back to article Space nukes: The unbelievably bad idea that's exactly that ... unbelievable

Space nukes. You're kidding, right? Not if scary reports for last week are true, and Russia is indeed reviving some of the Cold War's more ominous ideas. What's more, Russian leadership is denying it all, and you know what those guys are like. The implication was that Russia was planning to orbit nuclear weapons designed to …

  1. RichardBarrell
    Mushroom

    If you're currently reading this for the nuclear engineering rather than the geopolitical horror, I strongly recommend the website "Beyond NERVA". The web design is a little bit timecube so I have no idea if the author is a crackpot, but it's fun reading anyway. https://beyondnerva.com/fission-power-systems/fission-power-plant-reactor-cores/ describes a bunch of nuclear reactors that have been flown in space, mostly by the USSR to power radar systems.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Cheers for that! I thought reactors in space weren't anything new, just the challenges still remain much the same.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        YaDEU looks interesting-

        ...designed with an electrical output requirement rather than a thermal output requirement, oddly enough of 1 Mwe. This requires a thermal output of at least 4 MWt, although depending on power conversion efficiency it may be higher.

        Along with some of the older designs. They're kinda small/light enough for the old nuclear powered cars to become a reality! Also guessing the reason for the high electrical power output is the intent is to use that for propulsion. But most of the designs all seem to use sodium or sodium/potassium for cooling and have been for decades. Yet we're not for commerical NPP. Is that a cost or a scaling problem?

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Did we learn nothing from Goldeneye?

        1. Snowy Silver badge
          Joke

          We learned how to Duck?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      > If you're currently reading this for the nuclear engineering rather than the geopolitical horror,

      I found it notable the article doesn’t reference the expert watchers who have already commented on this disclosure and who see this as nuclear powered satellites rather than nuclear weapons in space.

  2. jake Silver badge

    That was my thought, too.

    Just an aging boogieman, brought out of it's crate and dusted off for this election cycle in order to scare the proles.

    Next on the agenda: Be sure to check under your beds for reds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That was my thought, too.

      Its a ploy by the uniparty to get the HUGE aid package for Ukraine passed so they can line their pockets with lots of cash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        Washington wasn't joking when they pledged to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          Washington wasn't joking when they pledged to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian.

          The Ukrainians had already not only decided to fight Russia, but had started fighting Russia - before they were offered any assistance by anybody.

          The problem for the person with the conspiratorial mindset is that they don't seem to be able to understand that the world is in fact a very complicated place. And not all decisions are taken by evil global masterminds, moving the pieces on their giant chess boards.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            "but had started fighting Russia"

            When? Was this before the CIA coup or after? The US has been giving military aid to Ukraine for a long time prior to 2022.

            1. RPF

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              1 Rouble for you, comrade.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              > Was this before the CIA coup or after?

              Hello Jellied Eel. Using AC?

            3. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              Things started heating up after 2014 and Maidan. You might recall that there was some kind of nasty little civil war going on in the east, one that resulted in an estimated 14,000 deaths and up to a couple of million displaced by February 2022.

              (I've always wondered why it took Russia so long to react with a "SMO" or similar. But I think it was the combination of the systematic imposition of sanctions and general attitude to / attacks on Nord Stream 2 that finally galvanized them into action.)

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                (I've always wondered why it took Russia so long to react with a "SMO" or similar. But I think it was the combination of the systematic imposition of sanctions and general attitude to / attacks on Nord Stream 2 that finally galvanized them into action.)

                I think it was the realisation that diplomacy was going nowhere, Minsk was a lie and growing sabre rattling from Zelensky. So he signed a decree committing Ukraine to retaking it's lost territories, then the nuclear ambitions announced at the Munich 'Security' Conference. There were also the growing sanctions against Ukraine's own ethnic Russian (and Hungarian, Romanian) from it's growing 'Right Sector'. Then finally Ukraine amassing troops along the Donbas contact line prepatory to an offensive to retake those territories.

                That's all the historical stuff that generally gets ignored or shouted down in favor of repeating that it was an illegal and unjustified invasion. To me, the most disgusting aspect was the way our MSM went from decrying Ukraine's neo-Nazi problem to praising the neo-Nazis like Azov. It took months into the SMO before Ukraine seemed to realise that a badge made up from 3 SS elements was not a good look. There's a good video explaining some of that hypocrisy here-

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoHaIB2RoyE

                If you're a neo-Nazi in the UK or US, you'd normally get thrown in jail. If they're in Ukraine, they get free weapons and a hope they remain in Ukraine.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Russian diplomacy:

                  > I think it was the realisation that diplomacy was going nowhere

                  Russian diplomat: Please let us invade you peacefully.

                  Target country diplomat: Why?

                  Russian diplomat: To protect you

                  Target country diplomat: Protect us? From what?

                  Russian diplomat: From what we will do to you if you don't let us invade you peacefully.

                  Somehow, Russian diplomacy's position was that Ukraine was too close to Russia to be allowed to freely choose its commercial and defense agreements (if it was not with Russia).

                  Yet, somehow, the staunchest NATO and EU members are countries formerly under Russian domination. Nobody understands why.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Russian diplomacy:

                    You could say similar about the US and places like Iraq.

                    The other former eastern block countries had some identity and language prior to 1917. Ukraine is basically a made up country on stolen land, similar to how the left describe Israel.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Russian diplomacy:

                      Jellied Eel. We know it's you. Now guess how we know.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Russian diplomacy:

                        Jellied Eel. We know it's you. Now guess how we know.

                        I really don't need to guess. But I am very curious why you think I post as an AC. I'm not ashamed to post my opinions, or have those opinions attributed to me. You, however..

                        But you know nothing, and will be unable to produce any evidence. Please, prove me wrong..

                    2. TheWeetabix

                      Re: Russian diplomacy:

                      I love how you ignore the fact that the Ukrainian peoples have been around as a unified country longer than Russia…

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Russian diplomacy:

                        I love how you ignore the fact that the Ukrainian peoples have been around as a unified country longer than Russia…

                        Citation needed. Or you could be correct. Putin touched on the history during his interview with Carlson, but it's complicated. Key is 'peoples'. Ukraine has been fortunate (or unfortunate) to occupy some nice land. Good trade routes east, west and north. Navigable rivers. Rich, fertile farmlands. Lots of trade, lots of traders, lots of cultural influences shaping a 'nation'. So for example the Varangians deciding Kiev would make a pretty nice place to live. But then it's riches have always been attractive to raiders and conquerers who left their mark on the 'country', shaped it, reshaped it and it's borders have constantly been re-drawn.. But it has never been really unified, and certainly not in the form imagined by the Kiev regime that's largely based on this chap-

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taras_Shevchenko

                        Born 1814, died 1861 and part of the movement that became this-

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopian_socialism

                        along with other idealists around the same time. But those unfortunately also ended up influencing.. less likeable people, like the eugenecists and a certain Austrian house painter. But such is history. Germany's National Socialists came to power on a mix of romanticising Teutonic virtues and a Green way of living. The Banderites and Kiev regime have much the same idea, Ukraine for Ukrainians. Except they (along with most of the people here) can't seem able to define what 'Ukrainian' actually is. Most of Ukrainian's Right Sector groups seem pretty convinced it doesn't include Slavs though. Or Cossacks. Or Tatars.

                        1. Roland6 Silver badge

                          Re: Russian diplomacy:

                          > But it has never been really unified

                          A bit like Germany then which only became unified as a single country after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

                          Also although the USA labels itself as a “union”, it isn’t really…

                        2. jmch Silver badge

                          Re: Russian diplomacy:

                          Borders all around Europe and particularly in the East have always shifted here and there. Poland was bigger, then smaller, Bulgaria had a much larger reach before the Ottomans, Germany and Italy weren't formed until the 19th century, the Balkan borders are still shifting here and there. And people have also shifted both with the borders and independently of them, not to mention that no country has really such thing as a completely pure national ethnicity - people have been intermarrying and interbreeding with their national neighbours since time immemorial, and ethnic purity is a pipe-dream dreamt up by tyrants such as Hitler and Putin to excuse their militaristic ambitions.

                          International law and treaties combined with international recognition might not be the perfect answer but it's the best one we have. The most relevant treaty point in the Russia-Ukraine issue is that Russia promised (by a signed treaty) to respect the territory of Ukraine as defined at the breakup of USSR in exchange for Ukraine giving p it's nukes to Russia. Nowhere in that treaty was there any condition related to whether Ukraine could independently decide it's own course of action, they are perfectly free to apply for EU and/or NATO membership if they so choose, and Russia should have no say in the matter. While I understand Russia's own concerns, it's invasion of Crimea is illegal and unjustifiable under international law, and that of Ukraine equally so. Putin claiming Ukraine was somehow being manipulated by the US and EU is being disingenuous - he's just unhappy that Ukraine didn't allow itself to be manipulated by him instead!!!

                          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                            Re: Russian diplomacy:

                            ..and ethnic purity is a pipe-dream dreamt up by tyrants such as Hitler and Putin to excuse their militaristic ambitions.

                            Russia is a rather large federated territory that includes many ethnic and cultural groups, all tolerated and supported by the Russian government. Unlike Ukraine and it's OUN nutjobs. Sure, Russia does have the some of the same far-right & white supremecist nutjobs, but they're usually arrested and jailed, much as they are in the UK, EU but not Ukraine.

                            The most relevant treaty point in the Russia-Ukraine issue is that Russia promised (by a signed treaty) to respect the territory of Ukraine as defined at the breakup of USSR in exchange for Ukraine giving p it's nukes to Russia.

                            You're still getting hung up on the wrong treaty. Budapest wasn't a Treaty, it was a Memoradum. The actual, relevant Treaty was this one-

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian%E2%80%93Ukrainian_Friendship_Treaty

                            Signed in 1997, abandoned by Ukraine in 2019. This included-

                            Under the agreement both parties ensure the citizens of the other countries' rights and freedoms on the same basis and to the same extent that it provides for its citizens, except as prescribed by national legislation of States or international treaties.

                            After the Kiev regime seized power in 2014, it removed autonomy from the regions and Crimea's parliament. It then started it's de-Russification program and civil war. And clearly Russia and the Kiev regime were no longer friends. Then something really dumb happened-

                            According to Poroshenko the non-renewal "does not require a vote" in the Ukrainian parliament. Ukraine announced that on 21 September 2018, it would notify the United Nations and other relevant organizations on the termination of the treaty. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was notified on 24 September 2018 of the treaty's termination by Ukraine and expressed regret.

                            So Poroshenko unilaterally decided to tear up the Treaty, without letting Ukraine's parliament have any say in the matter.. and-

                            The agreement, among other things prematurely confirms the inviolability of borders of countries

                            So.. Oops?

                            1. Casca Silver badge

                              Re: Russian diplomacy:

                              "Russia is a rather large federated territory that includes many ethnic and cultural groups, all tolerated and supported by the Russian government."

                              LMAO, you really dont know shit about what russia does to its minorities and how russia works. Just go away with your bullshit.

                            2. jmch Silver badge

                              Re: Russian diplomacy:

                              Some pretty big things missing from your timeline there, particularly Yanukovych's refusal, under Russian pressure, to follow the democratically-elected parliament's decision to sign an EU accession agreement. Putin sees any western lobbying of Ukraine as 'undue foreign interference', but of course he feels free to interfere himself whenever he wants. When his puppet was ousted and the new government put in place measures resisting Russian influence, Putin invaded Crimea (with Russian soldiers pretending to be local Crimeans )

                        3. Casca Silver badge

                          Re: Russian diplomacy:

                          LMAO, lets cherry pick until you get what you want...

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Russian diplomacy:

                        The '7 maps' article posted elsewhere on this thread says otherwise. What is now called Ukraine was split between the Russian, Polish-Lithuanian and Austo-Hungarian ownership for a good portion of the previous millennium. Modern Ukraine, incorporating parts of what was Poland and Hungary as well as territory occupied by the Tatars was only really staked out after WW2.

                        1. Roland6 Silver badge

                          Re: Russian diplomacy:

                          There are people and there are borders aka lines on a map.

                          The Scottish people have been around a long time, living in Scotland, yet the border between England and Scotland has over centuries moved around, with the current border a working compromise. I suspect if Scotland was to become a wholly separate nation (again) there will be disputes over the border and adjacent lands.

                          The 7 maps, whilst clearly showing movement of borders also show continuity of occupancy of the core lands by the Ukrainian people.

                          They also show that Putin’s land grab is more about geopolitics than people, other than Russia/USSR, like China imported its own people into occupied lands which over generations has allowed them to make claims over ceded territories.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Russian diplomacy:

                            Are we looking at the same maps?

                            The article states that the area has 'been home to a host of other peoples and empires'. Mongols, Tatars, Ottomans, various groups of Slavic people, Rus, Russians, Poles, Ruthenians.

                            1. Roland6 Silver badge

                              Re: Russian diplomacy:

                              England has been “home” to Romans, Vikings, Normans, yet the British people continue and can trace their history back to before the Romans…

                              Also despite the attempts of the white settlers, the native Americans continue to survive…

                              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                                Re: Russian diplomacy:

                                England has been “home” to Romans, Vikings, Normans, yet the British people continue and can trace their history back to before the Romans…

                                This is often why I found it amusing when especially foreigners insist that all 'English' are inherently racist white supremacists and anti-immigration. Sorry, no. We are the Borg, we have and will assimilate. Now, have a nice hot bath or bath, and scone or scone. And thank mostly the Dutch we assimilated for those regional variations. English is still the lingua franca of globalisation thanks to that ability.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: Russian diplomacy:

                                  English, along with American and maybe Canadian and Australian are the nationalities that the political left are embarrassed to be and accuse anyone who is proud to be one of those nationalities of being some sort of evil racist nationalist. However if you are Scottish or Ukrainian then you can be as nationalist as you like.

                                2. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  ☑ I'm not a robot

                                  > Now, have a nice hot bath or bath, and scone or scone.

                                  This case is getting much worse or worse.

                                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                                    Re: ☑ I'm not a robot

                                    This case is getting much worse or worse.

                                    It's a language joke that doesn't really work in writing. Or for non-Brits. Or for people with no sense of humor. But I'll just leave this here-

                                    https://www.rferl.org/a/navalny-failure-to-renounce-nationalist-past-support/31122014.html

                                    On February 23, the prominent NGO Amnesty International withdrew Navalny from its list of "prisoners of conscience," a designation reserved for people imprisoned for who they are or what they believe. Amnesty said Navalny, who is in prison on what he and his supporters call trumped-up charges aimed at silencing him, fell short of its criteria because of past statements the rights watchdog perceived as reaching the "threshold of advocacy of hatred."

                                    Our 'leaders' do pick the strangest people to martyr.

                              2. pomegranate

                                Re: Russian diplomacy:

                                And vote.

                          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                            Re: Russian diplomacy:

                            The Scottish people have been around a long time, living in Scotland, yet the border between England and Scotland has over centuries moved around, with the current border a working compromise. I suspect if Scotland was to become a wholly separate nation (again) there will be disputes over the border and adjacent lands.

                            This is pretty much the Ukrainian problem. We've been the United Kingdom for a while now. Mostly. We've recognised that there are certain ethnica and cultural differences within our Kingdom, and so ended up giving Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland a degree of autonomy. Prior to 2014, Ukraine was similar. Crimea had it's own parliament, DPR and LPR had a fair degree of autonomy. Post 2014, Kiev seized that power and the civil war started. One of the peace proposals was simply to restore that autonomy. Kiev said 'Nope!' and the killing intensified.

                            Russia also did much the same thing when he took power and reduced the power of Russia's governors. They naturally objected to the crimp on their lifestyles, but it didn't result in Russia collapsing into civil war.

                        2. Mooseman Silver badge

                          Re: Russian diplomacy:

                          "Modern Ukraine, incorporating parts of what was Poland and Hungary as well as territory occupied by the Tatars was only really staked out after WW2."

                          Ukraine was set up as an independent state in the 18th century, until the Russians did their thing and absorbed it, banning the Ukrainian language etc etc. It was once again an independent country in 1918, until the soviets (Russians) did their thing and sent in the army to conquer it in 1921. Post WW2 it was divided between the soviet union and Poland. Following the collapse of the communist USSR it is once again an independent country, until...oh yes, the Russians did their thing - again.

                          By your logic most of Eastern Europe and Germany aren't real countries either, and if you extend the thinking far enough neither are the UK, France, Spain, Italy, USA......

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Russian diplomacy:

                            At the beginning of the 20th century it even spread as far as Rostov on Don and beyond.

                            See this Wikipedia map.

                  2. martinusher Silver badge

                    Re: Russian diplomacy:

                    >formerly under Russian domination. Nobody understands why.

                    Its simple, really. You just have to look at the wider historical context. Post-WW2 is actually a bit different. Prior to WW2 many of these countries had right wing governments that were not just bordering on outright fascist but also were rabidly anti-communist. (Participants in the "anti-Comintern" pact, a sort of early version of the Cold War.) When Germany invaded Russia in 1941 they did it with active participation of a couple of the larger countries and a certain amount of acquiescence from the smaller ones. (The Baltic States provided a lot of the personnel for concentration camps, for example.) Since this period saw the elimination of any kind of political opposition -- literally, if you didn't get out fast enough -- when the Red Army returned it not only had a huge area to administer but a dearth of people to administer it. (The West had a similar problem but solved it by rapid 'de-Naziification' of thousands of local officials etc.) So they grabbed anyone who could be thought of as reliable, ending up with 'communist' governments in Eastern Europe of dubious competence. (Well, they were hardly likely to want to re-introduce the same people who advocated invading them in the first place, were they?)

                    Its all well known, well documented and well understood but apparently not so much in places like the UK and US.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      The word you're looking for is "backfire"

                      tl;dr

                      Wherever Russia colonizes, Russia antagonizes. Compare with Britain.

                2. kat_bg

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  That is collection of bullshit of epic proportion that mirrors the russian propaganda spewed by countless knobs on the internet. Who was rattlling sabres? Zelensky? Maybe Ukraine wad war exercises with 200000+ men near the russian border and not the russians near the Ukrainian border.

                  What nulear ambition? Ukraine transferred the nuclear weapons it ingerited from USSR to Russia in exchange to a treaty that was "guaranteein"it's safety. Guess who broke that treaty? Russia!

                3. Casca Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Ah, the vatnik is here

                4. cje

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  What about the Russian neo-Nazi's, or are they "good guys"? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/02/pro-kremlin-neo-nazi-militia-inciting-torture-murder-ukrainian-prisoners

                  When you country is at war and at risk of being annihilated, then you can't be picky who fights for you.

                  Alexie Navalny once said in an interview, that he would listen to these groups also. His idea was that everyone has a voice and it's his job to listen and try to work with everyone.

                  1. Casca Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    They dont play into JE:s propaganda so they dont count...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Civil war? Really?

