Author Topic: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка  (Read 34000 times)

ScottF

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #350 on: March 16, 2022, 04:11:30 PM »
Let me know when these sanctions start being applied to anyone not residing in Russia.

Medvedev doesn't reside in Russia. He speaks fluent French, moved to France in 2018 and now resides permanently in Monaco.

Maybe a compromise: those who reside in Russia have to say the words they're given, but others just need to wear a ribbon.


TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #351 on: March 16, 2022, 04:29:56 PM »
Scott, athletes are supported by sponsors. Sponsors pull ads when there is bad publicity. You're extrapolating this so broadly as to suggest that they'll be coming for the librarians before you know it. Are they supposed to take a financial bath because an athlete is ambiguous about not liking the indiscriminate bombing of an entire civilian population, not to mention starving them and preventing the delivery of life saving and life sustaining medication?

ScottF

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #352 on: March 16, 2022, 05:45:59 PM »
I think if an athlete, actor, whatever is openly saying ambiguous (or worse) things about something as bad as what's happening in Ukraine there could definitely be a scenario where they are fired, punished, etc. I'm on board.

My problem lies with those who simply focus on doing their job and don't want to voice their political opinions at all, whether they're from Moscow or Missoula.

If you actively spout things that are supportive of bad actions/actors, all bets are off. Maybe I'm in the minority but - in my opinion, if you choose not to comment on political issues, you should be neither punished nor compelled to speak.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #353 on: March 16, 2022, 10:31:43 PM »
I think if an athlete, actor, whatever is openly saying ambiguous (or worse) things about something as bad as what's happening in Ukraine there could definitely be a scenario where they are fired, punished, etc. I'm on board.

My problem lies with those who simply focus on doing their job and don't want to voice their political opinions at all, whether they're from Moscow or Missoula.

If you actively spout things that are supportive of bad actions/actors, all bets are off. Maybe I'm in the minority but - in my opinion, if you choose not to comment on political issues, you should be neither punished nor compelled to speak.

I completely understand that point of view, and even agree with it more than disagree, but this still leaves us with the league, team, or event holding the bag. Now, maybe an athlete's right to remain mute means that those groups should take it on the chin. Or maybe it means that the sponsors are the problem, or maybe it means the public is the problem. If there's a press conference and the athlete is asked the question, then if they refuse to answer, doesn't that mean their view is ambiguous? Not ambivalent, which would be a "both sides have a point" type of thing. And what is the litmus test? Denouncing Putin and calling him a war criminal? Or denouncing the invasion of any country? Or denouncing the bombing of civilian shelters? It seems one would have something other to say than, "meh?". He can always go back and play in the Russian intramurals for rubles.

It might be worse to snag the yachts off of Russian nationals who made their cash in the 90s and have been living in the Caribbean, but that's happening too. That's always the problem with war, lots of innocents always get hurt. In the grand scheme of things, I'm going to spend my time worrying about Ukrainian hospitals more than Russian tennis players having to sit out a tourney or two.

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #354 on: March 17, 2022, 01:00:57 AM »
How is this different than requiring Muslims to constantly denounce Islamic terrorism?

Omar has spoken out about this.

https://www.voanews.com/a/usa_us-politics_ilhan-omars-defiance-resonates-muslim-american-activists/6172631.html

There are some differences but more similarities.

I suppose a difference is that the Russians, for now, only have to come out and say it once. But as time goes on it may become more and more similar to the Muslim experience where they are constantly expected to denounce and apologize.


ScottF

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #355 on: March 17, 2022, 12:33:52 PM »
Putin may have lost his mind. Literally. His own speech video, translated.

"The collective west...is focused on the destruction of Russia"

https://twitter.com/just_whatever/status/1504144895501557762

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #356 on: March 17, 2022, 12:59:31 PM »
Putin may have lost his mind. Literally. His own speech video, translated.

"The collective west...is focused on the destruction of Russia"

https://twitter.com/just_whatever/status/1504144895501557762

Well now. That's not the sort of rhetoric he used to issue, even in times of crisis. I wonder whether the Putin from 2000-2020 was a mask, which has now come off, or whether he has in fact changed and isn't quite stable anymore. He does seem more facially tense than I'm used to seeing him. In the past he's spoken from a place of overbearing intelligence, i.e. his presentation was that of being the smartest person in the room and talking sense. Now he seems...disturbed.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #357 on: March 17, 2022, 01:30:44 PM »
I wonder if we will ever know what Putin really thinks or what motivates him.
The image of him sitting at his massive tables. Not a good sign.

The primary talking point that many Russians believe
if Russia "hadn't intervened now, in three years' time Ukraine would have been in NATO… with a nuclear bomb. [Ukraine] would definitely advance on Crimea, then on southern Russia."

If Putin really believe that, I think its a major misunderstanding of what motivates NATO countries. Which I would argue is economic and not military subjugation is way to expensive and understanding that forced occupation  has a low probably of success.

If Ukraine was part of NATO its not likely they would be given nuclear weapons (note assurances of the Budapest Memorandum where Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons).
Also NATO has no obligation to aid a country's that instigates offensive actions against another country.


LetterRip

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #358 on: March 17, 2022, 03:00:09 PM »
If Putin really believe that

He doesn't, he isn't ignorant nor stupid.  This is standard procedure to float a bunch of different reasons that ignorant people will find plausible and see which ones they will accept.  So some people will buy it was to 'fight Nazis', others will buy it was to 'restore lands unjustly taken from Russia' and others will buy this.

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #359 on: March 17, 2022, 03:04:23 PM »
Let me know when these sanctions start being applied to anyone not residing in Russia.

Medvedev doesn't reside in Russia. He speaks fluent French, moved to France in 2018 and now resides permanently in Monaco.

Maybe a compromise: those who reside in Russia have to say the words they're given, but others just need to wear a ribbon.

I suppose customs could plant drugs on him and arrest and hold him indefinitely. Seems to be the Russian thing to do.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #360 on: March 17, 2022, 03:13:10 PM »
Quote
He doesn't, he isn't ignorant nor stupid.

I suspect your correct, however lately I wonder if Putin isn't experiencing some phycological problem. For the life of me Putin making this move now doesn't make a lot of sense. Even if he wins he losses. His hold on power appeared to be secure enough for him to last another 10 years. Maybe something we don't know.

If I was going to make such I move I'd have waited for the mid terms which I'm sure would have muddied up US response.


LetterRip

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #361 on: March 17, 2022, 07:02:59 PM »
Quote
He doesn't, he isn't ignorant nor stupid.

I suspect your correct, however lately I wonder if Putin isn't experiencing some phycological problem. For the life of me Putin making this move now doesn't make a lot of sense. Even if he wins he losses. His hold on power appeared to be secure enough for him to last another 10 years. Maybe something we don't know.

If I was going to make such I move I'd have waited for the mid terms which I'm sure would have muddied up US response.

I think there are a number of factors

1) Trump had delayed weapon transfer to the Ukranians and completely blocked training on those weapon systems.  Biden had acted immediately to get the Ukranians trained as soon as he entered office.  I think Putin was expecting that there hadn't been enough time for proper training.  So he was invading so their wouldn't be enough time for the training.

2) He couldn't afford to invade till now - Trump forcing Saudi Arabia to cut oil production took Russia from close to broke to wealthy.

