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United States Politics

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine 582

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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  • Memory Troubles: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @05:09PM (#47545475)

    "The last time the Russians got this aggressive was their invasion of Afghanistan under Jimmy Carter"

    I think you're forgetting that they invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president.

    I think that counts as pretty aggressive.

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

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:08PM (#47545929) Journal
    You missed the subtle difference. Russia is NOT a state sponsor of terrorism. It has become a terrorist state. This means the government of Russia is now guilty of terrorist acts rather than some other people whom they sponsor.
  • Here comes WW3. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:08PM (#47546223)

    Thanks Putin, you fucking asshat.

    I used to like you. You used to be cool. But you just had to be a dick and try do a Hitler 2.0.

  • by NEW22 ( 137070 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:22PM (#47546293)

    "Gaza can send thousands of rockets targeting Iraeli citizens and they won't even say a word." -- I'm pretty sure the US is saying a word, and it is desire for a cease fire. Also, Hamas is dumb, but death count in the recent spate of attacks? Israelis: 1 died to a rocket, Palestinians: 1000 died in shelling. Looks like Israel is doing comparatively alright here. Why do you need the US doing more here? What is it you want them to do?

    "Iran can make nuclear weapons and they won't even say a word." -- Clearly you are unaware of the current state of diplomacy on this issue. Last November an interim agreement was made, observers are checking to verify Iranian compliance in agreement for a lessening of economic sanctions. We'll see if a continuing agreement can be reached by next November. What would you have done differently? The fact that you claim that the US has not said a word makes me inclined to think you are not aware of reality enough to make a sensible suggestion, but you could surprise me.

    "Russia can take over Crimea and they get bashed harshly with... a speech." -- The US can invade Iraq and Afghanistan and run military operations in Pakistan and get bashed mildly with... a speech. Iraq was a disaster perpetrated upon a bed of lies and incompetency. Would you consider it money well spent? Seriously? What is your proposed action on Russia and Crimea? You have complained about actions taken, without expressing what it is you actually want... and that's just not helpful at all. It sounds like you want more dick waving and war and are under the impression that it will help, but I could just be stereotyping you...

    "ISIS can take over Iraq and kill thousands and they won't say a word." -- What do you want? Unending US military presence in Iraq? Who do you even want to be in charge of Iraq and why? What implications would your desires have?

    Basically, it sounds like you want the US to prop up Israel, stop Iran by any means necessary, remove Russia from Crimea, and crush ISIS and prop up Iraq indefinitely. You want to do all of this heavy work and military mobilization (hint: that costs a ton of money [oh, and lives, especially if you count foreigners and care about that kinda thing]), yet simultaneously you complain about the government not cutting a dime of spending.

    Your brain is broken.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:24PM (#47546305) Journal

    The problem with economic sanctions is that they, ironically, work to solidify Putin's power hold.

    The original reason for strong popular support behind Putin was that he oversaw a decade of steady economic growth. For many people in Russia, it was the time where they saw their lives change from borderline poverty to something reasonable. It can be argued that he is not the one to take credit, and that it's all due to high oil prices etc, but either way he got to reap the benefits. It's also what triggered the entire "imperial revival" mentality: people see that their country is more prosperous, therefore it is stronger, therefore it is time to remember the old squabbles.

    Now, Russian economy was already in recession as it is, and likely one from which it will not require. The sanctions will undeniably accelerate it, but at the same time they give Putin and his clique the ultimate excuse with respect to anything bad that happens with the economy: "Americans did it". Thus, all the rage will be channeled overseas, instead of the people in charge. And if economy does collapse, what you have now is a country of 140 million, raging, armed to teeth, with a history of willing and able to pile up the bodies two to one (and even higher) to win. Oh, and with nukes.

    I strongly suspect that, if the sanctions are ultimately successful, the immediate consequence will be the full-on ground invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Not the present proxy war with subtle aid here and there, but Russian tanks on the streets of Kiev, that kind of thing.

    If the West really wants to help Ukraine, it needs to give it direct military assistance.

  • Re:Great... (Score:3, Informative)

    by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:03PM (#47546507) Homepage

    ... we should all be worried the USA has nukes too.

    Yes we should. Especially since the US has shown it is willing to use them against another country in anger. Not once but twice.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @08:10PM (#47546551) Journal

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

    Iran dilutes nuclear material
    July 21, 2014 []

    IRAN has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the United Nations' nuclear agency says.

    THE move was expected. Tehran had committed to convert or dilute its 20-per cent enriched stockpile under an agreement with six powers last November that froze its atomic programs pending negotiations on a comprehensive deal. Those talks were extended on Saturday to November 24.

    Still, the development was noteworthy in reflecting Iran's desire not to derail the diplomatic process with the six countries - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

    If you really cared about Iran and not about piling up perceived failure at Obama's feet, you sure as shit would have seen this headline from last week.

    It wasn't a secret. The AP, AFP, Reuters, and pretty much everyone was talking about it.

    /Naturally Fox News did their best to report only on the extension of talks.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @09:08PM (#47546815)

    Funny that they illustrate this report with the actual shelling of the city of Gorlovka by the Ukrainian army. Yeah, actual civilians being bombed by their US sponsored government to the complete indifference of the western media. I guess those reporters can't be bothered to point that out.

