Author Topic: Ukraine in turmoil  (Read 14047 times)

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Offline drogulus

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2014, 08:23:11 PM »

     "They are enabling him."

     No they are not. Putin is able, the West is not.

     From The New Republic, a comment that gets it right:

     The West has already begun to threaten Russia with political and economic isolation, but this stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of Putin’s power. For example, Western analysts say that “Russia will not invade Crimea because Russia’s economy is in bad shape and this would only weaken it further.” They are mistaken. Putin no longer needs economic growth. He has grasped the contradiction between economic growth and the consolidation of his own power, and he has made his choice. He understands very well that in 2011-2012 it was the most economically active and wealthy segments of the population that protested against him. He understands that millions of entrepreneurs and workers of the knowledge economy had already emigrated to the U.S. and European Union during his reign. And he understands that a solution which simultaneously halts economic growth and strengthens the patriotism of the poorest segments of the population is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

     
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2014, 08:41:56 PM »
     "They are enabling him."

     No they are not. Putin is able, the West is not.

     From The New Republic, a comment that gets it right:

     The West has already begun to threaten Russia with political and economic isolation, but this stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of Putin’s power. For example, Western analysts say that “Russia will not invade Crimea because Russia’s economy is in bad shape and this would only weaken it further.” They are mistaken. Putin no longer needs economic growth. He has grasped the contradiction between economic growth and the consolidation of his own power, and he has made his choice. He understands very well that in 2011-2012 it was the most economically active and wealthy segments of the population that protested against him. He understands that millions of entrepreneurs and workers of the knowledge economy had already emigrated to the U.S. and European Union during his reign. And he understands that a solution which simultaneously halts economic growth and strengthens the patriotism of the poorest segments of the population is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

     
You misunderstand. They are enabling his use of force by not reacting strongly enough to it. Where does Europe get its oil and gas? Do you seriously think that Europe will threaten that? How does the US get access to Afghanistan? What happens to Syria if both turn against Russia? Are these more important than the invasion of one country by another? Where does it stop?

The response of 'political and economic isolation' is pretty laughable from the Russian point of view. They will just send their oil and gas to China (barring some temporary logistical issues) and China (and other countries) can absorb lots of their heavy industries.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2014, 09:10:29 PM »
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army issued a general mobilization order, and only 1.5% of soldiers bothered to show up. As if that weren't enough, the chief admiral of Ukraine's navy declared his loyalty to separatist Crimea.

Remember the old hippie slogan "what if they gave a war and nobody came"?
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2014, 09:20:12 PM »
They are enabling his use of force by not reacting strongly enough to it.

     How should the West react?

     
Where does Europe get its oil and gas? Do you seriously think that Europe will threaten that?


      ? ? ?

      Then I'm not misunderstanding, am I? Putin has the advantage in the Crimea for the reasons you state, as well as his own grasp of what he can and can't do to maintain his power.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:23:49 PM by drogulus »
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Offline Todd

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2014, 09:35:53 PM »
They are enabling his use of force by not reacting strongly enough to it.



And what type of response would be appropriate, what type of response would be strong enough?  The response of 1956?  Of 1968?  There is no military option that the US or Europe can pursue, international institutions are powerless, and economic sanctions will have little to no impact, not least because European powers will be less enthusiastic than the US in enforcing them because in the short run they cannot.  Ukraine has been either controlled by, or heavily influenced by, Russia for centuries.  The US and Europe have no real options.  Putin may not stop at Crimea.  He could take Kiev.  But he is shrewd.  His actions in Georgia seem to indicate he will pursue only limited objectives and stop when immediate strategic goals are achieved - at least for now.  (That may mean all of the eastern part of Ukraine, who knows, other than Putin?)  The US and Europe fomented upheaval in Ukraine, foolishly, and they appear to have made no plans to counter Russian military action.  Perhaps the most important lesson here is to know when to stop.  Henry Kissinger stated or wrote something along the lines that in the end peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power.  Hegemony is no longer an option.  Sure, let Kerry, Obama, and others flap their jaws about violations of international law and what not, but since 1991, the influence of the US and Europe has expanded to include most of the old Soviet sphere of influence.  The world does not belong to the West.  Perhaps a more cold-hearted realism is needed now.  Perhaps it is time for the West to stop. 

Amusing that Obama chided Romney for stating that Russia was the biggest strategic threat to the US.  Not that he or any other president would have many options in this situation, either.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:49:42 PM by Todd »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2014, 09:48:34 PM »
      There is a possibility Ukraine will fight a war of limited objectives, not to hold the Crimea but to bloody Putin. The Russian also have determined foes in the Crimea itself.

      Order of battle stuff:

      Russia has an overall military force of about 845,000 troops against Ukraine's 130,000. Russia's military spending is also vastly greater than Ukraine's, $40.7bn last year compared with $1.4bn. But the Ukrainian forces are still formidable, better-trained, engaged over the last decade in international peacekeeping missions and established close contacts with western counterparts.

