The Invasion of Ukraine

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lpm
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by lpm » Tue May 17, 2022 8:51 am

As I always say, not making a decision is actually a decision to delay the decision. In Putin's case it's a decision to continue with the current status quo.

Putin seems to be lost in procrastination. He's no longer able to be decisive, probably because he's mentally so bruised by his disastrous decision to invade. When humans make a bad choice in life they need recovery time to regain confidence in themselves. This process can take years. The May 9th speech was an uncertain procrastination, with neither escalation or de-escalation.

I suspect Putin no longer trusts his own judgement, at quite a deep level in his psyche.

Russia's current strategy isn't sustainable. Hence a change will come. A successful leader is one who can choose which change, even if it's choosing between various poor options. Because Putin can't choose, it will be forced, and that is guaranteed to be worse for him.

This is a fundamental problem with one person government. It was a problem for monarchs even a 1,000 years ago. Modern countries need collective decision making, with a cabinet or an administration to evaluate and debate. Either other people in the Russian government recognise Putin is bruised and step up to help him, or procrastination will continue until something breaks.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Tue May 17, 2022 9:18 am

He's doing the same thing Johnson did over party gate... and arguably the same thing a lot of people do when they've got themselves into a god awful mess - delaying action / not making serious changes to current action in the hope that something happens that saves skin where they can claim to have never made a mistake.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Tue May 17, 2022 9:24 am

lpm wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:51 am
As I always say, not making a decision is actually a decision to delay the decision. In Putin's case it's a decision to continue with the current status quo.

Putin seems to be lost in procrastination. He's no longer able to be decisive, probably because he's mentally so bruised by his disastrous decision to invade. When humans make a bad choice in life they need recovery time to regain confidence in themselves. This process can take years. The May 9th speech was an uncertain procrastination, with neither escalation or de-escalation.

I suspect Putin no longer trusts his own judgement, at quite a deep level in his psyche.

Russia's current strategy isn't sustainable. Hence a change will come. A successful leader is one who can choose which change, even if it's choosing between various poor options. Because Putin can't choose, it will be forced, and that is guaranteed to be worse for him.

This is a fundamental problem with one person government. It was a problem for monarchs even a 1,000 years ago. Modern countries need collective decision making, with a cabinet or an administration to evaluate and debate. Either other people in the Russian government recognise Putin is bruised and step up to help him, or procrastination will continue until something breaks.
And in general monarchies often had a clear line of succession. Rule by someone who is effectively president for life is not going to be good towards the end of their life, and it's also quite likely to have a rather unpleasant end to their life as soon as they start to lose their grip.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by lpm » Tue May 17, 2022 11:26 am

TopBadger wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 9:18 am
He's doing the same thing Johnson did over party gate... and arguably the same thing a lot of people do when they've got themselves into a god awful mess - delaying action / not making serious changes to current action in the hope that something happens that saves skin where they can claim to have never made a mistake.
A couple of times I've worked at places where the leader at the top has lost decision abilities. These are clever people who rose to the top, so must have been decisive previously and got those decisions right. But they somehow lost the skill, or lost their lucky streak.

The response is always to go hunting for detail and arranging endless meetings at too low a level. A belief that it was a missing piece of information that caused a mistake or that getting stuck into the weeds would clear the path. There was one CEO who built up a huge business intelligence team - there were dozens of people producing dashboards for him, with daily sales figures and weekly cost schedules. He was always searching for that extra piece that would allow him to tweak the dials and steady the plane, even while it dived steeper and steeper.

The way out of it is to cut out information and control, paradoxically. Deliberately refuse to see detail. It requires faith in your executives.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Fishnut » Tue May 17, 2022 9:07 pm

This has to count as cultural genocide, surely?

The invaders destroyed the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by TopBadger » Wed May 18, 2022 1:02 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 9:07 pm
This has to count as cultural genocide, surely?

The invaders destroyed the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine
Herbicide?
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by dyqik » Wed May 18, 2022 2:01 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Wed May 18, 2022 1:02 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 9:07 pm
This has to count as cultural genocide, surely?

