Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 9-10
This thread is posted Monday/Wednesday/Friday - please try to post relevant content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Especially significant updates may warrant a separate topic, but most should be posted here.
Day 14. Two full weeks since Russia has begun their all-out invasion of Ukraine. And yes, I write these about an hour in advance.
First, a personal update with more good news. The sister is out of Ukraine, safe and sound. Actually, she's soon taking her flight, we're picking her up tomorrow. Last night, I got to meet my SO's best friend and made pancakes for the two of them.
I'd say "things ended well for us", but did they? They both lost their homes. This is a photo of the Kharkiv railway station. Can you imagine being in there? Having to flee your country, leave people behind, not knowing when or if you'll return.
I've written these words before when defending asylum of Syrian refugees. It hits harder writing them again, this time knowing the refugees directly.
There's been a lot of news the past couple days and I'm no longer able to keep up with it. The US striking a deal with Poland for the fighter jets. The organization around cease-fires. New EU sanctions. Troop advances, captures.
We're entering a new phase of the war. We're past the initial shock. Systems to funnel refugees out of the country are fully in place. Countries have made their alliances clear. It's clear Russia is not alone, even if this is politically charged enough that support from India, China, Pakistan, the UAE and more cannot be too explicit.
For example, China is donating $790k USD via the Chinese Red Cross for Ukrainian humanitarian aid. For context, china is an economic superpower with 1.4bn people and I've raised over 10% of that amount between myself and a few friends.
It will be long, bloody. It will not be pretty. Ukraine is holding out exceptionally well, and we will continue supporting them throughout, but it's not looking good.
What happens next is in Russia's hands. All eyes on the Russian people and the oligarchs - A likely coup could stop this war in its tracks. But the damage has already been done.
My SO and I have both independently brought up the idea of moving there after the war is over. Rebuilding. "Brick by brick", as she put it. I hope we'll get the opportunity to do that. And to think I was convinced I'd stay in Belgium for the years to come...
What follows is a quick link dump of things I've been reading. Sorry it's not as organized or complete as it usually is; I might have to stop these updates.
I get on Tildes every morning to look for your updates. Thank you for all the time you put into this each day. Hope your extended family continues to be safe through this.
Thank you. Knowing these are helpful/useful to others helps me take the time to write them :)
I think this title should clarify that these are Ukrainian civilians. Not that anyone is shocked anymore that Russia is committing war crimes right and left but still. Where are they taking those people?
I've heard elsewhere that a deal with Ukraine that allows UA to join the EU, but not NATO might be acceptable to Russia. I'm not sure how I think about this. On the one hand, this would have been entirely unacceptable to Putin 2 weeks ago, as it distances UA from Russia economically and, via defense guarantees, makes them hard to pressure. On the other hand, now it might be acceptable as peace conditions that at least let him look strong internally, even though he reached no actual pre-war goals, but it could be better for him than a status-quo-ante peace or a Pyrrhic victory. Because I don't see Putin surviving the year if it's a Pyrrhic victory or if it's a status-quo-ante peace. He has committed, he, his soldiers and his people are paying the price of the war and the sanctions, and if he has nothing to show for it, he'll severely lack support; there's no way of spinning that after 200,000 soldiers return home and telling stories about the war. More than 1 in 1000 Russians are invading right now, word will get around.
So yeah. If he gets a no-NATO concession from Ukraine, he might be able to spin that as at least a partial victory domestically; even though it's not nearly what he wanted when he invaded.
It's an interesting angle I hadn't considered. I have a hard time believing Putin would be okay with it ever. He's not just scared of NATO, he also doesn't seem to like Ukraine being its own state with its own identity, which the EU would reinforce a lot.
Also, NATO being a defensive alliance, the way Putin talks about it always smelled like "I don't like having nearby countries I can't bomb and capture with impunity". It's fucking disgusting.
