13 votes

Weekly megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - June 16

This thread is posted weekly on Thursday - 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.

17 comments

  1. [2]
    Adys
    Link
    Week 16 of the war. I have tried to follow from a more… removed position than before but sometimes I dig into one thing and reality comes back crashing down. Mariupol's been in the news quite a...

    Week 16 of the war.

    I have tried to follow from a more… removed position than before but sometimes I dig into one thing and reality comes back crashing down. Mariupol's been in the news quite a bit lately. I'd like to invite those with a strong stomach to browse the Telegram channel of Mariupol. It's non-official, but the people speaking in it are UA government officials: https://t.me/andriyshTime

    Just be warned, some of the images in there are very graphic.

    I'll share some of the more disturbing latest messages from the mayor.

    Акт другий. Пропагандисти/Волонтери. Майже одночасно росіяни висадили цілий десант з пропагандо-волонтерів. За буханку хліба голодних та дезорієнтованих людей записували на камеру, провокуючи говорити про “злочини Азову”. Поруч - завжди людина з автоматом. Варіантів сказати правду в реальній ситуації приблизно ноль. Одночасно пропагандо-волонтери пічкали брехнею про “українці не давали евакуюватись”. В повному інформаційному вакумі насадити таке суспільну думку не дуже складне завдання

    Translation UK→EN (Google)Act two. Propagandists / Volunteers. Almost simultaneously, the Russians landed a whole landing party of propaganda volunteers. For a loaf of bread hungry and disoriented people were recorded on camera, provoking to talk about the "crimes of Azov." There is always a man with a machine gun nearby. There are about zero options to tell the truth in a real situation. At the same time, propaganda volunteers lied about "Ukrainians were not allowed to evacuate." It is not a very difficult task to impose such public opinion in a complete information vacuum

    Епілог - на руках у росії купа сфальшованих доказів про неіснуючі злочини України. За матеріалами справи це саме України зруйнувала все, вбила всіх, зокрема підірвала зсередини Драматичний театр. І немає значення ані правда, ані власні офіційні заяви росії, де вона визнавла бомбардування театру. Тепер правда - інша. Найгірше, ця викривлена правда буде і вже використовується для засудження наших полонених захисників судом неіснуючої днр до цілком існуючих вироків, включно з “висшою мірою”.

    Translation UK→EN (Google)Epilogue - Russia has a lot of falsified evidence of non-existent crimes in Ukraine. According to the case file, it was Ukraine that destroyed everything, killed everyone, in particular, blew up the Drama Theater from within. And neither the truth nor Russia's own official statements, where it acknowledged the bombing of the theater, matter. Now the truth is different. Worst of all, this distorted truth will be and is already being used to convict our captured defenders by the court of the non-existent DNR to fully existing sentences, including "supreme".

    Керівництво шкіл забороняє підліткам, що навчалусь в україномовних школах використовувати українську навіть на переменах. Не соромлячісь колабораційний директорат шкіл відкрито погрожує “наслідками для дітей та батьків”, якщо буде чути в спілкуванні українську. ДенаZіфікація не всіх рівнях за кращими прикладами срср

    Translation UK→EN (Google)The school administration forbids teenagers who studied in Ukrainian-language schools to use Ukrainian even during changes. Without hesitation, the collaborating directorate of schools openly threatens "consequences for children and parents" if they hear Ukrainian in communication. Denazification not at all levels according to the best examples of the USSR

    (There is more, but please browse by yourself. I feel sick.)

    Meanwhile, you need not go further than Twitter and find Dmitry Medvedev's account (@MedvedevRussiaE) to see how gross Russia is, exemplified. How did they ever get a seat at the table?

