21 votes

Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - April 4-5

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.

46 comments

  1. [4]
    nacho
    Link
    I hope people haven't lost interest and are following the atrocities in Bucha. Several hundred people appear to have been butchered as Russia lost the territory and retreated. This is not normal...

    I hope people haven't lost interest and are following the atrocities in Bucha. Several hundred people appear to have been butchered as Russia lost the territory and retreated.

    This is not normal in war. These are heinous crimes Russia has the audacity to claim are faked (!) by the West and the US in particular.

    19 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      A lot of time has passed since I was worried sleepless at the beginning of the war. My depression-ridden brain started to quietly wipe the bother away. Then Bucha happened. I've made the terrible...

      A lot of time has passed since I was worried sleepless at the beginning of the war. My depression-ridden brain started to quietly wipe the bother away.

      Then Bucha happened.

      I've made the terrible mistake of scrolling down my feeds in order to find a particular piece of information. Along the entire tweet there were photos, videos, and quotes about what'd happened under the Russian occupation, in Bucha and elsewhere.

      I was hoping to sleep tonight without reaching into seeing the sunrise. I'm afraid that might not be in the cards.

      The words to describe the sheer atrocity that is continuing to happen on the Ukrainian soil escape me. It's no longer a bullshit war for territorial gains and/or moral posturing: this is genocide.

      Russia as I knew it is dead. I am now living in a Nazi state.

      As soon as I'm able to, I'm leaving and not coming back until there's a stark and massive change in the administration of this country.

      14 votes
    2. blender_cuttingham
      Link Parent
      It's beyond evil. I just feel kind of helpless about it though. Not sure what can be done since we won't enter a direct war with Russia, and sanctions can only do so much. I would hope for Europe...

      It's beyond evil. I just feel kind of helpless about it though. Not sure what can be done since we won't enter a direct war with Russia, and sanctions can only do so much. I would hope for Europe to stop buying fuel and gas but I know it would have dire consequences for them. I hate that so many people were not loved when they were young and grown up to be absolute giga supermassive assholes with no regard for human life.

      6 votes
  2. Autoxidation
    Link
    I found a translated article from a Russian media outlet being discussed in some of the Ukranian war subreddits. It's not pretty, and directly advocates for the ethnic cleansing of the Ukrainian...

    I found a translated article from a Russian media outlet being discussed in some of the Ukranian war subreddits. It's not pretty, and directly advocates for the ethnic cleansing of the Ukrainian people.

    It's important to highlight what the state-run media on the other side is saying, especially when the Russian population supports the war.

    11 votes
  3. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Satellite images show bodies lay in Bucha for weeks, despite Russian claims.

    Satellite images show bodies lay in Bucha for weeks, despite Russian claims.

    An analysis of satellite images by The New York Times rebuts claims by Russia that the killing of civilians in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, occurred after its soldiers had left the town.

    When images emerged over the weekend of the bodies of dead civilians lying on the streets of Bucha — some with their hands bound, some with gunshot wounds to the head — Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied responsibility. In a Telegram post on Sunday, the ministry suggested that the bodies had been recently placed on the streets after “all Russian units withdrew completely from Bucha” around March 30.

    Russia claimed that the images were “another hoax” and called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on what it called “provocations of Ukrainian radicals” in Bucha.

    But a review of videos and satellite imagery by The Times shows that many of the civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, when Russia’s military was in control of the town.

    One video filmed by a local council member on April 1 shows multiple bodies scattered along Yablonska Street in Bucha. Satellite images provided to The Times by Maxar Technologies show that at least 11 of those had been on the street since March 11, when Russia, by its own account, occupied the town.

    To confirm when the bodies appeared, and when the civilians were likely killed, the Visual Investigations team at The Times conducted a before-and-after analysis of satellite imagery. The images show dark objects of similar size to a human body appearing on Yablonska Street between March 9 and March 11. The objects appear in the precise positions in which the bodies were found after Ukrainian forces reclaimed Bucha, as the footage from April 1 shows. Further analysis shows that the objects remained in those position for over three weeks.

    10 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      More evidence, from @Bellingcat:

      More evidence, from @Bellingcat:

      New drone imagery shows Russian forces firing on a cyclists in Bucha, on Yablunska Street at 50.54148, 30.228898, where multiple corpses have been filmed and photographed t.me/nexta_live/246...

      9 votes
  4. [4]
    sp00ky
    Link
    The Chinese government is fully aware of the scale of atrocities the Russian invaders are inflicting upon Ukraine, and they are actively suppressing their citizens’ awareness of the war and...

