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

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Old 16th May 2022, 12:54 PM   #3441
crescent
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Something happened at the Steel Plant in Mariupol.

There was a transfer of wounded prisoners, but also about ten buses of soldiers left as well. Pro-Russian sources are suggesting that the garrison might have surrendered, or partly surrendered.

Other sources suggested that the busses had Russian/DPR troops who had been captured by Azov over the course of the conflict, who were released back to the Russians in exchange for accepting and treating the wounded Azov people.

Azov, for its part, put out a cryptic message:
Quote:
In order to save lives, the entire Mariupol garrison is implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command and hopes for the support of the Ukrainian people.
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:35 PM   #3442
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother to come to Turkey.

But President Erdogan has stated Turkey will not approve their bids to join Nato.

He has labelled Sweden a "hatchery" for terrorist organisations, claiming there are terrorists within parliament.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:42 PM   #3443
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother to come to Turkey.

But President Erdogan has stated Turkey will not approve their bids to join Nato.

He has labelled Sweden a "hatchery" for terrorist organisations, claiming there are terrorists within parliament.
Whatevs - he is bargaining and will likely get some goodies. Hopefully not any innocent political activists brought to be tortured and imprisoned. Maybe a sale of F35:s etc. Anyway, he will not veto Finnish and Swedish bids.
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:45 PM   #3444
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Whatevs - he is bargaining and will likely get some goodies. Hopefully not any innocent political activists brought to be tortured and imprisoned. Maybe a sale of F35:s etc. Anyway, he will not veto Finnish and Swedish bids.
Two in, one out ?
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:46 PM   #3445
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The BBC is reporting that Ukrainian troops near Kharkiv have reached the Russian border.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

I guess the first question is whether this is an accurate report, the second is whether it's just a stunt (with a recon unit just making a dash for the border) and the third could be that Kharkiv is another example of a "masterful" Russian feint - Kyiv being another - and Russian troops are retiring in good order to regroup and focus on their primary, de-Nazification, objectives in Donbas.

I would prefer that there was no fighting and the Russians would simply leave Ukraine but given that's just a fantasy, it's encouraging to see Ukraine counter-attacking.

There are reports of BTGs being withdrawn from around Izyum to protect Russian supply lines against attack from Ukrainian units advancing eastwards from Kharkiv. There are also reports of the Russians moving some of their logistics from Belgorod to more easily protected sites, further east with less exposed supply lines into Donbas. If accurate, this could signal another "refocus" on Donbas and mean an even more difficult period for the Ukrainian defences there.

Confirmed

https://twitter.com/MarQs__/status/1...C7UxU_vypmtKcw

Video in link.

Even a small slice of Russia would be a good bargaining chip. It would be hard for Putin to claim victory if he's given up some of Russia.
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:46 PM   #3446
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
We are going to witness it.
Will that be before or after the coming of Christ?
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Old 16th May 2022, 02:01 PM   #3447
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
80%+ of Russians are reportedly in favour of the war in Ukraine
How reliable is that number?

I know that Russians are largely fed state propaganda, so we should not expect them to see the conflict the same way we do, both in terms of motivations and in terms of how they think it's going. But for basically the same reason, I don't know how you can get accurate measures of Russian public opinion. I don't think western journalists really have freedom to do extensive investigations on the topic, and I doubt most Russians would feel free to answer questions to westerners freely anyways. And it's very much in Putin's interest to make public support look as high as possible, for both domestic and foreign audiences. It's not impossible that support is that high, but I also don't trust that anyone, even Putin, really knows how high it actually is.
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Old 16th May 2022, 02:21 PM   #3448
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Something happened at the Steel Plant in Mariupol.

This is the Azov Battalion - they may be surrendering along with the Ukrainian Marines, Border Police and other Ukr military holed up in and under the big steel mill. This source indicates that all wounded and 300 soldiers were taken out today.

