Violent spasms are never a healthy symptom

That’s what we’re seeing in Ukraine — senseless, vicious attacks on civilian centers to pointlessly satisfy Russian honor.

Tragic and terrible. Also tragic and terrible: take a moment to pity the Russian mothers whose children are dying and rotting in Ukrainian fields. No one wins. It’s all a stupid waste of life.


  1. raven says

    The Russians are just getting started. On their atrocities.

    Putin doesn’t know how to lose. And doesn’t care.
    Fighting to the last Russian is no big deal to people like that.
    Hitler turned against the German people at the last. Said they deserved to lose for not fighting hard enough. He had a point.
    The failure of the German people did cost him his life.

    Zaporizhzhia NPP is completely left without power again after the recent mass missile strikes by Russia, one of which hit a distribution station. The Russians do not allow a passage of convoys with fuel for backup generators, which leads to emergency situation and could lead to a nuclear disaster.…

    Reports are the Zaporizhzhia NPP is without power and running on diesel generators for cooling. Again.

    IIRC, these reactors have been shut down now. They still need cooling for a week or month to prevent a core meltdown due to residual heat generation.
    I have no idea what the status of the cores are.

    It is ominous because the diesel generators are the last line of cooling power. If they fail that is it.
    That is what happened in Japan at Fukushima.

    I’ll be very surprised if Russia doesn’t blow up these reactors.
    They are so far into the Dark Side of their war right now that one more major war crime isn’t going to make any difference.

  2. =8)-DX says

    @raven #1: “The Russians are just getting started. On their atrocities.”

    I agree with the sentiment, but they are not in fact “just getting started”. Putin started his indiscriminate bombing at the very onset of the invasion and there hasn’t been a week without civilian casualties as a result of Russian missiles, cluster and even incindiary munitions, artillery or mines impacting residential buildings, schools, hospitals, theatres, refugee convoys, not to mention the systematic kidnapping, torture and selective/random murder of anyone resisting occupation or expressing their Ukrainian nationality.

    They turned Mariupol into a pile of rubble. They fired with tanks into paneláks. Gods only know the scale of what they’ve been doing in Kherson, Putin has no moral qualms ramping things up, but the atrocities have been going on throughout.

  3. says

    I just posted this on the Infinite Thread, from today’s Guardian Ukraine liveblog:

    We reported yesterday that children’s doctor Oksana Leontieva was among those killed by Russian missile strikes on Kyiv earlier this week.

    Leontieva was on her way to work on Monday morning after dropping her son at kindergarten when a Russian missile hit the Ukrainian capital.

    Now her father, Gregory, has told German newspaper Bild that her death has left her five-year-old son an orphan after his father recently died as well.

    He added:

    Oksana had called the hospital in the morning because the kindergarten couldn’t take her son due to warnings of a possible attack. In the end, they did take Grischa … and she went to work.

    Gregory said the boy had not yet been told his mother had died. Gregory said:

    For now he thinks she is at work and working very hard. We will tell him today or tomorrow.

    The doctor’s funeral is due to be held later this week.

  4. says

    A typical example of the fiendish rhetoric surrounding these crimes, from Julia Davis on Twitter on Monday:

    Konstantin Dolgov, former Russian commissioner for human rights, claims that Ukraine’s plumbing and sewer systems are “working to support the war” and therefore are legitimate military targets. He hopes for more strikes and asks: “Are they whining yet? Are they howling yet?”

    Subtitled video at the link. Note that displayed behind them is footage of strikes on civilian targets.

  5. whheydt says

    I read an article on the BBC this morning. One interesting bit in it is that at least one missile that hit Kyiv was an S300. What’s interesting about that is that the S300 is an anti-aircraft missile, not something that would be used to attack a ground target…if you had anything else to use.

  6. Oggie: Mathom says

    Putin is like Trump. He does not know how to lose. Everything is transactional. Appearing to win today is paramount, even if it means worse things down the road. Any slight or attack, real or perceived, must be minimized (in effect), maximized (as being personal), and warrants a response completely out of proportion. Bad news means reduce the number and scope of advisors. Ask people to do impossible things and then throw them under the bus when they fail.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    “Let’s launch rockets at London. And make angry tweets! BTW why is this bunker so cramped?

