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Ukraine Part 5: war...it never changes


Kalnestk Oblast
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19 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Worth noting that that the Taliban in Afghanistan carried out televised public executions in football stadiums during their first rule and the world really didn't give a shit.

Obviously coming on the heels of occupying Ukraine, that's a different matter.

Yes, I know, but the uncomfortable subtext of all this is televised executions of 'middle class' people from 'civilized' countries that 'look like us'; I'm sure the world will pay more attention.

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4 minutes ago, DMC said:

The question was about WWII treaties.  Although looking at the text of the 370,000 provision is interesting (Article 3 Section 2).

Yeah, that's a weird one. From my read, it just says that West Germany made a statement that it would reduce the military size of a unified Germany and that East Germany agreed with it; but I don't see anything about this treaty making that statement a binding commitment.

Although, is this one of those things where only some language's version of the treaty is binding and in German it reads slightly different or something? I know the inverse was true of the German instrument of surrender in 1945; only the English and Russian versions were considered binding.

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19 minutes ago, Ran said:

 

 

That is a neat trick in dictatorships- here in Brazil, one newspaper was famous for putting cake recipes in the place of censored news; when people were reading the politics part of the newspaper (usually, though sometimes economy, police, etc, were also censored) and all the sudden some cake recipe was there where news were supposed to be, they knew something had been forbidden to be reported by the government.

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5 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

televised executions of 'middle class' people from 'civilized' countries that 'look like us'

For brevity's sake you can just say white people.

1 minute ago, Fez said:

From my read, it just says that West Germany made a statement that it would reduce the military size of a unified Germany and that East Germany agreed with it; but I don't see anything about this treaty making that statement a binding commitment.

That's my reading of it too.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

The notion of relying on the US, well, that disappeared for some reason sometime between 2016 and 2020. I have no idea why... So there already was an acknowledgement, that the EU (and Germany in particular) would need to bulk its military defense. Putin has just accelerated the process by quite a bit.

We were on vacation too. :P

On a more serious note though, in Europe is there more interest in individual nations building up their armies or one larger central EU army? Either way I think there will be a lot of increases in defense spending in Europe over the next decade. There's no reason to assume you can trust us again after 2024.

1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Wow… the Germans (West Germans) used to be pretty tough from what my friends in the US Military said back in the day.  It is horrible that belief in peace can be so damaging.

Guess Bane was right.

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10 minutes ago, sologdin said:

i suppose we can test that by reference to the large numbers of US citizens who don't think trump lost it at any point. true believers double down on error.

Ironically, the one good thing you can say about his presidency is he didn't get us into a war.

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It is hard to speculate what the next month is going to be like for the average Russian citizen, other than hard.  I think it is extremely optimistic to expect Russians to see sanctions/sports bans and conclude "Putin probably did something wrong".  Much, much more likely is that Russians will blame America for picking on Russia, as America always does. 

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1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I’ve actually had to stop listening to ongoing coverage.  It makes me so angry that there is nothing we can safely do to help the Ukrainians without serious risk of all holy hell breaking loose.  
 

The US and Europe can provide arms, medicine, food, and intelligence to the Ukrainians.  And we can put all the money that we would be spending on a war with Russia (that Ukrainians are fighting on our behalf) into a fund to help rebuild the country when this war is over.  Because it is becoming increasingly obvious (to me anyway) that Russia's war aims cannot be achieved.  So whether it is next week or next year or a decade from now, Russia will pull back from Ukraine.  And when they do, Ukraine will need our support to rebuild.

This is a dark time for Ukraine, and it will be long and hard, but there will be a day when things get better. 

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28 minutes ago, DMC said:

Ironically, the one good thing you can say about his presidency is he didn't get us into a war.

Though one might argue that he facilitated a war by helping to create an impression in Russia that The West(TM) was sufficiently weak and fractured that Ukraine could be taken without much consequence.

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14 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

The US and Europe can provide arms, medicine, food, and intelligence to the Ukrainians.  And we can put all the money that we would be spending on a war with Russia (that Ukrainians are fighting on our behalf) into a fund to help rebuild the country when this war is over.  Because it is becoming increasingly obvious (to me anyway) that Russia's war aims cannot be achieved.  So whether it is next week or next year or a decade from now, Russia will pull back from Ukraine.  And when they do, Ukraine will need our support to rebuild.

This is a dark time for Ukraine, and it will be long and hard, but there will be a day when things get better. 

I'm not sure about that. Russia can capture Kyiv and Kharkiv in the not-too-distant future, even if it takes six weeks or six months, and at that point Russia can impose its vision of a new Ukraine on the country. What shape that precisely is remains to be seen, but partitioning the country and leaving the western half pretty battered with no coastline and stripped of its assets it currently trades with China is a relatively clever way of neutralising it, reducing it's strength and importance and leaving behind a rump buffer with NATO/EU countries.

Now it might be there's a brutal, Afghan-style insurgency and Russia bleeds for years and years and eventually gets tired and leaves (probably after Putin goes). Or the Russians prop up a pro-Russian Ukrainian puppet state which actually has some teeth (mostly taken from the Donbas) and any such insurgency violence is Ukrainian-on-Ukrainian whilst Russia just watches on (effectively what happened in Chechnya, albeit only after a colossal loss of Russian life) with the occasional air strike when things look like they might be tipping.

It might well be that is enough and Putin stops there. It might also well be that Putin doesn't have long left: he is 69 years old, turns 70 in a few months and is under very obvious, immense stress. His successor could be a Khruschev-style seeming loyalist who, five minutes after taking office, immediately throws Putin's legacy out of the country and is far more open and amenable. It might be an even worse, nutjob hardliner. It might be someone who basically sells the entire country out to China.

The question is that if Ukraine does embark on an insurgency, Russia won't necessarily get tied down there and will look at what it wants to do next, which is either nothing (unlikely) or biting off Moldova or Finland. I suspect now that Putin will not look to bite off a NATO country unless Trump or another friendly face gets into the White House; if they do, then all bets are off.

Edited by Werthead
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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I suspect now that Putin will not look to bite off a NATO country unless Trump or another friendly face gets into the White House; if they do, then all bets are off.

With how militantly anti-Putin most of the US right-wing media has suddenly become (Hannity is out there on his show calling for the US to assassinate Putin), after realizing how pro-Ukraine/anti-Russia most of their audience actually is, I think it would be very difficult for any future President to overtly pursue any pro-Putin policies at this point. There'd certainly be the concerns of incompetence and destroying relationships with allies, but appeasement seems unlikely.

Speaking of right-wing, Marco Rubio has been a regular tweeter about this war. He claims he's not sharing anything classified he gets as part of the Gang of 8, but he has certainly seemed better informed than most. And:

 

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4 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The question is that if Ukraine does embark on an insurgency, Russia won't necessarily get tied down there and will look at what it wants to do next, which is either nothing (unlikely) or biting off Moldova or Finland. I suspect now that Putin will not look to bite off a NATO country unless Trump or another friendly face gets into the White House; if they do, then all bets are off.

I think that even a larger scale version of Chechnya is still a very optimistic scenario for Russia.  If Russia attempts to prop up a pro-Russia leader and use Ukrainian troops with Russian air support behind it, that sounds like a government that is going to fall apart in short order.  Anti-Russia sentiment is really strong even in Russian speaking areas like Kharkiv, and there just aren't enough people in Donetsk to effectively put down an insurgency.  The US/EU are flooding Ukraine with whatever weapons they can and that is not going to stop.  That will mean a great many dead civilians, but it will also mean that so long as a portion of Ukrainians want to make themselves ungovernable, they will be able to keep fighting. 

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