3) He had to wait to avoid pissing off China - China knew of the planned invasion and wanted it delayed till after the end of the Olympics

4) He likely had been grossly misinformed as to his military's readiness - corrupt diversions and false readiness reports

5) He likely had been grossly misinformed as to the Ukraine's willingness to fight and the world's readiness to supply the Ukraine with weapons.  Had the Ukranian President fled, as is typical - it might well have gone different.  Had the Ukrainians not been making preparations and getting good intel, things could have gone drastically different.  had the plots to assassinate the Ukrainian President not been foiled, the result could have been entirely different.

6) He drastically underestimated the willingness of other countries to impose sanctions.

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #362 on: March 18, 2022, 10:24:14 AM »
https://www.npr.org/live-updates/ukraine-lviv-bomb-mariupol-theater-03-18-2022#some-european-leaders-are-trying-to-nominate-zelenskyy-for-the-nobel-peace-prize


Quote
Dozens of current and former European politicians are calling on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to extend its deadline to allow for the nomination of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine.

Umm, I get the Ukrainians aren't the aggressors in this conflict. But being known for being a tenacious wartime leader and tough resistance to an invading force isn't exactly "peace price" material.

Zelenskyy has been an amazing leader through the war. But maybe some kind of Churchill prize for wartime leadership may be more apt than a peace prize.

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #363 on: March 18, 2022, 10:27:43 AM »
Sort of surprised Trump or Cawthorn or Green or Boebert have not nominated Putin.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #364 on: March 18, 2022, 11:03:27 AM »
https://www.npr.org/live-updates/ukraine-lviv-bomb-mariupol-theater-03-18-2022#some-european-leaders-are-trying-to-nominate-zelenskyy-for-the-nobel-peace-prize


Quote
Dozens of current and former European politicians are calling on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to extend its deadline to allow for the nomination of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine.

Umm, I get the Ukrainians aren't the aggressors in this conflict. But being known for being a tenacious wartime leader and tough resistance to an invading force isn't exactly "peace price" material.

Zelenskyy has been an amazing leader through the war. But maybe some kind of Churchill prize for wartime leadership may be more apt than a peace prize.

Can't imagine this ending badly. We love to build up and even better to tare down

Way to early in my opinion
« Last Edit: March 18, 2022, 11:06:18 AM by rightleft22 »

ScottF

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #365 on: March 18, 2022, 03:22:04 PM »
Compelling message from Arnold to the Russian people. Already at 30M views.

https://twitter.com/Schwarzenegger/status/1504426844199669762

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #366 on: March 18, 2022, 03:41:49 PM »
Already at 30M views.

Yeah, but only because you linked to it here.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #367 on: March 18, 2022, 03:50:38 PM »
I hope somebody reTrumps it so that the many users of that platform don't miss out, since they've been banned from Twitter.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #368 on: March 18, 2022, 04:05:26 PM »
It was a nice speech.

Quote
I spoke to the American people this way last year on January 6, when a wild crowd was storming the U.S. Capitol trying to overthrow our government. There are moments that are so wrong that we have to speak up.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #369 on: March 18, 2022, 04:10:05 PM »
Quote
And to the Russians who have been protesting on the streets against the invasion of Ukraine: The world has seen your bravery. We know that you have suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested. You have been jailed and you’ve been beaten. You are my new heroes. You have the strength of Yury Petrovich Vlasov. You have the true heart of Russia.

But its just asking too much that a piano player safe in Canada say a few words of dissent.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #370 on: March 18, 2022, 04:40:07 PM »
Quote
Workers being held hostage by Russian forces at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine have been blaring the Ukrainian national anthem every morning in defiance of their captors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

More than 200 staffers at the plant have been held there at gunpoint to complete around-the-clock routine tasks since Russian forces seized control of the site on the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly three weeks ago.

The poorly-fed technicians and support staff — some of whom need medicine — are battling immense exhaustion after spending roughly 500 hours since February 23 on the job at the site of the world's worst nuclear-power disaster, according to the Journal.

ScottF

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #371 on: March 18, 2022, 09:10:45 PM »
Already at 30M views.

Yeah, but only because you linked to it here.

You’d be surprised at the reach the 6 of us have. I personally have at least a dozen people that see what I retweet. I think.

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #372 on: March 19, 2022, 01:23:56 PM »
Guess who's back?  Tell a friend. 

Welcome to Week 4 to World War Maybe. 

We're now in a period of flux.  Every day things have been getting better and better for Ukraine by holding on and attritting Russians.  The war is now balanced on the edge of a knife.  I'm now at 50/50. In the north, Keev has held on, the Russian encirclement has failed.  The Russians cannot coordinate large scale attacks, and time is on the side of the Ukrainians.  The Russian attempts to complete the encirclement have been met and the line is now extended to the west and the Russians seem to be running out of forces to line up or fuel to move them.  Russian forces coming in from Sumy and Hlukhiv are extended and their supply lines being raided hard.  The Ukrainians still have pockets at Sumy, Hlukhiv, Shostka, Konatop, and a big pocket between Chenihiv and Pryluky.  You don't want to be a Russian loggie trying to get food, fuel, and ammo to Russians trying to take Keev on the east bank.  This is where Territorial Defense can really make a difference.  On one hand, if the Ukrainians can keep this up, they can basically starve the Russians around east Keev of fuel and support.  On the other hand, if the Russians can collapse the Ukrainian resistance by shelling/rocketing Sumy, Konotop, or Chernihiv to dust, they can consolidate their main supply routes coming from Russia and complete the encirclement of Keev from the east. 

The Russian strategy overall has shifted from maneuver warfare to one of pounding Ukrainian defensive positions with superior artillery and air attacks.  The Russians have failed at maneuver warfare and this gives the operational initiative to the Ukrainians.  On the one hand, this means that in effect the Russians are tying a bunch of Ukrainian troops up defending Keev from attacks that are not coming.  On the other hand, the Russians cannot take advantage of this by being able to easily shift forces around the perimeter of the theatre while the Ukrainians can by having the benefit of interior lines.  Why defense is easier strategically than offense on multiple fronts.  If you can balance your defense right.  This gives the Ukrainians the opportunity to conduct counterattacks on the ends of the FEBA to the west of the Dnieper. 

The Ukrainians are holding on in the Donbass, which seems to be the new main effort by the Russians, maneuver wise.  If the Russians can break through around Izium or Balakillisk, they can encircle the Ukrainian forces holding the line.  But the Ukrainians have the benefit of having the Donets river to help them.  Russians trying to encircle further to the west around Kharkiv have been hampered by the same logistical problems as those to the Northeast. 

Mariupol is under siege and being ground down by Russian artillery.  This may end up being the first Russian operational victory, given enough time.  Eventually the Defenders of Mariupol will run out of food and supplies, particularly with the amount of civilians still in the city.  Again, the Russians have abandoned maneuver for a campaign of shelling/rocketing Ukrainian cities/strongpoints into rubble.

The Ukrainians are holding on, but it's difficult to tell how many casualties and equipment they have lost.  Ukrainian losses are not being reported as widely as Russian losses, which is a good thing.  But it makes assessing the situation difficult.  Are the Ukrainians close to collapse?  Are they running out of reserves, ammunition, food? It does not yet appear so, but it's hard to tell.  The Ukrainians are still making good choice counterattacks, which means they have not run out of reserves yet.  But eventually they may.  It just depends on what happens first.  The Russian army collapses in Ukraine, mass surrender, or the Ukrainian army collapses due to attrition from the larger Russian army and superior artillery.  I don't know, but the moral advantage is definately with the Ukrainians, but a few victories can make a difference to Russian morale.  But time still favors Ukraine, but just slightly. 

