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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Wandering Minds » Is there going to be a war?

Is there going to be a war?

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Angry Dad
BoltonTillIDie
Boggersbelief
Norpig
boltonbonce
okocha
wanderlust
Whitesince63
Sluffy
13 posters

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161Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 14:24

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Talking about yourself in the third person Bob or did you forget to log into the right account?

162Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 14:32

Ten Bobsworth


El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

Norpig wrote:Talking about yourself in the third person Bob or did you forget to log into the right account?

"I don't think he grasped it, Lily."

163Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 14:37

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ten Bobsworth wrote:

"I don't think he grasped it, Lily."
I grasp it as much as you grasp reality and the English language Bob

Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 200.gif?cid=a87a70e604pqoffmb094sdsoiifhl5vx8eb8bk5qnuh90an8&rid=200

164Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 14:41

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

okocha wrote:Jacob Rees-Mogg was recently made Minister for Brexit Opportunities, which surely means that the topic is current and important, especially as very few benefits for the UK have materialised up to now, the exact opposite in fact.

It is still an ongoing subject for debate in all the newspapers and on TV news outlets so it is surely relevant on here. It has implications for all of us, even if we can't change anything right now.
The vote can't be changed, the country is in no mood to rejoin and yet dissatisfaction is common currency on all sides - but we're not allowed to discuss that or how we might resolve the issue - so let's just agree that Boris has been as good as his word and made "a titanic success" of it Smile

165Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 14:57

Ten Bobsworth


El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

Norpig wrote:
I grasp it as much as you grasp reality and the English language Bob

Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 200.gif?cid=a87a70e604pqoffmb094sdsoiifhl5vx8eb8bk5qnuh90an8&rid=200
I don't know what you've been taking, Walter, but if its meant to enhance empty-headitis its really not needed.

166Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 15:14

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

I'll take having an empty head over being a senile old fuckwit like you any day Bob, time for your lie down old boy.

167Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 15:48

Ten Bobsworth


El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

Norpig wrote:I'll take having an empty head over being a senile old fuckwit like you any day Bob, time for your lie down old boy.
QED

168Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 15:53

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ten Bobsworth wrote:
QED
Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Z

169Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 15:57

Ten Bobsworth


El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

Norpig wrote:
Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Z

QED x 2

170Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 04 2022, 18:09

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Interesting article about Putin's revamping of the historical "Russkiy Mir" concept to justify the invasion of Ukraine to the Russian people:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has become an exemplary instance of the use of historical ideas to justify invasion. Whereas U.S. President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq was couched in abstract rhetoric about “the power and appeal of human liberty,” Putin has resorted to esoteric historical arguments to explain his choice to invade.
Putin, in his information and propaganda war, has repeatedly used certain imperial tropes that make historical claims about how Russia should be understood. Tropes, and increasingly memes, such as “the triune Russian people” — an idea that perceives the East Slavic people as part of Russia — and similarly the “all-Russian nation” and the “Russkiy Mir” (Russian World) have been used throughout his tenure as president and prime minister since 2000. In essence, all these concepts are employed to deny Belarusians and Ukrainians a sense of themselves that is separate from the Russian imperial project. These tropes also suggest that Putin’s understanding of his foreign policy, and increasingly Russia’s destiny, is imperial rather than nationalistic.
At the beginning of his rule, Putin made veiled references to the triune people. But the 2014 Euromaidan protests that ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and moved the country closer to the EU changed this. From 2014 onward, Putin’s references became more incessant and explicit.
In 2000, at the start of his rule, Russia celebrated the 55th anniversary of Russia’s defeat of the Nazis, proudly referenced as the “Great Patriotic War” (instead of as World War II, as most countries call it). To celebrate, Putin gathered then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and the longtime Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to open the “Bell of Unity of Three Fraternal Peoples” in Prokhorovka in Russia. During the ceremony, Putin spoke in customary diplomatic terms about Slavic friendship, and the event unfolded without much fanfare.
But in 2009, Putin’s rhetoric became markedly more insistent on the imperial Russian worldview. To drive his point home, he spoke at the grave of the White Russian officer Anton Denikin, an icon of antisemitic and anti-leftist Russian politics who served in 1918 as deputy “supreme ruler” of the anti-Bolshevik Provisional All-Russian Government made up of liberals, conservatives and ultranationalists. Putin announced to a selection of gathered members of the press that “[Denikin] has a discussion [in his diaries] about Big Russia and Little Russia [Malorossiya] — Ukraine … he says that no one should be allowed to interfere in relations between us; they have always been the business of Russia itself.”
Last summer, in a further attempt to cement his views, Putin published “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” an essay that denies the historical reality of any Ukrainian statehood separate from a greater Russia.
These imperial ideas are of course not new. They were originally propagated by Russia’s ruling elite and intelligentsia in the 19th century, and Putin revived them privately among his inner circle as early as his coming to power. Since then, these concepts have gained popularity across the political spectrum.
In recent years, militant far-right social media channels have peddled what they call Slavic unity, pushing memes of three ancient Slavic “Bogatyr” warriors of the steppe depicted as beefy bikers on steroids. Another — arguably more aesthetic — meme appears on “trad” blogs, utilizing the current fashion for “traditional” aesthetics among certain millennial and Generation Z communities on Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr. Here, the triune people are represented by nymph-like “Slavic sisters.”
The Kremlin has bought into this idea of a triune people, even funding an explicitly Russified 2009 remake of the British filmmaker J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 film adaptation of the Ukrainian-Russian writer Nikolai Gogol’s short story “Taras Bulba.” The tale chronicles a spontaneous Ukrainian Cossack rebellion against Poland before Ukraine was properly under the rule of Russia. The Cossacks were a self-governing military caste of soldiers that lived on the steppe of Ukraine and Russia: Historically, they served as the elite shock troops of the Russian Empire. “Taras Bulba” helped create a popular myth of the Cossack as a defender of Russia’s borderlands against rival peoples (the Poles and Turks) and faiths (Catholicism and Islam).
The short story initially emphasized the Ukrainian identity of its hero Taras, but then Gogol was forced by his publishers to insert Russian imperial themes when it was published. Highlighting this schism in Gogol’s writing and identity were the head-to-head proclamations in 2009 — on the 200th anniversary of Gogol’s birthday — by both Russia and Ukraine: Both claimed Gogol as their very own national writer and hero. The 2009 Russian remake of the movie explicitly frames the rebellion in Russian and imperial terms. Propagating the myth of the triune people, the director of the 2009 version, Vladimir Bortko, told the Kyiv Post that “there is no separate Ukraine.”
The idea that Ukraine is simply Malorossiya — a distinctive province of Greater Russia — still has some historical resonance for those wishing to sow dissent and doubt in Ukraine or advocate for a return to an imperial polity. In 2017, within the proxy republic of the DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) that broke away from Ukraine after the Euromaidan protests, Donetsk separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko declared that Malorossiya would be the successor to a “failed” Ukrainian state.
Meanwhile, within the borders of an independent Ukraine, pro-Russian groups such as “Rus Triedinaya” (Russian Trinity) in Kharkiv led by Sergey Moiseev, have used pan-Slavism, the idea that all Slavs should be united within one state, as an identity. In order to preserve the idea of the invasion as the “brotherly” protection of Russian speakers, Moiseev falsely reported on March 12 to Russian news agency RIA Novosti that only hardcore Ukrainian nationalist militias were fighting, while the army’s regular forces were “hostage” to “radical” elements.
