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Utopia Talk / Politics / Ukrainan forces adopting Hamas tactics
Paramount
Member
Thu Aug 04 13:12:34
Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas.

http://twi...?s=21&t=GKVrS6nRzUG4g66DkByP4g


Ukrainan forces are fighting among civilians and using civilians as human shields. Will Ukraine be labeled terrorists now?
Pillz
Member
Thu Aug 04 13:48:25
This has been well established already. They take locals hostage as human shields (Mariupol, Severodonetsk).

Im better then you
2012 UP Football Champ
Thu Aug 04 13:51:38
Yes, cause Russians give a fuck about civilians.
Pillz
Member
Thu Aug 04 14:13:23
They'd rather the civilians live and settle on their newly reclaimed clay, than be slaughtered or run to Europe.
Habebe
Member
Thu Aug 04 14:32:29
This way when they get attacked they can cry "They killed Civillians"

All Lucitania work.
Seb
Member
Thu Aug 04 16:05:09
I've skimmed the report.

Pretty poor - it scuffs over the Russian actual indiscriminate attacks on civilians (yes yes, the Russians do war crimes) and is very vague about the Ukraine stuff.

What they suggest Ukraine is going is *not* a war crime, but possible beaches of IHL (which is lower threshold), and even that only applies if they are using hospitals (schools and residential areas are not protected) and some technical "soldiers milling around a hospital" and in places vague as to whether residents have been evaced.

In no way does it demonstrate equivalency.

The way it's couched almost implies that you are not permitted under IHL to defend civilian areas (which requires troops stationed in residential areas). That's utter bollocks.

Unfortunately amnesty likes to try and push it's neutrality to get influence. I'm assuming this is a rather naive attempt to find something to say about Ukraine in order to try and convince Russian civil society and govt that it's impartial and thus listen to their recommendations on how Russia could reduce its violations. Buy that's daft. Russia is intentionally attacking civilians.
jergul
large member
Thu Aug 04 17:00:43
The black letter prohibition of indiscriminate attacks under international humanitarian law (IHL)7 is narrower. It comprises essentially three possibilities:8 (1) use of a specific means or method of combat that is inherently indiscriminate either (a) because it cannot be aimed (for instance, balloon-borne bombs) or (b) because its
effects cannot be controlled (for instance, biological weapons or poisoning foodstuffs); or (2) an attack that was not aimed (for
instance, an artillery shell blindly fired)

For the record.

I am not sure you can both sanction Russia to limit its precision arsenal, then complain that the Russian arsenal is not accurate enough.

The concept of proportionality and descrimination is always subjective. A party should always attempt to be as proportionate and descriminate as possible with the weapons at its disposal.

Establishing violations is almost impossible.
jergul
large member
Thu Aug 04 17:04:53
http://sch....cgi?article=1151&context=vjtl

It is an interesting discussion centuries old.

Only the most modern ways of waging war have always been viewed as the only legitimate way of waging war by those possessing the most modern ways of waging war.

The rest are barbarians, savages, or war criminals.
murder
Member
Thu Aug 04 17:22:47

Amnesty International should be declared a terrorist organization for acting as a PR arm of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

murder
Member
Thu Aug 04 17:25:17
http://www...hread=90360&time=1659525949455

The Jurgle is funnier than the joke, but still. :o)

Seb
Member
Thu Aug 04 18:23:36
Jergul:

Asserting that Russia, engaged in an unprovoked war is aggression, should be provided with support in that aggression in the form of access to the materials needed to manufacture precision weapons, is peak jergul.

If they can't achieve military objectives with proportional levels of force, they should cease their war of aggression.

In any case there are plenty of examples of Russia targeting civilians deliberately.
murder
Member
Thu Aug 04 18:27:10

This Amnesty International/Putin PR release is going to give Russia cover to bomb civilians even more liberally.

Seb
Member
Thu Aug 04 18:42:36
Look, terribly sorry, we want to invade your country but unfortunately all we have is nuclear weapons, so I'm affraid we are just going to have to incinerate your cities.

Given what weapons we have, this is proportional.

You can't complain. It's you and the rest of the worlds fault for not giving us enough precision weapons to achieve our goals with less lethality.
Paramount
Member
Fri Aug 05 01:39:04
I've seen a video of Ukrainan soldiers on the roof tops of residential buildings. Ukraine can't put soldiers on top of residential buildings and then complain that Russia is targetting residential buildings because they want to kill civilians.
Paramount
Member
Fri Aug 05 01:41:34
"Look, terribly sorry, we want to invade your country but unfortunately all we have is nuclear weapons, so I'm affraid we are just going to have to incinerate your cities."


