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Russian atrocity time

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, March 2nd, 2022 - 230 comments
Categories: International, military, Politics, Russia, Ukraine - Tags:

The Russian armed forces obviously didn’t expect much resistance. I get the distinct impression that they had believed their own ridiculous propaganda (always a characteristic of dumb-arse dictatorships) and expected the Ukrainians to fall weeping in gratitude at their liberation. That clearly didn’t happen.

So now they have been pulling more forces out of the reserves to push into surrounding the Ukrainian cities. Presumably they are also pulling in more forces up the border.

The level of resistance does make the Russian claims of a lack of support for their actions look just silly, even in Russian language dominated Kharkiv with its 1.4 million inhabitants.

So, having started this war and despite how silly Putin looks now, I’m expecting that he will escalate the atrocities. So far the bombardment tools hitting residential and civilian targets appear to have largely been due to poor accuracy and outright military incompetence. Pretty much what you’d expect from a largely conscript armed forces poorly trained.

Those large numbers of conscript troops are now his liability. Kill too many of them with military decisions, that resemble those really dumb decisions made by Stalin or Hitler during WW2, and the body bags get hard to conceal. Especially from worried parents and siblings.

It doesn’t look like this invasion has too much support inside the Russian Federation anyway. Probably less after the Russian rouble has plummeted through the floor as a result of financial sanctions, raised interest rates already to 3rd world rates, and will soon have immediate impacts on living costs. That is also going to make it hard to keep supplying an invasion army – because those go through resources and stockpiles at a truly ridiculous rate and require expensive resupplies.

The particularly interesting part of the sanctions has been to to chop about half of the Russian state foreign currency reserves out of their control by freezing them. Of course they can still sell their gold stockpiles – but that will start to depress the value of that asset as well.

Putin and the Russian Federation government have now worked themselves into a cleft stick. Invading a country that wasn’t ready to fall into the hands of Mother Russia, getting an unprecedented unity of response from most other major nations with the exception of China, and with a economy now under a lot more strain. Rather than withdrawing, I’d expect that they will just go for more stupidity.

I’d expect that the next stage will be urban bombardment using artillery, missiles, and air attacks of the cities to try to break resistance before committing the main body of the surrounding forces. So far it sounds like, in most cities, that only ground scouting and reconnaissance troops have been probing and getting thrown back.

Given the known inaccuracies and lack of precision of usage of the Russian weaponry that has been displayed in this conflict as well as in the past. I’d expect that deliberately or not, the Russians will wind up hitting civilian areas massively. That is before they start trying to send armour and troops in.

Urban warfare favours defence even with offence by trained professional troops. Conscript troops really aren’t very good at it. So I’d expect that the usual response to any resistance will be to waste whole areas of civilian buildings with artillery, tank fire, rockets, cluster bombs, fuel-air weapons and only as a last resort – troops.

The problem is that doing this invariably kills civilians in mass lots, often by accident, also often as deliberate state terror policy. It always produces a free-fire zone mentality amongst poorly trained troops – and the consequent atrocities as poorly trained troops murder or rape civilians trying to shelter.

It also produces rubble to assist snipers and anti-tank missiles, IADs, and invading troops running into a meat-grinder. The rate of attrition on military stockpiles is also also intense.

This isn’t exactly a mystery. It has happened in just about every urban conflict for the last two centuries.

The fault always lies with the invaders. In this case the Russians don’t have the moral high ground of responding to an invasion of their country as they had in WW2. This time they are clearly the aggressor and no amount of propaganda can conceal that. But I am sure we will have some of their local idiotic apologists try.

But I suspect that atrocities and state terrorism will be the deliberate choice that Putin and his Russian regime will take. So far it seems like that have had no interest in leaving a nation to make its own decisions about its future.

The rest of the world needs to start escalating sanctions up, supporting Ukraine with more weapons, and moving troops towards the borders of Ukraine, Belarus, and the pocket of Kaliningrad. Because when the atrocities start and start showing up, there will be immense internal pressure from citizens to make damn sure that Putin’s style of military adventurism doesn’t get rewarded – or come to their countries.

Better to deal with aggression now rather than suffer the effects of yet another damn general European war.

230 comments on “Russian atrocity time ”

  1. Ad 1

    With Ukraine likely to implode in a drawn-out war, what are the chances of the Russian state itself imploding under economic stress?

    • lprent 1.1

      That I have no idea on that.

      Offhand it is hard to think about a state that has had quite as sudden a set of economic sanctions placed in it.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Disabling Russia's main banks, lacerating the ruble, closing international airspace to its airlines, freezing its oligarchs’ fortunes, closing ports to its ships, banning its soccer teams, potential to stop all trade from Russia to US of oil … well sure it won't stop so much as one day of the war happening, but it may if it drags enough end Putin's career and turn Russian society into something resembling Germany in the 1920s.

        I'm not suggesting the collected actions should be stopped, but the last time the US did sanctions on this scale there was mass starvation in Iraq.

        I would at least like the upcoming Biden State of the Union to offer some sense of what the US end game is here. Something more than !Putin Bad!

        • tsmithfield 1.1.1.1

          I think the problem for Russia is this is lose-lose whatever happens.

          They may well end up taking the major cities through shear force and indiscriminate shelling and bombing.

          But their problem then is that there will be large numbers of well armed militia roaming Ukraine and attacking Russian forces. It will become like Afghanistan for them.

          With all the sanctions, they won't be able to keep their forces their longterm, and will only likely drive Ukraine further towards the west.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            Ukraine these days is a very urban environment. It isn't like it was in the 1940s. That makes it hard to set up supply line cutting because there aren't a mountainous vehicle unfriendly hiding places, or large rural populations to hid in.

            However the mud is coming in the spring, which makes off road travel difficult. That makes bridges, roads and IEDs viable targets because those don't require large forces to conceal. Small groups under the cover of night.

        • Sanctuary 1.1.1.2

          The Thirty years war killed 20-25% of Europe's population. Since the peace of Westphalia the Europeans have not fought a single war over religion.

          Perhaps we are capable of learning the lessons of the past and the reaction Putin has stirred is a visceral determination in Europe to never allow wars of aggression to gain a foothold and visit the terrible destruction of the first half of the 20th century on their continent ever again. The sanctions have perhaps to be seen in those deeper fears, the collective remembrance of bombed cities and devastated economies.

          Perhaps there is something deeply pyschological in Putin reportedly retreating to a nuclear bunker deep in the Urals and beyond Europe. A physical as well as mental retreat from the plain authoritarianism of Peter the Great to a darker, older Russian tradition of the outright despotism of Ivan the Terrible.

          • Ad 1.1.1.2.1

            The Russia-US diplomatic failure the sanctions represent also takes a number of otherwise useful items off the table:

            • Any future deal with Iran and nuclear weapons
            • Any future deal with North Korea in the foreseeable future
            • Putting back on the table the nuclear arms treaty that Trump tore up
            • Any leverage the US or EU might have had with China this year
            • Any future EU-Russian deal on drilling under the Arctic
            • The ability to carefully manage the EU off total dependence on coal and natural gas

            That's a reasonable amount of collateral damage for five days into a two-country war.

          • Obtrectator 1.1.1.2.2

            "Since the peace of Westphalia the Europeans have not fought a single war over religion."

            Ex-Yugoslavia, anyone? Muslim vs Orthodox (Bosnia); Catholic vs Orthodox (Slovenia) …. If those conflicts weren't totally about religion, they were as near as dammit.

          • mikesh 1.1.1.2.3

            The Thirty years war killed 20-25% of Europe's population. Since the peace of Westphalia the Europeans have not fought a single war over religion.

            Perhaps the fact that communism was "atheistic" was one of the factors which led to century of anti Russian propaganda.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Look on the bright side: the greater the damage done to humanity, the more like a sham the UN will look. People become more likely to think Russia is able to do this because it is on the Security Council and has a veto.

    Then it becomes less likely that younger generations will tolerate the sham. Older generations do so because they are mentally unable to connect the dots. Complaisant subservience has always been the political stance of boomer mainstreamers – no matter whether they vote left or right. Younger folk aren't so congenitally conformist.

    • crashcart 2.1

      Agree. The UN will come out of this as big a loser as Russia. It was already a farce when it could take no action against the US for it's invasion of Iraq.

    • McFlock 2.2

      Every few years I completely reverse my opinion on the Security Council veto.

      The other thing about the veto is that it creates more opportunity for diplomatic signals, e.g. China abstaining instead of joining Russia in vetoing UN discussion on the Ukraine.

      So, maybe weak with a veto is better than none? But as I say, my opinion on that regularly reverses.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        I think you've identified a design flaw in the UN command structure – perhaps the primary flaw. How could it be re-designed to eliminate the flaw? No obvious way.

        The ole carrot & stick formula is the best framing to use though. For a Security Council member, there needs to be a disincentive to state actions that break the membership contract. No such contract? No surprise there. Social contract theory wasn't influential enough in WWII.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          It's not a "command structure". Common mistake that the "one world government" crowd make, as well.

          The UN is a diplomatic organisation, motivationally and ethically similar to a den of thieves or a networking event for self-styled "entrepreneurs". Each is seeking to further their own cause and gain advantage without losing anything themselves.

          It doesn't "command" a thing, the best that happens is the will of the room gets someone to back down. the bigger players have an advantage, or they leave and start their own club somewhere else. What keeps them around are the other members' ability to make a deal that makes it more profitable for the heavy hitter to stay.

          • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1.1

            You're right of course. I used that framing due to common perception of hierarchy – whereas the UN was designed to transcend hierarchy. The mutual benefits generated to states participating was based on the presumption that they out-weigh the costs of not.

            Hindsight 77 years on suggests collaboration via negotiations does generate sufficient benefits to make membership still seem a good idea, but that's just the law of averages at work. There's nothing to stop states gaming the system.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Everyone games the system.

              I tend to think of it more as ways to send messages. Pre-internationalism, really countries only had direct communications and alliances of puppets to go on.

              In the UN, they can play the same game with negotiations rather than gunboats. Aid and diplomatic support (like recognition or assembly votes) are the poker chips. Which means the smaller players can gain chips by voting one way or another, sending a small engineering unit in support of a big action or as disaster relief, and so on. Things like referring to Taiwan as a country or condemnation of Israel's actions become tools to assess alignment of nations by degrees, rather than "with us or against us" and bomb the ones against.

              Then the next level up is the non-combat military signalling – training exercises and mobilisations are a worry, because live rounds are as easy to load as blanks when the troops are already in the field. Moving strategic alert levels up and down are also signals, as are missile tests and "freedom of movement" passages through disputed coastlines and airspace.

              But the main thing about the UN is that it provides another communication tool, without moving straight to rattling the military equipment.

  3. Yoza 3

    This is just another insane white take on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If this was the US invading a Middle Eastern country there would already be massive carnage with a growing mountain of civilian casualties. The Russians own the skies over Ukraine and are fielding an overwhelming military force. They are surrounding all the major cities and encircling the Ukrainian military if the Ukrainians want to avoid major civilian casualties they need to surrender and hand over all their Nazis, that is their only sane option.

    All these armchair pundits egging the Ukrainians on from the safety of their unoccupied countries, thousands of miles from anything remotely resembling a lethal conflict, are fomenting a disaster. The West is not going to lift a finger to intervene, they are sacrificing the Ukrainian people to propagate their weird free liberal democracy fantasies.

    Sure, Putin's an autocratic dictator. But a country that has military fielding battalions of dedicated Nazis is a problem for everyone. NZ/Aotearoa should definitely not be supporting these Nazi enablers.

    [lprent: Bullshit. Banned permanently for astroturfing ridiculous and bloody stupid propaganda. So far I haven’t seen any evidence of dedicated Nazis fighting apart from assertions from Russian propoganda.

    It is seems about as realistic as Nazis on the moon. Looking back over the comments you made in the past (and the warning you got) it seems pointless to have you in a robust debate. ]

    • Craig H 3.1

      Edit: Never mind, deleted as the poster was banned for (some rather obvious) astroturfing.

    • higherstandard 3.2

      "This time they are clearly the aggressor and no amount of propaganda can conceal that. But I am sure we will have some of their local idiotic apologists try."

      One of the easiest predictions to get right you'll ever make Lynn.

    • joe90 3.3

      that is their only sane option

      Yup, because they made Poots do it.

      *spits*

      kharkiv bombing (what it says)

    • Pierre 3.4

      They literally have SS symbols on their uniforms. What more evidence do you need?

      Lately the Ukrainian National Guard were openly bragging about coating bullets in pig fat when fighting Muslim Chechens, who they described as "orcs".

