22 votes

The plot to destroy Ukraine

22 comments

  1. streblo
    Link
    Some good background reading from the Royal United Services Institute on the war that seems likely to break out tomorrow.

    The spectre of war looms over Europe. As Russian troops mass around Ukraine’s borders
    there is a palpable sense of crisis. In Ukraine, however, there is a combination of resignation
    and grim determination to survive. If Russia invades, Ukrainians will fight. But the real threat
    to their country is viewed as multifaceted and enduring. Ukrainians must not only deter military
    aggression, but survive the political, social and economic war that Russia is waging against their
    country.

    Some good background reading from the Royal United Services Institute on the war that seems likely to break out tomorrow.

    8 votes
  2. [2]
    moocow1452
    Link
    My read on all of this brinkmanship is that it served the interests of the US, UK and Russia to talk war because all three have domestic issues they rather get out of the press right now and...

    My read on all of this brinkmanship is that it served the interests of the US, UK and Russia to talk war because all three have domestic issues they rather get out of the press right now and Ukraine was the decided punching bag for the evening. Is that not a good take?

    3 votes
    1. streblo
      Link Parent
      I don't really think so. Do the heads of state benefit from any distractions? Sure, I guess. But we're talking about mass mobilizations of troops that have been ongoing for months -- of course...

      I don't really think so. Do the heads of state benefit from any distractions? Sure, I guess. But we're talking about mass mobilizations of troops that have been ongoing for months -- of course heads of state will comment. And if it's brinkmanship, it's some very expensive brinkmanship. I don't think war is inevitable, but clearly the goals are larger than tying up some press cycles.

      18 votes
  3. [20]
    Comment removed by site admin
    Link
    1. [6]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      I'm interested in your perspective as a Russian, but that's not a very good equivocation. NATO countries have NATO bases in their shared border with Russia. The same thing exists on the Russian...

      I'm interested in your perspective as a Russian, but that's not a very good equivocation.

      NATO countries have NATO bases in their shared border with Russia. The same thing exists on the Russian side of the border. You want to know what NATO doesn't have? 150,000+ troops, tanks, and support massed on the border primed to invade a neighbouring country for no good reason.

      Do you want to know the opinion of ordinary people in Russia? They are tired. They are tired of blood, killing people that is shed on Earth under the guise of democracy...

      So they want more blood and killing? Thousands of people will die in this war, and for what?

      20 votes
      1. [6]
        Comment removed by site admin
        Link Parent
        1. [4]
          streblo
          Link Parent
          I'm not an American, nor terribly fond of their foreign policy in the last 20 years but those are interesting examples you picked to highlight. NATO/ USA didn't start any ways in Syria or...

          I'm not an American, nor terribly fond of their foreign policy in the last 20 years but those are interesting examples you picked to highlight. NATO/ USA didn't start any ways in Syria or Yugoslavia. And as misguided as the misadventures in Iraq/Afghanistan may have been, they didn't start nor end as an attempt to annex another country.

          now you must prove that you do not want to attack us.

          Oh come on. The west has so little stomach for war right now there's not even any direct support being committed to Ukraine, never mind an invasion of a nuclear opponent.

          29 votes
          1. [3]
            kwyjibo
            Link Parent
            I don't mean to get into an argument nor do I want to read into your intentions, but I strongly oppose the notion that Iraq and Afghanistan can be categorized as mere misadventures. Both of these...

            I don't mean to get into an argument nor do I want to read into your intentions, but I strongly oppose the notion that Iraq and Afghanistan can be categorized as mere misadventures. Both of these wars started on deliberate lies, for which there was no accountability, and ended up causing the lives of more than a million people. They were crimes of the highest order and it's a disgrace that countries and people involved in making those decisions didn't have their day in court.

            11 votes
            1. [2]
              streblo
              Link Parent
              Misadventures is a poor word choice for Iraq, apologies. Bush famously denied Sadam’s offer to allow UN inspectors in shortly before the invasion, seeing himself as carrying out a war against a...

