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  • #61
    10 April 2022
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    • #62
      11 April 2022

      http://whitenationalist.xyz/forum/fo...6041#post36041

      What Happened on Day 47 of the War in Ukraine


      After meeting Vladimir V. Putin, Austria’s chancellor said the Russian leader wants to escalate the war as he focuses on the Donbas region. Ukrainians warned of possible Russian use of chemical weapons.

      https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04...ussia-war-news

      Far from defeated, Putin intends to escalate the war in Ukraine.

      https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04...ssia-war-putin[INDENT]

      Austria’s chancellor visited President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday — the first Western leader to see him in person since the Ukraine invasion — and said he came away feeling not only pessimistic about peace prospects but fearing that Mr. Putin intended to drastically intensify the brutality of the war.

      Describing Mr. Putin as dismissive of atrocities in Ukraine, the visiting chancellor, Karl Nehammer, said it was clear that Russian forces were mobilizing for a large-scale assault in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, the next phase of a war now in its seventh week.

      “The battle being threatened cannot be underestimated in its violence,” Mr. Nehammer said in a news conference after the 75-minute meeting at Mr. Putin’s residence outside Moscow that the visitor described as blunt and direct.

      The Austrian chancellor said he had told the Russian president that as long as people were dying in Ukraine, “the sanctions against Russia will stay in place and will be toughened further.”

      The Kremlin, playing down the meeting’s significance in a terse statement, said only that it was “not long by the standards of recent times.”

      Even as Mr. Nehammer was visiting, Russian forces were bombarding Ukrainian cities and towns, and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said “tens of thousands are dead” in Mariupol, the besieged southern city that has been the scene of the most intense destruction of the war.

      And Mr. Putin, despite Russia’s military blunders in the war, and for all the Western efforts to ostracize him, still appeared in control of the crisis. He has severely repressed any dissent and benefited from widespread domestic support, continuing revenues from oil and gas sales to Europe, the implicit backing of China and the refusal of much of the world to join sanctions against Russia.

      Many commentators in the West had criticized the Austrian chancellor — his country is a member of the European Union but not of NATO — for having visited Moscow at all, seemingly playing into Mr. Putin’s narrative that American-led efforts to isolate Russia would necessarily end in failure.

      Mr. Nehammer told reporters afterward that he had tried to confront Mr. Putin with the horrors of war and of the war crimes that Russian troops are accused of having committed in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha and elsewhere. He said he also had told Mr. Putin about the destroyed Russian tanks he saw on a recent visit to Ukraine, to make clear the enormous loss of life that Russia was suffering.

      Mr. Nehammer said that Mr. Putin had brushed aside the accusations of war crimes as having been staged by Ukraine.

      At the end, Mr. Putin told him: “It would be better if it” — the war — “ended soon,” Mr. Nehammer said, but the meaning of those words was unclear, since they could either signal that Mr. Putin was prepared for further peace talks or that he could be readying a quick and brutal assault in the Donbas, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukraine’s military since 2014.

      “We can have no illusions: President Putin has totally adopted the logic of war, and is acting accordingly,” Mr. Nehammer said. “This is why I believe it is so important to permanently confront him with the facts of the war.”

      How much more brutal the war could become was signaled in an interview with Eduard Basurin, a separatist commander, aired on Russian state television. Mr. Basurin said that with Ukrainian forces ensconced in underground fortifications at a steel plant in Mariupol, storming the redoubt did not make sense. Instead, he said, Russian forces needed to first block the exits and then “turn to the chemical troops who will find a way to smoke the moles out of their holes.”

      Mr. Putin was silent on Monday but was expected to speak publicly on Tuesday, when he will travel to the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s far east with President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus, his ally, to mark the annual Cosmonauts’ Day.

      The Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has increasingly been framed by Mr. Putin as not against that country, but against the West — specifically, the United States, as the supposed patron of Mr. Zelensky’s government and its aspirations to escape Russia’s sphere of influence as a former Soviet republic.

      Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said in a Russian television interview that aired on Monday that what the Kremlin calls its “special operation” in Ukraine is aimed at rolling back American influence — which the Russian government characterizes as the root of the world’s ills.


      “Our special military operation is designed to put an end to the reckless expansion, and the reckless course toward complete dominance, of the United States,” Mr. Lavrov said.

      The United States and European Union have imposed increasingly severe economic sanctions on Russia over the invasion and are sending weapons to Ukraine’s military. But they do not want to get drawn into a war with Russia. And the European Union remains reluctant to ban Russian oil and natural gas, which remain critical to the bloc’s own economic health.

      E.U. foreign ministers met on Monday in Luxembourg and the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said that “nothing is off the table, including sanctions on oil and gas.”

      While ministers discussed a possible phaseout of Russian oil, more easily replaceable from other suppliers than gas, the meeting also laid bare the bloc’s divisions. Austria, Hungary and Germany opposed any effort, for now, to restrict Russian gas imports.

      Still, European Union leaders were expected to approve another 500 million euros in funds to repay member states for sending weapons to Ukraine, which would mean a total of 1.5 billion euros so far — nearly equivalent to the $1.7 billion in weapons that the United States has authorized.

      Russian troops, having retreated from northern Ukraine after a failed effort last month to reach the capital, Kyiv, have been resupplying and regrouping in Russia and Belarus so they can join the battle in eastern Ukraine. But Western officials said on Monday that effort may still take some time.

      Ukrainian officials have been warning since last week that civilians in east Ukraine should flee while they can. Mr. Zelensky warned that tens of thousands of Russian troops were preparing a renewed assault there.

      If and when the southern port city of Mariupol finally falls, Russian troops can move north to meet up with Russian troops attempting to move south from Izyum and try to encircle the bulk of Ukraine’s army, which is concentrated further east, said Mathieu Boul
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      • #63
        16 April 2022

        http://whitenationalist.xyz/forum/fo...6065#post36065
        What Happened on Day 52 of the War in Ukraine


        Russia claimed its forces had seized the besieged city of Mariupol, save for a steel plant near the port where Ukrainian fighters held out. Moscow’s missiles also hit targets across the country, including military factories.

        https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04...ussia-war-news


        Russia fires missile barrage at Ukrainian cities and military targets.
        Russia pounded military targets throughout Ukraine on Saturday, in apparent retaliation for the sinking of an important naval ship and in preparation for an offensive in the Donbas region of the country’s east.

        Russia’s Defense Ministry said Saturday the strikes had destroyed workshops in a tank factory in Kyiv and a military hardware repair facility in Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine. Also targeted was the Ukrainian military factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, called Vizar, that produced the Neptune anti-ship missile that sank the flagship vessel of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva, in a major embarrassment for the Kremlin.

        The coming battle in the east will be fought largely on open terrain offering far fewer havens for Ukrainian fighters to hide while launching attacks on Russian armored vehicles, as they did so successfully in repelling the Russian forces from around Kyiv. The Russian missile attacks on Friday into Saturday seemed calibrated to weaken Ukraine’s ability to withstand armored assaults in that setting.

        So the Russians are striking military targets, unlike ZOG which takes down civilian targets and infrastructure as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        The strikes served as a reminder that wherever the fighting is concentrated on the ground, Russia still can and will strike anywhere in Ukraine, and they underscored the importance of Ukraine’s industrial capacity, including its ability to make and repair weapons.

