The war in Ukraine

Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

The War Drums thread is somehow gone, but sadly the war in Ukraine continues. That's why I'm starting this thread as a successor to War Drums. The members who posted in War Drums were careful not to get personal. Especially on the rare times issues outside of Russia and Ukraine relevant to the war were mentioned we made a point of not starting discussions about political conflicts in those countries. I want this thread to continue in the same spirit. That being said -please post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Comments

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent
    edited January 12

    I feel that the West has rather taken their eye off the ball as regards the war in Ukraine. That's not surprising given all the turmoil in the world at the minute. Everything just seems to be ticking ever closer to disaster. I think Zelensky himself has said that he feels Ukraine has been forgotten by the rest of the world and the news media and he does have a point. The war there is of course still raging unabated despite not being in the headlines so much. The focus has understandably been on the renewed Arab-Israeli conflict. With US-UK military action against the Houthi rebels seemingly imminent that will be even more the case. The Biden Administration has also made clear that their latest arms package will be their last to help Ukraine so there is a sense that Ukraine will potentially struggle once that runs out. Of course we may have a new US administration by then led by a different president with different foreign policy priorities. It's all up in the air.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    While I have every sympathy for Ukraine, I fear that it was misguided to attempt to regain territory. While it hurts to lose land to Russia, a compromise situation needed to be sought. The problem of course is that Putin will not compromise and he will quite happily keep pounding away at Ukraine until the country is devastated. He really doesn't care. Why would he? No one will touch him in his ivory castle. Zelensky knows this but is assuming too much. The west will not keep pouring money and arms into his coffers if the war becomes a stalemate. I feel dreadfully sorry for the Ukraine and the Ukrainians, but it would have been more sensible of Zelensky and his generals to consolidate rather than waste valuable resources on counter offences. Should the money and arms run out though, I don't see the Ukrainians offering up any sort of surrender and the country will become a European Afghanistan, with Russia failing to subdue it and a grimy, guerrilla war continuing for years.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,198MI6 Agent

    I quite enjoy the way Ukraine has messed Russia about and held it up. Russia still hasn't 'won' by any stretch of the imagination. This matters, because everyone would have assumed it would be a walkover. The longer Russia hasn't 'won' the better imo. That all said, Putin really does seem to be a Hitler Mark II in as far as where he is - I mean, Hitler himself wasn't full-on Hitler, in 1939 of course. So Putin has rigged the media and spent so long in power being able to do this and shut down internal opposition, it doesn't matter his war on Ukraine is a dog's breakfast because the Russian people still think he's great and presumably believe he is wiping out the Nazis there - not the small, selective operation touted originally of course, but a whole country of Nazis, it seems. It's all part of the grand plan to restore Russian glory and territory to what it was, that's where the Hitler comparison comes in.

    Unfortunately, rather like the conflict in the Middle East, it threatens to expand. Other totalitarian states are giving Putin a hand, pitching in with missiles and so on. It's hard to isolate him, even Trump doesn't fill many with reassurance.

    I'm glad this thread has a different title - every time I saw 'War Drums', Duran Duran's Wild Boys started up on my internal jukebox.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    I think it's the other way round. Helping Ukraine is a relatively cheap way for the West to keep a strategic enemy under control. If we don't do it we'll get a stalemate or at worst Russia manages to "win" and the country becomes a military threat to the West again. The military and economic cost of this will be enormous. If the West instead chooses the relatively "cheaper" option of backing Ukraine enough to push the invader out (this can realisticly be done) followed by a NATO membership for Ukraine, much has been gained. Russia has suffered a strategic loss and won't be the treath it could become. Other dictatorships around the world who may be a encouraged by Putin's warmongering will learn that the West is loyal and willing to to stand for something. They will back down from other possible wars.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    I would also like to remind us that Ukraine has remained a lot of their country and only 18% is still occupied. Without even having a navy Ukraine has destroyed parts of Russia's Black Sea fleet and pushed it far away from their coast. The strategic Kerch bridge has been hit several times, the Russian HQ in Crimea has been hit along with the big dry dock. This is winnable.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,349Chief of Staff

    It’s ‘winnable’ - although I’m not sure anyone actually wins in a war - largely because of the backing Ukraine is getting from the ROW. Although money for weapons has dried up somewhat…the UK will provide £2.5b of ‘military aid’ - but only from April…the Hungarian PM (Viktor Orban) has blocked aid worth £43b from the EU…and the US the Republican Party have blocked a £47b ‘package of support’ because they want to increase spending on tackling migration on their southern border…

    Although the UK & US have just launched air strikes on the rebels in the Yemen….

    And there is also the current conflict in Gaza ๐Ÿ˜”

    YNWA 97
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    The bottom line (in my opinion) is that backing Ukraine enough to allow them to push the Russian military out will be far cheaper than the alternatives, not to mention that it's morally the right thing to do.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,198MI6 Agent

    James Bond connection from the Mail, over a year ago.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    I think we'd better avoid certain topics to keep this thread open, and one of these topics has orange hair and is pictured in your post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    I understand. I just can't believe the utter recklessness and stupidity of what he's said. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though...

