2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine (Part 2)

The HIMARS system can shoot a wide array of rockets. Some can go up to 300 miles and are precision guided. I wonder what they’re getting for missiles to go with the systems?

ETA. Found the earlier agreement. The M31. Basically, i think, a standard warhead explosive with a 70km range.

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Well, “Germany enters phase 2 of emergency gas plan as Russia slows supply”.

Game Of Thrones GIF

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The value of ruble is fictional right now. Russia is pulling all the shenanigans to manipulate their currency, and it’s increasingly useless in buying anything from abroad, due to sanctions.

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With good reason. Russia has been largely bluffing this whole time.

Like I said before, there needs to be a constant trickle to keep the balance tilted in Ukraine’s favor. They can’t stop western support. It is possible they might get spooked to use a nuke in Ukraine, but if the pressure is constant and gradual, then they don’t have a specific event to counter against. Which is why NATO can’t get directly involved, but can steadily ramp up weapons they send over to turn the tide.

There was a plane from South America that had a failed landing gear and skidded off the runway and caught fire just the other day in the US. Early reports was that it was a very old plane that had been in desert storage before all this, and bad maintenance is suspected as the cause. And they aren’t even in a war where they can’t get parts in.

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Fighting entering ‘fearsome climax’ in key regions, says Ukraine

Ukraine to begin first trial of Russian soldier charged with rape

‘Ukraine’s future is in the EU’: Zelenskiy welcomes granting of candidate status

Russian navy ordered to lay mines at Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, says US

‘I fear Bulgaria will become a soft state’: Kiril Petkov on threat of Russia

Eurovision organisers double down that Ukraine cannot safely host 2023 contest

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The West has done surprisingly well in helping Ukraine stand up to Putin so far. The main issues now are preventing him from using grain as a weapon against Africa and convincing China and India to stop buying Russian oil.

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“When you talk to leaders outside Europe and the alliance at the moment then you will realise their perception of the [Ukraine] war is completely different from ours. They might say: ‘Yes, we are not OK with a country invading another.’ But and then comes the big but: ‘It is your sanctions that drive up food prices, energy prices and have a devastating effect on our population.’”

From the Guardian liveblog:

Ukraine is running out of shells for the majority of its artillery in part because of an eight-year-long clandestine Russian campaign of bullying and sabotage, according to Ukrainian experts.

Russia is firing more than 60,000 shells per day, which is 10 times more than the Ukrainians, according to Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maylar. Most of Ukraine’s artillery relies on the same 122mm- and 152mm-calibre rounds that Russia uses, but outside of Russia very little supply exists, the Washington Post reports.

Ukraine’s shortage of shells is in large part because Russia spent years targeting Ukrainian and other eastern European ammunition storage facilities and suppliers before launching its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the paper reports.

A “shadow war” is taking place for the limited number of 152mm shells on the global market, the paper said. According to an arms broker, officials in an eastern European country were unable to purchase artillery rounds because Russians had warned them that they would “kill them if they sold anything to the Ukrainians”.

Countries that still have stocks of 152mm rounds are largely ex-Soviet nations and some African and Middle Eastern countries, many of which are hesitant to sell to Ukraine because of their close ties with Russia.

In some cases, Ukraine thought it had made a deal to buy these shells but then a Russian-backed buyer would swoop in at the last minute and aggressive outbid, the arms broker said.

Malyar told the paper that “the Russians are working very hard to ensure that we can’t sign contracts for this — and then if we sign a contract, to prevent us from getting the shells delivered here”.

According to military analysts, Russia has long known that in a drawn-out war of attrition against Ukraine, Kyiv would risk running out of ammunition. A former Ukrainian defence minister, Andriy Zagorodnyuk, said there were “constant discussions that we need to produce the ammunition ourselves”.

Ukrainian officials suspect Russian and separatist saboteurs as well as Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, were engaged in a campaign across Europe and inside Ukraine to destroy arms depots and suppress the supply of munitions to Ukraine, the paper reports.

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From what I’m seeing, the grain situation will be worked around, albeit not without delays or economic pain for everyone. Europe will also likely push through one bad winter as the source of oil and LNG is (one hopes permanently) re-configured, with the understanding that it’s better than letting Putin run wild.

What ending this war ASAP really comes down to is cutting off fossil-fuel revenues that Russia is receiving from China and India. I don’t see the West gaining any traction with the former, but there might be some carrot-and-stick manoeuvring to be done with the latter.

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(Oneboxes are working again but the images are broken.)

Guardian liveblog:

Mass kidnappings have been occurring in Melitopol, said the mayor of the southeastern Ukrainian city.

“More than 500 people have been abducted in the last four months,” Ivan Fedrov said, adding that mass kidnappings have resumed in the Russian-occupied territory last week.

https://twitter.com/KyivIndependent/status/1540379558955941890

Fedorov also said that Russian forces have been extracting harvest grain from the city’s silos.

“As for the latest crops, the rucists announce the following harvesting criteria: they either take 50% or 70% of the crops. They also announce the price at which they are willing to buy – less than $80 per tonne. This is less than the actual cost price. Meanwhile, only one person was authorized by the occupiers to run such negotiations and buy out the crops,” he said.

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The European Council on Friday has approved 9 billion euros of financial aid to Ukraine.

In a statement made by Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Council summit in Brussels, he said, “There is a war in Ukraine, and there is nothing to pay nurses, teachers, police, border guards, or many other public services.”

Morawiecki added that European countries such as his are continuing to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

“The advantage [of Russia] in artillery, according to the allies and our own sources is 1:8, 1:10. How difficult it is to fight such an overwhelming enemy force. That is why Poland, as well as the United States, Great Britain, and the Baltic States, are doing everything possible to help Ukraine get the weapons,” he said.

€9bn goes a fair way. But until that artillery imbalance is corrected this is going to continue to go Russia’s way.

(@GagHalfrunt I did a Guardian onebox in another thread today and the image was in the preview and I thought - but could be wrong - it was in my posted comment until I closed the tab and when I came back to the thread a few minutes later the image was gone. Go figure. Are you seeing images in your comment preview?)

And the fallout continues to spread…

Over 3,000 dolphins in the Black Sea have died as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian scientists working in the “Tuzlovsky Lymans” reserve, a national nature park.

NEXTA reports that the “work of sonar and explosions prevent them from finding food” and that dead dolphins have been increasingly found on the coasts of Bulgaria and Romania, in addition to Ukraine.

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The image appears in the preview. When I post the comment the image appears for a moment before being replaced by the “This image is broken” graphic.

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Right - must be the same thing that happened to me. Seems like perhaps Discourse is rejecting the image, if it is there in the preview (but what do I know?)
Still, half a one-box is better than none.

ETA I’ve seen WaPo oneboxes today with broken images. Also indicates a Discourse issue.

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Oooopsies!

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The dreaded Russian S-400 “Boomerang” missile defence system.

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What happens when you accidentally copy-paste your own coordinates into the field for “target coordinates”

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OK, so not NATO. Some sort of “Coalition of the Willing to Boot Russia Out of Ukraine” thing. I’d start one, but I don’t even have a gun.

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But given what we’ve seen of Russia’s military, they’re not doing well on one front; I doubt they can do better on multiple fronts.

As for their nukes, unless they’re in better shape than the rest of their military, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them didn’t launch or reach their target.

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Well, that was the other reason not to assimilate all those Eastern European countries into NATO—their membership now means they’re not available to fight Russia in a situation like this

It didn’t occur to anybody that maybe Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics could beat Russia all by themselves, so roping them into this world-war doomsday club would just tie everyone’s hands

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“accidentally”

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