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Thread: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Those tanks are beasts!

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by karmachanic View Post
    "."Russians demonstrate their skill at killing civilians


    Korea, Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, El Salvador, Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, Congo, East Timor, Laos Cambodia, Viet Nam, Sudan, Afghanistan, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, and so on don't count? Just checking.


    He who is without sin cast the first stone
    Look, I'm lefter than thou. Yes, wanted to join the Civil Rights Movement, seeing segregation spotted all over DC and Maryland as I grew up. Went to the first big March on Washington Aganst the War in Vietnam in 1965, and worked against that war for years.

    Nobody in the New Left lusted after dictatorship and oppression, which is what Putin oh, so kindly offers to the people of Ukraine. Dictatorship and war crimes, murders in Bucha and nearly everywhere that the Russian army goes.

    Your sort of "anti-imperialism" insists that Putin is justified in his invasion of Ukraine because the US invaded Iraq. Either that is idiotic, or merely illogical, or a twisted defense of Putinist imperialism.
    For the record I am neither left nor right, and have no interest in politics or taking sides. Armies kill. That's what they do. All wars give rise to atrocities and mayhem on both sides.

    The roots of the debacle in Ukraine go back to 1991 and promises not kept. The fighting started in 2013.

    Anyway. Apologies for disturbing the echo chamber. Over and out.
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    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    So— Stalin's obscene treatment of Ukraine had nothing to do with the present situation?

    You claim not to take sides, but are rather free in offering your opinions, as if from a great height.

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Logistics, logistics, logistics. Ukraine will need a steady supply of parts to keep the Leopard 2 and (eventually) Abrams tanks in battle.

    Ukraine faces logistics hurdles ahead of tank deliveries

    By Loveday Morris, Emily Rauhala, Dan Lamothe and David L. Stern
    January 26, 2023 at 7:22 p.m. EST

    A German soldier stands before a Leopard 2 battle tank during a visit by the German chancellor to a military training ground in northern Germany in October 2022. (Ronny Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images)

    BERLIN — Nearly a year into the war in Ukraine, Western allies finally agreed to send Kyiv the battle tanks it says it so desperately needs.

    The first battalion will have roughly 40 tanks, including newer German Leopard 2A6s, and could arrive by spring.

    But the broader package pieced together this week by the United States and other European nations includes a hodgepodge of tank models, each with different delivery times and unique logistical hurdles. Military experts are unsure if they will have a decisive effect on the battlefield — and Ukrainian forces still need to be trained on how to use them.

    U.S. will supply M1 tanks to Ukraine; Germany approves Leopards

    Ukraine has said that it needs at least 300 tanks to support a large-scale spring offensive against the Russians and has called the Western move to donate them a game changer. On Thursday, in apparent retaliation for the tank pledges a day earlier, Russia bombarded Ukrainian towns and cities with dozens of missiles, killing at least 11 people, officials said.


    “No single weapons system or platform can be a game changer,” said Franz-Stefan Gady, a senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. He said the impact of the “limited number” of tanks arriving in March would depend on training and how well the new formations are integrated on the front line.

    But because Germany waited so long to decide whether to send tanks, “it is unlikely that the Leopard 2 will play a significant role in any spring offensive,” he said.

    Still, the Ukrainians are now expecting a planned transfer of 14 Challenger 2 tanks from Britain, as well as an eventual delivery of 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks from the United States. The M1A2 is a variant first fielded in the 1990s. It includes more modern electronics and targeting systems than its older cousin, the M1A1, and a 120mm main cannon.

    European countries are also dusting off decades-old stocks. Spain has mulled sending a batch of older Leopard 2A4s that have been mothballed for a decade and may need extensive repairs. Germany is rushing ahead with the newer A6 variant, with thermal imaging and a significantly more powerful high-velocity gun.

    The Biden administration announced Jan. 25 that it will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, but they’re unlikely to arrive by the spring. (Video: The Washington Post)
    Tank dispute splits Ukraine’s allies as Zelensky seeks more firepower

    It is all valuable firepower as Ukraine stands against Russian forces, but with the additional complications of procuring ammunition, training capable forces, and organizing logistics for multiple weapons systems. Germany, Poland, and the United States are all planning separate tank training programs, with Germany and Poland set to begin theirs in days as they rush deliveries for spring.

    The mishmash of different systems makes it “quite difficult from the logistical point,” said Sonny Butterworth, a tank expert with the defense intelligence firm Janes.

    British Challenger 2s use different ammunition from the NATO standard. And when it comes to the Leopard 2s, there are subtle differences between the stocks held by each European country — even if they are the same model. A Spanish Leopard A4 may have a different fire control or radio system from a Finnish one, though they are essentially interoperable, experts say.

    “The Ukrainians are going to be operating several different types of equipment and they are going to have to contend with having to support them with the right spare parts going to the right units,” Butterworth said.

    Ukraine relies on old Soviet T-72 battle tanks and might feel it just needs the hardware to fight back against Russia and keep up the tempo on the battlefield, he said. But in the long term, operating multiple types of tanks could create bigger logistical snags.

    The U.S. decision to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine — although not for months — eliminates a powerful weapon for Ukrainian forces in the short term. But it was also one that could have caused disarray without the proper logistical support and maintenance, experts say.

    One U.S. official aware of the deliberations behind the decision said that while Ukrainian forces have shown a considerable ability to maintain and sustain U.S. equipment on the battlefield, operating Abrams tanks requires significant preparation, including training that will take place outside Ukraine.

    “We are confident that we will be able to provide the adequate sustainment and maintenance support after some months,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Biden administration.

    Poland, which neighbors Ukraine, is also building up its own supply of M1 Abrams and could facilitate logistics and maintenance support, experts say.

