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kinophile

US/ NATO v. Russia - Misperceptions.

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3 minutes ago, hattori said:

You make some great points.  I was actually thinking it might be more likely that ISIS would crack and split off into several different groups if Baghdadi went down -- but who knows.

I'm pretty sure it would.  Might not be a good thing long term, but I think it is worth the risk.  The military solution is like a drug to fight cancer.  It doesn't cure it, but it can make life a lot better if it's done correctly.

3 minutes ago, hattori said:

In fairness to Mohammad, he did say "Dabiq or Al-Amaq" -- don't ask me why he couldn't nail that one down.

The primary thing is ISIS nailed it down and was proven wrong.  Now that it's selected a city in Turkey, they're pretty safe since I doubt very much we'll be seeing a war in that city any time soon.

3 minutes ago, hattori said:

I fully agree the current political climate is more like the 80s than the 90s.  This is worrisome in that a lot of political players who knew the game during the cold war are now gone.  The new politicians seem very reckless, with a whole lot of 'I don't care what you think, I'm doing it anyways' on both sides.

Actually, on the Western side for the most part is has been "I don't care what we're advised, we're not going to do anything about it".  Appeasement, denial, and wishful thinking don't work very well when the other parties are determined to keep pushing on ahead.  Sadly, repeated use of force needs to be met with force at some point.  A more realistic response to Russia's overt return to Soviet type policies is unfortunately very necessary.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Abdolmartin said:

I agree with you on everything here except Iraq. Although Iraq was theoretically considered a third-world state supported by commies, as soon as it invaded Iran and started fighting on behalf of several Arab states against Iran, it also got a lot of support from the West, especially once the war took a turn against Iraq and the West wanted to maintain the balance of power. I'm not exactly debating that war itself, I'm saying that Iraq may actually be the site of some of the greatest Western geo-political blunders for not a decade, but almost three decades.

In addition, I believe that in the case of Arab states, the USSR merely exploited the available situation: Israel vs the Arabs, Israel's backed by the US, so the Arabs were the natural choice for the Soviets. Although it is not "innocent" (and I use that term very loosely, it's not like we're discussing seven deadly sins here), the vacuum was bound to be filled some way or another.

Heh yeah my point about no one party owning it and how long it has taken to get to it's current state.  The Syria/Iraqi Baath party coups created states that were definitely in Russia's sphere of influence in the cold war.  No mistaking who's tanks we were destroying in the gulf wars, but yeah it is far more complicated than that.  Iran's particular mess has more to do with US involvement and a coup establishing our own little pet dictator.

This is where understanding long term consequences and a measured approach to deciding when is intervention justified and what is the end game becomes so damn serious.  Frankly I don't think anyone has done well in this regard in the Middle East.  People think too short term and too much in self interest.  Developing a modern Nation state with a democratic process is not an easy thing.  Nations created by random lines on a map with no national consciousness preexisting that are then drawn into global power conflicts is a recipe for disaster.  It should be no surprise to anyone that there is such fertile ground for ISIS.  Decades of despotic regimes operating in collusion with foreign powers is bound to produce something really ugly.

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18 hours ago, kinophile said:

Stratfor does an article on the killing,  mentions done of the above notes. They have some decent detail on the killing itself,  especially the fact that the bomb in his lift was detonated remotely -  ie the killers were very nearby.

They note that it would be very difficult, but not impossible, for a Ukrainian operative(s) to get near and surveil him to the degree required without getting noticed.

It seems generally that the killing was really quite sophisticated (perfectly timed, zero civilian damage, bomb inside a perfect death trap, etc) so it was either high level state directed (UKR/RUS) or a high level criminal organization contract.  Either way, this wasn't thugs mucking about. Motorola pissed off some serious people. 

PS.  To my embarrassment, I previously missed that he was Russian, not local Donbass. Doh....

He had kids and a wife from Donbas, anyways that besides the point. Ukrainian spec ops is more than capable enough to pull a mission like this in Donbas. I was looking at Motorola's security detail and it's nothing advanced... Probably Ukrainian operators at night installed the explosive in the lift, as he went up the lift, hit the detonator and killed him. I'm convinced that this was a Ukrainian operation.  

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14 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Can you elaborate? 

Ignore the revenge stuff (skip to 5:40) Lt-Col Mikhail "Givi" notes in this interview that his security including Motorola's that they don't have great security, mostly a vehicle of volunteers for security. In fact in multiple cases Givi and Motorola have had attempted assassinations on them. These officers don't ride around with heavy security say a real Russian army or US army LT-Col would be with. Plus if it was another Donbas commander he wouldn't be able to keep the lid on it like this. I'm only assuming Ukraine did it because many DPR/LPR commanders recently especially Givi and Motorola have had attempts on their lives, and most of the evidence posts to Ukrainian ops. I'll elaborate further if you'd like. It's war and it's not horrific that stuff like this happens However if it is Ukrainian ops it is clearly in violation of the Minsk 2, but tell me what isn't. You have artillery duels plus company sized battles ranging on the front. 

Edited by VladimirTarasov

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2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

 I'm convinced that this was a Ukrainian operation.  

And like so many other things we've discussed, I'm convinced you're wrong :)

The most likely scenario is someone from his own "side", not a Ukrainian special ops.  There is a long list of dead separatist leaders who definitely were killed by their own, there is almost none confirmed killed by Ukrainian special ops.  In fact, I do not know of a single high profile leader killed by Ukrainian special ops.

I am sure, absolutely convinced, that he was killed as part of the "coup" in LPR last month.  I find it highly coincidental that a few weeks after his unit, and no other DPR unit, took part in a power struggle that he winds up dead.  Which fits the pattern of behavior among the criminals involved in the Donbas war.

One theory is Moscow executed the hit because Motorola was a liability what with him being a war criminal and all.  Plus, like most of the "first generation" leaders he is known to be difficult for the Russians to control.  Russia has already assassinated and arrested several other high profile leaders, so there is merit to that theory.  Oplot's founder was murdered in Moscow just last month (Ukraine did that too, I suppose?)  Besides that, for sure the LPR leadership is a murderous bunch, and in fact recently killed a couple as part of the coup nonsense (some think it was house cleaning, not a coup).

