Ukraine

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Dec 27, 2022, 09:47

,,An image of Vladimir Putin.

The revenge of history in Ukraine: year of war has shaken up world order

A shared sense of national history is proving to be a crucial weapon, spurring on Ukraine resistance and Russian soldiers

by Diplomatic editor
Mon 26 Dec 2022 10.00 GMTLast modified on Mon 26 Dec 2022 12.46 GMT



  • The Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko recalls a quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck: “Wars are not won by generals, but by schoolteachers and parish priests.” It’s a country’s taught collective memory, its shared sense of its own history, that are the decisive instruments for mobilisation, and are as important on the battlefield as weaponry.

    Few conflicts have been so shaped by the chief actors’ sense of their own national story as the Ukrainian war that began in February. It is the competing grand narratives of the past, not just in Russia and Ukraine, but in Germany, France, Poland, the Baltics, the UK, the US, and even the global south, that make this war so hard to resolve.

    Indeed, sometimes this war feels less like the end of history and more like the revenge of history.

    Georgiy Kasianov, the Ukrainian historian, puts history in the cockpit of a conflict that may create a new world order. “Russian forces have been smashing their way through Ukraine spurred in large part by historical fiction,” he wrote in Foreign Affairs. “But history also propels the fierce Ukrainian resistance. Ukrainians, too, harbour a particular understanding of the past that motivates them to fight. In many ways, this war is the collision of two incompatible historical narratives.”

    This video grab taken from a handout footage released by the Russian defence ministry on 7 March 2022 shows a purported Russian tank unit advancement in the Kyiv region.
    This video grab taken from a handout footage released by the Russian defence ministry on 7 March 2022 shows a purported Russian tank unit advancement in the Kyiv region. Photograph: Russian Defence Ministry/AFP/Getty Images

    Putin is sometimes described not as commander in chief, but as Russia’s historian in chief. The ground for this war was prepared by the Russian president’s pseudo-historical essay On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians, published in July 2021. In this document, Putin argued Ukraine was, historically, indistinguishable from Russia, citing Oleg the prophet’s 10th-century dictum: “Let Kyiv be the mother of all Russian cities.”

    Rados?aw Sikorski, the former Polish foreign minister, said he became sure an invasion would happen when he read that essay and learned Putin had ordered it to be sent to every serving Russian soldier. “The plan was to do again what Russia had repeatedly done to Ukraine in the past: extermination of its elites, Russification of its culture and population and the subjugation of its resources to its own imperial needs. Ukraine could be permitted as peasant folklore but not as a free and democratic nation choosing its own destiny and allies.”

    When Putin talked about Ukraine needing to disarm and making Russian its second official language, it was not only about restoring Ukraine as part of Russia, but a staging post to the full reinvention of the Russian empire.

    Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24.
    Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on 24 February. Vladimir Putin is sometimes described not as commander-in-chief, but as Russia’s historian-in-chief. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

    During his Victory Day speech in Moscow in May 2022, the president told Russian soldiers back from the Ukrainian front they were “fighting for the same thing their fathers and grandfathers did” – for “the motherland” and the defeat of nazism. The Ukrainian revolution of 2013 was a fascist “Banderite coup”, the government in Kyiv a “junta”, Nato enlargement an Anschluss, and the EU a decadent threat to Russian culture. Russia in 2022, according to Putin, was like the USSR in 1941, threatened by an invasion from the west.

    A boy looks at a poster with the likeness of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as he visits an outdoor poster exhibition titled Victory Day at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the second world war in Kyiv, Ukraine, 9 August.
    A boy looks at a poster with the likeness of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as he visits an outdoor poster exhibition titled Victory Day at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the second world war in Kyiv, Ukraine, 9 August. Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA

    Zabuzkho argues that this deep historical sense of injustice and betrayal drives not just Putin, but the whole of Russian society. “One wants to find Russians who are not preoccupied with self-pity right now. The feeling of injustice is one of the most distinct symptoms of the moral breakdown that characterises so much of Russian society today.”

    Ukraine, too, has its own sense of injustice and points its accusatory finger at Russia. Olesya Khromeychuk, director of the Ukrainian Institute in London, argues: “Ukraine’s historical experience – of statelessness and struggle, repressive external rule and hard-won independence – has shaped Ukraine into the nation we see today: opposed to imperialism, united in the face of the enemy, and determined to protect its freedom. For the people of Ukraine, freedom is not some lofty ideal. It is imperative for survival.”

    Ukraine’s identity took time to form after it gained independence in 1991. Two narratives competed – one national and nationalist, the other Soviet nostalgic. This was not unique among post-Soviet states, but the process was never more intense or confrontational than in Ukraine.



    People gather in Lviv to commemorate the victims of the 1932-33 Holodomor, a human-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians.

    Battles were fought over school textbooks, monuments, the choice of national anniversaries, street names, state archives, or the status of the Holodomor – the human-made famine of 1932-33 that killed millions of Ukrainians – as a genocide. Under the “historical presidency” of Viktor Yuschenko between 2005 and 2010, 159 historical decrees were issued, the vast majority about the de-communisation of Ukraine.

    In the process history was often royally misused. The Ukrainian Institute of National Memory for instance between 2014 and 2019 came to be dominated by a narrow group of rightwing nationalists that defined Ukraine in purely ethnic anti-Russian terms.

    Unpopular leaders such as Petro Poroshenko relied on increasingly divisive and crude ethnic appeals to patriotism, thinking it was the shortcut to remaining in power. In 2015 the government even issued a set of “memory laws” that made questioning the official, deeply anti-Soviet view of Ukraine’s past punishable with prison terms of up to 10 years.

    A resident rides his bike through street barricades in Bakhmut, Ukraine.
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    It was not until the advent of Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the “independence generation” – those who grew up after Ukraine left the Soviet Union – that Ukraine addressed issues of the past, identity and language in a more inclusive way, as Olga Onuch sets out in her book The Zelensky Effect. Zelenskiy, a former comedian and actor elected in 2019, understood the importance of history. Indeed, in the opening series of Servant of the People – the TV show that made his name – Zelenskiy plays a history teacher trying to convince his pupils of the importance of Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the historian who, in 1903, first tried to show how Ukrainian history was not merely a part of an overarching Russian story.

    An expert of the prosecutor’s office examining collected remnants of shells and missiles used by the Russian army to attack the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
    An expert of the prosecutor’s office examining collected remnants of shells and missiles used by the Russian army to attack the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Photograph: Aleksey Filippov/AFP/Getty Images

    In his new year address in 2020, Zelenskiy asked Ukrainians to ask themselves, “Who am I?”, and not find an answer by simply excluding others. “Our passports don’t say whether we are the right kind of Ukrainians or a wrong one. There is no entry there, saying ‘patriot’, ‘Maloros’ [a derogatory term used to describe a Ukrainian native with no national identity], ‘vatnik’ [a derogatory term for a pro-Russian citizen] or ‘Banderite’ [a derogatory term for a Ukrainian nationalist]. It says: ‘citizen of Ukraine’, who has rights and obligations. We are all very different.” The idea was to live together with respect.

