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  1. #1526
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    When Yevgeny Chubarin told his mother he was joining the Russian army to fight against Ukraine, she cried and begged him not to go. But his exhilaration shone through. By May 15, he had an AK-47 and was on his way. The 24-year-old stone-factory worker was killed the next day.

    Stories like his are taboo in Russia, where the wrenching grief of many families is buried beneath the triumphant bombast of state media. The war is portrayed as an existential struggle for survival, against “Nazis” as well as NATO, and a virtual news blackout about the bloody toll underscores Kremlin anxiety about the durability of its manufactured support.

    Yet some stories seep out. Vladimir Krot was a 59-year-old Soviet-trained pilot, a retired Afghan war veteran, who begged to serve in Ukraine. He kept asking despite repeated rejections and, in June, as casualties mounted, he finally was told “yes.” Krot died just days later, when his SU-25 jet went down during a training flight in southern Russia. He left behind a wife and 8-year-old daughter.

    The number of war dead is a state secret. It is a crime to question the invasion or criticize the military. Independent journalists who speak to bereaved relatives or cover funerals have been arrested and told that showing such “tears and suffering” is bad for public morale. Authorities have ordered some online memorial pages to be shut down.

    The Kremlin’s priority has been to prevent angry voices of mourning families and antiwar activists from coming together and gaining traction. Information about war dead could deter Russia’s increasingly urgent recruitment effort, scraping up prisoners with military experience and offering highly paid contracts for deployments.

    Internal security agents visited Dmitry Shkrebets this summer after he accused Russian authorities of lying about how many sailors died when the Black Sea flagship Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian missiles on April 13. His son Yegor, one of the conscripts onboard, was listed as “missing.” The agents accused Shkrebets of making bomb threats and confiscated his laptop, as he detailed on VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook. On Tuesday, 111 days after Yegor’s death, the military finally gave his father a death certificate.

    “It will never be easier,” Shkrebets wrote in a post. “There will never be true joy. We will never be the same again. We have become different, we have become more unhappy, but also stronger, tougher. We no longer fear even those who should be feared.”

    But independent analyst Bobo Lo of the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, believes the Kremlin has largely contained the risk of unrest over the high casualty count. Because most people are so cautious about airing dissent, gauging the real level of support for the war is difficult. Pollster VCIOM, which is close to government authorities, reported in June that 72 percent of Russians back the fighting.

    Politically, Russian President Vladimir Putin “has been able to defend this,” said Lo, a former deputy head of mission at the Australian Embassy in Moscow. “Partly through controlling the information narrative, but also because this is now seen as a war against the West.”

    With many families afraid to speak out and no credible casualty count, independent media and rights groups keep their own tallies. Their numbers, based only on confirmed open-source death reports, are modest.

    The independent Russian outlet Mediazona and BBC News Russian counted 5,185 war dead as of July 29, with the greatest losses in remote and impoverished areas such as the southern region of Dagestan and the Siberian region of Buryatia. The wealthy cities Moscow and St. Petersburg were barely touched, the two outlets concluded. Moscow with 12.5 million residents, lost just 11 servicemen, and St. Petersburg 35.

    By contrast, the CIA and British intelligence MI6 estimate that at least15,000 Russians have been killed since their country’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, losses equal to the decade-long Soviet war in Afghanistan. And that was “probably a conservative estimate,” MI6 chief Richard Moore told the Aspen Security Forum last month.

    Chubarin’s death was an ominous reflection of the Russian military’s desperation. A former conscript from the Karelia region, he signed a three-month contract and was too excited to ask how much he would be paid. His mother, Nina Chubarina, thinks he wanted to prove himself as a man. She wonders if he was trying to win back his ex-wife.

    “He knew it was dangerous,” she said in a recent interview. He left on May 11, sending cheerful messages and videos after he arrived in Belgorod in southern Russia. He got little training in his four days there, then made a rushed call home. He had been issued a machine gun and was headed to the war.

    “That was it. That was the last time we spoke,” she said. The military told her he was found dead near Mariupol on May 16. “He was a very brave guy, was not afraid of anything. He was so cheerful and open and so kind.”

    Chubarina, a dairy farmworker, does not question the war. She just rereads a poem her son sent her while a conscript in 2017, about growing up and leaving her behind: “Forgive me for all the pain that has fallen on your weary shoulders. Please accept my soldier’s bow. It is from the bottom of my heart.”

