Politics World War III?

Russia's decision to invade Ukraine was a preventive strike. They were compelled to act because all diplomatic efforts and warnings have failed. Clausewitz would say, war is politics by other means. Had the Russians watched Ukraine joining NATO, all gloves would be off and we would be at the brink of a nuclear war. Ukraine would not be able to resist US demands to set up military bases on its territory, such that could host intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit Moscow within a couple of minutes. It's bad enough that the Americans plan to install them in Poland and Romania. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?
Indeed in the perspective of Von Clausewitz, the invasion of the Ukraine was a preventive strike. But are we obliged to the perspective of Von Clausewitz? I guess the real reason behind this all is the decline of the SU, which Putin saw from first hand as KGB spy in the former DDR. So pure revanchism. Even justified by Putin with reference to Kiev as the old center of Rus. But I guess we don't live in the middle ages any longer. The Ukraine is a sovereign country. And in that sense "the preventive strike" is not jusitified imo. The Ukraine is not some kind of satellite of Moskou. Imo Russia has gone back to pure authoritarian rule and government. No opposition allowed. No civili liberties. No sense of democracy (in Western sense which I strongly prefer). Putin refers every time of the West who threatens Russia. Kind of supposed conspiracy against Russia. This leads to thoughts of a kind of missionary war against the West. If Trump and Vance will win the race on the presidency in the US this will lead to a deal in which the Ukraine is forced to give up big parts of their country. But because of the underlying mission namely the ware against the West, this will unfortunately not be end of story....But as Trump and Vance are authoritarian themselves there will be no eye for that. Indeed sad enough Von Clausewitz 2.0.
 
Indeed in the perspective of Von Clausewitz, the invasion of the Ukraine was a preventive strike. But are we obliged to the perspective of Von Clausewitz? I guess the real reason behind this all is the decline of the SU, which Putin saw from first hand as KGB spy in the former DDR. So pure revanchism. Even justified by Putin with reference to Kiev as the old center of Rus. But I guess we don't live in the middle ages any longer. The Ukraine is a sovereign country. And in that sense "the preventive strike" is not jusitified imo. The Ukraine is not some kind of satellite of Moskou. Imo Russia has gone back to pure authoritarian rule and government. No opposition allowed. No civili liberties. No sense of democracy (in Western sense which I strongly prefer). Putin refers every time of the West who threatens Russia. Kind of supposed conspiracy against Russia. This leads to thoughts of a kind of missionary war against the West. If Trump and Vance will win the race on the presidency in the US this will lead to a deal in which the Ukraine is forced to give up big parts of their country. But because of the underlying mission namely the ware against the West, this will unfortunately not be end of story....But as Trump and Vance are authoritarian themselves there will be no eye for that. Indeed sad enough Von Clausewitz 2.0.

The longer we demonise and antagonise Russia, the more irrelevant we will become in the world. By we I mean us Europeans. Russia is our neighbour and it is in all our interest to have a common security architecture and economic relationship to our mutual benefit. I don't care who's in power in Russia. That is the Russian people's business. I may not like whom they elect but it's none of business and I don't want anyone from the outside to meddle in my country's affairs either. This being said, I think you grossly misread Putin's policies and intentions. It's not your fault because that is the attitude of most Westerners, especially those who rely on mainstream media exclusively. Like Karl Marx said, the ruling ideas of our times are the ideas of the ruling class.

The notion that Putin is about to restore the Soviet Union or perhaps even the Russian Empire is the result of a decades long caricatural depiction of Russia and its current leader. It's like watching a bad Hollywood film from the 90s about some evil, vengeful Russians. Russia was in shambles after the collapse of the USSR. Millions of people lost everything overnight and died from poverty, disease and alcoholism. The country was hijacked by a small elite of oligarchs who were selling of Russia's assets to Western "investors", enriching themselves while millions were starving. Putin has put an end to that system. He has brought Russia back on track, increased the country's living standard and made sure that his country is a sovereign nation, not subservient to anyone, least of all the US. And this is why he is hated, why he's portrayed as the new Hitler. The time when Wall Street and the "City of London" could buy up Russia for peanuts is long gone. That's not some conspiracy. Putin was and still is the most Western-friendly Russian president to date. He has reached out his hand and has been working on a partnership spanning "from Lisbon to Vladivostok." But he wanted partnership while the West expected him to be its vassal.

