The war in Ukraine

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    To a history nerd like me "the end of history" sounds like a nightmare.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    Indeed, and as has been shown, it's total rubbish. History never comes to an end, it just keeps going while the Earth turns on its axis.

    "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: 8,671MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    Today it's two years since the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The bravery of the Ukrainans and the brutality and dishonesty of the Putin regime still amazes me. Today I took part in an event in the nearest town arranged by the church and Ukrainian refugees. Slava Ukraini!


  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    Expert on Sky News saying neither side will fold this year - it will all happen in the spring of 2025, and even then it won't end but move into a different kind of war, with Ukraine putting up resistance where it can rather than fighting on the battlefield. Much depends, he said, on whether Trump will win the Election - if he does, this kind of war for Ukraine is over. He also said that with the US 'our' side would win eventually, but even without it we could win, we would just have to commit more. Putin, he said, is going all out and betting the house on a win while NATO is trying to wage war without being unduly inconvenienced. Not sure where China was in his analysis.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    A very reliable source there.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    Indeed. And the topic is of the greatest importance. I hope the British PM reads this news story carefully before making any more decisions on Ukraine.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    It sounds like something Anthony Burgess would have put in his mad TSWLM script.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent
    edited March 6

    Paris is experiencing lots of bed bugs these days, and that's not an euphemism. The French Europe Minister claims the Russians are behind it. I'm not ruling out anything, but I'm skeptical.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    It could be Irma Bunt though. Remember those giant rats she was breeding in the Australian outback?

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    The thing about Putin is they are very good at soft power, largely because they don't have the economy to do other stuff - he'd like the idea that Russia is behind the bed bugs in Paris stuff, just as he'd like people to think that he is able to sway the vote on Brexit or a general election. All he has to do is weigh in, and it can be seen as reverse psychology or direct influence, either way, he 'wins'.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    I think Putin was good at soft power, but Russia lost most of it after the large scale invasion of Ukraine. Before the invasion much of Europe was dependent on Russian energy, but remarkably quickly Europe found other sources of energy and pushed Russia out. The attitudes to Russia has nosedived in the same period. Both intelligence agencies and the public are more aware of other types of soft power such as fake Facebook accounts and other internet tricks.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    I wonder how many actually believes this?

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    Hopefully nobody of note is taken in by it. In the end analysis that's all that matters. As long as our decision makers aren't taken in by it we should be OK. What the general public may think is another matter entirely of course but happily they don't have much say in things. As they say here, Putin has no flies on him.

    "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: 8,671MI6 Agent

    He's quick. Just heard about the Titanic sinking too from the same source:


    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    "Breaking news: the UK leaves the EU!" 😂

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    It's news for me too, but doof3d reported it earlier today. 😁

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent
    edited March 10

    Where goes he gets all of these scoops? He must have insider knowledge. Up to date news brought to you by Dentist Waiting Room Publications. 😉

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent
    edited March 10

    Here is how Dmitrij Medvedjev says the map of eastern Europe should look, in particular Ukraine. You see Medvedijev's ideo of the future Ukraine around Kiev. Medvedjev is not a nobody. He was Putin's substitute as president of Russia for a few years and he's now the deputy chairman of the Security Counsil.


    Here you can see the internationally recognized borders from 1991 for comparison:


  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent

    Reminds me of General Orlov near the start of Octopussy. He's even wearing the classic Bond villain Nehru jacket.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    He has a certain Bond villain vibe. Medvedjev has gone off the rails in the last couple of years, or to put it another way: "Medvedjev threathens with nuclear war - it must be Thursday". I think his role is to play the bulldog so Putin can play the calm, sensible statesman to the Russian public.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    I think this photo is the perfect illustration of the technological aspect of the war in Ukraine. Twin Maxim machine guns mounted in the back of a pick up. The Maxims were invented in 1884, but are perhaps best known from WWI. But here there they are in use in the 2020's to shoot down drones! That's the war in Ukraine: trench warfare and cruise missiles, Maxim machine guns and drones.