The same source claims that the remaining 2000 fighters in the Azovstal complex will surrender tomorrow, and that Zelensky will announce something related to this on tonight's evening address.

Visegrád 24 on Twitter:
Quote:
The Azov Regiment has written on Telegram that they are "implementing the decision of the Supreme Military Command" in order to save lives.

Russian sources say 300 have left Azovstal tonight while the remaining 2000 will lay down their weapons tomorrow.
Visegrád 24 generally has a pro-Ukrainian lean.
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Old 16th May 2022, 02:38 PM   #3449
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Ukraine's defence ministry has confirmed that an operation to evacuate fighters from the besieged Azovstal steelworks is under way.

Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said that 53 heavily injured fighters were taken to the town of Novoazovsk, held by Russian-backed rebels. Another 211 were evacuated using a humanitarian corridor to another rebel-held location, Olenivka,

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share
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Old 16th May 2022, 06:08 PM   #3450
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So the Senate GOP was blocking voting for 'Biden's' aid package for Ukraine. [Rand Paul may still be blocking it but that's a sideshow.] Anyway McConnell gets his photo-op with Zelensky and promises to vote for a big aid package for them.

McConnell downplays GOP opposition to latest Ukraine bill after Kyiv visit
Quote:
"What I assured [Zelensky], as this is an all-Republican delegation, is that support for Ukraine and this war against the Russians is bipartisan," he explained. "This naked aggression must not stand. I wanted to assure them that in the Congress, there was very, very broad support." ...
See the disgusting photo with this caption:
Quote:
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pose fro photo in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
McConnell's sick smile looks like he's shaking hands over the opening of a new road.

As long as McConnell can take credit and diss Pelosi and Biden while doing so is all McConnell needs to vote for Ukraine aide.

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Old 16th May 2022, 06:20 PM   #3451
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Okay so now that Russia has bombed Mariupol and Azovstal into rubble, what are they going to do with them?
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Old 16th May 2022, 06:32 PM   #3452
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Okay so now that Russia has bombed Mariupol and Azovstal into rubble, what are they going to do with them?
Declare victory and get the hell as far away as fast as possible.
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Old 16th May 2022, 08:32 PM   #3453
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Okay so now that Russia has bombed Mariupol and Azovstal into rubble, what are they going to do with them?
Things are clearer about what happened today. About 50 seriously wounded Ukrainian fighters were delivered to a hospital in Russian controlled territory - they are prisoners now, but at least they'll hopefully get better treatment. They may be released later if another prisoner exchange can happen.

Another 150 or so less-seriously wounded troops were transferred through back to Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Azovstal is still in the fight for now.

That's all that's clear. There might have been some exchange of Russian's captured by Ukraine to facilitate this, but if so it is not being reported.
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Old 16th May 2022, 08:35 PM   #3454
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My point is that even if Russia does take territory in Ukraine, all they're getting is piles of useless rubble and destroyed buildings. What are they going to do with them?
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Old 16th May 2022, 08:58 PM   #3455
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
My point is that even if Russia does take territory in Ukraine, all they're getting is piles of useless rubble and destroyed buildings. What are they going to do with them?
Eastern Ukraine has a lot of resources that can be extracted and don't need cities for it.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:07 PM   #3456
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
My point is that even if Russia does take territory in Ukraine, all they're getting is piles of useless rubble and destroyed buildings. What are they going to do with them?
Rebuild, sooner or later. Obviously. And just as obviously, tight now the important thing thing is simply shifting the the border that much further west.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:12 PM   #3457
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Rebuild, sooner or later. Obviously. And just as obviously, tight now the important thing thing is simply shifting the the border that much further west.
given the lack of investment Russia has done in the Separatist regions or even Crimea, I find it unlikely that Putin has any interest in rebuilding a Russia-occupied Ukraine.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:15 PM   #3458
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
given the lack of investment Russia has done in the Separatist regions or even Crimea, I find it unlikely that Putin has any interest in rebuilding a Russia-occupied Ukraine.
I've made a mark in the "later" column.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:30 PM   #3459
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Things are clearer about what happened today. About 50 seriously wounded Ukrainian fighters were delivered to a hospital in Russian controlled territory - they are prisoners now, but at least they'll hopefully get better treatment. They may be released later if another prisoner exchange can happen.

