“A city the size of Minneapolis”


Did they have to compare the devastation with a city so close to home?

Don’t worry, though: the Russians say they didn’t do it. The Ukrainians blew up their own city.

If Minneapolis were flattened like that, I guarantee you we could come up with a better excuse. “St Paul must have done it.”

Comments

  1. says

    Basically, the nation-state equivalent of “why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”
    I really hate bullies.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    So many low-cost pre-cleared sites available for the next Trump™ Tower!

  3. raven says

    If Minneapolis were flattened like that, I guarantee you we could come up with a better excuse. “St Paul must have done it.”

    Obama did it.
    Hillary helped.
    Tony Fauci and the Chinese supplied the explosives.
    George Soros and Bill Gates paid for it.
    Something, something Globalists, Illuminati, Gays, Trans, and Space Reptiles.

  4. Rich Woods says

    And sadly it’s no stretch of the imagination to picture the Fox News hosts saying that BLM and Antifa flattened Minneapolis.

  5. Susan Montgomery says

    I wonder how many rubles it would cost Russia to rebuild that if they do win.

    Putin’s likely insane enough to ask for international aid.

  6. says

    Jesus, it looks like Hiroshima, the day after. The Russians are killing civilians. This can’t continue. Putin had two choices. Withdrawal to the Donbas, or genocide. He has chosen genocide.

  7. wzrd1 says

    It’s all the Ukraine, can’t be anything else.
    Like the official cause of death of suicide – by the victim shooting himself three times in the head with a bolt action rifle.
    That literally was listed as a cause of death, in an incident involving Russia and someone that they trained and lost control of…
    The subtlety of a sledgehammer.

    Makes me want to offer Putin a fine cup of chlorine trifluoride…

  8. R. L. Foster says

    @7 – I’m sure you’ve heard this joke floating around online. But, if not — What’s the difference between a ruble and a dollar? A dollar. Putin will have to rebuild with all that gold bullion he’s got stashed away in the Urals.

  9. R. L. Foster says

    @12 – Close. But from what I’ve heard it sounds a bit more like Oo-kray-i-na.

  10. Susan Montgomery says

    @12 & 16 thanks for the correction.

    @14 the “y” in Cyrilic is an “oo” sound. The one that looks like an I and O smooshed together is the “yoo” sound. Maybe Ukrainians pronounce it differently, I don’t know.

    @15 lol. I’m sure they wish the rate was that good ;)

  11. says

    I feel like this thread jumped the rails. However you pronounce it, Ukrainian civilians are being decimated, and Ukrainian Nationalists (really mor properly as Slavic Nationalists) are siding with Russia. Putin’s dedication to complete conquest is nothing less than insanity. He could have stopped at Donbas, but he choose to push on toward Kyiv. That is what most of us call a “MISTAKE”. NATO needs to act. Belligerent conquest cannot be tolerated in the 21st century. The age of colonialism is OVER. This war should be over.

    From a tactical perspective, I am really concerned with the Ukrainian people. The Russian armies are stuck in the mud, but that will change by Mayday. Putin has chosen a scorched earth strategy. The Ukrainians are holding the line for now, but things will start to run out soon. Food, ammunition, clean water, fuel. A month or so from now, the ground will dry out and Russian tanks will be able to drive cross country. By then, I suspect, the Ukrainians will be depleted and war weary.

    The situation is hopeless without direct intervention from the West. Putin will win eventually. The Ukraine can make it costly but they can’t win on their own.

  12. PaulBC says

    The sidetrack on pronunciation misses the point. “Ukraine” without the definite article is a journalistic standard in English (I don’t know enough to say about other languages). It has a particular pronunciation that is not the same as the one used there, the same way it is correct to say “Munich” in English and not “München” for the city in Germany.

    The reason for omitting “the” (as I understand it) comes from a 20th century tendency to treat “the” Ukraine as a disputed “breadbasket” territory suitable for satisfying the Lebensraum needs for whichever neighbors can hold onto it. In fact, it is a sovereign nation, known in 21st English as “Ukraine.” End of story.

