Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

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leady
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby leady » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:49 pm UTC

Nah

Germany had a mad inbred ruler and militaristic aristocracy
Austria Hungry feared to the dismantling of its continental empire, thus wanted a strong prop
Russia was paranoid about the Germanic power block to its west
France was pissed at Germany due to its fairly recent slap down
Turkey was looking for any opportunity for some Russia payback
UK wanted to maintain its hegemony over the world for its militaristic aristocracy
US (or strictly Teddy I guess) just wanted a ruck to show their new power

Throw into the mix a new set of weapons not truly tested in a theatre wide total war and you have the desire and the means for a clusterf**k. Blackadder's view on the build up to WW1 is pretty much spot on IMO.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:41 am UTC

The sanctions appear weak. And seem to be more focussed on consequences for the future. At which point the crisis would most likely be resolved and the sanctions dropped, which might be the point? Could it be that Europe wants to appear to be taking a strong stance, imposing sanctions that would ultimately have little effect but placate their electorates?

One thing about the WWI comparisons is that events moved very much more quickly in WWI. It took a month from the assassination to a general European War. Conversely, its been half a year and all that's happened in response is some fairly mild sanctions.

Not sure what Putins end game is, does he really think he can annex Ukraine? Does he even want to? Does he just want to give the West the bird? Does he think that Europe is too dependent on gas imports to really impose serious sanctions, because on that score at least he appears to be correct? Or does he even care. :-/ Maybe he is just using the Ukraine crisis to divert attention away from the Crimea?

What is his end game?

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby johnny_7713 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:32 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The sanctions appear weak. And seem to be more focussed on consequences for the future. At which point the crisis would most likely be resolved and the sanctions dropped, which might be the point? Could it be that Europe wants to appear to be taking a strong stance, imposing sanctions that would ultimately have little effect but placate their electorates?

One thing about the WWI comparisons is that events moved very much more quickly in WWI. It took a month from the assassination to a general European War. Conversely, its been half a year and all that's happened in response is some fairly mild sanctions.

Not sure what Putins end game is, does he really think he can annex Ukraine? Does he even want to? Does he just want to give the West the bird? Does he think that Europe is too dependent on gas imports to really impose serious sanctions, because on that score at least he appears to be correct? Or does he even care. :-/ Maybe he is just using the Ukraine crisis to divert attention away from the Crimea?

What is his end game?


There was an interesting article on the Dutch news website De Correspondent a while ago that pointed out that for all the rhetoric Europe has been systematically undermining Ukraine's bargaining position over the past decade by the construction of new gas pipe-lines from Russia that bypass Ukraine.

The thing with the economic sanctions is that they will also hurt the European economy, which is not doing terribly well. In Eastern-Europe (i.e. Baltic States, Poland) and currently in the Netherlands there is enough anti-Russian sentiment to enact sanctions regardless, but in the rest of Europe that is probably not the case. I also wonder how long it will take the Dutch farmers to protest if they lose their multi-billion euro export to Russia as a result of sanctions (or the Russian reaction to sanctions).

As for Putin's end-game, if I'm not mistaken he's not exactly been in any hurry to annex Eastern-Ukraine, unlike the Crimea. My guess is that he wanted the Crimea as a part of Russia for the Black Sea access and wants Ukraine as a (preferably pro-Russia) buffer state between Russia and the EU / NATO.

Would partitioning into a West-Ukraine and an East-Ukraine, with a customs union and freedom of movement for citizens of both countries to each other's territories, be a bad thing?

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:33 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The sanctions appear weak. And seem to be more focussed on consequences for the future. At which point the crisis would most likely be resolved and the sanctions dropped, which might be the point? Could it be that Europe wants to appear to be taking a strong stance, imposing sanctions that would ultimately have little effect but placate their electorates?

One thing about the WWI comparisons is that events moved very much more quickly in WWI. It took a month from the assassination to a general European War. Conversely, its been half a year and all that's happened in response is some fairly mild sanctions.

Not sure what Putins end game is, does he really think he can annex Ukraine? Does he even want to? Does he just want to give the West the bird? Does he think that Europe is too dependent on gas imports to really impose serious sanctions, because on that score at least he appears to be correct? Or does he even care. :-/ Maybe he is just using the Ukraine crisis to divert attention away from the Crimea?

What is his end game?