    Biden’s stated, the US won’t provide Ukraine with the missile systems able to hit Russia. It’s reasonable. In the case of attack against our cities, Russia would strike the centres where these criminal decisions are made. Some of them aren’t in Kiev. What comes next is obvious

    European fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti love visiting Kiev. With zero use. Promised EU membership and old howitzers to Ukraine, lushed up on gorilka and went home by train, like 100 years ago. All is well. Yet, it won’t bring Ukraine closer to peace. The clock’s ticking

    7 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      They were invited. That's the cruel part. Medvedev was hailed as the progressive president. He was supposed to put Russia on the map of technological capitals of the world. When asked how did...

      How did they ever get a seat at the table?

      They were invited. That's the cruel part.

      Medvedev was hailed as the progressive president. He was supposed to put Russia on the map of technological capitals of the world.

      When asked how did Medveded turn out this way today, Toomas Ilves, the former president of Estonia, responded: "He kept drinking".

      4 votes
  2. [2]
    cfabbro
    Link
    U.S. probing how American electronics wound up in Russian military gear (WaPo)

    U.S. probing how American electronics wound up in Russian military gear (WaPo)

    Federal agents have begun questioning U.S. technology companies on how their computer chips ended up in Russian military equipment recovered in Ukraine.

    Commerce Department agents who enforce export controls are conducting the inquiries together with the FBI, paying joint visits to companies to ask about Western chips and components found in Russian radar systems, drones, tanks, ground-control equipment and littoral ships, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive investigations.

    “Our goal is to actually try to track that back, all the way back to the U.S. supplier” to determine “how did it find its way into that weapons system,” one Commerce Department official said of the probes.

    “Just because a chip, a company’s chip, is found in a weapon system doesn’t mean we’ve opened up an investigation on that company,” the official added. “What we’ve done, though, is we’ve opened up an investigation on how that company’s chip got into that system.”

    It isn’t clear which specific components are being probed. But investigators from a variety of countries have identified Western electronics in Russian weaponry found in Ukraine. Many of those components appear to have been manufactured years ago, before the United States tightened export restrictions after Russia seized Crimea in 2014. But others were manufactured as recently as 2020, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a research group in London that has examined some of the parts.

    For years it was legal for companies to sell basic computer chips to Russian military entities without first receiving permission from the U.S. government, so pinpointing illegal sales requires determining the type of chip and date of sale. Tracing transactions can also be laborious because electronic components often travel through a chain of distributors before reaching the end user.

    A lawyer representing one of the contacted technology companies said investigators for now are casting a “wide net,” looking at a variety of different chips and electronic components to track the paths they took to the Russian military.

    Among the questions federal agents are asking: whether tech companies sold their products to a specific list of companies, including middlemen, that may have been involved in the supply chain, the lawyer said.

    Russia manufactures few computer chips or electronics of its own, forcing it to rely on imports.

    The United States for decades has tightly controlled sales to Russia of the highest-tech chips and those designed for military use, requiring exporters to obtain a government license. But sales of electronics below that threshold — including the kind commonly found in commercial products — were not widely restricted until 2014, when the United States began requiring exporters to obtain licenses before selling a broader range of chips to the Russian military.

    Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the U.S. and many allies have prohibited all chip sales to Russian military buyers, and placed restriction on chip sales to other Russian buyers in an effort to prevent the country’s armed forces from accessing western high-tech.

    The federal probes come as researchers and security services from Ukraine, Britain and elsewhere report finding a host of Western electronics in Russian military gear damaged or abandoned in Ukraine.

    4 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I think we know why Russians are stealing washing machines now, huh. Aside from your regular looting, that is.

      I think we know why Russians are stealing washing machines now, huh.

      Aside from your regular looting, that is.

      2 votes
  3. cfabbro
    Link
    Russia frees captive medic who filmed Mariupol’s horror (AP) And for more info on the videos she gave to AP, see their previous article about it: Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of...

    Russia frees captive medic who filmed Mariupol’s horror (AP)

    A celebrated Ukrainian medic whose footage was smuggled out of the besieged city of Mariupol by an Associated Press team was freed by Russian forces on Friday, three months after she was taken captive on the streets of the city.

