Russia invades Ukraine *** READ RULES IN POST 6 BEFORE POSTING ***

BleedSilverandBlue

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And so you are going to have a very hard time convincing anyone in Eastern Ukraine or Russia that a coup doesn't constitute "meddling".
NATO did not convince 1 million+ Ukrainians to face off for months (at the cost of life and limb) against the security forces of Yanukovych at Maidan after he back tracked on his campaign promise to integrate with the EU. Not everything is the result of the Western boogey man. The fact of the matter is that the EU is a much more attractive value proposition to many former Eastern Bloc nations than the Russian Federation.

If the people of Eastern Ukraine are what got Yanukovych elected, why did they support a pro-EU candidate (as he presented himself) if they see themselves as Russian through and through? Something isn’t adding up.

I was not on the ground in Donetsk or Luhansk in 2013, but most international polls that I can access found that EU Ascension had very high backing in Western and Central Ukraine (70%+ and 60%+) and anywhere between 20%-52% in Eastern Ukraine based on the age group polled (65+ years were significantly pro-Russian while 20-64 years old were decidedly more pro-EU) with nearly half of respondents in both polls actually favoring non-alignment with either faction. (Source here under popular support tab) This does not seem to reflect alleged overwhelming support for Russian integration in Luhansk and Donetsk even though they were decidedly less pro-EU.
Ukraine looks nothing Belarus (which is extremely authoritarian but also extremely clean and low crime country).
What I am saying is that it appears that Ukrainians desire a future more similar to Poland than Belarus. Not that they are identical situations (as you pointed out, they are quite different).
The best outcome may be to simply re-incorporate postwar Ukraine in to the three functional countries (Poland, Hungary, and Russia) that used to govern the area but within the framework of an International Treaty which ensures Ukrainian language and cultural rights are respected.
I agree with you that the post-war Ukrainian nation may not be viable, but the alternatives are quite unattractive.

I am sure dividing an ethnic group up into three separate nations (one of which already has made it no secret that they think the Ukrainian culture & language should not exist) will end spectacularly.

Either way, I find the Ukraine situation quite interesting as it is one of the last places that the dust from the collapse of the Soviet Union has yet to settle. May peace for the people of Ukraine and Russia prevail in the long run.
 
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Montanalo

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NATO did not convince 1 million+ Ukrainians to face off for months (at the cost of life and limb) against the security forces of Yanukovych at Maidan after he back tracked on his campaign promise to integrate with the EU. Not everything is the result of the Western boogey man. The fact of the matter is that the EU is a much more attractive value proposition to many former Eastern Bloc nations than the Russian Federation.

If the people of Eastern Ukraine are what got Yanukovych elected, why did they support a pro-EU candidate (as he presented himself) if they see themselves as Russian through and through? Something isn’t adding up.

I was not on the ground in Donetsk or Luhansk in 2013, but most international polls that I can access found that EU Ascension had very high backing in Western and Central Ukraine (70%+ and 60%+) and anywhere between 20%-52% in Eastern Ukraine based on the age group polled (65+ years were significantly pro-Russian while 20-64 years old were decidedly more pro-EU) with nearly half of respondents in both polls actually favoring non-alignment with either faction. (Source here under popular support tab) This does not seem to reflect alleged overwhelming support for Russian integration in Luhansk and Donetsk even though they were decidedly less pro-EU.

What I am saying is that it appears that Ukrainians desire a future more similar to Poland than Belarus. Not that they are identical situations (as you pointed out, they are quite different).

I agree with you that the post-war Ukrainian nation may not be viable, but the alternatives are quite unattractive.

I am sure dividing an ethnic group up into three separate nations (one of which already has made it no secret that they think the Ukrainian culture & language should not exist) will end spectacularly.

Either way, I find the Ukraine situation quite interesting as it is one of the last places that the dust from the collapse of the Soviet Union has yet to settle. May peace for the people of Ukraine and Russia prevail in the long run.
Appreciate your take on the situation. It is apparent you have a good knowledge and understanding of the area and the people.

I agree that many (most?) Ukrainians in the central and western portions of the country are more closely aligned religiously, ethnically, philosophically with with Poland than they are with Russia. I also agree that the EU offers a better more prosperous opportunity than Russia.

