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Last time I checked Mexico and Canada have autonomy and territorial integrity. Haven’t occupied or annexed any part of them in a long, long time (but I’m still eyeing parts of Canada).  Cuba and Venez

Russia blaming Ukraine for provocation after invading Donbass and annexing Crimea is some Orwellian ****.

You missed one: 2014 - Russia did invade Ukraine.

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9 hours ago, Erwin said:

The biggest threat from Cold War days was not nukes, but biological warfare.  Same today (and who knows... it may have already happened).

I do not agree with this. You can survive the mass employment of biological weapons on a remote island. 

The mass usage of atomic weapons, you cannot, in the long term. That would mean the end of the human race.

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I didn't want to start that topic again, because of some people here anyway will turn out the thread in usual political flame and it will closed again like many previous.

But if it started, well...

Econonomical crisis in Russia due to the sanctions is growing. Russia had hopes Zelenskyi, which declared he want a peace for Donbas and ready "to speak with Putin in order to reach agreement somewhere in the middle" will be more accomodating and compliant in the questions of Donbas and water supply for Crimea. But fortunately, Zelenskyi for these years mostly lost his rose googles. When in 2019 he told about "inside my head the war is already finished" and "I have seen an aspiration of peace in Putin's eyes", that in 2021 his rhetoric became more tough. Yes, Zelenskyi initially tried to make agreement and made some tactical concessions for strategic goal. And this summoned sharp reaction in Ukrainian society. We have a proverb "give Russia a finger and it will bite off up to cubit". Russian goal is not a peace in Ukraine. Their goal is turning back of Ukraine to Russian influence sphere. And DNR/LNR is a tool for this. Russia is pressing Ukraine to give these occupied territories "special status, fixed in Constitution" - after this they will be under Ukranian control just formally. Really they will be semi-independent protectorates of Russia, integrated in Ukrainian political system with the right of blocking of any Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine. And all Russian attempts to force Zelenskyi sign this capitulation were failed and Russia crossed to other methods - open militray blackmail. They claimed "the West and mainly USA, gave Ukraine permiossion to the military solution, so Ukraine with western aid will attack Donbass, which will cause the massacre" and under this pretext moves own forces to Ukrainain border.

Here the speech of D.Kozak, the deputy of Putin's president administration and the chief of Russian group of Minsk negotiations, threatening with invasion and tipping about desired status of Ukraine for Russia: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4762951?from=main_1 (in Russian):

"All will depend from the scale of flame. If there will be Srebrenitsa commited, like our president says, we likely will be forced stand on defense of Donbas.

Unleashing the war by Kiev will become the beginning of the end of Ukraine. This will be the self-shot, not in the leg, but in the temple. Russia doesn't set a goal to grab the territories of Ukraine or to deprive the soverignty. Our interest is that at our borders must be friendly to us, calm and stable country."

And this is a speech of  M.Zakharova, the representative of  Russian MFA in answer on words of Zelenskyi, that NATO membership is a key for peace for Ukraine. She direcly thretens to us https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/6070208d9a794783c3772cdb:

"The hypothetical obtaining of membership in NATO, contray to Kyiv's expectations, will not only bring peace to Ukraine, but on the contray will lead to large-scale escalation of the situation in the south-east and may lead to irreversible consequenses for the Ukrainian statehood"

 

So, now we have seen next act of Russian politic. Zelenskyi is very sensitive in questions of losses and opportunity of big war. And Russia hit in this weak place. All this very demonstrative and a part of political pressure. Echelones with armor move at the daytime, special channels in Russian social networks shared a mass of such videos with already attached soundtracks. Putin is coward rat. He is not a military, but KGBist. His methods in pressure, blackmail, raising of bets, assymethrical actions (like in Syria or Central Africa), hybride warfare. Putin wants the West to talk with him like with influent leader and will raise and raise the bets. And we should to remember the сornered rat is dangerous and can attack.       

 

Edited by Haiduk
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8 hours ago, Bufo said:

I do not agree with this. You can survive the mass employment of biological weapons on a remote island. 

