Ukraine

Thaluikhain

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Yeah, the EU isn't really a superpower. OTOH, as a big trading bloc, if you're a small country, if you are also a member, legit superpowers can't boss you around in trade deals like they do with small countries, you get some benefits of being a big power by being in it.
 

Hades

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-Is Ukraine an existential threat to Russia?
I mean....kiiiiinda. Or at least its somewhat understandable why Putin would think its an existential threat to his Russia in particular.

Ukraine is Russia's ''brother nation'' so them embracing the west risks showing Russia's population that there is an alternative to gangster oligarchy. This is naturally quite frightening if you're a gangster oligarchic. The big fear seems to be that if Ukraine becomes a functioning democracy then the Russian people might desire a functioning democracy too.

There's also the factor of geography in that eastern Europe is mostly flat lands which are very hard to defend. Russia historically always wanted a buffer in eastern Europe because otherwise Moscow and the Russian core region is too easy for foreign armies to reach.
 
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Trunkage

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Yeah, the EU isn't really a superpower. OTOH, as a big trading bloc, if you're a small country, if you are also a member, legit superpowers can't boss you around in trade deals like they do with small countries, you get some benefits of being a big power by being in it.
I'd say that it's close to a superpower but a superpower needs one leader to spearhead propoganda. The EU doesn't have one leader. It's a shared leadership

For example, if Russia attacked a EU nation, the EU will beat Russia militarily... eventually. But it will take a long time for the EU to mobilize due to lack of strong leadership
 

Seanchaidh

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An interesting view:

My thoughts after listening (poorly... I was also writing the rest of this post) are that the people painting themselves as favorable to Ukraine seem a lot more interested in humiliating Putin than preserving Ukraine. They want to inflict casualties upon Russia as if they expect Putin will walk away from this conflict with a loss. But Putin regards this conflict as an inevitable confrontation that it is absolutely necessary for Russia to win and that will be harder for Russia to win the later it is resolved (because Ukraine keeps getting more and more NATO equipment, training, and so on).

So, far better for Ukraine would be to limit the casualties on all sides so that Putin can more easily present the least demanding outcome to his people as a win. The larger the cost of the war on Russia, the harder that is to do. And the harder that is to do, the more demanding Putin will be in a peace settlement in order to satisfy the demands of domestic politics and probably the longer the war will go on because Ukraine will not accept. Ongoing fighting, even the various small victories for Ukrainian forces, are actually counterproductive to the interests of Ukraine. The demands of Russian nationalistic politics, by the way, are also largely a reaction to US imperialism; Russians like a leader that stands up to the United States because the United States acts like a bully.

You have been on this forum for over 10 years telling us about your vision of socialism, democracy, human rights and all that. And that's all fine. And then, suddenly, you sell out a country of over 40 million people to a repressive dictator's imperialist ambitions... why?
Pointing out the context of US imperial expansion is not selling out a country. Throwing weapons into Ukraine isn't helping the people there. Sanctioning Russia isn't helping the people anywhere. Doing a coup in Ukraine to promote leadership which will stick in Russia's craw without any intention of effectively backing them up is the selling out that you're looking for; that's not my doing.

Why is Yanokovych's corruption, betrayal of his electoral promises to his people (under Russian pressure) and ownership by (often Russian) oligarchs forgivable, but the sins of any other Ukrainian leader not? Why are you so concerned with Ukrainian "Nazis" who don't hold electoral power, but not the Russian state which has overtly embraced their own? Why have you spent so long criticising myriad malign actions against other countries and peoples, but then are tolerant of Russia's?
What fever dream inspired the premise of your questions?

What is the relevance of whether Yanukovych is "forgivable" in comparison to other Ukrainian leaders? What should prompt me to comment on that? Please be more coherent.

I read all your long-winded justifications, and all I see is someone trying to magic up clever excuses to avoid addressing the fact that Russia is and always has been every bit as invested in murky global power games as the West, with all the same amorality of interference, deception, abuse and brute force, except at core Russia is more corrupt, authoritarian, dictatorial, abusive, and disinterested in human welfare.
Russia is not a peer competitor of the United States except as it comes to nuclear weapons, and its actions are largely a reaction to an international order designed by the United States (in the so-called unipolar moment after the end of the cold war) and actions taken by the United States. That means that the United States has the power to influence Russia's behavior. And that being the case, the United States must bear some responsibility for the war in Ukraine. In my posts I've pointed out some specifics of how the United States bears that responsibility.

Given that core nature of Russia, to effectively support it is to condemn millions of people to worse outcomes, and if you think that is a win... then you do not really hold those values of socialism, democracy and human rights. You just hate the West.
"You don't really care about those values, you just hate the largest obstacle to realizing them"

uh-huh. and this is why I hate Walter Reuther and the ruling class that probably murdered him equally. They're both of the West, after all.

Anyway, please point to where I've endorsed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I don't think that the cause of socialism or democracy is at issue in this conflict except insofar as the continuing war is in general bad for people; the longer it goes, the worse it is. None of the participants are socialist and none of the participants are democratic. One of them explicitly bans any socialist or communist party, but that's not all that important to my analysis (though it plays a role in evaluating the government of Ukraine as not democratic). Russia is not democratic. Ukraine is not democratic. The United States is not democratic.

