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Gurezaemon

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#293602 1-Feb-2022 16:32
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Given the increasing rumblings in eastern Europe, what are everyone's thoughts about the future of this troubled region?


Up until earlier this afternoon, I was firmly in the camp of "Russia trying to boss around its historical whipping boy" but after reading this from Nation of Change, I'm a little more inclined to wonder what on earth NATO is playing at, breaking the "1990 U.S. promise that NATO would never be expanded into the former communist states of Eastern Europe."


I don't doubt Russia is feeling hemmed in, but I don't know if there is any realistic diplomatic way out of this.





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decibel
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  #2860176 1-Feb-2022 17:43
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1] Only an idiot thinks that the Ukraine is threatening Russia.

 

2] Like all dictators, Putin needs something to distract the disgruntled population -war being a good example. (think BOTH sides in the Falklands War)

 

 


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Daynger
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  #2860194 1-Feb-2022 18:31
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Ukraine is a sovereign nation, if they want to join NATO why does Russia get a say?

 

Sure they wont like it, but im also sure Ukraine didnt really enjoy Crimea being annexed either, which ironically would have pushed them towards NATO.

 

 

 

 


  #2860199 1-Feb-2022 18:37
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Daynger:

 

Ukraine is a sovereign nation, if they want to join NATO why does Russia get a say?

 

 

Agreed. I'ld also ask why should a country be bound by a promise another country made over 30 years ago. Whatever the US promised should be of no relevance and certainty not something worth starting a war over.




Gurezaemon

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  #2860214 1-Feb-2022 19:29
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KiwiSurfer:

 

Daynger:

 

Ukraine is a sovereign nation, if they want to join NATO why does Russia get a say?

 

 

Agreed. I'ld also ask why should a country be bound by a promise another country made over 30 years ago. Whatever the US promised should be of no relevance and certainty not something worth starting a war over.

 

 

In an ideal world, sure. But putting the shoe on the other foot. Just imagine Russia pouring billions in arms into a belligerent Mexico that wants to side with Russia. Do you think the US would just sit there and go "Yeh, sure. It's none of our business"?

 

A very similar situation came perilously close to ending civilization 60 years ago with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

 

What is morally just and right isn't really relevant. Actual perceptions of actual threats carry much more weight.





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Kookoo
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  #2860223 1-Feb-2022 20:04
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Gurezaemon:

 

In an ideal world, sure. But putting the shoe on the other foot. Just imagine Russia pouring billions in arms into a belligerent Mexico that wants to side with Russia. Do you think the US would just sit there and go "Yeh, sure. It's none of our business"?

 

 

 

Ah, welcome to the world of false equivalences. Alright, let's bust this demagogy wide open.

 

1) Explain how Ukraine is "belligerent". Provide examples of Ukraine threatening to attack Russia, cut off Russia's supplies, flood Russia with illegal migrants, occupy neighbouring Russian regions. Anything that justifies the words "belligerent" except for refusing to dance to Putin's tune.

 

2) Elaborate which western nation stores its nuclear arsenal in Ukraine

 

3) Remind us when US armed forces attacked Cuba in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis

 

4) Explain the "billions" in armament that have been provided to impoverished Ukraine prior to Russia's military build-up on its borders.

 

 

Now, let's talk facts:

 

1) To Putin's ire Ukrainians have overthrown Putin's puppet government of Yanukovich. Putin cannot allow the existence of a large independent democratic state in place of a puppet state that he used to fully control.

 

2) Russia has invaded and illegally occupied the Crimean Peninsula belonging to Ukraine. Why and how it came to belong to Ukraine 60 or so years ago is irrelevant - it was part of Ukraine as defined by internationally recognised borders.

 

3) Russian nationalist militias, supported by Chechen mercenaries, all armed and trained by Russia, occupied the coal-rich Donetsk basin, effectively stripping Ukraine of its only natural resource

 

4) In the process, said Russian militias shot down flight MH17 having mistaken it for a Ukrainian military jet.

 

 

Finally, let's talk real politik

 

Following a total mishandling of the Covid pandemic Putin's popularity has tanked. Most Russians love them some Putin, but by now even some of the more hardcore supporters are getting fed up. Additionally, economic sanctions are impacting the oligarchy and he is at a real risk of an overthrow by his own clique. It's a bit of a powder keg situation, and one of his oligarch "allies" can easily fund a match. Putin is desperate to shore things up, including comically bestowing the title of "Hero of Labour" (formerly in the USSR - Hero of the Socialist Labour) on his best mate Aleksei Miller, chairman of GazProm.

 

He sees what happened in Kazakhstan and he knows something similar could easily happen in Russia. So he needs an enemy for Russians to unite against. And he needs the military busy and away from Moscow. Because as all dictators know - if you lose the support of the military, you're dead. Hence - Ukraine.




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  #2860230 1-Feb-2022 20:38
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My take is yet again Europe and the US are putting world at risk of destruction playing mindless stupid games. Russia and the US are empires in decline with leaders doing childish puffery to appear strong. It's pathetic.


