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I get a sense of political sentiments on Facebook usually, as it's the site most regular folks seem to use to express these kinds of opinions.  So sometimes you click down to the comments section of news stories.  In these two news stories, I looked at about 30 comments and quickly put them in categories.  I believe they are roughly representative of what I see on Facebook on other stories.  Russia seems to have a fair amount of support.  I come from a little different perspective sentimentally, but perhaps I can ask some open ended questions here to try to understand better and overcome my biases.

Please, if you like, answer which best describes your sense of the Russo-Ukrainian War, especially as escalated a month ago.

a) There is no such war, or there is no reliable way of affirming any significant military force is being used, has been used since 2014, or will be used by Russians in Ukraine.

b) There is some conflict, but it's not significant because Western nations have done so much worse.

c) The conflict is real, but Ukraine is not a legitimate state, so it is really a conflict with Western forces that are attacking Russia through the Ukraine territory, attacking Russians in that territory, or hurting innocents in horrible ways.  The West's evil started this war, basically.

d) The conflict is real, Ukraine is a state, but Russia is responding in self defense to Ukrainian aggression or general evil.  (It is rare to see people believe Ukraine is sufficiently independent for this to be true, but I'll make it an option anyway.)

e) The conflict is real, Ukraine is real, and Russia is the instigator invading a sovereign nation.

What I'd like, if possible, is amplifying information as to why you have your opinion, since I can already access volumes of opinions elsewhere, but they are rather short and repetitive.


I am well aware that every news that comes to me can be presented that way to me by Western nations. maybe there's not a war at all and it's all just fiction.

But honestly, I think the war is real, Russia shouldn't be there.

I find it troublesome to reflect on the past wars, like Iraq and Syria and other Middle eastern business, but it's hard to go back on those.

I suppose if you really have the guts, you can travel to Mariupol and see for yourself.


Firstly, as an employee of Meta who runs professional data experiments I'd warn you that your methodology is severely lacking.

Putting that aside, I would say 'e'. Though that doesn't fully convey my feelings. The US and other Western powers have totally done things that are on par with this. But it's okay to say that Russia is the villain of this story today. It's okay for everyone to be the bad guy!

As for what is really happening? Both sides are incentived to lie or bend truth. But we can learn some trusts from comparing narratives.

So we know Russia sent troops through most of Eastern Ukraine and they were not invited. And they are trying to overthrow the Ukrainian government. That's war! No question. Is it justified war? From my perspective, no. I do believe that Russia has somewhat reasonable fears about NATO. But Russia isn't allowed to dictate foreign policy of it's neighbors and if they like NATO more than Russia's sphere of influence that's their choice to make. Russia can't launch a *justified* war because their designated enemy offers a better offer to their old USSR buddies. Like, if Toyota attracts more customers than Ford Ford could try to up their game or even buy the competition off but they can't burn down Toyota headquarters!

As for claims of genocide or Nazi presence in Ukraine, just isn't very compelling evidence to support that. Not the kind which justifies war.


So we have two 'e's.  I'm also 'e', if anyone cares.

>as an employee of Meta who runs professional data experiments

I won't stop you from publishing internal data-science experiments on this topic, carried out by Meta Corporation.


Ah, kind of on topic, but as someone on board with Facebook/Meta, what's your thought on the current narrative that Russian services are using social media to sow dissent into communities in the West?
Do you think foreign nations are using social media to fan the flames of things like Covid / Qanon or opinions on the war?


The conflict is a naked act of Russian nationalist aggression upon the people of Ukraine based on the notion of exterminating the Ukrainian peoples as an independent nation and effectively colonizing them, rending them an 'anti-people'. All of this taking place as a result of Putin's grand czarist ambition to re-create a classic Russian Empire based on ethnic and religious superiority: that Russian heritage bloodlines, Russian literature, Russian Orthodox faith communities, Russian artworks, Russian music, and so on represent a kind of 'master culture' born to rule over lesser types. It's all something that's been the result of decades upon decades of ideological planning as a result of right-wing thinking inside and outside of former Soviet territory.

"Blood and soil."

