21 votes

Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 25-27

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.

If you'd like to help support Ukraine, please visit the official site at https://help.gov.ua/ - an official portal for those who want to provide humanitarian or financial assistance to people of Ukraine, businesses or the government at the times of resistance against the Russian aggression.

19 comments

  1. [7]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Got a few things to say from the inside: Seeing Z drawn on everything, from buses to private cars to fuckin' medical vehicles is intense. Seeing Z on huge posters and ad screens in every possible...
    • Exemplary

    Got a few things to say from the inside:

    1. Seeing Z drawn on everything, from buses to private cars to fuckin' medical vehicles is intense.
    2. Seeing Z on huge posters and ad screens in every possible shape ("Zа Путина!") is even more intense.
    3. By the early evening, there's no sugar on the shelves. There is no sugar shortage in Russia, but someone heard something, and before you know it, pensioners fights for a kilo of white.
    4. My father used to take breaks from propaganda to play video games sometimes. I haven't seen him do that all that much since that thing that I'm legally not allowed to call a "war" had started.
    5. Listening to the young Russian soldiers calling their parents back in Russia is intense.
    6. Listening to the older Russian soldiers discussing blowing up an entire basement of people with a grenade and stealing a bottle of strong alcohol from behind a door he'd kicked in is even more intense. Or it would be if I had the heart to actually listen to it. Now is not the time to break down in tears.
    7. All of my family are either cowards or my sister. I love her dearly. I wish she and her husband didn't have to raise a curious and active kid in Russia. Especially not now.
    8. Having no large-scale independent journalism sources in Russia anymore is terrifying. Putin is mortified of the power of the fifth column. He's mortified of just about anything these days.
    9. Some of the people in Russia saying things are insane. No, they're not: they're very much human. The Nuremberg trials have proven as much: it's easy to turn a decent person into a monster. That's the scary part about it.
    10. Ukrainians' fight is astonishing: both on the frontlines and behind them. Not only are the two people very, very different, it made me want to become a Ukrainian citizen. Being a part of a Slavic democratic nation sounds fantastic. Shame the circumstances are such that I'd be more likely beaten to death than accepted anywhere near the Ukrainian border even after the war.

    I'm looking to get the fuck out. Two great people are graciously helping me do so, but we have no concrete plan right now, no end point beyond "move out of Russia and we'll see". (One of those people is Tildes' very own Adys.)

    If anyone is willing to sponsor this particular Russian, let me know. I have skills. I'm pretty good at acquiring more.

    38 votes
    1. [3]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      Fuck yeah. Be the sanctions you want to see in this world. Let's brain drain that country. Without doxxing yourself too much, can you say something about the kinds of skills you have? Any...

      I'm looking to get the fuck out. Two great people are graciously helping me do so, but we have no concrete plan right now, no end point beyond "move out of Russia and we'll see". (One of those people is Tildes' very own Adys.)

      Fuck yeah. Be the sanctions you want to see in this world. Let's brain drain that country.

      Without doxxing yourself too much, can you say something about the kinds of skills you have? Any professional qualifications, that kind of thing. Something to get the right person curious enough to PM you for details.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I speak Russian natively and English fluently. While it's extremely unlikely one would need to establish contact with Russian businesses these days, I could do the world a favor by translating...

        I speak Russian natively and English fluently. While it's extremely unlikely one would need to establish contact with Russian businesses these days, I could do the world a favor by translating Russian authors into English.

        I've been doing web dev (full front end: HTML + CSS + JS) and design on and off for something like seven years now. My skills are a little rusty these days – no way to employ them – but it will all come back to me. One of the larger things I did was Intergrid, which I'd published on Tildes at some point. (The site linked in the repo is dead – I had no cash to supply it at a certain point – but you should be able to download the repo and run the app locally.) It's hardly the final product, but it should tell you that I'm capable of doing something reasonably big for a sole developer.

        Lately I've been doing long-form writing about a particular major city in the US, in Russian, for a Russian-speaking audience. (If you know me, you know what city that is.) It involved a lot of research and fact-checking, as well as rudimentary visual design of each issue. Ultimately, each article came down to 25+ mins of reading time, and plenty of visual material to spruce it all up. It's something I'd've shared proudly, were it not for the fact that such would, in fact, doxx me in a big way.

        This is a stretch, but I think I'm pretty good at game design. I was going to publish some writing on that as well when the war started. Now that the shock of the event is over, I might well do that.

