Re: "NOW is your time to shine!"
"A part of the disinformatioin campaign."
Projection is an ugly thing.
Stress-testing security is the only way to be sure it works. Until then, the worst security looks much the same as the best. As events in Ukraine show, leaving the stress-testing of assumptions until a threat is actually attacking is expensively useless. Yet if an untested solution is no solution at all, the problem becomes …
You're misunderstanding the situation. The question now is not whether Putin meets his end; that was decided when he invaded Ukraine. The question is rather how he meets his end.
Putin has done everything he can to frame NATO opposition to his aggression as an existential threat to Russia. And he has said - and this is a minor paraphrase at most - that if Russia has no place in the world, why should the world continue to exist? There is a very real possibility that he will use nuclear weapons not to save himself, but to take everyone else with him.
The nuclear option is a worry. By the middle of the war, Hitler had (at least partially) stopped believing in the wonder weapons or military victory. But as he said, if the Germans were unable to sieze glory when he gave them the chance, then they deserved to go down in flames.
So a lot of the rest of the Nazi leadership were busily working on their own mad delusions of course. Tehey all knew they'd lost the war by 1943 - but they kept on fighting, hoping for something to come up. And lots of them were expecting to ally with the UK and US to finish off the Soviet Union.
Himmler was planning to "save some jews" as bargaining chips, so that he could make an anti-Soviet alliance in exchange for not killing them.
Goering wanted to be in charge, though God knows why. Perhaps he was too high on morphine at this point to care? But what shocked them all at the end was the realisation that Hitler no longer gave a fuck about Germany. He wanted to burn everything he could reach, and ordered the destruction of the little infrastructure and industry that Germany had left. What did he care about whatever population survived the war, since he wasn't planning to?
So we're now basically hoping that Putin's not so irrational and such an egotist, that he'd rather let the world burn than go quietly. Like Hitler, he's just spent 2 years in a bunker, almost never leaving. Just in this case its been Covid self-isolation. What effect has that had on his mental state? While I'd imagine a few of his allies are now starting to look at their options, and realise their boss maybe no longer shares the same objectives as them.
His reaction to these sanctions should be telling. If we tank the Russian economy, and he doesn't care, then clearly he is no longer planning for the long term. Even if, like the senior Nazis, nobody seems to have quite been able to admit it to themselves.
Not that Putin is Hitler of course. It's just the historical parallels fit so well in some ways. Particularly for those around him, who might want to have some stake in the future of Russia after Putin's fall/death.
Not that Putin is Hitler of course
Don't be so sure... the comparison is becoming clearer In My Bombastic Opinion...
If nothing else, he's a short statured control freak with delusions of world domination and an army that's capable of starting a war of conquest in Europe in response to perceived grievances by neighboring countries, while simultaneously lying to his own people about it and stifling protests and dissent through fear and intimidation.
But, admittedly, Hitler was a better general. Putin's tactics seem to be focused around TERROR and INTIMIDATION, which is why he has a 40 mile long convoy with an obvious destination just sitting there waiting to be strafed, why he sent assassins to take out Zelenskyy (and they were 'eliminated'), why this has been the opposite of Gulf War I from Putini's perspective, yotta yotta and his army's morale is at an all time low from what I understand. And there may be a bit of an attitude about ethnic Ukrainians not dissimilar to the way Hitler treated Jewish people.
And evil men do evil. There's also that, yeah.
Hitler was always planning a genocide from the start. It's in Mein Kampf - if you can make yourself read it (don't it's a terrible book - in both senses of the word). That puts him into a special, very small league table of evil. Several genocides really - as he wanted to kill all the Jews but also kill large numbers of the Slavic peoples, just keeping enough of them around to be slave labour for the Germans that he'd install in their former territories.
Putin is vicious and callous - and doesn't give a fuck about human life. See what he did to Grozny in order to recaputure it in 1999/2000 - which was basically to destroy it with artillery. That's what they're doing to Kharkiv and Mariupol now - using multiple launch rocket systems with explosive warheads and cluster bombs. On civilian targets. That and heavy artillery. The death toll will be horrifying.