The other reason to doubt that Ukraine did it is because the DPR is blaming Ukraine.  They have absolutely no credibility at all and blaming Ukraine instead of their own or Moscow is an obvious ploy to deflect criticism of killing such a high profile leader.  The other high profile war criminal Givi's vows of revenge would be a lot more difficult if they admitted it was a GRU hit, wouldn't it?

So again, the most likely cause of Motorola's death is because he pissed off the wrong people east of the ATO, not west of the ATO.  It is not impossible for Ukraine to have killed him, but it's a big stretch to come to that conclusion.  As with everything else in this conflict, it's smart to go with the most likely cause and not the least likely.

For what it's worth, Ukraine says that they would have preferred him alive to put in him trial and to connect his warcrimes directly to Russia.  Now that he's dead, this becomes more difficult for Ukraine to do.

Steve

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The other point is what really does Ukraine have to gain from this?  Yes it certainly isn't gonna cry about his death, but I seriously doubt if they have assets in place in LPR/DNR capable of this that they'd waste them at this level. I'd certainly want a lot more bang for my buck out of those assets than a hit on Motorola.

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

And like so many other things we've discussed, I'm convinced you're wrong

Only thing I was partially wrong on was the amount of Russian troops and the roles they played in Ukraine, I never denied advisory and training. :) 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

The most likely scenario is someone from his own "side", not a Ukrainian special ops.  There is a long list of dead separatist leaders who definitely were killed by their own, there is almost none confirmed killed by Ukrainian special ops.  In fact, I do not know of a single high profile leader killed by Ukrainian special ops.

That's very bad to assume. Ukraine has a very capable special force. They can conduct sabotage, assassinations, ect. ect. You know the super secret stuff. 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

I am sure, absolutely convinced, that he was killed as part of the "coup" in LPR last month.

Why for? His unit was specially called to halt the coup he didn't go there on his own decision. LPR is proving to be less ideal than DPR, and it is acknowledged. But you're wrong if you think that a LPR unit on its own is going to send some super death squad to kill him when Motorola was a living legend in the DPR. 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

One theory is Moscow executed the hit because Motorola was a liability what with him being a war criminal and all.

The only thing you have to go on about him being a war criminal is him boasting about killing 15 prisoners in an angry call to all the false accusations Kyiv Post rambles about him murdering poor Ukrainian conscripts. Furthermore, before they finally killed him, he had 2 other attempts on his life. One around his apartment again. And Pavlov by the way is not stupid enough to risk his wife and kids in Donetsk if he knew some crazed nutty commander was after him, after these two events. This theory serves no purpose considering how loyal and how effective Pavlov was. He had no ties in politics, never ran for politics, never made public statements about politics. No one in Moscow would want his head... That's just an outrageous claim. Sounds Kyiv postish. 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

The other high profile war criminal Givi's vows of revenge would be a lot more difficult if they admitted it was a GRU hit, wouldn't it?

Givi has been recorded abusing prisoners which is a war crime but let's face it, he's a local he's served in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, after what the ATO has done to his region I'm sure I'd be just as angry. But of course two wrongs doesn't make a right. But that's hardly a serious war crime, no documentation of him killing any POW. 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

So again, the most likely cause of Motorola's death is because he pissed off the wrong people east of the ATO, not west of the ATO.  It is not impossible for Ukraine to have killed him, but it's a big stretch to come to that conclusion

It's not impossible at all, don't think Ukraine's special forces isn't capable. They are dangerous as well. This is a very obvious Ukrainian assassination operation... Motorola has gave Ukraine trouble in the front many times. And considering there were 2 other attempts on his life in the last few months, this last one worked. If it was Moscow wanting his head he'd be dead on the first attempt. 

1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

The one he married after the conflict started?

Correct, but seeing that thousands (50,000) of people went to his funeral he's not considered a stranger. Unless the Russian Imperial Army forces people to funerals :) 

Edited by VladimirTarasov

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Didnt Motorola play a decisive role in battles with the Ukrainian army and militia? If the conflict is going to escalate again in the coming months it would be worthy for the ukrainians to target the DPR militia's leaders in order to disorganize and demoralize them. Its a bit far fetched that Moscow could order multiple assasinations of those warlords, that would create a really bad impression among the russian side in east ukraine once the news spread, given their role in the recent clashes. I suspect that an ukrainian offensive might be in the works.  

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40 minutes ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Only thing I was partially wrong on was the amount of Russian troops and the roles they played in Ukraine, I never denied advisory and training. :) 

And about this being a Russian led operation from the start, and about Russian regular forces being the 2014 counter attack force, and Russian regular forces being the Debaltseve attack force, and Russia financially supporting DPR/LPR, and Russia supplying them with arms and equipment, and... well, the list does go on for a bit ;)

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That's very bad to assume. Ukraine has a very capable special force. They can conduct sabotage, assassinations, ect. ect. You know the super secret stuff. 

They are capable.  I've said that.  But so is the GRU and the Russian appointed thugs that run both the DPR and the LPR.  Capability is only one element to look at.

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Why for? His unit was specially called to halt the coup he didn't go there on his own decision. LPR is proving to be less ideal than DPR,

Heh... that's an understatement ;)

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But you're wrong if you think that a LPR unit on its own is going to send some super death squad to kill him when Motorola was a living legend in the DPR. 

Actually, that's a very good reason to kill him.  But regardless, there's still the GRU and they don't care about any of this.  They act on orders of Moscow and Moscow has a long history of killing, arresting, and deposing "separatist" leaders that it no longer finds useful to it.

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The only thing you have to go on about him being a war criminal is him boasting about killing 15 prisoners in an angry call to all the false accusations Kyiv Post rambles about him murdering poor Ukrainian conscripts.

You know these accusations are "false"?  Not surprising.  There were eye witnesses and there is at least one specific individual identified as murdered by Motorola.  Plus, he did boast about it and we know there's been plenty of warcrimes (by both sides) to talk about.

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Furthermore, before they finally killed him, he had 2 other attempts on his life. One around his apartment again.

Sure, we know people wanted to kill him.  There's been assassination attempts on pretty much all the DPR/LPR leaders.  Are you saying that Ukraine special forces is 100% responsible for 100% of these attempts?  That would be fun claim to see you make.

