• apokrisis
    6.3k
    I don't need to provide sources when what you bring to the table aren't facts.Benkei

    Blah, blah, blah. Wake me up when you have sources to back up your opinions.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Wake me up when you have sources to back up your opinions.apokrisis

    What sources could possibly back up the claim that you are presenting opinion as fact? Such a claim only requires a rational analysis of the type of proposition you're making and the nature of the sources you're using. It doesn't require sources itself, it's not that sort of claim.

    What's happening here is just lazy partisanship in place of debate and I think it's a social change that needs resisting as it undermines the status of experts and if we no longer trust in experts then all that's left is populism.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    War is insanity. Each side accusing the other of insanity is part of the war. Can one speak of insanity sanely?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    War is insanity. Each side accusing the other of insanity is part of the war. Can one speak of insanity sanely?unenlightened

    I think that's right, but one can, perhaps, speak sanely about those practices which lead to a promulgation of war and those which work to limit it?

    Part of the problem I was trying to describe is that the partisan division of all who are not 'with the Ukrainians' as being 'with the Russians' means that such conversations, which I think are important, can't take place. If one cannot criticise the behaviour of one side without being treated as if one must thereby be on the other, then all we have left is the "insanity" of two warring sides.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    What's happening here is just lazy partisanship in place of debateIsaac

    As I said, I only repeated standard wisdom about Russian national identity and how that stems pretty obviously from the problems of defending a sprawling empire composed of many ethnicities on a vast exposed plain.

    Pan-Slavism, an ideal of unity of all Slavic Orthodox Christian nations, gained popularity in the mid- to late 19th century. One of its major ideologists was Nikolay Danilevsky. Pan-Slavism was fueled by and it was also the fuel for Russia's numerous wars against the Ottoman Empire, which Russia waged with the goal of liberating Orthodox nationalities, such as the Bulgarians, the Romanians, the Serbs and the Greeks, from Muslim rule. The final goal was Constantinople; the Russian Empire still considered itself the "Third Rome" and it believed that its duty required it to succeed the "Second Rome", which was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.[4] Pan-Slavism also played a key role in Russia's entry into World War I, since the 1914 war against Serbia by Austria-Hungary triggered Russia's response.

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

    And I posted specific sources showing how Putin was invoking this worldview as justification for his series of ever more ambitious military adventures.

    According to Michael Hirsh, a senior correspondent at Foreign Policy:
    Graham and other Russia experts said it is a mistake to view Putin merely as an angry former KGB apparatchik upset at the fall of the Soviet Union and NATO’s encroachment after the Cold War, as he is often portrayed by Western commentators. Putin, himself, made this clear in his Feb. 21 speech, when he disavowed the Soviet legacy, inveighing against the mistakes made by former leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin to grant Ukraine even partial autonomy. ... Putin is rather a messianic Russian nationalist and Eurasianist whose constant invocation of history going back to Kievan Rus, however specious, is the best explanation for his view that Ukraine must be part of Russia’s sphere of influence, experts say. In his essay last July, Putin even suggested that the formation of a separate, democratic Ukrainian nation “is comparable in its consequences to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us.”

    If you believe these are fictions, then get busy with the debunking. :up:
  • ssu
    6.3k
    The multiethnic Empire of Russia survived because of the Soviet Union. The Soviet ideology hid this obvious fact as various people were simply declared to be Soviet.

    Many don't understand the fact that Russia is a colonial power, because it had no oceans to cross when it invaded new territories. Yet the fact is that Central Asia or the Caucasus aren't part of Russia proper, but were linked to it like parts of Africa were linked to European imperial powers. And basically similar meddling is done now by Russia as France still exerts in some of it's former colonies (not all).

    Nobody in Austria believes that the Austro-Hungarian Empire can rise again. In the Nordic countries, even if the states are in very good terms with each other, nobody is calling for the restoration of the Kalmar Union. In Russia it's different. The way to "make Russia great again" is through restoring the territory that formerly it held. Not things like improve the industries and education etc.

