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Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago

Corporate Media will hate this about turn. It has to be panic and sensationalism 24/7. Covid no longer provides this MSM fodder.

David Owsley
David Owsley
11 months ago

bingo…they need deflection/distraction: look over there! A squirrel! And when the time comes and most MSM start looking at what they have abetted and trumpeted the last two years (already starting) they will need a few scapegoats.

Warren T
Warren T
11 months ago

And the American President needs a distraction. No doubt, he will take full credit for the “de-escalation” just in time for the mid-term elections. The State run media in full tow.

Kevin Casey
Kevin Casey
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

The American president needs a distraction? I thought a new pet pooch running around the White House peeing in every corner would be more than enough to achieve that

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

Some observations:

  1. Putin has outplayed the West;
  2. NATO is obsolete and dysfunctional;
  3. Ukraine, a corrupt country of poor, drunk people, is not a vital interest to the West, except perhaps for fat old men seeking young brides;
  4. Ukraine is or was a vital interest of Hunter Biden and Biden Inc (a corrupt, family-run business, See, “the big guy….”
  5. Russia, a (former?) great power, has a right to a certain sphere of influence. Would the US not care if Mexico suddenly became part of the Warsaw Pact? Umm…. the Warsaw Pact doesn’t exist any more, but NATO still does….Wait, I just thought of something…..Would the US object if a country, say Cuba, allowed Russia to put nuclear missiles 90 miles from the US border? Nah,that would be fine.
  6. Game/Set/Match to Putin, w/o even firing a shot. Putin has already won. West, especially Biden, looks ridiculous. Germany too. If Russia is bad, Germany will get really, really mad and cut off their supply of gas from Russia that heats German homes and powers German factories. Great strategy!
AC Harper
AC Harper
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Plus a focus on a foreign crisis might remove some attention from the various domestic crises facing Biden. It might serve both Putin and Biden to play up the likelihood of war, at least this time.

David Owsley
David Owsley
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

and PM Johnson

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

WAG THE DOG?
No, that would never happen….

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Nearly as well as Khrushchev outplayed Kennedy in the Cuban crisis.

Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman
11 months ago

How outplayed? Kennedy blocked Soviet ships from delivering more missiles – they turned around and went home. USSR was also forced to agree to remove the already-installed missiles from Cuba. This humiliation strengthened K’s Politburo enemies, and they successfully ousted him in 1964. That is not what I would call “outplaying”.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Hoffman

Come off it you can’t be that stupid? Let’s go through the chronology.

Move 1: The US surreptitiously places Nuclear armed Jupiter missiles in Turkey close to the Soviet border.
Move 2: The Soviets find out and countermove by placing Nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Move 3. Both sides agree to withdraw their Nuclear missiles. QED?

However as you say the Politburo were disappointed that Khrushchev mishandled the propaganda, and disposed of him.

But surely you know all this?

D Hockley
D Hockley
11 months ago

I do not see many valid comparisons between the two situations.

Last edited 11 months ago by D Hockley
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Which comment are you referring to may I ask?

Last edited 11 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

You obviously don’t play Chess.

David Owsley
David Owsley
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I agree with all of that except point 2. Plus I would add that this is just another round in the bout that saw Hilary, Obama and the EU start something they couldn’t finish. Back then the rife corruption re gas companies was already involved, plus the EU’s yearning for expansion (necessary to survive) and even political assassinations carried out (I mean literal killing of “the other side’s” politicians) by those guided and paid for by the West. Putin ended up with Crimea (again).

Last edited 11 months ago by David Owsley
David Bell
David Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

You have a pretty low opinion of the Ukrainian people. It is neither fair nor accurate.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  David Bell

Fair play. Willing to be corrected. Is what I have said inaccurate, and if so, how?

James B
James B
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

As someone who is a regular in Ukraine, let me elucidate. The Ukrainian population is literate, ambitious for betterment, hard-working and deeply patriotic. They are also friendly and approachable, possibly more than any other nation I have met. The country is politically and culturally diverse, from the more progressive West, with its capital Lviv, one of the great undiscovered cities of Europe, to the the monolith that is Kyiv, a melting pot of West and East. The country seeks change, deep change and has, consistently, voted for this in free elections. Ukraine has freedom of the Press and freedom of assembly, no small asset in the post-Soviet world. You only make one point of value, these self same people have been utterly let down by successive governments, too entrenched in their Soviet-thinking, to make real progress. Corruption is endemic but, it is only by fighting this corruption, by seeking to change the status quo, that the nation will rise. Herein lies the rub. The potential of Ukraine is enormous, the will to change no less so, only for a small clique to spoil moves for real change. Ваш односторонний взгляд – мерзкий и неприятный.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  James B

Fair play. I know a bit more about Belarus, and the failure of the West, writ large, to help the valiant people of Belarus (no irony here) when they took to the streets at great, great risk, to remove Europe’s last dictator. I respectfully suggest that this would have been easier for the West, better for the West, and clearly the right thing to do on any number of levels.
When the West failed the people of Belarus (and the West’s own so-called values), Putin was watching…..