  8. NitricAcid says

    I found a picture of the playground at Shevchenko park at

    I was going through my old pictures of Kyiv to see pictures of my kids playing there- I’ve got some of one son sitting on the yellow turtle that’s still there, and my then-wife and other son sitting on a bench that is now obliterated.

  9. says

    As a progressive and nearing the end of my time on this wonder filled planet, all I can think of when I see the consistent flow of human foibles is Carl Sagan’s “Pale blue dot” speech.

  10. says

    Waiting for proud pro-Russian jrkrideaux to explain how destroying playgrounds including the children playing on them and child doctors is justified and vital for the totally legitimate Russian war of conquest.

    Expected replies:
    -it’s all fake
    -it’s NATO’s/the West’s fault for arming Ukraine and thereby prolonging the war making this tragically necessary
    -the Ukrainians are hiding behind their children and therefore they are to blame
    -are you winning yet, Ukraine gloat gloat

    Read variations of all of those on various social media. As putin is increasingly getting desperate and resorting to Hitlerite Vergeltungslogik, the tankies, russbots and assorted morons are getting increasingly psychotic in their support of this war. Good, let them show their true face and make it once and for all clear what kind of people stand behind it.

  11. asclepias says

    raven@1 I don’t know–since Hitler killed himself, I’m not sure we can really say he died because the German people failed. On the other hand, he probably would have gone the same way as the majority of the other defendants at Nuremberg, so, six of one, half dozen of the other?

  12. birgerjohansson says

    If the western powers for once could get their act together and formulate a strategy for post-Putin Russia that goes beyond having some scapegoats punished, they should say up front tjst any general who obeys an order to blow up a nuclear powerplant will be a hunted man for the rest of his life.
    They should also keep the sanctiobd until the whole gotten structure with oligarchs has been torn up.
    The judiciary of the post-Putin era will need development and from the west for at least a decade to trains a non-corrupt cadre of judges and policemen.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    The current Brit government practices ‘rule by violent spasms’ and it is not pretty.

  14. numerobis says

    whheydt: Russia has been using the S-300 in ground attack mode for months. Ukraine doesn’t have a lot of planes to shoot down, and the S-300 is being phased out, so it’s not such a terrible idea to fling some over and have them land vaguely near the intended military target. Similarly Russia has been using anti-ship missiles for the same reason.

    Problem is, they either don’t know where the military targets are or they’re deciding to target civilians instead of military targets. The smart genocidal monster targets civilians second, after first hitting all the military things that might slow you down with the genociding, but that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Silentbob @ 15
    Smart monsters outsorce massacres to others, like in Guatemala, or Indonesia 1966 or the US support to Khmer Rouge after the Vietnamese crushed their regime.

    Numerobis @ 14 There is little logic in this, just as there was little logic to the excesses during the Soviet era. The top brass are shouting “do something, or else” and the lower ranks start killing people -any people- just to show dedication to the cause.
    This was the mechanism of the great purges, and the beginning of the Holocaust summer 1941 was likewise different bosses trying to outdo each other.

    In this specific case, the objective seems to be creating big spectacular explosions and a big body count for the Ukrainan side. Never mind the ‘civilian’ bit; just by being non-russian they are the enemy. Logic and subtlery are not Putin-era things.

  16. John Morales says

    Wasting munitions on non-military targets is… not optimal.
    And those things are expensive.

    In this specific case, the objective seems to be creating big spectacular explosions and a big body count for the Ukrainan side.

    Well, they got the explosions. The body count is, in the larger scheme of things, puny. And militarily pointless; those aren’t fighters.

    To be fair, some of it is used on infrastructure, but then, there’s 30+ countries helping Ukraine out.

  17. says

    @15 Silentbob

    Ah, the good old whataboutism. Jack the Ripper killed five people, so everyone go and kill your alotted five today! Or maybe 50 million since that’s Mao’s bodycount.
    It’s the pratfall of tribalists to condemn actors instead of actions. I see murder and genocide going on, I condemn it, no matter whose hands are behind it.
    I’m not a dumbass like Chomsky.

  18. StevoR says

    @15. Silentbob : Yes, how villainous must a nation be to do such things?

    Nations aren’t villains. Some individuals and leaders of those nations certainly an be described that way given their evil murderous choices. You cannot blame the whole nation for the actions of any one individal or even set of groups ruling that nation.

