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JR*
01-23-2014, 05:18 AM
What chance of Putin's Panzers rolling towards Kiev ? JR.:shock:

Churchill
01-23-2014, 09:54 PM
I doubt anything major will happen. Angry declarations will be all. I doubt NATO would allow Russia to invade the Ukraine... That and I doubt the Asian powers would be open to the idea.

JR*
01-24-2014, 05:51 AM
Tend to agree, Churchill. We are already going through a sort of mini-Ice Age type Cold War; direct intervention on the part of Russia in the Ukraine would turn down the temperature further in a big way. But then ... why would Grand Prince Vlad need to send in the tanks ? His economic hold over the Ukraine is very substantial. All he needs to do is threaten to turn off the gas, and the Ukrainian regime will shout "how high ?". However, it leaves the present Ukrainian government in a pretty pickle. Indications are that if an election were held now, the pro-Brussels factions would win. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

As for the old idea of constructing a "Eurasian Union" dominated by Russia - Vlad has been pretty open in the past in supporting a revival in such a development. This would clash directly with the aspiration of the European Union's "Central Powers" of expansion to the East; of Turkey's (equally time-honoured) aspiration for a Turcic sphere of influence in what used to be the southern Soviet Union; and perhaps even China's (again, long-held) concerns for its northern border territories. Interesting times in the East ? Not too interesting, I hope ... Best regards, JR.

Nickdfresh
01-24-2014, 10:02 AM
Interesting thoughts. I think one thing that should be mentioned is that The Ukraine is not Georgia, and an armed intervention would be more or less a bloodbath as it wouldn't be a walkover. The Russians cannot even fully pacify Chechnya and the surrounding territories, I think a foray into a nation with one of Europe's more powerful militaries would be a severe mistake on the part of any Russian gov't. It would also be supremely ill-advised with the upcoming Sochi Games already fraught with security controversies...

Rising Sun*
01-24-2014, 10:14 AM
I don't disagree with anything above, but the unfortunate experience of history is that nations routinely do stupid things, as evidenced by my current reading on the Suez catastrophe when Britain and France thought they could knock off Nasser & Co.


I think a foray into a nation with one of Europe's more powerful militaries would be a severe mistake on the part of any Russian gov't...

Unlike the Soviet (and more recent Western) foray into Afghanistan?

We have the seeds of another severe mistake building down here, thanks to our idiot and inexperienced Prime Minister thinking that pretending to have big balls and issuing stupid nationalistic bluster is the way to deal with Indonesia, which is starting to respond in equally stupid kind.

Anything is possible in international relations, largely because the egos of people involved in them are unrestrained and conceited as they play to the idiot class which is influenced by their bullshit.

tankgeezer
01-24-2014, 10:25 AM
*****

JR*
01-24-2014, 10:48 AM
One consolation is that the use of nukes at such close quarters is out of the question. Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly encouraging precedents, but one would definitely hope that this already messy situation stops short of panzers. Even without nukes, "direct action" on anybody's part would produce a truly awful mess. As far as I can make out, a large part of the Ukrainian population, especially in western Ukraine, are far from enamored of Russia. These people look towards the European Union (even in some cases towards Poland), while eastern Ukrainians are more likely to be Russophiles. Apart from simple geography, these orientations trace themselves back to divisions created by empires long dead. An "intervention - by anyone - could well produce a situation of civil war piled on top of invasion and resistance - and all in a part of the world very much more sensitive, if one thinks about it, even than the Middle East. Afghanistan might well be put in the ha'penny place. Perhaps it is just as well that Tsar Vlad has his fingers on the gas tap ... at least in this case. Best regards, JR.

JR*
01-28-2014, 08:04 AM
Was watching a tv documentary about alleged corruption and oppressive practices surrounding the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. It featured Tsar Vlad at some sort of reception in a magnificent room in the Kremlin, walking down the world's longest red carpet between hordes of groveling sycophants. The Tsars of old would have been green with envy if they could see it. I wonder - has Vlad lost some of his contact with common reality ? Not that I would suggest such a thing, were I in Russia ... Best regards, JR.

Rising Sun*
01-31-2014, 08:42 AM
Was watching a tv documentary about alleged corruption and oppressive practices surrounding the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. It featured Tsar Vlad at some sort of reception in a magnificent room in the Kremlin, walking down the world's longest red carpet between hordes of groveling sycophants. The Tsars of old would have been green with envy if they could see it. I wonder - has Vlad lost some of his contact with common reality ? Not that I would suggest such a thing, were I in Russia ... Best regards, JR.

The same could be said of the US President and the Queen of England doing various ceremonial things.

The difference is the interpretation we place on their and Vlad's conduct, with the knowledge that Vlad is a semi-dictator presiding over a magnificently corrupt system (as distinct from the astonishingly corrupt system in that other jewel in the communist crown, China) where those who fall out of favour can be imprisoned and stripped of wealth on various pretexts.

Whereas in America and Britain the systems are only semi-corrupt and those who fall out of favour are rarely stripped of their ill-gotten gains, let alone imprisoned, because in the West the free market is free of the arbitrary dictatorial and semi-dictatorial constraints, confiscations and penalties imposed by authoritarian regimes.

JR*
02-24-2014, 06:23 AM
What now, I wonder ? Russia humiliates the EU and appears to have won the diplomatic battle for hegemony over the Ukraine, but the whole thing is thrown back into the balance by a popular uprising in western Ukraine, followed by what can only be described as a coup d'état (it remains at this point to emerge who is actually pulling the strings). And the Russian Ambassador called back to Moscow for consultations. A bit like the "good old days" ? Not that this is a real victory for the EU - it leaves Brussels with the prospect of having to supply a very large amount of money to save the Ukrainian economy from collapse. Oh well, I suppose Mr Draghi and his fellows at the ECB will have to print a few zillion more Euros of funny money up in Frankfurt ...

Of course, Vlad will not just drop this one. Hegemony over the Ukraine is seen by the Russians as an essential strategic objective, and a cornerstone of Vlad's Eurasion project. Also, a substantial proportion, at least, of the population of eastern Ukraine might be open to the suggestion that they should stage their own uprising in favour of the Russian option. Sounds a bit like the Kosovo situation writ large. Could develop into quite a mess ... Best regards, JR.

Nickdfresh
02-24-2014, 06:56 AM
I only saw the headline, but apparently there is an arrest warrant for the the president, Yanukovych, who fled to the east of the country...

JR*
02-24-2014, 07:46 AM
If I were Yanukovych, I would find a way to Moscow asap. On known form in these situations, the best he can expect if captured is a long and uncomfortable stay in prison; the worst is, well, a lot worse. The timeline of this coup is interesting. One day, the bumbling European Union seems to have brokered a cessation of hostilities between the insurgents and the government involving the existing regime, albeit weakened, staying in place for the time being. Hardly 12 hours later, the police and Interior Ministry militia seem simply to have vanished from Kiev, along with (in spite of regime denials) most of the central civil service of the State. Power appears to fall into the hands of parliament (always in itself a pretty ineffective instrument to assume presidential powers in a state with a strong presidential system - or even otherwise) and an interim government, with uncertain authority, emerges, promising to form a "government of the people" with European Union orientation. How did this happen ?

Well, it is not really clear yet, but a not unreasonable speculation would be that elements of the Ukrainian Army - the ultimate basis of power (if not legal authority) in the State - made it clear behind the scenes that it had withdrawn its support from the government, and suggested politely to the police and militia that they do so too. The Yanukovych regime promptly, if quietly, collapsed, producing a situation in which the President went from Head of State to fugitive within a few hours, along with many of his officials and local oligarch supporters. The original insurgents seem confused and suddenly irrelevant. Behind the scenes, the generals grasp the reins of real power. There are many precedents for this sort of process, but the one that occurs most immediately to mind is Romania. No wonder Yanukovych is on the run.

This may be what happened - but it is certainly not the end of the story. For example - while (for all I know) the Ukrainian Army is dominated by ethnic Ukrainians, there is no guarantee that the whole army is in agreement with this course. One must assume that there is a substantial ethnic Russian element in the Army and, even if there is not a single ethnic Russian general, clever young lieutenants can become very significant in such circumstances. Bearing in mind that Vlad is likely already to have been fostering pro-Russian sentiment in eastern Ukraine and the Crimea, and that this is likely to have had some influence at least on elements in the Army, examples like Kosovo and, more generally, the breakup of former Yugoslavia, rear their heads. I really hope that somebody does have a grip (even an authoritarian one) on this situation, even if it is not apparent (yet). If not, the prospects could be bleak ... Yours from Kharkov, on the back of a T-34, JR.

Nickdfresh
02-25-2014, 06:30 AM
I agree and also suspect that Yanukovych's rapid collapse had to do the the security forces themselves, then magnified with the question of the Army's potential involvement in the crackdown. I think the security forces and the Army were increasing unwilling the enforce and Iranian style crackdown used to suppress the Green Revolution, and the tactic of using to snipers to shoot down civil rioters was already tenuous at best. I suspect he was vaguely threatened by "the generals" perhaps. There's an article today that basically states that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was instrumental in convincing him to flee to avoid bloodshed...

JR*
02-26-2014, 08:28 AM
Things have gone suspiciously quiet. It is, however, not insignificant that the interim Ukrainian prime minister has expressed fears about threats to the integrity of Ukrainian territory - threats that would include secessionism in east Ukraine and the Crimea; a possible split in the army, with some elements supporting secession of these territories; and the intervention of Russia in support of the "threatened" rights of ethnic Russians. There is also the huge potential problem of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at Sebastopol in the ethnically Russian Crimea, a difficulty that, unless it is solved diplomatically, could result in Vlad's legions intervening. And this is not to mention the Russian-Tatar issues within the Crimea ... Mess, mess, mess ... JR.

Nickdfresh
02-26-2014, 10:42 AM
I heart Putty ordered a combat readiness survey of all Russian forces in the area this morning. I also heard a fairly belligerent Ukrainian general stating that the Ukraine would fight, and defeat, any Russian incursion...

