back to article Cyberwarfare looms as Russia shells, invades Ukraine

Russia's invasion of Ukraine could be followed by an escalation in cyberwarfare with the West, experts have warned. Conflict latest → Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says more than 135 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were killed on Thursday after Russia launched a full-on invasion of the nation from the north, east, …

  1. FF22

    Just disconnect them

    Just block all traffic coming from Russia. This will also block 99% of cyberattacks originating from them. Obviously there will be ways for them to get around this, but with the bandwidth available to them restricted to possibly 1/1.000.000th of what they had originally, will also mean that their capabilities to attack will also be dramatically decreased.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Just disconnect them

      "Just block all traffic coming from Russia. This will also block 99% of cyberattacks originating from them."

      No, it really won't. The Russian government has this ability to pay for servers in other countries and to take over equipment on residential networks in other countries. They have and they will. They launch attacks from those devices, which are controlled by non-Russian servers. If you could block all the network traffic coming from Russia, they'd have some disruption as they put some operators elsewhere and sent instructions internationally, but if even one cable remains, they can proxy around your blocks to control their zombies. Since they have lots of connections, including through countries that aren't part of NATO and that have taken their side if only unofficially, you can't get a 100% block implemented.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Just disconnect them

        "servers in other countries"

        You still need a VPN to reach those servers, so if all IP packets leaving Russia were black-holed (a small matter of BGP4 config) they could no longer do that.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Just disconnect them

          I commented on that in the comment to which you replied. I pointed out that, if you could block literally every packet, you could cause them a temporary problem but that they would find an alternative (E.G. put some people in a different country and relay instructions through a different connection such as phone, satellite, etc. I also pointed out that you can't drop every packet because there are numerous countries you don't have on board. They have cables that go through central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan. They can quite easily pretend to be Kazakh traffic unless you can get Kazakhstan to join you (they won't, they're allied with Russia) or are willing to ban them as well. If you do ban Kazakhstan, they have many other countries to use.

          1. FF22

            Re: Just disconnect them

            "I commented on that in the comment to which you replied. I pointed out that, if you could block literally every packet, you could cause them a temporary problem but that they would find an alternative (E.G. put some people in a different country and relay instructions through a different connection such as phone, satellite, etc."

            And your (invalid) point has been already addressed in the original comment, which explained, that even though the block couldn't be perfect, because Russia could circumvent it by phone or satellite, but it would still heavily restrict their bandwidth available to carry out and control such attacks, which in turn would severely hamper their abilities to do so. More importantly: it would make Russian people turn against their own government, because they would now be also paying the price directly and in many many way for Putin's ruthless actions.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Just disconnect them

              I'm afraid that it really wasn't. The original comment implied that you could cut off all the attacks by blocking Russian traffic. What you could do is dramatically decrease the bandwidth available to the Russian public, but since the Russian government has priority access to whatever links still exist, some of which they own, they would still be able to run all the criminal operations they want. So you can't, in fact, prevent them from hacking into stuff even if you could cut off their internet, and once again, it isn't feasible to cut off their internet because there are several countries that wouldn't be on board.

              1. Yes Me Silver badge
                Black Helicopters

                Re: Just disconnect them

                Sure, if you drop BGP4 routes for every AS known to be in Russia or Belarus, you will not stop everything, but you don't need anybody in Kazakhstan to help you do that, because it would be done by the major international transit carriers.

                The more tricky problem, as you imply, is how to identify and drop TOR traffic that's been relayed through a third country, be it Kazakhstan, PRC or just an innocent relay in (random choice) New Jersey. Don't tell me that after all these years there are no three-letter agencies that can do that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just disconnect them

      @FF22

      Fine......until you start to wonder about the threats that already OVER HERE (think SolarWinds and similar).

      Nice try!

    3. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Just disconnect them

      It won't work, because Russia cyber army will use proxy countries. Pakistan is becoming close of Russia. China didn't condemn the invasion, as didn't many Asian countries. Count also all the corrupt administrations around the World Russia could hire.

    4. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Just disconnect them

      We need to keep comms routes to Russia open, if only to provide support to the Putin's opposition and vaguely do what can be done to feed real information in.

      Modems were instrumental in co-ordinating the efforts in 1989/90 to oust the old regime.

      And so it will be today, revolution by internet, if there is to be any justice.

      NATO countries are justifiably scared of committing boots on the ground, or even aircraft to a No-fly zone. Ukraine has explicitly avoided asking for power projection beyond it's own capability, yet. When they do call, will we answer?

