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China's aggression is changing the nature of sovereignty.

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8 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Been to India 15 years ago... absolutely NO ONE plays cricket.  A few play it in a few BIG cities.  Otherwise it may as well not exist.  About as relevant as Baseball is in the USA.  A lot is written about it, but in reality very few play it. 

Utter crap!

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On 1/17/2022 at 3:06 AM, Wombat One said:

My big bro is bigger than your big bro, and appears to be changing tack to the detriment of Russia, whilst putting China on the backburner. Personally, I would prefer to see the USA focus on the bigger threat, which is China, but the Pentagon believes that containing Russia is key to preventing the disintegration of the world order. I believe that Biden is a bigger China Hawk than Russia Hawk, and rightly so. Trump was too. There is a fundamental disagreement between the WH and the Pentagon because the Pentagon is listening to Kissinger who is pro-China (created the Dragon actually), and the WH is listening to it's allies. Covid changed everything, and the WH is much more forward-thinking than the Pentagon. Indeed, Kissinger and the Pentagon might be willing to throw Taiwan under a bus, but the WH understands that Taiwan is much more important to maintaining global order than the Ukraine is. Hence, Biden is being firm with Putin, but is not being aggressive. I suspect that some kind of deal will be reached, not in Putin's favour regarding NATO membership, but some sort of agreement to reduce US involvement in Europe if Russia pulls back it's troops. That is my hope anyway, that Biden can engineer a cease-fire between the Ukraine and Russia on the basis that NATO and Russia both withdraw missiles by 1000km. I am probably dreaming, but clearly this is what Biden is hoping to achieve and I wish him luck. I am aware that Eastern Ukraine is Russian territory (given to the Ukraine by a Ukranian president of the USSR), and that Russia will fight for at least a small buffer between Moscow and the West. Understood. But Putin's ambit claim to a former empire is heading in the wrong direction for all concerned. Taking advantage of the US-China cold war is not in Russia's interest IMHO. All it has done is accelerate and expand the number of NATO membership requests. Heck, even Sweden wants "in" now. 

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2022/01/russias-aggression-against-ukraine-backfiring/360269/

You don't understand. All the Big Bros are One. Because they are of valid logic formally verified true. This is way more rule of law that the rotten hegemony that gives it so much lip service can actually handle. The locally preferred options is some "word order based on rules" (as in some kind of ad hoc substitute for international law redefined on as needed basis. It won't work. Ad-hoc special cases are too buggy and slow to process)

Russia has no intention whatsoever to invade the Ukraine. You broke the place, you support it now from your own budget funds. Indefinitely or for as long as the spectacle of budding democracy overcoming the Russian yoke entertains you. Anything for a paying customer. Because there sure are always more corruption and embezzlement where this one came from. The only way you can pull Russia into any kind of Ukrainian conflict is to get them to abuse LDNR unusually bad. Not gonna be easy.

Similar periods of Western-bound politics have happened in Ukrainian history before, for example

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ruin_(Ukrainian_history)

they'll come to their senses soon enough. The rallying of Ukrainians together for a political cause also has a canonical format called the

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_in_Malinovka

Not quite what defenseone envisioned, I reckon.

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1 hour ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

You don't understand. All the Big Bros are One. Because they are of valid logic formally verified true. This is way more rule of law that the rotten hegemony that gives it so much lip service can actually handle. The locally preferred options is some "word order based on rules" (as in some kind of ad hoc substitute for international law redefined on as needed basis. It won't work. Ad-hoc special cases are too buggy and slow to process)

Russia has no intention whatsoever to invade the Ukraine. You broke the place, you support it now from your own budget funds. Indefinitely or for as long as the spectacle of budding democracy overcoming the Russian yoke entertains you. Anything for a paying customer. Because there sure are always more corruption and embezzlement where this one came from. The only way you can pull Russia into any kind of Ukrainian conflict is to get them to abuse LDNR unusually bad. Not gonna be easy.

Similar periods of Western-bound politics have happened in Ukrainian history before, for example

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ruin_(Ukrainian_history)

they'll come to their senses soon enough. The rallying of Ukrainians together for a political cause also has a canonical format called the

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_in_Malinovka

Not quite what defenseone envisioned, I reckon.

An interesting perspective. I hope there are not false-flags on both sides. The last thing the world needs right now is a major conflict in Europe. Covid is most likely going to demolish the global economy as it is, and the CCP is laughing at all of us, not just the West, but literally the rest of the planet, including Russia. They want to get control of the resources of the entire planet, and they want do so as cheaply as possible. Whether it be OPEC+ oil, Brazilian oil and iron ore, the copper deposits of the globe, they really do want it all. 

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19 hours ago, TailingsPond said:

Didn't that treaty lapse?

Actually asking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian–Ukrainian_Friendship_Treaty

 

I was referring to the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances: 

On December 5, 1994 the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs. The memorandum reads as follows:[10]

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.

Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State.

6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

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Just to mention that the Budapest Memorandum is not binding document.

Check what a memorandum means in international law - a simple declaration of intent.

It has exactly the same binding power as not one inch eastward.

Besides, none of the parties to this memorandum has ratified it , which is a necessary element of the binding force of any act of international law.

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2 hours ago, pscoughlin said:

I was referring to the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances: 

On December 5, 1994 the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs. The memorandum reads as follows:[10]

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.

Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State.

6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

Memorandum, or simply memo, is not a treaty. It is simply a work-in-progress document describing what exactly the sitting was about.

Specifically, they were working on some Annex to Ukraine's Accession to the NPT Treaty, which Ukraine ended up joining with no strings attached. No signatory, including Ukraine itself, ever tried to ratify this particular document.

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13 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine whatsoever. The plan seems to get Ukraine to mount a full scale assault on the LDNR (the separatists), get Russia to interject on their behalf, than yell bloody murder Russia attacked first,

So in that scenario, what would the cost/benefit be to Russia to intercede on behalf of the separatists? What would be the likely aftermath? Annexing the Donbass? Is it really worth it?

It seems like to me, both Ukrainian and Russian nationalism is inflamed these days.

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(edited)

2 hours ago, surrept33 said:

So in that scenario, what would the cost/benefit be to Russia to intercede on behalf of the separatists? What would be the likely aftermath? Annexing the Donbass? Is it really worth it?

It seems like to me, both Ukrainian and Russian nationalism is inflamed these days.

Simply not being able to ignore their cries for help? The preferred Russian policy scenario is for the region to return to de jure Ukrainian custody using the Minsk Agreements framework. Which Ukraine sabotaged thus far, with the West looking the other way. No need to formally annex Donbass. The more time passes in a limbo, the more they are getting pulled into the Russian economic and political sphere. With Ukraine putting them in economic embargo, the regions are progressively becoming parts of Russian economy and everybody there is acquiring Russian citizenships. This is obviously inevitable, considering that Ukraine obviously does not really want these people back. (Likely being afraid to add a couple of million voters who are bound to be fiercely disloyal to all parties currently in power in Kiev) The preferred scenario in Kiev is to get the territories only, purged of the disloyal populations by force or trickery, but Russia is in the way.

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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“The result of this process will be the construction of a new line in Europe”

Former senior director for Russia at the US National Security Council Thomas Graham on US-Russian security talks

Russia and the United States are preparing to continue consultations begun last week on the issue of security guarantees. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken are scheduled to meet in Geneva on January 21. Moscow expects to receive a written response from Washington to its demands, including the rejection of NATO expansion and the deployment of strike systems threatening the Russian Federation in Europe. Orally, the United States rejected part of the Russian requests. About what a compromise could be in this seemingly completely deadlocked situation, Kommersant's correspondent Elena Chernenko was told by Thomas Graham.

