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Ukraine/Russian Conflict


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Anyone else worried about this? Putin playing brinkmanship brilliantly or a genuine prelude to war in Europe? It will have ghastly consequences. Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan is the obvious trigger. China will be licking their lips at Taiwan and maybe even the Korean peninsula. European / NATO weakness exposed again. No real point in America spending so much on military hardware if they're not going to use it. 

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21 minutes ago, Formby said:

Anyone else worried about this? Putin playing brinkmanship brilliantly or a genuine prelude to war in Europe? It will have ghastly consequences. Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan is the obvious trigger. China will be licking their lips at Taiwan and maybe even the Korean peninsula. European / NATO weakness exposed again. No real point in America spending so much on military hardware if they're not going to use it. 

Yup. I called Crimea as the start of WW3, it's just taken longer for plans to come to fruition. Also heard something worrying from a friend who works in government, but hopefully its just routine.

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4 minutes ago, Matt said:

Yup. I called Crimea as the start of WW3, it's just taken longer for plans to come to fruition. Also heard something worrying from a friend who works in government, but hopefully its just routine.

Can you share or is it Official Secrets Act stuff? 

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A few ex-KGB chiefs have apparently come out warning Putin of the consequences of invasion but he doesn't seem like the kind of man to be swayed. Very dangerous times. Hope common sense prevails but I really fear it won't do. 

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Just now, Formby said:

A few ex-KGB chiefs have apparently come out warning Putin of the consequences of invasion but he doesn't seem like the kind of man to be swayed. Very dangerous times. Hope common sense prevails but I really fear it won't do. 

He'll probably have them strapped to the front of the first tanks to cross the border.

Common sense already failed by making promises that could never be kept. This was inevitable.

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3 minutes ago, Matt said:

That's also not meant to cause panic. I tend to get lost in my brain and it escalates things that'll never happen; just the way brain works unfortunately, especially when exhausted. 

No problem - I think panic has already set in! Would feel slightly better if Biden and Johnson had an ounce of statesmenship and backbone between them.   

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5 minutes ago, Matt said:

He'll probably have them strapped to the front of the first tanks to cross the border.

Common sense already failed by making promises that could never be kept. This was inevitable.

And what a mesage that would send - doesn't bear thinking about.

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4 minutes ago, Formby said:

No problem - I think panic has already set in! Would feel slightly better if Biden and Johnson had an ounce of statesmenship and backbone between them.   

This is bigger than Ukraine though. If there isn't a stance, China look at the Koreas, Taiwan and waltz on over knowing there's "repercussions" that they simply don't seem to care about. 

I'm too tired, head is racing with all sorts and not doing anything good. Another friend is saying if it comes to it, their hardware doesn't stand a chance and there's always cutting the banking ties. It's all very Cuba feeling though, or at least what I've read about it. 

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I’m not to concerned having heard today the Germans have offered to donate 500 helmets to help Ukrainian fight the Russians off, absolute piss takers that will be seen as show of weakness to the Russians when the rest of Europe should be standing strong and defiant and sending troops into the Ukraine in there tens of thousands as the Russians have done in Belarus. I’m convinced with Putin you have to fight fire with fire it’s the only sort of language he understands.  

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I'm just a bit amazed at Russia's "red line," that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO, how in the world do they think they should be allowed to dictate to a separate sovereign state what they're allowed to do? They already have Nato states (Estonia, Latvia) bordering them; just don't get it, do they think Nato is going to invade?

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1 minute ago, MikeO said:

I'm just a bit amazed at Russia's "red line," that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO, how in the world do they think they should be allowed to dictate to a separate sovereign state what they're allowed to do? They already have Nato states (Estonia, Latvia) bordering them; just don't get it, do they think Nato is going to invade?

The parallels quotes with WW2 are quite accurate to be honest. Promises have been made and broken, so I get their anger at that. But it's all just an excuse to do what Putin wants. Got to be careful saying Russians here, this is like saying Germans were all Nazis. For sure Putin has his army but I can't believe the country is behind him when he rules by fear.  

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I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's newest book The Bomber Mafia, about the group of men from the US who revolutionized air warfare in WWII.

