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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 2:54 am 
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On the "western" perspective thing: That's only relevant, IMO, if you assume Ukraine is "Eastern," whatever that means (and of course there are plenty of Ukrainians who see themselves as "western"). In any event, Russia's role in Ukraine should be judged by human and legal standards, not western or eastern standards. In this case, Russia has violated the sovereignty of Ukraine, and the human rights of a significant number of Ukraine's population. However complex the political, historical and economic context of the situation, we should not allow moral relativism to stymie action. Plenty of people in power wondered if Hitler was justified in his eastern push because of the presence of ethnic German minorities in Poland and Czechoslovakia. That wondering cost the world dearly.

Putin believes in a "Greater Russia," and has acted to realize a part of this vision in Ukraine. This simple fact makes him one of the most dangerous threats to international security at the moment.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 4:47 am 
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Aagragaah
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:agree:

Look at this map of most commonly spoken languages in the US, by state, excluding English and Spanish. Oregon better watch out for Putin coming to protect the Russian-speakers there. :scarey:

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 4:57 am 
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bioalchemist
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:D And here we all thought Alaska would be the target. Take that, Palin. :P

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 2:06 pm 
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River wrote:
:D And here we all thought Alaska would be the target. Take that, Palin. :P


Well, naturally, Alaska. It is historically Russian.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:07 pm 
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This is a terrible day for the Netherlands and for Malaysia, for Australia (where so many of those poor people were heading), for Ukraine, for Russia, and for the world.

:(

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Russia, through its support for heavily-armed, irresponsible and uncontrollable Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, is creating an international security crisis as we haven't seen in a long, long time. If this doesn't lead to more significant international isolation for Russia, I don't know what will. The powerful countries of Western Europe (namely Germany and France) need to start getting a lot tougher with Moscow, and stop thinking solely about short-term energy supply issues.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:41 pm 
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But will they?

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Depends on whether or not the body count is high enough, I guess.

I'm going to risk irritating my husband and post what he just e-mailed me.

Quote:
The guy who shot down F-117 during NATO bombing of Serbia appeared in public (he left the army in 1999, after the intervention, to become a baker) says that he thinks that the passenger airplane was intentionally shot down. He claims that there is no way that a soldier that runs radar could mix passenger airplane with a military plane, they appear completely different on the radars. Unless he is complete idiot. Even the large transport planes are easily distinguishable from passenger planes. He also says that even if someone accidentally made mistake and fired up the missile, he had chance to have it self destroyed during flight.

I also looked around the shoulder launched missiles, and non of them can reach 10km. So this was a SAM missile launched off of one of these mobile units, which is what they suspect from the beginning. The problem is - both Russians and Ukrainians have those midle range launchers, and probably keep them in the same area, near border. I don't know who would benefit more from this, Russians or Ukrainians, so it is hard to guess who did it.


Context break: S did his mandatory stint for the Yugoslav Army in 1989. His MOS was anti-aircraft. Last night, he was theorizing that you don't need a SAM launcher to take down a commercial airliner. Clearly he's re-thought that. He did say last night that you'd have to be a total idiot to confuse a commercial airline with a military plane if for no other reason that the commercial airlines cruise at a certain altitude.

Quote:
The passenger airplane pilot couldn't do anything, there is no system on the plane that can detect the incoming missile, and even if he saw it coming, he had few seconds to live with that knowledge.

Interesting thing, when I watched that documentary about this guy ("21st second"), they interviewed the US pilot that was flying the F-177 that was shot down, and he said as soon as he got signal that he is caught by the aiming radar from the ground, he know that he was dead. Seems like these evasive maneuvers we see they do with airplanes in the movies don't really work in reality.


I guess the three big questions are 1) who dunnit? (pretty oncinvced it was separatists) 2) why? and 3) if it was separatists, how'd they get their hands on a SAM launcher? Did the Russian give it to them or did they capture it from the Ukrainian military? Who trained them to use it? Again, Russians? Or could there just be people among them who know how to use because they served?

And, of course, one has to question the wisdom of flying over a war zone in the first place. Not that that in any way excuses what happened. Whoever fired that missile was capable of determining that the jet was no threat to anyone and shot it down anyway. Took down 100 AIDS researchers as well. A vicious blow to a scientific community and salt in the wound done to humanity as a whole yesterday.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:50 pm 
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Fighter vs. airliner may be a hard mistake to make, but passenger liner vs. cargo is not--they're the exact same planes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:57 pm 
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The Russians have been supplying the separatists with Buk SAMs recently, and the separatists also claim to have captured some...the question in my mind isn't whether the separatists shot it down, but who, if anyone, was supplying fire control, and which side of the border they were on.

