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Nurses protest outside Perth Children’s hospital Photos Bohdan Warchomij September 29, 2022

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Premier Mark McGowan has ruled out any increase to his government’s latest public sector pay offer as the Australian Nurses Federation WA ramped up its opposition to the deal. Janet Reah and Mark Olsen spoke out at the protest.

About 350 nurses gathered at a stop work rally outside Perth Children’s Hospital on Wednesday afternoon to protest the pay offer and staffing levels.

A nurse spoke about the issue:

“We can’t support them, we can’t help them because we’re busy with our patients.

“No one wants to come here and work here when they’re going to go to Tasmania … and get paid way better. Why would you want to move?”

“We need [better] pay, we need better conditions, we need nurses, and we need someone to actually care.”

Putin’s Nuclear Scenario September 22, 2022

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On a night when Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Australia flew into Perth to meet Daryna Zadvirna, author of 

Journalist Daryna Zadvirna and Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Miroshnychenko at Luna Cinema Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

My Ukraine: Inside the war zone documentary: The West Australian’s Daryna Zadvirna shines light on the Russian invasion of Ukraine Vladimir Putin as he calls up 300,000 reservists and threatens the West with a  nuclear  trigger to defend Russia against a war that they are struggling in.

Other reactions to the threat has been sky high price rises on one way tickets exiting Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia. Some routes with stopovers, including those from Moscow to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, were also unavailable, while the  cheapest flights to Dubai cost more than 300,000 roubles ($7355) – about five times the average monthly wage.

Western Leaders have said they will not organise any sham referendums in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, or anywhere in Ukraine.. Ukraines’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said: “The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything.,,,Neither  will any hybrid “mobilisation.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said that if the referendum plan “wasn’t  so tragic it  would be funny.”

He described Russia’s invasion as “a return  to a new age of imperialism.”

“Its a matter off ‘responsibility’ to the UN Charter.

In 2014 MH17 was blasted out of the sky with the loss of 283 passengers  and 15 crew, Crimea was invaded and the world ignored international protocol  and the threat of Putin’s merciless attack  on Donetsk and Luhansk. I was sent to the crash site by the Sunday Times and Ukraine fought selflessly against  the territorial infringement of  two territories in the east. Putin got away with a lot at the time and suddenly we a full blown attack to deal with.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now in its fourth month and encountering serious military setbacks, there is a growing debate over what a potential Ukrainian victory might look like.

Some government officials in Kyiv have announced Ukraine’s aspiration to liberate all territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea. The Ukrainian army’s proven ability to defeat Russian forces on the battlefield and the accelerating delivery of heavy weapons from the West make this goal of complete liberation at least theoretically possible.

However, some Western leaders fear the consequences of a comprehensive Ukrainian victory and favor the idea of a compromise peace. Most notably, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly warned against “humiliating” Vladimir Putin. Advocates of appeasement ignore the fact that any settlement which leaves Russia in possession of Ukrainian lands occupied since 2014 would weaken the international security order and effectively reward Russia for aggression, thereby setting the stage for further wars.

Talk of a Ukrainian victory is certainly optimistic but by no means implausible.

There are a number of good reasons to pursue the complete liberation of Ukraine. On purely humanitarian grounds, the millions of Ukrainians living in occupied areas of the country deserve to be freed from Russian rule. Forcing Russian troops to retreat entirely from Ukraine would also be the best way to prevent another round of aggression in the years ahead.

MH17 Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Crucially, Ukraine’s liberation would be a victory for international law that would mark an end to relative impunity Putin has enjoyed since he first attacked Ukraine in 2014. This last point is fundamental if a lasting peace is to be established. But in order for international law to prevail, Russia must first be cured of its imperialistic instincts.

Ukrainian refugees at the viewing of Daryna Zadvirna documentary

Ukraine routing the Russian forces. September 13, 2022

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BBC:

Ukrainian forces have seized even more territory from Russia as they continue their counter-offensive, the country’s president has said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said troops have now retaken more than 6,000 sq km (2,317 sq miles) from Russian control in September, in the east and the south.

Russia has admitted losing key cities in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, in what is seen by some military experts as a potential breakthrough in the war.

