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Russian roulette

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, September 23rd, 2022 - 277 comments
Categories: International, Russia, uncategorized, United Nations, war - Tags:

The Ukraine war is not going well for Russia.

It was meant to be a war that would be over quickly but dogged Ukraine defence helped by high tech Western supplied weapons have not only halted the invasion but there have been recent reports of Ukraine forces driving the Russians back.

Putin knows this and has responded by performing the first Military Draft since the second world war seeking 300,000 extra soldiers for the fight.  He has also planned for referenda in Russian held parts of the Ukraine.  And to top things off he has threatened the use of nuclear weapons.

From Al Jazeera:

Russian-backed separatists plan to hold referendums in the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine, a move that has triggered a chorus of condemnation from Western leaders.

The vote will pave the way for the formal annexation of swaths of territory by Russia after nearly seven months of the war with its neighbour, a former Soviet republic.

If Russia goes ahead with the referendums and includes the four regions in Russia, then Ukraine – and potentially its Western backers too – would, from a Russian perspective, be fighting against Russia itself.

That would raise the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the NATO military alliance, a scenario that President Joe Biden has said could lead to World War III, because NATO members are supplying arms and giving intelligence to Ukraine.

As such, a rushed Russian move to formally annex another big chunk of Ukrainian territory would be a major escalation just days after potentially the most significant Russian battlefield defeat of the war in northeastern Ukraine.

Russia’s nuclear doctrine allows the use of such weapons if it is attacked with nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.

While escalating the stakes of the confrontation, Putin could also announce additional steps.

Russian stocks plunged to their lowest in a month on Tuesday as Moscow reignited martial law fears with new legislation that tightened penalties for military personnel.

Unless Ukraine agreed to stop fighting for its lost territory, Russia would have to commit significant military forces to defend the newly annexed regions – which are still not fully under Russian control.

“Putin has made a bet on escalation,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of the political analysis firm R.Politik.

“All this talk about immediate referendums is an absolutely unequivocal ultimatum from Russia to Ukraine and the West.”

New Zealand is now considering expulsion of the Russian Ambassador.  From OneNews:

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said expelling the Russian Ambassador to New Zealand is “an active consideration”.

It comes after Vladimir Putin announced a plan for partial mobilisation in Russia, and ahead of Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine planning to hold referendums on becoming part of Russia — a move that could allow Moscow to escalate the war.

And there were scenes yesterday at the United Nations as Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov turned up late, then left immediately after speaking to a special Security Council session.

Putin appears to have given up on plans of taking over the Ukraine and instead wants to have the resolutions passed and then have the threat of nuclear war to persuade the west to tolerate Russia holding onto the land.  This is a very high risk strategy and one that may end in disaster.

277 comments on “Russian roulette ”

  1. Mike the Lefty 1

    I note your intro says "modified territorial integrity.."

    Putin is descending into juvenile madness.

    It is akin to a child taking the lollies from another child and then complaining that the other child started a fight when he tries to take them back.

    There is probably a scientific name for a condition like that.

  2. Jimmy 2

    I heard on Newstalk ZB that the number was not 300,000, but was actually 1 million extra soldiers they were wanting. Don't know if this is factual.

    • tsmithfield 2.1

      Bums on seats is one thing. I think Putins biggest problem is enough seats (in terms of equipment etc).

    • lprent 2.2

      In my opinion, Newstalk ZB couldn't be accurate if they tried.

      What they have done at this point is to be able to draft up to 300k reservists (ie soldiers who left the military but can still be called up) and people with previous military experience (presumably those who have left the reserve).

      This is because Putin and his generals have largely squandered the up to 160k regular military and mercenaries that they have thrown into their invasion so far.

      This means that they don't violate the provision in the Russian Federation constitution that prevents the even more poorly trained drafted conscripts from being massacred in wars external to the federation.

      The 'referendums' due to happen over the next week (giving no time for any campaigning) appear to be set to take that time only so that the occupation administration have time to get their list together and to give each the vote that the Russian Federation wants. I suspect that that few people will be able to actually vote, and certainly few if any in opposition, or the millions of refugees from the area cannot votes.

      • Gabby 2.2.1

        Got to wonder if the State can afford that level of recruitment given the wealth Pooters and cronies have stripped out of it.

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          You're assuming that the draftees get paid and supported in a rate that is commiserate with the risk? You’ll notice a distinct lack of information about pay rates.

          What they do have is a large backlog of obsolescent hardware and consumables sitting in storage.

    • James Simpson 2.3

      That 1 million conscription number is being reported through a number of European media outlets and is sourced from the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe. It has reported that a source in the presidential administration said Russia was seeking to draft more than 1 million people into the army. That reporting has not been confirmed by other news outlets

      • Scud 2.3.1

        That's the total Russia mobilisation if ordered by the Duma of the Federal Assembly (willing to be corrected & Russia wasn't in the scheme of things either when I was still in)

        This 1m mobilisation does not include wasted ie those not fit for Military Services etc.

        This current Russian Mobilisation is a mere drop of the blood that has been spilt so by Russia-

        Through gross incompetence,

        Piss poor Training Tactics & Procedures

        Corruption & nepotism of the Russian military command above battalion level

        You can throw in the FSB & the Military's GRU for it's cockups & other piss poor KPI's etc (words failed me with these 2 organisations)

        The list almost endless with Russian cockups to date.

        It's going to take Russian Military at least 6-18mths to rebuild it's conventional Force capability for the south-west military district (formerly known as the Rostov On Don & Volgograd Military District's) which Tsar Poot's has destroyed.

        Tsar Poot's is praying for General Mud & Field Marshall Winter to come now. As UrK has enforce another OPSEC & Media Blackout for Eastern Ukraine.

        Yes Russia has massive Stores, Vehicle/ Tanks Parks East of Urals & another spare 700k Squaddies to boot.

        But you can't trained if you no "serviceable equipment that hasn't been properly maintained in Storage-

        Completely gutted your Officer & NCO Corp in Ukraine.

        As anyone who's Military, ex Military or interesting Military affairs, know NCO's are the real workers who get things done & not the bloody Officers unless you are from the Andrew/ Pirates.

        Or even the Facilities to undertake the required training & some Army Bases haven't really changed since Tsar Nicholas time expect for the Andrew/ Pirates & Airforce.

        Tsar Poot's atm, doesn't realise his hand of a pair 2's are in fact a pair of Jokers & the last laugh is on him.

        Oh one other things, for those who find Logistics & the understanding the Military Appreciation Process completely bat shit boring.

        Russian Communications & Logistics since Adam was in his birthday suit, all Centres Moscow.

        I won't everyone another history lesson, as you better things too atm. But have a read of what happened in Russia in 1905 & 1917 ie especially from 1914 after the Battle of Tañnenberg.

        History has a funny way of repeating itself sometimes.

        I better head off, for a wee nap as I had bloody crappy morning. Had the Bloody Vampires at 6am to take more bloods & then lay on the MRI 2hrs while being inject Radiative liquid to find out why I'm a 20 long necks short of cate.

        • Shanreagh 2.3.1.1

          Very good Scud. The Andrew and pirates in the same breath. And those same generals with the same name as earlier invasions 'General Mud & Field Marshall Winter'

          I was interested that despite the so-called Russian miracle or perhaps self-described is a better phrase, and the oodles of money spent on armaments that many bases have had no improvements made since early last century.

          Hope your health troubles are getting better,.

    • fender 2.4

      Factual and FoxTalkZB don't really go together, especially if the Hoskings are involved

    • SPC 2.5

      They have 2 million in their "reserves" (1 million active), and the partial mobilisation is in this case 300,000.

      An American observed pithily these are not trained reserves, just ex soldiers. While it gets around the problem of training up conscripts, one would have no idea of the current attitude or capability of those. former soldiers.

      There is the 1905 and 1917 problem of people with weapons unimpressed with those in Moscow.

      • SPC 2.5.1

        Conscripts get a year in the army (age 18-27).

        There is a category of those who commit to 3 years as active reservists (numbers a bit of a mystery). There are inactive reserves (they may get 2 months training once every 3 years, if called upon).

        They are in 3 groups of active reservists based on age.

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

    • Mike the Lefty 2.6

      If it is Newstalk ZB you never know.

    • joe90 2.7

      The things you hear.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    The world can't back down at Putin's threat of nuclear war if he doesn't get his way. Otherwise, any country with nukes will be able to demand what they want backed by the threat of nuclear attack.

    Vlad Vexler is one of the best commentators I have seen on the situation in Russia, with a very unique and insightful perspective.

    The video is well worth a watch, as is a lot of his other content.

    An interesting point he makes, is that Putin has had an implicit contract with the Russian people, that he can do the politics and military stuff while they get on with their lives as if nothing is happening. So, the "partial" mobilisation is an effort to try and not upset the Russian people too much while at the same time trying to appease the Russian war-mongers who think Putin has been doing far too little.

    According to Vexler, with respect to the dilemma Putin faces with Russian masses:

    Politically, Putin needs them on the couch; militarily he needs them in Ukraine.

    Given that there are already mass protests, and people trying to flee Russia, things may not be going too well for Putin in that respect. And, mobilisation is not something that happens overnight. So, it is not clear how quickly mobilised conscripts will be able to make a difference.

    And, Russia has already been struggling with logistics with respect to the much smaller force it has in Ukraine now. So, how it would manage to keep up logistics for a much larger force is a problem Russia will struggle to solve.

    • lprent 3.1

      I think that we need to revisit the non-proliferation treaty. Both for NZ / Australia, and for all of the Russian Federations neighbours.

      The NPT was based on the major nuclear powers, including Russia, not threatening explicitly or indirectly to using nuclear weapons as blackmail. Without that guarantee the treaty isn't worth having.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        I think that the whole concept of mutually assured destruction is completely nuts. The biggest problem is that it doesn't take into account the possibility of a psychopath like Putin.

        Who knows what Putin would do if he is faced with the possibility of actually losing, and therefore probably facing his own personal existential threat. But, then I don't think the world can back down otherwise it will encourage him to keep making those threats.

        • Belladonna 3.1.1.1

          Or, to be fair, the equal risk of a psychopath in the White House.
          One would hope that people down the chain of command would see the light – but it's anything but assured. Political control of the military is a base principle of governance in both the US and Russia.

          • tsmithfield 3.1.1.1.1

            True. That could also be a risk in the future. But, at the moment, the only psychopath making those sorts of threats is the Russian one.

            • Blazer 3.1.1.1.1.1

              'US President Donald Trump has boasted that his nuclear button is "much bigger" and "more powerful" than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's.

              Standing again in 2024?

    • KJT 3.2

      "The world can't back down at Putin's threat of nuclear war if he doesn't get his way. Otherwise, any country with nukes will be able to demand what they want backed by the threat of nuclear attack."

      You mean, what the USA has been doing, with 84 and counting regime changes, since 1945?

      Putin is simply following their example.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        I don't recall the US threatening to nuke nations it had a problem with any time in the last 70 years. Can you give any examples where they have?

        • Blazer 3.2.1.1

          'The Bush administration threatened to bomb Pakistan 'back to the stone age' after the September 11 attacks if the country did not cooperate with America's war on Afghanistan, it emerged yesterday.'

          Bush threatened to bomb Pakistan, says Musharraf | World news | The Guardian

          • tsmithfield 3.2.1.1.1

            Possible to do that with conventional weapons the US has. So, not the same as threatening nukes.

            • Blazer 3.2.1.1.1.1

              So where has Putin specifically mentioned nukes…if you want to play that…game?

              • tsmithfield

                Do I need to point that out? His last speech for instance.

                "And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff."

                Since nuclear weapons are one of the available means, and since Putin has threatened to use all means, then logically, nuclear weapons are included in the threat.

                I agree that this statement simply states what is just standard Russian nuclear policy. But, whether it is a threat or not depends on how Russian territory is interpreted.

                For instance, if Russia annexes the Donbass, Kherson etc in the next week or so, does that suddenly become Russian territory to which the nuclear threat applies, and are any Ukrainian forces fighting in those regions suddenly at threat from Russian nukes?

                That is a question many in the west are pondering, and probably is intended ambiguity from Putin.

                • Blazer

                  So apply your very same logic to Bush…'we will bomb you back to the Stone Age'…you are …spinning,not…winning.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Not at all.

                    Logically, "bombing back into the stone-age" doesn't require or imply nukes.

                    Whereas, "use all means at our disposal'' logically does, when nukes are available as one of those means. And, if annexed territories are part of Russia, then the threat logically applies to Ukrainians fighting in those regions after annexation.

                    • Blazer

                      Nukes were available as one of those means,for the U.S to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age…surely!sad

                    • tsmithfield

                      "Nukes were available as one of those means,for the U.S to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age…surely!sad"

                      Sigh. You need to study the rules of deductive reasoning. All apples are fruit but not all fruit are apples etc.

                      Even without nukes, the US could bomb Pakistan back to the stone-age if it wanted to. So, nukes aren’t a necessary condition of the statement.

                      But when Russia says it will use ”all means”, and one of those means are nukes, then it necessarily follows that a nuclear threat is included in the statement.

                    • Blazer

                      'physician…heal thyself'!….sigh*

                    • tsmithfield

                      '''physician…heal thyself'!….sigh*''

                      You have just proved my point. If you want to win an argument of logic, you need to use logic. Your reply there looks more like giving up than anything else.

                    • Blazer

                      '

                      You have just proved my point. If you want to win an argument of logic, you need to use logic. Your reply there looks more like giving up than anything else.'

                      Facts are useful too.

                      You seem to ignore them .

                      Maybe you don't understand the quote I posted.

                      You appear to have your own brand of 'logic'.

                • Francesca

                  Sounds very similar to Obama , Kerry ,Trump and Biden saying "All options are on the table"when attempting to "twist the arms of those countries not doing what we need them to do "(Obama)

            • KJT 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Are you fucking kidding?

              The USA would not have got away with all the shit they have done without the Nuclear "stick" in the background.

        • KJT 3.2.1.2

          I said, "since 1945".

