View Poll Results: Whom do you support and to what extent?

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  • I support Ukraine fully.

    62 68.13%
  • I support Russia fully.

    9 9.89%
  • I only support Russia's claim over Crimea.

    3 3.30%
  • I only support Russia's claim over Crimea and Donbass (Luhansk and Donetsk regions).

    5 5.49%
  • Not sure.

    6 6.59%
  • I don't care.

    6 6.59%

Thread: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

  1. #4161
    antaeus's Avatar Cool and normal
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    Of course.. but the same could be said of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. The point is to show those who enable this to happen to their society, that it shouldn't. Putin might be the CEO, but dictators only happen through the acceptance or apathy of those beneath them.

    That doesn't mean punishing the society at large, it means defeating the institutions that cause the harm within that society, then doing exactly the opposite of Versailles - welcome the country into the fold and illustrate the strength of the value system that has forgiven their apathy or enabling by aiding their recovery.

    Arguably, Russia's receding from global norms under Putin has more in common with the fallout from Versailles - given that it has been built on a narrative of national loss and victimisation.
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  2. #4162

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    Hence Machiavelli's line that men should be either treated generously or destroyed, since they will take revenge for slight injuries but for heavy ones they cannot. The problem here is that Russia is not going anywhere and MAD ensures this. So the logical solution here is an outcome which a future government will consider satisfactory even if Putin does not.

  3. #4163

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    Are you factoring in the perception of national victimhood in Russian culture since at least Napoleonic times if not before? Even then, Russians deemed too friendly towards “western” ideas were regarded as “the other” and inherently anti-Russian or even traitors, against which Russia must always be on guard to protect Slavic and Orthodox Christian identity. There’s no way to assuage this and so magnanimity should not be a relevant factor in the event the West is in a position to determine the value of clemency.

    Neither should the focus be revenge of course, but instead to restrict as much as possible Russian capacity to do this sort of crap ever again. Shouldn’t be that hard since Russia is already a third world country economically, and probably has more to do with strengthening and integrating Russia’s western neighbors than with permanently weakening Russia itself. Permanently decoupling from Russian exports should do the trick and therefore should be the foundation of western grand strategy going forward.
    Last edited by Lord Thesaurian; May 26, 2022 at 12:56 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    No, we don't care about your libertarian "evidence".
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  4. #4164
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    There's holes in that logic you could fly the entire VDV through. How does the decision to weaken Russia while it is invading neighbours and stealing land mean Russia hereafter is irredeemable? Good faith arguments only, that one is sloppy to the point of being misleading.

    Its not a zero sum game in Ukraine, Russia has already stolen a heap of land and shaped up to steal more, which they are now doing. In terms of damage Russia has savagely smashed Ukraine once and is trying to do it again. Diminishing present Russian capacity is not a "poor choice for the future" its a present policy of some worth.

    Everything you say we owe Putin, he owes Ukraine. We don't owe Putin an intact army. He does owe Ukraine a lot of land and reparations for an undeclared war. The spectre of his grandson invading Vienna is possibility, but presently he's a terrorist and a brigand and needs to be smashed hard to stop his rampage.
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  5. #4165

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thesaurian View Post
    Are you factoring in the perception of national victimhood in Russian culture since at least Napoleonic times if not before? Even then, Russians deemed too friendly towards “western” ideas were regarded as “the other” and inherently anti-Russian or even traitors, against which Russia must always be on guard to protect Slavic and Orthodox Christian identity. There’s no way to assuage this and so magnanimity should not be a relevant factor in the event the West is in a position to determine the value of clemency.
    I don't think that was really true of the Russian Empire, considering that it had a royal line with a German patrilineal origin and a nobility that preferred speaking French. If anything, the Russian Emperors post Peter the Great were consistently determined to be as European as possible.

  6. #4166

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Laser101 View Post
    I don't think that was really true of the Russian Empire, considering that it had a royal line with a German patrilineal origin and a nobility that preferred speaking French. If anything, the Russian Emperors post Peter the Great were consistently determined to be as European as possible.
    I wasn’t under the impression my observation is disputed.

    “The paradigm of Russia’s opposition to the “West” emerged only in the 19th century in the wake of the wars waged by Napoleon. It reveals some traits of a late ‘social myth,’” notes Yuri Levada.(Levada 1993, 180, 181). All facets of the “image of the West” are a distorted and mirrored reflection of the self-image, i.e. or the perception of the self and of own values). Russians always viewed the West "with hatred and love" (an expression from Blok's poem "The Scythians"). And now, too, Russia's attitude toward the West is a sort of a mixture. Some sociologists attribute this psychological anomaly, in part, to the fact that admiration of the marvels of Western technology, that was used with terrible effectiveness on the battlefields of World War I and that has been retained in the nation's genetic code. In this context, interest to the West was marked by distrust and envy and it is a reflection of own anxieties or hopes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludicus View Post
    No, we don't care about your libertarian "evidence".
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  7. #4167
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    The amount of equipment and lives lost, and in particular the amount of equipment abandoned to be employed by Ukraine evidences the significance of those offensives now rationalised as 'feints'. People will rationalise defeat all day to justify the cognitive dissonance that occurs when confronted with the truth of failure.

