War without an end game, what do you think?

Liberals, using the U.S. nomenclature, are in favour of renewable energy, against fossil fuels, promote abortion on demand up to the time of birth, promote gay marriage, promote transgender rights (including the right of men in frocks to compete with women in sports and enter women’s change rooms), promote teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and exposing them to drag shows and other sexual perversions, promote DEI and ESG, promote affirmative action (i.e., discrimination against those not in favoured groups), promote tearing down statues of giants of the past, promote reparations for perceived injustices committed centuries ago, promote DEI and ESG. I could go on with a whole retinue of their foul and destructive ways. But I want to add only one. That is their vengeful support of the Ukraine in its war with Russia. Russia, once extolled by the Left, is now despised. But, hold on, most conservatives are on board with this one. What does that mean? Is the Left right for once?

I don’t know but, generally, wherever the Left go I don’t want to go. Bad company. Thus, maybe, I over compensated. Found some justification for Russia in the overtures that Zelensky was making to NATO. Strangely too, I didn’t take to Zelensky as much as did the fawning world. That said, Russia invaded. It is the aggressor. No gainsaying that. So, I tried to keep objective. But it’s clear that objectivity on this matter is code for peddling Russian propaganda; at least, that is current Western mindset.

There’s a problem, I think, with the West having such a mindset. Saw an ex-military chap on the BBC just today saying that Russia could be defeated. This kind of pronouncement is commonplace. Russia is losing. Russian troops are demoralised. Liz Truss, the new British PM is especially jingoistic by proxy; as is Joe Biden.

No one in the media, so far as I’ve seen, asks a follow up question: exactly what would Russia beaten look like? Cowed, the Donbas region and Crimea abandoned? Apropos Nazi Germany: mea culpas, reparations, generals facing war-crime trials in the Hague or somewhere? Putin put on trial?

Some obvious facts should be acknowledged. Russia is a very big country and a very patriotic country. Not all Russians favour the war. All Russians favour Russia. They know that the longevity of the war has little to do with morale. It has to do with an endless supply of high-tech weapons and ammunitions supplied to the Ukraine by the US and Western European countries; without those countries ever contemplating boots on the ground. There has never been anything quite like it in the history of human conflict.

Pictured in this morning’s newspaper, a young woman with an anti-tank weapon with the caption that she’d taken out a Russian tank. Give me a bit of training and the latest US anti-tank missile launcher, and I bet even I could take out a Russian tank. (Maybe?) There seems to be a basic lack of understanding that an army marches on its supply of the latest weaponry. Churchill knew that fighting in the Sudan at the end of the nineteenth century (The River War). Weapons make the difference. That’s why this war has gone on for so long and why no end is in sight. That is, unless you suffer from the delusion that Russia will capitulate.

My ending is with the question; how will this all end up? And a second one: do the governments of the US, the UK and, say, France and Germany have a clear idea of how it will end up? I mean if you are supplying a country indefinitely with billions upon billions of dollars’ worth of armaments; surely you must have a clear objective in sight? Do you adjust that objective if Putin declares the Donbas Russia, as he has Crimea, on the basis of some plebiscites; however dodgy? Just suppose, for example, that a majority of people in the contested areas really want to be Russian? The UK was willing to let Scotland go on such a basis.

Sometimes the demarcation is clear. Good guys and bad guys. But then the idea is to completely defeat the bad guys. Usually, you have to go into their territory to do that.

What do you think? Cos I’m at sea.

50 thoughts on “War without an end game, what do you think?”

  1. Russia is a very big country and a very patriotic country. Not all Russians favour the war. All Russians favour Russia. They know that the longevity of the war has little to do with morale.

    Tsar Nicholas II, famous last words?


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  2. I think there’s going to be a stalemate of sorts.

    Russia will end up formally annexing the sepatarist regions in the Donbas once the referenda are held and will likely permanently occupy the territory it presently holds to the south-east, where the population is perhaps less enthused about being co-opted into the new Russian empire. They will present a problem for Putin in the long run if they stay put.

    Ukraine will make vociferous protests – and not without justification – but they will be told this is now how things will stand. If they want to take on the Russians, they will do it on their own.

    In the end, neither Putin nor Zelensky gets everything he wants, but the world draws back from the precipice of a possible major war including nuclear exchanges.

    At least, this is how I hope it turns out.


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  3. Peter, you know more than me. But, like you, I’ve been thinking on this and reading stuff that’s been put up on the Cat.

    Someone I know comes from Serbia – her husband from Bosnia – they watch Serbian tv. That, maybe, disqualifies her from having an objective position? Or does it? She is very clear on who are the Nazis and what’s been going on in the Donbas and other areas with high numbers of ethnic Russians. (There’s a Jimmy Dore vid from the other day showing one of Zelensky’s body guards wearing a Nazi badge, which bears out that claim).

    But as you say, it’s Russia that is the invader.

    Like you, I wonder how long before the west stops supplying Zelensky – for it can’t go on forever. And will they stick like glue until Putin primes a nuclear weapon?

    Then I wonder if this is all designed to ensure that nothing leaks from the Ukrainian side about the Bidens’ business dealings there.

    I can also commiserate with the Russians to some degree for wanting a buffer zone with NATO – just like Australia being worried post the Chinese agreement with the Solomon Islands.

    Everything is, and remains, murky. Truth, and all that. Maybe, the winter will bring an hiatus to the war.


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  4. Like you, I wonder how long before the west stops supplying Zelensky – for it can’t go on forever.

    It doesn’t have to go on forever, just until Russia is destroyed.
    Putin is now throwing 300,000 more men into the meat grinder.
    Who do you think will run out of warm bodies first, Russia or The West?

    And will they stick like glue until Putin primes a nuclear weapon?

    The West have got Nukes too, in Germany, France, the U.K. and the submarines.
    Who will call Uncle first, do you think?


