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The Russia Politics and War in Ukraine Thread

#1 User is offline   Nicodimas 

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:34 AM

Something that struck me today as interesting watching Russia move in to take Ukraine.

Has US foreign policy given a green light for other countries to just start grabbing interests they deem needed for nation security. Granted throughout history this has always occurred, i get that. At the present time the superpower is BROKE, and with this the other power may sense the void and be able to just start taking what they need in the on-going future for their own interests. China and Russia could literally start carving up the world in the future.

(In a totally strange scenario..what if Russia just said f it and stopped exporting oil. I mean it would really hurt them, but US level of debt, military stretched so thin..I'm pretty sure the market would be crushed by this action. Then all you need to do is keep funding a Saud civil war. )
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#2 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:20 AM

You do realize that this Russian incursion into the Crimea is just one event in a long, long history of Russian (tsars, Commies, Soviets) aggression in that region?

This Crimean/Russian thing goes back hundreds of years, if not a thousand plus, and the various and often inconsistent US foreign policies over the last eighty years only tangentially influence what happens there strategically. Tactically, sure, the Americans have influenced the specifics of what the Russians do. To further spell this out - the various groups we call the Russians have wanted to keep Black Sea access for hundreds of years and have meddled many times in the governance of neighboring countries there to keep that access. That strategy has been held to be important to Russia longer than the USA has been a country.

That's what you're talking about and to cut this all down to five minutes of soundbites - as the major media TV networks are wont to do - is to basically ignore the history and context of this and thus lose an enormous amount of meaning and perspective.

But you keep doing what you want to, Nicodimas.
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#3 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 08:15 AM

China and Russia start trying to cut up the globe, guess who look almost benevolent in Western Eyes.

Which is why they won't. Better to stay low-profile and let the US take the blame for all the worlds' ills as it has been for the past 20 years.

What is your suggestion? Ukraine isn't (YET) part of NATO or the EU, thus it doesn't afford them the definitive protection of certain countries. Russia will do what is in its power to maintain that and its fleet presence by supporting Syria and Ukrainians who lean towards them. Security Council is worthless; Russia can veto anything.

Thus, it's a slow-burn. No use escalating when dialogue and compromise may still work.
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#4 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 08:27 AM

The US is by no means dependent on Russian oil and gas. Their main trade partner in that area is Canada. Incidentally, with the development of the shale gas industry the US is on a fast track to become a net exporter of gas. Russia on the other hand is entirely dependent on their oil and gas exports to finance themselves. As of now the Russian budget is balanced at an oil price of more than a hundred and twenty dollars pr barrel, compared to thirty dollars or so in 2005.

Even Europe is less dependent on Russian oil and gas than one is often lead to believe. The market holds more than enough to supply the continent, and you can be certain that OPEC would increase production to counteract some of the inevitable cost increase. Norway would certainly benefit substantially. The country that would suffer is Ukraine, as they are entirely dependent (as of now at least) on access to Russian gas at below market price.
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#5 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:37 AM

Russia being a giant douchebag to its neighbors isn't a new thing. Bullying their neighbors has been a constant over the last several hundred years, across the various political systems Russia has had.
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#6 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:30 AM

View PostNicodimas, on 01 March 2014 - 12:34 AM, said:

Something that struck me today as interesting watching Russia move in to take Ukraine.

Has US foreign policy given a green light for other countries to just start grabbing interests they deem needed for nation security. Granted throughout history this has always occurred, i get that. At the present time the superpower is BROKE,
If you mean monetarily, no. If you mean the Superpower System (where there should be at least 2 that balance out), then yes.

Quote

and with this the other power may sense the void and be able to just start taking what they need in the on-going future for their own interests. China and Russia could literally start carving up the world in the future.
Good luck with that. Both India and Japan currently have military superiority over China, and it is just increasing, as China cobbles together hodgepodge shit-fighters (kind of like the F-35) while both other nations around them upgrade their air forces to 4.5 and 5th Gen Fightercraft.