— The first week of negotiations revealed serious differences on many positions. Do you see a way out of the current impasse?

“This impasse did not come as a surprise. A series of very intensive negotiations took place last week, but so far it has not been directly about finding solutions, rather it is about familiarizing the parties with each other's positions, setting out requests and intentions so that everyone clearly understands each other.

What we have been seeing since the end of the first round of negotiations, I would call continuation of brinkmanship. Russian troops are standing on the border with Ukraine, exercises are being held, including with live fire. The United States is increasingly making it clear what sanctions it will impose if Russia launches military action against Ukraine. But all this, it seems to me, is an attempt to emphasize the seriousness that each side attaches to the situation at this stage. An attempt to lay the groundwork for further negotiations.

The key question is whether the parties will be willing to introduce some flexibility into their positions.

Obviously, a broad discussion about European security is ripe. It is not necessary to place the issue of NATO's "open door policy" at its center. But it seems to me that if we are seriously talking about European security, then all aspects of this topic, without exception, should be on the negotiating table. I hope that in the end such a broad discussion will take place. If only because none of the parties - certainly not Washington or Moscow - is eager to get involved in a military conflict with unpredictable consequences for European security. Moreover, these consequences can extend far beyond the borders of Europe.

- But how to make sure that the next round of negotiations is not the last one?

- As I have already said, it is important to start the process of a comprehensive discussion of the problems of European security. The United States must be ready to talk about the issue of NATO expansion. In my opinion, we also need to put frozen and ongoing conflicts in Europe on the agenda. We are talking not only about Ukraine, but also about Kosovo, Transnistria, conflicts in the Caucasus.

Russia wants to negotiate European security with the US

The goal should be to reach an agreement on the settlement of these conflicts and create an architecture of a new order in Europe. One that would replace the order established in Europe in the 1990s. The new order is necessary partly because the current one does not satisfy Russia, does not correspond to its perception of its national interests. It is impossible to ensure security and stability in Europe in the long term if Russia remains dissatisfied with the existing order. So we obviously need to start a broad discussion about how to build a model that satisfies all parties.

If this is done by wise statesmen in Moscow and Washington, people who can imagine a different future, a different type of order - and I think they are both there and there - then we will eventually come to an agreement. But this will not be the result of one additional conversation. It will take some patience to continue this diplomatic path.

- How, from your point of view, might look like a mutually acceptable solution on the issue of NATO's "open door policy"?

- The views of the US and Russia on European security seem fundamentally irreconcilable. Such a conclusion suggests itself if we study the statements of the negotiators from both sides following the results of the meetings held last week.

The US position remains firm: all states have the sovereign right to decide which alliances to join.

One way or another, Russia's position boils down to the fact that it has the right to a sphere of influence. This is not directly stated - Russia insists that security should be indivisible on the entire European continent - but in essence Russia is defending its right to influence the methods of ensuring the security of a number of countries, primarily those neighboring it.

These positions are diametrically opposed, and it is difficult to imagine a way to bridge the gap between the two countries.

- But he is?

“I think the solution lies in finding a formula that allows both sides to say that they either defended their interests or did not compromise their principles. My proposal: a moratorium on NATO's eastward expansion. First of all, eastward expansion at the expense of Ukraine, which, apparently, is the greatest concern in Moscow at the moment.

The moratorium period should be long enough for Moscow to say that it has managed to push this issue far into the future. At the same time, it should be short enough for Washington to say that it has not compromised NATO's open door policy.

I would suggest a period of 20 to 25 years. There is nothing magical about this number. Washington and Moscow may decide otherwise. At some point, these negotiations will, of course, need to include NATO as an organization, since this issue directly concerns it.

What about frozen and current conflicts? I read that you propose to hold referendums in all disputed regions under the control of international structures in order to understand what the local population really wants?

— Yes, that's absolutely true. Crimea, Donbass, Kosovo, other conflicts - all this affects European security. And I propose that Europe, the United States and Russia develop an agreed set of principles that would allow for the peaceful separation of certain territories on terms acceptable to the states from which certain parts are separated.

Referendums could become an important part of this process. They would make it possible to reliably understand what the people living in the contested territories want. Further, it is necessary to develop a number of political and technical agreements, in accordance with which the issues between the main and the separating part will be regulated. So it actually happened repeatedly over the past decades. We have seen this in Asia, for example in the case of East Timor. Another example: the division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Referendums must certainly be held with the participation of authoritative international monitoring structures, at least European ones, so that no one has any questions about how honest and fair they were.

It does not have to be a specially organized voting. This can be combined with the next local elections.

But it is very important to know the will of the people living in the contested territory, so that on the basis of their expression it is possible to develop a set of political and technical agreements necessary for the final separation. The agreement on such principles of "peaceful divorce" would allow the settlement of frozen and current conflicts, which would undoubtedly strengthen security and stability in Europe.

How do you think people in Kosovo and Crimea would vote?

“I'm sure that people in Kosovo would vote for independence. I believe that the inhabitants of Crimea would prefer to remain part of the Russian Federation.

I wonder what the result of the referendum in Donbass would be like now. After eight years of war, I think the local population may feel abandoned by all sides. How would it vote? I'm not going to predict. And this is another argument in favor of holding such a referendum.

At the same time, it would be important to find a way to allow people who fled from Donbass to other parts of the country or neighboring states to vote in order to avoid hostilities, but would be ready to return if the conflict is finally resolved.

- How, in your opinion, did the parties find themselves in a situation where the most terrible scenarios are allowed? And why, in your opinion, is the question of a new order in Europe ripe?

- The short answer to this question is this: Russia is dissatisfied with the existing order. The current order was established at the very end of the Cold War and experienced its heyday in the first couple of decades after it ended. It was based on the enlargement of NATO along with the enlargement of the EU. Two organizations that have played a fundamental role in ensuring security in Europe, the trade and economic development of this region. Meanwhile, in both cases, we are talking about structures in which it is very difficult to imagine Russia.

Russia, over time, restored its political strength and power. And she began to resist the order that was formed when she was very, very weak. Now Russia is insisting that its interests be taken into account, putting at the forefront issues that it considers critical to its own security.

Part of the problem is that we not only have irreconcilable positions on NATO expansion, but also very different views on how legitimate Russia's need for a zone of influence is.

If you look at Russian history, it becomes obvious that it has always tried to ensure its security by creating strategic depth, moving borders as far as possible from its strategic center, buffer zones, and so on. This view of security stems from Russia's geographic position in the Eurasian space, the absence of physical barriers, and a history of invasions that seem to be remembered in Russia today. For Russia, it is critically important what happens on its borders.

The problem is that the US sees this as a risk of violating the interests and rights of countries that Russia might want to see in its buffer zone.

But the US can also be called an expansionist power. True, it acted and acts mainly in economic interests, promoting its model of a democratic society.

NATO left a couple more chances to fix

These two kinds of expansionist impulses come into conflict in Europe. This has been happening, I think, for the last 120 years. What we are seeing today is a repetition of this type of conflict, and the only question is where we will ultimately draw the line between American expansion and Russian expansion.