Russia should be able to follow the example of democratic countries such as America and use nukes on countries they want to invade.
Seb
Member
Fri Aug 05 02:24:37
Paramount:

Depends on whether there are civilians in the building.

You also can't argue that Russia is justified in attacking any civilian building because Ukraine has taken positions in some of them to defend a residential area that Russia is attacking, when Russia is also mass deporting civilians to Russia, and we have lots and lots of documented evidence of Russian forces shooting civilians - not accidentally but deliberately.

While it may be an infringement of the principles of IHL to station troops close to civilians (such is not the same as residential buildings it civilians have been evaced) that does not remove attacking States obligations to assess proportionality. "I once saw some Ukrainian soldiers on the roof of a flat, therefore I can bomb any block of flats even if it's hundreds of miles away from the front line" simply doesn't fly.

For hospitals however, the legal position on duties are much clearer: even if there are military forces present, there needs to be a very clear and imminent military need that justifies the impact on civilians. Yet we have examples of Russia hitting hospitals with missiles where Russian forces are no where nearby and there's nothing there posing an active threat to Russian forces. These are not merely infractions of IHL, they are clear out and out war crimes and not justified by anything Ukraine has done.

There is no example of democratic countries using nukes in an unprovoked war of aggression prompted by a desire to annex a country. You know that. You know that I know that. So saying it just makes you look stupid and calls into question your motivation in trying to draw false moral equivalence where there isn't one.

This reflexive whataboutism and continued need to assert moral equivalence between Russia and the West amounts to a defence and apology for Russian imperialism and ethnic cleansing.
Seb
Member
Fri Aug 05 02:27:47
Bottom line, Russia actively targets civilians as a matter of course as part of achieving its war aims (displacement).

The West as a matter of course tries very hard to minimise civilian casualties.

Within that, yes war crimes happen either through mistake, or by rogue units or where Western commanders get the balance of proportionality wrong.

This is different from what Russia is doing.
Seb
Member
Fri Aug 05 03:02:47
If I was going to write a report on Ukrainian breaches of IHL and war crimes, there's plenty that amnesty could focus on which doesn't have the effect of legitimising, or appearing to legitimise, Russia's attacks on civilians in Ukraine by giving the impression they are incidental due to presence of Ukrainian military forces.
Paramount
Member
Fri Aug 05 03:22:21
"and we have lots and lots of documented evidence of Russian forces shooting civilians - not accidentally but deliberately. "


Zelensky handed out weapons to every civilian who wanted a weapon. There was even an old lady who said they would sit at their windows and shoot.

If 'civilians' are armed and taking part in the fightings, they are no longer civilians but combatants.
Seb
Member
Fri Aug 05 04:07:06
Paramount:

Nobody disputes that a person bearing arms against Russian forces isn't a civilian.

The fact that some civvies take up arms, either as reservists or as partisans, does not mean that all civilians suddenly become fair game. We've actually prosecuted and jailed Western soldiers that took this view in Afghanistan and Iraq, and while we may have covered up even more, that's a world of difference to Russia and a million miles from your attempts to justify civilians being fair game generally on the basis some further civilians have taken up arms - which is what you are doing here.

The obligation remains on parties to the conflict to behave proportionately. Targeting civilians on the basis they might not actually be civilians needs to be justified by imminent threat.

In any case, there are no Russian forces in Kyiv that might be threatened by a granny in a flat with with small arms.

So lobbing kalibirs and Iskanders into Kyiv residential blocks on the off chance that there's a combatant civilian there doesn't stand up at all.

And the same applies to Kharkiv.

Honestly, in surprised you are going down this insane route.
murder
Member
Fri Aug 05 05:45:49

"I've seen a video of Ukrainan soldiers on the roof tops of residential buildings. Ukraine can't put soldiers on top of residential buildings and then complain that Russia is targetting residential buildings because they want to kill civilians."

Let me see if I can simplify this for you ... Ukrainian soldiers are on roof tops in Ukraine. Russian soldiers are targeting civilian buildings in Ukraine.

Only one side is doing anything inappropriate.