    The idea of Russian is still quite close to what it was as an Empire and this is the real problem. I think the reason is that the Soviet Union collapsed peacefully, hence people like Putin think it was simply a mistake. A mistake that can be repaired. Yet it wasn't an unfortunate mistake. It's like a divorce: you cannot just assume that after having a divorce, in some time things will get back as they were and you will marry again.

    The idea of Russia has been captured and dominated by an ugly cabal of jingoist thugs, who are used as a tool by the kleptocracy which rules Russia.
    donetskpeoplesrep15.jpg?w=960
  • Changeling
    1.3k
    Mobilization summons are being handed to highly qualified specialists who are difficult/almost impossible to replace. Important industries in Russia will cease to function.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    If you believe these are fictions, then get busy with the debunking.apokrisis

    What could possibly debunk them? They are someone's opinion about the intent behind Russian foreign policy, what do you expect me to debunk? That in fact no-one has such an opinion?

    There are no facts there to debunk, that's the point. It's someone's opinion about the motivation for events. The events are facts, the theory about what motivates them is opinion. I can't see how you're not getting that distinction.
  • jorndoe
    2.1k
    , and people with no military training are being drafted. There was an interview on TV last night. Whatever Putin has in mind, it doesn't seem to be peace.
  • Olivier5
    5.7k
    In Kupyansk, the ambiguous success of the Ukrainian army: "The Russian soldiers were caught without a fight"
    By Florence Aubenas, Kupyansk, Le Monde
    Posted today at 2:00 p.m.

    The capture by Kiev's troops of this northeastern Ukrainian city, a railway hub, had initially seemed a foregone conclusion. But it remains close to the front line.

    It was a small town in the far east of Ukraine, discreet and charming, with two factories, 27,000 inhabitants and a river. In February, the Russian invasion turned Kupiansk into a strategic point, now marked in red on the staff maps. A railway junction on the border of the two countries, the town had become the gateway for the supply of Russian troops to the northern front of the Donbass, the limits of which begin barely 20 kilometers away.

    In the autumn rain, the Ukrainian counter-offensive has just planted its flag in the town's main square. "The Kharkiv region is 94% under our control and the reconquered area is almost completely cleared," says a Ukrainian deputy commander of a base near Izium, nicknamed "Diver". That "almost" makes all the difference. Around Kupiansk, Russian soldiers continue to fight bitterly, while they have quickly retreated elsewhere. The official Ukrainian visits that were supposed to celebrate the victory there are postponed from day to day.

    Near the town hall, residents remember that the city fell without a shot at the start of the Russian invasion. “This will avoid destruction,” argued the mayor, elected from a pro-Kremlin party, welcoming the occupants with docility. The strategic position of the city quickly erected it into a Russian administrative and military base in the region. All the signs of a planned annexation seemed in place: propaganda posters, open registrations to obtain a Russian passport, distribution of telephone chips or payment of a bonus to pensioners. Only Russian TV channels were allowed.

    Dmytro, a mechanic, regularly took one of the two daily shuttles to the nearby Russian Federation. There, finding work seemed easier to him. Today, in Kupyansk, passersby who see him talking to us walk away from him, faces closed, hostile and frightened at the same time.

    On a camping table, Galina sells pasta, shampoo, matches. Both rubles and hrynvia (Russian and Ukrainian currencies) are accepted. "It was calm with the Russians," she said. "No one was against it," Dmytro continues, raising his voice over the noise of the fighting in the vicinity.

    Viktor Pripouta, a farmer, intervenes: “That is false. And Mikola? Do you remember Mykola?" A pro-Ukrainian veteran from Donbass, Mykola was loaded into an armored vehicle after organizing a demonstration of 150 people against the occupiers. It was the first and last event of its kind. To avoid discussion, Galina turns her head away. Uncertainty can be read in her eyes: are the Russians really defeated for good? Who knows how the situation will turn out?

    “On television, I saw…” begins Dmytro. The farmer cuts him off: “To find out what's going on, I look out the window, not the television."

    With the counter-offensive, the city is now on the front line. No water, no electricity, no gasoline, shops looted. An old lady has been dead for four days, the smell is unbearable. There are no more ambulances or firefighters to evacuate the body. In the streets, the noise of the fighting draws closer.

