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The Tension in Ukraine

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2014 at 12:24
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

There's a fraction, too much friction (Tim Finn)

I believe it's called dialectics a century ago by men with large beards Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2014 at 15:48
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Quote The Russian people have had a small taste of capitalism, and they wouldn't want to go back to the bad old days.
Yes they do, because they don't see the old days as bad. Those with money might see things differently of course, but that's the problem with capitalism - not everyone gets wealthy, whereas communism supported the poor (badly perhaps, but there you go)
 
 
I find it totally unbelievable that the Russian people would want to go back to the bad old days of food shortages, waiting for years to be able to buy a car, living in substandard housing etc.
 
Sorry, I can't accept what you say as fac



Well, I imagine that there's probably some nostalgia on the part of some Russians for the old Soviet Union, where they had guaranteed jobs with annual vacations, access to  free health care, and access to housing, even if it was substandard (substandard housing is better than none at all).

I don't know what modern living conditions in Russia are like. In America, although there aren't any food shortages, the cost of food is becoming more expensive. Certain food items (fresh cherries, scallops, some delicatessen food) which formerly were commonplace, have now become financially out-of-reach for working-class Americans. But good food is still available, so it could be a lot worse.

For working-class Americans (annual wages of perhaps $20,000), it takes over 10 years to save up the money for a decent car. In most places, car is a necessity for getting back and forth to work, so people take out loans, but it will take up to 20 years to pay back the loan on a minimum-wage salary. I believe that just recently, in the past few years, car ownership in America has begun to decrease, reversing a trend that's been going on since the middle of the Twentieth Century. Who knows what the future will bring.

Many of the minimum-wage jobs no longer include sick-leave or annual vacation-time.

Access to health care is presently uncertain for minimum-wage Americans. The recently passed Affordable Care Act is attempting to address this, but there is a great deal of political opposition to it, and it hasn't yet been implemented. Time will tell how things will work out.

I think that the possibility of home ownership has just about disappeared for working-class Americans, so future housing will consist of local Housing Authority apartments. It isn't really what you'd call 'substandard', but nevertheless working-class people will have to forgo the idea of owning their own house with a backyard, and will have to settle for congregate Housing Authority housing.

I don't know if things are improving in Russia presently, or if their living standards may be declining. What is their present situation in regard to food, car-ownership, health-care, housing, etc. like ?  It would be interesting to know.


Edited by Windemere - 20 Mar 2014 at 15:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2014 at 01:40
While there may be a degree of nostalgia for some in Russia, I think they would prefer the opportunities that a small amount of capitalism brought them. I say a small amount, only because I don't know how much was permitted.
 
As a side note-the minimum wage in Australia is around $32500.00, with additional amounts for casual workers. Overtime is usually at double time, and there are weekend loadings as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2014 at 08:24
Deed done!!!
Putin has officially signed documents annexing Crimea as part of Russia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2014 at 13:14
You could, but that risks a increasing confrontation and eventually a war. Russia has just this morning occupied Ukrainian military bases and attempted to board naval vessels in operations with special forces - clearly they have no intention of letting go of the Crimea - it's a full on annexation and Russia is getting away with it because it has the military muscle to overwhelm Ukrainian defenses.

The worst of it is that Eastern Ukranie is next. Russian news reporting has always presented their case as innocent protection of Russian peoples and adherence to legal procedures and agreements, but at the same time, has been deliberately choosing which western commentators to interview, and for that matter, underlining how 'dangerous' things are for russians in Donetsk. Putin will bide his time. He needs a stronger case for further annexation now that the west has reacted (regarded as futile, hypocritical, and just plain wrong in russian newscasts, although I note that anti-russian reporting has been stomped out in places)

Quote I find it totally unbelievable that the Russian people would want to go back to the bad old days of food shortages, waiting for years to be able to buy a car, living in substandard housing etc.

That's a typical 'western' perpective. But as far as the mass of Russian citizens are concerned, theyir lives were better looked after by the communist state. They weren't materially well off, certainly, but jobs were more secure. The fact is that modern Russians aren't all that happy with western style democracy - it creates too many losers. And those people who lived in substandard housing still do.