McKobb
Member
Fri Aug 05 05:55:07
If russia wasn't in Ukraine they wouldn't have to worry about targeting civilians. Maybe putin should pull his bitch-ass self out and quit bitchin.
McKobb
Member
Fri Aug 05 05:55:08
If russia wasn't in Ukraine they wouldn't have to worry about targeting civilians. Maybe putin should pull his bitch-ass self out and quit bitchin.
McKobb
Member
Fri Aug 05 05:55:33
goddamn double post again
swordtail
Anarchist Prime
Fri Aug 05 05:55:39
"Only one side is doing anything inappropriate."

yups that'd be the nazis and their enablers.
murder
Member
Fri Aug 05 05:56:32

Thanks for making a 3rd post to point that out. :oP

patom
Member
Fri Aug 05 06:04:55
War should be regulated by a League. Any country that wishes to engage in War should be required to remove all non combatants except medical support units from wherever they plan to wage war.

Maybe they could set up giant War Game zones like they do in Paintball Parks.
1- Rules of engagement
2- League referees to make calls and penalties
3- Penalties could be ceding of territory for infractions.
4- ............
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 06 02:51:46
Seb
Proportionate is objectively measured against weapons available to the party.

The displacement argument you are making is a silly figment of your imagination.

The war is ultimately about keeping as many loyal or indifferent Russian speakers as possible within the Russian sphere of influence.

Ukraine on the other hand has many good reasons for forced evacuations. A few of them are even humanitarian, but fear of collaborators spying on troops, the logistic strain of feeding people, and civilians hiding in perfectly good fire and shelter positions the military want weigh more heavily.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 06 02:55:50
The big picture is fine. Wars of aggression very bad and contains within it the sum of crimes committed in the war.

Try to remember that the next time you support one, mkay?

Aiming and firing shells and missiles towards Ukrainian forces are not war crimes.

Seb
Member
Sat Aug 06 04:44:51
Jergul:

False.

http://www...proportionality-in-attacks-ihl

"The international humanitarian law rule of proportionality in attacks holds that in the conduct of hostilities during an armed conflict parties to the conflict must not launch an attack against lawful military objectives if the attack 'may be expected' to result in excessive civilian harm (deaths, injuries, or damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof) compared to the 'concrete and direct military advantage anticipated'. If conducted intentionally a disproportionate attack may constitute a war crime."

The implications are the reverse of what you say - access to precision weapons makes it easier to conduct lawful operations against forces in areas where civilian are near by by reducing the expected harm to civilians in proportion to the military advantage.

Conversely lack of access to precision weapons necessitating use of more indiscriminate means is going to increase the likelihood of civilian deaths in proportion to the military advantage, making it harder to conduct attacks lawfully. The attacker is expected therefore to show greater restatint to stay within the law.



jergul
large member
Sat Aug 06 17:49:49
Seb
I am entirely correct.

Indiscriminate is conditional to the means available.

I already posted the definitive definition above.

"The black letter prohibition of indiscriminate attacks under international humanitarian law (IHL)7 is narrower. It comprises essentially three possibilities:8 (1) use of a specific means or method of combat that is inherently indiscriminate either (a) because it cannot be aimed (for instance, balloon-borne bombs) or (b) because its
effects cannot be controlled (for instance, biological weapons or poisoning foodstuffs); or (2) an attack that was not aimed (for instance, an artillery shell blindly fired)"

Sorry, but you cannot redefine lawful combat to mean only combat fought by the west.
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 07 00:46:51
Proportionate, which is both the test in law and the word you original used, is not.

"Proportionate is objectively measured against weapons available to the party."

Their weapons and attacks are indiscriminate, therefore disproportionate. If they don't have the capability to be more discriminating, tough tits, the law doesn't care.
Sam Adams
Member
Sun Aug 07 10:48:18
"Sorry, but you cannot redefine lawful combat to mean only combat fought by the west."

Of course you can.
murder
Member
Sun Aug 07 11:07:21

Imagine trying to give an invading army the benefit of the doubt. If they weren't properly equip to conduct lawful warfare, then maybe they should have stayed home.

Not that there isn't plenty of evidence that their equipment has nothing to do with their barbarity.

Seb
Member
Sun Aug 07 11:44:52
Plenty of Russian attacks on civilians where there's no military presence near by are at best indiscriminate (fired blindly at a city). Particularly their use of cluster munitions, phosphor and thermobarics.

The alternative is that they are actually targeting civilians.

I'm any case the question is whether their attacks are proportionate. I.e. should they be targeting an area where there is no clear military benefit
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 07 12:35:54
Sammy
Sure you can, but it carries no weight. Wake me up when you feel like condemning the wwii USAF for warcrimes.

Murder
The Russians are equipped to fight lawfully. Just use UK bomber commands nighttime use of gravity bombs as a metric for what is legal.

Seb
Indescriminate is a relative term. The problem with cluster munitions is their failure rate, not their use in combat. It leaves mini minefields after every use. Just like the actual minefields Ukraine is putting down.

