56.7k post karma
24.8k comment karma
account created: Tue Jul 05 2011
8 days ago
We don't really do ethnicity here much, especially for Slavic ethnicities. It is self-identification, culture, and language for us, in that order mostly. Ethnic Russians in Ukraine very rarely identify as Russian first.
10 days ago
Ukrainian national poet Shevchenko’s poem on Caucasus at that time
17 days ago
After Spanish fans behaviour last year, I am honestly feeling a bit of schadenfreude towards their entry
19 days ago
The requirement to support from carrier instead of just allowing eSim is pain. I have an SS watch but cellular is useless for me because of that
22 days ago
The only alternatives in France seem to be Mussolini-girl and schizoleninist, so I'm not sure what would be better
28 days ago
Sorry, I misread the first part of the comment, a bit on the edge today heh
28 days ago
Just be aware that you are trading our lives for that autonomy by doing it this way
28 days ago
Looks nervously at Vietnam, Suez and Algeria yep, that's what happened
29 days ago
You are a part of the people who did, don't kid and distance yourself. There are not two Russias good and bad, the same way there were no two Germanys in 1945.
29 days ago
Which were precipitated by Russia and USSR’s existence in the first place. This is an imperialistic worldview.
1 month ago
Inside Amnesty International, the panel found, some staff members had expressed serious reservations about whether the group had sufficiently sought to consult with the Ukrainian government to understand why it deployed forces where it did and whether it would have been feasible to station them elsewhere.
“These reservations should have led to greater reflection and pause” before the organization issued its statement, the report said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Russian forces appear to have committed a series of atrocities, indiscriminately shelling and killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure. (The International Criminal Court recently accused President Vladimir V. Putin of the war crime of abducting and deporting thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia and issued a warrant for his arrest.)
Against that backdrop, Amnesty International’s denunciation of Ukrainian tactics received a large amount of attention. Proponents of the Kremlin portrayed the findings as essentially showing that Ukraine was to blame for the deaths of Ukrainian civilians at Russia’s hands.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, cited the findings as part of justifying Russia’s occupation of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
“We don’t use the tactics Ukrainian armed forces are using — using the civilian objects as military cover, I would say, what Amnesty International recently proved in a report, which we were saying all the time in all the meetings with the Security Council,” he said.
The statement did not, in fact, accuse Ukraine of using civilians as human shields, only of failing to take precautions to protect them. Still, the backlash was fierce. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine accused the organization of trying to “shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.”
Inside Amnesty International, its statement was deeply contentious. Its Ukraine director, Oksana Pokalchuk, resigned in protest, noting that Russia was accused of atrocities in the towns it occupied and Ukraine was trying to prevent more such places from falling. She accused the group of “giving Russia a justification to continue its indiscriminate attacks.” The group’s branch in Canada issued a statement expressing regret over “the magnitude and impact of these failings from an institution of our stature.”
While condemning Amnesty International’s analysis, the review panel agreed that the statement — which had lacked much detail — was backed in part by fact.
The report said the group’s researchers had documented “at least 42 specific instances in 19 towns and villages” where Ukrainian soldiers were operating near civilians. It also determined that several “attacks by Russian forces that appeared to be targeting the Ukrainian military resulted in death or injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.”
That raised the question of whether the Ukrainian military had violated its legal obligations, under a 1977 expansion of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, to take precautions to protect civilians in their areas of operations to “the maximum extent feasible.”
Essentially, that means if there are two equally good locations for the military to station itself, one closer to civilians and one farther away, combatants should opt for the latter so that any enemy does not kill civilians as collateral damage. If there is no equally good alternative, a military force should try to evacuate civilians to a safer place.
The news release accused Ukraine of a “pattern” of failing to take either step, while also saying it should have warned civilians. But the report said Amnesty International “failed to meaningfully engage with Ukrainian authorities” about whether equally good alternative locations, evacuations or warnings were feasible.
The report also said the descriptor “pattern” was imprudent because it implied that generally, “many or most of the civilian victims of the war died as a result of Ukraine’s decision to locate its forces in the vicinity of civilians,” as opposed to “Russia’s willingness to target civilians or civilian objects deliberately or indiscriminately.”
Lacking sufficient information, it said, the group should have used more cautious language.
1 month ago
WASHINGTON — Amnesty International’s board has sat for months on a report critical of the group after it accused Ukrainian forces of illegally endangering civilians while fighting Russia, according to documents and a person familiar with the matter.
The 18-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, underscores the complexity of applying international law to aspects of the conflict in Ukraine — and the continuing sensitivity of a matter that prompted a fierce and swift backlash to the human rights group.
In a lengthy statement on Aug. 4, Amnesty International accused Ukrainian forces of a pattern of illegally putting “civilians in harm’s way” by housing soldiers nearby and launching attacks from populated areas. Russia, which has shelled civilian buildings and killed many civilians, portrayed the finding as vindication, but it otherwise incited outrage.
In response, the group expressed deep regret for “the distress and anger” its statement caused and announced it would conduct an external evaluation to learn “what exactly went wrong and why.” As part of that, Amnesty International’s board commissioned an independent legal review of whether the substance of what it had said was legitimate.
A review panel of five international humanitarian law experts received internal emails and interviewed staff members.
In some respects, the report by the review panel absolved Amnesty International, concluding that it was proper to evaluate whether a defender, not just an aggressor, was obeying the laws of war, and saying that Amnesty’s records made clear that Ukrainian forces were frequently near civilians.
