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NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 24, 2022 - 1:02pm

Kyiv Independent's response to the NY Times is well worth a read.
Skydog

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Posted: May 24, 2022 - 9:36am

This came out yesterday, Boris Bondarev Russia's guy in Geneva resigned and posted this on his LinkedIn account.

Boris Bondarev
Boris Bondarev• 3rd+Arms Control, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, Export Control1d • Edited • 1 day ago
 
Long overdue, but today I resign from civil service. Enough is enough.

For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.
Those who conceived this war want only one thing - to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity. To achieve that they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this.
I regret to admit that over all these twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time. However, in most recent years, this has become simply catastrophic. Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s. A system has been built that deceives itself.
Minister Lavrov is a good illustration of the degradation of this system. In 18 years, he went from a professional and educated intellectual, whom many my colleagues held in such high esteem, to a person who constantly broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world (that is, Russia too) with nuclear weapons!
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred. It serves interests of few, the very few people thus contributing to further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.
I studied to be a diplomat and have been a diplomat for twenty years. The Ministry has become my home and family. But I simply cannot any longer share in this bloody, witless and absolutely needless ignominy.
Job offers are welcome...
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 19, 2022 - 10:37am

srsly.. is there someone out there writing a script for the entertainment of aliens?

 
kcar

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 8:03pm

 haresfur wrote:

It's weird when you stumble across the other side of social media. Apparently Russia invaded because Ukraine is full of money laundering, sex trafficking peodophiles who are developing biological weapons. And Biden is in on it.



Trump/Kurt could’ve told you that…. 

Red_Dragon

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 5:44pm

 haresfur wrote:

It's weird when you stumble across the other side of social media. Apparently Russia invaded because Ukraine is full of money laundering, sex trafficking peodophiles who are developing biological weapons. And Biden is in on it.



Dude, try and keep up.
haresfur

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 5:06pm

It's weird when you stumble across the other side of social media. Apparently Russia invaded because Ukraine is full of money laundering, sex trafficking peodophiles who are developing biological weapons. And Biden is in on it.
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 12:21pm

bump 

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Richard, there would be a great conversation to be had here, were you willing to expound on where you think we should all be headed rather than constantly taking cheap shots at 2-dimensional adversaries. 
,,,

You know my stance. I firmly believe that Putin turns what used to be a linear spectrum into a ring, as he has far more affinity to Nazi Germany and fascism than to the communist ideals touted in 1918. But, prey tell, what on earth is yours? I'm a European centrist. Quintessence of boring. But what are you?
 

R_P

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 11:19am

Uncle Joe Sugar is sending an inflatable aircraft carrier and a slightly-used "Mission Accomplished" banner by FedEx...
miamizsun

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Posted: May 17, 2022 - 4:46am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Nothing like this happens in a vacuum. Maybe they let him speak to create an image of an open society, but I'm guessing they are setting the stage either for a massive build-up of the war effort (us against the world, this is WWII all over again) or for stepping back. 
The criticism of the sabre-rattling against Finland is intriguing as that is totally contrary to the official line, so maybe there are forces in the Russian government trying to steer the ship around and they will finally pull out. Ukraine on the other hand senses victory and I don't think they are interested in a ceasefire and giving up any territory.
 

(quick thought-watch fareed zakaria's doc on putin if you can)
i think i can agree, there wasn't the expected pushback from the apparatchiks
putin has made a horrible mistake
his power profiling of nato was way off and russia's military and economy are suffering for it
surely he recognizes this and is posturing for an eventual exit
he appears to be following text book soviet negotiation 101 and everyone that matters seem to know it
i personally wouldn't use the "weakening russia" verbiage, but those in the know are (using it as a strategy?)
others are openly calling him out and agitating for wearing him/russia down and holding him accountable for his blatant atrocities


NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 11:29pm

 miamizsun wrote:

i'm somewhat puzzled by this analyst and his apparent grip on reality
not the usual propaganda and i read that this isn't his first time
translation in the chyron



Nothing like this happens in a vacuum. Maybe they let him speak to create an image of an open society, but I'm guessing they are setting the stage either for a massive build-up of the war effort (us against the world, this is WWII all over again) or for stepping back. 
The criticism of the sabre-rattling against Finland is intriguing as that is totally contrary to the official line, so maybe there are forces in the Russian government trying to steer the ship around and they will finally pull out. Ukraine on the other hand senses victory and I don't think they are interested in a ceasefire and giving up any territory.
Red_Dragon

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 2:52pm

 miamizsun wrote:

i'm somewhat puzzled by this analyst and his apparent grip on reality
not the usual propaganda and i read that this isn't his first time
translation in the chyron



He'll probably wake up dead soon.
miamizsun

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 2:46pm

i'm somewhat puzzled by this analyst and his apparent grip on reality
not the usual propaganda and i read that this isn't his first time
translation in the chyron

R_P

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 11:15am

 miamizsun wrote:
i don't think dead eye dick is behind this
i think what this guy is saying is that russia/moscow have been bleeding these small republics dry forever
and that he feels they aren't seeing any benefit of being under moscow's thumb
who knows, maybe these proletarians will organize a revolution to throw off the chains of their russian oppressors

They should talk to Cuba...
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 11:13am

 R_P wrote:
 miamizsun wrote:

Neocons' wettest dream to divide and conquer... is here (again).
 