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And Pavlov by the way is not stupid enough to risk his wife and kids in Donetsk if he knew some crazed nutty commander was after him, after these two events. This theory serves no purpose considering how loyal and how effective Pavlov was. He had no ties in politics, never ran for politics, never made public statements about politics. No one in Moscow would want his head... That's just an outrageous claim. Sounds Kyiv postish. 

And your defense sounds naive, misinformed, and rather desperate.  But you don't understand much about what is going on in the Donbas, from the start right up until now, so I'm not surprised.

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Givi has been recorded abusing prisoners which is a war crime but let's face it, he's a local he's served in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, after what the ATO has done to his region I'm sure I'd be just as angry. But of course two wrongs doesn't make a right. But that's hardly a serious war crime, no documentation of him killing any POW. 

As a Ukrainian, he should be more unhappy about what Rusisa has done to his home region.  But he's one of the people destroying it for the benefit of Moscow, so I don't expect different from him.

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It's not impossible at all, don't think Ukraine's special forces isn't capable. They are dangerous as well. This is a very obvious Ukrainian assassination operation...

No, it's very obviously an inside job done for some internal reason just like every other assassination that has come before him.  Again, do you think Ukrainian special forces assassinated the Opolot founder in Moscow last month? 

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Motorola has gave Ukraine trouble in the front many times. And considering there were 2 other attempts on his life in the last few months, this last one worked. If it was Moscow wanting his head he'd be dead on the first attempt. 

Again with illogical statements.  By your logic "if it was Kiev wanting his head he'd be dead on the first attempt" because, as you say, Ukraine has a capable special forces.  But there were failed attempts.  Which indicates that either special forces aren't perfect or that a less capable force was trying to kill him.  Either way, your assertion that this has to be the work of Ukrainian special forces and only Ukrainian special forces is illogical and not supported by facts.

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Correct, but seeing that thousands of people went to his funeral he's not considered a stranger. Unless the Russian Imperial Army forces people to funerals :) 

Again with illogical statements.  Of course he was popular with some, but that doesn't mean he was loved by all.  Here's a picture...

funeral-of-zeljko-raznatovic-in-belgrade

It is the funeral for Zeljko Raznatovic, better known as Arkan.  He was one of the worst war criminal militant leaders in the Balkans.  Despite being a criminal even before the war, and a mass murderer during, he obviously had plenty of supporters.  Yet he was murdered in a coordinated assassination in public.  Obviously such a "loved" man was not without his enemies. 

Do not be so naive to think that Pavlov was a saint loved by all and that nobody would want him dead.  He worked with, worked for, and worked against powerful criminal elements.  His well crafted, false persona presented to people like you is not all of who he was.  Just like Arkan.

Steve

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27 minutes ago, panzermartin said:

Didnt Motorola play a decisive role in battles with the Ukrainian army and militia? If the conflict is going to escalate again in the coming months it would be worthy for the ukrainians to target the DPR militia's leaders in order to disorganize and demoralize them. Its a bit far fetched that Moscow could order multiple assasinations of those warlords, that would create a really bad impression among the russian side in east ukraine once the news spread, given their role in the recent clashes. I suspect that an ukrainian offensive might be in the works.  

Nah.  There's been plenty of assassinations and assassination attempts before and Ukraine was never seriously implicated in any of them.  And no offensives happened after any of them.  Therefore, it is highly unlikely this is as you say it might be.  The most obvious answer is a continuation of the purging and counter purging of leaders that has been going on since the summer of 2014.

Steve

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17 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

And about this being a Russian led operation from the star

Okay I'm not even going to... You are the one who believes that the millions of Russians in the other parts of Ukraine had even 1% a say in what happened in Kiev. I'll tell you what anyone who has been to Donbas will notice how much hatred people have against the Ukrainian army, and the Kiev government. But anyways we'll just stick to the good ole Russia started the Ukrainian crisis.

20 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

They are capable.  I've said that.  But so is the GRU and the Russian appointed thugs that run both the DPR and the LPR.  Capability is only one element to look at.

Thugs, murders, bandits, rapists. Don't forget the 100% Russian army that somehow was able to get people's support but is tyranical and oppressing the Donbas people in the region. 

21 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Heh... that's an understatement

Not really. Luhansk is having issues the DPR isn't facing, that's the thing I'm getting at. Nothing more.

22 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

You know these accusations are "false"?  Not surprising.  There were eye witnesses and there is at least one specific individual identified as murdered by Motorola.  Plus, he did boast about it and we know there's been plenty of warcrimes (by both sides) to talk about.

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Oh yes there was an eyewitness? Listen, there have been evidence of DPR/LPR units killing Ukrainian POWs. It's true and if I denied it, I would be lying.  However, there is no dirt on Motorola other than him on a phone call yelling that he's killed 15 POWs. What's more interesting is the amount of warcrimes the ATO troops coming from the western side of the border committing, anyways that's irrelevant in regards to Motorola. But let's not hold double standards.

27 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Sure, we know people wanted to kill him.  There's been assassination attempts on pretty much all the DPR/LPR leaders.  Are you saying that Ukraine special forces is 100% responsible for 100% of these attempts?  That would be fun claim to see you make.

Absolutely, this fits exactly well into a good strategy. Kill Motorola, start the "he's been betrayed" propaganda to weaken the cause. I have no concrete evidence other than no one in the DPR is likely to kill him. And certainly Moscow isn't, and there are many small details that lead me to this conclusion which I've stated.

30 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

And your defense sounds naive, misinformed, and rather desperate.  But you don't understand much about what is going on in the Donbas, from the start right up until now, so I'm not surprised.

The only credible argument I give to you is the Russian force in Donbas. I'm not desperate at all, anyone with a heart can see what's happened in Ukraine. But of course, because Russia annexed Crimea, supported a legitimate rebellion in Donbas, every point I will bring up against Ukraine you will try to belittle. Let's ignore all the warcrimes the Ukrainian government has committed, let's ignore the MAJOR FACT that Russians who have been living in Ukraine since the start have been denied their basic rights. Don't revolutions happen because of this? I don't know through out history? 

34 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

As a Ukrainian, he should be more unhappy about what Rusisa has done to his home region.  But he's one of the people destroying it for the benefit of Moscow, so I don't expect different from him.

As a Ukrainian he was disgusted that HE and his neighbors and family members did not get a say when their legitimate government was ousted, a government they supported. But you know what, sure Putin has started all that too. 