The invaders destroyed the National Gene Bank of Plants of Ukraine
Herbicide?
No, genocide. As in the removal on an entire genotype from the Earth.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Thu May 19, 2022 1:48 am


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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 20, 2022 9:23 am

jimbob wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:29 am
TopBadger wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:13 am
Putin now says Sweden and Finland joining NATO is fine

So it's gone from 'serious consequences' to 'fine' in a matter of days. Seems Putin in scrambling to try to stay in front of developments he has no control over and no response to.
Indeed, even he cannot threaten nuclear Armageddon over everything.

Which is why the West should salami slice up their military aid to Ukraine
Another slice is surely due at this point. M777s and M113s didn't end the world, time to try something bigger. Biden admin is reportedly looking at Naval Strike Missiles and Harpoon - and there are very good reasons for this. Eliminate the Black Sea Fleet and it opens the shipping lanes to the export of Ukrainian grain, vital to preventing famine and unrest as food prices rise.

One that the west is still holding back on at the moment is MLRS, and that's disappointing. Reportedly there are concerns over the provision of really long range missiles, which the two western MLRS, HIMARS and M270, can fire, but they can only fire what they are provided with. They could be sent with only the shorter range rockets, as a counter to Grad, Smerch and Uragan systems. It would also leave the door open for longer range missiles in future, potentially even on a target by target basis (you want to attack the Kerch Straits Bridge? Have a dozen MGM-140s. You want to attack Kursk...perhaps not)

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Sun May 22, 2022 5:42 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 9:23 am
jimbob wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:29 am
TopBadger wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:13 am
Putin now says Sweden and Finland joining NATO is fine

So it's gone from 'serious consequences' to 'fine' in a matter of days. Seems Putin in scrambling to try to stay in front of developments he has no control over and no response to.
Indeed, even he cannot threaten nuclear Armageddon over everything.

Which is why the West should salami slice up their military aid to Ukraine
Another slice is surely due at this point. M777s and M113s didn't end the world, time to try something bigger. Biden admin is reportedly looking at Naval Strike Missiles and Harpoon - and there are very good reasons for this. Eliminate the Black Sea Fleet and it opens the shipping lanes to the export of Ukrainian grain, vital to preventing famine and unrest as food prices rise.

One that the west is still holding back on at the moment is MLRS, and that's disappointing. Reportedly there are concerns over the provision of really long range missiles, which the two western MLRS, HIMARS and M270, can fire, but they can only fire what they are provided with. They could be sent with only the shorter range rockets, as a counter to Grad, Smerch and Uragan systems. It would also leave the door open for longer range missiles in future, potentially even on a target by target basis (you want to attack the Kerch Straits Bridge? Have a dozen MGM-140s. You want to attack Kursk...perhaps not)
Yup
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Sun May 22, 2022 9:41 pm

EACLucifer wrote: Eliminate the Black Sea Fleet and it opens the shipping lanes to the export of Ukrainian grain, vital to preventing famine and unrest as food prices rise.
Even if they could sink the warships of the Black Sea Fleet merchant shipping would still be threatened submarines and anti-ship missiles fired from land or air.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by EACLucifer » Sun May 22, 2022 9:56 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sun May 22, 2022 9:41 pm
EACLucifer wrote: Eliminate the Black Sea Fleet and it opens the shipping lanes to the export of Ukrainian grain, vital to preventing famine and unrest as food prices rise.
Even if they could sink the warships of the Black Sea Fleet merchant shipping would still be threatened submarines and anti-ship missiles fired from land or air.
MGM-140. Sevastopol. Diesel submarines can't stay at sea forever.

Then send in cargo ships under the flagsof NATO nations, and make it damn clear that's what is being done while talking loudly about article five.

The consequences of not doing it are worth the risks of doing it.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Mon May 23, 2022 11:47 am

https://twitter.com/HillelNeuer/status/ ... kUgQcyMWyg
BREAKING: 🇷🇺 Russia’s Counsellor to the United Nations in Geneva has resigned.

Boris Bondarev: “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.”