The Russian breakouts in the south have been contained, mainly because the Russians did not have the ability to take advantage of it.  Ukraine is just too big.  The distance between Svastapol and Keev is 560 miles.  Roughly the same distance between Paris and Berlin, or between Keev and Moscow.  You can't just storm across it, even if lots of it are the East European Plain. 

Ivan continues to hit Lviv to disrupt supplies coming from Poland, but they're running short on ballistic missiles, now reportedly utilizing their primo hypersonics on low value easily replaced targets. 

The Guvanator enters the fight.  Meanwhile the Russians keep accusing the US of having bioweapons labs in Ukraine, aided by some useful idiots in the US. 

The VKS continues to make some attack sorties.  Supposedly the Ukrainian AF is still out there, but it seems to me that the Russians are establishing air superiority in the east. 

The Ukrainians are still begging for air support, but NATO is having none of it.  The MiG-29 transfers were squashed again.  Not sure what is behind it all, so difficult to make a real call.  If it's fear of escalation, NATO is basically telegraphing that they'll sacrifice Ukraine rather than risk a nuclear exchange (Wurld Wur Treeeeeeee!).  If Putin is about to lose, he can then use tactical nukes on Lviv or Keev and pull some semblance of victory from the jaws of defeat if NATO steers clear of further risk.  The Ukrainians continue to utilize Turkish UAVs and US has promised to send new suicide drones. 

It's amazing how many tankies and white nationalists are rallying to how strong the Russian military is, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the Russian military is somewhere between the Keystone Cops and the French under the first 100 years of the Valois. 

Russian FSB are starting to round of Ukrainian dissidents.  Par for the course. 

Zelenskyy is taking Ukrainian NATO membership off the table in negotiations.  I can see why.  What's the point of joining NATO IF Ukraine survives and throws the Russians out?  Would the Germans ever risk it?  The Ukrainians are pretty fed up with the Germans, despite the abrupt changes in defense policy that they are attempting to grapple with.  30 years of peace did a number of the Germans. 

Meanwhile, NATO continues to send additional troops to eastern NATO countries.  Probably because the Baltics, Poland, and Romania don't trust the United States to come to the rescue if they are not already there.  Can't say I blame them. 

Pooter accuses Ukraine of developing nuclear weapons and that they were planning a nuclear attack on Moscow.

The Chinese have been slow to come to the aid of Russia.  The US has let slip, as many suspected, that the Chinese were aware of the attack on Ukraine and the Chinese asked for a postponement due to the Olympics.  But Grandpa President had a talk with Xi today and initial responses seem to be bad. 

Pooter will destroy Ukraine before taking an L.  He's making that abundantly clear.  NATO trying desperately to prevent nuclear war may actually make it more likely. 


Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #373 on: March 19, 2022, 02:09:22 PM »
Putin may have lost his mind. Literally. His own speech video, translated.

"The collective west...is focused on the destruction of Russia"

LOL.  Well, in a way he's right. The collective west is focused on destroying the economy of Russia.  Of giving Ukrainians as much help as possible to destroy the Russian military, including tens of thousands of Russian lives.  Of encouraging Russians to rise up against their government.  Of encouraging assassination and regime change. That's war, man.  LOL.  Pooter can make it all stop by pulling out of Ukraine. 

But that wasn't what Pooter really meant.  He was talking about "Pooter's Russia".  He's talking about his rule of Russia being destroyed.  He's trying to get the Russian people to identify themselves with himself.  It's the right, smart move.  He knows he's being threatened.  He is.  That's not crazy. 

I'm reminded of the theory that has been put forth that Napoleon did not take it to Russia hard enough in 1812, because he naturally saw Alexander as an ally rather than an enemy.  He could have announced the freedom of the serfs, but he really just wanted Russia to surrender and join in against England.  So he stripped away his best weapons, the political ones.  Because the Russian aristos were TERRIFIED that Napoleon was going to do that (announce freedom for the serfs).  Similarly, Pooter is TERRIFIED of the Russian people/military rising up against him. 

Funny how it seems to me that the only politician who has really hammered this home in a good way has been The Guvanator.  Can you imagine how pissed Pooter must have been when that came out?  The Russians have always been scared of their own people and army.  They have reason to be. 

Pooter's not crazy.  Maybe a sociopath or whatever but I think that is debatable.  He shows a pretty strong sense of self preservation.  He makes smart moves.  He just miscalculated his military's ability, Zelenskyy's ability, and the world response.  Who can blame him?  He's been getting away with all kinds of *censored* from 2008 to 2021.  Everybody seemed to know he was going to invade in 2022 and didn't do the things necessary to stop it.  It surely came as a surprise, because democracies just don't do the logical smart thing.  That's a weakness that dictators seem to have when coming up against democracies. 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2022, 02:14:53 PM by Grant »

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #374 on: March 19, 2022, 04:22:44 PM »
The Gathering Detergent:

7 NATO countries now have stated that they would support a NATO peacekeeping mission into Ukraine led by Poland. 

Slovenia
Czechia
Poland
Latvia
Lithuania
Estonia
Denmark

Rumors that France and Slovakia would also vote "yes".

https://twitter.com/sentdefender/status/1504940579863552000?cxt=HHwWgICz7fvez-IpAAAA

Not the best of sources, but the Polish proposal is.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/three-eu-country-leaders-take-train-kyiv-show-support-ukraine-2022-03-15/

It seems apparent that some of the other Eastern European members of NATO don't feel like just sitting still while their neighbors are fighting.  A bit understandable, since American reticence may be put down in part to geographical distance.  It might be different if Russia were invading Mexico, NATO country or not. 

I don't have any illusions that any peacekeeping mission would likely be drawn into a shooting war with Russia.  I understand that the Russians would have to make a conscious decision and they may actually decide not to engage since it would mean the end of them.  But similarly, the Russians understand that a peacekeeping force would end their chances of victory in Ukraine.  Accidents could happen, but are probably controllable unless you are looking for a reason to escalate.

It appears that conservative nationalist america's wish for Europeans to take care of Europe might actually come to fruition.  Honestly, Europe CAN handle Russia without the United States, except for the nuclear and possibly the naval threat. 

Pooter will most likely attempt to dissuade this course of action as much as possible by threatening war, including nuclear attack, on any nation entering Ukraine for any reason, peacekeeping or otherwise. 