On Russian far-right Telegram channels, the idea of triune people has been used to suggest that Afro-Ukrainian sailors would be safer under a “pluralistic” Russian imperium than a “far-right,” ethnically based Ukraine that has been proposed by a minority of far-right actors in Ukraine. Across the aisle, the far-right Ukrainian Nazi Azov Battalion, which has fought Putin’s proxy states in the Donbas since 2014, refers to Russia in Telegram chatrooms as a “gas station” with “imperial diseases” — providing evidence that Putin’s narrative is being reflected by his most extreme enemies.
In turn, the concept of the Russkiy Mir has been used to express the ambiguity of the Russian cultural sphere. A particular type of historical imagination sees Russian political culture as unique on the world stage. This is conditioned by Russia’s geographical location straddling Asia and Europe, separated from both Western Latin Christianity and Islam by its Orthodox Christianity. With a continuous landmass of 6.6 million square miles as the Russian Federation and 8.6 million square miles as the USSR, the Russian imperial imagination can easily understand Russia as a self-sustaining world.
The Russkiy Mir is often used to project soft cultural power and connect Russian speakers inside and outside the Russian state. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, politicians and thinkers in Russia started theorizing the Russkiy Mir as a conceptual replacement for their lost empire. The political scientist Peter Shchedrovitsky, taking influence from the German Romantic thinker Johann Gottfried Herder, suggested in an essay titled “The Russian World and Transnational Russia” (2000) that a “Greater Russia” should not be ethnocentric but linguistic in identity. He stated that “the Russian state has limits, but the Russian world does not. And therefore the concern and interests of the Russians authorities cannot be limited.”
In 2007, Putin set up the government-sponsored Russkiy Mir Foundation with the aim of projecting power across Eurasia. The foundation is led by Vyacheslav Nikonov, who told the news magazine Itogi in 2008 that “[it is to be lamented that] at times 1/7th of the world population lived in the Russian Empire, while now the ratio is 1/50.” Again, this imperial trope has found its way into popular discourse, with online Russian far-right communities using the idea of a Russkiy Mir to call on the government to protect Russian speakers in other countries. For instance, in response to an unverified report that an ethnic Russian child in Kyrgyzstan had been abused by his football coach, a Russian far-right page prone to inflammatory language posted: “This is just a Russian child, whose life is not at all important to our state, despite all these loud speeches about the ‘Russian world’ and its protection.” Consequently, despite Russia’s extreme actions to back up its commitment to the Russkiy Mir, many with a Russian imperial mindset do not see it as going far enough.
Where did these imperial ideas get their start?
“All these terms are related [and] entangled with the history of Kyiv Rus’,” says Oleh S. Ilnytzkyj, professor emeritus of modern languages at the University of Alberta and an expert on Ukrainian nationalism and culture.
The Kyiv Rus’ was a loose confederation of Slavic, Baltic and Finnic peoples ruled over by a Viking prince, Rurik, in the late ninth century. It has provided a foundation myth for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
“Most level-headed historians will tell you that Rus’ was not ‘Russia’ and, of course, it was not ‘Ukraine’ in the modern sense since both nations are products of much later processes,” Ilnytzkyj tells me, adding that “Kyiv Rus’ had a profound impact on the culture of Ukraine, Belarus and Muscovy, which did not start calling itself Russia until much later.”
Ilnytzkyj outlines the fact that Ukrainian historians often describe the different East Slavic people as growing separately out of Rus’ while many Russians understand the move from Rus’ to Russia to be undifferentiated: “Fundamentally, Ukrainian cultural and political development acknowledged that the East Slavs were three separate Rus’ peoples that took divergent paths of development. Russians, preposterously, claim that the three Rus’ (all East Slavs) are primordial ‘Russians’ and are trying to reestablish a never existing unity among them, which was purportedly disrupted by all kinds of ‘foreign’ machinations.”
In 1667, The Treaty of Andrusovo with Poland-Lithuania helped the Tsardom of Russia annex the Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate, a self-governing state run by a “hetman” (chief). In 1764, the hetmanate was finally abolished by Russia. Consequently, a mythology had to be built to integrate the new territory into the empire. The idea of the Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians as a single triune people was engineered as an official reality, with linguistic maps referring to the Ukrainian language as “Malorusskiy” (Little Russian) as late as 1914.
In the 19th century, the use of the triune people helped explain the plurality of the Russian Empire and its multiple ethnicities, faiths and languages in the context of increasingly homogenizing nation-states in Western Europe like France. The concept of a triune people suggests that the natural borders of an organic “Russian” state are the borders of three “brotherly” East Slavic tribes or people: the Ukrainian Little Russians, the White Russians (Belorusskiy) and the Great Russians (Velikiyrusskiy). This concept was then widely popularized via the imperial school curriculum in the 19th century. Further bans on the Ukrainian language under Tsar Alexander II and Russification efforts helped the empire battle minority national movements.
“The most influential formulation of an ‘official’ Russian history during modern times can be traced back to Nikolai Karamzin and his ‘History of the Russian State,’” says Kevork Oskanian, lecturer in international relations of Eurasia at the University of Exeter in the U.K. Karamzin was a romantic and conservative historian who supported the autocracy of the tsars and elevated Slavic-leaning rulers like Ivan III over reformist Western figures like Peter the Great. In 2016, Karamzin was even commemorated on coins minted by the Russian Central Bank.
