Russia and the West

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
As mentioned in a previous post, Sweden started patrolling the streets in Gotland, Thursday last week. Since then, additional Swedish troops have been sent, both Friday and Saturday.

The emergency unit landed at 18 o'clock on Friday evening at Visby airport with crew and equipment from Norrbotten's regiment (I 19) in Boden. The unit was flown with a C-17 plane from Heavy Airlift Wing, an international collaboration in which Sweden participates where the plane is based in Papá in Hungary. The transport plane flew to Kallax in Norrbotten where personnel and equipment were loaded on board on Friday. Parts of the emergency force from I 19 were transported by vehicle and arrived in Gotland by ferry during the night towards Saturday. The effort should be seen as an adaptation to the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine.
Google translated from: Operativa beredskapsenheten sätts in på Gotland - Försvarsmakten (forsvarsmakten.se)

In other news, Sweden is investigating unidentified drones flying over Swedish nuclear plants:

Swedish law enforcement officials have confirmed that unidentified drones have been seen in the airspace over multiple nuclear power facilities early in the evening of Friday, January 14. An investigation has been launched by Sweden’s National Operations Department (NOA), but so far no suspects have been identified.

The Swedish Police Authority say the drones were seen over two separate nuclear facilities: one in the city of Forsmark and another over Oskarshamn. There are reports that a third nuclear facility at Ringhals had similar incursions, but Swedish police have yet to confirm that drones were in fact seen there. According to Reuters, the facility at Forsmark is the nation’s largest producer of energy.
Swedish TV station TV2 reports the drone seen at Forsmark was thought to be “a larger model that can withstand wind as it blew hard in the area.”
Mysterious Drone Incursions Confirmed Over Sweden's Nuclear Facilities (thedrive.com)

Belarus and Russia will conduct "sudden battle readiness check", claiming Polish troops deployed near border of Belarus is a provocation:
"Belarus and Russia will conduct sudden battle readiness check for Union Resolve 2022 exercise, will gradually increase number of troops and equipment" - Deputy Chief of Staff of Belarusian Armed Forces, - says deployment of Polish military near border of Belarus "could be only for provocations" - belarus.liveuamap.com

As most of you know already, the Polish troops close to Belarusan border are there because of the illegal immigrants supported by by Belarusan forces trying to cross the border :
Polish Border Guard: On January 16, 38 people tried to illegally cross the border between Belarus and Poland. On sections PSGDubiczeCerkiewne and PSGCzeremcha group of 6 people and 34 supported by the Belarusian force services were pushing the border by throwing stones and tree branches at the SG officers and soldiers of the Polish Army
 

Feanor

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What is definition of ethnic Ukraine ? There's many definition on that but seems most historian agree the origin of this ethnicities are west of dnieper river. By that definition the Ukrainian Etnics are those that in Western Ukraine.

Present Ukrainian regime also put counter Propaganda that saying those in Ukraine are indentifying themselves as Ethnic Ukraine, including those in East. So it is Ukraine Propaganda against Russian Propaganda which basically both of them are similarly questionable.

For that I see 3 things that really shown what ethinicities they are:
1. What is their mother language,
2. How they are political tendencies (where they vote goes),
3. Where those teritory actually originated from.
For better or worse, Russians and Ukrainians are so close together culturally and ethnically that it's mostly a question of self-identification. Ukrainians are the people who consider themselves Ukrainians, and vice-versa.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
Sociologist seems put mother language as part of enthic identification. Still, when ethnic cards already been played for some time, and already creating armed conflict, it's never end well asside some separation being done.
 