Edited by caldrail - 24 Mar 2014 at 13:18
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 15:13
AJ - you're full of it even more than I remember and arguing with you is pointless since you pathologically drag the conversation in an array of irrelevant directions to avoid addressing the issues.  So I won't afford you the charity of responding directly.  Here's something especially for you, though (Chuck Norris is a fraud, Vlad Putin is the real deal):

Quote
Vladimir Putin does not play dead for bears, bears play dead for Vladimir Putin.

If you can see Vladimir Putin, then he can see you. If you can't see Vladimir Putin then you are only seconds away from death.

Jesus could walk on water, Vladimir Putin can swim through land.

Vladimir Putin will never have a heart attack. His heart isn't foolish enough to attack him.

Vladimir Putin does not read books, he stares them down until he gets the information that he wants.

Fear of spiders is called arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is called claustrophobia, fear of Vladimir Putin is called logic.

There used to be a street named after Vladimir Putin, but it was changed because no one crosses Vladimir Putin and lives.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 15:26
Isn't it funny how this Arseny Yanutsuk has backracked on so many of his grand statements when power was seized for him.

For example:

He has completely adopted Yanukovich's position on EU association, in that now is not the right time as it would destroy what little is left of his country's industry and thus ecopnomy.

He has backtracked on banning Russian

He has backtracked on NATO membership

He has also installed Oligarchs and supremely wealthy people into positions of power.  (That will go down well!) 

More worryingly, we has installed neo-Nazis  from the Svoboda party (previously known as the Social National Party of Ukraine - sound familiar?) in his cabinet.  Svoboda MPs forcing resignation of Ukrainian TV head: http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/19/ukranian-tv-boss-assaulted-and-forced-to-resign-by-far-right-svoboda-mps/

Arseny, is just a flip flopping muppet who can't tell his left from his right (in more ways than one).  He also expressed admiration for Putin in the past by (correctly) stating that he saved Russia from collapse. 

This is post-coup Ukraine.  Yanukovich was never legally impeached, so his government is completely illegitimate by Ukraine's constitution.

----

In other news: the muscle behind the Ukraine coup executed (according to eye witnesses and lawmakers).

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ukrainian-right-sector-leader-sashko-bily-killed-police-raid-1441699

The EU and US were paying his hundreds of thugs $50 a day for their services in Maidan square, but this is Sashko's reward. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2014 at 04:07
Zagros:
Regardless of that, the annexation of the Crimea by Russia was a set up, quite clearly planned well in advance, prior to the Winter Olympics, if not years ago.
 
It doesn't legitimise what Putin has done and the fact that there are so many ethnic Russians in the Crimea is also irrelevant. If the whole of the Ukraine had have been involved in the so-called referendum, the outcome would have been a lot different.
 
As Russia relies on the Ukraine for the security of it's pipelines, you could almost bet that that will be his next justification for taking the Ukraine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2014 at 14:15
Quote As Russia relies on the Ukraine for the security of it's pipelines, you could almost bet that that will be his next justification for taking the Ukraine.

it used to. Russia has since built parallel northern and southern pipeline routes that don't depend on Ukraine, having learned from Ukraine's deliberate blockage of the system a few years back.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2014 at 16:31
Asked to give a commitment that Russian troops would not move into Ukrainian territory outside Crimea, Chizhov told Britain's BBC: "There is no intention of the Russian Federation to do anything like that."
 
Yeah, right!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 02:20
UPDATE:
Russia has just moved a mass of troops to the border region between Eastern Ukraine and Russia.
 