“Many of the contemporary claims on the ‘triune’ Russian nation — including the Kyivan foundation myth — can be traced back to that work,” says Oskanian. “So can the notion that Great Russians, as opposed to their ‘White’ and ‘Little’ Russian counterparts, [had] a unique ability as state-builders.” In direct contrast, Oskanian suggests, “The idea of Ukrainians (Little Russians) as incapable of independent political agency actually became ingrained during that period, and for much of subsequent history: Their [political] aspirations were often portrayed as the result of manipulations by the [neighboring] Polish gentry.”
As a corollary, the concept of the all-Russian nation (obshcherusskiy narod) suggested that the imperial borders of the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries were natural rather than artificial in that they united the three Slavic tribes that made up the “Russian people.” Additionally, the use of “narod” in Russian (meaning “people”) as synonymous with that of “state” or “nation” helped to naturalize the rule of the Russian state over its various subject “peoples.”
However, these imperial tropes were received in complex ways by Ukrainians: sometimes utilized to their advantage, sometimes rejected as imperial constraints. “When people write ‘all-Russian,’ they fail to understand that the term really implies all-Rus’,” Ilnytzkyj says. “‘All-Rus’ian’ unity was a concept developed by Ukrainian clerics in the 17th century to foster unity among Orthodox believers on the East Slavic lands,” Ilnytzkyj tells me. “By the 19th century, Ukrainian secular elites were [instead] emphasizing the cultural and historical differences between Kyivan Rus’ and Muscovite Rus’.”
The concept was also extended as an imperial identity to try to integrate non-Slavic colonial populations into the state: Georgians, Tartars, Finns, Jews, Volga Germans, Chechens, Lithuanians and Latvians were all to be encompassed in an imperial conception of “Russianness.” Indeed, in 1897 the first Russian Imperial Census listed only 44% of its citizens as Great Russians. Thus, unlike relatively concentrated ethnolinguistic 19th-century nation-states with overseas empires, like France, only a plurality and not a majority of citizens in the continuous landmass of the Russian Empire could be identified with the ruling dynasty and autocratic state.
“Most historians acknowledge that Ukrainians were more culturally advanced when they came under Russian rule,” says Ilnytzkyj. “The culture that developed as a result of Ukrainian participation in the empire was multiethnic, transnational, what I prefer to call ‘imperial’ but what people incongruously call ‘Russian.’ During the 19th century, the Russian intelligentsia and the state worked overtime to fashion the empire as a ‘Russian’ nation, failing miserably. The all-Russian nation never came to be. Putin is a fool trying to revive failed centuries-old ideas.”
Consequently, forms of ethnocentric nationalism have always been underdeveloped in Russia at the expense of cultivating broader imperial and pluralistic identities that still privileged ethnic Russians. This tendency also found its way into the Soviet Union, as Ronald Grigor Suny, professor of history at the University of Michigan and author of “Russia’s Empires” (2017) tells me: “The idea of one people (odin narod) — one East Slavic people — plays well for those imperial nationalists who want to unify Russia with Ukraine and Belarus. But I would emphasize this: Russian nationalism was, and is, actually weak.”
“It was weak in the Soviet period because it was repressed much more than even non-Russian nationalism,” says Suny. “​​Lenin’s policy was to promote [minority] nationality to stop [Great Russian] nationalism.” Indeed Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of the USSR, wrote in a memo in 1922 to his colleagues: “I declare war to the death on Great Russian chauvinism … it must be absolutely insisted that the [leadership] should be presided over in turn by a Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, etc.”
Yet, at the same time, Suny argues that the USSR’s underdeveloped nationalism did not stop it from placing ethnic Russians on top.
“The ruling elite of the Communist Party was largely Russian or Slavic,” Suny says. “[The elite] recognized that it was superior and uniquely held the monopoly of sovereignty. So the Soviet Union was also based on hierarchies and inequalities — this makes it imperial.”
Suny tells me that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia “got smaller and weaker” but that “it’s now more Russian as a result.” In the early years of post-Soviet Russia, there was an attempt to find an exclusively Russian national myth, but Suny argues Putin and most Russians rejected this — instead opting for an anachronistic combination of historical memory and imperial nostalgia. “Putin comes to power and he, at first, tries to amalgamate both the Soviet traditions which [Boris] Yeltsin had rejected with older traditions like the tsarist double-headed eagle. Putin has very forcefully attempted to create a new national mythology, which is largely imperial while rejecting the revolution and Lenin [but] keeping Stalin and World War II.”
The current invasion of Ukraine can be seen as driven, in part, by an imperial nostalgia that still haunts Russia’s elite classes and those who remember the Soviet Union. The majority of the population is, as Suny notes, “basically an exhausted people. They just want to get ahead [with their lives].” Based on various conversations with young academics in Russia, Suny says that “[the imperial vision is] working with an older generation in Russia. … But younger people are not buying it” because of internet access.
Ultimately, Putin’s Russia is defined by a refusal to properly define itself as a modern nation. Its current identity relies on historical claims that lie outside the state’s borders. Ilnytzkyj reminds us that “one of Putin’s (and Russia’s) greatest lies is to speak of the empire as if it was a Russian national state.” Instead, he argues, “Ukraine only threatens Russian imperial control, not Russians. We are still waiting for a Russian nation to be born.”
An inability to fully accept the loss of an empire is not unique to Russia. Indeed, the U.K. and France suffer from specific imperial hangovers, and the U.S. may yet face its own. Because of this, it is vital that Russia find a new identity to anchor itself. To paraphrase Dean Acheson describing the U.K. in 1962: “Russia has lost an empire but not yet found a role.”
Understanding Putin’s historical imagination as imperial does not mean that Russia is still a 19th-century state. Instead, 19th-century concepts are being brought into the 21st century for very modern purposes. Ideas about the all-Russian nation and triune people are being used by Putin as a casus belli and have joined the more familiar liberal justifications of human rights and democracy promotion we have grown used to.

