Jump to content

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


Ser Scot A Ellison
 Share

Recommended Posts

9 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Adding Sweden makes a certian amount of sense.  Finland would send the Russians into fits of apoplexy.  I’m sure they haven’t forgotten losing to Finland in the “Winter War”.

They recently wore 'CCCP' throwback jerseys against Finland in an international hockey game. They lost. :lol:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-20/russia-s-hockey-team-raises-eyebrows-with-throwback-ussr-jerseys

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Adding Sweden makes a certian amount of sense.  Finland would send the Russians into fits of apoplexy.  I’m sure they haven’t forgotten losing to Finland in the “Winter War”.

Technically the USSR won the Winter War, and gained Finnish territory in the subsequent peace treaty, but they did indeed get badly mauled in the process and lost a fair bit of prestige.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, A wilding said:

Technically the USSR won the Winter War, and gained Finnish territory in the subsequent peace treaty, but they did indeed get badly mauled in the process and lost a fair bit of prestige.

A technical win due to political circumstances and an actual military victory over the Finns are very different things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could be a pretty crazy situation.

I happen to work with quite a few Ukranian immigrants. There are a lot in the local construction community, and many of them openly talk about flying home to Ukraine if anything happens.

Sure, not all of them would actually do it, but I'm sure quite a few would. And that situation could repeat in diaspora communities all over the world. I know that this happened on a small scale with the Donbass war. An open invasion of Ukraine would be next level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Lord of Oop North said:

This could be a pretty crazy situation.

I happen to work with quite a few Ukranian immigrants. There are a lot in the local construction community, and many of them openly talk about flying home to Ukraine if anything happens.

Sure, not all of them would actually do it, but I'm sure quite a few would. And that situation could repeat in diaspora communities all over the world. I know that this happened on a small scale with the Donbass war. An open invasion of Ukraine would be next level.

Canada has a huge number of people of Ukrainian descent. There is just about a Yukon every corner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Lord of Oop North said:

This could be a pretty crazy situation.

I happen to work with quite a few Ukranian immigrants. There are a lot in the local construction community, and many of them openly talk about flying home to Ukraine if anything happens.

Sure, not all of them would actually do it, but I'm sure quite a few would. And that situation could repeat in diaspora communities all over the world. I know that this happened on a small scale with the Donbass war. An open invasion of Ukraine would be next level.

This doesn’t surprise me at all. During the Nagorno-Karabakh war in fall 2020 you had a lot of Armenians in the West fly back to go defend their homeland. Wonder if it’s possible to put a number on a Ukrainian diaspora that would go back and fight. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ghjhero said:

Finland and Sweden have notably started making noise about joining NATO recently. It looks like this crisis has them spooked. 

Right.  Finland only joined the EU in 1995 because it felt constrained during the Cold War.  Its PM said over New Years that it retains the option of applying for NATO membership (i.e. its a sovereignty question). 

But at the same time, I interpret that to mean that it almost certainly wouldn't (because it respects its geopolitical location), unless Russia starts invading other sovereign countries.  Everything would then change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Werthead said:

The problem is that this solution, trying to recreate the USSR, won't work because Russia by itself cannot project enough force to make it work, especially if NATO is willing to simply stand up to him and not let his bullshit fly.

It makes you wonder how much internal pressure he is under, because these recent moves do seem somewhat out of character for him. Although clearly not a nice guy, Putin has mostly acted rationally, playing a weak hand spectacularly well on occasion, and at all times seems aware that Russia is not the Soviet Union and cannot try and throw its weight around like the USSR did. Russia's greatest successes in recent years have come through providing limited but forceful interventions on behalf of allies (such as in Georgia and Syria) without getting bogged down in a lengthy guerrilla war (the memories of Chechnya are still very fresh in the Kremlin) and without risking war with the United States.

Which is why the only obvious hypothesis is that he doesn't want to invade Ukraine and his goal is to create some thick buffer all around Russia - so neutralizing Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine, Belarus and Baltic States. Stalin went overboard in 1949 and USSR went into massive overreach, even more when they propped up "friendly" regimes all across the world. Something Putin is keenly aware of and has denounced numerous times. Annexing Ukraine would be pure nonsense, they have nothing to gain from it and it would be a huge dead weight considering the sorry state of its economy and industries - made worse obviously by the fact that most of the locals would hate Russia's guts and would support an insurgency. A complete basketcase like Zhirinovsky might do it, but Putin should be braindead if he goes this far. As the US has threatened, there would indeed be no need of Western military intervention to fully sink Russia: just let them invade, occupy and annex Ukraine and Russia would be gutted and nearly destroyed before the decade is over. On the other hand, there's an obvious risk of Russia sending some troops in the current rebel areas, sending them better weapons, and even using artillery and missiles to destroy core Ukrainian targets, specially military ones, causing massive destruction and plenty of deaths including plenty of innocent civilians.