That said, the eastern portion of Ukraine aligns more closely with Russia. This is no more apparent than the prominent role the Russian Orthodox church plays in every day life. The pro-EU support in the east stems mainly from the ethnic Ukrainians... it is not necessarily an age distinction as it is a religious and ethnic distinction.
 

triplets_93

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Zelensky On Tour...

Britain's King Charles will hold an audience with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his trip to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace said.

Zelensky is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and address Britain's parliament, as well as visit King Charles at his London residence.

Zelensky's trip to Britain will be his second foreign visit since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, and comes at a time when Kyiv is urging the West for more military support.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will arrive in Paris on Wednesday evening following his visit to London, the Élysée Palace told AFP, confirming previous media reports.

Zelensky is then expected to head to Brussels for a European Union summit on Thursday.
 

BrAinPaiNt

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*** THREAD RULES ***

Do not post anything remotely related to US politics on the site!

That also includes using pseudo arguments of politically aligned issues in an attempt to circumvent this policy!

This thread is ONLY about the Ukraine situation!

You can discuss NATO, Ukraine, Russia, etc. but do not discuss any US-specific involvement as part of those discussions.

If you violate these rules, you will be removed from the thread and your account may be suspended for an extended period of time!
 

triplets_93

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https://www.france24.com/en/europe/...will-travel-together-to-eu-summit-in-brussels

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that his country has intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova.

Speaking to European Union leaders in Brussels, Zelensky said he recently told Moldovan President Maia Sandu about the alleged scheme. “I have informed her that we have intercepted the plan of the destruction of Moldova by the Russian intelligence," Zelensky said through a translator.

The Ukrainian president said the documents showed “who, when and how" the plan would "break the democracy of Moldova and establish control over Moldova". Zelensky said the plan was very similar to the one devised by Russia to take over Ukraine.
 

gtb1943

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The longer it lasts the worse it is for Russia. And as long as so many support their idiot leader, that is a good thing.
 

Montanalo

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https://www.france24.com/en/europe/...will-travel-together-to-eu-summit-in-brussels

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that his country has intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova.

Speaking to European Union leaders in Brussels, Zelensky said he recently told Moldovan President Maia Sandu about the alleged scheme. “I have informed her that we have intercepted the plan of the destruction of Moldova by the Russian intelligence," Zelensky said through a translator.

The Ukrainian president said the documents showed “who, when and how" the plan would "break the democracy of Moldova and establish control over Moldova". Zelensky said the plan was very similar to the one devised by Russia to take over Ukraine.
This is not entirely a surprise as the eastern portion of Moldova consists of the breakaway state of Transnistria, another disputed area occupied in large part by ethnic Russians and Ukrainians.

Russia has militarily occupied the area since the early 90's. If true, Transnistria can join other breakaway Russian enclaves like South Ossetia, Abkhazia and eastern Ukraine.
 

gtb1943

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One thing is true: the West encouraged this when they let Putin take the Crimea. Just like in the 1930's, appeasement of a dictator leads to worse things.
 

BleedSilverandBlue

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One thing is true: the West encouraged this when they let Putin take the Crimea. Just like in the 1930's, appeasement of a dictator leads to worse things.
By and large I agree, but there are some key things to consider.

Crimea is a little bit different considering a majority if Crimeans are ethnically Russian and actually in support of annexation by Russia. Now, the amount that were likely in support in 2014 is not the comically high 98% the Kremlin reported in their sham referendum, but odds are that if you actually ran a fair vote there a slim majority (something like %55-60) would have actually been in support of ascension into the Russian Federation. Obviously the Russian Federation felt the vote would be close enough to make it worth tampering with the results, so overwhelming support is almost certainly not a given.

Were Crimeans displeased enough with being part of Ukraine to initiate this move themselves? Most sources say no, but Russia's land grab forced their hand. It also does not help that the Ukrainians essentially laid down their arms and did not resist. Really not much the West could do here outside of direct military intervention which is 100% out of the question.

I would agree that it is poor policy by the West and Eastern Bloc nations to allow Russia to illegally annex any formerly soviet lands just because there are Russian speakers there though. It has a destabilizing effect on societies and, as we have seen, has become a major pretext used by the Kremlin to justify a full scale war.

