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


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31 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

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. 

I’m simply agreeing that pushing Russia out of Ukraine is absolutely appropriate.  Going for Versallise style punishment (even if we could) isn’t likely to produce anything positive.  

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3 hours ago, Padraig said:

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.

Well, there are other media and people, apart from the West and Russia. Westerners obviously have totally forgotten this little detail since the war began, but be sure the rest of the world hasn't forgotten and is watching with interest what the West is doing, and taking note.

 

1 hour ago, Toth said:

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.

France was provoked by Bismarck, who wanted war and knew what a fool Napoleon III was. So he crafted the kind of provocation that would push the blowhead to openly declare war, forcing other German states to side with Prussia and merge forces to "defend". For this reason, Franco-Prussian war is the very last war the West wants to see the Ukraine war be compared to.

 

4 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

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). 

And it shouldn't. But at the same time, there's a bloodbath and thousands of Ukrainians are dying. I tend to think Zelensky should call Putin's bluff and publicly make a first proposal that doesn't concede territories, except probably admitting Crimea joining Russia (probably the will of the majority of the people now, and surely back in 2014), but with other non-territorial proposals that supposedly are what Russia wish to see. Then see what the Russian public reaction will be. At worst, he'll gain a lot of PR points if Russia goes "nope, we want surrender or half the country", at best he might have the start of true peace negotiations. Then, as far as I'm concerned, giving any more land than Crimea should be the very last resort when negotiating with Russia, something to consider only if Ukraine cannot mount any counter-attack anywhere and if the whole Donbas front has collapsed and is lost.

Of course, I've no idea what he thinks he can afford to offer without being lynched by Ukrainian people - or by his political majority -, but really the guy will be one of the top-5 national heroes of Ukraine when this is over and is the reason why so much aid has come to the country so far, so he clearly should have wider freedom to negotiate than he had back in January.

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25 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

And it shouldn't. But at the same time, there's a bloodbath and thousands of Ukrainians are dying. I tend to think Zelensky should call Putin's bluff and publicly make a first proposal that doesn't concede territories, except probably admitting Crimea joining Russia (probably the will of the majority of the people now, and surely back in 2014), but with other non-territorial proposals that supposedly are what Russia wish to see. Then see what the Russian public reaction will be. At worst, he'll gain a lot of PR points if Russia goes "nope, we want surrender or half the country", at best he might have the start of true peace negotiations. Then, as far as I'm concerned, giving any more land than Crimea should be the very last resort when negotiating with Russia, something to consider only if Ukraine cannot mount any counter-attack anywhere and if the whole Donbas front has collapsed and is lost.

I mean, he's already done this.

Back in March and early April when negotiations were going on and even looking promising for a while (though how true that was remains debtable), Ukraine's position was: neutrality, no joining NATO, a limit to its army that was probably around its size in February 2022 anyway, official status for the Russian language and a negotiated political process for determining the future of Crimea (one idea was a 15-year transition period with at least one referendum in Crimea on its future status), which I think everyone knew was a coded concession that Crimea would become part of Russia. A similar proposal was on the cards for Donbas, with various scenarios in place (independence or federal alignment with Ukraine or federal alignment with Russia, possibly within the 2014 contact borders but also maybe the whole region). The water supply for Crimea was also going to be restored, I believe. They were also even going to ensure there were no more Neo-Nazis anywhere in the Ukrainian military or state, although they'd already made huge inroads on that already (removing the Neo-Nazis from Azov after 2014, for example, and they then went and founded a political party that got absolutely nowhere and immediately fell apart, reducing the extreme right in Ukraine to less of a force than it is in Russia or most western European countries).

Those proposals seemed very generous and basically gave Russia everything it said it wanted.

Edited by Werthead
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2 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

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

 

2 hours ago, Toth said:

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.

As @Clueless Northman already pointed out, Napoleon III got played hard by Bismark, so while France may technically have been the aggressor, in reality it was Bismarck and Prussia, who just needed an excuse. That is not remotely comparable to Ukraine, which tried its best to avoid war (but understandably without outright giving away territory). Putin's Russia is much more comparable to Bismarck's Prussia, just without Bismarck's deceptive cleverness.

And @Toth, to be even more pedantic, no war was declared in the current "special military operations" at all, so that's another reason why the comparison doesn't stand. :P

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1 hour ago, Clueless Northman said:

Well, there are other media and people, apart from the West and Russia. Westerners obviously have totally forgotten this little detail since the war began, but be sure the rest of the world hasn't forgotten and is watching with interest what the West is doing, and taking note.

