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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
Number of posts: 37,895

Journal Archives

Sounds like Xi has a severe case of buyer's remorse

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the EU not to "tie the whole world" to the crisis in Ukraine and warned it could take decades to repair the economic damage.

In a virtual summit with European Union leaders on Friday, Xi told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel that the crisis must be "properly handled".

"Many people are very worried that the current situation may destroy the achievements of decades of international economic cooperation. If the situation continues to deteriorate, it is estimated that it may take years, or even decades, to recover afterwards," Xi said, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

…The EU said later that it urged Beijing not to "interfere" with sanctions on Russia and while the two sides agreed on working to end the conflict, they had expressed "opposing views" on the situation. Xi warned against a chaotic response that would "tie the whole world to the crisis [and means] people of all countries will pay a heavy price".

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat Apr 2, 2022, 04:23 PM (16 replies)

Bono - Fulbright Prize Laureate Address

Links Jan. 6 and Ukraine: “How long might our freedom last?”

He’s nonetheless optimistic.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 1, 2022, 05:08 PM (1 replies)

Ukraine accuses China of massive pre-invasion cyberattack

China staged a huge cyberattack on Ukraine’s military and nuclear facilities in the build-up to Russia’s invasion, according to intelligence memos obtained by The Times.

More than 600 websites belonging to the defence ministry in Kyiv and other institutions suffered thousands of hacking attempts which were co-ordinated by the Chinese government, according to Ukraine’s security service, the SBU. In an apparent sign of complicity in the invasion, the spy agency revealed that Chinese attacks started before the end of the Winter Olympics and peaked on February 23, the day before Russian troops and tanks crossed the border.

The SBU said China’s attacks sought to infiltrate targets ranging from border defence forces to the national bank and railway authority. They were designed to steal data and explore ways to shut down or disrupt vital defence and civilian infrastructure. Russia also tried to cripple Ukraine’s computer networks and compromise government websites before invading, but the SBU said Chinese attacks could be distinguished by the trademark tools and methods of the cyberwarfare unit of the People’s Liberation Army.

…US intelligence sources indicated that the information about a Chinese cyberattack on Ukrainian government facilities prior to the Russian invasion was accurate. The Chinese embassy did not respond to a request for comment.


Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 1, 2022, 01:02 PM (2 replies)

Russia diplomat: "There is no war" in Ukraine - extended interview

Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 1, 2022, 06:47 AM (5 replies)

Born under Putin, died for Putin

David Arutyunyan was born in March 2003 in Kyakhta, near Russia’s border with Mongolia. He was conscripted to the army and served in Pskov, the headquarters of the elite paratroopers.

In March 2022 in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the 18-year-old’s convoy was hit by artillery fire and he died as he pulled a wounded comrade from their armoured vehicle. Arutyunyan was hit by shrapnel as he carried his friend to safety, according to official Russian reports. He staggered on and got the other soldier to shelter but succumbed to his wounds. He was awarded the Order of Courage posthumously.

The youngest Russian soldier to be publicly identified as having been killed in Ukraine, Arutyunyan’s death has come to symbolise President Putin’s faltering invasion and how it is founded on young, poorly trained conscripts. Growing numbers of Russian troops — both soldiers and commanders — are refusing to fight.

…As the war grinds on, the Ukrainians claim that the psychological state of the Russian troops and their level of motivation appears to be deteriorating. In its latest update published today, the armed forces revealed that two platoon commanders were discharged from their positions after refusing to carry out orders. It said the commanders from the 60th Separate Motorised Infantry Brigade of the 5th Combined Arms Army of the eastern military district were relieved due to “non-fulfilment of the order to conduct the hostilities”.

More at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dc7e72e4-b0f4-11ec-8570-b43daaf58ea1?shareToken=8034f952f6d363056c68fe93f055eebe
Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu Mar 31, 2022, 05:40 PM (5 replies)

"What about the Nazis then? Are we no longer fighting them?"

Putin wound up his people with lies about Ukraine. He raised the stakes based on bullshit, now he’s struggling to find a way out.

The Russian leader has still not made a final decision on what he’s going to do next, and plenty of those close to him are reportedly pressuring him to go full steam ahead with the onslaught against Ukraine.

But the presidential administration is said to be concerned about how “a possible truce with Ukraine will hit Putin’s [approval] ratings.”

“The citizens were riled up by propaganda. Suppose a decision is made to stop at the territory of the Donbas. What about the Nazis then? Are we no longer fighting them? This word has been hammered into people so much that I can’t imagine how one can stop in Donbas without losing approval ratings,” one source told Meduza.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu Mar 31, 2022, 04:04 PM (13 replies)

Chernobyl employees: RU soldiers had no idea what the plant was and call their behavior 'suicidal'

Weeks after Russian soldiers took over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, new reports reveal that the invading forces have engaged in reckless behavior at the facility beyond their initial shelling of it.

