Author Topic: Europe at War  (Read 77634 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2022, 09:24:21 AM »
Yes. I think, though, that there will be no all-out war between Russia and Ukraine. As for scenarios regarding massive annexations of Ukrainian lands, as far as the border with Romania (!), I find them far-fetched in the extreme.


I agree, especially since Russia does not need that to achieve larger strategic aims.  Bolstering control of the southeast of the country and splitting Ukraine in two could achieve many or all aims.  The strategic benefit of unfettered access to and control of a warm water port cannot be overstated, and reducing the potential land area from which potential enemies could launch attacks - real or imagined - also has benefits.  The political benefits of creating fissures within NATO are also sizeable. 
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Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2022, 09:31:25 AM »
Yes. I think, though, that there will be no all-out war between Russia and Ukraine. As for scenarios regarding massive annexations of Ukrainian lands, as far as the border with Romania (!), I find them far-fetched in the extreme.

We don't know what is going to happen and what risks Putin is willing to take.

But why would this scenario be far fetched to the extreme? This is what Russian supported seperatists have been aiming for right from the start and it offers the most strategic advantages for Putin. Why would he take the risks involved with an invasion for anything less? If not for this, he might just as well back off all together ... And why would he do that after going through all of this?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2022, 09:37:07 AM by Que »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2022, 09:36:52 AM »
We don't know what is going to happen and what risks Putin is willing to take.

The articles you mentioned do know very well what is going to happen, don't they? Generally speaking, the Western media is full of experts who know exactly what will happen and when (Feb 16 is overdue but I'm sure they'll come up with another date).
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Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2022, 09:47:32 AM »
The articles you mentioned do know very well what is going to happen, don't they? Generally speaking, the Western media is full of experts who know exactly what will happen and when (Feb 16 is overdue but I'm sure they'll come up with another date).

There is a reason why I think they might very well be right. BTW we are talking, amongst others, about US and British intelligence. Putin is, besides vindictive, very much a calculating man. For him there is a lot of upside to continue with this course of action, and little downside. He knows the West is bluffing and powerless. If he was afraid of Western sanctions, he wouldn't have taken the Crimea. That was a Sudetenland-style testcase. And now sanctions are already in place, what does he have to lose? As Todd pointed out, the West cannot intervene militarily, and China will have Putin's back. I cannot think of any reason that could deter Putin to go ahead.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2022, 09:49:52 AM by Que »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2022, 09:51:38 AM »
He worked with fertile ground, but of course it is definitely true that Russia's cyber warfare helped things along.

In a way, Russia declared war on the West years ago but we just didn't (want to) realise it.

All too true.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2022, 09:55:42 AM »
If he was afraid of Western sanctions, he wouldn't take the Crimea.

Crimea was NEVER Ukrainian territory until Khrushchev transferred it from Russia to Ukraine. So technically Putin annexed no Ukrainian proper territory.

As for the current crisis, we'll see. I still believe a massive military conflict is unlikely.

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Offline Todd

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2022, 09:59:15 AM »
and China will have Putin's back.


Yes, but only to an extent.  A more cautious view of Chinese support: Why China Will Not Support a Russian Invasion of Ukraine

And besides, everyone needs to give Macron a chance in this election year: Live: France says Putin, Macron agree to work for ceasefire in Ukraine
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2022, 10:58:26 AM »
Crimea was NEVER Ukrainian territory until Khrushchev transferred it from Russia to Ukraine. So technically Putin annexed no Ukrainian proper territory.

So what is "Ukrainian proper" territory and what is not? I know what Putin would argue.. .


Offline Florestan

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2022, 11:12:31 AM »
So what is "Ukrainian proper" territory and what is not?

That's actually a good question. 

Btw, among those regions added in 1939-45 there are centuries-old Romanian territories annexed by Stalin. Among those added in 1922 there are centuries-old Romanian territories annexed by the Tsarist Russia. We have no territorial claims over Ukraine, but history is what it is. If you ask me, present-day Ukraine is an artificial state.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2022, 11:14:45 AM by Florestan »
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Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2022, 11:14:51 AM »
That's actually a good question. 

Btw, among those regions added in 1939-45 there are centuries-old Romanian territories annexed by Stalin. We have no territorial claims over Ukraine, but history is what it is. If you ask me, present-day Ukraine is an artificial state.