    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during his televised new year message in Kyiv, 1 January 2020.
    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during his televised new year message in Kyiv, 1 January 2020. Photograph: AP

    Onuch and her co-author, Henry Hale, argue Zelenskiy was critical to giving Ukrainians a chance to “realise they shared a rich common fate that transcended linguistic, national and religious diversity”. This generation did not want just to shed their Russianness, but find a new Ukrainian civic identity linked to a hard-fought idea of common values. As a Russian-speaking Jewish person from south-east Ukraine, Zelenksiy was perfect to demonstrate how Russian-speaking Ukrainians, including those in the east, could fully identify with the Ukrainian state and express their patriotism.

    That mattered when the war began. The Polish historian Adam Michnik argues that the future of Ukraine as part of Europe was always going to depend not only on the western cities of Lviv and Kyiv, but also on the cities to the south and east, Kharkiv and Odesa. “There is no doubt, under Putin’s rockets, both Kharkiv and Odesa chose Europe.”

    A funeral ceremony for a Ukrainian soldier in Odesa, Ukraine, in March 2022.
    ‘Under Putin’s rockets, both Kharkiv and Odesa chose Europe’. A funeral ceremony for a Ukrainian soldier in Odesa, Ukraine, in March 2022. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA

    In short, Putin was invading a country that very much existed – one he no longer understood.

    The FSB told the Russian president that a superior army could capture Kyiv and decapitate its leadership in hours, as it had in Crimea in 2014, since it was invading an artificial and politically apathetic country that distrusted its leaders. Just to make sure, it supposedly spent $1bn fomenting discontent among the Russophone population in Ukraine and promoting pro-Russian politicians. Unfortunately, the FSB’s agents siphoned off some of the money and then fabricated data on pro-Russian attitudes to please Moscow.

    As a result, many Russian soldiers, poorly briefed on the invasion, seemed genuinely bewildered by a Ukrainian volunteer defence force determined to protect their homeland. When they reached cities such as Kherson they were greeted with shotguns, and not flowers.

    Russian soldier Kulikov Mikhail, 31 years old sits in a glass enclosure with reflections of Ukrainians and media present at war crimes trial in Chernihiv, Ukraine on June 30, 2022
    Russian soldier Kulikov Mikhail, 31, sits in a glass enclosure at a war crimes trial in Chernihiv, Ukraine on 30 June 2022. Accused of violating the laws and customs of war, he was the operator-gunner of a T-72b tank and on 26 February received an order to shoot at a residential apartment building using a high-explosive fragmentation projectile. He has admitted guilt and repented. Photograph: Carol Guzy/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

    “The Ukraine in your news and the Ukraine of real life are two entirely different places,” Zelenskiy warned Russians on the eve of the invasion, “and the difference is that the latter is real”.

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    By day three of the invasion it was apparent to Russian commanders that serious mistakes had been made from which the operation has never fully been able to recover. Russia’s hubris and overconfidence led to false assumptions that sabotaged the mission.

    The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, provided a concise summary of the critical importance of Russia’s initial mistakes. He told a Lords select committee in November: “This war has exposed the whole pitch about ‘night one, day one’. You might translate it as saying, ‘When the balloon goes up, you take out the air defence of your adversary and then you can pick and choose at will and do your targeting.’

    A Ukrainian soldier in an artillery unit fires towards Russian positions outside Bakhmut in November.
    A Ukrainian soldier in an artillery unit fires towards Russian positions outside Bakhmut in November. Photograph: Bülent K?l?ç/AFP/Getty Images

    “What if you do not manage to do that on day one, night one, and it takes three weeks, as the Russians found out? On their day one, night one, the Ukrainians rather cleverly drove out of their barracks, dispersed their arsenals or used deception in their air defence capabilities. Knowing that this was going to happen, the Ukrainians used false trails for where their air defence was so that Russia hit all the wrong places. Suddenly, day one, night one becomes three weeks, four weeks. You run out of your complex weapons and you are now where the Russians are.”

    Ten months on from the initial invasion, Ukraine’s extraordinary resilience and courage has staved off defeat, but not guaranteed victory. Europe’s post-cold war security landscape has changed, and yet nothing is settled. This is still a moment of transition.

    The Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov describes the war as “more like a game of poker than chess. On a chess board, all the pieces are face up, but poker is essentially a game of incomplete information, a game where you have to guess and act on those guesses.”

    The most difficult guess is estimating how long the other side can withstand this level of destruction in terms of manpower, ammunition and morale. Each side has to increase the cost of war for the other in the hope the enemy is close to cracking.

    Yet the toll is already massive. The US chief of staff, Mark Milley, claims as many as 100,000 Russian soldiers have died. Based on open-source references, the Oryx site determined that the Russians had lost a total of 1,491 main battle tanks since 24 February, of which 856 different types were destroyed, 62 damaged and 55 abandoned, and the Ukrainians had taken more than 518. Russia, albeit involuntarily, became Ukraine’s most important arms supplier.

    Ukraine 'not afraid of dark', says Zelenskiy as Russian attacks trigger blackouts – video

    By one calculation, the US has spent 5.6% of its annual defence budget to destroy nearly half of Russia’s military capability.

    The successive battlefield defeats have damaged the reputation of the great Russian military. First there had to be the “regrouping” in the north, when Russia realised it could not take Kyiv and Chernihiv. On 6 September came the stunning collapse of the Russian front in the north-east in the Kharkiv region. On 11 November Russia withdrew from the port city of Kherson, retreating from territory it had announced as annexed and part of Russia only 40 days earlier. The goal of establishing a land corridor to Transnistria – a Russian-backed breakaway region of Moldova, one of Ukraine’s western neighbours – is, for now, abandoned. Since September Ukraine says it has reclaimed more than 8,000 sq km (3,089 sq miles) of Russian-occupied territory.

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    Russia has also paid a toll in lost diplomatic prestige. In meetings with Central Asian republics, Putin sometimes find himself humiliated and contradicted, and there is talk of a security vacuum in the Caucasus as Russian prestige withers. Positive diplomatic support for Russia, as opposed to hedging, is confined to Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Eritrea. In one international diplomatic body after another, the “Russia not welcome” sign is going up. The Chinese defence minister, Wei Fenghe, in June said his country would not be providing one bullet to Russia, portraying the relationship as a partnership, not an alliance.

    In the annual Anholt-Ipsos Nations Brands index, published in November, Russia has fallen from 27th out of the 60 nations polled to 58. The founder of the index, Simon Anholt, says: “Such a collapse in a country’s national prestige will cripple the ability of its business, its government and most importantly its people to trade and engage with the international community. It will do so for years, if not generations, and will inflict more damage than any economic sanctions”.