      [lprent: credible source link required. See my comment below. ]

      • SPC 3.4.1

        FACT CHECK

        The Ukraine National Guard has never been involved in fighting against Muslim Chechens in Russia.

        And compared to Putins local Chechen aide de camp sending his forces to assist the invasion of Ukraine, you find what offensive ….

      • lprent 3.4.2

        I' sure you can find a credible source for that assertion of fact – which I note that you didn't give us. Russian and their close allies sources aren't notable for being reliable at present.

        The Russians had a Z on their tanks – by your standard of logic that probably means that they are the hordes of the Zombie apocalypse. I am really uninterested in dickheads and their rich fantasy life at present.

        But I will be generous – I'll give you a couple of hours to find it and put up. In the meantime you can only send to the moderation queue.

        • Pierre 3.4.2.1

          Here is the tweet from the verified account of the Ukrainian National Guard.

          Azov fighters of the National Guard greased the bullets with lard against the Kadyrov orcs👊

          The logo of the Azov Batallion contains a Wolfsangel, see the shoulder patch worn by "Alex" in this story. The Wolfsangel is a symbol used by various SS divisions during the Second World War. It is illegal in Germany due to its connection with Nazi-fascism. If at this point you think maybe they're just really into nordic runes, behind the symbol is a black sun, which was also used by the SS and the connection is explained in this ABC article.

          See also this BBC documentary, this article from a US military publication outlines Azov's foreign connections. Up until last month the British government was checking airports to prevent British neo-nazis from going over to fight for the Ukrainian cause. Also, this commentary on Reuters.

          [lprent: Asov – one battalion. 2,500 troops in an armed forces of approx 245,000 active and 220,000 reservists. A political movement that doesn’t appear to be doing that well. What reads like a civilian neighbourhood watch of about 2000 people. All in a country with 44 million.

          Their existence inside the armed forces appears to be result of a constitutional quirk that allows civilian forces to assist the government forces – a militia concept.

          Their swastika like symbol doesn’t appear to derive from Nazi symbolism.

          Slavic paganism
          Most soldiers of Azov are followers of a Ukrainian nationalist type of Rodnovery (Slavic Native Faith), wherefrom they derive some of their symbolism (such as a variation of the swastika symbol kolovrat). They have also established Rodnover shrines for their religious rites, including one in Mariupol dedicated to Perun.[102]

          Are you a simpleton who is fond of making mountains out of molehills?

          Basically, you didn’t provide links in the first place. The links that you have provided now are mostly interesting because they clearly show that Asoz Battalion doesn’t have much of a place in the Ukrainian government or forces.

          Your links did not uphold virtually any of the assertions of fact you made in the original comment (I just read it again from the history). Where is the backing for your assertion that
          “Key positions in the Ukrainian military and Ministry of Interior are held by nazis.”
          “The Euromaidan coup in 2014 was most actively out by neo-nazi groups such as Right Sector and Svoboda.” was inadequately linked. Linking to largely speculation simply isn’t evidence of fact. It is mere speculation repeated.

          Don’t waste my time like this again.

          Express opinions as opinions. If they are speculations – then express them as such, and link to something supporting it. Because otherwise many here will assume that you’re just lying about facts.

          Do not make assertions of facts unless you have solid backing and links for them.

          This is your warning – and read our damn policy about wasting moderator time ]

          • Andrew Miller 3.4.2.1.1

            I’m genuinely curious as to how Zelezney a Jew with family killed the Holocaust fits into this agenda…sorry narrative.

            • Pierre 3.4.2.1.1.1

              The only agenda here is a commitment to anti-fascism, which you apparently lack.

              • lprent

                I detest Facism and almost all extremism.

                However I can see a classic fascist national socialist dictatorial state in Russia. One that is aggressive to its neighbours, eccessively militaristic, a strong repressive security state, and on that massively constrains opposition parties and media.

                I don’t see one in Ukraine. There is a pluralistic state with corruption, oligarchs, and a thriving media and opposition parties.

                After interacting with you for a few comments. I’d say that the only thing you are committed to is wilful ignorance and an adherence to blindly parroting propaganda rather than using your brain and making your own determinations based on evidence.

                • Frederick

                  Anti-fascism is different from merely opposing fascism.
                  It is itself a specific intellectual position, that has largely replaced the earlier Marxism.
                  You can also have a state that is aggressive to its neighbours, militaristic, repressive to its citizens, that constrains opposition parties and media without it being fascist.
                  You’ve basically just described the entirety of Russian history post-Mongols.
                  Obviously the Russian Tsardom was not fascist.
                  Does Russia possess the specific qualities that define a fascist state?
                  Corporatism, for example, where corporations (sort of guilds) form to incorporate all within the national economy?
                  That’s just one example.

                  • lprent

                    Corporatism, for example, where corporations (sort of guilds) form to incorporate all within the national economy?

                    For Russia – yes that is the current state. Specially if you add in the words state-favoured people running corporations working under the vertical control of a dictatorial leader.

                    That is/was the exact control model favoured by the parties of Putin, Mussolini, and Hitler.

          • lprent 3.4.2.1.2

            see my mod notes.

      • SPC 3.4.3

        Yoza said "battalions of dedicated Nazi's".

        Azov is a far-right all-volunteer infantry military unit whose members – estimated at 900 – are ultra-nationalists and accused of harbouring neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology.

        In 2015, Andriy Diachenko, the spokesperson for the regiment at the time said that 10 to 20 percent of Azov’s recruits were Nazis.

        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/1/who-are-the-azov-regiment

        the uniform carries the Wolfsangel symbol, which resembles a black swastika on a yellow background. The group said it is merely an amalgam of the letters “N” and “I” which represent “national idea”.

        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/1/who-are-the-azov-regiment

        The Wolfsangel is a German heraldic charge inspired by historic wolf traps.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfsangel

      • DukeEll 3.4.4

        So if chechens invade alongside russia, you think they should be greeted, insha allah, and provided tea?

      • Psycho Milt 3.4.6

        The "useful idiots" always ignore the fact that Russia has plenty of right-wing extremists itself:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Far-right_politics_in_Russia

      • mikesh 3.4.7

        What would be the effect of coating bullets in pig fat do ?

    • Adrian Thornton 3.5

      “So far I haven’t seen any evidence of dedicated Nazis fighting apart from assertions from Russian propoganda. It is seems about as realistic as Nazis on the moon… I thought you were a serious student of military matters both historical and contemporary…it seems not…

      The Azov Battalion “now an official regiment within the NGU – and therefore part of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs” have taken the unit insignia of the notorious 2nd Waffen SS Div. Das Reich as their own and proudly display it as their own…I don’t know how much more explicitly fucking Right Wing you can get….except wait, they can… in 2010 the battalion’s founder, Andriy Biletsky, said that Ukraine should “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen.

      Right Sector

      “Right Sector (Ukrainian: Пра́вий се́ктор, Pravyi sektor) is a right-wing to far-right Ukrainian nationalist political party and paramilitary movement”
      “Founding groups included Trident (Tryzub), led by Dmytro Yarosh”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Sector

      “On 5 April 2015, Yarosh was appointed an advisor to the Ukrainian Armed Forces”

      The Azov Battalion (apparently now Regiment) and other Right Wing militia are already fighting in the 2022 war in Ukraine….

      Azov Battalion using drones to locate and pound the Russians with artillery fire (village of Staryi Krym)

      https://www.reddit.com/r/CombatFootage/comments/t4gu2c/azov_battalion_using_drones_to_locate_and_pound/

      “Ukraine's 'Azov' fighters seen greasing bullets in pig fat for Chechen Muslim invaders”

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/ukraines-azov-fighters-seen-greasing-bullets-in-pig-fat-for-chechen-muslim-invaders

      “Facebook Allows Praise of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Battalion If It Fights Russian Invasion”

      https://theintercept.com/2022/02/24/ukraine-facebook-azov-battalion-russia/

      “Far-right militias in Europe plan to confront Russian forces, a research group says. “

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/world/europe/militias-russia-ukraine.html

      “Neo-Nazis active in Ukraine as White House adds 3,000 troops”

      https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/neo-nazis-active-in-ukraine-as-white-house-adds-3000-troops/

      Personally I have no time for the Right Wing…..not even a little time.

      [lprent In an active army of 245,000 and reservists of 220,000. 2,500 in Asov does seem a bit smallish to have much of effect. It also seems to have minor political support in a polulation of 44 million.

      Basically this looks like someone making a mountain out of a smallish molehill.

      BTW: don’t use bold excessively. And don’t waste my time with your inflated fantasies about the importance of a small militia. I can’t see how this has much effect in the Ukrainian government ]

      • Andrew Miller 3.5.1

        Ok, even if we humoured you and bought this narrative about Ukrainian effectively being controlled by Neo Nazis, your response to Russian war crimes against civilians is what….

        • Adrian Thornton 3.5.1.1

          Did I say or even imply "Ukrainian effectively being controlled by Neo Nazis"?..no, I just supplied links to various articles from mostly ‘neutral’ sources on the subject and I lightly described one of the Right Wing units…

          Though if I were asked what I thought, I would answer that I believed that at the very least both the Ukrainian military and existing political power structure come under very serious and real pressure from the extreme Right….I mean seriously, how could any ‘democratic’ country allow military units wearing Waffen SS and other Nazi military political symbols to exist and openly train civilians and children in an official capacity for over seven years if they either had no choice because of some sort of external or internal public/political pressure or they held some sort of Right Wing sympathies themselves? I don’t know but it would be interesting to find out.

          “Elderly Ukrainian woman pictured around the world learning how to fight off Putin is being trained by 'far right paramilitaries': Azov Battalion's founders believe minorities are 'sub-human' and proudly wear SS insignia”

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10515451/Babushka-battalion-training-Ukraine-organised-neo-NAZIS.html

          The Ukraine seems to have some sort of serious Right Wing problem…

          I of course condemn all war crimes, that should just go without saying for most sentient human beings I would have thought.

          • McFlock 3.5.1.1.1

            How do you feel about crimes against peace?

            Ukraine has nazis. This is bad. Russia invaded Ukraine. This is also bad. If Russia invaded Ukraine to protect itself from the Ukrainian nazis, that might be less bad – but it seems they didn't. USA has nazis and invades other countries. This is also very bad.

            Hundreds of thousands of civilians are fleeing the russian invasion – very, very bad.

          • Psycho Milt 3.5.1.1.2

            You condemn all war crimes, while writing apologia for the Russian ones.

            Oh, and Russia has plenty of far-right extremist groups of its own. You're peddling propaganda by war criminals here.

          • mikesh 3.5.1.1.3

            If an action is deemed to be a crime, the 'war' variety or otherwise, then it would be considered immoral a priori.

          • Jenny how to get there 3.5.1.1.4

            @ Adrian

            Your long time apologia for bloody fascist mass murderers gets more blatant and ridiculous each passing year, each passing conflict.

            ….Vladimir Putin’s regime has banned Russian media from referring to his invasion of Ukraine as a “war.” Instead, it is to be framed as “an operation to liberate Ukraine from neo-Nazis.”

            The state-run RIA news agency has published lurid propaganda arguing that Russia “for the second time in history will take on the burden of responsibility for the liberation of Ukraine from Nazism.”….

            …..It is worth dissecting this propaganda, because propaganda plays an important role in sustaining Putin’s dictatorship, especially in times of crisis. And, without Putin’s dictatorship, there certainly would be no war in Ukraine. The more Russia’s military campaign falls short of what he had hoped, the more he will rely on propaganda.

            [and the more he will rely on his useful idiots in the West]

            Who's the Nazi?

            Mar 1, 2022 SŁAWOMIR SIERAKOWSKI

        • adam 3.5.1.2

          Again with the strawman arguments Andrew Miller. How very one note of you.

      • SPC 3.5.2

        The Azov regiment is associated with the National Guard, not the Ukraine armed forces.

        Al Jazeera appear to be wrong about the size – it's c2500.

        It may now have two commando battalions (second in development) plus some specialised companies, focused on reconnaissance, counter-reconnaissance, EOD disposal, interdiction and special weapons operations.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion#:~:text=Members%20of%20the%20regiment%20come,at%20more%20than%202.500%20members.

      • lprent 3.5.3

        see my mod note.

      • Jenny how to get there 3.5.4

        "Personally I have no time for the Right Wing…..not even a little time." Adrian Thornton

        Oh but you do Adrian. These pages show you have a lot of time for the far right.

        You especially like to spend a lot of time defending Bashar Assad as well as spending a lot of time in genocide denial of the crimes committed by this regime against the Syrian people.