        The Russians have no shortage of artillery, missiles, and bombers to hit their targets and plenty of satellite systems to observe and target the opposing forces.

        Why Russia waited until two months into the war to target these facilities is unclear. While the strikes could have been a response to the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s Defense Ministry has not acknowledged that Ukrainian missiles hit the ship, which it says was mortally wounded by a fire and ammunition explosion.

        Some analysts have pointed to the recent appointment of a top Russian battlefield commander in Ukraine, Gen. Aleksandr V. Dvornikov, as a factor in Moscow’s strategy. He is expected to address the lack of coordination and planning that has hampered Russian forces so far, reorganizing and redirecting them for the fighting in Donbas.

        The rocket and missile attacks on Saturday also rained down on an airport in central Ukraine, the Black Sea port of Odesa, the northeastern city of Kharkiv and the western city of Lviv. Explosions from at least one strike shook Kyiv, the capital, and Ukraine’s air defense force said it had shot down a volley of four cruise missiles in flight elsewhere in the country.

        Moscow retaliated diplomatically against the West on Saturday, barring Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior British officials from entering the country over their support for Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Mr. Johnson has been a leading voice in Europe against Moscow, and even traveled to Kyiv a week ago to meet with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

        Britain has supplied Ukraine with new anti-ship missile systems, armored vehicles and other military equipment. Ukrainian fighters have used lightweight anti-tank weapons supplied by Britain to devastating effect against Russia’s armored vehicles.

        The BritZOGs are not a neutral party and should be treated as such.

        In Germany, the economy minister called on people to cut back their energy consumption, including by drawing curtains and lowering the temperature in their homes, as part of what he described as a national effort to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Germany has joined other Western nations in imposing embargoes on Russian coal and possibly oil, but it is reluctant to do the same with Russian gas, which accounts for more than half its gas imports.

        “We can only become more independent of Russian imports if we see it as a large joint project in which we all participate,” the minister, Robert Habeck, told the Funke media group on Friday. He added, in reference to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia: “It’s easy on the wallet and annoys Putin.”

        German ZOGlings are encouraged to starve to death in the dark and cold for ZOGling jewrkranusians.

        In the weeks since Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian attempt to seize Kyiv, residents have been streaming back into the city. But the window-rattling blasts Saturday offered a stark reminder that the war is far from over, even far from the front.

        Russia’s cruise missiles, the principal weapon in Saturday’s attacks, can strike over long distances at sites throughout the country. Through the day Saturday, air raid sirens wailed in Kyiv, and overnight the distant, dull thuds of air defense missiles exploding could be heard in the sky over the city.

        “Our air defenses are working, our military is defending us, but all the same there were explosions,” in a southeastern district of the capital, Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said in a statement on Telegram. The strike killed one person and wounded several others, he said.

        Russia also has nukes and thermobaric warheads to put atop their missiles.

        In the statement, Mr. Klitschko said Kyiv remains a target for Russia despite the defeat of its ground assault force, which retreated hastily, leaving in its wake burned tanks, its own war dead and hundreds of civilian bodies lying on streets. Police said Friday they have so far found 900 bodies of civilians in the Kyiv region, the administrative district surrounding the capital.


        There can be a lot more jewkranusians quick enough.





        Freshly dug graves in Irpin, Ukraine, outside Kyiv, the site of intense fighting in the first month of the war.


        President Zelensky said in a late night address on Saturday that Russian forces had been expelled from nearly 1,000 villages, towns and cities of varying sizes across Ukraine. Most of the liberated communities lie in the northern parts of the country, and had suffered extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure during the monthlong Russian occupation.

        Mr. Zelensky also acknowledged the Ukrainian army had lost as many as 3,000 troops in fighting to date, while insisting that Russian fatalities were far higher.

        Or so the ZOGling jewboy who can play the piano with its dick says.

        Elsewhere in Ukraine, the air defense force said it had shot down four cruise missiles flying toward Lviv, and that a missile had exploded in the air near Odesa. Also near Odesa, Ukraine shot down a Russian unmanned aerial drone as it was reconnoitering military sites, the local authorities said.

        Later, Mr. Zelensky acknowledged that Russia seemed poised to take full control of Mariupol, a strategic southern port, with its troops controlling all but a small part of a besieged city they have reduced to ruins. In recent days, Russian forces have advanced to the city center, and the remaining Ukrainian troops, hunkered down in the sprawling Azovstal steel plant and in Mariupol’s port, are greatly outnumbered and desperately short of provisions.

        “Nevertheless, our guys are heroically defending,” said Mr. Zelensky, speaking to Ukrainian media outlets. “We are grateful to them for that.”

        Near Kirovograd in central Ukraine, Russian long-range rockets struck an airport Thursday night, according to a local mayor, who said there were dead and wounded after the attack but did not specify how many.

        The cruise missile strikes in Kyiv have continued nearly daily through the war but often hitting targets in outlying areas, without causing much disruption to life in the city, which has been reviving. So far, missiles have not struck key government buildings, including the presidential office and Parliament — whether they were targeted but successfully shielded by Ukraine’s air defenses is not clear.

        “The war goes on in Kyiv and we cannot relax,” said Galina Ostapenko, 72, a retired postal worker, who was walking in the yard of her apartment building a block or so from the site of the strike Saturday.

        “What happened pains my heart,” she said of the explosion in her neighborhood. “I will teach my grandchildren to hate the Russians.”


        As Russia steps up its attacks on Ukrainian military targets, Washington has been speeding up efforts to supply Ukraine with advanced weapons and long-range artillery pieces in recent days. Russia warned Washington of “unpredictable consequences” if it continues to ship heavy arms to Ukraine.

        The "unpredictable coonsequences" are Russians giving weapons to Mexican drug lords or enabling civil unrest against ZOG.

        The attacks with precision munitions came as Russia continued to move equipment and forces into position for a renewed offensive, which military analysts have warned could be both long and bloody.

        The eastern front stretches over some 300 miles from Kharkiv in the north to Mariupol in the south and many of the people living in the region have fled as weeks of shelling have destroyed critical infrastructure, flattened homes and left scores dead.

        The shelling has increased as Russia moves troops and equipment into position for a full-scale assault. Unlike the precision strikes on military targets in other parts of the country, the indiscriminate bombardments in the east are often directed against homes and infrastructure.

        On Saturday, a Russian shell hit an oil refinery in the city of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region, setting off a large blaze, according to Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor. “Shelling continues in residential areas of Lysychansk, and locals are asked to remain in shelters,” he wrote in a message posted on social media.

        In Kharkiv, where Russia is trying to keep Ukrainian forces tied up as its troops try to advance into areas further south, two people were killed and 18 others wounded when what appeared to be guided missiles slammed into a shopping center in the heart of the shattered city.

        The Russians are not going to get involved in urban warfare which goes through troops and equipment.


        In Dnipro, the local government said that a Russian missile had struck an abandoned poultry farm.

        There were also reports from local and national Ukrainian officials of Russian rocket attacks on Poltava, Kirovohrad, Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv.

        Even as Ukrainians take stock of the devastation left in the wake of the Russian occupation across the north of their country, the situation in areas under Russian occupation remained grave.

