Ukraine – Russia … not more of the last thread

M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Here's an interesting article written by a Russian just before the war started. According to his twitter profile, the author (Greg Yudin) is the Head of Political Philosophy, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.

The gist of it is that Putin is afraid of NATO (even though NATO is not a significant threat), and the only strategy Putin knows is brute force, but the use of force actually strengthens NATO. I suppose another way to say it is that Putin is leading Russia off a cliff because he doesn't know what else to do.

>>>In the near future, a big war will begin – a war that we have not seen in the lifetime of my generation, and perhaps the previous generation too. . . . Russia’s plans are not limited to annexing the so-called ‘People’s Republics’, the two separatist entities that were set up after Ukraine’s 2014 Euromaidan Revolution. . . . Since Ukraine is already rapidly increasing military cooperation with Europe and North America, without any discussion on NATO, it will be impossible, in Putin’s view, to stop Ukraine quickly. Ukraine is leaving Russia’s orbit, and it can only be stopped now. . . . What happens next will be a difficult test for many people across the world, including for Russians. . . . NATO is certainly a potential military adversary of Russia. . . .
During Putin’s leadership, NATO has doubled in size – the bloc has expanded four times and 11 new countries have become members. The problem is that Putin believes in only one tool: brute military force. He acted, and continues to act, aggressively, proceeding from the fact that the only way to get a country to refuse NATO membership is by force.

Thanks to Putin’s policy, more and more countries want to join the bloc, and Russia’s position is deteriorating. The outcome of the coming war is likely to include Sweden’s entry into NATO, and public opinion in Finland has also changed. During Putin’s rule, Russia has offered nothing to European countries to make NATO membership unattractive for them. On the contrary, thanks to the real danger of aggression from Russia, NATO again makes sense as a security option and its strengthening has begun to look like a basic development option for Europeans. Under Putin, the NATO bloc has become stronger than ever.

At the same time, Russian generals who have the courage to speak out honestly admit that NATO poses no immediate threat to Russia. NATO is a possible adversary, but an attack by NATO is not a first- or even second-order challenge. Russia, my country, faces greater threats. We will likely lose energy export revenues as a result of the global energy transition. Our attractiveness as a centre of culture, a scientific power and a zone of human development is diminishing. We are losing any semblance of cultural and ideological hegemony. . . . The conquest of Russia by NATO, by contrast, is the personal fear of Putin, who is afraid to share the fate of Colonel Gaddafi. He is afraid that he will not be able to crush any uprising at any cost. Russia’s interests are contrary to Putin’s interests. And so he acts in his own interests, strengthening NATO and pushing it closer to Russia’s borders – creating a noose around Russia’s neck that it is going to be very difficult to escape. . . .

The war with Ukraine will be the most senseless of all the wars in our history. Because we can never fight with Ukrainians. Though Russians may think Ukrainians’ choices are wrong, may think they are ungrateful and cruel and their rulers irresponsible, we cannot fight them, even if they are, in our view, to blame for everything. Because they are Ukrainians – if we are not able to find a common language with them, then we are not able to be friends with anyone. We will be alone against the whole world, and our defeat will be heavy.<<<

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
I love this headline:

>>>Russia Is Supplying Ukraine With Lightly Used Tanks
. . .

“The U.S. didn’t start their Lend-Lease program, but instead of the U.S., the Russian government started a Lend-Lease program for Ukrainian forces,” the official added, referring to the World War II-era program to provide U.S. allies with food, oil, and materiel that has been revived for Ukraine.

The losses of equipment, vehicles, and troops from the Ukrainian surge in the last week have also left some Russian units in tatters. Britain’s defense ministry reported on Tuesday that the 1st Guards Tank Army—one of Moscow’s most prestigious military units, tasked with guarding the Russian capital or leading counterattacks in a possible war against the NATO alliance—was withdrawn from Kharkiv in a “severely degraded” state. “It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability,” the ministry assessed.<<<

 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Early in his brutal invasion of Ukraine he did threaten with the use of nuclear weapons but such an escalation I think is very risky (economically, at least) to Russia as allies like China will rethink their support in response to the reaction of the Western world.
Nothing about nuclear weapons reported about the meeting the brutal dictators Putin and Xi had, but for sure there is some concern from China.

