Russian Troop Movements Reported Near Ukraine

Slightly more transparent than Sniffer Biden's then.

Meanwhile the Greens in Krautland were topping the opinion polls last year, mainly on a policy of implementing American foreign policy with regard to Nordstream.

Course this is entirely the will of the German people who don't want to heat their homes or have a competitive industry. No meddling by America here. No siree.

Now you might think me ideologically opposed to the Greens, but that simply isn't true. If the Krauts decided to vote for a party which was going to return them to the stoneage they'd have my full support.
You said before you didn't think influence operations were a big thing. The truth is the Greens are the perfect vehicle for an influence operation. As the outcome is a weaker power and it wouldn't at all surprise me, if the Americans and the Russians were both competing for different reasons to promote them.
 
I find the USA more of a provocative nation than most when it comes to triggering international incidents
I wonder what a comparison of the external death tolls would be since the end of the Cold War.

Wouldn't it be embarrassing if it turns out Freedom has killed more innocents abroad than The Nasty Countries have?
 
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As I understand the Ukrainian political system. The Russians were able to leverage a bloc vote to whoever happened to be in Kiev and were the de-facto kingmakers so to speak. That leverage became worthless when the majority decided to act independently and brought down the old system.. So now you have the minority who feel themselves without power and reacted by taking up arms proffered to them by Putin.

Trying to be objective, the reality is any democracy comes under strain when a majority opinion becomes dominant and influence operations work with the marginalized. In fact, it doesn't have to be a majority just a majority of important people/court/graduate class, or even those who inhabit the capital city whose opinions are given more weight and feed the sense that the government is the enemy.

The EU did interfere by encouraging the process and accelerating it beyond any sense of natural progression and afterwards celebrating and reveling in the change as a new beginning. If you don't want wars, don't marginalize people (are you listening if any woke warriors are reading this).

Not forgetting of course the running power struggle between the Oligarchs, notably Rinat Akhmetov and Igor Kolomoisky. In 2014, Kolomoisky sided with the Maidan in order to give him more influence with the incoming US backed administration. Akhmetov initially lost badly from the war, as many of his key assets were in the Donbas.
 
Yeah, Russia really trusts China. The Kremlin fear China more than they do NATO - because China is beating Russia in any measure you care to chose.
....So much so that the BBC is highlighting that the 1 child family has come home to roost in China. Apparently they ain't sprogging so that'll be an issue in the next few decades.
 
Another interesting summary of the situation from RFE/RL:

With a premise that Russia's endgame may be a deployment of "peacekeeping troops" inside Ukraine, so as I read it, a de-facto Russian occupation of a larger chunk of territory.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
You said before you didn't think influence operations were a big thing. The truth is the Greens are the perfect vehicle for an influence operation. As the outcome is a weaker power and it wouldn't at all surprise me, if the Americans and the Russians were both competing for different reasons to promote them.

No I indirectly said that our, read the West in generals, influence operations were unsuccessful in that part of the world. And likely most of it.

And I can't imagine why...

Consider for instance the lack of influence we had over Zimbabwe as a historical proxy. Mugabe came over here for negotiations with.... Peter Hain.

Which is a bit like sending Jimmy Saville to calm the fears of parents in Rotherham.

Whilst over here the famously homophobic Mugabe was assaulted by Hain's boyfriend.

Now admittedly this was more than likely an instance of deliberate neglect and insult rather than a gnashing of teeth and dummy spitting over a perceived lack of influence. Though the point I'm making is that it matters who you send as much as what they say.

Frankly whenever I see someone from the foreign office or similar in front of a select committee I am.... appalled.

It's as though there has been a Mr World competition and the lowest possible ranked specimins are plucked from the nearest call centre to represent our country. People like Sedwill, Robbins, though the head of the FO seemed to be even worse. I cringe to think that our country is portrayed in such a way and by such people.

So franky I'm not in any way surprised about a perceived lack of influence in the wider world. It isn't Russian disinformation that these people are awarded gongs for being mongs or that you'd consider them over-promoted if trying to sell you a second hand car. Nor that Boris himself is considered to be some form of obscure joke by allies and enemies alike.

