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 Message Boards » » War with Syria/Iran/Russia Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10, Prev Next  
bbehe
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3/3/2022 1:12:17 PM

bbehe
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Firefight at one of the nuclear power plants right now

3/3/2022 6:42:27 PM

The Coz
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Russia can certainly be trusted not to create a nuclear incident in Ukraine.

3/3/2022 7:47:24 PM

The Coz
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Oh shit. It's on fire.

3/3/2022 9:27:34 PM

bbehe
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Looks like it was just the training building on fire, absolutely insanity to shell a nuclear plant though

3/4/2022 7:51:03 AM

moron
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Seems like Russia will achieve their goal of capturing Kyiv within the next week unless something drastic happen. After that it seems like puppet government and the try to get sanctions lifted.

3/4/2022 6:33:54 PM

bbehe
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A semi-optimistic take https://twitter.com/sumlenny/status/1499822066098655234

3/4/2022 7:38:34 PM

theDuke866
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There is no way Russia will nuke Ukraine. That’s crazy talk.

3/4/2022 9:14:41 PM

TreeTwista10
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Hopefully not. But is Putin sane?

3/4/2022 10:25:57 PM

StTexan
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He is def shrewd as a mf

3/4/2022 10:54:12 PM

moron
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I don’t think collapsing his domestic economy and turning Russia into a pariah for the next decade is shrewd. Taking Kyiv will redefine the term Pyrrhic victory… we’ll start saying Putin victory

3/4/2022 11:03:12 PM

theDuke866
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Yeah this is not shrewd at all. I’ve been saying that since well before the invasion started.

It is the worst thing he could have done to draw Ukraine back into Moscow’s orbit and discourage further expansion of NATO, and it has the additional effect of trashing Russia’s economy and making them an international pariah.

3/4/2022 11:44:28 PM

daaave
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With all the propaganda flying around, it's hard to know exactly what's going on, but I highly doubt that Russia's military is on the brink of collapse. If it were, Zelensky wouldn't be calling for a no fly zone, an insane escalation.

[Edited on March 5, 2022 at 11:01 AM. Reason : .]

3/5/2022 10:59:31 AM

bbehe
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Considering how well informed the rest of your opinions are...

Anyways, here's another solid read about how incapable the Russian Air Force is. https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-defence-systems/russian-air-force-actually-incapable-complex-air-operations

Limiting pilots to ~100 hours per year, no significant exercises like Red Flag, the slow trickle in of air assets...Russia is truly being exposed as the paper bear they are. If the reported air losses today are even close to accurate, it doesn't bode well for them.

3/5/2022 11:11:45 AM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"I highly doubt that Russia's military is on the brink of collapse. If it were, Zelensky wouldn't be calling for a no fly zone, an insane escalation."


The one doesn't follow from the other. Zelensky is likely asking for the no-fly zone for several reasons and probably has enough sense to know he'll never get one. But just in terms of his domestic audience and troops, he has to be seen trying for one. Otherwise they'd be asking why he wasn't pursuing every available option.

It's almost certainly true that the Russian military isn't about to "collapse," whatever that would look like for one of the world's largest armies. But it's certainly being exposed as a joke. No matter how much Putin is insulated from the bad news coming out of this war, by now he has to know that his conventional forces are not going to be perceived as a serious threat by NATO in any open conflict. If he wants to intimidate Europe or the United States, all he's got is his nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile the President of Finland was just in town meeting with the CIA director, among others. Not a subtle signal by any stretch. (The pity was that it wasn't the Finnish Prime Minister who, in addition to having a very impressive career and being the world's youngest serving head of government, is a stone-cold fox)

Quote :
"Taking Kyiv will redefine the term Pyrrhic victory… we’ll start saying Putin victory"


I'm inclined to agree. It's hard to see a way in which Putin can win in any meaningful sense. Yes, he may take Ukraine - barring a palace coup or some sort of face-saving Eastern Ukraine puppet, that's probably inevitable - but the bad so far outweighs the good that it can only be viewed as a catastrophe for Russia's military, economy, international standing, and for Putin's authority.

But this outcome was not a foregone conclusion. They had the forces in place for a quick and decisive military victory that might have averted some sanctions or diminished their staying power. But they were readied and deployed so ineptly that now there's no way to come out on top.

