• Manuel
    2.7k
    The situation in Ukraine is becoming more dire by the minute. NATO is implying Russia is planning to invade Ukraine, whereas Russia denies this. Russia claims it will not allow Ukraine to enter NATO, as this would effectively put a hostile military alliance - NATO - right at the borders of Russia.

    There's also political maneuvering going around, with the US never wanting a lack of enemies - soon after the disaster in Afghanistan. And Putin is wanting to shift attention away from pretty bad conditions in Russia do to the COVID pandemic and rising prices.

    The situation is quite dire and could escalate into something very, very dangerous.

    Here are a few links for those interested:

    NATO sends reinforcements to Eastern Europe amid Russia tensions
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/24/nato-sends-reinforcements-to-eastern-europe-amid-russian-anger

    Russian naval exercises off Ireland's coast 'not welcome,' says Foreign Minister
    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/24/europe/russia-naval-exercise-ireland-intl/index.html

    Pentagon reveals number of US troops on higher alert over Ukraine
    https://www.rt.com/russia/547231-pentagon-troops-europe-ukraine/

    Rising costs of Ukraine gamble could force Russia’s hand
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/24/rising-costs-of-ukraine-gamble-could-force-russias-hand

    Let's hope things don't escalate too much more. Welcome 2022...
  • Agent Smith
    7.5k
    We must make war, in fact all violence, a very expensive business, it must be made unaffordable. That's the Western world's latest tactic - economic sanctions!
  • pfirefry
    118
    Russia: Invades Ukraine and annexes Crimea in 2014.
    Ukraine: There is a hostile country at our borders. We want to join NATO for protection.
    Russia: Unacceptable! We don't want a hostile military alliance at our borders.
    Also Russia: Increases hostility
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    The Ukraine is a nation split right down the middle in terms of the views and cultural make up of the people. Crimea is/was basically made up of Russian speaking pro Russian people and the eastern half of Ukraine is basically the same.

    If they just let people vote maybe the war would finally end. Instead it has been another ongoing proxy war between Russia and US.

    I think both sides are wrong btw. Ukraine should never have existed in its current form due to the opposing positions of the people within its borders.
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    There is plenty of sense in Russia’s view that the US has been steadily encroaching on Russian territory. The US has no good reason to help strengthen Europe and the most powerful nations play a game to keep the status quo not to bring others up to their level.

    I think this will fizzle out. US will back off eventually and pretend they didn’t (kind of like Vietnam). If Ukraine joins NATO I don’t see things getting better any time soon.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    The way the USSR was broken off was very problematic, leading - in part - to the mess we are in now.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    The USSR collapsed.

    From the last story -

    ‘Please note that all of that is not happening because of what we, Russia, do. This is happening because of the actions of Nato and the United States and the information they release.’

    They further say the deployment of troops and armaments on the border are likewise defensive in nature.

    So if Russia attacks Ukraine it will say that it had no choice due the aggression of NATO, and that they are only seeking to defend their sovereignty.

    The mendacity of it.
  • pfirefry
    118
    The Ukraine is a nation split right down the middle in terms of the views and cultural make up of the peopleI like sushi

    That was quite true in 2014. After that, Ukraine started Ukrainianizing the eastern half by promoting the Ukrainian culture and language. Many native Russian speakers started switching to Ukrainian, from social media to their everyday lives. Those who aren't comfortable with using Ukrainian full time still need to know it well enough to use in some situations. E.g. if you're on people-facing job and you've been asked to speak Ukrainian, you need to comply, or otherwise you'll be penalized. It's not a convenient process for Russian-speakers, but it makes sense in the current landscape of things. Probably should have happened much earlier.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    This is from Fiona Hill, the intelligence officer whose forthright testimony at Trump's impeachment trial I'm sure everyone will remember.