I don't know how it will end, but I can't deny that, personally, I cannot view Putin's regime and its underlying belief system as anything other than pure evil from an ethical point of view.


Haha, I do not confirm or deny the existence of such research.

No seriously, I have no idea :p

I haven't looked into anything official which might prove or stand as strong evidence of state sponsored social media attacks. I feel like people have put together evidence for it, but I don't remember the details myself.

But my impression as an insider at one of the social media giants is that this platform is an insanely powerful tool that any government with half a brain would want to exploit to their advantage. Think of it like this, corporations pay us billions to influence millions of people to do what subtle things they want. And we do a damn good job at that btw. So why wouldn't a government that wants to be a superpower and create their own sphere of influence not be putting effort into exploiting the platform however they can?

I don't know how sophisticated any efforts happening are or how much they put into it, but I'm sure things are happening.


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Pro- or Anti- Russian, I am not sure what feats of mental gymnastics would be required to say that open hostilities between two militaries with tanks and bombs isn't a war. This is a very bizarre list of potential options for current events. Am I in the Twilight Zone? Is this a prank? I sincerely don't know if I'm supposed to be playing along or not.

Also just a nitpick, since this seems like the appropriate board for picking nits, a multiple choice question isn't "open ended". Nor strictly have any questions actually been asked.
But even then I literally don't even know how to answer this. But I guess if you don't trust western sources using the word "war"...

And Xinhua for flavor, unless that strikes your friends on Facebook as a western propaganda outlet. Sadly I don't have enough social credits to access the real site but the mirror should be good enough.

Granted they're only little slips here and there, but the sources are ones desperate to not say the word "elephant" if you will, but even seasoned senior statesmen are prone to accidentally use the "w" word when talking about what are supposed to be called "special military operations" lest they risk getting cancelled for saying something politically incorrect.
I suppose I was able to provide an open ended answer after all.


>  I am not sure what feats of mental gymnastics would be required to say that open hostilities between two militaries with tanks and bombs isn't a war.
The stupid thought that comes to me is that you can never know if there are even tanks / explosions if you're not there.


You have strong feelings that don't favor Putin.  I suppose I will be faulted for associating that with a letter choice on my own, though.

OK.  Hmm.  As I guess this is a place where I never seem to be specific enough, I am not nor have I intended to ask posters for salary information.  I hope it didn't seem that way.  I am also not doing any experiments on people, as I believe that would require a consent process.

The pie charts were fairly low effort.  My reading comprehension is not too good sometimes, but I see people say this war is not Russia's fault really.  I can go back and catalog exact quotes, but it seems only worth the effort if someone wants to check my comprehension, to make sure I'm not getting totally confused.

>Am I in the Twilight Zone? Is this a prank? I sincerely don't know if I'm supposed to be playing along or not.
It is common to joke about war?

>Also just a nitpick, since this seems like the appropriate board for picking nits, a multiple choice question isn't "open ended". Nor strictly have any questions actually been asked.

You are correct, I have been unclear.  The open ended questions begin after the answer to the closed question.  The open-ended questions will be posted as responses to the amplification to the a, b, c, d, or e answer to the closed question.


Following decades of warfare in the middle east with much the same sort of narratives propagated, the same sort of 'villainous monsters vs underdog heroes', I wager a lot of people've become jaded.

In any case; I wouldn't agree with any of those points. I suppose B is the best of the given options, but none of them fit my understanding of the conflict.


I'm a little less judgemental about it. While you're right in that it shouldn't be the case that nations dictate foreign policy of their neighbors, the fact of the matter is, when your next door neighbor is about to join your enemy, you've got only one opportunity to do anything about it.

As much as it'd be ideal to just give a 'better offer', Russia does not enjoy the vast amounts of wealth the US does, nor do they have the extensive intelligence infrastructure we do. As we've seen recently with the closing of bank payment processors in Russia over this stuff, Russia's not got the means to 'peacefully', and I put that in quotes as I'm not so sure I consider extortion, bribery, and general underhanded dealings to be 'peaceful', retain Ukraine's neutrality.

If we were in a moral world, we wouldn't have these issues to begin with.
We are not. So realism dictates global politics.


