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Russian Invasion of Ukraine - tactics and logistics

Bronzeage

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This is the first time a post Soviet Russian army has faced a peer army and it has fallen miserably short.

Future historians will call the economic policies which led to this disaster "Putinism". There will be thousands of academic papers written about how Putin turned the Russian economy over to selected experts and measured their performance by how much his personal wealth increased. By this metric, they did very well.

The Russian Army is the guy who thinks he's in good condition, maybe could lose a few pounds, but gets around with no problems, and then has a heart attack on the treadmill during his 40th birthday physical.

Future economists will carefully document the percentage of Russia's GDP which was spent on the military budget, and compare it to what the military actually received. The difference will be labeled the "Oligap" and be measured in Super Yachts(SY), where one SY is equal to 10 Trump Tower Condos(TTC).

When the Russian Army inevitably withdraws back to Russia, the oligap can no longer be supported by the Russian economy. This means it is not possible to either rebuild the military or support the lifestyles of oligarchs. Putin cannot do anything about this because it would mean jailing the people who keep him in power and he can't trust their replacements. The Russian Army will be a toothless tiger, fully aware they are perceived as impotent by the Western world.

This soup has all the necessary ingredients for a palace coup. It's just a matter of time.
 

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Problematic to "save face" when you started it, and the only way to "save face" is to give them territory they have no right to, and should owe money to Ukraine for the damage. Indeed, Russia is the weakest it has looked in a long time. There is little that can be done to make Russia not look like a giant bag of dumbasses.
I think the only "face saving" move that the western leaders should be talking about is recognition of Crimea as Russian and reversing some of the sanctions, if Russia withdraws back to February 23rd borders. But it should also be coupled with a threat that if the war continues to the point that Ukraine forces Russia to withdraw and reaches the Crimean border, the offer is no longer on the table.

I think Scholz and Macron are trying to find a face-saving way out for themselves, more than for Putin.
 

steve_bank

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I think it can be argued that the lack of meaningful response to Crimea may have emboldenedPutin to invade Ukraime. Nobody was going to fight over Crimea.

Russians in military uniforms without insignia were operating in Ukraine a ways back. Putin said anybody can buy unifroms in a surplys store.

Napoleon, Mussolini, Tojo, Hitler. It is irrational to see Putin as a rational leader. I listneed to a Russian expat historian talk about Putin. As he put it Putin sees himself in the line of past Russian conquerors. He used the term 'Russian mystic'. Destiny and power.

Just look at his statement that Ukraine does not exist and is legitimately open for conquest.
 

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Problematic to "save face" when you started it, and the only way to "save face" is to give them territory they have no right to, and should owe money to Ukraine for the damage. Indeed, Russia is the weakest it has looked in a long time. There is little that can be done to make Russia not look like a giant bag of dumbasses.
Nukes? Pulling the trigger on fomented foreign political and social strife?

I mean their primary weapon has been troll factories, opinion mills, and money in elections foreign to Russia, as if the concept of "election" is not foreign to Russian leadership already.

They will pull out all the stops and dump every toxicity they can at western culture before they are done, unless Putin is made dead by an oligarch before that happens
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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A Russian friend sent me this. He says Putin's spell has been broken. Nobody is buying his bullshit anymore. It seems like the governments threatening statements about Finland and Sweden are making people worried Russia will be in endless wars.

That's what he says


Putin is in his late 60s the people in the video are half or one third his age. The older crowd supports him by a vast margin. Or maybe they don't support him so much as they are afraid of him and so voice their support. But the younger crowd certainly seems to get it based on the video.
 

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A Russian friend sent me this. He says Putin's spell has been broken. Nobody is buying his bullshit anymore. It seems like the governments threatening statements about Finland and Sweden are making people worried Russia will be in endless wars.

That's what he says


Putin is in his late 60s the people in the video are half or one third his age. The older crowd supports him by a vast margin. Or maybe they don't support him so much as they are afraid of him and so voice their support. But the younger crowd certainly seems to get it based on the video.


What he says is that people are speaking out against the war on television. Ie, the state controlled censored television where most Russians get their news. And that the people speaking out aren't punished. Plus that previously hard line propagandists are more quiet now.

So something has shifted pretty high up.

All Russians have free access to the Internet. If they can be bothered to use it. So they have access to the same information we do
 

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Nobody deals well with humiliation, but the main driver of this war appears to be the humiliation that Putin and Russian nationalists still feel over the collapse of the Soviet empire. They wanted to regain their self-image as the dominant power in eastern Europe, but their image is now lower than it ever was in the past. What the EU leaders worry about is how that feeling of humiliation will fester after the fighting stops in defeat.

NATO countries have donated large quantities of weaponry to Ukraine. With that in mind, I think it would be fairly easy for Putin to internally spin the loss as a result of NATO meddling, and double down on that NATO is an existential threat to Russia. Ie, the classic fascist rhetoric. So inside Russia he can probably hold on nicely to power.

The worse news for Russia is that a loss will severely lighten the weight of future Russian threats to their neighbours. This will have all kinds of knock on effects. Right now all ex-Soviet states that haven't joined NATO yet, are under the thumb of Russia and have to take Russian interests into account when doing anything. You know, like how colonialism or vassal kingdoms used to work. Make no mistake, this war is the result of Ukraine trying to break out of the Russian choke hold.

Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that.