                > You might recall that there was some kind of nasty little civil war going on in the east, one that resulted in an estimated 14,000 deaths and up to a couple of million displaced by February 2022.

                Wikipedia: .

                The war began 12 April 2014, when a fifty-man commando unit headed by Russian citizen Igor Girkin seized Sloviansk in Donetsk oblast. (that's the guy behind the MH17 downing that made ~300 dead).

                Alexander Borodai, former 'Prime Minister' of the DPR, said 50,000 "Russian volunteers" had fought in the first five months.

                > I think it was the combination of the systematic imposition of sanctions and general attitude to / attacks on Nord Stream 2 that finally galvanized them into action.

                NS 2 sabotage took place in September 2022 SEVEN MONTHS AFTER THE 10-DAY SMO. Please find another cause for "why it took Russia so long to react with a "SMO".

              3. Casca Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                It was not a civil war. That was russians.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Are the russians in the room with you now?

                  1. Casca Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    Poor little AC...

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            The Ukrainians had already not only decided to fight Russia, but had started fighting Russia - before they were offered any assistance by anybody.

            Some Ukrainians have been fighting 'Russians' for a very long time. All part of the complex history behind the territory that is now Ukraine. But history isn't what it used to be, hence embarrasments like Canada. Anyone with a basic knowledge of history should have realised that someone fighting against Russia during WW2 wasn't fighting for the allies. It's also why the fall of Avdeevka is complicated. Ukraine nationalists heavily fortified that and had been using it to shell Donetsk since the civil war started in 2014. Hence rejoicing in the DPR.

            Plus there's some nuke and space stuff. At the Munich 'Peace' Conference prior to the SMO starting, Zelensky said Ukraine was going to become a nuclear power. Russia obviously objected to that idea. Then there were a couple of satellite launches by Russia early in the conflict, probably military satellites. Pre-SMO, Russia didn't appear to have great coverage of Ukraine, now that seems to have improved. But then we also have lots of intelligence coverage, which we seem to be sharing with Ukraine. If that gets too costly for Russia, they may be more tempted to eliminate those threats. They've already knocked down a couple of drones helping Ukraine over the Black Sea, but knocking down satellites is a bit more escalatory.

            1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              "Anyone with a basic knowledge of history should have realised that someone fighting against Russia during WW2 wasn't fighting for the allies."

              In 1939, the Poles, who most definitely were part of 'the allies', were fighting against the Russians and the Germans, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being allies at that time.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                In 1939, the Poles, who most definitely were part of 'the allies', were fighting against the Russians and the Germans, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being allies at that time.

                Yep. Like I said, history and politics get complicated. See also-

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Ukrainian_War

                Due to the intervention of Archduke Wilhelm of Austria, who adopted a Ukrainian identity and considered himself a Ukrainian patriot, in October 1918 two regiments of mostly Ukrainian troops were garrisoned in Lemberg (modern Lviv).

                Not to mention sometimes surreal. Then also see the Banderites role in massacres in Poland. I think much stems from political cartography carving up 'nations' regardless of ethnicity, identity or historical territoreal claims. 'Ukrainians' fought on both sides during WW2, now they're fighting against each other and that's just one of those sad things that happens when there's really no such thing as a single 'Ukrainian' identity.

                1. OffTropics

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  "Ukrainians' fought on both sides during WW2, now they're fighting against each other"

                  It's raining, 8 degrees, not very cold but the wind makes rain a petulant crux. And now, because of you, I start looking out of the window wishing for some compromises.

                2. Casca Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Good of you to only see what good for russia in history...

                3. Casca Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  They are fighting russian all the way back to 2014

              2. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                >the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being allies at that time.

                Even that's a bit more complicated than it looks at first glance because Poland was an active participant in the carve up of Czechoslovakia so by mid-1939 was a de-facto ally of Germany. Realistically it had ceased to exist because it was the orange pip squeezed between two much larger powers. Germany was after its "living space" in Ukraine and whether or not Poland was in the way or not was irrelevant. Naturally in our recent past it suits us to describe the USSR as an "ally" of Germany, it paints a picture that makes it all clear cut to people who have neither the time nor interest to really understand the history of that area.

                All this stuff is well documented by historians, contemporary sources and so on but unfortunately most people get their information from things like movies and sound bites.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Two wolves sharing the sheep and the ewes.

                  The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 was nothing but a treaty where both hegemonic empires were carving East Europe. It included a secret protocol that partitioned Central and Eastern Europe between them. Russia invaded East Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. Germany the rest. This treaty had been many years in the making and Poland's foreign policy was unrelated.

                2. Casca Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  lmao, They where an ally to Germany. Are you stupid?

            2. OffTropics

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              "Zelensky said Ukraine was going to become a nuclear power" I have my doubts about an Ukrainian president venting similar concepts in public settings, officially. Do you mind producing a quote? You know, at that time the land was already under aggression, prior to 2014, the so-called West was surely showing the short arm with help, and there was/is the question of Germany and its energy policies. I would say, unlikely but please prove me wrong.

              About shelling Donetsk area, please do not forget Soviet barraks and military installations were built within cities, easy to blow up some residential building.

              And, and, and... have someone the idea of how much weapons, materiel, nukes did Ukraine give back to Moskow, and how much light weaponry went the way it did in Caucasus, sold by the upper ground to the underground? And...

              Ohhh, darn! I did it again...

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                "Zelensky said Ukraine was going to become a nuclear power" I have my doubts about an Ukrainian president venting similar concepts in public settings, officially. Do you mind producing a quote?

                Not at all-

                https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/vistup-prezidenta-ukrayini-na-58-j-myunhenskij-konferenciyi-72997

                Ukraine has received security guarantees for abandoning the world's third nuclear capability. We don't have that weapon. We also have no security...

                ... I am initiating consultations in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was commissioned to convene them. If they do not happen again or their results do not guarantee security for our country, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt.

                The Budapest Memorandum being the 'agreement' under which Ukraine surrendered the nuclear weapons it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

                About shelling Donetsk area, please do not forget Soviet barraks and military installations were built within cities, easy to blow up some residential building.

                Not sure exactly what you're referring to but the OSCE regularly reported breaches of the Minsk deal by both sides, and indiscriminate shelling from both sides. That theme has continued, ie hotels and apartment buildings have been struct either by falling air defence missiles, or intentionally when they've been used as barracks. Remember, the first casualty of war is the truth, and both sides have been lieing.

                And, and, and... have someone the idea of how much weapons, materiel, nukes did Ukraine give back to Moskow, and how much light weaponry went the way it did in Caucasus, sold by the upper ground to the underground?

                The stuff given back or sold under the Budapest Memorandum is pretty well documented. The thousands of tonnes of other weapons post-USSR, much less so. But you're right that a lot of this was sold off by corrupt people. My favorite example was this one-

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Faina

                The ship was allegedly heading to Mombasa, Kenya, from Ukraine with 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, weapons (including rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns)[6] and ammunition on board, when it was seized

                Which were destined for S.Sudan and their civil war. Given under Soviet/Warsaw Pact planning, Ukraine was intended to have been a bastion protecting Russia, it had huge stockpiles of weapons stored, a lot of which were in old mine caverns in Donbas. Hence why when Ukraine's civil war started, the Donbas seperatists had access to a LOT of 'Russian' equipment. Western propagandists ignored those facts and instead tried to convince everyone they came from Russia.. which contained some truth, ie they may have done originally. Same with some of the claims about modernised 'Russian' tanks, like T-80 variants. Which kind of ignored this place in Kharkiv-

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malyshev_Factory

                It produces diesel engines, farm machinery, coal mining, sugar refining, and wind farm equipment, but is best known for its production of Soviet tanks, including the BT tank series of fast tanks, the famous T-34 of the Second World War, the Cold War T-64 and T-80, and their modern Ukrainian successor, the T-84.

                But that's also one of the tragedies behind the 2014 coup, and the pivot towards the EU. It lost all the trade it had with Russia, which was most of Ukraine's trade.

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  So you took something which means this:

                  "Basically, everyone who signed a treaty that said they were going to protect Ukraine have decided to ignore that, including one who decided to destroy it. Looks like that treaty is void now."

                  And turned it into this:

                  "Let's make nuclear weapons!"

                  It is true that the treaty said they would not have them, and that treaty being void means they are allowed to make them if they want, but it doesn't automatically follow that because their legal impediments have been removed that they necessarily will. I have a lot of rights to do things I don't intend to do. Then again, if they did decide to try, I won't be surprised. The work would be difficult to build up an arsenal, but I can't blame any Ukrainian from thinking that the treaty was useless anyway, which it was, and deciding that nukes are the solution. I hope they don't decide that, but it isn't that illogical.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    And turned it into this:

                    "Let's make nuclear weapons!"

                    Zelensky said-

                    Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt.

                    This is diplomatic speak, so has to be read as such. Budpest was primarily a means to remove nuclear weapons from Ukraine. Ukraine said it wanted to keep them for it's own security. Zelensky said (quite rightly) that Budapest had failed to guarantee Ukraines security, therefore..

                    But Russia took it seriously, especially given Russia knew Ukraine's capabilities. It had always been part of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme and developed a lot of 'Russian' ICBMs. Russia didn't want NATO nukes on it's doorstep, and it certainly didn't want nukes independently controlled by the Kiev regime.

                    But it wasn't just me that interepreted his comments that way. So did a lot of the media, and you can search for that yourself. Zelensky probably also learned that you have to read between the lines with diplomatic stuff and Budapest didn't guarantee anything. It was mostly vague assurances that if anything happened, the other signatories would think about it. Which arguably they have given money, weapons and support poured into Ukraine. And it's much the same with all the security guarantees flying around at the moment. Like Article 5, they can't be invoked during an ongoing conflict, and don't automatically guarantee any intervention either. But if Ukraine remains in roughly the same form after the next few months or years, and there's a ceasefire, and Russia invades again.. Then the guarantors might think about doing something next time.

                    1. 9Rune5

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      But it wasn't just me that interepreted his comments that way.

                      Cognitive dissonance much?

                      Leave the word salad in the fridge next time, don't flaunt it on the interwebs.

                    2. Casca Silver badge

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      No, it you twisting it for your own purpose. I really wish El reg would ban your sorry ass.

                    3. jmch Silver badge

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      "But Russia took it seriously, especially given Russia knew Ukraine's capabilities"

                      Russia.... we promise not to threaten you if you give us those nukes

                      Ukraine... hands over nukes

                      Russia.... well, now that I'm feeling a bit stronger, I want Ukraine to be my puppet again

                      West... (shrug)

                      Ukraine... Hey Russia, if you're not going to respect that treaty you signed, we'll get ourselves some nukes

                      (what a proper country respectful of international law would have said) - hey, you're right, we're going to respect the treaty we signed

                      (what Russia actually did) - Let's invade Ukraine ASAP before they develop any nukes

                2. OffTropics

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Using a natural language opens my confusion to the four winds, nevertheless I cannot see a declarative stance in the quoted snippet, more a cascading review of failed treaties and pointless memorandum with final cherry on top, kind of "Can you all, pleeeeease, look at the fekking disaster we're going through?!?". To further my disdaign for the inclement wheather outside, I need to clarify that my point subsequent was about military targets too close to residential buildings as per Soviet custom and Russian AD hitting S200 over cities with obvious consequences..

                  Now, given that on Monday here the RKZ Bios starts at 20h30 - tonight, Almamula (2023) - I'd like to tiptoe controversy, yours, I mean, by specifying that by 2014 the Ukrainian military equipment was quite limited, but before they were almost strapped, if not drained out. Guns and ammo were depending on lousy alliances.

                  Easy to find relevant links but I will oblige upon request.

                  The "coup" pastry, I leave it for later

                3. OffTropics

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  And, the "pivot towards the EU" thing (these unconscionable East-European & Baltic folks, aka PostSoviet, so dumb to miss their chance, aren't they?) after the cinema...

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    And, the "pivot towards the EU" thing (these unconscionable East-European & Baltic folks, aka PostSoviet, so dumb to miss their chance, aren't they?) after the cinema...

                    Just compare the trade balance pre- and post- 2014. Also true for other EU nations that used to trade with Russia, before sanctions were forced on them. Now, prices have risen and so has inflation. Ukraine is also learning something the PIGS did during the last EU recession. The EU giveth, and the EU taketh away. So in return for pivoting towards the EU, Ukraine got limited access to EU markets. But because Ukraine's main exports were agricultural products, those were given pretty limited quotas. For the SMO, those quotas have been lifted, but naturally that's upset other EU agricultural nations who are currently blockading Ukraine, and protesting against dumping.

                    Then there's the Greek future. The 50bn 'given' by the EU comes with a lot of demands for reforms, and I think 30-40bn are loans rather than donations. Ask Greece what happens when the EU forecloses on those loans..

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      > For the SMO, those quotas have been lifted, but naturally that's upset other EU agricultural nations who are currently blockading Ukraine, and protesting against dumping.

                      Oh, and Russia has absolutely nothing to do with this. Just as Russia is polluting this forum with its trolls, Russia is taking over the US Republican party, showering money on all far-right and far-left parties in Europe... etc, etc.

                      The earlier the anachronistic Russian Federation implodes, the better. At the moment Russia's tantrums are distracting everyone from mankind's existential fight against global warming (also denied by Russia and its trolls for obvious reasons: the thaw of the Arctic being a huge advantage for Russia).

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: That was my thought, too.

                        At the moment Russia's tantrums are distracting everyone from mankind's existential fight against global warming

                        You really think 1.5C warming is an 'existential threat'? Put down your copy of Erlich's Population Bomb. Practically every prediction in that book has already been falsified. The one that probably terrifies you the most, ie turning into 'blue steam' is just physically impossible.

                        Becoming shadows & dust because our insane policy to destroy Russia is probably far more likely. But then that would probably suit you eugenicists, who think the world is over populated, and would like to drastically reduce it.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: That was my thought, too.

                          Thanks for confirming exactly my point that Russian trolls are also climate change deniers. Well done.

                          Now please also confirm that the country, to mostly benefit from global warming will be Russia. In the short term at least. How odd, isn't it?

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: That was my thought, too.

                          Because you're flooding the thread with a batch of 20 posts in short succession, some as Jellied eel, some as your suspected sock puppet account, and the rest under AC.

                          - You can't help answering but you're (rightly) worried about posting too much under the head JE account (more than usually that is).

                          - At a time when most posters are asleep.

                          - The interval between your posts being consistent with their length.

                          - Some AC posts being bitter attacks to responses to your own previous propaganda-ridden posts posted as unmasked JE.

                          - All of this with the immediate single downvote to posters debunking your BS.

                          In summary, not only your comments are dumb but your trolling strategy is dumb too. Same brain. No surprise.

                          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                            Re: That was my thought, too.

                            - All of this with the immediate single downvote to posters debunking your BS.

                            This I can confirm. Since attracting an old AC stalker, I have started downvoting posts that I think are idiotic. But, as you should have also noticed, I also tend to reply with why I disagree. This is how a discussion forum is supposed to work after all. But have you ever seen these words?

                            But posting anonymously has a cost as well. It makes it easier for people to say glib, trite or troll like statements knowing it won't be attributable to them

                            In summary, not only your comments are dumb but your trolling strategy is dumb too. Same brain. No surprise.

                            Again, evidence please. Although this does sound very much like you are projecting again.

                            1. Casca Silver badge

                              Re: That was my thought, too.

                              Oh you are asking for evidence? Thats rich!

                          2. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: That was my thought, too.

                            Even official JE comments are >16% (26 out of 158 at the time of writing).

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: That was my thought, too.

                              Confirmed:

                              je=$(curl -s https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2024/02/19/opinion_column/ | grep 'class="author" href="https://forums.theregister.com/user/24398/">Jellied Eel' | wc -l)

                              all=$(curl -s https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2024/02/19/opinion_column/ | grep 'class="author"' | wc -l)

                              echo "JE-> $je. total -> $all. Ratio: $(( je * 100 / all ))%"

                              JE-> 42. total -> 247. Ratio: 17%

                              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                                Re: That was my thought, too.

                                Confirmed:

                                Confirmed.. what? That many commenters here are better at scripting than they are at geopolitics? Out of interest, could you run that again for 'Anonymous Coward'?

                                That's the bit I'm still waiting for confimation on. My stalker AC seemed very convinced I've also been posting here as an AC, but can't provide any evidence to support that claim. Which is suggest says something about their credibility..

                    2. kat_bg

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      Greece har repayed their loans, you russian shill...

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: That was my thought, too.

                        Greece har repayed their loans, you russian shill...

                        And who's shill might you be? It's obvious that English isn't your first language, or necessarily relevant. I'm not a 'Russian shill', and I'm certainly not the Wests either.

                        But Greece only managed to repay their loans after being asset stripped and forced to sell off most of their most profitable assets. This is also the plan for Ukraine, and even has BlackRock lined up as asset manager/administrator. The EU's already made most of it's 50bn conditional on the reforms Ukraine will need to qualify for EU membership. The EU had also imposed reforms as part of the pre-accession negotiations. One example was forcing the reduction of subsidies on energy, which lead to protests because it increased energy costs in an already very poor country, and increased energy poverty. This will be made even worse because if Ukraine manages to become an EU member, it'll be forced to obey the EU's diktats on any area where the EU asserts exclusive (in)competence. So energy, international trade, foreign policy etc etc. So that will mean committing to decarbonisation in a country that is/was rich and reliant on coal & gas. Assuming sanctions are lifted with Russia, it's possible it could negotiate a deal to get cheap Russian oil, gas and coal, but the EU won't allow it, and Russia's unlikely to agree to that either.

                        1. jmch Silver badge

                          Re: That was my thought, too.

                          "...if Ukraine manages to become an EU member, it'll be forced to obey the EU's diktats on any area where the EU asserts exclusive (in)competence..."

                          Yes, if Ukraine becomes an EU member there will be responsibilities as well as privileges. Ukraine knows this, and is pursuing EU membership anyway... probably because they weighed up the pros and cons and decided accordingly.

                    3. OffTropics

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      "Just compare" what, sonny boy? What year, what metrics, what source of information, c'mon.

                      Anyway, the film... Almamula, Argentinian-Italian coproduction got one idea and built the whole thing arond it with a cursory attention to the story and a roughly sketched character presentation. Watchable, why not, enough to get to the end of it and ask to myself if that weren't the case to make a better one from that point on, instead.

                      You know, Jellied Eel, if you are an expert on Ukrainian history, geography, international relations, current conflict, well... then I am a cinema connaiseeur and raffinate critic. Or you could just focus on what - ***maybe*** - you know better in a place like this.

                      For instance, do you think Kroah-Hartman is in the right to can RNDIS from the Linux kernel?

                      Cheers

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: That was my thought, too.

                        "Just compare" what, sonny boy? What year, what metrics, what source of information, c'mon.