3/5/2022 11:31:12 AM

bbehe
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I mean, it essentially could be a complete logistical collapse of their armed forces. They clearly haven't done the routine maintenance that is absolutely required for these vehicles, they're having issues getting convoys of fuel, water, and other provisions to their front lines. They have yet to establish air superiority. It's insane and completely dispels the myth of the might Russian Army.

If their surface or submarine fleets are suffering from the same fate, it wouldn't surprise me.

Essentially it leaves them two options to continue hostilities: either keep sending in antiquated equipment with conscripts (there's evidence of this) or just start indiscriminately dropping as much dumb ordnance you can into Ukraine's city centers from as far away or high up as you can.

[Edited on March 5, 2022 at 3:52 PM. Reason : A]

3/5/2022 3:52:13 PM

Cabbage
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Quote :
" If he wants to intimidate Europe or the United States, all he's got is his nuclear arsenal."


I'm also concerned about cyber attacks, particularly against the power grid.

3/5/2022 3:54:12 PM

GrumpyGOP
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I'm concerned about cyber attacks too, but I think they're limited in what they can get away with. Once they start putting large numbers of lives at risk, they'll be treated as direct attacks and met with a response that Putin can't fend off with conventional means. Since I don't think Putin considers a nuclear war to be a viable outcome, I don't think he'll escalate in ways that must inescapably lead to it. A massive attack on the electrical grid that leaves hospitals without power (among many other knock-on effects, including serious damage to the food and water supplies) would be such an action.

3/5/2022 4:30:57 PM

bbehe
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https://twitter.com/PhillipsPOBrien/status/1500213943012319252?s=20&t=X-cQdwtRC8zXOKxrESO_Tw

Another twitter thread highlighting the logistical collapse

3/5/2022 7:42:38 PM

StTexan
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I always feel like with cyber we hold back too much. I just want some mackdaddy type US cyberattack and Russia is like DAMN!

Maybe that will be next Hiroshima moment

3/5/2022 8:41:52 PM

theDuke866
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^^^ yep

Quote :
"dropping as much dumb ordnance you can into Ukraine's city centers from as far away or high up as you can."


Ukraine has at least SA-10, and they might have SA-20 missiles...I can't remember. Regardless, you're not going to deliver any dumb ordnance from over or outside of its engagement zone.

They might have EW capabilities to suppress it (being that they built it* and it's somewhat dated), and there probably are gaps in the coverage...but it's a capable, dangerous SAM system.

*Sometimes the fact that they built it doesn't mean anything--there are cases where we know more about their shit than they do.

3/6/2022 12:02:17 AM

GrumpyGOP
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Yeah, the Russian air force has not been doing so hot. But they've still got their artillery (rocket and otherwise), and when/if they get into place around Kiev they can do enormous damage to it.

The question is, why? Just about the only things that could make global opposition to Russia even stronger and more unified are "deploying nuclear weapon" and "shelling Kiev into oblivion." It certainly won't make Ukraine surrender.

3/6/2022 11:12:26 AM

bbehe
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^^ The Russians have so far been flying CSAR missions and low altitude passes for air drops (both people and material) without air superiority, flying helo missions without the ground support to make sure there aren't troops with MANPADS, sending their pilots up with GPS coordinates on pen and paper, transmitting in clear, etc...what exactly gives you the idea they care enough about possible SAM sites? Them just dropping a fuck ton of ordnance with a Tu-95 without regard for the aircrew/airframe seems to be a real possibility. I don't think you can trust the Russians to make competent moves.

^ Why even bother with this whole invasion? At this point, I think it's best to treat them as an irrational actor that feels like they're pot committed.

3/6/2022 1:35:34 PM

A Tanzarian
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The invasion is a sunk cost. I'm concerned about Putin's why moving from 'Pull Ukraine away from the west' to 'Salvage a win' or 'Remain in power'. It's a lot easier to justify extreme action when you're facing irrelevance.

3/6/2022 2:57:40 PM

GrumpyGOP
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I still don't think there's clear evidence for Putin's regime or Russia generally behaving "irrationally." Certainly their premises have all been deeply flawed, and their assessments of relative resolve and material resources were incorrect, but that's different from irrationality.