I think he's going after E Ukraine now. Not the whole thing right away...he doesn't actually need that. However, he basically did get the Crimea, if he can carve off another chunk for continguous control...that's an advantage. Crimea is likely the bigger prize, but if he can pull more, or weaken Ukraine, why not? It's a very adversarial viewpoint, but that seems about par for Russia.

johnny_7713 wrote:Would partitioning into a West-Ukraine and an East-Ukraine, with a customs union and freedom of movement for citizens of both countries to each other's territories, be a bad thing?


Eh. Possibly. The biggest issue is that freedom of movement may not remain in place. It'd also weaken Ukraine, given that East-Ukraine would become Russia. Either overtly or effectively, it makes little difference. It'd be a shift of power to Russia, and leave a border state weakened, reducing local checks on Russian power.

Self determination is a fine thing, but this is...definitely being provoked by external forces, for external reasons.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Tchebu » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:49 pm UTC

I think he's going after E Ukraine now. Not the whole thing right away...he doesn't actually need that. However, he basically did get the Crimea, if he can carve off another chunk for continguous control...that's an advantage. Crimea is likely the bigger prize, but if he can pull more, or weaken Ukraine, why not? It's a very adversarial viewpoint, but that seems about par for Russia.


I doubt that his goals are to annex more land here, he rejected the referendums in E Ukraine, refusing to let them join Russia, as well as renounced his right to move troops into Ukraine. To be honest, I kinda missed the moment where the general opinion suddenly became that Putin wants to conquer the world or something, what with all the WW2 analogies floating around... His main concern in this whole story is to not have NATO at his borders, which is, as far as he can tell, where this whole story was going with Ukraine so eagerly looking toward the west. I would guess he just wants to make sure Ukraine is left in an undesirable state for the EU in the long run, so that they have no choice but to reestablish relations with Russia, and to show NATO that he's more willing to fight for influence there than they are to defend new members.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:58 pm UTC

Yeah. EU money and influence was only tentatively holding hands with Ukraine in the first place though - it's an enormous tragedy that so many people had to die for Russian influence to be maintained.

And for Putin to show that he can push the rest of the world around for the Russian public.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/201 ... ulating-us
Rebels starting to feel betrayed by Russia.

I wonder what Putin is looking for as his way out. Is he backed into a corner? Ideological or otherwise?

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby leady » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:16 pm UTC

tragedy yes - enormous? nah

I think the world would have a lot more perspective if had to normalise things into "Somme days" or "North Americans killed in car crashes" days to add relativity.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mambrino » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:43 pm UTC

Tchebu wrote:
I think he's going after E Ukraine now. Not the whole thing right away...he doesn't actually need that. However, he basically did get the Crimea, if he can carve off another chunk for continguous control...that's an advantage. Crimea is likely the bigger prize, but if he can pull more, or weaken Ukraine, why not? It's a very adversarial viewpoint, but that seems about par for Russia.


I doubt that his goals are to annex more land here, he rejected the referendums in E Ukraine, refusing to let them join Russia, as well as renounced his right to move troops into Ukraine. To be honest, I kinda missed the moment where the general opinion suddenly became that Putin wants to conquer the world or something, what with all the WW2 analogies floating around... His main concern in this whole story is to not have NATO at his borders, which is, as far as he can tell, where this whole story was going with Ukraine so eagerly looking toward the west. [...]


And this is the reason why many Russian neighbours in the Easter Europe have been so eager to join Nato: aspiring to become (or even remain) a liberal (in the classical meaning of the word, not the US political one), western, democratic society and whatever part there's reserved for these 'buffer states' in the Russian Empire seem not to be very compatible together. From the Russian viewpoint Nato is creeping towards them --- maybe the other viewpoint could be very well summarized as these countries trying to run as fast as they can from Russia, except for the fact that for countries, running away is quite difficult, so they're opting for the second best alternative.

leady wrote:tragedy yes - enormous? nah

I think the world would have a lot more perspective if had to normalise things into "Somme days" or "North Americans killed in car crashes" days to add relativity.