>>>Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he understood that Xi Jinping had questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine but praised China's leader for what he said was a "balanced" position on the conflict. <<<

 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Russia has a number of times warned about "red lines" and here is another one in the link below. Similarly, threats was aimed towards Sweden and Finland before they applied for membership in NATO but now Putin says its no big deal, out of necessity.

Lots of usage of longer-range missiles that does not enter Russia, but say, the occupied Krim instead. Perhaps sink more Russian ships in the Black Sea, if that is possible?

>>>Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that if the United States decided to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it would cross a "red line" and become "a party to the conflict".<<<

 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
Russia has a number of times warned about "red lines" and here is another one in the link below. Similarly, threats was aimed towards Sweden and Finland before they applied for membership in NATO but now Putin says its no big deal, out of necessity.

Lots of usage of longer-range missiles that does not enter Russia, but say, the occupied Krim instead. Perhaps sink more Russian ships in the Black Sea, if that is possible?

>>>Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that if the United States decided to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it would cross a "red line" and become "a party to the conflict".<<<

Interesting in that Russia has the right to defend itself.
How about Ukraine? Did anyone respond to that foreign minister this way? They should tell them Russia already crossed a red line in 2014.
Payback is a beeeech
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Oil and gas supply is weaponized due to the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, no surprise there. Now Germany is taking steps that many have wanted the country to take for some time: control of Russian-owned oil and gas companies/assets in Germany. In this case a major Russian-owned oil refinery.

 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Interesting in that Russia has the right to defend itself.
How about Ukraine? Did anyone respond to that foreign minister this way? They should tell them Russia already crossed a red line in 2014.
Payback is a beeeech
In this interview of the retired US Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus is quite optimistic about Ukraine's chances to expel the Russian invaders from all of the country.

 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
So this is where we are now.

Russia's losses are now too great to hide from the people. So they are getting restless. The leadership in St. Petersburg are calling for his removal. So he is getting into serious political trouble at home. Where this will lead can not be foretold. It could be a renewed even harder line leadership, or a regime tilting towards, salvaging whatever honor they can for Russia via a retreat and peace process.

As is often the case with totalitarian regimes, command control are lacking as well as advance planning. So his undisciplined troops cut and run after committing unspeakable crimes, that is the hall mark of poorly trained undisciplined armies throughout history.

At the same time Putin has been forced to acknowledge jitter on the part of Xi Jinping. So what is behind this, apart from Xi not wanting to be associated with total incompetence.

One has to remember that China from the earliest times has been a trader and merchant society. In times of trouble nations revert to archetype. To put it another way, Xi has realized that this adventure of Putin's in Ukraine, is bad for business. This will be especially true if it drags on.

The other factor is that Xi has a huge hungry population. Nothing makes populations more restive than hungry bellies. History tells us that clearly.
In all the intense news coverage, this summer's past drought an crop failure in China, has not had the news coverage it should have had. So the last thing Xi wants is one of the most fertile food producing regions of the world side lined by this totally unnecessary war of vanity started by Putin.

I think it is fair to say, that the incompetence of Russia, and the brave heart and intelligence of the defenders was all totally under estimated at the start. As they have gained momentum help from the west has risen exponentially, especially from the US and UK. Both have supplied arms, but above all accurate real time intelligence, training and weapons. Ukrainian forces have had continuous training in the Brecon Beacons of Wales for instance, where the SAS and other special units are trained.
In addition planning continues apace. Special opps I know has been busy in the west country and devoted to the operational planning nonstop, including calling back reserve offices since the start of the conflict.