    Cumulatively that has left Putin not looking for a way out, but a way to stay in the war. Mark Galeotti, the author of Putin’s Wars, believes Moscow has now clearly moved from winning the war to not losing it, and that reqrequires trying to outsuffer the west. Orlando Figes summarised it recently: “The war is now entering a new phase because winter has arrived and the Russians are going to dig in. That is why they are ceding the western bank of the Dnieper River. The current phase is to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure, to create a refugee problem, and start an economic war against the west. That’s where the war will be played out and everything will be decided. What determines the outcome of the war will be how willing western societies are to continue supporting Ukraine.”
    Conscripted men say goodbye to relatives at a recruiting office in Moscow, September 2022.
    Conscripted men say goodbye to relatives at a recruiting office in Moscow, September 2022. Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

    Again, national stories will play their part in testing that resolve. Moscow had bet on a return to American isolationism and a Trump triumph in the midterm elections in November. The theory was that in swing districts, Americans would rise up against the cost of gas and the war. It is true a slow erosion of support for the war among Republicans emerged in some polls, but Joe Biden seemed to tell a more compelling story about democracy under threat in the US and in Europe.

    As a result, Biden has been left with greater scope than expected to continue to shape his own Ukraine policy in the next two years.

    At the start of December, Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, defined that scope by saying Republicans would not be advocating an end to US funding, but greater scrutiny and decisiveness. Given Biden has provided Ukraine with more than $18.6bn in security assistance and $13bn in direct economic assistance, it was hardly surprising McCaul demanded more accountability for US spending. But his main point was different. “The problem right now is Iranian drones are going into Crimea, but the Ukrainians can’t hit those Iranian drones unless they have the longer-range artillery called the ATACMS [army tactical missile system]. For some reason … [the Biden administration] will not put those weapons into Ukraine. When we give [Ukraine] what they need, they win. If we don’t, it’s going to be a long and protracted war.” They are not the remarks of a man bent on reviving the American isolationist tradition.

    If the US is for the moment closed off as a choke point, Putin’s next best option was Berlin. But the energy blackmail he directed at Germany now looks as likely to explode in his own face as bring about German deindustrialisation.

    Cologne Cathedral’s lights are switched off in an effort to reduce dependence on imported natural gas from Russia and impose energy-saving measures in Cologne, Germany.
    Cologne Cathedral’s lights are switched off in an effort to reduce dependence on imported natural gas from Russia and impose energy-saving measures in Germany. Photograph: Mesut Zeyrek/Anadolu Agency

    Through a mixture of state planning and individual parsimony, Germany has weaned itself off Russian energy, an extraordinary achievement for a country that was dependent on Russia for 55% of its gas. German industry has reduced gas consumption by about 25% since the year’s start, while production has only fallen by 1.4%. The state has found alternative suppliers, including in Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

    Given the state of German reserves, blackouts this winter seem less likely in Europe, even if next winter is more worrying.

    Germany has led the efforts to quell anger about rising bills by constructing hugely expensive subsidy packages. Since the start of the energy crisis in September 2021, according to the Bruegel Institute, a staggering €705.5bn (£614bn) has been allocated or earmarked across European countries to shield consumers from the rising energy costs.

    But will it be enough? The nights are longer, the thermometers have dropped and energy bills are landing, so the witching hour is here. The recurring nightmare of Zelenskiy’s young strategic communications team is that Ukraine’s suffering drops out of the news, and the country, once synonymous with freedom, becomes a burden. “Our principle is simple,” says Andriy Yermak, the president’s chief of staff. “If we fall out of focus, we are in danger.” The attention of the world serves as a shield.

    A view of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv during a partial blackout on December 13.
    A view of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv during a partial blackout on 13 December. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

    So far the drumbeat of rebellion is faint and confined to the fringes on the left and right.

    That has forced Putin to switch tactics again and resort to different tools of war to weaken Europe’s resolve. The attacks on civilian energy structure that bega

    Dec 27, 2022, 11:15

    It certainly shook up the World Economy into a deadly spiral of inflation and an amazing increase in bribery and corruption in Governments - especially in the USA.   Have a look at Fried and the Ukraine - they give taxpayer money to Ukraine as aid Ukraine invest it in Fried CC - who paid it back to the Democrats and compliant political crooks.   

    Dec 27, 2022, 16:36

    The Ukrainian people defined courage in 2022. I have huge respect for what they have done.

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:00

    " I have huge respect for what they have done." 

    Me too, but the media is adding some smoke and mirrors to glorify a horrible war...Fck Putin, Fck Pretensky & Biden and all the other world leaders who didn't stop this...still can't believe this is happening. 

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:07

    I wonder just how much money is going to be "Transferred back" to the USA from Ukraine before the 31st Dec to the politicians who are responsible for this war and all its horrors to innocent folks.

    Shameful and a disgrace to the human race.

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:20

    Fck Putin, Fck Pretensky & Biden and all the other world leaders who didn't stop this...still can't believe this is happening.

    And Fck DbDraad, stop trying to suggest there is some sort of equivalency between the two sides. 

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:37

    "stop trying to suggest there is some sort of equivalency between the two sides"

    Never said that...you stop pretending the West are squeaky clean in this mess...Putin is 100% responsible for this, but I see no urgency from NATO to end this...no diplomacy...some economic pressure,  but not enough to make it count...it really looks like NATO  is content in fighting a proxy war with Russia...stop pretending this is the only option...it wasn't in 2014 and it sure ain't now.

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:47

    Draad everybody was shocked when Putin invaded, so it wasn’t’ planned by anybody. And everybody thought Russia would roll over  Ukraine  in 8 weeks. Why would the West want that to happen.

    You are on firmer ground if you argue that the West has blown the incorporation of Russia into modern society. The constant criticism, the failure to be inclusive….the clear snub at the Sochi games. All stupid

    And I can’t imagine Biden in his reduced state has developed any working relationship with Putin. Nonetheless, attacking Ukraine right after the world had emerged from the worst of Covid with supply chain issues, was an act of wanton irresponsibility.

    It will take a long time for Russia to rebuild any trust.

    Dec 27, 2022, 21:58

    As long as Russia is a slave state nothing will change.

    Hopefully the stupid slaughter of the youth of Russia will awake the masses to the futile murder and they will finally wake up to the egotists that they have let shackle them for so long.

    Not holding my breathe but modern technology might just open their eyes to the situation 


    Dec 27, 2022, 22:02

    "Nonetheless, attacking Ukraine right after the world had emerged from the worst of Covid with supply chain issues, was an act of wanton irresponsibility."

    I agree 100%, but there are more arrows in the quiver than throwing billions of $ of weaponry at Ukraine...more can be done to stop this...I  might be wrong, but I see no urgency from the West to stop this...and it p!$$3$ me off no end.

    Dec 27, 2022, 23:33

    It is a stalemate, with no room for negotiation. 

    The only acceptable solution is that Russia leaves Ukraine, but Putin won't accept this.

    Ukraine will not cede territory to Russia, and the West will not compromise on this either.