Even if we assume that magnitude of tragicness of a tragedy is linearly proportional to the number of dead, I'd still rather advocate that the correct perspective would be to call a killing measured on the scale 'Somme days' something of unbelievably tragic proportions, much larger than mere enourmous. Car crashes, on the other hand, are mainly unintentional accidents, and there's lot of work done to prevent them; people try their best for them not to happen. Willingly acting in a way that you know will surely cause other poeple die or be horribly maimed, is a quite different thing. Especially when the reason you're doing it is to maintain delusions of empire.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Tchebu » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:31 pm UTC

From the Russian viewpoint Nato is creeping towards them --- maybe the other viewpoint could be very well summarized as these countries trying to run as fast as they can from Russia, except for the fact that for countries, running away is quite difficult, so they're opting for the second best alternative.


But what is it that they're running away from? It's not like they have to share political systems with Russia. Certainly there's a vast middle ground between being Russia's direct subordinates and completely giving Russia the finger. They're "buffer countries" just by virtue of not being part of NATO. The main problem is with trade pacts, since free trade with both Russia and the EU are mutually exclusive.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby EMTP » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:49 am UTC

Tchebu wrote:But what is it that they're running away from?


Decades of Russian domination? Ongoing Russian bullying and threats?

The trouble with neutrality as a strategy is that Russia sees the area as naturally subordinate to its great power ambitions and is willing to throw its weight, military and economic, around in order to push countries into line.

Better to give Russia the finger in the safety of EU and NATO membership than to depend upon their goodwill.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby sardia » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:57 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
Tchebu wrote:But what is it that they're running away from?


Decades of Russian domination? Ongoing Russian bullying and threats?

The trouble with neutrality as a strategy is that Russia sees the area as naturally subordinate to its great power ambitions and is willing to throw its weight, military and economic, around in order to push countries into line.

Better to give Russia the finger in the safety of EU and NATO membership than to depend upon their goodwill.

The parallel narrative the West has to watch out for is "better to side with Russia than to depend on the spineless EU and NATO alliance." If I had to fight against Russian sphere of influence, I can point to Syria and Ukraine and know exactly how much help the West can bring. It's a very lonely battle.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:14 pm UTC

sardia wrote:The parallel narrative the West has to watch out for is "better to side with Russia than to depend on the spineless EU and NATO alliance." If I had to fight against Russian sphere of influence, I can point to Syria and Ukraine and know exactly how much help the West can bring. It's a very lonely battle.


Yeah...that's the downside of non-interventionist policy. It's cheap, but...the next country in a tough spot with divided loyalties...the knowledge that likely, not much help is on the way could be a huge damper on things.

I'm not a great fan of intervening in many situations, mind you...but that's just because cost/benefit doesn't appear to pay out. There are totally situations where it does, and world image is worth at least something.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Tchebu » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:59 pm UTC

Russia sees the area as naturally subordinate to its great power ambitions and is willing to throw its weight, military and economic, around in order to push countries into line.


Has Russia ever done anything military "to push countries into line" except when there is talk of them joining NATO (as was the case with both Georgia and Ukraine)?
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mambrino » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:13 am UTC

Tchebu wrote:
From the Russian viewpoint Nato is creeping towards them --- maybe the other viewpoint could be very well summarized as these countries trying to run as fast as they can from Russia, except for the fact that for countries, running away is quite difficult, so they're opting for the second best alternative.


But what is it that they're running away from? It's not like they have to share political systems with Russia. Certainly there's a vast middle ground between being Russia's direct subordinates and completely giving Russia the finger. They're "buffer countries" just by virtue of not being part of NATO. The main problem is with trade pacts, since free trade with both Russia and the EU are mutually exclusive.


Outside of those anti-EU right-wing conservative populist politicians who are authoritarian enough admire the current state of affairs in Russia, I don't think there is much widespread support being a part of the whatever Russian empire Putin dreams of. (Well, I don't know about Hungary, there such a party forms the government.) Yet I suspect nobody in those coutnries wants to "give Russia the finger" just for for the joy of it.

Whether to seek such a middle ground and what that kind an acceptable middle ground might constitute of, that instead is an active point of discussion, I suppose. (Here in Finland the main opposition is angry because the government coalition dares to support the EU sanctions, because that might hurt our trade with Russia. I understand the situation is similar elsewhere.) The problem is that what Putin considers 'giving the finger' differs from what the politicians of would-be-buffer state consider 'giving the finger'. Apparently in Ukraine's case idea of moving towards a EU membership was enough (Nato membership was never a realistic prospect, at least in the immediate future).

