Ukraine

Nielas

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2011
263
5
23

Poland's PM has announced that they will stop sending arms to Ukraine. Poland was previously one of Ukraine's biggest suppliers during the war.

There's two aspects to this. Firstly, the grain deal. Due to Russia blockading the export of Ukrainian grain through the black sea ports, Ukraine has had to send grain westward through its European neighbours. However 5 European countries (Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia) blamed this for a collapse in the price of local grain, and so the EU brokered an agreement to prevent the sale of Ukrainian grain in those 5 countries (while still allowing the grain to travel through those countries on its way elsewhere for export). That deal ended recently after the local price returned to normal, but Poland continued to pursue protectionism anyway. Zelensky accused them of playing into Russia's hands, and Poland's PM has in retaliation ended the transfer of arms.

Then there's the upcoming parliamentary election in Poland next month. The ruling right-wing party PiS is likely to emerge with a reduced plurality. Its position rests on social conservatism and whipping up anger towards minority groups, migrants and the EU-- so there is likely to be an element of shortsighted grandstanding in its approach. On the other hand, Poland also knows it has a lot to lose from a Ukrainian defeat in the long term-- Russia unilaterally cut off Poland's oil access in February, and has threatened Poland militarily in the recent past.
Poland's agricultural sector has a huge number of small family farms. These farms are extremely senisitive to price fluctuations and there is great fear that they will go under and be bought by huge food conglomerates. Polish farmers are very politically active and can have great influence in any coalition government (a year ago PiS tried to appease some special interest in a way that pissed off the farmers and they had to backtrack on it or lose their coalition).

There are also regulations on what quality grain has to be to be sold for human consumption. There are allegations that dirt cheap feed-quality grain was being sold for human consumption. Polish small farmers cannot compete with that and the government went on an enforcement binge. It probably would have blown over quietly but Ukraine complained and then Germany voted against Poland.

Right now, the narrative in Poland seems to be that Zelensky is desperate for more aid but Poland has given all it can so he has to suck up to Germany to get what he needs. Plus, the Ukrainian oligarchs are making a fortune profiteering off the grain dumping, so they pressured Zelensky to go against Poland. Overall, Ukraine lost a lot of goodwill in Poland with that move but at the moment it is still blamed on the oligarchs and Germany.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ag3ma

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
11,223
7,002
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
Yeah. that whole thing about pringles is weird. Sure, you don't have the body to positivity ID but you can at least have a fairly good confidence the fucker is dead despite that.

Unless he's trying to imply that Pringles is really in a 9 year coma in a Cypriot hospital somewhere.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
12,086
8,295
118
Yeah. that whole thing about pringles is weird. Sure, you don't have the body to positivity ID but you can at least have a fairly good confidence the fucker is dead despite that.

Unless he's trying to imply that Pringles is really in a 9 year coma in a Cypriot hospital somewhere.
P has come to
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Hades

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2013
1,943
1,406
118
Country
The Netherlands
A potential problem for Ukraine. A pro Russian traitor might win the election in Slovakia which means he can sabotage the western efforts to aid Ukraine. It is of course also a problem for Slovakia which will get a pro Russian, pro corruption and anti democratic government. I have no clue why Slovakians would endorse a friendly course towards a country that up until recently occupied and terrorized them for forty years, but here we are.

Fun fact. The far right politician has previously already been prime minister of Slovakia but had to resign because he probably had a journalist murdered for looking into him.
 

Ag3ma

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2023
2,371
2,032
118
A potential problem for Ukraine. A pro Russian traitor might win the election in Slovakia which means he can sabotage the western efforts to aid Ukraine. It is of course also a problem for Slovakia which will get a pro Russian, pro corruption and anti democratic government. I have no clue why Slovakians would endorse a friendly course towards a country that up until recently occupied and terrorized them for forty years, but here we are.

Fun fact. The far right politician has previously already been prime minister of Slovakia but had to resign because he probably had a journalist murdered for looking into him.
Slovakians aren't voting over Russia / Ukraine, though. They're voting with their pockets: their pockets say prices have gone up a ton because of the war, so if the war stops, prices might come down. And if that means selling out Ukraine, that's not necessarily a big deal (to Slovakia) because Slovakia is safe due to EU membership and NATO.

However, it's possibly not all bad. Fico might make it to PM, but only through alliance with parties that might be significantly less pro-Russian, and in order to keep his coalition together, he's very likely to have to take a more moderate course.

Secondly, as the likes of Viktor Orban demonstrate, there are limits to how far pro-Russian leaders can go. Ultimately, they need the support of their populace, and their populace are kept happy in large part through their alliance and trade links with, and subsidies from, Europe and the USA. Their leaders go too far, the tap gets turned off, and things start getting unhappy, fast. So the usual course is posturing, rhetoric and delaying, but in the end rolling over.
 

Absent

And twice is the only way to live.
Jan 25, 2023
1,594
1,552
118
Country
Switzerland
Gender
The boring one
Fun fact. The far right politician has previously already been prime minister of Slovakia but had to resign because he probably had a journalist murdered for looking into him.
On fifth avenue ?
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,822
5,736
118
Country
United Kingdom
Robert Fico is a shithead for quite a few reasons aside from the Russia/Ukraine issue: he's been targeting Roma, other ethnic minorities, and LGBT people with visceral attacks during the campaign, and has a long history of it from his previous presidency. He's promising legislative restrictions on gay rights and migrant rights. He also vocally supported a neo-fascist who referred to migrants as "animals" and denied the holocaust.

First exit polls are expected in about one hour.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,822
5,736
118
Country
United Kingdom
Exit polls indicate the centrist, pro-European PS having about a 1-2% lead over the pro-Russia, nationalist SMER SD. So it'll be a hung parliament and almost certainly a coalition, with PS having the first go at coalition talks.

But there are quite a few smaller nationalist parties, which might give SMER SD more options if PS can't form a coalition.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
11,223
7,002
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male

The Russian Navy has apparently since moved some of their ships to the East of Crimea to protect them from further attacks, which feels ironic considering that's one of the big reasons for this whole thing is to have a Black Sea Naval Base.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,822
5,736
118
Country
United Kingdom
Exit polls were wrong, and SMER SD has won by about 6-7%.
 

Hades

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2013
1,943
1,406
118
Country
The Netherlands
Yuck the traitor won in Slovakia. So far he seems limited in his coalition partners to truly do as much damage as he wants though.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
10,822
5,736
118
Country
United Kingdom
So in short: even though Russia extensively accused Ukraine of genocide as a justification for invasion, it is now insisting that that was never the /legal/ basis for the invasion.

Because they know that if they used it as a legal basis, they'd have to provide proof, and they've got fuck all apart from insistent rhetoric.

This should become the reply every time Peskov or Lavrov recycle the genocide claim about Donbas. If you think that's going on, why have you insisted that you won't make an official allegation? What does that say about your faith in your ability to prove your own claims?

((Of course, sympathisers could reply that it's not Russia's own claims they lack faith in, but rather a UN Court's willingness to adjudicate fairly. Except... Russia already does cite the UN Charter as a justification for invasion. Russia is happy to invoke UN International Law... just not the bit about the claim they were actually making.))
 
Last edited:

Absent

And twice is the only way to live.
Jan 25, 2023
1,594
1,552
118
Country
Switzerland
Gender
The boring one

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Legacy
Nov 25, 2007
16,230
8,691
118
Stalking the Digital Tundra
Gender
✅

Gordon_4

The Big Engine
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
5,974
5,280
118
Australia