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  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent

    Your comparison of Russia/Ukraine to China/Taiwan is right in line with everything that I'm hearing as well. I have to think that the response to what's currently happening is making China re-evaluate HOW it wants to go about firmly bringing Taiwan into its territory.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    But China is far less vulnerable to sanctions. China is competing to be the largest economy in the world while Russia has a GDP somewhere between Spain and Italy. The only important export comodeties Russia has is oil and gas and they don't buy much. China are important in most types of goods. Actually oil and gas is China's main weakness, but China can probably buy it from Russia in case of sanctions.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent

    a fair point.

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  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,125MI6 Agent

    @Number24 said

    (please don't make this about the EU/Brexit).

    It will happen. It is inevitable. It is only a matter of time.

    I just hope the forum does not lose any more good members as a result.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent
    edited March 1

    Zelensky addressing the European Parliament:


    Again, I apologize for the bad language in the link itself, but this is the only place I've seen this posted.

    Zelensky apparently received a one minute standing ovation prior to this speech. His translator gets emotional during it. It's really something.

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  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,125MI6 Agent

    I looked on the internet and found this which I hope will be useful. It explains the Russian general staff has launch codes and have to authorise the launching of nuclear weapons. Yes, you could argue that they are all in Putin's circle but I am sure they would not act on his orders to do so (unless they were being attacked of course). IMO all this talk of nuclear war is what Putin wants you to think in the hope that it will create public opinion which is 'anti' to helping Ukraine and stop the west from going further.


    https://nuke.fas.org/guide/russia/c3i/

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    Good find, Joshua.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 1

    Sweden and Germany are two countries that have spent relatively little on defence since the fall of the USSR. Both have now decided to increase their defence spending significantly. This is wise of them, but it's also sad. There are so many imortant things these billions could have been spent on instead.

    I was doing my national service when the USSR fell apart. I remember feeling relieved and happy. I was glad the next generation wouldn't exeprience a devided Europe and world. I was glad people in eastern Europe, including the ex-Soviet states, could live in freedom. Now the citizens of Russia and Belarus again live under opressive regimes. Europe is again divided in conflict. I really hoped my niece and nephews would only read about this is history books. These are sad days.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 2

    It's always interesting to know how a war is presented on the other side:

    Ukraine: Watching the war on Russian TV - a whole different story - BBC News

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent
    edited March 2

    ExxonMobil just pulled out of Russia entirely as well, joining BP and Shell who did it yesterday.

    American Express also pulled out.

    I guess that's what happens when everyone expects the local currency to have the value of toilet paper for years to come.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    You forget how valuable toilet paper was at the begining of the pandemic! 😁

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent

    I'm sure that TP will be the local currency in Russia by the end of the week.

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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 2

    Is Thunderpussy in Russia now and Is he selling himself? I had hoped he was doing better than that! 😁

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    On a more serious note: In Russia you can get up to 15 years of jail for "spreading false information" about the "special operation" in Ukraine now, such as calling it a war or invasion. Two of the few remaining independent news sources left in Russia were closed by the authorities today.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    You've probably heard that UN's General Assembly has condemed Russia's war in Ukraine. It's the eleventh special session ever and the first since 1997. !41 voted for condeming Russia's actions, 35 countries abstained and only five countries voted in support of Russia. The five were of course Russia and Belarus. The other three are Syria, Eritrea and North Korea. That's some nice friends to have! 🤣

    China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Cuba and Vietnam were among the countries that didn't vote. Why South Africa? They're a democracy and I'm not aware of strong any hsitoric links between the two countries and I don't know if Russia has any economic hold on SA. Do you have andy idea why?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 2

    Here is a 15 minute geopolitical analysis of the Russian invasion.

    War in Ukraine could have global consequences - YouTube

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,625MI6 Agent

    I don't know why South Africa abstained? Must have some strong economic links to Russia. I am extremely disappointed to see India and Pakistan abstain, especially India and its strong links to the UK. Their economic links to Russia must be just as important to them. Would be good to see the Indian and Pakistan communities in the UK speak out over the abstentions.

    Good to see the UAE are now in support.

    Paralympians from Russia and Belarus now banned from competing. The right decision and good to see the Olympic committees have finally bowed to the overwhelming condemnation that they would be allowed to compete. I do feel sorry for the athletes of these countries that oppose the war. They're in a very difficult position, especially as they can't speak out without recriminations.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 1,125MI6 Agent

    I was surprised to learn on a TV news report that Russia has only the same size of economy as Spain.

    Once all the sanctions begin to hit them, surely this will have a bigger effect than we might imagine?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    India did buy a lot of weapons from the USSR during the cold war and I belive they still buy a lot of weapons from Russia. India also has a large communist party with a majority in some states (I belive).

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent

    I know we have rules regarding language here, rules that I strongly agree with.

    However, I have something to post that does utilize the F-Bomb. It's an English translation of a Russian professor's assessment of the situation in Russia right now. I haven't seen anything like it that clearly cuts through what we're seeing in Russia right now so I'm going to post both a link to it as well as the screenshot itself.