    If Putin was to walk away from Ukraine he would probably lose power in Russia, and subsequently be killed - so he has no exit plan.

    If anyone could suggest a "negotiated settlement", go ahead. 

    The Putin sympathisers blame the West and Zelensky, but can they suggest a compromise plan that does not favour Putin? 

    I propose killing Putin because this is the only realistic way of ending this war anytime soon. Hopefully, the Russians can do this and save the world allot of hassle.

    Dec 28, 2022, 00:03

    Assassinating Putin is a valid option...threatening him directly is also an option...and the sanctions against Russia is not nearly as harsh as they could be...with the lives lost already and those still at stake, much more can be done to force some sort of solution.

    Dec 28, 2022, 03:50

    Well maybe more could be done….but the increase in the use of coal because of displaced Russian gas is so dramatic that it offsets the climate change benefits of 15 years of wind/solar initiatives in the US. Some dramatic shifts are occurring .

    Dec 28, 2022, 08:12

    If the war ended today, there would be no need for sanctions and Europe would be able to start using Russian energy immediately. It wouldn't be a problem anymore....Russia is still allowed to sell oil at a forced discount,  but the lower price os still more than the price of Brent while Trump was president...significantly so...token, slap on the wrist sanctions,  not really designed to force Putin to quit his quest in Ukraine. 

    The Western support for Ukraine with the supply of weapons is hurting Russia, but it drags out the war at an enormous cost of lives. If NATO was serious about really ending the war they should enforce a complete embargo on anything to and from Russia, or something...and they should have warned Putin of the consequences even before the invasion...one gets the idea he knew he would get away with it...he didn't count on the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people though...History will remember their Spartan-like heroics, but the lives lost on both sides is just too horrible for words...it's been almost a year.

    Dec 28, 2022, 08:33

    Draad everybody was shocked when Putin invaded,

    It was predicted months in advance from intelligence sources, not so?

    Dec 28, 2022, 08:45

    Ja Pakie, the only surprise was the resilience and guts of the Ukrainian people...but the whole Zelensky thing is off... looks scripted...him and his wife...plays out like Hollywood and him being an actor and all.

    Dec 28, 2022, 15:09

    "If NATO was serious about really ending the war they should enforce a complete embargo on anything to and from Russia, or something...and they should have warned Putin of the consequences even before the invasion...one gets the idea he knew he would get away with it...he didn't count on the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people though...History will remember their Spartan-like heroics, but the lives lost on both sides is just too horrible for words"

    Yep, agreed

    Dec 28, 2022, 20:51

    Meanwhile, Europe is dipping deep into the coffers to get through the winter.

    Dec 28, 2022, 22:17

    "Meanwhile, Europe is dipping deep into the coffers to get through the winter." 

    Yep meanwhile Gazprom has completed a 3000km gas pipeline to China from Russia. 

    China the winner,maybe they blew up Nord. 


    Dec 28, 2022, 23:22

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    Dec 28, 2022, 23:23

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    Dec 29, 2022, 04:38

    I read the above and the proof that the USA sabotaged the Minsk agreement of 2015 to stop the fighting in Eastern Ukraine which caused serious problems for the predominant Russian speaking people in the area.   The USA pumped billions in armament assistance to the Ukraine - while Obama was president he stopped the assistance of actual arms and used the money to support the fighting in Ukraine by providing medical assistance to Ukraine - like beds and blankets to wounded Ukrainians.    Trump made a serious mistake by providing arms assistance in cash and found out in 2019 that the cash assistance was used corruptly through kickbacks to politicians in the USA and then decided to sent arms purchased by the USA Government and provided to Ukraine.  Pelosi and Schiff were hard hit financially by the scam and then started impeachment steps against Trump based on no real evidence at all.  .

    The easy solution would have been for the US Government to subject US Aid to Ukraine to implementation of the Minsk agreement - that would have prevented the invasion of the Ukraine by the Russians.   There were other problems that contributed to the invasion and those included arrest of Russian-speaking members of the Ukraine Parliament before the invasion as well as oppression of Russian Speaking people in Government controlled areas in Ukraine and the fact that the USA operated and funded Bio-Labs in Ukraine.

    The latter claim was lodged with the UN before the invasion took place by the Russian Government and the refrain from the USA was that it was Russian Disinformation - that was a  lie.    It unfortunately was NOT a Russian lie and was true.    In a statement under oath in the Senate the US Government admitted the bio-labs existed - but she added that there was no harmful research done in the labs -  but then added that the US Government was worried about the pathogens developed at the labs would fall into Russian hands.   If the research was harmless - why worry about the Russians getting hold of the pathogens?     Another myth stated on this site was that the USA was assisting Ukraine to get rid of USSR bio-labs in Ukraine - the sad part of that lie was the fact that after 30 years after the fall of the USSR there are proof of the existence of 25+ bio-labs still being operated in Ukraine and the obvious fact is that the statement of USSR bio-labs being closing was a scam and lie. 

    In summary the EU countries want a peaceful solution of the problems in Ukraine - the USA does not.   Why should that have been?   There are 2 things that bothers thinking people - why was the Minsk agreement never implemented to end the civil war in Eastern Ukraine?  Why did in the weeks before the invasion while Macron was in serious discussions with the Russians did Biden said the objective of the USA Government was to use the Ukraine situation to get rid of Putin as the President of Russia effectively sabotaging the negotiations?    A third question is who in the USA benefit from corruption in Ukraine based on assistance provision by the USA to Ukraine.   The USA passed some of the assistance in cash to Ukraine - eg the additional $1 billion provided by a special Congress resolution - aside from the armaments assistance?   Why did the Ukraine invested the money received in FTX and what happened to the "investment" by the Ukraine Government in that company?    What is known is that FTX provided $70 million to the Democratic Party in assistance to fight the mid=term election - where did that $70 million come from?

    I have from the start said the Russian Invasion could have been stopped from happening at all if there was support for coming to a peaceful solution of the situation from especially the USA and that support was missing.    I am still in favor of peace negotiations  in Ukraine - but as Draad stated there is so intention on the part of especially the USA to agree to such negotiations.   The idea of assassination of Putin or his removal from power is also based on propaganda in media - and totally unrelated to reality.    Throughout the last 300 years the Russians have resisted invasions and oppression of Russian people bar for one case - and that was the financial support of the west for the Communist take-over of the Russian Government.   That situation ceased in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.    Since then the Russians were blamed for every fiasco involving  the USA specifically.   It reached a crescendo in 2015 when the Democrats in the USA invented the Russian Hoax lies in the USA elections.    

    The easy solution based on the Minsk Agreemeent was always the way out of the Ukraine problem - but without active support for a peaceful solution by the USA was never in evidence.  Until that happened the slaughter in Ukraine would continue.  Is the reason for that |money being the route of all evil?

