Russian invasion of Ukraine

Wednesday at Stoke

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Things seem to be heating up now, there are media reports that Russia is planning an internal vote to validate a military operation. NYTimes reports that the US is accusing Russia of sending saboteurs into Ukraine to stage a false flag operation, creating pretext for an invasion.

Apparently Putin has a narrow window dictated by the weather in the next two weeks where frost permits him to move his heavy artillery across the border.
 

The Firestarter

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There is no internal vote in today's Russia. Its not like the post Stalin politburo where there was actual collective decison.
 

11101

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This will be fun...

Ukraine's armed forces will be no pushover with a reasonably large and modern army and air force that been gearing up for this for years. They have enough to give Russia a bloody nose for sure.
 

VorZakone

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I guarantee nothing significant will happen. Maybe a couple of small border skirmishes but not an invasion.
 

Widow

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And when the West impose their sanctions it will be the public that suffer whilst Putin blames us all for the people going hungry.
 

Pexbo

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And when the West impose their sanctions it will be the public that suffer whilst Putin blames us all for the people going hungry.
He’ll slow down the gas pipelines to Europe even more and smile as the European leaders meekly concede Russia’s rights to Ukrainian land.
 

SalfordRed18

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But like, wasn't crimea an invasion? Genuine question.
 

Sir Matt

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"Insurgency" should be "resistance" in this story/tweet.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022...ng-a-pretext-for-invading-ukraine-us-official

I've seen that in Ukraine they believe the "attack" could be in Transnistria in order to give Russia an excuse to try to invade Ukraine fully.

An advantage for Putin is that, should he decide to invade, his recent crackdown on independent media and civil society groups will make it easier to hide the body count from the Russian public. Hopefully announcing Putin's apparent plans before he has a chance to execute them will make them unfeasible, but he still has complete control of what Russian media will tell the Russian people.
 

Simbo

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Just want to point out that Russia invaded Ukraine and has been an occupying force since 2014. Fighting has been ongoing ever since with reportedly 14k dead, 4k of which civilians (including the 298 mostly Dutch passengers on Malasia Airlines Flight 17 shot down by a Russian surface to air missile).

It was only when US foreign policy shifted massively pro-Russian in 2016 that western media stopped reporting about the ongoing confict, so people can be forgiven for thinking it ended.

What we're talking about now is a new offensive/escalation or Putin just trying to keep tensions high as he likes to do.

 

MoskvaRed

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There’s not much Europe can do unfortunately, at least until Germany grows up and gets comfortable with nuclear power and having a proper military.
 

MoskvaRed

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Also from the Darth Putin account - Former Russian PM Kasyanov denying the post-hoc justification for Russian irredentism arising from broken NATO promises.

Darth Putin (@DarthPutinKGB) Tweeted: This might help some of my trolls who don't accept that Gorby said what Gorby said.

https://t.co/0v0YPxv6Cj


He says that, based on conversations he had with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the West made no such promises (about not expanding east) to Russia. This accords with the fact that the “broken promises” myth did not appear until long after the 90s, not until relations with the West had gone down the drain about 2008 after the war with Georgia.
 
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Sir Matt

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Also from the Darth Putin account - Former Russian PM Kasyanov denying the post-hoc justification for Russian irredentism arising from broken NATO promises.

Darth Putin (@DarthPutinKGB) Tweeted: This might help some of my trolls who don't accept that Gorby said what Gorby said.

https://t.co/0v0YPxv6Cj


He says that, based on conversations he had with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the West made no such promises (about not expanding east) to Russia. This accords with the fact that the “broken promises” myth did not appear until long after the 90s, not until relations with the West had gone down the drain about 2008 after the war with Georgia.
Putin's "broken promises" myth is absurd. If the US or NATO made promises not to expand eastward, they would be in writing in the treaty about East Germany becoming part of NATO as it reunited with West Germany.

