Ukraine and Only Ukraine. If it isn't about Ukraine then fuck off

Bugsy

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There's no such thing as "minor damage" to an aircraft. It's not like you can fly it while you are waiting for the body shop to fix the elevators.
I agree that there are some major failures that make a plane not safe to fly. But there may be some wiggle room there.

While slightly off topic, when I was in the Navy the helicopter pilots carried onboard during peacetime were extremely risk averse and strictly followed every flight safety rule. We used to tease them about not being able to fly because a lightbulb wasn't working properly. The pilots always seemed to have lots of time on their hands because they said the aircraft were unsafe to fly.

On active duty in the Gulf War, those guys soon figured out their vital role in supporting operations. Things that would have kept them grounded previously suddenly became minor issues to be worked around.

When the chips are down, I would not underestimate the willingness of some airmen (and air women) to fly aircraft that are not 100% ready to fly. My guess (and it is a guess) is that the Ukrainians are doing their absolute best to make the most of what they have. I salute their bravery.
 

hobie1616

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From WaPo...

1. Key developments​

  • “These were Ukrainian drones — very successful, very effective,” the senior Ukrainian official said of the strikes, which signal a potentially serious security lapse by Russia. The official added that Moscow has “sowed the seeds of anger, and they’ll reap the whirlwind.” He said he could not comment on whether the drones were launched from Ukrainian territory or whether special forces were involved.
  • Russia appears to have run out of Iranian drones, and there is no sign that fresh supplies are on the way, a Western official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, said Tuesday. Russia has not used Iranian drones in its attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure since mid-November, and there is also no indication that a proposed deal to manufacture the drones in Russia is near completion, the official said. The slow-moving, noisy drones have in any case proved increasingly ineffective as Ukrainian air defenses have adapted, Western and Ukrainian officials say. Intelligence officials believe Russia has used around 400 Iranian drones since the first supplies arrived last summer, and Ukraine claims it has managed to shoot the majority of them down.

2. Battleground updates​

  • The Monday drone strikes on Russian military bases angered pro-Moscow military bloggers, who criticized officials for failing to anticipate and prevent the attacks, according to the Institute for the Study of War. “Several prominent Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups must have launched the strike against the Engels-2 air base from inside Russian territory,” the Washington-based think tank reported.
  • Russia appears to be capable of producing guided missiles despite heavy sanctions, weapons analysts say. Conflict Armament Research, an investigative organization based in Britain, examined two cruise missiles that struck Kyiv last month and concluded that they were produced in recent months, even after export controls prohibited vital components from reaching Russia. The group said Russia could be producing the weapons using a supply workaround or stockpiled components from the United States and Europe.

3. Global impact​

 

hobie1616

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Some of the Kremlin’s most blatant falsehoods about the war aimed at undercutting US aid for Ukraine have been promoted by major figures on the American right, from Holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes to ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and Fox News star Tucker Carlson, whose audience of millions is deemed especially helpful to Russian objectives.

On a more political track, House Republican Freedom Caucus members such as Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Scott Perry – who in May voted with 54 other Republican members against a $40bn aid package for Ukraine, and have raised other concerns about the war – have proved useful, though perhaps unwitting, Kremlin allies at times.

Pro-Moscow video materials from the network RT (formerly Russia Today), which early this year shuttered its US operations, have been featured on Rumble, a video sharing platform popular with conservatives that last year received major financing from a venture capital firm co-founded by recently elected Republican Ohio senator JD Vance and backed by billionaire Peter Thiel.

Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who looks poised to become speaker in January, threatened pre-election that if the GOP won the majority, it wouldn’t back a “blank check” for Ukraine.

There are signs that the conservative wing of the Republican party and its media allies are already ratcheting up their criticism of US backing for Ukraine. For instance, Perry, the chair of the rightwing Freedom Caucus, in October floated the idea of Republicans using their anticipated control of the House to investigate the Biden administration’s efforts and policies involving Ukraine-Russia peace talks.

