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U.S. troops are on high alert over the ongoing stand-off: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60118193

When I think about this, frankly, I wonder why exactly should Russia avoid rolling the tanks through Eastern Europe. Not just Ukraine. All over. Take over territories with puppet governments and exterminate all opposition.

What can the European militaries do? They're no match on the battlefield. Russia also controls Europe's energy resources to a significant extent. Their morale appears to be sky high as well.

What can the Americans do? The country is exhausted. Two decades of severe decline in both economic terms and foreign policy terms means that U.S. armed forces are an extremely weak shadow of themselves. Financially, the U.S. is also in a dicey situation, the treasury barely able to support domestic social programs let alone expansionary efforts abroad. The American people can't sacrifice any more, not that I can see, and won't support interventionism of any sort in the near future.

What are your thoughts?


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I think you're vastly underestimating the EU's military capabilities. Russia wouldn't be fighting just one country.

Not to mention the energy concerns would gladly be fulfilled by Saudi Arabia who would jump at the chance to move into what was one of Russia's major sources of income.

Russia loses more than it gains by attacking.


I think what you're missing is that the people of eastern Ukraine largely speak Russian and won't really mind very much being annexed by Russia.  So, there is not much resolve in Europe to have a hot war with Russia over the Ukraine.  In contrast, the people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithunia would not take kindly to getting annexed by Russia.


Nukes exist?


I kind of wonder. The Cold war was all about both sides having nukes and nobody dared to use them to avoid a total calamity of mutual sestruction.

But what if some side decides to say "Fuck it" and launches a surprise nuke attack. Will the others have the balls to retaliate directly?

Really, if Russia decides to nuke a few highly populated regions in western Europe all of a sudden killing millions of civilians, will it be of any use to nuke them back? Or will we just be all "Woah woah woah, lets not be hasty now."


That's a good point to bring up, and I really don't know what to think.


The Russian state says these are training exercises, so I suppose we want to respect that statement.  If Putin changes his mind and decides to annex Ukraine, it will be capacity for violence that will decide who is rightful sovereign of Ukraine.  I don't know a lot about the capacities for violence in that area.


A foreign nation murders millions of civilians in unprovoked attack and you really think there wouldn't be a nuclear response? The citizens of that country would probably riot and storm the government if they weren't avenged.

>Respect that statement
Russia isn't even hiding that this is a lie. Everyone in the West knows it's a lie. The lie is intended for Russians who will believe what their leaders say. They literally already stole Crimea! The idea that we should assume the best from Russia right now is baffling



>The idea that we should assume the best from Russia right now is baffling.
It's about respect.  States have the prerogative to create state-truth.  State-truth needn't conform to objective-truth or be logical.  Creating state-truth is part of why people create states, and people attack the disrespectful.



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If you are subject to Russian state-truth:

Following harsh treatment of ethnic Russians, parts of the Ukraine broke off into the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic.  Sadly these new nations are being harassed by Ukrainian forces, and Russians are preparing to come to their aid to maintain peace.

If you are subject to American state-truth:

Russia is invading Ukraine using various political covers.  Sanctions are being used, but I didn't read far enough to know if Western State Forces intend any active peacekeeping.  Probably just continued armament and munition aid to Ukraine.


> Sadly these new nations are being harassed by Ukrainian forces, and Russians are preparing to come to their aid to maintain peace.

It looks like it's actual warfare now in Kyev and other parts of Ukraine.

It's not just stationing soldiers to protect certain regions from aggression, but shelling and bombing of the rest of Ukraine as well.

Scary still.


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I'm reading a few books for background, trying to understand as best I can.  While no country is simple, Ukraine's attitude toward the invasion seems vastly negative.  Ukraine has problems with corruption and lawlessness among elites, but few look toward Russia for 'liberation.'  Putin's claim to be fighting Ukrainian Neo-Nazis bent on genocide -- well, you can evaluate probable veracity of that for yourself, I guess.

