that is one way Putin can save face

Putin mulls recognizing separatist eastern Ukrainian regions as independent

Russian President Vladimir Putin convened top officials Monday to consider recognizing the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, a move that would ratchet up tensions with the West.

The publicly staged, pre-recorded meeting of the presidential Security Council came amid a spike in skirmishes in eastern Ukraine that Western powers believe Russia could use as a pretext for an attack on Ukraine.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/21/putin-mulls-recognizing-sepa…

Recognize the provinces as an independent country, sign a mutual defense pact, move in the Russian army to “protect against foreign aggression”, and cast Ukraine as the instigator if it fights back. Then declare “Mission accomplished”.

Would the west trigger sanctions in the absence of a full invasion and overthrow of Ukraine? I think not.

Steve

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Would the west trigger sanctions in the absence of a full invasion and overthrow of Ukraine? I think not.

The Russians had a claim that was legit on Crimea. It was Putin’s authoritarian long term stance that triggered Obama/Biden’s and the west’s sanctions.

This would trigger sanctions. I think they will be full blown.

There is a calculous the west is making over energy for Europe and facing off with authoritarian regimes. Very much like the cold war, but against the rise of fascism. This wont be let go. In the Congress members to the right will demand sanctions. Members to the left will demand them equally. Western capitals will toe a very strong line. Even Berlin is very much recalculating.

None of them are naive enough to believe Putin stops there. Or stops with the Ukraine.

It is not exactly that Putin is mentally ill. That would be unfair to say because people suffer generally with mental illness and should not be stigmatized. Putin has a problem he is expressing. It is a demeaning of human life and his worth. But truthfully the best category for Putin is criminal. He has no relationship with reasonable management of a government.

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Steve,

Putin’s statement last night snippet from the NYT.

His phone calls with the German and French leaders came after an extraordinary session of the Russian Security Council at which Mr. Putin accused the United States and its allies of using Ukraine “as an instrument of confrontation” with Russia. He said it posed “a serious, very big threat to us.”

I totally agree with Putin. We are in the west looking for an end to Putin. Not an end to Russia, there is no ‘us’ in this.

We are aggressively challenging the runt. And we should more aggressively challenge him rule.

The toughest thing we can do is turn off the dollar exchange with Russian banks and if need be their intermediatory banks.

Frankly we want to cut off China as well. Piece by piece we will be.

Just rereading the above, it took Putin a while but he did figure it out. LOL

<Would the west trigger sanctions in the absence of a full invasion and overthrow of Ukraine? I think not.>

There are a lot of moving pieces in this puzzle so it’s hard to say.

If Russia takes Crimea and the Donbas region, are they likely to stop? Or would this be a springboard for eating Ukraine a little at a time? Russia can afford to be patient. A large part of its army has been moved west since China and Russia signed a historic cooperation pact a few weeks ago so Russia doesn’t have to defend its eastern flank.

Putin is not stupid or insane. He is acting rationally from the point of view of many historical empire-builders who “unified” independent regions by force to build a large empire. Step by step, Putin wants to rebuild the USSR and its sphere of infuence. That sphere includes several NATO members. He already asked for NATO to be rolled back to its 1997 borders.
https://www.npr.org/2022/01/12/1072413634/russia-nato-ukrain…

The Europeans are far more sensitive to the dangers of blitzkrieg than the U.S. Plenty of living witnesses survive who experienced the invasion of smaller countries by Hitler’s forces. There is a tug of war between appeasers (who want cheap energy prices and peace) and defenders (who are willing to impose harsh sanctions and even war if Putin invades NATO).

True to his Soviet background, Putin already has a list of Ukranians to be removed (permanently, in the Russian style). A repeat of the 2014 anti-Russian demonstrations in Kyiv would be met with lethal force, not with cops armed with clubs. Stalin said, “Death solves all problems. No man, no problem.” I believe that Putin is playing a careful game but, at heart, he is just as ruthless as Stalin. But Putin is a kleptocrat, not an ideologue.

I don’t know whether the west would impose sanctions if Russia was invited to “protect” the “independent” Donbas region. That’s why Putin is likely to do it. Driving a wedge in NATO.

