Jump to content

Ukraine 8


Werthead
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

To take a different angle from what Wert said, what happens if we quickly roll back sanctions and then in two months they start launching cyber attacks? That seems much more likely than another immediate invasion. If the answer is put the sanctions back in place then they probably shouldn’t have been rolled back to begin with, especially if Putin doesn’t seem to mind them too much.

That's certainly an angle.  Although in that case it sounds like sanctions are essentially not effective so I'm not sure what the point of them would even be.  Necessary and meaningless isn't much of a justification.

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

 I had no idea he was stationed in East Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall:

If you read the Tim Snyder linked content, you would have! :P And know now even so much more! :cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

US and NATO intelligence officials now revising their strategic outlook to say that "Ukraine could fight Russia to a standstill," at least with regards to the forces currently in the country. If Russia brings in masses of new troops or escalates, all bets are off.

Something that has surprised me is the sheer level of bellicosity we are seeing against Russia, especially in the United States. I wonder if that is having any impact on Russia's calculus, which might have been that the US would be much more reluctant to get involved than has proven to be the case.

No news on the negotiations today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Fez said:

It is curious that this came out at the same time as the report of explosions in Belarus. I don't know if it actually means anything though. Pavel Latushka, this guy, is basically the leader of the opposition in exile in Poland. He's not a current government minister turning on Lukashenko on anything like that.

Isn't he saying, in essence, that Russia will circumvent sanctions by going through the puppet Lukashenko, and that until Belarus obtains sovereignty, that it should be cut off too?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

This does appear to be his primary focus at the moment. The way he lashed out at the oligarchs yesterday seemed deeply personal.


Hopefully enough of the oligarchs rebel and succeed in ousting him.

Though the only way how at this appears to be killing him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Tears of Lys said:

Isn't he saying, in essence, that Russia will circumvent sanctions by going through the puppet Lukashenko, and that until Belarus obtains sovereignty, that it should be cut off too?  

Basically. My point was just more related to the fact that, at least on Twitter (where he, somewhat confusingly has an official tag for being a Belarusian Government Official), some people were thinking he was announcing a takeover. As for the "explosions", there's still no word on what that was; but the Belarusian government has separately claimed it was a sonic boom and that it was an artillery strike from pre-planned exercises. Which is a little curious that they can't get their official story straight. My best guess: A couple Russian missiles striking Ukrainian border villages went off-target and hit Belarus.

In other news, Odesa can still get private deliveries apparently:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Werthead said:

US and NATO intelligence officials now revising their strategic outlook to say that "Ukraine could fight Russia to a standstill," at least with regards to the forces currently in the country. If Russia brings in masses of new troops or escalates, all bets are off.

Something that has surprised me is the sheer level of bellicosity we are seeing against Russia, especially in the United States. I wonder if that is having any impact on Russia's calculus, which might have been that the US would be much more reluctant to get involved than has proven to be the case.

No news on the negotiations today.

The American reaction and the solidarity shown by NATO has to have gotten the attention of some in the Kremlin… even if not the ears that matter have heard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Larry of the Lake said:

That's certainly an angle.  Although in that case it sounds like sanctions are essentially not effective so I'm not sure what the point of them would even be.  Necessary and meaningless isn't much of a justification.

  

Eh, I would read that situation more like threats haven't had much impact in the past though Putin may change his thinking going forward. I trust the reporting that he was shocked by the scale and swiftness of the sanctions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Something that has surprised me is the sheer level of bellicosity we are seeing against Russia, especially in the United States. I wonder if that is having any impact on Russia's calculus, which might have been that the US would be much more reluctant to get involved than has proven to be the case.

At this point they have taken many of the actions they could have, while also emphatically stating a no-fly zone was a no-go. For instance, arming Ukraine to the teeth with Javelins etc., sanctions towards Russia/oligarchs and divestment from O&G, and shoring up NATO defenses in Europe. They've also secured, I think, the return of the ISS astronaut who was dependent on Mir to get back to Earth.

I am now wondering if they are trying to bait Putin (like calling him a war criminal) into some sort of rash response that would give NATO casus belli; one way to end the war (albeit a way with larger loss of life). Otherwise its difficult to see how the endgame plays out with the Russian advance and the peace talks at an impasse.

Edited by IheartIheartTesla
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:


Hopefully enough of the oligarchs rebel and succeed in ousting him.

Though the only way how at this appears to be killing him.