Quote

(In a totally strange scenario..what if Russia just said f it and stopped exporting oil. I mean it would really hurt them, but US level of debt, military stretched so thin..I'm pretty sure the market would be crushed by this action. Then all you need to do is keep funding a Saud civil war. )


No it wouldn't. You don't understand the world oil market or how it works. You should also be aware that Russian federal government expenditures assume 130$ a barrel of oil through 2030. It isn't anywhere near that high and isn't going to be. If by 'oil' you mean 'natural gas', then Europe would have some expensive and slightly colder winters. It wouldn't 'crush' the market. As another note, acting like a stronger country influencing/pushing policy/invading a weaker country is because the US is 'no longer' the strongest military in the world (and it is, by far, and that lead is generally only increasing, especially when you talk force projection), is foolish. It has happened for millennia and will continue to happen while the people who get power are those who desire power.
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#7 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.
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#8 User is offline   Silencer 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o
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#9 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:47 AM

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o


There aren't many countries left in Eastern Europe for Russia to invade who aren't in NATO, the EU, or both. Even as ambitious as Putin likely is, I doubt he really wants to pick a fight with all of NATO. I don't know if the EU has military requirements in the event a member nation is invaded, but it seems like they'd take exception to such shenanigans.

I hate Putin. He is a loathsome scumbag. A thuggish, autocratic demagogue. But he's not stupid, and he's not crazy. He knows that a war with NATO would be a bloody affair that he'd lose and might not stay in power after. There's no benefit to that.

At present, here is the list of Eastern European countries that Russia borders who are not part of NATO or the EU:

1. Ukraine
2. Belarus (wouldn't happen, due to having a pretty strong relationship with Russia, at least, stronger than with the west)
3. Khazakstan (again, probably wouldn't happen any time soon, for similar reasons)
4. Georgia
5. Azerbaijan

If Putin does get away with whatever his goal in invading Ukraine is, I somewhat predict that those countries who border Russia who aren't in NATO may very strongly consider joining.
Laseen did nothing wrong.

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#10 User is offline   Garak 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:47 AM

I really hope it doesn't go south and shooting starts. Not only do I NOT want to see a war over this mess, Ukraine is on my northern border - having Russia shooting it's guns that close is not something I'm comfortable with (understatement really since it would probably spill over fast). And having Putin go batshit insane would ruin it for just about everyone. So here's hoping sanity prevails.
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#11 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:59 AM

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o



Technically, Russia has already attacked a country under the protection of the US, Germany, France, and the UK. Ukraine is/was. It was part of the accord to get them to get rid of their soviet-era stockpile of nukes. Technically, every one of those countries should be preparing for war right now.

Troubling, to me, is that Merkel had a call with Putin and after the call is recorded as saying he isn't living in the same reality as everyone else. That worries me, especially since Germany and Russia are huge trade partners.
http://www.nytimes.c...-russia.html???

Quote

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.


That could be just wordplay used to describe someone holding opinions/ideas you can't believe they hold, or it could be something else. I don't know.

I don't want war. I especially don't want nuclear war. But the lessons learned in WW2 still resonate. Do you let an aggressive country (and Russia has been aggressive for hundreds of years, it isn't anything new) just continue to take small countries, or do you put your foot down at the first?

This post has been edited by Possibly Brent Weeks: 03 March 2014 - 12:08 PM

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#12 User is offline   Silencer 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:34 PM

View PostKanese S, on 03 March 2014 - 10:47 AM, said:

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o


There aren't many countries left in Eastern Europe for Russia to invade who aren't in NATO, the EU, or both. Even as ambitious as Putin likely is, I doubt he really wants to pick a fight with all of NATO. I don't know if the EU has military requirements in the event a member nation is invaded, but it seems like they'd take exception to such shenanigans.

I hate Putin. He is a loathsome scumbag. A thuggish, autocratic demagogue. But he's not stupid, and he's not crazy. He knows that a war with NATO would be a bloody affair that he'd lose and might not stay in power after. There's no benefit to that.