I did deliberately say Western media.  Maybe people like Rippounet are picking up their talking points from Chinese or African media but I suspect its Russian adjacent media.

And I doubt Zelensky is immune to future criticism in Ukraine.  Making peace is difficult and it seems to be getting more difficult everyday.  I fear the tough choices he will have to make eventually.  He wasn't very popular before the war, so its not a given that he wouldn't lose popularity if the choices he makes are very controversial.

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As gas gets to $6 a gallon in the US and people care less and less, I think that we'll unfortunately start seeing the US pushing for an end to the war so that prices go down. Russia is betting on the US not being able to stomach a bit of discomfort, and the US is betting on Russia not being able to stomach more discomfort; I know which one seems more likely to occur. 

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11 minutes ago, KalVsWade said:

As gas gets to $6 a gallon in the US and people care less and less, I think that we'll unfortunately start seeing the US pushing for an end to the war so that prices go down. Russia is betting on the US not being able to stomach a bit of discomfort, and the US is betting on Russia not being able to stomach more discomfort; I know which one seems more likely to occur. 

Does the war have any bearing on US gas prices? The import virtually nothing from Russia, and in fact have been helping pick up the slack in Europe by delivering to countries that have cut the tap from Russia from excess production.

Russia's economic discomfort is being severely downplayed at the moment, and I'm not sure why. Even some Russia media is reporting major shortages of some foodstuffs, components for cars and aircraft. Even China has issued a warning that it will not allow uncertified flights from Russia to China using aircraft that haven't been maintained to standard, which is apparently now starting to happen because Russia can't import spare parts. At current rates, Russia might start having to ground its civil aviation fleet in a matter of weeks because of that, which in a country as vast as Russia will really be disastrous.

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Biden is clearly not going to change his position on Ukraine until after the midterms.  Considering he's firmly staked out an even more hawkish posture, it's incredibly unlikely McConnell is either.  After the midterms, yeah, based on conditions/public sentiment there may well be a shift in administrative policy and of course congressional deference.  This will be around the time Biden has to confirm whether he's running for reelection or not when most of the country almost certainly won't want him to.

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1 hour ago, KalVsWade said:

As gas gets to $6 a gallon in the US and people care less and less, I think that we'll unfortunately start seeing the US pushing for an end to the war so that prices go down. Russia is betting on the US not being able to stomach a bit of discomfort, and the US is betting on Russia not being able to stomach more discomfort; I know which one seems more likely to occur. 

already seeing posts and pics in this vein on my Facebook - though the context often includes progun arguments ('why can't I have the same guns we're sending to Ukraine?') Mixed in with that is a whole lot of contempt for Biden and a complete refusal to acknowledge Russia's role towards the spike in oil prices. Much of it, in fact, reads almost like a pro-Putin argument.

That said, I maintain that -

1 - Being a kleptocracy, Russia cannot have a competent military command as this imperils the thieves in charge.

2 - Being a kleptocracy under severe sanctions, Russia cannot sustain even a low-key moderate duration war in the Ukraine owing to both massive theft and the issue in point one. They press this point, the 'outlying provinces' will go from 'very unhappy' to 'almost open rebellion' and it is somewhat likely there will not be enough internal security forces to keep them in line.

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Out of three sanctioned major oil exporters (Russia, Venezuela and Iran), Russia is the one least likely to have its sanctions lessened or removed.

Besides, @KalVsWade, do you really think appearing weak on Russia is an election-winning move for Biden, especially after Afghanistan? Republicans would eat him alive.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Does the war have any bearing on US gas prices? The import virtually nothing from Russia, and in fact have been helping pick up the slack in Europe by delivering to countries that have cut the tap from Russia from excess production.

The war has massive bearing on US gas prices. Because oil is a global market, and even though the US could in theory live on the supply they produce the actual price of oil is set globally. And that has been disrupted by Russia. You can't just remove 8 million barrels of oil a day - most of which was going to Europe - without it affecting the market. 

Same goes for wheat and other food production. 

Now, not all of that is the reason prices are going up. China lockdowns, companies not producing as much post-pandemic, closing refineries, demand for gas rising as we hit summer and people are wanting to vacation after two years - these are all factors. But it is not overstating things to say that Russian exports are a major factor in the price. 