    Sergei Dustin of Baltiysk refuses to be quiet. His daughter, Alexandra, married a marine named Maksim and became a widow at 19. He vented his rage on Facebook, saying Russians needed to ask why their sons were dying.

    He described the war as a “massacre started by crazy old men who think they are great geopoliticians and super strategists, incapable, in fact, of anything but destruction, threats against the world, puffing out their cheeks and endless lies.”

    Some responses called him a traitor. His son-in-law had left in the winter for “training exercises” and ended up in Ukraine. An old friend from Ukraine was fighting on the other side. Dustin hoped neither would die.

    He refused to hear any details about how the young man died, and his daughter shut herself inside her grief. “It’s very hard for her to understand and acknowledge that her husband was taking part in an operation that, to put it mildly, was far from nice,” he said. “This whole story just brings sorrow and tragedy for everyone.”

    Not many grieving families publicly question the war effort. The silence serves to minimize public understanding of its impact on the home front. In the eastern Siberia city of Ulan-Ude, a recent survey by the independent news site Lyudi Baikala found that few residents knew that more than 250 people from the region had been killed, a count the site calculated using open sources.

    Still, cracks have appeared. In Buryatia, a group of wives of Russian soldiers made a video in June to demand that the military bring their men home. Hundreds of soldiers from the region contacted an activist group there for information on how to break their contracts, according to Alexandra Garmazhapova, founder of the Free Buryatia Foundation. Casualties on a local memorial page on VKontakte rise daily.

    On Monday, the deaths of local basketball players Dmitry Lagunov and Nikolay Bagrov were confirmed. A woman named Raisa Dugarova responded on the page. “Why does Buryatia have to bury its sons every day?” she asked. “Why are we doing this?”

    The following day there was another entry, about the death of Zolto Chimitov, a corporal in his early 30s who had been born in the rural village of Tsakir. He became a boxing champion, later training to be a forester. He had three children.

    “Oh god, please stop this war. How many of our guys can die?” a woman named Yevgenia Yakovleva wrote. “My soul is torn from pain. I don’t know how to accept this, survive and live with it.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...r-deaths-toll/
    As much as I am on the side of Ukraine. I feel for the families of these young Russian men being sent to their deaths most likely largely ignorant of the real reasons of Putins murderous intentions and territorial ambitions, cloaked in layers of false patriotism.
    The one thing I love about my country is the open skepticism of unbridled patriotism. Where the flag is just a symbol of the country not some representation of some universal truth and justice, raised with a salute more reminiscent of a teary eyed love of big brother.

  2. #1527
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    As much as I am on the side of Ukraine. I feel for the families of these young Russian men being sent to their deaths most likely largely ignorant of the real reasons of Putins murderous intentions and territorial ambitions, cloaked in layers of false patriotism.
    Of course they are. Putin just sees them as cannon fodder, and the entire Russian population as a way of lining his pockets and keeping himself in power.

  3. #1528
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    Curious how the US (well, neocons) think of Ukrainians except as dispensable cannon fodder.

  4. #1529
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Curious how the US (well, neocons) think of Ukrainians except as dispensable cannon fodder.
    No, most of the world thinks Ukraine has a right to defend itself from war criminals.

  5. #1530
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Curious how the US (well, neocons) think of Ukrainians except as dispensable cannon fodder.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the idiot post of the day award winner!

  6. #1531
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Amnesty regrets ‘distress’ caused by report rebuking Ukraine


    KYIV (Reuters) – Amnesty International apologised on Sunday for “distress and anger” caused by a report accusing Ukraine of endangering civilians which infuriated President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and triggered the resignation of its Kviy office head.


    The rights group published the report on Thursday saying the presence of Ukrainian troops in residential areas heightened risks to civilians during Russia’s invasion.


    “Amnesty International deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused,” it said in an email to Reuters.


    “Amnesty International’s priority in this and in any conflict is ensuring that civilians are protected. Indeed, this was our sole objective when releasing this latest piece of research. While we fully stand by our findings, we regret the pain caused.”


    Zelenskiy accused the group of trying to shift responsibility from Russian aggression, while Amnesty‘s Ukraine head Oksana Pokalchuk quit saying the report was a propaganda gift for Moscow.


    Ukrainian officials say they try to evacuate civilians from front-line areas. Russia, which denies targeting civilians, has not commented on the rights report.


