Ukraine Invasion Issue We Aren’t Talking About


Let’s step back for a moment from the awful human tragedy in Ukraine as the Russian army targets civilians. There is an even bigger issue here. And until we come up with an answer it’s going to continue to plague the world…

The bigger issue is that there is no way to stop a nuclear power from invading a non-nuclear power, as America did 18 years ago this month when it took down the dictatorship in Iraq…

Three years ago I spent a week in Ukraine. Every person to whom I spoke, whether in a formal interview or casual conversation, said that Putin was going to invade their country.

Many of them expected an invasion while Donald Trump was in office. That made sense because Trump repeatedly declared his trust in and fealty to Putin…

Putin, whose words I have carefully read for two decades, doesn’t plan to stop with Ukraine. He has called the collapse of the old Soviet Union the worst geopolitical disaster of the 20th century and has said he is determined to put it back together. His words:

“Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory.

“Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.”

David Cay Johnston ain’t a beginner. He makes important points without trying to be a nice guy-nebbish. His sources are accurate, relevant, timely. As is this article, I believe. Unfortunately.

48 thoughts on “Ukraine Invasion Issue We Aren’t Talking About

  1. Mark says:

    Aren’t the Russian’s targetting civilians since many Ukrainian civilians have taken up arms in defence of their cities? I’m sure many innocent people die in wars but are the Russians deliberately killing civilians just because they can? Seems unlikely and the trope ‘targetting civilians’ could well be propaganda. Are the Ukrainians positioning combat troops in places like hospitals and schools which the Russians then target? Who knows? The first casualty of war is truth.

  2. Scorched says:

    “On average two per day: Russia’s war against Ukraine damaged and ruined at least 59 spiritual sites in at least 8 regions of Ukraine” See photographs
    The Ministry of Information Policy and Culture of Ukraine also encourages witnesses with evidence to register for documenting Russia’s army war crimes against humanity and cultural heritage at Click here to view recorded crimes on this platform:

  3. Realpolitik says:

    Larry Fink, CEO and chairman of the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended the world order that had been in place since the end of the Cold War.
    “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades,” Fink said in his 2022 letter to shareholders.

  4. Wojtek says:

    “Russia Has Declared War on the West. Here’s How to Win.” By Zbigniew Rau, the foreign minister of Poland.
    “…If we allow the return of wars of aggression into the foreign policy toolboxes of states, then interstate conflict will become the norm once more, and the rules-based international order will be lost, together with its institutions. That would be a loss that would extend far beyond Ukraine or Europe; it would impact the whole world.”

  5. Bystander says:

    “Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new war-within-a-war is unfolding.
    This time, between countrymen: the Chechens sent by the republic’s pro-Russian leader, strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, and those fighting against him, on the side of Ukraine.”
    “The Kadyrovites in Ukraine: War Crimes and the Whereabouts of the Chechen Occupiers”
    “Moral degradation and proof of Russian atrocities in besieged Mariupol – this is what comes from multiple communication intercepts that are being partially made public by the Ukrainian security agency, the SBU.
    …One of the invaders seems to enjoy telling his wife of a so-called “safari,” which is pretty much a brutal hunt for children in Mariupol. The soldier tells of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s men, colloquially referred to as “Kadyrovites,” chasing a little Ukrainian girl, shooting her in the legs – just for fun.”

  6. Santayana says:

    The Holodomor, also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, was a famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians.
    Whether or not the Holodomor was genocide is still the subject of legal and academic debate. While historians universally agree that the cause of the famine was man-made, the intentionality of the deaths remains in question. Some historians conclude that the famine was planned and exacerbated by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. Others suggest that the famine was a concomitant of rapid Soviet industrialization and collectivization of agriculture. Nevertheless, the famine’s widespread impact on Ukraine persists to this day.

