1. moarscienceplz says

    It’s all Russian oligarchs making Russians and Ukrainians everybody else in the whole goddamn word bleed.

  2. says

    I hope you don’t mind my reposting this below, I think it is pertinent here and, if true, may signal a partial end to the international debacle:
    My org. has been observing what the national leaders say (and mainstream media reporting is obfuscatory and incomplete clueless pablum for the masses). There is no factual evidence, just possible logical conclusions from observation include that the violence and expense of the ‘breakaway areas’ have been a pain to zelensky for years. His actions in the ‘break away’ areas have been limited and cautious. He may think that if he loses them to russia it will be an end to those particular troublesome areas.

  3. davidc1 says

    Seems to me the borders off Ukraine change following every war,Lviv used to be Lemberg ,part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.Then it was Lwow ,part of Poland.And the Crimea was only added to Ukraine in 1954.

    @3 So does Vlad want them,or is it that he doesn’t want Ukraine to have them?
    So the best thing is for the West to stop with the war talk.

  4. numerobis says

    Putin wants the Soviet Union to rise again. Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltics annoy him because they don’t want to be part of the Soviet Union again, unlike Belarus and Kazakhstan.

    He’s invaded parts of Ukraine and Georgia, but the Baltic states joined NATO and the EU so they’re off-limits unless he can get NATO and the EU to collapse. That’s why he backed Trump and Brexit.

  5. springa73 says

    numerobis @#5

    I think it’s more the old Russian Empire that he wants to rebuild, rather than the Soviet Union. He certainly doesn’t seem to be interested in any version of communism, even the old Soviet version which was mixed with Russian nationalism.

    At the very least he wants Russia to be feared and respected as a great power. Historically, being a great power – for any country, not just Russia – usually means forcing smaller neighboring countries into a subservient relationship. The price of that is making those neighboring countries hostile and ready to ally with other great powers.

  6. says

    worst part is that Putin already realized his main objective
    In 2020 Sviatlana Tsihanouskaya won the elections in Belarus, but Alexandar Lukashenko, who himself describes as “last dictator in Europe” claimed victory after falsifying the results. Months of street protests didn’t work and opposition was finally thwarted but it is obvious that next elections Lukashenka cannot win and political police this time will not carry him, giving a hope for Belarus to transition towards more democratic state.
    But now Russian troops are stationing in Belarus legally, after being invited and may be kept there as long as necessary making Belarus forever locked in as Russia’s puppet.

  7. says

    I would think Putin learned SOMETHING from Afghanistan. He served there after all. We’ve been pouring small arms and anti armor munitions into The Ukraine for years. As well training their people for asymmetric warfare. This is not going to go well for Putin. We’ve been anticipating this for years. The Ukraine is armed and ready to make them fight for every inch. Pity the poor Russian soldiers. This isn’t their homeland they’re fighting for, it’s Lebensraum. We’re in for a real shit show. Bring popcorn.

  8. vereverum says

    Russia wants Ukraine for its Black Sea coast to help in the invasion of Turkey which is the ultimate goal. Warm water ports. It doesn’t make any sense, with today’s technology though, because the first Turkish act after the start of the Russian onslaught on Turkey will be to close the Bosporus.

  9. JM says

    @9 vereverum: Invasion of Turkey is probably impossible. Alliance with Turkey after Turkey finishes burning all of it’s bridges with the EU and US is possible. That may even be the plan already. That would explain why Turkey has started the Istanbul Canal project. This will give a second lane next to the Bosporus and reduce delays. My understanding is that it would also bypass some treaty limitations on the movement of military ships in ways that Russia wants.

  10. moarscienceplz says

    I have forgotten how to post links here. If anyone can remind me, I would be grateful.