So I think it's also important to recognize that although for the last 30 years we've been talking about no more lines in Europe, the end result of these negotiations - if we manage to prevent a military conflict, which I think we can do - will be holding a new line in Europe. The great American poet (Robert Frost . - "Kommersant" ) once said that "good fences make good neighbors." And in a way, that's what we're doing here, trying to put up fences that separate my part of the world from your part of the world. And that, for better or for worse, is the foundation of stability in an increasingly multipolar world.

- The first series of negotiations between Russia and Western countries included different formats: bilateral with the United States and multilateral - with NATO and the OSCE. In what composition, in your opinion, is it better to discuss such issues?

- In the end, the US and Russia, as the two largest military powers, will have to play a central role in developing appropriate agreements. It is the compromises that Washington and Moscow are ready to make that should become the basis for a common settlement.

It is clear that the United States will have to conduct active consultations with our allies and partners in Europe, including the European Union. It will not be possible to achieve a final settlement of the problem if all the countries of Europe are not ready to sign an agreement. But if you look at the history of the Helsinki Final Act negotiations, it becomes clear that it was the US-Soviet channel that was critical in moving these negotiations forward. In the end, all European countries joined in the development of a consensus document and signed it.

I want to say that the countries that bear the main responsibility for security in Europe should also be key participants in the negotiations.

This is recognized in Moscow and, I think, it will be recognized in Washington as well. Washington has a problem that Moscow does not have, and these are obligations within the framework of the alliance. So, of course, we need to conduct ourselves publicly, and to a lesser extent privately, in a way that makes our allies and partners feel confident that they are important participants in these very complex negotiations that will affect their security.

— If I'm not mistaken, it took more than two and a half years to develop the Helsinki Final Act. Now Russia insists on the immediate satisfaction of its demands for security guarantees. Can this issue be resolved quickly? And is there anything that can be done right now to prevent the worst-case scenarios?

- According to my impressions, Moscow will be ready to continue to participate in negotiations if Washington is ready to discuss the full range of issues related to European security. The question of NATO enlargement must, one way or another, become part of the agenda. I assume that this is what Moscow is striving for in the short term.

Foreign media about Russia's negotiations with the US and the alliance

The people in the Kremlin, the people who advise President Putin, I think are realistic enough to admit that the US and NATO are not going to agree to not expanding the alliance next week or the week after that. At the same time, I do not rule out that eventually, within a very short period, the US will agree to bring this issue up for discussion. Perhaps this agenda item will not be called "NATO non-expansion", it can also be designated as "fundamental issues of European security." But it is important that the US make it clear that it is ready to move beyond the arms control mechanisms we have already outlined as possible areas of agreement and to enter into a broader European security discussion with Russia.

At the same time, Moscow must understand - and I believe that it understands this - that it will take some time to reach an agreement. If we are talking about an analogue of the Helsinki process, then it may take a couple of years to develop agreements.

- In 2025, it will be just the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Accords.

- 2024-2025 could be a good date to try this. 2024 is also an important year in terms of domestic politics for both Russia and the United States, where the presidential election will take place.

In any case, the challenge now is to find a way to negotiate serious long-term negotiations on European security. The parties must understand that they will not be able to achieve their demands in a short period of time and that each of them will have to compromise to some extent.

If we want to avoid military conflict, we need to reach a final settlement of the issues that have arisen, otherwise similar crises will play out again and again.

Wise and far-sighted statesmen are needed to reach agreements. We had such people in the 1970s. In fact, these were figures that you would not have thought at first that they were capable of this. I hope the same will happen now. That both in Moscow and in Washington, the rulers will think not only about the immediate crisis, but also about the longer term. Together they could make Europe more peaceful, more secure and more prosperous.

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5171842

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(edited)

Well it looks like Putin has had a great day by just sitting there and watching western leaders do his work for him

West really stepped on those rakes just like sideshow bob today didn’t they?

This is the fourth US president he's run rings around.

In general, Putin does not manage very well from an economic point of view, but one thing cannot be denied.

He is like a purebred boxer with a world title who can feel when an opponent is hit hard and tampered  in the ring.

Then he goes on to attack and finish the job.

He has sensed the West's weakness so has been doing a reconquest for the last 30 years since not one inch eastward.

 

Good ilustration of Putins problem

http://maysweb.tamu.edu/maysnet/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2013/08/Why-the-West-loved-Yeltsin-and-hates-Putin.pdf

Edited by Tomasz

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https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-sanctions-4-officials-accused-of-helping-russia-destabilize-ukraine_4226785.html

US Sanctions 4 Ukrainian Officials Accused of Helping Russia Destabilize Ukraine

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
 
January 20, 2022 Updated: January 21, 2022

The U.S. government on Thursday sanctioned four Ukrainian officials it accuses of being involved in activities backed by the Russian government to destabilize Ukraine.

It comes amid the United States warning of further action if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia has massed some 100,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine, but denies it is planning an attack. Russian officials are demanding written guarantees that NATO will give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, but members of the alliance have refused to issue such promises.

In a release, the U.S. Treasury Department alleges that four Ukrainian officials have “played various roles in Russia’s global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries.” The sanctions name two current members of Ukraine’s parliament, Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn, as well as two former government officials, Volodymyr Oliynyk and Vladimir Sivkovich.

All four have been involved in disinformation efforts by Russia’s federal security service (FSB) to set the pretext for a potential further invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. government alleges.

“Russia has used hybrid tactics, including disinformation and other influence campaigns, to destabilize Ukraine for years,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “In 2020, Kremlin officials launched a comprehensive information operation plan designed in part to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian state to independently function; the individuals designated today played key roles in that campaign.”

Kozak, who controls several news channels in Ukraine, allegedly amplified false narratives to denigrate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s inner circle and falsely accused him of mismanagement, according to the Treasury.

Meanwhile, Voloshyn allegedly worked with Russian actors to undermine Ukrainian government officials, and also allegedly worked with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, who was previously sanctioned for attempts to influence the U.S. 2020 presidential election, the Treasury said.

Kozak and Voloshyn are members of the political party of Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s most prominent ally in Ukraine. Medvedchuk was put under house arrest last year in a treason case. Prior to that, the United States sanctioned Medvedchuk in 2014 for his role in undermining Ukrainian sovereignty.

Sivkovich, who previously served as Ukraine’s deputy secretary for national security and defense councils, is accused of having worked in 2021 with Russian intelligence activists in influence operations to support Ukraine to officially cede Crimea to Russia in exchange for a drawdown of Russian-backed forces. Russian troops seized the Crimea region from Ukraine in 2014 and then annexed the Black Sea peninsula.

Oliynyk, who fled Ukraine to seek refuge in Russia, last year allegedly worked with the FSB to gather information about Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

“The United States is taking action to expose and counter Russia’s dangerous and threatening campaign of influence and disinformation in Ukraine,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement. “We are committed to taking steps to hold Russia accountable for their destabilizing actions.”

The sanctions mean that the four individuals’ properties and interests in property that are in the United States or in possession or control of U.S. individuals are blocked and must be reported to the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). All transactions that involved the blocked properties or the four individuals are also prohibited.

Epoch Times Photo U.S. President Joe Biden holds a rare press conference in the East Room of the White House to kick off his second year in office, on Jan. 19, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

The sanctions come less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden said he believed that Russia “will move in” on Ukraine. Biden also warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible restriction in access to the global banking system if it does.

Republicans and Ukrainian officials criticized Biden’s comments saying he may have invited a limited Russian invasion by telling reporters on Wednesday that the United States would react with a measured response in the case of a “minor incursion.” Administration officials immediately tried to clarify his remarks, and Biden himself did so on Thursday.