  7. Thoughts & Prayers says:

    Андрющенко Time [Petro Andriushchenko, Adviser to the Mayor of Mariupol] May 29 at 01:06 [translation]:
    “Mariupol. Another terrible discovery.
    In the premises of the supermarket “Sincere Godfather” in the Left Bank district on Svobody Avenue, the Russians set up a cadaver. Literally. The Russians are bringing the bodies of the dead here, which they washed away when they tried to restore the water supply and partially exhumed them. They just dump it like garbage. There is a catastrophic shortage of people to bury and power even makeshift mortuaries. To such an extent that a separate recruitment campaign of pathologists was launched in Moscow.”
    Photo fresh. Visual demonstration of inhumanity and threats of the epidemic.” [click photo to enlarge]

  8. Cassandra says:

    While the war in Ukraine has upended the global supply of grain, a new investigation by the Wall Street Journal reveals how Russia has quietly institutionalized the theft of hundreds of thousands of metric tons of food out of newly occupied areas of Ukraine and into Russian-allied countries in the Middle East.
    The maritime logistics network used by Russia is detailed in the following video the Wall Street Journal posted to YouTube.
    Russia Seeks Buyers for Plundered Ukraine Grain, U.S. Warns
    American diplomats have alerted 14 countries, most in Africa, that Russian ships filled with stolen Ukrainian grain could be headed their way, posing a dilemma to countries facing dire food shortages.
    Russia and Ukraine normally supply about 40 percent of wheat needs in Africa, where prices for the grain have risen 23 percent in the past year, the United Nations says. In the Horn of Africa region, a devastating drought has left 17 million people hungry, mostly in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to the United Nations. More than 200,000 people in Somalia are on the brink of famine.

  9. Monuments Men says:

    “The Race to Save Ukraine’s Sacred Art : The Bohorodchany Iconostasis has withstood religious persecution, revolutions and world wars. Can it survive Russia’s brutal assault?” (Smithsonian)
    “The War in Ukraine Is the True Culture War : With Russia trying to erase Ukraine’s national identity, the fight to preserve, and build upon, Ukraine’s artistic heritage has taken on new urgency.” (New York Times)

  10. Kuzma's mother says:

    “Russia Accidentally Shoots Down Their Own $36M Su-34 Bomber, Ukraine Claims”
    “Russia’s defense spending was up nearly 40% in the first four months of the year, according to preliminary data released by the finance ministry on Wednesday, almost three months into Moscow’s large-scale military campaign in Ukraine.
    Russia spent 1.7 trillion roubles ($26.4 billion) on defense between January and April, almost half the 3.5 trillion roubles, or 2.6% of GDP, budgeted for all of 2022.
    In April alone, Russia spent 628 billion roubles ($9.7 billion) on its military, up 128% on April 2021, helping to tip the monthly state budget into deficit for the first time this year.
    The finance ministry declined to comment on the increase in defense spending.”

  11. Film guy says:

    “The Ukrainian filmmaker fighting on the cultural front line
    For comedy screenwriter Sergiy Kulybyshev, making films in a time of war is critical to defending his country’s cultural identity.”
    “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (1965)
    “My Thoughts Are Silent” (2019)
    List of the 100 best films in the history of Ukrainian cinema

    • p/s says:

      Atlantis (Ukrainian: Атлантида) is a 2019 Ukrainian dystopian post-apocalyptic film directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych. None of the roles in this movie were played by actors, but rather by veterans, volunteers, and soldiers. Photography predominantly occurred in Mariupol, from January to March 2018.

  12. SITREP says:

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday accused Russia of planning a “large-scale disaster” in southern Ukraine by blowing up a major dam and hydroelectric plant, only to blame the fallout on the Ukrainians.
    Speaking to a meeting of the European Council, Zelensky said his country has evidence that Russia has planted mines at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and could be preparing to blow it up, warning that such an attack could flood the critical city of Kherson and cause cooling issues at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
    The Institute for the Study of War similarly assessed on Wednesday that Russian forces were setting up conditions to conduct a false-flag operation, and Moscow has employed similar tactics previously.
    Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed leader of Kherson, has already suggested without evidence that Ukraine is planning to destroy the dam and plant, telling residents that flooding danger exists in the area.

  13. Mike says:

    “The Remote Control Killers Behind Russia’s Cruise Missile Strikes on Ukraine” (Christo Grozev, Bellingcat)
    “…These strikes, that hit non-military targets, suggest either that the missiles failed to follow their pre-programmed flight path, that targeting was based on defective intelligence information, or that civilian harm was intentional. In at least two cases in April and early June [link], Russian cruise missiles flew dangerously low above nuclear power stations, creating the risk of a nuclear accident in the event of a misfire or falling debris.”