Brigadier Ben Barry, a specialist on land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: "If there was ever military confrontation, the question is how much the morale and fighting-power of the Ukrainian forces would be boosted by fighting for their country."

The small armed forces surrounding the two Crimea airports had no markings on their uniforms to identify them. Moscow denied responsibility but Kiev claimed the armed group at the Belbek airport, which is used by the Ukrainian air force and is close to Sevastopol, was made up of Russian marines.

       
     Once you get past the elite (the guys at the airports) units the Russian military is a mess. Their air and sea advantages may not avail them much, and fighting in the Crimea makes it difficult for Putin to fight by "Hama rules" like the Syrians. Furthermore an embarrassing early defeat is a nightmare for Putin. No man so widely hated can afford a moment of weakness.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #46 on: March 02, 2014, 09:52:55 PM »
There is a possibility Ukraine will fight a war of limited objectives, not to hold the Crimea but to bloody Putin.


Recent events cited by Velimir do not bode well for this type of wishful thinking.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2014, 10:21:20 PM »


Recent events cited by Velimir do not bode well for this type of wishful thinking.

     Are they events, or wishful thinking? The possibility of war remains if Putin miscalculates his advantage. Right now he might get away with acting only through intimidation and his Crimean proxies. He should look reluctant to act and willing to settle for only what he can get without overt violence. He has the advantage but it may be more precarious than is widely thought. Putin is cautious, and he's not stupid, so I think he'll see that it's not in his interest to get into a shooting war. Russia has a long distinguished history of ignominious defeats against supposedly inferior foes.
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Online North Star

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2014, 10:29:33 PM »
And what is "the Ukrainian cause" anyway? There are at least two: the Western Ukrainians (pro-EU) and the Eastern Ukrainians (pro-Russia).

Lately the Eastern Ukrainians have spoken like they didn't want Russia to come there any more than the Westerners do.
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Offline amw

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #49 on: March 02, 2014, 10:34:02 PM »
In Finland, after an extremely bloody civil war between Whites and Reds, when Soviet Union was about to try and invade Finland, the Reds (or their sons) were fighting with officers that had been involved in killings of their brothers and fathers, as a unified army.

The lesson we should take away from this is—if your country is plagued by civil war, invade Finland. That'll re-unify everyone right quick.

Online North Star

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2014, 11:23:02 PM »
The lesson we should take away from this is—if your country is plagued by civil war, invade Finland. That'll re-unify everyone right quick.
Perhaps that's what Putin is trying to achieve with sending troops to Ukraine.  :P
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2014, 03:21:15 AM »
I just have a hard time stomaching Russian hypocrisy.

Who is more hypocritical, I wonder. The Russians who have never made a secret of their determination to keep in, or bring back to, their sphere of influence those former Soviet republics who didn't manage or didn't want to place themselves under the umbrella of EU and NATO? (Georgia and Moldavia have already suffered either invasion or war by proxies, now it's Ukraine's turn) Or the Americans and the EUropeans who claptrap all day long about "freedom" and "making the world safe for democracy" but who, when it comes to the real thing, the former take actions (misguided to the core, or guided least of all by the above mentioned slogans) only against such countries as Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan that are not exactly noted for their military capacity, while the latter could not even agree about what they want or mean?

The Western response has been utterly pathetic. They simply do not understand Russia or the Russian mentality.

Hear, hear!

They look weak, they act weak,

Look? They are weak. Let's see just who could have confronted Putin on equal terms. Obama, as weak a president as America has not seen since Jimmy Carter? A phantom like Herman van Rompuy? (in the very likely case you've never heard about him, the guy goes by the title of President of the EU) A dull and shallow bureaucrat like Jose Manuel Barroso? A playboy like Francois Hollande? The Italian PM, whatever his name, who's not even sure next week he'll still be in office? The Spanish PM who governs an essentially ungovernable country? Or perhaps Frau Merkel, whose country is utterly dependent on Russian oil and gas? Did I forget anyone? Oh, yes, David Cameron... no, wait, who?

Wherever you look, you see only weakness and, which is worse, cowardice. Fuck the EU, bring back the Iron Lady! Fuck the G8, bring back The Gipper! Better yet, fuck Putin, bring back "the six hundred"!  ;D ;D ;D
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2014, 05:21:04 AM »
You ask what we should do now. My bigger point is what we should have done while we still had a chance (the opportunity missed) and the tone we should have taken. The US response should have been decisive and immediate. Instead, it was post-fact and wishy-washy. Well, we did say there would be consquences. I bet that was a big deterent (with sarcasm).  At this point, a lot will depend on the Ukrainian response.

What can they do? Here are some things: http://news.yahoo.com/mccain-punish-putin-000600943--politics.html;_ylt=A0LEVzrBgBRTviAAWCFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ajk2cnNqBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDM3Ml8x. They now need to focus on the value of the ruble and put pressure on the banking system. These are weak areas in Russia (and as I type this morning I see the ruble is already under significant pressure with the Central Bank stepping in).
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Offline Todd

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2014, 06:55:39 AM »
Are they events, or wishful thinking?