    One major complicating factor is the depleted uranium used in the armor packages specific to U.S. military versions of the tank. The armor includes classified aspects that the United States does not typically export, said one person familiar with the issue, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    It remained unclear Thursday where U.S. troops might train Ukrainian forces on the tank. One possibility was the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, a sprawling facility in the Bavarian countryside where U.S. troops began training a battalion of more than 600 Ukrainian forces this month on how to combine artillery, armored vehicles and other weapons to maximize their impact on the battlefield.

    During a first visit to troops on Thursday, Germany’s new Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, pushed back at claims that the tank deliveries were insufficient or that German delays may have lost vital time.


    “We didn’t hesitate, we negotiated,” he said. “We talked to our allies and our partners and friends.”

    As the manufacturer of the Leopard tank, Berlin’s go-ahead is needed for deliveries from any of the more than a dozen countries that operate it, but it insisted that it would not “go it alone.”

    Yuri Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, said the Russians are so entrenched in the territories they occupy, “that for us to be able to advance with our counteroffensive means battle tanks are key.”

    So far, Ukraine has relied on old Soviet T-72 tanks, which run low on ammunition in conflicts in which heavy artillery dominates. The new tanks will open the door to platforms that support ammunition that can be replenished by allies in what has become a war of attrition.

    “In order to get three hundred [tanks], you have to work hard,” said Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council. “Everyone involved works every day, so that the number increases,” he said.

    But it was important to have “a beginning,” he said. “It’s like the first step. It’s like permission.”

    Rauhala reported from Brussels, Lamothe from Washington and Stern from Kyiv. Vanessa Guinan-Bank in Berlin and Beatriz Ríos in Brussels contributed to this report.

  5. #505
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    There are reports of explosions and fires at four sites in Iran:

    —Karaj, air force base
    —Isfahan, munitions factory
    —Tabriz, military industrial plant.
    —Azarshahr, petrochemical plant.

    Explosions, Fires At Iran Military Site And Factories
    28 JAN

    Iran International Newsroom

    Reports and videos from Iran speak of multiple explosions and a fire at an ammunition factory in the Iranian city of Esfahan shortly after midnight local time.

    There are reports on social media of explosions and smoke in northwest of the capital Tehran. These reports cannot be confirmed at thsi time.

    Also, a report by Fars new agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard speaks of a “horrible fire” at a factory near Tabriz. Some Twitter users say the factory is used by the IRGC.

    After multiple reports by eyewitnesses after midnight, January 29, that an ammunition producing factory in Esfahan was hit by explosions and fire, Iran's defense ministry announced that small drones attacked the complex, and called the attack “unsuccessful.” It claimed all the drones were shot down.


    https://www.iranintl.com/en/202301282372

  6. #506
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    You claim not to take sides, but are rather free in offering your opinions, as if from a great height.
    Not taking sides does not make me oblivious to actual events. And yes, I am free to offer opinions, even if they differs from the narrow given narrative. Y'know, the unpopular free speach thing.

    Just for the record, Ukraine became a nation state in 1991, for the first time in 300 years, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union
    Last edited by karmachanic; January 29th, 2023 at 07:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Simplicated speach, as it were?

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    Senior Member welch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by karmachanic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    You claim not to take sides, but are rather free in offering your opinions, as if from a great height.
    Not taking sides does not make me oblivious to actual events. And yes, I am free to offer opinions, even if they differs from the narrow given narrative. Y'know, the unpopular free speach thing.

    Just for the record, Ukraine became a nation state in 1991, for the first time in 300 years, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union
    To put it simply -- to simplicate -- you are physically free to say nearly anything that comes floating through your brain. That does not mean anyone has to take you seriously. John Dewey argues that we should talk of truth as "well-warranted assertability". So far, you don't warrant anything.

  9. #509
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Without editing, meaning I haven't snipped out links to advertisements and such:

    Very Dangerous People’: Russia’s Convict Fighters Are Heading Home
    Tens of thousands of inmates have joined a mercenary group fighting with the Kremlin’s decimated forces in Ukraine. Some of them are returning to civilian life with military training and, in many cases, battlefield traumas.

    Give this article


    183
    A poster showing a member of the Russian military near the headquarters of the Wagner private military company in St. Petersburg, Russia.
    A poster showing a member of the Russian military near the headquarters of the Wagner private military company in St. Petersburg, Russia. Credit...Olga Maltseva/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    By Anatoly Kurmanaev, Alina Lobzina and Ekaterina Bodyagina
    Jan. 30, 2023, 3:00 a.m. ET
    6 MIN READ

    Sign up for the Russia-Ukraine War Briefing. Every evening, we'll send you a summary of the day's biggest news. Get it sent to your inbox.
    He was released from a Russian prison and thrown into battle in Ukraine with a promise of freedom, redemption and money. Now, Andrei Yastrebov, who was among tens of thousands of convict soldiers, is part of a return from the battlefield with potentially serious implications for Russian society.

    Mr. Yastrebov, 22, who had been serving time for theft, returned home a changed man. “We all feel like he is in some sort of hypnosis, like he is a different person,” said a relative of his, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “He is without any emotions.”

    Thousands of convicts have been killed, many within days or even hours of arriving at the front, Russian rights advocates and Ukrainian officials say. Those who live and return home largely remain silent, wary of retribution if they speak out.

    President Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to allow a mercenary group to recruit Russian convicts in support of his flagging war effort marks a watershed in his 23-year rule, say human rights activists and legal experts. The policy circumvents Russian legal precedent and, by returning some brutalized criminals to their homes with pardons, risks triggering greater violence throughout society, underlining the cost Mr. Putin is prepared to pay to avoid defeat.

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    Since July, around 40,000 inmates have joined the Russian forces, according to Western intelligence agencies, the Ukrainian government and a prisoners’ rights association, Russia Behind Bars, which combines reports from informers across Russian jails. Ukraine claims that nearly 30,000 have deserted or been killed or wounded, although that number could not be independently verified.