As I understand it, the plane diverted north to avoid bad weather...and of course, jetliners fly over conflict zones all the time...but very, very few of them have this level of AA available.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:58 am 
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This article addresses the issue of plane identification.
Malaysia Airlines Ukraine Crash: A Working Theory of the Shootdown

Quote:
But while a complete Buk missile battery consists of three vehicles—one carrying the missiles, one for the radar that guides them, and one for the missile commander—the missile-launching vehicle does have its own radar and can launch missiles by itself. If that happened, its crew of three or four may have been unable to, or never trained in reviewing the airliner’s transponder data declaring their target to be a civilian airliner.

“Its built-in radar is normally used to track the target being engaged, but can be operated in a target-detection mode, allowing it to autonomously engage targets that were present in the radar’s forward field of view,” says IHS Jane’s Missile & Rockets editor Doug Richardson. “Although it has its own Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, this is only able to establish whether the target being tracked is a friendly aircraft. It is the electronic equivalent of a sentry calling out ‘Who goes there?’ If there is no reply, all you know is that it is not one of your own side’s combat aircraft. It would not give you a warning that you were tracking an airliner.”


Note that while the Russian network said that the "separatists" "captured" the missile system, Ukraine was saying that the missiles were supplied by Russia, and it's been a while since Russian media said anything that was true.

And Dave makes a good point - an F-117 looks very different from a civilian plane. An Antonov cargo plane is, basically, a plane.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:47 am 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Fighter vs. airliner may be a hard mistake to make, but passenger liner vs. cargo is not--they're the exact same planes.


And yet, from the hubby's wall o' text...
Quote:
Even the large transport planes are easily distinguishable from passenger planes.


I have no idea what radar signals look like. S did explain the IFF system to me last night - send a ping, wait for a response, no response = foe. But he also pointed out that commercial flights fly at 10 km. That's just what they do. So if you pick up something flying at 10 km and it's not returning your ping, you need to think about it. Or not, as the case may be.

They may have thought they had a legit target. This may have been a tragic case of mixing dumbasses with things that make really big bad booms. Or they did it on purpose for...what? Propaganda? Trying to make Ukraine look bad? It's not working.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:18 am 
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Well, the "you need to think about it" part was probably a bit problematic. If you have someone to whom the complex technology was hastily explained, and probably along the lines of what to do if you see something to bring it down, with not much emphasis on the not bringing down a wrong plane, because you don't have any of your own so anyone up there is the enemy, they simply may not have being thinking in terms of civilian planes.

The evidence released by Ukraine points exactly to that sort of a cock-up. The only alternative is that Ukraine did this deliberately, to frame "Strelkov" and bring NATO troops on the ground. I'd like to believe that they are not this evil, but mostly I can't believe that they are this effiecient. It would have been a decision made at a pretty high level, with a bunch of people involved... it's just too complicated. I also imagine that the US intelligence would have to be pretty darn sure where the missile came from for Obama to speak as he did.

Whereas a mistake by hastily trained militia is exactly what I'd expect.

ETA: plus, the way they are acting now does not inspire confidence. MH17 plane crash: Ukraine rebels 'limit investigation'

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:28 pm 
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It's 1939 all over again.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:06 pm 
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It's pretty darn something, though I'm not sure I know what. Other than "scary".

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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:15 am 
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The geopolitical structure does feel brittle at the moment; or rubbery, or something. Many pressures pushing for rearrangement everywhere. I am anxious for what the next stage will bring to the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Putin says situation in Ukraine reminds him of Second World War
Quote:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared Ukrainian military tactics to those used by German Nazi forces during the Second World War invasion of the Soviet Union.


I'm lost. Isn't Russia the one doing the invading here?

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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:41 pm 
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Yes. Putin exhibits breathtaking levels of hypocrisy here. Why not? It gives European countries such as Germany an excuse to treat this as an internal conflict instead of full scale invasion it is, in hopes that they will be rewarded with an uninterrupted energy supply.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:48 am 
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What do you write when you write from here to a warzone?

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Ukraine (and Russia)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:58 pm 
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:( I don't know Frelga, give details of son's school? No one minds hearing about kids.


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