    In conclusion what is happening in Ukraine is a crime against humanity - and it should never have happened at all if there were negotiations to solve the problems in Ukraine - what really happened is the USA never supported negotiations and undermined it effectively,   

                                              

                       

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    Dec 29, 2022, 07:36

    Blob, your pictures didn't post...can you post links to them please.

    Dec 29, 2022, 15:47

    Assassinating Putin is a valid option...threatening him directly is also an option

    Are you trying to start a nuclear war? Because that's a potential outcome of those actions.

    If the war ended today, there would be no need for sanctions and Europe would be able to start using Russian energy immediately. It wouldn't be a problem anymore....Russia is still allowed to sell oil at a forced discount

    No absolutely wrong. If the war ended today Europe will not return to buying energy from Russia, not while the Putin regime or a regime like his remains in power in Russia. Russia has proven to Europe its an unreliable energy partner that is willing to wage war on European states and has resorted to energy blackmail to get what it wants.  Why would they want to give that sort of leverage to Russia ever again.  Even if a new more western friendly regime came to power in Russia, Europe would be very wary of going back to importing Russia energy at anywhere near the same level, after all how could they be sure that in turn the friendly regime isn't toppled after a few years and another anti western militaristic leader comes to power in Russia. That's to say nothing of the morality of going back to business as usual with a country that just started a war that's resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

    Also secondly Russia might not want to end the war if its still being forced to sell the oil at a discount.

    token, slap on the wrist sanctions,  not really designed to force Putin to quit his quest in Ukraine

    These are the most unprecedented sanctions in history, there even harsher than what's being imposed on North Korea. Token my arse. And yes they are designed to eventually force Putin to quit his quest in Europe, but that was never going to happen overnight.

    If NATO was serious about really ending the war they should enforce a complete embargo on anything to and from Russia, or something

    Not quite sure you understand what NATO is. NATO is a military alliance between 30 different sates and as an organization doesn't get to decide on embargo's, that would be down to each individual member state of NATO agreeing to a such an embargo. At least two of those member states Hungary and Bulgaria would never agree to such an embargo because the are so highly reliant on Russian energy.

    But lets say that the rest of the NATO states do decide to enact a total embargo. Okay so they themselves immediately stop importing all energy, and stop paying Russia for it.

    The Russian economy takes an immediate and severe hit. The European economy also takes a massive hit as it runs out of energy. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost, possible millions. The US is okay for energy but the massive economic downtown in Europe has a knock on to the global economy and the global economic situation deteriorates sharply. Without Russian energy China's economy is also hit, further worsening the global economy.

    Or China decides to ignore the embargo and continues importing energy from Russia. NATO countries decide to either ignore this and let China do this, proving the they don't want to enforce the embargo which in turn encourage other countries to flout the embargo, or else they decide they do want to enforce the embargo and then sanction China in return, which guess what... further worsens the global economy.

    Then there is other such issues such as how does NATO enforce a trade embargo on all those non NATO countries that have land borders with Russia. It can't possible monitor all those border areas.

    Since you have also blocked anything coming out of Russia who are the worlds largest wheat exporter congratulations, you have just created major famines in various parts of the world.

    And we are back in the same situation we are in way but in a much more severe economic downturn, a question between who could can inflict the most economic pain on each other, Russia or the West (because in reality its not NATO versus Russia, its the west and western aligned countries versus Russia.) Who can endure more suffering.

    You seem to be implying that NATO is being cynical here, that its happy to keep the war going, to get Ukraine to do its fighting for it so Russia is weakened at little cost to itself and that it doesn't care about Ukrainian lives at all. While I'm not saying that some within NATO aren't sad at seeing Russia's military capability being severely degraded what ultimately determines the level of sanctions here is what European states are willing to endure economically. They want to stop Russia but they don't want to completely destroy their own economies in the process of doing so, its that constraint that is preventing them from completely cutting themselves off from Russia energy, not a desire by NATO to keep the war going to weaken Russia. Now you can still consider that cynical by European states if you want, but the alternatives are either gambling on crashing their own economies with no guarantee that would stop Putin's invasion or go to war. In fairness to Europe, they have shown themselves willing to endure considerably economic pain already to combat Russia and and have also acted in a far more united manner than usual and have been able to source new supplies of energy much quicker and more successfully than many thought possible.

    but the whole Zelensky thing is off... looks scripted...him and his wife...plays out like Hollywood and him being an actor and all.

    The man has proven himself brave, he didn't flee when it looked like Kyiv would fall and he's being willing to visit the front (something Putin has not), he speaks well and knows how to tailor his appeals to individual countries. He's inspired his people and many around the world. He's been very successful in obtaining support from the west and his military have exceeded expectations. Now I don't know what level of involvement he has in the running of the the Ukrainian military if much at all but I've seen enough to know he's not hindering it.

    Given the circumstances of having to become a war leader, he's done well. So unless you consider doing your job well as the thing that is off, what are you taking about? Sounds like your suggesting he's a controlled puppet of presumably the west which is just vague conspiracy talk to me.

    Meanwhile, Europe is dipping deep into the coffers to get through the winter.

    And? No sign of European resolve wavering. I stand by my claim "Europe will cope"

    Yep meanwhile Gazprom has completed a 3000km gas pipeline to China from Russia.

    And? Stop cherry picking and go look at full picture of Russia's economy and compare it to Europes. Russia sold 16bcm of gas to China in 2021, it sold 170bcm to Europe during the same time. Even when this new pipeline is fully operational in 2026 that will rise to 48bcm, not even a third of the amount going to Europe. This also ignores the fact that the gas sold to China's is sold at lower price than into Europe.

    Dec 29, 2022, 16:21

    Valid points, Stav. You have used logic to correct Draad's emotional take. 
    E.g. "Pretensky"...

    The far right just doesn't like Democracy, so they support the other side, whomever that happens to be. The fact that Russia is religious, no doubt is a major influencing factor in how they interpret the war. Religion is in decline, so they are becoming the marginalised minority and a non-factor. Democracy was fine before they were the minority. 

    Any sensible person can see that Russia are the 21st-century version of Nazi Germany. Not all of the people, but a decent amount. Somehow Putin has convinced them they are a master race, and not just a gas station for the world. A world nuclear power. (Uh, we can destroy the whole world). 

    As soon as green energy gets more affordable on a like-for-like comparison, many of the authoritarian regimes will fall. The writing is on the wall for them... and they know it.

    Dec 29, 2022, 16:55

    "Russia has proven to Europe its an unreliable energy partner that is willing to wage war on European states and has resorted to energy blackmail to get what it wants.  Why would they want to give that sort of leverage to Russia ever again.  Even if a new more western friendly regime came to power in Russia, Europe would be very wary of going back to importing Russia energy at anywhere near the same level, after all how could they be sure that in turn the friendly regime isn't toppled after a few years and another anti western militaristic leader comes to power in Russia. That's to say nothing of the morality of going back to business as usual with a country that just started a war that's resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people"

    Yep, I fully agree with this

    Dec 29, 2022, 17:46

    The far right just doesn't like Democracy, so they support the other side, whomever that happens to be. The fact that Russia is religious, no doubt is a major influencing factor in how they interpret the war. Religion is in decline, so they are becoming the marginalised minority and a non-factor. 