    It’s also true that “the” doesn’t have to be a sign of disrespect. “The Hague” (though it has a strange sound to my ears) is a correct and respect way to refer to a certain city in “the Netherlands” (those wacky Dutch, go figure). Not to mention “the United States of America.” But in the case of Ukraine, the definite article has a particular historical context and connotation and is avoided in English for this reason.

  13. PaulBC says

    Speaking of Lebensraum (and I think it is at least generally relevant). Did you know that the term in American English for this concept is “Elbow Room”? I learned it as a wee lad in the 70s from Schoolhouse Rock though I didn’t even realize it at the time.

    (I wonder… I hope… this blatant apology for expansionism would get blasted if it were to air on TV today.)

  14. whheydt says

    Re: Ray Ceeya @ #18…
    Let’s suppose you are correct and the Russians “win” in the medium term (short term is now passed, and they failed to defeat Ukraine and take over).

    What then? Presumably, once they’ve caught up with Zelenskyy and killed him (making him a Ukrainian martyr) and gotten in control of enough territory to call it a victory, they’ll install an ardently pro-Russian quisling, like Lukashenko in Belarus. How many Russian troops will it take keep their puppet in power? What will “in power” look like? How long will it take for the Russian army or the Russian people to get tired of being bled dry to support the occupation? Putin will be 70 in October. Even if he holds on to Ukraine until his own bitter end, will his successor–whoever that may be–be willing to pay the cost?

  15. says

    @21 whheydt
    By my estimation Russia won’t feel the sanctions for real for another six months. Say early September. The Ukrainians on the other hand might be able to hold out until around May. Again, Ukraine NEEDS NATO. They WANT NATO. We should give them NATO.

  16. microraptor says

    And how far does NATO take things? Do they chase the Russians out of Ukraine, then stop at the border? Do they establish a No Fly Zone, which according to military analysts would require destroying air-defense assets inside Russia itself? Do they go ahead and invade Russia itself? Try another occupation and regime change? What is NATO’s exit strategy?

  17. says

    @23 microraptor
    We are talking a hypothetical war here that hasn’t had first shots fired yet. We have these $1B stealth bombers that could swoop in and sever their supply lines. It’s what they’re made for. We can do it now, or do it later but even if we don’t Putin will blame us for any attack. Even if a tank column is wiped out by road side bombs, he will still blame us. I say go for it. Let him blame NATO and the USA. He’s already doing that. At least he wouldn’t be framing us. A

    Also we would not have to invade Russia to disable their air defences. I have no idea where you got that. A no fly zone over Kyiv (It’s in the west and nowhere near Russia) is totally doable.

    I want to know what Putin’s exit strategy is. I’ve said this repeatedly but I will say it again for your sake. Putin has two options right now, withdrawal to the Donbas and Crimea or begin the systemic genocide of the people of the Ukraine.

    NATO has the exact tools to end this. Putin doesn’t have the balls to deploy nukes. Not yet at least. Five years from now he may, but not now.

  18. StevoR says

    @ 11. unclefrogy : Who is the “he” you refer to there?

    If you were meaning #9 wzrd1 then I suggest you reread the comment and think again.

    But, yes, it is just Ukraine as a nation name. No “the” in front anymore. Not Stalingrad or Leningrad now either.

  19. microraptor says

    Also we would not have to invade Russia to disable their air defences. I have no idea where you got that. A no fly zone over Kyiv (It’s in the west and nowhere near Russia) is totally doable.

    If we want to establish a No Fly Zone over Ukraine, which is what every mention of No Fly Zones has been about, not just No Fly Zones over certain parts of the country, it requires establishing air superiority. Part of establishing air superiority is destroying your opponent’s surface-to-air weapons. Russia has self-propelled surface-to-air missile launchers with enough range that they can park them on the Russian side of the border and fire at aircraft in Ukraine. Therefore, to establish air superiority it would require taking out targets on Russian soil. This should not come as a surprise if you’ve actually been following what NATO has stated regarding the conflict.

