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53 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

People are also prone to viewing Putin as irrational and stupid, when he is in fact highly intelligent and quite rational, within the parameters of his overall aims and ambitions.

 

 

I don't think anyone is viewing Putin as irrational and stupid, and that's what has made this particular conflict a lot more worrying, coz whatever you think his goal ultimately is it's a much rasher, riskier action with less clear end goals than anything he's done in the past.

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Ah that, to me, is him caring about himself. He doesn't care about Russia, he cares about himself heading Russia and bringing it to greater strength/place in history. More importantly, he wants to be seen and noticed as the one doing that.

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8 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

 

I don't think anyone is viewing Putin as irrational and stupid, and that's what has made this particular conflict a lot more worrying, coz whatever you think his goal ultimately is it's a much rasher, riskier action with less clear end goals than anything he's done in the past.

Overall goals?
 

Shoring up Russia’s western front. Expanding the Russian Federation from 145m to maybe 170-180 million people. Expanding the Russian Federation’s GDP and Industrial base by whatever is currently generated by Ukraine.

Solidifying land access to Crimea and coast of the Black Sea to the West.

Emboldening China to also oppose the West.

Putting the West on notice that he is bite in addition to bark.

Bolstering Russian pride and Nationalism.

Why are all of these goals so difficult to grasp. They are quite logical.

I note the hysterical headlines in the Guardian and other papers that Putin has lost his reputation as a pragmatist, or that he has gone mad etc.

That’s a  ridiculous view. You just need to divorce yourself from your pre-conceived ideals and notions and view the world as a chess board, no more, no less.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn
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2 hours ago, Lightning Lord said:

There are disputed reports of paratroopers repelled near Lviv, in the far west of Ukraine. Gorgeous city, wonderful people, and ffs they hate Russians there. Russians would fare better dropping into a pit full of ravenous polar bears than into Lviv.

What the fuck are they doing that far West??

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9 minutes ago, Lightning Lord said:

Ah that, to me, is him caring about himself. He doesn't care about Russia, he cares about himself heading Russia and bringing it to greater strength/place in history. More importantly, he wants to be seen and noticed as the one doing that.

Too many people today have no concept of nationalism, patriotism and belonging to something greater then yourself, pride in your ancestors and ambition for the future of your people to be great long after you are gone.

To these types, such concepts are utterly alien. No wonder you don’t understand Putin.

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3 minutes ago, Relic said:

What the fuck are they doing that far West??

The mayor of Lviv said 60 helicoptered in. The Ukrainian security services have denied it. My friends there don't know if it is true or not.

I mentioned it just because even in peace time, Russians might feel a bit out of place in Lviv.

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2 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

But that doesn't make the ukrainian government, including Zelensky, any better.

I am admittedly curious to see the people you hang around with.  And the media sources you read.  We all have our biases but you are living in a different reality if you think that kind of statement is "fact". :)

58 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

People are also prone to viewing Putin as irrational and stupid, when he is in fact highly intelligent and quite rational, within the parameters of his overall aims and ambitions.

@Hereward always had an interesting take on Russia/Putin.  It was part of his job IIRC.  I wonder what he thinks now.

Up to now, Putin has built up this kick-ass reputation.  You can see how Trump almost worshipped him.  Even now, I've seen plenty coverage talking about how he is covered in glory from Georgia, Syria etc.  Maybe less so in the last couple of days because people are puzzled at what is going on.  And yes, I have seen some suggestions that he has cracked under the pressure.  I think that suggestion is fair to ignore.  Pure wishful thinking.

The truth behind Putin is probably the usual.  Much better than his detractors.  Much less than those who idolise him.  He has his ego and his pride.  He makes mistakes but he has a lot of power to bear down on to cover up those mistakes.

In the end, if Russia takes a week to accomplish something it hoped to do in a day, the end result is all the same, a terrible tragedy.

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13 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

That’s a  ridiculous view. You just need to divorce yourself from your pre-conceived ideals and notions and view the world as a chess board, no more, no less.

The practical problem (ignoring the ethical problem for now) with this is that the world doesn't operate by mid-20th century logic like this anymore. Putin is risking/has already:

Severely damaged large sectors of the Russian economy

Isolated Russia from many of its allies

Emboldened his domestic political opponents

Strengthened ties again between NATO allies

Revealed the weakened state of Russian conventional forces

Hardening Ukrainian resistance to the point that any puppet government likely falls immediately unless there's a longterm occupation. A further drain in Russian resources.

He personally might not be impacted by any of this, but Russia sure will. Even if Russia achieves its military objectives in the next few days, Putin is taking a major gamble that Russia won't overall be worse off because of this invasion.

 

Eta: freaking typos

Edited by Fez
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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

People are also prone to viewing Putin as irrational and stupid, when he is in fact highly intelligent and quite rational, 

 

Yeah, I'm guessing you haven't seem him speaking recently.

 

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7 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Too many people today have no concept of nationalism, patriotism and belonging to something greater then yourself, pride in your ancestors and ambition for the future of your people to be great long after you are gone.

To these types, such concepts are utterly alien. No wonder you don’t understand Putin.

Ah, but you definitely do. I am sure you have much in common with him. Long history of work in espionage, killing off your enemies, palling around with fellow dictators... yep, you certainly understand him.

I understand the concepts you've listed just fine. The only issue is I understand them from the side being invaded by the murderous thug you understand so well.

If Putin cared about Russia, he'd be a little less keen to murder and jail dissidents. He wouldn't need to - he's already got a chokehold on power. So he could allow them to say what they want, as it wouldn't matter. He wouldn't be imprisoning protesters. He's already winning the war, he shouldn't care if people speak out against it.

He does those things because he needs to be seen to be powerful and unchallenged.

You can disagree all you want, but you're still wrong and a delusional despot-worshipping prick.

