10 votes

Weekly megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - April 6

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.


  1. skybrian
    Justice Dept. will investigate leak of classified Pentagon documents (Washington Post) […] […] […] […]

    Justice Dept. will investigate leak of classified Pentagon documents (Washington Post)

    The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified Pentagon documents appearing to detail Ukraine’s combat capabilities, its potential vulnerabilities and NATO’s broad efforts to help repel Russia’s invasion, the agency said Friday, as the U.S. government raced to determine how the material surfaced online and what value it may hold for the Kremlin.


    Earlier Friday, The Washington Post obtained dozens of what appeared to be photographs showing classified documents, dating to late February and early March, that range from worldwide intelligence briefings to tactical-level battlefield updates and assessments of Ukraine’s defense capabilities. They outline information about the Ukrainian and Russian militaries, and include highly sensitive U.S. analyses about China and other nations. The materials also reference highly classified sources and methods that the United States uses to collect such information, alarming U.S. national security officials who have seen them.


    It was unclear who may have posted the materials online, [a US defense official] said, adding that hundreds — if not thousands — of people had access to them. The source of the leak, the official said, “could be anyone.”


    The material that appeared online includes photographs of documents labeled “Secret” or “Top Secret,” and began appearing on Discord, a chat platform popular with gamers, according to a Post review.

    On Wednesday, images showing some of the documents began circulating on the anonymous online message board 4chan and made their way to at least two mainstream social media platforms, Telegram and Twitter.


    The leak, first reported Thursday by the New York Times, coincides with an expansive effort by the United States and NATO to arm and train Ukrainian units for an anticipated push this spring to reclaim Russian-occupied territory in the east and south. There were immediate concerns that the information’s disclosure could complicate that plan, as the documents appear to reveal how much Western military weaponry and other equipment had arrived on the battlefield, how many Ukrainian soldiers are trained to use it, and how Ukraine has arrayed its air defenses to stop an onslaught of Russian missiles.

    3 votes
  2. skybrian
    As spring offensive nears, Ukraine is drafting reinforcements (Washington Post) [...] [...]

    As spring offensive nears, Ukraine is drafting reinforcements (Washington Post)

    Ukraine needs more soldiers — and fast. Kyiv is preparing for an imminent assault on Russian occupying forces, and while Ukraine does not disclose its casualty counts, commanders in the field have described large losses. In February, a German official said Berlin believed at least 120,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded since the start of the invasion.


    Previously, officials could only deliver draft papers to people’s homes, and some avoided the notices by staying at different addresses than where they are officially registered. But new rules have widened the scope of places where men can be stopped and questioned about their draft status.

    Martial law in place in Ukraine since February 2022 bars most men between ages 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Under mobilization rules, any man in that range can theoretically be called to fight. Exceptions are made, including for students; parents with three or more children under 18; caretakers of disabled dependents; and those deemed medically unfit, among others.


    Since early February, more than 5,000 people have applied to join what was formerly known as the Azov Battalion, a controversial former right-wing militia that was incorporated into Ukraine’s national guard. Last year, the battle-hardened group was hailed as heroic for withstanding a months-long siege of the southeastern city of Mariupol.

    Then, in February, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry announced that Azov would be expanded into an assault brigade as part of the new Offensive Guard.

    Other civilians, unwilling to enlist just yet but preparing in case they are called up, are attending private trainings or workout sessions so that when the time comes, they are not starting from scratch.

    2 votes
  3. skybrian
    Egypt secretly planned to supply rockets to Russia, leaked U.S. document says (Washington Post) [...] [...]

    Egypt secretly planned to supply rockets to Russia, leaked U.S. document says (Washington Post)

    A U.S. government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to address sensitive information, said: “We are not aware of any execution of that plan,” referring to the rocket export initiative. “We have not seen that happen,” the official added.


    Egypt and other American partners in the Middle East have attempted to stay on the sidelines of Western nations’ standoff with Russia over Ukraine, seeking a potential hedge against America’s declining role in the region and new means to ensure their economic and military security. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised commodity prices globally and put serious pressure on Egypt, the world’s top importer of wheat, which has received more than 80 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine in recent years.


    Moscow and Cairo have inked several significant deals recently, including an agreement this year for Russia to build a massive railway workshop in Egypt. Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, also began construction last year on Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

    Perhaps most importantly, after the war in Ukraine disrupted access to Ukrainian wheat, Cairo began relying heavily on purchases of Russian grain. The arrangement has helped Egypt avoid wheat shortages that could spark social unrest in a country where poverty is widespread and bread is served with nearly every meal. Egypt is eager to avoid an uprising at home, where an acute economic crisis, including a devalued currency, high inflation and soaring food prices — fueled in part by the war in Ukraine — are stirring up frustrations among civilians.

    2 votes
  4. cmccabe
    Ukraine war: Leak shows Western special forces on the ground https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65245065

    Ukraine war: Leak shows Western special forces on the ground

    The UK is among a number of countries with military special forces operating inside Ukraine, according to one of dozens of documents leaked online.

    It confirms what has been the subject of quiet speculation for over a year

    2 votes
  5. skybrian
    The Met Is the Latest Museum to Reclassify Russian Art as Ukrainian (Smithsonian Magazine)

    The Met Is the Latest Museum to Reclassify Russian Art as Ukrainian (Smithsonian Magazine)

    Around 1899, Edgar Degas was working on a series of paintings depicting folk dancers from the Russian Empire. While the French Impressionist is best known for painting the graceful, disciplined ballerinas of Paris, this foray into folk dancing allowed him to explore dynamic movement and vibrant color.

    Until last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City called its piece from this series Russian Dancers. The dancers, however, were probably from Ukraine—which was part of the Russian Empire at the time.

    Now, facing pressure from the art world, the Met has officially renamed the piece Dancers in Ukrainian Dress. The museum is following the example of London’s National Gallery, which changed the name of another painting in the series from Russian Dancers to Ukrainian Dancers last year.

    The Met has also reidentified several painters as Ukrainian rather than Russian. These artists are now listed by their Ukrainian names, with their Russian names in parentheses.

    1 vote