Ukraine and Only Ukraine. If it isn't about Ukraine then fuck off

LeoV

Super Anarchist
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First this mobilisation signals Russia is losing the war. Why does it need more bodies if not for that reason. Now more bodies to defend.
Second it is difficult to say with any certainty what effect this will have on the war. This is certainly not a quick fix for the Russian military’s shortcomings in Ukraine.
Third it is likely that Putin wants the winter be as hard as possible for Ukraine, so expect more hits on infrastructure.

Overall it is winning time for Putin.
 

Virgulino Ferreira

Super Anarchist
1,034
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Brazil


I have been watching his channel since the beginning of the war.

Russian, currently living near Moscow, white collar in some civil engineering company. Soviet born, lived a few years in the USA as a young man, just after the fall of the USSR. Totally opposed to the war, and to Russian propaganda. Desperate about the future of his country. Very, very careful with what he says on his channel, so as not to suffer from oficial repression.

Very good channel to get an insight into everyday life in Russia.
 

Mark_K

Super Anarchist
Read a nasty bit of analysis that Putin will annex what he has occupied and then justify use of tac nukes to protect "Russian soil " if needed
If he was thinking nukes he wouldn't have a reason to semi-mobilize with 300,000 reservists and face the outrage from his people from that as well. The annexations allow him to use conscripts there, which are otherwise not supposed to be outside of Russia, so it's probably about that.

The comment to Erdo was that he seeks something like what we did with our "peace with honor" in Nam, a policy that required a conventional escalation in forces which checked the offensives the NVA was having some success with, and brought them to the table in a serious way.
 

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
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Donald Trump taught them well.

Flights out of Russia sell out after Putin orders partial call-up​


GDANSK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - One-way flights out of Russia were selling out fast on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists.

Putin's announcement, made in an early-morning television address, raised fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave Russia.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the call-up would be limited to those with experience as professional soldiers, and that students and those who had only served as conscripts would not be called up. Nevertheless, Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, which is Russia's most popular website for purchasing flights.

Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia, both destinations that allow Russians to enter without a visa, were sold out on Wednesday, according to Aviasales data.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/europ...fter-putin-orders-partial-call-up-2022-09-21/
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,245
5,467
De Nile
First this mobilisation signals Russia is losing the war. Why does it need more bodies if not for that reason. Now more bodies to defend.
Second it is difficult to say with any certainty what effect this will have on the war. This is certainly not a quick fix for the Russian military’s shortcomings in Ukraine.
Third it is likely that Putin wants the winter be as hard as possible for Ukraine, so expect more hits on infrastructure.

Overall it is winning time for Putin.
Clearly Russia is in a bad spot, but sometimes cornering a badger is not a great idea. This may be where Zelensky decides to offer an olive branch to Russia to remove themselves from all but the Crimea, or set aside the Crimea, and the other 2 provinces as fully independent client states of Ukraine. Something like that.
 

barfy

Super Anarchist
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Clearly Russia is in a bad spot, but sometimes cornering a badger is not a great idea. This may be where Zelensky decides to offer an olive branch to Russia to remove themselves from all but the Crimea, or set aside the Crimea, and the other 2 provinces as fully independent client states of Ukraine. Something like that.
I think it would have to be quite a bit colder in hell for that to happen. Maybe first week of December?
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
62,245
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De Nile

Three Paths Toward an Endgame for Putin’s War​

Sept. 20, 2022

Thomas L. Friedman
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

Sign up for the Russia-Ukraine War Briefing. Every evening, we'll send you a summary of the day's biggest news. Get it sent to your inbox.
MUNICH — Last week was an interesting week to be in Europe talking to national security experts, officials and business executives about Ukraine. Ukraine and its allies had just forced Russian invaders into a chaotic retreat from a big chunk of territory, while the leaders of China and India had seemed to make clear to Vladimir Putin that the food and energy inflation his war has stoked was hurting their 2.7 billion people. On top of all that, one of Russia’s iconic pop stars told her 3.4 million followers on Instagram that the war was “turning our country into a pariah and worsening the lives of our citizens.”
In short, it was Putin’s worst week since he invaded Ukraine — without wisdom, justice, mercy or a Plan B.
And yet … maybe I was just hanging around the wrong people, but I detected a certain undertow of anxiety in many of my conversations with Ukraine’s European allies.