  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    I'm not so sure. Hitler had a string of fairly easy Victories in 1939-41. Putin did have a few easy victories in the past, especially Crimea. He expected the invasion of the whole of Ukraine two years ago too be easy too. Ad we all know it was everything but easy. Perhaps trying to invade all of Ukraine will turn out to be comparable to Hitler's experience invading the USSR? I think Putin tried to bite off more than he could chew two years ago. I also think/hope there is a parallel where both the Soviet Union in WWII and Ukraine today got massive help with money and arms from the West. Even if Putin gets a military victory I think the Russian Army will have its hands full for many years controlling Ukraine and won't have the resources to go on new adventures. Ukrainian partisans managed to bind up huge German forces in WWII and nationalist guerillas we're a problem to the Soviets for years after the war had officially ended. This can be done again.

    But they may try something different to break NATO apart. (This is in large part taken from Anders Puck Nielsen on YouTube). They can attack a small and remote part of NATO. If most of NATO doesn't have the stones to go to war against Russia for (for example) a few square miles of pine forest in Finnish Lapland this can seriously undermine faith and unity in NATO because the organization is based on the idea of "All for one and one for all". Many NATO countries can start thinking "if NATO won't bleed for Lapland, will it bleed for us?"

    I think Svalbard is perhaps even more likely a target for a Russian attempt at breaking up NATO. Unlike the well defended Lapland the Svalbard islands has no military presence because of the Svalbard treaty dating from after WWI. Taking Svalbard will mostly be a job for the Navy and we also need to remember the Russian Northern Fleet has been almost untouched by the Ukraine war other than the great losses of their naval infantry. I think this is the only type of military adventure Russia has the ability to try in the coming years, and this would be an enormous risk to take.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent
    edited March 26

    Last night I had an interesting night. The former Europe correspondent from the public broadcaster held a lecture/talk about his experiences, mainly forcusing on the pandemic and later the war in Ukraine: the nlecture was in the village of Hellesylt. That's here, where Tom Cruise did the motorcycle jump:



    it was a very interesting talk where the journalist talked about the job under these difficult and dngerous conditions. Interestingly he served in the Balkans for NATO in the 1990's as a Military Police bodyguard, offering protections for visiting leaders of state. he finds this background useful because he knows how to get close to leaders of state to ask questions. In the talk he showed "behind the scenes" photos and told stories that were touching, personal and sometimes funny. He told how the locals and also journalists got so used to air raid sirens they no longer bothered to go to the shelter and rather stayed in their beds. He experienced this in a hotel where he was one of the few who got up and went to the air raid shelter. A few weeks later the hotel was hit and many were killed.



    (not my photo) The journalist in front of a photo he took that was later has been used internationally:


    We also heard of how welcoming and warm the locals often were. After Zelensky visited Kherson after it was liberated the president took a selfie at the location shown below. Of course the journalists bus headed there hoping to catch the president. but the Russians had also seen the selfie too and shelled the location, narrowly missing the journalists.


    After the journalist was finished talking about Ukraine his wife, who's a very good folk musician, played the fiddle for us. (again, not my photo). They are now settling as apple farmers where he grew up.



    Then the journalist talked about his experiences during Covid, especially in Italy. Again some of his experiences were pretty grim, but I'll mention two anecdotes. Traveling around during the pandemic he got to see some places few has been (almost) alone. He drove the autobanh without any other private cars around and at one point he and his photographer were the only one of St marcus square in Venice!

    He also interviewed a right-wing populist politician who once was an important leader in the Balcans. The politician was very anti vaccine, so imagine the journalist was offered all the vaccines from Pfizer to the Russian Sputinik and the Chinese one. This politician had bought loads of the vaccines while he urged his peopl enot to get vaccinated, and this was before the vaccines were available in Germany!

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent
    edited March 27

    .

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,217Chief of Staff

    ?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,765MI6 Agent

    !

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