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>> No. 36687 Anonymous
21st January 2022
Friday 7:58 pm
36687 Ukraine Crisis
Let's take a break from Thatcherlad arguing with Marxlad and talk about geopolitics. So what do we reckon about this year's bi-annual lurching forward of the doomsday clock?

I think this is a pretty sensible breakdown.


Standing back from the situation it seems obvious that US led brinkmanship and almost psychopathic foreign policy only makes a bad situation worse. The extent to which the media portrays Russia as the unambiguous bad guys while NATO continues to push them borders on completely delusional, like saying the sky is green or the sea is made of sand. Russia and Putin are no saints by any means, but what did we (the West) expect by constantly encroaching on their security interests?

The UK and EU badly need to distance themselves from America, I feel like they are going to become dangerous friends to have if moments like this and China's overtures on Taiwan play out as their own Suez crisis.
1378 posts omitted. Last 50 posts shown. Expand all images.
>> No. 39417 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:11 pm
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You're not wrong, but we like to turn a blind eye to that principle when it suits us, so I doubt we're going to pick a fight over it. We'll just firmly refuse to recognise it in official terms, but nevertheless respect it in reality.

Putin is asking for peace talks, the speculation that he did it to look for an exit ramp would appear correct. You can understand and sympathise with Ukraine's willingness to keep up the fight and win properly, they have done a quite spectacular job, but don't be too surprised to see those ambitions shot down when the adults step in and say "that's enough now children."

Ukraine is basically Ryan Gosling's character in Blade Runner 2049 come to think of it.
>> No. 39418 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:17 pm
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The Yanks want Ukraine in NATO, because they recognise what's actually happening - this isn't a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, it's a proxy conflict between Russia and NATO. Article 5 will come into play sooner rather than later, so we might as well let Ukraine in and get it over with. France and Germany will be the main force opposing Ukraine's membership, but even Germany might be persuaded after the Nord Stream sabotage. Macron is pretty much the only major player who seriously believes that tolerating the annexation might be the best option for NATO; everyone else is fairly clear that the threat posed by Russia will only continue to escalate until Putin is out of the picture.

The factor that isn't being discussed in the Western media is the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, which was rekindled earlier this month after nearly two years of ceasefire. The Armenians are fighting mainly with Russian equipment and there is clear evidence that Wagner operatives were active in the 2020 conflict; the involvement of Iran and Turkey seriously threatens to destabilise the region. The conflict is totally unmanageable for NATO, who cannot possibly overtly support Azerbaijan but don't want to see an expansion of Russian influence. The cherry on the cake is allegations that Turkey have been mobilising Syrian jihadists in the conflict.
>> No. 39419 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:20 pm
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>Putin is asking for peace talks

It's a sham and everyone knows it. He's asking for peace talks, but only on terms that would legitimise the annexation without committing him to de-escalation. He isn't looking for an exit route, he's looking to consolidate his gains. The Ukrainians won't be fooled again, because they saw what happened last time with the Minsk agreements.

>> No. 39420 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:29 pm
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That's supports the argument. The US and friends want Ukraine in NATO, and if Ukraine can't attack "Russian" territory with NATO gear then it double certainly can't attack Russian territory as a NATO member. Ukraine will have to cede control of those regions because at the end of the day, they're actually not massively important. The important part is getting them in NATO, and this provides a perfect opportunity to do so. They will be strong armed into it; they're foolish if they think they really have a say in the matter.

The whole object of the war, from both sides, has really been to secure what terms the new arrangement will look like, and Russia drastically overplayed its hand. They're on the back foot and we would be mad not to press the advantage, but perhaps most importantly at this point, stop our economies from hemorrhaging completely. Europe is struggling with currency devaluation right now, but the Yanks are going to have their own problems with an overvalued dollar before long.
>> No. 39421 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:45 pm
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>Ukraine will have to cede control of those regions because at the end of the day, they're actually not massively important.

As for which bits are, pic related.
>> No. 39422 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 7:56 pm
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>but even Germany might be persuaded after the Nord Stream sabotage

Am I still alone in thinking that maybe that wasn't the Russians, but perhaps the CIA or some other NATO state foreign intelligence?