To make sure Russia remains in check, a stringent policy of NATO expansion was pursued until the final red line was crossed with the intention to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance which is not really an alliance but a remnant of the Cold War meant to maintain America's grip onEurope and to serve as its arms industry's most lucrative market. This is exactly what Europe has become now: an even bigger vassal than before, especially Germany. What do you call a country that lets its most expensive piece of energy infrastructure be blown up by an "ally"? A piece of infrastructure that was crucial to its industry and wealth.

The Russians marched into Ukraine because they had no choice. That was the West's only success in this regard. It lured the Russians into a costly war in which it's losing men and ressources, bitterly needed in a civilian economy because Russia has a demographics problem. But the Russians are tough, stubborn people and none of the intended effects have set in. The sanctions don't work, Russia has revived its industrial capacities, it has finally freed itself from Western goods flooding its market and now it's building a new world order along with the Chinese. Even during the fiercest periods of the Cold War, US presidents were wise enough to exploit the differences and conflicts between Russia and China, as Nixon successfully did. Today Russia and China are standing shoulder to shoulder and there's no turning back anymore except nuclear annihilation.

Putin's talk about Ukraine being part of Russian culture and history is the effect, not the cause. No rational leader, and Putin is the epitome of a rationally thinking strategist, would waste precious ressources on a costly war for such silly ideals as bringing back territories that are perceived as lost due to some historical injustices and wrongs. The reason for Russia's invasion is simple: NATO on Russia's border and Moscow and St. Petersburg as close targets. For ten years they've been watching Ukraine being turned into NATO's battering ram against Russia. Ukraine's army was brought up to NATO standards in every conceivable way. They have been digging large complex bunkers along the contact line in the Donbas, getting ready to invade the pro-Russian "people's republics" contrary to the Minsk agreements. Russian language and culture have been outlawed. Two days ago, a Ukrainian politician called Iryna Farion was assassinated on her way home in the city of Lvov. She was a fascist hatemonger who had led a campaign against not just ethnic Russians but Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Most of the Ukrainian army is composed of the latter. Zelensky himself is a Russian-speaking Ukrainian. It is speculated that she was murdered on the orders of the neo-Nazi Azov batallion because they have had enough of her calling them fake or lesser Ukrainians for speaking Russian. Imagine being a bigger Nazi than Azov.

This tells you how deeply divided Ukraine was to begin with. It has always been a very fragile country, especially since the break-up of the USSR. Well, it didn't even exist before the USSR. It is thanks to Lenin's pursuit of the policies of national equality that a Ukrainian state was formed. Today they're destroying his monuments and everything else that is reminiscent of Soviet history and culture. The people of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea begged to differ, so they split. They didn't want to be ruled by a regime that came to power through a US-backed coup d'etat in 2014 that outlawed their culture and language and that viewed them as second-class citizens or even subhumans. The West exploited Ukraine's internal weaknesses and contradictions to turn it into its proxy for the purpose of weakening Russia in the grand scheme of global power struggles. Nobody here cares about Ukraine or how many Ukrainians have died so far. It's all about bringing Russia back to the "good old" 90s which is obviously a pipe dream. Washington is slowly coming to terms with reality and passing the Ukrainian hot potato to the stupid Europeans, so it can get back to its "pivot to Asia" which is going to be the cornerstone of Trump's foreign policy.

And here's some bad news for Europeans:

"Following discussions ahead of the NATO Summit, the governments of the United States and Germany released the following joint statement:

The United States will begin episodic deployments of the long-range fires capabilities of its Multi-Domain Task Force in Germany in 2026, as part of planning for enduring stationing of these capabilities in the future. When fully developed, these conventional long-range fires units will include SM-6, Tomahawk, and developmental hypersonic weapons, which have significantly longer range than current land-based fires in Europe. Exercising these advanced capabilities will demonstrate the United States’ commitment to NATO and its contributions to European integrated deterrence."