I mean, you're essentially right, but I'd caution against adopting a simplistic way of thinking about unpleasant people. We all do it, but people aren't just caricatures of supervillains. Why should you care? Because it's a inaccurate predictor of future behavior. Internet hive minds discourage empathy with "evil" people, but no one is simply evil, and a bit of empathy is important in understanding your enemy.
That said, again, you're essentially right, but I think it's more about bullying them into submission rather than the actual violence. He wants his sphere of influence, which he can't have if all the countries in that sphere are in a strong defensive alliance.
Again, Ukraine in the EU is not at all what Putin wants; he will have permanently lost an important bullying target. It might be that that's the most admissible outcome that's still on the table for him. Withdrawing without concessions is a total loss, staying without durable peace is potentially prohibitively expensive, so some concessions are necessary to get him to shut up and back down. For what he needs those concessions (mostly propaganda, I'd think, to stop looking like a loser) is of course critical in determining the best concessions.
And there's always the option of going hard on the guy: Don't make concessions. Ukraine could demand the return of 2013's borders, and give no concessions regarding EU or NATO. Putin can't accept that at all. So the fighting would go on until internal pressure destabilizes Russia until either Putin goes or the invaders leave. That is of course for the Ukrainian people to decide, the degree to which they will fight. But it's the only way I see of restoring Crimea.
Man, if this ends up with Putin ousted, trialed and incarcerated and Russia turned into a friendly democracy, I'll dance naked in the streets. A man can dream. Don't wake me.
Absolutely. Well, if you've read pre-war posts of mine you'll know I tend towards nuance, even with such high emotional stakes :)
I also think fairly highly of Putin in terms of political intelligence. He completely fucked up, but that is one outrageous mistake among a LOT of extremely well developed successes.
That said, there's a few people on earth that are worthy of "caricatures of supervillain" status and he's definitely one of them. The guy is as close as you can get to black&white evil. That was the case ten, twenty years ago and it's still the case today (more so today, given how much he's flanderizing himself by shutting himself out of everything).
To your point, this article is a good summary:
I read "incinerated". Close enough. Well, I am fairly certain this ends without Putin. I can't be sure it ends well for Russia, though… who knows what comes after.
We don't really do that anymore. But you can bet someone's going to be singing "Ding, Dong, The witch is dead".
Yeah, that's my worry as well. Putin has low chances of success, but a change in figurehead without a change in leadership style might just happen. In all likelihood, if the oligarchs mobilize against Putin, it'll be someone equally ruthless who will come out on top. What you'd need for democratic Russia is either an Oligarch or similar who is equally ruthless as the rest, but genuinely wants western values (and I'm talking the "do as I say, not as I do" here) and is willing to fight for it. Someone like Gorbachev, if my history class doesn't fail me; I'm not sure my mental model of him is correct. Alternatively, you'd need a democratic grassroots movement that is powerful enough to make another dictatorship not an option. I'm not holding my breath for Gorbachev II., but given that Russia has been a relatively open country with at least pro-forma democratic institutions, makes me think that once the other shoe drops, this is actually not that infeasible, even though the protests we've seen so far have been underwhelming.
I think Ukraine's alignment with the EU is the fundamental reason for the war. Russia wants a degree of influence over Ukraine, something which a free democratic country is antithetical to. For Russia to get what it wants, Ukraine cannot set its own course. This Twitter thread (which links to another Twitter thread) is a good run down.
I think you're right. But it's also clear that Putin has fucked up and is not going to get what he wants, certainly not for the price he was willing to pay. The question is, can he stomach a defeat in Ukraine, if it means making it a defeat he can spin as a victory domestically? That would be the only reason for him to take that deal. Functionally, Ukraine "has escaped him" if they join either NATO or EU. Which means that functionally, if the peace terms are that Ukraine can join EU but not NATO, it's the same as if they joined both, to Putin. It's akin to signing a peace where Putin admits complete defeat, functionally. But for propaganda purposes, denying Ukraine NATO-membership is something he can spin as a victory, however limited and however Pyrrhic it looks from the outside. It's pathetic winnings from his war, but at least he won't lose on the home front too.
