Putin Watching .... The story continues

Vladimir Putin is...

  • The greatest current threat to Europe

    Votes: 9 8.7%
  • The greatest threat to world peace outside North Korea

    Votes: 4 3.8%
  • A wily politician who will hang on to power to the last Russian

    Votes: 20 19.2%
  • A thoroughly decent chap who is just a bit misunderstood.

    Votes: 12 11.5%
  • A former KGB operative who requires constant vigilance from the West.

    Votes: 24 23.1%
  • A closet friend of Dorothy.

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • " He's not the Messiah; he's a very naughty boy - now hop it!"

    Votes: 4 3.8%
  • All of the above.

    Votes: 28 26.9%

  • Total voters
    104
  • Poll closed .
The point being (once again) there are Serbs in Kosovo. There is a downward trend which can be explained by many things including your assertion that they 'buggered off' or 'retreated to fortified enclaves.' For all I know birth rate is a factor it being 17 years onwards.
And there were Albanians in Kosovo before, during and after the NATO campaign. Does that prove no ethnic cleansing was conducted against them? If no, why does the existence of Serbs in Kosovo prove no ethnic cleansing was conducted against them?

The drop in numbers happened too rapidly to be a drop in birthrate, so that possibility can be discounted.
 
And there were Albanians in Kosovo before, during and after the NATO campaign. Does that prove no ethnic cleansing was conducted against them? If no, why does the existence of Serbs in Kosovo prove no ethnic cleansing was conducted against them?
Once again "I thought we'd established both sides were ethnically cleansing albeit the media appears only to have covered the Serb ethnic cleansing?"
The drop in numbers happened too rapidly to be a drop in birthrate, so that possibility can be discounted.
According to you it can be discounted. I've not seen any facts and figures. Have you?

Once again "As for your dismissal of Putin's land grab. It seems to me that if a country had recently suffered a popular revolution. A neighbour which was on friendly terms and had troops stationed legally in that country decided to set up its own govt in that country, manned checkpoints and seized media and govts buildings with its little green men. Held a referendum without any international observers at the end of a barrel (armed occupation) and then decided to absorb that nation in an (almost) bloodless coup despite international condemnation, if it was a western country you'd condemn it. However, as it's Russia you decline to do so.

Smacks of duplicity to me. Or are you saying the west should contemplate such action in the future?"
 
Once again "I thought we'd established both sides were ethnically cleansing albeit the media appears only to have covered the Serb ethnic cleansing?"
Then why bother disputing my statement that the NATO bombing did not end the ethnic cleansing but just changed who was doing it?
According to you it can be discounted. I've not seen any facts and figures. Have you
A rough figure from an organisation with no perceptible pro-Serb agenda puts it at more than halving since 1999. Have you any examples where that sort of drop occurred naturally through decreased birth rate?
However, as it's Russia you decline to do so.
Not so. I do disagree vehemently that an act of aggression which is carried out with such a low butcher's bill is somehow much, much worse than one which leaves thousands dead, and destabilises the region.

I also vehemently disagree with the idea that Russians being naughty mean we're entitled to stamp around the globe dispensing high explosive freedom regardless.
 
Then why bother disputing my statement that the NATO bombing did not end the ethnic cleansing but just changed who was doing it?
The dispute is on the volume, once again. There were retributions but not on the same scale tmk nor would appear your article agrees. What there was, was not picked up by western media once again. Maybe KFOR troops did ignore it?
A rough figure from an organisation with no perceptible pro-Serb agenda puts it at more than halving since 1999. Have you any examples where that sort of drop occurred naturally through decreased birth rate?
From your link, old data:
Rather, while Kosovo Albanian birth rates remained steady, Serb birth rates declined, and many Serbs emigrated for economic reasons.
Again, only from 2009: A birth dearth
It would seem that you cannot dismiss birth rates. As your link shows, economic migration is another reason
That's the first time I recall you saying the Russian invasion was wrong.

Now, how about that violent action leading to the annexation of part of a sovereign state? Agree or disagree? Obviously caveats with referendums at the barrel of a gun.

I also vehemently disagree with the idea that Russians being naughty mean we're entitled to stamp around the globe dispensing high explosive freedom regardless.
Of course they are. However, 'good guys' is simply a matter of geography and in general I don't agree with opposition leaders being bumped off and people playing the President, PM, President card to stay in power.

Once again, it comes down to taking your case to the UNSC and then banging your head against a brick wall when one or more countries don't agree. Perhaps the unilateral action of Russia in invading, occupying and annexing parts of other sovereign states should be used in the future?
 
The dispute is on the volume, once again.
So what's your acceptable level of murder that allows us to distinguish between baddies needing bombing and goodies just messing around?