    In its email on Sunday, Amnesty said it had found Ukrainian forces next to civilian residences in 19 towns and villages it visited, exposing them to risk of incoming Russian fire.


    “This does not mean that Amnesty International holds Ukrainian forces responsible for violations committed by Russian forces, nor that the Ukrainian military is not taking adequate precautions elsewhere in the country,” it said.


    “We must be very clear: Nothing we documented Ukrainian forces doing in any way justifies Russian violations.”

    Amnesty regrets 'distress' caused by report rebuking Ukraine | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world

  7. #1532
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Amnesty must be a bit thick.

    Any civilian area is a Russian target, whether there are troops present or not.

    Russia is committing war crimes.

  8. #1533
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Ukraine is committing war crimes.

  9. #1534
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Ukraine is committing war crimes.
    Says RT/TASS/PRAVDA and the wankers that believe them.

  10. #1535
    Thailand Expat russellsimpson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    “Amnesty International’s priority in this and in any conflict is ensuring that civilians are protected. Indeed, this was our sole objective when releasing this latest piece of research. While we fully stand by our findings, we regret the pain caused.”


    Zelenskiy accused the group of trying to shift responsibility from Russian aggression, while Amnesty‘s Ukraine head Oksana Pokalchuk quit saying the report was a propaganda gift for Moscow.
    Zelenski's reaction tells me that soon he will be seen as a liability and one way or the other will have to go. The Americans are not above slipping some explosives up his tailpipe if it came to that. I sense things are approaching a breaking point.

  11. #1536
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ‘Together with Russia’ Kremlin officials push ahead with ‘referendums’ despite classified polls showing lack of support in captured Ukrainian territories


    Kremlin officials still hope to stage referendums in captured regions of Ukraine this fall, in the hopes of Russia absorbing the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” (the DNR and LNR), as well as the southern regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.


    As Meduza reported previously, the Putin administration wanted to time these “referendums” to coincide with Russia’s own regional elections, scheduled for September 11. However, statements from Russian occupation authorities in captured regions of Ukraine have offered only vague time frames like “early autumn” or “the first ten days of September.”


    Three sources close to the Kremlin told Meduza that September 11 remains a “tentative date” — but it’s not set in stone. In all likelihood, they explained, Russian forces won’t be able to completely occupy the Donetsk region by then. Moscow recognizes the entire region as the territory of the “DNR.” But by Meduza’s estimates, Russia and its proxies only control about 60 percent of the region.


    That said, Kremlin officials have no doubt that Russian forces will be able to seize the remaining 40 percent sooner or later. As such, the Putin administration sees staging referendums after this has been achieved as its main (and most realistic) option. One of Meduza’s sources asserted that this would allow for “general unity and a celebration.” (Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not respond to Meduza’s questions.)


    According to another source, however, Russian troops may soon lose control of Kherson. Kyiv intends to fully recapture the southern region and Ukrainian forces have already shelled the Antonovsky Bridge — the main crossing point over the Dnipro River used to supply Russian troops in Kherson.


    Meduza’s sources close to the Kremlin emphasized that if the counteroffensive intensifies, the planned referendums may have to be moved up — regardless of whether Russia has taken full control of the Donetsk region. In other words, Russia may move to annex only part of the “DNR.”


    “The Kherson region was more or less quickly occupied [in early March] and occupied with little bloodshed,” one source explained. “After the referendums, it will be Russian territory and it will be defended as Russian territory.”

    ‘A New Russia’


    According to Meduza’s sources, the referendums are set to take place under the slogan “Together with Russia.” Occupation authorities are already making use of this tagline. In early July, collaborationist officials in the Zaporizhzhia region announced the formation of an “integration movement” called “We are Together with Russia.” And on July 30, a “Together with Russia” Forum took place in occupied Kherson.


    Meduza’s sources close to the Putin administration explained that there was another slogan in the running: “A New Russia” (Novaya Rossiya, in Russian). The idea behind it was to signal to local residents that after the referendums, Russia “will gain a new quality as a state, become stronger, [and] that the people in these territories will help with this.”


    However, according to one source, President Vladimir Putin and other members of Russia’s Security Council didn’t like the idea. In their view, Russia is “returning its own, not adding something new.”


    Consequently, according to sources close to the Kremlin, the referendums will not have a “clear ideological component.” Instead, emphasis will be placed on the claim that the inhabitants of the occupied territories will be able to live better “in Russia” than in Ukraine.