On the other hand, a ground peacekeeping mission may not necessarily spell the end of Russia's chances, if the main objective of the mission is to secure humanitarian escape corridors.  But if those corridors are also used to bring supplies back into besieged areas, the Russians won't stand for it.  Plus more ground forces means more traffic jams and supposedly areas that the Russian's can't go.  A corridor out of Keev is going to prevent the Russians from ever encircling it and they know it.  Either way, it's not good for the Russians. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #375 on: March 19, 2022, 04:52:04 PM »
Unconfirmed reports of Ukrainian forces counterattacking along the line of the M-07, northwest of Keev, near Borodyanka.  If true, it could threaten to turn the Russian's right flank in the north, and threaten their logistical base at Ivankiv, cutting the Russian forces to the northwest of Keev off from supply.  If it actually worked, it could threaten two Russian CAAs.  They would have to withdrawal from around Keev or risk being cut off. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #376 on: March 20, 2022, 10:29:51 AM »
Satellite imagery seems to show the Russians digging in around NW Keev.  Assessments seem to agree that the campaign is transitioning.  The Russians failed to achieve their objectives through maneuver and are transitioning to a prolonged campaign of utilizing concentrated artillery and air attacks to take Ukraine a piece at a time in the east.  We've moved from Desert Storm, to Korea, to WW2, and now we're moving into a WW1 phase of protracted warfare along fixed lines with concentrated artillery and infantry/armor attacks for small gains.  The Russians are settling in for a long haul.  Can their troops do this in the middle of the eastern european winter?  How long until it warms up?  Russian morale is becoming more and more crucial. 

Losses among Russian general officers, in both the army and navy, point to the need for these officers to move to the front to coordinate activities and motivate troops.  Their deaths may indicate their lack of secure communications (discussed before), allowing them to be targeted and hunted down by Ukrainian SOF and drones. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-russian-officer-elite-decimated-9-who-were-killed-in-combat-2022-3

For comparison, the United States has only lost seven general officers (all services) (I think) since WW2.  The Russians have lost almost twice that in three weeks.  This is not really a criticism of the Russian general officer corps.  They're displaying some courage and moving to the front to sort things out.  It is a general criticism of their communications capability and the leadership ability of their field grade officers and NCO corps.  It appears the Russians are losing their best people quickly. 

One assessment I read said that the fall of Mariupol was inevitable.  They're probably right IMO.  It could be two weeks or it could be two hours.  Severodonetsk will also likely eventually fall unless the Ukrainians can reinforce or step up their counter-attacks south of Chuhuiv in the next few days.  That's just a guess though.  But if Severdonetsk falls it will create a major breach of the Donets river defensive line in the Donbass.  The Russians may soon have two minor victories and an opening in the east.  I don't believe they would be able to encircle the eastern Ukrainian army,  they havn't been very successful at moving fast enough, and they lost most of the airborne and air assault infantry trying to take Keev, but they would be able to drive them from their defensive positions along the Donets river and create a better situation for them to exploit and to secure Mariupol.  The Ukrainians have a choice to use their reserves to counter-attack to the west of Keev, or shift these forces to reinforce in the Donbass.  Tough call. 

The Ukrainians were able to successfully defend against a maneuver campaign by the Russians.  But the Russians are adapting now, focusing their efforts one stronghold at a time, and utilizing their last real strengths.  As successful as they were on the defensive, the Ukrainians may not have enough of a reserve to successfully transition to the offensive and take advantage of the Russian's lack of mobility.  Or maybe they do and we'll see something. 

Key takeaway is that a war that the Russians wanted to win in 2 days could stretch on and on indefinitely. 


In the entertainment section, the chief diplomatic advisor to Zelenskyy invited Grandpa President to visit Keev after the NATO summit in Brussels next week. 

Quote
The adviser, Ihor Zhovka, said during a CNN interview Friday that 'one should not be afraid to [travel to Kyiv] if you are brave'

Quote
Zhovka also noted how leaders of three other nations have visited Kyiv and met with Zelensky.

'Well, you know, just this week, three prime ministers of three friendly nations – Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia – visited, personally, Kyiv, and they met personally with President Zelensky,' he responded.

'So why [doesn't] President Biden come to Ukraine to meet with the president?'

When questioned about the danger of Biden traveling to Kyiv, Zhovka said: 'Well, definitely it is dangerous when you have a war against my country, a war in Europe.'

LOL.  Pretty boss troll move.  Not sure if it's wise to embarrass one of your chief sources of support, but it's a boss move. 

The bigger story to me is the reaction online by Democrats on the idea of Biden going to Keev.  THEY LOST THEIR MINDS, lol.  Like Biden was the King of the chessboard, lol.  Forget the Presidents of Poland, Czechia, or Slovenia.  Those are just pawns, lol.  If Joe Biden dies, you would think that America would straight up collapse and fall into a thousand years of darkness.  Like, zero confidence in Kamala Harris. 

This isn't a real criticism of Grandpa President, whether he decides to accept this offer or not, which I don't think he will.  This is a commentary on the Democrats who can't even see any benefits to such a visit, while Zelenskyy is showing his ass to Pooter on a daily basis, sticking around Keev, dodging Russian assassination squads, and turning down escape helicopters from Grandpa President saying he needs ammo, not a ride. 

Enthusiasm for Zelenskyy is cooling in some quarters after Zelenskyy keeps asking for things that the Germans and Americans are not willing to give, like MiGs or "no fly zones", etc.  Some people who still don't support getting into a shooting war with Russia are able to forgive Zelenskyy, and some cannot. 


Overall, I'm reading a bunch of stuff where analysts are now saying that Russia cannot win conventionally.  Even grinding down the Ukrainians a square klick a day, every day, forever.  I'm still on the fence.  But it hazards the question of what Pooter will do if the war really turns against Russia or if the Poles enter the war like they're saying they want to. 

People have been *censored*ting the bed since day one, afraid of starting "World War III", which is still the major factor keeping the United States and NATO from entering the war in a more significant way.  Make no mistake, the way the Russians see it, the US and NATO is already involved in the war, overtly giving weapons and intel to the Ukrainians and waging a pretty hefty war against the Russia's economy.  Pooter is already coming up with a plan to force NATO to lift economic sanctions. 

I've never been personally attached to the concept that NATO or US involvement could lead to nuclear Armageddon.  But I would not rule out the possibility of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons against targets in Ukraine.  Yes, there is a possibility of nuclear war.  Personally, I think we got here by being too careful and cautious. But we're in the *censored* now and it's going to get deeper.  I don't know what the reaction to utilizing a nuclear weapon in eastern europe will have on the Europeans or America as a whole.  People have been so scared over it it may cause panic.  Or it may cause a reaction that Pooter hasn't calculated on.  Scared people don't always react by surrendering. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #377 on: March 20, 2022, 11:00:38 AM »
An interesting biographical aside:

The mayor of Keev is Vitali Klitschko.  He's a 50 year old former world heavyweight boxer/champion.  Seems to have had a pretty successful career. 

He is the older brother of Wladimir Klitschko, another world heavyweight boxer, I think not as successful, who's main accomplishment seems to have been impregnating Hayden Panettiere. The sizable difference between the heights and weights of Wlad, at 6'6" and 240, and Hayden at 5'0" and 117 lbs, prompted Ellen DeGeneres to question, on air, how they managed to make it work. 

Both brothers are sons of a former Soviet VVS one star general, who was involved in the cleanup at Chernobyl and eventually died of cancer. 

Both are involved in the defense of Keev.  Vitaly gave an animated response to a reporter who wanted to get his reaction to Pooter's claim that the Russians are only hitting military targets.  I didn't know CNN could air that kind of stuff. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUPYZbtoo0




Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #378 on: March 20, 2022, 11:39:11 AM »
Unconfirmed report of Belarusian railway workers sabotaging the railway lines leading to Ukraine, making Russia unable to resupply their forces to the northwest of Keev by train.  If true it puts these forces in a perilous positions in the way of ammo, and could explain in part their decision to transition completely to a defensive posture there. 

