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SilentPony

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Yeah, the official Russian military/government could do that, and would if it suited them, but not seeing the benefit. Unless it's internal politics, making a specific rival group look bad, which I guess isn't impossible.
I mean they have an excuse now to scale up the assault, maybe even tactical nukes. False flag operations give the Government alot of breathing room when it comes to war crimes.
 

Thaluikhain

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I mean they have an excuse now to scale up the assault, maybe even tactical nukes. False flag operations give the Government alot of breathing room when it comes to war crimes.
Normally they could scale up and commit war crimes, but not when they are doing those anyway.

Nuclear devices, of any kind, are crossing a line. If Russia actually does that, all sorts of problems would occur for all sorts of people, including the sort of people that could stop nuclear devices being used.
 
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SilentPony

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Normally they could scale up and commit war crimes, but not when they are doing those anyway.

Nuclear devices, of any kind, are crossing a line. If Russia actually does that, all sorts of problems would occur for all sorts of people, including the sort of people that could stop nuclear devices being used.
Problem is Putin is slowly going insane and dying. He may be desperate enough to try, and needs public support.
 

Silvanus

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If this was a false flag, it wouldn't have been directed at wealthy neighbourhoods, including one where Putin has property.
 

Thaluikhain

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Problem is Putin is slowly going insane and dying. He may be desperate enough to try, and needs public support.
He might, but people who aren't currently dying would be in a position to stop him.

Having said that, the casualties that would result from a tactical nuclear device often get eclipsed by casualties that really do result from lots of normal war crimes in big conflicts.
 

Silvanus

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According to reports, 3 drones actually struck without being intercepted. The rest (whether that's the remaining 5 of the 8 that Russian state media claims, or the remaining 27 of the 30 that Russian social media claims) were intercepted.

The targets struck were high-rises and an elite, gated residential area.
 

SilentPony

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According to reports, 3 drones actually struck without being intercepted. The rest (whether that's the remaining 5 of the 8 that Russian state media claims, or the remaining 27 of the 30 that Russian social media claims) were intercepted.

The targets struck were high-rises and an elite, gated residential area.
I dont know why Russia is so eager to give Ukraine credit. If the Ukrainians did pull this off, either they got an entire drone squadron hundreds of kilometers into Russia before anyone noticed, or there are Ukrainian forces operating within Russia.
Neither makes Putin look powerful.
 
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Dalisclock

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Problem is Putin is slowly going insane and dying. He may be desperate enough to try, and needs public support.
If so, now we're positing a dying insane man who is willing to use nukes because he fucking feels like it.

Which means the west has absolutly no choice but to remove Putin and the ruling regime because you can't reason or negioatie with someone like that. We'd have an obligation to basically disarm Russia like we did Germany and Japan to keep such a thing from ever happening again.

And yes, the thought is terrifying. MAD assumes sane rational actors in charge of nukes who won't use them for fear of being completely annilated. Putin deciding he's willing to burn everything to ground invalidates this. The problem is, letting him deploy nukes without consequence is possibly worse, because it also invalidates MAD and it just encourages more use of nukes as a form of extorsion. If Russia can use a nuke and the west doesn't immediately respond with consequences,(like the destruction of the Black Sea fleet for starters) there's no reason to think he won't do it again in Eastern Europe(like, say, Poland). Or China invading Taiwan and using Nukes because they know there are no consequences for doing so.
 
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Absent

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If so, now we're positing a dying insane man who is willing to use nukes because he fucking feels like it.

Which means the west has absolutly no choice but to remove Putin and the ruling regime because you can't reason or negioatie with someone like that. We'd have an obligation to basically disarm Russia like we did Germany and Japan to keep such a thing from ever happening again.