    A car has just parked, marked "humanitarian aid". From everywhere, people come running with used plastic bags, even the older ones who are hobbling around. But when the distribution begins, a bomb falls with a bang on a nearby block of houses. A second one crashes even closer. Part of the crowd makes a sudden U-turn to take cover, while the other continues to rush towards the distribution. We collide without a word or a shout, terror and misery thrown against each other in a chilling silence.

    Today, Kupiansk is all the more strategically important as the Ukrainian counter-offensive advances towards Donbass. Huge military convoys are driving south, some heading towards Donetsk, others towards Luhansk. Each battalion is displaying its war trophies, Russian machines seized during the last fighting and triumphantly stamped with the arms of the victors. But the proximity of the Russian border, 15 kilometers away, obviously complicates the recapture of the city. "Our enemies can continue to mass troops on their side of the border," explains a Ukrainian officer in a base in the region.

    He took part in the battle of Balaklyaya, a city twice as big as Kupiansk, 70 kilometers away. However, it fell almost by itself, like most of the liberated territories in the region. "We have noticed that Russian soldiers retreated easily when left without a command," the officer continued. "In Balaklyaya, we began by locating and decapitating the headquarters." According to him, the Russian soldiers were then surrounded in large groups, and then attacked. "They were caught without fighting," he rejoices.

    As if to whip up the ardor in Kupiansk, President Zelensky posted a photo of a bombed-out square in the city on September 19 with the caption "Our Kupiansk," calling for the return of "order and civilization."

    Among the soldiers, they discuss Vladimir Putin's speech, who has just announced a partial mobilization in Russia. "It can change very quickly with them, but we are ready," says one. All in the glory of the counter-offensive, the troops compare their enthusiasm with the pessimistic signs of the adversaries. Glib, a 23-year-old fighter, says he saw on social networks that young Russians from Belgorod, on the other side of the border, about 50 kilometers away, are trying to flee to avoid being drafted.

    After the liberation of the town, massive numbers of requests for leave for September 1 were discovered in the Russian command post.

    Suddenly, the ringing of Glib's telephone stops the triumphant speeches. He silences the others with great gestures. It is the University of Kharkiv calling him for his online entrance exam. The voice, sounding as if from another world, announces an immediate test in Ukrainian grammar. "If the questions are too difficult, you tell them you don't have network," whispers a colleague. And Glib, looking suddenly serious: "Hey, if I don't get a degree, what will I do after the war?"
  • ssu
    6.3k
    people with no military training are being drafted. There was an interview on TV last night. Whatever Putin has in mind, it doesn't seem to be peace.jorndoe
    If you take all the people who have done their military service in the last five years, you are talking roughly about two million men (and some women). Yet just to retrain and arm 300 000 is not at all easy thing for Russia. Russia has not had any kind of system for reservists and for their refresher training. Hence it's going to take some time.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    Right. All this is a commonplace. It is Russia’s story about itself whether Tsarist, Communist, or Putinist.

    So why are posters here wanting to deny it?

    Are you nuts? The fact is that the view is held and shared as justification for the current actions. The fact is Putin actually says it, even if we can debate how much he really believes it.

    All national identities are in some sense fictions. But it ain’t a fiction that all nations have some coherent sense of self that arises from their histories and geopolitical realities. How could it be otherwise?

    It is odd that you and others seem so flustered that this context might be openly discussed. What’s going on there? :chin:
  • Paine
    694
    The fact is Putin actually says it, even if we can debate how much he really believes it.apokrisis

    And he says it while doing fist bumps with the head of the Russian Orthodox church. If the intention was substantially different from what was stated, the erasure of Ukrainian identity is a lot of collateral damage.

    I figure Occam can keep his switch blade in the pocket on this one.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    The fact is that the view is held and shared as justification for the current actions.apokrisis

    Who's denying that the view is held and shared as justification for the current actions? People hold all sorts of views. Hell, I could probably find someone who thinks Putin is the head of the lizard men. So some people think Russia's foreign policy is driven by imperialist expansionism. Others don't.