        Ukrainians also say that Russian forces are trying to cover up evidence of war crimes in places that they control, although witness accounts and statements to that effect from local officials have been impossible to verify as Russian forces have blocked access to outsiders.

        Local residents have relayed reports of Russian soldiers exhuming the bodies of civilians buried in the yards of residential buildings in Mariupol, and forbidding people to bury or remove the bodies of the dead, according to a statement posted on the City Council’s Telegram channel. Local officials say that Russia is burning the bodies as part of an effort to hide the extent of the slaughter in the city.





        Damage from the missile strike in Kharkiv on Saturday.

        The Russians simply do not have enough troops top get bogged down in city fighting. They do have plenty of artillery and missiles which they will use to pound Ukrainian cities into rubble and keep them from growing crops for their own use and export. They may not win but eventually the ZOG jewkrainians will lose.


        ssssssssssssssssss
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        • #64
          24 April 2022


          Ukraine Live Updates: U.S. Says It Wants Russian Military ‘Weakened’

          https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04...ussia-war-news
          The top U.S. defense official said that Russia had suffered significant military losses in Ukraine, including “a lot of its troops,” and that the Pentagon was working to ensure that Russia does not have the ability to “very quickly reproduce that capability.”

          Speaking after a risky and secret visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Lloyd J. Austin III, the U.S. secretary of defense, said that there would be a more detailed discussion about what Ukraine would need to prevail against Russia at a meeting in Germany on Tuesday. “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kind things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” he said.

          In the two months since the start of the war, the Biden administration has steadily increased military assistance while at the same time imposing wider sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy. The assertion by the top U.S. defense officials that America wants to degrade the Russian war machine reflected an increasingly emboldened approach from the Biden administration.

          Mr. Austin, who made his comments during a brief news conference on the Polish-Ukrainian border, was joined by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, who said that Russia had failed in its goal of destroying the Ukrainian state. U.S. diplomats would soon be returning to Ukraine, he said, and he expected the embassy in Kyiv to reopen in a few weeks.

          “Russia is failing,” he said. “Ukraine is succeeding.”

          Senile Joe's nigger and jewboy snuck into Kiev and said that they would commit acts of war against Russia and claim the Russia is losing and the jewkrainians are winning. That's why they just got to keep on giving them more and more weapons of war to fight to the very last jewkrainian.
          Last edited by Librarian; 04-25-2022, 03:59 AM.
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          • #65
            Putin Really May Break the Nuclear Taboo in Ukraine


            It seems unthinkable, but American leaders’ failure to think about it heightens the risk it will happen.


            https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-r...pos_2#cxrecs_s

            By Peggy Noonan
            April 28, 2022 6:26 pm ET
            =====

            Sometimes a thing keeps nagging around your brain and though you’ve said it before you have to say it again. We factor in but do not sufficiently appreciate the real possibility of nuclear-weapon use by Russia in Ukraine. This is the key and crucial historic possibility in the drama, and it really could come to pass.

            And once it starts, it doesn’t stop. Once the taboo that has held since 1945 is broken, it’s broken. The door has been pushed open and we step through to the new age. We don’t want to step into that age.

            The war is in its third month. Diplomatic solutions are less likely than ever; war crimes and atrocities have hardened the Ukrainians, and in any case they’re winning and the world is on their side. British intelligence this week reported Russia has lost around 15,000 troops, 2,000 armored vehicles and 60 aircraft. The ground invasion force has lost an estimated 25% of its combat strength. Russia is grinding through a disaster.

            We aren’t worried enough about Russian nuclear use in part because we imagine such a thing as huge missiles with huge warheads launched from another continent and speeding through space. We think: That won’t happen! It has never happened! But the more likely use would be not of big strategic nuclear weapons but smaller tactical ones on the battlefield. Such weapons have a shorter range and carry lower-yield warheads. America and Russia have rough parity in the number of strategic nuclear weapons, but Russia has an estimated 10 times as many tactical nuclear weapons as the U.S. and delivery systems that range from artillery shells to aircraft.

            This Boomer bink is correct. Even back in 1982 when I was Fire Direction and Control in Charley Battery 2d Battallion 42d Field Artillery (Lance) this accurate missile costing $500,000 was able to use variable-yield M-70 warhead from 1 kilo-ton ( One Twentieth of a Hiroshima) to 100 kilotons (Five Times Hiroshima). There were even 105mm howitzer nukes able to be fired a dozen miles probably with a kiloton or two yield. These nukes aimed at tactical targets are the equivalent of super-artillery shells able to take out several grid-squares via an air-burst.

            It is because there were all these nuke artillery shells that I'm sure that the Iranians stole these nuke shells during the Soviet Collapse years of the 1990s.


            Why would Vladimir Putin use tactical nuclear weapons? Why would he make such a madman move?

            To change the story. To shock and destabilize his adversaries. To scare the people of North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries so they’ll force their leaders to back away. To remind the world—and Russians—that he does have military power. To avoid a massive and public military defeat. To win.

            Mr. Putin talks about nuclear weapons a lot. He did it again Wednesday: In a meeting with politicians in St. Petersburg, he said if anyone intervenes in Ukraine and “creates unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature,” the Russian response will be “lightning fast.” He said: “We have all the tools for this that no one else can boast of having. We won’t boast about it, we’ll use them, if needed.”

            He’s talked like this since the invasion. It’s a tactic: He’s trying to scare everybody. That doesn’t mean the threat is empty.

            There are signs the Russians are deliberately creating a historical paper trail, as if to say they warned us. On Monday Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the risk of nuclear conflict is “serious” and “should not be underestimated.” Earlier, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, sent a formal diplomatic note to the U.S. saying it was inflaming the conflict. The Washington Post got a copy. It said shipments of the “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine were “adding fuel” to the conflict and could bring “unpredictable consequences.”

            The U.S. at the same time has become rhetorically bolder. This month President Biden referred to Mr. Putin as a war criminal. In March Mr. Biden called for regime change; the White House walked it back. This week Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters the U.S. aim in Ukraine: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree it can’t do the kinds of things it’s done in Ukraine.” The original American aim was to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. Has the U.S. strategy changed, or has its officials’ talk simply become looser? What larger strategic vision is the administration acting on?

            How about Senile Joe's original strategic "vision". To use to the last jewkrainian to fight a proxy war against Russia to loot the Russians of their oil, land and enslaved people and in order to do that they must destroy the Russian People's authoritarian form of government.

            In my experience with American diplomats, they are aware of but don’t always grasp the full implications of their opponents’ histories. Mr. Putin was a KGB spy who in 1991 saw the Soviet system in which he’d risen crash all around him. He called the fall of the Soviet Union a catastrophe because it left his country weakened, humiliated and stripped of dominance and hegemony in Eastern Europe. He is a walking, talking cauldron of resentments, which he deploys for maximum manipulation. He isn’t secretive about his grievances. In his 2007 speech to the Munich Security Conference he accused the U.S. of arrogance, hypocrisy and having created a “unipolar world” with “one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision making,” headed by “one master, one sovereign.” As for NATO, “we have the right to ask: Against whom is this expansion intended?”

            Antagonism to the West has been the central intellectual organizing principle of his life. America is an object of his life’s obsession.