Also, here in Finland the previous attempt to remain a democracy in the Soviet sphere of influence is still in the living memory. It included a de-facto-president-for-life who maintained intimate relationship with KGB and used it for a personal political advantage, and once even bullied the parliament to skip the whole ordeal that is called "presidential elections" and declare him a president anyways, because he wasn't interested in participating in the hassle. Criticizing Soviet policies too harshly in the press was a thing that wasn't done: for example, the Finnish translation of the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn just wasn't allowed to be printed, so it was done in the Sweden; the contents were condemned by the top politicians.

Anyway, my point is that I believe there is a historical precedent that the kind of political culture that is necessary for a western-style democracy to ...work out as one might expect a western democracy to function, free society and all stuff, all that is quite negatively affected if it is (for geopolitical reasons or other) made a vassal to a state that is not free. The free press is bound to criticize the shortcomings of the other system, and so on. Maybe this is too idealistic view, and on the other hand, maybe Putin's Russia doesn't want that her subordinates such direct as during the cold war years. However, the prospect of the current state of affairs where the "buffer countries" are either in EU or want to join it in future doesn't seem to satisfy Putin, so it looks like he would prefer them as more direct subordinates than they're now.

Tchebu wrote:
Russia sees the area as naturally subordinate to its great power ambitions and is willing to throw its weight, military and economic, around in order to push countries into line.


Has Russia ever done anything military "to push countries into line" except when there is talk of them joining NATO (as was the case with both Georgia and Ukraine)?


Most of the other candidates are already EU or Nato members, so Putin hasn't acted as brazenly? But if he continues this kind of policy, who's next?

However, if not military, there's been many instances of unfriendly political, economical and other pressure. The riots in Estonia in 2007, and other less dramatic cases. The Russian media appears to have been painting the Estonian government as a sort of fascists upholding a some kind of apartheid against the ethnic Russians for quite a while, though the extent how much this particular take on things is emphasized seems to come and go. However, the political situation in that country never seems to be something you could call normal, as in, free from the Russian pressure in a way, say, Belgium has been free from the German pressure since the world wars; last time I looked, a major political party continued to be accused of being a bunch of collaborators for Kreml by the other major parties (such accusations may have some basis, I don't know, but a situation where such accusations are business as usual is ...not a good sign.)

Also, there's the whole historical baggage that was the Soviet rule, which never has been addressed on the Russian side (on the contrary, I hear Stalin continues to be a sort of national hero in Russia because of his policies). This, and the many other not so awesome aspects of Putin's rule (things like disappearance of independent critical journalism, suppression of political opposition and sexual minorities, longing for the status as a great power, flirting with fascism (like that cossack organization that got finally international fame during the Sochi olympics for whipping Pussy Riot), etc) contribute to the feeling of distrust (which is mutual, I guess, and goes way back to history; before the soviets, there was the Tsarist empire; the history of being a "buffer zone" between Russia and whatever is the dominant western power isn't an especially glamorous one). I think this explains especially the sentiment in the Baltic states and Poland.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:52 am UTC

Finland during the Cold War reminds me in some ways of what China wants to be. Wealthy and free but with strong one party rule and a frozen political situation.

In recent updates: Russia maybe getting ready to send troops in, under humanitarian pretext.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mambrino » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:34 pm UTC

Guardian: Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border
Guardian wrote:The Guardian saw a column of 23 armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, travelling towards the border near the Russian town of Donetsk – about 200km away from Donetsk, Ukraine.

@shaunwalker wrote:So @RolandOliphant and I just saw a column of APCs and vehicles with official Russian military plates cross border into Ukraine.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) August 14, 2014



Meanwhile, the aid convoy is still stuck somewhere. I'm beginning to wonder if Kreml really has a truly devilishly complicated plan, or are they just improvising random ...things just to keep everybody else on the edge wondering what they're up to next (because that's the feeling I get looking at these latest escapades of theirs).

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby addams » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:43 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Finland during the Cold War reminds me in some ways of what China wants to be. Wealthy and free but with strong one party rule and a frozen political situation.

In recent updates: Russia maybe getting ready to send troops in, under humanitarian pretext.

Good Greif.
Municipal authorities in Donetsk said artillery shelling knocked out power stations in the city and hit a high-security prison, killing one inmate and allowing more than 100 criminals to escape.

That would be bad in anyone's town.
One hundred men with bad attitudes and experience being Badder than Bad, dumped into the Anarchy of War is Not Fun!!
Who is responsible for that shell?