I think Putin wants the territories that were part of Imperial Russia, he wants Odessa back.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2022, 11:18:08 AM by Que »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2022, 11:21:08 AM »
I think Putin wants the territories back that were part of Imperial Russia, he wants Odessa back.

Crimea is populated mostly by Russian-speaking persons. Odessa is mostly Ukrainian-speaking, It won't be that easy.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2022, 11:22:16 AM »
He worked with fertile ground, but of course it is definitely true that Russia's cyber warfare helped things along.

In a way, Russia declared war on the West years ago but we just didn't (want to) realise it.

     It was "fake news".

     One might conclude that Putin got surprisingly little from Trump, in that US foreign policy makers never really embraced TrumPutinism.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2022, 11:41:06 AM »
Crimea is populated mostly by Russian-speaking persons. Odessa is mostly Ukrainian-speaking, It won't be that easy.

Putin will do what it takes.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2022, 11:42:12 AM »
     I think Putin has a set of goals with a minimum he'll settle for. That could be concessions from the US/NATO, or strategic territorial gains. A land grab reduces the already low prospect of concessions to near zero.

Crimea is populated mostly by Russian-speaking persons. Odessa is mostly Ukrainian-speaking, It won't be that easy.

     What happened to "artificial"? Common language seems to me among the least artificial of criteria for nationhood, even though it doesn't amount to a casus belli.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2022, 11:58:17 AM »
Putin will do what it takes.

     Putin will do what he can get away with at what he views to be an acceptable cost. Taking all of Ukraine would result in a much higher level of targeting Russian elites all over the world, something that should have been done long ago.

     Why the West’s Diplomacy With Russia Keeps Failing

Putin’s goal is not a flourishing, peaceful, prosperous Russia, but a Russia where he remains in charge. Lavrov’s goal is to maintain his position in the murky world of the Russian elite and, of course, to keep his money. What we mean by “interests” and what they mean by “interests” are not the same. When they listen to our diplomats, they don’t hear anything that really threatens their position, their power, their personal fortunes.

Despite all of our talk, no one has ever seriously tried to end, rather than simply limit, Russian money laundering in the West, or Russian political or financial influence in the West. No one has taken seriously the idea that Germans should now make themselves independent of Russian gas, or that France should ban political parties that accept Russian money, or that the U.K. and the U.S. should stop Russian oligarchs from buying property in London or Miami. No one has suggested that the proper response to Putin’s information war on our political system would be an information war on his.


     Simply put, Russia is a mafia state and the rest of the world finds it easier to pretend it's a normal state to avoid unpleasantness. No wonder Putin, Lavrov and the rest have contempt for the people they encounter who try to negotiate with them.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2022, 01:01:14 PM »
     Simply put, Russia is a mafia state and the rest of the world finds it easier to pretend it's a normal state to avoid unpleasantness. No wonder Putin, Lavrov and the rest have contempt for the people they encounter who try to negotiate with them.

Yes.
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Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2022, 05:47:38 AM »
While Macron is trying to broker a last minute talk between Biden and Putin, Moscow tells us that the assumption that such talks will take place is "premature" and London tells us that the operation has already been set in motion:

PM says Putin invasion plan ‘already begun’ as US claims Russia has dissident ‘kill list’

It seems that Putin is going to be ruthless.  My bet is still on a serious military assault with the aim of extensive annexations of territories in the East and South.

Offline Que

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2022, 09:35:11 AM »
The voice of reason:

Ukraine crisis: Five reasons why Putin might not invade

But...

Set against all of the above are some very compelling reasons to believe that a Russian invasion will happen, and imminently, even if it is confined to just the two internationally unrecognised breakaway republics in the east of Ukraine.

The size, scale and nature of Russia's military build-up go far beyond the needs of a normal military exercise. You don't ask soldiers to give blood to field dressing stations if you're just on manoeuvres.

Moscow's two core demands from the West remain unmet, namely a promise that Ukraine will never be allowed to join Nato and that the western alliance withdraw all its forces from countries that joined Nato after 1997.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2022, 09:50:15 AM »
He's shit scared of former Soviet territories over time showing economic development that is not possible in cleptocratic Russia, and will do anything to destabilize Ucraine to avoid it. At least that is one element that has been downplayed.

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Europe at War
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2022, 09:55:54 AM »
VP will be addressing the nation this evening, following the staged 'security council meeting', that was pre-recorded around noon today, with some very weak participants. It's important whether he'll recognize just the LPR and the DPR, or claim that further Ukranian territories belong to them, or perhaps announce other measures than that.