I'd question whether or not the Ukrainian people can realistically be said to have a fair choice for "neutrality" given that the Russian government fundamentally denies their very right to exist as a distinct group as well as their right to even democratically represent themselves.

Analogously, future Americans might deny the right of Canadians to exist and claim that whatever decisions made by the Canadian administrations that're elected are invalid should the decisions conflict with American priorities because Canada is just American soil occupied by the confused and misguided. 'Real' Canadians would know that Canada is an invented, artificial entity and their 'true' kind of 'homeland' is American. Then.

In such case, I would say that average Canadians couldn't realistically choose "neutrality" in the geopolitical sphere as an option. They'd either accept colonization or resist. Either-or.


Do you mean America's wars in the middle east -- Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.?  With Americans as the heroes?

Choice b is a deflection, an attempt to change the subject, basically.  I make it a choice because it is common in comments.  Can you write your own response in a way that's not a deflection?

>when your next door neighbor is about to join your enemy
Perhaps a difficulty for me is the idea that NATO is actually an imminent kinetic threat to Russia -- that there's a reasonable situation where Ukraine joins and NATO orders Ukraine to start killing Russian citizens.  I suppose part of this thread is to ask, is my assumption a Western bias in this?

NATO countries have the capacity to kill (most countries do).  Combined they have a lot of weapons, yes.  So what is it...ability, intent, opportunity, or something like that?

I suppose you could say it's not my right to know that NATO has been planning an invasion of Russia, as these things may be secret.


From the point of view of Russian leadership, I guess I'd pretty clearly view NATO as an explicit military threat due to the extreme ideological differences between my government and NATO.

In short, NATO is a coalition of mutli-religious and multi-ethnic democracies founded on, generally speaking, a background of international trade through capitalist economic advancement.

If I'm a senior figure in Putin's Russia, then I know that I'm leading a monoethnic and monoreligious absolute dictatorship with extremely limited trade relationships and a heavily closed economic system centered around state-based management.

If the Russian regime decides to do something new that's in line with past government actions such as, for example, engage in large-scale individual repression whereby entrepreneur activists are taken from their homes and placed into interment camps, for instance, for defying state corporate interests... I can expect that NATO countries would become enraged. Probably not enough to act militarily, yes, but some response would happen. I think.

So long as the canyon like gulf in belief systems exist, a stronger NATO is a more vulnerable Russia and vise versa.

As an analogy, Israel and certain Arab states have tense relationships due to similar incompatible ideologies in addition to direct security rivalries: it makes sense that a Jewish state would have trouble relating to a regime that, say, denies that the Holocaust even occurred.


So Putin sees NATO as an ideological threat to his autocracy.  I think a worry that NATO could respond negatively to continued oppression by Putin is legitimate.  Perhaps in actually triggering these negative responses from NATO all at once, Putin is kinda 'ripping the band-aid off' so fortify Russia's independence or wear down NATO.  The best reason for that would be because Putin plans to do more harrowing things to Russian people and neighbors that will anger NATO.

Granted, from a state-faith point of view, we can say Putin has an absolute right to his pleasure in rule.

I don't know.  In the interests of the Russian people, the interests of Ukraine, armed conflict seems a negative, sad thing.  Sure, it might distract Russians from the problems in Putin's rule, but that's doubly not something to defend, both for the failures of Putin and the hurts caused by war.  And while I seek to understand state-faith ethics and appreciate it must have value to many, at heart I'm some version of anarchist.  (Maybe that's really the problem.)


>Do you mean America's wars in the middle east -- Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.?
More or less. America's had many such incidents with similar propaganda flowing, insisting a "just" response ultimately dragging towards war.
Whether you believe it's for oil, the military industrial project, or political convenience, it's been made clear we can't trust our own media on such matters, I think.

>Can you write your own response in a way that's not a deflection?
I suppose.
In essence, my stance is that the war was the inevitable result of NATO expansionism.
We can't truly say what's going on, because none of the information coming out of the region is unbiased and so much of it is fake, but the notion there is a "good" side and a "bad" side is, as in all wars, false on the face of it.

