• ssu
    5.9k
    What is now interesting to see is the row between Lithuania and Russia and EU sanctions, that Lithuania is following in the rail shipments to KönigsbKaliningrad.

    Russia military transportation isn't blocked (as it's done by another agreement), but timber and steel are sanctioned. This has caused I think the first actual crisis near the Suwalki Corridor. (Apart from the Polish-Belarus staged refugee crisis.)

    EN

    The harshest words are heard from the Russian Duma, perhaps there members competing in licking the ass of their dear leader.

    A draft bill submitted to the Russian State Duma calls for repealing the Decree of the State Council of the USSR “On the Recognition of the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania.”

    The draft was submitted by Yevgeny Fyodorov, a member of United Russia, the governing party. In his explanatory note, Fyodorov said the decree recognising Lithuania’s independence is illegal, “since it was adopted by an unconstitutional body and in violation […] of the Constitution of the USSR.”
  • ssu
    5.9k
    Another fact stating how bad the war is:

    Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink by an estimated 45.1 percent this year, although the magnitude of the contraction will depend on the duration and intensity of the war. Hit by unprecedented sanctions, Russia’s economy has already plunged into a deep recession with output projected to contract by 11.2 percent in 2022.
    See World Bank article

    Just to put up into context what a -45% GDP growth, it is similar what the Soviet Union suffered at the first year of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. That every tenth Ukrainian is now a refugee and not participating in the GDP does have an effect. Yet it also shows well that for Ukraine, this war is about survival. Which means that the hardships endured and those willing to be endured are totally on a different level.

    And for totalitarian Russia, a -11% GDP growth isn't a problem.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    I take it you disagree with his view on a Ukrainian nuclear deterrent?

    What's your point? And how does it relate to the arguments he's making today?
  • Isaac
    7.4k


    Two paragraphs - one complaining about people selecting opinions (among many) that are convenient to their narratives. The second literally selecting an opinion (among many) that is convenient to your own narrative.

    Do you even read these through before you post them?
  • ssu
    5.9k
    What's your point? And how does it relate to the arguments he's making today?Tzeentch
    How does it relate? You really are asking that?

    He thought it was so likely for Russia to attack Ukraine that Ukraine should need it's own nuclear deterrent.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    Yes, so?

    You're not making a point, but leaving us to guess what it is.

    You believe he is wrong in what he states today?
  • ssu
    5.9k
    Two paragraphs - one complaining about people selecting opinions (among many) that are convenient to their narratives. The second literally selecting an opinion (among many) that is convenient to your own narrative.Isaac
    Isaac, I've always said that NATO enlargement has been ONE reason for Russia to attack Ukraine.

    My point it hasn't been THE ONLY ONE. That Russia has had, just as Mearsheimer noted earlier, interests in Ukrainian territory irrelevant of it being in NATO or not.

    It's you who are having this one sided approach to the issue.
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    It's you who are having this one sided approach to the issue.ssu

    Where have I said that NATO is the only reason for Russia's invasion?
  • ssu
    5.9k
    You're not making a point.Tzeentch
    a) Usually countries don't have nuclear weapons as their neighbors aren't a threat to them.
    b) Mearsheimer argued that Russia is such a grave threat to Ukraine, that it genuinely needs a nuclear deterrence.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    Where have I said that NATO is the only reason for Russia's invasion?Isaac
    I think the real difference has been in just what reasons are seen as the most important.

    Or let's ask it this way:

    What do you think the objectives of Putin's Russia would be towards Ukraine if NATO wouldn't exist?
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    I think the real difference has been in just what reasons are seen as the most important.ssu

    Yes. That's the direction I've tried to take the discussion since the start, but there's been considerable resistance to people explaining hwy they consider their preferred reasons to be the 'important' ones.

    I've been clear about my reasons. NATO, America, and Europe's culpability is the most important reason because I am a European and these are the political bodies I give my mandate to and have a duty to hold to account.