        Your affinity for Assad is something you share with the European far right and neo-nazis around the world, who also have a lot of time for Assad.

        The same sorts of fascists and neo-nazis that are fighting right now for the Russians in the Donbass region of the Ukraine..

        It sort of undermines your narrative of the Ukrainians as nazis and Russians as anti-nazis somewhat…

        Don't you think?

        [deleted overlong copy and paste]

        Russian Neo-Nazi Sadist trains future Donbas militant fighters

        21.10.2015

        Halya Coynash

        • weka 3.5.4.1

          deleted your very long copypasta.

        • Jenny how to get there 3.5.4.2

          For some reason the embedded link exposing the far right fascists fighting alongside the Russian forces didn't work.

          Here it is again in plain text

          |https://khpg.org/en/1445287320

      • Adrian Thornton 3.5.5

        Iprent, Deflecting as usual, why not just admit when you are wrong (yes the Right Wing are fighting in the Ukraine, which is fact, unlike Nazi's on the Moon) why is that so hard for you?…anyway there is a person living in fantasy land and that is plainly you, though if it gives you any consolation, you are far from the only one…

        Why do you think ALL western media ran regular and in-depth reporting (you google it) over the past decade about the serious in-depth Right Wing problem in the Ukraine?….do you believe that all those MSM sources, BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post..etc ect where then living in a fantasy world, but now they have all come to their senses?….

        C14
        https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2019/08/09/yes-its-still-ok-to-call-ukraines-c14-neo-nazi/

        • Jenny how to get there 3.5.5.1

          Adrian Thornton

          4 March 2022 at 9:44 am

          Iprent, Deflecting as usual, why not just admit when you are wrong (yes the Right Wing are fighting in the Ukraine, which is fact, unlike Nazi's on the Moon) why is that so hard for you?…

          Neo-nazis and fascists are fighting on the Russian side and with Russian state sanctioned support, which is a fact,

          Don't want to address that fact?

          Why is that so hard for you?

          https://twitter.com/hashtag/utkin

        • lprent 3.5.5.2

          Iprent, Deflecting as usual, why not just admit when you are wrong

          Nope – I am asking a simple question that neither you nor anyone else of a similar mind seem to be considering answering. Now that is some serious avoidance.

          I see media talking about a pretty small activist group with obnoxious opinions, that has virtually no political presence, and a fetish for militarism.

          That latter appears to be as a consequence of some quirks in the constitution about militias to be expressed in a organised militia. It also appears to now controlled by the military in a military area of operations against an insurrection. You find groups like this all around the world. It was after all how the NZ Police originally formed – as a militia (and their organisational structure still reflects it).

          I simply can't see how a less than 5 thousand (generously including both Asov and their civilian neighbourhood watch) in a population of 44 million and total military (including reservists) of just under 500,000 and a number of police and security forces. 1% or less don't control bugger all. They have little voting support, and even if you look at the parlaiamnet and all of the extreme right parties, they have bigger all representative support.

          It is like saying that the protesters in Wellington control the government of NZ. And arguably if you look at the MPs of a very broadly similar mind in out parliament – we have a far larger alt-right political presence here. And alt-left as well.

          Basically I think that you're being disingenuous in apparently sayimg that constitutes as reason for Russia to build up a force of 150,000, invade another nation and start bombarding civilians as they are in Mariupol.

          I just suspect that you have something very wrong in your moral compass.

          As for your link, somehow I think that has about as much actual political or military relevance as calling or not calling protesters 'feral'.

    • Byd0nz 3.6

      I agree with Yoza. A Ban on his comment shows how deep your air heads are firmly under sand. This conflict is a result of the cowardly use of a proxy war by the Western maniacs using innocent Ukraine as bait. The pure bias on a supposedly intelligent site is pure hypocrisy.

      • lprent 3.6.1

        So that justifies bombarding cities full of civilians?

        Really… You are rather disgusting.

        • Byd0nz 3.6.1.1

          I never said I agree with bombing people, however I did say that the hypocritical Western Powers are complicit in this sordid affair.

          you are rather dumb

          • lprent 3.6.1.1.1

            As far as I can see you are saying that Russia has a right to bomb and shell civilians because their proxy forces in a regional insurrection against the government didn't win recognition.

            As I remember Yoza's point was that was because a few thousand people in a right-wing militia who he claimed to be 'neo-nazis' had managed to hypnotise the whole 44 million population into to prevent the insurrection from succeeding.

            I know that this sounds as ridiculous as moon Nazis. But ultimately that appears to be Yoza's position, and presumably yours as well.

            …however I did say that the hypocritical Western Powers are complicit in this sordid affair.

            How? Selling arms to to nation that had a neighbouring nation apparently instigate a rebellion, then supply separatists with weapons, invade and annex territory, and finally to invade.

            I suspect that your justification will have something to do with suggestion equivalent to saying that Ukraine should lie back and enjoy being gang-raped by Russia.

            I love idiotic fantasies – please express them with some credible links.

      • CrimzonGhost 3.6.2

        Russia has invaded another sovereign nation. Everything else is pretty irrelevant. Russia is the wrongdoer here just like USA was in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lots of old leftists still wedded to notions of the glories of the USSR, ex and not so ex Stalinists cheering on Putin coz he's sticking it to the west, while turning a blind eye to fact he's just another imperialist albeit on a smaller scale compared to USA and now China.

    • SPC 3.7

      This Pew survey sort of profiles the “white race nation” aspect of Ukraine in its regional context.

  4. higherstandard 4

    I'm hopeful that a reasonable proportion of the russian military and their commanders become increasingly uneasy fighting with people who look and sound exactly like their family.

  5. The problem for the Russian army is that they are inept and unprepared for this fight:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/02/no-youre-not-imagining-it-russias-army-is-inept.html

    As per the article, they are made up of a lot of young conscripted soldiers, some of whom don't know where they are or why they are there. Quite sad really. Especially for the family of these soldiers.

    And their logistics is a weak point for the Russian army:

    ''The Russian army has always been bad at setting up and sustaining supply lines. Gen. Omar Bradley once said about different types of military officers, “Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.”* In that sense, Russians are amateurs. This is well known. It is why Ukrainian soldiers explicitly attacked the Russian supply lines. It’s why so many tanks and other vehicles have been spotted stuck on the side of a road.''

    The Russians undoubtably have a lot of powerful assets. But they have to actually get them there first. The 40km convoy approaching Kiev appears to be stalled, due to fuel and food shortages:

    "https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/03/01/ukraine-convoy-stalled-heavy-fighting/''

    I heard a report on the radio this morning that, due to the cold, these vehicles need to keep running, even if they aren't going anywhere. The opinion given was that the convoy could largely run out of fuel within 24 hours, meaning the Russians have to abandon them. Plus, they are sitting ducks for ambushes from the Ukraine forces.

    I think this is why they are resorting to more indiscriminate tactics such as bombing and shelling which is not good for the civilian populations.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    It used to be said the United States was a superpower that happened to have nuclear weapons, whereas the USSR was a superpower because it had nuclear weapons.

    This war has underlined how weak Russia is even as a regional hegemon without it's legacy nuclear arsenal. This supposed "great power" is struggling to subdue one of the, if not the, poorest countries in Europe.

    A huge proportion of it's army is made up of poorly trained conscripts impressed into a foreign war and the army appears to still be hopelessly corrupt with ghost soldiers, faked tables of equipment because the gear has been sold off, inadequate and incompetent logistics (again, due to rampant corruption) and even limited ammunition stocks. They will most likely prevail in this conventional phase through brutal violence via the indiscriminate application of artillery, but they'll never win against a prolonged insurrection.

    • Craig H 6.1

      USSR was also much bigger than Russia – USSR had 286,730,819 in the last census compared to Russia's 148,394,000 in 1991 or 145,424,556 in 2021 (same link). Underlines your point though – Russia was the dominant part of the USSR, but nowhere enough to be a superpower on its own.

    • Andrew Miller 6.2

      “but they'll never win against a prolonged insurrection”

      Indeed, then what is a Putin’s end game? An attempt to Groznify Ukraine whilst the West cripples the Russian economy?

      How long would the Russian military/people have the stomach for that against 40m fellow Slavs.

      • lprent 6.2.1

        I suspect that he wanted to do three things.

        • Force a change in government to one that would concede concessions to Russia, and in particular to publicly concede territory. ie – draw the fangs on sanctions.
        • Annex the Ukrainian coast line on the Black Sea – that would also obviate Ukrainian land access to the Crimea.
        • Grab some Russian speaking industrial territory in the East. I'd expect that he will drop that – no point picking it up if it comes with too great a rebuild cost.

        That is exactly what the three main thrusts show.

        I don't expect that he expected either the level of resistance nor the level and unity over sanctions.

        • SPC 6.2.1.1

          I agree, sort of.

          The thing is an imposed government would not be recognised and thus the old sanctions *7 would remain.

          Putin needs the current government to agree to a deal, if he is to achieve anything.

          And the more destruction to Ukraine that occurs to force this, means that Putin would have to pay for the rebuild cost for that to occur.

          PS They needed the Kherson area to secure a water supply for Crimea.

          Given all of that, this could end with Russian annexation of Ukraine (the 30M/or 40M Ukrainians who remain being the acquired asset to a declining in population Russia).

          • lprent 6.2.1.1.1

            Sure – and I think that the original intent was not to impose a government – just induce a balance shift inside the existing one. Effectively the same as what happened in 2014 after the protests.

            As I said in the post – I think that the Russia hierarchy and probably their military completely misread the Ukrainian government support, preferring instead to believe their own propaganda.

            They appear, in my opinion, to have thought that hard push would cause a political and public folding.

            And the more destruction to Ukraine that occurs to force this, means that Putin would have to pay for the rebuild cost for that to occur.

            That is why I said that the 3rd reason is probably dumped by Russia now. I'd bet that Russia wasn't willing to pay a cent for damage for any area that they didn't control at the end. I would also bet that part of their game plan peace deal was that Ukraine should pay for the 7 years of damage in the DPR/LPR and surrounding areas.

            Devastating infrastructure in other areas of Ukraine that weren't going under in direct control would help keep Ukraine down fro decades. ie the East Germany solution.

            Given all of that, this could end with Russian annexation of Ukraine (the 30M/or 40M Ukrainians who remain being the acquired asset to a declining in population Russia).

            I think that actually taking over Ukraine was and would still not be their preferred option. Their reported troop levels don’t indicate that – they are way too low for an occupation.

            Just having a depressed quiescent Ukraine on the borders with trade benefits for Russia would work. They could get the migrant labour and keep sucking of the best and brightest with just a disparity in wages.

            PS They needed the Kherson area to secure a water supply for Crimea.

            Good point – didn't think about that. Obvious now I think about it. It did come up a long time ago. But I'd have expected that they'd have piped it it in on the Crimean Bridge – but there isn't a mention of it.

  7. vto 7

    yeah, you are so much a product of your time lprent

    russia bad

    america good

    and of course, no aggression in the americans and poms putting their bombs in ukraine right on russia's doorsteps, nup, hahahaha pathetic

    the propaganda in this scene is intense – but only from "our" side of course, where russian news and the views of the russian government have been banned by meta, by the uk and german (I think) governments, and by others..

    your post is directly attributable to the above factors and lacks any balance whatsoever… no problem though, its your house and you can do what you want (as you are)

    • lprent 7.1

      russia bad

      america good

      Really?

      Have you ever read some of my comments about the last US invasion into Iraq? Obviously it was too early for this site. But it has come up over the years. This post is nothing compared to my descriptions of just how completely fucked in the head the US, George W Bush and the US military were in being complicit in that military travesty and its aftermath.

      the propaganda in this scene is intense

      Sure – but basically I don't read or weight propaganda that much. It is usually so damn obvious what is going on as soon as you start looking at why something was written. I don't trust much from the Ukrainian sources for that same reason that I don't trust Russian sources.

      Almost all of this post was written based on a number of things.

      Military history and theory, something that I have been reading and thinking about since I was a teen haunting the Auckland War memorial library. Verifiable facts like sanctions imposed and the consequences (currency movements, interest rates). Some army time. A longer time creating training systems for making soldiers more effective and less dangerous to civilians.

      And of course public domain satellite photos and the open-source interpretations of them.

      Essentially you know fuck all about my background despite being a dickhead making up fiction about it for more than decade.

