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Thread: O/T:- Ukraine [Incorporating 'Congrats to Russia' thread]

  1. #461
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    I class myself as fairly ambivalent to this conflict… I just know it needs to stop and stop now. Having no previous knowledge of the tensions that have existed between these two countries before this conflict, I’ve read a lot about it since. My personal view is that both sides have a real problem with right wing extremism and the civil war that has been waged in the Donbas since 2014 was/is a war of contrition between two very right wing (Nazi) elements… the Ukrainian Azov Battalion and the Russian groups like the Wolves’ Hundred.

    But ultimately, Putin has used this “Nazi” excuse to perform a very right wing and imperialist landgrab…. he won’t succeed and I can see in the months ahead that this conflict is going to become bogged down on both fronts and will go on for years.

    I think we need to read through the lines of this conflict and to a degree and unemotionally see it from both sides. Here’s a very good article from Cato on the ins and outs of this “Nazi” problem.

    https://www.cato.org/commentary/smea...-anti-semitism

  2. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by drillerpie View Post
    Morning Andy. Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want to get into this with you...
    Fair enough... but then you proceed to get into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by drillerpie View Post

    Conparing the most technologically advanced and highly trained military the world has ever seen, to depositing 300k untrained, ill-disciplined, unmotivated vodka sponges and violent criminals in the middle of a war zone, without even basic equipment, is just silly.
    Is this intentionally disingenuous or are you really unaware? First, the 300k aren’t “untrained”. They are reservists with prior military training. They are also prioritizing the mobilization of those with prior combat experience and military specialization. Yes indeed, there are some prisoners recruited into the ranks of the private Wagner group (akin to America’s Blackwater private security forces), I think the number in their most recent recruitment drive yielded somewhere around 1-2k enlistees. But low and behold, Zalensky did the very same thing! Why does doing this spell disaster defeat for Russia... but not for Ukraine?

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...o-fight-in-war

    Despite the incorrect claims of the Russian reservists being ‘untrained’, here we see how Ukraine’s mobilized troops (Ukraine has undergone 7 waves of mobilization since the beginning of the special military operation) are sometimes trained for as little as 5 days. I’ve heard other reports that some are trained in as little as 2-3 days. And to be fair, there are also reports that some new Russian enlistees have been given as little as 5 days training as well (although the norm appears to be 5 weeks):

    https://mwi.usma.edu/time-is-not-on-...on-in-ukraine/

    Here we have the Ukrainian government giving out weapons to civilians and giving them only 3 days training:

    https://www.indiatoday.in/amp/world/...692-2022-03-12

    Of course the UK is running a more extensive training regiment for Ukrainian troops (3 months), but as of a month ago they’ve only trained 5k troops and intend to train a whopping 10k more within a year:

    https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-a...krainians/amp/

    One might try to argue that by using conscripted reservists rather than professional soldiers, the Russian side is destined to lose. But the same argument applies to Ukraine who have thus far used 7 waves of conscription (4 waves at the time of writing of this article):

    The Economist (archived version used to avoid paywall)
    https://archive.ph/73jr0

    As for “motivation”, there are reports that the Ukrainians are deploying ‘anti-retreat’ brigades that threaten to execute any of their friendly soldiers for retreating. But since it’s from a Russian news agency it will undoubtedly be denounced as fake:

    https://tass.com/defense/1456129/amp

    Or there’s a plethora of videos posted by Ukrainian platoons refusing to fight, claiming they are poorly equipped and given orders that are suicidal. This article sums up some of them.

    https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/0...ssia-conflict-

    There’s also the situation of the “foreign volunteers”, many of whom have left Ukraine and complained of lack of equipment, and their use as cannon fodder by the Ukrainian army who, as nationalist, understandably prefer to expend foreigners over their own nationals.

    https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article/...s-quit-ukraine

    There’s also the situation reported by CBS (but pulled before airing because it didn’t fit the western narrative) that only 30% of weapons sent by the west are actually reaching the front lines:

    https://m.economictimes.com/news/def...w/93433146.cms

    Despite claims that the Ukrainian army is somehow better equipped, here we have Nato head Jens Stoltenberg admitting that Russian artillery outnumbers that of Ukraine 20:1

    https://theglobalherald.com/news/ukr...in-some-areas/

    I won’t pretend to be an armchair general, but I think you should take your own advice about passing judgement with a speck in your eye. I also won’t pretend to have a crystal ball that tells who’s going to win the war or how long it’s going to take, as there are so many factors that can come into it, and things can change very quickly. For example, The US or nato could get directly involved. Or they could supply Ukraine with much more lethal aid, including WMDs. On the other hand, Russia could more fully mobilize and/or use WMDs themselves.

