The Invasion of Ukraine

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:24 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:23 pm
The head of Amnesty International Ukraine has resigned: https://twitter.com/christopherjm/statu ... lJgML-8BJw
Translation of her statement: https://twitter.com/ash_stewart_/status ... lJgML-8BJw

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:54 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:49 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:26 pm
ting about Northern Ireland back in the days before the Good Friday agreement that the U.K. branch of AI weren’t involved.
Would be good to know whether that's a general practice.
I had a look and it appears that national sections can be involved in research on their own country:
Conducting own research projects focusing on human rights abuses in their own country – this must be developed from research work carried out by and is agreed by the International Board.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/about-us/how ... nd-people/

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by WFJ » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:07 pm

The way Amnesty is being attacked for making a fairly mild criticisms of Ukraine is pretty chilling.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Aug 06, 2022 1:34 am

Ukrainian military using civilian areas was reported by wapo back in March. Don't recall anyone resigning.
“They are just hitting residential buildings in these areas,” said the Ukrainian parliament member, who arrived at the scene shortly after the explosion two weeks ago. “You can walk around, you will not find any military targets, or any military people. This is just terror.”

Yet a few minutes later, the whooshing sound of Ukrainian rockets fired from a multiple rocket launcher startled residents staring blankly at their destroyed homes. Then, another outgoing barrage. The weapons seemed to be nearby, perhaps a few streets away, certainly well inside the capital.

Increasingly, Ukrainians are confronting an uncomfortable truth: The military’s understandable impulse to defend against Russian attacks could be putting civilians in the crosshairs. Virtually every neighborhood in most cities has become militarized, some more than others, making them potential targets for Russian forces trying to take out Ukrainian defenses.

“I am very reluctant to suggest that Ukraine is responsible for civilian casualties, because Ukraine is fighting to defend its country from an aggressor,” said William Schabas, an international law professor at Middlesex University in London. “But to the extent that Ukraine brings the battlefield to the civilian neighborhoods, it increases the danger to civilians.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... civilians/

Obviously Russia is ultimately responsible, as part of an illegal invasion. But it's common to criticise militants for using civilian areas, including when they're resisting an illegal invasion. I'm not sure I quite understand the backlash here, despite agreeing with much of EACL's last reply to me.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Aug 06, 2022 1:42 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:53 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:14 pm
Sounds like reasonable and justified criticism of a risky (and apparently illegal) practice, though of course I'd be interested to hear Ukraine's justification of using unevacuated civilian areas like that.

I don't think we have to avoid any criticism of Ukraine whatsoever, even if it's obvious that Russia is far worse.
The most obvious argument is that they are defending those cities from direct attack, and for things like short ranged air defence, they have to go there in order to defend them. They didn't get any choice about this war, and it's not like they are using in positions in cities to attack Russian soil or by choice at all.

Remember, using civilians as human shields wouldn't be a viable tactic for Ukraine anyway - it wouldn't in the slightest deter the Russians.

And in many cases, these were areas where there don't appear to have been civilians present. I initially condemned the attack on the Retroville Mall as an attack on a civilian target. When it emerged that there were either military cargo trucks or Grad launchers stored there, I amended that to an attack that was part of an unjustifiable invasion, but not an attack on a non-military target. However, there were no reports of civilian casualties from that attack. It appears that that area near Kyiv had been used for military basing, but that there weren't civilians present.

It is ok to criticise those who have higher standards, just so long that is remember that is that which you are doing. Make sure you do not judge each side by a different standard and then compare them not by how they measure of to each other, but by how far they fall behind those differing standards.

Russia, meanwhile, is sheltering troops at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as fear of hitting something vital limits the Ukrainian response.

Likewise when they have converted civilian vehicles for military purposes, the Ukrainians are usually giving them camo paint jobs and insignia, and TDF wearing whatever combat geat they can scrounge wear clear armbands to indicate allegiance. Russians have been caught using Ukrainian uniforms, and it appears they might be using unmarked civilian vans to move ammunition up in the Kherson area.