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    Whoever Putin appoints to succeed him will be his creature. It's far more decisive what happens to the economy and on the battlefield, and of course how United the West will be.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    Yes, that's what I was thinking. His successor would be of the same mind. It's depressing but perhaps only a full-scale war would be able to stop him and his authoritarian regime. Of course the presence of nuclear weapons rather complicate the matter.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    There is already a large-scale war. I hope you don't mean a war inside Russia. No-one wants that. If Putin loses in Ukraine (especially if they lose Crimea) he's in trouble, but he'll turn it into a win in the state-controlled media. Maybe he says he stopped a make-believe planned NATO invasion of Russia in 2022. But if it's combined with economic problems and unrest inside Russia he can in theory get toppled.

    I can recommend the YouTube channel of Anders Puck Nielsen. He's a Danish strategist who talks about these issues with a lot of insight and thought.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent
    edited February 16

    Navalnyj has died in a prison camp in Siberia. The whole thing feels very retro to me.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    I wonder if he was aided in his death or was it just the result of the harsh and cold conditions he was being imprisoned in? The Russians have said he went out for a walk, said he was ill and then just died. It all seems very convenient.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    I died because he was in jail, and he was in jail because he dared to be in opposition to Putin. That's murder regardless.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    Yes, I had the chilling feeling earlier today that we're back in the time of the Gulag and the Nazi concentration camp. Hard to believe the world is going backwards instead of forwards.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    Going backwards forwards quickly!



  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    And going to hell in a handcart as well! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    Ian Fleming would find this very familiar after his time as a journalist covering the Moscow process in the 1930's.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    Yes, history repeats itself. It has to. Nobody listens the first time.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,198MI6 Agent

    'Epstein' is trending on Twitter, many making the point that Jeffery Epstein died in a US jail and many don't believe it was suicide - neither do I really, though the State will often do that thing where they can run a person down so it's even money whether they were murdered or opted for suicide instead. Not that there's sympathy for Epstein, rather, it's said he was taken out because he had dirt on public figures invited to his dodgy parties.

    So, the thinking goes, if Epstein could be killed in a jail, what's the difference with Navalny. Same goes with Julian Assange - it's open that the FBI or CIA I forget which tried to bump him off, this was in the Times a while ago. You can say that these aren't in the same category as Navalny but then again it's a matter of perspective.

    On top of which, Navalny talks in footage about sharing a platform with far right groups, saying if that's. what he has to do, so be it, talking of an alliance really. But Corbyn 'shares a platform' with various types and suddenly he's the bad guy who can't be trusted, it's one rule for one and different for the other.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been having fantasies about carrying out a Draco-style aerial attack on Putin's palatial waterside residence for some time now.

    Even so, it's hard to see how to get Putin back. Even if you bar Russians from setting foot in Europe, that's tricky because in terms of espionage, you need these types if you are to recruit spies. You need Russians around to keep an eye on them. You could bar Putin from Europe but he has enough land to play with, albeit it's Russia. If you wanted him assassinated then you need him to set foot on non-Russian soil. And if you succeeded, well, who's to say his replacement wouldn't be just as bad or worse. The whole strata of Russian society is corrupt now.

    That all said, seeing the way postmasters have been driven to bankruptcy, mental health problems and suicide via the Post Office lawyers, not to mention the way others in the country are treated I can't say we're wholly different over here. I like the way Lord Cameron speaks on the issue of Navalgny's death - but he was PM of course and in those years the UK rolled out the red carpet to Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, because that was where the money was/is. This is the result, after they enabled Russia and its oligarchs. See Moneyland by Oliver Bullough and his follow-up book Butler of the World for more on this.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent
    edited February 17

    When it comes to Epstein I don't think someone who's been convicted for sex traficing and child abuse needs to be given any extra motivation to commit suicide. He went from being in the 1% at the top of the world to being the lowest of the low in the prison system.

    Russia and the USSR has nearly always been a hard target for espionage simply because it's an authoritarian state. I understand "Moscow rules" is a term in the CIA, and it's the extra safety precautions agents have to follow there. When it comes to assassinating Putin I very much doubt if that's being considered by international inteligence services. Partly because it's a hight cost/low reward situation. We also need to remember that leaders of state in real democracies need to show themselves spending time with normal people, especially while campaigning. Authoritarian leaders don't need to do that, so leaders in democracies are easier to kill than leaders like Putin. I don't think CIA has tried to kill leaders of state since Castro in the early sixites. Russia are very active when it comes to assassinations and they barely bother to deny it. "We didn't do it and we have proof we won't show you that the CIA did it ... or was it the British or the French? He deserved to die anyway, but we din't do (/wink, wink)"

    Does anyone really belive Putin didn't order the hit on the Wagner leaders?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    It's possible I may have started confusing Moscow Rules and Moscow Mules at some point ....

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,623MI6 Agent

    ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,349Chief of Staff

    At least they have a good sense of humour ๐Ÿคฃ

    YNWA 97
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,583MI6 Agent

    It's back to Star Wars again as if there wasn't enough going on already! Remember when they told us about the New World Order and "the end of history"? Whatever happened to that?

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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