    Also, Kyiv is in the center of Ukraine on the east-west axis, not in the far west as you imply. Technically it’s in the western half of the country, but it’s nearest to Belarus and second-nearest to Russia.

  20. chrislawson says

    Ray Ceeya: “NATO has the exact tools to end this. Putin doesn’t have the balls to deploy nukes. Not yet at least. Five years from now he may, but not now.”

    You can’t possibly know any of that. Please stop dressing up your guesswork as certainty.

  21. says

    @Ray Ceeva #18

    I cannot agree with this assessment. Putin’s window to win this war closed four weeks ago the moment the Ukrainians resisted his attempt to subjugate them. Right now he’s already scraping the bottom of the barrel to replenish his troops with foreign mercanaries and “volunteers”, he still hasn’t put anyone in charge of the overall operation, so coordination between the various attacking armies is still lacking and morale is only going to degrade further as the Russians already started this war with little enthusiasm to the point that the generals had to lie to their soldiers to even get them going. War-weariness will hit them harder than the Ukrainians, who BTW are fighting for their independence and the survival of their country while the Russians are merely fighting for the imperialist dreams of Putin. Also, as long as the west of the country remains open, supplies will get into Ukraine while Putin’s stocks are running dry. Tanks rushing over open fields might have been impressive in WW2, but even there lack of air supremacy meant those tanks could be picked off one by one.

    He’s also lost his most valuable asset anyway, the moment of surprise as he relied on people not believing he’d actually go for a full invasion. Any large troop concentration at the border will now be detected early just as it happened last time, only now people will expect them to invade and prepare for it.

    There’s simply no win condition for Putin. Ukraine won’t surrender, he can’t hold onto Ukraine with his badly equipped and demoralized army and just murdering Ukrainians out of spite won’t break them as little as the terror bombardments of WW2 broke their respective recipients. He’ll just fuel more hatred and lust for vengeance this way.

    Then there’s the damage to his reputation and I’m not even talking about his atrocities and more about the absolute humiliation his army suffered. Nothing worse for a populist strongman demagogue than getting his pants pulled down and showing his pink-polka dotted underwear. Consider how much fascists all over the world hailed Putin as the great alpha-male who ran a truly “strong” government. Now he’s a bungler who can’t even feed his troops and only excels in creating miles-long traffic jams.

  22. lasius says

    @19 Paul BC

    “The reason for omitting “the” (as I understand it) comes from a 20th century tendency to treat “the” Ukraine as a disputed “breadbasket” territory suitable for satisfying the Lebensraum needs for whichever neighbors can hold onto it.”

    Which sounds weird to me, since the Slavic and Baltic languages in the area don’t even have articles and the Romanian “definite article functions very differently. And if you go further into German, then you have to use the definite article for grammatical reasons. So that explanation doesn’t make sense to me.

  23. Rich Woods says

    @Iasius #29:

    I think the language you are supposed to be considering is English.

  24. says

    @27 chrislawson
    It’s not “guesswork”. I have studied this scenario for years. Putin will NOT launch. He’s a complete bastard, but he’s not stupid. He screwed up in expecting Ukraine to roll over. He won’t deploy nukes until he knows he can win. He only makes his moves from a position of certainty. Did I mention my ex served with him in Afghanistan? She was his personal helicopter pilot. So yes, I know what I’m talking about.

    @26 microraptor
    Do you want to compare notes about the S-400 surface to air missile system? Because I would love that. Perhaps we can discuss it’s over the horizon fire and forget mode. TLDR it’s not great. It relies too much on it’s onboard radar. Russian gear lacks the integration we enjoy in the west. American surface to air missiles can take input from aerial radar platforms like the the E-3 Sentry. It’s a major difference in design philosophy.

    Have I proven that I know what I’m talking about yet? Because I can keep going.

