2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine (Part 2)

Isn’t rasputitsa referring only to early spring, not late autumn? At least the equivalent word in Polish does, and both words refer directly to melting snow and ice.

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The Russian term refers to both spring and autumn mud season.

ETA: the wise military move for Ukraine during the current mud season is to hold back and relentlessly pound the janky Russian lines across the river with artillery, with the occasional raid to keep everyone on their toes. It will be extra miserable for the Russian mobiks, but maybe the hit to morale it creates will be enough to inspire desertions or mutinies before the ground hardens in the winter.

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Thanks! They are so similar that I really didn’t expect it.

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1h ago17.40 GMT

Over 15,000 people missing during Ukraine war - ICMP

More than 15,000 people have gone missing during the war in Ukraine, an official at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has said.

Reuters reports:

The Hague-based organisation, created in the wake of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, opened an office in Kyiv in July to help Ukraine to document and track down missing people.

The ICMP’s programme director for Europe, Matthew Holliday, said it was unclear how many people had been forcibly transferred, were being held in detention in Russia, were alive and separated from their family members, or had died and had been buried in makeshift graves.

The process of investigating the missing in Ukraine will last years even after fighting stops, Holliday told Reuters in an interview. The 15,000 figure is conservative when considering that in the port city of Mariupol alone authorities estimate as many as 25,000 people are either dead or missing.

He said:

The numbers are huge and the challenges that Ukraine faces are vast. Besides which they’re fighting an ongoing war as well against the Russian Federation.

What is key now is setting in place all the correct measures to ensure that as many persons can be identified.

The vast majority of missing persons, those deceased, are victims of war crimes, and the perpetrators need to be held responsible.

By storing DNA samples on a database and seeking matches with relatives, the ICMP accounted for more than 27,000 out of 40,000 persons reported missing during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

In Kyiv, the ICMP has started to collect DNA samples and is ramping up capacity for a multi-year process that will also help prosecutors build war crimes cases.

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And here’s one who did take up arms. Fuck.

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5h ago07.00 GMT

Kherson civilians flee Russian shelling

Ukrainians have streamed out of Kherson to flee Russian shelling, just weeks after celebrating Ukraine’s recapture of the southern city.

Associated Press reported that a line of trucks, vans and cars – some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings – stretched a kilometre or more on the outskirts of Kherson on Saturday.

Days of intensive shelling by Russian forces prompted a bittersweet exodus: many civilians were happy that their city had been won back but lamented that they couldn’t stay.

“It is sad that we are leaving our home,” said Yevhen Yankov, as a van he was in inched forward.

Now we are free, but we have to leave, because there is shelling, and there are dead among the population.

Poking her head out from the back, Svitlana Romanivna added:

We went through real hell. Our neighborhood was burning, it was a nightmare. Everything was in flames.

Emilie Fourrey, emergency project coordinator for aid group Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine, said an evacuation of 400 patients of Kherson’s psychiatric hospital, which is situated near both an electrical plant and the frontline, had begun on Thursday and was set to continue in the coming days.

Russia has ratcheted up its attacks on critical infrastructure after suffering battlefield setbacks. A prominent Russian nationalist said Saturday that the Russian military didn’t have enough doctors – a rare public admission of problems within the military.

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The thing about the Russians now shelling Kherson is that is was sadly predictable, and everyone expected it. The Ukrainian government most of all, that’s why they are so quick to evacuate because they had planned in advance, they know how Russians think by now: if they can’t have it, then nobody can. The Russians hope to hide on the other bank of the Dnieper and use artillery to make everyone else miserable.

It’s a loser’s mentality, the mentality of a bully who knows he has been beaten but cannot accept that the nerd he was picking on just handed his ass to him, so he stews, looks for ways to “get even”.

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The phrase “the show must go on” has never felt so un-flippant.

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A little reminder to the Russians that they’re the baddies this time 'round.

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Fair weather friends?

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