JR*
02-28-2014, 05:45 AM
Some of the language coming out of Moscow at the moment suggests that even Putin is getting a bit alarmed about the "momentum" of events. There would now appear to be a real possibility that some form of civil war may break out, in the Crimea in particular. If this were to happen, it would be near-impossible for Russia to avoid intervening in favour of the pro-Russian side - there is that Black Sea Fleet at Sebastopol, after all. The prospect of a "Sarajevo, 1914" situation developing in the Ukraine is not one for any of us to savour. Yours from the War Room, JR.

JR*
02-28-2014, 10:40 AM
Friendly Russian gunmen guarding the main Crimean airports ... ... ... Ukrainian generals promising resistance ... ... ... Where is this going ? Prefer not to think. "We'll met again, don't know where, don't when ... ". Hope not . JR.

Nickdfresh
02-28-2014, 03:33 PM
I dunno. I've read analysis that comes to the conclusion that it's in no ones interest to go to war and that no one wants that. Probably a negotiated settlement guaranteeing autonomy in the Crimea and ties between Russia and a more independent Ukraine will probably be the end result, yours ever hopeful, Nick.

JR*
03-03-2014, 07:28 AM
There are comparisons between today's situation (3 March, 2014) and both the pre-war outbreak situations both in 1914 and 1939 - not to mention the Balkans. I find it hard to believe that a war could break out in "Eurasia" based on mechanics that Prince Bismarck would have recognised. Hold on to your oars, folks ... Yours from the trenches at Brest-Litovsk, JR.

tankgeezer
03-03-2014, 11:09 AM
Fear not JR, we'll all chip in to send you a parcel of hard tack, and Bovril to keep you going.(you'll have to catch your own Rabbits though) :)
I will say that with what I'm seeing in the news (for the penny all that is worth) I'm thinking that NATO is kinda wishing it still had some of those posts in Germany.

JR*
03-05-2014, 01:29 PM
At this stage, I suspect that something resembling an understanding has been worked out between Russia and the Ukraine about where this will end. It may involve an enhanced Russian role (short of occupation) in the Crimea, with Russia allowing pro-Russian resistance in east Ukraine to be put down gently by the Ukrainians without significant objection. There is no real prospect of military intervention on the part of the western "Powers". The EU will huff and puff, but it cannot, in the end of the day, do without Russian natural gas. As for the US, unless they want to provoke an "all-out Superpower confrontation", there is little they can do beyond implementing sanctions that will have little effect in Russia other than to irritate, and suspend diplomatic and trade contacts that will only damage everybody. I think we have seen the beginning of the end, as far as this dispute is concerned. Nonetheless, the precedent that this poses is disturbing - far more so than Georgia, etc. The re-emergence of something close to old-fashioned land-grabbing on the part of a "mature" power like Russia scarcely bodes well for the future. Yours from the Sudatenland, JR.

JR*
03-05-2014, 01:31 PM
By the way, tankgeezer, thanks for the tip. I shall start stocking up on Bovril and carrots immediately ... Very best regards, JR.

JR*
03-06-2014, 11:33 AM
Nothing that has happened in between invalidates my most recent appraisal of the situation. The notion that Vlad has no "boots on the ground" is obviously ridiculous. At the very least, the suspiciously well-organized pro-Russian "local militia" of the Crimea are receiving advice from Russian technical advisers, and their strategy is obviously Kremlinesque. More than that, it seems probable that their ranks are stiffened by Russian regulars. The end-result will be that Crimea will become, if not part of Russia, a sort of Russian satrapy within the Ukraine. At the same time, positive Russian support for pro-Russian elements in eastern Ukraine seems very half-hearted. An interesting question is whether Vlad will permit an eventual settlement to include a very long-fingered option for the Ukraine to enter into even a preliminary association with the European Union; if he does, it will be a very, very long time in coming. In any event, the bumbling European Union "principes" have been made to look like fractious fools like never before, at least as far as foreign affairs are concerned. A possible settlement ? Not sure. The ethnic Ukrainian population of western and southern Ukraine are heirs to a complex political tradition that is less than friendly to the idea of Russian domination - whether their standard bearers are moderate democrats or Ukrainian neo-Nazis, with every shade in between. Watch this space. Or, perhaps better for your peace of mind, don't. Yours from the Bovril factory, taking pot-shots at rabbits, JR.

JR*
03-07-2014, 05:54 AM
So ... the Crimean assembly has voted to convert the planned referendum on greater autonomy for the region within the Ukraine to a referendum on secession from the Ukraine and integration in the Russian Federation. We started out with a Putin v. EU bumblers diplomatic chess game and have now reached ... this ? I still find it difficult to believe that there will actually be a shooting war here. However, events over the last few weeks are going to leave a heap of resentments that will bode ill for the future of the Ukraine. The EU will really have to look hard at its foreign policy aspirations, too. Unless it can do better than this, Brussels should really stick to regulating the contents of jams, jellies and chestnut puree. Their incompetent and ill-advised courtship of the Ukraine must bear a substantial responsibility for starting this business in the first place. Best regards, JR.

JR*
03-13-2014, 11:15 AM
Frau Merkel has now waded into this row, threatening serious political, economic, diplomatic etc. consequences if Tsar Vlad does anything even more naughty in the Ukraine. Not sure if Vlad will care much about this. Mind you, his oligarch and oligarch-hangers-on may find their ability to visit the hated West curtailed a bit irksome - what is Harrods without Russians ? Those of us who have to live in the Hated West (of Europe) might find the absence of Russians an improvement ... but never mind. One thing I will say - given the choice between being attacked by Frau Merkel and being attacked by the Panzers, I am not sure that I would pick the Panzers ... Yours from the citadel of Sebastopol , JR.

Kilroy
03-14-2014, 09:56 AM
It feels like the whole North Korean situation again. The countries will be talking trash and threaten other countries but I doubt any action will be taking place. I mean the Olympics are coming up in 2 years I doubt Russia is going to ruin that.

JR*
03-14-2014, 10:30 AM
Interesting point, Kilroy - I shall revert. In the meantime - Happy St Patrick's Day ! Beir beannacht, JR.

JR*
03-21-2014, 09:23 AM
So ... the European Union bumblers have undertaken to sign a provisional version of an association agreement with the current, anti-Russian provisional government of the Ukraine, and propose to advance the conclusion of similar provisional agreements with Georgia and Moldova. ... The arrogance and ignorance of the EU élite was largely responsible for triggering this crisis. Now, having dug a hole, they propose to continue digging. We may not be heading for a shooting war - but Cold War Two is definitely on the cards. I can understand why the Baltic States, Germany and the surprisingly belligerent Scandinavians are taking a relatively aggressive position in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, and (possible) annexationist activity in eastern Ukraine. After all, to take the Baltic States in particular, they have their own problems with substantial Russian minorities. If (and I doubt this), Tsar Vlad has blundered into a position of aggressive "protection" of Little Russian Brothers, they would have much to fear from future Russian actions. The worrying thing about all this is that the EU, Russia and even the US seem to be enmeshed in an "events" process governed by conflicting politico/strategic imperatives that is careering on beyond the control of anybody. Even without a shooting war, we are tethering on the brink of a trade/economic war that could result, most significantly, in Vlad turning off the gas flowing to the Baltic States, Moldova, Germany and France. How would that play ? Not likely to do anybody much good. Cold War II here we come. Gods help us ! Best regards, JR.

JR*
03-24-2014, 10:11 AM
:shock:The forceful capture of a Ukrainian naval base - using, allegedly, "automatic weapons and stun grenades" (an odd combination) - is a very worrying development. Apart from the humiliation for the Ukrainian state in seeing its officers led off in hand-ties, there has been little comment on the fact that this development implies a Russian intention to exclude the Ukrainian Navy from effective access to the Med - a development that would make the Ukrainian Navy totally redundant. One wonders how much of this provocation the Ukraine can take before considerations of self preservation and pride induce them to shoot back. This leaves aside altogether the blatant illegal nature of this latest provocation. Vlad is not stupid and, presumably, has some view of a possible political settlement to this mess. However, recent Russian actions at military and political level seem to me to make this possibility increasingly difficult to achieve. And now we have NATO (US) generals calling for increasing troop deployment in Germany and even further east to make the possibility of war less likely. (!). Who was it that said that "military intelligence was a contradiction in terms ? Yours from the Odessa Steps, JR.

Nickdfresh
03-24-2014, 02:31 PM
I recall reading over the weekend that some Ukrainian senior officers were upset that no one fired back at Russians assaulting the bases because the commanders on the ground wanted to avoid bloodshed. I can understand Ukrainian junior officers not wanting to get their men wiped out. I suspect intrusions into the Ukraine proper would result in a shooting confrontation. There have already been some confrontations and the Russians test limits. I read one article where it seems the Russians are relying heavily on Spetsnaz special forces in order to maintain a sort of plausible deniability or sorts. Mainly they've been driving around in unmarked military and heavy duty civilian vehicles supposedly, casing possible routes and probing Ukrainian defenses...