    I remain unclear as to why the others seem so desperate to talk endlessly about how bad Putin is.

    What do you think the objectives of Putin's Russia are towards Ukraine if NATO wouldn't exist?ssu

    Objectives? Possibly political control (particularly over Donbas), complete control of Crimea and economic influence of the whole of Ukraine.

    Actuality? Without the excuse of NATO expansion, American hypocrisy, Right-wing extremism, I don't know how much of that agenda would actually have got off the ground. Putin's not an idiot, his standing on the world stage has taken a massive hit from even a war he can plausibly claim to be a 'Special Operation'. I very much doubt a war without even the shreds of plausible justification would have been considered.

    I know how much your ilk love the Putin Madman hypothesis, but the Putin Idiot hypothesis isn't even getting a look in. There's no way he would have just up and invaded Ukraine with nothing but "I want that bit" as pretext.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    Thanks for your response.

    Of course we cannot answer historical "What If" questions, but I would dare to argue that there is more to this than just opposing NATO. And I would dare to say that Russia would behave as Russia even without NATO.

    I would just take the example of Moldova, a country that has no intensions of joining NATO, and the end result there: Russian forces, frozen conflict.

    And of course those 'massive hits' started with the intervention that is called the Russo-Georgian war, which actually shows the hypocrisy of the West as the Caucasus has been left as a playground for Russia's interventionist policies. Yet these interventions happened even earlier, even before Putin. So there is a longue duree in these actions.

    As Russia has no clear borders, but just open steppe, it has been historically permanently aggressive. I think what Catherine the Great said once puts it in a nutshell:

    I have no way to defend my borders but to extend them.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    a) Usually countries don't have nuclear weapons as their neighbors aren't a threat to them.
    b) Mearsheimer argued that Russia is such a grave threat to Ukraine, that it genuinely needs a nuclear deterrence.
    ssu

    Yes, and how does it relate to what is happening today and what Mearsheimer is saying about it today?

    He said this in 1993.

    You're leaving us to guess as to what your point is, so I'll take a guess as to what it is:

    Because Mearsheimer said in 1993 that Ukraine needed a nuclear deterrent, Russia is the cause of the conflict today?

    I don't see how that holds much merit, but that's what you seem to be implying.


    But then again, maybe Mearsheimer was right. Maybe Ukraine has been under threat from Russia, but not as a result of Russian expansionism, but as a reaction to NATO expansionism.

    Mearsheimer made his statement about Ukraine's nuclear deterrent in 1993. In 1999 NATO first's major expansion took place. In 2004 the second, and minor ones following in 2009, 2017 and 2020.

    In the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the official press release stated:

    NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.

    Source: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_8443.htm
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    And I would dare to say that Russia would behave as Russia even without NATO.

    I would just take the example of Moldova, a country that has no intensions of joining NATO, and the end result there: Russian forces, frozen conflict.
    ssu

    I think that's a strong possibility, but note that in Moldova Russia also had the excuse of a Russian-friendly breakaway and a corrupt main government, conflict over allowed languages even. No NATO, but still a raft of 'justifications'.

    But Georgia? Well there's the President's intent to join NATO, the US backing to get pipeline access to oilfields, Putin telling the world that NATO's intentions to expand would be considered a threat to Russia at Bucharest. Practically a pre-run of Ukraine. Really makes the lie of the idea that NATO's actions did not have clearly foreseeable consequences. The exact sorts of consequences Mearsheimer warned of, in fact.
  • unenlightened
    6.6k
    Your neutrality is totally fake, inasmuch as you condemn people taking side, and that is in itself a form of taking side.Olivier5

    Which side am I on? (hint: there is no such thing as an army of pacifists)
  • Olivier5
    5.2k
    You are on the side of those who think that taking side is morally wrong. As opposed to just saying: 'I take no side but others are welcome to do as they wish'; you are an aggressive neutralist.
  • unenlightened
    6.6k
    You really love to fight, don't you. You see fight everywhere. It is rather amusing, that I cannot disagree with your claim that I am aggressive without appearing aggressive to you. This is actually your confusion, not mine. And I'll have to leave you to it.
  • Xtrix
    3.5k
    Xtrix has left the thread for good for the tenth time,Olivier5

    I’ve never once said I was leaving the thread. Not once.