    I'm not so sure its democracy they don't like but just the general liberalization the western world had undergone. The believe the western world has become immoral with things like abortion, its acceptance of LGBT people, wokeism, multiculturalism and immigration and other things that scare them. They want to go back to a time when they believed things where simpler and better which quite often just means going back to their childhood when their parents took care of everything and topics such as abortion and LGBT meant nothing to them and also there was also no foreigners!

    So when Putin comes along and effectively attacks the west they are varying degrees somewhat sympathetic to him.

    I'm not sure to what extent Russia is religious. Primarily the cause of this war is Putin's desire to make Russia a great power. But I believe Putin absolutely does not give a single shit about things like wokeism in the west, doesn't bother him in the slightest. He's just cynically using it to appeal to the more devout religious people in Russia.

    Any sensible person can see that Russia are the 21st-century version of Nazi Germany. Not all of the people, but a decent amount. Somehow Putin has convinced them they are a master race, and not just a gas station for the world. A world nuclear power. (Uh, we can destroy the whole world)

    From what I've read and listened to about Russia, the population is about 20% against the war, but that 20% is too scared too do anything about or want to leave Russia. 20% are pro war, these are the so called Z Patriots. Usually extremely hard line and in some cases seem more extreme than those actually in the Putin regime, interestingly they can be very critical of the Russian state and military and have been horrified by Russia's poor performance and want Putin to go far further (full mobilization, Russia economy to be turned entirely into a war economy, attack the west!). They are allowed be somewhat critical of the Russian government (Putin excluded) and military as long as they continue to support the war. The remaining 60% are completely and utterly de-politicized, just don't think about the war and have there heads in the sand. Its again quite interesting to learn about how the Putin regime achieved this. Soviet propaganda had the goal behind of it of selling the people the greatest and glory of the Soviet union. Its propaganda would show all the great achievements of the Soviet Union and how it was the greatest place in the world to live. Modern Russian propaganda is different. It floods the information environment with many many different and often conflicting messages. The idea is to confuse the masses, to give the idea that politics is too complicated to think about, that any political choice is equally bad and just to not bother with it at all and its best to just let the government handle it. And to this end it was highly successful.

    You might here people refer to the unwritten contract Putin has with the Russian people. The Russian people basically agreed to outsource all politics to Putin and they will stay out of it. He can do what he wants in that regards. In return Putin agrees to leave the Russian people alone and lets them get on with their lives.

    This was fine until Putin broke the contract by ordering a partial mobilization.



    Dec 29, 2022, 17:49

    No Stav

    Somebody is making a fool of using coal n provision of electricity.   Not know which country i involved - but coal exports from SA is increasing rapidly.   Must come at a higher price though.

    Europe is in no state to be energy independent unless they go nuclear and at a much high her price they pay for energy. sources.    Wonder what resultant inflation does to the retention of power by the weak political leadership encountered at present.   Macron is dependent on the Socialist leftist party for survival - Germany is in trouble with a coalition Government too and there are regular protests encountered in their countries as well.   To survive the phonies in charge will plead with the Russians to help them out.

    SB

    Which democracy are you pratting about?   You refer to Ukraine - it is a one-party state with all the elements present to ensure that it will not easily become a democratic country again.   You are fed BS about democracy in Ukraine.   There is banning of all opposition parties - suppression of the biggest Church in the country and raiding of churches.   The legal system has collapsed - eg  the Attorney General was fired because she could not find any evidence to charge Members of Parliament and tried to use the 1991 CONSTITUTION in dealing with the issue - enough for Zelenskyy to fire her illegally.   A one-party state without a constitution hardly seems democratic anymore.

    There is going to be hell to play in the USA  sooner rather than later,   Shortly after the USA announced the R40 billion arms aid project during which second had armaments were delivered to Ukraine and the Armaments Industry is having a ball producing replacement arms for the USA.   Inflation in the USA has driven prices up and Defense Force Contracts are riddled by corruption anyway.   So Biden want another $87  billion to help Ukraine.   A mere week after Biden announced the $40 billion aid package the Democrats approved a further $1 billion aid package - that being paid in cash to Ukraine.   Three days after approval Pelosi and Schiff - two of the most corrupt politicians in the USA - turned up in Ukraine.   So what happened to the $1 billion - the  Ukraine Government promptly invested the money in FTX  and it vanished into thin air.   What is true is that FTX made a donation of $70 million to the Democratic Party - so where did that money come from.   Be assured the FBI will not be able to cover up that one.   

          

                 


    Dec 29, 2022, 17:53

    No Stav

    Somebody is making a fool of using coal n provision of electricity

    The only person making a fool of themselves here is you, every time you type on your keyboard with your utter utter deranged nonsense.

    Dec 29, 2022, 17:55

    I rarely read DumbMike's drivel, I just skip past it. It is just copy-and-paste nonsense that he regurgitates from thread to thread. Utterly irrelevant. 

    Dec 29, 2022, 17:57

    The Z Patriots are probably a carbon copy of the Trumpanzees. 

    Dec 29, 2022, 20:26

    I rarely read DumbMike's drivel, I just skip past it. It is just copy-and-paste nonsense that he regurgitates from thread to thread. Utterly irrelevant.

    Yeah I read about a line of his posts before my brain wants to commit Hara-Kiri.

    Dec 30, 2022, 02:18

    Because I am for peace and look at what the real impact is for all people - especially for the Ukrainian people as well - I write drivel.   Drivel are written by people with no idea about what is really happening.   It is not drivel to state there was a coup or a "revolution" in Ukraine in 2014 that destroyed the democratic 1991 constitution in the Ukraine.    I made a number of statements of fact - not repeat of newspaper propaganda - so that is drivel.

    Those supporting the USA Government angle should try and see what is driving the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and who benefitted from the war.   When the FBI in the USA is used to crush the right of freedom of speech in the USA the situation is ignored totally by the same people who accuse me of writing drivel on site.   I believe  the Assange statement - in the USA  the political system is so corrupt causing politicians benefit from war situations.   The political  system is less corrupt than in the USA - but even in the EU there are investigations of corruption exposed recently.


       

    +        

    Dec 30, 2022, 11:30

    This is what happens when you talk honestly about Putin in Russia..... sad

    Putin Punks

    Dec 30, 2022, 15:27

    Its amazing isn't it, we have some of the greatest minds on the planet working on the problem when all they have to do is visit this site and read what all the Mensa members that are on here have to say. 


    Dec 30, 2022, 18:13

    Well the last of the great money train is about to come to an end for the Demorats and Ukraine.

    What now ?

    Peace or War.

    Dec 30, 2022, 21:01

    Hey AJH..... Ukraine costs

    Good article too from CSIS.