If true it could present an opportunity to press counter-attacks on the Russian far right flank and to concentrate on the isolated forces themselves rather than their supply depots at Ivankiv. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #379 on: March 20, 2022, 02:00:03 PM »
https://twitter.com/MollyMcKew/status/1505568472448786433?cxt=HHwWgoCzlZCj7eQpAAAA

Ukrainians continue to win the information battle, but not sure if it makes a difference except maybe in China.  Might not make a difference there either.  Maybe India.  I could be wrong.  Something is motivating Russian protestors.  Just don't know if it will make a difference.  But I have to say that it is probably making a difference in support. 

TheDeamon

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #380 on: March 20, 2022, 09:14:48 PM »
It should be pointed out that the entire male population from 18 to 60 was effectively drafted, some immediately took the field, others are serving in other capacities or haven't "fully" answered that call yet.

But if the Ukrainians are smart, a substantial portion of the group drafted is getting training for more than canon fodder/civil defense. That process isn't quick. Give them a few months and things could begin to shift on the Ukrainian side. But that would be a month 3+ item more likely than not.

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #381 on: March 21, 2022, 09:12:13 AM »
It should be pointed out that the entire male population from 18 to 60 was effectively drafted, some immediately took the field, others are serving in other capacities or haven't "fully" answered that call yet.

But if the Ukrainians are smart, a substantial portion of the group drafted is getting training for more than canon fodder/civil defense. That process isn't quick. Give them a few months and things could begin to shift on the Ukrainian side. But that would be a month 3+ item more likely than not.

As you say, it will take months to fully train and integrate draftees into good units.  Creating new units is probably a bad idea because they don't have trained NCOs or officers.  As far as I know, for the most part they are being integrated into territorial defense units or military police units.  One month minimum for basic combat training.  Another month minimum for some basic advanced stuff.  Another two weeks minimum training on specialized equipment.  That's just for light anti-tank infantry.  To train as replacements or new crews for mechanized infantry or tank units, another 2 months minimum.  That's depending on how many instructors you have.  You possibly can't train them all to good quality at the same time.  Questions remain if they have enough equipment to even train on.  The one thing the Ukrainians have in their corner is good morale, no shortage of volunteers/draftees, and a good knowlege of the land. 

On the other side, Russia is supposed to start new conscriptions in April.  Not sure how long training takes.  In the mean time they are supposedly bringing in experienced troops from Syria.  Not sure how many.  On the plus side they are experienced, on the negative they are unfamiliar with the terrain, the climate, and seem to be light infantry only, and not sure how motivated they are going to be. 

If Russia can bring in Belarus, it would change the nature of the war very quickly.  They're trained, have mechanized equipment, planes, are right on the border, and are poised to hit the soft belly of Ukraine to the west, cutting off logistical support coming in from Poland. 

But if Poland gets the green light from NATO and enters first, they could secure the lines of supply going into the interior and then the question becomes if Belarus or Russia would attack Polish troops.  Russia is already sabre rattling hard to dissuade and scare Poland from doing this.  The other question is if Poland would invoke Article 5 if their troops are attacked in Ukraine, which seems almost inevitable, or if Russia rocket attacks Poland itself. The Germans and United States seem to be doing whatever they can to not get drawn in due to fear of escalating Russia to using nuclear weapons. 


Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #382 on: March 21, 2022, 02:59:17 PM »
Komsomolskaya Pravda, a pro-Russian tabloid, reportedly leaks Russian MOD casualty figures:

9,861 KIA
16,153 WIA

Total 26,014

Does not include troops that have surrendered or possibly just gone AWOL. 

This constitutes anywhere from 25 to 20% of the total combat personnel of the Russian forces in the Ukrainian theatre.  Pretty hefty casualties.  I suspect this rate may drop as the Russians stop trying to make costly frontal attacks. 

All this is unconfirmed.  But it's strange coming from a Russian newspaper. 

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #383 on: March 21, 2022, 03:16:39 PM »
Quote
Western intelligence estimates say it is likely that at least 7,000 Russians have been killed and as many as 20,000 injured, and assuming that the combat forces are bearing the brunt of the casualties, that could mean up to a third of the main combat force is now out of action, Lee said.

“That’s a huge loss, and you can’t readily replace that,” he said. Russia can bring in new conscripts or call up more reservists, but that will dilute the capabilities of the overall force, “and that is not in Russia’s interest,” he said.

Washington Post, maybe not as credible as a Russian newspaper for conservatives, but still interesting.

It was probably Western hackers that infiltrated the Russian media and planted these overblown numbers. Just because they died IN Ukraine doesn't mean they died FROM Ukraine! Some of them had heart attacks and were in traffic accidents!

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #384 on: March 21, 2022, 04:29:36 PM »
Additional unconfirmed reports of Ukrainian counterattacks against the Russian right flank, to the west and northwest of Kyiv. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #385 on: March 22, 2022, 02:37:07 PM »
https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Operations%20Assessments%20March%2021.pdf

Quote
The Ukrainian General Staff continued to warn on March 20-21 that Russia seeks to bring Belarus into the war

The Ukrainian General Staff stated for the first time on March 21 that Russia is deploying unspecified support units to “direct combat operations” and said that Russia continues to deploy reserves from the Central and Eastern Military Districts (CMD and EMD).

They reported that Russian authorities are increasing the conscription age from 55 to 65 and aggressively recruiting 18-year-old students. The GUR reported conscripts in DNR/LNR forces are supplied with military equipment from the 1970s. Local social media imagery depicted new conscripts equipped with the Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifle—which has not been produced since 1973 and was first produced in 1891.

More reports of Ukrainian counter-attacks on Russian right flank, west of Keev. 

https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-22-22/h_f5bf34749e0427f7c1f5ab841ba49bf3

Grandpa President says Pooter is thinking about using chemical weapons. 

Quote
"They are also suggesting that Ukraine has biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine. That’s a clear sign he’s considering using both of those. He’s already used chemical weapons in the past, and we should be careful of what’s about to come."

Putin “knows there’ll be severe consequences because of the united Nato front,” he said, without specifying what actions the alliance would take.

The Ukrainian military claimed on Tuesday that Russian forces have stockpiles of ammunition and food that will last for “no more than three days”. Officials said the situation was similar with fuel. It also claimed about 300 Russia servicemen refused to carry out orders in the Okhtyrka district of the Sumy region. The claims have not been independently verified.

Earlier this month, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, warning him of consequences for “any possible Russian decision to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine”. The White House did not specify what those consequences would be.

Escaping Mariupol

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-europe-edf7240a9d990e7e3e32f82ca351dede

Quote
We were the only international journalists left in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and we had been documenting its siege by Russian troops for more than two weeks.

The deaths came fast. On Feb. 27, we watched as a doctor tried to save a little girl hit by shrapnel. She died.

A second child died, then a third. Ambulances stopped picking up the wounded because people couldn’t call them without a signal, and they couldn’t navigate the bombed-out streets.

The doctors pleaded with us to film families bringing in their own dead and wounded, and let us use their dwindling generator power for our cameras. No one knows what’s going on in our city, they said.

Everybody was asking, please tell us when the war will be over. I had no answer.

Every single day, there would be a rumor that the Ukrainian army was going to come to break through the siege. But no one came.

