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Thread: EEU = Soviet Lite

  1. #16

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    Matters heating up considerably. While, like the Ukraine, I've considerable question as to western (particularly American) resolve, I must also wonder at the resolve of the Ukrainian government. The evident unpreparedness of the Ukrainian nat'l assembly/president to declare war on Russia lends rationale to those who'd challenge the Ukraine's worthiness as a nation.

    Because war by Russia upon the Ukraine is what this is and, again, about to be.

    "...Many feel that the Chief of Staff, General Viktor Muzhenko (graduated from the Leningrad Higher Military Command School in 1983) should go but I doubt anyone else would do better…"

    Well…here's the problem from my amateurish western eye. Ukrainian reformers failed to mobilize and exploit the moral authority granted them by Maidan. That failure has led to halting, tentative progress on too many fronts-business, judiciary, military, etc. but has failed to fully capture the imagination of all Ukrainians. Too many Ukrainian fence-sitters have cause to question the determination of this government and the preparedness of all those in power to deliver on the promise of Maidan.

    That, I believe, is also contributing to some considerable concern in the west.

    Your COS, General Viktor Muzhenko? Gone. Anybody associated with the Red Army is out, immediately. I'd want a COS who was, without question, intensely interested in BEATING their enemy. This guy (guilt by association) would immediately give me cause to pause. Maybe later. Not now.

    Suggestion that guys are buying themselves out of the draft or dodging altogether doesn't help. Aside from the need to ruthlessly pursue and prosecute such, it's a commentary, again, that the worth/hope offered by Maidan matters but has not been understood and engrained among Ukrainians.

    So…until the Ukraine government convinces the world (and your own) of it's preparedness to defeat both the Russians from without and the corrupt villains within, you're in a world of hurt. Considering that Obama may be the most warlike of those to whom the Ukraine appeals, that's a whole lot of work which must happen quickly to matter at all.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  2. #17
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    S2 I would argue that the problems you refer to are both internal (to Ukraine) and external (in the 'West' in general) as indeed you suggest. Let me take your first question as an example; 'why the Ukrainian Government hasn't declared war?' Well Yatsenyuk has been calling it a war publicly since last September (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine...says-1.2765353). But to declare it a 'state of war' officially would make Ukraine the 'aggressor' since the first premise of the Gerasimov/hybrid war doctrine is that the Moscow regime never admits to waging war. Putin would rub his greedy paws in glee and the Russian Duma (Parliament) be persuaded to say "Go get 'em". Nor do any of Ukraine's 'allies', on whom Ukraine is currently dependent for financial/diplomatic/military etc support, formally recognise that the Moscow regime is waging an aggressive war against Ukraine; if they did and still continued their support then certainly the Ukrainian Government would call it the pig it is. Besides the possible Putin regime and 'allies' response to such a declaration being officially 'at war' invokes emergency powers or a 'state of emergency' which means almost military rule under Ukrainian law. Regional administrations can be removed, citizens armed and made to build and man the barricades, clean the sewer systems etc... and this is bad economically (who does the farming and who will invest? etc) and contrary to what all Ukrainians are fighting against - the Jan 16th 2014 'Dictatorship Laws' are not forgotten. There are plans to introduce emergency powers in areas that may be threatened but it is thought wise, rightly in my view, not to impose them on a national level. I know and sympathise with the wish to call a pig a pig, which initially seems the correct, obvious and most honest course of action, but if you consider the consequences it may not be the wisest decision unless Ukraine's 'partners' do the same and even then it would better to limit emergency powers to areas directly threatened by the enemy.