    Dec 30, 2022, 21:01

    Dup

    Dec 30, 2022, 21:01

    Duplicated

    Dec 31, 2022, 00:15

    Images for ZAPIRO ON RUSSIA

    Image result for ZAPIRO ON RUSSIA

    Image result for ZAPIRO ON RUSSIA
    Image result for ZAPIRO ON RUSSIA
    Image result for ZAPIRO ON RUSSIA

    Dec 31, 2022, 02:23

    This is amazing - the fact is that in the last Parliamentary (Duma) election the Party supporting Putin got 48,5% of the vote and in the last presidential election Putin got only 60% of the vote.   

    Tennis players like Medvedev, Rublev and Khasanov openly condemn the war in Public and nothing happened in their cases to them.

    The fact is that unlike the propaganda in western media Rusia is effectively at present more democratic than their beloved Ukraine.   

    Stav came with a factual statement that 20% of the Russians do not support the War,   However, 80% do.   Why should that be?    The fact is that a third of all Ukrainians has Russian as home language and there are many Russians with families in both Russia and Ukraine.   Oppression of Russians by Ukrainians are not acceptable to the vast majority of Russians.    

    Dec 31, 2022, 02:23

    This is amazing - the fact is that in the last Parliamentary (Duma) election the Party supporting got 48,5% of the vote and in the last presidential election Putin got only 60% of the vote.   

    Tennis players like Medvedev, Rublev and Khasanov openly condemn the war in Public and nothing happened in their cases to them.

    The fact is that unlike the propaganda in western media Rusia is effectively at present more democratic than their beloved Ukraine.   

    Stav came with a factual statement that 20% of the Russians do not support the War,   However, 80% do.   Why should that be?    The fact is that a third of all Ukrainians has Russian as home language and there are many Russians with families in both Russia and Ukraine.   Oppression of Russians by Ukrainians are not acceptable to the vast majority of Russians.    

    Dec 31, 2022, 04:01

    Why Vladimir Putin has already lost this war

    Less than a week into the invasion, the historian Yuval Noah Harari was trenchant about Vladimir Putin’s error in underestimating the Ukrainian people, declaring that “he may win all the battles but still lose the war”. As shocking images of Russian aggression were spreading fast on social media and news platforms the world over, Harari wrote: “Ukraine is a nation with more than a thousand years of history, and Kyiv was already a major metropolis when Moscow was not even a village.” His was a much-needed message of hope and strength at the beginning of a brutal war, and it was read and shared by Guardian readers in their droves. Pieces about the Ukraine war dominated our most-read list, in particular articles that exposed Russian demoralisation at Putin’s reckless gamble

    Dec 31, 2022, 08:49

    "in particular articles that exposed Russian demoralisation at Putin’s reckless gamble"


    I still can't understand why...there's no making sense of it, he must be a madman. 

    Dec 31, 2022, 15:32

    I still can't understand why...there's no making sense of it, he must be a madman.

    I think there is multiple reasons for it.

    He genuinely believes that Russia and Ukraine's are largely the same people and Ukraine shouldn't really have existed as a separate state in the first place.

    He like Mike genuinely believes the 2014 revolution in Ukraine was a coup orchestrated by the west.

    He believes Ukraine integrating into the west is a a long term threat to him. Ukraine and Russia are deeply interconnected and Ukraine joining the west and potentially prospering more than Russia would cause issues for his regime. The Russia people would see Ukraine doing better and ask why aren't we doing as well?

    He believes Russia needs to be restored to great power status and get the respect that comes from being a great power and that Russia as a great power is entitled to a sphere of influence particularly in the countries that made up the old Soviet Union in eastern and central Europe.

    His window of opportunity to act was declining. There is potential that Ukraine would eventually be admitted to NATO and if that happened he could longer control Ukraine through coercion. Russia's demography is also declining at a steady tick. The longer he waited the weaker Russia conventional military power would become.

    There is also a possibility that he's ill and so felt he needed to act while he was still able to do so, but that's pure speculation.

    I'm not saying I subscribe to the following theory , but I've also seen some geo-political analysts like Peter Zeihan suggest this is simply about security and Russia's desire to reclaim all 12 of the major land entry points to the Russian interior and its primary population centers.  Basically for centuries Russia's defensive policy was to basically use these territories as a defensive buffer zone and forward position its troops there because the Russia interior itself is very difficult to defend. When the Soviet Union existed they controlled all 12 of these corridors into Russia but after it fell Russia ended up in control of just one. If his theory is correct that Russia will not stop at Ukraine but look to keep expanding into eastern and central Europe.

    But he also thought he would get away with it.

    Firstly he didn't think the Ukrainian's would resist. Like he probably genuinely believed most Ukrainian's would welcome the Russian's coming and their was strong pro Russian sentiment across the country, that they hated the Zelensky government, that Zelensky himself given his background was not a serious political leader and likely a puppet of the west that would either prove useless, flee or be killed pretty quickly.

    What probably happened here is that Putin fell into the classic dictator trap of all his subordinates and intelligence services becoming yes men and telling him exactly what he wanted to hear. They told him the Ukrainian's wouldn't fight and be largely welcoming of the Russia because they where afraid to tell him otherwise.

    If you look at the military force Russia actually invaded with, by historical standards it wasn't very large. I mean Ukraine has a bigger population than France did in World War 1 and the Germans failed invading with over 10 times that number.

    In the opening stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian's restrained themselves from doing damage to civilian area's so as not to create any resentment by the local population. But you can see by the way the units operated they where not expecting serious resistance. For example lightly armed units of the Rosgvardiya did thunder runs into major population centers, driving far ahead of the main units and air cover in light vehicles. Rosgvardiya are like the Russian equivalent of the National Guard, they are not front line combat troops but more like occupation and policing units with the combat capabilities of something like a SWAT unit. So when they encountered heavy resistance they where not remotely equipped to deal with it, took heavy casualties and bid a hasty retreat. But even among more regular Russian forces, they where utterly complacent in properly setting up things like their air defense systems hence why the Ukrainians had a lot of success with drones early on in the war.

    So in Putin's mind if the Ukrainians where not going fight and the war would be over in a matter of days or weeks there wasn't much the west could do to stop him. No military aid would reach Ukraine before the conflict was over.

    Thinking back to his previous aggressive actions and crossing of Western red lines the response from the west was tepid.

    So if your Putin and you look at Europe, he would of seen the leverage he had with energy supplies. A Germany that still guilt ridden over WWII bending over backwards to accommodate Russia. Sympathetic voices from some places in Europe, like the main opposition parties in France and Italy as well as the leader of Hungary.  Strained relations within the EU with arguably the most anti Russian state Poland in dispute with the EU over judicial appointments. Strained relations between the EU and UK following Brexit, and a continent that was just trying to recover from the Covid pandemic.

    If he looked at America, he would have seen strained relations between Europe and America during the Trump regime, a politically very divided America, in Biden a dothery President who made a complete mess of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and seemed to want to end America's involvement in conflicts not get involved in a new one. America also seem preoccupied with what it perceived as the bigger threat China.

