Friday, December 5, 2014

Round and round and round it goes...Where it stops no one knows

The war goes on and the talking heads go on and on.

The ATO is now on the defensive only, fighting off attacks from the Russian backed, armed and supported terrorists.  The Cyborgs at the Donetsk airport are still holding out as is the salient at Debaltseve.  Every time a new Russian "Humanitarian convoy" enters Ukraine there is an increase in shelling and rocket fire from the Russian side as they now have more ammunition.  the trucks do not go back empty, they are loaded with the bodies of Russian soldiers that the Kremlin continues to deny are in Ukraine.  They all died in "exercises" near Rostov.

At least the anticipated invasion has not happened yet, though Russian troops and heavy armament continue to be rotated into Ukraine and strategically placed in areas which would certainly come under attack in an all out invasion.

The Russian economy is in the tank with the continuing drop in oil prices which are taking the ruble with it. The joke making the rounds is that Putin, oil and the ruble will all hit 63 in 2015.  Putin approved the next years budget which was written by Hans Christian Anderson Consulting from teh look of it.  $80 oil for starters.

Here is a better summary of the situation than I could write, already written:
nucleardiner.com/2014/12/04/putin-reconsidering-options

Three posts by Paul Goble:

But a better question, Andrey Piontkovsky suggests, is whether Putin himself is ready to die for that northeastern Estonian city at the eastern edge of NATO and the European Union given that the leaders of the West now see him not as a strategic partner but as a strategic “problem” 

Is Putin Prepared to Die for Narva?


 All of these people had sought assistance from state agencies, assistance that they are entitled to under the law. And all had been refused. But rather than allow them to suffer, the Union for the Rebirth of Pskov Kray raised money by various activities, helped with renovations, and secured access to those who would never have had a chance otherwise.

Vadim Shtepa, who lives in Karelia and who supports Ukrainian efforts to defend their nation against Vladimir Putin’s aggression, reflects on this anniversary? “What can one say? The only thing is to wish our Ukrainian friends [in this new Winter War] to be no weaker than the Finns!”


Also if you have an hour, please listen to this presentation by Timothy Snyder on the history of and current situation in Ukraine as it applies across a much broader scope.  He is an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable historian.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link!

    Something I would like to know: how is the economy in Ukraine as you see it? The external measures are just as bad as Russia's. And something will have to be done to rebuild, when rebuilding becomes possible. We don't hear much about this in the US.

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  2. In our little cocoon, it is so hard to tell. Prices in grocery stores have gone up very sharply in UAH. Electricity and gas prices also. Jobs are hard to come by. But so far no news of anything collapsing. You are right, the external measures are VERY bad but we keep muddling along. Traditions of family helping family helps those who are on fixed pensions but I am sure this winter the elderly will be hit hard.

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  3. Where is this going to end. Can Ukraine hold out against Russia?
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  4. Ukraine can hold the line as it is now but to what end? A constant drain on the economy and on the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians caught behind the lines. Any direct attacks by Ukraine could bring a Russian onslaught and Russian occupation as "peacekeepers". There are partisans operating behind the lines and there should be more. Whether enough Russian soldier deaths will have an effect or not is hard to say. Putin has declared that Russia is under attack by America, so if their economy goes south which it is quite likely to do shortly, it will be the Great Patriotic War Part 2 and people will be expected to deal with the resulting disaster. No one knows where and when this will end. There is still the nuclear question. Putin may decide to take everyone with him when he goes.

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  5. Referring to it as a Winter War does not bode well for Ukraine. Yes, the Russians lost thousands of troops and had a much higher casualty rate than the Finns, but in the end the Finns lost the war. It's why Karelia is Russian.

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    1. The |Finns fought well and are my heros. In fact they did better in their defeat than if they had capitulated to Stalin right off, from what I read.

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    2. Have you seen the documentary "Fire and Ice" about the Winter War? It was shown on PBS so might be available online.

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    3. Here's Fire and Ice. Excellent documentary.

      http://youtu.be/PMa3w8L92Xs


      Notice that it says that the Soviet Union thought it could cut across Finland with 30,000 men. Finland is smaller and less populated than Ukraine. It's hard to believe that Russia has enough soldiers outside Ukraine to invade.

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    4. Thanks, both of you. I found the video and will watch it with interest. If Russia comes from the east and from Crimea at the same time, they will have no problem cutting a land link to Crimea and then moving on to Odessa and the Trans-Dnistr. Holding it might be another thing without going to an all out air war and bombing Ukraine into submission

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    5. Watched the documentary last evening. Very interesting. Thanks. If Khrushchev was right and 1 million Russians perished in the Winter War, those are incredible numbers.

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  6. Hubby and I were talking about this the other day and wondering whether Putin actually wants to "win" the war in the Ukraine at all. By his own admission the Russian economy is sliding into recession, and one of the best ways to combat recession is to have a war. If he manages it just right, he can have "enough" war to stimulate the Russian economy without stepping on too many international toes and escalating to a full-blown conflict that a) would be difficult to win and b) if he did win would result in Russia actually taking over the Ukraine, which would put further strain on the economy.

    I'm no political expert (obviously), but it was just a passing thought.

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    1. The short victorious war, yes. Except in Ukraine it would not be short and victory would come at a very high price both in terms of dead Russian soldiers and international isolation and sanctions. He is doing the next best thing at the moment which is claiming to be under attack and expecting the people to accept the hardships and support a wartime president.

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    2. This could end up like a Bush war, you know, never ending like the middle east. I'd bet the arms dealers are doing quite nicely in Russia these days. But in the end nobody wins.

      I'm still trying to peel apart the Syrian situation which is getting more complex by the day.

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    3. If you sort out the Syrian thing, please let Washington know.

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  7. As a species we don't look too smart, do we? We've been down this road before and the waste of resources and lives gets worse each time. I don't know how to make it stop.

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    1. Humans seem to be hard wired to hate and kill based on assigned differences. North America is fairly lucky in that we are basically two huge land masses USA and Canada and relatively homogeneous. Continents that are broken up by geography into multiples of small peoples and countries eg Europe (and PNG) tend to have a long long history of wars.

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