 
The feared invasion of the remainder of the Ukraine may be only hours away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 10:25
This is standard Russian practice rather than any declaration of war. Whilst they might be intending to do so (or not), Russian policy is to have troops in the area of a potential security risk as a bargaining chip. The Russians are portraying Ukraine as a dangerous loose cannon, with russian speaking peoples at risk of fascist violence, which although existent is probably overstated. Nonetheless tensions run high and Russia does not want to be caught out by a potential 'tit-for-tat' land grab, however unlikely that may seem in reality. 
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 12:48
Putin will go as long as he percieve a direct military response. Western public demonstrates war weariness of WWI, which had been caused Hitler to have time to swallow Austria and Czechoslovakia. And next, he threatened Poland with war if they do not give up Danzig. That's all because Hitler was confident of Allied passivity. More you sleep on problems, worse position you will find yourself when you finaly wake up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 16:04
I'm not sure war weariness is really the point. What we find once in a while is that a nation falls under the sway of a "gambler". Hitler was one. They start small and push their luck, building confidence and basically ending up behaving outrageously because the more polite and stable national leadership are trying to talk him out of it whilst outraged and stunned by the increasing scale of events, if not frightened outright. It's the inability of individual nations to prevent war that inspired the League of Nations, and the United Nations that succeeded it. I note that even Russian television has announced a UN resolution has declared the Crimean question out of order, with more than a hundred countries voting against Russian initiative, fifty or so abstentions, and eleven for. It's hard nonetheless to see Putin or any other Russian leader backing down on the issue. Good or bad, they've done it. Dealing with the backlash and planning a next move, the next 'hand' in the political poker game, is clearly now what matters.


Edited by caldrail - 28 Mar 2014 at 16:05
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2014 at 17:48
Another proof of disorganised and irresponsive state of NATO:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-03-27/ukraine-crisis-prompts-calls-to-reconsider-u-dot-s-dot-defense-strategy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2014 at 01:40
Originally posted by Paradigm of Humanity Paradigm of Humanity wrote:

Another proof of disorganised and irresponsive state of NATO:

 
 
I agree. I've said in other threads that I believe that the UN should have a "Ready Reaction Force" on standby to fly to any part of the world where trouble like this is brewing.
 
NATO seems to have lost its teeth! The world has watched as Russia simply grabs a part of another sovereign country for itself, and done nothing. Now the Russian convoys are moving to the western border. What's next, Moldova, the Baltic States?
 
Putin cannot be permitted to pursue this course of expansionism, and if it means moving western troops to face off with the Russians, so be it. If he is permitted to take any more he simply will, and that can't be tolerated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2014 at 12:26
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:


I agree. I've said in other threads that I believe that the UN should have a "Ready Reaction Force" on standby to fly to any part of the world where trouble like this is brewing.

That's one of most unpossible things one can imagine. There are no major state that is going to put its military units under command of a higher authority. Because doing that brings up possibility of your military units being used againts your so called national interests (more like corporate interests these days).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2014 at 03:05
Originally posted by Paradigm of Humanity Paradigm of Humanity wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:


I agree. I've said in other threads that I believe that the UN should have a "Ready Reaction Force" on standby to fly to any part of the world where trouble like this is brewing.

That's one of most unpossible things one can imagine. There are no major state that is going to put its military units under command of a higher authority. Because doing that brings up possibility of your military units being used againts your so called national interests (more like corporate interests these days).
 
You're probably right there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2014 at 17:27
What has NATO to do in this crisis? NATO was build to protect Americanized Europe against the Soviet Union, and not to stop Russia to resolve its internal crisis. After all, during most of its history, and unlike Lithuanian, Estonia and other invaded countries,  Ukraine was part of Russia. Isn't?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2014 at 23:15
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Paradigm of Humanity Paradigm of Humanity wrote:

Another proof of disorganised and irresponsive state of NATO:

 
 
I agree. I've said in other threads that I believe that the UN should have a "Ready Reaction Force" on standby to fly to any part of the world where trouble like this is brewing.
 
NATO seems to have lost its teeth! The world has watched as Russia simply grabs a part of another sovereign country for itself, and done nothing. Now the Russian convoys are moving to the western border. What's next, Moldova, the Baltic States?
 
Putin cannot be permitted to pursue this course of expansionism, and if it means moving western troops to face off with the Russians, so be it. If he is permitted to take any more he simply will, and that can't be tolerated.