On a side note, as I read the links left in this thread, I wonder;
What the Hell the US is doing threatening Russia?

Number One: Does she not have enough to do?
Is destabilizing the Entire World the Goal?

If the US were have Raging Success with her own shit,
then she could and should shoulder some of the responsibilities of the International Community.

But! She is Not a Raging Success!

Shall we count her current Falings?
That is a depressing list.

Her Public Health System is worse now than before they fixed it.
Her people are floundering in Ignorance, Poverty and Despair.

Her War on Drugs has turned into a NightMare.
She is farther in Debt than any Nation has ever been.

yey! US.
She Broken another Barrier.
She has spent more imaginary money on War in the last fifteen years
than any organization has ever spent on anything, sense the beginning of Time.

She wants to spend some more Time, Money and Lives on a the Ukraine's War?
Why??

She could engage every competent citizen fighting the Battles at Home.
Ignorance, Poverty and Despair. Anything else need attention?
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:15 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:Meanwhile, the aid convoy is still stuck somewhere. I'm beginning to wonder if Kreml really has a truly devilishly complicated plan, or are they just improvising random ...things just to keep everybody else on the edge wondering what they're up to next (because that's the feeling I get looking at these latest escapades of theirs).
I'll admit, I only recently gave up the idea that the "Novarussia" rebels thing was just a distraction to allow Russia to solidify its control on Crimea.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby elasto » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:01 am UTC

Russian aid trucks inspected and many found to be empty

Stranger and stranger...

bigglesworth wrote:I'll admit, I only recently gave up the idea that the "Novarussia" rebels thing was just a distraction to allow Russia to solidify its control on Crimea.


I still think that's what this is about. Probably the quid-pro-quo will be Russia gets the rebels off Ukraine's back in return for all claims on Crimea being renounced - probably all 'under-the-table'

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby EMTP » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:25 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Russian aid trucks inspected and many found to be empty

Stranger and stranger...

bigglesworth wrote:I'll admit, I only recently gave up the idea that the "Novarussia" rebels thing was just a distraction to allow Russia to solidify its control on Crimea.


I still think that's what this is about. Probably the quid-pro-quo will be Russia gets the rebels off Ukraine's back in return for all claims on Crimea being renounced - probably all 'under-the-table'


If it's a secret, what benefit would Russia gain from Ukraine renouncing its claims on Crimea?

To me it seems likely that Putin has lost control over the situation. Sanctions are taking a bigger bite out of the Russian economy and yet his not-very-covert support for the Ukrainian insurgency is obviously not cutting it as the government retakes territory.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby elasto » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:45 pm UTC

If it's a secret, what benefit would Russia gain from Ukraine renouncing its claims on Crimea?


There's a huge difference between Ukraine actively lobbying for sanctions against Russia, pursuing the issue in the UN, actively campaigning towards its supporters in Crimea and not doing any of those things and instead quietly dropping the matter.

If Ukraine privately lets its Western partners know it has dropped the issue then the West will normalize their relations with Russia much more quickly than otherwise, and that is of huge value to Russia.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby addams » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

What??
Why make Peace privately?
Is it like Sex?

Why make Peace privately and make War so fucking Public?
Is it like Sex?

Maybe you have The Chain in backwards.
I Fixed It For You.
If Ukraine's Western partners publicly let The World know it has dropped the issue.
Then The World will normalize its relations with Russia much more quickly than otherwise, and that is of huge value to Russia and The World.


Fuck McCain and the rest of the US, if they don't like it.
Russia and The World have better things to do.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mutex » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

This is bad. Really bad.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28832873

Many people died when rockets and mortars hit vehicles moving refugees from the Luhansk area of eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military says.

Ukraine has blamed pro-Russian rebels but they have denied carrying out the attack, near the village of Novosvitlivka.

...

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said "militants" armed by Russia had fired at a refugee convoy with mortars and Grad rockets, on a road east of Luhansk.

"Many people have been killed, including women and children," he said.

Another military spokesman said people had been burned alive inside their vehicles.

A spokesman for the rebel self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", Andrei Purgin, denied that rebel forces had attacked the convoy.

"The Ukrainians themselves have bombed the road constantly with planes and Grads. It seems they've now killed more civilians like they've been doing for months now," he was quoted as saying.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby EMTP » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:09 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
If it's a secret, what benefit would Russia gain from Ukraine renouncing its claims on Crimea?


