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Just As A Break From Partes And The Like …

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ichkeria | 13:50 Mon 24th Jan 2022 | News
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60106416

On Friday the UK govt updated its travel advice for Ukraine, not only advising against all travel to the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Donbass, but also advising against all but essential travel to anywhere in Ukraine.
Both the UK and US are withdrawing their non essential staff.
Sometime this week the US will submit written answers to the questions put to it by Russia regarding expansion of NATO membership and withdrawal of NATO forces from NATO countries. These answers will be the same as the verbal ones already given and so the charade continues.
What do you think will happen next?

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Lots of sabre rattling
The Yanks to be fair were pretty unequivocal with their response last week

Mad Vlad is definitely plotting something sneaky though
That's the holiday plans scuppered again.
After Afghanistan and Chechnya, I don’t think Russia wants another long war.
There might be a 6 month adventure to stamp there authority as a superpower. The world will condemn them but do nowt but threaten sanctions. Europe will be a bunch of wet lettuces because they need Russian energy.
Then Russia will voluntarily retreat in a few months time.
Probably not what you want to hear Ich.
vlad wants the old soviet empire back me thinks, economic suicide though.
pretext ( as in poland 1931 and Mukden incident China 1931)
invade
and install puppet who says - I took power five days ago amidst chaos and invited the Russian in ( back that is!)
20 m starved in the Great Hunger 1920 and I dont think the Ukrainian people want to be re-liberated again
erp 10% of that - sozza 3.5m
Holodomor Голодомор в Україні
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The whole situation is somewhat bizarre.
We hear from the government that Russia has a proxy lined up to take over in Ukraine, namely Yevhen Murayev.
I am not sure under what sort of delusion Putin thinks that he could instal any sort of a puppet ruler in Ukraine. They tried that in 2004 and it led to the Orange revolution then, one which, unlike in 2014, Ukraine was not really ready. It simply would not work now, even less.
Similarly, 117,000 troops sounds a lot, but it is nowhere near enough to mount a serious invasion of a country the size of Ukraine with its own sizeable and very well trained, and prepared, armed forces. Added to the fact that such an obvious act of aggression would be massively unpopular with Russians, even before the thousands of body bags started returning.
Someone suggested that Putin plays well at poker, but less well at chess, and you can see why that observatuion was made:
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...
strategically vis a vis Ukraine Russia is now in a deep hole compared to where it was in 2003 and 2013. back then 20% of Ukrainians regarded Russia as an enemy, now its the majority.
Support for joining NATO has gone up similarly, to over 60%.
And Ukraine has pushed forward ever faster with economic and political reforms. In other words, Russia's actions have has exactly the opposite effect to what was presumably intended.
Although it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that this is exactly what Putin wants: he either fears a democratic and free and prosperous country on his doorstep or he merely wants to get the attention and deflect from his own unpopularity. He's certainly got the attention, with high level talks with the world's main superpower, but it is hard to see how that can end up with them gaining any long term credit from those.
The truth is no one really knows if Putin is a scheming, and very clever figure, always a step ahead of the west, or a rather sad, deluded figure who thinks he's on a historical mission.
//vlad wants the old soviet empire back me thinks//

I am not so sure. He does not want NATO on his doorstep and that is quite understandable. Much of these threads seem one sided. Whilst Putin is a nasty individual no doubt through being in the KGB he has always seemed first and foremost a businessman. War would not do his or Russian finances much good.
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Well as I just said, he goes an odd way about “not wanting NATO on his doorstep”.
Everything he does makes those NATO countries feel more insecure and cue more troops heading that way.
What WOULD be understandable would be fear of NATO missiles, and NATO is willing to negotiate on that.
But then you’d thing that would be big on their list of questions. And I don’t think it’s there at all.
One reason I call this situation bizarre
It is bizarre which makes me wonder if we are getting the whole story - from both sides.
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What we aren’t getting is what Putin really wants because he plainly isn’t going to get what he says he wants and he’s unlikely to get what he doesn’t say he wants either :-)
It isn’t only western leaders who can go on too long.
Putin probably can’t really retire tho
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Then you look at a map and see now Russia is “surrounded” by NATO as it claims: in reality a border with Estonia and Latvia (and Lithuania with its exclave of Kaliningrad) which barely stretches the same length as England …
Ich... rather than "Russia's Afghanistan" (again.) I have read that it could be "Russia's Vietnam".
And we all know how well that went ;o)

Bit of a tangent here, but, a friend of mine was walking alongside the Daugava River in Riga. He asked the tour guide how the Baltic countries regarded the neighbours.

She said........... "Lithuania was once a part of the Polish Empire, so they ally themselves with the Poles. Estonia has a Finnic language and a shared history with the Finns."

"So, what about Latvia?"

"OH, we just fear Russia."
It has the feel of a Putin distraction while something else is going on elsewhere ...
'Keep the Western barrstweards on their toes' is, I think VP's approach.

'I want to keep the gas contracts but I would prefer direct supply rather than through Kiev....I want to keep the general trade for my economy and well-being of my beloved citizens. I want pushback on NATO - sure - and create confusion with Mr. Dozy in DC and Mr.Imonthewayout in London....and then, if everything goes well, I'll look at my southern flank again as to them coming into the Russian sphere - and Afghanistan too - a little Russian military base for access to the Indian Ocean perhaps?'
Exactly Ellipsis - Kazakhstan or Georgia perhaps an addition to getting to the Indian Ocean, a long held aspiration of Russia going back through history.....?
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I think the most likely or predictable move would simple be a further incursion into E Ukraine (with no withdrawal) on the same principle used in Georgia and arguably also Moldova : namely a destabilised and divided country is likely to be admitted to NATO.
And hope the country weakens itself politically in the process.
The revelation from the US about the possible false flag operation suggests they are or were planning to move there.
After all the denials they’d need something for their propaganda outlets to seize on.
It’s interesting that the US and UK seem determined to make public their intelligence. That could be quite an effective preemptive tactic
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“LESS likely to be admitted to NATO. “

Doh

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