Russia, Ukraine and the West

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  • Carlin
    replied
    Breaking: Bakhmut has fallen



    Last edited by Carlin; 05-20-2023, 11:55 AM.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Ukraine will be equipped with F16s.

    President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he has arrived in Saudi Arabia where he is due to meet with the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and address an Arab League summit, James Rothwell reports.

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  • Carlin
    replied
    "The Battle for Bakhmut is almost at a close.

    The AFU still holds roughly 1 sq. km of the city but the warriors of Wagner continue pushing.

    At this point Ukraine's attacks on the flanks of the city don't really make a difference other than they'll be able to withdraw easier."





    From Erik Zimerman:

    "An additional note on the supply situation for UA held Bakhmut.

    By tomorrow morning, there may no longer be much of a UA-held Bakhmut, but this is relevant to what has been the situation for the last 48 hours or so.

    The UA counteroffensive was first to reported to have collapsed the Russian front. I argued otherwise. Then finally it was corrected to having re-opened the roads to Bakhmut. It did so partially. ..."

    (thread)
    Last edited by Carlin; 05-16-2023, 11:14 PM.

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  • Carlin
    replied
    US General Cavoli: Russia is actually winning the conflict in Ukraine

    Cavoli stated this in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee. He explained that the degradation of the Russian armed forces" was grossly misrepresented by the media.
    “Most of the Russian military has not been affected by this conflict,” Cavoli said.

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  • Risto the Great
    replied
    Tucker revealing a few painful truths

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by Karposh View Post
    That’s because many Ukrainians tend to act like confused Russians so you can’t blame the some of us who might think this. Actually, I'm just speaking for myself here and not for anyone else. Before last year's invasion, I wasn't entirely convinced that the Ukrainians had a particularly strong sense of Ukrainian identity. I now know that's not the case, at least for the western half of the country.
    I agree that until 2014, the eastern half of Ukraine was a very mixed bag with fluid identities (that sounds a bit neo-Marxist). I think that's why the Russians thought they could stroll in last year. But 10 years of war changed that. I think identities have solidified since.

    Ethnicity and language don't necessarily determine national identity or loyalty. Some ethnic Ukrainians still consider themselves Russians (even Soviet), and many ethnic Ukrainians (about 5.5 million according to the 2001 census) speak Russian due to historical circumstances but have a clear Ukrainian national identity.

    Both my map and yours show different things (ethnicity vs language) based on 20 year old data. But the fact remains ethnic Russians are a majority in only a dozen districts (my map). Russian speakers (including ethnic Ukrainians) are a majority in many more districts (your maps). Whatever identity they had before, I think these Russian-speaking ethnic Ukrainians have developed a clear Ukranian national identity since 2014.

    Nevertheless, there are still many ethnic Russians with a Russian national identity across Donbas and Crimea. But most of them live in districts where ethnic Ukrainians are 60-80 per cent of the population.
    Last edited by Vangelovski; 04-14-2023, 09:11 AM.

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  • Phoenix
    replied
    Karposh,

    A Russian guy I once worked with and I’m talking about a period quite a few years ago before this conflict started referred to Ukrainians as “Russian spastics”…lol…I always thought that was a bit harsh…all Ukrainians that I have met have been nice people.

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  • Karposh
    replied
    Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
    Some of you keep acting like the Ukrainians are just confused Russians and that Russia didn't send its military across a national border and this isn't an invasion.
    That’s because many Ukrainians tend to act like confused Russians so you can’t blame the some of us who might think this. Actually, I'm just speaking for myself here and not for anyone else. Before last year's invasion, I wasn't entirely convinced that the Ukrainians had a particularly strong sense of Ukrainian identity. I now know that's not the case, at least for the western half of the country.

    The following is an article by a Ukrainian that was written back in 2015 (from a pro-Ukrainian point of view) that offers some interesting insights into some of the intricacies surrounding the Ukrainian national identity. I’ve only quoted the first half of the article which focuses on the issue of language versus identity in Ukraine. The second half mainly deals with Russian/American politics over the years. If anyone wants to read the rest of the article, here is the link:

    In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin seized Crimea, fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine. In this Brookings Essay, Chrystia Freeland details Ukraine’s efforts to maintain its sovereignty.


    The crisis that burst into the news a year-and-a-half ago has often been explained as Putin's exploitation of divisions between the mainly Russian-speaking majority of Ukrainians in the eastern and southern regions of the country, and the mainly Ukrainian-speaking majority in the west and center. Russian is roughly as different from Ukrainian as Spanish is from Italian.

