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Old 10-13-2015, 17:14   #16
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Originally Posted by Badger52 View Post
Thank you for your comments & candor. It ties with string some individual thoughts I'd had.
You are welcome
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:56   #17
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Originally Posted by SpNkid View Post
Yes it is. Except, perhaps, a term "Communist". Communism nor in Ukraine, nor even in the Soviet Union was never existed. It is a chimera. Previously, there was socialism, and then suddenly came capitalism.
Was reflecting on this thread last night after a discussion with someone on another matter and thought to clarify my use of that term. It may be a simplistic approach but, ultimately, many westerners regard communism & socialism as two different things - but one being a progression of the other, to wit:

communism = socialism, at the point of a gun.

As said, it may be viewed as a simplistic approach by you but that ultimate threat (loss of life or freedom) is what distinguishes one from the other in the minds of many. And, just my opinion, many more who endorse socialistic views to running a nation state perhaps have not played the movie all the way to the end. Just wanted to make that distinction (at least in my mind) as to my use of the term.
"Civil Wars don't start when a few guys hunt down a specific bastard. Civil Wars start when many guys hunt down the nearest bastards."

The coin paid to enforce words on parchment is blood; tyrants will not be stopped with anything less dear. - QP Peregrino
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:59   #18
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Communism is the most corrupt government system currently used. Russian communism is tyranny.

Seems the people of Ukraine are seeking freedom.

SpNkid you're making me laugh, if you think communism is OK go start an activist group and write something bad about Mr. Putin. What happened to Pussy Riot? Thrown in prison for speech?

In Russia and all communist countries there is only the illusion of freedom, except N Korea, there , there is no illusion.
"The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy, but where they are."
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Old 10-23-2015, 17:31   #19
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Check out Winter of Fire on netflix if you want to see the leadup
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Old 11-15-2015, 14:48   #20
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Great thread

I'm very much interested in this topic and enjoying this thread. SpNkid, I'm inferring that you are coming at this conflict from the Russian/Pro-Russian perspective. Fair enough. I agree on some points, and disagree on others. Here are some of my perspectives:

Posted by SpNkid:

"It is exactly Civil war in Ukraine between Ukrainians supported by Russia and West from different sides.
It is interesting question what side deserves "Freedom fighters" name in this war."

I agree on the civil war label, including the comments that both side are getting outside support. That is fairly evident. What is different is the type of support being delivered. Based on information publicly available and an understanding of how these things typically play out behind the scenes, I am comfortable with the personal belief that some western nations have a limited amount of troops in the Ukraine serving in various capacities including but probably not limited to the training and advising capacity so common in these types of situations. In short, the west is assisting the current Ukrainian government. I think Russia is doing the same thing on their side, BUT, in addition...

1. Russia annexed Crimea with Russian troops the secure her interests. The Ukrainian government did not invite them. Putin denied this, then later admitted it. Credibility destroyed, but I'll give him a partial pass on the lying bit, as he is a world leader, and no one can afford to be truthful in that job.

2. It seems very probable that there are thousands, perhaps well over 10,000 Russian troops at times, deployed in the Ukraine. The numbers of Russian troops, and their status as "volunteers" or deployed soldiers on national service to Russia are highly propagandized, not doubt by the many factions and interests at play. Here is BBC commentary on this (granted, western media, subject to western propaganda) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31794523

Even with Putin's claims that Russian soldiers fighting in the Ukraine are volunteers acting independently (I can't bring my self to give this any credibility, especially as it seems the "independently acting volunteers" are coming over in formations equipped with tanks, BMPS, BTRs, trucks and artillery pieces (not exactly the same as a scattered bunch of soldiers packing their ruck and going AWOL to run off to fight against the Ukrainian government forces.) If we accept Putin's claims on this, it suggests he has no control over his military whatsoever. (If tens of thousands of troops from any western country showed up in a foreign country of national interest with all their armored vehicles, logistics chains, and fighting capability and that western nation's leader claimed, "Oh, we didn't send them, they must have just all gone AWOL and volunteered on their own. Oh well, what can you do?", millions might die from laughing so hard.

In short, Russia has gone far beyond sending a small number of troops in an advisory role. It seems there can be little doubt she has invaded the Ukraine in a notably slippery fashion.

"Russians and Ukrainians are one people. "

This statement has no meaning to me. Russians are not one people. Ukrainians are also not one people. and Russians and Ukrainians are not one people. If you are saying that a segment of the Russian population has SOME commonality with a segment of the Ukrainian population, I might agree that is true. Anything more than that seem like ethnic identity propaganda. The citizens of those two countries are NOT "one people."

"Even language bears little resemblance to the Ukrainian, but rather it is the Little Russian dialect of ancient. "

This seems to contradict the notion that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. No matter, I don't believe any nation is "one people". Just interconnected networks of unique people agreeing and disagreeing on various issues.

"Ukraine and Syria both are just different parts of a large fence wich US mounting between Western Europe and Russia to interfere integration of russian resources with european money and technologies.
It is STRATFOR founder and chairman George Friedman said that the development of a German-Russian alliance most threatening to America's position of the world's lone superpower."

