Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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The build-up of Russian troops the border with Ukraine has sparked fears that Russia is preparing to invade the country.

The numbers and types of troops seem, to many experts, to have gone beyond those needed for exercises. There is even back-up for battle with field hospitals.

About 70,000 troops have massed near the border, according to US intelligence officials, who also determined that Russia is planning a possible invasion as soon as early next year.

But Moscow has denied it plans to attack Ukraine, saying the concerns are part of efforts to smear Russia.

Putin has urged the west to exclude Ukraine from joining NATO and the deployment of the alliance’s weapons on its territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday his forces are capable of fending off a potential attack amid concerns by officials in his own country and in the west.

He praised the country’s army as a “highly capable and highly organised force that is confident in its potential and is able to derail any expansionist plans by the enemy.”

He continued: “Ukrainian servicemen are continuing to perform their most important mission — to protect the freedom and sovereignty of the state from the Russian aggressor,” said Zelenskyy, who donned combat fatigues on a visit to troops near the area of a separatist conflict in the country’s east."

NATO leaders and ministers met virtually on Monday evening to decide how to respond.

And on Tuesday, Russian President Putin and American President Biden are expected to discuss the issue in a scheduled video call.

Ukraine's conflict with Russia-backed rebels in its eastern industrial heartland erupted weeks after Moscow’s 2014 takeover of the Crimean Peninsula.

The fighting has killed more than 14,000 people, and efforts to negotiate a settlement have stalled.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Straha »

I wonder how strung up TRR is about this right now.

Biden is having a conference with Putin tomorrow, reports are that he's going to threaten escalation of US deployment in the baltics and major sanctions against Russia. Who knows how this is going to resolve itself.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Zaune »

TRR got a lot closer to being right about a lot of stuff than we gave him credit for.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Zaune wrote: 2021-12-07 08:47am TRR got a lot closer to being right about a lot of stuff than we gave him credit for.
No. That is... not even remotely close to true.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Broomstick »

More of a "stopped clock right twice a day" sort of thing.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Even in the rare cases where TRR was technically correct about something he was often an order of magnitude above where he needed to be on the alarmist scale. It was so bad that I didn't want to be on the same side of an issue as he was.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Lord Revan »

Yeah the issue with TRR wasn't that he was never towards something that was correct but when he found that would imply something towards what he argued he'd always take up to 20 out of 10 and thus quickly looses the plot because such excessive overstatement.

For example in TRR's mind not only GOP but anyone right of his politics was essentially demons hell bent for pure evil, not humans who disagree politically with him and might had some selfish motives but still aren't doing evil for the sake of evil.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Jub »

On topic:

Russia is going to keep pushing like this until NATO smacks their hands and makes them stop. This is all them testing limits and seeing what they can take without lasting consequences.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Ralin »

Jub wrote: 2021-12-08 03:32pm On topic:

Russia is going to keep pushing like this until NATO smacks their hands and makes them stop. This is all them testing limits and seeing what they can take without lasting consequences.
Doesn't the Russian government's position boil down to saying that NATO has spent the past couple decades testing their limits and now that they're in a position to push back they're going to do so until they have assurances about exactly where NATO's boundaries are going to stay?
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Broomstick »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-09 02:45am
Jub wrote: 2021-12-08 03:32pm On topic:

Russia is going to keep pushing like this until NATO smacks their hands and makes them stop. This is all them testing limits and seeing what they can take without lasting consequences.
Doesn't the Russian government's position boil down to saying that NATO has spent the past couple decades testing their limits and now that they're in a position to push back they're going to do so until they have assurances about exactly where NATO's boundaries are going to stay?
That may be how Russia is justifying their actions, and there is even some truth there, but they also have quite the history of being expansionist when they can get away with it. I think it's more a matter of seeing what the West/NATO will let them get away with. Which, yes, is sort of what they're saying, but it's not about "testing limits" so much as getting away with whatever they can. Russia wants to own the Ukraine.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Jub »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-09 02:45amDoesn't the Russian government's position boil down to saying that NATO has spent the past couple decades testing their limits and now that they're in a position to push back they're going to do so until they have assurances about exactly where NATO's boundaries are going to stay?
Given that NATO isn't a single nation like Russia is and that it hasn't thus far sought to use violence as a means of gaining new members that feels like a stretch. One I can understand them making, but very much a different beast than what NATO usually does. Of course, NATO has tended to operate from a stronger position so they haven't had as much need to use force to attract members.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Tribble »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-09 04:20am
Ralin wrote: 2021-12-09 02:45am
Jub wrote: 2021-12-08 03:32pm On topic:

Russia is going to keep pushing like this until NATO smacks their hands and makes them stop. This is all them testing limits and seeing what they can take without lasting consequences.
Doesn't the Russian government's position boil down to saying that NATO has spent the past couple decades testing their limits and now that they're in a position to push back they're going to do so until they have assurances about exactly where NATO's boundaries are going to stay?
That may be how Russia is justifying their actions, and there is even some truth there, but they also have quite the history of being expansionist when they can get away with it. I think it's more a matter of seeing what the West/NATO will let them get away with. Which, yes, is sort of what they're saying, but it's not about "testing limits" so much as getting away with whatever they can. Russia wants to own the Ukraine.
Quite frankly it’s hard for me to fault Russia on this one, at least on a strategic level. Ukraine joining NATO wouldn’t be much different than if Canada or Mexico had joined the Warsaw Pact, or decided to form an official military alliance with China against the US. No way the US would ever allow something like that to happen, even if it meant a hostile / violent takeover. Why are we expecting Russia to act any different?

