50 votes

Putin declares "special military operation" in Ukraine

38 comments

  1. hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    Wikipedia article is already up: 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine I'm not being facetious. Editors spend a lot of time keeping conflict maps up to date, and this will be one of the best places to...

    Wikipedia article is already up:

    I'm not being facetious. Editors spend a lot of time keeping conflict maps up to date, and this will be one of the best places to track the territorial changes as the conflict progresses.

    There are three older articles relevant to the conflict as well:

    25 votes
  2. [3]
    petrichor
    Link
    "We will defend ourselves", says Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy Transcription, copied from Reddit "I have initiated a call today with the president of the Russian Federation. The result -...

    "We will defend ourselves", says Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy

    Transcription, copied from Reddit

    "I have initiated a call today with the president of the Russian Federation. The result - silence. Although silence should be in Donbass.

    That is why today, I want to come with an appeal to all citizens of Russia. Not as President. I am appealing to the people of Russia as a citizen of Ukraine. We share more than two thousand kilometres of border. Around it, today, is your army: almost 200,000 soldiers; thousands of military units. Your leadership has approved their movement towards us. Towards the territory of another country. This step can become the start of a big war on the European continent. The whole world is talking about what can happen any day now. A reason can appear at any moment. Any provocation. Any spark. A spark that has the potential of burning everything down.

    You are told that this flame will bring freedom to the people of Ukraine. But the people of Ukraine are free. They remember their past, and are building their own future. They are building it, not destroying it, as you are told everyday on TV. Ukraine in your news and Ukraine in reality are two completely different countries. The most important difference is that ours is real.

    You are being told that we are nazis. But how can a nation be called nazist after sacrificing more than 8 million lives to eradicate nazism. How can I be a nazi, when my grandfather has survived the whole war as part of the Soviet infantry, and has died a colonel in an independent Ukraine. You are told that we hate Russian culture. But how can a culture be hated? Any culture. Neighbours are always enriching each other culturally. Yet, that does not make them one entity, and does not separate people into “us” and “them”. We are different, but that is not a reason to be enemies. We want to build our own history. Peacefully, calmly, and truthfully.

    You are told that I am ordering to attack the Donbass. To shoot. To bomb without questions. Although there are questions: To shoot at whom? To bomb what?

    Donetsk? To which I have been dozens of times. I have seen their faces and eyes.

    Artema street? On which I have been on many walks with my friends in the past.

    Donbass arena? Where I have been rooting with the locals for our boys during the Euros.

    Shcherbakova Park? In which we were drinking together after our team has lost

    Lugansk? The home of my best friend’s mom. The place where my best friend’s father is buried.

    Note that I am now speaking in Russian, yet no one in Russia understands what these names, streets, and events mean. This is all foreign to you. Unknown. This is our land. This is our history. What are you going to fight for? And against whom?

    Many of you have visited Ukraine in the past. Many of you have relatives here. Some of you studied in our universities. Befriended Ukrainian people. You’re familiar with our character, with our people, our principles. You know what we cherish the most. Look inside you, listen to the voice of reason, of common sense. Hear our voices. The people of Ukraine want peace. Ukrainian authorities want peace. We want it, and we make it. We do everything in our powers. We are not alone. It’s true, Ukraine is supported by many countries. Why? Because we are not talking about peace at any cost. We are talking about peace, and about principles, justice. About everyone’s right to define their own future, of safety, and everyone’s right to live without threat. All this is important to us. All this is important for peace. I know for sure that this is also important for you. We know for sure that we don’t want war. Neither cold, hot, or hybrid.

    But, if we are threatened; If someone is trying to take away our country, our freedom, our lives. The lives of our children. We are going to defend ourselves. Not attack. Defend. By attacking us, you are going to see our faces. Not backs. Our faces.