It can be compared to what the US loss in the Vietnam war meant. It emboldened all kinds of leftist nationalist movements. Khmer Rouge taking power in Cambodia is a direct result of US failures in Vietnam. As is a bunch of armed uprisings in Africa (though less easy to neatly trace to Vietnam).

The outcome of the Ukraine war is going to shape foreign policy for decades to come. A decisive Russian loss will lead to a very peaceful century. It's going to make China into a cute and cuddly pussycat.
 
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Harry Bosch

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Nobody deals well with humiliation, but the main driver of this war appears to be the humiliation that Putin and Russian nationalists still feel over the collapse of the Soviet empire. They wanted to regain their self-image as the dominant power in eastern Europe, but their image is now lower than it ever was in the past. What the EU leaders worry about is how that feeling of humiliation will fester after the fighting stops in defeat.

NATO countries have donated large quantities of weaponry to Ukraine. With that in mind, I think it would be fairly easy for Putin to internally spin the loss as a result of NATO meddling, and double down on that NATO is an existential threat to Russia. Ie, the classic fascist rhetoric. So inside Russia he can probably hold on nicely to power.

The worse news for Russia is that a loss will severely lighten the weight of future Russian threats to their neighbours. This will have all kinds of knock on effects. Right now all ex-Soviet states that haven't joined NATO yet, are under the thumb of Russia and have to take Russian interests into account when doing anything. You know, like how colonialism or vassal kingdoms used to work. Make no mistake, this war is the result of Ukraine trying to break out of the Russian choke hold.

Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that.

It can be compared to what the US loss in the Vietnam war meant. It emboldened all kinds of leftist nationalist movements. Khmer Rouge taking power in Cambodia is a direct result of US failures in Vietnam. As is a bunch of armed uprisings in Africa (though less easy to neatly trace to Vietnam).

The outcome of the Ukraine war is going to shape foreign policy for decades to come. A decisive Russian loss will lead to a very peaceful century. It's going to make China into a cute and cuddly pussycat.
Good post. I agree with you. Although I would add that Russia is to blame for the countries moving towards Nato and the west. These countries are much closer to Russia and should have natural alliance with Russia. Russia has great resources to sell. But instead Russia bullies the border countries demanding that they cede to their threats and accept Russian zones of influence. Fuck Russia. It is losing long standing allies because it is such a brutish state.

Below is a story about a very pro-Russian mayor of Ukraine's third largest city turning his back on Russia:

 

DrZoidberg

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Nobody deals well with humiliation, but the main driver of this war appears to be the humiliation that Putin and Russian nationalists still feel over the collapse of the Soviet empire. They wanted to regain their self-image as the dominant power in eastern Europe, but their image is now lower than it ever was in the past. What the EU leaders worry about is how that feeling of humiliation will fester after the fighting stops in defeat.

NATO countries have donated large quantities of weaponry to Ukraine. With that in mind, I think it would be fairly easy for Putin to internally spin the loss as a result of NATO meddling, and double down on that NATO is an existential threat to Russia. Ie, the classic fascist rhetoric. So inside Russia he can probably hold on nicely to power.

The worse news for Russia is that a loss will severely lighten the weight of future Russian threats to their neighbours. This will have all kinds of knock on effects. Right now all ex-Soviet states that haven't joined NATO yet, are under the thumb of Russia and have to take Russian interests into account when doing anything. You know, like how colonialism or vassal kingdoms used to work. Make no mistake, this war is the result of Ukraine trying to break out of the Russian choke hold.

Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that.

It can be compared to what the US loss in the Vietnam war meant. It emboldened all kinds of leftist nationalist movements. Khmer Rouge taking power in Cambodia is a direct result of US failures in Vietnam. As is a bunch of armed uprisings in Africa (though less easy to neatly trace to Vietnam).

The outcome of the Ukraine war is going to shape foreign policy for decades to come. A decisive Russian loss will lead to a very peaceful century. It's going to make China into a cute and cuddly pussycat.
Good post. I agree with you. Although I would add that Russia is to blame for the countries moving towards Nato and the west. These countries are much closer to Russia and should have natural alliance with Russia. Russia has great resources to sell. But instead Russia bullies the border countries demanding that they cede to their threats and accept Russian zones of influence. Fuck Russia. It is losing long standing allies because it is such a brutish state.

Below is a story about a very pro-Russian mayor of Ukraine's third largest city turning his back on Russia:

Totally.

I can also add to this that what Putin is doing, looking at world history, is being normal. The strong bullying the weak is business as usual. The western countries used to do it. The ONLY thing that has made the west stop is the fact that the western economic head start will mean that in an open and peaceful world they will keep their dominance and get ever richer. It's just historical dumb luck that this is also in the best interest of people outside the west. If free market capitalism would stop being in the president of USA's best interest, of course USA would stop being the world police and try their best at being world conquers, just like any nation with an edge, has ever done. Human nature being what it is.

Up to this point in human history you were either the bully or the bullied. There was nothing else. This new free market open society isn't particularly old either. It was made in the decades following WW2 when Great Britain dismantled their empire. The fact that we got used to it really fucking fast doesn't mean it's natural or normal. It's a monumental paradigm shift, that we're still trying to adapt to. It's also very important to understand that it's also new to USA. They weren't always so friendly and nice. They used to be just as much of an asshole as everyone else. There's little difference between what Putin is doing now, and what USA did in the Banana Wars.