                        PYO. There are many. If you find that Ukraine's trade improved post 2014, feel free to cite it. It wouldn't be particularly relevant given sanctions on countries that previously enjoyed healthy trade with Russia have suffered as a result, eg Germany, Poland etc etc.

                        Anyway, the film... Almamula, Argentinian-Italian coproduction got one idea and built the whole thing arond it with a cursory attention to the story

                        Not a bad analogy I guess. The Catholic church made created Almamula, the West's fiction writers have created a different monster called The Putin. Navalny even contributed to the lore with his Oscar winning docudrama. Navalny finally became the central character in his own cinematic universe, and got to tell the his story, exactly as he imagined it.

                        Or you could just focus on what - ***maybe*** - you know better in a place like this

                        Yep. Again a good point. Why would anyone expect a bunch of IT geeks to know anything about the backstory to this particular plot line? Hence I'm not particularly suprised that most people who've commented simply regurgitate what they've picked up from the official narrative. Me? I've been following this story since around 2012 when it became obvious that the color revolution playbook had been brought out once again. Problem with relying on repeating the same story and plot lines over and over again is people eventually become familiar with it, and can see the story unfolding.. And I really hate repeats. Sorry Bbc. Try something original next time that might be a little more believable?

                4. kat_bg

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Again, missing quote of zelensky stating that Ukraine should be a nuclear power? Examining a treaty doeas not equal with becoming a nuclear power.

            3. Casca Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              You basic knowledge of history is so russian skewed thats not even funny.

              It was russian soldiers that started the so called civil war in 2014.

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            "And not all decisions are taken by evil global masterminds, moving the pieces on their giant chess boards."

            that's JUST what THEY *WANT* you to think... A CONSPIRACY THEORIST WOULD SAY!!!

            Seriously though, if you think about it, with the OBVIOUS media, UN, and WEF pressure against national sovereignty (like 'America First') in favor of 'new world order' (under a form of socialism, of course), you have to wonder WHY the drive towards this alleged worldwide 'socialist utopia' is being accelerated... and NOT to OUR benefit...?

            1. pomegranate

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              Is a conspiracy between the “media, UN, and WEF ” obvious to everyone?

          4. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            Anyone who thinks this was a was a legitimate security announcement is nothing but a useful idiot, as the Soviets put it! This was indeed a full-on scare tactic intended to scare enough votes to get the cash pushed through. Nothing more, nothing less.

            The war machine must push on. There are many retirement accounts that need funding and Biden has his eye on a new beach home!

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          Washington wasn't joking when they pledged to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian.

          Washington wasn’t the one saying it though were they? I was under the impression that it was Moscow or more specifically Putin who said it. Reuters agrees:

          "We have heard many times that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that everything is heading towards this."

          https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russias-putin-if-west-wants-beat-us-battlefield-let-them-try-2022-07-07/

          Don’t suppose you can post your Washington source can you?

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            Washington wasn’t the one saying it though were they? I was under the impression that it was Moscow or more specifically Putin who said it.

            Putin stated that the SMO was a war of attrition, ie eliminating Ukraine's capability to fight or threaten Russia. Meanwhile, the West has decided it's a war for territory and judged Russia's failure for not achieving something it never set out to do. And then we could argue if Ukraine's 'strategy' of pouring it's men into cauldrons like Bakhmut or Avdeevka has been helping Russia achieve it's objectives, or not.

            This is the real tragedy for Ukraine, ie it's another example of lions lead by donkeys. PR victories seem far more important to Ukraine's leadership and lives. So we just had a Steiner moment where some of Ukraine's 'best' troops were ordered to relieve Avdeevka. A lot were killed in missile strikes while assembling near by, some (ie Azov) took one look at the situation and noped out, others did try to enter the city and were promptly eliminated or captured. A massive loss of life mostly for political reasons rather than any sane military ones.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              > Putin stated that the SMO was a war of attrition

              Wrong. Putin said over and over that he would NEVER invade Ukraine. Why does nobody believe this honest man?

            2. kat_bg

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              Why you keep using SMO. Be a man and admit that is a full scale war that Russia is conducting agains Ukraine.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                Why you keep using SMO. Be a man and admit that is a full scale war that Russia is conducting agains Ukraine.

                Luckily for Ukraine, it isn't a war. War has a specific meaning, and especially under Russia's constitution. That limits the forces Russia can deploy outside it's own borders. There has been no declaration of war by Ukraine, Russia, or any of the parties to the conflict. Well, Germany's foreign minister, Analina Baerbok did once say Germany was at war with Russia, but that was swiftly corrected before Russia issued launch orders. Zelensky also hasn't been stupid enough to formally declare war either, because he knows what would happen.

                1. Casca Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  LMAO, go there and look and say its not a war to the soldiers fighting.

                  Maybe you could do some fighting yourself so we are rid of you poluting this forum?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    "so we are rid of you poluting this forum"

                    Says the person spamming the forum.

                2. imanidiot Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  Just because Putin/Russia doesn't want to call it a war because it would mess with their precious constitution and show that what they're doing is illegitimate doesn't actually mean it isn't a war. It's a war in every possible meaning of the word.

                  "Putin stated that the SMO was a war of attrition"

                  Hahaha, good one.. But you're actually serious? To quote Bender Bending Rodriguez: "Let me laugh even harder!".

                  First he said he'd never invade Ukraine. Then he did and said it would be finished in 10 days. Then a month. Then it would take longer. Even now they're still not fighting as if it's a war of attrition. And even if it was, they're losing it. (Not so much in men, but in modern, capable and capital equipment).

            3. Casca Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              LMAO, putin has changed the goal for the SMO every month its been going on. You really are a russian tool

            4. jmch Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              "Putin stated that the SMO was a war of attrition, ie eliminating Ukraine's capability to fight or threaten Russia. Meanwhile, the West has decided it's a war for territory "

              Your consistently using the term SMO for what is self-evidently a war kind of gives away your lack of impartiality on this. Ukraine has not ever been a threat to Russia, it is Russia that has been threatening Ukraine, behaving like an abusive, controlling, boyfriend..... if you try to leave me I'll beat you, if you try to shack up with someone else I'll kill you. Of course it's a war for territory, that's why Russia has declared ownership of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. And even if not wanting to formally annex the whole of Ukraine, the initial Russian push for Kiev was intended to install a more friendly regime to give them de facto control of Ukraine.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                Your consistently using the term SMO for what is self-evidently a war kind of gives away your lack of impartiality on this.

                No. It really is an important and fundamental distinction. A formal declaration of war is a legal thing that triggers a whole bunch of stuff, usually unpleasent. But the media frequently ignores the distinction. So we had the Falkands "War", which wasn't because we never declared war on Argentina. It was a policing action. Or say, the Afghan "War". Neither the US nor it's allies declared war on Afghanistan. It really is an important distinction. Wars generally require the executive and legislative (and in UK, Crown) to agree to declare war. Not-Wars like the 'War on Terror' or the 'War on Drugs' allow the executive to wage war, but without seeking permission from our elected representatives.. Who then also find it much harder to stop the not-wars.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Shut up

        I'd never heard of this Uniparty bollocks before yesterday.

        Just fuck off.

        -A.

      3. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        I really, can't understand the thinking of people like you that believe the crap Trump comes out with. Growing up in the UK watching American movies in the 80s they were always against "The reds" just look at the shit that was Red Dawn (I finally watched it. Probably fun at the time). I enjoyed the likes of Hunt for Red October etc but they are just movies. It was always the joke the American's were in the audience go "Yeah 'merica".

        Then Trump comes along and seems to love Russia (because he has money over there) and now all those red necks that hated the "Reds" appear to ignore all this and now fine with Trump paling up with "The Reds".

        And then we have the issue with Ukraine, where you seem to be totally clueless in understanding that Putin wants the land so he can create the USSR again. Once that's done he'll start moving into Europe and be another Hitler. If America sits back because "We have a big ocean in the way, we'll be fine" won't be as the worlds economy will screwed and USA will be next to fall.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          I really, can't understand the thinking of people like you that believe the crap Trump comes out with.

          What's Trump got to do with this? Biden's running the show for the rest of the year.

          Then Trump comes along and seems to love Russia (because he has money over there)

          Citation needed. Most of this conspiracy theory seems to have come from a proposal for a 'Trump Tower' in Russia that never progressed. But as for money, the Clintons took money for speeches to Russian bankers. Bidens took money from Russians to invest in property. Most of the Trump-Russia memes come from the infamous Steele Dossier that's widely debunked, discredited and was paid opposition research from the Democrats.

          And then we have the issue with Ukraine, where you seem to be totally clueless in understanding that Putin wants the land so he can create the USSR again.

          Except he's never said that. Russia's already kinda huge, rich and Russia needs people rather than land. Again that's a meme that's been created by us, not Russia. It's also especially crazy given Russia's the 2nd best Army in Ukraine, they ran out of ammo 18 months ago, they've resorted to raiding museums for tanks and Ukraine's defeated Russia's military several times over already.

          So if you believe our propaganda that Russia's military power has already been pretty much destroyed, how's it going to invade say, Poland? It's an argument that makes no sense. A supposedly defeated Russia is an existential threat to EUrope? How exactly does this work?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            > Bidens took money from Russians to invest in property.

            We now know all this Biden story originates from FSB and was passed on by FBI agents on Russian payroll. Unsurprisingly, it's pushed over and over by Russian disinformation agents (along with Biden laptops and Clinton emails). No surprise to find these talking points under your signature JE.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              No surprise to find these talking points under your signature JE.

              No suprise to find unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and opposition research being regurgitated by an anonymous troll.

              The Biden laptop story has been confirmed. There's an interesting spin on those that would prefer democracy to thrive in darkness here-

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/08/unraveling-tale-hunter-biden-35-million-russia/

              There’s also no sign of a $3.5 million payment in Hunter Biden’s reported income for 2014, the year of the wire transfer. That year, he reported earning almost $1.25 million, according to information contained in a verified laptop email he sent to his lawyer. The email said $400,000 of the income was related to Biden’s board seat at Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.

              But it's much like Burisma. Why would Bakturina give any money to entities controlled by, or connected with Biden? The main accusation levelled at the Bidens is influence peddling. Well, and perhaps this-

              https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/18/the-biden-name-how-the-presidents-brother-became-embroiled-in-a-hospital-fiasco-00141868

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: That was my thought, too.

                "The Biden laptop"

                The Biden laptop's complete lack of a clear chain of custody makes it utterly useless as evidence of anything in any court in the US.

                Suggesting otherwise makes one look even stupider than the average MAGA[0] hat wearer (difficult as that is ...).

                [0] Muppets Annoying Genuine Americans

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  The hilarious thing is that Putin claims his preference go to Biden for presidency. Yet he does everything to disqualify him, both as a president and as a candidate, to the obvious benefit of tRump and the pro-Russian wing of the GOP. Just as he did with Hillary Clinton, whom he knew would counter all his wicked maneuvering.

                  It's as if Putin had realized he was telling too many lies to remember them all and had resorted to a simpler technique: always tell the opposite of what you believe is true (in this way you won't contradict yourself).

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    It's as if Putin had realized he was telling too many lies to remember them all and had resorted to a simpler technique: always tell the opposite of what you believe is true (in this way you won't contradict yourself).

                    Projecting again. Biden called Putin an SOB, demonstrating Biden's skill as a diplomat and foreign policy expert. Putin was asked about this and simply re-endorsed Biden. You are familiar enough with the subject to recognise trolling when you see it, surely? Oh, and I think it was Biden's same speech that also talked about Yolanda Navalny. Perhaps this is an attempt to rebrand 'Russia's opposition leader' to make her more appealing to western audiences? It's certainly news to Russia's Communist Party, the actual leading opposition in Russia.

                    And in other news, Putin got filmed flying in a bomber. There seem to be at least four more of these thanks to the West's 'peace dividend'. Oh and he was also filmed driving a truck. Didn't Biden used to be a truck driver? So lies? Putin seemed pretty fit and healthy for someone who, according to reliable sources suffers from so many terminal diseases. Biden meanwhile was filmed once agan stumbling up some steps into AF1. Again some mild trolling by Putin, unless he's aso baiting Biden into trying to get into a B1-B.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      > And in other news, Putin got filmed flying in a bomber.

                      Granted, flying any soviet era plane is for daredevils. If he ever survives being toppled by his henchmen, I guess he can hang the picture in his cell in The Hague, side by side with the one of him riding a bear. Since you seem to be so well informed, please let us know in advance when you got wind of him flying an A-50. That might help fast-track to the end of war.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: That was my thought, too.

                        Since you seem to be so well informed, please let us know in advance when you got wind of him flying an A-50. That might help fast-track to the end of war.

                        Well, if Putin really was the demonic, psychotic figure our dear 'leaders' make him out to be, there was the potential of shortening the war when a bunch of useful idiots posed for a photo op-

                        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-68373639

                        World leaders drew on the symbolic power of their setting at Hostomel Airport while paying tribute to Ukraine at a press conference alongside President Zelensky.

                        Bunch of uniformed soldiers, airfield, legitmate military targets, but it didn't rain..

                2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: That was my thought, too.

                  The Biden laptop's complete lack of a clear chain of custody makes it utterly useless as evidence of anything in any court in the US.

                  Suggesting otherwise makes one look even stupider than the average MAGA[0] hat wearer (difficult as that is ...).

                  No, stupidity is an ability to gain, learn or retain knowledge. A simple 'fact check' could have let you check this part of the conspiracy-

                  https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/apr/06/donald-trump-jr/fbi-lost-hunter-bidens-laptop-theres-no-evidence/

                  Now, after a cache of emails from the abandoned computer was verified by the New York Times and Washington Post, one claim suggests the FBI has lost the laptop.

                  Because the FBI seized the original laptop. If they then 'lost' the laptop, that's a different problem for the FBI. They signed for it, they're responsible for it. If the prosecution wants to rely on physical evidence from the laptop, that might be problematic, but thus far neither the DoJ nor the FBI seem inclined to prosecute the Bidens with anything close to the zeal they're Trumping up charges against the Biden's challenger. Oh, there is the gun Biden dumped in a bin outside a school in a pouch that contained drugs wasn't his.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    The good thing about the fact that now everybody knows about the Biden disinformation coming from Russia is that any GOP congressperson still pushing the narrative will now be guilty of knowingly colluding with a foreign power attempting to interfere with the democratic process. The tables have turned.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      The good thing about the fact that now everybody knows about the Biden disinformation coming from Russia is that any GOP congressperson still pushing the narrative will now be guilty of knowingly colluding with a foreign power attempting to interfere with the democratic process. The tables have turned.

                      What will you do now Vice had gone the inevitable way of the woke? What you should perhaps be more concerned about is what happens when the GOP gains power, and turns the tables on the Democrats. So starts investigating their own foreign collusion, interference with the democratic process etc etc. And of course globally, we've been doing this for years. Nalavany was Russia's 'opposition leader' when in reality, he had 2-3% support and largely unknown. Now, Biden et al are right behind 'Yolanda' Navalnya, who's being echoing Trump in calling for the world to reject Russia's upcoming election results.

                      Doesn't the US currently have around 1,000 political prisoners for daring to question an election?

                  2. jake Silver badge

                    Re: That was my thought, too.

                    "No, stupidity is an ability to gain, learn or retain knowledge."

                    I think the above statement says all anybody needs to know about the Jellied Eel troll.

                    That link said absolutely nothing about the clearly broken chain of custody. Typical of clumsy trolling. Lots of words, dearth of valid/useful information.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: That was my thought, too.

                      That link said absolutely nothing about the clearly broken chain of custody. Typical of clumsy trolling. Lots of words, dearth of valid/useful information.

                      TL;DR it said the laptop was signed for and taken into FBI custody. If you knew anything, you'd know one of the agents who signed for it previously was considered a CP investigative specialist. But such is politics. Heartwarming advert from the latest luxury retirement village. Two geriatrics, arm in arm, shambling slowly towards their private helicopter.

                      And here's a short video that explains your politics-

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrz8YQunbOc

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: That was my thought, too.

                        You STILL haven't addressed the broken chain of custody. Do you even know what the term means?

                        Hint: It has absolutely nothing to do with the FBI as it was severely broken/compromised BEFORE they got their paws on it.

                        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                          Re: That was my thought, too.

                          You STILL haven't addressed the broken chain of custody. Do you even know what the term means?

                          Yep. Biden's in the process of using it to argue that the drug residue in the pouch with the gun he tossed in the trash by a school wasn't his.

                          But I'm not sure why you think it's relevant. It's not like the Clinton mail server, where evidence was deliberately erased, and the physical server ended up in Ukraine for some reason. Biden left laptop at repair shop, repair shop gained ownership via mechanic's lien. Backups had been taken. FBI took laptop into custody. Contents of laptop have been independently corroborated.

                          So not entirely sure why you're fixated on this point. If you're trying to argue it may have been compromised whilst in custody, just compare it to the backups. If you're arguing it was compromised before the FBI signed for it, that's something that would need to be argued or proven if any cases ever come to trial. Other aspects are more easily disproven, ie the "51 intelligence officers" who wrote a letter saying it was 'Russian misinformation' which has thoroughly been debunked.

                          And yet like the X-files, you still want to believe.. Thing is with all the negative articles coming out now from the MSM who realise they can't hide this decline any more, it seems increasingly unlikely Biden's going to get 4 more years. Despite the endorsements from Putin.. If he's convinced to drop out, who will the DNC drop in?

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            /!\ TROLL ALERT /!\

                            Inspector Jellied Eel has all the Biden family fingerprints. He's tracking Hillary Clinton's email server (!). And, above all, he's not one to be fooled by "the MSM". Thank God he has RT, Sputnik and QAnon to get the real news. Aren't we blessed that he takes so much of his "spare time" to share all these with us, authoring one post out of five in this thread? No relation to Russia of course.

                            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                              Re: /!\ TROLL ALERT /!\

                              Aren't we blessed that he takes so much of his "spare time" to share all these with us, authoring one post out of five in this thread? No relation to Russia of course.

                              There really is no need to announce yourself. Your trolling is very obvious to most people, and you've fully entered the Sander Zone-

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sander_van_der_Linden

                              I don't understand why you deleted the whole section on fake news though, it seems that is what makes him notable?

                              But the MSM loved him. At least now with the UK's Online Safety Act, promoters of misinformation could soon face up to 5yrs in jail. But Sander helped develop your style of debate. If you can't win the argument, call your debater a racist, nazi, Russian etc. Don't bother with facts because those can be checked.

                              Oh, how are you getting on with your 'proof' that I posted anonymously in this topic? Being unable to prove that when you seemed so convinced doesn't say much for your credibility, does it?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          "as the worlds economy will screwed and USA will be next to fall."

          We passed that point a couple of years back. The head of the fed has come out and said that current US govt spending is totally unsustainable. However the US is big enough to keep up the appearance of doing well longer than most of the rest of the world. Bidenomics is currently storing up a lot of problems for the US economy.