    War is a big distress, and it has a big price - in all meanings of this word. People lose their money, reputation, quality of life, freedom, and most importantly, people lose their loved ones. Lose themselves. A lot of things are always lacking in war. But what is in abundance is pain, dirt, blood, and death. Thousands. Tens of thousands of deaths. You are told that Ukraine is a threat to Russia. This was not true before, not now, and won’t be in the future. You are demanding security assurances from NATO. We are also demanding assurances of our security. The security of Ukraine from you. From Russia. And from other signatories of the Budapest memorandum. Today, we are not part of random security alliances. The security of Ukraine is tied to the security of our neighbours. That is why we are now talking about the security of all Europe. But our main goal is peace in Ukraine, and the safety of our citizens. Of Ukrainians. We are determined to let everyone know about this, including you. War is going to deprive everyone of any assurances. No one will have assurances of security.

    Who is going to suffer from this the most? The people.

    Who does not want this more than anyone? The people.

    Who can prevent all this from happening? The people.

    If these people are among you. I am sure they are. Public figures, journalists, musicians, actors, athletes, scientists, doctors, bloggers, stand-up comics, tiktokers, and others. Ordinary people. Ordinary, simple people. Men, women, old, young, fathers, and most importantly - mothers. Just as much as the people in Ukraine, no matter how much they try to convince you of the opposite.

    I know that my announcement will not be aired on Russian television. But the citizens of Russia have to see it. They need to know the truth. And the truth is, that this needs to stop, before it’s too late. And if the authorities of Russia don’t want to talk to us, for the sake of peace, maybe they will talk to you.

    Do the people of Russia want war? I would’ve very much liked to be able to answer this, but the answer depends only on you - citizens of the Russian Federation."

    23 votes
  3. EgoEimi
    Link
    Evil. Is. Real. I felt my heart drop and stomach churn when I read the headlines. Tens of thousands of innocent people will soon perish. Tens of thousands of young men and women in the Ukrainian...

    Evil. Is. Real.

    I felt my heart drop and stomach churn when I read the headlines. Tens of thousands of innocent people will soon perish. Tens of thousands of young men and women in the Ukrainian and Russian armies — who had full lives ahead of them — will soon perish. All sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters.

    And all for the kind of blatant naked imperialism that belongs to a past chapter of human history.

    17 votes
  4. [2]
    kwyjibo
    Link
    Many countries around the world are starting to feel the literal heat and consequences of global warming, millions of people don't have access to life-saving vaccines during a pandemic that hit...

    Many countries around the world are starting to feel the literal heat and consequences of global warming, millions of people don't have access to life-saving vaccines during a pandemic that hit the health care system of even the most developed countries, there are dozens of other problems that require a collaborative, global response and yet instead of focusing on all of these issues, some mad man decides to invade a non-threatening country just because their imaginary borders used to belong to them.

    It's genuinely baffling how anyone can have a positive outlook for the future of the world anymore.

    11 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      We've never been as technologically advanced as we are today. We've never been as interconnected as we are today. The challenges of the future may be bigger, more intimidating, but we've never...

      We've never been as technologically advanced as we are today.

      We've never been as interconnected as we are today.

      The challenges of the future may be bigger, more intimidating, but we've never been as ready to face them as we are, today.

      Stay strong.

      9 votes
  5. [9]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    New York Times live feed: Ukraine Live Updates Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

    New York Times live feed:

    Explosions reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk and other parts of the country

    8 votes
    1. [7]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If landings in Odessa actually are taking place, then this is almost certainly an invasion of all Ukraine, not just of the territories claimed by Donetsk and Luhansk.

      The Ukrainian Interior Ministry says Russian troopers have landed in Odessa and are crossing the border in Kharkov

      If landings in Odessa actually are taking place, then this is almost certainly an invasion of all Ukraine, not just of the territories claimed by Donetsk and Luhansk.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        Perhaps not? https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/1496719558123696128 One thing for sure, this is the first major war in the era of social media -- we're seeing the playbook for wartime...

        Perhaps not? https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/1496719558123696128

        One thing for sure, this is the first major war in the era of social media -- we're seeing the playbook for wartime disinformation playing out in real time.

        9 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah one of the news correspondents I cited earlier just posted this: Ukraine military says information about the landing of Russian troops in Odessa is false But then the other one posted this:...
          4 votes
        2. hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-news-02-23-22/h_22ac6f04b4848cc799aac359d2aa1845 Guess we will know for sure by tomorrow morning 🤷

          https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-news-02-23-22/h_22ac6f04b4848cc799aac359d2aa1845

          US senators have said the unfolding attack in Ukraine is in line with intelligence briefings they received about what to expect from a Russian invasion.

