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

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, Edi, K. A. Pital

Post Reply
User avatar
Coop D'etat
Jedi Knight
Posts: 693
Joined: 2007-02-23 01:38pm
Location: UBC Unincorporated land

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

Post by Coop D'etat »

Elfdart wrote: 2021-12-12 11:34pm
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.
Or as Red Skelton used to say: "Never hate your enemies -you made them".

If you're going to bring up the 30s and 40s into this conversation, than that's every justification for the states of Eastern Europe to want a collective security bloc. Particularly the Ukrainians, after millions of them got slaughtered at the direction of a totalitarian government based out of Moscow. Not to mention the unprovoked invasions of its neighbours and all that.

Unless you conveniently forget their were two genocidal, totalitarian states with massive land armies in the region in that era.

Ironic how much your Red Skeleton quote works both ways here.
Ralin
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3512
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

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

Post by Ralin »

Seems like both Russia and a number of countries in Eastern Europe have legitimate concerns about their national security. Seems like the best way to resolve that for everyone involved would be to work out agreements about NATO's expansion that accommodate both instead of starting from a position of "Fuck you, we'll let anyone we like join NATO and Russia doesn't get a say. At all."
User avatar
Tiriol
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2005-09-15 11:31am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

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

Post by Tiriol »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-13 02:08am Seems like both Russia and a number of countries in Eastern Europe have legitimate concerns about their national security. Seems like the best way to resolve that for everyone involved would be to work out agreements about NATO's expansion that accommodate both instead of starting from a position of "Fuck you, we'll let anyone we like join NATO and Russia doesn't get a say. At all."
Exactly WHY should Russia have a say in a sovereign nation’s security decisions? Nato can reject applications if it wants, but giving Russia any right to veto its neighbors’ decisions to join an alliance is nothing more than downplaying those countries’ quite legitimate concerns.
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti; beatae Mariae semper Virgini; beato Michaeli Archangelo; sanctis Apostolis, omnibus sanctis... Tibit Pater, quia peccavi nimis, cogitatione, verbo et opere, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Kyrie Eleison!

The Imperial Senate (defunct) * Knights Astrum Clades * The Mess
Ralin
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3512
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

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

Post by Ralin »

Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-18 01:57am Exactly WHY should Russia have a say in a sovereign nation’s security decisions? Nato can reject applications if it wants, but giving Russia any right to veto its neighbors’ decisions to join an alliance is nothing more than downplaying those countries’ quite legitimate concerns.
NATO isn't a sovereign nation. If the members of NATO want a stable peace with Russia (which I have doubts about) then some amount of negotiation/bargaining is going to be necessary to make that happen.

I mean, is NATO supposed to be a mutual defense alliance or a fuck Russia alliance? Because insisting that NATO will expand as it sees fit regardless of whether Russia considers it a threat or it increases the chances of war makes it sound a lot more like the latter.

Actually, let me try and put it more succinctly. Russia should have some say in neighboring countries' security decisions (which I think is a loaded way of putting it, but whatever) for much the same reason Ukraine is concerned that Russia amassing troops in Russia is a potential threat to their security.
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11348
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

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

Post by Crazedwraith »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-18 02:45am
Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-18 01:57am Exactly WHY should Russia have a say in a sovereign nation’s security decisions? Nato can reject applications if it wants, but giving Russia any right to veto its neighbors’ decisions to join an alliance is nothing more than downplaying those countries’ quite legitimate concerns.
NATO isn't a sovereign nation. If the members of NATO want a stable peace with Russia (which I have doubts about) then some amount of negotiation/bargaining is going to be necessary to make that happen.

I mean, is NATO supposed to be a mutual defense alliance or a fuck Russia alliance? Because insisting that NATO will expand as it sees fit regardless of whether Russia considers it a threat or it increases the chances of war makes it sound a lot more like the latter.

Actually, let me try and put it more succinctly. Russia should have some say in neighboring countries' security decisions (which I think is a loaded way of putting it, but whatever) for much the same reason Ukraine is concerned that Russia amassing troops in Russia is a potential threat to their security.
Letting Russia veto who can be in a mutual defense alliance against Russia really defeats the point of a mutual defense alliance.

We may be in a chicken and egg situation here but Ukraine has obvious interest in defense against Russia given Russia is massing troops at its border to invade.