          "Trump comes along and seems to love Russia"

          The key word being 'seems'. The reality is he doesn't but the MSM want you to believe that. He warned Germany about its reliance on Russian gas and got laughed at. If you want a country that loves Russia it is (or at least was) Germany.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          "Then Trump comes along and seems to love Russia"

          There is only one thing Trump loves, and that is Trump. Any other entities are 'loved' simply to the extent that he can personally profit from that 'love' (real or perceived)

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: That was my thought, too.

      Next on the agenda: Be sure to check under your beds for reds.

      Interestingly McCarthy was a Republican.

      I wonder what he'd have thought about his party being controlled by somebody who it appears is being blackmailed by the Reds?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        He started his political career as a Dem.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        I wonder what he'd have thought about his party being controlled by somebody who it appears is being blackmailed by the Reds?

        Remind me:

        How much money did Ukrainian oligarchs give to the Biden family?

        How much money did Ukrainian oligarchs give to the Clinton family?

        How much money did Ukrainian oligarchs give to the Trump family? This one actually being a fairly serious question given I haven't found much evidence of Trump doing or trying to do much business in Ukraine. If not, why not? But post-Soviet times are the main reason we're in this mess now. Everyone saw how much money oligarchs were making in Russia and Ukraine pillaging previously state-owned enterprises and piled in. Some got burned, some got compromised. Many didn't seem to understand that business there is a true blood sport instead of the virtual one in our politics. When an official asks if you have permits, what they're really asking for is 'permits' with $100 markings on them.

        1. itzman

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          Not nearly as much money as Putin has given them.

          Putins oil income is in the hands of a few oligarchs and the state, who have no reason not to deploy it entirely towards benefiting Russia's enlargement and their own pockets.

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          Congratulations, comrade. Your English is pretty good.

          -A.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: That was my thought, too.

      Next on the agenda: Be sure to check under your beds for reds.

      More immediate problem in many countries: check in your bed for bugs (the bloodsucking kind).

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: That was my thought, too.

      I think it's revealing since Russia is no longer "red", and effectively no longer a REAL threat (to NATO or the USA), but the GINORMOUS (communist) element in the room (CCP) is generally ignored by the media and the current U.S. administration...

      Putin is basically less of a threat than he is portrayed as, and lots of blame gets thrown his way, whether deserved or not. The Ukraine war is resolvable and I doubt EU wants to pay for it. But too many Con-Grab critters DO want a decades' long QUAGMIRE to fund and electioneer and pay back their donors with.

      I was alive during Vietnam, and I remember most of it. Neighbor kid across the street joined the army at 18 and died over there. I was 6 at the time. Forever wars need a blamable enemy, and so you conveniently have Putin who deserves a lot of it (but NOT all). So I'm not anti-war, just anti-QUAGMIRE. And "Nukes in space" threats conveniently in an election year most CERTAINLY become "tthreats" to perpetuate the current policies and gummint power grabbers.

      1. Casca Silver badge

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        Maybe you should take your frog pills before posting...

      2. Morten Bjoernsvik

        Re: That was my thought, too.

        Friend do not underestimate what desperate people can do with a large stockpile of nuclear weapons.

        Russia is no longer a superpower, they can't produce modern weapons except for lots of cannon shells.

        For US there is a no-brainer to support Ukraine. It is all weapons produced and developed in the US. Excellent for the economy and the military lobbyists. The get an other nation to tear down the iron curtain power, so the US can concentrate on China and Asia.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: That was my thought, too.

          Russia is no longer a superpower, they can't produce modern weapons except for lots of cannon shells.

          Citation needed. Russia seems to be able to produce hypersonic washing machines and shovels, and we don't seem able to stop them. And getting back to the topic-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-28_Sarmat

          The RS-28 Sarmat (Russian: РС-28 Сармат, named after the Sarmatians; NATO reporting name: SS-X-29 or SS-X-30), colloquially referred to as Satan II by some media outlets, is a Russian liquid-fueled, HGV-equipped and FOBS-capable super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) produced by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau. It is intended to replace the Soviet R-36M ICBM in Russia's arsenal

          And we probably can't stop those either. And Russia probably could make one detonate in orbit, if they chose to. But then Russia has many ways to put nukes in space. That may be to obsolete satellites*, generate power, or as nuclear propulsion.

          *Obsolete as in most wouldn't be needed after a nuclear war.

          1. Casca Silver badge

            Re: That was my thought, too.

            Nice to see that you swallow russian propaganda... You believe in the gigant sunami thats going to swallow brittain also?

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: That was my thought, too.

              Nice to see that you swallow russian propaganda... You believe in the gigant sunami thats going to swallow brittain also?

              Huh? According to the Greens, like a famous climate 'scientist' by the name of Paul Erlich, this has already happened. Rising sea levels swallowed most of the UK years ago. Didn't you notice? Or you might be referring to Germany, not the UK. After all, they decided to shut down their nuclear power plants fearing a tsunami. But I don't think tsumais have happened around here since these ones-

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide

              Problem with most climate predictions are they're easily falsified, just by waiting and watching.

              But as for nukes, I remember a quote, but not from where it was from. It went along the lines of "Don't fear the person with a thousand nuclear warheads, fear the person with one". Which I thought was a good point. MAD has thus far avoided the population reductions eugenicists like Erlich so desperately want. But the more nukes we have, and the more casually people think about using them, the more likely they will be used.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's nuts but

    Say you're a state like North Korea or you run a state like North Korea. You wake up one morning dissatisfied with your haircut and decide to launch a nuke into space. You've got the capability to get something into or close to orbit but it won't last very long, you haven't any satellites of your own worth talking about and everyone already thinks you're a dick. Why not?

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: It's nuts but

      There are a ton of reasons why not, but nothing that's likely to bother the multi-chinned bowl-cutted dictateur du jour who - let's be honest - isn't the most stable of isotopes at the best of times.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: It's nuts but

      OK, lets pretend I am dictator for life. I have a separate strategy for dealing with dissent from the second rank in the power pyramid and they deal with the next rank down. Here is the way to handle a popular revolution: provoke harsh words from the US president and enemy activity on the far side of the boarders. Put that on the news along with the message: "Unite behind me or the Americans will invade". Round up the popular leaders or anyone with an unpatriotic hair cut and execute them for being US puppets.

      An orbital nuke research project makes excellent provocation. Launching a functional orbital nuke costs resources better spent on my palace and palace guard.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: It's nuts but

      Probably the most obvious reason for why not, would be that the Chinese would likely decide that someone willing to disrupt the status quo (which China definitely prefers on the Korean peninsula) would probably be better replaced by one of their more manageable siblings.

      Don't for a minute think that China couldn't orchestrate a NK regime change if they felt like it. Fat Boy Kim makes a handy puppet, right now. If he tries to move too close into alignment with Russia though and away from China, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a "heart attack" was to follow shortly after. Probably to be replaced by which ever relative, the Chinese believe is most easily controlled...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: It's nuts but

        Iglethal,

        Don't be so sure that China has that much control of North Korea. They've definitely got sources and contacts in the military and parts of the party and bureaurcracy. But Kim has managed to kill of quite a few senior people, to make damned sure he's in charge.

        I couldn't remember the name, so searched for it. But it's quite hard to find the one you want, among the many he's had bumped off. In just a couple of minute's searching, Kim has killed at least one chief of the army general staff, a defence minister (allegedly for falling asleep in cabinet) and a whole bunch of other senior people.

        But the ones I was looking for were his Aunt and Uncle, back in 2013 Jang Song Thaek and Kim Kyong Hui. Although Jang was often in military uniform, I think he may have been Party, but he was also a major link with China, as well as helping Kim to come to power. Aunty Kim was his Dad's sister.

        It's always hard to know cause and effect, but that seemed to have caused a dip in relations with China.

        So I don't think they can control North Korea. One difference with the old days though, is the Kims can't play the Soviets off against the Chinese for ideological bragging rights anymore, because Putin isn't ideological (I think Xi might be), and Russia is massively poorer than China nowadays.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: It's nuts but

          There's a big difference between internal and external realpolitik.

          Kims are fungible, China probably doesn't care too much who kills whom in private, as long as NK's public stance remains within certain bounds.

          China controls the border, nothing much gets in or out without their agreement.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: It's nuts but

            Richard 12,

            China "control" the border. They can make North Korea even poorer than it already is, by trying to close it. Particularly as they subsidise the regime with free/cheap oil. But they can't close the border. The North's regime are capricious, but fleeing to China to get work is technically illegal. Sometimes you're allowed to cross the border - because useful foreign revenue. Sometimes you're shot. it's quite a long border, with difficult terrain. It's not easy to fully close - and the regime might not care if China do.

            However that would also be unpopular locally, where the Chinese economy has come to rely on those cheap workers. Also China, in particular rural China, is still suffering from the effects of the one-child policy. Many locals have found North Korean women to marry. Being North Korean condemns you to a pretty grim future, and tings often don't get much better if you escape to China. Though repression in China probably feels like total freedom if you grew up in the DPRK - which is truly one of the worst places to have been in world history.

            Also the DPRK have nukes now. Not a situation China wanted either. And yet couldn't stop. China have a lot of leverage, but I very much doubt any real kind of control.

  4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Use of weapons.

    It's better to launch on demand from the ground or an aircraft, both of which have the added benefit over orbiting assets that they're not floating around in space in a known orbit for the enemy to see 24/7.

    The '60s are calling, and want their nukes back-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Rocket_1

    Korolev unofficially started work on the missile on 15 March 1962 based on a verbal go-ahead by Khrushchev. The draft project for the GR-1 was completed in May 1962, and a mock-up had already been built and drawings released to the production shop by the time the official resolution was issued on 24 September 1962. Test flights were scheduled to start in the third quarter of 1963. Further development of the GR-1 missile was halted in 1964 in preference of the orbital R-36 missile.

    Now that missile treaties are busily being ignored, or just falling apart, there's nothing really stopping anyone putting nukes in space. If Russia, the US, China, India, Japan, Israel, DPRK etc already can, then that genies been out of the bottle for getting on for 70yrs. It isn't really news, and was probably only became news because Turner had just got back from Kiev and whatever he was briefed about there sounded like it was shocking news to him. Russians having the capability to detonate nukes in space was a shocking development to US House Intelligence Committee chairman Turner.

    So that all seemed a bit of a nothingburger. Stuff happens, and if we suddenly notice a less fortunate sun appearing in the sky, it's just signalling that our day is about to get a whole lot worse. And shorter.

    I am more curious about reactors in space. Like space being somewhere where 'renewables' kinda make sense compared to nuclear. So cost/benefit of large solar panels + batteries vs costs and risks of launching an SMR. Which I guess could be easily detectable anyway given the amount of heat a reactor would generate, along with the challenge of keeping it cool and preventing a thermal runaway.

    1. Muscleguy

      Re: Use of weapons.

      The nuke reactor is about megawatts of instant power. Hard to do that with solar unless you also send up a huge big battery and do nothing more than charge it. But the nuke wins in terms of longevity.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Use of weapons.

        The nuke reactor is about megawatts of instant power. Hard to do that with solar unless you also send up a huge big battery and do nothing more than charge it. But the nuke wins in terms of longevity.

        Yep, that's what I was wondering. I think reactors are more about constant power rather than instant. So if you want something that can generate say, 100MW continuously 24x7x365, reactors are good. But heavy, and I'm guessing rather tricky to cool. So presumably would need massive radiators, so lots of volume as well as mass to get into orbit. If you're running say, a radar that's constantly emitting, then yep, I guess nuclear makes sense. But a lot of those systems seem to have moved to more passive detection and don't need as much power.

        If you're looking to do something nefarious like start jamming satellites, or destroying them with say MASERs or particle beams, that seems like something you could do with stored power. Keep your batteries charged and standby, discharge when it's Armageddon day. Then time to recharge probably won't matter.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Use of weapons.

          " But heavy, and I'm guessing rather tricky to cool. "

          Just a bit! If your reactor is 50% efficient (which is optimistic) then for every megawatt you use you need to radiate another one into space, or else your satellite will warm up and eventually melt. That radiation has to come from components that are at-or-near room temperature, so we're talking about a lot of surface area.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Use of weapons.

            That radiation has to come from components that are at-or-near room temperature, so we're talking about a lot of surface area.

            That's what I thought and thermal management has always been a challenge for stuff in space where you're reliant on radiating it away. I read some papers and saw some vids on the James Webb telescope and that was one of the big challenges. Also assuming it's a challenge for satellites that need more active components, ie active radar vs passive sensors given active stuff will also generate heat.

    2. Julz

      Putting

      Reactors into space isn't new, its been going on for ages. Not the first but probably the longest lived of the Soviet/Russian nuclear powers satellite types:

      https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/us-a.htm

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

    There's only the one Military Industrial Complex militarizing space. These are the same people that placed missiles in Poland and Romanian and unilaterally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). I for one look forward to the coming nuclear Armageddon. We in Europe will be reduced to a radioactive cloud. But at least moms apple pie and the land of the free will be safe /s

    New SDA, MDA missile-tracking satellites launched into space

    • SDA: Space Development Agency

    • MDA: Missile Defense Agency

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Duncan Macdonald

        Re: Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

        Pushing an incoming asteroid away with a nearby nuclear explosion is likely to be better than fragmenting it with a contact explosion.

        If the asteroid was intercepted one month before impact, a velocity change of 10km/hour would be sufficient to make it miss the Earth. An intercept one month before impact would also be far enough from Earth that there would be no EMP problems for the satellites orbiting Earth.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

      There's only the one Military Industrial Complex militarizing space.

      You need to get out more. Just saying "military industrial complex" does not an intelligent argument make.

      Eisenhower warned about it, in a rather excellent short speech - which I'd recommend you to read. linky to transcript. He said that a military industrial capabilty was neccessary, but risked gaining too much influence, and basically called for balance and common sense in government. Not to do too little, or try to do too much. He also warned about it, because it was totally new to US politics, as the US had historically maintained small armed forces, and not a huge military production capability. Although the US Navy did remain rather large between the wars.

      But he's not saying this is some unique US problem. And if you look at what passes for politics within dictatorships, you'll find the military are often a powerful faction. Not only because they've got the guns, but also because they control the arms industry - which gives them a source of money and patronage to promote their own agenda. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps bought the Iranian state telecom company a few years ago, when the government tried to privatise it. I think they used their pension fund, but they also own some of their own arms factories - as well as having invested in quite a few purely civilian businesses, just for the profits.

      The Chinese People's Liberation Army also own a huge number of factories, includiing rather a lot of the old state enterprises that made weapons, but also quite a bit of China's heavy industry and have used their large amounts of cash to invest in the civilian economy as well. This gives them useful cash, as well as places to earn a living for the children of anyone they need to influence.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

        The Chinese People's Liberation Army also own a huge number of factories, includiing rather a lot of the old state enterprises that made weapons, but also quite a bit of China's heavy industry and have used their large amounts of cash to invest in the civilian economy as well.

        China has been cracking down on that. Some years ago I had a very strange meeting with someone representing a company I'd never heard of. So it was neither CNC or Unicom. After some digging, it turned out it was an SPV for the PLA's version of the US Army Core of Engineers and had built out & controlled an awful lot of fibre between China's towns and cities. Developing that could have been an interesting job, but.. had political sensitivities. But then China cracked down on the PLA's diversification and I think those assets ended up with either China Telecom or Unicom. Also, there's the bizarre propaganda that Russia's been using washing machine chips. At one point, the PLA also owned the factories that produced many of Chinas washing machines and fridges.

        1. Strong as Taishan Mountains

          Re: Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

          So the PLA is building washing machines to fuel the Russian war effort!

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Whatever is behind the Russian space nuke scare :o

            Nothing boosts the morale of the troops like clean socks and skivvies.

            Except perhaps dry, well-fitting boots and three squares a day.

            And peace, but they are not supposed to even think about that option.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    More and more

    This world is feeling like a Tom Clancy novel.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: More and more

      It always has been.

      International relations never stop. They do go through brief periods of relative calm. But even then, that's often illusory, and just because people aren't noticing what's happening around them.

      The bloodiest war since World War II happened pretty much un-noticed. About 8-12 million people died in the Congolese civil wars of the late 90s to early 2000s - although there's not exactly peace now. It was also made a lot worse by the overspill from the civil war in Rwanda and the chaos in Zimbabwe in the latter part of Mugabe's rule.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Star wars?

    The americans were quite happy to talk about their Strategic Defence Initiative forty years ago. Yet there wasn't a mention of it in the article. Did I miss it?

    And it appears they had no qualms about treaties, legalities or other philosophical limitations.

    Although it was never implemented (as far as anyone can tell) I suspect than in the decades since then, the plans have been refined, the technology updated - just how stealthy can you make a satellite? - and the countermeasures improved.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Star wars?

      SDI was defensive, meant to intercept missiles in flight. It didn't really offer an offensive capability that the equivalent cost in conventional nukes wouldn't massively exceed and it was also a pretty overpriced way to take out a satellite. It never really went anywhere because a number of key technologies, primarily a nuclear pumped X ray laser, were never developed.

      1. david willis

        Re: Star wars?

        I thought "Star Wars" project was an elaborate hoax, designed to start a very expensive arms race with the then CCCP looking at lasers, particle beams, high performance computers and high energy physics. In many ways it was a very effective project announcement, it helped lead to the downfall of the CCCP, but also got sued by Lucasfilm for trade mark infringement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Star wars?

          "I thought "Star Wars" project was an elaborate hoax, designed to start a very expensive arms race with the then CCCP"

          It was. The technical capabilities of the time never amounted to much, but it successfully worried the soviets into yet more unaffordable spending. I'd imagine in this case Putler is trying to play the same tactic back at the West.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Star wars?

            I'd imagine in this case Putler is trying to play the same tactic back at the West.

            Which is liable to backfire quite spectacularly, since if we do then we'll produce working examples which they have to counter themselves or plan for us using against them and they are already horribly behind of military technology and can't manage to produce enough modern equipment to equip their army with and are forced to refurbish 1960's cold war gear.

            Additionally this is a bit of an eye opener:-

            Russia GDP: $1.7 Trillion

            China GDP: $17.7 Trillion

            = $19.4 Trillion (excluding North Korea and Iran; which have a combined GDP best summed up by the words "rounding error")

            Australia GDP: $1.5 Trillion

            Canada GDP: $1.9 Trillion

            UK GDP: $3.1 Trillion

            EU GDP: $19.3 Trillion

            US GDP: $23.3 Trillion

            = $49.1 Trillion

            5% of our combined GDP (which for the UK would mean increasing our military spending to ~80% of the education budget which is hardly unaffordable) comes out as $2.4 trillion, which is a total of 12.3% of their total GDP.