  25. AussieMike says

    I like Justin Bronk’s take on a no fly zone: https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/ukraine-no-fly-zone-would-be-ineffective-dangerous-and-gift-putin

    “The unified response to Russia’s aggression could easily be shattered by a direct NATO military intervention, even if it was organised under the auspices of a ‘coalition of the willing”

    “A no-fly zone would be a gift to Putin’s chances of political survival and Russia’s ability to continue the war in the face of self-imposed disaster”
    Knowing a person who once knew Putin tells us nothing about what Putin would do as he is about to turn 70. There are real dangers he pulls the ‘fuck it, if we die you all die’ handle. Putin has never had his back to the wall the way he does now. Age, illness, mental health, are all players in what he can do next. Anyway, the article covers plenty of good reasons not to enforce a no fly zone.

  26. chrislawson says

    Ray Ceeya — you don’t know what you’re talking about. Within two sentences you have insisted that (1) Putin only acts in a position of certainty, yet (2) he blundered into the current mess by underestimating Ukraine. You’re telling us you can predict Putin’s future behaviour even as your predictions fail to model his current behaviour.

    And why the fuck would you repeatedly insist that your ex flying him around in a helicopter several decades ago gives you a perfect and complete model of his mental state in perpetuity? At this stage, I would put more credence in the opinion of Putin’s cousin’s best friend’s dental technician’s goldfish because at least the goldfish hasn’t already shown its opinion to be full of shit.

    Your response to microraptor only reinforces the problem. You seem to think that googling the shortcomings of the S-400 missile system somehow negates the fact that microraptor was 100% correct that surface-to-air missiles will pose a major threat to any aircraft trying to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. The S-400 system has already shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in the current conflict, taking out a highly experienced pilot in an advanced, supermaneuvrable Su-27.

    And that’s not accounting for Russia’s arsenal of SAMs that don’t rely on an external radar network, such as the Buk that shot down MH-17. And then there’s the S-400 upgrade (imaginatively, the S-500) which only entered service in September 2021, so we have little idea what its operational capabilities are and don’t really want to find out by testing it in the field.

    Yet again, your predictive powers don’t even coincide with current observable events, so yes, I think it’s justifiable to call your opinions “guesswork”, although that’s being a bit harsh on guesswork since some guesses are well informed. Either way, should NATO decide to impose a no-fly zone, I’m sure their pilots will be reassured by your absolute certainty that Russian SAMs are not much to worry about.

  27. expatlurker says

    I want to make a comment about the absolute brutality and the horror of war. But nothing I say comes close to seeing the actual images. I would try to say more, but I am already choked up.

  28. ajbjasus says

    Ray Ceeya.

    “ Putin doesn’t have the balls to deploy nukes. Not yet at least. Five years from now he may, but not now.”

    I don’t think it’s balls, it’s insanity and desperation. Why not now ? Why in 5 years?

    Russian spokesman.

    “Russia reserves the right to go nuclear if there is an existential threat to Russia”

  29. kurt1 says

    @Ray Ceeya: Do you think Putin will increase his use of heavy weapon systems to turn city after city into Mariupol if his campaign continues to go badly. Thats what I’m fearing, increase his bargaining position by making a continuation of the war even more costly for the ukrainian side.

  30. says

    I think Putin has also to be weary that the grift, corruption and neglect that has hollowed out the Russian armed forces to this catastrophic degree hasn’t also extended to the nuclear arms. I’ve read reports that nearly half of all Russian guided ammunition are apparently duds or explode on launch, that the ablative armor that was supposed to protect armored vehicles from AT missiles had their explosives removed and replaced with cardboard. O yeah, and the Chinese bought tires for their trucks and APCs are apparently of substandard quality and simply give out under the stress of combat. Ironically, they bought Chinese tires in the first place to reduced dependency on western products. Well, you get what you pay for.

    That’s late Qing Dynasty levels of degradation we are talking about here. In the Sino-Japanese war, the Chinese troops underperformed severely because of rampant corruption. Alotted gunpowder stockpiles were sold off by greedy officials and replaced with flour painted black. Money that was supposed to go into building the navy was instead used to build luxury palace gardens. Generals were more interested in settling petty grudges instead of fighting the enemy.

    This is simply the result of running your country like a banana republic and superficial loyalty over ability.

