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1 hour ago, JWB said:

Ground forces is 280,000.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF11603.pdf

I would have done far better to have said ground forces, but you are right to pull me up on that. But bear in mind it's nearly 350000 if you include spetsnaz and airborne forces. Naval infantry are another 12000. Also, nobody counts the Russian National Guard, which is another 340000 and is equipped with many armoured vehicles, including BMPs and BTR's. That's not counting the various Russian Mercenary forces that have been used in Syria and Donbass, at least another 6000. Separatist forces in Donbass are stated to be some 42000.

And that's before they even call up the reserves. Yes, I believe we would defeat it, but at a higher cost that we are willing to pay. Hence the reluctance to support Ukraine whom seem to be doing so very ably.

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4 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The fundamental error is that the current Russian leadership - and to a lesser extent Russian people - subscribe to the liberal-hedonistic principles of Western style governance. While I believe that most Russians would prefer to live in a country where there's the rule of law, and possibly also prefer prosperity over being poor, the Russian leaders already have prosperity, and they have everything to lose from a rule of law.

A prosperous Ukraine with rule of law is therefore the worst possible outcome for Putin and his gang as it would undermine the narrative that people in and near Russia are better off under his guidance than by aligning with the West.

Nevertheless, there's a considerable fraction of people who consider the West as morally corrupt - not just in Russia, also in Poland, Hungary, and other Middle and East-European countries (and also in West European countries, though it's a smaller fraction of the population). The naive assumption that they want the same as we do is not only a fallacy, but a dangerous one as it leads to a miscalculation about the value of what the West has to offer, aside from economic growth.

Yes, quite so.

We probably are corrupt, we clearly do have great flaws. But that was no less true all through the cold war. The majority of Soviets seemingly chose to be more like us, and a very great many seemingly still do. That says something.

Russians don't have to copy us , but they have to know by now they have been sold yesterday's failures in a new package. They clearly should develop their own alternative, but as we have seen with Navalny, they are denied even that possibility.

In the end, why should Ukraine want to be like Russia, when clearly these policies are not even working for Russians.

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4 hours ago, glenn239 said:

What I'm getting at, Josh, is that Trump was able to handle Russia and get along well enough, while Biden seems like he's unable to handle Russia and is floundering.  Sorry, I thought that was clear.  You see, Trump isn't as stupid as your leftist media made him out to be, and the new administration looks like a cabal of clowns right now, and your media also seriously misled you on their ability to act intelligently.

Now, I'm  not saying that the Biden administration will continue to flounder.  Fact is, the Trump team was tripping over their own shoelaces for a year as well, so I'm hoping as time goes on they get into their stride.  But what Trump wasn't stupid enough to do was to greenlight a Ukraine attack on Donbass through backchannels.   That's because - and this bears repeating dozens or hundreds of times - Trump has a better sense of risk and gain in such matters than the geniuses in Washington right now.  A better feel for when its best not not put political ante into a pot you can't win.  Biden's team appears to be currently pretty clueless on this front.   

The root issue is that the Left in the United States has the idea that Russians are stupid cowards.  They're like Stuart x 1,000, except that their contempt of the obvious can have real world consequences.

Looks like somebody paid that ransom.  The pipeline is back running....

I guess I should specify that *WHY* you think the bold above isn't clear. You seem to think Russia and US relations were totally fine until three months ago and that suddenly they are worse and this is the current administration's handiwork. As far as I can tell, you believe this because you think the Russian build up was due to an alleged Ukrainian build up that was secretly green lit by Biden. You also point to the gasoline hack, and somehow think that is a out of character for a country that actively tried to influence the last two elections and perpetrated the Solar Winds hack. Your logic eludes me.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

I guess I should specify that *WHY* you think the bold above isn't clear. You seem to think Russia and US relations were totally fine until three months ago and that suddenly they are worse and this is the current administration's handiwork. 

Correct, US-Russian relations have taken a bad turn recently, and it corresponds to exactly when Biden came in to office.  Biden wants a summit with Putin this summer.  Maybe that'll get things back on track.  Maybe it won't.  

 

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1 hour ago, glenn239 said:

Correct, US-Russian relations have taken a bad turn recently, and it corresponds to exactly when Biden came in to office.  Biden wants a summit with Putin this summer.  Maybe that'll get things back on track.  Maybe it won't.  

 

You and I fundamentally disagree on facts then. The Russians have been ceaselessly antagonistic to the US and NATO since well before Trump.