But he did try to do it without the massive butchers bill first. And killed a lot of his paratroopers and Spetznaz units in incredibly stupidly planned operations in the process. So I think he's got that Soviet disregard for human life, but I don't think he's actively out to kill people unless its useful to him.
In one other way he's not like Hitler. His army is crap. I've been reading some debate amongst military anaylsts. Pretty much everyone agrees the invasion plan was shit. But the implementation has been a complete clusterfuck. And they've had to have operational pauses to let the logistics catch up after only 2 or 3 days! But they're only 50km from the border. General Paulus' pause, in his original plan for Operation Barbarossa, was at Smolensk (which was about halfway to Moscow). And his supply lines were by rail and horse and cart. Their logistics plan seems to be, "Fuck it! I'm sure it'll be fine." If they try that while invading Poland, then the Poles will take great delight in taking them apart. And heaven knows what the US A10s will do to them, lined up on the roads like that.
There is a very real possibility that he will use nuclear weapons not to save himself, but to take everyone else with him.
This is why Russia (i.e. the people themselves) needs to make Putin go away. It could very well be their own survival at stake.
Apparently Putin is already rounding up protesters, but the protests continue. But protests are not enough. I'm surprised if Putin's generals aren't waiting for the right time for a coup d'état, or something very very similar.
Considering that South Ossetia and Transnistria are not Russian territory - merely Russian recognised "States", but which are not internationally recognised as such, then it would merely be Georgia reclaiming it's own land from rebels. Same with Moldova.
OK the Kuril Islands are actually Russian territory, but then that was just me being fanciful, Japan has a defence force which is categorically forbidden to make war except in defence, so that was never going to happen. The various Stan's realigning borders though, if any of them are particularly pissed about any specific border, then I could see now being a good time to forcefully start conversations about realigning those borders, Moscow is a little more distracted and a lot less able to do anything about a unilateral movement in those areas...
You're assuming Russian generals would obey a Putin order to launch a nuke, and the poor kid in a silo or mobile launch vehicle would obey such an order from a general. I'm not saying they definitely would or would not disobey such an order, but Putin would have to worry about what happens either way.
If the order was obeyed he's a mass murderer who will be everyone's kill list and forced to spend whatever remains of his life in hiding - and anyone willing to be around him after that would know they are certain to become collateral damage when he's taken out via drone strike or worse if he ever leaves the Kremlin's basement. If he's in his palace outside of town instead where civilian casualties and damage to Russian heritage would not be a concern you bring down the entire structure and bury him alive.
If the order was not obeyed he's on the kill list for enough patriotic generals and enough of those around him who decide he's an imminent danger to the Russian nation and its people and must be killed even at the risk of their own life in case he's obeyed next time.
Putin's nuclear threats, and his questionable stability, have gotten me thinking. What country in its right mind entrusts the launching of nuclear weapons to one person? And that goes for the US, too. Trump was bad, but I don't think he was that nuts. But that doesn't mean some future president might not be.
Maybe it's time to bring back the Roman experiment, the Triumvirate. It takes three people's decision to launch nukes. The full Triumvirate need not be given much power beyond that, but they should have at least that, and each member should have their own personal security force and their own chain of succession.
And at least Russia, US and China should put this in place, for their own security and peace (pun intended) of mind; and preferably all nuclear nations should. Since we already have a tripartite division of powers in the US, the Triumvirate could be the President, either the Majority Leader or the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
You may be surprised to learn that the UK is the only country that directly entrusts it's Captains to be capable of independent nuclear launch.
US and others require communication with HQ to proceed.
One key reason for the UK capability is that, no matter what you do to our little island, you can be assured that our enemies don't have a country left.
Yes, but only under specific circumstances (No messages from the Admiralty, and Radio 4 being off air, I think it is...)
Other than that, it's a dual-key system.
The PM can authorise the use of nuclear weapons, but cannot order their use.
The head of the Navy (with the authority of the monarch - the head of state, because the armed forces serve the state, not the government) can order their use, but only if authorised by the PM.