Think about it. Germany was still allowing itself to be at the whim of Russia exporting or not exporting natural gas to them. It was a bargaining chip that Putin had against the Germans as one of the more significant NATO countries. So why would Putin have had Nord Stream blown up. It's not even the hard currency that the gas was earning the Russian government, but it was one way he could divide the West. The CIA or whoever else in the West had much more to gain from blowing it up, and they can still blame it on Putin, because of course he did it, what do you think.
>> No. 39423 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 8:21 pm
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I think far more people think that than think it was the Russians, the Russians simply have no motive. They could just turn it off. Why blow it up?

It's pretty transparent even for the Yanks, so if it was them it was an overt display of cuckolding Germany in front of the world. Unless it really WAS Russia, with another one of the n-dimensional false flags to make it LOOK like that.

That said, my outside bet is Poland. They've got the only pipeline left now, so they'd do very well out of it.
>> No. 39424 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 8:29 pm
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>So why would Putin have had Nord Stream blown up.

From 2014:


The goal of the war with Ukraine is war.
>> No. 39425 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 8:31 pm
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>I think far more people think that than think it was the Russians, the Russians simply have no motive. They could just turn it off. Why blow it up?

The Russians have no motive. Putin has an obvious motive if we consider the possibility that backing down from this conflict would deal a fatal blow to his strongman leadership.
>> No. 39426 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 8:57 pm
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No, the goal of the war with Ukraine is rare earth minerals, with which the Russian Federation could continue to be a resource economy after the gas dries up, by extracting and selling the vital raw materials everyone will need in the coming decades to convert over to electric cars and green power and so on. Likewise, this is also the western goal of the war in Ukraine; we were just aiming to achieve it by covert operations and electoral interference and such, instead of with tanks and bombs.

This is why the annexations are not "consolidating gains", because as it stands, they really haven't gained anything of value. All the stuff they wanted is in the heartland of the country, and we've still got it. It's an attempt to save face and back off without admitting defeat. Giving away the eastern fringes as a bargaining chip to force Putin to accept Ukrainian NATO membership and eventually, therefore, EU membership is actually a pretty solid strategic victory for Oceania, and in Airstrip One I even daresay chocoration would go up as a result. Doubleplusgood, comrade.
>> No. 39427 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 11:01 pm
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>No, the goal of the war with Ukraine is rare earth minerals, with which the Russian Federation could continue to be a resource economy after the gas dries up

Nice theory, but it's complete nonsense. Ukraine's rare earth mineral reserves represent less than 0.1% of Russia's total reserves. Russia exports more lithium oxide in a year than Ukraine has in the ground.

Russia has the fourth largest reserves of rare earth minerals in the world, but ranks a distant eighth in production. They were trying to increase rare earth production, but it has gone out of the window because of the war - they can't import enough mining equipment and large parts of their exports have been shut off due to sanctions.
>> No. 39428 Anonymous
30th September 2022
Friday 11:10 pm
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That's not the point. It isn't about needing more, it's about taking it away from us.
>> No. 39429 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 12:02 am
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It isn't "ours" and it isn't anywhere near enough to justify the costs of this war - not the financial costs and certainly not the reputational costs. If Russia were planning on starting some kind of OPEC-esque cartel, they'll have to deal with Brazil, Vietnam, China and India. This whole affair hasn't exactly boosted Russia's reputation as a reliable ally or trading partner.

Also, we (as in Europe and the broader NATO alliance) only directly import trivial quantities of rare earths. The overwhelming majority of our imports are in the form of finished or semi-finished products from countries that still have large manufacturing industries. If a shipload of rare earth minerals turned up at a British port, we wouldn't know what to do with it - we'd send it off to China, Japan or South Korea.

Rare earth minerals are not "the new oil", as is often suggested. They are (relatively) rare, but they're needed in very small quantities as part of extremely specialised manufacturing processes rather than in large quantities at the point of use. They're also infinitely recyclable; we expect recycled rare earths to represent a majority of the market by 2040. The oil market would look very different if you only needed to put petrol in your car once and all of it could be recovered when your car is scrapped.

If Russia have invaded Ukraine for rare earths, then the war was even more pointless than we thought and Putin is unimaginably stupid. I think he's a murderous megalomaniac, but I don't think he's a complete moron.
>> No. 39430 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 12:49 am
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You are too committed to the idea of Putin being a comic book villain bent on world domination to contemplate any rational motivations or outcomes. I will grant you, there exists a not insignificant chance you're right. But be honest, it's just that if you are, it's too boring and pointless to bother talking about any of it. We may as well just launch the nukes now and have done with it if that really is the case, spare everyone the bother.

