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Options for the U.S. and Europe's response to Russia's aggress

Ukraine Russia Aggression in Crimea 2014 Europe

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#21 Spectacles

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 05:38 AM

Good. And I would think that this is quite personal for Merkel. It sounds like she's actually been the EU's point person for dealing with Russia because of her fluency and her familiarity with cultural norms. It also sounds like she's mad as hell at Putin.
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#22 ilexx

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:41 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 14 March 2014 - 05:38 AM, said:

Good. And I would think that this is quite personal for Merkel. It sounds like she's actually been the EU's point person for dealing with Russia because of her fluency and her familiarity with cultural norms. It also sounds like she's mad as hell at Putin.

Not to be rude vs. Mrs. Merkel, but I have yet to hear the language she is fluent in - and that includes German.As for her familiarity with cultural norms: she is German and Germans are by and large more familiar with a certain view of Russia as they know it from the novels of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Lermontov and the like. It is therefore very romanticized. The idea that Merkel ever had much to do with the Russians because of having lived under Soviet rule in Eastern Germany is something one reads a lot about in English papers, but it is - quite frankly - a rather ridiculous one: the Soviets were not fraternizing much and played certainly no part in the Eastern German communities, the way the American soldiers are in Western Germany. If anything, Merkel may have learned her ways with the Russians during her time as press secretary of Honecker, but... back in the day they were all one big, happy, communist family, so she may not have paid attention.

#23 Spectacles

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:45 PM

^Interesting....

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Not to be rude vs. Mrs. Merkel, but I have yet to hear the language she is fluent in - and that includes German.

:D
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#24 Nonny

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 06:19 PM

Ukraine gave up a rather large nuclear arsenal for territorial security.  Does every move toward world peace have to be fraught?
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#25 Chakoteya

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:07 AM

Frankly,  Nonny, yes.
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#26 BklnScott

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

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Not to be rude vs. Mrs. Merkel, but I have yet to hear the language she is fluent in - and that includes German.

Burn!  :)

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#27 offworlder

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

what was that Putin was saying about It aint us??

http://www.foxnews.c...protesters-and/

Russians take a gas plant in Ukraine ahead of the plebecite on Crimea secesh?

"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#28 ilexx

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 03:46 AM

More to the point, I'm wondering what Russian (and I mean "Russian", not "Putin's") reactions will be after today. And I'm also wondering how much of Putin's reactioans are actually directed at his own people rather than Ukrainians, Americans, the EU and whatnot.

Roundabout 50.000 protested in Moscow against Russia's official Ukraine-policy yesterday:

http://news.yahoo.co...-003037662.html

Let's see what happens next...

Edited by ilexx, 16 March 2014 - 03:46 AM.


#29 Spectacles

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:42 AM

^Glad to hear about this.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#30 Raijin

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:35 PM

View Postilexx, on 16 March 2014 - 03:46 AM, said:

Let's see what happens next...

Nothing will happen. These people are a minority of Moscow hipsters who are not ready for any real action. The government will ignore them and they will disappear just like they did after the last elections (also were large protests). And the leaders of Russian opposition are incompetent and unpopular, mostly quiet deservedly so.

For the record no I don't like Putin.

#31 ilexx

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:17 AM

View PostRaijin, on 16 March 2014 - 07:35 PM, said:

View Postilexx, on 16 March 2014 - 03:46 AM, said:

Let's see what happens next...

Nothing will happen. These people are a minority of Moscow hipsters who are not ready for any real action. The government will ignore them and they will disappear just like they did after the last elections (also were large protests). And the leaders of Russian opposition are incompetent and unpopular, mostly quiet deservedly so.

I'm sure you're right. The thing is though that there is an opposition. Dependent on Western reactions (and on China's not exactly approving stance regarding Russian territorial claims) Russia's already shaky economy will quite possibly become even shakier. And when things grow worse, people tend to oppose that. And the more opposition there will be on the domestic front, the more Putin will try to rally the rest of the country behind him by sparking up tensions externally. And I don't think he'll stop, not until he is stopped. He's made that quite clear at the Bucharest NATO-summit back in 2008. He said what he'll do about Georgia - and he did it. He said what will happen in Ukraine - and it's happening. If there is no response now, next on the plate is Moldavia. They have a mutual military assistance treaty with Romania, and Romania will assist, no matter how ridiculous it is to try and do so against Russia. And with Romania being a NATO-member, we have the casus belli.

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For the record no I don't like Putin.

I didn't assume you did.