I don't think it's likely at all, and I'm not even sure it would be enough to save him from the noose once people at home learn what's going on. It's a long shot. But honestly, at this point I'm not sure what Putin can do to reliably stay alive.
US Police Have So Much Extra Gear They’re Sending It to Ukraine
At any other time I would have some rather sarcastic remarks about this, but for now I’ll just say that all donations are good.
A few days old, but this article has some interesting context about the Russian army's use of railroads:
How Ukraine's Rail Network Threw Russia's Military Off Track
Russian Commission Backs Nationalization of Exited Western Businesses
Even if Russia pulls out of Ukraine, even if Putin is deposed, no company will want anything to do with Russia if they nationalize property of Western companies. This is wild. Their economy really is toast, probably for decades. The Iron Curtain is back. It's crazy how fast this all caused their economy to crumble.
Totally wild, but also predictable given how things are going. Some companies are going to be more resistant to this than others depending on how connected to the global supply chain they are. I know McDonald's in Canada uses Canadian potatoes, beef, etc. and I imagine that's true in Russia as well so I see no logistical reason why a Russian McDonald's couldn't continue to operate? Whereas nationalized airlines will probably not be flying very long without access to maintenance parts/supplies.
The Kremlin propagandists are starting to waver...
An interesting article that includes some translations of the Russian state TV programs and their guests. Seems like the mood is pretty dire.
This seems significant because there's no lie to big for these people, e.g. see their comments on the bombing of the maternity hospital. So I don't think they're morally unequipped to stand there and tell everyone things are going swimmingly. So why aren't they?
I think that despite the best efforts of Russia, there is just no ability to put limits on the information coming out of Ukraine and no good way to spin it. Now is this just the hosts' opinions and they feel themselves above reprisal from Putin? Or could this be the first signs of pushback originating from elsewhere in the Russian state?
I think the effects on the Russian economy can't be hidden. Even Putin won't try to hide that, once it gets going.
Also see: Russia admits conscripts have been fighting in Ukraine, despite Putin's previous denials.
This is "admitted" in a bizarre way, as if it didn't happen on (presumably) Putin's orders. But but the basic fact that Russian conscripts were in Ukraine can't be hidden for very long.
A few interesting posts were submitted to /r/UkraineWarVideoReport:
I'll extract a few of the spicy bits here while I dig through this. I might post this partially if I pause reading.
The above is something that I'm not sure is misunderstood here, but certainly elsewhere.
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake. But also, don't expect him to do you the same favor twice.
Yup. If you see grunts committing war crimes in a disorganized manner, assume firstly that this is not done with genocidal intent but explained by nerves, frustration, fog of war, confusion and the like. [See also: Ukraine Flight 752 and MH 17] Imagine living in enemy territory for 2 weeks, fearing for your life every single day of it, not much more prepared to face that than you are right now. They are mentally fucked up at this point, severely so. At the first day of the invasion, they were ready to laugh if a civilian asks if he should tow them back to Moscow. After two weeks of this, their reaction to being surprised by a civilian might be to shoot first, check for a yellow arm band second. I'm not saying this to excuse some of the behavior we have seen, more to contextualize it. Speaking of which:
II/III. TL;DR so far: Putin is kinda fucked and here's why.
II.V/III details why this isn't a deliberate genocide and cautions against demonizing the Russian grunts who are likely often 19 year old draftees. He provides some context to some of the atrocities we've seen. Very important, but also very controversial. (see comments below, both here and on reddit)
III/III gives estimates on how this might end for Russia domestically.
Sorry, but no. IMO, at this point I don't believe the Russians deserve the benefit of the doubt about this anymore, especially given the cluster munitions being launched into civilian areas, thermobaric weapons being used, and the continuous shelling and mining of humanitarian evacuation corridors, amongst other things.