JR*
03-26-2014, 10:12 AM
As I suggested earlier, the least bad solution of this problem is likely to lie in Ukrainian de facto acceptance of the Russian takeover in the Crimea (which Vlad is moving rapidly to make irreversible), while the Russians back off (even take steps to cool the situation) in eastern Ukraine. Not very legal - but it has a certain logic. Frankly, the association of the Crimea with Ukraine has no more logic to it than its association with Russia - the presence of "Russia" there dates from the Tsarist Empire, and was one of the many (often inconvenient) consequences of Russia's expansion into this region in the 18th and 19th centuries. An odd parallel occurs - prior to the expansion of the Russian Empire into the Crimea, the Tatars were the habitual inhabitants of this area, going back centuries. A parallel with the position of Native Americans, perhaps ? In any event, it is to be hoped that this lamentable sequence of events, initiated by the bunglers in Brussels, will stop short of any sort of shooting war. The outbreak of Cold War Two is bad enough ... JR.

tankgeezer
03-26-2014, 12:28 PM
Although this wanders off the trail a bit, it does kind of fit the issue. This is presently om the white house petition site. (not that it has a snowball's chance in Hell of becoming anything.) https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/alaska-back-russia/SFG1ppfN

JR*
03-26-2014, 01:23 PM
Interesting. Would Vlad want Alaska back - if Alaska came with Sarah Palin ? Just kidding, JR.

tankgeezer
03-26-2014, 08:13 PM
Not sure she would be in the deal, but I did say that if the Russian Federation wanted Alaska, they would have to take Obama & Co. as well. I also mentioned that they could probably buy California for around 50 bucks, but they would have to saw it off, and tow it home themselves. ;)

JR*
04-14-2014, 07:43 AM
14 April, 2014 - there is now a horrible possibility that within the next 12 hours, the shooting will start in earnest, as a column of Ukrainian National Guard gendarmes rolls from Kiev eastward. Hard to know whether this lot are any less an ill-trained armed rabble than are the pro-Russian rebels. However, the latter appear (as in the Crimea) to be supported by Russian Special Forces, who are a different kettle of fish altogether. The developments in the Crimea were humiliating for the Ukraine but, on the whole, they were relatively non-violent; that is not true of affairs in eastern Ukraine at the moment. The Ukrainian government may have arrived at the point at which they need to take very strong measures or fail in their fundamental obligations to their state. On the other side, if Russian Special Forces become involved in a shooting war with the Ukrainian forces, Vlad may find it difficult to avoid sending in his panzers to support them. When I started this thread, the possibility of a shooting war was a fairly remote nightmare. Unless somebody gets a grip on this situation, the nightmare may be with us very shortly. I am not optimistic ... Yours from an east Ukrainian police station, dodging petrol bombs, JR.

Nickdfresh
04-15-2014, 06:10 AM
The Ukrainians are going to shoot back this time...

Kovalski
04-15-2014, 06:51 AM
The Ukrainians are going to shoot back this time...

Don't worry guys, EU leaders will probably meet NEXT WEEK to discuss the Ukrainian crisis...

It's pretty good idea to follow Ukrainian twitter accounts. Try english version of "euromaidan". They've got all the latest news.
I've just read that Ukrainian intelligence service identified a man in charge of separatists in Sloviansk as Igor Strielkov, GRU officer - russian military intelligence service.

JR*
04-17-2014, 09:13 AM
Three "Pro-Russians" reported shot to death within the last few hours. I was viewing a speech from our Minister for European Affairs in our Senate a little while ago. He referred (correctly) to the dangers posed by "momentum" in these circumstances, citing the (distressingly appropriate) precedent of Autumn, 1914. Meanwhile, a number of Ukrainian Army units have shown "restraint" to the extent of surrendering their arms and vehicles to "pro-Russian" civilians. The Cossack Winked ? Perhaps. However, the Kiev government certainly has forces at its disposal less likely to "wink" when faced even with unarmed resistance. "Momentum" here we come ?". Yours from Sarajevo, JR.

tankgeezer
04-24-2014, 12:55 AM
******

JR*
04-24-2014, 09:10 AM
7046Impressive Western response to Vlad's Lads moving into the Ukraine - recent view from Britain's satirical magazine, "Private Eye"... JR.

JR*
04-25-2014, 09:40 AM
25 April, and the Dogs of War are growling. Could it actually happen ? Mind you, I think the Ukrainian notion that the Russians are trying to start WW3 is off the wall. If the Russians do invade, the West will, essentially, let them do what they like, without effective (certainly military) response. On the other hand ... have "World leaders" forgotten the old days of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) ? Have they forgotten all those old nukes still sitting around in their silos and submarines (like Finn McCumhaill or Hogar Danske in their caves) waiting to be called to action ? It could begin to feel like the good old days of the Cuban missile crisis, soon ... Yours from the Café at the End of the Universe, JR.

tankgeezer
04-26-2014, 01:36 AM
The few people I know who live in that neck of the woods seem to feel Ukraine is the unreasonable party. I can't say as I go for that idea altogether,but not living there leaves me a bit at the mercy of their perspective.Despite whatever idiosyncrasies the leadership of Ukraine may labor under, I still will not think of Putin as balanced, or benevolent. I do wonder though, what is really going on behind all of this. It is the Puppeteer who operates the Marionettes, but who is it that whispers in his ear?

Nickdfresh
04-26-2014, 10:49 AM
Putin is completely mental, I find it a bit vile that some have adopted him as some sort of cause celeb against "The New World Order" or some bizarre thing. He's decrying the Ukrainians for tepidly and very mildly performing what he did in Chechnya. Can someone invade Chechnya now to save the Chechens against Russian-speakers?

JR*
05-02-2014, 05:24 AM
2 May - a fair bit of shooting in east Ukraine in the last 24 hours. The Ukrainians appear to be edging towards a more vigorous military response to what are really outrageous provocations from secessionists in the east, having brought up more reliable regular Ukrainian troops. What next ? I am not at all convinced that Moscow is really in control of these "pro-Russian forces" in east Ukraine. It would not - by a long chalk - be the first time that Russia was led by the nose by "little Russian (or Slav) Brothers" intent on drawing them in to support a local agenda. I am not convinced that Vlad at all wants to invade eastern Ukraine - but very fundamental and long-standing Russian policy imperatives may in the end put him in a position of having little choice, thus destroying any chance of a relatively peaceful solution involving Russia annexing the Crimea, but "cooling off" the east Ukrainian "pro-Russian" insurgency. I am not at all sure that the Kremlin has the power to do this without doubling back on a fundamental policy imperative. Things are not looking good ... Yours from the Tractor Factory, JR.

herman2
05-03-2014, 06:53 AM
The Ukrainians are going to shoot back this time...

Oh PLEASE...Shoot back?? There pussies and you know it. They let Russia march right in and take over Crimea. Half their army is Russian born. The Ukrainians couldn't shoot back if they wanted to because they know Mother Russia will cut off their oil and put them back into the dark ages. You don't shoot a gift horse in the mouth. Um, How much Money does Ukraine owe Russia? Um, Where are they getting their oil from? ...And you say their going to shoot back? Yaun....

JR*
05-09-2014, 07:29 AM
Russian self-propelled guns parade in Moscow today, in celebration of Victory Day, commemorating the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. Next stop Kiev ? I hope not ... JR.

JR*
05-09-2014, 08:07 AM
The triumphal parade proceeded to the background of wartime military music - including "The Sacred War" - the music to which the rescuers of Moscow departed to the front in 1941, often to their deaths. I hope that Vlad is not going seriously old-fashioned ? Yours from the War Room, JR.

navyson
05-09-2014, 08:19 AM
I wonder what's the obsession with military parades in Eastern Europe? I'm 46 years old and I don't recall ever seeing a military parade here in the USA like what they have there.

Rising Sun*
05-09-2014, 09:09 AM
I wonder what's the obsession with military parades in Eastern Europe? I'm 46 years old and I don't recall ever seeing a military parade here in the USA like what they have there.

What about China and North Korea?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzP5qr-ZxHY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwEkaGYBdHs

There is a video somewhere of the way these troops are selected to be of exact height and trained to be the robots they are. But if they can fight like they can drill, we're in trouble.

Here's their training film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOdaGIXpBo


Here is the instructor's diagram.

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/diaries/images/heath1.gif


Seriously, it may be more than a coincidence that the goosestep and big military parades are beloved of dictatorships and other repressive regimes.

One could posit all sorts of reasons for it, but the most obvious are that they reinforce the belief of the leadership in their power and demonstrate the power of the leadership to the nation, which I suspect is the primary purpose, and also to other powers, which is probably less effective as those powers probably have intelligence about the real power of the given nation.

It reminds me of the story, probably apocryphal, of Mussolini reviewing his air force and being entertained to sumptuous meals while the planes he had just reviewed were flown to his next stop so he could, unwittingly, inspect them again in the belief that they were another element of his air forces.

tankgeezer
05-09-2014, 10:35 AM
The triumphal parade proceeded to the background of wartime military music - including "The Sacred War" - the music to which the rescuers of Moscow departed to the front in 1941, often to their deaths. I hope that Vlad is not going seriously old-fashioned ? Yours from the War Room, JR.
When people wonder how, or why the world seems to be losing it's mind, I usually, and jokingly recommend the wearing of a tinfoil hat to aid in deflecting the "Negative Waves" (Oddball, Kelly's Heroes) Though in these times of true menace, I have begun to recommend Leadfoil instead. ;) :) Its a good thing Pa built the shelter in the basement back in the 60's..

tankgeezer
05-09-2014, 10:27 PM
What about China and North Korea?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzP5qr-ZxHY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwEkaGYBdHs

There is a video somewhere of the way these troops are selected to be of exact height and trained to be the robots they are. But if they can fight like they can drill, we're in trouble.

Here's their training film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOdaGIXpBo


Here is the instructor's diagram.

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/diaries/images/heath1.gif


Seriously, it may be more than a coincidence that the goosestep and big military parades are beloved of dictatorships and other repressive regimes.

One could posit all sorts of reasons for it, but the most obvious are that they reinforce the belief of the leadership in their power and demonstrate the power of the leadership to the nation, which I suspect is the primary purpose, and also to other powers, which is probably less effective as those powers probably have intelligence about the real power of the given nation.

It reminds me of the story, probably apocryphal, of Mussolini reviewing his air force and being entertained to sumptuous meals while the planes he had just reviewed were flown to his next stop so he could, unwittingly, inspect them again in the belief that they were another element of his air forces.

