US disrupts Russian military botnet, Pentagon trains Ukrainians to use armed drones: LIVE UPDATES

Some Russian troops have been placed in “tent cities” on the Russian border with Ukraine and the morale among the Kremlin’s forces remains low, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed in a statement.

Soldiers “refuse to participate in further combat in Ukraine,” the military office claimed. “The moral and psychological condition of the said personnel is low and tends to deteriorate.”

The command of the Russian Armed Forces is struggling to “solve the problem of human resource replenishment of its units,” the Ukrainian military added. “Russian military commissaries have activated work with servicemen who were discharged from military service after 2012 and have military accounting specialties of driver, mechanic driver, scout, and junior commanders.”

Putin ally and Chechen leader teases further brutalities as fractures with Kremlin surface

As Ukrainian and Western decried the atrocities witnessed in the Bucha massacre and around Kyiv, a hardened Chechen fighter and close ally of Russian President Putin has been posting videos to his Telegram channel saying his men stand ready to finish the job in Ukraine.

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the majority Muslim Chechen Republic, has reportedly visited the badly bombed port city of Mariupol on the Black Sea as Russian troops have pulled back from the capital region around Kyiv and are regrouping to focus their offensive on southeastern Ukraine.

Western counties upped their sanctions against Moscow Wednesday in an effort to cripple the Russian war machine after photos surfaced showing corpses in civilian clothing lining the streets of Bucha, some with their hands behind their backs and showing signs of rape and torture.

Defense experts told Fox News Digital signs of such killings are remnants of Chechen fighters or Wagner Group mercenaries who Ukrainian the Kremlin reportedly had been flying into Ukraine throughout the war effort to hunt down and kill President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Conscript soldiers, regular infantrymen serving in the Russian forces, would be less likely to be trained to round up civilians so efficiently and brutally execute them as evidence in Bucha and around Kyiv suggests.

For more on this story: Putin ally and battle-hardened Chechen leader teases further brutalities as fractures with Kremlin surface

Russian discussed troops Bucha atrocities over radio, German intelligence agency claims

The Russian troops who carried out the atrocities in the Ukrainian city of Bucha discussed the killing of civilians over the radio, according to Germany’s intelligence agency, which claims to have intercepted the radio messages.

The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) presented the findings in parliament Wednesday, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

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US Senate votes to resurrect World War II-era policy to help Ukraine

The US Senate voted to resurrect the lend-lease program that enabled America to send weapons to Britain and other allies in World War II, in order to bolster Ukraine’s effort against the Russian invaders.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, S.3522, passed the Senate by voice vote late Wednesday. The bill aims “to provide enhanced authority for the President to enter into agreements with the Government of Ukraine to lend or lease defense articles to that Government to protect civilian populations in Ukraine from Russian military invasion.”

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FBI disrupts Russian military hackers, preventing botnet

The Federal Bureau of Investigation wrested control of thousands of routers and firewall appliances away from Russian military hackers by hijacking the very same devices Moscow’s spies had been using to set up a “botnet” – a network of hacked computers that can bombard other servers with rogue traffic.

“Fortunately, we were able to disrupt this botnet before it could be used,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a news conference.

Read more here.

Russian crematory operating in Mariupol: ‘This is the new Auschwitz,’ mayor says

The Mariupol City Council on Wednesday accused Russian forces of relying on a mobile crematorium to cover up their alleged war crimes in the southeast port city of Ukraine.

Mariupol, which has been partially occupied for weeks, has been the target of one of the most brutal Russian offensives in Ukraine since the invasion began in February.

“The killers are covering their tracks,” the city council said in several social media posts, adding that the Russians have set up “mobile crematoriums.”

“Russia’s top leadership ordered the destruction of any evidence of crimes committed by its army in Mariupol,” the council added in a translated statement, accusing Moscow of reacting to widespread condemnation over mass civilian killings in Bucha.

Humanitarian access to the city has been blocked for weeks, with an estimated 160,000 residents unable to evacuate and lacking access to electricity, heating, health care and water, reported to the UK’s Ministry of Defense.

For more on this story: Russian crematoria operating in Mariupol: ‘This is the new Auschwitz,’ mayor says

Pentagon training Ukrainians to use armed drones

The US military is training Ukrainian soldiers in the US to use armed drones to attack Russian tanks and other armored vehicles, The New York Times reported.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin disclosed the training in House testimony Tuesday. Pentagon officials offered more details on Wednesday about the Switchblade drones and how US officials are instructing Ukrainians to use them against Russian forces.

The US had previously sent Switchblade drones to Ukraine, which one expert told Fox News could be a “game-changer.”

Read Wednesday’s live coverage here.

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