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago
Reply to  James B

My previous comment was made before reading this clarification.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
11 months ago
Reply to  James B

Well done on exposing JJ’s shallow racism.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

It’s not only inaccurate, it’s racist. Classifying politicians and corrupt business is one thing but layering it on a whole people is not on.

Kal Bevan
Kal Bevan
11 months ago

You had me until you played the trite and boring racist card…

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
11 months ago
Reply to  Kal Bevan

Ukraine, a corrupt country of poor, drunk people”
It wasn’t trite or boring – JJs comment about a whole people is a pretty basic definition of racism.
But I guess you think saying all black men have big ones isn’t racist either.

Last edited 11 months ago by Ian Stewart
Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

And by using a major cyber attack against Ukraine and getting NATO intelligence to predict a Wednesday attack, he’s effectively made fun of the whole shebang

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

Well said! Completely correct.

Warren T
Warren T
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

There is something in the genes of many Russian and Ukrainian women that make them extraordinarily attractive.

David Tothill
David Tothill
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

I like a Man who thinks with his Cressida

paul phillips
paul phillips
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce
  1. Not really – what Putin really wants is a compliant Russia-facing Ukraine. The majority of Ukrainians wish to face the other way – towards the West and EU. None of Putin’s maneuverings can hide that fact.
  2. NATO obsolete? Putin is giving it a new lease of life. NATO was only ever established to check Soviet (now Russian) expansionism
  3. Debatable but anyway not very relevant. And if Ukraine is indeed a basket case, why is Putin so keen to control it?
  4. Ditto
  5. This is a bogus analogy. In 1994 Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons. What you call ‘a certain sphere of influence’ is indelibly remembered by the people who suffered under Communist dictatorship as a brutal subjugation throughout Eastern Europe acting at the behest of Moscow. Many of these countries joined NATO to ensure that such history is not repeated.
  6. Back to point 1:It will never be game/set/match to Putin as long as the people of Ukraine wish to remain West facing – even though I agree that Germany has indeed carried out a disastrous strategy re energy for many years. Ukrainians remember past Soviet control only too well, not to mention Stalin’s genocide by starvation in the 1930s.
David Nebeský
David Nebeský
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Nonsense:

  1. On the contrary. Ukraine has much more military strength and ability and willingness to defend itself than it did a few months ago.
  2. NATO has shown its ability and willingness to defend its territory even where it was publicly doubted a few months ago.
  3. Russia is more corrupt country of poor, even much more drunken people.
  4. Ukraine may be not a vital interest to West, but it is vital interest to Central Europe – mostly NATO members.
  5. Russia’s right to a sphere of influence = Russia’s right to enslave neighbouring nations. Do you really believe corrupt poor dictatorships like Russia have such rights?
  6. Putin lost. Putin had an unrepeatable window for aggression now – US president has dementia, West is preoccupied by COVID, Ukraine was weak in Autumn, Europe had no gas before Winter… Putin did not take advantage of this short window of time and therefore he lost.
Pawel Kalinski
Pawel Kalinski
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Your argument that actions of US nad Russia are equivalent does not make sense: Last time I checked there were no efforts by the US to intimidate Canada or Mexico, nor American Little Green Men annexing Nova Scotoa or Baja California.
Even the comparison of the outcomes of Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe after WWII and US occupation of Western Germany and Japan shows striking differces:
Germany and Japan emerged from the Cold War as #2 and #3 economic powers. Eastern Europe was devastated by 50 years of Soviet dominance and needed following 30 years to rebuild.
Ukraine is at the start of that process. Putin is afraid that successful Ukraine may show Russia how damaging Putin’s policies are.

J Bryant
J Bryant
11 months ago

I’m not totally convinced this is a complete victory for Putin. Yes, he had many western countries running around like headless chickens and Biden looking increasingly ridiculous with his threats of really, really big sanctions (or was it really, really, really big sanctions).
But Biden will spin this as a major win. He talked up Putin’s intention to invade and now Putin has apparently backed down Biden will crow about the success of his diplomacy and what a strong President he is. You can bet we’ll hear plenty about his international statesmanship when the midterms approach.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I agree that that is a risk, but have you looked at Biden lately? The more this “statesman” is in the public eye, before a microphone, the sooner his ridiculous administration will end. They won’t be able to pull it off.
Biden will also spin that Afghanistan was a great victory too. Sad that no Super Bowl commercial/s hit that head on! Soon after the Afghan debacle, some private guy bought a billboard and had the fall of Afghanistan, the fall of Saigon, and Biden smiling with an ice cream cone. Was hoping for MANY commercials similar in tone.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It is only a win for Putin if he actually wanted to stengthen Biden.
I see this actually as a clear loss for Putin. Medium term he’s playing a losing hand – awful economy – especially when oild demand declines – dreadful demographics – will be outplayed by China. I suspect this is all really about his personal survival. Probably not safe for him to step down as Western politicians must – too many enemies and too much corruption.
I say this is a loss because he has re-energised and focused the West. NATO is no longer irrelevant. Indeed, Finland and Sweden may now wish to join.
Perhaps I should refine that – it is a loss for Russia. Putin may not care about Russia’s future as much as we think. Who’s the last Russian/Soviet leader who actually did something to improve the country and its people ?
The whole “Ukraine crisis” has been pretty much fake news from the start. It suits all parties involved to talk up the “crisis”: Johnson and Biden badly needed a distraction, 24 hour media always has space to fill, Putin gets to look important, Starmer can position himself as pro-NATO, Russia’s in the cross-hairs as a scapegoat when the economy turns down (“they caused the fuel price inflation” – or so we’ll be told). Everyone’s a winner – apart from the Ukraine.

