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Ukraine

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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    edited April 2023
    a 800 and some mile long shared border....


    dumbfuck.

     
    Finland joins NATO in major blow to Russia over Ukraine war
    By LORNE COOK and MATTHEW LEE
    2 mins ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Finland joined the NATO military alliance Tuesday, dealing a major blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a historic realignment of Europe's post-Cold War security landscape triggered by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The Nordic country's membership doubles Russia’s border with the world’s biggest security alliance. Finland had adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviets in World War II, but its leaders signaled they wanted to join NATO just months after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through its neighbors.

    In praising Finland's membership, U.S. President Joe Biden noted it came on the 74th anniversary of the signing of NATO's founding treaty on April 4, 1949.

    “When Putin launched his brutal war of aggression against the people of Ukraine, he thought he could divide Europe and NATO. He was wrong,” Biden said. “Today, we are more united than ever. And together — strengthened by our newest ally, Finland — we will continue to preserve transatlantic security, defend every inch of NATO territory, and meet any and all challenges we face.”

    The move is a strategic and political setback for Putin, who has long complained about NATO’s expansion toward Russia and partly used that as a justification for the invasion.

    “I’m tempted to say this is maybe the one thing that we can thank Mr. Putin for because he once again here precipitated something he claims to want to prevent by Russia’s aggression, causing many countries to believe that they have to do more to look out for their own defense and to make sure that they can deter possible Russian aggression going forward,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said before accepting the documents that made Finland’s membership official.

    The U.S. State Department is the repository of NATO texts concerning membership.

    Russia warned it would be forced to take “retaliatory measures” to address what it called security threats created by Finland’s membership. It had also warned it would bolster forces near Finland if NATO sends any additional troops or equipment to what is its 31st member country.

    The alliance says it poses no threat to Moscow.

    Alarmed by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year, Finland, which shares a 1,340 kilometer (832 mile) border with Russia, applied to join in May, setting aside years of military nonalignment to seek protection under the organization’s security umbrella.

    "It’s a great day for Finland and an important day for NATO, too,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. “Russia tried to create a sphere around them and, well, we are not a sphere. I’m sure that Finns themselves feel more secure, that we are living in a more stable world.”

    Neighboring Sweden, which has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, has also applied. But objections from NATO members Turkey and Hungary have delayed the process.

    Niinisto said Finland’s membership "is not complete without that of Sweden. The persistent efforts for a rapid Swedish membership continue.“

    Earlier, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Moscow "will be forced to take military-technical and other retaliatory measures to counter the threats to our national security arising from Finland’s accession to NATO.”

    It said Finland's move marks "a fundamental change in the situation in Northern Europe, which had previously been one of the most stable regions in the world.”

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Finland’s membership reflects the alliance’s anti-Russian course and warned that Moscow will respond depending on what weapons NATO allies place there. But he also sought to play down the impact, noting that Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland.

    It's not clear what additional military resources Russia could send to the Finnish border. Moscow has deployed the bulk of its most capable military units to Ukraine.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said no more troops would be sent to Finland unless it asked for help.

    The country is now protected by what Stoltenberg called NATO's “iron-clad security guarantee,” under which all member countries vow to come to the defense of any ally that comes under attack.

    But Stoltenberg refused to rule out the possibility of holding more military exercises there and said that NATO would not allow Russia’s demands to dictate the organization’s decisions.

    “We are constantly assessing our posture, our presence. We have more exercises, we have more presence, also in the Nordic area,” he said.

    Finland's Parliament, meanwhile, said its website was hit with a so-called denial-of-service attack, which made the site hard to use, with many pages not loading and some functions not available.

    A pro-Russian hacker group known as NoName057 (16) claimed responsibility, saying the attack was retaliation for Finland joining NATO. The claim could not be immediately verified.

    The hacker group, which has reportedly acted on Moscow’s orders, has taken party in a slew of cyberattacks on the U.S. and its allies in the past. Finnish public broadcaster YLE said the same group hit the Parliament's site last year.

    Finland's entry was marked with a flag-raising ceremony at NATO headquarters and a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers.

