Russia, Ukraine and the West

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  • Vangelovski
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 8533

    Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
    "There is no such thing as a "neutral" point of view, think tank or individual. Everyone has biases and ideological/philosophical views or leanings"...you just take this to another level of monochromatic myopia.

    You're totally consumed by anti-Soviet/Communist/Russian ZEAL that America can never be bad and Russia can never be good and as long as the MSM frames the narrative according to your preferred worldview then it's simply and conveniently a case of - nothing to see here, just move on...

    In much of the info you posted further above in this thread, much of it was sourced from briefings from the Ukrainian General Staff.
    Talk about and to use your own words - ""There is no such thing as a "neutral" point of view, think tank or individual. Everyone has biases and ideological/philosophical views or leanings"
    In this case, your two sentences can be conveniently boiled down to the term - Psychological Operations (PSYOP), the soft power tool used on opponents since the first human conflicts were recorded.

    The entire interest in this thread was to sift through some of the bullshit of the PSYOP as presented daily in the MSM, it never started off with your - Ukraine good, Russia bad and I don't give a fuck about anything else approach..
    WTF?

    Show me what exactly you think is a "neutral" point of view and explain WHY you think it is.

    Clearly you don't have a neutral point of view at all. Its based on your own political and philosophical views and principles, you just don't want to admit to it for some reason...oh that's right - you're pretending to be neutral. Psyops are undertaken by individuals and entities that either hide their true opinions or pretend to be neutral.

    I think I've been very clear about my views on the whole Russia/Ukraine war - I don't lie about my political and philosophical views and principles. I stated them up front. There's nothing hidden about them. I also never claimed that any of my sources were neutral. I think you've been reading between lines that don't exist.

    I think what upsets you the most is that you disagree with them and are now resorting to the same old tactic of wildly ridiculous accusations and name calling. Maybe you could try stating what you think and why instead? Or is that just too hard. Easier to call me a "Russophobe". I'm sure you could add a few more "phobes" to that as well. How very woke.

    On the Russia bad, America good thing, if you go through my posts over the years you'll see I've criticized and praised both for various different things. What I am unashamedly and unapologetically in favour of is individual rights and limited democratic government. I do despise authoritarianism and totalitarianism in all of its forms - whether that's Putin (or any other Russian leader) or Biden (or any other American President) trampling on the natural rights of their respective citizens. This isn't a neutral view. It's a view based on my personal political, philosophical and religious principles. There are many counter views to this and none of them are neutral.

    If it will help you calm down, maybe we can open a thread on everything that's wrong with America. Will that make you happy? Of course, both of us will come to the topic from our own political and philosophical perspectives and we'll most likely disagree on what's wrong with America and what's good about America. I wonder what kind of "phobe" or 'zeal' you'll accuse me of then?
    Last edited by Vangelovski; 10-26-2022, 09:42 PM.
    If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

    Comment

    • Carlin
      Senior Member
      • Dec 2011
      • 3332

      Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
      There is no such thing as a "neutral" point of view, think tank or individual. Everyone has biases and ideological/philosophical views or leanings. Particularly some of the Marxist drivel you repost that is more ideological commentary that factual information.

      Just because it's an American orgnisation, does not automatically make it a propaganda machine. The fact that you admit that it criticizes American governments shows that it's not simply a mouthpiece for Washington DC, unlike say, RT which is actually owned by the Russian Government and rarely deviates from the Putin line.

      I was not quoting ISW political views, I was quoting information it has provided based on a range of sources, including RUSSIAN sources (news outlets and milbloggers). If you bothered reading it and following the link you might have noticed that.

      And what difference does it make what the ISW's political views are if the information provided is true (as you admit it might be)?
      I admit that I didn't read the articles, only the encapsulated quotes which you provided.

      Maybe it's just me, but the bit about the "resettlement program" bordering on "ethnic cleansing" does not seem credible. The Russian govt. officials, rightly or wrongly, view these same 'Ukrainians' as ethnic Russians.