Putin believed:

-Ukraine was becoming militarily stronger as time passed (accurate)
-Ukraine was orienting increasingly to the EU as time passed (accurate, though I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that this would have continued indefinitely absent Russian invasion)
-Attempts to realign Ukraine through non-military means have not been successful for Russia (same)
-An EU/NATO-aligned Ukraine posed a major threat to Russian security (misguided, I think, but not totally deranged given Russian history)
-Western response would be weak and disunited (inaccurate, though a reasonable enough guess)
-Russian military power would be able to subdue Ukraine before any serious response could coalesce (inaccurate, and shows a serious gap between reality and the information making it to Russian leadersihp)
-Domestic Russian opposition would be minimal or at least manageable (certainly not the former; time will tell on the latter)

Based on these premises, an attack on Ukraine ASAP is rational. Countries go to war when they don't have a cheaper option to secure their interests and when they think they can get away with it. Putin was partially wrong on the first and totally wrong on the second.

Quote :
"I'm concerned about Putin's why moving from 'Pull Ukraine away from the west' to 'Salvage a win' or 'Remain in power'."


I also have some concern that backing him too far into a corner is needlessly dangerous; it's important to offer him some kind of survivable offramp. Presumably there's some discussion of this going on in secret, since public opinion in most of the world won't be thrilled with a face-saving option for Putin. But possibly if he agrees to "Declare victory and then retreat," as it were, we could agree to a fairly brisk stepping down of the sanctions that hurt ordinary Russians the most. This seems plausible enough; he's obviously willing to say truly outlandish, ridiculous shit to justify his actions, so claiming to have successful de-nazified Ukraine and saved Russia from an imminent threat isn't beyond the pale.

That's not a perfect solution for anybody, and he'd have to do something (probably brutal, probably to Russians) to shore up his domestic position very quickly to avoid ouster. But it turns down the global conflict temperature by several degrees.

3/6/2022 7:13:22 PM

The Coz
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Stop coddling this guy. He sucks. Make it hard enough that Russians themselves demand the change that needs to occur.

Sanctions should not be removed any time soon. They should be increased.

3/6/2022 7:52:44 PM

bbehe
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What off ramp should the Ukrainians be prepared to give? Cede a shitload of territory to Putin? I think it's absolutely imperative that Russia doesn't get anything that resembles a win here, because then he'll just do it again.

3/6/2022 8:25:16 PM

A Tanzarian
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Does Ukraine really have a say? In realpolitik terms, I'd assume Putin can have whatever NATO/EU is willing to give to avoid wider conflict.

3/6/2022 8:59:51 PM

GrumpyGOP
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No, Ukraine shouldn't have to cede anything they haven't already effectively ceded anyway (Crimea, LNR/DNR). Recognizing those losses would be a bitter pill, but it beats getting shelled into the stone age, and it just amounts to acknowledging reality.

^^^Listen man, I'm very sympathetic to the "remove Putin" approach. But I don't think sanctions do it. We've been embargoing Cuba for 60 years, and it's done more to keep that regime in power than anything else.

In conjunction with a catastrophic military defeat, sanctions might make some people at the top pull a "palace coup," but the prospects for some kind of popular revolution are next to non-existent. A palace coup is fine, but the presumption is "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

[Edited on March 6, 2022 at 9:08 PM. Reason : ]

3/6/2022 9:07:50 PM

The Coz
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Yeah, I know. Mainly it just felt good to type it out. But seriously, this guy doesn't deserve any consolation prizes at all.

Russia is more globally integrated than Cuba ever was. So being removed from the systems they've known as part of a globally-coordinated approach seems potentially meaningful.

3/6/2022 9:30:02 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Sanctions in place after a de facto Russian defeat give Putin a thing to point at. "See? This assault on Russia was never really about Ukraine - see how it's still happening even after the war started? But still you suffer, and it's all their fault."

I mean, by all means, keep up the targeted sanctions and confiscate all the oligarch property we can find, but broader sanctions should end once the war does - assuming the war ends with some face saving off ramp that leaves Ukraine independent and with its status quo ante bellum territory.

That said, as long as there's a war or occupation, go nuts. Strangle the whole fucking country. At the end of the day the goal should be ending the war, not ousting Putin.

