War Drums

GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,154MI6 Agent

As I write this, Russia has just started its invasion of Ukraine.

I send wishes for good health and safety to all of my AJB friends in Europe and Asia. Take care of yourselves and your families. We may be entering into something that spirals out of control.

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Comments

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent
    edited February 24

    Thank you, @Gymkata

    While I don't believe I am under immediate threat in London, this is quite possibly the most frightening single act of aggression I've ever seen in my lifetime. OK, we've had numerous wars in Africa, we had the Falklands, the Balkan crisis, we had Iraq-Kuwait, and the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this really is something else entirely.

    I've listened to some of Putin's speeches. His view of history is warped and deliberately ill-informed. His reference to Russia as the U.S.S.R. recalls a time when battle lines were drawn at the Iron Curtain. Eight years after the Ukraine people voted out a Russian sympathetic government, he's still narked about it and this is retribution. He's been planning this for years, has stock piled financial, economic and military wealth and might and has been supporting separatists in two minor border regions so as to provide an excuse to provoke an invasion. His line that Russia is "under attack" is an outright lie. He knows it and doesn't care. The response by our government yesterday was as shambolic as everything this bumbling administration does. Sanctions against a few oligarchs. Putin laughs at us. He won't even worry if Russia is kicked off the U.N., blocked by trade embargos, has assets frozen, embassies closed - he's prepared for this, it is exactly the situation he wants - the same ruse Hitler used in 1938. Russia against the world. He will push and push and push until he gets what he wants or there is war.

    I am very worried.

    I should add, I know a family of Ukrainians, their mother escaped the old USSR just after the war. She's old enough to remember life under 'Uncle Jo' and has said all along that Putin isn't a man to be trusted - he reminds her too much of Stalin.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited March 10

    The situation in Ukraine is very serious. The situation in Europe hasn't been this worrying since about 1990 and probably earlier. But NATO and the US won't go to war over a non-member state. Neither do I belive Putin will go to war against a NATO member. I'm more worried about Georgia. Putin probably dreams of getting the Baltic states "back into the fold", but he won't dare invade a NATO country.

    This war will increase the gas prices and most likely we'll see many refugees in central Europe.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent

    Yes @Number24 it is certainly true he's invading a country that he knows isn't bound to NATO, which gives him a level of 'defence' he may not receive otherwise. But where is the line drawn by the U.N.? In 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, a sovereign nation recognised by the United Nations - as is Ukraine and has been since 1945 - in an act of flagrant unprovoked aggression, the correct meetings were held and the coalition forces headed by the USA launched a counter thrust. Now, that was Iraq. No disrespect, they proved a poor opponent and Saddam was forced to kick his heels. This is Russia and the response, which I am afraid to say ought to come, needs to be on a far larger scale and with the likelihood of being more bloody, more devastating, more prolonged and more humiliating. I understand your point about NATO, but isn't this a U.N. situation? If war isn't the option, Russia should be made a pariah state, kicked out of trade, politics, travel, diplomacy, finance, repatriation, etc. I am not in favour of this as a general rule, but I'd prefer it to war. Sadly, I don't think it will save Ukraine. We live in a time of self-serving political leaders who cannot see further than the end of their nose. We need a statesman and there isn't one. Putin knows it. He's waited for this opportunity - fostered it even by tacitly supporting people like Donald Trump as he secretly laughs at them - all the time pretending to be aiding the west with his primary export of gas. Putin hasn't been dealt a bloody nose for a long time and, even though I hate to say it, that time might just be coming and if it does it will be very very bloody indeed.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited February 24

    The modern Ukrainian state became independent in 1991, and I don't think any country considered or reccognized it an independent state in 1945. In 1991 Ukraine gave up the nuclear weapons the country "inhereted" from the USSR in return from guarantees from Russia that their borders would be respected and recognized. The UN has been clear and condemed Putin's actions, but Putin just says the West has forced them to do so. In fact the international reaction has been unanimous (exept Belarus and a certain orange ex-president). China is neutral. The West won't and can't send troops to Ukraine. Thank god we don't have a "statesman" who wants to send troops to Ukraine and start a full-on war with Russia. I'm afraid supporting Ukraine with weapons, money and other equipment and punishing Russia with sanctions are the options available. Boris Johnson is doing the right thing (!) by having levels of sanctions. The first level for what he just did, probably the next level for invading the entire two "independent" counties and the most severe if he takes the whole country. If Russia attacks all of Ukraine with all the forces available Ukraine can't stop them, but guerilla warfare is possible. I agree Russia should risk becoming an internatiional pariah, but the West boycotign Russia won't have the same effect it once had.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,632MI6 Agent

    Wise words Gentlemen. It is an extremely worrying, frightening and depressing time. This could drag on for years and escalate to something none of us dare imagine.

