Russian retreat in Ukraine leaves Putin under pressure at home

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one week ago  •  25 comments

By:   Matthew Bodner

Russian retreat in Ukraine leaves Putin under pressure at home
Russian President Vladimir Putin has a new problem in Ukraine: Many of the war's supporters.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



LONDON — Russian President Vladimir Putin has a problem.

For more than two decades now, Putin's expanding grip on power has been predicated on his portrayed strength and justified as essential to Russia's existence. Over time, as the political opposition and the independent media were gradually whittled away, Kremlin propagandists fostered a sense of inevitability underpinning his continued stewardship.


"Russian society, just as the Russian army, is decaying and falling apart because of corruption."
RUSSIAN SOLIDER PAVEL FILATYEV

From the start, Putin's invasion of Ukraine has been presented to the Russian public — and the country's political elite — in very similar terms: This war was necessary to secure Russia's future existence, it was well-planned and executed, and it will be won. And with near-total control over the information space at home, there has been very little chance for these narratives to be challenged.

All of that has changed over the past week.

Ukraine has conducted twin counteroffensives to retake territories occupied by Russia — and achieved success that appeared to stun outside observers as well as the Kremlin.

The scale of the Russian military's and political leadership's setbacks in Ukraine have become too vast for even state media and pro-war activists to ignore.

"The special military operation has completely failed," Igor Girkin, who gained notoriety as one of the main leaders of Russia's initial efforts in eastern Ukraine back in 2014, said in a video this week. "Since March, we have had a full-fledged war. But until now, Russian authorities, the defense ministry, and general staff have behaved as if there's no war."

220918-Igor-Girkin-ew-546a-a5b8c4.jpg Igor Strelkov, who is also known as Igor Girkin, the top military commander of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic," has thrived on the Telegram messaging service since the start of the war.Bulent Kilic / AFP via Getty Images file

Last week, he declared the war "already lost," and warned his audience of nearly half a million viewers that the war would continue until Russia's total defeat.

Girkin is himself a controversial figure among the marginal but increasingly vocal group of right-wing pro-war bloggers and activists who have thrived on the Telegram messaging service since the start of the war. Their views have traditionally run parallel to official state media messaging but are not firmly under the Kremlin's control. With Russian forces on the retreat, more and more they are accusing the leadership of betraying the troops.

"The Kremlin is worried about this panic sentiment," said Tatiana Stanovaya, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The pro-war activists are seen as allies, they are part of the broad pro-Putin consensus in Russia, the disagreement is just about tactics. So, the Kremlin actually has limited means to deal with this camp. They can't turn against them and suppress them the same way they did the liberal opposition."

Even soldiers who have fought in what the Kremlin insists on calling its "special operation" are returning home, refusing to go back to the front, and challenging the official narrative surrounding the war. As Ukraine retakes territory, videos are appearing online appearing to show massive amounts of equipment abandoned by retreating Russian soldiers.

220918-abandoned-russian-tank-ew-1055a-d9fbc0.jpg A Ukrainian soldier standing atop an abandoned Russian tank near a village on the outskirts of Izyum on Sept. 11.Juan Barreto / AFP - Getty Images

While the television has told the public that they've been fighting a good, clean war, soldiers are telling their friends, families and fellow citizens stories of a chaotic, unclear and troubled operation.

"Russian society, just as the Russian army, is decaying and falling apart because of corruption," Pavel Filatyev, a Russian soldier who has published a scathing memoir of the first two months of the war, told NBC News. "So the Russian army often is not acting carefully, they are acting unprofessionally, and a lot of mistakes are being made."

He fled Russia last month after publishing his 141-page account of the war on the Russian social media network VKontakte. NBC News interviewed him in Paris, where he is now seeking asylum. He said that he was stationed in Crimea on exercises before the start of the war Feb. 24, and his unit was sent into the southern Kherson region without sufficient supplies and ammunition.

"Everyone steals as much as they can at each and every level," Filatyev said when asked about the reason for equipment shortages. "On paper, everything is amazing. Our soldiers should be well-fed and happy. But in practice, somewhere along the line the extra food was stolen and sold, same with boots and even bulletproof vests."

