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afransen

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Russians might forgive a loss to NATO. They will never forgive him for losing to Ukraine.

Keep in mind that a whole lot of Putin's own propaganda emphasize the racial and cultural superiority of ethnic Russians/Orthodox Christians. Ukrainians are portrayed as lesser Slavs.

So what does it say, if he gets his ass kicked by Ukrainians?
Bringing in NATO would mean a world of hurt. I don't think NATO going to war with Russia directly would brook any kind of half-measure. We're talking lobbing cruise missiles at targets all over Russia. Or is the thought that it would be constrained to the Ukraine theatre? I can't see that happening without strikes on Russian assets in Crimea and Belarus.
 

DSC

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This, from Guardian, is the start of the beginning of the end in my opinion:

  • Russia appeared to scale back its ambitions for the war. The defence ministry said the first phase of its military operation was “generally” complete, saying the country will focus on the “liberation” of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. It marks a downgrading of objectives – amid a haphazard war campaign – after an initial aim of ‘denazification,’ or in other words regime change.
If true, it shows that Russia is trying to say that all they were doing was to protect 'ethnic Russians" in the Donbas area and Crimea (yes of course not true) but a way to say "OK, all achieved, let's go home." Of course Ukraine says that they want ALL of their country back but it's a start of a face-saving way for Russia to stop moving further west, or trying to.
 

jayme2016

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Bringing in NATO would mean a world of hurt. I don't think NATO going to war with Russia directly would brook any kind of half-measure. We're talking lobbing cruise missiles at targets all over Russia. Or is the thought that it would be constrained to the Ukraine theatre? I can't see that happening without strikes on Russian assets in Crimea and Belarus.
It depends how far Russia goes Nato may have no choice.
 

lenaitch

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tractor.jpg


And it didn't cost them 2% of their GDP.
 

Lone Primate

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It depends how far Russia goes Nato may have no choice.
Russsia's not Libya. They have capacities we can't simply wish away. We can't save Ukraine by turning the entirely world into an ashtray. The only way NATO can, or should, engage the Russians directly is if they invade us. And let's not be naive. That's World War III. And God help us all if we get on THAT greased pig chute.
 

kEiThZ

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Bringing in NATO would mean a world of hurt. I don't think NATO going to war with Russia directly would brook any kind of half-measure. We're talking lobbing cruise missiles at targets all over Russia. Or is the thought that it would be constrained to the Ukraine theatre? I can't see that happening without strikes on Russian assets in Crimea and Belarus.
They aren't going to trigger a nuclear war by outright invading a NATO country. Putin might well want NATO to intervienne in Ukraine. Gives him a face saving exit of sorts and material to keep the grievance machine going at home.

There are signs that that they are issuing Chem defence kits to their front units. Notably for Sarin, which they used in Syria.


I always encourage people to stop thinking of Russia as a rational state actor. Start thinking of Russia as a country run by the mob. Putin only cares about his personal interests. Not Russia's national interests. Sometimes they overlap. Not always.
 

SkylineHorizon

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Nobody wants to fight a war. But I don't think it is avoidable unless someone in Russia deposes Putin and his accomplices.
How is it not avoidable? Putin's forces can barely stand up to the Ukrianians as is and you think they're going to try to go up against NATO next?

Your tempting fate by sending NATO in at this point. And why do that when Ukrianian is already kicking Russia's ass?

Its nonsensical to escalate things when conventionally its now quite clear that Russia's military is no treat to NATO and Ukrianian will likely not be defeated either.

I'm sorry but the needs of the many override the needs of the few. The many being the majority of the world's population and the few (unfortunately) being Ukrianian civilians caught in the crossfire.
 

Lone Primate

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This, from Guardian, is the start of the beginning of the end in my opinion:

  • Russia appeared to scale back its ambitions for the war. The defence ministry said the first phase of its military operation was “generally” complete, saying the country will focus on the “liberation” of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. It marks a downgrading of objectives – amid a haphazard war campaign – after an initial aim of ‘denazification,’ or in other words regime change.
If true, it shows that Russia is trying to say that all they were doing was to protect 'ethnic Russians" in the Donbas area and Crimea (yes of course not true) but a way to say "OK, all achieved, let's go home." Of course Ukraine says that they want ALL of their country back but it's a start of a face-saving way for Russia to stop moving further west, or trying to.
I sure hope that's what happens. There's no denying that stuff's going to be f'ed up between us and the Russians for a long time now, but if they can manage to take the kettle off the stove before it explodes, at least that's something. But I agree with you; it looks like the Ukrainians are on the verge of having the initiative, so this thing might not be over just because the Russians have decided to consolidate their snatch-and-grab gains. After all, if somebody grabbed New Brunswick and southern Alberta from us, would we just sit back and say "Ah, they're stopping, that's okay, they can keep that stuff..."? I don't think we would. I don't think anyone would if they didn't have to. And it's starting to look like Ukraine doesn't have to. So there's that. And honestly, I'm still persuaded that the Russian offensive can't actually end until, and if, Putin thinks he's safely spun this as a victory back home, and that remains to be seen. If he can, good; we can at least all step down a little. If not, he's going to be forced to gamble again, and I don't think we're going to like what that amounts to. So here's hoping this is genuine.
 

jayme2016

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How is it not avoidable? Putin's forces can barely stand up to the Ukrianians as is and you think they're going to try to go up against NATO next?