Feanor

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Sociologist seems put mother language as part of enthic identification. Still, when ethnic cards already been played for some time, and already creating armed conflict, it's never end well asside some separation being done.
Anyone in Ukraine claiming to be Russian is pretty much guaranteed to speak Russian like a native. Meanwhile there are people who are indisputably ethnically Ukrainian, and identify as such, but may not speak Ukrainian.
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
I'm also not interested in emphasising things over and over again. I will say however that there are 2 two sides to every narrative; that adopting the position that one side is solely or largely to blame and viewing things mainly from the narrow lens of one particular side provides a very convenient and appealing narrative but one which is distorted, inaccurate and simplistic.

You want to talk about policy; NATO's policy of slowly expanding closer and closer to Russia's border's and sphere of interests have not worked. It has not created a more stable Europe and has not deterred Russia - it has had the opposite effect. It has created a very annoyed and insecure Russia and that has consequences as Russia is reacting the way it knows how; in a way which it feels works for it.; in ways which I suspect NATO/the West are not really sure how to respond to apart from doing what they've long been doing.

What is NATOs/the West's ultimate solution to this problem? More rhetoric about how Russia is a ''threat''; is ''expansionist'' and ''destabilising''; followed by more sanctions and exercises to ''show resolve in the face of aggression''? If that does not work what next? Enlarge NATO even further? If Russia still misbehaves what next; any answers? Either NATO/the West maintains the present course or it genuinely makes an attempt to reach some level of common ground with the Russians. Then again some adopt the position that this is impossible because Russia is not willing to budge at all and that it wants the talks to fail in order to be able to justify a later invasion of the Ukraine.
We don't know what had happened, if Eastern European countries had not joined NATO, however Putin has made it clear that he longs for the old Russian empire. Thus it makes sense to assume that Russia would insist on not just having a buffer between NATO and Russia, but also have control of politics in Eastern European countries. That's what an empire is all about. This may be considered a "good thing" from Russia's perspective. However most people in Eastern Europe who experienced being part of the Russian empire in the past, would definitely not agree.

I strongly prefer the type of democratic, liberal countries that we see in Western Europe, and for the most part in Eastern Europe. NATO made this happen. If it is "uncomfortable" for some people in Russia, then so be it. Also keep in mind, not everybody in Russia is so concerned about rebuilding the Russian empire. Most people want to have a job, a house, and food on the table. Russia is a country very rich in resources, and with a quite well educated population, and with a strong culture. The problems of Russia are not from outside of Russia, they are from within. Some of the main issues are organized crime and massive corruption. This makes a lot of people that normally would have been well off, quite poor. Add to that restrictions put in place by Western countries, and the economy of "the common man" becomes even weaker.

Somebody talked about the importance of "capitalism" in building democracy. I don't agree. Norway was basically a poor, socialist country after WW2. We had democracy, but for decades after WW2 the Labour party dominated Norwegian politics. Most things were controlled by the state. This was far from optimal, however much more important was the lack of corruption in combination with a high degree of trust. People trusted each other, and for good reason. People did they job in an honest and good manner, whether being a carpenter, policeman, judge, or prime minister. People got their salaries, and paid their taxes, with a minimum amount of cheating. These simple but very important basic factors made Norway into a rich society, with minor differences between people.

To build a democracy, it helps having a number of things, in particular:
* educated population
* acceptable level of corruption (the lower the better)
* free press
* independent judiciary and police force


I would not even put "capitalism" on the list, although in practice most countries are capitalist these days.

I would also add one more thing: I believe that societies that allow females to work in any position they are qualified for in particular within politics, gain tremendously from this, for a number of reasons. One important being that those societies tend to be less aggressive, less focused on amassing power, and more focused on collaboration, and negotiating peaceful solutions, be it with internal opponents, or other countries. I think this is one of the important ingredients in the "secret sauce" that made Western Europe for the most part a quiet and peaceful place after WW2. Not the only one of course, but I suspect one that often is missed or under-appreciated by people.

Countries with a male-dominated political system include: Russia, the US, China, Turkey, Hungary. Just to mention a few. None of them are particularly quiet and peaceful these days I would say.

