cfabbro's recent activity

  1. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 23-24 in ~news

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    ‘Never have I been so ashamed’: Russian envoy criticizes war (AP)

    ‘Never have I been so ashamed’: Russian envoy criticizes war (AP)

    A veteran Russian diplomat to the U.N. Office at Geneva says he handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the “aggressive war unleashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

    Boris Bondarev, 41, confirmed his resignation in a letter delivered Monday morning after a diplomatic official passed on his English-language statement to The Associated Press.

    “For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24 of this year,” he wrote, alluding to the date of Russia’s invasion.

    “The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous and free society in our country,” Bondarev wrote, referring to the widespread use of the letter “Z” as a symbol of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

    “It is intolerable what my government is doing now,” Bondarev told the AP. “As a civil servant, I have to carry a share of responsibility for that. And I don’t want to do that.”

    In his English-language statement, which he said he emailed to about 40 diplomats and others, Bondarev said those who conceived the war “want only one thing — to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity.”

    He railed against the growing “lies and unprofessionalism” at Russia’s Foreign Ministry and took particular aim at Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    “In 18 years, he (Lavrov) went from a professional and educated intellectual … to a person who constantly broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world with nuclear weapons!” he wrote. “Today, the (Russian) Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred.”

    In his email, Bondarev wrote that he should have resigned earlier, but didn’t because of “some unfinished family business” and because he needed to “gather my resolve.”

    “It’s been already three months since my government launched a bloody assault on Ukraine and it’s been very hard to keep my mind more or less sane when all about were losing theirs,” he wrote.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on The Warthog Project - My home flight simulator: An overview in ~games

  3. Comment on Thunderbird's donation-driven revenue rose 21% in 2021 to $2.7 million in ~comp

    cfabbro
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    Firefox Send was explicitly meant for file sharing, so I can totally understand why it had serious liability issues. But I would think that an email provider has a lot more privacy and private...

    Firefox Send was explicitly meant for file sharing, so I can totally understand why it had serious liability issues. But I would think that an email provider has a lot more privacy and private communication laws it could rely on to reduce their liability. Is that not the case?

  4. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 20-22 in ~news

    cfabbro
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    This is probably rather niche content, but I still wanted to share this lecture from the Austrian Armed Forces: War in Ukraine: The Success Story of Ukrainian Artillery (turn on Subtitles then, in...

    This is probably rather niche content, but I still wanted to share this lecture from the Austrian Armed Forces:

    War in Ukraine: The Success Story of Ukrainian Artillery
    (turn on Subtitles then, in Settings, set it to Auto-translate to English)

    Colonel Markus Reisner talks, in detail, about how Ukraine have modified their artillery tactics since the start of the war in order to reduce casualties from counter-fire. This includes discussing their new decentralized deployment strategy, their newly developed command & control software (GIS ARTA), switching to Starlink for communications and data transmissions to prevent jamming, and their use of guided munitions. And it also ends with several key examples of Ukraine's artillery strategies paying off, including the now infamous destruction of the Russian command post in Izium, and Russia's failed Siversky Donets river crossing attempt.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 20-22 in ~news

    cfabbro
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    Russia may scrap age limits for soldiers to bolster Ukraine invasion force (The Guardian)

    Russia may scrap age limits for soldiers to bolster Ukraine invasion force (The Guardian)

    Senior Russian officials have proposed a new law that would eliminate age limits for military contract soldiers, in another sign the country is facing a shortage of infantry to continue its offensive in Ukraine.

    Two members of the ruling United Russia party who introduced the law said the move would enable the military to utilise the skills of older professionals.

    “For the use of high-precision weapons, the operation of weapons and military equipment, highly professional specialists are needed. Experience shows that they become such by the age of 40-45,” it said.

    Currently, Russians aged 18-40 and foreigners aged 18-30 can enter into a first contract with the army.

    The lawmakers added that the proposed legislation would also make it easier to recruit civilian medics, engineers and operations and communications specialists.

    Military experts say Russia is facing unsustainable troop and equipment losses in Ukraine after a series of military setbacks that have forced Moscow to reduce its war aims.

    Russia initially put about 80% of its main ground combat forces – 150,000 men – into the war in February, according to western officials. In the 82 days since, it has “suffered losses of one third of the ground combat force it committed,” British military intelligence claimed last week.

