The Ukraine situation, where will it end?

I’m not really saying that Porridge. What I am saying is, if you keep poking a Pit Bull Terrier with a sharp stick don’t be surprised if it bites you. The US has (through NATO expansion) spent thirty-two years poking Russia and now they are surprised and shocked at the result. Are a US politicians really that stupid? What if Canada and/or Mexico had joined the Warsaw pact back in the day, don’t you think the US would have reacted?

If I assess blame for this disaster from the first day of the Russian invasion, Russia is 100% to blame. If, however, I assess blame from 1990 onwards I consider the US 100% to blame. As I’ve been wittering on about since the start, Western politicians should never have let this happen. It was not inevitable.

The talk of Russian expansion is IMO just a smokescreen and Western propaganda. I think Putin would have been happy just abusing his own people and amassing his unquantifiable riches without wanting to “rebuild” the Soviet Union.

As I asked above, apart from the Afghan adventure (which was a Soviet, not a Russian war) and Georgia which one could argue was a result of threatened further NATO (read US) expansion, what evidence if Russian “expansion” since 1990 have I missed?

Remember the US has form here. We would all agree that 9/11 was an atrocity carried out by madmen from Al-Qaeda. But it was the US through their proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan (who were fighting the mujahideen) that nurtured and supported Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden, who then bit hand that fed them. If one wanted to stretch a point, if the Soviets had been left to defeat that mujahideen (had they been able to do so) we wouldn’t have the dreadful situation we have to day in Afghanistan, nor the level of Islamist extremism around the World. And yet despite 15 of the 21 9/11 hijackers being from Saudi, the US maintains very friendly relationship with that foul regime :roll_eyes:

I’m no historian nor expert in any of this Porridge, but having originally started from a pro US position and now having the time to do a spot of reading and research I am appalled at the damage US foreign policy has done through intended or unintended consequences since WWII. There seems to be no limit to how much these people can screw up and no limit as to how much people in other lands pay the price.

I know you’re replying to Porridge, John, but I’d say that I agree in principle with most of what you say, thought I’m quite sure that a) the pre-1990 period counts for Russian expansionist attitudes and b) Putin would be looking to expand his control even if the US had completely minded its own business.

We can agree that there are plenty of faults on the US side.

But the fact that more countries wanted to be part of NATO than chose the alternative is no justification or excuse for Putin’s barbarism.

I don’t thing we should go back to pre WWII, we’ll be at this discussion for the next ten years :face_with_hand_over_mouth: Russia before the German invasion was one thing, Russia after the German invasion was another and “Russia” after WWII was another. For me the current story starts at the collapse of the Soviet Union. We all celebrated the fall of that regime and hoped for a new peaceful, coperative future for the whole of Europe, including Russia.

I find the beginning of your second para telling. I too have not been able to find any evidence of Putin’s desire to reestablish the USSR. Especially that by the time he kicked off on the proposal for Georgian and Ukrainian membership Russia had seen East Germany (through unification), the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO. Given he didn’t freak out over any of those, what triggered his action against Georgia?

I also think you have uncovered the great Western half truth…

The key word here is “formal”. It is true that no treaties were signed but Russia claims, and I believe, that informal guarantees WERE given.

Since is pantomime time I’ll say… “Oh no it’s not”. While I believe EU counties can legitimately claim that, given their track record I wouldn’t trust the US an inch. would you?

I agree that the invasion is the responsibility of Russia and the appalling aftermath. However the US has not just been unwise, they have created the whole environment that caused the invasion.

This doesn’t in any way legitimise or excuse Russia’s action, but unless we realise who has actually caused this disaster and stop them (as best we can) they will continue to screw up the rest of the World. Had we acted after the Iraq disaster and pursued Bush and Blair as the war criminals they are maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today.

That’s not what I saying Porridge. Nothing is an excuse for that. What I am interested in is how we got here. And IMO the US brought us to this sad state, and I think I’ve presented a good case for that view.

I really think AM and the Soviet Union and post 1990 Russia are completely different beasts, notwithstanding that Putin is a child of the former. As I’ve said, I can’t find any evidence of Putin’s expansive intentions. I think it’s Western propaganda that is being fed to us. No different to the current Tory mantra, it’s all somebody else’s fault and unfortunately most people swallow the lies and the guilty (in this case and IMO the US) never get called to account. As I said above, had the US been held responsible for the Iraq debacle perhaps (or better still an earlier cock-up) then maybe we wouldn’t be where we are. Until re recognise which Country is causing all this self inflicted pain we’re living Groundhog Day.

Twenty plus years ago it was obvious to me that outsourcing high tech manufacturing to China would, through osmosis and IP theft, facilitate Chinese tech sector growth. I little expected the degree and speed it would do so. Our hunger for cheap iPhones and US corporate greed fueled the Chinese “miracle”. Well, I think that “miracle” might just bite us in the bottom in the future, resulting in some sort of military conflict, Taiwan maybe?