    In the 1990s, the United States and NATO forced Russia to withdraw the remnants of the Soviet military from their bases in Eastern Europe, Germany and the Baltic States. Mr. Putin wants the United States to suffer in a similar way. From Russia’s perspective, America’s domestic travails after four years of Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency, as well as the rifts he created with U.S. allies and then America’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, signal weakness. If Russia presses hard enough, Mr. Putin hopes he can strike a new security deal with NATO and Europe to avoid an open-ended conflict, and then it will be America’s turn to leave, taking its troops and missiles with it.

    ...Mr. Putin plays a longer, strategic game and knows how to prevail in the tactical scrum. He has the United States right where he wants it. His posturing and threats have set the agenda in European security debates, and have drawn our full attention. Unlike President Biden, Mr. Putin doesn’t have to worry about midterm elections or pushback from his own party or the opposition. Mr. Putin has no concerns about bad press or poor poll ratings. He isn’t part of a political party and he has crushed the Russian opposition. The Kremlin has largely silenced the local, independent press. Mr. Putin is up for re-election in 2024, but his only viable opponent, Aleksei Navalny, is locked in a penal colony outside of Moscow.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/opinion/russia-ukraine-putin-biden.html
  • Tom Storm
    4.9k

    Trump/Putin for 2024! :yikes:
  • SophistiCat
    2k
    The Ukraine is a nation split right down the middle in terms of the views and cultural make up of the people. Crimea is/was basically made up of Russian speaking pro Russian people and the eastern half of Ukraine is basically the same.

    If they just let people vote maybe the war would finally end. Instead it has been another ongoing proxy war between Russia and US.
    I like sushi

    They did let people vote in Ukraine. Guess what? Pro-Russia candidates were given the boot. Since that unpleasantness over Crimea and the ongoing war in Donbass, Ukrainians' attitudes have shifted significantly, and not in Russia's favor.

    In Russia the annexation of Crimea was hugely popular (although the initial euphoria is now gone, displaced by other concerns). A large proportion of the population views Ukraine as either an enemy or a wayward child that needs to be brought to heel.

    There is plenty of sense in Russia’s view that the US has been steadily encroaching on Russian territory.I like sushi

    Just how far do you think Russia's territory stretches? Or do you mean something like Lebensraum? If we are talking about actual Russian borders, with or without Crimea, there hasn't been any encroachment since WWII. Russia, on the other hand, has been encroaching on its neighbors since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It occupies or effectively controls parts of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
  • Bitter Crank
    11.1k
    The situation is quite dire and could escalate into something very, very dangerous.Manuel

    I agree, and I don't know what the Nato group should do next, or what the Russians will do.
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    Yes. Some people simply want to focus on Putin as the singular reason for the turbulence.

    I'm by no means siding with Russia or NATO. I just know the whole thing has very little to do with the actual people and there is a lot of politicking involved all over (France and Germany are being tested it seems). The ball is in Russia's court and they are in the better position.

    They did let people vote in Ukraine. Guess what? Pro-Russia candidates were given the boot. Since that unpleasantness over Crimea and the ongoing war in Donbass, Ukrainians' attitudes have shifted significantly, and not in Russia's favor.SophistiCat

    Ukrainian attitudes in what section of the country?

    From wiki:

    The two main candidates were neck and neck in the first-round vote held on 31 October 2004, winning 39.32% (Yanukovych) and 39.87% (Yushchenko) of the votes cast. The candidates who came third and fourth collected much less: Oleksandr Moroz of the Socialist Party of Ukraine and Petro Symonenko of the Communist Party of Ukraine received 5.82% and 4.97%, respectively. Since no candidate had won more than 50% of the cast ballots, Ukrainian law mandated a run-off vote between two leading candidates. After the announcement of the run-off, Oleksandr Moroz threw his support behind Viktor Yushchenko. The Progressive Socialist Party's Natalia Vitrenko, who won 1.53% of the vote, endorsed Yanukovych, who hoped for Petro Simonenko's endorsement but did not receive it.