              Misadventures is a poor word choice for Iraq, apologies. Bush famously denied Sadam’s offer to allow UN inspectors in shortly before the invasion, seeing himself as carrying out a war against a literal evil empire that his father started.

              I think Afghanistan is perfectly explained by misadventure however. The initial reasons to go after Bin Laden / the Taliban were justifiable, but a series of terrible decisions and expanding scope let things spiral out of control.

              6 votes
              1. kwyjibo
                Link Parent
                No need for an apology, I assumed it was a poor choice of words and just wanted to point it out. Thank you for understanding. I still disagree with your characterization of Afghanistan as a...

                No need for an apology, I assumed it was a poor choice of words and just wanted to point it out. Thank you for understanding.

                I still disagree with your characterization of Afghanistan as a misadventure, but since I mostly agree with the rest of your comments1, I think my disagreement is more about semantics rather than facts.


                1: I don't think Afghanistan was justifiable, but I do understand that if you poke the bear, you'll get mauled. May not be fair or proportionate, but that's just a fact of life.

                3 votes
        2. Autoxidation
          Link Parent
          Well, for starters, there aren't any US forces (or even NATO) forces poised directly outside of Russia's borders, masquerading under "military exercises."

          now you must prove that you do not want to attack us.

          Well, for starters, there aren't any US forces (or even NATO) forces poised directly outside of Russia's borders, masquerading under "military exercises."

          13 votes
    2. [9]
      Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      I don't think that website is very credible. It rather aggressively told me to update my Google Chrome browser by completely blocking the article in question.

      I don't think that website is very credible. It rather aggressively told me to update my Google Chrome browser by completely blocking the article in question.

      11 votes
      1. [8]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Try this, from the US Army. Turns out that there's a fairly even spread of army bases everywhere, not specifically ringing Russia.

        Try this, from the US Army. Turns out that there's a fairly even spread of army bases everywhere, not specifically ringing Russia.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Autoxidation
          Link Parent
          Those aren't actually military bases; those are army posting locations, which can include postings on foreign bases (which are hosted by other nations, and include a number of personnel in China...

          Those aren't actually military bases; those are army posting locations, which can include postings on foreign bases (which are hosted by other nations, and include a number of personnel in China and Russia).

          9 votes
          1. MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            Ah, oops. Thank you for the correction. I searched for US army bases and didn't examine my findings well enough. Sorry about that.

            Ah, oops. Thank you for the correction. I searched for US army bases and didn't examine my findings well enough. Sorry about that.

            3 votes
        2. [5]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I think more to the point is that due to the Cold War, Russia has an entire nuclear-armed military alliance against them. Being a bit paranoid is understandable, though there have been lots of...

          I think more to the point is that due to the Cold War, Russia has an entire nuclear-armed military alliance against them. Being a bit paranoid is understandable, though there have been lots of peace initiatives since then.

          This still looks like a war they're starting, though. I haven't been following closely, but headlines about artillery fire seem like a giveaway?

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            Don_Camillo
            Link Parent
            Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin https://youtube.com/watch?v=8X7Ng75e5gQ i think thats some needed context. beeing immersed in western media and culture, we often...

            Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin

            https://youtube.com/watch?v=8X7Ng75e5gQ

            i think thats some needed context. beeing immersed in western media and culture, we often forget that to understand other people, it is not enough to think what we would do in their place, but what we woud do if we were them.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              Could you summarize? I don't usually watch political videos.

              Could you summarize? I don't usually watch political videos.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Don_Camillo
                Link Parent
                its a short presentation Vladimir Pozner gave in Yale University https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Pozner_Jr. He is a french/russian/american journalist, who was a sowjet propagandist (his...

                its a short presentation Vladimir Pozner gave in Yale University
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Pozner_Jr.
                He is a french/russian/american journalist, who was a sowjet propagandist (his own words) during the late cold war, mainly by explaining sowjet politics and culture to us-americans.
                he gives a short presentation (30.mins) about the history of russian and putin since the end of the cold war to present day while heavily empatizing with the russian view of that events.
                After that he answers questions from the audience.