    Yuliia Paievska is known in Ukraine as Taira, a nickname she chose in the World of Warcraft video game. Using a body camera, she recorded 256 gigabytes of her team’s efforts over two weeks to save the wounded, including both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.

    She transferred the clips to an Associated Press team, the last international journalists in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, one of whom fled with it embedded in a tampon on March 15. Taira and a colleague were taken prisoner by Russian forces on March 16, the same day a Russian airstrike hit a theater in the city center, killing around 600 people, according to an Associated Press investigation.

    “It was such a great sense of relief. Those sound like such ordinary words, and I don’t even know what to say,” her husband, Vadim Puzanov, told The Associated Press late Friday, breathing deeply to contain his emotion. Puzanov said he spoke by phone with Taira, who was en route to a Kyiv hospital, and feared for her health.

    Initially the family had kept quiet, hoping negotiations would take their course. But The Associated Press spoke with him before releasing the smuggled videos, which ultimately had millions of viewers around the world, including on some of the biggest networks in Europe and the United States. Puzanov expressed gratitude for the coverage, which showed Taira was trying to save Russian soldiers as well as Ukrainian civilians.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Taira’s release in a national address.

    “I’m grateful to everyone who worked for this result. Taira is already home. We will keep working to free everyone,” he said.

    Hundreds of prominent Ukrainians have been kidnapped or captured, including local officials, journalists, activists and human rights defenders.

    And for more info on the videos she gave to AP, see their previous article about it:
    Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol

    4 votes
  4. [9]
    cfabbro
    Link
    Macron, Scholz and Draghi have arrived in Kyiv (Reuters)

    Macron, Scholz and Draghi have arrived in Kyiv (Reuters)

    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have arrived in Kyiv, Macron's office said on Thursday.

    The visit by the three European leaders has taken weeks to organise with the men looking to overcome criticism within Ukraine over their response to the war.

    Kyiv has criticised France, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy, for alleged foot-dragging in their support for Ukraine, accusing them of being slow to deliver weapons and of putting their own prosperity ahead of Ukraine's freedom and security.

    3 votes
    1. [8]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I wonder what comes of it. Folks in my feeds gave flak to Macron for talking to Putin still, and to Scholz for bullshitting Ukraine about the promised and underdelivered military equipment....

      I wonder what comes of it.

      Folks in my feeds gave flak to Macron for talking to Putin still, and to Scholz for bullshitting Ukraine about the promised and underdelivered military equipment. Haven't even heard Draghi's name between those two.

      I'm all for Ukraine talking with European politicians, but I'm not sure these political stunts are the way to go. The criticisms levied again these heads of state are clear and actionable. Short of seeing Zelensky face to face to tell him "We're working on it, it will be here shortly" as a form of extreme reassurance, I'm not sure what conversations could happen in Kyiv that would make any difference.

      3 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        Probably lots that we'll not hear much about, e.g. regarding possible future arms shipments. Also, as reported, lots of conversations about EU membership. The leaders of the three largest...

        Probably lots that we'll not hear much about, e.g. regarding possible future arms shipments. Also, as reported, lots of conversations about EU membership. The leaders of the three largest economies of the EU just expressed their support for the UA application into EU. That is a big deal. As far as I can tell, this is the main result of this visit. The EU commission will make their recommendation for UA's case today. This visit was a big deal in that it, insofar as it was even necessary, forces the hand of the commission.

        As for Macron and Scholz still talking to Putin; I'm not sure about Macron, but Scholz has made clear that he doesn't consider peace where Ukraine cedes territory to be acceptable. It's fair if you think calling Putin with those expectations and expecting acceptable peace to pop out is a waste of time. But it's also not that much time in the grand scheme of things and might lay the groundwork for future peace talks that arrive at acceptable terms, you never know. The only way we get an acceptable peace here is if Russia agrees to it. If Russia doesn't agree even after being thrown out of Ukraine, the only way out is through Moscow, which... well, call it Operation Unthinkable. It's neither acceptable nor realistic.

