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9 hours ago, wrighty said:

I can’t remember if I saw it here or elsewhere, but the Donbas situation has been compared to Northern Ireland. What I don’t understand is, is Putin equivalent to Gerry Adams or Margaret Thatcher?

Gerry Thatcher...

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9 hours ago, Chinahand said:

Ha, wasn't an Irish Taioshioc or however it is spelt prosecuted for gun running into the North. 

Charles Haughey TD, before he first became An Taoiseach 

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10 hours ago, wrighty said:

I can’t remember if I saw it here or elsewhere, but the Donbas situation has been compared to Northern Ireland. What I don’t understand is, is Putin equivalent to Gerry Adams or Margaret Thatcher?

Question is, will they voice-over Putin. 

It's a fairly accurate comparison.  There are lots of pro-Russians in that area.  I know a couple of guys that have been active out there for the last 5 or so years with Azov.  Very much been a hot war, but virtually unreported by the West. Mostly trench warfare weirdly reminiscent of WW1 which is a coincidence as the Russian doctrine currently appears to be from WW2. 

I heard last night that when the Ukrainians are firing the NLAWs and Javelins supplied by Britain, they're chanting "God save the Queen".  Best thing I've heard in a while.  

 

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Lots of opinions about just now about how this could be brought to an end. With the Russians now stalled it looks bad for both sides. Combat is a nasty, dirty, miserable business and a war of attrition is combat at it's very worst and a fight the Ukrainians can only lose. Along with a lot of their people and towns and cities destroyed.

Mind you, it looks bad for Putin too. He needed a quick victory that has now been stymied by stiff Ukrainian resistance and command and control failures. The terrain is also against them. The Dneiper river makes an assault on Kyiv very difficult to co-ordinate and splits the country in two.

The Russians have stated they will reduce their activity around Kyiv and Kharkiv. This should concern the ZSU. The Russians have achieved one of their stated objectives which is a land route to Crimea. They still have to secure the Donbas region which is being faced-off by a lot Ukrainian forces. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that with freed-off forces from Kyiv they could mass to the East of Kharkiv and then strike South in conjunction other forces coming North to try and encircle the Ukrainians who have been holding the Eastern border for some 5 or 6 years.

If successful it would bring the whole sorry mess to an end and give Putin his victory.

Mind you, no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy...

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Getting really serious again.  Putin insists existing contracts have now to be in Rubles.  Germany says no.

Energy crisis is on its way.

Rhetoric full of statements about unfriendly states.

Really high stakes games being played.

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26 minutes ago, Chinahand said:

Getting really serious again.  Putin insists existing contracts have now to be in Rubles.  Germany says no.

Energy crisis is on its way.

Rhetoric full of statements about unfriendly states.

Really high stakes games being played.

I think you are getting a bit carried away China...

Whilst Putin is demanding payments for gas in Roubles it appears that Germany and Austria have activated emergency plans to reduce reliance on Russian Gas.

Additionally the intermediary identified seems to allow Western Governments some scope to continue to buy gas from Russia, however, I hope they stand their ground.  The G7 countries appear to be doing to do so.  Buying in Roubles only helps prop up the Russia economy and war machine.  

The rhetoric about unfriendly states is just that.  If he wanted friends on the global stage then he should not have sanctioned the invasion of another sovereign nation.  (I know that Western countries have done so in the past as well and I didn't agree with their actions then).

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On 3/28/2022 at 10:49 PM, manxman1980 said:

Ever heard of diplomacy?  If Russia really had evidence of the allegations it has made why did it not bring pressure via the UN? 

This war is all about Putins legacy and desire to re-establish Russian control and authority in the ex-ussr countries.

Allegations? I wasn't talking about any allegations.

If you think this is part of a some plan to control Eastern Europe, what leads you to think that? It certainly isn't going to be possible. It couldn't happen.  That really would start a massive war that Russia would not risk.

Russia wouldnt be able to easily control the Ukraine alone, nevermind other European countries too. Even if they weren't NATO countries, Russia doesn't have the economic power to fund a long-term limited war without also suffering serious economic consequences.

And the benefits wouldn't be that compelling either.

 

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7 hours ago, La_Dolce_Vita said:

Allegations? I wasn't talking about any allegations.

So you have solid evidence that Zelenskey and his Government are neo Nazi's and commiting genocide of ethnic Russians in the disputed areas of Ukraine?

These are the allegations Putin has levelled at the Ukrainian Government to justify is "special operations".

7 hours ago, La_Dolce_Vita said:

If you think this is part of a some plan to control Eastern Europe, what leads you to think that? It certainly isn't going to be possible. It couldn't happen.  That really would start a massive war that Russia would not risk.

Russia wouldnt be able to easily control the Ukraine alone, nevermind other European countries too. Even if they weren't NATO countries, Russia doesn't have the economic power to fund a long-term limited war without also suffering serious economic consequences.

And the benefits wouldn't be that compelling either.