Clusters and thermobarics simply do their job with far fewer rounds fired than using conventional HE.
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 07 12:40:37
On the proportionate. It is pretty clear Russia is using company sized recon to find and lock Ukrainians, then pounding the crap out of them with arty and airpower once they are found and locked.

The core problem is lack of Ukr skill. It is forced to hold built up areas primarily because that makes it less squishy.
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 07 14:33:56
Jergul:

No, you've just posted a definition that very clearly shows it's not.
"Because it cannot be aimed" - that's objective not relative.

"Because it's effects cannot be controlled" - that's objective not relative

"An attack that *was not aimed*" - again objective not relative.

The only thing that's relative is proportionality. This is about when you commit an attack that is likely to kill and injur civilians - the assumption is you are aiming at military forces - does the risk to civilians outweigh the military need for the attack.

You asserted this proportionality test was relative to the weapons ability to discriminate (i.e. say if one only had to hand cluster munitions attacking a barracks with 20 infantry soldiers that is situated near say, a school full of children, hundreds of miles from the front) the maximum precision of your weapons and ability to aim somehow factors into the assessment.

It doesn't though.

And using certain types of weapons for scenarios like that can fall into the category of indiscriminate attacks, particularly if the forces being targeted pose no actual immediate threat to Russian forces or have limited military value.

That's *all* assuming that there is a valid military target in the first place.
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 07 14:38:49
It is always a violation of IHL to use weapons that will inevitably or have a very high chance of resulting in lots of civilian damage and deaths if the military value of the target is low.

Even if you take best endeavours using the most precise weapon available.

It is also *indiscriminate* if you also choose to use a weapon that doesn't have the ability to meaningfully and precisely target the military forces.
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 07 17:10:54
Seb
It is subjective due to how all inclusive the criteria are. A bomb over Dresden in 1945 was aimed.

The military value of a target is most certainly subjective.

All weapons have the ability to meaningfully and precisely target military forces. The only question is how many metric tons of munitions you need to get the job done. Clustermunitions and thermobarics are used because they greatly decrease the amount of munitons needed to reach a goal.
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 07 17:13:36
Just out of curiousity, when did the UK stop doing warcrimes systematically by your definition? After Korea maybe?
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 07 17:27:30
IHL didn't exist at the time. A bomb over Dresden was explicitly aimed at civilians - it would be a clear violation of IHL if not a war crime. "If we can't reliably destroy factories then let's kill, injur or make homeless and displace anyone who might work in them" is absolutely the kind of thing IHL and subsequent laws were set up to prevent being the norm.

Military value may be somewhat subjective. In practice it is determined in courts if it gets there. "We really wanted to kill these 20 infantry men 100 miles from the front that offer no immediate threat to us or our forces, and whose deaths would not impact meaningfully combat operations at the front, but it was really really important to us, and we figured 1000 dead civilians were worth it" - thats not going to fly.

In any case it is not relative to the weapon as you said earlier.

"when did the UK stop doing warcrimes systematically by your definition?"

Standards and the law has evolved over time. As you have noted before, war crimes are depressingly common. What's certainly true now is Western forces spend a lot of time thinking about the balance of proportionality and the risk to civilians even if they regularly fuck up and kill civilians by accident.

There are missions we don't do because of civilian risk even with precision weapons.

You seem to be saying this is ridiculous and we should just use thermobarics instead.
jergul
large member
Mon Aug 08 00:18:08
IHL has existed for a long time. "International humanitarian law is rooted in the rules of ancient civilizations and religions". The decision to target civilians was not lightly made. The only reason no one was hung was because of who won.

Precision munitions are better than thermobarics that are better than cluster munitions that are better than conventional aimed munitions. A simple matter of math regarding how many tons of munitions you have to use to achieve a goal.

All are legal weapons of war.

Clustermines are bad exactly for the same reason minefields are bad. The dude ratio is too high, so leaves live explosives laying about that will harm or kill people long after combat activity in an area has ceased.



jergul
large member
Mon Aug 08 03:06:40
dude ratio*

Well, I laughed on rereading :)
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 08 04:19:04
jergul:

Being routed in rules of ancient civilisations is not the same thing as saying that the system and development of this law hasn't resulted in significant changes since the 1940's and 1950's through jurisprudence, customary practice, treaties etc.

"Precision munitions are better than thermobarics that are better than cluster munitions that are better than conventional aimed munitions. A simple matter of math regarding how many tons of munitions you have to use to achieve a goal."