    Much the same has been the case in the past: Why didn't Ukraine respond to Colonel 'Strelkov'/Girkin and his GRU unit in Donbass immeadiately and quash the 'uprising' at the start? It was regarded as 'provacative' by Ukraine's 'allies' at the time the support of which Ukraine was then desperately in need. Why Minsk 2? Same story... If Ukraianian forces advance into their own sovereign but occupied land with arms they break the Minsk 2 'ceasefire; the 'allies' desert and the Putin regime says "now it's war" with glee. While white remains white and black remains black sometimes seemingly insane comprimises and diplomatic language are the rule of the international community by and large; there are reasons for this some less healthy than others. In this case it could be argued that these comprimises etc are a mistake - I would agree myself - but as the Colonel said would you risk a nuclear war over Ukraine? That of course depends on whether one thinks the Putin nuclear threats are 'real'. The Colonel gives more credence to them than anyone now currently involved in my view. To quote Yuri Shvets, himself a former KGB Officer; “Do you seriously think that a man who annually disappears from public view for seven to ten days in order to have a facelift and to fill himself up with Botox is capable of unleashing a nuclear war?” (Russian language interview here; http://gordonua.com/publications/Sok...het-77899.html). Personally I never bought into the 'Putin genius' cult. The guy's a thug and a bully and should be exposed as such. He'll back down if presented with force and I would and may yet have to bet my life on it. He barks loud because there's a lack of bite. Call me a 'Reaganite hawk' if you will but as the 'Dude' said "This aggression will not stand, man!". A coherent, ratcheted and united reponse including all options is needed, the new 'Long Telegram' overdue since Georgia. Now at least matters are plain for all those who wish to see.

    As for internal reform; well judges have been fired, a new police force is being formed, Rada Deputies (MPs) are not immune from prosecution, the gas tangle is being sorted out (the whole Kolomoyskyi - UkrTransNafta drama settled some issues), the budget deficit is coming down, the Lennins continue to fall not only from their pedestals but throughout the whole mindset of Ukrainian society. This is not an overnight process though and while I would agree that more be done the reform agenda is in many ways dictated by Ukraine's external 'partners' such as the IMF, the EU and other international Governments and NGOs. If gas prices were not raised the IMF would stop the loans etc... In order to get the EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement put in place A to Z reforms are needed in the same way as NATO membership has requirements for military and civil division etc... The last EU - Ukraine 'summit' was 27th April in Kyiv (full statement pdf here http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/pr...kraine-summit/). It's not possible for an entire country to go to bed one night stuck in old ways and wake up the next morning new and changed - it's a process but most of Ukraine's partners who are helping with this process agree that the current Government is the most competent and dedicated to reform group that Ukraine has had in it's post Soviet history. It's like having a mountain to climb; sometimes you will put a foot wrong wrong and slip back but if the general progress is upward over a period of time you are getting toward the summit. In view of the fact that the country is engaged in a defencive war and has over 1.3m IDPs due to the war I would personally say that the progress thus far is acceptable to good.

    Regarding Muzhenko, many would agree with you that he should be "Gone". He alone is perhaps not the problem - the whole Ministry of Defence is in need of lustration and mass firings on efficiency grounds alone some would say. I would not agree that any senior Officer should be dismissed 'by association' with the Soviet regime alone but on competance grounds alone many would argue that the case against the senior Staff is made. Many of them are dedicated to winning but they're whole mind set and modus operandi is stuck back in the 1970s/1980s or whenever they learned their profession. Some of the NCO's have a better strategic and tactical understanding than the senior Staff who never leave Kyiv. Let me give you an example: 'Anton' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-E...dex=87&list=WL) has a valid argument regarding Debaltseve; that it offered the opportunity to liberate Horlivka. In fact, some argued, Debaltseve was practically indefensible without the liberation and occupation of Horlivka; this was said by many people. A plan was drawn up in early January, before they even started assaulting Debaltseve or 'Minsk 2', to attack west of Horlivka and connect with the Debaltseve pocket south east of Horlivka from (Panteleimonivka, which Ukrainian forces then occupied, to Karlo Marksove - Yenakijve) thus cutting off any enemy in Horlivka which could then be cleared to provide a 'shoulder' to the Debaltseve 'pocket'. Back in early Jan it would have been easy - less than 10km to connect, it was reconned and found to be nigh on empty - but no, this was rejected. So if not then surely you have to evacuate Debaltseve before the obvious entrapment occurs? Again no... Now I am no soldier and won't comment on these decisions but you may begin to understand why some feel discontent with the senior Staff. These decisions were made in Kyiv and those proposing the alternatives were at the front. As I say the argument was and still is not about 'association' or willingness but competance. Why Muzhenko made these decisions goes back to last July/August arguments which I won't bore you with here. Some reform is now accepted, promotions of the proven Officers and devolvement of Command is done, the ongoing Staff College days are intended to get Officers to think for themselves etc but as with the country as a whole it is a process of changing a mentality that cannot be achieved over night. Make no mistake though both the Government and particularly the armed forces will not back down. The arguments that occur are about how to win not if/whether to win. The Putin regime's aggression has done more to unite Ukraine than anything since the Khmelnytsky Cossak uprising against the Poles.