The mass usage of atomic weapons, you cannot, in the long term. That would mean the end of the human race.

The reason that I stopped worrying about nuclear war is that it destroys property and the rich and powerful who run the world would not want to live on a "remote island" without their comforts, servants and power.  In a nuke war, they are the ones who would lose the "most" - hence one can have little fear of that sort of war.  Biowar on the other hand simply gets rid of people while the privileged can indeed isolate themselves and survive with all their possessions intact.  

Now back to Ukraine...  My father's family came from there, so I have some interest.  The problem there is that from what I read, the Ukraine govt is so corrupt that it's a toss up as to which side are the "bad guys".

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as far as I can see, it is the same old song and dance we have heard for years now...

-Ukraine is saying the escalation is Russia's fault while Russia is saying it is Ukraine's fault;

-some analysts are saying Russia is planning a mass invasion while some analysts are saying nothing will happen;

I guess we should know in a few weeks if there is anything to this new "Alert", although you can only scream "Wolf" so many times before people stop paying attention.

Edited by Sgt Joch
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Deputy of Russian MFA S.Riabkov called a "provocation" the sailing of two US destroyers to Black Sea and warned USA, that ships should keep themeselve as far as possible from Crimea shores "for their own good":  https://tass.ru/politika/11130973 (in Russian)

As knowingly, on the eve Putin had a talk with Erdogan and demanded to deny the passing of US ships through Bosphorus and also was against new military contracts between Turkey and Ukraine. Erdogan ignored Putin's claims and confirmed he never will recognize occupation of Crimea. Next day during the visit of Zelenskyi, new contracts were signed, reportedly additional 15 TB2 Bayraktars will be sold to Ukraine. As answer Russia closed all air routes to Turkey, except two routes for week to Istanbul from Moscow. About 500 000 Russian, which already bought tours to Turkey can lost about  410 milion $ as well as tour operators. In this way Putin decided "to punish" the Turkey and to leave it witjout Russian touristst money. 

Russian MoD chief Shoigu made a statement the movement of the troops and "readiness cheking" will continue for two more weeks and transferring of so big amount of troops caused by... NATO, which threaten to Russia and move the troops to its borders in Baltic area!  https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/11135353

Well, if NATO threaten in Baltic, why your troops are moving to Ukrainain border?

Russia deployed "Iskander-M" ballistic missiles near Voronezh in 250 km from Ukrainain border "for participation in V-Day parade":  https://function.mil.ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12354281%40egNews&fbclid=IwAR3eheXS7nXZzM85D7H3O8RPEUS2Wg3VWk13ct6EGn9p4H97N22Sy5X5Xm0

 

 

   

Edited by Haiduk
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50 minutes ago, Haiduk said:

Deputy of Russian MFA S.Riabkov called a "provocation" the sailing of two US destroyers to Black Sea and warned USA, that ships should keep themeselve as far as possible from Crimea shores "for their own good":  https://tass.ru/politika/11130973 (in Russian)

As knowingly, on the eve Putin had a talk with Erdogan and demanded to deny the passing of US ships through Bosphorus and also was against new military contracts between Turkey and Ukraine. Erdogan ignored Putin's claims and confirmed he never will recognize occupation of Crimea. Next day during the visit of Zelenskyi, new contracts were signed, reportedly additional 15 TB2 Bayraktars will be sold to Ukraine. As answer Russia closed all air routes to Turkey, except two routes for week to Istanbul from Moscow. About 500 000 Russian, which already bought tours to Turkey can lost about  410 milion $ as well as tour operators. In this way Putin decided "to punish" the Turkey and to leave it witjout Russian touristst money. 

Russian MoD chief Shoigu made a statement the movement of the troops and "readiness cheking" will continue for two more weeks and transferring of so big amount of troops caused by... NATO, which threaten to Russia and move the troops to its borders in Baltic area!  https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/11135353

Well, if NATO threaten in Baltic, why your troops are moving to Ukrainain border?

