• Manuel
    2.8k


    They do, but one cannot deny that Russia is under severe pressure - otherwise Putin would have not made his announcement today. Of course Ukraine has lost plenty in the war, but at the moment they are looking better militarily than a few weeks ago.



    Yeah, it's of no use except to scare or cause an accident that will perish us all. But from his perspective, what is he to do? Admitting defeat is never an option for a nuclear power, national pride is worse than religion here.
  • boethius
    1.7k
    They do, but one cannot deny that Russia is under severe pressure - otherwise Putin would have not made his announcement today.Manuel

    Certainly pressure is high, no disagreement there. And definitely even partial mobilisation has a economic and political consequence, but my guess is that it's no longer as big a concern as mobilisation even a few months ago. Things that need alternative service and supplies to Western one's will have things worked out by now, and if not they can be foregone.

    Of course Ukraine has lost plenty in the war, but at the moment they are looking better militarily than a few weeks ago.Manuel

    This is debatable; these sorts of evaluations depend on casualties and material losses. There was certainly a much needed propaganda win, but for the terrain to be "worth it" the offensive needs to then continue into strategically critical locations, which does not seem to be happening.

    The area around Kharkiv was a buffer zone on the flank to the strategically vital region of Donbas (what Russia claims the whole point of the war is about). However, Kharkiv itself was not in Donbas and losing the territory has pros and cons (one of which is there need not be a referendum in the Kharkiv region, which would be cynical motivation to abandon the region but politically and militarily convenient).
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    The size of the attack and the use of paratroops to seize a central airport doesn't logically sound as a diversionary attack or feint.ssu

    What or whose logic are you referencing when you say those things aren't logical?

    It goes totally against, actually the thing you mentioned, the Schwerpunkt-tactic.ssu

    A centre of gravity isn't a tactic, and there is no such thing as Schwerpunkt tactics. It's a military concept that describes the thing or a place a military force gains its strength from.

    For example, one might claim the centre of gravity of the Ukrainian forces is the central communications and C&C hub in Kiev.

    I disagree with that. I don't think at any point in this war the Ukrainian forces depended on Kiev to continue its operations.

    And what then was then the effort that was called Kyiv convoy, a 64km long convoy stuck there to do what?ssu

    Sounds like logistical congestion?

    Friction (another Clausewitzian concept) is a typical occurence in war, and failures big and small will always occur in massive military operations.

    It wasn't a feint or diversion as the attacking forces were quite the same as the attacking forces attacking Kharkiv, which also wasn't taken.ssu

    Why would the same military force not be able to carry out the same two tasks?

    A feint, a diversionary attack, an assault, etc. these are all standard military manoeuvres that units are able to carry out at all levels of command.

    I think you should give some credible arguments that this operation was a feint or just a diversion.ssu

    If I use the Occam's razor, [...]ssu

    I can't look in your mind to see what you find credible. I've given you plenty of arguments already. If you're looking for simple explanations I can't help you there. War isn't a simple endeavor.

    There's simply too much anecdotal evidence of this, just like this brief encounter from the start of the war:ssu

    Anecdotal evidence is evidence that cannot be verified (and thus is easiliy construed). The video you shared isn't an anecdote - it's actual evidence, of two vehicles breaking down. That literally happens all the time, so I'm not sure why you believe it to be significant.

    As I quoted earlier a highly regarded Western think tank, they didn't believe that Ukraine could repel an attack towards Kyiv from the Russian armed forces just few months before it was tried.ssu

    Don't try to make your sources more authoritative than they actually are.

    An expert wrote that article, and experts are often wrong. And they were wrong this time. Nothing new under the sun.

    You're trying to make it sound like this article constitutes some form of official statement by CSIS. This is clearly not the case. Here's another article from CSIS, written by the same author no less, from January 2022: Russia's Possible Invasion of Ukraine

    Suddenly there is no mention of Kiev falling within six hours. In fact, the author states:

    Kiev has almost 3 million inhabitants, Kharkiv has roughly 1.5 million, Odessa has 1 million, Dnipro has almost 1 million, Zaporizhia has 750,000, and even Mariupol has almost 500,000. If defended, these large urban areas could take considerable time and casualties to clear and occupy. In the First Chechen War, it took Russian forces from December 31, 1994, to February 9, 1995, to wrestle control of Grozny, then a city of less than 400,000, from a few thousand Chechen fighters. In the Second Chechen War, the siege of Grozny also took six weeks.

    And he continues:

    Therefore, the best course of action for Russian troops would be to bypass urban areas and mop them up later.