    Yeah, the Ukrainian military should instead write a kind letter asking the separatists to go back to Russia.

    Wow, so you think it's alright to bomb civilians once they're been labeled 'separatists'. One can justify pretty much any atrocities with your thinking.

    It's always amusing how the Putin apologists bend over to misinterpret sentences.

    The civilians are not separatists, the separatists are Russians who illegally entered Ukraine, with weapons, and took control of several cities. The local component to this 'separatist movement' is largely comprised of local criminals looking to cash in.

    The intention is quite obviously not to bomb civilians, but the armed Russians who are occupying the city. The Russians set up bases in residential areas and on top of apartment buildings precisely because they know the Ukrainians are reluctant to fire at their own citizens.

    The civilian deaths that result from Ukrainian attempts to attack the separatists is tragic, but arguably less tragic than leaving the civilians of Donetsk and Luhansk to live under a fascist autocracy run by Russian cossasks and local criminals.

    You might wonder that I used the word 'fascist' since the Russians are so fond of using it to describe the Ukrainians. I use it because in this case it is accurate, I can't think of a country today that could be better described as fascist than Putin's Russia. That you would defend such an enterprise then seek to blame the victims for the resulting human toll is disgusting beyond words.

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

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @09:57PM (#47547075) Homepage

    Yes, there is supposed to be a 4 vehicle fleet, but they only had the launcher. It only has target control radar. The regular radar that reads things like civilian transponders is on a command vehicle, which Russia didn't equip them with.

  • by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @09:58PM (#47547077)

    Speaking as a Ukrainian, you're completely mistaken. Russia has been agressive towards Ukraine for centuries. Besides many millitary invasions, an occupation that lasted generations, there was also the genocide planned in Moscow that in the 1930's killed 11 million Ukrainians. Russia has historically been hungriest for Ukrainian blood above all else, and it doesn't look like things will change any time soon.

  • Re:Great... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Calavar ( 1587721 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @01:15AM (#47547649)

    Oh god, someone has fed you such a backwards picture of the story. Let me give you a highly abridged recent history of Ukraine:

    In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, who has always been buddy-buddy with Putin, ran for President against Viktor Yushchenko. He wanted closer relations with Russia wheras Yushchenko wanted closer relations with the EU. Yushchenko was poisoned in the middle of the campaign and nearly died. He was left permanently disfigured. He also claimed that it was the KGB that tried to assassinate him.

    Yanukovych won the election initially, but the Ukranian Supreme Court overturned the election results because of widespread fraud and voter intimidation. In the new elections, Yushchenko won despite still being seriously ill from the poisoning.

    In 2010 Yanukovych ran for president and narrowly won, defeating a candidate from Yushchenko's party: Yulia Tymoshenko. Yulia Tymoshenko became PM (in Ukraine, the PM is second in command to the President, but they can be from opposing parties), and since the elections were so closer, she and her minority party still had a lot of power. When they made moves to advance the integration process with the EU, Yanukovych charged Tymoshenko with several counts of corruption. She was found guilty and imprisoned. The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both claim that the charges were trumped up and were political in nature. Just a couple of years later, in 2013, Yanukovych had finally gathered enough of his own party members in Parliament and cancelled the EU integration process entirely.

    This is what sparked the protests in Ukraine: repeated attempts of the pro-Russian faction to use undemocratic means to defeat the pro-EU faction.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @06:47AM (#47548469)

    Your arguments aren't backed up by real actual statistics.

    Russia has atrocious crime rates, abysmal life expectancy, major problems with alcoholism, rampant corruption that means investment on public infrastructure rarely comes close to improving it to the extent it should due to the amount milked away, ranks poorly on civil liberties and freedoms, need I go on?

    To make the point and actually provide some numbers, people make a big thing of murder rates in America, but in Russia you're almost twice as likely again to be murdered. You're over 9 times more likely to be murdered in Russia than the UK, France, or Germany and five times more likely than even the poorest European nations like Romania. The average wealth per person in Russia is lower than Iran, Tunisia, Brazil, and Mexico. It's well below the global average, and certainly below that of every single EU member nation. Russia's average life expectancy is 4 years below the poorest and lowest EU nation (Romania) and only 1.5 years higher than Iraq with it's decade of war and killings. Whilst Europe has been legalising gay marriage and so forth Russia has been outlawing talking about homosexuality and not ensuring his police investigate brutal beatings and murder of people for being gay, or of an ethnic minority.

    This isn't propaganda, this is statistical fact.

    It sounds like you've been won over by the facade of corrupt spending and wealth in touristy areas (the only bits of Russia anyone would want to live in) and are completely oblivious to the other 99.99% of the country.

    People don't love Putin because he's improved the country, they love him because like all dictators he's a master of propaganda and populism, or did you think all those photoshoots and the massive military parades each year and the nationalist rhetoric over Crimea were all just for his own personal scrapbook? They love him because he gives them hope that they're still a global superpower that could if it wanted rule the world. The problems we're seeing with Russia now are occurring because Putin has started believing his own bullshit - this is ultimately what's referred to by the age old saying "absolute power corrupts absolutely" - when you're installed as an untouchable deity of politics, eventually you start believing it.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal