Author Topic: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again  (Read 172 times)

Offline Hydra009

Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« on: November 26, 2018, 01:40:33 PM »
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Russia earlier said the Ukrainian vessels - two small warships named as the Berdyansk and the Nikopol, and the tug - were trying "to create a conflict situation in this region" after they left Odessa.
Hmm...Russia recently stepped up its military presence in the region, fired on Ukrainian ships which Ukraine says were just waiting for free passage, rammed one of them, and then claims that Ukraine is trying "to create a conflict situation in this region"

So yeah, Ukraine's mighty tug fleet is trying to start something.  Sounds plausible.

"The Russian foreign ministry accused Kiev of coordinating with the US and the EU in a 'planned provocation'"

And apparently, not only is Ukraine out for blood, the EU and US are in on it.  Even more plausible.

Somehow, this is simultaneously also a long-term plan by Ukrainian President Poroshenko to cancel elections to seize power.  (If only they knew Russia's secret technique for free and fair elections)

Meanwhile, the Ukraine has repeatedly stepped up its plans to join NATO while Russian forces have stepped up their activity in the region.  Curious.

Online Shiranu

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 03:44:34 PM »
Extremely corrupt country led by ex-KGB agent lying? Shocking.

I have to be honest, I don't understand Russia's long-term game. I know they are heavily involved with destabilizing Western democracies and turning allies against each other, but I cant see Europe sitting by idly while Russia expands back into it.

Then again you have the UK leaving the EU and making themselves an isolated, sitting duck... and the United States, arguably the biggest threat to Russia, being more and more influenced by Russian money as well as consistently bad-mouthing NATO, so maybe Russia doesn't have much to worry about.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Hydra009

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 04:44:19 PM »
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Extremely corrupt country led by ex-KGB agent lying? Shocking.
I asked him and he said he didn't do it.  Twice.  Case closed!  :P

Quote
I have to be honest, I don't understand Russia's long-term game.
It's mostly due to geography, imo.

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TL;DW: Firstly, Russia absolutely has to have a route to the sea.  Yes, it's mostly surrounded by ocean and has its own ports, but those ports are icy and unreliable.  Maintaining control over Crimea's ports is vital to maintaining both trade and sea power. 

Secondly, Russia's western border is vulnerable and NATO and Russia have historically been antagonistic.  Ukraine cozying up to NATO potentially puts Western military assets right at Russia's doorstep.  It's basically like a reverse Cuban missile crisis.

Also, Putin is expansionist.  Not necessarily conquering territory, primarily in expanding Russia's sphere of influence.  Case in point, "Ukrainian" rebels' proposal of renaming "their" territory You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  A proposal that *faux surprise* allegedly originated from the Kremlin.  There was a similar proposal for You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, which also failed.  Both are a bit too on the nose, if you ask me.

None of these rationales are super long-term plans, and obviously, making a bunch of enemies is super bad in the long term, but that doesn't seem to factor in.  With Putin, I've gotten the impression that Russia is selling its future to pay for its present.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 04:59:38 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Baruch

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 06:31:36 PM »
Putin can work with China, they have plenty of sea coast.  Tyrannical regimes are always "surrounded" unless you let them conquer the whole planet.

US/Nato/Ukraine ... at war with Russia since 2014 ... thanks to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton etc D-party neo-libs ... but backed by the R-party neo-cons.

No matter what other say, it is fatally stupid to mess with Russia.  In fact, the US has been messing with Ukrainian fascists since 1946.  Stalin terminated the earlier infection.
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Offline GrinningYMIR

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 09:49:38 AM »
Russia isn’t the Soviet Union. It isn’t an unstoppable juggernaut that threatens to overwhelm Europe. In fact it’s military is still, decades after the collapse of the Soviets, attempting to reach a good level again.

Europe is weak now, too many decades of relying on the Americans and brexit showing utter dissatisfaction with the EU. But Russia can’t flex like the US can, if can’t flex like the Soviets did. On a case to case basis China is stronger but none of the big powers want to fight because they’d be obliterated in nuclear fire.

Ukraine is friendless right now and is trying to get allies after Russia has invaded it repeatedly stolen territory and now captured ships. Damn right they’re afraid
"Human history is a litany of blood shed over differing ideals of rulership and afterlife"

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Offline Baruch

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 01:00:35 PM »
What should fear lead to?  Stop poking the bear.  This is like idiots going to the zoo, harassing the tiger, getting in the pen with the tiger, and then complaining they got mauled.
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Offline Hydra009

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2018, 01:19:11 AM »
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Russia isn’t the Soviet Union. It isn’t an unstoppable juggernaut that threatens to overwhelm Europe. In fact it’s military is still, decades after the collapse of the Soviets, attempting to reach a good level again.
That's of course true, but Russia still has the military hardware capable of putting a hurt on Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, etc.

And while they're not up there with the US (we spend roughly 10 times what Russia spends on its military), they're no slouch at the #4 spot in terms of straight $ figures.  Also, Russia spends slightly more than the US per capita on its military.

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Ukraine is friendless right now
That's not entirely true.  No military allies right now, sure (afaik).  Certainly none who want to go toe-to-toe with Russia.  But Ukraine has friendly relations with a bunch of ex-Soviet countries as well as Western countries, who can put pressure on Russia with more sanctions.