    As Meduza reported previously, preparations for the referendums are being handled by the presidential directorate for State Council affairs — a branch of Putin’s Executive Office under the leadership of Alexander Kharichev, a close associate of the Kremlin’s Donbas point man Sergey Kiriyenko.


    According to Meduza’s sources, Sergey Tolmachev, the deputy governor of Sevastopol, has been tapped to play the role of chief political strategist and referendum coordinator. Tolmachev, who hails from Krasnoyarsk, actively posts updates on Telegram about Russia’s activities in captured regions of Ukraine. He did not respond to Meduza’s questions.


    Tolmachev’s past experience as a political strategist includes, for example, working on the 2018 gubernatorial race in Khakassia. According to Meduza’s sources, he actively used “dark PR” in an attempt to prevent Communist Party candidate Valentin Konovalov from winning the race. Konovalov won the election anyway.


    “[Tolmachev has] another strong suit — administrative mobilization. Why somehow try to win over and convince people if you can drive them to the polling stations by bus?” one of Tolmachev’s acquaintances told Meduza.


    Tolmachev will have help from other personnel parachuted in from Russia (Meduza reported on this in detail back in June). According to Meduza’s sources, Russian civil servants and spin doctors involved in orchestrating the referendums are being paid a tidy sum of money. For example, one Russian civil servant working in the policy bloc of one of the Donbas “people’s republics” is making more than 2 million rubles ($33,000) a month. Salaries for political strategists start at 1 million rubles ($16,500). However, according to one source, only “the most desperate” people are taking these jobs: “Or those who want to demonstrate their loyalty in order to have lucrative contracts later. Many agree, but family [members] talk them out of it.”


    A ‘real’ referendum


    Sources close to the Kremlin told Meduza that so far, the efforts of Russia’s propagandists and political spin doctors have yet to produce the desired results.


    Two sources close to the Putin administration said that classified studies conducted in the occupied regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in mid-June showed that only 30 percent of survey respondents supported accession to Russia. Another 30 percent wanted these regions to remain part of Ukraine and the rest “had difficulty answering.” (Due to Russia’s ongoing occupation of these regions, there is no reliable public opinion data.)


    “For a real referendum such support, of course, is not enough,” underscored a source familiar with the classified polling results.


    Nevertheless, the Kremlin has no doubt that despite the clear lack of public support, the referendums “will go as needed.” According to one source, due to the “special circumstances” (read: war) a limited number of polling stations will be opened during the referendum; pro-Russian residents will be solicited to visit them, and this will provide photo-ops for Kremlin propagandists.


    Officials in the Putin administration are also convinced that those who want these regions to remain part of Ukraine will not come out to vote in a referendum orchestrated by Russia on territory captured by its troops.

    https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/08...er-with-russia

  12. #1537
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    Quote Originally Posted by russellsimpson View Post
    Zelenski's reaction tells me that soon he will be seen as a liability and one way or the other will have to go. The Americans are not above slipping some explosives up his tailpipe if it came to that. I sense things are approaching a breaking point.
    You continue to prove that you have no idea what you are talking about. Utterly clueless and absurd.

  13. #1538
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    And on July 30, a “Together with Russia” Forum took place in occupied Kherson.
    Link please. We have a few here would love to join.

  14. #1539
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Russian occupation authorities carried out the scheduled “We Are Together With Russia” forum in Kherson State University on July 30, continuing to set conditions for a falsified referendum in occupied areas of Kherson Oblast.[30] Pro-Russian Telegram channel “Readovka” described the event as a forum aimed to allow participants to “the future fate” of Kherson Oblast and claimed that about a thousand participants gathered to discuss social and economic policies of the region.[31] The delegates voted for a declaration called “Russian Kherson“ regarding the joint development of Kherson Oblast with Russia.[32] Igor Kastyukevich , Russian State Duma Deputy and coordinator of the United Russia Party humanitarian mission to Kherson Oblast, was the only Russian identified as participating in the forum alongside Ukrainian collaborators.[33] ISW previously assessed that that low turnout among Russian officials could support other reporting suggesting that the Kremlin authorities fled Kherson City in fear of Ukrainian counteroffensives.[34] Russian-appointed Kherson Oblast Military-Civilian Administration Head Volodymyr Saldo also announced the creation of the Kherson Oblast Public Chamber within the ”We Are Together With Russia,” which the Kremlin will likely use to create the facade of public support for Kherson Oblast’s integration with Russia.[35]

    The link Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 30 | Institute for the Study of War


    The Russians didn’t even go.