  31. KG says

    I’m astonished that Ray Ceeya has not been invited to Brussels to give the assembled leaders the benefit of his intimate knowledge of Putin’s psychology and anatomy, derived from his ex knowing Putin some decades ago.

  32. says

    Hitler had a friend in his youth, August Kubizek. They even lived together for a year or so in Vienna.

    That guy had no idea what Hitler was up to thirty years later. I doubt a one-time taxi driver from forty years ago would be able to give an exhaustive psych profile on Putin. Was that even a serious argument?

  33. lotharloo says

    Obviously it is a special military operation for peacekeeping purposes and to combat the nazis and in solidarity with the Ukranian citizens who have suffered so much under the iron fist of their Jewish Nazi leader and now they are being liberated by their Russian comrades!

  34. says

    Ray, Cool Guy Who Doesn’t Afraid Of Nukes

    a close friend would have more of a way of studying the character of someone than a one-time taxi driver and it’s not like Hitler’s character changed all that much in the meantime anyway given the immature worldview he retained until he died.
    How exactly would your mythical ex-Gf figure find out that Putin wouldn’t use nukes fourty years later but fourty-five years later from a one time driving job?

  35. chrislawson says

    Fine, Ray. Let’s finish this conversation with what I think we agree on: What is happening in Ukraine is a humanitarian disaster of terrible proportions, the worst in Europe since WW2, and we need to support Ukraine’s struggle for both moral and pragmatic reasons. I’m sure we both hope for an independent Ukraine, as well as the swift and clean replacement of the Putin regime with a genuine Russian democracy (preferably North European/Nordic style, not Anglophone style), with the least further trauma.

    My apologies for the earlier tone. I think I’m just so sick of the pro-Putin gravediggers that I responded with a vehemence more suited to them.

  36. says

    @ 46 chrislawson
    Agreed. However…
    @45 AugustusVerger
    First, I AM NOT afraid of nukes. I grew up during the Cold War within 30 miles of two primary targets. The worst they can do is kill me. Second, she wasn’t a “taxi driver” she was a medivac pilot who ferried Putin through Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. They spent a lot of time together. Literally months. I’m on an FBI watch list just for dating her. Well, that and the other thing…

  37. raven says

    Russian spokesman.

    “Russia reserves the right to go nuclear if there is an existential threat to Russia”

    I addressed this above but will do it again.

    So what.
    This is meaningless.
    Any nuclear weapon state could say the exact same thing.
    That is why the 9 nuclear weapons states …are nuclear weapon states.

    The only existential threat to Russia right now is Vladimir Putin. He is fighting most of the world right now. NATO, the EU, and most of the United Nations have lined up against Russia.
    And everyone knows who the aggressor is and who started it.

  38. raven says

    Once again.
    I’m sure everyone including Putin are afraid of nuclear weapons. That is why we never use them, since the first two were dropped on Japan.

    But after that, then what?
    No point in hiding in the closet or under the bed anyway.
    We just go on with our lives. And if some dictator waves his nukes around just wave ours back at them.
    No point in giving in to idle threats or nuclear blackmail either.
    It’s been this way since the 1950s.

    The Ukrainians can’t give in to nuclear blackmail.
    They live there and have no place to go.
    Any Russian occupation is going to look a lot like cultural and ethnic genocide anyway.

  39. KG says

    I grew up during the Cold War within 30 miles of two primary targets. The worst they can do is kill me. – Ray Ceeya@46

    …and the hundreds of millions of other people who would suffer often excrutiating premature deaths? They don’t matter to Ray Ceeya!

    Second, she wasn’t a “taxi driver” she was a medivac pilot who ferried Putin through Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. They spent a lot of time together. Literally months.

    Forty-odd years ago. For half that time, Putin has been the boss in Russia, increasingly surrounding himself with sycophants. Even in a pluralist society, a long period at the head of affairs is bad for the individual’s judgement; in an effective dictatorship, pleasing the leader becomes the only way to advance a political, military or related career, and the surest way to do that is to tell them what they want to hear. ADvancing age can also affect decision-making, even in the absence of actual disease.