To put shorthand; The war was inevitable, there is no "good" or "evil side in war, and we won't know the truth until it is over.


>That there's a reasonable situation where Ukraine joins and NATO orders Ukraine to start killing Russian citizens
This I would doubt.
However, it's certainly the case that Ukraine could be used as a staging ground for military action against Russia, whatever form that might take.
It's at bear minimum going to require significant buildup by Russia on the boarder of Ukraine, which historically has a nasty habbit of sparking wars.

I wouldn't say NATO intends to 'invade' Russia, as much as I feel it's a convenient scapegoat for politicians, and a easy profit source for the military industrial sorts.
People don't have to seek war for it to occur. It's very easy to spark unintentionally, simply by overstepping the bounds. That's why neutral territory is important. It's why Russia wants a return to the status quo in Ukraine, it seems, where Ukraine acts as a buffer state between Russia and NATO.


Russia always has the option to not consider NATO an enemy. The western powers would love it if Russia played along and was chill and tried to be nice with everyone. Russia isn't playing defense, they aren't actually threatened by NATO. They are blatantly, by their own words, trying to rebuild their old empire by hostile takeover of neighbors.

The idea that NATO is the aggressor is ridiculous. That's like saying my neighbor is plotting to take over my house so I bought a gun and people call me the aggressor for not being defenseless.


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>war was the inevitable result of NATO expansionism.
'Inevitable' removes agency from Putin.  Are all wars inevitable, or is this conflict special?

>much of it is fake
I haven't been reading the news everyday.  You seem to generally believe a war or something close is happening.

>there is a "good" side and a "bad" side is, as in all wars, false on the face of it.

I may be able to agree to a point.  Perhaps it would be healthy for me to be more self-centered.  I seem to be getting a bit worked up when I see people defend Putin.  But...is Putin waging war against me?  Has Putin asked me to fight in this war?  No.  So maybe I don't have to pass judgement on Putin or his defenders.  Maybe I can let it be -- states doing their state-stuff.

But if a war involves me directly, and there are sides to take -- it's not two similar people both trying to grab power --I don't think I could remain morally indifferent.  Do you think...a person should?


Ukraine as something of a wasteland is the price to pay for snoozing World War III?


>Russia always has the option to not consider NATO an enemy.
I'm not so convinced. Between sanctions and media portrayal, Russia seems to have been an enemy for a long while.
And I don't really consider it their fault, either.

>The idea that NATO is the aggressor is ridiculous. That's like saying my neighbor is plotting to take over my house so I bought a gun and people call me the aggressor for not being defenseless.
Because you say "neighbor".

This all happened with Cuba, you know. It isn't new. We've tried to murder the guy in charge there, tried to invade even, all because our 'neighbor' joined our enemy.


> Are all wars inevitable, or is this conflict special?
Many wars are inevitable.
The start of WWII, for instance, was pretty inevitable given the sanctions and requirements placed on Germany. Would it play out exactly as it has, throughout WWII? Maybe not. But it's easy to see the lines when looking at history.

>You seem to generally believe a war or something close is happening.
Depends on your standards, but, sure, I tend to look at armed conflict between nations "war".
Despite our refusal to ever declare it so, the engagements in the Middle East were also wars.

> Do you think...a person should?
Ideally, personal feeling and investment ought not influence.
But, as with this war itself, I consider it inevitable.
I'm not inclined to judge anyone for doing so, when its their home, their livelihoods, their loved ones, under threat.

I'm not convinced Ukraine would turn into a wasteland.

Frankly, the combat capability of Ukraine to this point I pin largely on Western support.
It certainly seems the case the javalins had massive effect, if reports are to be believed.
But I digress; I don't believe Russia's goal is to level the place.


Russia wants Ukraine as a subject.  NATO wants Ukraine as a member.  What but wasteland can reliably side with neither force?  If Ukraine becomes Russian, a new neutral domain will have to be assigned somewhere further west as a buffer zone.


