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Emrys

Emrys's Journal
Emrys's Journal
July 25, 2023

Ukraine: Russia may be cracking down on its deranged war crime cheerleaders. [Threadreader]

The fog of war is ever-present, and not least in the area of propaganda, but this report comes from a reliable source and has been backed by people I consider trustworthy, such as journalist Julia Davis (https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews), who has been translating videos of Russian TV propaganda for some years.

Threadreader version of a Twitter thread:

ChrisO_wiki
@ChrisO_wiki

1/ The arrest yesterday of Igor "Strelkov" Girkin may be the start of a crackdown on jingoistic "hurrah-patriots", according to an apparently leaked report which is said to have led to his detention. It also denounces many others including broadcaster Vladimir Solovyov.




2/ The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel has published large sections of the lengthy report, which according to State Duma deputy Mikhail Delyagin, was written by his fellow deputy from Kuzbass, the political strategist Oleg Matveychev.




3/ According to VChK-OGPU, the report was received by the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation before the Wagner Group's mutiny. After the mutiny, the go-ahead was given to arrest Girkin.

4/ The report calls for the Kremlin to "take repressive measures against those who are insane and with whom it is impossible to negotiate." It warns that "a militia of people who know how to hold a gun is being formed around Girkin-Strelkov."

5/ The crackdown may go further than Girkin, who is likely to have been seen as a more serious security threat after the Wagner mutiny. Several other people are mentioned in the report, which says they "need to be persuaded to stop whipping up critical hysteria". They include:

6/ 🔺 Andrei Kartapolov and Andrei Gurulev, United Russia State Duma deputies;
🔺 Oleg Tsaryov, the former "speaker of the Novorossiya parliament"
🔺 Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT

7/🔺 Mikhail Delyagin, 'A Just Russia – For Truth' State Duma deputy, who is accused of saying that the ruble might devalue
🔺 Vladimir Solovyov, who is said to host a nightly "gang rape of the authorities" on his show on the Russia-1 channel

8/ The report on "the danger of jingoism in the information space of the Russian Federation" declares that currently "there is an extremely undesirable situation ... with trends that favour the plans of our geopolitical opponent."




9/ It claims that Russia's enemies have placed the "main bet on destabilisation in Russia ... on the so-called hurrah-patriots." ("Hurrah", or Ура́, is a traditional Russian battle cry; "hurrah-patriots" are equivalent to jingoists.)

10/ "The enemies can no longer count on other classes of the population. Liberals and hipsters are demoralised and have also largely left the territory of the Russian Federation and cannot play a significant role.

11/ "The fight against against them is being waged now by inertia, and by inertia the people's anger is directed against them, even though liberals do not pose any threat now. They are incapable of bringing a couple of hundred people onto the streets."

12/ The report calls on the Kremlin to "stop harassing them and fuelling social discord in the country" and to "leave the liberals and those who have left alone".

13/ Although the Communists and other leftists are "ready to warm up their hands on any difficulties of power", for now "they are not particularly dangerous, in view of their low ratings."

14/ A much greater danger comes from the right – "the patriotic public [figures], who, it would seem, stand for the protection of the state and public order, but in fact broadcast so-called military special propaganda."

15/ The report calls for the government to "stop pumping up the patriotic wave and inciting hatred, because this hatred and this wave represent a much greater danger."

16/ This includes activities by 'official patriots' in state-run media, who the report says "work against the state for free as 'useful idiots'."




17/ "For example, in the programme 'Evening with Vladimir Solovyov' there is every time essentially a gang rape of the authorities. The speakers are constantly kicking the authorities for various shortcomings in their activities."

18/ The report notes that many of the 'ultra-patriots' have criticised difficulties in military operations, the lack of uniforms and medical supplies, the shelling of Russian border regions and issues with mobilisation, taking a 'benevolent' position of sincere concern.

19/ It complains that "a large number of war correspondents who are sent from our official media and who, supposedly, should be subordinated to the management and editors-in-chief of these media outlets [should not] spout all sorts of rubbish in their Telegram feeds."