          In a series of tweets, Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that Russia was launching a “full scale and comprehensive military assault throughout Ukraine.”

          The attack involved “airborne and amphibious landings, missile strikes from air, ground and naval forces, electronic and cyber attacks and a large ground force to occupy a large swarth of territory," Rubio said.

          Guess we will know for sure by tomorrow morning 🤷

          4 votes
      2. [2]
        hungariantoast
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        "reports suggesting that Russian troops have staged amphibious landings in Odessa and Mariupol and are crossing the border near Kharkiv" Other sources: Russian troops land in Mariupol and Odessa -...
        2 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Anyways, here are a bunch of interesting "on the ground" tweets. I can't verify these obviously, so grain of salt: Heavy clashes between Ukraine and Russian forces near Mykolaivka Ukraine...
          4 votes
      3. hungariantoast
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        From CNN: Ukraine says it was attacked through Russian, Belarus and Crimea borders Pentagon is tracking reported incursion of troops from Belarus into Ukraine, source says Also: Ukraine’s interior...
        2 votes
    2. streblo
      Link Parent
      Apparently Russian special forces have seized or are attempting to seize the airport in Kyiv. Crazy stuff.

      Apparently Russian special forces have seized or are attempting to seize the airport in Kyiv. Crazy stuff.

      3 votes
  6. [12]
    cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    This is going to make me sound really dumb and ignorant, but I’ve been meaning to ask it. Since everything I’ve read has either been too over my head or just a bunch of tweets that I probably...

    This is going to make me sound really dumb and ignorant, but I’ve been meaning to ask it. Since everything I’ve read has either been too over my head or just a bunch of tweets that I probably shouldn’t trust.

    How bad is this going to get? Like is this a Third World War?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      No one really knows at this point, but it’s likely to be constrained to Ukraine. Putin had this to say in his invasion speech: That certainly sounds like someone threatening nuclear war for anyone...

      No one really knows at this point, but it’s likely to be constrained to Ukraine. Putin had this to say in his invasion speech:

      "To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside: if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history. All relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me."

      That certainly sounds like someone threatening nuclear war for anyone thinking of direct intervention, which means direct intervention by other countries is unlikely. However, there will certainly be blowback (sanctions and probably other forms of containment) and to what extent that blowback affects Russia and their posture is anyone’s guess at this point.

      16 votes
      1. Nivlak
        Link Parent
        Holy shit I almost didn’t believe you and had to look it up myself. What the actual fuck is going on?

        Holy shit I almost didn’t believe you and had to look it up myself. What the actual fuck is going on?

        9 votes
    2. [3]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      It's unlikely, although "unlikely" is not particularly comforting when it's followed by potential nuclear war. The reality is that the US (and, by proxy, the rest of NATO) has repeatedly stated...

      It's unlikely, although "unlikely" is not particularly comforting when it's followed by potential nuclear war. The reality is that the US (and, by proxy, the rest of NATO) has repeatedly stated that they will not commit any kind of armed resistance to Russia for Ukraine. And that will mean that the conflict will be isolated between Ukraine and Russia, as long as Russia does not step beyond the borders of Ukraine.

      If Russia were to move into Poland, who is a NATO member, then Article 5 will immediately be triggered, and would cause mobilization by every country of NATO against Russia in defense of Poland, which may then escalate into nuclear war, from which no one knows the depths of the consequences on human civilization.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        If his gambit succeeds and if the price Putin pays to “re-align” Ukraine is small, I wonder what’s stopping him from setting his sights on Finland.

        If his gambit succeeds and if the price Putin pays to “re-align” Ukraine is small, I wonder what’s stopping him from setting his sights on Finland.

        7 votes
        1. hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Or Moldova, Georgia, etc...

          Or Moldova, Georgia, etc...

          7 votes
    3. skybrian
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Nobody knows for sure, but you could look back to when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The US and Europe haven't indicated that they'll go to war over this, so they probably won't. (Biden...