His account of the war paints a picture of a military that was left in the dark about Putin's intentions before the war began, and under-equipped and mismanaged after troops were ordered into Ukraine. Ultimately, according to Filatyev, the blame falls solely on Putin.

"If you go to Avito and type in bulletproof vest, where do you think those are coming from?" he said, referring to a Craigslist-style service in Russia. "Soldiers are stealing and selling them. Obviously, higher ranked people can sell more, such as ammunition. And at the top, it's obvious that corruption is through the roof … because Putin just can't seem to effectively govern the nation."

Accounts such as Filatyev's cast doubt on the Kremlin's ability to do one thing that many in Russia now seem to agree is necessary to win the war: mobilization of some form.

Over the past few days, this sentiment has started spilling over from marginal radical Telegram channels into the official sanctioned discourse on Russian television. One noteworthy incident took place on a Sunday talk show in which guests openly criticized the war and its goals, with some panelists claiming that Russia will now lose the war unless Putin calls for a full mobilization of the Russian military, which is made up of a mix of paid soldiers and conscripts.

But the Kremlin understands this would be an unpopular decision among the pacified and apathetic Russian public.

It said this week that mobilization was not yet in the cards and openly warned those who are seen as patriotic dissenters from crossing the line.

220907-BUCHA-UKRAINE-MB-1352-b24d6e.jpg A woman walks amid the destruction on the streets of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on April 3.Rodrigo Abd / AP file220830-ukraine-shelling-mjf-1153-2579ba.jpg Destroyed buildings after shelling in Borodianka on April 8.Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images file

"Critical points of view can be considered pluralism so long as they remain within the bounds of the law," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday in response to questions about the growing public criticism of the way the war is going. "But the line is very, very thin, one must be careful here."

A private mercenary group that Western military analysts say has been fighting in Ukraine on behalf of the Kremlin seems to be taking a more central role, even appearing to recruit prisoners to join the war in exchange for going free. NBC News has contacted the Kremlin for comment on the issue.

The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, meanwhile called for regional governors across the country to begin a kind of regional mobilization — an apparent effort to spare the Kremlin the political trouble of a large and loud general mobilization.

Radical right-wing bloggers calling for Putin to take the gloves off in Ukraine are not a direct threat to the regime, Stanovaya said. But their presence in the discourse sends a message to the political elite that backs Putin, undermining their confidence in the leader as the only figure capable of providing stability — the currency of post-Soviet Russian politics, she says.

"Putin's biggest threat is himself," she said. "The problem is his leadership. The Russian elite is used to seeing Putin as a strong man, someone who deals with challenges and always knows where he's taking the country. Now he appears hesitant, he is not convincing at all and he is unclear about Russia's goals and plans," she added. "How is Russia going to win this war?"

It's a question more in Moscow are asking.

Meagan Fitzgerald contributed.


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TᵢG
Professor Principal
1  TᵢG    one week ago

One can only hope this is accurate.   It is of course obvious that Putin is the epicenter of the many tragedies affecting millions of people.   The fate of Mussolini should await Putin.

 
 
 
Revillug
Freshman Guide
2  Revillug    one week ago

At this point Putin is just waiting for November 8, 2022.

If Biden loses congress Ukraine will have lost its main benefactor.

In other words, politics are not only local, they are global.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2.1  squiggy  replied to  Revillug @2    one week ago

"If Biden loses congress Ukraine will have lost its main benefactor."

If only the dems are interested in justice, you'd better pack your IBA for a trip to Taiwan.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.2  Ronin2  replied to  Revillug @2    one week ago

So over 58 billion dollars in aid and military hardware sent to Ukraine is not enough (that is not including all of the hidden money the alphabet soup agencies have funneled their way)?

No accountability how the money is being spent; the weapons are being used; or who they are being given to.

How much more do you want to send there? How many more resources do we need to waste? Will you be calling on the US to pay for Ukraine to be rebuilt when the war is over? You already know Ukraine won't hesitate to demand US support.

Democrats are unwilling to secure our own borders; but for Ukraine's- there seems to be no limits to what they are willing to spend.

 

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
4  Ed-NavDoc    one week ago

Putin has thrown a boomerang at Ukraine that is coming back to smack him upside the head. Just a matter of time.