Where in any of your diatribe is any concern over what is actually true? Your analysis of what I'm doing here is as simplistic as if you think I've simply picked up a spear and aimed it one way or another. Maybe the exclusive focus on whether my arguments lead to a 'win' is revealing of your own approach; are you all about bourgeois illusory democracy, right or wrong, true or false? The way you speak of how the left 'takes the side of' other countries suggests it could be; your condescending claims about how terrible it is in those other countries overlooks the fact that we don't want them to rule the world. We want the international capitalist class with its nexus of power in the United States to stop ruling the world. And part of that is puncturing the narratives spun by the ruling capitalist class and its liberal mythmakers about the moral authority of the United States and its cronies relative to their targets. It has none.

I'm justified in not taking a position on how other countries which are targets of US imperialism choose to react to it because frankly it's not my judgment to make; it's a matter for them to decide; my role is in influencing in whatever small way I can how my government and its proxies act. And all I have seen in response when I say so is "but they're bad though". And it's like... OK? They exist in the way that they do in large measure because that was a natural outgrowth of an international order that the United States designed. In the case of Russia, the United States and other western countries literally participated in turning it into an oligarchy. This is what a world order dominated by the gangster capitalists of the United States looks like: it's not pretty. What would you expect?
 
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bluegate

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My thoughts after listening (poorly... I was also writing the rest of this post) are that the people painting themselves as favorable to Ukraine seem a lot more interested in humiliating Putin than preserving Ukraine.
Yeah, because letting Putin roll in and take over Ukraine would totally preserve Ukraine 😂
 

bluegate

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Negotiate a settlement.
What kind of settlement?

A settlement where Putin gets to annex yet another part of Ukraine? That will surely preserve it, I'm sure.

Keep in mind that Putin is a madman driven by some fanatical view of the USSR and Ukraine's part of it. He does not see Ukraine as being a country on its own, he sees it as an extension of Russia that has temporarily lost its way and needs to be brought back into the fold.

On one side you have Ukraine trying to be Ukraine, on the other side you have Putin trying to force Ukraine to be just another province of Russia, either through forceful annexation or political erosion.

With this man in charge of Russia, what kind of settlement can there be made between Ukraine and Russia?
 

Thaluikhain

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What kind of settlement?

A settlement where Putin gets to annex yet another part of Ukraine? That will surely preserve it, I'm sure.
As much as I think Chamberlain is too much maligned, can't help but be reminded of his actions in 1938.

Or, though bit more of a stretch, Palestine.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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Negotiate a settlement.
That's how it's gonna end one way or the other, but it's clear Russia will only ever agree to a settlement if their war effort comes to a stalemate. Unless Russia acknowledges the legitimacy of the democratically elected Ukrainian government and Ukraine's autonomy, there's not gonna be peace between those two nations. As long as Russia still thinks it can subjugate the entire country, there is hardly any other option for the Ukrainian people than force them to pry every little slice of territory from their cold, dead hands.
 
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Seanchaidh

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What kind of settlement?

A settlement where Putin gets to annex yet another part of Ukraine? That will surely preserve it, I'm sure.
A settlement in which Ukraine is demilitarized (to at least some degree), neutral, has made Russian an official language again, and granted significant autonomy to the Donbass despite the objections of the Ukrainian right wing.

Keep in mind that Putin is a madman driven by some fanatical view of the USSR and Ukraine's part of it.
Why would I keep in mind wild Kremlinologist speculation like that?


Or, though bit more of a stretch, Palestine.
Zelensky has said that he views how Israel conducts itself as a model for a post-war Ukraine.
 

Agema

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Pointing out the context of US imperial expansion is not selling out a country.
Yes, but you aren't just doing that, are you?

Throwing weapons into Ukraine isn't helping the people there.
It's up to Ukraine whether it wants to resist Russian invasion. It's not obviously wrong or inconsistent for anyone to provide them with the means to do so. It is a country that has, unambiguously, been subjected to an unjustified imperialist invasion. It has a right to self defence.

What fever dream inspired the premise of your questions?
The shit you keep blathering to load the moral equation in defence of Russia.

And that being the case, the United States must bear some responsibility for the war in Ukraine. In my posts I've pointed out some specifics of how the United States bears that responsibility.
And fine... if you want to criticise US foreign policy that potentially contributed to war, go for it. But again, you've gone much further than this, to comprehensively underweigh Russia's very real agency, policy intentions, and created a moral structure by which to effectively defend Russia's invasion. That's why so many people have pointed out that there is frequently little difference between you and the crudest Kremlin propagandist.

Anyway, please point to where I've endorsed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"Endorsed" is a subtle straw man. "Apologised for", "defended", "excused" is much more the line. You spent, remember, a long time assuring us a Russian invasion wasn't a risk. Then once it did, you shifted to making Ukraine appear the guiltier party, and proposing resolutions that just happen to grant Russia substantially what it wants. Putting this as a principle of "saving life" is sophistry. I didn't see you telling the Iraqis and Afghanis that it's their own fault so many of them died for not just accepting US occupation, but that would be just as reasonable. That you propose a resolution that conveniently rewards Russia for aggression is a massive problem.