“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin,” Biden said Thursday. “He has no misunderstanding: any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.”

Shortly before the U.S. sanctions were announced, Zelenskyy said on Twitter, “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.”

Biden said Wednesday his team is considering possible sanctions that would target the Russian banking system to restrict its ability “to deal in dollars.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who co-led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine last weekend, told reporters Thursday she understood the administration was still analyzing what the impact would be on other countries if Russia were banned from SWIFT, a banking system that handles the flow of money around the world.

The White House last week warned that Russia has stationed operatives in and around Ukraine possibly to create a pretext for an invasion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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6 hours ago, ronwagn said:

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-sanctions-4-officials-accused-of-helping-russia-destabilize-ukraine_4226785.html

US Sanctions 4 Ukrainian Officials Accused of Helping Russia Destabilize Ukraine

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
 
January 20, 2022 Updated: January 21, 2022

The U.S. government on Thursday sanctioned four Ukrainian officials it accuses of being involved in activities backed by the Russian government to destabilize Ukraine.

It comes amid the United States warning of further action if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia has massed some 100,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine, but denies it is planning an attack. Russian officials are demanding written guarantees that NATO will give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, but members of the alliance have refused to issue such promises.

In a release, the U.S. Treasury Department alleges that four Ukrainian officials have “played various roles in Russia’s global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries.” The sanctions name two current members of Ukraine’s parliament, Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn, as well as two former government officials, Volodymyr Oliynyk and Vladimir Sivkovich.

All four have been involved in disinformation efforts by Russia’s federal security service (FSB) to set the pretext for a potential further invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. government alleges.

“Russia has used hybrid tactics, including disinformation and other influence campaigns, to destabilize Ukraine for years,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “In 2020, Kremlin officials launched a comprehensive information operation plan designed in part to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian state to independently function; the individuals designated today played key roles in that campaign.”

Kozak, who controls several news channels in Ukraine, allegedly amplified false narratives to denigrate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s inner circle and falsely accused him of mismanagement, according to the Treasury.

Meanwhile, Voloshyn allegedly worked with Russian actors to undermine Ukrainian government officials, and also allegedly worked with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, who was previously sanctioned for attempts to influence the U.S. 2020 presidential election, the Treasury said.

Kozak and Voloshyn are members of the political party of Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s most prominent ally in Ukraine. Medvedchuk was put under house arrest last year in a treason case. Prior to that, the United States sanctioned Medvedchuk in 2014 for his role in undermining Ukrainian sovereignty.

Sivkovich, who previously served as Ukraine’s deputy secretary for national security and defense councils, is accused of having worked in 2021 with Russian intelligence activists in influence operations to support Ukraine to officially cede Crimea to Russia in exchange for a drawdown of Russian-backed forces. Russian troops seized the Crimea region from Ukraine in 2014 and then annexed the Black Sea peninsula.

Oliynyk, who fled Ukraine to seek refuge in Russia, last year allegedly worked with the FSB to gather information about Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

“The United States is taking action to expose and counter Russia’s dangerous and threatening campaign of influence and disinformation in Ukraine,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement. “We are committed to taking steps to hold Russia accountable for their destabilizing actions.”

The sanctions mean that the four individuals’ properties and interests in property that are in the United States or in possession or control of U.S. individuals are blocked and must be reported to the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). All transactions that involved the blocked properties or the four individuals are also prohibited.

Epoch Times Photo U.S. President Joe Biden holds a rare press conference in the East Room of the White House to kick off his second year in office, on Jan. 19, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

The sanctions come less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden said he believed that Russia “will move in” on Ukraine. Biden also warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible restriction in access to the global banking system if it does.

Republicans and Ukrainian officials criticized Biden’s comments saying he may have invited a limited Russian invasion by telling reporters on Wednesday that the United States would react with a measured response in the case of a “minor incursion.” Administration officials immediately tried to clarify his remarks, and Biden himself did so on Thursday.

“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin,” Biden said Thursday. “He has no misunderstanding: any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.”

Shortly before the U.S. sanctions were announced, Zelenskyy said on Twitter, “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.”

Biden said Wednesday his team is considering possible sanctions that would target the Russian banking system to restrict its ability “to deal in dollars.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who co-led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine last weekend, told reporters Thursday she understood the administration was still analyzing what the impact would be on other countries if Russia were banned from SWIFT, a banking system that handles the flow of money around the world.

The White House last week warned that Russia has stationed operatives in and around Ukraine possibly to create a pretext for an invasion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia has interfered in Ukraine?  uh, who funded and perpetrated the Maidan?  hint, not Putin.  uh, who sent troops to bomb and murder millions in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Syria, all of central america?  hint, not Putin.

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TBC

Edited by Eyes Wide Open

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19 minutes ago, frankfurter said:

Russia has interfered in Ukraine?  uh, who funded and perpetrated the Maidan?  hint, not Putin.  uh, who sent troops to bomb and murder millions in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Syria, all of central america?  hint, not Putin.

 

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8 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

 

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So let me sugest you watching now classic one lecture from US geopolitical guru John Mearsheimer not some paid Russian troll  about this topic.

Just spend next 1,5 h and watch carefully

Quote

UnCommon Core: The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and Co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, assesses the causes of the present Ukraine crisis, the best way to end it, and its consequences for all of the main actors. A key assumption is that in order to come up with the optimum plan for ending the crisis, it is essential to know what caused the crisis. Regarding the all-important question of causes, the key issue is whether Russia or the West bears primary responsibility.

I also suggest you to rethink seriously what Mearsheimer says clearly this means for US global hegemony in long-term.

In other interview he said that without Maidan Russia would now be in alliance with USA against China.

Sorry no way after 2014.

In his opinion taking this logic of current US foreign policy of dual containment in practice in 1941 Roosvelt would just declare total war against Nazi Germany Japan and USSR simunatesly.

So lets watch - IMHO its still shockingly actual even after 7 years.

Why War in Ukraine is western fault

Edited by Tomasz
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9 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

 

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never ceases to amaze me how you and millions of other murcuns can deny facts.

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So without the direct use of force on the part of Russia (emphasized WITHOUT use of force only in the light of the real threat of its use) what Russia achieved against NATO:


1) POTUS said to milion of vieved all around the world that in his humble opinion this is  something else the so-called "small incursions" on Ukraine (i.e. let's note that means Ukraine permanently loosing the Crimea Donbas and Lugansk becauase of choosing prowestern orientation) and something totally diferent seems to be a real brutal and big ground invasion like in Iraq 2003
- the NATO countries themselves seem to have quite a intense fight with each other and it is very clear now that there is at least a very serious internal crisis of interests in the alliance towards Russia
- there is currently a big energy crisis in Ukraine, that is to be honest energy crisis is all over the world. But this crisis in the advanced world is focused on the high price of the raw material and in Ukraine this is about  a the real shortage of the raw material itself
- Americans directly declare the total withdrawal of all diplomats from Ukraine as for the invasion HAS NOT EVEN TOOK PLACE YET


With all my Russophilia so Im fot sure biased towards Russia but NO INVASION YET took place so really be merciful, what more really needs Putin in the context of NATO to be happy?

AS ONLY REAL THREAT OF USE OF FORCE HAS BEEN PLAYED without direct use of force and you can see what he get.

I would say not really a bad result without direct fight with Western forces or even Ukraine army.