    While the linguistic factor is real, it is often oversimplified in several respects: Russian-speakers are by no means all pro-Putin or secessionist; Russian- and Ukrainian-speakers are geographically commingled; and virtually everyone in Ukraine has at least a passive understanding of both languages. To make matters more complicated, Russian is the first language of many ethnic Ukrainians, who are 78 percent of the population (but even that category is blurry, because many people in Ukraine have both Ukrainian and Russian roots). President Petro Poroshenko is an example — he always understood Ukrainian, but learned to speak it only in 1996, after being elected to Parliament; and Russian remains the domestic language of the Poroshenko family. The same is true in the home of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's prime minister. The best literary account of the Maidan uprising to date was written in Russian: Ukraine Diaries, by Andrey Kurkov, the Russian-born, ethnic Russian novelist, who lives in Kyiv.

    In this last respect, my own family is, once again, quite typical. My maternal grandmother, born into a family of Orthodox clerics in central Ukraine, grew up speaking Russian and Ukrainian. Ukrainian was the main language of the family refuge she eventually found in Canada, but she and my grandfather spoke Ukrainian and Russian as well as Polish interchangeably and with equal fluency. When they told stories, it was natural for them to quote each character in his or her original language. I do the same thing today with Ukrainian and English, my mother having raised me to speak both languages, as I in turn have done with my three children.

    In short, being a Russian-speaker in Ukraine does not automatically imply a yearning for subordination to the Kremlin any more than speaking English in Ireland or Scotland means support for a political union with England. As Kurkov writes in his Diaries: “I am a Russian myself, after all, an ethnically Russian citizen of Ukraine. But I am not 'a Russian,' because I have nothing in common with Russia and its politics. I do not have Russian citizenship and I do not want it.”

    That said, it's true that people on both sides of the political divide have tried to declare their allegiances through the vehicle of language. Immediately after the overthrow and self-exile of Yanukovych, radical nationalists in Parliament passed a law making Ukrainian the sole national language — a self-destructive political gesture and a gratuitous insult to a large body of the population.

    However, the contentious language bill was never signed into law by the acting president. Many civic-minded citizens also resisted such polarizing moves. As though to make amends for Parliament's action, within 72 hours the people of Lviv, the capital of the Ukrainian-speaking west, held a Russian-speaking day, in which the whole city made a symbolic point of shifting to the country's other language.

    Less than two weeks after the language measure was enacted it was rescinded, though not before Putin had the chance to make considerable hay out of it.

    The blurring of linguistic and ethnic identities reflects the geographic and historic ties between Ukraine and Russia. But that affinity has also bred, among many in Russia, a deep-seated antipathy to the very idea of a truly independent and sovereign Ukrainian state.

    Russians see Ukraine as the cradle of their civilization. Even the name came from there: the vast empire of the czars evolved from Kyivan Rus, a loose federation of Slavic tribes in the Middle Ages.

    The ties that bind are also contemporary and personal. Two Soviet leaders — Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev — not only spent their early years in Ukraine but spoke Russian with a distinct Ukrainian accent. This historic connectedness is one reason why their post-Soviet successor, Vladimir Putin, has been able to build such wide popular support in Russia for championing — and, as he is now trying to do, recreating — “Novorossiya” (New Russia) in Ukraine…
    To this, I will also add my own personal first-hand experience in witnessing this apparent ambiguity some Ukrainians have when it comes to their identity. A few years back I worked with a guy who was from Ukraine but would often leave me scratching my head with regard to his self-identity. It seemed to change like the weather. One day he was Ukrainian, the next day he was Russian. Was he just a confused Russian? I have no idea, but you can’t blame me if the thought crossed my mind.

    Image 1 Map of Ukraine showing dominant language


    Image 2 Map of Ukraine showing Russian as native language.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
    If you look at this conflict from a more regional perspective, one could argue that the Russians of Eastern Ukraine are defending their homeland from Ukrainian aggression, the same as the argument you are making vis-a-vis Ukraine.
    You could. And while I do think the Ukrainians can and will force the Russian army out (as long as the west keeps supplying them), I don't know what they will do with Russian populated areas in Crimea and parts of the Donbas longer term.