That, coupled with this recent Russia/Ukraine situation, got me thinking about how I have never really seen an old-fashioned "war" take place in my lifetime. I'm 34, so the closest I've seen is the Iraq invasion of 2003. I wasn't quite old enough to remember Desert Storm, so the Iraq/Afghanistan wars are my only real exposure to the "boots on the ground, troops invading" type of war. So much of the "war" I've seen in my lifetime (at least the war that makes the headlines) is that of suicide bombers, small militias, terrorist cells.

I honestly thought WW3 would never happen (still partially think that's true), mainly because the nature of warfare has entirely changed in the last 20-30 years. But now we have troops lined up ready to invade, and it feels very reminiscent of the wars that made up the 20th century.

I ultimately think Putin will back down in fears of escalating an all-out attack on Russia by the entire West, but who fucking knows anymore.

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47 minutes ago, dunlopp9987 said:

I ultimately think Putin will back down in fears of escalating an all-out attack on Russia by the entire West, but who fucking knows anymore.

I hope you're right! Do you think the American public would support an intervention in Ukraine by US forces? Has Biden got it in him to fight? Without America, the Ukraine is lost, I fear. Europe has neither the appetite nor the manpower to intervene without American backing.

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12 minutes ago, Formby said:

I hope you're right! Do you think the American public would support an intervention in Ukraine by US forces? Has Biden got it in him to fight? Without America, the Ukraine is lost, I fear. Europe has neither the appetite nor the manpower to intervene without American backing.

I think he'd be wary of it, especially with midterm elections coming up this year and Democrats looking like they're going to possibly lose both the House and the Senate. The last thing the electorate wants is to be entering into another war.

However if the administration feels like they could back Ukraine and push back Russia permanently by the time November comes, maybe they'd go for it.

Ultimately I hope they do whatever is best for the citizens of Ukraine and don't cow-tow to the politics of it all. Unfortunately that's the world we live in now.

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8 hours ago, dunlopp9987 said:

I think he'd be wary of it, especially with midterm elections coming up this year and Democrats looking like they're going to possibly lose both the House and the Senate. The last thing the electorate wants is to be entering into another war.

However if the administration feels like they could back Ukraine and push back Russia permanently by the time November comes, maybe they'd go for it.

Ultimately I hope they do whatever is best for the citizens of Ukraine and don't cow-tow to the politics of it all. Unfortunately that's the world we live in now.

True, the electorate won't want to enter another war. But running away from an old adversary also won't go down well. US not backing up its allies also has massive, far reaching implications; Ukraine is a litmus test. 

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11 hours ago, MikeO said:

I'm just a bit amazed at Russia's "red line," that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO, how in the world do they think they should be allowed to dictate to a separate sovereign state what they're allowed to do? They already have Nato states (Estonia, Latvia) bordering them; just don't get it, do they think Nato is going to invade?

But who made this conflict then? Why everyone thinks Russia will invade Ukraine?

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17 minutes ago, Haiku said:

But who made this conflict then? Why everyone thinks Russia will invade Ukraine?

Probably because they've got 100k troops and a load of heavy gear lined up on the border and have already invaded in recent history?

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46 minutes ago, Haiku said:

But who made this conflict then? Why everyone thinks Russia will invade Ukraine?

This is all central to the Minsk11 agreement which was brokered in 2015 by France and Germany there was 13 points that needed to be implemented which haven’t been done by Ukraine and the separatist that annexed Crimea. 
The separatists who are not Russia but Russian backed believe that one of the 13 points gains them a seat in the Ukrainian Parliament, which means they would have a veto to stop all Ukrainian foreign policies, one being a full membership of NATO Ukraine dispute this as they see NATO as the only real defence from Russian aggression now and in the future. 
It’s all pretty complicated and the French and Germans have pretty much fucked up by allowing to many of the points to be construed differently by both sides.  
But instead of backing Ukraine in there interpretation of the agreement they are backing the separatists and the Russians by saying after the meeting with Putin that they need to implement Minsk11 fully giving power to the Russians to control Ukrainian foreign policies, the Ukrainians said no were are an independent country and won’t give up political control of their country. 