Moscow’s political friends on the far right have also become more vocal in pushing falsehoods and have hosted some Freedom Caucus members to showcase their influence.

Fuentes infamously dined with Trump at Mar-a-Lago last month despite his long record of cozying up to Russian president Vladimir Putin and his antisemitic and white supremacist remarks. Back in March, Fuentes said on his podcast: “We continue to support czar Putin in the war effort.” Fuentes also falsely claimed the Russian war in Ukraine was “not aggression” and its goals were “not unreasonable”, repeating the Kremlin line that Moscow is trying to denazify Ukraine.

In a similar, albeit somewhat less inflammatory vein, Carlson’s pro-Moscow spin and distortions about the war have been palpable since the start and seem to have increased in recent months. Russian media often rebroadcasts the Fox News host’s comments and praises Carlson. “We’ve entered a new phase, one in which the United States is directly at war with the largest nuclear power in the world,” Carlson with considerable hyperbolic license warned his audience in late September.


Disinformation experts note that in the run-up to the US midterm elections, conservative media stars such as Carlson, as well as Greene and other far-right members of Congress, became more vocal about blocking Ukraine assistance, and calling for audits of American assistance.

“Marjorie Taylor Green’s introduction of a resolution to audit aid to Ukraine is entirely unsurprising given the pervasively negative messaging about Ukraine coming from the right flank of the GOP over the past three months,” Bret Schafer, a senior fellow with the Alliance for Securing Democracy, said.

Prior to the 8 November elections, he noted that “of the 100 most retweeted tweets about Ukraine posted by GOP candidates for the House since August, roughly 90% opposed continued support for Ukraine. Though much of that messaging plays to simple pocketbook concerns – essentially saying, ‘Why are we supporting Ukraine when Americans are struggling to pay their bills?’ – there is also a strain of anti-Ukrainian disinformation that colors some of their commentary.”

Schafer added that “although most members of Congress support Ukraine, the loudest members do not, and their voices are dominating online spaces”.


John Sipher, who served in the CIA’s national clandestine services for 28 years with a stint leading its Russia operations, said that Putin is using a playbook that he honed during his long career with the KGB to influence policy and Russian opinion.

“I think Putin’s weakness is that he is not a strategic thinker but reverts to what he knows – using covert means to influence and undermine others,” Sipher said. “He cannot win on the battlefield so he uses threats and intimidations to influence and scare western leaders into backing down or pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table.”

Sipher noted that historically Putin “has weaponized energy, information, refugees, food and nuclear threats to get his way. I think his nuclear threats are just a means to sow unease and dissension among supporters of Ukraine, and suspect that the discussion of a ‘dirty bomb’ is meant to signal to his domestic audience that Ukraine is a real threat, and the population should support Putin’s tough measures.”

In the US the audiences receiving pro-Putin messages have been boosted by Rumble, the video sharing platform, which has featured RT content including an interview with two Americans captured in Ukraine who were badly beaten by Russians and later released, as the New York Times last month reported.

One of the two American men in the video clip told his interviewer while he was in custody that he had been deceived to fight in Ukraine by “propaganda from the west” that reported that Russians soldiers were “indiscriminately killing civilians”.

“Alt-tech platforms such as Rumble are actively peddling the anti-Ukraine talking points of their heavy users, many of whom have been deplatformed elsewhere,” Squire said. “A simple search for ‘Ukraine’ in Rumble today shows that the top search results are for a Steve Bannon video where he promotes Marjorie Taylor Greene’s demands for an audit of Ukrainian relief funds, and junk news site Post Millennial, which is using Rumble to promote clips from a similar story from Tucker Carlson.”

But for overall influence with American audiences, veteran Russia experts say Carlson’s big Fox megaphone still dwarfs other propaganda tools favorable to Moscow.

