23 votes

Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - March 28-29

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.

42 comments

  1. mycketforvirrad
    Link
    End of the line in Finland for last direct EU-Russia train link ... Euronews – 28th March 2022

    End of the line in Finland for last direct EU-Russia train link

    The last direct train link between the EU and Russia has come to the end of the line, when the St. Petersburg to Helsinki Allegro service arrived in the Finnish capital at 7:07pm on Sunday night.

    Finnish train operator VR announced on Friday that it would halt its twice-daily high speed service, which was launched just 12 years ago with Vladimir Putin on board the first train.

    ...

    The Allegro trains are being stopped because of EU sanctions, and VR says that people who wanted to leave Russia, including Finnish citizens, have had "safe passage" until now.

    Euronews – 28th March 2022

    8 votes
  2. [18]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Russia no longer demanding Ukraine be ‘denazified’ in ceasefire talks

    Russia no longer demanding Ukraine be ‘denazified’ in ceasefire talks

    Russia is no longer requesting Ukraine be “denazified” and is prepared to let Kyiv join the EU if it remains militarily non-aligned as part of ceasefire negotiations, according to four people briefed on the discussions.

    Moscow and Kyiv are discussing a pause in hostilities as part of a possible deal that would involve Ukraine abandoning its drive for Nato membership in exchange for security guarantees and the prospect to join the EU, the people said under the condition of anonymity because the matter is not yet finalised.

    The draft ceasefire document does not contain any discussion of three of Russia’s initial core demands — “denazification”, “demilitarisation”, and legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine — the people added.

    Envoys from both sides are to meet in Istanbul on Tuesday in a fourth round of peace talks designed to end president Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The concessions on Russia’s side come as its month-long ground offensive has largely stalled as a result of fiercer Ukrainian resistance than expected and Russian operational deficiencies.

    But Ukraine and its western backers remain sceptical of Putin’s intentions, worrying that the Russian president could be using the talks as a smokescreen to replenish his exhausted forces and plan a fresh offensive.

    8 votes
    1. [7]
      Cycloneblaze
      Link Parent
      A question for closer observers than I, would it not be a good idea for Ukraine to give Russia this one? There's already a significant Russian-speaking minority of Ukrainians in the country, such...

      legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine

      A question for closer observers than I, would it not be a good idea for Ukraine to give Russia this one? There's already a significant Russian-speaking minority of Ukrainians in the country, such as in cities like Kharkiv, presumably many of them are not separatists. It's in line with what many other European countries do as well (admittedly I'm not very clear on how many Eastern European countries do this). It could be a sop to Russia that mollifies their demands for other things like demilitarisation, without actually hurting Ukraine much or at all. Or would it hurt them?

      4 votes
      1. [5]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        IANAL and not Ukranian... but as per usual with Russia's stated goals/demands, I suspect that one was also based on complete bullshit, and used as yet another flimsy justification for the war....

        IANAL and not Ukranian... but as per usual with Russia's stated goals/demands, I suspect that one was also based on complete bullshit, and used as yet another flimsy justification for the war. Russian is already specifically mentioned in the Constitution of Ukraine, and AFAIK it already has full legal protection:

        https://web.archive.org/web/20110521190059/http://www.rada.gov.ua/const/conengl.htm

        Article 10

        • The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language.
        • The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire territory of Ukraine.
        • In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed.
        • The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication.
        • The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

        And from Article 53:

        • Citizens who belong to national minorities are guaranteed in accordance with the law the right to receive instruction in their native language, or to study their native language in state and communal educational establishments and through national cultural societies.
        10 votes
        1. Cycloneblaze
          Link Parent
          Thanks for going straight to the source like I didn't! That is significant protection, and I think to go further than that (giving Russian equal status to Ukrainian, for example) would be somewhat...

          Thanks for going straight to the source like I didn't! That is significant protection, and I think to go further than that (giving Russian equal status to Ukrainian, for example) would be somewhat of a cultural capitulation to Putin. Better than giving up land or people, though.

