16 votes

Weekly megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - September 29

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.

16 comments

  1. cmccabe
    Link
    Putin declares 'four new regions of Russia' as Moscow annexes parts of Ukraine https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2022/09/30/putin-declares-four-new-regions-of-russia-as-moscow-annexes-parts-of-ukraine.html...

    Putin declares 'four new regions of Russia' as Moscow annexes parts of Ukraine
    https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2022/09/30/putin-declares-four-new-regions-of-russia-as-moscow-annexes-parts-of-ukraine.html

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday declared four new regions of the country shortly after signing a decree to formally annex parts of occupied Ukraine.

    "There are four new regions of Russia," Putin said from the Kremlin in Moscow, according to a translation.

    And the escalation curve gets steeper.

    8 votes
  2. cmccabe
    Link
    Ukraine applies for Nato membership after Russia annexes territory https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/30/ukraine-applies-for-nato-membership-after-russia-annexes-territory …

    Ukraine applies for Nato membership after Russia annexes territory
    https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/30/ukraine-applies-for-nato-membership-after-russia-annexes-territory

    A defiant Volodymyr Zelenskiy has announced that Ukraine is officially applying for membership of Nato, hours after Vladimir Putin said in a Kremlin ceremony that he was annexing four Ukrainian provinces.

    In a speech filmed outside his presidential office in Kyiv, Zelenskiy said he was taking this “decisive step” in order to protect “the entire community” of Ukrainians. He promised the application would happen in an “expedited manner”.

    “De facto, we have already made our way to Nato. De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards. They are real for Ukraine – real on the battlefield and in all aspects of our interaction,” he said. “We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other. This is the alliance. De facto. Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure.”

    The alliance is unlikely to accept Ukraine’s imminent Nato entry while it is in a state of war. As a Nato member, fellow members would be compelled to actively defend it against Russia – a commitment that goes well beyond the supply of weapons.

    Zelenskiy acknowledged this soon after Russia’s full-scale invasion. “It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of Nato, we understand this,” he said in March. “For years we heard about the apparently open door, but have already also heard that we will not enter there, and these are truths and must be acknowledged.”

    6 votes
  3. [4]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Opinion | Alexei Navalny: This is what a post-Putin Russia should look like https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/30/alexei-navalny-parliamentary-republic-russia-ukraine/ If you can’t...

    Opinion | Alexei Navalny: This is what a post-Putin Russia should look like
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/30/alexei-navalny-parliamentary-republic-russia-ukraine/

    If you can’t access the Washington Post article:
    Jailed dissident Alexey Navalny says Russia must be transformed after war
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/30/europe/navalny-ukraine-war-intl/index.html

    “The Russian elite over the past 23 years has learned rules that have never failed: War is not that expensive, it solves all domestic political problems, it raises public approval sky-high, it does not particularly harm the economy, and – most importantly – winners face no accountability,” Navalny wrote.

    The solution, Navalny asserts, is to adopt a form of democratic government that decentralizes power, similar to what the Baltic states have employed.

    “The threat to peace and stability in Europe is aggressive imperial authoritarianism, endlessly inflicted by Russia upon itself,” Navalny said. “Postwar Russia, like post-Putin Russia, will be doomed to become belligerent and Putinist again. This is inevitable as long as the current form of the country’s development is maintained. Only a parliamentary republic can prevent this.”

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      Just a side note. While Navalny is better than Putin, he is still a pretty fucking awful guy. The west has sanitized him a lot, mainly by virtue of him being better for the west, but he's more...

      Just a side note. While Navalny is better than Putin, he is still a pretty fucking awful guy. The west has sanitized him a lot, mainly by virtue of him being better for the west, but he's more bandaid than he is solution.

      Some extra reading:

      I'm still too removed from Russian politics to truly have a strong opinion on him, but also, it's a case of "I've seen enough".

      And in general, opposition leaders in dictatorships tend to be more-of-the-same once they're in charge, and I would absolutely not be surprised if having Navalny as the head of Russia would simply roll back the decades and give us a younger Putin (which is fucking terrifying).

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        cmccabe
        Link Parent
        Thanks Adys. I am not super familiar with Navalny other than some of the recent anti-corruption / anti-Putin work he's done. And clearly it's not quite that simple. I had previously heard that he...

