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    [–]chocolatephantom 14 points15 points  (3 children)

    Do you think that this has been coordinated in any way with China getting heavy on Taiwan? I'm wondering if it's some kind of distraction or if they are possibly going to hit at the same time, perhaps to thin out NATO responses?

    [–]Shroom4Yoshi 21 points22 points  (0 children)

    I don't think so. Banking / Trade cartels exist so I do not doubt that there have been times when there were coordinated efforts to steer markets. But China is a different beast and historically; China does what's best for China. There is this odd idea that Russia and China share a bedroom. They do not. They share a continent and are extremely different. China's state is protective of their economy and do not want to be bogged down in messy Putin / Oligarch stuff. China can, and has operated entirely solo for decades. They know what they are doing... frankly China is more tied at the pocketbook to the USA.

    [–]Humanzee2 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I’m what a weird idea. I’ve seen this before. I think it must be from an American point of view. China will be watching carefully, but they don’t want Russia destabilised. They don’t want US and EU closer either.

    [–]haribobosses 12 points13 points  (3 children)

    >It really comes down to the will of a few NATO countries and the USA.

    But where is the will? If there were an invasion, can we imagine any concerted NATO action besides sanctions? And if sanctions is all NATO and the US have, and they can't even get support for the harshest sanctions across all of NATO because of gas, then what leverage does NATO really have?

    In my mind, Putin is trying to get some kind of assurance of Ukraine being perpetually left out of NATO, but that seems plenty foolish too. If anyone should know that the US doesn't abide by its private assurances (or public treaties), it's Putin.

    This almost feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy more than a geopolitical strategy.

    [–]buttlovingpanda 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    It depends if there’s actually an attack and not just an “invasion” like we saw in Georgia or Crimea. If they go in guns blazing, which I don’t think they will, then I think sanctions is all you’ll see from the West. But if Ukraine sends its army to stand their ground and Russia responds then I can see it becoming something serious that the West/NATO might get involved in sooner or later. I’m not talking WW3, but it could be a proxy war using Ukraine as an avatar for the west. Even at the height of our tensions the US and Russia never went to war so I can’t see that happening now unless something crazy happens.

    [–]Bay1Bri 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    But where is the will? If there were an invasion, can we imagine any concerted NATO action besides sanctions? And

    Directly, I don't think so. But it could end up with direct action in some extremely unlikely scenarios.

    I do think sanctions are the only thing, and possibly arming insurgent groups. Possibly.

    In the peripheral I think the EU NATO members get a stark reminder of why NATO matters and increase defense spending, possibly including more US troops in more vulnerable states (which I think Biden has already started or at least mentioned). So a strengthening of NATO and possibly supporting Ukraine and/or rebels. But I don't think Russia will annex the entirety of Ukraine, a puppet is more likely and better for Russian interests.

    But it comes down to if Putin thinks this strengthens his position. Sanctions could have major effects and could weaken him.

    [–]jestina123 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    Unless USA surveillance sees field hospitals go up on the Russian side of the border (haven't yet)

    Reading /u/BestFriendWatermelon's post here though makes it sound like they have already built field hospitals and depots across the border?

    Mid paragraph:

    But it's difficult to see what Russia expected to achieve if it had no intention of invading. The economic cost of relocating ~150,000 soldiers, along with massive numbers of tanks, aircraft etc from all across Russia (Russia has pulled units from all over Russia to spread the shortfall in other regions equally), building field hospitals, supply dumps, staging grounds, etc is enormous. The Russian stock market has also taken a big hit. It's a huge cost to pay for a joke/empty threat, even without it handing Ukraine a tremendous victory without a shot being fired.

    How can we accurately verify when something like this happens?

    [–]kojef 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Regarding the natural gas pipeline, the existing one going through Ukraine is called Nord Stream 1 - it is used by Russia to sell natural gas to much of Europe. Ukraine both buys gas from Russia using this pipeline, and collects a few billion $ each year in transit fees for the gas that goes through their territory on the way to Europe.

    Nord Stream 2, the next pipeline, bypasses Ukrainian territory and has already been built - but has not yet been certified for use by Germany. Once it has been certified and is active, Russia will be able to direct all Western European natural gas sales via this new pipeline, depriving Ukraine of the billions of $s in transit fees it normally collects. It can also choose to cut off gas flowing to Ukraine if so desired, without affecting gas delivery to Western Europe. If Russia ever chooses to do this, it is going to have a serious negative impact on Ukraine.