BBC article on russia proposals Russian draft agreement
Ralin
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3512
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

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

Post by Ralin »

Crazedwraith wrote: 2021-12-18 05:55am
Letting Russia veto who can be in a mutual defense alliance against Russia really defeats the point of a mutual defense alliance.
Kinda, yeah. But unless we're assuming that the Russian government is a determined aggressor who can't be prevented from attacking their neighbors by anything other than the threat of force it stands to reason that some consideration has to be given to how Russia feels about NATO expanding and why. No sense provoking Russia into attacking Ukraine or some other country by expanding if Russia had no intention of attacking until they were provoked.
User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1715
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

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

Post by Captain Seafort »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-18 07:58amBut unless we're assuming that the Russian government is a determined aggressor who can't be prevented from attacking their neighbors by anything other than the threat of force
Yes. Because that's how Russia has been behaving for many years. Along with a track record of murdering (or trying to murder) anyone Putin doesn't like, internally or externally.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein
User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 27879
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

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

Post by Broomstick »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-18 07:58am No sense provoking Russia into attacking Ukraine or some other country by expanding if Russia had no intention of attacking until they were provoked.
Does that apply when Russia is provoking a provocation? Russia is like a bully poking a smaller, weaker boy repeatedly with a sharp pencil until the smaller guy snaps and punches him, at which point Russia can yell "See! SEE! HE started it!" but who really initiated the violence?
Captain Seafort wrote: 2021-12-18 09:30am Yes. Because that's how Russia has been behaving for many years. Along with a track record of murdering (or trying to murder) anyone Putin doesn't like, internally or externally.
Not just murder, but murder in extravagant and almost SF methods - nerve agent on a doorknob, rare nuclear isotope in the sushi (or was it the tea?). No crass gunning someone down in public.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice
Ralin
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3512
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

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

Post by Ralin »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-19 04:29am Does that apply when Russia is provoking a provocation? Russia is like a bully poking a smaller, weaker boy repeatedly with a sharp pencil until the smaller guy snaps and punches him, at which point Russia can yell "See! SEE! HE started it!" but who really initiated the violence?
I don't pretend to know the exact degree to which Russia is in the wrong in these things. But how much does that really matter if the Russian government also collectively feels they have strong reasons to worry about their security and a need to do something about it?
bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4925
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

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

Post by bilateralrope »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-19 04:29am
Ralin wrote: 2021-12-18 07:58am No sense provoking Russia into attacking Ukraine or some other country by expanding if Russia had no intention of attacking until they were provoked.
Does that apply when Russia is provoking a provocation? Russia is like a bully poking a smaller, weaker boy repeatedly with a sharp pencil until the smaller guy snaps and punches him, at which point Russia can yell "See! SEE! HE started it!" but who really initiated the violence?
Can we really say that Russia is only provoking Ukraine when they have their military in Ukraine territory ?

Russian court accidentally documents Moscow’s military presence in Donbas
A Russian court of justice appears to have overtly documented the regular presence of the Russian military in the occupied Donbas region of Ukraine in a corruption case against a local company in charge of ration supplies for troops.

Since the beginning of the war in the Donbas in 2014, which has claimed over 13,000 lives, Russia has aggressively denied its military involvement or the presence of its regular military in the region.

The court documentation that surfaced online is unprecedented proof of Russia’s direct involvement in the war at an official level.

The Kirovsky District Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don, just east of Ukraine’s border, sentenced an unnamed clerk of the company to five and a half years in prison for his mediation in the transfer of 990,000 Russian roubles ($13,400) as a bribe to a senior epidemiological service official with Russia’s Southern Military District.

The court published the verdict on its website on Nov. 10 but it was only recently noticed by Ukrainian media.

The court’s verdict clearly notes that the clerk was in charge of provisional supplies for “the Russian Federation’s military formations deployed to the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic territory” in 2018 and 2019.

The military officer allegedly demanded monthly bribes to ensure unrestricted food supplies to regular Russian military units in the Donbas. According to the text, the Russian military formations fulfill “tours of duty in the occupied Ukrainian territory.”

Moreover, the protocol even mentions details of Russia’s food supply operations in the Donbas. According to the clerk, supply convoy vehicles get stripped of their Russian license plates and documents and then move on to their destination points guarded by “the host party.” All incoming convoys are checked by a major of the Russian military.

Every tour inside the occupied Donbas is dangerous and complicated, each costing between 65,000-80,000 roubles ($880-1,080) to the convicted clerk’s supply company.

The company was supposed to supply nearly 1,300 tons of food to the Russian troops in the Donbas twice a month, according to the verdict. Upon estimates by Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, this amount might be enough to feed nearly 26,000 troops.

On Dec. 16, Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov called the verdict’s reference to the Russian military a “mistake” made by the court’s employees who wrote the text. Peskov once again denied the presence of Russian military units in the Donbas.

Later in the day, however, the document was deleted from the Rostov court’s website, although it is still available as an archived copy.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called the document “a full confession of guilt” by Russia.

“This time Russia has by itself created a legal precedent that has clearly enshrined it as a party to an international armed conflict,” Oleh Nikolenko, the foreign ministry spokesman, said on Dec. 16.

“This decision is going to change the Ukrainian position in legal battles against Russia at international judicial institutions. Russian lawyers will find it increasingly hard to call white, black and black, white. The Rostov judge’s verdict has brought the Russian authorities closer to international criminal liability.”
User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 27879
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

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

Post by Broomstick »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-19 05:31am
Broomstick wrote: 2021-12-19 04:29am Does that apply when Russia is provoking a provocation? Russia is like a bully poking a smaller, weaker boy repeatedly with a sharp pencil until the smaller guy snaps and punches him, at which point Russia can yell "See! SEE! HE started it!" but who really initiated the violence?
I don't pretend to know the exact degree to which Russia is in the wrong in these things. But how much does that really matter if the Russian government also collectively feels they have strong reasons to worry about their security and a need to do something about it?
EVERY government has those worries, and the smaller, less powerful nations even more than great nations and superpowers. I'd argue that countries like Ukraine and Poland have more to fear from Russia than vice versa, because Ukraine isn't inside Russian borders or mounting up troops in a manner that looks like an imminent invasion. Russia is the one doing that.

