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Thread: Russia - Ukraine war

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default Russia - Ukraine war

    Well, it's game on. Ukrainians seem to be putting up a pretty good fight, EU is sending weapons and blocking Russian aircraft, Sweden and Finland are considering joining NATO, the Turks are considering blocking the Black Sea to Russian warships, and there are rumors in our area that some A-10 Warthogs may be on their way (they're stationed about 30 miles from here)
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    I do wonder how realistic it is to ship weapons to a country under siege, both wrt. timing as logistics. But then I am not clear on how much / what territory is still firmly under Ukranian control.

    One huge geopolitical change this has brought is the end of the demilitarisation of Germany. That must not be what Putin wanted but, well, he asked for it.
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    With Russia's blitz in Ukraine failing, I'm not sure if it's particularly clever to openly announce arming Ukraine and imposing restrictions on SWIFT by Russian banks. In the past Russia had stated this would be interpreted as an act of war.
    Do they honestly believe that Putin rather loses face (and probably lead to his demise in domestic politics) than use his nuclear arsenal?

    To me this looks like it'll be escalating quickly to the use of a 'tactical' nuke by Russia somewhere in Ukraine, unless planned negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will be succesfull.
    Last edited by dZeus; 28th February 2022 at 05:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dZeus View Post
    With Russia's blitz in Ukraine failing, I'm not sure if it's particularly clever to openly announce arming Ukraine and imposing restrictions on SWIFT by Russian banks. In the past Russia had stated this would be interpreted as an act of war.
    Do they honestly believe that Putin rather loses face (and probably lead to his demise in domestic politics) than use his nuclear arsenal?

    To me this looks like it'll be escalating quickly to the use of a 'tactical' nuke by Russia somewhere in Ukraine, unless planned negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will be succesfull.
    And it would, on the face of it, not be necessarily unreasonable to claim some such restrictions constitute an act of war. I think historically such claims were reasonably made (as in: the claims certainly had some force) e.g. Israel (closure of the Suez for shipping), Japan (years of embargo by the US) and would have been made by the US (Cuba missile crisis).

    Conventional armament delivery however I don't think can be reasonably argued to be an act of war (and if so, then there have been a lot of wars that did not hit the history books).

    But well, they started it and interpreting such as an act of war also incentivizes others to actually use force, e.g. send troops to the Ukraine. So I'd be careful if I were Putin because once you say you are at war with someone, such someone may actually believe you.

    What I am, unrealistically, hoping for is that the Ukraine surrenders sovereignty over parts of the Donbas and Luhansk provinces and Crimea to Russia (not to some rebel groups, you're either with Ukraine or with Russia) in return for being free to seek alliances as it will (provided that such alliance will explicitly agree to such surrender). It's not necessarily a just outcome but it may be one from where the Ukraine can seek to grow and find its way in peace.

    I'm pretty sure that Putin will be able to sell any small concession as a win to the people where he might lose face. I mean, he and his apparat lie well and the ones that do not believe lies, well, he has no face them anyway.
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    He didn't nuke Chechnya and people would care far less if he did.
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dZeus View Post
    With Russia's blitz in Ukraine failing, I'm not sure if it's particularly clever to openly announce arming Ukraine and imposing restrictions on SWIFT by Russian banks. In the past Russia had stated this would be interpreted as an act of war.
    Do they honestly believe that Putin rather loses face (and probably lead to his demise in domestic politics) than use his nuclear arsenal?

    To me this looks like it'll be escalating quickly to the use of a 'tactical' nuke by Russia somewhere in Ukraine, unless planned negotiations between Russia and Ukraine will be succesfull.
    In the first case, any Russian nuclear strike on Europe is going to cause a massive radioactive fallout plume over Russia itself, including Moscow.

    That alone should put a restraint on their behavior, but then some of the major foreign policy reporters who have been in Moscow think that Putin is losing it mentally. They've seen signs of erratic thinking and behavior. I'll have to look up the link, but there is an interview with Reuters foreign policy correspondent in Moscow and she was very concerned about this.

    Official US policy still includes the option for MAD, mutual assured destruction (on a first Russian nuclear strike the US launches a massive counter-attack.)

    It seems to me that ANY first strike by the Russians would result in an ever escalating chain reaction of counter-strikes that eventually leads to MAD.