Well, the N. Koreans can do okay if they would just use the right music..,,,http://youtu.be/lwoSFQb5HVk

JR*
05-12-2014, 08:44 AM
So - Russia has "recognized" the results of the daft east Ukrainian "referendums". Not, mind you, that it is suggesting any course of action in particular from now, beyond vaguely outlined "talks" involving (in some unspecified way) the east Ukrainian "pro-Russians". If, presumably, they can identify any generally representative leaders to take part in such talks on behalf of the "pro-Russians". What a mess.

The developments of recent days tend to confirm that Putin is not really in control of his "Little Russian Brothers" in the Ukraine, any more than the rickety autocracy of Tsar Nicholas was in control of the Serbian Secret Service and its terroristic adjuncts in 1914. They also confirm that he is most reluctant to do what the Little Russian Brothers have actually said they want him to do - that is, send in the panzers. Problem is that Russian political and strategic imperatives may, ultimately, force him to intervene directly. One would hope not - but it would be very foolish to rule out the possibility.

By the way - the farcical referendums in east Ukraine remind me of an old joke from Soviet days - "there was consternation in the Kremlin today when it was discovered that someone had broken in and stolen next year's election results.". One difference - at least in those days the Soviet geriontocrocacy had control on the situation. No such comfort now. Sometimes, I really do miss the old USSR ... Yours from the Victory Parade, JR.

Chevan
05-12-2014, 09:12 AM
I wonder what's the obsession with military parades in Eastern Europe? I'm 46 years old and I don't recall ever seeing a military parade here in the USA like what they have there.
What's wrong or bad with parades? You have a dozens of big parades in US per year, including Guy and lesbian ones;). The Victory military parade in Moscow is rather a mass form of social and historical self-identification.Many people here likes the parades:) It's not an exclusively Eastern europe tradition.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:05 AM
By the way - the farcical referendums in east Ukraine remind me of an old joke from Soviet days - "there was consternation in the Kremlin today when it was discovered that someone had broken in and stolen next year's election results.".

I got a good laugh out of that.

Unfortunately, it pretty much applies to countless dictatorships and repressive regimes.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:09 AM
You have a dozens of big parades in US per year, including Guy and lesbian ones;).

Also gay and lesbian ones.

Maybe Putin's anti-gay control of your computer retyped it as guy? ;) :D

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:20 AM
Well, the N. Koreans can do okay if they would just use the right music..,,,http://youtu.be/lwoSFQb5HVk

Surprising amount of dancing. I thought fun was banned in North Korea.

Reminds me of old joke, attributed to various 'no fun allowed' religions which ban pre-marital sex, because it might lead to dancing.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:28 AM
Just to show that military parades don't have to be big to be impressive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDZUoR583Es

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:38 AM
The Victory military parade in Moscow is rather a mass form of social and historical self-identification.Many people here likes the parades

Chevan, from down here I get the impression that Putin is popular in Russia over the Crimean issue because he exercised Russian power successfully for the first time since the collapse of the USSR; defied the West in doing so; took back what some Russians regard as Russian territory; and that this makes many Russians feel proud rather than humiliated or defeated by the West, and revives their sense of, to use your term, historical self-identification. Obviously that's an over-simplification of a complex issue in a couple of lines, but how do you see it from your position as a Russian?

JR*
05-13-2014, 05:40 AM
On the subject of dancing and strict religions - I am reminded of a comedy sketch from the late, great Irish comedian Dave Allen. It showed Dave, playing the Pope, counseling a young couple on birth control - "First, you takea de record, and then you put it ona de gramophone, and thena you play it !". The young couple look puzzled. Finally, the husband asks - "Holy Father, that is very interesting ... but do you do it before or after making love ?". The Holy Father replies indignantly, "You do that instead of making love !". How is that for off-topic ... Yours from the Dungeons of the Inquisition, JR.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 05:51 AM
The developments of recent days tend to confirm that Putin is not really in control of his "Little Russian Brothers" in the Ukraine, any more than the rickety autocracy of Tsar Nicholas was in control of the Serbian Secret Service and its terroristic adjuncts in 1914. They also confirm that he is most reluctant to do what the Little Russian Brothers have actually said they want him to do - that is, send in the panzers. Problem is that Russian political and strategic imperatives may, ultimately, force him to intervene directly. One would hope not - but it would be very foolish to rule out the possibility.


One major difference between now and 1914 is that we don't have Germany encouraging the rickety Austro-Hungarians into a war which would involve Russia, to achieve German ambitions.

One major difference between now and WWII is that we don't have Germany aiming to attack Russia to achieve German ambitions, nor the fervent Western anti-communist sentiment which informed Western policy for much of the inter-war period; was suspended during the latter part of WWII to support the USSR as an ally against Germany and Japan; and resumed with increasing vigour after WWII until the end of the Cold War.

And then Germany, along with other parts outside Russia, became dependent upon Russian energy, which in turn enriched post-communist Russian oligarchs beyond belief.

The current circumstances don't have any precedent in the past couple of centuries which allow us to predict how things might turn out.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 06:32 AM
On the subject of dancing and strict religions - I am reminded of a comedy sketch from the late, great Irish comedian Dave Allen.

Ah, the guilty pleasures for emancipating Micks in the 1970s of enjoying Dave's irreligious digs at the Catholic Church.


It showed Dave, playing the Pope, counseling a young couple on birth control - "First, you takea de record, and then you put it ona de gramophone, and thena you play it !". The young couple look puzzled. Finally, the husband asks - "Holy Father, that is very interesting ... but do you do it before or after making love ?". The Holy Father replies indignantly, "You do that instead of making love !". How is that for off-topic ... Yours from the Dungeons of the Inquisition, JR.

And the Pope at the time, John XXIII, and Vatican II which he convened, surprised many inside and outside the Church by not declaring any opposition to Soviet or other communism which was stridently opposed to religion in general and the the Latin and Eastern rites in particular. John XXIII even received Khrushchev's daughter and son in law at the Vatican after playing an important part in defusing the Cuban missile crisis which, in part, somewhat ironically represented the first Catholic American president staring down the atheistic Soviets.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1798&dat=19630307&id=gxQhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3IsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6572,678241
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/preventing-war-pope-john-xxiii-and-the-cuban-missile-crisishttp://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/preventing-war-pope-john-xxiii-and-the-cuban-missile-crisis

And now we have the remarkable spectacle of the former loyal Soviet agent Putin forming an (unholy?) alliance with the Eastern Rite as personified by the Russian Orthodox Church which has brought that Church back to the centre of Russian politics after being excluded from, indeed persecuted by, the Kremlin for nearly the last century.

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

How's that for getting back on, and wildly expanding, the topic?


Yours from the Dungeons of the Inquisition, JR.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt0Y39eMvpI (About the same era as Dave Allen, and also hilariously funny at the time. And still pretty funny.)

Chevan
05-13-2014, 08:28 AM
Hello sir RisingSun. i'm glad to see you too.:)))

Also gay and lesbian ones.

Maybe Putin's anti-gay control of your computer retyped it as guy? ;) :D
Putin specializes on the another form of censorship.He doesn't care about gays much. But american OS windows7, i suspect, might to support that kind of tolerasty :mrgreen:I was meaning the Guyes who goes to parades:))Don't Guyes go to parades?Really?Only gays and lesbian ?:)

Chevan
05-13-2014, 08:47 AM
Chevan, from down here I get the impression that Putin is popular in Russia over the Crimean issue because he exercised Russian power successfully for the first time since the collapse of the USSR; defied the West in doing so; took back what some Russians regard as Russian territory; and that this makes many Russians feel proud rather than humiliated or defeated by the West, and revives their sense of, to use your term, historical self-identification. Obviously that's an over-simplification of a complex issue in a couple of lines, but how do you see it from your position as a Russian?
I see this not much optimistic. The any confrontation is a danger and nasty thing! Hope they will not turn the Ukraine into the another one Iraq or Syria. Actualy the people in Russia survive like sort of patriotic euphoria - never seen such since the most 1990!! The media rise it up as the another one "historical great victory". Putin's popularity rises. Some of social networks and TV warm up the anti-american propogand.Idiocy IMO!!!
The most popular hero here n Russia is not Putin , but Vitaliy Churkin - the russian UN consul.His batalies with Samanta Power made him very popular on TV.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 08:55 AM
Hello sir RisingSun. i'm glad to see you too.:)))

Glad to see you, too.

It would be good to see you posting more often, as your knowledge and opinions are always welcome, me old Russian mate. ;) :cool:

Chevan
05-13-2014, 08:56 AM
Just to show that military parades don't have to be big to be impressive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDZUoR583Es

It's not the our case:) The bigger- the more impressive!!!Like carnaval in Rio:) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cbMLeeV1ww)

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 08:57 AM
Hello sir RisingSun. i'm glad to see you too.:)))

Putin specializes on the another form of censorship.He doesn't care about gays much. But american OS windows7, i suspect, might to support that kind of tolerasty :mrgreen:I was meaning the Guyes who goes to parades:))Don't Guyes go to parades?Really?Only gays and lesbian ?:)

I don't know.

Nickdfresh is American and, worse, he lives in America, so he should know. ;) :D

Chevan
05-13-2014, 09:04 AM
Glad to see you, too.

It would be good to see you posting more often, as your knowledge and opinions are always welcome, me old Russian mate. ;) :cool:
Thanks mate. I see you do a great job here supproting the order:)

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 09:05 AM
Actualy the people in Russia survive like sort of patriotic euphoria - never seen such since the most 1990!! The media rise it up as the another one "historical great victory". Putin's popularity rises. Some of social networks and TV warm up the anti-american propogand.Idiocy IMO!!!
The most popular hero here n Russia is not Putin , but Vitaliy Churkin - the russian UN consul.His batalies with Samanta Power made him very popular on TV.

