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Belarus

Stalin saw to that. So no one living in Crimea is really a "windblow" then?
In relative terms, maybe. I had in mind the Kosovars compared to the Crimean Russians, and our distinct reactions to their rights.

Isn't it amazing how flexible we are on defining rights which don't happen to advance our interests?
 
In relative terms, maybe. I had in mind the Kosovars compared to the Crimean Russians, and our distinct reactions to their rights.

Isn't it amazing how flexible we are on defining rights which don't happen to advance our interests?
That's Politics. The Kosovar situation should be seen through the prism of the whole of the FRY tragedy IMO. The West condemned the Serbs for their general conduct in the collapse of FRY and felt that they had not done enough to counter Milosevic when they should have done. By the time the Kosovo crisis emerged the West had consolodated its position on Serbia and thought never again (in light of Srebrenica and Serb aggression elsewhere in FRY). The action in Kosovo was the sum of all that had not been done to counter Milosevic in the past IMO.
It's all about supporting your side. Always has been and always will. Again IMO.
 
Photex - why do you advocate belliicosity towards China and Xi, but seem to advocate appeasement of Putin and his regime of thugs? You do realise Russia borders NATO territory and the ocean which we are in, has increased air and naval activity in the Atlantic, and exercises with Chinese and Iranian allies?
Because in the American defence and foreign policy blogs that he gets his opinions from Russia is waaay down the list of priorities, while the top three priorities are China, China, and China.
 
You're not currently living on them. There's a difference.
But my Grandparents were, when they were evicted, transported, deported. No choice given. That's the Muscovite way. Luckily they escaped the fate of many of their peers who not only lost their land and their property, but their lives too. I remember reading somewhere that Stalin was quoted as later saying to the Politburo that setting free the Poles that survived the Gulag and letting them leave the Soviet Union was one of the worst decisions he had ever made.


So after freeing their countries from Moscow's knout, are the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians doing the same to the Russians planted in their countries by Moscow after their countries were brutally annexed by the Soviet Union? No they are not, they have allowed them to stay if they so wish and obtain citizenship.

After the independence of Ukraine from Muscovite rule, did the Ukrainians attempt to deport Russians to Russia? No.

Did the Serb Nationalists attempt to do this to the Bosnians, Croatians and Albanians in the bits of the former Yugoslavia that they wanted to claim for themselves - Yes they did.


Anyway apologies for the thread drift. We should get back on topic to Belarus.
 
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Yokel

LE
Because in the American defence and foreign policy blogs that he gets his opinions from Russia is waaay down the list of priorities, while the top three priorities are China, China, and China.

Perhaps he should try listening to people like the Supreme Allied Commander Europe or the Command of the US 2nd Fleet/NATO Joint Force Commander Atlantic? I am guessing that the writings of a US Vice Admiral with a carrier aviation background (and interestingly he did an exchange with the Royal Navy) are a bit highbrow for his liking?
 
Perhaps he should try listening to people like the Supreme Allied Commander Europe or the Command of the US 2nd Fleet/NATO Joint Force Commander Atlantic? I am guessing that the writings of a US Vice Admiral with a carrier aviation background (and interestingly he did an exchange with the Royal Navy) are a bit highbrow for his liking?
The American officers whose command and career is in a certain theatre say that this theatre should be considered important? Who would have guessed?

Have a look at what "pivot to Asia" Obama and "China, China, China" Trump both said, and which Biden has shown no inclination to change. Russia is yesterday's power and no threat to American global dominance. China meanwhile threatens to surpass the US in terms of economic power (if they haven't already done so), technology, and global influence (outside of the US's inner circle).

The Americans are feeling more and more like WWI era Germany, who compared their alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire as like being shackled to a rotting corpse. They are increasingly resentful of a "Europe" which they see as being a millstone around their necks preventing them from concentrating their efforts on what they see as their "true enemy", China.

Hence the increasing American tendency to belittle the importance of Russia, or even in some circles to see them as more of an occasional annoyance rather than a persistent enemy.
 
But my Grandparents were, when they were evicted, transported, deported. No choice given. That's the Muscovite way. Luckily they escaped the fate of many of their peers who not only lost their land and their property, but their lives too. I remember reading somewhere that Stalin was quoted as later saying to the Politburo that setting free the Poles that survived the Gulag and letting them leave the Soviet Union was one of the worst decisions he had ever made.