    I am very worried. In the UK, we may be thousands of miles away, but Putin has shown in the past his ability to conduct cyber attacks and more worryingly, Novichok attacks on our home soil.

    I hope and pray for a diplomatic end as soon as possible, but have to be honest and think Ukraine will fall back into Russian hands very quickly and neighbouring sovereign states could be next on this maniac's hit list.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent

    Ukraine declared independence from the Russian Imperial State in 1918 (I think) and was a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922, but although it was effectively part of a single political entity, it always remained the Soviet Republic of Ukraine. When it gained independence in 1991 this was achieved smoothly because it had a formal internal administration in place. The country's history is far longer, but it has been occupied for most of that by Russian rulers.

    I'm not advocating war- I really don't want it - I sense an inevitably - if not now in the near future. This is not sabre rattling any more. It is an invasion of a recognised sovereign territory.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    There was an independent Ukraine from 1918 to 1922 as you say. But from 1922 to 1991 Ukraine was a republic inn the USSR, meaning they just like all other Soviet republics had no independence.

    This is so very dark and serious. We have a full-on war between countries in Europe, something we really haven't seen since 1945. What we've seen earlier in Ukraine was more of a low-level simmering war and the wars in the Balkans in the 90's started as a civil war.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,719MI6 Agent

    Putin is famously in good physical shape - but he behaves like the fat kid who's always reaching for another jam doughnut.

    Nobody wants go go to his crappy country - because he's made it like that - that's why it doesn't have an immigration issue.

    I was going to add a flippant comment that I'm off to see Thunderball this afternoon, but as the last post is from Number24 I won't. The opening comment here expressing fears for us in London warrants that kind of response, but as Putin is also referring to Finland as part of historical Russian territory, and No24's Norway close to, it short of pulls me up short a bit.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,719MI6 Agent
    edited February 24

    Sorry, this was meant to go on the Currently Listening to thread...

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    Are you sure this is the right thread?

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,154MI6 Agent

    It appears that Belarus is now involved, sending their troops into Ukraine to assist Russia.

    Also, all of Ukraine is under attack, not just the two supposed areas that Russia was going to recognize.

    This has escalated.

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  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent

    Is that Belarus troops or Russian troops stationed in Belarus ? It's a Kremlin tied state anyway, so I would expect this kind of collaborative behaviour. But yes, all of Ukraine is under attack. The Russians have targeted the airports and communication centres across the country. That is standard military practice during an invasion, to restrict the ability of the opposition to operationally function. Civilian airports have been targeted as well as the military airfield at Kharkiv. People often forget how close Kiev is to the Russian border, only about 100 miles. Kharkiv, Kiev and Lviv are all easily accessible to the Russians and these are the three major cities in the north; Odessa is reachable from the Crimea and by a navy from the Black Sea. The country is basically surrounded on three sides.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,632MI6 Agent

    Heartbreaking to hear of civilian deaths already and see the pictures of bomb damaged civilian homes. Innocent people FFS!

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,551MI6 Agent

    It's heart breaking and infuriating at the same time. So many world leaders have Ukrainian blood on their hands for not doing anything when Putin invaded the Crimea. A more robust response to that might have prevented or at least delayed this. Putin will have all of Ukraine within a short period of time. He will occupy it with Russian troops and install a puppet dictatorship. He will ruthlessly hunt down any opponents. Once he believes he has subjugated the whole country he will claim he has made it safe again for everyone. As long as Putin is in power or any of his sycophants and lackies, Ukraine will be an occupied state. It's devastating.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent

    Indeed he will. I fear too for tiny Moldova. It's right next door and was also once part of Tsarist Russia, one of the historical eras Putin referenced in his warmongering speech on Tuesday. The USSR constantly disputed Moldova's right to firstly be independent, then to remain inside Romania, eventually ceding it in 1940 as part of a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. If Ukraine falls, Moldova is an easy target for Putin and it too is not a NATO country. If people think he'll stop at one country, look at the history of dictators and military despots and learn fast.

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,551MI6 Agent

    He will take this as far and as fast as he possibly can, and that is why today's response by other nations is so vital. If he smells a reluctance to go hard against Russia, he will just keep rolling on and on. While he doesn't want thousands of flag-draped coffins flying back to Russia (although he'd go to enormous levels to hide it even if they did), he certainly has no desire to back down either. As has been said, he has planned this and prepared for it for a long time. I bet he even built up a hoard of Botox for his face.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited February 24

    I agree with The Domino Effect that a more robust response to Russia's invasion and occupation of Crimea may have prevented this.