  14. James Rorimer says:

    U.N. uses before-and-after photos to track Ukraine’s cultural destruction
    A preliminary list [link] compiled by UNESCO counts 207 sites that have been damaged or destroyed since the invasion began Feb. 24. It covers 88 religious sites, 76 buildings of historical or artistic interest, 18 monuments, 15 museums and 10 libraries.
    It includes the Mariupol theater, where many hundreds of civilians seeking shelter from Russian airstrikes were targeted in a devastating March 16 attack.
    An Associated Press investigation [link] estimated that about 600 people were killed when the theater, which had a white flag atop and the word “children” painted in Russian on the ground along two sides, was hit.
    Images taken from space illustrate and confirm the extent of the site’s destruction.
    “Cultural heritage is very often collateral damage during wars, but sometimes it’s specifically targeted as it’s the essence of the identity of countries,” UNESCO Cultural and Emergencies Director Krista Pikkat told The Washington Post. “The situation is bad, and it may continue to get even worse.”

  15. Cassandra says:

    As climate clock ticks, war in Ukraine upends Arctic research
    A team of Russian and Norwegian scientists stumbled upon the fastest-warming hotspot known on earth. Then the war began.
    The Barents sea is the part of the Arctic Ocean off the northern coasts of Norway and Russia. It is one of the fastest-warming places on earth. About two-thirds of Barents sea ice has disappeared in the last 45 years, which in turn accelerates Arctic warming, creating a feedback loop.

  16. Guernica says:

    “Russian missile strikes have disabled almost half of Ukraine’s energy system, the government said on Friday, and authorities in the capital Kyiv warned that the city could face a “complete shutdown” of the power grid as winter sets in.
    “Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a joint news conference with Valdis Dombrovskis, a vice president in the European Commission.
    Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said about 10 million people were without power in a country with a pre-war population of about 44 million. He said authorities in some areas ordered forced emergency blackouts.
    With temperatures falling as low as zero degrees and Kyiv seeing its first snow, officials were working to restore power nationwide after some of the heaviest bombardment of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in nine months of war.
    The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian disaster in the country this winter due to power and water shortages.
    Russia’s defense ministry said its forces had used long-range weapons on Thursday to strike defense and industrial facilities, including “missile manufacturing facilities”.

  17. Old Joe says:

    Band of brothers …and a sister (click above image to enlarge)

    A volunteer group called “Zemliachky” — roughly translated as “women compatriots” — is serving many of the 57,000 women in the Ukrainian military with boots, uniforms, stand-to-pee tubes, wireless bras, thermal underwear, medicines, right-sized bulletproof plates for their flak jackets, and care packages with items like lotions, shampoo, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products.

    ‘Wiped out’: War in Ukraine has decimated a once feared Russian brigade
    The bloody fate of the 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade is emblematic of Vladimir Putin’s derailed invasion plans

    Does Putin Even Have a Strategy in Ukraine Anymore?
    Dara Massicot, a senior policy researcher at the Rand Corporation who specializes in Russian military strategy, discusses how the war is progressing almost ten months in.

  18. Yablunska Street says:

    (New York Times): “Caught on Camera, Traced by Phone: The Russian Military Unit That Killed Dozens in Bucha : Exclusive evidence obtained in a months long investigation identifies the Russian regiment – and commander – behind one of the worst atrocities in Ukraine (with interactive video)

    NYT Video (28:05):

  19. Guernica says:

    Rescuers work at the site where an apartment building was heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Dnipro, Ukraine on Saturday, January 14 [Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters]

  20. Vasil Levski says:

    Bulgaria to the rescue: How the EU’s poorest country secretly saved Ukraine
    “Did Bulgaria “secretly save Ukraine”? That’s what conservative German daily Die Welt claimed in an article from January 18. After Russia invaded the country on February 24, 2022, the government in Sofia began a “secret strategy” as soon as four days later, when then pro-Western Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov visited the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
    “…To avoid official arms deliveries, ammunition and armaments entered Ukraine indirectly. That’s how Bulgaria intermittently covered a third of the Ukrainian army’s needs,” reported journalist Philip Volkmann-Schluck.
    Bulgaria also supplied diesel to Ukraine unnoticed, meeting up to 40% of the Ukrainian army’s needs for tanks and vehicles between April and August, the article added. [The diesel that Bulgaria supplied to Ukraine was processed from Russian crude oil at a Black Sea refinery, which at the time belonged to the Russian company Lukoil.]
    Bulgaria has not officially provided aid to Ukraine, but through arms sales via other NATO countries. This was confirmed by former Prime Minister Petkov on January 18 in Sofia.
    Instead, partners from Poland, Romania, the US and England bought the weapons from Bulgarian industry, he said.

    Meanwhile: Germany would not stand in the way if Poland sent its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday in an interview with French television LCI.

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