36 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

No, it's very obviously an inside job done for some internal reason just like every other assassination that has come before him.  Again, do you think Ukrainian special forces assassinated the Opolot founder in Moscow last month?

It's possible, but that one does not even give us any clue what so ever to point fingers at. Not like Ukraine can't conduct assassinations in Russia it's not impossible but that's beside the point.

38 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Again with illogical statements.  By your logic "if it was Kiev wanting his head he'd be dead on the first attempt" because, as you say, Ukraine has a capable special forces.  But there were failed attempts.  Which indicates that either special forces aren't perfect or that a less capable force was trying to kill him.  Either way, your assertion that this has to be the work of Ukrainian special forces and only Ukrainian special forces is illogical and not supported by facts.

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There's no evidence that UAF killed him, but it's way more likely they did than Russia. So of course, I'll have to assume he was assassinated by the army he's directly fought and enraged. 

39 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Again with illogical statements.  Of course he was popular with some, but that doesn't mean he was loved by all.  Here's a picture...

Individual cases that cannot be comparable. War criminals that have been verified deserve to rot in hell, however if we're going by a phone call to judge what someone did (especially the context in which it happened in an angry call probably pissed off at the accusations) 

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Re: On viper heads:

Killing leaders is less useful than often is imagined, especially in terrorist type organizations.  In conventional organizations (uniformed military forces, functional governments etc), there's a systematic way of dealing with losing the guy in charge.  Unconventional forces, generally are much the same.  ISIS especially is VERY acquanted with leadership loss and replacement, as while it took a while for OBL to become dead....pretty much everyone between him and the lowest echelons of AQ was killed/captured and replaced several times over.  

It's just a fact of life.  Some of the more senior positions of AQ were only filled for days, sometimes even hours before being explosively vacated again.  ISIS is not AQ...but it's got a lot of alumni and institutional knowledge from same.  

That said: times to kill leaders:

1. Cult of personality.  Some organizations are entirely built around one specific ruler.  Not an Emir/Fuhrer/Lord Marshal/Sith Lord, THE  Emir/Fuhrer/Lord Marshal/Sith Lord.  In organizations built firmly around one personality there's often a leadership void, and often intentionally, successors are left weak and placed in vulnerable positions.  

This is likely the logic Russia is following in killing the various militia unit leaders.  For the Ukrainians, tactically speaking most of the militias are going to be about the same level of danger regardless of which mook is in charge of it.  On the other hand, Russia is trying to consolidate the various bandit-y people into one more controlled chain of command, so removing the only realistic leader  results in a group that's just begging for some Russian spec ops guy in a track suit who is a "miner" to come lead them.

2. The Yamamoto.  While the example is not the best, if there's an especially talented leader who has capabilities beyond simply being adequate at leading, it may become worthwhile to off them.  So Darth Vader for instance, is an especially worthwhile target because he's a Sith Lord who's also a high level leader of some skill inside the Empire that is entirely irreplaceable, while Captain Needa is just one of hundreds of Imperial Naval commanders who can be replaced without must of a hiccup.    

3. The OBL.  While the value of Bin Ladin to Islamic extremism post 2001 or so is debatable, his position in the American psyche and international perception gave a value to making him dead.  In terms of how it impacted the enemy, eh, it was a pretty nasty black eye to have him ultra murdered where he was "safe," but more realistically his death positively affected US prestige and American morale (civilian morale mostly) well outside of most operations.

You shouldn't of course mistake this for a justification to kill leaders often, it's really limited to national level enemies with massive name recognition.  

Targeting one person is hard, especially if they're a valuable person.  If you don't have some assurance of effects, it's often a waste to pursue a narrower killing strategy vs destroying more conventionally valued assets.  

Re: Iraq

If we didn't go into Iraq, it'd likely have been another Arab spring type victim.  The problems of the middle east are not ones that can be forever contained by strong leadership.  We're seeing extremism because moderation has been successfully contained, coopted, or crushed.  For decades the struggle has been kept under wraps...but even in a fairly modest moment of weakness it has come boiling out.  

Syria is unsustainable with an Assad in charge.  You can have a totalitarian regime be widely popular, but the people need to see the The Leader as representing them and their needs.  This is in many ways the genius of Putin, despite taking more and more from Russians, he has established an aura of being for the people through fairly meaningless, but high visibility actions, combined with a racial-nationalist push in a country that's already fairly xenophobic.  

If this uprising dies out, it'll just come back again in 20 years or so.  It's not like Hama hasn't been burned down before, and I suspect it will be burned down again.  

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Fascinating stuff, been forced to do a lot of reading on both sides.  Thank you google translate.

Is there anything wrong with these statements?

Sparta Battalion is one of the biggest and best units in the DPR.

Motorola is considered one of the most talented leaders on the LPR/DPR side.

There was an assassination attempt on Motorla with a ... car bomb? ... in June.

There was another attempt on his life behind the apartment he was killed in in August.

There was a coup attempt in LPR in September, but the head of DPR, Zaharchenko, send Motorola to protect the head of the LPR, Plotnitsky.

Splat, he died three weeks later.

I dunno man.  It pains me to potentially fall for Russian propaganda, but it does *seem* more like Motorola was a useful loyal tool, and Ukraine had a lot of really good reason to get rid of him.  (but who am I right?  I am far from the expert here)

However, if someone tried to kill him behind his apartment in August, it does kinda show his security sucked.  I think we've also shown with all the bombings here and abroad a remote triggered bomb can be done by people with much less skill than a security service.  That does also mean someone else lower down he pissed off could have also done it.

Oh well.  Maybe I'll find who did it in 25 years or something.  No one is certainly going to admit to it now.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

Killing leaders is less useful than often is imagined, especially in terrorist type organizations.

This is the danger of taking the broad stroke of "terrorism" and applying it everywhere.  There is no nuance.  ISIS is not your typical "terrorist" organization.  ISIS wants to be a real nation on their own.  To fulfill their prophesy, the Caliphate must be re-established.  The only way there can be a Caliph is if they control territory.  ISIS has every intention of trying to hold onto, and keep us out of the territory they control.  They set up government organizations, the run public services, they tax, they try to be a legit government to the people they control.  This will sound crazy, but they might even see themselves the same way the original Americans did kicking out the British in that sense.  It's not Christianity they hate (they hate all non believers), but to them, our complete lack of morals when it comes to sex, and our complete lack (to them) of family values.  They see our way of life as abhorrent, literally like we are evil devils with our corrupting ways in tempting people from the true faith.  Again, a little like how people here in the past viewed rock and roll as this evil corrupting influence (but more extreme).

