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Russia Isn't Going Away in Ukraine


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#1 USC

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:47 AM

ukraine_5.jpg?itok=IF_EmBB3

The developing escalation spiral needs to be halted before it ends in total catastrophe.

 

November 30, 2017
 
The North Korea situation seems to bring U.S. national security “back to the future,” inviting Americans to seriously contemplate the prospect of nuclear war for the first time in decades. That is regrettable, and this writer has spent more than a few late nights and some long transpacific plane rides puzzling for a solution. However, the sad truth is that the unfolding situation in Ukraine is actually no less dangerous. In fact, one could plausibly argue that is even more dangerous for three salient reasons:

1 - Russia has become such a political ‘hot potato’ within U.S. domestic politics now that one hardly sees rational assessments in contemporary American strategic discourse.

 
 
 
 

2 - People are dying every day in the proxy war in eastern Ukraine and that dynamic dramatically inflames nationalist impulses on both sides.

3 - the Kremlin’s large and well tested arsenal of nuclear weaponry makes “Rocket Man’s” petite cache of weapons look like Tiddlywinks when comparing destructive power.

The point here is not to simply rehash what is well known. Everyone, for instance, knows by now that George Kennan, one of America’s most famous diplomats and foreign policy thinkers of the twentieth century, starkly warnedagainst NATO expansion in the 1990s (and he was hardly alone), but successive U.S. administrations pressed ahead anyways. There is no point, moreover, in reviewing the tragic events of the Maidan, and how European and American diplomats such as then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland foolishly overplayed the delicate political crisis in Kiev in 2013–14, prompting the Russian countermove against Crimea and igniting the outbreak of a destructive civil war. At least President Barack Obama was subsequently wise enough to admit that the United States had virtually no options to respond when confronting Russia’s “core interests,” as explained in his seminal 2016 foreign policy-focused interview that appeared in The Atlantic.

The simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine is the continuing legacy of these reckless moves, and any glimmers of hope that the Trump administration might bring the region’s suffering to an end with a creative peace plan has all but dissipated. The bizarre, half-cocked debate about Russian influence in the United States over the last year has been almost entirely undertaken by people who know nothing about Russia—with several bright and reasonable exceptions on this valued forum. To help slightly even the score, this new column will take a close look at new and relevant Russian-language writings: in this case a November 2017 survey of the Ukraine situation appearing in the Russian newspaper Military Review [Военное обозрение].

The article describes the late October 2017 bombings of a gas pipeline, a gas distribution station and nearby power lines in Crimea that are said to have cut off gas and electricity to 3,000 residents. An incident along the border in August 2016, in which two Russian officers were killed, and yet another in November 2016 when two Russian Army soldiers were detained, are also discussed. The author asks pointedly: “Is this not military aggression that needs to be answered by force?” [Это ли не военная агрессия, которую необходимо было пресечь силовым путём?] The article notes that Ukrainian saboteurs have been detained carrying bags full with “magnetic and contact mines, fuses, TNT, and grenades.” No mention is made of possible acts of sabotage against Ukraine by Russian agents. Alleging a link to Western intelligence organizations, the author of this Russian analysis suggests that the Ukrainian saboteurs regularly have their knowledge updated by overseas “colleagues.”

 

Albeit with a few caveats, moreover, this piece is actually rather harsh on President Vladimir Putin. He criticizes Russia’s leadership as “… too eager to position ourselves as the heralds of peaceful methods,” [… мы снова утёрлись позиционируя себя глашатаями мирных методов урегулирования конфликтов] and that the “lack of proper response at the operational-tactical level … is quite capable of leading to the continuation of subversive actions in the Republic of Crimea.” While still willing to say that the “very mild statement by President Putin … [was] well thought out,” [продуманное] this Russian strategist is nevertheless quite clear that he opposes the “excessively gentle attitude of our state towards Ukrainian terrorist tricks.”