    Certainly the way the attacks were carried out indicate miscalculation at all levels. Reading interviews with civilians in the areas Russian forces retreated from leaves no doubt that they retreated in some disarray, under constant artillery attacks, and with significant loss. Staff at Chernobyl described troops resting after retreat in a state of exhaustion, driving vehicles with tires shredded to the rim, and being warned about the dangers of antagonising soldiers who had experienced significant loss. There should be no mistake that this was not a significant defeat.

    The problem with social media, including Telegram, is that it allows us to ascribe strategic significance to tactical events, often shown without context. Throughout this war, Russian users have shared footage of Russian successes, and Western users have seen Ukrainian successes. But usually these successes are localised incidents and rarely illustrate strategic impacts. The withdrawal from Kyiv and the north is one such event where the weight of loss shows clear evidence of defeat. But we can only judge this with hindsight. But one consideration to make when discussing Russian social media, is that it is not operating in a free and open space. Certainly Western pundits are prone to look for success and shy away from failure, but they still report failure and loss. There are Western journalists in Donbas, reporting loss and withdrawal now. Unapologetically reporting Ukrainian struggles for manpower and arms. The same can't be said for those reporting on the Russian side - rather they seek to make everything look intentional. So pinches of salt must be taken with Telegram groups.

    Russia's attack in Donbas hasn't yet culminated, so we don't know how it will end, or what Ukraine has in the tank to stop it, or counter attack. Before this attack has culminated, talk of an exit-strategy is premature.
    I don't disagree that Kiev was a defeat. I believe it was indeed a political/intelligence miscalculation, but it was obviously a heavy military defeat as well. I simply find it worth noting that it has been rationalized and on Russian circles it's not seen exactly that way. The spin that it was "not a serious attack" seems to have taken hold. How can any side be demoralized and pressure their leaders for peace, when they don't believe in their defeats?

    I agree that random users on social media are not exactly good sources of how things are going on the ground. But they are a better source when trying to see how a group of people perceives a situation. Which is what I was taking from this. Now, regarding journalists and how freely ours are able to report, I'll put a few pinches of salt on that statement. Increasingly our media is towing governmental lines, they maintain the veneer of impartiality but I don't think there is much freedom there. True, they won't necessarily be killed off if they dare go against the current, but they will be marginalized, their ability to reach people curtailed, their careers damaged, or worse they will end up like Assange. So yeah, a few pinches of salt on that statement about how able our journalists are to report with any significant degree of freedom or openness.

    Talk of an exit-strategy is premature because this apparently will drag yes and there is no real interest in a settlement. As I said, I, at least, don't currently see one. I do want one ASAP though. And I found the Mykolaiv idea interesting as a result.
    Last edited by Alastor; May 26, 2022 at 04:49 AM.

  8. #4168
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    On the other hand, irrelevance of Versailles is in significant difference between Germanic and Russian societies.

    Versailles was humiliation for Germans as they considered themselves part of forefront of European civilisation (rightfully so, which Hitler also cleverly exploited to Germans' demise) and sense of unjust, disproportionate punishment for something they did not perpetrate. Germany did not start the WWI by itself, one could say they used assassination as excuse and war was inevitable anyway but we will never know.

    Russians are unfortunately different. They (in majority) suffer from learned helplessness syndrome which is exploited by likes of Tzars, Stalin, Putin. Political apathy and indifference that turns blind eye to increased autocracy as long as it provides sense of national pride - the only fuel that insecurity-ridden society needs. Appeasement in this case will achieve nothing because the problem is in society that is mute and allows autocrats to rule, and societies needs generations to evolve. And Russia, being sole perpetrator of Ukraine war, deserves no appeasement. There is no societal fascist movement waiting to explode in Russia that could endanger Europe. Russia is already a fascist state (even though its citizens do not subscribe to it, just are indifferent which is enough to make it happen) that endangers Europe right now.
    Last edited by reavertm; May 26, 2022 at 05:23 AM.