And there are also three very NSFL videos I have watched in recent days which stick out in my mind and that IMO also can't be attributed to anything other than pure malice and murderous intent.
WARNING: LINKS BELOW CONTAIN VERY GRAPHIC FOOTAGE OF CIVILIANS BEING KILLED THAT CANNOT BE UNSEEN.
The first was of a father, son, and their dogs being cold-bloodedly murdered along a rural road, their bodies later thrown into a ditch where the Ukranians found them along with one surviving dog and the son's phone containing the footage of their murder. Video
The second was a Ukrainian mother shot and killed next to a Russian soldier who was apparently trying to protect them from his fellow soliders. The daughter survived the shooting by being sandwiched between the two, films the immediate aftermath, and explains what happened. Video
And the third is a Russian tank driving down a rural road, and suddenly deciding to shoot a car several hundred feet away (several times so there is absolutely no doubt about the intent!) for absolutely no reason, which happened to have two elderly Ukranians in it. There is video footage of this happening, presumably captured by a security camera, and another video of the aftermath filmed by the Ukrainian soldiers who found the wreckage and bodies. Video
I'm going to take your warning to heart and skip watching these. I have no trouble believing that some Russian soldiers are capable of atrocities.
When I read about the mines, though, it didn't sound right. It seemed like there was an obvious question that didn't get answered: How do we know that Russians put the mines there? It seems like the Ukrainians would be justified to use mines to slow the Russian advance? I haven't read any stories about Ukrainians using mines, but there has been some bragging about setting traps of some sort.
One possibility is that some Russians suggested that corridor as some kind of evil plot, but another is because they didn't know the mines were there. Either Russians or Ukrainians could have mined it, and either way, there's no advantage to admitting to it.
From what I understand, the mines in question were supposedly cluster bomb deployed (so unlikely to be the Ukrainians that placed them) Russian PFM-1 butterfly mines, which are internationally banned and apparently only the Russians and Belarusians use (though the latter claims to have destroyed all their remaining stockpile of them a few years ago). See: https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/02/26/7326201/
I can't force you to adopt my perspective, but please read the II.V post, he makes the point way better. He also talks about some of the events you mention. I've had a look at the videos you're talking about. I agree they're heartbreaking and clearly war crimes. But if Russians wanted to kill as many Ukrainian people as possible, would this be the way they do it? Or do you not think it's likely that, with communication not working, no one at the negotiation table actually knows there's a mine field on that road? Do you think anything about that friendly fire incident was done with full intention, knowing exactly what is going on? Like, that Russian soldier killed by other Russians proves to me we're dealing with incompetence rather than malice. They're incredibly unprofessional and incompetent, and if you're wielding lethal weapons or directing fire missions, you're only one wrong call away from a war crime.
Unless you've been in combat when things go completely to shit, I don't think either of us can appreciate how limited the perspective of any one soldier is. They have worse than no clue what is going on, their comms are completely fucked and all they're getting is the Russian propaganda.
Again, heartbreaking and definitely a war crime. I'm not excusing their behavior. We can drag every soldier in your videos in front of an international court for all I care.
I did read the posts in their entirety. Did you? If so, you should probably reread them, because...
The poster suggested it was likely a political officer that ordered the shooting of the civilians. So even if you believe that theory, how is that "incompetence rather than malice"? And even if it was ordered by a political officer, the other soldiers still clearly carried out that order regardless.
And TBH that highlights the problem I have with the poster in general. Every single defense they put forwards of Russian soldiers actions are based entirely on speculation about what may have happened, but even those excuses still don't really justify those actions. And IMO in that particular aspect (claiming none of them want to kill Ukrainians, and begging that we don't "vilify" them) the poster's bias is showing, since their excuses are still all pretty flimsy. And worst of all, the poster refuses to acknowledge any of the the bigger picture evidence of war crimes being committed at scale against civilian targets, simply hand waving those away as happening due to "lack of forward observers", like they did with all the apartments being hit/destroyed and cluster bombing of cities.
