Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - April 13-14
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Let me recap what I've seen today:
My bank sent me a cryptic (and creepy) message saying "Your [bank name] app is working fine. All operations are available. Please don't delete the app". I thought "...okay, that's needy, but I wasn't going to, even though I'm tempted now". Had to research what the hell had happened. Turns out, the app was removed from the App Store (and later from Google Play Store) due to sanctions. You can no longer download it, though you can still use the installed app. (If you're following the news, you know which bank that is: I think it's the only one that had its app nixed in this fashion.)
On the bank's front page, there was a new section about "unmasking the fakes" about the bank. It used to reassure users that everything is working just fine, there are no hacks, there are no unsanctioned money withdrawals, there is no way to covertly make purchases using someone's card information, and there were definitely no leaks of banking details with which to make such purchases. In other words, I'm assuming something'd happened. My money is fine so far.
Then, the national services site (Gosuslugi, or roughly "GovServices") showed me a notification about accepting enrollment into a new state program which pays for up to 100% of tuition costs of those who apply to study IT skills. Server management, backend dev, frontend dev, testing, app dev, design... You get 50% off if your income is deemed too low by the national standards, and 75% or 100% off if you're a pensioner or unemployed. As far as I can tell, it's a perfectly real program that's designed to combat the massive brain drain that's happened recently.
A week or so ago I've also seen an article in Meduza (a Russian oppositional online newspaper) in Russian about the measures the Russian government is taking to invite Russian citizens working in IT abroad back into the country. Russia's offering monetary incentives, including resettlement money to get one on one's feet upon their arrival into the country. (I wish I could find the article now 'cause I realize I've been talking a lot without sources, but I can't now. If you know what I'm talking about, please link it here.)
Personally, I wouldn't want to get back to Russia if I'd already established a spot abroad. The only reason I can think of is holding a strong pro-Russian position, and even then... Europe and the US pay more (a lot more, considering what's happening to the Russian economy in real time), either has a much higher baseline quality of life, plus it's gonna take uprooting your well-established (probably relatively-wealthy) lifestyle to move to a country which is quickly turning into a huge massively-isolated island of a nation which thin supply of quality electronics and no ability to establish a decent-grade infrastructure for... basically anything, from roads to medicine to IT¹. I'm just not seeing the appeal.
¹ From what I understand, the UI/UX of banking and government apps is superb relative to some of the EU/US counterparts. It is, in my experience, indeed very nice: easy to navigate and to use.
In pursuit of said brain drain, let me spam a few links that I just looked up:
Which Visa do you need? - notable find, if you've got 3 years professional IT experience, all you need is a job offer and you're good to go. The 50k€ minimum salary on that job offer isn't crazy high. Unless you're completely green, I would consider it a ripoff if you didn't get that. There's also a 6 months visum for job seekers, but that requires that you have recognized formal education. If you want your RU education recognized, check here. If you need help with the legalese, let me know. I'm above average competent in reading German official documents.
As for job hunting, there's a competing network to LinkedIn, called Xing. Consider using both.
A few words from my Russian coworker: Also consider Czechia. They've also got a healthy IT sector and you'll likely find the Czech simpler to learn. (That said, I think you'd be fine with your English skills in Germany, as long as you can find a job that's operating mostly in English.) Also this YT channel
Oh, and if you have questions back that would dox you to ask publicly, you can always send a DM. Good hunting!
Cheers for all the resources and advice.
For what it's worth, there might be a job for me soon enough. I'm not all too eager to go into detail yet – it's far from certain whether I get the visa – but if I do, I'm set.
In case I don't, I'm bookmarking your comment 'cause I'll be banging on all the doors.
This article I read a few days ago touched on some of the incentives being offered by the Russian government in an attempt to reverse the flow, but it's mostly about the sheer volume of IT people (and IT companies) currently leaving Russia:
'A Nail In The Coffin': Tech Workers Are Fleeing Russia And The Impact Will Last For Years
That's a pretty good overview of the IT brain drain. Aligns with what I've been hearing thus far.
Ukraine War Pushes Germans to Change. They Are Wavering. (NYT)
Russian Navy confirms severe damage to Black Sea cruiser Moskva, crew abandoned ship
Ukraine is claiming they have sunk the Russian Navy's Black Sea flagship, Moskva. Russia is only stating that a fire caused them to abandon ship.