If Russia wants to park a shitload of military personnel and equipment on a border that's not, technically, a "wrong". It does make the other party nervous, and the moment Russia steps over the border and starts spilling people and material into someone else's sovereign domain yes, that is a wrong. The thing is, Russia has a long history of stepping over the border and shows plenty of signs of wanting to do it again. I have no doubt that were it not for NATO and the US the Ukraine would again be part of Russia and under the control of Moscow. Putin is trying to figure out a way to do that and not provoke WWIII.

Trying to force NATO to forever bar any former Russia vassal from joining that alliance is just back door to controlling those countries. A sovereign nation isn't sovereign if it can't choose its own alliances. It's a back door to Putin gaining more and more control over supposedly independent nations. Putin wants to rebuild a Russian empire. I'm sure that plays well at home, but it can really suck for the people dominated.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice
User avatar
Tiriol
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2005-09-15 11:31am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

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

Post by Tiriol »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-18 02:45am
Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-18 01:57am Exactly WHY should Russia have a say in a sovereign nation’s security decisions? Nato can reject applications if it wants, but giving Russia any right to veto its neighbors’ decisions to join an alliance is nothing more than downplaying those countries’ quite legitimate concerns.
NATO isn't a sovereign nation. If the members of NATO want a stable peace with Russia (which I have doubts about) then some amount of negotiation/bargaining is going to be necessary to make that happen.

I mean, is NATO supposed to be a mutual defense alliance or a fuck Russia alliance? Because insisting that NATO will expand as it sees fit regardless of whether Russia considers it a threat or it increases the chances of war makes it sound a lot more like the latter.

Actually, let me try and put it more succinctly. Russia should have some say in neighboring countries' security decisions (which I think is a loaded way of putting it, but whatever) for much the same reason Ukraine is concerned that Russia amassing troops in Russia is a potential threat to their security.
I am well aware of Nato not being a sovereign nation. However, Ukraine and other possible applicant nations are and Russia is demanding in a roundabout way that they have no right to seek out an alliance with forces that could defend them from Russia. If Russia wants a stable peace with Nato OR its neighbors, maybe it should stop interfering in their activities, occupying and annexing their territories and setting up puppet regimes in those territories. Russia is also demanding that Nato in effect withdraws from its current member states that are near Russia, so it’s not even about expansion. Russia just wants to be the one who dictates terms to its neighbors.
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti; beatae Mariae semper Virgini; beato Michaeli Archangelo; sanctis Apostolis, omnibus sanctis... Tibit Pater, quia peccavi nimis, cogitatione, verbo et opere, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Kyrie Eleison!

The Imperial Senate (defunct) * Knights Astrum Clades * The Mess
User avatar
Straha
Lord of the Spam
Posts: 8146
Joined: 2002-07-21 11:59pm
Location: NYC

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

Post by Straha »

Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-20 10:55am I am well aware of Nato not being a sovereign nation. However, Ukraine and other possible applicant nations are and Russia is demanding in a roundabout way that they have no right to seek out an alliance with forces that could defend them from Russia. If Russia wants a stable peace with Nato OR its neighbors, maybe it should stop interfering in their activities, occupying and annexing their territories and setting up puppet regimes in those territories. Russia is also demanding that Nato in effect withdraws from its current member states that are near Russia, so it’s not even about expansion. Russia just wants to be the one who dictates terms to its neighbors.

There is this historical amnesia about the end of the Cold War coupled with an American/NATO/Capitalist Democracy triumphalist narrative which is... disturbing because it sets up the response for real political failures in the future.

There are basically two worlds under which Russia can be condemned for what its doing:
- An old school, cold war mentality. (More on that later.)
- And a sense of a liberal international order that views democratic national will expressed through national sovereignty as basically being something which must be respected at all costs.

This is the world wherein complaints like "Russia shouldn't fuck around with its neighbors" ultimately resides. However, in order for that criticism to hold up the deals that nations make with each other also have to honored, if they're not then there is no order to the liberal international 'order', it is simply every nation out for itself.

In the period of '89 through '95 a series of deals were effectively made with Russia under a very specific framework of multi-party internationalism.

In effect, Russia gave up control of East Germany (and allowed to lapse a series of binding treaties it had dating from the end of World War II to special rights in East Germany), gave up the Warsaw Pact, allowed for the various soviet republics to seek independence (despite a not very robust history of their independence from Russia in centuries, if ever), mass liberalization of its markets, and sought to be a productive European security partner. In return it was promised a slew of things: mass economic support, monopoly control over the USSR's nuclear arsenal, that NATO would transition from an oppositional security alliance into a program designed to support a framework of European stability (as it was used in Bosnia and the Balkans) with active Russian cooperation, and that the Western powers would respect historical areas of Russian suzerainty and not expand westward (indeed, Germany being allowed to stay in NATO after reunification was a major concession from Russia in this regard.)