So after freeing their countries from Moscow's knout, are the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians doing the same to the Russians planted in their countries by Moscow after their countries were brutally annexed by the Soviet Union? No they are not, they have allowed them to stay if they so wish and obtain citizenship.

After the independence of Ukraine from Muscovite rule, did the Ukrainians attempt to deport Russians to Russia? No.

Did the Serb Nationalists attempt to do this to the Bosnians, Croatians and Albanians in the bits of the former Yugoslavia that they wanted to claim for themselves - Yes they did.


Anyway apologies for the thread drift. We should get back on topic to Belarus.
Not that Britain would ever have taken anyone's land. Goodness no, they wouldn't dream of it. There's no "London mindset" involved in that.

And there's no "Washington way" when it came to declaring entire groups of people "enemies of the state", throwing them into concentration camps, confiscating their property, making large numbers of them refugees, and refusing to compensate for confiscated property despite having explicitly agreed to do so in the peace treaty.

But I suppose none of that counts because it didn't involve Poland.
 
The American officers whose command and career is in a certain theatre say that this theatre should be considered important? Who would have guessed?

Have a look at what "pivot to Asia" Obama and "China, China, China" Trump both said, and which Biden has shown no inclination to change. Russia is yesterday's power and no threat to American global dominance. China meanwhile threatens to surpass the US in terms of economic power (if they haven't already done so), technology, and global influence (outside of the US's inner circle).

The Americans are feeling more and more like WWI era Germany, who compared their alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire as like being shackled to a rotting corpse. They are increasingly resentful of a "Europe" which they see as being a millstone around their necks preventing them from concentrating their efforts on what they see as their "true enemy", China.

Hence the increasing American tendency to belittle the importance of Russia, or even in some circles to see them as more of an occasional annoyance rather than a persistent enemy.
It's almost as though (the whole of) the USA, is incapable of - or doesn't want to - think about two things (different, separate, adversaries), at once !! ;) .

A whole nation, and all its politicians, that can not walk and chew gum, at the same time !! ;) .
 

Yokel

LE
The American officers whose command and career is in a certain theatre say that this theatre should be considered important? Who would have guessed?

Have a look at what "pivot to Asia" Obama and "China, China, China" Trump both said, and which Biden has shown no inclination to change. Russia is yesterday's power and no threat to American global dominance. China meanwhile threatens to surpass the US in terms of economic power (if they haven't already done so), technology, and global influence (outside of the US's inner circle).

The Americans are feeling more and more like WWI era Germany, who compared their alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire as like being shackled to a rotting corpse. They are increasingly resentful of a "Europe" which they see as being a millstone around their necks preventing them from concentrating their efforts on what they see as their "true enemy", China.

Hence the increasing American tendency to belittle the importance of Russia, or even in some circles to see them as more of an occasional annoyance rather than a persistent enemy.

Belittling the Russians will not help!

The Atlantic is still economically and strategically vital to the United States. It provides access to the Atlantic coast of Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East via the Mediterranean and Suez Canal.

Russian SSBNs operate in the Atlantic, and Chinese submarines have been seen in the NATO theatre.
 
Not that Britain would ever have taken anyone's land. Goodness no, they wouldn't dream of it. There's no "London mindset" involved in that.

And there's no "Washington way" when it came to declaring entire groups of people "enemies of the state", throwing them into concentration camps, confiscating their property, making large numbers of them refugees, and refusing to compensate for confiscated property despite having explicitly agreed to do so in the peace treaty.

But I suppose none of that counts because it didn't involve Poland.
It all matters.
Moscow always likes saying, "Yes, but what about ..................... ?" You are just parroting the Moscow line.

The discussion here is pertinent to Belarus. Washington can atone for its own sins and at least there is discussion about guilt. The only discussion about guilt in Moscow is about other people's guilt. Moscow acknowledges no guilt unless it serves to put itself into a more powerful position.

And Moscow denies its own people the right to raise discuss Muscovite guilt. It likes shouting "Double standards!" But refuses to admit its own. There is a "Muscovite Mindset" and it has been explained by others as well as myself. It just does not see the world as most of the rest of Europe and the rest of world that remains influenced by European civilisation. The Mongols sundered Muscovy from the European mainstream and warped it. The Muscovite State is not the descendant of Kievan Rus (Ukraine is), it is the descendant of the Mongol Empiire and it desires absolute control in the same way.