        I think I'm good at game design because I'm good at systems design. Figuring out processes comes easily to me. Nothing to show for it yet 'cause so far it's been mostly idle ruminations.

        14 votes
        1. Grzmot
          Link Parent
          I think if you built a portfolio of your dev skills you could definitely be hired in Western Europe. Everyone is looking for programmers like crazy. So I'd definitely go in that direction because...

          I think if you built a portfolio of your dev skills you could definitely be hired in Western Europe. Everyone is looking for programmers like crazy. So I'd definitely go in that direction because it's probably the safest. Translation requires a lot of certification, at least here in Austria the highest degree (Court translator) is required to translate official documents, that requires a certified EU C1 level of skill in both languages and also either 1 year of active translation services as a standard translator (with a 3 yr uni degree before) or 3 years without the degree.

          Writing and game dev are both fields that don't bring financial stability with them which will be very important for you to establish yourself as an immigrant, since a regular income is the best way to get a workers visa which leads to a permission to stay and eventual path to citizenship after a couple of years.

          Development also has the nice addition that pretty much all your colleagues speak fluent english which will make your job easier.

          5 votes
    2. Adys
      Link Parent
      Just wanted to more publicly thank you for posting here. I think these types of posts are incredibly valuable perspective into Russia and having insight into how the propaganda is working, and...

      Just wanted to more publicly thank you for posting here. I think these types of posts are incredibly valuable perspective into Russia and having insight into how the propaganda is working, and why, is especially useful.

      I feel you wanting to do your part in this and I believe communicating, helping bridge the cultural gap between Russia and the anglosphere is a huge thing. And, involved as I am, even I haven't had the opportunity to talk to many Russians since the war started.

      Please stick around.

      12 votes
    3. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Holy shit, you’re back! I missed you, TFG. I’m so glad you’re okay for now, but I can’t imagine what you’re going through and how difficult it is to not know what lies ahead. I’m so sorry.

      Holy shit, you’re back! I missed you, TFG. I’m so glad you’re okay for now, but I can’t imagine what you’re going through and how difficult it is to not know what lies ahead. I’m so sorry.

      7 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm alright, all things considered. I have access to food, water, and electricity, and I have a roof over my head that's not going anywhere. I'm keeping a low profile and doing my best to find a...

        I'm alright, all things considered. I have access to food, water, and electricity, and I have a roof over my head that's not going anywhere. I'm keeping a low profile and doing my best to find a way to get the fuck out.

        Having no resources sucked, but a friend is helping me in this regard. I'm sure I'll have enough to leave and to stay abroad until there's an opportunity to settle somewhere.

        10 votes
  2. [2]
    Adys
    Link
    Good afternoon Tildes. 1 month and 1 day since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In that month, Russia has lost 530 tanks. Ukraine has... captured more tanks than it has lost....

    Good afternoon Tildes. 1 month and 1 day since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

    In that month, Russia has lost 530 tanks. Ukraine has... captured more tanks than it has lost.

    Yesterday, NATO leaders met here in Brussels to discuss the situation. Here is the parting statement:
    March 24 Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government (In Ukrainian, In Russian)

    What it says is fairly bland, you have to read between the lines a bit as well. In short, Russia bad, war bad, attacking civilians bad.
    The statement reaffirms that NATO supports Ukraine, and also explicitly says that Ukraine is in a situation of self-defence. This is actually a pretty important thing to say out loud: a variety of international laws forbid waging war, unless you are in a situation of self-defence. Here, Ukraine has official support from the alliance in pretty much anything they do, including for example retaking Crimea and even aggressively striking at Russia if they need to.
    There are two other countries named outright in the statement: Belarus and China. Belarus is officially called "complicit", and China is called out as amplifying false narratives.
    The statement also outright mentions NATO's Open Door Policy. The message is clear: "We will support new members who want to join the alliance, fuck you for telling us off in our expansion". This reaffirms, among other things, that Ukraine could still be a NATO member (I suspect this is to leave room as a negotiating tactic later, but who am I to guess).
    Finally, further calls for humanitarian corridors and assistance and an end to anything that targets civilians, as well as an explicit call against chemical and biological weapons (note that Russia has already used some chemical weapons, so this is a very explicit escalation threat from the alliance).