  2. Kev99 Silver badge

    To everyone who thinks putting their private, proprietary, mission-critical, confidential, irreplacable, and otherwise "we're up a s-creek if we lose any of this" information on the secure as a fishing-net or rain-cloud internet, this article should be required reading. And Exhibit A in any litigation against the entities who get their the info stolen.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SWIFT see SPFS

    Russia did it's own version of SWIFT in 2014 SPFS, .... you can see they've been planning this a long time. Kicking them off SWIFT would be painful though, they'd be forced to deal with China to turn Rubles into hard currency, and China would extract a large middle-man-margin for that. There aren't many players in SPFS, with China being the only significant one other than Russia. Russia would be poor. Russians would be very poor. They already get a tiny portion of the wealth, with Putin's friendly oligarchs taking the biggest share of that resource wealth.

    Imagine a democratic Russia, with *real* elections with *real* votes being counted, and no more Putin, no more fake elections, no more "98% votes for Putin with 95% turnout" in districts reporting at the last minute, to fix elections he hasn't rigged enough.

    Russia could have a normal place in the world, no more of those crappy decaying tower blocks. No more doctors thrown from building by Putin's thugs for daring to expose his mishandling of Covid, no more journalists murdered on the street by Putin's men for reporting about his palaces and yachts, no more politicians arrested and imprisoned for standing up to Putin. They could be free from Putin.

    Perhaps they could even join the EU, have freedom of movement in the world, have a proper economy, proper housing, a proper life. Ordinary people having a good life on the back of their oil wealth.

    There's a prize here for Russians, they could get rid of dictator Putin and Belarus could eject his side kick Luschenko, and have a better life. Look at the collapse of the military Junta in Argentina. They could join Ukraine in the fight against Putin, and Putin's dictatorship would collapse and they would be free. They could be rid of Putin.

    Russians and Ukrainians united together against Putin.

    Are you listening St Petersburg troll factory workers? Your life would be better without Putin, so maybe just phone it in? Are you listening Russian soldiers, why die for Putin, when he won't even let you have a free vote?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: SWIFT see SPFS

      Perhaps they could even join the EU, have freedom of movement in the world, have a proper economy, proper housing, a proper life. Ordinary people having a good life on the back of their oil wealth. ...... Anonymous Coward

      That makes one one wonder why UKGBNI left the EU to deliver and end up with none of those benefits, AC, for one cannot deny unless delusional, despite all the pompous nonsense spouted from Parliamentary dispatch boxes, things are nowhere near as good and comfortable as they used to be, ie they are significantly worse than they have ever been in living memory and getting worse with each passing day and 0day.

    2. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: SWIFT see SPFS

      Russians and Ukrainians united together against Putin

      Russians and Ukrainians don't have the short memory time-span of a gold-fish: they remember very well that Biden is personally responsible for the Maidan coup-d'état in 2013, that his son was paid millions on Ukrainian money, that he openly bragged about interfering into the Ukrainian judicial system to remove a prosecutor who investigated about corruption into that very company where his very son was paid millions for nothing. They probably also remember very well Victoria "Fuck the EU " Nuland who is now in Biden's foreign affairs ...

      1. kat_bg

        Re: SWIFT see SPFS

        I am pretty sure Ukrainians remember Trump calling Putin a genius one not long ago.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: SWIFT see SPFS

      Whilst that is all possible, for a long time since the collapse of the old Eastern Bloc countries, life for the average Russian has not actually improved (that much).

      Although there were queues and so on, there was not the same poverty and overt corruption. The way that criminals and the very rich have been able to syphon off money is beyond belief. That they have been able to do that has been made very easy by Western countries (of which the UK appears to be quite near the top) that persistently turned a blind eye to all this incoming money.

      What Putin's goal is we don't really know. What we do know is that sanctions rarely work and take time to have an effect. Also I don't thing that those at the top in Russia give much of a stuff about sanctions. Unless China joins that approach they will be able to get quite a bit of the stuff they need from there. Again this is more of a long-term issue.

      What is abundantly clear is that direct military intervention by any form of coalition is not practical. Tackling Russian is a long way from running around "liberating" Kuwait and moving into Iraq. Whilst Iraq will have had Russian equipment at the time they did not have the training and resources to maintain & use it. Crucially they did not have a stockpile of nuclear weapons and whatever chemical/biological stuff that is hidden in compounds.

