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Belarus

Is the Kremlin preparing its hand and setting the scene for the removal of Lukashenko, replacing him with a pro-Moscow stooge and an eventual "voluntary" union with Russia a little further down the line?

why are you even mildly surprised at developments?

Vlads just overseen the trashing of Pashinyans colour revolution in Armenia, time to stop such ideas once and for all in his very near abroad.
 
I'm not surprised. It's the Muscovite Mindset. Moscow is just being a little cleverer and more manipulatie this time around because they have had their fingers burned with Ukraine - which despite your assertions didn't go so well for Vlad the Bad.

They have to be more careful here , because they can't afford to alienate the Belarusians to the extent they have the Ukrainians. They are partly there already.

They also cannot afford to alienate a greater section of their own population, than they have done already.
 
Another now-typical Sunday in Belarus.

'Around 250 people were detained in Minsk during unauthorized mass protests, Minsk’s police spokeswoman Natalia Gausevich said on Sunday.

"About 250 people were detained in Minsk on charges of violating the law on mass gatherings," she said.

'According to the Minsk police, protesters in a number of Minsk neighborhoods blocked traffic along streets. "To ensure safety of road users the police had to squeeze the protesters out of the roadways," Ganusevich said, adding that the police had issued numerous warnings about the inadmissibility of illegal actions and had to detain the most active protesters.'


 
I'm not surprised. It's the Muscovite Mindset. Moscow is just being a little cleverer and more manipulatie this time around because they have had their fingers burned with Ukraine - which despite your assertions didn't go so well for Vlad the Bad.

They have to be more careful here , because they can't afford to alienate the Belarusians to the extent they have the Ukrainians. They are partly there already.

They also cannot afford to alienate a greater section of their own population, than they have done already.

Ukraine went very well for Vlad.
the biggest and richest former Soviet State West of the Don is now locked in a frozen conflict, and won’t be joining the EU, or NATO, anytime soon and he’s got the Crimea, and the Donbas.
 
Ukraine went very well for Vlad.
the biggest and richest former Soviet State West of the Don is now locked in a frozen conflict, and won’t be joining the EU, or NATO, anytime soon and he’s got the Crimea, and the Donbas.

Or, without the Muscovite spin:

Moscow has decisively alienated Ky'iv with Ukraine and the majority of its people being firmly turned against reincorporation in any Moscow-led political structure.

Russia is still affected by the sanctions that were imposed at the time and it has suffered considerable loss in various spheres, particularly financial and reputational.

The whole gambit can be assessed as more of a failure than a success, falling far short of Kremlin expectations. However, Moscow can never backtrack on this and admit failure, as it does not fit in its mindset.

So it just tries to keep justifying it and in this effort it is succoured by various stooges.
 
Or, without the Muscovite spin:

Moscow has decisively alienated Ky'iv with Ukraine and the majority of its people being firmly turned against reincorporation in any Moscow-led political structure.

Russia is still affected by the sanctions that were imposed at the time and it has suffered considerable loss in various spheres, particularly financial and reputational.

The whole gambit can be assessed as more of a failure than a success, falling far short of Kremlin expectations. However, Moscow can never backtrack on this and admit failure, as it does not fit in its mindset.

So it just tries to keep justifying it and in this effort it is succoured by various stooges.

from Russia’s POV, it’s gone swimmingly.
its now drawn a fixed line to eastward EU/NATO expansion.
 
from Russia’s POV, it’s gone swimmingly.
its now drawn a fixed line to eastward EU/NATO expansion.
More like desperately treading water!
 
More like desperately treading water!


Mustn't forget Armenia


Russia watched their model former Soviet State Azerbaijan smash mouth colour revolting Armenia, then stepped in as 'peacekeepers' to put golden handcuffs on Pashinyan and Yerevan.

Thats another former Soviet State with western looking pretensions put out to grass.
 
Mustn't forget Armenia


Russia watched their model former Soviet State Azerbaijan smash mouth colour revolting Armenia, then stepped in as 'peacekeepers' to put golden handcuffs on Pashinyan and Yerevan.

Thats another former Soviet State with western looking pretensions put out to grass.
Or looking at it more realistically, Moscow has just proved yet again that it cannot be relied on as a friend and protector, even when it already has troops based in a country by mutual agreement.

The Kremlin’s bully-boy strategies are so transparent. Armenia can be trodden on because Moscow’s thrust is to encourage Turkish separation from NATO. After that has been done, the Azerbaijan card can be held to influence Turkey. The end game is to regain the trans-Caucasus for Moscow and weaken Turkey. And Erdogan is walking into it.
 
That raises the question, is Erdogan naiv or does he have something up his sleeve?
I'd rather guess at neo-Ottoman hubris rather than naivety.
 
I'd rather guess at neo-Ottoman hubris rather than naivety.
Russia hasn’t come out of this too well, and Turkey has rather better. Now we see Russian peace keepers allowing the Turks to get involved/observe.
This seems against the grain of traditional strongarm Russian “enemies everywhere” mindset.
Is Turkey being led into something? Or do you think a future Russia/Turkey alliance a possibility?
 
Russia hasn’t come out of this too well, and Turkey has rather better. Now we see Russian peace keepers allowing the Turks to get involved/observe.
This seems against the grain of traditional strongarm Russian “enemies everywhere” mindset.
Is Turkey being led into something? Or do you think a future Russia/Turkey alliance a possibility?
"Keep your family close . . . Keep your enemies closer still".

(The Godfather).
 
Russia hasn’t come out of this too well, and Turkey has rather better. Now we see Russian peace keepers allowing the Turks to get involved/observe.
This seems against the grain of traditional strongarm Russian “enemies everywhere” mindset.
Is Turkey being led into something? Or do you think a future Russia/Turkey alliance a possibility?
Moscow can see a perfect opportunity to drive a fat wedge between Turkey and its current NATO allies and is hoping that push comes to shove and a permanent rupture. It will weaken both and strengthen Moscow’s hand in the Black Sea and trans-Caucasus.

I reckon Ankara is hoping to use Beijing to restrain Moscow, hence it’s keeping schtum on China’s hammering of the Turkic Uighurs.

This will be highly unlikely as Beijng is using Moscow as its western pit-bull.
 
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Moscow can see a perfect opportunity to drive a fat wedge between Turkey and its current NATO allies and is hoping that push comes to shove and a permanent rupture. It will weaken both and strengthen Moscow’s hand in the Black Sea and trans-Caucasus.

I reckon Ankara is hoping to use Beijing to restrain Moscow, hence it’s keeping schtum on China’s hammering of the Turkic Uighurs.

This will be highly unlikely as Peking is using Moscow as its western pit-bull.
Interesting points. The whole “south of Russia” region is a puzzle to me.
I have thought for a while that Turkey will split from NATO and Russia could be a new ally. Of sorts. As strongmen seek friendships with other strongmen.
As Russia may have to retreat in the east, it may have to look elsewhere for places to influence.
 
Interesting points. The whole “south of Russia” region is a puzzle to me.
I have thought for a while that Turkey will split from NATO and Russia could be a new ally. Of sorts. As strongmen seek friendships with other strongmen.
As Russia may have to retreat in the east, it may have to look elsewhere for places to influence.
Turkey under Erdogan is intent on "doing its own thing". A recent article in a French geopolitical publication that I suscribe to summarises it rather well.
Original here:
Ropey (but gist understandable) Google translation here:

Moscow is trying to manipulate Erdogan's expansionism and bellicosity to promote its own aims, one of which is the weakening of NATO.

Apologies for thread drift.
 

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