    I don't know for certain but I'd bet the voting was divided between Russian speakers in the East and Ukrainian speakers in the West.

    War has been ongoing since this time I believe. With both US and Russia supplying men and arms to the fight (although both denied doing so).
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    I think it is basically down to what the Ukraine government decides to do regarding setting up future military camps in their country. Russia has repeatedly stated - truthfully or otherwise - that they are concerned with the US creeping closer and closer to their border with missile sites capable of hitting their capital and ask how the US would feel if they started do the same to them (think Cuban missile crisis).

    If the Ukrainian leaders want to flex then I think it will be a mistake. If they can make an independent deal with the US and Russia regarding military placement within their borders then it will all blow over and nothing will happen for a few years. If they insist on joining NATO with no conditions (something apparently against an agreement Russia had with US?) allowing military creep towards Russia I expect we'll see more proxy wars spark up around the globe soon enough involving China and Russia ... that would be how I would 'go to war' without having to 'go to war'.

    Overall the threat from NATO is just sanctions. I think that is just code for something else though as if it was ONLY about threatening sanctions if they invaded I think Russia would happily invade and take the sanctions - they don't need trade with Europe or US really.
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    There is a good deal of information here on the subject:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4
  • universeness
    2.8k
    It's the same old brinkmanship that's been used by gang-sized to nation-sized groups for centuries.
    It's those in power trying to find ways to ensure they or their legacy stay in power.

    It will never end until we become one planet and one species and there are no nations.

    The danger is as always, the fact that we have the technology to destroy ourselves.
    If Russia invades Ukraine then they will be initially successful, and then we will enter the guerilla warfare stage and many soldiers and civilians will die on all sides.
    This will continue until enough general revulsion occurs and they come to an agreement to end the conflict.
    Then all the powers will assess the outcome from the standpoint of who gained what and who lost what. This informs future tactics.
    A child could accurately predict subsequent events if Russia invades Ukraine, including noting that M.A.D(mutually assured destruction) is always on the table for our species.
    The 'hawks' within each of the major powers, safe in their offices/bunkers always like to probe/prod their enemies.
    The arena involved does not really matter.
    All the sides involved will send their best new materials and employ their best new strategies.
    The goal is to find out how much each player has improved since the last encounter.
    M.A.D is nonetheless unlikely (but not impossible) as the powerful rich on each side, don't mind the death or misery of the 'ordinary' people but they don't want to cause their own destruction.
    That would 'not be cricket'!
  • Jamal
    5k
    There is a good deal of information here on the subject:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4
    I like sushi

    Good video. This article in Foreign Policy from a few days ago makes the same points:

    Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis

    It seems the most reasonable assessment, and this is from American academics. It goes back to what I was saying over a year ago here, that there's a basic disconnect between the (ostensibly, at least) ideologically-driven American foreign policy and the Russian realpolitik.
  • karl stone
    713
    Russia is intending to hold naval drills off the coast of Ireland in about 1 month's time. Amazing opportunity. The bulk of the Russian navy gathered in one spot, and the bulk of the Russian army in another. Two barrages of cruise missiles, and the whole thing could be put to bed. Or trigger thermonuclear war! Meh! Doomed by climate change anyway!
  • frank
    11k
    It seems the most reasonable assessment, and this is from American academics. It goes back to what I was saying over a year ago here, that there's a basic disconnect between the (ostensibly, at least) ideologically-driven American foreign policy and the Russian realpolitik.jamalrob

    Is there some overlap between political realism (from the article) and realpolitik? Sorry if that was answered in the article, a paywall kept me from reading the whole thing.

