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Tags Russia issues , Russia-Ukraine relations , Russia-Ukraine war , Ukraine issues , vladimir putin , Volodymyr Zelenskiy

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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:28 AM   #241
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
In retrospect, what do people think of the intentions of Gorbachev and Yeltsin? My impression is that Gorbachev was actually interested in steering the country towards modernization, more open and peaceful relations with other countries, and even democratization down the road... though pursuing the slow approach, trying to use his autocratic powers to maintain control during what he expected would be a long transition, and trying to keep "core" satellite states within the Russian/Soviet sphere. Eventually it slid out of his grasp and took a life of its own, for better or worse.

Yeltsin? I have no idea. I had a hope that he too wanted to build a relatively free country and found the chaos too difficult to manage. But then I recall that Putin was his chosen successor, and I don't see how he could have thought that would help. Does anyone have better insight?
I haven't really looked into him that closely but it might be that he himself was a pretty chaotic individual who was drunk most of the time. It wouldn't be a contradiction to say he wanted a free and open country, but was also corrupt and relied on corrupt individuals and lackeys to whom he sold off much of the national wealth, who may also have wanted to keep Russia as an empire and thus started a war in Chechnya, and had contradictory feelings about Eastern European countries who were quick to flock to the west and escape Russia's orbit.

He's probably not the person you would choose if you wanted to a careful, rational person to steer Russia into the light.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:43 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
In retrospect, what do people think of the intentions of Gorbachev and Yeltsin? My impression is that Gorbachev was actually interested in steering the country towards modernization, more open and peaceful relations with other countries, and even democratization down the road... though pursuing the slow approach, trying to use his autocratic powers to maintain control during what he expected would be a long transition, and trying to keep "core" satellite states within the Russian/Soviet sphere. Eventually it slid out of his grasp and took a life of its own, for better or worse.

Yeltsin? I have no idea. I had a hope that he too wanted to build a relatively free country and found the chaos too difficult to manage. But then I recall that Putin was his chosen successor, and I don't see how he could have thought that would help. Does anyone have better insight?
'Gorbachov' and 'Yeltsin' to me are merely shorthand for the regimes and policies they ran. I am not really into the cult of the personality. When Putin was Mayor of St Petersburg, he came to Finland a lot as his city was twinned with harbour city Turku. His metal commemorative plate was even added to the pavement of the Turku maritime museum. (Now removed.) People who knew him back then, all say he was a regular, normal guy, albeit, I dare say, seething at having to drive a taxi as an elite intelligence officer after the Berlin Wall came down.

The rot started when all of the nationalised industries under the old communist collective regime were sold off corruptly to individuals - the oligarchs - who then sold the proceeds back to the government, trousering fabulous sums of money in profit (cf Abramovich) and which of course Putin took a cut. Russia is utterly riddled with corruption. As Lord Acton famously said, 'Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely'.

That is what Putin has. He is surrounded by the siloviki, all equally corrupt as himself. (This is why I am not sure why Zelenskyy wants Abramovich as a negotiator.) Where there's brass there's muck. ~ Yorkshire adage.

As a measure of this, one need only to look how successfully and completely the Russian oligarchs have infiltrated western democratic governments in buying up 'golden visas' - paying literally millions to buy citizenship - and then acquire property, and their aim, to gain influence by donating heavily into the ruling party coffers. Many saw the dangers coming, including the UK's own intelligence agencies, who were ignored because of the lucrative sums involved for the beneficiaries. The age old downfall of greed and avarice. We in the west need to look at ourselves closely in the mirror. Why did we not oppose the occupation of Crimea more strongly? Why did we let Trump have a private audience with Putin in Helsinki? Why did we let a Russian KGB asset into the House of Lords? How did we convince ourselves it was 'russophobia' to be hostile and suspicious of these opportunists?
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:51 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I haven't really looked into him that closely but it might be that he himself was a pretty chaotic individual who was drunk most of the time. It wouldn't be a contradiction to say he wanted a free and open country, but was also corrupt and relied on corrupt individuals and lackeys to whom he sold off much of the national wealth, who may also have wanted to keep Russia as an empire and thus started a war in Chechnya, and had contradictory feelings about Eastern European countries who were quick to flock to the west and escape Russia's orbit.