Contemporaneous accounts from the senior foreign leadership of the United States (see: James Baker's contemporary and retrospective opinions on this), the UK (Thatcher's memoirs I believe discuss this in length, and why she thought it was all a mistake from the start), and Russia all agree on this. Yet NATO expanded right into former Russian territory, it was sold to countries as a "This is how you keep the Russkis out" pact, and I'm not even going to start about how the economic support for Russia went.


In short, this means that calls for Russia to respect the bounds of the international order absolutely fall on deaf ears because the rules of the international order are not being respected by the people engaging in that handwringing over how those rules aren't being followed.


Understandably, I think, Russia then views its current situation as a de facto continuation of Cold War, and 19th century, encircling of Russia, which fair enough it certainly is for many of the member states. In that world, to echo Coop from above, this is how you draw down conflict in the long run. Escalation is done in specific areas (Berlin, Cuba, Greece, etc.), and then negotiations occur, boundaries are drawn, and deals are made and respected. In which world "If Ukraine wants to join NATO it gets to join NATO" is just as inflammatory as if Khruschev declared in 1962 "If Cuba wants nuclear missiles it gets nuclear missiles." And to not get that message, or to be dismissive of it, is a guarantee to destroy the possibility of peaceful drawdown.
'After 9/11, it was "You're with us or your with the terrorists." Now its "You're with Straha or you support racism."' ' - The Romulan Republic

'You're a bully putting on an air of civility while saying that everything western and/or capitalistic must be bad, and a lot of other posters (loomer, Stas Bush, Gandalf) are also going along with it for their own personal reasons (Stas in particular is looking through rose colored glasses)' - Darth Yan
User avatar
Zwinmar
Jedi Master
Posts: 1001
Joined: 2005-03-24 11:55am
Location: nunyadamnbusiness

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

Post by Zwinmar »

This is from half remembered (at best) thesis that Russia basically has a victim mentality just like the right wing politics of the US currently. Just like a bully, they are allowed to do whatever they want but the moment anyone disagrees they are the victim. Over the last 400 years or so Russia has always been 'betrayed' by western powers such as when the Nazi's attacked Russia in WWII, never mind their own actions.

Ehh, I can't remember enough to go more in depth at the moment and don't remember where the notebook is to follow up, will look but that was 2 moves ago.
User avatar
Tiriol
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2037
Joined: 2005-09-15 11:31am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

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

Post by Tiriol »

Straha wrote: 2021-12-24 07:09pm
Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-20 10:55am I am well aware of Nato not being a sovereign nation. However, Ukraine and other possible applicant nations are and Russia is demanding in a roundabout way that they have no right to seek out an alliance with forces that could defend them from Russia. If Russia wants a stable peace with Nato OR its neighbors, maybe it should stop interfering in their activities, occupying and annexing their territories and setting up puppet regimes in those territories. Russia is also demanding that Nato in effect withdraws from its current member states that are near Russia, so it’s not even about expansion. Russia just wants to be the one who dictates terms to its neighbors.

There is this historical amnesia about the end of the Cold War coupled with an American/NATO/Capitalist Democracy triumphalist narrative which is... disturbing because it sets up the response for real political failures in the future.

There are basically two worlds under which Russia can be condemned for what its doing:
- An old school, cold war mentality. (More on that later.)
- And a sense of a liberal international order that views democratic national will expressed through national sovereignty as basically being something which must be respected at all costs.

This is the world wherein complaints like "Russia shouldn't fuck around with its neighbors" ultimately resides. However, in order for that criticism to hold up the deals that nations make with each other also have to honored, if they're not then there is no order to the liberal international 'order', it is simply every nation out for itself.

In the period of '89 through '95 a series of deals were effectively made with Russia under a very specific framework of multi-party internationalism.

In effect, Russia gave up control of East Germany (and allowed to lapse a series of binding treaties it had dating from the end of World War II to special rights in East Germany), gave up the Warsaw Pact, allowed for the various soviet republics to seek independence (despite a not very robust history of their independence from Russia in centuries, if ever), mass liberalization of its markets, and sought to be a productive European security partner. In return it was promised a slew of things: mass economic support, monopoly control over the USSR's nuclear arsenal, that NATO would transition from an oppositional security alliance into a program designed to support a framework of European stability (as it was used in Bosnia and the Balkans) with active Russian cooperation, and that the Western powers would respect historical areas of Russian suzerainty and not expand westward (indeed, Germany being allowed to stay in NATO after reunification was a major concession from Russia in this regard.)

