The Invasion of Ukraine

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Allo V Psycho
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu Oct 05, 2023 8:07 am

Long ISW article on the causes of the war and the best resolution of it

https://understandingwar.org/background ... r-must-end

Short version Spoiler:

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by IvanV » Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:23 am

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 8:07 am
Long ISW article on the causes of the war and the best resolution of it

https://understandingwar.org/background ... r-must-end

Short version Spoiler:
A convincing riposte to people who think the solution is to give in to him, or give up on Ukraine's recent territorial losses.

I don't think they are saying his behaviour is irrational. They are saying he is a liar when he says Russia was under threat. It wasn't. But his rational objective is his own control of Russia where, as the headline states, weakness is lethal. Those who are insufficiently strong fall out of windows if someone else can gain from that.

It's hard to know precisely how ruthless you have to be to stay in control, and avoid some other ruthless bastard pushing you out of a window. The only way of precisely locating the boundary of that results in losing power. So dictators err on the side of caution, and are as ruthless as they can get away with. He might have gone further than he needed to, but it is hard for him to know that.

The only successful external response to a dictator with such behavioural characteristics is, as this article argues, and if you have it available, to demonstrate they are wrong.

Allo V Psycho
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:30 am

IvanV wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:23 am
Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 8:07 am
Long ISW article on the causes of the war and the best resolution of it

https://understandingwar.org/background ... r-must-end

Short version Spoiler:
A convincing riposte to people who think the solution is to give in to him, or give up on Ukraine's recent territorial losses.

I don't think they are saying his behaviour is irrational. They are saying he is a liar when he says Russia was under threat. It wasn't. But his rational objective is his own control of Russia where, as the headline states, weakness is lethal. Those who are insufficiently strong fall out of windows if someone else can gain from that.

It's hard to know precisely how ruthless you have to be to stay in control, and avoid some other ruthless bastard pushing you out of a window. The only way of precisely locating the boundary of that results in losing power. So dictators err on the side of caution, and are as ruthless as they can get away with. He might have gone further than he needed to, but it is hard for him to know that.

The only successful external response to a dictator with such behavioural characteristics is, as this article argues, and if you have it available, to demonstrate they are wrong.
I wasn't really trying to indicate he was irrational per se - by 'divorced from reality' I meant 'in an information bubble'. You can take apparently rational actions on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:36 am

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:30 am
IvanV wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:23 am
Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 8:07 am
Long ISW article on the causes of the war and the best resolution of it

https://understandingwar.org/background ... r-must-end

Short version Spoiler:
A convincing riposte to people who think the solution is to give in to him, or give up on Ukraine's recent territorial losses.

I don't think they are saying his behaviour is irrational. They are saying he is a liar when he says Russia was under threat. It wasn't. But his rational objective is his own control of Russia where, as the headline states, weakness is lethal. Those who are insufficiently strong fall out of windows if someone else can gain from that.

It's hard to know precisely how ruthless you have to be to stay in control, and avoid some other ruthless bastard pushing you out of a window. The only way of precisely locating the boundary of that results in losing power. So dictators err on the side of caution, and are as ruthless as they can get away with. He might have gone further than he needed to, but it is hard for him to know that.

The only successful external response to a dictator with such behavioural characteristics is, as this article argues, and if you have it available, to demonstrate they are wrong.
I wasn't really trying to indicate he was irrational per se - by 'divorced from reality' I meant 'in an information bubble'. You can take apparently rational actions on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information.
And starting the war would be a prime example.

He might not be able to get out without some way to claim victory now, but he could have played silly buggers on the border which would have ratcheted up the pressure and might have actually weakened Ukraine.

Instead he showed his hand and committed to a war, where even if the 3 day campaign had worked, it would still have been a complete quagmire.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:20 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:30 am
I wasn't really trying to indicate he was irrational per se - by 'divorced from reality' I meant 'in an information bubble'. You can take apparently rational actions on the basis of incomplete or incorrect information.
And due to perverse incentives, aims, and conditions of your own making.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Oct 05, 2023 2:12 pm

A quick warning to those that follow this via twitter and other social media that there's some extremely distressing images all over all social media right now.

The reason is that Russia shelled a grocery store and cafe in the village of Hroza, killing more than fifty people, as far as I am aware all civilians, and representing more than one in ten of the village's population.



ETA: There was also earlier today the apparently deliberate - which would be in keeping with Russia's tactics in Ukraine and Syria - shelling of a hospital in Beryslav, near Kherson.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Oct 10, 2023 8:25 pm


Seabed Warfare: Another Sabotage In The Baltic?

Finland is investigating a potential sabotage to a Baltic Sea gas pipeline. Helsinki also reports a break in an undersea data cable...
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... he-baltic/

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by bolo » Sat Oct 28, 2023 7:34 pm

I just saw "20 Days in Mariupol", a documentary film by an AP reporter who was in Mariupol during the siege last year. Horrific footage, but very moving. If you get a chance to watch this, do.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Nov 23, 2023 8:14 am

Wilders’ victory in the Netherlands is potentially bad news. He has previously stated his opposition to sanctions and military aid, and seems to like Putin. The EU and NATO can cope with opposition from Orban, Fico or Erdogan. But if we keep getting more at some point the naysayers will be able to block important things.