I just don't believe in villains like that, honestly. Not even Hitler was that kind of senselessly and pointlessly evil. Even in the full extent of Nazi depravity and genocide, there were concrete, material, geopolitical motives. The only people, historically, who insist on such a reductive analysis of events and figures are propagandists. There's usually much more complexity to the truth.

We don't make a great use of rare earth yet, but we are going to need them, and lots of them, going forward. The scale of the transition cannot be understated. The urgency to get off fossil fuels necessitates it, and with the ongoing ripple effects on supply chains, all the major players are questioning their reliance on global supply lines. Globalisation itself is starting to show cracks at the seams. Europe has learned the lesson first hand in the past year that if you are reliant on somebody else for something you need, you are liable to get fucked over.

Nobody is talking about "justifying" this war, very little about any war is just. We are talking about power, here, and the methods of gaining it. If you think it's implausible and stupid that Putin is motivated by strategically seizing a major source of raw materials Europe would otherwise have on its doorstep, and thus the power that comes with it, but instead think it makes perfect sense that he's motivated to do it out of, what... Soviet nostalgia? Pure Darth Vader will to dominate? That's kind of self contradictory.

Putin wants Ukraine because it would make Russia, and therefore him, more powerful. That's the same reason we want it. The resources and strategic location of the country are all part of that. There can be no such thing as a neutral Ukraine, free from the influence of Russia or the West. It's one or the other. All this is about whether it's with us or them.

If Putin wanted a pointless war for war's sake like Goldstein's book describes, he wouldn't have chosen Ukraine to start it in.
>> No. 39431 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 1:07 am
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I’ve been watching you and otherlad have this back and forth for a while, and I can’t help but conclude that you’re the most unbearable kind of low-rent rhetorician. You keep accusing him of things he’s not even come close to saying, it’s really quite grating.
>> No. 39432 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 1:13 am
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Fair enough. But when it all ends the way I said it would I'm going to be a proper smug prick about it.
>> No. 39433 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 1:53 am
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>You are too committed to the idea of Putin being a comic book villain bent on world domination to contemplate any rational motivations or outcomes.

His motivation is perfectly rational, it's just entirely about domestic politics. He may have believed that invading Ukraine was genuinely going to be piss easy, he may not have done, but it's essentially academic. The easy victory vindicates his status as a strongman; the long war turns Russia into a wartime economy, with all of the centralisation of control that entails.

You're making the mistake of believing that Putin must be acting rationally in the interests of Russia. Russia has nothing to gain from this invasion, but Putin does.

>We don't make a great use of rare earth yet...

You're still not getting it. Ukraine's reserves of rare earth minerals are completely negligible in global terms. Russia has dozens of seams that individually contain more rare earths than the whole of Ukraine, many of which are completely undeveloped. Russia spent more on this invasion before the first shot was fired than those minerals are worth in total. The idea of Russia invading Ukraine for rare earth minerals is as ludicrous as Saudi Arabia invading Britain for oil.

Putin doesn't particularly care about Ukraine. If he gets it, he's the mighty leader that is re-uniting the Soviet Union. If he doesn't get it, he's the mighty leader defending Russia against the evil imperialist plot. He'd prefer the first option, but either way he has the opportunity to tighten his grip on power and weaken his opponents. The Ukraine that Putin has chosen to invade is purely symbolic; the real Ukraine is essentially irrelevant.

The general mobilisation serves no real military purpose, everyone knows that more poorly-trained, poorly-equipped and totally unmotivated soldiers won't turn the tide, but it serves Putin's aims very nicely. Every young man in Russia is being presented with a test of loyalty - turn up at an enlistment centre in the knowledge that you might be sent to die for Putin's war, be branded a traitor and a coward for the rest of your life, or leave the country. The deaths of so many capable military leaders isn't a strategic blunder, it's entirely intentional; Putin is acutely aware that the majority of dictatorships are ended by military coup and is keen to ensure that his military is led primarily by naive and compliant desk jockeys.