The US system doesn't trust one person either. Trump could have pushed a "button" (or whatever the football contains) but that only passes on an order with the necessary codes or whatever to launch. The order would not have been executed if there was a sudden order out of the blue to nuke Iran or something crazy like that.
It is during tenuous times like these where Russia is invading its neighbor and its unstable leader is talking about nuclear weapons that you'd have to worry about the chain of command being less protective. They would have to be concerned that the president knows something about the current situation they don't.
Only a fool fights a a war on two fronts. And we are fighting 12.
An alliance of non-nuclear powers with grudges against Russia could absolutely make a move.
This with put Putin in an untenable position to continue. The question is will he resort to President Clarke's schorched earth in the process?
All the Babylon 5 references today. But seemed relevant.
I'm actually super surprised Georgia hasnt already moved to retake South Ossetia.
No can do. The majority of the people there do not welcome the Georgians.
That is what started that mess in the first place; people rebelling against their Georgian overlords. Depending on your world view, Putin either took advantage of the situation or liberated the ossetians. Or both.
Either way, the Georgian military would have to fight not only the russians still stationed there, but also the locals. And they run the very real risk that Putin will simply take Tbilisi at the end.
It is my belief that Putin sped up the negotiations by showing that it would be easy to capture Tbilisi. Georgia folded and two regions are still in play (Abkhazia is rarely mentioned, but my Georgian wife says Georgia have no control there). I think he wanted to repeat that strategy now, but met with a more substantial opposition. Georgia was burdened with a weak president (these days a jail bird), but Ukraine seems very different in this regard too.
There are fundamental issues at hand. At what point can a group of people secede? Why was it okay for Taiwan to secede from China? Why was it not okay for Catalonia? Why was it not okay for South Ossetia? Why was it okay for Kosovo to secede?
That leads to the question of what happens after mass migrations. Is Abkhazia a muslim region? Since when? Same goes for Kosovo. First dibs? Majority rule? What?
It seems NATO and Russia both answer these question depending on what gives them a chance to expand their territories. The Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt, to name one, had opposing views on this. It would be interesting to watch him debate himself into a corner.
(Either way, Putin needs to stop his aggression -- the situation became too messy the minute the idiots shot down that passenger aircraft back in 2012 or so)
There are fundamental issues at hand. At what point can a group of people secede?
Why was it okay for Taiwan to secede from China?
They didn't. China seceded from them. The Kuomintang lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists and so retreated to Taiwan. They even kept the UN Security Council seat and mostly the interantional recognition that they were still "the real China". Until Nixon went to China, and started a process where most countries recognised the People's Republic of China, and they got the UN Security Council seat, and in fact the whole thing - as the Republic of China got kicked out of the UN entirely. Hence the name Taiwan or even in some sports "Chinese Taipei" - when the country is still the Republic of China. Everybody pretends they're still a province of China that just happnens to be a bit awkward about it. And hopes the rest of China will eventually recognise reality, rather than try what Putin's just done in Ukraine to force the point.
Why was it okay for Kosovo to secede?
Because the Serbs were on their third genocidal war in 10 years (Croatia and then Bosnia), and so NATO governments decided they'd had enough and did something, rather than wait for the corpses to pile up like the last two times. It's still diplomatically awkward. Spain for example doesn't recognise Kosovo as an independent state because they also don't want to tempt the Catalans or the Basques to get ideas.
It seems NATO and Russia both answer these question depending on what gives them a chance to expand their territories.
The difference is here that Kosovo isn't NATO territory. Whereas Crimea has been annexed, and is part of Russia - and most of the populations of Transnistria, Donetsk, Luhansk, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been given Russian passports, to go with the Russian "peacekeeping" troops stationed there. And their leaders who often answer to Moscow, whereas NATO has attempted to set up genuinely representative governments.
NATO got involved in Bosnia and then Kosovo because our governments were shamed into it by the people, who'd had enough of seeing the slaughter and expected our governments to do something about it. They weren't government policy taken with the expectation of national gain - they were actually drains on our resources.
