Is Russia about to invade Ukraine? (2 Viewers)

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    U.S. Blues
    Mar 26, 2019
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    Charleston, SC
    Russia continues to mass assets within range of Ukraine - though the official explanations are that they are for various exercises. United States intelligence has noted that Russian operatives in Ukraine could launch 'false flag' operations as a predicate to invasion. The West has pressed for negotiations and on Friday in Geneva, the US Sec. State Blinken will meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

    Certainly the Russian movements evidence some plan - but what is it? Some analysts believe that Putin's grand scheme involves securing Western commitments that NATO would never expand beyond its current composition. Whether that means action in Ukraine or merely the movement of pieces on the chess board remains to be seen.

    VIENNA — No one expected much progress from this past week’s diplomatic marathon to defuse the security crisis Russia has ignited in Eastern Europe by surrounding Ukraine on three sides with 100,000 troops and then, by the White House’s accounting, sending in saboteurs to create a pretext for invasion.

    But as the Biden administration and NATO conduct tabletop simulations about how the next few months could unfold, they are increasingly wary of another set of options for President Vladimir V. Putin, steps that are more far-reaching than simply rolling his troops and armor over Ukraine’s border.

    Mr. Putin wants to extend Russia’s sphere of influence to Eastern Europe and secure written commitments that NATO will never again enlarge. If he is frustrated in reaching that goal, some of his aides suggested on the sidelines of the negotiations last week, then he would pursue Russia’s security interests with results that would be felt acutely in Europe and the United States.

    There were hints, never quite spelled out, that nuclear weapons could be shifted to places — perhaps not far from the United States coastline — that would reduce warning times after a launch to as little as five minutes, potentially igniting a confrontation with echoes of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Definitely, a curiously worded quote. Not sure why it was released. Semantic arguments can be made either way, but it probably would have been better to qualify it in "Europe."
    Why is it he doesn’t link the source? It’s just a screenshot of a portion of a statement. I am generally suspicious of someone who screenshots and doesn’t give someone the chance to review the source.

    It is a confusing snippet of a statement. Wonder why it was presented in the way that it was?

    I’m sure SFL will be along any time now to explain the context and show us the entire statement. I’m just positive he wouldn’t run here and drop an inflammatory tweet without researching the source.
    So, I’ve been reading the tweet author’s timeline. He seems to be a pretty thoughtful person, so thanks to SFL for bringing him up. I still think the tweet SFL posted was not well done. It takes a snippet out of a larger statement that doesn’t really stand alone, and criticizes it without allowing the reader to go to the source.

    But also in his timeline, he retweets a good op-ed about Biden that I hadn’t seen. So that was a good read:

    As Russia’s ruthless war against Ukraine has faced major setbacks since it began a year ago, the Kremlin has deployed new disinformation themes and tactics to weaken US support for Kyiv with help from conservative media stars and some Republicans in Congress, according to new studies and experts.

    Moscow’s disinformation messages have included widely debunked conspiracy theories about US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, and pet themes on the American right that portray the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as an ally in backing traditional values, religion and family in the fight against “woke” ideas.

    Further, new studies from thinktanks that track disinformation have noted that alternative social media platforms such as Parler, Rumble, Gab and Odysee have increasingly been used to spread Russian falsehoods since Facebook and Twitter have imposed more curbs on Moscow’s propaganda.

    Other pro-Russian messages focused on the economic costs of the war for the US have been echoed by Republicans in the powerful far-right House Freedom Caucus such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Scott Perry and Paul Gosar, who to varying degrees have questioned giving Ukraine more military aid and demanded tougher oversight.

    Since Russia launched its invasion last February, the Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Trump ally – turned influential far-right podcaster – Steve Bannon have promoted some of the most baseless claims that help bolster the Kremlin’s aggression.

    For instance, Bannon’s War Room podcast in February 2022 featured an interview with Erik Prince, the wealthy US founder of Blackwater, where they both enthused that Putin’s policies were “anti-woke” and praised Putin’s homophobia and transphobia.

    Last month too on the anniversary of Moscow’s invasion, Carlson revved up his attacks on US support for Ukraine claiming falsely that Biden’s goal had become “overthrowing Putin and putting American tanks in Red Square because, sure, we could manage Russia once we overthrow the dictator”.

    Analysts who track Russia’s disinformation see synergies between the Kremlin and parts of the US right that have helped spread some of the biggest falsehoods since the start of the invasion.

    “Russia doesn’t pull even its most outlandish narratives out of thin air – it builds on existing resentments and political fissures,” Jessica Brandt, a policy director at the Brookings Institution who tracks disinformation and foreign interference, told the Guardian……

    well, if anyone knows how it is to take the blunt attack from a world power, it's Poland. they are offering the help while Ukraine is still able to take it.
    But it's just a "territorial dispute" right? smh.
    Interestingly enough, Putin supposedly offered to partition Ukraine with Poland back in 2013-14.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly tried to tempt Poland into invading Ukraine with the goal of partitioning the country in 2013, former Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski told Ben Judah in an article in Politico.
    Poland has really stepped up, they have taken in millions of refugees also.
    As much as I and many others shirt on Germany, they are now the second leading donors to Ukraine as well as taking on refugees. During the Leopards to Ukraine debate, Poland and others were vocal about it but never formally requested Germany to do so. When the Germans finally approved it, Poland wasn't prepared and initially said they wouldn't be able to meet that obligation. Of course since then they have sent some Leopard tanks to Ukraine. The point is: Poland throws out a lot of bluster. Remember early in the war, Poland offered to send jets to Ukraine; have them fly to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and finally the US would send them to Ukraine. But of course, the US would send F-16s to Poland as replacement? This is not to denigrate Poland's contribution as they eventually sent the Mig parts to Ukraine secretly. It's just to point out that Poland is also operating with their own self interest at heart. The US has stated that it would not prevent any country from sending F-16. Here Poland again will not do so.

    Poland is not in talks to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, a deputy defense minister said Tuesday, a day after the US ruled out delivering fighter jets to the war-torn country.

    “There are no official discussions on transferring F-16s at the moment,” Poland’s Wojciech Skurkiewicz told AFP.

    As far as the US sending F-16s, we have two Ukrainian pilots training in the US, probably to determine the length it would take to train them. Also remember that the US uses the Presidential drawdown to supply Ukraine with the necessary aide. That has a limited budget and the stock may need to be replaced, which goes against the budget. This isn't a question of Biden not willing to help. He is working with a constrained environment. If F-16s were to be supplied, what must be cut back elsewhere? Those jets are extremely expensive compared to a HIMARS, for example. What about artillery rounds? And as another reason for the constrained approach, the Ukrainians as part of their list of military aide asked for A-10s as we have tons that are retired. The US bluntly said no as they would be a useless. We need to remember that our economy isn't in a wartime footing. The factories that makes those artillery rounds are at capacity. Biden has to deal with a limited budget, determine what the Ukrainians really need, and account for the manufacturing capacity.

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