He's probably not the person you would choose if you wanted to a careful, rational person to steer Russia into the light.
Probably not. At the time it seems he was the one that could successfully prevail against the reactionaries that probably wanted Brezhnev 2.0.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:59 AM   #244
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I can't opine directly about them, but... I think that it was probably pretty obvious by Gorbachev's time that Russia was falling behind in a bunch of ways and that something fundamental had to change if they didn't want the situation to become completely irreversible, and there was only one really obvious path to doing so. That he was actually able to acknowledge such speaks well in his favor, at least.

Yeltsin? Yeltsin was a KGB leader, was he not? I think that that alone speaks enough to his nature.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 02:23 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
In retrospect, what do people think of the intentions of Gorbachev and Yeltsin? My impression is that Gorbachev was actually interested in steering the country towards modernization, more open and peaceful relations with other countries, and even democratization down the road... though pursuing the slow approach, trying to use his autocratic powers to maintain control during what he expected would be a long transition, and trying to keep "core" satellite states within the Russian/Soviet sphere. Eventually it slid out of his grasp and took a life of its own, for better or worse.
I think that's right on the money. Gorbachev was a good guy but out of his depth due to the excesses of the Stalinists before him.

Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Yeltsin?
Drunken bum in the right place at the right time.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 03:27 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
'Gorbachov' and 'Yeltsin' to me are merely shorthand for the regimes and policies they ran. I am not really into the cult of the personality. When Putin was Mayor of St Petersburg, he came to Finland a lot as his city was twinned with harbour city Turku. His metal commemorative plate was even added to the pavement of the Turku maritime museum. (Now removed.) People who knew him back then, all say he was a regular, normal guy, albeit, I dare say, seething at having to drive a taxi as an elite intelligence officer after the Berlin Wall came down.

The rot started when all of the nationalised industries under the old communist collective regime were sold off corruptly to individuals - the oligarchs - who then sold the proceeds back to the government, trousering fabulous sums of money in profit (cf Abramovich) and which of course Putin took a cut. Russia is utterly riddled with corruption. As Lord Acton famously said, 'Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely'.

That is what Putin has. He is surrounded by the siloviki, all equally corrupt as himself. (This is why I am not sure why Zelenskyy wants Abramovich as a negotiator.) Where there's brass there's muck. ~ Yorkshire adage.

As a measure of this, one need only to look how successfully and completely the Russian oligarchs have infiltrated western democratic governments in buying up 'golden visas' - paying literally millions to buy citizenship - and then acquire property, and their aim, to gain influence by donating heavily into the ruling party coffers. Many saw the dangers coming, including the UK's own intelligence agencies, who were ignored because of the lucrative sums involved for the beneficiaries. The age old downfall of greed and avarice. We in the west need to look at ourselves closely in the mirror. Why did we not oppose the occupation of Crimea more strongly? Why did we let Trump have a private audience with Putin in Helsinki? Why did we let a Russian KGB asset into the House of Lords? How did we convince ourselves it was 'russophobia' to be hostile and suspicious of these opportunists?
And how could Abramov buy Chelsea with stolen money.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 03:47 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
When you've already started war-criming you might as well continue.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 03:54 AM   #248
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I wonder how the "denazification" is going - maybe it should start in the Kremlin?

https://twitter.com/sumlenny/status/1509171559386255360

I cannot attest to the videos in the tweet above this, but the photos in this one are well-attested.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 03:56 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
With these widespread reports of atrocities by Russia I'd be sickened to the point of puking if the west just ends sanctions and goes back to business as usual with Russia.
With support for the war on a sharp rise in Russia and the war crimes of the Russian aggression now being revealed I've stopped caring about the population. Russia needs to be completely isolated from the international society for a very, very, very long time to come. They cannot be allowed to rebuild.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 04:03 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
And how could Abramov buy Chelsea with stolen money.
I'm sure that the fact that London is the money laundering capital of the World is purely coincidental.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 04:06 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
When you've already started war-criming you might as well continue.
See also the war crimes in Mali*. Again by the Wagner group, which is very close to the Russian state.