          Just one of them. Cuban Missile Crisis – Wikipedia

          • tsmithfield 3.2.1.2.1

            That doesn't point to an explicit threat though. Just where both sides were deciding to place their missiles, and not really that different to the state of things today, if you consider the fact that Europe has nukes handily placed. Yet no-one is Europe is going out and saying they intend to nuke Russia or any such thing.

        • Jenny are we there yet 3.2.1.3

          '

          "I don't recall the US threatening to nuke nations it had a problem with any time in the last 70 years. Can you give any examples where they have?"

          tsmithfield

          When Eisenhower Threatened China With Nuclear Destruction

          Feb 22, 2017 Ian Harvey

          …..After the fall of Yijiangshan, [to the communists] the US had passed the Formosa Resolution which pledged to defend the Republic of China [Taiwan] from attack. In March, the US warned that it was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend the Republic of China. In April, Mao signaled a willingness to negotiate and further attacks on the islands stopped in May.

          It is a topic of debate whether Eisenhower stopped the PLA’s attacks with his nuclear threat…..

          https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/eisenhower-threatened-china-nuclear-destruction.html?chrome=1

          When Nixon Threatened to Nuke Vietnam

          June 1, 2015. by JOSEPH TREVITHICK

          Washington now sees nuclear weapons as a last ditch resort … but it hasn’t always and the Pentagon has been more than happy come up with plans to lob the devastating bombs at America’s enemies.

          Sometimes, Washington used those plans to exert political pressure. In 1969, Pres. Richard Nixon did just that.

          ….Thanks to newly declassified documents, we now know that he [Nixon] asked U.S. military commanders to figure out how to scare North Vietnam and its Soviet allies into peace on America’s terms……

          ……it doesn’t look like Washington ever seriously considered dropping the bomb on North Vietnam, but Nixon did want Hanoi and the Kremlin to think he would.

          The Pentagon had known for years that military victory in Vietnam was a difficult proposition, at best. Hanoi’s fighters were too entrenched, and stopping the flow of supplies to guerrillas in the south was all but impossible.

          Political considerations such as Moscow’s support for Hanoi, Vietnam’s proximity to communist China and ostensible Lao and Cambodian neutrality made a military victory without massive geopolitical fallout a distant dream.

          https://medium.com/war-is-boring/when-nixon-threatened-to-nuke-vietnam-a00bc0f73909

          Did someone say 'Quagmire'

          Putin's plight in Ukraine is reminiscent of Nixon's in Vietnam.

          Nixon and Ike were bluffing. My opinion, Putin is too.

          The use of nuclear weapons is the ultimate war crime.

          The only times that nuclear weapons have been used in war was against Japan in 1945.

          The following Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, fell into disunity when arguments between the judges on the tribunal hearing the evidence of Japanese war crimes argued over whether dropping nuclear bombs on civilian targets in Japan was a war crime, as great or greater than the war crimes committed by the Japanese imperial army. Though it was a minority opinion, Justice Paal of India published his minority opinion that the use of the atomic bomb was a war crime and should have been prosecuted. Justice Paal wrote; We know the names of those who ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we know the names of everyone down the whole chain of command right down to the men who flew the planes and pulled the lever.

          I think the majority of the people of the world would agree with the minority opinion of the Tokyo War Crimes judge Justice Paal.

          Nixon in particular came to the realisation that if he used nuclear weapons on Vietnam the American people would not have tolerated it.
          The current unrest in Russia over the 'Partial Mobilisation' is an indication that Putin must be coming to the same realisation.

        • mikesh 3.2.1.4

          The US has so far not found itself in a situation where it needed to, however that may not be the case with Russia for much longer. I think it would be implicit in the MAD concept that, if a nation found itself in such a position, interested nations would arrive at a negotiated settlement of the matters in dispute. In the current situation Biden and Zelenskyy making warlike demands doesn't really help.

          • Barfly 3.2.1.4.1

            "Biden and Zelenskyy making warlike demands doesn't really help."

            All Putin has to do is get the fuck out of Ukraine – he chose to invade and has caused untold deaths (Mariupol alone estimated civilian deaths at 87,000). Putin is the first 21st century monster and is obsessed with making history and rebuilding the "Russian Empire".

            • mikesh 3.2.1.4.1.1

              All Zelenskyy has to do is cede the disputed area, an area which he and Porochenko before him, have been attacking since 2014, to Russia. He won't because he would rather Ukraine was nuked than lose face. He thinks that Putin is bluffing. I don't.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    The saying goes that 100 poorly trained and motivated conscripts run away as fast as 10 but they eat more. And of course, big differences in numbers have counted for little since the period between 7.30am and about lunchtime on July 1st 1916 in which time 57,000 British soldiers were shot down largely by a few dozen German machine guns and their supporting artillery.

    I think though it would be wishful thinking to not acknowledge the dictim that quantity has a quality all of it's own and Putin has all of Stalin's contempt for the lives of his own people so throwing a million conscripts into the battle makes a Ukrainian victory – unless it can be achieved before the northern spring in 2023 – much less likely. Given that the war is now existential to both Putin and the Ukrainie and the United States is not going to back down the rest of escalation is reaching near 100%.

    The use of WMDs by Russia would immediately trigger direct US intervention in the war to bring it to a conclusion. I saw a video the other day of "new" fortifications near the border between Poland and Russia which looked like the Poles had reactivated an entire WW2 defense line, whilst apparently the Polish (and Romanian) border regions have been transformed into huge logistics and repair hubs feeding supplies into the Ukraine, about which the Russians can do nothing. IMHO, a wild card for escalation in this whole ware could be a Polish intervention. After all, they really, really hate the Russians.

    The most hopeful dynamic in play now is Russian domestic opinion, where eerie parallels with the unrest sparked by the Tsarist defeat by Japan in 1905 can be discerned. With just a modicum of luck, Russian public opinion might allow Putin to be deposed.

  5. Blazer 6

    Can't see how Russia can lose myself.

    'Russia had approximately 1.35 million active military personnel as of 2022, compared to 500 thousand in Ukraine. The number of aircraft at the disposal of the Russian army was close to 4.2 thousand, while Ukrainian armed forces possessed almost 320 aircraft.'

    Russia & Ukraine military comparison 2022 | Statista

    • Barfly 6.1

      And yet … it's day 210 of Russia's invasion and their air force ain't doing squat and they've been going backwards on the ground at a great rate of knots

      • Blazer 6.1.1

        Ukraine is being destroyed and the Eastern regions are…occupied.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Eastern regions are…occupied.

          Quite a lot less now than at the start of the month.

          Ukraine is being destroyed

          Not really – unless you're one of those dickheads that prefer the immoral large volumes and poor quality of indiscriminate bombing – over the military morality of hitting the actual targets they’re aiming at.

          The Russian weapons coming out of decades old stockpiles from the soviet era have proved to be more effective at attacking apartment buildings and schools than they have been at attacking infrastructure and military targets that they say they have been targeting.

          Personally I attribute that more to inaccurate weapons and simple standoff cowardice by Russian pilots. They fire from so far away that their imprecise old weapons just spray vaguely near to targets.

          So far their accuracy is about as good as the terror attacks of WW2 V1, V2 and bomber raids. But way less than Iranian drone strikes. Perhaps they gutless wonders should contract out their air attacks to the Iranians…

    • tsmithfield 6.2

      By that argument they should have won already. But they haven't.

      Active personnel doesn't include fighting forces, but all the supporting structures as well. If they had that many active soldiers, they wouldn't need to be mobilising would they?

      And, they have a lot of other competing strategic interests they need to cover as well, otherwise, dissatisfied regions of Russia could well rebel and Russia may not have the ability to contain that. And, they have to have sufficient forces to guard against the NATO ''threat'' if you can call it that.

      The question is what they can afford to apply towards Ukraine without weakening themselves in other strategic areas. And judging by the quality of some and age of some of the gear they are bringing to the party now, and the problems they have with logistics and support, quantity doesn't necessarily mean much. Heck, they are bringing in T62 tanks now, and artillery from the second world war from reports I have seen.

      Sending poorly equipped, poorly trained, and poorly motivated troops to the meat grinder doesn't do much for their chances IMO. All it will do is build up resentment in the Russian population until, eventually, Putin is overthrown.

    • Sanctuary 6.3

      The Russian air force is as schlerotic as the rest of the Russian armed forces. Impressive on paper, it's airforce's tactical striking power is concentrated in around 500 modern aircraft and a couple of hudred ground attack aircraft of various vintages. They all have an appalling serviceability rate of 35-40% and the pilots are poorly trained and lack modern precision guided stand off munitions and counter-measures, without which venturing into Ukrainian airspace at anything but very low altitude would be a suicide mission, since even after seven months of war they haven't been able to suppress the Ukrainian air defense net – which is soon to be supplemented by advanced western surface to air missiles. So far, at least 60 Russian aircraft have been shot down. They're airforce's main contribution has been it's bomber force launching missiles from well inside their borders. I'd forget about the Russian airforce as a major player in this war.

      The Russian army's real strength has been around 750,000-800,000 men for some time now and that includes border guards, militarised police and customs etc etc. The armies main combat power is concentrated in 160-170 battalion groups which, along with reserves, are no more than 250,000 strong – and given the widespreads corrupt practice of ghost soldiers could be as little as 175-200,000 men. This final number contextualises Russia's heavy losses in the Ukraine. After the K'yiv defeat and it's losses to elite units the Russian armies best units have been consumed in wasteful attacks in the Donbas. Russian KIA, MIA, WIA and POW losses are at least 70-80,000. Troops must be maintained in the far east. Thus, the Russian army in the Ukraine is now actually three or four fragmented and different armies. The decimated remnants of the regular army, the Wagner private army of mercenaries and criminals, Chechen irregulars, and the rag tag LPR/DPR forces. The professional core of the Russian army, such as it was, has been evisceated in the last seven months.

      This mobilisation is going to be extremely difficult for Russia. The Soviet mobilisation and training infrastructure has been completely dismantled. Russian conscripts get a few months of basic training and do no training after that, so even the "trained" troops being called up now are actually little more than raw recruits whose rusty military knowledge may or may not still extend to knowing how not shoot themselves by mistake.

  6. tsmithfield 7

    An interesting point that China may be pondering is, that back in 2013, China pledged to protect Ukraine in the case of a nuclear attack:

    "China pledges unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear Ukraine, and under the conditions of Ukraine suffering an invasion using nuclear weapons or suffering the threat of such kind of invasion, to provide Ukraine with corresponding security guarantees."

    This may be one reason why China appears to be becoming increasingly touchy about what is happening in Ukraine, and Russian threats. The Chinese influence may be one of the biggest restraints on Russia pushing the nuclear button in any respect.

  7. tsmithfield 8

    Here is a good Twitter thread on Russian mobilisation recommended by Mick Ryan (retired Australian army major general) that goes into a lot of the points made above.

  8. Blazer 9

    Here is a good analysis of Putin and the conflict by world renown Psychologist…Jordan Peterson.

    • tsmithfield 9.1

      I think you have nailed the problem with the interview right at the outset, when you put forward an opinion from a psychologist on the likely military outcome.

      But, from a broader perspective, how can you possibly claim Russia can ''win'' in Ukraine? They are failing in all the objectives they set themselves at the outset.

      One of their objectives was to limit any increase in the size of NATO. In reality, Ukraine was a million miles away from being accepted into NATO, anyway. But due to Russia's disastrous campaign in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland are now joining NATO. Putin was apparently worried about more NATO on his border. Well, have a look at how much border Finland shares with Russia.

      And, consider the loss of international influence that Russia is now suffering. It is becoming a vasal state to China, and has been losing its influence in countries such as Syria due to removing troops from Syria to prop up its efforts in Ukraine.

      And look at how much it has declined in its ability to wage war due to material losses in Ukraine and the effect of sanctions on its ability to produce the modern gear it needs.

      And this “denazification” nonsense: Russia has just given over 200 from the Azov battalion back to Ukraine in a prisoner swap:

      https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-releases-10-foreigners-captured-ukraine-after-saudi-mediation-riyadh-2022-09-21/

      Whatever happens in Ukraine, Russia has lost in nearly every measurable outcome. And it looks increasingly likely that they will lose on the battlefield as well.

      • Blazer 9.1.1

        What qualifications do you have to label Putin a psycopath…as you have in an earlier post?

        Should we only rely on ex military and their opinions as to the likely military outcome?

        Maybe none of us should…be posting.

        • tsmithfield 9.1.1.1

          I have a masters in Psychology, so I can see the signs…

          • Blazer 9.1.1.1.1

            Peterson appears to have a 'few' qualifications too.

            'Jordan Bernt Peterson (born 12 June 1962) is a Canadian media personality, clinical psychologist, author, and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. He began to receive widespread attention as a public intellectual in the late 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues, '-Wiki

            Opinion's on the likely military outcome are many and…varied.

        • mikesh 9.1.1.2

          Not being a military person myself I have generally avoided commenting on the conduct of the war, or on the question of which side was likely to win. But if russia was "a million miles away from being accepted into NATO" what were the likes of John McCain, Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland doing in Kyiv around 2014? I understand Russia's concern.

    • observer 9.2

      There are a thousand opinion pieces on Russia/Ukraine by qualified and informed commentators. Read those.

  9. Adrian 10

    Putins main problem now especially as he appears to be emptying eastern Russian of any male that can walk is that this is the time that China has been waiting for since 1860 and theConvention of Peking when they were cheated out of the parts of Siberia that had been theirs for aeons. 162 years is a mere blink of an eye in Chinese time.

  10. joe90 11

    Why mobilisation will be an epic FU.