But I guess there can be a populated buffer.  Sadly, people are capable of receiving influence and thereby becoming actors in the war, or perceived actors.  Either side must be allowed the right to force neutrality if influence is seen to favor the rival.  As long as their use of force stops at the border of the rival, all is well.  Of course, we should expect back and forth in the buffer land.  After Putin's use of force, the West will have the right to suspect too much Eastern influence and use force in their turn.  And so it goes.  Probably if I were alive long enough I would have seen this happen again and again.

The West and East get to fight on someone else's property, while not officially being at war.  Play with your military toys, outsource the damage -- win, win.  Action movies need their fruit-cart vendors.

I'm guessing if I knew more US/Russian history, I would have come to this with greater acceptance.


That's the narrative, yes. I'm not convinced.
I don't think it likely Russia will annex the entirety of Ukraine. Maybe a portion, but they want the buffer state, as it means not having to put massive military buildup on the boarder.

> If Ukraine becomes Russian, a new neutral domain will have to be assigned somewhere further west as a buffer zone.
No, as the buffer zone does not exist for NATO's benefit.
You forget, but the US is the defacto sole superpower at the moment. China's the only one to compare, and they lack the level of international pull.
NATO enjoys near total military dominance. And given the economic inclinations of the US in particular, military buildup is not considered something that hurts them.

NATO doesn't want a buffer zone. That's why they've been pressuring Ukraine for a while now.


Mmmmm, between this and your other posts you seem to have pretty large misconceptions about what NATO is and what it's goals and motivations are. Also, you have misconceptions about Russia's goals as well.

Either that or you do get it, you just have a creative way of assigning blame for aggression in this fiasco.

Too busy to take those things on myself, so have a good one.


>NATO enjoys near total military dominance.
In that case, in the rules of real politik, Putin is to have as much buffer zone as NATO sees fit and will like it.


Nukes give Russia greater leeway. NATO doesn't want a full war, after all.
Thus why NATO has not simply attacked, after all.
Is it "misconceptions" or simply a contrary view to your own?

You'll pardon me if I don't much care for your condescension, and so can't find it in me to wish you well in turn.


I guess I get that.  Russia has nukes, so they get to demand stuff.  Ukraine had nukes but they gave them up, so they don't get to be respected as able to control their destiny.  (Let that be a lesson, other states.)


I gather in many points of view this would be the proper way:

Putin: Gosh, I've got too many nuclear weapons and not enough room.
NATO: That's exactly what we were thinking.  Have Ukraine -- there's basically nobody there.
Ukraine:  Wha?
NATO: If my history is correct, that was part of Russia in the past.
Putin: I believe it was.
NATO: Great, you are basically family.  I feel this is going to work wonderfully.  It's been a pleasure doing business, Putin.
Ukraine:  What? Russia?  No.
NATO: Shh.  Nuclear nations are talking.

Instead of:

Putin: Ukraine can't join NATO.  I don't like NATO.
NATO: I'm sorry you feel that way, but that's a decision for the people of Ukraine.
Putin:  You are literally NAZI's!  I bet you take sadistic pleasure in all the killing I'm going to have to do now.


Worth looking at (in terms of what Americans think, as a whole, lately): https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-europe-cold-war-nato-c0acbb51f5fda41475287a4113ada3fd


So there has been news of late in the West that Russia is executing civilians in occupied regions.

Families taken out on the street, killed and left to rot.

I am wary this is news generated by the west, but I do find it scary.


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I don't have a good sense for whether Putin would use nuclear weapons.  Having them is certainly a plus for him.

Maybe I've read too many histories of war, but it seems to me atrocities are part of the package.

Maybe that's the wrong attitude.  War is a state activity, even a state pride sometimes.  It deserves respect as appropriate.  Individuals making criminal choices during these wars must not dampen our esteem for war as seen at the highest levels.  (I don't know.)

But if we go back to my sense of war, Ukraine is going to come out better because the children killed are going to be Ukrainian, even if the level of discipline in the two forces were equal.


So, looking at this article, it appears to be an accusation?
Some Ukrainian government official is making the claim... And the images they show seem to be a roadway with a bunch of military vehicles blown up..
I'm not really sure what this is supposed to prove.


>I don't have a good sense for whether Putin would use nuclear weapons. Having them is certainly a plus for him.