  15. #1540
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    The authorities of the Zaporizhia region said that the region is "forever leaving" from Ukraine



    Volodymyr Rogov, a member of the main council of the administration of the Zaporizhzhya region, said that the region was "leaving forever" from Ukraine.

    “Zaporozhye land is forever leaving Ukraine.

    The Zaporozhye region has set a course for reunification with Russia and there will be no turning back, ”RIA Novosti quotes Rogov.

    According to him, the Kyiv authorities are aware of this and are trying to threaten the civilian population by shelling civilian infrastructure.

    Earlier it was reported that the referendum on joining Russia Zaporozhye and Kherson regions could be held on the same day.

    Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, said that they intend to determine the date of the referendum within a month.

    The authorities of the Zaporizhia region said that the region is "forever leaving" from Ukraine - Teller Report

  16. #1541
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    More utter bollocks in a feeble attempt at justifying annexation.

  17. #1542
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    ISW previously assessed that that low turnout among Russian officials could support other reporting suggesting that the Kremlin authorities fled Kherson City in fear of Ukrainian counteroffensives.
    Of course they fled as both bridges into the city from the east were effectively blown, and the Russians are desperately trying to use a pontoon ferry to resupply. The fake officials that stay are at risk of being found dead in car bomb blasts by partisans, at least four so far in Kherson Oblast assassinated.

  18. #1543
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    it's funny but hope no accidents occur




    A group of Russian airlines is stripping planes of spare parts as sanctions implemented due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine impact the country.

    Sources told Reuters on Monday that major Russian airlines such as Aeroflot have grounded their planes so they can be disassembled for spare parts, adding that airlines are taking parts from their planes to keep them airworthy.

    Russian-made Sukhoi Superjets, which are dependent on assembled foreign parts, have already started the disassembly process, removing an engine from a grounded jet to allow another Superjet to continue flying.

    The disused airplanes from which parts are removed to keep others flying are often referred to as “Christmas trees.” The process is linked to financial difficulties due to widespread reshuffling from the sanctions imposed by Western powers, according to Reuters.

    Sanctions on Moscow stem from its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, and have prevented Russia from obtaining spare engine parts or undergoing maintenance checks in Western countries.

    Oleg Panteleev, the head of the Aviaport aviation think tank, told Reuters that most Western-based manufacturers know that Sukhoi Superjets fully operate in Russia.

    “Western manufacturers understand that almost all Superjets are being operated in Russia,” Panteleev said. “You can simply stop producing and shipping spare parts – and it will hurt.”

    Russian officials hope that some of the used aircraft parts will ensure that foreign-built aircrafts can continue to fly through 2025, Reuters reported.

    A source also said that due to the Western-imposed sanctions, unused jets are being stripped for spare parts, as Russian jets are currently flying fewer routes than normal.

    This comes as Aeroloft has experienced a 22 percent traffic fall due to the Western-imposed sanctions against Russia, according to data provided by the company.

    Sources also told the news wire that Middle East and Asian companies may be at risk of secondary sanctions from Western powers if they provide aircraft supplies to Russia.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  19. #1544
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Aeroloft has experienced a 22 percent traffic
    Is that all? Jeez, that is nothing compared to Cathay Pacific and even Qantas.

  20. #1545
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    A group of Russian airlines is stripping planes of spare parts as sanctions implemented due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine impact the country.

    Sources told Reuters on Monday that major Russian airlines such as Aeroflot have grounded their planes so they can be disassembled for spare parts, adding that airlines are taking parts from their planes to keep them airworthy.
    Your sources, The Hill, Reuters and Reuters sources, may wish to check with the seventh package of EU sanctions, prior to publication.



    War in Ukraine: EU adopts ‘maintenance and alignment’ package against Russia


    July 21, 2022

    "The EU is also introducing a number of clarifications to existing measures, for instance in the field of public procurement, aviation and justice. For instance, technical assistance to Russia for aviation goods and technology will allowed insofar as it is needed to safeguard the technical industrial standard setting work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ...."

    War in Ukraine: EU adopts ‘maintenance and alignment’ package against Russia - EU NEIGHBOURS east

    The easing may be just EU spare parts.

