padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
but @vimothy you are absolutely correct that this will have to be resolved by negotiations

hopefully sooner rather than later, so among other things Ukrainians who fled can return home
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I think it's gonna be later. I think it could go for years.
so do I, tho I also hope otherwise

the x factor is how well the Russian economy weathers sanctions, I think

that may force them to the negotiating table, especially if they've consolidated their gains in the east

otherwise it seems like it'll go as long as U.S./W Europe are willing to pump in weapons, and Russian leadership et al is unwilling to lose face
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
they seem to basically have achieved/be achieving their objectives
You sure that's true? Everything I'd read made it sound like Putin's initial objective had been for Kyiv to capitulate and essentially the entire country to be absorbed into Russian territory, ideally within a few days. Which is far short of what they've actually achieved, or seem likely to achieve.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
I think both sides generally do. Russia and the U.S. have been playing this proxy war game war 70+ years, after all, so not to respect it is bad form.

within certain limits ofc - you can send these kinds of weapons, but not those weapons. you can sanction, but no boots on the ground. and so on.
This is kind of what I was talking about earlier in the thread, too - you have to get into the worldview that a load of Russian soldiers rolling over the border of a neighbouring state and indiscriminately shelling residentials areas is just routine stuff, but a US jet bombing them while they're doing it would be an act of unprovoked aggression by America.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
This is kind of what I was talking about earlier in the thread, too - you have to get into the worldview that a load of Russian soldiers rolling over the border of a neighbouring state and indiscriminately shelling residentials areas is just routine stuff, but a US jet bombing them while they're doing it would be an act of unprovoked aggression by America.
I suppose it would technically be "unprovoked", from a coldly amoral, pragmatic, geopolitical POV, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
You sure that's true? Everything I'd read made it sound like Putin's initial objective had been for Kyiv to capitulate and essentially the entire country to be absorbed into Russian territory, ideally within a few days. Which is far short of what they've actually achieved, or seem likely to achieve.
Yeah, its rare I disagree with your analysis P, but if we recall the early days of the war and the propaganda that supported the invasion, it was all the war will last 2 days, the Russian army was strong (not inept and absolutely riddled with corruption), and would be greeted by cheering Ukrainians, none of which has been proven true.
I quite like this guys analysis - he seems fairly sober though he's got a pro-Ukraine bias:
In this thread he points to a stalemate situation despite Russian attempts to break through, against the supposedly vastly weaker Ukrainian army. which he reads as strategic failure. Idk enough about the situation to know whether he's right but his analysis is well informed.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
That's a much more complicated case, because that war has so many sides. There were some fairly limited US/UK/French air strikes against Syrian government targets, which were indirectly an anti-Russian action given Syria's status as a Russian client state, but AFAIK the great majority of Western intervention in Syria has been in the form of the CJTF-OIR action against ISIS and a couple of other Islamist groups, which made them tacit allies of the Syrian government and Russia.
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
I think it's gonna be later. I think it could go for years. Hope I'm wrong.
It will go on like this until it changes.

I know that's incredibly trite, it's deliberately so, pls forgive me. What I meant it will drag on until a tipping point is reached, some combination of visible factors, "known unknowns", or more likely things completely off the radar currently and invisible to us, and then things will change rapidly and exponentially. And everyone will be shocked for a few days then things will settle down and everyone will pretend they knew about these x factors all along.

Just think how much assumed wisdom has had to be canned in the last few months - Russia won't invade, the Russian army is a great military force, European powers will never consistently face off to Russian aggression. None of these assumptions are now true. What other assumptions will be ditched and why in days to come? Possible factors that might tip it either way - Ukrainian losses, political unrest in Russia, Putin's health, Ukrainian receipt of new weapons systems.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Another factor that I don't think will necessarily influence the war but is worthy of note nonetheless is the growing awareness of the way the Russian imaginary has structured Ukraine, the war, and how out of whack this is with actual Ukrainian conceptions of themselves as a nation-state with a distinct identity. Two very different worldviews facing off.