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Britain Says Moscow Is Plotting to Install a Pro-Russian Leader in Ukraine

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/world/europe/ukraine-russia-coup-britain.html

In a highly unusual public statement, backed by U.S. officials, London named the putative head of a potential puppet government but few other details.

KYIV — The British government said Saturday that the Kremlin was developing plans to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine — and had already chosen a potential candidate — as President Vladimir V. Putin weighs whether to order the Russian forces amassed on Ukraine’s border to attack.

The highly unusual public communiqué by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued late at night in London, comes at a moment of high-stakes diplomacy between the Kremlin and the West. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders that could, according to American officials, attack at any moment.

“The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking,” Liz Truss, Britain’s foreign secretary, said in a statement. “Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy.”

The British announcement was the second time in just over a week that a Western power had publicly accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, part of a concerted effort to pressure Mr. Putin to de-escalate. On Jan. 14, the United States accused the Kremlin of sending saboteurs into eastern Ukraine to create a provocation that could serve as a pretext for invasion.

The new accusations from Britain provided few details about how Russia might go about imposing a new government on Ukraine, and the communiqué did not say whether such plans were contingent on an invasion by Russian troops. British officials familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent was both to head off the activation of such plans and to put Mr. Putin on notice that this plot had been exposed.

In Washington, officials said they believe the British intelligence is correct. Two officials said it had been collected by British intelligence services. Within the informal intelligence alliance known as “Five Eyes,” Britain has primary responsibility for intercepting Russian communications, which is why it played a major role in exposing Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Emily J. Horne, the spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council, said in a statement that “this kind of plotting is deeply concerning. The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine.”

But the Russian foreign ministry denied the British accusation.

“The spread of disinformation by the British foreign ministry is one more piece of evidence that NATO countries, led by the Anglo Saxons, are escalating tensions around Ukraine,” it said in a statement. “We call on the British foreign ministry to stop its prevocational activities.”

Ukraine is in a state of high anxiety. In recent weeks several reports have emerged about plots and schemes aimed at destabilizing the government and tipping the country into war.

In addition to warnings about Russian plotting from the United States and Britain, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency recently said Russia had sent hundreds of mercenaries into two rebel eastern Ukrainian regions, and last November President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian intelligence had uncovered a Russian-backed coup plot involving a prominent Ukrainian oligarch.

At a security conference in Kyiv on Saturday, participants, most of them high ranking members of Ukraine’s political opposition, spoke darkly of fifth columnists and enemy collaborators.

“We are not just talking about large-scale aggression by Russia,” said Pavlo Klimkin, a former foreign minister. “We are talking about the wish of Russian officials, including Putin, to destroy Ukraine as such.”

The British communiqué provided no evidence to back up its assertion that Russia was plotting to overthrow the Ukrainian government. The communiqué also named four other Ukrainians, accusing them of maintaining ties to the Russian intelligence services, including Russian intelligence officers involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.

Of the five Ukrainians named, four fled Ukraine for Russia in 2014 following a popular uprising that ousted the Russian-backed government in Kyiv and touched off the separatist war in Ukraine’s east that continues today.

According to the British assessment, Russian planners were considering installing a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament named Yevgeniy Murayev as leader of a pro-Kremlin puppet government in Kyiv. Once a member of the Russian-backed Party of Regions, Mr. Murayev is now head of a political party called Nashi, part of a constellation of opposition parties opposed to Ukraine’s pro-Western parties. Last September, a massive banner with his photograph was hung on the facade of Federation of Trade Unions building on Kyiv’s Independence Square with the slogan “This is our Land.”

In a recent Facebook post he accused the current government in Kyiv of selling out to the United States, which he said was whipping up war hysteria to reap financial rewards from the sale of weapons.

“The hawks are looking forward to a feast,” he wrote.

It is not clear from the British statement whether Russia had informed Mr. Murayev that he was being considered as a possible future leader of Ukraine. But after a journalist with a British newspaper tipped him off about the revelations, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook posing as James Bond with the comment, “Details tomorrow.”

Russian spies maintain extensive networks of agents in Ukraine and contacts between Ukrainian officials and intelligence officers are not uncommon, according to Ukrainian and Western security officials

All four of the other Ukrainians named in the communiqué once held senior positions in the Ukrainian government and worked in proximity to Paul Manafort, former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager, when he worked as a political adviser to Ukraine’s former Russian-backed president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. After Mr. Yanukovych’s government fell in 2014, they fled to Russia.

One of those named, Vladimir Sivkovich, was among four Ukrainians targeted last week with sanctions by the United States Treasury Department for their ties to Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

If the British assessment is accurate, it would not be the first time the Kremlin tried to install a pro-Russian leader or interfere in Ukraine’s government. In 2004, Russian efforts to fraudulently sway a presidential election set off what became known as the Orange Revolution, which forced a redo election that led to the defeat of Mr. Yanukovych, who was the Kremlin’s favored candidate.

In 2013, when the Kremlin pressured Mr. Yanukovych, who eventually was elected president, to back out of a trade pact with the European Union, Ukrainians again poured into the streets. Mr. Yanukovych was eventually driven from power, prompting Mr. Putin to order the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and instigate a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied any intention of launching an attack against Ukraine, dismissing such accusations as “hysteria” and claiming without providing evidence that it is the government in Kyiv that is seeking to escalate tensions. Even so the buildup of Russian troops on the border has continued. At least 127,000 soldiers now surround Ukraine to the north, east and west, Ukraine’s military intelligence service says, with additional troops from Russia’s Eastern Military District now pouring into neighboring Belarus.

The standoff is redolent of an old-fashioned Cold War showdown between Moscow and the West, with both sides trading accusations of war mongering and jockeying for geopolitical advantage. Though the confrontational tone was muted when Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met his Russian counterpart for the latest round of talks in Geneva on Friday, there is as yet no end in sight.

Britain’s unusual disclosure comes at a time when it is trying to assert itself in the crisis on military and diplomatic fronts. It has delivered shipments of antitank weapons to the Ukrainian military, dispatched its senior ministers to NATO countries under threat from Russia and begun to engage directly with Russia.

Britain’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, accepted an invitation from his Russian counterpart, Sergei K. Shoigu, to meet in Moscow, while the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, may meet with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.

The disclosure also comes amid a swirling political scandal over Downing Street garden parties in 2020 that violated lockdown restrictions, which has mushroomed to such a degree that it threatens Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hold on power.

Critics have suggested that Mr. Johnson may try to exploit the tensions with Russia — and Britain’s more assertive diplomatic and military role — as a way to deflect attention from his political woes.

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15 minutes ago, surrept33 said:

 

Britain Says Moscow Is Plotting to Install a Pro-Russian Leader in Ukraine

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/world/europe/ukraine-russia-coup-britain.html

In a highly unusual public statement, backed by U.S. officials, London named the putative head of a potential puppet government but few other details.

KYIV — The British government said Saturday that the Kremlin was developing plans to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine — and had already chosen a potential candidate — as President Vladimir V. Putin weighs whether to order the Russian forces amassed on Ukraine’s border to attack.

The highly unusual public communiqué by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued late at night in London, comes at a moment of high-stakes diplomacy between the Kremlin and the West. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders that could, according to American officials, attack at any moment.

“The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking,” Liz Truss, Britain’s foreign secretary, said in a statement. “Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy.”