    The Chinese government is fully aware of the scale of atrocities the Russian invaders are inflicting upon Ukraine, and they are actively suppressing their citizens’ awareness of the war and manipulating them with a fictional authoritarian-friendly alternate reality narrative. China has the ability to put an end to this war, to this genocide, and it coldly and deliberately chooses not to. China is demonstrating to the world that it sees this level of death and destruction as acceptable in its attempt to undermine western democracies. (Sorry, the recent imagery from Ukraine has me a bit more emotional right now.)

    Bristling Against the West, China Rallies Domestic Sympathy for Russia

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      Which should be a very very clear warning that they're maybe not as friendly as they want us to believe. Much like Russia. Our close economic ties with Russia didn't prevent this, and they won't...

      Which should be a very very clear warning that they're maybe not as friendly as they want us to believe. Much like Russia. Our close economic ties with Russia didn't prevent this, and they won't prevent China from doing as they please. Realizing now that our policies from 10-20 years ago were wrong about Russia should inform us exactly how to deal with China.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think it's possible that Chinese leadership will do something so self-destructive, but by no means certain. In recent history they've been more competent. I'm always up for more disaster...

        I think it's possible that Chinese leadership will do something so self-destructive, but by no means certain. In recent history they've been more competent.

        I'm always up for more disaster preparation, though.

        3 votes
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          I mean, we thought the same about Russia. I certainly thought Putin was a stone cold calculating leader, and here we are. Whether you think he's gone completely mad or whether you think he's...

          I mean, we thought the same about Russia. I certainly thought Putin was a stone cold calculating leader, and here we are. Whether you think he's gone completely mad or whether you think he's surrounded himself with yes-men who didn't give him the proper input into his calculations, both failure modes are plausible in China. They appear more competent now, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Nevermind that I don't think an authoritarian state would do good things with the economic hegemony they're headed for, so we shouldn't grant them that luxury either.

          China certainly is procuring arms at an alarming rate. As far as I can tell, they're not just interested in defense, but also in force projection. And while I don't like the way the US is using their force projection capabilities sometimes, there's a substantial difference in character there between the US and China.

          5 votes
  5. cfabbro
    Link
    I got Putin wrong, says chastened German President

    I got Putin wrong, says chastened German President

    "My adherence to Nord Stream 2 was clearly a mistake," he said. "We were sticking to a bridge in which Russia no longer believed and which other partners had warned us against."

    Steinmeier was a prominent member of a wing of his Social Democratic Party, led by former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, that argued close economic ties to Russia were a way of anchoring it within a western-oriented global system.

    The now-cancelled Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which critics said would have weakened Ukraine by cutting it out of the energy transit business, was a centrepiece of that strategy.

    That has triggered a growing backlash, with critics on social media repeatedly tweeting past pictures of him affectionately embracing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while Ukraine's ambassador Andrij Melnyk has been outspoken in his criticism.

    "We failed to build a common European house," Steinmeier said. "I did not believe Vladimir Putin would embrace his country's complete economic, political and moral ruin for the sake of his imperial madness," he added.

    "In this, I, like others, was mistaken."

    6 votes
  6. [6]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Macron wants complete stop of coal and oil exports from Russia to EU after Bucha "war crimes"

    Macron wants complete stop of coal and oil exports from Russia to EU after Bucha "war crimes"

    French President Emmanuel Macron said it’s “his wish” to see a total block on Russian exports of coal and oil to the European Union “this week," following the discovery of what he described as “war crimes” in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

    Speaking Monday on French broadcaster France Inter, Macron said there are “very clear signs” war crimes have been committed in Bucha and, “it’s pretty established that it’s the Russian army” who are responsible for them.

    6 votes
    1. [5]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. streblo
        Link Parent
        I think impossible is the wrong word. Europe is certainly capable of meeting some level of energy needs without Russian oil and gas, but that would likely require a fair amount of sacrifice and...

        I think impossible is the wrong word.

        Europe is certainly capable of meeting some level of energy needs without Russian oil and gas, but that would likely require a fair amount of sacrifice and hardship on behalf of Europeans relative to today. Whether that’s realistic is really a question for them to answer, but I wouldn’t write it off so easily — I think we have yet to see the worst of this.

        10 votes
      2. vektor
        Link Parent
        Highly unlikely I would say, at this point. We've been dithering about around this for 20 years or so now. We started schedules for decommissioning in 2000 under a socdem/green govt. The plan was...