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  5. Apropos Nazi Germany: mea culpas, reparations, generals facing war-crime trials in the Hague or somewhere? Putin put on trial?

    Putin will only be brought to the dock wearing chains. Other than that, it isn’t going to happen.

    Not all Russians favour the war. All Russians favour Russia.

    100%.

    The recently announced mobilisation is a very disturbing development. IMO, the greater the pressure on Russia, the more the Russian people may consolidate behind Putin and push on. There is no question that every Russian, whether they support Putin and the conflict or not, acknowledges the battle as a war by proxy with the West and in particular, the USA. In turn, that divides Russians into two camps: either that Russia must withdraw because the war is unwinnable or, the war is justified and in any case Russia must not suffer that humiliation of withdrawal. Its military might must prevail – whatever it takes.

    Russians have long had a ‘siege’ mentality and they are proud of their capability to act and survive within their own borders. Their capacity to absorb hardship, which would cripple a ‘soft’ western country, is extraordinary. When they couldn’t buy imported goods, they made their own. Since the fall of the USSR, Russians have enjoyed a substantial influx of new imports but since those imports have been cut off in the past few months, Russian manufacturing has reasserted itself and is filling the void.

    It has to do with an endless supply of high-tech weapons and ammunitions supplied to the Ukraine by the US and Western European countries; without those countries ever contemplating boots on the ground.

    Yes, which is very dangerous for Ukraine. The oft mentioned refrain that the West will fight to the last Ukrainian is, in my opinion, true. I also don’t think the recent mobilisation will be the last – I fear that this mobilisation is Russia crossing the military Rubicon and eventually, north of 500,000 Russian troops will eventually occupy Ukraine and it will once again be a satellite of the Russian Empire. The West won’t be able to supply high-tech weapons into Ukraine if it effectively doesn’t exist. To be clear, this is not my wish, but my crystal ball contains some very dark outcomes at present.

    In isolation, Russia will have a hard time but they are not alone – they have China and a handful of other nations for support. I don’t think the war in Ukraine is over but a very long margin.


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  6. And a second one: do the governments of the US, the UK and, say, France and Germany have a clear idea of how it will end up

    Some of them will have their pockets bulging with cash, others will be lined up for cushy post-political sinecures in the various arms businesses.

    Do the left realise that Zelensky has just banned the largest opposition party, and ten other lefty and pro-Russian parties?

    As much as I generally despise traditional socialists, I think at least some of this is right.

    There isn’t much wrong with this statement

    The banning of the country’s largest opposition party marks the temporary culmination of an undemocratic campaign initiated by the Zelensky government against parties and individuals who could potentially undermine the war that Kiev is waging against Russia on behalf of the imperialist powers.



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  7. I fear that this mobilisation is Russia crossing the military Rubicon and eventually, north of 500,000 Russian troops will eventually occupy Ukraine and it will once again be a satellite of the Russian Empire.

    I don’t see the Ukrainians tolerating that after 30+ years of independence as a nation-state.

    Putin would have to Russify the country or face an insurgency which will go on for much longer than this phase of the war.

    We also need to factor in the influence of China on how things pans out too.


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  8. This rock-show has been going on since at least 2014.

    From mid 2014, “separatists” with “links” to Russia went “hot” in their move to annexe the Donetsk region, which had a large population of “ethnic” Russians. The “Russification” of a LOT of the old Soviet republics was core business for Stalin, himself, amusingly enough, a Georgian.

    Remember that when the Wehrmacht charged into Ukraine, they were initially welcomed as LIBERATORS from the Moscow yoke. The Nazis, being Nazis, set the deal straight by doing their “racial purity” thing on the “Slavic” population of Ukraine.


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  9. Since the mobilization, I think the UKR is going to have a hard time keeping things going, militarily. They’ve been banging their heads against a wall in Kherson, for three weeks now, largely because RUS has sufficient forces in the area to defend and they seem keen to hold it. Once those reserves start arriving in theatre they are going to be able to do this across all fronts. They are also going to be able to make grander offensive maneuvers against UKR without having to worry about their rear areas because those reserves will cover them. Also, RUS seems far less apprehensive about targeting infrastructure if it is militarily advantageous for them doing so. There’s likely going to be a pause of some sort soon when the autumn rains arrive but things might get interesting once the cold hardens the ground and makes movement possible again.

    Politically, its a mystery. I have no idea how bad it has to get for the UKR to proceed to the table. Would they look for a ceasefire if the lost Nikolayev and Odessa? Don’t know. Does the loss of another 200K KIA/WIA make a difference? Does it require pressure from NATO/ EU? Possibly. If this is the decisive factor, what would make NATO/ EU push for peace given their position so far? Again, hard to tell, but if NATO/EU have scrapped the bottom of their equipment/ consumables barrel, they may have little choice without devoting more productive capacity to military rather than consumer goods with all that entails.


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  10. Territory east of the Dneiper has always been contentious and a source of armed conflict for at least a decade. Yet many people I speak to seem unaware of the history of the region.

    There is a horrible inevitability about recent events. The West has naively decided that supplying Ukraine with endless weaponry will eventually cause Putin yo capitulate. It won’t. Rather, it weakens and distracts the West from what is happening in the larger geopolitical sphere.

    Has no-one noticed the recent pow wow between Putin and Xi & the subsequent change in Putin’s planning with the call up of 300,00 reservists? With the inevitable scurry of western governments to respond to Putin’s move, Xi will have more room to move in relation to Taiwan.

    And where will we be? Up the creek with a paddle.


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  11. I fear that this mobilisation is Russia crossing the military Rubicon and eventually, north of 500,000 Russian troops will eventually occupy Ukraine and it will once again be a satellite of the Russian Empire.