The Russians are going to do the same, of course. So 2026 may very well be a turning point. For those who survive. The New START Treaty (strategic nuclear disarmament) expires in February 2026. There are no ongoing negotiations about its renewal. In fact, there is no diplomatic communication at all. We have crossed the threshold from which there is no return. Russia will not conclude its military operation in Ukraine until all its objectives are realised. Too many Russians have died too and too many ressources spent. A new economic reality has been established, new alliances forged and a new vision of the future of Russia and the world implemented. It doesn't matter who's president in the US. Trump can call Putin and cut a deal but his call won't mean a thing except in respect to averting a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. The future of Ukraine, whatever is left of it, will be decided on the battlefield. It didn't have to be so if the Ukrainians hadn't pulled out of the peace negotiations in Turkey in the spring of 2022. There are no deals to be made now until the conclusion of the war. Trump will write off Ukraine just like the US pulled out of Afghanistan. The EU better wake up and realise that its future may resemble that of Ukraine if it continues on the path of blind vassalage to the US. But considering who has been reelected as the president of the EU Commission and who has been appointed as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the fanatically Russophobic Kaja Kallas, the EU's own Annalena Baerbock, things are looking pretty bad.
 
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The longer we demonise and antagonise Russia, the more irrelevant we will become in the world. By we I mean us Europeans. Russia is our neighbour and it is in all our interest to have a common security architecture and economic relationship to our mutual benefit. I don't care who's in power in Russia. That is the Russian people's business. I may not like whom they elect but it's none of business and I don't want anyone from the outside to meddle in my country's affairs either. This being said, I think you grossly misread Putin's policies and intentions. It's not your fault because that is the attitude of most Westerners, especially those who rely on mainstream media exclusively. Like Karl Marx said, the ruling ideas of our times are the ideas of the ruling class.

The notion that Putin is about to restore the Soviet Union or perhaps even the Russian Empire is the result of a decades long caricatural depiction of Russia and its current leader. It's like watching a bad Hollywood film from the 90s about some evil, vengeful Russians. Russia was in shambles after the collapse of the USSR. Millions of people lost everything overnight and died from poverty, disease and alcoholism. The country was hijacked by a small elite of oligarchs who were selling of Russia's assets to Western "investors", enriching themselves while millions were starving. Putin has put an end to that system. He has brought Russia back on track, increased the country's living standard and made sure that his country is a sovereign nation, not subservient to anyone, least of all the US. And this is why he is hated, why he's portrayed as the new Hitler. The time when Wall Street and the "City of London" could buy up Russia for peanuts is long gone. That's not some conspiracy. Putin was and still is the most Western-friendly Russian president to date. He has reached out his hand and has been working on a partnership spanning "from Lisbon to Vladivostok." But he wanted partnership while the West expected him to be its vassal.

To make sure Russia remains in check, a stringent policy of NATO expansion was pursued until the final red line was crossed with the intention to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance which is not really an alliance but a remnant of the Cold War meant to maintain America's grip onEurope and to serve as its arms industry's most lucrative market. This is exactly what Europe has become now: an even bigger vassal than before, especially Germany. What do you call a country that lets its most expensive piece of energy infrastructure be blown up by an "ally"? A piece of infrastructure that was crucial to its industry and wealth.

The Russians marched into Ukraine because they had no choice. That was the West's only success in this regard. It lured the Russians into a costly war in which it's losing men and ressources, bitterly needed in a civilian economy because Russia has a demographics problem. But the Russians are tough, stubborn people and none of the intended effects have set in. The sanctions don't work, Russia has revived its industrial capacities, it has finally freed itself from Western goods flooding its market and now it's building a new world order along with the Chinese. Even during the fiercest periods of the Cold War, US presidents were wise enough to exploit the differences and conflicts between Russia and China, as Nixon successfully did. Today Russia and China are standing shoulder to shoulder and there's no turning back anymore except nuclear annihilation.