#32 offworlder

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:14 AM

if you expect a war, Russia vs Romania over Moldavia, i think you'r in fantasy dreamland ;) like Germany would really sit for that? but then sit for that is a moot point with all the covert stuff, the commandos, the Spetz, all that, and Putin can play all he wants in that style, who can do anything? like if they put in their own teams, NATO, anyone, West, Putin's have enough training, experience, budget, to do that at will, like now in Kherson region- but an out in view war with a NATO Romainia? dreamin' - http://news.yahoo.co...--politics.html
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#33 ilexx

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 06:41 AM

View Postoffworlder, on 17 March 2014 - 05:14 AM, said:

if you expect a war, Russia vs Romania over Moldavia, i think you'r in fantasy dreamland ;) like Germany would really sit for that? but then sit for that is a moot point with all the covert stuff, the commandos, the Spetz, all that, and Putin can play all he wants in that style, who can do anything? like if they put in their own teams, NATO, anyone, West, Putin's have enough training, experience, budget, to do that at will, like now in Kherson region- but an out in view war with a NATO Romainia? dreamin' - http://news.yahoo.co...--politics.html

You're missing the point: as soon as a NATO-country gets involved, things change fundamentally. I simply expect that Putin will eventually have to be stopped somewhere. My guess is that it will happen there - if it's Transnistria and then Bessarabia (the Western half of Moldavia) that he will go after first once he's finished with Ukraine. If not, it will probably happen in Lithuania - a NATO-member, btw, with a pretty large Russian minority. And there - NATO-membership set aside - we will also have Poland and the other Baltic states getting very much involved in the direct vicinity of the Kaliningrad naval base.

If I follow your link, I see that Russia already grasps for Eastern Ukraine. We still have to see whether Ukraine will be willing to let go of Crimea; that then it will simply be willing to let go of Eastern Ukraine as well, is not a very reasonable assumption. And if they don't, Putin will invoke the Kievan Rus and whatnot and just continue on the path he's set. This will bring about a clash with NATO-member 1: Hungary (12% of the population in Zalkarpattia for instance are ethnic Hungarians, so we'll see what Budapest will have to say about that - and knowing Orban, I believe to have a fairly accurate idea what this will be, frankly). If Hungarians get appeased (personally, I doubt that), Transnistria and then the rest of Moldavia will follow, which will bring about an even bigger clash with NATO-member 2: Romania. And then, there will be the next ethnic Russians in need of protection in Lithuania (NATO-member 3), that will also involve Poland, Latvia and Estonia (NATO-members 4, 5 and 6).

So, to put it more simply: what I'm curious about is whether Russia's domestic situation will allow Putin to stop now, that he has gotten Crimea. And what I'm expecting is that it will not, and so Putin will eventually have to be stopped somewhere else. Question is where to draw the red line: in Eastern Ukraine, in Western Ukraine , in Transnistria, in Bessarabia, in Lithuania etc.

Do you really think I live in dreamland because I don't believe that this will go down quietly? Crimea is for Putin what the Rhineland was for Hitler; it may well be that people forgot about the Rhineland, but they didn't forget about Austria. And even if they did, they'll remember soon enough if Putin doesn't stop in Crimea. I don't think that anyone is willing to see Ukraine "austrianized", and if they were, I hardly think that another Sudetenland is likely to happen again. No-one will wait and see this time, until in the name of Slav unity Russia is "returning fire since 5:45h"... somewhere near Prague.

#34 Raijin

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:02 AM

You are being dramatic. Ukraine is losing Crimea now because it ripped itself open and is in crisis with or without Putin. And also keep well in mind that the conflict with ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine is VERY REAL and not something Putin made up.

#35 BklnScott

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

Didn't Ukraine "rip itself open" over intense pressure from Russia to join the Eurasian Alliance instead of the EU (as the majority of Ukrainians preferred)?

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#36 Raijin

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:11 AM

View PostBklnScott, on 17 March 2014 - 09:27 AM, said:

Didn't Ukraine "rip itself open" over intense pressure from Russia to join the Eurasian Alliance instead of the EU (as the majority of Ukrainians preferred)?

If such a clear majority preferred it the people who took power in Kiev wouldn't have a problem controlling half the country. I don't know who preferred what and in what numbers. But I do know the current leadership in Kiev is not representative of the whole country. It wasn't Ukrainians who took power it was west Ukrainians and citizens of the city of Kiev. If the capital had been somewhere in Donetsk it might have been very different.

Hence why the crowds in eastern Ukraine are protesting and taking government buildings, they don't think the government in Kiev is their government. There is no government of national unity. This division is decades in the making starting from well before Putin and no amount of Russian pressure (and no amount of Spetsnaz either) could materialize these people from thin air.

#37 ilexx

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:19 PM

View PostRaijin, on 17 March 2014 - 09:02 AM, said:

You are being dramatic.
I very much hope you're right and I'm wrong.

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Ukraine is losing Crimea now because it ripped itself open and is in crisis with or without Putin. And also keep well in mind that the conflict with ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine is VERY REAL and not something Putin made up.