    The Eastern Ukraine is Russia, Ruthenia is also
    Russia, and the rest belonged to either Hungary or Romania.
    The State of Ukraine was created by Lenin in 1922, the name means borderland.
    Kruschev gifted Crimea and the Donbass to Ukraine in 1954 for reasons never satisfactorily explained, though they make a lot of sense in the current context if you accept that Kruschev wasn’t a Russian.


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  12. Remember that when the Wehrmacht charged into Ukraine, they were initially welcomed as LIBERATORS from the Moscow yoke. The Nazis, being Nazis, set the deal straight by doing their “racial purity” thing on the “Slavic” population of Ukraine.

    That’s pure AgitProp.
    The Wehrmacht shot Partisans and anyone who either shot at them or refused to obey.
    Heard of the Ukrainian SS Divisions?
    They had a brutal reputation for massacres in France and Holland.
    The Ukrainians welcomed the Wehrmacht alright, then proceeded to slaughter Poles and Jews.
    There still hasn’t been a reckoning over that.


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  13. In isolation, Russia will have a hard time but they are not alone – they have China and a handful of other nations for support.

    One shouldn’t assume that China’s support for Russia is open ended or philanthropic in motivation.

    Since this phase of the war began China’s investments in Russia through BRI have dropped to zero for the first time since BRI began in 2013.

    Xi knows Putin’s moves are risky for Russia and he is waiting to see how he fares.


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  14. Liberals, using the U.S. nomenclature, are in favour of renewable energy, against fossil fuels, promote abortion on demand up to the time of birth, promote gay marriage, promote transgender rights (including the right of men in frocks to compete with women in sports and enter women’s change rooms), promote teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and exposing them to drag shows and other sexual perversions, promote DEI and ESG, promote affirmative action (i.e., discrimination against those not in favoured groups), promote tearing down statues of giants of the past, promote reparations for perceived injustices committed centuries ago, promote DEI and ESG.

    Turns out 21st “liberals” aren’t liberals at all, but fascists using the social media monopolies to enforce censorship of ideas they disagree with and state control of corporations in a fascist conspiracy not only against liberalism, but against the great middle class, who the fascist “liberals” have decided can’t be left alone to make their own decisions, but must be coerced to accept fascist control of everything or face the loss of employment for daring to think independently.


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  15. Just suppose, for example, that a majority of people in the contested areas really want to be Russian?

    This. When before have we seen a war where the West’s attitude was so indifferent to the people of the contested areas?


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  16. Ed Case says:
    September 22, 2022 at 4:35 pm
    Kruschev gifted Crimea and the Donbass to Ukraine in 1954 for reasons never satisfactorily explained,

    Yes it has Ed. I have explained on the Cat, a couple of times, that the gifting of the Crimea was to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine being part of the Russian Empire. The history is not quite that simple but what you may mean is that the legality of the gift (whether Khrushchev had the authority) because according to the Soviet Constitution of 1937 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet did not have the right to alter the borders without a referendum (which didn’t happen). Therefore, Khrushchev waaaay overstepped his authority but given he was the Premier and it was the USSR, which no-one could imagine would collapse, it just kind of ‘went through’.

    Things became really interesting immediately after 1991, which is a whole other story. But, and you can take this to the bank, Russia will never again cede Crimea to the Ukraine.


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  17. When before have we seen a war where the West’s attitude was so indifferent to the people of the contested areas?

    Remember Biden’s “minor incursion” gaffe?

    He inadvertently revealed the Western position.

    If Putin had simply occupied the Donbas the war wouldn’t have escalated.


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  18. Russia is the aggressor because they made the first military move? By that standard the Israelis were the aggressors in 1967. Any condemnation?
    Never heard of a pre-emptive strike? The US invaded Iraq in 2003, Afghanistan in 2002. Grenada anyone?
    Poke the bear, keep poking the bear and act surprised when it turns around and swipes you. Once the Russian speaking areas are under Russian control and decide to join Russia, there can be some population shifts, property swaps etc. Worked in Cyprus.
    Now if the West would only stop the nonsense. All we are doing is getting heaps of Ukes killed and a country wrecked.


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  19. Speedbox:
    Read this carefully-

    Kruschev gifted Crimea and the Donbass to Ukraine in 1954 for reasons never satisfactorily explained,

    Your 300th Birthday tripe isn’t a satisfactory explanation for giving Crimea, bought with Russian blood, to Ukraine.


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  20. You may not deem it a ‘satisfactory’ explanation but it remains the historical fact. Perhaps you should get out your ouija board, contact Khrushchev and have it out with him.


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  21. One thing I don’t see discussed is what there will be left of Ukraine, regardless of outcome. Out of a population of what, 40 million(?), you’ve looking at 10 million or so joining Russia.
    I’ve seen claims of approx. another 10 million fled as refugees, presumably mainly women and children, of which how many are going to return?
    Then you start talking casualties. Even with a low end figure of 3x wounded for every KIA that’s going to effect demographics.

    So at a minimum I’d guess the population will drop by 1/3rd. If Poland etc. take a bite as well, Ukraine could very well be reduced to a quarter or less of the population it had, without any of the industry or agriculture that gave it the potential there was. Not that that potential went anywhere in the last 30 years.

    I don’t see any real win for Ukrainians with it dragging out, but also believe their best chance in negotiations is gone. It may well end up they get terms dictated instead.


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  22. I would argue that the U.S. government orchestrating a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Ukrainian government that was friendly to Russia was the precursor to an act of war.

    Then there was the slaughter of the people in the Donbass region…

    Then there was trying to get Ukraine into NATO…

    I can’t imagine why Russia would see any of this as an act of war by the West at all…


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  23. I can’t imagine why Russia would see any of this as an act of war by the West at all…

    These actions may have been unwise, but none of them were direct threats against Russia.

    In international law, therefore, none of them constitute a casus belli.


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  24. none of them were direct threats against Russia.