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1 hour ago, Palfy said:

This is all central to the Minsk11 agreement which was brokered in 2015 by France and Germany there was 13 points that needed to be implemented which haven’t been done by Ukraine and the separatist that annexed Crimea. 
The separatists who are not Russia but Russian backed believe that one of the 13 points gains them a seat in the Ukrainian Parliament, which means they would have a veto to stop all Ukrainian foreign policies, one being a full membership of NATO Ukraine dispute this as they see NATO as the only real defence from Russian aggression now and in the future. 
It’s all pretty complicated and the French and Germans have pretty much fucked up by allowing to many of the points to be construed differently by both sides.  
But instead of backing Ukraine in there interpretation of the agreement they are backing the separatists and the Russians by saying after the meeting with Putin that they need to implement Minsk11 fully giving power to the Russians to control Ukrainian foreign policies, the Ukrainians said no were are an independent country and won’t give up political control of their country. 

It goes back further though, look at the whole 1997 story. Whilst Putin has been proven wrong on his belief promises were broken, the semantics of the agreement are really easy to interpret in different ways (from what I've scanned through). This isn't French and German cockup, this is a collective NATO cockup. 

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1 minute ago, Matt said:

It goes back further though, look at the whole 1997 story. Whilst Putin has been proven wrong on his belief promises were broken, the semantics of the agreement are really easy to interpret in different ways (from what I've scanned through). This isn't French and German cockup, this is a collective NATO cockup. 

Americans have just released a statement saying that they believe the attack will take place at 1:00am tomorrow, and what’s the rest of the world going to do, stand idly by and impose sanctions how fucking futile is that. 

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1 hour ago, Palfy said:

Americans have just released a statement saying that they believe the attack will take place at 1:00am tomorrow, and what’s the rest of the world going to do, stand idly by and impose sanctions how fucking futile is that. 

Take the money away from them I guess. Cut SWIFT ties, freeze all the bank accounts, the gas line. Physical confrontation was alway going to be unlikely from a western perspective.

 

1 hour ago, Hafnia said:

my feeling is that Russia are testing western unity, i'm not really up on politics and history but I certainly feel that America really need to stand firm along with Europe.

That's my hope for the current situation. Putin has gone all Joker, doing very little but getting a lot of people really stressed out. 

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3 hours ago, Palfy said:

Americans have just released a statement saying that they believe the attack will take place at 1:00am tomorrow, and what’s the rest of the world going to do, stand idly by and impose sanctions how fucking futile is that. 

It would be very odd if the Russians did attack at that time! 'Okay, Vladimir, the US says we will attack at 1. Let's call their bluff, comrade!'

NATO will wring its collective hands and freeze Russian assets, but so what, Ukraine's oil fields will be in Russian hands within weeks. Biden hasn't the mental capacity to deliver a speech, never mind a military response.

Europe is so ineffectual, it's embarrassing. Why on Earth are we still dependent on Russian gas supplies??? 

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I don't think that this is necessarily the start of all out war, but I do think that if Russia takes over Ukraine they'll potentially look to strengthen further by taking countries that are next door, such as Georgia (which in turn will force major action, and potentially WWIII).

I'm not massively into politics, and haven't really dug too deep into the whole Russia/Ukraine scenario but it does worry me (especially with a little one now) how unbelievably fucked the world seems to be; Covid, Johnson, Biden/Trump, Russia/Ukraine etc. It's worrying.

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5 minutes ago, Zoo 2.0 said:

I don't think that this is necessarily the start of all out war, but I do think that if Russia takes over Ukraine they'll potentially look to strengthen further by taking countries that are next door, such as Georgia (which in turn will force major action, and potentially WWIII).

I'm not massively into politics, and haven't really dug too deep into the whole Russia/Ukraine scenario but it does worry me (especially with a little one now) how unbelievably fucked the world seems to be; Covid, Johnson, Biden/Trump, Russia/Ukraine etc. It's worrying.

I agree mate it is worrying what type of world we are bringing our kids into, and we seem helpless in being able to make the changes needed to change the directions we seem to be heading into. 

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3 hours ago, Zoo 2.0 said:

I don't think that this is necessarily the start of all out war, but I do think that if Russia takes over Ukraine they'll potentially look to strengthen further by taking countries that are next door, such as Georgia (which in turn will force major action, and potentially WWIII).

I'm not massively into politics, and haven't really dug too deep into the whole Russia/Ukraine scenario but it does worry me (especially with a little one now) how unbelievably fucked the world seems to be; Covid, Johnson, Biden/Trump, Russia/Ukraine etc. It's worrying.