I do not absolve Britain, the US or indeed Poland or any other country of previous mistakes. But you seem to think that the fact that other nations have not been altruistic absolves Moscow of its centuries of rapacious brutality (to Russians as well as other subject peoples). It doesn't.
 
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It all matters.
Moscow always likes saying, "Yes, but what about ..................... ?" You are just parroting the Moscow line.

The discussion here is pertinent to Belarus. Washington can atone for its own sins and at least there is discussion about guilt. The only discussion about guilt in Moscow is about other people's guilt. Moscow acknowledges no guilt unless it serves to put itself into a more powerful position.

And Moscow denies its own people the right to raise discuss Muscovite guilt. It likes shouting "Double standards!" But refuses to admit its own. There is a "Muscovite Mindset" and it has been explained by others as well as myself. It just does not see the world as most of the rest of Europe and therest of world that remains influenced by European civilisation. The Mongols sundered Muscovy from the European mainstream and warped it. The Muscovite State is not the descendant of Kievan Rus (Ukraine is), it is the descendant of the Mongol Empiire and it desires absolute control in the same way.

I do not absolve Britain, the US or indeed Poland or any other country of previous mistakes. But you seem to think that the fact that other nations have not been altruistic absolves Moscow of its centuries of rapacious brutality (to Russians as well as other subject peoples). It doesn't.
The reason that Russia can shout "double standards" is because we apply double standards.

Russia aren't trying to convince us of anything. They are just pointing out to the other 90% of the world that isn't "us" that our complaints shouldn't be taken seriously because we follow a policy of "do what I say, not what I do".

To much of the world the "Muscovite mindset" looks little different from the "Europe/US mindset". In both cases it's "might makes right". Bombing, invading, and occupying Africa, Asia, or South America does not somehow make you morally superior to someone who does it to obscure corners of Europe. At one time indeed "we" felt that doing unto the heathens in far off lands was different from doing it to Europeans, but times have moved on.

"Europe" isn't the centre of the world any more. It's more and more a backwater of decreasing importance. The Russians can see that, and so when they point out that our pontifications about "rule of law" and "international codes of conduct" are just self serving hypocrisy which we don't apply to ourselves, their audience is the rest of the world, where most people live.

So, Europe and the US have created a world order where might makes right and are only now squawking about it because they are no longer the unchallenged mighty ones.

We had a chance in the immediate post 1990 era to create a world order in which might no longer made right. However, in the triumphalism that followed "we", and especially the US with their ideology of Manifest Destiny, assumed that we would forever have unchallenged supremacy and would not countenance anything which might restrict us exercising our will.

It's too late to change that now. The global centre of gravity is shifting to east and south Asia, and will probably remain there for all time, or at least as far into the future as we can imagine. Most of the people there probably don't know where Belarus is or the history of the Polish border and don't care. When we complain about what is happening there Russia is now able to say to those people "ignore the Europeans it's just more of their self-serving hypocritical whinging" and they can make a convincing case for it.


If "Europe" really cares about Belarus then they can do something about it. EU Europe have the population base, money, and technology to make them overwhelmingly superior to Russia. Based on the fundamentals it should be Russia who fear EU Europe, not the other way around.

If EU Europe aren't willing to do anything about it, then why should the rest of the world care? The moral argument falls flat on its face because of the European and American history of double standards. The practical argument fails because if EU Europe aren't willing to lift a finger to help themselves then there is no reason any one else should be willing to do it for them.


Double standards wouldn't matter if EU Europe weren't asking the rest of the world to help them. They matter a lot though when you are imploring the rest of the world to come to your aid because of principles that you trample over when it suits your own interests to do so.
 
It's all about supporting your side. Always has been and always will. Again IMO
I couldn't agree more but would add that it's also about using 'principle' as a stick with which to beat your opponents so long as it doesn't get in the way of supporting your side.

Regrettably, that's both a game everyone can play and one that signally fails to inspire any kind of loyalty in the spectators.
 
If that’s the criteria, how many centuries do we need to go back?
That's a very good question and one that we seem unable to answer, judging by our inconsistent application of the right to self-determination.