20/ The report claims that Western "curators" are "pump[ing] traffic to these figures [and] think that at this stage it is necessary to drum into the heads of the population the existence of a huge number of problems and the traitors who create these problems."

21/ It warns that 'ultra-patriots' have created "an image of a so-called "fifth column" around Putin, which creates problems and which does not let the right information and true patriots reach Putin upstairs." The report forecasts an erosion of confidence in the government.

22/ At some point, the report says, "when confidence in the institutions of power in the institutions of power is lost, [they will] strike a final blow to the president and declare that "the fish rots from the head," preparing the way for Putin's overthrow.

23/ The next Russian presidential election in March 2024 is highlighted as the moment when the blow will come from "the information troops of NATO and Ukraine." Ukrainian propaganda is said to have become much more sophisticated and aimed specifically at Russians.




24/ "At this point, "the public, tired of the flow of negative news and failures, will be convinced that the "fifth column" and enemies of the state are in charge of our president.

25/ Then it will be possible to tell the public directly that Putin is an undesirable figure in the leadership of the country, that he is incapable of securing victories, or to effectively manage the army, has brought the country to a dead end, has quarrelled with the…

26/ …international community, and so on."

It advises that the Kremlin should "talk to those of the major information players and stakeholders who are able to hear."




27/ "Kartapolov, Gurulev, Prigozhin, Tsarev, Simonyan, a number of political analysts - they all need to be persuaded to stop whipping up critical hysteria and talking about the shortcomings and so on.

28/ "All their talk about "the truth must be told", they should save it for after the victory.

29/ "We must explain to them firmly that now you are clearly working for our enemies, as evidenced by the documents we have intercepted ... [We must] give them clear instructions that they should curtail this hysterical activity and do not engage in populism.

30/ "We should also have a conversation with Malofeev, with the editorial staff of the Den TV channel (Alexander Alexandrovich), "Den TV" (Alexander Prokhanov) and with Yevgeny Fedorov, the leader of the NOD movement, Zakhar Prilepin.

31/ "We need to hold a big high-level meeting with them and demand to lower the temperature, to turn down the thermostat, so to speak."

32/ The report draws a distinction between media ultra-patriots and "those who are insane and with whom it is impossible to reach an agreement". It calls for "repressive measures" against them. Girkin and other retired military figures are named as specific threats.




33/ "They see themselves as a militia for a future patriotic Maidan. They've already moved beyond criticising Putin, who they see as an enemy of the state and the main obstacle to the victory, they see Putin as a protégé of the oligarchs, a thief and so on, ...

34/ ...and therefore the main evil in the state. They do not believe that there is a good tsar and bad boyars, because for them all tsars and boyars are bad. So they are ready to overthrow him to overthrow him, and they must have weapons."

35/ As well as Girkin, the retired Army officers Vladimir Kvachkov and Leonid Ivashov – who have been outspoken critics of the war – are targeted as well as "similar retired men with epaulettes."

36/ The report calls for them to be "put in serious trouble, like being put under house arrest for a few months, based on suspicion ...

37/ We need to give them some kind of warning, brand them as foreign agents, so that their audience understands that there are questions about them, and that these people are not to be trusted. Then they'll get scared and they'll start to behave."

38/ The report includes a list of objectionable statements made on social media by the people it denounces. It also calls for Russian social media to crack down on the ultra-patriots and cease to be a "thoroughfare for ... Americans, who feel at ease, playing on our territory."