I'm right there with you. I love politics but usually feel they are mostly smoke and mirrors; however, the politics  around this situation have felt more personal, and the thought of a world war is pretty terrifying, especially when you consider nuclear destruction is a possibility. 

My daughter is 6 going on 7, and I'm so worried she won't get to have a normal childhood. It's probably something all parents have felt at some point I guess. As an American, I don't really like the thought of my country taking the lead on something like this, because it makes it more likely that my family could be in danger. I get it though. 

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1 minute ago, Matt said:

If the withdrawals are actually happening, this was tactically very clever from Putin. He'll have gotten so much information on how the West will act and must be licking his lips. 

Ukraine need to join nato.  Play hardball with the prick. 

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As it happens, I've been reading a lot of late about WW-II, the history and politics on both sides of the conflict. There are many relevant lessons.

First, I think President Biden and his team have done a superb job. Yes, I know others have joked, but his team have learned lessons from WWII for sure. Germany took advantage of appeasement, and there's no appeasement here. Germany created/faked incidents to justify invasion, and the Biden team have clearly pursued an approach to overcome that: use intelligence to publicize every such attempt. Also, Germany claimed it had no aggression while pursuing aggression. Biden and NATO have made clear the discrepancy between words and actions. I would repeat: Biden and his team have proved their worth. Thank goodness the former idiot president is not still in the White House; he'd have traded Ukraine for Greenland.

Second, President Biden has managed to keep NATO united. Remember how his predecessor played right into Putin's hands by destabilizing NATO? Without US support, NATO would be much weaker right now. Once again, all credit to President Biden.

Third, America joined WWI late and WWII late, and only joined when its own interests were threatened. This was, in both cases, because of isolationism in the US. President Biden made earlier this week a very good speech where he made clear that the defence of democracy requires tough stances: He's not played the self-interest card but has once again allied himself with other democratic nations. Well done.

The problem, as I see it, is that Putin has forced himself into a corner and has no way out without appearing to be weak. The only way to avoid war right now is to find a path whereby he can claim some sort of victory to his people. Of course, Ukraine could sign a treaty to the effect that it will never join NATO, but why should it? This would only weaken its position in future years. I'm struggling to find a face-saving option for Russia right now, which means war is, unfortunately, very likely to happen. But, if limited and brief, maybe it will lead to a face-saving scenario that's not currently in sight.

Frankly, though, Russia would be fools to invade. They'll pay a high price for doing so.

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I don’t believe Putin is looking for a face saving way out I believe he is looking for more reasons  to justify an attack. America have said if he does attack they aren’t going retaliate by force but by sanctions, quite frankly that’s the equivalent of taking a feather pillow to an argument with Mike Tyson, that threat didn’t stop them when taking the Crimea in fact the  advice given to the Ukraine was not to retaliate by force. Russia are in a far stronger financial position than they were ten years or more ago any sanctions will hurt the rest of Europe as much as it would hurt them, plus once they attack they will have the support of the Chinese to help prop up their economy, bringing the threat of a Russian Chinese coalition ever closer which would be the worst thing that could happen to the west, so the threat of sanctions maybe minimal to stop that happening. The attack imo is inevitable and will take place after the Winter Olympics unless NATO countries mobilise troops into the Ukraine now then he will have a genuine threat to consider and halt him. 

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On 18/02/2022 at 01:45, Cornish Steve said:

First, I think President Biden and his team have done a superb job.

Not according to Ukraine's Prime Minister just now. He's delivered a withering attack on NATO for its ridiculous and pusillanimous appeasement campaign. He's calling for NATO membership and I don't blame him. Europe's response - utterly pathetic. America? Just like Afghanistan, Biden turns tail - with the largest military capability the world has ever known. No one sane wants war - it makes corpses of us all. Putin is pushing the bayonet in. He'll keep doing that till he meets resistance. The tragedy is, there is none.

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This isn’t specific to this forum but:
 

I see some criticizing the USA for not being involved enough; we have the military might and should step in.

Then there are others who want us to stay out, because we’ve flexed our military on so many occasions, and this is just another time for us to do that and have no business doing so. 
 