Contemporaneous accounts from the senior foreign leadership of the United States (see: James Baker's contemporary and retrospective opinions on this), the UK (Thatcher's memoirs I believe discuss this in length, and why she thought it was all a mistake from the start), and Russia all agree on this. Yet NATO expanded right into former Russian territory, it was sold to countries as a "This is how you keep the Russkis out" pact, and I'm not even going to start about how the economic support for Russia went.


In short, this means that calls for Russia to respect the bounds of the international order absolutely fall on deaf ears because the rules of the international order are not being respected by the people engaging in that handwringing over how those rules aren't being followed.


Understandably, I think, Russia then views its current situation as a de facto continuation of Cold War, and 19th century, encircling of Russia, which fair enough it certainly is for many of the member states. In that world, to echo Coop from above, this is how you draw down conflict in the long run. Escalation is done in specific areas (Berlin, Cuba, Greece, etc.), and then negotiations occur, boundaries are drawn, and deals are made and respected. In which world "If Ukraine wants to join NATO it gets to join NATO" is just as inflammatory as if Khruschev declared in 1962 "If Cuba wants nuclear missiles it gets nuclear missiles." And to not get that message, or to be dismissive of it, is a guarantee to destroy the possibility of peaceful drawdown.
And to be dismissive of those neighboring countries' rightful fear of Russia and its desire to impose its will upon them is nothing short of saying "you have no right to be free from a tyrant".

I do not particularly care about calling out Western hypcrisy if it allows another, at this point downright fascist power, to play an empire with forced client states. If one thinks sacrificing those smaller countries or their sovereignity (which at this point it would entail, considering Russia's actions and statements), one can have that opinion. I'm not going to agree with it, however.
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti; beatae Mariae semper Virgini; beato Michaeli Archangelo; sanctis Apostolis, omnibus sanctis... Tibit Pater, quia peccavi nimis, cogitatione, verbo et opere, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Kyrie Eleison!

The Imperial Senate (defunct) * Knights Astrum Clades * The Mess
User avatar
montypython
Jedi Master
Posts: 1125
Joined: 2004-11-30 03:08am

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

Post by montypython »

Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-25 05:12pm
Straha wrote: 2021-12-24 07:09pm
Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-20 10:55am I am well aware of Nato not being a sovereign nation. However, Ukraine and other possible applicant nations are and Russia is demanding in a roundabout way that they have no right to seek out an alliance with forces that could defend them from Russia. If Russia wants a stable peace with Nato OR its neighbors, maybe it should stop interfering in their activities, occupying and annexing their territories and setting up puppet regimes in those territories. Russia is also demanding that Nato in effect withdraws from its current member states that are near Russia, so it’s not even about expansion. Russia just wants to be the one who dictates terms to its neighbors.

There is this historical amnesia about the end of the Cold War coupled with an American/NATO/Capitalist Democracy triumphalist narrative which is... disturbing because it sets up the response for real political failures in the future.

There are basically two worlds under which Russia can be condemned for what its doing:
- An old school, cold war mentality. (More on that later.)
- And a sense of a liberal international order that views democratic national will expressed through national sovereignty as basically being something which must be respected at all costs.

This is the world wherein complaints like "Russia shouldn't fuck around with its neighbors" ultimately resides. However, in order for that criticism to hold up the deals that nations make with each other also have to honored, if they're not then there is no order to the liberal international 'order', it is simply every nation out for itself.

In the period of '89 through '95 a series of deals were effectively made with Russia under a very specific framework of multi-party internationalism.

In effect, Russia gave up control of East Germany (and allowed to lapse a series of binding treaties it had dating from the end of World War II to special rights in East Germany), gave up the Warsaw Pact, allowed for the various soviet republics to seek independence (despite a not very robust history of their independence from Russia in centuries, if ever), mass liberalization of its markets, and sought to be a productive European security partner. In return it was promised a slew of things: mass economic support, monopoly control over the USSR's nuclear arsenal, that NATO would transition from an oppositional security alliance into a program designed to support a framework of European stability (as it was used in Bosnia and the Balkans) with active Russian cooperation, and that the Western powers would respect historical areas of Russian suzerainty and not expand westward (indeed, Germany being allowed to stay in NATO after reunification was a major concession from Russia in this regard.)

Contemporaneous accounts from the senior foreign leadership of the United States (see: James Baker's contemporary and retrospective opinions on this), the UK (Thatcher's memoirs I believe discuss this in length, and why she thought it was all a mistake from the start), and Russia all agree on this. Yet NATO expanded right into former Russian territory, it was sold to countries as a "This is how you keep the Russkis out" pact, and I'm not even going to start about how the economic support for Russia went.


In short, this means that calls for Russia to respect the bounds of the international order absolutely fall on deaf ears because the rules of the international order are not being respected by the people engaging in that handwringing over how those rules aren't being followed.