    Most of the enlisted men were serving time for petty crimes like robbery and theft, but records from one penal colony seen by The New York Times show that the recruits also included men convicted of aggravated rape and multiple murders.

    “There are no more crimes, and no more punishments,” said Olga Romanova, the head of Russia Behind Bars. “Anything is permissible now, and this brings very far-reaching consequences for any country.”

    Image
    The IK-2 penal colony in Pokrov, Russia. The founder of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has promised inmates a pardon for six months fighting in Ukraine.
    The IK-2 penal colony in Pokrov, Russia. The founder of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has promised inmates a pardon for six months fighting in Ukraine.Credit...Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    More than six months ago, Russia’s largest private military company, Wagner, and its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, began systematically recruiting convicts on a scale not seen since World War II to bolster a bloody assault on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Yet the operation remains largely cloaked in secrecy and propaganda.

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    Wagner has been able to avoid oversight by exploiting the most marginalized Russian citizens, the 350,000 male inmates of its harsh penal colonies, said human rights activists and lawyers.

    The State of the War
    In the East: Russian forces are wrestling for control of villages near the beleaguered city of Bakhmut, which has become a flashpoint in a battle that Moscow views as crucial for its push to seize the Donbas region.
    Military Aid: After weeks of tense negotiations, Germany and the United States announced they would send battle tanks to Ukraine. But the tanks won’t be the silver bullet that allows Kyiv to win the war.
    Russia’s New General: The architect of the invasion of Ukraine is now President Vladimir V. Putin’s third commander in charge of the war. But Western officials say there is no evidence that the Russian military has begun to address its fundamental problems.
    Corruption Scandal: Amid allegations of government corruption, several top Ukrainian officials were fired. The ouster has renewed questions about how Ukraine’s leaders are addressing concerns over aid.
    Dozens of survivors from the first inmate assault units began filtering back to Russia this month with medals, sizable payouts and documents that Wagner claims grant them freedom. The releases are likely to accelerate as Wagner’s six-month service contracts expire, potentially confronting Russian society with the challenge of reintegrating thousands of traumatized men with military training, a history of crime and few job prospects.

    “These are psychologically broken people who are returning with a sense of righteousness, a belief that they have killed to defend the Motherland,” said Yana Gelmel, a Russian prisoner rights lawyer who works with enlisted inmates. “These can be very dangerous people.”

    Neither Mr. Prigozhin, through his press office, nor Russia’s penal service provided comment.

    To document the recruitment drive, The Times interviewed rights activists, lawyers, legal workers, relatives of recruited inmates, deserters and prisoners who decided to remain behind bars but maintain contact with companions on the front lines.

    They described a sophisticated system of incentives and brutality built by Wagner, with the Kremlin’s support, to refill Russia’s decimated military ranks using questionable, and possibly illegal, methods.

    Andrei Medvedev said he joined Wagner within days of finishing his prison term for theft in southern Russia. A former convict with military experience, he says he was put in charge of a detachment of prisoners who were dispatched on nearly suicidal missions around Bakhmut.

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    “We were told: ‘Keep going until you’re killed,’” Mr. Medvedev said in a phone interview from Russia after deserting in November. He has since escaped to Norway and applied for political asylum.

    Image
    Andrei Medvedev showing his Wagner dog tag in November.
    Andrei Medvedev showing his Wagner dog tag in November.

    The campaign to recruit convicts began in early July, when Mr. Prigozhin started appearing in prisons around his native St. Petersburg with a radical proposal for the inmates: paying their debt to society by joining his private army in Ukraine.

    In videos published on social media, Mr. Prigozhin promised the prisoners they would receive 100,000 rubles a month — the equivalent of $1,700 at the time, and nearly double Russia’s average monthly wage. He also offered bravery bonuses, $80,000 death payouts and, should they survive the six-month contract, freedom in the form of a presidential pardon.

    Those who ran away, used drugs or alcohol or had sexual relations, he warned, would be killed.

    “There are no chances of returning to the colony,” Mr. Prigozhin said in a speech to inmates published in September. “Those who get there and say ‘I think I’m in the wrong place’ will be marked as deserters and shot.”

    A former inmate himself, Mr. Prigozhin, understood prison culture, skillfully combining a threat of punishment with a promise of a new, dignified life, according to rights activists and families.

    “He didn’t go for the money, he was too proud for that,” said Anastasia, about a relative who enlisted with Wagner as a prisoner. “He went because he was ashamed in front of his mother, he wanted to clear his name.”

    Image
    Graves of Wagner group fighters, most of them prison conscripts, in a cemetery near the village of Bakinskaya, Russia, this month.
    Graves of Wagner group fighters, most of them prison conscripts, in a cemetery near the village of Bakinskaya, Russia, this month.Credit...Reuters

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    Mr. Prigozhin’s prison visits immediately raised legal questions. Mercenary recruitment is illegal in Russia, and until last year Mr. Prigozhin had denied that Wagner even existed.

    On paper, the prisoners never went to war, but were merely transferred to Russian jails near the Ukrainian border, according to information requests filed by their relatives.

    When Anastasia, who asked that her last name not be used, tried to find the whereabouts of her enlisted relative at his prison, she said the guards merely told her that he was unavailable.

    Image
    Mr. Prigozhin at a funeral for a Wagner fighter outside St. Petersburg in December. He began recruiting prisoners for Wagner around the city, his hometown, last summer.
    Mr. Prigozhin at a funeral for a Wagner fighter outside St. Petersburg in December. He began recruiting prisoners for Wagner around the city, his hometown, last summer.
    Credit...Associated Press

    Igor Matyukhin was a convicted thief who decided to join.