    Some people who have studied andor had personal dealings with Putin more recently than four decades ago say he has changed in the last few years:

    To people who have studied Putin or dealt with him personally, his recent words and actions suggest a startling shift.

    “I’ve watched and listened to Putin for over 30 years. He has changed,” Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia in 2012-14 and a professor at Stanford University, tweeted on February 26. “He sounds completely disconnected from reality. He sounds unhinged.”

    Even after the seizure of Crimea in 2014 and other actions he has taken since then, “Putin had always seemed an extremely pragmatic leader to me,” Tatyana Stanovaya, an expert on the Kremlin and founder of the political analysis outfit R.Politik, was quoted as saying in a February 25 article in The Guardian. “But now when he’s gone into this war against Ukraine, the logic in the decision is all about emotions, it’s not rational.”

    but of course we should disregard such people because of the reported views of the ex-girlfriend of someone who boasts:

    I’m on an FBI watch list just for dating her. Well, that and the other thing…

  40. Artor says

    Please Ray Ceeya, tell us again how you know the inner workings of Putin’s mind because you dated his pilot decades later. So far, that’s been the funniest part of a very un-funny thread. The rest of us can use a little humor to lighten the day.

  41. Dennis K says

    @48 Ray Ceeya — Why are you on an FBI watch list? Are they worried you’ll go shoot up the nearest Walmart in the name of Putin because you knew someone who knew Putin decades ago?

  42. Dennis K says

    @57 — It wasn’t meant as an insult, sorry if it came off that way. That’s generally the sort of behavior the FBI is most concerned about and my curiosity is genuine.

  43. says

    @58 Dennis K
    Alright, since you asked nicely, unlike some people here, the first time I was placed on a watch list was 1999. I wore a trenchcoat and then Columbine happened. The second time was when Katinka and I went to the inauguration day protest in 2017. She was summoned to the Russian embassy the next day. The FBI was very interested. The third time was when I built a fun little device that jams cell phones. I used the guts of a taser as a power supply. Turns out those things are illegal. Not tasers, but directed energy EMP devices. BTW go with a hand woven spider web antenna and a steel bowl to extend the range. Turns out building one of those is a felony. OOPS

  44. says

    @Ray Ceeva
    So you’ve been friends with someone who was carting around KGB personnel during the height of the Cold War and who nonetheless was apparently allowed to freely mingle with American citizens in the US, huh? And that friend was also able to put together accurate psych-profiles of KGB operatives she barely interacted with on top of that, huh? And all that during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when Soviet-American tensions were at an all time high?

    I don’t know what’s dumber, that story or your expectation that people would buy this.

  45. KG says

    the first time I was placed on a watch list was 1999. I wore a trenchcoat and then Columbine happened – Ray Ceeya@59

    The FBI put everyone who wears a trenchcoat on their watchlist? And tells them about it? I think your FBI watchlist entry is as imaginary as your CanadianKGB girlfriend.

  46. says

    @61. Sure totally discount my experience. Shit all over my story. I don’t care anymore. If you read my post you would know she was never KGB. She was army. Also after we broke up, she stalked me for two years. I’m digging deep here and it is not pleasant. I could write a fucking book about that relationship. The whole story would fill about 300 pages. Please don’t make me do this. It is painful.

  47. KG says

    Also after we broke up, she stalked me for two years. I’m digging deep here and it is not pleasant. I could write a fucking book about that relationship. The whole story would fill about 300 pages. Please don’t make me do this. It is painful.

    Nobody made you start blithering about your ex-girlfriend. Everyone will be pleased if you stop.

  48. PaulBC says

    Ray Ceeya@62 Let me get this straight. Nuclear bombs don’t worry you at all. You’re a tough cold warrior and have lived through much worse or at least run the numbers in your head.

    On the other hand, it is painful not to be taken at your word on a story that, while it could be true, raises all kinds of bullshit alarms. I mean, I am not even doubting you. It’s none of my business. But can you at least see why the whole thing sounds far-fetched?