      • vto 7.1.1

        not a bad reply lprent, until your last sentence which doesn't make any sense and shows it is you who is the dickhead

        name calling

        sheesh

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          I guess your reply is one way of confirming your dickhead status – and to avoid turning your brain on.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.1

            let me reply in kind… you're a dickhead

            we would have clashed big time in primary school

  8. Jenny how to get there 8

    …. I’d expect that the usual response to any resistance will be to waste whole areas of civilian buildings with artillery, tank fire, rockets, cluster bombs, fuel-air weapons and only as a last resort – troops.

    That was/is the strategy in Syria

    And indeed Chechnya

    • The problem for Russia this time is that this is all playing out in front of the world media. I don't think Chechnya received as much attention or raised as much Western ire as this time.

      Hopefully, that will cause more restraint this time. But, who knows.

      But, due to the influx of arms from the West, even if the Russians succeed in the first phase, they won't be able to hold Ukraine. It will end up as a huge drain on their resources and cost a lot of Russian lives.

      Hopefully this whole sad scenario will result in the end of Putin, and encourage the Russian people to become a more democratic society.

      • Jenny how to get there 8.1.1

        yes

      • lprent 8.1.2

        Chechnya was really hard to access and dangerous for media – it was also before the internet got going for sending out information and footage.

        Media who went into the morass of Syria must have been somewhat insane in my opinion. There was a lot of information and footage that came out. However the multi-factional fight between the government, IS, Kurds, various opposition groups, and a hodgepodge of regional militias reflecting antique unresolved conflicts was just chaos.

        This however is being streamed, has a plot simple enough for even the average plonker planted in front of a TV, and has a really clear danger to every one who values living in a normally peaceful small nation. It also is really hard to control or cut the channels of information out of it.

        Different beast.

        • tsmithfield 8.1.2.1

          True that. Also, I think the major benefit for Ukraine from all the sanctions is that it is going to make it very hard for Russia to wage a war of attrition as would be the case if they want to use siege tactics. That is because I think they will run out of money fairly quickly now due to all the sanctions, and simply won’t have the resources to keep the war effort going.

          They really need a quick victory. But I don't think that will happen.

          • lprent 8.1.2.1.1

            They still have a lot financial and military reserves.

            I suspect that in some ways spring is going to be a more of an issue. From all accounts Spring is the worst time to try to maintain a war that particular Continental environment – especially if there are lot of tracked vehicles.

            I am unsure why the Russian armed forces held off as long as they did, because they have a very limited window of time before the ground becomes mush.

            • alwyn 8.1.2.1.1.1

              "I am unsure why the Russian armed forces held off as long as they did".

              I offered a possible reason for this a couple of weeks ago. The Chinese would have been most unhappy if this had flared up while the Winter Olympics were going on. It would, at least in my view, have led to them being abandoned and the Chinese Government had far to much invested in them being a success to allow that.

              There was an article in The Australian on 28th Feb by one of their columnists, Robert Gottliebsen. The gist of the article, as relayed to me, is apparently.

              "A centrepiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road infrastructure project is a 9,000 kilometre fast-train project that will link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. However, the fast-train project has been put at risk by Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The best route for the project would see it pass through Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine to Brussels or other European ports, but Putin's invasion means Europe will now certainly not allow any rail line that goes through Russia or a Ukraine that is not fully independent. The Belt and Road project is now part of the Chinese constitution, and Li could lose great face at the upcoming Twentieth National Congress if its most important project is delayed. China may need to put pressure on Putin to stand aside in order for the fast-train project to become viable again."

              The paper is not free to read so I can't provide a free link.

              Given Russia probably cannot survive the economic pressure being applied unless they have Chinese backing they may find that the choice is Putin or China and I don't think the Russian Oligarchy will pick Vladimir if they are faced with losing all their wealth as a result. I doubt that Putin has the dominance in Russia that Xi has in China.

              The suggested connection between Belt and Road and the Ukraine situation wasn't one that had occurred to me.

              • Incognito

                The text in quotation marks is not from an article by Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian of 28 Feb 2022!? Who wrote it and where did you get it from?

                • alwyn

                  Sorry. The quote is from a daily email newsletter I get from Roy Morgan. A friend of mine who gets the Australian told me that it is a fair summary of the column in the paper.
                  If you have seen the original article, as appears to be the case from your comment, do you agree with him?

                  • Incognito

                    Ta

                    I do have the original article in The Australian, but I don’t want to enter the debate on this. Consider me a linesperson watching the debate from the side lines and acting when required.

                    • alwyn

                      When I said "agree with him" I wasn't meaning Gottliebsen. I was meaning my friend's view that it was a "fair summary"

                      Are you willing to comment on that without having to give any view at all of Gottliebsen's interpretation of what will happen?

                    • Incognito []

                      I believe I was clear enough the first time and the answer still is “No”.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    First time you made that point I slid on by. Thought it had merit but other factors out-weighed it. However if it is resonating with influential media folk then it must have some currency & we ought to integrate it into our world-view.

                    Only Putin knows how dependent he is on Xi but the mutuality in their triangulation on the west in general & USA in particular is obvious.

                    Deference to Xi re timing of the invasion, Olympics, makes sense. If the invasion threatens to derail B&R Xi will be ropeable. He could be messaging Putin currently, if so. Pressurising him to make a deal with the west somehow. The talks could have resulted from such pressure.

            • tsmithfield 8.1.2.1.1.2

              I agree. But, accessing the financial reserves could be a problem for them with the financial sanctions.

  9. vto 9

    Russia and Russians have been so frikkin' vilified over the decades and centuries that we have no idea about them, their country, their culture, the positions they come from at times like this.

    No

    Fucking

    Idea

    • lprent 9.1

      As you know I mostly tend to look at behaviour. Motivations aren't as relevant and usually much less opaque as what people actually do.

      So perhaps you'd like to explain what the Russian government found so threatening in a relatively poor nation with a limited military and no history or recent aggression towards Russia?

      • vto 9.1.1

        America and Nato's bombs clearly. As they explained. I think the best way to look at your question is to seriously and genuinely listen to the Russian's position on this – it was all outlined. I guess in much the same way as the US and the UK outlined weapons of mass destruction to the UN prior to the invasion of Iraq.

        Although in this instance, in my minor opinion, I would rate the truth and reality of Russia's explanation about Ukraine and Nato higher than the US UK truth and reality of WMD.

        WMD had zero credibility and was complete lies.

        Nato's push east is actually a reality.

        Isn't it?

        • vto 9.1.1.1

          If I might add a little more… that threat outlined in the point above is further supported by the number of Nato countries lining up to provide ammunition to Ukraine right now. Doesn't that further support Russia's whole point here? That the west is pushing them and advancing onto their doorstep?

          I read that Poland (and other countries) had offered fighter jets. Thta would surely rile the Russians, yes? But not only that, Poland offered for those jets to be flown from Polish bases to attack the Russians !!! If that wouldn't bring a military response against said bases I don't know what would. That is an escalatory and aggressive move – by a Nato country no less.

          But not only that more… betcha Ukraine doesn't have enough pilots… so those Polish jet fighters launched from Polish bases would be flown by Polish pilots and be loaded up with US and UK ammo.

          Think about that for a moment. That is the east-west conflict trigger right there

          The Russians are staying well away from Nato..

          … but Nato are aggressively attacking Russia

          Really…. I think people need to open their eyes.

          We have been so pummelled by "Russia bad" propaganda for so very long that our eyes aren't even open.

          • SPC 9.1.1.1.1

            The UN legitimises the use of force to defend any nation under attack (this quite separate from UNSC authorisation).

            Collective defence is not escalation, it is the expectation – the global deterrent against warmongering states, such as Russia – in this instance.

            Which is why Putin used the nuclear readiness card (not because he feared NATO action of the sort you refer to, but the supply of weaponry – such as aircraft that can attack tanks, rather than the Stingers and anti-tank equipment).

            And I get the whataboutism (the NATO, Iraq and Libya hypocrisy).

            And NATO could so easily have agreed that Ukraine be a neutral state to keep NATO and Russia at arms length.

            But there was no threat to Russia. Putin not getting his way, beyond the borders of Russia, is not a cause for war.

            • vto 9.1.1.1.1.1

              In reply to you and to lprent below.. "But there was no threat to Russia"

              But there was, and that has been the whole point in this thread – Nato's advance east is that threat.

              • SPC

                There has been no move east since 2004.

                • vto

                  why on earth is 2004 relevant to this threat to russia?

                  and anyway, the point is not correct. The ‘centre of gravity’ has moved east and continues to do so

                  your irrelevant nitpicking can be fired back

                  • SPC

                    I should not have to point out that the NATO membership of nations in the Balkans is no threat to Russia.

                    • vto

                      Well, no you shouldn't point that out, as it is quite a nonsense imo. NATO fullstop is a threat to Russia. Isn't it? No? Is it?

                    • SPC

                      So you are saying that Putin cannot make Russia safe without eliminating NATO?

                    • vto

                      So NATO is a threat to Russia? Yes? Or no?

                    • lprent []

                      Short answer is NATO is not a threat to Russia, nor to the USSR. It was conceived of as being a defence against external attacks. Russia only becomes a threat if it attacks a NATO member. It has no weight if a NATO member attacks Russia.

                      It initially had provisions about members attacking each other. After Cyrus in 1960, it clarified some issues about members attacking each other when involved in non-member nations.

                      It also wound up with a peace keeping function in disintegrating or disintegrated nations. Eg the aftermath of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan – I believe in both cases at the bequest of the UN.

                      So the only way it is a direct threat to Russia if if Russia attacks a member nation first. It is also appears from its behaviour to be an impediment to Russia doing what it appears to want to do when nations apply to join NATO. You only have to look at Russian behaviour to see that.

                      Russia’s typical response to nations doing that on its borders has been to create puppet separatist states in another nation applying for membership territory, sometimes directly invading and annexing their territory. Just look at what happened in both Georgia and Ukraine after that announced their interest in joining NATO.

                      Russia acted like a paranoid bully. And you evidently started to act like you can’t face facts about the Russian governments behaviour, and excusing bully behaviour.

                      I’m still trying to figure out why?

                    • vto

                      gotta go lprent, but thanks for the exchange.

                      i guess last fast comment re NATO only a threat if attacked… the machinations deceit and sleights of hand in geopolitics make this easily achieved does it not? Encourage Russia to attack someone by threatening them… it even happens in the school playground

                      gotta go, next time

                      edit: “why?” Because we are not looking critically at our western governments behaviours imo.

                    • lprent []

                      Because we are not looking critically at our western governments behaviours imo.

                      I’m always more critical of them. However I go for criticism based on what they have been doing recently, rather than what they did 60 years. Granada and Panama were actual successful invasions by the US – and they were only 40 odd years ago. No-one mentions those.

                      They like you just go on about Cuba where there was no US invasion. Just a pile of counter-revolutionaries partially financed and trained by some idiots in the CIA.

                      It is hard to fault the US led operation that booted Iraq out of Kuwait after their invasion in 1991. There is pile to criticise in the US adventure invading Iraq in 2003. Whereas the actual multilateral but forlorn operation into the failed state of Afghanistan in 2001 was probably worthy – but stupidly confused about what they were trying to achieve.

                      etc… I could ho on about the recent French missions into parts of Africa.

                      However I’m not going to ignore the military stupidities of non-western governments either. And there are way more of those.

              • Andrew Miller

                “ Nato's advance east is that threat.”

                How?
                If Russia doesn’t have imperialist ambitions what’s the threat?

                Are you saying it’s credible NATO would fire missiles on Moscow?

                John Mearshiemer when he tells of this usually falls back on Napoleon and Hitler as reasons we should understand Russia’s concern. It’s laughable.

                The Baltic states have said explicitly they wanted to join due to their fear of Russia. Are you really trying to tell us they weren’t responding to a credible threat, just creating one for Russia?

          • lprent 9.1.1.1.2

            Doesn't that further support Russia's whole point here? That the west is pushing them and advancing onto their doorstep?

            After Russia setting up two puppet breakaway areas in 2014? And annexed Crimea after an invasion.

            You mean after Russia dropped more than 150k troops on 3 sides of the Ukrainian border, then launched an invasion?

            And you think that Ukraine has been over reacting in asking for military hardware – and other countries have seen a need to supply it.

            What planet are you living in?

            Ukraine had good cause over at least 8 years to fear an invasion. Your suggestion seems to be that Ukraine as a country should laid back and enjoyed being gang-raped from their neighbour. Then thanked them for the STD.

            Have you received counselling for your inability to observe the aggressive behaviour?

            • vto 9.1.1.1.2.1

              No but I often need counselling after bouncing around in your house here…

              A response to your point here involves repetition of previous points.