    A 26-year-old Siberian orphan, Mr. Matyukhin said he was serving his third sentence in the remote Krasnoyarsk region when Mr. Prigozhin arrived by helicopter in November, offering eventual freedom in return for enlistment.

    Driven by the chance of a new life, Mr. Matyukhin immediately signed up. Days later, he was at a training camp near the occupied Ukrainian city of Luhansk. What he found there, he said, was very different from the patriotic band of brothers he had been led to expect.

    Mr. Matyukhin described a climate of fear instilled by Wagner to keep convicts fighting. He said they were threatened with summary executions, and at least one man in his unit was taken away after disobeying orders and never returned.

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    When his training camp came under a surprise Ukrainian attack, Mr. Matyukhin seized the opportunity to escape in the confusion. He said he has since been trying to return to his prison from a hiding place in Russia.

    A relative of Mr. Matyukhin confirmed that he had enlisted in Wagner, but other aspects of his war account could not be independently verified.

    To lift declining recruitment numbers, Wagner has lately been playing up the rewards for survivors, releasing videos of returned prisoners being granted freedom.

    “I needed your criminal talents to kill the enemy in the war,” Mr. Prigozhin said in one video. “Those who want to return, we are waiting for you to come back. Those who want to get married, get baptized, study — go ahead with a blessing.”

    Image
    Soldiers with the Russian-backed separatist forces of Luhansk Province preparing to fire a shell toward Soledar, in eastern Ukraine.
    Soldiers with the Russian-backed separatist forces of Luhansk Province preparing to fire a shell toward Soledar, in eastern Ukraine.Credit...Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    In some videos, the inmates are given papers described as pardons or annulments of convictions. However, none of these documents have been made public, raising questions about their legitimacy. Rights advocates say pardons are rare, time-consuming and complex legal procedures that have never been issued in Russia on anywhere near the scale advertised by Wagner.

    Only Mr. Putin can issue a pardon under the Russian Constitution, and the Kremlin has not published such decrees since 2020. In 2021, Mr. Putin pardoned just six people, according to the Kremlin.

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    Mr. Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri S. Peskov, on Friday told reporters that Wagner’s enlisted convicts are being pardoned “in strict adherence to Russian law.” He declined further comment, implying the procedure was a state secret.

    “There are open decrees and decrees with various degrees of secrecy,” he said.

    Under Russian law, all pardon petitions are evaluated by specialized regional committees before arriving at the Kremlin. However, two members of such commissions said they had not received any petitions from enlisted convicts. One of those officials represents the city of St. Petersburg, the residence of Mr. Yastrebov.

    Rights activists say the returning inmates’ ambiguous legal status undermines Russia’s justice system and ties their fate to Wagner.

    After spending just three weeks at home, Mr. Yastrebov said he was already getting ready to return to the front, despite the extraordinary casualty rates suffered by his prison’s unit, according to Russia Behind Bars.

    “I want to defend the Motherland,” he said in a brief interview on Friday. “I liked everything over there. The civilian life is boring.”

    Anatoly Kurmanaev is a foreign correspondent covering Russia’s transformation in the aftermath of the Ukraine war. @akurmanaev

  10. #510
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    That criminals fit in well on the battlefield is no surprise.

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    That criminals fit in well on the battlefield is no surprise.
    Surprise to me. I talked with a lot of Soldiers during the time my son and my daughter-in-law were in the Army, 2002 - 2010. None of them had been driven to enlist just to avoid prison. In Wagner's case, few convicts seem to have survived even a few months of warfare. Not surprising, since they were given no training and sent run toward someplace like Bakhmut. Maybe to use up Ukrainian ammunition.

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Add Lightness and Simplicate

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Did you read it? What seems persuasive?

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post
    Did you read it? What seems persuasive?
    I scanned/parsed it. To answer your question, in essence; now would be a good time to stop.
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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    The "Russian way of war", praised by Putin-bots

    Soaring Death Toll Gives Grim Insight Into Russian Tactics

    Moscow is sending poorly trained recruits, including convicts, to the front lines in eastern Ukraine to pave the way for more seasoned fighters, U.S. and allied officials say.



    By Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

    Feb. 2, 2023

    WASHINGTON — The number of Russian troops killed and wounded in Ukraine is approaching 200,000, a stark symbol of just how badly President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion has gone, according to American and other Western officials.

    While the officials caution that casualties are notoriously difficult to estimate, particularly because Moscow is believed to routinely undercount its war dead and injured, they say the slaughter from fighting in and around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and the town of Soledar has ballooned what was already a heavy toll.

    With Moscow desperate for a major battlefield victory and viewing Bakhmut as the key to seizing the entire eastern Donbas area, the Russian military has sent poorly trained recruits and former convicts to the front lines, straight into the path of Ukrainian shelling and machine guns. The result, American officials say, has been hundreds of troops killed or injured a day.

    Russia analysts say that the loss of life is unlikely to be a deterrent to Mr. Putin’s war aims. He has no political opposition at home and has framed the war as the kind of struggle the country faced in World War II, when more than 8 million Soviet troops died. U.S. officials have said that they believe that Mr. Putin can sustain hundreds of thousands of casualties in Ukraine, although higher numbers could cut into his political support.

    Ukraine’s casualty figures are also difficult to ascertain, given Kyiv’s reluctance to disclose its own wartime losses. But in Bakhmut, hundreds of Ukrainian troops have been wounded and killed daily at times as well, officials said. Better trained infantry formations are kept in reserve to safeguard them, while lesser prepared troops, such as those in the territorial defense units, are kept on the front line and bear the brunt of shelling.

    The last public Biden administration estimate of casualties came last November, when Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that more than 100,000 troops on each side had been killed and wounded since the war began. At the time, officials said privately that the numbers were closer to 120,000.