 

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I've wondered about this as Ukrainian forces advance into what is/was considered pro-Russian areas. Have attitudes changed? It could play a significant role.

As far as I understand, this isn't so much an ethnic thing as a question of money. When Crimea became Russian Crimean pensioners got higher pensions. Crimean state employees got higher salaries. The Russian economy is in a better shape than Ukraine's (thanks to Russian natural resources). I think both Ukrainians and Russians are about as skeptical about the trustworthiness of their "chosen" leaders. Both countries are corrupt to a bizarre degree. I think Ukrainian cynicism is pretty high. And when you don't trust anyone anyway, you will trust cold hard cash. Which Russia gives them more of.

I also know that the Crimea has been in an economic slump following the Russian take-over. It turns out that Russia pumped in tremendous amount of money into Crimea that... surprise surprise... ended up not benefitting the Crimeans that much. Yay, corruption. They did get higher state salaries and pensions, but local businesses took a hit. So for the private sector, joining Russia has been a bad experience.

So, it's complicated. Of course. It always is.
 

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I've wondered about this as Ukrainian forces advance into what is/was considered pro-Russian areas. Have attitudes changed? It could play a significant role.

As far as I understand, this isn't so much an ethnic thing as a question of money. When Crimea became Russian Crimean pensioners got higher pensions. Crimean state employees got higher salaries. The Russian economy is in a better shape than Ukraine's (thanks to Russian natural resources). I think both Ukrainians and Russians are about as skeptical about the trustworthiness of their "chosen" leaders. Both countries are corrupt to a bizarre degree. I think Ukrainian cynicism is pretty high. And when you don't trust anyone anyway, you will trust cold hard cash. Which Russia gives them more of.

I also know that the Crimea has been in an economic slump following the Russian take-over. It turns out that Russia pumped in tremendous amount of money into Crimea that... surprise surprise... ended up not benefitting the Crimeans that much. Yay, corruption. They did get higher state salaries and pensions, but local businesses took a hit. So for the private sector, joining Russia has been a bad experience.

So, it's complicated. Of course. It always is.

I'm just thinking how indiscriminate bombing may have changed the equation. For example, if a person living in Odesa is pro-Russian and a missile destroys where they work or shop, they might have a change of heart. I know if the Democrats bombed my neighborhood, I'd seriously consider voting Republican.
 

Copernicus

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...Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that...

I just wanted to comment on your expression "Russian interests", an expression that we all toss around a lot. I wonder what Russian interests really are, because it isn't clear that it is in Russian interests to be an imperialist power. In hindsight, that behavior has brought disaster down on Russia and its neighbors. The country is worse off for it. I would see NATO as a threat to the interests of Russian imperialists--Vladimir Putin, the oligarchs, ultranationalists, and various other self-centered segments of Russian society. I wouldn't confuse the interests of that crowd with the interests of the Russian nation as a whole. What is really in Russian interests is a stable peaceful and mutually profitable relationship with other countries. Russia doesn't pursue its own interests when it drives other countries to seek membership in NATO, and that is exactly what it has been doing. Russia under Putin has become a threat to its own national interest and those of other countries.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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...Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that...

I just wanted to comment on your expression "Russian interests", an expression that we all toss around a lot. I wonder what Russian interests really are, because it isn't clear that it is in Russian interests to be an imperialist power. In hindsight, that behavior has brought disaster down on Russia and its neighbors. The country is worse off for it. I would see NATO as a threat to the interests of Russian imperialists--Vladimir Putin, the oligarchs, ultranationalists, and various other self-centered segments of Russian society. I wouldn't confuse the interests of that crowd with the interests of the Russian nation as a whole. What is really in Russian interests is a stable peaceful and mutually profitable relationship with other countries. Russia doesn't pursue its own interests when it drives other countries to seek membership in NATO, and that is exactly what it has been doing. Russia under Putin has become a threat to its own national interest and those of other countries.
Yes. It isn't Russia anymore so much as it is Putinstan or Oligarchia. It certainly isn't a place where one is free to express one's interests. It is not a nation of laws that benefit everyone equally. And it is unfortunate because Russia should be for Russians, not Putinistas. Stalin and Putin and their ilk seem to have destroyed the Russian spirit for their own gain. It has been repeated ad naseum that if Russia wanted to influence its neighbors it could do that easily by helping them, not bullying them. Time and the availability of information will workd against that present behavior.
 

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A Russian columnist recently appeared on television and gave a damning assessment of the situation in Ukraine from Russia's perspective.

Watch the video. This guy is telling it like it is. Completely rational saying it looks very bad for Russia particularly because they are so isolated. Lots of other good stuff. A great read.
Now he is backtracking:


Retired Russian colonel Mikhail Khodarenok said any talk about Ukraine being able to counterattack is a "big exaggeration," just a day after he criticized Russia's military operations in Ukraine saying the situation for Russia could "get worse."

Speaking to a Russian state TV channel on Wednesday, Khodarenok said, "When people talk about Ukraine acquiring the ability to counterattack, well it's a big exaggeration. And as concerns the actions of our supreme command, there is every reason to believe that the implementation of these plans will in the very near future give Ukraine an unpleasant surprise."
I guess Kodarenok has had a visit from FSB. :oops:
 

DrZoidberg

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...Putin isn't wrong in that NATO is a threat to Russian interests. But of course, that threat only lies in that NATO protects NATO members from Russian imperialism. It doesn't replace one oppressor for another. It simply removes the Russian oppressor. Of course, Putin doesn't like that...

