The Invasion of Ukraine

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Bird on a Fire
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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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Bird on a Fire
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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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Woodchopper
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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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Woodchopper
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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

FlammableFlower
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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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EACLucifer
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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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TimW
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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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