https://newlinesmag.com/argument/history-stokes-putins-dream-of-a-greater-russia/

171Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Thu Apr 07 2022, 01:18

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

The online media/propaganda machine on both sides is stepping up with Russian videos showing allegedly dead people moving in bodybags and interviews in Mariupol with pro-Russian separatists claiming the Azovs are shooting civilians.

I'm not comfortable with the Azovs but at the end of the day their candidate lost his seat and they represent less than 2% of the electoral vote so Putin's claim that Ukraine is run by Fascists is a bit far-fetched.

If this pans out that Russia annexes Luhansk/Donetsk I don't think it will be a bid loss to Ukraine as long as they retain access to the coast. They already claim to be a breakaway people's republic with their own government and bank.


Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 277782319_690004698975816_5750657128268334406_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=5cd70e&_nc_ohc=cqBkyFHMlHMAX-xMby1&_nc_ht=scontent-man2-1

172Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Fri Apr 08 2022, 12:00

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

More Russian "spies" are being kicked out than ever before, seriously damaging Russia's ability to influence foreign governments according to the Economist today:

"RUSSIA’S INVASION of Ukraine has bruised its army and battered its economy. Now Russia’s spies are being hammered, too. On April 7th Austria, for many years a hub for Russian espionage, became the latest country to expel suspected Russian intelligence officers, bringing the total number of Russian officials expelled from America and Europe since the war began to more than 400. The mass expulsions, the largest in history, are likely to have lasting effects on Vladimir Putin’s intelligence services and their ability to spy—and to subvert—in Europe.

Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 20220409_WOC097

Though America and Bulgaria each kicked out a dozen Russians in the first week of the war, the most recent round of expulsions began with Slovakia and Bulgaria in mid-March, followed by Poland and the Baltic states on March 23rd, and then a cavalcade of others, including 75 from France and Germany on April 4th. On April 5th nine countries, and the European Union itself, sent home more than 150. Most are alleged spies, though not all—Lithuania is casting out Russia’s ambassador. Other countries are preparing further expulsions.
The ejection of spooks on this scale is unprecedented. It is more than double the number booted out in 2018, when 28 Western countries expelled 153 suspected spies in response to Russia’s attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who had spied for Britain, in Salisbury, England. The latest expulsions are “outstanding” and “long overdue”, says Marc Polymeropoulos, who led the CIA’s operations in Europe and Eurasia until 2019. “Europe was their historic playground and their diplomatic staff is always pretty damn large in a lot of these places.” In his last job, says Mr Polymeropoulos, “we really considered Europe to be a key battleground with the Russians.”
The immediate aim of the expulsions is to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Officials from the FSB, Russia’s security service, and GRU, the military intelligence outfit that targeted Mr Skripal, both played a key role in planning and waging the war. It is also intended to make it harder for Russia to go about the core business of intelligence: stealing secrets.
The Russian intelligence presence in some European countries had grown so large that it was becoming hard for local security services to keep tabs on suspected and proven spies. Last year a German spy chief said that Russian spying stood at the same levels as during the cold war. Before the most recent expulsions, there were estimated to be almost 1,000 undeclared Russian intelligence officers in embassies and consulates in Europe.
But espionage is not the only concern. Rooting out intelligence officers also helps insulate Europe from Russian sabotage and subversion. In one way, the roots of the latest expulsions stretch back to last year. In April 2021 the Czech Republic accused the GRU of bombing an arms depot in the country. It expelled 81 Russian diplomats (one reason why it has kicked out fewer this time round), America another ten and other European countries 14.
That episode, and others like it, prompted a sweeping NATO audit of Russia’s rezidenturas (stations, as Britain or America would call them) in Western embassies and their activities. The audit found that the country’s embassies were packed with huge numbers of undeclared intelligence officers from across its three services: the GRU, FSB and SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, which makes up the bulk of spies in diplomatic missions abroad. In October last year NATO expelled eight alleged spies from its mission in Brussels, prompting Russia to shut down the office and to kick NATO out of Moscow in return.
The purpose of removing Russian officials from Europe is not just to stop them doing undesirable things. It is also to stop them aiding and abetting others. The GRU officers who poisoned Mr Skripal and bombed Bulgaria were not pretending to be diplomats in London or Sofia; they were sent from Moscow under what is known as non-official cover. Mr Skripal’s would-be assassins famously pretended to be tourists visiting Salisbury cathedral. Such covert action often relies on support from local embassies, though, such as the use of diplomatic pouches to move illicit material across borders.
Making this sort of thing harder is sensible, but it comes at a cost because Russia responds in kind. After the Skripal expulsions, Russia kicked out 189 Western officials. One result is that bona fide diplomats—who are invariably part of the exodus—have less opportunity to engage ordinary Russians, at a time when state propaganda is growing more unhinged. This is why foreign ministries are often less keen on expulsions than security officials.
The number of Western spies in Moscow also takes a hit. In practice, this may be less of a problem than it seems. On their home turf, Russian security services have more resources and powers at their disposal to track Western intelligence officers based in embassies in Moscow than vice versa—a GRU officer can move around and meet people more easily in Berlin than a CIA officer in Russia’s capital.
Nor is expulsion a permanent solution. Russia tends to send back new spies to replace the ones who have left, requiring Western counterintelligence agencies to work out, from scratch, which lowly first secretary is the new spook. Some Western officials say their aim is to ensure that bloated Russian embassies in Europe are no larger than their Western equivalents in Moscow—a principle that the Czech Republic insisted on last year. That requires constantly refusing visas for new arrivals, and diligent information sharing among allies so that an officer kicked out from one country cannot be sent to another.
Fewer Russian spies in New York, London or Paris means fewer potential double agents. Nonetheless, there are still plenty left. And Western spies may find good hunting among them in the current circumstances. It was the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 which disillusioned Oleg Kalugin, a KGB general, Oleg Gordievsky, the KGB’s rezident in London and Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist; the latter two became spectacularly successful agents for MI6, while Mr Kalugin became a dissident and moved to America. The war in Ukraine, far bloodier than the crushing of the Prague Spring, may have a similar effect on some of their successors in the GRU, SVR and FSB.
“Many of those serving here fully realise that Russia has been humiliated by this disastrous war because of their total access to information,” says Jonathan Haslam, a historian of Russia’s intelligence services, “and you can conclude that on their return to the Motherland they cannot be relied upon by the regime.” In Moscow, the upper echelons of the FSB seem to be in turmoil, blamed by Mr Putin for botching the war and providing unreliable information. Russian spies posted abroad, and their families, will also have become accustomed to life in Western capitals. A return to increasingly totalitarian Moscow may not appeal. “I would hope that all of them are getting a phone call or a bump on the street or a visit from the local security services for a chat,” says Mr Polymeropoulos. “The allies should hit them up before they leave.” ■

173Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Sat Apr 09 2022, 10:15

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

wanderlust wrote:The online media/propaganda machine on both sides is stepping up with Russian videos showing allegedly dead people moving in bodybags and interviews in Mariupol with pro-Russian separatists claiming the Azovs are shooting civilians.