    In addition I would add that the Ukrainian positions strength/weakness is relative to the Putin regimes; they also have serious problems which I will not list here in detail. In general I would say Ukraine 'won' this war last year, all the rest, from the Crimean annexation to the Donbass war, is about saving Putin's face/keeping him in power or deciding who 'succeeds' after him. They have strategically lost Ukraine already but hope to cover it up with tactical victories.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    S2 I would argue that the problems you refer to are both internal (to Ukraine) and external (in the 'West' in general) as indeed you suggest. Let me take your first question as an example; 'why the Ukrainian Government hasn't declared war?' Well Yatsenyuk has been calling it a war publicly since last September (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine...says-1.2765353). But to declare it a 'state of war' officially would make Ukraine the 'aggressor' since the first premise of the Gerasimov/hybrid war doctrine is that the Moscow regime never admits to waging war. Putin would rub his greedy paws in glee and the Russian Duma (Parliament) be persuaded to say "Go get 'em". Nor do any of Ukraine's 'allies', on whom Ukraine is currently dependent for financial/diplomatic/military etc support, formally recognise that the Moscow regime is waging an aggressive war against Ukraine; if they did and still continued their support then certainly the Ukrainian Government would call it the pig it is. Besides the possible Putin regime and 'allies' response to such a declaration being officially 'at war' invokes emergency powers or a 'state of emergency' which means almost military rule under Ukrainian law. Regional administrations can be removed, citizens armed and made to build and man the barricades, clean the sewer systems etc... and this is bad economically (who does the farming and who will invest? etc) and contrary to what all Ukrainians are fighting against - the Jan 16th 2014 'Dictatorship Laws' are not forgotten. There are plans to introduce emergency powers in areas that may be threatened but it is thought wise, rightly in my view, not to impose them on a national level. I know and sympathise with the wish to call a pig a pig, which initially seems the correct, obvious and most honest course of action, but if you consider the consequences it may not be the wisest decision unless Ukraine's 'partners' do the same and even then it would better to limit emergency powers to areas directly threatened by the enemy.

    Much the same has been the case in the past: Why didn't Ukraine respond to Colonel 'Strelkov'/Girkin and his GRU unit in Donbass immeadiately and quash the 'uprising' at the start? It was regarded as 'provacative' by Ukraine's 'allies' at the time the support of which Ukraine was then desperately in need. Why Minsk 2? Same story... If Ukraianian forces advance into their own sovereign but occupied land with arms they break the Minsk 2 'ceasefire; the 'allies' desert and the Putin regime says "now it's war" with glee. While white remains white and black remains black sometimes seemingly insane comprimises and diplomatic language are the rule of the international community by and large; there are reasons for this some less healthy than others. In this case it could be argued that these comprimises etc are a mistake - I would agree myself - but as the Colonel said would you risk a nuclear war over Ukraine? That of course depends on whether one thinks the Putin nuclear threats are 'real'. The Colonel gives more credence to them than anyone now currently involved in my view. To quote Yuri Shvets, himself a former KGB Officer; “Do you seriously think that a man who annually disappears from public view for seven to ten days in order to have a facelift and to fill himself up with Botox is capable of unleashing a nuclear war?” (Russian language interview here; http://gordonua.com/publications/Sok...het-77899.html). Personally I never bought into the 'Putin genius' cult. The guy's a thug and a bully and should be exposed as such. He'll back down if presented with force and I would and may yet have to bet my life on it. He barks loud because there's a lack of bite. Call me a 'Reaganite hawk' if you will but as the 'Dude' said "This aggression will not stand, man!". A coherent, ratcheted and united reponse including all options is needed, the new 'Long Telegram' overdue since Georgia. Now at least matters are plain for all those who wish to see.

