Moscow’s “strategic failure” in the city of Kherson will sow doubt among the Russian public about the point of the war in Ukraine, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Saturday.
Kherson was the first major urban hub to fall after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24.
“Russia’s announced withdrawal from Kherson marks another strategic failure for them. In February, Russia failed to take any of its major objectives except Kherson,” Wallace said in a statement.
“Now with that also being surrendered, ordinary people of Russia must surely ask themselves: ‘What was it all for?'”
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The United States hailed Ukraine’s recapture of the Black Sea port city as an “extraordinary victory”, as liberated residents sang the Ukrainian national anthem in Kherson’s main square.
With Russia pulling its forces out of Kherson to defensive positions on the east bank of the Dnipro River, Wallace said the invasion had “only achieved international isolationism and humiliation”.
“The UK and the international community will continue to support them (Ukraine), and while the withdrawal is welcome, no one is going to underestimate the continuing threat posed by the Russian Federation.”
Russian/Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin sends 100 strippers to front line to boost morale of Russian soldiers
Vladimir Putin has ordered strippers and pole dancers to be sent to the front line in a move to cheer up his troops and boost morale.
The move comes as the Kremlin announces a medal for all Russian soldiers which have deployed in what he calls the “special military operation”.
Senior commanders have been ordered to organise the entertainment as Putin’s forces approach the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
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More than 100 girls will be ferried to the front in a fleet of helicopters for a series of “concert shows” at supply bases across the Donbas where troops are given five days of rest and recuperation.
Crates of beer and Russian sausages will be shipped in for the troops and a ceremonial parade is expected on the 24th to mark the start of Russia’s operation and remember the fallen.
News of the”‘raunchy stripping sessions” was revealed on social media by a Russian officer who announced that troops would be getting a special surprise.
In his post, the tank Colonel, who goes by the codename “Armoured Death” said: “Our heroes will be given special parties with pole dancing ladies, beer and food as a thank you for their service.
“Events will be held as part of the soldiers’ rest period and aimed to raise the morale of troops who have been fighting in the front-line.”
US: Six more classified documents seized at Biden home
US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigators have found six more classified documents during a 13-hour search of President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware, a lawyer for Mr Biden says.
Some documents seized at the Wilmington property on Friday were from his time as a senator and others from his tenure as vice-president under Barack Obama.
Lawyer Bob Bauer said “personally handwritten notes” and “surrounding materials” were also taken away.
Mr Biden and his wife were not present.
The president offered access “to his home to allow DoJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material”, Mr Bauer said in a statement on Saturday.
Earlier this month Mr Biden’s lawyers said a first batch of classified documents had been found on 2 November at the Penn Biden Center, a think-tank the president founded in Washington DC.
A second batch of records was found on 20 December in the garage at his Wilmington home, while another document was found in a storage space at the house on 12 January, his lawyers said.
After finding the documents, the president said his team immediately turned them over to the National Archives and the Justice Department. It is not clear why Mr Biden had kept them.
Under the Presidential Records Act, White House records are supposed to go to the National Archives once an administration ends, where they can be stored securely.
A special counsel, Robert Hur, has been appointed to lead the investigation into how the sensitive documents were handled.
The lengthy search and subsequent discovery of more documents is a political headache for the president, as he prepares to declare whether he will run for a second term in 2024.
Mr Biden and his wife, Jill, are spending the weekend in the coastal town of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, where they own another house. It was searched earlier this month and no documents were found, his lawyers said, according to the New York Times.
The two-month gap between the first Biden discovery – days before the midterm elections – and the news being made public in January raises awkward questions for the president about transparency, BBC North America correspondent Anthony Zurcher says.
Mr Biden’s team insists the president has co-operated fully with the DoJ inquiry. Mr Biden has played down the affair as an oversight, saying he has “no regrets” about not publicly disclosing the discovery of some classified files before the November midterm elections.
The discovery comes as former US President Donald Trump also faces a probe over his alleged mishandling of hundreds of classified documents at his Florida Mar-a-Lago residence and his alleged failure to comply with a subpoena.
Mr Trump and his lawyers resisted handing over the documents until the FBI raided his Florida holiday home last August. He alleges that President Biden is being treated more favourably by the FBI.
Source: BBC News
Gambian Vice-President Joof dies in India
Gambia’s Vice-President Badara Alieu Joof has died of illness in India, President Adama Barrow said on Tuesday.
Joof, 65, was appointed vice president of the West African country in 2022 after previously serving as education minister, Reuters reports.
Barrow said on Twitter that Joof had died “after a short illness” without providing further detail.
“Fellow #Gambians, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing away of my #VicePresident, His Excellency, Badara Alieu Joof. The sad event took place in India after a short illness. May Allah grant him Jannahtul Firdawsi,” President Barrow tweeted.
The vice president had left Gambia about three weeks ago to seek medical treatment.
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