            So let me make an argument for my anxieties: For this man, Russia can’t lose to the West. Ukraine isn’t the Mideast, a side show; it is the main event. I read him as someone who will do anything not to lose.

            In October he will turn 70, and whatever his physical and mental health his life is in its fourth act. I am dubious that he will accept the idea that the signal fact of its end will be his defeat by the West. He can’t, his psychology will not allow it.

            It seems to me he has become more careless, operating with a different historical consciousness. He launched a world-historic military invasion that, whatever his geostrategic aims, was shambolic—fully aggressive and confident, yet not realistically thought through. His army wasn’t up to the task. It seemed thrown together, almost haphazard, certainly not professional.

            Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, often notes that Mr. Putin has killed all the institutions in his country, sucked the strength, independence and respectability from them, as dictators do. They take out power centers that might threaten them but might also warn them of weaknesses in their own governments. All dictatorships are ultimately self-weakening in that way. But this means Mr. Putin has no collective leadership in Russia. It’s all him. And he’s Vladimir Putin.

            When I look at him I see a new nihilistic edge, not the calculating and somewhat reptilian person of the past.

            People who have known Mr. Putin have told me I am wrong in my concern about his potential nuclear use in that he knows if he makes one move with such a weapon, Moscow will in turn be reduced to a smoking ruin. But I am reading Mr. Putin as someone who’s grown bored of that threat, who believes he can more than match it, who maybe doesn’t even believe it anymore. In any case the Americans would not respond disproportionately.

            No one since 1945, in spite of all the wars, has used nuclear weapons. We are in the habit, no matter what we acknowledge as a hypothetical possibility, of thinking: It still won’t happen, history will proceed as it has in the past.

            But maybe not. History is full of swerves, of impossibilities that become inevitabilities.

            For the administration’s leaders this should be front of mind every day. They should return to the admirable terseness of the early days of the invasion. They should wake up every day thinking: What can we do to lower the odds?

            Think more, talk less. And when you think, think dark.


            Meercat with tits!!!

            Comment


            • #66
              4 May 2022:

              http://whitenationalist.xyz/forum/fo...6163#post36163


              U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals, Officials Say

              https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/04/u...d-ukraine.html

              ==========
              WASHINGTON — The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.

              Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts.

              The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.

              The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently. Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.

              The intelligence sharing is part of a stepped-up flow in U.S. assistance that includes heavier weapons and tens of billions in aid, demonstrating how quickly the early American restraints on support for Ukraine have shifted as the war enters a new stage that could play out over months.

              Pity the Russians can't kill ZOG high-level Pieces of Shit.

              U.S. intelligence support to the Ukrainians has had a decisive effect on the battlefield, confirming targets identified by the Ukrainian military and pointing it to new targets. The flow of actionable intelligence on the movement of Russian troops that America has given Ukraine has few precedents.

              Since failing to advance on Kyiv, the capital, in the early part of the war, Russia has tried to regroup, with a more concentrated push in eastern Ukraine that so far has moved slowly and unevenly.

              Officials interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the classified intelligence being shared with Ukraine.

              The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield intelligence secret, out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. American officials would not describe how they have acquired information on Russian troop headquarters, for fear of endangering their methods of collection. But throughout the war, the U.S. intelligence agencies have used a variety of sources, including classified and commercial satellites, to trace Russian troop movements.

              Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III went so far as to say last month that “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

              Asked about the intelligence being provided to the Ukrainians, John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said that “we will not speak to the details of that information.” But he acknowledged that the United States provides “Ukraine with information and intelligence that they can use to defend themselves.”

              After this article published, Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement that the battlefield intelligence was not provided to the Ukrainians “with the intent to kill Russian generals.”

              Not all the strikes have been carried out with American intelligence. A strike over the weekend at a location in eastern Ukraine where Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, had visited was not aided by American intelligence, according to multiple U.S. officials. The United States prohibits itself from providing intelligence about the most senior Russian leaders, officials said.

              But American intelligence was critical in the deaths of other generals, officials acknowledged.

              The United States routinely provides information about the movement of Russian troops and equipment, and helps Ukraine confirm the location of critical targets. Other NATO allies also give real-time intelligence to the Ukrainian military.

              The Biden administration is also supplying new weaponry that should improve Ukraine’s ability to target senior Russian officers. The smaller version of the Switchblade drone, which is now arriving on the battlefield, can be used to identify and kill individual soldiers, and could take out a general sitting in a vehicle or giving orders on a front line.

              American officials have acknowledged publicly that the United States began giving Ukraine actionable intelligence in the run-up to Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. Ahead of the invasion, for example, U.S. intelligence agencies warned of an impending attack on the Hostomel airport north of Kyiv. That allowed Ukraine to strengthen its defenses. Russian airborne forces were ultimately unable to hold the airfield.

              While the information the United States has provided Ukraine has proved valuable, Russian generals have often left themselves exposed to electronic eavesdropping by speaking over unsecure phones and radios, current and former American military officials said.



              “It shows poor discipline, lack of experience, arrogance and failure to appreciate Ukrainian capabilities,” said Frederick B. Hodges, the former top U.S. Army commander in Europe who is now with the Center for European Policy Analysis. “It is not hard to geo-locate someone on a phone talking in the clear.”

              Russian military tactics have also left senior generals vulnerable. A centralized, top-down command hierarchy gives decision-making authority only to the highest levels — compared to the more decentralized American structure that pushes many battlefield decisions to senior enlisted personnel and junior officers — forcing Russian generals to make risky trips to the front lines to resolve logistical and operational issues.

              “When there are problems, the general officers have to go sort it out,” said General Hodges.

              Although the administration remains wary of inflaming Mr. Putin to the point that he further escalates his attacks — President Biden has said he will not send American troops to Ukraine or establish a “no-fly zone” there — current and former officials said the White House finds some value in warning Russia that Ukraine has the weight of the United States and NATO behind it.
              Image

              Some European officials believe, despite Mr. Putin’s rhetoric that Russia is battling NATO and the West, he has so far been deterred from starting a wider war. American officials are less certain, and have been debating for weeks why Mr. Putin has not done more to escalate the conflict.

              Officials said Moscow has its own calculations to weigh, including whether it can handle a bigger war, particularly one that would allow NATO to invoke its mutual defense charter or enter the war more directly.

              “Clearly, we want the Russians to know on some level that we are helping the Ukrainians to this extent, and we will continue to do so,” said Evelyn Farkas, the former top Defense Department official for Russia and Ukraine in the Obama administration. “We will give them everything they need to win, and we’re not afraid of Vladimir Putin’s reaction to that. We won’t be self-deterred.”

              But intelligence sharing is considered a safe form of help because it is invisible, or, at least, deniable. American intelligence has given secret information to Ukraine in a wide range of areas, from Russian troop movements to targeting data, officials said.

              Last month, the United States increased the flow of intelligence to Ukraine about Russian forces in the Donbas and Crimea, as Kyiv’s military forces prepared to defend against a renewed offensive by Moscow in eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials said.

              “There’s a significant amount of intelligence flowing to Ukraine from the United States,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel on Tuesday. “We have opened up the pipes.”



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              • #67
                President Putin of Russia: Speech on Red Square Victory Parade

                http://thesaker.is/president-putin-o...ictory-parade/

                ======
                President of Russia – Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Vladimir Putin attended a military parade marking the 77th anniversary of Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War.