    “I would say it’s significantly well over 100,000 now,” General Milley said at a news conference last month in Germany, adding that the Russian toll included “regular military, and also their mercenaries in the Wagner Group.”

    At two meetings last month between senior military and defense officials from NATO and partner countries, officials said the fighting in the Donbas had turned into, as one of them put it, a meat grinder.

    On Norwegian TV on Jan. 22, Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, Norway’s defense chief, said estimates were that Russia had suffered 180,000 dead and wounded, while Ukraine had 100,000 killed or wounded in action along with 30,000 civilian deaths. General Kristoffersen, in an email to The New York Times through his spokesman, said that there is “much uncertainty regarding these numbers, as no one at the moment are able to give a good overview. They could be both lower or even higher.”

    Senior U.S. officials said this week that they believe the number for Russia is closer to 200,000. That toll, in just 11 months, is eight times higher than American casualties in two decades of war in Afghanistan.

    The figures for Ukraine and Russia are estimates based on satellite imagery, communication intercepts, social media and on-the-ground media reports, as well as official reporting from both governments. Establishing precise numbers is extremely difficult, and estimates vary, even within the U.S. government.

    A senior U.S. military official last month described the combat around Bakhmut as savage. The two sides exchanged several thousand rounds of artillery fire each day, while the Wagner private military company, which has been central to Russia’s efforts there, had essentially begun using recruited convicts as cannon fodder, the official told reporters. He spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational details.

    The convicts took the brunt of the Ukrainian response while the group’s more seasoned fighters moved in behind them to claim ground, the official said. Wagner has recruited some 50,000 troops to fight in Ukraine, according to senior American military and defense officials.

    Thousands of the convicts have been killed, a loss of life that has shocked American officials, who say the strategic value of Bakhmut simply is not in line with the price Russia has paid.

    In an interview on Tuesday, a senior Defense Department official pointed to myriad military supply and tactical problems to explain the Russian tactics. The Russian military is running low on critical supplies and replenishment, said Colin H. Kahl, the under secretary of defense for policy. “They’re running low on artillery. They’re running low on standoff munitions, and they are substituting by sending convicts in human waves into places like Bakhmut and Soledar.”

    The Russian military has been following the Wagner playbook and deliberately using the poorly trained troops to draw, and deplete, Ukrainian fire, senior American military and defense officials said.

    Kusti Salm, Estonia’s deputy defense minister, in a briefing with reporters in Washington last week, said that Russia was better able to stand its losses than Ukraine.

    “In this particular area, the Russians have employed around 40,000 to 50,000 inmates or prisoners,” Mr. Salm said. “They are going up against regular soldiers, people with families, people with regular training, valuable people for the Ukrainian military.”

    “So the exchange rate is unfair,” he added. “It’s not one to one because for Russia, inmates are expendable. From an operational perspective, this is a very unfair deal for the Ukrainians and a clever tactical move from the Russian side.”

    Moscow has thrown people it sees as expendable into battles for decades, if not centuries. During World War II, Joseph Stalin sent close to one million prisoners to the front. Boris Sokolov, a Russia historian, describes in a piece called “Gulag Reserves” in the Russian opposition magazine Grani.ru that an additional one million “special settlers”— deportees and others viewed by the Soviet government as second-class citizens — were also forced to fight during World War II.

    “In essence, it does not matter how big the Russian losses are, since their overall human resource is much greater than Ukraine’s,” Mr. Salm, the Estonian official, said in a follow-up email. “In Russia the life of a soldier is worth nothing. A dead soldier, on the other hand, is a hero, regardless of how he died. All lost soldiers can be replaced, and the number of losses will not shift the public opinion against the war.”

    Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

    Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent. She was previously an editor, diplomatic correspondent and White House correspondent, and was part of the team awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for its coverage of the Ebola epidemic. @helenecooper

    Eric Schmitt is a senior writer who has traveled the world covering terrorism and national security. He was also the Pentagon correspondent. A member of the Times staff since 1983, he has shared four Pulitzer Prizes. @EricSchmittNYT

    Thomas Gibbons-Neff is the Kabul bureau chief and a former Marine infantryman. @tmgneff
    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/02/u...asualties.html

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    The Russians, it seems, have supplied more tanks to Ukraine than the US, UK, and EU.

    The Ukraine repair shop: where Russian tanks go to change sides
    Engineers work on modifying and fixing tanks and armoured personnel carriers in a secret warehouse.

    Daniel Boffey in Ukraine
    Fri 3 Feb 2023

    The first task is to wipe off or cover up the Z, says Anatoly, 44, of the call sign infamously daubed on Russian hardware involved in the war in Ukraine. “We don’t want friendly fire later on.” Then the mechanics get to work.

    In a secret location in Ukraine, within a vast warehouse that could be mistaken for a tank graveyard, what was once Russian – Soviet, in many cases – is being turned Ukrainian.



    All the headlines have recently been made by the decision of Germany and a host of others to supply Ukraine with western heavy armour: Leopard 2s, Challengers and Abrams. The names have become familiar and they may have the technical cutting-edge and firepower to turn the course of the Ukraine’s war, when they arrive and if in sufficient numbers.

    But for all the efforts of the Nato allies, it is Russia that is unwittingly, and yet by some margin, Ukraine’s biggest donor of tanks today.

    Oryx, the open-source Dutch intelligence defence analysis website, has collected photographs of 546 captured Russian tanks. It will be just a fraction of the total haul that were either abandoned by the fleeing Russian forces or seized in bloody battle.

    Admittedly the trophies do not always turn up in tip-top condition.

    Gesturing towards a T-72B3, covered in dry leaves, and bearing evidence of battle in the form of warped and battered armour, Anatoly proudly boasts that it is the most recent upgrade of the old Soviet T-72 tank.