Putin's talk about Ukraine being part of Russian culture and history is the effect, not the cause. No rational leader, and Putin is the epitome of a rationally thinking strategist, would waste precious ressources on a costly war for such silly ideals as bringing back territories that are perceived as lost due to some historical injustices and wrongs. The reason for Russia's invasion is simple: NATO on Russia's border and Moscow and St. Petersburg as close targets. For ten years they've been watching Ukraine being turned into NATO's battering ram against Russia. Ukraine's army was brought up to NATO standards in every conceivable way. They have been digging large complex bunkers along the contact line in the Donbas, getting ready to invade the pro-Russian "people's republics" contrary to the Minsk agreements. Russian language and culture have been outlawed. Two days ago, a Ukrainian politician called Iryna Farion was assassinated on her way home in the city of Lvov. She was a fascist hatemonger who had led a campaign against not just ethnic Russians but Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Most of the Ukrainian army is composed of the latter. Zelensky himself is a Russian-speaking Ukrainian. It is speculated that she was murdered on the orders of the neo-Nazi Azov batallion because they have had enough of her calling them fake or lesser Ukrainians for speaking Russian. Imagine being a bigger Nazi than Azov.

This tells you how deeply divided Ukraine was to begin with. It has always been a very fragile country, especially since the break-up of the USSR. Well, it didn't even exist before the USSR. It is thanks to Lenin's pursuit of the policies of national equality that a Ukrainian state was formed. Today they're destroying his monuments and everything else that is reminiscent of Soviet history and culture. The people of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea begged to differ, so they split. They didn't want to be ruled by a regime that came to power through a US-backed coup d'etat in 2014 that outlawed their culture and language and that viewed them as second-class citizens or even subhumans. The West exploited Ukraine's internal weaknesses and contradictions to turn it into its proxy for the purpose of weakening Russia in the grand scheme of global power struggles. Nobody here cares about Ukraine or how many Ukrainians have died so far. It's all about bringing Russia back to the "good old" 90s which is obviously a pipe dream. Washington is slowly coming to terms with reality and passing the Ukrainian hot potato to the stupid Europeans, so it can get back to its "pivot to Asia" which is going to be the cornerstone of Trump's foreign policy.

And here's some bad news for Europeans:

"Following discussions ahead of the NATO Summit, the governments of the United States and Germany released the following joint statement:

The United States will begin episodic deployments of the long-range fires capabilities of its Multi-Domain Task Force in Germany in 2026, as part of planning for enduring stationing of these capabilities in the future. When fully developed, these conventional long-range fires units will include SM-6, Tomahawk, and developmental hypersonic weapons, which have significantly longer range than current land-based fires in Europe. Exercising these advanced capabilities will demonstrate the United States’ commitment to NATO and its contributions to European integrated deterrence."



The Russians are going to do the same, of course. So 2026 may very well be a turning point. For those who survive. The New START Treaty (strategic nuclear disarmament) expires in February 2026. There are no ongoing negotiations about its renewal. In fact, there is no diplomatic communication at all. We have crossed the threshold from which there is no return. Russia will not conclude its military operation in Ukraine until all its objectives are realised. Too many Russians have died too and too many ressources spent. A new economic reality has been established, new alliances forged and a new vision of the future of Russia and the world implemented. It doesn't matter who's president in the US. Trump can call Putin and cut a deal but his call won't mean a thing except in respect to averting a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. The future of Ukraine, whatever is left of it, will be decided on the battlefield. It didn't have to be so if the Ukrainians hadn't pulled out of the peace negotiations in Turkey in the spring of 2022. There are no deals to be made now until the conclusion of the war. Trump will write off Ukraine just like the US pulled out of Afghanistan. The EU better wake up and realise that its future may resemble that of Ukraine if it continues on the path of blind vassalage to the US. But considering who has been reelected as the president of the EU Commission and who has been appointed as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the fanatically Russophobic Kaja Kallas, the EU's own Annalena Baerbock, things are looking pretty bad.


