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2022/24 Russian-Ukrainian War

300,000 Volunteer Hackers Join The IT Fight Against Russia

From link.

New figures have revealed 300,000 volunteer hackers have banded together on the digital frontline against Russia.

With technological and cyber warfare at the forefront of the current situation in Ukraine, a group of volunteers named the 'IT Army' is levelling the playing field against their invading enemy.

In late February, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Federov posted a link to a Telegram channel to plea for people to join the cyber front.

He tweeted: “We are creating an IT army. We need digital talents. All operational tasks will be given here: https://t.me/itarmyofurraine. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.”
Since then, a surge of hackers have volunteered and are directly causing 'cyber-chaos' amid the ongoing war.

According to NetBlocks, the volunteers have so far been successful in disrupting Russian web services.

The global internet monitoring company said the availability of websites for the Kremlin and the Duma have been disrupted since the beginning of the invasion, with state-owned media services also targeted.

Director of NetBlocks, Alp Tocker revealed: “The crowdsourced attacks have been successful in disrupting Russian government and state-backed media websites.”

While Russia has denied any involvement in cyberattacks, global cyberattack tracker Check Point Research (CPR) said that online attacks against Ukrainian military and governmental sectors increased by 196 per cent in the first three days of the invasion.
One volunteer hacker, who wished to remain anonymous told The Guardian: “I wanted to help and use my attacking skills to help Ukraine.”

He added: “I’m from Switzerland, but I’m a strong hacker and I’m so sorry for every Ukrainian. I do it because I stand with Ukraine and I want to help somehow.

"I think if we hack Russia’s infrastructure they will stop, maybe, because nothing will work any more.”

Group administrators of the Telegram group asked for hackers to implement distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks across Russian state websites, and so far the impact has seen many Russian government websites disabled.

Ukraine has 290,000 IT workers, and while many of them have given up their day jobs to join the army against Russia, many have signed up for the IT fight.
 
China knows that Russia is losing badly. Hell, even the general populus knows it.

They also likely know that Russia is bordering on war crimes and I doubt they want to be a part of that.

My guess is you will see them helping Ukraine more and more. However you spin it, China does what is in Chinas best interests.

Heh. Definitely that last part.
When the dust settles, China wants to be the newest and most important Russian Oligarch.

 
Putin going full Nazi holding a massive pro war rally at one of the largest stadiums in the country. Estimates were around 200,000 people (apparently a bunch of them paid) with Russian flags and Z symbols on full display. Putin gave a rare public speech, there was live music and so on.

Truly terrifying how quickly Russia has transformed to a Nazi esc totalitarian state.

Not to mention Putin said something about cleansing Russia the other day.
 
Putin going full Nazi holding a massive pro war rally at one of the largest stadiums in the country. Estimates were around 200,000 people (apparently a bunch of them paid) with Russian flags and Z symbols on full display. Putin gave a rare public speech, there was live music and so on.

Truly terrifying how quickly Russia has transformed to a Nazi esc totalitarian state.

Not to mention Putin said something about cleansing Russia the other day.

It wasn't quick - Russia has been this way since the Putin era began way back in 1999. He's just not even trying to hide it anymore in recent years.
 

Pope asserts Ukraine right to defence in blasting Russia war

From link.

Pope Francis on Friday denounced the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine and called for aid to Ukrainians who he said had been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and were “defending their land.”​

Pope Francis on Friday denounced the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine and called for aid to Ukrainians who he said had been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and were “defending their land.”

Francis’ comments, in a message to a gathering of European Catholic representatives, marked some of his strongest yet in asserting Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.
It came just days after Francis told the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, that the concept of a “just war” was obsolete since wars are never justifiable and that pastors must preach peace, not politics.

Those comments, during a video call Wednesday with Kirill, seemed to be an indirect jab at the patriarch’s apparent defense of the war. Kirill, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has seemingly justified the invasion by describing it as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades.” He has blamed the West and a fellow Orthodox patriarch for fomenting enmity between Ukraine and Russia and echoed Putin in insisting they are “one people.”
In his comments Friday, Francis did not mention Russia by name — evidence of the Vatican’s tradition of not identifying aggressors and its attempts to keep open a dialogue with Kirill’s church. But Francis strongly backed Ukraine.

“The heartbreaking scream for help from our Ukrainian brothers pushes us as a community of believers not just to serious reflection, but to cry with them and work for them; to share the anguish of a people wounded in its identity, history and tradition,” Francis told the meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia.

“The blood and tears of the children, the suffering of women and men who are defending their land or fleeing from the bombs shake our conscience. Once again humanity is threatened by a perverse abuse of power and partisan interests, which condemns defenseless people to suffer all forms of brutal violence.”