    It was brought into the facility, which lies just a few miles from the frontlines, by the 54th brigade from the eastern Donetsk region, four weeks ago. “It took a direct hit on its turret,” says Anatoly. “The firing system was damaged too.”

    They plan to get it back on its tracks in swift time, with added armour. There is little time for sentiment. Did Russian soldiers die in it? “I don’t know, I suppose so. There were arms and legs in it. Lots of blood.”

    In some cases the Ukrainian army has set about getting such vehicles back on the field of battle under their flag. “But the state is busy repairing Ukrainian tanks,” says Roman Sinicyn, 37, a coordinator at the Serhiy Prytula Foundation, a charity managing this operation in partnership with an engineering company whose name is being withheld to avoid identification of the plant site.

    As a result, civil society has stepped in. A host of private companies have set aside their usual business to get in the game of refurbishing killing machines: the tanks, armoured vehicles, missile systems and other lethal hardware left behind. These operations are often funded through donations. The Prytula Foundation, one of the largest organisations crowdfunding the purchase of military equipment, has invested £200,000 in this facility. “It is not a lot of money,” says Bohdan Ostapchuk, 30, who is leading on tank refurbishment for the Prytula Foundation.

    It has, however, borne deadly fruit: seven tanks back into battle, a command vehicle, a Hurricane rocket system, a multiple rocket system, an infantry transport vehicle and a host of armoured vehicles, so far.



    Their destinations are a roll-call of Ukraine’s deadliest hot spots: Bakhmut, Kramatorsk, Luhansk, Svatove, to name a few.

    The liberation of the Kharkiv region, in north-east Ukraine, last May was the high point in the hunt for battlefield treasure, as the Russian forces panicked in retreat. “It was like walking into a big, big shop where you can walk through and say, ‘I will have this one, and this one,’” says Ostapchuk. The mistake was not repeated when the Kremlin ordered the retreat in the southern Kherson region before Christmas, but there remains a healthy supply of vehicles coming through the doors. They are, however, often of an older model, the mechanics note.

    Pointing to a former personnel carrier brought in by Ukraine’s 46th airborne brigade from Soledar, the eastern Ukrainian city recently captured by Russia, Anatoly says it was probably built somewhere between 1982 and 1987. The same goes for a Soviet-era Shturm S model anti-tank missile carrier that bears the O sign of the Russian marines on it side. It went over a mine near Vuhledar in the Donetsk region and was abandoned.

    Then there is the T62 Soviet tank, likely dating from 1970 or so, brought back by the 128th mountain brigade from Kherson, three months ago, at the time of the Ukrainian counteroffensive there. “This old tank is no good for war,” says Anatoly, “so we have cut off the top of it, the turret and we are going to turn it into an evacuation vehicle that can pull heavy armoured tanks when they get stuck.”

    The Prytula Foundation has contacts across the Ukrainian armed forces as a result of also being a supplier of smaller equipment, such as thermal imaging goggles, drones and medical packs, and so spare parts can be summoned up relatively easily. “There is a database in his head,” says Sinicyn pointing to Ostapchuk.

    The noise of the metal presses, soldering and hammering, along with the heavy smell of tank exhaust fumes makes this a difficult place to work. It is cold, dirty. There is the constant threat of Russia identifying and destroying it. They have between 30 and 50 staff working here at any point, seven days a week among the cylinders, cannibalised engines and piles of tyres and tracks.

    But if there is something Steptoe and Son about the operation, with the rag and bone appearance of the BBC sitcom of the 1960s and 70s, there is more than a element of the US television series, The A-Team, to their work, with ever more ingenious modifications being made, as they acquire knowhow.

    There is a sense of mission. Sometimes they find papers and personal effects belonging to the former Russian owners inside the vehicles. They are thrown away, not given a second thought. How does Anatoly feel about working around the tanks and armoured vehicles sent out to kill Ukrainian soldiers? “I am just glad to be getting them for free.”


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

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    At least 500,000 Russians have left because of the war. They are growing roots in new countries, such as Armenia, for ordinary people, and Dubai, for the wealthy. They will not go back. "The financial cost, while vast, is impossible to calculate. In late December, Russia’s Communications Ministry reported that 10 percent of the country’s IT workers had left in 2022 and not returned. Russia’s parliament is now debating a package of incentives to bring them back."


    Russians abandon wartime Russia in historic exodus

    By Francesca Ebel and Mary Ilyushina
    February 13, 2023 at 1:00 a.m. EST

    YEREVAN, Armenia — As Russian troops stormed into Ukraine last February, sending millions of Ukrainians fleeing for their lives, thousands of Russians also raced to pack their bags and leave home, fearing the Kremlin would shut the borders and impose martial law.

    Some had long opposed rising authoritarianism, and the invasion was a last straw. Others were driven by economic interest, to preserve livelihoods or escape the bite of sanctions. Then, last autumn, a military mobilization spurred hundreds of thousands of men to run.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war has set off a historic exodus of his own people. Initial data show that at least 500,000, and perhaps nearly 1 million, have left in the year since the invasion began — a tidal wave on scale with emigration following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.


    Now, like then, the departures stand to redefine the country for generations. And the flood may still be in its early stages. The war seems nowhere near finished. Any new conscription effort by the Kremlin will spark new departures, as will worsening economic conditions, which are expected as the conflict drags on.

    The huge outflow has swelled existing Russian expatriate communities across the world and created new ones.

    Some fled nearby to countries like Armenia and Kazakhstan, across borders open to Russians. Some with visas escaped to Finland, the Baltic states or elsewhere in Europe. Others ventured farther, to the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Thailand, Argentina. Two men from Russia’s Far East even sailed a small boat to Alaska.


