Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 11,930 total)
  • Ukraine
  • big_n_daft
    Free Member

    If we do nothing in Ukraine why would they think we would do anything there? Would the US, UK or France go to war to protect Lithuania? I doubt it.

    Yes we would, that’s why there are tripwire deployments of NATO troops in the Baltic States. They aren’t there to run to the coast or be captured by russia

    d42dom
    Full Member

    If we do nothing in Ukraine why would they think we would do anything there? Would the US, UK or France go to war to protect Lithuania? I doubt it.

    NATO presence in Baltic States

    NATO Artical 5

    shermer75
    Free Member

    It’ll be very interesting to see if any NATO countries get involved if Russia invades Donbas. Looking at the media output I’d say the UK is making some noises while sitting firmly on the fence

    thols2
    Free Member

    I don’t think any NATO countries are intending to send troops. What is very likely is that the U.S. and other countries will supply weapons and other support (intel, especially), plus freeze Russia out of the international economic system.

    d42dom
    Full Member

    an interesting (probably not the best turn of phrase), vid from Vice News from back in June of last year

    Inside the trenches

    shermer75
    Free Member

    That video is a really interesting insight, thanks for posting!

    El-bent
    Free Member

    But I think that should also and more so apply to the US/NATO. They dont give a flying for the trouble they cause by warmongering constantly and siding right up to Russia’s borders.

    Or, its just possible, that those countries bordering Russia want the protection of NATO? Considering what the Russian Embassy in the UK tweeted earlier this week about those countries such as the Baltic states being *Russian orphans”, is it any wonder they have joined the alliance?

    shermer75
    Free Member

    Or, its just possible, that those countries bordering Russia want the protection of NATO?

    It’s probably no coincidence that they are the only countries that border Russia haven’t either sworn their allegiance to Russia or has been destabilised by a ‘breakaway state’. Or is China, obviously

    big_n_daft
    Free Member

    Other than Finland?

    shermer75
    Free Member

    Is Finland not in NATO?

    El-bent
    Free Member

    Is Finland not in NATO?

    No. They were once part of Russia, and during the Cold War had quite close ties to them.

    timbog160
    Full Member

    I don’t think Finland is a NATO member, nor is Sweden. But they do have close ties to NATO, and since they were not previously Soviet satellite states, I suspect any moves by Russia against them would bring a much more military response than an invasion of Ukraine.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    plus freeze Russia out of the international economic system.

    And there goes Europe’s gas, so i don’t think they’ll be freezing alone.

    Every bit of whatever happens yet again engineered by America. We’d be better allying ourselves to Russia,(A European state) and telling the US to go F itself. Plus Russia has more resources than anyone else. Be a win win for us.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    If we do nothing in Ukraine why would they think we would do anything there? Would the US, UK or France go to war to protect Lithuania? I doubt it.

    NATO presence in Baltic States

    NATO Artical 5

    That’s kind of my point really. What is Article 5 worth if the Budapest Memorandum isn’t worth anything? Why would Russia think we would actually go to war for them if the chips were down? Unless Russia truly believes that we would Article 5 isn’t going to deter them, and our current response in Ukraine isn’t giving an indication that we would either.
    The troops there may well be having an effect, I don’t doubt that. But isn’t that an argument for a significant NATO presence in Ukraine? If it works in the Baltic states why not in Ukraine? I suspectbthat the reason we don’t is that we don’t want to be seen as provocative, which I will admit ia a fine line to tread

    d42dom
    Full Member

    Russia claimed that the annexation of Crimea was in fact a revolution from within the country/region. The troops had no insignia or markings on their uniforms so the Russian Army could not be blamed. That is if it was regular Russian Army troops or state backed mercenaries.
    interesting website

    Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all being NATO member states have the reassurance that they won’t be invaded. It doesn’t stop the Russian Army amassing plenty of troops at their borders at the moment though. Unfortunately Ukraine not being a member of NATO have been left to sort themselves out in the main, I would imagine there is some support from other nations happening somewhere though.