There's a huge difference between Ukraine actively lobbying for sanctions against Russia, pursuing the issue in the UN, actively campaigning towards its supporters in Crimea and not doing any of those things and instead quietly dropping the matter.

If Ukraine privately lets its Western partners know it has dropped the issue then the West will normalize their relations with Russia much more quickly than otherwise, and that is of huge value to Russia.


It's hard to imagine them ever making that phone call. And why would they? Countries hold grudges over land seizures for decades, centuries even. I don't see any motive for Ukraine, openly or in secret, to endorse Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea at the precise moment when sanctions are starting to bite.

In other news, it looks as though insurgent-ruled territory has been cut in two:

Image

It really seems, absent a full-scale Russian invasion, that the insurgents are not long for this world. It will be interesting to see, if the government succeeds in reclaiming the east, if they go on to cut off supplies, water, and/or electricity to Crimea.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby addams » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:13 am UTC

It really seems, absent a full-scale Russian invasion, that the insurgents are not long for this world. It will be interesting to see, if the government succeeds in reclaiming the east, if they go on to cut off supplies, water, and/or electricity to Crimea.


Look how loaded that Languge is.
It really seems, absent a full-scale Martian invasion, that the insurgents are not long for this world. It will be interesting to see, if the Government succeeds in reclaiming the east, if they go on to cut off supplies, water, and/or electricity to Mexico.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby EMTP » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:51 am UTC

In a word, no. States shouldn't filch land from their neighbors. There are, like, laws about it and stuff.

The Ukrainian government has a right to retake control of their own country in a manner that comports with the laws of war. In general, while hoping for peace, we should wish them success, because a world in which aggressive governments seize and annex territory and get away with it is one in which there will be far less peace in the long term.

There is no excuse for Russia's actions in Ukraine, none whatsoever. There is no excuse for the insurgency; these are not people who have been denied citizenship, or denied their rights as citizens, or denied the right to speak their language or educate their children in it, or persecuted in any systematic way.

The primary function of a military force is, or should be, to defend the borders and hold the territory from enemies, as the poet said "foreign and domestic." I don't know if it is practical for the Ukrainians to reclaim control of Crimea, but it is certainly to be desired.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby sardia » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:06 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/world ... raine.html
Russia has sent artillery units into Ukraine and are using them to fire on Ukrainian forces.

While yet another disturbing escalation from Russia, I thought the tone of the article was odd. What kind of article reports an invasion, but uses it as a hook to talk about the forced ceasefire using Russian aid trucks. You'd think the West would take this level of invasion more vigorously. I think I'll wait until a corroborating article is posted.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby elasto » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:26 am UTC

EMTP wrote:It's hard to imagine them ever making that phone call. And why would they? Countries hold grudges over land seizures for decades, centuries even. I don't see any motive for Ukraine, openly or in secret, to endorse Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea at the precise moment when sanctions are starting to bite.


You still don't get it. You're still thinking this is a binary situation: to fight Russia tooth-and-nail or to give their blessing. Realpolitik means there's a whole swathe of options in between.

I'd find it hard to imagine them ever making that phone call either. I find it more likely that the quid-pro-quo would be for them to make no phone call at all, and the message will none-the-less come through loud and clear to the West.

As to why Ukraine would be happy to do so instead of holding a grudge for decades or centuries - well, the population of Crimea wanting to be part of Russia would be a big part of that. Why burn political capital for a people who don't want to be part of your country anyhow?

My understanding is that the same is not really true for Eastern Ukraine.

Compare it to when Russian agents murdered Litvinenko on UK soil. Should the UK be making an issue of it endlessly, or was a tacit quid-pro-quo reached? My guess is the latter occurred and that is why the UK likewise isn't endlessly raising the issue.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:41 am UTC

elasto wrote:
EMTP wrote:It's hard to imagine them ever making that phone call. And why would they? Countries hold grudges over land seizures for decades, centuries even. I don't see any motive for Ukraine, openly or in secret, to endorse Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea at the precise moment when sanctions are starting to bite.


You still don't get it. You're still thinking this is a binary situation: to fight Russia tooth-and-nail or to give their blessing. Realpolitik means there's a whole swathe of options in between.