    Yeah, it’s like being that kid who verbally abuses, threatens and intimidates another kid, then runs crying to the teacher the moment the other kid decks him…

    Ukraine NATO membership was that red line that Russia had warned about for years.


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  25. Roger says:
    September 22, 2022 at 4:15 pm
    I don’t see the Ukrainians tolerating that after 30+ years of independence as a nation-state. Putin would have to Russify the country or face an insurgency which will go on for much longer than this phase of the war.

    The Ukrainians may not get much say in the matter.

    Russia has been relatively restrained in the past few months. I suppose it depends on your point of view but Russian forces have rarely used their highly destructive or long range weapons. The hypersonic and thermobaric missiles have largely stayed in their warehouses, fighter jets have stayed on the ground in Russia or operated limited sorties over the Donbas whilst the bombers are nowhere to be seen. The original 100,000 troops was clearly insufficient as an invasion force (Putin may have thought they would be welcomed as saviours) but escalation of another 300,000 is deeply troubling.

    The next key, IMO, is the use of longer range missiles. It’s only about 1,200 kms from east to west Ukraine and military facilities in the west of the country may come under more consistent attack. If the Russians start to play hardball, they will attempt to cut off the weapon supply by rail from the west once on Ukrainian soil. Roads, rail bridges, terminals and air fields etc. will be targeted. The use of spies will increase exponentially.

    I completely agree that occupation of Ukraine will initiate an counter-insurgency. No doubt about it and the West will arm the insurgents with assorted shoulder fired weapons (Mujahedeen, anyone) and other small arms. But in the meantime, through all of this, the ordinary folk in Ukraine will suffer.


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  26. I completely agree that occupation of Ukraine will initiate an counter-insurgency.

    It’s going to be hard to run an insurgency with all the humint both sides have on the ground.


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  27. Liberals, using the U.S. nomenclature, are in favour of renewable energy, against fossil fuels, promote abortion on demand up to the time of birth, promote gay marriage, promote transgender rights (including the right of men in frocks to compete with women in sports and enter women’s change rooms), promote teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and exposing them to drag shows and other sexual perversions, promote DEI and ESG, promote affirmative action (i.e., discrimination against those not in favoured groups), promote tearing down statues of giants of the past, promote reparations for perceived injustices committed centuries ago, promote DEI and ESG. I could go on with a whole retinue of their foul and destructive ways. But I want to add only one. That is their vengeful support of the Ukraine in its war with Russia. Russia, once extolled by the Left, is now despised. But, hold on, most conservatives are on board with this one. What does that mean? Is the Left right for once?

    I think the main error we are making here is viewing Ukraine and Russia through the lens of the domestic culture wars, rather than as a dispute that has its own history and dynamics which are irrelevant to whether homosexuals are allowed to marry or not.


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  28. I wrote it up here: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/03/russia_china_the_torpedoes_circle_back.html
    In short, the Soviets foisted Obama on the US through a multi-decadal influence operation. Obama had a super progressive State Department that tried to remake the world in its own image. Some of the US consulates in Russian cities had staffs of hundreds. The mean girls of State Department wouldn’t let Russia join NATO. The State Department sent Victoria Nuland to Kiev where she hired the sniper of Maidan Square. Putin gave up trying to join the West after that. Which is a big problem because it would have been better to have Russia on our side in the coming war with China.
    Russia did a very bad thing in invading Ukraine, doing all those massacres etc. They are somewhat too barbaric. Now that they have invaded, the greater their defeat, the more peace we will have afterwards. The stans have smelt the wind and have already starting attacking each other and Armenia. There is a big power vacuum now on the central Asian plain. The Russians will be defeated when the Russian troops walk out of Ukraine.


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  29. exactly what would Russia beaten look like? Cowed, the Donbas region and Crimea abandoned? Apropos Nazi Germany: mea culpas, reparations, generals facing war-crime trials in the Hague or somewhere? Putin put on trial?

    Sounds good to me.

    Putin screwed up the initial invasion by treating Ukraine as just another SMO. He thought it would be easy. More fool him.

    The escalation now means that Putin has to spend a lot of time and money training up these conscripts, not to mention tooling them up with anything more modern than a Kalashnikov. All the while he will have trouble damping down disquiet on the domestic front.

    And it’s not as if Ukraine is going to be twiddling its thumbs through winter. They may not have extra reservists to call upon, but they will spend the time wheeling in the West’s latest toys, cannons for the cannon fodder.

    Whether the Russians trapped in Kherson can retreat before winter hits and they are really cut off will be interesting. It’s like a siege, but from the opposite side.


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  30. Putin is gonna feed 300,000 into the meat grinder, then another mobilisation , eventually he’ll run out of men and materiel.
    Remember that the S.U. defeated Germany with American materiel, without that the Germans would’ve destroyed them.


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  31. A possible resolution – Zelensky resigns. Putin uses the appointment of his replacement as an opportunity to propose an endgame that involves annexation. US insists Ukraine agrees to it.


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  32. Ed Case says:
    September 22, 2022 at 4:41 pm
    Remember that when the Wehrmacht charged into Ukraine, they were initially welcomed as LIBERATORS from the Moscow yoke. The Nazis, being Nazis, set the deal straight by doing their “racial purity” thing on the “Slavic” population of Ukraine.
    That’s pure AgitProp.
    The Wehrmacht shot Partisans and anyone who either shot at them or refused to obey.
    Heard of the Ukrainian SS Divisions?
    They had a brutal reputation for massacres in France and Holland.
    The Ukrainians welcomed the Wehrmacht alright, then proceeded to slaughter Poles and Jews.
    There still hasn’t been a reckoning over that.

