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Russian Games: 120,000-140,000 Russian Troops on the Ukrainian border…


Ser Scot A Ellison
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13 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Thereby pulling attention from the BJ's nuts in the fire.

 

He might have tried to use it to deflect, but I doubt most people in the UK are even aware of what is happening in the Ukraine never mind what Britain is doing.  

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

A lot of the talk I've been hearing the last couple of days suggests this is all a big game of bluff. Putin might want to appear crazy but he isn't crazy. He will know that even if he invaded Ukraine, he could never keep it. Ukraine's pro Russian populace in Crimea now doesn't count and every step he takes will simply push people away from him. 

It all sounds a bit like the N. Korean strategy of looking like a loose cannon, doing something stupid and using that to leverage concessions in future talks. It's not like NATO would ever give into any of Russia's demands, which seem completely unrealistic from what I've heard.

He also doesn’t want to look weak.  This build up if it yeilds nothing makes Putin look weak and desperate.  

Will Putin take the risk of backing down and looking weak?

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7 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

He might have tried to use it to deflect, but I doubt most people in the UK are even aware of what is happening in the Ukraine never mind what Britain is doing.  

Is the UK doing something beyond providing arms?

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison
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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Interesting analysis there that Putin's very stable and reliable character may have made him feel predictable and that people did not take him seriously, so by going for this sudden escalation he's thrown the international community off-balance and forcing them to recalculate that maybe Russia is crazy enough to invade Ukraine after all.

Reminiscent of Nixon and Kissinger's "madman theory" of diplomacy, which I could definitely see Putin trying to emulate.  I'm inclined to agree if only because this is just about the only "rational" way to explain Putin's behavior.

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18 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

He might have tried to use it to deflect, but I doubt most people in the UK are even aware of what is happening in the Ukraine never mind what Britain is doing.  

It's been the BBC's main story yesterday and today (going by the website), but it's definitely not getting the serious attention it is almost everywhere else in Europe, which is bizarre.

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19 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

He also doesn’t want to look weak.  This build up if it yeilds nothing makes Putin look weak and desperate.  

Will Putin take the risk of backing down and looking weak?

I guess if makes him look relevant which is often his main concern. It also gives him a number of messaging opportunities. Highlighting divisions in Europe is a plus for him for a start.
 

If he gets some sort of deal out of it then he’s can spin that as a win. 

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Hence why it's time to force their hand. They can stand with the rest of the West or with their business interests in Russia. Make them choose.

It worked so well with Japan in 1941. Imho, it's foolish to give them an excuse - because the kind of massive sanctions talked about are basically a war declaration, so Putin might as well go all in if they happen. From an international point of view, it's better to let them mess up first - many in Europe will blame Russia if Putin attacks after massive sanctions, but outside of the West - specially considering the numerous countries that had or still are suffering through Western sanctions and interferences -, plenty of people will consider massive sanctions as aggression and won't blame Putin more than they'd blame the West for the ensuing mess.

Since Olympics have been mentioned, I would expect Russia to make a move - assuming a bold one is planned - once the games are over; if Putin moves before and causes global trouble, it would screw up one of Xi's big moments, and that would be a bad mark on their relationship.

Last but not least, Puting getting no massive concession like NATO retreat, pro-Russian regime in Kiev, or annexing some part of Ukraine, might seem as backing down and a loss to us, but that could be our bias due to how Western media portray things. We should compare to how various major Russian media (that is, not just RT) portray the situation and what the common people think of it and what outcome they'd like to see to have a clearer view of what would be acceptable to Russian people and what would actually make Putin look weak internally. Right now, I'm not sure what Russian people expect and what would be unpalatable, and I'm still unsure of what Putin hopes to get and what he's going to do.

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17 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

It worked so well with Japan in 1941. Imho, it's foolish to give them an excuse - because the kind of massive sanctions talked about are basically a war declaration, so Putin might as well go all in if they happen. From an international point of view, it's better to let them mess up first - many in Europe will blame Russia if Putin attacks after massive sanctions, but outside of the West - specially considering the numerous countries that had or still are suffering through Western sanctions and interferences -, plenty of people will consider massive sanctions as aggression and won't blame Putin more than they'd blame the West for the ensuing mess.

