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19 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Putin allegedly started this war to stem NATO expansion.

 

How's that working out for you, Vlad?

 

 

 

 

The only reason he would be so worried about NATO expansion is if he has plans to attack his neighbors and regain the old USSR.  All NATO does is protect countries from that.

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Russia could easily have remained an autocracy, with Putin's oligarchs raking in billions while continuing to trade with the U.S. and other Western partners. Someone would periodically shake a fist about human rights or enact a toothless sanction, but Russia was more than welcome at the table of international trade. It's how the oligarchs got rich. It was never on anyone's radar to invade or threaten Russia militarily. They were a lot more fun as customers and suppliers than as a communist enemy. 

 

So yeah, this was a major mis-reading on Putin's part. The smart play was to keep placating the West with double-talk while running a state-sponsored capitalism that made everyone money --- even if the oligarchs stole most of it. Those trade partners had absolutely no intention of invading or threatening Russia, nor was Ukraine in any position to expand its borders. 

 

But here's the thing: if Kiev and Ukraine had fallen within days, as even its allies expected, what would have happened then?  No scenes of major death and destruction --- something more like the annexation of Crimea. Could Putin have outlasted the global outrage?

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3 hours ago, Crusader Husker said:

I am sure this has been discussed, but I don't know the answer.  To what degree can Russian Citizens access the outside world via social media and news?

 

 

I think if they really want to they can seek it out. But I've heard from the Ukrainians I know that the Russians they know have a completely assbackwards view of the war and go as far as to argue with them about it, even the ones who have had shelling and missiles near them. I also get the sense the older they are the less likely they are to try to understand what's happening outside of what state media tells them. E.g. there are a couple YouTubers I follow that don't support the war at all but they are in their 20s. It's kind like baby boomers and Fox News, except it takes even more effort to read NYT. The other problem is people don't want to believe their own country sucks.

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18 hours ago, TGHusker said:

The land strikes me as looking just like the midwest. Nebraska, SD, Iowa etc.  I can't imagine being a farmer and having these kind of battles taking place on my farm. 

Looks like the worst terrain for a defensive war.  At least the holes provide something.  

 

On the geopolitical game you want nominally neutral buffer states inbetween the two powers.  If they are border to border there will eventually be an incident. 

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4 hours ago, Notre Dame Joe said:

Looks like the worst terrain for a defensive war.  At least the holes provide something.  

 

On the geopolitical game you want nominally neutral buffer states inbetween the two powers.  If they are border to border there will eventually be an incident. 

invading those buffer states and making them part of russia kinda removes the buffer states.

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15 minutes ago, commando said:

looks like maga supports Russia rather than Ukraine

 

The only no votes were Republicans.

 

And a bloated cheeto supporter was on here earlier today whinging about some twitterati with a Ukraine flag.

 

This seems like a call to arms for all reasonable-minded people.

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