    It sucks not to be believed. But believe it or not, it sucks even more for a nuclear bomb to be used on any population anywhere in the world.

  49. PaulBC says

    @62 Or… maybe another way to look at it. An extraordinary claim presented without evidence isn’t necessarily false, but it can’t be used to bolster some other claim. If you think you have unique insight into Putin’s motivations then I can’t prove that you don’t, though I sort of doubt it’s better than the local consensus, let alone a dedicated analyst (and they screw up too).

    If you want to convince me, you need to provide some kind of evidence (and if you don’t give a rat’s ass what I think, that’s cool too). Making the first claim contingent on your other claims doesn’t really help. It could all be true. It could all be false. Your story about the ex-girlfriend could be true, for that matter, and it still wouldn’t make you an expert on Putin or a good judge of his willingness to use a nuclear weapon.

    So in short, it’s basically a red herring. The only person I can think of who was tracked by “agents” while wearing a trenchcoat is Neo in The Matrix, and I think that was probably the point where my benefit of the doubt had turned into bewilderment at what you hoped to accomplish in filling in these details.

  50. PaulBC says

    I can’t resist quoting and then I’ll shut up:

    Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them—with his smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro’s troubled history and sympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. It appreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which had elicited this tribute from Montenegro’s warm little heart. My incredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines. He reached in his pocket and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fell into my palm. ‘That’s the one from Montenegro.’ To my astonishment, the thing had an authentic look. Orderi di Danilo, ran the circular legend, Montenegro, Nicolas Rex. ‘Turn it.’ Major Jay Gatsby, I read, For Valour Extraordinary.

  51. PaulBC says

    @67 To be honest, no, not really, though you could work on that 300 page manuscript for publication if you want. I also don’t think it’s relevant to your credibility as a Putin analyst. A lot of people would like to know how likely he is to use nuclear weapons, and I very much doubt that I’m going to find the answer here.

  52. says

    @68
    Alright then, the answer to your question is no. He will not use nukes. Feel free to kick me square in the balls if he does, but he won’t.

  53. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @63:

    Everyone will be pleased if you stop.

    It’s become obvious that Ray will respond to pretty much anything thrown at him. I suspect that many of us would be pleased if Ray, you and PaulBC stopped.

  54. unclefrogy says

    the question really boils down to would you bet the ranch that NATO going into Ukraine at this time would not initiate a strategic weapon exchange world wide?
    the collective decision of NATO seems to be no one wants to risk it.
    it is hell watching this shit show every day hoping and waiting for the news that it is over and the good guys won only to heart about more carnage.

  55. jrkrideau says

    Factinating discussions but they seem to miss the point that Mariupol is under siege and has refused a Russian coffer of free passage out of the city.

    Mariupol is not free range .If the Russians kill any Ukrainian or Azov member they feel totally justified

    Terrorists are terrorists.because they fight in the same way.

  56. John Morales says

    jrkrideau:

    Factinating discussions but they seem to miss the point that Mariupol is under siege and has refused a Russian coffer of free passage out of the city.

    Well, under siege, sure.
    Refused total capitulation, sure.
    Most of it is rubble or badly-damaged buildings and infrastructure.

    Besides, we all know what a Russian offer is worth.

    (Also, the Russian’s coffers are all but empty ;) )

    Mariupol is not free range .If the Russians kill any Ukrainian or Azov member they feel totally justified

    If the Russians kill any Ukrainian, eh?

    Lots of women and children and old men been killed so far.
    It follows they must feel justified, in your estimation.

    (The rest of us, it kinda makes them hated barbarians. But hey, opinions differ)

    Terrorists are terrorists.because they fight in the same way.

    There’s only one (1) lot of terrorists here: Putin’s forces.

    Look, mate. Ukraine is being put through the crucible. They will emerge stronger.
    They will get help to rebuild.

    And Russia will be set back to poverty and misery for another generation.
    And investors will be very, very leery.

  57. unclefrogy says

    has refused a Russian coffer of free passage out of the city.

    I assume that coffer is a typo but we can plainly see by all of Putin’s action to date he is just offering a box.

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