39/ "Firstly, Rutube should be tasked with simply becoming a copy of YouTube, to throw away for the time being all their dreams of becoming something original, remove Gazprom's demand for monetisation, self-sufficiency, and also to capture those users who will leave YouTube if…




40/ …it closes down [sic] ... Secondly, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki should suppress the traffic of Strelkov, Montyan, Kashevarova, Delyagin and others, make it difficult to find them in searches, or better yet, blacklist them or delete their accounts altogether." /end

Sources:
🔹
🔹 https://t.co/85PaWWvKnf
🔹 https://t.co/xqD4nJYL66
🔹 https://t.co/1noe8UmaZa
🔹 https://t.co/KkaMkEQ9skt.me/vchkogpu/40086
t.me/vchkogpu/40106
t.me/vchkogpu/40111
t.me/Tayganews/43736


Full Threadreader version (which provides a link to the original Twitter thread) here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1682683244884500482.html

[X-posted in General Discussion: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100218117050 ]
July 25, 2023

Ukraine: Russia may be cracking down on its deranged war crime cheerleaders. [Threadreader]

The fog of war is ever-present, and not least in the area of propaganda, but this report comes from a reliable source and has been backed by people I consider trustworthy, such as journalist Julia Davis (https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews), who has been translating videos of Russian TV propaganda for some years.

Threadreader version of a Twitter thread:

ChrisO_wiki
@ChrisO_wiki

1/ The arrest yesterday of Igor "Strelkov" Girkin may be the start of a crackdown on jingoistic "hurrah-patriots", according to an apparently leaked report which is said to have led to his detention. It also denounces many others including broadcaster Vladimir Solovyov.




2/ The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel has published large sections of the lengthy report, which according to State Duma deputy Mikhail Delyagin, was written by his fellow deputy from Kuzbass, the political strategist Oleg Matveychev.




3/ According to VChK-OGPU, the report was received by the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation before the Wagner Group's mutiny. After the mutiny, the go-ahead was given to arrest Girkin.

4/ The report calls for the Kremlin to "take repressive measures against those who are insane and with whom it is impossible to negotiate." It warns that "a militia of people who know how to hold a gun is being formed around Girkin-Strelkov."

5/ The crackdown may go further than Girkin, who is likely to have been seen as a more serious security threat after the Wagner mutiny. Several other people are mentioned in the report, which says they "need to be persuaded to stop whipping up critical hysteria". They include:

6/ 🔺 Andrei Kartapolov and Andrei Gurulev, United Russia State Duma deputies;
🔺 Oleg Tsaryov, the former "speaker of the Novorossiya parliament"
🔺 Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT

7/🔺 Mikhail Delyagin, 'A Just Russia – For Truth' State Duma deputy, who is accused of saying that the ruble might devalue
🔺 Vladimir Solovyov, who is said to host a nightly "gang rape of the authorities" on his show on the Russia-1 channel

8/ The report on "the danger of jingoism in the information space of the Russian Federation" declares that currently "there is an extremely undesirable situation ... with trends that favour the plans of our geopolitical opponent."




9/ It claims that Russia's enemies have placed the "main bet on destabilisation in Russia ... on the so-called hurrah-patriots." ("Hurrah", or Ура́, is a traditional Russian battle cry; "hurrah-patriots" are equivalent to jingoists.)

10/ "The enemies can no longer count on other classes of the population. Liberals and hipsters are demoralised and have also largely left the territory of the Russian Federation and cannot play a significant role.

11/ "The fight against against them is being waged now by inertia, and by inertia the people's anger is directed against them, even though liberals do not pose any threat now. They are incapable of bringing a couple of hundred people onto the streets."

12/ The report calls on the Kremlin to "stop harassing them and fuelling social discord in the country" and to "leave the liberals and those who have left alone".

13/ Although the Communists and other leftists are "ready to warm up their hands on any difficulties of power", for now "they are not particularly dangerous, in view of their low ratings."

14/ A much greater danger comes from the right – "the patriotic public [figures], who, it would seem, stand for the protection of the state and public order, but in fact broadcast so-called military special propaganda."

15/ The report calls for the government to "stop pumping up the patriotic wave and inciting hatred, because this hatred and this wave represent a much greater danger."

16/ This includes activities by 'official patriots' in state-run media, who the report says "work against the state for free as 'useful idiots'."