I just wanted to comment on your expression "Russian interests", an expression that we all toss around a lot. I wonder what Russian interests really are, because it isn't clear that it is in Russian interests to be an imperialist power. In hindsight, that behavior has brought disaster down on Russia and its neighbors. The country is worse off for it. I would see NATO as a threat to the interests of Russian imperialists--Vladimir Putin, the oligarchs, ultranationalists, and various other self-centered segments of Russian society. I wouldn't confuse the interests of that crowd with the interests of the Russian nation as a whole. What is really in Russian interests is a stable peaceful and mutually profitable relationship with other countries. Russia doesn't pursue its own interests when it drives other countries to seek membership in NATO, and that is exactly what it has been doing. Russia under Putin has become a threat to its own national interest and those of other countries.

There's also the resource curse. The economy of a country shapes behaviours and priorities. For a natural resource rich country, where most of the GNP comes from a single or few natural resources there's a huge incentive to control that natural resource. And once you do, your leverage of power will allow you to very effectively control the entire country. This is Russia.


When western nations were helping guide Russia from communism to capitalism they were greedy, short sighted and naive. Above all, they were bizarrely naive and forgiving when it came to Yeltsin, who was given a free pass to derail the Russian democracy and economy without anybody reacting. I read an analysis book of the transition from communism and that author listed all the things Yeltsin said he was for and would do, did none of it. He only was purely hellbent on enriching himself and his cronies. They/We gave him a free pass because the communist government was so inefficient that just stopping the really really stupid planned economy stuff made Russian growth numbers look impressive. In the west we still fail to grasp just exactly how hated Yeltsin was and is. And Gorbachev. In our minds these two are Russian heroes. They are by the Russians today considered villains.

Russia is of course very much a product of it's economy and history.

I argue that we in the west don't really understand the secret sauce that makes our democracies work. This makes us draw simplistic conclusions about why Putin does the stuff he does. It was the same story following 9/11, the rise of ISIS or the return of the Taleban. Aææ took the west completely by surprise, even though both were loudly telegraphed well in advance.

The healthiest democracies are so in countries that, traditionally, had weak kings/central power structure. Where the king had to ask nicely to get their vassals to do their bidding, because he hadn't much leverage if they said no. In northern Europe the temperature limited food production which prevented dense populations. Subjects were more spread out, which weakened central power. This created a proactive culture where people, to a greater extent, solved their own problems. Corruption was lower because misbehavior would impact your local community. These are farming communities. So they are pretty stable. Long term planning is incentivized. These are all facts from history. It might be that this culture is the secret sauce that makes democracy work.

Russia is a nation borne out of step nomads. Ie political realities can change rapidly. Tribal alliances are volatile. Long term planning is a waste of time. Farmers will always be dominated by the horseback herders. ie always bled dry. The step nomads always take as much as they can. They never know when their dominating position will end. It's a different type of culture. Russia became an agrarian culture very late. This might explain why Russia today is what it is?
 

steve_bank

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If the CNN report is right a captured Russian soldier admitted to shooting n unarmed civilian.

The soldier says he was ordered to shoot a man on a biccycle holding a phone because he might report a tank paoition.

That pretty much says it all about the Russia army.
 

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When Pootey says NATO is a threat to Russian interests, it is a plain and simple admission that "Russia's interests" include invading and seizing territory that belongs to NATO Countries.

There is no other Russian "interest" that is threatened by NATO.

If Russia (Putler) insists that Russia is justified to invade other countries that have shown no aggression toward Russia, then dismantling Russia in its entirety would be a completely justifiable action for the rest of the world to undertake.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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When Pootey says NATO is a threat to Russian interests, it is a plain and simple admission that "Russia's interests" include invading and seizing territory that belongs to NATO Countries.

There is no other Russian "interest" that is threatened by NATO.

If Russia (Putler) insists that Russia is justified to invade other countries that have shown no aggression toward Russia, then dismantling Russia in its entirety would be a completely justifiable action for the rest of the world to undertake.
It should be unmistakably obvious to anyone with even half a brain the Russia's little Hitler is the one and only problem. Russia's legacy of oppression is something that is amenable to change but it won't ever happen if a murderous tyrant and his thieving cronies control the affairs of state. Your typical guy is just going to be afraid to speak his mind because he doesn't want to lose what little freedom he has.

It is strange to me how so few in the west understand the difference between the little Russian Hitler's interests and Russian national interests. We even conflate the two as if they are the same thing. I don't know why we don't think about this and chose our words more carefully so be more accurate with our speech. The pen is really mightier than the sword.

I agree with Zoid that we did a poor job in the early 90s and Putin's rise to power is proof of that. Maybe we'll get it right eventually.
 

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I am usually a bit more skeptical than most Americans (and even Europeans) who think that the US sort of controls everything that happens in the world. The claim that the US won the Cold War by causing the breakup of the Soviet Union and bringing down the Berlin Wall is really a myth, in my opinion.

