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In Ukraine’s Retaken Battlefields, Soldiers Recover Bodies

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By ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press

PRUDYANKA, Ukraine (AP) — The 4 troopers lay within the grass, sleeping luggage and cans of meals, some opened, scattered round them. Beneath close by timber, their vehicles had been smashed and torn by shrapnel. The males had been lifeless for months.

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This area of rolling fields and woodland close to the Russian border was the location of fierce battles for months throughout the summer season. Only now, after Ukrainian forces retook the world and pushed Russian troops again throughout the border in a blistering counteroffensive, has the retrieval of our bodies scattered throughout the battlefield been doable.

The space was of strategic significance as its excessive floor is among the many positions the place Russian artillery might simply strike Kharkiv, Ukraine’s hard-hit second-largest metropolis, stated Col. Vitalii Shum, deputy commander of the third Brigade of Ukraine’s National Guard, whose crew has been gathering the battlefield lifeless — each Ukrainian and Russian — for days.

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For the troopers’ households, news of the physique restoration will probably be closing, incontrovertible affirmation that their son, brother, father or husband won’t be coming house.

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Even if they’d been notified that their family members died in fight, without a physique to mourn over a glimmer of hope remained.

“They can be hoping that he was captured, and that is the worst,” Shum stated. Once the our bodies’ identities are verified by way of DNA assessments, “a troublesome and arduous process will happen,” he added: notifying the household the physique has been discovered, and all hope of their cherished one once more strolling by way of the entrance door is misplaced.

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During the retrieval mission on Monday, Shum’s crew photographed the location for proof and unpacked physique luggage as troopers checked the environment, and the our bodies themselves, for booby-traps and mines. One of the lifeless troopers had a hand grenade on him — he by no means had time to make use of it because the Russians closed in.

After the seek for explosives was completed, a soldier went by way of the pockets of the lifeless males’s uniforms for identification playing cards and private belongings, inserting them in plastic luggage earlier than the decomposing our bodies had been lifted into physique luggage.

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The process was carried out matter-of-factly, quietly, gently. The physique luggage had been zipped up, numbered and carried alongside a muddy monitor to a ready truck.

The battle right here occurred in June, and it was as ferocious because it was bloody. It included close-quarters fight in addition to the usage of tanks and artillery, stated 1st Lt. Mykyta Sydorenko, a 24-year-old commander of an anti-tank unit who participated within the struggle and was now again to assist gather the stays of his fellow troopers.

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In all, the Ukrainians had 4 positions within the space, and had been decided to carry them. The Russian troops attacked and captured 4 Ukrainian troopers, and the Ukrainians launched a rescue bid. An all-day battle ensued, Sydorenko stated. Ukrainian reinforcements got here in, however the Russians simply stored coming.

“They had been coming like ants, I simply don’t know the best way to describe it in one other means,” he stated.

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The losses had been heavy on each side. Sydorenko stated at the least 16 Russian troopers had been killed, with the Russians utilizing artillery to maintain the Ukrainians at bay whereas they collected their lifeless and wounded.

Of the Ukrainians, all six holding one place had been captured, he stated, and all eight holding one other had been wounded. Of the roughly 17 or 18 males at Sydorenko’s place, three had been killed and two had been wounded.

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He’s undecided what occurred to the six males holding the fourth place. The space the place the our bodies of the 4 males had been discovered was an evacuation level arrange for the wounded, he stated.

Eventually, confronted with the Russian onslaught, the surviving Ukrainians, Sydorenko amongst them, had been compelled to retreat by way of a minefield and a swamp.

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Returning to the place he misplaced his comrades wasn’t straightforward for the younger officer. It is “disagreeable, frankly,” he stated. “There are usually not many good reminiscences from this place.”

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Nearby, a Russian tank lay burned, its tracks blown off its wheels, a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag now fluttering atop it. A couple of days earlier, Shum’s males discovered the stays of a Russian soldier inside, which they collected and delivered to the Kharkiv morgue.

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With the chilly autumn wind swaying the weeds and withered sunflowers rising wild within the fallow fields, Shum and his males continued their search. There was one other Ukrainian soldier’s physique by the facet of the monitor, and close by, the stays of one other who appeared to have been run over by the now-disabled tank.

Further up a hill, a destroyed armored car and a automobile, scattered bins of ammunition and items of apparatus had been testomony to the ferocity of the struggle. Inside the armored car was the physique of one other soldier.

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The similar process was repeated, and the physique was lifted by way of the car’s damaged window. The soldier lifting the physique’s ft gagged, however waited till his process was accomplished earlier than heading for the bushes.

