Russia and the West

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
This has always been a morally weak and ethically fallacious argument because it insists on Russia's right to keep the ability to obliterate the world in a nuclear holocaust and sees the possibility of taking away that ability as a threat to Russian national security.
MAD currently doesn't involve the ability to obliterate the world. In all likelihood Russia's current strategic nuclear arsenal isn't even enough to obliterate the US completely. But it can do enough damage to make any war not worth it. And the counter-point to this is that without MAD, the countries who have conventional superiority can simply dictate their will to the rest of the world (read; US&Co.).

I also do not buy the Pope's argument that Russia was provoked to invade Ukraine. No amount of provocation would justify the evil and atrocities committed against Ukrainians. Evil by any other term is still evil.
Agreed. But I don't think the Pope is saying the atrocities are justified. If Russia had invaded Ukraine and not committed any warcrimes, would that make a difference?
 

SolarWind

Active Member
MAD currently doesn't involve the ability to obliterate the world. In all likelihood Russia's current strategic nuclear arsenal isn't even enough to obliterate the US completely. But it can do enough damage to make any war not worth it. And the counter-point to this is that without MAD, the countries who have conventional superiority can simply dictate their will to the rest of the world (read; US&Co.).
The problem with MAD is, given the US and Russia provide a significant portion of the world's grain supply, losing both at the same time would cause permanent food shortages to the rest of the world, if any manage to survive nuclear winter first. And MAD has not protected Ukraine, so even with MAD, countries that think they have conventional superiority can still try to dictate their will to smaller countries.

Agreed. But I don't think the Pope is saying the atrocities are justified. If Russia had invaded Ukraine and not committed any warcrimes, would that make a difference?
Another good question is, could Russia have invaded Ukraine and not committed any war crimes?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
The problem with MAD is, given the US and Russia provide a significant portion of the world's grain supply, losing both at the same time would cause permanent food shortages to the rest of the world, if any manage to survive nuclear winter first. And MAD has not protected Ukraine, so even with MAD, countries that think they have conventional superiority can still try to dictate their will to smaller countries.
This goes somewhat beyond the scope of this thread, but I'm not convinced of the "nuclear winter" climatological model. Speaking from memory here but some of the assumptions that went into it, including arsenal sizes and warhead yields, don't correspond to reality. Ukraine never had MAD, because Ukraine doesn't have a credible strategic nuclear arsenal.

Another good question is, could Russia have invaded Ukraine and not committed any war crimes?
This gets tricky on several levels. Armies are just organizations made up of people. Any large enough group of people will statistically have some criminals in it, and they will commit crimes. So in theory, no, you really can't have a large war without some war crimes. But by the same vein we generally don't condemn the state actor for outlier behavior, especially if they are transparent about it and punish the perpetrators (clearly not the case here, we are discussing a hypothetical). Could Russia have been transparent about war crimes, punished perpetrators, and set a higher bar for the behavior of troops? In principle yes. Could this avoid all war crimes? No. Could it significant curb the worst atrocities? Yes.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member

Posted it here rather than the Turkish thread because it concerns Russia. It's basically a piece about how from a geo strategic/political protective Turkey is benefiting from the mess Russia has got itself in. Interestingly Turkey's ties with Armenia has improved and there is mention of Armenia being used as a conduit by Russia to circumvent sanctions.

The return of Crimea to Ukraine, of which it is an inseparable part, is essentially a requirement of international law.” In itself, that striking comment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivered via a video link at the Crimea Platform Summit last month, would not have surprised anyone who follows Turkish-Russian relations closely."

"Moscow has some economic leverage over Yerevan too: Bilateral trade has soared as Armenia has become a backdoor route for Russia to bypass Western sanctions. On Monday, fresh clashes broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia"

"Ankara’s own sense of vulnerability, combined with a deep-seated distrust of Western allies has made it seek conciliation with its giant imperialist-minded neighbour, instead of a face-off. At the same time, though, Turkey has cultivated alliances with other Black Sea states fearful of Russian revanchism such as Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania and Moldova"
Turkey and Russia have this situation where problems for one are advantageous for the other. But they also have mutual interests. This is why they often look nearly like allies and other times are the brink of war.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Another good question is, could Russia have invaded Ukraine and not committed any war crimes?
Given the quality of some of the troops; their morale and the fact that things didn't go as plan to me it's unsurprising atrocities were committed. We also saw atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq [on a smaller scale but just as damaging to the victims] committed by troops of much better qualify.