    ___

    Follow AP's coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine



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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    https://apnews.com/article/russia-putin-defector-war-crimes-khodorkovsky-karakulov-dossier-845421fe06ed9cfa1962ad4f98a2e413
    ‘He’s a war criminal’: Elite Putin security officer defects
    By ERIKA KINETZ
    27 mins ago

    LONDON (AP) — On Oct. 14, a Russian engineer named Gleb Karakulov boarded a flight from Kazakhstan to Turkey with his wife and daughter. He switched off his phone to shut out the crescendo of urgent, enraged messages, said goodbye to his life in Russia and tried to calm his fast-beating heart.

    But this was no ordinary Russian defector. Karakulov was an officer in President Vladimir Putin’s secretive elite personal security service — one of the few Russians to flee and go public who have rank, as well as knowledge of intimate details of Putin’s life and potentially classified information.

    Karakulov, who was responsible for secure communications, said moral opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his fear of dying there drove him to speak out, despite the risks to himself and his family. He said he hoped to inspire other Russians to speak out also.

    “Our president has become a war criminal,” he said. “It is time to end this war and stop being silent.”

    Karakulov’s account generally conforms with others that paint the Russian president as a once charismatic but increasingly isolated leader, who doesn’t use a cellphone or the internet and insists on access to Russian state television wherever he goes. He also offered new details about how Putin’s paranoia appears to have deepened since his decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Putin now prefers to avoid airplanes and travel on a special armored train, he said, and he ordered a bunker at the Russian Embassy in Kazakhstan outfitted with a secure communications line in October — the first time Karakulov had ever fielded such a request.

    Along with information on Putin, Karakulov’s testimony offers an intimate view of one man’s decision to defect — without telling his own mother, who he said remains a strong Putin supporter. It raises critical questions about how deep the Russian public’s acceptance of the war runs, and how Putin’s opponents in the West and beyond might leverage any silent opposition.

    While not speaking directly about his case, an official with a security background from a NATO country said a defection like Karakulov’s “has a very great level of interest.” He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive political matters.

    “That would be seen as a very serious blow to the president himself because he is extremely keen on his security, and his security is compromised,” he said. “That’s something that he would be very unhappy about -- particularly if the compromise is to do with communications, upon which a great deal relies.”

    PUTIN IS ‘SIMPLY AFRAID’

    As an engineer in a field unit of the presidential communications department of the Federal Protective Service, or FSO, Karakulov was responsible for setting up secure communications for the Russian president and prime minister wherever they went. While he was not a confidant of Putin’s, Karakulov spent years in his service, observing him from unusually close quarters from 2009 through late 2022.

    Karakulov, his wife and his child have gone underground, and it was impossible to speak with them directly due to security constraints.

    The Dossier Center, a London-based investigative group funded by Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, interviewed Karakulov multiple times and shared video and transcripts of more than six hours of those interviews with The Associated Press, as well as the Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR, Swedish Television SVT, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK. The Dossier Center confirmed the authenticity of Karakulov’s passport and FSO work identity card, and cross-checked details of his biography against Russian government records, leaked personal data and social media postings.

    The Associated Press reviewed the materials from the Dossier Center and independently confirmed Karakulov’s identity with three sources in the U.S. and Europe, who were not authorized to speak publicly. AP also independently corroborated personal details, including Karakulov's passport numbers, date and place of birth, two registered addresses, and the names and ages of family members, but was unable to verify details of his defection.

    AP also confirmed that Karakulov is listed as a wanted man in the Russian Interior Ministry’s public database of criminal suspects. The Interior Ministry initiated a criminal investigation against Karakulov on Oct. 26 for desertion during a time of military mobilization, according to documents obtained by the Dossier Center and seen by the AP.

    The FSO is one of the most secretive branches of Russia’s security services.

    “Even when they quit, they never talk, but they know a lot of details of the private life of the president and the prime minister,” said Katya Hakim, a senior researcher at the Dossier Center.