Such a move is never going to happen in the nuclear age. Strategically, it would risk escalation to an all out exchange, which would mean the end of the world as we know it. Tactically, it would be impossible, given the near proximity of the area to Russia. Such an expedition would never prevail against determined opposition, without the resort to extreme measures, such as bombing Russia, or the use of tactical nuclear weapons, either of which would of course bring us back to the situation in the previous sentence.

And opposition would be determined. Despite the heavy handed methods used (a Russian tradition), the fact is that they have a case. Crimea was long a part of Russia, and today has a majority Russian population. Russians would probably look on intervention there in the same way we would consider Russian troops supporting Porto Rican activists, or Scottish independence.

If we make the case that sovereign areas are inviable, under any circumstances, then the west has repeatedly broken international law. We have supported many independence movements, from the American Revolution, right up to South Sudan today. It has all depended on the circumstances. So it is somewhat hypocritical to claim no change in boundaries is kosher for any reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2014 at 12:25
Quote What has NATO to do in this crisis? NATO was build to protect Americanized Europe against the Soviet Union, and not to stop Russia to resolve its internal crisis. After all, during most of its history, and unlike Lithuanian, Estonia and other invaded countries,  Ukraine was part of Russia. Isn't?

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, not Russia (though we do tend to be a bit sloppy and use the names interchangeably). Ukrainians have a problematic relationship with Russia (they speak different native languages for a start) and were treated quite badly by Stalin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wars_involving_Ukraine

However, whatever the past, Ukraine is now an independent sovereign state that has become friendly to NATO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine%E2%80%93NATO_relations

Thus NATO involvement, but as it happens, the west don't like seeing Russia flexing its muscles (a reminder of a previous hostile era), but of course Russian foreign policy is often at odds with European and American.

The current tension is not an internal crisis for Russia, but an annexation based on the premis of going to the assistance of russian speaking peoples in Crimea, an area formerly part of Russia but made part of Ukraine in diplomatic settlements. The same argument was being used to justify potential annexations of russian speaking territory in eastern Ukraine. Howeverm, the reaction of the west has so far made Russia more wary, thus the contact between Putin and Obama, and subsequent talks.

In any case, I doubt Darth VAder ants his empire overrun by Russians (Darth Vader and the Sith are currently running for elections in the Ukraine. I kid you not. It's hilarious and I simply cannot tell whether its a joke, serious, or atn outbreak of madness)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 03:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

What has NATO to do in this crisis? NATO was build to protect Americanized Europe against the Soviet Union, and not to stop Russia to resolve its internal crisis. After all, during most of its history, and unlike Lithuanian, Estonia and other invaded countries,  Ukraine was part of Russia. Isn't?
1. It's not an internal Russian matter, it's annexation of a part of a sovereign nation.
 
2. The Ukraine was part of the old USSR, not Russia.
 
 
NATO’s essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

POLITICAL - NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defence and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

MILITARY - NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - NATO’s founding treaty - or under a UN mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

etiendes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 03:18
Could this be the case of the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 13:21
Well, Toyomotor, there is increasing evidence that the russians are seriously considering risking invading Ukraine. Despite talks and promises of troop withdrawals, the russians have maintained a force in proximity and are no longer pretending to be on military exercises. This is no guarantee of military action - what it definitely is however is evidence of brinkmanship by the russians. The hawks among them are obviously convinced that NATO doesn't have the guts to do anything, and as for the action taken by the west so far, such as financial freezes and ending NATO cooperation - they did that in 2008 when the Georgia conflict erupted to little good purpose, so the russians are quite probably debating whether or not it might be worth it after all. Exactly who is in favour of invasion I wouldn't know. So. It appears you might end up being right after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 15:14
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Well, Toyomotor, there is increasing evidence that the russians are seriously considering risking invading Ukraine. Despite talks and promises of troop withdrawals, the russians have maintained a force in proximity and are no longer pretending to be on military exercises. This is no guarantee of military action - what it definitely is however is evidence of brinkmanship by the russians. The hawks among them are obviously convinced that NATO doesn't have the guts to do anything, and as for the action taken by the west so far, such as financial freezes and ending NATO cooperation - they did that in 2008 when the Georgia conflict erupted to little good purpose, so the russians are quite probably debating whether or not it might be worth it after all. Exactly who is in favour of invasion I wouldn't know. So. It appears you might end up being right after all.
 