      CNN interview clip (3:45 long) with Prof. Stephen F. Cohen from 2014
      CNN's Christiane Amanpour and New York University Professor Stephen Cohen's discussion on Ukraine and Russia in 2014, including the Kremlin's position on all...


      NATO expansion and Russia, from 12 years ago (4 minutes long)
      According to Russia historian Stephen F. Cohen, Russian political leaders see NATO expansion as an ongoing threat.This Carnegie Council event took place on M...


      Sadly, Prof. Cohen passed away in Sept. 2020.

      Comment

      • Vangelovski
        Senior Member
        • Sep 2008
        • 8533

        Originally posted by Carlin View Post
        I admit that I didn't read the articles, only the encapsulated quotes which you provided.

        Maybe it's just me, but the bit about the "resettlement program" bordering on "ethnic cleansing" does not seem credible. The Russian govt. officials, rightly or wrongly, view these same 'Ukrainians' as ethnic Russians.
        Not sure it really matters how the Russians see them. Even if they were Russians, forcibly moving people from their homes isn't exactly kosher. But it's hard to tell what's going on exactly.
        If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

        The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

        Comment

        • Vangelovski
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2008
          • 8533

          I think this is obvious, but Finland is open to NATO nuclear weapons stationed on its territory. Poland also claims it has had talks with the US about stationing nuclear weapons on its territory.

          I think they call this blowback.

          If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

          The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

          Comment

          • Carlin
            Senior Member
            • Dec 2011
            • 3332

            This compilation should be read by everyone

            Comment

            • Phoenix
              Senior Member
              • Dec 2008
              • 4671

              Originally posted by Carlin View Post
              This compilation should be read by everyone

              https://mobile.twitter.com/RnaudBert...91107902062592
              It's pretty fucking simple...stop poking the bear.

              Comment

              • Soldier of Macedon
                Senior Member
                • Sep 2008
                • 13675

