“After seven days sleeping in a Kyiv metro station, we decided to get out,” Marina Pavlova said, explaining that her 13-year-old son, Matvey, had medical issues. She added: “We are Russian speakers. We don’t need Putin to ‘save us’. We have friends like us from Kharkiv. They have vowed to only speak Ukrainian from now on because of what he has done.”
The tourist cafes are behind barricades. The grand opera house is surrounded by a wall of sandbags. Tank traps block the approaches to the legendary Potemkin steps. Nobody in Odesa can quite believe that Vladimir Putin would launch an assault on this city, a place bound to Russia by family, literary and cultural ties, a place of almost mythical resonance for many Russians.
But then, Putin’s armed forces have done lots of things in recent days that seemed unthinkable just two weeks ago.
„ “the involvement of these states in an armed conflict.”
Don’t they mean “special operation”?
Hey, how about if we help Russia in Ukraine? Like offering “We will totally send in troops into all the territory you don’t control yet, then bring in UN-approved inspectors and help Ukraine people with de-nazification, I think we still have the protocols from back when we did that in Germany.”
On Monday, following reports of the combat death of Russian General-major Vitaly Gerasimov near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Christo Grozev, the executive director of investigative journalism and intelligence group Bellingcat, reported that Russian forces relaying the news back to their superiors were forced to use an insecure phone line with a local sim card — that was promptly intercepted.
According to Grozev, Russian forces had no choice but to use the insecure line because Era — the highly secure cryptophone system implemented last year by the Russian Ministry of Defense which is supposedly guaranteed to work “in all conditions” — is down. And the reason the system is down is that Russian forces on the front destroyed all of the nearby 3G and 4G cell towers required for the system to establish a connection.