17/ "For example, in the programme 'Evening with Vladimir Solovyov' there is every time essentially a gang rape of the authorities. The speakers are constantly kicking the authorities for various shortcomings in their activities."

18/ The report notes that many of the 'ultra-patriots' have criticised difficulties in military operations, the lack of uniforms and medical supplies, the shelling of Russian border regions and issues with mobilisation, taking a 'benevolent' position of sincere concern.

19/ It complains that "a large number of war correspondents who are sent from our official media and who, supposedly, should be subordinated to the management and editors-in-chief of these media outlets [should not] spout all sorts of rubbish in their Telegram feeds."

20/ The report claims that Western "curators" are "pump[ing] traffic to these figures [and] think that at this stage it is necessary to drum into the heads of the population the existence of a huge number of problems and the traitors who create these problems."

21/ It warns that 'ultra-patriots' have created "an image of a so-called "fifth column" around Putin, which creates problems and which does not let the right information and true patriots reach Putin upstairs." The report forecasts an erosion of confidence in the government.

22/ At some point, the report says, "when confidence in the institutions of power in the institutions of power is lost, [they will] strike a final blow to the president and declare that "the fish rots from the head," preparing the way for Putin's overthrow.

23/ The next Russian presidential election in March 2024 is highlighted as the moment when the blow will come from "the information troops of NATO and Ukraine." Ukrainian propaganda is said to have become much more sophisticated and aimed specifically at Russians.




24/ "At this point, "the public, tired of the flow of negative news and failures, will be convinced that the "fifth column" and enemies of the state are in charge of our president.

25/ Then it will be possible to tell the public directly that Putin is an undesirable figure in the leadership of the country, that he is incapable of securing victories, or to effectively manage the army, has brought the country to a dead end, has quarrelled with the…

26/ …international community, and so on."

It advises that the Kremlin should "talk to those of the major information players and stakeholders who are able to hear."




27/ "Kartapolov, Gurulev, Prigozhin, Tsarev, Simonyan, a number of political analysts - they all need to be persuaded to stop whipping up critical hysteria and talking about the shortcomings and so on.

28/ "All their talk about "the truth must be told", they should save it for after the victory.

29/ "We must explain to them firmly that now you are clearly working for our enemies, as evidenced by the documents we have intercepted ... [We must] give them clear instructions that they should curtail this hysterical activity and do not engage in populism.

30/ "We should also have a conversation with Malofeev, with the editorial staff of the Den TV channel (Alexander Alexandrovich), "Den TV" (Alexander Prokhanov) and with Yevgeny Fedorov, the leader of the NOD movement, Zakhar Prilepin.

31/ "We need to hold a big high-level meeting with them and demand to lower the temperature, to turn down the thermostat, so to speak."

32/ The report draws a distinction between media ultra-patriots and "those who are insane and with whom it is impossible to reach an agreement". It calls for "repressive measures" against them. Girkin and other retired military figures are named as specific threats.




33/ "They see themselves as a militia for a future patriotic Maidan. They've already moved beyond criticising Putin, who they see as an enemy of the state and the main obstacle to the victory, they see Putin as a protégé of the oligarchs, a thief and so on, ...

34/ ...and therefore the main evil in the state. They do not believe that there is a good tsar and bad boyars, because for them all tsars and boyars are bad. So they are ready to overthrow him to overthrow him, and they must have weapons."

35/ As well as Girkin, the retired Army officers Vladimir Kvachkov and Leonid Ivashov – who have been outspoken critics of the war – are targeted as well as "similar retired men with epaulettes."

36/ The report calls for them to be "put in serious trouble, like being put under house arrest for a few months, based on suspicion ...

37/ We need to give them some kind of warning, brand them as foreign agents, so that their audience understands that there are questions about them, and that these people are not to be trusted. Then they'll get scared and they'll start to behave."

38/ The report includes a list of objectionable statements made on social media by the people it denounces. It also calls for Russian social media to crack down on the ultra-patriots and cease to be a "thoroughfare for ... Americans, who feel at ease, playing on our territory."