Still, I never feared invasion from Soviet Red Army back in the 80s, I'm surely not dreading any Russian invasion across all Eastern and Central Europe right now - and that's without even taking into account the logistical nightmare and the different track gauges once you cross into Poland. The current "Russians are coming" media stuff is pure fear-mongering. There's plenty of reasons to bash Putin and Russia, but planning to take over the whole continent is not one of them. This is just like with Iran: US put bases all around, ever closer to the border, yet when the target becomes wary and freaks out, it's a sure sign that the target is the main cause of unrest and the one that causes the threat of aggressive war - never any reflection that it's actually a dangerous feedback loop with each side's reactions causing more dangerous and fearful reactions from the other side.

 

5 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Thank you Mr. Lindbergh.

You mean Kissinger? After all, he's been quite vocal at least since the 2014 crisis that Ukraine just can't fully join the Western club like that - Russia should join as well or Ukraine should be kept as a kind of middle ground, being both a buffer for Russia against "Western aggression" (which has occurred at least once a century for a very long time) and for Central Europe, Poland to begin with, against "Russian aggression" (which has also occurred quite often - as Tolstoy said in War and Peace, there's an ongoing process of big movements westwards and eastwards following each other, in one sequence or the other).

Edited by Clueless Northman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, A wilding said:

Technically the USSR won the Winter War, and gained Finnish territory in the subsequent peace treaty, but they did indeed get badly mauled in the process and lost a fair bit of prestige.

Finnish history in this time period was truly interesting (in the vein of may you live in interesting times curse at least).  They fought a civil war with the German Empire proxy supporting Mannerheim on one side and the Soviets supporting the other, with the leftists being defeated but resulting in a more moderate democratic government, much to the chagrin of the Germans.  Followed by Mannerheim mauling the Soviets in the Winter War (though signing a peace treaty that ceded territory).  To one of those true oddities in international relations wherein actual democracies ended up fighting each other when Finland allied with Nazi Germany in an attempt to reclaim their lost territories in the continuation war.  Talk about being located in bad spot.  (I am sure Poland and Korea can sympathize).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

This is just like with Iran:

 

It isn't though, is it, because Iran was an independent democratic nation which the US and Britain destroyed in order to get a more favourable government, and when that was ultimately overthrown decided to punish it, whereas Russia is a huge empire which has had a historical desire to expand into Eastern Europe that has manifested from when Russia was formed right through till the late 1980s. Sure, they're not very likely to launch a full-scale invasion right now, but that's because the situation is as it is. Your argument appears to be that NATO should be disbanded and these nations fend for themselves, and just assuming that Russia then still wouldn't- not immediately, but eventually- indulge in its tendency to invade people all the time is just shockingly naive. You want to completely change one parameter on the basis that if you did so all other parameters would still stay the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, polishgenius said:

Russia is a huge empire which has had a historical desire to expand into Eastern Europe that has manifested from when Russia was formed right through till the late 1980s.

This has been a two-ways trend for centuries. Teutonic Knights come and expand, massacre locals, then got beaten back - including by Poland eventually, because these guys were such jerks. Poland decides to mess up Russia when its centuries-long dynasty goes down, occupies Moscow, eventually gets repelled, then gets deluged by all neighbours, Russia included of course. Swedes once again decide to expand across all Eastern seashore of the Baltic and to shut off any Russian access to the sea, then get cocky and get beaten up, losing territories to Russia. After several centuries of having their own regional and expanding empire from Baltic to Black Sea, Poland (-Lithuania) get destroyed by a coalition of their main neighbours, with Russia taking a huge chunk of it. France decides to rule over all Europe, things get heated between Napoleon and the czar, he invades, goes to Moscow, and then Russians go to Paris. Same shit twice during the first decades of the 20th century. Most of these were imperialist endeavours aiming at conquest and subjugation, sure, but the very last one - and possibly the first one with the Knights - were downright genocidal in their intent, meant to eventually wipe out the locals so that the entire place could be colonized by Central Europeans (Germanic) settlers.

Considering what happened the last time a Western invader came knocking, considering that Putin was born in Leningrad, had a brother who died during the siege and a lot of family who died during the war, it's not surprising that the country is quite paranoid about Western intents and is wary about a military powerhouse edging ever closer to Russian borders. There are many people that think Israel's militarism and actions are fully justified because it's meant to prevent another Holocaust, yet they act surprised with the worries of people and countries across Eastern Europe - frankly, Poland, Russia and Ukraine all have valid reasons to be fearful, considering what happened to them in the last 110 years.

What's frustrating is that all sides act like if only their very own worries are important, their intentions are pure and benevolent, and the other sides never have any legitimate concern. They're afraid of the other side and that fear tends to blind them to the fact that the other guy is just as afraid for historical reasons, and these fear and blindness cause them to take actions that will easily appear aggressive to the equally paranoid other side, and things can easily aggravate without any side actually meaning to attack. Then of course there are more external actors like US, China, Western Europe and whatever else, who don't have to fear military invasions and just want to improve their economic and strategic position without giving caring about other side's justified fears and without giving a fuck if Eastern Europe gets torched once again.

So basically, the key issue here is: how to make all sides accept current borders and make sure they're not going to expand and invade the others? This requires some kind of non-aggression treaty offering guarantees that all countries will be safe from the others, otherwise they're just going to end up in an arms' race and war becomes increasingly likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Larry of the Lake said:

I dunno if trying to annex Scandinavia would be realistic, I think the Baltic states would be much more likely.  But still unlikely.