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
4.1  shona1  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4    one week ago

Evening Ed..boomerangs always come back, it's the dumb arses that don't know that..🪃

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
4.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  shona1 @4.1    one week ago

Yep.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
5  Drinker of the Wry    one week ago
So over 58 billion dollars in aid and military hardware sent to Ukraine is not enough (that is not including all of the hidden money the alphabet soup agencies have funneled their way)?

Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than $15.8 billion in security assistance to demonstrate our enduring and steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  This includes more than $15.1 billion since Russia’s launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine on February 24. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $17.9 billion in security assistance for training and equipment to help Ukraine preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.

No accountability how the money is being spent; the weapons are being used;

Why do you think that?  We know how many weapon systems were provided.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
5.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5    one week ago

I suspect you may be referring to the disposition of the equipment and funding after it got to Ukraine.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
6  Drinker of the Wry    one week ago

Good point, another tranche of various howitzers, mortars, rocket systems and ammo are being gathered to start shipping with 2 weeks.  I don't know how low we go in understanding internal distribution, but the affects are very visible. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
7  Greg Jones    one week ago

Putin and his criminal regime need to be neutered. This is a pivotal moment in history and Ukraine needs to prevail.

It's better to provide material support than American boots on the ground

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8  Nerm_L    one week ago

Well, the message isn't a soft-line narrative about peace and cooperation.  And this message raises questions about who really pushed for war in Ukraine.  The danger is that Putin could be replaced by these hard-liners.  The recriminations being voiced are that Russia did not fight harder.  A corrupt government failed to support the troops.  While it's not overtly stated, the underlying theme is that the Kremlin government failed the Rodina.

Putin's position isn't being threatened by soft-line liberals.  So, if Putin is toppled then who do we think will replace him?  Peaceniks?  Are we to believe that replacing Putin will allow the oil and gas to flow?  Are we to believe that replacing Putin will transform Russia into a liberal democracy?

And the zeal over replacing Putin ignores the looming question for the west.  What do we do with Ukraine?  A Marshall plan?  How does that work without occupying troops in Ukraine?  Ukraine has learned how to become another Turkey.  And there may well be an alliance between Ukraine and Turkey to achieve greater control over the Black Sea.  It's quite possible that Ukraine will become a will-o'-the-wisp ally similar to Turkey.

Pay attention, folks.  The article isn't about Russians voicing regrets over invading Ukraine.  What is being voiced is recriminations that Russia has failed to destroy Ukraine.  Those recriminations may simmer on the back burner but it doesn't look like they are going away.  We're going to be in this for a long while yet.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8    one week ago
Putin's position isn't being threatened by soft-line liberals.  So, if Putin is toppled then who do we think will replace him?  Peaceniks? 

You think that those who see more peaceful methods for the nation lack the balls to remove Putin?   That is, do you think those with a philosophy of peaceful diplomacy are necessarily wimps / pushovers and only those with a philosophy of brute force are 'real men'?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    one week ago
You think that those who see more peaceful methods for the nation lack the balls to remove Putin?   That is, do you think those with a philosophy of peaceful diplomacy are necessarily wimps / pushovers and only those with a philosophy of brute force are 'real men'?

When has that ever worked in geopolitics? 

You know we fought longer in Vietnam after the peace protests started than before the peace protests.  The obvious question is whether or not the peace protests prolonged the war.  And it was 20 years before the US normalized relations with Vietnam after the end of fighting.  The combat phase of the war with Vietnam lasted 10 years but the conflict didn't end for another 20 years.  Vietnam was a 30 year war.

Geopolitical wars are not fought with guns.  Biden turned a regional war in Ukraine into a geopolitical global war.  The Cold War was a geopolitical global war that lasted over 40 years.  The United States didn't beat guns into plowshares just because we weren't involved in combat.  Peace and détente didn't do away with the hard-liners.  We're still fighting the Soviets long after the Soviet Union collapsed.  The hard-liners are still running geopolitical policy.

Removing Putin won't get rid of the Russian military, intelligence services, and diplomatic corps.  You know, under Putin Russia has been establishing relations with Europe.  Putin opened Russia for trade and tourism with the west.  Putin did not isolate Russia from the world as did Stalin and his Soviet successors.  So, who replaces Putin isn't a trivial question that can be pushed aside by hard-line patriotic chest thumping.  Removing Putin won't necessarily be a good thing. 