39/ "Firstly, Rutube should be tasked with simply becoming a copy of YouTube, to throw away for the time being all their dreams of becoming something original, remove Gazprom's demand for monetisation, self-sufficiency, and also to capture those users who will leave YouTube if…




40/ …it closes down [sic] ... Secondly, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki should suppress the traffic of Strelkov, Montyan, Kashevarova, Delyagin and others, make it difficult to find them in searches, or better yet, blacklist them or delete their accounts altogether." /end

Sources:
🔹
🔹 https://t.co/85PaWWvKnf
🔹 https://t.co/xqD4nJYL66
🔹 https://t.co/1noe8UmaZa
🔹 https://t.co/KkaMkEQ9skt.me/vchkogpu/40086
t.me/vchkogpu/40106
t.me/vchkogpu/40111
t.me/Tayganews/43736


Full Threadreader version (which provides a link to the original Twitter thread) here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1682683244884500482.html

[X-posted in Foreign Affairs: https://www.democraticunderground.com/113337432]
July 25, 2023

As a Brit, my recollection of DU in the run-up and aftermath of the Brexit vote seems different

to that of many of those who've replied above with no sympathy and claiming the whole rest of the world knew Brexit was a damn fool idea.

I remember days of fevered posting on General Discussion where many of we UK DUers were pitched in long exchanges with US members who cheered the result as one in the eye for the Big Bad EU and neoliberal corporatism and various other buzzwords. Some even tried to interpret the result as a win in class terms.

It got so heated and exhausting that a number of us hunkered down in the UK Group to commiserate and share solidarity.

If anyone doubts what I'm saying, just search DU before and especially after 23 June 2016. The posts and replies are still there, both in GD and the UK group.

Sure, the Brexit we ended up with after all the debates in parliament was just about the worst possible in terms of how "hard" it ended up being, but almost all of us from the UK knew there was going to be a catastrophic outcome from the start.



July 22, 2023

Starmer needs to reflect on the importance of offering the electorate something other than

"Tory-lite" fronted by a charismaless stuffed shirt with no principles or backbone.

The London ULEZ was introduced by Boris Johnson when he was London mayor in 2015:

Mayor confirms world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone.
...
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone is an essential measure to help improve air quality in our city, protect the health of Londoners, and lengthen our lead as the greatest city on earth. With additional funds announced today, more help is on the way for taxi drivers to support their transition to the latest technology in greener cabs. Together we can ensure everyone who lives, works in, or visits our city has the cleanest possible air to breathe.”

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/ultra-low-emission-zone


Now, for some reason, he's changed his tune:

Boris Johnson slams expansion of Ulez that he created while mayor
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/ulez-expansion-london-boris-johnson-daily-mirror-column-b1093044.html

Everybody knows that Johnson doesn't feel bound by the same rules as everyone else, including regarding consistency from day to day. Matching him at his game isn't a winning look for Labour:

On Friday Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer backed Mr Khan over his expansion proposal, telling LBC: “I accept that the mayor has no choice but to go ahead because of the legal obligation on him.”
...
It comes after Labour candidate Danny Beales in Uxbridge and South Ruislip - Mr Johnson’s former constituency - called for a delay to the zone’s extension due to the rising cost of living, despite previously defending the policy.

... Starmer said it was “right” for the Uxbridge candidate to “stand up” for his potential constituents but argued Mr Khan had been left with no “wriggle room” on the issue.

The Opposition leader told LBC he recognised that the move would cause “pain” and it would be “a lot of money” for motorists to have to pay during the current cost-of-living crisis.

But he said it was “important to make clear” that there was a “legal obligation on the mayor to take measures” in relation to air pollution.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/ulez-expansion-london-boris-johnson-daily-mirror-column-b1093044.html


That legal obligation is because Tory Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps twisted Sadiq Khan's arm to reintroduce and expand ULEZ as a condition of extra funding for Transport for London in the recovery period during the aftermath of COVID:



If Labour chickens out so easily even when faced with wide open goals like these against blatant Tory humbug, who can trust them to govern or believe any campaign promises they make?

