13 votes

Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 18-19

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.

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7 comments

  1. [5]
    cmccabe
    Link
    MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IS ITCHING TO SEND “HUNTER-KILLER” DRONES TO UKRAINE https://theintercept.com/2022/05/18/ukraine-reaper-drones-weapons-transfer/ … …

    MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IS ITCHING TO SEND “HUNTER-KILLER” DRONES TO UKRAINE
    https://theintercept.com/2022/05/18/ukraine-reaper-drones-weapons-transfer/

    AFTER FAILING TO convince the Biden administration to ship NATO fighter jets to Ukraine, the military-industrial complex is now trying to coax the White House into sending what are, essentially, unmanned fighter jets to counter Russia’s invasion. Kyiv reportedly met with the major defense contractor General Atomics about obtaining the “Hunter-Killer” MQ-9 Reaper drone, armed with Hellfire missiles, which the U.S. has infamously used in botched airstrikes that killed and maimed civilians in Afghanistan, Somalia, and other countries around the world. The company and Kyiv’s allies in Washington are appealing to policymakers to greenlight the export, despite the high risk of escalation that could turn the devastating war nuclear.

    Along the way, Kyiv and the U.S. defense industry have had a strong ally in the American media, which is constantly asking the administration why it’s not getting more involved. After the Washington Post reported on Ukraine’s discussions with General Atomics, Politico beckoned: “Ukraine wants armed drones. Is the U.S. ready to deliver?”

    If the government approves a deal, Ukraine would be one of only a few countries to receive Gray Eagles or Reapers. Unlike fighter jets such as the F-16, the U.S. hasn’t widely provided them because of an international agreement known as the Missile Technology Control Regime. Aiming to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the nonbinding regime calls on exporters to use a “strong presumption of denial” standard when considering giving advanced drones like the MQ-9 to other countries.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      I think I have a fair bit of criticism about that article. Not that I criticize you posting it here. Sure, let's call these "essentially unmanned fighter jets" when they don't even have the...

      I think I have a fair bit of criticism about that article. Not that I criticize you posting it here.

      Sure, let's call these "essentially unmanned fighter jets" when they don't even have the sensors, maneuverability, speed or weapons to engage in air-to-air combat. Well, it's not unusual for journalists to not be able to tell apart fighters from strike aircraft.

      And sure, let's quote botched airstrikes that killed civilians in Afghanistan, when in Ukraine one of their prime targets would be Russian artillery, which itself is conducting "botched" fire missions against Ukrainian civilians.

      Also, no mention at all of Bayraktar TB-2 drones, which are more or less the same thing and are being sent by a NATO ally while this war is ongoing.

      I also don't see all the talk about turning this war nuclear this way: It's already happening, it's a tool Ukraine already has some amount of. It's not going to give Russia an excuse to use nukes or attack NATO, not that they need an excuse.

      I'm not too knowledgeable on the MTCR, but notably both Ukraine and Turkey are members. I do wonder though how drones but not manned aircraft are relevant to limiting the proliferation of WMD delivery systems.

      A brief scroll through the author's other recent articles give the impression that she's a touch too pacifist given the current state of the world. This is not the US invading a sovereign country.

      10 votes
      1. cmccabe
        Link Parent
        Do not worry about that. Posting an article shouldn’t be seen as a form of endorsing it, or at least I never take it that way. In this case anyway, what I was focused on when reading this one was...

        Not that I criticize you posting it here.

        Do not worry about that. Posting an article shouldn’t be seen as a form of endorsing it, or at least I never take it that way. In this case anyway, what I was focused on when reading this one was the important reminder that US supply of weapons systems to Ukraine isn’t as simple as good vs evil. There is also the very important component of the “military industrial complex” (I’m glad the article at least names a specific corporation) which views conflicts like this as good for business and which expends a lot of effort lobbying above and below the table to get their products into the market.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      What's great about fighting a defensive war against an invader with an actual army is that there are legitimate targets everywhere, mostly out there in the open. Many other parts of such a...

      What's great about fighting a defensive war against an invader with an actual army is that there are legitimate targets everywhere, mostly out there in the open. Many other parts of such a situation are not so great, obviously.

      5 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        Also, the population is highly willing to tell you where the "bad guys" are but otherwise stay far away from them, so as to not get hit in the crossfire. You know, different from when the "bad...

        Also, the population is highly willing to tell you where the "bad guys" are but otherwise stay far away from them, so as to not get hit in the crossfire. You know, different from when the "bad guys" are popular heroes.

        5 votes
  2. cfabbro
    Link
    Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol (AP) Not that long of a read, but also not one I want to quote in parts since it's well worth reading whole, IMO.

    Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol (AP)

    Not that long of a read, but also not one I want to quote in parts since it's well worth reading whole, IMO.

    2 votes
  3. cfabbro
    Link
    Ukraine thanks Egypt for turning away Russian ship carrying grain (Reuters)

    Ukraine thanks Egypt for turning away Russian ship carrying grain (Reuters)

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked Egypt on Thursday for turning away a Russian ship loaded with grain which he said had been stolen from Ukraine.

    Egypt’s supply minister said on Sunday that a ship that had been allowed to sail by Russia had been turned away on the grounds that it did not have the proper paperwork.

    Ukraine’s embassy in Cairo alleged the ship was carrying grain from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.

    “Spoke with my Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. Grateful to Egypt for turning away a Russian ship loaded with grain stolen in Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter, adding that Ukraine and Egypt had agreed to coordinate efforts to make Russia unblock Ukraine’s food exports.

    Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, normally imports large volumes of Black Sea wheat but shipments have been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

    Last month, Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister accused occupying Russian forces of stealing “several hundred thousand tonnes” of grain.

    2 votes