      Nobody knows for sure, but you could look back to when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The US and Europe haven't indicated that they'll go to war over this, so they probably won't. (Biden has offered "prayers.") To the extent that they can help without going to war (via arms), they probably will. It's unlikely to be enough.

      Ultimately, the line is that attacking a NATO country means war, and Ukraine isn't in NATO.

      Edit: actually, based on Wikipedia, it looks like Afghanistan was different. There was a coup by Afghanistan's communist party, followed by another coup by the Soviet army.

      9 votes
    4. [5]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      NATO has clearly said they have no plans of putting troops on the ground in Ukraine. Yes, this is serious, but there's no reason to think this will be a huge multi-nation war. It's going to be...

      NATO has clearly said they have no plans of putting troops on the ground in Ukraine.

      Yes, this is serious, but there's no reason to think this will be a huge multi-nation war.

      It's going to be interesting to see how the UN respons over the next weeks, but economic sanctions are about as far as this will go. The large western democracies have no appetite for spending billions on a foreign war, so that's very unlikely, even in a moderate scale.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        I agree that this particular war won't spiral into something larger but this will fundamentally shift the status quo that has been European security. It's not out of the question that we could be...

        I agree that this particular war won't spiral into something larger but this will fundamentally shift the status quo that has been European security. It's not out of the question that we could be looking at a re-ignited cold war. Some questions:

        • Harsh sanctions are enacted -- until when? Assuming Russia succeeds are they just punitive or in place until the democratic government of Ukraine is restored? If they cripple the Russian economy what is the likelihood Russia relents vs. doubling down?
        • What if Finland or other non-members want to join NATO? Will Russia use that as another existential security crisis to justify a "de-militarization"?
        • Will Putin take another bite at the apple elsewhere?

        etc. etc. So while I'm not worried about Ukraine escalating, it's worrisome what the next 5-10 years will look like.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          nacho
          Link Parent
          So far the sanctions are open-ended. No concrete, realistic steps for them to be taken down exist. Both Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO. Russia has made no serious overtures on...

          So far the sanctions are open-ended. No concrete, realistic steps for them to be taken down exist.


          Both Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO. Russia has made no serious overtures on attacking either country (as members of the EU, that'd be much more serious than another neighboring country).

          Sweden had a large "should we join NATO"-debate in parliament last year. This also comes up in Finland regularly. I'd say only Putin really knows what'd happen if either country started a process toward NATO-membership on the back of events elsewhere.


          Putin has taken bites gradually over the last 15 years. To continue the metaphor, Russia usually chews and tries to swallow each bite before grabbing another bite.

          Timing is everything. There are domestic issues at play for Putin that lend this to be a good timing for first escalation over months, then an invasion to get attention away from how things have been going very wrong i Russia itself recently.

          How long it may be until the next bite, or if this bite leads Putin to being satiated will surely depend on how things play out. There's no real reason to expect further escalation now: The ongoing mobilization is expensive, logistically demanding and doesn't leave resources for other large military operations simultaneously, or shortly after. The situation in Ukraine will probably also be unstable for some time, requiring sustained military presence.

          5 votes
          1. streblo
            Link Parent
            Good points, I agree with your general assessment. It's very hard to predict things 5+ years away as so much can happen, but I do feel like the worst case scenario for what that may look like is a...

            Good points, I agree with your general assessment. It's very hard to predict things 5+ years away as so much can happen, but I do feel like the worst case scenario for what that may look like is a lot darker than it was a year ago.

            3 votes
        2. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Europe gets a third of its natural gas from Russia and prices are high. As long as Europe keeps buying Russian natural gas, Russia will have a source of income. It doesn't appear likely that...

          Europe gets a third of its natural gas from Russia and prices are high. As long as Europe keeps buying Russian natural gas, Russia will have a source of income. It doesn't appear likely that Europe is willing to stop buying the natural gas as they don't have good alternatives. They did cancel a new pipeline though.

          Compare with Iran.

          4 votes
  7. [3]
    streblo
    Link
    Just a thought I had re: sanctions and someone here probably knows a lot more than I do. Putin knows they are coming, they've been accounted for as part of the costs of this effort and while...