Wendy

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Putin is not stupid or insane. He is acting rationally from the point of view of many historical empire-builders who “unified” independent regions by force to build a large empire. Step by step, Putin wants to rebuild the USSR and its sphere of infuence. That sphere includes several NATO members. He already asked for NATO to be rolled back to its 1997 borders.


Wendy,

Plenty of people would agree with you.

I do not.

The definition of insanity is doing the wrong thing over and over again and not learning from it. It is also the definition of stupid.

The democracies have moved on. We live in a higher order of human organization. Far from prefect but many magnitudes away from the stupidity we are seeing Putin unfurl.

Lady's bet Putin loses his life eventually in the process?

Lady's, gentleman's bet.

steve203

Putin mulls recognizing separatist eastern Ukrainian regions as independent

Russian President Vladimir Putin convened top officials Monday to consider recognizing the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, a move that would ratchet up tensions with the West.

If this is what transpires, I think it would instructive if all the signing of the agreements take place in the same room, in the same building, in Munich where Chamberlain agreed to carve up Czechoslovakia, and secured “peace for our time” a mere 84 years ago.

Whoever signs for the west, they need to carry a black umbrella, the ultimate defensive tool.

Image would be complete if they can just find a DC-3 that carries the umbrella carrier back to his home base and shows him/her deplaning.

https://www.history.com/news/chamberlain-declares-peace-for-…

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Would the west trigger sanctions in the absence of a full invasion and overthrow of Ukraine? I think not.

I also think not, but I think “the west” ought to trigger full everything unless the Russian “recognition” of the eastern separatist provinces is not merely a military police occupation, and includes a process for internationally supervised plebiscites.

Russia most likely would not accept anything like that, even though they would have a reasonable chance of winning, as they want this to be the beginning of a zipper movement that gives them much more Black Sea coastline.

david fb

What Wendy said, especially

There are a lot of moving pieces in this puzzle

springboard for eating Ukraine a little at a time

why Putin is likely to do it. Driving a wedge in NATO

All of the troop movements etc has been classic Political Theater to make as many people in NATO and Ukraine and etc feel deeply relieved that the bear only wants to eat a couple of provinces. The cost has been quite low as troops need to be exercised anyways, and so may as well make the exercises involve turning the troops into “extras” for the show Putin has been putting on.

david fb

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(US) responds with sanctions after Putin recognizes breakaway Ukraine regions

The White House said Biden would soon issue an executive order “that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in” the two Ukrainian regions under the control of Russian-backed separatists, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The order “will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. She added that the U.S. “will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments.”

“To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” Psaki said.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/biden-responds-with-san…

Extremely limited wrist slap for taking another slice out of Ukraine. The rope sellers will say “Ukraine has not had effective control over those provinces for eight years, so Putin is just recognizing the facts on the ground”.

Putin can declare “mission accomplished”, puffing himself up, telling his citizens he put one over on the west, then pull back and wait until the US has a more pliable leader that can’t, or won’t, pull together a untied front against Putin’s ambitions.

As others have suggested, Ukraine is being fitted up with a Czechoslovakia suit.

Steve

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Russia most likely would not accept anything like that, even though they would have a reasonable chance of winning, as they want this to be the beginning of a zipper movement that gives them much more Black Sea coastline.

david fb

The Black Sea. I’ve looked at that. And, via time lapse YouTubes, transited the two very narrow passages from the Black Sea to the Med, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Incredibly cramped, and making any ships sailing the narrow channels sitting ducks to offensive forces. I would never consider sailing a heavy man of war thru the tight squeeze(s).

The Black Sea does give Russia good free access to the countries lining its shores, but little else.

(They do have a key naval base at Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, FWIW.)

Those two observations would be a useful reason why Putin was so keen on getting a dedicated port for Ruskies’ ships in the coast of Syria.

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The Black Sea does give Russia good free access to the countries lining its shores, but little else.

Besides a promise to never admit Ukraine to NATO, Putin was also demanding that NATO pull out of Romania and Bulgaria. Romania and Bulgaria occupy the Black Sea coast from Ukraine to Turkey.

Steve

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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

Whoever signs for the west, they need to carry a black umbrella, the ultimate defensive tool.

Image would be complete if they can just find a DC-3 that carries the umbrella carrier back to his home base and shows him/her deplaning.