The days when we were good at such things are way beyond living memory.
 
Ukraine first, then Kazakhstan?



 
So much so that the BBC is highlighting that the 1 child family has come home to roost in China. Apparently they ain't sprogging so that'll be an issue in the next few decades.
That just shows the BBC don't understand what the policy was about. It was supposed to reduce the population and they planned for a blip in aging.

The key thing about a surplus of elderly people is that it's an inherently self-correcting problem. You just need to wait a few years.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Meanwhile the Russian population continues to shrink.

Last time I looked the Total Fertility rate for British born women was 1.7. Though suspect it has dropped since then. You need about 2.1-2.2 to sustain a population. Course this includes births to British women by foreign fathers... Which is somewhere around a third of the total.

Given recent statistics which indicate the younger generations are incapable of getting laid ( 30% of under 30s havn't had a shag in over a year) plus the more recent effects of Covid lockdown upon birth rates and....

Suspect immigration aside that Russia's population and demographics are looking healthier than our own.
 
That just shows the BBC don't understand what the policy was about. It was supposed to reduce the population and they planned for a blip in aging.

The key thing about a surplus of elderly people is that it's an inherently self-correcting problem. You just need to wait a few years.
....or for a convenient contagious respiratory disease to come along ;)
 
That just shows the BBC don't understand what the policy was about. It was supposed to reduce the population and they planned for a blip in aging.

The key thing about a surplus of elderly people is that it's an inherently self-correcting problem. You just need to wait a few years.
Well that’s true of all countries. But I wonder if we have a new Chinese mindset. Not prepared to squander their investment to doctor Ak.
 
But I wonder if we have a new Chinese mindset. Not prepared to squander their investment to doctor Ak.
Rather than wondering, why not go look for some evidence?

A change is as good as a rest, after all.
 
Last time I looked the Total Fertility rate for British born women was 1.7. Though suspect it has dropped since then. You need about 2.1-2.2 to sustain a population. Course this includes births to British women by foreign fathers... Which is somewhere around a third of the total.

Given recent statistics which indicate the younger generations are incapable of getting laid ( 30% of under 30s havn't had a shag in over a year) plus the more recent effects of Covid lockdown upon birth rates and....

Suspect immigration aside that Russia's population and demographics are looking healthier than our own.
Yes, but we are not talking about UK vs Russia but Russia vs China.
 
Clausewitz dear boy, Clausewitz.... To any old timer its accepted that War is a continuation of politics and so the way to interfere with that decision making is to avoid giving the other side the pretext.
The pretext is being created all the time, for several years now. The 'poor, downtrodden, abused, helpless Russian minority populations' in the East side of the Baltic states (where they often form a local majority) must be protected. Purely on humanitarian grounds you see, it's not an invasion, honest. All these guys in green are locals.
 
It's one of those irregular verbs.

I conduct a democratically legitimate referendum to ascertain the will of the people, he stages a plebiscite, they are engaged in ethnic cleansing.

The West claims to uphold the principle of self determination... Except when it doesn't suit such as in Catalonia.

I've seen remarkably little indicating that the people in the Crimea are terribly unhappy now about being Russian. At a guess I'd think that similar arrangements would result in much of Eastern Ukraine voting in a similar way.
See bold, above. Ask the Tartars.
 
Not forgetting of course the running power struggle between the Oligarchs, notably Rinat Akhmetov and Igor Kolomoisky. In 2014, Kolomoisky sided with the Maidan in order to give him more influence with the incoming US backed administration. Akhmetov initially lost badly from the war, as many of his key assets were in the Donbas.
That's the sort of thing which makes many of us suspicious of the easy media narrative. I am especially suspicious of our local man who is often little different from the other sides placeman and both are basically on the sniff for money and support for personal gain. Watching a NATO bod extolling the butcher General Dostum, or in my time the F.O and Media cheering on a croat attack which included ethnic cleansing, is why many should be careful on been drawing into these power-plays.
 

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