Jump to content

Ukraine: Holding


Ser Scot A Ellison
 Share

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

The Ukrainian ambassador to the US is claiming that a thermobaric device was used by Russia today, but I'm not sure whether she had any credible information about it or not. Since she was briefing members of Congress you'd think the former, but who knows.

Yes, the BBC reported on this as well, but saying unverified.

Earlier today, my co-worker (Romanian) says that they were reporting on this last night on Romanian news.

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-60542877

Quote

Russia used a banned thermobaric weapon during fighting in Ukraine on Monday, the Ukrainian ambassador to the US told American lawmakers in a briefing.

"They used the vacuum bomb today, which is actually prohibited by the Geneva convention," Oksana Markarova told reporters after emerging from the congressional briefing. This claim has not been verified by the BBC.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

But Biden and the West were being too soft, and Russia was sanction-proof…

I believe the phrase was sanction proofing, and things escalated quickly. No way Putin expected this. My memory isn't the greatest, but I can't think of a country in the last 50 years or more that's been so resoundingly sanctioned by the international community. And no, not just the West.

Edited by JEORDHl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

I believe the phrase was sanction proofing, and things escalated quickly. No way Putin expected this. My memory isn't the greatest, but I can't think of a country in the last 50 years or more that's been so resoundingly sanctioned by the international community. And no, not just the West.

Iran is under harsher sanctions now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, JEORDHl said:

I don't think so, but could be wrong. I'll check.

Iran sanctions include sanctions on every foreign company that trades with them, which effectively ends 95% of foreign trade. Russia isn't there yet, their gas is still flowing into Europe (ironically, through Ukrainian pipelines).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

I believe the phrase was sanction proofing, and things escalated quickly. No way Putin expected this. My memory isn't the greatest, but I can't think of a country in the last 50 years or more that's been so resoundingly sanctioned by the international community. And no, not just the West.

This kind of thing simply wasn't possible 50 years ago, and barely 30. Russia plugged itself into the global economy and immersed itself deeply in it, but it isn't contributing remotely as much as it is gaining, hence why it can so easily be cut off. You now have Canada saying it can take the hit from cutting off Russian fuel, and the USA can do so almost as easily. Some countries in Europe can as well (the UK barely gets any gas from Russia so it can sever that connection easily; Germany much less so).

If shit went down with China, that would be a much, much tougher nut to crack economically. China can do almost as much damage back to Western countries as they can to China. Russia cannot. It's one of the problems with Putin demanding that Russia be treated like a Tier-1 power, if not an actual superpower, when it simply is not one economically.

Quote

Iran is under harsher sanctions now.

Arguably, but only because most countries (that are not Canada) are unwilling to put sanctions on Russian oil. If more follow suit, Russia's last remaining import money runs out and then it is well and truly fucked.

There's also the question of speed. The sanctions regime on Iran evolved over many years, giving Iran time to adapt to it and find ways around it (i.e. selling shit it's not supposed to, to Russia with a wink and a nod). Russia's sanctions have gone from effectively 0 to 60 in the space of five days. Every single economics expert the media have spoken to seem flabbergasted that the EU went as far as it did and the US followed suit, so we can only assume that this was not even under the "nightmare scenario" on the Kremlin whiteboard.

The problem is that the conclusion Russia has reached might not be "fuck, we better call this off," but "we need to wins this ASAP no matter the cost," on the grounds they figure the rest of the world can't keep the sanctions up for long (again overestimating Russia's economic importance). They're probably not figuring that the sanctions will likely remain in place as long as Russia is militarily occupying Ukraine and as long as any puppet government it puts in place is in power. That, I think, will be the real shock.

Edited by Werthead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Russians reporting on how the sanctions are hitting them.

The hike in interest rates has made many Russians unable to afford mortgage payments. Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay and Google Pay are no longer working, consequently meaning that Russians in some cases can't even use the Moscow Metro or pay in shops. That means getting cash out to pay for goods and Metro passes...which is causing widespread shortages at ATMs and hence the ban on withdrawing large amounts of money.