The bigger question: what's Putin's plan?  Is it:

a) Chaos.  Destabilize Ukraine, curb the Revolution of Dignity, engage in territory disputes to keep Ukraine from joining NATO.

b) Possibly (a) but also territorial acquisition -- to occupy and hold a significant portion of the country for as long it as takes for Ukrainians to bend to Putin's autocratic will.  Accepting this makes little economic sense in the short term.  (What do the Russian people think of this plan?)

c) Possibly a and b, but also grand empire building to extend beyond Ukraine.  World War III or a serious test of the possibility.


They've been pretty open that they want to change the government, probably to one more like in Belarus or Kazakhstan. The current Ukrainian government has never been acknowledged as legitimate and the 2014 coup was denounced as illegal and the current government as a dictatorship. That's when the whole "nazi" thing started, being used as a synonym for Ukrainian Americans and anti-Putin elements.
Pro-Western == Anti-Russian
Anti-Russian == Nazis



>pretty open that they want to change the government, probably to one more like in Belarus or Kazakhstan

I see.  Yes, I see articles saying Putin did a speech saying he does not consider Ukraine legitimate, especially after 2014, but it seems he considered it as having always been intended to be part of Russia, based on a particular view of history.

(Although, leaders are at liberty to say whatever they want, Putin speaks only Russian state-truth, which on the surface has no predictive validity.)

I've been reading Ukraine's Maidan, Russia's War: A Chronicle and Analysis of the Revolution of Dignity (Mychailo Wynnyckyj).  There was a mention that some of the violent actors and the snipers were of questionable origin, but the author insists the basic protests over corruption and lawlessness were grassroots.

The conspiracy that author brings up is the possibility that Russia wanted things to get worse in 2014 so the President could officially ask for military help from Russia.  It wouldn't have changed that Russia planned to invade, but would have provided better cover.

>Anti-Russian == Nazis
I see.  Like in American politics, can't hurt to label your opposition Nazis.


The article was presented entirely to provide insight. I happened to be in the West at the time of the uprising and recall that the western governments were completely fucking blindsided with politicians giving speeches that reminded me of being woken up in class when the teacher calls on you.

I would agree with your author. I think it has been fairly obvious since the 24th of February that the West does not have some enormous all-seeing subterfuge state in Eastern Europe. It's mostly bumbling around issues in the region it wasn't paying attention to earlier.

There's even more history around the word in Russia since the Great Patriotic War. The conflict is seen entirely as Nazi Germany Vs Russia, so anti-patriotic opinions are treated as pro-nazi opinions. Most Russians don't fall for the endless stream of bullshit but some people get invested in bullshit.



I gather Russian state-truth is now that the region of Ukraine has always been part of Russia -- some active police measures being required to purify it of Nazi influence and maintain peace and order.  I searched for a bit to find a complete map of the Russian borders according to Russia, but didn't see anything.

I believe US state-truth is Ukraine is a nation, giving it the right to consider Russia's actions invasion and respond to repel Russian forces.


Had to double check the date on the OP here.  It really doesn't hold up in hindsight.

>What are your thoughts?

I think Russia's ability to invade anything at all was vastly overestimated.  The morale of their armies was in fact not "sky high" but rather "rock bottom".  Some people think the success of the invasion is still ultimately inevitable, but Putin is not coming away from this with even a slight positive spin to any of it.  Even if he fully gets in there to annex the country, this has been a huge loss for Russia.


In retrospect, the assumption behind the original comment appears to be weirdly identical to that in the head of Putin. That the gamble would be worth it. Declaring war.

Events in the recent past have made it clear, yeah, that gamble really wasn't worth it.

I continue to be immensely surprised at the comparative weakness of the Russian forces, day by day.


People are already fearing that the use of chemical / biological weapons may follow soon and one might wonder if we're gonna see another nuke go off in our lifetime.

I seriously wonder what would happen if Russia says F#CK it and drops a nuke on Ukraine.                


Use of chemical and biological weapons has happened in world conflict since WWII, and the response has been minimal. There doesn't appear to be any particular logical reason to avoid using such weapons given the lack of punishment. I believe.

Nuclear weapons... though... there's a huge taboo for a reason... we'll see...

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