Baghdadi is the Caliph.  I can see ISIS fracturing into groups under different commanders (think Alexander the Great) if he is killed, but I'm not sure there is anyone who can actually replace him.  Maybe?

Osama Bin Laden was a great public relations coup (as was burying the body at sea), but really, by

that point he had such minimal influence it didn't matter.  He had to go to such efforts to hide, he was barely able to communicate with and control the organization.

37 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

If we didn't go into Iraq, it'd likely have been another Arab spring type victim.

I don't even know where to begin with this one.  It's exactly this attitude why non-American countries are scared of America and never believe them when they say they won't invade.  It's just insane how you can justify any foreign meddling to yourselves.  It seriously blows my mind.

Edited by hattori

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38 minutes ago, hattori said:

This is the danger of taking the broad stroke of "terrorism" and applying it everywhere.  There is no nuance.  ISIS is not your typical "terrorist" organization.  ISIS wants to be a real nation on their own.  To fulfill their prophesy, the Caliphate must be re-established.  The only way there can be a Caliph is if they control territory.  ISIS has every intention of trying to hold onto, and keep us out of the territory they control.  They set up government organizations, the run public services, they tax, they try to be a legit government to the people they control.  This will sound crazy, but they might even see themselves the same way the original Americans did kicking out the British in that sense.  It's not Christianity they hate (they hate all non believers), but to them, our complete lack of morals when it comes to sex, and our complete lack (to them) of family values.  They see our way of life as abhorrent, literally like we are evil devils with our corrupting ways in tempting people from the true faith.  Again, a little like how people here in the past viewed rock and roll as this evil corrupting influence (but more extreme).

Baghdadi is the Caliph.  I can see ISIS fracturing into groups under different commanders (think Alexander the Great) if he is killed, but I'm not sure there is anyone who can actually replace him.  Maybe?

Osama Bin Laden was a great public relations coup (as was burying the body at sea), but really, by

that point he had such minimal influence it didn't matter.  He had to go to such efforts to hide, he was barely able to communicate with and control the organization.

I don't even know where to begin with this one.  It's exactly this attitude why non-American countries are scared of America and never believe them when they say they won't invade.  It's just insane how you can justify any foreign meddling to yourselves.  It seriously blows my mind.

Sigh.  Okay to your first point:

I spent a few years in the middle east.  I fought actual Islamic insurgents.  I carried parts of one in a bag so we could process it for evidence (mostly just a ziploc bag marked "human hand, fragment" with the advertised contents.  

Most Islamic terrorists are literally some of the worst Muslims on the planet.  We raided caches from die hard "ALL NON SUNNIS WILL DIE AT THE SWORD OF blah blah whatever" groups, and found SO MUCH porn it was insane.  We had an ongoing joke about sunni vs shia gay, in that sunni phones tended to have very angry clearly man on man porn, while shia phones tended to have a lot of cross dressers and transsexual porn.  We'd find penis pumps, fine booze, decadent makeup for their women folk, drugs (lots of drugs) etc, etc, etc.

The Islamic part is an interesting manifestation of it, but it's really more to any revolutionaries anywhere:

1. It's got an ideological core of generally well educated, but people who feel totally disenfranchised from the current state of being.  They are looking for an answer.  This answer is often something entirely unattainable/ethereal like communism, or Islamic states, or whatever.   Often the aderance is actually quite sincere, although to the point of blindness.  These are your true believers who walk the walk.

2. Then there's your common fighters/direct supporters.  Most of them are total oppurtunists.  They're along for the ride because they're betting this is a ticket to something better than where they are at.  They'll be hyper-adherents to the cause, but ISIS had been communist, they'd have been vocally die hard comrades until the tables turned, just like right now big parts of ISIS are suddenly discovering they have other places they need to get to.

3. Indirect supporters.  These folks are the ones who do not call when they see someone planting a bomb, or do pay the "taxes" the extremist group levies on them without complaint.  They might do it out of pragmatism, or again, opportunism (this is one of the reasons that ISIS did so well in western Iraq, less so the "YAY ISLAM!" and much more "hey, you're going to kill some Shias?  High five bro!").  Again, their adherence is very limited and often only focused on what is needed to "get by" vs any sort of intellectual depth.

Only for the first one will honest adherence matter, and again, look at ISIS's actual behavior, sex slaves, fancy cars, nice watches, drugs,  it's all a total and bald faced affront to Islam....but it's totally a natural reaction of a disenfranchised and angry populace.  Islam is just the toolset to give legitimacy to the actions.  The longevity of the Syrian civil war has EVERYTHING to do with this Sunni majority that's been consistently oppressed by a minority group, and the loss of legitimate means of political participation.  

Again, please look deeply at Islamic teachings and ISIS's actions.  Or even conservatism as a broader stroke.  It's all just window dressing to an angry group of people seeking to achieve the power they feel is denied to them.


As to the "I don't know where to begin,"  I meant it in the sense of having visited Iraq, seen how dysfunctional it was as a society, I don't think it'd have survived the Arab Spring as a functional state regardless of US invasion or no.  It's pretty much what Syria is, only with the boot of oppression on a different sect's foot, with the always lovely Iranians on standby to play Saudia Arabia's role in Syria.  It's really easy to point fingers now and blame the white imperialist Yankee man class, but equally important to understand Iraq was a very sick place, that wouldn't have weathered major civil disorder well.  

*edit*

That DID NOT do civil disorder now that I think of it.  Most of the damage we sorted through, destruction of institutions, infrastructure, whatever was inflicted by Iraqis.  You'd see a lot of stuff that had been JDAMed, HEAT rounded, etc, but you'd also see a lot of power stations literally stripped of parts, back yards filled with rusty bits of what used to be key equipment for something, more or less stolen because reasons not known to man.

Iraq descended into total disorder, the troops dropped their weapons and bugged out even at the concept of danger in places.  While some stood and fought, it's really easy to imagine the Shia regions taking off on their own, and a much weakened Sunni center getting bogged down like the Syrian government was pre-Russian intervention.  