    In light of that, the stakes can be extremely high. As we both seem to acknowledge that this is a proxy war, it’s unclear whether the US or Russia will blink first. Aside from the possibility of either side achieving an outright military victory, the only way for it to end is through negotiations. But in order to do so, both sides have to be willing AND, given that it’s a proxy war, The US also has to support a negotiation and whatever agreement results. So far it appears that neither Zalensky or the US is willing to do so. The Russians claim that they’d nearly reached a deal with Zalensky back in April, but that the US torpedoed the process and ordered Zalensky to continue the war. There’s also the significant factor of the (plausible) claims that far right wing ultranationalist groups in Ukraine have threatened Zalensky’s life should he reach terms with Moscow. If the US doesn’t have Zalensky’s back against these groups, then there’s little to no hope of a peaceful settlement that isn’t brought about by an outright victory.
    Last edited by andy6025; 06-10-2022 at 02:53 PM.

  3. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy6025 View Post
    Fair enough... but then you proceed to get into it.



    Is this intentionally disingenuous or are you really unaware? First, the 300k aren’t “untrained”. They are reservists with prior military training. They are also prioritizing the mobilization of those with prior combat experience and military specialization. Yes indeed, there are some prisoners recruited into the ranks of the private Wagner group (akin to America’s Blackwater private security forces), I think the number in their most recent recruitment drive yielded somewhere around 1-2k enlistees. But low and behold, Zalensky did the very same thing! Why does doing this spell disaster defeat for Russia... but not for Ukraine?

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...o-fight-in-war

    Despite the incorrect claims of the Russian reservists being ‘untrained’, here we see how Ukraine’s mobilized troops (Ukraine has undergone 7 waves of mobilization since the beginning of the special military operation) are sometimes trained for as little as 5 days. I’ve heard other reports that some are trained in as little as 2-3 days. And to be fair, there are also reports that some new Russian enlistees have been given as little as 5 days training as well (although the norm appears to be 5 weeks):

    https://mwi.usma.edu/time-is-not-on-...on-in-ukraine/

    Here we have the Ukrainian government giving out weapons to civilians and giving them only 3 days training:

    https://www.indiatoday.in/amp/world/...692-2022-03-12

    Of course the UK is running a more extensive training regiment for Ukrainian troops (3 months), but as of a month ago they’ve only trained 5k troops and intend to train a whopping 10k more within a year:

    https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-a...krainians/amp/

    One might try to argue that by using conscripted reservists rather than professional soldiers, the Russian side is destined to lose. But the same argument applies to Ukraine who have thus far used 7 waves of conscription (4 waves at the time of writing of this article):

    The Economist (archived version used to avoid paywall)
    https://archive.ph/73jr0

    As for “motivation”, there are reports that the Ukrainians are deploying ‘anti-retreat’ brigades that threaten to execute any of their friendly soldiers for retreating. But since it’s from a Russian news agency it will undoubtedly be denounced as fake:

    https://tass.com/defense/1456129/amp

    Or there’s a plethora of videos posted by Ukrainian platoons refusing to fight, claiming they are poorly equipped and given orders that are suicidal. This article sums up some of them.

    https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/0...ssia-conflict-

    There’s also the situation of the “foreign volunteers”, many of whom have left Ukraine and complained of lack of equipment, and their use as cannon fodder by the Ukrainian army who, as nationalist, understandably prefer to expend foreigners over their own nationals.

    https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article/...s-quit-ukraine