Moscow describes its troop withdrawal from the region in recent days as a “regrouping” with the aim of focusing on the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine’s east.

That claim has been ridiculed even in Russia, with many social media users there describing the stated pull-out as “shameful”.

Speaking to the BBC on Monday evening, Mason Clark of the US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said this was “a complete rout” of the Russian troops, who were forced to leave lots of equipment behind.

And the BBC’s James Waterhouse said it was the most significant Russian military retreat since its failed campaign near the capital Kyiv in late March.

Speaking later on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ukrainian forces had made “significant progress” in their counter-offensive, but added that it was too early to predict the outcome.

“The Russians maintain very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms and munitions. They continue to use it indiscriminately against not just the Ukrainian armed forces but civilians and civilian infrastructure as we’ve seen,” Mr Blinken said.

In his late video address on Monday, President Zelensky said: “From the beginning of September until today, our warriors have already liberated more than 6,000 sq km of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and south”.

“The movement of our troops continues,” he said.

The counter-offensive appears to have been rapid. Last Thursday, President Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had retaken 1,000 sq km, but by Sunday that stated figure had tripled to 3,000 sq km.

Mr Zelensky thanked several of Ukraine’s brigades involved in the counter-offensive, describing their fighters as “true heroes”.

He did not reveal which Ukrainian cities and villages had been liberated.

Russia’s military earlier admitted that its troops had to leave the key cities of Balakliya, Izyum and Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region. Russia now controls only a small eastern part of the region.

Significant – albeit slower – advances by Ukrainian troops have also been reported in the southern Kherson region, which borders with Crimea – a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

UK defence officials say the Ukrainian army’s recent successes will have “significant implications” for Russia’s overall operational design.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted that military operations in Ukraine will continue “until all the tasks that were initially set” have been fulfilled.

Russia says its forces have been carrying out strikes in those areas retaken by Ukraine in recent days.

CNBC

 Natalia Popova, adviser to the head of the Kharkiv regional council, shared photos on Facebook of troops holding up a Ukrainian flag in front of Kupiansk city hall. A Russian flag lay at their feet. “Kupiansk is Ukraine. Glory to the armed forces of Ukraine,” she wrote.

In Hrakove, one of dozens of recaptured villages, Reuters journalists saw burnt out vehicles bearing the “Z” symbol of Russia’s invasion, and piles of rubbish and ammunition in positions the Russians had abandoned in evident haste.

“Hello everyone, we are from Russia,” was spray painted on a wall.

Three bodies lay in white body bags in a yard.

The regional chief of police, Volodymyr Tymoshenko, said Ukrainian police had moved in the previous day, and had checked the identities of local residents who had lived under Russian occupation since the invasion’s second day.

“The first function is to provide help that they need. The next job is to document the crimes committed by Russian invaders on the territories which they temporarily occupied.”

The capture of at least part of Kupiansk, if confirmed, potentially leaves thousands of Russian soldiers trapped at the frontline and cut off from supplies. Reuters could not independently verify the situation in the city.

Ukraine has seized a huge swathe of territory in the east in recent days in its fastest advance since it defeated the Russian assault on the capital Kyiv in March.

In an overnight video address, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at least 30 settlements had been liberated in Kharkiv region.

“Our army, intelligence units and the security services are carrying out active engagements in several operational areas. They are doing so successfully,” he said in a video address.

Moscow has acknowledged that its frontline has buckled in Kharkiv but has said it is rushing extra troops to reinforce the area.

The head of the Russian-installed administration in the province’s occupied areas, Vitaliy Ganchev, has described the advance as a Ukrainian victory and called for civilians to flee.

Ukrainian officials have released a barrage of images of troops sweeping into previously Russian-held towns and being embraced by local residents who had been under Russian military occupation for six months.

The Ukrainian advance threatens to encircle thousands of Russian troops in Izium, the main Russian stronghold and logistics base in the northeast sector of the front.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukraine’s presidential office, in a video posted on YouTube, said the Russians in Izium were almost isolated.

Reuters was not able to immediately verify reports describing the situation in Izium. Ganchev, the Russian-installed regional official, included Izium among cities where he said civilians should evacuate.