And when a couple of Ukrainian troops killed a couple of Russian prisoners that had apparently been among those shelling civilians in Kharkiv, it was still murder - just not murder as part of a systematic policy of tolerating and encouraging it. That is the key difference - the invididuals who did that to those Russian captives were responsible, whereas when Russian commanders order attacks on civilians or POWs, or tolerate a culture of it, their entire system becomes culpable.

Amnesty are all over the place these days. Some of their work is exceptional. Some is very, very poor.
This was a good post and I agree with most of it, and it's probably worth emphasising that I'm absolutely holding Ukraine to higher standards - that's part of why I'm on their side, of course (albeit rather impotently).

Purely on this front
Remember, using civilians as human shields wouldn't be a viable tactic for Ukraine anyway - it wouldn't in the slightest deter the Russians.
I did wonder idly - and not suggesting it's actually happened - if there might be a tactical advantage in areas where the civilians in question are chiefly ethnic Russians amongst whom there are at least pockets of support for Russia. It would project Ukrainian power, demonstrate that Ukraine was able to protect them, and any civilian casualties would be the result of Russian action which would likely lessen support.

But that doesn't seem to be what anyone's suggesting, and certainly militarizing areas of Kyiv too supports your point that they need to be "close to the action", which is a reasonable and less unpleasant explanation.

War is obviously always seriously nasty and fraught with akward tradeoffs.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Aug 08, 2022 5:08 pm

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the West announced tough new sanctions and tech companies said they had halted all exports to Russia. Yet supplies of Western computer parts continued, a joint investigation finds.
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/sp ... les-chips/

Looks like most of the microchips are general ones found in civil equipment rather than ones made to military specifications.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:23 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 5:08 pm
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the West announced tough new sanctions and tech companies said they had halted all exports to Russia. Yet supplies of Western computer parts continued, a joint investigation finds.
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/sp ... les-chips/

Looks like most of the microchips are general ones found in civil equipment rather than ones made to military specifications.
Full report: https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/p ... ar-machine

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by FlammableFlower » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:44 am

Sanctions are now starting to cause the cannibalisation of Russian planes.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:00 pm

Bucha massacre bodies have, insomuch as it is possible to determine how many there were, been collected and counted. Three hundred and sixty six men, eighty six women, nine children and five too damaged to even know that much about them.

Bucha was the place that caught the headlines when it was liberated. I've heard a lot of rumours of worse in territories currently occupied. In Mariupol, people are gathering water from shell craters. And the stories from Kherson are horrifying.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TimW » Wed Aug 10, 2022 7:53 am

https://tass.com/politics/1481067 wrote:VOLGOGRAD, July 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s leadership will immediately be faced with a doomsday should it venture to attack Crimea, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday.

"Some ecstatic bl..dy clowns, who pop up there with some statements now and then, are trying to threatens us, I mean attacks on Crimea and so on," he said at a meeting with WWII veterans during his trip to Russia’s southern city of Volgograd. According to Medvedev, consequences of such Ukraine’s actions are quite obvious.

"Should anything of the kind happen, they will be faced with a doomsday, very quick and tough, immediately. There will be no avoiding it. But they keep on provoking the general situation by such statements," he stressed.
It's lucky, then, that Saki airfield wasn't attacked and it was all just an accident.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Aug 12, 2022 8:01 am

Amnesty International Canada Section has some pointed criticisms:
https://www.amnesty.ca/news/uncategoriz ... s-release/

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Grumble » Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:52 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Aug 12, 2022 8:01 am
Amnesty International Canada Section has some pointed criticisms:
https://www.amnesty.ca/news/uncategoriz ... s-release/
Sounds like the way I remember Amnesty working is now outmoded but is what they did anyway
A bit churlish

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:55 am

Sounds like "findings were basically ok but presentation of them was counterproductive", which is a point worth making
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:03 am

Article on Russians who have moved to Serbia, which has no sanctions on Russia.
An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Russians have moved to Serbia since the end of February. There are no official figures, but, since the start of the war against Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians have opened accounts in Serbian banks.
And more than 1,000 companies whose owners have Russian passports have registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, most of them in the IT sector.
https://www.dw.com/en/russians-are-incr ... a-62792799

It gives an inkling on how Russia can avoid sanctions. For components that aren’t controlled goods just set up a company in Serbia that imports them from the EU.