I learned long ago as a foreign correspondent that sometimes the news is in the noise, in what is being said and shouted, and sometimes the news is in the silence, in what isn’t being said at all. And my interpretation of what wasn’t being said last week went like this: Yes, it is great that Ukraine is pushing the Russians back some, but can you answer me the question that has been hanging out there since the fighting started: How does this war end with a stable result?
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We still don’t know. As I probed that question in my conversations, I discerned three possible outcomes, some totally new, some familiar, but all coming with complicated and unpredictable side effects:
  • Outcome 1 is a total Ukrainian victory, which risks Putin doing something crazy as defeat and humiliation stare him in the face.
  • Outcome 2 is a dirty deal with Putin that secures a cease-fire and stops the destruction, but it risks splintering the Western allies and enraging many Ukrainians.
  • Outcome 3 is a less dirty deal — we go back to the lines where everyone was before Putin invaded in February. Ukraine might be ready to live with that, and maybe even the Russian people would, too, but Putin would have to be ousted first, because he would never abide the undeniable implication that his war was completely for naught.
The variance among these outcomes is profound, and few of us will not be affected by which way it goes. You may not be interested in the Ukraine war, but the Ukraine war will be interested in you, in your energy and food prices, and, most important, in your humanity, as even the “neutrals” — China and India — have discovered.
So let’s go under the hood of all three possible endings.
Outcome 1: No one expects the Ukrainian Army to be able to immediately follow up its substantial military gains of the past two weeks by just sweeping the rest of the Russian Army back across the border. But for the first time I could hear people asking: “What if the Russian Army actually collapses?”


Surely more than a few Russian soldiers, and the Russian-speaking Ukrainians who threw in their lot with them, thinking they would win and stay forever, are now asking themselves the John Kerry Vietnam War question: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

Everyone can now see just what a big lie this whole war was. Everyone hears the stories that some of the reinforcements Putin is sending to the front are convicts who bartered their way out of prison by agreeing to fight in Ukraine for six months. Many others are mercenaries from as far away as Syria.



Wait a minute. If Ukraine really had become, as Putin claimed, a state led by “Nazis” and the spearhead of a NATO plan to push farther east toward the Russian motherland, how could Putin not ask the Russian people to mobilize for that fight? If the cause was so just and the war so necessary, why did Putin have to pay criminals and mercenaries to rise up and expect the middle classes of Moscow and Leningrad to just shut up?
People talk, and every Russian soldier or Russian-speaking Ukrainian who sided with Putin has to be thinking: “Do I stay? Do I run? Who will protect me if the front breaks?” Such an alliance is highly vulnerable to cascading collapse — first slowly and then quickly. Watch out.
Why? Because Putin has already alluded several times to being willing to contemplate using a nuclear weapon if Ukraine and its NATO allies start to overwhelm his forces and he is staring at complete humiliation. I sure hope the C.I.A. has a covert plan to interrupt Putin’s chain of command so no one would push the button.
Outcome 2: I cannot imagine President Volodymyr Zelensky accepting a cease-fire or something near it right now, with his forces currently having so much momentum and his having committed to recovering every inch of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea. But keep this outcome in the back of your mind as winter sets in and Putin’s refusal to sell natural gas to Europe drives up energy prices so high that it forces more factories to close and poorer Europeans to choose between heating and eating.

Image
President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a recaptured city last Wednesday.Credit...Nicole Tung for The New York Times


Even though it would mean Putin’s war gains fell far short of his goals, he may be interested in seizing this outcome, so he has at least something to show for all his losses and avoids total humiliation.

A lot of European leaders would grab this deal, even if they will not say so out loud. Here is how a retired senior European statesman, who spoke on condition of not being quoted by name, explained it at a business and politics seminar that I attended.



The goal of Ukraine is to win, he said. The goal of the European Union is a bit different. It is to have peace, and if there is a price for that, some leaders in Europe would be ready to pay the right price. The U.S. is far away, and for the U.S., he added, it is not the worst thing to keep the war going to weaken Russia and make certain it doesn’t have the energy for any other adventures.
To be sure, he added, the E.U. is more united than before the war started. However, in the next few months things will get quite difficult. There will be a big divide in the E.U. — and it will get more and more difficult because the goals will become more and more different, the former statesman said. Even if the public statements are the same, the E.U. is divided on how to deal with the war — not on the big question of whether Putin is right or there is a threat, but on how to deal with the whole situation, especially where the populist backlashes emerge when people get totally stressed this winter.
Some European leaders will begin to ask, “Is there a way out through negotiations?” Sure, some like the Baltic countries will 100 percent support Zelensky. But others will not care about freezing for Donetsk or Luhansk, he concluded.
As Michael Mandelbaum, the author of “The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy,” put it to me: Putin may smell this and decide that his best move to save a shred of dignity and “expose the divisions in the E.U. is by announcing that he is ready to negotiate a cease-fire in place and would resume gas shipments to the E.U. if a deal can be done. But this would surely require providing Zelensky with the inducement of permanent, binding security guarantees — perhaps full NATO membership.”
This outcome is dirty because it would mean that Putin got away with both murder and grand larceny, showing that he can change the borders of Europe by force. But if you don’t think some Europeans (and more than a few MAGA Republican members of Congress) wouldn’t seize it and press for it if the war stretches to winter, you are fooling yourself.

Image



I also would not rule out an Outcome 2-B, where Putin doubles down to ensure that he can unilaterally take home at least a bite of Ukraine, by trying to do more damage to Ukrainian towns he doesn’t control and by having his puppet parliament pass legislation to enable four Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions to hold “referendums” on joining Russia. The moves this week to hold referendums appear to have two aims: stopping the panic in these regions among pro-Russia Ukrainians that they could be abandoned and signaling to Kyiv, America and the E.U.: “I’ve still got lots of rockets and no conscience. If you don’t give me some face-saving slice so I can justify this war to my people, I will really destroy this place. Remember Grozny and Aleppo.”