        Although I do wonder if it's possible to bring those decommissioned German nuclear plants back online.

        Highly unlikely I would say, at this point. We've been dithering about around this for 20 years or so now.

        We started schedules for decommissioning in 2000 under a socdem/green govt. The plan was to start seriously building up renewables and finally decommission any nuclear plants in the 2015-2020 period. I presume there was also a plan in place to cut fossil-fuel based production in the same time frame.

        In 2005, Merkel came into power in a socdem/conervative govt. Starting with this govt, we see the above plan being cut up, iirc. Mostly by way of slashing funding for renewables. Germany was very much leading the world market for PV arrays in 2005. - this changed drastically in this period and we basically lost that market to China. Again, this was, afaict, down to lack of funding: The 2000 govt invested heavily into renewables, and in 2005 onwards we basically decided to axe that industry by not giving them any government money. If you recall that era, renewables were still an economically unviable niche that needed that funding.

        Then in late 2010, Merkel's now liberal/conservative govt. decided to extend the time left for the nuclear plants we had, dubbed the "exit from the exit". A few months later, Fukushima happened and we immediately reversed course on the above ("exit from the exit from the exit"). Except, there's a catch and the govt/tax payer is being sued by the plant operators for severance because we now cut the run time of their plants. To the tune of a few billions. A very expensive step that could have been prevented by sticking to the original plan. Nevermind that the original 2000 plan would have put us into a way more favorable position in terms of renewables. Ohh, and we're not even talking about the fact that the energy companies' funds earmarked for decommissioning and disposal are in all likelihood quite insufficient for the task, so the tax payer gets to foot that bill too..

        Now the green party is finally in charge of the relevant areas again. The last time they were in charge, Germany was on the right course for a renewable energy future. 16 years later they check back and they inherit this mess. I wouldn't blame them if they considered that move too politically risky.

        All of which to say, this has been an extremely hard fought battle, politically, and lots of money and time was wasted as a result of dithering and changing course. Expect none but extremely limited course corrections.

        As far as technical possibilities go, maybe we have to ask /u/nukeman for his take here, but there's a few plants that were still operational recently: 1 2 3 4 5 - the three that just closed 3 months ago I expect could probably be made operational quite quickly.

        6 votes
      3. [2]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah, Macron's "wish" of accomplishing that "this week" is certainly not realistic, however according to the latest report from Germany: Germany seeks to wean itself off Russian energy imports

        Yeah, Macron's "wish" of accomplishing that "this week" is certainly not realistic, however according to the latest report from Germany:

        Germany seeks to wean itself off Russian energy imports

        Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Friday that the country is planning to almost completely end Russian energy imports by the end of the year.

        Habeck, a member of the Green Party, said the plan meant that a considerable amount of progress would be made in a short space of time, as the West is rushing to wean itself off Russian energy amidst the invasion of Ukraine. Before the war began and the subsequent heavy sanctions targeting Russia, Germany received 50% of its coal, 55% of its gas, and 35% of its oil from Moscow.

        "By the middle of the year, Russian oil imports to Germany are expected to be halved. By the end of the year, we aim to be almost independent," a document published by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said. The plan also calls for coal deliveries from Russia to end by the autumn.

        Habeck confirmed that current contracts with Russian companies to import energy will not be renewed. He also acknowledged that Germany would only be able to wean itself off Russian gas deliveries by mid-2024.

        Germany looks to US, Qatar to meet energy demands

        "In the past few weeks, we have undertaken intensive efforts with all the relevant actors to import fewer fossil fuels from Russia and broaden the basis of our supply," the minister told reporters. Already, he said, Russia's share of German oil imports had fallen to less than a quarter.

        His statement came on the same day that US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a sweeping new deal to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the United States to the EU.

        Habeck himself recently returned from a visit to Qatar where he also secured deals for more LNG imports from the Gulf nation.

        Germany is also planning to build its own LNG terminals. Currently, the gas is shipped to terminals in the Netherlands or Belgium before being transported to Germany.

        1 vote
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          Important step in the right direction imo. But of course this is going to be a medium to long-term plan. I wouldn't expect this to actively hurt Russia during the war; that's what arms shipments...

          Important step in the right direction imo. But of course this is going to be a medium to long-term plan. I wouldn't expect this to actively hurt Russia during the war; that's what arms shipments are for. What this is for is to make sure Russia feels the pain in the medium-term. If this coincides with the shift in public opinion against the war, this could be big.