        Thanks Adys. I am not super familiar with Navalny other than some of the recent anti-corruption / anti-Putin work he's done. And clearly it's not quite that simple. I had previously heard that he was supportive of taking and keeping Crimea though. But any support for moving governments away from imperialism, authoritarianism, and especially "aggressive imperial authoritarianism" is good in my books -- but he's clearly not Putin's polar opposite.

        5 votes
        1. EgoEimi
          Link Parent
          At this point, I'll take anything/anyone over the current situation where nuclear war is an option on Russia's table.

          At this point, I'll take anything/anyone over the current situation where nuclear war is an option on Russia's table.

          5 votes
  4. skybrian
    Link
    Russian troops forced out of eastern town Lyman (BBC) [...]

    Russian troops forced out of eastern town Lyman (BBC)

    Russia has withdrawn its troops from the strategic Ukrainian town of Lyman, in a move seen as a significant setback for its campaign in the east.

    The retreat came amid fears thousands of soldiers would be encircled in the town, Russia's defence ministry said.

    Recapturing Lyman is of strategic significance for Ukraine.

    The town had been used as a logistics hub by Russia, and could give Ukrainian troops access to more territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    [...]

    An adviser to Ukraine's defence minister told the BBC that recent gains around Lyman - following days of intense fighting - represented a "considerable success".

    Russian fighters had been given the chance to surrender, Yurik Sak said, and would face better treatment as prisoners of war than from the Russian military leadership.

    5 votes
  5. Adys
    Link
    Man. Russia is absolutely fucked. I have nothing else to say for today. Edit: Okay actually - this Twitter thread by the ISW sums things up pretty damn well....

    Man. Russia is absolutely fucked.

    I have nothing else to say for today.

    Edit: Okay actually - this Twitter thread by the ISW sums things up pretty damn well. https://twitter.com/TheStudyofWar/status/1576785121948360706

    5 votes
  6. [2]
    cmccabe
    Link
    NATO warns of mobilization of Russian submarine ‘Belgorod’, carrier of the Weapon of Apocalypse...

    NATO warns of mobilization of Russian submarine ‘Belgorod’, carrier of the Weapon of Apocalypse
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/nato-warns-of-mobilization-of-russian-submarine-belgorod-carrier-of-the-weapon-of-apocalypse/ar-AA12vwWP

    NATO has sent an intelligence note to its member countries warning of the mobilization of the Russian nuclear submarine 'K-329 Belgorod', carrying the Poseidon nuclear missile, also known as the Weapon of the Apocalypse, the Italian daily 'La Repubblica' reports Sunday.

    The new submarine was launched in July and is now reportedly submerged in Arctic waters after its possible involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, according to several unofficial sources.

    NATO fears that its mission is now to test the Poseidon super torpedo, a projectile capable of traveling up to 10,000 kilometers underwater and then exploding near the coast to cause a radioactive tsunami.

    4 votes
    1. vektor
      Link Parent
      To clarify: Despite the name, that sub is not a SSBN; using a SSBN for special ops work would be highly unusual, as would the deployment of one to the baltic sea. The baltic sea is a small pond...

      To clarify: Despite the name, that sub is not a SSBN; using a SSBN for special ops work would be highly unusual, as would the deployment of one to the baltic sea. The baltic sea is a small pond for such a big fish.

      That said, Belgorod is a very big fish, and operating in the baltics, much less undetected, is going to be tricky. I'd hazard the guess that if Belgorod was in the baltic 7 days ago, NATO knows. I'd say the reason this speculation is floating about is because Belgorod also serves as a mothership for a special mission mini submarine.

      4 votes
  7. [2]
    NoblePath
    Link
    There’s a scene in of the call of duty episodes, where you’re playing as a russian soldier, and if you don’t advance quickly enough, you’re own commanding officer shoots you in the back. I wonder...

    There’s a scene in of the call of duty episodes, where you’re playing as a russian soldier, and if you don’t advance quickly enough, you’re own commanding officer shoots you in the back.

    I wonder if that’s historically accurate, and a policy about to be revisited?

    2 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      It's already being revisited. Wagner Group is already being used to "bolster morale" for conscripts.

      It's already being revisited. Wagner Group is already being used to "bolster morale" for conscripts.