And guess which Country I’ll blame :joy: :joy: :joy:

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Land of the brave, home of the free?. :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually the whole western world is to blame. We ALL wanted our cheap goods, our bigger profits, our office jobs instead of working in factories. In Britain, militant unions made manufacturers leap at the chance to have stuff made cheaply with fewer labour troubles. We’ve known for decades about IP and tech theft, yet that never stopped the know-how being sent to China. Just a few companies seemed to wake up to the potential for disaster, not sending key parts of processes there.

[quote=“John_Scully, post:950, topic:38475”]
I really think AM and the Soviet Union and post 1990 Russia are completely different beasts, notwithstanding that Putin is a child of the former.

I see Putin as a direct continuation of the old Soviet union in terms of core attitudes: conservative, kleptocratic, control in the centre, a dictator for life regardless of the appearance of democracy. He’s pragmatically dumped the old appearance of a communist state at least partly because that trope was worn out and an appearance of embracing capitalism has allowed him and a small group to acquire wealth and power. At it’s heart though I think the same national socialism is at work.

My experience talking to some Russians is that they regret the breakdown of the USSR and want those days back again (forgetting neatly the evils of communism).

So on that basis 1990 was just a bump in the road where the west ‘beat’ Russia and enabled agitators within to have it dismantled. He has also been working on payback, manipulating western democracy in the hope of causing trainwreck, and it seems that we’ve played along and his plans have been at least partially successful.

So why hasn’t Putin tried to exert military power sooner? I wouldn’t wonder if his country wasn’t such a wreck when he took over that it simply didn’t have the capability to invade somewhere like Ukraine, especially as they got their asses handed to them in Afghanistan. Yes, I agree the present mess with militant Islam is mostly the fault of the west. The mix of arrogance and stupidity in a wide range of different theatres has been breathtaking, as though it were just a game and at some time a grown-up would just come along and sort things out. As for Bush and Blair, I genuinely think they were trying to make the world a better place, but really had no idea (they MUST have been deliberately badly briefed - who supplied THAT information) what they were doing. The complete absence of a plan post-invasion of Iraq shows what a complete tram-smash that was, never mind whether they should have done it in the first place.

I’m sure if Putin had been running the US then they would have taken over the whole world by now.

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Well I suppose thanking God for small mercies is all that’s left to us :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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Looks like Vlad the destroyer is getting rid of domestic criticism the terminal way

There’s a longish kill list but limited cleaners so taking it one at a time

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He’s getting through them though, and now 2 in just a few days

Indeed. Motoring :confounded:

Who briefed Bush and Blair about Iraq, if we wish to be charitable and assume they were mis-briefed by someone else? Well in the case of the US, the defence and oil interests with both Bushes, senior and junior, apparently directly plugged into those. I think Blair just followed along knowing cooperation would lead to personal opportunities.

But perhaps your question was rhetorical and you knew that, didn’t you?

An old man stands on a street corner in Moscow yelling, “The President is an idiot!”
Police quickly surround and handcuff him. They say, “Don’t you know it’s illegal to insult President Putin?”
The old man says, “But you don’t understand! I meant the Ukrainian president, Zelensky; he’s the one I was insulting.”
The police captain says, “You can’t fool us; everyone knows who the idiot is.”


Hope that’s true, of the Russian people…

Hard to say what is going on with this move

Is the little chef setting himself up as a Putin successor or possibly more?

Maybe hoping that the sight of body bags of Ukrainian soldiers arriving in Kyiv will somehow break the spirit of the Ukrainian people?

Like catapulting the heads of prisoners over the castle wall? I’d expect it to stiffen resolve, and be more likely to result in Russian prisoners being given a worse time, so perhaps that’s the objective?

Hope you’re right, that it will stiffen resolve.

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Thing is, the whole Russian plan is far wider than just Ukraine. Western powers have been aware for some years that the big plan was to destabilise Europe. The GRU has a specific division of operatives, named Unit 29155 who have been very busy

The bombing campaign now in Spain is part of an operation targeting EU support for Ukraine

A 74 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of sending letter bombs to the prime minister’s office, the American and Ukrainian embassies and a weapons manufacturer, Instalaza, a weapons manufacturer in Zaragoza, in northeastern Spain. Instalaza makes grenade launchers provided to Ukraine by the Spanish government.

The apparent aim of the action, according to the U.S. officials, was to signal that Russia and its proxies could carry out terrorist strikes across Europe, including in the capitals of member states of NATO, which is helping defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. Spain is a member of the alliance and has given hundreds of millions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as diplomatic support.

For anyone interested, here is a link to explain the organisation behind Russia’s network in Europe