    The question was why you want to paint those that do as prophets and those that don't as lunatics. Both views are held by experts in their field. The discussion is one in academic articles. What's obscene is this modern attempt to weaponise ostracism for your own political gain. We exclude quacks and lunatics from serious discussion because they are unqualified to take part. We don't exclude perfectly qualified academics because we don't like what they've got to say... or at least we didn't used to, but I suppose I'm too old fashioned for the new discourse.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    So some people think Russia's foreign policy is driven by imperialist expansionism.Isaac

    Great. You will have no problem providing expert sources arguing the opposite then. Look forward to it.

    The question was why you want to paint those that do as prophets and those that don't as lunatics.Isaac

    Maybe it’s you and Benkie that are emotionally invested here. So you project a lot.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    So why are posters here wanting to deny it?apokrisis
    It's far too annoying for many that sometimes the US President and elite can utter something that is totally right and justified. As if that makes somehow the criticism about other issues less valuable.

    Just look at what people said on this thread before February 24th. The time when the US was saying that Russia was going to attack Ukraine starting from page 2. Just to take it in the most obvious and clearly stated comment:

    The ultimate bad actor in this whole situation is the US, and anyone who looks at Russia being an active 'bad guy' with Western powers merely 'reacting' to Russian agression has no fucking idea what they are talking about.Streetlight

    For some, everything bad comes from the US and only this should be said. Period.

    Hence talking about Russia, the idea of Russia or what Putin thinks about Russia is meaningless.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    Yep. I did read the first 10 pages out of interest. I enjoyed the counter views of frank and apollodorus. And I’m quite happy with critiques of US and UK imperialism. It’s how the world works.

    Poor SX just seem go off his head eventually.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    While we wait for the apologists to back up their “facts”, here’s another video on the issue worth watching…

  • jorndoe
    2.1k
    Why Vladimir Putin is raising the stakes in Ukraine war
    Max Seddon (Moscow), Polina Ivanova (Berlin), Ben Hall (Kyiv)
    Financial Times
    Sep 21, 2022


    Why Vladimir Putin is raising the stakes in Ukraine war

    Russian president’s move underscores his shrinking room for manoeuvre at home and on the battlefield

    As he addressed the nation on Wednesday morning to announce a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reservists, president Vladimir Putin framed Russia’s war in Ukraine in stark, existential terms.

    The nation was defending itself against a west that wanted to “weaken, divide and destroy Russia” and it was prepared to use nuclear weapons in response.

    The apocalyptic threats are intended to coerce Ukraine and its western allies to accept Russia’s gains in the conflict. The hasty staging of “referendums” in occupied areas this weekend is supposed to set a line that Ukraine and the west must not cross.

    By in effect annexing large parts of southern and eastern Ukraine, Putin wants to dissuade Kyiv and its western allies from attacking what the Kremlin now considers “Russian territory” — laying the groundwork for full mobilisation or even nuclear conflict if they persist.

    Putin’s escalation is a gamble that underscores his shrinking room for manoeuvre on the battlefield in Ukraine and domestically in Russia.

    “The whole world should be praying for Russia’s victory, because there are only two ways this can end: either Russia wins, or a nuclear apocalypse,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a nationalist Russian tycoon, said in an interview.

    “If we don’t win, we will have to use nuclear weapons, because we can’t lose,” Malofeyev added. “Does anyone really think Russia will accept defeat and not use its nuclear arsenal?”

    On the defensive after losing thousands of square kilometres of territory to Ukraine in recent weeks, Wednesday’s announcement is an attempt to change the calculus at a time when Moscow has even fewer options, said Rob Lee, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

    A successful Ukrainian counter-offensive this month has not only pushed it out of the Kharkiv region in north-eastern Ukraine but is also now threatening territories Russia seized in the Donbas — the eastern industrial heartland whose “liberation” Putin has defined as the main goal of the war.

    “If they start losing territory that they just gained there, it raises all sorts of questions and there’s no way they can easily brush it off. It quite clearly is a military and political failure if that happens,” Lee said.

