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#16 Ukraine the brave, the whole World is watching!


DireWolfSpirit
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Africa suffering from lack of Ukraine grain exports seems so primitive in a 21st century.

With Africa's size, climate and modern irrigation capabilities one wonders why they are yet to have become a California like agricultural powerhouse?

Anywho a lot of this war has seemed primitive. The upside to that has been we are reading a lot less about tactical nukes and thermobaric supersonic missiles and doomsday scenarios, so in that respect I'm grateful the resistance can mount these brave defenses and Putin hasn't been successfully rewarded for his barbarism so far.

The nightmare is one wonders when or if the bully becomes unhinged? Can this be ended without him using a nuclear attack when hes become backed into the corner and his army reserves defeated and depleted?  How close is such a scenario?

What is the way out?

Edited by DireWolfSpirit
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47 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Africa suffering from lack of Ukraine grain exports seems so primitive in a 21st century.

With Africa's size, climate and modern irrigation capabilities one wonders why they are yet to have become a California like agricultural powerhouse?

Mass corruption, rampant terrorism, several active warzones and climate change. Obviously not all of Africa and there's quite a few regions doing very well, but there are significant roadblocks across large chunks of the continent to it becoming self-sufficient or doing better to pick up the shortfall from Ukraine and Russia.

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Anywho a lot of this war has seemed primitive. The upside to that has been we are reading a lot less about tactical nukes and thermobaric supersonic missiles and doomsday scenarios, so in that respect I'm grateful the resistance can mount these brave defenses and Putin hasn't been successfully rewarded for his barbarism so far.

The nightmare is one wonders when or if the bully becomes unhinged? Can this be ended without him using a nuclear attack when hes become backed into the corner and his army reserves defeated and depleted?  How close is such a scenario?

What is the way out?

 

The Kremlin insiders who've been leaking information since Day 1 seem reasonably certain that Russia will not escalate to using large nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and using tactical nukes is somewhat pointless because they might as well just use really big conventional weapons, as they have with thermobarics and Kinzhals. There is also fear of ending the policy of not nuclear weapons for offensive purposes, because that will trigger a mass scramble of countries acquiring nuclear weapons who could do so in a very quick period of time, right on Russia's borders (Japan has been public about that, and it's believed dozens of other countries are getting ready to pull the trigger on acquiring them if they are used in anger by anyone; Australia might anyway, because it has security concerns about China that can't easily be answered by any other means).

There is a question mark on what happens if Putin faces a coup or challenge and he believes he has to win no matter the cost in Ukraine (and deal with other issues later on) or face his own demise (actual or political or both). But even that's a challenge because destroying a few cities does not destroy all of Ukraine's army, and doing that at scale would unleash catastrophic damage on Russia and Belarus as well. There is also a point at which Russia's current allies or at least friendly-neutrals would abandon them if they went really batshit (certainly India, Hungary and Turkey, probably China and most of Africa).

The "best" way out is for Russia to be pushed back and then trade the territory it remains on for the political compromises it wanted - and could have achieved - on Day 1 of the conflict (neutrality, no NATO membership, Crimea recognition). But perhaps more likely is Russia ending the conflict and annexing the territory it holds on that day, even if the international community does not recognise that, and basically digging in to deny the Ukrainians the chance to win it back later on. And then Russia tries to ride things out and maybe use energy blackmail to get back to the status quo by the end of the year.

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6 minutes ago, Werthead said:

There is a question mark on what happens if Putin faces a coup or challenge and he believes he has to win no matter the cost in Ukraine (and deal with other issues later on) or face his own demise (actual or political or both). But even that's a challenge because destroying a few cities does not destroy all of Ukraine's army, and doing that at scale would unleash catastrophic damage on Russia and Belarus as well. There is also a point at which Russia's current allies or at least friendly-neutrals would abandon them if they went really batshit (certainly India, Hungary and Turkey, probably China and most of Africa).

Russia using nukes would be a disaster for them, and an unpredictable one at that.  If Russian decisionmaking remains rational they will not use nukes.  Russian decisionmaking this year has been often deluded, but I wouldn't call it irrational.  

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The "best" way out is for Russia to be pushed back and then trade the territory it remains on for the political compromises it wanted - and could have achieved - on Day 1 of the conflict (neutrality, no NATO membership, Crimea recognition). But perhaps more likely is Russia ending the conflict and annexing the territory it holds on that day, even if the international community does not recognise that, and basically digging in to deny the Ukrainians the chance to win it back later on. And then Russia tries to ride things out and maybe use energy blackmail to get back to the status quo by the end of the year.