            • aj 9.1.1.1.2.2

              The war we are witnessing is not a “war scare” gone wrong but a spectacularly violent escalation of a long war of attrition. Ukraine has been involved in a shooting conflict with Russia since 2014 and in that conflict, whether the West recognized it or not, both Russia and the Ukrainians themselves saw Ukraine as a proxy of the West.

        • SPC 9.1.1.2

          The push east has not involved an inch of land since 1999-2004.

          However since then aspiring members Georgia and Ukraine have had territory annexed by Russia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Crimea and Donetsk and Luhansk).

          • vto 9.1.1.2.1

            Que?

            Nato has pushed east. It has its bombs further east today than the dates you reference. It also has its bombs and weapons in Ukraine with the promise of more to come (see my above second point, which should chill to the bone,,.).

            Would some maps help? Or there must be something missing in your point… because it is demonstrably false

            • SPC 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Name the inch of land eastward by NATO since 2004, if what I said is demonstrably false.

              The idea that the supply of weapons to a country is an expansion of the fiefdom of the supplier is the sort of ridiculous absurdity that apologists for Putin's war are reduced to.

              • vto

                Your second paragraph is worthless

                First paragraph – Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia. I am sure you have a ready response to this answer – please divulge…

                … and note that your 2004 date is irrelevant to the wider point at hand anyway. Nato has expanded east since its creation in 1945 (start of cold war – hint. )

                • SPC

                  NATO was formed in 1949, the Balkans are not east of Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

                  • vto

                    I wondered if that teency nitpick was going to be your point. Not relevant imo, as they are still east of the original and promised line, plus pile more Nato nations in that eastern area.

                    • SPC

                      Yet to note, since 2004 … .

                    • vto

                      since inception

                    • SPC

                      So you pose Putin's invasion of Ukraine as more a reaction to events between 1990 and 2004 (Warsaw Pact nations and Baltic states joining NATO) than as a response to Ukraine's independent course since 2008 (when its request to join NATO was refused)?

                    • vto

                      SPC I am not an expert in this, as you can probably tell. However I am a great student of humankind and our follies. What I see is Russia acting in frustration at the inattention paid to their security concerns and the expansion of NATO. The particular dates, memberships and the like seem to be somewhat irrelevant, but certainly all acts post-1989 are in play.

                      Russia clearly fears for its existence. It sees the US and the west taking long term actions to shrink Russia and eventually dominate it. I think this shows up in a view of recent history in this arena.

                      That is a legitimate fear, is it not?

                    • lprent []

                      If I was Russia, I’d be more concerned about the intentions of China. I suspect that the Belt and Road initiative looks more likely to diminish Russia than anything the US or NATO has been doing. The Chinese government seems to view the central Eurasian region as being a larder of resources.

                    • Andrew Miller []

                      If Russia has no interest in controlling its neighbours and preventing them determining their own future, where does this fear for their existence come from?

                    • SPC

                      Much of this is about Putin, the proud Russian nationalist – and his playing the strongman to the nationalist audience to sustain his political control. Which is why everything should improve once he is gone.

                      Russia has no reason to fear for its existence (one belt and road will have more impact lprent).

                      That said, 1990 assurances not to include WP nations and former Soviet Union republics within NATO were overtaken by the messy break up of Yugoslavia. Of itself more a blow to Russian pride (treated as less than equal party post Cold War). But the potential inclusion of Ukraine in NATO since 2008 would place those forces on Russia's border (reminding us of the carve up of Poland back in 1939 to keep the threat from the West at arms length).

                      And it does seem Putin was denied face saving assurances (NATO saying it valued Ukraine's role as a neutral state, sans a formal relationship with Russia), leaving him to back off with nothing to show for his mobilisation gambit. That does seem to suggest a level of entrapment.

                      However the western threat is not to Russia, but to Putin's leadership.

                      And behind that is the attempt to re-assert NATO unity (Germany under SD/LD/G ending Nordstrom and doubling defence spending, agreeing to banking action) against Russia (Putin has been perceived as trying to undermine that unity) on Biden's watch.

                      So it seems some of this is payback to Putin, how much the sanctions, or the war itself, causes him domestic political grief is an unknown.

                    • vto

                      SPC and lprent, thanks for your thoughts on this (tho not the insults, sheesh..). I have to go now, but have appreciated the contrary and other views. As mentioned I am no expert but put my own views out there hoping someone will take it up and show its weaknesses and how it might be strenghtened. This can be very difficult in war of course, given the censorship we are currently under, but best efforts and all that. It can also be very difficult to get this level of interaction in real life – hence this forum. Thanks again. Onwards to next time.

            • lprent 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Ah I see – you don't think that Nations should be able to buy weapons to defend themselves?

              What is your opinion of the NZDF ?

              They should not buy weapons just in case Australia or Indonesia or even Samoa feel like invading?

              /sarc

        • lprent 9.1.1.3

          If you have a look at the NATO move eastwards, it hasn't been NATO going off and collecting members.

          It has been nations clamouring to be come NATO members, and usually complaining about how long it takes to become one. The existing NATO members have been very reluctant to allow other areas and nations, with the exception of a reunited Germany to become members.

          Personally I think that the Russian fetish about NATO's membership has been more fuelled by their inability to develop an effective interoperable defensive alliance themselves.

          //—–

          Their job would have been much easier. The states that fell out of the Warsaw pact and the disintegration of the USSR at least had interoperability of equipment and doctrines. Each of the states joining NATO have to actively make an effort to build that up.

          The Collective Security Treaty Organization which is the Russian centric collective security alliance has had a significant history of wars between members and break off regions. The only equivalent I know of inside NATO was the proxy battles in Cyprus in 1960 between Greece and Turkey – with the UK intervening. Crypus not being a NATO member.

          For some reason those internal conflicts in the CSTO don't appear to have encouraged other ex-soviet states to join. It is also a far more inactive collective security treaty with no really large interoperability exercises for more than a decade – which makes it less useful as a collective military alliance and more of a pretty useless talking shop.

          //—-

          NATO tends to work and be attractive to join because it is a working military alliance offering collective security again attacks on every member, and between members.

          Russia doesn't seem to like that as a concept and doesn't seem to be able to reproduce it even with an example. Instead like the recent nasty war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, that appears to have been unilaterally pushed into a ceasefire and imposition of 2000 Russian peacekeepers – completely outside of the CTSO

          • vto 9.1.1.3.1

            Sure, understand all of that. However, it does confirm that there has been a push by Nato and the US eastwards into Russia's sphere, which is what they are afraid of and what they are pushing back against. I don't know that the reasons for the push eastward are that relevant – the fact of the bombs on the border overwhelms the reason for the bombs on the border.

            If my neighbour placed a gun on the fence, pointed at me, I wouldn't be very happy.

            cuba

            cuba cuba cuba

            what all of this is showing me is that the US has been aiming at this point for some decades. Creep up against their long-time foe, slowly steadily and when they push back seek to crumple their entire nation through economic warfare.

            It has been long-planned.

            I am watching with interest to see if Putin survives this, and if he does survive, how he does that

            Hopefully not by having to attack Polish bases (see above).

            ..

            It seems very very clear that this is a push by the west, long-planned, and not a push by Russia

            • lprent 9.1.1.3.1.1

              You could also argue just as easily the CSTO has been creeping westwards with Belarus and and Georgia. Belarus helped create the CTSO as a military alliance in 2002. The last members for NATO were in 2004.

              Are you condemning that as well – or are you just a single-minded fool who just makes shit up when it fits your preconceptions? And ignores all contrary facts?

              Reality is that nations join economic and military coalition and alliances when it suits their national interest, They withdraw from them (like the UK did with the EU) for exactly the same reasons.

              • vto

                And they take action when they are attacked or threatened.

                and give up the name-calling why dont you – bad look for a grown man

              • vto

                "You could also argue just as easily the CSTO has been creeping westwards with Belarus and and Georgia."

                I dont think that is an easy argument at all in this context, as they were previously part of the russian sphere and only recently not. It doesn't compare

            • SPC 9.1.1.3.1.2

              There is a difference between nuclear missiles in Cuba or Turkey and the anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons being supplied to counter Russian invasions and the sought after air defence systems (yet to be supplied)

              • In Vino

                I am old enough to remember the Cuba crisis, and I remember that first (for me) mention of 'The Munro Doctrine', whereby the USA had a firm policy of not allowing any foreign powers to interfere in the affairs of any country in the American area – including all South America and the Caribbean.

                I would not be surprised if this policy was used again to justify US policy in the New World.

                Yet a big and long-established power like Russia has (in our limited modern media scope) no right to any similar beliefs or policies? No other power has a right to an area of influence? Has the USA forsaken its Munro Policy?

                I agree with vto: Russia gets a very raw deal in our propaganda-driven news coverage.

                When it is an American-backed war, we get very little of the human misery coverage on TV. But when it is a Russian-backed war, we suddenly get swamped with endless heart-wrenching examples of nice Europeans sobbing in their accented English about the cruelties being inflicted.

                I don't remember much news like that coming out of Afghanistan, even after Stephenson and Hager exposed the slaughter of civilians, etc.

                It is hard to share your vigorous support of what is supposedly 'our side', lprent.

                I am now inclined to distrust the USA-led unpublished manoeuvres of the West as much as the evil machinations of Putin.

                • SPC

                  The Monroe Doctrine.

                  It held that any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign powers was a potentially hostile act against the U.S.

                  Monroe asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence,[4] and thus further efforts by European powers to control or influence sovereign states in the region would be viewed as a threat to U.S. security.[2][5] In turn, the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal affairs of European countries.

                  In 1899, The Phillipines, Puerto Rico and Guam were ceded to the USA by Spain after their latter's victory in the Spanish–American War (Cuba).

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine

                  One could argue the doctrine survived until 1945 and the formation of the UN (collective security) and then NATO in 1949. It's "regional security" application since then has been based on the Cold War and being pro capitalist against socialism/communism (Cuba, Nicaragua , Grenada and Venezuela).

          • alwyn 9.1.1.3.2

            For an organisation that you say is loathe to accept new comers they seem to have been awfully busy over the years since the collapse of the USSR. You say "The existing NATO members have been very reluctant to allow other areas and nations, with the exception of a reunited Germany to become members.".

            Well since a reunited Germany we have had the following.

            In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined NATO. Another expansion came with the accession of seven more countries Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. These nations were invited to begin membership talks during 2002 and joined NATO in 2004. Albania and Croatia joined in 2009. The most recent member states to be added to NATO were Montenegro in 2017 and North Macedonia in 2020.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_NATO

            If those are the actions of an organisation that is playing hard to get I expect to hear that you and I are being petitioned by the members of the Northern Club to honour them with our presence.

            • SPC 9.1.1.3.2.1

              NATO is basically the USA/Canada the UK/Norway – the real NATO, with the option to join open to any non communist nation in the European region (thus Turkey/Istanbul) 1949-1990.

              Since 1990 membership has been linked to EU status (a nascent project to create a European Defence Force to replace NATO, but requires Russia to be post Putin). The irony is that near all of Dugin's/Putins' goals can be realised by his retirement (the UK out of the EU already, a EU Defence Force as a neutral partner to both the real NATO and Russia).

            • lprent 9.1.1.3.2.2

              If you ever look closely at the ordering and timing of entry, it has largely be done in regional blocs.

              1999 was 3 central Europe neighbours. Then two neighbourhoods (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuiania) and (group of neighbouring Balkans). Then two more neighbours in the Balkans. Then two more Balkan neighbours.

              The characteristic of ‘recent’ NATO memberships has been that they tend to admit neighbours who are suspicious of each other, and insist that they do it as jointly and with local agreements as possible. This allows them to enhance regional stability.

              If you look at who doesn’t join it gets even clearer.

              Countries that diplomatically object to the other nations around them and hold grudges (Serbia and Russia come to mind) don’t get a chance to join. They seem to object to their neighbours having a defence at all, let alone an defensive alliance.

              Nations who declare themselves neutral and not interested in alliances don’t either. Moldova, Sweden, and Switzerland come to mind.

              NATO selects for nations who are willing to cooperate with others for mutual defence.

  10. Jenny how to get there 10

    "Personally I’d think that if Ukraine asks for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, then this should be an option. The track record of the Russian Federation air force at atrocity targeting civilians in Syria is abysmal." [Lynn Prentice].

    No appeasement with Russia over invasion.

    Written By: LPRENT – Date published:7:56 am, February 25th

    It should have been done when the Syrian Leftist opposition had asked for it. Then maybe we wouldn't be in the position we are today.