    Kiev poses a similar challenge and, as the nation’s capital, possesses great symbolic value for whichever side holds it.

    This will be the first time since World War II that Russia’s ground forces will face a modern mechanized opponent, and its air forces will face an opponent with a modern air force and air defense system. Consequently, Russian forces will likely face notable challenges in command, control, communications, and coordination.

    Kiev and the Dnepr River crossings are at least 150 to 200 road miles from the Russian border, and its army will require at least several days of fighting to reach them.

    As the operational depth in Ukraine is far greater than in the Baltics, a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be a longer affair than some anticipate due to the time and distance to bring up supplies.

    In addition, Ukraine could potentially prevent Russia from seizing and holding all or most of its territory with U.S. and other international aid.


    Sounds like a few months later your guy, Seth G. Jones - the one you keep pretending represents formal positions of CSIS - is supporting my argument, and not yours.

    Do your research, don't be lazy, and don't try to make your sources more authoritative than they actually are. Thanks.

    I think we're done here.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Aka. the operations in the North meant they were unable to defend the South, the obvious military objective of creating a land bridge to Crimea that military analysts pointed out the Kremlin would be very much wanting to accomplish.boethius
    Yet, if the ONLY objective would have been to create that land bridge with Crimea and help the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, you wouldn't have had the 1st Guards Tank Army attacking Kharkiv.

    The simple fact is that your most powerful military formation is used where the Schwerpunkt of your assault is (meaning Center-of-Gravity). You don't use it as a diversion. The simple fact is that the Russia Army was (and is) actually small because the National Guard (340 000) and other troops not created for conventional war are so large compared to the Russia army (300 000). Just to look at the total strength of the armed forces simply hides this.
  • boethius
    1.7k
    Yet, if the ONLY objective would have been to create that land bridge with Crimea and help the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, you wouldn't have had the 1st Guards Tank Army attacking Kharkiv.ssu

    1st guards Tank Army was reformed in 2014. There's a prestigious history (but not so prestigious as to avoid dissolving it in the first place).

    And even if it was "super elite" then, again, it can be part of the diversion to commit some elite troops so your counter parties think that's the real objective.

    You have to invest for such an operation to work.

    And, I would not disagree that the pressure on Kiev did not have as a first objective the capitulation of Kiev and accepting the offered peace terms, but clearly it's secondary objective was to then divert as much Ukrainian military potential to the North as possible in order to secure the land bridge and complete the siege of Mariupol.

    Now, as to how probable the Kremlin or Russian generals thought the capitulation of Ukraine would be, I don't know. Likewise, even if the evaluated the probability of Ukrainian capitulation as low (lot's of reasons to believe Ukraine would fight) I have zero clue if they would have therefore not invaded. The war is going on since 2014 as you've recently noted, 2 agreements failed to resolve the conflict, so invasion maybe evaluated as needing to happen at some point or another, as Russia could not sustain the separatists indefinitely without regular troops invading which would mean official war with Russia itself (whatever they want to call it).

    That they had a plan B does not mean that they thought plan B was likely, just that their planning obviously wasn't irrational. The thinking maybe "80% likely Ukraine will capitulate with this here plan A, and, if not, that's unfortunate but our best option in that case will be this here plan B". Or maybe they thought Ukraine capitulation was 20% likely but worth a try in case it worked, and if they are in anyways committed to the land bridge and taking the canal at Kherson then the whole plan makes a lot of sense (they did accomplish that); the offensive to establish the land bridge did work, of course winning a battle isn't winning a war.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Yeah, it's of no use except to scare or cause an accident that will perish us all. But from his perspective, what is he to do? Admitting defeat is never an option for a nuclear power, national pride is worse than religion here.Manuel
    And that is why I fear this option. I wouldn't underestimate the impact of a genuine "mushroom cloud" in videos and photos somewhere in the Ukrainian countryside. People would simply think that it would mean an escalation to a nuclear holocaust. Which it doesn't: Ukraine has no WMD ability. It gave away it's nuclear deterrent, something that Mearsheimer himself called a huge mistake (and where I agree with Mearsheimer).

    And, I would not disagree that the pressure on Kiev did not have as a first objective the capitulation of Kiev and accepting the offered peace terms, but clearly it's secondary objective was to then divert as much Ukrainian military potential to the North as possible in order to secure the land bridge and complete the siege of Mariupol.boethius
    I don't think we have here much of a disagreement.