      The West (at the moment Europe/UK/US) has to do what it can but nothing is going to dissuade Putin overnight. Germany in particular is going to have major issues with Energy shortly, I suppose the US and maybe Qatar could ship LNG around.

      1. Plest Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: SWIFT see SPFS

        Putin and his cronies chose to shore up a failing system, reduce Russia's debt obligations, sacrificed all hope of growth for stability, from that he doesn't have to go cap in hand to anyone for help when wants to enact one of his mental ideas like we've seen in the last week. Putin is pissing himself laughing at all the hand wringing and speeches from the west. Ukraine not in NATO? Great let's grab it and watch the US and EU shit their pants as we get their borders and wonder how far I'll go.

        Nothing new in any of this, since time imemorial it's more about what you say you can/will do over what you actually do. Kicking the arse of some small country just for show, then he has the choice to relent and show the glorious benevolence dictators love to show every so often for the cameras and PR. He has every intention of tying strings to Ukraine's leaders and making them dance for him whenever he fancies proving a point in future. Psychotic, socipathic but then how else do you get to run one of the largest most corrupt countries on earth for 20 years!

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Russia may not win this cyber war

    We know that Russia has a formidable cyber army, but it's not the only one. There will be revenge and not only from private actors

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

      Is this what you are referring to, Potemkine! ...... https://www.rt.com/russia/550548-anonymous-cyber-war-russia/ ?

      [Your provided link isn’t functioning]

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

      The problem with waging a cyber war against Russia is that Putin doesn't care. If he cared about his own people's prosperity, he wouldn't have annexed Crimea on a whim (the Russian economy hasn't really grown since), he would have reduced the theft of the oligarchs so there was more money going round the Russian economy, he certainly wouldn't have invaded Ukraine just now.

      But Putin's attitude is that our heroic Russian people can take more pain than you weak Western democracies. And of course that's fine, because he personally won't be joining them in suffering that pain, nor will the people around him. And as the Soviets found, even when you've got demonstrably less, you can still bribe enough people to support the regime by giving them a bit more than everybody else gets. After all, why else did Putin join the KGB in the 1970s, when nobody could have had any illusions how evil an organisation it was. If you'd willingly join the KGB in the 70s, you'd have joined the SS in 1940.

      Putin is also right of course, becuase he doesn't have to worry about elections.

      So the question is, what does Putin want? And how can we threaten or take that away from him, or at least use it as bargaining chips? I doubt he cares about money. So long as he rules Russia, he'll have enough money. As soon as he stops ruling Russia, he risks being poor, dead or put on trial. He also seems to genuinely care about Russia being militarily powerful. And possibly more importantly NATO not being. So I'd say that we need to reinforce NATO's Russian border anyway, due to the increased security threat now he's got troops in Belarus and Ukraine. So we should do so, noisily and expensively.

      So the goal of sanctions should be to damage the Russian economy sufficiently that it can't support a threatening military. While building up our own capabilities. And see if we can also tempt him into spending lots of cash to counter our military tech, in hopes of damaging the economy further. All while offering de-escalation and disarmament in return for Russia doing similar and being less of a military threat - such that hopefully they can have an economy to support a large military at such time as they don't want to threaten us with one. I guess this is going to be a long and painful process with hopefully lots of diplomacy, but with resolution behind it. And the credible ablity to use force if there's no other option. So sadly another Cold War. But this time Russia has a vastly smaller economy and no fig leaf of ideology on its side.

      All very depressing. But I think it's pretty clear that the current leadership of Russia and China have both decided that accomodation of their reasonable desires by the West is weakness, leading to them making more-and-more unreasonable demands. And if we don't want to live in that world, we're going to have to do something about it.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

        Putin and his cronies have billions of dollars' worth of assets held in Western countries. UK, EU, USA...

        Those governments should make it their priority to identify all that money, and simply trouser it. No "freezing", just grab the lot. It'd be a welcome cash boost for them, and it would hit Putin's henchmen where it hurts - force them to fall back on assets within Russia, thereby making them share in the economic pain of the country.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

          Yep, seize the lot to fund the inevitable energy bills and stockpile some ammuntion & basic equipment that is looking increasingly likely to be needed.

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

          I’ve been saying this and included Superyachts, football clubs in those assets too.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

        It would be nice if those ransomware gangs that aren’t Russian stooges or agree with Putin did something with their ‘talent’. Maybe also lose the decryption key in the process.for good measure.

      3. Plest Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Russia may not win this cyber war

        Bang on! Couldn't agree more.