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
 

Personally, I like hearing Biden say we won’t put boots on the ground and will provide aid to Ukraine in other ways. I’m tired of being in constant wars, whether it be for selfish or noble reasons. Take your pick. 

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8 hours ago, Sibdane said:

This isn’t specific to this forum but:
 

I see some criticizing the USA for not being involved enough; we have the military might and should step in.

Then there are others who want us to stay out, because we’ve flexed our military on so many occasions, and this is just another time for us to do that and have no business doing so. 
 

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
 

Personally, I like hearing Biden say we won’t put boots on the ground and will provide aid to Ukraine in other ways. I’m tired of being in constant wars, whether it be for selfish or noble reasons. Take your pick. 

Whilst I agree with all that, there's 1 big difference here; this would be about supporting allies, not going after oil under false pretences. Not something the US has a good history of until the last minute (and even then only because the US was attacked). 

Gets scarier every day. 

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17 minutes ago, Matt said:

Whilst I agree with all that, there's 1 big difference here; this would be about supporting allies, not going after oil under false pretences. Not something the US has a good history of until the last minute (and even then only because the US was attacked). 

Gets scarier every day. 

This is absolutely the point. Well said.

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11 hours ago, Sibdane said:

Personally, I like hearing Biden say we won’t put boots on the ground and will provide aid to Ukraine in other ways. I’m tired of being in constant wars, whether it be for selfish or noble reasons. Take your pick. 

I totally undertand your point. Setting aside Matt's important point above, America's geopolitical and economic interests are not well served by an isolationist policy. The defence budget needs paying for, so arms sales and the odd war here and there help sustain it. The American economy would look very different if you were to adopt a Swiss style neutrality. But then, so would the world. I do not think Russia or China would have the slighest qualms about annnexing territory if you removed America as a superpower. The idea of America being the upholder of the free world, despite the own goals, the proxy wars, the CIA backed toppling of regimes, still stands. We would all be poorer without it.

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4 hours ago, Matt said:

Whilst I agree with all that, there's 1 big difference here; this would be about supporting allies, not going after oil under false pretences. Not something the US has a good history of until the last minute (and even then only because the US was attacked). 

Gets scarier every day. 

I don’t disagree. It just gets annoying being both the bad guy and the guy who is supposed to step in. The USA will remain a key player regardless. 

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I understand the Americans maybe tired of war’s but if there was ever a war to be involved in surely it’s trying to stop Russia invading Ukraine even if it means troops on the ground, this is far more important than the oil in Iraqi or hunting the Taliban or extremist in Afghanistan. Americans need to realise it’s Ukraine first and if no military intervention where next, in a few years the rest of Eastern Europe and further, before you know it you’ve lost your allies and alliances and the buffer of Europe, what American politicians should do is maybe pick there wars for the right reasons, like stopping one of there biggest enemies from  invading one of it’s allies and breaking European and NATO resolve. I didn’t understand why Biden felt the need to publicly say America won’t be putting feet on the ground, that did Ukraine and the rest of Europe no favours at all and left the door unlocked for the Russians.  

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48 minutes ago, Palfy said:

I understand the Americans maybe tired of war’s but if there was ever a war to be involved in surely it’s trying to stop Russia invading Ukraine even if it means troops on the ground, this is far more important than the oil in Iraqi or hunting the Taliban or extremist in Afghanistan. Americans need to realise it’s Ukraine first and if no military intervention where next, in a few years the rest of Eastern Europe and further, before you know it you’ve lost your allies and alliances and the buffer of Europe, what American politicians should do is maybe pick there wars for the right reasons, like stopping one of there biggest enemies from  invading one of it’s allies and breaking European and NATO resolve. I didn’t understand why Biden felt the need to publicly say America won’t be putting feet on the ground, that did Ukraine and the rest of Europe no favours at all and left the door unlocked for the Russians.  

A lot of the old Eastern European nations are NATO members though (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, North Macedonia, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia), so their expansion would be limited by that; if they went into one of those that's WW3.

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13 minutes ago, MikeO said:

A lot of the old Eastern European nations are NATO members though (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, North Macedonia, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia), so their expansion would be limited by that; if they went into one of those that's WW3.

I think that’s why Putin wants to strike now… Ukraine isn’t apart of NATO(yet), and attacking them before they gain membership keeps other a lot of other countries out of the equation. 