            So yeah, if they want another arms race then it's fine with me. I'm not sure that they can afford that quite as easily. And the R&D arms race around ended up throwing out the IT industry as a byproduct; who knows what'd come out this time around? All the R&D and manufacturing (and a refusal to outsource to the enemy) also would do our economy a world of good, while it would account for a large percentage of China's GDP summarily vanishing.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Star wars?

              I think it is safe to remove EU GDP from that since it is uncertain as to whether they are not actually all compromised by Russian money anyway.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Star wars?

                I think it is safe to remove EU GDP from that since it is uncertain as to whether they are not actually all compromised by Russian money anyway.

                Try saying that in Poland or the Baltic States.

                Even the Germans are learning. And traitors like Gerhard Schroeder are now being recognised as such. At least by a lot of people.

                The EU is probably not capable of being united on defence - but that doesn't mean that stuff can't be achieved.

              2. ScottishYorkshireMan

                Re: Star wars?

                You mean like the UK is? Remember that Brandon Lewis and his statement about 'they pay us because they admire us'. Feck me, if he and his cohorts are what the Russians admire then I'd say guys, no threat.

            2. Jan 0 Silver badge

              Re: Star wars?

              You've overlooked the fact that a dollar will buy you a lot more stuff or people's time in Russia and the PRC. Maybe there isn't much of an imbalance.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Star wars?

                Jan D,

                It's true that straight GDP doesn't tell you everything. When Russia invaded Ukraine they were paying conscript soldiers about $50 a month and I think contract soldiers got $400. I'm sure working in the arms industry was better paying, but still less than wages in the West. Although wages in both have had to rise massively since the war started - so that cost advantage has been seriously eroded. Then again, because Russia's economy has now become a lot less connected to the global economy, they're also able to print a bit of money and not suffer too serious consequences yet. Also in Russia's case they produce loads of oil and natural resources, so they don't have to pay for that with foreign currency.

                However, Russia is forced to import things like chips and a lot of complex manufactured materials. Much of their shiniest defence kit is now reliant on electronics bought from abroad, and so they are subject to global costs. And are now partially shut out of those markets.

                Meanwhile China do have the ability to produce a lot of their own military kit, but their wages are already higher than Russia's - and as their economy gets richer, their wage advantage is likely to continue to erode. But China is not blessed with the same amount of natural resources as Russia, and so has to pay global prices for it.

                Also Russian and Chinese workers are less productive than Australian and US ones. Which is one reason why they're paid less. That doesn't mean they don't work as hard, just that their economies are less good at allocating resources - or don't have the capital and education to pair with those workers to make them more productive.

                However the Ukraine war has shown that a lot of Russia's latest kit is less good than a lot of NATO's last generation of kit - with a small leavening of the some of the current shinies. I think China's modern kit is thought to be a bit better than the Russian stuff it's often developed from - but a lot of it hasn't been tested in battle. And China are behind Russia in areas like military jet engines and submarines. Let alone behind the Western powers.

            3. Lurko

              Re: Star wars?

              "which for the UK would mean increasing our military spending to ~80% of the education budget which is hardly unaffordable"

              It is when politicians of both main parties want public spending like Denmark but taxes like Chad. And even if the will were there, it would take about ten years at 5% or more to reverse the declines that our political classes have inflicted on the military.

              Even to hit Nato's 2% rule, the current Tory clowns had to include military and civil service pensions back in 2014, amongst other fudge factors. Both Labour and Conservatives have spent the past 35-odd years cutting military spending and capability. As an example, the Royal Navy has seen militarily useful vessels decline by 41% in the lifetime of this pretend-Conservative government. Things were no better under Labour. Factor in that our entire regular army could be fitted into Wembley Stadium and still have 10,000 empty seats, that despite the small size our military can't recruit (in part thanks to another botched privatisation and the dead hand of Crapita). The RAF have a pitiful 9 anti-submarine aircraft to patrol the circa 6.8m square km of our EEZ. And in any conflict scenario involving the main likely contender, thee patrol area goes up to around five fold to cover our international shipping routes, defensive corridors and important cable and power infrastructure. The RN have two very unreliable carriers, the RAF don't have enough aircraft to fill them, and the navy don't have the available fleet to form a defensive battle group around even one of those carriers. The army is about to get the shitty and inadequate Ajax fighting vehicle, the RAF are having to deal with the unreliable and expensive F35......

              The only logical conclusion is that the enemies of Britain have played a blindingly successful game for many years, persuading our useless Parliament that we don't need a military.

              1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                Re: Star wars?

                "Even to hit Nato's 2% rule, the current Tory clowns had to include military and civil service pensions back in 2014, amongst other fudge factors"

                No fudging involved, merely following NATO's accountancy rules:

                "Personnel expenditure includes pensions paid to retirees."

                Taken from here:

                https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2023/7/pdf/230707-def-exp-2023-en.pdf

                Also:

                "The RN have two very unreliable carriers, "

                Nope.

                The Royal Navy has two aircraft carriers. There have been issues particularly with the propeller shafts, I think. Seeing as it's a common design, if there is an issue with one, it's likely to affect the second. Aircraft carriers are somewhat bespoke - you don't build half a dozen prototypes before the first production version; the first ship of the class is thus prototype and production version.

                My understanding is that the latest issue affecting QE led to the decision not to deploy and suffer a potential break down while at sea, but instead to deploy PoW. PoW was at 30-days readiness to deploy, but actually sailed about 7 days after notification.

                This demonstrates the logic behind the Royal Nay having two carriers - it isn't to enable the RN to routinely deploy both carriers simultaneously, it's to ensure that it can always deploy one.

                The Royal Nay have two aircraft carriers that look to be fundamentally good ships - if you saw the TV series last year, you would have seen that QE deployed as core of CSG21 for an 8 month trip out to the Pacific on her first significant deployment (in 2021). there were some minor teething troubles, but no significant reliability issues.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Star wars?

                  ""The RN have two very unreliable carriers, "

                  Nope."

                  "it's to ensure that it can always deploy one."

                  "but actually sailed about 7 days after notification"

                  So it wasn't ready to deploy?

                  Also to be classed as an aircraft carrier surely then need aircraft?

                  1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                    Re: Star wars?

                    It was on 30-days notice to sail.

                    Meaning it wasn't expected to be ready in less than 30 days.

                    but it was ready to sail in 7 days.

                    That meets the criterion of 'can always deploy'.

                    And it does have aircraft.

                    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                      Re: Star wars?

                      I'd describe a weeks notice as 'Often able to deploy one soon', with three there’d almost always be one able to sail tomorrow and we'd need four to guarantee one at sea 24/7 where it needs to be to do the job.

                      QE is now out of service until fixed, we were lucky with the PoW, able to sail in 7 days is akin to a pit stop for ships this size, 28 days readiness implies doing deep maintenance with many major systems pulled apart for servicing.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Star wars?

                        Another RN fail:

                        https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-68355395

                        So 2 out of 2 firings have failed. But it 'will work next time'.

                2. Lurko

                  Re: Star wars?

                  "No fudging involved, merely following NATO's accountancy rules:"

                  You're right, although I did know that. What was specific to the UK and relevant in this context was that the UK intentionally hadn't included both military and civil service pensions* as part of our commitment prior to about 2014, because our military spending was above the limit. But thanks to Shiney Faced Dave, governments had cut and cut and cut, and simply to hit the 2% number we had to have include everything we were allowed to count as defence expenditure. All of which raises the question of what defence spending is. I'd agree that pensions are part of the cost of defence, but they're not a functional spending item for defence, and the changes made in 2014ish intentionally changed to the accountant's definition instead of the soldier's.

                  Maybe there's a way of squaring this circle. Absent willing recruits and suitable hardware, the UK calls up the military and civil service pensioners and deploys them. Imagine the fear in Russkie troops eyes when they see a massed battalion of all terrain attack wheelchairs, or through the snow filled forest they spot the relentless, AT-AT style shuffling of oldsters with zimmer frames etc etc.

                  * Military pensions at the time, £820m, MoD pensions £200m. Other fudge factors were that costs of UN assistance missions were classified as "defence", as was a miscellaneous slug of £1.4bn of MoD income. I presume MoD income is what MoD employees get paid by foreign governments for sabotaging UK defence.

              2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                Re: Star wars?

                By the way, Lurko, my earlier response to you was to dispute certain points, not the underlying argument that you were making: UK defense has, indeed, been cut excessively over the last 3 decades.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Star wars?

                  UK defense has, indeed, been cut excessively over the last 3 decades.

                  Yep. We're down to what, 70k troops, <50 tanks, mostly earmarked for Challenge 3 upgrades and a lot less artillery than we used to have. Policy was we'd be fighting as part of a multi-national force, and not independently. Maybe that has been the wrong plan. Either way, the current conflict has probably forced a serious rethink, ie do we want/need a lot more artillery? Convert the QE's into drone launchers? Are MBT's a thing of the past.. and we really need a lot more GBAD.

                  1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                    Re: Star wars?

                    " <50 tanks, mostly earmarked for Challenge 3 upgrades"

                    Roughly 227, with 148 to be upgraded to Chally3

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Star wars?

                      At which point MoD will say "no point for those 79 mark 2s" and our tank force shrinks yet again.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Star wars?

                        At which point MoD will say "no point for those 79 mark 2s" and our tank force shrinks yet again.

                        It could be worse, they could be in the Navy!

                        The Royal Navy is considering introducing compulsory climate change courses for all sailors, The Telegraph can reveal.

                        I'm not sure how stuff like that, or gender recognition course improve our sailor's ability to fight their ships. But someone will get paid to create and run those courses, so it's all part of our committment to NATO, right?

                        1. Mooseman Silver badge

                          Re: Star wars?

                          "The Royal Navy is considering introducing compulsory climate change courses for all sailors, The Telegraph can reveal."

                          You're using the torygraph as a reliable source? Seriously?

                          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                            Re: Star wars?

                            You're using the torygraph as a reliable source? Seriously?

                            I may be crazy, but I'm not that crazy. They're just the first place I saw the story. I do however try to read or at least scan a plurality of news though.

            4. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Star wars?

              Mostly true, except that EU GDP spent on 'defense' is AFAIK 2% or less, relying on US to do most of the NATO heavy lifting. And the bloc alignment isn't so black/white. If push comes to shove, it will most likely be China vs US over the pacific, and Russia vs UK + EU in Europe. Some of the bloc partners will help out, but not as significantly as to make much difference (Australia / Canada / Japan won't really contribute much to European defense).

              Even if UK and rest of EU were to increase their defense spending to 3% of GDP (and given the uproar caused in the EU when increasing military spending is suggested, it's difficult to imagine going over 3%), 3% of UK + EU is still $0.67 trillion, which is next to nothing vis-a-vis China, but about 40% of Russia's total GDP. But Russia won't hesitate to use 10%+ of it's own GDP for military use if it feels threatened (which, given Putin's paranoia, is always)

              The other major issue is industrial capacity.... if the EU are spending 0.67 trillion on defense, who is it going to? Some European companies, but I would guess a big chunk would be to US companies, and a hefty wedge would be misspent in procurement, and many orders would have very long lead times. I agree with you that long-term it would increase the industrial base in US/EU and erode that in China, but that would take decades to realise itself. And spending a $ in US/EU is getting you much less bang for your buck than spending it in Russia/China, so even with repatriating a lot of industry from China to US/EU will have significant economic cost for US/EU not only China.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Star wars?

                Also to note that the EU/Europe only has 2 countries with 'The Bomb', UK and France, and they are minor compared to Russia and the US.

                1. Peter2 Silver badge

                  Re: Star wars?

                  Russia claims are ridiculous propaganda though.

                  They claim that basically every weapon that they had at the end of the cold war is deployed and operative and maintained, even including the ones that have been chopped up to turn them into fuel rods. I don't know what the actual figure is, but it's going to be a fraction of what they claim.

                  China keeps a few hundred nukes (assumed to be ~300-500) as a minimum deterrent, and France and the UK keep something like 200-300 each. The US has 1400 deployed nukes, but put it this way; would anybody ever say "oh, they can only drop 200 nukes on our cities, each of which are 10 times the power of what landed on Nagasaki; i'm fine with that"?

                  We has become increasingly obvious over the last couple of years is that we don't even need to nuke the entire of Russia; If Moscow and a few cities were to vanish then most of the subjugated parts of Russia would be celebrating and declaring independence.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Star wars?

                    We has become increasingly obvious over the last couple of years is that we don't even need to nuke the entire of Russia; If Moscow and a few cities were to vanish then most of the subjugated parts of Russia would be celebrating and declaring independence.

                    Yes! And then if we nuke the USA, Texas could be free! California could become the world's largest skating bowl! Montana might become a memory due to it's missile fields.

                    Alternatively, rather than having a single Russian Federation to deal with, we'd collapse that into multiple heavily, and potentially nuclear factions. Many of whom would naturally be quite upset if we decided we had to nuke them in order to save them. Or just break up and asset-strip their country, which has been the goal all along. If we're intent on breaking up Russia, why would be be upset if they try to do the same with the 'United' States, or the EU? Both of which seem in the process of collapsing anyway.

                    1. Peter2 Silver badge

                      Re: Star wars?

                      The west has as policy that we will only use our nuclear weapons to respond to a first strike. The only country threatening a nuclear first strike at all is Russia, and it's been doing it on a weekly basis for the last two years.

                      My point is quite simply that we do not need to nuke the entire of Russia and so we do not need thousands of nukes. Many of the regions (Chechnya, Buryatia and all of the other minorities subjugated by Russia) hate Russians far more than anybody else, so there is frankly no point in including them in the glowing radioactive crater than will result if Russia carries through on one of their nuclear threats.

                      That pointing this out immediately attracted a vatnik with a panicked response rather suggests that losing control of their conquests and subjugated peoples who given half a chance will wipe out Russia rather more thoroughly than nuclear weapons would do is something that Russians fear rather more immediately than nukes. That's something that I don't think any of us had considered before; so thank you for making it clear.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Star wars?

                        The only country threatening a nuclear first strike at all is Russia, and it's been doing it on a weekly basis for the last two years.

                        No. Russia has been very clear. It keeps repeating that if Russia's existence is threatened, ie we try to break it up, then it will respond with everything it has. Up to and including nuclear weapons. It may end up being a first nuclear stike, but in response to attacks. It's why more nations are developing nukes because they work as a pretty good deterrent. We're actually the side that's been talking about tactical nukes, or limited use to deal with stuff like Iran's fortifications and deep bunkers.

                        My point is quite simply that we do not need to nuke the entire of Russia and so we do not need thousands of nukes.

                        Actually, when dealing with a nation like Russia, all the evidence shows that we do. It's also why we've spent billions on systems like Patriot to shoot down incoming nuclear missiles. Slight snag, they've been unable to intercept modern Russian missiles. This should have been predictable. We announce new ABM systems, Russia figures out how to counter them. A lot of that is theorycrafting and then some 'Oh Sh*t' moments when your weapons are knocked down and theirs aren't.

                        But one solution is again something we've seen demonstrated and is basically the N+1 thing. If defenders can launch N interceptors, launch N+1 missiles and 1 will get through. Or to be sure, 2N. Overkill is the best kill. Plus both sides have been busily gathering data on useful stuff like the cycle time of a Patriot or other system, how their detection and engagement radars work. And of course we'll have been gathering the same for Russia's systems. But we won't know how well Russia's newest ICBMs work with their decoys and manoeverable warheads work until it's too late. Intercepting something flying a nice, simple ballistic trajectory is a whole lot easier than something that's actively evading.

                        That pointing this out immediately attracted a vatnik with a panicked response rather suggests that losing control of their conquests and subjugated peoples who given half a chance will wipe out..

                        I really think you're looking in the wrong place. What about the people who were subjected to home detention, masking orders, or social distancing? Or losing their jobs for not wanting to test an experimental and extremely risky vaccine? Or more recently can be thrown in jail for 'misinformation'. Or having your bank accounts frozen for being a Canadian trucker and protesting against your government. Or having your bank accounts and assets frozen, then stolen simply for doing business in, or with Russia? Unless of course you're a politician, or a politician's husband like Estonia's Kaja Kallas.

                        But such is politics. Wars have frequently been used as a way to distract from problems at home. In this case the steadily increasing fascism creeping in from our own national Socialists. This would be obvious if you looked closely at our latest 'hero'. Much like Canada's SS volunteer, Navalny started out as a nationalist, was expelled from Yabloko for organising and marching in 2006 Russian March. He was very anti-immigration, and anti-Islam.

                        This might be your sort of hero. He certainly seems to be a hero to many of our political elite. Some are strange, ie Sunak given Navalny had called for all immigrants to be expelled from Russia. Others more understandable, ie you, or people like Bono who have no clue but simply leap on the closest populist bandwagon. He's certainly not a hero to me, however.

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Star wars?

                        "The only country threatening a nuclear first strike at all is Russia"

                        I bet you also believe that Trump said Russia could do whatever they wanted to NATO countries who were low on payment.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Star wars?

          Could be worse: they could have been sued by Disney. Death-match between The Mouse and the DoD: who would win?

          1. MiguelC Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: who would win?

            John Oliver

        3. Catkin Silver badge

          Re: Star wars?

          That's what it amounted to in the end but there were quite a few genuine research attempts. They just received an order less funding than required for proper exploration. The big mystery, to me, is whether Edward Teller was toying with a big unworkable idea, like the classic Super or a workable one, like Teller-Ulam.

      2. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

        Re: Star wars?

        SDI was defensive, meant to intercept missiles in flight

        Except that an effective missle defence system would have meant being able to make a first strike without fear of retaliation, upsetting the MAD balance.

        Something the Russians would have be painfully aware of.

        Less defensive, more prerequisite to being offensive.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          IT Angle

          Re: Star wars?

          SDI was never going to work... physics.. cost... deployment.... computing power all stood in its way.

          However, it had an unexpected benefit... it scared the shit out of the USSR, who thought "In order to get our missiles through, there will have to be 10 times as many as we've already got and we cannot afford to build them"

          They already knew the USSR was going economically bust, and blowing billions more on more weapons would just make that process faster..

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Star wars?

      And it appears they had no qualms about treaties, legalities or other philosophical limitations.

      The US was quite happy to talk about their Strategic Defence Initiative 40 years ago. They never actually broke any treaties talking about it, or investigating it's feasibility.

      Quite simply the US was spending 6.6% of GDP on it's military in 1985 while the Soviet Union was struggling to keep up with spending of 17.5% GDP. The Soviet Union had been signing arms limitation treaties not because they wanted peace, but because they couldn't afford to counter western weapons programs and so signed treaties saying that they wouldn't develop something they were scientifically incapable of developing, economically incapable of affording, and on a manufacturing level incapable of producing and deploying. Therefore signing a treaty promising that they wouldn't deploy something if we didn't was to their advantage, not to ours.

      Notably, trying (and largely failing) to match the remainder of the military programs which Reagan went ahead with combined with the Russians proxy war in Afghanistan still bankrupted and brought down the Soviet Union.