    …..And one thing I have to say, that whether it’s the United States, whether it’s Russia, whether it’s the Gulf states, whether it’s Britain or France, all have taken part in what I call the aerial gang rape of Syria. Everybody has bombed the opposition. And it’s only now twice that the United States government has bombed Syrian military positions, and this latest one with the chemical facilities.

    Now, I’m completely against Western intervention, because I’ve tasted firsthand what that can do and what it’s done. But if you look at the strikes, literally, I think it’s the first time in history that the Americans have bombed over 150 missiles, together with the United States and France, and killed nobody. Now that’s great, but perhaps they could extend this kind of deathless aerial bombing campaign to everybody else that they’ve been bombing, because, thus far, it’s only the side of the rebels that the Americans have hit.

    A No-Fly Zone Is Needed Around Idlib to Prevent “Unprecedented” Massacre
    Moazzam Begg – Democracy Now, APRIL 19, 2018

    .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15-08-2018/#comment-1513912

    Moazzam Begg who himself was a victim of the CIA program of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ and who went to Syria to investigate the Assad’s regime role in working with the CIA to carry out torture of CIA captives, is an Authoritative commentator on both the Assad regime and the superpowers’ motives and actions in Syria.

    As the world learnt long ago, you ignore genocide and appease fascists, at your peril. Because it only emboldens them.

    • Ad 10.1

      Ukraine's elected leader is requesting "Western" intervention in the strongest possible terms.

      So your comments on Syria are a diversion.

  11. roy cartland 11

    Anyone know where Winston is on this? He was dabbling with closer ties to Russia, even after numerous suspicion of Russian cyber crime and prep for this war.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/355660/trade-deal-with-russia-still-future-possibility-peters

    • alwyn 11.1

      "Anyone know where Winston is on this".

      Does anyone care? I can see him trying to return to Parliament next election but I really find it hard to see him getting in and getting enough seats to be the king-maker again.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Agreed as it being unlikely.

        However …. he has been written off many times before.

        • Jenny how to get there 11.1.1.1

          In his desperate scramble for votes, Winston Peter's cowardly capitulation to the anti-mandaters, anti-mask mandate, may have finished him off.

          Peters' lame rationalisation as to the reason for his capitulation to the protesters demand to not wear a mask, was even worse.

          …..Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has defended his decision to wear no mask among a throng of protesters outside Parliament at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak.

          Speaking at the time and in subsequent interviews, Peters said masks were "worthless" unless they were medical-grade. He also said journalists were not up with the latest medical science on the issue…..

          Fact or fiction: Winston Peters says masks 'worthless' after going maskless at protest

          23 Feb, 2022 05:00 PM

          The latest medical science on the issue?

          Only if you count, making stuff up on the spot to cover your arse the latest medical science.

      • Hongi Ika 11.1.2

        Winston may get a hand full of votes from his rag tag supporters in Wellington ?

  12. Jenny how to get there 12

    The Russian armed forces obviously didn’t expect much resistance. I get the distinct impression that they had believed their own ridiculous propaganda (always a characteristic of dumb-arse dictatorships) …..

    Lprent

    So many useful idiots in the West fell for it last time, Putin probably thought they would again.

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Useful idiot theory is always good. Mis-attributed to Lenin, it probably derives from this:

      In his 1947 book, Planned Chaos, Austrian-American economist Ludwig von Mises writes that the term useful innocents was used by Communists for liberals

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot

      Thus we get Google's definition:

      In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause's goals, and who is cynically used by the cause's leaders.

      In a binary world, liberals (soft leftists) get used by communists (hard leftists) as stooges, place-holders, etc. However the notion also come in handy in class analysis nowadays:

      College-Educated Professionals Are Capitalism’s Useful Idiots

      And I and my cohort of hippie-to-yuppie liberal Baby Boomers were complicit in that.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/i-was-useful-idiot-capitalism/615031/

      A writer for Unherd several years ago identified six types of useful idiot with current relevance: the seeker, the utopian, the power-worshipper, the relativist, the stability-fetishist and the nostalgist.

      most bouts of useful idiocy can be understood with reference to at least one of these roughly drawn ‘types’. Although, of course, many who are susceptible to one category are often also drawn to another.

      There are still those left-wing politicians and activists who, to paraphrase Orwell, will flock to anything emitting a whiff of revolution “like bluebottles to a dead cat”.

      https://unherd.com/2018/06/six-types-useful-idiot/

      And the pandemic brought them back to front & center:

      Flash forward to 2020. The useful idiots are at it again, but this time the Communist state they are seeking to protect is China.

      Why? Because another guy they hate, Trump, said China was responsible for the emergence of Covid-19.

      Regardless of — no, in spite of — what the science said or didn’t say, these people in government, science, the media, and Big Tech chose to defend and protect the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rather than countenance the possibility that Orange Man Bad might be right about the origin of the most deadly pathogen in recent memory.

      Yep, we saw it happening onsite here for a year or two…

      https://thecitizen.com/2021/05/27/the-useful-idiots-are-back/

      But I’m reserving judgment as to whether the theory applies to the invasion. I see merit on both sides of the binary divide & will seek refuge in nuances that surround it in the interim…

  13. Barfly 13

    To echo what Lprent was saying earlier

    https://balagan.info/rasputitsa-quagmire-on-the-eastern-front

    General Mud cannot be fought or negotiated with and will likely be an enormous problem for Putin's forces – foolish to take actions with General Mud due imminently.

  14. Professor Longhair 14

    The American armed forces obviously didn’t expect much resistance. I get the distinct impression that they had believed their own ridiculous propaganda (always a characteristic of dumb-arse faux-democracies) and expected the Iraqis to fall weeping in gratitude at their liberation. That clearly didn’t happen.

    https://www.iraqbodycount.org/

    • Psycho Milt 14.1

      Were you somehow under the impression you were likely to find a lot of supporters of the US invasion of Iraq on this site? Or what?

      • Professor Longhair 14.1.1

        I am aware that there is a considerable number of people on this site who are prepared to repeat and amplify the most flagrant propaganda and mendacity that streams out of the U.S. and its vassal state the United Kingdom.

        Or was that four years of "Russia Russia Russia" Russiagate fantasizing just a fever dream?

  15. Professor Longhair 15

    Follow the money: how Russia will bypass western economic warfare

    [deleted large cut-n-paste]

    https://thesaker.is/follow-the-money-how-russia-will-bypass-western-economic-warfare/

    [lprent: Don’t astro-turf the site with something written elsewhere. It potentially violates copyright. Regardless of what you think or know about permissions, we don’t have that permission, and we carry the legal risk.

    We’re interested in your thoughts and opinions. We’re not that interested in simple-minded parrots. Parrots aren’t worth engaging in robust debate. For a starter the presumption that they usually don’t understand what they’re parroting because they must be pretty thick if they choose to only repeat the words of others.

    If you are going to quote parts of someone else – then make that clearly evident. There are quote tools, text coloration, and font tools in the editor. They are there to allow you to separate the inanities of others from you inanities. If you are too lazy to use them, then you’re also too lazy to be on this site where we despise plagiarists – which is what we assume you are if you can’t quote successfully.

    Read the policy and the about again. If I have to waste my time to explain basic etiquette, god knows what your behaviour will be like. Childish probably. ]

  16. McFlock 16

    Interesting wee addition to the dataset was highlighted by the youtuber Beauofthefifthcolumn. Basically, part of the Russian plan included media reports before, during and after the invasion, all prewritten and scheduled for publication.

    Guess what happened when the preferred scenario failed to materialise? Someone forgot to cancel the scheduled publication of an article. English translation here.

    The article boasts of a 4 day victory over Ukraine. Is it expressing relief that NATO will no longer be able to attack Russia from so close? Nope, it's waxing lyrical about the reunification of Russia, or in common western parlance how Russia has been made great again. There are other factors Beau goes into, my main point here is that it seems that Putin genuinely expected to walk over Ukraine in less than a week for the main fighting, and it was about territory grab and not much else.

    So what does this suggest? It suggests that the current 40 mile long convoy is not the preferred outcome, so might have varying levels of planning. Lots of vehicles and people needing food, fuel, and ammunition. Could be a massive thrust of overwhelming force, could end up being a traffic jam that slowly starves itself.

    Also, how many more units can Russia mobilise? It has a million active personnel, and 2 million reserves. That sounds like a lot, but it's mostly army involved and then of the army, most will be truck drivers and cooks and even accountants rather than combat infantry. Russia has less than 300,000 active members in its "Ground forces" branch, maybe another 60,000 in its "Airborne" branch (paras).

    Not saying Putin has no chance of winning this one, but they're now well into plan b or even plan c.

  17. Stuart Munro 17

    Well, Russian arms haven't proven astounding to date.

    There are however quite a lot of them, and thus far the invasion convoy headed for Kyiv does not appear to have been stopped.

    I'm going to predict that part of that convoy is not the recent conscripts that have produced amusing footage to date. There will be Chechens with special forces backgrounds (before Putin's invasion, Chechen spetznaz invariably made up most of presidential protection details – they are evidently "like six foot tall Ghurkas"), and troops with the armour and night fighting gear of the Ratnik (warrior) program. Some of these will probably prove competent and troublesome.

    So Ukraine still has trouble to come. But, as with NZ & Covid, they seem to have happened upon the right leader at the right time. This gives them much greater capacity to resist than might have been the case without him. Slava Ukraini!

    Joe Bennett did well in describing some of the issues too: https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127906164/ukraine-shows-putin-is-not-a-man-of-his-word

  18. Could be a bit of a fuck up for Putin could turn into an Afghanistan which dragged the USA forces along for 20 years, the Russian convoy looks to be a sitting duck if the Ukrainians have the right weapons ?

  19. roblogic 19

    There's a Fox news commentator by the name of Jen Griffin who has been tearing all the Russia apologists a new arsehole. The Right can't handle stroppy smart women.

  20. remo 20

    A bit early for the cocks to crow on Vladimir Putin. If RF smash the targeted [deleted]

    [deleted]

    just maybe

    a different cock will crow.

    [lprent: Banning you until you provide a credible linked source for your allegations. That could take you some time. ]

    • Dennis Frank 20.1

      Too many ifs for me. Minsk accords have been too dead for too long to revive. Separatist armies don't like being told what to do by overlords they don't acknowledge eh? Realpolitik works on the basis of what's workable, not delusions.

      It would help if the EU were to stop pretending Ukraine is unified. It would help if the comedian were to tell the west about the current state of disunity of the nation he is ruling. Any resolution needs to incorporate all the component forces to work. Applied holism 1.01 isn't hard to comprehend!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banderites

      I include this link on your behalf – since the mod is likely to jump on your head for not including it. angel

    • Stuart Munro 20.2

      Western backed Oligarch who brought down MH17

      You have a factual error. It was Putin's little green men that downed MH17 and no one else.

      According to the JIT, the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation. This is the result of the extensive comparative investigation of the JIT.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 20.2.1

        And what about the Russian airliner shot down by Ukraine over the Black Sea on a flight from Tel Aviv to Russia

        Is it because they were mostly jews that the west doesnt care

        'Ukraine eventually admitted that it might have caused the crash, probably by an errant S-200 missile fired by its armed forces.'

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812

        • Stuart Munro 20.2.1.1

          I wonder if you noticed that beginning your comments with "what about" is a reliable indicator of whataboutery? One thing at a time, Grasshopper.

          'Ukraine eventually admitted that it might have caused the crash, probably by an errant S-200 missile fired by its armed forces.'

          Russia however is still lying about MH17 – they think they can lie about anything, forever, without consequences – even going so far as to post a faked image of a fighter shooting down an airliner through official channels.

          Is it because they were mostly jews that the west doesnt care

          No, it is because Putin and his murderous cronies have cried "Wolf" a little too often to be credible.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 20.2.1.1.1

            Eastern Ukraine was a civil war zone at the time.

            Scholarly research …..hahahaha..shows many Ukraine Air force planes shot down before and after probably by the same Buk or similar system.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_losses_during_the_Russo-Ukrainian_War#Ukrainian_aircraft_losses_the_war_in_Donbas

            Since when did you become a 'whatabout' theologian, you after all were talking about shootdowns of airliners

            • Stuart Munro 20.2.1.1.1.1

              It is of course always your choice whether or not to indulge in whataboutery – I merely pointed it out because it costs you gravitas, and to the extent that you are a scholar, that might concern you.