The US did not bring Gorbachev to power, and it did not cause the economic mess that the Soviets got themselves into with their bungled attempts to control their economy and suppress the national aspirations of people within their empire. I'm sorry, but Boris Yeltsin was no more the fault of the US than Mikhail Gorbachev was. Yeltsin came to power on his own and stayed in power without the help of the US government. He wasn't controlled by the US, and Putin's rise to power had very little to do with the US. It is always true that one can identify mistakes in hindsight, but I just don't see how Vladimir Putin's rise can really be pinned on the US bungling its Russia policy. Gorbachev was delusional to think that he could hold all of those vassal states together without force of arms to suppress dissent and opposition to Soviet rule. Yeltsin was an incompetent, corrupt drunkard, who needed the help of a ruthless henchman, Vladimir Putin, to help him keep control. Vladimir Putin, was a corrupt criminal sociopath who saw an opportunity to seize control of a failing government by scapegoating Chechens with manufactured terrorist attacks.

I just don't see what the US and other Western governments could have done to stop Putin's rise to power, even if they had had the ability to see into the future. Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin all came to power because of internal conditions in the Russian-dominated Eastern European bloc at the time. NATO always existed as an organization that opposed the military expansion of Soviet power into western Europe. Former Soviet-bloc nations rushed to join it after the collapse of the Soviet Union, because they feared a renewed attempt by Russia to regain its lost territories and vassal states. Before Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the NATO organization was really struggling to maintain its relevance, but that changed pretty quickly, once Putin made clear his expansionist intentions. NATO didn't plan its own revival. That was an unforced error brought about by Vladimir Putin's incompetence.
 

steve_bank

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I disagre partly on the end of the Cold War. Yes the system was fundamentally snafu.

I was not a big Reagan fan, but hr gets credit for his aggressive anti communist position and his speech at the Berlin Wall. His Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative program did cause Russia to try and keep up and it it had a financial impact on Russia.

It was not just Reagan, Truman, Eisenhower, and JFK. All precedents kept up the pressure.

What we may be seeing now is the real end of Cold War. Patton ajjegedly argued that we shoud make peace with Germany and turn on the Russians because they were the future threat.

If not the single cause SDI was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I worked on a proposal for an SDI project called brilliant Pebbles. We looked at it and we all saw it was not practical, but ten SDI was never reallfeasible. There was an anti ballistic missile test where a transponder was put on the target for to ensure the anti missile missilef hit the traget.

Analysts showed that it such accuracy was not really possible, hitting a bullet with a bullet at long range. This and some other reports on tests convinced mat some public results weer part of a disinformation program against the Russians.
 
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Jayjay

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50 years from now people will be wondering, why didn't the US ally with Russia against China back when they still had the chance.

But for us living in this time, it's not like we have much of a choice. Give us a break, future generations!
 

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50 years from now people will be wondering, why didn't the US ally with Russia against China back when they still had the chance.

But for us living in this time, it's not like we have much of a choice. Give us a break, future generations!

There are people now who wonder that, and that seemed very much what Donald Trump might have been thinking with his "Excuse Russia/Blame China" antics during his disastrous four years in power. If anything can be said for Vladimir Putin, it is that he was a hell of a lot smarter than Donald Trump, but that was a very low bar to jump over. Putin, of course, had other plans for the future role of Russia in world politics.
 

steve_bank

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What would the time frame have been for such an alliance?

We were in China before WWII helping the Chinese fight the Japanese. Post war we supported the fascist Chang Kai Shek who lost the civil war and fled to Taiwan.

Russia pre revolution, WWI and WWII was engaged in centuries of wars with Europeans.

An example of shifting alliances. A Russian American alliance? Even in existential WWII the Russians and Americans were not allies. Doed American pilots and planes that fell into Russian hands were not necessarily handed back to the Americans.


Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975),[2] also known as Chiang Chung-cheng, Chiang Chieh-shih, Cheung Kai-shek and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Nationalist politician, revolutionary, and military leader, who served as the leader of the Republic of China from 1928, until 1949 in mainland China, and then in Taiwan until his death in 1975.

Born in Chekiang (Zhejiang) Province, Chiang was a member of the Kuomintang (KMT), and a lieutenant of Sun Yat-sen in the revolution to overthrow the Beiyang government and reunify China. With help from the Soviets and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chiang organized the military for Sun's Canton Nationalist Government and headed the Whampoa Military Academy. Commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army (from which he came to be known as a Generalissimo), he led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928, before defeating a coalition of warlords and nominally reunifying China under a new Nationalist government. Midway through the Northern Expedition, the KMT–CCP alliance broke down and Chiang massacred communists inside the party, triggering a civil war with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), which he eventually lost in 1949
 

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So apparently a group of Russian Officers have been so appalled at the competence in the Russian military that they are calling for full scale total war against Ukraine to restore their status as a world power and re-establish the former borders of Russia. They say denazification should be abandoned. They were shocked at the destruction of an entire BTG in the Donetsk river crossing attempt a few days ago. They are calling for at least a partial mobilizatio, extending conscripts to two years, formation of defense groups near all NATO countries and the death penalty for deserters.

I think they’re getting desperate.

Meanwhile, I hear Ukrainians refer to Russian soldiers as Orcs. I like that.
 

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Retired general says Ukraine will need 8-9 months before it's forces are fully operational:


Armies cannot turn on a dime​

Ukraine has fought valiantly and driven the Russians back from the northern cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv in recent weeks, but its counteroffensive has not been sustained because Ukrainian forces need time to assimilate Western military equipment, a retired NATO commander said.