The fact that Russia thinks it is in any condition to continue trying to gobble up additional nations like Moldova shows how deeply delusional their government has become in the last year. It's military power has been significantly degraded by Ukraine and its soft power is eroding as it becomes an international pariah. As a result, many of the former soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus starting to slowly move out of Moscow's orbit as they prove unable to backup their regional security guarantees.
 
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gtb1943

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By and large I agree, but there are some key things to consider.

Crimea is a little bit different considering a majority if Crimeans are ethnically Russian and actually in support of annexation by Russia. Now, the amount that were likely in support in 2014 is not the comically high 98% the Kremlin reported in their sham referendum, but odds are that if you actually ran a fair vote there a slim majority (something like %55-60) would have actually been in support of ascension into the Russian Federation. Obviously the Russian Federation felt the vote would be close enough to make it worth tampering with the results, so overwhelming support is almost certainly not a given.

Were Crimeans displeased enough with being part of Ukraine to initiate this move themselves? Most sources say no, but Russia's land grab forced their hand. It also does not help that the Ukrainians essentially laid down their arms and did not resist. Really not much the West could do here outside of direct military intervention which is 100% out of the question.

I would agree that it is poor policy by the West and Eastern Bloc nations to allow Russia to illegally annex any formerly soviet lands just because there are Russian speakers there though. It has a destabilizing effect on societies and, as we have seen, has become a major pretext used by the Kremlin to justify a full scale war.

The fact that Russia thinks it is in any condition to continue trying to gobble up additional nations like Moldova shows how deeply delusional their government has become in the last year. It's military power has been significantly degraded by Ukraine and its soft power is eroding as it becomes an international pariah. As a result, many of the former soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus starting to slowly move out of Moscow's orbit as they prove unable to backup their regional security guarantees.
Sad fact is that so many have died and had their lives destroyed because everyone pretty much let Putin do what he wanted.

Military land grabs should always come at a very high price for the grabber; but Putin paid peanuts for everything he has done until the Ukraine stuck a knife in his guts.

And the simple fact is that whether the government of Ukraine is corrupt means NOTHING. Too many here and elsewhere who look for reasons to either excuse Putin or do nothing out of abject cowardice use that to say nothing should be done.
 

teamrican1

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One thing is true: the West encouraged this when they let Putin take the Crimea. Just like in the 1930's, appeasement of a dictator leads to worse things.
Or you could say the West itself encouraged it when the cleaved Kosovo away from Serbia. The truth is Ukraine was a thorny issue that should have been resolved via some kind of international conference after the events of 2014. That would have been the responsible and smart thing to do and Russia probably would have been happy just getting Crimea and a certain degree of autonomy for the Donbass but keeping it within the borders of the Ukraine. But because war hawks got their way and diplomacy wasn't taken seriously, we have a war in which Russia has already taken way more than that and is likely going to take a lot more before this war ends.
 

gtb1943

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Or you could say the West itself encouraged it when the cleaved Kosovo away from Serbia. The truth is Ukraine was a thorny issue that should have been resolved via some kind of international conference after the events of 2014. That would have been the responsible and smart thing to do and Russia probably would have been happy just getting Crimea and a certain degree of autonomy for the Donbass but keeping it within the borders of the Ukraine. But because war hawks got their way and diplomacy wasn't taken seriously, we have a war in which Russia has already taken way more than that and is likely going to take a lot more before this war ends.
You try and blame everyone except Russia. Sorry dude but when one nation attacks another and takes land from them, they should NEVER be allowed to keep it. Just more excuses.
 

RJ_MacReady

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The longer it lasts the worse it is for Russia. And as long as so many support their idiot leader, that is a good thing.

You try and blame everyone except Russia. Sorry dude but when one nation attacks another and takes land from them, they should NEVER be allowed to keep it. Just more excuses.
Cool. We get it. Russia bad. Now that your emotional stance has been made, can we possibly discuss pragmatically what is going down in the Ukrainian/Russian Conflict without assigning pro-this/pro-that jerseys?

Russia "should NEVER be allowed to keep" what they have. It's a nice sentiment. Since Diplomacy doesn't seem to be off the table, what other resources should we be sending to repulse the invaders out of Ukraine? Western Jets? US/NATO boots on the ground? Because "should NEVER be allowed", IMO, needs a whole lot more weight/commitment behind it than a few hundred mishmash MBTs/IFVs being piecemealed to the front lines.