Another 150 or so less-seriously wounded troops were transferred through back to Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Azovstal is still in the fight for now.

That's all that's clear. There might have been some exchange of Russian's captured by Ukraine to facilitate this, but if so it is not being reported.
Disregard the highlighted. The Ukr government is stating that "the Mariupol garrison has fulfilled its combat mission".

Then again, there is also talk of a "rescue mission" for the remaining troops in the steel mill -but apparently not by "military means".

The Battle of Mariupol seems to be over.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:55 PM   #3460
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Eastern Ukraine has a lot of resources that can be extracted and don't need cities for it.
Do you mean gas and oil?

None of that can be exploited if the war continues. Extraction infrastructure is an easy target.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:36 PM   #3461
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Do you mean gas and oil?

None of that can be exploited if the war continues. Extraction infrastructure is an easy target.
Also, it's hard to extract gas and oil when the road to the oilfields has a collapsed building on it.

But I guess even the fields of Flanders got better after being torn to shreds.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:39 PM   #3462
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Exclamation

The BBC reported (radio so don't have a link) that it's claimed that Putin is now taking personal military decisions in Ukraine... "Ones that would normally be taken by far more junior officers".


There might be an historical precedent for this.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:44 PM   #3463
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
The BBC reported (radio so don't have a link) that it's claimed that Putin is now taking personal military decisions in Ukraine... "Ones that would normally be taken by far more junior officers".


There might be an historical precedent for this.
Those who fail to learn from history...
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Old 16th May 2022, 11:17 PM   #3464
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Those who fail to learn from history...
Yes, but I bet you'd have considered it a bad idea to start an armoured offensive in the mud season.
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Old 16th May 2022, 11:37 PM   #3465
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Arrgh, I somehow put a silly icon on my previous post.

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
The BBC reported (radio so don't have a link) that it's claimed that Putin is now taking personal military decisions in Ukraine... "Ones that would normally be taken by far more junior officers".


There might be an historical precedent for this.
Link to story

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...e_iOSApp_Other


I do hope it's not just propaganda, because a former spy taking strategic decisions at a tactical level is not going to help the Russians
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Old 17th May 2022, 12:54 AM   #3466
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If the ISW's analysis is to be believed, then like so many military forces, even if you win the war, you can lose the peace:

Quote:
Frictions between Russian occupation administrations and pro-Russian collaborators is growing in occupied areas of Ukraine. The Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration reported that Russian forces are having serious conflicts with collaborators due to interpersonal power conflicts.
https://www.understandingwar.org/bac...essment-may-16

If the Russians now have to spend time and energy placating their friends, that leaves less time and energy to fight Ukrainians.
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Old 17th May 2022, 01:04 AM   #3467
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The BBC report this morning suggests the evacuation, well, surrender, of Ukrainian forces from the steel works is tied to a prisoner exchange deal. I hope it works out that way for their sake.
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Old 17th May 2022, 01:08 AM   #3468
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‘I look at my government differently’: losses in Ukraine test Russians’ faith

Quote:
Information about the war’s damage is leaking out, angering soldiers’ families and even discouraging the invasion’s backers


The satellite and drone imagery from above Bilohorivka tells a tale of folly and destruction. Dozens of Russian tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and trucks lay destroyed, some sinking into the waters of the Donets River by a broken pontoon bridge, pointing to the latest disaster in Russia’s three-month war in Ukraine.

The toll of Russia’s attempts to cross the river, part of its costly offensive in the east, are staggering: more than 485 killed and as many as 80 vehicles destroyed, according to one estimate, although no numbers of casualties have been confirmed.