As I mentioned months ago; even if nobody believed them the least the Russiabs could have done was to condemn atrocities and announce that they would be looked into. The problem is they issued outright denials.

This is why they often look nearly like allies and other times are the brink of war.
Both also have a long history of competition and strife dating back to the Ottoman/Czarist era.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This goes somewhat beyond the scope of this thread, but I'm not convinced of the "nuclear winter" climatological model.
The climatological models are quite valid. Been ages since I looked at it (20 odd years ago) but the science underpinning the theory was quite valid then and still holds today.
This gets tricky on several levels. Armies are just organizations made up of people. Any large enough group of people will statistically have some criminals in it, and they will commit crimes. So in theory, no, you really can't have a large war without some war crimes. But by the same vein we generally don't condemn the state actor for outlier behavior, especially if they are transparent about it and punish the perpetrators (clearly not the case here, we are discussing a hypothetical). Could Russia have been transparent about war crimes, punished perpetrators, and set a higher bar for the behavior of troops? In principle yes. Could this avoid all war crimes? No. Could it significant curb the worst atrocities? Yes.
Yep, militaries are a microcosm of their societies and you will always get the odd bad egg. However with a military if the leadership / discipline / culture / morale is harsh /poor / lacking in moral leadership then there will be incidents of war crimes occurring. We have even had it in the NZ Army during WW2 when a well known NZ officer was accused, after the war, of shooting German POWs. Yet when that incident occurred none of the conditions I listed above existed in the NZ Army at the time, except that the officer concerned certainly lacked self discipline at the time.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

Some western market analysts can not be help on touting Western Politicians line that Russia is isolated by Global community, when realities is isolated from West.

Getting isolated from Western market and financial system is a big deal. No doubt about that. However does not mean it is the same with Global isolation. This Russia isolation toward Western Financial system is 'part' reason to already increase Yuan payment system on certain percentage on overall global payment system, for example. Outside West and its allies, other Global market still trading with Russia.

Yes, on long run the 'decoupling' will hurt Russia. However it will also cost Western market especially Euro zone. This is what most of market already seen happen. China will gain more leverage after this, and this is all thanks to Western Economics war to Russia. So much on US and West initiative to reign on China.
 

Some western market analysts can not be help on touting Western Politicians line that Russia is isolated by Global community, when realities is isolated from West.

Getting isolated from Western market and financial system is a big deal. No doubt about that. However does not mean it is the same with Global isolation. This Russia isolation toward Western Financial system is 'part' reason to already increase Yuan payment system on certain percentage on overall global payment system, for example. Outside West and its allies, other Global market still trading with Russia.

Yes, on long run the 'decoupling' will hurt Russia. However it will also cost Western market especially Euro zone. This is what most of market already seen happen. China will gain more leverage after this, and this is all thanks to Western Economics war to Russia. So much on US and West initiative to reign on China.
The report quoted in the article citing Peterson Institute for International Economics - showing a 40% downturn in imports to Russia from non sanctioning countries!

Export controls against Russia are working—with the help of China

However, this import data only goes to April, which is a bit sad for reference in an article dated September.

When we look at the OEC data for YTD:

https://oec.world/en/profile/country/rus?subnationalFlowSelector=flow1

We find that imports have risen substantially over the second and third quarters of 2022 after a dip in April. Looking at export data we see the same, a large growth in the last 6 months, driven by high commodity prices I would guess.

I think Jennifer Sor went hunting for resources to suit a narrative.

I wonder if Russian decoupling will increase the resilience and variety of Chinese manufacturing in the medium term? With shortages of precision industrial goods which Europe is the established provider (EG. Ball Bearings), I have to assume that China or other manufacturers will move into this gap - indirectly strengthening eastern supply chains and independence from the global economy.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
this import data only goes to April, which is a bit sad for reference in an article dated September.
I always say, it is too early too judge how far the damage will be taken by Russia and West (especially Euro Zone). Dip from non sanction market has to be seen the effect of Russian expulsion from Western dominated payment system. However it is still needed to seen how the adjustment being taken this last few months.