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1 hour ago, MikeO said:

A lot of the old Eastern European nations are NATO members though (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, North Macedonia, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia), so their expansion would be limited by that; if they went into one of those that's WW3.

You’re right the above are members of NATO Ukraine and Georgia aren’t, America France and Germany have been in opposition to them joining for decades and it must be said one of the Presidents of Ukraine was also opposed to joining, and since Crimea was annexed they haven’t let the Ukraine join because they haven’t got control of all their borders. I just don’t believe the Americans have got the stomach for the fight when it comes to countries of great power, and if say Bulgaria was attacked I don’t believe they would take military action and defend them. 
What I find concerning is that if Russia attack Ukraine it won’t stop there Putin’s agenda is to try and recreate the old USSR it’s something he’s dreamed of since being in power.  

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3 minutes ago, Palfy said:

You’re right the above are members of NATO Ukraine and Georgia aren’t, America France and Germany have been in opposition to them joining for decades and it must be said one of the Presidents of Ukraine was also opposed to joining, and since Crimea was annexed they haven’t let the Ukraine join because they haven’t got control of all their borders. I just don’t believe the Americans have got the stomach for the fight when it comes to countries of great power, and if say Bulgaria was attacked I don’t believe they would take military action and defend them. 
What I find concerning is that if Russia attack Ukraine it won’t stop there Putin’s agenda is to try and recreate the old USSR it’s something he’s dreamed of since being in power.  

You’re so wrong if you think we don’t have the stomach to fight. Russia would be crushed by us, and they know it.  

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3 minutes ago, Sibdane said:

You’re so wrong if you think we don’t have the stomach to fight. Russia would be crushed by us, and they know it.  

Good I hope I’m wrong, so why don’t America and Europe say to Putin attack Ukraine and we will defend them with the same force used against them for me that would make it just. 

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Let me expand a little on why I believe the Biden administration has done an excellent job so far.

Hitler's strategy, time and again, was to (i) claim that native Germans were being oppressed; (ii) blamed neighboring countries for war-mongering; (iii) staged an event as excuse for going in; (iv) used that event as pretext for an attack/occupation. This is what happened in Austria, in Sudetenland, in Poland, ... (The example of Poland was very cruel. The Nazis rounded up prisoners from concentration camps, dressed them in Polish uniforms, killed them with lethal injections of poison, had them shot as if casualties, had SS soldiers seize a radio station and claim to be Polish soldiers, and then invaded.) What's changed since the 1930s that could have thwarted these actions? First, there's satellite imaging; second, there's instant global communication.

Putin attempted the same approach: (i) claimed that Russians in Ukraine are facing genocide; (ii) blamed Ukraine for war-mongering; (iii) staged an event involving its allies in eastern Ukraine; (iv) is threatening to use that event as pretext for an attack/occupation. What have the Americans done? Used satellite images to reveal the real aggressor and shared intelligence to predict what Putin would do. Staging an event in eastern Ukraine, and hearing Russian statements about genocide against them, now rings hollow because the American president and Secretary of State revealed a week ago that this is exactly what Russia would do. They've used satellite and intelligence information to undermine the Russian messaging - and I think that's been quite clever.

Four years ago, Putin saw an opportunity to split NATO by encouraging President Trump to threaten funding, question NATO's value, and adopt a caustic attitude toward the leaders of NATO countries. If this situation with Ukraine had happened back then, NATO might have disintegrated as an effective force. In less than 18 months, President Biden has reversed that trend. I suspect that Putin thought the cracks still existed, but instead he's facing a united NATO. In fact, his actions has led to the complete opposite result than he anticipated: America and others are calling his bluff. What is he going to do now?

This is very opposite of appeasement. The West has learned its lesson. I'm yet to be convinced that America has learned its lesson about the folly of isolationism, but all credit to a president that's not waiting to find out but is taking the lead. I only hope that most Americans will follow - despite the predictable harping we're already hearing from Trumpists.

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6 hours ago, Palfy said:

Good I hope I’m wrong, so why don’t America and Europe say to Putin attack Ukraine and we will defend them with the same force used against them for me that would make it just. 

I have no doubt that the USA will step in physically, if needed, but Europe as a whole needs to step up and and defend themselves too. 