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3 hours ago, JWB said:

How, as a buffer?

Better that the Russian Army is on the Ukrainian border rather than the Polish one or on the Elbe again.

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5 hours ago, JWB said:

How, as a buffer?

Among other things, yes. A military and political buffer. The Ukrainians call themselves the gates of Europe, and they are quite right. We just choose to think that Europe ends at the Polish and Romanian border for arbitrary reasons, and it clearly does not.

Ukraine should be in NATO and the EU for a reason Putin is terrified of. If Ukraine becomes increasingly Westernized (which contrary to narrative, most of them seem to actually want) its a means of influencing Russia. If they can see Ukraine with an increasing living standard, with political systems that actually work for them rather than Oligarchs, with law that means something, they are going to wonder why the frick they cant have something similar.

No, not identical. Whatever system Russia adopts (like Ukraine will adopt I guess) has to be uniquely theirs. We have seen with Poland and Hungary, there is quite a lot the EU is willing to tolerate through clenched teeth

I dont want Ukraine to be able to invade Russia. It couldnt anyway, no army is big enough to occupy Russia. But it sure as hell would be a useful bridge for more liberal ideas. The Russian regime can never say it will never work in Russia if those ideas turn Ukraine around.

If Putin is doing all he can to disrupt Ukraine, that should be a lesson for us why we should allow it in. We should reject everything that man is pressuring us to do on principle.

 

Its a risk, but if we are , as I believe, barrelling towards an inevitable war at some point, its the last thing I can think of that might dissuade Putin from doing it.

 

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14 hours ago, Josh said:

You and I fundamentally disagree on facts then. The Russians have been ceaselessly antagonistic to the US and NATO since well before Trump.

Yes, when the specifics of a more precise discussion are not favorable, expand the discussion to attempt to regain ground on a wider front.  Classic Stuart.

As I just said.  US-Russian relations have taken a turn for the worse recently, and it corresponds to when Joe Biden became president.   

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18 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Yes, when the specifics of a more precise discussion are not favorable, expand the discussion to attempt to regain ground on a wider front.  Classic Stuart.

As I just said.  US-Russian relations have taken a turn for the worse recently, and it corresponds to when Joe Biden became president.   

I was quite explicit and succinct in why I think you're wrong, unlike Stuart (no offense Stuart, you can be a bit verbose even when I agree with you). You state that US-Russian relations have taken a turn for the worse recently. Don't be vague, give me the play by play why you think that. I gave you several explicit examples of Russia already be blatantly antagonistic to the US before Biden (and this excludes all the other thuggish behavior to NATO and other US allies, along with numerous murders). Summary: election interference, Solar Winds. How exactly have US-Russia relations gotten *worse* in the last few months, in your head? Trying to screw with our elections a couple times in a row and pulling off the most invasive hack in history was *good* relations with Russia? I guess the US should just pet Vlad the Defenestrator on the head and thank him for not ending the world every day.

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Josh I was quite explicit and succinct in why I think you're wrong,

Yes, I read that already.  You think your pipeline hacked itself?  I don't.

Quote

You state that US-Russian relations have taken a turn for the worse recently. Don't be vague, give me the play by play why you think that. 

The Russian mobilization of this spring against Ukraine indicates that something was going on behind the scenes.  My guess is that Biden greenlighted a UA offensive against Donbass this summer, and Putin reacted to warn Ukraine.  This appears to have been solved by the West distancing itself from Kiev militarily.  That this was a surprise to Kiev you can glean from the fact that dumbfucks there were making stupid threats like attacking Russian nuclear power plants - one does not engage in that level of stupidity unless one is on tilt from an unexpected setback.

About 1 month ago, informal sources in Russia started predicting that the US and Russia were about to enter a more serious cyber warfare phase where power blackouts and such would become routine.   Now, presto, the most serious cyberhack in American history happens along just like the magic Russian soothsayers of last month predicted.  

When Biden called Putin a "killer", this was a substantial setback.  The reason why Trump was able to maintain relations with Putin was because he approached it from a position of mutual respect, (your media lied to you about Trump and Putin, and you know it).  The reason why Trump took this stance is, not being an idiot, he recognized an unwinnable war when he sees one.  Biden's approach is different.  He's brought the 'adults' in the room, and his demeanor with Russia is more existential, meaning that the safe space Trump was able to establish is missing from the room.  When Biden signals with language like that, the message recieved is that he desires conflict.