    There’s also the situation reported by CBS (but pulled before airing because it didn’t fit the western narrative) that only 30% of weapons sent by the west are actually reaching the front lines:

    https://m.economictimes.com/news/def...w/93433146.cms

    Despite claims that the Ukrainian army is somehow better equipped, here we have Nato head Jens Stoltenberg admitting that Russian artillery outnumbers that of Ukraine 20:1

    https://theglobalherald.com/news/ukr...in-some-areas/

    I won’t pretend to be an armchair general, but I think you should take your own advice about passing judgement with a speck in your eye. I also won’t pretend to have a crystal ball that tells who’s going to win the war or how long it’s going to take, as there are so many factors that can come into it, and things can change very quickly. For example, The US or nato could get directly involved. Or they could supply Ukraine with much more lethal aid, including WMDs. On the other hand, Russia could more fully mobilize and/or use WMDs themselves.

    In light of that, the stakes can be extremely high. As we both seem to acknowledge that this is a proxy war, it’s unclear whether the US or Russia will blink first. Aside from the possibility of either side achieving an outright military victory, the only way for it to end is through negotiations. But in order to do so, both sides have to be willing AND, given that it’s a proxy war, The US also has to support a negotiation and whatever agreement results. So far it appears that neither Zalensky or the US is willing to do so. The Russians claim that they’d nearly reached a deal with Zalensky back in April, but that the US torpedoed the process and ordered Zalensky to continue the war. There’s also the significant factor of the (plausible) claims that far right wing ultranationalist groups in Ukraine have threatened Zalensky’s life should he reach terms with Moscow. If the US doesn’t have Zalensky’s back against these groups, then there’s little to no hope of a peaceful settlement that isn’t brought about by an outright victory.
    I've read your post, including clicking on the links.

    I feel that I made the right decision not to debate this with you.

  4. #464
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    Quote Originally Posted by GranthamPie View Post
    I class myself as fairly ambivalent to this conflict… I just know it needs to stop and stop now. Having no previous knowledge of the tensions that have existed between these two countries before this conflict, I’ve read a lot about it since. My personal view is that both sides have a real problem with right wing extremism and the civil war that has been waged in the Donbas since 2014 was/is a war of contrition between two very right wing (Nazi) elements… the Ukrainian Azov Battalion and the Russian groups like the Wolves’ Hundred.

    But ultimately, Putin has used this “Nazi” excuse to perform a very right wing and imperialist landgrab…. he won’t succeed and I can see in the months ahead that this conflict is going to become bogged down on both fronts and will go on for years.

    I think we need to read through the lines of this conflict and to a degree and unemotionally see it from both sides. Here’s a very good article from Cato on the ins and outs of this “Nazi” problem.

    https://www.cato.org/commentary/smea...-anti-semitism

    GranthamPie,

    I read the Cato article you posted. While I’m glad to see that they acknowledge the ultra nationalist Ukrainian Nazi groups, I disagree with the comparisons and conclusions for several reasons.

    First, it’s been a common tactic in western publications who feel forced to acknowledge the existent of Ukrainian fascist groups (after all, many of these publications had been writing about them prior to Russia’s invasion), to then downplay the significance of their influence in Ukrainian politics. A common narrative is to point out that their political parties enjoy very little success at the poles. Indeed, they don’t do particularly well. But fielding candidates and campaigning for elections is far from their focus. Instead they use threats, intimidation and outright violence to pressure successful political and judicial figures in order to have their preferred policies carried out. I posted some links in my second last posts (replying to Driller) with a lot of links about the violence and other activities of these paramilitary organizations that are worth examining.

    One thing of important note is the power that these groups have had to torpedo the potential for peace during Ukraine’s civil war. Here is a video where Princeton and NYU professor of Russian Studies Stephen Cohen discusses how these groups had threatened Zalensky’s life had he come to terms peaceful terms with Moscow. As Cohen states, these groups are armed and violent, and that if the US doesn’t have Zalensky’s back in encouraging and supporting negotiations, then he’s at real threat from them. While this whole video is a good watch, the relevant part is within the first 4 minutes:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bpASSqz1hGc&t=222s

    You may notice that Stephen Cohen is mentioned in your Cato article as having an “ilk” - a derogatory term used in attempt to discredit him and his views. I’ve read Cohen’s works and he was (he’s dead now) probably the most well informed and reasonable scholar/observer on the topic. The Cato article does not do well to try and discredit him.