By this time I had witnessed deaths at the hospital, corpses in the streets, dozens of bodies shoved into a mass grave. I had seen so much death that I was filming almost without taking it in.

We watched smoke rise from a maternity hospital. When we arrived, emergency workers were still pulling bloodied pregnant women from the ruins.

We had recorded so many dead people and dead children, an endless line. I didn’t understand why he thought still more deaths could change anything.

The Russian Embassy in London put out two tweets calling the AP photos fake and claiming a pregnant woman was an actress. The Russian ambassador held up copies of the photos at a U.N. Security Council meeting and repeated lies about the attack on the maternity hospital.

We crossed 15 Russian checkpoints. At each, the mother sitting in the front of our car would pray furiously, loud enough for us to hear.

We were the last journalists in Mariupol. Now there are none.


Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #386 on: March 24, 2022, 05:45:28 PM »
Dirt Wars: A New Mustardy Terror

Dirt Wars II: The Russians Strike Back

and now the third installment

Dirt Wars III: The Return of the Red Line

Grandpa President threatens to destroy the world by actually killing a Russian soldier if Russia kills Ukrainians in a particular manner instead of killing them the old fashioned way. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/24/biden-says-us-would-respond-to-russia-if-putin-uses-chemical-or-biological-weapons.html

Quote
“We will respond if he uses it,” Biden said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The nature of the response depends on the nature of the use.”

I mean, I suppose instead of killing a single Russian soldier and starting WORLD WAR 3!tm Grandpa could be referring to just sending a nasty email.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/23/us/politics/biden-russia-nuclear-weapons.html

Quote
Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday that if Mr. Putin used a weapon of mass destruction — chemical, biological or nuclear — “there would be consequences” even if the weapon’s use was confined to Ukraine. Mr. Reed said radiation from a nuclear weapon, for instance, could waft into a neighboring NATO country and be considered an attack on a NATO member.

“It’s going to be a very difficult call, but it’s a call that not just the president but the entire NATO Council will have to make,” Mr. Reed told reporters, referring to the governing body of the Western alliance.

That's cute.  Good luck getting NATO to agree on anything. 

I've finally figured out what "Strategic Ambiguity" is about.  It's for politicians to have an escape hatch. 

Quote
One major issue the Tiger Team is looking at is the threshold that could prompt the alliance to use military force in Ukraine. Mr. Biden has made clear that he is enormously reluctant to do so, fearing that direct confrontation with Russia could escalate the conflict beyond control. “That’s World War III,” he noted recently.

Trademarked

Quote
A senior administration official said any use of a “small” tactical nuclear bomb by Russia — even inside Ukraine and not directed at a NATO member — would mean that “all bets are off” on the United States and NATO staying out of the war. But when pushed, the official declined to lay out the responses under discussion.

A voodoo doll of a Russian soldier will be urinated upon by the CJCS. 

I find it startling that the United States is destroying whatever deterrent ability it might have had by telegraphing just how far they would go to avoid actually having to kill a single Russian soldier.  Because of World War III (TM).


The flip side of this is that the NBC gurus I know on the interwebs see very little signs that the Russians are about to use chemical weapons.  They are looking for signs such as moving chemical troops up, or handing out new gas masks, spreading out, etc.  I think the #1 argument against these points is that the Russian Army's incompetence cannot be overrated and I'm unsure if the Kremlin even cares about it's soldiers.  Certainly killing hundreds of Russians for thousands of Ukrainians would actually be them winning for a change. 


OK, so the tide has turned.  I'm pretty onboard now that we're beyond 50-50, because of the logistical difficulties the Russians are facing and the Ukrainians seem to have enough of a reserve to make counterattacks on the Russian's right flank, which seems to have been confirmed.  It appears the Ukrainians are threatening to envelop the 35th and 36th CAAs.  If it occurred it would be a significant, and I can't overstress how significant, victory for Ukraine.  Mariupol is sucking up Russian logistics capabilities.  Shelling a city to rubble takes a lot of ammo.  Ammo is heavy.  They're already short on trucks due to maintenance issues and ambushes. 

All this simply increases the likelihood of a chemical or nuclear attack on Ukraine.  Grandpa President and NATO being vocal about response actually helps, though the ambiguity of the warning and the general fear from some quarters works against effective deterrence.   Pooter might think that the US and NATO are just bluffing.  Maybe he would be right. 



Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #387 on: March 24, 2022, 06:43:31 PM »
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/ukraine-is-winning-war-russia/627121/

I feel that Eliot Cohen has personally attacked me with this article, so I must respond. 

Quote
Why Can’t the West Admit That Ukraine Is Winning?
America has become too accustomed to thinking of its side as stymied, ineffective, or incompetent.

Well, I agree with that.  On the other hand, there was plenty of incompetence going around in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Pentagon and frankly in American living rooms over the past 20 years. 

Quote
Analysts and commentators have grudgingly declared that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been blocked, and that the war is stalemated. The more likely truth is that the Ukrainians are winning.

Winning in the sense they havn't lost or are not losing?  Sure.  Winning as in pushing Russian positions back?  Just started happening after this article, Eliot.  Winning as in they are going to push the Russians out of Ukraine and really WIN?  There is a long way to go to get there.  A lot of Russians to kill.  But the war is indeed trending in that direction. 

Quote
So why can’t Western analysts admit as much? Most professional scholars of the Russian military first predicted a quick and decisive Russian victory; then argued that the Russians would pause, learn from their mistakes, and regroup; then concluded that the Russians would actually have performed much better if they had followed their doctrine; and now tend to mutter that everything can change, that the war is not over, and that the weight of numbers still favors Russia.

Well, I'm not a professional, but not quite an amateur either.  I'm like the towel boy for the Boston Redsox.  But yeh, I said all that.  Because it is all true.  Back to what do you mean by winning, Eliot?  I said the Russians would win in 2-4 days.  If they had followed their doctrine and not turned out to be incompetent.  Turns out they suck.  I was wrong.  But I am correct that if they had followed their doctrine and used their Air Force effectively they could have done a lot better.   I'll admit that things don't change on a dime, but armies do tend to learn from their mistakes.  The Russians have indeed switched gears and are now using their artillery and air power more effectively, though brutally.  But given enough time an an exhausted Ukraine, they could still win this way.  Thing is that Ukraine doesn't appear to be exhausted now. 

Quote
Their analytic failure will be only one of the elements of this war worth studying in the future.

Oh, FO.  Yes we were all wrong.  But I don't see how we could have known that the Russian Army were the Keystone Cops. 

Quote
The Ukrainian military has proved not only motivated and well led but also tactically skilled, integrating light infantry with anti-tank weapons, drones, and artillery fire to repeatedly defeat much larger Russian military formations.

They keypoint here is that the Ukrainian political and military leadership seems to have risen to heroic heights.  Yes, it was something I did not foresee, but this is what happens when you go with most likely courses of action. 

Quote
The reluctance to admit what is happening on the ground in Ukraine stems perhaps in part from the protectiveness scholars feel for their subject (even if they loathe it on moral grounds), but more from a tendency to emphasize technology (the Russians have some good bits), numbers (which they dominate, though only up to a point), and doctrine.

1.  Not a scholar, just a towel boy. 
2.  I love my subject
3. The emphasis was on the following
a. The initiative given the offense
b. The weight of Russian airpower and indirect fires, including rockets and cruise missiles. 