The analysis also presents an outraged reaction to intensified artillery bombardment in the vicinity of Donetsk. The article suggests that Ukrainian authorities have now put into place 250–350 large artillery pieces and draws a comparison between this deployment and the threat that North Korean artillery poses against Seoul. According to the Russian analysis: “serious exchanges of fire that end tragically for our citizens are tolerated by the ‘Minsk Accord’…” [серьёзные пограничные огневые контакты, заканчивающиеся для наших граждан трагически, соблюдаем минский формат]. A stark warning follows that Russian airpower in the Southern Military District would be quite sufficient, assisted by both Iskander and Kalibr missile strikes, “to completely destroy most active artillery positions.” For good measure, it is added that Russian forces have had recent practice with these methods in Syria.

In this bleak Russian vision: “… their foreign sponsors [of the Kiev leadership] have definitively decided to use Ukraine in the final position … as the springboard for maintaining a long-term situation of escalation along our western borders.” [их ‘заокеанские хозяева’ уже окончательно определились с последним предназначением Украины … в качестве плацдарма для поддержания долговременной эскалационной обстановки у наших западных границ.] Indeed, Kiev is said to be “filled with American intelligence officers,” and, not surprisingly, this author has more than a few impolite comments regarding the Trump administration’s Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, who is described as “the author of numerous Russophobic comments,” and a “pupil of [Senator John] McCain.” It is assessed in this Russian analysis that in the context of the American push for transferring lethal arms to Ukraine and “large scale escalation in the Donbass theater” that Volker’s proposal to develop a peacekeeping mission for Eastern Ukraine can only be a “some kind of very unpleasant trick” [какой-то очень неприятный подвох]. The piece concludes by fretting that the American president is weak and may be forced to seek a military solution for the Donbass, even as “all the internal and external enemies of Russia begin to raise their heads” during the spring of 2018.

 
 
 
 

Some American readers will no doubt be inclined to dismiss such writings as those of a raving Russian militarist. However, that would be unwise, since these sentiments likely are quite reflective of Moscow’s national security elite and so are ignored at our collective peril. As a window into that line of thinking, this piece may indeed suggest that, even as Putin is viewed as a hard-liner by most in the West, he is quite likely under considerable pressure from Russian nationalists to escalate and even resolve the entire Ukraine situation by force. No doubt such an outcome would be a full on disaster for Ukraine, Russia and Europe too. But with no hint of a thaw in the new Cold War, the Kremlin may indeed be reviewing all its options.

Seventy-five years ago this winter, the Red Army surrounded and destroyed the German Wehrmacht’s vaunted Sixth Army. By killing, wounding or capturing almost half a million Nazi soldiers in the grand pincer movement, Russian armies dealt Hitler a blow that his war machine could never recover from. Indeed, if that Russian victory had not occurred, there is a considerable chance we would all be speaking German now—at least those of us not sent to the gas chambers. For that moment—one of the most extraordinary turning points in modern world history—we still owe Moscow the benefit of the doubt regarding Russia’s national security.

It is well past time that Washington put aside tendencies toward global rivalry and escalatory maneuvers to search for pragmatic solutions that could end the suffering of the people in eastern Ukraine and thus begin to stabilize the whole dangerously creaking construct of European security.

Lyle J. Goldstein is Professor of Strategy in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI. You can reach him at goldstel@usnwc.edu. The opinions in his columns are entirely his own and do not reflect the official assessments of the U.S. Navy or any other agency of the U.S. government.

 

http://nationalinter...y-ukraine-23438

 


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#2 Zharkov

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 04:17 PM

"The bizarre, half-cocked debate about Russian influence in the United States over the last year has been almost entirely undertaken by people who know nothing about Russia"

 

Very, very true!   Most critics of Trump know nothing at all about Russia, and are not even logical in their arguments.

 

Trump says he wants to "make America great again".   Trump wants to rebuild American military power to be the biggest in the world.

Not exactly in Russia's interests, is it?   Yet they don't understand the conflict in their views!

 

If Putin said the things Trump had said, American politicians would be hysterical, screaming for more money to counter the Russian buildup.

 

So the whole debate about Trump and Russia is obviously a hoax.  Russia had nothing to say about making America great again.  Nothing!