Bit short of time so only a few statements:

"The longer we demonise and antagonise Russia". No I don't demonize and antagonize Russia and the Russians. There is at current a despotic regime in Russia with no civic liberties, where opposite leaders are poisoned or just like with the Czar and Stalin somewhere left in Siberia to get rotten. It is the population that suffers to (and are in fact totally weary). That's not demonize and antagonise. Yes I antagonize despotic systems, may I?

"The notion that Putin is about to restore the Soviet Union or perhaps even the Russian Empire is the result of a decades long caricatural depiction of Russia and its current leader. "

Spell this, it's by the leader himself:
If this is caricature it's not signed by the West, but signed by Vladimir himself.

"To make sure Russia remains in check, a stringent policy of NATO expansion was pursued until the final red line was crossed with the intention to bring Ukraine and Georgia ..."

No one forced the countries along the Russian border to join the NATO, it's the desire of the countries themselves. Because of their aggressive revenge policy of Putin c.s. many prefer NATO to Russia. Even Sweden dropped their neutrality.

"The Russians marched into Ukraine because they had no choice." That's really the limit, of course they had!

It's already the limit that wanne be despotic leader Orban 'on behalve of the EU' flew to Moskou, it's a total disgrace.
 
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Bit short of time so only a few statements:

"The longer we demonise and antagonise Russia". No I don't demonize and antagonize Russia and the Russians. There is at current a despotic regime in Russia with no civic liberties, where opposite leaders are poisoned or just like with the Czar and Stalin somewhere left in Siberia to get rotten. It is the population that suffers to (and are in fact totally weary). That's not demonize and antagonise. Yes I antagonize despotic systems, may I?

"The notion that Putin is about to restore the Soviet Union or perhaps even the Russian Empire is the result of a decades long caricatural depiction of Russia and its current leader. "

Spell this, it's by the leader himself:
If this is caricature it's not signed by the West, but signed by Vladimir himself.

"To make sure Russia remains in check, a stringent policy of NATO expansion was pursued until the final red line was crossed with the intention to bring Ukraine and Georgia ..."

No one forced the countries along the Russian border to join the NATO, it's the desire of the countries themselves. Because of their aggressive revenge policy of Putin c.s. many prefer NATO to Russia. Even Sweden dropped their neutrality.

"The Russians marched into Ukraine because they had no choice." That's really the limit, of course they had!

It's already the limit that wanne be despotic leader Orban 'on behalve of the EU' flew to Moskou, it's a total disgrace.

The historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians is a fact. They were together during almost all of their history with the sole exception of Galicia-Volhynia which was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later of the Habsburg Empire. But even that area was known as Red Ruthenia or Red Rus'. Kiev, however, and that area to the east has been culturally Russian. Russia itself was born in Kiev. But none of this is a reason to deny the reality of the Ukrainian nation and state and I don't think that is what Putin does. He may have been trying to appeal to their common roots to remind them that they're fighting a fratricidal war.

If by opposition leaders you mean Navalny, I'm sorry if I sound apologetic, but Navalny was a CIA asset just like his ex-wife is right now. The kind of "opposition leader" like the oligarch crook and MI6 asset Khodorkovsky. Those aren't opposition leaders. They are traitors. Navalny was never a popular man in Russia. He was just hyped up in Western media. There is a real opposition to Putin, both left and right and it is true that they're facing constraints. I remember a leftist politician who was banned from the presidential elections and exiled to some rural area in central Russia for being too critical of Putin's pension reforms. But no one in the West cared for this guy because he "doesn't work for us."

