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Bjays92

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All of the survey's I can find, even independent and anti Putin outlets, put public support at around 70% at the lowest.

There is widespread public support for this war. There are always those who will disagree, Russia is a nation of almost 150m after all, but Russia is extremely nationalist, even people in the anti Putin faction support this war.

There are stories of Ukrainians texting their family in Russia telling them what's happening and their Russian family outright rejecting anything is happening at all.

Russia is nowhere near a popular uprising. Could there be a coup growing in the upper echelon of Russian government? Maybe, unlikely, but it's more probable than a revolution at this point.
 

kEiThZ

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Yep. It's amazing to me how many people in the West don't understand this. Imagine if the US was 70% MAGA. That is closer to what Russia is today. It's highly nationalistic. Putin's propaganda heavily emphasizes the superiority of Slavic culture and the Russian Orthodox faith. Ukrainians and Belarusian are portrayed as "lesser Russians", like half-wit brothers who need to be taken care of.

This is why the notion that we are at war with only Putin is nonsense. The Ukranians are fighting a kinetic war with Russians. And the West is engaged in an economic war with Russia. That might contain Putin. But there's no guarantee that a lot will change if there's a different leader.

Anybody who doesn't believe me should look up Alexei Navalny's language on Georgia, Chechnya, etc.
 

SkylineHorizon

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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..
Actually if the Russians are indeed being genuine Putin is acting rationally(for once) by pulling back a large number of his forces. If he wasn't acting rationally he'd double down and send in reinforcements, causality count be damned

There's no way Nato would launch a full scale invasion against Russia to implement "regime change". Russia is not some backwards middle eastern, African or Latin American country. It's a country of 144 million people and the largest by land mass in the world. It's quite simply too large to concur and the democratic countries that compose Nato have no desire to occupy cities, employ seige tactics nor spill the blood of their own solders. That is one of Putin's "advantages" aside from a power protection standpoint, he doesn't care about the solders who die. If Russia attacked Nato it would be a defensive war aimed solely at destorying Russias military not an occupation and thats all it needs to be. Putin or no Putin, once they no longer have the ability to project power they are not a threat, aside from the nuclear aspect ofc.

Which is the other matter to consider If the fight is kept on the boarders between Nato and Russia nuclear weapons might not be used or at least not strategic ones. But start invading Russia and oh boy, you are REALLY tempting fate. So like it or not the only way Putin would be removed is internally.
 

Bjays92

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Actually if the Russians are indeed being genuine Putin is acting rationally(for once) by pulling back a large number of his forces. If he wasn't acting rationally he'd double down and send in reinforcements, causality count be damned

There's no way Nato would launch a full scale invasion against Russia to implement "regime change". Russia is not some backwards middle eastern, African or Latin American country. It's a country of 144 million people and the largest by land mass in the world. It's quite simply too large to concur and the democratic countries that compose Nato have no desire to occupy cities, employ seige tactics nor spill the blood of their own solders. That is one of Putin's "advantages" aside from a power protection standpoint, he doesn't care about the solders who die. If Russia attacked Nato it would be a defensive war aimed solely at destorying Russias military not an occupation and thats all it needs to be. Putin or no Putin, once they no longer have the ability to project power they are not a threat, aside from the nuclear aspect ofc.

Which is the other matter to consider If the fight is kept on the boarders between Nato and Russia nuclear weapons might not be used or at least not strategic ones. But start invading Russia and oh boy, you are REALLY tempting fate. So like it or not the only way Putin would be removed is internally.
I see no way Putin is being genuine about scaling back his ambitions. After all, troops weren't invading, they were just doing drills, up until the day they invaded.

Also how do you neutralize the Russian military without firing on positions in Russia. If Putin does attack NATO the most apt comparison then does become WW2, of which no major enemy leaders were left standing.

Democracy was installed in West Germany and Italy. Japan and Korea were both occupied by American forces with the transition to democracy happening in Japan as a direct result of US intervention.

Obviously we're getting in to large hypotheticals, but should Putin attack NATO I cannot see a world in which he is allowed to remain in power, certainly with the nuclear capabilities Russia holds.

I'm not saying regime change would be effective, but ultimately even during the cold war the long game was regime change in Moscow, it just didn't seem relevant anymore following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Regardless, any NATO confrontation with Russia risks involving China in some form or another.

Edit: apparently Biden just said Putin cannot remain in power in his speech today. The government has already responded to say they're not seeking regime change, and I know Biden speaks off the cuff sometimes, but that's still not insignificant, especially since we aren't even in direct confrontation with Russia currently.
 

lenaitch

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All of the survey's I can find, even independent and anti Putin outlets, put public support at around 70% at the lowest.

There is widespread public support for this war. There are always those who will disagree, Russia is a nation of almost 150m after all, but Russia is extremely nationalist, even people in the anti Putin faction support this war.

There are stories of Ukrainians texting their family in Russia telling them what's happening and their Russian family outright rejecting anything is happening at all.