At present, here is the list of Eastern European countries that Russia borders who are not part of NATO or the EU:

1. Ukraine
2. Belarus (wouldn't happen, due to having a pretty strong relationship with Russia, at least, stronger than with the west)
3. Khazakstan (again, probably wouldn't happen any time soon, for similar reasons)
4. Georgia
5. Azerbaijan

If Putin does get away with whatever his goal in invading Ukraine is, I somewhat predict that those countries who border Russia who aren't in NATO may very strongly consider joining.


Except that NATO wants war even less than Russia does. Because THEY know that not only might things go south in more ways than one, but that any conflict on this kind of scale, today, would be devastating. It could - COULD, mind you - be of a scale to devastate a country beyond recovery. Collectively, NATO might win. But would the individual nations want to risk that THEIR nation is the one which suffers the worst consequences?

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 11:59 AM, said:

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o



Technically, Russia has already attacked a country under the protection of the US, Germany, France, and the UK. Ukraine is/was. It was part of the accord to get them to get rid of their soviet-era stockpile of nukes. Technically, every one of those countries should be preparing for war right now.

Troubling, to me, is that Merkel had a call with Putin and after the call is recorded as saying he isn't living in the same reality as everyone else. That worries me, especially since Germany and Russia are huge trade partners.
http://www.nytimes.c...-russia.html???

Quote

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.


That could be just wordplay used to describe someone holding opinions/ideas you can't believe they hold, or it could be something else. I don't know.

I don't want war. I especially don't want nuclear war. But the lessons learned in WW2 still resonate. Do you let an aggressive country (and Russia has been aggressive for hundreds of years, it isn't anything new) just continue to take small countries, or do you put your foot down at the first?


I am going to hope that's a wordplay thing. Seriously. :S

I think the problem is that Russia is downplaying the aggression something fierce, and the UN/NATO are super-keen to just go with that. Because otherwise they WOULD have to prepare for war. Which they do not want - at this point, it's looking like "at any cost", honestly. I think the problem is, the US knows they can only posture so much. If they cross the line with threats, and they become committed to action...that's a line which they spent literally the entirety of the Cold War trying to avoid crossing, and for good reason. Geographically, they are FAR safer than Europe if they provoke Russia to go 'New Tsarist Empire' or something, but even they don't want to destroy the hard work of the past two decades.

I also note: it has only been two decades since the Cold War ended. Putin and his cohorts are still of that era, and are KGB-dominated to boot. That's not a good starting point.


Heck, if I were in power in one of the western powers faced with this situation, I'd be getting very little sleep. There isn't a "right" answer here - only a hope that Russia pulls their head in by some miracle combination of threats, cajolery, placation, and steadfastness. Because the power currently sits with the Russians - they know the UN/NATO side of things want to avoid a fight at all costs. They know that such a fight might ruin them - but the threat of them ruining everyone else at the same time is a powerful one in their favour. And the chances that Russia actually kicks everyone's ass isn't negligible, either. They could WIN. It's unlikely, but possible. The US has been scaling back, and is used to fighting small militia groups now - they haven't been in a proper stand-up military fight for YEARS (while Russia also has not engaged in these, they haven't had as much problems with the Middle East, having to re-focus their troops).

It's...precarious. I mean, I hate to sound all doom-and-gloom and go all Nicodimas on you guys - I really do think that a proper war is unlikely - but this isn't the best position for negotiation. It really rests more on Russia's whim than anything anyone else does (unless someone else does something stupid like declaring war on Russia...). Ugh.
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<Vote Silencer> For not garnering any heat or any love for that matter. And I'm being serious here, it's like a mental block that is there, and you just keep forgetting it.

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o


I dont think it would be as tough as you think. The whole reason Russia wants the Crimea is because without it their already shoddy force projection is non-existent. The United States Navy is bigger than the 10 next biggest navies combined! and 9 of those navies would be its allies. Russia's planes might be the equal to USA and Europe but outnumbered 10 to one how long will they last. Without air-cover it will become the largest mop up operation in history with the only question being how many billions of dollars of damage can be inflicted before Russia surrenders. Still I cant imagine the scenario where it comes to this. No first world country can risk a war these days. The costs of victory or defeat would simply be astronomical!