    Here's the link to the English translation:

    Here's a link showing this professor's credentials:

    Here's the screenshot itself of his assessment. Mods, feel free to delete if you feel that it's inappropriate due to language.


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  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,544MI6 Agent

    When you look at the list of countries that abstained, the majority were allies - to a greater or lesser degree - of the old Soviet Union. While Russia may be different than the old USSR, there are still many similarities today, especially under Putin. Whether those former countries are now showing a fondness for Russia out of nostalgia for the USSR or because of current relations varies from country to country. In the case of South Africa, their ruling ANC party received strong support from the USSR during Apartheid as the USSR did with revolutionary movements all over the world (including Namibia, another country which abstained). Among the countries that abstained which fall into this category in my opinion are: Algeria, Angola, Cuba, El Salvador, India, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Other abstainers are former Soviet republics including Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. The third most obvious group are countries who currently have now or who have had historical left-wing governments (this includes some of those already mentioned above), including Bolivia and China, etc. There are actually very few countries who abstained who don't have historic links to the Soviet Union, communism or socialism. In highly simplistic terms, the main difference between present day Russia and the old Soviet Union is a love of money. The similarities between the two: anti-free press, anti-free speech, anti-democracy, expansionistic, supportive of communist/socialist/revolutionary movements, use of sports as a sign of prowess, etc etc are considerably more common.


    While I don't find too many surprises amongst the abstainers and none at all amongst those who voted against the resolution, there are some heartening supporters of the resolution, in my opinion.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    That's a good analysis.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 3

    I think the invasion and following war will be a major shift in world affairs, especially in Europe. This is of the magnitude of the fall of the iron curtain/USSR and 9/11. It's a gamechanger.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    I'm 99.99% sure the photo is from Zelesky's acting days, but the photo is still very cool!



  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,880MI6 Agent
    edited March 4

    You are of course right. I think that the meaning of what I was trying to say in that post got a little lost in ambiguity so I'll try to state my case more clearly this time. I didn't mean to imply that I thought that Putin was ideologically a Nazi per se but that his actions were akin to those of Hitler. Obviously as an ex-KGB agent Putin sees himself as part of a long line of strongmen leaders of the Soviet Union. He seems hell-bent on recreating that kind of dictatorship in the Russian Federation and in reclaiming old parts of the Soviet empire as a buffer against NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.

    Obviously Communism and Nazism are very different political ideologies as extremes of the Left and Right respectively but, paradoxically, in many ways they are also two sides of the one coin. For example, both ideologies believe in authoritarianism, the state being in control of every facet of daily life and an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy at the expense of their neighbours. Stalin and Hitler shared a lot of the same characteristics. So when I call Putin's actions in invading Ukraine "Nazi" I don't mean ideologically but more in a "by their fruits ye shall know them" sense. Of course, like Hitler and Stalin before him, Putin sees himself not as an aggressor or Nazi but as a liberator rightfully and honourably restoring another lost province to Mother Russia. It's all much the same as how Hitler tore up the Treaty of Versailles or Stalin gobbled up the Baltic States that formed out of the collapse of empires that accompanied the end of World War I.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 4

    I'm glad we got that cleared up!

    Here's a graph showing the value of the ruble against the US dollar during Putin's reign. In case you're not fluent in Norwegian I'll translate:



    The grey areas show the periods when Putin was/is president. In the white area in the middle Medvedjev was President and Putin PM. The first dramatic fall of the ruble was after the war against Georgia. The second after the Russian annexation of Crimea and of course the last fall is after the full-on invasion of Ukraine started a week ago.

  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,597MI6 Agent
    edited March 4

    @ Silhouette Man:


    I understand what you say (I think) but imo your comparison to Nazis and Hitler are wrong.

    Being German, I am trying to avoid any comparisons to Hitler and am very careful calling people Nazis.

    In History, sadly - many leaders/countries invaded their neighbors, assaulted them, killed their civilians, destroyed cities and regions, raped women and children, killed them and so on. That is sadly not limited to Hitler - basically everyone did it in the dark ages,


    What makes Hitler‘s deeds „unique“ is the systematic extinguishing of a certain race, religious group combined with the sheer scale of that crime against humanity.


    So, what Putin currently does is disgusting and wrong, but I fail to see a major difference to Attilla the Hun for example.

    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    I agree comparisons to Hitler and calling people nazis are made far too often. But so far there are some striking simularities to Hitler's foreign policy in the late 1930s and what Putin has done in recent years. By that I mean a former empire where a authoritarian leader who talks about "bringing home" and "protecting" ethnic compatriots outside the borders. Then he attacks neighbouring countries under these and other pretects. I hope and belive the simularities will not be allowed to continue.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent
    edited March 4

    Our Green Party just suggested changing the name of a short stretch of street in Oslo to "Ukraine Street". The Russian embassy happenes to be on that street. 🤣🤣🤣

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,966MI6 Agent

    Sir John Sawer, chief of MI6 2009-14, speaks about the war in Ukraine.

    Former MI6 Chief On the Ukraine & Russia Conflict | Oxford Union - YouTube

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