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It was November of last year, 2021 that the Commandant of the Marine Corps admitted the Corps was going woke. General David Berger planned a big overhaul and it is clearly happening. The Marines have an alleged diversity problem and a recruiting problem so the decision was made to reach out to the LGBT community to solve the issue…by painting bullets in rainbow colors to be worn in the helmet strap.
Exactly what is really going on at the Pentagon? Where is the advisory council? Is the SECDEF really good with this? How does this work in the Middle East verses militant Islam?
The Marine Corps marked the start of Pride month with an image of a combat helmet adorned with rainbow-colored bullets on Wednesday — sparking outrage over the mixing of warfare and wokeness.
“Throughout June, the USMC takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members,” the Marines tweeted on their official account.
“We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect.”
The message was accompanied by an image reminiscent of the poster for the 1987 Vietnam War movie “Full Metal Jacket,” which featured a helmet with rounds of high-powered rifle ammo tucked into its band.
But instead of having “BORN TO KILL” scrawled across the helmet’s camouflage cover, the updated version has “PROUD TO SERVE” written on the band — and bullets colored red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
The tweet quickly prompted thousands of responses, with Erick Aguilar, a Republican congressional candidate in Florida, sarcastically asking, “Ummmm….. Is this satire?”
Jason Buttrill, whose profile says he’s a former Marine and Defense Department analyst, wrote, “F–k out of here with this. We don’t take political sides, and we don’t engage in social commentary. We kill the enemy… period.”
User @Hannibalsbarka snarked, “Getting killed by a rainbow bullet is so progressive.”
Another user, @TheRealEJones, lamented, “What the actual F. My Corp [sic]. And a great movie cover destroyed by wokism.”
User @VrishnikG also referenced “Full Metal Jacket” by posting a meme of the movie’s drill instructor, played by the late R. Lee Ermey, telling his recruits, “Here, you are all equally worthless.”
“They should’ve stuck with this message,” the tweet added.
Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, said, “Seriously? How does fixating on differences foster cohesion and unity?”
A similar sentiment was voiced by user @JackedTNT, who urged, “Focus on building warriors and less about social bulls–t.”
Legendary Marine Lt. General Lewis “Chesty” Puller was invoked by user @RufusDryer, who said the Corps’ most-decorated member “is rolling in his grave.”
It was not clear who the people were or under what circumstances they were killed. One of the bodies was smaller than the others, likely a child, said Andrii Nebytov, head of police in the Kyiv region. One of the bodies had a gunshot wound to the head.
The pile of bodies seen by Associated Press journalists was just off a residential street, near a colorful and empty playground, and was visible to passersby as they warily went outdoors to collect aid.
“It’s horrible,” said Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky at the scene, which included other journalists. The minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin should “go to hell.”
Ukrainian officials have said the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around Kyiv that were recaptured from Russian forces in recent days. The Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office has described one room discovered in Bucha as a “torture chamber.”
Police carry a dead body of one of six civilians – three women, one teenager girl and two men who were found in Bucha, close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2022. Ukraine’s president plans to address the U.N.’s most powerful body after even more grisly evidence emerged of civilian massacres in areas that Russian forces recently left. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A police officer stands next to six unidentified charred bodies lying on the ground at a residential area in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Ukraine’s president plans to address the U.N.’s most powerful body after even more grisly evidence emerged of civilian massacres in areas that Russian forces recently left. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Workers carry the body of people found dead to a cemetery in Bucha, outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Ukraine’s president told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian military must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes, accusing invading troops of the worst atrocities since World War II. He stressed that Bucha was only one place and there are more with similar horrors. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
New additional detail:
Bucha’s butcher has a name and a face. Omurbekov Azatbek Asanbekovich is the name of the commander of the Russian troops who on March 31 demobilized from the town north of Kiev, leaving behind civilians corpses on the street, in mass graves, Ukrainians executed with a blow to the back of the head and their hands tied.
The activists of InformNapalm, who also published the email and the phone, perhaps turned off after the spread of news of the massacre, as no one answers, revealed his identity on Telegram.