NATO currently has thousands of troops parked along the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian borders with Russia, so any invasion of the Baltic States would mean Russia having to directly fire on NATO troops, almost automatically triggering Article 5 of the NATO convention, leading inevitably to a war between the United States and Russia; if the USA refused, the alliance would collapse almost immediately.

There were reports a few years back of leaked Russian plans including one that would require them to invade and overrun the Baltic States and then invade Poland, Finland and Ukraine whilst mounting missile attacks on Germany and Britain. The idea would be that after five days or so, Russia would halt its advance and negotiate a settlement which would involve withdrawing from Poland, Finland and most of Ukraine (bar the eastern parts which would be annexed to Russia) and ceasing missile strikes on other countries but keeping the Baltic States. This plan seems fanciful but cynical enough to fit in with Putin's mindset. It's also quite extraordinarily dangerous and likely to result in WWIII.

17 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Speaking “Realpolitckly” adding the Baltic States to NATO was a mistake.  That said allowing Russia to stomp and bully its neighbors is simply unacceptable.

From a moral point of view, it was not. The Baltic States have thrived in the EU and are much richer, much better-off and much stronger than they would have been. If they'd have been left as independent states, they'd have been overrun and conquered by Russia (either outright or through proxies) years ago.

One of the reasons Putin hates having those countries and cities so close (Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki are within a few hours' travel by car or train from St. Petersburg) is that it's abundantly clear they are doing much better than Russia itself, despite Russia being far vaster, far more populous with infinitely more natural resources. It makes Russians ask awkward questions about their government about why tiny Estonia is doing so much better than giant Russia and where the fuck is all their tax money going (since it's clearly not going on education or health, and even a fair bit of the massive military budget is going into individual pockets).

Edited by Werthead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

Considering what happened the last time a Western invader came knocking, considering that Putin was born in Leningrad, had a brother who died during the siege and a lot of family who died during the war, it's not surprising that the country is quite paranoid about Western intents and is wary about a military powerhouse edging ever closer to Russian borders. There are many people that think Israel's militarism and actions are fully justified because it's meant to prevent another Holocaust, yet they act surprised with the worries of people and countries across Eastern Europe - frankly, Poland, Russia and Ukraine all have valid reasons to be fearful, considering what happened to them in the last 110 years.

Poland and Ukraine sure, but... Russia? Your way of thinking would make sense in the context of the Cold War where the US and USSR are actively wrestling to expand their influence spheres in order to contain the other. The issue now however is that since the downfall of the USSR the US technically has no ideological reason anymore to oppose Russia and would rather focus its attention towards China that is actually seriously challenging its global dominance. Meanwhile you yourself noted that NATO only still exists out of inertia, so why would Putin, being the clever actor who he is, fear it? Why would he fear that NATO expands when NATO doesn't actively seek out new members but rather accepts terrified eastern European countries that beg a rather reluctant US for membership hoping to not end up like Georgia and Ukraine? Is it because he wants them to end up like Georgia and Ukraine? Isn't it because he really would love to expand Russia by force?

I think his demands towards the US have been quite clear in their intention. He wants NATO to drop its protective screen. Or else! Why would he demand that if not to fish for more opportunities for conquests down the line? I'm having trouble seeing how he could possibly deem any of the NATOs redeployments as anything but reactive to his actions. Seriously, as inviting as it is to feel wise by taking a middle ground in the conflict, we shouldn't let ourselves blindsided by someone crying about being afraid of the other before striking first. After all, even the most extreme genocides were always claimed to be the 'reaction' to someone's supposed threat to oneself because even the most vile and opportunistic people like to style themselves as justified in their actions. The young Turks claimed the Armenians were about to conspire with Russia, the Nazis claimed the Jews were conspiring to destroy the German people, the Serbs and Croats were cleansing Bosniaks to prevent them from seceding, the Chinese are claiming the Uighurs are unruly troublemakers. You think these 'concerns' should be met somewhere in the middle? Yes, these cases are extreme, but I want you to get what I'm meaning. I guess Putin is more comparable with Hitler demanding to get the Sudetenland because of the Germans there supposedly being suppressed... and then when the international community relented, he proceeded to take the entire Czechia with everyone just watching at the sidelines, looking sheepish.

Yes, you have to meet the adversaries and talk and work out an agreeable status quo that lowers the tensions, but for that both sides need to make concessions and that means for something as drastic as NATO pulling back from states seeking its aid, Putin would have to agree to a demilitarized zone and permanently pull his troops back from his neighbors forever so that they don't need a permanent protective screen anymore. The thing is, that is something Putin would never agree to given how his whole modus operandi so far had been to cause political strife everywhere and see where opportunities present themselves. He demands from NATO to drop its guard while offering nothing in return.

Edited by Toth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, can someone here educate me?

I’ve seen a few instances on this forum of calling Ukraine, “The Ukraine” as if it was a territory and not a country in it’s own right. Isn’t that offensive?
 

I mean, I might be a little worried if another country started calling my country, “The America” as if it was a province to be annexed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...