Putin isn't a comic book villain, he's a bog-standard totalitarian leader. There's no hidden economic or geopolitical logic; In those terms, this war is entirely as stupid and self-destructive as it appears at first, second and third glance. Putin isn't trashing Russia's economy and international reputation for a few crumbs of some minerals that Russia already has in abundance on the basis that at some point they might be worth a fraction of a percent of what this war has cost so far. The rationale is entirely based on domestic political concerns.

Precisely because of those domestic political concerns, this war is unlikely to end soon.

>> No. 39434 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 2:37 am
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The thing that doesn't make sense to me about that explanation is that Putin didn't exactly have any worries about losing or needing to consolidate his domestic power before. He was (still is, from what I understand, despite growing anger) extremely popular. His generals and commanders etc were all, as has been pointedly discussed in this thread, already servile yes men.

He's only created problems by starting a war he couldn't win, so if that's the real reason behind it all, that only sounds to me like he is stupid. Not bloodthirsty or megalomaniacal, just plain thick. To my mind there had to be something he stood to gain to go to all this trouble, whether or not it was worth paying the price for.

(And I don't mean to sound like a snob but I think the random lads here are about as worth listening to here as the New Yorker. It's not exactly a publication known to be without bias in recent years.)
>> No. 39435 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 2:46 am
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I wonder if people had these kinds of discussions when Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan where getting bombed? All seems weird. White people war. "Oh come to my house, white refugees." I really don't care.
>> No. 39436 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 3:08 am
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Are you not old enough to remember? There was plenty of very vocal criticism of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, with probably a majority of people concluding they were US led imperialist ventures seeking to secure the oil reserves and opium, using terrorism and security as a pretext. Not that we, the people, are opposed to a bit of imperialism, that is; just that it was our boys getting killed largely for the benefit of the Yanks.

The difference is that we were pretty clearly the "bad guys" there, in this one, Putin is the big baddie, and the complicated part is whether our own motives for helping Ukraine are exactly pure, or indeed if they have to be. If it wasn't for the fact he has the world's biggest nuclear arsenal that bit might not matter either, but he does, so the situation is quite a bit more delicate. Thus it warrants some soul searching if there are ways that the situation can be resolved that don't lead to Cold War 2: Hot Edition.
>> No. 39437 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 11:02 am
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>Putin wants Ukraine because it would make Russia, and therefore him, more powerful. That's the same reason we want it. The resources and strategic location of the country are all part of that. There can be no such thing as a neutral Ukraine, free from the influence of Russia or the West. It's one or the other. All this is about whether it's with us or them.

This is the thing I don't agree with. Well, I disagree with a lot of what you say, but I'll pick this bit. If we wanted Ukraine to join NATO so much, why haven't they joined? They wanted to and NATO said no.

I don't see NATO as this colonialist empire that you seem to. NATO are the Amazon of geopolitics. Amazon don't force people to buy things from Amazon; they just sit there and the customers come to them of their own volition. It's perfectly understandable that your local shopping centre (owner: Mr V Putin) will be upset that fewer people want to go there to buy jeans and DVDs, but there's no conspiracy. It's just an unfortunate side-effect of freedom. It's okay to hate Amazon for being an immensely powerful near-monopoly, but Finland and Sweden were doing just fine shopping elsewhere and they only buy from Amazon now because they choose to and Primark wants to nuke them.
>> No. 39438 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 11:59 am
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Putin's grip on power has been increasingly fragile over the last 10 years. In the run up to the 2011 legislative elections, there were massive nationwide protests about corruption and vote-rigging (arguably inspired by the Orange Revolution) that just kept going. The protests never gained majority support, but Putin's inability to control them undermined his strongman image and strengthened the opposition movement. Putin naturally won the 2012 presidential elections by a substantial margin, but a poor turnout and increasing levels of electoral fraud pointed to underlying weakness in the regime. The protests ended in 2013, mainly because of a massive crackdown involving the arrest of Aleksei Navalny.

The end of the protests didn't really change the general public's perception of Putin - while he still had plenty of loyal supporters, his popularity was substantially diminished and he was widely perceived as having been weakened by the protests. That changed in 2014 with the invasion of Crimea, which was sold as (and mostly bought as) a re-assertion of Russian dominance against Western hegemony.