…Two of these employees have reportedly witnessed instances of rash and dangerous conduct by the Russians, according to Reuters, with one source calling their behavior “suicidal.” Some soldiers had reportedly never heard about the disaster that some historians believe signaled the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union.

…Shortly after the occupation started, Ukrainian officials warned that radiation levels at Chernobyl were rising due to a large number of heavy military machines disturbing the topsoil around the area. These reports have now been confirmed by employees working at Chernobyl around the time of the invasion who observed “a big convoy of military vehicles” driving straight through zones so contaminated with radiation that even trained safety workers at Chernobyl are not allowed to venture there.

…Russian armored vehicles without radiation protection were seen driving through an area called the “Red Forest,” an area of woods four square miles in size surrounding the power plant. The area absorbed so much radiation from the Chernobyl explosion that its trees turned a gingery brown color, giving the forest its nickname. It is considered one of the world’s most radioactive places. The employees said that the military vehicles kicked up a “big column of dust,” which may be what sent radiation levels soaring in the area following the invasion. The workers believed that breathing in that much radioactive dust could cause radiation poisoning, which can quickly turn lethal.

More at https://fortune.com/2022/03/29/chernobyl-ukraine-russian-soldiers-dangerous-radiation/

Also, see https://www.democraticunderground.com/100216545968
Posted by BeyondGeography | Wed Mar 30, 2022, 06:11 PM (7 replies)

I lost my mother and my toes but I kept running


Bullets were still ripping into the car when Diana Yemelyanova rolled out and crawled to the grassy kerb. She saw her mother, Irina, hit in the stomach. “I wanted to bandage mum, so I lifted her jacket”, Yemelyanova, 20, told The Times. “And her whole side was torn up, her guts fell out. There was nothing to bandage.”

They tried to crawl to safety under a hail of fire, but Irina couldn’t make it. Reaching sparse cover by the side of the road, the student called back to her mother. “I love you very, very much,” Irina gasped in reply. Then she fell silent.

Yemelyanova’s husband, Oleksandr, grabbed his wife’s hand and dragged her away. Back in the car, his 15-year-old brother was lying motionless, blood running from his mouth and a fist-sized hole in his back. The family had run into three Russian tanks as they tried on March 9 to escape their home town of Chernihiv, a city of 285,000 people besieged by Kremlin forces since the start of the invasion more than a month ago. As one tank bore down on their shot-up vehicle, Yemelyanova and her husband had to sprint across an open field to escape. “I still don’t know how we broke away from them,” she said. “We must have been helped by areas of bog, some were waist-deep.”

Reaching the next field, she looked down at her foot and found she was missing two toes. Somehow, she kept going for three kilometres. “I was in shock, I don’t know how else to describe it.” They ran to the nearest Ukrainian position. “I didn’t feel the pain, it was like a dream. Only when I realised we were safe, it all hit me. It’s a catastrophe. I didn’t know and I still don’t know how to live without my mama”

… “Chernihiv was beautiful,” she said of her home town, which is more than 1,300 years old. Elaborate golden-domed monasteries and churches with green slate roofs, echoing with the song of Orthodox prayer, used to bring in thousands of tourists every year. “It’s a historic city, we have more than 15 churches and historical monuments.” Now it is being levelled. “Forty per cent of our houses have already been reduced to dust.”

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Mar 28, 2022, 09:57 PM (14 replies)

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Kondrashin)

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun Mar 27, 2022, 02:13 PM (0 replies)

Send in the swarm

The recent announcement that United States will send switchblade drones to Ukraine reflects the changing character of war and the importance of swarming. Swarming involves saturating a target with multiple small strikes as opposed to one decisive blow. By expanding arms transfers to include more capable swarming systems like the Israeli loitering munitions seen in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as new U.S. Marine capabilities like the Hero-120, the West can help Kyiv break the Russian sieges currently holding Ukrainian cities hostage.

Ukraine has already adapted tactical-level swarms to slow Russia’s advance. Similar to Finnish motti tactics, dispersed ambush teams attack Russian lines of communication to compound Moscow’s logistical challenges. In multiple instances, the Ukrainian armed forces have used drones to target artillery raids against Russian-seized airbases in Ukraine, including destroying as many as 30 vehicles and helicopters in Kherson.

Expanding the range and types of loitering munitions available to Ukraine will help them build on this success. The greatest threat to Ukraine right now is the ability of Russia to siege Ukrainian cities. The closer the Russian army gets to Kyiv, the more artillery and missile barrages it can fire on urban areas, putting pressure on Ukraine’s leaders to accept Russian demands. While surface-to-air missile transfers can help stop Russian aircraft and cruise missiles, they cannot stop artillery strikes. The same goes for anti-tank guided missiles, which perform the best ambushing convoys.

While the concept of swarming is as old as horse archers from ancient history, low-cost drones and persistent surveillance networks provide new technical means to the tactic. The result is an approach called mosaic that seeks to overwhelm adversaries short of a single, decisive battle.

More at https://www.csis.org/analysis/send-swarm
Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun Mar 27, 2022, 11:05 AM (2 replies)
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