The photo of Asanbekovich, commander of military unit 51460, 64th brigade of motorized riflemen, was also published: young man, in camouflage, a tank behind, full lips, elongated eyes of the Buryats, the largest ethnic minority of Mongolian origin from Siberia. And precisely from Siberia, to be precise from Knyaze-Volkonskoye, unit 51460 left.
“We were also able to find the home address of the Russian executioner,” wrote InformNapalm volunteers, announcing the publication of data, archives and explanations on how to find the Russian commander.
“Every Ukrainian should know their names. Remember. All war criminals will be tried and brought to justice for crimes committed against Ukrainian civilians, ”reads the statement of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, published on its website. Below is a detailed list of 87 pages with the names of the more than 1,600 Russian soldiers believed to be involved in the massacre. In the list, the soldiers are identified with military rank, name and surname, date of birth and passport details.
Among the surnames there are also some of the most common in Chechnya. Some of their faces can be seen in the photos posted on the net: boys, almond-shaped eyes, smiling in front of the lens.
Bucha residents, for their part, told the news site Obozrevatel that the Russian soldiers “simply went from yard to yard shooting all the men and boys. Among them we recognized Buryats with narrow and long eyes ”.
For Moscow, on the other hand, those corpses, those photos that shocked the whole world, are propaganda, a “staging of the West and Ukraine”.
It was just a few days ago, this website published a piece how Ukraine with the help of the United States was exploiting abandoned Russian equipment on the battlefield. This included interrogations of Russian conscripts, weapons, manuals and military gear. But as days go by, the Russian foot soldiers are proving to be quite unprepared and even sloppy. How so you ask?
If you don’t think our enemies and adversaries keep a close tab on all things military and political, this should change your mind. Putin’s war plan for Ukraine is for the most part the exact military strategy the United States used for the Iraq conflict.
Russia’s war plan for the battle for Ukraine was to last 15 days…it is no wonder that Putin has in fact authorized the hiring of Syrian urban war-fighters to join his forces.
Source: Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday that its armed forces had seized secret battle plans left behind by Russian soldiers. It said the documents suggested Russia’s war with Ukraine would last 15 days.
The seized documents were posted on Facebook by the ministry and showed the war plans of one of the units of the battalion tactical group of the 810th Separate Guards Naval Infantry Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the ministry said.
An invasion map, a table of call signs, and a list of personnel were in the documents, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.
“Thanks to the successful actions of one of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s units, Russian occupiers are losing not only equipment and manpower,” the defense ministry said. “In panic attacks, they are leaving classified documents.”
The ministry said that based on the documents, Russia approved its invasion of Ukraine on January 18.
The operation was meant to last 15 days from February 20 to March 6, the ministry said based on its review of the documents. Insider could not independently verify this conclusion.
One of the documents posted by the ministry appeared to be dated January 18, a full month before Russia attacked — while another planning document of call signs for different units spanned the dates February 20 to March 6, with daily code-name changes for different Russian commands to contact each other without disclosing their identities.
The documents did not appear to give any information about Russian forces taking any Ukrainian city.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his country’s invasion of Ukraine in the early-morning hours of February 24. The full extent of Putin’s plan to assault Ukraine has been unclear, but a former Russian deputy foreign minister told Al Jazeera that he had information that the Russian leader wanted to declare victory within a week — a goal that now appears extremely unlikely, with Russian forces having seized only one major Ukrainian city after six days of fighting.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the “final objective” by these Russian forces who had the planning documents “was to block and seize” the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol.
“That is why you should not trust when a prisoner of war is saying again that he or she came to the exercises and got lost! They knew, they planned precisely and they had been preparing,” the ministry said on Facebook.
It added, “Our response to the Russian occupiers is the following: Keep leaving your vehicles and classified documents, they will be useful for our defenders and The Hague.”
Ukraine is launching a Telegram bot to collect evidence of war crimes as the International Criminal Court said it would launch an investigation into Russia’s invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces in Ukraine said Tuesday the country’s Security Service has launched the bot so people can record and submit war crimes Russia is committing against Ukrainians, according to a group of independent Ukrainian journalists.