          3 votes
    2. vektor
      Link Parent
      Just to have an opportunity to snark at French energy policy as a German, here's a comparison of German and French bulk electricity prices yesterday. 100€ is last year's average for Germany,...

      Just to have an opportunity to snark at French energy policy as a German, here's a comparison of German and French bulk electricity prices yesterday. 100€ is last year's average for Germany, roughly, and yesterday's peak. France meanwhile is struggling, as their nuclear plants are currently anomalously unavailable. This coinciding with Macron's demand is... well, ironic. AFAICT, Germany is currently exporting large amounts, presumably as much as the grid allows, of electricity to France, presumably partially based on Russian natural gas.

      3 votes
  7. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Germany and France expel Russian diplomats after Bucha

    Germany and France expel Russian diplomats after Bucha

    Germany will expel a "significant number" of Russian diplomats, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Monday in a statement, linking the expulsion to the reported atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine.

    France's Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced later Monday that it would also expel numerous Russian diplomats "whose activities are contrary to our security interests."

    5 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Italy expels 30 Russian diplomats over security fears

      Italy expels 30 Russian diplomats over security fears

      "The measure is in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners and is necessary for reasons linked to our national security and in the context of the current crisis caused by the unjustified aggression against Ukraine on the part of the Russian Federation," Di Maio said in a statement.

      4 votes
  8. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    India condemns killings in Ukraine's Bucha in apparent hardening of stance

    India condemns killings in Ukraine's Bucha in apparent hardening of stance

    India on Tuesday condemned the killings of civilians in Ukraine's Bucha and called for an independent investigation, having earlier declined to explicitly criticise the invasion of Ukraine by its long-time partner Russia.

    "Recent reports of civilian killings in Bucha are deeply disturbing," T.S. Tirumurti, India's permanent representative to the United Nations, told a meeting of the Security Council.

    "We unequivocally condemn these killings and support the call for an independent investigation."

    Tirumurti delivered his speech shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a phone conversation with India's foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The United States has repeatedly urged India to condemn Russia's aggression since the Feb. 24 invasion.

    India heavily relies on Russia for military hardware. New Delhi has repeatedly called for an end to violence in Ukraine, but has abstained from various U.N. resolutions on the war in a tricky attempt at balancing its ties with Moscow and the West.

    5 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Lapid explicitly accuses Russia of war crimes, a first for a top Israeli official

      Lapid explicitly accuses Russia of war crimes, a first for a top Israeli official

      Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid explicitly accused Russia of war crimes on Tuesday, in the strongest comments against Moscow yet by a top Israeli official.

      “A large and powerful country has invaded a smaller neighbor without any justification. Once again, the ground is soaked with the blood of innocent civilians,” Lapid charged while in Cyprus, speaking alongside his Cypriot and Greek counterparts, according to a statement from his spokesman.

      “The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes,” Lapid said in reference to the alleged atrocities committed in the Kyiv suburb Bucha.

      Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett condemned the killing of civilians in Bucha, but did not blame Russia or anyone else for the atrocities.

      4 votes
  9. cfabbro
    Link
    Twitter will no longer amplify or recommend Russian government accounts Related article, submitted a few weeks ago: Russian government accounts are using a Twitter loophole to spread disinformation

    Twitter will no longer amplify or recommend Russian government accounts

    Twitter accounts operated by the Russian government will no longer "be amplified or recommended to people on Twitter, including across the Home Timeline, Explore, Search, and other places on the service," the company said in a blog post.

    "This measure drastically reduces the chance that people on Twitter see Tweets from these accounts unless they follow them," said Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, in a tweet. Twitter added that the policy could be expanded in the future to cover other situations "beyond interstate armed conflict."

    Twitter's announcement comes after critics highlighted the discrepancy between the company's earlier actions to limit Russian state media on its platform — such as content from Sputnik and RT — and its comparatively hands-off approach to Russian government accounts. Some, including a number of US lawmakers, have called for Twitter to ban Russian government accounts outright.

    Tuesday's announcement stops short of a complete ban, in another example of the policy tightrope that social media companies have had to walk since Russia's invasion. The Russian government collectively has millions of followers across numerous accounts, including several operated by the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia's foreign and defense ministries, and diplomatic missions.

    Related article, submitted a few weeks ago:
    Russian government accounts are using a Twitter loophole to spread disinformation

    Twitter has recognised the disinformation possibilities of state-affiliated media, putting warning labels on their content and not recommending or amplifying them.

