It’s not Cthulhu, but Russia is getting aggressive, moving troops into regions of Ukraine and declaring that they recognize those regions as independent states. It’s a game they’re playing; no one is fooled. They’re nibbling at the country, breaking off pieces to be absorbed by the Russian state.
Russia said Tuesday that its recognition of separatist areas in eastern Ukraine includes territory now held by Ukrainian forces, raising Western fears that Moscow intends to invade more of Ukraine’s territory after sending troops into the rebel-held region.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia has recognized the independence of rebel-held regions within borders that the separatists originally proclaimed when they broke away from Ukraine in 2014. Because large parts of those regions have since been reclaimed by Ukrainian forces during their eight-year war, Russia’s declaration could lead to attempts to expand the breakaway region by force.
No, it’s not time for the US to move our troops into other regions. You don’t counter one country’s imperialism by advancing imperialisms of your own.
I appreciate the Kenyan ambassador’s statement to the UN. He draws on his own country’s experiences with colonialism to urge “respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, because of Africa’s history. That continent got carved up by imperial powers that drew borders with little respect for the cultures of the peoples they were dividing — but if they’d fought over lines on a map they’d still be squabbling. Instead, they settled for the boundaries imposed on them and are working for “something greater forged in peace”, which is ultimately the only way to make a lasting nation.
I don’t think Putin appreciates the pain he’s going to suffer. He’s creating an everlasting smoldering fire on the border of Russia and Ukraine, and even if he gets his way now, it will be temporary and will cost his country more.
Note that he also says “we further strongly condemn the trend in the last few decades of powerful states, including members of the security council, breaching international law with little regard.” Hmm. Who could he be talking about there?
That twat faced twat johnson is loving this,every English PM feels it is one of the perks of the job to
go to war,I expect to see him sporting a black and white spotted bow tie like wot Churchill used to do,any day now.
Putin is not going to suffer any consequences.
Rob Grigjanis says
The only pain suffered by Putin is from post-op plastic surgery.
I don’t think Johnson will go to war. If, forty years ago, we were scarcely able to drive Argentina out of the Falklands and we’ve cut our forces since then. An ex-soldier told me that our ground forces are now so few that they aren’t enough to qualify under the technical definition of an ‘army’. I don’t think the PM’s quite that foolish yet.
Ignore anything Johnson says, he is just happy for the diversion.
As Germany now has accepted the econonic consequences of not buying Russian gas, the EU nations are now united in not giving Putin any slack.
The economic sanctions will affect the leaders of the Russian cleptocracy. And Putin cannot survive without them in the long run.
I wonder what impact this will have on the International Space Station? Imagine being one of the cosmonauts and astronauts currently aboard whilst this is going on. Expedition 66 incidentally :
With a European commander Thomas Pesquet, ESA fromFrance, six Russian cosmonauts, six American astronauts,a Japanese astronaut and a German one. Guess its a good thing the ISS doesn’t rely onSoyuz and Russian launched rockets for transport there and back anymore..
Marcus Ranum says
A border-fight with Russia is unwinnable. NATO’s expansion was a non-starter and, coming on the heels of US deploying first-strike weapons to Poland, Russia was going to have to push back. I really hope this stupidity does not turn into a nuclear war ( I give that a 5% chance – roll your saving throw ) but it’s going to have global economic consequences that, again, nobody will win. We’re left hoping some crazy old fart doesn’t decide they have nothing to lose. Great.
@ 5. birgerjohansson : “Ignore anything Johnson says, he is just happy for the diversion.”
As is our disgraceful excuse for a PM Scotty from Marketing who has an election very fast approaching and is deserevdly down inthe polls though far less down than he deserevs and widely dtested even by his own party. Echoes of Johnson there and liek hima far reicght wing, Murdoch inflicted Trump idoliser. That noted Scotty from Cover ups has ruled out sending trooops but offered cyber backup rather laughably given our poor record there especially from his parties govt which notoriously stuffed up our NBN. (Internet network.)
@ 3. Rob Grigjanis : I’m not so sure. It may not come how we’d expect or hope but I do think this is likely to backfire on Putin and cause him pain. I don’t think it will end well for him. Recall the imapcts Russian wars on Chechnya and Afghanistan back in its Soviet ocuciped 1980’s era had..?
