War crimes charges are mounting against Vladimir Putin as Russian troops persist in targeting Ukrainian civilians, bombing apartment buildings, shelters and hospitals. In the face of widespread global condemnation, the Russian tyrant decided to hold a massive pro-Russian rally where he quoted the Bible in support of his violence against Ukraine.
Moscow police say more than 200,000 people attended Putin’s rally at Luzhniki Stadium, marking the eighth anniversary of Russia’s capture of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
Putin praised his country’s troops, saying, “We haven’t had such unity for a long time.” He then paraphrased the Bible saying, “There is no greater love than to lay down your soul for your friends.”
His quote from the Bible and an 18th-century Russian admiral is just the latest sign of his growing interest in using religion and history to rally Russians as the country still struggles to emerge from his post-Soviet malaise.
As CBN’s Faithwire recently reported, Putin sees Ukraine as part of Russia’s “spiritual space,” and some say he thinks he’s a “messianic figure, a savior, to unite the Eastern Orthodox Churches under Moscow”.
“Targeting civilians is a war crime”
Meanwhile, Russian forces are unleashing death and destruction on their Ukrainian brethren as they step up attacks on civilians. First responders were seen covering the bodies of a family of five with blankets after a Russian missile strike in Chernihiv.
In Mariupol, an urgent rescue effort is underway, where survivors could be trapped alive under the rubble of a shelter destroyed in a Russian airstrike. Of the more than 1,000 people believed to be in the building, including many women and children, only around 130 people have been rescued so far.
“President Biden has said his opinion, war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Personally, I agree. Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime.”
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Ukrainian forces launched successful counterattacks, pinning down Kremlin forces. Footage from a battle outside kyiv on Wednesday showed Russian tanks destroyed, possibly by a drone strike. CBN’s George Thomas says Ukraine is now clearly on the offensive.
“kyiv authorities are using the curfew to really attack the Russians,” Thomas said during a tour of a Ukrainian checkpoint. “So they went to places like Irpin in Bucha – to try to push the Russians back further because the Russians are hot on their heels. You have maybe 15,000 Russians who are dead, apparently, along with those who have basically giving up their tanks and trucks. So really, the Russians are hot on their heels and the Ukrainians are taking the lead.
With the invasion stalled, there are fears that a frustrated Vladimir Putin could invent a pretext to use chemical weapons.
“We believe Moscow is setting the stage to use a chemical weapon and then wrongly blame Ukraine for escalating its attacks,” Blinken said.
There are also fears that China may provide military or economic aid to Putin. President Biden is expected to caution President Xi Jinping against any support during a call on Friday. An analyst thinks that China could surreptitiously support Moscow.
“My prediction would be that any weapons he (Jinping) might transfer will be done quietly with small amounts and dribbled, more as the minimal sign of partial solidarity than any desire to make a major difference on the battlefield” , said Michael O’. Hanlon, senior researcher at the Brookings Institute.
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