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pinnopinno Posts: 45,309
edited 14 March in The cake stop
WTF is he up to?

seanoconn - gruagach craic!
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  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    My best guess would be that he's employing mad dog tactics. Russia is faced with (and increasingly encircled by) an overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms, so he is acting as if no sacrifice is too great and no action is unthinkable. Nuclear weapons are the only way in which Russia is equal to the West, so that is the card he is playing.

    I can't stand the man, he's almost certainly either ordering murders himself or turning a blind eye, but if I were the leader of Russia, I imagine I'd be playing the same game.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,309
    ...and still they talk about no extra sanctions? Is this because this may play into his propaganda hands? Obviously, the current sanctions are no deterrent.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    Sanctions tend to make people support their leader. He hasn't just arisen out of a vacuum. The Russians are pretty p1ssed off about how they've been treated by the West following the end of the Cold War, so increasing sanctions would just make them feel even more under siege.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,309
    On Newsnight last night, they interviewed a few 'Moscovites', for want of a better noun. A lot of the young said that 'it was just media spin' and were very aware of Putin's propaganda. It was a good report. perhaps you could catch it on iplayer. I doubt the yoof in the back streets of London would have the same clarity.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,182
    Putin is stating he has the capability and more importantly the will use his military assets.

    And his perceived weakness will be his driver to redefine this view on the world stage. Dangerous times.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    ah, we will be fine ..... nothing much will happen ... Until Clinton gets elected and escalates the situation .... then we are proper fooked
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    fat daddy wrote:
    ah, we will be fine ..... nothing much will happen ... Until Clinton gets elected and escalates the situation .... then we are proper fooked

    ...whereas if Trump gets in then nothing will escalate??

    I sense that world politics are about to take a turn for the worse whatever happens in the next couple of weeks in the US. Putin has shown himself to be a very ruthless player and, unfortunately, the Russians play a very rough game whereas we still seem to want to think of the world as a lovely place where bad people are just good people going through a bad time.
  • SecteurSecteur Posts: 1,971
    I am currently reading this book, abouot exactly this topic, written by the recently retired 2nd in command of NATO.

    It is written in the current day, based on real scenarios, politics and real force analysis.

    If he is to be believed, it is NOT TRUE that NATO enjoy "overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms" as above.

    In fact, Russia would crush what NATO have in Europe like swatting a fly.

    russia_2017_-_signed_book.jpg

    In the book he is very critical of politicians. It's a terrifying read!
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    ...whereas if Trump gets in then nothing will escalate??.

    correct ..... he will turn a blind eye to Putin moving the entire Russian fleet into the area
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    A lot of things get said in the run up to elections. Trump this, Clinton that. I seem to recall Obama promising a complete change to world politics and people were saying that having a black president would herald a new dawn...

    Hasn't happened though. Most politicians are like students in the union bar spouting out all kinds of wonderful ideas without having to adjust to the complexities of the real world. Putin has shown that, above all else, he is a gambler but whether that is because he is playing with a couple of 2's or a completely full house no one seems to be sure or willing to put up to find out...so he just keeps nudging up the ante...
  • I suspect in Europe NATO forces, or rather the forces of NATO countries, are not in a ready for combat state in sufficient numbers to deter a full Russian attack. Doubt that would happen though.

    I reckon the western nations are stretching their military capability on a lot more fronts than Russia is. Apart from Syria, Ukraine, south Ossetia, Chechnya and perhaps a few other places can you name anywhere Russia is active militarily? USA is highly active all around the world. UK is hanging on.their coat tails as is France. You've got other nations with smaller standing armies assisting US foreign policy through NATO and others through EU bodies (the patrols in the med for human traffickers.

    Then you've got USA squaring up to China with their allies in the south China seas. I'm sure I've missed a few things but you get my point. Russia is keeping things back and at most giving political support in most of the areas around the world USA is getting into. They're sitting back letting the west screw up the world a bit, stirring things up behind the scenes too.

    Nope, he's not doing anything good for the world IMHO. Putin is an operator for sure and the west works to his advantage at times. He's able to use a "free" media in the west against us. When the likes of RT loses its banker(British firm) and effectively gets taken off air it's the west cracking down on free press. Russia could easily work around the bank pulling out on them but it works better to let it go off air for awhile. It's pr for his cause.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    what has Putin done that the west hasnt ?

    he is bombing Allepo, supporting a dictator and killing 1000s of civilians, i m pretty sure we ve done very similar only our bombing killed 100s of 1000's and bought about a world wide terrorist crisis.....

    so, our ships can roam the high seas but his cant ? our AC and subs can launch bombin and missile attacks on innocent civilians and we securing world peace but when he does it, he is a war criminal?

    the bombing of Iraq and Afghan, killed 100s of 1000s of people... but that all ok and continues to do so, with the attack on Mosul, or dont our weapons kills civilians?