And it's highly doubtful we can control our own hard-liners.  After all, diplomatic negotiations (the peaceful approach) wasn't even part of Biden's repertoire.  Biden's stance toward Russian threats against Ukraine really was hard-line.  Don't claim that we want peace when peace was never given a chance.  Ukraine has been our fighters in a geopolitical war.  So, what do we do with Ukraine after the fighting stops?  Do we use Ukraine to threaten Russia?  Will Ukraine be a submissive ally when the fighting stops?  We supplied and armed Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany.  How did that turn out?  Just how far will Ukraine's 'gratitude' go?

  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.1    one week ago
When has that ever worked in geopolitics? 

When has diplomacy worked?   Is that your question?

Vietnam was a 30 year war.

Do you consider the brute force approach of Vietnam to be superior to a diplomatic approach?

The Cold War was a geopolitical global war that lasted over 40 years.

Would you have preferred a brute force approach instead?

Removing Putin won't get rid of the Russian military, intelligence services, and diplomatic corps. 

Did someone posit that it would ... and that it would be immediate?

Removing Putin won't necessarily be a good thing. 

Do you prefer Putin remain in power?

Don't claim that we want peace when peace was never given a chance.  

You saw no effort on the part of the USA other than brute force?

So, what do we do with Ukraine after the fighting stops? 

Work, diplomatically, to encourage them to be a good ally.

Do we use Ukraine to threaten Russia? 

No.  Why would that even cross your mind?

Will Ukraine be a submissive ally when the fighting stops?  

Submissive?   I doubt that.   Ally?   Hopefully.   I would expect that Ukraine and the USA will be on friendly terms;  global events will shape that as time progresses.   The relationship is not predictable long term.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8.1.3  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.2    one week ago
When has diplomacy worked?   Is that your question?

Diplomacy isn't a peace movement.  Diplomacy isn't even guided by liberal ideals.  Diplomacy is about finding compromise.  Diplomacy is about finding an agreement that everyone may hate but can live with.  Real diplomacy is not unilateral.  Unilateral diplomacy is sought after by hard liners.

Do you consider the brute force approach of Vietnam to be superior to a diplomatic approach?

Vietnam was driven by the same hard line view of diplomacy as Biden has employed for Ukraine.  

You saw no effort on the part of the USA other than brute force?

Biden has been threatening Russia with retaliation over (possible) aggression against Ukraine since April, 2021.  That's four months before the Afghanistan withdrawal and 11 months before Russia invaded Ukraine.  Biden adopted a hard line policy stance a year before the Russian invasion.  Biden told Putin it was his way or the highway.  Russia chose the highway.  And now we're all travelling down that highway.

Submissive?   I doubt that.   Ally?   Hopefully.   I would expect that Ukraine and the USA will be on friendly terms;  global events will shape that as time progresses.   The relationship is not predictable long term.

During the Cold War, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power on the planet.  Should we be surprised if Ukrainian hardliners are arguing that Ukraine needs to rebuild a nuclear deterrent?  Are we supposed to believe that Kiev government's concern over control of the ZNPP nuclear power plant is motivated by peaceful intentions?  The six ZNPP reactors produce plutonium as a normal part of their operation.  The ZNPP power plant provides a pathway to building nuclear weapons.  The Ukrainian hardliners know that.  So does Russia.

Ukraine already knows how to build bombs.  Would Turkey be interested?  Ukraine and Turkey seem to be on good terms.  There's already groundwork for an alliance between Ukraine and Turkey.  And if Turkey has an alliance with nuclear armed Ukraine, then Turkey won't need Russia.

So, what are we going to do with Ukraine after the fighting ends?  Threaten Russia?  Hope that Ukraine will be a submissive ally?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.3    one week ago
Diplomacy is about finding compromise.  Diplomacy is about finding an agreement that everyone may hate but can live with.  Real diplomacy is not unilateral. 

Do you or do you not think diplomacy is preferable to brute force?

Vietnam was driven by the same hard line view of diplomacy as Biden has employed for Ukraine.  

Non answer.   The question @8.1.2 was:  "Do you consider the brute force approach of Vietnam to be superior to a diplomatic approach?"