“Tanks and armoured vehicles need an initial stage of personal training and team training for the driver, gunner, reloader and commander,” said Lt-Gen Konstantinos Loukopoulos, who has taught tank warfare at military academies in Kyiv and Moscow.

“They need tactical training, including test firing and exercises, which cannot be done in a few weeks. The training cycle is at least six months, and that doesn’t change in wartime,” he said.

“After [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s illusions about winning the war in 96 hours, the illusions began on the Western side,” he added.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany and the Czech Republic are among those who have pledged various types of armour and artillery, and that complicates matters, Loukopoulos said.

For instance, out of 90 howitzer M777 artillery pieces sent by the US to Ukraine, about 18 have been absorbed, he said, adding that it is unknown how many of the 12 or 14 César self-propelled howitzers sent by France are in use.

“For Ukraine to absorb the weapons from the West and make them operational, form the right units, and train them, it needs eight, nine months. It can’t pull active units from the front to train them,” Loukopoulos said.

That is the timeframe, he believes, within which Putin must win the war on the ground and reach a negotiated settlement.

“Under the present balance of forces, the general trend is in favour of the Russians. Right now nothing can change that,” he said.

“After a few months, with training of reserve units, there could be a [Ukrainian] strategic counteroffensive that could throw the Russians out.”

Loukopoulos believes this could likely be done by Ukraine seizing Russian territory that it could exchange for its own territory in negotiations.

“Can the Ukrainians create a fact on the ground to counter Russian gains? Right now they cannot,” he said.

“Whether we like it or not, Russia has the political and military initiative. The West is reacting to what Putin is doing.”
Given that Russia has conquered 20% of Ukrainian territory in three months, how much is going to be left after another nine? I'm not as optimistic as Loukopoulos, because each passing day when Russia has the advantage, it is grinding away Ukrainian defenses and infrastructure, which will make it harder for Ukraine to eventually turn around.

The question is, which side will crumble first: Russia, that is basically being run as a war-time economy right now and can produce new cannons and cannon fodder reliably, without having to worry about public opinion polls, or Ukraine, who's already stretched at the limit when it comes to its own resources and relies on foreign aid from countries to whom this war isn't an existential crisis, but just a hobby?
 

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The question is, which side will crumble first

If it was Russia vs Ukraine, given equal resources I’d bet on Ukraine. But it’s Russia vs the EU and NATO. These agglomerations of nations lack the collective resolve of either Russia or Ukraine. One 18 year old American punk can totally push the plight of 45 million Ukranians right off the front page.
 

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Vladimir Putin's health is a subject of intense conversation inside the Biden administration after the intelligence community produced its fourth comprehensive assessment at the end of May. The classified U.S. report says Putin seems to have re-emerged after undergoing treatment in April for advanced cancer, three U.S. intelligence leaders who have read the reports tell Newsweek.

The assessments also confirm that there was an assassination attempt on Putin's life in March, the officials say.

The high-ranking officials, who represent three separate intelligence agencies, are concerned that Putin is increasingly paranoid about his hold on power, a status that makes for a rocky and unpredictable course in Ukraine. But it is one, they say, that also makes the prospects of nuclear war less likely.

"Putin's grip is strong but no longer absolute," says one of the senior intelligence officers with direct access to the reports. "The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near."
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
I'm wondering if Biden saying not to use those long range missiles on Russia was just for Putin. If Ukraine happens to throw a couple over the border every so often, will Biden look the other way?
 

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Dictators always seem to end up believing their own myths. Hitler certainly. He thought he new more than anybody else and was unbeatable. Russia. North Africa. Italy.

Napoleon at one point like Hitler was giving military orders impossible to execute, and of course Russia and Waterloo.
 

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Vladimir Putin's health is a subject of intense conversation inside the Biden administration after the intelligence community produced its fourth comprehensive assessment at the end of May. The classified U.S. report says Putin seems to have re-emerged after undergoing treatment in April for advanced cancer, three U.S. intelligence leaders who have read the reports tell Newsweek.

The assessments also confirm that there was an assassination attempt on Putin's life in March, the officials say.

The high-ranking officials, who represent three separate intelligence agencies, are concerned that Putin is increasingly paranoid about his hold on power, a status that makes for a rocky and unpredictable course in Ukraine. But it is one, they say, that also makes the prospects of nuclear war less likely.

"Putin's grip is strong but no longer absolute," says one of the senior intelligence officers with direct access to the reports. "The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near."

Maybe. But I also fear it’s wishful thinking.

Putin is only 69 years old. Which isn’t that old. I don’t think he smokes (Xi does!). But still it would be great if he had some kind of collapse if not death. He’s got to be under enormous strain due to the failure of the invasion.
 

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Vladimir Putin's health is a subject of intense conversation inside the Biden administration after the intelligence community produced its fourth comprehensive assessment at the end of May. The classified U.S. report says Putin seems to have re-emerged after undergoing treatment in April for advanced cancer, three U.S. intelligence leaders who have read the reports tell Newsweek.

The assessments also confirm that there was an assassination attempt on Putin's life in March, the officials say.

The high-ranking officials, who represent three separate intelligence agencies, are concerned that Putin is increasingly paranoid about his hold on power, a status that makes for a rocky and unpredictable course in Ukraine. But it is one, they say, that also makes the prospects of nuclear war less likely.