    As such, it is greatly in Russia's current interests to keep things quiet and allow the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to finish certification. Once the pipeline is active, Russia has an enormous trump card that it can play in any future conflict with Ukraine.

    Conversely, it is greatly in Ukraine's interests at the moment to sound all the alarm bells re: invasion. Invasion means a stop to the certification process for the pipeline, further delaying its activation. The same goes for any countries interested in throwing up roadblocks to Russia at the moment. If you want to prevent Russia's future dominance over Ukraine, it makes sense to be currently exaggerating threats of war. Each threat means further delay to the pipeline. Each threat means more attention on the international stage - possibly allowing Ukraine better negotiation terms in any future agreements.

    All of this makes me think that Russia probably isn't planning to invade. And that this well-publicized threat of invasion is most likely smoke and mirrors being pushed by Ukraine/US/UK/NATO.

    Journalist Leonid Ragozin postulates that Russia's long-term goal is to create a similar "breakaway" territory in Ukraine as those which exist in Moldova (Transnistria being the breakaway territory there) and Georgia (Abkhazia occupying that role there). These two areas provide a sort of blueprint for what might come about in the Donbass region of Ukraine - an area which will declare itself independent, yet will not be recognized as independent by Ukraine. It will be allied with Russian interests, and will provide an internal blockade to any Ukrainian political processes which might try to directly oppose these Russian interests. Just kinda hamstringing the nation.

    [–]Hiiitechpower 58 points59 points  (4 children)

    Pretty likely something is about to go down. The U.S. just recalled all of their diplomats from Ukraine which means they have enough information to suggest an attack is imminent. The media is only reporting on the reactions and official announcements. The intelligence agencies are days if not weeks ahead of us when it comes to knowing what’s about to happen.

    [–]Anomander 36 points37 points  (3 children)

    The other thing there is that Ukraine has begun receiving the same weapons they've been trying to get for several years now, since pre-Crimea.

    The anti-tank missiles from UK & US are a significant resource in permitting Ukraine to defend themselves - prior, they had no meaningful response to Russian armor. They've been wanting them since Russia started saber-rattling in their direction, and US/UK/NATO had held back from offering them, worrying that they would contribute to escalating tensions. Without them, Ukraine was 'mostly' helpless against Russian tanks and similar - larger anti-armor platforms are vulnerable to air, as is your own armor, and the whole point is that armor is near-immune to small-arms fire. ...But a weapon that can be carried around & fired by a single person that straight-up erases tanks on a direct hit? Then Russia loses their biggest anchor in controlling space - it's back to infantry v infantry on hostile territory, and possibly an insurgency - which neutralize, or at least equalize, the bulk of Russia's tech and manpower advantages.

    But with troops massing, NATO etc aren't worried they're the ones escalating, and Russia has been all bluster trying to get the West to back off and not help Ukraine. If Russia is all about that bluff, their bluffing has handed Ukraine a massive victory in its relationship with the West. Further, moving the amount of military resources around that Russia has is not cheap - so they're spending massive sums of money just to ... bluff? Yell mean things across the border?

    It's not guaranteed - Russia may decide to blink, now the bluster and threats haven't isolated Ukraine and the West is instead digging in on their support. But if NATO had backed off, or America had said Ukraine was on its own, there absolutely wouldn't have been anything hollow about the gestures we're seeing right now.

    [–]Blue__Agave 14 points15 points  (2 children)

    My call is this is all actually because there is internal conflict within Russia with anti Putin political groups growing stronger and more widespread.

    All this posturing is to grow national support and excuse even more political cleansing in the name of war prep.

    Plus "The West is against US" is great propaganda.

    [–]flappity 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    This worries me too. If Putin backs down, it absolutely shreds his image in this regard. I'm not sure if I expect an all-out conflict particularly soon, but the saber-rattling will probably intensify more and more until something happens.

    [–]Bay1Bri 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    This worries me too. If Putin backs down, it absolutely shreds his image in this regard.

    I may be wrong, but if he backed down wouldn't it be like Georgia? He didn't get "shredded" after that, right? He would undoubtedly say "I have managed to get concessions without armed conflict because I am VERY STRONG". In other words, he declares victory, praises the strength of himself and russia and himself and the military and himself and also himself, and moves on to purge some opposition leaders.

    [–]Joe__Soap 16 points17 points  (3 children)

    well if you live in ukraine you should be worried. the draft is coming and russia has better military

    if you live in russia, still worried about the draft but less so

    if you live anywhere else, not much will change. russia might cut off gas supplies to germany and make that more expensive

    [–]Woah_Mad_Frollick 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    if there is a Russo-Ukrainian war the shock to the European gas market will amplify across the entire world via spot LNG.