Putin just wants Russia's sphere of influence back despite the fact that very few former Soviet Republics want anything to do with Russia. Donbass/Luhansk, Transnistria, and Abhkazia/South Ossetia are all just useful tools for keeping Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia out of the EU and NATO while trying to force them back into the Russian sphere. He's like an abusive ex.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Just want to point out that Russia invaded Ukraine and has been an occupying force since 2014. Fighting has been ongoing ever since with reportedly 14k dead, 4k of which civilians (including the 298 mostly Dutch passengers on Malasia Airlines Flight 17 shot down by a Russian surface to air missile).

It was only when US foreign policy shifted massively pro-Russian in 2016 that western media stopped reporting about the ongoing confict, so people can be forgiven for thinking it ended.

What we're talking about now is a new offensive/escalation or Putin just trying to keep tensions high as he likes to do.

If he steps in, I really hope that there are sanctions.
 

Foxbatt

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Also from the Darth Putin account - Former Russian PM Kasyanov denying the post-hoc justification for Russian irredentism arising from broken NATO promises.

Darth Putin (@DarthPutinKGB) Tweeted: This might help some of my trolls who don't accept that Gorby said what Gorby said.

https://t.co/0v0YPxv6Cj


He says that, based on conversations he had with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the West made no such promises (about not expanding east) to Russia. This accords with the fact that the “broken promises” myth did not appear until long after the 90s, not until relations with the West had gone down the drain about 2008 after the war with Georgia.
So I presume that all this is a lie?

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu).

The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.

The documents reinforce former CIA Director Robert Gates’s criticism of “pressing ahead with expansion of NATO eastward [in the 1990s], when Gorbachev and others were led to believe that wouldn’t happen.”[1] The key phrase, buttressed by the documents, is “led to believe.”

Of course the article is in depth and long/
 

Foxbatt

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Putin's "broken promises" myth is absurd. If the US or NATO made promises not to expand eastward, they would be in writing in the treaty about East Germany becoming part of NATO as it reunited with West Germany.

Putin just wants Russia's sphere of influence back despite the fact that very few former Soviet Republics want anything to do with Russia. Donbass/Luhansk, Transnistria, and Abhkazia/South Ossetia are all just useful tools for keeping Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia out of the EU and NATO while trying to force them back into the Russian sphere. He's like an abusive ex.
That is the problem. They never signed any agreement. It was in the minutes of all the meetings they had. The documents are from the American side that shows all of them including Kohl, Bush, Thatcher and Mitterand all agreed to it. It is all there at the archives of the George Washington University. That is why Putin is asking for a written guarantee. The Russians might as well commit suicide now if they allow Ukraine into NATO. No way they will do that.
 

harms

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I still want to believe that this isn’t going to happen — he’s got a lot more to gain from a potential invasion rather than an actual one, forcing Europe & US into less favorable position in their negotiations (although it seems that it had failed to work going by how big of a failure that were the just-ended Russia-U.S. negotiations).

Just to give you some context on Crimea, Donetsk & the current potential invasion — Crimea was part of Russia, Donetsk always had a lot of Russians and had always leaned towards Russia. There was also a huge popular demand for taking Crimea back (in Russia and in Crimea alike) as it was seen as a historical injustice that Khrushchev had given it to Ukraine while both were a part of USSR simply because of the logistics. That said I’m not making excuses for the annexation, don’t get me wrong — but stating the reasons that Putin had for taking it. Initially it had led to a boost of his internal ratings. This supposed invasion makes no sense on any level — it’s not something that Russian people want, you don’t have a lot of people there that sympathize towards Russia, unlike in Crimea and Donbass — more so, in the past decade a lot of them had understandably became radicalized against it.

So yeah, there are no logical gains for Putin in this invasion and there’s so much to lose. It really seems like a power move to gain an advantage in negotiations that backfired — I guess when you use the same card over and over again, it’s bound to lose its weight at some point.