"Putin's grip is strong but no longer absolute," says one of the senior intelligence officers with direct access to the reports. "The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near."

Maybe. But I also fear it’s wishful thinking.

Putin is only 69 years old. Which isn’t that old. I don’t think he smokes (Xi does!). But still it would be great if he had some kind of collapse if not death. He’s got to be under enormous strain due to the failure of the invasion.
I believe the report above is the first official acknowledgement of his illness.

And cancer has no age limits.
 

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I'm very suspicious of rumors of Putin's illness. The war is looking so bleak that we're grasping at straws and want him to just drop dead. Everyone is hoping that it would end the war, or at least that the guy responsible should get his just desserts. We're psychologically primed to believe news of this sort, no matter how flimsy the actual evidence.

Even if he were sick, he could live for years. And the entire Russian establishment shares his imperialist, nationalist views.
 
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I'm very suspicious of rumors of Putin's illness. The war is looking so bleak that we're grasping at straws and want him to just drop dead. Everyone is hoping that it would end the war, or at least that the guy responsible should get his just desserts. We're psychologically primed to believe news of this sort, no matter how flimsy the actual evidence.

Even if he were sick, he could live for years. And the entire Russian establishment shares his imperialist, nationalist views.
I just think it would be nice if he died. The world could do no worse. We could throw around a little propaganda ourselves that he died of shame.

On custards, cookies, or petits fours.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
I'm wondering if Biden saying not to use those long range missiles on Russia was just for Putin. If Ukraine happens to throw a couple over the border every so often, will Biden look the other way?
I think it's about not using them for deep strike stuff--don't go after logistics targets far from the border.
 

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It seems that Russia has managed to deploy anti-air missile systems on Snake Island, which would negate to some extent the loss of Moskva:

FUi7hMRXwAAgTea


Is this final? Or is there some way Ukraine could still attack snake Island? To me this seems that landing troops South of Odesa is back in play.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
Well there's the rub. Russia doesn't "win" if they leave Ukraine a smoking crater.

This is a war over resources after all. Oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure to deliver those commodities to market. It's not a coincidence that Putin wants the eastern part of Ukraine, and it's not because a lot of ethnic Russians live there. It's about what's underneath their feet.

He almost had it all. A pro-Russian government in Kyiv, some pipelines running to the rest of Europe, and a chance to corner the market (holy shit look at all this natural gas!) Then all that went south...or more accurately...west. He had to step in and set up a government that wasn't looking to the west rather than Moscow, and he figured it would be an easy lift. Whoops. Now he's in a bind. He can't turn Ukraine into a smoking crater. He can't take the whole thing because he's mightily pissed off the Ukrainian people, and he might be able to hold on to gains in the east, but a European market that's turning away from whatever product he's able to extract from that region might not be as profitable as he thought.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
Well there's the rub. Russia doesn't "win" if they leave Ukraine a smoking crater.

This is a war over resources after all. Oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure to deliver those commodities to market. It's not a coincidence that Putin wants the eastern part of Ukraine, and it's not because a lot of ethnic Russians live there. It's about what's underneath their feet.

He almost had it all. A pro-Russian government in Kyiv, some pipelines running to the rest of Europe, and a chance to corner the market (holy shit look at all this natural gas!) Then all that went south...or more accurately...west. He had to step in and set up a government that wasn't looking to the west rather than Moscow, and he figured it would be an easy lift. Whoops. Now he's in a bind. He can't turn Ukraine into a smoking crater. He can't take the whole thing because he's mightily pissed off the Ukrainian people, and he might be able to hold on to gains in the east, but a European market that's turning away from whatever product he's able to extract from that region might not be as profitable as he thought.
You are absolutely correct. This has always been about resources. There are some of the massive supplies of natural gas in the black sea and Eastern Ukraine. The west was starting to set up drilling with Ukraine just before 2014 when Russia invaded. Russian invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine secured these deposits for Russia. It's really about selling gas to Europe.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
Well there's the rub. Russia doesn't "win" if they leave Ukraine a smoking crater.

This is a war over resources after all. Oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure to deliver those commodities to market. It's not a coincidence that Putin wants the eastern part of Ukraine, and it's not because a lot of ethnic Russians live there. It's about what's underneath their feet.
I think you're wrong. Russia has already plenty of natural resources. And it's bombing all the industrial infrastructure to bits.

For Russia, it's a perfectly acceptable outcome if Ukraine becomes a smoking crater. It's more about denying these resources to Ukraine, than getting them for itself. What Russia wants is control of the coastline, and land connection to Transnistria and Moldova.
 

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It seems that Russia has managed to deploy anti-air missile systems on Snake Island, which would negate to some extent the loss of Moskva:

FUi7hMRXwAAgTea


Is this final? Or is there some way Ukraine could still attack snake Island? To me this seems that landing troops South of Odesa is back in play.
I don't really think this is about the island as such, but rather the SAM coverage. Not that they have demonstrated any ability to intercept antiship missiles.
 

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While Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been standing by Vladimir Putin, thousands of his people have been planning acts of sabotage and their own revolution.

A vast network of former Belarusian officials, activists, private hackers and ordinary citizens has reached deep into Russia's war with the aim of helping Ukrainians defeat their invaders.

The Belarusians' fight is a personal one.

They believe if Russia fails in Ukraine, the people of Belarus will be closer to freedom at home.