Like every other country, Russia stayed neutral on that question.  You don't see Swiss or French people accused of wanting to make America great again.

Why would Russian people want that?   What's in it for Russia?   More headaches, more problems?

 

I think it is time for Russian politicians to set American media straight on who benefits from Trump's making America great again, and the beneficiary isn't Russia.  North Korea, China, Iran, Mexico, India, nobody benefits from a more powerful militarized America.  It just isn't logical to connect Russia to Trump.

 

It's just another hoax.  Like the Climate Hoax, the Gulf of Tonkin Hoax, The WMD in Iraq Hoax, this Russian Hoax is an ongoing embarrassment for its participants.  They look as silly as they sound.  There is no substance to the accusations, no evidence of wrongdoing, no proof of anything, just noise.

 

Lots of noise.  Lots of smoke and haze, but no substance.  Nothing connects Trump to Russia or Russia to Trump and the idea of any connection is not even logical or rational.  It is insane.  An insane delusion created for propaganda effect.  It has nothing real about it.  And it makes no sense to anyone examining the supposed "benefits" to Russia.

 


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#3 Tatarewicz

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:26 PM

"nobody benefits from a more powerful militarized America."  Zharkov

 

Israell needs a vigorous US military to be on hand to prevent "Arab police" from stopping Israeli squatters from stealing lands of Palestinians. 

 

The anti-Russian sniping over elections is just propaganda/theatre to keep Americans in the dark about what's really going on. 


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#4 Nemesis

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:33 PM

It drives me crazy how they insist these false allegations are fact when they are not.  I heard some asshole female saying that Wikileaks is the Russian government.  GRRRRRRRRRRRRR.


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#5 Zharkov

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:07 PM

Let's see how the argument stands up that Israel benefits from a militarized America: 

 

Trump just decreed that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel and will have a US embassy.

Riots began almost immediately.  The US can't stop rioting with military power.

UN disapproval was nearly unanimous.  The US can't sway UN opinion with military power.
Europe was shocked and awed at the idea of Trump giving arabs yet another grievance against Israel.

All the bullets and bombs in the US arsenal cannot stop arabs from hating this development.

Does Israel benefit from being universally hated?   Do jews even care if they are hated?

I think there is no benefit from this, and if Israel is attacked, the US may send supplies but not soldiers.

On the other hand, the US may not do anything about it. 

Trump rolled the dice to see if Israel loses.  It's his bet, his gamble.  Military power won't stop what is coming.

If the Islamic world goes to war, it will make the Vietnam War look like a happy picnic.

Why?  Because THEY are HERE!  Not over there, but inside America. 

California is already burning.  That could be only a beginning. 

Vietnam was nothing compared with what could happen here.

We have radical muslims in our military, our intel agencies, our nuclear weapons facilities.

Our military strength is THEIR military strength too. 

Israel's war may be at the cost of America and that could not benefit Israel much.


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#6 Zharkov

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:18 PM

As for Russia being in the Ukraine, historically it seems the opposite - the Ukraine is being in Russia.

Will the US ever give up being in Texas?  Hawaii?  California?   Quite the opposite, those places are in the US.

 

The Ukraine is, and should remain, an internal matter between the Russian government and the Ukraine government, not a UN or US concern.

Crimea became none of anyone's business once they voted to join with Russia. 

Crimea is also an internal matter of no concern to anyone except Crimea and Russia.

 

Ukrainians want to be independent, fine.  Work that out with each other and stop shooting people who disagree.

It seems apparent that in the Ukraine, people have been tricked into shooting each other over who runs the joint.

Does it still matter if their economy went to Hell and their homes are shelled by artillery?

Is there any interest in working out a settlement that leaves Russians in peace inside the Ukraine?

 

Or do we depend on the CIA to tell the Ukraine gov't when to stop shelling their own citizens?

Isn't the CIA behind this dispute in the first place?  Should they be depended on for anything?

Ukraine joins NATO, then what?  Will that bring peace, or just more trouble?

I get it that many Ukrainians dislike Russia.  Is there a better way to handle that than bombing every settlement?