So where do we go from here? The overriding issue is that winter is coming on. So in six to eight weeks it will be difficult for troops to remain outside in the field.
I would think that the Ukrainians have the advantage here, in that their supply lines are shorter, and they have an onside population. By the way, that was another Russian lie, that the local population in the East was pro Russian. In fact were have seen scenes of sheer joy in the Donbass, as Ukrainian troops advance and enter towns.

So I think it is possible that we are at the beginning of the end, but it is still far too early to be certain. The deployment of nuclear weapons is the wild card unfortunately.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
... The deployment of nuclear weapons is the wild card unfortunately.
Putin has early in his brutal invasion made threats of using nuclear weapons, but not since, as I recall. In any case, I don't think the West will cave in if he where to use such weapons and China among other countries will have to seriously rethink their support of Russia, implicit or otherwise.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
If Putin can be removed, perhaps they will hand him over to stand trial for war crimes to appease the West and get back some form of humbleness?
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
If Putin can be removed, perhaps they will hand him over to stand trial for war crimes to appease the West and get back some form of humbleness?
I find it very improbable that they'll ever hand him over. One reason is that he has much extremely sensitive information that would harm Russia if that ever got out.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
I find it very improbable that they'll ever hand him over. One reason is that he has much extremely sensitive information that would harm Russia if that ever got out.
Time will tell. Hopefully before my expiration date. :D
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
As they have gained momentum help from the west has risen exponentially, especially from the US and UK. Both have supplied arms, but above all accurate real time intelligence, training and weapons. Ukrainian forces have had continuous training in the Brecon Beacons of Wales for instance, where the SAS and other special units are trained.
An article published today about training Ukrainian forces and UK's important role in this.

 
M

Mojo Navigator

Audioholic Intern
If Putin can be removed, perhaps they will hand him over to stand trial for war crimes to appease the West and get back some form of humbleness?
Highly unlikely for many reasons.

#1 Russians do not commit war crimes (their opinion, not mine). Historically, they have never taken any responsibility for their crimes. aka Denial

#2 Putin is only one person among thousands who have committed war crimes. Ukraine will demand all of them be extradited to stand trial.

#3 Victims of historical war crimes from WW2, the Cold War and oppression will demand reparations.

#4 This would offend 90% of ethnic Russians and therefore extremely unpopular to the political class.

#5 Humbleness ? Humility has never been a Russian character trait.
 
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M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Field Marshall
Greg Yudin has a series of recent twitter posts about Putin's situation within Russia.

The gist of it is that Putin cannot survive defeat in Ukraine, he cannot win without total mobilization, but only about 15-25% of the population supports total mobilization.

In other words, Putin is f*d.

>>>There are three distinct groups in Russia: 1) radicals – a sizeable but extremely loud minority that actively supports war, is engaged, follows the news and in rare cases even goes to the frontlines (15-25%). . . 2) dissenters – a sizeable minority that categorically opposes the war. It is banned from Russian-based media and generally depressed (20-25%). 3) laymen – a passive majority that is completely depoliticized and doesn’t want to have anything in common with politics & war (50-65%).

Laymen are the bulk of yeah-sayers when asked “Do you support the President’s decision to conduct the special military operation or are you a national traitor to be put in prison for 15 years?” The laymen are the those carelessly enjoying their lives while people are dying in Ukraine. It is obviously deplorable but the upside of it is that these people are completely unwilling to participate in war actively in any way . . . Laymen try to shield themselves from any news about war as hard as they can and know very little about the defeat in Kharkiv (many of them wouldn’t even tell where Kharkiv is located). The mainstream radio and TV news are protecting them from this information . . .

Conversely, the radicals are seriously affected by Ukrainian counter-offensive. They exploded in finger-pointing and blaming military leadership, each other, and even Putin for this defeat. For the first time, there is a heated discussion between them . There is a variety of tones in this discussion – from relatively optimistic “we should unite around Putin and take revenge” to completely fatalist “the war is lost, no matter what”. But: all of them demand total mobilization of Russian society and more aggressive war. They are united by the belief that Russia would have easily conquered Ukraine, but for some reason (treason, incompetence, generosity) it wages the war with one hand tied. However, this discussion is significant. For the first time people start realizing that Putin is not invincible. Hard to overestimate how important this myth is for Russia. Belief that Putin will prevail no matter what paralyzes all independent action.