UN Watch is now calling on all other Russian diplomats at the United Nations—and worldwide—to follow his moral example and resign.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Martin Y » Mon May 23, 2022 12:00 pm

Ouch. One swallow doesn't make a summer and all that but it could trigger something of an exodus, so long as the diplomats involved believe someone will look after them and check their tea for polonium.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by FlammableFlower » Mon May 23, 2022 12:13 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Mon May 23, 2022 12:00 pm
Ouch. One swallow doesn't make a summer and all that but it could trigger something of an exodus, so long as the diplomats involved believe someone will look after them and check their tea for polonium.
As I saw elsewhere: he'd better book ground floor rooms and make his own tea from now on...

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Mon May 23, 2022 2:00 pm

One for LPM

https://twitter.com/RobinBrooksIIF/stat ... VlOB7jEPwA
Goldman's financial conditions index for Russia is now tighter than immediately after sanctions were imposed. Financial conditions are super tight and will lead to deep recession, which drives our -30% y/y GDP fall by end-2022. Ruble recovery is an illusion. With
@elinaribakova
Mainly because I don't understand what that index is measuring or how.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by lpm » Mon May 23, 2022 2:48 pm

Dunno what that measures. But I'd trust Goldman Sachs on this.

Russia's economy is in a terrible situation. There's the short term crisis which is bad enough. But I'd say the real pain comes 1 year from now when fossil fuel sales to the west are basically over. They've got us hooked for another winter but that will be it. And selling gas to India/China isn't easy without the pipeline capacity.

There's no currency/pricing system in place, just the old rouble one that is now built on air. I can't see why it doesn't just crumple. It's a sort of weird hyper inflation situation - except without the prices actually hyper inflating, because everyone is pretending. It seems pretty obvious that ordinary people should acquire physical things and never hold on to a single rouble - and try to obtain dollars or euros if ever possible.

I'm not sure how Russia can get out of this, either short or long term.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by lpm » Mon May 23, 2022 2:59 pm

I don't think there's any precedent for the situation.

Russia is running a massive trade surplus. It's exporting still, selling fossil fuels to its enemies at inflated energy prices. But it's stopped importing, because those enemies won't sell them stuff. And it can't cycle the money around into investments in the west because of sanctions.

I'm struggling to work out how all that can fit together. It's not normal international capitalism, nor is it normal wartime economics.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Mon May 23, 2022 3:01 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon May 23, 2022 2:59 pm
I don't think there's any precedent for the situation.

Russia is running a massive trade surplus. It's exporting still, selling fossil fuels to its enemies at inflated energy prices. But it's stopped importing, because those enemies won't sell them stuff. And it can't cycle the money around into investments in the west because of sanctions.

I'm struggling to work out how all that can fit together. It's not normal international capitalism, nor is it normal wartime economics.
In many ways it reminds me of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jimbob » Mon May 23, 2022 3:04 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon May 23, 2022 2:48 pm
Dunno what that measures. But I'd trust Goldman Sachs on this.

Russia's economy is in a terrible situation. There's the short term crisis which is bad enough. But I'd say the real pain comes 1 year from now when fossil fuel sales to the west are basically over. They've got us hooked for another winter but that will be it. And selling gas to India/China isn't easy without the pipeline capacity.

There's no currency/pricing system in place, just the old rouble one that is now built on air. I can't see why it doesn't just crumple. It's a sort of weird hyper inflation situation - except without the prices actually hyper inflating, because everyone is pretending. It seems pretty obvious that ordinary people should acquire physical things and never hold on to a single rouble - and try to obtain dollars or euros if ever possible.

I'm not sure how Russia can get out of this, either short or long term.

Further to your comment about the state of the economy

https://twitter.com/IikkaKorhonen/statu ... VlOB7jEPwA
April exports to Russia, y-o-y

🇨🇳-26%
🇹🇼-67%
🇻🇳-77%
🇰🇷-71%

Compared to December 2021 exports down more than 50% in China, more than 70% in the three other countries
The one that is interesting is China as that has to be a lack of customers rather than sanctions.