    The Kremlin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Karakulov moved as part of an advance team, often with enough specialized communications equipment to fill a KAMAZ truck. He said he has taken more than 180 trips with the Russian president, and contrary to widespread speculation, Putin appears to be in better shape than most people his age. Putin has only canceled a few trips due to illness and has annual medical checkups, he said.

    Unlike the prime minister, Putin does not require secure internet access on his trips, Karakulov said.

    “In all my service, I have never seen him with a mobile phone,” he said. “All the information he receives is only from people close to him. That is, he lives in a kind of information vacuum.”

    Karakulov’s work brought him to luxury hotels for summits, beach resorts in Cuba, yachts — and aboard a special armored train outfitted for the Russian president.

    Putin’s train looks like any other, painted gray with a red stripe to blend in with other railway carriages in Russia. Putin didn’t like the fact that airplanes can be tracked, preferring the stealth of a nondescript train car, Karakulov said.

    “I understand that he’s simply afraid,” he said.

    Putin began to use the train regularly in the run-up to the February 2022 invasion, Karakulov said. Even last year, Putin continued to insist on strict anti-COVID measures, and FSO employees took shifts in two-week quarantine so there would always be a pool of people cleared to travel with Putin on the train, he said.

    Putin has set up identical offices in multiple locations, with matching details down to the desk and wall hangings, and official reports sometimes say he’s one place when he is actually in another, according to Karakulov and prior reporting by a Russian media outlet. When Putin was in Sochi, security officials would deliberately pretend he was leaving, bringing in a plane and sending off a motorcade, when he was in fact staying, Karakulov said.

    “The guys would talk about this, really laughing,” he said. “I think that this is an attempt to confuse, first, intelligence, and second, so that there are no assassination attempts.”

    FACES OF WARRIORS

    Karakulov’s defection was a surprising turn for a family steeped in patriotic military tradition.

    Born in Dagestan, Karakulov was raised to be ready for war, believing it was his sacred duty to defend his homeland. After graduating from a military academy, he found his way into the FSO.

    “To be close to the president — it sounded pretty cool,” he said.

    Karakulov’s father is a former military man, who has worked as a professional photographer, among other jobs. He is working on a project he calls “Faces of Warriors,” a series of elegant, hagiographic portraits of Russian soldiers and veterans.

    Karakulov’s brother is a local government official, records show, and served as the point person for a regional, government-backed project devoted to “civic patriotism” and honoring “Heroes of the Fatherland.”

    Karakulov’s job introduced him to a world beyond his family. Even as his father and brother marched in patriotic military parades, his own doubts deepened. He’s horrified to think that he might also be rallying around the letter Z in support of the war in Ukraine if his job hadn’t taught him to see through the lies of Russian state television.

    “Thanks to my work in the FSO, I have seen how information is distorted,” he said.

    He also began to question the conspicuous spending of Russia’s top leaders. He said he saw officials convene large delegations at luxurious resorts that cost more each night than his monthly salary. They’d all attend a brief meeting and then hang out for a week, he said.

    “If this is from the budget, then the question is, ‘Is it not too much to spend this kind of money on one person?’” he said. “If it’s not from the budget, then it’s total corruption.”

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a breaking point, he said. He told his wife he wanted out. He didn’t want their young daughter brainwashed in preschool, where children were doing patriotic salutes and being told about bombs.

    “This is not the future I would like for my child,” he said.

    With Russia’s September mobilization drive, Karakulov realized that if he quit his job, he was likely to be drafted into a war he didn’t want to fight. But even if he stayed, he could get sent to the front.

    He learned that some of his colleagues had been dispatched to Ukraine and killed. He saw photos of FSO crews destroyed by Ukrainian rockets, with dozens likely dead.

    He was outraged that no one in Russia acknowledged those deaths.

    “There’s no information about them,” Karakulov said. “What were they doing there? Why did they end up there? Why did they die there?”

    The only conversations he had were with colleagues who seemed to relish the war. He imagined others must share his views, but he had no way to find them.

    “They simply cannot even open their mouths,” he said.

    Karakulov said he couldn’t tell his parents about his disillusionment either, because their minds had been molded by years of watching Russian state television.