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5 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

Let me expand a little on why I believe the Biden administration has done an excellent job so far.

Hitler's strategy, time and again, was to (i) claim that native Germans were being oppressed; (ii) blamed neighboring countries for war-mongering; (iii) staged an event as excuse for going in; (iv) used that event as pretext for an attack/occupation. This is what happened in Austria, in Sudetenland, in Poland, ... (The example of Poland was very cruel. The Nazis rounded up prisoners from concentration camps, dressed them in Polish uniforms, killed them with lethal injections of poison, had them shot as if casualties, had SS soldiers seize a radio station and claim to be Polish soldiers, and then invaded.) What's changed since the 1930s that could have thwarted these actions? First, there's satellite imaging; second, there's instant global communication.

Putin attempted the same approach: (i) claimed that Russians in Ukraine are facing genocide; (ii) blamed Ukraine for war-mongering; (iii) staged an event involving its allies in eastern Ukraine; (iv) is threatening to use that event as pretext for an attack/occupation. What have the Americans done? Used satellite images to reveal the real aggressor and shared intelligence to predict what Putin would do. Staging an event in eastern Ukraine, and hearing Russian statements about genocide against them, now rings hollow because the American president and Secretary of State revealed a week ago that this is exactly what Russia would do. They've used satellite and intelligence information to undermine the Russian messaging - and I think that's been quite clever.

Four years ago, Putin saw an opportunity to split NATO by encouraging President Trump to threaten funding, question NATO's value, and adopt a caustic attitude toward the leaders of NATO countries. If this situation with Ukraine had happened back then, NATO might have disintegrated as an effective force. In less than 18 months, President Biden has reversed that trend. I suspect that Putin thought the cracks still existed, but instead he's facing a united NATO. In fact, his actions has led to the complete opposite result than he anticipated: America and others are calling his bluff. What is he going to do now?

This is very opposite of appeasement. The West has learned its lesson. I'm yet to be convinced that America has learned its lesson about the folly of isolationism, but all credit to a president that's not waiting to find out but is taking the lead. I only hope that most Americans will follow - despite the predictable harping we're already hearing from Trumpists.

Military strategy takes years. I imagine Putin was planning this while Trump was President, and Trump’s departure didn’t match his plans. I bet it’s been a pretty large bottleneck actually. 

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9 hours ago, Sibdane said:

Military strategy takes years. I imagine Putin was planning this while Trump was President, and Trump’s departure didn’t match his plans. I bet it’s been a pretty large bottleneck actually. 

Putin will have been planning and has been probing for well over a decade. 

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18 hours ago, Sibdane said:

I have no doubt that the USA will step in physically, if needed, but Europe as a whole needs to step up and and defend themselves too. 

Well Germany have done their bit.  They sent 5,000 steel helmets to Ukraine.

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In the West, we just assume that democracy is the only real and sensible form of government, and we condemn other forms. The truth is that different cultures lend themselves to different forms, and Russia seems to struggle with democracy. Their culture demands a strong man approach, and Putin has taken full advantage.

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24 minutes ago, Cornish Steve said:

In the West, we just assume that democracy is the only real and sensible form of government, and we condemn other forms. The truth is that different cultures lend themselves to different forms, and Russia seems to struggle with democracy. Their culture demands a strong man approach, and Putin has taken full advantage.

Russia hasn’t had a fair crack at democracy for well over a hundred years, and those who desire a democratic society  are either killed or sent to Siberian labour camps with most never leaving a live. Is this what their culture demands because that’s the reality of the strong man approach you seem to think they deserve. 

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On 18/02/2022 at 05:11, Palfy said:

The attack imo is inevitable and will take place after the Winter Olympics...

When you posted that I thought, "yup" and you were right.

Country that can't even compete under their own name due to government sponsored cheating still had to see out the pretence.

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8 hours ago, Palfy said:

Russia hasn’t had a fair crack at democracy for well over a hundred years, and those who desire a democratic society  are either killed or sent to Siberian labour camps with most never leaving a live. Is this what their culture demands because that’s the reality of the strong man approach you seem to think they deserve. 

Deserve?! Steve's point is completely accurate in assessment.

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  • MikeO changed the title to Ukraine/Russian Conflict

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