3/6/2022 10:40:57 PM

moron
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Russian foreign minister under yelsin explains why he doesn’t thing putin is irrational. He basically think putin got high on his own supply. He is surrounded by yes men and is operating on wrong information (sort of how Rumsfeld thought Iraq would greet us as liberators and shock and awe would quell any insurgency).

https://twitter.com/andreivkozyrev/status/1500610676926005251?s=21

3/7/2022 10:45:09 AM

Bullet
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Ukraine is claiming that 11,000 Russians have been killed so far. That's got to be a gross exageration, right?

https://www.npr.org/live-updates/2022/03/07/ukraine-russia-nuclear-plants-humanitarian

Quote :
"The numbers, from Feb. 24 to March 7, are preliminary. In addition to thousands of deaths, Russia’s military has lost 290 tanks, 999 armored vehicles, 46 aircraft and 68 helicopters, according to Ukraine’s defense ministry."


[Edited on March 7, 2022 at 1:12 PM. Reason : ]

3/7/2022 1:11:37 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"Ukraine is claiming that 11,000 Russians have been killed so far. That's got to be a gross exageration, right?"


Seems improbably high. I could maybe see 11,000 killed/wounded/captured total.

3/7/2022 1:36:14 PM

A Tanzarian
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Quote :
"No, Ukraine shouldn't have to cede anything they haven't already effectively ceded anyway (Crimea, LNR/DNR). Recognizing those losses would be a bitter pill, but it beats getting shelled into the stone age, and it just amounts to acknowledging reality."


Russia's demands at today's talks include ceding Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk. They also want a constitutional amendment against joining NATO/EU and 'demilitarization'.

I'm still not clear what Russia means by demilitarization. They seem to use it both in the sense of Ukraine disbanding its armed forces and Ukraine simply pulling back from the disputed border regions.

Russia is apparently recruiting Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.

3/7/2022 2:18:24 PM

The Coz
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That's sure to end well.

3/7/2022 2:22:12 PM

moron
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^^ I could see Ukraine agreeing not to join nato but it seems like they should have the right to join the EU.

3/7/2022 3:59:40 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"Russia's demands at today's talks include ceding Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk. They also want a constitutional amendment against joining NATO/EU and 'demilitarization'."


Best guess is, they'll publicly get the territory and there will be a secret agreement that Ukraine won't join NATO. EU they can let slide. EU accession isn't quick or easy, and Putin might think that he can run out the clock on it or use misinformation campaigns to sway Ukrainian public opinion against it as the requirements become more and more onerous. I think he'd be wrong, but he'd have hope, and that might be all it takes.

"Demilitarization" as we normally understand it would be a nonstarter but, as you say, it's not clear what they mean by that, so it can mean whatever they want. The simple fact of ceding Donetsk/Luhansk might qualify. Or Putin can just claim he blew up all the stuff he wanted to.

If he wants Ukraine to effectively disarm itself, then I'm happy for my taxes to send MANPADs, AT weapons, night vision, and goddamned Reaper drones for the next 50 years, if that's what it takes. "Bleed Russia white" is just fine by me. What I don't want is a sudden cornering that makes people near red buttons start to get antsy.

3/7/2022 5:31:39 PM

The Coz
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Thank you for clarifying.

3/7/2022 8:19:36 PM

Bullet
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Don't worry, be happy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwrR_MhUM7Y

3/8/2022 1:05:28 PM

UJustWait84
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Quote :
"At the end of the day the goal should be ending the war, not ousting Putin.
"


I joked the other day in chit chat about simply assassinating him, since we've had bad luck actually winning any meaningful wars recently (especially ones we've started), while moderate success taking out unsavory "bad guys", but I legitimately believe that this is Putin is much more of a problem than the Russian populace when it comes to this conflict.

Quibbling over whether his actions/behavior are rational/irrational is missing the point imo. He's behaving as Putin does, which means doing whatever the fuck he wants and daring people to stop him. At this point, he's approaching Kim Jong Un status in very real and practical terms and Russia (and the rest of the world) would be better off with him out of power, no matter who would fill the void if he were to be taken out. Russians have undergone how many revolutions over the past how many centuries?

3/8/2022 1:05:30 PM

GrumpyGOP
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I disagree in virtually every particular. The "rational/irrational" question is central to the whole thing. If his actions are fundamentally rational, then we can assume that any Russian government would behave similarly, which means "taking him out" is pointless, even dangerous.