Your tempting fate by sending NATO in at this point. And why do that when Ukrianian is already kicking Russia's ass?

Its nonsensical to escalate things when conventionally its now quite clear that Russia's military is no treat to NATO and Ukrianian will likely not be defeated either.

I'm sorry but the needs of the many override the needs of the few. The many being the majority of the world's population and the few (unfortunately) being Ukrianian civilians caught in the crossfire.
Some experts have said he feels he has nothing to lose at this point so he will go all in.
 

Bjays92

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Some experts have said he feels he has nothing to lose at this point so he will go all in.
This is the problem. Everyone saying it's not rational and even suicide to attack NATO is correct.

Everyone also said it was totally irrational to attack Ukraine in the first place and they'd never do it yet here we are.

Russia is not a rational actor at this point, so we have to assume anything should be on the table. That doesn't mean we should escalate but we should be prepared for all scenarios.

Russia reinforced their right to use nukes today, if they're threatened, even by conventional weaponry.

So here's some food for thought. Say Russia does use chemical weapons or a tactical nuke in Ukraine or is bold enough to directly strike a NATO country.

If NATO gets involved I find it hard to believe they will merely fight to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity, and should they manage that allow Putin to remain in power. It will be wholesale regime change in Moscow or nothing. How would China feel about having a Russia sized, Western puppet up against their border?

China got involved in the Korean war because they didn't want the entirety of the Korean peninsula to be controlled by the US. Should NATO get dragged into this and end up with Moscow being directly threatened, there is certainly a possibility that China gets involved, so the idea that Russia would be a cakewalk for NATO is fanciful imo.

Offensive wars are harder to fight than defensive ones. A war against NATO would likely galvanize the Russian people and military. Russia has the worlds largest stockpile of nukes, and there's a non zero chance China comes to the Russian defence in that scenario.

We should be trying to avoid a conflict between Russia and NATO at all costs, but the idea that Russia attacking NATO is ludicrous and would never happen is most certainly wrong. I have no doubt Russia would try it under the right circumstances.
 

jayme2016

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This is the problem. Everyone saying it's not rational and even suicide to attack NATO is correct.

Everyone also said it was totally irrational to attack Ukraine in the first place and they'd never do it yet here we are.

Russia is not a rational actor at this point, so we have to assume anything should be on the table. That doesn't mean we should escalate but we should be prepared for all scenarios.

Russia reinforced their right to use nukes today, if they're threatened, even by conventional weaponry.

So here's some food for thought. Say Russia does use chemical weapons or a tactical nuke in Ukraine or is bold enough to directly strike a NATO country.

If NATO gets involved I find it hard to believe they will merely fight to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity, and should they manage that allow Putin to remain in power. It will be wholesale regime change in Moscow or nothing. How would China feel about having a Russia sized, Western puppet up against their border?

China got involved in the Korean war because they didn't want the entirety of the Korean peninsula to be controlled by the US. Should NATO get dragged into this and end up with Moscow being directly threatened, there is certainly a possibility that China gets involved, so the idea that Russia would be a cakewalk for NATO is fanciful imo.

Offensive wars are harder to fight than defensive ones. A war against NATO would likely galvanize the Russian people and military. Russia has the worlds largest stockpile of nukes, and there's a non zero chance China comes to the Russian defence in that scenario.

We should be trying to avoid a conflict between Russia and NATO at all costs, but the idea that Russia attacking NATO is ludicrous and would never happen is most certainly wrong. I have no doubt Russia would try it under the right circumstances
There is a up rising in Russia while its more or less small now its a risk for Putin it could get out of control.
 

lenaitch

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There is a up rising in Russia while its more or less small now its a risk for Putin it could get out of control.
Although there have been snippets of information coming out of Russian in spite of their control of the media and Internet, I'm not sure I would call anything close to an "uprising". Pockets of dissent perhaps.
 

kEiThZ

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Although there have been snippets of information coming out of Russian in spite of their control of the media and Internet, I'm not sure I would call anything close to an "uprising". Pockets of dissent perhaps.

Yep. There seems to be broad public support for the war in Russia. Helped along by propaganda and the elimination of foreign media. Also, a lot of people who might otherwise speak out are fleeing. Anybody who says there is broad dissent doesn't understand Putin's Russia.

We may see a real uprising months from now when casualties become obvious and the economic collapse becomes painful. But we're not even close to that yet.
 

jayme2016

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Although there have been snippets of information coming out of Russian in spite of their control of the media and Internet, I'm not sure I would call anything close to an "uprising". Pockets of dissent perhWell thousands have been arrested.
Well there has some fair size protests 20,000 plus.
 

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