As Russia continues to hide the scale of its losses in Ukraine, more and more information has leaked out, angering the families of Russian soldiers and discouraging even previous supporters of the invasion.

“I look at my government totally different since the war started,” said Tatyana Efremenko, 39, whose son Nikita Efremenko was a conscript on the Moskva missile cruiser when it was sunk in a Ukrainian missile strike one month ago. She is still searching for her son. “There are some very harsh things I would like to say about our leadership, but maybe best if I don’t because they would put me in prison for it.”
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Old 17th May 2022, 01:14 AM   #3469
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Veterans, propagandists in Russia start criticising the stuttering Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin’s faithful propagandists, as well as a former commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, have openly criticised Moscow’s stuttering military campaign in Ukraine in recent days, in a sign that the presumed iron-cast internal support for the Russian president may be eroding.

A former separatist commander accused Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu of “criminal negligence”, hinting that the bad commandment was tantamount to state treason.

“I directly accuse Sergei Shoigu of, at minimum, criminal negligence,” Igor Girkin said in a video interview posted on his Telegram channel on Friday 13 May), the 79th day of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “I have no grounds to accuse him of treason, but I would suspect it.”

https://www.euractiv.com/section/glo...g-ukraine-war/
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Old 17th May 2022, 01:26 AM   #3470
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
If the ISW's analysis is to be believed, then like so many military forces, even if you win the war, you can lose the peace:



https://www.understandingwar.org/bac...essment-may-16

If the Russians now have to spend time and energy placating their friends, that leaves less time and energy to fight Ukrainians.
The inhabitants seem to have been subject to conscription and give highly obsolete equipment - bolt action rifles according to some reports, and they will be getting some of the stories of their compatriots being left behind in retreats, which isn't a recipe for good relations.

Even the prominent collaborators might be wondering how they can extract themselves - those who had just tried to get on with their own lives regardless of who was ruling must be increasingly unhappy.
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Old 17th May 2022, 01:42 AM   #3471
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
Veterans, propagandists in Russia start criticising the stuttering Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin’s faithful propagandists, as well as a former commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, have openly criticised Moscow’s stuttering military campaign in Ukraine in recent days, in a sign that the presumed iron-cast internal support for the Russian president may be eroding.

A former separatist commander accused Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu of “criminal negligence”, hinting that the bad commandment was tantamount to state treason.

“I directly accuse Sergei Shoigu of, at minimum, criminal negligence,” Igor Girkin said in a video interview posted on his Telegram channel on Friday 13 May), the 79th day of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “I have no grounds to accuse him of treason, but I would suspect it.”

https://www.euractiv.com/section/glo...g-ukraine-war/
I guess the purges will start in earnest now.

Get rid of all the generals - clearly it's their fault - and make sure that the glorious leader is in charge of all day-to-day military decisions.
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Old 17th May 2022, 02:09 AM   #3472
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
My point is that even if Russia does take territory in Ukraine, all they're getting is piles of useless rubble and destroyed buildings. What are they going to do with them?
Mariupol has a harbor. Not sure if that's so badly destroyed.
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Old 17th May 2022, 02:14 AM   #3473
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Do any of the Russians remember Putin's highly-staged videoed order to not assault the steelworks, before about 3 weeks of assaults?
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Old 17th May 2022, 02:32 AM   #3474
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Do any of the Russians remember Putin's highly-staged videoed order to not assault the steelworks, before about 3 weeks of assaults?
Now that the assault has completed with a glorious victory for the forces of de-Nazification, no-one in Russia cares. It was yet another cunning ruse from the master of gajillion dimension chess - Vladimir Putin and will go alongside the feints towards Kyiv and Kharkiv as the masterstrokes of the war which led to the unprecedented* victory.