The war and the propaganda surrounding it substantially shifted the political debate within Russia away from internal debates about opposition to Putin and towards Russia's international status. Putin's public approval ratings returned to pre-protest levels within weeks of the invasion. Over subsequent years, Putin made increasing moves towards totalitarianism, culminating in the 2020 constitutional reforms to open up the possibility of Putin remaining president for life.

The COVID pandemic went very badly for Putin. We're still not sure how many people died - the answer is somewhere between "lots" and "fucking loads" - but the already weak economy took an absolute battering. Putin's public approval ratings fell to their lowest levels ever.

Given that history, it's reasonable to believe that Putin saw another invasion of Ukraine as a straightforward way of distracting from domestic issues and consolidating his power. It's entirely reasonable to argue that Putin was hubristic, massively under-estimated the scale of Ukrainian opposition and blundered into a war that would ultimately undermine him, but I'm not 100% sold on that narrative. Putin's approval ratings have dipped in the last few weeks, but they saw a massive surge at the start of the invasion and are still substantially higher than pre-war levels. There are protests against the regime, but the hardcore supporters of Putin have been radicalised and are increasingly sympathetic towards brutal measures to crack down on dissent.

The war may ultimately backfire for Putin, but in the short term it clearly has achieved the goal of boosting domestic support for his regime and marginalising his opponents.
>> No. 39439 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 12:03 pm
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Yes, mate. The Global War on Terror was and is a universally beloved endevour and not widely regarded as an unpopular and idiotic hiding to nowhere, responsible for undermining the gains "the West" made post-Cold War, helping give rise to ISIS and generally being a colossal waste of public money. If you'll excuse me I have to get ready for the monthly "Everyone Still Loves Tony Blair" party we're having on our street later today. Here's a photo from the one we had at the beginning of September!
>> No. 39440 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 1:33 pm
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>The war and the propaganda surrounding it substantially shifted the political debate within Russia away from internal debates about opposition to Putin and towards Russia's international status.

Bit like the Falklands War then. On its own, in the greater scheme of things, whoever was in control of a few remote islands in the South Atlantic didn't really matter, but ARE Mags knew that the war itself and a victory would draw some attention away from the dire situation at home in the early 1980s and boost public morale.
>> No. 39441 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 1:45 pm
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It mattered a lot to the people who live there and who had their land seized by a military dictatorship.
>> No. 39442 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 2:04 pm
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Really, we should have given those islands back to their rightful owners a long time ago. LAS FALKLANDS SON FRENCH.
>> No. 39443 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 2:12 pm
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Saying NATO is the Amazon of geopolitics isn't that far off. You just have to remember that Amazon has the explicit goal of monopolising internet shopping.

It's not a conspiracy, it's just a fact of the world. Power consolidates, because you're shit at wielding power if you don't take steps to ensure you keep hold of it. NATO is the shorthand way of referring to the alliance between powerful Western countries which makes up one of the major power blocs; you could call it the G7 or the Anglosphere or whatever else. America and it's mates (who it doesn't treat very well).


Nah, you have a point but I still don't think that's the full story. He can defenestrate and novichok and polonium tea anyone who stands serious opposition to him. Again, if it was entirely about that, he could have chosen somewhere much less existentially threatening to pick a fight. He didn't just throw darts at a map and happen to land on Ukraine, there were geopolitical ambitions in addition to his own domestic agenda.
>> No. 39444 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 2:54 pm
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>He didn't just throw darts at a map and happen to land on Ukraine, there were geopolitical ambitions in addition to his own domestic agenda.

Ukraine was the line in the sand of NATO eastern expansion for Putin. Ukraine is the cradle of Russian culture. The whole of Russia is named after the Kievan Rus, a mediaeval country which covered most of present-day Ukraine and extended northwards to the White Sea. To a nationalist like Putin with neo-imperialist aspirations, this matters a great deal. And many Russians still today will tell you that Russians and Ukrainians are "brothers". And to see Ukraine increasingly being incorporated into Western power structures and thus drawn out of Russia's sphere of influence was something that Putin wasn't just going to accept without a fight.