              The point you seem to have passed over in respect of MH17 of course, is that it proved what Putin was denying – the presence of Russian regular forces among the so-called separatists in Donbas. Real separatists rarely possess more than a handful of armoured vehicles, much less entire tank battalions with integrated anti-aircraft capacity. The BUK system is no user friendly shoulder launched fire and forget system like the Stinger – it has integrated radar and the crew must be educated and highly trained. Unhappily however there is no passive radar, and illuminating aircraft with ground attack capacity tends to attract a swift and unpleasant response. The crew downing MH17 had in the order of two seconds to make their decision to fire, which goes some way towards explaining their error.

      • remo 20.2.2

        'According to the JIT..' yeah. Righto; that should do it. http://johnhelmer.net/?s=MH17

        As to overlords Dennis..you've have eight years to learn who the Nazi's are and who's backing them and what they've been doing to the people of the Donbass. Zelenski is about to learn incorporation of component forces the hard way.

        • Dennis Frank 20.2.2.1

          Who cares what you or I believe about neo-Nazis? Unless you were born there I wouldn't expect any reader of TS to care what view you (or I) have.

          I do agree with your final sentence. However his learning curve is only one component in the framing of the eventual resolution – which is all I care about, and which will only ever be obtained via applied holism!

          A cynic, of course, would point to deal-making as more likely. True, it is. However such stitch-ups have a natural tendency toward short shelf-life. The UN would rather go for something genuine instead, right? Even though I don't believe in the UN's credibility, they do deserve an opportunity to make good.

        • Stuart Munro 20.2.2.2

          Righto; that should do it.

          No, no it doesn't – random dodgy blogger disputes multi-country professional air crash investigators? One would have to be very far down the rabbit hole to believe a word he types. You might sell this crap to the clownvoy – but not here.

    • remo 20.3

      Is the Evidence and History of [deleted] unknown to you? Or the behaviour of [deleted]

      [lprent: deleted: assertions of fact without links, credible or otherwise, accusations, a lot of straight out propaganda, and no observable personal argued opinion from the commenter that didn’t sound like it was from a mindless parrot.

      I am aware of allegations for some of the points you refer for a small group in Ukraine. However I am unaware of is much hard evidence for your inflated view of how important that this tiny group (few thousands) have in Ukrainian state of 44 million citizens. Asserting inflated facts without any evidence is idiotic. ]

      • remo 20.3.1

        Oh dear! That's not very nice.

        • lprent 20.3.1.1

          The statement about what this site is for is “robust debate”. Being nice is optional. See the policy.

          We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

          If you want to participate, then I suggest that you lift your quality of debate above the juvenile.

          • remoI 20.3.1.1.1

            Prove me wrong; [deleted]

            [lprent: If you want to make assertions of fact (ie all of your comment) – then it is up to you to provide credible links. Otherwise as a moderator I regard it is a just mindless propaganda written by a foolish parrot astroturfing. This is your last warning. ]

  21. Andrew Miller 21

    Reading the comments on these Ukrainian posts has been a depressing reminder that some people on the left manage to justify some truly morally repugnant views, so long as they blanket them in reflexive anti Americanism.

    • vto 21.1

      … as opposed to reflexive pro Americanism, on full display today with the UN walkout… which walkouts only happen when non-western invasions happen…

      yeah russia bad

      its very easy i know

    • Hongi Ika 21.2

      Putin is nothing but a little thug however I can imagine the USA have been goading him into this situation. The USA have been morally wrong on a lot of their behaviour and foreign affairs over the past 100+ years however it does not make it right that Russia and China behave in the same manner.

    • Incognito 21.3

      The only thing worse than being on the wrong side of the fence is to be on it.

    • RedLogix 21.4

      This has been apparent to me for years. What the center-left needs to fully grasp is that these authoritarian marxist apologists and assorted left wing extremists are no more morally acceptable to a progressive, socialist movement than nazis and race supremacists are on the conservative side of politics.

      And as a rule the right has been a whole lot better at drawing this critical distinction than the left.

      • Stuart Munro 21.4.1

        And as a rule the right has been a whole lot better at drawing this critical distinction than the left.

        Except in the recent US, where Trump has led a crowd off at right angles to reality.

    • Koff 21.5

      Monbiot explores the strange contradiction in some leftists viewing Ukraine / NATO / the west as the aggressor in the context of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This blindness to seeing only the west as imperialist and not Putin observed here by some TS commenters.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/02/russian-propaganda-anti-imperialist-left-vladimir-putin

      • RedLogix 21.5.1

        Imperialism is a very old habit and it is tempting to see everything through that lens. By contrast the rapidly globalising world of the past century or so is a relatively new political and social framework, and while we have made infant steps with it, the results are still very mixed. A deep legacy of imperialism that is slowly fading, with a patchy overlay of universal order that has yet to become fully coherent.

        Like an adolescent transitioning out of childhood.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    The poor conscripted grunt soldiers in the Russian army don't look very co-operative, according to intercepted communications.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10567135/Mutinous-Russian-troops-overheard-complaining-Ukraine-invasion.html

    "Russian soldiers taking part in the invasion of Ukraine are in 'complete disarray', according to voice recordings obtained by a British intelligence company.

    The intercepted radio messages indicate that troops are refusing to obey central command orders to shell Ukrainian towns and are complaining about running out of supplies of food and fuel."

    • Stuart Munro 22.1

      People underestimate the role of the commissars, who kept Soviet soldiers fighting, and, prior to the Soviet collapse, kept Russian slave fishermen in NZ gutting fish 'enthusiastically' for the princely sum of $2.00 US a day.

  23. avehelios 23

    Passed by the Russian Embassy yesterday. Well shadowed by NZ police. A peaceful atmosphere actually. A charismatic kiwi was there openly supporting the Russians, working the small crowd. Offering felt pens to one boy who had run out, his little sign not quite complete. The puzzled mother double checking… The nice man replied, "If you're going to protest, lets to it well."

  24. adam 24

    Working class Russians are fucked off with Putin. Have been for a while, I think he may just have signed his own resignation letter with this invasion.

    One thing that was big in Russia propaganda was that Ukraine were the "little brother". Bit like our relationship with Australia. Talking to anarchist friends they said that narrative was still very big in the military. So many of the troops would be like Australians shooting us, really bloody confused and fraught with apprehension. Which I think has either one of two thing written all over it, desertion on mass or atrocity time.

    The one thing I disagree with you on lprent, is flooding the country with more weapons, and the worry that idiots will then arm civilians. Even poorly train troops will massacre civilians with guns, we have seen that over and over from Yugoslavia to Iraq, from Syria to Libya. Can't see putting more weapons into this situation helping in any way.

    More pressure on the Russian population via economic warfare will work. And start talking to them people. Start talking to average Russians show them you want the war stopped and you want it stopped now – tell them to go protest. They can't arrest them all.

    • lprent 24.1

      The one thing I disagree with you on lprent, is flooding the country with more weapons, and the worry that idiots will then arm civilians. Even poorly train troops will massacre civilians with guns, we have seen that over and over from Yugoslavia to Iraq, from Syria to Libya. Can't see putting more weapons into this situation helping in any way.

      More pressure on the Russian population via economic warfare will work.

      The issue than is one of timescales. Without urban warfare by what will essentially be partisans, the country will be overrun within weeks.

      Economic sanctions typically take months or years to have an effect on an elite insulated from their effects by wealth and security forces.

      Economic sanctions won't stop Putin doing he wills with the Ukraine, it just makes it more painful for the Russian economy and populace.

      Ukrainians need to be able to resist and defend their own country. Otherwise Putin will proclaim success in supporting the Ukrainian separatist statelets (the story in Russian internal propaganda – they don't even say that Kiev is a target), and portray sanctions as being liberal democracies overreach.

      Not to mention that Russian death notices make a lie of the Ukrainians giving up and welcoming Russian liberators.

      • RedLogix 24.1.1

        This is an better than usual interview with someone with actual qualification in military analysis. His key point is that Ukraine has successfully stood up to the initial wave of invasion, launched apparently on short notice with inadequate planning.

        But the reasonable fear is the Russian military under pressure will resort to the Grozny tactic – levelling whole cities. Their airforce and fully professional units will be pushed into action. And if Putin orders the use of cluster and thermobaric weapons on civilian targets, causing mass casualties – there will be no coming back from that.

        • tsmithfield 24.1.1.1

          Probably the biggest defence Ukraine has so far as cramping Russia's normal behaviour, is that this is taking place in front of the whole world.

          If Putin wants to preserve any level of international mana, he is going to have to tread carefully.

        • Ad 24.1.1.2

          Also check out the Russian levelling of Aleppo.

          There is plenty of commentary on effectively entering a new Cold War.

          Prague Spring x 100.

        • lprent 24.1.1.3

          But the reasonable fear is the Russian military under pressure will resort to the Grozny tactic – levelling whole cities. Their airforce and fully professional units will be pushed into action.

          Pretty much the point of my post. The battles for Grozny in the various wars were a meat grinder for the Russians, and that is a city with only about a 10th of the original population of Kiev.

          However levelling the place doesn't actually help the Russian army that much. It is still a bleeding sore like Stalingrad – too big to go around unless they lay siege. It was siege that won for them in Grozny – not the bombardment.

          If they trap civilians in there then they're going likely to increase the resistance of the rest of Ukraine and everyone else. If they allow civilians to exit – it takes a long time to evacuate millions. After that they will still have to either maintain a siege or attack assuming defenders don’t leave (seem unlikely at this point). Either are meat grinders and drop momentum.

          They got away with the last battle of Grozny via a siege – the defenders ran out of food and ammo. It was a small city – about the size of Hamilton. With Aleppo, the troops weren't theirs, but that was a meat grinder for the government troops against poorly armed opposition.

          Kiev is a whole different scale.

          • Dennis Frank 24.1.1.3.1

            Kiev is a whole different scale.

            Which makes this interesting:

            Russia's huge military convoy, said to be 40 miles (64km) long, near Ukraine's capital Kyiv has hardly moved in three days, the UK defence ministry says… In an intelligence update on Thursday morning, the UK Ministry of Defence said the column had made "little discernible progress in over three days" and remains more than 30km from Kyiv.

            "There's a massive logistical failure to provide fuel, food, spare parts and tyres… they got stuck in the mud in a way that makes it difficult to move vehicles out," General Sir Richard Barrons, former Commander of the UK Joint Forces Command, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60596629

            Does he know or is he just guessing? I thought the predicted rainy season hadn't arrived yet. Maybe it started early…

            • lprent 24.1.1.3.1.1

              It is too early. I did check that a few days ago.

              However a lot of tracked and heavy vehicles really churn up both road and if they go off-road – mud. It takes discipline for troops not to do that – so it is possible.

              If you ever read the accounts of the NATO exercises over the decades mostly in Germany, you'll find numerous accounts of this happening, and most of the roads in forward areas of both cold-war NATO and Warsaw Pact were specifically reinforced to handle it as tank weights increased. I doubt that happened in the Ukraine. It was too far back.

              It could be a regroup / reorganisation preparatory to attack. Or waiting to see what happens. Or just a logistical screw up. Or conscript troops pulling a go slow (they are a bit notorious for this in history).

              Or a combination of all of them.

            • joe90 24.1.1.3.1.2

              Rasputitsa and piss poor maintenance playing their part.

            • tsmithfield 24.1.1.3.1.3

              There has been some commentary suggesting that the Russians may just be regrouping, and reassessing before getting the convoy moving again.

              However, I think it is more likely the logistic issues and attacks from the Ukraines that has stalled it.

              From a strategic point of view, I imagine the Russian objective would be to encircle Kiev as quickly as possible, to starve the population and prevent weapons from getting in.

              But the fact that the convoy has stalled is giving the Ukraines time to bring plenty of arms and supplies. So, arguing that the convoy is stalled strategically doesn't make any sense to me.

              • joe90

                The kitchen sink is being readied with the massing of dozens of multi-role strike aircraft, troop transports and gun ships.

                Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he will continue military operations in Ukraine during a 90-minute call initiated by Putin, an Élysée Palace source told reporters at a briefing on Thursday.

                “This conversation is unfortunately an occasion to hear that President Putin will continue military interventions and to go all the way,” according to the Élysée source.
                “[The call] allowed the President of the Republic to return to the disagreements we have with Russia, to plead for the diplomatic alternative to military operations, to tell the truth to President Putin about the way we see his war in Ukraine but also the consequences it will have for Russia in the long term,” the source continued.

                The Élysée source said "the worst is yet to come" in Ukraine following Macron’s phone call with Putin.

                "Without making a prediction, we should expect the worst is yet to come. The (French) president said so yesterday as well. There is nothing in what Putin said today that should reassure us," the source said.

                https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-03-22/h_8d9688920afd8cb222505d9f88d6ead3

      • tsmithfield 24.1.2

        I think it will be a long, bloody war.

