[Discussion] Ukraine - Russian Invasion and Discussion

A place for aggregated discussions of a possible conflict, it’s implications and effects, news updates and personal accounts if any. If the expected conflict kicks off, I will change the title but the function will stay the same.

Considering Beslan and all the other sh*t, the rational assumption is that this is just Putin being a self serving ass again.

Channel 4 has genuinely terrifying footage of the attack.

Reuters reporting Islamic State taking credit for it.

Dmitry Medvedev, who briefly served as Russia's president, said in a statement on Telegram that those who are responsible for the attack should be "found and ruthlessly destroyed", particularly if they were inspired by "the Kyiv regime".

Well, yes, we all knew they were going to bring it back to that eventually.

Maybe they'll declare war on Ukraine...

da Beeb

The latest information we have is that the attackers got away, possibly in a white car.

The search is on to find them, and to find out who they are.

Ukraine says it had nothing to do with this attack, and meanwhile Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Russian authorities are yet to comment on that development. And Vladimir Putin has so far made no public comment, but we’re told he’s been kept up to date on events as they unfold.

Meanwhile security has been stepped up here in Moscow at key installations including airports and train stations.

Questions are being raised. Among them: How is it possible that armed men were able to get into a prominent concert venue, with thousands of people attending a concert, and carry out such a bloody attack – particularly since US authorities had recently warned about a similar scenario?

Questions are being raised. Among them: How is it possible that armed men were able to get into a prominent concert venue, with thousands of people attending a concert, and carry out such a bloody attack – particularly since US authorities had recently warned about a similar scenario?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_R...

DSGamer wrote:
Questions are being raised. Among them: How is it possible that armed men were able to get into a prominent concert venue, with thousands of people attending a concert, and carry out such a bloody attack – particularly since US authorities had recently warned about a similar scenario?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_R...

My first thought as well.

Anothersubmarine.gif

How long before Russia and Iran, now both the targets of reported ISIL attacks, start accusing the West of controlling ISIL?

Putin dismissed US warnings about a potential terror incident as 'blackmail' just 3 days before concert hall attack

Per TASS, the Russian president said on March 19 the aim of "the recent provocative statements of a number of official Western structures about the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia" was harming Russian society.

"All this resembles outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society," Putin said, according to state media reporting on his remarks.

The US embassy issued another alert on Friday saying it was "aware" of the attack and urged Americans to avoid the area.

Putin looking a bit dumb right now.

Rat Boy wrote:

How long before Russia and Iran, now both the targets of reported ISIL attacks, start accusing the West of controlling ISIL?

there are plenty of people on Twitter already alleging that this was a CIA op. It's some wonderful horseshoe theory stuff.

Nah, they're going to blame Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities detained 11 people, state media reported Saturday, after gunmen stormed a concert hall in Moscow in a grisly attack that left at least 115 people dead.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said four of those detained were directly involved in the attack that left the sprawling shopping mall and music venue smoldering with a collapsed roof.

Russian agencies appeared to suggest the attack was linked to Ukraine even though the Islamic State group claimed responsibility in a statement. A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that U.S. agencies had confirmed that that group was responsible for the attack.

The four suspects were stopped in the Bryansk region of western Russia, “not far from the border with Ukraine,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said. They planned to cross the border into Ukraine and “had contacts” there, state news agency Tass said, citing Russia’s FSB. The head of the FSB briefed President Vladimir Putin on the arrests on Saturday, according to Tass.

I wouldn't be surprised if these 11 people had nothing to do with the massacre.

How anyone thinks that Russia or Ukraine could convince ISIS/ISIL to take responsibilities for terrorist attacks they did not commit is beyond me.

JC wrote:

Nah, they're going to blame Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities detained 11 people, state media reported Saturday, after gunmen stormed a concert hall in Moscow in a grisly attack that left at least 115 people dead.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said four of those detained were directly involved in the attack that left the sprawling shopping mall and music venue smoldering with a collapsed roof.

Russian agencies appeared to suggest the attack was linked to Ukraine even though the Islamic State group claimed responsibility in a statement. A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that U.S. agencies had confirmed that that group was responsible for the attack.

The four suspects were stopped in the Bryansk region of western Russia, “not far from the border with Ukraine,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said. They planned to cross the border into Ukraine and “had contacts” there, state news agency Tass said, citing Russia’s FSB. The head of the FSB briefed President Vladimir Putin on the arrests on Saturday, according to Tass.

I wouldn't be surprised if these 11 people had nothing to do with the massacre.

As Alabama cops say about black suspects: any two will do.

So why is ISIS attacking Russia?

They and Iran sided with Bashar Al-Assad during the Syrian Civil War/War on ISIS.

Also, general anger about Chechnya, I'd bet.

Yeah, this is one of those things that's been memory-holed, because Russia frequently gets linked to Iran and everyone seems to think all Middle Eastern majority nations are on the same side.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheche...