They are better in the sense it allow you to be more precise and minimise risks to citizens - which makes them more useable in situations you would not otherwise be able to (irrespective of economic efficiency).

It's not a case of the weapon being legal or not - it is how you use it.

"so leaves live explosives laying about that will harm or kill people long after combat activity in an area has ceased."

Indeed - cf.
(a) because it cannot be aimed or
(b) because its effects cannot be controlled

Cluster munitions and mine fields are frowned upon because they are or potentially are indiscriminate over the long term.

But that is not the same thing as an attack being disproportionate in the risk it poses .

The concepts overlap of course, but you are hopping back and forth between them. Originally, I think we were talking about the proportionality: that we should not criticise Russia's unreasonable attacks on civilian areas far from the front line and apparently unconnected with any specific military target of any strategic note; because we have disrupted their ability to acquire precision munitions.

This is absurd - not having capability for more precise targeting and limiting of effects does not make it ok to resort to increasingly indiscriminate means of pursuing the objective because it is disproportionate.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 08 04:23:55
*Cluster munitions and mine fields are frowned upon because they are or potentially are indiscriminate over the long term; such that many states now consider any use is almost inevitably incompatible with their duties under IHL at some level and as there are better ways to achieve goals they will no longer use them (and they are pushing for that to be agreed universally).

That doesn't mean IHL bans these munitions though, that's a separate initiative.

And the absence of a ban does not automatically mean that a state that does use them in a specific attack isn't infringing on IHL. Nor does it mean that it is. It depends on the specifics.

And that's my point here: many of Russia's attacks are clear violations of IHL - enough that we can say that this is systemic.

This cannot be defended against by saying "well, we lacked the means to be more precise" - their obligation was not to undertake those attacks in the first place.
jergul
large member
Mon Aug 08 16:35:50
Seb
On the original point. Russia using precision munitions on military targets far from the front is almost certainly proportionate.

It needs to husband those assets for use to best effect.

In general, Ukraine is forced to defend in built up areas because it needs the robustness that provides its troops. Russia therefore needs to engage ukraine in built up areas.

We are speaking of areas that have been mostly evacuated in any event. The scale of proportionality is acceptable. Russia uses its arty to degrade and break Ukrainian forces after advancing to find and fix those forces.

You know how many Norwegian towns were defended in the 2 month invasion? One. Narvik. Defended by the Germans against allied counter attacks.

Norway chose to not fight in its towns and villages to avoid their destruction.

Ukraine has chosen to defend differently. Which is fine, but it does not grant them immunity from attacks when it chooses to defend settlements.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 08 17:29:17
Given the high rate of incidents where Russian missiles hit civilian areas where there's no military presence, either these are not precision weapons and closer to v1/V2 weapons, or they are precisely targeting civilians.

The supposed level of precision weapons doesn't account for the actual outcome.
Sam Adams
Member
Tue Aug 09 09:49:25
Ukrainian civilians are about to be slaughtered somewhere. Major russian airbase was just hit. Putin and his buttbuddies are pissed. Pillz is crying i think.
murder
Member
Tue Aug 09 09:56:30

"Ukrainian civilians are about to be slaughtered somewhere. Major russian airbase was just hit. Putin and his buttbuddies are pissed. Pillz is crying i think."

Maybe Putin will blow up a nuclear reactor in a fit of rage.

obaminated
Member
Tue Aug 09 10:33:48
Russians are already hitting civilian areas. Russia is actively trying to conquer Ukraine. Every inch of land is worth battle.
jergul
large member
Thu Aug 11 01:17:12
Seb
You have no idea where and where not there is Ukrainian military presence.

The UN reports 5000 civilian dead. Ukraine reports 28k.

The most civilian friendly war ever by the reported numbers.

jergul
large member
Thu Aug 11 01:17:51
Russia has turned the defence of Siversk into a new kessel.
jergul
large member
Thu Aug 11 01:33:16
You guys have such a fishbowl perspective on the conflict.

To me, it looks like Russia is fighting a war it can sustain. Not a true frozen conflict, but close enough.

Losses are fine. The modernized T-62s (some 70 deployed) have a single confirmed loss (damaged from the video cut. A drone dropped a frag grenade into a hatch, but did not trigger 2ndary explosions).

Incidentally, I would advise to use destroyed only statistics from the "attack on Europe site" Damaged can later become destroyed or repaired, then destroyed later. Or simply repaired.

My favourite example is the 27 T-64s Russia has lost. Of 0 it had at the start of the conflict. It captured vehicles that only became destroyed later on the Russian tally.
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