    As the war streamed in on the evening news, his parents seemed to savor the view from the front. He found it unbearable and asked his mother to turn off the TV. She refused.

    He said he tried to explain to her that Ukraine is an independent country, but she immediately cut him off. “What is this?” she said to him. “You want to run away? Are you some kind of foreign agent?”

    He never told them he was leaving.

    In October, a series of official meetings in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, gave Karakulov his chance to run away. He and his wife packed their lives into three suitcases. He flew out Oct. 6 with the rest of his team. His wife and daughter joined two days later, staying in a separate hotel.

    But each day, Karakulov found another reason not to go.

    On the last day of the delegation, Oct. 14, he realized he couldn’t postpone any longer. His wife collected his suitcase from his hotel room to avoid raising suspicion. He slipped away after lunch, telling colleagues that he was heading out to buy souvenirs.

    He climbed in a taxi with his wife and daughter and set off for the airport around 3 p.m.

    “From then on, it was only a matter of my own nerves,” he said.

    He got through check-in and started getting messages from colleagues asking where he was. The flight was delayed by an hour. He could feel a distant fury building against him. By 5 p.m., he figured people had started to look for him.

    “You scumbag,” read one message.

    Fifteen minutes before takeoff, he switched off his phone.

    His wife was very upset. They spent the 5 1/2-hour flight waiting for something to go wrong.

    When they finally cleared passport control in Turkey, Karakulov said it was like a great stone had fallen from his soul.

    He said he knows many people will accuse him of being unpatriotic, but he disagrees.

    “Patriotism is when you love your country,” he said. “In this case, our homeland needs to be saved, because something crazy and terrible is happening in our country. We need to fix this.”

    THE PRICE OF DISSENT

    What the future holds for Karakulov — and anyone who might dare to follow in his footsteps — is far from clear.

    He was not the only one who wanted out.

    On Sept. 27, days after Russia’s mobilization, an engineer at a regional FSO center in Siberia named Mikhail Zhilin snuck through the forest across the border to Kazakhstan. Many Russians fled to Kazakhstan to avoid the draft, but the authorities refused Zhilin’s request for asylum and sent him back to Russia. On March 20, a Russian court sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in a penal colony.

    Abbas Gallyamov, a Russian political analyst now living in Israel who was a speechwriter for Putin from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2008 to 2010, said he believes the majority of Russia’s elites secretly oppose Putin’s war. He added that if the West had offered them an exit strategy instead of sanctions, more might have left.

    “They are all shocked,” he said. “From their point of view, there was no reason to do this because everything was okay … now all of a sudden, everything collapsed. … We’re enemies of the world.”

    Gallyamov, like Karakulov, is on the wanted list of Russia’s Interior Ministry. He said a defection like Karakulov’s is a particular blow because the FSO is like a “royal elite” above other military and security structures in Russia, charged with protecting the state’s most precious asset: Putin himself.

    “They will be very angry,” he said. “There will be hysterics.”

    Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Russian public opinion about the war is divided but there is little space for public dissent, especially for people working within the system.

    “The rule is that the elite stick to Putin,” she said.

    Those who do leave Russia often pay a price to keep their conscience clear.

    Boris Bondarev, a career Russian diplomat in Geneva, quit in May and denounced the war.


    continues....

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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 36,970
    mickeyrat said:
    Dude will be spending a wee little bit of time in supermax Florence soon and as well he should. He can wait for POOTWH to pardon him.
    09/15/1998 & 09/16/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/27/2008, Hartford; 06/28/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield; 08/18/2009, O2, London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA; 09/08/2022, Toronto, Ont; 09/11/2022, New York, NY; 09/14/2022, Camden, NJ; 09/02/2023, St. Paul, MN; 05/04/2024 & 05/06/2024, Vancouver, BC; 05/10/2024, Portland, OR;

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    PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BC Posts: 49,747
    Here's the fucking idiot.

    Jack Teixeira was the leader of an online chat group who uploaded hundreds of photographs of secret and top secret documents, according to the New York Times. The online group called itself Thug Shaker Central, made up of 20 to 30 young men and teenagers who shared their love of guns, racist memes and video games.