    I was listening to NPR’s World Affairs show last night, and I heard a new theory of Putin’s motivations re Ukraine that made a lot of sense:
    Putin has basically four strings he can pull to make the world outside Russia dance to his tune:
    1 Nuclear missiles:
    Unfortunately for a dictator in a diminished country like him, he is quite outnumbered by NATO nukes and he personally might well die in a nuclear exchange, so that is a poor string to pull.
    2 The Russian military:
    Once again, he is outmatched in a full-on NATO confrontation, but if he keeps his forces inside Russia, or is invited into a territory (much like Count Dracula), then he can pull that string, as he is doing right now.
    3 Petroleum:
    Russia is at the moment a significant supplier of Autocrat Absinthe, but since oil is easily transported around the world, the best he can do is to raise or lower the price of gasoline a few cents. Hardly the weapon of choice for an autocrat, and any manipulation by him would likely hurt his main source of income.
    4 Natural gas piped into western Europe:
    NOW we come to Putin’s most valuable string. In winter, at a word from Putin, millions of Germans and other western Europeans would suffer and many would die if Russia shut off its natural gas pipelines. Putin the Autocrat needs to keep that string intact and uncontested. Here is where Ukraine fits into the picture. A decade ago, Ukraine had three proven and significant reserves of natural gas, and announced that Ukraine would soon shift from being a net importer of gas to a net exporter (and thus a potential rival to Putin’s stranglehold over Europe):
    – 1- The North Carpathian Basin – This is in the very far west of Ukraine and shared with Poland (a NATO country), very difficult for Putin to get control of.
    – 2 – The North Black Sea/Crimea Basin – This area, mostly offshore and undeveloped, belongs to Crimea, which, DING, DING, DING! has been stolen by Putin.
    – 3 – The Dnieper-Donets Basin – This is a large, fairly narrow rectangle that runs prettly much parallel to the Ukraine-Russian border, but always inside Ukraine. Its southeastern terminus is near (DING, DING, DING!) DONETSK!
    So, seen through this lens, Putin is not trying to rebuild a USSR 2.0, he is trying to keep himself powerful in western Europe.

  11. cheerfulcharlie says

    Googling a bit. Russia’s population is 145 million. Ukraine’s population is 44.5 million.

    GDP – Russia 1.483 Trillion
    Germany – 3.806 Trillion
    China – 14.723 Trillion
    Italy – 1.886 Trillion

    Russia is not a rich nation with money to spare. Ukraine is not a small little nation by any means. Holding Ukraine after an invasions is not going to be cheap, or easy. Nor is it like Russia can just officially take the break way regions in an engineered land grab and leave the rest.

    This is all a stupid move. It is like back when the neocons were planning invading Iraq and starting wars in five other Middle eastern nations to extent America hegemony and a dreamy Pax Americana.

    Since the end of WW3, the Soviets have been imposing themselves on Ukraine and moving a lot of Russians there. Post invasion, Ukraine will become much like North Ireland. Anti-Russian feelings will make life for pro-Russia Ukrainians hard. Assassinations and violence will make life for Russians in Ukraine very unpleasant.

    Ukraine. long term is not going to be digestible. Russia will have caught a dragon by the tail and Russia is already a failing nation. Long term, I see no way that Russia can actually They don’t have a big enough economy to do this.prevail.

    Long term, we will see floods of people fleeing Ukraine to Russia, and a hard line anti-Russia coalition in the Baltics and in eventually post Putin Ukraine.

    Russia now has no good options. Invading and holding a nation of 44.5 millions in captivity is going to bankrupt Russia eventually. When one looks at the numbers soberly, this just cannot work. Pull back now and the parts of Ukraine Russia is hold via proxy separatists remains an issue. NATO eventually comes to Russia’s borders like it or not. Bon appetite, Pootie!

    One cannot hold down a nation of 44.5 million on the cheap. Then we can discuss Russia’s coming pariah state status and economic sanctions and embargoes on top of Russia’s economic collapse being drained by it’s poorly though out expansionist policies.

    The numbers do not offer Russia any easy way to pull this off. The problem for the US is to play this all correctly. If I was Biden, I would run these numbers, understand them, and have a little, sober meeting with Pootie. Lay down these cards and let him know, Russia is about to commit suicide. And make Americans aware of just how stupid Russia is being and how their economic collapse will be inevitable if Russia invades. Don’t let the Faux Noise morons set the political agenda. Get tough and play the long game.

  12. says

    Even a full scale invasion of Ukraine is likely to be damaging to Russia. The Ukrainian army has something like 1000 tanks, and those tanks are roughly equivalent to the Russian tanks they’ll be facing.(Both sides use T72 and T80 tanks, while the most numerous Ukrainian tank is the T64, many of them upgraded.) Even in an authoritarian state with a largely subservient media the public is not going to be happy when a bunch of young Russians come home in coffins.

  13. numerobis says

    Russia has pretty overwhelming firepower all mobilized, Ukraine is not mobilizing. I suspect that means they aren’t going to bother to engage in a futile conventional war. Instead they’ll let the Russians try to roll in, and fight a guerrilla war.