Advance

Ukraine’s advance is by far its most rapid in months, after a long period in which the war had shifted into a relentless grind along entrenched front lines.

Ukraine’s attack in the east came as a surprise just a week after it announced the start of a long-awaited counter-attack to reclaim Russian-occupied territory hundreds of kilometres away at the opposite end of the front in Kherson in the south.

End of the Elizabethan era: The end of a reign. September 12, 2022

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Rest In Peace Elizabeth II.

 

Queen Elizabeth II has passed away aged 96, ending the longest reign by an English monarch, after 70 years on the  throne.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss , recently anointed to lead the British Isles said: ” Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and

flourished under her reign… Her life of service stretched beyond  most of our living memories … Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure.”

Australia responded to her spirit and she visited us sixteen times, weathering the dismissal of Gough Whitlam by her Governor- General John Kerr and the challenge of a referendum  on Australia becoming a republic, defeated in a referendum  in 1999.

At Government House in Perth people visited with flowers and their children to sign a book of condolences that will finish up in England as a gift from the nation.

 

UKRAINIAN RESISTANCE September 5, 2022

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Maintaining Ukraine’s counter attacks in Kherson and Kharkiv against the brutality of the Russian occupiers in what has turned into a brutal and despotic war  has led Daryna Zadvirna, the West Australian reporter who travelled solo for five weeks filming harrowing scenes from war zones to document Russian war crimes  and capture the resilient  spirit of Ukrainian people has led  her to a plea for Australian’s continuing support against Russian  crimes.

Zadvirna’s epic journey and  first hand account was on her return made into a documentary. My Ukraine: Inside the Warzone was made without drivers , fixers or guards. In the film she reported the desire of ordinary Ukrainians for the International community to back their resistance with military aid, and international sanctions on a rogue state. As the fight for Ukraine  intensifies she fears that the public’s attention to her country is slipping.To help keep this crisis in focus, The West Australian will host a charity screening a special charity screening of Zadvirna’s documentary at the Luna Cinema in Leederville on September 21.

It will also feature a keynote speech  from Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and NZ. Mr Myroshnychenko and Zadvirna will also participate in a a Q&A with Geof Parry- who covered the war in Ukraine for 7NEWS – following the screening of the 48 minute film.

The ambassador, who has travelled throughout Australia to support Ukraine is looking to the Australian government for coal and weapons to support Ukrainians during the approaching winter.

“Its important for Australia to continue sending military assistance because its in the interest of Australia for us to win, ” he said. “I’ve said it in an interview before – if you allow one country  to change one’s borders by force, you’ll embolden other leaders to do the same.

Mr Myroshnychenko encouraged anyone who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the war and how they may able to help to attend the charity screening.

“I believe people should go and see the dilm because they they will get a unique glimpse into Ukraine and the dire situation we are going through.

While the film is free, funds collected on the evening will go to I CARE, a Ukrainian NGO Zadvirna spent time with during her trip.

The non for profit organisation transports food, medicine and other supplies to the front lines, hospitals and orphanages to Ukraine’s hot spots.

To register for tickets to MyUKRAINE, 6pm, September 21 go to  events.thewest.com.au. To donate to I CARE visit icare.org.ua

 

 

 

Russian paratrooper who fought in Ukraine says troops are deliberately shooting themselves in the leg to escape the war and get a $50,000 payout August 20, 2022

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A Russian paratrooper who fought in Ukraine says troops are deliberately shooting themselves in the leg to escape the war and get a $50,000 payout.

Pavel Filatyev, 33, published a 141-page memoir outlining his experience on the front lines of the Ukraine war on the Russian social-media platform VKontakte two weeks ago, The Guardian reported. Insider has seen the memoir.

The memoir — titled “ZOV” after the Russian pro-war symbol — is the most detailed account of a Russian soldier fighting in Ukraine so far.

It describes how some Russian soldiers are facing so much chaos, hunger, and destruction that they are looking for any way out.

