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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine 582

Posted by timothy
from the one-for-all-and-what's-the-password? dept.
U.S. officials today made public satellite imagery which they say proves that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine in a campaign to assist rebel groups fighting Ukraine’s government. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the civilian-taken satellite images Sunday, said they show visual evidence that Russia has been firing shells across the border at Ukrainian military forces. Officials also said the images show that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine. One image dated July 25/26 shows what DNI claims is “ground scarring” on the Russian side of the border from artillery aimed at Ukrainian military units in Ukraine, as well as the resultant ground craters on the Ukrainian side of the border:
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

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  • Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:19PM (#47545065)

    The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons.

    And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:38PM (#47545201)

    It's still a question in most of eastern Europe. Russians got their propaganda machine in full spin mode... and it's working.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:38PM (#47545203)

    Maybe it would help if you could tell us who it was that forced you to read and comment on this item?

  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:38PM (#47545207)

    Obviously the US doctored the publically available satellite footage. And you know, since they're the only people in the world with satellites, nobody else can see if they're telling the truth. So of course it's an evil mitilary conspiracy, because they have so much to gain here by lying about a civil war across the world. Obviously.

  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:40PM (#47545231) Homepage

    With the UK and Scotland, no politician's life depends on the outcome. Whatever happens with the Scottish referendum, the people in office now expect to eventually depart from office and enter some cushy retirement position.

    With Russia, Putin cannot afford to back down from a display of military might: it keeps his support among the masses high, and intimidates other post-Soviet states like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan which he hopes to bring into his Eurasian Union. If Putin were to back down and support a peaceful resolution whose outcome might not satisfy Russian nationalists, he could find himself out of power. It's not a matter of him being done in by the West like a Saddam or Milosevic; that claim of Western conspiracy against him is just played for the cameras. The fact is that he's got enough enemies within Russian elite circles, he's pissed too many people off, that if his hold on power weakens, he'll certainly end up imprisoned or dead.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:55PM (#47545345)

    I bet you could not tell the difference between a civilian plane and a military plane flying at 30,000 feet over a war zone either.

    I bet he can't tell them apart either, but I also bet he wouldn't fire a missile at it. *Firing a missile anyway* is the important thing here, not a failure to identify the aircraft.

  • Re:Great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @04:59PM (#47545395)

    I'm not an American. I'm not even from the west and I think Russia is responsible.

  • by joh (27088) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:00PM (#47545403)

    Wreck their economy. It worked once and the way Russia acts it would work again, no doubt. Russia has only a GDP a little better than Italy and less than Germany, France or the UK. They are utterly weak and exactly because they know it they have to act like a bully. Russia is a dwarf trying to convince itself it is a giant by making others think it is.

  • Re:Oh, bore off (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:06PM (#47545447) Homepage

    The reason we're still "blathering about non-existant [sic] WMDS" is because "WMD" is a shorthand for "nukes". The yellowcake uranium evidence, the aluminum tubes that "were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium", the quote "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud".

    All of the WMD arguments for war were in the context of nukes, not chemical weapons.

    So yes, you're technically correct - which is the best kind of correct - but you're also missing the point. None of the WMDs that we were warned about were found.

    Not to mention if chemical weapons were a casus belli, just about every country in the world would be a legitimate target.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:06PM (#47545451)

    Not only could they not tell it was Boeing, it was flying at over 33,000 feet. The other military planes they were targeting can't even fly over 20,000 feet. Those were turboprops and fighter jets.

  • by Ogive17 (691899) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:10PM (#47545483)
    Mid-east fighting, 2000 years and going strong. Yes, clearly not having peace there is Obama's fault...

    I just don't get this bravado from some Americans that think we should be directly involved in every conflict around the globe. Ironically, all these global conflicts are a huge drain on the national treasury. Can't cut the budgets and join a few wars at the same time.
  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:11PM (#47545511)

    * Gaza can send thousands of rockets targeting Israeli citizens and they won't even say a word.

    Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

    * Iran can make nuclear weapons and they won't even say a word.

    Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

    * Russia can take over Crimea and they get bashed harshly with... a speech.

    Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

    *ISIS can take over Iraq and kill thousands and they won't say a word.

    Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

    Now here's a bullet point that you didn't mention:

    * Ubiquitous healthcare for Americans

    Affects Americans right now? -- YES! Was it a clear course of action that will be best for America in the future? -- YES!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:15PM (#47545559)

    Wreck their economy. It worked once and the way Russia acts it would work again, no doubt. Russia has only a GDP a little better than Italy and less than Germany, France or the UK. They are utterly weak and exactly because they know it they have to act like a bully. Russia is a dwarf trying to convince itself it is a giant by making others think it is.

    The reason Europe wont back harsher sanctions is because if they do it will have the cascade effect of damaging their own economies because Russia and all the countries of Europe economies are all linked fairly tightly, along with the fact Russia exports a huge amount on natural gas to western Europe and if that got cut off in response to sanctions it would make things even worse so the sanctions in place target political and industrial leaders in Russia.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tlambert (566799) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:16PM (#47545563)

    I bet you could not tell the difference between a civilian plane and a military plane flying at 30,000 feet over a war zone either.

    I could. The civilian plane would have a radar transponder that said "Hi, I am Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17".

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:17PM (#47545573) Homepage Journal

    US Government: "Russia caught attacking another country - the nerve!"

    World responds with skeptical glances from all corners.

  • by gtall (79522) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:31PM (#47545679)

    Try 6000 years. They were bashing each other over the head way back then as well according to the ancient history book I read.

    The wars aren't what's bankrupting the budget, it is the 2/3 of "non-discretionary" expenses that are dong that job quite nicely.

    The U.S. is involved world wide because the U.S. has defense agreements and economic interests world wide. The U.S. had their head stuck up their ass before WW II and then WW II happened. It happened because "the world" didn't have the balls to stop German and Japanese aggression when it would have been easy.

    Currently, Putin and Muslim radicals and Chinese expansionism will create another fucking world-wide mess, and two of them have nuclear weapons. As soon as Pakistan drops their panties for the radicals, the Muslim jihadis will have them as well. It's going to be wonderful world.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:49PM (#47545799) Homepage

    The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons. And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

    Well, if you want to put it that way the plane would never have been shot down if Russia had supplied a professional crew instead of teaching the separatists how to aim and pull the trigger. At least with the Russian military firing they probably know what they're aiming at.

  • by war4peace (1628283) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:52PM (#47545831)

    As an Eastern European, all I could tell you is: you're so very wrong.
    NOBODY in Eastern Europe is believing the Russians. We all know better, after being under their boot for 45 years or so.

  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:56PM (#47545857)

    It's not like there is a shortage of places to drill for shale oil. Russia is definitely, without a doubt or a question, the villain here. Russia is not a state sponsor of terrorism. Russia today is a terrorist state.

    As opposed to the United States which never sponsors terrorists or bombs civil...

    OH WAIT

  • Methane Anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linearz69 (3473163) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:00PM (#47545881)

    Putin is an idiot. He started playing games with Ukraine and never saw the long game.

    Doubtful this evidence is fabricated. The US isn't going to fabricate evidence that can be corroborated by others independently. Its not like any of those images are too small for Google Earth. The EU, China, Japanese, and all even some commercial interests have satellites that can see the same thing. Now the US has told them where to look, others can see for themselves. Nobody (except maybe Pravda) has called BS on this.

    But the Russians may be right about a US lead smear campaign..... This is all about sanctions by the EU, which is really all about who sells the EU Natural Gas. The US has some serious gas reserves that is itching to sell for good money. Hard to do if EU is purchasing from Gazprom.

    But this is all on Putin. If he didn't provide the smear material, the US couldn't use it.

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:10PM (#47545949)

    Great, more Mericans who believe whatever the media-military complex tells them.

    I don't believe everything they tell me. But generally when they're making shit up (ie: Saddam's WMD) it's because somebody important has a real interest in promoting the lie.

    Putin has an interest in promoting the separatists in Eastern Ukraine. He's using them to counter-balance the pro-Western forces in Kiev. We know this because he actually promotes the separatists. Which means having his artillery nail the Ukrainians who are fighting said separatists is plausible. More plausible then that, some low-level artillery officer who happens to be stationed in the region thinks his boss will be very pleased if the Ukrainian Army has trouble retaking Donetsk.

    Obama making this shit up is not particularly plausible. He wants foreign policy to go the fuck away for a few months so he can make an economic case for firing Boehnor to the American people. If Putin is actively operating in Ukraine, bordering Romania (which is in NATO) deserves to know we'll send troops to Bucharest on short notice. But Obama's latest budget includes force reductions. One of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy initiatives was a reset of relations with Russia. That actually worked pretty well, for her term as Secretary of State.