    Once when the "Race to the Capital" didn't succeed, the Russian commanders understood their weakness and withdrew from Kyiv and tried to reinforce other fronts with these units. It should be said that here Putin did follow what was reasonable in the military terms, but bad in political terms (as obviously the Ukrainians got a huge moral boosting victory). A more pigheaded politicians wouldn't have dared to disengage this way.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    Or instead, the FSB’s expensive network of political stooges were meant to ensure a swift and easy win. But - irony - corruption saw the money going into other pockets, Just as did the funds meant to keep the army’s tanks and trucks in serviceable shape.

    Events have shown just how many miscalculations were involved in Putin’s “rational, well planned, limited aims” debacle.

    But you can write your own history of the world.
    apokrisis

    You're suggesting the FSB singlehandedly overturned military doctrine which is consistent both in NATO and Russia for decades that an offensive force to be successful needs to be at least 3 times larger than the defensive force to be successful more than half of the time and 5 times as large as a prepared, dug in defensive force. This seems highly unlikely even when it is likely that they misrepresented facts - but counting soldiers and material is the one thing that's basically freely available on the internet nowadays. As a result, I don't believe the goal was getting the entirety of Ukraine, because they didn't commit the manpower to hold it. That doesn't preclude a lot of things going wrong.

    A successful blitz to Kiev still wouldn't have implied occupying Ukraine either and there I agree with @ssu, they did try. It probably would've led to a very short war with parts of Ukraine breaking out and joining Russia or some sort of federalist system and temporarily having a "pro-Russia" government in place. It would've been the "easiest" win and they failed at it and lost a lot of material in the process. But again, if you don't have the manpower to occupy the entire pro-Western part of Ukraine then I would sooner assume they didn't intend to occupy it than assume the FSB decides on how Russian forces are to be deployed.

    You incorrectly infer that I think Putin is somehow infallible. My point is merely that your recent points are conjecture. That you can point to other people engaging into similar conjecture doesn't validate it and is in any event an appeal to authority.
  • boethius
    1.7k
    I don't think we have here much of a disagreement.ssu

    Yes, as I've said before, if everyone here was pro-Russian I would make the case for the Ukrainians, in hopes of helping a negotiated peace.

    It should be said that here Putin did follow what was reasonable in the military terms, but bad in political terms (as obviously the Ukrainians got a huge moral boosting victory). A more pigheaded politicians wouldn't have dared to disengage this way.ssu

    This is an astute observation.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    You're suggesting the FSB singlehandedly overturned military doctrine which is consistent both in NATO and Russia for decades that an offensive force to be successful needs to be at least 3 times larger than the defensive force to be successful more than half of the time and 5 times as large as a prepared, dug in defensive force.Benkei
    Ummm....assuming the forces are otherwise similar. Which they many times have not been.

    Operation Desert Storm (1991 Gulf War)

    US & Allied forces: 956 000
    Iraqi forces: 650 000

    Operation Iraqi Freedom:

    US & Allies: 500 000+
    Iraqi forces: 1 300 000 (theoretically), likely 500 000 active.

    Russia could argue to itself that Ukrainians would be an inferior force compared to them. Let's not forget the huge military exercises that the Russian armed forces has done (that have been far larger than any NATO exercise). At least many Westerners thought this way when thinking of the superiority in materiel that Russia has enjoyed.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    Neither of which were occupations. So that doesn't compare. It's defeat and hold and for the latter you need boots on the ground.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Neither of which were occupations.Benkei
    You really think that OIF wasn't an occupation?

    May I remind you that US forces, if very few, are still in Iraq.
  • Manuel
    2.8k


    The thing is if he does drop one, even a so called "mini nuke", I don't see how NATO will not respond. They'd have to. But then that creates a self-feeding loop.

    If they fired a nuke in the ocean somewhere close to Europe, that might be doable. But almost any scenario of nuke use will have consequences we can barely imagine.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    We have for a long time in our own preparedness taken into account this kind of situational development, in which Russia mobilizes society to be able to maintain its ability to wage war. There is still no immediate military threat to Finland. #FinnishDefenseForces

    Prior to the February 24th, the official line was "Finland faces no military threat".

    Going from "no threat" to "no immediate threat" it is a bit uncomfortable. :sad:
  • ssu
    6.3k
    The thing is if he does drop one, even a so called "mini nuke", I don't see how NATO will not respond. They'd have to. But then that creates a self-feeding loop.Manuel
    I'd think the response would to increase the military aid. Have no limits like now.