In all, Shum and his males collected seven Ukrainian troopers’ our bodies and located the hand of a Russian soldier amongst discarded Russian physique armor and backpacks. All the stays had been taken to the Kharkiv morgue.

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Soon, the notification of the households will start.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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New UN Climate Chief Takes the Fight Personally

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By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — For the United Nations’ new local weather chief, the battle is private.

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As a former engineer who says he is aware of “find out how to make issues work and get issues achieved,” it wasn’t simply what Simon Stiell did earlier than he turned a prime U.N. official, it was the place.

Stiell was the atmosphere and local weather resilience minister on the small island nation of Grenada till he started his job as the govt secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change just a few weeks in the past. It’s now his job to make certain the world cuts about half emissions of heat-trapping gases — that are serving to set off unprecedented frequent climate disasters — in simply eight years, or as he places it, two World Cups or two Olympics away.

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“Living half my life in a climate-vulnerable nation provides me a deep appreciation,” Stiell, 53, mentioned in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve lived by means of two hurricanes ( Ivan in 2004 and Emily in 2005). I’ve seen my nation flattened by means of hurricanes. I’ve seen sea stage rise round my ankles. … And I’ve additionally been in authorities discovering options and accountable as the lead policymaker in how we construct a extra resilient nation with the restricted assets that now we have.”

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And Grenada, which had losses that doubled its annual gross home product, is way from alone. In Pakistan, for instance, a 3rd of the nation is beneath water.

“Billions of {dollars} in damages, lives misplaced, tens of millions displaced. How do they recuperate from that?” Stiell requested from the tenth flooring of the U.N. headquarters, overlooking the East River. Rich polluting international locations must pay to assist poorer international locations which can be local weather victims, like his, he mentioned.

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Polluters paying for what their emissions have achieved is simply as necessary as chopping what comes out of smokestacks and tailpipes, Stiell mentioned. High-emitting international locations reimbursing poorer, weak nations — referred to as “loss and injury” in the world of local weather negotiations — is now so necessary it’s one in every of 4 pillars of the battle in opposition to local weather change. The others are chopping emissions, adapting to a hotter and wilder world, and wealthy nations financially aiding poor nations to develop inexperienced vitality and adapt.

“Loss and injury needs to be addressed,” Stiell mentioned. “It’s a really tough dialog, however it’s a dialog that needs to be had. Positions have softened over the years from nonacceptance and refusal to debate this to some extent now the place these are agenda gadgets in the negotiations. So that could be a step ahead.”

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Rich nations pledged a number of years in the past to spend $100 billion a 12 months in assist to poor nations to assist them adapt to local weather change and develop cleaner vitality methods, although not as compensation for injury. Even these pledges, nevertheless, particularly from the United States, haven’t been fulfilled. Stiell hopes they’re getting shut.

Coming from a rustic hit exhausting by local weather provides him “a deep understanding,” however Stiell says his new job means “I additionally should think about the positions of a few of these richer nations” and convey everybody collectively.

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Poorer international locations see an ally.

“It’s an enormous job, and it’s good to see somebody from a local weather weak nation taking the helm. As somebody from Grenada, he doesn’t want reminding what’s at stake,” mentioned Mohamed Adow of assume tank Power Shift Africa. “For too lengthy the views of the world north have held sway at the local weather talks and led to foot dragging and inaction. We’re beginning to see this alteration, however it actually must be accelerated.”

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Since 2015, small island nations with little financial and political energy have been utilizing their ethical authority to get large concessions from the remainder of the world, mentioned longtime local weather negotiations analyst Alden Meyer of the assume tank E3G.

In Paris for the 2015 settlement, small island nations compelled the remainder of the world to conform to a stricter temperature aim of limiting warming to 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial instances and a mechanism that requires nations to extend their emission reduce targets each 5 years, Meyer mentioned.

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“They have clear ethical authority and are exhibiting they will construct strain on the larger gamers,” Meyer mentioned.

Stiell resides out of a resort in Germany, the place the U.N. local weather company is predicated, till worldwide local weather negotiations in Egypt in November. He isn’t as targeted on wins from the upcoming local weather talks as he’s about one thing long run. He mentioned he’s aiming at 2030 and the want for dramatic air pollution cuts to maintain temperatures from passing the 1.5 diploma aim — one thing that’s trying much less seemingly as a result of it’s just a few tenths of a level away and approaching quick. The world has already warmed 1.1 levels Celsius (2 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial instances.

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“We have a tendency to take a look at incremental progress. And incremental progress isn’t going to supply us with the transformational shifts that we want,” Stiell mentioned.

Taking that 2030 aim and “working backwards will truly improve the strain,” Stiell mentioned. “So it’s not to say allow us to kick the can down the highway. It’s the exact opposite. It’s bringing the can ahead proper at our toes. … We’re near running out of time.”