    We ve stood by and done absolutely nothing about Syria, into that vacuum came the Russians and the defeat of the so called rebels (who are only one up from ISIS) will stop the war, as one side will win, left to the west, syria would still be at war in 30 years time......
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,903
    Secteur wrote:
    I am currently reading this book, abouot exactly this topic, written by the recently retired 2nd in command of NATO.

    It is written in the current day, based on real scenarios, politics and real force analysis.

    If he is to be believed, it is NOT TRUE that NATO enjoy "overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms" as above.

    In fact, Russia would crush what NATO have in Europe like swatting a fly.

    russia_2017_-_signed_book.jpg

    In the book he is very critical of politicians. It's a terrifying read!

    I believe it has always been thus.
    Anecdotal only. During the cold war war games played by NATO. Soviet forces overwhelmed us in W Germany. They were funnelled through natural bottlenecks and then we deployed tactical nuclear weapons to halt them. Then sued for peace.

    May be bollox, perhaps someone with greater insight could clarify.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 60,957 Lives Here
    It's just posturing.

    It's no coincidence all this aggression has coincided with a precipitous fall in the price of oil.

    Russians are already looking for an exit in Syria which makes them look good.
  • SecteurSecteur Posts: 1,971
    It's just posturing.

    It's no coincidence all this aggression has coincided with a precipitous fall in the price of oil.

    Russians are already looking for an exit in Syria which makes them look good.

    Phew! Be sure to let the President and Prime Minister know!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 60,957 Lives Here
    Ok if you're being all paranoid: what makes Putin different from say, Brezhnev or any other soviet leader?

    Why is he more likely to wage war against the west than any Soviet leader since Stalin died?

    He's turned Russia back to a society which is fairly close to the old soviet structure, with the exception of more free trade and floating prices.

    But it's the same style of governance more or less.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 60,957 Lives Here
    Good essay on Putin in this week's Economist.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,182
    Russia, US, UK, France ,Italy, China are all writing cheques for militarily expenditure that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for each nation to sustain.

    Just look at the state of the sole Russian aircraft carrier when it passed through the Channel. The UK have been without an aircraft carrier since 2014 and the next carrier is due in 2021.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    Secteur wrote:
    If he is to be believed, it is NOT TRUE that NATO enjoy "overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms" as above.

    In fact, Russia would crush what NATO have in Europe like swatting a fly.

    If there were any real chance of major war breaking out in Europe, NATO forces could be moved in. Don't forget that NATO countries (i.e. the USA) have bases surrounding Russia, so they could be attacked from pretty much all directions simultaneously.

    Also, Russian military spending is $65bn, They are now looking at cutting this by 5%, as it is unaffordable. Russia's economy would also be wrecked if they launched an attack on the EU (who buy the majority of their exports). Even if Russia could take on the West militarily, they could not pay for such a war and subsequent occupation.

    Personally, I fear sleepwalking into a war, or politicians getting into situations they wrongly believe they can control more than war being started deliberately.
  • finchy wrote:
    Secteur wrote:
    If he is to be believed, it is NOT TRUE that NATO enjoy "overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms" as above.

    In fact, Russia would crush what NATO have in Europe like swatting a fly.

    If there were any real chance of major war breaking out in Europe, NATO forces could be moved in. Don't forget that NATO countries (i.e. the USA) have bases surrounding Russia, so they could be attacked from pretty much all directions simultaneously.

    Also, Russian military spending is $65bn, They are now looking at cutting this by 5%, as it is unaffordable. Russia's economy would also be wrecked if they launched an attack on the EU (who buy the majority of their exports). Even if Russia could take on the West militarily, they could not pay for such a war and subsequent occupation.

    Personally, I fear sleepwalking into a war, or politicians getting into situations they wrongly believe they can control more than war being started deliberately.

    It would only take a day to drive through Estonia/Lithuania to get to Kaliningrad. I really can not see the rest of NATO going to war over that
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    finchy wrote:
    Secteur wrote:
    If he is to be believed, it is NOT TRUE that NATO enjoy "overwhelmingly superior force in NATO, in numerical, technological and economic terms" as above.

    In fact, Russia would crush what NATO have in Europe like swatting a fly.