Yes, I think there is likely some truth to that. I call that global strategy. Russia plays that game too, so it can't cry foul (well, it can, but I think it sounds hypocritical).

"Two World wars were started in fact to prevent this alliance."

Based on the history I've read, I don't believe that. But, I've only read the history the west has written when it comes to the world wars.

"When the agreement failed, Assad suddenly became a bloody tyrant.
Russian activity in Syria and Russian activity in Ukraine are not a distraction to each other but just two russian hands in different places. Both hands defends russian interests at the same time. "

Yes, I agree, although I think the use of the term "defends" is propagandist. Attack and defense at this level of strategy I think lose their meaning. "Both hands SUPPORT Russian interests at the same time" would be more impartial.

"Ukraine - one of main historical transit locations on Berlin - Moscow line. As military route, as gas pipeline route, or simply as land route.
In order to reliably block the Russian ground routes to Europe, you need only two hostile to Russia countries: Poland and Ukraine. Poland you already have. Ukraine in the transformation process.
Syria was practically the only potentially safe place to mount an alternative pipelines from Persian Gulf through Jordan to Turkey and further to Europe."

Here's where we are starting to see things similarly. Russia's economy and security lives or dies on selling energy. I believe Putin wants to secure the lines of communication of his energy supplies to Europe as you stated, and also create a strategic land buffer between NATO, possibly the EU, and Russia. Russia used to have the Warsaw Pact nations as a buffer. Now it does not, and this creates vulnerability. I understand that. I think Russia also wants to reassert itself as at least a strong regional power with influence. I get that too. That is natural. And efforts to block those aims are also understandable. It's all part of the grand game. (More related BBC content: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/h...l/nn4page1.stm ). Russia can seemingly win some battles, but also seems to be slipping in the big game over the past century. It is a country whose economy is not sufficiently diversified, whose currency is not stable or valued, who offers little in terms of freedom to her people and whose democracy is questionable. Also, like many western nations, Russia's natural population growth is reported to be shrinking (despite a 0.016 natural growth in 2013, this first since the collapse of the Soviet Union - read more here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadom...-soviet-union/). If, as this article suggests, Russia is going to have to depend on migration from former Soviet republics in Central Asia for competitive population growth, to what extent will Russians be "one people" then? (not that I believe they are even now).

As I see it, Russia had the Ukraine through the previous Yanukovych administration. The Ukrainian people resisted that through mass demonstrations in the Euromaidan revolution (yes, I agree, it was likely done with Western assistance) and demonstrators were met with beatings, gunfire, and all the distasteful things you mentioned, only at the hands of the Pro-Russian government (any side of a conflict can find examples of nasty things the other has done as part of the mud slinging). Then, when it was apparent that political control was lost, Yanukovych fled to Russia, and Putin put Von Clausewitz's famous saying into motion: "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means." Yup.

So, which Ukrainians are the real freedom fighters? My vote has to go to those resisting the Russian invasion and Russia's attempts to have the Ukraine as a controlled line of communication to European markets and a strategic buffer from NATO. One by one, eastern Europe is slowly becoming more like western Europe (especially with the younger generations I've talked to there) and Russia's leaders are not liking it one bit. Too bad. Russia should focus on straightening itself economically out so it can offer others something more than oil, gas, weapons and misery. I think Russians are a great people held back by leaders spending too much time looking outwards and not inwards, oligarchs milking the oil and gas supply profits for themselves and leaving nothing for the future generations when the gas inevitably runs out, or loses relevancy and value, whichever comes first. (If you want, read more about how Norway, another net energy exporter, invests energy profits into its future as it knows that one day, oil and gas money will dry up. I think Norway will be ready when that happens. I shudder to think what will happen to the Russian people, and those unfortunate to be living in countries next to them, when that happens.)

Last edited by Maple Flag; 11-30-2015 at 08:36. Reason: Typo reduction
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Old 11-27-2015, 16:51   #21
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Maple Flag, I have read your post just now and I have to admit that I was a little superficial before. Firstly, I did not expect to find here a collocutor who so close acquaintance with the issue. Secondly, my English is not good enough, plus I try to use translators minimally. So I prefer to articulate simple thoughts than difficult ones. Both of these factors encourages me to exert all my strength to prepare thoughtful and competent answer to you. In addition, I must also admit that in some things you even transformed my thoughts a little. And it requires thinking.
Anyway I need some time to continue our discuss further. I hope you will keep your attention on this tread.
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Old 11-27-2015, 17:16   #22
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Originally Posted by Team Sergeant View Post
except N Korea, there , there is no illusion.
...or electricity, water, food, etc.
"There you go, again." Ronald Reagan
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:42   #23
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Originally Posted by SpNkid View Post
Maple Flag, I have read your post just now and I have to admit that I was a little superficial before. Firstly, I did not expect to find here a collocutor who so close acquaintance with the issue. Secondly, my English is not good enough, plus I try to use translators minimally. So I prefer to articulate simple thoughts than difficult ones. Both of these factors encourages me to exert all my strength to prepare thoughtful and competent answer to you. In addition, I must also admit that in some things you even transformed my thoughts a little. And it requires thinking.
Anyway I need some time to continue our discuss further. I hope you will keep your attention on this tread.
No problem on the English language challenge. I studied Russian and other Slavic languages, and can understand the difficulty of expressing complex ideas in a foreign language. I look forward to reading more on your perspectives.
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Old 07-24-2017, 16:22   #24
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A few more thoughts and sources on the Ukraine conflict, picking up from the themes discussed here.