Get rid of the corruption & organized crime, stop suppressing democracy, get females into high places, and Russia will transform into a great and rich country, at peace with herself and her neighbors.
 

Feanor

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We don't know what had happened, if Eastern European countries had not joined NATO, however Putin has made it clear that he longs for the old Russian empire. Thus it makes sense to assume that Russia would insist on not just having a buffer between NATO and Russia, but also have control of politics in Eastern European countries. That's what an empire is all about. This may be considered a "good thing" from Russia's perspective. However most people in Eastern Europe who experienced being part of the Russian empire in the past, would definitely not agree.

I strongly prefer the type of democratic, liberal countries that we see in Western Europe, and for the most part in Eastern Europe. NATO made this happen. If it is "uncomfortable" for some people in Russia, then so be it. Also keep in mind, not everybody in Russia is so concerned about rebuilding the Russian empire. Most people want to have a job, a house, and food on the table. Russia is a country very rich in resources, and with a quite well educated population, and with a strong culture. The problems of Russia are not from outside of Russia, they are from within. Some of the main issues are organized crime and massive corruption. This makes a lot of people that normally would have been well off, quite poor. Add to that restrictions put in place by Western countries, and the economy of "the common man" becomes even weaker.

Somebody talked about the importance of "capitalism" in building democracy. I don't agree. Norway was basically a poor, socialist country after WW2. We had democracy, but for decades after WW2 the Labour party dominated Norwegian politics. Most things were controlled by the state. This was far from optimal, however much more important was the lack of corruption in combination with a high degree of trust. People trusted each other, and for good reason. People did they job in an honest and good manner, whether being a carpenter, policeman, judge, or prime minister. People got their salaries, and paid their taxes, with a minimum amount of cheating. These simple but very important basic factors made Norway into a rich society, with minor differences between people.

To build a democracy, it helps having a number of things, in particular:
* educated population
* acceptable level of corruption (the lower the better)
* free press
* independent judiciary and police force


I would not even put "capitalism" on the list, although in practice most countries are capitalist these days.

I would also add one more thing: I believe that societies that allow females to work in any position they are qualified for in particular within politics, gain tremendously from this, for a number of reasons. One important being that those societies tend to be less aggressive, less focused on amassing power, and more focused on collaboration, and negotiating peaceful solutions, be it with internal opponents, or other countries. I think this is one of the important ingredients in the "secret sauce" that made Western Europe for the most part a quiet and peaceful place after WW2. Not the only one of course, but I suspect one that often is missed or under-appreciated by people.

Countries with a male-dominated political system include: Russia, the US, China, Turkey, Hungary. Just to mention a few. None of them are particularly quiet and peaceful these days I would say.

Get rid of the corruption & organized crime, stop suppressing democracy, get females into high places, and Russia will transform into a great and rich country, at peace with herself and her neighbors.
To the best of my knowledge Norway was socialist as in social-democrat, not as in marxist state-socialist. In essence Norway was still a capitalist country, with private ownership of the means of production in principle allowed. It wasn't a feudal country of serfs and lords, and it wasn't a state socialist country where all means of production are almost exclusively owned by the state (or by smaller workers cooperatives like collective farms). It had a greater share of state activity in the economy, but these are gradations of the same, not an entirely different economic arrangement. I can't comment on the gender question, it's outside my area of knowledge.

Inherently capitalism is the economic system of the middle class. The French and American revolutions, the English Civil War, they were about the rise of the middle class to power and prosperity. It's this middle class that creates democracy because it's simultaneously wealthy and educated enough to understand their self-interest and not follow populists for a piece of bread, but on the other hand is numerous enough that personalized power arrangement (even formalized ones like the privileges of the nobility) are insufficient, and there needs to be a system that's all inclusive, or at least largely inclusive (possibly with a property or education requirement). Free press flows out of the need of this group to be able to discuss things and be informed, and independent judiciary to some extent does as well. As a member of a middle class in a reasonably prosperous country, an independent judiciary is your only guarantee that you'll be protected from the wealthier and more powerful then yourself (and it's always been part ideal, part reality). I agree that those things are necessary for democracy, but I also think democracy is necessary for those things. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation, and in most places the evolution of democratic institutions seems to hand in had with a robust free press, and a relatively independent judiciary (which raises all kinds of interesting questions about what happens when you see opposite trends ocurring, like a curtailement of judicial independence).
 