          3 votes
        2. [3]
          knocklessmonster
          Link Parent
          So they could sort of just say "Yes" to this demand if it eases negotiations, because they've already done it?

          So they could sort of just say "Yes" to this demand if it eases negotiations, because they've already done it?

          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            It seems like it depends how it's worded. The Ukrainian government going officially bilingual (like in Canada) would be a change.

            It seems like it depends how it's worded. The Ukrainian government going officially bilingual (like in Canada) would be a change.

            4 votes
          2. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I guess so? But I don't know if that would actually do much, since I suspect the reason Russia isn't even mentioning anything about Russian language protection in the formal negotiations is...

            I guess so? But I don't know if that would actually do much, since I suspect the reason Russia isn't even mentioning anything about Russian language protection in the formal negotiations is because they already know it's a completely made up issue, so not actually worth bringing up. IMO the "demand" to "protect" the Russian language in Ukraine was likely only really meant for internal consumption, so the Russian people could be lead to believe it was somehow under threat in Ukraine, in order to foment hatred for the Ukrainian people and further cement support for the "special military operation" against them.

            Edit: @Skybrian has a good point though. The Ukranians could add it as an official language, like French is here in Canada. That might actually buy them some goodwill in the negotiations, since it would allow Putin to save a bit of face by claiming it as a victory.

            2 votes
      2. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Consider this my small share of a dollar: Putin is trying to eliminate Ukraine: as a culture, as a nation, as a people, and as a country. Ukraine granting the language of the murderers is akin to...

        Consider this my small share of a dollar:

        Putin is trying to eliminate Ukraine: as a culture, as a nation, as a people, and as a country. Ukraine granting the language of the murderers is akin to capulating that much of their own self-identity. From what I understand, they self-identity did not preclude speaking Russian (Zelenskiy grew up speaking Russian, for example), but it sure seems like it might now.

        Beyond all else, Russia does not give a fuck about the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. The Russian-speaking East of the country has been bombed much too keenly for me to be wrong on this one. Putin can't begin to care about how much Russian is spoken in a neighboring country. I don't think he understands soft power in the same way the US does. (Think "RT spreading bullshit a lá Fox News" vs. "Hollywood blockbuster where an American military person is a hero".)

        The demand for the "protection" of the Russian language in Ukraine is just another string in the leash Russia wants to hold Ukraine on. It is, without exaggeration, what a master wants to do to his pet. Putin thinks of Ukraine, as well as other countries that have been forcibly annexed into the USSR, as the ones that got away. He doesn't think of Ukraine as a "brotherly state" but an unfortunate geopolitical situation to be squashed. (He thought the same all the way back in 2000. Nobody picked up on that, I guess.)

        Acceeding to this demand would just mean bending the knee further. There's no mollification. The only language Putin would understand, as evident by current events, is his military being utterly fucked.

        8 votes
    2. [10]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      Can someone explain to me why Ukraine continues to engage in these talks? Russia is the clear aggressor and has repeatedly demonstrated utter contempt for human lives and the laws of war. The idea...

      Can someone explain to me why Ukraine continues to engage in these talks? Russia is the clear aggressor and has repeatedly demonstrated utter contempt for human lives and the laws of war. The idea that they want to discuss terms for ending the conflict should be universally mocked! You don't negotiate with terrorists. This is like the school bully punching a kid until he hands over his lunch money, then acting like this outcome was an agreement both parties arrived at amicably.

      I'm not a geopolitics expert, I must be missing something here. Russia's ceasefire talks are a blatant bad-faith farce of diplomacy. So why does Ukraine continue to play along? Why does everyone act like this is normal?

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        A: Russia may be 99% bullshitting, but if that 1% is real and the talks can work, it seems worth the negotiators' time to have the talks, right? If it stops the war one day sooner, isn't it worth...