  14. moarscienceplz says

    @ John Morales
    Thank you for replying to me. Unfortunately, since Freethoughtblogs is the only internet source I post to, your helpful instructions are equivalent to a master barbecuer telling a vegan to barbecue their bok choi the same way they barbecue their pork spareribs.

  15. John Morales says

    [totally OT]

    Ah. OK, here’s how it goes, with my ad-hoc pedagogy, with a recipe even a veggy should be able to apply.

    You want to link a bit of text to some content on the internet (“a link”).

    So… an “anchor tag” is the normal way to do it. The metaphor is “anchoring” a bit of text to some resource on the internet, the which resource is denoted by a conjoined protocol (typically, http or https) and an address (or “URL”) descriptor.

    So, taking as an example NPR’s World Affairs show, its home address, where the protocol is https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and the resource is

    Note I just copypasted the address, the “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator) and it shows up.
    Simplest way, but not very neat, and will embed YouTube videos on this platform if you do just that.

    So, what you can do to use an anchor tag is to use the angle brackets (actually the greater-than and less-than symbols) to denote and enclose the displayed text within the anchor HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) tag, with parameters which refer to the resource (the content to which one links) in the href (hyperlink reference) field, and the alt-text (what you see when you hover the mouse over it or, say, vision-impaired people hear when they hover) in the “title” field.
    (there are more possible parameters, but those are the most useful)

    So, open a tag, put in the parameters, put in the displayed text, and then close the tag.

    So, to open the tag you use <a> and to close it you use </a>. But that’s just the tag, there’s no content within it.

    So, taking as an example the naked URL I used above, you would write something like this to make it operational:
    <a href="" title="a link to world affairs radio">world affairs radio</a>.

    If you do that, the result will be this: world affairs radio.

  16. unclefrogy says

    this would have been so much easier if the Dumpster had remained as the president.
    Lets be clear it is not Russia, the Russian people nor their representatives that are doing this or are responsible. this is solely at the bidding and under the control of Putin the King It is to further his desires to feed his ego. those around him will only follow if they get some benefit from this adventure.
    It will be his legacy this bloody show lets hope he does not decide to blow it all up with himself if it goes bad for him, he may think he has nothing to loose

  17. John Morales says


    Lets be clear it is not Russia, the Russian people nor their representatives that are doing this or are responsible.

    What? No.

    It is Russia that is doing this.
    It is Russians (well, not only Russians) who are the troops on the ground.
    It is the Russians’ representatives who are responsible.

    (What, you don’t think Putin represents Russia? Whatever power and authority, he has, Russia has given him)

    this is solely at the bidding and under the control of Putin the King

    The Chief Kleptocrat; get it right.

  18. Walter Solomon says

    Honestly, we in the US should treat this conflict the same way we treat Middle Eastern ones, ignore it and pretend it’s not happening.

    Until there’s regime change in Russia, the Eastern Bloc is basically the Middle East, endless conflicts.

  19. mmfwmc says

    I see a future where a recently re-elected Trump accepts an invitation from Putin to divide Poland between them.

  20. davidc1 says

    @6 In one of the last episodes of the 70’s TV series The World At War,an American recalls how he congratulated
    uncle joe at Potsdam on reaching Berlin.Uncle joe is said to have replied “Tsar Alexander Got To Paris”.

  21. DLC says

    Putin isn’t a King, or a Kleptocrat. He’s a Tsar. As such, he can look like a tyrant and the other powers won’t care. He can look like a lunatic and it won’t matter. But if he touches the one real sacred cow — their profits — and he may soon wake up with a brain aneurysm. Putin is very powerful. But his power has limits. Somewhere in there he knows this, and he is trying hard to step out fast enough to keep on top. He may be aided by the fact that unlike the Romanovs, there is no immediate heir to the throne. And his acts today have caused the price of oil to spike. Russia sells oil, Gas and not much else. Of course, the stocks and futures markets (the plaything of Russian kleptocrats.) have been tanking, even before the markets open. It will get worse. Perhaps as much as a 3% drop. Wars scare the stock market gamblers.

  22. davidc1 says

    @12 Doesn’t Russia have masses of raw materials,like oil,gas and lumber,It also produces gold and diamonds.
    And it’s arms trade,didn’t it just supply Turkey with some fancy aircraft?