We've established zero deaths doesn't stop someone being a baddie and thousands of deaths doesn't stop them being a goodie. Let's set up some criteria, shall we?
Once again, it comes down to taking your case to the UNSC and then banging your head against a brick wall when one or more countries don't agree.
The whole point of the UN is that countries are not supposed to just pick up their ball and walk away if they can't convince the rest to let them be captain.

If 'one or more countries don't agree' that's their right, same as it's ours to disagree with them.
 
So what's your acceptable level of murder that allows us to distinguish between baddies needing bombing and goodies just messing around?
I'm not playing top trumps with you thanks.

Murder? Thought that needed to be proven in a Court of law? Such an emotive word
We've established zero deaths doesn't stop someone being a baddie and thousands of deaths doesn't stop them being a goodie. Let's set up some criteria, shall we?
You really want to play top trumps? I thought you were supposed to have character? One death btw: Ukraine officer 'killed in attack on Crimea base' - BBC News
The whole point of the UN is that countries are not supposed to just pick up their ball and walk away if they can't convince the rest to let them be captain.
Where's that written down in the Charter? Or are you making things up?
If 'one or more countries don't agree' that's their right, same as it's ours to disagree with them.
Indeed. Which makes it impossible (yet again) to get a decision when one or more are involved be it any of the five. If only they would look at relinquishing some of their veto powers........

We seem to be going round in circles. You now want to play 'top trumps' with deaths and I've got an admission that the invasion of Crimea was wrong. We disagree on the use of the UN. We disagree on Crimea and Kosovo once again.

Anything more?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Back on topic for a moment: The People's Authoritarian

The People's Authoritarian
How Russian Society Created Putin
By Michael Kimmage


In 1839, the French aristocrat Astolphe Louis Léonor, better known as the Marquis de Custine, traveled to Russia to understand “the empire of the Czar.” Competing with his compatriot Alexis de Tocqueville’s study of American democracy, Custine produced a travelogue that was also an analysis of “eternal Russia.” Russians excelled at submission, Custine believed. Dissidents were dispatched to Siberia, “that indispensable auxiliary of Muscovite civilization.” Despotism at home kindled the desire for empire abroad. “The idea of conquest,” Custine wrote, “forms the secret aspiration of Russia.”
More than anything, Custine was overwhelmed by the artificiality of imperial Russia. “The Russians have everything in name, and nothing in reality,” he wrote. He called its princes “false and crafty” and deemed the country “better served with spies than any other in the world.” A conservative, Custine began his trip as an advocate for a French-Russian alliance, a union of Christian autocrats. His trip changed his mind about which major power France should befriend: “Everything which tends to hasten the perfect agreement of French and German policy is beneficent.”
Many of Custine’s conclusions would not seem out of place in American or European analyses of contemporary Russia. Current EU policy toward Moscow, based on the French-German alliance that Custine advocated, presumes precisely the Russian duplicity and danger that he described.
Serhii Plokhy, Shaun Walker, and Masha Gessen, the authors of three recent books on Russia, walk, perhaps unconsciously, in Custine’s footsteps.They rely on history and direct observation to explain eternal Russia and to chart the enigmas of its statehood, its foreign policy, and its president, Vladimir Putin. They explore Putin’s recipe for despotism: conjuring a glorious Russian past from the rubble of Soviet and prerevolutionary history, presenting himself as the apogee of this past, and exerting his power as a strong ruler blessed by fate.
Yet all three books, stimulating and insightful as they are, bypass the problem that has most vexed Western policy since 2014. The psychology of Putin.


Extract =- more follows
 
Yet all three books, stimulating and insightful as they are, bypass the problem that has most vexed Western policy since 2014. The psychology of Putin.
Well yes but for good reasons. Masha had already done her book all about Putin's baggage (Man Without A Face). Shaun's was more about how Russia feels about Putin than the other way round (when he wasn't focusing on Ukraine). Serhi Plokhy, yes, ignores it, but that's because he takes the longer view in which Putin is more or less irrelevant. Because Putin is just returning to normal Russian behaviours consistent through history - it's a Russia problem not a Putin problem. And yes, anybody who knows Russia and reads de Custine (the whole thing, not just the few sentences that always get quoted) will recognise that nothing there changes and never will.

http://bit.ly/decustine
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Thanks - useful perspective.
 
France24 has a picture of Putin watching (through binos)

Sensing threats from the West, Russia prepares to flex its military muscle

Text by Khatya CHHOR Follow khatyachhor on twitter
Latest update : 2018-08-30

Russia this week announced the upcoming launch of its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, involving some 300,000 troops. The message seems clear: Russia feels under threat and will do what it must to protect itself.

Sensing threats from the West, Russia prepares to flex its military muscle - France 24
 

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