That is what I was thinking. That some or many or all Russians are pleased by exercising Russian power to take Crimea and not taking any notice of the West / UN, so it creates a sense of Russian pride after the end of the Cold War.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 09:13 AM
It's not the our case:) The bigger- the more impressive!!!Like carnaval in Rio:) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cbMLeeV1ww)


Like this Rio carnival? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZxGRdqGEIw

I think Panzerknacker is in the opening scene. ;) :D

Chevan
05-13-2014, 09:16 AM
That is what I was thinking. That some or many or all Russians are pleased by exercising Russian power to take Crimea and not taking any notice of the West / UN, so it creates a sense of Russian pride after the end of the Cold War.
That is true, but i see not much reasons for honor and proudness. The last bloody slayghtering in Odessa (http://rt.com/news/156592-odessa-activists-burnt-alive/) demonstrates that ukrainain ultra-rights seems are OUT of Kievan controll - they killed female civils in manner of nazis killed jews in ww2.Putin is undirectly , but responsible for that blood, together with the kievan junta.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 09:27 AM
Hope they will not turn the Ukraine into the another one Iraq or Syria.

I think the greater problem might be the longstanding Ukrainian hostility to Russia as a result of the 1930s famine imposed by Stalin.

If the Ukrainians are pushed into a corner again by Russia, they might choose to fight rather than experience the horrors again of something like Holodomor.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 09:43 AM
That is true, but i see not much reasons for honor and proudness. The last bloody slayghtering in Odessa (http://rt.com/news/156592-odessa-activists-burnt-alive/) demonstrates that ukrainain ultra-rights seems are OUT of Kievan controll - they killed female civils in manner of nazis killed jews in ww2.Putin is undirectly , but responsible for that blood, together with the kievan junta.

Does that make Putin / Russia or Ukraine / government responsible, or is this just the usual start to armed civil conflict which can lead to civil war where various groups have abandoned the restraints of civil society and its laws to pursue their own aims, and the central government(s) won't or can't control the rebels?

The Ukrainians seem to be in the awkward position of using their military forces against some of their Russian aligned police, at least from the new reports we get here.

It looks like an opportunity for a civil war, which perhaps brings Russia in. While the West stays out.

Glad I'm not in Ukraine.

JR*
05-13-2014, 10:04 AM
Total mess. I am not sure I would agree that there are no valid parallels with the Autumn, 1914 situation. The imperative for Russia to intervene to protect "Little Russian Brothers" is a clear common point. Nor am I entirely sure that "Germany" wanted war in 1914. Its position would best be regarded as "flaky", with a dithering Kaiser and the professional warmongers of the German (Prussian) General Staff to some degree at odds. One big difference is, of course, is that there is no equivalent in the present situation of the moribund Austria-Hungarian Empire/Kingdom, that seemed from its actions to disregard the possibility of general war in its narrow focus on putting manners on Serbia, a kingdom whose very existence was an affront to the Austria/Hungary polity. But, then again, how is one to view the "pro-Russian" elements in east Ukraine ? They also seem to be pursuing a narrow maverick agenda, without regard to possible broader consequences. At least, this time, one can be certain that none of the major players are dumb enough to want a general war. That, unfortunately, is not to say that circumstances will not drag at least some parties into such a conflict. The arrival of Cold War 2 is bad enough ...

By the way - I should before now have welcomed Chevan back into activity In Here. His informed comment and perspective are always interesting. Also - "Micks" ? Seems to me that there is plenty of Mick DNA circulating in the Merry Old Land of Oz ... Yours from the Shed (tanned hide to), JR.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 11:10 AM
Also - "Micks" ? Seems to me that there is plenty of Mick DNA circulating in the Merry Old Land of Oz ... Yours from the Shed (tanned hide to), JR.

'Mick' down here, in my distant youth when such things mattered, could mean Catholic or Irish / Irish descent, but more Catholic in my 1950s / 1960s time as the Irish heritage was diluting and Italian Catholic immigrants were starting to take the heat with their peculiar form of Catholicism, which I envied greatly as it required the men to stand outside the church in nicely tailored suits talking and smoking while the women attended the service inside.

Standard chant of the state / technical school boys to those of us in Catholic school uniforms before they belted us was
'Catholic dogs
jump like frogs
and eat no meat on Fridays'
and other highly informed and vastly amusing comments, such as disgust about the tunnels which ran between the nuns' convent and presbytery which facilitated child sacrifices on the church altar in the dead of night.

If only they'd known what some priests were really doing with the altar boys and other children, they might have belted the **** out of some bastards who really deserved it.

Rising Sun*
05-13-2014, 11:24 AM
Total mess. I am not sure I would agree that there are no valid parallels with the Autumn, 1914 situation. The imperative for Russia to intervene to protect "Little Russian Brothers" is a clear common point.

Might the difference be that the current situation revolves around Russian speakers / ethnic Russians in places where, often, they are only fairly recent migrants, but in1914 the situation revolved around pan-Slavism which saw the then Russian Empire supporting more or less indigenous slavs in the Balkans against Austria-Hungary and behind that Germany?

JR*
05-13-2014, 12:19 PM
RS* - you have a point, certainly. However, there is also the point that defense of the "Little Russian Brothers" in east Ukraine might be taken to fill the space of pan-Slavism in the short term, not to mention the Eurasian idea, in which Putin has expressed interest, in the medium/long term ? Don't feel safe yet, me ould Cobber ... JR.

Nickdfresh
05-13-2014, 08:00 PM
I don't know.

Nickdfresh is American and, worse, he lives in America, so he should know. ;) :D
http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article3525330.ece/alternates/s615/Conchita-Wurst-and-Vladimir-Putin.jpg
Oh that macho Mr. Putin. Always taking his shirt off and showing his man-titties and shooting sedated tigers. :mrgreen:

I've been to a few parades and enough to know that they aren't my thing. And I'm not sure but I think we do in fact have a gay Pride parade in Buffalo like most major cities, but they seem less gay than touting your big, girthy IRBM'S :mrgreen:

And yes, we do have some military themed parades that are more somber and a remembrance on Memorial Day. Most of the military equipment featured is from WWII with local owners of Jeeps and halftracks driving in front of aged veterans, not the latest M-1's. That's not to say America doesn't have its own chest-thumping military pageantry and overreaches with our love of military aircraft flying over everything involving major sporting events. But the only major U.S. military parade I recall was the return of the First Gulf War veterans through NYC in around 1991 for a ticker tape parade. But I think it was largely devoid of large pieces of military equipment IIRC...

JR*
05-14-2014, 05:23 AM
I would not give our bearded Austrian friend much chance of winning a Eurasian Song Contest. Regarding parades, we used to hold an annual military Easter Parade through Dublin to commemorate the anniversary of our 1916 Easter Rising/Rebellion. This was a bit embarrassing, as the Irish Defence Forces are small and, while quite well equipped for what here is broadly called providing assistance to the civil power (something the US National Guard is involved with over the Pond), has little in the line of heavy hardware. The military parade was mercifully killed off by the onset of the Northern Ireland "Troubles". Nowadays we confine military commemorations to relatively modest public ceremonies, usually without parading. I think that most people here find this much preferable, for a number of reasons. With the centenary of the "Rising" coming up around Easter, 2016, it will be interesting to see whether an old-style parade will feature in the commemoration programme. Best regards, JR.

flamethrowerguy
05-14-2014, 04:30 PM
http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article3525330.ece/alternates/s615/Conchita-Wurst-and-Vladimir-Putin.jpg

A bearded Austrian conquering Europe...almost more terrifying than Stal...er...Putin-

Nickdfresh
05-14-2014, 07:35 PM
http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/5c2bc916aa717f18d73e9e7cf56f49c8/200113419/DrEvil-steve.jpg
I call it, "ANN-EX-AYE-SHUN!"...

Rising Sun*
05-15-2014, 07:45 AM
RS* - you have a point, certainly. However, there is also the point that defense of the "Little Russian Brothers" in east Ukraine might be taken to fill the space of pan-Slavism in the short term, not to mention the Eurasian idea, in which Putin has expressed interest, in the medium/long term ?

True, but the difference between WWI and now is that pan-Slavism then was Russian imperial opposition to the German and Austro-Hungarian threat to the Balkans.

The current issue is more in the nature of intra-Slavic cannibalism.

Which is what Stalin wreaked on what was then The Ukraine in the 1930s with Holodomor.

I expect that there is a long memory in Ukraine for that misery, but the lack of military or other power to resist the latest offence by Russia. Civil wars have been sparked by less.



Don't feel safe yet, me ould Cobber ... JR.

I'm reasonably confident that Vlad the Impaler doesn't covet Dublin. ;):D

JR*
05-15-2014, 11:41 AM
You've got to remember, RS, that I am a child of the Cold War, and have difficulty getting over my infantile memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you ... Kidding of course.

Mind you, now that I think on it, we have just been confronted with the spectacle of our (normally sensible) Minister for Finance welcoming Donald Trump (and his personal airliner) to Shannon Airport with musicians (don't think there were dancers) as "The Don" arrived to launch the development of a golf resort at Doonbeg. Perhaps if Vlad were to arrive in Dublin with an air fleet, he might find himself more welcome that he would be in Kiev ... Yours from the Kremlin Bathroom Cleaning Department, JR.

JR*
05-15-2014, 11:50 AM
US billionaire Donald Trump and family arrive at Shannon in their "Presidential Boeing 757 to a Ministerial greeting, welcoming his promise to develop a major golf resort in these here parts. Could Putin be next ? Vlad the Golfer doesn't sound quite right ... Best regards, JR.

Rising Sun*
05-16-2014, 05:11 AM
US billionaire Donald Trump and family arrive at Shannon in their "Presidential Boeing 757 to a Ministerial greeting, welcoming his promise to develop a major golf resort in these here parts. Could Putin be next ? Vlad the Golfer doesn't sound quite right ... Best regards, JR.