Yes, invasions of countries (or even threats of invasions) are bad, not disputing that.

However, if the US and/or NATO countries hadn’t been so busy over the past few decades invading other countries (including democratic ones!) for their own strategic purposes maybe they’d have some moral high ground to stand on.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Broomstick »

Tribble wrote: 2021-12-09 01:20pm Quite frankly it’s hard for me to fault Russia on this one, at least on a strategic level.
True. It would be like when the USSR tried to install missiles in Cuba, which is only 90 miles from the US border, except the Ukraine is ON the Russian border. I heard something today (listening to the news at work I don't catch everything) that mentioned the Russian government explicitly worried about the time it would take for a Ukraine-based missile to reach Moscow (summary: very few minutes). I get that Russia does have some real concerns about a long-time adversary camping out that close to home.

Part of the issue is that Ukraine wants to join NATO, or so it's been reported. I think the situation would be different if Ukraine was explicitly stating they did not want a formal alliance with either Russia or NATO, existing as an independent buffer between the two superpowers. However, I can't imagine that being a comfortable position to be in.
Tribble wrote: 2021-12-09 01:20pm However, if the US and/or NATO countries hadn’t been so busy over the past few decades invading other countries (including democratic ones!) for their own strategic purposes maybe they’d have some moral high ground to stand on.
Agreed.

We no longer have the moral high ground we used to, and even that claim is shaky in retrospect.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Tiriol »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-09 03:54pm
Tribble wrote: 2021-12-09 01:20pm However, if the US and/or NATO countries hadn’t been so busy over the past few decades invading other countries (including democratic ones!) for their own strategic purposes maybe they’d have some moral high ground to stand on.
Agreed.

We no longer have the moral high ground we used to, and even that claim is shaky in retrospect.
That really depends on the point of view. The countries next to Russian border might not be so inclined to think that there’s no moral high ground - or, more callously, don’t really care at all, since they don’t want to be included in Russia’s zone of influence or become de facto vassals. I would rather hope that my country would join NATO as soon as possible in any case.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Lord Revan »

This does makes me wonder if the Russian economy is in a worse state then it appears, since I suspect there's a "hidden" motive of Russia trying to establish de facto if not even de jure vassals whose only role is funnel funds to fuel the Russian Economy without Russians needing to fix the actual issues with their economy.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Broomstick »

TV news here is reporting that Putin is claiming ethnic Russians in Ukraine are being subjected to "genocide". Russia just really wants to gobble up another country, doesn't it?

Back situation at home - quick, distract with a foreign war! is a time-honored means for a ruler to divert attention from a problem.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-10 09:30pm TV news here is reporting that Putin is claiming ethnic Russians in Ukraine are being subjected to "genocide". Russia just really wants to gobble up another country, doesn't it?
Isn't that the line that Hitler used for Austria, the Sudetenland and the Polish Corridor/Danzig?
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Broomstick »

It's an old excuse used by many, yes.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Putin would be better off just sticking to the mantra that Ukraine joining NATO is a red line and an existential threat to Russia that can’t be tolerated (which is exactly what the US would be doing if situation was reversed). No need for the genocide excuse.

Pragmatically speaking, this is stupid of NATO. We can’t realistically hope to protect Ukraine from an invasion and the benefits of potentially having another ally to stash some military hardware in is more than offset by how much the situation has escalated.

If it looks like Ukraine is really about to join NATO, then the Russians are likely to invade before the treaty can formally come into effect… which quite frankly is exactly what they should be doing from a strictly strategic perspective. From the Russian perspective, better to take Ukraine now rather than let NATO tanks, planes and WMDs inside.

Nothing good is going to come from this.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-11 06:23pm It's an old excuse used by many, yes.
With varying degrees of accuracy and sincerity.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Tribble wrote: 2021-12-09 01:20pm
Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-09 04:20am
Ralin wrote: 2021-12-09 02:45am
Doesn't the Russian government's position boil down to saying that NATO has spent the past couple decades testing their limits and now that they're in a position to push back they're going to do so until they have assurances about exactly where NATO's boundaries are going to stay?
That may be how Russia is justifying their actions, and there is even some truth there, but they also have quite the history of being expansionist when they can get away with it. I think it's more a matter of seeing what the West/NATO will let them get away with. Which, yes, is sort of what they're saying, but it's not about "testing limits" so much as getting away with whatever they can. Russia wants to own the Ukraine.
Quite frankly it’s hard for me to fault Russia on this one, at least on a strategic level. Ukraine joining NATO wouldn’t be much different than if Canada or Mexico had joined the Warsaw Pact, or decided to form an official military alliance with China against the US. No way the US would ever allow something like that to happen, even if it meant a hostile / violent takeover. Why are we expecting Russia to act any different?