“The audience for Fox News commentators like Tucker Carlson, who frequently spreads pro-Russian narratives, is obviously orders of magnitude bigger than that of new niche players like Rumble that often carry Russian disinformation,” said Andrew Weiss, a vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Such platforms are far more impactful than the more sneaky techniques that the Russian propaganda apparatus employs these days.”
 

spankoka

Super Anarchist
Russians can always buy key components like circuit boards and send them out in diplomatic bags regardless of sanctions. North Korean spy boats abandoned in Japanese waters inevitably have Japanese electronics onboard-and those nice Yamaha outboards. This is because shopping is the primary mission of the North Korean embassy in Tokyo.
 

Grog

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A very interesting interview with Fiona Hill. Smart lady.

It’s been nearly eight months since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops and tanks over the border into Ukraine, and a lot has changed in that time. Ukraine has shown itself to be a far more robust military force than pretty much anyone predicted. Talk has changed from wondering how long Ukraine could hold out to how much territory it can retake — and to when and how the war will end.
But it’s still hard to imagine how Putin’s war on Ukraine will conclude. Does Putin even have an endgame? If he really wants to control Ukrainian territory, why does he seem so bent on destroying it?

To get insights into these questions, I reached out to Fiona Hill, one of America’s most clear-eyed observers of Russia and Putin, who served as an adviser to former President Donald Trump and gained fame for her testimony in his first impeachment trial. In the early days of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Hill warned in an interview with POLITICO that what Putin was trying to do was not only seize Ukraine but destroy the current world order. And she recognized from the start that Putin would use the threat of nuclear conflict to try to get his way.


If any of you haven't read this, especially the second interview linked obove, do it now. It really is worth the time.

Because , quote, "Time is not on our side".

.
 

Ishmael

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If any of you haven't read this, especially the second interview linked obove, do it now. It really is worth the time.

Because , quote, "Time is not on our side".

.

 

Ishmael

53,922
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Fuctifino
When discussing the war in Ukraine, as with any other issue, it's important to recognize that at some point Tom will mention His Precious battlefield .22, so please thank him for bringing that into a discussion yet again.
Is he still whining about that? JFC
 
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hobie1616

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Drone attacks on Russian air bases — far from the front lines in the Ukraine war — could be viewed by Moscow as the most glaring force protection failure since the invasion of Ukraine was launched in late February, the British Ministry of Defense said.

 

Burning Man

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When discussing the war in Ukraine, as with any other issue, it's important to recognize that at some point Tom will mention His Precious battlefield .22, so please thank him for bringing that into a discussion yet again.
I long for the days when the Mods turned .22 into dogballs. Whoever that moderator was that did that - he was a fucking artist!

And damn him to hell for undoing it.
 

LeoV

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The surprise attack on enemy airfields will likely cause Russia to rethink and even pull air defense systems from Ukraine to protect their bases. It also shows how weak those protections are.
The idea to contain the war in Ukraine only is proven false. Belgorod area is now building deeper defence systems, and organizing volunteer defence forces. Nice for patriotism and propaganda, but a drain on Russia too.
 

LeoV

Super Anarchist
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The Netherlands
Conclusion after latest missile attack and a drone attack.
Ukraine is capable of destroying a very high number of them.
Russian stocks are limited. When is their limit reached, they must keep some for defence.
Still they can do a lot of damage.
 

phill_nz

Super Anarchist
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internet atm
life gets very embarrassing when you do this huge escalation
and no one seems to notice it much
you sort of have to slink away a bit and pretend it never happened
 

LeoV

Super Anarchist
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The Netherlands
Yep, the reaction on the attacks on airfields is very muted in Russia.
Some mill bloggers angry, some papers called it an humiliation. But there is not much Russia can do. They exhausted all options bar the unspeakable one.

This is a big deal. Ukraine uses a cheap drone to penetrate (thought to be impossible for decades) Russian airspace from over 600 Km away to damage a multi-million dollar Russian (Tu-22M3) bomber at one of the most important airbases. Near Moscow. Kind off.
 

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