For controlled goods (military or dual use), someone with EU citizenship sets up a front company in a country bordering Serbia. Buy the components, and then truck them over the border. If the smuggler is worried about checks, just transfer the components into new boxes which describe them as something else.

Clearly this is more expensive and less efficient than normal trade. It probably won’t be able to provide the volume needed for mass production.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:06 am

A Russian propagandist just claimed western countries are angry at them for defeating them at Poltava, Borodino and Stalingrad.

The Russians lost at Borodino. That it wasn't as one sided as it could have been is seized upon by Russian commentators, but the Russians were forced off the field and Moscow occupied. Those commentators also tend to heavily praise Kutuzov's performance at Borodino, despite his obsession with the right leading to the left being more weakly defended, especially when it came to artillery, when it was the left that was clearly going to receive the brunt of Napoleon's attack.

Also, much of Europe would have welcomed a Russian defeat at Borodino, had it happened, and did welcome the strategic distaster for Napoleon that was the Russian campaign in general.

Then there's Stalingrad. If I recall correctly, more Ukrainians fought and died at Stalingrad than Russians did. Also, the Nazi defeat at Stalingrad was exceptionally welcome in most most of Europe. Britain, for example, had a commemorative sword made to mark the occasion.

Then there's Poltava. Most Europeans - especially outside of Russia, Ukraine or Sweden, simply haven't heard of the battle of Poltava.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:07 am

Is it necessary to even counterpoint Russian propagandist bollocks?
You can't polish a turd...
unless its Lion or Osterich poo... http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbus ... -turd.html

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by lpm » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:26 am

Well, get to hear of Poltava for the first time ever. And a quick read of the Sweden Empire on wiki to learn some basics.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Martin Y » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:49 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:06 am
... Also, much of Europe would have welcomed a Russian defeat at Borodino, had it happened
[...]
Most Europeans - especially outside of Russia, Ukraine or Sweden, simply haven't heard of the battle of Poltava.
Guessing you meant would have welcomed a Russian victory. Yes indeed. Borodino was the great effort to stop Napoleon reaching Moscow and it failed to do that. Huge damage was done to Napoleon's forces but it was not in even an optimistic view a Russian victory. As you said the Russians were driven off the field and Moscow was occupied.

Got to put my hand up and say I don't know what or when the battle of Poltava was. Off to Wikipedia.

I guess from the Russian perspective, whoever was attacking them at the time (Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler) that person was "Europe" and so "Europe" wanted Russia to lose. The one thing this war has made me reconsider is that Britain is not nearly so obsessed with winning WW2 as I thought. I mean, it is obsessed, but now I've mentally recalibrated just how far up the scale of obsession actually goes. Compared to Russia, we scarcely remember it happened.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:11 pm


The United States has shipped about a third of its existing arsenal of Stinger anti-air and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine – systems that are not quickly replaced – two experts on Pentagon buying said Tuesday.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Ellen Lord, who served as the Defense Department’s top acquisition official, said Stingers cannot be replaced “within the next couple of years” because its production line has been shut down. Even simple items, such as diodes, used to regulate voltage for these systems could be difficult to obtain.

“Even with Javelin, we are probably five years” away from replenishing that stock despite its manufacturing line remaining open, she added.

David Berteau, chief executive officer of the Professional Services Council, said, “we have yet to see a single contract in place” for the replacement of systems going to Ukraine following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. Noting the one-third depletion of Stingers and Javelins, he said, “we’re behind.”

Building up the stockpile of munitions has “usually been the billpayer” in Pentagon spending plans, and the United States is paying that price now, Lord said. She said that billpaying has included not making investments to modernize everything from existing infrastructure to tooling.
https://news.usni.org/2022/04/27/u-s-mi ... lls-senate

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bjn » Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:32 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:11 pm

The United States has shipped about a third of its existing arsenal of Stinger anti-air and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine – systems that are not quickly replaced – two experts on Pentagon buying said Tuesday.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Ellen Lord, who served as the Defense Department’s top acquisition official, said Stingers cannot be replaced “within the next couple of years” because its production line has been shut down. Even simple items, such as diodes, used to regulate voltage for these systems could be difficult to obtain.

“Even with Javelin, we are probably five years” away from replenishing that stock despite its manufacturing line remaining open, she added.