I should add that it all depends on the extant to which the US or NATO forces are given the green light to torch everything.

Besides lets be honest, one day without electricity and the internet and anyone who is not a muslim extremist in afghanistan will already be rethinking the costs of war.

This post has been edited by Cause: 03 March 2014 - 03:42 PM

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

Russia is either bluffing or this will get worse: http://www.bbc.com/n...europe-26424738
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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

Well, now it appears the stakes have been raised.

http://news.sky.com/...-storm-deadline

Quote

Ukraine: Russia Delivers 'Assault Storm' Deadline

Russia's Black Sea Fleet reportedly gives Ukrainian forces until 3am to surrender or face a military assault.

Russia has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea a deadline of 3am on Tuesday to surrender or face military action after troops seized key installations in the peninsula.

Russia Says China Is Largely "In Agreement" Over Ukraine

The ultimatum came from the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet Alexander Vitko, which has a base in Crimea where Russian forces are now in control.

According to the agency, it reads: "If they do not surrender before 5am (3am GMT) tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea."

It comes as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed the situation in Ukraine with US Vice President Joe Biden by telephone on Monday.

Mr Medvedev "declared that it is necessary to protect the interests of all Ukrainian citizens, including residents of Crimea, and citizens of Russia who are located in Ukraine," according to Interfax.

He added that Russia would press ahead with plans to build a bridge linking Russia directly with the Crimea region - providing a vital transport link to the Black Sea peninsula.

Mr Medvedev told deputies the two countries had signed "documents related to a project for construction of a transport corridor across the Kerch Strait" in December, when now-ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was still in power.

The Russian foreign ministry said Nato criticism of its actions in Crimea "will not help stabilise" the situation in Ukraine.

It said: "We believe that such a position will not help stabilise the situation in Ukraine and only encourages those forces that would like to use the current events to achieve their irresponsible political goals."


There's a little over 10 hours till that ultimatum ends:

http://www.timeandda...iso=20140304T03

EDIT: Garak beat me to it.

This post has been edited by Maybe Apt: 03 March 2014 - 04:38 PM

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 07:08 PM

The updates appear to say that the higher ups in the Russian gov't are saying "this is nonsense".

What I think is really happening is that they're keeping everybody off balance by hyping up the possible "nobody wants this" option of actually going to war in order to make the comparatively less awful option of "cave into our demands" more palatable.

I mean it usually works, but it's pretty nasty tactics to employ.
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Posted 04 March 2014 - 12:11 AM

View PostMorgoth, on 01 March 2014 - 08:27 AM, said:

The US is by no means dependent on Russian oil and gas. Their main trade partner in that area is Canada. Incidentally, with the development of the shale gas industry the US is on a fast track to become a net exporter of gas. Russia on the other hand is entirely dependent on their oil and gas exports to finance themselves. As of now the Russian budget is balanced at an oil price of more than a hundred and twenty dollars pr barrel, compared to thirty dollars or so in 2005.

Even Europe is less dependent on Russian oil and gas than one is often lead to believe. The market holds more than enough to supply the continent, and you can be certain that OPEC would increase production to counteract some of the inevitable cost increase. Norway would certainly benefit substantially. The country that would suffer is Ukraine, as they are entirely dependent (as of now at least) on access to Russian gas at below market price.


I've recently read a book called the end of growth, and in the chapter on natural gas it talks about how important russia's natural gas exports are important to europe (and will grow even more important). Most of germanys power when the nuclear grid goes off will come from natural gas so i don't think we can discount the value of it's energy that easily.

Also in regards to russia's military power, bear in mind they had a lot of trouble quelling the georgian rebellion a while back as their army's equipment was malfunctioning and they ran into a lot of problems. It seems their troops aren't exactly in the greatest shape (regualr infantry, im not implying their special forces) and their commanders aren't the greatest.