    Good book written by an ex General who was NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Every bit of whatever happens yet again engineered by America. We’d be better allying ourselves to Russia,(A European state) and telling the US to go F itself. Plus Russia has more resources than anyone else. Be a win win for us

    Even from a purely economic perspective that’s laughable, we export less than 5% to Russia than what we do to the US and that wouldn’t change any time soon. Oh and then there’s Putin, you’re not buying the benevolent dictator act are you?

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Even from a purely economic perspective that’s laughable, we export less than 5% to Russia

    Yup, we get ours from Europe.

    Now where do you think they get it from 😉

    thols2
    Free Member

    shermer75
    Free Member

    Some interesing perspective here

    BBC News – Russia-Ukraine crisis: Why Brussels fears Europe is ‘closest to war’ in decades
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60030615

    pk13
    Full Member

    https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-says-supplying-ukraine-with-weapons-system-defend-against-russia-2022-01-17/?utm_source=reddit.com

    Anti tank and surface to air being sent over.

    It’s not looking good is it

    shermer75
    Free Member

    It’s not looking good is it

    It’s really interesting to know if Putin genuinely wants to invade or if this is just a really expensive (and unpleasant) negotiating tactic

    thols2
    Free Member

    It’s really interesting to know if Putin genuinely wants to invade or if this is just a really expensive (and unpleasant) negotiating tactic

    There’s an old saying, “All politics is local.” Russia isn’t a functioning democracy but Putin has to maintain support or his regime will collapse. There seems to be a real sense of grievance in Russia about how the last 35 years unfolded – Russia used to be a superpower and has been reduced to a regional power. In my opinion, that is mostly because of Russia’s own mistakes, if they’d played their cards right, they would have been the dominant country in Europe. That would have required accepting EU and international norms though and Putin rejects that. His goal seems to be to undermine liberal democracies and reestablish the old Russian empire. He has bet everything on Crimea and Ukraine so he can’t be seen to back down now in the eyes of the Russian public. Negotiating time is over, he just gave a list of demands that he knew would not be accepted so he had no intention of negotiating, he just wanted a pretext for military action.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that he will escalate the conflict, but whether that means a full-scale invasion or just a limited invasion to “protect” Russian speaking people in the border areas is another question. I don’t think there’s any chance that the U.S. or NATO would send troops to fight in Ukraine, but I don’t think Biden has any political choice other than to provide weapons and other support. I think Putin probably assumes that invading Ukraine will bring economic sanctions and isolation, but not a full-scale war. His major trump card is the supply of gas to Europe, I think he’s hoping that he can use that to create divisions in NATO and the EU that he can exploit.

    So, yes, he does want to invade. Whether that will be a full-scale invasion or something more limited is the big question.

    TroutWrestler
    Free Member

    Now it the time to speedily charter every bulk gas carrier to set up an cross-Atlantic supply of American frack-gas so we can call his bluff. I actually don’t think there is the capacity to do this, and Putin knows this.

    pk13
    Full Member

    It might on this tread where I typed Putin is one page away in the history books of being a dictator he is almost on his last paragraph now. I don’t think they have the cash for a prolonged war with a well trained and armed gorilla army in Ukraine.
    My guess is they will go in to form a “buffer zone” from the NATO alliance and use it to cause more stress into Europe.
    Russian people getting stuffed by corrupt leaders over and over again.

    wbo
    Free Member

    Putin really believes in the Greater Russia fairy story, and would like to have a legacy of restoring the empire… that’s why he likes the idea of rescuing ‘russians’ in Ukraine from wicked western influence. But he also has the issue that at the same time as he’s doing this places like Beloruss, Kazakhstan keep blowing up so he doesn’t want a full blow insurrection on his southern border. How does he plan to manage that plus a war on his western flank? Would he invade via the Russian army, or would he be supporting the ‘patriots’ in Wagner, and how does he think that he’ll deal with a long war with a guerilla element. Ukraine are a bit more motivated and competent than a lot of people seem to realise.