    As for internal reform; well judges have been fired, a new police force is being formed, Rada Deputies (MPs) are not immune from prosecution, the gas tangle is being sorted out (the whole Kolomoyskyi - UkrTransNafta drama settled some issues), the budget deficit is coming down, the Lennins continue to fall not only from their pedestals but throughout the whole mindset of Ukrainian society. This is not an overnight process though and while I would agree that more be done the reform agenda is in many ways dictated by Ukraine's external 'partners' such as the IMF, the EU and other international Governments and NGOs. If gas prices were not raised the IMF would stop the loans etc... In order to get the EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement put in place A to Z reforms are needed in the same way as NATO membership has requirements for military and civil division etc... The last EU - Ukraine 'summit' was 27th April in Kyiv (full statement pdf here http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/pr...kraine-summit/). It's not possible for an entire country to go to bed one night stuck in old ways and wake up the next morning new and changed - it's a process but most of Ukraine's partners who are helping with this process agree that the current Government is the most competent and dedicated to reform group that Ukraine has had in it's post Soviet history. It's like having a mountain to climb; sometimes you will put a foot wrong wrong and slip back but if the general progress is upward over a period of time you are getting toward the summit. In view of the fact that the country is engaged in a defencive war and has over 1.3m IDPs due to the war I would personally say that the progress thus far is acceptable to good.

    Regarding Muzhenko, many would agree with you that he should be "Gone". He alone is perhaps not the problem - the whole Ministry of Defence is in need of lustration and mass firings on efficiency grounds alone some would say. I would not agree that any senior Officer should be dismissed 'by association' with the Soviet regime alone but on competance grounds alone many would argue that the case against the senior Staff is made. Many of them are dedicated to winning but they're whole mind set and modus operandi is stuck back in the 1970s/1980s or whenever they learned their profession. Some of the NCO's have a better strategic and tactical understanding than the senior Staff who never leave Kyiv. Let me give you an example: 'Anton' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-E...dex=87&list=WL) has a valid argument regarding Debaltseve; that it offered the opportunity to liberate Horlivka. In fact, some argued, Debaltseve was practically indefensible without the liberation and occupation of Horlivka; this was said by many people. A plan was drawn up in early January, before they even started assaulting Debaltseve or 'Minsk 2', to attack west of Horlivka and connect with the Debaltseve pocket south east of Horlivka from (Panteleimonivka, which Ukrainian forces then occupied, to Karlo Marksove - Yenakijve) thus cutting off any enemy in Horlivka which could then be cleared to provide a 'shoulder' to the Debaltseve 'pocket'. Back in early Jan it would have been easy - less than 10km to connect, it was reconned and found to be nigh on empty - but no, this was rejected. So if not then surely you have to evacuate Debaltseve before the obvious entrapment occurs? Again no... Now I am no soldier and won't comment on these decisions but you may begin to understand why some feel discontent with the senior Staff. These decisions were made in Kyiv and those proposing the alternatives were at the front. As I say the argument was and still is not about 'association' or willingness but competance. Why Muzhenko made these decisions goes back to last July/August arguments which I won't bore you with here. Some reform is now accepted, promotions of the proven Officers and devolvement of Command is done, the ongoing Staff College days are intended to get Officers to think for themselves etc but as with the country as a whole it is a process of changing a mentality that cannot be achieved over night. Make no mistake though both the Government and particularly the armed forces will not back down. The arguments that occur are about how to win not if/whether to win. The Putin regime's aggression has done more to unite Ukraine than anything since the Khmelnytsky Cossak uprising against the Poles.

    In addition I would add that the Ukrainian positions strength/weakness is relative to the Putin regimes; they also have serious problems which I will not list here in detail. In general I would say Ukraine 'won' this war last year, all the rest, from the Crimean annexation to the Donbass war, is about saving Putin's face/keeping him in power or deciding who 'succeeds' after him. They have strategically lost Ukraine already but hope to cover it up with tactical victories.
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  4. #19

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    Sara,

    "...to declare it a 'state of war' officially would make Ukraine the 'aggressor'…"

    I'm not buying. Nor would any prudent observer of this conflict.

    "...since the first premise of the Gerasimov/hybrid war doctrine is that the Moscow regime never admits to waging war…"

    It might be our first mistake to lend too much credence to an opposing doctrine while turning our back upon the rules of diplomacy advocated by ourselves and the laws of warfare developed at painstaking cost from each preceding modern conflict. I embrace MY values-not Putin's. Nor his war fighting strategy. Because it may be Putin's interest to avoid an open declaration of war doesn't mean the Ukraine's interests are equally served. Especially if the following comment by you is true-

    "...In general I would say Ukraine 'won' this war last year, all the rest, from the Crimean annexation to the Donbass war, is about saving Putin's face/keeping him in power or deciding who 'succeeds' after him. They have strategically lost Ukraine already but hope to cover it up with tactical victories."