Respectfully, I don't think you're interested in understanding what I, or the reddit OP, want to say. At least you seem to be under the assumption that I'm arguing something I'm not. For now, that's all I'll say on the matter, as the topic exhausts me.
No, I get it. Shit happens in war and individual soldiers make mistakes. Not every civilian killed speak to murderous or genocidal intent. Not every soldier deserves to be crucified for their actions. But the bigger picture of what is currently and repeatedly happening in this particular war tells a different story, IMO. Civilians are being murdered, and civilian population centers are clearly being intentionally targeted.
I think this might be a difference in what people have read, what's been summarized, and how much summaries are trusted.
When other people make claims about intent, a skeptical person (and during a war, you should be skeptical) wants to know how they know that.
For example, I think your responses about the type of mines and about a political officer giving orders are helpful to answer how you've come to conclusions about intent.
Hypotheticals aren't evidence, they're made to explain why someone is still uncertain. Maybe it shows an understanding of the range of possibilities, but it's admitting ignorance of specifics. I think the best response is to share new evidence, if you have it.
(And, sometimes it's better to stop speculating in ignorance and go back to looking for more evidence, so I will try to do that.)
I did, in the very first comment of this thread. And IMO they were all links to credible sources too (Bellingcat, Sky, BBC, HRW, etc)... unless you're just meaning the above in a general sense, and not necessarily directing it specifically at me. In which case, I absolutely agree, credible sources and actual evidence is far more important than speculation (which the reddit post was riddled with). :)
Yes, in a general sense. Didn't mean to imply you're not sharing evidence.
Without being inflammatory, can you think of a conflict in the past decade where civilians weren't a target. In the US we created the title "enemy combatant" to that we could legally kill civilians. Radiolab did a really interesting piece on language and our ability to skirt conventions by using it creatively. That's kind of off point here, but I think it shows how ready all invading nations are to maintain civilian casualties. What the Russians are doing in Ukraine is horrific, but it's also pretty common in modern war. How is it different than Israeli interventions in Gaza?
What's your fucking point? Should I remain silent about what Russia is currently doing because other Nations (including my own, Canada... see: Residential Schools) have done similarly awful shit?
And as for the difference. When was the last time any other nations dropped cluster bombs, and anti-personnel mines on civilian population centers, and shelled and mined humanitarian evacuation corridors? Because that is what Russia is doing right now.
It creates othering or dehumanizing with Russians at large. That happens in a lot of wars and it carries pretty negative implications for civilians and ex-pats in other countries who are bystanders to the invasion themselves. Think of what happened to the Japanese or Germans living in the US during WW2. Most recently it happened with Chinese immigrants, or even decedents of, across the world during Covid. I don't want to create a strawman, FUCK THE RUSSIAN STATE. But when you start to say their people across the board are unworthy of empathy or than their solders are more atrocious than those from other countries it creates a hostile environment for those living abroad.
The USA during Vietnam. But you're not wrong to be angry. Fuck the Russian state.
When did I say anything that dehumanizes Russians? I simply pointed out that the war crimes they're currently committing can't all be explained away with "nerves, frustration, fog of war, confusion and the like". Higher ups are clearly involved in making these decisions, since civilian population centers are being regularly targeted with coordinated attacks of long range munitions. And because of the frequency and severity of those attacks they also can't be explained away as happening merely due to "lack of forward observers" either. Indiscriminate shelling, rocketing, bombing, and air-drop mining of cities isn't something that happens for weeks on end by accident.