They are events, and you are engaging in wishful thinking.  What if Ukraine defeated Russia in a skirmish?  Do you think Russian troops would withdraw from Crimea?  What's the old adage?  Russia is never as weak as she seems; Russia is never as strong as she seems.  She is stronger than Ukraine, though.



Who is more hypocritical, I wonder. The Russians...Or the Americans and the Europeans who claptrap all day long about "freedom" and "making the world safe for democracy" but who, when it comes to the real thing, the former take actions



It is not even close.  The hypocrisy is evident in some of the responses here.  Perhaps some people suffer amnesia, though.  To refresh memories: the US trumped up charges before invading Iraq the second time - with a lot of support from Congress.  But that was pristinely democratic, you see.  Similar actions by Russia were for show, you see.  The US helped spearhead the carving up of Sudan by supporting South Sudan - where almost all of Sudan's oil was, though one can almost hear the apologists say that probably didn't influence decisions as to the geography of the breakup - and now it does nothing as what is left of Sudan starts to dissolve into utter chaos.  It's not in the news cycle anymore, so why think about it at all?  The US and EU helped get rid of Gaddafi, because he was no longer useful.  He was weak, too.  Democracy will take time in these countries; we must be patient, and we may need to use undemocratic means to support democracy if they have trouble with it.  It will be for their own good.

In Ukraine, the US and EU provided funds and support to agitators, which included some quasi-fascists, by the way.  But now there are consequences for those actions.  It might make sense to stick to manipulating weak countries with little or no support. 




What can they do? Here are some things: http://news.yahoo.com/mccain-punish-putin-000600943--politics.html;_ylt=A0LEVzrBgBRTviAAWCFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ajk2cnNqBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDM3Ml8x. They now need to focus on the value of the ruble and put pressure on the banking system. These are weak areas in Russia (and as I type this morning I see the ruble is already under significant pressure with the Central Bank stepping in).



Sanctions will be minimally effective, or not effective at all.  Attempting to apply pressure to Russia's banking system won't work, either, because Russia's big customers will still need to transact with the Russians.  Beside that, it is nothing other than the favored tool of attempted imperial control by the West.  And really, expand the missile shield to Eastern Europe?  That decades old black hole of cash for defense contractors?  Never miss an opportunity to pay back favored donors, and to promote destabilizing weapons, I guess, right?  That's good for peace, or some such.  Of course, Putin may be interested in things other than maximum cash flow to Russia in the next few years.  Such actions could also complicate matters with Iran.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2014, 07:02:03 AM »
Lately the Eastern Ukrainians have spoken like they didn't want Russia to come there any more than the Westerners do.

The Eastern Ukrainian position has been fairly consistent for years. They want good relations and fairly close association with Russia, while preserving Ukrainian independence. They have a sound economic reason for this stance: amalgamation with Russia could cause a collapse in Ukraine's domestic industry, and loss of Eastern Ukraine's primary source of power.

Beyond that, they want respect for Orthodoxy and Russian language and culture from the Ukrainian authorities. Since independence they have not gotten much of that from the nationalists in power. The very first act of the revolutionaries after throwing out Yanukovich was to overturn a law allowing regional use of the Russian language. This is not a good way to win hearts and minds in the East of Ukraine.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2014, 07:14:37 AM »
Putin is cautious, and he's not stupid, so I think he'll see that it's not in his interest to get into a shooting war.

Another potential restraining factor is that China has big investments in Ukraine and wouldn't take kindly to the place being shot up. Russo-Chinese relations right now are cozy. Both sides want to keep them that way.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2014, 07:35:55 AM »
Some good background from Jack Matlock, last US ambassador to the USSR:

http://jackmatlock.com/2014/03/ukraine-the-price-of-internal-division/
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Offline Todd

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2014, 07:52:15 AM »
Some good background from Jack Matlock, last US ambassador to the USSR:



A good link.  Perhaps Barry O or his advisers could read and reread the part about not issuing warnings to others.  Obama's speak loudly but carry a twig policy has not been faring well.
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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2014, 07:57:19 AM »
"Israeli army vet led Ukrainian militia unit (street fighters)"

Huh, from H'aaretzm,,, looks like I was right on Page1. Haven't seen any other members mention this. Huh. I guess it really didn't happen then?

Maybe I'll just get this over with now: THE NEXT TIME,... THE NEXT COUNTRY... I say to you now, they will find  MOS-C-I-A-AD to have started that too. So, just for future reference, when there is an oil pipeline to be had.

DID I MENTION OIL PIPELINE????????????????????????

Seriously people, call a spade a spade around here won't ya?!?! "Only democracy in the middle east" I mean, give-me-a-break

It's from H'aaretz, haha, not stormfront, gaaah. >:D
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Offline Todd

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Re: Ukraine in turmoil
« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2014, 07:58:49 AM »
So, just for future reference, when there is an oil pipeline to be had.



Then what's the hold up with Keystone?
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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