1. A major golf resort should see Bank of Ireland shares and Irish real estate values soar to their previous heights in no time. A Trump led recovery, as long as this isn't another De Lorean

2. Vlad could be 'golfified' by adding a T to the pronunciation of his surname, making him Puttin(g).

Rising Sun*
05-16-2014, 05:34 AM
You've got to remember, RS, that I am a child of the Cold War, and have difficulty getting over my infantile memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I recall it well, with a clear image of sitting in the schoolyard about a month before I turned 13 talking to another kid and wondering whether we'd see the missiles coming or if there would just be a massive nuclear explosion without warning. We didn't understand that the nuclear war was likely to be confined to the northern hemisphere.

Neither did our leaders in that age of nuclear dread. In those days our telephone books had a map on the inside cover with radial rings showing the degrees of damage if a nuclear weapon was dropped on the centre of my city (Melbourne). The rings covering areas I was likely to be in didn't augur well for my survival. It was a question of whether I'd be lucky enough to be vaporised instantly or irradiated to linger for a few days or weeks depending on where I was at the magic moment.

Curiously, adults were positively excited a few years earlier when the nuclear Armageddon film "On the Beach" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053137/ was filmed here.

I got over the Cuban missile crisis pretty quickly, possibly because within a year or two Australian concerns focused on the Domino Theory risk to us of communist invasion from our north. This got us involved in the Vietnam War which was a shooting war in the forefront of our minds rather than the more remote risks of the Cold War facing Europe, even though Vietnam was a proxy war sub-set of the Cold War.

Cuts
05-20-2014, 08:22 AM
Hello sir RisingSun. i'm glad to see you too.:)))

Putin specializes on the another form of censorship.He doesn't care about gays much. But american OS windows7, i suspect, might to support that kind of tolerasty :mrgreen:I was meaning the Guyes who goes to parades:))Don't Guyes go to parades?Really?Only gays and lesbian ?:)

So I'm led to believe, I think the collective name for those involved is "Air Force."

Chevan
05-26-2014, 02:13 PM
Does that make Putin / Russia or Ukraine / government responsible, or is this just the usual start to armed civil conflict which can lead to civil war where various groups have abandoned the restraints of civil society and its laws to pursue their own aims, and the central government(s) won't or can't control the rebels?

Yes. the some of radical extremist groups definitelly want to use the situation to it's own profit. Is this possible anywhere in Europe that the ultra-Nationalists groups will be used as anti-govenmental "ice-breacer" by oppositional forces?Yes , in Ukraine. The Junta just armed the UPA fans and send them to kill the another Ukrainains.When regualar army just refuse to execute the orders by Kiev - the UPA extremists are ready to kill with maniac's passion.
The Putin ,in it's turn, try to escalate the rising conflict in it's own imperial interests- to gather the controlled by Kremlin territory. It's equally danger and expensive ( for the budget) game. But who today counts the funds in a face of ( virtual or real) geopolitical profits. Obvioulsy not the Washington, who stands behind the junta in Ukraine!!!


The Ukrainians seem to be in the awkward position of using their military forces against some of their Russian aligned police, at least from the new reports we get here.

It looks like an opportunity for a civil war, which perhaps brings Russia in. While the West stays out.

Glad I'm not in Ukraine.
The worse. The regular Army obvuiusly wan't to be involved in civil war- they don't wish to shot at the civils. Therefore Junta sends the so called "National guard" - the odd mixture of "neo-nazis extremists" and former BlackWater mercenaries whose "enthusasism" to fight depend of sponsors. Although the junta in Kieav is bancrupt - the IMF has just transfered them the 3-billion of cash , which exclusively goes to the war.
Still Ukraine is a buatiful country.Loves it..

Nickdfresh
06-05-2014, 02:11 PM
Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 2:09pm EDT -

By Armin Rosen 2 hours ago


Pro-Russian Rebels Are Pretty Much Russians

Yannis Behrakis/REUTERS

Pro-Russian rebels of the Battalion Vostok take positions outside the local administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, May 29, 2014.

Russia's professional troublemakers have arrived by the hundreds in Eastern Ukraine.

The Vostok Battalion, a Russian intelligence-linked Chechen-founded paramilitary consisting of battle-hardened militants from the most restive regions within Moscow's orbit, has arrived to take charge of Ukraine's pro-Russian rebels.

On May 30, Vostok took over rebel headquarters in Donetsk, asserting control over less-disciplined separatist militants. According to the New York Times today, the group, which became active in Ukraine in early May, has even set up a training camp in Donetsk's botanical gardens.

Vostok's presence in Eastern Ukraine signals a subtle and important pivot in Russian president Vladimir Putin's strategy. Russia has drawn down its uniformed forces from Ukraine's border, creating the impression that there's no imminent threat of a conventional invasion. At the same time, experienced irregulars with connections to Russia's intelligence services have helped extend Moscow's reach inside of it southern neighbor.

As New York University professor and Russia expert Mark Galeotti explained to Business Insider when reached in Moscow, Vostok consists of militants from Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ossetia — some of the most conflict-torn places in Russia's domain. "They aren't there to replace the militias in Eastern Ukraine. They're there to be the force that essentially controls them in Moscow's name," says Galeotti.

Vostok was disbanded after the 2008 Russian incursion into Georgia, in which it participated. The battalion had been managed by a Chechen family with a longstanding vendetta against Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's pro-Russian leader. Now that Vostok can be useful again, it's been allowed to reconstitute itself.

Moscow's current objective in eastern Ukraine isn't annexation or direct control. Rather, Putin wants to maintain relative order with an eye towards reaching a favorable accord with the new government in Kiev — one that effectively resets the situation to late 2013, when Ukraine's pro-Moscow government was still planning on joining Putin's Eurasian customs union and spurning any EU or NATO overtures.

Under this strategy, Ukraine remains a permanent member of Russia's "near abroad," with its politics operating within parameters set by Moscow. The Vostok Battalion helps advance that goal.

"This is a specifically Russian military intelligence operation," says Galeotti. "They stood this force up and its role is to try and reassert some degree of control over the situation. Moscow is beginning to become alarmed how Eastern Ukraine was spinning into chaos and warlordism."

Vostok is one of Moscow's instruments in achieving this victor's peace. Their role is "essentially political," Galeotti says: Vostok is Putin's way of controlling other, less disciplined pro-Russian militants.

But there are between 300 and 400 Russian fighters from Vostok in Ukraine right now, and they are highly capable soldiers.

"They are mainly battle-hardened veterans," says Galeotti. "They are a cut above not just almost all of the other militia, but at the same time they are also more capable than almost any of the Ukrainian regular military."

As a result, the rebels are now capable of shooting down aircraft, and seizing critical infrastructure. The Russian army may no longer be camped out on Ukraine's border, and the country's incident-free presidential election created the perception that the situation is de-escalating.

In reality, Putin's latest power play in Ukraine is already in progress.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-crisis-entering-dangerous-phase-152258286.html

Nickdfresh
07-17-2014, 11:44 AM
BREAKING NEWS:

A Malaysia Airlines Plane has crashed near the Russian-Ukrainian border. Speculation is that it was shot down, perhaps by a fighter aircraft...

JR*
07-17-2014, 12:16 PM
Of course they are "Russian" (at least in their own minds). And all they want Vlad to do is "intervene". What "Little Russian Brother" could ask for less ? By the way -

7133

Words fail me. I am reminded of Timur Vermes' "Hitler" (in "Look Who's Back), who observes that when a leader (or leaderene) takes his (or her) shirt off, their policy has gone to pot ... Best regards, JR.

JR*
07-17-2014, 12:18 PM
PS - sorry about the pussycat (which, I believe, is called "Pusso". She got attached through a combination of my incompetence and the intractability of this blasted Forum software. But then, maybe people would like to see her, anyway ... Miaow ! JR.

JR*
07-18-2014, 07:38 AM
Regarding the Malaysian airliner - truly appalling. Unless Malaysian aircraft have a unique talent for vanishing/being destroyed without warning, there are really only two possibilities; first, that an on-board bomb was exploded by a suicide bomber, and secondly, that the airliner was shot down, either by a fighter aircraft or (much more likely) by a sophisticated, Russian/Soviet built ground to air missile. I am quite familiar with Amsterdam Airport, and its level of management and security suggests to me that the first possibility is unlikely. As regards the fighter plane option, both the Ukrainian and the Russians have, of course, modern fighters, but surely both Russian and Ukrainian pilots can recognize a civilian airliner when they see one, and the crew of the airliner would have noticed a fighter plane in their vicinity and radioed as much. The "Little Russian Brothers" of east Ukraine may have plenty of arms, but these do not include an air force.

This leaves missiles. Any of the parties involved in this conflict could be responsible for a missile shoot-down. The Russians and the Ukrainians both have missile systems capable of this - in fact, they are the same systems. As regards the LRBs, they have spent the last few weeks raiding Ukrainian arsenals in their region, and there are reports that they may have captured at least one such system. A much worse scenario would be that they had been supplied with advanced ground to air missiles by Vlad and his forces. Since the idea that either Russian or Ukrainian forces had an interest in shooting down an airliner transporting a large number of people who had absolutely nothing to do with this conflict (worse, many of whom were Dutch), the Little Russian Brothers seem targeted by the Fickle Finger of Fate in this case. Whether they knew that the target was a civilian airliner or not is irrelevant; first, if they did it, they had no lawful right to shoot down aircraft anyway, and secondly, taking pot-shots at passing aircraft in disregard of what sort of aircraft it is counts for me as outrageous and criminal.

When I started this thread, I was, in part, being humorous. This business does not look a bit funny, now. Yours in sadness, JR.

Rising Sun*
07-18-2014, 08:51 AM
Regarding the Malaysian airliner - truly appalling. Unless Malaysian aircraft have a unique talent for vanishing/being destroyed without warning, there are really only two possibilities; first, that an on-board bomb was exploded by a suicide bomber, and secondly, that the airliner was shot down, either by a fighter aircraft or (much more likely) by a sophisticated, Russian/Soviet built ground to air missile.

There is a third possibility, being a catastrophic explosion because of some malfunction on the plane. It wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

Or even a fourth possibility, given the still missing other Malaysian plane and passengers, that someone is targeting Malaysia's airline for reasons which have nothing to do with Ukraine.