    Supporting Putin is bad for karma, I guess.Olivier5

    I never once said I supported Putin. In fact I’ve said the opposite.

    Please try to read more carefully.
  • Olivier5
    5.2k
    I cannot disagree with your claim that I am aggressive without appearing aggressive to youunenlightened

    Rather, you cannot claim that taking side in this particular conflict is problematic, without in fact taking some sort of side. One thing is to not take side -- that I can respect as internally logical, though I can't understand it --, quite another to disagree with the right or inclination of other folks to take side, or to find it problematic. That'd be normative, therefore aggressive.

    How about: There's nothing wrong with taking side, and nothing wrong with not taking side? Live and let live.
  • Olivier5
    5.2k
    Okay, point well taken.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    In 1999 NATO first's major expansion took place. In 2004 the second, and minor ones following in 2009, 2017 and 2020.Tzeentch
    And likely will continue also in 2022 with two new members, if Turkey get's to be satisfied.

    Yet our 1344 km border with Russia now posed to be a NATO border doesn't seem to be an existential threat, which just shows in my view that NATO expansion was less of an issue than Russia's desire to dominate the territory of it's former empire. The basic underlying fact is that Russia see's the collapse of it's former empire basically as a temporary setback. Putin desperately tries to regain the position that the Soviet Union or Russian Empire had. And this is what is lacking: understanding that the empire is over. The British finally understood after Suez crisis that they weren't the British Empire anymore of the past. The Austrians understood immediately that the Austro-Hungarian empire wouldn't come back. But all the actions of Russia show that Putin's Russia doesn't think so.

    That Russian currency is introduced to the occupied areas in Ukraine along with Russian passports and even 20 000 schoolteachers are going to re-trained (see WSJ article) all show what the true objectives are. These show clearly that Russia has far more than just keeping NATO out as it's objective. Of course, this should have been evident to everyone with the annexation of Crimea and all the talk of Novorossiya. After all, the attempts to take back Crimea started as early as in the 1990's.

    (Newly renamed "Lenin Square" in Mariupol, Ukraine. Notice the flag.)
    c884a37ab0857ab5eb60cf2e86424515

    , Putin telling the world that NATO's intentions to expand would be considered a threat to Russia at Bucharest.Isaac
    This wasn't the first time. Putin just continued the policy by Yeltsin. The talk of Russia perhaps joining NATO basically ended during the NATO war in Kosovo. I think that was the real braker of Russia-NATO relations. That happened before Putin. So I'm not denying at all NATO enlargement to Ukraine has been a big issue for Russia. NATO enlargement has been their threat number 1. even in their written military doctrine for quite some time. All I'm saying that the objectives why to attack Ukraine go very much farther than that.

    I would argue that Russia's stance towards former Soviet Republics is partly similar to France and how it treats it's former African colonies. Yes, they are independent, but just look at where French soldiers are deployed, where France has a lot of say to the internal affairs to the countries. Look at France and Mali and Chad, and then compare to France and Ghana or Nigeria, former British colonies. No interventions, no nothing to these countries. With Ukraine, it genuinely wants parts of it and annexations show the obvious motivation.

    A possible French apologist could all the reasons why France has troops in these countries, the war against terrorism, previous Libyan aggression towards Chad and so on. But that wouldn't hide the fact that France is a colonial power that basically didn't leave it's colonies other than those it fought bitter wars with (Algeria and Vietnam).