That’s not to say that Putin always does the most rational thing to do and he is becoming more and more politically unhinged by the day. I don’t believe that he’ll start this war from practical reasons — despite the appearance, he really cares about the gradually waning support from general population (this is why he had never enforced any serious quarantine measures or never personally criticized anti-vax community), and this conflict will never got the public approval in a way that Crimea did at some point. When he annexed Crimea, he was “bringing it home”. When Russian forces supported anti-government forces in the Easyern Ukraine, it was done (despite them “never being here”) under the excuse of defending a huge ethnically Russian population of those regions. There’s literally no positive excuse to instigate the invasion of Ukraine unless it starts with them invading Russia — a seemingly impossible probability but then the invasion of Poland had started after “polish soldiers” attacked a few of the German objects (radio stations, railway stations, customs) near the border (cough… Heydrich… cough).
 

harms

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I've seen that in Ukraine they believe the "attack" could be in Transnistria in order to give Russia an excuse to try to invade Ukraine fully.
What? How does this suppose to work exactly?
 

Foxbatt

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If Putin gives in then he is finished and Russia is finished as an independent nation. He knows that he cannot conquer Ukraine. But he knows that if it goes to a Nuclear War the `European countries who drummed up the war is going to be destroyed. Saner heads told the `US government not ton expand `nato. They refused to listen and now it has come to this.
 

harms

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It’s in Moldova isn’t it?
Yeah. And it has no borders with Russia and neither does it have any sea access. Or does this plan supposes that Russia would stage a fake Ukrainian attack on Transnistria in order to have an excuse to barrage right through Ukraine from its Eastern border to its Western one? Seems ridiculously far-fetched. It also doesn't make sense as a provocation — Ukraine has nothing to do in Transnistria, it's an internal Moldovan conflict, if anyone is going to invade/"invade" Transnistria, it's going to be Chișinău.

From a little googling spree the only sources that I can see suggesting this scenario are low-quality Ukrainian news websites that are just about as reliable as Russian once that would make you believe that Ukrainian forces are crucifying children in Donetsk. It's a common mistake to trust the sources that share your general point of view on the situation, but you shouldn't forget that Ukraine also has a propaganda and yellow press and they operate in a very similar fashion to Russian ones as they both were schooled by the good old Soviet Union.
 

harms

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If Putin gives in then he is finished and Russia is finished as an independent nation. He knows that he cannot conquer Ukraine. But he knows that if it goes to a Nuclear War the `European countries who drummed up the war is going to be destroyed. Saner heads told the `US government not ton expand `nato. They refused to listen and now it has come to this.
The issue is (and that's really the only factor that keeps this story alive), the chances that European & US forces are going to go into a Nuclear conflict over Ukraine is minimal, however bleak it does sound. And if Putin rejects any rational arguments against this potential intervention (which I don't believe that he'd do but who knows it with him really), then you know that he won't hesitate to go all the way.

If it goes to a Nuclear War Russia will be destroyed but so will be half of the world, there's still enough missiles hidden all over the country :(
 

Kentonio

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If Putin gives in then he is finished and Russia is finished as an independent nation. He knows that he cannot conquer Ukraine. But he knows that if it goes to a Nuclear War the `European countries who drummed up the war is going to be destroyed. Saner heads told the `US government not ton expand `nato. They refused to listen and now it has come to this.
Except theres no practical reason for Russia to be 'finished' as an independent nation and militarily they are under no threat whatsoever from the West, despite their paranoid ramblings about NATO.
 

harms

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Just want to point out that Russia invaded Ukraine and has been an occupying force since 2014. Fighting has been ongoing ever since with reportedly 14k dead, 4k of which civilians (including the 298 mostly Dutch passengers on Malasia Airlines Flight 17 shot down by a Russian surface to air missile).

It was only when US foreign policy shifted massively pro-Russian in 2016 that western media stopped reporting about the ongoing confict, so people can be forgiven for thinking it ended.

What we're talking about now is a new offensive/escalation or Putin just trying to keep tensions high as he likes to do.

I hate that I often end up playing devil's advocate in those threads about Russian politics but your post simplifies what happened to a classic external conflict which it really isn't. Just like in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea and all of those proxy wars of the Cold War there are internal conflicts that precede a foreign invasion. And this is an internal Ukrainian conflict first (the country had been very much divided in half after Maidan (2004) by a cultural, linguistic and ethnic border with Western Ukraine gravitating towards European Union & Eastern Ukraine gravitating towards Russia and post-Soviet block*). It's not a coincidence that all the hell had broke loose after Yanukovich (who had got his presidency in 2010), got more or less kicked out of the office which the Eastern Ukraine considered as an attack on their interests that, they felt, were underrepresented in this new forming Ukraine.