    You’re both right. The politics in the region is every bit as toxic as is the Middle East. Tony Abbot was mocked relentlessly for saying it, but it really has never a case of “goodies v badies.” I spent 40 years in Defence including 20+ in three letter agencies, and my personal opinion is leave them to it…it’s nothing to do with Australia and there are no good outcomes from a region so utterly soaked with inter-generational, pure hatred. Leave them to it and have the eventual winner ring the world when it’s over with the correct mailing address.


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  33. Hi Peter
    Thank you for this well balanced article.
    Your last sentence articulates my thoughts and how I feel.
    The Donbas – Were Russians trucked there to displace Ukrainians?
    After the 2014 change in govt – we’re the Ukrainians attacking Russians with weapons.
    How were the Russians behaviour before 2014? I have been told by Ukrainian nationals that Ukrainians were verbally attacked and physically attacked in they spoke Ukrainian amongst themselves in Russian neighbourhoods.
    The blonde patriots in the western part of the Ukraine, what will they do or what are they doing, being used at the moment to fight Russian troops but what happens after – will this part of Ukraine be treated like Putin by the “West” – I can’t see that happening, another country to emerge ?
    If that happens what happens to North Macedonia.
    The attack on Armenia now that Russia is pre occupied in Ukraine.
    Will George Clooney’s misses stick up for her ancestry or will the US meeja support the erasing of these people off the map with their country.
    Is this about attacking a useful male – Putin who trained as a soldier – against “lawyers” who wanted to manage pop artists as they did not have any talent who wanted to humiliate their own people with unemployment, drug addiction, sex gone bad (male to female sex) , ruin marriage and the family by encouraging you to have sex with as may diff partners as possible and if you did have trouble the councillor or psychologist says get a divorce.
    To humiliate police and armed forces who protect you. To allow the rape of your own female population.
    The labour pollies are an entertainment industry. The drama of two opposing points of view we enjoy, but these people live in a white enclave, earn lots, super at 15% so they eat well, their living quarters are above average and yes the sex with anyone you like. that is not what life is like out in the burbs.


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  34. exactly what would Russia beaten look like?

    In particular, what does Eastern Ukraine look like in this scenario?

    Do people imagine that the separatists, who had been fighting for 8 years before Russia intervened, would also just give up if Putin gave up?


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  35. HT is close to the mark, very close to the mark for many Russians haven’t forgot about the Ukrainians joining up with Hitlers army in WW2 and there has been continual bickering from time to time ever since. Think about Nikita Khrushchev giving the Crimea to The Ukraine (he was pissed at the time) back in the fifties, think about Poroshenko insisting that the majority of the Crimea speak Ukrainian and not their native Russian, and barred them from entering politics, think about Poroshenko using artillery on the Donbas area in 2014, think about The Ukraine helping themself to gas from the Russian pipeline crossing the place and refusing to pay for it. Putin warned the so called separatists not to press their case for Poroshenko was coming down on them like a ton of bricks as it was. Rumour has it that the BUK missile that brought down the MAS flight was thought to be employed against Putin’s aeroplane overflying the area and got the MAS aeroplane instead. Russia took the BUK missile system out of it’s armoury years beforehand but The Ukraine hadn’t. All conjecture maybe but I lived and worked in Russia for years as a corporate aviator and am married to a Russian so I knew first hand the corruption after perestroika and the even worse corruption in The Ukraine. Putin may be corrupt but he has lifted Russia out of a cannery row type situation, Zelensky is a comedian by profession and displays that quite well and the USA is either controlling him or has in mind the fact that The Ukraine will never repay their debts to the USA. Remember that the UK only made it’s last payment to the USA for WW2 debts in 2006! Also remember that the USA takes every opportunity to bring Russia to it’s knees and it hasn’t and probably never will for whilst many Russians including my family dislike Putin with a vengeance but they love their country like you wouldn’t believe and they are the toughest people on the planet.
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  36. Kruschev gifted Crimea and the Donbass to Ukraine in 1954 for reasons never satisfactorily explained,

    Your 300th Birthday tripe isn’t a satisfactory explanation for giving Crimea, bought with Russian blood, to Ukraine.

    Historical fact happens.
    Ed-mong disputes it happened.

    What to believe, reality or Ed-Mong???

    Im guessing those new conscripts will be eating a lot of rice and noodles in their ration packs.

    Zelensky cant back down or he gets a bullet in the back of the head.
    Putin cant back down because ditto.

    No serious diplomacy appears to be taking place from any of the normal big players to get an armistice/peace treaty going.

    I have a feeling it will end up another Israel/Palestinians never ending war, with whats left of the Ukraine playing the part of the Pallis and becoming a sinkhole of wobbly money. Russia in the meantime will be stuck dealing with rocket attacks from “freedom fighters’ and it will roll on forever.


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  37. It is fairly obvious that the neocons (and other elite of the West) have been wanting war with Russia for a long time.
    And they are willing to fight to the last European, if the winter doesn’t wipe them out first.
    I do suspect that the EU satrapies to the US Empire will eventually cave in to Russia to allow the gas to flow otherwise they will be on the pointy end of their peoples wrath.
    That said, I don’t expect the eventual capitulation of EU to be the end of it.

    WW3 has already begun, it’s just getting warmed up. And unfortunately the West are the bad guys and in all likelihood are going to eventually lose (which will be a good thing)


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  38. I think the Russian people’s resolve will strengthen
    and that the resolve of the other people will falter
    all over Europe

    we are given an idiot narrative that tries to disconnect the very real energy situation in Europe from the collective lunacy that is funneling arms into Ukraine.

    as if the former isn’t a direct consequence of the latter

    it is going to get very cold and very expensive

    and most people aren’t as stupid as they’re told they are


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  39. Speedbox says:
    September 22, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    Things became really interesting immediately after 1991, which is a whole other story. But, and you can take this to the bank, Russia will never again cede Crimea to the Ukraine.