Your analysis of what I'm doing here is as simplistic
Yes. And I can also read elaborate and beautifully constructed defences for intelligent design, against climate change, and why masks and lockdowns did more harm in Covid than benefit. This is because intelligence can easily be squandered on fabricating extravagant and detailed explanations for lies and delusion.

In some of these cases, simplicity is a virtue: the ability to cut through the bullshit.
 

Silvanus

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My thoughts after listening (poorly... I was also writing the rest of this post) are that the people painting themselves as favorable to Ukraine seem a lot more interested in humiliating Putin than preserving Ukraine. They want to inflict casualties upon Russia as if they expect Putin will walk away from this conflict with a loss. But Putin regards this conflict as an inevitable confrontation that it is absolutely necessary for Russia to win and that will be harder for Russia to win the later it is resolved (because Ukraine keeps getting more and more NATO equipment, training, and so on).

So, far better for Ukraine would be to limit the casualties on all sides so that Putin can more easily present the least demanding outcome to his people as a win. The larger the cost of the war on Russia, the harder that is to do. And the harder that is to do, the more demanding Putin will be in a peace settlement in order to satisfy the demands of domestic politics and probably the longer the war will go on because Ukraine will not accept. Ongoing fighting, even the various small victories for Ukrainian forces, are actually counterproductive to the interests of Ukraine.
This doesn't square with the actual trajectory of the war. Early on, Russia invaded on multiple fronts, aiming explicitly for Kyiv, the deposition of the government, and regime change. His soldiers said so; his state media said so; and he said so, on national TV.

The only reason that the goal of complete annexation has been abandoned in favour of "just" the Donbas is a result of ongoing effective resistance making such a goal too costly for Russia to pursue.

I'm justified in not taking a position on how other countries which are targets of US imperialism choose to react to it because frankly it's not my judgment to make; it's a matter for them to decide; my role is in influencing in whatever small way I can how my government and its proxies act. And all I have seen in response when I say so is "but they're bad though". And it's like... OK? They exist in the way that they do in large measure because that was a natural outgrowth of an international order that the United States designed. In the case of Russia, the United States and other western countries literally participated in turning it into an oligarchy. This is what a world order dominated by the gangster capitalists of the United States looks like: it's not pretty. What would you expect?
At some point, governments have to take responsibility for the actions they undertake, I'm afraid.

The vague stuff about how they grew as a "natural outgrowth of the international order" really does not take anyone very far. It's not a justification for any of this. Y'know, every country on earth is a natural outgrowth of the surrounding environment in which they found themselves.

And yet most of them-- including ones in much weaker positions!-- have managed to refrain from slaughtering and annexing their neighbours, and have managed to have tolerable living standards with only a fraction of the resources that Russia has at its disposal.

How the Russian government has responded to these situations is their own damn responsibility.

In addition, the international order in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia is also massively dominated by Russia. The government (for which Vladimir Putin acted as a violent state enforcer before taking the reigns, recall) held direct control over a swathe of republics; directed their governments and economies; sent their people to war; threatened and cajoled others, as the rival superpower to the United States for a century.

Following this, most of those countries chose to turn to European economic integration because (I'm sorry to say) Russia was an absolutely abysmal regional patriarch. It had mountains of natural resources it could have leveraged to improve the lives of the people, but it chose instead to funnel it towards the dynastic oligarchs and military complex. And the "gangster capitalists of the US" didn't force it to do that. The gangster capitalists of Russia did it themselves. It had nothing economic to offer to its former satellites in Eastern Europe, so it turned to military threat, and then acted like a fucking victim when those countries backed further and further away from it.

And y'know what, the US is a natural outgrowth of an international order, too. Every country is, but especially one that's under 300 years old. The international order that spawned it was, of course, that of the European Empires. Funnily enough, you've managed to finally divorce the US from that context, and to attribute it responsibility for its own wretched actions. And that preceding international order, by-the-by, was created by quite a few players, but very often chief among them were Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Austro-Hungary... and Russia.
 
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Hades

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A settlement in which Ukraine is demilitarized (to at least some degree), neutral, has made Russian an official language again, and granted significant autonomy to the Donbass despite the objections of the Ukrainian right wing.
A demilitarized Ukraine would just be a de facto Russian puppet state since it gave up the means to defend themselves from the country that seeks to either destroy them or turn them into a puppet state. A ''neutral'' Ukraine would also be a de facto Russian puppet state since it means it would have to face the entity that tries to destroy them or turn them into a vassal all alone.

Putin already made it clear that he doesn't really want a neutral Ukraine, but a subjugated Ukraine. Ukraine cutting ties with the west just means Putin's attempt to subjugate it will become a lot easier.
 

Seanchaidh

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The only reason that the goal of complete annexation has been abandoned in favour of "just" the Donbas is a result of ongoing effective resistance making such a goal too costly for Russia to pursue.
Do you even know what annexation means?