As for the desire of certain countries to join a military alliance that is hostile to its immediate neighbour that happens to be a nuclear superpower: there is no such thing as a fool's license. You play stupid games, you win stupid prices. As a small country that has a border with a superpower, you better stay neutral because that is in your best interest. Finland and Sweden have been fine and flourishing throughout the Cold War just like my country Austria because they were neutral. Unfortunately Sweden and Finland have decided to put targets on their heads. In a potential war between NATO and Russia, those countries, along with the Baltics, will be the first to be wiped off of the face of the Earth. How do you think the US would react if Mexico decided to join a Russian-led military alliance? The US wouldn't give a damn about Mexico's so-called desire. US tanks would be rolling into Mexico City within 24 hours. There is no way the US would tolerate Russian or Chinese military bases on its doorstep. The freedom to choose and desire are relative terms in realpolitik. It doesn't mean much, especially if you have leaders who are not acting wisely to protect their longterm interests. Free will doesn't exist, neither for people or states, not even the powerful ones. Everyone and everything is thrown into a cycle of events beyond their control. What you want or desire is not the same as what is realistically possible. You're thinking like a consumer. "I'm going to go buy the kind of chocolate I desire." Doesn't work like that in geopolitics. So, if you're a small country next to a superpower and you think that you can endanger the security interests of that power by letting yourself be used as a proxy by another superpower, you will face the consequences for that kind of delusional belief in "desire." A lot of Eastern Europeans think they will be protected by the US should Russian missiles start raining on them. That is only true in the case of Russian aggression which would trigger Article 5. But if Poland or the Baltic states decide to permit attacks from their territories on Russian targets, the US won't be doing a damn. They are not going to a nuclear war with Russia over the stupidity of Estonia, Latvia or Poland. They would never sacrifice one single US city for any of those countries.

We would live in a much better world if international law were respected. That is as close as you can get to "freedom to choose" and "desire." It is a modicum of consent to keep the world functioning and even that isn't respected. It is only enforced upon the weak, whereas the strong proceed in accordance with their own interests and laws. Objectively speaking, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law but it didn't happen out of nowhere. One cannot say that the Russians were not provoked. You can poke the bear in the eye only for so long. And where was international law when the US and its NATO allies bombed Yugoslavia in 1999? Where was international law when the US and its allies invaded Iraq on the basis of a manufactured claim that the latter had weapons of mass destruction? The millions of refugees and migrants that flooded Europe and that are still on our doorstep are the direct consequence of this Western disregard for international law, fired up by the neoconservative cabal since 1992 when the "Wolfowitz doctrine" was introduced which became the dominant force in US foreign policy since the Clinton administration. But there are countries that can hit back and Russia is one them.
 
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The historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians is a fact. They were together during almost all of their history with the sole exception of Galicia-Volhynia which was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later of the Habsburg Empire. But even that area was known as Red Ruthenia or Red Rus'. Kiev, however, and that area to the east has been culturally Russian. Russia itself was born in Kiev. But none of this is a reason to deny the reality of the Ukrainian nation and state and I don't think that is what Putin does. He may have been trying to appeal to their common roots to remind them that they're fighting a fratricidal war.

If by opposition leaders you mean Navalny, I'm sorry if I sound apologetic, but Navalny was a CIA asset just like his ex-wife is right now. The kind of "opposition leader" like the oligarch crook and MI6 asset Khodorkovsky. Those aren't opposition leaders. They are traitors. Navalny was never a popular man in Russia. He was just hyped up in Western media. There is a real opposition to Putin, both left and right and it is true that they're facing constraints. I remember a leftist politician who was banned from the presidential elections and exiled to some rural area in central Russia for being too critical of Putin's pension reforms. But no one in the West cared for this guy because he "doesn't work for us."