    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1572270599535214598.html

    edit:

    this;

    In case of mobilisation, there will be:

    1) tons of new, unmotivated recruits
    2) aware they’ll be sent to Ukraine, where they likely die or get maimed
    3) stuck in Moscow, in proximity to the seat of power

    That’s revolutionary situation Image
    That is btw exactly the scenario of 1917 revolution in Russia. In November 1916 Nicholas started suspecting his ministry for internal affairs Protopopov of disloyalty and started vetting other candidatures. He offered Protopopov’s position to Krzhyzhanovsky
    Krzhyzhanovsky said yeah, I could be a minister, but I have a condition. There are 460 000 reserve troops quartered in the imperial capital of St Petersburg. These are mobilised peasants, very unmotivated. They know, they’ll soon be sent to the WWI trenches, where they die
    I want you to:

    1. Transfer some of them to the city police with an exemption from the military service
    2. Relocate the rest the FUCK OUTTA THE CAPITAL

    That’s my condition if you want to see me as a minister. Nicholas ignored it. 3 months later the Russian empire fell
    It were not the “workers” or “peasants” who did the February and then the October revolution. It were first and foremost the 460 000 conscripts of the St Petersburg garrison. Who were stuck in the capital cuz logistics and found themselves close to the seat of power. The end

  11. Arming a reluctant peasantry and attempting to send them to their death in a meat grinder, may not be the greatest chess move by Tsar Pooty

  12. Herodotus 13

    So what is our governments response what ARE these options that we have not already put into place and why have they not been put in place??

    we know what you are not going to do, as you said in 2017 Let’s do it” …. Still waiting and the seconds, minutes, hours, days ,weeks etc still tick by.

    Expelling Russian Ambassador among 'least meaningful' options – PM
    "The question has always been for us, what is the most meaningful thing we can do to bring an end to this war?

  13. joe90 14

    It's going well.

    /

  14. tsmithfield 15

    I don't know how those new recruits will even make it into Ukraine now. Most areas are now within HIMARS range. The Ukrainians have excellent intelligence and are destroying Russian gear before it even gets off the train.

    So, incoming Russian recruits might get a warm welcome in the warmest possible way.

    • SPC 15.1

      They are now close enough to use their pre HIMARS capability on Russian territory. Himars weaponry will be on the transport routes as soon as they cross the border.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        I am looking forward to the US finally relenting and sending them ATACMS with a range of 300km or so. That would bring Russian air-bases in range, and may make it impractical for Russia to operate an air-force in the region.

        • Scud 15.1.1.1

          Its not going to happen, as it would give Tsar Poot's Casus Belli or Jus as bellum to use his Nukes.

          I mentioned in another thread/ post a couple of weeks.

          How ever temping it's for the Political & Military Leadership to under take Strategic Special Forces Operations (up to a depth 200km inside ones country), it must be weigh up against the possibility of Tsar Poot's of declaring Casus Bell/ Jus ad bellum to us his Nukes in defence of the Motherland.

          Which funny enough under the Laws of War & even under Article 51 of the UN Charter the right to Self Defence he can.

          Now I'm going to respond into why Tsar Poot's won't start tossing a few cans of instant sunshine about for shits and giggles.

          With all the Chemical Biological Radiological & Nuclear Defence courses that I did in the RAAF.

          The use of Radiological & Nukes were seen as the Ultimate Defence Wpn for a "Scorched Earth Defence Tactic". In other words you invade me ie cross over my legally defined borders ratified the UN.

          In plain English the use of Instant Cans of Sunshine & it's more ugly step child Radiological devices are a Defensive Wpn not a Offensive Wpn that everyone believes especially those of us one the left.

          Because who the bloody hell wants to seize or hold a charcoal radioactive waste land?

          I certainly wouldn't, would you?

          Where on the other hand Chemical & Biological Wpns are the Ultimate Wpn for attack. But I won't down that Rabbit hole, which is a fascinating subject on human stupidity towards the Science of War.

          When this senseless war started, I said Tsar Poot's won't invade Ukraine as Tsar Poot's numbers didn't stack up be it on the Frontline & on the Home Front as he is being a typical Slavic Male waving his Willy all over the place.

          Unfortunately i was provided to be wrong, as he was completely mad enough to do it.

          I also is said that the Ukrainian Government & Military Forces won't Surrender as they would "Rather Die than Live as Coward" which is the motto of the Gurkhas btw.

          Now the UkR Military has Tsar Poot's in more knots than everyones granny knot on the trailer.

          Will he use his Nukes?

          My answer is No, even his Allies would probably run for the hills if he did.

          I trust that members of the Russian Officer Corps in-charge of the various Nukes will say f*** off boss & remember this has happened before in USSR when the order was given to fire!

          Thirdly, if Tsar Poot's stupid enough to hit the big red or use its ugly step child instead.

          Then the US, UK, EU & NATO have Casus Belli/ Jus ad bellum to intervene on behalf of UkR.

          Judging by what has happened over the last few days.

          All NATO Aircraft from the Baltic to the Black Sea have all turned their Transponders off & various SMA's (Social Media Accounts) of various Units I follow have gone very silent as well expect those outside of the NATO AO.

          Tsar Poot's has been warned publicly & privately if he's uses WMD's. There will none of Obama's so-called Red Lines that were used in the Syria & elsewhere in the Sandpit towards the use of such weapons.

          Tsar Poot's pair of Two's are decidedly looking like a pair of Jokers instead.

          Anyway that's a enough of bumping my fingers on my stupid phone for now & I must toggle off for my evening meds & I need cuppa.

          And remember go the Bunnies🤣

          • roblogic 15.1.1.1.1

            Russia needs another Zhukov

            • Scud 15.1.1.1.1.1

              I don't think another Zhukov is going help, if there is one in the Russian Army atm.

              They've seem to have pushed them out since Tsar Poot's been running the show as the corrupt generals seen $$$$ amongst the poor accounting/ accountability within the State.

              The whole officer corp above Colonel is rotten to the core & whats left of the NCO Corp is almost nonexistent.

              The Russian Military needs something like the Cardwell Reforms of the British Army in the mid 1800's.

              Which is highly unlikely to happen in the short to medium term.

  15. Joe90 16

    A supportive positive influence style of leadership.

  16. Stuart Munro 17

    Russia faces a difficult turning point; whether it can thrust its new conscripts into the gaps in its positions before those positions collapse and rout.

    Raw recruits restarting from the Russian border baseline are unlikely to do better than their predecessors.

    Putin's noise about 'every means at our disposal' requires some caution, but it is intended for multiple audiences. He'd be very happy if it caused the West to blink – but it is also part of his manufacturing consent within Russia. If he goes down that path, chemical weapons might be used before nukes – he has form with poisons, and he can swear blue and purple it was Ukraine that used them. That line wouldn't work at all for battlefield nukes – Ukraine doesn't have them.

    • Blazer 17.1

      Surely you jest!

      Ukraine have been fighting the whole theatre with weapons.. they never.. had.

    • tsmithfield 17.2

      The problem with chemical weapons is that they are usually best in confined spaces. But not much use out in the open. And if the wind blows the wrong way, it could have unintended consequences.

      I did see something about FAB 500's coming to the front line though. Those are heavy duty thermobaric bombs, dropped by aircraft. I think the problem with those is that they have to be dropped by fairly slow aircraft that would be an easy target for Ukrainian air defence. So, they might be best deployed in scenarios where air defences are taken out.

      The problem with this type of bombs, and tactical nukes, is that, to be effective, they need to hit concentrations of enemy troops. However, the Ukrainians have been trained by the British etc, to stay widely dispersed in a given area, then come together quickly when they are on attack so as not to give easy targets for these types of weapons.

      • Stuart Munro 17.2.1

        Ukrainians could get a pretty good kill count by applying novichok to washing machines – but more seriously, the loss of international support would be too costly for them.

        Russia is a pariah already however, and there might be some assaults wherein chemical weapons could be used to advantage – especially against static troops in defensive lines in winter.

        Part of my point though, is that tac nukes have little value against mobile light forces. Were Russia to use a nuke, the best target might be Kyiv. The international response would be punishing however.

        • tsmithfield 17.2.1.1

          There is a major complicating factor in Russia using nukes in Ukraine.

          Of course there is the international backlash, and the possibility NATO might retaliate by taking out the whole Black Sea fleet for instance. But there is another fly in the ointment. I pointed this out above, but you may have missed it.

          In 2013, China promised to protect Ukraine against nuclear attack. That was before Russia invaded Crimea, and I suspect that China did not have Russia in mind at that point. However, the Chinese do seem to be getting quite twitchy about the situation in Ukraine. So, I suspect they might be trying to protect Ukraine by putting pressure on Putin not to use nukes.

          On that basis, I am highly doubtful Russia would resort to nukes.

          • Stuart Munro 17.2.1.1.1

            Yeah – that was in part my point too, that nukes don't offer a strategic benefit compared to the costs. Chemicals, maybe – if used smartly.

            Russia probably has a few scorched earth infrastructure options left too, that would be troublesome even with conventional weapons. Nevertheless, the smart money hasn't been on Russia for some time.

            • Blazer 17.2.1.1.1.1

              'Nevertheless, the smart money hasn't been on Russia for some time.'

              How did you arrive at that conclusion..Stuart?

              • tsmithfield

                All it takes is to put a bit of thought and research into what is going on. Here are just a couple of factors:

                Firstly winter is coming. In Ukraine that means snow and frozen grounds. Nato is going to supply the Ukrainian soldiers with all they need for that environment. In contrast, the Russian soldiers are largely poorly equipped. It is doubtful their troops will be resourced to survive in the winter environment. Now Russia will have to try and equip a lot more, when they can't even equip properly the troops they have there now. The Ukrainians have become very adept at identifying and destoying Russian logistics. This is going to be a huge problem for Russia in the winter. Thus, many Russian soldiers will likely freeze to death in the trenches.

                Secondly, so far as mobilisation is concerned, Russia is supposed to be mobilising troops with recent military experience in the first draft. But, in reality, they are randomly grabbing anyone with a pulse. And, as that video points out, the Russians simply don't have the training facilities or modern equipment for them. So, it is doubtful that mobilisation will be very successful in achieving its goals because a lot of those taken are completely untrained and unwilling to be there.

                Thirdly, it is highly doubtful a lot of conscripts will even make it to the battlefield as Ukrainians have excellent intelligence as to where troops are assembling. If the link provided is correct, this batch of troops have been sent to a facility well within the range of Ukrainian Himars or even standard artillery.

                • Blazer

                  You are so one eyed and now quite condescending that it's hard to have useful dialogue with you.

                  Example -you make a statement-'

                  'I don't recall the US threatening to nuke nations it had a problem with any time in the last 70 years. Can you give any examples where they have?'

                  Despite a number of posters providing examples, you divert away with your quite obtuse understanding of logic and who is qualified to comment on military matters.

                  I think you suffer from 'Capt Mainwaring syndrome'….worried about China invading NZ..join the Home Guard!

                  • tsmithfield

                    How about you make a case for why you think Russia will win. I am sure you can make a logical, evidence-based case for that.

              • Stuart Munro

                Have you been paying attention to the financial exodus from Russia, Blazer? How about battlefield results? The force disparity was expected to produce an early victory for Russia, and initially foreign arms supplies were pretty limited. Nevertheless Ukraine repulsed the attempted invasion of Kyiv, inflicting substantial casualties on forces formerly thought to be elite at Hostomel.

                Russia will 'win'-because it can't afford to lose and it has a nuclear arsenal and more resources than Ukraine.

                You have three premises here. Let's zero out the first one first (Russia can afford to lose btw – it's the Putin cabal that can't). Ukraine can't afford to lose, which makes the war pretty just to their population, which has consequently united in the face of the external threat, bolstering morale and improving cooperation between citizens, government, and armed forces.

                it has a nuclear arsenal

                So does North Korea – but it ain't bestriding the world like a colossus. Nukes are a weapon of last resort, and not especially useful in contemporary warfare.

                and more resources than Ukraine

                Though it surely has significant resources within its territories, its ability to extract and utilize them is not infinite, and is declining as it destroys its labour force in a fruitless war of aggression. Little things like the bearings for Russian trains , being in short supply, are impacting the ability to move people and goods. Overall Russian productivity is declining in consequence, whatever their mineral assets might be.

  17. joe90 18

    Bread and circuses are fun up until it's you and yours' turn in the coliseum.

  18. Mike the Lefty 19

    If there are any (very) distant intelligent aliens watching us they must be very puzzled as to why humans seem to want to be led by the worst examples of humanity instead of the best.

    All throughout history large groups of humans have been led by people who wanted little more than blood, wealth and land to satisfy their own lust for power and had the means to wreak widespread devastation – Attila, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler being prime examples. And now perhaps Putin wants to join this club.

    I am reminded of the old Star Trek original series episode in which Captain Kirk gets accidentally duplicated by a faulty transporter beam. One CK is gentle, civilized and good BUT is unable to make decisions. The other CK is brutal, savage and treacherous BUT has the power of decision making. The implicated message was that it was the bad side of humans that was important in being a leader.

    It seems that the makers of Star Trek summed up the human condition rather well.

  19. tsmithfield 20

    Peter Zeihan gives excellent insights into the Ukrainian conflict from the perspective of Russian demographics.

    The problem for Russia from all of this is that Russian demographics are already terrible. But what Putin is doing in this conflict is sacrificing large numbers of the demographic segment that is needed to prolong the already terminal Russian demographic profile. By throwing more into the meat grinder, the situation is just going to get worse.

    So, Putin, aiming for a short-term win in this conflict, is in fact, condemning Russia to faster doom than it would otherwise be experiencing. And, not only due to Russians going in to the conflict. But also because the EU is now looking to offer refugee status for Russians who flee mobilisation. For a young Russian facing the alternative of likely death in Ukraine compared to a new future in Europe, I know which I would be choosing.

    The same is true for Ukraine in all of this. Except at the end of this conflict there will be massive rebuilding in Ukraine which will be drawing in masses of immigrant workers, many of whom may stay and help replenish the Ukrainian demographic profile.

  20. joe90 21

    Tankies, do a little research into Alexei Milchakov's claims to fame.

    The unofficial division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation DShRG "Rusich", which is headed by the Russian neo-Nazi Alexei Milchakov, has published instructions for the interrogation and execution of Ukrainian prisoners of war. The corresponding publication appeared in the Telegram channel of the occupation formation, reports Focus .

    The Rusich division of the DShRG called on the Russians not to inform their command about the presence of captured Ukrainian soldiers. If the report was carried out in order to improve accountability, the soldiers should tell the commanders about the wound from which the prisoner of war could die.