Kookoo
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  #2860231 1-Feb-2022 20:43
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MikeB4:

My take is yet again Europe and the US are putting world at risk of destruction playing mindless stupid games. Russia and the US are empires in decline with leaders doing childish puffery to appear strong. It's pathetic.

 

Oh, hello Gwynne Dyer. Nice to see you on Geekzone. How is Syria or wherever it is you reside these days.




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  #2860233 1-Feb-2022 20:47
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Say what?


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SaltyNZ
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  #2860254 1-Feb-2022 21:39
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MikeB4:

 

My take is yet again Europe and the US are putting world at risk of destruction playing mindless stupid games. Russia and the US are empires in decline with leaders doing childish puffery to appear strong. It's pathetic.

 

 

 

 

Can't really fault the US much on this occasion though. It's hardly Joe Biden's fault that Ukraine doesn't want to be under Russia's thumb. Would you want to be?

 

If anything, they should've been more on the ball in 2014 but to be fair I don't think there is any good answer to Putin wanting to play the alpha gorilla. Clearly, wagging fingers over Crimea wasn't enough, but at the same time a hot war to defend Ukraine could spiral out of control so very easily. Queue The Hunt For Red October quotes etc. They might have some luck squeezing the oligarchs with sanctions. Basically make it impossible for any of them to leave or own anything outside Russia, and make all their toys 10x more expensive to get hold of inside Russia. But make it known that the sanctions can be relieved if only Russia stops this rash course of action. Even Putin will need eyes in the back of his head if the entire ex-KGB cum Russian Mafia decide it's time for him to be retired.

 

What might really tip the balance between "just" defending Ukraine and a global war will be if China decides to take advantage of the chaos of a Russian invasion and invade Taiwan. I don't think that's on the cards right now - if it was, there would be a massive troop build-up which would be as breathlessly reported as Ukraine is - but if the West allows or fails to prevent Ukraine to fall then Xi may decide to chance his arm.

 

Russian gas supplies are important to Europe. TSMC is critical to the world and the Americans will neither want to lose cheap access to that capacity nor give up its secrets to China so they can duplicate and leapfrog it. They might let Ukraine go if it proves expensive, but they won't let China have Taiwan.





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K8Toledo
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  #2860399 2-Feb-2022 03:27
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Daynger:

 

Ukraine is a sovereign nation, if they want to join NATO why does Russia get a say?

 

 

History.

 

Check out this CNN video at top of page below (only a few minutes).

 

 

 

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/28/europe/ukraine-russia-explainer-war-threat-cmd-intl/index.html

 

 






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  #2860429 2-Feb-2022 08:15
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SaltyNZ:

 

What might really tip the balance between "just" defending Ukraine and a global war will be if China decides to take advantage of the chaos of a Russian invasion and invade Taiwan. I don't think that's on the cards right now - if it was, there would be a massive troop build-up which would be as breathlessly reported as Ukraine is - but if the West allows or fails to prevent Ukraine to fall then Xi may decide to chance his arm.

 

Russian gas supplies are important to Europe. TSMC is critical to the world and the Americans will neither want to lose cheap access to that capacity nor give up its secrets to China so they can duplicate and leapfrog it. They might let Ukraine go if it proves expensive, but they won't let China have Taiwan.

 

 

China might make moves after the Olympics concludes, however I am not sure they're ready politically and militarily for it. Taiwan is armed to the teeth and has access to much better military technology than Ukraine, then you can factor in that an independent Taiwan is of critical importance to the west as it's one of the only producers of rare earth metals outside of China. 

 

As for Ukraine, it's a high stakes game of chicken and I'm not sure Putin can politically afford to blink. He must have been hoping for some concessions to look strong and justified, but NATO and Ukraine are just not playing ball. Looks like a massive miss-calculation 





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  #2860437 2-Feb-2022 08:52
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Kookoo:
Gurezaemon:

 

In an ideal world, sure. But putting the shoe on the other foot. Just imagine Russia pouring billions in arms into a belligerent Mexico that wants to side with Russia. Do you think the US would just sit there and go "Yeh, sure. It's none of our business"?

 

Ah, welcome to the world of false equivalences. Alright, let's bust this demagogy wide open.....

 


All that you wrote sounds true, but the point of the above I believe was that it's about their perception or preferred viewpoint of the situation, not the facts.

 

It's a bit like the notion that the US is good and Russia is bad - totally a matter of perception as other parts of the world see it very differently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  #2860446 2-Feb-2022 09:45
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You would think the lessons of the twentieth century would still be clear in the minds of the world so called leaders and that in the twenty first century we would be over this BS.


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  #2860447 2-Feb-2022 09:46
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I don't know how many on this page are old enough to remember the eighties, but it really does feel a lot like we are back there. 

 

I remember doing "nuclear war" drills, where we largely did the same drill as earthquake drills, but were also instructed to keep our eyes firmly shut, etc. 

 

 

 

I wonder how this will change the way in which our young people will look at geopolitics....





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