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Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the vitality disaster it triggered, international locations have stepped backwards on their commitments to section out coal, Stiell mentioned. “But hopefully it’s a momentary regression, and people international locations are going to speed up as the disaster diminishes, which it’ll.”

The United States, the second greatest carbon polluter, took “a serious step ahead” and is sending a sign to the remainder of the world with the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed this summer season. China, the prime carbon emitting nation, can also be doing extra, Stiell mentioned.

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“Is it so far as they should go? Is it as quick because it must go? No. But this requires collective effort,” Stiell mentioned.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres frequently ratchets up the rhetoric. This week, he has referred to as on nations to institute a windfall income tax o n fossil gas corporations that would then be used to assist compensate climate-change victims and folks going through excessive vitality and meals prices.

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Stiell mentioned Guterres’ function is that of a “truth-teller” in carrot-and-stick negotiations with international locations, whereas his new job is that of an arbiter “bringing events collectively.”

“It’s exhausting. It’s irritating,” Stiell mentioned. “But finally the important focus is attaining that aim of limiting world temperatures to 1.5 levels. And that requires extraordinary motion.”

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Associated Press local weather and environmental protection receives assist from a number of personal foundations. The AP is solely accountable for all content material. Follow AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein on Twitter at http://twitter.com/borenbears. Follow AP’s local weather and atmosphere protection at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment and for extra AP protection of the U.N. General Assembly, go to https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Crowded Campsites, High Demand Cause Fights, ‘Camp Pirates’

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Some Oregon parks officers say excessive demand for crowded campsites is resulting in arguments, fistfights and even so-called “campsite pirates.”

Brian Carroll with Linn County Parks and Recreation stated park rangers have needed to play mediator this summer time as would-be campers argue over first-come, first-served campsites at Sunnyside County Park, the Statesman-Journal reported Friday.

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“People have been actually preventing over campsites,” stated Carroll. “What we skilled this yr was actually a normal degree of elevated frustration and anxiousness of individuals not with the ability to get their campsite. There appears to be much less normal widespread courtesy occurring.”

Tensions additionally escalated over reserved campsites, with some recreationists wrongly claiming already-reserved websites by tearing off the reservation tags and changing them with their very own, prompting the nickname “campsite pirates.” The authentic events find yourself indignant and confused after they arrive to seek out their campsite occupied. The observe is not widespread, but it surely’s occurring greater than it used to, Carroll stated.

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Sunnyside County Park is not the one place experiencing such woes. Earlier this yr, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department stated it will search laws to present rangers added safety due to the growing degree of assaults and harassment concentrating on rangers.

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“Traditionally about 1% of our guests actually wrestle with complying to guidelines and rules,” stated Dennis Benson, recreation supervisor for Deschutes National Forest. “Now, we’ve obtained extra like 10% of the inhabitants that doesn’t comply or adhere with guidelines, rules, these sorts of issues, which is lending itself to extra problematic behaviors on public lands.”

Last yr, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department set data for its complete numbers of holiday makers — an estimated 53.6 million day visits and three.02 million campers who stayed in a single day. This yr’s numbers are about the identical, state Parks and Recreation Department affiliate director Chris Havel stated.

“This summer time we’ve been extraordinarily busy, at 96% to 98% capability, which mainly means you would possibly discover a night time right here or there, however mainly every little thing is taken,” Havel stated. “What we’re noticing once more this yr is that it’s lots of people new to tenting and the outside normally. In different phrases, the pattern that we noticed begin through the pandemic of individuals popping out for the primary time is continuous, and which means we’re going to remain busy.”

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NASA’s Artemis Moon Launch Delayed as Storm Expected in Florida

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NASA stated on Saturday that it was scrapping Tuesday’s plans to launch Artemis, the U.S. return to the moon after 5 many years, noting considerations about a tropical storm headed to Florida.

Tropical Storm Ian is predicted to hit Florida, dwelling to the Kennedy Space Center, subsequent week, in accordance with the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

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Apart from climate and technical challenges like a gas leak, Artemis I, the uncrewed take a look at flight, indicators a serious turning level for NASA’s post-Apollo human spaceflight program, after many years centered on low-Earth orbit with area shuttles and the International Space Station. [L1N30A063] Artemis can be headed to the moon, as a stepping stone for a future flight to Mars.

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Named for the goddess who was Apollo’s twin sister in historical Greek mythology, Artemis goals to return astronauts to the moon’s floor as early as 2025, although many consultants imagine that time-frame will doubtless slip.

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(Reporting by Diane Bartz; modifying by Diane Craft)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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