    I hear a good number of Russian athletes, pop stars and other famous people have spoken up in social media today against the invasion. They probably know they won't be on TV in the future. While celebrities aren't important in these situations it may be a signal that many Russians don't support what Putin did today. According to a state-owned polling institute about 73% of Russians supported declaring the rebel counties independent and sending "peace keeping forces" there. I can understand that given the propaganda they hear. But immediately following up with a full invasion of the whole country could prove much less popular.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    International air travel has changed today .....



  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited February 24

    Russian forces have conquered Chernobyl. Here's a photo, but I'm not sure it isn't doctorted somehow: 😉



  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited February 25

    One of Putin's many lies is that Russia is going to "de-nazify" Ukraine.

    • In the 2019 Ukrainian elections the far-right National Corps party only got 2% of the votes.
    • President Zelensky is Jewish. Everyone who has even a basic knowledge of of the nazi ideology knows an "nazified" country with a Jewish president is a contradiction in terms.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,898MI6 Agent
    edited February 27

    Ironic too that the dictator spouting this spurious nonsense is actually the biggest Nazi we've seen operating in Europe since 1945. Putin is the same man who annexed Crimea into the Russian Federation in 2014, the first such annexation in the European continent since the end of World War II. I really do wonder who Putin actually thinks he's fooling, because it certainly isn't the West, nor I imagine the majority of the Russian population. Maybe it's himself he's fooling of course. It's all scarily reminiscent of the trumped up sob stories of German nationals in foreign territory Hitler used as a pretext to annex the Sudetenland in 1938 and to launch his invasion of Poland in 1939.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited March 10

    While military agression is one component of nazism I don't think those facts prove Putin is a nazi. But combined with strong-man propaganda, nationalism, homophobia, anti-democracy attitudes, anti-feminism and practically no non-white immigtation is enough to make Putin a hero among neo-nazis around the world.

    To be fair the Azov battalion is not only one of the most successful Ukranian units so far, but also has many neo-nazis among its ranks. I know foreign neo-nazis count both the Russian-supported Donetsk and Lugansk regions and independent Ukraine among their favourite "war tourism" destinations.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    For the first time since WWII (I think) Germany is sending weapons to a country at war - Ukraine. In less important news Norway hasn't exported military equipment to a non-NATO member country at war since 1959, but now the government seriously considers sending non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine. Will the Russian invasion become a major shift in international relations like 9/11 and the end of the (first) cold war?

  • Dirty PunkerDirty Punker ...Your Eyes Only, darling."Posts: 2,587MI6 Agent

    The nuke threat is quite something. Biggest thing I'm worried about if it becomes not just Putin.

    And I hate the fact that people honestly believed his word that he wouldn't go in considering his statements.

    If he can contradict himself this badly, where does this leave bullies like Erdogan?

    Not to mention he's using cluster bombs against civilians, something banned by the Geneva convention.

    It is pretty worrying to be in Europe at the moment, for me.

    a reasonable rate of return
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,719MI6 Agent

    'At least wait until they've finished the James Bond season at London's Prince Charles cinema.'

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    I don' think the nuke threath is signinficantly worse than it was. Putin raised the alertness level of the nuclear forces for political reasons. His propaganda story he feeds the Russian people is that Ukraine is ruled by coupmakers who are puppets for NATO (and drug adicted nazis 🤣) and he's really oposing NATO agression. How can he not raise the alretness when he's actually standing up to NATO?

    Putin will not start a nuclear war and he won't start a war against a NATO member. He has his hands full (and maybe bitten off more than he can chew) in Ukraine.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,154MI6 Agent

    He's already got some of his oligarchs telling him to end this. They know what's coming on Monday with the value of the Russian currency.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent
    edited March 25

    I think Putin miscalculated three things: the resistance against the invasion faces in Ukraine, the unified and tough reaction in other countries and how many people at home in Russia dislike the invasion. Let's hope Putin gets a bloody nose!

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,066MI6 Agent

    I want to be confident, but Putin is clearly no longer living in a world where his mind functions normally. So far, he has carried through exactly what he has said he is going to do, admittedly not as successfully as he would like. Surely, we shouldn't be flippant about his boast that he has 500 nuclear weapons ready to obliterate the west ? This man is unhinged. If he isn't unhinged, I sadly believe he'll likely get concessions which will only make his position in Russia stronger and believe he can do this again. It's like giving candy to a child whose misbehaved. He's laughing at the west. He genuinely doesn't believe we will stand up and fight him. While we can't [yet] put boots on the ground, it will only take one minor infringement of whatever Putin believes is unacceptable provocation [freezing his assets ?] and he's likely to set one of these nukes off. My parents remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and they've never been so worried. We are not dealing with a rational man here. Trying to guess what might be his rational behaviour is impossible.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,154MI6 Agent
    edited February 28

    I'm just afraid that, when faced with the choice of retreating in defeat OR letting the world burn, he'll choose the latter. I could see him saying F it and just launching everything.

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