Yes, invasions of countries (or even threats of invasions) are bad, not disputing that.

However, if the US and/or NATO countries hadn’t been so busy over the past few decades invading other countries (including democratic ones!) for their own strategic purposes maybe they’d have some moral high ground to stand on.
I find it fascinating that China and Russia apologists keep bringing up what if Canada or Mexico joined an alliance as a counterfactual when a country just as close to the US did in fact ally the USSR in the 1960s.

The Cuba precedent is suspending relations and trade and taking destablizing actions, but an armed invasion with its own troop was seen as a step too far. We don't have to imagine the counter factual, it happened. Moscow's reaction was much larger than Washington's.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

Post by Tribble »

Coop D'etat wrote:
I find it fascinating that China and Russia apologists keep bringing up what if Canada or Mexico joined an alliance as a counterfactual when a country just as close to the US did in fact ally the USSR in the 1960s.

The Cuba precedent is suspending relations and trade and taking destablizing actions, but an armed invasion with its own troop was seen as a step too far. We don't have to imagine the counter factual, it happened. Moscow's reaction was much larger than Washington's.
I’m not “apologizing” for what they do. I’m simply pointing out that strategically (note not morally) what they are doing makes sense, and strategically (again not morally) there may be serious consequences if NATO decides to get involved, to the point where doing so is not worth it IMO. We have enough problems to deal with already (many of them caused by us!) to get into a fight with Russia over Ukraine as well.

That being said, Russia should have full sanctions imposed on it IMO.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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And with regards to Cuba, it should be noted that the Soviets ultimately did back down and withdrew most of their support pretty quickly. And that included removing nuclear weapons that the Americans weren’t even aware of, because they knew that if word got out Castro had nukes after all that would have likely kicked off WW3.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Coop D'etat wrote: 2021-12-12 06:40pm I find it fascinating that China and Russia apologists keep bringing up what if Canada or Mexico joined an alliance as a counterfactual when a country just as close to the US did in fact ally the USSR in the 1960s.

The Cuba precedent is suspending relations and trade and taking destablizing actions, but an armed invasion with its own troop was seen as a step too far. We don't have to imagine the counter factual, it happened. Moscow's reaction was much larger than Washington's.
You're offering a very very charitable read of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States was gearing up for large scale bombing of Cuba followed by invasion if the Soviets didn't back down. Congress and most domestic leaders were pushing JFK to move ASAP, and in the first meeting executive-legislative meeting on the issue the Senatorial delegation said that the fact that military action hadn't been taken would make the world perceive the US as a second rate power. The only reason military action was delayed was because RFK had a pang of catholic guilt and convinced his brother personally to wait 24 hours, and the only reason that diplomatic action worked is because the US ignored diplomatic cables from the USSR and responded to earlier, less aggressive, cables because they knew that if they acted like they had read the later cables military confrontation would be inevitable. The same script has been followed in both instances, with the same end-goal: a negotiated draw down of tensions coupled with a draw down of alliance commitments to border nation.

Of course, reading this in context of the Cuban Missile Crisis alone is a touch myopic. The Cuban Missile Crisis came after the Bay of Pigs, an attempt at a full blown invasion of Cuba because it was allied to the USSR. This should also be read in the context of how the US responded to nations that even nodded at moving outside the American orbit during the Cold War. The '54 Coup in Guatemala, the '64 coup in Brazil, and the '73 coup of Allende in Chile and the support of Pinochet thereafter.

Bill Perry, SecDef to Clinton, in his memoir details just how explicit the promises to Russia were about a future of cooperation and a more limited vision of NATO (more precisely, a more limited vision of NATO as a deterrent force, but a much more expansive vision of NATO as a site of international cooperation, with a door open to eventual Russian entry and depoliticization of NATO), and details the depth of betrayal from Russia over NATO expansion. That betrayal looms over everything that Putin has done since, and is understandable given the sheer power disparity between the US and Russia and the American unwillingness to abide by cold war arms control agreements that Russia viewed as vital to keeping a lid on escalation.
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Re: Ukraine reacts to fears of Russian invasion as troops build up at the border

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Coop D'etat wrote: 2021-12-12 06:40pmThe Cuba precedent is suspending relations and trade and taking destablizing actions, but an armed invasion with its own troop was seen as a step too far. We don't have to imagine the counter factual, it happened. Moscow's reaction was much larger than Washington's.
You think that might be because Russia was invaded and millions of Russians slaughtered in living memory? You know, something that has never happened in America?
Straha wrote: 2021-12-12 09:52pmBill Perry, SecDef to Clinton, in his memoir details just how explicit the promises to Russia were about a future of cooperation and a more limited vision of NATO (more precisely, a more limited vision of NATO as a deterrent force, but a much more expansive vision of NATO as a site of international cooperation, with a door open to eventual Russian entry and depoliticization of NATO), and details the depth of betrayal from Russia over NATO expansion. That betrayal looms over everything that Putin has done since, and is understandable given the sheer power disparity between the US and Russia and the American unwillingness to abide by cold war arms control agreements that Russia viewed as vital to keeping a lid on escalation.
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