    However, these rules do not apply to government-controlled accounts not labelled as media, such as foreign embassies.

    As a result, these accounts are flooding the platform with propaganda. This is a critical gap in Twitter’s moderation practices, and one that has received little attention.

    4 votes
  10. cfabbro
    Link
    US to move to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council

    US to move to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council

    The United States will push to remove Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council over Ukraine’s accusation that invading troops massacred civilians in the town of Bucha, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday.

    “In close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, we are going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters following a meeting with Romania’s prime minister in Bucharest.

    Thomas-Greenfield called Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council a “farce” during the remarks from Bucharest on Monday.

    “It hurts the credibility of the Council and the UN writ large. And it is simply wrong. Which is why we believe it is time for the UN General Assembly to suspend them,” she said.

    3 votes
  11. streblo
    Link
    Sample of the rhetoric coming out of Russia right now. Also, here is a few short Twitter threads from a Russian studies prof at Warwick. I think they're just scratching the surface of what someone...

    Sample of the rhetoric coming out of Russia right now.

    Also, here is a few short Twitter threads from a Russian studies prof at Warwick. I think they're just scratching the surface of what someone could very well write a book about but interesting thoughts on the GPW origin story for Russian propaganda and it's transcendence into an alternate state of reality. 1 2 3.

    2 votes
  12. [2]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Ukraine’s intelligence publishes list of Russian military stationed in Bucha Link to the gur.gov.ua list of allegedly involved Russian personnel

    Ukraine’s intelligence publishes list of Russian military stationed in Bucha

    Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate published the names, ranks and passport details of Russians serving in the 64 Motor Rifle Brigade which occupied Bucha prior to March 31. “All war criminals will be tried and prosecuted for crimes against the civilian population of Ukraine,” the intelligence said.

    Link to the gur.gov.ua list of allegedly involved Russian personnel

    2 votes
    1. vektor
      Link Parent
      I've heard elsewhere that 2 airborne units and kadyrovites might also have been in Bucha in the relevant timeframe. Which is not to say that Ukraine intel is wrong or incomplete, but I'll let it...

      I've heard elsewhere that 2 airborne units and kadyrovites might also have been in Bucha in the relevant timeframe. Which is not to say that Ukraine intel is wrong or incomplete, but I'll let it be my reminder that this situation calls for "slow news", at least as far as the question of who's to blame is concerned. Except for Putin. He's already the butcher of bucha to me. And not that it matters much in the bigger picture which unit committed this.

      6 votes
  13. [7]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Czech Republic sends tanks, infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine

    Czech Republic sends tanks, infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine

    The Czech Republic has sent T-72 tanks and BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, a Czech defence source told Reuters on Tuesday, confirming a local media report.

    Public broadcaster Czech Television initially reported the shipment, showing footage on Twitter of a train loaded with five tanks and five fighting vehicles. It said the shipment was a gift agreed with NATO allies.

    The broadcaster said the information was confirmed by the head of the Czech lower house's European Affairs Committee Ondrej Benesik, who told Reuters he received the information from his Christian Democrat Party's expert on defence.

    Defence Minister Jana Cernochova told parliament she would not confirm or deny details of Czech aid to Ukraine.

    "I will only assure you that the Czech Republic ... is helping Ukraine as much as it can and will continue to help by (supplying) military equipment, both light and heavy," Cernochova said.

    A spokesperson for the Defence Ministry said the Czech Republic had sent military aid worth nearly 1 billion crowns ($45 million) to Ukraine since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24 but declined to give any further details.

    2 votes
    1. [6]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      T-72's are apparently quite vulnerable and the Ukrainians destroyed quite a few. But hopefully they will find creative uses for them?

      T-72's are apparently quite vulnerable and the Ukrainians destroyed quite a few. But hopefully they will find creative uses for them?

      1. [5]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It really depends on the model, and what upgrade packages they have had installed. Modernized T-72s only superficially resemble their earlier counterparts. And since these are coming from Czechia,...