                Overall, 11,000 personnel and 131 units of military equipment were engaged in the parade.

                * * *


                Address by the President of Russia at the military parade

                President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Fellow Russian citizens,

                Dear veterans,

                Comrade soldiers and seamen, sergeants and sergeant majors, midshipmen and warrant officers,

                Comrade officers, generals and admirals,

                I congratulate you on the Day of Great Victory!

                The defence of our Motherland when its destiny was at stake has always been sacred. It was the feeling of true patriotism that Minin and Pozharsky’s militia stood up for the Fatherland, soldiers went on the offensive at the Borodino Field and fought the enemy outside Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk, Stalingrad and Kursk, Sevastopol and Kharkov.

                Today, as in the past, you are fighting for our people in Donbass, for the security of our Motherland, for Russia.

                May 9, 1945 has been enshrined in world history forever as a triumph of the united Soviet people, its cohesion and spiritual power, an unparalleled feat on the front lines and on the home front.

                Victory Day is intimately dear to all of us. There is no family in Russia that was not burnt by the Great Patriotic War. Its memory never fades. On this day, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroes march in an endless flow of the Immortal Regiment. They carry photos of their family members, the fallen soldiers who remained young forever, and the veterans who are already gone.

                We take pride in the unconquered courageous generation of the victors, we are proud of being their successors, and it is our duty to preserve the memory of those who defeated Nazism and entrusted us with being vigilant and doing everything to thwart the horror of another global war.

                Therefore, despite all controversies in international relations, Russia has always advocated the establishment of an equal and indivisible security system which is critically needed for the entire international community.

                Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.

                Another punitive operation in Donbass, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.

                Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.

                Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weaponry being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.

                Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only correct decision. A decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country.

                The United States began claiming their exceptionalism, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, thus denigrating not just the entire world but also their satellites, who have to pretend not to see anything, and to obediently put up with it.

                But we are a different country. Russia has a different character. We will never give up our love for our Motherland, our faith and traditional values, our ancestors’ customs and respect for all peoples and cultures.

                Meanwhile, the West seems to be set to cancel these millennia-old values. Such moral degradation underlies the cynical falsifications of World War II history, escalating Russophobia, praising traitors, mocking their victims’ memory and crossing out the courage of those who won the Victory through suffering.

                We are aware that US veterans who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow were actually forbidden to do so. But I want them to know: We are proud of your deeds and your contribution to our common Victory.

                We honour all soldiers of the allied armies – the Americans, the English, the French, Resistance fighters, brave soldiers and partisans in China – all those who defeated Nazism and militarism.

                Comrades,

                Donbass militia alongside with the Russian Army are fighting on their land today, where princes Svyatoslav and Vladimir Monomakh’s retainers, solders under the command of Rumyantsev and Potemkin, Suvorov and Brusilov crushed their enemies, where Great Patriotic War heroes Nikolai Vatutin, Sidor Kovpak and Lyudmila Pavlichenko stood to the end.

                I am addressing our Armed Forces and Donbass militia. You are fighting for our Motherland, its future, so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there is no place in the world for torturers, death squads and Nazis.

                Today, we bow our heads to the sacred memory of all those who lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War, the memories of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.

                We bow our heads to the memory of the Odessa martyrs who were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in May 2014, to the memory of the old people, women and children of Donbass who were killed in atrocious and barbaric shelling by neo-Nazis. We bow our heads to our fighting comrades who died a brave death in the righteous battle – for Russia.

                I declare a minute of silence.

                (A minute of silence.)

                The loss of each officer and soldier is painful for all of us and an irretrievable loss for the families and friends. The government, regional authorities, enterprises and public organisations will do everything to wrap such families in care and help them. Special support will be given to the children of the killed and wounded comrades-in-arms. The Presidential Executive Order to this effect was signed today.

                I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded soldiers and officers, and I thank doctors, paramedics, nurses and staff of military hospitals for their selfless work. Our deepest gratitude goes to you for saving each life, oftentimes sparing no thought for yourselves under shelling on the frontlines.

                Comrades,

                Soldiers and officers from many regions of our enormous Motherland, including those who arrived straight from Donbass, from the combat area, are standing now shoulder-to-shoulder here, on Red Square.

                We remember how Russia’s enemies tried to use international terrorist gangs against us, how they tried to seed inter-ethnic and religious strife so as to weaken us from within and divide us. They failed completely.

                Today, our warriors of different ethnicities are fighting together, shielding each other from bullets and shrapnel like brothers.

                This is where the power of Russia lies, a great invincible power of our united multi-ethnic nation.

                You are defending today what your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought for. The wellbeing and security of their Motherland was their top priority in life. Loyalty to our Fatherland is the main value and a reliable foundation of Russia’s independence for us, their successors, too.

                Those who crushed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War showed us an example of heroism for all ages. This is the generation of victors, and we will always look up to them.

                Glory to our heroic Armed Forces!

                For Russia! For Victory!

                Hooray!
                Tsar of all the Russias

                Comment


                • #68
                  18 May 2022



                  Russian Soldier Admits Shooting Unarmed Civilian in First War-Crime Trial in Ukraine

                  Trial offers an early test of efforts to prosecute Russian troops

                  https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian...al-11652879980


                  KYIV, Ukraine—A 21-year-old Russian tank-unit officer admitted Wednesday to fatally shooting an unarmed civilian in Ukraine’s first war-crimes trial since Russia’s invasion.

                  The admission came as Finland and Sweden formally applied for NATO membership, and as hundreds more Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant after laying down their arms and taken as prisoners to Russian-held areas of Ukraine.

                  The war-crimes trial proceedings could potentially affect prisoner exchanges. It also offers an early, high-profile test of Ukraine’s efforts to prosecute alleged crimes by Russian soldiers. Prosecutors have been racing to collect evidence from areas where Russian troops have withdrawn, including the Kyiv suburb of Bucha where hundreds of bodies have been found.

                  The tank-unit officer, Vadim Shishimarin, was accused of firing several shots from a Kalashnikov rifle at an unarmed 62-year-old man, who died on the spot a short distance from his home in the town of Chupakhivka in the early days of the war.



                  In a small courtroom crowded with TV cameras, Judge Serhiy Agafonof asked Mr. Shishimarin if he admitted to the allegations against him.

                  Mr. Shishimarin said yes. Asked if he was sure, he said he was.

                  The trial is expected to continue for several days while Ukraine presents evidence against Mr. Shishimarin. He potentially faces life in prison if the three-judge panel, led by Mr. Agafonof, finds him guilty of violating Ukraine’s laws of war.

                  Mr. Shishimarin’s attorney, public defender Victor Ovsyannikov, didn’t contradict the prosecution’s narrative of what took place but said he would question whether the shooting constituted a war crime.

                  “This case impacts our system of law,” he said to the three judges. “I want to ask you to lean only on the law, not on your emotions.”



                  Vadim Shishimarin, a Russian tank-unit officer, attended a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday.
                  .
                  Russia has denied that its soldiers have committed war crimes.

                  International interest overwhelmed the small Kyiv courthouse where the hearing took place Wednesday, with dozens of journalists from around the world pushed into an overflow room, where they watched the proceedings on a TV.