    If winning might be defined by avoiding open defeat, sure. However much, in your view, lost by Putin, his "…tactical victories." appear to have dismembered a vast portion of your industrial east. As such, you'll forgive an outsider's perception of pyrrhic victories, the continuation of which shall render the Ukraine to a rump status.

    In short, the current state of affairs has been dictated by Putin. If defeat is what he's suffered, a declaration of war will hardly change matters.

    "...Putin would rub his greedy paws in glee and the Russian Duma (Parliament) be persuaded to say 'Go get 'em'."

    You fear the Russian Duma making open war upon the Ukraine all because you've declared war against a foreign aggressor upon your own lands? How is that any different from now? All Putin might do differently is openly attack across a broad front and, thus, engage in a conflict of vast size that will, without question, include a bitter occupation.

    I rather doubt that's his ambition. As matters currently stand, he's allowed to consolidate recent gains, reconstitute his forces, minimize casualty news (for the time being) while preparing for his next interim objective-Mariupol.

    And they'll likely get it like a ripe plum falling from a tree once by-passed and cut off. Think of the increasing irrelevancy of Stalingrad as the front moved west in January 1943. Their fate sealed with each passing kilometer westbound for the Red Army. So too Mariupol.

    What then? Another pause? MINSK III? The Ukraine cannot afford more victories over Putin such as these.

    "The definition of insanity is doing over and over the same thing while expecting different results…"

    An open declaration of war makes irrevocably clear to your own population upon whose doorstep this conflict's responsibility lies. It should also end any question of the danger such presents to the state and the need for a complete mobilization of Ukrainian human, legal and material resources. It would also make plain to the rest of the world the seriousness with which the Ukrainian government defines this conflict.

    As for soldiers with past association within the Red Army. Sorry, I sense some concern about broad profiling from you but, yeah, I want those cats GONE. Particularly your COS and for no reason other than their past association. Nevermind their demonstrated incompetence but how do you know that past loyalties don't play into that?

    You've a year now to identify new leaders born of combat. Promote quickly those that can hack it. Nothing like a war for upward mobility within the command structure.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  5. #20
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    The definition of insanity is doing over and over the same thing while expecting different results…"

  6. #21
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    S2 Several things both direct and in more general terms "...to declare it a 'state of war' officially would make Ukraine the 'aggressor'…"

    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    I'm not buying. Nor would any prudent observer of this conflict.
    Sadly "the enemy gets a vote too."

    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    As for soldiers with past association within the Red Army. Sorry, I sense some concern about broad profiling from you but, yeah, I want those cats GONE. Particularly your COS and for no reason other than their past association. Nevermind their demonstrated incompetence but how do you know that past loyalties don't play into that?
    I suppose this comes down to whether your approach is dogmatic or pragmatic. While all would agree that in the longer term the Ministry of Defence is in need of deeper lustration - even including the COS - the pragmatists would argue that perhaps now, when Ukraine is at war, is not the best time. Nor should we forget that in some ways Muzhenko and the senior Staff have in fact performed well given the relative scarcity of the means and poor training of Ukrainian troops at their disposal. Last August Ukraine was within 48-72hrs of ending the Donbass conflict and even now the occupied area of Donbass is smaller than it was this time last year. Nor is Muzhenko incapable of compromise or altogether resistant to reform; proven Commanders "born of combat" have been promoted and given more autonomy and resources so that any further 'Debatlseve's' are avoided. The ATO Command in general is newly promoted Officers who have performed well so far. There is a new 'Military TV' (not the daily press briefings) and daily text Bulletins run by the ATO Press Centre - not the Ministry of Defence - sent free to the troops phones. The new ATO Command staff in particular spend alot of time visiting units at the front to just spend some time and listening to supply complaints etc... All this is designed specifically to raise moral. The new Sektor Commanders in the ATO are and in the central area also meet regularly to assess the situation on different front and receive the latest intel analysis etc... There's been alot of change in the chain and personnel of command and Muzhenko's commendable willingness to accept this saved his position. If you are rebuilding an antiquated car say the suspension, chasis and engine is more important than repainting it and likewise the Ukrainian army doesn't necessarily need the COS gone to be renewed particularly when the Chain of Command is 'devolved'. Don't get me wrong much remains to be done - the supply chain in particular is still a big problem, one of my friends visited Mariupol the other day and said they had no tea at the front! Well they have tea now but this is indicative of deeper problems which reach back to Kyiv and the Ministry of Defence and clearly these sorts of problems need to be gone through systematically and resolved. Proposals regarding supply and general logistical command in general are being considered by the NSDC I am told. Like everything in Ukraine it is a work in a progress; much done, more to be done.