        It really depends on the model, and what upgrade packages they have had installed. Modernized T-72s only superficially resemble their earlier counterparts. And since these are coming from Czechia, we can probably assume they're fully modernized T-72M4s. See:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-72_operators_and_variants#Czech_Republic

        Besides that, IMO it's not any inherent vulnerability in the T-72s design that has led to so many of their losses in Ukraine. It's Russia's outdated doctrine, overconfidence, failure to achieve air superiority, and tactical blunders (e.g. attacking during mud season so their armored columns have had to stick to roads), which has left them incredibly vulnerable to ambushes + artillery fire. Well... that and the Bayraktar TB2 drones, as well as abundance of modern, remote (Stugna-P) + handheld (NLAW, Javelin) anti-tank missiles and RPGs (LAW, Panzerfaust 3) currently in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers. ;)

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          Also infantry support. Tanks supported by infantry are much more viable than just tanks or just infantry. I am confident Ukraine knows that, and on their own turf they will have much less trouble...

          Also infantry support. Tanks supported by infantry are much more viable than just tanks or just infantry. I am confident Ukraine knows that, and on their own turf they will have much less trouble implementing it compared to Russia.

          Also, absolutely the mud and supply issues. Half of Russia's tank losses are simply abandoned, not destroyed. Ukraine has the chance to do way better there.

          2 votes
          1. cfabbro
            Link Parent
            Agreed. I even said similar things a few days ago in another thread:

            Agreed. I even said similar things a few days ago in another thread:

            Indeed. And if you want to see a counter-example, just look at what's happening in Ukraine right now. Russia is struggling to defeat a much smaller military, in large part due to the separate Russian military branches being so singularly focused. Which has ultimately ended up causing massive inter-branch coordination, communication, and logistical headaches, resulting in an almost complete lack of combined arms operations, and making each branch's units far more vulnerable and less effective.

            Add to that the fact that Ukraine, who over the last 10 years has adopted a more US-like military structure and doctrine thanks to NATO advisory and training efforts, and it helps explain the massive disparity in the effectiveness and losses of each side's forces.

        2. [2]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Yes, I had forgotten that there can be lots of changes to the same basic model. It sounds like Czechia has models with different amounts of upgrading? Possibly of interest: Battle Tanks Are Always...

          Yes, I had forgotten that there can be lots of changes to the same basic model. It sounds like Czechia has models with different amounts of upgrading?

          Possibly of interest:

          Battle Tanks Are Always Outmoded But Never Obsolete

          Writing in 1960, British military historian Basil Henry Liddell Hart observed: “Time after time during the past 40 years the highest defense authorities have announced that the tank is dead or dying. Each time it has risen from the grave to which they had consigned it — and they have been caught napping.”

          By this time, though, it really did seem as if tanks were on the way out. In the postwar era, countries began developing more sophisticated antitank weapons, many of which used missiles. These forerunners of the pack-and-shoot missiles now wreaking havoc on Russian armor were crude but effective. The Israelis found this out the hard way.

          [...]

          This began a debate that has raged intermittently in the succeeding decades, notably when U.S. military leaders of the post-9/11 era favored faster, lighter weaponry to fight wars against terrorism.

          But it’s easy to overstate the lessons of Russia’s Ukrainian battlefield fiasco. Tanks have remained a mainstay of most nations’ militaries, and Russia’s use of armor has been wanting in many ways. Moreover, it may be possible to protect future tanks with electronic defenses known as active protection systems that offer electronic armor instead of steel to protect against portable antitank weapons.

          1 vote
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Yeah, sounds like it. But they're currently being pretty cagey about discussing this, so it's hard to find any specifics about what they have actually sent to Ukraine. However, there were some...

            It sounds like Czechia has models with different amounts of upgrading?

            Yeah, sounds like it. But they're currently being pretty cagey about discussing this, so it's hard to find any specifics about what they have actually sent to Ukraine. However, there were some leaked photos of some tanks and BMPs on a train car though: https://twitter.com/sentdefender/status/1511131033902755844

            So someone more knowledgeable than myself may be able to identify the exact variants and included upgrade packages on those particular tanks.

            p.s. This may also help: http://www.military-today.com/tanks/t72m4.htm

            1 vote
  14. [5]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Moscow Outraged That Kazakhstan Becoming ‘a Second Ukraine’ https://jamestown.org/program/moscow-outraged-that-kazakhstan-becoming-a-second-ukraine/

    Moscow Outraged That Kazakhstan Becoming ‘a Second Ukraine’
    https://jamestown.org/program/moscow-outraged-that-kazakhstan-becoming-a-second-ukraine/