Understandably, I think, Russia then views its current situation as a de facto continuation of Cold War, and 19th century, encircling of Russia, which fair enough it certainly is for many of the member states. In that world, to echo Coop from above, this is how you draw down conflict in the long run. Escalation is done in specific areas (Berlin, Cuba, Greece, etc.), and then negotiations occur, boundaries are drawn, and deals are made and respected. In which world "If Ukraine wants to join NATO it gets to join NATO" is just as inflammatory as if Khruschev declared in 1962 "If Cuba wants nuclear missiles it gets nuclear missiles." And to not get that message, or to be dismissive of it, is a guarantee to destroy the possibility of peaceful drawdown.
And to be dismissive of those neighboring countries' rightful fear of Russia and its desire to impose its will upon them is nothing short of saying "you have no right to be free from a tyrant".

I do not particularly care about calling out Western hypcrisy if it allows another, at this point downright fascist power, to play an empire with forced client states. If one thinks sacrificing those smaller countries or their sovereignity (which at this point it would entail, considering Russia's actions and statements), one can have that opinion. I'm not going to agree with it, however.
It is precisely that western ideological conceit about attacking Russia's position while simultaneously doing the exact things they are accusing Russia of is why war will become inevitable regardless of the actual starting point, because the underlying condition is that the US in particular wants perpetual dominance of power and position over the entire world and will use any means necessary to do so. This is also why power politics is becoming even more of a zero sum game if it wasn't so already.
User avatar
Straha
Lord of the Spam
Posts: 8146
Joined: 2002-07-21 11:59pm
Location: NYC

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

Post by Straha »

Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-25 05:12pm
And to be dismissive of those neighboring countries' rightful fear of Russia and its desire to impose its will upon them is nothing short of saying "you have no right to be free from a tyrant".

I do not particularly care about calling out Western hypcrisy if it allows another, at this point downright fascist power, to play an empire with forced client states. If one thinks sacrificing those smaller countries or their sovereignity (which at this point it would entail, considering Russia's actions and statements), one can have that opinion. I'm not going to agree with it, however.
You've missed the point. This isn't a question of hypocrisy, and to frame it as such is a overly reductionist take. It's a question of: What is Russia, a country that explicitly views themselves as a great power, supposed to do to air its grievances about feeling like it is being military and economically encircled?

Under the framework of a liberal rules based order the answer is to make treaties and negotiate lines and drawdowns, Russia did that in the Early 90s and the United States et al. has broken those agreements and has withdrawn from a whole slew of other agreements that Russia viewed as absolutely vital for its sense of security (notably, the ABM treaty.) When one side is breaking the rules you must find other ways to enforce those rules or create a new framework that will be mutually respected.

If, however, this is pure real politik then what Russia is doing is the only response.

However you cut it, Russia has no alternative path forward.

Which is why the US et al. acting all verklempt when Russia is engaging in military ramping up makes no sense diplomatically. This is what they must do in order to communicate their frustration and be heard. To sideline it as aggression or posturing cuts off the diplomatic avenues necessary to achieve a negotiated draw down and peace.
'After 9/11, it was "You're with us or your with the terrorists." Now its "You're with Straha or you support racism."' ' - The Romulan Republic

'You're a bully putting on an air of civility while saying that everything western and/or capitalistic must be bad, and a lot of other posters (loomer, Stas Bush, Gandalf) are also going along with it for their own personal reasons (Stas in particular is looking through rose colored glasses)' - Darth Yan
User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4232
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

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

Post by Jub »

Straha wrote: 2021-12-25 07:52pm
Tiriol wrote: 2021-12-25 05:12pm
And to be dismissive of those neighboring countries' rightful fear of Russia and its desire to impose its will upon them is nothing short of saying "you have no right to be free from a tyrant".

I do not particularly care about calling out Western hypcrisy if it allows another, at this point downright fascist power, to play an empire with forced client states. If one thinks sacrificing those smaller countries or their sovereignity (which at this point it would entail, considering Russia's actions and statements), one can have that opinion. I'm not going to agree with it, however.
You've missed the point. This isn't a question of hypocrisy, and to frame it as such is a overly reductionist take. It's a question of: What is Russia, a country that explicitly views themselves as a great power, supposed to do to air its grievances about feeling like it is being military and economically encircled?

Under the framework of a liberal rules based order the answer is to make treaties and negotiate lines and drawdowns, Russia did that in the Early 90s and the United States et al. has broken those agreements and has withdrawn from a whole slew of other agreements that Russia viewed as absolutely vital for its sense of security (notably, the ABM treaty.) When one side is breaking the rules you must find other ways to enforce those rules or create a new framework that will be mutually respected.

If, however, this is pure real politik then what Russia is doing is the only response.

However you cut it, Russia has no alternative path forward.