The British announcement was the second time in just over a week that a Western power had publicly accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, part of a concerted effort to pressure Mr. Putin to de-escalate. On Jan. 14, the United States accused the Kremlin of sending saboteurs into eastern Ukraine to create a provocation that could serve as a pretext for invasion.

The new accusations from Britain provided few details about how Russia might go about imposing a new government on Ukraine, and the communiqué did not say whether such plans were contingent on an invasion by Russian troops. British officials familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent was both to head off the activation of such plans and to put Mr. Putin on notice that this plot had been exposed.

In Washington, officials said they believe the British intelligence is correct. Two officials said it had been collected by British intelligence services. Within the informal intelligence alliance known as “Five Eyes,” Britain has primary responsibility for intercepting Russian communications, which is why it played a major role in exposing Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Emily J. Horne, the spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council, said in a statement that “this kind of plotting is deeply concerning. The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine.”

But the Russian foreign ministry denied the British accusation.

“The spread of disinformation by the British foreign ministry is one more piece of evidence that NATO countries, led by the Anglo Saxons, are escalating tensions around Ukraine,” it said in a statement. “We call on the British foreign ministry to stop its prevocational activities.”

Ukraine is in a state of high anxiety. In recent weeks several reports have emerged about plots and schemes aimed at destabilizing the government and tipping the country into war.

In addition to warnings about Russian plotting from the United States and Britain, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency recently said Russia had sent hundreds of mercenaries into two rebel eastern Ukrainian regions, and last November President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian intelligence had uncovered a Russian-backed coup plot involving a prominent Ukrainian oligarch.

At a security conference in Kyiv on Saturday, participants, most of them high ranking members of Ukraine’s political opposition, spoke darkly of fifth columnists and enemy collaborators.

“We are not just talking about large-scale aggression by Russia,” said Pavlo Klimkin, a former foreign minister. “We are talking about the wish of Russian officials, including Putin, to destroy Ukraine as such.”

The British communiqué provided no evidence to back up its assertion that Russia was plotting to overthrow the Ukrainian government. The communiqué also named four other Ukrainians, accusing them of maintaining ties to the Russian intelligence services, including Russian intelligence officers involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.

Of the five Ukrainians named, four fled Ukraine for Russia in 2014 following a popular uprising that ousted the Russian-backed government in Kyiv and touched off the separatist war in Ukraine’s east that continues today.

According to the British assessment, Russian planners were considering installing a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament named Yevgeniy Murayev as leader of a pro-Kremlin puppet government in Kyiv. Once a member of the Russian-backed Party of Regions, Mr. Murayev is now head of a political party called Nashi, part of a constellation of opposition parties opposed to Ukraine’s pro-Western parties. Last September, a massive banner with his photograph was hung on the facade of Federation of Trade Unions building on Kyiv’s Independence Square with the slogan “This is our Land.”

In a recent Facebook post he accused the current government in Kyiv of selling out to the United States, which he said was whipping up war hysteria to reap financial rewards from the sale of weapons.

“The hawks are looking forward to a feast,” he wrote.

It is not clear from the British statement whether Russia had informed Mr. Murayev that he was being considered as a possible future leader of Ukraine. But after a journalist with a British newspaper tipped him off about the revelations, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook posing as James Bond with the comment, “Details tomorrow.”

Russian spies maintain extensive networks of agents in Ukraine and contacts between Ukrainian officials and intelligence officers are not uncommon, according to Ukrainian and Western security officials

All four of the other Ukrainians named in the communiqué once held senior positions in the Ukrainian government and worked in proximity to Paul Manafort, former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign manager, when he worked as a political adviser to Ukraine’s former Russian-backed president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. After Mr. Yanukovych’s government fell in 2014, they fled to Russia.

One of those named, Vladimir Sivkovich, was among four Ukrainians targeted last week with sanctions by the United States Treasury Department for their ties to Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

If the British assessment is accurate, it would not be the first time the Kremlin tried to install a pro-Russian leader or interfere in Ukraine’s government. In 2004, Russian efforts to fraudulently sway a presidential election set off what became known as the Orange Revolution, which forced a redo election that led to the defeat of Mr. Yanukovych, who was the Kremlin’s favored candidate.

In 2013, when the Kremlin pressured Mr. Yanukovych, who eventually was elected president, to back out of a trade pact with the European Union, Ukrainians again poured into the streets. Mr. Yanukovych was eventually driven from power, prompting Mr. Putin to order the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and instigate a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied any intention of launching an attack against Ukraine, dismissing such accusations as “hysteria” and claiming without providing evidence that it is the government in Kyiv that is seeking to escalate tensions. Even so the buildup of Russian troops on the border has continued. At least 127,000 soldiers now surround Ukraine to the north, east and west, Ukraine’s military intelligence service says, with additional troops from Russia’s Eastern Military District now pouring into neighboring Belarus.

The standoff is redolent of an old-fashioned Cold War showdown between Moscow and the West, with both sides trading accusations of war mongering and jockeying for geopolitical advantage. Though the confrontational tone was muted when Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met his Russian counterpart for the latest round of talks in Geneva on Friday, there is as yet no end in sight.

Britain’s unusual disclosure comes at a time when it is trying to assert itself in the crisis on military and diplomatic fronts. It has delivered shipments of antitank weapons to the Ukrainian military, dispatched its senior ministers to NATO countries under threat from Russia and begun to engage directly with Russia.

Britain’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, accepted an invitation from his Russian counterpart, Sergei K. Shoigu, to meet in Moscow, while the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, may meet with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.

The disclosure also comes amid a swirling political scandal over Downing Street garden parties in 2020 that violated lockdown restrictions, which has mushroomed to such a degree that it threatens Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hold on power.

Critics have suggested that Mr. Johnson may try to exploit the tensions with Russia — and Britain’s more assertive diplomatic and military role — as a way to deflect attention from his political woes.

One problem - the Western puppet government has categorically purged the electoral field of any potential Russian loyalists and also Communists (for reasons unknown)

All the presidential grade politicians had to either in Russia or in jail on bullshit charges. According to local convention, the "pro-Russians" are at least one of the following

1) Anybody who advocates a peaceful de-escalation of the conflict in Donbass / actually implementing Minsk Agreements in good faith. Or, as much as expresses an opinion that Ukraine is in the state of civil war (as opposed as being invaded by Russia already while simultaneously being under imminent treat of such invasion, which is what official position translates to) Note that you have to be an MP to be able to get away with such opinions. A regular citizen will be prosecuted for a hate crime.

2) The more principled fraction of Yanukovich's former party, Party of Regions. Contrary to popular belief, were they never really pro-Russian. But, with the bulk of their electorate coming from the East and South, they did give token lip service to the locally popular causes, like 2.1) protecting the Russian language rights 2.2) USSR was not all bad. Never once did any of them actually do anything about those when they had the means to.

These guys from the currently leading opposition party, called Opposition Block - Party of Life (OBPL) are largely 2) plus some strange clowns who were previously Nazis. Despite being in the 20-ties percentile by popularity, which is nipping on the heels of the posse of clowns that is the current "ruling party" (Servant of the People. Literary made out of Ze's colleagues from "Kvartal 95" which is a Ukrainian version of "Saturday Night Show" of sorts) they do not have a change to win the President's seat, because they'll lose the second round to a coalition of "ultrapatriotic" parties.