David Nebeský
David Nebeský
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Ukraine is a winner, too – Ukraine has acquired enough modern weapons to deter Russia.

David Bell
David Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It works both ways. Putin now knows the West’s weaknesses but the West has also been made aware of them. Hopefully, they’ll take take lessons from this and remedy them.

Last edited 11 months ago by David Bell
Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
11 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Are sanctions really going to be a problem for Russia anyway? Thanks to years of Cold War isolations, they are old hands at self-reliance.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
11 months ago

A voice of sanity.
He mentions NATO. What exactly is the point of NATO, other than to agitate Putin? It was formed to defend Western Europe against a Soviet Bloc that no longer exists. I wonder when The Americans will get round to asking the same question.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Trump did. But when do massive bureaucracies go away, even when they are no longer needed?

Warren T
Warren T
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

But we are told to completely ignore any relevant and prescient comments, and any significant accomplishments and focus on the worst attack on democracy in the history of the world, 1/6.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I’d say some of those ex Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe are incredibly grateful of the protection being in NATO gives them. You just have to see the way Russia has annexed Crimea, eastern Ukraine and parts of Georgia to see why for those countries bordering Russia it’s an essential alliance

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m leading the FAF (Free American Forces) in a Baltic capital and will return to lead from the front when the shooting starts in the coming Civil War (soon).
While the Baltic states and Poland are indeed grateful to be part of the NATO umbrella, it doesn’t really mean that much. Do you think the US would have a nuclear war if Russia invaded the eastern part of Estonia, to “protect” Russians and Russian citizens?
NATO won. Call it a day, go home. Re-think alliances that make sense for today and today’s world, keeping in mind the diminished position in the world. That’s not going to change and will only accelerate with continued bad leadership…..

Sean Meister
Sean Meister
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

And the fact that nations like Turkey abuse their position they inherited from the Cold War to basically terrorise its neighbours just shows NATO’s weakness. Ask the Greeks how good of a “friend” the Turks are.

Bill W
Bill W
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

I find it amazing how Nato (or rather the US) tolerates Turkey. Then again, history shows the USA is consistently inconsistent with regard such things.

Last edited 11 months ago by Bill W
James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Bill W

Consistently inconsistent and not to be trusted.
Vietnam
Afghanistan
Iraq
Long list of people who were told one thing while the US did the other….

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Cyprus 1974, which resulted in the US Ambassador being shot.

Matt M
Matt M
11 months ago

…Jake Sullivan, Biden’s National Security Adviser, almost collapsed with the stress during the calamitous withdrawal…

Imagine his stress levels in San Quentin when he is convicted of illegal spying on Trump in the White House as is now being reported.

Last edited 11 months ago by Matt M
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Nothing’s going to happen to anyone connected to the spying. We’re all being played. Again.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

What a beautiful thought! Perhaps he’ll do a Jeffrey Epstein before arrest?

Yan Chernyak
Yan Chernyak
11 months ago

This is typical “Путин опять всех переиграл” (Putin outplayed everyone again), 10+ years Russian internal trope for reading too much into some mastermind moves and long opaque strategy of a simpleton and, increasingly, madman.
Putin is a troll, and very predictable one, if you pay attention. What makes this situation different is that his usual bluff in search of attention by his usual tactic “наезд-откат” (charge/rollback) for whatever reason was met by, incidental or, I would love to think, intentional, contre-bluff, like the West actually believed him, and this makes situation really difficult for him – he must either charge forward, which he never really intended, or lose face, which is the most singular hard thing for him to do.
The result looks catastrophic for him – The West seems more united than ever, no concession was made about NATO and Ukraine whatsoever, and Germany is really getting used to the idea of shelving Nord Stream 2 project, which they bitterly fought for several years. This is a new and, I would say, a very promising development.