    I think the pressure to stop the fighting would certainly increase. You would see peace marches demanding the conflict to end. And that's basically what the "Escalate to de-escalate" strategy has as it's objective.

    Furthermore, after being nuked, who the hell would condemn Zelensky for throwing in the towel if he goes for the immediate cease-fire on the lines that are held?
  • Manuel
    2.8k


    It could increase bravado from NATO. They can be accused of "cowering to Russia"-type rhetoric, which, don't get me wrong, is incredibly stupid, but exists and has be said a few times by more hawkish figures in the Republican party.

    It's best to not see what would happen if such a scenario arose. But, there's not much we can do about it.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    My worst fear is that if the now held areas are "acquired" to be part of Mother Russia, Putin will use tactical nukes to "Escalate to De-escalate" and then cow the West to urge Ukraine to stop the war immediately however badly it is going for Russia.ssu

    This is a lovely piece of spin, it should get some sort of award...

    Russia will cow the west into getting Ukraine to stop the war (despite all that famous Ukrainian agency we hear so much about). Holding a strong enough position to force the whole Western world to do their bidding (whilst still incompetently losing, of course!). Whereupon the West (who are obviously still barely involved in this war) will nonetheless stop the war (the one they're barely involved in), in Russia's favour (who will still somehow will have lost though).

    Fantastic, just what we've all been waiting for. A Ukrainian victory (negotiated between Russia and NATO, who are barely involved).
  • ssu
    6.3k
    This is a lovely piece of spin, it should get some sort of award...Isaac
    I think the prize should go to you by going so well along with the Kremlin line.

    NATO isn't fighting in Ukraine, but it is surely (just as is the EU) supporting Ukraine. To put into context, the US has given aid to Ukraine since February until now I guess about 15 billion. The Ukrainian defense budget was last year I guess something like 5 billion dollars. And many NATO and still non-NATO countries (like mine and Sweden) are aiding Ukraine. And why not? Ukraine was an independent country attacked by Russia.

    Yet for the US and Russia, this isn't anything new compared to the Cold War:

    The fact is that the Soviet Union took part in the Vietnam war far more than NATO does now with Ukraine.

    From July 1965 to December 1974, more than 6000 generals and officers and more than 4,500 soldiers were sent to Vietnam as specialists.

    main-qimg-dadf605384e4e56cb66cfd422196ace1-pjlq

    And yet even more, in the Korean war the Soviet Air Force and the US Air Force fought each other with both sides staying silent of it. (Actually the good performance of the MiG-15 and the Soviet pilots against the USAF made the Soviets to be complacent later during the Cold War.)

    But feel free to regurgitate the Putin line here word for word: they aren't fighting Ukrainians, they are fighting to defend Russia from NATO aggression.

    Perhaps it's best just to quote Putin himself:

    “Today our armed forces are operating across a front line that exceeds 1,000 km, opposing not only neo-Nazi formations but the entire military machine of the collective West. NATO is conducting reconnaissance across the south of Russia. Washington, London and Brussels are directly pushing Kyiv to move military action to our country. They are openly saying that Russia should be defeated on the battlefield by any means.

    Nuclear blackmail has also been used. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – encouraged by the West – which threatens to cause a nuclear catastrophe but also about statements from senior representatives of NATO countries about the possibility and permissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia: nuclear weapons. I would like to remind those who make such statements about Russia that our country also possesses various means of destruction, and in some cases, they are more modern than those of NATO countries. When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we, of course, will use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.

    This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weather vane can turn and point towards them. Citizens of Russia can be convinced that our territorial independence and freedom will be provided, and I emphasize this one more time, with all means that we have at our disposal.”
    See here

    People who believe Putin and that Russia has been attacked by Ukraine/NATO, well, are crazy.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    I think the prize should go to you by going so well along with the Kremlin line.ssu

    The Kremlin take an anti-NATO position. So if following the Kremlin's line is reprehensible, then you're basically saying that no-one can take an anti-NATO position.

    The Kremlin are broadly opposed to Western governments. So if following the Kremlin's line is reprehensible, then you're basically saying that no-one can take a position critical of Western governments

    It's an absurd position to take that any argument which is also used by the Kremlin must be avoided on pain of accusations of collusion. The Kremlin don't need to deal entirely in lies. Their enemies make sufficient moral and strategic errors to supply a reasonable flow of useful propaganda items. It's ridiculous to place all of that out of bounds just because the Kremlin are using it too.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    During that time, there were several insurgencies, civil war and the rise of IS when they left. That's your idea of an occupation? Just being around seems a low bar. To me that was just a continuous conflict.