Chechen jihadists began arriving in Syria en masse mainly in 2011-2015 from Chechnya, as well as from Europe, where they left during the second Chechen War, fleeing from the war, as well as from the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia, where ethnic Chechens-Kistins who emigrated there during the Caucasian War live.

Chechens occupied the second largest number among the foreign contingent of jihadists in Syria, estimates of their number range from 1,700 to 3,000 people, they played a significant role in the civil war in Syria, and several dozen well-known commanders of Syrian rebels and jihadists were Chechens by origin. Some of them were veterans of the first and second Chechen wars and used their combat experience to train and train the Syrian opposition and militants. They formed their own armed detachments and jamaats, which were also joined by other militants from the North Caucasus, as well as Syrians and jihadists from all over the Middle East.

According to representatives of the Chechen diaspora in Europe, hundreds of Chechens from Europe went to Syria to fight in the ranks of the Syrian opposition against the government army of Bashar al-Assad.

Also with Twitter under the control of Elon, David Sacks, Peter Thiel and other awful Russia-aligned actors who frequently spout pro-Russia propaganda it can be easy to forget that Russia has other enemies. There's so much bullsh*t in the air.

Isn't this particular brand of Islamic State down for taking out apostate Muslims and has been fighting the Taliban?

Putin's regime was also a staunch supporter of the United States after 9-11, perhaps because of their own war on terror in Chechnya, until the invasion of Iraq in 2003 where the US overthrew Saddam Hussein.

Rat Boy wrote:

Putin's regime was also a staunch supporter of the United States after 9-11, perhaps because of their own war on terror in Chechnya, until the invasion of Iraq in 2003 where the US overthrew Saddam Hussein.

That and they were eager to see us step on our phalluses

Let's not forget about what (most) everyone was thinking in 2001. Doesn't make GWOT right, but it was explainable how modern societies found ways to say, "f*ck this medieval bullsh*t" coming from the nihilist part of Islam. And Russia and the US at that time had common cause there. And Putin wasn't as far along in his Stalin-Lite cosplay (he's still got a long way to go there, obviously).

And I think it's OK to point out that RUS probably wasn't thinking of GWOT as some kind of quicksand and more thinking about how powerful the US was and an expansion of US footprint on the periphery of the RUS sphere of influence. I recall reading articles about the US depots being put in Kazakhstan, volume of troops in Afghanistan, expansion of operations at Centcom, etc.

In UKR news:

Seems like a pretty good ROI to just send all the Storm Shadows.

Maybe even ATACMS. Or we could wait for thousands more Ukrainians to die.

Wow. If the Ukrainian claims are true that they sunk the last two Ropucha class landing ships in the Black Sea Fleet, this leaves the Russians with only two aging Alligator class ships to ferry supplies to Crimea should the Kerch Bridge come under attack. For some context, the last Alligator constructed is the Nikolay Filchenkov (currently rumored to be in Novorissisk) and was commissioned on December 30, 1975 (when Chou En-Lai was still premier and party chairman of the Peoples Republic of China).

They are definitely picking their targets well.

The BBC has a new, unsparing documentary about the war out, but this part from the Guardian's review sticks in my head:

In their own foxholes, the Ukrainian soldiers eat, talk, joke and pray. They hold up rudimentary explosives, made from soap and petrol. They extract mice from their food supplies. They talk about the Russians and ask, again and again – sometimes asking captured Russian soldiers directly – why they have come to this country.

The Ukrainians know they are outnumbered. Maksym, who is 19, says more Russians come every day: “They just die, but they keep coming and coming and coming.” Watching a livestreamed battle on a laptop, Dmytro, a company commander, says: “We kill a thousand, they send another thousand.”

This is the fourth or fifth time I've seen Ukrainian soldiers saying this. Russia just keeps feeding more bodies into the mill. They're perfectly happy with a 1:10 K/D ratio, because they can endure it longer than Ukraine can.

There are also reports that an $80M intelligence gathering ship was hit by at least one missile, in the same strike. If that's true, that's a real blow to Russian capabilities in areas adjacent to the Black Sea. It was probably serving the same purpose as our high-end drones, hoovering up electronic intelligence from UKR forces (and also any NATO forces operating in the region).

The latest from Ukraine The Latest is really good. The case for calling it genocide is actually pretty strong.

War a real threat and Europe not ready, warns Poland's Tusk

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has warned Europe is in a "pre-war era" and Ukraine must not be defeated by Russia for the good of the whole continent.

He said war was "no longer a concept from the past", adding: "It's real and it started over two years ago."

His comments came after Russia launched a massive attack on Ukraine's energy system on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week Moscow had "no aggressive intentions" towards Nato countries.

The idea that his country, which has one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals, would attack Poland, the Baltic states and the Czech Republic - which are all members of the Nato alliance unlike Ukraine - was "complete nonsense", he said.

However, he warned that if Ukraine used Western F-16 warplanes from airfields in other countries, they would become "legitimate targets, wherever they might be located".