    President Zelenskyy addresses NATO (video + transcript in English)

    Okay, there's more in there, you should probably read it. The other thing that happened yesterday and is happening today is a meeting of the European Council. Joining, both Biden (in-person) and Zelenskyy (via video).
    Details and results: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2022/03/24-25/

    Similar things were said here, less focus on defence and more focus on humanitarian assistance. Two interesting key points are on the reconstruction of Ukraine, with the EU setting up a trust fund for rebuilding Ukraine, as well as a strong focus on energy independence.

    President Zelenskyy addresses the European Council (video + transcript in English)

    In an interview, De Croo (BE PM) calls out issues with import bans on Russian oil and gas. And, well, the US has agreed to provide the EU with 15 billion cubic meters of extra gas to Europe. That is 10 percent of what it gets from Russia, with "eventual aim" to provide 50 billion total (one third). Clearly Europe has to wean off gas regardless, and find supplementary sources where it cannot.

    That was the main highlight of the last couple of days. I had the honor to see the motorcade, as well as a lot of other escorted cars, and an abnormally high amount of Ukrainian license plates parked in the European heart of the city.

    Some other news worth highlighting:

    16 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      Summary graphic on which countries are providing what kind of military aid to Ukraine. Very insightful. https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1507647761553973252

      Summary graphic on which countries are providing what kind of military aid to Ukraine. Very insightful.

      https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1507647761553973252

      5 votes
  3. skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    The rise of the Twitter spies (Washington Post) [...] [...]

    The rise of the Twitter spies (Washington Post)

    As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has unfolded at a blistering pace over social media, it has swollen the ranks of hobbyist spies such as Glen. Armed with day jobs or coursework, the self-proclaimed open source intelligence — or “OSINT” — community tracks every movement of the Russian and Ukrainian militaries online. Five weeks into the war, their findings are affecting strategy on the ground.

    Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, said in an interview with The Washington Post that the community’s work is crucial for his country — so much so that a Ukrainian government app, called Diia, now allows citizens to field geotagged pictures and videos of Russian troop movements.

    “We’re getting tens of thousands of reports per day,” Fedorov said through a translator. “They’re very, very useful.”

    [...]

    In recent weeks, established hobbyists have seen their social media followings grow by the thousands. Media outlets such as The Washington Post and the New York Times have used the community’s work in their visual investigations. Project Owl, a private community for open source intelligence gatherers, has seen its membership base grow from 15,000 members five weeks ago to nearly 30,000 presently, the group’s moderators said.

    [...]

    The core of this sleuthing is geolocation, due to its ease and impact. When a video or image of conflict surfaces, hobbyists scan the footage for landmarks or other clues, trying to pinpoint its location to verify its accuracy or debunk it as a propaganda attempt.

    But they have grown more savvy, and the war in Ukraine has shown the breadth of intelligence hobbyists can gather through simple means. Some specialize in flight tracking and are able to show which military aircraft are flying near Ukrainian airspace at any time. Others use NASA’s database of fires to track “thermal anomalies” in Ukraine, to help back up claims of new fighting or shelling in a region.

    8 votes
  4. cfabbro
    Link
    Ukraine says 400,000 citizens have been forcibly taken to Russia - Kremlin says the relocated people wanted to go to Russia

    Ukraine says 400,000 citizens have been forcibly taken to Russia - Kremlin says the relocated people wanted to go to Russia

    Ukraine accused Moscow on Thursday of forcibly taking hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia, where some may be used as "hostages" to pressure Kyiv to give up.

    Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine's ombudsperson, said 402,000 people, including 84,000 children, have been taken against their will to Russia, and some have reported shortages of food and water there.

    The Kremlin gave nearly identical numbers for those who have been relocated, but it said they wanted to go to Russia. The country's rebel-controlled eastern regions, for example, are predominantly Russian-speaking, and many people there have supported close ties to Moscow.

    7 votes
  5. cmccabe
    Link
    Russia signals scaled-back war aims, Ukrainians advance near Kyiv https://www.reuters.com/world/us/ukraine-urges-halt-russias-assault-biden-heads-poland-2022-03-25/ This is a hodgepodge of an...

    Russia signals scaled-back war aims, Ukrainians advance near Kyiv
    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/ukraine-urges-halt-russias-assault-biden-heads-poland-2022-03-25/

    This is a hodgepodge of an article but the titular content suggests that Russia may be adjusting due to the failure of its broader objectives.