To be clear the oligarchs are effectively powerless against Putin. Putin dealt with them when he first came in 20 years ago, and the days of them wielding any political power are basically done. They serve at his behest, not the other way around. 

There are other folks that prop up Putin who have a bit more power - people in the security services, some of the more extracurricular folks too - but largely Putin has done an exemplary job in consolidating power and eliminating any actual threats to his power. At the cost of anyone competent being around. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Red Tiger said:

Im not, you have to have a dark side to end up working for him so closely.

I don't think it's possible to have 1,000 workers work with any one person that closely.  Which raises the question why he was so worried about literally a thousand people poisoning/helping to poison him, but don't expect an answer on that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Major piece here.

John Simpson, one of the single most respected British journalists of all time, has used his formidable networking skills to talk to one of Turkish President Erdogan's advisors. Erdogan has spoken directly to Putin and Zelensky in recent days.

Putin's position - and this isn't the negotiating team, it's him - is that Ukraine must declare neutrality, agree not to join NATO, and it must make strives in "denazification". It sounds like that might be a bit of a sop: maybe arresting a couple of Azov Battalion members and banning neo-Nazis from military service etc. The Ukrainian government has actually been doing this anyway, the leadership of Azov was fired a few years ago and they formed a far-right party in the elections which got nowhere. Putin also wants greater protection for the Russian language in Ukraine. Oddly, that's probably easier to agree to now than before the war, when there was a fear of Russian propaganda pouring into Ukraine directly, but I think it's clear now that the Russian-speaking east is no friend of Putin's.

That's the "easy" party, presumably because Zalensky has already agreed to those or made noises those are acceptable.

Zelensky must also recognise Crimea and the eastern republics, which Zelensky has hinted is possible, though through gritted teeth, but not easy.

Putin has agreed that the Ukrainian government can remain in place but is demanding "parts of eastern Ukraine." I think that's a reference to the eastern republics and maybe their extension to their full oblasts. There has been zero suggestion elsewhere that Russia has demanded additional territory (but this might be a nod to the land corridor from Crimea to Luhansk).

Now this is interesting, Putin has said he is willing to talk face-to-face with Zelensky to confirm the deal, and Turkey has offered to host such a conference.

Quote

I am now wondering if they are trying to bait Putin (like calling him a war criminal) into some sort of rash response that would give NATO casus belli; one way to end the war (albeit a way with larger loss of life). Otherwise its difficult to see how the endgame plays out with the Russian advance and the peace talks at an impasse.

At the risk of nuclear escalation?

I am seeing a lot of analysis that they think Ukraine should be protected and Putin should be firmly swatted back now and that will stop any future play for the Baltic States. However, I think that is extremely dangerous: Putin's speechifying and essays in the last couple of years have created this idea that for him Ukraine is part of Russia and he will respond to an attack on Russia with nuclear force. He might be lying, he might be completely serious, but I'm not sure any American President is going to bet life on Earth on it.

Of course, they might also be completely 100% correct and accepting a deal now means us being in a more hazardous position 2 or 5 or 25 years from now. It's impossible to know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I normally wouldn't bother with this - probably even if it was verified elsewhere, as we all know the Russians are targetting civilians, and that that is a war crime, but...

 

That's Chinese state-affiliated media reporting on Russian war crimes - that's gotta be significant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Confusing reigning as reports come in of a huge engagement at Izyum. This is a lynchpin of the north-eastern front, holding the western flank of Severodonetsk, which is the anchor for the entire eastern quarter of the country. The Americans are reporting that Izyum has fallen, but the Ukrainians are reporting a victory, inflicting 30% losses and killing a senior division colonel. 

Quote

That's Chinese state-affiliated media reporting on Russian war crimes - that's gotta be significant

My friend in Beijing is reporting regular "slips" on Chinese state media now referring to "the invasion" and "the war" (and only occasionally corrected to "special operation"), and nobody seems to be in trouble for it.

The FSB leaker from a few weeks back is still releasing new information and in his last update he says that Russian Intelligence were convinced that Xi Jinping was considering an attack on Taiwan at the end of this year, but the war in Ukraine has completely changed his calculus and this is now firmly off the table, since sanctions on the scale that have targeted Russia would have a much, much more devastating impact on China. However, we should note that may be guesswork, since I doubt the Chinese are telling the Russians about a hugely secret operation that far in advance.

Biden and Jinping will speak directly tomorrow.

Edited by Werthead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...