You still have to take the idea with a grain of salt that Eastern European countries freely chose to join NATO. Yes, especially the smaller countries were afraid that Russia would just overrun them. And not without reason. Russia invaded Lithuania in 1990 when the country formally declared its independence. But what is often overlooked is the fact that after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Americans in particular spent billions in those former Warsaw Pact states and Soviet republics influencing and fostering emerging new power structures that were friendly both towards the West and Western capitalism as well as towards NATO. The U.S. still today entertains plenty of NGOs and lobbying organisations in those countries to ensure that public opinion is generally favourable towards the West and NATO.

As Henry Kissinger said - democracy is too important to be left to the votes of the people.
>> No. 39445 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 6:14 pm
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They hit on an interesting question - the oblasts that Putin has annexed aren't even fully under his military control. He'll practically have to redraw their borders in order to be able to shut out Ukrainian forces. Everything else would lead to a war of attrition which could see Putin losing them again after all. Not to mention that it's muddying the waters of what really constitutes an attack on Russian territory, when some of it is de facto still held by Ukraine.
>> No. 39446 Anonymous
1st October 2022
Saturday 8:08 pm
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Before the war the government was looking for cheeky ways of doing just that even though the islanders were very clear that they weren't interested. Argentina really fucked up by starting a war and transforming the islands from an inconvenience Britain would like to be rid of to a mid-life crisis coping aid it can't do without.
>> No. 39447 Anonymous
2nd October 2022
Sunday 12:21 pm
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I think this refutes the notion that Putin is looking for an easy way out. Including so much Ukrainian-controlled territory within the borders of the annexed oblasts creates a completely unnecessary complication with any hypothetical negotiation. Maybe he included that territory so he'd have something to offer the Ukrainian negotiators, but that'd make it much harder to sell any resulting treaty as a Russian success - he'd be "handing back" what he has loudly told the Russian people is land that now belongs to Russia.


All good lies start with a grain of truth. Putin's arguments about Ukraine being a natural part of Russia that has been colonised by NATO is just plausible enough to sell to the Russian people. Russians are naturally cynical, they're habituated to reading between the lines of any official statement, but that also makes them easy prey for conspiracy theories.
>> No. 39448 Anonymous
2nd October 2022
Sunday 1:37 pm
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It's difficult to get accurate information about what's actually in Putin's decree to annex those regions, but it appears that Putin did declare the entire oblasts respectively as new Russian territory, and he doesn't have full military control over any of them.


This would actually mean that to the Russians, any fighting by Ukrainian troops within the boundaries of those oblasts now constitutes an attack on Russian territory, however invalid the referendum was. It's mainly a dilemma for Putin, because you could argue that he's already not following through with his threats to defend the new territories by all means necessary.

On the other hand, it could give him reason to escalate further, by giving Ukrainian troops an ultimatum to leave those areas, or else. But even then, it's hard to imagine that the Ukrainians would just leave the areas again that they've just reclaimed.
>> No. 39455 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 3:11 pm
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Interesting twitter thread on opinion polling in Russia, by the "Head of Political Philosophy, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences" -


>Response rates are frighteningly low – 10-25% depending on methodology. Many (although not all) pollsters report that in 2022 the rates further plummeted. A colleague in the industry I trust completely told it was at 1% even before mobilization 11/21

>It is safe to assume that behind the numbers you read there are people completely disoriented and scared about what the state will do to them, approached by someone they believe is an agent of the state 19/21

tl;dr: anybody with a passing grasp of statistics can see that Putin's allegedly huge approval ratings probably don't hold water.
>> No. 39456 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 3:23 pm
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From the perspective of a dictator, does it matter very much whether people actually like you or are just completely terrified of you?
>> No. 39457 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 4:33 pm
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Yes, but which one is desirable depends on the nature of the people, their hierarchy, classes and the make-up of the 'court'. I think Machiavelli goes into it in some detail. The changes in technology may have changed the goalposts since but the theory behind it is probably the same.
>> No. 39458 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 5:45 pm
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I think we also have to factor in that repressive governments generate often profuse bigotry among their people, who will fall over themselves professing their allegiance with the regime in order not to stick out and be dealt with by the regime's apparatus.

Also, the Russians never had any real democratic history. They went from tsarism straight to communism and stalinism, and the barely ten years of proto-democracy from 1990 to 1999 until Putin came to power and began dismantling it don't count for much.