        A: Russia may be 99% bullshitting, but if that 1% is real and the talks can work, it seems worth the negotiators' time to have the talks, right? If it stops the war one day sooner, isn't it worth it even in the face of really unlikely odds? The cost of every day of the war is incredible as compared to the cost of even hundreds of people having meetings.

        B: Even if it doesn't stop the war any sooner, having the channels set up already for the peace conference is its own value. The same people trying to hammer out an end to the war are likely also going to try to hammer out the peace afterward. Having the channels and negotiation teams already in place and familiar with each other is its own value.

        8 votes
        1. [8]
          balooga
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Just in response to your first sentence, I think maybe I wasn’t being clear enough… My argument was not that Russia’s being duplicitous in the talks. They could be 100% earnest for all I care. My...

          Just in response to your first sentence, I think maybe I wasn’t being clear enough… My argument was not that Russia’s being duplicitous in the talks. They could be 100% earnest for all I care. My issue is that they dare even come to the table in the first place, acting as if this is even a real negotiation and not just a bully making demands. If the conflict weren’t so asymmetrical there might be room for negotiating a truce, but this is just — like I said earlier — negotiating with terrorists. Ukraine should not give these thugs the time of day. Russia needs to know that’s not how civilized people make decisions on the world stage.

          1 vote
          1. [7]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            What does the ideal end of the war look like for you?

            What does the ideal end of the war look like for you?

            7 votes
            1. [6]
              balooga
              Link Parent
              Good question. I guess with Russia having a change of heart, immediately ceasing hostilities and returning home with their tail between their legs, issuing a formal apology to the sovereign nation...

              Good question. I guess with Russia having a change of heart, immediately ceasing hostilities and returning home with their tail between their legs, issuing a formal apology to the sovereign nation of Ukraine, and paying out enormous restitution to atone for their sins.

              In practice, I would hope that “change of heart” would come from within, whether it’s a military coup, an assassination, a groundswell of protests that can’t be quashed, something to that effect. Barring that, a humiliating military defeat or Russia surrendering under the devastating effects of the world’s sanctions and ostracism.

              Either way, I think it would be shameful for Ukraine to have to make compromises to Russia as part of the resolution. Let history clearly show that a country absolutely cannot pull a stunt like what Russia has done and expect to win ANYTHING from it. No concessions. If some future dictator tries to emulate Putin, pulls some shit like this again, they are going to know full well going in that their result will be unequivocal loss in every possible way.

              1 vote
              1. cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                It's easy to suggest "NO CONCESSIONS!" from afar, but when it's your people doing the fighting and dying I imagine that's a bit harder to 100% support. And the Ukrainian people are currently dying...

                It's easy to suggest "NO CONCESSIONS!" from afar, but when it's your people doing the fighting and dying I imagine that's a bit harder to 100% support. And the Ukrainian people are currently dying en masse, with their cities and towns being leveled. Yes, that's entirely Russia's fault, but based on how the war is currently going, Ukraine is actually negotiating from a position of relative strength right now.

                However, that advantage could easily evaporate if Russia manages to regroup, rally, and get a foothold in Kyiv, or some of their allies (Belarus, China, Syria) begin offering materiel support and manpower. So reaching a deal right now might be the best possible outcome in this war for Ukraine, since it could even potentially result in them getting their pre-2014 borders restored if they agree to a few things (like only joining the EU but not NATO, 100-year leasing Crimean ports to Russia, and/or making Russian an official language) so that Putin can still save some face by spinning that outcome to this disaster as a "victory" back home.

                IMO that's unlikely to be the outcome, at least not any time soon, since even if the Russian negotiators are acting in good faith I think it's safe to say that Putin likely isn't. And Putin also probably isn't interested in peace just yet either, unless the political situation for him at home is more dire than we're being led to believe. However, on the slim change that Putin is willing to accept such a deal right now, which could potentially save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost by fighting on... it's worth giving it a shot, is it not?