        Putin reminds me of every bullying manager we've all had at one time or another. They come up with mental ideas, you want to keep your job you shut up and do what your asked or they'll make it very unconformtable. The kicker is, when it's all great they gift you a little controlled praise, when shit hits the fan and one of their ideas fails they instantly turn on you with the classic, "I asked you do X and you f**ked it up! What the hell do we do now? I'm not carrying the can for this! You were told to do it, you did it wrong and I'm going to make sure everyone knows it was you.".

        Putin doesn't care about anyone but Putin, he's lost in a dreamy fantasy that his beloved KGB will rise again from the ashes as he's taking Russia back to the glory days he loves so much where those in government did and said whatever the hell they liked. You disagree? Hope you said goodbye to your family this morning 'cos if you live past the end of this day it'll be a long time until you see them again!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SWIFT kick

    Kicking Russian banks off of SWIFT would be a major step, because the NSA is using SWIFT to track the flow of money. They probably don't want to blind themselves like that.

    Isn't WhatsApp running on Ukrainian servers?

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: SWIFT kick

      I think they should initiate a 1 month ban on Russian finance companies using SWIFT starting 1st March. Doesn't have to be permanent, just enough to kick them where it hurts.

      Problem is that Western leaders have never really dealt with anything like this before, The world, rightly so, is now so globalised and inter-dependent that no one ever thought a complete nutter would try to damage it but they didn't bank on human nature. Always some nutter ready to ruin everyone's fun and he's sitting in Moscow laughing is arse off at how ineffective the western leaders are right now.

  6. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    The Register.

    I realise that in the multiverse of news organisations, The Register, has its place, not, maybe with the same heft as, say, The New York Times, The Guardian, Die Welt or Le Monde, (or even 'What's on in Stoke Newington'*), but I hope that your defences are up to protecting your services from whatever gets thrown at them for reporting the current invasion of Ukraine as honestly as you can.

    *(According to Alexi Sayle, an A4 sheet of paper with "F*ck All" written across it.)

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Holmes

    "We expect to see probably beyond just Ukraine, disinformation to target Western audiences..."

    Expect as in: I expect to see a crashed car. After crashing a car. I'm "slightly astonished" by the load of people around here -mainland western Europe- who happily and closely follow Putin's narrative.

  8. MrBanana Silver badge

    Shutdown their Cloud accounts

    How many Russian companies use Amazon, Google or Microsoft cloud services? Could the US sanction to get Russian based accounts shutdown? It may only be temporary until they reconfigure and redirect through other countries, but it would be an uncomfortable, if short term, pain point. It may come about anyway if SWIFT gets shutdown and they can't cough up their fees on time.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Shutdown their Cloud accounts

      Interesting, let us assume that the Russian government but more likely businesses is making use of cloud services from Microsoft, Amazon and so on.

      Would denying access to those accounts or services (not deleting) be possible and achievable?

      The first is definitely yes, the second is difficult. Amazon and Microsoft have partnered with third parties to deliver services in Russia so the accountability and legalities become difficult.

      If (and bluntly this will be the US) an administration decides to block accounts of Russian customers then it starts to get very difficult where the assets you are denying access to are not actually held on non-Russian equipment.

      Again, there is no easy answer and everything has to be looked at however the Russian are perfectly capable of cutting undersea cables and that will cause far more damage to everyone else than themselves for very low risk. So is tackling Russian cloud assets possible? very definitely yes, is the expected outcome assured? not really.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Shutdown their Cloud accounts

        It would work. None of the big three have big datacenters in Russia. They do operate CDN endpoints and some edge stuff there, but not the big regions because nobody outside Russia wants their data there and most companies inside Russia don't either. Whether that would do much to weaken Putin is another question, but it can be achieved technologically.

      2. Sub 20 Pilot

        Re: Shutdown their Cloud accounts

        Also this would lead to a few multi billionaires losing a bit of income, those living in the US, I mean, so it will not be done however easy it is.

  9. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge

    Why...

    Do the Russians need cyber warfare? Can't they just ask all the politcians in The West who now reside happily in the pockets of the Oligarchs?

    I understand that a large chunk of Tory money (and, rumour has it, Republican money, across the pond) has it's origin in the East of Europe... Are they actually likely to approve biting the hand that feeds them?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just shut Russia down...

    It might take a while for Russia (and its friends) to bypass any computer/data based information system blocks...