Also some interesting tweets about the Russian budget.
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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Sciolus » Mon May 23, 2022 6:48 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon May 23, 2022 2:48 pm
Russia's economy is in a terrible situation. There's the short term crisis which is bad enough. But I'd say the real pain comes 1 year from now when fossil fuel sales to the west are basically over. They've got us hooked for another winter but that will be it. And selling gas to India/China isn't easy without the pipeline capacity.
Maybe. It's unclear whether this is a structural change or not. The west might go back to buying Russian fuels, either in a few months when the war has been replaced in people's minds by the cost of living, or after a year or so when the regime has changed; or this might kickstart an irreversible shift to the non-fossil-fuel economy, with Nordstream 2 being seen as the last great white elephant of a bygone age. Hopefully the latter, but the geopolitical implications of that are huge.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by jdc » Mon May 23, 2022 11:37 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sun May 22, 2022 9:56 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Sun May 22, 2022 9:41 pm
EACLucifer wrote: Eliminate the Black Sea Fleet and it opens the shipping lanes to the export of Ukrainian grain, vital to preventing famine and unrest as food prices rise.
Even if they could sink the warships of the Black Sea Fleet merchant shipping would still be threatened submarines and anti-ship missiles fired from land or air.
MGM-140. Sevastopol. Diesel submarines can't stay at sea forever.

Then send in cargo ships under the flagsof NATO nations, and make it damn clear that's what is being done while talking loudly about article five.

The consequences of not doing it are worth the risks of doing it.
Just seen this from earlier today: https://twitter.com/KyivIndependent/sta ... 8865787905 "Lithuanian Foreign Minister proposed a plan for a maritime coalition to lift the Russian blockade of the Black Sea on Ukrainian grain exports during talks with the U.K. Foreign Secretary."

Guardian article here https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ ... a-blockade
Landsbergis proposed that a naval escort operation – not run by Nato – could protect the grain ships as they headed through the Black Sea and past Russian warships. He suggested that, apart from Britain, countries that were affected by the potential loss of grain such as Egypt could provide the necessary protection.

...

His plan, under gestation for weeks, would require demining parts of the Black Sea to ensure safe passage, as well as the agreement of Turkey, which guards the entrance to the Black Sea.

“This would be a non-military humanitarian mission and is not comparable with a no-fly zone,” he said. “In this endeavour military ships or planes or both would be used to ensure that the grain supplies can leave Odesa safely and reach the Bosphorus without Russian interference. We would need a coalition of the willing – countries with significant naval power to protect the shipping lanes, and countries that are affected by this”.

Nato as an alliance should not take a role, he said.

After meeting Landsbergis, Truss said the UK would want British naval ships to join the escort if the practicalities could be sorted, including demining the harbour and providing Ukraine with longer-range weapons to defend the harbour from Russian attack. The UK is in discussions with allies about the plan and it would probably need US agreement to be activated.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue May 24, 2022 8:14 am

I'm a bit skeptical about that plan. As mentioned in the article it would take a policy change by Turkey, which hasn't exactly been very cooperative.

Also, it might not help that much. Much of Ukraine's pre-war port capacity is under Russian occupation or has been destroyed (eg Kherson, Mariupol). That does leave Odesa etc, but the port infrastructure and railway lines leading from agricultural areas are vulnerable to Russian air attack (by missiles or aircraft).

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Martin Y » Tue May 24, 2022 10:14 am

It sounds like a non-starter to me. Persuading Turkey to open the Bosporus to warships is almost the least of the problems, compared to what you might expect them to do in the Black Sea other than start a wider war and get sunk by air or missile attack.

I can imagine a slight chance that a nation like Egypt which has historical friendly relations with Russia might manage to negotiate safe passage for grain carriers if Russia is persuaded that allowing humanitarian food shipments out would be good PR.

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Re: The Invasion of Ukraine

Post by Woodchopper » Tue May 24, 2022 11:21 am

Martin Y wrote:
Tue May 24, 2022 10:14 am
I can imagine a slight chance that a nation like Egypt which has historical friendly relations with Russia might manage to negotiate safe passage for grain carriers if Russia is persuaded that allowing humanitarian food shipments out would be good PR.
Maybe, though I suspect that Russia may see food shipments as a form of leverage to be used to get the rest of the world to accept a deal (eg if Russia were to annex the areas it currently controls and offer to allow wheat exports to those states that recognize the annexation).

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