    Plus he’s got 35 years of paranoia since the USSSR fell apart. It’s a messy situation.

    Odd that despite all the natural resources Russia is such an abject dump, and for most people a miserable existence in a very visibly corrupt society. I wouldn’t underestimate how much damage western economic measures can have

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    It looks pretty inevitable that Russia will invade the Donbas region (possibly on the pre-text of some event on the border or region occurring). Ukraine will obviously put up a fight but there’s not much realistically they can do to prevent it so would like end up similar to the Crimea. Russia going further than the Donbas would be problematic for both sides – I’m not sure Russia would stomach the additional losses from a complete invasion of Ukraine (and the costs of the on-going man power required to effectively supress it). I wonder if Ukraine’s gold reserves etc. are still in-country or if they’ve moved them to a safe haven.

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t underestimate how much damage western economic measures can have

    +1 I don’t think it was the West’s military might that won the Cold War. Russia was on its knees economically and was up to all sorts of weird and wonderful schemes to earn US$ to keep the lights on.

    Russian life expectancy is already way below Western numbers, COVID is putting even greater pressure on Russian health services and there’s a huge imbalance in the distribution of age within the population.

    Young Russians are leaving in their droves and few are being born, so there’s little way back to economic growth in the medium term.

    And who’d want to migrate to work in Russia with heavy sanctions, an appalling standard of living and a rampant dictator?

    Gas is finite, and Western focus on neutralising carbon is going to make it less valuable anyway in the long run.

    So I think this is Putin’s last hurrah. Before his health goes and before economic catastrophe catches up with him.

    I think he’ll cross the border, not out of any calculating master-plan, but to give him something he considers worthwhile against his name in the history books, because currently, for all his guile and strategic nous, he has nothing to show for his 20 years in power. Russia’s in the same place it was under Yeltsin.

    thols2
    Free Member

    Odd that despite all the natural resources Russia is such an abject dump,

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

    I wouldn’t underestimate how much damage western economic measures can have

    Don’t underestimate what people will tolerate if they think their country is facing an existential threat. North Korea is a great example of that. Russians put up with unfathomable suffering during WW2 – the Blitz was kindergarten stuff by comparison. Suffering seems to be part of their national identity.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    @andrewreay – I have watched (too many) Bald and Bankrupt films – and often come away thinking how depressing much of Russia and the ex-Soviet republics are, properly challenging places to live. Developing nation levels of poverty and daily grind. His last film has a lady in Kyrgyzstan searching bins to feed her child, in a previous film he meet forest / ruined factory living tramps on the north Russian coast (etc). The suffering so many put up with – and continue to do so..

    thols2
    Free Member

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    When a country’s chaos and economic policies scare off foreign investors and send local entrepreneurs abroad to look for better opportunities, the economy becomes skewed. Factories may close and businesses may flee, but petroleum and precious metals remain for the taking. Resource extraction becomes the “default sector” that still functions after other industries have come to a halt

    To me, that quote from the Resource Curse link above pretty much nails Russia. Just needs a line about the default sector falling into corrupt hands. The question is what happens when key resources like oil and gas diminish in value?

    To be fair to Putin, he’s done wonders for agriculture. He’s turned Russia from a huge net importer of food to a significant global exporter. He’s created many economic dependencies as a consequence, increasing Russia’s sphere of influence, particularly in Africa.

    The agricultural sanctions imposed by Europe hardly touched the sides, plus he spins the superiority of Russian produce to his home audience.

    But for all this, and the ability of the Russian people to bear hardship with a zeal that most Westerners do not comprehend, he’s paranoid that his rule will come crashing down and, worse, with nothing to show for it.

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    @matt_outandabout Yeah – saw that very same one yesterday.