    To obtain the necessary information, the captors are advised to use torture against the hostages.

    "Interrogate first without physical pressure, then again, with elements of influence such as: cutting off fingers, cutting off an ear, blows to the groin and joints, driving needles under the nails. The main thing is that the enemy can consciously answer questions. Answers can be filmed" , – the instruction of the occupiers says.

    […]

    “It is desirable that everyone take part in this (in the killing of prisoners of war – ed.) in order to keep the secret of what happened in the future. The second option is to injure the prisoners and send them to the hospital. It is necessary to inflict a wound in the liver area in order to exclude the chance of survival, and "It is recommended to shoot from a short distance through an aramid bag in order to avoid burns on the body, which can show the intentional nature of the injury. Do not be afraid to kill the prisoners!" – said representatives of the unofficial division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and added that there would be no punishment for the execution of prisoners of war by the command.

    In addition, DShRG "Rusich", which is headed by neo-Nazi Alexei Milchakov, offers the Russians to "make money" on the bodies of captured Ukrainians. For a "reward" in the amount of $2-5 thousand, which will be credited to bitcoin wallets, military personnel can transfer information about the burial of fighters to relatives.

    https://focus.ua/voennye-novosti/530295-neonacisty-dshrg-rusich-prizyvayut-rossiyan-pytat-i-kaznit-ukrainskih-voennoplennyh-foto

    google translate

  21. Robert Guyton 22

    100 comments and not one person make the joke about Putin riding bear-back!

  22. Blazer 23

    Understanding the proxy war…and the U.S position.

    Peace was on the table in April and Bojo was despatched to nix it…according to Tucker…

    • tsmithfield 23.1

      Resorting to Tucker Carlson lol?

      Though probably not surprising, even though he Carslon has some truly bizarre theories about the conflict. Though, I imagine you would fit well with him, because, as the article says:

      Carlson’s evidence for all of these claims consists almost entirely of Carlson’s strategic sarcasm reserve. He provides no evidence for any of his empirical claims or theories.

      • Blazer 23.1.1

        Tucker says that Putin is making nuclear threats…..that's your position..is it not?

        • aj 23.1.1.1

          Peace was on the table in April and Bojo was despatched to nix it

          For those who dislike Tucker Carlson but want to explore these issues.

          Ben Abelow is a guest for 34 minutes with Aaron Maté and Katie Halper and discusses not only the Boris Johnson 'nix-it' mission but also the humanitarian issues in this conflict, arms control moves in the lead-up, and the risk of nuclear war.

          • tsmithfield 23.1.1.1.1

            According to Johnson he feared Ukraine was being coerced into the deal.

            But, probably, more telling was that this was about the time that the Bucha atrocities were discovered. And this did as much to scupper a peace deal than anything else.

            • lprent 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep. Wikipedia has a good summary.

              The Bucha massacre (Ukrainian: Бучанська різанина) was the killing and abuse of Ukrainian civilians by Russian Armed Forces during the fight for and occupation of the Ukrainian city of Bucha amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photographic and video evidence of the massacre emerged on 1 April 2022 after Russian forces withdrew from the city.[12][13]

              According to local authorities, 458 bodies have been recovered from the town, including 9 children under the age of 18; among the victims, 419 people were killed by weapons and 39 appeared to have died of natural causes, possibly related to the occupation.[14][15] Photos showed corpses of civilians, lined up with their hands bound behind their backs, shot at point-blank range, which ostensibly gave proof that summary executions had taken place.[16] An inquiry by Radio Free Europe reported the use of a basement beneath a campground as a torture chamber.[17][18] Many bodies were found mutilated and burnt,[19][20] and girls as young as fourteen reported being raped by Russian soldiers.[19][21] Ukraine has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate what happened in Bucha as part of its ongoing investigation of the invasion in order to determine whether a series of Russian war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed.[22][23]

        • tsmithfield 23.1.1.2

          Yes. But making threats and acting on them is two different things. In fact, it could be argued that if Putin was serious he would act without making threats. By making a threat, it simply gives the other side a chance to prepare.

          Ukraine made absolutely no threats about attacking around Kharkiv. If they had, the Russians could have prepared for that.

    • lprent 23.2

      You’re assuming that the US actually had the capability to hold Ukraine back? You’re dreaming. It is a sovereign state

      Remember that significiant armaments didn’t arrive into Ukraine until May/June, and yet the Russian forces got thrown back into the East by mid April. Where they squandered troops in frontal assaults after artillery bombardment for very little gain.

      What has been noticeable is that the Ukrainian population is largely supportive of their defensive war. The Russian Fed citizens have to date mostly been apathetic because it didn’t impact them.

      Besides if the US or NATO had tried to do the dirty on Ukraine by selling them down the river. The domestic political consequences would have been appalling for those doing it. The Ukrainian government hasn’t exactly been quiet about anyone getting between them and their own defence.

      Tucker Coulson? Really.. The guy is a mindless shockjock who is too lazy and probably too stupid to think about issues. Certainly he contradicts himself regularly over the years because he has a incoherent personal philosophy that mainly seems to consist of a fear complex that his mike may be taken away from him. Reminds me of Mike Hosking.

      Doesn’t surprise me that you look at him as a fount of news. Tucker also likes simpleton bullshit and lying rather than accuracy and facts as well.

    • Shanreagh 23.3

      Good grief Tucker Carlson, nek minit the 45th president will be there with Marjory Taylor Greene and De Santis as the heavy hitters. surprise

  23. Blazer 24

    AFAIK Carlson does not have a masters degree in psychology…but he is quite influential and entitled to his opinion.

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has had a mixed 2022. On the one hand, he hosts the highest rated show in cable news .

    • tsmithfield 24.1

      Do you believe Trump won the election as well?

      I agree that Carlson is entitled to his opinion. Whether his opinion is worth anything is another matter.

      • Blazer 24.1.1

        Sure he did in 2016.

        The post you referenced is just another opinion piece by someone who most americans don't…know.

        • tsmithfield 24.1.1.1

          Carlson's opinion is about as valid on the Ukraine conflict as Jordan Peterson's opinion is on whether Russia will win.

          Still waiting for you to respond to my challenge above:

          How about you make a case for why you think Russia will win. I am sure you can make a logical, evidence-based case for that.

          And what observer just said below.

          • Blazer 24.1.1.1.1

            Russia will 'win'-because it can't afford to lose and it has a nuclear arsenal and more resources than Ukraine.

            Btw…can you give me your expert ,psychological analysis of Biden's…behavioural characteristics….thx in advance.

            • tsmithfield 24.1.1.1.1.1

              At least you did provide a bit of logic, although very superficial.

              Here are a couple of questions for you:

              If you consider the economies of Ukraine & NATO (including the US) compared to the economy of Russia, who do you think can afford to keep the war going the longest? After all, we aren't comparing Russia and Ukraine. We are comparing Russia versus Ukraine and its backers.

              To what degree has Russia already expended its precision munitions, and how easy is it to replace these, and other equipment given the Western sanctions on electronics Russia needs to produce this stuff?

              Does Russia have a bigger combat force that Ukraine right now? Which of the forces is getting better resourced and trained?

              You might find Perun, who provides excellent analysis into war logistics informative in that respect.

              Would Russia actually use nukes against Ukraine given that even China has pledged to protect Ukraine from nuclear attack and that the other consequences from Nato would be devastating (eg perhaps sinking the Russian Black Sea fleet as is rumoured).

              • Blazer

                'superficial logic'…now…!laugh

                Q1-its more about military capability in the 'now'..than economies.Europes energy crisis is still to unfold.

                As for resolute resistance…the Russians have good form.

                Q2-I don't know the answer to this…and would surprised if you do!

                Q3-Russia.

                Q4..'would Russia….'If there was no other option I expect it would.Pledges are broken all the time.In WW2 Germany and the USSR had a non-aggression pact.

                Now you can answer this…can you give me your expert ,psychological analysis of Biden's…behavioural characteristics….thx in advance.

                • tsmithfield

                  I haven't really analyzed Biden. It is hard to get objective information on him given that most information is politically tainted one way or the other. And he is very old and seems to have borderline dementia.

                  The biggest thing that surprises me about US presidents that they often are so old that they are nearly ready for a retirement home. It is hard to see how people with that age would be able to embrace new ideas and strategies easily, or be able to come up with them.

                  Q1. I agree that Europe's energy crisis is starting to unfold. But that cuts both ways. By Russia cutting off Europe from gas supplies, they are also cutting off a large amount of foreign currency that could be used to wage war. Also, judging by recent speeches from Germany and France (who were arguably the keenest to see deal done), Russian mobilisation has made it clear to them that a peace deal won't be possible, so the only option now is to support Ukraine, and even increase that support.

                  Q2. So far as Russia's supply of munitions is concerned, there are a number of indications they are running short. For instance, they have been sourcing drones from Iran, and recently approached North Korea for artillery shells. Also, they have started repurposing S300 anti-aircraft missiles to use as land attack weapons, presumably because of shortages of the other stuff.

                  One of the big problems for Russia is that a lot of their equipment relies on computer chips from the US, that are of course, blocked by sanctions. So, replenishing their missiles etc isn't that easy. And they are bringing out T64 tanks now, which date back to the 1960s I think, and are definitely suboptimal. Whereas, Ukraine is getting much more advanced gear.

                  Q3. Ukraine has started mobilisation much earlier than Russia. Plus they have been sending their troops to Britain/Europe, and the US for training. Last time I saw, Ukraine had an army of around 700000, which is a lot more than Russia can bring to the party right now. Hence why Russia is mobilising. But too late I think.

                  Q4. I don't think China would protect Ukraine by actually attacking Russia to defend Ukraine. But there have been indications that China has been expressing its displeasure at the way things are going in Ukraine, and probably the biggest way they could defend Ukraine would be to threaten to withdraw support from Russia in the case of the use of nukes. Given Russia's weak position, they simply can't afford to lose that ally.

                  Good to see you engaging with some thought. Remember that some of us here study all this at quite some depth. So, you really need to educate yourself if you want to engage in meaningful debate. Otherwise you will come across as fairly trite and shallow.

                  • Blazer

                    You are C.I.C of the armchair generals.

                    And I don't particularly give a shit of whether you or any of your home guard think I'm trite or shallow,just because I do not accept your speculation and varied, regurgitated…propaganda.

                    So ,font of knowledge…how does it all play out?

                    • tsmithfield

                      I thought you were improving…Sigh.

                      I don't consider myself an armchair general. Only that I read a lot of authorative sources from people who actually have good insight on what is going on. The same as others here.

                      It is OK to have an opinion that disagrees with us. But at least make sure it is an informed opinion.

                • Stuart Munro

                  As for resolute resistance…the Russians have good form.

                  Are you referring to Tannenberg, or to Tsushima Strait? Because those battles were Russian playing away, as it is at present in Ukraine.

                  Russia is not facing an existential threat, as it was at Stalingrad, which goes some way to explain their current lousy morale.

                  • Blazer

                    'Russia is not facing an existential threat, as it was at Stalingrad, which goes some way to explain their current lousy morale.'

                    I thought that is exactly the way it is being framed in Russia….and with all this nuke talk…ask yourself!

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Ask myself what you patronizing fool?

                      How about you go right out on a limb and state clearly wtf you are trying to hint at – for I, and I am sure many others are tired of your bullshit.

                  • Blazer

                    Apparently Putin's message to Russia is that the West is trying to destroy their country.

                    Stick to the topic and the message.You don't have to read my posts or respond to them or speak for anyone …else.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Apparently Putin's message to Russia is that the West is trying to destroy their country.

                      Oh – did you imagine that we were not following Russian state propaganda? How quaint.

                      Disenchantment is growing with Putin's regime in response to conscription and to successive military failures. Games like the "referenda" will only have a limited effect in terms of manufacturing consent.

                      You don't have to read my posts or respond to them

                      I consider it a public service to debunk bullshit – and I know a thing or two about the subject matter.

                    • Blazer

                      'I consider it a public service to debunk bullshit – and I know a thing or two about the subject matter.'

                      Do you really…yet to see anything to suggest your knowledge of the situation is anything other than western msm….reporting.

            • lprent 24.1.1.1.1.2

              Unwilling, poorly trained and equipped conscripted troops have been losing wars since 1905. Why would you feel that this dumbarse move would be any different. Especially as they are conscripting older males with no military training what so ever, probably leaving their families to starve or freeze, and adding in anti-war protesters to the mix. Sounds like Putin wants the revolution to happen against him.

              Nuclear weapons aren’t particularly useful on a battlefield. Read this analysis laying out the basic principles and issues for tactical nukes. They key point is

              To be sure, Russia’s precision munitions have often missed their target in this war, and are running short. But tactical nuclear weapons would not be a viable substitute: huge numbers would have to be used to produce a lasting military effect. One study of India-Pakistan scenarios concludes that a five-kiloton nuclear bomb might destroy as few as 13 tanks if they were dispersed. In any event, Russia has shown vanishingly little ability to locate and strike moving targets.

              Not to mention that the most in danger would be the poorly trained and equipped Russian Federation conscripts. Plus

              Any decision to break the nuclear taboo would also jeopardise Russia’s relationship with friendly or non-aligned countries, like China and India. And a strike on Ukraine might lead to precisely the opposite outcome to that sought by Mr Putin since the beginning of the war: the dispatch of Western forces, such as specialist radiological teams, into Ukraine.

              • Blazer

                So cut to the chase…what is the likely outcome then?

                • lprent

                  I suspect that the Russians won't train their drafted troops to a reasonable. standard Some (probably the minority based on who are being drafted) will have residual reasonably poor training.

                  The traditional able bodied draft sweep that is actually taking place in most of the federated territories outside of the urban areas will result in some seriously unmotivated soldiers who won't be easy to train. This isn't exactly a modern issue. Currently there appears to be behaviour reminiscent of the draft in 1904.

                  Politicio has an excellent article describing the usual Russian drafting habits – which matches the current situation. Right down to the local quota systems, the avoidance methods, the alcohol, and the severed reporting between what is happening and the disassociation of what is heard in the hierarchy.