Russia got into Crimea out of greed for territory. South Ossetia & Abkhazia, Luhansk and Donetsk were about destablising Georgia and Ukraine - they were leverage. Conflicts that Putin could turn on and off in order to screw with their politics and diplomacy.
Catalonia, like Scotland and Quebec, should have been granted an independence referendum - given how consistent the support is for separatist parties in Catalonia. But sadly the rest of Spain does not agree.
The UN could encourage further domestic trouble for Putin by declaring that any region of Russia that wishes to break away will be immediately recognized as a legitimate independent country., unless they would rather join some other country.
Why should Putin be the only one that can unilaterally decide what land belongs to which country?
I wonder how Kaspersky will do once Putin has been ousted...
Unrelated, mil.ru is no longer claiming to be a tea pot.
I understood that the threat was that if Sweden and Finland sought to join NATO that there would be 'military and political consequences.'
Which I suspect is the sort of thing to make the Swedes and Finns more keen than ever to join NATO.
However, not quite the outright threat to invade suggested by the reports seen by UCAP.
Thanks for the additional free info for intel, Solmyr ibn Wali Barad, which is always how everything works best and at a pace which is leading.
The human race must be systemically prone to being punitively retarded in not realising that simple observation, with all the available evidence which abounds, highlighting the shenanigans requiring secrecy and obfuscation to prevail in order to not render practitioners worthily in dread fear for the lives. Such though is always only a temporary respite allowing them to compound their crimes and implicate others, who may or may not be destined for scapegoathood and the carrying of an explosive can to be passed on to others if any other fools to be fooled and used as useful useless tools can be found.
"I think it is way harder these days to secure from virtual intrusion than from physical."
Nah. If you unplug, they'll have to get physical before they can get virtual. This does not work the other way around.
The problem with unplugging is that you can't get any work done. It becomes a sort of self-inflicted denial of service attack.
It could be far more interesting to see how much internet crime diminishes if we rip all the Russian AS numbers out of the BGP map. They're welcome to hack amongst themselves.
"The problem with unplugging is that you can't get any work done."
Oh, horseshit. In fact, quite the opposite ... ALL you can get done on an unplugged network is work, because there is no way of accessing antisocial-media time-sinks.
Until some smart-ass manages to install Decwar or VTtrek, of course ...
The horseshit is on the side of the morons who all wanted to go cloud because they could for once say something about It that sounded half intelligent (on account of the "cloud" expression being nebulous enough to cover any absence of true insight).
If ever you get the chance to watch "Occupied" - saw it on Netflix a while back - you'll get some idea of the Russian mindset and methods - it was truly chilling.
In other news, my newly set up, self-host web server took a tremendous beating over the weekend - I mean, I'd seen intrusion attempts before but never on this scale. Someone must be pretty desperate to use my computing power!
It's a good show, but I'm not sure that Netflix are noted for the accuracy of their insight into the "Russian Mindset", whatever that is. Of the Russians paying attention - and given the state of the Rouble this morning, that's most of them - I doubt they share many goals in common with their leader.
Russia isn't Putin and Putin isn't Russia, he's just a man surrounded by lot of incompetent yes men. He's does *not* represent the people, nor their country. Clearly not elected or popular as he claims, he imprisons his opponents and kills his rivals, runs fake elections. You don't do that if you're actually a popular elected leader with the backing of the people!
Russians could vote for Zelensky and have the sort of freedoms Ukraine has. As a real elected leader Zelensky would be more representative of Russian people than Putin, because Zelensky would be *their* choice, not Putin choosing Putin. Of course the Russian people are not free, Putin could never allow that free vote because they don't choose him!
But there is a group of Russians that can vote for Zelensky. Russian *soldiers* could vote for Zelensky.
They could vote by abandoning their vehicles and surrendering. The fewer soldiers under Putin's command, the fewer soldiers he has to suppress the people back at home. The safer their families are from Putin. The more quickly Putin falls from power (and off a balcony) and the better their life could be.