    Moscow signalled on Friday it was scaling back its ambitions in Ukraine to focus on territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists as Ukrainian forces went on the offensive, recapturing towns on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv.

    4 votes
  6. skybrian
    Link
    Achievements in Ukrainian Music: Putin Khuylo [...] Perhaps you can see where this is going.

    Achievements in Ukrainian Music: Putin Khuylo

    It went so viral, that, I am reliably informed (RadioFreeEurope, funded by the US), any Ukrainian will recognize singing the "la-la la-la la-la la" part, or even just humming the tune, or even just writing "la-la la-la la-la la", as an expression of the sentiment: "Putin: Dickhead"

    There were memes of course.

    [...]

    History is full of people – mostly, but not exclusively, men – who bethought themselves "great", yet found themselves saddled with an epithet not reflecting the grandeur they thought fitting. "Ivan the Boneless", "Vasily the Cross-eyed", "William the Bastard", "Władysław the Elbow-High", "Henry the Impotent", and my personal favorite, "Ivaylo the Cabbage" ("a Bulgarian farmer who led a peasants’ revolt in the late 13th century and proclaimed himself Emperor of Bulgaria in 1278. He was overthrown the following year and assassinated" [Source]) among many, many others.

    Perhaps you can see where this is going.

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    Poland’s prime minister thinks the U.S. needs to do more to help Ukraine (Washington Post) I'm not sure what to quote, but he seems very pro-escalation. Basically, give Zelensky everything he wants.

    Poland’s prime minister thinks the U.S. needs to do more to help Ukraine (Washington Post)

    I'm not sure what to quote, but he seems very pro-escalation. Basically, give Zelensky everything he wants.

    3 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Please no. Russia’s already backing down. We don’t need to bring this to WW3 levels.

      Please no. Russia’s already backing down. We don’t need to bring this to WW3 levels.

      1 vote
  8. skybrian
    Link
    The U.S.-Poland relationship has transformed into a close partnership in the face of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. [...] [...] [...] [...]

    The U.S.-Poland relationship has transformed into a close partnership in the face of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

    [I]n recent weeks, Polish leaders have pivoted from attacking some of the core institutions of liberal democracy to touting their role as defenders of European unity and values.

    [...]

    Trzaskowski, Warsaw’s mayor, warned in an interview with The Washington Post recently that the city’s services were at risk of being overwhelmed.

    “In 2015, we had 300,000 to 400,000 people coming into Europe every month. We just had 300,000 people come into Warsaw in three weeks,” he said. “We want to take everyone who needs help, but how many kids can we take into schools? How can we do everything we can so the health system doesn’t break down in our city?”

    And even as Poland shoulders the heaviest migratory burden stemming from the war, its leaders appear reluctant to embrace a Europe-wide quota system for resettling refugees because it could be applied to future emergencies, preferring an ad hoc approach, according to European diplomats familiar with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues.

    [...]

    Poland is also turning back migrants from the Middle East at its border with Belarus, part of a geopolitical standoff with that country.

    [...]

    As a candidate [Biden] condemned the creation of so-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland, tweeting that they have “no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world.” In 2020, he cited Poland alongside Hungary and Belarus as countries where democracy was under threat.

    [...]

    Poland’s leaders are now pressing Brussels to unfreeze billions of dollars in pandemic recovery funds withheld over questions about the politicization of Poland’s judiciary, arguing that the money is needed to address the refugee crisis.

    3 votes
  9. [3]
    FishFingus
    Link
    Has anyone been following Igor Sushko's blog over the course of the war? Interesting stuff. It was the first place I read about the Chernobyl false-flag attempt.

    Has anyone been following Igor Sushko's blog over the course of the war? Interesting stuff. It was the first place I read about the Chernobyl false-flag attempt.

    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I haven't. Which blog is this and what sort of thing does he write about?

      I haven't. Which blog is this and what sort of thing does he write about?

      3 votes
      1. FishFingus
        Link Parent
        Racing blog previously, now with a series of interesting translated posts which are alleged to be from an FSB insider to an exiled Russian human rights worker. The blog isn't well formatted, so...

        Racing blog previously, now with a series of interesting translated posts which are alleged to be from an FSB insider to an exiled Russian human rights worker. The blog isn't well formatted, so the earliest posts seem to have been shunted off the bottom of the page, and you might have to scroll down his Twitter to read them.
        Blog
        Twitter

        3 votes