Biden has been threatening Russia with retaliation over (possible) aggression against Ukraine since April, 2021.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.   That is substantially different from brute force.   Putin clearly (history proves this) was not going to stop until he acquired more Ukrainian land (resources).   Brute force would have amassed military might to combat Putin.   Sanctions and coalitions fall on the side of diplomacy rather than brute force.

So, what are we going to do with Ukraine after the fighting ends?  Threaten Russia?  Hope that Ukraine will be a submissive ally?

Same answer as when you asked this the first time:

TiG @8.1.2 ☞ Work, diplomatically, to encourage them to be a good ally.  ...  I would expect that Ukraine and the USA will be on friendly terms;  global events will shape that as time progresses.   The relationship is not predictable long term.
 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8.1.5  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.4    one week ago
Do you or do you not think diplomacy is preferable to brute force?

Obviously diplomacy is preferable to brute force.  Why is it necessary to dwell upon stupid questions that have already been addressed by my comments.  You need it spelled out is simple language?  Diplomacy, good.  Brute force, bad.  That's from the caveman dictionary.

You do realize that Biden deliberately chose a brute force confrontation with Putin and Russia?  Brute force doesn't require guns.  Brute force only requires a unilateral decision backed by threats.  Biden's approach to Russian threats toward Ukraine was not diplomacy.  And Biden was not threatening Russia with retaliation to begin engaging in diplomacy.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.   That is substantially different from brute force.   Putin clearly (history proves this) was not going to stop until he acquired more Ukrainian land (resources).   Brute force would have amassed military might to combat Putin.   Sanctions and coalitions fall on the side of diplomacy rather than brute force.

Speak softly and carry a big stick isn't diplomacy.  The soft spoken words are backed up by a real threat of brute force.  That's a threat to negotiate or fight.  Speaking softly without the threat of brute force won't accomplish much.

Brute force is a deliberate attempt to force an adversary or opponent to do what is wanted without having to compromise.

Sanctions are also brute force.  Sanctions kill people, too.  Just because we believe that sanctions means we won't suffer while Russians suffer clearly shows that sanctions are a means of brute force.

Threats of brute force are often intended to encourage both sides to begin diplomacy.  Russia made a threat of brute force for a year and no one wanted to negotiate.  So, the soft speech had to be backed up with a big stick.  Speaking softly without the threat of a big stick won't compel the parties to engage in diplomacy.  And refusing to engage in diplomacy means the big stick has to be used.

Obviously Biden thought we had a bigger stick and didn't need to negotiate or compromise.  Biden wouldn't engage in diplomacy and Putin couldn't back down after making the threats.  Putin didn't rush to war.  Putin was speaking softly with a big stick.  Biden refused to listen.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.5    one week ago
Diplomacy, good.  Brute force, bad. 

An important thing to recognize!

You do realize that Biden deliberately chose a brute force confrontation with Putin and Russia? 

I defined brute force as military action; Biden clearly tried to do everything but.   Biden attempted to dissuade Putin from invading Ukraine.   Nobody was going to dissuade Putin from his attempted land grab (starting with the Donbas region).

Speak softly and carry a big stick isn't diplomacy. 

It is a core principle of effective diplomacy.   Negotiating from a position of weakness is generally ineffective.

Speaking softly without the threat of a big stick won't compel the parties to engage in diplomacy. 

See, Nerm, you do understand the principle of negotiating from a position of strength (vs. weakness) after all.

Obviously Biden thought we had a bigger stick and didn't need to negotiate or compromise.  Biden wouldn't engage in diplomacy and Putin couldn't back down after making the threats.  Putin didn't rush to war.  Putin was speaking softly with a big stick.  Biden refused to listen.

Putin has stated and acted on his demands for years.   They were and are unacceptable.   Per January, the demands included: 

  • Russia wants a guarantee Ukraine can never join NATO
  • Russia wants NATO arms out of Eastern Europe
  • Russia wants a ban on NATO missiles within striking distance
  • Russia wants autonomy for eastern Ukraine

The Biden administration and European Union leaders reached out to Putin and it was Putin who would not negotiate:  held firm to his demands.   Seems to me, you think Biden (and NATO) should have simply caved on Putin's demands.   Diplomacy does not mean simply caving on outrageous demands.   Both sides need to provide room for compromise.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8.1.7  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.6    one week ago
I defined brute force as military action; Biden clearly tried to do everything but.   Biden attempted to dissuade Putin from invading Ukraine.   Nobody was going to dissuade Putin from his attempted land grab (starting with the Donbas region).