    Moscow-based commentators who remain convinced that Russia saved the current government in Kazakhstan by intervening there in January (see EDM, January 19, 21) are outraged that the Central Asian country is not supporting Russia in the Ukrainian conflict but rather publicly taking positions that challenge all of the Kremlin’s claims. Some, like Regnum journalist Bogdan Bezpalko, are beginning to use increasingly bellicose language, such as calling the Kazakhs “little Nazis” and arguing that “Kazakhstan is on its way to becoming a second Ukraine.” Unless this large steppe republic that Russia has long counted on as its closest partner in Central Asia changes course, such writers argue, Kazakhstan will suffer mightily for its failure to support Moscow now (Regnum, April 1). Senior Russian officials have not yet used equally incendiary language, and there is little prospect that Russia, its forces already overextended in Ukraine, will move militarily against Kazakhstan anytime soon. But it seems certain that the Kremlin is equally outraged by Kazakhstan’s stance and, when it can, will take measures to try to force Nur-Sultan to change its position (Politnavigator.net, March 4).

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      Be careful about generalizing the military situation in Ukraine to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has way different geography, and a much smaller and less experienced military. The west also doesn't have...

      Be careful about generalizing the military situation in Ukraine to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has way different geography, and a much smaller and less experienced military. The west also doesn't have nearly as viable (if at all) corridors for military aid into Kazakhstan. It's possible China would like to have a word with the Russians if they try any funny business in central Asia. The geography allows Russia to rely much more on their tank assets and simplifies logistics. Ukraine's ambush tactics are much less viable in large parts of the country. Nevermind that I wouldn't expect Russia to make the same mistake twice.

      I'm not saying Kazakhstan would be lost, I'm cautioning against direct comparisons.

      I'm not saying that because anyone here said it; I'm saying that because I have already seen such claims elsewhere. I do not think such a conflict is at all likely in the short term. But it's what people's minds go to.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        cmccabe
        Link Parent
        I was interpreting it as (hopefully) a sign that Russia’s deteriorating clout due to the botched invasion of Ukraine was emboldening allies or near-allies to distance themselves.

        I was interpreting it as (hopefully) a sign that Russia’s deteriorating clout due to the botched invasion of Ukraine was emboldening allies or near-allies to distance themselves.

        2 votes
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          Oh, absolutely. I think this part is relatively certain; Russia is certainly losing a lot of credibility with the generally neutral-ish crowd like Finland. I imagine their allies are generally not...

          Oh, absolutely. I think this part is relatively certain; Russia is certainly losing a lot of credibility with the generally neutral-ish crowd like Finland. I imagine their allies are generally not pleased either. I can only imagine Belarus for example. Seems Lukashenko was feeling frisky about Ukraine, but then the way things went he, well, didn't quite want to get in on this mess. And Belarus is, afaict, Russia's closest ally.

          2 votes
    2. FishFingus
      Link Parent
      I think their government is probably stupid and belligerent enough to attempt an invasion, which might well go better than Ukraine, at least for a bit; but it'd only push Georgia, Moldova and...

      I think their government is probably stupid and belligerent enough to attempt an invasion, which might well go better than Ukraine, at least for a bit; but it'd only push Georgia, Moldova and others further away from them. The Russian govt. really is like some neighbourhood neo-Nazi who threatens and attacks anyone attempting to move out.

      Almost nobody seemingly thought Putin would attack Ukraine, but then again they also mistook him for a sane (or at least informed) human being.

      1 vote
  15. cfabbro
    Link
    Biden calls for Putin to face war crimes trial over civilian killings in Ukraine

    Biden calls for Putin to face war crimes trial over civilian killings in Ukraine

    Joe Biden has called for Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes as western leaders prepared a fresh round of economic sanctions against Moscow amid mounting global outrage over claims of civilian killings by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

    The US president was responding to harrowing images broadcast around the world after the discovery over the weekend of a mass grave and bodies in civilian clothes, some with their hands bound, in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv.

    “You may remember I got criticised for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told reporters at the Fort McNair army post in Washington. “Well, the truth of the matter – we saw it happen in Bucha – he is a war criminal.”

    “But we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight, and we have to get all the detail [to] have a war crimes trial. This guy is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous.”

    1 vote
  16. skybrian
    Link
    U.S. stops Russian bond payments in bid to raise pressure on Moscow [...] [...]

    U.S. stops Russian bond payments in bid to raise pressure on Moscow

    Under sanctions put in place after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, foreign currency reserves held by the Russian central bank at U.S. financial institutions were frozen.

    But the Treasury Department had been allowing the Russian government to use those funds to make coupon payments on dollar-denominated sovereign debt on a case-by-case basis.

    [...]

