Russia said eyeing eastern Ukraine push; Kyiv targets graft

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is mustering its military might in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, officials said Wednesday, in what Kyiv suspects is preparation for an offensive as the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion. approaches. Also Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government continued its crackdown on alleged corruption dismissal of several high-ranking officials, prominent lawmaker … Read more

Former Moscow-linked Church claims religious persecution as security raids heat up

CNN – The vertically shot video published last November shows no weapons, battlefield atrocities or even soldiers. But the sound of a patriotic Russian song reverberating through a church on Kyiv’s famous Lavra monastery grounds seemed to open a new front in Ukraine’s war with Russia. The church belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) … Read more

Soledar: Why Russia is so intent on capturing the town

CNN – Russia said Friday its forces had captured Soledar, a salt mining town in eastern Ukraine, as Kyiv rejected the claims. Should Russian troops indeed take the town, it would mark Moscow’s first gain in the Donbas for months – potentially offering President Vladimir Putin some welcome news after a recent string of humiliating … Read more

Rifts in Russian military command seen amid Ukraine fighting

As Russian troops wage a ferocious house-to-house fight for control of strongholds in eastern Ukraine, a parallel battle is unfolding in the top echelons of military power in Moscow, with President Vladimir Putin reshuffling his top generals while rival camps try to win his favor. The fighting for the salt mining town of Soledar and … Read more

Russian artillery fire down by nearly 75%, US officials say, in the latest sign of struggles for Moscow

Washington CNN – As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 11th month, US and Ukrainian officials tell CNN that Russia’s artillery fire is down dramatically from its wartime high, in some places by as much as 75 percent. US and Ukrainian officials do not yet have a clear or singular explanation. Russia may be rationing … Read more

A first for reclaimed Kyiv cathedral: Christmas in Ukrainian

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Packing a cathedral for Orthodox Christmas, hundreds of worshipers heard the service in that church in the Ukrainian language for the first time in decades, a demonstration of independence from the Russian Orthodox Church. Richly decorated with golden icons and panels, the cathedral — part of the complex known as the … Read more

What is Orthodox Christmas, and why is it in the spotlight this year?

CNN – For much of the Western world, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, according to the Gregorian calendar. Yet in a distinction that dates back centuries, Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar and mark the festival on January 7 instead. Orthodox Christmas – and the long-standing rift between the Russian Orthodox Church and other … Read more

Ukraine: Kyiv dismisses Putin’s call for ceasefire as ‘hypocrisy’

CNN – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defense minister to implement a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine for 36 hours this week to allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas services, according to a Kremlin statement Thursday. But the proposal was quickly dismissed as “hypocrisy” by Ukrainian officials. Putin’s order came after the leader of … Read more

Makiivka strike: Russia says its own troops’ cell phone use caused Ukrainian strike

CNN – A rare public blame game has broken out between the Russian government and some pro-Kremlin leaders and military experts, after Moscow appeared to blame its own soldiers’ use of cell phones for a Ukrainian strike that killed at least 89 troops on New Year’s Day. The Russian Ministry of Defense said that “the … Read more