    NaGastan spare parts suppliers, of course, maybe be instructed/obey NaGastan sanctions, to ignore the international body, The International Civil Aviation Organisation, which sets technical and industrial standards for commercial aeroplanes worldwide.
    Last edited by OhOh; 09-08-2022 at 02:17 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  21. #1546
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    At least hoohoo doesn't cheer on paedophiles, even if he does post interminably dull shit.

  22. #1547
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Is that all? Jeez, that is nothing compared to Cathay Pacific and even Qantas.
    Show us some links, please, for the same timeframe. Try quoting the complete sentence.
    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    This comes as Aeroloft has experienced a 22 percent traffic fall due to the Western-imposed sanctions against Russia, according to data provided by the company.

  23. #1548
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The authorities of the Zaporizhia region said that the region is "forever leaving" from Ukraine
    Well it could become uninhabitable if the Russian idiots insist on conducting operations on and around the plant

    How dangerous is the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?

    The UN has called for international inspectors to be given access to the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, after it was shelled at the weekend. But how dangerous is the situation and what is likely to happen next?

    Why is the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant important?

    The plant, built in the Soviet era, is the largest nuclear reactor in Europe. Its six pressurised water reactors (of which at least two are currently operating) are important to Kyiv as they can produce power for up to 4m homes.

    Situated on the south bank of the Dnieper river at Enerhodar, south-west of the city of Zaporizhzhia itself, the plant occupies an extremely important strategic position both for Russian and Ukrainian forces, who have been contesting control of the site since early in the war.

    The presence of the water-cooled reactors, as well as a spent fuel storage facility, on the large and sprawling site has led Russia to use it as a so called “sheltered” artillery park, using the facilities to fire on Ukrainian positions in the belief that Ukraine would not fire back and risk a nuclear accident.

    The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has accused the Russians of using the plant as a “nuclear shield” saying: “Of course the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant.” That has allowed Russia to target areas like the city of Nikopol across the river which has come under heavy shelling in recent weeks.

    Why is there renewed concern?

    There are two issues fuelling a deepening anxiety over the situation at the plant, which is under Russian control but uses Ukrainian staff. International nuclear safety officials have become concerned over the lack of spare parts, access for routine maintenance of the reactors and lack of contact with staff all of which have been disrupted by the ongoing conflict.

    A second issue is grad missile fire around the plant at the weekend, with Russians and Ukrainians pointing the finger over responsibility. According to Energoatom – the Ukrainian nuclear authority – the impacts were close to the spent fuel storage area with the operator claiming Russian troops “aimed specifically” at the containers despite the presence of Russian troops at the site.

    However, it is worth noting that Ukrainian officials at times have somewhat overstated claims about nuclear risks posed by the conflict both at Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia – so for now it is not clear how dangerous this weekend’s incident was in and of itself.

    more https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/08/how-dangerous-is-the-situation-at-the-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant

  24. #1549
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Putin blackmail innit.

  25. #1550
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    U.S. seeks to seize $90 mln plane owned by Russian oligarch

    A judge has authorized U.S. prosecutors to seize a $90 million Airbus plane owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Monday.

    Skoch, a member of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, was initially sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2018 for alleged ties to Russian organized criminal groups. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued further sanctions against Skoch in the wake of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

    Washington has sought to pressure President Vladimir Putin to stop the military campaign by freezing and seizing assets belonging to wealthy Russians. read more

    "U.S. law enforcement has demonstrated that international shell games will not suffice to hide the fruits of corruption and money laundering," Andrew Adams, the federal prosecutor leading the Justice Department's KleptoCapture task force targeting oligarchs' assets, said in a statement.

    Skoch - a billionaire and member of the pro-Putin United Russia party - owns the plane through shell companies and trusts tied to his romantic partner, prosecutors said. Reuters could not immediately reach Skoch for comment.

    U.S. dollar payments for the registration and insurance of the plane continued to be made between 2018 and 2021, despite the sanctions, prosecutors said.

    Moscow calls its activities in Ukraine a "special military operation."

    The plane is now in Kazakhstan, court papers show. Kazakhstan's Embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    A 324-foot (98.76-m) yacht that belongs to Skoch in June anchored in Dubai, which has emerged as a refuge for Russian wealth as Western countries ramped up sanctions against Putin allies. read more

    Also in June, a U.S. court issued warrants for the seizure of two luxury planes owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The KleptoCapture task force has also brought the seized Amadea, a $300-million yacht owned by sanctioned oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, to the United States. read more

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