We’ll have to see whether Wilders will be part of the government though, so not cause for despair yet.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Nov 24, 2023 4:39 am

Depressing thread on the EU’s troubles with Ukraine by the well informed Mujtaba Rahman: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1727 ... 10609.html

tl;dr Orban is blocking integration and the German constitutional problems are blocking funding.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 04, 2023 4:03 pm

The White House has issued a blunt warning that the US is set to run out of funds to aid Ukraine by the end of the year, saying that a failure by Congress to approve new support would “kneecap” Kyiv.

The alert from Shalanda Young, the White House budget director, in a letter to congressional leaders on Monday, represented the most specific assessment yet of Washington’s waning financial and military support for Ukraine.

“Without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks,” Young wrote to political leaders of both parties.

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time,” she said.

President Joe Biden’s request for $106bn in emergency funding for his biggest foreign policy priorities, including Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, remains mired in stalemate on Capitol Hill, driven by mounting Republican opposition to helping Kyiv.

[…]

Young warned Congress that cutting the flow of US weapons and equipment would “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories”.

“Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller and the deliveries of aid have become more limited . . . while our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others,” she added.

The White House warning comes as EU member states are struggling to reach a budget deal in Brussels that would send €50bn to Ukraine, people close to the discussions told the Financial Times.

Young said Ukraine also needed economic support, which is in danger of stalling.

“If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting, full stop,” she wrote. “Putin understands this well, which is why Russia has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to its strategy — which you can see in its attacks against Ukraine’s grain exports and energy infrastructure.”

https://www.ft.com/content/ca16e42d-fda ... 64745b7%0A

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:06 am


Budapest is ready to retract its veto on a new package of EU aid to Ukraine if Brussels agrees to unblock all the funds that have been frozen by the bloc over concerns about the rule of law in the country, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political director said.

European leaders are set to make historic decisions at a summit later this week on opening accession talks with Ukraine and delivering a €50 billion, four-year aid package which Kyiv crucially needs to support its flailing war economy against Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s aggression — but first, they need to overcome Hungary’s objections on both topics.
https://www.politico.eu/article/hungary ... asz-orban/

ETA the EU may be able to bypass Orban by channeling the funding via an intergovernmental mechanism. But Orban has a veto on Ukrainian accession to the EU.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Wed Dec 13, 2023 4:35 pm

Why aren't the EU suspending the voting rights of Hungary in this instance? Apparently the power to do so is there.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Grumble » Wed Dec 13, 2023 5:07 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 4:35 pm
Why aren't the EU suspending the voting rights of Hungary in this instance? Apparently the power to do so is there.
Because that’s undemocratic?
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Wed Dec 13, 2023 5:14 pm

So is suppressing a free press against the rules of the EU but Hungary do it, and other transgressions to boot so I'm led to believe. My point is there are sanctions that can be applied to countries that aren't upholding the values and standards of the EU, one of which is stripping voting rights, which coincidentally would fix the issue of Hungary being the blocker.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:22 am

Comprehensive analysis of possible economic problems in Russia
https://ridl.io/russia-s-contradictory-mobilization/

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by sTeamTraen » Thu Dec 14, 2023 11:14 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:06 am
But Orban has a veto on Ukrainian accession to the EU.
Realistically, Orbán himself (with or without Fidesz) will be long gone by the time Ukraine is remotely close to actual accession. I would need to be given good odds to bet on anything before 2033.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by IvanV » Fri Dec 15, 2023 2:38 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:22 am
Comprehensive analysis of possible economic problems in Russia
https://ridl.io/russia-s-contradictory-mobilization/
"Possible" rather than actual. Russia's economy is proving very resilient. They can sell their oil and gas at only a modest discount. Many workers are getting large pay rises. So inflation, still rather modest around 7%, isn't a big issue yet.

I was hearing in some news that there is less resistance to the war among better paid, better educated Russians. Probably they know which side their bread is buttered in the short run. And probably to be in such a position, you need to be a bit complicit with the regime. The inflation/pay rise issue probably works out less well for lower skill workers, who probably know that they are the ones most at risk of compulsory enlistment.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Dec 16, 2023 5:19 pm

If you have the misfortune to live in London, now would be a good time to email or write to the Mayor and ask for vehicles condemned under the ULEZ scrappage scheme to be offered to Ukraine. Some really quite new diesels are potentially affected, and ordinary commercial 4x4s are in high demand, with extensive crowdfunding taking place for them. I gather there's volunteers willing to transport them, so it wouldn't cost much at all, possibly less than scrapping them, even. They could do a lot of good instead of being crushed.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Brightonian » Sat Dec 16, 2023 6:30 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 5:19 pm
If you have the misfortune to live in London, now would be a good time to email or write to the Mayor and ask for vehicles condemned under the ULEZ scrappage scheme to be offered to Ukraine. Some really quite new diesels are potentially affected, and ordinary commercial 4x4s are in high demand, with extensive crowdfunding taking place for them. I gather there's volunteers willing to transport them, so it wouldn't cost much at all, possibly less than scrapping them, even. They could do a lot of good instead of being crushed.
According to a Tweet:
Khan is legally prevented from sending cars to Ukraine. “Altering the ULEZ scheme for the purposes of exporting vehicles to Ukraine is not possible within the current limits of the GLA Act”.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Dec 19, 2023 5:23 pm

Ukraine has warned it is already being forced to downsize some military operations because of a drop-off in foreign aid.