      1. Catkin Silver badge

        Re: Star wars?

        It did contribute to the failure of Reykjavík.

    3. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Star wars?

      I remember it as START WARS!

  8. Peter2 Silver badge

    On a more serious note than Russian "look how scary we are" propaganda efforts, as a thought exercise does EMP actually stand less chance of doing damage now?

    The threats from EMP could be grouped into two parts. If we take the latter part of Electro Magnetic Pulse then it wiped magnetic storage via a huge magnetic pulse and messed up CRT's until the fuck of huge degaussing coil built in to the better sort of CRT's was used to fix it. CRT's at this point are dead and gone in any case (for which my back is grateful) and most devices have swapped out HDD's for SSD's now so the magnetic pulse part should be somewhat less dangerous to equipment?

    The biggest threats from the Electro Pulse is a mass of radiated energy being picked up by copper wires which act as an antenna and then frying things connected to them through a voltage spike. However, most [data] cable of serious length is now fibre, so the copper runs are only the last mile stuff which is typically buried 2 meters underground which is not optimal for antennas to operate. Data infrastructure is therefore not likely to conduct serious power that way, and the power infrastructure is designed to filter out voltage spikes etc; national scale grid infrastructure has precious little subtlety to it.

    I'm not sure that the antenna on a smartphone is going to pick up enough to get damaged, and as they spend most time unplugged then they aren't wired to anything to pick up anything that way.

    So has the effect of EMP possibly been degraded to more along the lines of signal jamming on the electromagnetic spectrum rather than mass destruction and disruption to equipment? I'm not sure i'd want to find out, but I can't see that it's as much of a threat as it would have been at the end of the cold war; and even then they just added EMP filters to inbound lines in government buildings/hospitals etc with the expectation that equipment would survive and continue to work.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      I'm not a radio engineer, but I'm pretty sure that while the wires in electronic devices may be small, the electronics they're attached to are even smaller; and thus even more vulnerable.

      I would say the EMP risk to systems has got larger, not smaller.

      1. Muscleguy

        But surely the smaller the antenna the smaller the voltage spike?

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Exactly.

          When you had multi (hundred?) mile long cables then you'd get formidable levels of energy picked up on a cable. But I worked somewhere which had anti EMP breakers fitted during the cold war; which was expected to protect the electronic equipment back then, which is considerably more prone to damage than modern stuff.

          I'm not particularly convinced that a phone with a total possible antenna length measured in inches is going to pick up enough power to damage it.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          True, however the antennas are only small because the electronics they're attached to are also very small; and thus very sensitive. When you're talking about a system with 25 billion transistors on a single chip (e.g. the Apple M3) then a voltage spike doesn't need to be very big to cause chaos.

          1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
            Coat

            Can I argue the effects cancel - that shorter aerials and more sensitive electronics balance each other out...?

            (In reality, I haven't a clue. But qualitative analysis had demonstrated all three cases are plausible. We need a quantitive analysis.)

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Speaking from the deliciously ignorant platform of Haven't a Clue, I would assume that yes they would cancel out; smaller antennas are as capable of damaging smaller electronics as larger ones are with larger electronics.

              But I don't know. We need somebody with radio engineering expertise here.

            2. Wellyboot Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Quantitative analysis or simple demonstration?

              Place running electronics in a microwave oven and set it going.

              Move away rapidly until the demonstration concludes. (there will be an audible/visual indicator)

              Observe the electronics to determine result. (Extinguish any fire).

              Dispose of the now scrap microwave.

              Redecorate location. (rebuild if this was a particularly impressive demonstration)

              1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Your microwave demo needs to turn the microwave off after the first pulse to be realistic.

                The 'M' of EMP probably is much less of a problem now. Back in the day you could wipe a floppy disc with a magnet but modern HD and SSD media can withstand far more abuse.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  "Back in the day you could wipe a floppy disc with a magnet"

                  Could you?

                  Many moons ago, I witnessed a field engineer open the back of a piece of equipment, pull the diagnostic floppy (8", just to date myself) off the inside of the door where it was affixed with a magnet ... and the fucking thing still worked! Observing my surprise, he just shrugged and said "I know. I don't get it either. They did it this way for years before I got here. I don't ask questions, I just go by their playbook and collect my pay." He claimed to have seen several tens of these things, and the disk was only dead once ... and that was caused by a couple of rather obvious staple holes.

                  Consider also the ubiquitous box of floppies that lived right next to the monitor's coils way back in the halcyon days.

                  1. Peter2 Silver badge

                    A 3.5" floppy has a roughly 3" circle of magnetic storage in it, which is an area of roughly 28 and a quarter square inches. If you stick a 1" square magnet on to the floppy then your potentially wiping 1/28th of the floppy, assuming complete and total data loss of the area covered by the magnet.

                    I'll let you figure it out for an 8" rather than a 3.5" floppy, but there was a good chance that there was nothing on the area covered by the magnet.

                    And from experience with a degausser deliberately trying to wipe things it requires several different angles to do it properly. You can wipe a floppy (or any other form of magnetic storage) with a magnet, but you do it in circles rather than leaving the magnet stationary.

        3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Only to a point. Lightning has most power below 1MHz so cables that are in the hundreds of meters to pick up sizeable power. NEMP has power well up to 1GHz and beyond so only a couple of cm is plenty, and most devices have that and VERY much lower damage thresholds than before.

  9. JulieM Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Game Theoretic Analysis

    Let's try applying a spot of Game Theory to the scenario.

    When the game is Global Thermonuclear War, the electrician charged with the job of wiring up the big red button on the President's desk has a set of choices that go something like this:

    * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was successful, you're toast anyway. It does not matter whether or not your launch is successful.

    * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was unsuccessful, history is unlikely to look kindly upon you if you launch a counterstrike.

    * If the other side has not already fired, and your first-strike launch is successful, you are going down in history as the baddie.

    * If the other side has not already fired, and your first-strike launch is unsuccessful, the world is saved from nuclear annihilation.

    One of those outcomes is so much less undesirable than the other three, it overrides any pride in a job well done. The thought of potentially never having to cook again, and for the right reason (every restaurant in town is desperate to have the hero who saved the world from nuclear annihilation as a customer) as opposed to the wrong one (being dead) even overrides the fear of a bollocking. Not that the job you did can even be tested in any meaningful way. Verifying the integrity of the cables from the power supply through the switch to the ignition system necessitates disconnecting the actual ignition system, and enough sundry poking about with stuff that nobody is likely to notice you slipping a wire back into the hole you were supposed to have put it in the first time, just for long enough for someone to hear a multimeter go beep.

    And now remember that in real life, there isn't just one person responsible for the job that is orders of magnitude more complex than the heavily-simplified version I just described, but hundreds, if not thousands; every single one of whom has a stronger incentive to sabotage it than to do a good job.

    Icon -- "Look at what you could have won!"

    1. itzman
      Mushroom

      Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

      Sadly your game theory relies on sane and Christian morality following national leaders.

      A world in which you are the last man standing and all that complicated tech you were afraid of and couldn't duplicate has ceased to exist, along with anything that stands in your way, and billions of people occupying land that you quite fancy owning, as well as a few billion you couldn't offer a future to , is an ideal outcome from the likes of the Ayatollah, and Putin.

      And is not such a bad outcome if all those dead people were people you technically owed billions of dollars to, as well.

      The nuclear Ctrl-Alt-Delete reboot of civilisations is favoured by many people .

      And the winners write the history books.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

        "And the winners write the history books."

        I remember reading somewhere: "isn't it incredible that throughout history, the Good Guys have always won."

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

          And the winners write the history books."

          I remember reading somewhere: "isn't it incredible that throughout history, the Good Guys have always won."

          This is the current rallying cry for people who like to pretend that they are somehow more enlightened than their peers. Unless you can support that statement you need to rethink it - can you define "good guys" in say, the conflict between France and Britain in the 18th and early 19th centuries? How about the Crimean war? The American war of independence? Etc Etc

          That kind of glib nonsense is usually a way of pretending that somehow nazi germany was a victim.

      2. JulieM Silver badge

        Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

        No, my analysis really doesn't depend on leaders.

        It depends on the ordinary people upon whom leaders ultimately rely to make everything work.

        Not the President with the button on his desk; but the electrician who wired up that button, has a family, might well have seen Threads or When the Wind Blows, definitely prefers being alive to being dead and knows it's the one tiny -- yet potentially, oh, so far-reaching -- act of spiteful disobedience within their power that is certain to go undetected, let alone punished.

        If you got one chance to stand up to a genocidal maniac and refuse to allow them to destroy the world, why the hell wouldn't you take it?

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

          ...but the electrician who wired up that button..

          This is also one of the reasons why 9/11 being an inside job and a controlled demolition is easily debunked. If it had been it would have needed people to plant and wire explosives to a button, and the more people involved in a conspiracy, the more likely it is that someone would talk. Well, that and the abundance of evidence that shows it happened as it actually happened.

          If you got one chance to stand up to a genocidal maniac and refuse to allow them to destroy the world, why the hell wouldn't you take it?

          That's the first strike problem with MAD. If there's the possibilty that you could win a nuclear war and not trigger a counter strike, some genocidal maniac might decide to push the button. Especially if they also had nukes right on the borders, and ABM to prevent any counterstrike. Once upon a time a country lost it's shit over the Cuban Missile Crisis when Russia tried to place nukes in Cuba. That's further from the US's borders than Ukraine is, yet people seem suprised that Russia raises the same objections to NATO expansion. Plus in a MAD world, Russia has repeatedly stated that it views any existential threat to the Motherland as a reason to launch.

          But some politicians really do want to watch the world burn I guess.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

            "Once upon a time a country lost it's shit over the Cuban Missile Crisis when Russia tried to place nukes in Cuba. That's further from the US's borders than Ukraine is, yet people seem suprised that Russia raises the same objections to NATO expansion"

            Er, Cuba is right next door to the USA. Ukraine is quite a long way away. I suspect you meant to say Ukraine is closer to Russia, but that's really irrelevant in terms of nuclear missile launch speeds.

            The biggest problem with your (and let's be honest here, Putin's) claims about NATO expansion into Ukraine is that....it simply wasn't true. Ukraine applied to join NATO in 2022 following Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian provinces. The application was not allowed. There are no US nuclear missiles in most European countries, they are held in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Netherlands.

            There are no missiles in the Baltic states, so that excuse won't wash.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

              There are no US nuclear missiles in most European countries, they are held in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Netherlands.

              I'm guessing you've missed the news about plans to bring nukes back to the UK? Or things like this-

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BGM-109G_Ground_Launched_Cruise_Missile

              The Ground Launched Cruise Missile, or GLCM, (officially designated BGM-109G Gryphon) was a ground-launched cruise missile developed by the United States Air Force in the last decade of the Cold War and disarmed under the INF Treaty.

              Along with GLCM becoming genericised, the US pulling out of the INF and proposals to deploy missiles that may be nuclear capable, or become nuclear capable to states bordering Russia?

              1. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

                " may be nuclear capable, or become nuclear capable to states bordering Russia?"

                May do, might be, could happen....sounds like a justification for a pre-emptive strike on Russia, doesnt it? After all Putin has been threatening nuclear attack on a weekly basis since he invaded Ukraine, so by your justification Russia is presenting a clear danger to the world. Or does it only work in the make believe theatre of Putin's (and clearly your) head?

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

          "[leaving the button disconnected] the one tiny -- yet potentially, oh, so far-reaching -- act of spiteful disobedience within their power that is certain to go undetected, let alone punished."

          That's not true either. People check those. Unless everyone involved thinks exactly as you do, someone will notice that, whenever you have checked the button, it's inoperable. That's called sabotage and it is punished rather severely when what you're sabotaging is sensitive military equipment. You might be able to get away with it the first time with people assuming you were incompetent in repairing it, or even that you were incompetent and didn't notice the fault when someone else created it. They'll teach you how to fix it and watch that you fix it. It won't work the second time. At best, they'll decide you're incapable of doing what you're supposed to and fire you. There are worse options available. So practically, it still won't work.

          By the way, there is not one button, but a bunch of launch controls. The place that fits your description is the launch controls on a missile or on the warhead itself. The warhead is likely not something you can sabotage because they're manufactured in the same place and at least one will be investigated, so you can't successfully sabotage all of them by working at the factory. Your best bet is to prevent a missile from firing, prevent the missile from activating the warheads on it, or make them fail in some other way. Even if the military doesn't check things, you can only do it to the subset of missiles you maintain, not all of them. It could make the attack weaker, but unless you've got a large group of people who all think the same, it's not going to prevent it from working. Whether someone tries or not, it's not going to work as well as you think it is.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

      That analysis only works if the main, and likely only, thing you care about is whether people think you are the baddie or not. There are lots of other ways to run it, not necessarily correct, but plausible enough that someone might. For example, a few options include:

      Option 1:

      * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was successful, what remains of your country will likely be conquered. You don't want them to conquer you. You want them to be unable to do it, so attack now.

      * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was unsuccessful, then they started a war and you should defend yourself from their next attempt. Also, they were willing to kill lots of people, so they deserve whatever they get.

      Option 2:

      * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was successful, I'm dead. What do I care what history thinks?

      Option 3:

      * If the other side has already fired, and their launch was successful, then they might try the same thing on others. If they are unable to do it because you counterattacked, others will be safer. It might even convince someone else not to launch an attack because they can see that nobody wins when you do.

      In any of these options, it is easy to justify a retaliatory attack. Justifying a preemptive attack is harder, but there are ways that people have done it. I'm not asking you to agree with any of these, just to recognize that others could easily believe them. If they do, then you have a risk.

    3. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Game Theoretic Analysis

      There's the problem that while nobody likes being nuked, the value of history is subjective, and can potentially go all the way down to zero for a sufficiently ruthless leader. If the enemy can predict your analysis, and does not care about going down in history as the baddie, then you are giving them a strong incentive for them to execute a first-strike.

      The best overall result is actually achieved by maximizing the chance of a successful strike for both sides. If both sides have a 100% success chance, then a first-strike is guaranteed not to yield any advantage, regardless of how you feel about history. Therefore nobody initiates a first-strike, and the world is saved.

      Mad, I know!

  10. Catkin Silver badge

    Re: nuclear power in earth orbit

    There have been cases of proper fission reactors (as opposed to the cited RTGs) being put into earth orbit. The Soviets used a few of them for orbital radar systems (RORSAT) and the US toyed with them (SNAP). They were employed where high power, high endurance electricity supplies were required in an orbit that made solar unsuitable.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: nuclear power in earth orbit

      When I heard the headlines, I expected something like that (or a heavy duty RTG). Possibly to a power a maser (or space laser) because that solves the beam forming problem.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Violent Elizabeth Putin

    "I'll thcweam and thcweam until i'm thick."

    I think that the more naïve members here probably haven't had the experience of living with a psychopath and have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    It isn't a question of lying: What it is, is a deep personality disorder that only understands a game, and how to win it, and realises that saying stuff is part of that game, and if it wins the game it's the right thing to say. Everything is as meaningless as every other thing unless people believe it, when it becomes *true*. Cf gender dysphoria, Climate Change, Critical Race Theory, or justification for Russian aggression.

    To a complete psychopath there is no 'real' world. There is only what people *think* is real. And manipulating those beliefs is a lifelong occupation.

    The only thing that works with a psychopath is superior force.

    1. Lyndication

      Re: Violent Elizabeth Putin

      Wild seeing Trans people grouped alongside Putin in your example but go off I guess.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Violent Elizabeth Putin

        "Wild seeing Trans people grouped alongside Putin in your example but go off I guess."

        AC is still right though. At least as far as the rabid militant activists are concerned.

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Violent Elizabeth Putin

      "Cf gender dysphoria, Climate Change, Critical Race Theory, or justification for Russian aggression."

      I'm confused - are you claiming that none of those things are real? Or that they are and people are denying them?

  12. Jedit Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "illegal under international law"

    So was invading Ukraine. So is murdering Alexei Navalny. That doesn't appeared to have stopped Putin in either case. So why would it stop him trying to put nukes in space?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: "illegal under international law"

      Hmmm.

      NUKES IN SPAAAAAACE!!! You say? Couldn't the Muppet Show sue for copyright infringement?

      Oh no. Silly me, that was PIGS. Ignore me.

      I reckon a good chop from Miss Piggy would sort old Putin out though.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: "illegal under international law"

      "So was invading Ukraine. So is murdering Alexei Navalny. That doesn't appeared to have stopped Putin in either case. So why would it stop him trying to put nukes in space?"

      It won't. What might stop him though is the suicidal damage it would cause to his own and his allies' infrastructure in space. Space nukes are very, very effective (see also: Starfish Prime) but they are indiscriminate and have far reaching effects; including a high energy electron cloud that persists for months after detonation, destroying or damaging any non-hardened electronics it comes into contact with. Even Putin's not mad enough to put his own country back in the technological dark ages just to prove a point.

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: "illegal under international law"

      So was invading Ukraine. So is murdering Alexei Navalny.

      We've invaded Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and many, many more. As for Navalny, there is currently no evidence that he was murdered. This hasn't stopped our 'leaders' jumping to conclusions or creating fresh conspiracy theories. Of course they're helped along by our MSM, eg-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-68335547

      The Kremlin has long denied any involvement in Navalny's poisoning, but the anti-corruption activist said at the time that he believed "Putin is behind this act" and he saw no other explanation.

      Well, I can. And so could the Bbc, if it had looked in it's own morgue-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54284945

      The move comes after a lawsuit was filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, owned by wealthy Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed "Putin's chef".

      Mr Navalny, his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and an associate made a video questioning the quality of their products after a food poisoning outbreak in Moscow's schools in 2018... On Wednesday, Mr Prigozhin released a statement saying that if Mr Navalny "goes to meet his maker, then I personally do not intend to pursue him in this world".

      Now both have met their makers, for which Putin's being blamed for both, despite plenty of others having means, motive and opportunity. But no matter, we're now busily building up and promoting Navalnya as our future President of Russia. Anyone remember the leaked conversation between Nuland and Pyatt picking 'Yats' as Ukraine's next President? Or the possibility of Klitschko, who Nuland and Pyatt felt needed more experience? Well, now he has that. And oddly enough, was also in Munich with Navalnya to meet with their managers.

      For Ukraine, though, they still also have Poroshenko, who has now allied with Zaluzhnyi, who still has a lot of support in the UAF. Unlike Zelensky. But Zelensky also gave a speech at Munich talking about how he hoped someone might eliminate Putin and replace him. The poor guy doesn't seem to realise that speech was a warning to Zelensky, but then he's never been that smart.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "illegal under international law"

        "As for Navalny, there is currently no evidence that he was murdered."

        You mean, apart from the whole locking him up in a Siberian gulag on manufactured charges thing? Even in the utterly unbelievable scenario that he died of natural causes, he was still murdered by the regime.