 

Who said it would be easy?  People who have met Putin have commented that he seems on the surface to be a stable presence and open to working with the West but in fact that he rather pines for the days of the USSR and would like nothing more than to, in his eyes, reunify Russian states and territories. 

Putin still has an awful lot of soft power.  Belarus is particular is a puppet state but his reach extends to Orban in Hungary as well.  

Have you noticed that the UK Government has buried the report on Russian interference with UK elections and referendums.  Make of that what you will...

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15 hours ago, La_Dolce_Vita said:

f you think this is part of a some plan to control Eastern Europe, what leads you to think that? It certainly isn't going to be possible. It couldn't happen. 

Erm - THE BALTIC STATES etc?

Estonia and Latvia have large ethnic Russian minorities, with about 24% and 27% of the general population respectively, while Lithuania’s Russian population falls just under 6%.

You do get that Putin is an ethno-Russian Nationalist who sees the lands of the Russian people being far larger than the current international borders of Russia.  Belorussia, Ukraine (Putin just thinks of it as the ukraine [deliberate non-capitalisation]) Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - even significant portions of Finland - Putin thinks these belong to a Greater Russia - an Orthodox empire created by the Czars, ruled by the Soviet Union and which slipped from Russia's grasp in "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century".

The whole reason NATO is seriously worried, why the UK has established the Joint Expeditionary Force [with Neutral Sweden an active member] IS to deter Russia's aspirations to expand Russian influence into these areas.

Estonia and Latvia are particularly worried that political instability could be spread within its ethnic Russian population with this moving onto the street and suddenly Little green men appearing to "help" keep the Russian population from being attacked.

I'm very glad NATO planners etc don't have your confidence that it couldn't happen.  It needs deterrence to ensure it doesn't happen. To paraphrase Orwell:

  People sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.

The Baltic States are very relieved that there is genuine deterrence protecting it.  Do you really think that isn't necessary?

image.png.17d6e711661737dfba5f021b877bc301.png

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Does anybody now believe that if CND had had their way and the West had disarmed itself of its nuclear deterrent, Russia would not have come visiting us...?

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On 4/1/2022 at 4:00 PM, Chinahand said:

 

Estonia and Latvia are particularly worried that political instability could be spread within its ethnic Russian population with this moving onto the street and suddenly Little green men appearing to "help" keep the Russian population from being attacked.

 

Funnily enough I've had to compete for business a few times over the last 5 years with Estonia.  I jokingly (at the time) told the clients that the possibility of Putin invading the IOM was pretty slim. 

Finland looks like it's very close to joining NATO now. 

And on a slightly lighter note, the first Ukrainian refugees have arrived here.  Family connections apparently and they've been given full leave to remain for 3 years, which means they can work, access NHS, schools etc.  Good luck to them.

Slava Ukraini!

Edited by The Phantom
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Regarding the rationale for the invasion of Ukraine and the East/Donbas specifically.

The original plan was to hit the East and take Kyiv simultaneously.  Taking Kyiv would have put the nail in the coffin for the whole country, which would have allowed the easy occupation of the East. 

But why does Russia want the Donbas region/Eastern Ukraine?

1) Pro-Russians in that region.  As widely reported and seems to be the generally accepted rationale. 

However, little seems to be reported upon the other reasons:

2) Steel Donbas is the Coal/Iron Ore and therefore Steel capital of Ukraine and Eastern Europe.  Russia's steel industry is big, but not as big as you may expect.  It has also stagnated over the last 5 years with little increase or development.  Easy solution is to take control of a significant industry nearby. 

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

3) Water Little reported, but Crimea's main source of fresh water is a canal that comes from Ukraine.  Following the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine understandably damned this.  Results are that Crimea is experiencing significant desertification and agriculture is being abandoned.  Russia has already spent significant amounts building de-salination plants, but they aren't enough. 

https://www.rferl.org/a/pray-for-rain-crimea-s-dry-up-a-headache-for-moscow-dilemma-for-kyiv/30515986.html

One of the first things the Russians have done on their expansion out of Crimea is to unblock the dam.  This is likely only temporary however before Ukraine finds a way to stop the flow again.

4) Gas In 2010 a gas field was discovered in Ukraine that is the second largest in Europe.  The implications of this are quite obvious.

https://hir.harvard.edu/ukraine-energy-reserves/

5) Export of the above Lastly the South then comes into play.  Russia wants a land bridge from Crimea to Eastern Ukraine, helping with the exports of resources etc from the East. If successful they would therefore realistically also control all access to the Sea of Azov and all the significant Northern Ports to the Black Sea. 

War: If it's not religion, it's probably resources.  

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Greetings from Poland. I like to read your texts on Russian aggression on Ukraine as I am curious your opinions and points of view. 

Just want to add that supposed 'rationale' of this invasion is overwhelmed by barbarian, medieval-style violence of so called Russian 'soldiers'. Looks like the final goal is also genocide leading to decimation of Ukrainian nation. We haven't seen such a number of psychopathic murderers and sadistic deviants in Europe since the war in former Yugoslavia. Just someone could say - get these murderers off the Ukraine and Europe. So sad!

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