Offline Hydra009

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2018, 01:26:44 AM »
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Captured Ukrainian soldiers giving "confessions" and Russia wants to keep half of them for 2 months to do god knows what to them.  Lovely.

Offline Baruch

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2018, 06:16:19 AM »
I work with the military every day.  Just because we spend more money, doesn't mean that we are 10x better.  Unless we a dropping palettes of Benjamins out of the back of helicopters, like we did in Iraq.
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Online Shiranu

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 05:37:10 PM »
According to the Ukrainian president there is a massive buildup of Russian troops along the border.

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Ukraine's president says Russia is building up land forces and weapons along its border with Ukraine as tensions between the two countries flares in the wake of a recent naval clash in the Black Sea.

President Petro Poroshenko says Russia has deployed "more than 80,000 troops, 1,400 artillery and multiple rocket launch systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armored combat vehicles, 500 aircraft and 300 helicopters" along their border. He spoke Saturday said at an Ukrainian military event.

These numbers, which have not been verified, would account for the vast majority of men and hardware assigned to Russia's Western Military District.

As it says, those numbers have not been confirmed and my guess is they are exaggerated... however every article I am finding online does say that satellite imaging is confirming a massive increase in Russian tanks along the Donbass border.

----

Information these last two days make it seem like Trump's days are numbered; he has been directly accused of a felony in relation to contact with Russian operatives in the latest documents put out by Mueller's team. I wonder if Putin is reading the writing on Trump's wall and is looking to make a move while he doesn't have to worry about Western retaliation.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 05:47:35 PM »
I suspect that Putin's installation of Trump in the WH was (in part) with the intention of not having to worry about any American response to his aggression in Ukraine. But, as you suggest, his time in that regard may be very limited. So what will the rest of the world do? Anything?
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Online Shiranu

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 06:25:37 PM »
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I suspect that Putin's installation of Trump in the WH was (in part) with the intention of not having to worry about any American response to his aggression in Ukraine. But, as you suggest, his time in that regard may be very limited. So what will the rest of the world do? Anything?

More sanctions would be my guess; I don't see Germany and France jumping at the bits to do anything militarily against Russian aggression, particularly without the U.S. backing them up. But then Germany and France did just say a month or so ago they need to start focusing on their military to compete with growing threats so... who knows?

Germany has been cracking down on Russian laundering, so perhaps the rest of the E.U. could ramp up their efforts to crack down on all the dirty Russian money being circulated through their banks. However certain powers have done a very good job of trying to drive wedges in between E.U. nations as well...

I don't know how much of it has been intentional, how much is dumb luck, but given Russia is run by an ex-KGB operative and seems to have their hand in destabilizing countries from the Americas to Europe... I feel like Russia has the West right where they want it. As long as they move slowly enough they can get away with damn near anything they want.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 06:33:52 PM by Shiranu »
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2018, 06:34:50 PM »
I really don't see Putin ever relying on dumb luck - but maybe a dumb American president.


I've been accused of having Trump-derangement syndrome, but what I have is traitor-derangement syndrome.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 08:20:37 PM by Unbeliever »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 06:47:54 PM »
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I really don't see Putin ever relying on dumb luck - but maybe a dumb America president.


I've been accused of having Trump-derangement syndrome, but what I have is traitor-derangement syndrome.

Russo-phobia, but if you are old as me, that comes naturally.  Actually, I have been involved in anti-Soviet activities from 1978 (aside from studying Russian in HS), and anti-everyone activities since 1997.  But I was never actually afraid of anyone.  If we live, we live, if we die, we die.  I don't see it in human hands, like secular folks do.  In fact, I consider Russians (and anyone else not American) to be misunderstood by the incredibly parochial Americans.

See, so funny ... on young people who don't remember the Cold War ... they want to invade Russia and kill them ... because they are Russian, not because they are communist.  Neither is a valid reason, unless you are Napoleon or Hitler.  So many Democrats today would warm the heart of LBJ.  Vietnam again, anyone?  I and everyone I work with would have 30 minutes more to live, while on duty, if war comes.  I frequently imagine it happening, and it becomes more and more a nothing burger.  Don't want it to happen, but probably better than the nursing home.

So, to make the world safe for cowardly Americans, we need to outdo Patton in 1945 ... not only invade and exterminate the Soviet Union, but all the rest of the world, including China?  Sounds so .... Germanic.  It would have been better, to let Hitler do that, and then betray him just as we did with Stalin (but he was expecting it).

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« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 09:25:11 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Russia-Ukraine tensions all over again
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2018, 06:36:09 AM »
Partly, the Russian/Ukraine fight is about Russia's historical struggles for warm weather ports.  Russia does have Crimea and "some access", but it fears the loss of it. 

When I took senior/graduate level classes at Univ of Maryland in the 90's about the breakup of the Soviet Union, the professor (correctly) predicted that Russia would go for Crimea and take other steps to control the adjacent territory for exactly that reason. 

There are rational reasons to allow the Russians that access - at a cost.  It would be a great benefit to them (financially and economically) but also nationally psychologically.  And they should have that access (for some world peace) but give something in return. 

One cost would be to stop meddling in Ukrainian affairs.  Another might be to stop hacking other govts' election systems.  We can tell when they do the hacking if we look hard enough.  So an agreement with them to stop in return for something they obsessively desire is worth something.

But we need an organized response to make them agree.
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