ngatimozart

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Yeah - The Musket Wars

Your lot cottoned on to the latest military technology bloody fast, & soon got very good at using it.
Yes we did. My great great grandfather was one of the Ngapuhi Chief Hongi Hika's allies, and was with him right from the start. He was on the Mokai Island raid with Hongi as well. He was in his 90s when he died of old age in the 1890s. Hongi died in the mid 1830's from memory.
Anyone in Ukraine claiming to be Russian is pretty much guaranteed to speak Russian like a native. Meanwhile there are people who are indisputably ethnically Ukrainian, and identify as such, but may not speak Ukrainian.
I can understand that. I identify as both Maori but I can't speak the language apart from very few words.
 

denix56

Active Member
Sorry, that it is not freely accessible, it is however original source.
While the NYT can be considered as reliable, the MFA of Ukraine said it has no info about evacuation.
So it could be another info war move.

 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Canada has indeed sent special forces, main aim to deter Russian aggression, and identify ways to assist the Ukrainian government. In addition they will plan for evacuation of embassy staff, if need be. There is a "large" Ukrainian minority living in Canada.
Canada deploys special forces to Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia - National | Globalnews.ca

In other news, Sweden yesterday again observed "sophisticated" drones flying above nuclear power plants, as well as Stockholm. Swedish authorities examine if the drones could be flying off ships. Coast guard ships investigating turned off their transponders during the investigation, presumably to not alert the perpetrators to the location of the coast guard ships during the investigation.
Drönare över Sverige – jagas på land och till havs (aftonbladet.se)

Somebody is trying to scare Swedish kids on tiktok, spreading false rumors through scary videos that Russia is about to invade Sweden:
‘War Is Coming’: Mysterious TikTok Videos Are Scaring Sweden’s Children - Defense One
How low can some people sink?

Three Russian landing ships have left the Baltic Sea, leaving 3 Russian landing ships in the Baltic Sea.

Denmark has sent a frigate to the Baltic Sea, and 4 F-16 to Lithuania. The Netherlands has sent HNMLS Rotterdam (LPD) to the Baltic Sea.

Russian Landing Ships Leave Baltic Sea Raising Concerns That Ukraine May Be Their Final Destination (thedrive.com)
NATO sends Dutch warship to Baltic Sea | News | ERR
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Anyone in Ukraine claiming to be Russian is pretty much guaranteed to speak Russian like a native. Meanwhile there are people who are indisputably ethnically Ukrainian, and identify as such, but may not speak Ukrainian.
Same here in the UK & in Ireland. Most people who identify as Welsh don't speak the language. Everyone who has Welsh lessons at school nowadays, but many of them never use it after leaving school. I have a good friend in Wales who grew up speaking only English (with a Welsh accent) & married a man whose first language was Welsh. He'd learned English after his parents moved to England when he was a small child, so spoke English with an English accent. When they moved to Swansea (Abertawe in Welsh) most of their Welsh neighbours thought he was English, despite him speaking not only Welsh, but the local dialect. It was where he was born & spent his first few years. Only a few of those neighbours spoke English, but they're Welsh, & proud of it. Some of them can point to hundreds of years of Welsh ancestry (most have never researched it, but they'd probably find the same), very many have Welsh names, etc.

There are parts of Wales where just about everyone speaks Welsh. I've been in a busy pub where only three people were speaking English: me & my two friends. But in most of the country the language one hears on the streets, in shops, etc. is almost always English, spoken by Welsh people to other Welsh people.