Last edited 11 months ago by Yan Chernyak
Sean Meister
Sean Meister
11 months ago
Reply to  Yan Chernyak

It’s not promising at all. Nord Stream 2 was always the way for Europe to wean itself off of the malevolence of the USA. The reason it is being shelved is that the US is terrified of an EU which, now without the UK, is more explicitly anti-Atlanticist. US foreign policy is to provoke Russia at every turn to continue to isolate Europe in their favour.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

No one is “terrified of the EU”. And it is only “anti-Atlanticist” in your fantasy vierw of the world – the French are not the EU.

David Bell
David Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

Exchange U.S influence and become completely energy dependent on Russia. Brilliant!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago
Reply to  David Bell

It is the smart thing to do. The US has nothing to offer. Russia has cheap energy. This should be a no brainer

Warren T
Warren T
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

“Terrified of the EU”? Now really, that is cause for a guffaw.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

Irritated would have been a better word.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

Wow…somebody talking sense

Janko M
Janko M
11 months ago

As some other comments point out, I think the only win for Putin is if indeed Ukraine will never be part of NATO, as Olaf Scholz insinuated. Anything short of that is a failure since having given away his long-term intentions (including redeploying ships from the Baltic to the Black sea), he would not extract any meaningful short to medium term concession. To his credit, but also to the credit of the West, the build-up was very credible, i.e. it appears that there was a serious plan for an invasion in place. I think the West was actually sensible to not assume a bluff because indeed such movements have limited precedent in the last 20-30 years in terms of scope, firepower, etc.

In terms of figures, I also suspected the troop count a bit on the lower end, but given the strength of the air power and the ballistic capability, troop numbers would only matter in urban occupation zones.

In the end, if everyone walks away with the understanding there will be hell to pay for Ukraine joining, then Putin has won. Otherwise, he will have consolidated NATO and strengthened Ukraine in the long-term for not much gain.

I think he is a competent politician, knows when and how to take risks, but this build-up has been an open-ended story from the start. The insinuations that this is a master chess player speaks more of Western incompetence and geopolitical complacency than anything else and is frankly incredibly infantile. I see it as an easy way to wash our hands of the fact that many in the West believe to live outside history and thus externalise all the predictable consequences of our own stupidity.

Last edited 11 months ago by Janko M
George Kushner
George Kushner
11 months ago

“ Russia is not going home completely” 🙂 Russia never left home regardless of the weak grasp of geography by some Foreign Secretaries

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
11 months ago

Here in Singapore just now rather than a win it’s just reminded the world, especially Malaysia that Putin and Xi are despicable bullies. If you’re wondering why Malaysia? That was the aircraft shot down by Putin over Ukraine. Oh yes THAT unfortunate incident you say as you praise Putin. Yes that one with 43 Malays, 10 Brits, 27 Aussies,193 Dutch and 12 Indonesians among the victims. 80 were children for god’s sake, blown to pieces by a BUK missile system from inside Russia. I find it hard to read comments that casually forget the victims of this and an attack with a deadly nerve agent on British soil. Xi supports this now as he wants to consume Taiwan and Putin will clearly back this. Both are essentially fascist dictators- both changed the rules to be essentially Presidents for life. The apologists on here are no better than the woke lefties and CRT nuts they despise- both hate the West.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

You forgot to mention that wretched Xi inadvertently produced COVID-19 whilst carrying out dubious research at ‘his’ Biological Warfare Laboratory in Whuhan.*

(* Probably at the behest of the USA.)

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Well said. For some reason a large number of commenters on this site are beguiled by Mr Putin, as well as other dictators. Is it just the strong man syndrome? People that profess to support freedom are happily endorsing a man who would remove all freedoms from those who disagree with him, is this what some see as freedom, my freedom to tell you what to think and do? Sounds like the flip-side of “woke” to me.

Granville Stout
Granville Stout
11 months ago

Biden is now blaming Russia for the coming tsunami of inflation that was already about to hit the US, because of the amount of money printing they have done. Oil was already heading northwards before any hint of aggression in Ukraine.

Russell Parsons
Russell Parsons
11 months ago

I disagree with the comparison of Russia to Iran who, it is claimed, only want to develop a nuclear program to obtain concessions. I think Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons and, when the time comes, they will try and use them on their enemies – Israel is probably top of their list.

Michael K
Michael K
11 months ago

I don’t appreciate being labelled as a Russia-/Putin-apologist, but considering the Ukraine’s bid to join NATO, and Russia’s very obvious and clear dislike thereof, I really do have understanding for such maneuvers, indeed, I find them quite appropriate.
Ukraine is an important country when it comes to natural resources and agriculture, but it’s geopolitical importance should also be clear. If NATO troops are stationed in the Ukraine, the door is open for secret CIA bases and the subsequent tactical destabilization of neighboring Russian territories. The Russians, just like we “Westerners” (I actually hold this distinction to be ridiculous), know very well what the US has accomplished in foreign countries within the last decades.
Frankly I don’t even see why the EU should be afraid of Russia. They are actually very similar to us in terms of attitude, and they have a lot to offer to us, while we have a lot to offer to them. The headless, so-called “leaders” of the EU have just jumped on a popular train by constantly discrediting Russia for their different views. Various speeches I have heard of V. Putin have made more sense than all of the EU leadership could make in a year when put together. The same goes for the popularly demonized Bolsonaro, by the way.
To add some balance, I do believe that what became of Crimea is an absolute disaster.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Frankly I don’t even see why the EU should be afraid of Russia”.
Tell that to the Poles, Czechs, Estonians, … 40 wasted years after WWII.