    Russian citizens arriving through a border crossing in Dariali, Georgia, on Sept. 30, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military mobilization. (Tako Robakidze/Bloomberg News)
    The financial cost, while vast, is impossible to calculate. In late December, Russia’s Communications Ministry reported that 10 percent of the country’s IT workers had left in 2022 and not returned. Russia’s parliament is now debating a package of incentives to bring them back.

    But there has also been talk in parliament of punishing Russians who left by stripping them of their assets at home. Putin has referred to those who left as “scum” and said their exit would “cleanse” the country — even though some who left did not oppose him, or the war.

    Russia ousts director of elite museum as Kremlin demands patriotic art

    With the government severely restricting dissent and implementing punishment for criticism of the war, those remaining in the depleted political opposition also faced a choice this year: prison or exile. Most chose exile. Activists and journalists are now clustered in cities such as Berlin and the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia and Georgia.

    “This exodus is a terrible blow for Russia,” said Tamara Eidelman, a Russian historian who moved to Portugal after the invasion. “The layer that could have changed something in the country has now been washed away.”


    While Ukrainian refugees were embraced in the West, many countries shunned the Russians, uncertain if they were friends or foes and if, on some level, the entire country was culpable. Some nations have blocked arrivals by imposing entry restrictions or denying new visas, at times spreading panic among Russians, especially students, already abroad.

    Videos show long lines of people waiting at Russia's Mashtakovo border crossing with Kazakhstan on Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, after Russia's military mobilization. (Video: @aidos0070)
    Meanwhile, the influx of Russians in countries such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which long sent immigrants to Russia, has set off political tremors, straining ties between Moscow and the other former Soviet states. Real estate prices in those countries have shot up, causing tensions with local populations.

    Nearly a year after the start of the invasion — and the new outflow of Russians — Washington Post journalists traveled to Yerevan and to Dubai for a close look at how the emigres are faring, and to ask if they ever plan to return. Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, a former Soviet republic, is a destination for Russians with lower financial mobility — an Orthodox Christian country where Russian is the second language. By contrast, pricey Dubai, in the Persian Gulf, is predominantly Muslim, Arabic-speaking, and attracts wealthier Russians seeking either glitz or business opportunity.


    Russian children headed to the playground at the “Free School” during recess on Feb. 2 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)
    Yerevan
    For many fleeing Russians, Armenia was a rare, easy option. It is one of five ex-Soviet countries that allow Russians to enter with just a national ID — making it a popular destination for former soldiers, political activists and others needing a quick escape.

    Given shared religion and common use of Russian language, Russians typically do not face animosity or social stigma. Obtaining residency permits is also straightforward, and living costs are lower than in the E.U.

    Yerevan has attracted thousands of IT workers, young creatives and working-class people, including families with children, from across Russia, who have established new schools, bars, cafes and robust support networks.


    In the courtyard of the “Free School” for Russian children, established in April, Maxim, a construction company manager, was waiting for his 8-year-old son, Timofey. The school started with 40 students in an apartment. Now, there are nearly 200 in a multistory building in the city center.

    Maxim, whom The Post is identifying only by his first name for security reasons, flew to Yerevan from Volgograd to avoid the mobilization last September. “We left for the same reason everyone did: There was suddenly a real danger in the country for me and, above all, my family,” he said.


    The family has adapted seamlessly to Yerevan. Everyone around them speaks Russian. Maxim works remotely on projects in Russia. Timofey likes his school and is learning Armenian. Maxim said he is sure the family will not return to Russia.

    “Perhaps we will move on somewhere else, maybe even to Europe if things start to normalize,” he said.


    Ekaterina, 19, and Yaroslav, 21, smoke cigarettes near a shelter provided by Kovcheg, a Russian immigrant support group, on Feb. 1 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)

    Residents of a shelter provided by Kovcheg, a Russian immigrant support group, gather in the kitchen on Feb. 1 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)

    Ivan Lubimov, 37, writes a letter to a political prisoner in Russia on Jan. 31 in Yerevan, Armenia. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)
    At a shelter on the outskirts of Yerevan, Andrei, 25, a former military officer from Russia’s Rostov region, said he was also adjusting to his new life after similarly fleeing conscription. “I did not want to be a murderer in this criminal war,” said Andrei, who is being identified by his first name for safety reasons.

    Andrei works as a delivery driver, and shares a modest room with two other men in a shelter set up by Kovcheg, a support organization for Russians emigrants. “Before the war I never followed politics, but after the invasion I started reading about everything,” Andrei said. “I feel so ashamed about what Russia has done.”


    Meanwhile, at a co-working space downtown, Russian activist groups organize debates, political meetings and therapy sessions. Messages of support for Ukraine hang on the walls, along with the white and blue flag adopted by Russia’s opposition. At one meeting in late January, dozens of Russians were hunched over tables, writing letters to political prisoners in Russia.

    “The more letters, the better,” said Ivan Lyubimov, 37, an activist from Yekaterinburg. “It’s important that they don’t feel they are alone.” He held up a cartoon of a smiling panda. To circumvent prison censorship, they must avoid writing anything political, but drawings are certain to be delivered.


    Patrons play ping-pong on Feb. 1 in the yard of Tuf, a bar established by Russian expatriates in Yerevan, Armenia. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)

    Tanya Raspopova serves a customer at Tuf, a bar established by Russian expats in Yerevan, Armenia, that hosts jazz and rock festivals, on Feb. 1. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)

    Grisha, 20, a barista at Tuf, a bar established by Russian expats, arrived in Yerevan, Armenia, in October with his father. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)
    Tanya Raspopova, 26, arrived in Yerevan last March with her husband, but without a plan, overwhelmed and frightened.

    Then, she heard another emigre was seeking partners to set up a bar, a space where Russian expats could come together, and she wanted to help. Tuf, named after the pink volcanic rock common throughout Yerevan, opened its doors within a month.