                Originally posted by Vangelovski
                Why is it that anyone who does not agree with Russia is automatically brainwashed and under Western control?
                Has anybody made such a remark on this thread, specifically in the way you have described it? I think your ardent anti-Russian bias presents a far more one-dimensional perspective than some of the others that have been outlined on this thread. I did not want Russia to invade Ukraine or annex its territories. Does that make me pro-NATO? I also understand that the actions of both NATO and successive Ukrainian governments contributed to those unfortunate outcomes. Does that make me pro-Russian? If truth is the objective on this particular subject, it is not rational to dogmatically support one side or another without acknowledging their flaws.
                Also, you haven't explained why you think Russia automatically deserves any regard for "its security concerns" especially when that entails infringements on the sovereignty of its neighbours?
                I already explained why, a couple of posts ago. If you wish to ignore geopolitical reality and pretend that Russia is on par with some weak and inconsequential Balkan country that can be pushed around by the West, that is your choice. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no utopian level playing field. That is just the world we live in. Clever politicians learn to navigate through such challenges.
                What about Russia says 'developed country' to you? Is it the lack of basic infrastructure outside of its larger cities? The disastrous health and education services? No rule of law? The corruption and nepotism?
                I stated that I disagree with your (incorrect) generalisation. I did not state that Russia is fully developed outside of its larger cities or that its government meets all the needs and expectations of its citizens. As for the “disastrous” health and education services, and the corruption and nepotism, what indexes are you basing that on? I would be interested to know how the data is gathered, who publishes the results and how other countries stack up against Russia. The “no rule of law” comment is another generalisation and cannot be taken seriously.
                And yet 14 years later Ukraine was nowhere closer to joining NATO. I highly doubt it ever would have because the (ethnic) Ukrainians were divided on where their future lay (East or West). But after Russia's invasion of the Donbas and Crimea in 2014 that changed. National identity solidified over the course of 8 years of war.
                In other words, if Putin stayed quiet in 2014 and just allowed the West to have its way in Ukraine during and following the ousting of its democratically-elected president who was friendly with Russia, it is highly doubtful that an unimpeded West would have ever succeeded with its unambiguous intention of absorbing Ukraine into NATO. Is that the logic?
                Does it though? I thought you were complaining about all the sanctions and weakening above?
                As far as its security situation, yes, it does. And is your second question in reference to my earlier post where you replied with “fair enough,” essentially agreeing with what I stated? I was not "complaining," I was merely pointing out a fact, so you can spare me the emotive language.
                The point is that Russia has a credible nuclear retaliation ability regardless of how close NATO missiles are (and vice versa). That's what keeps everyone's fingers off the button and keeps dumb ideas about crossing borders at bay.
                Too bad it does not keep dumb ideas about expanding the borders of a certain military alliance at bay.
                And? Everyone is in debt. The US to the tune of $30 trillion. Nearly $1 trillion of that is owed to China. Debt does not automatically translate into political control.
                Hardly a suitable comparison. Debt may not automatically translate into political control against a global powerhouse like the U.S., but Ukraine is anything but a powerhouse. As far as international relations are concerned, Ukraine barely exercises an independent policy now. By the time this debacle is over, it will be completely subservient, both domestically and internationally, to the interests of its so-called “allies.”
                Here are some observations to go with that. 1) Russia is now relying on Iranian drones. Why isn't it building its own? 2) Russia, from the beginning of its February invasion has only fired a few dozen guided missiles at a time in sporadic intervals. If it has access to the tech and required materials (and the money) why isn't it using them on a daily basis to destroy Ukrainian units?
                If based on facts, they are reasonable observations. But withholding certain resources and avenues is a double-edged sword, as indicated by the global energy and food crisis that has affected many countries. It will also push Russia and China further closer. From an economic and security standpoint, is that what most sensible people in the West really want? There are already some who are suggesting that they intensify cooperation in this industry by pooling their natural materials, capital, and expertise so they are not beholden to the West. Of course, such an endeavour will take some time to yield substantive results so in the meantime Russia may try to acquire the technology through other parties, assuming they are running very low and not saving some of their more advanced weapons for another, more significant, offensive. Time will tell. For the record, it should be noted that both Russia and Iran deny that the former is using drones provided by the latter.
                What? When Putin first threatened them and then said he doesn't have a problem with it? Isn't NATO expansion a 'reason' why he invaded Ukraine? And as a direct result of his invasion NATO expanded to his Finish border………… Russian forces crossed the border into the Ukraine, not the other way around. But I think you're suggesting that Putin was either tricked or forced (i.e., he had no other choice) which is complete garbage as far as I'm concerned. If he invaded Ukraine because of security concerns of having NATO right at his border, why not Finland now, before final ratification?
                NATO was created as a military alliance to counter the threat of the USSR. The USSR established the Warsaw Pact to counter the threat of NATO. Both the USSR and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist decades ago. Yet, despite being robbed of the reason for its own existence, NATO has not only remained, but has denigrated peaceful neutrality in favour of total domination by consistently expanding its border eastwards, into former Warsaw Pact countries and ever closer to Russia, despite repeated warnings about the friction this would cause in the future. When NATO became more overt about its plans for Ukraine, Russia invaded and finally put a stop to their expansion in that part of Europe. As a result, NATO intends to expand into Finland (and Sweden). Those are the facts. At least be honest enough to admit who provoked and continues to escalate the chain reaction.