This isn't completely new, as older Russians will remember the economic chaos after the collapse of the USSR (when savvy Russians amassed stacks of US dollars under their beds) and the 1998 Russian crash, and the value of the rouble took a massive tumble in 2014 amidst international condemnation of the Crimean annexation and never really recovered, but this is significantly worse than anything seen this century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

I believe the phrase was sanction proofing, and things escalated quickly. No way Putin expected this. My memory isn't the greatest, but I can't think of a country in the last 50 years or more that's been so resoundingly sanctioned by the international community. And no, not just the West.

Serbia (then called Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) was under harsher sanctions in the 1990s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reuters confirms that Ukrainian ambassador claims Russia detonated a Thermobaric  bomb on a fuel depot in Okhtyrka (between Sumy and Kharkiv)

God help us all. 
 

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraines-ambassador-us-says-russia-used-vacuum-bomb-monday-2022-02-28/?taid=621d52c7ed681a0001a184d3&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem

Edited by The Dragon Demands
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Every single economics expert the media have spoken to seem flabbergasted that the EU went as far as it did and the US followed suit, so we can only assume that this was not even under the "nightmare scenario" on the Kremlin whiteboard.

The west deserves credit for delivering on their promise to implement truly devastating sanctions -- and it is true that they are rather unprecedented in their severity and speed (and of course the west deserves credit for that too).  But it isn't really true that this was unforeseen or worse than the Kremlin's "nightmare scenario" - instead I'd say it's pretty much exactly their nightmare scenario.  Indeed, it's what many have been calling for:

Quote

Still, the growing anti-Putin international bloc’s willingness to escalate — and escalate dramatically — over the weekend drew cheers and sighs of relief from Russia and sanctions hawks, many of whom had long insisted that the United States and Europe should take the measures they announced over the weekend.

“This is the most devastating package of sanctions on Russia that I have ever seen. It demonstrates a sea change in the West’s Russia policy,” said Paul Massaro, a top Capitol Hill staffer and advocate for anti-corruption sanctions included in the weekend roll-out. “I’m thrilled to see these policies implemented. I’m sorry that this is what it took.”

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Reuters confirms that Ukrainian ambassador claims Russia detonated a Thermobaric  bomb on a fuel depot near Sumy.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraines-ambassador-us-says-russia-used-vacuum-bomb-monday-2022-02-28/?taid=621d52c7ed681a0001a184d3&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem

God help us all. 

I don't see anything in that article that officially confirms that Russia used it.  It's just an article about the Ukrainian ambassador saying they did.

Not saying they didn't, because it wouldn't surprise me at all, but there's no official confirmation in that article.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I was upgrading from "rumors on Twitter claiming the Ukrainians claim a Thermobaric bomb was used" to "Reuters confirms the Ukrainian ambassador is officially claiming this" :) 

but yes we need confirmation

also the CNN TV channel has started reporting the rumor

Edited by The Dragon Demands
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

If shit went down with China, that would be a much, much tougher nut to crack economically. China can do almost as much damage back to Western countries as they can to China. Russia cannot. It's one of the problems with Putin demanding that Russia be treated like a Tier-1 power, if not an actual superpower, when it simply is not one economically.

China can do a lot more damage, but isn't it also true that they would try to avoid this scenario at all costs? I haven't read a ton about the internal politics of China recently, but I can't imagine anything has changed about their thinking on the economy and how they can't risk theirs without also risking the collapse of the entire current government. 

Quote

The problem is that the conclusion Russia has reached might not be "fuck, we better call this off," but "we need to wins this ASAP no matter the cost," on the grounds they figure the rest of the world can't keep the sanctions up for long (again overestimating Russia's economic importance). They're probably not figuring that the sanctions will likely remain in place as long as Russia is militarily occupying Ukraine and as long as any puppet government it puts in place is in power. That, I think, will be the real shock.

I've been wondering about this. Assuming Russia does find an offramp, be it in a few days or weeks, just how long can we expect these new sanctions to last? Is there an expectation that a lot will be rescinded once Russian troops leave Ukraine or is there some belief this is going to be the new normal for the short-term future?   

Edited by Tywin et al.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously lifting sanctions would require some credible commitment on Russia's part.  But one step at a time, right now deciding when to lift the sanctions sounds like a great problem to have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had to go pick up the girls from school, but yeah, I just scanned the updated report on US sanctions on Iran and stand corrected. I suppose in my head I equated 'more sanctions' because so many countries signed on? I don't know. 

Edited by JEORDHl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...