Maybe Labour would have won the byelection if they hadn't parachuted in a raw Starmer fanboy as candidate and actually demonstrated some principles and vision beyond "there isn't any money" for a change.
July 14, 2023

I copy-edit almost solely non-fiction and academic titles.

Even the best and most authoritative authors need assistance in ensuring their ideas are expressed clearly and that they haven't had inadvertent mental glitches, even before you get anywhere near fact-checking.

Those who aren't the best sometimes need a great deal of help with English issues, especially if it's not their first language, which isn't uncommon as English is the lingua franca for most subjects.

If anything's unclear in what a human author's written, we can raise queries with them and clear issues up, or if they're incompetent, we can apply common sense or our own real-world knowledge and research as best we can to get the job done. I'm not sure how that would work with an AI author. I'm not sure at all how it would work with AI copy-editors working on AI-generated text!

But the technology's been creeping in to copy-editing work for years in the form of automated "assistants" using AI (which are not infrequently more of a hindrance than a help), though so far they still need humans as the final arbiters, and maybe always will unless standards slip even more than they have already over the last few decades.

The pressures are likely to be higher in non-fiction because academics have to publish to survive nowadays, even if they sometimes have nothing new to say ("sometimes" may be a bit generous there). Plagiarism is already a major issue, and efforts to detect it have been automated to a certain extent - often using AI. Detecting AI-generated copy will pose its own challenges, and so the arms race will continue - and no doubt involve pitting AI against AI!

July 12, 2023

Shocking evidence of crimes against British servicemen in Cold War radiation experiments

The nuked blood scandal first exposed by the Mirror last year has uncovered shocking new evidence of possible crimes committed by the British state against its own servicemen

John Folkes could not have been in any greater danger.

Strapped to the ‘rumble seat’ behind the pilot of a Canberra bomber, battling the shockwaves of a nuclear bomb, the terrified 19-year-old was about to plunge into the maelstrom of a mushroom cloud.

Holding a photograph of that moment in 1956, with his plane no bigger than a tiny fly next to the fireball, John now knows that his blood was part of the same Cold War radiation experiment - and the results have been hidden from him for 67 years.

“I had blood tests taken before, during and after every bomb. Yet only one is in my medical records - the one I had before I was exposed,” he said.

“They’ve since told me I had a zero radiation dose, but seeing as I flew through four nuclear weapons, needed decontamination every time, and at one point had to go into the crater, I’m not sure how they worked that out.”

The Nuked Blood Scandal

The Mirror's 3 demands:

Where are the blood tests?

Why aren’t they in veterans’ medical files?

Will the Prime Minister order the #nukedblood records to be released?



Last year the Mirror published evidence the British state had taken blood from servicemen nuked in Cold War experiments, and withheld the results.

Rishi Sunak and Ben Wallace have broken promises, made in person and in Parliament, to examine it.

Because they don’t want to see it, and because you must, we present our dossier here and say: Prime Minister, end these crimes against our veterans.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/evidence-crimes-nuked-blood-scandal-30451070


When I was active in the anti-nuclear movement in the 1980s, among the more humbling experiences were my encounters with members of the British Nuclear Tests Veterans' Association, especially Ken McGinley, a remarkable and lovely gentleman who had witnessed several nuclear tests at Christmas Island. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he's still alive aged 84, but sadly not surprised to find out that he now has terminal cancer:

‘We got told to turn and face it, face the bomb’: Campaigning nuclear test veteran Ken McGinley reveals Stage 4 cancer


Former soldier Ken McGinley reveals his cancer diagnosis at his home in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. McGinley saw five nuclear bomb tests during his military service on Christmas Island

One of the foremost campaigners for nuclear test veterans has revealed he has cancer as he urges a new generation of activists to fight for justice for Britain’s radiation “guinea pigs”.