As for the desire of certain countries to join a military alliance that is hostile to its immediate neighbour that happens to be a nuclear superpower: there is no such thing as a fool's license. You play stupid games, you win stupid prices. As a small country that has a border with a superpower, you better stay neutral because that is in your best interest. Finland and Sweden have been fine and flourishing throughout the Cold War just like my country Austria because they were neutral. Unfortunately Sweden and Finland have decided to put targets on their heads. In a potential war between NATO and Russia, those countries, along with the Baltics, will be the first to be wiped off of the face of the Earth. How do you think the US would react if Mexico decided to join a Russian-led military alliance? The US wouldn't give a damn about Mexico's so-called desire. US tanks would be rolling into Mexico City within 24 hours. There is no way the US would tolerate Russian or Chinese military bases on its doorstep. The freedom to choose and desire are relative terms in realpolitik. It doesn't mean much, especially if you have leaders who are not acting wisely to protect their longterm interests. Free will doesn't exist, neither for people or states, not even the powerful ones. Everyone and everything is thrown into a cycle of events beyond their control. What you want or desire is not the same as what is realistically possible. You're thinking like a consumer. "I'm going to go buy the kind of chocolate I desire." Doesn't work like that in geopolitics. So, if you're a small country next to a superpower and you think that you can endanger the security interests of that power by letting yourself be used as a proxy by another superpower, you will face the consequences for that kind of delusional belief in "desire." A lot of Eastern Europeans think they will be protected by the US should Russian missiles start raining on them. That is only true in the case of Russian aggression which would trigger Article 5. But if Poland or the Baltic states decide to permit attacks from their territories on Russian targets, the US won't be doing a damn. They are not going to a nuclear war with Russia over the stupidity of Estonia, Latvia or Poland. They would never sacrifice one single US city for any of those countries.

We would live in a much better world if international law were respected. That is as close as you can get to "freedom to choose" and "desire." It is a modicum of consent to keep the world functioning and even that isn't respected. It is only enforced upon the weak, whereas the strong proceed in accordance with their own interests and laws. Objectively speaking, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law but it didn't happen out of nowhere. One cannot say that the Russians were not provoked. You can poke the bear in the eye only for so long. And where was international law when the US and its NATO allies bombed Yugoslavia in 1999? Where was international law when the US and its allies invaded Iraq on the basis of a manufactured claim that the latter had weapons of mass destruction? The millions of refugees and migrants that flooded Europe and that are still on our doorstep are the direct consequence of this Western disregard for international law, fired up by the neoconservative cabal since 1992 when the "Wolfowitz doctrine" was introduced which became the dominant force in US foreign policy since the Clinton administration. But there are countries that can hit back and Russia is one them.
There is a difference between: "The historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians is a fact." As in there were large parts in history in which there was a lot of interference, even one country. And the claim it has to be one country, even with s a spiritual sauce. Then we are entering holy wars. You stated the West have created this caricature. But in fact it is Putin himself and no one else who is making such claims. You claim rationality in the case of Putin. What I see is some kind of "schwärmerei" which is beyond rationality. It is exactly why Lenin stated in order to make an omelet you have to break an egg. Holy wars are a legitimation for breaking lives of people by the millions....And that is what is at stake now.

"If by opposition leaders you mean Navalny", yes it's Navalny but It's "tour court". Participation in the last election besides Putin was a farce. Some could not take part because of administrational reasons they were rejected, give me a break. Speaking about the word "war" is enough to put you in blindfolded car and put someone behind bars, or someone "just disappears". That is the face of a totalitarian regime.

"We would live in a much better world if international law were respected." Agree! But what international law? That's Western liberalism to hell with it! ;) In other words international law functions when it is legitimized and seen as the norm. Is it international law to invade a sovereign country? Is it international law to state "The Russians marched into Ukraine because they had no choice." They had to break international law because they had no choice?

And yes there is a lot of hypocrisy about international law. And a lot of violation by countries and people that even pledged to follow international law. Nevertheless it marks a bottom line. It stays a norm, a standard, which countries and people can always be held accountable for.

The Europeans - especially my own country, always at the forefront when there is something to be gained - have been far too indifferent when it comes to what Putin's objectives actually were. Putin and his entourage of oligarchs have been welcomed everywhere with open arms, and take social democrat and former Chancellor Schröder. Oh how he liked to see himself in the Kremlin entourage, what a wonderful friendship (bromance) he had with Putin. Delusions of grandeur apparently create a bond....Nordstream was one of the last acts of Schröder as chancellor, after leaving office he immediately became member of the board of Gazprom....

So yes, the rogue Russian bear is at the gates of the Eastern part of Europe. We have nothing to do other than containment. Until here and no further. That's probably the only language Putin understands. And yes, that is high noon that can also end completely wrong. But anything is better than under the totalitarian Russian yoke.