Which is why the US et al. acting all verklempt when Russia is engaging in military ramping up makes no sense diplomatically. This is what they must do in order to communicate their frustration and be heard. To sideline it as aggression or posturing cuts off the diplomatic avenues necessary to achieve a negotiated draw down and peace.
Why should the rest of the world care about Russia's fragile self image, especially when it requires them to threaten their neighbors? If Russia wants to be a great power, perhaps it should seek to do it via technological, social, economic, or diplomatic advances rather than by force.
Ralin
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3512
Joined: 2008-08-28 04:23am

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

Post by Ralin »

Jub wrote: 2021-12-25 09:02pm Why should the rest of the world care about Russia's fragile self image, especially when it requires them to threaten their neighbors?
Because Russia is powerful enough that they can't be forced to accept what they consider threats and insults without retaliating.
If Russia wants to be a great power, perhaps it should seek to do it via technological, social, economic, or diplomatic advances rather than by force.
If NATO doesn't want Russia to assert it's great power status by force perhaps they should try treating Russia as an actual peer and work out compromises that address Russia's issues with NATO in a way that don't boil down to "Fuck you, we do what we want."
User avatar
Straha
Lord of the Spam
Posts: 8146
Joined: 2002-07-21 11:59pm
Location: NYC

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

Post by Straha »

Jub wrote: 2021-12-25 09:02pm Why should the rest of the world care about Russia's fragile self image, especially when it requires them to threaten their neighbors? If Russia wants to be a great power, perhaps it should seek to do it via technological, social, economic, or diplomatic advances rather than by force.
You care because that's how international relations works. Escalation is how grievances are aired and addressed, and is the way in which nations make clear just how concerned they are about international situations.

I'll add that it's interesting you focus on this rather than the rest of the post which contextualizes this. Also, it's interesting that this vision of Russia as a petulant whiner of a country gets circulated so widely considering how this applies to every country. It's especially interesting because Russia's complaint is "Hey, We are uncomfortable when nations that are directly hostile to us get to put their guns and troops on our border." which is, basically, the oldest and most understandable concern in the history of International Relations.
'After 9/11, it was "You're with us or your with the terrorists." Now its "You're with Straha or you support racism."' ' - The Romulan Republic

'You're a bully putting on an air of civility while saying that everything western and/or capitalistic must be bad, and a lot of other posters (loomer, Stas Bush, Gandalf) are also going along with it for their own personal reasons (Stas in particular is looking through rose colored glasses)' - Darth Yan
User avatar
Formless
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3992
Joined: 2008-11-10 08:59pm
Location: the beginning and end of the Present

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

Post by Formless »

Let me put it in simpler terms for the peanut gallery. Russia is still a nuclear power, and assuming that NATO has free reign to play World Police with them is how you get a future where Charlton Heston is damning us all to hell for our idiocy. Seriously, how is that point so often missed when talking about Russia these days? You want to have Cold War style politics, you either play the diplomatic games that kept it on ice or this world could be fucked. Morality and national concerns are rendered meaningless under the shadow of mushroom clouds. Diplomacy in the nuclear age is the moral imperative.

That, or actually taking disarmament seriously. But I haven't seen NATO countries float that option... pretty much ever. Even though its one that doubles as a convenient diplomatic option! But who cares for that, right? I hear nuclear radiation is the answer to erectile dysfunction.
"Still, I would love to see human beings, and their constituent organ systems, trivialized and commercialized to the same extent as damn iPods and other crappy consumer products. It would be absolutely horrific, yet so wonderful." — Shroom Man 777
"To Err is Human; to Arrr is Pirate." — Skallagrim
“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"
The Magic Eight Ball Conspiracy.
User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4232
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

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

Post by Jub »

Formless wrote: 2021-12-26 03:30am Let me put it in simpler terms for the peanut gallery. Russia is still a nuclear power, and assuming that NATO has free reign to play World Police with them is how you get a future where Charlton Heston is damning us all to hell for our idiocy. Seriously, how is that point so often missed when talking about Russia these days? You want to have Cold War style politics, you either play the diplomatic games that kept it on ice or this world could be fucked. Morality and national concerns are rendered meaningless under the shadow of mushroom clouds. Diplomacy in the nuclear age is the moral imperative.

That, or actually taking disarmament seriously. But I haven't seen NATO countries float that option... pretty much ever. Even though its one that doubles as a convenient diplomatic option! But who cares for that, right? I hear nuclear radiation is the answer to erectile dysfunction.
America =/= NATO. Yes NATO is often used as an American proxy but it isn't the same thing.

Also, Russia can have all the nukes it wants, it knows that it can't use them to get what it wants. If they launch anything they get wiped out and win no prizes. Even status quo is better than being a nuclear wasteland.

So yeah, Russia can kick rocks on this one.

America can also kick rocks when it tries to pull the same shit. Nukes don't make you special.
User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4232
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

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

Post by Jub »

Ralin wrote: 2021-12-26 12:01am
Jub wrote: 2021-12-25 09:02pm Why should the rest of the world care about Russia's fragile self image, especially when it requires them to threaten their neighbors?
Because Russia is powerful enough that they can't be forced to accept what they consider threats and insults without retaliating.
Last I checked Russia doesn't enjoy being sanctioned. The only reason Europe doesn't lean on them harder already is that they really like having Russia's oil.