*or Syria.

Or Chechnya
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Old 3rd April 2022, 04:06 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Yeltsin? I have no idea. I had a hope that he too wanted to build a relatively free country and found the chaos too difficult to manage. But then I recall that Putin was his chosen successor, and I don't see how he could have thought that would help. Does anyone have better insight?
No one could have coped with the chaos in the 1990s.

Putin in 1999 was a safe pair of hands (who would not come after Yeltsin and his family) and re-establish a functioning state where the oligarchs influence would be reduced. Early 2000s he was having to publicly negotiate with the oligarchs and there was some sort of balance of power.

The problem came when Putin did not retire after completing his constitutional 2 terms in charge and started re-writing the rules so that he remained in power (effectively a soft coup) and preventing normal politics from developing.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 04:44 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Yeltsin? Yeltsin was a KGB leader, was he not? I think that that alone speaks enough to his nature.
No, not Yeltsin.

It is Putin (the current leader!) who used to be a KGB officer.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 05:02 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It is likely that the Russian population is not well informed about events in Ukraine. It is sad (but perhaps revealing) that the European Union is resorting to the same kind of censorship tactics by banning RT (formerly Russia Today).
It's only their licence to broadcast that has been revoked. You can still get your fresh Kremlin turds on RT.com
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Old 3rd April 2022, 05:19 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Manger Douse View Post
It's only their licence to broadcast that has been revoked. You can still get your fresh Kremlin turds on RT.com
No, their website is banned also in the European Union (if you don't have a VPN). Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter:
Quote:
Second, we will ban the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU.

The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries,
will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war.

We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.
(https://twitter.com/vonderleyen/stat...73706831929348).

I think that the journalists of RT.com are generally doing a good job, sometimes displaying remarkable neutrality. This is perhaps related to the fact that their audience is mostly international, and they want to achieve credibility with this audience.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 05:25 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
No, their website is banned also in the European Union (if you don't have a VPN).
*EU will urgently suspend the ***broadcasting*** activities of Sputnik’ and RT/Russia Today"

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/p...ing-in-the-eu/
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Old 3rd April 2022, 05:37 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
No, not Yeltsin.

It is Putin (the current leader!) who used to be a KGB officer.
Putin certainly was. I've been used to hearing about Yeltsin primarily by means of his association with Putin, though, so it seems that I formed a mistaken impression. Thank you for the correction about Yeltsin actually being KGB.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 06:54 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Yeltsin? Yeltsin was a KGB leader, was he not? I think that that alone speaks enough to his nature.
No, he was a career politician. He probably was as much of a maverick as you could be and still advance in the Soviet Communist Party. He was, I believe, the first ever to resign from the politburo (a couple of years before the collapse of the USSR).
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Old 3rd April 2022, 07:15 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post

I think that the journalists of RT.com are generally doing a good job, sometimes displaying remarkable neutrality. This is perhaps related to the fact that their audience is mostly international, and they want to achieve credibility with this audience.
Quote:
Overall, we rate RT Questionable based on promoting pro-Russian propaganda, conspiracy theories, numerous failed fact checks, and a lack of author transparency.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/rt-news/

Your blind support of state-sponsored propaganda does you no credit.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 07:38 AM   #260
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Even more grisly scenes in Bucha.

Apartment found with men who had apparently been executed and another room that had been used for torture.

https://twitter.com/revishvilig/stat...193938949?s=21
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Old 3rd April 2022, 07:52 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
No, their website is banned also in the European Union (if you don't have a VPN). Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter
That's funny. I have no problems accessing rt dot com right now.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 07:54 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Even more grisly scenes in Bucha.