    If there were any real chance of major war breaking out in Europe, NATO forces could be moved in. Don't forget that NATO countries (i.e. the USA) have bases surrounding Russia, so they could be attacked from pretty much all directions simultaneously.

    Also, Russian military spending is $65bn, They are now looking at cutting this by 5%, as it is unaffordable. Russia's economy would also be wrecked if they launched an attack on the EU (who buy the majority of their exports). Even if Russia could take on the West militarily, they could not pay for such a war and subsequent occupation.

    Personally, I fear sleepwalking into a war, or politicians getting into situations they wrongly believe they can control more than war being started deliberately.

    It would only take a day to drive through Estonia/Lithuania to get to Kaliningrad. I really can not see the rest of NATO going to war over that

    Putin could have done that ages ago. Even if he wanted to take the Baltic states, he'd been insane to take the risk. Like I said, it's not just the military aspect, it's also the economic damage that the EU could inflict on Russia.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 60,957 Lives Here
    So what's in it for Russia to engage in war?

    So there's a level of yearning after Russia's more powerful past, where it dominated east Europe, and it provides a distraction from an economy that hasn't been doing well for 10 years. It keeps the punters happy and so keeps the leaders in power. But the costs would be so much higher if there was a war.

    Given the existing costs of both Ukraine & Syria I can't see the appetite for serious war with the West, who can outspend and out innovate the Russians tenfold.

    Russian leaders have known this for 80 years. That doesn't go away.
  • So what's in it for Russia to engage in war?

    So there's a level of yearning after Russia's more powerful past, where it dominated east Europe, and it provides a distraction from an economy that hasn't been doing well for 10 years. It keeps the punters happy and so keeps the leaders in power. But the costs would be so much higher if there was a war.

    Given the existing costs of both Ukraine & Syria I can't see the appetite for serious war with the West, who can outspend and out innovate the Russians tenfold.

    Russian leaders have known this for 80 years. That doesn't go away.

    You said it yourself- keeps the leaders in power. It is best to keep his paranoia levels down.

    My Kaliningrad comment was not a prediction - merely pointing out that it is very doable and would be met by little more than hand wringing.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    The EU certainly won't impose anymore sanctions. Especially as winter approaches. If he's pushed too far, I can just see him turning off the gas and oil pipelines that supply between 30-40% of Europe's needs.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Mr Goo wrote:
    The EU certainly won't impose anymore sanctions. Especially as winter approaches. If he's pushed too far, I can just see him turning off the gas and oil pipelines that supply between 30-40% of Europe's needs.
    ... And what percentage of his income?
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    bompington wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    The EU certainly won't impose anymore sanctions. Especially as winter approaches. If he's pushed too far, I can just see him turning off the gas and oil pipelines that supply between 30-40% of Europe's needs.
    ... And what percentage of his income?

    What has Putin done exactly?

    We are supplying the Saudis in the yemen and no one bats an eye lid, the suffering there is on a par with Allepo and as i said earlier, we ve done plenty in the Middle east....
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    mamba80 wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    The EU certainly won't impose anymore sanctions. Especially as winter approaches. If he's pushed too far, I can just see him turning off the gas and oil pipelines that supply between 30-40% of Europe's needs.
    ... And what percentage of his income?

    What has Putin done exactly?

    We are supplying the Saudis in the yemen and no one bats an eye lid, the suffering there is on a par with Allepo and as i said earlier, we ve done plenty in the Middle east....


    Yes. But we are the goodies!.....

    ...... and if you believe that bollox, you'll be telling me that there is an omnipotent being looking down on us.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,309
    Yemen: According to figures 10,000 civilian casualties.
    Syria: Est. 300,000 to 470,000 deaths.

    Whilst comparing conflicts according to the number of fatalities is somewhat flawed, Yemen is difficult to put on a par with Syria. The fact that we supply the Saudi's with weapons is cause for concern but we aren't fighting the Russians or the Yemeni's by proxy through Saudi Arabia. We aren't the one's deploying those weapons and we aren't sailing close to the wind in terms of the resumption of a cold war.
    The Russians have broken countless ceasefire periods and they bombed a UN convoy in Syria - that there is no doubt. Now they are carpet and bunker bombing Aleppo where there are still 250,000 people of which 100,000 are children who cannot escape. Regardless of historical events perpetrated by the West (Iraq etc), the brutality, use of chemical weapons and the continued support of Assad by Putin without question, is grave. It shows the lengths that Putin will go to in terms of genocide to quell Assads opponents to maintain his control.
    He probably sees the West's lack of power and lack of action as impotent in that region and possibly that impotence extends to NATO and therefore he might harbour bigger ideas.
    Who knows how much of the troop movements on the borders of Estonia is just posturing whilst appealing to the former Soviets in the former Soviet countries as he did in Crimea as a platform for aggression.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Pinno wrote:
    Yemen: According to figures 10,000 civilian casualties.
    Syria: Est. 300,000 to 470,000 deaths.