This is a great thread about this sort of thing as expressed in pulp literature: What effect might awareness of this sort of thing have on international relations?
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I've read that Zelensky's videos are an attempt at the forging of a new national identity in real time. I think national conceptions are probably formed under adversity and if Ukraine survives, their self-conception is going to remarkable. The fucking blitz and WW2 is the engine that drives the UK's sense of arrogance and self-regard and that was 70 fucking years ago.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
you have to get into the worldview that a load of Russian soldiers rolling over the border of a neighbouring state and indiscriminately shelling residentials areas is just routine stuff, but a US jet bombing them while they're doing it would be an act of unprovoked aggression by America.
if you take away the word "neighboring" the U.S. has regularly done the same thing

the shelling is less indiscriminate and, at least since Vietnam, there is a much tighter grip on war crimes

and when we kill civilians we've usually preferred to work by proxy - coups, funding dictatorships and training their death squads, etc

but essentially the same process with the same results

and both sides have killed each others' soldiers with weapons to their proxy actors in various wars
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
usual disclaimer that the Putin regime is a blight on the earth and this war is totally unjustified

nor am I interested in whatabout moral equivalency - Putin is worse (which doesn't make the West et al, or Ukrainian leadership, "good")

I just find it to be a kind of absurd, ahistorical position to take
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
tea basically said it

that wasn't really a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Russia

and the U.S.'s unwillingness, for various reasons, to support a faction capable of replacing Assad, blunted it even as a proxy confrontation

Syria is more like the Spanish Civil War - one side using the opportunity to test out new weapons and tactics, while also supporting its ally

ofc unlike the Nazis and Spain, that testing turned to be spectacularly unhelpful - actively counterproductive - but same idea
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Yeah, its rare I disagree with your analysis P, but if we recall the early days of the war and the propaganda that supported the invasion, it was all the war will last 2 days, the Russian army was strong (not inept and absolutely riddled with corruption), and would be greeted by cheering Ukrainians, none of which has been proven true.
I quite like this guys analysis - he seems fairly sober though he's got a pro-Ukraine bias:
In this thread he points to a stalemate situation despite Russian attempts to break through, against the supposedly vastly weaker Ukrainian army. which he reads as strategic failure. Idk enough about the situation to know whether he's right but his analysis is well informed.
Putin may have thought that, tho I'm unclear exactly to what extent those thoughts were shared by his officer corps or intelligence people

the invasion still reads like a snap decision to me - was always a possibility, but they saber-rattling would work like it always had before and when it didn't the Putin regime were impaled on their own rhetoric (and possibly thought it would be a walkover). so I suspect something like: the goals of saber-rattling were more limited, but when they saw they'd have to invade it's fuck it, go big or don't go - and I've seen some stuff, no idea how accurate it is, that Russia's warfighting capacity will be seriously diminished in 5-10 years so if you're going to go, go now - and they weren't going to back down, so go big. and now have been forced to scale back to much more limited goals, closer to the original. like I'm sure they'd prefer to a puppet regime in Kiev, but if they'd be able to consolidate their gains in the east w/o invading that probably would've been enough.

granted there is some supposition in there, but it makes sense to me based on the last 20+ years of Putin

undoubtedly there is a large element of hubris, and presumably losing his touch due to his Howard Hughes-type isolation the last few years
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the growing awareness of the way the Russian imaginary has structured Ukraine, the war, and how out of whack this is with actual Ukrainian conceptions of themselves as a nation-state with a distinct identity
that's been going on for 100 years or more

i.e. Putin himself quoted one of the White commanders in the Russian Civil War - Anton Denikin - on the topic

Russian nationalists - and (probably?) most Russians (edit: to be more clear, I have no idea what most Russians think, as all I can go by is what their public figures say and write, but it seems like a common sentiment) in general have never conceived of Ukraine as a real country or Ukrainians as distinct from Russians

I think in general Westerners don't grasp the extent to which this is a direct continuation of Russian and Eastern European history
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Another factor that I don't think will necessarily influence the war but is worthy of note nonetheless is the growing awareness of the way the Russian imaginary has structured Ukraine, the war, and how out of whack this is with actual Ukrainian conceptions of themselves as a nation-state with a distinct identity. Two very different worldviews facing off.

This is a great thread about this sort of thing as expressed in pulp literature: What effect might awareness of this sort of thing have on international relations?
Definite candidate for the 'bitchin' images' thread:

from_russia_with_guns.jpg
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
tea basically said it

that wasn't really a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Russia

and the U.S.'s unwillingness, for various reasons, to support a faction capable of replacing Assad, blunted it even as a proxy confrontation

Syria is more like the Spanish Civil War - one side using the opportunity to test out new weapons and tactics, while also supporting its ally

ofc unlike the Nazis and Spain, that testing turned to be spectacularly unhelpful - actively counterproductive - but same idea
This btw is why the ravings about "regime change" from the conspiracy left are so absolutely insane and out of touch with reality. The US has had more than a decade to get rid of Assad if that were their intention. These CIA masterminds are obviously not very good at their jobs. The extent that this stuff is still listened to on the left - rather than ridden out of town on a rail - depresses me.

One "good" thing about the war has been the way the useful idiots have just been ditched and people have a clearer sense of what Russian power is like and it's intentions are.
 
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