David Guttenfelder Photojournalist in Ukraine for the NewYorkTimes August 20, 2022

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David Guttenfelder has been to Ukraine before for the New York Times, covering the Orange Revolution in 2004, a seminal political election that moved Ukraine to the West and closer to its democratic aspirations. This assignment looks to be set for a long time.“ Russia has made little to no inroads in the Donetsk province, and U.S. officials don’t think they’ll take it this year,”. Colin Kahl, a Pentagon official, has pointed out that Russia’s minuscule progress in the east has come at a high cost — about 20,000 troop deaths and another 50,000 or so injuries. Michael Schwirtz, a Times correspondent who has been covering the war in Ukraine, calls these numbers “astonishing.” How accurate these figures  are is anybody’s guess. Morale is low in the Russian Army and the Ukrainian army, with 16 US Himars doing damage behind Russian lines, remains highly motivated. Odesa is close to the front lines but remains in Ukrainian hands. Grain shipments from the port of Odesa Ukraine to Africa have started in earnest.

Seth Jones, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “The Russians probably don’t have enough effective combat forces to fully take Donetsk,” and the Ukrainians are counter attacking, particularly in Crimea.

The HIMARS are one reason that Ukraine has been able to strike more deeply into Russian-held territory than before. One target has been Kherson, a region in southern Ukraine that Russia controls and where Ukraine may be gearing up for a counterattack. Ukraine has also carried out successful sabotage attacks in Crimea, an area of southern Ukraine that Vladimir Putin annexed in 2014.

“To walk right in and start blowing up military bases in Crimea is a real embarrassment for Russia.

With all this said, Russia still has some major advantages. Putin still seems in control of Russia’s government, allowing him to play a long game. And Russia has a history of winning wars of attrition, recently in Syria and Chechnya and less recently during World War II — although not in Afghanistan, which demonstrates that Russia can also lose these conflicts.

In the current war, Russian troops may not be making much progress, but neither is Ukraine. It still has not recaptured large amounts of territory in the east or the south. Ukrainian troops and civilians have also suffered heavy casualties. The Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant UKRAINE in Ukraine is a bone of contention between the opposing sides, with the Ukrainians accusing Russian of weaponising nuclear energy and the UN and nuclear inspectors involved  in solving the issue.

David Guttenfelder Photojournalist Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant

 

 

 

 

Ukraine High Jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh in Eugene, Oregon July 18, 2022

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — It took her three days by car to escape from Ukraine after the war started. Champion high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh can only guess at how long it will take to get back.

On her way out, Mahuchikh heard gunfire and could sometimes see shells raining down miles away. Though her hometown of Dnipro was far from the front lines of the Russian invasion, she could never shake the fear that when she said goodbye to her mom and dad and grandfather and sister, it might have been for the last time.

“When a war is going on,” Mahuchikh said, “it’s highly complicated to say that any city is safe.”

Four months after that harrowing trip to cross the border in Serbia, the 20-year-old is at the track and field world championships, a world away in Eugene, Oregon.

She easily made it through qualifying Saturday, and is a favorite to win a gold medal Tuesday in part because her main rival, three-time world champion Maria Lasitskene, is Russian and not allowed to compete because of the war.

World Athletics President Seb Coe said that given the difficulties the 22 Ukrainians competing in worlds have endured simply to make it to this point, it would be “inconceivable” to think the Russians would’ve been allowed here to go up against them.

 

The deadly anniversary of MH17 in Ukraine. Photos by Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images July 18, 2022

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Russia’s immoral war against Ukraine is a tragic reminder of the downing of Malaysia flight  MH17 in Hrabovo village near Tores Eastern Ukraine says Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles  on the eighth anniversary of the disaster. Initially postulated as a military mistake by the so-called separatists, the current targeting of civilians in the towns of Donbas and Luhansk suggests that it was a  premeditated and deliberate act of genocide.

On its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.the Boering 777 airliner was shot down on on July 17, 2014 killingly 283 passengers and 15 crew including 38 Australians and 193 Dutch travellers.

Australia’s legal proceedings  against Russia over the affair are being made alongside the Netherlands to the International Civil Aviation Organisation in a bid to force the payment of reparations.

Mr Marles says Australia is steadfast in its commitment to seek truth, justice and accountability for the victims.