I don't either.

Certainly, however, the ability for one to throw around one's nuclear strength in a way to 'swagger' and intimidate others is rather concerning, to say the least.


>c) The conflict is real, but Ukraine is not a legitimate state, so it is really a conflict with Western forces that are attacking Russia through the Ukraine territory, attacking Russians in that territory, or hurting innocents in horrible ways.  The West's evil started this war, basically.
Ukraine as a concept is nonsensical.  Kievan Rus, Tatars (Crimeans, Khazars, Pechenegs, Cumans, etc.), Moldovans, Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, and Bulgarians consolidated, colonized, and further homogenized by Russia, in part through forced deportations of "undesirables", in part through manufactured famine, and then draw a line around it - voila Ukraine.  When Ukraine gives back the land that Stalin stole from real nations, and stops trying to "ukrainianize" people who live within its borders and stamp out the minorities, then I'll consider caring about Ukraine's claims to Luhansk, Donetsk, etc.  Otherwise, I hope the nation gets carved up and distributed amongst its neighbors along ethnic lines.


It's not conventional to base the legitimacy of a state on its ethnic purity.  I know the USA would fail such a test.  Granted multi-ethnic states have a history of pogroms and oppression.

I guess, is the motivation of this line of thinking that the political needs of these particular ethnicites are better handled by Russian influence?  Russia perhaps understands appropriate ethic separation better than the West?


This entire conflict can be traced back to Ukraine's 2012 law to ukrainianize the minorities, which includes Russians.  The Russians in Ukraine took issue with this for obvious reasons and thus the separatists took up arms not long after.  And of course Russia is going to support Russians in former Russian territory.  The other minorities suffer regardless.  Is it better to be ukrainianized or russofied?  I say neither.  The best solution is to split the lands according to national self-determination.  The central European parts can thus join NATO as they like.  Ukraine can do whatever Ukraine wants to do.  And Russia takes back the majority Russian lands.


>Ukraine's 2012 law to ukrainianize the minorities
I am guessing this is where Ukraine became the language for government proceedings.

I recall a pro Euromaidan speaker saying basically -- yes, we have multiple ethnicites and languages, but so what?  

Granted that's one opinion of one protest in a large group of people.  I suppose personally I see race and ethnicity as no barrier politically, so my feelings are with this group, and so it feels like Putin is stressing the ethnic inequality of Ukraine as yet another rationalization for conquest.  Maybe that's unfair.  Perhaps Putin is going to restrain what I'm calling conquest to those places that are ethnically Russian, and -- because we can't simply assume -- ethnic Russians want to be part of the Russian state.

The other ethnicities will have a go at getting their own countries following the weakening of the oppressive Ukrainian state.

Generally things will turn out for the best.  Perhaps.


I don't foresee any good outcomes.  I don't expect anyone is going to be satisfied with the outcome.  But that won't stop the US, EU, Russia, China, and even minor players like Belarus and Turkey, from trying to benefit from the circumstances.

This isn't a one-sided conflict with one side being good and one being evil.  For people complaining about Russian war crimes, for example, I suggest taking off their blinders and looking up instances of Ukrainian forces executing captured Russians.  The atrocities will continue as each side further dehumanizes the other.


>one-sided conflict with one side being good and one being evil
I do find myself judging based on my perception of net good and evil.
>war crimes
But I also know ethics don't work that way.  Good -- at least when not defined simply as power -- is more than anything the absence of evil.

So either all war is good -- the exercise of state authority.  Or all is evil.


> So either all war is good -- the exercise of state authority.  Or all is evil.
From some point of view war crimes are silly. It's war, whatever you do to assure victory could be excused.

But at the same time, if you round up civilians and burn them alive to send a message or release chemical or eradicate refugee centers or hospitals using chemicals, I start to feel uncomfortable in the thought to ever see you as the "good guy".

Maybe Russia has a very strong case to carpet blast NATO headquarters with nukes as they feel threatened by the sanctions or the posturing of the West. but as a European citizen I'd be horrified.