                Finland does not have territories that have the same strategic value for Russia as those in Ukraine, and should they fall under the control of NATO, it would not have the same compromising effect as it would in Crimea, for example. Moreover, Finland does not have millions of ethnic Russian citizens within its borders, let alone at war with the state. Clearly, Russia is not thrilled with the prospect of Finland (or Sweden) joining NATO and has already made it clear that there would be a symmetrical response to any threat or military deployments. Right now, however, eastern and southern Ukraine are the priority for Russia. If Finnish politicians follow the lead of their Ukrainian counterparts and adopt a belligerent attitude towards their ethnic Russian citizens or Russia itself, or if they are stupid enough to turn Finland into the frontline for NATO’s adventurism by allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on its territory, then the response may be different and somewhat more drastic. Again, sensible people should not lose sight of who is inciting this escalation. NATO may feel that it is presenting too many puzzles for Russia to address all at once, and that may be true, for now. However, it is also possible that if NATO wins Finland, they will harden the resolve of Russia and lose Ukraine (or large parts of it) forever.
                I didn't say he would order a nuclear attack, I was trying to say that even if he did, it would remain to be seen whether his General Staff would follow his order.
                You said he “may order some sort of nuclear strike.” Are you basing that potential threat on any credible intelligence or not?
                I thought you wanted to talk about geopolitical reality? Are you moving back to morality?
                Just like Russia, the U.S. is a very large country and a nuclear superpower. I asked the question about the U.S. acting in its own interests (security or otherwise) at the expense of the sovereignty of other countries to understand the level of consistency you are prepared to apply. So, either answer the question or ignore it, but do not use some cheap form of deflection to conceal your unwillingness to provide an answer. You are better than that.
                Seriously? You might want to read this report, here's a snippet:
                The author clearly has some knowledge about the structure of Russia’s armed forces given the nature of his work before he was detained for alleged espionage due to his dealings with a foreign entity. Given that he has not been in Russia for over a decade, however, I am curious to know how he corroborates the assertions and statistics he produces with such specificity. Can you point me to the relevant sections of the report where he cites actual evidence and sources, aside from referencing some U.S. and Ukrainian officials? By the way, you did not address my reply about the OSCE. Where is their report stating that there were “at least 30,000 Russian soldiers crossing into the Donbas in 2014,” as you claim?
                He's been talking about how Ukraine is an integral part of Russia for decades.
                He still talks about it. However, he never used that personal perspective as a justification to invade Ukraine. You did not answer the question about why he waited to “finish the job,” but it does not matter. Like I stated earlier, you have no evidence that he previously planned to invade Ukraine.
                Four that I know of. Free Ukraine Resistance Movement, Popular Resistance of Ukraine, Berdiansk Partisan Army and Yellow Ribbon. That's not bad for only a few months.
                Telegram posts, graffiti and leaflets with warning messages, some explosions, and a few assassinations of what they deem as collaborators. They are probably most effective with the intel they can provide to the Ukrainian armed forces from behind enemy lines, assuming they have line of sight to anything worth reporting. Most appear to have popped up this year. Have they been involved in actual armed engagements with the Russian armed forces and their local allies?
                Russia had to withdraw from the north because it was overstretched and simply does not have the capacity to fight on such a large front. It was forced out of Kharkiv and Ukrainian forces have been slowly making way into Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. I believe they will retake Kherson over the next few weeks.
                Rather than speculating too much, we will revisit those remarks in the near future.
                The Zaporozhians have inhabited the Donbas for centuries before the Russians ever arrived.
                That is incorrect. As I mentioned earlier, the Donbas region was sparsely populated, mostly by those affiliated with the Turco-Mongol peoples who occupied Crimea. In the second half of the 17th century, various Slavic-speaking peoples from both the territory of modern Ukraine and the territory of modern Russia settled the region. Afterwards, the Zaporizhian Cossacks may have controlled part of the Donbas for a period, but by the second half of the 18th century, it was under the control of the Russian Empire. I will ask again. What legitimate claim are you referring to and how do you define it?
                As for Crimea, if anything, it would belong to the Crimean Tatars - definitely not Russia.
                Anything, anyone, but Russia. Right? Why should it belong to the Crimean Tatars when their Turco-Mongol ancestors, who originated in eastern Asia, invaded in the 13th century, and displaced the ancestors of today’s Russians and Ukrainians, who at least originated somewhere in Europe and much closer to the peninsula? Why should it not be awarded to the modern Ossetians, who, linguistically, are the last remaining descendants of the Iranic Scythians who occupied Crimea and the broader region long before the others mentioned above? Where do you draw the line?
                I don't see you checking any other hyperbolic statements. But I stand behind mine. Russia's military is a sham.
                I do not see others making hyperbolic statements about a certain country’s military capacity with the same conviction and vigour as yourself. It is not the hill I would choose to die on, but, by all means, stand behind your use of terms like “sham” and “incompetent” whilst ignoring their very definition.
                Yes, those were wars. But you miss the point of what I was saying. Russia has not fought a conventional (that's an important concept) war of this scale since WWII.
                If it is such an important concept, you should have been more clinical in your earlier statement when you suggested that the Russian armed forces were completely incompetent and unable “to actually win a war.” Whether or not they were on the same scale as Ukraine, Russia has clearly won some wars and changed the tide in another. A “sham” would have been incapable of achieving such results or seizing control of significant parts of southern and eastern Ukraine. Even if the Russian armed forces crumble or retreat in the current war, which is always a possibility, however unlikely, they may be accused of being weaker than expected or lacking foresight in terms of planning and longevity, but they certainly cannot be accused of being a “sham,” at least not by anybody applying a basic level of objectivity.
                But Chechens and allied Islamists are still carrying on an insurgency in the North Caucasus, and its been going on since Soviet times, we just don't hear about it every day. So, that 'victory' is more of a facade.
                Hardly a “façade” given the earlier situation in the North Caucasus, particularly Chechnya. Aside from engaging in some acts of terrorism, the ongoing Islamist insurgency is not capable of mounting any kind of effective campaign that could seriously trouble the Russian armed forces.
                What exactly was so offensive about my opening statement? The fact that I made one? My opinion that Russia is wrong and will eventually lose? Or the fact that mainstream media has some truth in it?
                None of the above. I welcome your opinion. Your condescending manner leaves a bit to be desired. At times, you display it so liberally but do not receive it so well. But I am not telling you anything that you do not already know. Consider a little self-reflection.
                In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                Comment