Russia deployed "Iskander-M" ballistic missiles near Voronezh in 250 km from Ukrainain border "for participation in V-Day parade":  https://function.mil.ru/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12354281%40egNews&fbclid=IwAR3eheXS7nXZzM85D7H3O8RPEUS2Wg3VWk13ct6EGn9p4H97N22Sy5X5Xm0

 

 

   

You're Ukrainian? Stay safe dude. I truly hope nothing happens, though my I&W senses are tingling off the charts about this.

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27 minutes ago, Bearstronaut said:

You're Ukrainian? Stay safe dude. I truly hope nothing happens, though my I&W senses are tingling off the charts about this.

Many in our country are thinking this is just a muscle games for trade with the West and pressing on Ukraine. But... as I wrote here in previous topics, before 2014 nobody couldn't belive Russia can invade and grab territories. I remember, how on our militrary forum some people were writing something like "Putin is bluffing, nothing will happend" under the news Russians seized Crimean airfields. So, with a hope for better we are preparing to worth. 

Edited by Haiduk
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Certainly in the past (Stalin and Soviet) Russia treated Ukraine abominably.  "Bloodlands" a book about atrocities in East Europe does an xnt job describing how Stalin's policies resulted in the deaths of close to 10(?) million Ukrainians thru starvation and deportation during the 1920's and into the 30's.  My understanding is that my father's family was destroyed at this time, more so than by the Nazis.  

Have not figured out why Russia has always had a a "thing" about Ukraine.

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28 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Certainly in the past (Stalin and Soviet) Russia treated Ukraine abominably...

That deliberate famine is now called the Holodomor, one of the 20th century's major atrocities.  Moscow rule has not been good for Ukraine in past times, so it's understandable that many fear its return.

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

Have not figured out why Russia has always had a a "thing" about Ukraine.

Because Russia without Ukraine will turned out back to Moskovia, which it was before 18th century. The problem is deeper than economical and geopolitical reasons, which also very important.

The losing of Ukraine is helish phantom pains for all neo-imperials, great-statist, soviet-nostalgiс and Russian orthodox church fanatics. Losing of Ukraine will ruin a dogma about "Trinity Holy Rus' " and conceptions "Moscow is a third Rome" and "Russian world". Since 18th century, Russia (like Ukraine too) led own history from medieval Norman dukes, which established the Slavic state Rus' with the center in Kyiv for hundreds years before Moscow have appeared on the map. From Kyiv Rus' shared Christianity. Here is sacral center. We have a joke "When the duke Volodymyr baptized Rus', the toads croaked on the place of Moscow". When Rus' was established, on the territory of modern European part of Russia mostly ugro-finnish tribes lleft, not slavs. Except Novgorod on the north, but Moskovia Dukeness in 15th century conquerred Novgorod and massacred thousands of people. And Moscovia always contested for Ukrainian lands since the end of 15th century with Great Dukeness of Lithuania and later with Rzhech Pospolita (Poland+Lithuania+Belarus+Ukraine). So, Ukraine is very important for Russian "Great State" conception. If Kyiv and Ukraine will gone, what remain from this greatness? The West for Russians is a focus of all sins and "spiritualityless", so falling the part of "Holy Rus' " to the West and NATO boots on "holy Rus' " ground this is terrible dream for Russian

But well, enough of history, this is flame-dangerous food. 

Edited by Haiduk
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Well, looks like Putin have achieved own mimimum goal. Biden, who recently named him "killer", have called to him and offerd to meet in nearest months in order to discuss all strategic questions and sharp corners in relations between two countries. It is critically need for Putin's morbid sense of self-greating that world leaders contact him.  Of course, in conversation Putin set up again own vision about Donbas like "inner Ukrainian conflict".

Edited by Haiduk
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So it's rather like the Truman doctrine - that no one else should interfere with US interests in the Americas (eg Cuba, Venezuela etc.), and the Chinese feel likewise about SE Asia as they plot world conquest, and so maybe it's understandable that the Russians want the same thing in their back yard. 