It is hard to really see what will happen if (when?) Russia declares a ceasefire.  The Russians will declare ceasefire when they hit their high water mark and can conquer no further.  I expect the Putin apologists like Macron will try to quickly negotiate an end to the conflict at that time, because a terrible peace is obviously preferable to war (I said very sarcastically).  I think that the US and most of Europe aren't going to fall for that trick, and I know the Ukrainians won't.  Hopefully they can reverse fortunes relatively quickly, and begin making steady progress towards recapturing Ukrainian land.  Recapturing the areas north of the Dnipro and east of Kherson would be a very good start.  It's a fair amount of territory, but not a lot of cities.  Not the most strategically important, but it would make a good statement that the Ukrainians are on the move, and would help with potentially isolating/outflanking the forces in Kherson. 

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5 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Recapturing the areas north of the Dnipro and east of Kherson would be a very good start.  It's a fair amount of territory, but not a lot of cities.  Not the most strategically important, but it would make a good statement that the Ukrainians are on the move, and would help with potentially isolating/outflanking the forces in Kherson. 

Eastern Ukraine is basically farmland, mines, heavy industries. Not the most glamourous, but very valuable in our current global situation. It would be a nice bonus for Russia to have this, but more importantly it would be a disaster for Ukraine to be deprived of such lands - so Russia taking it over would be just as much to fuck up Ukraine than to actually gain resources it already possesses in vast amount. That's one of the key reasons why I've always been of the opinion that Zelensky should be ready to give up Crimea, NATO, future nukes, and possibly make some constitutional fixes about local rights, if it means Russia gives up for good any plan of snatching big parts of Eastern Ukraine.

The absolute tragedy, which pisses me off to no end, is that I suspect we're going to end up with a "peace" or a "deal" that could basically have been done by now, had there been serious negotiations from January on, instead of a fucking war that killed tens of thousands and caused billions and billions of losses, destruction and wasted resources.

As for Putin using nukes in a first-use, that's the one thing that might cause a coup. I doubt that anything else would convince his inner circle or top military / spooks to oust him, but risk of nuclear war might push them to act.

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11 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

The absolute tragedy, which pisses me off to no end, is that I suspect we're going to end up with a "peace" or a "deal" that could basically have been done by now, had there been serious negotiations from January on, instead of a fucking war that killed tens of thousands and caused billions and billions of losses, destruction and wasted resources.

Yes, but you see, Russia will have paid a high price for its aggression, and that's what really mattered all along.

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Several commentators have given up even trying to map what's going on in Severodonetsk. They've pointed out that the city is relatively small, and the lines of contact seem to be moving back and forth very quickly. A clear view of the battle is unachievable for the time being. The only thing they can say is that the city is still contested and the fighting since the weekend has been more towards the city centre than on the south side along the river, where it was last week, indicating that the Ukrainians have advanced and seized more ground and are holding it, but reports of a huge Ukrainian breakthrough have been exaggerated.

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3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Yes, but you see, Russia will have paid a high price for its aggression, and that's what really mattered all along.

Now the only way out of this war is to give Putin a land concession so he can avoid humiliation and save face, like maybe Corsica or the French Riviera. 

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5 minutes ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

Now the only way out of this war is to give Putin a land concession so he can avoid humiliation and save face, like maybe Corsica or the French Riviera. 

I hear Provence is very nice this time of year maybe the Russian dictator would like that in exchange for pulling his troops out of Ukraine?  He’d have a warm water port on the Mediterranean with Marseille too… sauce for his goose.

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35 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I hear Provence is very nice this time of year maybe the Russian dictator would like that in exchange for pulling his troops out of Ukraine?  He’d have a warm water port on the Mediterranean with Marseille too… sauce for his goose.

This is brilliant, you'd be great general secretary of UN. But just to make sure the peace is lasting I'd add also Reunion and Guyane. This should sastisfy his global ambitions and put Russia in the position it deserves.

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16 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

The absolute tragedy, which pisses me off to no end, is that I suspect we're going to end up with a "peace" or a "deal" that could basically have been done by now, had there been serious negotiations from January on, instead of a fucking war that killed tens of thousands and caused billions and billions of losses, destruction and wasted resources.

 

I think a peace deal is far, far away.

I don't see Ukraine being willing to cede territory aside from maybe Crimea. This war will go on, for as long as the West is willing to supply Ukraine with hardware, and Putin is not willing to pull the plug (and thus to lose face). 

If the West pulls the plug and stops supply Ukraine with military hardware, then they will be forced to make concessions to Russia, but I don't think that's morally justifiable in any shape or form. This face saving exercise is in plain speak nothing more than rewarding Russia for its war. Whether Russia is actually paying a high price is up for debate. 

If Putin is forced to accept defeat, lose face, and with him possibly ending up having to explain the loss of Russian lives on that special operation of his, that'd be entirely on him. He invaded a neighbouring country. He should be the one facing the consequences of his actions. 