David Berteau, chief executive officer of the Professional Services Council, said, “we have yet to see a single contract in place” for the replacement of systems going to Ukraine following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. Noting the one-third depletion of Stingers and Javelins, he said, “we’re behind.”

Building up the stockpile of munitions has “usually been the billpayer” in Pentagon spending plans, and the United States is paying that price now, Lord said. She said that billpaying has included not making investments to modernize everything from existing infrastructure to tooling.
https://news.usni.org/2022/04/27/u-s-mi ... lls-senate
To be blunt, this is exactly what they are designed to be used for. Who else has huge tank fleets that the US needs protecting against? Mexico? Each Javelin used now is one that doesn't have to be used next year against a lumbering T-62.

Stingers are also long in the tooth (44 years since first delivery) and close to unmakeable now due to the lack of parts. Replacement systems are in the process of being procured though.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bolo » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:08 pm

The United States has shipped about a third of its existing arsenal of Stinger anti-air and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine – systems that are not quickly replaced – two experts on Pentagon buying said Tuesday.
Note that where the article says Tuesday, it means Tuesday, April 26.

In addition to BJN's point, DOD has repeatedly said that they are comfortable with the level of their supplies, because what matters for U.S. military readiness is not whether they have enough Stingers and Javelins, but whether they have enough anti-air and anti-armor capabilities. In a war directly involving the U.S. military, those capabilities would mostly be shot from aircraft, not from the shoulders of infantrymen.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:59 am

bolo wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:08 pm
The United States has shipped about a third of its existing arsenal of Stinger anti-air and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine – systems that are not quickly replaced – two experts on Pentagon buying said Tuesday.
Note that where the article says Tuesday, it means Tuesday, April 26.

In addition to BJN's point, DOD has repeatedly said that they are comfortable with the level of their supplies, because what matters for U.S. military readiness is not whether they have enough Stingers and Javelins, but whether they have enough anti-air and anti-armor capabilities. In a war directly involving the U.S. military, those capabilities would mostly be shot from aircraft, not from the shoulders of infantrymen.
My bad. I saw it linked to and didn’t notice it was old.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Aug 16, 2022 2:03 am

bjn wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:32 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:11 pm

The United States has shipped about a third of its existing arsenal of Stinger anti-air and Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine – systems that are not quickly replaced – two experts on Pentagon buying said Tuesday.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Ellen Lord, who served as the Defense Department’s top acquisition official, said Stingers cannot be replaced “within the next couple of years” because its production line has been shut down. Even simple items, such as diodes, used to regulate voltage for these systems could be difficult to obtain.

“Even with Javelin, we are probably five years” away from replenishing that stock despite its manufacturing line remaining open, she added.

David Berteau, chief executive officer of the Professional Services Council, said, “we have yet to see a single contract in place” for the replacement of systems going to Ukraine following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. Noting the one-third depletion of Stingers and Javelins, he said, “we’re behind.”

Building up the stockpile of munitions has “usually been the billpayer” in Pentagon spending plans, and the United States is paying that price now, Lord said. She said that billpaying has included not making investments to modernize everything from existing infrastructure to tooling.
https://news.usni.org/2022/04/27/u-s-mi ... lls-senate
To be blunt, this is exactly what they are designed to be used for. Who else has huge tank fleets that the US needs protecting against? Mexico? Each Javelin used now is one that doesn't have to be used next year against a lumbering T-62.

Stingers are also long in the tooth (44 years since first delivery) and close to unmakeable now due to the lack of parts. Replacement systems are in the process of being procured though.
China and it’s allies.

In the 21st Century competition between great powers the war against Russia may just be a sideshow. The missiles may also be needed in Taiwan, South Korea etc.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:02 am

Road to war: U.S. struggled to convince allies, and Zelensky, of risk of invasion
https://web.archive.org/web/20220816144 ... ad-to-war/

Detailed and worth reading

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jdc » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:43 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:02 am
Road to war: U.S. struggled to convince allies, and Zelensky, of risk of invasion
https://web.archive.org/web/20220816144 ... ad-to-war/

Detailed and worth reading
I've checked, and it is. Thanks for the link Chops.

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