The US invasion changed a lot of those dynamics, but the middle east was on a path to chaos and bad times regardless of US policy post 2001, and it's really oddly racist to imagine the Arab world unable to set it's own course (for better or worse) without puppet masters doing it for them or something.

Edited by panzersaurkrautwerfer

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Sigh.  Okay.

You will drop the fact that you were a soldier there, then I will drop that I am friends with a few Jordanians who actually live in there, and travel around the area for work in a development bank.  I'm going to take a hunch they have a better handle on middle eastern islam and culture.

21 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

Again, please look deeply at Islamic teachings and ISIS's actions.  Or even conservatism as a broader stroke.  It's all just window dressing to an angry group of people seeking to achieve the power they feel is denied to them.

I don't know where I said the ISIS fighters were models of Islam.  I have seen a ton and heard of many more "pious" people from all religious turn around and do the most immoral things.  Jews eating bacon.  Christians having pre-marital sex.  

11 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

We raided caches from die hard "ALL NON SUNNIS WILL DIE AT THE SWORD OF blah blah whatever" groups, and found SO MUCH porn it was insane.

I imagine they are in many ways similar to our own soldiers -- who also like to have 'death to X enemy' stuff and tons of porn, and I'm sure a ton of them will claim to be good Christians.  What people say and what people do are usually very different things.

 

12 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

Only for the first one will honest adherence matter, and again, look at ISIS's actual behavior, sex slaves, fancy cars, nice watches, drugs,  it's all a total and bald faced affront to Islam

You're absolutely right, it is an affront that some of their leaders do that.  They also have a ton of strict super pious religious imams who kinda put up with the military side doing that because they can preach where and what they want -- like spanish priests being okay with what the conquistadors got up to.  Again, it's a little strange to try and apply such a broad brush to everyone.  Should I assume because some t.v. evangelists are immoral con artists, all evangelist preachers are?

I'm not sure where you're going.  You're the first person I've ever heard that's tried to claim ISIS wasn't deeply driven by religious beliefs. 

 

38 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

The longevity of the Syrian civil war has EVERYTHING to do with this Sunni majority that's been consistently oppressed by a minority group, and the loss of legitimate means of political participation.  

Err, you mean that was what got it started.  I would say that all the different countries using this as a proxy war battlefield / religious war is the real reason this is dragging out so long.

21 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

Again, please look deeply at Islamic teachings and ISIS's actions.  Or even conservatism as a broader stroke.  It's all just window dressing to an angry group of people seeking to achieve the power they feel is denied to them.

I still don't know about this.  I have met devout Christians who will swear up and down how religious they are, do the regular church thing, and then do completely unbiblical things.  I don't think religious people see it that way, I think even if they do immoral things, they still truly believe.  I do think angry people are very vulnerable to falling to charismatic leaders though, look at Trump.   

27 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

I meant it in the sense of having visited Iraq, seen how dysfunctional it was as a society, I don't think it'd have survived the Arab Spring as a functional state regardless of US invasion or no

Oh ... you visited it before 2003?  Very impressive.  What did you see walking around that led you to believe it could not survive an Arab Spring?

32 minutes ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

 It's really easy to point fingers now and blame the white imperialist Yankee man class

Well, I would never say white imperialist yankee man class.  That would be utterly ridiculous, my own country played a roll in the invasion, even by tacit support.  But I can be man enough to admit we royally screwed up and totally and completely messed over several other countries in the process and millions of lives.  Sorry, we should and have to live with that.  I could have been out on the streets protesting, but I wasn't.

Regardless of our differences of opinion on their motivations, they've got to go.

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51 minutes ago, hattori said:

Sigh.  Okay.

You will drop the fact that you were a soldier there, then I will drop that I am friends with a few Jordanians who actually live in there, and travel around the area for work in a development bank.  I'm going to take a hunch they have a better handle on middle eastern islam and culture.

I don't know where I said the ISIS fighters were models of Islam.  I have seen a ton and heard of many more "pious" people from all religious turn around and do the most immoral things.  Jews eating bacon.  Christians having pre-marital sex.  

I imagine they are in many ways similar to our own soldiers -- who also like to have 'death to X enemy' stuff and tons of porn, and I'm sure a ton of them will claim to be good Christians.  What people say and what people do are usually very different things.

 

You're absolutely right, it is an affront that some of their leaders do that.  They also have a ton of strict super pious religious imams who kinda put up with the military side doing that because they can preach where and what they want -- like spanish priests being okay with what the conquistadors got up to.  Again, it's a little strange to try and apply such a broad brush to everyone.  Should I assume because some t.v. evangelists are immoral con artists, all evangelist preachers are?

I'm not sure where you're going.  You're the first person I've ever heard that's tried to claim ISIS wasn't deeply driven by religious beliefs. 

 

Err, you mean that was what got it started.  I would say that all the different countries using this as a proxy war battlefield / religious war is the real reason this is dragging out so long.

I still don't know about this.  I have met devout Christians who will swear up and down how religious they are, do the regular church thing, and then do completely unbiblical things.  I don't think religious people see it that way, I think even if they do immoral things, they still truly believe.  I do think angry people are very vulnerable to falling to charismatic leaders though, look at Trump.   

Oh ... you visited it before 2003?  Very impressive.  What did you see walking around that led you to believe it could not survive an Arab Spring?

Well, I would never say white imperialist yankee man class.  That would be utterly ridiculous, my own country played a roll in the invasion, even by tacit support.  But I can be man enough to admit we royally screwed up and totally and completely messed over several other countries in the process and millions of lives.  Sorry, we should and have to live with that.  I could have been out on the streets protesting, but I wasn't.

Regardless of our differences of opinion on their motivations, they've got to go.

RE: Knowing people

And I am not without my connections either.  There's a cultural difference between us vs them, they're just as racist as we are, etc, etc, etc.  However in terms of driving forces...eh.  The Islamic part is again interesting window dressing vs far more universal human xenophobia, limited worldview, and the like.

My point in their immorality is piety and adherence to the book was a useful justification for doing things humans do elsewhere.  They're just as sexually immoral, just as drunken, just as bad at being religious.