Their candidate for the President last time was called Boyko. Look up how much he got. The actual informal leader of the fraction is a fellow called Medvedchuk, who is not really electable for any office. His defining property is that Putin happens to be the godfather of his daughter. This makes him somewhat of a leper. He is also not very charismatic and speaks very little. His unofficial role in Ukrainian politics is getting things done in Russia and/or "occupied" Donbass. Was for example instrumental in all all-for-all prisoner exchanges. Which, by the way, exchanged 99% Ukrainian citizens on both sides, which is kinda strange for a not-at-all-a-civil-war, don't you think?

Right now, is Medvedchuk under house arrest under allegations of high treason (a novelty even in Ukraine). Ze also closed down all 3 TV channels affiliated with Opposition Block, using similarly novel mechanism of economic sanctions (it was previously not known that they could be applied on Ukrainian nationals)

Muraev is a part of a smaller faction which has all the same messages as OppoBlock, but is not with them for some personal issue. Their candidate for President was a charismatic fellow called Vilkul, who got significantly less that OppoBlock. Incidentally, Russia put Muraev and Vilkul on their economic sanctions list, a unique position among Ukraine politicians, for splintering the opposition (i.e. "pro-Russian" / pro-peace) vote. Don't think that this happened even to Poroshenko, who has a significant position in Russian confectionary business, too. Everybody likes his chocolates ("Roshen" brand) Anyhow, he is also currently also under high treason charges for contraband dealings with Russians and Donbass. Will, of course, wiggle out of it. If you ever seen a principally dishonest individual, he's it, so what did you expect?

Muraev got the last "pro-Russian" TV channel still operating, also called "Nash" (ours) Vehemently denies ownership. Does appear on almost every popular show as an expert witness on just about every subject though. This position allows him to talk Russian while on the air. The show hosts / reporters who work for the channel may only speak Ukrainian now. This lead to a hilarious situation when they called up an important pundit in Kazakhstan via Skype and tried to talk to him in Ukrainian. Which the pundit had some difficulty understanding, so they had to venture outside the studio and grab a "civilian" to "translate" to Russian for the pundit in Kazakhstan. Which he was, of course, fluent in. But so was, of course, everybody else.

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On 1/12/2022 at 9:10 AM, SUZNV said:

I don't think he means conventional warfare where technically capture the capital and declare victory. What he means the unconventional warfare for a marathon guerrilla  like in Vietnam or Afghan where take back a province doesn't have much meaning. US won all the battles in Vietnam but could not win the war. I don't think US ever lose a battle since WW2 but when withdraw the army, it means mission failed. 

The US's opponents in Afghan and Vietnam didn't have much thing to lose. They can just guerrilla in the mountains/forest and operate a propaganda about foreign occupations  and got their supporters internal cities (including children or woman) do the terrorist parts which will cause chaos and disruption as much as they can to the economy).  While US and allies throwing money to  buy democracy and simulate a normal working economy which won't reach the bottom people and corrupt their native official gov allies with USD, which make them reject responsibility to enjoy the USD they have. The worst case just immigrate to the US. The mainstream in the Western will regularly show of US killing innocent citizens for anti war propaganda. 

One side have only one goal is to kick the foreign out. The other side is talking about democracy, human right, building the economy while majority of the people in the uneducated bottom class were filled with hate, jealousy and believe the happy peaceful prosperous future from the rebel side. 

Inside US and in Europe or any third world countries  would have the protests  and politicians ask why would we kill people in foreign land in the name of democracy and waring industry and not use the people tax money to increase social welfare in the US. How do you think US can win this type of wars?

Yes the other side would break any prosperous promise or freedom and become totalitarian regime but who would care, they won the war. Gradually many of the people may even have stockholm syndrome.

More advance planes won't fix the problem , large GDP doesn't as well but weigh down the US economy much further.  Government spending is borrowing from the future tax. Even if the  government strip out all of the 1% assets, it won't have enough for 3 years spending with current speed yet I guarantee less taxation from other part as  government and public or subsidies sectors doesn't create wealth.

I disagree with the word "easy" he mentions though. 

IMHO, the biggest mistake of US in VN war was the CIA helped overthrow Diem and put US army into South Vietnam. US turned the ideology war into against foreign occupation war, after the French just had left 10 year ago, and faced all the problems I mentioned above. South Vietnam would have more chance but the country would be splited in half. 

 

I would not say the US Army "won " at LZ Columbus in the Ia Drang. Nor would I say the US won at Hill 1331 or 875.  In the latter two cases Viet Minh and NVA left when they were ready. The biggest mistake was not cutting an deal with the Buddhists in the summer of 1963. They were 80% of the population. This man https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/22/from-mlk-to-silicon-valley-how-the-world-fell-for-father-of-mindfulness and the rest of the Buddhist leadership along  with Big"Minh" from the Army could and would have cut a deal with Bac Ho and Giap and Le Duan would never have been able t o remove them from real power. Without Le Duan there would never have been a Tonkin incident in 1964and  2 million dead and about 3 million injured would have lead long and happy lives.  Thích Quang Duc  would have had a peaceful death.

Edited by nsdp
correct date
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(edited)

1 hour ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

One problem - the Western puppet government has categorically purged the electoral field of any potential Russian loyalists and also Communists (for reasons unknown)

All the presidential grade politicians had to either in Russia or in jail on bullshit charges. According to local convention, the "pro-Russians" are at least one of the following

1) Anybody who advocates a peaceful de-escalation of the conflict in Donbass / actually implementing Minsk Agreements in good faith. Or, as much as expresses an opinion that Ukraine is in the state of civil war (as opposed as being invaded by Russia already while simultaneously being under imminent treat of such invasion, which is what official position translates to) Note that you have to be an MP to be able to get away with such opinions. A regular citizen will be prosecuted for a hate crime.

2) The more principled fraction of Yanukovich's former party, Party of Regions. Contrary to popular belief, were they never really pro-Russian. But, with the bulk of their electorate coming from the East and South, they did give token lip service to the locally popular causes, like 2.1) protecting the Russian language rights 2.2) USSR was not all bad. Never once did any of them actually do anything about those when they had the means to.

These guys from the currently leading opposition party, called Opposition Block - Party of Life (OBPL) are largely 2) plus some strange clowns who were previously Nazis. Despite being in the 20-ties percentile by popularity, which is nipping on the heels of the posse of clowns that is the current "ruling party" (Servant of the People. Literary made out of Ze's colleagues from "Kvartal 95" which is a Ukrainian version of "Saturday Night Show" of sorts) they do not have a change to win the President's seat, because they'll lose the second round to a coalition of "ultrapatriotic" parties.

Their candidate for the President last time was called Boyko. Look up how much he got. The actual informal leader of the fraction is a fellow called Medvedchuk, who is not really electable for any office. His defining property is that Putin happens to be the godfather of his daughter. This makes him somewhat of a leper. He is also not very charismatic and speaks very little. His unofficial role in Ukrainian politics is getting things done in Russia and/or "occupied" Donbass. Was for example instrumental in all all-for-all prisoner exchanges. Which, by the way, exchanged 99% Ukrainian citizens on both sides, which is kinda strange for a not-at-all-a-civil-war, don't you think?