Personally, I would say that if you have a long-established minority population in their traditional homelands demonstrating a wish to remove themselves from the parent state (e.g. Catalans) then this is wholly consistent with the UN Charter. Large numbers of refugees arriving in an area and remaining concentrated there would not immediately accrue similar rights.

The cutoff is not an easy one to define but I think it's quite easy to judge the extremes.
 
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That's a very good question and one that we seem unable to answer, judging by our inconsistent application of the right to self-determination.

Personally, I would say that if you have a long-established minority population in their traditional homelands demonstrating a wish to remove themselves from the parent state (e.g. Catalans) then this is wholly consistent with the UN Charter. Large numbers of refugees arriving in an area and remaining concentrated there would not immediately accrue similar rights.

The cutoff is not an easy one to define but I think it's quite easy to judge the extremes.

The use of 'ancestral land' as justification can be used by some to an extent but not others since it's used to batter other factors and can mask the ebb and flow of history in a region.

Re Crimea, if I remember the figures from the all Russian Empire census of 1897, apart from major cities such as Sevastopol which had an influx of Russians and others, the population was predominantly Tatar. And IIRC though the non Tatar population grew after the establishment of the USSR, the Tatars were still in the majority until after 1944.

As for Donetsk and the Donbas, and I appreciate it's a simplified snapshot, but prior to the time of Catherine the Great, about mid late 1700s IIRC, this was not part of Russia but the 'wild steppe' thinly populated with runaways from Little and Greater Russia but within the orbit of and squeezed between both Russia the Tatars and the Ottomans. After Catherine's push south to take over this area, and Crimea and what became the region around it and Odessa, in addition to Russian governors and rulers, those brought in to work and settle were a mixture of mostly Ruthenians and Romanians and also others who were the majority. The Russification increased after the establishment of the coal mines and accelerated post USSR.

I recall a few years ago a documentary item from a village in Donetsk (or probably Luhansk) some chap saying this is 'our land, not Ukrainian' and the woman villager standing next to him suddenly saying something along the lines of 'what? I've never seen you here before'.

In a Youtube clip that popped up for me about the differences between the Ukrainian and Russian languages, the Ukrainian though Russian speaking lady Youtuber was explaining that in east Ukraine Russian is spoken in the cities and towns, whilst in the surrounding countryside it's Ukrainian. Without checking the stats myself I don't know how true the extent of this is but I give it credence.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Belittling the Russians will not help!

The Atlantic is still economically and strategically vital to the United States. It provides access to the Atlantic coast of Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East via the Mediterranean and Suez Canal.

Russian SSBNs operate in the Atlantic, and Chinese submarines have been seen in the NATO theatre.

that’s the Atlantic the USN and USAF totally dominate?

you really need to stop panicking every time a decrepit Russian submarine manages to pull off a patrol in the Barents Sea without catching fire or sinking.
 

Yokel

LE
that’s the Atlantic the USN and USAF totally dominate?

you really need to stop panicking every time a decrepit Russian submarine manages to pull off a patrol in the Barents Sea without catching fire or sinking.

Yes - that is just the sprit we need George. Do the Americans totally dominate it? Niet!

Russian Submarines Test NATO In Icy North Atlantic - WSJ

.. 10 Russian submarines slipped out of their bases on Russia’s Arctic coast and set an underwater course westward toward the North Atlantic.

Deployments such as this, one of the largest exercises since the Cold War, are a demonstration of the strength and ambition of the Russian Navy not only to defend its homeland but also to project power into the Atlantic, say NATO military officials and analysts.

Russia has spent billions of dollars in recent years upgrading an aging submarine fleet inherited from the Soviet Union with quieter, faster vessels that can evade detection and travel for longer at greater depths. Russia’s Northern Fleet, based on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic, is the main submarine force traditionally used to protect maritime approaches to the Russian north and the fleet’s ballistic-missile submarines.

----


The resurgence of Russia’s submarine fleet, and its forays into the Atlantic, are a concern for NATO, which would rely on swift reinforcement of its forces in Europe by the U.S. via the Atlantic in case of a conflict with Russia. That strategy would grow in importance if the U.S. fulfills President Trump’s order to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops based in Germany.

“We see it routinely now: more submarines, further away, for longer periods of time,” Vice Adm. Keith Blount, commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, said in an interview.

U.S. Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, said in February that U.S. ships leaving the East Coast were entering a contested space and could no longer expect to cross the Atlantic unhindered.
 
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