The revolutions in the early 20th century notwithstanding, Russians for as long as anybody can remember had to put up and not speak up. Which led to sort of a passive aggressive view of any government at all, where you know things are fucked and your leader is a despot, but what can you do. Best not talk about it if you don't want to find yourself in a gulag. Or be sent to fight in Ukraine as a punishment for street protest.
>> No. 39459 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 5:49 pm
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Bigotry is a hierarchy of the people, right? He goes on at length about how much it matters if a people are used to being a free people, or used to being oppressed. The latter are much less likely to make a fuss if you keep oppressing them.
>> No. 39460 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 9:10 pm
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>The Kremlin is still determining which areas of occupied Ukraine it has “annexed”, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson has said, suggesting Russia does not know where its self-declared international borders are.

>The surprising admission came in a phone call with journalists, during which Dmitry Peskov was peppered with requests to clarify to which Ukrainian territory Putin had laid claim at a pomp-filled Kremlin ceremony last week.

Something they evidently should've figured out before the whole what-have-you.
>> No. 39461 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 10:48 pm
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They can't decide where those borders are until the Ukrainian army stops pushing them back. The Russian military appears to be close to a total morale route. The intention with these "annexations" was to buy some breathing room and a bargaining chip at the negotiating table, assuming it would draw a line in the sand, but the lads on the ground aren't interested in keeping up the fight. By now the Ukranians have such an advantage in military hardware that it's really not a fair fight for the poor Ivan conscripts expected to hold the frontline down.

What's interesting here is that Vlad seems to have bottled it with all his posturing- By declaring those regions sovereign Russian territory, it was supposed to prevent further conflict because pushing onto that turf was then therefore a "direct attack on Russian soil", and that it would mean direct confrontation with NATO because they are using western arms etc, pretty much their exact words before they went through with it. And now they're all like "...Y-yeah, well, erm... We haven't decided exactly where the borders are yet..." to avoid having to put their money where their mouth is.

If this present Ukranian push comes to a stop at any point, that's where the borders will probably end up, but despite all the rhetoric I do get the impression Russia is close to throwing in the towel here. You can tell they want to cut their losses, but the trouble is they can't bring themselves to do it in a humbling, humiliating manner.
>> No. 39462 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 10:56 pm
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>> No. 39463 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:16 pm
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They said on the Channel 4 news tonight that Putin was seen meeting up with his national security advisers to discuss the situation. They're probably trying to figure out their next move. If Putin has more bollocks than brains, he might say that the annexed oblasts are Russian in their entirety, and he'll give Ukrainian troops an impossible ultimatum of leaving the territories, or else things might get nukey, as he keeps telling the world since February.

>but despite all the rhetoric I do get the impression Russia is close to throwing in the towel here. You can tell they want to cut their losses, but the trouble is they can't bring themselves to do it in a humbling, humiliating manner.

You're underestimating Putin's Hitler-like determination. He knows that if he retreats from Ukraine entirely, it'll be both the end of Russia as a feared power on the international stage, and quite likely the end of his political career as well. So he's got nowhere to go. And that's why it's still decidedly less than unlikely that he'll start using nuclear weapons. Western observers maintain that his troops are barely equipped and trained to fight conventional battle against the Ukrainians and it would be impossible for them to handle nuclear warfare, but all it takes is one or a handful of nuclear missile strikes ordered by Putin himself. That in itself would already be a catastrophe, regardless of how unprepared Russian ground forces are to deal with the repercussions. As a last-ditch effort to prevent a forced retreat and somehow turn the war around, it could be that he'll actually do it.
>> No. 39464 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:31 pm
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What if we offer Putin safety somewhere? Whoever follows him will be eager to wipe him out. I wouldn't want to have to step down from the Russian presidency, because I'd be murdered by mobsters within a week. But if I could tell the Russian people that I was martyring myself to protect them, that all sanctions would be lifted and the war would end if I just handed myself over and allowed free and fair elections for my replacement, then I could head off to Argentina where all the Nazis went and just live out my days in a big palace with a giant pile of money while Russians remember me as a magnanimous hero. That certainly sounds like a fine way out to me, but then I would never have invaded Ukraine in the first place so perhaps we can't use my personality to gauge what Putin might do.
>> No. 39465 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:37 pm
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>He knows that if he retreats from Ukraine entirely, it'll be both the end of Russia as a feared power on the international stage

This already is, there can be no denying that. And let's be real, Russia hasn't really been a "feared" power for a long time, more just a geopolitical inconvenience, and that's ultimately what led to this conflict. An attempt to remind the world Russia is still a big scary military force, that has backfired horribly, because they're just not.