    A second disagreement I have with the Cato article, and this is also common in the western narrative, is that it brings up Russian nationalist groups and figureheads as a means of saying, “see - all these European countries have Nazis, so they’re no big deal in Ukraine.” While I certainly agree that any and all Nazis ought to be denounced in any country, I disagree with the idea these sources perpetuate that Ukraine doesn’t have a particularly significant problem with Nazis. This isn’t ‘even-keeled’ with everywhere else. Not only does Ukraine have a Nazi problem that influences its policies (for another example: removing laws protecting Russian [and other minority languages] as an official language right after the US backed coup in 2014), but because of Ukraine’s early 20th century history vis-a-vis Russia and Germany, it has an extremely significant ultranationalist Nazi problem. Swiss Intelligence Officer Jacques Baud, who worked with NATO in Ukraine during the civil war, writes about it here - where Ukrainian ultranationalism originated and how its impacted this conflict. If you want to skip to the relevant part, start at the paragraph that reads “Western countries have thus clearly created and supported Ukrainian far-right militias.”

    https://www.thepostil.com/the-milita...n-the-ukraine/

    Another common tactic in the western media used to downplay the power and influence of Ukrainian Nazis is to say, “how can they be Nazis, the president is Jewish”. I find this extremely disingenuous. It’s like trying to claim that America doesn’t have a problem with systemic racism because they elected a black president. Somehow all the systemic racism went away... or never existed in the first place.

    On that note also, and because drillerpie brought it up elsewhere: Indeed, Ukraine’s Jewish present Zalensky was voted in with a 70%+ landslide victory. And not only does he hail from the Russian speaking region, but he himself is a Russian speaker... so, they disingenuously claim, ‘how can Ukraine be oppressing their Russian ethnic minorities?’

    What they leave out is that Zalensky was a tv celebrity, but more importantly, he ran on a campaign of anti-corruption and peace - by promising to negotiate with the Russians in order to bring an end to the civil war. This was an attractive proposition for Ukrainian and Russian speaking Ukrainians alike and was an opportunity to make peace and unify the country - which is what Moscow supported. But when he got into power, he did neither of those and his popularity rating plummeted.

    Last, a word about The Cato Institute as a source. They’re a libertarian think tank set up and funded by the Koch foundation (I’m sure you know who they are). By rule they advocate a ‘laissez fair’ attitude towards any and all government policy, much of which is extremely (I’ll be diplomatic here) dubious. For example, they advocate for the complete privatization of public education in the US, they deny global warming, they want the abolition of taxes and the dismantling of the welfare state, etc. This Nazi comparison article is their way of saying, “see, a handful of Nazis everywhere is no big deal, let’s just stay out.” To their credit though, they were opposed to the Gulf War and GW’s invasion of Iraq.

    Edit: mostly grammar and a few clarifications.
    Last edited by andy6025; 06-10-2022 at 04:47 PM.

  5. #465
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy6025 View Post
    First, the 300k aren’t “untrained”. They are reservists with prior military training. They are also prioritizing the mobilization of those with prior combat experience and military specialization. Yes indeed, there are some prisoners recruited into the ranks of the private Wagner group (akin to America’s Blackwater private security forces), I think the number in their most recent recruitment drive yielded somewhere around 1-2k enlistees. But low and behold, Zalensky did the very same thing! Why does doing this spell disaster defeat for Russia... but not for Ukraine?
    Once again, this is why nobody can take you seriously.

    There is one source, and one source only, claiming that the "partial mobilisation" of 300k troops is only of reservists with prior training and that it's going well.

    The Kremlin.

    Every other source, including numerous Russian sources, including on state television, is highlighting severe problems with the entire escapade. Posts to social media from "troops" who have been conscripted contradict the Kremlin narrative on this.