* - for very specific definitions of unprecedented
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Old 17th May 2022, 02:35 AM   #3475
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
Veterans, propagandists in Russia start criticising the stuttering Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin’s faithful propagandists, as well as a former commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, have openly criticised Moscow’s stuttering military campaign in Ukraine in recent days, in a sign that the presumed iron-cast internal support for the Russian president may be eroding.

A former separatist commander accused Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu of “criminal negligence”, hinting that the bad commandment was tantamount to state treason.

“I directly accuse Sergei Shoigu of, at minimum, criminal negligence,” Igor Girkin said in a video interview posted on his Telegram channel on Friday 13 May), the 79th day of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. “I have no grounds to accuse him of treason, but I would suspect it.”

https://www.euractiv.com/section/glo...g-ukraine-war/
Girkin (aka "Strelkov") is the "former commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine", a label separate from "Putin’s faithful propagandists" in the above for good reason: Ever since Putin sacked him from his command, already back in 2014, he has been in opposition to Putin (by, among other things, creating an opposition political party). So him criticizing Putin is not extraordinary, it's just another Friday.
Girkin of course is not opposed to the war per se - very much the contrary: He'd wish for Russia to get a lot more bold and outright conquer all of Ukraine, and then all of Belarus, the Baltics, and then some. He is an ultra-nationalist, even more fascist than Vlad himself, and not the harbinger of coming retreat or armistices.
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Last edited by Oystein; 17th May 2022 at 02:36 AM. Reason: added: '(aka "Strelkov")'
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Old 17th May 2022, 03:46 AM   #3476
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
The BBC reported (radio so don't have a link) that it's claimed that Putin is now taking personal military decisions in Ukraine... "Ones that would normally be taken by far more junior officers".


There might be an historical precedent for this.
Declaring that you're taking personal control from here on is a way of disclaiming responsibility for the **** ups that happened up till now.

The downside is you need to turn things around now or it's definitely on you.
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Old 17th May 2022, 04:53 AM   #3477
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Girkin (aka "Strelkov") is the "former commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine", a label separate from "Putin’s faithful propagandists" in the above for good reason: Ever since Putin sacked him from his command, already back in 2014, he has been in opposition to Putin (by, among other things, creating an opposition political party). So him criticizing Putin is not extraordinary, it's just another Friday.
Girkin of course is not opposed to the war per se - very much the contrary: He'd wish for Russia to get a lot more bold and outright conquer all of Ukraine, and then all of Belarus, the Baltics, and then some. He is an ultra-nationalist, even more fascist than Vlad himself, and not the harbinger of coming retreat or armistices.
Girkin aka Strelkov or maybe another name Makarov...
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Old 17th May 2022, 05:10 AM   #3478
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Why did the Ukrainians not defend Crimea in 2014, like they are defending the rest of the country now?
It may also have to do with the demographics of Crimea.

* It is the most Russian speaking province.
*It was only part of the Ukraine since the 1950's, (at that time Ukraine was part of the USSR)
* Ukraine military in the province had been undermined by Russian propaganda and money.
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Old 17th May 2022, 05:10 AM   #3479
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On Russian TV:

Quote:
In an extremely rare moment of candour on Russian state TV today, defence columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok gave a damning assessment of Russia's war in Ukraine and his country's international isolation. It's fairly long but worth your time so I've added subtitles.
Quite an eye-opener. Khodaryonok argues that Ukrainian morale is high and their desire to fight to the last in defence of their country will increase their professionalism. The host, Skabeyeva, tries to contradict him and put words in his mouth, but he points out that the material Ukraine is receiving and Russia's isolation from the rest of the world is something they need to get out of.

Link
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Old 17th May 2022, 06:58 AM   #3480
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Declaring that you're taking personal control from here on is a way of disclaiming responsibility for the **** ups that happened up till now.

The downside is you need to turn things around now or it's definitely on you.
Nah, there are always... traitors to blame

I, for one look forward to Putin trying to micromanage the war on top of everything else.
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