It's just the same as every anti-immigrant argument a certain moron is making in my country right now, or Russian neo-nazis, or the more radical parts of UKIP or whatever other nonsense is going on.  It's an externalization and dehumanization of a culture not understood, a deification of the mother culture, putting all the blame on the external (Shias, Jews, French Canadian etc), and everything done to justify it with pseudo-religion/science/politics is simply window dressing to get to the fact we all innately hold whatever we are to be superior to those "other" people in varying degrees.  

Extremist Islam superseded Arab Nationalism only because Arab Nationalism wasn't doing the job, and before that Arab Nationalism superseded pan-Muslim something or other because it didn't work, which replaced something else, and something else, and then something else forever and ever amen.

The actions do not change, only the justification does.  Tsarist Russia herds minorities into ghettos because they're not real Russians.  Soviet Russia herds minorities into camps because they're counter-revolutionaries.  Russian Federation oppresses minorities because they're not real Russians and are terrorists.  Americans keep slaves because they're inferior humans, they don't let African Americans fully get involved in society because science shows their brains don't work.  Americans lock up more African Americans because they're all thugs etc, etc again forever and ever amen.

So you'll excuse me if I don't give much thought to the thin little draping of the Koran over the same old human song and dance.

Re: Immorality

In dealing with any extremist group, again, you've got a very small core of hardcore believers.  Some might be more tolerant than others, but generally they're considered extremist for a reason.  Often they'll assemble into some sort of echo chamber and bounce extremist ideas at each other until it's the only viable opinion left (see this behavior with Goose Steppers, Red Flag havers, Hood Wearing Moron, and self exploding varieties of extremists).   

The difference lies in the output.  There's a freedom of expression and ideas that broadly speaking falls under the "your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins"

So to use the evangelist example, bluntly he can condemn us all to hell six times over unless we wear church approved anti-sin underpants or whatever.  But if he insists on doing harm in the process, then clearly he's over a line that needs addressing.

Broadly speaking, the three categories I threw out was a paraphrasing of how most terror/insurgent groups look.  Small ideological core, various hangers on, and then  a more distant passive support network.  It's been a good model for any group I've seen/interacted with in regards to extremist behavior.

Re: Iraq

Nah, just 2008-09 and then 2010-11.

But here's the rub.  What arcane majiks transformed Iraqis into some new wonderful race wholly unrecongizable to 2003?  And indeed, what DID happen once order broke down in Iraq circa 2003, even when there wasn't a Western Soldier for miles.  Was it the fact American boots touched the soil that drove the Iraqis to madness?  Or the fact that after decades of on and off again violence with the Shia and Kurds that things were just waiting for a tipping point?

I'd contend it was a house of cards waiting for the wind.  If that wind was us, or that wind was regional instability or a resurgent Iran in 2025, who knows.  But you don't get a fire in a vacuum.  You need fuel, air, and ignition, and Iraq had a lot of that laying around.  

Which gets back to why it's very important to not fixate on the western intervention.  It's a contributing factor for sure, but it's missing a much wider, more complicated picture, and trying to blame a massive sea change across a wide region on one destabilized country.  It's arrogance to look to the world and think it crumbles because we force it to, vs we simply impact a bit of how it crumbles.  

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2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Okay I'm not even going to... You are the one who believes that the millions of Russians in the other parts of Ukraine had even 1% a say in what happened in Kiev. I'll tell you what anyone who has been to Donbas will notice how much hatred people have against the Ukrainian army, and the Kiev government. But anyways we'll just stick to the good ole Russia started the Ukrainian crisis.

Good, because it did.  There would be no war without Russia's involvement.  Russians started the military action in Ukraine, they fund it, they arm the fighters, and of course they prevent it from being resolved until Russia is satisfied with what it gets out of it.  This is a Russian war of aggression and Ukrainians fighting for Russia are being used for that purpose.  Of course they are also able to loot and pillage for their own personal benefit, but that's something you don't seem to understand either.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Thugs, murders, bandits, rapists. Don't forget the 100% Russian army that somehow was able to get people's support but is tyranical and oppressing the Donbas people in the region. 

You don't seem to understand what is going on in Donbas, so I'm not surprised you don't understand what is going on in Donbas.  You are consistent.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Not really. Luhansk is having issues the DPR isn't facing, that's the thing I'm getting at. Nothing more.

Both Russian created faux "governments" are criminal, neither are legitimate, but one is clearly worse at keeping control than the other.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Oh yes there was an eyewitness? Listen, there have been evidence of DPR/LPR units killing Ukrainian POWs. It's true and if I denied it, I would be lying.  However, there is no dirt on Motorola other than him on a phone call yelling that he's killed 15 POWs. What's more interesting is the amount of warcrimes the ATO troops coming from the western side of the border committing, anyways that's irrelevant in regards to Motorola. But let's not hold double standards.

I said both sides have committed warcrimes. What I do not have is some sort of hero worship affair with Motorola.  He's a Russian thug who was placed into Ukraine to further the aims of the Russian state.  He was apparently better at the military side of things than the other Russian and Ukrainian thugs who commanded units, but that doesn't change who he was.  Given the type of criminal enterprises going on in Donbas, there is absolutely no way for any leader to be "clean".  Motorola absolutely is not an exception.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Absolutely, this fits exactly well into a good strategy. Kill Motorola, start the "he's been betrayed" propaganda to weaken the cause. I have no concrete evidence other than no one in the DPR is likely to kill him.

You have no such evidence, do you?  No.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

And certainly Moscow isn't, and there are many small details that lead me to this conclusion which I've stated.

None of which hold water because you don't seem to understand how little you understand how criminal activities like the Donbas operate.  It is a bunch of bad people trying to benefit the most and if they have to kill someone to benefit more, they will kill that person if they think they can.  You do not understand this because you are under the completely erroneous view that there's rule of law in Donbas.  There is not.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

The only credible argument I give to you is the Russian force in Donbas. I'm not desperate at all, anyone with a heart can see what's happened in Ukraine.

Yet you defend your country keeping the killing and destruction going month after month after month.  No Russian weapons, no war.  Period.  No Russian money to pay the fighters in Ukraine, no war.  Period.  Allowing international monitoring of the border, no war.  Period.  So on and so forth.  So please, I don't mind us having a debate about what is going on... but do not tell me that you oppose the death and destruction in Ukraine at the same time you are doing your part to make sure it continues.  That is hypocritical.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

But of course, because Russia annexed Crimea, supported a legitimate rebellion in Donbas, every point I will bring up against Ukraine you will try to belittle.