    And so is Russia when it comes to it's near abroad. To think that Russia would leave it's neighbors alone if there wouldn't be NATO is extremely unlikely: it still thinks it has the right to control at least in some way it's former parts of the past empire. It hasn't given up on it's imperial aspirations.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    Yet our 1344 km border with Russia now posed to be a NATO border doesn't seem to be an existential threat, ...ssu

    What border is this?

    The basic underlying fact is that Russia see's the collapse of it's former empire basically as a temporary setback. Putin desperately tries to regain the position that the Soviet Union or Russian Empire had.ssu

    An interesting theory, presuming the ability to look deep into the Russian psyche to uncover underlying, even conspiratorial, motives.

    What proof is there that this is the cause of trouble in Ukraine, and why do you think it is a better argument than the one that argues it's clear, geopolitical motivations that are behind it - motivations which experts and the Kremlin itself have communicated frequently and consistently over the span of more than a decade.

    That Russian currency is introduced to the occupied areas in Ukraine along with Russian passports and even 20 000 schoolteachers are going to re-trained (see WSJ article) all show what the true objectives are. These show clearly that Russia has far more than just keeping NATO out as it's objective.ssu

    I don't agree that's what it shows. The way to keep NATO out is to make incorporation into the Russian Federation a foregone conclusion, and I think that's what these things are aimed at.

    ... and all the talk of Novorossiya.ssu

    Talk by whom? The Russians? Or by anti-Russian analists?
  • unenlightened
    6.6k
    How about: There's nothing wrong with taking side, and nothing wrong with not taking side? Live and let live.Olivier5

    I think you must mean 'live and let die.' And I'll leave you to spot what's wrong with that.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    What border is this?Tzeentch
    ?

    The border which increases hugely the border that Russia has against NATO (now only in the north in Norway and around the Kaliningrad oblast with Poland and Lithuania).

    6284b3241aa29100196a281f?width=1136&format=jpeg

    The way to keep NATO out is to make incorperation into the Russian Federation a foregone conclusion, and I think that's what these things are aimed at.Tzeentch
    ???

    Regime change is one thing. Annexing territories another. Last time the US fought a war of conquest was the Spanish-American war.

    Talk by whom? The Russians?Tzeentch

    Where do I start? Perhaps from 2014:

    Talking about the Ukrainian elections and ethnic Russians in that country's east, Putin took a detour through history.

    "I would like to remind you that what was called Novorossiya back in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine back then," Putin said. "The center of that territory was Novorossiysk, so the region is called Novorossiya. Russia lost these territories for various reasons, but the people remained."

    Putin's comment might be taken as it was portrayed – as an aside, or a little tidbit of information – if it weren't for the fact that Novorossiya has been brought up so often in recent days by pro-Russian activists, who have reportedly been chanting the word as they argued against staying with Kiev. Someone has even set up a Web site that appears devoted to bringing the historical region back.

    novorossiya-1178392_960_720_0.jpg

    Or from a Russian website, geopolitika.ru:

    Former "Ukraine" is from 2014 a dysfunctional pseudo-state run by an illegal and nazi junta in Kiev who take their orders from Washington. It is a scizophrenic "state" where one half of the population is indoctrinated and hates and opresses the other half with the help of the illegal regime and illegal armed terrorist groups like "Pravyj Sector". These groups have also taken over parts of the "ukrainian army" that now has become a tool of opression of the people of Novorossiya and thus has lost all legitimity too. The only way to get out of this mess is to liberate Novorossiya and all lands east of the Dnepr river from the Kiev nazi junta. This would also solve the problem of Transniestria and save that state from Nato occupation. The rest of "Ukraine" is so indoctrinated by lies and infiltrated by nazis that it is not worth the effort to liberate. It should be possible to support the Novorossian regions at least by promise that once they vote for independence, or to join Russia, then their application will be 100% approved and people will be protected from the nazis.

    Novorossiya (and eastern Malorossiya) contains the biggest part of industry and natural resources, and of educated people, of former"Ukraine" so it can "pay" for the "cost" for its liberation.