However, I fear that Trump is subject to the same temptation as Gerhard Schröder... and then the bear will finally be put to bed. Anyway, I understand that the reception committee in Austria, led by former minister Kneissl (FPÖ), is already ready:

 
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@norbert it's partly intuitive, but the way you are reasoning is something I recognize from the European fare right....so that could be the case. But it goes even into types that"spread the Kremlin word", kind of "fellow travellers" ....because party your arguments go beyond even the FPÖ kind of circles.....'Navalny is CIA', 'the Russians had no choice but to invade'...but don't know for sure.....As a teenager I lived in the Cold War period and I was used to have this kind of talk from some commies here....But the times they are a changing ;) salto!
 
@norbert talking about "And here's some bad news for Europeans" and "He was just hyped up in Western media. There is a real opposition to Putin, both left and right and it is true that they're facing constraints." Is imo not how someone from Vienna speaks....even not a fare right fellow traveller...it are Dugin kind of scripts....#fromtheinside #mytwocents;)

ps nice read: https://bbcrussian.substack.com/p/a...KP5nQrP4xGZuAqrUpQ_aem_0JtTkn_Ib6AT5v1yPRzFTw
 
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The points I have made here are equally shared by Emmanuel Todd, Jeffrey Sachs, Max Blumenthal, Sahra Wagenknecht, Ulrike Guérot etc. Those people are not on the far right and neither am I. The irony is that it's people who consider themselves to be on the left or liberal side that are either supporting the Nazis in Ukraine or acting like they didn't exist. The other irony is that it is the (fake) left that is warmongering today while the right is calling for peace. We truly live in interesting times. I have an old left background and nothing has changed in that respect. The old left cared about social issues, the working class and peace. Germany, a country responsible for 30 million dead Soviet citizens, is sending weapons against Russia again, as ordered by its masters in Washington, of course. Everybody knows this is a war the West started due to its stubborn pursuit of NATO expansion. Everyone knows that the Russians were deceived after a promise was made to Gorbachev that NATO wasn't going to move one inch to the east after Germany's reunification and that Russia's security concerns would be respected. It is a country that has been invaded from the West multiple times, so it is understandable that the Russians are paranoid about buffer zones.

No one in the West has the means or even a reason to "contain" Russia. One of the biggest jokes is that Russia will not stop at Ukraine and that Poland, Romania and perhaps the rest of Europe may be next. At the same time, it is claimed that the Russians are so incompetent, they can't even conquer a Ukrainian village. This kind of brain rot among Western journalists and propagandists has come a long way. No, the Russians aren't coming. They don't have the manpower and economic ressources to attack Europe. If the West becomes threatening enough that would lead them to the conclusion that the survival of the Russian state is at stake, they're not going to invade. They're just going to nuke us. So much for containment.

And yes, Schröder and a number of European politicians, including former Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, were welcomed guests in Moscow. It was an economic partnership that greatly benefited Germany and Austria (and their own pockets, of course) because it meant cheap access to Russian gas. This rapprochement between Europe's leading industrial power and Russia was recognised as a threat to US power over Europe. It's about "keeping the US in, Russia out and Germany down." Btw, do you know what the favourite destination of Russian oligarchs was? It was London. They loved them there because Britain's economy is a financial cesspool with a manufacturing base of about 9%. The Russians were great as long as they were buying real estate in London or parking their money in British banks. Now the entire neoliberal world order, that was based on this financial house of cards, is coming to an end which is why the British are now at the forefront of this Russophobic warmongering. Their significance in world affairs will be set back to the pre-Norman era.

I kinda expected you'd throw Dugin into the arena. Dugin is a crackpot with little influence on Russian politics. He is an ideologue that most people in Russia, especially the young, don't take seriously. Just like Navalny, Dugin was hyped up by Western media who portrayed him as some kind of modern Rasputin. People have no idea what's going on in Russia because we don't have any serious Russia experts like we used to have during the Cold War. We don't even have any diplomats left. Just a bunch of hypocritical, hysterical, virtue-signalling, lying clowns who are playing with all our futures.
 
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