        The Russians claim they have taken Khurson and have it under complete control. However, the Ukraine leader claims fighting is still going on there:

        "Zelensky’s office says fighting is still occurring around the port city of Kherson, which Russian officials have said is in their “complete control”.''

        https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/03/03/live-fighting-rages-on-in-strategic-city-of-kherson-ukraine/

        Kherson is much more vulnerable to Russian attack, as is Kharkiv, which is close to the Russian border, so should be a much easier target than Kiev which is further inland.

        Yet, Russian forces are struggling to take both of those cities. So, Kiev is going to be a major fight for them.

        Russia might eventually prevail and take key cities. But they will never be able to completely conquer Ukraine as the resistance will be strong and ongoing.

        I am hoping that Ukraine can continue to hold on in the main cities until the sanctions really start to bite.

        Also, I think the Ukraines should be finding ways to attack the stalled convoy that is still 20 ks or so away from Kiev.

        https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2022/03/convoy-stalled-logistics-failures-slow-russian-advance-pentagon-says/362666/

        I have seen commentary arguing that they may be reluctant to attack the convoy because it could bring the wrath of Russia down on them. But, that is going to happen anyway if Kiev is encircled.

        A few well placed RPGs at the front and rear parts of the convoy would wreak a lot of havoc. Also, perhaps blasting the road it is travelling on.

        The more that convoy can be slowed down in the freezing cold conditions that are prevailing, the more demoralised the Russian forces in the convoy will become. I think it is snowing there at the moment, so can't be very pleasant conditions to be stuck out in. Especially if they are short of diesel and may not be able to use heating to keep themselves warm.

    • Tracey Macleod 24.2

      Adam- what tools has NATO given these people to actually make a change to their leadership? Without a path – arrests/detentions will quell the protests, queing for food will use time… I agree the way is through the people but to date we only hear about military aid going in to Ukraine- hopefully NATO has been creating 'underground' networks of planned resistance- pathways, inside Russia for years which are now being activated

    • Hongi Ika 24.3

      Hopefully Putin and his cronies can be removed and the World can get back to normal ?

    • McFlock 24.4

      I suspect a lot of the civilians picking up weapons are better informed and have more control about what they're getting into than many of the teenage conscripts being used to invade Ukraine.

      This suckage is going to suck for years. Like Syria.

  25. Tracey Macleod 25

    He relied on evidence from his input into Syria and Crimea- not entirely stupid…

  26. Ad 26

    Christiane Amanpour interviews General Sir Richard Shirreff the previous Deputy Commander until 2014 – when Putin invaded Crimea.

    Fmr NATO Commander on Russia-Ukraine: "I Don't Think We've Seen Anything Yet" | Amanpour and Company – YouTube

    His view is that we haven't seen anything yet; if you want to see what Russia is going to do next check out how they levelled Grozny and Aleppo.

    Also, he comments that this is a primarily an old-style war with heavy armour. So Europe etc is going to have to 'man the ramparts' with a scale of defensive force across its entire east from the Baltic to the Black Sea. On a scale similar to the height of the Cold War – because that is what we are going into.

    • joe90 26.1

      Little more than a week ago and most of us thought meh, wacky easterners and their contretemps, they'll sort it out.

      One week on we are about to enter Phase 2 of the ground war within Ukraine, with Russian main forces, artillery-heavy, replacing lighter reconnaissance and advance guard units. If they are given the order to attack as Russian forces did in Chechnya and Syria, then we will witness carnage in Europe — including war crimes and crimes against humanity — reminiscent of the Second World War. Putin’s ally, the Belarusian President Lukashenko, chillingly warns that to-date we have only seen conflict: “In a day or two there will be a war, and in three days there will be a meat grinder”.

      How much worse could this get?
      A diplomatic way out this coming week is possible but unlikely, as neither of the two key protagonists is prepared to concede their primary objectives. For Putin it is to reabsorb Ukraine into Russia. For Ukraine and its inspirational leader, it is to remain an independent and sovereign nation. Because things have gone badly so far for Putin he will revert, as both William Hague and Gideon Rachman agree, to the role of ruthless, brutally-hard KGB man. He will ratchet up the tempo and the bloodshed.

      A week ago General Sir Richard Shirreff, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, was an outlier when he warned that we could soon be at war with Russia. Now he is no longer a lone voice. On both sides of the Atlantic this prospect, and how to avoid it, is getting significant attention. General Sir Richard Barrons now believes that NATO may be forced to get involved directly, for example, in enforcing a no-fly zone, more as a result of overwhelming public pressure than by politicians’ choice.

      https://www.thearticle.com/you-may-not-be-interested-in-war-but-war-is-interested-in-you

      • SPC 26.1.1

        This is being set up to be Ukrainians in urban centres under heaving bombardment, they either get resupply of artillery shells to fire back with or they do not (and then its about how many bullets they have when incursions occur).

        The Russians will try and avoid losing planes to Stingers and tanks to anti-tank weapons. It will be about pressure build up to coerce concessions from Kiev and or NATO (the only way Putin can end sanctions).

  27. Stuart Munro 27

    I'd quite like to see a Russian adaptation of this speech directed at Putin. Like Inaros, he is a thief, and wraps himself in a spurious nationalism, while ruthlessly spending the lives of his people.

    Also like Inaros, Putin has murdered so many he begins to forget their names. Drummer was angry about the killing of Klaes Ashford, among others. The friends and colleagues of Anna Politkovskaya have not forgotten her murder. They have tracked Putin's lies and murders across the globe, and will continue to do so until they bring him down.

  28. I hope that the West stays staunch on sanctions with Russia.

    I think the big concern for our part of the world is China and Taiwan, and then further into the South Pacific.

    If China perceives that the world isn't serious in its response to Russia, or isn't prepared to stay the course with sanctions, then China will be emboldened to have a crack at Taiwan.

    • Dennis Frank 28.1

      I've had that view too. Xi will have given Putin a thumbs-up pre-invasion because it is an ideal experiment from his strategic perspective. Whoever in the US military command is advising the White House ought to have made that point to Biden already.

  29. Jenny how to get there 29

    As Ukrainian cities come under intense Russian shelling and bombing they are starting to resemble Homs and Grozny. Meanwhile, thousands of Russian citizens brave arrest and even imprisonment, to protest against Putin's bloody war in the Ukraine.

    Drone footage shows devastated town near Kyiv – video

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2022/mar/03/drone-footage-shows-devastated-town-near-kyiv-video

    'No to war!': Russian protesters defy Putin – video report

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2022/mar/03/russian-anti-war-protesters-defy-putin-video

  30. Siobhan 30

    So just to clarify…are there Nazis on the Moon or not??

    • joe90 30.1

      Yes.

      • Jenny how to get there 30.1.1

        There are no nazis on the moon, but plenty of nazis in Russia. Many of them with official state and local government support.

        Some of them fighting in the Donbass region of the Ukraine for a greater Russia on behalf of Russia.

        Russian National Unity (RNU) or All-Russian civic patriotic movement "Russian National Unity"

        … a neo-Nazi[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] political party and paramilitary organization based in Russia and formerly operating in states with Russian-speaking populations.

        The organisation also worked with businesses, state officials, military and secret services….

        …Several martial arts classes with RNU instructors associated with state schools were opened….

        …..In 2014, RNU members joined pro-Russian forces in Ukraine during the War in Donbass[11] under commandment of Pavel Gubarev.[12] In March and May 2014, Alexander Barkashov traveled to Eastern Ukraine and resided in Donetsk.[13] In a leaked audio recording from spring 2014, Barkashov consulted Dmitri Boitsov, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Army.[14] According to Barkahsov's words, his own son fought with a column of pro-Russian fighters against Ukraine….

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_National_Unity

        And dare we mention the notorious Wagner Group who's leader was honoured by none other than Putin himself.

        Wagner Group

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        …..The company's name comes from Utkin's own call sign "Wagner" after the German composer Richard Wagner, which he is said to have chosen due to his passion for the Third Reich.[45]

        ….taken part in various conflicts, including operations in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Syrian government as well as, from 2014 until 2015, in the war in Donbas in Ukraine aiding the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

  31. Now the Russians are shelling the one of the largest nuclear power plants in Europe and it is on fire.

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/nation-world/2022/03/03/europes-largest-nuclear-power-plant-on-fire-after-russian-shelling/

    https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3419575-zaporizhzhia-npp-disaster-to-be-10-times-larger-than-chornobyl-kuleba.html

    How retarded could they be? The stupidity of doing such a thing boggles belief. Especially since it is located quite close to Russia. So, any fallout is likely to affect Russia as much as anywhere else.

    Perhaps this is deliberate escalation to force the US and Nato into the fight. Does Putin really want world war 3?

  32. joe90 32

    Charming.

    Moscow has drawn up plans for ways to break morale in order to discourage Ukrainian from fighting back as and when cities fall under the Kremlin’s control, a European intelligence official said.

    That strategy includes crackdowns on protests, detention of opponents, and potentially carrying out public executions, the official said on the condition of anonymity. So far civilians in Ukraine as well as its military have put up strong resistance, including arming themselves as volunteer forces.

    https://archive.ph/HnIu6#selection-10303.0-10307.299 (bloomberg)

    • McFlock 32.1

      Has all that ever actually worked to pacify an occupied country? No examples come to mind. Maybe Rome, a couple thousand years ago?

  33. Jenny how to get there 33

    Seizing the high ground.

    In a violent assault the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was taken over with the use of heavy weapons . An extremely dangerous move that if it had gone wrong threatened a catastrophe that would have dwarfed the Chernobyl disaster. But a prize worth taking a desperate risk for, in a military campaign that otherwise was getting bogged down.

    Retaking the power plant would carry just as much risk of catastrophe. Probably even more risk. Russian forces after gaining such a prize will station a large heavily armed military force to defend against any attempt to retake the plant.

    Holding the power plant gives Russia a stranglehold of one fifth of Ukraine's electricity supply.

    Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: everything you need to know

    ….the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the ninth largest in the world. It has six reactors, each generating 950MW, and a total output of 5,700MW, enough energy for roughly 4m homes.

    In normal times it produces one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity….

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/04/zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant-everything-you-need-to-know#:~:text=In%20normal%20times%20it%20produces,the%20country's%20nuclear%20power%20facilities.

  34. Jenny how to get there 34

    Damaging nuclear infrastructure and killing and injuring of nuclear plant workers is a crime akin to nuclear terrorism.

    Ukraine's foreign affairs ministry has confirmed several deaths and injuries in the wake of Russia's attack on a nuclear power plant.

    "As a result of the shelling on the territory of the nuclear power plant, a fire broke out, killing and injuring several people," the ministry wrote in an update shared on Facebook.

    Ukraine live: 'Several people' killed, injured after Russia attacks nuclear plantsituation

  35. RedLogix 35

    Putin has embraced the masculine strategy of confrontation, while the West is now locked into the feminine response of exclusion. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages – but in the short term this means Putin will likely prevail through sheer brute force. The only caveat is the extraordinary and heroic resistance of the Ukrainians, and how effectively they can sustain an insurgency against Russian occupiers.

    Putin owns the EU in terms of both energy and security. Owning the energy supply ensures he can control their economies. And his willingness to commit to an invasion means that his mindset is now capable of anything, including nuclear first strikes. The EU is at high risk of being fractured as pressures are brought to bear. Putin cannot stop at occupying Ukraine, he must now subsume Europe.

    At this moment I am hoping for the best, that the Ukrainians prevail against all rational odds; but we must plan for the worst. Unless Putin is stopped within weeks, the global economy is about to be savaged by an energy and commodity crisis we have never seen in our lifetimes, inflation and supply chain disruptions escalating beyond control. The impacts will be very uneven, that will force a great many players to take action to secure their ongoing economic capacity. That will not go over well with others and the ensuing divisions and conflicts will be exploited by tyrants fluent in the language of force.

    The sequence of events cannot be predicted, but we can safely assume that we are placed roughly in the same spot on timeline that we were in February 2020 with COVID.

  36. joe90 36

    Shade.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/08/19/1029437787/in-1991-soviet-citizens-saw-swans-on-the-tv-and-knew-it-meant-turmoil

  37. CrimzonGhost 37

    Russia has invaded another sovereign nation. Everything else is pretty irrelevant. Russia is the wrongdoer here just like USA was in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lots of old leftists still wedded to notions of the glories of the USSR, ex and not so ex Stalinists cheering on Putin coz he's sticking it to the west, while turning a blind eye to fact he's just another imperialist albeit on a smaller scale compared to USA and now China.

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