    They started with a neon-lit bar and kitchen on the ground floor, which soon expanded into a small courtyard. Then they opened up a second floor, then a third. Upstairs there is now a recording studio, a clothing boutique and a tattoo parlor. On a Wednesday night in January, the place was packed with young Russians and Armenians singing karaoke, drinking cocktails and playing ping-pong. “We have since created such a big community, a big family,” Raspopova said. “Tuf is our new home.”


    Russians are everywhere in Dubai: clutching Dior totes perched atop Louis Vuitton suitcases in the airport, walking around malls in tracksuits and filming TikToks and Reels near the Burj Khalifa.

    Russia’s rich and powerful have long traveled to Dubai, but it was just one of many hot spots. That changed when the war cut Russians off from the West.

    Thousands have chosen the UAE, which did not join Western sanctions and still has direct flights to Moscow, as their new home. Russians enjoy visa-free travel for 90 days, and it is relatively easy to get a national ID through business or investment for a longer stay.


    The high cost of living means there are no activists or journalists. Dubai is a haven, and the go-to playground, for Russian tech founders, billionaires under sanctions, unpenalized millionaires, celebrities and influencers.

    Shortly after the invasion, conversations in Moscow’s affluent Patriarch Ponds neighborhood turned to the best Dubai real estate deals, said Natalia Arkhangelskaya, who writes for Antiglyanets, a snarky and influential Telegram blog focused on Russia’s elite. A year later, Russians have ousted Brits and Indians as Dubai’s top real estate buyers, Russian-owned yachts dock at the marina, and private jets zigzag between Dubai and Moscow.


    Alexey, Artem Babinov, founder of a co-living space called Colife, and Anastasia Smernova, a fitness trainer and influencer, in one of the apartments that Babinov rents out in Dubai on Jan. 27. (Natalie Naccache for The Washington Post)
    Russians can still buy apartments, open bank accounts and snag designer leather goods they previously shopped for in France.

    “Dubai is built on the concept that people with money come here,” Arkhangelskaya said.

    The UAE’s embrace of foreign business has enticed a stream of Russian IT workers seeking to cut ties with Russia and stay linked to global markets. Start-ups seek financing from state-supported accelerators. Larger firms pursue clients to replace those lost to sanctions.

    In the UAE, Russians fleeing Ukraine war seek success in ‘Dubaisk’

    A 40th floor apartment in one of the Jumeirah Beach Residence towers, with stunning views, is reserved for weekly meetups open to IT newcomers. On a windy January evening, the organizer, Ivan Fediakov, who heads a consulting company, greeted guests, wearing a black hoodie with “Everyone understands everything” printed on it — a catchphrase popularized by Alexey Pivovarov, a Russian journalist branded by Russia as a foreign agent whose YouTube channel has 3.5 million subscribers.

    About a dozen people arrived to discuss opportunities in India, which has maintained ties with Russia despite the war. Most expressed bitterness about the Kremlin’s politics and longing for Moscow when it was an aspiring global hub.


    Alexandra Dorf in a cafe that she uses as her workspace in Dubai, where she moved from Russia last April with her two children. (Natalie Naccache for The Washington Post)
    Alexandra Dorf, an IT entrepreneur, moved to Dubai with her two children in April. “No one knew what was going to happen next,” Dorf said.

    “Borders can be shut abruptly,” she said. “A decision had to be made; you either stay or you go quickly.”

    In 2022, Dorf severed all ties with Russia: She sold her apartment and car and found a new job in Dubai as a business development officer at an AI-focused company.

    “For the first two months, you are constantly stressed, your children have been torn out from their usual way of life, and you can’t enroll them into a school midyear,” she said. “But Dubai is a blooming hub.”

    “The most important thing for me is to be able to develop international projects and to integrate my kids into a global community, so they grow up in a free environment,” she added.

    Ukraine readies along all fronts for Russia’s next big attack

    Aside from techies, many middle-class Russians followed the money to Dubai — for hospitality jobs, to open beauty salons or simply work remotely far from the warmongering motherland.

    Artem Babinov, founder of a co-living space called Colife in Moscow, opened an office in Dubai days before the invasion, hoping to attract British finance specialists. The war changed his plans, and he now rents dozens of properties as short-term housing, mainly to Russians in their 30s. “The community here is key,” Babinov said. “People just need other people.”


    Young girls talk in front of Sayat-Nova Music School in Yerevan, Armenia, on Feb. 2. (Tako Robakidze for The Washington Post)
    Third exodus
    Like the White Russian emigres of the Bolshevik era and the post-Soviet immigrants of the 1990s, many of those leaving Russia because of the war in Ukraine are likely gone for good.

    Eidelman, the Russian historian, said that the longer the war, the deeper the scars. “Every extra month leads people to get used to a different country,” she said. “They get a job there, their children go to school, they begin to speak a different language. The longer the war lasts, the longer the dictatorship in the country continues, the fewer people will return.”

    But technology makes this exodus unlike its predecessors, guaranteeing that Russians abroad will remain connected to their past.

    Matthew Rojansky, president of the U.S. Russia Foundation, a Washington-based group, said the Russian expats could become “a repository of relevant skills for a better, freer, modern Russia.” For now, though, Rojansky said, the outflow sends an clear message.

    “It’s historic,” he said. “These people are voting with their feet. They are leaving because of the what the Putin regime is doing.”


    Volunteers distribute supplies at an aid point for Russians arriving at a border crossing in Dariali, Georgia, on Sept. 30, 2022. (Tako Robakidze/Bloomberg News)

    Ebel reported from Yerevan, Armenia, and Ilyushina reported from Dubai.

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    Default Re: Ukraine outrage and analysis.

    And now Americans are being told by the State Department to leave Russia ASAP.

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