    Second, while yes indeed Zelensky mobilised Ukraine on day one of the war, he absolutely did not send untrained troops into battle. The least well equipped and trained troops Ukraine utilised during the early days of Russia's criminal invasion were pre-war territorial defence units.

    In the six months after the war began, Ukraine spent that time training its hundreds of thousands of new recruits (from mobilisation) and equipping them with the vast quantity of NATO equipment supplied by the west.

    As a result, we are only now seeing the impact of these forces on the battlefield, with Russia losing ground on two major fronts on opposite sides of the theatre. And even now, all of the publicly available (open source) evidence suggests that Ukraine is using their new troops mostly to relieve more experienced troops in defensive holding areas and using their best troops to advance. Textbook stuff.

    Second, Wagner group is not remotely akin to Blackwater. Wagner is used as a front line / "elite" unit.

    So that's one paragraph of your multi-paragraph rambling screed, and almost everything you've said in it is either an easily disproven lie or we might charitably assume you just got it wrong, or that you're somehow only giving credence to Kremlin sources despite these lying continually about almost everything throughout the entire war. And that, again, is according to Russian sources, including within the military and political establishment.

    I'm not going to go through the rest of your garbage and pick it apart. I have a day job, for one reason, and for another I've done this on multiple of your posts in the past and you just ignore the facts and repeat the lies.

    But I do wonder what your true agenda is here because you are acting exactly like an "Internet Research Agency" employee, using the same sources and tactics.

  6. #466
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jampie View Post
    There is one source, and one source only, claiming that the "partial mobilisation" of 300k troops is only of reservists with prior training and that it's going well.... The Kremlin. Every other source, including numerous Russian sources, including on state television, is highlighting severe problems with the entire escapade. Posts to social media from "troops" who have been conscripted contradict the Kremlin narrative on this.
    Actually, even Russia state media indicates that it’s not going as smoothly as they hoped (as you’ve indicated) but that measures are being taken to rectify mistakes such that those who are ineligible (untrained as reservists, unfit, of disqualifying age, etc.) are not mobilized. Whether these mistakes get rectified or not, as claimed, remains to be seen. More importantly, whether these mistakes are of such a magnitude that the war is lost for the Russians and/or Putin is overthrown also remains to be seen. Of course yourself and a lot of western sources claim to believe that this means that the Russian war effort is necessarily doomed, but I prefer to wait and see.

    Interestingly though, we can see similar problems in Ukrain’s conscription efforts. Do their problems likewise doom the Ukrainian armed forced to ultimate defeat, or are the ardently pro-Ukrainian New York Times suddenly lying to support Putin?

    Here the NYT tells us:

    ‘A nationwide campaign is underway in Ukraine to recruit, register and draft men — a predictable response for a country at war. That campaign includes fanning out on the streets to find potential soldiers and issuing summonses ordering them to report to recruiting offices.
    But the effort, especially the street recruiting, is drawing accusations that it is secretive and arbitrary, that it violates the government’s own rules and that it sometimes drafts the unwilling while spurning the willing. It has also led to a cat-and-mouse game between recruiters and men trying to avoid them...

    A petition signed by more than 25,000 Ukrainians, the threshold for requiring President Volodymyr Zelensky to respond, requests a ban on issuing summonses at checkpoints, gas stations and other public places. It asks him to establish a transparent process for when people might be called up...

    Critics say that conscription has not been as selective as officials make it out to be, and that with the military in charge of recruitment, registration and drafting, the process is shrouded in secrecy, with little transparency about the standards applied to each step...

    There is also disillusionment with a system that turns away some who want to fight, while taking in others who are unwilling and unqualified...

    Last month, the Kyiv police chief, Ivan Vyhivskyi, said that police and military commissars raided two nightclubs that were violating curfew and issued 219 summonses for military registration to men they found there...

    [Sergeant Markus] wrote that soldiers and officers who put their lives on the line were demoralized by a chaotic recruitment process that drew draftees with poor qualifications or little inclination to serve. Sergeant Markus said he had personally faced situations where draftees’ alcoholism or other problems endangered other soldiers’ lives.