      2 votes
  8. [2]
    vegai
    Link
    I'm starting to be worried that Russia is going to be wiped on the floor like Germany in First World War and we'll handle the aftermath as shittily as we did back then. Then a new, resentful...

    I'm starting to be worried that Russia is going to be wiped on the floor like Germany in First World War and we'll handle the aftermath as shittily as we did back then. Then a new, resentful generation grows up and fixes the Russian military but nothing else. And then we'll really have a new Nazi Russia with an actually capable military, and not just this current nazi-flirting one wielding a paper tiger.

    Or nukes. But if they go there, at least Russia won't be a problem afterwards. Not exactly worth the price, though.

    2 votes
    1. vektor
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Depends on the outcome I suppose. If Russia sues for a status quo ante bellum peace, I can see that happening. Unfortunately, what made it possible to resolve WW2 properly was that Germany was...

      Depends on the outcome I suppose. If Russia sues for a status quo ante bellum peace, I can see that happening. Unfortunately, what made it possible to resolve WW2 properly was that Germany was fought until they surrendered completely. With Russia having nukes, that's not really in the cards, even if NATO ramps up their commitment substantially. With Russia having nukes, a nationalist resurgence like in Germany in the interwar period isn't exactly pretty.

      There's also the question of what all caused the difference in outcomes between post-WW2 and post-WW1 Germany. There's too many plausibly connected variables that changed between the two, but I'll give it a go: (this is also about post-hoc narratives in addition to objective historical facts - Dochstoss didn't happen, but the notion of it sure made other things happen.)

      • Germany has unambiguously started WW2, but more ambiguously contributed to starting WW1.
      • WW1 ended due to internal pressures, mostly; the army in the field wasn't going to win, but they hadn't outright lost yet. This is a big one, with the way we're speculating about internal pressures to end the war. This could be Dolchstoss 2.0....
      • In WW2, Germany did completely surrender and was occupied and subsequently the state was rebuilt almost from scratch. This rebuilding included a new resiliently democratic constitution and occupier-overseen press that reported (I'd assume) on the crimes of the Nazi government.
      • WW2 saw grotesque humanitarian horrors, much moreso than WW1, or at least more visibly so.

      I suppose a lot of this will end up being a mostly domestic issue within Russia. How does the population handle 10s of thousands of their sons not coming home? How will they handle learning they've been lied to at every opportunity? If Russians have a "are we the baddies?" moment here... but that would imply much freer flow of information.

      What can we do? I suppose the idea suggests itself to apply the same kind of subversive pressures that Russia applied to the US and EU - except we don't boost the isolationist, nationalist far right, but other, more progressive factions. I do wonder whether that's already secretly been happening for years - after all, that would entirely be a tit for tat move. Then again, dictatorships are much more resilient to that kind of pressure. Another option could be to treat the young Weimar republic to a Marshall Plan instead of a treaty of Versailles. How popular and/or effective that will be is anyone's guess.

      5 votes
  9. skybrian
    Link
    Refuting annexation, Ukrainian forces push on from Lyman toward Luhansk (Washington Post) (This is mostly interviews with people in Lyman, from reporters visiting there.) [...]

    Refuting annexation, Ukrainian forces push on from Lyman toward Luhansk (Washington Post)

    (This is mostly interviews with people in Lyman, from reporters visiting there.)

    Just two days after Ukrainian troops claimed victory in Lyman, a city of 22,000 that the Russians had used as a vital transport hub in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, there was almost no military presence left there — a sign of how quickly Ukrainian forces are advancing after months of incremental gains, if any.

    [...]

    Though the Ukrainian military surrounded Lyman over the weekend, most of the Russian forces had withdrawn before then, locals said. A handful of enemy soldiers, however, might still be hiding in the surrounding woods.

    After the Ukrainian military departed Lyman in its convoy of armored personnel carriers, a few Ukrainian soldiers implored reporters from The Washington Post not to enter the city because it could still be dangerous.

    Meanwhile, on the northern approach to Lyman, soldiers from Ukraine’s 81st Air Assault Brigade were on the lookout for fleeing Russians. A burly commander said that his unit had arrested a local separatist in the nearby forest. “The unit operating here was from the area,” the commander said. “They knew the routes through the forest when they needed them.”

    1 vote