    It’s the ability of huge chunks of the population to live in grim conditions and not complain that I think we find staggering in the West. And there lies the disconnect. We just cannot get our heads around the stoicism / acceptance that is a huge part of Russian life and cultural identity.

    Even little things like astronauts who’ve trained with cosmonauts saying that the Russians would ‘protect’ their Euro / US counterparts because they didn’t think they could cope with hardship. It’s a completely different mindset in Russia.

    But to be slightly balanced, you’d find examples (not necessarily numerous) of people going through bins in most major Western cities. And there are many US towns out in the back of beyond where once successful industries have packed up and there is nothing left – like many of the towns in B&B’s films. Key difference is that those left in the US are unlikely to be maintaining a subsistence existence. And for the most part, the towns weren’t supported by government activity.

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    Don’t underestimate what people will tolerate if they think their country is facing an existential threat. North Korea is a great example of that. Russians put up with unfathomable suffering during WW2 – the Blitz was kindergarten stuff by comparison. Suffering seems to be part of their national identity.

    Absolutely.

    That completely applies to Ukraine. Huge suffering during WW2, and now facing an existential crisis. I wouldn’t fancy being a Russian soldier on the front line.

    Murray
    Full Member

    <div class=”bbcode-quote”>

    Is Finland not in NATO?

    </div>

    No. They were once part of Russia, and during the Cold War had quite close ties to them.

    Finland has an interesting 19th and 20th century history. In the 19th century it was part of Sweden, then Russia annexed it. It had some autonomy under Russian rule. In WW I it declared independence. It had a civil war in the 1930s, and a non-aggression treaty with USSR.

    The Winter War followed against the USSR, then the Continuation War against the USSR with German support. When WW II ended Finland had to pay USSR large reparations.

    I think it’s fair to say that the Finns are fiercely independent and had to spend the second half of the 20th century keeping both West and East happy without getting too close to either.

    See also Alsace and Luxemburg – it’s hard being caught between two large powers (Sweden was a major power in the 19th century)

    shermer75
    Free Member

    I can’t believe Finland was the one to pay reparations to Russia!!

    I remember reading a bit about Russia’s invasion of Finland in WW2, Russia thought they would be a pushover but they put up a surprisingly stout defense

    Murray
    Full Member

    I can’t believe Finland was the one to pay reparations to Russia!!

    Yep, they were on the losing side as they’d sided with Germany (in their own right rather than as signatories of the tripartite pact) against Russia. $300 million in 1944 dollars!

    Russia thought they would be a pushover but they put up a surprisingly stout defence

    I suspect Ukraine may be the same if it comes to it. People fight harder to protect their homeland. And the influx of Turkish drones and US and UK anti tank missiles makes Russia’s armour less of an advantage. I assume something similar is happening in ground to air missiles. An invasion without air superiority or an advantage in armour suddenly sounds rather hard.

    pk13
    Full Member

    It may be the first very modern war sadly.apprently the Turks are making drones that can swarm attack with payloads at racing drone speeds. A foot soldiers worst nightmare.
    I wonder how many Russians would weep if Putin drank some hot tea and fell ill he has done them no favors.

    timbog160
    Full Member

    There is no doubt the Finns were, and are, very tough, but it should be remembered that when the Soviet Union invaded (in 1940) the army was a complete shambles, due partly to Stalin purging anyone who knew anything about fighting a war. The Russian army of 1944 was a completely different beast to that of 1940 – well trained, motivated and well equipped. Rumour has it that it was the appalling performance of the Russian army against the Finns which encouraged Hitler to believe that invading Russia would be a walkover (which initially it was of course)…

    boardmanfs18
    Full Member

    My Grandpa fought against the Russians, manning an artillery gun in the Finnish forests.

    He really didn’t like the Russians at all.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Ben Wallace (uk defence secretary) has released a statement on the situation and I’m surprised (shocked?) as to how well it is written.

    Ben Wallace : On the situation in Ukraine

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