I'd find it hard to imagine them ever making that phone call either. I find it more likely that the quid-pro-quo would be for them to make no phone call at all, and the message will none-the-less come through loud and clear to the West.

As to why Ukraine would be happy to do so instead of holding a grudge for decades or centuries - well, the population of Crimea wanting to be part of Russia would be a big part of that. Why burn political capital for a people who don't want to be part of your country anyhow?


Citation needed.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby leady » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:02 pm UTC

For all the gloomy news its actually seems fairly normal over here, outside of the east naturally

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:38 pm UTC

leady wrote:For all the gloomy news its actually seems fairly normal over here, outside of the east naturally

Are you posting from Ukraine? Cuz the war isn't going to help how fundamentally crippled Ukraine is due to the corruption and debt.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby EMTP » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:39 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
leady wrote:For all the gloomy news its actually seems fairly normal over here, outside of the east naturally

Are you posting from Ukraine? Cuz the war isn't going to help how fundamentally crippled Ukraine is due to the corruption and debt.


As I think I've said before, the corruption thing can be overstated. Many countries, including, for example, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and China, are very corrupt by Western standards, but have managed to grow their economies and increase their standards of living among the broad majority. Perhaps the new government in Ukraine, having a war to fight, will place a higher value on pragmatic effectiveness and use the crisis to reign in corruption (he said hopefully).

As for debt, obviously that's a problem, but it need not be a crippling problem if the economy is otherwise strong and well-run. Their debt is between 40% and 50% of the GDP, which is not bad. If it becomes a severe burden, the major options are of course default (Argentina, recently) or inflation (Israel, historically). Neither route is desirable but nor are they the end of the world.

UPDATE: Russian forces have entered Ukraine:

Russian armored vehicles have thundered into southern Ukraine and fired on the strategic town of Novoazovsk as the 5-month-old separatist battle broke open a new front, officials in Kiev said Wednesday.

Novoazovsk lies just inside the Ukraine side of the border with Russia on a road that leads to Mariupol, a vital Ukrainian shipping terminus on the Sea of Azov. From there, it eventually connects with the Crimean peninsula, which Russia invaded in February and annexed a month later.

"The city of Novoazovsk is under fire from both Russia and occupied spots on Ukrainian territory," Col. Andriy Lysenko of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, told journalists at his live-streamed daily briefing in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian government forces control the roads leading from separatist-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, suggesting the tanks, armored personnel carriers and rocket launchers spotted on the road into Novoazovsk entered Ukraine from Russia rather than separatist-held areas.

Reports from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also said Russia was infusing military hardware and fighters into the southern corridor that, if conquered, would give Russia a land bridge from its Rostov region to the Crimea.


Evidently Russia has anticipated the scenario I wrote about above, in which Ukraine defeats the Eastern separatist and begins to isolate Crimea by the simple means of not supplying them any longer. Putin would not seem to be optimistic that Ukraine will secretly take a "boys will be boys" attitude to Russia's invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory. Instead, they are escalating the war to try and capture a land route to Crimea.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby leady » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:03 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
leady wrote:For all the gloomy news its actually seems fairly normal over here, outside of the east naturally

Are you posting from Ukraine? Cuz the war isn't going to help how fundamentally crippled Ukraine is due to the corruption and debt.


Yes from a nice bar :) yup Ukraine is a bit of an economic basket case but thats hardly new either

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Vahir » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:45 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
sardia wrote:
leady wrote:For all the gloomy news its actually seems fairly normal over here, outside of the east naturally

Are you posting from Ukraine? Cuz the war isn't going to help how fundamentally crippled Ukraine is due to the corruption and debt.


As I think I've said before, the corruption thing can be overstated. Many countries, including, for example, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and China, are very corrupt by Western standards, but have managed to grow their economies and increase their standards of living among the broad majority. Perhaps the new government in Ukraine, having a war to fight, will place a higher value on pragmatic effectiveness and use the crisis to reign in corruption (he said hopefully).

As for debt, obviously that's a problem, but it need not be a crippling problem if the economy is otherwise strong and well-run. Their debt is between 40% and 50% of the GDP, which is not bad. If it becomes a severe burden, the major options are of course default (Argentina, recently) or inflation (Israel, historically). Neither route is desirable but nor are they the end of the world.