                  Here too it seems history is repeating itself in 2022. Social media has been flooded with videos from across Russia of tear- and vodka-soaked sendoffs, recruits passed-out on the ground, heated confrontations with draft authorities, demoralized “alco-battalions”, drunken brawls with officers, and even medical casualties.

                  The same happened in 1914 – but in what is likely to be a classic repeat, wasn't reported to the dictator at the time.

                  Most of the soldiers who would usually train are currently deployed in Ukraine and are needed there or have been casualties. Those that get deployed to training aren't likely to give a morale boost to the drafted. Not to mention that the draftees will get a rapid introduction to the long standing bullying that is endemic in the Russian training and military systems. Dedovshchina does not make the drafted become useful soldiers.

                  The Russian armed forces will equip them mostly with vintage T72s, BMP2s, and similar equipment. Mostly they will be as under-equipped as infantry for everything from clothes to optics. Usually the equipment gets better the further away from the front-lines because that is the tribute of the Dedovshchina.

                  During WW2 the soviets had pretty much the same pattern, and unlike the two previous wars managed to bull through those structural disadvantages. But they had a good story about a treacherous attack, the behaviour of the SS troops, and a strong political officer system within the military. Not exactly one that is working with the current conflict – although you can see them and their mouthpieces in the west trying to push a similar line of bumf – based on little to no evidence.

                  In the hot wars since WW2, like Afghanistan, or the breakup conflicts, then they have not done well.

                  The Ukrainians will keep concentrating on disrupting Russian logistics with accurate long-range attacks and probing for weakness. The Ukrainian military have shown no signs of deliberately wasting their trained soldiers (a marked change from pre-2014 doctrines), and can probably concentrate break-throughs. Something that the Russian forces have been unable to do since the first surprise attacks at the start of the conflict.

                  NATO and other affluent military world-wide have been shipping modern hardware to Ukraine either directly or by buying new systems and donating their old ones (like the South Korean deals with Poland). What has been noticeable to military watching is that the Ukrainians have been very effective at up-skilling fast.

                  I'd anticipate that surplus M1 Abrams (either A1 or A2) will get there sooner rather than later – which will help to enable break through forces. Doesn’t look like the Leopard 1s or 2s will be available. Many of the eastern nations of NATO have clogged their build queue for new and refurbished replacements.

                  Russia simply doesn't have enough T90M or T14 to deploy which are they only equivalent tanks in their arsenals.

                  But in any case Russia doesn't have the outside support or the interior production capabilities to match the buildup in Ukraine.

                  And if they start using tac nukes or gas attacks for political terror tactics (both are ineffectual against non-concentrated military) on the Ukrainian soil (regardless of sham 'referendums') then they will most likely get a NATO conventional response targeting the complete logistics of the occupation force including all transport links into the occupied territories.

                  Certainly the eastern axis nations of NATO apart from Hungary will all be favour of that. They remember what it is like having Russian occupations through the 19th and 20th centuries.

                  Basically Russia under-estimated the Ukrainian armed forces and the dislike of other nation states to imperialistic violations national sovereignty. The latter shouldn't have been a surprise to them – it is after all the basic precept of the UN charter.

                • lprent

                  In answer to your direct question.

                  NATO isn't going to push in military radiological cleanup troops without support. Russian military are simply too ill-disciplined to trust. Not to mention that they tend to regard lying statements and treaties as being strategic disinformation rather than binding.
                  Look at their violations of their agreements to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine or the their statements that troop movements near the Ukrainian border earlier this year were just peaceful military exercises.

                  They will make sure that if there is any Russian fire on NATO cleanup troops, that they can not only defend themselves, but can do so without too many casualties and without becoming hostages.

                  Ukraine will ask for NATO cleanups because it is the only way to get a cleanup. The Russians have been incapable of cleaning up their own country of radio active damage.

                  The West hasn't been great either especially during the immediate post-war period. But they have improved a lot over the past 50 years – to the point where they have helpfully cleaned up some of the USSR’s sea-floor radio-active garbage. 🙂

                  However Ukraine has had the example of the Russian-led USSR cleanup of Chernobyl sitting around for 40 odd years to show them just how useless Russia is at cleaning up their radio-active errors.

    • observer 24.2

      If you have to resort to "entitled to his opinion" then that's pretty desperate. Who is not?

      I don't know when or why you started down the far right rabbit hole (relying on Murdoch media, and – bizarrely – thinking it actually strengthens your case) but it's sad.

      Try widening your searches, you're not learning much from these stooges.

      • Blazer 24.2.1

        It's all opinion…you can find pro or con.

        I am far from convinced the U.S has altruistic motivations re this conflict.

        'Stooges'…indeed.

        • Stuart Munro 24.2.1.1

          Quite – stooges have more self respect. Stick to dupes.

        • Shanreagh 24.2.1.2

          I am far from convinced the U.S has altruistic motivations re this conflict.

          And Russia has? They seem pretty self interested/selfish to me and not at all altruistic.

          • Blazer 24.2.1.2.1

            No Russia is not being altruistic at all.

            When I look at a map however I see Ukraine bordering Russia….the U.S.A seems a very long way from this theatre of war.

            Do you think the U.S is primarily concerned about democracy and Ukrainian sovereignty..or is there …some other motivation here?

            • Stuart Munro 24.2.1.2.1.1

              Of course the US is disposed to contain Putin's genocidal aggressions.

              Just as Britain did with Hitler, they ignored, or found it inconvenient to intervene in his adventures in Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine 2014 and so on. But there comes a point at which giving the monster free rein becomes excessive. In WWII it was Poland, this time it is Ukraine.

              Of course we know you've been duped by the narrative that Ukraine is somehow Russian, and so that Putin gets to throw nukes. It may be news to you, but other countries have nukes too. Delivery vehicle technology is much evolved from the days of the Cuban crisis, such that a hundred kilometers closer to Moscow is really neither here nor there. Nor can other powers merely roll over every time Putin makes nuclear threats, as, in his desperation, he is increasingly wont to do.

              The Ukraine conflict is an existential threat to Putin, not to Russia. And there is nothing in his arsenal the launch of which will save him.

            • RedLogix 24.2.1.2.1.2

              You might want to consider that the only significant war the Russian military have won in the modern era was WW2. Yet even then it would have been impossible without the US supplying massive amounts of crucial assistance:

              • 400,000 jeeps & trucks
              • 14,000 airplanes
              • 8,000 tractors
              • 13,000 tanks
              • 1.5 million blankets
              • 15 million pairs of army boots
              • 107,000 tons of cotton
              • 2.7 million tons of petrol products
              • 4.5 million tons of food

              The US motivation in this war is very similar, only this time the madman is not Hitler but Putin – and to stop him in Ukraine rather than Poland, Lativia or Romania, all NATO countries that would invoke an entirely different response.

              Because if you think this crisis risks a dangerous outcome, then on the current evidence of Russian incompetence a direct conflict between Russia and NATO would quickly degenerate into a catastrophic defeat that would most likely result in Russia using nukes as a desperate last resort.

              Instead NATO's goal in this conflict is not to attack and threaten Russia itself, but to destabilise the Kremlin to the point where Putin and his cronies are ousted from power. A political reset that opens up the possibility of a negotiated peace.

              Of course all of this is secondary to the Ukrainian people's astonishing determination to defend their homeland. Without this absolutely central consideration – everything else would be mute.

              • Blazer

                O.K…so its a stop the 'madman' war.

                Just like Saddam,Gaddafi,Bin Laden…..and all the other 'bad' people the U.S identify from time to time.

                Revolt from within for regime change ….dunno..

                Why Putin is still so popular in Russia – Asia Times

                • RedLogix

                  I agree – the deal is the Russian people will passively tolerate Putin's kleptocratic autocracy and it's military mis-adventures just as long as it keeps out of their lives and delivers relative stability. Given that even now Putin is still better than their leaders for at least two centuries prior, this is not a high bar to leap over.

                  Defeats and mass conscriptions might well change that calculus.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Yes it is a stop the madman war. This time however, they've got a real one, not a broken-backed dictator, and the nukes are not a product of dubious capability calculations and rumours of yellowcake.

                  Just like Saddam,Gaddafi,Bin Laden

                  The problem with over-generalizations like this is that you lose meaningful content. Putin is pretty different to the run-of-the mill dissenting third world despot. He's an espiocrat that spent a great part of his life conspiring to destroy the West. His disinformation campaigns in particular have been extremely successful – but now that he is exposed as a malefactor other states are beginning to curtail those activities.

                  He has a reasonably high level of support in Russia – but losses and defeats and loss of freedoms will erode that pretty rapidly. A nuke cannot readily get him out of that pickle – only the West bowing to nuclear blackmail can.

                  The problem for the West is, if they humour his threat, he'll be back for more before you can say "knife". Fortunately, perhaps, Ukraine will not leave matters to vacillating bureaucrats.

                  • Blazer

                    'The problem with over-generalizations like this is that you lose meaningful content. Putin is pretty different to the run-of-the mill dissenting third world despot. He's an espiocrat that spent a great part of his life conspiring to destroy the West.'

                    I see a valid comparison.Those mentioned presented a threat to the U.S.A's domination of oil rich regions.

                    They ,just like Putin are cast as 'mad man'…to the public.

                    America relies on their global financial muscle to maintain their hegemony and control the IMF,World Bank,B.I.S and SWIFT .

                    Russia is one of many countries that want to dedollarise world trade.

                    America's foreign policy priority is maintaining the status quo…it is vital them.

                    That's why they have a strategy of encirclement/containment of countries like Russia and China .

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Sure there's a valid comparison – but putting Putin on a par with non-threats like Saddam Hussein – is stretching willful ignorance to the point of disinformation. Putin is an agent in the current conflict – its instigator in fact. This war is one of those rare occasions when the US is not the malefactor.

                      Any country that has the capacity is going to exercise a policy of containment in respect of bellicose neighbours, and, while it remains containment, it is perfectly proper that they do so. Russia under Putin has gone further, into invasion, repression and genocide, and his policy towards Ukrainians is likewise genocidal.

                      To the extent that you pretend to progressive values, how do you explain your determination to whitewash the actions of this war criminal?

                    • Blazer

                      Russia is not a neighbour of America.

                      Ukraine is a satellite state of the U.S

                      You say Saddam was not a threat…yet the death and destruction inflicted by the U.S is excused because 'we relied on false intelligence'!Talk about whitewashing.

                      You appear to condone U.S bullying of other nations and we know they have used thinly veiled, nuclear blackmail threats before.

                      Respected commentators like Hudson,Sachs,Chomsky,etc..can break down this illusion of 'american exceptionalism'..for exactly what it is.

                      You seem convinced its a black and white situation.

                      There is a plethora of information that the U.S is protagonist in the current situation.

                      They are still smarting from Russia neutering them in Syria and Venezuela.

                      Why do you think the BRIC countries do not strongly condemn Russia?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Ukraine is a satellite state of the U.S

                      Poppycock.

                      You say Saddam was not a threat…yet the death and destruction inflicted by the U.S is excused because 'we relied on false intelligence'!Talk about whitewashing.

                      Who said it's excused? The casus belli of the first gulf war, though tainted, was sufficient to attract significant international support, since it involved the invasion of another country. The second gulf war was without justification, and did not attract international support. Calls for W to be indicted for warcrimes continue.

                      Putin is not merely cast as a madman, he behaves like one – sufficiently so that he poses a threat to his neighbours, and, not content with that, he goes on to threaten major European powers with some frequency.

                      You appear to condone U.S bullying of other nations

                      The hegemon has a number of duties, if they wish to be perceived as a world leader. That can include dealing with unrealistic excesses of aggression, like Putin's genocidal ambitions.

                      There is a plethora of information that the U.S is protagonist in the current situation.

                      How about you actually produce some then. And don't think peddling Putin's propaganda about US encirclement will make your case – the US has often been aggressive in pursuit of its geopolitical agendas – but it has not established basing in Ukraine, which it certainly would have done were that its intention.

                      Why do you think the BRIC countries do not strongly condemn Russia?

                      They are keeping their options open – and many of them have expansionist ambitions of their own that would not bear close examination. Are you going to try to tell us that they suffer from an excess of scruples?

                  • Blazer

                    1-'poppycock'

                    'The Ukrainian issue has become, in the eyes of the West, a simple matter of Russian aggression. Evidence is routinely given that references the annexation by Russia of the Crimea. Whether Russia was justified in such an action is, however, not the question. The manner in which Ukraine came to be a virtual fiefdom of the US is of the utmost importance. The interference of the US in what came to be known as the Maidan Revolution of 2013, and the active participation of openly fascist organisations in that movement, made it clear as to what the future of relations between Ukraine and Russia and, importantly, the US would be. Since that moment, Ukraine has played a key role in US maneuvering in the region.'

                    The US role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict | Green Left

                    • roblogic

                      It is one thing to be critical of America, or even to hate its global ambitions, but quite another to turn a blind eye to the war crimes of Putin and his savagery for your own partisan ideology.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      With the possible exception of Craig Murray, that is the least supported and most biased piece of unsubstantiated nonsense I have ever seen.

                      Poppycock.

                      Find something real, if you can, to support your assertions.

                    • Blazer

                      @robologic…no one is turning a blind eye to war crimes. they occur to both sides in every war.

                      @Munro…are Jeff Sachs and Michael Hudson acceptable sources for you?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Jeff Sachs and Michael Hudson acceptable sources for you?

                      That would depend upon the arguments they try to make, and the degree to which they are able to support them.

                      They have a pretty uphill task however, since Putin has basically done everything one should not do to win influence and support in neighbouring countries, and lies with a frequency that puts even Kim Jong Eun to shame. One needs a pretty remarkable alibi for mass graves.

                    • Blazer

                      Here is an even handed discussion with interesting positions from 4 contributers.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Much better.

                      But the idea that opinion may be split evenly for the purposes of debate omits the role of fact.

                      There are quite a pile of facts about Putin, that have accumulated over his years in power, that add up to a damning picture, and did so long before his ambitions in Ukraine prompted him to instigate an insurgency there, or to move troops, first in mufti, and later officially. across its borders. Ukraine was merely further corroboration.