    History shows us that what is built on hate and lies and crime and foreign power is rotten and will collapse sooner or later. Former "Ukraine" has become the "brown hole" of Europe - "Banderastan" has no future - the future is Novorossiya! (see Geopolitica.ru)
    _76582497_novorosnewafp.jpg
    tass_9160258-pic700-700x467-68100.jpg?itok=2pZP812Z

    I think the objective of territorial expansion of Russia in this war is pretty evident. If you read what in Russia is said.
  • Olivier5
    5.2k
    I think you must mean 'live and let die.' And I'll leave you to spot what's wrong with that.unenlightened

    And I leave you to spot what's wrong with putting words into other people's mouth.
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    The border which increases hugely the border that Russia has against NATO (now only in the north in Norway and around the Kaliningrad oblast with Poland and Lithuania).ssu

    You are talking about the length of the border after the admission of Finland as a NATO member, then?

    That's by no means obvious from what you said, so I don't know why it surprised you that I asked for clarification.


    As to your point, length of the border is only one aspect that can indicate a strategic vulnerability.

    The Finnish border is not of the same strategic significance as Ukrainian one.

    The former consists of highly irregular terrain through which is it extremely difficult to conduct military operations. The Soviets experienced first-hand how defensible this terrain was in the Winter War of 1939.

    The latter consists of open plains and is part of a region also termed the "highway to the East", used by the Germans to invade the Soviet Union in WWII at rapid speed.


    But how are you so certain that the Russians aren't bothered by it? Considering their hands are tied in Ukraine they're hardly in a position to object. Have they made public statements that you're basing your ideas on?

    Regime change is one thing. Annexing territories another. Last time the US fought a war of conquest was the Spanish-American war.ssu

    Annexing territory and fighting a war of conquest are not the same, however I don't see why this should surprise you so. Crimea was also (de facto) annexed in the same way, and I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone if they'll do the same with eastern Ukraine.

    There's no real alternative that secures the geopolitical / strategic objectives we've discussed, besides a complete defeat of Ukraine that would allow Russia to turn Ukraine into a "neutral" satellite, which the Kremlin probably realises by now is not likely.

    Putin's comment might be taken as it was portrayed – as an aside, or a little tidbit of information – if it weren't for the fact that Novorossiya has been brought up so often in recent days by pro-Russian activists, ...

    Since when are pro-Russian activists the gateway into the mind of Putin or the Kremlin?

    You have this, and a Russian website? I cannot access it by the way.

    I really cannot consider this evidence by any scope of the imagination, especially considering the absurdity of what you're proposing:

    And lets clarify what you're proposing:

    Not only are you claiming that Russia is motivated by a romantic notion of "restoring the Russian empire", and that over a decade of documented policy only serves as a pretense for this megalomaniac ambition of Tsar Putin, not only that - but you're also claiming that the fulfilment of this grand ambition hinges on conquering a handful of Ukrainian territories.

    It sounds completely ridiculous.

    Considering the amount of damage Russia's actions have caused to itself, it's role in international politics and it's relations with the West, which could not have come as a surprise to Moscow, it's much more likely to me they're acting out of a form of desperation.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    The Finnish border is not of the same strategic significance as Ukrainian one.

    The former consists of highly irregular terrain through which is it extremely difficult to conduct military operations. The Soviets experienced first-hand how defensible this terrain was in the Winter War of 1939.

    The latter consists of open plains and is part of a region also termed the "highway to the East", used by the Germans to invade the Soviet Union in WWII at rapid speed.
    Tzeentch
    Ukraine itself has huge strategic significance. Just earlier you could read how 'Novorossiya' is portrayed from the Russian viewpoint. And NATO attacking?