        Putin apologists are despicable. Jog on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "illegal under international law"

          You probably think that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: "illegal under international law"

          You mean, apart from the whole locking him up in a Siberian gulag on manufactured charges thing? Even in the utterly unbelievable scenario that he died of natural causes, he was still murdered by the regime.

          The Democrats are currently in the process of trying to make sure an ex-President and Presidential candidate either dies in prison, or is bankrupted. You don't see any hypocrisy? But the reality is he's dead, and until there's an investigation, nobody knows why. Unless of course he really was murdered, in which case whoever did that and arranged it does.

          But none of the politicians, celebrities or media outlets have any evidence he was murdered. And certainly not by Putin. That just isn't how justice is supposed to work. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, one of the most fundamental and important parts of our entire democratic and legal systems.

          Putin apologists are despicable. Jog on.

          You may not have heard of an American citizen and journalist by the name of Gonzalo Lira. He was locked up and allegedly tortured by Ukraine for being critical of Zelensky. He died inside a Ukrainian jail. His family appealed to the US State Department, but they were more interested in freeing drug smuggling basket ball players than protecting a US citizen and journalist.

          Where are the demands to investigate that death in custody? The US could easily have arranged Lira's release, but did nothing. Don't you think that was rather despicable? But he was critical of Biden and Nuland, so rather foolish to expect help from the US State Department, even though it's their job to assist Americans abroad.

          1. 9Rune5

            Re: "illegal under international law"

            The Democrats are currently in the process of trying to make sure an ex-President and Presidential candidate either dies in prison, or is bankrupted. You don't see any hypocrisy?

            There is a difference between the odd misstep and a systematic oppression of opposition in what is essentially a dictatorship.

            Here you are free to spew your crap, you wouldn't be able to criticize Putin openly in Russia for long.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Proof that Russia is a democracy too!!!

              An American explains to a Russian that the United States is a truly free country because he can stand in front of the White House and shout “To hell with Joe Biden”.

              The Russian says that this is nonsense because he can easily stand in the Red Square and shout “To hell with Joe Biden” too.

          2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: "illegal under international law"

            ” The Democrats are currently in the process of trying to make sure an ex-President and Presidential candidate either dies in prison, or is bankrupted. You don't see any hypocrisy?“

            I’m not American, so not only do I not see any hypocrisy, I legitimately do not care. Your political games are irrelevant.

            ” But the reality is he's dead, and until there's an investigation, nobody knows why.“

            It doesn’t matter why. He was unjustly imprisoned in a gulag; that’s enough of a contributory factor to make the State guilty of murder, regardless of whether he died of poison, stabbing, tiredness, excessive flatulence or old age. It. Doesn’t. Matter.

            ” You may not have heard of an American citizen and journalist by the name of Gonzalo Lira”

            It’s irrelevant to Navalny’s case. To claim that here is whataboutery, one of the weakest and most transparent last-gasp arguments of a failing debater.

            Your entire counter argument amounts to “Don’t look here, look over there!”. It’s pathetic.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "illegal under international law"

              "one of the weakest and most transparent last-gasp arguments of a failing debater."

              Says the person who refers to what other people say as 'drivel'. You are obviously far too intellectually superior to sully yourself with debating the proles. Or just incredibly closed minded and indoctrinated by the MSM.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "illegal under international law"

                Another JE post under AC cover.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: "illegal under international law"

                  Another JE post under AC cover.

                  Put up, or shut up. All your doing is demonstrating the abysal depths of your imagination. I reported the last post, but hopefully a mod can step in and confirm I've made zero posts to this topic as an AC.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "illegal under international law"

                    Presumably, what JE means is that he's not using his official account when he ticks the "Post anonymously" check box. Could still same be the same person.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: "illegal under international law"

                      Presumably, what JE means is that he's not using his official account when he ticks the "Post anonymously" check box. Could still same be the same person.

                      The amount of conspiracy ideation is quite remarkable. I've not seen anything quite like it since the SkS tried to imagine how climate sceptics might think!

                      But.. I can confim that I and JE are indeed the same person. I can also confirm that I have never posted anything other than as myself in this thread. One or more AC, who may live in the sock draw reckoned they can prove I'm using multiple accounts. Go ahead. You'll either prove your theory, or prove mine that some people and ACs are just paranoid conspiracy theorists who can't tell fact from fiction. That may of course harm the credibility of some of their other posts, however.

                      And just for background. I do spend more time here than I probably should, but sometimes there are good discussions that I think I can contribute to. As for timezones, those are a combination of not always being in the same place (you've heard of VPNs?), being mostly retired, and being a bit of an insomniac.

                  2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                    Re: "illegal under international law"

                    "Put up, or shut up. All your doing is demonstrating the abysal depths of your imagination. I reported the last post, but hopefully a mod can step in and confirm I've made zero posts to this topic as an AC."

                    Jellied Eel you and I disagree a lot on this forum, but I believe you're not AC. You and I have differing views, but AC is just shitposting.

                    1. Casca Silver badge

                      Re: "illegal under international law"

                      And JE is not shit posting? LMAO

              2. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: "illegal under international law"

                "closed minded and indoctrinated by the MSM."

                Ooh! Bonus points on the conspira-meter for mention the MSM! It's really depressing that people who I assumed were at least somewhat intelligent from the job they do are as daft as the average flat earther

            2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: "illegal under international law"

              It’s irrelevant to Navalny’s case. To claim that here is whataboutery, one of the weakest and most transparent last-gasp arguments of a failing debater.

              No, it really is not. What is relevant to Navalny's case is whether or not he was guilty of the crimes he was charged with. Russia's legal system said 'Yes', so he was jailed. Other nations hold prisoners on charges that people say are, well, Trumped up. See Assange for more info.

              The second issue is whether or not he was actually murdered. We don't know. Nobody does yet. So suggesting he was is currently the literal definition of a conspiracy theory. Other people have died in prisons, so Epstein in US custody or Lira in Ukraines.

              But there have also been more obvious political assassinations during this conflict. Someone, probably Ukraine murdered Darya Dugina, a journalist and political campaigner. Another journalist, Maxim Fomin was killed by a bomb in a restaurant and 24 others were injured. Other political figures and journalists have been murdered in Donbas and Russia.

              Now, you can, and probably will call this 'whataboutery'. It's ok for Budanov and his Special Needs goons to assassinate political opponents because currently, he's our nazi. But justice is supposed to be all about equality under the law. If we think it's ok for Ukraine to conduct assassinations and murders, haven't we lost any moral high ground in doing accusing Russia of doing the same thing? And again, there is no evidence, and no real motive.

              You probably don't know this, but Navalny spoke better Ukrainian than Zelensky does. He developed more enemies than just Putin, and he has never really been any serious threat to the Russian government given he's virtually unknown inside Russia, and never had much political or public support. But now he's conveniently dead, his wife has suddenly taken up the mantle as the West's next great hope to challenge Putin.

              We whine about Russian election interference, but what do you think we've been doing with the Navalnys?

              1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                Re: "illegal under international law"

                "Now, you can, and probably will call this 'whataboutery'. It's ok for Budanov and his Special Needs goons to assassinate political opponents because currently, he's our nazi. "

                Don't misunderstand me: the other cases you mention may well be equivalent, and may well be equally unjust; they're just not relevant to Navalny's case. Whataboutery is not about casting aspersions on the legitimacy of the other cases, it's about saying that they have no bearing on the discussion at hand. Classic example, Trump and Biden. Every time an article is posted on the criminal charges faced by the morbidly obese Cheeto, some idiot will pipe up in the comments saying "B-b-b-but Have you seen what Biden's done? HE's the real criminal!" It may be true. It may not be. But it has no bearing on whether Trump is or is not guilty of the crimes for which he has been accused.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: "illegal under international law"

                  Don't misunderstand me: the other cases you mention may well be equivalent, and may well be equally unjust; they're just not relevant to Navalny's case.

                  I think they are very relevant. Internation law is International law. Well, except that's not really a thing, just there's a bunch of laws all wrapped up into a thing called 'Justice', which is meant to be applied equally. This is a very, very important point that pretty much glues together what we think of as 'democracy'.

                  So if Putin is personally responsible for any death in custody, ie Navalny, the surely the same would be true for Zelensky and the death of Gonzalo Lira in Ukraine's custody. Yet the reactions have been very, very different. One of the most important being there's still zero evidence Navalny was murdered. Sure, the timing is suspicious given Munich, but that may just have been coincidence. Yet the dear'ol Bbc just had to go there-

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68344582

                  She also alleged his body was being kept until traces of poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok had disappeared.

                  Oh $deity, Fauxvichok again. An exclusively 'Russian' poison so deadly that it's failed in every attempt to kill it's intended target. Well, except for some bankers in an oligarch war. But then a Russian chemist was jailed for flogging it to organised criminals from his garage. But this just goes to show how evil Putin is. Every supervillain has a signature move, and Putin's is 'Novichok'. But Navalny was in a Russian high security prison. People often die in prisons because they're often full of violent prisoners and murderers. Everyone's seen movies about how prisoners die in jail, so shanks, SIS* beatings, or even suicides by hanging. If Putin really wanted Navalny dead, there are many subtler ways to do it. Strangle him, make it look like a suicide by hanging. Just don't make the same mistake the Americans did and fracture the hyoid.

                  Then there's motive. Absolutely none for Putin. Instead-

                  Her voice sometimes shaking with grief and anger, Ms Navalnaya asked viewers to stand alongside her and "share the fury and hate for those who dared to kill our future".

                  There's no by-line, so I'm wondering if the Bbc got RTD to act as showrunner on this performance. They also rather over did it on the soft focus. But again, someone who's convinced her husband was murdered, despite the lack of evidence. And such a loving and grieving wife that she immediately left the Munich conference and flew back to Russia. Or not. Instead after finding out about the death of her much beloved husband, she was smiling and pressing the flesh at the Munich launch of her Presidential campaign. Somewhat curious behaviour for a grieving widow. Why was she there in the first place? Russia wasn't invited. She was there with a Russian oligarch.. any idea who that was? Or why Pelosi was there, and pressing the flesh with Navalnya? Why was Mayorkas?

                  There's been stuff in Russian media making the same points. The death benefits her campaign, not Putins. This is not saying she was responsible, but she sure has hell has exploited it to the max. Someone may have martyred Navalny, but it doesn't appear to be having much effect inside Russia. Navalny was a pretty much unknown figure, Nalvalnya might be coming better known, but people are wondering if this really is a grieving widow, or a shameless opportunist.

                  But something the media and Hollywood have forgotten is that sometimes less is more. The saturation bombardment and promotion of Nalvalnya is just making it very obvious that's she's the West's chosen candidate to defeat The Putin. Much as 'Yats' was hand-picked for the role of Ukraine's presidency.

                  *SIS= Soap In Sock. Not the South Bank arts collective.

                  1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                    Re: "illegal under international law"

                    Without going into the rest of your post because we've discussed it to death now, the whole Novichok thing doesn't make sense to me. Although I personally absolutely believe without a doubt that he was murdered, why. Why use an obscure, indiscriminate and potentially highly traceable nerve toxin to kill him when just getting another prisoner to do it would be easier, cheaper, simpler and completely deniable.

                    Unless the whole point IS to let the world know - to make a point that we will get you sooner or later. Like Prigozhin.

                    Anyway. I'm going to leave this now; not a lot to add that hasn't been said a number of times already.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: "illegal under international law"

                      Why use an obscure, indiscriminate and potentially highly traceable nerve toxin to kill him when just getting another prisoner to do it would be easier, cheaper, simpler and completely deniable.

                      Exactly. Especially when it's previously been ineffective. It makes no sense when there are easier and more effective methods, especially when you control the environment. But now we've built up the lore that it's the supervillain's signature move.

                      Unless the whole point IS to let the world know - to make a point that we will get you sooner or later. Like Prigozhin.

                      Which also make no sense, especially given what happened. Out with the old Western puppet and in with the new. There's evidence that someone boarded Prigozhin's plane and planted a bomb. Those someone could have been Ukrainian assets, or just sympathisers. There's also the Prigozhin-Navalny connection given Navalny blamed Prigozhin (incorrectly) for a typhoid outbreak and one of his catering companies. Prigozhin sued for defamation and won, then bought up other Navalny debt to get more leverage over Navalny. Being an 'anti-corruption' investigator or fraudster in somewhere like Ukraine or Russia is an easy way to end up dead. Same is true for other murders that have been pinned on Putin without anything more than very circumstantial evidence.

                      Meanwhile, we've decided to move from the original western puppet to puppet2.0 with indecent haste. They're now demanding the immediate return of the body so it can be buried or cremated. Given the body is now evidence in a major international diplomatic incident.. That isn't going to happen. Or stop the Bbc running propaganda-

                      His mother was informed it was being held for "chemical analysis", a representative for Navalny said.

                      I like the Bbc's use of scare quotes, and expressions of suprise that autopsies in one of the most significant political events so far this century aren't being overnighted. Especially as people like Lord Cameron are talking about this sort of stuff-

                      The UK Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, has also said he expects Britain and the rest of the G7 group of rich nations to impose fresh sanctions on any Russians involved in the death.

                      Of Ghadaffi? We already know how and why he was murdered, and Cameron's part in that mess. Cameron doesn't know that Navalny was murdered, but has already pre-judged the case. It might be embarassing if Russia can produce compelling evidence that Navalny died of natural causes, but that can just be denied because the regime change campaign must move on. Oh, and Russia, stop interfering in foreign governments and sovereign affairs. That's our job.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      A l'est rien de nouveau

                      “We know that they are lying, they know that they are lying, they even know that we know they are lying, we also know that they know we know they are lying too, they of course know that we certainly know they know we know they are lying too as well, but they are still lying. In our country, the lie has become not just moral category, but the pillar industry of this country.”

                      Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

            3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: "illegal under international law” @Lord Elpuss

              It doesn’t matter why. He was unjustly imprisoned in a gulag; that’s enough of a contributory factor to make the State guilty of murder, regardless of whether he died of poison, stabbing, tiredness, excessive flatulence or old age. It. Doesn’t. Matter. ... Lord Elpuss

              Do you feel the same way about the treatment meted out by the UKGBNI with regard to Julian Assange, Lord Elpuss? And is not today another one of those judgement days declaring whether or not he is to be handed over to the US federal penitentiary gulag system rather than remain further detained and effectively silenced in Belmarsh for essentially .......... well, was it seeking and speaking the truth about the hiding and support of nasty despicable criminal secrets and allied aligned malignant acts?

              1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                Re: "illegal under international law” @Lord Elpuss

                It’s irrelevant to Navalny’s case. For an AI bot, you’re not really on top of your game here.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "illegal under international law” @Lord Elpuss

                Assange dared to make Saint Obama look bad so he is pure evil. Pointing out war crimes of the 'good guys' is a major no-no.

          3. Casca Silver badge

            Re: "illegal under international law"

            And there you defend a criminal and rapist. Good on you...

          4. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: "illegal under international law"

            "The Democrats are currently in the process of trying to make sure an ex-President and Presidential candidate either dies in prison, or is bankrupted."

            Ohhhhhh - you're a TRump simp. Click.

      2. Casca Silver badge

        Re: "illegal under international law"

        And there you go defending russia again. As always...

  13. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Arguments

    First, developing, deploying, and testing such weapons is illegal under international law. Treaties may be the last thing on the mind of a state intent on throwing nukes about.

    Yes, this is something a genocidal regime like Russian cares about.

    the good guys can put up something nastier to stop it.

    Also unlikely, because we all see the pussyfooting of the West in Ukraine. They don't want to "provoke" Putin.

    In short, quite poor analysis ignoring how Russian world operates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Arguments

      "They don't want to "provoke" Putin."

      Are you high? The whole situation in Ukraine is due to provocation by the US.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        "The whole situation in Ukraine is due to provocation by the US."

        It saddens and worries me that humans* like you are walking the earth.

        *possibly stretching the definition

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Arguments

          Ah the good old 'I'm better than you' smug lefty response. I would suggest you leave your echo chamber every once in a while but you'd probably die of shock :)

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Arguments

            I can say with absolute certainty, based on your drivel here, that yes I am in fact a better human being than you. товарищ.

      2. Casca Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        LMAO, its you who are high vatnik. Or is it JE?

    2. Lurko

      Re: Arguments

      "In short, quite poor analysis ignoring how Russian world operates."

      I think you'll find that the Western defence analysts and military strategists understand exactly how Russia operates. But given the half wits and lunatics who have been the West's leaders for the past decade there's been no intelligent decision making in the national interest, and they haven't resourced our military to respond with strength either directly, or in the numerous proxy wars that are rumbling along.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        Oh no I heard plenty of defence analysts and military strategists who are naïve and see Russia as a peer they can reason with. Presumably those born after 1980 and have never visited countries who had to deal with "Russian world" for centuries.

        For instance, when Putin says something, they think it is a legitimate concern that needs to be investigated and addressed and at the same time Putin laughs how stupid they are and carries on with whatever plan he has.

        If his objective is to take Ukraine, he will say whatever that gives him advantage, invent reasons, create controversy to fuel infighting then he will watch how fearful leaders and their inept military advisers try to appease him and continue with his goals. If his invented concerns are not being addressed, then for sure he will find a congressmen or an MP with poor credit or simply a useful idiot to ensure his voice is carried. So you have people talking about ceasefire (to give Russia breathing space, to regroup, replenish the military and attack again and to slow down military help to Ukraine) or "peace" typically meaning Ukraine should cede their territories (which Russia can incorporate and use as a basis for future invasion).

        The only valid response for Russian aggression is overwhelming military power anything else works in Russian favour.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Arguments

          "The only valid response for Russian aggression is overwhelming military power anything else works in Russian favour."

          Which is why we did pretty much naff all in 2014.

          "typically meaning Ukraine should cede their territories"

          Areas of western Ukraine were part of Poland and Hungary less than 80 years ago. Should Ukraine give these areas back? How far back do you go to decide where the line between countries actually lies?

          1. OffTropics

            Re: Arguments

            Borders are written down by treaties. Since 1991 Russia has defecated on many of them. But, to serve your eyes, please see WaPo "How Ukraine became Ukraine, in 7 maps", it's two maps more than the fingers in your hands but I assume you have some extra cerebellum coordination to check them all.

            And, as I am a Communist since the age of 12, please don't miss "Indisputable Violations: What Happens When the United States Unambiguously Breaches a Treaty?" - David A. Koplow, 2013.

            Or, maybe for some here, "How to Tankie: The Anti Imperialist's Guide to the Modern World" - Darth Putin KGB, 2022.

            Okidoki? Am I clean now? No more rain tonight, op fiets, nu!

            Cheers

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Arguments

              Is that the 2015 article that admits that Ukraine has a nazi problem and says that Crimea is majority Russian?

              "Borders are written down by treaties."

              Nope, from that article it appears the borders are decided by invasion and genocide. The only mention of a treaty is from 1917 which was nullified when one of the parties lost WW1.