                • Risto the Great
                  Senior Member
                  • Sep 2008
                  • 15660



                  Quote: The UN’s “Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine” relied “primarily on first-hand information” & “state” actors — like Lyudmila Denisova, the disgraced former Ukraine ombudswoman who was fired after admitting the evidence "...for supposed rapes allegedly committed by Russian soldiers came from a hotline staffed by her daughter, who inflated the number of calls received by over 1000% and then passed off all the reports that she invented as factual." "To this day, she has refused to provide any actual evidence for any of her claims."
                  I'm quite sure the MSM "fact checkers" believed every word she said. Same goes for the corporatised UN.
                  Risto the Great
                  MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                  "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                  Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                  Comment

                  • Vangelovski
                    Senior Member
                    • Sep 2008
                    • 8533

                    This conversation is devolving into a lot of sub-topics, so I'm just going to respond to questions where I can or where I think I can add to the debate.

                    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
                    Has anybody made such a remark on this thread, specifically in the way you have described it? I think your ardent anti-Russian bias presents a far more one-dimensional perspective than some of the others that have been outlined on this thread.
                    This is what you wrote:
                    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
                    Sure, but if politicians from Ukraine and Georgia determine their own course (or more accurately, the one set out for them by their benefactors from the West)
                    You automatically assume that whatever Ukrainian (or Georgian or whichever) governments do is forced on them by Western "benefactors", who have already made the decision for them. Why can’t you just accept the possibility that Ukrainians (or whoever) have freely made those decisions based on what they believe is best for them? I’d ask you to provide evidence of your claims that the world is controlled by Western “benefactors”, but I know you have none.

                    I think I’ve made my anti-communist and anti-authoritarian/totalitarian biases very clear. But I’m not anti-Russian. For some reason, you continue to pretend to be neutral and unbiased.

                    I stated that I disagree with your (incorrect) generalisation. I did not state that Russia is fully developed outside of its larger cities or that its government meets all the needs and expectations of its citizens. As for the “disastrous” health and education services, and the corruption and nepotism, what indexes are you basing that on? I would be interested to know how the data is gathered, who publishes the results and how other countries stack up against Russia. The “no rule of law” comment is another generalisation and cannot be taken seriously.
                    How am I meant to take these comments seriously? I think you've been listening to the echo chamber in here for too long.

