I follow the Ukraine defense quite closely, watching movement reports daily and then I access as many well done reports from people living there and on the front lines or in major cities. I follow a couple of GREAT Ukrainian people on Youtube (Links) and it’s just been a horrific and yet amazing unfolding of basically what I see as a genocidal war perpetrated by Russia and Vladimir Putin’s greed to return the Ukrainian land to “mother Russia” as it was before the fall of the Soviet Union. Can you even believe he’s still sulking about that?
When I was in the Army and stationed in West Germany in 1981-82, during the “cold war”, we had very different views of the Russian/Soviet military and their leadership. They were very well respected for their might and because they always felt one red-button moment away from starting a world catastrophe. We did all of our exercises in the field and at our remote sites where the missiles were housed in underground chutes that they rose up out of and were pre-destined, pre-programmed I guess you’d say, for specific target cities in the Soviet Union. We had them covered from Moscow to the Berring Straights. And they had us in their sites just the same.
It was a scary time. Schools were still doing nuclear drills which have been replaced today with live-shooter drills. The world was a hot box of major stand-offs around the globe. It was just 5 year post-Vietnam. No. & So. Korea was a raw wound, and I had many Army compatriots stationed in the DMZ around that same time. We didn’t have the internet or any of the electronic conveniences of today’s fast-paced media driven world. Our news came to us when we got into formation after we had done PT and had breakfast, major stuff would be announced and our status reiterated or changed. We got American newspapers about 3-4 days after publication. Nothing was instant.
Today anything you want to know is just a few keystrokes away buried in Google somewhere. Alas, be cautious of sourcing and factual content of what you intake. So we are watching a war basically live on our devices whenever we want.
I have been sort of analyzing the internet/web – maybe more of my own use than anything else. It was fun once up a time. Back in the days of AOL and “chatrooms”, it all seemed to start off innocent enough and as time has gone on and technology has advanced so rapidly that it’s become something we now depend on to live in the civilized world anyway. I enjoy some of it, but the negativity and the posts by the radicalized MAGA wingnuts is ruining it platform by platform for people who just don’t even want to see “his” face or hear the repeated, beat-to-death, scumball LIES he tells and his parrots repeat verbatim. I get all the info I need on what situation he’s in daily from Chris on Meidas Touch and Brian Tyler Cohen, they are my two go-to journalists for up-to-the-minute details explained so anyone can understand it and understand the implications of each. They keep it real, and factual and while they do offer up opinions, they use fact-based reporting and verified accounts.
I like the BBC reports that several of their journalists who are bravely reporting from inside of Ukraine do every day. I like the ones done of life inside of the country during a war, what the civilians are doing and how they are being terrorized by the Russian army. Can you imagine living inside a country that is being shelled, bombed, and invaded and its people are being massacred for no reason other than to eliminate any protest to Putin taking Ukraine for himself? Watch some of the footage, and listen to the people who are living under these conditions right now; who sleep little and when they do they don’t know if they will wake up.
BBC Report on Kherson: Why Putin wants it, great footage and interviews with citizens living under wartime conditions. (48min)
Attrocities uncovered in liberated regions of Ukraine *warning: contains depictions of death and violence
Russia withdraws from Kherson? 11/3/22
We must give great kudos to the Ukrainian people, Vladimir Zelenski, and the Ukrainian military. When this started immediately Ukrainian men and women joined the fight – both in uniform and as civilian defense teams. They have had a rough, rough time and they’ve been damaged badly yet they continue the good fight and they are holding their own, even inflicting great damage and loss to Putin’s ragatagity untrained ground forces and put a hurting on his air power as well.
I am very concerned that Putin will release a dirty bomb of some sort. Whether it’s biological or nuclear that he keeps threatening. This would devastate Europe. It would contaminate a great swath of the area, including some of Russia and then the plume of radioactivity, will spread.
Inside of Russia Putin hides with heavy personal protection. It’s reported he’s very paranoid of an assassination attempt and he’s becoming more volatile and pissed about getting his ass embarrassed by Ukraine. He’s so egotistical that it may not take much more to set him ablaze. What he has done to the Ukrainian people is nothing short of genocide in my opinion.
Putin is having thousands of people, men, women, children, elderly, sick, disabled – everyone they can round up – tortured, raped, and viciously murdered. The reports I’ve followed are far, far too gruesome to add in here, but you can just imagine. They murder them, often with their victim’s hands bound behind thier backsand then leave the bodies where they fell and do not allow the Ukrainians to retrieve and bury their dead. This can only happen when the Russians move from a site.
The sadness and despair almost jump off the screen when you watch videos of the Ukrainian people telling the journalists what happened, about their loved ones’ murders, what the Russians did to the children of the town, and how the Russians targeted mostly civilian facilities such as schools, libraries, hospitals, museums, and cultural sites. It’s a war unfazed by the Geneva Convention rules of war.
From my perspective as a former trained soldier, I do not understand attacking civilians who are harming no one and only wish to be left alone. I was trained on what is right and what is very wrong. Torturing or killing a civilian during your occupation of their country in wartime is not permitted in civilized armies. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen (remember Vietnam’s messes and convictions)but American soldiers are well-schooled on when to shoot and what to shoot. Wars should only be fought between similarly armed opponents, and all that can be done to avoid collateral damage and the killing of any civilians should and will be done. Civilians are never to be targeted. Infrastructure buildings and systems that civilians are relying on are not to be destroyed.
Geneva Convention: It requires humane treatment for all persons in enemy hands, without discrimination. It specifically prohibits murder, mutilation, torture, the taking of hostages, unfair trial, and cruel, humiliating, and degrading treatment. It requires that the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked be collected and cared for. (source: Wex)
Principles of the laws of war:
Military necessity, along with distinction, proportionality, humanity (sometimes called unnecessary suffering), and honor (sometimes called chivalry) are the five most commonly cited principles of international humanitarian law governing the legal use of force in an armed conflict. (source: Wex)
Here is an explanation of the Geneva Convention Laws 1949. It’s in pdf format if you’d rather printed it out, it’s 7 pages, but it’s a bit interesting to read. (source: RedCross)
I’ve thought about when I was serving quite a lot lately. I have tons of memories of my time in service, my deployment to W. Germany, working around the nukes, war prep exercises, field time, and tons of other stuff. Now I watch the clips and see all that fancy equipment and get a little jealous!
Do you know what a change having GPS had to have been??? I had to take and pass an in-depth course on map reading and navigation in order to go to the Non-commissioned officer academy in Germany. I needed the NCO certification to get promoted to Sargent E-5. That’s how it went back then, plus I had a few bad marks that needed to be countered at the time so NCO school was a must. I was a damned good soldier, I liked it. I was also a very young and wild, partying and raising hell kind of young adult back then.