                  As prosecutors laid out the allegations against him Wednesday, Mr. Shishimarin was seated in a fiberglass witness box wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with blue sleeves, his head shaved. He spent most of the proceedings looking toward the floor.

                  Prosecutor Andrii Syniuk said that on Feb. 28, Mr. Shishimarin and other members of his regiment were on foot in Ukraine’s Sumy region, their tanks destroyed by Ukrainian fire.

                  Five of the men commandeered a car from civilians at gunpoint, Mr. Syniuk said, then drove off. As they drove, an unarmed 62-year-old man approached, and one of the other troops in the car told Mr. Shishimarin to shoot the man, the prosecutor said. Mr. Shishimarin fired several rounds from the rear of the vehicle.

                  “He shot him in the head,” Mr. Syniuk said.

                  Speaking outside court after Wednesday’s hearing, Mr. Syniuk noted that Mr. Shishimarin hadn’t been told to shoot by a commanding officer, but rather by another soldier he hadn’t met before they got in the car.

                  The prosecutor said Mr. Shishimarin and his comrades were later surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers. One was killed. The four others fled to a nearby village but surrendered to Ukrainian soldiers the following day. The judges would have to decide if the decision to surrender should lessen his penalty, Mr. Syniuk said.

                  Prosecutors also laid out the evidence they planned to present, including the cellphone the victim had been speaking on when he was killed and five rifles confiscated from the Russian soldiers in the car. The victim’s wife is scheduled to testify, as is one of the other troops who was in the car with Mr. Shishimarin.

                  The speed with which this case is moving forward has led to concern among some human-rights advocates over whether Mr. Shishimarin is in fact getting a fair trial.

                  Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International, said her organization was concerned about whether Mr. Shishimarin had time to mount a proper defense. She asked how often he had been able to meet with his lawyer and said his admission of guilt raised questions about how he had been treated in custody.

                  The trial was moving at “the speed of a traffic offense, not a murder trial—certainly not a murder in a context like this,” Ms. Mariner said. “There’s a huge need for accountability, but it has to be done right.”

                  Asked about the speed of the trial, Mr. Syniuk said that Mr. Shishimarin would be questioned as the trial moved forward, and the public would hear his answers.

                  One international adviser to Ukrainian prosecutors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was a good thing the trial was moving forward quickly, but acknowledged it was very rare for a war-crimes trial to take place while the war was going on.

                  “It needed to move quickly,” the adviser said. “The evidence on its face is very strong.”

                  After the allegations were presented, the judge asked if Mr. Shishimarin wanted to say anything else. He declined. Documents have been translated into Russian for him, and an interpreter stood just outside the defendant’s box during the hearing, often leaning in to speak to him.

                  Ukrainian prosecutors hope that many more war-crimes trials will follow Mr. Shishimarin’s. Authorities here say they are investigating more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects.

                  Last month, they filed criminal charges against 10 Russian soldiers accused of taking civilians hostage and mistreating them in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. The prosecutor general said earlier this month that about 40 suspects had been identified, but only a few were in custody.

                  Ukraine plans to adjudicate those cases in its own courts before issuing international criminal-arrest warrants.

                  Moscow has denied committing war crimes or targeting civilians.

                  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had no information about the trial. The lack of a diplomatic mission in Ukraine also curtailed Moscow’s ability to assist Mr. Shishimarin, he said.

                  “We find it impossible and unacceptable to throw around such terms,” Mr. Peskov said in reference to accusations of war crimes against Russia. “Many of the cases Ukraine is talking about are clearly fakes. The most egregious ones are staged.”

                  Last edited by Librarian; 05-20-2022, 04:27 PM.
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                  • #69
                    Two Russian Soldiers Convicted in Second Ukrainian War-Crimes Trial

                    Men were found guilty of firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas in the north of Ukraine


                    https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-rus...al-11654002069

                    ==============



                    Cpl. Oleksandr Ivanov and Pvt. Oleksandr Volodymyrovych Bobykin were each sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison.


                    KYIV, Ukraine—A Ukrainian court found two Russian soldiers guilty Tuesday of firing rockets indiscriminately toward civilian areas, in the country’s second war crimes trial since Moscow’s attempt at a full-scale invasion began in February.

                    These jewkrainian kangaroo korts sure are running wild finding ordinary Russian soldiers guilty of a fraction of ZOG war crimes -- in this case merely of being uniformed artillerymen firing rockets.

                    Cpl. Oleksandr Ivanov and Pvt. Oleksandr Volodymyrovych Bobykin were each sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison, six months short of the maximum sentence in Ukraine for violating the laws of war.

                    Although the case, which was tried in the Kharkiv region, received far less attention than Ukraine’s first war crimes trial, there were a number of notable similarities: Both trials were over in a matter of days; all the defendants confessed; and all received sentences at or near the statutory maximum.

                    Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, said the emerging pattern raises questions about the way Ukraine is pursuing justice while the war with Russia is ongoing.

                    “There’s some rising concern that Ukraine risks losing the moral high ground,” she said.

                    The jewrkaine ever had the moral high ground after killing 14,000 Donbas Russians the past eight years using artillery mainly?

                    “Why did they plead guilty?” she asked. “There will be skepticism that these individuals got the best defense.”

                    The attacks at the center of the case against Cpl. Ivanov and Pvt. Bobykin occurred on the first day of the war, early on the morning of Feb. 24, prosecutors said.

                    The soldiers’ regiment had been deployed to Belgorod, Russia, just across the border from Kharkiv. Pvt. Bobykin was the driver of the combat vehicle, equipped with a multiple rocket launcher system, and Cpl. Ivanov was the gunner.

                    At 5 a.m., their vehicle and five others in their battery fired dozens of rockets into Ukraine, according to the soldiers’ testimony. The missiles hit an electrical station, apartment buildings and a veterinary school. The soldiers then crossed into Ukraine and continued to fire, this time at Kharkiv, prosecutors said.

                    So they fired rockets into the jewkraine and hit something. That makes them war criminals.

                    After crossing the border, however, the Russian column came under attack. Cpl. Ivanov and Pvt. Bobykin’s vehicle was hit, and sent into a ditch. The two men escaped and hid in the nearby brush, according to an interview conducted by Ukrainian security services that was published on YouTube.

                    Cpl. Ivanov soon surrendered to Ukrainian troops. Pvt. Bobykin, who was wounded in the battle, hid in a nearby building for 10 days before ultimately doing the same.

                    Lawyers for the two men argued that because they had turned themselves in and cooperated with Ukrainian authorities, they should receive a lighter sentence. They also noted that the men had been following orders.

                    “The only way to get at least some social guarantees and a decent salary is to serve in the army in Russia,” Volodymyr Kovalchuk, Cpl. Ivanov’s lawyer, said during the trial.

                    In the interview with security services, both men expressed their misgivings about being part of the invasion. When they first arrived at the border, the commanders told them they wouldn’t be crossing it, they said.

                    Pvt. Bobykin said that, initially, Cpl. Ivanov refused to go.

                    “The commander spoke to me,” Cpl. Ivanov said. “We were told that there was an order.”

                    Reading the verdict on Tuesday, the presiding judge, Yevhen Anatoliyovych Bolybok, rejected those arguments. Though the soldiers had been ordered to fire the missiles, he said, they should have known that the order was illegal and refused to fire.

                    Why ZOG jewps refuse all the time to fire rockets and missiles and drones into Iraq and Afghanistan killing thousands of civilians.

                    “Ivanov and Babikin personally observed the results of their shelling in the form of destroyed buildings,” he said. “After that, they have directed four more shells to Kharkiv.”

                    In artillery it is called a "spotting round." Then if somewhat accurate it is then called a "Fire For Effect."

                    Can't have artillery unless it is directed towards a target.


                    Evidence presented during the trial included shell fragments that hit civilian buildings, which forensic teams linked to the positions the Russian battery was firing from—but not to Cpl. Ivanov and Pvt. Bobykin’s vehicle.

                    Asked why Mr. Bobykin had confessed, Valeriia Ivanova, his lawyer, said the confession was his decision and she couldn’t speak further about it without violating attorney-client privilege. A lawyer for Mr. Ivanov couldn’t be reached for comment.

                    Nazar Stetsyk, a law professor at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, said he was confident in the verdict. “All the guarantees of a fair trial were fulfilled,” he said.

                    Still, he said it was an open question why the defendants had confessed. He said he believed they may have been cooperating in hopes of getting sent back to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange.

                    “A convicted soldier is more valuable, in the legal sense, than just a prisoner without a legal confirmation of some crimes,” he said.

                    Lawyers from the prosecutor general’s office say that war criminals won’t be exchanged.

                    Among Ukrainian citizens, however, there is a widespread assumption that even those who’ve been convicted could end up back in Russia. In the first war crimes trial, the wife of the victim said she’d understand if her husband’s killer was exchanged to bring Ukrainian soldiers home.

                    Anna Mykytenko, a lawyer with Global Rights Compliance, an international law firm and foundation, said that as a lawyer, she thinks war criminals need to serve their sentences. As a citizen, she feels differently.

                    “If it’s possible to bring Ukrainian people back in exchange for these people…I think that’s a good exchange,” she said. “We have the verdict. But we also have an opportunity to bring back someone who is still alive.”


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                    • #70
                      3 Foreign Fighters in Ukraine’s Army Sentenced to Death in Russian-Held Territory

                      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/09/w...ce-russia.html

                      ==============

                      Two Britons and a Moroccan who had fought for the Ukrainian armed forces were sentenced to death Thursday by a court in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine after being accused of being mercenaries, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

                      The death sentences were the latest ominous step in a trial that has alarmed human rights advocates and Western governments, raising questions about the protections afforded to thousands of foreign-born fighters serving in Ukraine, some of whom have been taken prisoner on the battlefield.

                      Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, wrote on Twitter that the court verdict was a “sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy.” One British member of Parliament called the proceedings a “Soviet-era-style show trial.”

                      Prosecutors had accused the three men — Aiden Aslin, 28, Shaun Pinner, 48, and Brahim Saadoun — of being mercenaries and terrorists who were seeking to violently overthrow the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, one of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine that Russia has recognized.

                      But defenders of the three men said all three had immigrated to Ukraine, had made homes there and were fighting for their adopted country’s army before they were ensnared in what appeared to be a trial in which the verdict was predetermined.

                      The harsh sentences received a swift and angry rebuke from the British government. A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said that “prisoners of war shouldn’t be exploited for political purposes,” according to the BBC.

                      Legal experts said the trial appeared calculated to discourage foreign volunteers, including Americans, from joining Ukraine’s military by warning them that they could be denied the protections granted to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

                      But on Thursday, judicial officials in the Donetsk People’s Republic, where Russian-allied forces have been fighting Ukrainian troops since 2014, doubled down on their contention that the men were violent mercenaries deserving of death.

                      Prosecutors claimed that the three men were guilty of “training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities” and that they undertook their activities “for a fee.”

                      Alexander Nikulin, the chairman of the board of the Appellate Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said the men had intended to overthrow the region’s de facto government, which is allied with Moscow and which Ukraine, along with much of the rest of the world, does not regard as legitimate.

                      Mr. Nikulin said that the court had convicted the men and sentenced them to death after they had pleaded guilty to the charges of being mercenaries.

                      “When handing down the sentence, the court used not only written regulations and rules, but also the main, unshakable principle of justice,” he told reporters, according to Interfax. The men have one month to appeal.

                      At a hearing on Wednesday, the three men stood in a glass cage in a courtroom in Donetsk, the capital of the region, according to video released by the Russian government. All three were asked if they would plead guilty to the charges, and each said yes.

                      Interfax said that Mr. Pinner and Mr. Aslin had surrendered in the southern port city of Mariupol in April, while Mr. Brahim had surrendered in the eastern town of Volnovakha in March.

                      The British prime minister’s office stressed that, under the Geneva Conventions, “prisoners of war are entitled to combatant immunity and they should not be prosecuted for participation in hostilities.”

                      Robert Jenrick, a Conservative member of Parliament in Newark, Mr. Aslin’s hometown in central England, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Aslin was not a mercenary, but had been living in Ukraine and had served in its armed forces before Russia’s invasion. Mr. Aslin is entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions, Mr. Jenrick said.

                      “This disgusting Soviet-era-style show trial is the latest reminder of the depravity of Putin’s regime,” he wrote, adding: “They cannot treat British citizens like this and get away with it.”

                      Under the Geneva Conventions, prisoners of war must be treated humanely and be protected from violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity, as well as sheltered and provided with food, clothing and medical care.

                      Denis Krivosheev, an official with Amnesty International, said that the sentences were a “blatant violation of international humanitarian law.”

                      “The three were members of the Ukrainian regular forces,” he said, “and under the Geneva Conventions, as prisoners of war, they are protected from prosecution for taking part in hostilities.” The only exception, he said, is prosecutions on war crimes charges.

                      According to the BBC, Mr. Aslin moved to Ukraine in 2018 and joined its military. He is engaged to a Ukrainian woman, the broadcaster said. Mr. Pinner comes from Bedfordshire, had served in the British Army and married a Ukrainian, the BBC reported.

                      Mr. Saadoun arrived in Ukraine in 2019, learned Russian, and signed up for the Ukrainian army a year ago, a friend, Ilya Zub, said.

                      “Brahim is not a mercenary,” Mr. Zub said, adding that he had known Mr. Saadoun for more than a year. “He came to Ukraine in 2019 and decided he wanted to start a new life.”
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                      • #71
                        Ukraine is running out of ammunition as prospects dim on the battlefield

                        Hopes that Ukraine will be able to reverse Russian gains are fading in the face of superior firepower

                        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...donbas-russia/

                        SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — The euphoria that accompanied Ukraine’s unforeseen early victories against bumbling Russian troops is fading as Moscow adapts its tactics, recovers its stride and asserts its overwhelming firepower against heavily outgunned Ukrainian forces.

                        Newly promised Western weapons systems are arriving, but too slowly and in insufficient quantities to prevent incremental but inexorable Russian gains in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, which is now the focus of the fight.

                        The Ukrainians are still fighting back, but they are running out of ammunition and suffering casualties at a far higher rate than in the initial stages of the war. Around 200 Ukrainian soldiers are now being killed every day, up from 100 late last month, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky told the BBC on Friday — meaning that as many as 1,000 Ukrainians are being taken out of the fight every day, including those who are injured.