Quote
The Russian army remains in some ways very cerebral, and intellectuals can too easily admire elegant tactical and operational thinking without pressing very hard on practice.

You got me wrong, Eliot.  I've always said the Russians were *censored*.  I just didn't expect that much from the Ukrainians and a mountain of *censored* coming down on you can still bury you. 

Quote
Western intelligence agencies are briefing unsustainable Russian casualty rates of a thousand a day.

Yes, Eliot.  But the other half of the picture is that we're getting incomplete look at Ukrainian casualties.  3K?  4K?  Probably from their best trained troops. 

Anyways.  It goes from here to other ways of saying the Russians suck.  Yes they do.  Nothing new here.  But the level of suctitude is indeed staggering.  But don't try telling the tankies and the white christian nationalists. 

The real story here is how effective the leadership of Ukraine has been and how strong the information war has been for them and how the support of NATO and the EU, while not everything the Ukrainians would like it to be, has bolstered the defense.  In particular, the intelligence cooperation that is occuring between NATO and Ukraine.  Don't forget that the US and NATO have AWACS and Rivet Joints flying constantly right over the boarder over Poland.  I'm hopeful that this intel is being piped directly to Ukraine, with plenty of advising going on.  I wouldn't be surprised if SACEUR is basically a Jiminy Cricket for Valerii Zaluzhnyi. 

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #388 on: March 24, 2022, 07:21:09 PM »
That's cute.  Good luck getting NATO to agree on anything. 

I've finally figured out what "Strategic Ambiguity" is about.  It's for politicians to have an escape hatch. 

Well duh. But to be fair NATO has always been a bipolar institution: if the U.S. wants it dictates what 'NATO' policy is, and when it wants to kick the can it says that Europe needs to make a decision. Nothing thus far has ever stopped the U.S. acting unilaterally when it felt like it. So as you say, it's a game of political football, not a question about requiring anyone to agree on anything. If the U.S. decided Putin had done something unacceptable with a WMD, it would just be a question of selling their response to Europe; permission would not be required.

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #389 on: March 24, 2022, 07:47:55 PM »

Well duh. But to be fair NATO has always been a bipolar institution: if the U.S. wants it dictates what 'NATO' policy is, and when it wants to kick the can it says that Europe needs to make a decision.

This seems like a sweeping claim, and I would like more historical background on why "NATO has always been a bipolar institution".  I mean, are you suggesting it is "bipolar" in that it has two main elements, or heads?  Or that it swings between moods in the way a person with bipolar disorder would? 

Quote
Nothing thus far has ever stopped the U.S. acting unilaterally when it felt like it. So as you say, it's a game of political football, not a question about requiring anyone to agree on anything.

Eh.  You're forgetting the "narrative".  The one that stopped the US from acting unilaterally after the Bush II admin.  But anyways, narrative. 

Quote
If the U.S. decided Putin had done something unacceptable with a WMD, it would just be a question of selling their response to Europe; permission would not be required.

What exactly is the difference between "selling their response to Europe", and getting "permission"? 


Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #390 on: March 24, 2022, 08:50:28 PM »
This seems like a sweeping claim, and I would like more historical background on why "NATO has always been a bipolar institution".  I mean, are you suggesting it is "bipolar" in that it has two main elements, or heads?  Or that it swings between moods in the way a person with bipolar disorder would?

Bipolar in the sense that it can be whatever institution is convenient at a given time. It's not like the U.S. answers to the 'lesser' members in terms of military police actions within its vicinity. An example, to wit, is the bombing of Serbia/Kosovo, which at the time seemed like a unilateral U.S. action even thought the Wiki page describes it as a NATO action. Half the country just assumed it was Clinton diverting attention in the first place. Likewise we could perhaps describe Iraq 2.0 as being a more or less unilateral action that was nevertheless sold as a 'joint' action (getting some non-U.S. forces over there helped sell that narrative). And in terms of funding we've had a few discussions here about it, but basically it looks as though the U.S. was free to spend lots of $$ on bases and etc. all over the place, even though these were 'NATO' forces; so there's the question of funding and whether 'NATO' is only a result of funds put in by joint members, or whether any NATO member such as the U.S. placing its own forces around counts as NATO. I'm not an expert of this, but even cursory inspection seems to show that the U.S./NATO relationship is definitely not that of member/parent-organization. The other members, maybe, but the U.S. has been 'in charge' of military affairs in Europe since WWII.

Quote
Eh.  You're forgetting the "narrative".  The one that stopped the US from acting unilaterally after the Bush II admin.  But anyways, narrative.

It seems to me nothing much changed after Bush II. Libya. Syria. Syria would have gone further if the proxy forces had won. There was a notable lull under Trump, probably because (for better or worse) he didn't care about anyone's agenda. Probably didn't even understand anyone's agenda.

Quote
What exactly is the difference between "selling their response to Europe", and getting "permission"?

The former implies they're going to do it either way and need to get the others to 'agree' that the reason is justified, which requires selling a narrative. The latter implies that they actually will not engage in an action without a joint agreement.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #391 on: March 25, 2022, 12:54:48 PM »
Vagueness about what, exactly NATO's response to Putin using chemical or nuclear weapons would be is probably for the best. Being specific would mean arguing about the appropriateness of the response, even without the GOP doing so in particularly bad faith. It's easy to gain consensus on "Bad things should happen if Russia uses forbidden weapons" but less so get agreement about what exactly those bad things should be.

The West also has a credibility problem on the more severe end of possible repercussions. If Biden said "we will nuke Russian bases if Russia uses a nuke," it would be a lot easier for Putin to go "bet" and blow up Kyiv. Especially since he would be able to a straightforward cost-benefit analysis.

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #392 on: March 25, 2022, 04:30:29 PM »
Some good word salad.  I'm starting to see the benefits of "narrative". 

For instance, just going with "narrative" means that you don't really have to have a definition of what "unilateral means".  Apparently you can have the "narrative" be that Allied Force/Noble Anvil was a unilateral action despite it being authorized by NATO and many the French, Italians, British, Belgians, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Turks, and Canadians all taking part with the United States.  I guess the "narrative" was that NATO was just doing what Clinton wanted so he could have a distraction. 

Not having a definition of "unilateral" means that you can call the Iraq War unilateral, despite six other countries sending troops for the invasion and 33 other countries sending troops for the non-occupation phase.  The benefits of a "narrative" means that you don't need a definition. 

Because then you wouldn't need to see that Libya was also a NATO authorized and group effort. 

It means that you can say that the U.S. has been "in charge of military affairs in Europe since WWII" without any historical knowlege or context.  You don't have to read a book on the history of NATO and give examples.  You just have to watch MSNBC or Glen Beck and you can have a narrative. 


See, my problem with "narrative" is that is seems to suggest a reality different from an objective reality.  It seems to be an alternative to truth.  Narratives are just created and then thrown out into the arena to battle and may the best "narrative" win.  I believe this is a byproduct of too much domestic politics.  I think the idea of "narrative" was born from domestic political messaging in the United States, and one's understanding and feeling for it depends on your level of skin you have in the domestic political game. 