    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,271
    nice to see that the doj actually CAN arrest someone who stole secret documents....
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 36,970
    Just like the rest of us.

    Russia’s commando units gutted by lack of Pearl Jam tour announcement, U.S. leak shows

    09/15/1998 & 09/16/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/27/2008, Hartford; 06/28/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield; 08/18/2009, O2, London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA; 09/08/2022, Toronto, Ont; 09/11/2022, New York, NY; 09/14/2022, Camden, NJ; 09/02/2023, St. Paul, MN; 05/04/2024 & 05/06/2024, Vancouver, BC; 05/10/2024, Portland, OR;

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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    oopsiesssss



     
    Russia's air force accidentally bombs own city of Belgorod
    34 mins ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's military acknowledged that a bomb accidentally dropped by one of its warplanes caused a powerful blast in a Russian city not far from Ukraine's border, injuring two and scaring local residents.

    Belgorod, a city of 340,000 located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the Russia-Ukraine border, has faced regular drone attacks during Russia's current military operation in Ukraine. Russian authorities blamed the earlier strikes on the Ukrainian military, which refrained from directly claiming responsibility for the attacks.

    The explosion late Thursday was far more powerful than anything Belgorod residents had experienced before. Witnesses reported a low hissing sound followed by a blast that made nearby apartment buildings tremble and shattered their windows.

    It left a 20-meter (66-foot) -wide crater in the middle of a tree-lined boulevard flanked by apartments, damaged several cars and threw one vehicle onto a store roof. Two people were injured, and a third person was later hospitalized with hypertension, authorities said.

    Immediately after the explosion, Russian commentators and military bloggers were abuzz with theories about what weapon Ukraine had used for the attack. Many of them called for strong retribution.

    But about an hour later, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that a weapon accidentally released by one of its own Su-34 bombers caused the blast. The ministry did not provide any further details, but military experts said the weapon likely was a powerful 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bomb.

    Military experts charged that the weapon appeared to have been set to explode with a small delay after impact that would allow it to hit underground facilities.

    Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said local authorities decided to temporarily resettle residents of a nine-story apartment building while it was inspected to make sure it hadn’t suffered structural damage that rendered it unsafe to live in.

    Russian commentators questioned why the warplane flew over Belgorod and urged the military to avoid such risky overflights in the future.

    In October, a Russian warplane crashed next to a residential building in the port city of Yeysk on the Sea of Azov, killing 15 people. Yeysk hosts a big Russian air base with warplanes that fly missions over Ukraine.

    Military experts have noted that as the number of Russian military flights have increased sharply during the fighting, so have crashes and misfires.

    In another deadly incident in the Belgorod region, two volunteer soldiers fired at Russian troops at a military firing range, killing 11 and wounding 15 others before being shot dead.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334

     
    US says 20,000 Russians killed in Ukraine war since December
    By AAMER MADHANI and ZEKE MILLER
    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Monday it now estimates that just since December Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties, including more than 20,000 killed, as Ukraine has rebuffed a heavy assault by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

    In what has become a grinding war of attrition, the fiercest battles have been in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia is struggling to encircle the city of Bakhmut in the face of dogged Ukrainian defense.

    White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. estimate is based on newly declassified American intelligence. He did not detail how the intelligence community derived the number.

    Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in November that Russia had suffered well over 100,000 killed or wounded in the first eight months of the war. The new figures suggest that Russian losses have dramatically accelerated in recent months.

    Troops from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group and other forces are fighting Ukrainian troops house-to-house to try to gain control of what has become known as the “road of life” — the last remaining road west still in Ukrainian hands, which makes it critical for supplies and fresh troops. Both sides have cited gains in recent days.

    Kirby said nearly half those killed since December are Wagner forces, many of them convicts who were released from prison to join Russia's fight. He said the Wagner forces were “thrown into combat and without sufficient combat or combat training, combat leadership, or any sense of organizational command and control.”