For the record, my heart does go out to all the Russian conscripts who were lied to about going on "training excercises" before suddenly finding themselves in Ukraine, despite wanting nothing to do with such a war. And I greatly respect the ones who surrendered at their first opportunity after they realized what was really happening, and am glad the Ukranians have been treating them with relative kindness (even allowing many to call home). And I especially admire the Russian POWs who have also been brave enough to talk openly with the Ukrainian media about everything (e.g.) despite knowing that doing so likely means they can never return home, unless Putin and those supporting him are somehow removed from power.
However, not every Russian soldier deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt about their actions, and that's especially true the longer this war drags on. Ignorance as an excuse wears thin eventually, and the longer they go on fighting in Ukraine the more complicit they become.
Yes, which was over a half-century ago! Most of the people on this site, including myself, weren't even born yet.
Sorry, I misunderstood. Those are very good points, thanks for clarifying.
I've had a surprising number of anti-Russian civilian interactions in my day to day and am being overly sensitive. (things like team members being picked on or ridiculed for their background).
Fair enough. Thanks for the apology. Totally accepted. And sorry if I was overly harsh towards you too. I am a bit wound up, burned out, and short tempered lately due to this war. :(
Thanks. I'd be frustrated if people were putting words in my mouth too.
The war is one more thing on an already full plate.
Out of curiosity have you watched Generation Kill? There is a really salient scene in one of the first episodes where a fresh recruit shoots a man on the back of a donkey after being jokingly egged on by his company mates. You can see the disconnect between what the solider is thinking in the moment and how he reacts once he actually sees what he has done. I'm not vindicating what these soldiers are doing, but remember most of them are in their late teens/early twenties when empathy and decision making are still pretty poor. I like to think of myself as someone who wouldn't participate in that type of behavior, but I was also a pretty big asshat at 19 so... I can't say for certain.
I don't think the top brass or the folks with their hands on the levers deserve any benefit of the doubt, but for your run of the mill grunt? I think they act like people their age regardless of whether they are from Russia, the USA, Canada, or wherever. It's definitely horrific, indefensible behavior, it's just not unique to Russia.
God damn that first video was so sad.
Thanks for the links. I much prefer detailed analysis like this to most of the other news posts.
Part 2.5 is particularly interesting to me as I know a lot of folks in my circles are getting their news from Reddit and the ensuing hivemind conversations are rather emotionally charged, one-sided, and often misinformed.
Here's a deep dive into what kind of radios the Russians might be using, from a UK think tank.
Russian Comms in Ukraine: A World of Hertz
Something not mentioned in the article, since it only focuses on the political/ideological aspects, is the financial considerations at play. China is actually in a bit of a precarious spot right now due to their massive trade and financial ties/obligations to Russia, increasing difficulty in getting paid and paying for Russian commodities since the Ruble's complete collapse, and mounting foreign political and financial pressure to side against them. See:
Russia-China Trade Stifled by Yuan’s Surge Against Ruble
Russia May Own $140 Billion Worth of Chinese Bonds, ANZ Says
China Sees Record Bond-Market Retreat by Foreign Investors
China Sovereign Bonds Tumble From No. 1 Ranking as Funds Flee
So China may ultimately be forced to step in and try to put pressure on Putin to end the war, even if they're reticent to do so for political and ideological reasons. But on the opposite side, they may also choose to continue to stay silent on the matter simply so they can scoop up as many Russian assets as possible at bargain-bin prices:
China Considers Buying Stakes in Russian Energy, Commodity Firms
And I imagine they are doing the calculus on potential gains vs losses as we speak.
Related recent news:
China eases control to let ruble fall faster against yuan
I know this is just the opinion of one expert, but this article in The Guardian has me very pessimistic for what comes next. I feel like no one is grasping that the world is on the brink of being an exponentially more dangerous place.
Definitely. It's at the absolute minimum a renewal of the cold war. Some previous discussion on that article and related topics here.
Immediate escalation is unlikely because Russia has all its troops in Ukraine and its already having issues. They can’t afford to start sending troops to another Baltic country, pick new fights etc.