    By declaring these areas Russian territory, Putin is probably hoping he can halt Ukraine’s advance and deter the west’s appetite for sending more weapons, because it would demonstrate that “any offensive here by Ukrainian forces or by Nato weapons will get interpreted as an attack on Russian territory”, Lee said.

    Western leaders have instead condemned the referendums, reiterated their support for Ukraine’s attempts to recapture its territory and restated their willingness to provide Kyiv with high-tech weapons.

    Russia’s gamble is unlikely to pay off, said Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation. “I don’t think Putin fully internalises the consequences of this,” he said. “What happens when Ukraine ‘occupies’ ‘Russian territory’? Then the next step is declaring war if Ukraine retakes it.”

    Many analysts are also sceptical that a partial mobilisation will have a rapid impact on the battlefield, because it could take several months to train reservists and to create new units with commanders and logistical support.

    Seven months since Putin first sent troops into Ukraine, Russia’s heavy losses put its forces at a manpower disadvantage, particularly in terms of well-trained soldiers. Moscow originally deployed about 180,000 troops for its invasion of Ukraine, according to western estimates.

    Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said only 5,937 Russian soldiers had died in the conflict — less than a tenth of the casualties Moscow claims were suffered by Ukraine. The US said in August that Russia had suffered “probably . . . 70,000 or 80,000” killed and wounded since February.

    The Russian reserve has a notional 2mn former conscripts and contract soldiers, according to the Institute for the Study of War, but few are actively trained or considered ready to fight.

    A 2019 Rand study estimated Russia only had 4,000 to 5,000 reservists in the western sense of receiving regular monthly and annual training, although in 2021 it launched an initiative to create a standing reserve force.

    “If this is meant to scare Ukraine and the west into capitulating, it’s not going to work. When it fails, Putin will have even worse choices,” Charap said.

    But even as Russia escalated its stand-off against the west, the Kremlin attempted to reassure Russians that life would mostly go on as normal.

    In a pre-recorded statement aired immediately after Putin’s speech, Shoigu said Russia would only call up reserves, rather than deploy the conscript army, and stressed that students would be exempt.

    Throughout the invasion, Moscow has avoided introducing martial law or conscripting Russians into the armed forces and insisted on calling it a “special military operation” — a term evoking far-off conflicts rather than stirring Russians’ memories of brutal wars.

    The attempt to project calm for the domestic audience — presenting the war as a necessary but distant battle — has been successful so far.

    “Over the past six months, an adaptation has taken place to the new conditions, people calmed down,” said Denis Volkov, director of the Levada Center, an independent pollster in Moscow. Spending increased, and polls showed Russians increasingly saying that the situation was developing in the right direction.

    But the announcement of even a partial mobilisation brings the war closer to home. “I think if the Kremlin could have avoided it, it would have,” Volkov said. “But the conflict has its own logic, and it has led them to take an unpopular decision.”

    Some Russians have voted with their feet: flights to Yerevan and Istanbul, two of the few available destinations after western countries closed off their airspace to Russia, were sold out within minutes of Putin’s announcement.

    The effect on public sentiment will be gradual, however, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R.Politik.

    “Mobilisation will be gradually expanded. Society will slowly become irritated and indignant — do not expect mass protests, but rather waves of indignation,” she said. “This is the erosion of Putin’s power in its purest form.”

    nhqalg6nhyqdnxq6.jpg
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    "Russian identity is imperialistic". Reality: Russians fleeing mobilisation.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    The Russian identity is imperialistic. The official one and that upheld by Putin and his followers.

    And as we know, not all Russians support this. Haven't for a time as many have fled to places like Georgia even before this mobilization. That the Russian National Guard has more troops than the Russian Army ground forces tells you something just what Putin is afraid of. (National Guard is for domestic safety, previously been Ministry of Interior troops)

    %2Fmethode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F10cacd04-3a93-11ed-a8ae-d2d57cd0511a.jpg?crop=1831%2C1030%2C40%2C797&resize=360

    Still, the fact is that enough do support Putin. Even if that might be changing.