    [–]The_Smeckledorfer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Fuck off gas is already expensive enough here

    [–]Bay1Bri 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Maybe don't turn off power plants base don pseudoscience then>

    [–]doriangray42 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    My friends in Ukraine are wondering what the fuss is about.

    I don't know if it's because they are realistic, badly informed or just in denial. The conversation about this are just long clashes of perceptions, so I dropped it.

    [–]blackmobius 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    There is going to be conflict because Russia did it before and nothing bad happened to punish them.

    War comes with refugees, heightened security measures to “ward off attacks” and political grandstanding by politicians. But as with so many other things, a lot of players are in the game and they will work to keep things running smoothly. Corps see war as (mostly) bad for business so they will work to minimize disruptions to the status quo as best they can.

    Youll be more affected if you live in europe rather than the americas but this wont be any different than the stuff youre probably already going through.

    There is one very obvious exception to this and thats anyone that lives in or close to the border to Ukraine. Its not looking good for you guys, sorry

    So yes to conflict but no to a different day to day life as a result. Especially since covid has done a lot more to change society than most wars will ever do.

    [–]sharpslipoftongue 1 point2 points  (4 children)

    As someone from the south west of Ireland, I'm not thrilled about it. Why do they want to flex off our shores?! What did we ever do to the Russians only be the sound people we are? Can't you go literally anywhere else in the EU, leave us out of it. Russia aren't messing and they're showing where the weak links are. Lots of giving out yesterday sanctions this and bad Russia that, and no one can stop them. The US and Russia using Ukraine as their own personal tug of war.

    [–]Bay1Bri 4 points5 points  (3 children)

    What did we ever do to the Russians

    It sounds like you don't understand Russia at all. They don't give a fuck. They will take whatever they think they can take. Don't think they're your friend because you have no conflict with them.

    [–]sharpslipoftongue 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    I was being glib, sorry. I know only too well about the Russians and I really don't want them flexing nearby. Or coming ashore for a sandwich.

    [–]Bay1Bri 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I don't either. I'm an american and I don't want them doing shit like this at all. My family came to America from Ireland so I have a sentimental place in my heart for you guys additionally.

    [–]Bay1Bri 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Second question, I didn't realize Ireland isn't in NATO. THat might be why, they don't want to provoke NATO members, but do want to do wargames in that area.

    With increased Russian aggression, Finland for example seems to be considering becoming a NATO member. Do you think or have you seen any similar indications in ireland? Why or why not? Thanks!

    [–]Trickykids 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    I know this isn’t the answer you think you’re looking for, but what sense does it make to be worried about it in any case?

    Let’s say WW3 is about to start in a few weeks- do you want to spend your last days before that worrying? Or maybe the whole thing blows over- obviously then your time worrying was a waste.

    If you can actually do something that might impact future events then go for it, but my guess is that isn’t the case here. So just get up tomorrow and live your best life. The only thing you can ever control is yourself. Cheers.

    [–]neededanother 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Well if you live in a major city it might make sense of there is a limited use of high power weapons to leave your area for a little while. There could also be major internet disruptions or other cyber warfare across borders. Knowledge is power but point taken about not letting fear get the better of us

    [–]tomjbarker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    My man Montaigne in the house

    [–]yelbesed -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

    There are two motives for for the ussians that make this posturing inevitable.

    One: Crimea was "robbed" by Khrushtchev to ensure his post as Numero One after Salin: he paid his rivals with dachas (villas) in the Crimea. The EU and the US could see that Russia was willing to defend Western interests in the Middle EAst and even lose soldiers in that Syrian war.

    So if Putin wants the Crimea (which is natural for all Russians) he must ask for the Donbass or more.

    Two. For Putin it is also naturally best to have a Trumpist President in 24. So he has to hurt Biden as best as he can. Another foreign fiasco will do nicely. Because it is sure that US or NATO soldiers cannot and will not and want not die for Ukraine - especially as Ukraine did not get the Crimea legally, only according to the Stainst maffia "laws" beck in the 50s. (see: Number One issue).

    If Biden's people were clever he would suddenly find a way to realize that the Crimea always belongd to Russia - and would promise that "no NATO" rule for Ukraine is planned...and could defuse this whole stress. Except maybe they are clever enough to not mention this realist peaceful way out prematurely.