Common sense suggests that the most likely explanation involves a missile or fighter attack because of the region in which the disaster occurred and various bits of ‘evidence’ emerging, but common sense is no substitute for a careful and impartial investigation by qualified people.


As regards the fighter plane option, both the Ukrainian and the Russians have, of course, modern fighters, but surely both Russian and Ukrainian pilots can recognize a civilian airliner when they see one

As indeed did the Soviets when their fighters intentionally downed a Korean plane with similar loss of life in 1983. Russia, as the USSR, is the only nation I can think of which has ever knowingly and intentionally downed a clearly marked civilian passenger plane in peace time.


, and the crew of the airliner would have noticed a fighter plane in their vicinity and radioed as much.

Not necessarily. Civilian pilots aren't on the alert for attack and civilian aircraft aren't equipped with the types of electronic equipment which military aircraft use to detect threats. Military aircraft, even if equipped with transponders which register on civilian frequencies, would be invisible to civilian aircraft if they turn off their transponders, and probably have equipment to conceal their presence from the, compared with military grade equipment, fairly basic detection equipment on civilian airliners. Civilian aircraft pilots have limited forward vision and little or no vision to the rear and downwards. An attack by a fighter from any rear quadrant, top, bottom, or side would have been invisible to the Malaysian plane's pilots, and more so if launched from a considerable distance. There would have been no opportunity to radio anything if the plane was hit without warning.


A much worse scenario would be that they had been supplied with advanced ground to air missiles by Vlad and his forces. Since the idea that either Russian or Ukrainian forces had an interest in shooting down an airliner transporting a large number of people who had absolutely nothing to do with this conflict (worse, many of whom were Dutch), the Little Russian Brothers seem targeted by the Fickle Finger of Fate in this case.

Russian involvement, in the sense of intentional contribution in any way to knowingly downing an identified Malaysian civilian plane, is most unlikely.

Doing so would undermine decades of work Russia has been doing to get a presence and support in South East Asia. Malaysia is one of the major countries it has been courting, e.g. http://rbth.asia/business/2013/07/19/top_5_areas_for_cooperation_between_russia_and_mal aysia_48059.html
http://www.ponarseurasia.org/sites/default/files/policy-memos-pdf/Pepm_260_Wishnick_July%202013.pdf


Whether they knew that the target was a civilian airliner or not is irrelevant; first, if they did it, they had no lawful right to shoot down aircraft anyway, and secondly, taking pot-shots at passing aircraft in disregard of what sort of aircraft it is counts for me as outrageous and criminal.

Agree entirely.

But I’m not in the best position to take the moral high ground, given that my nation has taken routinely to breaching the law of the seas and engaging in state-sanctioned piracy against defenceless poor bastards since our latest neo-con government was elected (e.g. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/asylum-seekers-held-behind-locked-doors-at-sea-denied-proper-legal-help-claim-20140716-ztshd.html
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/sri-lankan-asylumseekers-to-remain-stuck-on-australian-ship/story-fn9hm1gu-1226993672476?nk=8fbfa6d8f346fecb3745c6831e3d53f4

If this is what we can do in a supposed law abiding democracy, it’s entirely possible that Russia or Ukraine as similarly selectively lawless international citizens engaged in an undeclared war could engage in a bit of collateral damage. But, in the absence of clear evidence, it’s still possible that the plane came down because of intentional damage by someone targeting Malaysia’s airline or because of some innocent malfunction.

Given the self-interest of Russia and Ukraine in blaming each other, with luck the US, or someone else, will be able to disclose sufficient independent evidence from satellite or other sources to show what happened.

Rising Sun*
07-18-2014, 09:01 AM
PS - sorry about the pussycat (which, I believe, is called "Pusso". She got attached through a combination of my incompetence and the intractability of this blasted Forum software. But then, maybe people would like to see her, anyway ... Miaow ! JR.

No need to apologise.

I'm always willing to look at a photo of a pussy.

(And this is more or less how my lifetime ban from the discussion boards on eBay started.)

tankgeezer
07-20-2014, 12:20 AM
........

Rising Sun*
07-20-2014, 07:00 AM
........

That [the captioned photo], unfortunately, sums up the situation perfectly.

I can't help seeing parallels between Putin and Stalin in their contemptuous determination to get everything they want without regard to others and other nations.

Putin is on a winner in disregarding world opinion, and he knows it.

Western Europe depends upon Russian gas and oil (which enriches Putin and his cabal) and won't risk its energy over an aircraft from a minor Asian nation or internal Slavic conflict.

The US isn't going to go to war or anything like it over Ukraine and a Malaysian plane.

Russia has the upper hand because it can respond to serious economic sanctions by cutting off a good part of Western Europe's energy.

About the only serious diplomatic, albeit symbolic, response at present is in Australia's hands in refusing to admit Putin to the G20 conference later this year.

Putin's conduct removes any doubt in my mind that Russia is either involved in downing the airliner or protecting those who did. If Putin and the pro-Russian separatists really believed that Ukraine was responsible, they'd be pulling out all stops to get international investigators to the crash scene. As it is, they're putting up every obstacle while the separatist brigands are looting the dead.

Separately, does anyone really believe that whoever brought down the plane didn't know it was a civilian plane? Real time flight information and plane identification is available by mobile phone. http://www.flightradar24.com/48.34,37.63/7 (May take a while to load. Click on any plane symbol to see what and where it is.)

JR*
07-21-2014, 08:38 AM
It is dismaying, the manner in which Vlad & Co. are handling this. I have always thought, up to now, that Putin was a prisoner of the Russian political imperative to aid the "Little Russian Brothers" in east Ukraine. Maybe he was; maybe he is. But I have to admit that the behavior of the Kremlin in connection with the Malaysian airliner calamity suggests that, rather than use this as an opportunity to bring the LRBs to heel, Putin has decided to ride his luck on the wave of recent events. No effort has been made to condition Russian public opinion to a switch of tack in Russia's Ukraine policy; quite the opposite, in fact, as Russia's state-owned/controlled media continue to take a strong anti-Western, Cold War II position. Reminds me a bit of another autocratically-inclined leader who rode his luck ... who was that ? Little corporal with a toothbrush moustache comes to mind ...

Regarding who brought down the aircraft, RS*, I admire your forensic analysis in a previous post, but we seem to end up at the same position. The Little Russian Brothers, almost certainly, shot down the aircraft with a fairly advanced ground-to-air missile, almost certainly supplied to them directly by the Russians. Whether they knew what they were shooting at, well, I am not so sure. They may not have had the tracking control equipment or intelligence to know. As regards, the various "aps" and such that enable one to identify individual aircraft with a smartphone - I only became aware of these recently, and I would not be overly sure that the LRBs, or those directly concerned with the attack, would have been so aware. Hardly matters. The LRBs had no right to shoot anything down; and the Russians were incredibly irresponsible if they gave this type of technology to a ragtag army of unsophisticated rebels.

How the east Ukraine situation may play out is hard to say at this point. One point I heard made by a UK expert this morning - if Russia profits by this situation, and if Putin has decided to ride his luck, there are worrying prospect as to what he might do next. I have always been nervous about the policy of the EU and NATO of recruiting states ever closer to what Russia perceives as its essential zone of interest. That sort of thinking may appear old-fashioned - but that does not appear to be the view of the Kremlin. An extremely dangerous possibility would be that Russia might attempt to destabilize one of the new, exposed NATO/EU member states. Poland is, probably, an improbable target. But what about the Baltic States ? These are EU/NATO member states, the security of which is guaranteed by NATO. All three of them, to a greater or lesser extent, have their own Little Russian Brothers problem. If Putin decides to stir things in the Baltic (and he certainly could) does NATO go to war to protect the Baltic States ? And, if not, what is the worth of NATO at all ? Gods help us ... JR.

tankgeezer
07-21-2014, 10:41 AM
While the poster was someone's idea of humor in the Yakov Smirnoff sense, it is to me anyway, a sad commentary on World events. I agree with RS* that NATO will not go to war over the present set of circumstances, even with the pro-Russ separatists' use of Russ equipment to shoot down the civilian Aircraft.(assuming this can be proven) My particular unease comes from what may issue from these present circumstances, what subsequent, or unexpected actions by Ukraine, the Russians, or an aggrieved 3rd. party Nation might lead to an increase in the probabilities of a showdown.

Rising Sun*
07-21-2014, 11:00 AM
Regarding who brought down the aircraft, RS*, I admire your forensic analysis in a previous post, but we seem to end up at the same position.

We do.

I was allowing for other possibilities in that earlier post, but the picture now seems to be crystal clear, if only as deduced from the obstructive and deplorable conduct of Putin and LRBs.


The Little Russian Brothers, almost certainly, shot down the aircraft with a fairly advanced ground-to-air missile, almost certainly supplied to them directly by the Russians.

Or, perhaps, captured from the Ukrainians by the LRBs.

What is more interesting is the level of training required to use a SAM that reaches to 10,000 metres.

It requires vastly more training and skill than a shoulder fired weapon able to reach about half that height with modest accuracy even in untrained hands. Depending upon what was used, it probably required a crew of three to four well trained operators.

I wouldn't say that Russians, in the sense of current regular or temporarily detached Russian forces, are necessarily the operators. There could well be LRBs who were previously trained on these weapons.

Assuming that what is left of the aircraft when investigators are finally allowed in by the brigands can tell any story, it may be that the best that can be deduced is that it could have been a Russian weapon from Russia or a Russian weapon captured from Ukraine, fired by people trained in the use of that weapon but without being able to identify whether they were Russian or LRB.



The LRBs had no right to shoot anything down; and the Russians were incredibly irresponsible if they gave this type of technology to a ragtag army of unsophisticated rebels.

Assuming Russia gave it, rather than it being captured from a Ukrainian arsenal.