This article I put just to shown, even in market oriented publication, it is not immune from Western politics driven analysts. More respectable analysts from Moody's as example will wait more to end of years data to shown more their assesment.

I have to assume that China or other manufacturers will move into this gap - indirectly strengthening eastern supply chains and independence from the global economy
Just bit opinion: "Independence from Western economy". Nobody not even China or US can be independent from Global economy.
 
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Ananda

The Bunker Group

Bloomberg at least talk on data. Thus they are shown how Russian hydrocarbon shifting on target market already happen on big way. Moreover it is not just to China and India, however shift already from Eurozone to Asia.

One thing for sure is Russian oil are being used as part of blend by Middle East and Asian refineries. This will in turn can flow back to the market that 'in theory' embargoes Russian hydrocarbon.
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Yesterday the gas pipelines Nord Stream 2 and Nord Stream 1 were damaged, causing leakage of gas. Three leaks have been detected in the two pipelines (see map: Nord Stream 1 og 2 lekker — både i Sverige og Danmark - Tu.no )

Experts say it's highly unlikely that these are accidents, thus sabotage is suspected. Officials in Berlin also suspect this was an attack (Jakob Hanke Vela on Twitter: "" / Twitter ). Danish authorities have increased the readiness level to "orange" (second highest level on a 5-level scale).

Both pipelines were already closed (no gas was being transferred) however for technical reasons they are still pressurized and full of gas. Ships need to keep a distance due to the risk of explosions.

The timing of these events is interesting. Today, the new Baltic Pipe, bringing Norwegian gas to Poland, is opening.

I am guessing Russia is behind this. They realize they will not be able to sell gas to Europe through these pipelines in the future and damaging them will cause confusion and uncertainty. I strongly doubt Ukraine is behind this -- they would lose a lot of goodwill if it was traced back to Ukraine, and I cannot see how they could gain much from such an act far away from the war zone, especially since the gas supply already has been shut off, depriving Russia of the income, which would be Ukraine's main concern.

Norwegian oil and gas installations offshore have registered several unidentified drones the last few months. The operator of the drones is unknown, however it is believed that a "state actor" is responsible. Droneaktiviteten i Nordsjøen fortsetter – Aldrimer.no
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
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The gas leaks are far from Russian control teritories but close to Polish ones. Poland now trying to shown the Gas Pipes from Norway to their teritory as part of substitution for Nordstream.


Even FT talk how Poland can raise more benefits on Nordstream demises. Blaming Russian now is favorite sports in the West on everything. However Russia can just sit and waits to see development in Winter. If some in Eurozone cave in, Russia can just open the tab to let the gas flow again. Why they want to destroy the line ?

See, there are other scenarios and other potential parties that can gain more benefits for the demise of both Nordstream pipes. Especially if one wants to dwell on conspiracies theories.

For me, the locations shown other than Russian have more chances during present conditions to sabotage the line. Russian assets have more difficulties to goes to that locations. This "If" turn out to be sabotage.
 
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Vivendi

Well-Known Member
The gas leaks are far from Russian control teritories but close to Polish ones.


For me, the locations shown other than Russian have more chances during present conditions to sabotage the line. Russian assets have more difficulties to goes to that locations. This "If" turn out to be sabotage.
The gas leaks are not "far from Russian controlled territories." That's pure nonsense. Russia has plenty of submarines that can travel from Russian territory to the region -- actually Russian subs regularly visit this region.

If some in Eurozone cave in, Russia can just open the tab to let the gas flow again. Why they want to destroy the line ?
Russia has said they will not send any more gas to Europe unless Europe lift the sanctions. If you have followed the news, you know that this is not going to happen anytime soon, and most likely it would never have happened again, even without the pipelines being damaged.

Poland has very little to gain by blowing up the pipelines, and much to lose if Poland's allies discover that Poland had done this. In particular in the current situation, it makes no sense. No gas is flowing currently, and there are no indications whatsoever that gas will flow in the future, gas leaks or not.