Marcus Ranum says
I do not like headlines that read “Germany may send tanks to Ukraine.” Especially when NATO’s attitude is “our stuff is so superior their strategic and numerical advantage can be overcome.” It’s eerily familiar.
“No, it’s not time for the US to move our troops into other regions. You don’t counter one country’s imperialism by advancing imperialisms of your own.”
Because what we see today is just another step of continuous operation running from 2014 and attempt at diplomatic/economic/political solution failed.
Failed because Russia is huge and oil, gas, nickel and titanium are too important to allow their prices to skyrocket.
So no matter what sanctions would be applied in 3, 5 10 years, they will be ignored and business as usual will return, only with Ukraine being smaller and smaller.
There’s a reason why even polish foreign affairs minister at the time privately said about polish policy that it is to give USA a blowjob. Afghanistan? We’re there. Iraq? Fine, we’ll send some guys there too. You need secret CIA torture prison? We have great place at Kiejkuty. You have a Black Hawk helicopters to buy? Hey frog eaters, fuck you with your caracals, we are buying black hawks. We need fighters? Well there is cheap french or swedish with great offset or the most expensive and least useful ameri… SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Yanks want antimissile base? Hey we have a great place for it. US started production of F-35? Where we can buy it and can we pay double price?
Hey americans, Germany doesn’t like your bases? We have huge former USSR base, just send troops, we will pay for it and call it Fort Trump!
All of that is for one reason only – because Poles believe that as long as there are american soldiers on the ground Russia will not invade us. NATO shmato, article 5 maybe will work but it wouldn’t be the first time frogeaters are not ready to die for Gdańsk, it’s better to give blowjob to yanks voluntarily than being assraped by ruSSIans.
And it worked – Poland started from the same level as ukraine 30 years ago, now is 4.5 times richer per capita, much and safer and 3 millions ukrainians live in Poland today.
But Ukraine? Ukraine is fucked and no one has power and resolve to stop ruSSia from taking it piece by piece.
If you think that Donetsk and Luhansk being recognized as independent (and in few months annexed) changes anything, where have you been for the last 8 years after the same happened in Crimea? You think Putin will give it back?
He will just ally with China and US corporations will just buy all the politicians to approve the new reality
Yeah, we noticed.
This isn’t the first time. Or even the tenth time.
Around the time of WW II, the USSR invaded Finland and stole 11% of their territory, mostly a region known as Karelia. They ethnically cleansed the whole area and sent 400,000 Karelians to Finland to be resettled. The Finns fought well but we’re so outnumbered they were lucky not to end up like the old Eastern European countries such as Hungary or Czechoslovakia.
.2. Not too long ago they liberated South Ossettia from Georgia. Never mind that it didn’t need liberating and ended up as a nowhere land. South Ossettia is close to Georgia and the Black sea and a long way from anything significant in Russia.
I don’t think he cares one bit.
He is very wealthy as the head of a kleptocracy and he personally isn’t going to suffer anything.
Putin and Russia look on the West as a zero sum game. The better the West does, the worse Russia does. Which is just plain wrong. In general, trade and cooperation are a plus sum game. Everyone benefits from peace and economic trade.
That is one reason why most of Europe has given up on war.
The other is that wars started costing too much. Modern weapons are more and more powerful. Modern Hi Tech states are fragile and easily destroyed. They are also expensive to rebuild,
@4 True,he just has to do the sabre rattling bit,and the jingos at the daily hail,the stun ,the torygraph,and not forgetting those wackaloons at the daily expression will do the rest.By the time they are through the dumb English voting public
will believe we fought the Russians all by ourselves.
We have been suppying Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and showing them what end to point at the Russians.
Anyone know how much a anti-missile costs,I am sure all those poor people who are having to choose between eating or
putting the heating on would like to know.
@11 Well to be fair to uncle Joe he did offer to exchange one bit of Russian land for a bit of Finnish land but the Finns said no.
There are some Historians who say the ass whooping the Finns gave the Russians at the beginning convinced adolf Russia was weak.
@12 Well since 1945 most of Europe was either in NATO or in the Warsaw Pact,and they didn’t allow any any fights breaking out amongst the team members.I think the 20th Century was the only one in which GB and them French had not gone to war with each other,and I think that was only because they were both too worried about Germany.
“I don’t think he cares one bit.