    But sure, if that qualifies as an occupation than Russia's aim was to occupy Ukraine and to then have an insurgency on their hands and unsuccessfully try whatever the Americans were also unsuccessful at.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    You're suggesting the FSB singlehandedly overturned military doctrine which is consistent both in NATO and Russia for decades that an offensive force to be successful needs to be at least 3 times larger than the defensive force to be successful more than half of the time and 5 times as large as a prepared, dug in defensive force.Benkei

    I’m merely pointing out the widely reported view that FSB corruption saw funds diverted from creating a network of stooges. That was one more proof that Putin runs a rotting kleptocracy rather than anything resembling a competent superpower.

    My error here was in not realising there is a whole bunch of you Putin apologists pushing the crackpot idea that all the Russian set-backs have been part of a grand plan to achieve very minimal invasion goals. Every reverse is a feint followed by a tactical regrouping.

    You are welcome to your little circle jerk. Faced with crazies, one backs away
  • ssu
    6.3k
    You can be both critical and supportive of organizations or countries depending on the subject or issue.

    I have no trouble of being critical against NATO and the US especially when it came to the war in Afghanistan. That war was in every respect quite disastrous starting from the basic argumentation, which was actually far more insane than the Domino-theory of the Vietnam war: that we had to be in Afghanistan because otherwise it could be a safe haven for terrorists. The sheer stupidity of that line goes beyond my imagination. Then was the ludicrous implementation of the "War on Terror". I'm critical of my own government, when it came to that fiasco.

    However in the case of Ukraine, it is different. And if you don't there is any difference, then it's quite useless to have a discussion about it. If you do notice a difference, meaning that a collective defense treaty is to you (as to me) quite different from invasions of Third World countries followed by nation building, then by all means we can continue.

    The inability of many of these USA haters to see that former Soviet countries and East European countries were totally justified and rational to seek the protection from an collective Western defense organization from a revanchist Russia is so telling. Yes, my country has made it's application too with a sound majority of my people (including me) favoring this.That people downplay the imperial aspirations of Russia and just view NATO enlargement as the cause for this war is actually telling.

    During that time, there were several insurgencies, civil war and the rise of IS when they left. That's your idea of an occupation? Just being around seems a low bar. To me that was just a continuous conflict.Benkei
    They didn't actually leave. The "War on Terror" is still actually going on in Iraq. It just has been forgotten that some troops are still there.

    (US troops in Iraq, 2022)
    7029657-scaled.jpeg

    But sure, if that qualifies as an occupation than Russia's aim was to occupy Ukraine and to then have an insurgency on their hands and unsuccessfully try whatever the Americans were also unsuccessful at.Benkei
    I think it is beyond discussion(or debate) that Russia has imperial aspirations about Ukrainian territory as it is holding referendums to join more of the occupied territories to Russia. Annexation of territories and saying that they are an integral part of Mother Russia says the obvious to anybody with some understanding about history and the objectives of the people behind such talk.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    My error here was in not realising there is a whole bunch of you Putin apologists pushing the crackpot idea that all the Russian set-backs have been part of a grand plan to achieve very minimal invasion goals. Every reverse is a feint followed by a tactical regrouping.apokrisis
    :clap: :up:
  • ssu
    6.3k
    In my first response on this thread on page 2. I wrote:

    Actually, I genuinely hope that this (or similar) threads aren't going to be very long or as long as the COVID thread. Everybody understands what would make this thread go on for long... I myself have commented the Ukrainian on the Biden adminstration thread two months ago (starting here), so it's not something out of the blue.ssu


    Actually now this thread is far longer than the original Coronavirus thread, which started before the epidemic had become a global pandemic with lockdowns. It has now 267 pages and this one is on page 313.

    My hopes didn't become reality, which is sad. :sad:
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    You can be both critical and supportive of organizations or countries depending on the subject or issue.

    I have no trouble of being critical against NATO and the US especially when it came to the war in Afghanistan...
    ssu

    So I can criticise NATO, so long as that criticism agrees with yours. Got it.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I think it is beyond discussion(or debate) that Russia has imperial aspirations about Ukrainian territory as it is holding referendums to join more of the occupied territories to Russia. Annexation of territories and saying that they are an integral part of Mother Russia says the obvious to anybody with some understanding about history and the objectives of the people behind such talk.
    9h
    ssu

    Where have I argued this not to be the case?