                8 votes
              2. [3]
                stu2b50
                Link Parent
                I have to say, that's a lot easier to say on on a forum on the internet, then if you were a Ukrainian waking up every morning to air raids, no idea whether your friends or family are alive or...

                I have to say, that's a lot easier to say on on a forum on the internet, then if you were a Ukrainian waking up every morning to air raids, no idea whether your friends or family are alive or dead. The civilian death toll for Ukraine passes 1k, and civilian casualties pass 3k.

                When Russia started indiscriminately bombing Chechnya in the Second Chechen War, civilian deaths totals topped 20k.

                I would let Ukrainian leadership steer their country towards whatever peace they find acceptable, and not try to burden them with unreasonable expectations to "let history clearly show that a country absolutely cannot pull a stunt like what Russia has done and expect to win ANYTHING from it".

                5 votes
                1. [2]
                  balooga
                  Link Parent
                  In fairness I was asked what my ideal outcome would be. I know full well reality is not likely to mirror that.

                  In fairness I was asked what my ideal outcome would be. I know full well reality is not likely to mirror that.

                  1 vote
                  1. stu2b50
                    Link Parent
                    Beyond the likelihood of said situation, there's a lot of implication here that if Ukraine were to broker a peace wherein they conceded territory, that they were doing something shameful ("I think...

                    Beyond the likelihood of said situation, there's a lot of implication here that if Ukraine were to broker a peace wherein they conceded territory, that they were doing something shameful ("I think it would be shameful for Ukraine to have to make compromises to Russia") , or otherwise wrong, which I just find incredibly distasteful. They're in an existential David vs Goliath combat, and by objective measure doing well for themselves, but certainly does not indicates that they are in such a position where they can, or should think about trying to "punish" Russia.

                    The US does not negotiate with terrorist because terrorist are fundamentally incapable of being an existential threat to the unipolar hegemon of the 21st century. It's very different when the terrorists are a country multiple times your size, with an army (however evidently incompetent) several times your army's size, an economy several times your own (however hampered in the future by sanctions), taken considerable amounts of your territory, and are actively bombing civilians in all but one of your major cities.

                    4 votes
              3. sp00ky
                Link Parent
                It’s certainly no secret that China is viewing Russia’s invasion as a test case for their Taiwan planning. And Taiwan is definitely hoping that Ukraine doesn’t give an inch in these “negotiations”.

                If some future dictator tries to emulate Putin

                It’s certainly no secret that China is viewing Russia’s invasion as a test case for their Taiwan planning. And Taiwan is definitely hoping that Ukraine doesn’t give an inch in these “negotiations”.

                2 votes
  3. [12]
    Adys
    Link
    Ongoing "peace" negotiations with strong evidence that Russia is willing to seriously consider real peace terms. This can be interpreted one of two ways: Russia is admitting defeat, without...

    Ongoing "peace" negotiations with strong evidence that Russia is willing to seriously consider real peace terms.

    This can be interpreted one of two ways:

    1. Russia is admitting defeat, without admitting defeat
    2. Russia is taking a break, replenishing troops and ammo, regrouping and readying for another attack in the future.

    I have no opinion at this point.

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Are you doing alright?

      Are you doing alright?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        Thanks for asking. I'm okay. I took a highly needed 4-day holiday and just got back. I'm still as active in the war effort but I haven't been able to find time/energy to post about it lately, and...

        Thanks for asking. I'm okay. I took a highly needed 4-day holiday and just got back. I'm still as active in the war effort but I haven't been able to find time/energy to post about it lately, and I'm glad @ThatFanficGuy, @cfabbro and @skybrian are all helping surface the most interesting items.

        The news and photos about the genocidal massacres have been … tough to deal with. I'm trying to focus on immigration efforts instead. There's a new Ukrainian school for refugees that is opening in Brussels and I'm going to be volunteering there. And I'm opening a physical business here so I can have an easier time giving work to local hands.