He is very wealthy as the head of a kleptocracy and he personally isn’t going to suffer anything.”
And this right here is the real problem. We still fight wars (at least the ones between ‘western’ by which is meant white) countries by a set of rules designed when war was a game played by a bunch of cousins who took turns smashing each other’s peasantry like so many lead soldiers. In that scenario, rules needed to be in place to ensure that none of the people who really mattered would suffer consequences. After all, if you killed cousin Kaiser Wilhelm, then your mutual grandmother might be upset with you at the next gathering. Better to settle your family disputes by killing a few millions of poor young men instead. Much more civilized.
We do not need to, and should not, fight wars this way anymore. We have almost found our way to it with ‘sanctions’ where we trade killing a nation’s young people on the battlefield for starving them to death in their homes.
Better options are available. The Magnitsky act showed the way, which is why Putin has been chipping away at it since it’s inception. We should target sanctions not at the population, who are generally powerless, but at the elites of a society that we wish to pressure. Putin cannot hold his positon without his elites, his oligarchs, and the other people in his society who hold actual power. Those people, not teenage soldiers, are who we should be threatening.
If Russia’s actions are illegal, then the UN should denounce them. List all political, military and industrial leaders who make Russia’s military adventurism possible and sanction them directly. Freeze all internationally held assets, put out international arrest warrants for them – deny travel privileges to their families and associates. Make sure they know that if a ‘hot’ war is declared that they, their residences, their businesses, yachts and vacation homes will all be considered valid targets. For elites, war has always been a game they could play at a remove. We have the technological means now to change this, and we should. It is less morally repugnant to drone-strike a billionaire aluminum oligarch sunning himself on the deck of his yacht than some 19 year old conscript driving a truck in the Donbass. Certainly the oligarch has more say in what his country does than any common soldier ever could.
I don’t know whether or not Putin will personally suffer consequences…none of us does. He’s certainly taking a very risky step that could end badly for him and his clique. Putin isn’t stupid (unlike the former guy) and he certainly knows that these actions will prove costly. His biggest threat is not external but internal. Putin has had the “Russian oligarchs” in a lock hold for years, a hold that they surely hate. If as part of sanctions the US and Europe freeze their bank accounts, his enemies in Russia will be looking for ways to take advantage of anything they can to change the story line. Mother Russia is not nearly as important to them as Mother Money.
I think Boris Johnson is actually the main person who could control Putin. But for him to do it, he has to rein in the City. On a side note, when Russia annexed Crimea, world leaders placed sanctions on Russia, the City wrote to David Cameroon to tell him don’t interfere with their money.
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.
Marcus Ranum says
Maybe we could show Putin we’re serious by throwing Bush and Cheney in prison? (He thought, hopefully) and Obama for good measure. Biden could sanction himself.
@16 This Russian mate of the twat faced twat got made a lord,dig his fancy title.
I wonder how much that cost him?
Not quite. E.g., according to West struggles to maintain unity in face of Russia-Ukraine crisis:
It’s unsurprising “London” (teh “U”K, not in the EU) and Orbán (Hungary, in the EU) are being awkward, both are largely owned by the Russians (London literally (lots of property and investments from Russia), as well as figuratively (the ruling party has deep financial connections to Russia)).
Ignoring teh brexited-“U”K, Orbán is possibly the main (EU) problem: “Any sanctions package requires unanimity.”
SC (Salty Current) says
You really are an odious asshat, davidc1.
Follow-up to me@20, The EU has indeed acted. From the Grauniad’s current Putin’s aggression live blog:
@21, A slightly-edited cross-post from poppyhead’s It’s the wind, you know:
Their behaviour seems, to me, to be that of a troll, such as: Keep using a factually-incorrect description which annoys and insults other people because it annoys and insults other people; biZzaRE.tYpiNG; rarely-to-never citing sources; and (at least sometimes) vehemently rejecting evidence contrary to their beliefs. As a reminder, not too long ago, they refused to believe Churchill was racist, etc., despite copious documented evidence. They got very angry about being presented with that evidence. What I am seeing now is a similar irrational response, this time to having it pointed out the use of that term is misogynistic on both sides of the Atlantic.
@21HAHA,no just practising my freedom of free speech,it applies to the English as well as you amuricans .
Slightly off topic,but for the past few years this has been amusing the model making world.