    Was it possible that Crimea was handed to Ukraine as an accident of geography? I don’t know why Khrushchev transferred parts of Russia to the Ukraine in the 1960’s, I guess that it was an attempt to alter the nature of the Ukrainian economy, i.e., add major industries such as steelworks, major chemical plants, ship building facilities etc. to the largely agrarian based Ukrainian economy.

    If this was Khrushchev’s aim then gifting Mariupol to the Ukraine meant closing Russia’s contiguous land access to the Crimea, hence therefore declare that Crimea is now also part of the Ukraine.


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  40. Opinion

    Is it time to give Putin an off-ramp?

    The Russian president’s nuclear threats have changed the acceptable cost of his defeat. It may be repugnant but necessary tp make some concessions to him.

    Clive Crook – Political commentator

    From the outset of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the crucial question hasn’t changed: Can Vladimir Putin be defeated at an acceptable cost?

    Despite all we now know about Russia’s military incompetence and the courage and skill of Ukraine’s forces, the answer is still uncertain.

    This leads to an uncomfortable conclusion, one that President Joe Biden showed no trace of understanding in his speech at the United Nations on Wednesday: planning for the end of this conflict needs to weigh outcomes that are disappointing, even disgraceful, for the sake of avoiding those that are catastrophic.

    The idea of an off-ramp for Putin strikes many as repugnant – and now, for good measure, entirely unnecessary. Ukraine is winning! Why help Russia snatch so much as a partial victory from the jaws of defeat?

    The “Ukraine must win” chorus never clearly sets out what Russia’s defeat really involves.

    Perhaps it means that Russia is pushed back behind its pre-2014 borders and then just comes to terms with it.

    Or maybe Putin’s humiliation causes domestic opposition to explode, and he’s removed; his successor is someone the West can do business with; Russia’s claims to superpower status collapse; and its demotion to second-tier status is acknowledged and accepted by Moscow.

    All good stuff, to be sure, and nothing is impossible. But, to put it mildly, these futures aren’t assured.

    Thinking about Armageddon

    As governments gathered for the UN meeting, Putin announced his intention to prolong the war with a “partial mobilisation” that in due course will field another 300,000 soldiers.

    And he underlined his threat to use nuclear weapons: “Russia will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity. This is not a bluff.”

    Soon that notion of territorial integrity might include areas Russia currently occupies and intends to annex.

    I keep reading that one should be aware of Putin’s nuclear threats but not intimidated by them. Call me a coward, but I find it difficult to think about Armageddon without being a little intimidated – and I ask the same of my political leaders.

    What’s needed now is a settlement that lets Putin claim a victory that everybody else understands to be a defeat.

    If at all possible, it’s better to avoid than invite mass death and destruction. Of course, simply surrendering in the face of such threats would assure defeat – but one can be rationally intimidated, and respond accordingly, without surrendering.

    That’s what mutually assured destruction is supposed to mean.

    Am I exaggerating the danger? Won’t Putin be deterred from using nuclear weapons if he’s threatened with a proportionately drastic response?

    Again, maybe – but what’s the deterrent, exactly? It’s hard to see how sanctions could be made much tougher, not least because they’re already causing great damage beyond Russia.

    Having gone to such lengths to support Ukraine without putting any of its own forces at risk, can the United States credibly threaten (as some advise) to attack Russia in response to a tactical nuclear strike – let alone credibly threaten a nuclear response?

    Supposing the threats and counter-threats evolve in that direction, I note a worrisome dissonance in much of the analysis of Putin’s calculations.

    His attack on Ukraine was judged to be not just deplorable but also reckless. Yet he is expected to parse the pros and cons of “escalating to de-escalate” as prudence demands. What could possibly go wrong?

    Ukraine’s remarkable battlefield successes create an opening to bring the war to a close without running these extraordinary risks. What’s needed now is a settlement that lets Putin claim a victory that everybody else understands to be a defeat.

    This could emerge from negotiations in a variety of different forms. But imagine, to begin with, a ceasefire that set borders according to current battle lines, with a longer-term outcome that ceded some territory to Russia while admitting most of today’s Ukraine into NATO.

    Until recently, Putin would have deemed this unacceptable. Now it might not look so bad.

    Of course, Ukraine and its most ardent supporters would hate it too. Rewarding Russia’s hostility with territory and sustaining Putin in power seem unconscionable.

    But it has been a grave mistake throughout for the US and its friends to defer as much as they have to Ukraine’s judgment of what’s at stake and how much risk to run. Ukraine’s interests and calculations of warranted sacrifice are aligned with those of the West, but not identical to them.

    Most of the world would see a negotiated outcome not as Ukraine might, but as a salutary defeat for Russia.

    The suggestion that Putin would simply pause, gather strength, and then renew his wars of expansion in pursuit of Greater Russia is a stretch. The course of the war has underlined the limits of Russia’s power, tested the patience of its allies, and cemented the capacity of the West to challenge its actions.

    The total humiliation of Putin, or his removal from power, isn’t necessary to drive this home.

    Accepting this deeply unsatisfying result would reduce the risk of a catastrophic wider conflict. It’s a price worth paying.

    Bloomberg Opinion

    Clive Crook is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was chief Washington commentator for the Financial Times, a correspondent and editor for the Economist and a senior editor at the Atlantic.


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  41. Holding Ground, Losing War

    Douglas Macgregor – Sep 22, 2022

    Zelensky’s strategy of defending territory at all costs has been disastrous for Ukraine.

    At the end of 1942, when the Wehrmacht could advance no further east, Hitler switched German ground forces from an “enemy force-oriented” strategy to a “ground-holding” strategy. Hitler demanded that his armies defend vast, largely empty and irrelevant stretches of Soviet territory.