Same in Ireland. It's been independent for 100 years, but most of the population speak English in preference to Irish, & learn Irish in school as if it's a foreign language. But just the same, they're very definitely Irish.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Just reading the list of people who signed the original open letter a couple things stand out to me - which may not be as obvious externally:
  • Literally topping it as "first signatory" is Hannes Adomeit. Adomeit, a senior fellow at IPSK think tank, heads the German cluster of the "integrity initiative", an international group whose stated purpose is to combat Russian propaganda and desinformation and who has been in virtual open warfare with Russian state media over that for for several years.
  • Another signatory is Joachim Krause, who together with Adomeit is co-publisher of a security-related magazine at IPSK. For both it should additionally be noted that IPSK isn't just some think tank, but has "work connections" with the German and US military (the respective navies in particular).
  • The only other political scientist with a notable name on it is - hidden pretty far down - Carlo Masala. Masala is a professor at the University of the Bundeswehr at Munich (i.e. he works for the German military) who has for years been actively endorsing a proactive NATO presence at its Eastern borders and in the last couple days has been openly campaigning for weapon deliveries to Ukraine.
  • Also on it is Maximilian Terhalle, a political scientist who as an oddity stands out for signing with a military rank (Res.Lt.Col.) - Terhalle worked for the German Ministry of Defense in 2006-2007 as one of its about 150 subdepartment heads (and the rank would have been from having held that position, not due to a military career).
  • Literally the only politician on the list is Volker Beck, a former German parliament member who during his active political career was probably best known for getting beat up or arrested at multiple gay pride parades in Russia around 2006-2010, and who engaged in open campaigns against Russian authorities over that back then and similarly to Adomeit to this day regularly grinds an axe with Russian-sponsored media.
  • The remaining signatories are mostly lower-key political scientists (a good portion of which coincidentally work at institutes or organizations sponsored by groups in the USA) or general pro-Ukraine activists.
  • The open letter is publicized or initiated (i.e. written) not by any of its 73 signatories but instead by Andreas Umland, a German national, analyst for the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). Umland himself works out of Kiev, and is a member of the scientific council advising the "European Commission" of the Ukrainian Parliament - and has been integrated in Ukrainian politics in that kind of context since way back when the whole Crimea thing started. He has published articles in US media before, such as in National Interest (author profile). As a note, the think-tank UI at Stockholm that he officially mainly works for is conveniently colocated with the Swedish military's Defence University.
Just thought that should be brought into perspective, especially given the source (i.e. the Atlantic Council). The original open letter was published in left-leaning newspaper Süddeutsche.
 
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Atunga

Member

Interesting take on the latest rounds of diplomacy between the US and Russia by Anthony Zurcher of the BBC.
It seems like holes have started to appear between western allies resolve to confront Russia, they seem to disagree on the extent of sanctions to be placed on Russia if they invade Ukraine, with the president of France suggesting a whole new diplomatic avenue to negotiate with the Russians. the anti tank missiles sent to Ukraine by the UK will do little to nothing, to stop the Russians if they chose to invade Ukraine so they are mostly a diplomatic show. The planes carrying these missiles had to take the long route avoiding France and German air space, which clearly means that France and Germany don't support arming Ukraine against Russia. The Russians have succeeded in sowing panic and they have everyone guessing their next move, Blinken has been flying round trips around Europe and have agreed to provide a written response to the Russian demands. as it stands, Russia is winning for now
 