On the topic of the Ukraine as a strategic buffer for Russia:

Business Insider.com - 10 Maps That Explain Russia's Strategy.

On the Ukraine conflict and Russia's dependence on oil revenue:

Ukraine timeline data

Historical crude oil price data


February, 2014

- Crude oil selling for about $107.30 - prices are good, keeping Russia in the green.

- Security forces in Ukraine's Russia-friendly government (led by President Yanukovych) kill 77 pro-western demonstrators

- Things totally fall apart and the Ukrainian President Yanukovych flees......to Russia.

March, 2014

- Crude oil selling for about $105.33 - prices still good, keeping Russia in the green

- Russia invades Ukraine, seizes Crimea, and provides support to pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists.

- Ukraine conflict expands and intensifies to civil war.

July - August, 2014

- Oil prices still stable through July and August, averaging at around $100.98 and $100.80 respectively.

- Malaysian airliner shot down over separatist held territory in July, killing 298 people.

- Russian "aid" convoys enter Ukraine without Ukrainian authorization.

- Peacemaking attempts are ineffective.

- Russia continuing activity in Eastern Ukraine.

September, 2014 - January, 2015

- Oil prices plummet dramatically from the $100+ mark to $93.81 in September, continuing freefall to $50.08 by January, 2015

- September - Government signs Minsk peace plan ceasefire with pro-Russian leaders in eastern Ukraine. The two separatist regions agree to hold local elections under Ukrainian law in December.

- September through November - Initial cease-fire repeatedly violated before breaking down completely. NATO confirms Russian troops and heavy military equipment entering eastern Ukraine.

- October - Parliamentary elections produce convincing majority for pro-Western parties, which begin process of forming a new coalition led by Prime Minster Arseny Yatseniuk.

February, 2015

- Oil now holding at around $52.03, half of what it was when the conflict started.

- New ceasefire terms are brokered by France and Germany, which pro-Russian separatists agree to.

March, 2015 to Present

- Oil prices continue to hold somewhere in the range of $62.06 and as low as $29.44, selling in July, 2017 at around $46.37.

- Conflict continues at a much lower level of intensity.

I'll be the first to say that correlation does not equal causation. But it certainly doesn't disprove it either. When oil prices weaken, so does Russia.

The Economist on the more current 2017 state of affairs:

"Unable to offer much of a future, the separatists are cultivating the symbols of the Soviet past. On May 11th, they marked the third anniversary of their “republic” with a Soviet-style march. A voice boomed from loudspeakers: “We greet this day with joy and pride for a glorious past and in confidence for a peaceful and happy future.” Workers with balloons and Soviet flags marched in columns along Lenin Prospect. Yet keeping up a Soviet veneer may not be easy without jobs, particularly as industrial production plummets.

However disillusioned most people in Donetsk feel with the “Russian spring”, few believe that the territory could ever be reincorporated into Ukraine. "

More here:

Last edited by Maple Flag; 07-24-2017 at 16:25.
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:24   #25
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MapleFlag thank you for your perspective on the situation. I found it very educational.
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, you have not properly planned the operation.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:25   #26
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Thanks for the kind words Pericles.

A few things are developing that may shake things up in the Ukraine in the next 6 months.


Assad’s position is more secure, and Russian ground forces commitments in Syria are diminished, while ISIS/ISIL is collapsing.

Both oil and natural gas prices have been on the rise in the past few months.

Minsk II ceasefire violations are ongoing but low intensity, and the lines are fairly static.

The U.S has also now authorized sales of arms to Ukraine, and sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles are expected to be on the way.

A number of assassinations in Kiev of opponents to Russia have occurred in recent months.


The U.S. Treasury Department will be releasing two reports on sanctions against Russia in February. This may lead to further sanctions, possibly targeting sovereign debt as well as oligarchs that Putin relies on.


The Russian federal elections are in March. A Putin win is an almost sure bet, unless sanctions somehow scare the oligarchs into pulling support for Putin. This seems very unlikely to me. I expect that Putin will continue to adapt his strategy to support oligarch wealth protection and insulating Russia’s economy and her elite from the impact of Western sanctions. This strategy however, while seemingly defensive and reactive, will potentially open the door to Putin having more offensive maneuvering room in regards the Ukraine conflict.


If Putin is secure in his presidency post-election (or perhaps even pre-election...), and enough supporting factors are present (ie: there are no other major Russian military commitments, oil and gas prices continue to rise and Putin is able to fend off the impact of sanctions through any combination of preventing new sanctions, loop-holing and end-running current sanctions, and reducing exposures through increased trade with Asia and the Middle East) then we may see a renewed intensification of the conflict.

I’m watching for the trigger event that will “justify” sudden action from Russia, or alternatively a slow and deniable creeping intensification.

Spring is coming...
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