global warming,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory.
Methane sources still not clear
Methane, or CH4, is another greenhouse gas that drives climate change, but scientists are still trying to understand what is causing its increase.
Scientists said CH4 levels grew by 16.9 parts per billion in 2021 – the fastest observed increase since the early 1980s.
The nature of its increase is important to understand because it warms the earth 30 to 90 times more than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. However, it stays in the atmosphere a much shorter amount of time than CO2 – decades compared to millennia.
According to scientists, the increased methane may be coming less from fossil fuels and more from wetlands, agriculture and landfills.
“We should absolutely target man-made methane emissions — especially those from fossil fuel — because it is technologically feasible to control them,” said Xin Lan, a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “If wetlands are giving off more methane because of warming and changes in global precipitation caused by rising CO2 levels, that’s something we can’t control directly, and that would be very concerning.”
Other gases being monitored
There are a total of 19 greenhouse gases that are monitored by scientists. While carbon dioxide and methane make up the bulk of these gases in the atmosphere, another one called nitrous oxide, or N2O, comes in third.
According to scientists, N2O levels are primarily the result of the use of fertilizer for agriculture.
“We can find alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels, but cutting emissions associated with producing food is a very difficult task,” said Stephen Montzka, the GML scientist who leads the AGGI report each year.
The remaining 16 greenhouse gases make up about 4% of heat that has been trapped since 1750, according to scientists.
By: Ny Post
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