 


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#7 USC

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:05 PM

Zharkov, no offend!

 

2012, Sevastopol, Crimea. Picture made during U.S.- Ukro-nazi occupation.

 

24862590_135346337179939_678451392420684


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#8 Zharkov

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:43 AM

The finger could belong to either Ukrainian or Russian, or even an American.

It was an Obama thing to mess with the Ukraine. 

Most Americans didn't like Obama, which is why we voted for Trump.

One reason was the Ukraine.  Obama didn't need to get us involved.

We didn't care who ran the Ukraine.  We still don't. 


Edited by Zharkov, 09 December 2017 - 03:43 AM.

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#9 Zharkov

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:46 AM

Something that makes Russians laugh...

 

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prosecutor-general says opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili has been arrested.

 

Yuriy Lutzenko made the announcement late Friday on his Facebook page. Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, has been a leader of opposition to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, especially criticizing the president's failure to halt corruption in the country.

 
 

Saakashvili became governor of Ukraine's Odessa region in 2015 and was granted citizenship. But he left that post, complaining that Poroshenko was blocking his anti-corruption efforts, and was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in August.

 

https://www.newsmax....2/08/id/830773/


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#10 Tatarewicz

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

"Does Israel benefit from being universally hated?" Zharkov Helps Tribe's leadership to maintain control by telling populace all must stick together against the enemy (haters). Maintains national unity. By US neutralizing Afghanistan and Iraq Arabs no longer in training for land assault on Israel, no longer blowing up Israeli squatters by the bus load. "Trump just decreed that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel..." It's a consolation prize following Israel's loss in Syria. In Ukraine American neocon Jews engineered a coup to enable its return to Khazar control; use it to enter NATO and thus increase security for Israel.
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#11 Zharkov

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 09:46 PM

How someone got the idea that I advocated Israeli people sticking together is a mystery.  I never said anything about that.

Many Israeli residents have already said it was a bad idea to generate more hate for jews by making Jerusalem the Israeli capitol.  Many other Israeli citizens like the idea because it shows a political middle finger to the arabs.  Apparently, the idea has been around a long time before Trump was president.

Assume for sake of argument that you are right, and I am pimping for Israel so they will all stick together and fight the gentile enemy, so everyone will hate me for that.

How does that benefit me?   Does it make my posts more persuasive?  Can I charge a fee for reading my thread?  Do I get anything at all out of being a pimp for Israel?

Now look at Israel.  What do they get?  A capitol that will be a target for every arab on earth. How does every arab hating Israel benefit Israel?  If the US tells the world we should love Israel, will that make it happen?  I don't think so.  Will Israel become stronger in the face of universal Islamic hate?  They've already got that now.  All the US firepower in the world will not make Jews more lovable or less hated.

If there is any benefit at all to Israel from angering the Islamic world once again, it is not apparent.  Jerusalem will be the capitol of Israel - for awhile.  Jerusalem has changed owners many times, and can do so again.  

 

Now, what about the Ukraine?  Suppose Russia announced that it would declare Kiev to be the capitol of Russia?

Kiev once was the Russian capitol, it could be one again. 

Is that really much different from Israel announcing Jerusalem to be its capitol?

 

No, there is no hope, no chance, that the Ukraine will migrate to the Middle East and set up a new country there as Israel had done.

Ukraine isn't going anywhere.  Neither is Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, or Hungary.  They need to remain friends with each other and with Russia.

There is no other choice.   They are married to each other, geographically.  Forever.  Time for them to accept their differences and stop shooting each other.  They can't afford wars because they are too little to win any.  They can't depend on NATO because it is a fickle friend who does not have their best interests on the agenda.  They have to get along with each other or perish.  Not much middle ground in that choice.


 


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#12 Tatarewicz

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:10 AM

"How someone got the idea that I advocated Israeli people sticking together is a mystery." - Zharkov

 

Not implying you're urging Israeli unity. Just pointing out the ancient trick of concocting an enemy which gang leaders have used to rally people behind them and which politicians use today to divert attention from their ineptitude.