    “Holding ground” not only robbed the German military of its ability to exercise operational discretion, and, above all, to outmaneuver the slow, methodical Soviet opponent; holding ground also pushed German logistics to the breaking point. When holding ground was combined with endless counterattacks to retake useless territory, the Wehrmacht was sentenced to slow, grinding destruction.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, (presumably with the advice of his U.S. and British military advisors), has also adopted a strategy of holding ground in Eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves inside urban areas, and prepared defenses. As a result, Ukrainian forces turned urban centers into fortifications for what became “last stands.” Sensible withdrawals from cities like Mariupol that might have saved many of Ukraine’s best troops were forbidden. Russian forces responded by methodically isolating and crushing the defenders left with no possibility of either escape or rescue by other Ukrainian forces.

    Moscow’s determination to destroy Ukrainian forces at the least cost to Russian lives prevailed. Ukrainian casualties were always heavier than reported from the moment Russian troops crossed into Eastern Ukraine, but now, thanks to the recent failure of Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region, they’ve reached horrific levels that are impossible to conceal. Casualty rates have reached 20,000 killed or wounded a month.

    Despite the addition of 126 howitzers, 800,000 rounds of artillery rounds, and HIMARS (U.S. rocket artillery), months of hard fighting are eroding the foundations of Ukraine’s ground strength. In the face of this disaster, Zelensky continues to order counterattacks to re-take territory as a means of demonstrating that Ukraine’s strategic position vis-à-vis Russia is not as hopeless as it seems.

    The recent Ukrainian advance to the town of Izium, the link between Donbas and Kharkiv, seemed like a gift to Kiev. U.S. satellite arrays undoubtedly provided Ukrainians with a real-time picture of the area showing that Russian forces west of Izium numbered less than 2,000 light troops (the equivalent of paramilitary police, e.g., SWAT and airborne infantry).

    The Russian command opted to withdraw its small force from the area that is roughly 1 percent of formerly Ukrainian territory currently under Russian control. However, the price for Kiev’s propaganda victory was high—depending on the source, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded in a flat, open area that Russian artillery, rockets, and air strikes turned into a killing field.

    Given Washington’s inability to end the war in Ukraine with the defeat of Russian arms, it seems certain that the Beltway will try instead to turn the ruins of the Ukrainian state into an open wound in Russia’s side that will never heal. From the beginning, the problem with this approach was that Russia always had the resources to dramatically escalate the fighting and end the fighting in Ukraine on very harsh terms. Escalation is now in progress.

    In a public statement that should not surprise anyone, President Putin announced the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists. Many of these men will replace regular Russian Army forces in other parts of Russia and release them for operations in Ukraine. Other reservists will augment the Russian units already committed in Eastern Ukraine.

    Washington always mistook Putin’s readiness to negotiate and limit the scope and destructiveness of the campaign in Ukraine as evidence of weakness, when it was clear that Putin’s aims were always restricted to the elimination of the NATO threat to Russia in Eastern Ukraine. Washington’s strategy of exploiting the conflict to sell F-35 fighter jets to Germany—along with large numbers of missiles, rockets, and radars to Central and East European allied governments—is now backfiring.

    The defense establishment has a long record of success in tranquilizing American voters with meaningless clichés. As conditions favorable to Moscow develop in Eastern Ukraine and the Russian position in the world grows stronger, Washington confronts a stark choice: Talk about having successfully “degraded Russian power” in Ukraine and scale back its actions. Or risk a regional war with Russia that will engulf Europe.

    In Europe, however, Washington’s war with Moscow is more than just an unpleasant subject. Germany’s economy is on the brink of collapse. German industries and households are starved for energy that grows more expensive with each passing week. American investors are concerned because the historical record indicates that Germany’s economic performance is often the harbinger of hard economic times in the U.S.

    More important, social cohesion in European States, especially in France, and Germany, is fragile. Berlin’s police force is reportedly drawing up contingency plans to cope with rioting and looting during the winter months if the “multi-cultural” city’s energy grid collapses. Discontent is growing making it quite plausible that governments in Germany, France, and Great Britain will likely follow the path of their colleagues in Stockholm and Rome, who lost or will lose power to right-of-center coalitions.

    As of this date, Kiev continues to oblige Moscow by impaling Ukraine’s last reserves of manpower on Russian defenses. Washington, insists President Biden, will support Ukraine “as long as it takes.” But if Washington continues to drain America’s strategic oil reserve, and ship American war stocks to Ukraine, the ability to protect and provision the United States will compete with supporting Ukraine.

    Russia already controls the territory that produces 95 percent of Ukrainian GDP. It has no need to press further west. At this writing, it seems certain that Moscow will finish its work in Donbas, then, turn its attention to the capture of Odessa, a Russian city that saw terrible atrocities committed by Ukrainian forces against Russian citizens in 2014.

    Moscow is in no hurry. The Russians are nothing if not methodical and deliberate. Ukrainian forces are bleeding to death in counterattack after counterattack. Why rush? Moscow can be patient. China, Saudi Arabia, and India are buying Russian oil in rubles. Sanctions are hurting America’s European allies, not Russia. The coming winter will likely do more to alter Europe’s political landscape than any action Moscow might undertake. In Zakopane, a town of 27,000 souls in the extreme South of Poland, the snow is already falling.

    Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.


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  42. If this was Khrushchev’s aim then gifting Mariupol to the Ukraine meant closing Russia’s contiguous land access to the Crimea, hence therefore declare that Crimea is now also part of the Ukraine.

    Doesn’t make any sense from the Russian point of view.
    Khrushchev wasn’t a Russian though, but he was an old Bolshevik and those people hated Russia and Russians.


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  43. Old bloke says:
    September 23, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Good question. As you well know, much of history is not 100% straight forward – there are nuances that are not immediately apparent or well known. It is true that Crimea was ostensibly transferred as a mark of celebration but in fact, the Politburo’s official reason for ceding of the Crimea as a “noble act on the part of the Russian people” to commemorate the 300th anniversary – which was a reference to the Treaty of Pereyaslav signed in 1654 – is not the full story (by a long shot).