    In a more general sense of where I think you perhaps misunderstand Ukraine's position relative to the Moscow regimes I read a quote from Anne Applebaum (Radek Sikorski's Wife) about a week ago along the lines of "whoever keeps Donbass loses". The Donbass repair bill alone is immense already then there's modernisation and investment needed to create new companies and jobs etc... Crimea is already costing the Moscow regime a minor fortune in subsidies - they had to pick up all the pensions payments and still may need a Kerch bridge (which would always be vulnerable militarily). If they keep the occupied area in Donbass sanctions stay in place and their economy long term is not looking healthy as Europe diversifies it's energy supply and heads towards a unified energy market (which would mean no more Gazprom sweetner deals to buy influence). Donbass is a burden to the Moscow regime not a boost. They even had to cut Belarus and Transdniestr(ias) normal amounts of subsidies this year (http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-rouble-crisis). Thus some in Moscow, reportedly Surkov, want to "push back" Donbass onto Ukraine - as reported by Novaya Gazeta last year (English link reporting the Novaya Gazeta article here http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/12/0...ithin-ukraine/). So in other words the stalemate - so long as it remains one - favours Ukraine and buys time for reform in every area to increase Ukraine's democratic, economic and military capacity. There are some in Kyiv who would happily build a wall around Donbass - if it was a feasible option that would end the war. If Putin 'recognised' or annexed the so called 'Republics' it would be Ukraine's win it is argued. So Putin is losing the 'stalemate' and the longer it goes on the worse he loses. There was an argument over who payed the gas bill for the occupied area but Gazprom is forced to supply them at Moscow's expense (http://rt.com/business/236817-ukrain...om-europe-gas/). Likewise pensions to Ukrainian citizens in the occupied are not payed within the occupied area. The "push back (the occupation costs onto Ukraine)" strategy has failed while Ukraine is busy reforming. But if they go further they break Minsk 2, Poland and others will act to support Ukraine further (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0NE0ZM20150423), Obama would probably supply 'lethal aid', sanctions increase etc etc... Many plans in conjunction with Ukraine's neighbouring 'partners', short term and long term, are already agreed, some in principle only and some in detail. So in general I think you perhaps misjudge the strength of Ukraine's position relative to the Putin regime's but this of course makes it more likely that they will attempt to 'break out'. In some ways I would consider your comment "If winning might be defined by avoiding open defeat, sure" true of this Minsk 2 stalemate period. So sure Ukraine would prefer if the Moscow Regime did NOT come further and for that reason it is common belief that they will and plans are made on that basis with a view to inflicting a decisive defeat comparable to 1920.

  7. #22
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    Couple of interesting pieces of news tangential to the Ukranian situation:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/putin...enerals-2015-5

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-d...sappear-2015-3

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  9. #24
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    Snapper:

    Over at Real Clear Defense (see here: http://www.realcleardefense.com/) they keep a running commentary from various commentators, qualified and otherwise relating to Ukraine, from the United States Perspective.

    There are any amount of articles from which to sift through, supporting any number of viewpoints, most worthy of a read.

    The problem with arming Ukraine is that with the Europeans willingly sticking their head in the sand (How the fuck do the French actually manage to ignore Thales optics showing up in Ukraine aboard tanks) and with Russia denying involvement, it actually gives Russia a very easy pretext with which to get more involved as far as their politics are concerned. Said armaments are undoubtably going to come from U.S. Said battle of armaments is going to be a battle of wills which the U.S will undoubtably loose, with Europe sitting on the sidelines.

    Strategic loss for the U.S, Political win for Russia. Actually there are much broader considerations the U.S needs to consider than just Ukraine. Thus it can be said the imperatives for the Ukraine to maintain territorial integrity, vs U.S to nurture, or to restrengthen it's existing alliance against longer term damage don't match up with the requirement for Ukraine to mobilise. Churchill took the empire to war in 1939, and continued working on the sidelines to get U.S involvement.

    I am convinced that sanctions need to stay in place for the longer term, as the cult of personality with Putin is the most dangerous event in modern times. We aren't just talking about a man here, we are talking about a whole state apparatchik based around it, flooding the airwaves with a narrative that political subsets and parties are building a follower base out of. Paranoia of a 'greater' enemy is all too common with those who need to unify to consolidate power. This state is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons, more dangerous possibly than the USSR ever was.