Putin seems to eyeing just this outcome, judging by his decision to call up thousands of reservists on Wednesday.
Outcome 3: This IS a less dirty deal, but with the Russian people, not Putin. In this scenario, NATO and the Ukrainians propose a cease-fire on the basis of the Feb. 24 lines: where Russia and Ukrainian forces stood before Putin’s invasion. Ukraine is spared more destruction, and the principle of the inadmissibility of changing borders by force is upheld. But Putin would have to admit to his people: “We suffered some 70,000 casualties, lost thousands of tanks and armored vehicles and experienced terrible economic sanctions — and I got you nothing.”
Of course, it is impossible to imagine him saying that. But such a deal could be in the interest of the Russian people. So, as far as I can imagine it, Putin would probably have to be ousted by a popular mass protest movement, or by a palace coup. All blame for the war could be pinned on him, and Russia could promise to be a good neighbor again if the West lifted its sanctions. Zelensky would have to give up his dream of recovering those areas of Ukraine seized by Russia in 2014, but Ukraine could begin healing and at least resume the process of joining the European Union, and maybe even NATO.
This was always Putin’s war. It was never the Russian people’s war. And while up to now the Russian people may think they have not paid a big price for staying silent, they are wrong.
When all the alleged Russian-perpetrated massacres in Ukraine are documented and shared with the world, the Russian people will not be able to escape what has been done by Putin in their name and to their names. When the fighting stops and the world demands that Russia’s foreign reserves now frozen in Western banks — some $300 billion — be diverted to Ukraine to rebuild its hospitals and bridges and schools destroyed by the Russian Army, the Russian people will start to understand that this war was not free. When the documentarians put together all the testimony of Ukrainian women who say they were raped by Russian soldiers, no Russian citizen will be able to travel the world without shame for a long time.
Again, I am not naïve. If Putin were somehow replaced by Alexei Navalny, the nationalist, anti-corruption and antiwar crusader, whom Putin is believed to have first poisoned and then eventually jailed, a cease-fire with Ukraine might still be difficult to negotiate or maintain. Moreover, repressive laws and a ruthless secret police, a lack of leaders and the legitimate fear that Putin would do to his own people what he is doing to Ukrainians all argue against Putin being run out office by a popular movement.

I am also aware that as part of this outcome Putin could be replaced by someone worse, someone from his ultranationalist right who claims that Putin did not fight hard enough or was sabotaged by his generals. Or, Putin could be replaced by a power vacuum and disorder — in a country with thousands of nuclear warheads.
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But consider this extraordinary example of public protest against Putin, as reported last weekend by my Times colleagues who cover Russia, which tells you that these are extraordinary days for that country and could summon forth extraordinary responses: “Russia’s defining 20th-century pop star, Alla Pugacheva, declared her opposition to the invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, emerging as the most significant celebrity to come out against the war as President Vladimir V. Putin faces growing challenges on and off the battlefield. Ms. Pugacheva, who is 73, wrote in a post on Instagram, where she has 3.4 million followers, that Russians were dying in Ukraine for ‘illusory goals.’”
All of this helps explain the undertow I detected in Europe last week, the sense that this war could end in many different ways, some better, some worse, but none easy.
And that’s even without Outcome 4 — something no one can predict.
 

LeoV

Super Anarchist
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3,743
The Netherlands
As part of prisoner exchange, Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin's right-hand man in Ukraine was swapped for Azovstal defenders, including commanders Dmytro "Volyna" Volontyrets and Svyatoslav "Kalyna" Palamar. And 10 so called foreign fighters from Aastov, but many were Ukrainians for years.

Must be very confusing for pro war russians to watch Azov commanders getting released from captivity as their sons are getting dragged to the front
 

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

Super Anarchist
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earths surface
As part of prisoner exchange, Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin's right-hand man in Ukraine was swapped for Azovstal defenders, including commanders Dmytro "Volyna" Volontyrets and Svyatoslav "Kalyna" Palamar. And 10 so called foreign fighters from Aastov, but many were Ukrainians for years.
When he gets back to Russia he needs a ground floor apartment and should not fly anywhere or go yachting.
 

LeoV

Super Anarchist
12,686
3,743
The Netherlands
More details on the swap emerging.
Okay, so Ukraine just exchanged 200 fighters (two hundreds!!) for just Victor Medvedchuk and 5 "Azov" commanders for 55 Russian soldiers. Doesn't sound like all Russian war supporters will apreciate this.
 

Olsonist

Disgusting Liberal Elitist
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New Oak City

Stingray~

Super Anarchist
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PNW
Heard a radio interview on NPR a few minutes ago with the UKR guy in charge of electric and other power, speaking from a renewable energy conference in Philadelphia.

Basically, if RU keeps hitting the civilian power infrastructure with missiles this winter, they (UKR) are going to be f'cked.

Me, I think it is time for reprocity.
 

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