Former soldier Ken McGinley, who now has stage four lung and kidney cancer, witnessed five nuclear bomb tests – many of them involving devices much bigger than at Hiroshima or Nagasaki – during his military service.

He says his time is running out but the fight for justice has to go on. Politicians backed his fight and called for an apology, compensation and a full public inquiry into the treatment of nuclear test veterans.

He said: “There is no aftercare for people who have served in the British forces. The MoD prefer to fight rather than help people.”

https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/nuclear-test-veteran-ken-mcginley/


When we met, he told me many of his colleagues had already died without ever being recognized or receiving proper care, let alone compensation, from the British authorities.

Time is quickly running out for the last of them.
July 12, 2023

There's so much unexploded ordnance left in Ukraine after Russian attacks

that it's been necessary to issue decks of cards so that people can identify them. Such programmes have been going on for years, and the latest has its own Twitter account and JustGiving page:

https://twitter.com/UkraineCards/status/1620471773690212353

Explosive hazard awareness cards for Ukraine
@UkraineCards

Please have a read and a retweet. We have now distributed 40,000 packs of our hazard awareness cards within #Ukraine together we can raise awareness. Awareness saves lives.


https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ukraine-hazard-awareness-cards


Weʼve raised £2,127 to Print Explosive Hazard Awareness Playing Cards for Ukraine

Story

This is our new page for the second round of fundraising following the successful funding of the first 20,000 packs.

The war in Ukraine has left vast quantities of abandoned and unexploded ordnance (bombs, grenades, landmines, missiles, rockets, shells etc) scattered across the country. These munitions pose a major risk to everybody living and working there, including local people, aid workers and soldiers. Awareness cards can help save lives.

Five million refugees are expected to return to Ukraine when the war ends. These people will encounter ordnance in and around their homes and workplaces, including the fields essential to the agricultural industry. Clearance will take years, during which time people will be exposed to danger from a wide variety of ordnance on a daily basis.

Risk awareness is simply the most cost-effective solution to saving lives and limbs.

Fenix Insight is an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) company that works all over the world and has close ties with the EOD community in Ukraine. Their extensive knowledge of the weapons used there has allowed them to assemble these cards, showing the primary threats from the many types of ordnance known to be present.

Fenix pioneered the use of playing cards for explosive hazard awareness and has proven them to be effective in many post-conflict situations, ranging from Afghanistan to Yemen. Playing cards are cheap, portable and always popular, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background.

These cards have text in both Ukrainian and English, with each pack showing around 60 different items of ordnance. Additionally, each picture has a QR code in the corner, that will take you (via a smartphone) straight to the Fenix Online technical record, where you can learn more about each munition. Not only does this allow people to recognise threats, but it also means that they can report them accurately to the authorities that will clear them.

Fenix has self-funded the design and production of the first 10,000 packs, and raised enough money for another 20,000, but many more are needed. They want to provide at least a further 20,000.

The cards that have already been funded and printed have already made it to the frontlines of Ukraine, going on to help aid workers, civilians, de-mining teams and even children who have been using them as training aids in schools.

One pack of cards, costing less than £2, could potentially save the life of a child – or possibly an entire family. So any contribution you can make will be greatly appreciated.

Colin King

We recently received this image of a group of Ukrainian women learning about hazard awareness through interactive play with our Explosive Hazard Awareness cards.



Colin King

Our team has been diligently working on distributing our Explosive Hazard Awareness cards to communities in need throughout Ukraine. Despite various challenges, we have made significant progress in educating individuals about the dangers of unexploded ordnance. We are pleased to share some photos of our cards being used effectively. We are deeply grateful for your continued support, which allows us to carry on this essential work.



Colin King

Colin and Jip recently returned from work in Kharkiv and Izium, eastern Ukraine, where they also distributed cards to soldiers, Ministry of Emergency bomb disposal teams and mine clearance NGOs. Response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive. Civilians and soldiers are using the cards to identify and report unexploded ordnance to the correct authority, allowing a safer more effective response. There is little doubt that lives are being saved by this initiative.



