It's More Than Sabre Rattling Now

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  • Alan Cresswell Alan Cresswell Admin, 8th Day Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I see no reason why the Ukrainian military would deliberately use any form of munition against their own people, much less cluster bombs. Though, cluster munitions will create additional problems after the conflict, to clear them up before areas could be returned to agricultural use (though, given the number of mines, other unexploded ordinance, and cluster munitions fired by Russian forces the extra work to make areas safe might not be that much).

    And how many unexploded WWII munitions are they still finding throughout Europe--and the Pacific islands, for that matter?
    The question is, given that a small proportion of all munitions fail to detonate, will the use of cluster munitions significantly increase the number of mines and unexploded shells that will need to be cleared? If they don't use cluster munitions then they will need to fire other shells, a few of which will remain unexploded. A legacy of mines and unexploded munitions is inevitable, does including bomblets from cluster munitions make that significantly worse?
  • I think the cluster-bombs issue has more to do with perception.

    The UK and some other countries oppose their deployment. The US and Russia have no such qualms.

    Does Ukraine want to be 'seen' using munitions that some Western nations disapprove of?

    It's essentially a moral issue.

    As for unexploded mines and shells for generations to come, that's going to be a problem even if some kind of negotiated settlement could be reached tomorrow.

    The Russians seem to be preparing to sit things out until cracks begin to appear in Western support for the Ukraine. 'The West' is not monolithic and Russia knows that.

    I don't foresee imminent Russian defeat nor imminent Russian victory. I think it will simply grind on and horribly on until they are all exhausted and reach some kind of uneasy settlement. In the meantime, more death, more maiming more mines and mutilation, more munitions and more instability.

  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Morality is mainly a matter of taste. Ukraine is on hard rations. Trump's deal could be better for Ukraine if Putin doesn't take it.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    And here we are again, under the long shadow of the mushroom cloud.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Morality is mainly a matter of taste. Ukraine is on hard rations. Trump's deal could be better for Ukraine if Putin doesn't take it.

    If Putin doesn't take what?
    (I'm not trying to make a point here, just wanting to understand)
  • HarryCHHarryCH Shipmate
    I keep remembering new stories and photographs from early in the war which even then demonstrated the ineptitude of at least some of the Russian army: a Ukrainian farmer towing a Russian tank behind his tractor and a report that Gypsies stole a Russian tank. I suspect there are more such reports.
  • HarryCH wrote: »
    I keep remembering new stories and photographs from early in the war which even then demonstrated the ineptitude of at least some of the Russian army: a Ukrainian farmer towing a Russian tank behind his tractor and a report that Gypsies stole a Russian tank. I suspect there are more such reports.

    Yep, Ukrainian farmers are still stealing Russian tanks and other equipment. Didn't you know Ukrainian farmers now have the fifth largest army in the world? (Ukrainian joke)

  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Merry Vole wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Morality is mainly a matter of taste. Ukraine is on hard rations. Trump's deal could be better for Ukraine if Putin doesn't take it.

    If Putin doesn't take what?
    (I'm not trying to make a point here, just wanting to understand)

    Trump's 24 hour only offer on 21/01/25. Do a deal or we really arm Ukraine.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited August 2023
    How low can it go?

    Dollar to Ruble

    1.00 rub to 0.010 usd

    I wonder if Russia's suppliers are demanding other forms of payment.

    Hell of a way to fight a war.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited August 2023
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    How low can it go?

    Dollar to Ruble

    1.00 rub to 0.010 usd

    I wonder if Russia's suppliers are demanding other forms of payment.

    Hell of a way to fight a war.

    ? It has therefore doubled in values since June 2022. And is higher than at any point prior to the invasion and from a month after, as it has been since May this year.

  • One ruble is less than a penny American. That's as low as it can go. That is the lowest ever. UPDATE: Ruble is 0.011 American, A 10 percent increase.

    I knew I should have invested in Rubles yesterday.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited August 2023
    Doh! It was lower in Feb. 22. I was hornswoggled by the curve going up. I will NEVER live this down here. Who says that's as low as it can go?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited September 2023
    Putting this here rather than the Crimea thread because it doesn't have anything to do with the current offensive.

    Walter Isaacson writes biographies/PR for influential individuals and disguises it as journalism or history. His latest subject is Elon Musk. This is from a Washington Post piece Isaacson wrote about Musk.
    Although [ Musk ] had readily supported Ukraine, he believed it was reckless for Ukraine to launch an attack on Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014. He had just spoken to the Russian ambassador to the United States. (In later conversations with a few other people, he seemed to imply that he had spoken directly to President Vladimir Putin, but to me he said his communications had gone through the ambassador.) The ambassador had explicitly told him that a Ukrainian attack on Crimea would lead to a nuclear response. Musk explained to me in great detail, as I stood behind the bleachers, the Russian laws and doctrines that decreed such a response.

    Throughout the evening and into the night, he personally took charge of the situation. Allowing the use of Starlink for the attack, he concluded, could be a disaster for the world. So he secretly told his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast. As a result, when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.

    When the Ukrainian military noticed that Starlink was disabled in and around Crimea, Musk got frantic calls and texts asking him to turn the coverage back on.

    As you can imagine, this generated a lot of outrage. So much that Musk denied the account of his official biographer claiming that the Ukrainians thought Starlink was enabled all the way to Crimea and when they found out it wasn't they begged him to turn it on (and then proceeded with their attack anyway). You can decide for yourself if this sounds plausible. He even got Isaacson to alter his account of events despite Isaacson saying that the initial account was "explained to me in great detail". You may note that the link to Isaacson's description of events is from the Internet Archive since the Washington Post has changed the original to better match Musk's revised tale.