    The White House has repeatedly sought to highlight the cost — both human and weaponry — to Russia of Bakhmut, which it argues has limited strategic importance to the overall trajectory of the war. Some analysts, however, note that taking control Bakhmut could be helpful to Russian efforts to advance on the larger cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the Donetsk region

    Kirby said the Russian casualty count for "this little town of Bakhmut” was in line with some of the fiercest periods of fighting during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front, and the Guadalcanal campaign, the first major Allied offensive against Japan.

    ”It’s three times the number of killed in action that the United States faced on the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II and that was over the course of five months,” Kirby said.

    Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, the head of Ukrainian ground forces, said Russia continued to exert “maximum effort” to take Bakhmut but that it so far had failed.

    “In some parts of the city, the enemy was counterattacked by our units and left some positions,” he said.

    Kirby declined to say how many Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded in the fighting. Milley said in November that Ukrainian casualties were probably also about 100,000.

    AP writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed reporting.


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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,271
    mickeyrat said:
    i'm waiting for president trump to comment so i know how i am supposed to feel about this. because you know he will, and he will say the exact opposite of what needs to be said right now...
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

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    lastexitlondonlastexitlondon Posts: 12,594
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 36,970
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
    I’d rather see him arrested and put on trial at The Hague and prosecuted by none other than Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, after he’s finished with POOTWH, of course.
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    Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 10,639
    mickeyrat said:

    The "fear of WWIII" talk is f'ing exhausting, and serves Putin's interests more than anyone else... I'm not convinced it didn't originate in far right / pro Russia circles. 
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,271
    i am not buying the drone assassination attempt. you really think ukraine would send drones to the kremlin that can not even blow up a flagpole?

    this reeks of false flag to me.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,271
    i am not buying the drone assassination attempt. you really think ukraine would send drones to the kremlin that can not even blow up a flagpole?

    this reeks of false flag to me.
    i mean really. elon's rocket explosion was about as impressive as that.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    23scidoo23scidoo Thessaloniki,Greece Posts: 18,755
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
    I’d rather see him arrested and put on trial at The Hague and prosecuted by none other than Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, after he’s finished with POOTWH, of course.
    Couple of Americans presidents they should be also treid in Hague but thats another story, right??
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 36,970
    23scidoo said:
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
    I’d rather see him arrested and put on trial at The Hague and prosecuted by none other than Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, after he’s finished with POOTWH, of course.
    Couple of Americans presidents they should be also treid in Hague but thats another story, right??
    I’d have no issue with Shrub, Darth Cheney, Wolfowitz being put on trial at The Hague. My biggest critique of Obama was he said, “we need to move on.”
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    Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 10,639
    23scidoo said:
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
    I’d rather see him arrested and put on trial at The Hague and prosecuted by none other than Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, after he’s finished with POOTWH, of course.
    Couple of Americans presidents they should be also treid in Hague but thats another story, right??
    Your comment is 100% correct, including the part about it being another story. This thread is about Ukraine. 
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    benjsbenjs Toronto, ON Posts: 9,002
    23scidoo said:
    It seems somebody tried to assassinate Putin. To bad they didn't complete the task
    I’d rather see him arrested and put on trial at The Hague and prosecuted by none other than Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, after he’s finished with POOTWH, of course.
    Couple of Americans presidents they should be also treid in Hague but thats another story, right??
    Good call. When Ukraine is being actively attacked by Russia and persecution of their leader is being discussed, we should definitely pivot to discuss past war crimes rather than stopping a current atrocity.


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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,271
    mickeyrat said:
    this is the russian equivalent of "i am so angry i am going to go to the driver's seat of my pickup truck and make a video about it."
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    mickeyrat said:
    this is the russian equivalent of "i am so angry i am going to go to the driver's seat of my pickup truck and make a video about it."

    yesterdays letter from an american has some of the text from it. 
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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334

     
    Ukraine downs Russian hypersonic missile with US Patriot
    By DAVID RISING
    1 hour ago

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's air force claimed Saturday to have downed a Russian hypersonic missile over Kyiv using newly acquired American Patriot defense systems, the first known time the country has been able to intercept one of Moscow's most modern missiles.

    Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said in a Telegram post that the Kinzhal-type ballistic missile had been intercepted in an overnight attack on the Ukrainian capital earlier in the week. It was also the first time Ukraine is known to have used the Patriot defense systems.

    “Yes, we shot down the ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Oleshchuk wrote. “It happened during the night-time attack on May 4 in the skies of the Kyiv region.”

    Oleshchuk said the Kh-47 missile was launched by a MiG-31K aircraft from Russian territory and was shot down with a Patriot missile.

    The Kinzhal is one of the latest and most advanced Russian weapons. The Russian military says the air-launched ballistic missile has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it hard to intercept.

    A combination of hypersonic speed and a heavy warhead allows the Kinzhal to destroy heavily fortified targets, like underground bunkers or mountain tunnels.

    The Ukrainian military has previously admitted lacking assets to intercept the Kinzhals.

    “They were saying that the Patriot is an outdated American weapon, and Russian weapons are the best in the world," Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said on Ukraine's Channel 24 television. "Well, there is confirmation that it effectively works against even a super-hypersonic missile.” Ihnat said.

    He said successfully intercepting the Kinzhal was “a slap in the face for Russia.”

    Ukraine took its first delivery of the Patriot missiles in late April. It has not specified how many of the systems it has or where they have been deployed, but they are known to have been provided by the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.

    Germany and the U.S. have acknowledged each sending at least one battery and the Netherlands has said it has provided two launchers, although it is not clear how many are currently in operation.

    Ukrainian troops have received the extensive training needed to be able to effectively locate a target with the systems, lock on with radar, and fire. Each battery requires up to 90 personnel to operate and maintain.

    Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he first asked for Patriot systems when visiting the U.S. in August 2021, months before Russia’s full-scale invasion but seven years after Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

    He has described possessing the system as “a dream” but said he was told in the U.S. at the time that it was impossible.

    The Patriot was first deployed by the U.S. in the 1980s. The system costs approximately $4 million per missile, and the launchers cost about $10 million each, according to analysts.

    At such a cost, it was widely thought that Ukraine would only use the Patriots against Russian aircraft or hypersonic missiles.

    In a Telegram post on Saturday, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said he had thanked U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the ongoing American aid to Ukraine.

    Zaluzhnyi said he also briefed Milley “about the situation at the front and preparations” for Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russia.

    Ukraine has not said when it might launch the counteroffensive, but it is widely anticipated this spring.

    In an interview this week with Foreign Affairs magazine, Milley said he would not speculate on if or when it might come, but that with NATO assistance to help train and equip nine brigades' worth of combined arms, armor and mechanized infantry, “the Ukrainians right now have the capability to attack.”

    He also said that their capability to defend was “significantly enhanced from what they were just a year ago.”

    “I don’t want to suggest that they may or may not conduct an offensive operation in the coming weeks,” he said. “That’ll be up to them. They’ve got a significant amount of planning and coordination and all of that to do, if they were to do an offensive operation. But they’re prepared to do offense or defense.”

    In other developments, officials in both Russia and Ukraine said they had carried out another of their regular exchanges of prisoners of war.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said it brought three military pilots back to Russia, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said 45 fighters who defended the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol had been returned to Ukraine.

    Also on Saturday, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces accused Russia of using phosphorus munitions in its attempt to wrest control of the eastern city of Bakhmut from Ukrainian forces.

    Russian troops have been trying to take the city for more than nine months, but Ukrainian forces are still clinging to positions on the western outskirts.

    On Saturday, the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper quoted military officials as saying that “the enemy used phosphorus and incendiary ammunition in Bakhmut in an attempt to wipe the city off the face of the earth.”

    A photo accompanying the newspaper report showed an urban area lit up with fire in multiple places.

    The allegations could not be independently verified.

    Russian forces have not commented on the claim but have rejected previous accusations from Ukraine that they had used phosphorus.

    International law prohibits the use of white phosphorus or other incendiary weapons — munitions designed to set fire to objects or cause burn injuries — in areas where there could be concentrations of civilians.

    White phosphorous can also be used for illumination or to create smoke screens.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,801
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,334
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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