 
And therein lies the problem.
 
Putin was allowed to annexe the Crimea, with no action taken to stop him.
 
NATO and the UN have shown themselves reluctant to move against him, so what has he to fear?
 
The EU sanctions, combined with whatever the US can do now, doesn't seem to matter, Putin is prepared to weather the storm, as long as he gets what he wants. My thoughts run in the direction of maybe he's losing support in Russia, so playing on old nationalistic sentiment, he's trying to increase his following by being seen to take action to restore Russia to her former glory(??).
 
My thinking is that had the US and/or NATO moved to the Crimea militarily, Putin just may have backed down. The Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine would ensure that an atomic war would not erupt, if in fact Putin responded to the US/NATO forces massed on his border.
 
The idea of Rome burning while Nero fiddled comes to mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 22:09
I don't know about that, Toyomotor. That sounds too much to me like nuclear brinkmanship, and it's how wars get started. I don't think anyone expected Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination to lead to World War I, yet that is what happened. I'd like to think that Mutually Assured Destruction will prevent nuclear war in the future, but I have very little confidence. It also takes restraint and caution.

Ukraine isn't a member of NATO, and the U.S.A. has its hands full with Afghanistan. Not to mention losing over 4,000 troops in Iraq. There's no good reason for the U.S.A. or NATO to intervene militarily in the Crimea.

It was the installation of a new Ukrainian government by the Maidan protests that precipitated Russia's annexation of the Crimea. Russia considers this to be an extremist, pro-Western, anti-Russian regime. What Russia did was wrong, and unjustifiable. But it was understandable. It would have been better in the long run for Russia to have negotiated with the new Ukrainian government, regardless of their feelings about it. Whether they like it or not, it is still the effective government of the Ukraine.

Russia's great fear is that the Ukraine will join NATO, and they will have  hostile NATO forces (possibly nuclear-armed) on their border. This is a justifiable fear. America justifiable didn't want  Soviet nuclear missiles based in Cuba in the 1960s, and compelled their withdrawal. The new Ukrainian government, as much as they hate to do it, would be well-advised to moderate their enthusiasm for aligning with Western Europe. They ought to maintain a careful neutrality, as Finland and Sweden have done. They shouldn't consider joining NATO. This policy has worked for Switzerland for centuries. The Ukrainian government should build economic ties with both Russia and Western Europe. And they should channel their nationalism into patriotic Ukrainian cultural activities.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have now joined NATO. This was a risky thing for them to have done, but it is understandable and justifiable based upon their being victims of Russian aggression in the past. Hopefully NATO will protect them. But this probably shouldn't be pushed any further, to the point of antagonizing Russia. 

It really is too bad about Russia's naked aggression in annexing Crimea. But Crimea is ethnically mostly Russian, and the annexation apparently does have popular Crimean support (though its too bad for the 40% of Crimea's population that are ethnically Ukrainian or Tatar). But its a done deal, and it surely  wasn't worth a nuclear war. What needs to happen now is for Ukraine and Russia to cease their mutual antipathy, and get their relations back onto an even keel. Ukraine can pursue it goals of economic ties with Western Europe at the same time as maintaining it's traditional ties with Russia. They aren't mutually exclusive. It's a compromise position, which won't appeal to extremists on either side, but it would be the best thing for the people.


Edited by Windemere - 02 Apr 2014 at 22:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2014 at 10:41
Quote  
Putin was allowed to annexe the Crimea, with no action taken to stop him.

No, he wasn't, but the west has no imperative to interfere in Ukraine unless invited by the Ukrainians to do so, and Ukraine itself did not want war to break out, knowing they could not fend off the Russian military. Since the annexation was not done as a purely military initiative, the issues are not as clear cut as you would like them to be.
 
Quote NATO and the UN have shown themselves reluctant to move against him, so what has he to fear?

The west has moved against him. However, the problem is pushing the Russians so far that they will be unable to back down for fear of losing face and thus become willing to escalate the situation -exactly what the west does not want.
 