Right now, is Medvedchuk under house arrest under allegations of high treason (a novelty even in Ukraine). Ze also closed down all 3 TV channels affiliated with Opposition Block, using similarly novel mechanism of economic sanctions (it was previously not known that they could be applied on Ukrainian nationals)

Muraev is a part of a smaller faction which has all the same messages as OppoBlock, but is not with them for some personal issue. Their candidate for President was a charismatic fellow called Vilkul, who got significantly less that OppoBlock. Incidentally, Russia put Muraev and Vilkul on their economic sanctions list, a unique position among Ukraine politicians, for splintering the opposition (i.e. "pro-Russian" / pro-peace) vote. Don't think that this happened even to Poroshenko, who has a significant position in Russian confectionary business, too. Everybody likes his chocolates ("Roshen" brand) Anyhow, he is also currently also under high treason charges for contraband dealings with Russians and Donbass. Will, of course, wiggle out of it. If you ever seen a principally dishonest individual, he's it, so what did you expect?

Muraev got the last "pro-Russian" TV channel still operating, also called "Nash" (ours) Vehemently denies ownership. Does appear on almost every popular show as an expert witness on just about every subject though. This position allows him to talk Russian while on the air. The show hosts / reporters who work for the channel may only speak Ukrainian now. This lead to a hilarious situation when they called up an important pundit in Kazakhstan via Skype and tried to talk to him in Ukrainian. Which the pundit had some difficulty understanding, so they had to venture outside the studio and grab a "civilian" to "translate" to Russian for the pundit in Kazakhstan. Which he was, of course, fluent in. But so was, of course, everybody else.

Andre you need to learn some history.

For a lot of us old "better dead than red" YOu need to remember some things.

Crimea=Austria

Donbass= Sudetenland

There will be no March 1939.

For a country with a grid as vulnerable as Russia they never should have given us the idea to harden our grid, purchase large grid transformers as spares with oil circuit breakers that we would have had to purchase from ABB.  We also did a grid study and the Russian grid is is worse shape than Texas.  You  would have no electricity in about 2 minutes no water or sewer in 24 hours and your food supply would crater in 5-7 days.   Read your history about teh 900 days at Leningrad. Then remember that the US and Canada supplied most of Russia's food during WWII.

"RUSSIA NOW LEADS FOOD LEND-LEASE; December Shipments Exceeded Those to Britain for First Time, Wickard Reports FORESEES '43 GOALS MET Secretary Cites Steps to End Snags -- Caywood Elected by Wholesalers RUSSIA NOW LEADS FOOD LEND-LEASE" https://www.nytimes.com/1943/01/28/archives/russia-now-leads-food-lendlease-december-shipments-exceeded-those.html

Hitler had feet of clay-oil.

Putin has feet of clay- one foot is food and the other is electricity. Tell him thank you for showing us how to do it to Russia.

  He might invoke the spirit of Chairman Mao and ask Mao about attempting to invade  Qemoy and Matsu and the US reaction.

Edited by nsdp
can't spell

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(edited)

56 minutes ago, nsdp said:

Andre you need to learn some history.

For a lot of us old "better dead than red" YOu need to remember some things.

Crimea=Austria

Donbass= Sudetenland

There will be no March 1939.

For a country with a grid as vulnerable as Russia they never should have given us the idea to harden our grid, purchase large grid transformers as spares with oil circuit breakers that we would have had to purchase from ABB.  We also did a grid study and the Russian grid is is worse shape than Texas.  You  would have no electricity in about 2 minutes no water or sewer in 24 hours and your food supply would crater in 5-7 days.   Read your history about teh 900 days at Leningrad. Then remember that the US and Canada supplied most of Russia's food during WWII.

"RUSSIA NOW LEADS FOOD LEND-LEASE; December Shipments Exceeded Those to Britain for First Time, Wickard Reports FORESEES '43 GOALS MET Secretary Cites Steps to End Snags -- Caywood Elected by Wholesalers RUSSIA NOW LEADS FOOD LEND-LEASE" https://www.nytimes.com/1943/01/28/archives/russia-now-leads-food-lendlease-december-shipments-exceeded-those.html

Hitler had feet of clay-oil.

Putin has feet of clay- one foot is food and the other is electricity. Tell him thank you for showing us how to do it to Russia.

  He might invoke the spirit of Chairman Mao and ask Mao about attempting to invade  Qemoy and Matsu and the US reaction.

Only Crimea = Austria analogy works, as both were voluntary transactions supported by the majority of the population. Before Anschluss, the governance style here was officially called Austrofashism, under the great leader Dagobert Dolfuss. It didn't work very well, because it featured an Austrian clown leading other Austrian clowns. Just don't you ever let an Austrian clown lead some proper German Nazis. See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatherland_Front_(Austria)

Russia did not really annex Donbass yet. The official supported policy choice is for them to re-integrate into Ukraine under the Minsk Agreements framework. Ukraine has been sabotaging that, with the West encouraging them to go for the military solution.

Of course there is no 1939, because Russia does not have any actual conflict with anybody who was not a part of USSR. No territorial claims for additional Lebensraum. If you have no Russian minority, you are abusing, you have nothing to fear. Why would Russia invade somebody like that?

Your study is incorrect. Soviet/Russian grid is incredibly resilient and redundant, as you would expect from the one spanning 11 time zones. This is why the Baltic states. for all their hostility, keep postponing disconnecting from Russia and connecting to EU

https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/123813-baltic-energy-systems-synchronisation-by-2025

The Russian grid is so much more affordable and works much better. Never had a blackout in my memory. The Texas scenario where water mains and sewer become one is entirely impossible. The Russian system is specifically designed to have no critical dependence on electrical pumps. Passive safeties only. All the hot water pipes are buried at a depth which does not freeze over, as per national standard. (There are special provisions for regions of permafrost)  So, even if there was a blackout as bad as the one in Texas, the worst thing that could happen would be losing water mains for the duration of that blackout. It would come back up by itself with the mains power. It is specifically DESIGNED to not ever freeze over.

There will be no 2nd Leningrad ever. The government got strategic food reserves in deep underground storage. I forgot how long it is supposed to last, but must be into months. US and Canada DID NOT supply most of the food in WWII. Possibly of animal sourced food, because it is all they shipped. USSR never stopped being self-sufficient in grain during WWII. Today, Russia is the next exporter of agricultural items and imports for the purposes of diversity. Sorry, but, you are simply projecting your own insecurities onto Russia. Those are your feet of clay and Russia's feet of steel.

You idiotic red-baiting customs interest no one in Russia, where there are no real Communists left. We don't owe you anything. You WILL pay for anything you broke and some more.

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine

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(edited)

On 1/18/2022 at 8:45 AM, Andrei Moutchkine said:

You don't understand. All the Big Bros are One. Because they are of valid logic formally verified true. This is way more rule of law that the rotten hegemony that gives it so much lip service can actually handle. The locally preferred options is some "word order based on rules" (as in some kind of ad hoc substitute for international law redefined on as needed basis. It won't work. Ad-hoc special cases are too buggy and slow to process)

Russia has no intention whatsoever to invade the Ukraine. You broke the place, you support it now from your own budget funds. Indefinitely or for as long as the spectacle of budding democracy overcoming the Russian yoke entertains you. Anything for a paying customer. Because there sure are always more corruption and embezzlement where this one came from. The only way you can pull Russia into any kind of Ukrainian conflict is to get them to abuse LDNR unusually bad. Not gonna be easy.

Similar periods of Western-bound politics have happened in Ukrainian history before, for example

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ruin_(Ukrainian_history)

they'll come to their senses soon enough. The rallying of Ukrainians together for a political cause also has a canonical format called the

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_in_Malinovka

Not quite what defenseone envisioned, I reckon.

NATO and it’s allies should buzz the Russians with a few hundred F-35’s on the border to remind them of their actual venerability. They would need to drop smoke to let them know . 

Edited by Boat

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