    The move was meant to force Moscow to make the difficult decision of whether it would use dollars that it has access to for payments on its debt or for other purposes, including supporting its war effort, the spokesperson said.

    Russia faces a historic default if it chooses to not do so.

    [...]

    The country has a 30-day grace period to make the payment, the source said.

    1 vote
  17. skybrian
    Link
    In shattered Chernihiv, Russian siege leaves a city asking, ‘Why?’ (Washington Post)

    In shattered Chernihiv, Russian siege leaves a city asking, ‘Why?’ (Washington Post)

    Chernihiv, a regional capital, is the largest Ukrainian city besieged by Russian troops to come back under complete Ukrainian control, though residents are preparing for what they fear could be a Russian return in the coming days.

    On Monday, the first day a route from Kyiv to Chernihiv reopened, Washington Post reporters interviewed local people who provided accounts of atrocities that echo those emerging in other cities Russians have occupied, from Kyiv’s suburbs to wide swaths of the country’s east and south that remain under Russian control.

    Residents here described violence and brutality by soldiers that added to the growing litany of potential Russian war crimes committed during the war in Ukraine.

    1 vote
  18. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    U.S. Switchblades And Pumas Join The War [...] [...]

    U.S. Switchblades And Pumas Join The War

    The U.S. Army use the drone under the name RQ-20 Puma; made by AeroVironment of California, it’s a hand-launched drone with a 15-foot wingspan. It is one of the heftier hand-launched craft, weighing over 20 pounds, and is correspondingly capable, with a flight endurance of more than five hours and a control range of more than 25 miles.

    The Puma boasts a Mantis i45 sensor, like a miniature version of the sensor ball in Reaper-class drones, a gimballed sensor that swivels as the drone flies and provides a stabilized view of any point on the ground below. It has a low-light camera and an advanced thermal imager, both with a powerful zoom capability. This makes it useful for night operations, where Ukrainian tactical drones have been highly successful due to the Russian lack of effective night vision gear.

    [...]

    The Switchblade 300 loitering munition is another AeroVironment product, a truly tiny drone no bigger than a baguette that weighs less five pounds and has a small explosive warhead. This type of portable lethal drone has been highly successful in Afghanistan and elsewhere for finding and finishing high-value targets at ranges of up to six kilometers. But once fired, it cannot be recalled, so if the operator fails to find a target it is a Switchblade wasted. Only very limited numbers are being supplied to Ukraine – 100 in the first batch, and likely a similar number in the second batch.

    The Puma solves the problem with the aid of AeroVironment’s Sensor-to-Shooter (S2S) Kit, first introduced last year. This allows AeroVironment’s other drones, including the Puma, to pass data via their proprietary digital data link directly to a Switchblade.

    [...]

    An additional and perhaps equally great benefit is that the Puma can act as an airborne communication relay. Normally the Switchblade is limited to a range of about six kilometers, a limitation imposed by control distance; with a flight time of over fifteen minutes and a cruising speed of over 60 mph, it can in principle hit far more distant targets. All it needs is great communications range, which Puma could provide.

    1 vote
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Related: U.S. Drones for Ukraine Will Include Latest Tank Killers More info: https://www.avinc.com/tms/switchblade-600

      Related: U.S. Drones for Ukraine Will Include Latest Tank Killers

      The Pentagon plans to order and send to Ukraine 10 of the newest model Switchblade drones armed with tank-busting warheads in addition to previously announced deliveries of a less powerful version, according to two people familiar with the decision.

      The new Switchblade-600 weapons are part of $300 million in lethal military assistance announced by the Pentagon Friday night that will be contracted directly from industry instead of drawn from existing stocks, according to the people, who asked not to identified discussing the plan.

      The new 50-pound model, produced by the Simi Valley, California-based company can fly more than 24 miles (39 kilometers) and loiter 40 minutes before attacking with an anti-armor warhead. The drone operator uses a tablet-based touchscreen fire-control system with the option to pilot the loitering missile manually.

      More info: https://www.avinc.com/tms/switchblade-600

      1 vote
  19. cfabbro
    Link
    'Fortnite' players raised $144 million for Ukraine relief efforts

    'Fortnite' players raised $144 million for Ukraine relief efforts

    Epic Games and Microsoft have wrapped up their campaign to support Ukraine relief efforts through Fortnite after raising an impressive $144 million. Both companies donated their proceeds from the game for the last two weeks to humanitarian causes supporting people affected by the war. The funds will go to Direct Relief, UNICEF, UN World Food Program, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and World Central Kitchen.