                I would not say its a politcal video, but more a lesson in history while the subject is very political in nature.

                He also heavily critizices western and russian media, which might be the most political he actually gets.

                If you want to get closer to understanding why russia and putin specificaly are doing what they are doing I would advice to watch it in its entirety. I promise its a pleasure to hear Vladimir Pozner speak out his well informed and eloquently presented deep thoughts.

                3 votes
    3. Deimos
      Link Parent
      The site you're linking to seems to be serving malicious ads and/or malware, so I need to remove this comment. If you have a better link to replace it with or can delete the link, I can unremove...

      The site you're linking to seems to be serving malicious ads and/or malware, so I need to remove this comment. If you have a better link to replace it with or can delete the link, I can unremove the comment.

      7 votes
    4. [4]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [3]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        That’s fallacious. Most people can be tired and against all the bloodshed but still care more about other things, or not have a choice, etc. If I said “most Americans are tired of X” and you...

        That’s fallacious. Most people can be tired and against all the bloodshed but still care more about other things, or not have a choice, etc.

        If I said “most Americans are tired of X” and you replied “so why did they vote for people who didn’t improve X the past 50 years” it’d be just as stupid.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          vegai
          Link Parent
          Yeah so apparently I cannot undelete my posts, so for other readers: in my comment I asked why the Russian people keep voting and supporting Putin even though he's causing the worst aggression in...

          Yeah so apparently I cannot undelete my posts, so for other readers: in my comment I asked why the Russian people keep voting and supporting Putin even though he's causing the worst aggression in Europe in 83 years and is generally making everything worse inside and outside of Russia.

          Generally, I'm not so sure about the idea that democracy removes the responsibility from the people. Rather vice versa. Of course, if it's not actually a democracy then it's a different thing. Then the thing they should be doing is revolution, but I'm not claiming that that is in any way an easy thing to do, especially when the state is as powerful as in Russia.

          1 vote
          1. Adys
            Link Parent
            Democracy doesn't remove any responsibility, but it doesn't particularly add a lot either. If you want to "change things" in a democracy, you need to make a fuss, know people, get your message...
            • Exemplary

            Democracy doesn't remove any responsibility, but it doesn't particularly add a lot either.

            If you want to "change things" in a democracy, you need to make a fuss, know people, get your message out, dedicate a lot of your life towards the one singular goal. As it happens, that is the exact same in an autocracy, even some of the worst dictatorships. The risk is usually different, but the required investment is on the same level.

            In fact, a democracy usually means you have more competition, because there are more people involved. Usually this is good -- democracies can tackle niche issues that would be very low priority for autocracies. But if the changes you're looking for are big and sweeping, they're likely to get stuck at every step of the way as you have to get your ideas through layers and layers of people.

            In that sense, autocracies can be a lot more efficient than democracies. One of the things that gives me hope about climate change is knowing that China is an autocracy, for example. Look at how difficult it is to get the USA to act about climate change.

            In summary, I agree with you that living in a democracy adds responsibilities on the everyday citizen, but at the end of the day most people are a product of the environment they live in and democracy doesn't give special powers to meaningfully alter the environment. And remember, Russia may be a democracy on paper but the freedoms that give amplifiable power to everyday citizen are completely curbed. Namely, the rights to assembly and free press.

            Vladimir Putin is possibly the most cunning and evil person on the planet -- and if he isn't, he knows who is and they go bowling together every Sunday. He is incredibly intelligent and that fucker could do a PhD on how to prevent a revolution from occurring. I would LOVE to be wrong, but I do not believe a revolution is possible in Russia until he is either dead, or voluntarily retires because he suddenly got bored of being one of the richest and most powerful people in the world.

            He is almost 70 years old. We just have to hope he dies soon. Even if it takes another 30 years, it'll still probably be simpler and less bloody than any of the other solutions on the table...

            12 votes