  24. Historian Pete 25

    There have been various predictions of the end resultof the conflict.. Here is mine.My qualifications: I have a Degree in History, am a trained history teacher, and have been studying History for over 55 years.

    The Ukraine and Nato will lose. Russia believes it has been put in a position of an existential threat, it has stated so repeatedly, and it has been ignored repeatedly. It may well use Nuclear weapons for the same reason that the U.S. used them on Japan ,and for the same reason that the U.S. has repeatedly threatened to use them, like in the Cuban Missile Crisis.The U.S. has reneged on the understanding gained during the Cuban missile crisis by putting Russia under threat of conventional missiles that can be converted overnight into nuclear missiles[from nearby countries.] So Russia will try to use conventional weapons. If this fails it will use low yield Nuclear weapons.There is a strong likelihood that this will degenerate into a full nuclear exchange with the U.S/ Uk etc . One way or other, Nato and the Ukraine will lose. As for Russia and the U.S.? That is the debateable bit , with several intriguing possibilities!!!

    • tsmithfield 25.1

      As a history teacher, you will know that China has pledged to protect Ukraine from nuclear attack?

      So, how do you think China would respond to Russia if it were to use nukes and put China in the embarrassing position of being called on its pledge? Given Russia is now essentially a vassal state to China, how do you think all this will play out between Russia and China?

    • observer 25.2

      There is a strong likelihood that this will degenerate into a full nuclear exchange with the U.S/ Uk etc . One way or other, Nato and the Ukraine will lose.

      The second sentence might be true (we simply don't know yet), but the first sentence is not about Russia or Ukraine or anybody else winning or losing. It would be beyond anything that humanity has ever imagined.

      Not pressing that button is the first and last necessity here. Saying "yeah but whatabout whatabout" is not going to be much comfort if that happens. Nobody gets to justify that deed.

      • Historian Pete 25.2.1

        "It would be beyond anything that humanity has imagined."

        Humanity has already imagined it. Check out the eye witness descriptions of the people who survived Nagasaki and Hiroshima!!

        Also I was 16 at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I lived the spine chilling fear of waiting to see if we would live or die as the Soviet Union ships with their Nuclear Missile cargo approached Cuba!!!

        • Obtrectator 25.2.1.1

          And if that still doesn't convince you, find a copy of the UK TV movie Threads, screened in the mid-1980s. Failing that, find someone who saw it. They'll tell you. The immediate casualties in a nuclear exchange would only be the start of the ruination.

        • observer 25.2.1.2

          I don't need a history lesson on Hiroshima or Nagasaki, thanks. But you might need to update your science homework. A 21st century nuclear conflict would be a thousand times worse – even what you call "low yield" nuclear weapons contain far more destruction than Fat Man and Little Boy.

          To repeat: not getting to that point is everything. Justifying is nothing.

          • tsmithfield 25.2.1.2.1

            Exactly, and that is one reason why I doubt it will happen. Even if Putin is suicidal enough to push the button, there are others in the chain of command who have family and friends in Russia who they probably don't want to see getting nuked.

            As I said, why threaten something if you actually intend to carry out the threat?

            NATO will be watching every move Russia makes with respect to nukes now, and will probably have their own missiles targeting Russian nuclear silos and anything else they know about so they can do a preventive strike before Russia has the chance to launch anything if they think Russia is on the verge of launching.

            • Blazer 25.2.1.2.1.1

              'NATO will be watching every move Russia makes with respect to nukes now, and will probably have their own missiles targeting Russian nuclear silos and anything else they know about so they can do a preventive strike before Russia has the chance to launch anything if they think Russia is on the verge of launching.'

              Ya think so..Capt!laugh

  25. joe90 26

    Uncle Vova no-mates.

    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Russian President Vladimir Putin must return all land that Russia has occupied, including Crimea.

    The Black Sea peninsula should be returned to its “rightful owners,” Erdoğan told PBS NewsHour on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in comments likely to provoke ire in Moscow.

    [..]

    Erdoğan said he had been telling Putin this since 2014. “But since then, unfortunately, no step has been taken forward,” he added.

    The remarks make him the latest world leader with continuing ties to Russia to deal Putin a rhetorical blow in recent days. India’s Narendra Modi raised concerns last week about the Russian president’s ongoing war on Ukraine, and Putin himself admitted China’s Xi Jinping expressed “concerns” as well.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/return-crimea-turkey-president-erdogan-putin-russia/

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was careful not to condemn the war but said that China’s firm stance is that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected. The purposes of the principles of the U.N. Charter should be observed.”

    Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said “the trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of a profound concern for the international community.” He called for accountability for atrocities and abuses committed in Ukraine. “If egregious attacks committed in broad daylight are left unpunished, this council must reflect on the signals we are sending on impunity. There must be consistency if we are to ensure credibility,” he said.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bc-us-un-general-assembly-russia-isolation_n_632dd3a9e4b00f7fcb522fe2

    • tsmithfield 26.1

      That is fairly big news because Erdogan had been on reasonably good terms with Putin up until now.

  26. joe90 27

    Erdogan fancies himself a latter day Ottoman Sultan and keeper of the legacy of Empire and Islam in Eastern Europe.

    He ain't having a larger regional conflict that puts tens of millions of ethnic Turks and Muslims in harms way.

  27. tsmithfield 28

    For those wanting to argue how Russia might win this war, then this is an excellent video that explains Putins strategy, and how it is going to take a lot of resolve on the part of Europe to keep united around Ukraine.

    This is the sort of content the likes of Blazer et al should be bringing to the table to make their case.

    • tsmithfield 28.1

      The video explains Putin's energy strategy with winter coming in Europe.

      With inflation already high, and Putin having cut off gas supplies as well, Putin is hoping for mass protests and that popularity will start to increase for right-wing (Russian leaning) politicians. The hope is that this pressure will start to fracture the Western alliance, and therefore, support for Ukraine from the NATO allies will be undermined.

      That is why the NATO allies need to have a co-ordinated strategy to manage this issue, and ensure that people are able to keep themselves warm during winter.

      • Blazer 28.1.1

        And this video with Professor Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University U.S.A gives a real insight into America's foreign policy and its strategies to maintain hegemony at all costs.

        Sachs has worked for Poland and Russia as an economic advisor as long ago as the 90's.(15mins in)

        • SPC 28.1.1.1

          The path not taken – George Kennan architect of the containment policy advised against isolating Russia.

          The withdrawal of the UK from the EU was the right time to act on that and de-couple NATO from Europe (a USA Canada UK Norway NATO and a defence treaty with the EU – and the EU also having a defence treaty with Russia). In that environment a EU-Ukraine/Russia FTA (the Warsaw Pact nations and Baltic States as members of the EU). Something neither Trump, or Biden, considered but which would have been leverage to get Putin to make concessions re Ukraine.

          Taiwan, the concern is the Chinese approach in the South China Seas claiming atolls as island territory and the impasse over Taiwan. The short message to Beijing, they can have one and not both. If they want Taiwan, they dismantle the island bases and withdraw all claim to the territory. Then Taiwan would be recognised as part of mainland China … from 2049. Talks between Beijing and Taipei could then occur on that basis. The premise being Taipei concede nothing now but face takeover in 2049, or Taipei concede a transition arrangement before 2049 in return for some autonomy after 2049.

  28. infused 29

    You're likely to get tactical nukes.

    Watch the new recruits. Many can barely stand.

  29. tsmithfield 30

    An excellent video here. The argument is that Ukraine will struggle to eject Russia from Ukraine if Russia mobilises 1 million or more soldiers as Russian sources apparently suggest.

    But, that the best way to defeat Russia is not militarily, but rather economically. The video is well worth watching. As pointed out, by far the largest Russian export is oil. Due to the West no longer purchasing Russian oil due to the war, the main customers for Russian oil are China and India who receive a 30% discount on oil purchased from Russia.

    The problem for Russia is that reserve banks world wide are increasing interest rates, which has a natural effect of decreasing oil prices. It has now fallen from a peak of over $120 USD per barrel at the start of the conflict to $79 per barrel now, with a strong downward trend. So, at the Russian discounted return from China and India is around $55 US per barrel.

    Prior to the conflict, the cost of production per barrel of oil was $30-40 USD per barrel. However, the cost of production has likely increased considerably since then for a number of reasons. Firstly, western oil firms leaving Russia, making it difficult for Russia to get parts and repair their oil infrastructure. Secondly, difficulty to get workers due to very low unemployment in Russia (around 3.9%) due to Russians leaving, a problem that will be compounded by mobilisation, and that Russian oil has to be transhipped due to war complications. (that is loading from smaller ships to larger ships at sea).

    Thus, even now, the cost of oil production in Russia may be very close to the sell price. Along with that, they are no longer selling their gas to Germany, thus cutting off another revenue stream.

    Thus, it maybe that Russia is soon simply unable to fund its war and may not have much choice but to leave.

    The west could also make the situation even less tenable to Russia by putting pressure on Greece to cease being a hub for Russian oil transhipments.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/greece-emerging-new-hub-russian-ship-to-ship-fuel-oil-exports-data-shows-2022-05-19/

    • SPC 30.1

      Full circle back to the 1980's. Late 1970's/1980 high oil prices and then the decline and onto the fall of the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact.

  30. tsmithfield 31

    Yes. I don't think Ukraine needs to win militarily. Just keep getting support from the West until Russia runs out of money, which may not be too far away.

  31. joe90 32

    Russians (that's right, not "Orcs" and not "Rashists") bring death and ruin to our home. Putin could not have committed these crimes if it were not for one hundred and forty million murderers, sandbags and silent slaves. Russian mothers should know – we will kill everyone who comes to us with weapons. #russiaisaterrorisstate

    Yurii Kochevenko

  32. Karl Sinclair 33

    The following people essentially said Ukraine shouldn’t join NATO:

    Noam Chomsky

    Helen Clarke

    Prof Jeffrey Sachs

    Prof John Mearsheimer

    Col Douglas Macgregor

    (& many more good thinkers)

    Mickey Savage…take some time out mate and review what they have said…

    Meanwhile this makes me turn to this poem (Jacinda Ardern and your diplomatic core should to)

    When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead'

    BY CHARLES HAMILTON SORLEY

    When you see millions of the mouthless dead

    Across your dreams in pale battalions go,

    Say not soft things as other men have said,

    That you'll remember. For you need not so.

    Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know

    It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?

    Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.

    Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.

    Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,

    “Yet many a better one has died before.”

    Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you

    Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,

    It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.

    Great death has made all his for evermore.

    Poem explained: https://interestingliterature.com/2016/02/a-short-analysis-of-charles-sorleys-when-you-see-millions-of-the-mouthless-dead/

    Sorley’s poem is stark and uncompromising. Sorley is not seeking to console us: his reason for telling us not to bother praising or weeping for the fallen soldiers is because these ghosts are mere shadows of the men they were, and our tears or words now mean nothing to them.

    60k Ukraines dead due to Sinister diplomacy? What do you think

  33. joe90 34

    Dagestan.

    Another video from the Endirey turn, where the residents of Endirey blocked the highway protesting against the mobilization of their children.

    https://t.me/askrasul/31765

    • joe90 34.1

    • Blazer 34.2

      Military conscription was a feature of western countries for decades.

      A white feather in the letterbox at the least and imprisonment at worse for the uncooperative.

      That indomitable hero of U.S imperialism Henry Kissinger,described frontline troops…as 'dumb animals'.

      • joe90 34.2.1

        WTF has Woodward and Bernstein writing that Kissinger reputedly told Alexander Haig that he, Kissinger, viewed military men as dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy got to do with Russia's ethnic cleansing by conscription?

        In occupied Crimea, Crimean Tatars received 90% of summonses, such mobilization can lead to genocide, reported the non-governmental organization KrymSOS

        According to preliminary estimates, Crimean Tatars received about 90% of summonses in Crimea. At the same time, Crimean Tatars make up 13-15% of the peninsula's population," said KrymSOS analyst Yevgeny Yaroshenko.

        translation

        • Blazer 34.2.1.1

          'viewed military men as dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy got to do with Russia's ethnic cleansing by conscription?'

          It illustrates the futile,reality of War….the contempt shown by politicians towards the actual combatants who sometimes are not even sure…what they're fighting…for.

    • mauī 34.3

      With all due respect to these women of Degastan. They're possibly not a good indicator of how mobilization of the russian army is going. Soldiers with previous army experience are the ones being enlisted, presumably many were prepared for this to happen.

  34. Stephen D 35

    I’m kinda hoping that the CIA are covertly involved in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the central Asian states fomenting trouble to put even more pressure on, and stretch Russian resources further.

  35. tsmithfield 36

    I linked to in an earlier pointing out the effect reducing oil prices are having on the Russian economy and how that may cause Russia to run out of money to fight its war. And now, according to this guy I follow. India is stopping purchasing Russian oil because the discount isn't enough to make it worthwhile.

    So, Russia could be getting into financial trouble a lot faster than was thought.

  36. tsmithfield 37

    Here is a video of a conscript who showed his displeasure by shooting his commander a the mobilisaiton centre.

    Doesn’t sound promising for Russian commanders in the field who may have troops mutinying on them.

    • Stuart Munro 37.1

      It is this kind of thing that makes me think you might be overly generous in predicting an economic collapse will save Ukraine. The Russian military collapse is already in progress, and once a military falls apart it is no easy thing to put it back together. It is not even a matter of direct Ukrainian pressure anymore – Russian forces have been misled, and badly led if at all, and they and their families have been lied to. Once they stand up to object, and recover their agency, the political balance is likely to tip.

      • tsmithfield 37.1.1

        Yes, some of those units they are going to be reinforced have been so badly depleted they may not be able to adequately control the new conscripts.

        Plus, it is starting to get cold over there. Apparently under 2 degrees at night now. Unwilling conscripts who have been plucked from warmth and relative comfort to outdoor survival without adequate gear are unlikely to respond well.

      • mauī 37.1.2

        That is absurd.. You're saying one of the largest armies in the world, is starting to fall apart after only 6 months in a regional war on its doorstep.