Top general Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said troops faced ammunition shortages along the "entire front line", creating a "big problem" for Kyiv.

It comes as billions of dollars of US and EU aid have been held up amid political wrangles.

Ukraine said it hoped to boost its own ammunition industry with western help.

But it relies heavily on western supplies, particularly on deliveries of long-range missiles and air defence systems, to fight occupying Russian forces.

Gen Tarnavskyi told the Reuters news agency that the country lacked artillery shells, particularly for its Soviet-era weapons.

"The volumes we have are not sufficient, given our needs," he said. "So, we're redistributing it. We're re-planning tasks that we had set for ourselves and making them smaller because we need to provide for them."

He said that diminishing foreign military aid was already having an impact on the battlefield, and forcing a change in tactics.

"In some areas, we moved to defence, and in some we continue our offensive actions.

"And we are preparing our reserves for our further large-scale actions. Their intention remains. The only thing is that their actions change, tactics change."
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-67748813

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Dec 23, 2023 8:34 am

Brightonian wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 6:30 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 5:19 pm
If you have the misfortune to live in London, now would be a good time to email or write to the Mayor and ask for vehicles condemned under the ULEZ scrappage scheme to be offered to Ukraine. Some really quite new diesels are potentially affected, and ordinary commercial 4x4s are in high demand, with extensive crowdfunding taking place for them. I gather there's volunteers willing to transport them, so it wouldn't cost much at all, possibly less than scrapping them, even. They could do a lot of good instead of being crushed.
According to a Tweet:
Khan is legally prevented from sending cars to Ukraine. “Altering the ULEZ scheme for the purposes of exporting vehicles to Ukraine is not possible within the current limits of the GLA Act”.
Yes, a change in the law is required, though hopefully it can be achieved by statutory instrument. Thanks to pressure from campaigning, Sadiq Khan and Ben Wallace have written a joint letter to the DFT asking for the law to be adapted to include transfer to Ukraine.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:04 pm

The EU is preparing a back-up plan worth up to €20bn for Ukraine, using a debt structure that sidesteps the objections of Hungary’s Viktor Orbán about funding the war-torn country.

After EU leaders failed to agree a planned €50bn four-year package for Ukraine earlier this month, officials have searched for alternatives to save Kyiv from a looming budget crisis if EU differences cannot be resolved.

Officials involved in talks said one model funded by debt has gained traction as the most practical way to provide support if Orbán refuses to drop his veto at a planned summit on February 1.

This scheme would involve participating member states issuing guarantees to the EU budget, enabling the European Commission to borrow up to €20bn on capital markets for Kyiv next year, people briefed on the discussions said. The precise terms are still under discussion and the final amount would be set according to Ukraine’s needs, the people said.

[…]

Crucially the option would not require guarantees from all the EU’s 27 member states, as long as the main participants included countries with top credit ratings. That would allow the EU to sidestep Hungary’s veto as it would not require unanimous backing.

Some countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, would need parliamentary approval for national guarantees, a process that officials hope could be completed in time to provide aid to Ukraine by March.

One of the people said there was no “technical problem” with finding ways to provide budget finance to Kyiv, but that politically “it is more complicated”.

If EU leaders agree on this plan on February 1, it would provide reassurance to the IMF to release its next tranche of funding for Ukraine worth about $900mn, the people said.

That should provide sufficient funding to Kyiv to avoid having to resort to monetary financing, where the government would print money to sustain its deficit and risk inflation spiralling, the people said.

[…]

One downside of this scheme, when compared with the original proposal based on the EU budget, is that it would be limited to loans and not include grants. Member states could still decide to provide grants bilaterally, the people said.


[…]

Another back-up option under consideration involves rolling over the funding structure used this year, under which the EU provided €18bn in cheap loans to Ukraine, for a few months and up to a year. This option would require a weighted majority of countries to agree.

But officials stress that their preferred option is to approve the unaltered aid package first proposed in June but blocked by Hungary. That top-up to the EU budget, which remains the commission’s preferred arrangement because it covers a four-year timeline, also includes €4bn for other priorities, including defence investments and migration.

Regardless of the model chosen, the EU has promised Ukraine it will provide funding by March at the latest, according to officials briefed on a call between G7 finance ministers last week.

https://www.ft.com/content/7ef39cca-262 ... c008ca7f56

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Dec 29, 2023 10:08 pm

Thread on prospects for negotiations with Russia: https://x.com/samagreene/status/1740782 ... 1zY-PW4R9w

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Sat Dec 30, 2023 5:38 pm

Not on Twitter so cant read that thread.

Negotiations with Putin sounds like pure folly to me. Zero trust he would hold up his end of any bargain.
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