All they have is the nukes at this point. If they have any sense they won't use them, and all this is just damage control, so they hold onto at least a shred of begrudging respect through the fact they could blow us all to kingdom come; but we certainly can't take anything for granted.

My main worry is, to be frank, that the Yanks will try stick the boot in too hard when it comes to the climb down, and provoke what is essentially the nuclear equivalent of a teenager smashing up their room just so they don't give their parents the satisfaction of doing as they're told. This is essentially why I've been saying for a while that we ought to give them a "exit route" to save face- That's just basic conflict resolution, like mediating a domestic abuse case or something. Even when somebody is clearly irrational and in the wrong, sometimes you have to play along for a bit to get them to put the knife down.
>> No. 39466 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:41 pm
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You're still approaching this with the idea that Putin is a reasonable person who will admit defeat when it hits him in the face. And who will just abandon his vision of resurrecting a Russian empire.

That just isn't what kind of person he is. Not after so many years of absolute power anyway. He's also not just going to retreat and spend the next ten to twenty years in a sulk over having been wronged by the West.

I have a feeling he will either actually use tactical nukes or he will up his threats to use them yet again. One of those, or both, will probably happen very soon.
>> No. 39467 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:48 pm
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>then I could head off to Argentina where all the Nazis went and just live out my days in a big palace with a giant pile of money
Until the new Russian secret service track you down, kidnap you, make you stand trial in Russia when you are in your 90s, and then execute you.
>> No. 39468 Anonymous
3rd October 2022
Monday 11:55 pm
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It'd need to be more of a Napoleon approach, if anything. Give him his own island to pretend he's in charge of, call it the true successor to the Soviet Union or whatever to make him happy.
>> No. 39469 Anonymous
4th October 2022
Tuesday 12:16 am
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If you sent Putin to Argentina he'd have the Argies back on the Falklands in no time. Then Truss will emulate Thatcher, poorly, by trying to channel Thatcher and failing miserably.

The man is nothing if not a master troll.
>> No. 39470 Anonymous
4th October 2022
Tuesday 12:18 am
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The question is if a system that is so Putin-centric will just let somebody come up to take his place. He will have made sure that nobody can threaten his power from within. But I guess that doesn't protect him from the entire system turning against him at some point.

The problem for the Russian people will likely be that whoever comes after Putin, Russia will probably not improve greatly from what it is now, which is a failed state.
>> No. 39471 Anonymous
4th October 2022
Tuesday 1:04 am
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I mean that's the thing really. There will come a point where the war is clearly lost, and he's sat there leaning his head in one hand, and he goes "Mudak. Launch the nukes. Cyka blyat." and whatever general he gives the order to will presumably just go "Uh... Nyet, comrade. It's over." He goes "Arrest this man!" and the other guy goes "Nyet, I don't think I will." Then that's it. His power instantly evaporates.

Power is only power as long as people play along, that's the funny thing. Faced with the prospect of life or death people's priorities drastically change and the structures of hierarchy vanish like the mirages they are. I always think about those millionaire apocalypse prepper fantasies where they build a big bunker in New Zealand and they hire private security and blah blah blah... It would last about ten minutes after the actual apocalypse before the private security lot shot the millionaires they worked for in the head and took the place over for themselves.

However this ends, it's probably the end of Putin. We just have to worry about whoever fills the void without him. They almost certainly won't be any better.
>> No. 39472 Anonymous
4th October 2022
Tuesday 2:54 am
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Those generals have skin in the game. They're corrupt and complicit in crimes against humanity. Unless they can count a successful coup and seize power for themselves, they're going down with the ship - either the next lot will put them up against the wall, or the ICC will have them.

Putin has very carefully filled positions of power with people who are compliant, unimaginative and lack initiative. He has fostered a culture of paranoia and rivalry in which he and his closest aides are the only bridge of communication between opposing factions. That's a large part of the reason why the Russian invasion has been such a shitshow, but it also secures Putin's position. It's not enough for people to lose faith in him, they need to coalesce around a replacement regime before they move against him.

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