    Whilst comparing conflicts according to the number of fatalities is somewhat flawed, Yemen is difficult to put on a par with Syria. The fact that we supply the Saudi's with weapons is cause for concern but we aren't fighting the Russians or the Yemeni's by proxy through Saudi Arabia. We aren't the one's deploying those weapons and we aren't sailing close to the wind in terms of the resumption of a cold war.
    The Russians have broken countless ceasefire periods and they bombed a UN convoy in Syria - that there is no doubt. Now they are carpet and bunker bombing Aleppo where there are still 250,000 people of which 100,000 are children who cannot escape. Regardless of historical events perpetrated by the West (Iraq etc), the brutality, use of chemical weapons and the continued support of Assad by Putin without question, is grave. It shows the lengths that Putin will go to in terms of genocide to quell Assads opponents to maintain his control.
    He probably sees the West's lack of power and lack of action as impotent in that region and possibly that impotence extends to NATO and therefore he might harbour bigger ideas.
    Who knows how much of the troop movements on the borders of Estonia is just posturing whilst appealing to the former Soviets in the former Soviet countries as he did in Crimea as a platform for aggression.


    The yemen war has been going for about a year..... Syria 6 years and Saudi gets all of its weapons from the West, we are directly responsible for those deaths but unlike russia who aids Assad for security reasons, we done it for cheap fuel and BAE jobs - btw i m not saying we shouldnt but lets be honest about it?

    Putin at the moment is the only hope that this war (that appears to have no end), might end, Assad needs to regain control and destroy the rebels OR we and the remaining Syrians will be facing an IS style government or a never ending war.
    If the West had supported Assad from the beginning, then this war would have lasted a few months and all those 100s of 1000s of people would still be here and Syria wouldnt have been destroyed.

    The rebels are one up from IS and would morph into an islamic state and how many more would die then?

    When Iraqi forces aided by US air power, launch attacks on Mosul, who do you think is underneath those bullets, shells and bombs? yes civilians and we wont be told how many die, we wont see the hospitals destroyed or the children covered in their parents blood.

    i would say that deploying NATO forces and weapons to ex Soviet states isnt the right way to win around the Russians here and we ve been doing that for years and has led to the present russian paranoia
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    The thing to remember about Russia is the massive losses they have suffered in the past. Think about how World War 2 has become ingrained in the British psyche. Now try to imagine the effect that losing 13% of the population would have had (as was the case with Russia), compared to the 0.9% of Brits who dies in the conflict. Putin would have grown up in the shadow of WW2, and for him, and for many other Russians, national security is a top concern.

    From the Russian point of view:
    - NATO accepted membership applications from neighbouring countries and established bases surrounding Russia despite earlier verbal reassurances given to the USSR that there would be no expansion eastwards beyond Germany, which was a condition of German reunification. Even Mikhail Gorbachev later said that he would never again trust the American government.
    - The USA undermined Russian-led negotiations in Kosovo, and set one-sided conditions which placed all the responsibility for peace on the Serbs. This was widely interpreted in Russia as the USA taking the chance to give the Russians a bloody nose.
    - Russia was treated with contempt by the Clinton administration.
    - The anti-ICBM system proposed by the USA is clearly aimed at Russia, and undermines the concept of a nuclear balance of power.
    - The Ukrainian Revolution included significant anti-Russian elements, and on the first day of the new Parliament, a previous law guaranteeing the language rights of minorities was repealed (language rights are a tremendously important issue in Central and Eastern Europe, and denying them to minorities is one of the most common forms of discrimination and stirring up ethnic tensions).

    You might not agree with the Russians on all (or any) of these points, but the question you have to ask yourself, is how you would feel if the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world was slowly surrounding you and appeared to have designated you as their enemy? Would you not want your government to start pushing back, by whatever means necessary? I don't know what the answer is, but you've got to give Putin something he can go back to the Russian people with, so that he can say that he's scored a diplomatic victory - maybe the Russians would accept NATO's presence on its borders if both sides could agree to low troop numbers in the area and the scrapping of the missile shield, for example. But however the West handles this, just dismissing Russia's concerns out of hand and treating them as naughty schoolboys would be a massive mistake.
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