He's not "doing whatever he wants" nor is he "daring people to stop him." I assure you his/Russia's desires are much bigger than Ukraine, yet they're not going for, say, the Baltics, nor indicating that they intend to anytime soon. And he would much prefer that we all be meek and compliant as he pursues his goals. I think he was convinced that we would be meek and compliant, certainly relative to how we are behaving.

How many revolutions has Russia undergone? Two, if you want to count the collapse of the Soviet Union, which you shouldn't. That was more of an implosion than a popular revolution or coup. So I wouldn't really call "revolution" their strong suit. More to the point, what have either of those "revolutions" changed in terms of Russian behavior? Under the Czars, Russia sought to expand in Eastern Europe to create a buffer zone. Under the Communists, Russia sought to expand in Eastern Europe to create a buffer zone. Under Putin, Russia has sought to expand in Eastern Europe to create a buffer zone. That's just Russia.

3/8/2022 4:02:52 PM

The Coz
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Thanks for selling us Alaska, chumps!

3/8/2022 4:23:27 PM

UJustWait84
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^^ Neither of us can see inside Putin's mind, but I think we can both agree he's made it abundantly clear that he fantasizes not only about a reunified USSR, but being 'hero' that would make it possible. I don't think he has the backing of the nation in the same way that oh, say Hitler, did. I think these bold, yet also clumsy, moves are much more of reflection of his personal aims/ambitions than the collective desires of a country that's now going to be much worse off (at the very least in the near short term) than before deciding to test the waters. Russia is fucking huge and vast swaths of it are completely foreign to people living within its own borders, and when combined with the insane amount of propaganda shoved down the average citizen's throat, it's difficult to get a real picture of what Russians collectively 'want'. My guess: this ain't it.

3/8/2022 4:50:28 PM

The Coz
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This is all because Putin is a midget. Zelenskyy is himself short and still has Putin by a couple inches.

3/8/2022 5:39:35 PM

UJustWait84
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Isn't he like 5'5? I honestly have no idea. Napoleon was tiny too.

3/8/2022 5:47:51 PM

utowncha
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google image search pictures of him standing with ahmadinejad. that dude was only 5'2" ... no way putin is 5'5".

3/8/2022 7:50:29 PM

TreeTwista10
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Quote :
"Putin is believed to be self-conscious about his height, which has been estimated by Kremlin insiders at between 155 and 165 centimetres (5 feet 1 inch and 5 feet 5 inches) tall but is usually given at 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches)."

3/8/2022 10:44:53 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"I think we can both agree he's made it abundantly clear that he fantasizes not only about a reunified USSR, but being 'hero' that would make it possible."


In fact I don't agree. I don't think there's any "fantasy" at play here, except perhaps insofar as what his cronies have told him about the state of his military.

The real difference between Putin and Hitler, in the context of your post, isn't that Hitler had the backing of the nation (he didn't), it's that Hitler's ambitions really were grounded in irrational fantasy. His goals not only exceeded his abilities, they went beyond any historic or strategic logic. Putin's goals, meanwhile, are well-rooted in Russia's historical ambitions as well as strategic depth and positioning. Yes, he wants Russia's territory and sphere of influence to mimic the Soviet Union's - that is, the apogee of Russian power. He's far from alone in this, and while I think the reach of the goal exceeds Russia's grasp, it's not lunacy and it's not likely to go away if Putin does.

As to his "hero fantasy," don't know how far that gets us, either. Sure, like most people (and certainly most political leaders), Putin would like to get credit for things. To whatever extent Putin can expand Russian power, he'd like to be praised for it, both for his own ego and because it solidifies his regime's survival. That would all be perfectly reasonable even if he did happen to have a pathological obsession with being regarded as heroic.

Quote :
"it's difficult to get a real picture of what Russians collectively 'want'. My guess: this ain't it."


Russia isn't and never has been a democracy, so what "the Russians" want is immaterial both to how the government behaves and to this conversation, because getting rid of Putin is far from the same thing as getting rid of Russia's thousand year old tradition of autocracy. That's much, much more complicated than ousting Putin.

3/9/2022 9:00:09 AM

Bullet
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Power out at Chernobyl, only 48 hours of fuel left to keep cooling it?

(I appreciate everyone's' input in here, I'm learning stuff)

3/9/2022 10:02:23 AM

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