4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Russia's economic discomfort is being severely downplayed at the moment, and I'm not sure why. Even some Russia media is reporting major shortages of some foodstuffs, components for cars and aircraft. Even China has issued a warning that it will not allow uncertified flights from Russia to China using aircraft that haven't been maintained to standard, which is apparently now starting to happen because Russia can't import spare parts. At current rates, Russia might start having to ground its civil aviation fleet in a matter of weeks because of that, which in a country as vast as Russia will really be disastrous.

It's a disaster only if people in charge are threatened. And I've seen very little sign of that from any sources, Russian or otherwise. There are definitely shortages and I'm sure that will hurt people. There are weird shortages like lack of dental equipment and supplies which is going to make most people notice. At the same time I don't see that affecting the overall Russian mood. 

And again, I'm far more willing to bet on Russians dealing with severe discomfort for a while over Americans dealing with any discomfort for even a short time. 

3 hours ago, DMC said:

Biden is clearly not going to change his position on Ukraine until after the midterms.  Considering he's firmly staked out an even more hawkish posture, it's incredibly unlikely McConnell is either.  After the midterms, yeah, based on conditions/public sentiment there may well be a shift in administrative policy and of course congressional deference.  This will be around the time Biden has to confirm whether he's running for reelection or not when most of the country almost certainly won't want him to.

Biden might not, but others may change their views. And I don't personally agree; I think Biden feeling like a massive bloodbath happening in congress because of inflation and gas prices is going to be a big deal to him and he will feel pressured to do something - and that something may mean encouraging Ukraine to stop fighting. 

 

52 minutes ago, Gorn said:

Out of three sanctioned major oil exporters (Russia, Venezuela and Iran), Russia is the one least likely to have its sanctions lessened or removed.

Besides, @KalVsWade, do you really think appearing weak on Russia is an election-winning move for Biden, especially after Afghanistan? Republicans would eat him alive.

Depends on what he gets in return - but looking weak on Russia and getting gas prices down and inflation down? Yes, I think that is absolutely an election-winning move, because most Americans give not a single fuck about Ukraine. Hell, I'm willing to bet that most Americans are not actually aware the war is still going on in Ukraine. Once Kyiv was saved, I suspect most of them stopped giving even the barest shit. 

Republicans will eat him alive on anything and everything, but it's a lot easier to eat him alive on the economy than it is on foreign wars. 

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12 minutes ago, KalVsWade said:

Biden might not, but others may change their views.

Not enough to matter.  It's very clear this is not going to be a political issue between Biden and McConnell until after the midterms.  Frankly it's not clear they'll need funding until then, but Ukraine funding should be part of the next funding deadline - as opposed to continuing to pass these standalone bills - which is at the end of the fiscal year (i.e. October 1).  Even if it is, Ukraine funding ain't what Biden and the Republicans are gonna be fighting over.  

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7 hours ago, Clueless Northman said:

France was provoked by Bismarck, who wanted war and knew what a fool Napoleon III was. So he crafted the kind of provocation that would push the blowhead to openly declare war, forcing other German states to side with Prussia and merge forces to "defend". For this reason, Franco-Prussian war is the very last war the West wants to see the Ukraine war be compared to.

Okay, my mistake for trying to be cheeky on the internet. I am well aware of Bismarck's role in it and with me pointing at the chances of Ukraine invading Russia, I was trying to say that the comparison only works if you believe that Russia attacking Ukraine was a deliberate US trap.

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

Not enough to matter.  It's very clear this is not going to be a political issue between Biden and McConnell until after the midterms.  Frankly it's not clear they'll need funding until then, but Ukraine funding should be part of the next funding deadline - as opposed to continuing to pass these standalone bills - which is at the end of the fiscal year (i.e. October 1).  Even if it is, Ukraine funding ain't what Biden and the Republicans are gonna be fighting over.  

It ain't just funding. Biden telling zelensky that we want Ukraine to negotiate and end the war requires no money but puts a ton of pressure on Ukraine. Especially if Biden can convince other nato allies to do the same. 

It really depends on how painful the inflation and gas prices are perceived to be and how horrible the midterms are perceived to be.

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9 minutes ago, KalVsWade said:

It ain't just funding. Biden telling zelensky that we want Ukraine to negotiate and end the war requires no money but puts a ton of pressure on Ukraine. Especially if Biden can convince other nato allies to do the same. 

It really depends on how painful the inflation and gas prices are perceived to be and how horrible the midterms are perceived to be.

Heh.  Sure, k.  Biden isn't gonna do that, and the idea that he would to try to "save the Dems" from the midterms in such a way is farcical both in that crossing his mind and anyone thinking it would actually work.