                    Are you saying that the rule of law, as the idea is generally understood in jurisprudence and political science, functions in Russia at a level that you personally would be comfortable with? I.e., you would be just as confident of having your rights protected and that you would be treated (and the law applied) as equally and fairly in Russia as you would here in Australia?

                    On health, education, corruption/nepotism. Again, I don't think you're being honest with yourself here, but I'll compare Russia to Australia with a few quick stats. I'm sure you can do your own further research. All data is from the World Bank (unless otherwise specified) - you just have to type in the fields you're looking for as it's an interactive database: https://data.worldbank.org/

                    GDP per capita
                    Russia: $12,172
                    Australia $59,934
                    (I bet you’re much more productive than the average Russian and probably more so than the average Australian).

                    Male life expectancy
                    Russia: 66
                    Australia: 81
                    (Where would you rather live?)

                    Corruption Index
                    Russia: 136/180
                    Australia: 18/180
                    1/180 is the least corrupt and 180/180 is the most corrupt. I don’t remember the last time I had to bribe an official to get basic services – do you?
                    (https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2021)

                    # of Universities in the top 100 worldwide
                    Russia: 0 (still zero in the top 200)
                    Australia: 2 (7 in the top 200)
                    (I’ve personally dealt with Russian academic research and its garbage)
                    https://cwur.org/2022-23.php (Centre for World University Rankings)

                    I’ve bundled the next few quotes together.
                    it is highly doubtful that an unimpeded West would have ever succeeded with its unambiguous intention of absorbing Ukraine into NATO. Is that the logic?
                    Too bad it does not keep dumb ideas about expanding the borders of a certain military alliance at bay.
                    As a result, NATO intends to expand into Finland (and Sweden).
                    You keep talking as if NATO is forcing everyone to join. It’s not. Finland and Sweden applied for membership because Russia invaded Ukraine. Until then, they had no intention of joining NATO – or do you have evidence to the contrary? They both have experience with Russian imperialism (particularly Finland).

                    East European countries (sovereign countries) couldn't wait to get as far away from Russia as possible (especially the Baltics, Poland, Czech Republic). They voluntarily sought NATO membership. There was no global conspiracy with puppet masters pulling their strings and making them dance into NATO against their will.

                    Hardly a suitable comparison. Debt may not automatically translate into political control against a global powerhouse like the U.S., but Ukraine is anything but a powerhouse. As far as international relations are concerned, Ukraine barely exercises an independent policy now. By the time this debacle is over, it will be completely subservient, both domestically and internationally, to the interests of its so-called “allies.”
                    Australia is not a global powerhouse and China owns a lot of our sovereign debt. Again, that does not translate into political influence. But maybe you can show some evidence of your claims? What evidence do you have that Ukraine will be “completely subservient” to its allies? What evidence can you point to that Ukraine “barely exercises an independent policy now”? And what policy are you referring to exactly? Isn’t that all just hyperbolic?

                    If based on facts, they are reasonable observations. But withholding certain resources and avenues is a double-edged sword, as indicated by the global energy and food crisis that has affected many countries. It will also push Russia and China further closer. From an economic and security standpoint, is that what most sensible people in the West really want? There are already some who are suggesting that they intensify cooperation in this industry by pooling their natural materials, capital, and expertise so they are not beholden to the West. Of course, such an endeavour will take some time to yield substantive results so in the meantime Russia may try to acquire the technology through other parties, assuming they are running very low and not saving some of their more advanced weapons for another, more significant, offensive. Time will tell. For the record, it should be noted that both Russia and Iran deny that the former is using drones provided by the latter.
                    What about the photographic evidence of downed Iranian drones?

                    Russia and China were always on a trajectory to become close allies and have been building that relationship since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While they, jointly, have considerable wealth (China to an extent) and natural resources (Russia) I highly doubt their expertise - stealing western intellectual property does not equal innovation, entrepreneurship, critical/creative thinking, experience and knowledge.

                    Finland does not have territories that have the same strategic value for Russia as those in Ukraine, and should they fall under the control of NATO, it would not have the same compromising effect as it would in Crimea, for example.
                    Yes it does. There are at least three strategic problems for Russia that I can think of off the top of my head.