  • Re:Great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:20PM (#47546011)

    >And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

    You are correct. Detroit is fucked. Your other observations are correct also.

  • Re: Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:22PM (#47546025)

    You'd be foolish to shoot unknown aircraft on a civilian route. Well, you'd either be foolish or criminally insane, take your pick.

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:05PM (#47546217) Homepage

    Thatta boy, blame the civilians.

    Uh, the Ukrainian air traffic control system is run by civilians.

    The plane was just about to cross into Russia. Why didn't the Russians close their airspace either?

    Seems like the rebels being issued heavy antiaircraft weaponry was a recent development. Previously they were more into mobbing police buildings.

  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:23PM (#47546299)

    I read the page. The "evidence" is rather flimsy. Giving way more credence to what Russia says then what anyone elses data shows. So Russia can be trusted but no one else. Hell it sites a memo from 1962.

    For example the page claims that Kiev had fighter jets following the plane, the only evidence comes from Russia. How is that any more trustworthy then anyone elses data?

    The page is very obviously biased.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:24PM (#47546303)

    Less believable? See:
    http://www.thestar.com.my/News... [thestar.com.my]
    http://www.malaysia-chronicle.... [malaysia-chronicle.com]
    http://www.straitstimes.com/ne... [straitstimes.com]
    for a demonstration of Goebbels' and Stalin's idea that if a big lie is repeated often enough it becomes the truth.

  • by styrotech (136124) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:06PM (#47546541)

    This is some of the drivel being spread around by conspiracy theorists, russian shills and russian conspiracy theorist shills.

    Don't forget all the ones with an Su25 being involved in shooting it down (haha).

    I love how all these conspiracy nuts paint the US govt as some scheming Machiavellian mastermind, when the reality is that they keep getting caught unprepared with their pants down whenever some unanticipated international development happens.

    Ahhh but the nutjobs will claim "that it is all part of the deception!"

  • Re:Great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stoutlimb (143245) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @09:40PM (#47546963)

    A few months ago, the Russian government was trying to woo Ukraine into an "economic union" with Russia. Cue street protests, a president that flees, and new democratic elections for a president that the people actually want. Now, Russia is shooting rockets and artillery into Ukraine. That has to be the worst case of sore-loserism and poor sportsmanship I've ever seen. All Russian behaviour does is prove to Ukrainians that they made the right choice in steering their country away from a madman. Friends and an "economic union" with Russia was in fact a trap, and Ukrainians knew this very well. Today's news proves every worst fear Ukrainians had about Russia.

    The point is, Ukrainians aren't chosing to be USA's puppet, or the EU's puppet, or whatever. Ukrainians are choosing to live a normal life that's not influenced by complete psychopaths. The worst and ugliest EU or USA can do to Ukraine doesn't compare to what Russia has already done. So from the Ukrainian point of view, talking about US or EU "puppet strings" is a complete joke. You should try talking about something serious.

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aighearach (97333) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @10:00PM (#47547085) Homepage

    Self defense is not "in anger."

    And every serious analysis agrees that more Japanese civilians would have been killed by a traditional invasion, because the women and children had been told that they Americans were taking all civilians as slaves, and they had been armed, and were hiding in bunkers without any contact with other bunkers or the outside world for them to learn that no children were being eaten and no women sold as slaves.

    If you're looking at cases where the US lashed out in anger, there are lots of them, but none of them involved nukes.

  • Re:Great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Sunday July 27, 2014 @10:14PM (#47547127) Homepage

    Russia is definitely, without a doubt or a question, the villain here.

    Your statement assumes there is only one villain.

    Russia is a villain. The U.S. is a villain. The current fascist-riddled Ukraine government is a villain. The prior authoritarian Ukraine government is a villain. And in the end, the ethnic Russians of Eastern Ukraine are fucked.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @10:45PM (#47547219) Homepage

    You're jumping from Russia trying to annex Ukraine to Russia trying to invade Alaska. They're more likely to send the tanks rolling into Germany first, and they'll probably annex China long before then.