Quote The EU sanctions, combined with whatever the US can do now, doesn't seem to matter, Putin is prepared to weather the storm, as long as he gets what he wants. My thoughts run in the direction of maybe he's losing support in Russia, so playing on old nationalistic sentiment, he's trying to increase his following by being seen to take action to restore Russia to her former glory(??).

Putin has arranged for his paychecks to be put into a frozen account, so clearly he doesn't regard the sanctions as effective and wants the west to know it. However, Putin is not unpopular. He has consistently fostered a personality cult and remains quite influential - He is still the Russian boss even after changing his job following an election.
 
Quote My thinking is that had the US and/or NATO moved to the Crimea militarily, Putin just may have backed down. The Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine would ensure that an atomic war would not erupt, if in fact Putin responded to the US/NATO forces massed on his border.

That would have been seen as provocation. Remember that rightly or wrongly the presence of Russian peoples in Crimea, and the fact that the area was once part of Russia before being given to Ukraine arbitrarily, the Russians regarded Crimea as theirs, and please note the celebrations when the annexation was signed.

Regarding MAD, that only really comes into effect if the war escalates to a global scale or threatens either side directly with defeat. A major land war would not necessarily involve nuclear weapons, and since the West would only be concerned with Ukraine, Crimea, and the Baltic States, they would be keen to restrict the war to a local objective that did not involve invasion of Russian territory. However, the existence of MAD does not necessarily exclude the use of such weaponry. That is after all the 'First Strike' principle. Bear in mind however that the threat of such an escalation is as much a potential Russian ploy as it is from NATO.
 
Quote The idea of Rome burning while Nero fiddled comes to mind.

Really? Hardly appropriate. Remember that Nero, whatever part he actually played in the Fire of Rome in 64, raced back from Actium and took control of rescue efforts. Further, Nero introduced safety legislation to help prevent such fires again.

Admitttedly he did sing, briefly,  from a high vantage point, having asked to see what was happening and being moved by the sight of destruction. He also used the christians as scapegoats (rightly or wrongly - the issue is still debated with modern evidence) and burned a number of them as streetlights. His plan for 'Neropolis', the 'New Rome', were grandiose and his outrageous efforts to raise cash by any means basically killed off his career as Caesar.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2014 at 12:57
Reliance on MAD would indeed be "mad". There is no guarantee whatsoever that this would work. It is a theory, but each test of the theory depends on circumstances, any of which could derail it with disastrous consequences.

The US administration pushed hard during the Cuban missile crisis, but they where unaware at the time that there were tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba, and on Soviet submarines, and that they would have been used if things got just a bit hotter than they did. They thought they had a tighter grip on the situation than they actually did. A disastrous miscalculation could easily have happened. In the end, there was a backdown because of a quid pro quo, rather than an acceptance of MAD.

A confrontation in or near Crimea, a region with much closer historical ties to Russia than Cuba had to the US, could also go off the rails very easily.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2014 at 02:08
 
 
At last, some interesting discussion, bringing interest to the forum.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2014 at 13:42
Quote Reliance on MAD would indeed be "mad"

Agreed. So do both the Russians and Americans. Or other states that have owned such weaponry (so far at least). Tjhe idea is the threat. No-one wants to escalte to the point where it happens, but they will escalate, if they believe it potentially rewarding, to the very brink.

T
Quote he US administration pushed hard during the Cuban missile crisis, but they where unaware at the time that there were tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba, and on Soviet submarines, and that they would have been used if things got just a bit hotter than they did.

Oh come on. The Americans were well aware that missiles in Cuba were there for one purpose only - strategic threat.

Quote A confrontation in or near Crimea, a region with much closer historical ties to Russia than Cuba had to the US, could also go off the rails very easily.

Exactly why both sides are making threats and gambles. Neither wants it to go to a further level. Neither wants to be seen backing down. However, the argument isn't about nation vs nation, but a brushfire incident over a defined territory. There is every reason to believe that a military confrontation can be contained unless either side does something incredibly daft.
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