No, I examine things based on facts.  The problem is we do not agree on the facts.  Even the most glaringly obvious ones.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

Let's ignore all the warcrimes the Ukrainian government has committed, let's ignore the MAJOR FACT that Russians who have been living in Ukraine since the start have been denied their basic rights. Don't revolutions happen because of this? I don't know through out history? 

I have now said twice that Ukraine is also guilty of warcrimes.  Therefore I do not ignore it.  I also do not ignore that the Russians living in both Crimea and Donbas have been denied their basic rights of self determination.  In both cases Russia's military and police forces have decided the fate of the people there.  That is because Russia doesn't care about their rights.  Which is consistent with the Russian government's lack of concern for the rights of its own people.  Especially the several hundred thousand that were killed, wounded, and displaced in Chechnya.

2 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

As a Ukrainian he was disgusted that HE and his neighbors and family members did not get a say when their legitimate government was ousted, a government they supported. But you know what, sure Putin has started all that too. 

It's possible, but that one does not even give us any clue what so ever to point fingers at. Not like Ukraine can't conduct assassinations in Russia it's not impossible but that's beside the point.

There's no evidence that UAF killed him, but it's way more likely they did than Russia. So of course, I'll have to assume he was assassinated by the army he's directly fought and enraged. 

Individual cases that cannot be comparable. War criminals that have been verified deserve to rot in hell, however if we're going by a phone call to judge what someone did (especially the context in which it happened in an angry call probably pissed off at the accusations) 

I'll just say this one more time.  The evidence we have of the assassination is coming from people who have absolutely zero credibility.  That's an issue to start with.  But we can look at this logically.

1.  If the DPR killed Motorola for some internal power struggle reason, would the DPR admit it?  No.  Therefore the DPR would blame someone else.  Who would that be?  Russia?  No.  LPR?  Without a clear reason to start a political fight with them, that could possibly escalate into military conflict, no. Ukraine?  Yup.  So if the DPR killed Motorola they would blame Ukraine.  Agree?

2.  If Russia killed Motorola for any reason, and DPR knew this to be a fact, would the DPR admit it?  No.  Therefore, the DPR would blame someone else.  Would it be itself?  No.  LPR? Without a clear reason to start a political fight with them, that could possibly escalate into military conflict, no..  Ukraine?  Yup.  So if Russia killed Motorola the DPR would blame Ukraine.  Agree?

3.  If LPR killed Motorola for any reason, and the DPR knew this to be a fact, would the DPR admit it?  No.  Therefore, the DPR would blame someone else.  Would it be itself?  No.  Russia?  No.  LPR?  Without a clear reason to start a political fight with them, that could possibly escalate into military conflict, no.  So if LPR killed Motorola the DPR would blame Ukraine.  Agree?

4.  If Ukraine killed Motorola for any reason, and the DPR knew this to be a fact, would the DPR admit it?  Absolutely.  So if if Ukraine killed Motorola the DPR would blame Ukraine.  Agree?

What we have here are four cases, any of which would cause the DPR to blame Ukraine.  Doesn't matter which one is true, it would always be Ukraine being blamed.  Which is why the DPR's view of what happened is not to be trusted.

I've already laid out the case for the most probable assassin not being Ukraine.  So far most DPR/LPR leaders have been harmed by Russia directly.  That includes people removed from power and forced back to Russia as well as killings and arrests.  Russia, therefore, has the strongest track record of this sort of action.  LPR has the second clearest track record of killing people it has problems with.  Third is DPR, which seems to resolve things without murder more than LPR.

What I'd like to know more about is what Sparta actually did in LPR during the "coup".  I know what we've been told, but what we've been told came from the mouths of confirmed liars.  I am more interested in what actually happened because it is possible that what Motorola did in LPR was what caused this latest, and last, assassination attempt.

Steve

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2 hours ago, hattori said:

I dunno man.  It pains me to potentially fall for Russian propaganda, but it does *seem* more like Motorola was a useful loyal tool, and Ukraine had a lot of really good reason to get rid of him.  (but who am I right?  I am far from the expert here)

As PzKraut correctly stated, Motorola's death is unlikely to do anything to significant change the situation favorably for Ukraine.  Sparta might have been one of the more disciplined militia units, but it didn't have very good combat performance before and I don't think it's a big through now either.  Killing him doesn't really do much.

What killing Motorola did do was make him into a martyr and is causing the usual suspects to declare that Ukraine is in violation of Minsk 2.  These are not favorable things for Ukraine.  Both could have been predicted ahead of time.

Given the long established record of criminal infighting within the DPR and LPR, as well as Russia's long record of "sorting things out" within Donbas, it is more probable that Ukraine had nothing to do with it.  Nobody, certainly not Vladimir, knows what Motorola was involved in and who he might have pissed off. 

Steve

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Sigh. 

So close,  gentlemen,  so close

Let's clear the plate a little. 

Re Killing leaders before an offensive:

For this to be do,  you'd need to kill more than just Motorola,  and in a short space of time,  in order to take advantage. You'd also need your military ducks in a row -  but I haven't heard/read about much UKR adjustments.

Re Killing Unique Leaders:

The Shining Path are a good example - Guzman is captured,  SP thrashes and eventually dies off. 

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6 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Sigh. 

So close,  gentlemen,  so close

Let's clear the plate a little. 

Re Killing leaders before an offensive:

For this to be do,  you'd need to kill more than just Motorola,  and in a short space of time,  in order to take advantage. You'd also need your military ducks in a row -  but I haven't heard/read about much UKR adjustments.

Yup, and there's absolutely no sign of a Ukrainian offensive in the works.  Not to mention further assassinations.

6 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Re Killing Unique Leaders:

The Shining Path are a good example - Guzman is captured,  SP thrashes and eventually dies off. 

That is a good example.  Here's another one:

:D

Seriously, Motorola was small potatoes.  Killing him really doesn't change the balance of power any.  Sparta is not that important a unit in the grand scheme of things.  If Ukraine goes on an offensive it has little to worry about if that's the sort of forces it has to fight against.  The real threat is Russian line units, not mediocre militias.

Steve

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