        As for overpromised and underdelivered military equipment by Germany, I beg to differ. German arms companies have overpromised, but the government has been very careful not to. They've gotten shit for shooting down unrealistic proposals by industry. Also, some cancellations of foreign deliveries of german-made equipment have been misattributed to German export controls. Doesn't mean I'm happy with what Germany is sending, but that's mostly a result of what we can send (atrociously inefficient and criminally underbudgeted defense spending by Merkel's govts) and the speed at which we do send what we can (you can blame the current govt for that, yes.).

        4 votes
      2. [6]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        As, @vektor mentioned there still are things to be gained from these sorts of face to face meetings, even if they are mostly just symbolic. But even pure symbolism is still a powerful thing, and...

        As, @vektor mentioned there still are things to be gained from these sorts of face to face meetings, even if they are mostly just symbolic. But even pure symbolism is still a powerful thing, and the effects of rejecting even symbolic visits are also seriously worth considering too. Zelenksyy rejecting a meeting from of a European head of state (or their representatives) looks terrible for both sides unless there is very legitimate grounds to do so, since it’s insulting to that politician, their country, and so potentially reduces overall support for Ukraine there, leading to more division when unity and cooperation is what’s needed most. Just look what happened when Zelenskyy rejected Steinmeier‘s visit a few months ago, which was still a bit of a blunder since it pissed off a lot of Germans, even ones who fully supported Ukraine and understood that Kyiv had cause to dislike him due to his previous support of Nord Stream 2.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          A war that threatens Europe is not a good time to find out courtesy pageants are more important than on-the-ground support. It was a German pastor who versed "Then they came for the Jews", so I...

          A war that threatens Europe is not a good time to find out courtesy pageants are more important than on-the-ground support.

          It was a German pastor who versed "Then they came for the Jews", so I can't begin to concern myself with how upset the Germans are about it. Ukraine needs all the fucking support it can get, because people are dying.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            These sorts of talks potentially lead to more on-the-ground support and faster materiel deliveries, and rejecting them potentially leads to less. So I really don’t understand your point here, or...

            These sorts of talks potentially lead to more on-the-ground support and faster materiel deliveries, and rejecting them potentially leads to less. So I really don’t understand your point here, or how the “first they came for” reference is relevant to this particular issue.

            Ukraine needs all the fucking support it can get, because people are dying.

            I absolutely agree. But one of the ways they can get more of that support is by hosting other world leaders and politicians, and showing them the effects of the war, first-hand. That then allows those politicians to see how serious the situation is with their own eyes, how desperate the need is, and meet the people their aid would be assisting, so they can then relate all that and their experiences in Ukraine to their fellow politicians, and constituents.

            P.s. These visits also keep Ukraine in the news, which is another major benefit, especially given the stalemate situation that Ukraine has currently found itself in. And people losing interest in this war is the last thing Ukraine needs.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              See, I don't believe you. I think it's very clear what my point is. It's why I mentioned pastor Niemöller. Politicking for the sake of one's image is not helping. You're a head of a Western...

              So I really don’t understand your point here

              See, I don't believe you. I think it's very clear what my point is. It's why I mentioned pastor Niemöller.

              Politicking for the sake of one's image is not helping. You're a head of a Western European state: you have access to some top-notch military intelligence by default. If that isn't enough for you to figure out that shit is on fire and your help, as an economic superior with a stake in the balance of the region, is very much required, you done fucked up.

              Equally, if as a head of state you can't do much to rally your own people to support the fight for democracy through which you were elected, there are not enough genuis-grade photographs of handshaking and standing confidently in suits to do anything. If this is the only thing keeping Ukraine in the news, y'all might as well shut up and do nothing, 'cause in that case, Ukraine is done before it's able to shed its last breath.