Michael K
Michael K
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

There are reasons to stay awake and aware, but promoting fear like our media does it is not going to help anybody.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

With respect, that is an evasive reply.
Why shouldn’t the former east bloc countries, who were incarcerated behind an Iron Curtain for some 40 years by a brutal and repressive Soviet regime, now determine their own futures?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes indeed, and at the same time we must accept that the Ukraine has a completely different cultural and political relationship with Russia.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I have no opinion here other than that any independent country has the right to self-determination. If the Ukraine wishes to be closer to the “West” than to Russia that is their choice and should be respected.
If Russia wants Ukraine to choose them, they don’t seem to be going about it the right way.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Poland should have been more conciliatory in 1939 and not relied so heavily on the UK’s ‘ blank cheque’

Having been ‘off’ the map of Europe since 1795 they should have known better.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Victim blaming. So classy.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

What do you mean victim? They provoked a fight and got thrashed. Nothing more to be said.

Iris C
Iris C
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Wouldn’t it be nice if foreign policy was decided by international cultural exchanges and competitive sport? The citizens in all the warring countries (rather than the politicians) just want to enjoy cultural exchanges and compete against each other in sport, for personal and national prestige.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

What became of Crimea? Lol. Russia already controlled Crimea. It was already populated by Russian military families. They built a bridge, shut down border. Held a vote. A lot more honest than the Kiev coup

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
11 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Stalin and his brutes honestly destroyed the tartar population. Shipped off to the steppes to die.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Correct. Dennis is reading the Communists’ rewritten fantasy history.

Iris C
Iris C
11 months ago

Russia did not “thieve” Crimea. Crimea was part of Russia when international boundaries were set after WW2 and it had been Russian for centuries before that.
It was content for Ukraine to hold sway over that peninsular as long as it was an ally but it is strategically important to Russia with its fleet in the Black Sea.
54% of the Crimean population is Russian (Wikipedia) and the citizens voted overwhelming to return to Russia in the referendum that took place in 2014. I doubt if that number will have changed and, if you believe in democracy, then you should accept that decision.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

The facts disagree:
“The Crimean Tatars were forcibly expelled to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin‘s government as a form of collective punishment”.
It is not historically Russian by population. Or Ukrainian.
Not the only instance of systematic mass deportations – call it ethnic cleansing if you like – in Russian/Soviet history.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Crimea was conquered and annexed by Catherine the Great* in 1783**.From that moment onward the Crimean Tartars became a conquered, subject people.

(* A German by birth.)
(** The same year that ‘we’ lost America.)

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Lol. Catherine the great founded Sevastopol in the late 1700s. It is currently settled mainly by Russian military families. Both active and retired. There was no invasion. You don’t need to invade when you already have 30,000 armed men there and the territory is populated by your people. You read too much Western propaganda

Last edited 11 months ago by Dennis Boylon
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

The Crimea was transferred from the Russian SSR* to the
Ukraine SSR as recently as 1954 in an accountancy exercise.

(* Soviet Socialist Republic.)

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago

It was a semi autonomous region with an agreement not to settle from the West. Russia had a lease on Sevastopol until 2042 with a promise to extend indefinetely. Russia and Ukraine militaries worked together until the Kiev coup. The coup governmemt claimed they were going to kick the Russians out. That didn’t happen and barring nuclear war it isn’t happening anytime in our lifetimes

Sean Meister
Sean Meister
11 months ago

Putin behaves as he does because he is the only world leader that calls the US out on their weakness. The US is too busy training its soldiers with Equality and Diversity courses. It’s a superpower in decline, Putin is to be respected for mugging it off frequently and consistently.

Also hilarious that this article implies that Russia is terrified of China. It’s not. In fact it’s China who realistically cannot live without Russia. They get most of their imported food directly from Russia and they need Russian expertise to maintain and uphold defence networks both in Europe and in Asia. This is why the US has a potent foreign policy problem, a united Russia/China axis is basically undefeatable. Separated however it would be easy.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

More utter nonsense. There has never been and never will be a long term Russia/China alliance. Check out the border war after WW2. China is the rising power, Russia the declining one.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Correct. The Chinese haven’t forgotten that the Tsars pinched a large slice of northern China in the 1860’s.

They want it back, particularly now that it is ‘warming up’ thanks to Global warming.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
11 months ago

Macron claimed some time ago that NATO is ‘brain dead’. This appears to have been demonstrated by the fiasco of heads of state and foreign ministers vying with each other for the glittering prize of ‘the one who saved Europe from war’. Biden and Johnson may well rewrite history to claim this prize. In the meantime the talk of unity is belied by the gulf separating politicians and media in the US/UK and Europe. They are most definitely NOT on the same page!