    So from his perspective he probably thought, sure the West may sanction Russia harder than 2014 but he built up a big reserve buffer of cash to combat this and it was nothing that Russia couldn't ride out.





    Dec 31, 2022, 16:47

    Putin thought he could get away with it, but now he realises it was a mistake.
    If he could press the undo button he would, but he can't.

    He is just the latest life-appointed dictator whose ego has grown out of control - he is not in touch with reality.

    Russia is a gas station to the world, but once green energy improves on a like-for-like basis with dirty energy - Russia is stuffed.
    Their economy will all become 4th world stuff. 

    Russia's only option is to become imperialistic and take over Ukraine and Belarus - and perhaps other Eastern European countries to maintain any relevance. 

    Given the current circumstance on the battlefields, the only option for Putin is that Ukraine accepts a peace agreement - where they cede the land to Russia. This would give Putin some measure of success despite everything that happened. 

    However, it is clear that Ukraine is not going to accept this. So Putin is just going to continue the war for as long as he can - even though he probably realises that Russia will not win this war. 

    If Putin was to leave Ukraine with nothing (and probably also lose Crimea), Putin will lose power. Once he loses power, the remaining Oligarchs will kill him. It is all or nothing for him. 

    Most wars are caused by self-appointed life dictators for economic reasons. As soon as a country like China appoints a dictator for life, Democratic countries should start phasing out trade with them to reduce power. 

    Democracies should form a list of preferred trading partners, where the more authoritarian a country is, the less they should be traded with. This will control where power lies, and also make the world more democratic. However, for the West, there should be checks and balances to prevent monopoly owners from acquiring competitors and destroying competition - as this is just capitalist authoritarianism. 

    Dec 31, 2022, 17:14

    Stav 

    Do you have actual proof of the above?    The fact is the whole story about the coup has been proven by video info from the US Government - Nuland then under-secretary of state indicated that they have told Ukraine which politician should be the interim President of Ukraine until an election could be held..   If that is not indication who was aiding and abetting the unconstitutional regime change in the USA.   

    There is ample evidence of US politician corruption in Ukraine and how US Aid funding was kicked back to US Politicians - they flooded into Ukraine within months of the first aids package to Ukraine be approved and got huge kickbacks in return.   Biden in a video recording even bragged that he forced the Ukraine to fire the attorney-General investigating Burisma - the company in which his son was a board member - after the home and office of the owner of Burisma was searched.   Burisma was an utterly corrupt company anyway.   

    There is also another nasty one Zelenskyy's election was funded by an oligarch in Ukraine and he is now a dictator in Ukraine - the same oligarch funded the Asov battalion with its Nazi insignia.    The present regime has taken action to ensure there is a dictatorial Regime in Ukraine.   Dream on - Zelenskyy is the head of the most corrupt Government in the world at present - the US Government provide the taxpayer dollars and the loot is shared between the US and Ukraine crooks.

    The myth about the Trump regime is total BS and the lie is constantly repeated by unthinking people.   There were clear signs that Putin was afraid of acting against anybody because Trump would act against him.      The fact is when Biden became President he was an unbalanced fool whose only achievement in foreign relations was to fart before royalty.  He betrayed Germany, Italy, England and the Netherlands in the Afghanistan chaotic withdrawal and the USA allies lost their faith in the USA compliance to treaty agreement.   The worst President ever in the history of the USA - shallow and corrupt as well.

    He is totally under control of the media owners and they protect him by censoring news critical of him.   So you must really think the mental deficient idiot is a good president.   He is an obedient puppet though.           

            

      

    Dec 31, 2022, 17:17

    DumbMike is backward, and he must have been a member of the AWB.

    Dec 31, 2022, 18:09

    Russia could claim Ukraine is building giant mecha spiders that fire lasers from their eyes and Mike would buy it and no doubt claim its part of a plot by the democrats!

    Dec 31, 2022, 19:59

    .https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2022/dec/28/ben-jennings-on-a-new-year-for-ukraine-cartoon

    Ben Jennings 29.12.22

    Jan 01, 2023, 18:06

    Are all the lefties on site read The Guardian?   To quote from them is to get BS published on site.      

    Jan 01, 2023, 19:02

    Stav and  SB

    You write long stories of total BS on site.   And cannot prove anything you write.    Trump was unhappy with the EU countries and with reason.   They underpaid NATO and wanted the USA to cover the costs of NATO and he forced them to comply with their treaty obligations.   They wanted to charge import duties on US exports to Europe and resented it when he returned the compliment.   Some of the EU politicians hated him because he was threatening their support base by positive policies and implementation.    That hatred came out in the newspapers which you believe in.

    If ever there were brainwashed people - you are top examples on site.      

     

    Jan 01, 2023, 19:16

    Dumb Mike needs to be taken to the vet and put down. He is utterly irrelevant in the 21st century, he adds no value

    Jan 01, 2023, 19:32

    What a mean-spirited bully you are Snarkhole...shame on you.

    Jan 02, 2023, 20:36

    No war is good and the people who always end up suffering are the people who are not political.

    But aside from that the issue in Ukraine is not dire for the politicians or pressing.

    Take for example the Ukraine President and his wife's recent trip to Washington to support Bidens 1.7 trillion dollar scheme and to beg for more aid (notice it was money he wanted) and after departing from the USA they stopped in France.

    While in Paris his wife had the opportunity to go shopping and blow $40, 000 (USA).

    Question is was this an advance to her husband for supporting the Biden scheme or did her husband earn this money whilst he was doing the comedian trick prior to the President of Ukraine post he now holds.

    What about the war back home......you would think that the war would be top priority not shopping in Paris.

    Wonder how much he is worth right now!

    More cash to follow for sure.

    Jan 03, 2023, 02:21

    Take for example the Ukraine President and his wife's recent trip to Washington to support Bidens 1.7 trillion dollar scheme and to beg for more aid (notice it was money he wanted) and after departing from the USA they stopped in France.

    While in Paris his wife had the opportunity to go shopping and blow $40, 000 (USA).

    What absolute bilge water.

    Jan 03, 2023, 07:47

    "While the claim about Zelenska was picked up by other social media users including conservative voices such as the Gateway Pundit, and hoax news sites, its provenance appears to be extremely murky and lacking in credibility, Newsweek Fact Check found.

    Several of the tweets, including those in English and Russian, appeared to feature an image of a news article detailing the "story" of the $40,000 spend.

    While the source is not cited in those tweets, Newsweek found that the screenshotted article, titled "Zelensky's Wife Spent $40,000 Shopping in Paris While Demanding US Give Ukraine Money," appeared on known hoax news site NewsPunch, widely reported to have disseminated misinformation online.

    NewsPunch, in turn, does not cite sources for the claim other than an embedded tweet by SGM World News."


    This questions the credibility of the story, but you can't call this a debunk. 

     
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