Based in the city of Mariupol when the incident happened, I caught a taxi to the site the next day with two British videographers and sent photos to News Corporation as documents and evidence. Subsequently I was interviewed by the Australian Federal Police back in my home town of Perth and gave them digital photo copies of the separatists at the site.

I was probably the first Australian photographer on the site and the shredded plane and its engines were still smouldering near the village and the photos I took were unpublishable in Australia. News Limited printed a full page story with the most sanitised of the photos I submitted. In a state of shock I spoke to various news outlets from the site, the ABC, SBS, and Sky News amongst them.

I hardly remember what I said in those interviews but the photos themselves are unforgettable.

It has been a long journey and a long process in the court rooms of the Netherlands.

Prosecuters in the Netherlands  have requested life sentences for three Russian and one Ukrainian man on charges connected to the downing of the jet with a Russian-made Bukh missile.

Mr Marles said: “Australia condemns Russia’s unilateral. illegal, and immoral aggression against  the people of Ukraine. It is a powerful reminder  of the circumstances surrounding the downing of Flight MH17.

 

The Washington Post in photos: The war in Ukraine June 30, 2022

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In early February, two of my colleagues and I joined a group of Ukrainian special forces on the eastern front of the “Gray Zone,” a border between the area controlled by Ukraine and the area held by Russian-backed separatists. It was cold, wet and muddy. The soldiers toiled in the mud digging out bunkers and trenches. We stayed at their barracks in the half-abandoned town of Novotroitske.

Michael Robinson Chavez

Michael Robinson Chavez

Heidi Levine, in Kyiv, Ukraine

When I first arrived in Ukraine, just four days before Russia invaded, it felt as though everyone was still trying to desperately hold on to a fragile thread of hope that this horrific war could somehow not happen.

Within the very first days of the war, I witnessed and documented the largest exodus of refugees fleeing to bordering countries for safety since World War II. It felt as though people were running from a tidal wave crashing down on their lives, most leaving their sons, fathers, husbands and even grandfathers behind to fight for their country.

In the city of Irpin, people carried their children, their elderly, their disabled and whatever belongings they could take with them. Some often collapsed from the journey against the sounds of war and crackle of gunfire. Even their pets showed fear in their eyes as their owners tried to keep their balance while crossing the shaking planks of wood over the icy Irpin river. During one snowstorm, the images I made of an elderly woman covered in snow as her family struggled to push her in a supermarket cart made me wish to caption my photos with a single sentence: “What if this was your grandmother?”

Heidi Levine

Heidi Levine 1

 

 

Salwan Georges, in Kharkiv and Odessa, Ukraine

It was 5 a.m. on Feb. 24 when ground-shattering booms woke Kharkiv. At that instant, I knew Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had begun. I threw on my helmet and flak jacket, both with the word PRESS on them, and headed to the streets. Within hours, the platform of an underground subway station became a refuge for women and children. Family members embraced as the sound of explosions intensified above them. At a territorial defense center nearby, many civilians lined up to join in defense of their country. They filled the backs of trucks and were sent to the front lines to fight.

Salwan Georges

Salwan Georges

Salwan Georges

Salwan Georges 1

 

 

Kasia Strek, in Poland and Lviv, Ukraine

One night after the curfew fell on Lviv, I saw a family running through the streets. A grandmother with her daughter and her granddaughter, who was tightly clinching a doll to her chest. The terrified look on the little girl’s face caught my eye. There it was, three generations of women fleeing the war, while the men in their lives stayed behind to fight. In the last few weeks we met a lot of women and their children. All of them trying to stay strong.

Kasia Strek

Kasia Strek

Kasia Strek

 

 

 

Wojciech Grzedzinski, in Kharkiv, Bela Tserkva and Lviv, Ukraine

This war hurts me because it’s just around the corner. It’s on my country’s borders [Poland]. I have been there several times in the past years, working and having a good time. I have Ukrainian friends, and their life collapsed in the blinks of an eye. I’m not surprised how courageous they fight. I’m not surprised how well organized they are and how helpful they are to one another. Ukrainians are giving everyone an example of what the word “humanity” means. It’s an amazing lesson we all can use.

Wojciech Grzedzinski

Wojciech Grzedzinski

Wojciech Grzedzinski,