Apartment found with men who had apparently been executed and another room that had been used for torture.

https://twitter.com/revishvilig/stat...193938949?s=21
Russian propaganda claiming Ukrainians did this in 3... 2... 1...
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Old 3rd April 2022, 08:07 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
Russian propaganda claiming Ukrainians did this in 3... 2... 1...
They already did, several hours ago.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share
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Old 3rd April 2022, 08:20 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Chicken Odessa? Do you have a recipe?
True story: Years ago, while chatting with my best friend about imaginary travels that happened to take us to Kyiv in winter, I imagined "chicken Kyiv" to be a whole, frozen chicken, naked, unseasoned, put *plonk* on a bare white thick plate by a grumpy, stocky lady with rubber gloves.

That was before I traveled to Kyiv for real and found it to be a warm and welcoming place (albeit with culinary opportunities of mixed attractiveness).
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Old 3rd April 2022, 08:25 AM   #265
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Yeah, I expect there will be plenty of idiots who buy into Russian claims as well such as Michael Tracey who won’t quite say it was faked but who is nevertheless suggesting it is Ukrainian propaganda.

One person I expected to take that line but hasn’t is Tulsi Ganbard who seems to be desperately trying to pivot after all her blame of the Ukrainians and the west for the invasion. Now suddenly she is against it. Looks to me like she is just going to end up pissing everyone off. She already dispatched with normal decent people to embrace the Russian propaganda and now she is being slated by her deplorable audience for turning on Putin. Sucks to suck.

https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/sta...994130433?s=21
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Old 3rd April 2022, 08:45 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
No one could have coped with the chaos in the 1990s.

Putin in 1999 was a safe pair of hands (who would not come after Yeltsin and his family) and re-establish a functioning state where the oligarchs influence would be reduced. Early 2000s he was having to publicly negotiate with the oligarchs and there was some sort of balance of power.

The problem came when Putin did not retire after completing his constitutional 2 terms in charge and started re-writing the rules so that he remained in power (effectively a soft coup) and preventing normal politics from developing.
Putin came to power on the popularity of his brutal conduct of the Chechen war (plus the ominous apartment block bombings - Russia's 9/11) - remember he was just one of a series of prime ministers under Yeltsin, but the one with the least scruples. He was the chief oligarch's (Berezovsky's) personal pick.

His very first action as president was to guarantee Yeltsin he would never be prosecuted for robbing Russia and giving it to the oligarchs.
The price for this of course was allowing Putin to become robber czar and the biggest of the oligarchs. Putin had the bad manners of chopping off his protégé Berezovsky, which made a point about who was calling the shots now. This meant that the oligarch system was to be retained, but with the new guy deciding who would be allowed to be one.
The oligarchs were never a homogeneous group, pulling in a coordinated way on their end of the rope. Of course they would be fighting each other at every opportunity. Divide & Conquer was Putin's game.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 08:50 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It is likely that the Russian population is not well informed about events in Ukraine.
This is putting it weirdly. A bit like saying "it's likely that the cloudless day time sky in Russia is blue, too".