    But they're not clear-cut Russian populated regions either. According to their last census (2001), Crimea was 58% Russian (the only majority oblast), Donetsk 38% and Luhansk 39%. While the Russians are a majority in most of Crimea, Russian majorities within the Donbas are concentrated in a small number of districts along the border. The Russians are clearly a minority across most of the region.

    Last edited by Vangelovski; 04-12-2023, 07:14 AM.

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  • Phoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
    Maybe the US failed in Vietnam and Afghanistan (and a host of other places) because they were invading a foreign country just like Russia has done in Ukraine. Maybe it's a lot easier to supply and finance resistance to invasion than actually successfully undertake one? Maybe its even easier to supply and finance resistance when you are the preeminent global superpower? Just a thought.
    If you look at this conflict from a more regional perspective, one could argue that the Russians of Eastern Ukraine are defending their homeland from Ukrainian aggression, the same as the argument you are making vis-a-vis Ukraine.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
    Vangelovski,

    Using your economics argument I wonder why the USA had such a difficult time in Vietnam and Afghanistan…in both instances and time in history the USA was the preeminent economic global power pitted against 3rd world basket cases…
    Maybe the US failed in Vietnam and Afghanistan (and a host of other places) because they were invading a foreign country just like Russia has done in Ukraine. Maybe it's a lot easier to supply and finance resistance to invasion than actually successfully undertake one? Maybe its even easier to supply and finance resistance when you are the preeminent global superpower? Just a thought.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by Karposh View Post
    No, I was merely saying that in order for NATO to take full advantage of those superior NATO stats that YOU listed, they would need to drop the pretense of just trying to level out the playing field by supplying arms to Ukraine and declare open war on Russia. That way they can use all that additional fire power they clearly possess unobstructed.
    There's no pretense. NATO doesn't need to put its own personnel into Ukraine to make use of its weapons. Ukraine has more than enough manpower.

    Nope. I heard it from Colonel Douglas A. Macgregor. And I know what you're gonna say - He's just another Putinista.
    What would Colonel Douglas A. Macgregor know more than any other member of the public? Colonel Douglas A. Macgregor retired from the military in 2004 and doesn't have access to any special information. Even when he was in the US Army, he would not have had access to any special intelligence. He was in command of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment. It's an armoured infantry battalion of about 430 men. He'd be given his marching orders and expected to do his job.

    Everyone who challenges the accepted narrative is a dirty Putinista according to leftist liberals on CNN, Biden administration, and YOU apparently.
    WTF?

    Very funny and quite revealing of your abrasive nature. You must be a real delight to be around. No, I'm not scared at all. We all have to die some day and I couldn't think of a better way to go than that if that day were to arrive sooner than I expected. But I wouldn't dismiss things going wrong even if you're correct (which I will agree with) that no one really wants to press the button.
    You were literally just talking about how its all going to be Armageddon and the end of the world. Do you even read what you post?

    Well you just said that Russia is going to lose this war because of its pathetic military performance and obvious disadvantage in terms of sheer resources. You are very confident in this as are CNN and the New York Times. According to some in the media, Russians are so under-resourced and pathetic that they have resorted to fighting with shovels.
    I know what I said and I know why I have said it. I've even provided ample information as to why I think Russia will lose the war. The real question for the Putinista's like you is WHY YOU THINK RUSSIA CAN WIN THIS WAR? None of you have even attempted to answer such a basic question other than some vague reasoning that they've got 100 million people capable of fighting and an invincible industrial base that in reality is tiny compared to what is available to the west.
    Last edited by Vangelovski; 04-12-2023, 05:22 AM.

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  • Phoenix
    replied
    Vangelovski,

    Using your economics argument I wonder why the USA had such a difficult time in Vietnam and Afghanistan…in both instances and time in history the USA was the preeminent economic global power pitted against 3rd world basket cases…

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  • Karposh
    replied
    Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
    You brought it up. I just applied YOUR logic. Maybe you should apply YOUR own logic to what would amount to YOUR hatred of the west?
    To be clear, I don't hate the west. I disagree with many of the far-left ideology it openly promotes around the world but I never said or insinuated that I hate the west. At most, I have probably expressed some strong views with regard to this insane and insidious ideology it promotes on this forum and other forums but that pales in comparison to your overt anti-Russian stance.

    You were just trying to suggest it would lead to a "direct conflict" one post ago.
    No, I was merely saying that in order for NATO to take full advantage of those superior NATO stats that YOU listed, they would need to drop the pretense of just trying to level out the playing field by supplying arms to Ukraine and declare open war on Russia. That way they can use all that additional fire power they clearly possess unobstructed.

