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Saul

War in Ukraine

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Today president Putin spoke to a packed audience in the Moscow stadium. I heard some of the speech and the narrative is pretty different from the western narrative. Russia has been compelled to defend against the nazis attempting a genocide in the south-eastern separatist regions (Donbass and Donetsk). The allusion to the nazis relate probably to the present followers of the movement of Stepan Bandera, an ultranationalist active during WW2. I don't know about the alleged crimes of the neonazis in the separatist countries, although genocide is probably an extreme word for it. Besides, even if true, that might have possibly  justified an invasion of the separatist regions not of the whole Ukrainian country.

The choreography of the talk is in a way reminiscent of the public talks of Mussolini and Hitler. the president appears to have many supporters in his country, although it's easy to conceal the truth when propaganda is so pervasive and freedom of speech is impossible or punished with jail.

 

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I was able to retrieve the scene of an Ukrainian ambush at Skybyn, replayed on cartoons wich includes a counter-ambush. very eloquent.

 

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On 3/18/2022 at 4:46 PM, mccoy said:

the president appears to have many supporters in his country,

Reports were that the people in that stadium were basically "forced" to attend through party pressure tactics (i.e. your boss says you have to go).  In street interviews, the younger generations of Russians are almost 100% against Putin and the war.  But the older generations that are more susceptible to state controlled media have more favorable views of Putin and the "special operation".  It basically comes down to who is still stupid enough to believe state controlled brainwashing messages.

Frontline just put a new documentary out "Putin's Road to War" that already has 1.5 million views, its pretty good:

 

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14 hours ago, Gordo said:

It basically comes down to who is still stupid enough to believe state controlled brainwashing messages.

We have this issue in the US too.  Here's a current video blog from an American living in Kharkov, Ukraine who strikes me as better informed than most Americans as to what is actually going on over there.  I was tipped off to this video blogger about a week ago by https://www.moonofalabama.org/ which I also endorse for the thoughtful community and the bloggers track record of changing his positions as new data arises.  I have been attempting to boycott Google and Youtube in response to their censorship.  I made the exception for this.  It wouldn't surprise me if this video gets zapped and I'm glad I was able to see it.

 

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On 3/21/2022 at 2:00 PM, Gordo said:

Reports were that the people in that stadium were basically "forced" to attend through party pressure tactics (i.e. your boss says you have to go).  In street interviews, the younger generations of Russians are almost 100% against Putin and the war.  But the older generations that are more susceptible to state controlled media have more favorable views of Putin and the "special operation".  It basically comes down to who is still stupid enough to believe state controlled brainwashing messages.

Yes, I heard about the forced supporters and it's pretty logical, what seems to be the situation is that for some people, probably many elders it's hard to believe things differently from the continuous stream of propaganda coming from the government media. Plus, there is always a group of hard-core nostalgics of the old Soviet empire.

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On 3/16/2022 at 9:12 PM, Ron Put said:

Interesting summary of Putin the man, largely accurate based on my previous knowledge:
 

 

Interesting indeed, basically the political rise of Putin started with a scam at the expense of the hungry citizens of Petersburg... An incredible episode narrated by other sources. Greed plus ruthlessness plus lots of lies plus a sense of being chosen from above, when you believe you have been chosen by God for a holy endeavor, you don't back off whatever the adversities are....

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Excellent interview with general Petreus, I cannot believe how the Ukrainians killed 5 high russian generals

 

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There are reasonable speculations and indications that Putin has been sick for the last few years, possibly with cancer. His vision of an imperial Russia presupposes that Russia is a great power, but of course, his problem is that while Russia is a great nuclear power, but not an economic great power. Without a great economy, the ability to maintain a global projection and technological and military superiority is greatly diminished, as is the ability to wage war. Unfortunately, a great number of Russians have very limited access to non-state-controlled information and in Russia, religion, and supra-nationalism go hand in hand, which means that Putin's support is still relatively high among large portions of the population. Currently, the vast majority of Russian conscripts in Ukraine are from the deep provinces, so the dead and the injured do not impact the parge cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg. But if the war bogs down, this may change, sanctions will take their toll, and even if the Russian population continues to believe that NATO and nazis were the causes for the war, Putin's support is likely to decline. Not quickly enough for the Ukrainian victims of his aggression.

Ironically, Putin has done more than anyone in over a century to unite Ukraine and strengthen its national identity. He has also managed to unite NATO and the West and to kick into gear long-overdue energy and trade realignment, as well as shock the Western liberal democracies into the realization of the threats they are facing from the rising authoritarianism. I hope that the West's resolve does not dissipate with the end of the Ukraine war, because China is the truly existential threat to the liberal democracies, greatly aided for decades by Western naivete and placing commercial interests over strategic geopolitical ones.

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Recently posted on Canada's CBC website was an article entitled something like 'How the West got Russia so wrong'.

It was essentially regarding how baffled some (western) 'experts' are over Russia massive failure(s) and Ukraine's surprising resilience during the Russian invasion and war crimes.