    Also two wrongs never do make any rights. Yes, the US drone strikes terrorising people in many areas of Southwest Asia and elsewhere are unethical and horrendous and wrong. No, they do NOT justify any other evil policies or acts by anyone else.

  19. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 VAugustusVerger
    Waiting for proud pro-Russian jrkrideaux to explain how destroying playgrounds…

    I assumed the Amnesty International or was it the UN Human Rights report covers that.

    btw it is jrkrideau not jrkrideaux.

  20. John Morales says

    jrkrideau, your efforts at insinuating some sort of equivalence are pathetic.


    From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 9 October 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 15,592 civilian casualties in the country: 6,221 killed and 9,371 injured.
    Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes.

    OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.

  21. John Morales says

    Another report, this one directly addressing this post’s very topic:

    The missile attacks by Russian armed forces yesterday which struck cities across Ukraine left at least 12 civilians dead and more than 100 injured in Kyiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, and in Kyiv and Sumy regions. The location and timing of the strikes – when people were commuting to work and taking children to school – is particularly shocking.

    We are gravely concerned that some of the attacks appear to have targeted critical civilian infrastructure. Many civilian objects, including dozens of residential buildings and vital civilian infrastructure – including at least 12 energy facilities – were damaged or destroyed in eight regions, indicating that these strikes may have violated the principles on the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law. Damage to key power stations and lines ahead of the upcoming winter raises further concerns for the protection of civilians and in particular the impact on vulnerable populations.

  22. John Morales says

    Oh yeah, Amnesty International.

    They too have something to say:

    Reacting to reported Russian mass strikes on Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

    “This is yet another day of petrifying news from Ukraine, with Russia launching multiple strikes that hit residential areas, city centres and civilian infrastructure. The crater left by a Russian missile in the middle of children’s playground in central Kyiv is a stark symbol of the complete disregard for human life that has characterized Russia’s invasion.”

    “The ultimate goal of today’s attacks is to spread terror among the entire civilian population.

  23. John Morales says

    [obs editing error]

    Anyway, jrkrideau, hear the words of the wise:
    ‘Do not call up that which you cannot put down.’

  24. Silentbob says

    Hey Juan Ramón, you dropped one of those cherries you were picking. Here, don’t mention it, you’re welcome.

  25. John Morales says

    Silentbob, in what manner do you imagine what you’ve just posted either negates or vitiates that to which I linked?

    Or my very point; do you think both sides are comparable?
    As bad as each other?

    As for your insinuation of cherry-picking, I very much directly addressed the contention at hand.

    Here, again:


    blockquote>Waiting for proud pro-Russian jrkrideaux to explain how destroying playgrounds…

    I assumed the Amnesty International or was it the UN Human Rights report covers that.



    Evidently, I was confirming that UNHRC and Amnesty indeed both covered that.
    With citations.
    That’s not cherry-picking.
    Well, not unless you can find other citations from those organisations that contradict what I cited. Which you shan’t, even if cared to essay the task.

    Anyway, to the topic: Russia spent $$$ and depleted their missile stocks for assuaging Putin’s ego and for domestic propaganda (“we made them pay!”).

    It can’t keep it up, of course.

    (And all the more reason for Ukraine’s friends to provide even more aid)

  26. says


    I’m dreadfully sorry for mispelling your name, I’ll do it correctly from now on, V A T N I K, that’s the correct sequence of latters describing you, right?

    That goes for that other guy too. You supporters of genocidal regimes look all the same to me.

    Hey, your great leader putin needs flesh for the grinder and his domestic stock is so patriotic they prefer to invade other countries way ahead of schedule so there are empty spots to fill. Go on, make the Putenführer proud! Just don’t forget to bring tampons.

  27. jrkrideau says

    It took me forever to figure out what stupid insult you were trying to use. If you are using the term “Vatnik ” at least use it in Russian.

  28. numerobis says

    From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 9 October 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 15,592 civilian casualties in the country: 6,221 killed and 9,371 injured.

    It would be shocking if there’s fewer than 100k civilians dead so far. And the soldiers are people too; most of them were civilians before February 24.

  29. KG says

    Thank heavens Ukraine would never do anything like this. – jrkrideau@20

    Let’s assume Ukraine was responsible for Dugina’s death. Maybe unwise, as giving scum like you the chance to pretend invader and invaded are somehow equivalent, but I won’t be shedding any tears over the death of a genocidal fascist.