Kirill, for his part, insisted that Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who also spoke by video call with the patriarch this week, understood the Russian position and were “sympathetic” to it. He repeated that the goal of the Russian Orthodox Church “despite the very negative political context“ was to preserve the “spiritual unity of our people - the Russian and Ukrainian peoples - as a single people who emerged from the Kiev Baptismal font.”

Neither the Vatican nor Lambeth Palace expressed sympathy with the Russian position in their readouts of the calls and did not refer to Russians and Ukrainians as one people.
 

Ukrainians and Poles in Warsaw, once strangers and now roommates, try to find common ground

From link.
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Njavwa Nondo is playing host to Ukrainian refugees in her apartment in Warsaw. Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine, has taken in most of those who've fled since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24.
Njavwa Nondo slowly enters the access code to her apartment building in Warsaw as Vika Lukianets intently looks on, trying to memorize the combination. But the numbers fly by too quickly, and Ms. Nondo has to start over. Then once more.

The process is painstaking because the two women don’t speak the same language and most of their communication has been via Google Translate. In fact, they have little in common and likely would never have met had it not been for the war in Ukraine.

The only reason they are here on this busy Warsaw street wrestling with the access code is because a couple of hours earlier Ms. Nondo got a frantic call asking if she could take in Ms. Lukianets, who had just arrived from Ukraine with her two children – Nathan, 9, and three-year-old Nika. Ms. Nondo said of course, without knowing anything about Ms. Lukianets or how long she and her children would stay.

They’re just four of the tens of thousands of strangers who have been thrust together all across Warsaw because of the war. Poland has taken in two million Ukrainians so far, and while many have moved on to other destinations across Europe, more than 300,000 have found their way to the capital. As the emergency response to the crisis begins to subside, the reality of how to support so many displaced people has begun to set in – for the refugees and the volunteers.
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Outside Ms. Nondo's building, Vika Lukianets holds daughter Nika, 3, as her host tries to share the access code. Ms. Nondo's apartment is not large, but she says she's willing to keep sheltering families there.
Ms. Nondo and Ms. Lukianets couldn’t be more different.

Ms. Nondo, 24, is originally from Zambia but she’s been in Poland for five years and considers the country home. She works in Warsaw’s financial sector, speaks Polish and English and shares a tidy two-bedroom flat with a roommate who travels a lot for work. “I like to believe I have a lot of sympathy and compassion,” she said of her decision to take in families.

Ms. Lukianets was a seamstress back home in Dnipro. She and the children fled the city just before bombs began raining down on their neighbourhood. She left her husband and parents behind and cries when she thinks of them, not knowing how they are coping.

Bridging the divide between the women was never going to be easy. Aside from the language barrier, Ms. Nondo knows she’s likely the first Black person the Lukianets have ever met, let alone lived with. She’s also aware that she has to tread carefully and give the family space.

At times she has found the sudden request for shelter a bit overwhelming. She covers virtually all the costs, and when she’s asked how much longer she can offer up the room, she hesitates and says she’s not sure.

Ms. Lukianets tries to stay out of the way. She sticks largely to the second bedroom, but her children are restless and eager to explore. She declines offers of food and insists she’ll buy whatever her family needs. But she has no idea how long they’ll be here or where they will go. “I have to find work,” she says in Russian through tears. “I have to live.”
 
The one reassuring thing is that Putin would be limited to conventional military action in Russia's very near abroad. We won't see a repeat of Hitler's regime occupying most of Europe. The scary thing is that Putin may be unhinged enough to deploy WMD (nuclear, biological, chemical). That would provoke a very severe response that the Russian people will bear the brunt of, and potentially draw China into a hot war.

I don't see how Russia comes out ahead in this. The best they can hope for is the West dithers and eventually grows bored of sanctions, while Russia continues to occupy and prop up a puppet regime in Ukraine while taking severe losses and significant financial drain. It seems like a pyrrhic victory if their goal was to keep Ukraine from slipping into the West's sphere. At this point, they have galvanized Ukraine against Russia so even if Russia retreats, satisfied that they have destabilized and wounded Ukraine, they have ensured Ukraine won't be a neutral buffer state but instead align with the West.
 
Ukraine has been badly harmed over the years too by Russian aggression and government corruption, so by most measures, it's the poorest country in Europe, even behind Albania or Moldova. I am sure that Zelenskyy came in on an anti-corruption platform, inspired by the popularity of Servant of the Nation, but how easy would it be to reform the government and bureaucracy from being a post-Soviet kleptocracy? How can you attract investment with a rotten government (despite democratic elections and protections of individual rights) and Russian annexations and support of militant-separatists?

How easy would it be to rebuild Ukraine after this is all over, and get the investments needed to get the economy going to bring it up at least to the standards of the rest of Eastern Europe? Russia would have to be beaten back badly - at least there's little hope of another Yanukovych.
 

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