              So let me make my point abundantly clear this time:

              What I think these three, and more to their side, need to do is affix their scrotums back to their nethers and make sure the flow of support never stops as long as they're in office. Talking about a sovereign Ukraine is not enough right now, even to the president of it. The attitude of taking things slow and careful needs to die if a lot of innocent and brilliant Ukrainians are to live.

              3 votes
              1. vektor
                Link Parent
                Look, I could understand if you were to say "the battle for Ukrainian morale is more important than that for German hearts and minds, so fuck what the germans think". But you seem to be making the...

                Look, I could understand if you were to say "the battle for Ukrainian morale is more important than that for German hearts and minds, so fuck what the germans think". But you seem to be making the point that the battle for western hearts and minds is completely unimportant, and if you think it's a lost cause we might as well go home.

                It's not lost, not even close. But this will be a very long-term news item. How sick are you of covid news right now? That's western constituents in 2 years. We need to be ready for this war to go that long and longer, and keep support up. And everything that keeps this war in the news helps. We (I'm kinda including @cfabbro here) don't make the media effect of this out to be monumental, but nothing the west can do short of nuclear-armed Ukrainian-flagged B-2 bombers is monumental. It's a lot of small things coming together, and yes, one of these small things, annoyingly, is photographs of politicians standing confidently in suits. And no, this isn't the only thing keeping Ukraine in the news. But it's another small thing that helps.

                If you think these three do nothing but talk, I'd urge you to look into Russian gas deliveries into Germany. They're dropping to fuck all right now, right during this visit. I'd say that looks like Putin is not very happy with what we're doing here. (I can't speak for Italy and France as I'm not nearly as clued in there)

                All of which to say: I don't think it's fair at all to dismiss visits like these as "just talking". And if you reject small change because you demand big change, I don't think that's a good policy.

                5 votes
              2. cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                And I don’t believe that you honestly think these visits or the news articles about them are totally counterproductive for Ukraine, and don’t help them in any way. So how about we both just walk...

                See, I don't believe you.

                And I don’t believe that you honestly think these visits or the news articles about them are totally counterproductive for Ukraine, and don’t help them in any way. So how about we both just walk away before either of us says something we will regret. Don’t expect another reply from me.

                2 votes
  5. riQQ
    Link
    No nukes? Ukraine-Russian war will shape world’s arsenals

    No nukes? Ukraine-Russian war will shape world’s arsenals

    “Our country should also develop a nuclear program. And prepare for a possible nuclear war,” said Lee, voicing a desire that a February poll showed was shared by 3 out of 4 South Koreans.

    It’s a point that people and politicians of non-nuclear powers globally are raising more often, at what has become a destabilizing moment in more than a half-century of global nuclear nonproliferation efforts, one aggravated by the daily example of nuclear Russia tearing apart non-nuclear Ukraine.

    3 votes
  6. skybrian
    Link
    Letters written, tanks in position as battle for Lysychansk looms (Washington Post) [...]

    Letters written, tanks in position as battle for Lysychansk looms (Washington Post)

    With its twin city of Severodonetsk now almost fully in Russian hands, Lysychansk appears to be next in Moscow’s campaign to take control of all of the eastern Donbas region. The mayor of Severodonetsk said as many as 8,000 people are still holed up in his city, while others have been transported to Russian-held areas.

    [...]

    Officials said they are preparing to seal the city to everyone but military and humanitarian rescue missions. Soldiers are digging trenches around key intersections, moving tanks into position and camouflaging them with branches, blocking the rubble-filled streets with wrecked cars and tree trunks. Bursts of automatic rifle fire crackle in the distance. On Tuesday, the military checkpoint leading into the city was destroyed in a massive explosion.

    On Wednesday, Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said Ukraine had lost control over three nearby villages to the south, as Russia tightened the noose around Lysychansk. Ukrainian officials said their outgunned and outmanned military may not be able to defeat the Russians completely here, but they can at least slow them.

    2 votes