Ukraine - Day 119 of the Invasion of Ukraine: American “Nazi Hunter” to head the War Crimes Commission
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Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Between 20 and 30% of Ukraine's infrastructure has been destroyed
Between 20% and 30% of Ukraine's infrastructure has been destroyed as a result of Russia's invasion. Roads, bridges, ports, railways and airports were destroyed. The damage was assessed by the Minister of Infrastructure of the country Oleksandr Kubrakov in an interview with Le Monde, quoted by UNIAN. The total amount of direct losses caused to the Ukrainian economy by the destruction of residential and non-residential buildings - schools, hospitals, etc. and infrastructure amounts to 105.5 billion dollars. That amount includes billion for the destruction of transport.
After a drone flight: Russian refinery in Novoshakhtinsk near Rostov burst into flames
A Russian oil refinery in Novoshakhtinsk burst into flames on Wednesday morning, the Twitter channel Nexta.tv reported. Another status shows a drone flying in the area. "It looks like a drone explosive has been thrown over the refinery," Nexta said. Many videos have appeared on social media showing a pillar of thick black smoke above the refineries, as well as firefighters trying to put out the flames in one of the facilities. According to the Russian agency Interfax, the fire affected a heat exchanger at the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery. The incident was registered in the system of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) at 9.25 a.m. Moscow time, although it happened at 8.45 a.m. Despite the spectacular footage on the Internet, the Ministry of Emergency Situations claims that the fire covered only 50 square meters. "The information is being clarified," the press service said in a statement. Interfax quoted eyewitnesses as saying that an explosion had been heard in the area before the fire. The Novoshakhtinsk refinery is located in the Krasnosulinsky District, just a few kilometers from what the Russian agency puts it, the "former border with Ukraine", where the so-called Luhansk People's Republic is now located.
15 victims of Russian shelling in the Kharkiv region
Fifteen people, including an 8-year-old child, were killed today by Russian artillery fire in the Kharkiv region, world news agencies reported. The news was announced by the regional governor Oleh Synyehubov. "Fifteen people were killed and 16 were injured. These are the horrific consequences of the Russian shelling in broad daylight in the Kharkiv region," he wrote on Telegram. Synyehubov explained that these people were the victims of four separate shellings.
Reporters Without Borders: Russians have executed one Ukrainian journalist and one soldier
A Ukrainian photojournalist and a soldier who accompanied him, killed in the first weeks of the Russian invasion, appear to have been "cold-bloodedly executed" as they searched the photographer's missing drone in Russian-occupied forests, Reporters Without Borders reported today, quoting results from the investigation of their deaths. The freedom of press group said it had returned to the site where the bodies of Max Levin and serviceman Alexei Chernyshov were found on April 1st in a forest north of the capital Kyiv, the AP reported. Investigators counted 14 bullet holes in the burned body of their car, still at the scene. The group said that the abandoned Russian positions, one of which is still mined, were found nearby. Remains of food rations, packets of cigarettes and other debris that appear to have been left behind by Russian soldiers have also been found. Some of Levin and Chernyshov's belongings, including the soldier's identity documents and parts of his body armor and the photographer's helmet, were also found, the statement said. A Ukrainian team equipped with metal detectors also found a bullet driven into the ground where Levin's body lay. The group said the finding suggested that "he was probably killed by one, perhaps two, bullets fired at close range when he was already on the ground". A petrol can was found near the place where Chernyshov's burnt body was found. Reporters Without Borders said its findings "show that the two men were undoubtedly executed in cold blood." Levin and Chernyshov were last heard on March 13. A GPS in their car gave their last position in the woods north of Kyiv. Levin lost his drone in the area on March 10 and was unable to find it due to Russian shelling. Drones have become a common tool for photojournalists to take photos and videos from the air, the AP notes.
An American 'Nazi hunter' will head Ukraine's war crimes commission
US Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the creation of a special group to investigate war crimes in Ukraine. It will be led by Justice Department official Eli Rosenbaum, described as the most famous "Nazi hunter" in the United States, “Meduza” reported on Telegram. "War criminals have nowhere to hide. The US Department of Justice will use every opportunity to bring to justice those who commit war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine," the chief prosecutor said. Garland said the team will bring together leading experts to investigate human rights and war crimes cases. According to him, the United States will send an expert to Ukraine to help fight corruption and money laundering. Two other experts will be sent to Europe and the Middle East to help local authorities fight Russia's attempts to circumvent sanctions, as well as to assist a working group that searches for and confiscates assets of Russian oligarchs with imposed sanctions. Eli Rosenbaum was head of the US Department of Justice's Special Investigations Service from 1994 to 2010. Among other things, he was involved in the search for and deportation of Nazi war criminals and their attempts to deprive them of American citizenship. It is to his credit that more than 100 Nazis have been discovered.