 

In regard to Ukraine you don't see the possibility of it becoming an "associate" state of Israel.same as US?


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#13 Zharkov

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 04:40 PM

My preference is for Russians and Ukrainians to stop shooting at each other and realize they have too much in common to be fighting over who should live where.  They are essentially the same people.  The same family.  Related.  Like brothers and sisters.  They've got to try harder to get along with each other.

 

Nobody can "make them stop" until they want to stop fighting.   They have to get to that point on their own, have the desire to move on, to have peace, and just try to live as best they can.   The US and CIA (not the same entity by any means) have made life miserable for the Ukraine, and once that is realized, they will resist being manipulated so easily.  The Ukraine is a weapon the Obama regime used against Russia. 

 

]Trump may want that Ukraine weaponization to end but the CIA will continue on because it was infiltrated with globalist collaborators. 

 

The CIA has become its own government, pretending to answer to the president but doing its own agenda regardless of who is president, and that means it is out of control at this point in time.  It is a huge bureaucracy extending world-wide, a government within a government.

 

CIA needs a purge of personnel, and until that happens, it continues as before with the Ukraine.  The globalist cabal is trying to distract and harass Trump as much as possible to keep the agenda going everywhere including the Ukraine, but they failed in Syria, and they fear failure now on their entire agenda.

 

Trump rejects the view that Russia is our natural enemy.  He knows better.  He has been to Russia and he doesn't want to have any Russian enemies, but he is stuck with the evil done by Congress and the Obama collaborators, and to some extent, he is stuck with CIA past operations and policies.  That will change when the CIA has new people working in it.  How many must be forced out is anyone's guess.  Even the government doesn't know exactly how many work for the CIA.   The Pentagon admitted recently that it has no idea of how many soldiers it has overseas on foreign bases.   The CIA is even more secretive and compartmental, so it would not be able to produce an inventory list of people working for it even if Congress demanded to know.

 

So the Ukraine will have to sort itself out.   The US/CIA is of no help at all unless it is to keep the fighting going on longer, the goal being to distract Russian leaders with problems.  Why such a goal?  How would that help Israel, if at all?  One possible answer is that chaos in the Middle East provides security for Israel by disrupting any hope of creating an organized Islamic multinational coalition.   Russia ended ISIS chaos in Syria, and that did not help Israel much.

 

Again, there seems to be no real reason why Ukrainians and Russians are fighting each other when they are essentially the same people having the same families, speaking the same languages, living together in peace for decades before Obama ruined everything.   It just makes no sense to an outside observer.   But the American Civil War against the confederate states did not occur because they were so different, and it also is difficult to understand how the same people can kill each other over political disagreements.   It happens.   But there is no good reason for it.  Except for politics, they are the same people with the same needs and wants.  It's a tragedy.

 


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#14 Tatarewicz

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 11:40 AM

"They are essentially the same people."  -  Zharkov

According to Grog's post, Russians have Nordic origins and it was the Rus who dispersed the obnoxious Khazar Jews from their territory which covered what  much of which now is Ukraine. I surmise many of the Khazars stayed in place by converting to Christian religions to become today's Ukrainians.  Nevertheless, they retained physical abnormalities stemming from past, closed community inbreeding lifestyles, a factor in their psycopathic behavior.

A century ago a US state envoy in eastern Russia cabled home that "Jews of the worst kind" were taking on positions of political power in communities during the Jew-led communist Revolution. Always wondered what "worst kind" meant. Well,I found out when became helpful to a local "Khazar" Ukrainian, a mistake which cost me hundreds of thousands. Should have picked up the clue when his old man pleaded with me to straighten out the son's obstinate, self-centered behavior, no different from that of Jews in Palestine.

 

"Nobody can "make them stop" until they want to stop fighting."

But the same can be said for Americans stopping their current wars. Nobody can stop the wars until American voters discover how their Jews make sure only Israel-supporting candidates are elected to Congress and then elect America-first Congress members instead.
 


Edited by Tatarewicz, 13 December 2017 - 11:42 AM.

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