This network had been slowly gaining momentum and members while formulating "a secret plan" for a coordinated uprising against Lukashenko's regime when Putin's forces arrived in Belarus in January.

Leaders within the anti-regime network told the ABC the decision was made to start sabotage operations early to hamper Putin's efforts in Ukraine, help defend Kyiv and ultimately weaken Russia.

They believe a Russia on its knees makes overthrowing Lukashenko — "the last dictator of Europe" — possible.
 

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I read books on the Pacific island campaigns and the Battle Of Stalingrad.

The Pacific war was brutal. Gasoline and explolsves used to clear fanatical Japnese soldiers out of caves.

Stalingrad was the most brutal battle in the war, IMO. Fighting was room to room in a building. Utterly dehumanizing. In the book were pictures of German soldiers frozen in the mud being driven over.

I am seeing Ukraine as similar. It is a fight to the death.
 

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While Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been standing by Vladimir Putin, thousands of his people have been planning acts of sabotage and their own revolution.

A vast network of former Belarusian officials, activists, private hackers and ordinary citizens has reached deep into Russia's war with the aim of helping Ukrainians defeat their invaders.

The Belarusians' fight is a personal one.

They believe if Russia fails in Ukraine, the people of Belarus will be closer to freedom at home.

This network had been slowly gaining momentum and members while formulating "a secret plan" for a coordinated uprising against Lukashenko's regime when Putin's forces arrived in Belarus in January.

Leaders within the anti-regime network told the ABC the decision was made to start sabotage operations early to hamper Putin's efforts in Ukraine, help defend Kyiv and ultimately weaken Russia.

They believe a Russia on its knees makes overthrowing Lukashenko — "the last dictator of Europe" — possible.
Rule 1 of secret plans: don't tell anyone about them, least of all the media.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
Well there's the rub. Russia doesn't "win" if they leave Ukraine a smoking crater.

This is a war over resources after all. Oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure to deliver those commodities to market. It's not a coincidence that Putin wants the eastern part of Ukraine, and it's not because a lot of ethnic Russians live there. It's about what's underneath their feet.
I think you're wrong. Russia has already plenty of natural resources. And it's bombing all the industrial infrastructure to bits.

For Russia, it's a perfectly acceptable outcome if Ukraine becomes a smoking crater. It's more about denying these resources to Ukraine, than getting them for itself. What Russia wants is control of the coastline, and land connection to Transnistria and Moldova.
This assumes that Putin looked at Russia's large supply of natural resources and said "you know what? We've got enough. No need to seek out any more. We're satisfied."

No, this was a brazen attempt to quickly overthrow the pro-western government in Ukraine, install a Kremlin puppet regime, and exploit not just the gas and oil reserves, but maintain control over the pipelines and shipping so Russia can enrich themselves and "restore" their country to the "glory" Putin remembers from his days with the Soviet Union. He wanted Ukraine to be like Belarus...compliant.

But he had to do it in days, not months. He didn't anticipate the resistance put up by the Ukrainians, and he certainly didn't mean to make a hero out of Zelenskyy. In fact if he had his way, there would still be a pro-Russian president in Kyiv. That was his original plan, it was working (he had a friendly President), but then went all haywire. Revolutions tend to throw a wrench into carefully laid plans.
 

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I like this from the article:
Alla Leukavets is a Belarusian scholar with expertise in the country's domestic and foreign policies, in particular Belarus's relationships with Europe and Russia.

She said Belarusian opposition and anti-regime groups were gaining momentum.

"Never before in the history of Belarus could we see such a great level of organisation and such impactful work. During all the previous elections, Belarusian opposition fought with each other, there was no unity among them," she said.

It would be wise for Democrats in the US to recognize this. For those would would stomp their feet and stay home during an election because their favorite fringe candidate was unsuccessful.

Good article though. It adds color to the horrendous spectacle of the Russian assault on Kyiv.
The opposition in Belarus looks to be strong, organized, and effective. I do hope they get their moment. I can’t help but think it hinges on the US’s level of participation. Not just militarily but covertly. Of how timid or not the current administration is willing to be.
 

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From the German invasion of Czechlosavakia to the surrender of Germany took about five years. Pootie's idea that Ukraine would quickly collapes like France did when Germany attacked failed. Russia, short term, has already failed. Ukraine is now getting weapons from the West, while Russia is now having to use 50 year old T-60 tanks. Time may not be on Russia's side. If Russia decides to win it must use long range weapons to utterly destroy all of Ukraine,leaving it a smoking crater, when will NATO decide that is unacceptable?
Well there's the rub. Russia doesn't "win" if they leave Ukraine a smoking crater.

This is a war over resources after all. Oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure to deliver those commodities to market. It's not a coincidence that Putin wants the eastern part of Ukraine, and it's not because a lot of ethnic Russians live there. It's about what's underneath their feet.
I think you're wrong. Russia has already plenty of natural resources. And it's bombing all the industrial infrastructure to bits.

For Russia, it's a perfectly acceptable outcome if Ukraine becomes a smoking crater. It's more about denying these resources to Ukraine, than getting them for itself. What Russia wants is control of the coastline, and land connection to Transnistria and Moldova.

Yes. First and foremost it is/was about restoring some semblance of an Eastern Bloc. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the expectation that Russia take a backseat on the world stage has always been the main motivator. The economic resources of Ukraine would have just been fuel to further support this expansion.
 
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