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DSC

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The direct route from Syria to Ukraine is through or over Turkey - a member of NATO. The indirect route takes them through/over Iraq, Iran and either Azerbaijan or Armenia+Georgia.

Could be interesting travel.
I assume their Russian masters would fly them around.
 

Richard White

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Any bets on how long this war and/or the sanctions need to carry-on for before Putin has an "accident" or "health issue"?

I wouldn't put it past anyone in the FSB or Russian Military to attempt a coup d'etat if they thought Putin was attempting to start WW3 over Ukraine.
 

Bjays92

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Any bets on how long this war and/or the sanctions need to carry-on for before Putin has an "accident" or "health issue"?

I wouldn't put it past anyone in the FSB or Russian Military to attempt a coup d'etat if they thought Putin was attempting to start WW3 over Ukraine.
Putin already arrested his top foreign FSB agent and sacked several of the top military generals. I hate to say it but I am doubtful anyone is taking him out.
 

Towered

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Ukraine is the poison pill for NATO.

As much as I would love for Ukraine to join the EU and NATO, I also don't want to bring about World War 3 in the process.

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good. This is one of those times.

They might just have to play the long game, and wait until there's a more benign ruler in Russia in the post-Putin era before trying to join NATO again. The detestable Putin is 70, which is very old for Russian standards, so it's a safe bet that he'll be gone in less than a decade.
 

Admiral Beez

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They might just have to play the long game, and wait until there's a more benign ruler in Russia in the post-Putin era before trying to join NATO again. The detestable Putin is 70, which is very old for Russian standards, so it's a safe bet that he'll be gone in less than a decade.
Unlike other Soviet-era leaders Putin doesn't drink or smoke and regularly exercises. Unless he’s assassinated my guess he’s alive well into the late 2030s. But that would mean he’s somehow survived this mess.

Ukraine will never be allowed into NATO. But EU membership is possible.
 

Bjays92

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They might just have to play the long game, and wait until there's a more benign ruler in Russia in the post-Putin era before trying to join NATO again. The detestable Putin is 70, which is very old for Russian standards, so it's a safe bet that he'll be gone in less than a decade.
I saw a very good article talking about this history of the russian nation, from the Russian empires to the soviet union to the modern day Russian federation.

He was essentially saying we should've expected a leader like this to rise in Russia regardless of Putin, and that it's the conditions of the country and their perception of themselves and how they fit in on the world stage. He was arguing the country made the leader not the other way around, and so having someone like Putin come along was inevitable.

I've heard other people close to me who are very knowledgeable on these subjects echo that sentiment. Waiting for a more benign Russian ruler may be wishful thinking. I certainly can't think of anyone who would step up and be considerably less aggressive than the current regime.

Even Alexi Navalny who the west holds on a pedestal due to his opposition of Putin, would take a hard line, he's an established Russian nationalist who is also on the record agreeing Ukraine is not a country.

I don't know what the answer is but sitting by and twiddling our thumbs certainly isn't.
 

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Bjays92

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In tandem with that really good article. FT broke this story this afternoon:


This is a critical juncture for China. As the article highlighted they have very little time to remain neutral, this development just narrows the window. China has a choice to make and that choice will not only influence the outcoming of the war but the trajectory of the whole world.
 

Towered

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I saw a very good article talking about this history of the russian nation, from the Russian empires to the soviet union to the modern day Russian federation.

He was essentially saying we should've expected a leader like this to rise in Russia regardless of Putin, and that it's the conditions of the country and their perception of themselves and how they fit in on the world stage. He was arguing the country made the leader not the other way around, and so having someone like Putin come along was inevitable.

I've heard other people close to me who are very knowledgeable on these subjects echo that sentiment. Waiting for a more benign Russian ruler may be wishful thinking. I certainly can't think of anyone who would step up and be considerably less aggressive than the current regime.

Even Alexi Navalny who the west holds on a pedestal due to his opposition of Putin, would take a hard line, he's an established Russian nationalist who is also on the record agreeing Ukraine is not a country.

I don't know what the answer is but sitting by and twiddling our thumbs certainly isn't.
Gorbachev and Yeltsin were reasonable leaders by comparison, but yes, there is no liberal democratic tradition in Russian history or culture, so it would be naive to expect a sudden turn in that direction. They had a great opportunity to do so in the 90's but squandered it.
 

afransen

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Russia would have been much better off in the long run had they turned to the West in the 90s. Their decline is inevitable, and the past 30 years of opposition has only enabled them to snatch Crimea as a strategically important territorial expansion.
 

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