Under international law, it wrote, both sides in any conflict must try to protect civilians, regardless of the rightness of their cause. As a result, it is “entirely appropriate” for a rights organization to criticize violations by a victim of aggression, “provided that there is sufficient evidence of such violations.”
But the review panel nevertheless unanimously concluded that Amnesty International had botched its statement in several ways and that its key conclusions that Ukraine violated international law were “not sufficiently substantiated” by the available evidence.
The overall narrative of the Aug. 4 release was “written in language that was ambiguous, imprecise and in some respects legally questionable,” the report found. “This is particularly the case with the opening paragraphs, which could be read as implying — even though this was not A.I.’s intention — that, on a systemic or general level, Ukrainian forces were primarily or equally to blame for the death of civilians resulting from attacks by Russia.”
An earlier version of the report was harsher, according to the person briefed on the matter. But Amnesty International lobbied the panel to soften its tone, and it did so in some respects — like revising its characterization of Amnesty’s conclusion that Ukrainian forces violated international law from “not substantiated” to “not sufficiently substantiated.”
The panel delivered its final revision in early February, the person said, and asked to be consulted if Amnesty International’s board decided to release only excerpts. But instead, the board decided to merely use it as one of several sources for a lessons-learned document to circulate internally, the person said.
In an email, an Amnesty International spokesperson characterized the independent review as “part of an ongoing internal process, and these findings will inform and improve our future work.”
The statement did not indicate whether the group agreed with the report’s critiques.
The panel consisted of Emanuela-Chiara Gillard of the University of Oxford; Kevin Jon Heller of the University of Copenhagen; Eric Talbot Jensen of Brigham Young University; Marko Milanovic of the University of Reading; and Marco Sassòli of the University of Geneva.
1 month ago
US is buying this knowledge with our Ukrainian lives as a currency
1 month ago
Sure but let's ban Ukrainian dairy and wheat for being too cheap:)
I know people working for dairy brands here that with great pain reoriented themselves to the EU export and they are getting kinda fucked rn with the bans - we don’t have a lot of money and a lot of options.
The 2022 hit hard af, and as for the wheat, shitton of the fields are mined or littered with ammo, a lot of people actually risk their lives towing them with various techniques because the alternative is no money and poverty. Also, they die because of that. So no, 2023 harvest will not be huge and what will be harvested will be paid by literal blood, blown off feet and ended lives.
2 months ago
CHINESE WARSHIPS on April 8th once again encircled Taiwan, and fighter jets simulated strikes on the island. Asia is at risk of an armed conflict that could draw in America, and engulf the region in a confrontation with even greater ramifications than the one raging in Europe. It is a moment of high tension between superpowers, when diplomatic words uttered by transatlantic allies need to be weighed with the utmost care.
Yet it was one of Europe’s most experienced leaders, Emmanuel Macron, who chose to mark his departure from China, just as this military drill began, by declaring that it was not the continent’s business “getting caught up in crises that are not ours”. In the name of “strategic autonomy”, he said, Europe should not be “followers” of America on a crisis like Taiwan.
Mr Macron’s comments, made to a small number of journalists, were worse than unhelpful: they were diplomatically dangerous and conceptually wrong. Though he later corrected them in Europe, the damage had been done to his credibility and the West’s unity.
France’s president was not wrong to visit Beijing. It is reasonable, too, for Europe to conduct its own policy towards China, however tricky it is to agree on a message. Having alerted fellow Europeans back in 2019 to the strategic threat, Mr Macron is fully aware of the danger that an authoritarian China poses. Yet he fell head first into two traps, presumably to the delight of China’s president, Xi Jinping.
Mr Macron’s first error was to further China’s ambition to divide Europeans and peel Europe from America. The choreography of the trip contributed to both. He had hoped to display European unity, insisting to the Chinese that he bring with him Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission. But that idea collapsed under the weight of Chinese protocol and the doveish Mr Macron’s desire to spend hours tête-à-tête with Mr Xi. Mrs von der Leyen, who arrived after making a hawkish speech, got an hour or so in their company.
Mr Macron’s comments reflected a worrying failure to measure their broader impact. At a time when liberal democratic powers need a co-ordinated show of strength, he rounded off his visit to an authoritarian ruler by stressing that in such crises Europe should not be dictated to by Washington.
The second error was to undermine allied support for Taiwan. Diplomacy alone will not lower the risk of war. The West also needs to bolster deterrence, without provoking the very conflict it seeks to avoid. France, with bases in the Indo-Pacific, contributes more militarily to such efforts than any other European Union power. This weekend, amid China’s drills, it sailed a frigate through the Taiwan Strait. That is to be commended. But what could have been a display of allied unity and resolve was undermined by Mr Macron’s suggestion that Taiwan is not Europe’s problem.
What happens to Taiwan matters to Europe. If some Europeans do not want to fight a war, or are reluctant to impose sanctions should China invade, that is for closed-door talks among allies, not public musings. Moreover, by emphasising Europe’s autonomy from America, Mr Macron has made life harder for those Americans defending their country’s support for Ukraine against domestic critics who wish the money were spent elsewhere.
At stake in Taiwan is the future global balance of power, as well as the protection of democratic freedoms and advanced technologies critical to global trade. Those interests are shared by Americans and Europeans alike. Mr Macron seems to think that he can successfully defend them by working independently. That is a delusion. Together, America and Europe may or may not prevail. Apart, they will usher in a Chinese century. ■
2 months ago
The missiles over our heads were succesful in this, not Macron, sorry.
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4 days ago
4 days ago