    But in the meantime, by cutting them off from SWIFT or any other Western based credit sources, limiting data flowing in/out from Russian servers and preventing any financial transactions taking place, will perhaps make some in power in Russia question exactly what Putin is doing...and could possibly lead to a "coup d'etat" by more moderate individuals.

    And certainly the wave of public opposition to the war has already been seen in various Russian cities...so, that just needs to be nurtured by turning the screw hard against Russia.

    And in the meantime, if any James Bonds/Jonathan Hemlocks/Boba Fetts/Leons/John Wicks can be parachuted into Moscow and perform a "sanction" then maybe this could end quite quickly.

    (posted as anon, obviously !!)

  11. MarineTech

    I disagree with the rationale here

    I'm going to respectfully disagree with the government line on this one. If anything, we're going to see fewer, or NO cyberattacks originating from Russia against NATO countries.

    I'm a former US Marine from way back in the Cold War era. I was originally trained to fight against Soviet bloc tactics. As such, I can say one thing here. They're NOT using them.

    Hear me out. Putin is most certainly not stupid. You do not get to be the head of the KGB if you are. So let's look at what's going on here. There are quite a few factors so far that show Russia is being VERY careful with its military tactics during this invasion. Russian troops are being exceedingly careful to minimize casualties against civilians and civilian infrastructure. They are using what precision capabilities they have, to their fullest. Mass artillery barrages and carpet bombing have always been a major component of Eastern Bloc tactics. They have been totally absent so far. They're minimizing damage to everything but legitimate military targets as best they can.

    Why? Because Putin knows that if the news starts putting up pictures of mass casualties amongst the civilian populace, that may push the West into actual military support. Something he DOES NOT WANT. Putin's already said that Russia has been weathering sanctions for years. They're annoying, but the Russians are used to them by now. What they do not want is western military intervention. So Russian is doing everything they can to not provoke such a measure. Dedicated cyberattacks from Russia, against Western powers at this time, would certainly be seen as attacks against the State, and most likely would provoke a full military response over it. He's not going to do that and give up the advantages that they currently have.

    We may see the usually cyber attacks from China, North Korea, and the various criminal organizations as normal. I'm betting though that activity from actual Russian government sanctioned organizations are going to be nil, until this thing is over.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I disagree with the rationale here

      MarineTech,

      I can't see NATO making any military response in defence of Ukraine. Had we allowed them to join, things would have been different. And Russia would have known upfront that they were attacking a country covered by a nuclear umbrella. But we didn't, so they aren't.

      Since Russia has invaded Ukraine, and is seemingly bent on capturing large parts (maybe all) of the country - if we get involved at this stage we're risking war which could go horribly wrong and/or horribly nuclear.

      Also Russia has been mobilising for 4 months for this. More if you count the mini-surge of forces to Ukraine's borders in April last year. So we couldn't put serious boots on the ground in a timely manner - we deliberately haven't forward based major NATO facilites in Eastern Europe, as part of the NATO Russia founding act from the 90s. Something I hope we'll now scrap, telling the Russians that if they want to be a threat, we'll defend. Obviously we could do some serious damage to the Russians with air support, but I doubt we could get the numbers of aircraft deployed in time to overwhelm the Russians, so we'd have to take large risks and accept losses. Plus how would Russia react to our aircraft from bases in the UK, Romania, Poland, Germany etc destroying their tank columns? At the least there'd be missile (and maybe special forces) attacks on some of our air bases. Maybe lobbing a few tactical nukes around, given they've only limited numbers of cruise missiles, and you need a lot of cruise missiles to take out a large airbase. Especially if they're not that accurate. The risks are too high.

      What makes the nuclear threat work is not just us promising to protect the Baltic States. But us having troops there. So for the Russians to conquer the place, they've got to kill lots of our troops. That means NATO has skin in the game, a reason to reinforce or counter-attack - and maybe a reason for defensive tactical nukes. And then the full horrors of MAD. Of course modern NATO doctrine doesn't really involve massive nuclear strikes on Soviet tank formations in the Fulda Gap, so I don't quite know how we expect the nuclear dimension to work. Presumably the strategic nuclear shield is there to defend NATO from Russian tactical nuclear strikes, and superior airpower is there to break up the tank formations for the outnumbered ground troops. Given how little space there is to trade for time in the Baltic States, and how small our garrisons are, I think we're going to have to do some serious thinking about this in the next few months. I'm not sure small tripwire forces is enough anymore.