Edited by Lightning Lord
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11 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I also disagree that all of this is about Putin’s own power.

He’s been at helm of the country for over two decades. The standard of living for most Russian citizens in most metrics is terrible.

Russia’s population went down a million last year, the worst population loss since the collapse of the Soviet Union

Hes proven a terrible leader either through incompetence or indifference.

The best thing he could do for his country is to retire/and or kill himself.

11 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If he only cared about himself, he need not take any of these immense risks. 

To give himself another place to lord over.

 

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2 minutes ago, Lightning Lord said:

Ah, but you definitely do. I am sure you have much in common with him. Long history of work in espionage, killing off your enemies, palling around with fellow dictators... yep, you certainly understand him.

I understand the concepts you've listed just fine. The only issue is I understand them from the side being invaded by the murderous thug you understand so well.

If Putin cared about Russia, he'd be a little less keen to murder and jail dissidents. He wouldn't need to - he's already got a chokehold on power. So he could allow them to say what they want, as it wouldn't matter. He wouldn't be imprisoning protesters. He's already winning the war, he shouldn't care if people speak out against it.

He does those things because he needs to be seen to be powerful and unchallenged.

You can disagree all you want, but you're still wrong and a self-righteous prick.

Good day to you too.

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3 minutes ago, Fez said:

The practical problem (ignoring the ethical problem for now) with this is that the world doesn't operate by mid-20th century logic like this anymore. Putin is risking/has already:

Severely damaged large sectors of the Russian economy

Isolated Russia from many of its allies

Emboldened his domestic political opponents

Strengthened ties again between NATO aies

Revealed the weakened state of Russian conventional forces

Hardening Ukrainian resistance to the point that any puppet government likely falls immediately unless there's a longterm occupation. A further drain in Russian resources.

He personally might not be directed by any of this, but Russia sure will. Even if Russia achieves its military objectives in the next few days, Putin is taking a major gamble that Russia won't overall be worse off because of this invasion.

This is ultimately the question I’m asking myself most; does your list outweigh @Free Northman Reborn ‘s list. You get very different answers to that depending where you look. I’m clinging to the idea that Russia will be worse off, significantly so, such that once the dust settles on this (and I of course hope it does so swiftly), it can be used as a lesson from other nations and maybe future Russian leaders, that this isn’t the way to go. That Putin truly is living half a century too late and that the world just doesn’t operate like this anymore, that people don’t care about Empires, that by and large, everyone’s happy to leave each other be.

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Just now, Relic said:

Those people were just waiting for a chance to support a mass murder. As long as he was white. 

Essentially yes. I am 100% certain Tucker Carlson would be crying China was based if the guys in charge looked more like him. Maybe dropped the communist label.

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1 minute ago, DaveSumm said:

This is ultimately the question I’m asking myself most; does your list outweigh @Free Northman Reborn ‘s list. You get very different answers to that depending where you look. I’m clinging to the idea that Russia will be worse off, significantly so, such that once the dust settles on this (and I of course hope it does so swiftly), it can be used as a lesson from other nations and maybe future Russian leaders, that this isn’t the way to go. That Putin truly is living half a century too late and that the world just doesn’t operate like this anymore, that people don’t care about Empires, that by and large, everyone’s happy to leave each other be.

That ignores China, who very much believes in Empire today, to the extent that they view the last few hundred years as just a temporary interval in their status as the pre-eminent world power.

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4 minutes ago, Fez said:

The practical problem (ignoring the ethical problem for now) with this is that the world doesn't operate by mid-20th century logic like this anymore. Putin is risking/has already:

Severely damaged large sectors of the Russian economy

Isolated Russia from many of its allies

Emboldened his domestic political opponent

Strengthened ties again between NATO aies

Revealed the weakened state of Russian conventional forces

Hardening Ukrainian resistance to the point that any puppet government likely falls immediately unless there's a longterm occupation. A further drain in Russian resources.

He personally might not be directed by any of this, but Russia sure will. Even if Russia achieves its military objectives in the next few days, Putin is taking a major gamble that Russia won't overall be worse off because of this invasion.

Angela Merkel said something like this - before this current crisis. Putin was a Nineteenth-Century politician in the Twenty-First Century, according to her. The trouble is I think the jury is basically out on whether Putin's old fashioned techniques are going to work or not. Maybe the Twenty-First Century will operate in a similar way to previous centuries, in the relevant respects? 

He is going to be isolated but Russia is fairly well equipped to weather sanctions and China has an interest in seeing they don't collapse. He will strengthen NATO a bit but not sure that changes things too much. I think it is bit early to say whether the Russian forces have been shown to be weaker than supposed - if they have it is reminiscent of the Winter War where Stalin eventually beat Finland but lowered his prestige at a significant time.

The big risk for him is Ukraine turns into a quagmire like Iraq (supposing Russia wins this phase of the war) and ultimately weakens him. 

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27 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Overall goals?
 

Shoring up Russia’s western front. Expanding the Russian Federation from 145m to maybe 170-180 million people. Expanding the Russian Federation’s GDP and Industrial base by whatever is currently generated by Ukraine.

 

Basically not very much. Ukraine's GDP is only slightly bigger than Scotland's and there are only 5.5m people in Scotland vs 40m+ in Ukraine. It is the poorest country in Europe with a GDP per capita 1/3 of Russia's! Still it used to be a productive and strategic part of the Russian/Soviet empire, so maybe he hopes it can be again. 

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Too many people today have no concept of nationalism, patriotism and belonging to something greater then yourself, pride in your ancestors and ambition for the future of your people to be great long after you are gone.

dunno, FNR. these fascistic ideas are simple and easily refuted. more fair perhaps to say that they have been understood and rejected. i mean, 'your people,' really?

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