    Ukraine must fight.
    Ego Numquam

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunder View Post
    Ukraine must fight.
    Thanks for waking me up! I must have bad dreams. I hope the families of the KIA wake up soon too.

    citanon, regarding the whole Nemtsov - Chechen/Kadyrov allegations and arrests etc referred to in the 'businessinsider' article you reference it goes quite alot deeper. The Chechens have become a plausibly deniable 'hit squad' used by the Moscow regime - this goes back some time. For example you will recall the Moscow Theatre Siege that Russian special forces apparently bungled. One of the hostage takers walked out of the theatre, guy called Terkibayev aka 'Abu Bakar', he made it back to Chechnya and died there in a car 'accident' soon after... the whole business stank from then on; information made it to Litvinenko (then in London until he had a cup of polonium tea) and he passed it the file to Sergei Yushenkov who shared the information with others including Anna Politkovskaya. Yushenkov got hit three weeks after, the others later, see also the Beslan school business etc etc etc The case histories if written in full would fill several books and even then we would still not be sure of what happened in any case apart from perhaps Ryazan, which was the FSB. More recently the Kadyrov gang has been running riot in Moscow - see http://eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/30006/ and http://www.jamestown.org/programs/nc...423&no_cache=1 from last year as a brief sample. This naturally infuriates Bortnikov, Patrushev and the whole FSB 'establishment' who regard Moscow as 'their turf' so they had a grudge against Kadyrov before the Nemtsov murder. However after Kadyrov had called Dadayev (one of the arrested Chechens) a "Russian patriot" Kadyrov got awarded two medals (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...v-suspect.html). More recently Kadyrov has said to the FSB they are not welcome in Chechnya "shoot to kill" talk (http://rt.com/politics/252905-kadyro...stry-chechnya/) and then Dagestan/Abdulatipov said the same sort of thing (Russian article here; https://meduza.io/news/2015/04/28/gl...onflikte-s-mvd).

    I'll leave for all to form their own conclusions. The Kadyrov Chechens in the occupied Donbass area of Ukraine have gone home. The Chechens and Tartars fighting for Ukraine are still at the front; see an interview with one of their leaders here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcGegCsPj5w A long and very tangled web in general but there is definately FSB/siloviki grudge against the Kadyrov gang that has lead some to see it as Putin losing his grip.

  11. #26
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    When you wake up, you'll recognise by every measure this is a piecemeal conflict on Ukraines part instead of relying on a really poor method of garnering support to make up for deficiencies in government resolve. You'll have to do a lot better than a charity desk asking for donations.
    Ego Numquam

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunder View Post
    When you wake up, you'll recognise by every measure this is a piecemeal conflict on Ukraines part instead of relying on a really poor method of garnering support to make up for deficiencies in government resolve. You'll have to do a lot better than a charity desk asking for donations.
    There is only the Ukrainian army and assorted volunteers engaged in the field and perhaps you are thinking that as it should be - partly you would be correct of course - but if you really think this is about just Ukraine and Russia you are entirely missing the point. Even if Ukraine were allowed by it's creditors to put all it's resources into military acquisition/training etc it would be insufficient to defeat the entire army at the disposal of the Putin regime yet they fight on. Donations are no good? Should they be stopped/banned? That would help and not restrict economic in any way liberty I suppose? You have arrived late at this party and I fear you do not know or understand the guests already here or their motives. I commend Tim Snyder's 'Bloodlands' book to you or some his lectures which are available on You Tube.

  13. #28

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    S,

    "I commend Tim Snyder's 'Bloodlands' book to you or some his lectures which are available on You Tube."

    Looking at them now. He's well-credentialed and displays a deep understanding of the deeper currents. Thank you.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    ....but if you really think this is about just Ukraine and Russia you are entirely missing the point.
    It's not really about either. It's about Putin.

    Take all the veneer away and your talking about a bloke who is at the head of a nation whoose mean national income is almost $300 USD below that of Indians, before sanctions. I suspect long ago whilst struggling to formulate policy behind closed doors western leaders have been informed as to his past and persona, and his present tact in Ukraine probably shelves for them immediate concerns of Ukrainian statehood instead placing the longer term problem that Russia is to become at the forefront.

    I'll check out those videos.
    Ego Numquam

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