Only the Russian administration could expect anyone to swallow their blatant self-serving bullshit.
July 9, 2023

Who is this "we" you're invoking?

"We" are not on Ukrainian soil.

"We" are not facing literal genocide, which is what Putin has in mind unless he's just kidding the whole world on.

"We" are not in a defensible position to sit on high horses from afar and draw red lines and second-guess the Ukrainian military which has proven itself extremely competent so far in judging what it needs for the battles essential for winning this horrible existential war

"We" are not sat in an armoured car waiting to assault a Russian trenchline across uncertain mined land with the prospect of seeing our comrades die horribly or meeting death ourselves without any of the air cover which NATO forces can usually rely on when mounting such assaults.

""We", if that, incredibly presumptiously, includes Ukrainians, are indeed in deep trouble, and I don't have to imagine it.

Munition depletion has been a constant theme throughout this war - it's the very reason why this latest tranche of supplies has even been considered.

Time equals lives - innocent Ukrainian civilans trying to muddle through in their homes, brave soldiers who are going though horrors that they'll revisit for the rest of their lives, relatively blameless Russian conscripts caught up in a war they didn't choose, but are helpless to escape because they lack the opportunities or imagination or bravery, it's not for me to judge. And bloodthirsty assholes who just want to rape, pillage, mutilate and kill any Ukrainians who cross their paths.

Many of the areas that our cluster bombs would be fired into are not saturated as of now.


I have no idea how you can claim that, let alone prove it. The Ukrainans need to clear trenchlines to advance and repel the invaders to the extent that they eventually die or get to go home. Those trenchlines are incredibly densely packed with minefields

Or would you prefer that land to be saturated with Ukrainian blood? Because in the absence or adequate air cover or the munitions the Ukrainians know they need and are now being supplied with, that's what you're asking for.

They've shed more than enough already while the West prevaricates.
July 7, 2023

Well, at the moment it's coasting on the PR hype of mass signups from Instagram,

which are vastly inflating it's numbers (and not necessarily with people you or I might be bothered hearing from), so I do think it may be a bit of a flash in the pan, though no doubt a permanent fixture.

As for changing, this is a long-term strategy of Zuckerberg's and Meta's, so I don't think it will:

https://twitter.com/LibrarianCap/status/1677080064855293952

Librarian Capital
@LibrarianCap

Reminder: Zuckerberg has said clearly in the past that he wanted to reduce the amount of political content on $META services

“People don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services” - Q4 2020 call

Threads may not be designed to be news-friendly



Here's the view from Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram:

https://twitter.com/faineg/status/1677383144981291034

Faine Greenwood
@faineg

Threads explicitly does NOT want news and politics posting.




Threads isn’t for news and politics, says Instagram’s boss

Instagram’s new Threads app is “not going to do anything to encourage” politics and “hard news,” Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said in a Threads conversation with The Verge’s Alex Heath.

The additional scrutiny, negativity, and integrity risks that come with politics and hard news aren’t worth the “incremental engagement or revenue,” Mosseri wrote. “There are more than enough amazing communities — sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc. — to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news.” (Mosseri’s strong point of view here is likely informed by his time running Facebook’s News Feed.)

In recent years, Meta has distanced itself from news and politics, including reducing the amount of political content that users see on Facebook. It even dropped “News” from the name of the Facebook Feed last year. The company also responded to a new Canadian law that would require it to pay for local news by saying it will yank news from Facebook and Instagram in the country.
...

Still, it seems inevitable that politics and news will trickle onto Threads in some way, especially if politicians and journalists use the platform during the 2024 presidential election cycle. And Instagram is working on a feed just for people you follow and a chronological feed, which, at least for me, should make Threads a much more useful place to find news. But it sounds like Instagram won’t be going out of its way to make Threads what Twitter once was — so don’t get your hopes up for some kind of Thread-Deck.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/7/7/23787334/instagram-threads-news-politics-adam-mosseri-meta-facebook

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