The country also has a bot on Telegram where civilians can report movements for Russian troops and vehicles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials have said Russia is committing war crimes while the U.S. has confirmed Russia is going after schools and hospitals.
ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said “allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person” will be investigated.
“There were numerous examples of war crimes provided by President Zelensky – mayors have been captured, imprisoned and murdered. There’s wholesale attacks on civilian targets, random, indiscriminate, and the Putin war machine, in my view, is in full blown war crimes mode,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) previously said.
Russian military equipment seized by Ukrainian forces throughout an explosive conflict poised to enter its third week may prove a gold mine for U.S. intelligence looking to get a rare look at Moscow’s weapons and the encrypted command and control data they contain, current and former U.S. military personnel told Newsweek.
“The gear is huge,” Mike Jason, a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo, told Newsweek. “It’s like capturing an enigma machine.”
The term refers to the cipher device employed by Nazi Germany during World War II to mask the Third Reich’s secret communications, a code ultimately unraveled by the Allies, constituting a major intelligence advantage.
Now as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to argue today for the “denazification” of Ukraine through what he has deemed a “special military operation” decried by much of the international community as an unjustified invasion of the neighboring country, an opportunity may exist to listen in on Moscow’s war effort.
Should Ukraine get its hands on such assets, Jason said there are “immediate implications” and “long-term implications,” including those that involve the country’s foreign backers.
Among the potential “immediate” impacts would be that Kyiv “can perhaps listen in right now to what is happening, then exploit in real-time,” Jason said. One of the possible “long-term” effects he identified was that “the equipment can be reverse-engineered, say, sent to a major foreign intelligence exploitation lab, etc.”
Here, Jason said, even seemingly innocuous devices such as radios, if still intact, could contain important so-called “crypto” information, giving an insight into Russia’s encoded communications.
“And then,” he added, “technology can be developed to jam and/or listen in, etc.”
Given the active war effort, U.S. military officials have been reticent in speaking publicly about the extent to which intelligence was being shared between Washington and Kyiv. Reached for comment, a Pentagon spokesperson told Newsweek that “we have nothing to offer, as we do not speak to intelligence assessments.”
But one U.S. cyberwarfare officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told Newsweek that “we have covert folks attempting to acquire hardware all the time.”
And, though no reliable figures as to the extent of Russia’s military losses thus far have been made public, reports indicate they have been relatively substantial. Unverified footage promoted by official Ukrainian outlets has documented Ukrainian captures of the likes of Russian command and control vehicles, a T-72-tank-mounted TOS-1A thermobaric multiple-launch rocket system and a number of Russian aircraft, including the Su-34.
Ukrainian state-owned defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom even claimed Tuesday it would offer sizable rewards for anyone willing to retrieve “stolen combat aviation equipment of the occupiers,” including up to $500,000 for a captured military helicopter and $1 million for a warplane in working condition.
One particularly important alleged find for Kyiv was the Pantsir surface-to-air missile system, several of which have been said to have been taken intact by Ukrainian units. Jason said this would potentially be “a huge get,” as it’s assumed such a weapon “talks to friendly aircraft to deconflict friend-or-foe” and “would be tied to command and control systems at a high level.” source
There is certainly precedent for Ukraine to share captured intelligence and equipment with their U.S. partners.
“That is normal practice,” former Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksandr Danylyuk told Newsweek, noting that Ukraine’s military and intelligence engaged in such exchanges during his time in office.
“I cannot tell you what it was, but it was very beneficial,” Danylyuk said. “We were receiving some equipment in exchange…very high-tech as well,” he added. “This co-operation works. And now we will be benefiting from this even more, because whatever the West learns about Russia will be helpful to us as well.”
Asked by Newsweek what the fate of such Russian equipment was once coming under Ukrainian control, a senior Ukrainian defense official who requested to not be named had a simple answer.
“It is recovered and used against the aggressor,” he said.
A U.S. military aviator who also asked to remain unnamed gave some examples of the benefits of capturing enemy hardware.