    (New York Times archived link used to bypass paywall):

    https://archive.ph/rwy4I

    Quote Originally Posted by Jampie View Post
    Second, while yes indeed Zelensky mobilised Ukraine on day one of the war, he absolutely did not send untrained troops into battle.
    Oh dear. It seems that you’re in sharp disagreement with some pro-Ukrainian western journalists and even pro-Ukrainian western institutions such as West Point. Here’s a smattering of examples that claim, contrary to your avid beliefs, that Ukrainian troops have been sent to the front line with little or no training:

    West Point:

    ‘The battalion commander shrugged helplessly when we advised him that five days was a completely inadequate amount of time in which to train his soldiers. “This is all we have—they are needed on the front,” he replied with grim finality. A few days later, on a separate course that we were running for his medics, half of our class disappeared on the second day... Even in units that fall within the Ukrainian special operations command, most soldiers are sent to the front line with very little training. In one such unit, we estimated that just 20 percent had even fired a weapon before heading to combat.’

    [andy6025’s note: Yikes! That’s only 2-5 days of training!]

    https://mwi.usma.edu/time-is-not-on-...on-in-ukraine/

    The Washington Post:

    ‘Stuck in their trenches, the Ukrainian volunteers lived off a potato per day as Russian forces pounded them with artillery and Grad rockets on a key eastern front line. Outnumbered, untrained and clutching only light weapons, the men prayed for the barrage to end — and for their own tanks to stop targeting the Russians [because it will give away their positions and the Russians will fire back]... Ukrainian leaders have projected and nurtured a public image of military invulnerability — of their volunteer and professional forces triumphantly standing up to the Russian onslaught.... But the experience of Lapko and his group of volunteers offers a rare and more realistic portrait of the conflict and Ukraine’s struggle to halt the Russian advance in parts of Donbas... They were handed AK-47 rifles and given training that lasted less than a half-hour.
    “We shot 30 bullets and then they said, ‘You can’t get more; too expensive,’ ” Lapko said... “We had no proper training,”

    [andy6025’s note: So now we have some training lasting from less than 30 minutes to 5 days.]

    (Washington Post archived link to avoid paywall):
    https://archive.ph/6UNwK

    The Times (UK):

    ‘Ivan received five days of training that consisted of being given a uniform, learning how to use a tourniquet, firing ten rounds from a machinegun and a lot of moving boxes and sitting around. Then he was deployed to Donbas in southeast Ukraine. All the men we interviewed said they wanted to fight to defend their country, but they felt that by being sent to the front in a war dominated by artillery and airstrikes with virtually no training, and with barely any idea how to use a gun, they were of no use to the war effort, and simply cannon fodder.

    (Archived link from The Times to avoid paywall):
    https://archive.ph/simqs

    NPR (National Public Radio - An American Public Broadcaster):

    ‘Young volunteers and recruits often enter the war with little training or preparation... “I enlisted on March 22, and by April 4, I was in Sievierodonetsk," says Oleksandr, a civil engineer by training who now works setting and clearing mines. "I had to learn everything."

    [andy6025’s note: this is remarkably better, but still less than 2 weeks].

    https://www.npr.org/2022/07/18/11121...njuries-morale

    Quote Originally Posted by Jampie View Post
    Second, Wagner group is not remotely akin to Blackwater. Wagner is used as a front line / "elite" unit.
    I was referring to the fact that Blackwater and Wagner are both “Private Military Companies” (PMS) rather than part of the government operated military systems, but if you want to argue that Wagner soldiers are more “Elite” than the now disbanded Blackwater company then it’s neither here nor there to me. I guess you missed the fact that I commented that, like Zalensky, Wagner was recruiting prisoners which might actually impair their quality, but if it’s good with you then it’s good with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jampie View Post
    But I do wonder what your true agenda is here because you are acting exactly like an "Internet Research Agency" employee, using the same sources and tactics.
    Oh dear. Out of curiosity, do you suspect that West Point, The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR are paid Russian agents as well? All lies I tell you!