Last edited 11 months ago by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago

Very sad that Johnson had to abandon a visit to the Red Wall, in order to posture in this laughable charade.

René Descartes
René Descartes
11 months ago

You say “Putin has won this round” but what on earth do you think he has won? He has united the EU, the USA and the UK as never before and he has ensured that whatever adventurism he tries next will be more difficult, costly and damaging for him. Some victory.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago

Well said.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
11 months ago

Tempted to miss the text and go straight to the comments with a “bit early for 20-20 hindsight” remark.
Following the ‘civilian’ comments for a while now, not many realise the invading force ratio. I’ve said if Putin wanted Kiev he’d be there already, three weeks ago.
Also the West, if their preparedness was anything, would surely have gone for the sort of air superioriy seen in wars recently, not a handful of Typhoons and F15s we’ve seen in Romania and Estonia. The Ukraine people would either stand aside for Russian tanks or put up such a huge resistance as to give Putin more than a bloody nose. In either case our involvement would be irrelevant.
Also the Russians rotate their conscripts out every so often. Body bags are bad for any government.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

There was more than a touch of WMD hysteria in the coverage of the western media.
What has Putin achieved? He has taught western Europe that they cannot rely on the protection of the US and the power (comparative) to whom they have to pay tribute is Russia

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
11 months ago

This affair potentially redefines how the biggest geopolitical squabbles will unfold and will have been followed intently by others… China re Taiwan; China re disputed islands; DPRK re US/RK and Iran re Israel. All the while Putin has the opportunity to dial the knob once more. The danger in all of this is the growing risk of accidental conflict and escalation that gets out of control. Arguably it has served to refocus Western minds about NATO although whether the EU can reposition itself is a question in itself. However we can expect plenty more emergent crises in the years to come.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
11 months ago

Let’s face it: no-one knows. I’m amazed at all these articles about what will and will not happen. Unless these journalists are mind-readers or clairvoyant, their analyses aren’t worth the paper they are printed on (or their space in the Cloud).

Bill W
Bill W
11 months ago

According to wiki per the IMF, Russia’s GDP on PPP basis is much larger than the UK’s and is 6th largest in the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Last edited 11 months ago by Bill W
Sean Meister
Sean Meister
11 months ago
Reply to  Bill W

Not to mention you take away services and the UK falls dramatically. Russia is a sleeping tiger. It has its own parallel tech sector due to US sanctions and bespoke domestic defences. I wouldn’t pretend that they are some backwater has-been superpower.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean Meister

Garbage. Dreadful demographics. Declining population. Awful life expectancy. Chronic alcoholism. Don’t produce and export anything anyone wants to buy apart from oil, wheat, raw materials and weapons – unable to produce quality goods and services. If the country’s so fantastic, why aren’t people queueing up to go and live there like the USA ?

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Cos it’s chuffing freezing.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

You could say the same about Canada. But people are queueing up to go there. Two fairly similar countries – large, cold, lots of natural resources. One’s popular. The other isn’t. I rest my case.

David Nebeský
David Nebeský
11 months ago
Reply to  Bill W

Yes. But its nominal GDP is between South Korea a Brazil – when the oil prices are up. And Russia’s GDP depends on oil prices.

Bill W
Bill W
11 months ago
Reply to  David Nebeský

And oil is priced in dollars.
PPP is far better measure. Or burgers. Dollar is a distortion. Well at least that’s how we looked at in capital markets.
PPP is far better measure. Or burgers. Dollar is a distortion. Well at least that’s how we looked at in capital markets.

Last edited 11 months ago by Bill W
hugh bennett
hugh bennett
11 months ago

Yes its all geo- strategically VERY Big, but even so the danger is to over think all this.
It looks to my simple soul like it was/is a very well executed “Political Reconnaissance‐in‐force”, i.e. a deliberate operation designed to discover or test the enemy’s strength, will, dispositions and reactions or to obtain other information?
Then again if Putin has gone mad…

J S
J S
11 months ago

The “GDP” comparisons are irrelevant. How big was Stalin’s GDP in 1945, or Alexander I’s in 1815, when each took Europe?

Bill W
Bill W
11 months ago
Reply to  J S

As noted, on PPP basis Russian GDP #6 in world way ahead of UK. And I agree with your wider point. However we live in a country that was discussing a while back adding happiness as a component of our own measure of GDP.

Vladimir Gorelov
Vladimir Gorelov
11 months ago

‘After weeks of looking like Russia was going to invade, Putin now seems to be backing down. Why?‘

Right- except it never looked like Russia was going to invade. Putin repeated it tirelessly. You wanted to believe your own nonsense – it’s your fault.

