Mar 19, 2022

By Steve Kee

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Even as Russia faces heavier-than-expected losses on the battlefield, President Vladimir Putin told a massive rally in Moscow that the invasion into Ukraine is valid, paraphrasing the Bible and saying — quote — “There is no greater love than giving up one’s soul for one’s friends.”

Putin told the crowd of more than 200-thousand people — some of whom were reportedly ordered to attend by their employers or teachers — that his actions were necessary to prevent “genocide,” calling those opposed to him in Ukraine “neo-Nazis.”

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — who is Jewish and lost family in the Holocaust — says Putin is trying to create a “humanitarian catastrophe” by preventing food and supplies from reaching trapped civilians in surrounded cities.

In what is being called an unrelated event, Norway’s prime minister says that four U.S. soldiers were killed in a plane crash during a NATO exercise. Jonas Gahr StÃre tweeted that they were killed in the crash on Friday night. He said that “the soldiers participated in the NATO exercise Cold Response. Our deepest sympathies go to the soldiers’ families, relatives and fellow soldiers in their unit.” Norway’s armed forces said the plane was a V-22B Osprey that belongs to the U.S. Marine Corps.

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