They have to be quick though, all the new weaponry Ukraine has now, it makes it easier and safer to simply point shoot and kill them. They need to get those white flags out and get out of their vehicles ASAP. They've seen the drone footage, that Turkish drone didn't stop and ask them to surrender first, it was push-button-Russians-dead-sip-coffee-next-Russian-target, not even a warning.
They already did vote for the Russian equivalent and down voted the establishment. The problem is that the opposition got sidelined and killed just before they could establish themselves for real. The establishment pretends to have won by means of manipulation, brute force and suppression. Pop the bubble... Haven't you understood the newspeak of the Russian media yet?
It occurred to me that disconnecting Russia and any countries that peer with Russia from the internet might be the safest thing, a nice airgap. It is probably a daft idea on many levels, and very likely to be quite impractical, especially if we want to keep telephone contact, but an interesting thought experiment perhaps?
If you would try this at IP level, maybe, but identifying the Autonomous Systems that are geographically in Russia shouldn't be that hard, at which point you can rip them out BGP.
I think this is the time I may have to re-introduce geo-blocking to my websites. It's not perfect as they often use sites they have hacked already as a proxy, but it's still an improvement over the regular web security. I already moved the 2FA check to the logon page instead of being it a second step because that still leaves morons think a dictionary attack would work.
I actually meant something far more physical. If (and its a big if) there are a few cables coming out of Russia, just cut them off. I mean *airgap*, not something logical. Basically cut the whole of Russia from the internet. Then anyone physically inside Russia would simply be unable to reach any of their botnets. Russia wants its own internet anyway (https://www.theregister.com/2017/12/01/russia_own_internet/), so this should help them along :-). I am pretty sure this wouldn't be possible even if we wanted to, but as I said, an interesting thought experiment.
OK, I wrote something on this a day or so ago - see my post in this this thread.
I don't agree with a physical method of air-gapping Russia involving damage to infrastructure, mainly because we want to be able to un-gap them once things settle down and Russia is playing nicely, or much nicer than it is at the moment. That's hard to do, and expensive, if someone has stuck an axe through the fibre(s) or pulled up a few km with a tugboat.
So much easier if, as another AC has said, it is done with BGP at the AS level...no soldiers, no damage, just a bit of blackhole routing which is reversible if necessary.
The hardest part of this is to persuade all the different entities at the far end of the fibres linking Russia to the Internet to act as one and degrade or cease service.
Air-gapping Russia has the immediate benefit of preventing their offensive 'cyber warfare'. It's also cheap leverage for the western states.
Personally, I think we MUST air-gap them and only re-instate their internet privileges once they have totally withdrawn from the Ukraine and repaired the damage they have caused to Ukrainian infrastructure...in other words, significant 'reparations'.
I'm sure this idea will fall down in a number of areas, however I say try it and teach the barmy Russian leader that we still have something Russia wants that can be taken away from him due to bad behaviour.
Oh yeah - why the F is RT/Russia Today still available on the UK's Free-to-air 'Freeview' broadcast TV network? Last thing I want is Putin's dis-information broadcast directly onto my TV! Please, please drop that LCN from the MUX:-)
I didn't mean physical damage, at least not anything that involves more than a few minutes work, but at some level there must be bits of equipment that can just be switched off or cables pulled. Clearly it isn't going to be down to pulling a single piece of wire out or switching off one box, of course. I have no idea what the connections look like physically, but some kind of physical disconnection that can't be reinstated in any way remotely. I don't know anything about BGP, only that misconfiguring it can break things, but if that could work then fine, maybe, until someone else can break in remotely and put it back again. I would prefer something physical that can be quickly and easily reinstated when appropriate.
I would assume that countries big enough to have communications satellites, would have multiple connections to the internet inside other countries, that go through their own satellites, so they can't be cut off totally. At a minimum they need enough to be able to still wage cyberwar
If the world cuts Russia's fibre connections, then we should not complain when they cut all the oceanic fibres. It is easy to do, and it's what I would do. I suspect it would do far more economic damage to the West than to Russia.
Although it would probably be a plus for europe, by harming US based cloud hegemony.