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Russian Forces Continue to Launch Attacks in Southern Ukraine

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Russian forces have continued their attacks in southern Ukraine, targeting the village of Robotyne, a strategically significant location. Military officials and experts have reported that these attacks represent an effort to undermine Ukraine’s hard-won gains from the previous summer.

Over four consecutive days, Ukrainian forces have successfully repelled armored vehicles and large numbers of enemy troops that have been assaulting the area. Open-source maps compiled by independent groups analyzing combat footage indicate that Russia has made marginal gains to the west and south of Robotyne, with reports from the Institute for the Study of War suggesting that Russian forces have advanced to the western outskirts of the village.

The Ukrainian Army spokesperson, Dmytro Lykhovii, highlighted the importance of Robotyne, stating that the Russians are focused on achieving a strategic victory there. This underscores the significance of the attacks in the area and the intensity of the ongoing conflict.

Further bolstering the scope of the Russian attacks, the recent capture of Avdiivka, located approximately 100 miles to the east, and assaults on Ukrainian positions to the west demonstrate a coordinated effort to apply pressure across the front line. These near-simultaneous assaults have been strategically designed to reduce the Ukrainian forces’ ability to withdraw and replenish their troops and ammunition, a tactic aimed at exhausting Kyiv’s resources in the face of unrelenting pressure.

The village of Robotyne, which was already a site of heavy combat during the summer, is now encircled by Russian troops on three sides, posing a significant challenge to Ukrainian defenses. Satellite imagery and geolocated footage have shown ongoing assaults in the vicinity of the village, highlighting the intense struggle for control over the area.

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A significant concern arising from the ongoing situation is the delayed Western military assistance to Ukraine, which has unquestionably weakened their resilience in the face of Russian attacks. President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged the difficulty of the situation and emphasized the urgency of military support to thwart continued Russian advances.

In conclusion, the Russian forces’ relentless attacks in southern Ukraine, with a particular focus on the village of Robotyne, have intensified the conflict and have raised alarm for Ukraine’s ability to defend its territory. This urgency reinforces the pressing need for international support to safeguard Ukraine’s sovereignty.

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Many California parents are unaware of the identity of their children’s killer.

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As a parent, the pain of losing a child is unimaginable. The sorrow of not knowing who took away your precious loved one adds another layer of anguish. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many California parents who have lost children to senseless violence.

For me, the memory of my son George, who was tragically shot and killed in 1996, is a constant presence in my life. The unanswered question of who took his life haunts me every day. I am not alone in this heartache; many families in California are left with unresolved cases of homicide, never knowing who was responsible for their child’s death.

The statistics are grim. California’s clearance rate for homicides has been consistently low, hovering near or below 65% for the past decade. This means that more than a third of murders in the state go unsolved, leaving families in a state of limbo, unable to find closure or justice for their loved ones.

As the president of Brady California, an anti-gun violence organization, I have dedicated my life to advocating for justice for victims and their families. But the lack of resolution in so many cases is a stark reality that we must confront.

When a murder goes unsolved, it not only leaves families in a state of turmoil but also perpetuates a cycle of fear and violence in communities. The lack of trust in law enforcement to solve these crimes can lead to further harm as some individuals may feel compelled to take their safety into their own hands, risking further tragedy.

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The impact of unsolved murders is particularly acute in Black and brown communities, where the rates of gun violence are disproportionately high. Research shows that cases involving Black victims are even less likely to be solved, exacerbating the pain and trauma experienced by families in these communities.

Thankfully, there are efforts being made to address this crisis. Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement of rewards for unsolved murders is a step in the right direction. However, more can and should be done to ensure that families do not have to endure the agony of not knowing who took their loved one’s life.

One such initiative is Assembly Bill 2913, proposed by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, which aims to provide more transparency and justice for families of homicide victims. The bill would create a process for families to request reviews of unsolved cases, offering hope for some closure and accountability.

By solving more homicide cases, we can not only bring justice to victims and their families but also work towards preventing future tragedies. By holding accountable those responsible for illegal firearm sales and addressing the root causes of gun violence, we can create safer communities for all.

As a mother, grandmother, and advocate for gun violence prevention, I carry the weight of my son’s unresolved case with me every day. But I remain hopeful that with continued advocacy and legislative action, we can bring about the change needed to ensure that no parent has to endure the pain of not knowing who took their child’s life.

Together, we can work towards a future free from senseless violence, where every family can find the peace and closure they deserve.

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Mattie Scott is the president of Brady California and the founder of Healing 4 Our Families & Our Nation.

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