  9. #4169

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Not to mention that a big problem with Versailles was no one was willing to enforce the damn thing. When Hitler said he was going to ignore the treaty's limits on troop numbers and build the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine and dared anyone to do anything about it, the world mostly just shrugged (though to be fair the LoN by design had no real power to do anything). Or bought into Hitlers "We were treated soooooo badly! The world's soooooo unfair to us!" spiel that would not sound out of place coming from Putin's lips.

    What needs to happen is Russia must not only leave Ukraine, pay reparations, and hand over war criminals, it needs to uphold every line of whatever treaty ends the war to the letter. If it does all of that, then maybe in a few years we can talk about easing sanctions and forming diplomatic ties. And if it cannot manage to do that, then the sanctions and political isolation will go on indefinitely if need be, or become even worse.

  10. #4170
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Alastor View Post
    I don't disagree that Kiev was a defeat. I believe it was indeed a political/intelligence miscalculation, but it was obviously a heavy military defeat as well. I simply find it worth noting that it has been rationalized and on Russian circles it's not seen exactly that way. The spin that it was "not a serious attack" seems to have taken hold. How can any side be demoralized and pressure their leaders for peace, when they don't believe in their defeats?

    I agree that random users on social media are not exactly good sources of how things are going on the ground. But they are a better source when trying to see how a group of people perceives a situation. Which is what I was taking from this. Now, regarding journalists and how freely ours are able to report, I'll put a few pinches of salt on that statement. Increasingly our media is towing governmental lines, they maintain the veneer of impartiality but I don't think there is much freedom there. True, they won't necessarily be killed off if they dare go against the current, but they will be marginalized, their ability to reach people curtailed, their careers damaged, or worse they will end up like Assange. So yeah, a few pinches of salt on that statement about how able our journalists are to report with any significant degree of freedom or openness.

    Talk of an exit-strategy is premature because this apparently will drag yes and there is no real interest in a settlement. As I said, I, at least, don't currently see one. I do want one ASAP though. And I found the Mykolaiv idea interesting as a result.
    Good post.

    I agree that random users on social media are not exactly good sources of how things are going on the ground. But they are a better source when trying to see how a group of people perceives a situation

    I was kinda glad when ISW recently started adding some summary data from Russian Telegram. I don't really do social media but niece to have somebody cover what Russian social media are saying. CAn't recall where but a couple weeks ago maybe the BBC did a nice dive into the social media view in India and China
    .
    How can any side be demoralized and pressure their leaders for peace, when they don't believe in their defeats?
    Very true. You can't offer Putin an off ramp when probably does not see the need for one or feel any real pressure from below to have to consider it. I imagine as long he can juggle not calling for mobilization/state of emergency Putin can use artillery older tanks and the fact that his troops not doing the intense fighting or even in Ukraine to pin down enough uranium forces to finally grind out a Donbas win. Same with Ukraine, right now its solid amounts of aid and the trend is increasing if its moral holds it can still keep to line of not surrendering territory. Hard to know how good a gauge of losses Oyrix is but if it is even close. Even the Russian focused effort on the Donbas still seems to leave Russian loosing at 4:1. That tough odds to sustain for only slow grinding advances.
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  11. #4171
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Alastor View Post
    I agree that random users on social media are not exactly good sources of how things are going on the ground. But they are a better source when trying to see how a group of people perceives a situation. Which is what I was taking from this. Now, regarding journalists and how freely ours are able to report, I'll put a few pinches of salt on that statement. Increasingly our media is towing governmental lines, they maintain the veneer of impartiality but I don't think there is much freedom there. True, they won't necessarily be killed off if they dare go against the current, but they will be marginalized, their ability to reach people curtailed, their careers damaged, or worse they will end up like Assange. So yeah, a few pinches of salt on that statement about how able our journalists are to report with any significant degree of freedom or openness.
    I would disagree with this sentiment entirely. Following a large number of journalists closely, there is criticism of our various governments responses, and Ukraine's. There are also interviews with Ukrainian soldiers and civilians that are critical that have been published on all of the usual outlets, or in their social media feeds. An example has been the debate over Kissinger's comments. There has been plenty of analysis from both sides. Certainly no journalist who isn't already fringe is going to find themselves there simply for publishing honest reports that are well researched.

    You can be sceptical about western media... but I don't think we should confuse a pile-on to a particular narrative, with unreasonable restrictions beyond operational security on what they say regarding this war. That would be a step too far.
    Last edited by antaeus; May 26, 2022 at 07:40 AM.

  12. #4172
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Laser101 View Post
    Hence Machiavelli's line that men should be either treated generously or destroyed, since they will take revenge for slight injuries but for heavy ones they cannot. The problem here is that Russia is not going anywhere and MAD ensures this.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laser101 View Post
    So the logical solution here is an outcome which a future government will consider satisfactory even if Putin does not.
    Actually, I'd say the other way around. We need something Putin thinks he can spin as a victory in the short term, but will be denounced by who/whatever succeeds him. Grant him Calligula's seashells, as it were.