        I will try to post in the next megathread.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          I'm definitely not the first person on that list. @cfabbro and @skybrian did more posting on a more diverse number of subjects. I just talk out of my ass.

          I'm definitely not the first person on that list. @cfabbro and @skybrian did more posting on a more diverse number of subjects. I just talk out of my ass.

          2 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            But having a different perspective means you have a story to tell, unlike us onlookers. I just post links. :-)

            But having a different perspective means you have a story to tell, unlike us onlookers. I just post links. :-)

            5 votes
    2. [2]
      Pistos
      Link Parent
      Source(s)?

      Source(s)?

      1 vote
    3. [5]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Does this favor Russia more than Ukraine? In this scenario I’d expect Ukraine to re-establish its borders, NATO to stock them with hardware, and strategists to more carefully prepare for an...

      Russia is taking a break, replenishing troops and ammo, regrouping and readying for another attack in the future.

      Does this favor Russia more than Ukraine? In this scenario I’d expect Ukraine to re-establish its borders, NATO to stock them with hardware, and strategists to more carefully prepare for an invasion from an adversary with better known shortcomings.

      1 vote
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        I agree with you, I don't know who's more favored in that scenario.

        I agree with you, I don't know who's more favored in that scenario.

        3 votes
      2. vektor
        Link Parent
        Also gives us time to set them up with bigger hardware items in sufficient numbers and train crews. Think MBTs, fighter jets, Patriot missiles, anti-ship missiles. All the kind of stuff we're...

        Also gives us time to set them up with bigger hardware items in sufficient numbers and train crews. Think MBTs, fighter jets, Patriot missiles, anti-ship missiles. All the kind of stuff we're brushing aside these days as "that'd just take too long" suddenly becomes very feasible.

        I mean, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, you'll never fool me again" applies here I suppose, but I don't think once Ukraine is in a reasonably stable peace that the Russians will try again any time soon. One of Ukraine's demands seems to be that all their territory, presumably including Donetsk, Luhanks and Crimea, must be given back. If they get that, that'll put Ukraine in an incredibly advantageous position for any future war, as they can make sure they won't lose Crimea again. This way, they're beefing up their defensive position substantially.

        3 votes
      3. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        I haven't seen anything about the Russians giving up ground willingly. There are reports that they're digging in. Both sides can take advantage of time to rest and prepare. Or Ukraine could keep...

        I haven't seen anything about the Russians giving up ground willingly. There are reports that they're digging in.

        Both sides can take advantage of time to rest and prepare. Or Ukraine could keep the counterattacks going.

        2 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          On the other hand, this is vague, but it sounds like they might be giving up ground? I guess I'll wait to see what the next military status reports say. US intel assess 'major' strategy shift by...

          On the other hand, this is vague, but it sounds like they might be giving up ground? I guess I'll wait to see what the next military status reports say.

          US intel assess 'major' strategy shift by Russia as it moves some forces away from Kyiv

          The Russian forces now pulling back in some areas of the north will focus on gains in the south and east. The US is already observing these movements underway, including Russian Battalion Tactical Groups leaving the surrounding areas around Kyiv.

          [...]

          The US assesses Russia will cover their retreat with air and artillery bombardment of the capital, one of the officials said. US officials caution that Russia could always reverse again if the battle conditions allow.

          1 vote
  4. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    Here's a Twitter thread where Bret Devereaux (a military historian and author of acoup.blog) speculates about what Russia will look like militarily after the war

    Here's a Twitter thread where Bret Devereaux (a military historian and author of acoup.blog) speculates about what Russia will look like militarily after the war

    The upshot, it seems to me, is that Russian power projection is going to be pretty dramatically reduced not merely for the duration of the conflict, but probably for some time afterwards.

    I legitimately think we're probably watching RU fall out of 'great power' status again.

    6 votes
  5. [3]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian Peace Negotiators Suffer Symptoms of Suspected Poisoning...

    Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian Peace Negotiators Suffer Symptoms of Suspected Poisoning
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/roman-abramovich-and-ukrainian-peace-negotiators-suffer-symptoms-of-suspected-poisoning-11648480493

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      Proceed with caution. My German news source just said that Ukrainians are calling BS on this one. Maybe someone can find a source, but I gotta get going.

      Proceed with caution. My German news source just said that Ukrainians are calling BS on this one. Maybe someone can find a source, but I gotta get going.

      6 votes
  6. skybrian
    Link
    The Ukraine War - and Its Impact on the Tech Industry (The Pragmatic Engineer) This is an older article (from March 1) but it has a few tidbits about how the tech industry responded to the war:...

    The Ukraine War - and Its Impact on the Tech Industry (The Pragmatic Engineer)

    This is an older article (from March 1) but it has a few tidbits about how the tech industry responded to the war:

    A couple of tech companies with offices in Ukraine have moved early and started to relocate employees before the Russian attack started on 24 February. Companies taking this step included Wix, AppsFlyer, Fiverr, Cimpress, and Ciklum. As Iain Martin wrote the Forbes article US and Israeli tech companies evacuate Ukrainian staff from possible frontline on 17 February:

    “The threat of further military conflict with Russia prompted Nasdaq-listed Cimpress to offer to evacuate its 500 Ukrainian staff outside the country, or to safety further west in Ukraine. Israeli website builder Wix has offered its 1,000 local staff, and their families, temporary evacuation to Turkey while a number of other tech companies like Ukrainian outsourcing giant Ciklum, and San Francisco-based startup AppsFlyer, have plans to relocate Ukrainian staff to safety. (...)

    Israeli freelance marketplace Fiverr, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, says it had a plan to evacuate Kyiv-based staff out of the country and was supporting those who remain in Ukraine.“

    From Thursday, 24 February, Ukraine became a war zone. Most tech companies responded rapidly to the invasion. Some companies have transferred months’ worth of bonuses ahead of time and committed to paying full salaries to any employee joining the Ukrainian armed forces for the duration of their service.

    [...]

    EPAM is the single most impacted company with the events, with around 12,000 staff based in Ukraine. While the company is silent from the outside, I’ve confirmed that there’s a massive internal effort to provide transportation, accommodation, health care, psychological help, facilitate donations, and volunteers. The company is helping many of its Ukrainian employees move over to Poland.

    EPAM has roots in Belarus and is no stranger to mass evacuation efforts. Prior to 2020, they had close to 10,000 staff in Belarus. However, following the election were a series of mass political protests against the Belarusian government which resulted in countrywide raids targeting right groups, activists, and journalists. This government-wide crackdown prompted many tech companies - EPAM included - to relocate their staff to other countries on short notice. EPAM developed internal tools to quickly and efficiently move thousands of people and their families: and they have used the same tools to evacuate and relocate employees and their families in Ukraine.

    [...]

    It’s not just Ukrainians wanting to leave Ukraine: some are going back to Ukraine. [...]

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    Sarah Taber argues that worries about a global wheat shortage are exaggerated [...] [...]

    Sarah Taber argues that worries about a global wheat shortage are exaggerated

    My personal favorite Misleading Wheat Stat is "Ukraine/Russia grow 25% of world wheat exports."

    Why's it misleading? It's technically true, but doesn't mean what people think!

    Missing wheat from the war is actually less than 1% of global wheat crop!

    [...]

    Most of the world plants wheat in the FALL and harvests in SPRING/SUMMER. So planting to make up for missing Black Sea wheat already happened. 4 months ago.

    [...]

    [...] specific places are facing EXTREMELY REAL wheat supply problems. MENA usually sources from Ukraine. Switching supply chains to India & other sources takes extra time, & if they're further away from India [than] Ukraine, it takes longer for supplies to get there.

    3 votes
    1. vektor
      Link Parent
      Well, all the people stockpiling over that hypothetical shortage sure has caused an actual shortage in my grocery store. Same for sunflower oil, and by association (or replacement) canola oil. I'm...