And yes, the thought is terrifying. MAD assumes sane rational actors in charge of nukes who won't use them for fear of being completely annilated. Putin deciding he's willing to burn everything to ground invalidates this. The problem is, letting him deploy nukes without consequence is possibly worse, because it also invalidates MAD and it just encourages more use of nukes as a form of extorsion. If Russia can use a nuke and the west doesn't immediately respond with consequences,(like the destruction of the Black Sea fleet for starters) there's no reason to think he won't do it again in Eastern Europe(like, say, Poland). Or China invading Taiwan and using Nukes because they know there are no consequences for doing so.
A person going insane isn't a problem. No autocrat functions alone. The problem is that he has a population that vastly supports him. And that population isn't made of aliens. That population is made of us. Of the humans defined and overcome by hardcoded assholery, as we see throughout the world again, with Republican in the USA, with Talibans in Afghanistan, with Erdogan in Turkey, with Mitsotakis in Greece, with Museveni in Uganda, with all these copy-pasted dipshits all around the planet, driven by the same mechanisms. It's mankind.

Fearing the planet to nuke itself (to nuke itself instantly, as opposed to roasting itself fast for short term complacency, profit, comfort, vanity and stupidity) is fearing a deviant minority of humans to pay the price for what the species is as a whole. But it happens, fast or faster. You can wish for some lucky decent people to be roughly spared for a few more moments, but the equal proportion of decent people will run out of the same luck, run out of the same time, as mankind as a whole, eventually. Making it futile.

Putin is a negligible symptom. His fans, and the fans of his morally equivalents worldwide, are the reality.
 
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Silvanus

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I dont know why Russia is so eager to give Ukraine credit. If the Ukrainians did pull this off, either they got an entire drone squadron hundreds of kilometers into Russia before anyone noticed, or there are Ukrainian forces operating within Russia.
Neither makes Putin look powerful.
The issue is that no other explanation is better. There's no denying it happened. So they can either point to Ukraine, which at least supports the 'Russia is under threat' narrative, or they can point to someone else. But no other culprits make the government look any better at keeping the capital safe. If anything, blaming Russian partisans would make them look even more shaky.

All they can realistically do to bolster the government's credibility is minimise the extent of the attack, which appears to be exactly what they did, if Russian social media is to be believed.
 

Silvanus

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If so, now we're positing a dying insane man who is willing to use nukes because he fucking feels like it.

Which means the west has absolutly no choice but to remove Putin and the ruling regime because you can't reason or negioatie with someone like that. We'd have an obligation to basically disarm Russia like we did Germany and Japan to keep such a thing from ever happening again.

And yes, the thought is terrifying. MAD assumes sane rational actors in charge of nukes who won't use them for fear of being completely annilated. Putin deciding he's willing to burn everything to ground invalidates this. The problem is, letting him deploy nukes without consequence is possibly worse, because it also invalidates MAD and it just encourages more use of nukes as a form of extorsion. If Russia can use a nuke and the west doesn't immediately respond with consequences,(like the destruction of the Black Sea fleet for starters) there's no reason to think he won't do it again in Eastern Europe(like, say, Poland). Or China invading Taiwan and using Nukes because they know there are no consequences for doing so.
To be honest, I see no compelling reason to think he's going insane. Highly paranoid, by most accounts, but that's not without reason and also not terribly rare among world leaders.

His actions in Ukraine do not require madness to explain them. They require only ruthlessness, and a catastrophic strategic miscalculation, which could easily have been the result of a breakdown of information accuracy rather than any mental failure on Putin's part.

I'd perhaps look to people like Medvedev for actual psychological instability-- ranting about "holy wars" and "de-Satanisation", he sounds more and more like the most unhinged elements of the evangelical (or Orthodox) far-right.
 
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Dalisclock

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To be honest, I see no compelling reason to think he's going insane. Highly paranoid, by most accounts, but that's not without reason and also not terribly rare among world leaders.

His actions in Ukraine do not require madness to explain them. They require only ruthlessness, and a catastrophic strategic miscalculation, which could easily have been the result of a breakdown of information accuracy rather than any mental failure on Putin's part.

I'd perhaps look to people like Medvedev for actual psychological instability-- ranting about "holy wars" and "de-Satanisation", he sounds more and more like the most unhinged elements of the evangelical (or Orthodox) far-right.
I agree with you. There's no reason to believe Putin exhibits a very particular form of insanity where he'll use a nuke but not attack NATO directly despite the many alleged "Escalations". His actions can be explained by overconfidence in his military and intelligence combined with his ambition to Make Russia Great Again. not sheer insanity.