Even if Russia did give it, it’s no more irresponsible than supporting other ragtag armies of unsophisticated rebels such as the Soviets supported in Angola, and America and Britain and various other first world nations supported by aiding other ragtag armies of unsophisticated rebels in their own interests.

I’m not diminishing the appalling conduct in downing the plane and the way the aftermath has been handled by the brigands, but what’s missing in the current outraged Western media saturation coverage and reaction to this event is any sense of perspective that it’s the privileged West getting hugely upset about what, objectively, is just a very, very minor piece of collateral damage in a local war. It’s highly selective as, judged by contemporary media coverage, the West never got that upset about the collateral damage it’s inflicted upon many nations since WWII or other much greater abominations such as Kampuchea and Rwanda, or even the current carnage being inflicted upon Palestinians by the Israelis in that interminable conflict. Nor did the West get upset at all about the US downing an Iranian civilian airliner with a naval SAM in 1988 in Iranian waters with similar loss of life to the current event. Given a choice between being a privileged Western passenger in a plane flying briefly through Ukrainian airspace with minimal chance of being hurt and being one of the poor bastards permanently on the ground as a civil war rages across the Ukrainian landscape supported by the likes of Putin, it’s not hard to work out which is the better place to be.


How the east Ukraine situation may play out is hard to say at this point. One point I heard made by a UK expert this morning - if Russia profits by this situation, and if Putin has decided to ride his luck, there are worrying prospect as to what he might do next. I have always been nervous about the policy of the EU and NATO of recruiting states ever closer to what Russia perceives as its essential zone of interest. That sort of thinking may appear old-fashioned - but that does not appear to be the view of the Kremlin. An extremely dangerous possibility would be that Russia might attempt to destabilize one of the new, exposed NATO/EU member states. Poland is, probably, an improbable target. But what about the Baltic States ? These are EU/NATO member states, the security of which is guaranteed by NATO. All three of them, to a greater or lesser extent, have their own Little Russian Brothers problem. If Putin decides to stir things in the Baltic (and he certainly could) does NATO go to war to protect the Baltic States ? And, if not, what is the worth of NATO at all ? Gods help us ... JR.

Putin wants to recapture the old Russian Empire. He started with Georgia six or so years ago, then Crimea recently, and now another part of Ukraine, and he’s doing quite well in all these steps.

My money is on Putin, until he gets to Germany’s eastern border when Merkel and Co or their successors might finally work out that appeasement or, worse, just following the established policy of doing nothing, only ensures that the neo-Soviet bully will take more until someone finally stands up to him. By which time it may well be too late.

Lucky for Russia that there won’t be any US missiles in Poland to interfere with the traditional Russian / German wartime progress towards or through that sorry nation.

Why don’t governments do something outside the rules of diplomacy and belligerency for a change, such as identifying the offshore deposits and assets of Putin and his cronies and publishing those details for his adoring Russian citizens to see. And then confiscating those assets?

Nickdfresh
07-21-2014, 07:45 PM
...
Russia has the upper hand because it can respond to serious economic sanctions by cutting off a good part of Western Europe's energy.

...

But would completely and absolutely devastate his own economy in the process...

Nickdfresh
08-26-2014, 03:24 AM
So much to discuss, perhaps too much? One of the biggest surprises here is the emerging effectiveness of the Ukrainian forces overall against the Russian-centric Insurgents?

Are the Russians coming in full tilt? The Ukraine claims they've captured 10 Russian Army paratroops near Donetsk. And of course there are various claims (uncorroborated) that the Ukraine is hitting armored convoys from Russia that are little more than Russian Army vehicles with the separatist flags on them manned by Russian Army personnel...

Nickdfresh
08-26-2014, 03:24 AM
Moved to the military side because this is undoubtedly military...

JR*
08-28-2014, 06:28 AM
Interesting move by the Little Russian Brothers of the Ukraine (sounds a bit like a band ... oh well) who have captured the port city of Novoazovsk from Ukrainian forces. The LRBs appear to have used battle tanks on this occasion; wherever could they have obtained such weapons ? The LRBs themselves could try to justify this move on the basis that a substantial number of Russians live in the southern part of the Donetsk Oblast (a large minority, on recent estimates). Still, the area has been relatively free of unrest up to now. The really interesting thing about the capture of Novoazovsk is the strategic possibilities it suggests, not just for the LRBs, but to their Bearish friend over the border.

Strategic considerations (other than the essentially political one of engendering general instability in Ukraine) have generally been absent in the messy fighting in eastern Ukraine so far. However, this development could be quite different. For one thing, it threatens to unhinge Ukraine's grip on the southern wing of its "front" against the LRBs/Russians. If the anti-Kiev bridgehead is secured and expanded, this would represent a clear threat to the city of Ternapil (Tarnapol) to the north-west, which is clearly regarded as the strategic key to the area by the Ukrainians. For another, it opens up the disturbing possibility that it could be developed into a drive to secure a "Crimea Corridor" between Russian territory and its newly-acquired possession of Crimea. An extreme version of this would see the LRB/Russian thrust overshooting the Isthmus of Perikop to anchor the prospective "corridor" far to the west on Odessa, a city of majority-Ukrainian ethnic profile, but with a strong historically-based Russian cultural profile. This would substantially undermine the viability of the Ukrainian state.

Could it really go that far ? It is hard to see Putin's Panzers rolling through Odessa, and yet ... if Putin really is riding his luck at this stage, and if neither Ukraine nor its western well-wishers can think up some effective means of stopping him, who knows ? Having proved that the "international community" (including the Russians) do not need Communism to have a Cold War (Cold War II), who is to say that we cannot have a hot one ? Best regards, JR.

tankgeezer
08-28-2014, 09:58 AM
He's just putin on the Ritz to show how strong a leader he is..

Nickdfresh
08-29-2014, 03:00 PM
Well, Russian forces are now almost officially active participants in the conflict and obviously the 10 paratroopers have been captured by the Ukrainian Army. The speculation is as JR* posted, a second front to draw off forces near Donetsk and to possibly open a corridor for a "Greater Russia" with bellicose extremists tied to the Kremlin now calling for a genocide against the Ukrainians as well as seizure of territory that is clearly inhabited by Ukrainian speakers. Oh, and the ruble has now slipped to a record low and the Russian economy is shitting itself! All this as the Kremlin orchestrates secret funerals of Russian soldiers that died under suspicious circumstances. Congratulations fearless leader and Hero of the Soviet Union, Putty!

tankgeezer
08-30-2014, 01:16 AM
Moscow said something about their being on vacation, and that they had all decided to vacation in Ukraine.

Nickdfresh
08-30-2014, 09:38 AM
A Russian human rights group reports that at least 100 Russian soldiers were killed in battles in early August. There's only so long Putin can keep up this charade...

tankgeezer
08-30-2014, 09:47 AM
Very true, but I'm given to wonder if that fact even gets through to him ,would he even care if his already transparent shenanigans were exposed to the full light of day.

JR*
09-01-2014, 11:56 AM
The Bear Back Rider has now insisted that "Statehood for Eastern Ukraine" must be on the table for any negotiations aimed at ending hostilities in that unhappy area. Sounds a bit familiar (Georgia, Sudenland, take your pick ...). This may be taken as a flexible negotiating position, made more so by the limited (so far) extent of Vlad's demarche on the new "South Ukraine Front". But will it remain limited ? Let's hope so - or we have the makings of a shooting war which nobody, other than the immediate participants, will be able to do much to stop. Oh well. Cold War II is already upon us. However, bad and all as that is, I have a distinct nervousness about getting anywhere near "Purity of Essence" territory. In any event, the incredibly incompetent and irresponsible efforts of the goof-up Brussels bureaucracies of the EU and NATO to capture yet another of the Bear's cubs within their maw now appear doomed to failure; pity about all those people who got killed along the way. Oooh well ... Yours from the Road to God-Knows-Where, JR.

JR*
09-02-2014, 05:10 AM
As NATO "reviews and repositions" its resources in western and central Europe in response to the behavior of Russia in the Ukraine, on comes a Kremlin spokesman on the media this morning stating that the "increased threat from NATO" will be "taken into account" in the forthcoming Soviet ... sorry ... Russian review of military strategy. Come back, Dr Strangelove and General Ripper - all is forgiven ... Yours from the Mineshaft Gap, JR.

tankgeezer
09-02-2014, 10:06 AM
>>>>>>>

Nickdfresh
09-02-2014, 10:36 AM
Apparently Putin said he "could take Kiev in two weeks" if he wanted too. The comment was made to the outgoing Euro Commission President as an aside...

JR*
09-02-2014, 11:10 AM
Re. "Kiev in two weeks" - first, the comment is probably correct, should he come to believe that he could get away with it (can't be long) and, secondly, how else should you treat the clown Barroso ? "If God did not want them shorn, why did he make them sheep ?". JR.

tankgeezer
09-03-2014, 09:53 PM
Sorry, just bored tonight...

JR*
09-04-2014, 05:13 AM
As NATO leaders meet in Wales, confusion reigns about the provisional "agreement" between Russia and Ukraine aimed at silencing the guns. Putin describes it as a "peace offer"; Ukraine's President describes it as "a possible basis for a cease-fire"; and the government of Ukraine back in Kiev describe it as a confidence trick designed to deceive NATO and EU leaders as to Putin's true intent. Nobody seems to believe that there is any hope of a cease-fire soon. Meanwhile, the war of words propels us ever deeper into Cold War II without any chance of improving matters on the ground. Gods Help Us ... JR.

Kilroy
09-04-2014, 11:18 AM
Just saying with this recent events that have been occurring in the area of Ukraine and Russia, if these problems aren't solved soon (agreeing with JR) we may be in a deep hole and everyone (the countries involved) is going to get it up the butt. So hopefully this problem should be resolved and Russia (in my opinion) should back down (since we all know he is supplying the rebels and may even have troops in Ukraine).

tankgeezer
09-10-2014, 05:32 PM
Sad to say, this is pretty much the way its going.