        • tsmithfield 37.1.2.1

          Have you been living on another planet for the last six months?

          Do some of your own research, and then come back with sensible comments.

        • Stuart Munro 37.1.2.2

          Six months is a lifetime while the shells are falling, if you have no interest in the war and no confidence in leadership. Many of the surviving Russian forces only signed up for six months in any case. Russian forces have only been able to progress when they massively outnumber local forces, and have a greater weight of artillery.

          Events have shown that the crushing of the attack on Kyiv was not an anomaly, but a true reflection of force capability. Conscript armies may prosper in defense, but rarely on offense. Poor supply, inferior scouting, accurate enemy artillery, and the constant threat of being outflanked would rattle seasoned veterans, much less the grab-bag of ne'er-do-wells Putin has scraped up.

  37. Joe90 38

    This is good.

    Putin’s threat of nuclear war may backfire, too. It’s meant to intimidate the west and Ukraine but it can upset his own people more. If there’s one thing Russians fear more than Putin, it’s nuclear war – and now he’s the one bringing it closer. For both the elite and the “ordinary” Russians who I’ve spoken to recently, the calculation is about whether the risk of going against Putin is bigger than the risk of sticking with him. So far, rebelling has seemed the bigger risk; does the nuclear topic change that? Much depends on how the international community reacts. We need to show that the closer he gets to a nuclear threat, the more devastating the reaction will be: military, economic and diplomatic. He will even lose China.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/25/nuclear-threat-might-change-the-mood-in-russia-itself-stoking-widespread-fear?

  38. Karl Sinclair 39

    The Guardian article “good”

    Wooooo

    ha

    ha

    ha

    ha

  39. tsmithfield 40

    One of the big problems for the Russian army is that it appears that Putin is not allowing some of his best troops to withdraw from areas such as Lyman and Kherson where they are in critical danger of encirclement with the result that they will either be killed, or forced to surrender. Putin should be leaving these sort of decisions to his commanders on the field who apparently do want to withdraw those troops. But Putin apparently is meddling in the military strategy and tactics.

    For instance, in the Kherson region, it is thought that up to 25000 of Russias best troops are stuck there, including some of their airborne divisions. The Ukrainians are systematically destroying supply routes for this Russian soldiers, and they soon may not have the capability to fight, or any way to withdraw.

    If Russia does lose a lot of its best troops in this way, it becomes a major problem for mobilisation. That is because those highly capable troops that are lost will be replaced with troops with very little experience or training.

    • Stuart Munro 40.1

      In the footsteps of Stalin. "Not a step back!" (Ни шагу назад!, Ni shagu nazad!)

      Some estimate that policy made Stalin’s losses four or five times higher than they should have been.

  40. tsmithfield 41

    It looks like Russian state TV thinks the mobilisation is going swimmingly.

    Comments there that some of the “recruitment” officers should be sent to the front line.

  41. joe90 42

    It's going well.

    The wife of a mobilized from Lipetsk said that her husband is “sent to the front line with Donbass” after one day of training

    The wife of a man mobilized from Lipetsk, Tatyana Dotsenko, told Mediazona that her 45-year-old husband, private Andrei Kozyrev, was “sent to the front line with Donbass” after one day of training.

    Tatyana said that her husband received a summons at five in the morning on September 22, and by seven o'clock he went to the military registration and enlistment office. “At 10:30, two buses were assembled somewhere and taken to the Belgorod region,” she added.

    According to the woman, "the exercises were one day", and today her husband said that they were being sent to the front line. “There were 1,000 of them, there was no medical examination,” she added.

    Dotsenko says her husband was sent to the 237th Tank Regiment. According to her, he was called up as a grenade launcher. “He called again about half an hour ago, they were standing on the parade ground, they gave out a bulletproof vest and a helmet,” she added.

    Mediazona is not yet aware of other reports of the mobilized being sent to the war zone.

    https://zona.media/chronicle/214#49986

    google translate

    Rybar 🇷🇺

    The Eastern Military District continues to demonstrate miracles of mobilization efficiency. It seems that after the "Vostok-2022" maneuvers, sanity and effectiveness left the eastern borders of our Motherland.

    Military writer Alexei Sukonkin writes:

    For the fourth day, the mobilized men wander around the Sergeyevsky training ground, as if they were restless. There is no study, no one really understands anything, no one has seen officers at the level of the battalion commander and above.

    True, an attempt to take away their equipment from the mobilized ones failed before it even started – especially zealous military men were simply sent to hell by mature men, on which everyone calmed down.

    The military confided that people who can take care of independently acquiring sibz, because "there is not and will not be." Who are richer, rushed to buy armor.

    There is no combat training. Only two former gunners knocked out a compass for themselves and are training to work with it.

    Mobilization was carried out, subpoenas were nailed to the door, they were shoved into jambs, drivers were caught on the roads, people were sent to the Sergeyevsky training ground … so that absolutely nothing would happen there.

    We are now really going through everything that Ukraine went through in 2014, no matter how hard we try to deny it. After 8 years in Ukraine, the system of mobilization, preparation and commissioning of a new replenishment is working very badly.

    We very much hope that Russia will take a different path. #AFRF #mobilization #Russia @rybar

    https://t.me/rybar/39368

    google translate

  42. tsmithfield 43

    And I think the big problem for Russia is how to get conscripts to the battlefield alive.

    This report hasn't been confirmed yet, but very plausible given the excellent Ukrainian intelligence and the fact their Himars and artillery is in range around most of the battlefield now.

  43. Karl Sinclair 44

    Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori

    60,000 Ukrainians dead + 50,000 injured

    By any chance are you persons (Joe90, tsmithfield, blazer… et. al) all running interference for the status quo (Biden, Truss, Ardern….etc).

    Just in case you are running interference, maybe have a listen to this… it just might be worth a listen:

    The hard truth about Ukraine (an interview with Col Douglas Macgregor)

    https://youtu.be/gaHa59_daGo

    From what I can glean…. his analysis runs 180 deg counter to all of yours.

    What do you “persons” (Joe90, tsmithfield, blazer… et. al) think? 60k Ukrainians dead… all for what exactly… surly it was best to have peace?

    (To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    • joe90 44.1

      Quite the authority is Dougie.

      /

      Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, a frequent Fox News guest, has denigrated South Asian immigrants as insufficiently patriotic, described Indigenous Americans displaced by European settlers as “Stone Age” cannibals who lived in “unspeakable filth,” deployed antisemitic tropes about “rootless cosmopolitans” being “largely responsible” for society’s ills, and claimed that Democrats who “bring in large numbers of illegals” may have stolen the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump, according to a review by Media Matters of his publicly available speeches and recent interviews.

      https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/tucker-carlson-favorite-douglas-macgregor-stone-age-indigenous-people-south-asian

      • Karl Sinclair 44.1.1

        Joe90

        I’m after your analysis of what Col. Douglas Macgregor said in the interview me old chum.

        Its so easy to denigrate but not elucidate

        Maybe you could try just little harder than that….

        Again what do you think of his analysis regarding Ukraine.

        I know you’re intelligent

        • joe90 44.1.1.1

          Thirty years ago after fifty years of Russification, Ukrainians voted for independence from the nascent Russian federation. Macgregor's claptrap denies Ukrainians the agency to decide for themselves to be rid of their coloniser.

          That's it.

          • Karl Sinclair 44.1.1.1.1

            So the circa 6 million Russia speakers in the east can all go eat cake?

            Come on joe90, your analysis needs more facts and figures…

            Really keen for you to provide a breakdown historically of Donbass, Crimea etc (the disputed regions), then maybe we can have a conversation

            Saying “that’s it” doesn’t really cut the mustard

            Really keen to hear your views backed up with facts and figures (typically you have to analyse both sides)

            cheers Joe90

            • lprent 44.1.1.1.1.1

              Every open, free, monitored vote held in those eastern regions has actually shown a majority of votes, including the one to drop out of the USSR, voted against pro-Russia parties. The only region that got close to having a majority was Crimea during the vote of the Ukrainian SSR to withdraw from the USSR.

              If the various displaced refugees from those eastern regions were able to return, and a real monitored and open referendum was held (rather that this current rushed sham), then I’d expect a similar result.

              You notice the current rioting and burning of draft offices? Mostly from the federated areas of the Russian Federation, who if they ever had a open and free vote would probably like to get rid of Russian dominance as well.

    • Blazer 44.2

      You owe me an apology Karl..for putting me in..Bad Co.surprise

    • Stuart Munro 44.3

      What alternative do you have, Karl?

      Russia proposed to extirpate Ukraine, and judicially execute their president.

      You probably don't know much about Putin, but his governance is by no means enviable.

      Were they supposed to just roll over? They have long experience of Russian attempts at empire – rather more than you, I expect. And from this wealth of experience they chose to resist. Successfully.

      Don't be dog in the manger about it.

      • Blazer 44.3.1

        'Russia proposed to extirpate Ukraine, and judicially execute their president.'

        Hope you're not making..shit up..there.

        • Stuart Munro 44.3.1.1

          If you had bothered to keep current before choosing a side, you'd know.

          • Blazer 44.3.1.1.1

            Produce your..evidence.

            • Stuart Munro 44.3.1.1.1.1

              It's late – but there are truckloads of it out there.

              Here's a sample.

              You really ought to have known this stuff before venturing opinions on the conflict.

              • Blazer

                That's so ludicrous…I find it hard to think you can believe such blatant..propaganda.

                • Stuart Munro

                  People tend to believe those things that are consistent with their experience. Russia is no respecter of human rights, and frequently poisons (Navalny) or assassinates (Nemtsov) political opponents, as well as those who become inconvenient. (Litvinenko, Politkovskaya, the Skripals, various defenestrated oligarchs).

                  Given the propaganda you produced from Green Left (sic), it is not altogether surprising you struggle with FP – one of the more robust sources out there.

                  There are many sources that can verify this information if you take the trouble to look – I got it through personal channels.

          • RedLogix 44.3.1.1.2

            Our resident damp ember doesn't realise that being contrarian and being smart are two different things.

            • Stuart Munro 44.3.1.1.2.1

              I have hope for him – he found a decent debate the other day.

              But the first duty of political debate is probably to be well-informed. The average contrarian site does not encourage it – in fact they are at pains to reject the MSM views, not for substantive reasons like lack of evidence or balance, but as a reflex.

            • tsmithfield 44.3.1.1.2.2

              I wouldn't mind if he did a bit of work and came up with some good discussion.

              But he just keeps on asking inane questions that could easily be answered with a brief google search, and then accuses those of us who actually research this in depth of engaging in speculation without evidence.

            • Blazer 44.3.1.1.2.3

              And slavish western media acolytes don't realise that being objective is a ..good thing.

              • tsmithfield

                I would welcome it if you would be objective by producing good discussion backed up by researched evidence from authoritative sources. That would make for interesting discussion, even if some of us disagree with you.

                You really are not getting much respect at the moment.

                For instance, if you think something is "propaganda" as you said above, the explain why and provide alternative sources that we can consider.

                • Blazer

                  I would welcome it if you would be objective by producing good discussion backed up by researched evidence from authoritative sources.

                  Subjective bias seems to prevail.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Again, don't just assert "subjective bias''.

                    If you think we are biased in our sources, then point out how, and point to alternative sources to make your point.

                    • Blazer

                      Pointing things out ,that you don't want to know is an exercise in..futility.

                      Still waiting for you to provide one of my so called inane..questions..too hard?

                    • tsmithfield

                      The Miriam Webster online dictionary defines ''inane'' as:

                      ''lacking significance, meaning, or point''

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/significance

                      So, following that definition, every time you ask a question where you could actually answer it yourself by doing a bit of research prior to asking.

                      For example, when, after some detailed and self-explanatory information was provided you asked:

                      "So cut to the chase…what is the likely outcome then?"

                    • Blazer

                      '.. every time you ask a question where you could actually answer it yourself by doing a bit of research prior to asking.'

                      '"So cut to the chase…what is the likely outcome then?

                      ''lacking significance, meaning, or point''

                      significance=there is a brutal,conflict

                      meaning=how will it end

                      point=no one can be sure

              • Stuart Munro

                The western media have habitual positions, but they do require sources, and attempt to verify claims. This makes them useful even when their take is misguided. The alternate media has no such discipline, and is thus readily captured by propagandists. As has happened to you.

                The same thing happened to wikileaks – really intended to be a non-partisan whistleblower site, it was used as a vehicle by Russia to release Hillary Clinton's emails to facilitate the election of Trump. They were used.

                • Blazer

                  Not a very glowing assessment of what you define as 'western media'-is Carlson western media?

                  As for the 'Russiagate reference…really!!

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yes really – are you really so obtuse that you are denying it even now?

                    Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

                    Right there in black and white. Only the most tragic and misguided Putin dupes are still dying on that hill.

                    I don’t listen to Carlson whoever he might be – by MSM I mean journalists, not opinionistas.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    It is – Murdoch's interests however, are generally speaking domestic politics. And, as one of the more prestigious marques, the NYT maintains decent journalistic standards in most cases.

                    You ought to get out of the habit of cheap smears like this – you have been shown that your infantile nonsense about 'Russiagate' is a fool's defense – without foundation.

                    Have you an actual criticism of the NYT, or do you think innuendo passes muster? Bear in mind that we have seen the pitiful nonsense that you accept uncritically – you cannot plausibly pretend to be discerning now.

                    • Blazer

                      I am merely pointing out that whether or not the 'Murdoch press' is an acceptable source of info…seems dependent on if it aligns with a posters …particular bias.

                      As for 'Russiagate'….it is not a term coined by moi.

                      Perhaps you need to redirect your criticism.

                      It is noticeable that you are indulging more and more in trying to play the man,and not the..ball.

      • Karl Sinclair 44.3.2

        Hi Stuart Munro,

        you asked “what alternative do you have”

        Mate, go look up the following people’s views on Ukraine war and review what they said. There’s your alternative based on these people:

        Noam Chomsky

        Helen Clarke

        Prof Jeffrey Sachs

        Prof John Mearsheimer

        Col Douglas Macgregor

        Henry Kissinger

        Personally having reviewed what they have all said in terms of geopolitical historical context I can’t fault them in terms of there solutions (aka Ukraine stay out of NATO… etc)

        Feel free to review there insights and provide feedback (I’m genuinely interested in your views). I haven’t provided links as googling will do that for you.