It was recently reported that powerful explosions were detected in Norway, Sweden and Germany, that coincided in time with the start of the gas leaks and geolocated to the pipelines: Registrert kraftige eksplosjoner ved Nord Stream-ledninger: – Noen som vet hva de gjør – VG

Danish and German authorities suspect Russia is responsible.
 
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Vivendi

Well-Known Member
A thread on the Nord Stream pipes and the incident: Oliver Alexander on Twitter: "The director of the Danish department of Energy Management states that the leak in the NS2 pipeline is the result of a large hole and not a smaller crack. They have not yet been able to get close enough to visually assess the damaged pipe yet. https://t.co/kjjOuRgQIG" / Twitter

The steel pipe used is 26.8 mm thick. The pipe is then covered in a 3-layer anti-corrosion coating before being covered in steel reinforced concrete for additional weight.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
The gas leaks are not "far from Russian controlled territories." That's pure nonsense. Russia has plenty of submarines that can travel from Russian territory to the region -- actually Russian subs regularly visit this region.


Russia has said they will not send any more gas to Europe unless Europe lift the sanctions. If you have followed the news, you know that this is not going to happen anytime soon, and most likely it would never have happened again, even without the pipelines being damaged.

Poland has very little to gain by blowing up the pipelines, and much to lose if Poland's allies discover that Poland had done this. In particular in the current situation, it makes no sense. No gas is flowing currently, and there are no indications whatsoever that gas will flow in the future, gas leaks or not.

It was recently reported that powerful explosions were detected in Norway, Sweden and Germany, that coincided in time with the start of the gas leaks and geolocated to the pipelines: Registrert kraftige eksplosjoner ved Nord Stream-ledninger: – Noen som vet hva de gjør – VG

Danish and German authorities suspect Russia is responsible.
It could be much simpler then that. Russia could have set up a way to destroy the pipelines when they were laid down. Not to mention GUGI operates plenty of unmanned submersiles that could have done this. The ability to do this is there. However whether it was actually done by Russia is an open question. Hypotheticall the US could have done this to make it harder for a desperate Europe to turn back to Russian gas this winter.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
That's pure nonsense. Russia has plenty of submarines that can travel from Russian territory to the region -- actually Russian subs regularly visit this region.
Right, Russia need to send some submarine for that. Other can swim to those pipes. Anything is possible, "nonsense" is only for those who think everything is always Russian fault.

Whether Russia will open the gas again, right now still depend on several factors. However Russia actually still got more to lose if the gas pipes lines not working. At least if it is still working, they can still use that as 'potential' line to market their Gas. Especially "if" some in Euro's zone change their mind in winter on Russian Gas.

Danish and German authorities suspect Russia is responsible.
Off course, everything now in collective west is Russian faults. Afterall it is favorite sports on blaming games.

However whether it was actually done by Russia is an open question.
Exactly, still several potential on what really happen, and also several other parties that can benefits for the permanent demises of those Nordstream pipes. Thus blaming Russian just simply, at this moment, more blaming games.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Who has the most to lose by getting caught doing this? Don’t think Russia would be very high on the list so maybe Russia is suspect number one. Frankly it doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest but maybe I’m missing something.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Who has the most to lose by getting caught doing this? Don’t think Russia would be very high on the list so maybe Russia is suspect number one. Frankly it doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest but maybe I’m missing something.
In my opinion it's in the interests of the US. Mutual trade is the biggest argument for the EU to be willing to mend fences with Russia. Also the US sells LNG and has been pushing for US LNG as an alternative to Russian pipelines for quite some time. The US would benefit from North Stream 1&2 being taken off the table permanently or at least semi-permanently.
 

SolarWind

Active Member
Residents in the occupied areas said Russian soldiers compelled them to vote, guns drawn, in a choreographed show of support for Moscow’s plan to make their regions part of Russia.
Now Kremlin will probably tell its troops to "defend Russia" in the occupied Ukrainian territories while keeping fingers crossed hoping the trick will work. Kremlin propaganda is in overdrive dehumanizing Ukraine and trying to create an artificial motive for Russians to fight this war.
 
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