Yes, I realize that.  You are attempting to arbitrarily set conditions so that only your point view has merit.  But that's not the real world.  That's not diplomacy, either.  Biden's economic sanctions are not military force but are definitely a brute force method. 

Joe Biden is not a diplomat or compromiser.  Biden attempts to find a bigger stick and escalates.  The idea of speak softly and carry a big stick means the big stick is really doing the talking.  

Speak softy and carry a big stick is not diplomacy, that's more akin to bullying.  That's why the United States typically doesn't feel there is a need to negotiate with weaker countries.  The bullying big stick has been a reliable tool for the hardline policies of the United States.

Putin has stated and acted on his demands for years.   They were and are unacceptable.   Per January, the demands included:    npr
  • Russia wants a guarantee Ukraine can never join NATO
  • Russia wants NATO arms out of Eastern Europe
  • Russia wants a ban on NATO missiles within striking distance
  • Russia wants autonomy for eastern Ukraine
The Biden administration and European Union leaders reached out to Putin and it was Putin who would not negotiate:  held firm to his demands.   Seems to me, you think Biden (and NATO) should have simply caved on Putin's demands.   Diplomacy does not mean simply caving on outrageous demands.   Both sides need to provide room for compromise.

The items on your list were addressed and, at least, partially resolved by mutual agreement between the Ukrainian government, Russian government, and Ukrainian separatists in the 2014 Minsk Agreements.  The big item omitted from that list (and what we are supposedly defending) is Ukrainian national sovereignty.  The issue of Ukrainian national sovereignty had been resolved in the 2014 Minsk agreements.  

The Minsk framework was most definitely not about Russia annexing Ukraine.  Russia wanted Ukraine to remain neutral towards NATO as was Finland.  That was the big item for Russian demands for security guarantees.  The propaganda that Russia wants to annex Ukraine is coming from western hardliners without any support from efforts to resolve the conflict in 2014.  The hardline position of the United States does not even acknowledge the Minsk agreements.

Why wouldn't Russia want NATO to pull back into western Europe?  To understand Russian objections to NATO it really is necessary to understand the purpose of NATO and the reason for NATO to even exist.  The collapse of the Soviet Union was supposed to be the end of NATO.  Only by arbitrarily rewriting history can the United States justify the continued existence of NATO.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.7    one week ago

Basically you have yet again (obvious this was going to happen) returned to your mantra that just going back to the Minsk agreements would have solved everything.    Not going to bother rediscussing that.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Principal
8.1.9  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.8    one week ago
Basically you have yet again (obvious this was going to happen) returned to your mantra that just going back to the Minsk agreements would have solved everything.    Not going to bother rediscussing that.

The Minsk agreements were a starting point for diplomacy.  The three parties had already achieved mutual agreement on key points of conflict.  Diplomacy has to begin with mutual agreement on some points.  The Minsk agreement accomplished that.  It was a starting point for diplomacy.  The Minsk agreement had moved beyond the phase of threats and counter-threats.  

Dismissing the importance of diplomacy while arguing that brute force is unacceptable creates a path that leads to war.  A big stick does not resolve the root cause of conflict.  The big stick only allows the bigger bully to force others to submit.  Those forced into submission will only try to find a bigger stick; the conflict remains unresolved.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
8.1.10  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.4    one week ago

Someone once said that war, by it's very definition, is the extreme last resort of failed diplomacy.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
8.1.11  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @8.1.10    one week ago

Carl von Clausewitz’s ‘On War’ a Prussian General Staff Officer included the notion that war was a deliberate act of policy, instigated by national leaders and to achieve a specific objective, not the  natural state of affairs between rival nations, as many believed.  “War is a continuation of policy by other means,” Clausewitz wrote.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
9  Ed-NavDoc    one week ago

Putin is basically saying Give me everything I demand and I "might" try to behave! But don't bet on it.

 
 

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