Or do you think Ukraine has enough to do the job and is just waiting for their moment for some big push?
 

gtb1943

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Cool. We get it. Russia bad. Now that your emotional stance has been made, can we possibly discuss pragmatically what is going down in the Ukrainian/Russian Conflict without assigning pro-this/pro-that jerseys?

Russia "should NEVER be allowed to keep" what they have. It's a nice sentiment. Since Diplomacy doesn't seem to be off the table, what other resources should we be sending to repulse the invaders out of Ukraine? Western Jets? US/NATO boots on the ground? Because "should NEVER be allowed", IMO, needs a whole lot more weight/commitment behind it than a few hundred mishmash MBTs/IFVs being piecemealed to the front lines.

Or do you think Ukraine has enough to do the job and is just waiting for their moment for some big push?
I see we have another graduate of the Neville Chamberlain School of International Relations.

The idea that military aggression should not be rewarded seems foreign to you. sad but not surprising.
 

teamrican1

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I see we have another graduate of the Neville Chamberlain School of International Relations.

The idea that military aggression should not be rewarded seems foreign to you. sad but not surprising.
By that logic, you would have to support returning Texas to Mexico. The Dallas Cowboys would become the NFL's first foreign based football team.

Foreign policy can't be based on emotions or ideology. It needs to be reality based. During the Cold War, US policy was heavily influenced by realists such as George Kennan. But for the past 30 years Realists have been systematically purged from the foreign policy establishment. How has that worked out for us? You say Russia should not be allowed to "expand" in to Ukraine but taking such a hardline, inflexible position has resulted in Russia annexing two Ukrainian oblasts that Russia merely wanted some form of autonomy for prior to the war and another two oblasts that weren't even part of the discussion prior to the war starting! And the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia is going to take and the more people that are going to needlessly die.

Actions have reactions. Realist Foreign Policy understands this. The inflexible position of the non-Realists who have been running the show thus far has forced Russia in to a far more aggressive and expansionist policy than they would have pursued otherwise. If negotiation and diplomacy are taken off the table (as you want) then Ukraine can not exist at all from the Russian perspective. The end logic of the non-Realist position is that Russia will be forced in to a waging a multi-year war all the way to the Polish border.
 

nobody

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By that logic, you would have to support returning Texas to Mexico. The Dallas Cowboys would become the NFL's first foreign based football team.

Foreign policy can't be based on emotions or ideology. It needs to be reality based. During the Cold War, US policy was heavily influenced by realists such as George Kennan. But for the past 30 years Realists have been systematically purged from the foreign policy establishment. How has that worked out for us? You say Russia should not be allowed to "expand" in to Ukraine but taking such a hardline, inflexible position has resulted in Russia annexing two Ukrainian oblasts that Russia merely wanted some form of autonomy for prior to the war and another two oblasts that weren't even part of the discussion prior to the war starting! And the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia is going to take and the more people that are going to needlessly die.

Actions have reactions. Realist Foreign Policy understands this. The inflexible position of the non-Realists who have been running the show thus far has forced Russia in to a far more aggressive and expansionist policy than they would have pursued otherwise. If negotiation and diplomacy are taken off the table (as you want) then Ukraine can not exist at all from the Russian perspective. The end logic of the non-Realist position is that Russia will be forced in to a waging a multi-year war all the way to the Polish border.
You don't know this. Look at Russia's previous actions over the past 20 years. You have no idea what Putin's end goal is. You're speculating that Russia was somehow forced to invade another sovereign nation. You have no idea what they would or wouldn't have done had things been different or not.
 

BleedSilverandBlue

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By that logic, you would have to support returning Texas to Mexico. The Dallas Cowboys would become the NFL's first foreign based football team.

Foreign policy can't be based on emotions or ideology. It needs to be reality based. During the Cold War, US policy was heavily influenced by realists such as George Kennan. But for the past 30 years Realists have been systematically purged from the foreign policy establishment. How has that worked out for us? You say Russia should not be allowed to "expand" in to Ukraine but taking such a hardline, inflexible position has resulted in Russia annexing two Ukrainian oblasts that Russia merely wanted some form of autonomy for prior to the war and another two oblasts that weren't even part of the discussion prior to the war starting! And the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia is going to take and the more people that are going to needlessly die.

