Experts Suspect Russia Is Using Ukraine As A Cyberwar Testing Ground

Today Terry Gross spoke with Wired writer Andy Greenberg about how Russia has been waging cyber war against Ukraine – undermining media, finance, politics transportation, military and the power grid. Greenberg says you should be paying attention. “They can get away with things in Ukraine and they can’t try elsewhere and they may be honing attacks that they’ll use on Western Europe or the United States.”

Listen to this story.

76 years ago today 

June 22nd, 1941. The largest land invasion in the history of the world, involving over 3 million German and Axis allied soldiers at its start, commenced. 

Over the next four years more than 20 million people, soldiers and civilians, would perish. The killing fields would span over 1,100 miles, breaking at the gates of Moscow, to fall back into the heart of the Reich itself, Berlin. 

June 22, the day World War II started for the Soviet Union, is the Day of Remembrance and Mourning in Russia.

This is my grandfather, who just turned 17 at the time, 4 months after the war started. It’s a tiny photo that came to my posession a couple weekes ago, kindly passed on to me by my cousin twice removed during a big family gathering. 

War is not parades. War is not showing it to someone. War is 17 year old boys wearing military uniform, killing and being killed. War is broken lives of an entire generation. 

Never forget!

Помню. Скорблю.


Drone trip up to Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains


Silent summer evenings.

June this year is very cold and rainy. But comes a free evening, you pick up a camera and walk through the streets of your favorite island. You take pictures of life and do not notice that he himself was in the frame of another photographer.

Grigoriy Rasputin recuperating after an attack on his life

In July 1914 a peasant woman Khionya Guseva, a follower of a priest who had come to despise Rasputin and his influence, attacked Rasputin in his home village and stabbed him in the stomach. She was arrested and while in costudy claimed that she believed Rasputin to be an Antichrist and a false prophet. Eventually she was found not responsible for her actions on grounds of supposed insanity. Rasputin survived, but was badly wounded and it took a long while for him to heal and regain his health in the Tyumen hospital. It was after this incident that Rasputin turned to alcohol and made his increasingly suspicious of others.

Kerensky Inspects “Women’s Battalion of Death”

The Women’s Battalion of Death.  In white is noted British suffragette Emmeline Pankurst; next to her is the battalion’s commander, Maria Bochkareva.

June 21 1917, Petrograd–With morale collapsing in the Russian army, military leaders were quick to seize on any opportunity that could show that the Russian people were fully behind the war.  Maria Bochkareva, a factory construction foreman, had personally appealed to the Czar in 1914 to fight in the army; her request was approved and she rose to the rank of sergeant.  In the spring of 1917, she appealed to Brusilov to let her form a shock battalion of women, largely as an attempt to shame male soldiers into continuing the fight; if women were fighting for their country in the trenches, surely men could as well.

Brusilov, eager as always to improve morale and reframe the Russian army as one based on patriotism, rather than duty to the Czar, approved Bochkareva’s request, and battalion was formed on June 19.  It was quickly organized, and War Minister Kerensky himself reviewed the battalion on June 21, before it was blessed by church officials and quickly dispatched to the front.  The battalion would have an excellent record in combat (and we will see them again next month), and was effective in inspiring nearby units to follow them into combat.  However, on a wider scale, the battalion may have been counterproductive; the recruitment of women was seen as a desperate move by many soldiers, and certain detachments (especially Cossacks) were offended that they would have to fight alongside women.

Today in 1916: Battle of Carrizal
Today in 1915: French Make Successful, if Limited, Advance at Gallipoli

Sources include: David R. Stone, The Russian Army in the Great War; Orlando Figes, A People’s Tragedy.