Russia is nowhere near a popular uprising. Could there be a coup growing in the upper echelon of Russian government? Maybe, unlikely, but it's more probable than a revolution at this point.
I can see a coup, or at least a shifting of allegiances of the oligarchs and other power brokers, long before a popular uprising. This is the base that keeps him in power. Could it be a military coup? Perhaps. I imagine a lot of general staff of the Russian military are kept fairly well heeled (well, the ones that are still alive) but perhaps not as vulnerable to offshore sanctions, yacht seizings, etc. As always though, what replaces him? Don't expect a liberal democracy to break out.

Putin has been laying the popular groundwork for this special military operation for a long time. The narrative that Ukraine is a hotbed of Nazis and such a military threat to the region that they need to be brought into line sounds pretty laughable to people who live in open societies, but that's not his audience.
I see no way Putin is being genuine about scaling back his ambitions. After all, troops weren't invading, they were just doing drills, up until the day they invaded.

Also how do you neutralize the Russian military without firing on positions in Russia. If Putin does attack NATO the most apt comparison then does become WW2, of which no major enemy leaders were left standing.

Democracy was installed in West Germany and Italy. Japan and Korea were both occupied by American forces with the transition to democracy happening in Japan as a direct result of US intervention.

Obviously we're getting in to large hypotheticals, but should Putin attack NATO I cannot see a world in which he is allowed to remain in power, certainly with the nuclear capabilities Russia holds.

I'm not saying regime change would be effective, but ultimately even during the cold war the long game was regime change in Moscow, it just didn't seem relevant anymore following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Regardless, any NATO confrontation with Russia risks involving China in some form or another.

Edit: apparently Biden just said Putin cannot remain in power in his speech today. The government has already responded to say they're not seeking regime change, and I know Biden speaks off the cuff sometimes, but that's still not insignificant, especially since we aren't even in direct confrontation with Russia currently.
I'd love to see some evidence of that. I'm not aware of anything that points to 'the West' ever trying to engineer a regime change (I'm not sure that was even a term) during the Cold War. The level or paranoia and mistrust - on both sides - was so high during that period and the West feared destabilization just as much communism.
 

Lone Primate

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So here's some food for thought. Say Russia... 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
Well, that's the thing. If Russia directly strikes a NATO country, it no longer has anything to do with Ukraine, one way or the other. It's an Article 5 attack on 30 countries, and we're obliged to respond. If we don't, then the whole alliance is a farce and it crumbles like burnt paper, and the entire underpinnings of the collective security we've depended upon for over 70 years vanishes in an every-man-for-himself scrabble of Western nations. There's no way we can allow that to happen or even let an aggressor imagine it could happen. The threat of an overwhelming response to such an attack is really the only thing that wards one off in the first place. If we ever allow that response to become doubtful, then we're all lost.

In such an event, the prudent thing for NATO to do would be to turn any such incursion back to the borders of NATO and then stop, entering neither Russia nor Ukraine. Only a demonstration that our response was wholly defensive would prevent subsequent events from spiralling into a third world war... and even then, it would be tricky. Involving ourselves in Ukraine, which is not a country we are treaty-bound to defend, would rightly be seen by the world as putting NATO on the offensive, and just such a perception is why I objected to us involving ourselves in Yugoslavia under the NATO flag in the 90s. What was "defensive" about that? Yes, we needed to act, but we should have done so under the aegis of the UN—unlikely, due to Russia's veto—or at least as an independent coalition of nations like in Gulf War. Ditto with Libya. We undermined NATO's reputation as a "defensive" organization when we took it on the offensive. That was a mistake.
 

Lone Primate

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should Putin attack NATO I cannot see a world in which he is allowed to remain in power, certainly with the nuclear capabilities Russia holds.
It's exactly the fact that he has nuclear weapons that will secure his regime. The world can hate his guts till the cows come home, but nobody's going to attempt regime change there if the likely outcome of attempting it is the end of civilization, or possibly even the entire human race. Time moves on. The man will die all on his own in due course.
 

afransen

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If Russia attacks NATO there is zero chance we don't do significant damage to Russian military assets. It's not a turn the other cheek situation.
 

kEiThZ

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If Russia actually attacks a NATO country, not only will we repel the invasion, we will destroy all their forces between NATO and the Russian border. This will be done, because this is the only way to actually stop the invasion. The 100 BTGs left in Ukraine (after the 20 already lost) will be toast in a month or two.

This doesn't have to mean substantial boots on the ground in Belarus and Ukraine. Between air, space, cyber and special ops capabilities NATO has enough capabilities, that along with Ukrainian forces, Russian forces in Belarus and Ukraine could be disintegrated within weeks.

Putin and most importantly every Russian general knows this. And after watching estimates of their own capabilities and those of the Ukrainians prove horribly wrong, they will have no desire to test this theory, irrespective of whatever public posturing Putin does. So the way to reassure them here is to make clear that NATO will not enter the war unless attacked. And the way to get them to think twice about this whole ordeal with Ukraine is to massively ramp up aid to Ukraine and promise aid to follow after the war too. Lastly, Biden is absolutely right to tell them we don't want Putin around. Good signal to Russian elites, that there may be rewards on the other side for self-directed regime change.
 