                        The Russians are still making mistakes and are also losing men and equipment, albeit at a lesser rate than in the first months of the conflict. In one sign that they are suffering equipment shortages, they have been seen on videos posted on social media hauling hundreds of mothballed, Soviet-era T-62 tanks out of storage to be sent to Ukraine.

                        But the overall trajectory of the war has unmistakably shifted away from one of unexpectedly dismal Russian failures and tilted in favor of Russia as the demonstrably stronger force.

                        Ukrainian and U.S. hopes that the new supplies of Western weaponry would enable Ukraine to regain the initiative and eventually retake the estimated 20 percent of Ukrainian territory captured by Russia since its Feb. 24 invasion are starting to look premature, said Oleksandr V. Danylyuk, an adviser to the Ukrainian government on defense and intelligence issues.

                        “The strategies and tactics of the Russians are completely different right now. They are being much more successful,” he said. “They have more resources than us and they are not in a rush.”

                        “There’s much less space for optimism right now,” he added.

                        Ukrainian forces remain resolute. In a cafe in the front line town of Slovyansk, two Ukrainian soldiers on a break from the trenches nearby recounted how they were forced to retreat from the town of Dovhenke, northwest of Slovyansk, under withering Russian artillery fire. Thirty-five of their 100-strong unit were killed in the assault, typical of the tactics Russia is using. “They destroy everything and walk in,” said one of the soldiers, Vitaliy Martsyv, 41.

                        “There is nothing there,” Andriy Tihonenko, 52, said of Dovhenke. “It’s all burned down.”

                        As troop fatalities mounted, the surviving soldiers felt “more motivated to hold our position,” Tihonenko said. To retreat after their comrades were killed defending the town, he said, would have felt like treating their deaths as insignificant.

                        But eventually, the defensive line was no longer effective, the two men said. With more than one-third of their force killed, the remaining soldiers had no choice but to pull back.

                        “Sometimes you feel down,” Tihonenko said. “But then you realize war is war — and you have to finish it.”

                        But the odds against the Ukrainians are starting to look overwhelming, said Danylyuk, the government adviser.

                        “The Russians are using long-range artillery against us, often without any response, because we don’t have the means,” he said. “They can attack from dozens of kilometers away and we can’t fire back. We know all the coordinates for all their important targets, but we don’t have the means to attack.”

                        Ukraine has now almost completely run out of ammunition for the Soviet-era weapons systems that were the mainstay of its arsenal, and the Eastern European countries that maintained the same systems have run out of surplus supplies to donate, Danylyuk said. Ukraine urgently needs to shift to longer-range and more sophisticated Western systems, but those have only recently been committed, and in insufficient quantities to match Russia’s immense firepower, he said.

                        Russia is firing as many as 50,000 artillery rounds a day into Ukrainian positions, and the Ukrainians can only hit back with around 5,000 to 6,000 rounds a day, he said. The United States has committed to deliver 220,000 rounds of ammunition — enough to match Russian firepower for around four days.


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                        The majority of the American M777 howitzer artillery guns that U.S. officials said would enable Ukraine to match Russian firepower are now in use on the battlefield, according to the Pentagon. Yet the Russians continue to advance.

                        Four of the more sophisticated and longer range HIMARS multiple-rocket launcher systems that the Ukrainians had long requested from the United States are on the way, along with three similar systems pledged by Britain. But the Ukrainians will first have to be trained how to use them, and they are still weeks away from reaching the battlefield, U.S. officials say. The Pentagon has hinted that more systems will be made available once the Ukrainians have demonstrated they can be used.

                        But the Russians started the war with about 900 of their own similar systems, and although the Ukrainians claim they have destroyed hundreds, the Russians still have hundreds left, Danylyuk said.

                        The Russians have meanwhile adapted their tactics in ways that have let them take full advantage of their firepower by remaining at a distance from Ukrainian positions, pounding them relentlessly, then taking territory once the Ukrainians have been forced to retreat.

                        The Russians are also doing a better job of combining their arms, of using close air support and deploying dismounted infantry, said Rob Lee, a former U.S. Marine now with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

                        Russian officials have claimed they are advancing more slowly than during the initial invasion to avoid civilian casualties. Instead, however, the tactic helps reduce Russian casualties while inflicting heavy losses on the civilians who live in the towns and villages being targeted, analysts say.

                        “I’m afraid of every single boom or sound,” said Irina Makagon, as she sat in her kitchen in Kostiantynivka, a town near the front line that has suffered intense bombardments. She was sitting in her kitchen earlier this week when a boom and a whistle heralded an incoming shell that crashed into the house next door, killing a young man.

                        'They're in hell': Hail of incoming Russian artillery tests Ukrainian morale

                        The Ukrainians are still fighting well and can inflict tactical pain on the Russians when the opportunity presents itself, said Dmitri Alperovitch of the Silverado Consultancy, citing Russia’s disastrous attempt late last month to cross the Siverskiy Donets river; hundreds of Russians were killed and scores of military vehicles destroyed. The Ukrainians are also conducting successful drone strikes against Russian positions and supply columns, he said.

                        Russia has not released casualty figures since March. “But when you look at what’s happening, I’d be shocked if the Russians are sustaining casualties anywhere close to what the Ukrainians are right now,” Alperovitch said.

                        Manpower is less of a problem for the Ukrainians than the shortages of ammunition and equipment, said Danylyuk, who put the number of men who have signed up to potentially fight at 6 million. But Ukraine doesn’t have the equipment, including protective gear and guns as well as artillery systems, to field all those willing to volunteer. “We would be sending them to their deaths without equipment,” he said.

                        The Russians face manpower shortages too, after the heavy losses they suffered in the earliest days of the war. Western officials put the number of Russian deaths at 15,000 to 20,000 so far, with as many as a third of the original invasion force rendered unfit for combat due to injuries, capture and equipment losses after the disasters of the first two months.

                        But Russia has regenerated its forces to a greater extent than anticipated by many military analysts, bolstering its depleted army by as many as 40,000 to 50,000 men over the past two months, by increasing the age of the reserve force, deploying new forces and refurbishing units that had been decimated, Danylyuk said.

                        For now, the Donetsk River stands in the way of significant new Russian advances. Western officials say they expect that Russian troops will soon secure full control of the town of Severedonetsk and then are likely to turn their attention to the town of Lysyshansk, on the opposite bank of the river, which would put them in full control of the region of Luhansk. After that, they can be expected to target the larger region of Donetsk that Russia has partially controlled since 2014.

                        Lysyshansk will be a tougher challenge because the Ukrainians control the high ground, and the Russians’ artillery strength is less of an advantage in close urban combat, said Konrad Muzyka, director of the Warsaw-based Rochan Consulting defense consultancy. Russia may find it difficult to sustain its recent gains for much beyond that, given the losses it has suffered so far, he said.

                        But if the Russians manage to breach the river, they could start to make rapid advances, he said.

                        “The Ukrainians are resting their defense on the Donetsk river. If Russia successfully crosses the river, my concern is that the Russians will enter Donetsk with their full might, and then the Ukrainians might be overwhelmed,” he said.

                        Last edited by Librarian; 06-10-2022, 06:20 PM.
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