                    1. Until now, Russia was able to slither its Baltic fleet through a combination of international, Finnish and Swedish waters to get out into the open seas. NATO will now be able to shut it down in St. Petersburg.

                    2. The 1,300km Finish border with Russia along the Murmansk District will allow NATO overland access (in a hypothetical invasion) to Russia's Northern Fleet and its bases in and around Polyarny.

                    3. Finland is literally 170km from St. Petersburg and 500km to Moscow. At its closest point, Ukraine is 470km from Moscow. Estonia and Latvia are perhaps closer (haven’t don’t the exact google map measurements). A conventional invasion would reach both cities faster from the north than from Ukraine. Also, missiles in Finland are much closer to the above mentioned Russian cities than they are from the Ukraine - you brought missiles up in one of your other posts.

                    The Black Sea is a closed environment. Its usefulness is only through the ability to access open seas and international markets. Much like the Baltic fleet now, If NATO wanted, or needed, to it could block the Russian civil maritime and Black Sea naval fleet at the Bosphorus or Dardanelles. The strategic value of the Black Sea is not what you portray it to be – the most Russia could use it for during a blockade is to trade with Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia (all NATO members or allies). The Caspian Sea would be more important to Russia, giving it access to Iran and through there the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

                    there would be a symmetrical response to any threat or military deployments.
                    What exactly would that be? According to The Military Balance, Russia has 280,000 active soldiers in its army. It committed around 200,000 of those to Ukraine and has lost (killed or wounded) around 80,000 (mid-range estimate according to the US Government) or only 6,000 according to the Russian Government. You choose. Either way, it has about 80,000 active personnel to spare. That’s probably why Putin has mobilised 300,000 men, but he’ll need them to plug the holes in Ukraine and provide some semblance of a rotational force so that Russian soldiers don’t fall asleep standing. The mass Soviet army does not exist anymore. The Russians reformed it along American lines. One problem was that they wanted an American structured, high-tech force on a Russian budget. It’s not working for them.

                    Just like Russia, the U.S. is a very large country and a nuclear superpower. I asked the question about the U.S. acting in its own interests (security or otherwise) at the expense of the sovereignty of other countries to understand the level of consistency you are prepared to apply. So, either answer the question or ignore it, but do not use some cheap form of deflection to conceal your unwillingness to provide an answer. You are better than that.
                    I've definitely supported some of the wars the US has entered and strongly opposed others. All based on their own merit, and of course my own worldview.

                    By the way, you did not address my reply about the OSCE. Where is their report stating that there were “at least 30,000 Russian soldiers crossing into the Donbas in 2014,” as you claim?
                    I did. I even bolded the important bits. You still haven't provided any evidence of genocide and potential Ukrainian paramilitary involvement.

                    Telegram posts, graffiti and leaflets with warning messages, some explosions, and a few assassinations of what they deem as collaborators. They are probably most effective with the intel they can provide to the Ukrainian armed forces from behind enemy lines, assuming they have line of sight to anything worth reporting. Most appear to have popped up this year. Have they been involved in actual armed engagements with the Russian armed forces and their local allies?
                    Yes, they have engaged with the Russian army - you can look it up for yourself. These partisan forces have also attacked supply lines, infrastructure and supplied intelligence. You can also look that up.

                    I do not see others making hyperbolic statements about a certain country’s military capacity with the same conviction and vigour as yourself.
                    Do only perceived hyperbolic statements about a “certain country’s military capacity” count, because I see people making hyperbolic statements all the time – including you. But it’s not hyperbole when you know what you're talking about. It just seems that way to people who rely on old assumptions rather than researching it. In any event, time will tell and we can have this conversation at a later point.