I'm not comfortable with the Azovs but at the end of the day their candidate lost his seat and they represent less than 2% of the electoral vote so Putin's claim that Ukraine is run by Fascists is a bit far-fetched.

If this pans out that Russia annexes Luhansk/Donetsk I don't think it will be a bid loss to Ukraine as long as they retain access to the coast. They already claim to be a breakaway people's republic with their own government and bank.


Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 277782319_690004698975816_5750657128268334406_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=5cd70e&_nc_ohc=cqBkyFHMlHMAX-xMby1&_nc_ht=scontent-man2-1
I think there’s definitely a deal to be done here Lusty as long as both sides are realistic. Like you, I don’t think it would hurt Ukraine to lose the Donbas, or Mariupol for that matter as Ukraine still has access to the Black Sea through Odessa. In fact given how much it will cost to rebuild Mariupol, I’d leave it to Russia to pay. Crimea is already lost and short of an invasion isn’t coming back so I suppose it depends how much Zelensky is prepared to concede for peace. Frankly I don’t see any way Ukraine will recover any of these territories with Russia building up its forces in the East so it depends very much now on how much Ukraine wants a resolution.

174Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Sat Apr 09 2022, 10:28

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Problem is that I think Putin won't settle for the Donbass and will push on to Odessa to consolidate the land link to the Crimea - and f*** Ukraine's economy in the process.
If the Ukranian army pushes into the western coastline to try to keep a passageway open the Russki's will bomb the shit out of them from air, land and sea - it's almost as if the Ukranians are being herded into a kill zone.

175Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Sun Apr 10 2022, 08:21

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

wanderlust wrote:Problem is that I think Putin won't settle for the Donbass and will push on to Odessa to consolidate the land link to the Crimea - and f*** Ukraine's economy in the process.
If the Ukranian army pushes into the western coastline to try to keep a passageway open the Russki's will bomb the shit out of them from air, land and sea - it's almost as if the Ukranians are being herded into a kill zone.
In fairness Lusty Putin doesn’t actually need Odessa for access to the Black Sea and considering how close it is to Moldova could create a problem for them as well. If he keeps Mariupol and the areas around, he has land access to the Black Sea and Crimea so that may be one of the bargaining tools because whilst Ukraine might accept losing Mariupol and Donbas I’m certain they would not want to concede their own single access to the Black Sea. 

The problem I see is that the longer the war is allowed to continue, the more territory Putin will take and the more difficult it will be for a resolution to be agreed. Personally I feel that had the negotiations been seriously conducted weeks ago it could have been resolved by now. It would have meant Ukraine conceding ground but I feel they’re going to have to do that anyway.

I just think the Wests whole handling of the war has been awful. Instead of arming Ukraine and prolonging the war, despite how brave the Ukrainians have been, they should have forced the two sides together to find a resolution. The sanctions themselves are actually doing more damage to us than to Putin and instead of banning the sale of oil and gas, which has crucified everyone’s economy, they should have just hastened the move away from it instead. For me Putin holds all the cards in this and talk of war crimes tribunals are just going to harden the resolve of Russians. The old saying jaw, jaw, jaw not war, war, war is as true today as ever and will come down to that in the end anyway. Get on with it now.

176Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Sun Apr 10 2022, 09:56

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

With the Russian navy parked just off the coast, they can pound the crap out of the coastline if they want to but for the first time, yesterday Boris promised the Ukranians anti-ship weapons - everything the West has given so far have been defensive weapons. Not sure what "anti-ship" weapons they are but I doubt they're Exocets or something that could take out a destroyer, but it's something.
We all know dialogue is a good idea but I can't imagine Putin is interested in it - he has to deliver a crushing victory and to that end has replaced all the generals and upped the ante again.
With that in mind I just think it's going to get increasingly brutal, but obviously hope it won't.

177Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 11 2022, 08:55

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

But don’t you think that just giving Ukraine defensive weapons, in fact any weapons is just going to extend the war and lead to more death and devastation? Surely Putin has made his point and by all accounts has already stated his terms for a settlement including on Donbas and access to Crimea. He needs to be encouraged/forced to act on a settlement by major powers from both factions. The fact is that with defensive weapons alone, Putin will take the geography he wants from Ukraine, it will just take longer and mean more deaths. No way is Ukraine going to get any of the lost territories back so isn’t prolonging the war just trying to push water up hill?

178Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 11 2022, 10:56

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Whitesince63 wrote:But don’t you think that just giving Ukraine defensive weapons, in fact any weapons is just going to extend the war and lead to more death and devastation? Surely Putin has made his point and by all accounts has already stated his terms for a settlement including on Donbas and access to Crimea. He needs to be encouraged/forced to act on a settlement by major powers from both factions. The fact is that with defensive weapons alone, Putin will take the geography he wants from Ukraine, it will just take longer and mean more deaths. No way is Ukraine going to get any of the lost territories back so isn’t prolonging the war just trying to push water up hill?
Kremlin spokespersons have proposed "terms of Ukraine's surrender" on several occasions, but under scrutiny it seems Putin isn't actually agreeing to them so I reckon he will just keep going until support at home wavers - and we're a long way from that despite some successes in the cyber war, the rising death count amongst Russian soldiers and the impact of limited sanctions.

It's not helped by folk like Liz Truss who has said that UK sanctions will only remain in place whilst the conflict is on - as opposed to forever. Nor is it helped by Europe and India continuing to by oil and gas although the EU has at least confirmed there is a long term plan to permanently stop.

So what's left other than to ramp up the cyber attacks (ironically, the latest is hackers using modified Conti ransom ware to f*** up Russian internal supply chains) keep killing Russian soldiers and dragging it out until popular opinion starts to turn?

179Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 11 2022, 11:13

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

wanderlust wrote:
Kremlin spokespersons have proposed "terms of Ukraine's surrender" on several occasions, but under scrutiny it seems Putin isn't actually agreeing to them so I reckon he will just keep going until support at home wavers - and we're a long way from that despite some successes in the cyber war, the rising death count amongst Russian soldiers and the impact of limited sanctions.

It's not helped by folk like Liz Truss who has said that UK sanctions will only remain in place whilst the conflict is on - as opposed to forever. Nor is it helped by Europe and India continuing to by oil and gas although the EU has at least confirmed there is a long term plan to permanently stop.

So what's left other than to ramp up the cyber attacks (ironically, the latest is hackers using modified Conti ransom ware to f*** up Russian internal supply chains) keep killing Russian soldiers and dragging it out until popular opinion starts to turn?
I think Liz Truss stating sanctions are temporary until the war is ended makes perfect sense, I’m amazed that you don’t? If there’s no incentive for Putin to cease hostilities why should he? The fact is that Europe hasn’t, can’t and won’t stop using Russian oil and gas at the moment. They can reduce it but they can’t do without it and frankly it’s backfiring on the West anyway and benefitting Russia from the increased pricing. It will take decades for Germany and Italy in particular to wean themselves of Russian gas and oil, so it doesn’t really make sense to keep mentioning it.

Russia are such a large producer that even if Western Europe do manage to turn it off it won’t bother the Ruskies as they’ll just sell it elsewhere. We just have to be realistic about this, swallow our pride, accept we shouldn’t have got in this mess but for now accept it and attempt as far as possible to get energy costs down as it’s hurting us far more than Russia. Apart from not getting a McDonalds or Starbucks, what good are sanctions actually doing? The supermarkets are still stocked, the roubles at recent highs and Putins coining it in from high prices. The whole sanctions thing is nonsense and is causing more harm than good. Instead of accelerating the war we should be doing everything we can to stop it and only dialogue will do that.

180Is there going to be a war? - Page 9 Empty Re: Is there going to be a war? Mon Apr 11 2022, 11:30

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

I agree dialogue should be the way forward - I just think Putin is not interested in dialogue.

Why should he be? He is decimating Ukraine's economy and military strength so it won't be the threat he perceives it to be and he's grabbing land for the pro-Russian puppet regions in the Donbass - and perhaps more.

There is no incentive for him to stop.

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