I don't remember exactly what book, but I was reading about WWII and the allied forces liberating -- what was probably Ukraine or near there.  And the book was talking about widespread reports of abuse of the local population -- women raped, children killed, whatever.  I think you'd find few that would say liberating areas from the Nazi's was the wrong move, but war creates a context where people can get away with evil, and some portion of the population seems keen on using this opportunity.

>point of view war crimes are silly
Perhaps it opens questions: are war crimes separate from war and who owns responsibility?  To be honest, I'm a little uncomfortable with killing people that the state happens to mark enemies.  And then, war crimes are only crimes in a meaningful way if you lose and are punished.

> I start to feel uncomfortable in the thought to ever see you as the "good guy".
I would agree with that one.


Is it genocide, what Russia is trying to do?

Interesting article here:

> https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61017352


Putin makes appeals to the ethnic diversity of Ukraine being a problem.  Genocide is the easiest [well, that's probably wrong.  I'm not sure what word is right, there.] solution to ethnic diversity, but some version of segregation is also possible.  And it is true Russian state-truth is genocide of Russians, especially Russian children, is occurring in Ukraine.

But that's about all I know.


I am suprised no one is talking about Canada because they froze ther citizens bank accounts


wasn't this during the entire freedom convoy thing?


While certainly a concerning event, showing both the danger of state overreach in the west as well as the insecure nature of electronic banking, I'm not really sure what it has to do with Russia.


President Joe Biden has now outright declared that the Russian government's attempts to exterminate the Ukrainian nation and its peoples as independent entities before taking over the territory completely counts as "genocide", particularly given the mass murder and rape of civilians by invading forces:

> https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/13/biden-russia-genocide-ukraine/


Personally, I'm not quite sure if the line has been crossed between 'crimes against humanity' and outright 'genocide'. The situation is quite awful, though, for innocent civilians in the nation. No question.


If so, we've pretty quickly gone from Putin may be justified because the Ukraine is ethnically diverse and NATO is unfair, to Putin is ordering genocide.  But my sense of genocide, is if the assessment is not just Western propaganda, genocides tend to be worse than they seem at first.


In and of itself, an invasion to remove a government seen as hostile wouldn't necessarily imply anything to the people living there at large. There's probably an alternative universe out there with a Russia that just wanted a new administration in charge in Ukraine only. I think.

In terms of what's going on now, though, an attempt to eliminate a multiethnic and multireligious block of people in order to create living space for a monoethnic and monoreligious group of outside invaders... that seems like a goal that's impossible to achieve in the progressive times of 2022 without mass murder either up to the line of genocide or past the point of genocide. Regular people in the Americas and Europe generally find ethnic, racial, and religious segregation to be immoral and resist its imposition, and it seems to me that the only way to get around this is through the use of force: a.k.a. state or non-state mass violence.

I know that terms such as 'good' versus 'evil' are vastly oversimplified. Yet it's personally near impossible for me to see ultranationalism as anything other than 'evil' in terms of what its adherents want to do to places that it takes over. I'm inclined to think that, like mass cannibalism or ritual child prostitution or other social practices of the distant past, ultranationalism fundamentally should no longer exist.


Biden's been quite heavy on the wardrum for a long while now. It's no shocker that after he's said Putin ought to be assassinated, he'd say something like this. At the same time, it's exceptionally irresponsible, dangerous, and frankly quite patently untrue.



Ya know?

if instead of sucking NATO dick, US decides to nuke Europe off the face of the world instead a lot of conflict could be resolved.

Get the corrupt leadership out of the way and remove the shittiest people from the world and let Russia have their peace and quiet at last.


I feel like some people might interpret nuking an entire continent indiscriminately to be a sort of conflict.


Your saying Western ideology prevents Russia from evicting those races Russia does not care for, making genocide their only choice?

I see.

You are calling for a US-led genocide in response to NATO's opposition to Russian expansion?


Update on the "genocide" debate here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/17/genocide-definition-russia-ukraine/

I'm personally on the fence as to whether or not the ultranationalist campaign of extermination in Ukraine by the Russian government is either a gross set of "crimes against humanity" or cross the line into specific "genocide". Experts seem to disagree. Mass murder and mass rape is purely evil in my opinion, especially when the Russians deliberately attempt to target children, but what it if happens in a haphazard and disorganized fashion? What if there aren't clear paper trails in terms of the line of authority up to Putin? Hard to say.

