Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.
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By Pavel Polityuk
KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of exploiting its capture of a nuclear power plant to fire rockets from the site at a nearby town in an attack that killed at least 13 people and wounded many others.
The town Ukraine says Russia targeted - Marhanets - is one that Moscow has alleged its enemies have used in the past to shell Russian soldiers stationed at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which they seized in March.
Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of imperiling the plant - Europe's largest nuclear complex - with attacks nearby.
After the United Nations' atomic energy watchdog sounded the alarm over a potential nuclear disaster, the Group of Seven leading industrialised countries on Wednesday told Russia to hand back the plant to Ukraine.
There are no indications that their demand will sway Moscow, which on Wednesday received powerful endorsement of its rationale for the Feb. 24 invasion from China, which has been conducting military drills of unprecedented intensity around self-ruled Taiwan.
Beijing's ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, accused Washington of backing Russia into a corner with repeated expansions of the western-led NATO military alliance and support for Ukraine's alignment with the European Union.
"As the initiator and main instigator of the Ukrainian crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented comprehensive sanctions on Russia, continues to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine," Zhang was quoted as saying.
"Their ultimate goal is to exhaust and crush Russia with a protracted war and the cudgel of sanctions."
There was no immediate comment from Russia on the Ukrainian allegations of an attack on Marhanets and Reuters could not independently verify Kyiv's version.
Moscow says it does not deliberately target civilians in what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine aimed at preemptively safeguarding its security against NATO expansion.
Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of waging an unprovoked imperial-style war of aggression.
New Russian Ground Force
Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelensky's chief of staff, said Russia was launching attacks with impunity from Zaporizhzhia knowing it was risky for Ukraine to fight back.
"Eighty reactive rockets fired at residential buildings," he wrote on social media. "The cowardly Russians can't do anything more so they strike towns ignobly hiding at the Zaporizhzhia atomic power station."
Ukraine says around 500 Russian troops with heavy vehicles and weapons are at the plant, where Ukrainian technicians continue to work.
Ukraine's state nuclear power firm has warned that containers with radioactive material might be shelled and said it is vital Kyiv retake the plant by winter. It accuses Russia of wanting to connect the facility to its power grid.
Russia says its forces are behaving responsibly and ensuring the complex's safety.
Valentyn Reznychenko, governor of Ukraine's central Dnipropetrovsk region, said on Wednesday that the Russian attack on Marhanets was carried out with 80 Grad rockets.
More than 20 buildings had been damaged in the town on the other side of the Dnipro river from the power plant, he said.
Images supplied by Ukrainian officials showed the rubble-strewn corridor of a school with its windows blown out and a residential building pierced by a rocket.
Britain, which is helping Ukraine with arms, intelligence and training, said on Wednesday it believed Russia had "almost certainly" established a major new ground force to back its war.
The new 3rd Army Corps was based in the city of Mulino, east of Moscow, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence bulletin. However, Russia would struggle to build up the numbers needed and the new force is unlikely to sway the war, it added.
The origin of a series of explosions at a Russian air base in Russian-annexed Crimea on Tuesday remained contested: Moscow says ammunition stores detonated.
But two U.S. newspapers cited unnamed Ukrainian officials as saying that Ukrainian special forces had carried out an attack on the air base, destroying Russian military aircraft there.
Zelensky did not mention the blasts in his latest video address, but said it was right to focus on Crimea. "We will never give it up," he said.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; writing by Andrew Osborn and Andrew Cawthorne; editing by Philippa Fletcher and John Stonestreet)
'Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!' Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas tweeted.
House and Senate Republicans are irate over the raid by FBI agents on Monday at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate and have vowed to defund the agency and seek retribution against it should the GOP regain control of Congress in November.
The promise to take funding from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and launch probes into the agency's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence came in a flood of tweets after Trump himself confirmed that federal law enforcement officers had carried out the raid. Media reports said the FBI was searching for possible boxes of classified materials that Trump might have improperly removed from the White House when he left office.
"The FBI raid on Trump's home tells us one thing," Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted in response to the news. "Failure is not an option. We must destroy the FBI. We must save America. I stand with Donald J. Trump."
Republican lawmakers accused the FBI of wrongdoing, providing no evidence.
"Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!" Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas tweeted.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas accused President Joe Biden of "using the FBI as his political enforcers"; meanwhile, Jonathan Martin of the New York Times tweeted, "Senior White House officials found out about the FBI's Mar a Lago raid on Twitter, had no notice, per source familiar."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised an investigation of the Department of Justice: "I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
Experts noted, however, that the Justice Department would have had to clear a high legal bar in order to obtain a warrant to search Trump's residence.
"To obtain the warrant, DOJ had to present a detailed affidavit to a judge walking through the evidence they have that a crime was committed and providing some reason to believe evidence of that crime is at Mar-A-Lago right now," tweeted Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor. "It is reasonable to presume that top DOJ leadership, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, personally approved this warrant, which appears to be the first warrant executed at the home of a former President. That suggests to me that they think the case is going places."
Many of the GOP lawmakers vowing to take steps against the FBI cheered the agency's probe into a private email server used by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, continuing to demand years later, "#LockHerUp."
However, they've been silent about Trump possibly taking highly classified material out of the White House and refusing to turn over documents that he was legally required to leave with the National Archives.
"DEFUND THE FBI!" Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted after the raid. "I've talked a lot about the civil war in the GOP and I lean into it because America needs fearless & effective Republicans to finally put America First. Last night's tyrannical FBI raid at [Mar-a-Lago] is unifying us in ways I haven't seen," she tweeted on Tuesday morning. "In January, we take on the enemy within."
The FBI has not issued any comments about the raid.
Reprinted with permission from American Independent.
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