Well, if we are going to do it up right, the actor doing Chamberlain will have to wave the BOAC airline ticket to go meet with Herr Hitler? Of course the aircraft wasn’t a DC-3 though I suppose it could have been as they were being produced at the time.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2680953/Chamberlain…

Chamberlain’s Munich plane ticket which he used to secure ‘peace in our time’ a year before Second World War began is up for auction

Wartime Prime Minister waved the ticket before boarding a plane to Munich
Is expected to be sold for £15,000 by London auction house Spink and Son
Travelled to Germany on September 29, 1938, for a meeting with Adolf Hitler
Held crisis talks with the Fuhrer following their invasion of Czechoslovakia
Fearing war, Chamberlain agreed to the occupation in return for peace
A year later he was forced to announce that Britain was at war
By WILLS ROBINSON

PUBLISHED: 12:38 EST, 4 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:21 EST, 4 July 2014

Of interest only to me I suppose but my first logged flights as aircrew were on Dakota’s flying from Winterpeg during basic aircrew Radar navigation training. There was no cabin heat until the engines got turned on so they issued us old RN/RCN bomber suits of the type worn by aircrew who flew in open cockpits looking for subs or the Bismarck).

Tim

Of course the aircraft wasn’t a DC-3 though I suppose it could have been as they were being produced at the time.

Chamberlain made his trip to sell out the Czechs in a Lockheed Model 14.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Model_14_Super_Electr…

The Model 14 was a development of the Model 10 that Amelia Earhart flew into generations of rumors and conspiracy theories.

Steve

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Wendy writes:

The Europeans are far more sensitive to the dangers of blitzkrieg than the U.S. Plenty of living witnesses survive who experienced the invasion of smaller countries by Hitler’s forces.

================================================================

That is true for the Western Front countries, but it is not true for the Eastern Front countries who suffered much more from Stalin than Hitler (with the exception of Jews who suffered on both Fronts from Hitler).

All those countries that ended up behind the Iron Curtain suffered more from Stalin than Hitler (with the exception of Jews).

These countries that were under the boot of Russians during and after WWII will fight for their lives to never be under the Russian boot again.

Ukraine is at the top of the list. Belarus wishes they were free of Russia and could join EU.

Jaak

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It isn’t Putin who needs to save face…

He is playing the West like an expert…

Remember Georgia?
Remember Crimea?
Next on the menu?

The Captain

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Incredibly cramped, and making any ships sailing the narrow channels sitting ducks to offensive forces. I would never consider sailing a heavy man of war thru the tight squeeze(s).

There exists some sort of pact that allows/disallows warships to transit the straits.

The Captain

There exists some sort of pact that allows/disallows warships to transit the straits.

The Captain

Yep! That’s a given.

And, of course, in serious war-like situations, such pacts are scrupulously adhered to!

Always. Well, almost always.

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And, of course, in serious war-like situations, such pacts are scrupulously adhered to!

Of course and we have the all powerful UN to keep the peace! LOL

The Captain

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It is funny how countries stretch and overstretch.

US of course is #1 Best Super at this. Trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives wasted for nothing, not to mention millions of foreigners, who don’t count, obviously. All they had to do after 9/11 was find, fix and finish bin Laden and assorted Islamic goons. Instead they took a nice detour into Iraq, and stayed in Afghanistan 10 years after he was killed - in Pakistan.

Russia is re-engaging in the same game, in Syria. Crimea and Donetsk are in its backyard, but Syria is not. Not to mention the thousands of Russian mercenaries in Africa. No shortage of hard men in Russia, it seems.

China with its Belt and Road initiative. Cautious, low-key, but driven nonetheless. The dragon is a heavy animal who needs a lot of runway to start its flight. But once airborne, it’s impossible to battle against. Taiwan is already toast. Africa is China’s new hinterland and nothing the West can do about it.

The Ukraine drama is a small provocation by Russia, daring the West to do something about it. If we had any leaders with cojones, they would land US troops in harm’s way in Ukraine and give the Russians a bloody nose in the East Ukraine. Just to call Putin’s bluff. But of course the putative leader of one party is Putin’s lady dog and that of the other is senile. So no hope of any true leadership.