UPDATE: Russian forces have entered Ukraine:

Russian armored vehicles have thundered into southern Ukraine and fired on the strategic town of Novoazovsk as the 5-month-old separatist battle broke open a new front, officials in Kiev said Wednesday.

Novoazovsk lies just inside the Ukraine side of the border with Russia on a road that leads to Mariupol, a vital Ukrainian shipping terminus on the Sea of Azov. From there, it eventually connects with the Crimean peninsula, which Russia invaded in February and annexed a month later.

"The city of Novoazovsk is under fire from both Russia and occupied spots on Ukrainian territory," Col. Andriy Lysenko of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, told journalists at his live-streamed daily briefing in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian government forces control the roads leading from separatist-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, suggesting the tanks, armored personnel carriers and rocket launchers spotted on the road into Novoazovsk entered Ukraine from Russia rather than separatist-held areas.

Reports from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also said Russia was infusing military hardware and fighters into the southern corridor that, if conquered, would give Russia a land bridge from its Rostov region to the Crimea.


Evidently Russia has anticipated the scenario I wrote about above, in which Ukraine defeats the Eastern separatist and begins to isolate Crimea by the simple means of not supplying them any longer. Putin would not seem to be optimistic that Ukraine will secretly take a "boys will be boys" attitude to Russia's invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory. Instead, they are escalating the war to try and capture a land route to Crimea.


To be fair, those armored vehicles aren't confirmed to be russians, from what I've read. I suppose the separatists built them in one of their famous never-before-seen modern tank factories. Anyway, according to BBC, the forces that entered Novoazovsk are rebels, not russians (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28951319).

Edit: Russian journalists say they have been attacked while investigating reports that soldiers were secretly buried after being killed in Ukraine.

The paratroopers were buried in a village near the western city of Pskov, where they were based.

What appears to be fresh graves of the killed paratroopers were first spotted in the village by Pskovskaya Guberniya, a local newspaper.

Its journalists say they were attacked at the cemetery.

[...]

Vladimir Romensky and Ilya Vasyunin say they were approached by two men who told them that they would "never be found" unless they boarded the next train back to Moscow.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Dantez » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:09 am UTC

So, I'm Czech. I'm only 21 years old, yet my parents lived under Russian rule and of course I heard stories from the totalitarian regime.

And now? They are afraid. A lot of people are afraid in the Czech Republic. Why? Because Russia is getting aggressive again. So I'm glad that the Ukrainian government has not given up its fight. I'm glad they are standing up for the law and the democratic society and, more importantly, for the rest of the countries that lived under Russian iron fist. I hope they restore order, get the Russians out of their country and finally get free from the cultural and geopolitical influence Russia imposes wherever it can.

Because in the '68 Russian tanks crossed the border of the Czech Republic and finally fucked the spirit of several generations and our entire country. They have destroyed old, beautiful towns. They have forcibly transfered large groups of minorities in places they didn't belong to, creating societal problems that survive even today. The communists have even sent political prisoners into uranium mines. They have butchered WW2 heroes that just wanted to live their life in a free country.

Why is this relevant? Because I know that if Russia gets its grip on us again, they will do so again. Putin lives in the past and with him lives the spirit of the SSSR. I don't care about the fact that it's been gone for a long time; he wants it back. That's why we are restless here, in our little republics and states.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:30 pm UTC

Dantez wrote: I'm glad they are standing up for the law and the democratic society...


By kicking out the elected government in a foreign-backed coup, and then shelling towns that want to secede?

Some democracy.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:45 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Dantez wrote: I'm glad they are standing up for the law and the democratic society...


By kicking out the elected government in a foreign-backed coup, and then shelling towns that want to secede?

Some democracy.


I keep seeing that bandied about. What evidence is there that foreigners backed the overthrow of the Ukrainian PM?

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Vahir » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:47 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Dantez wrote: I'm glad they are standing up for the law and the democratic society...


By kicking out the elected government in a foreign-backed coup, and then shelling towns that want to secede?

Some democracy.


You are aware that the government of Ukraine is democratically elected, right? And that the secession movement is obviously foreign backed? And that they've given the rebels every opportunity to stand down before now? Governments have used extreme force against rebels in the past and been vindicated by history. See: American Civil War.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:36 pm UTC

I'm not sure if a repeat of the civil war would fly in today international norms. We did done awful shit to during that war that rivals what Putin did to the Chechens.

Orm, why so harsh on Kiev ?


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