This post has been edited by BalrogLord: 04 March 2014 - 12:14 AM

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:50 AM

View PostBalrogLord, on 04 March 2014 - 12:11 AM, said:

View PostMorgoth, on 01 March 2014 - 08:27 AM, said:

The US is by no means dependent on Russian oil and gas. Their main trade partner in that area is Canada. Incidentally, with the development of the shale gas industry the US is on a fast track to become a net exporter of gas. Russia on the other hand is entirely dependent on their oil and gas exports to finance themselves. As of now the Russian budget is balanced at an oil price of more than a hundred and twenty dollars pr barrel, compared to thirty dollars or so in 2005.

Even Europe is less dependent on Russian oil and gas than one is often lead to believe. The market holds more than enough to supply the continent, and you can be certain that OPEC would increase production to counteract some of the inevitable cost increase. Norway would certainly benefit substantially. The country that would suffer is Ukraine, as they are entirely dependent (as of now at least) on access to Russian gas at below market price.


I've recently read a book called the end of growth, and in the chapter on natural gas it talks about how important russia's natural gas exports are important to europe (and will grow even more important). Most of germanys power when the nuclear grid goes off will come from natural gas so i don't think we can discount the value of it's energy that easily.

Also in regards to russia's military power, bear in mind they had a lot of trouble quelling the georgian rebellion a while back as their army's equipment was malfunctioning and they ran into a lot of problems. It seems their troops aren't exactly in the greatest shape (regualr infantry, im not implying their special forces) and their commanders aren't the greatest.


That's not entirely true. Since Russia turned off the gass flow in... 2006 was it? Europe, and especially Germany and Poland have been working to find other sources of energy than Russian gas. Germany have reduced their dependence on Russian gas by more than 10 %, and the downward trend is growing steeper with the development of their green energy sector. Furthermore, additional access points for LNG (Liqufied Natural Gas) have been constructed, making it easier to introduce other sources into the grid. If the US were to losen their export restrictions, I'm not so sure it would be that big of a problem if Russia closed down their pipelines.

Most of that comes from the Economist, which keeps its articles behind a pay wall. I did however find an article from the BBC talking about the issue.
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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:06 AM

View PostCause, on 03 March 2014 - 03:35 PM, said:

View PostSilencer, on 03 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

View PostPossibly Brent Weeks, on 03 March 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

Double posting.

Did you see how the other G8 countries backed out of the scheduled Sochi meeting? Did you see how the mere talk of sanctions on a BRIC economy absolutely causes massive problems?

http://www.theguardi...4b0984a90a9dff0
(Russian Stock Market is dropping like a North Korean Missile)

http://www.theguardi...4b0149dfe8e3958
(Russian Central Bank increases interest rates from 5.5% to 7%.)

Good luck Russia. The economy is dependent on foreign investment and all those foreign investors are pulling straight out of the country at the mere thought of economic sanctions.


I wonder, though.


What if Russia just tells everyone to fuck off?


I.e. "You want us to stop? No." *impose sanctions* "Oh, sanctions? Guess we'll just invade a few other Eastern European nations to compensate" *make threat of war* "Fuck you, *invades more counties*" *carries out threat of war, probably gets kicked the shit kicked out of them by Russia, but let's assume not* "OK, we're losing. FIRE ALL THE NUCLEAR MISSILES! *does so*"

I mean, seriously. It's highly unlikely it comes to that, but what the fuck can the UN actually do if Russia just tells them to fuck off and starts escalating to compensate for any sanctions they like to impose? Who can actually go to war with Russia and WIN, without Putin just throwing a tantrum and nuking someone?
The Russian military is massive. They may not be *quite* as technologically advanced as the US, but they are actually probably the more dangerous force in ground warfare, at the moment (bearing in mind the reason India has Gen4.5 fighters and such is because Russia helped them develop them off a Russian Gen5 platform, making air combat a relatively even field), and they can field plenty of force projection with their fleets.

If they went to war with the Western nations/UN members, they would lose, but...it would be tough. It would be very, very tough. It would also court nuclear conflict. Putin may not be THAT batshit insane now, but if he's backed into a corner by losing a war?