    Russia vs Ukraine is like most of the wars the US has gotten into over the last 20 years - find some little country and push it around since it can't really do anything to hurt you back. Russia doesn't have the navy to threaten the US in a serious way in a conventional war, and the reverse is definitely not the case. There is little reason for Russia to get into a shooting war with the US, and certainly no reason for the US to get into a shooting war with Russia either.

    I think the Europeans are making the bigger mistake here, but this is one big case of short-term thinking. Nobody wants to suffer the short-term loss to deal with Russia, and everybody is likely to take advantage of their neighbors if they try to do something about it. If the US cuts off all loans to Russia, the London banks will just step in to make a fortune in their place, etc.

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @11:13PM (#47547307)

    "Self defense"? Look, you can call it a lot of things, but you can't call it that. Otherwise I could call the following scenario "self defense":

    Guy comes to my house and kills a member of my family. In "self defense", the next day I go and burn down his house with him and his family in it.

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Monday July 28, 2014 @06:08AM (#47548343)

    Please point to the fascists riddling the current Ukrainian government.

    Oh what's that? You were just repeating Putin's party line and didn't realise the Ukrainian far-right only got 2% at recent elections compared to say, France's NF getting 25% in recent elections?

    By all objective measures, support for fascism in Ukraine is lower than in most countries across the globe. Fascism is just the thing Putin points to try and justify his actions which would be funny if it weren't for the fact that he's the one whose been building a society that treats ethnic minorities and homosexuals in a way only a truly fascist nation could over the last 10 years.

  • Re:Not so bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ecuador (740021) on Monday July 28, 2014 @06:18AM (#47548377) Homepage

    And I cannot wait to learn who really shot down MH 17.

    I usually don't take sides, but it must be the side who doesn't let anybody else approach and destroys the evidence?

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Monday July 28, 2014 @07:26AM (#47548605) Homepage

    I think there is a third, and perhaps more likely explanation: Parts of the Russian military is not under the control of the government. Putin is not exactly stupid, and what is happening in that area is rapidly becoming stupid, so I think it is a reasonable guess that he hasn't got things under his control.

    The Russian military is exactly where Putin wants them to be. They're along the border so that they can invade Ukraine once the conditions are right. If Ukraine fires on the Russians then it will be called a provocation and the tanks will stream across the border.

    Putin isn't playing dumb here at all. He got the message from the EU loud and clear that they could care less about Russia invading Ukraine, and that the US is pretty upset about it but doesn't really have the power to do anything without getting into a shooting war, which they won't actually do. So, how is shelling the Ukrainians dumb? If the EU doesn't care about commandos taking over cities, the annexation of Crimea, Russian fighters shooting down Ukrainian aircraft, rebels shooting down airliners, and a nearly full-scale war raging in Easter Ukraine, then why would they care about a few shells landing on military units?

  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) on Monday July 28, 2014 @09:47AM (#47549399)

    "Self defense"? Look, you can call it a lot of things, but you can't call it that. Otherwise I could call the following scenario "self defense":

    Guy comes to my house and kills a member of my family. In "self defense", the next day I go and burn down his house with him and his family in it.

    Is that seriously your characterization of the war in the Pacific in WWII? Japan bombed Pearl Harbor then the US dropped nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? There was a lot more to it than that.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solandri (704621) on Monday July 28, 2014 @12:35PM (#47550771)

    Guy comes to my house and kills a member of my family. In "self defense", the next day I go and burn down his house with him and his family in it.

    Rather that just reading the anti-U.S. rants about this, you should try visiting Asia and talking to the Asians who had to live under Imperial Japanese rule. Much like the Nazis, the Japanese saw themselves as a genetically superior race, and other races were nothing more than cattle to them. My grandmother was forced to watch as her sister and niece were raped and killed by Japanese soldiers, all to coerce my grandfather (a doctor) into treating one of their officers. The Imperial Japanese needed to be put down, at all costs, for the sake of civilization.

    The correct analogy is guy terrorizes neighborhood killing hundreds of people. Then happens to go into your house and kill a member of your family. You fight back and eventually surround him in his home where he's instructed his entire family to die defending the house. You manage to take him and one family member out with a new weapon that vaporizes the part of the house he's in, which spares the rest of his family. The loss of the family member is regrettable, but it's a positive outcome when you consider the part you've conveniently left out of your analogy - that killing his entire family would have been an acceptable cost to free the neighborhood from his reign of terror.

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