The radicals are getting angry at the laymen for continuing with their normal life as troops are dying for the survival of the country under NATO’s assault. The laymen are angry at the radicals for trying to politicize their lives, e.g. introduce war propaganda to schools

I have seen people taking Boris Nadezhdin’s statements on Russian TV as a sign of a crack in the dominant narrative. . . . This is not the case. Nadezhdin is an old liberal from the 90s, a comrade of Boris Nemtsov. Nemtsov decided to mount a real opposition to Putin (with a dismal outcome). Nadezhdin opted for playing along Putin’s rules of fake opposition and joined one of his puppet parties. . . . The benefit of this strategy is that you are regularly invited to these sh*tshows as a strawman to be humiliated. This is how you gain national recognition, (helps on the election day!). However, Nadezhdin himself was obviously against this war from day one, and he is clearly against Putin, too – this is just something you cannot say openly on Russian TV. There was no change at all in his attitudes because of the recent setbacks. . . .

The brave statements of local MPs calling to impeach Putin are no sign of change either. They belong to dissenters and protested against the war as much as they could. This call is a farewell gesture – last week their term ended, many of them were not even allowed to run.

Still, current situation puts Putin in a precarious position. He is dependent BOTH on the passivity of the laymen and the engagement of the radicals. That’s why he sells two contradictory narratives – one about an existential war and another about things running as usual. Now, the radicals’ demand for total mobilization is totally unacceptable for the laymen. However, the defeats on the frontlines make Putin’s reluctance to put the country on wartime footing unacceptable for the radicals.

Putin’s strategy has been targeted mobilization – recruiting people among the radicals while leaving the laymen to their own devices. There is some room for him to continue with that strategy, but military defeats will make it increasingly strained.

Putin is unlikely to yield to demands to declare mobilization now. It requires political mobilization first. Now is a bad moment. Even volunteers go to Ukraine to join a winning army and earn some $, not to face a strong opponent. The draftees will be even less enthusiastic.

To sum up, balancing between depoliticizing society in general and mobilizing the radical part of it simultaneously will be increasingly difficult for Putin as the major defeat is looming.

Can Putin sell a defeat as a victory? No. Radicals will not hesitate calling it a defeat, and laymen will not forgive him the distortion of their everyday life.

Putin will not survive the military defeat in a war where he staked the whole country.<<<


 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
So there is concern about how far the brutal dictator Putin will go.

>>>U.S. President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin not to use chemical or tactical nuclear weapons in his invasion of Ukraine, saying there would be a “consequential” response.<<<

 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
Highly unlikely for many reasons.

#1 Russians do not commit war crimes (their opinion, not mine). Historically, they have never taken any responsibility for their crimes. aka Denial

#2 Putin is only one person among thousands who have committed war crimes. Ukraine will demand all of them be extradited to stand trial.

#3 Victims of historical war crimes from WW2, the Cold War and oppression will demand reparations.

#4 This would offend 90% of ethnic Russians and therefore extremely unpopular to the political class.

#5 Humbleness ? Humility has never been a Russian character trait.
Hope lives beyond me. ;)
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Signs of isolation from Putins friends.

>>>Underlining Russia’s widening isolation on the world stage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India told President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday that it is no time for war — even as the Russian president threatened to escalate the brutality of his campaign in Ukraine.

The televised critique by Mr. Modi at a regional summit in Uzbekistan came just a day after Mr. Putin acknowledged that Xi Jinping, China’s leader, had “questions and concerns” about the war.

Taken together, the distancing from Mr. Putin by the heads of the world’s two most populous countries — both of which have been pivotal to sustaining Russia’s economy in the face of Western sanctions — punctured the Kremlin’s message that Russia was far from a global pariah.<<<

 
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