    There is realpolitik scattered through the west's Russia policy post WW2. Is Russia likewise adulterated with a certain amount of ideals? That would be weird if they aren't, although I'm not sure what those ideals would be.
  • Jamal
    5k
    Is there some overlap between political realism (from the article) and realpolitik?frank

    Yes, in internal relations they use the term realism or political realism now for what I was referring to as realpolitik. I'm not sure there's much difference. Maybe it's theory vs practice, respectively.
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    4.9k
    @jamalrob
    It makes me uncomfortable to know that there are governments who don't truly know their people, their morals, their ethical compasses, their feelings about other people the world over, yet the governments behave as though they have our best interests at heart. How do they know what we think if they never ask?
    We as people have much more in common than our governments will ever admit. If they admitted that, negotiations would be a lot less visible, a lot more productive and with a lot less stress for everyone involved. Peace :heart:
  • Jamal
    5k
    :up:

    a paywall kept me from reading the whole thing.frank

    I caught it before the paywall kicked in. Anyway, sushi's video pretty much covers it, and even though it's from 2015 it's remarkable how much it all still applies.
  • frank
    11k
    I'm not sure there's much difference.jamalrob

    Political realism is about what influence and power are, among other things. It's a view at odds with constructivism.
  • Manuel
    2.7k
    U.S. Puts 8,500 Troops on High Alert as Tension Rises Between NATO & Russia over Ukraine

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwEfqRa7uXk
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    Nobody does. Ideally NATO could back off wanting to include Ukraine while boasting that they "stopped Russian aggression", whereas Russia can then claim that they "stopped NATO expansion."

    But at this point, given these political times, anything can happen...
  • Number2018
    512
    Good video. This article in Foreign Policy from a few days ago makes the same points:

    Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis

    It seems the most reasonable assessment, and this is from American academics. It goes back to what I was saying over a year ago here, that there's a basic disconnect between the (ostensibly, at least) ideologically-driven American foreign policy and the Russian realpolitik.
    jamalrob

    The article is good. Yet, it explained the current course
    of Biden’s administration regarding the Ukraine crisis just by the decades of ‘liberal politics of hubris.’ The administration has demonstrated a priority of diplomacy and a willingness to compromise on different occasions. But here, the US discloses a harsh and uncompromising approach.
  • SophistiCat
    2k
    The two main candidates were neck and neck in the first-round vote held on 31 October 2004

    That was 2004; a lot has happened since then, like the "Orange Revolution" that happened right after that 2004 vote. 2014 was a watershed year. If there was any ambivalence or indifference towards Ukrainian statehood before, post-2014 the mood is very different. And yes, that varies by region, but the overall shift is massive.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    This is a problem, one need not say for the millionth time, why Putin is bad person, war criminal, etc. As far as I can see, this applies to all leaders of Big Powers. It comes with the territory. Not excusing it, though placing it in proper context.

    On the other hand, why does NATO need to expand? What for? It was founded on the idea of "containing" the Soviet Union. Well, that fell, but NATO is still here.

    Who's the enemy for the US and Western Europe? Russia and China? Yeah, maybe. But with nuclear weapons involved, all this becomes very silly.

    As for Russia, yeah they're going to exercise power near its border, and those countries have a right to defense and help, but this should be done carefully. That's not what's happening now.

    It's lunacy.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k
    The American’s in power right now are the same ones who meddled in Ukrainian affairs during the Euromaidan events. Par for the course, for them, so this is no suprise.

    At any rate, American leadership already has the Afghanistan disaster under its belt, so I’m not sure why Putin should care one straw about Biden’s saber-rattling.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.4k
    On the other hand, why does NATO need to expand? What for? It was founded on the idea of "containing" the Soviet Union. Well, that fell, but NATO is still here.

    Who's the enemy for the US and Western Europe? Russia and China? Yeah, maybe. But with nuclear weapons involved, all this becomes very silly.
    Manuel

    Wasn't NATO more like a response to the second world war? So it's purpose is to deter any rogue state from becoming too aggressive. Therefore it has no particular enemy, as its mandate is to prevent the arising of an enemy. So if there becomes a particular enemy it has failed in its mandate.
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