      Well, all the people stockpiling over that hypothetical shortage sure has caused an actual shortage in my grocery store. Same for sunflower oil, and by association (or replacement) canola oil. I'm running low on both.

      Heat still works though, I think that's gas-powered.

      3 votes
  8. skybrian
    Link
    On the front-line north of Kyiv, Ukrainian forces claim to retake territory (Washington Post) [...] [...] [...] [...]

    On the front-line north of Kyiv, Ukrainian forces claim to retake territory (Washington Post)

    A military convoy transported a small group of journalists to this position north of Kyiv on Tuesday morning under the condition that all reporters turn off their phones to avoid tracking and not disclose the exact location in their reports. The road in was quiet and largely devoid of civilians — with just a few dogs playing near the military outpost dug into the ground.

    [...]

    But for now, in places like this military position, Ukrainian statements that they are pushing Russian forces back seem relatively true. Although the area is still dangerous, with shelling in the distance, Ukrainian soldiers said they are in more control here just north of Kyiv than they were even a few days ago. Still, in other areas close to the capital, intense shelling continued Tuesday, proving that the fight is far from over and casting doubt on claims of significant progress.

    [...]

    Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander overseeing the defense of Kyiv, told reporters at the position on Tuesday that more than 95 percent of Irpin is now under Ukrainian control. Ukrainian officials have claimed to have relative control over Irpin for days, but civilians fleeing from Irpin into Kyiv over the weekend described horrific scenes of violence that ran contrary to those claims. They said the fighting had intensified over the weekend. Many arrived to humanitarian tents in the capital deeply shaken — and saying they were lucky to be alive.

    Wrenching scenes of civilians desperately fleeing under the broken bridge that once connected Kyiv to Irpin have become emblematic of the humanitarian disaster. But to reclaim complete control of the city would mark a major victory for the Ukrainians — one they are eager to cement after weeks of chaos.

    [...]

    The territory around Kyiv that Ukraine now controls is “much bigger” than it was at the start of the invasion. Ukrainian forces have pushed toward the borders of the Chernihiv and Zhytomyr regions, north and west of Kyiv, he said. Chernihiv has come under intense Russian attack in recent weeks, with power largely cut off. Russian forces destroyed a key bridge to the city, making it nearly impossible for civilians left inside to flee. Residents say a humanitarian disaster is unfolding as people run out of food and clean water — and fear being killed if they step outside their homes.

    [...]

    Shortly after the ceremony, journalists were rushed to leave over warnings that the location could soon become unsafe. Soldiers scurried to pull some reporters out of the trenches. One told a Washington Post reporter to take cover if she could not leave immediately.

    2 votes
  9. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Ukraine gives medal to soldier who told Russian officer to ‘go fuck yourself’

    Ukraine gives medal to soldier who told Russian officer to ‘go fuck yourself’

    Roman Hrybov, a Ukrainian border guard, was serving on Snake Island – a rocky outcrop south of the port of Odesa – when it came under Russian air and sea bombardment on the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    When the detachment was asked to lay down their weapons, Hrybov responded by radio with a defiant: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”

    Initial reports said 13 border guards on the island had died after refusing to surrender, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine saying each guard would be posthumously awarded the title Hero of Ukraine. But just days later, Ukraine’s state border guard said that the soldiers were still alive and had been taken captive by Russia.

    Adding to the confusion, Ukraine’s parliament later said that 19 servicemen (not 13 as initially reported) had been released as part of the first major prisoner swap with Russia. On Sunday, Zekenskiy said in an interview with Russian journalists that “some of the soldiers died, some were taken prisoner”.

    “All those who were taken prisoner were exchanged. Russia came up with this proposal. We exchanged them without hesitation … Those who died, they are heroes,” Zelenskiy said.

    Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that Hrybov was now home in the city of Cherkasy, and tweeted a video in which Hrybov is seen receiving a medal for his actions from the local authorities.

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