Bjays92

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Well, that's the thing. If Russia directly strikes a NATO country, it no longer has anything to do with Ukraine, one way or the other. It's an Article 5 attack on 30 countries, and we're obliged to respond. If we don't, then the whole alliance is a farce and it crumbles like burnt paper, and the entire underpinnings of the collective security we've depended upon for over 70 years vanishes in an every-man-for-himself scrabble of Western nations. There's no way we can allow that to happen or even let an aggressor imagine it could happen. The threat of an overwhelming response to such an attack is really the only thing that wards one off in the first place. If we ever allow that response to become doubtful, then we're all lost.

In such an event, the prudent thing for NATO to do would be to turn any such incursion back to the borders of NATO and then stop, entering neither Russia nor Ukraine. Only a demonstration that our response was wholly defensive would prevent subsequent events from spiralling into a third world war... and even then, it would be tricky. Involving ourselves in Ukraine, which is not a country we are treaty-bound to defend, would rightly be seen by the world as putting NATO on the offensive, and just such a perception is why I objected to us involving ourselves in Yugoslavia under the NATO flag in the 90s. What was "defensive" about that? Yes, we needed to act, but we should have done so under the aegis of the UN—unlikely, due to Russia's veto—or at least as an independent coalition of nations like in Gulf War. Ditto with Libya. We undermined NATO's reputation as a "defensive" organization when we took it on the offensive. That was a mistake.
The problem with this is Russia could launch missile strikes without putting a single troop on the ground. How do you repel that just to your borders? Especially since it would be safe to assume such a strike would come from the Russian mainland. You have to, at the very least, take out military assets in Russia proper. You can of course do this without an invasion force of your own, but certainly missles would rain down on Russia in the event of an attack on NATO. There is no way around that.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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The problem with this is Russia could launch missile strikes without putting a single troop on the ground. How do you repel that just to your borders? Especially since it would be safe to assume such a strike would come from the Russian mainland. You have to, at the very least, take out military assets in Russia proper. You can of course do this without an invasion force of your own, but certainly missles would rain down on Russia in the event of an attack on NATO. There is no way around that.

They can, but that doesn't win you wars - and missiles aren't cheap.

AoD
 

W. K. Lis

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The problem with this is Russia could launch missile strikes without putting a single troop on the ground. How do you repel that just to your borders? Especially since it would be safe to assume such a strike would come from the Russian mainland. You have to, at the very least, take out military assets in Russia proper. You can of course do this without an invasion force of your own, but certainly missles would rain down on Russia in the event of an attack on NATO. There is no way around that.
Where does Russia actually fire its missiles at Ukraine from? Would Ukraine actually have to cross into Russia to take out the missiles' launch pads?
 

Northern Light

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Article from the Financial Times claims to have info on Ukraine-Russia ceasefire negotiations:


From the above:

1648497681527.png


- additional key points

While NATO membership would apparently be out, Ukraine would be permitted to have bilateral security guarantees from a host of NATO members and other allies that
would use language comparable to NATO's article 5.

Deal would require no nukes or nuke program for Ukraine, and prohibit foreign military bases on Ukrainian soil (ahem, Crimea)....

But would not otherwise require demilitarization.

No requirement to protect the Russian language in Ukraine either.
 

Lone Primate

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The problem with this is Russia could launch missile strikes without putting a single troop on the ground. How do you repel that just to your borders?
I don't see what sending troops across a border does to address something like that. First of all, that's a different matter from engaging troops who do cross into NATO or surging across Ukraine, and then into Russian territory in either case. You're talking about something of a different order. If these are conventional missiles, every dog gets his one bite. If the Russians say, "Whoops, my bad," then you make it plain that that was their one "mistake", and any others will result in similar action. If it's nuclear, well, then expect to evaporate by the end of that day, because the escalations will come fast and furious after that. So just pray that never happens.

Secondly, aside from Kaliningrad, we're hundreds and hundreds of miles away from any frontier with Russia itself, other than the rather tricky access we'd have in the Baltics, and Russia's pretty likely to roll in there mighty fast if this becomes a shooting war. So almost any troops we send into "Russia" are actually going to be met in either Belarus or Ukraine anyway, not Russia proper.

You have to, at the very least, take out military assets in Russia proper. You can of course do this without an invasion force of your own, but certainly missles would rain down on Russia in the event of an attack on NATO. There is no way around that.
You make it sound like a video game. What you're talking about is very likely the end of the world. You're talking about sending missiles into the country with the world's largest nuclear arsenal, and very little else, at this point. You're talking about destroying infrastructure on Russian soil and killing Russian citizens. Do you think they're just going to sit back and say, "Ah, you got us, guess we're even now"? They won't. They're going to fire back. And then we're going to fire back. And then they're going to obliterate one of our cities. And we're going to obliterate one of theirs. And at that point, it's very unlikely that we, any of us, will be able to put a stop to a general nuclear exchange. Nobody gets any points on a screen out of this. Nobody lives to compare scores at the end. Everything we've done for the past 15,000—hell, 2 million—years ends. So all I can tell you is, you'd really better pray that first missile across that frontier never gets fired, because that d!ck-measuring contest ends like Reservoir Dogs.
 

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