    I’m merely pointing out the widely reported view that FSB corruption saw funds diverted from creating a network of stooges. That was one more proof that Putin runs a rotting kleptocracy rather than anything resembling a competent superpower.apokrisis

    That was not your argument. You had a whole shtick about Russian identity that was pure fiction. That's what I took issue with. The above seems accurate to me.

    My error here was in not realising there is a whole bunch of you Putin apologists pushing the crackpot idea that all the Russian set-backs have been part of a grand plan to achieve very minimal invasion goals. Every reverse is a feint followed by a tactical regrouping.apokrisis

    And where have I argued that? Your error is inferring arguments I'm not making.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    See here

    People who believe Putin and that Russia has been attacked by Ukraine/NATO, well, are crazy.
    ssu

    Which is not what he's talking about. He's saying the West is pushing Ukraine to move military action into Russia (a bit unclear but I think he means Russia proper, excluding Ukrainian occupied land). Which is a lie. But the point he's making is that if that were to happen (the conflict moves until Russian soil), then he would authorise the use of nukes. It's literally in the text.

    The interesting bit about the lie is that it actually opens the door that allows him to "lose" while maintaining face.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    ou had a whole shtick about Russian identity that was pure fiction.Benkei

    I provided sources. If you want to posture on the issue, then provide the sources that argue against these sources. Kindly put up or shut up

    Your error is inferring arguments I'm not making.Benkei

    Where have I claimed that anything you might have said reached the level of an argument. I’ve said exactly the opposite.

    Anyone who claims Putin’s war is going to plan is rather hard of understanding. It makes no sense on any level. The incompetence is plain to see.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I provided sources. If you want to posture on the issue, then provide the sources that argue against these sources. Kindly put up or shut upapokrisis

    I don't need to provide sources when what you bring to the table aren't facts. The onus is in you to show the facts supporting your position. Merely offering up additional opinions that agree with you, aren't facts, and in any case I already pointed you to two other writers who hold different opinions. I've argued why I believe your position is a leap of faith based on the links you've provided. You're just dodging.

    Where have I claimed that anything you might have said reached the level of an argument. I’ve said exactly the opposite.

    Anyone who claims Putin’s war is going to plan is rather hard of understanding. It makes no sense on any level. The incompetence is plain to see.
    apokrisis

    Blah blah. I have offered an argument, you simply choose to ignore it and then pretend I haven't. Whatever floats your boat I guess.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Which is not what he's talking about. He's saying the West is pushing Ukraine to move military action into Russia (a bit unclear but I think he means Russia proper, excluding Ukrainian occupied land). Which is a lie. But the point he's making is that if that were to happen (the conflict moves until Russian soil), then he would authorise the use of nukes. It's literally in the text.

    The interesting bit about the lie is that it actually opens the door that allows him to "lose" while maintaining face.
    Benkei
    If you said yourself that it's a lie, then isn't believing a lie crazy?

    Conquering territory from another country and calling it part of your country isn't the same as being attacked and defending the boundaries of your state that other countries have accepted to be yours. But for Putin, it is the same. Hence the need for those sham referendums in the occupied territories.

    Where have I argued this not to be the case?Benkei

    You were comparing the US invasion of Iraq to the current events. Perhaps I didn't get your point. But the simple fact is that regime change and annexation of territories is a bit different. Yes, both are actions that Great Powers do (or try to do). However the latter is quite classical imperialism, whereas the former is more of neo-colonialism. As we can see from the case of Iraq, that regime isn't playing so well anymore to the tunes of the US. And in case of for example Serbia (where the US successfully assisted on regime change), it isn't an ally to the US but basically a friend of Russia.

    I think the crux in that quote is what he means with Russia. If he meant including Crimea and Donetsk then following that premise, I guess technically not a lie because we're supporting Ukraine to reclaim their territory* (we reject the premise of course but I want to tease out the exact meaning) and much more worrying than if he meant Russia without Ukrainian occupied territory. I was hopeful he meant the latter but could be worse obviously.Benkei
    Crimea, Donetsk and Luhans are all occupied territories. Which Putin has said are part of Russia, basically. So that's my worry about him "defending Russian territory" with nukes.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I think the crux in that quote is what he means with Russia. If he meant including Crimea and Donetsk then following that premise, I guess technically not a lie because we're supporting Ukraine to reclaim their territory* (we reject the premise of course but I want to tease out the exact meaning) and much more worrying than if he meant Russia without Ukrainian occupied territory. I was hopeful he meant the latter but could be worse obviously.

    *again, for me this is not at any cost, which never seems a worry for most supporters.
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