After Russia launched its full-scale war in Ukraine in February 2022, relations with the West reached their lowest ebb since the worst days of the Cold War.

Almost 100 missiles and drones were used in the latest Russian attack on Ukraine, leaving several regions experiencing partial blackouts.

It was the second attack of its kind - in which Russia fires a large number of weapons simultaneously to overwhelm Ukraine's defences - in the space of a week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the tactic "missile terror" and warned attacks on hydro-electric power plants could lead to a major environmental disaster.

Speaking to the BBC, the mayor of Kharkiv - where small businesses are relying on generators and industry is struggling amid blackouts - described the damage to the grid as "very serious" and said it could take two months to fully restore.

Appealing for urgent military aid for Ukraine, Mr Tusk warned the next two years of the war would decide everything, adding: "We are living in the most critical moment since the end of the Second World War."

Delivering his stark intervention on European security, he pointed out Russia had attacked Kyiv with hypersonic missiles in daylight for the first time.

He said Mr Putin's attempt to blame Ukraine for the jihadist attack on Moscow's Crocus City Hall without evidence showed the Russian president "evidently feels the need to justify increasingly violent attacks on civil targets in Ukraine".

Mr Tusk used his first interview with European media since returning to the office of Polish prime minister at the end of 2023 to urge leaders around the continent to bolster their defences.

He said Europe did not need to create "parallel structures to Nato" but the continent would be a more attractive partner to the US if it became more self-sufficient militarily, regardless of who wins America's November presidential election.

Poland now spends 4% of its economic output on defence, while other European nations have not yet achieved the Nato target of 2%.

I keep torturing myself trying to make sense of the Right in America's plan for foreign policy and Ukraine in particular.

And I think I've settled on what the problem is.

CBS News' 60 Minutes, the Insider, and Der Spiegel: Havana Syndrome mystery continues as a lead military investigator says bar for proof was set impossibly high. Why am I posting this here? Read:

Greg Edgreen ran the investigation for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He would not discuss classified information but he described his team's work from 2021 to 2023.

Greg Edgreen: We were collecting a large body of data, ranging from signals intelligence, human intelligence, open-source reporting. Anything regarding the internet, travel records, financial records, you name it. Unfortunately I can't get into specifics, based on the classification. But I can tell you at a very early stage, I started to focus on Moscow.

Scott Pelley: Can you tell me about the patterns you began to see?

Greg Edgreen: One of the things I started to notice was the caliber of our officer that was being impacted. This wasn't happening to our worst or our middle-range officers. This was happening to our top 5%, 10% performing officers across the Defense Intelligence Agency. And consistently there was a Russia nexus. There was some angle where they had worked against Russia, focused on Russia, and done extremely well.

Scott Pelley: What has been the impact on American national security?

Greg Edgreen: The impact has been that the intelligence officers and our diplomats working abroad are being removed from their posts with traumatic brain injuries. They're being neutralized.

Tonight, we're reporting for the first time, an incident at last year's NATO summit in Lithuania—a meeting that focused largely on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and was attended by President Biden. Multiple sources tell us that a senior official of the Department of Defense was struck by the symptoms and sought medical treatment. We told Greg Edgreen what we'd learned.

Greg Edgreen: It tells me that there are no barriers on what Moscow will do, on who they will attack, and that if we don't face this head on, the problem is going to get worse.

The problem first appeared in public in 2016. U.S. officials reported being hurt in Cuba and the incidents became known as Havana Syndrome. But we have learned it started two years earlier when at least four Americans reported symptoms in Frankfurt, Germany. There is also evidence of what could be revenge attacks. For example, in 2014, three CIA officers were stationed in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin's obsession. 2014 was the year that a popular revolt overthrew Putin's preferred leader. Later, those CIA officers went on to other assignments and reported being hit, one in Uzbekistan, one in Vietnam, and the third officer's family was hit in London.

If it is Russia, investigative reporter Christo Grozev believes he knows who's involved. In 2018, Grozev was the first to discover the existence of a top secret Russian intelligence unit which goes by a number, 29155.

Christo Grozev: These are people who are trained to be versatile assassins and sabotage operators. They are trained in countersurveillance, they are trained in explosives, they're trained to be using poison, and technology equipment to actually inflict pain or damage to the targets.

Grozev works with our collaborators on this report, a magazine called The Insider and Germany's Der Spiegel. he has a long track record uncovering Russian documents. And Grozev says he found one that may link 29155 to a directed energy weapon.

Christo Grozev: And when I saw it, I literally had tears in my eyes, because it was spelling out what they had been doing.

It's a piece of accounting. An officer of 29155 received a bonus for work on quote, "potential capabilities of non-lethal acoustic weapons…"

And now the question that's going to be thrown at every official in the Biden Administration: why is the CIA denying that there is this "Havana Syndrome?"

Maybe they touched some fentanyl.