    On a more optimistic note, it’s being reported that yesterday President Biden might be blinking first. He said that the US is looking for a way to give Putin an “off-ramp” while saving face and remaining in power in Russia. Bloomberg reports that ‘Biden said: “He [Putin] is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological and chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming,” Biden added. “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use tactical nuclear weapons and not end up with Armageddon.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ear-armageddon

    Maybe this means they can all get to the negotiating table and strike a deal that satisfies all parties.

    But then again, maybe Biden didn’t say that at all because, u know, Bloomberg news is full of paid Russian agents that are lying to us.

    Don’t forget to check under your bed tonight. There might be one hiding under there.

  7. #467
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    Lol!

    You accuse _me_ of using western mass media as my source, but then you do it.

    As I said, their narrative was wildly wrong about the war for the first several months. Now they're right: Russia is losing, Ukraine is winning.

    I doubt there will be any negotiation until the Feb 24th lines are re-established, and at this stage the loss of even Crimea is possible.

  8. #468
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jampie View Post
    Lol!

    You accuse _me_ of using western mass media as my source, but then you do it.

    As I said, their narrative was wildly wrong about the war for the first several months. Now they're right: Russia is losing, Ukraine is winning.

    I doubt there will be any negotiation until the Feb 24th lines are re-established, and at this stage the loss of even Crimea is possible.
    Let's hope so.

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    A lot of things happening in the conflict right now.

    Obviously the hit on the bridge today is the big one. The official story from Moscow is that it was a truck bomb, bit from security videos it looks like it was from a Ukrainian drone boat sent under the bridge. We'll have to wait and see, but in any case it's a big psychological blow, and a large amount of fuel was blown up (also railway presumably now unuseable) on the train that was passing over at the time.

    A less reported event (but you can find video of it on social media) is the Russian special internal police forcefully arresting a public relations head for Wagner.

    The head of Wagner, and so of course Wagner's PR channels too, have been very critical of the Russian defence minister Shoigu recently. This arrest is probably a warning from Shoigu not to overstep the mark.

    This is a split between the old guard, who seem to think the war is a bad idea and is unwinnable, and the new guard who are jostling for position if the old guard happen to be, ahem, put on indefinite gardening leave.

    Perhaps the least reported story, but maybe the most significant in some ways, is that the leader of Belarus has decided to fight inflation by banning price increases. This obviously won't work, and will just cause companies to stop making things it is not profitable to make for less than the price limit. Shortages for the masses and a $ black market for the elite will happen soon.

    Given that he is already hanging on to power by a thread (there was alleged widespread fraud at the last election and he had to call Putin's security services and Russian riot police to quell the protests), it will be interesting to see what happens there next.

  10. #470
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    Quote Originally Posted by drillerpie View Post
    A lot of things happening in the conflict right now.

    Obviously the hit on the bridge today is the big one. The official story from Moscow is that it was a truck bomb, bit from security videos it looks like it was from a Ukrainian drone boat sent under the bridge. We'll have to wait and see, but in any case it's a big psychological blow, and a large amount of fuel was blown up (also railway presumably now unuseable) on the train that was passing over at the time.

    A less reported event (but you can find video of it on social media) is the Russian special internal police forcefully arresting a public relations head for Wagner.

    The head of Wagner, and so of course Wagner's PR channels too, have been very critical of the Russian defence minister Shoigu recently. This arrest is probably a warning from Shoigu not to overstep the mark.

    This is a split between the old guard, who seem to think the war is a bad idea and is unwinnable, and the new guard who are jostling for position if the old guard happen to be, ahem, put on indefinite gardening leave.

    Perhaps the least reported story, but maybe the most significant in some ways, is that the leader of Belarus has decided to fight inflation by banning price increases. This obviously won't work, and will just cause companies to stop making things it is not profitable to make for less than the price limit. Shortages for the masses and a $ black market for the elite will happen soon.

    Given that he is already hanging on to power by a thread (there was alleged widespread fraud at the last election and he had to call Putin's security services and Russian riot police to quell the protests), it will be interesting to see what happens there next.
    They're heading for an internal putsch at best, civil war, second best or lashing out with no thought for tomorrow at worst. Very unstable situation with no way for Russia to just turn round and go home while Putin is in charge.

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