Also, Russia is hardly a great power seeing as they get out-earned by a nation with 1/3rd their population.
If NATO doesn't want Russia to assert it's great power status by force perhaps they should try treating Russia as an actual peer and work out compromises that address Russia's issues with NATO in a way that don't boil down to "Fuck you, we do what we want."
Russia wouldn't be under sanctions if they hadn't made a blatant land grab. They can give the land back if they want any considerations.
User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4232
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

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

Post by Jub »

Straha wrote: 2021-12-26 01:07amYou care because that's how international relations works. Escalation is how grievances are aired and addressed, and is the way in which nations make clear just how concerned they are about international situations.

I'll add that it's interesting you focus on this rather than the rest of the post which contextualizes this. Also, it's interesting that this vision of Russia as a petulant whiner of a country gets circulated so widely considering how this applies to every country. It's especially interesting because Russia's complaint is "Hey, We are uncomfortable when nations that are directly hostile to us get to put their guns and troops on our border." which is, basically, the oldest and most understandable concern in the history of International Relations.
When you go around annexing your neighbors you don't get to complain when they start calling in favors to keep your thugs away. Russia is welcome to give back the annexed portions of Crimea and Kaliningrad and then we can talk de-escalation.
User avatar
Formless
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3992
Joined: 2008-11-10 08:59pm
Location: the beginning and end of the Present

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

Post by Formless »

Jub wrote: 2021-12-26 08:04pm
Formless wrote: 2021-12-26 03:30am Let me put it in simpler terms for the peanut gallery. Russia is still a nuclear power, and assuming that NATO has free reign to play World Police with them is how you get a future where Charlton Heston is damning us all to hell for our idiocy. Seriously, how is that point so often missed when talking about Russia these days? You want to have Cold War style politics, you either play the diplomatic games that kept it on ice or this world could be fucked. Morality and national concerns are rendered meaningless under the shadow of mushroom clouds. Diplomacy in the nuclear age is the moral imperative.

That, or actually taking disarmament seriously. But I haven't seen NATO countries float that option... pretty much ever. Even though its one that doubles as a convenient diplomatic option! But who cares for that, right? I hear nuclear radiation is the answer to erectile dysfunction.
America =/= NATO. Yes NATO is often used as an American proxy but it isn't the same thing.
When its the US that's in violation of the anti-ABM treaty (or simply withdrew it, however you want to think about the issue; for my money, you don't just withdraw from a treaty without consequence), that distinction is pretty much meaningless from any except the most pedantic point of view. It almost certainly isn't the viewpoint the Russians have, and why should it be? None of the NATO powers that have nukes have taken serious nuclear disarmament steps, especially not the elephant in the room wearing red white and blue. When they're all allies of the US, and the US always gets its way, then joining NATO is a de-facto statement that a country approves of US military doctrines. None of our allies stopped us from invading Iraq and Afghanistan, after all, and several of them even joined in the fun!
Also, Russia can have all the nukes it wants, it knows that it can't use them to get what it wants. If they launch anything they get wiped out and win no prizes. Even status quo is better than being a nuclear wasteland.

So yeah, Russia can kick rocks on this one.

America can also kick rocks when it tries to pull the same shit. Nukes don't make you special.
You missed the point, not surprisingly. Nukes do actually make you special, because they make you a peer to other nuclear powers. If you don't have them, your military is missing a key strategic advantage that few countries on this planet currently have. A non-nuclear power simply cannot attack a nuclear power. They can only threaten them if they are allied with a nuclear power, which is the real reason countries join NATO and not so secretly always has been. NATO has at least three nuclear powers among their ranks, the US, the UK, France, and I'm probably forgetting at least one off the top of my head. The diplomats to Russia don't need reminded of that, nor do Russia's diplomats to those countries. Same goes for China. Allying with NATO is implicitly a threat to Russia that the US might just put ABMs in that country in violation of the anti ABM treaty (IIRC they've already done so in Poland). Before you say "Russia can kick rocks" you need to understand what is actually at stake. Its not that Russia needs to be actively threatening to use its nukes. Its that the US military is infamous for having had generals in the past who honestly believed that a nuclear war was winnable. It is not known at the moment if there are still such idiots in the Pentagon who have never heard of a pyrrhic victory, but that's the the doomsday situation right now. That we have people there who think like you do.

Because the way you deal with a peer power in the age of nukes is not to kick the beehive by threatening military action. Not even implicitly. Its diplomacy and a drawing down of tensions through compromise and brokering deals. Deals you then honor or else. Telling them they can "kick rocks" because of arguments about who is in the right and who is in the wrong is missing the point that A) your country might be in the wrong, actually, B) the status quo may be better than a nuclear wasteland, but that hasn't stopped the status quo from being changed through diplomacy in the past, and ironically if it weren't for MAD then NATO may never have gone the diplomatic rout in the first place. The second fact has not been forgotten by the Russian Federation. They know or at least hope that there are still sane people in the US and NATO who understand why.
"Still, I would love to see human beings, and their constituent organ systems, trivialized and commercialized to the same extent as damn iPods and other crappy consumer products. It would be absolutely horrific, yet so wonderful." — Shroom Man 777
"To Err is Human; to Arrr is Pirate." — Skallagrim
“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"
The Magic Eight Ball Conspiracy.
Post Reply