Russia says Moskva cruiser has sunk after reported Ukrainian missile strike
Not sure if Russians have no will to stay on board and save their ship, considering it seemed alright after the attack. But Russian ships have a bit of a reputation of sacrificing a lot for more firepower, like crew comfort and maintainability. This ship was potentially packing 16 5t missiles and plenty of other ammunition, that could keep a fire going for a good bit. If that stuff is on fire, I don't think there was much hope for the ship.
E: Having read a bit more, it seems unreasonable to expect the crew to fight that casualty. While it's hard to get an exact account currently, what with there still being a war on, it seems she was going down fast enough that there wasn't ever much of a chance.
Have you seen anything about estimated casualties so far? I've seen conflicting crew counts ranging from approx. 450 to 550, with the latter claiming that only 50 of those 500 were rescued.
I heard nothing, and I don't expect western sources to be able to tell, so I will expect Russia to lie. Only reason they admitted she sunk (I believe) was because GlobalHawks and satellites probably already knew.
But depending on how exactly things went down, anything from 50 dead to 50 alive is plausible, I'd say. Maybe she went down fast and people had to scramble to even get to the top deck where 80t of missiles were burning up. Or maybe she just burned and flooded for a while and was abandoned hours later, after damage control determined they couldn't save her.
Reading a bit on the matter, I'm seeing that Russia reports "no casualties", which I find non-credible. It would be in line with their initial story of "heavily damaged due to an accidental ammunition fire, being towed back". It's not consistent with two anti ship missile hits, I would think, even if those missiles didn't even sink her. I've seen no other reports.
Tagesschau.de: Gouvernor of Odessa claims "Neptune" anti ship missiles were used. These are a Ukrainian domestic development. They were supposed to be in service by... Drumroll please... April 2022.
Why on earth (or in hades) is every nautical weapon not called “the kraken?”
Ahh. But Neptune is pretty good too. Harpoon isn't too terrible either, and Exocet, meaning "flying fish", is creative too, considering torpedoes are often called fish. But torpedo names... "Mark 48. That'll do". SeaHake. Tigerfish. What? Who came up with these?
Predatory fish. Hakes and Tigerfish hunt other fish. So it makes sense for torpedos (and subs, many subs are named after similar species of fish).
Worth noting: that's the warship that had been told to go fuck itself weeks ago near Snake Island.
Key Russian railway bridge destroyed in Belgorod near border with Ukraine (The Guardian)
War in Ukraine (Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan)
A twelve-minute video with some on-the-ground footage in Ukraine. Andrew interviews several citizens and displaced families about the war, Bucha atrocities, the Azov Battalion, coverage in Russia, and humanitarian efforts.
I was aware of that interviewer from having seen some of his All Gas No Brakes interviews, in which he did an incredible job just letting people express themselves so we could get a better sense of them, and how crazy some of their views were. He kinda reminds me of Louis Theroux in that way, being able to tease out the raw truth from people through his relaxed, nonthreatening demeanor.
But I had no idea he had a new channel, or that he had traveled to Ukraine though, so thanks for the link. That was incredibly interesting, especially the final interviews with the Anarchists.
Paradox of tolerance exemplified. Ironically, fighting alongside Ukrainian neo-Nazis is seen by these Ukrainian lefitsts as being the lesser of two evils in this current situation. :(
Pentagon asks top 8 U.S. weapons makers to meet on Ukraine -sources (Reuters)
Russia ‘using weapons smuggled by Iran from Iraq against Ukraine’ (The Guardian)
World Bank planning to give support worth $1.5bn to Ukraine (The Guardian)
The West Must Help Ukraine Free Its People To Stop Russian Atrocities (Institute for the Study of War)
Leaders of Poland and Baltic states in Kyiv to discuss military assistance (Reuters)
Also important, and I'm glad the article mentioned it:
Reasonable, imo. Steinmeier was dead wrong, and he was German Foreign Minister during the 2014 attack. He's apologized and acknowledged he was wrong. But also: He has very little political power, so a meeting with him would largely be symbolic. A symbol that UA people might not appreciate. Scholz is the man to talk to, and I suspect he will visit sometime soon as well. Also, the heads of the parliament committees on (EU, Foreign, Defence) matters are visiting, who do have a lot more power than the president.
That said, some Germans are pissed. I dunno. Not a great signal to the German population, but then, they aren't fighting the war.