    “Russia lacks sufficient ground units with contract soldiers for a sustainable rotation. The troops are getting exhausted – they won’t be able to keep this up for a long period,” said Rob Lee, a military analyst.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Deep dive into the history of Kennywood's Old Mill ride, the cancelled Garfield theme park, and the infamous Garfield's Nightmare dark ride in ~humanities

    cfabbro
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    Well said. And Canada's Wonderland definitely does that for me. It has changed a lot over the decades, with many many new rides and attractions having been added, but thankfully enough of them...

    Well said. And Canada's Wonderland definitely does that for me. It has changed a lot over the decades, with many many new rides and attractions having been added, but thankfully enough of them have remained completely untouched that it still triggers extremely nostalgic feelings every time I'm there. E.g. As far as roller-coasters go, the Ghoster Coaster (a wooden roller-coaster for children) is actually pretty lame, but I have such fond memories of it from when I was young that even as an adult I make a point to ride it at least a once every time I go there. Same with the White Water Canyon. :)

  7. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 20-22 in ~news

    cfabbro
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    A Russian rock singer was charged after condemning the Ukraine war at a concert. (NYT)

    A Russian rock singer was charged after condemning the Ukraine war at a concert. (NYT)

    A Russian rock musician who condemned the invasion of Ukraine at a concert on Wednesday and questioned why so many Russians and Ukrainians had died was charged with discrediting the army.

    Before a packed stadium in Ufa, Russia, Yuri Shevchuk, the frontman of the band DDT, said that people were dying as a result of “some kind of Napoleonic plans of our latest Caesar, yes?”

    “The motherland, my friends, is not,” he said, a part of the president’s body “that you have to lick and kiss all the time.”

    “The motherland is a poor grandmother selling potatoes at the train station,” he said, according to a translation by The Associated Press.

    He received scattered applause.

    Mr. Shevchuk, 65, who over the years has challenged President Vladimir V. Putin’s decisions, made the comments less than three months after Russia enacted a law that would punish anyone who spread “false information” about its invasion with up to 15 years in prison.

    Radmir Usaev, a producer, said on Instagram that, after the concert, “security forces” spoke with Mr. Shevchuk for an hour and had him sign a “protocol” that was sent to a court.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 18-19 in ~news

    cfabbro
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    Ukraine thanks Egypt for turning away Russian ship carrying grain (Reuters)

    Ukraine thanks Egypt for turning away Russian ship carrying grain (Reuters)

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked Egypt on Thursday for turning away a Russian ship loaded with grain which he said had been stolen from Ukraine.

    Egypt’s supply minister said on Sunday that a ship that had been allowed to sail by Russia had been turned away on the grounds that it did not have the proper paperwork.

    Ukraine’s embassy in Cairo alleged the ship was carrying grain from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.

    “Spoke with my Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. Grateful to Egypt for turning away a Russian ship loaded with grain stolen in Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter, adding that Ukraine and Egypt had agreed to coordinate efforts to make Russia unblock Ukraine’s food exports.

    Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, normally imports large volumes of Black Sea wheat but shipments have been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

    Last month, Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister accused occupying Russian forces of stealing “several hundred thousand tonnes” of grain.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    cfabbro
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    Whoa, that video explains so much!!! I remember seeing a bunch of those scenes, that aren't in the theatrical release, when watching the movie as a kid... but I always assumed I was just...

    Whoa, that video explains so much!!! I remember seeing a bunch of those scenes, that aren't in the theatrical release, when watching the movie as a kid... but I always assumed I was just misremembering it or had invented them in my head! But now I know the truth, that those scene (including the giant octopus attack, which I remember seeing!) were only shown on cable television. Thanks for sharing that video, and clearing up a bit of mystery from my childhood.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    cfabbro
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    The NeverEnding Story is one of my all-time favorite "kids" movies (along with Labyrinth, Princess Bride, The Goonies, and Flight of the Navigator), but I honestly never knew it was based on a...

    The NeverEnding Story is one of my all-time favorite "kids" movies (along with Labyrinth, Princess Bride, The Goonies, and Flight of the Navigator), but I honestly never knew it was based on a book. Your post inspired me to order a copy for myself though. So thanks! :)

    1 vote