    On the one hand, the price that needs to be exacted from Russia for starting the war should be too high for Putin's strategists to consider a repeat worthwhile. On the other, the West should definitely not (appear to) want to opportunistically take out Russia for as long as possible, under the assumption that Russia can't learn from its mistakes.
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  13. #4173
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    So we're back to appeasement then?

    Let's see you sell that one in Bucha. For Ukraine to not become an angry and disenchanted failed state that is a risk to Europe, Putin must lose, and know it.

    Now how to do this in a way that helps Russia flourish in the long term, that's the conundrum.
    Last edited by antaeus; May 26, 2022 at 08:03 AM.

  14. #4174
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    I would disagree with this sentiment entirely. Following a large number of journalists closely, there is criticism of our various governments responses, and Ukraine's. There are also interviews with Ukrainian soldiers and civilians that are critical that have been published on all of the usual outlets, or in their social media feeds. An example has been the debate over Kissinger's comments. There has been plenty of analysis from both sides. Certainly no journalist who isn't already fringe is going to find themselves there simply for publishing honest reports that are well researched.

    You can be sceptical about western media... but I don't think we should confuse a pile-on to a particular narrative, with unreasonable restrictions beyond operational security on what they say regarding this war. That would be a step too far.
    I don't believe your faith in our western journalism is deserved. Not in the least. I also follow many journalists closely and I have seen how the ability of people to do independent reporting is narrowing in many ways. The restrictions our western governments impose are often not as open or blunt as those you'll find in say Russia, Turkey or perhaps China. But they are no laughing matter either. They can take many forms, often utilizing the internet and social media giants. Private corporations, you may say. Sure, private corporations that constantly cooperate with political authorities and are summoned to explain themselves in Congress when narratives the government doesn't like get disseminated in their platforms. So not truly independent actors. The recent deplatforming of Consortium News from paypal is an example of this less overt push, I mentioned Assange earlier as an example of a more open government intervention as well.

    To your comment that no journalist who isn't already on the fringe finds themselves there simply for publishing honest and well researched reports, I will counter that a)no mainstream journalist stays in the spotlight by doing just that either and b)being less popular is not itself the problem, not as long as you are allowed to do your job and live your life, there are... complications with that though.
    Last edited by Alastor; May 26, 2022 at 08:00 AM.

  15. #4175
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Alastor View Post
    To your comment that no journalist who isn't already on the fringe finds themselves there simply for publishing honest and well researched reports, I will counter that a)no mainstream journalist stays in the spotlight by doing just that either and b)being less popular is not itself the problem, not as long as you are allowed to do your job and live your life, there are... complications with that though.
    Where are the trials of journalists? Where are the jailed journalists? In fact, where are the whistle blowers warning of crack downs? They're in a Russia. Not London or New York.

    No, we're conflating our like for journalism with the reality.
    Last edited by antaeus; May 26, 2022 at 08:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    Where are the trials of journalists? Where are the fired journalists? In fact, where are the whistle blowers? They're in a Russia. Not London or New York.

    No, we're conflating our like for journalism with the reality.
    Assange is being tried in Britain. Many whistleblowers have been convicted in the US. If anything Snowden took refuge in Russia to avoid that fate.

    I'm not sure what your point is.

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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    You're the one that challenged the authenticity of Western reporting on the war in Ukraine... Because Assange?

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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    You're the one that challenged the authenticity of Western reporting on the war in Ukraine... Because Assange?
    Not on Ukraine specifically, in general, so also on Ukraine. Assange is an example of this "in general" part.

    I also don't see how this response clarifies whatever point you were trying to make earlier.

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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by nhytgbvfeco2 View Post
    Crimea is currently under foreign military occupation, I'm sure if Russia was to retreat and return it to Ukraine the Kiev Institute will be able to ask them in the next survey.
    Did the Kyiv Institute give regional breakdowns though? That was my question.
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    The relevance of Versailles is that trying to keep the peace by weakening the enemy ensures your enemy will remain your enemy. Anyone who says the goal of the West in Ukraine is to weaken Russia has already made the decision that Russia is irredeemable. Putin certainly is irredeemable, but he will die sooner or later. The Russian memory of the role of the West in this war will outlast him.
    The West has tried to be their friends and it did not work, proved by Putin himself and his supporters.

    All that's left to do is to help mentally healthy Russians to leave. Russia as a state will forever be an enemy and peace can only be achieved by continuously weakening it to a complete collapse and isolation.

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