Now, if he starts wearing a Napoleon uniform and suddenly invades Brazil for no reason, then we should start worrying
 
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meiam

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I think his cancer scared him and now he want to secure a legacy, and rebuilding the soviet union is as good as anything. For now, I doubt he'd nuke everything for the hell of it, but who know what he'll do as he get older and it become increasingly clear he'll lose Ukraine and even Belarus might be hard to absorb.

But what scared me the most is always a power vacuum where a bunch of regional warlord now have nuke that they can't maintain and they start thinking they gotta use them before they go bad.
 
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CM156

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I think his cancer scared him and now he want to secure a legacy, and rebuilding the soviet union is as good as anything. For now, I doubt he'd nuke everything for the hell of it, but who know what he'll do as he get older and it become increasingly clear he'll lose Ukraine and even Belarus might be hard to absorb.

But what scared me the most is always a power vacuum where a bunch of regional warlord now have nuke that they can't maintain and they start thinking they gotta use them before they go bad.
Seeing Russia fragment into various fiefdoms with warlords threatening to use nukes on the government in Moscow if they aren't given their way would be funny. Detrimental to world peace, but funny.
 
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Dalisclock

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Seeing Russia fragment into various fiefdoms with warlords threatening to use nukes on the government in Moscow if they aren't given their way would be funny. Detrimental to world peace, but funny.
Warring states but with Nukes. PMCs as far as the Eye can see.

Why am I thinking of MGS4 now?
 
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Gordon_4

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I think his cancer scared him and now he want to secure a legacy, and rebuilding the soviet union is as good as anything. For now, I doubt he'd nuke everything for the hell of it, but who know what he'll do as he get older and it become increasingly clear he'll lose Ukraine and even Belarus might be hard to absorb.

But what scared me the most is always a power vacuum where a bunch of regional warlord now have nuke that they can't maintain and they start thinking they gotta use them before they go bad.
Isn’t that kind of what happened with the fall of the Soviet Union anyway?
 
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Dalisclock

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Isn’t that kind of what happened with the fall of the Soviet Union anyway?
I'd raise the question of how many of those nukes have degraded by now. The USSR fell 30 years ago(has it been that long?) and apparently the Russians have spent a fraction of the USSR's budget on nuclear mantience and upkeep. Now, don't get me wrong, shit is cheaper in Russia, but they also have a lot of warheads too and every single one of those needs to have some kind of upkeep lest they degrade and...well, not work anymore.

I guess what I'm saying here is as much as Russia likes to talk up it's nuclear deterrent, apparently they haven't put much money or effort into actually keeping it usable to our knowledge, and it's entirely possible a not insubstantial number of warheards are non-operational because of this. Especially in light of a system that seems infamous for corruption, where paperwork says one thing and the actual reality says quite another.

By no means am I suggesting we assume none of them work or that we be flippant about them firing off a salvo if given no other choice, but rather that the image they wish to project and the truth of the matter may be very different.
 

Thaluikhain

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And yes, the thought is terrifying. MAD assumes sane rational actors in charge of nukes who won't use them for fear of being completely annilated. Putin deciding he's willing to burn everything to ground invalidates this.
Only if the people he's reliant on agree with him. People in Russia fall out of windows if they are inconvenient, and provoking a NATO nuclear strike on Russia would be inconvenient enough for the same to happen to Putin.
 
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Ag3ma

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I honestly don't think that talking about Russia using nukes is useful. It isn't going to use nukes short of a full-on invasion of its undisputed territory. People like Putin and his cronies haven't spent decades salting away billions of their country's wealth just to burn everything down.

I'd raise the question of how many of those nukes have degraded by now. The USSR fell 30 years ago(has it been that long?) and apparently the Russians have spent a fraction of the USSR's budget on nuclear mantience and upkeep.
Russia allegedly has ~6000 nuclear warheads, but contextually the USSR had about 40-50,000, so Russia would only need a small fraction of the USSR's nuclear budget. Of those 6000, only about 1500 are believed to be deployed. There's a good chcance the majority of weapons not deployed are unfit for use.