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""We have information that indicates Russia has already prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine," said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary."

Not a well kept secret operation then?
And equally they could be planning areal operation so that when Russia responds they say 'ah, the false flag justification'.

The reality is, who really knows the truth?
apparently the weather is too warm - Russian tanks can move more easily when the ground is iced over.....
Nothing surprises me with Putin.
Why do countries like Russia want to take over other countries when they cant even run their own to a decent standard. Vast sums spent on arms while their people have to drive Ladas.
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Plainly the US's intention is to put Russia on public notice that "we know what you are up to" the thinking being that there is less likelihood of their excuses holding water in the actual event.

Strictly the answer to the question as worded is "yes".
If the UK had the change to invade Fraance for example, knowing it would meet no resistance, then plainly we would not do so. By contrast Russia would invade a neighbour if it could get away with it,
The real question is "dare they".
//If the UK had the change to invade Fraance for example, knowing it would meet no resistance, then plainly we would not do so.//

Really? I think there would be a fair few who would, and visa versa for the French!
It wouldnt surprise me if after the Winter Olympics we see Russia in Ukraine, China in Taiwan and North Korea having a go at South.

And the West can do nothing.
Why can't Putin be more honest like, say, Joe Biden. ;-)

Seriously, Ichi, why do you hate Russia?
What is your connection to Chechnya?
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"Really? I think there would be a fair few who would, and visa versa for the French"

Yes, really. I'm talking about the government actually doing it. Not a few keyboard warriors on AB or the French equivalent.
I think you took the post a bit too seriously!
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I can't see N Korea ever actually doing anything other than lobbing a few missiles off in the direction of nowhere in particular.
Why would Kim Jong foul his own cosy little nest.

Russia did invade Georgia during the Olympics in Beijing (which was clever as it was a double cover: the real target was a different part of the country from the headline incursion) - so I think a lesson has been learned from that. As I said earlier: keep the potential aggressor on notice that they are being watched.
Well, I hope I am wrong.

But I have a feeling in my water...
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The west of course has threatened to do quite a lot.
To give the Trump administration their due, despite DJT's weird public posturing, they did bolster military support for Ukraine.
The US state department has pledged to send military support if anything happens, but whether the threat to cut off SWIFT would be honoured is not clear. That would be pretty drastic.
Whjat is clear that an actual full scale invasion would be a very serious threat to all concerned in the region and beyond, and it seems to me unlikely that we'd see the 100,000 massed ranks suddenly coming across the border. Hybrid warfare is the thing: so you never can be sure if and when the thing has actually occurred and I would have thought the aim would be to try to undermine the moral cause for any response or retaliation, hence the false flag stuff.
With the collapse of communism, & the removal of the 'Iron Curtain' Putin moved back all Russian military to within Russia's borders on the promise by the west that NATO would not advance any further to the east, but the west reneged on that promise & saw fit to move ITS forces as close to the Russian border as it wished, naturally Putin isn't happy about having NATO right on his doorstep.

Add to that the complicated long history of Ukraine, the east of which is considered to be "Russian", in fact Kiev was at one time the capital of Russia.
The US have a 1,000 overseas military bases. How many do Russia have?
Despite agreements and assurances the US, EU, NATO etc are continually fomenting unrest in countries bordering Russia. Ditto, holding military exercises.
The usual warmongers in the US (eg. Clinton) openly talk about attacking Russia.
Unlike others would pretend, I know there are 2 sides to most stories. And I also wouldn't trust the Biden Administration as far as I could spit. And if you do, you don't really know much about them.
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Funnily enough though Khandro at the recent Geneva talks the Russian side seemed reluctant to talk about missive deployment and a rebooting of START. Which would seem reasonable concerns.
As for NATO promises to Russia those were at best verbal ones made in a very different atmosphere to now.
NATO increased its presence to protect those countries and every time something like now happens it only makes those countries even more nervous
CrapAtCryptics
I fear your opinion on Russian everyday life is about 35 years out of date. Yes there are plenty of poor people in Russia, but also plenty of rich ones. Moscow is the most expensive city in the world.

Strategically, the Russia Navy needs to reach the oceans, and its base on the Crimea peninsula at Sebastopol on the Black sea gives it access to the Mediterranean and beyond. When Ukraine was part of the USSR Russia could impose on its neighbour. Now Ukraine is independent, it doesn’t want the Russians there, but the base is too important for Russia to give up.

Putin has a criminal background, so stealing the part of Ukraine that he wants, is his second nature.
// Putin moved back all Russian military to within Russia's borders //*

Nope the naval base at Sebastopol Ukraine has always remained open, and the Russian fleet never moved.

* (Putin hasn’t been Russian leader since the fall of the iron curtain, Gorbachev and Yeltsin rules for a decade).
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In fairness Ukraine should not have issued the ultimatum to Russia to quit Sevastopol which is a de facto Russia city. Both navies coexisted there perfectly happily and until Russia started agitating in the years leading up to 2014 most people had no desire to hook back up with the “mother country”
None of which excuses what happened of course.

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