        For me, 60,000 Ukrainians dead + 50,000 injured is so tragic and a major fail….someones son is not coming home tonight or ever

        Its a crazy world

        take care

        • lprent 44.3.2.1

          For me, 60,000 Ukrainians dead + 50,000 injured is so tragic and a major fail….someones son is not coming home tonight or ever

          The problem is that the Russian military and government invaded their neighbour. The deaths and injuries are on their hands – along with their own 50k+ casualties.

          Or do you think it is a good idea for nations to invade other nations to rape, maim and kill?

          Mate, go look up the following people’s views on Ukraine war and review what they said. There’s your alternative based on these people:

          Helen Clarke

          You’re a pretty rotten liar. Just linking a few of Helen Clark’s comments makes her views on the invasion of Ukraine perfectly clear.

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/462271/helen-clark-on-ukraine-invasion-an-abomination-and-threat-to-world-peace
          https://www.newsroom.co.nz/podcast-the-detail/what-we-dont-want-is-world-war-three-clark-on-war-
          in-ukraine
          https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2022/04/helen-clark-on-what-needs-to-be-done-to-stop-russia-s-war-on-ukraine-and-why-may-9-could-be-an-important-date.html
          https://www.todayfm.co.nz/home/world/2022/04/exprime-minister-helen-clark-on-ukraine-crisis.html
          https://helenclark.foundation/event/the-path-ahead-for-russias-war-on-ukraine/

          It appears that your only real use in life has ever been as old pre-net dumb 70’s dildo. You’re certainly haven’t had your intelligence enhanced to 2022 standards (ie you’re a dickhead).

          Making invalid claims about others views without linking to them, just makes you a stupid vibrator (aka internet troll stirrer swizzle stick). Because it is so easy to use a search engine to look them up.

          I’d presume you’re lying about every on else in your list as well.

          But lets be charitable, and consider that it is possible that perhaps you are talking about a simpleton troll named Helen Clarke rather than Helen Clark ex-PM. But that really would reinforce my impresion of you as someone who should be careful getting into a bath – make sure the poweer is off!

          • Karl Sinclair 44.3.2.1.1

            Wow Lprent….you sure do get a wee bit hot under that collar (studded I presume).

            Heres Helen’s comments:

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-detail/story/2018832624/what-we-don-t-want-is-world-war-iii-clark-on-ukraine

            The best-case scenario is there are talks that establish a basis on which Ukraine and Russia will live in peace, side-by-side.

            “That will probably mean Ukraine will need to accept it is a neutral country. It doesn’t want to be in a recreated Warsaw Pact with Russia, but it probably can’t ever be in NATO either. It is a classic buffer state, where great power interests are either side of it: it is the meat in the sandwich, and when Russia has felt the buffer’s gone, that’s when it’s gotten very, very angry.

            “I can’t as I sit here see a best-case where Ukraine is able to say, ‘we’ll join what we want and do what we want’. That’s probably unrealistic.”

            The logic and genius of Helen (similar sentiments by these guys to

            Noam Chomsky

            Helen Clarke

            Prof Jeffrey Sachs

            Prof John Mearsheimer

            Col Douglas Macgregor

            Henry Kissinger

            Maybe you could have a ganders or you too busy overheating

            Hugs

            Karl

            • lprent 44.3.2.1.1.1

              March 3rd? Anything more recent? At that point most people including me thought that Ukraine would get overwhelmed and a puppet government set up.

              You'll notice that there was no mention in there of Ukraine giving up any of its territory. Yet that appears to be Putin's current target.

              Ukraine being a military neutral always has been a separate question. It has been for nearly 20 years since they asked to become an aspiring member and probably will remain so. NATO has quite a lot of requirements of any national military to join. To date those haven't been satisfied.

              Ukraine (and Georgia) have been sitting on the wannabe list for a long time. I suspect that after this conflict Ukraine will finally meet the military requirements.

              Basically buffer states is an obsolete imperial concept, and one that appears to only be followed by Russia politicians and some other luddites who are still mired in the stupid 19th century imperial ideals that caused wars. Unlike prior to the mid-20th century, you won't find spheres of influence explicitly embedded in treaties like the UN charter or treaties since 1946.

              There is a reason for that. Two world wars and innumerable conflicts that ignored national sovereignty in favour of having puppet states and protectorates. A habit that has been steadily declining.

              You'll note that Helen was only reflecting the views of deranged imperial ideals of Putin as being a factor in any peace settlement. She wasn't saying anywhere that spheres of influence were a good idea.

              Just that it was a fact of life if a peace settlement had to be forged when Ukraine was on the military back foot.

              But I guess that if that was what you (as a simple dickhead) wanted to see, the living in the 19th century is what you drew from it. I'd guess that you have done the same thing with your other 'supporting' people (apart from Kissinger who does appear to still be in the 19th century).

        • Stuart Munro 44.3.2.2

          If you want to persuade people you need a bit more specificity about what it is you are trying to argue. A general purpose grab-all that puts Kissinger and Chomsky in the same box isn't going to impress anyone – they would fight tooth and nail.

          As for the dead, I lay the responsibility for them squarely where it belongs, on Putin. He has form for this sort of thing, as you would know were you properly informed.

          • Karl Sinclair 44.3.2.2.1

            Hi Stuart Munro,

            You said “you need a bit more specificity about what it is you are trying to argue”

            Answer: Ukraine shouldn’t be trying to join NATO as it most likely wouldn’t have led to 60,000 dead young men

            You also said: argue. “A general purpose grab-all that puts Kissinger and Chomsky in the same box isn't going to impress anyone – they would fight tooth and nail.”

            Answer: You make a valid point, they would fight tooth and nail on other issues .BUT..not over the general response to Ukraine (stay out of NATO, don’t fight, negotiate).

            See this article https://medium.com/statecraft-and-global-affairs/chomsky-on-ukraine-america-is-manufacturing-monsters-f136e7b217a9

            Chomsky’s position on Russia-Ukraine relations is surprisingly similar to International Relations (IR) scholar John Mearsheimer’s (and to a lesser extent, Henry Kissinger’s). According to Professor Mearsheimer, the U.S. is to blame for Russia invading the Ukraine. By pressuring Ukraine to join NATO, the U.S. intensified an already tense situation. It provoked Putin to defend Russia’s security interest in keeping Ukraine out of NATO. (For more, see “Mearsheimer on Ukraine.”)”

            You also mentioned “As for the dead, I lay the responsibility for them squarely where it belongs, on Putin. He has form for this sort of thing, as you would know were you properly informed.”

            Answer: Fair point BUT…The Americans have been pushing NATO knowing full well the scenario(s)….. So would respectfully disagree that blame entirely sits with the Russians.

            Sorry to harp on but Google these guys for more details regarding Americans contributions to the conflict

            Noam Chomsky

            Prof Jeffrey Sachs: https://youtu.be/wmOePNsNFw0

            Prof John Mearsheimer: https://youtu.be/qciVozNtCDM

            Col Douglas Macgregor: https://youtu.be/gaHa59_daGo

            Kissinger: https://youtu.be/WOZw0zGFvzI

            Alexander Mercouris: https://youtu.be/GYCNkjJ5m9k

            It’s a crazy world

            Cheers

            • Stuart Munro 44.3.2.2.1.1

              Ukraine had no option but to fight, it was invaded.

              Putin, assuming an easy victory, declined to negotiate.

              Victim blaming does you no credit, and only your (staggering) ignorance of Putin's previous genocides could lead you entertain such a fatuous position.

  44. mauī 45

    Have you considered the possibility that your London war professor is living on another planet?

    His assumptions of Russia's failure in Kyiv and Kharkhiv, even if that were true.. have nothing to do with Russias stated goal of liberating Donetsk and Luhansk. Nor does he explore the possible tactical reasons for their "slow grind".

    • mauī 45.1

      In reply to smithfield (37.2.1.1)

    • tsmithfield 45.2

      Earlier you said

      "That is absurd.. You're saying one of the largest armies in the world, is starting to fall apart after only 6 months in a regional war on its doorstep."

      My simple question to you is, why does Putin need to mobilise at least 300000 civilians to fight if the Russian military machine is fully functional, and doing well? I would suggest the panicked mobilisation, as it is taking place, is much more indicative of a military machine that is in the process of collapsing rather than one that is succeeding.

      But if your sole source of truth is Russian propaganda, then I really can't help you.

      • Karl Sinclair 45.2.1

        Yo tsmithfield

        You said “would suggest the panicked mobilisation, as it is taking place, is much more indicative of a military machine that is in the process of collapsing rather than one that is succeeding.”

        The key question(s) are

        1.Are future young Ukraine men’s lives worth losing given Russia does have some historical and current cultural and geopolitical reasons for pursuing there advancement?

        2. What North American country is going to benefit from the conflict regardless of outcome

        Well, my apologies for being so lazy but check this guy out…. Russia is not failing… I think he answers those questions rather eloquently

        Alexander Mercouris's

        https://youtu.be/JjkOTAPqwj8

        Heres the guys bio

        Alexander Mercouris's Bio:

        Alexander Mercouris is a writer on international affairs with a special interest in Russia and law. He has written extensively on the legal aspects of NSA spying and events in Ukraine in terms of human rights, constitutionality and international law. He worked for 12 years in the Royal Courts of Justice in London as a lawyer, specializing in human rights and constitutional law. His family has been prominent in Greek politics for several generations. He is a frequent commentator on television and speaker at conferences. He resides in London. <hr> Alexander Mercouris Article Archive Alexander Mercouris Personal Blog

        • lprent 45.2.1.1

          Kind of an idiotic misrepresentation of reality. Lets just move that around a bit into some historical reality.

          But hey, if we’re asking dumbarse loaded questions…

          1. Are future young Russian men’s lives worth losing given that Russia was founded as a Ukrainian colony and the Russian culture is a poor imitation of the longer Ukrainian history?
          2. Hard to see how Canada or the USA get any benefits from the current conflict. After all Russia has been failing in almost every possible statistic since the 1970s – which their military have been demonstrating in their current occupation of parts of Ukraine. Russia is hardly a competitor compared to China.

          But also which European countries won’t benefit from Russian imperialism being curbed again. Close to half of the European nations currently in the NATO military defensive treaty were effectively occupied by imperial Russia for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. They are the countries that flocked to NATO for mutual defence against their neighbours and Russia as soon as they were able to do so.

          You’d have to say that Russian behaviour, repeated again in their current behaviour to civilians, has reintroduced Europe to the quality of Russian forces. Massacre, pillage and rape. Indiscriminate bombardment of cities with inaccurate weapons to their ill-disciplined intimidation. Who’d want to live under the rule of these barbarian fuckwits.

  45. Karl Sinclair 46

    Iprent

    You said

    Kind of an idiotic misrepresentation of reality. Lets just move that around a bit into some historical reality.”

    Great start…. Love it

    Lprent,

    So, from what I can tell is:

    1. You can’t see how USA will benefit economically/ politically or don’t want to see

    2. That you haven’t answered the question, is it ok 60,000 Ukraines die for the territory Russians are claiming

    Ill give you a hand:

    Qs 1 is not really that hard to figure out (hint = arms sales to Europe, lease lend to Ukraine etc…, you can fill in the rest… such as political & economic dominance over Western Europe as a consequence of sanctions against Russia)

    Qs2 this related to the question “is it ok for 60,000 Ukraines to die for the territory the Russians are claiming”

    I take a liberty and infer from your woolly response that you think … yip that is ok?

    However, on both questions above, I suspect you haven’t even bothered to review what the people listed below are advising regarding Ukraine not joining NATO :

    Noam Chomsky

    Helen Clarke

    Prof Jeffrey Sachs

    Prof John Mearsheimer

    Col Douglas Macgregor

    Henry Kissinger

    Alexander Mercouris's

    Lprent, take some time out, google there views and come back with at least some informative commentary that you have given there views a good going over (agree or disagree, that’s fine)

    I don’t want to be rude but, unless you come up with something concrete, they do seem to have collectively a formidable intellectual cogent understanding of the issues. Your current comments…. well …. let shall we say…. mediocre at best

    For the time being, may I suggest you stay away from applying into NZs diplomatic core….

    Oh , wait a second, you’d be perfect, Jacinda et al would love you to bits

    • tsmithfield 46.1

      Let me ask you a couple of questions. Read these carefully, because they are a bit tricky.

      1. Is it OK for anyone, Russian or Ukrainian to be dying in Ukraine as a consequence of this war?

      2. Which nation is invading Ukraine, causing all this death (hint, it isn't NATO or the US).

  46. joe90 47

    If they don't bleed to death, they'll freeze to death. Poor fuckers.

    We thought that all of this could be accomplished with much less blood and of course, we weren’t anticipating such strong resistance from NATO and the collective West. This happens in the beginning of any war: underestimating the resistance, overestimating your own force. So here we are with this partial mobilization.”

    The head of RT expressed her concerns about supplying the newly drafted people with equipment, technology, and basic essentials: “Since we had to gather and send the goods to those tens of thousands that were already on the frontlines… truckloads that added up to trainloads of UAVs, body armor, socks, and the rest, will these three hundred thousand be supplied with all that they need?”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/putins-top-cheerleaders-panic-over-mobilization-mutiny

    • joe90 47.1

      Awful videos emerging of young Russians having their legs broken to avoid mobilisation.

    • tsmithfield 47.2

      At least for Ukrainian soldiers, Germany recently announced provision of winter gear, even including generators. Lithuania has just announced providing 25000 winter uniforms to Ukraine. So, I think the Ukrainian soldiers are going to be much better prepared for winter than the Russians.

      • Blazer 47.2.1

        Do you think the Russians will be wearing shorts and singlets.Winter comes every year whether or not there is a war going on.
        You appear to failing when it comes to..deductive ,reasoning.

  47. tsmithfield 48

    Russian TV discussing mobilisation LOL. I think this is a clever spoof btw, but very funny.

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