    Did you hear that on this forum? I bet you did.
    Nope. I heard it from Colonel Douglas A. Macgregor. And I know what you're gonna say - He's just another Putinista. Everyone who challenges the accepted narrative is a dirty Putinista according to leftist liberals on CNN, Biden administration, and YOU apparently.

    I don't think anyone is using nuclear weapons, you can stop wetting the bed.
    Very funny and quite revealing of your abrasive nature. You must be a real delight to be around. No, I'm not scared at all. We all have to die some day and I couldn't think of a better way to go than that if that day were to arrive sooner than I expected. But I wouldn't dismiss things going wrong even if you're correct (which I will agree with) that no one really wants to press the button.

    What on earth does CNN and the New York Times, or Hunter Biden's laptop have to do with anything I posted?
    Well you just said that Russia is going to lose this war because of its pathetic military performance and obvious disadvantage in terms of sheer resources. You are very confident in this as are CNN and the New York Times. According to some in the media, Russians are so under-resourced and pathetic that they have resorted to fighting with shovels.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by Karposh View Post
    So, what you're telling me is if I don't like it why don't I go back to where I came from? That's rich. Do I need to pledge my unwavering support to the west for every ill advised conflict they have ever stuck their nose in because I live in the west? Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and the rest? No, I prefer to exercise my own independent critical thinking and respectfully disagree with the west's desire to impose, in their own words, their "liberal world order".
    You brought it up. I just applied YOUR logic. Maybe you should apply YOUR own logic to what would amount to YOUR hatred of the west?

    All other industries relating to civilian life will play second fiddle to the war effort and, in times of war, Russians will tend to mobilise all citizens of fighting age. I think my number of 100,000,000 is probably closer to the mark out of a country of approximately 150,000,000. Gone are the days when people had on average 4-5 kids per family. Russians, like most people in the world today, usually have about 1-2 kids per family. I don't think children under 18 make up a huge proportion of the overall population.
    Sure...your number. I prefer mine. It comes from legitimate sources not someone's napkin.

    Second fiddle? Like food production? What about medical services? What about power generation and supply? How long will that last?

    I know what a proxy war is (thank you)
    Do you?

    and the whole world knows that the conflict in Ukraine is essentially a proxy war between Russia and the west. Obviously it's not a direct conflict or else NATO would be trying to carpet bomb Moscow and Saint Petersburg by now.
    You were just trying to suggest it would lead to a "direct conflict" one post ago.

    And no, the question isn't about Russia at all. Russians are already in this up to their balls. It really is about whether NATO is willing to commit troops on the ground and not just handing over their military surplus to Ukrainians only to sit back and watch them get slaughtered.
    All of the Putinista's on here keep insinuating the Ukrainians are puppets fighting for the west, but none have even attempted to answer the question of why wouldn't the Ukrainians fight for their own country, homes, families and national sovereignty against a foreign invasion? Some of you keep acting like the Ukrainians are just confused Russians and that Russia didn't send its military across a national border and this isn't an invasion.

    I heard the life expectancy of Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut is only 4 hours.
    Did you hear that on this forum? I bet you did.

    So, is NATO willing to get involved directly by going all in and escalating this to a nuclear Armageddon? If they are then we're all fucked.
    I don't think anyone is using nuclear weapons, you can stop wetting the bed.

    I think you should stop watching CNN or reading the New York Times. Hunter Biden's laptop was actually a Russian psyop according to these gaslighting fools. When it comes to gaslighting and spreading misinformation/disinformation, no one does it better than the western mainstream media.
    What on earth does CNN and the New York Times, or Hunter Biden's laptop have to do with anything I posted?

    Russia has managed to capture a total of 3.5 towns over the past couple of months. The map has not moved since its winter/spring offensive started. It hasn't even claimed to have captured anything more. Russia's resources and manpower vs NATOs are what they are. I sourced all my figures. Do you think Russia's economy is larger than all of NATO's put together? Do you think Russia spends more money on defence than all of NATO? Do you think they have a larger manufacturing capacity? Do you think they have a larger stock of weapons? What sources can you provide other than what some drunk idiots told you?

    Another question the Putinista's on here just can't seem to answer is HOW EXACTLY DO YOU THINK RUSSIA CAN WIN THIS WAR?
    Last edited by Vangelovski; 04-12-2023, 01:01 AM.

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