I hope and pray that the Ukrainian people can fight for their right to exist, regardless.

It's more that basic morality as held by the vast majority of people across the world holds that ethnic and religious hatred is fundamentally wrong. The Russian government doesn't agree. I think that if somebody crosses over to isolate themselves by saying "No, actually, white skinned ethnic Slavic Orthodox Christians who aren't LGBT or disabled or mixed heritage or whatever else are a master class of superior humans" then there's not much incentive there to stop them from bringing their ideas ("equality is wrong") to their logical conclusion ("therefore, domination is right").


>What if there aren't clear paper trails in terms of the line of authority up to Putin?
I don't think you'll ever find that.  Same with the money, you'll only find murky paper trails.  And then, of course, responsibility becomes debatable.  It's quite effective politically.

>("equality is wrong") to their logical conclusion ("therefore, domination is right")
In general, a very common belief.  However, Russia is doing it in too-direct ethnic terms and that's becoming frowned on, yes.


Mass deportation is a very real possibility with plenty of historical precedents.  Even the "good guys" who won World War II engaged in it.


One wonders what if the Nazis weren't obsessive record keepers and simply undertook the Holocaust without there being documentation on what happened. Would there have been the Nuremberg Trials at all? Would Holocaust denial be incredibly more popular then?

Future criminals learned the lessons from those past actions. It's clear. And it's a new era anyways in terms of information technology. "Paper trails" as such are a different beast now altogether.


>if the Nazis weren't obsessive record keepers...Would Holocaust denial be incredibly more popular

My sense is holocaust denial is not a data-driven decision generally, but maybe a bit.  You ask an interesting question.  I think the Nazi's main fault was defeat.  To be clear, I'm talking about conventional ethics, but things can look better when records are managed.  "Mistake were made", and all that.  Nazi's never got to manage release.

Although I think...if you can't expect to have ownership of the data, and you are doing war crimes, no data will mean fewer punishments.

But we live in the information age and there's so much data on everything, that the best you can probably do is obfuscate and deny to buy time.


I don't think that it was just defeat. The Nazis deliberately made a choice to strictly document just about every single negative action that they undertook in the war, and this really became an issue when they lost (and failed to destroy much of anything). It's fascinating to me.

As you point out, a lack of evidence makes bad actions of all kinds (not just war crimes) far, far harder to deal with because of evidence not being there for accountability.

I suppose it can be observed that data is a precursor to justice: that the rule of law as a concept can't exist without adequate information.


>I suppose it can be observed that data is a precursor to justice: that the rule of law as a concept can't exist without adequate information.

I think that's a good way of saying it.  This is off topic a bit, but I have this thought:

Bad stuff is harder to hide because of more data.  By more data, I mean, more satellite images, more cell phone images/recordings, more digital communication that leaves records.  And networked devices diffuse this data in ways that would take dedicated effort to prevent.

Then presumably this data fuels justice.

I think you could come up with counter-points to the argument, though.  Maybe it'd be an interesting thread.


It's rather likely that mass use of advanced electronic technology in justice is such a new thing in terms of human nature that it can't be scientifically studied yet, even if we have ideas right now? We need more time? Maybe? I agree with you. I wonder how it all shakes out. All very interesting.


I guess I just think it's interesting because I've been trying to think of ways to use smartphones and other small devices to do science.  And you think about all that data that's out there, or could be out there.

The counter-arguments that come to my mind are: encryption and bottle-necks.

If the Nazi's had encrypted everything they recorded, they would have only needed to destroy the crypto keys.

And then, although there are countless cameras to record war-crimes, assuming you plan to take control of the region and take possession of all digital storage what matters is the data getting out before then.  And that data is mostly going to go through cell towers or broadband internet.  If your fist move severs those connections, you may be able to render the region just as information-dark as if you were marauding a village in medieval times.


It's certainly possible that all that could happen, agreed. Not sure what future post-2000s/post-2010s military conflicts will look like.

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