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has filed for bankruptcy and laid off all employees.

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    There are bipartisan moves in the US Senate to ban oil imports from Russia. This would amount to about 8% of our current use.

    https://thehill.com/policy/energy-en...an-oil-imports
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Sounds like Moldova may be the next target

    https://thehill.com/policy/internati...cating-moldova
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    Poland shipping planes to Ukraine via USA, USA oil import ban and Russia ban of export of strategic materials. There is no more political will to stop or contain this conflict. Buckle up we are living in interesting times.

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    Moderator dZeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtwigMU View Post
    Poland shipping planes to Ukraine via USA, USA oil import ban and Russia ban of export of strategic materials. There is no more political will to stop or contain this conflict. Buckle up we are living in interesting times.
    Poland is shipping nothing. They proposed to ship them to a US airbase as they're not that suicidal. The US in turn stated that the proposal is 'untenable'.

    I'm predicting so sort of agreement about Ukraine will be reached between Russia and the west in the next few months (in which Ukraine will have very little say), as the west is not eager to have mass protests over energy and food price inflation, and Russia will want to be able to trade more freely again.

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    Can I have a stupid question... How come that, when US bans/stops importing fuel from Russia, fuel prices in Europe increase?

    We just fuelled at 6.9 PLN/litre (1.42 EUR), which is an increase from around 4.8 PLN/litre in less than two weeks. And Poland is cheap for fuel compared to many European countries which are above or about to reach 2 EUR/litre. This will get much worse (and the cynical me does not believe prices will drop at some point). We will probably go back to more remote working because of it, our work is too difficult to reach with public transport. (side note: amazing to read that in the US there is a fuel price of 4.7 USD/gallon - which equals 1.13 EUR/litre)

    I'm predicting so sort of agreement about Ukraine will be reached between Russia and the west in the next few months (in which Ukraine will have very little say), as the west is not eager to have mass protests over energy and food price inflation, and Russia will want to be able to trade more freely again.
    Don't underestimate the anti-Putin sentiment. People here in Poland (and from what I read also in Belgium) generally are aware that things will get difficult and costly, but they consider it worth it if it brings down Putin. Solidarity in Poland at least is unseen, but then again there are quite some historical ties with Ukraine (part used to be Poland, many people have family there; language wise Ukrainian appears as a slightly modified Polish in Cyrillic, cross-language communication is quite possible). People are still angry about Crimea, and how weak the international reaction was then. And perhaps there is the worry that if Putin is not stopped now, Poland may be next on the list. That last part probably also resonates through the rest of EU.
    Last edited by VJ; 9th March 2022 at 05:00.
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    Oil is sold as a commodity on the market, so the laws of supply, demand, and panic prevail. When you reduce the supply by not buying Russian oil the price goes up. Everywhere. Panic over how long it will last makes it worse.

    Interesting Twitter thread by Andrei V. Kozyrev, Boris Yeltsin's Foreign Minister. May be worth a read.

    https://twitter.com/andreivkozyrev/s...2Xe_LcWT8slyfA
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 9th March 2022 at 11:28.
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    I always forget this commodity aspect where supply is lowered to meet the lowered demand in order to maintain the profit...
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtwigMU View Post
    Poland shipping planes to Ukraine via USA, USA oil import ban and Russia ban of export of strategic materials. There is no more political will to stop or contain this conflict. Buckle up we are living in interesting times.
    I am not sure how one could "contain" a conflict that essentially is a violent invasion and occupation. For all the complaints about how the US and/or NATO are aggressively seeking regime change all over the world, the Russians are actually showing "how it is done". I am happy with the broad support for as many sanctions as possible because I see no other way to exert pressure without resorting to outright violence.

    As far as I know, Ukraine is still a sovereign country with a democratically elected leadership. I see no moral or legal reason why planes couldn't or shouldn't be supplied to Ukraine. The Russians just have and use the benefit of their nuclear shield.
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    I agree... To me it is interesting that NATO countries are supplying weapons, quite advanced ones at that (air-defence missiles and so on), but somehow planes are treated differently... It is all equipment... It also strikes me as odd that the supply of equipment is apparently compatible with being non-involved in the conflict... Don't get me wrong, good that it is considered neutral still as it may be enough to end it without further escalation, but it just is odd...

    (and I thought covid-times were stressful )
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