Oh, come on now... A few weeks ago the Donetsk-region readily accepted the newly appointed government and declared itself loyal to Ukraine. Then, all of a sudden, supposedly ethnic Russians started to show up all over the place, talking about how Kiev had forbidden the Russian language (???? some radical right-wingers brought a motion for that to Parliament and they rejected it; still, ever since both in and outside Russia all Russian media claim that the first thing the new government did was to abolish Russian)and was run by drug-addicts (???) and fascists (funny how the leaders of the Jewis communities in Ukraine say that the ones attacking them are certainly neither Ukrainians nor Tatars nor anything else but Russians from Russia, who are there to provoke them).

#38 ilexx

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:42 PM

View PostRaijin, on 17 March 2014 - 10:11 AM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 17 March 2014 - 09:27 AM, said:

Didn't Ukraine "rip itself open" over intense pressure from Russia to join the Eurasian Alliance instead of the EU (as the majority of Ukrainians preferred)?

If such a clear majority preferred it the people who took power in Kiev wouldn't have a problem controlling half the country.
Please! The 6.000 Russian soldiers in Crimea found themselves backed by 10.000 paramilitary troops in non-marked Russian uniforms Putin claimed they bought themselves in second-hand shops (really? 10.000 uniforms?). There are troops pouring into Eastern Ukraine. How do you control a country or half a country while tens of thousands of heavily armed troops and paramilitary forces pour into it, block roads and institutions, assault army and police and provoke and infuse fear any each way they can?

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I don't know who preferred what and in what numbers. But I do know the current leadership in Kiev is not representative of the whole country. It wasn't Ukrainians who took power it was west Ukrainians and citizens of the city of Kiev. If the capital had been somewhere in Donetsk it might have been very different.

That's not entirely true. It was different a few weeks ago - before hundreds (if not thousands) of Russian agents provocateurs showed up in their midst.

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Hence why the crowds in eastern Ukraine are protesting and taking government buildings, they don't think the government in Kiev is their government. There is no government of national unity. This division is decades in the making starting from well before Putin and no amount of Russian pressure (and no amount of Spetsnaz either) could materialize these people from thin air.

Right. Because Russia's never done anything like this before. In Ossetia back in 2008... that must have been Australians provoking Georgian authorities. And in Moldavia back in 1991, there were no pro-Soviet Russians destabilizing the country (that was never very stable to begin with), the 14th Russian army under General Lebed didn't occupy Transnistria and joined the separatists and so on and so forth.

http://www.recordnet...9974/-1/NEWSMAP

#39 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:39 AM

Here is advice for US. You want to punish Putin punish him personally. By sanctioning him personally and through his personal friends who became billionaires after he took power. Brothers Rottenberg, Timchenko, etc. Pressure the silent neutral oligarchs who support his rule as long as they can make money and live in comfort. Your government must know who all those people are.

Punishing the droids who stamp his decisions is your personal Potemkin's village, not real sanctions.

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Please! The 6.000 Russian soldiers in Crimea found themselves backed by 10.000 paramilitary troops in non-marked Russian uniforms Putin claimed they bought themselves in second-hand shops (really? 10.000 uniforms?). There are troops pouring into Eastern Ukraine. How do you control a country or half a country while tens of thousands of heavily armed troops and paramilitary forces pour into it, block roads and institutions, assault army and police and provoke and infuse fear any each way they can?

Please what? There are Russian troops in Crimea. There are no Russian troops in the rest of eastern Ukraine.

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That's not entirely true. It was different a few weeks ago - before hundreds (if not thousands) of Russian agents provocateurs showed up in their midst.

Yeah they crossed the border riding combat bears. Dissatisfaction in east Ukraine is real whether you accept it or not.

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Right. Because Russia's never done anything like this before. In Ossetia back in 2008... that must have been Australians provoking Georgian authorities. And in Moldavia back in 1991, there were no pro-Soviet Russians destabilizing the country (that was never very stable to begin with), the 14th Russian army under General Lebed didn't occupy Transnistria and joined the separatists and so on and so forth.

Oh, so it's all Russia now. Get of your high horse. Saakashvili wanted that war. He openly talked about wanting that war. His soldiers dug trenches and built positions inside the security zone in both Ossetia and Abkhazia where they were not allowed to be. He happily participated in cross border "provocations" of his own . And the first time he got a chance he started the takeover operation he always dreamed about. The moment he started shooting at Russian soldiers he got exactly what he bloody deserved.

Contrary to that I really don't like what we are doing in Ukraine. But Ukrainian nationalism is responsible for why we can.

Transnistria was a long time ago. I barely remember. But if you're about to tell me it's also all Russia's fault again I wont believe you.

Edited by Raijin, 18 March 2014 - 05:48 AM.


#40 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

Moral of this story--and many others (Mideast, Ireland, Africa, etc.) is this: artificial borders drawn by the victors usually result in bloodshed.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman



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