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Russia and Ukraine
#1
Russia and Ukraine
So, what will Russia do?

Nothing?   Launch covert actions only?   Lunch overt military border incursions purely for disruptive effect?  Try to actually seize some strips of disputed Ukrainian territory?   Try to invade on a scale large enough to topple the current government and install a more Russian friendly one?    Or invade to occupy and annex Ukraine outright?
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#2
RE: Russia and Ukraine
A full-on invasion and occupation would not be in the best interest of Putin or Russia as far as I can tell, so assuming Putin isn't being irrational, I think that's off the table. Grabbing a little land would be in character, though.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#3
RE: Russia and Ukraine
I think direct long term occupation is unlikely because:

1. 100,000 troops known to have been assembled is insufficient to impose effective long term hostile occupation of an country a large as Ukraine.   to put it in perspective it is about 2 mechanized divisions able to undertake operation and maneuver over long distance, 3 at most, plus necessary support echelon.  

2. Putin is far too canny a operator to fail to realize there is quite a lot of pro-russian sympathy, and soviet era nostalgia amongst Ukrainian population to simply write off with a forceful long term hostile occupation,  even though there is no doubt any Russian boots that stay in ukraine will be portrayed as occupation in the west and by current ukrainian government.

I would also agree that Putin’s logical objective would be to completely overthrow Ukrainian government and the bind Ukraine to Russia with a russia dominated federal relationship similar to those that existed within the USSR.   However it seems to me that 100,000 troops is insufficient to pull that off cleanly if the current ukrainian government is able to organize any substantial effective defence.,  unless the supposedly democratic ukraine is really quite unpopular and good part of population would actually attempt the thwart an effective defensive against Russian invasion,
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#4
RE: Russia and Ukraine
I think it's unlikely that Putin is going to invade Ukraine (not impossible, though). The massing of troops on the border was meant to pressure NATO into giving Putin concessions he wants - no expansion of NATO, reduction to 1997 levels, and so on. This is clearly not working. Putin's savvy enough to know when his bluff has been called, and that a protracted occupation of Ukraine is something Russia can't afford.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#5
RE: Russia and Ukraine
(January 21, 2022 at 1:13 pm)Mister Agenda Wrote: A full-on invasion and occupation would not be in the best interest of Putin or Russia as far as I can tell, so assuming Putin isn't being irrational, I think that's off the table. Grabbing a little land would be in character, though.

Putain's in a week position currently, both domestically (he's in charge of a failed state with a dead economy and a rapidly shrinking population) and internationally (he's got no friends, not even China, who are increasingly seeing his as potential vassal). His recent military forays didn't exactly go to plan, while al-Assad is still in power in Syria, Russia's efforts in the region were pretty weaksauce and they did get their collective arse handed to them by Turkey. In Ukraine, the undeclared war isn't going well, despite being heavily armed and supported by the Russian army the separatist groups in the Donbass area are losing their dirty war.

Hence why you se Putain playing the big man and threatening to go to war. Unfortunately, like Hitler in 1939 he might just be stupid enough to let slip the dogs.
As a species, we are fucked. To the next generation, I offer my inadequate apologies.
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#6
RE: Russia and Ukraine
I think a full on invasion is unlikely because Putin doesn’t have enough troops on the border to either invade or occupy.   But I think his strategy is to use the presence of the military to create a sense of unbearable, unresolvable tension in Kiev, make the anti-Russian, pro-nato government seem powerless to resolve the issue, and enable more Russian friendly to claim they have better capacity to resolve the tension.

For Russia, Ukraine joining nato is significantly worse than the USSR placing nuclear missiles in Cuba had been for the US in 1963,  because it places Moscow much closer to foreign nuclear blackmail than the distance betweem cuba and Washington DC.   Remember what Kennedy was willing to risk yo get the missiles permanently out of Cuba.   Putin has reason to risk more to permanent prevent Ukraine from joining a foreign military alliance.

I don’t think Putin is in a weak position at all.   I think all the things the west is currently threatening to deprive Russian of in retaliation, he has already written off before he even started to amass his troops.     He knows what Ukraine means to the Russia of his vision, and nothing the west can do to him without a nuclear war can compare to that.    In his eyes, consequence of taking Ukraine will pass within 10, 15, or 25 years, and even Within those 10, 15,or 25 years it is not as bad as if Ukraine joined nato.    The benefit of taking Ukraine will be forever.

With Ukraine, Russia is a great power, with Ukraine in nato, Russia is not even a power, much less great.

an additional consideration for putin is he knows the west fears long term potential of china much more than long term potential of russia.   so he probably judged, correctly in my opinion, that any western threat against russia is hollow because the west can not afford to keep driving russia towards china.   Without russia, china will not reach the point of parity with the anglo-saxon alliance of US, UK and Australia in at least 15-20 years,  maybe never.   this is why europe, and japan is picking the US side.

A russo-chinese alliance, on the other hand, is close to parity now and will probably achieve more or less ful parity in 10 years.    if russian and china begin to form a clear block, the rest of the world will begin to hedge their bets and start peeling away from a US centered alliance.
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#7
RE: Russia and Ukraine
I think the assessments of what it would take to pacify Ukraine are overblown. March in, take the TV and radio stations, install a puppet regime, wait two weeks for the protests to die down while Europe and America rattle their sabers, and then leave, perhaps leaving token security forces behind.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#8
RE: Russia and Ukraine
(January 24, 2022 at 1:02 pm)Angrboda Wrote: I think the assessments of what it would take to pacify Ukraine are overblown.  March in, take the TV and radio stations, install a puppet regime, wait two weeks for the protests to die down while Europe and America rattle their sabers, and then leave, perhaps leaving token security forces behind.

of 100,000 troops on Ukrainian border, at most half that would actually be combat units.   Marching  all the way to Kiev with 2-3 divisions worth and then not getting cut off and surrounded is not trivial because the Ukrainian army is twice as large, has a disproportionate amount of leftover Soviet hardware to draw upon, and is fighting on the defensive.

The only way for that to succeed is if the effort is supported by an extensive fifth column in Ukraine and much of the Ukrainian army more or less melt away after the first shot.
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#9
RE: Russia and Ukraine
(January 24, 2022 at 1:16 pm)Anomalocaris Wrote:
(January 24, 2022 at 1:02 pm)Angrboda Wrote: I think the assessments of what it would take to pacify Ukraine are overblown.  March in, take the TV and radio stations, install a puppet regime, wait two weeks for the protests to die down while Europe and America rattle their sabers, and then leave, perhaps leaving token security forces behind.

of 100,000 troops on Ukrainian border, at most half that would actually be combat units.   Marching  all the way to Kiev with 2-3 divisions worth and then not getting cut off and surrounded is not trivial because the Ukrainian army is twice as large and has a disproportionate amount of leftover Soviet hardware to draw upon. 

The only way for that to succeed is if the effort is supported by an extensive fifth column in Ukraine and much of the Ukrainian army more or less melt away after the first shot.

It's mostly urban warfare. A divided populace goes a long way.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#10
RE: Russia and Ukraine
The US is considering adding several thousand more troops to Eastern Europe.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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