I understand the concept as it applies sometimes to domestic politics because domestic politics so often comes down to arguments concerning values, while more often the questions regarding foreign politics comes down to arguments of fact.  But as a whole, as a believer in truth and an objective reality, I find the idea of "narrative" to be somewhat... unreal, self-serving, and dastardly.  I mean, if you are a Relativist, go ahead.  But that's step one to being outside my fence. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #393 on: March 25, 2022, 05:25:15 PM »
Update:

Unconfirmed reports last night of counterattacks by the Ukrainians breaking out from Mykolayv towards Kherson, threatening the supply lines for the Russian forces besieging Mariupol going through Crimea.  I'll admit I didn't quite see that.  I figured the best route to relieve Mariupol would have been a direct thrust coming from the direction of Zaporizhzia.  But this way seems more clever, plus it seems the highway running from Zaporizhzhia (a double dose of zh, for extra pimpness) doesn't seem to be high grade, making a mechanized attack problematic in all this rain.  It's also 150 mi from Pimptown to Mariupol. 

I'm not sure if it's the best idea.  My opinion would be that the Ukrainians should concentrate their reserves and focus on the counterattacks to the west of Keev to encircle the two Russian CAAs there.  If they can eliminate them, they can then focus all that force relieved from Keev to a counterattack on the south.  But there are plenty of reasons not to go the mathematically pure way.  The humanitarian crisis in Mariupol.  The moral effect of losing it.  And the idea that the logistics are not in place to support more heavy units to the northern counterattacks.  I don't know where the reserves are coming from to mount the counterattacks from Mykolaiyv, but I'm guessing they were released from Odessa when it became obvious that the Russians wouldn't be making an amphibious assault there.  So the logistics in the south would have been more capable and ready to support this than overloading in the north.  But that is all speculation. 

Russian state media is framing the war as an "existential crisis" for Russia, which is exactly the criteria Pooter lays out for using nuclear weapons.  Russian state media is flat out saying that a peacekeeping force by a NATO member (Poland) into Ukraine means nuclear war.  The Russians have also been keeping up with their accusations of Ukrainians bio/chem weapons labs around Sumy, one of the towns they bypassed and were unable to take on the Northwest front.  This leads some people to believe that Sumy will be the testing ground for Pooter utilizing chemical weapons in Ukraine.  Still doesn't seem to be any other signs.  I'm curious if the intel sources we had inside the Kremlin before the war started are still in place, or if recent shakeups in the Kremlin have eliminated it.  I'm hoping that the CIA/NSA has some real advance warning in case of a chemical attack. 

Grandpa President spoke with members of the 82nd Airborne in Poland about 6 hours ago.  He was obviously off script and I wish he wouldn't do that.  Starts with a joke about not jumping.  Doesn't really go over well because those nutjobs fine dirt darts brave men and women in the 82nd all dream of getting combat jump wings.  It stiffens their lady bits.  Then he goes into talking about himself as a Senator.  Reminds everyone they volunteered, lol.  Goes into uniqueness of America, sounded like something he'd done before, but at least he's sticking to some script.  Not sure how it applies but he does a good job talking about American military leadership.  Talks about his experience with Ukraine.  Begins praising Ukrainians, but really rambling.  Says to those assembled "you're going to see when you get there" about Ukrainian courage.  I'm sure that was a mistake but that's what happens when you go off script.  Bad grandpa!  Quotes Albright who said "we're the essential nation".  I felt the dirt shift over Reagan's Tomb.  Says the troops are in the midst of a fight between Democracy and Russian Oligarchy.  Talks about the argument against democracy due to time for consensus.  Dubya pauses from painting for a slight moment.  Says democracy is going to prevail.  Tells the dirt darts fine airborne all american sky troopers that they are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.  LOLOLOL "Partially because you've had to fight so much over the past 20 years".  Talks about the amount of sacrifice the current generation of soldiers have had to made, eclipsing past generations.  Ehhh.  Now he's sucking up.  I'll allow it.  "We have only one sacred obligation, equip those who go to war, take care of their families".  Talks about his son.  Thanks the troops.  "We are the organizing principle in the world".  If this keeps up Reagan may actually burst out of the ground and then WATCH OUT!  World War III will be inevitable.  Calls the dirt darts airborne "the best" again.  Thank you thank you thank you.  "You're spreading the faith". 

Better than I thought it would be off script.  Hit some good notes.  Not stirring.  But short and earnest.  8 out of 10.  Not sure how much better he can get.  He's not a natural speaker anymore, on the caliber of Reagan, Obama, or even Bush II or Kennedy.  But he can bring a great deal of earnestness.  I believe him 100%. 


There has been a bunch of praise recently on how well the Ukrainians have been managing their resources.  It's true.  It's so good to the point that I have to believe that the Ukrainian General Staff is getting help.  Like somewhere in a basement in Brunssum, 100 NATO staff members are plugged into their counterparts in Ukraine.  Maybe that's just a fantasy.  But I know there is "information sharing" going on. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #394 on: March 25, 2022, 05:39:59 PM »
Apparently Pooter made a live address earlier this morning.  I havn't seen it personally.  Reports that he whined about Hollywood not making any movies about the Russian contribution to WWII.  (Enemy at the Gates was quite good.  The love scene was famous, or infamous, around US Army personnel at the time.  T-34 was also quite good and checks all the above blocks, but it was made by the Russians, was obvious propaganda since it was a made up story, but it was still good).  Claimed that progressives were trying to cancel Russia.  Touched on gender extremists and Harry Potter. I don't know if any of this is true, but if it is, I can see why he got along so well with The Lord High Savior of America L'Orange.   

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #395 on: March 25, 2022, 05:43:31 PM »
US Government announces they will accept a horde of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.  There goes the neighborhood. We'll all be eating pierogis and borscht by next year.   

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #396 on: March 25, 2022, 05:47:44 PM »
Macron says that France is going to lead a humanitarian relief effort for Mariupol, alongside Greece and Turkey.  LOL, Pooter got the Turks and Greeks to cooperate!  Says he's going to discuss it with Pooter in 48 to 72 hours.  I'm guessing he's going to try and evacuate 100,000 people by sea.  We'll see.  I'd love to see it happen. 

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #397 on: March 25, 2022, 05:49:42 PM »
US Government announces they will accept a horde of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.  There goes the neighborhood. We'll all be eating pierogis and borscht by next year.

OMG! But have they been VACCINATED?!!! We all know how important that is to conservatives. Can anyone stop them from making anchor babies?

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #398 on: March 25, 2022, 05:52:22 PM »
OMG! But have they been VACCINATED?!!! We all know how important that is to conservatives. Can anyone stop them from making anchor babies?

It's worse.  They're all going to vote democrat and bring their harmful ideas about anti-corruption and democracy and concepts of political leadership to America.  Insidious.  Call the Adeptus Astartes.  Exterminatus. 

Grant

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Ще́дрик, щедри́к, ще́дрівочка
« Reply #399 on: March 25, 2022, 05:59:58 PM »
You know, since the war is transitioning to a new, slower phase, I think it is time for the United States and NATO to rethink giving the Ukranians weapons systems that require additional training.  Tanks. Self-Propelled Artillery.  Maybe air defense systems other than MANPADS.  Jets.  Reaper drones. HEMTTs. 

If this thing is going on for a long haul, it's possible that the Ukrainians are still fighting this war this fall or next year in the Donbass or Crimea.  Not sure how likely.  The alternatives are Russia quits or escalates.  I honestly think it more likely that Russia quits or Russia escalates, combined, has the greater probability of occurring.