    Just a thought I had re: sanctions and someone here probably knows a lot more than I do. Putin knows they are coming, they've been accounted for as part of the costs of this effort and while there's some question on their detail and length, obviously they aren't seen as a strong enough deterrent.

    How feasible would it be to demand sanctioning countries to disconnect ISPs from Russian ISPs or countries connected to Russian ISPs? To me that seems like a sanction that not only accomplishes strategic goals in limiting ongoing Russian disinformation campaigns but also undermines popular support without inflicting undue hardship. I’m just not sure if something like that is technically possible even it were politically feasible?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Greg
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Russia has been making preparations for exactly that for at least a few years - whether this is something the government actively wants as a means of information control, whether it's something...

      Russia has been making preparations for exactly that for at least a few years - whether this is something the government actively wants as a means of information control, whether it's something they see as a defensive necessity against exactly what you describe, or whether it's a bit of both is something I couldn't say.

      I'd certainly be concerned about it playing into their hand, given how eager autocratic regimes tend to be about dictating what their population can see. Government and business traffic could still be routed through sympathetic countries, so I doubt total isolation would be possible - it'd make things more difficult, but probably not enough to justify cutting off the population from non-Russian sources of news/propaganda.

      Smaller countries with fewer international fibre connections would likely be more susceptible to this, but I'd be surprised if China cooperated in cutting off Russian cross-border internet traffic.

      I've seen a few suggestions in the news about cutting them off from the SWIFT banking system - not something I know much about, but evidently a more centralised way to achieve a similar disruption to what you're suggesting, I think.

      [Edit] Having read up a little more on SWIFT, it's a Belgian company and routes all messages through the Netherlands, Switzerland, and/or the US which explains why it's far easier for Western nations to apply sanctions through.

      11 votes
      1. streblo
        Link Parent
        I think this is probably the biggest political obstacle. You're right, I don't think they would co-operate which means you'd have to look at cutting off ~1/3 of the world's population from the...

        Smaller countries with fewer international fibre connections would likely be more susceptible to this, but I'd be surprised if China cooperated in cutting off Russian cross-border internet traffic.

        I think this is probably the biggest political obstacle. You're right, I don't think they would co-operate which means you'd have to look at cutting off ~1/3 of the world's population from the Internet to have any effect which is probably a non-starter.

        5 votes
  8. Amarok
    Link
    I'm reminded of this old skit. Swap Germany for Ukraine and it's dead on point.

    I'm reminded of this old skit. Swap Germany for Ukraine and it's dead on point.

    2 votes
  9. [5]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    @Deimos, maybe time to start a megathread?

    @Deimos, maybe time to start a megathread?

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      I'll get a daily megathread scheduled for it in ~news for the next while, posting at 14:00 UTC (so the first one will post in about 6 hours).

      I'll get a daily megathread scheduled for it in ~news for the next while, posting at 14:00 UTC (so the first one will post in about 6 hours).

      14 votes
      1. [3]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        While I think a megathread is helpful, can it not be daily? The site is pretty small, new top level comments bump the thread to the top of the list already, and jumping from one daily megathread...

        While I think a megathread is helpful, can it not be daily? The site is pretty small, new top level comments bump the thread to the top of the list already, and jumping from one daily megathread to another to follow developments in the same posted story is a real PITA when they could just be comment updates to the original.

        13 votes
        1. [2]
          Deimos
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I'll see how active the thread actually ends up being today, and dial it back if it's going to be too many posts. It's a tricky balance: on the one side you can have too many threads, but on...

          Yeah, I'll see how active the thread actually ends up being today, and dial it back if it's going to be too many posts. It's a tricky balance: on the one side you can have too many threads, but on the other side it makes it harder to find the most up-to-date info/discussions, especially for someone that might be coming into a large thread that's been running for days.

          We'll see how it goes, I can always merge multiple threads into one if needed as well (though that can be weird in different ways too).

          6 votes
          1. NaraVara
            Link Parent
            Maybe a future feature for megathreads could be to adjust the sorting such that it overweights comments from the past 12 hours?

            Maybe a future feature for megathreads could be to adjust the sorting such that it overweights comments from the past 12 hours?

            3 votes