Russian's failures from several interviews I've seen from western generals and experts seem to include:

-believing this would be a 'short' invasion and thus lacking food, fuel, and general logistically support for a prolonged campaign

-failing to first dominate air and destroy Ukrainian air capability and anti-air defense - by all accounts, Ukraine is still operating in the air - this is fundamentally demonstrating that Russia doesn't understand and prioritize very basic military strategy -totally shocking

-Russian troops are not motivated and totally demoralized

-the Russian army has repeatedly displayed lack of officer leadership at multiple levels. The Russian army has not been able to properly move, attack/coordinate using basic military tactics - more like an armed mob, something we would expect from an African nations 'military'.

Russia's GDP even with 145 million people is below Italy, Canada, South Korea, France, India, Japan ... essentially Russia is not the force that it once was - economically or militarily

Edited by Clinton

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8 hours ago, Clinton said:

-the Russian army has repeatedly displayed lack of officer leadership at multiple levels. The Russian army has not been able to properly move, attack/coordinate using basic military tactics - more like an armed mob, something we would expect from an African nations 'military'.

Yes, apparently even the chain of command in the Russian army follows obsolete rules, instead of the modern decentralized command which allows initiative even in lack of orders from superior officers. It's not very clear how the chain of command works in the Ukrainian troops, but decentralization must be often mandatory, given the numerous small units strewn across the territory.

I still don't see many combat actions, even though the media men start to understand how to survive near the battle fronts...

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10 hours ago, Gordo said:

This could be really good news on Ukraine situation, it appears the Russians may be finding an acceptable exit strategy:
https://twitter.com/polinaivanovva/status/1507400322829930500?s=19

Well, this may be the new Russian strategy, but it may not be acceptable to Ukraine and other Russian neighbors.

Russia's exit strategy would result in cutting off Ukraine's access to the Black Sea. Russia's land grab ensures complete military Russian domination of the Black Sea. Not an acceptable scenario for many of Russia's neighbors, given Russia's historical aggressive expansionism. I hope that with Western equipment support, the Ukrainian army and population can roll back the invader, helped by the effect that sanctions will hopefully produce on Russia's already shrinking economy.

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1 hour ago, Ron Put said:

Russia's exit strategy would result in cutting off Ukraine's access to the Black Sea. Russia's land grab ensures complete military Russian domination of the Black Sea

Based on the link I posted, the strategy would be to focus only on Donetsk and Luhansk, here's a map:

Screenshot-20220326-081948.jpg

If this were true (remains to be seen) it would not even cut off access to the Sea of Azov let alone the entire Black Sea. What are you talking about? 

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It seems after becoming a global laughingstock Russia took down the above referenced documents but here are some screenshots taken directly from mil.ru:

20220326-085338.jpg

20220326-085349.jpg

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2 hours ago, Gordo said:

Based on the link I posted, the strategy would be to focus only on Donetsk and Luhansk, ... If this were true (remains to be seen) it would not even cut off access to the Sea of Azov let alone the entire Black Sea. What are you talking about? 

Methinks the Russians have established a thin land bridge to Crimea and given the state of their offensive and the stiffer than they expected Ukrainian resistance, they will focus on Mariupol and defending the land bridge against a Ukrainian counter-offensive. They will dig in, resupply, clear out or suppress local resistance, and then move on to Odessa. It's what makes sense for them. Unless their economy collapses or the world gets lucky and Putin is found dead beforehand.

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Apparently russia is trying to sell to their citizens a sound defeat as an absolute victory. But I agree with Ron, the aim is to take Mariupol and create a land stripe connecting Russia to Crimea.

I was expecting an epic battle in Kiev but probably it won't take place. I hope reason has woken up in Russian hi ranks. If they want to win, they'll have to fall back on WMD or they'll have to incinerate the cities even as they did with Grosny in chechenia. This would probably cause the entrance in war of NATO and, given the poor outcome of their military campaign, this would turn into a strategic disaster.

What they'll probably do is to follow the incineration strategy only with the city of Mariupol, which is already more rubbles than buildings.

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I wonder if anyone in Russia will ever be held accountable for this:

 

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On 3/31/2022 at 10:10 PM, Gordo said:

wonder if anyone in Russia will ever be held accountable for this:

Surprisingly, the allegedly powerful Russian army, the legacy of the former Red Army, has turned out to be big but in an advanced state of obsolescence. Some of it is due to extensive corruption in parts procurement, poor maintenance and chain-of-command disorganization. They are decades behind the American army. They flaunt their nuclear weapons like high school bullies because that's the only military deterrent they have. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, corybroo said:

When I saw this article, Russians are fewer, poorer and more miserable than a decade ago, I wondered if the Ukrainian Invasion was an example of Wag the Dog

It doesn't come as a surprise, with oligarchs taking the resources money to buy their toys worth several hundred million US$. Maichenko's science-fictional sail yacht is still in construction and it may reach a billion dollars worth.

 

image.png.026ccfa035d5c8d03732055a0e4832e1.png

 

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