Nuclear escalation is an option. Either in Ukraine (likelihood of wanting to do this is unlikely), or beyond Ukraine, or both. In any of those scenarios, likelihood of a nuke falling on my face here in Brussels is high, and I’ll gladly take it. I would not want to live through what would come next.
Anyway this is why I don’t spend a lot of time speculating what this could escalate to. What’s the point thinking about all the doomsday scenarios?
I live for the hope of a better future. If hope is gone then what’s the point?
A german newspaper did an interview with the Ukranian president, it's available in English: https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2022-03/wolodymyr-selenskyj-ukraine-russia-war-interview-english
UK sanctions Russian oligarch and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
Russia’s information war: painful truths vs. comfortable lies (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
This is a long, in-depth article about Russian propaganda, protests, and popular opinion.
I have, using ADSB-exchange (use the U-filter) and flightradar24 been having a look at the kind of NATO aircraft flying around near Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, we have E-3 Sentrys in the air basically about 70% of the time I checked. (Or more, if they go dark sometimes) These are basically airborne radar stations that monitor the airspace. They have, in all likelihood, a very good idea about high-flying Russians deep into Ukraine and Belarus. I've also seen an E-8 Joint STARS, which from what I can tell are aircraft that carry earth-observation radars. Basically gives you a very good idea of static targets on the ground from very far away.
There's also various variants of RC-135 and NC-135 around occasionally. RC-135s are likely there to listen in on Russian comms, while I can't guess at the purpose of the NC-135s, except to carry more advanced prototypes of the same sensors we've seen in the other aircraft.
Along with those, there's always copious amounts of KC-135 tankers and the occasional GlobalHawk.
My questions: Does anyone have any good sources that are accessible to an (advanced?) amateur about the kinds of sensors and methods these planes employ? Has anyone read any non-speculation reports on the kind of intel that Ukraine is getting from us? Or even confirmation that we're relaying any intel?
To be a fly on the wall in those planes.
There was a news article last week saying that sources within the Pentagon confirmed that Ukraine was getting intel within the hour, but that the process of conveying that info was getting harder as secure communications into Ukraine continued to degrade. Let me see if I can dig it up.
Edit: Newer than the piece I read, but here's the WSJ on the streamlining of intel sharing with Ukraine.
Pentagon rules out sending warplanes to Ukraine, says benefit would be ‘low’ (Washington Post)
I’ve read or heard somewhere among the thousands of articles I’ve been going through that the US has been extremely effective in its help. They have been providing exactly what Ukraine has been needing the most and doing so in very efficient ways.
I also understand that the US probably REALLY wants Ukraine to win so it’s in their best interest to continue doing so.
Absolutely. Aircraft require a ridiculous logistical entourage that you can't hide or protect from Russian firepower. They would be unlikely to last long, and their avionics have been updated recently, which means Ukrainian pilots will be quite unfamiliar. Add in that currently, the Russian air force is basically napping, and there's not much you need a short-range air-air interceptor for. Meanwhile, an unarmed flight from NATO into Ukraine will look like an armed NATO sortie into "their" war zone, possibly leading to a counter strike, leading to all-out war, leading to the losing side (Russia) deploying nukes as a last resort.
Stingers are doing the job quite well too.
Here's a Twitter thread about how Russian factories often depend on imports.
A possibly interesting and useful idea for someone with the capacity: a platform to buy Russian families a vpn subscription.
I understand that those who know and can are already subscribing from inside Russia to get around censorship. Seems like it could be helpful to help those who mighy be struggling. I'd surely pay for a family's yearly subscription.
Russians are flocking to VPNs as Putin closes off the Russian internet in a crackdown against dissent
My Experience on the Border
Hour long podcast (includes transcript/article) from Ezra Klein’s Tuesday interview with Fiona Hill.
I'm liking Sputnik_Not, a Twitter account that's basically The Onion headlines, but for Russia.
Facebook and Instagram to temporarily allow calls for violence against Russians