“Getting actual equipment and manuals also helps with the human dynamic: how easy it is to operate, etc,” the U.S. military aviator told Newsweek. “Can any ‘Joe Shmoe’ use this, or does it require a Ph.D. to operate it at the same level as the glossy brochure?”
But this aviator also noted that there were limits to the amount of useful information that could be extracted from these systems alone in the modern era, when a nation like Russia would likely be quick to take action to avoid critical channels being intruded on.
“As systems move from analog to digital, the exploitation game changes a bit,” the U.S. military aviator said. “The software and source code are the critical items, because you can find zero-day vulnerabilities and build a tool to attack it if/when the time comes.”
We have heard that the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into Putin and being a war criminal. Not only is it on full display for more than a week, but his war crimes go back to the conflict in Syria. At least 39 countries have sent referrals to the ICJ regarding Putin’s full scale invasion of Ukraine. The ICJ is expected to fast track the investigation. This could get messy as Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court and for that matter neither is the United States.
Putin has justified his invasion of Ukraine claiming genocide of Russian citizens as well as ongoing military hostilities. Yeesh.
Many don’t realize that many within Putin’s inner circle have not only turned on him, and have provided intelligence to the West including Ukraine to be able to take offensive measures especially in the matters of the assassination squads sent to kill the members of the Ukraine government including President Zelensky. Additionally, there are others within Putin’s orbit that have resigned and fled Russia for fear of prosecution which really means execution.
One of Putin’s lawyers, Alain Pellet resigned last week and described the reason to be the widely known fact that the Kremlin despises law…including international law. You can read his letter here.
The truth is, the ICJ should not begin or end with Putin as a war criminal, it should included the oligarchs and other Duma operatives that have enabled this war and the illegal activities associated with it including Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin.
He has a long list of criminal charges against him including that troll factory that was located in St. Petersburg that interfered with the 2014 U.S. election process. He has ties to Indonesia and Qatar as well.
The UK is the first country to not only step up in cooperation with the ICJ but has a team that is working the critical task to preserve all evidence of war crimes including shelling location, types of missiles including cluster-bombs and the fact that Russia violated at least 2 cease fires after agreeing to humanitarian escape corridors in Ukraine.
The court has 123 member states, but neither Russia nor Ukraine is a party. However, back in 2015 when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, Ukraine referred the conflict to the court for investigation. And there’s a provision in the Rome Statute — article 12.3 — which allows states that are not members of the court to refer a conflict and allegations of crimes to the court. But an investigation has to be triggered, and one way for that to happen is if one of the 123 member states asks the court to investigate. And it was just announced Thursday night that 39 states referred the Ukraine situation to the International Criminal Court for investigation. So, the prosecutor of that court announced that he is immediately opening up an investigation and will start collecting evidence. That investigation is also open into past crimes that could have occurred in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Why is it important for the court to begin investigating now, rather than waiting for the conflict to end?
Investigations and prosecutions are important even before cases are brought before the court because they bring attention to the crimes that are being committed, and to the victims of these of these crimes. So, even aside from what happens in court down the road, the act of investigating and framing what is happening and naming it is extremely important.
What types of crimes can the International Criminal Court investigate?
The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over four types of crime: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression. And there is no doubt that this is an act of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. However, the crime of aggression has a particular requirement, which is different from all the other crimes. It can only be prosecuted by the court if one member state commits an act of aggression against another. Since neither Russia nor Ukraine is a member, the crime of aggression here does not apply. So, the International Criminal Court is focusing on war crimes, and it will also consider crimes against humanity if they arise.
There is also an International Court of Justice. What role does it play?
The International Criminal Court investigates and prosecutes international crimes committed by individuals. The International Court of Justice resolves disputes between states. Ukraine has brought an emergency case before that court, which will be heard next week. The focus of Ukraine’s complaint is that Russia has used as one of its justifications — I’ll say, phony justification — for invading Ukraine the allegation that there is a threat of genocide against Russian nationals living in Ukraine. Ukraine says this is nonsense. The ICJ should rule that there is no such threat and that assertion cannot be used as a justification for the invasion.