    Well, if you think of it from the Russian view, the shortest way to strike a) St Petersburg, b) Moscow and c) Northern fleet/Kola peninsula is from here. Both Northern Norway or the Baltics don't have that strategic depth, Sweden+Finland add that depth to the North for NATO. In modern war airspace is crucial too, hence it's no wonder Soviet officials were proposing Soviet air defence installations to be positioned into Finland as late as the 1970's.

    news-graphics-2007-_637259a.gif
  • Tzeentch
    1.6k
    Ukraine itself has huge strategic significance.ssu

    We agree on that.

    And NATO attacking?ssu

    Mexico attacking doesn't seem very likely either. But how do you think the United States would react if Mexico were to enter, say, a Chinese-led military alliance?

    The Monroe Doctrine tells us how they would react, and this concept has guided United States foreign policy regarding the Americas from the Cold War to the present. Remember Cuba, Venezuela (then and now!), etc.?

    Well, if you think of it from the Russian view, the shortest way to strike a) St Petersburg, b) Moscow and c) Northern fleet/Kola peninsula is from here. Both Northern Norway or the Baltics don't have that strategic depth, Sweden+Finland add that depth to the North for NATO. In modern war airspace is crucial too, hence it's no wonder Soviet officials were proposing Soviet air defence installations to be positioned into Finland as late as the 1970's.ssu

    Which is why I wouldn't be so sure they're not bothered by it.

    But one obvious reason why they would keep quiet is because it's rather obvious that in the case of Finland and Sweden they have no power to stop it. In Ukraine they do, or at least they think they do.

    Additionally, since the end of the Cold War the northern sea ports have lost a good part of their military significance - the Black Sea ports have gained in significance, politically and militarily.
  • ssu
    5.9k
    Mexico attacking doesn't seem very likely either. But how do you think the United States would react if Mexico were to enter, say, a Chinese-led military alliance?Tzeentch
    The famous hypothetical China-Mexico alliance. Well, ask yourself first just why would Mexico want to have Chinese to protect them? The Zimmerman telegraph didn't change their views...even if then US-Mexican relations were a bit problematic. Or their reasons for doing this don't matter here...right???

    The Monroe Doctrine tells us how they would react, and this concept has guided United States foreign policy regarding the Americas from the Cold War to the present. Remember Cuba, Venezuela (then and now!), etc.?Tzeentch

    Both, Cuba and Venezuela, haven't been toppled / occupied / annexed. In fact they show clearly the limitations that the US with the most powerful military in the World has. Where the US can trample freely and have it's most bizarre and dubious machinations done are in tiny Central America and the Caribbean countries. Guatemala, Panama, Haiti and so on. Not Mexico, Brazil.

    Yet US doesn't treat Mexico as Russia treats Ukraine. It isn't an "artificial" country that basically should be part of the US. After the US got Texas and California, there hasn't been appetite for more Mexican territory. Not at least yet.

    International relations are a two way street.

    With Mexico and the South American countries, the US cannot be such a bully. Last time it sent troops to Mexico was during the Mexican Civil War. In fact last time it was Mexico that sent troops to the US.

    Anyway, the real issue is how a Great Power treats it's neighbors. Hence Luxembourg can be pretty easy with Germany and France now. But not previously. The fact you should be asking is why Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics like the Baltic States wanted to join NATO? And why Sweden and Finland opted to ask for membership in NATO?
  • jorndoe
    1.9k
    Putin's Russia is threatened by NATO.
    It's just that the threat is against Putin's expansion (land-grabbing) ambitions.

    And that goes to show how the sort of tu quoque type switch of narrative, "NATO is the threat", has been successful.
    "Bring up and focus on that, and watch", you might hear Surkov say, with Medinsky nodding in agreement, and Kiselyov implementing for the masses.
    "Shut others down", you might hear Putin say.
    That was easy. :sparkle:

    It became clear enough some time ago that no NATO membership for Ukraine isn't a peace-maker.
    And Russian bombs are still bringing ruinage to Ukraine. :fire:
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.