cdxbow

Well-Known Member

Interesting take on the latest rounds of diplomacy between the US and Russia by Anthony Zurcher of the BBC.
It seems like holes have started to appear between western allies resolve to confront Russia, they seem to disagree on the extent of sanctions to be placed on Russia if they invade Ukraine, with the president of France suggesting a whole new diplomatic avenue to negotiate with the Russians. the anti tank missiles sent to Ukraine by the UK will do little to nothing, to stop the Russians if they chose to invade Ukraine so they are mostly a diplomatic show. The planes carrying these missiles had to take the long route avoiding France and German air space, which clearly means that France and Germany don't support arming Ukraine against Russia. The Russians have succeeded in sowing panic and they have everyone guessing their next move, Blinken has been flying round trips around Europe and have agreed to provide a written response to the Russian demands. as it stands, Russia is winning for now
Gee, I read the article you linked to, and I've got to say, I didn't see much of a what you claim. I did think the part about Russia's getting to be the centre of attention was very true, childish as this seems it does appear to be part of the ploy.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
The Russians have succeeded in sowing panic and they have everyone guessing their next move, Blinken has been flying round trips around Europe and have agreed to provide a written response to the Russian demands. as it stands, Russia is winning for now
I have no idea if the Russians indeed have ''succeeded in sowing panic'' but to me they certainly hold the initiative and are keenly aware that within NATO there may be differences of opinion as to how to deal with the issue. A major advantage the Russians have is the knowledge that NATO does not have the political intent to be actively involved in a conflict.
 

Feanor

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as it stands, Russia is winning for now
What exactly is Russia winning? A big stuffed bear? Russia has pushed very hard to have this conversation with the US. It remains to be seen if this accomplishes anything. Is getting a sit down at a table such a tough feat that this qualifies as "winning" in your opinion?
 

Atunga

Member
What exactly is Russia winning? A big stuffed bear? Russia has pushed very hard to have this conversation with the US. It remains to be seen if this accomplishes anything. Is getting a sit down at a table such a tough feat that this qualifies as "winning" in your opinion?
No Feanor, if you look through all the noise coming from the media, you will be able to pick out a few but very outstanding things that are of great importance to the Russians, the Russians are succeeding to make the US slowly and relunctantly push Ukraine into implementing the Minsk agreement, something the French and the Germans couldn't do over the years..... Biden assures Ukraine's leader of US support to deter Russia
The Russians have also gotten western officials to openly acknowledge that Ukraine will not join NATO any time soon, something that Ukraine is not happy about, knowing how much the current president has pushed for NATO membership. Blinken has been flying from one European city to another in order to come up with a united western front against Russia, Biden's remarks on reduced sanctions on Russia for a minor incursion didn't help Blinkens European trip as he scrambled to explain exactly what his boss means. One will think that a united West will dismiss Russia telling them that hey, we are all united against you, you have nothing more to say, but no, Blinken had to rush to Geneva begging Lavrov for one extra week to get the written response together, Russia wanted it this week. In my opinion this round of diplomacy was won by Russia, but its very far from over
 

Steinmetz

Active Member
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday denied that Biden would press Ukraine to cede territory when a reporter asked if that possibility was under consideration.

“No, that is absolutely false,” said Psaki, though the question of granting the breakaway regions greater autonomy was not raised.
Literal quote from your article. Plus I wouldn't put much credence in dialogue from inner U.S. Politic in general. We live in an age of rampant misinformation.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
... the anti tank missiles sent to Ukraine by the UK will do little to nothing, to stop the Russians if they chose to invade Ukraine so they are mostly a diplomatic show. The planes carrying these missiles had to take the long route avoiding France and German air space, which clearly means that France and Germany don't support arming Ukraine against Russia. ...
That suggests ignorance of geography & not having noticed any of the official statements.

Flying over France is a long way round. The Germans didn't raise any objections. They couldn't, because they weren't asked, which they'd have had to be for any flights of that nature. The Germans have said so. There was no hint in their statement that they would have objected if asked. The flights were over Denmark & Poland, which isn't the shortest route (that's over the Netherlands & Germany) but I suspect that may have been because it was the quickest & simplest to get clearance for. Saves one set of permissions & perhaps the Danes are less bureaucratic than the Germans.
 
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