That doesn't make it ok.  But, one can understand the hypocrisy when we in the west don't want any interference in "our sphere of interest".

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Last time I checked Mexico and Canada have autonomy and territorial integrity. Haven’t occupied or annexed any part of them in a long, long time (but I’m still eyeing parts of Canada).  Cuba and Venezuela also seem bizarrely free of US troops or proxies, despite their hostility to US gov.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, akd said:

Last time I checked Mexico and Canada have autonomy and territorial integrity. Haven’t occupied or annexed any part of them in a long, long time (but I’m still eyeing parts of Canada).  Cuba and Venezuela also seem bizarrely free of US troops or proxies, despite their hostility to US gov.

 

 

Well there is Guantanamo. 

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True, although it was established by formal agreement and we are likely moving the other direction on that long term.  Don't see how that is different than the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, which I don't think was seriously challenged as illegitimate under international law. 

Edited by akd
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article in the Moscow Times on polls, public sentiment in Russia is decidedly against any new war, but this caught my eye:

Quote

In the Donbass itself things are calmer. 

Taught by the experience of many years of war, people are convinced that as long as the spring thaw lasts on the fields and roads, there won’t be war — military hardware will just get bogged down in the mud. There will be skirmishes, but this is hardly news. 

Why Russians Aren't Sold on Donbass as Another Crimea - The Moscow Times

When does the "Rasputitsa" end in the Donbass?

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4 hours ago, Anonymous_Jonze said:

Last time I checked Mexico and Canada have autonomy and territorial integrity. Haven’t occupied or annexed any part of them in a long, long time (but I’m still eyeing parts of Canada).  Cuba and Venezuela also seem bizarrely free of US troops or proxies, despite their hostility to US gov.

That's rather naive.  You'll notice the absence of Russian troops in S. America or Cuba despite left wing govts.  There is a negotiated reason for that.  Similar to Russia agreeing to take nukes from Cuba in exchange for US missiles being removed from Turkey.  One has to put oneself in the "other guys" shoes and see what he sees.  It's always been about "spheres of influence" as in "stay out of my back yard".

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8 hours ago, Erwin said:

That's rather naive.  You'll notice the absence of Russian troops in S. America or Cuba despite left wing govts.  There is a negotiated reason for that.  Similar to Russia agreeing to take nukes from Cuba in exchange for US missiles being removed from Turkey.  One has to put oneself in the "other guys" shoes and see what he sees.  It's always been about "spheres of influence" as in "stay out of my back yard".

Well, that its not exactly true. Some years back Russians did send Wagner mercenaries (which they might as well be considered another arm of the russian army at this point) to Venezuela to "protect" the oil fields there : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/25/venezuela-maduro-russia-private-security-contractors. Its true that russians have less troops deployed overseas and outside of its territory that its rival, but I think that its not so much a result of a lack of desire from the Kremlin to stay away of foreign adventures, as much as the very limited capacity to do so. But when they are able, they will try to expand its geopolitical reach, like they did with Syria, Lybia or the Central African Republic, for example.

 

Now returning to the topic of the possible invasion, I agree with Bearstronaut, I do have a very bad feeling about this. Its not only that the russians are piling units (there are tons of videos showing tanks and Ifv going to the border, there is even one with either BMP-1M or MTLB6MB, which they are not really indicative of anything, but I found curious as they are somewhat rare vehicles: https://twitter.com/MarQs__/status/1380913638937141250)

 

EPYLEPSY WARNING!!! (For some reason the guy who uploaded this particular video decided to add flashing lights, so in case you have epilepsy, refrain from watching this particular video https://twitter.com/MarQs__/status/1380098646188904463 Showing AA units

 

https://twitter.com/pmakela1/status/1379803535353769984 Showing heavy 2S4 mortars, you can also find videos of 2S7 howitzers, like this one https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1381052231944912899

 

https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1379394343778316292 A logistical train carrying fuel. There are a lot of videos showing these kind of units. Also a lot of Electric Warfare units have been also seen.

https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1382037766700142595 Air units going to Crimea. 

https://twitter.com/Liveuamap/status/1381925663083540482  ,  https://twitter.com/MarQs__/status/1382240350497083393  ,  https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1382196119803990017 These show movement of Landing craft and other naval vessels going to the Black sea. They supposedly are going to enter the sea of Azov today.