George Knight
George Knight
11 months ago

Maybe Putin has a grander play in mind. Putin is said to be a big fan of Peter the Great. In his day Russia was perceived to be European and the Ukraine, Finland and the Baltic States were part of Greater Russia. Maybe he just wants to regain these lands to the west, move the seat of government back to St Petersburg in order to be perceived as European. Then he could reduce US influence in Europe.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
11 months ago
Reply to  George Knight

I trust that Putin recalls that Peter the Great was very nearly ‘put in the bag’ by Johnny Turk,* during the Prut River campaign of 1710-11 just after his stunning victory over the Swedes at Poltava in 1709.

(* The Ottoman Turks.)

George Knight
George Knight
11 months ago

Nice one! I suspect though that Putin’s memory is selective.

Mark McKee
Mark McKee
11 months ago

I think the media are entirely to blame, rather than pinning it on a docile old US president who has no idea what he is saying. The MSM amplify every comment and ensure any worst-case-scenario is reported as an absolute certainty to scare the daylights out of people now that it is winter, so we can’t be talking global warming until April/May and the pandemic is winding down. The latest propaganda they are pimping on the cost of living crisis (note that every topic has a ‘crisis’ embedded in it) is the result of governments willing money into existence that far exceeds economic output, causing prices to rise (give it a technical term like quantitative easing and we are too stupid to understand that it is a phrase used since 2008 for inflating the money supply). This isn’t about war, gas supplies or commodity prices causing price rises, it appears to me to be daily MSM/government collusion to present lots of fear porn to distract us dumb plebs from serial failures of policy over the past couple of years and they earnestly believe we are stupid enough to fall for it.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago

Fine analysis.
I think the West has been right to spell out the Draconian nature of sanctions were Russia to invade – even if I can’t believe they have actually ever envisaged that remote possibility.
However, has Putin really won this round?
NATO membership of Ukraine has never been a serious or plausible prospect.
A formal (limited) moratorium would simply confirm the status quo.
Yes, Putin’s willy-waving has caste into sharper focus the fault-lines in the West’s relations with Russia between countries like Germany and the UK/USA, but the diplomatic response has been well coordinated and generally of one voice.
And Nord Stream 2 is on the table – a project now awaiting final technical approval, which is appearing increasingly ill-advised and merely underscores Germany’s precarious energy dependency upon a clearly unpredictable and ruthless dictator (ca. 35%).
Further protracted delays wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Putin has also succeeded in prompting countries such as Finland and Sweden to seriously re-consider NATO membership, and particularly the Baltic states to welcome a higher deployment of NATO troops along its borders. How is that a win?
And according to to the latest opinion polls. national unity and patriotic sentiment in Ukraine is stronger than ever before.
Short-term Putin may appear to have outplayed the West, but I don’t think he or his country emerge from this bizarre geo-political soap opera any stronger or more secure.

Last edited 11 months ago by Eddie Johnson
Charles
Charles
11 months ago

Let’s see how well this post ages…

George Ward
George Ward
10 months ago

This is just absolutely fantastic. So smug, you can feel David rolling his eyes at everyone else’s naivety as he wrote this. 1 week later, full blown invasion

Tim D
Tim D
11 months ago

Disagree with the author and most of the comments in agreement. He conveniently criticizes Biden for no action in January (“Why Biden has sacrificed Ukraine” https://unherd.com/2022/01/why-biden-has-sacrificed-ukraine/), and now for taking action. I am constantly amazed how graduates from Yale Law and Oxford Castles of Learning treat Foreign and Economic policy as bi-modal, sponsored debate. 
I can locate his commentary about social Media, Iran, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Greece. I cannot locate a description of his education and prior life. Is he fluent in Ukrainian or a Foreign Language? A blogger with access to high media? I am aware the Henry Kissinger brought Academic credentials to shape US Policy in East Asia with absolutely no credentials. Be careful who we anoint as Expert.
Social Media is reshaping not so much Politics but Profit through margin and the secrecy and exclusion it affords and inclusion it pretends. It is money that buys access to Social Media, either through promotion or spying return on investment. Want to end these major conflicts? Shut down Facebook is a start. Clearly identifying and auditing who it is whispering in our ear should be next, not how many likes they have.
James B and paul phillips are on point. Ukraine is a complex place and in my opinion, essential to where the World will go. Language barriers – Russian in Eastern, Ukrainian in Western areas are more than contributing to conflict. The history of Crimea alone is infuriatingly sad, and don’t start with Stalin’s treatment of Western Ukrainians in the 1930’s. 