      1. Morten Bjoernsvik

        Re: I disagree with the rationale here

        Only Putin wants this war. Even his Chief of Intelligence was humiliated on public television when he had to confirm to the invasion. Another impact will be Finland and Sweden applying for Nato membership.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: I disagree with the rationale here

          The moment that got me in that bizarre TV production of a supposed 'meeting' of the Russian Security Committee was when Putin interrupted Sergei Lavrov, who just looked at Putin and realised that Putin was mad. Not quite 'we can lock him up and throw away the key now' mad, but well on the way.

          The war in Ukraine is Putin's last ditch. If the army fails, Putin is out. If the army needs to use heavy artillery on cities with massive civilian casualties, it will contradict his assertion that the invasion was to protect the Ukrainian people from oppression. Even the Chinese might have a problem with images of ruined cities and blood filled streets.

          Even if by some exceptional chance it all works out easily for the Russians and they take over Kyiv, the 20million or so Ukrainians who are prepared to fight the occupiers will make for a bloody occupation. And even if it all works swimmingly for the Russians, Lavrov and the rest of the Russian Security Council will be wondering WTF Putin will do next, No Western politician will have any chance of re-election if after Ukraine, Putin invades Finland, so they'll have to figure out some way to stop him, and the sane Russians do not want any risk of a nuclear war.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I disagree with the rationale here

      "There are quite a few factors so far that show Russia is being VERY careful with its military tactics during this invasion. Russian troops are being exceedingly careful to minimize casualties against civilians and civilian infrastructure. "

      Sorry but the Russian military are not being that precise...there are pictures of civilian blocks of apartments burnt out/destroyed in the last day...and one BBC journalist was seen visibly upset as video of her now destroyed home, was shown on TV.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-60525815

      There are other photo's on other civilian buildings in other towns also damaged by Russian attacks.

      1. MarineTech

        Re: I disagree with the rationale here

        As I noted previously, they are being precise, up to the level of their technology. Yes, there is collateral damage to areas around Russia's designated "military targets", but very little when compared to other actions of theirs in the past. Look at pictures from Ossetia during the Russo-Georgian War back in 08, or from Chechnya back in 92. Whole neighborhoods were flattened compared to what we're seeing now.

        Russia's precision munition capabilities aren't up to many systems in the west. What they have though, they're using to good effect.

        I keep seeing video of Russia artillery columns moving through the countryside. They contain quite a few BM-21 rocket launchers and conventional tube artillery. Those are not precise weapons and are used for saturation bombardment of targets. They haven't been used on urban centers yet.

        Like I said. The Russians are showing uncharacteristic restraint.

        1. Geoffrey W

          Re: I disagree with the rationale here

          Restraint? I suppose so. There's a video of a woman confronting Russian soldiers carrying big guns, asking what they are doing here.

          'Exercises' they said.

          'So you're the enemy. Fuck off!'

          'Don't escalate the situation further. Please go that way.' Said soldier.

          'How could it escalate further? You fucking, unwelcome uninvited, piece of shit!' Said the woman before offering them sunflower seeds to put in their pockets 'so at least flowers will grow when you die down here on our homeland.' Of course, all this was spoken in Ukrainian, or whatever language they speak, so I'm relying on other's translation for my approximation of the words.

          If she was my mum I'd be proud of her, though trying to contact her to make sure she's still angry and still in the world. Anyway, these days the Russians seem to prefer restrained methods of killing such as poisoned underpants and denying everything! The old Russians would have enjoyed this angry mum then hung her from a lamp post. This is the age of the smart phone camera, after all.

          1. Geoffrey W

            Re: I disagree with the rationale here

            I really hope this wasn't a fake news kind of prank and they were really discussing the weather. 'Is it always this cold down here?' 'Oooh, you should have been here for Christmas!' Etc.

  12. David Shaw

    may be coincidence

    but I’m getting a lot less spam from the spam-cannon this week…

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: may be coincidence

      Funny; I'm getting more. A lot of mail using weird character sets - characters that look like E but aren't - and extra spaces between regular characters, and emojis stuck into words. Also an increase in sexy girls asking if I'm alone and would like some company, though using grammar so awful I am simply unable to mimic such atrocities, never mind exchanging fluids with such people. Ugh! I suppose it's small beer compared to real atrocities currently going on but it seems the world is still turning through it's shitty cycles. I suspect we will keep this up right to the next extinction event when the big space rock hits us... Big Bump! Don't Look Up! Don't Look Up! I weep in despair.

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