This isn't like North Korea, where their army is a joke and they don't have missiles worth a damn. This Russia-who-have-more-nuclear-missiles-than-the-USA, AND an armed forces who can go toe-to-toe with multiple international forces at once.

I seriously doubt Putin will push the buck that far. But if he, or someone else in Russia, did decide to do that...holy fuck. O.o


I dont think it would be as tough as you think. The whole reason Russia wants the Crimea is because without it their already shoddy force projection is non-existent. The United States Navy is bigger than the 10 next biggest navies combined! and 9 of those navies would be its allies. Russia's planes might be the equal to USA and Europe but outnumbered 10 to one how long will they last. Without air-cover it will become the largest mop up operation in history with the only question being how many billions of dollars of damage can be inflicted before Russia surrenders. Still I cant imagine the scenario where it comes to this. No first world country can risk a war these days. The costs of victory or defeat would simply be astronomical!

I should add that it all depends on the extant to which the US or NATO forces are given the green light to torch everything.

Besides lets be honest, one day without electricity and the internet and anyone who is not a muslim extremist in afghanistan will already be rethinking the costs of war.


Oh, sure. Because they're totally going to fit all of those navies in range of the Crimean Peninsula. Wherein the Black Sea Fleet is based, as well as Russia-based landbound air bases, air defence systems, missile emplacements, so on and so forth.

This is Russia's backyard. Any air force operating to support the Ukraine is fighting a losing battle of fuel and armaments. So, no, the Russian forces would not be outnumbered (not unless the fighting is taking place a lot further into Europe from the outset) as a default situation. They'd be fighting under the protection of allied anti-air systems, ffs.

How are these navies even going to get INTO the Black Sea? And more importantly; how many nations are going to redistribute ALL their naval forces into the Black Sea (making them a nice, big, juicy banquet of a target, might I add), or even sufficient numbers to actually outnumber the already-present Black Sea Fleet? US Force Projection is great. But it's not actually that easy to bring to bear in this situation. They might be able to push the BSF nice and tight up into the coast, but then what? Are we going to throw billions of dollars of F18s, F22s and F35s into the Russian air defence network? Seriously?

Never mind the potential for land-to-sea based missiles crippling the hell out of a US aircraft carrier.

In other words, even if the US did want to put its fleet within kissing distance of the BSF, it's not going to help them. Which leaves us with flying planes with half the tank of gas (and therefore a tenth of the operational time) of the Russian jets. Not good.


I'm sure the US can come up with strategies for getting in there. And beating down the fleet and neutralizing the various SAM defences and so forth. I'm sure they can. It is debatable whether they would be plans with acceptable enough losses to ever implement, and it's debatable whether those plans would actually go down exactly as they are envisaged. Russian tech may be some kind of mish-mash hybrid of 1970s and 2010s all working together, but if there is one thing Russians are good at, its making their enemies run around screaming about how the out-of-date, technically outmatched force is kicking their ass. XD


Also note that Russian ground forces are occupying Ukraine. I.e. "torching everything" would probably include a good chunk of the Crimean and its population, given the US track record here and the liability of Russian ground forces to ruthlessly utilize the local population as cover.



Again, it's unlikely. But then...Putin knows that the West doesn't want to risk a war - as you say, the costs of a first-world nation war are "too high". So why shouldn't he push his luck? The US is going to blink first in this type of stand-off, just to avoid those costs. Russia probably cares less about that than we do. *shrug*
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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:07 AM

View Postamphibian, on 03 March 2014 - 07:08 PM, said:

The updates appear to say that the higher ups in the Russian gov't are saying "this is nonsense".

What I think is really happening is that they're keeping everybody off balance by hyping up the possible "nobody wants this" option of actually going to war in order to make the comparatively less awful option of "cave into our demands" more palatable.

I mean it usually works, but it's pretty nasty tactics to employ.


This. Totally this.


Also; make it look like the other side are lying and seeking aid while Russia just sits there, going, "What ultimatum? We're not that bad!". XD
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Shinrei said:

<Vote Silencer> For not garnering any heat or any love for that matter. And I'm being serious here, it's like a mental block that is there, and you just keep forgetting it.

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