Actions have reactions. Realist Foreign Policy understands this. The inflexible position of the non-Realists who have been running the show thus far has forced Russia in to a far more aggressive and expansionist policy than they would have pursued otherwise. If negotiation and diplomacy are taken off the table (as you want) then Ukraine can not exist at all from the Russian perspective. The end logic of the non-Realist position is that Russia will be forced in to a waging a multi-year war all the way to the Polish border.
I agree with you that Ukraine and its backers need to take a sober look at the situation and reevaluate their current absolutist stance, but I actually think Ukraine and the west were rather flexible (perhaps too permissive) with Russia since 2014.

They were allowed to seize Crimea with little to no international response or Ukrainian resistance. They had essentially established Russian control of much of Donetsk and Luhansk with Ukraine simply digging in along their borders to prevent the DPR and LPR from slowly grabbing more land. Russia had already been given the concessions a thinker from the realist school of foreign policy would have likely supported. There was no Western or Ukrainian push to recapture these lost lands. By all accounts, Russia had been given what they wanted with little to no repurcussion, but a despot dictator like Putin is never satisfied.

Russia made a lightning grab for Kyiv in what amounted to an absolutist attempt to topple the Ukrainian nation and turn it into a Russian satellite state once and for all. If anything, they're the player that refused to play by the "realist" rules. They could very easily dig in their lines as they stand now, cease offensive operations, and sue for peace.

I would be fully in support of a peace settlement that allows Russia to keep Donetsk, Luhansk, and a land bridge to Crimea but I would also certainly be in support of turning Ukraine into a non-NATO buffer zone and a porcupine of Western weapons systems that Russia would not dare to cross again. I believe this is the likely long term strategy of the West and we have begun to see the long term weapons contracts (Abrams transfer along with likely upgrade of Ukrainian airforce to field Eurofighters or F-16s) that would facilitate Ukraine's transformation into a non-NATO regional military powerhouse and would prevent extending the line of potential contact between Russian and NATO troops.

I believe we are seeing the West's long term "realist" strategy unfold before our very eyes.

Another point that I think needs addressed. There is no threat of the Western boogeyman launching an offensive attack recognized Russian Federation borders and there never has been. The "threat" of NATO to the existence of Russia is a trope that Putin and his cronies use to rally their population and maintain power.
 

RJ_MacReady

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I would be fully in support of a peace settlement that allows Russia to keep Donetsk, Luhansk, and a land bridge to Crimea but I would also certainly be in support of turning Ukraine into a non-NATO buffer zone and a porcupine of Western weapons systems that Russia would not dare to cross again. I believe this is the likely long term strategy of the West and we have begun to see the long term weapons contracts (Abrams transfer along with likely upgrade of Ukrainian airforce to field Eurofighters or F-16s) that would facilitate Ukraine's transformation into a non-NATO regional military powerhouse and would prevent extending the line of potential contact between Russian and NATO troops.
I agree with most of what you posted, just have to point out that the 31 Abrams tanks that we are providing, while being built brand new (that were originally slated for Taiwan or Poland), are of the older armor variant. That's the reason they are being built from scratch because what we have in our arsenal is too advanced (depleted uranium composite) to allow Russia to get their hands on (although their T14s reportedly have more advanced armor).

Abrams article link

I know that the UK has vowed to provide fighter jet training, but I haven't seen anything about Western jets to Ukraine yet. I have some opinions on that if it happens, but I'll leave it alone.


Another point that I think needs addressed. There is no threat of the Western boogeyman launching an offensive attack recognized Russian Federation borders and there never has been. The "threat" of NATO to the existence of Russia is a trope that Putin and his cronies use to rally their population and maintain power.
The same can be said about Russia's intention to take over the entirety of Ukraine and beyond. "They're not going to stop" has been the rallying cry from the Western Politicians to garner support. The 'ole trope of "if we don't fight them in their lands, we'll have to fight them at home".

Whoever "wins" in Ukraine is going to have a hot mess on their hands to rebuild. IMO, the real loser in the end will be the Ukrainians. They're either going to be subjugated to Russian rule or indebted beyond belief to the West and who knows how much more of their land is going to get "acquired" by private foreign entities.
 
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