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
11 months ago

The problem is that the West does not understand Putin’s motivation. He’s playing the game, but making the rules up as he goes along.
Is he after wealth? He’s already got so much wealth it cannot have any meaning for him. Is he after power? He has almost unlimited power.
Personally, I think he’s scared : he’s 69, death is on the horizon, and getting closer. That makes him dangerous. Is he religious enough to fear retribution in the afterlife? I doubt it : he could just be a nihilist. If taunting the West keeps him amused, that is one thing, but if it ceases to have entertainment value, we are are all in deep trouble. He might just press the button to see how bright the explosion is.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago

I don’t see how Putin is always winning when Russia keeps falling further and further behind economically.
A while back people reacted to his old rust bucket of an aircraft carrier sailing down the channel..it was making more smoke than Vesuvius and as great power demonstrations went it was a bit pitiful really, as is the recent history of the ship, Russia’s only aircraft carrier..all a direct result of the ever decreasing economy.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
11 months ago

So you’re praising Putin for chucking his toys out the pram?
He’s screwed up here. While the rest of the world is mature enough to realise that good international relations gets you benefits, Putin is still playing the role of 19th Century bogeyman. Russia is done now. It can play in a few minor wars here and there in its locale, but that’s it.
China is the one that matters.

dave fookes
dave fookes
11 months ago

“That’s the most powerful politician in the world — and a traditional modern enemy — pretty much at your beck and call. That’s Russia being a world actor. That’s prestige; that’s status.”
The human species still has a long way to travel before it emerges from the ‘jungle’. Primitive animal instincts continue to override logic. Hopefully, we can exit before childish games lead to our complete annihilation – either through nuclear holocaust or an engineered virus.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  dave fookes

If one listens to Prof Stephen Hicks extremely well educated people have produced Nazism and Communism. Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Hitler, Goebbels and Mao were all extremely well read. Scholarship can produce death camps.
What would be interesting to know is if Putin has made a profit. The price of oil and gas has risen approximately from the $60 to $90 barrel and has this paid for the military exercises ?
A Chinese Communist was asked his opinion on the French Revolution in late 60s his reply was ” It is too early to say “. What will be interesting is to to assess how other countries respond. Will Iran be more troublesome? Will Syria under Assad be more troublesome? Will Turkey flex it’s muscles ?Will the Saudis and other Arab countries try to develop better links with Russia and distance themselves from the USA? Instability increases oil prices so will OPEC support Russia in increasing instability ?Will China be more aggressive ?
Will France and Germany be more supine towards Russia ? A decrease in American influence in NATO allows France to increase her influence and push for an EU Armed Forces dominated by her? France was the jockey and Germany the horse; though this no longer works economically it can work militarily. Historically there were strong cultural links between Russia and France; Russian aristocrats spoke French.
de Gaulle said Europe is France and Germany, the rest are trimmings. An EU with France running defence, Germany industry and Russia taking over the Russian speaking part of the Ukraine would probably be amenable to all three countries and the EU. The middle classes of Europe will not risk a decline in comfort to stop Putin and he knows it.
The trimmings would just have to bear it.

dave fookes
dave fookes
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

“If one listens to Prof Stephen Hicks extremely well educated people have produced Nazism and Communism. Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Hitler, Goebbels and Mao were all extremely well read. Scholarship can produce death camps.”
Being well-read and highly educated really has little to do with intelligence. In my 71 years on this planet, I’ve encountered many highly educated people who were incapable of changing a flat tyre – or being able to organise a Sunday school picnic: let alone having the ability to fix a broken appliance, or navigate their way out of a forest. ‘Highly educated’ often simply means possessing a good memory.
IMO, the most significant attribute Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Hitler, Goebbels and Mao possessed, was their ability to ‘fire up’ the citizens and induce ‘mass formation psychosis’ – as some today would describe it.
Above all, the actions of people who initiate violence against their own species for personal gain, are the same employed by simple-brained animals. The dilemma humans are faced with, is learning how to prevent primitive instincts overriding logic. Unlike animals, the human brain has great capacity for logic.
‘Money-worshipping’, multi-billionaires who currently call the shots, are classic examples of the ‘hybrid-human’ I’m describing. Their instincts of dominance and power override their logic. Is it logical to go to any length to continually want more of what you’ve already got too much of?

Last edited 11 months ago by dave fookes
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago

Unherd should not be doing Russian analysis. It has been terrible. First all the Russians are coming fictions and now this. I would consider reading moonofalabama, Pepe Escobar, and the Saker. Westerners desperately need to balance out the mindless propaganda they are receiving.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
11 months ago

“and we let him get away with it.”
I’d like to read how we should have responded.
Perhaps like Scipio Africanus, moved all NATO troops to the Norwegian, or Polish, border with Russia to force President Putin to move his troops to counter the threat, as Hannibal had to respond to Scipio?

Carlos Alberto Wilson Pérez
Carlos Alberto Wilson Pérez
8 months ago

Hahahaha…and yet, Russia invaded…this article proved completely wrong.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
11 months ago

Russia is not occupying the Donbass. You shouldn’t be writing an article if you are completely ignorant of such impprtant facts

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

LOL! Really, Vladimir? The Separatists are under Moscow’s control.
You lied in the run-up to the invasion of the Crimea, and you are lying now.
Denial, dissemblance and distraction are an integral part of the Russian playbook.

Last edited 11 months ago by Eddie Johnson