The commander looks a bit like Vlad the first, Czar of all the Russians,and any other bits he can get his hands on.
@23 By they do you mean me? So I am a racist to point how that most white people in the 1940’s were racist?
Feck me,how did I end up defending a tory like Churchill,even though he liked cats,and in an unwritten letter he said he hated the tories.
Seems I am not favour of the month at the moment,not that it bothers me.
Some notes re: 11 and 13 (on the 1939-40 Winter War)
The territorial concessions initially demanded by the USSR were rather small, but they were economically and strategically more important than what was offered in exchange. That’s one of the reasons Finland rejected the deal. Another was that Finland prioritized protecting its established territory and citizens (though in principle there was some interest in annexing ethnically Finnic areas from Russia). Third, there was suspicion that the USSR would continue pushing with new demands, in classic abuser manner, if it turned out that Finland could be pushed around with just vague threats, without actual military action. Give a finger to the devil etc.
As it turned out, when the invasion started, the USSR didn’t just seek to occupy the small areas it had demanded. Instead, there was an obvious plan and effort to occupy whole Finland and install a Soviet-friendly puppet government (called Finnish Democratic Republic, or FDR), if not to outright annex the country.
When the war did not go according to the plan, a peace deal was eventually made, where the USSR extracted much more land than it had originally demanded (and now without any exchange offers). Subsequent Russian claim has been that this was just the amount of territorial concession that was desired all along to secure Leningrad’s strategic position, no more or less. When the peace negotiations with the actual Finnish government started, the FDR was sidelined as quickly as it had been originally kicked up. Overall, I think there are plenty of interesting parallels to Ukraine here.
If one wants to be “fair” to Uncle Joe, one could note that Nazi Germany had been escalating tensions all over Europe, not the least towards USSR. As the inevitable death match became foreseeable, the USSR sought to postpone it by making a deal with Germany, and then duly secured its own “zone of influence” in nearby countries. It was perhaps plausible for Stalin to be concerned that, if Finland was left alone, it could be drawn into the Germany-USSR conflict on the German side. This actually happened in 1941, although by then the Finns had been deeply embittered towards USSR by the aforementioned war and territorial loss.
if we truly wanted to maybe we could . It certainly is within our capabilities to do such things. As has been pointed out above there is the money to be considered and the effects of the desire for it. I do not see a way forward in thaat direction that would threaten the vested interests of the monied class in the rest of the world, the U. S. the UK and EU. they have always made money off the bodies of others anyway. I all so do not see how such actions would start a possibly short round of strategic weapons exchange short would be enough The russian king knows he has that behind him and he clearly does not care about anyone else
I would like to see a cruise missile sink his f’n “yacht” and burn down a couple of his palaces just for fun
it really is discouraging
what happened to the not?
@26 Fair point,maybe being fair to Uncle Joe,was not the best way to put it.
Didn’t know he had plans to turn Finland into a Commie state.
The British and French also wanted to make a deal with Stalin
but the Germans beat them to it.
The time to have acted against adolf was during the Sudetenland crisis.
I think the Czechs with a promise of help from Britian,France and Russia
might have made adolf change his mind.
Finland had a long history of being traded back and forth between Sweden and the Russian Empire up until the October Revolution. Stalin’s attitude was that everything that used to be Russian property should become Soviet, which is why the rest of the Baltic Republics wound up becoming SSRs after WWII (between the two WWs, the phrase “the Baltic Republics” referred to the four of them- Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland).
This is from Jim Wright of the Stonekettle station blog – who expects this to be deleted from facebook and him to be suspended for saying it again thus signal boosting it here :
I agree.Sadly I doubt we’ll see it happen. I hope I’m wrong and we do though.
^ Quoted post is from Jim Wright’s facebook page FWIW. Wonder how they will respond to this invasion and what the consequences for them will be?
Sure, now of all times we should throw out freedom of the press and the first amendment. Heck, let’s toss out habeus corpus while we’re at it, and maybe round up a few folks we don’t like and put them in camps.
said each and every tyrant throughout history before revoking said freedoms forever.
@ ^ brucegee1962 : Facebbookand social media companies aren’t the govt. So NA.
There have always been reasonable exceptions to the First Amendment & “FreezePeach!”” generally eg state secrets, libel & slander, inciting a riot, shouting “fire” wgere none exists in crowded theatre, etc..