As I said, we'll see how this summit goes.

 

 

 

 

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Nice summation Glenn. I thought Biden's "he's a killer" comment was Joe's onset of dementia as he immediately followed up with "that doesn't mean we can't work with him" or some such inane comment. I think the Ruskie's saw that first part as a direct insult, true or not. 

Part of the problem in the USA is people believe they can say what the want with no consequences. This has to do with social media and a compliant press for the Biden admin.

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2 hours ago, ex2cav said:

Nice summation Glenn. I thought Biden's "he's a killer" comment was Joe's onset of dementia as he immediately followed up with "that doesn't mean we can't work with him" or some such inane comment. I think the Ruskie's saw that first part as a direct insult, true or not. 

Part of the problem in the USA is people believe they can say what the want with no consequences. This has to do with social media and a compliant press for the Biden admin.

I trace it back to the aftermath of the 1st Gulf War.   Much like how Rome lost all sense of restraint after winning the 2nd Punic War.   But, as you say, the advent of social media and awareness has accelerated the situation.  Joe  though I hold out hope for.  I don't think he's on board with the more reckless thinking in Washington.  If he holds a summit with Putin this summer, I rather hope that the garbage that he's publically put on the agenda, (climate change, etc) are actually just a smoke screen for a modus vivendi in Eastern Europe.

 

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Yes, but Putin is a killer. Ask the family of Dawn Sturgess. If he doesn't like being called killer, maybe he shouldn't do it?

Ukrainian President has some courage.

https://www.independent.co.uk

Ukraine charges Putin ally Medvedchuk with treason

Ukraine has indicted a top opposition figure who is a close ally of Russia’s president with treason and attempts to steal natural resources from Russia-annexed Crimea

 

 

 

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Not saying he isn't a killer. I'll say he is and we can debate what that means. I am saying blurting that out at at time when relations are bad and you want to improve them will only make the situation worse.

The Ruskies (and the Norks) have upped the game on political assassination using nerve agents and radioactive substances. That clearly was sent to draw attention to their deaths so everyone knows what will happen if you cross the boss.

 

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No, I think clear communication is the only way forward. He clearly is a murderer, and Biden is perfectly within his rights to point that out. I will reflect that 20 years of treating Putin like a great statesman has clearly gotten us absolutely nowhere, so yes, lets treat him like a dirty little crook for a change and see where it gets us.

The USSR had a long and very inglorious history of political assassination. Whether it was the Russian Royal Family with pistol fire, Trotsky with an icepick, Stephan Bandera with a Poison Gun, Georgi Markov with a poison umbrella. There have even been allegations, never proved, that the KGB was a hand behind the shooting of Pope John Paul II. Maybe even President Zia of Pakistan. All those were dramatic acts, done to draw attention to their deaths. But in the end, they wre a complete failure. The USSR still folded, because it wasnt their external problems that were the issue.

Putin can externalize his problems all he wants, as dramatically as he wants, but its not external forces that are his problem. Sooner or later the Russian people will have had enough of him, and there wont be enough bullets to keep him in power. Ask Yanukovich.

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17 hours ago, ex2cav said:

Not saying he isn't a killer. I'll say he is and we can debate what that means. I am saying blurting that out at at time when relations are bad and you want to improve them will only make the situation worse.

Looks to me that Biden overall made the eventual partition of Ukraine more likely with this comment, so it was not a good move.   

 

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Glenn, again, when was Russia not confrontational? You keep avoiding it so I’ll say it again: they attempted to influence the last two US elections and infiltrated a vast swath of the US electronic infrastructure well before Biden. Yet you insist that somehow Vlad The Defenestrator is butt sore from being called exactly what he is - killer. The man goes out of his way to kill people in obvious, state sponsored ways - nerve agents, Polonium, etc, specifically so that his victims know the return address of the poison they’ve been fed. But somehow this is Biden’s fault? 

 

”But her emails!!!”

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24 minutes ago, wilhelm said:

Accusing other countries of influencing elections....targeting people on foreign soil...cyber attacks...

The hypocrisy, lack of self-awareness and self-reflection is simply staggering.

I’m aware of the US track record. Nevertheless, Russia is a hostile power to the US and it is not something that happened in the last four months.

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26 minutes ago, wilhelm said:

Accusing other countries of influencing elections....targeting people on foreign soil...cyber attacks...

The hypocrisy, lack of self-awareness and self-reflection is simply staggering.

Source please.

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