                    None of the above. I welcome your opinion. Your condescending manner leaves a bit to be desired. At times, you display it so liberally but do not receive it so well. But I am not telling you anything that you do not already know. Consider a little self-reflection.
                    I have made some condescending remarks in response to those who made them toward me (including in this post), but not in that first post which resulted in your mate screeching like a banshee and making wild accusations of dick swinging, followed by his 50 shades of grey fantasies. I think you should go back and see who wrote what and when, and what was said in response before commenting on condescension.
                    Last edited by Vangelovski; 10-31-2022, 05:47 PM.
                    If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                    The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

                    Comment

                    • Risto the Great
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 15660

                      Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
                      This thread is getting interesting, but also a bit ridiculous tbh.

                      Lets start with the ridiculous. A lot of you are creating an impossible standard for discovering basic facts. I've lost count of how many times people have said everything in the media is a lie. Sure, there is a lot of misinformation, disinformation, ideologically driven narratives and plain old propaganda. But the basic facts are there. For example, there is a war going on in Ukraine. If everything were a lie, then we couldn't even trust that a war was actually happening.
                      Why not start with a question first?
                      Above was your first post in quite a while. It started with a belligerent and broadly sweeping statement that did little more than piss off everyone who read it.
                      Are you nice to people anywhere?
                      Congratulations. You remain the king of online cuntlery.
                      It's no big deal. I see it as a valid lifestyle choice for some people.

                      By the way, tell me the one about Ukraine being a democracy again. Then pull the other one.
                      Risto the Great
                      MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                      "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                      Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                      Comment

                      • Vangelovski
                        Senior Member
                        • Sep 2008
                        • 8533

                        Originally posted by Risto the Great View Post
                        Why not start with a question first?
                        Above was your first post in quite a while. It started with a belligerent and broadly sweeping statement that did little more than piss off everyone who read it.
                        Are you nice to people anywhere?
                        Congratulations. You remain the king of online cuntlery.
                        It's no big deal. I see it as a valid lifestyle choice for some people.

                        By the way, tell me the one about Ukraine being a democracy again. Then pull the other one.
                        How is that belligerent?

                        I think you've read too much into it and massively overreacted because of your obsession with the "evils" of the mainstream media and the fact that you just can't handle anyone even partly disagreeing with you.
                        Last edited by Vangelovski; 10-31-2022, 08:09 PM.
                        If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                        The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

                        Comment

                        • Risto the Great
                          Senior Member
                          • Sep 2008
                          • 15660

                          Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
                          You just can't handle anyone even partly disagreeing with you.
                          I actually like it. I even advocated for you to be a moderator here a very long time ago. But there is a way, son.
                          Risto the Great
                          MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                          "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                          Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                          Comment

                          • Vangelovski
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2008
                            • 8533

                            Originally posted by Risto the Great View Post
                            I actually like it. I even advocated for you to be a moderator here a very long time ago. But there is a way, son.
                            Oh please.

                            So what was belligerent about my post?
                            If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                            The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

                            Comment

                            • Risto the Great
                              Senior Member
                              • Sep 2008
                              • 15660

                              This thread is getting interesting, but also a bit ridiculous tbh.

                              Lets start with the ridiculous.
                              belligerent
                              /bəˈlɪdʒ(ə)r(ə)nt/hostile and aggressive.

                              You wouldn't even know when you are being hostile. It might just mean you're simply on the spectrum. In which case, I am sorry. Perhaps consider putting it on your signature at the bottom of your posts.
                              Risto the Great
                              MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                              "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                              Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                              Comment

                              • Vangelovski
                                Senior Member
                                • Sep 2008
                                • 8533

                                Originally posted by Risto the Great View Post
                                belligerent
                                /bəˈlɪdʒ(ə)r(ə)nt/hostile and aggressive.

                                You wouldn't even know when you are being hostile. It might just mean you're simply on the spectrum. In which case, I am sorry. Perhaps consider putting it on your signature at the bottom of your posts.
                                Explain to me exactly why you feel it was belligerent? What exactly about it? What did I say that was so hostile and aggressive in that first post that triggered a massive overreaction on your part? What was so upsetting for you?

                                I think it's clear you read way too much into it and went berserk as you usually do, now you can't (or don't want to) explain why.
                                Last edited by Vangelovski; 11-01-2022, 02:45 AM.
                                If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                                The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

                                Comment

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