No, we’re not talking of tossing out habeas corpus or anything else even remotely like that.
Should deliberate disinformation and enemy propaganda get rewarded and promoted and, you do know its people like White Supremacist and Putin fan Tucker Carlson we’re talking about here right?
You also know what led up to the January 6th Attempted Coup that nearly saw the Vice-POTUS and other congressfolk lynched and how disinfo and big lies about the election of Biden in a landslide despite the initial “red mirage” cled to that yeah?
If not by this way, then how would you stop things like that from recurring?
Said every bigot called out for their bigotry anytime this century. Freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you like and there shouldn’t be any consequences.
Do you think the first amendment protects willful spreading of flagrant falsehoods as news to manipulate the public? If yes, do you think it should? I don’t think the freedom of speech includes the right to lie.
I also think that most lies will end up being protected as a practicality problem – need to protect honest mistakes and it’s hard to separate honest mistakes from liars most of the time. However, if there’s a paper trail of the lies, like what must exist at Fox News, is that be protected speech? Should it be protected speech? I don’t think so.
I am willing to join in attempts to shut down Carlson and his ilk for spreading lies that are likely to get people killed through covid. In particular, I’d love see some enterprising lawyer launch a class action suit on behalf of everyone who died after listening to them and refusing to get vaccinated.
But the buildup to any confrontation with an adversary like Russia is different. (I won’t call it a buildup to war yet, because hopefully it won’t come to that.) Whenever we start butting heads with someone overseas, there is enormous pressure on the media to get everyone to fall in line already.
Back in the days of anti-Vietnam protests, some who were against the war were genuine pacifists, some just didn’t want their personal selves to be drafted but wouldn’t mind if other people fought, some were sympathetic to the North Vietnamese, and some wouldn’t have minded if the US became a communist dictatorship. I don’t think we can sort out who should be allowed to speak and who shouldn’t, at least on this particular issue.
So I admit, I’m baffled seeing this here. Look, I’m used to seeing this kind of Russian disinformation at Marcus’ blog. Telling us that up is down and black is white is kind of his specialty. So it wasn’t a surprise to see him talking about Nato expansion despite the fact that Ukraine had been denied Nato membership because of corruption problems. It made sense for him to portray this as being about Nato forcing themselves upon the country that had been denied membership in reality, that’s just the kind of complete nonsense that Putin would want to spread and the kind of thing he happily repeats on his blog.
But come on PZ. You know better than this. The opposite of imperialist is not isolationist. Isolationism is what led the US to ignore what the Nazis were doing until Japan pulled us into the war. I know Marcus is busy blowing the “but fake intelligence lead us to invade Iraq” horn, but come on. Now even people on Tik Tok are broadcasting the Russian military operations that Marcus is busy trying to deny as some kind of CIA fiction.
But the thing is, history compels us to do more. There’s this pesky little thing called the Budapest Memorandum. We kind of promised to protect Ukraine from Russia in exchange for them giving up their nuclear arsenal.
But now apparently honoring that is… imperialist? We talk them into giving up their nukes and in exchange we wring our hands and say that we can’t do anything to protect them from the country that we promised to protect them from?
BTW Marcus. They do not have numerical advantage. They have cutting edge military hardware, it’s true. But they don’t have a lot of it, because they can’t afford it. You love to poopoo the F35 program. Honestly I do too.
But we have so many more of them than the Russians do of even two generations old aircraft. It’s not even close. But then again, nobody in the US government is even talking about military force. For some reason we’re going to just let them take it, because if we learned anything from WWII, it’s that an autocrat who says that he just needs this one country only in order to secure his borders, we can trust him. Neville Chamberlain showed us the wisdom of this lesson, amirite?
But you all are fighting against this one thing that we will not do. I’m still reading up on the withering sanctions that might be imposed if Putin fully invades Ukraine. But you guys want to talk about how bad defending them would be?
We’re not going to. We’ll let Putin take it. We’ll just kill Nordstream 2. Oh gee.
I’m not even here to argue that we should provide military force. But I at least want to discuss it. I’m willing to hear the arguments both for and against. But the arguments that I’m seeing on the against side are, at best, historically ignorant, and at worst are Russian disinformation. It’s not very pursuasive.