    So here are some thoughts about this. First, the original version of the story seems truer. The second seems more like damage control.

    Second, it never seems to occur to Musk that the various Russian officials whose advice he followed might be playing him and shouldn't be taken at face value as good faith actors.

    Third, the Russian Black Sea fleet is a legitimate military target and has frequently been involved in launching missiles against civilian targets.

    Fourth, why is Musk conducting his own foreign policy with Russia and crippling the war efforts of an American ally? This goes back to the idea from the 1980s that a lot of government functions should be offloaded to "the private sector". In this case satellite internet. If the U.S. cannot reliably count on the availability of satellite communications for military purposes (and I see no reason to believe Musk would be any less high-handed with the American military than with the Ukrainian) that seems like a major national security problem. The kind of problem best solved either by developing a government controlled capability or through the exercise of eminent domain.

    Thoughts?
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Putting this here rather than the Crimea thread because it doesn't have anything to do with the current offensive.

    Walter Isaacson writes biographies/PR for influential individuals and disguises it as journalism or history. His latest subject is Elon Musk. This is from a Washington Post piece Isaacson wrote about Musk.
    Although [ Musk ] had readily supported Ukraine, he believed it was reckless for Ukraine to launch an attack on Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014. He had just spoken to the Russian ambassador to the United States. (In later conversations with a few other people, he seemed to imply that he had spoken directly to President Vladimir Putin, but to me he said his communications had gone through the ambassador.) The ambassador had explicitly told him that a Ukrainian attack on Crimea would lead to a nuclear response. Musk explained to me in great detail, as I stood behind the bleachers, the Russian laws and doctrines that decreed such a response.

    Throughout the evening and into the night, he personally took charge of the situation. Allowing the use of Starlink for the attack, he concluded, could be a disaster for the world. So he secretly told his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast. As a result, when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.

    When the Ukrainian military noticed that Starlink was disabled in and around Crimea, Musk got frantic calls and texts asking him to turn the coverage back on.

    As you can imagine, this generated a lot of outrage. So much that Musk denied the account of his official biographer claiming that the Ukrainians thought Starlink was enabled all the way to Crimea and when they found out it wasn't they begged him to turn it on (and then proceeded with their attack anyway). You can decide for yourself if this sounds plausible. He even got Isaacson to alter his account of events despite Isaacson saying that the initial account was "explained to me in great detail". You may note that the link to Isaacson's description of events is from the Internet Archive since the Washington Post has changed the original to better match Musk's revised tale.

    So here are some thoughts about this. First, the original version of the story seems truer. The second seems more like damage control.

    Second, it never seems to occur to Musk that the various Russian officials whose advice he followed might be playing him and shouldn't be taken at face value as good faith actors.

    Third, the Russian Black Sea fleet is a legitimate military target and has frequently been involved in launching missiles against civilian targets.

    Fourth, why is Musk conducting his own foreign policy with Russia and crippling the war efforts of an American ally? This goes back to the idea from the 1980s that a lot of government functions should be offloaded to "the private sector". In this case satellite internet. If the U.S. cannot reliably count on the availability of satellite communications for military purposes (and I see no reason to believe Musk would be any less high-handed with the American military than with the Ukrainian) that seems like a major national security problem. The kind of problem best solved either by developing a government controlled capability or through the exercise of eminent domain.

    Thoughts?

    My thought is that if he tried this shit on the US military in a time of war he might actually meet the standard for treason (pretty sure sabotage is giving aid to the enemy). I'm also reasonably sure some nice men with guns would be at Starlink's offices to requisition their facilities before Musk's feet touched the ground.
  • Bloody right!
  • Like @Crœsos I am placing this here rather than the Crimea thread because it does not deal with the current offensive/counteroffensive.

    Germany is celebrating the 33rd anniversary of Reunification. But it turns out that Russian textbooks are not viewing it that way. Rather, they are viewing it as an "annexation" of the GDR.
    In a new Russian high school history textbook, German reunification is referred to as the "annexation of the GDR." The book was published in September 2023. The authors are Vladimir Medinsky, former Russian Minister of Culture and advisor to President Vladimir Putin, and Anatoly Torkunov, the rector of the Moscow Institute of International Relations.
    "From the point of view of Putin and his 'historical falsifiers', unification was an act of colonization: The strong imperialist West subjugates the weak East," says Ute Frevert, director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, commenting on the Russian interpretation: "That corresponds in no way to the historical facts. But it fits the anti-Western narrative of the Putin regime."

    According to Zaur Gasimov, lecturer in Eastern European history at the University of Bonn, the new textbook perceives reunification in the context of then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika policy, which, from the perspective of the Russian establishment, helped trigger the collapse of the Soviet empire. It is viewed by Medinsky and the wider establishment as an important milestone in the "movement of the entire east central Europe and the Baltics towards NATO and is condemned as such," says Gasimov, adding that this could possibly explain "the radical change in terms from "reunification" to "annexation."

    It strikes me as being highly similar to Russia's espoused justification for invading Ukraine. If Putin is not stopped in Ukraine, how long before he invades eastern Germany on the pretext of reclaiming territory "wrongfully annexed" by the West? Nevermind that nothing of the sort happened.
  • How long? After Trump pulls out of NATO at the earliest. Otherwise...

    Putin's righteous narrative is consistent is all.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited October 2023
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How long? After Trump pulls out of NATO at the earliest. Otherwise...

    Putin's righteous narrative is consistent is all.

    And he'd have to conquer Poland first of course. Don't worry, Trump won't lift a finger.
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