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

Russia's economic discomfort is being severely downplayed at the moment, and I'm not sure why. Even some Russia media is reporting major shortages of some foodstuffs, components for cars and aircraft. Even China has issued a warning that it will not allow uncertified flights from Russia to China using aircraft that haven't been maintained to standard, which is apparently now starting to happen because Russia can't import spare parts. At current rates, Russia might start having to ground its civil aviation fleet in a matter of weeks because of that, which in a country as vast as Russia will really be disastrous.

Kaliningrad Oblast is squeaking, administration divides public grounds for people to grow potatos. There was a survey conducted by the Oblast administration, a question was asked - what to do to improve situation. Most frequent answer was to open borders with Poland and Lithuania, so they can go shopping again. The Governor even complained on TV about the war. Putin gently told him off, explaining the situation has nothing to do with the special operation. Kaliningrad is specific, but prices go high everywhere, there are shortages of wares. Vegetable gardens emerge among blocks. Shop lifting increases (from February to beginning of May by 20%).

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

Even China has issued a warning that it will not allow uncertified flights from Russia to China using aircraft that haven't been maintained to standard, which is apparently now starting to happen because Russia can't import spare parts. At current rates, Russia might start having to ground its civil aviation fleet in a matter of weeks because of that

That will eventually happen, but that's probably still 2-3 months away.

True they can't import spares, but that's what those pirated Airbuses are good for. They can cannibalize them for spare parts to keep a reduced fleet airworthy (and thus flying). Presumably you would start with the planes, that were up for an bigger overhaul at Hamburg or Toulouse, as they can't get there right now anyway. But that's a more imminent issue with flights leaving Russian airspace. WIthin Russia, their aviation authorities could loosen the rules. Question is, whether the Russian aviation industry will go along with it. Pilots are very aware of what will be happening, so there's a chance, that they will baulk at the prospect of flying passengers in uncertified planes.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

That will eventually happen, but that's probably still 2-3 months away.

True they can't import spares, but that's what those pirated Airbuses are good for. They can cannibalize them for spare parts to keep a reduced fleet airworthy (and thus flying). Presumably you would start with the planes, that were up for an bigger overhaul at Hamburg or Toulouse, as they can't get there right now anyway. But that's a more imminent issue with flights leaving Russian airspace. WIthin Russia, their aviation authorities could loosen the rules. Question is, whether the Russian aviation industry will go along with it. Pilots are very aware of what will be happening, so there's a chance, that they will baulk at the prospect of flying passengers in uncertified planes.

Not sure that they can use parts from stolen planes for maintenance. Domestically, sure. But internationally,  I doubt it. IIRC, the origin of the parts must be documented as well as the maintenance work. What China has done is ban all aircraft with uncertain ownership (i.e. stolen from Western leasing companies) into its air space. 

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59 minutes ago, Loge said:

Not sure that they can use parts from stolen planes for maintenance. Domestically, sure. But internationally,  I doubt it. IIRC, the origin of the parts must be documented as well as the maintenance work. What China has done is ban all aircraft with uncertain ownership (i.e. stolen from Western leasing companies) into its air space. 

My understanding is: They can.

The parts are obviously fit for aviation. Parts are good for certain number of flight hours or take-offs and landings.

You can dismantle those pirated planes to replace the parts that have reached the end of their lfiespan in your very own plane. 

So let's say, part A in Aeroflot plane has reached the 10.000 flight hours (just to name a number) for which it is certified (in reality those parts would last longer, but better replace a bolt early, than lose an entire plane; and the insurers won't pay if you mess this up). Now you can take part A from one of those western planes, with likesay 7.000 flight hours and fit it into the Aeroflot plane. That buys you another 3.000 hours of flight time for that plane (let's restrict it to flight hours and not take the number of take-offs/landings into account to keep the example simple). As long as those procedures are done by certified mechanics, and the documentation is there, no problem. 

Obviously you can't keep on doing that forever. But that can buy yourself a few more months. As for the cannibalized planes. You can refit those with new parts, once the sanctions are lifted.

Software updates for the flight computers are a bigger problem, if I am not mistaken. 

Estimations I ahve seen said, around 6 months would be the max Russia could squeeze out of its aviation sector. Feruary/March + 6 months, means August-September, that's why I said, 2 maybe 3 months, before everything in that industry in Russia comes to a halt. Unless China changes its stance wrt delivering parts.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger
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