    The second official reason given was the proximity of Crimea to Ukraine and the common cultural ties and economies between the Crimea and the (then) Soviet Ukraine.

    Both of the official reasons can be considered ‘true’ but both still have some holes in them – although it depends on your point of view. The Treaty of Pereyaslav was signed in 1654 but it had no connection with the Crimea per se as the Crimea wasn’t part of Russia until much later (1783) when Russia seized it after a war with Turkey. The Treaty itself was very important in the unification of Russia and the Ukraine so the reason for gifting the Crimea is valid as long as we recognise that Crimea wasn’t part of Russia at the time the gift is meant to celebrate.

    The second official reason (cultural and economic ties) is also open to some debate. In 1954, ethnic Russians outnumbered Ukrainians on the Crimea by 10:1 (at least) and this had been accentuated (reinforced) after Stalin expelled large numbers of Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians etc. from Crimea following WWII.

    Therefore, cultural ties between Russia and the Ukraine was a odd justification as the overwhelming bulk of the Crimean inhabitants were ethnic Russian who had limited engagement with the Ukrainians further north in the Ukraine itself.

    The economic angle also has limited validity because even though the Crimea is attached to southern Ukraine, it is also physically very close to Russia across the narrow Kerch Straight. Given that the population were near 100% ethnically Russian and their compatriots in Russia were just a 3-4 kilometres away, it is obvious that a lot of trade was directed between Crimea and Russia. Of course, the Crimeans traded into Ukraine but to flag the ‘strong economic ties’ is a bit of a stretch.

    The final piece of the puzzle is that the transfer of Crimea to the Ukraine was politically useful for Khrushchev in gaining Ukrainian support in his power struggle with then Soviet Prime Minister Malenkov so Khrushchev would be elevated to the position by the Soviet Presidium. One way of doing this, amongst others, was to garner more support from the Ukrainian elite (Khrushchev had previously been First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine) and Ukrainian support was vital, but not guaranteed. Those who take the political angle think that Khrushchev decided that the transfer of the Crimea could be a very useful tool in his political quest. And as it turns out, when Khrushchev had his political showdown with Malenkov in 1955, Khrushchev won with the unbridled support of the Ukraine.

    So, please yourself. A ‘noble act’ to demonstrate commitment of the Russian people to Ukraine; to celebrate the 300 year Treaty; to underscore the cultural and economic ties; or, politically motivated. There are probably elements of all aspects but you know what history is like – sometimes it is in the eyes of the interpreter.


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  44. Khrushchev was Kaganovitch’s Ukraine Henchman in the Holodomor.
    Directly responsible for starving 10 million people to death.
    But you take him at his word.


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  45. I seem to recall that Kosovo seperated itself from Serbia via a plebiscite whilst under the US (cough cough, NATO) military umbrella when Serbia wasn’t doing what the imperial hegemon wanted in the 90’s.

    The baby bears in Novorossia seem to be doing the same and arguably with greater merit in their secession and terror shelling by the Bandera supremacists for the previous 8 years killing 14,000 or so civilians.

    It’s also arguable that some/most of the western Ukraine return to Poland where it belongs traditionally and ethnically not to mention the Hungarian and Romanian portions. Poland regained most of the area post WW1 in the great Russo Polish war. Just retaking territory lost in the partition era.Anyway the west and Galicia region is a hotbed of Bandera ideology, best to give it away. The Poles wouldn’t mind settling some scores with this Naxi stooges.

    Russia should be able to handle any insurgencies as per operation gladio concocted by NATO, Bandera enthusiasts took around a decade to subdue post WW2 thanks to surreptitious US funding, and it seems the exiles in Europe and Canada were funded till the late 80′. The the West took some renewed interest again in generating conflict in the 2000’s to provoke the russkues and degrade them mliitarily and economically.. Russia seemed to figure out what to do with Chechen Insurgents in the 90’s. Anyway Putin’s speech at the Munich security conference in 2097 foretold events and the US funded coup in 2013, was the trigger for Russia to prepare economically and militarily.

    The Russians aren’t stupid and blind to what’s occurring. The stated goal is the destruction of the Russian state and any competitive threat to US power. If Russia folds, China is next and this reality has been clear to anyone with a brain for a while. China won’t allow Russia to fail, but frankly I think Russia has the industrial power and resources to handle any threat emanating from a bankrupt and de-industrialising collective west. The glory years are well behind he US and the green madness that spellbound it’s vassals in Europe.

    Regards to WW2, the Russians defeated Germany militarily unequivocally, all the US and allies did was to perform a mopping up operation on the Western front. Anyway with 26 million dead from that western incursion, memories are still fresh in their psyche, to the 4th major encroachment by western mitaries in 3 centuries, so they can be forgiven for feeling a little tired of another one by the same bunch trying the same thing again, although the US is clearly manipulating it’s vassals for its own selfish interests at only a fiat currency cost.
    De dollarisation is worth fighting for, with the last European, otherwise all the milk and honey sort of dries up. Can’t happen to a nation that’s grown fat and stupid with its own excess.


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  46. As a postscript to Mt scrred. I could almost forgive the Banderites and their resistance to Russia, given what the Bolsheviks did to the Ukrainian province in the 30’s and the holodomor. You can understand the visceral hatred that would have risen up from bearing witness to the evils of communism, hence why the Naxi’s were welcomed as liberators. Unfortunately they picked up and learnt too much from the Bolsheviks and Naxi behaviours and became in every respect as worse, proceeding to murder Poles and Jews in a gay abandon and then innocent civilians in the Donbass and Odessa massacres. Who knows what’s happening now, but UKR telegram channels don’t paint a rosy picture of the bestiality occurring now. If you become what you fight, you’ve lost the high ground. You can understand why Russia wants to be rid of this abomination.


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