              1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                Re: Arguments

                The "Nazi" spiel was created to dissuade Germany from helping Ukraine.

                Politicians in Germany would use all means to not be accused of helping the Nazis and somehow that worked for the first few months as Germany was very reluctant in sending any lethal aid.

                Of course people who reuse this Russian propaganda won't say a word that Putin is actually using Nazi playbook to advance his imperialist and racist agenda.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Arguments

                  The nazi thing was in a lot of MSM articles prior to 2022, at which point it promptly vanished.

                  The US helping to blow up nordstream and putting Germany into recession helped involve them in the proxy war.

                  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                    Re: Arguments

                    Yes, to keep Germany out of it. The propaganda, however, intensified upon the invasion in 2022.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Arguments

                      Not sure I agree with you there. Post invasion the MSM started saying it was all a 'right wing conspiracy theory' that the Ukranian leadership and military had nazi roots. I suspect that Germany's reluctance to join was more down to their economic ties to Russia and dependence on their gas. After shutting down all their nuclear power plants the Germans needed all the cheap gas they could get and as a manufacturing nation they NEED cheap(ish) energy. Germany was piggy in the middle.

                      The Canadian parliament giving an actual factual nazi a standing ovation was such an amazing display of overt brainless virtue signalling.

                2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Arguments

                  Of course people who reuse this Russian propaganda won't say a word that Putin is actually using Nazi playbook to advance his imperialist and racist agenda.

                  The 'right sector' or OUN, Banderites are pretty much doing a carbon copy of the Nazi's rise to power in Germany. Zelensky's locked up or banned pretty much all political opposition, just as Himmler did. The Bbc used to write about the far-right in Ukraine, now it just parrots that it's 'baseless propaganda' and makes sure nazi insignia are photoshopped out of it's articles. It's not at all difficult to find ample evidence of Ukraine's problem. One very easy one is just to look for it's red & black OUN flag.

                  1. Casca Silver badge

                    Re: Arguments

                    No, its not difficult to find russian badly photoshoped pictures of it. Corrected it for you...

            2. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: Arguments

              Borders lie where neither side wishes to pay the cost* of changing them and the brutal reality is that it’s only your land if you can defend it.

              Putin has been quite willing to pay the cost in recent small wars and ignore the other world leaders mumbling 'shame on you' as he forces small neighbours to follow his wishes. In his Ukraine venture, Putins line was the Moldovan border where he already has his oppressed Russian minority simmering away. Had the Baltic states not joined NATO it would have been the Kaliningrad exclave needing to be brought back inside mother Russia.

              Any flimsy excuse will do to justify the adventure.

              Shipping several thousand anti-tank missiles to Ukraine just before the invasion was as the Americans would say a 'Hail Mary' move by BoJo because no one really believed that the Russian military would be so incompetent at the attempt. Long term, now Russia’s bogged down in a WW1 meat grinder (with added drone video) it’s in the self interest of everybody else to keep Ukraine fighting until Putin meets the usual end for a dictator who is seen to fail.

              Politics – basically unchanged since the first ape decided ‘He’s got food, I’m having that’

              *in Blood & Treasure.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Arguments

                " keep Ukraine fighting until Putin meets the usual end for a dictator who is seen to fail"

                Or more likely the Ukranian's run out of cannon fodder and decide 'why are we fighting for the Americans?'.

                1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                  Re: Arguments

                  They are fighting to be free from the Russian world.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Arguments

                    They are fighting to be free from the Russian world.

                    Yet many Ukrainians saw themselves as part of the Russian world. That's always been seen in voting patterns, language, customs & traditions etc etc. It's also why Ukraine's civil war started when the Galacians and Banderites decided they were the true Ukrainians and started their process of de-Russification. Ukrainians have been killing Ukrainians since 2014 because both sides have been fighting for their homelands.

                    One simple example of this is looking at population movement since 2014. Those that identify as more ethnic Russians fled to Russia. Others fled to places like Vienna, Monaco, Dubai, Cape Ferrat etc. Ukraine's Pravda has done some excellent videos on YT showing how wealthy Ukrainians, including MPs from Zelensky's own party fled Ukraine, despite not being permitted.

                    1. Casca Silver badge

                      Re: Arguments

                      And you keep on shit posting

            3. Jan 0 Silver badge

              Re: Arguments

              > WaPo "How Ukraine became Ukraine, in 7 maps"

              Well now I know that WaPo isn't a Chinese sage, but I can't load that page. Does anyone have a link that works?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Arguments

                https://archive.ph/Int6V

                Those imperialist stooges and their paywalls! I can't believe a comrade would post such a link!

  14. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Wonder

    I wonder if this leak about a Russian nuclear satellite killer is really a smokescreen for something else.

    I believe the U.S. intelligence agencies may have detected Russia opening its nuclear arsenal and dispatching nuclear weapons for use in Ukraine. This "leak" is really telling the Russians: "We know what you guys are up to!" and it wouldn't surprise me that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is quietly being inspected and put into a state for near-term use.

    Stay tuned!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonder

      "I believe the U.S. intelligence agencies may have detected Russia opening its nuclear arsenal"

      Russia recasts their pits on a regular basis, in contrast to the US Enduring Stockpile program

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Wonder

      I wonder if this leak about a Russian nuclear satellite killer is really a smokescreen for something else.

      Often it's along the lines of 'Well, the Russians are doing it, so we need to do it as well!'. Then things go wrong, and Space Cowboys goes from fiction to reality. I really wish our 'leaders' would stop getting their ideas from fiction. Especially when the fiction is trying to show why doing this stuff is a really bad idea..

  15. Martin Gregorie

    I saw Starfish Prime

    I remember seeing Starfish Prime's aftermath from New Zealand.

    Not its initial flash of course, but one of its artifacts was a huge, garish yellow stripe with scarlet edges extending from the northern horizon fairly much directly over Hawkes Bay in New Zealand. I couldn't see how much further south it extended because I was looking out of a north-facing window in a boarding school dormitory. Several of us saw it, but none of us had any idea what it might be, except that we were pretty certain it wasn't an aurora. I only found out what it probably was after Starfish Prime was declassified some decades later.

    A check just now with Google Earth shows that a line running due south from Johnson Atoll passes about 1000km east of Hawkes Bay which pretty much corresponds with my memories: the bomb exploded at 400km above Johnson Atoll, so a track running due south from there would still appear well up in the sky from where I was.

    I've never heard of any other reports of this being seen from NZ, but as the nuke was triggered at 23:00, this would not be surprising seeing that the explosion was classified. That means that it would not be pre-announced in NZ and anyway 11PM was after most people's bedtimes in early '60s NZ.

  16. PhilipN Silver badge

    No surprise

    There is no profession more determinedly self-sustaining than the military.

  17. Dave 32

    For a truly scary view of nukes in space, look up the "Soviet Project K nuclear tests". Those did some MAJOR damage. :-(

    Additionally, Starfish Prime was a two-stage thermonuclear weapon, with a yield of about 1.4 Megatons. However, the primary stage was about 15 Kilotons from a fission stage, which ignited a secondary fusion stage of slightly less than 1.4 Megatons. From an EMP perspective, though, it is believed that the EMP effect of the primary fusion stage may have "short circuited" the EMP effect from the fusion secondary stage, meaning that the damage caused on Earth by the test was equivalent to only about a 15 Kiloton weapon. Note that there are now single-stage weapons, with yields of up to about 500 Kilotons, which may have an effect over 30 times as strong as the Starfish Prime test. Many of these are of the Sloika, or layer-cake, design. It is indeterminate as to what the Soviet Project K nuclear test shots used.

    As for nuclear power for spacecraft, there are two approaches to that. One uses a short half-life material, such as Plutonium-238, to produce thermal energy to power a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG). Quite a few spacecraft have safely used these. The other approach is to have an actual nuclear fission reactor aboard the spacecraft. Some of these haven't turned out so well, such as the Kosmos 954 craft, which radioactively contaminated a large area in northern Canada when it crashed (Beware the giant mutant lobsters!).

  18. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "If you're a Putin supporter, you might hope it distracts and dismays the warriors on the other side. If you're American"

    Sadly, even unbelievably, these days that is a Venn diagram with a shocking amount of overlap in certain circles.

  19. elregidente

    Fits distressingly well with a window in a few years to have a go at breaking NATO

    1. Russia is much less dependent on satellites than the West. They have much less to lose.

    2. Obtaining a capability to destroy large numbers of satellites seems obviously on the face of it to provide a significant geo-political lever, whether or not you intend to go through with using it.

    3. There is a window forming up in about four or five years where Putin can have a good crack at breaking NATO. NATO sans USA is despite its much greater economic strength, weaker militarily than Russia. Getting the capability to blow away large numbers of satellites about now or the next year or two, critically *before* the West has it, fits distressingly well with that timing. If you want to win a ground war, preventing satellite surveillance is extremely useful, and the costs of doing so may well be entirely tolerable to Putin. Consider the numbers of Russian dead so far.

    4. The article appeals to reasonableness and sanity, but we are dealing here with Putin, who has invaded Ukraine and so far has killed and maimed about 300,000 to 400,000 people.

    5. If you're planning to go to war, why would you care about international treaties with the people you're going to attack?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Fits distressingly well with a window in a few years to have a go at breaking NATO

      2. Obtaining a capability to destroy large numbers of satellites seems obviously on the face of it to provide a significant geo-political lever, whether or not you intend to go through with using it.

      Russia, along with a growing number of countrys have had this capability for decades. Thanks to good ol' MAD.. there's been less incentive to actually go and do it. If you can launch a satellite into space and have nukes, you can launch a nuke into space and detonate it.

      3. There is a window forming up in about four or five years where Putin can have a good crack at breaking NATO.

      NATO is already cracking. Problem is the West figured it could quickly defeat Russia using a combination of the 'shock and awe' sanctions and superior NATO doctrine and wunderwaffe. That.. hasn't exactly worked out, and Ukraine is currently around 20% smaller than it was at the start of the SMO. The much hyped counter-offensive didn't result in a blitzkrieg and photo ops on the Sea of Azov, instead, if you zoom in on the maps of Ukraine, it made a small dimple around a hamlet called Robotyne, and didn't even make it to the first stage of the 'Surovikin Line'. And came at an enormous cost to Ukraine. And despite Zelensky demanding more stuff, we have no more stuff to give him.

      Other nations, or factions have noticed this and gone, "Well, huh, they're out of ammo?". So stuff like this has been happening-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-68337027

      The crew of a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel have abandoned ship off Yemen after it was hit by missiles fired by the Houthi movement.

      ... The vessel, which is carrying "very dangerous" fertiliser, has been taking on water.

      and apparently now sunk. But the cargo is interesting as "very dangerous" fertilser often means ammonium nitrate, which is also used to make the explosives needed to fill shells. We used to buy that from Russia, but since we sanctioned ourselves, we can't any more. And in other news, Rheinmetall's share price hit a record high after announcing a JV with an anonymous Ukrainian oligarch to build 155mm artillery shell factories in Ukraine. Do you think-

      a) Russia would ever allow that to open

      b) We can find a supply chain to make the explosives and propellants needed to produce a 'six figure' quantity of shells, along with all the other munition production expansion we think we can deliver?

      So we've been busily yeeting missiles in the general direction of Houthis. We've been giving bombs to Israel to drop on Gaza. And our 'leaders' think it's a really good idea to also escalate and attack Iran, China.. The Chinese are probably tracking our weapons production and expenditure and working out an optimal time to bring Taiwan back into the fold.

      5. If you're planning to go to war, why would you care about international treaties with the people you're going to attack?

      Yep. Again this is the real problem. If a nuke is detonated in space, it's just a sign that our day is only going to get a whole lot worse, and if it's a Russian nuke, we're probably not going to survive what comes next.

  20. DS999 Silver badge

    There's no way there aren't already nukes in space

    No way the US doesn't have them, no way Russia doesn't have them, and if China doesn't now they will by the end of the decade. They may be against treaty, but how are you going to prove a satellite houses a nuclear weapon if it is shielded with a bit of lead? They could put it in a typical communication/surveillance satellite, with a secret bit on the inside. Both countries possess the capability for so-called "suitcase nukes" that can be carried around by a person, with lead shielding to insure radiation doesn't give it away it would be a few hundred pounds and the size of a large piece of luggage. Easily hide that in a standard satellite. Even if a bit of radiation leaks out there are already RTGs used in some satellites so it wouldn't raise much suspicion.

    It is a sort of "doomsday weapon" because not only would knocking out a big chunk of your enemy's satellites demand a response, you'd probably EMP the power grid on half the planet. You couldn't attack their satellites on the other side of the planet without EMP'ing your own grid, so they'd have satellites with which to the same to you. So it would be a last resort, something to get back at them if they've done a Cold War style massive first strike.

    The fear would be for a rogue player with nothing to lose like North Korea putting something like that in orbit. They don't have any active satellites, they wouldn't suffer any military or economic damage by knocking out everyone else's satellites. They could survive an EMP better than anyone else, one because they'd know it was coming and be prepared for it and two because they are already halfway in the stone age (just look at nighttime photos and see the black hole that is North Korea with almost no light except for Pyongyang)

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space

      Nobody needs to have them. You just need everybody to think you do so they blow their GDP trying to play catch-up. Even if you're the only country without them, you still don't need them. Again, convince the other countries that they need to detonate their space nukes as a preemptive defensive move. No need to waste your own money destroying all the sats in orbit.

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space [Lead Shielding]

      How much would it cost to lift the lead shielding necessary to disguise a nuclear bomb, into orbit?!

      Think of the size of the rocket and the amount of fuel it takes to make an ICBM work, and those don't even make it into orbit!

      (Icon for fuel required to escape the surly bonds of earth.)

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space [Lead Shielding]

        How much would it cost to lift the lead shielding necessary to disguise a nuclear bomb, into orbit?!

        Think of the size of the rocket and the amount of fuel it takes to make an ICBM work, and those don't even make it into orbit!

        I guess that would depend on how sophisticated bomb detectors are. I'm assuming they wouldn't need much shielding given you could juggle a couple of lumps of plutonium without needing gloves, providing they remain sub-critical. Look at some of the images of people working on the infamous Demon or other cores, and they're not wearing that much PPE or lead. Plus if the launch site is remote and secured like most national security launches are, who'd know?

        As for orbit.. No idea where you'd want to detonate to be really sure of destroying your target. But don't forget many satellite launching rockets were originally ICBMs. Plus the modern ones are already designed to launch multiple warheads, so could probably lift one, and maybe a second stage. But it's still one of those things we don't really have to worry about too much because if it ever happened, it's basically Armageddon time and most of us die. Hopefully our politicians are sane enough to do this, but DPRK? Who knows? At least now both China and Russia are leaning on them, so maybe they'll reform.

    3. Hurn

      Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space

      " lead shielding to insure* radiation... "

      Lead does not stop neutrons. Need poly or some hydrogenated material for that. Volume, not mass, would be the limiting factor.

      Then again, what's the range of neutron detectors, and, do any of them look up?

      (Last question is somewhat rhetorical, and the answer is probably classified.)

      * Is "insure" vs "ensure" a UK vs US ( two countries divided by a common language) thing?

      My grade school grammar nun (much worse than grammar Nazi, trust me) would have her ruler (metal edge out) at the ready for anyone who confused the two infinitives.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space

        Lead does not stop neutrons. Need poly or some hydrogenated material for that. Volume, not mass, would be the limiting factor.

        Then again, what's the range of neutron detectors, and, do any of them look up?

        I'm thinking it's Pu-239's dual nature. When it's resting, it's an alpha emitter and that's easy to shield. When it's emitting lots of neutrons, it's angry, easily detected by Mk1 eyeball and too late. But I know we have detectors that can spot truckloads of bananas, and no idea how they work or their range.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: There's no way there aren't already nukes in space

        "Is "insure" vs "ensure" a UK vs US ( two countries divided by a common language) thing?"

        According to my experience with the language and a quick check of a couple dictionaries, no. The spelling and definitions are the same. It was probably just a typo.

  21. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Everyone's favourite pet RAT.... Remote Access Trojan

    One thing's for sure – you're safe enough keeping your smartphone out of the biscuit tin. ...... El Reg/Rupert Goodwins

    I wouldn't be quite so sure about that almost perfect personal improvising explosive targeting device, El Reg/Rupert Goodwins, which rather than being far too expensive, inflexible, vulnerable and difficult to operate and maintain is relatively cheap and widely affordable anywhere and everywhere, dynamic, smarter than was ever initially imagined possible, surprisingly easily sublimely exploitable and simple to operate and maintain.

  22. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    The Russians Knew about EMP Much-Earlier than Starfish Prime

    From TFA: This [Starfish Prime, launched July 9, 1962] was the discovery of EMP, the electromagnetic pulse typical of space nukes.

    The Russians knew about EMP much-earlier than the detonation of Starfish Prime. When I was in uni, I wrote a paper for a polisci class; my topic was nuclear disarmament. One of the things I found in my researches was an illustration in a reproduction of a 1950s Soviet publication containing a drawing showing: (1) in the distance, a nuke going off (mushroom cloud), (2) a phone or telegraph line coming into a building with some sort of telecom equipment in it, and (3) the uniformed Russian soldier operating that equipment being on the receiving end of an electric arc coming out of the equipment.

  23. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    "keeping your smartphone out of the biscuit tin"

    《keeping your smartphone out of the biscuit tin》

    this phrase seems to describe this lunacy and much other contemporary insanity.

    Clearly a cellphone kept in a sealed metal container (Faraday cage) isn't ever going to receive any calls, texts or any RF signals and by analogy its owner is impervious to any sort of sense.

    Thirty second of thought would suggest that if an EM pulse weapon or Carrington event could fry your phone the cell hardware would also be fried and any electronics involved in your broadband connection (and cell backhaul) and even your Tesla vehicle (cybertruck?) would be stuffed. There's someone whose phone is shoved deep down into the biscuit barrel of barminess. :)

    I think even an old vehicle with a mechanical ignition system would require replacing the coil, alternator, starter motor and wiring including the ignition leads. Need a rather large biscuit tin.

    I would have thought laser weapons in space would make slightly more sense.

  24. William Higinbotham

    The one thing everyone does not realize is that this is the surest and fastest way to deliver magnetic pulse to the enemie(s). Detections and response time is minimized. Just like submarines off of coasts.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "this is the surest and fastest way to deliver magnetic pulse to the enemie(s). "

      Depends on the orbit, and where in that orbit the bird is at the time of the ... uh ... emergency.

      Polar orbit can cover the entire planet ... eventually. Equatorial, not so much ... but can be quicker over what it does cover.

  25. DCA

    I will keep the biscuit tin handy.

    After reading the comment section I think I will continue to keep my smartphone in a biscuit tin. Besides, my wife does not like biscuits so she will never look for my smartphone there.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like