 

I mean, nobody in their right mind, argued in the early 1990s, that Saddam Hussein should be given parts of Kuwait to save face. It's bonkers.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger
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4 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Russia will have paid a high price for its aggression, and that's what really mattered all along.

You hardly want Russia to be rewarded, so what does this even mean?

Saying "what really mattered all along" is Russia paying a high price for something it wasn't forced to do is a silly statement.

This is the problem with the "there are bad people on both sides" argument.  I think Rippounet's challenge is that Russia being wrong is almost universally accepted in mainstream Western media.  To get a viewpoint from "both sides", you have to pretty much read Russian propaganda.  That is the consistent tone of his posts.

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There seems to be more or less agreement now that Ukraine mounted a serious counterattack through Severodonetsk over Friday and Saturday which caused serious Russian losses and threw them back all along the contact line in the city. At one point the Ukrainians had reasserted control over well over 50% of the city and spread out on the flanks to retake smaller towns and villages on the outskirts of the city.

However, it seems Russia had reserves available and by this morning had pushed the Ukrainians back again, at least into the city centre. The Ukrainians still seem to be some distance forwards from their lines on Friday and have consolidated some of their gains, but the momentum they enjoyed for a day and a half or so seems to have run out. There seems to be speculation that either the Ukrainians have chosen to hold their reserves on the south bank of the river in Lysychansk or the Russians have reinforced the line strongly enough that the Ukrainians don't want to waste lives too much on that front. They are also wary of the Popasna front, where the Russians seem to have achieved some success after being held on static lines for weeks. If the Russians can pour through Popasna from the south, they could threaten to cut Severodonetsk and Lysychansk altogether.

The good news in that area is that Izium, the northern arm of that pincer, appears to still be heavily contested, and Russian forces in that area seem to have been worn down by a month of non-stop Ukrainian attacks.

Ukrainian counter-attacks NE of Kherson continue, but their progress seems to be modest.

Edited by Werthead
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57 minutes ago, Padraig said:

This is the problem with the "there are bad people on both sides" argument.  I think Rippounet's challenge is that Russia being wrong is almost universally accepted in mainstream Western media.  To get a viewpoint from "both sides", you have to pretty much read Russian propaganda.  That is the consistent tone of his posts.

I think the line of thinking is less "bad people on both sides" and more that this whole war is a brilliantly engineered ploy by the US by making Ukraine look weak and juicy and not forcing them to cede territories in advance of military built-up to appease Putin's "security concerns" of having neighboring countries that are not corrupt puppet regimes or stuck in frozen conflicts against Russian puppets. Poor Putin had no choice but to attack and the US is bad for preparing Ukraine to defend itself for eight years after the totally CIA engineered (second) ousting of Putin's pet president left Putin no choice but to covertly attack and openly annex its territories. It's also clearly the US' fault that the LPR and DPR burned through more than two dozen internationally mediated ceasefires and the entirety of the Minsk agreements because Ukraine was so mean they didn't want to fully give up on a fifth of its territory and defended itself against further separatist encroachment.

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20 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Anyone sensible wants Russia to pay a high price for its aggression.

To the extent it serves the purpose of deterring further aggression.  If all we end up doing is creating the rationale for the next war… a la the Prussian victory over the French in the 1870’s… it will defeat such a purpose.

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21 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

To the extent it serves the purpose of deterring further aggression.  If all we end up doing is creating the rationale for the next war… a la the Prussian victory over the French in the 1870’s… it will defeat such a purpose.

Well, it was the Prussians who invaded France there, so I'm not sure how that works as a potential cautionary tale?

If anything, it goes to show how Russia defeating Ukraine and imposing a harsh peace would be bad for future stability in the region.

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1 minute ago, Ser Reptitious said:

Well, it was the Prussians who invaded France there, so I'm not sure how that works as a potential cautionary tale?

If anything, it goes to show how Russia defeating Ukraine and imposing a harsh peace would be bad for future stability in the region.

How about the Treaty of Versailles?  Be aware the French plan was to invade Belgium too.  The Germans just stole a march on them.  SeeThe Guns of August

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9 minutes ago, Ser Reptitious said:

Well, it was the Prussians who invaded France there, so I'm not sure how that works as a potential cautionary tale?

If anything, it goes to show how Russia defeating Ukraine and imposing a harsh peace would be bad for future stability in the region.

Uhm, just to be pedantic: It was France that declared war on Prussia, but was instantly pushed back and invaded. So technically the comparison does stand... if we think that Ukrainian forces will at some point of this war march on towards Moscow.

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The situation that led to the invasion of Ukraine is very dissimilar from that of 1914 Europe.  I'm not at all sure what lessons we are supposed to be learning from that history. 

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