    Every nation has it's ardent "Trump supporters". If there is a Trump around and in power.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    It contradicts the facts and still you maintain it by equivocating the acquiescence to existing power by a population that has barely any agency, with support.

    Jesus.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Germany being Germany, which is nice.

    Germany is ready to take in Russian deserters, ministers signalled Thursday, amid reports of people fleeing the partial mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

    "Deserters threatened with serious repression can as a rule obtain international protection in Germany," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, according to excerpts from an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

    "Anyone who courageously opposes Putin's regime and thereby falls into great danger, can file for asylum on grounds of political persecution," she said.

    Separately, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann tweeted using the hashtag "partial mobilization" that "apparently, many Russians are leaving their homeland -- anyone who hates Putin's path and loves liberal democracy is welcome in Germany".
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    "Russian identity is imperialistic". Reality: Russians fleeing mobilisation.Benkei

    That’s something the Vexler video covers. But of course sound bites win over analysis in your world.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    It contradicts the facts and still you maintain it by equivocating the acquiescence to existing power by a population that has barely any agency, with support.

    Jesus.
    Benkei
    Jesus yourself, Benkei!

    How many Belarussians love their leader? Not a lot, but he is still in power. Are there Turks that don't like Erdogan? Sure, but he is in power also. Must there be someone that is OK with their leaders in both countries? Naturally.

    There is absolutely no contradiction in that official Russia is, and Putin and his followers are imperialistic and that in the same time there are Russian who are against the war in Ukraine and who don't want to participate in that war.

    I don't understand how you can see a contradiction there. I've met enough Russians who aren't for Putin to know that.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    And still the wait for you to back up your claims goes on.

    Meanwhile back in the real world….

    President Vladimir Putin has compared himself to Peter the Great, saying he shares the 18th-century czar's goal of returning "Russian lands" to a greater empire.

    Speaking after visiting an exhibition to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Peter's birth on Thursday, Putin drew a parallel to his invasion of Ukraine.

    "Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them," he said, according to a translation from Reuters. "He did not take anything from them, he returned [them]."

    Referring to the Ukraine invasion he said: "Apparently, it also fell to us to return [what is Russia’s] and strengthen [the country]. And if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face."

  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I'm not the one making sweeping claims about Russian identity based on a few speeches by Putin or even the existence of nationalism in a country. It's pretty clear Putin has been using nationalist sentiments as a political tool. First he cracks down on it, then he employs it, then he puts the breaks on it because others are getting to popular. And if some support is enough to support claims of the existence of Russian identity as you're doing now then equally showing there's some lack of support proves the opposite.

    Some arguments are so vacuous a single sentence suffices to waylay them.
  • apokrisis
    6.3k
    Some arguments are so vacuous a single sentence suffices to waylay them.Benkei

    Yep, you’ve got nothing, have you. Just a lot of anger and frustration. No rational reply. No sources to back you up.

    Your man Putin says it out loud in public and … nothing. Just more insults.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    I'm not the one making sweeping claims about Russian identity based on a few speeches by Putin or even the existence of nationalism in a country. It's pretty clear Putin has been using nationalist sentiments as a political tool. First he cracks down on it, then he employs it, then he puts the breaks on it because others are getting to popular. And if some support is enough to support claims of the existence of Russian identity as you're doing now then equally showing there's some lack of support proves the opposite.Benkei
    By "cracking down on it" you mean restarting the war against the Chechens? That is totally in line with the imperialist cause. Putin obviously tolerates minorities, as long they don't want to separate from the Empire. That is natural for an Empire.

    And making "sweeping claims" "based on a few speeches"?

    How about actions and implemented policy, Benkei?

    Starting from the annexation of Crimea.

    It isn't just rhetoric. I think moves like that (annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war) put the counterarguments to the "sweeping claims" category.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    It's funny how you keep trying to find a psychological issue with me simply because I don't agree with you. If I'm not an apologist (bad by association) I'm angry and frustrated. You've got such a narrow view of the world anything that doesn't fit in it is intrinsically wrong. Good luck with that.

    we're not talking about Putin, we're talking about "Russian identity". I'm resisting that idiotic sweeping generalisation.
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