Since Olympics have been mentioned, I would expect Russia to make a move - assuming a bold one is planned - once the games are over; if Putin moves before and causes global trouble, it would screw up one of Xi's big moments, and that would be a bad mark on their relationship.

Last but not least, Puting getting no massive concession like NATO retreat, pro-Russian regime in Kiev, or annexing some part of Ukraine, might seem as backing down and a loss to us, but that could be our bias due to how Western media portray things. We should compare to how various major Russian media (that is, not just RT) portray the situation and what the common people think of it and what outcome they'd like to see to have a clearer view of what would be acceptable to Russian people and what would actually make Putin look weak internally. Right now, I'm not sure what Russian people expect and what would be unpalatable, and I'm still unsure of what Putin hopes to get and what he's going to do.

First, I don't think that's an apt comparison. Russia in 2022 is nothing like Imperial Japan circa 1941. 

Russia is very weak compared to the West. If they weren't a nuclear state no one would give a shit about them or tolerate their terrible behavior. Their economy is weak, they're more dependent on foreign nations than vice versa and they don't really have much to offer that the broader world is interested in. And Putin's domestic stance is crumbling to boot. 

Furthermore, Russia already attacked Ukraine. That's the starting point, not this new provocation. If the West waits for them to do it again they'll be seen as willing to allow it to happen. I say the West should act now. I brought up the Olympics for that very reason. We should aggressively sanction them while the games are underway and force their hand to either attack or retreat. Stop allowing them to determine the field of battle and make them incredibly uncomfortable. If they retaliate, China probably won't help them out, especially if the West plays nice with them and doesn't disrupt their show of national pride.

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2 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

Since Olympics have been mentioned, I would expect Russia to make a move - assuming a bold one is planned - once the games are over; if Putin moves before and causes global trouble, it would screw up one of Xi's big moments, and that would be a bad mark on their relationship.

Whilst Russia and China have areas of mutual interest, and enjoy working together to put one over on the West/USA, they're also not a monolithic bloc. The current Russian buildup is not something they can sustain indefinitely, so either they are going to climb down or take action within the next few months. The timing of the Olympics (4-20 February) aren't really going to play into that.

Edited by Werthead
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44 minutes ago, kiko said:

Seriously? The whole idea of the professionals is to not force their hands. Especially not to attack. It's not a game, we are talking about real people here.

Indeed we are, like the real people living in Ukraine, and while the West fiddles away taking its sweet time they're actively facing a potential invasion. Waiting for it to happen doesn't help them at all now does it?

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6 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I'm fine with the U.S. taking the lead, hopefully with some EU backing. And no, I think Russia will be hurt a lot more than Ukraine, especially if China is not inclined to help them out. 

Total America Brain on display here.  Why provoke them with sanctions?  

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7 minutes ago, Larry of the Lake said:

Total America Brain on display here.  Why provoke them with sanctions?  

Provoke them? Wtf? They're massing on the border of Ukraine after already having invaded their country previously. They are the aggressors here. Continuing to stand back to wait and see is the height of appeasement. 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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Just now, Tywin et al. said:

Provoke them? Wtf? They're massing on the border of Ukraine after already having invaded their country previously. They are the aggressors here. Continuing to stand back at wait and see is the height of appeasement. 

Appeasement is giving someone what they want.  Sanction preemptively and you're giving them a narrative where they were provoked.

 

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1 minute ago, Larry of the Lake said:

Appeasement is giving someone what they want.  Sanction preemptively and you're giving them a narrative where they were provoked.

 

What they want is for us to sit back and wait to react. And that's what many seem happy to do.

We're long past the point of preemptive measures, and their narrative isn't going to be affected by us applying sanctions before or after they invade. Nobody outside of Russia is going to believe any of the garbage they'd be spinning about needing to invade because of sanctions. You're carrying their water for them.

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17 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

What they want is for us to sit back and wait to react. And that's what many seem happy to do.

We're long past the point of preemptive measures, and their narrative isn't going to be affected by us applying sanctions before or after they invade. Nobody outside of Russia is going to believe any of the garbage they'd be spinning about needing to invade because of sanctions. You're carrying their water for them.

Yeah I'm carrying water for Russia, you got me.  What are sanctions right now going to do?  If Russia's goal is to invade, it's not like sanctions are going to stop them, and you can apply them later, there's no deterrent value.  If their goal is something else, you're just looking nervous and irrational.  

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