* Yanukovich, a guy from Donetsk, won the original vote (likely not without falsifications), Yushchenko (very much pro-Western candidate) won the revote 52% to 44% and it kinda resembled the great American divide of the Trump era.

Now, Putin had obviously used this situation to his advantage and sent Russian troops there in support (which he quite ridiculously keeps denying with a disgusting smirk on his face), but the battle for Donetsk airport wasn't a battle between the invading Russian forces and the defending Ukrainian ones. It was mostly militia from both the unrecognised Donetsk' People's Republic & Lugansk' People's Republic with the notable support from Russian military (not as much in terms of people, although there were obviously "decommissioned" Russian military fighting there, as in terms of weapons, tanks, rockets etc.). And Donetsk' airport was destroyed by an artillery and airforce strikers by both pro-Russian & Ukrainian sides, it wasn't pretty.

TL/DR: as with pretty much any conflict, the real picture isn't as black & white even though Putin's (I don't want to say Russia's) actions were probably the decisive factor behind the militarisation of this conflict.
 

nickm

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That is the problem. They never signed any agreement. It was in the minutes of all the meetings they had. The documents are from the American side that shows all of them including Kohl, Bush, Thatcher and Mitterand all agreed to it. It is all there at the archives of the George Washington University. That is why Putin is asking for a written guarantee. The Russians might as well commit suicide now if they allow Ukraine into NATO. No way they will do that.
Discussions aren't promises, Putin knows that, it's just him blowing smoke. The NATO non promise is Putin spinning an excuse, not giving a reason
 
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Rajma

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If Putin gives in then he is finished and Russia is finished as an independent nation. He knows that he cannot conquer Ukraine. But he knows that if it goes to a Nuclear War the `European countries who drummed up the war is going to be destroyed. Saner heads told the `US government not ton expand `nato. They refused to listen and now it has come to this.
What a load of rubbish :lol: Yeah, mighty Estonia or Latvia will attack Russia.
 

Paxi

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Yeah. And it has no borders with Russia and neither does it have any sea access. Or does this plan supposes that Russia would stage a fake Ukrainian attack on Transnistria in order to have an excuse to barrage right through Ukraine from its Eastern border to its Western one? Seems ridiculously far-fetched. It also doesn't make sense as a provocation — Ukraine has nothing to do in Transnistria, it's an internal Moldovan conflict, if anyone is going to invade/"invade" Transnistria, it's going to be Chișinău.

From a little googling spree the only sources that I can see suggesting this scenario are low-quality Ukrainian news websites that are just about as reliable as Russian once that would make you believe that Ukrainian forces are crucifying children in Donetsk. It's a common mistake to trust the sources that share your general point of view on the situation, but you shouldn't forget that Ukraine also has a propaganda and yellow press and they operate in a very similar fashion to Russian ones as they both were schooled by the good old Soviet Union.
Yeah it’s extremely unlikely that something like that would happen, considering large proportion of the general population do not know what or where Transnistria is and so it would be a bit odd to come to their aid when there are still ethnic Russian communities which could be attached in Ukraine. It would also mean starting a conflict with Moldova potentially so yeah I think the guy got his wires crossed somewhere.
 

nickm

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If Putin gives in then he is finished and Russia is finished as an independent nation. He knows that he cannot conquer Ukraine. But he knows that if it goes to a Nuclear War the `European countries who drummed up the war is going to be destroyed. Saner heads told the `US government not ton expand `nato. They refused to listen and now it has come to this.
What a crock. "Russia is finished as an independent nation" because a bunch of countries who'd been invaded and occupied by Russia, decided it was prudent to join the alliance whose core purpose is to stop invasions by Russia.

If Putin gives in he may well be weaker because the reason he starts these fights is because strongmen like him need to manufacture enemies in order to strengthen their position.
 
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Adisa

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Still don't believe this will happen. Russia would face the mother of all insurgencies.