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It is sad (but perhaps revealing) that the European Union is resorting to the same kind of censorship tactics by banning RT (formerly Russia Today).
Which "information" are we missing out on now that RT is off the cables? Are you saying journalists are not free to report from Russia because of what the EU does? It appears to me that it is actually Russia that operates with heavy-handed threats (like 15 years of imprisonments) against anyone wishing to report about actual, true information from Russia. Haven't you noticed?
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Old 3rd April 2022, 09:54 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Reports that Russian soldiers appeared to indulged in rape quite a bit.I have no doubt this is true. Remember Germany in 1945. And , frankly, the Russian soldiers in 1945, though what they did is reprehensible, did have some extenuating circumstances that these Russian soldiers do not have.
What is more scary, is maybe .like in 1945, it is "unofficial" Russian Policy to intimidate the population.
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
When rape is being claimed to be a fairly common thing to happen in the Russian military, especially done to new conscripts, the reports of raping civilians become even less surprising.
Rape of civilians by soldiers in every army has been usual for millenia. Some worse than others, of course, but still universal.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 11:04 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It is likely that the Russian population is not well informed about events in Ukraine. It is sad (but perhaps revealing) that the European Union is resorting to the same kind of censorship tactics by banning RT (formerly Russia Today).
Putin-Today is Kremlin propaganda with a wafer thin veneer of respectability. The EU is under no obligation to provide a platform for an enemies propaganda.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 11:59 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Rape of civilians by soldiers in every army has been usual for millenia. Some worse than others, of course, but still universal.
This is whataboutism. Let us just say that The Russian Army's is much much worse then most.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 12:00 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Putin-Today is Kremlin propaganda with a wafer thin veneer of respectability. The EU is under no obligation to provide a platform for an enemies propaganda.
Russia has reverted to the USSR with all indpendent media crushed.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 12:02 PM   #272
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Mass grave found outside of Kiev with at least 300 bodies in it.
Babi Yar 2.........
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Old 3rd April 2022, 12:11 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Mass grave found outside of Kiev with at least 300 bodies in it.
Babi Yar 2.........
Doubtless they all committed suicide in drug-fuelled shame over their Naziism.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 12:43 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
This is whataboutism. Let us just say that The Russian Army's is much much worse then most.
In the present day, at least. With that said, comparing the present day situation where we have codified rules for war and acceptable conduct in that way when it comes to such behavior during the millennia that we didn't is fundamentally off base.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:08 PM   #275
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The Rape of Nanking also comes to mind.
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Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:15 PM   #276
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Quote:
A suburban avenue in Bucha became one of the first graveyards for Russia's hopes of encircling and entering Kyiv and then deposing the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The moment came two or three days after the first Russian forces crossed into Ukraine on 24 February, when Ukrainian forces destroyed a column of Russian tanks and armoured personnel carriers moving through the town of Bucha to the city of Kyiv.

The convoy was destroyed in one of the first of many Ukrainian ambushes that stopped the Russian advance dead.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60970818

For anyone that's unreasonably suspicious of the extreme losses the Russians have suffered, the rusting burned out husks of tanks and other armored vehicles ought to dispel any doubts.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:36 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
That's funny. I have no problems accessing rt dot com right now.
But you don't say where you are.
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:43 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
But you don't say where you are.
In the EU - the same as you

"the EU will urgently suspend the ***broadcasting*** activities of Sputnik’ and RT/Russia Today"

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/p...ing-in-the-eu/
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:47 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yeah, I expect there will be plenty of idiots who buy into Russian claims as well such as Michael Tracey who won’t quite say it was faked but who is nevertheless suggesting it is Ukrainian propaganda.

One person I expected to take that line but hasn’t is Tulsi Ganbard who seems to be desperately trying to pivot after all her blame of the Ukrainians and the west for the invasion. Now suddenly she is against it. Looks to me like she is just going to end up pissing everyone off. She already dispatched with normal decent people to embrace the Russian propaganda and now she is being slated by her deplorable audience for turning on Putin. Sucks to suck.

https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/sta...994130433?s=21
Tulsi Gabbard said, in the tweet you mention:
Quote:
President Putin, not only is your brutal attack on Ukraine reprehensible, it has been a huge geopolitical error which has already cost Russia dearly. Those costs will get higher every day you remain in Ukraine. So it is in the best interest of the Russian people and the people of Ukraine, that you pull your forces out now.
Isn't this completely flawless? What's the point of criticizing so much a person who seems reasonable?
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Old 3rd April 2022, 01:56 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Manger Douse View Post
In the EU - the same as you

"the EU will urgently suspend the ***broadcasting*** activities of Sputnik’ and RT/Russia Today"

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/p...ing-in-the-eu/
You are not erlando, Manger Douse, so you can't answer for him (or her).

You can broadcast through the Internet too.

When I try to access RT.com (without a VPN) from Belgium, I see the message:
Quote:
ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED
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