 

Also, units from the central and eastern russian military districts are being redirected to the ukranian border. There has been an attempt it seems to hide these information, as a lot of units have their number plates obscured, thought this guy proved the transfer of units from the other districts: https://twitter.com/CITeam_en/status/1378667714219237376  

I recommend also reading the rest of the tweets from that account, specially this one which shows that the 76th Air Assault division from Pskov its also moving to the border (They were one of the units that invaded Ukraine in 2014) :https://twitter.com/CITeam_en/status/1381615350618460166

 

I can go on and on, but I think with these are enough. I would also like to add, that the propaganda arm of the kremlin is working full hours, and has started to prepare its population for a possible war: https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1380788189196075008 , https://twitter.com/yevhenfedchenko/status/1381556336291352576

 

Of course, all these could mean anything. After all, if you wanna pressure your neigbour with threats of invasion, you have to make that invasion credible. Thought I am not convinced that this is just Putin having a tantrum, trying to catch the attention of western leaders. There is also the thing, that, concurrent to all this, the situation with Israel/Iran and China/Taiwan is also deteriorating, which I personally find to be much of a coincidence. In respect to Ukraine, most likely a decision has already been made by the Kremlin. From what I have read, NATO expects that the invasion may come in the first week of May.

We will have to wait and see I guess, but if the worst happens, atleast we shouldnt be surprised.

 

 

 

Edited by CHEqTRO
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1 hour ago, CaptainTheDark said:

I don't claim to know anything about it, but from where I sit, there's no reason to believe that anything Putin does is because of his feelings, or pride, or anger, or fear. I think his moves are carefully considered, strategic, & cunning.

Quite so. The prime cause and motivation is exactly his feelings, pride, anger and fear. Strategic&cunning is consequence. Putin many times claimed that "the collapse of USSR is greatest catastrophe of 20th century", he said also "Ukraine is not a state", in 2014 he allowed himself to say "Kiev is Russian city". He wants to revive "USSR 2.0" with Russia like "collector of the Russian lands" (the term of Russian hystorians of 18-19th century). According to "Russian world" doctrine, Russia must be a dominant among orthodoxal Slavic nations, especially among East-European Slavic states - Ukraine and Belarus. It's ridiculous, the same Slavs, but Catholic or Greco-Catholic faith this doctrine considers like apostates and agents of "hostile West". Because of this "Russian world" doctrine doesn't pretend on Western Ukraine, like "the hostile to Russian ideas, polonized and fallen into Greco-catholic heresy". Because of that Putin in 2014 like a joke or on serious offerd to Polish president "to take back Western Ukraine".   

Thus, Russian state ideology is a weird mixture of seemingly incompatible things - imperial great-power, modern Euroasinism, Sovietism and orthodoxal clericalism, maintaining interests of powers and providing "Russian world" conception. And without complete control over Ukraine (in sense Ukrainan govt must be exclusively loyal to Russia), Russian ambitions on post-Soviet space and among Orthodoxial nations will never realized.  

Edited by Haiduk
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6 minutes ago, Haiduk said:

...Thus, Russian state ideology is a weird mixture of seemingly incompatible things - imperial great-power, modern Euroasinism, Sovietism and orthodoxal clericalism, maintaining interests of powers and providing "Russian world" conception.   

That's it.  These are like pieces from different jigsaws, put together in an attempt to justify (to his people) the real intentions - stay in power and impose control on a wider area.  The political culture in today's Russia means that most people can't/don't question the obvious contradictions in this fabricated jigsaw, and those who dare to try end up in prison without medical help.  Worth reading is Pomerantsev's "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible".

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