Richard, there would be a great conversation to be had here, were you willing to expound on where you think we should all be headed rather than constantly taking cheap shots at 2-dimensional adversaries.

Today the City of Moscow took over the Renault car plant, effectively nationalising it. To me, another step into the past. Pre-1989 the Soviet regime (ignoring all the Stalinist horrors and  political repression for the moment) actually did an amazing job at developing Russia and some of its vassal states from being poor agrarian economies subject to the vagaries of the weather into industrial economies subject more to the whim of the politburo than to natural hazards. The Soviets managed to be the first in space and also created some notable successes such as building pretty good nuclear power plants (I toured Greifswald and trust what western German engineers have told me). People were guaranteed a home and got a basic income. Life, while kind of on the boring and stifling side, was not all bad. Correct me, if I am wrong. (and again I'm ignoring the political repression for now, something I have issues with).

It appears these past successes have not been entirely forgotten. They obviously seem enough to keep the Russian population firmly behind the latest incarnation of the Soviet government.

But without knowing what the hell you actually stand for, it is kind of a moot point to even talk about it. There are even more variations on the left of what an ideal state should look like than there are on the right. 

You know my stance. I firmly believe that Putin turns what used to be a linear spectrum into a ring, as he has far more affinity to Nazi Germany and fascism than to the communist ideals touted in 1918. But, prey tell, what on earth is yours? I'm a centrist. Quintessence of boring. But what are you?

miamizsun

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 10:40am

 R_P wrote:

i don't think dead eye dick is behind this
i think what this guy is saying is that russia/moscow have been bleeding these small republics dry forever
and that he feels they aren't seeing any benefit of being under moscow's thumb
who knows, maybe these proletarians will organize a revolution to throw off the chains of their russian oppressors


R_P

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 10:13am

 miamizsun wrote:

Neocons' wettest dream to divide and conquer... is here (again).
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 5:21am

 rgio wrote:
 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Hopefully Russian society has learned from its mistakes, particularly, the ones culminating in this current clusterfuck, and it will avoid kleptocracy and autocratic government going forward. Which means it will move closer towards a European style of government. One can only hope.


I have a business partner with family in St. Pete, Moscow, Kyiv, Odesa, and Chisinau (Moldova -where he was born and raised).  The polling that you see suggesting that Putin is popular is correct.  My partner and his US-based family deal with Nazi and "Russian capture liberation" comments all the time.  Growing up in the US, I used to think "how could people possibly fall for the propaganda"?  I don't wonder anymore.  I can turn on my TV right now and listen to half a dozen Republicans fighting for PA seats tomorrow talk about stolen elections.  They are all going to "Save America".  How...that's not really important...just that they know it needs saving. The guy who "leads" their party was on record for decades as pro-choice, yet by standing in front of people and telling them exactly what they wanted to hear, they ignore anything questionable in his past.  This discussion isn't about Russians, it's about people.   People are scared and weak creatures, and they will do things against their own best interests to be accepted and to believe that others share their concerns and complaints.  To align, the critical issue is to agree on an enemy.  You don't have to have a plan, you just have to make sure your enemies don't get to implement theirs. Putin's power will eventually end.   There are rumors he's sick, but father time will at some point catch up with him.  He's 69 years old.  When it does, Russia will face a very similar dynamic... the people in the cities will want to join Europe (again) and live democratically in a free society.  The rural populations will miss the structure and the past, and they will listen when those hungry for power tell them they will Make Russia Great Again.  It's hard to know who will prevail.  It's likely that power will ebb and flow as groups gain and lose opportunities. Russia is a vast and rich country.  Logic suggests that the insane wealth of the few people that Putin has selected could support a much more transparent, open, European-esque opportunistic Russia, but those who could gain from a free and open society will feel lost when the walls come down, and will likely long for more structure and less freedom.  People are funny creatures.
 
I generally agree with all of the above. Just like to add that sometimes you can indeed see wider movements sweep through history: enlightenment values, civilisations coming and going, etc. Often a long and sustained period of improvement comes after a fall from grace or collapse of a corrupt civilisation or after a brutal war. I'm hoping that at least some good will come from this current nightmare.

But yes, people are herd animals by nature. The fact that Trump and his divide and rule political style, even at the cost of ripping up standing conventions, got so far in the U.S. has scared a lot of people in Europe as very few thought such a movement could be so successful in the States. At least he opened our eyes to the fact that nothing is permanent.

Agree on the rural/urban divide also affecting Russia (also driven by demographic shifts and an ageing rural population) and the possible break-up of Russia, which I am not too sure is something we want to see. Sounds a bit like dividing the country up into warlords and fiefdoms which, if you look at Chechnya, doesn't look like an improvement
rgio

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 5:04am

 miamizsun wrote:



Saw this after the long post I just did.  I listened to the first minute...gotta do some work....but this would not surprise me at all.  It would align with the cities vs. rural discussion I just mentioned (I assume this guy doesn't blow that theory up in the 30 min video...if so...I withdraw my suggestion).

rgio

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 4:58am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Hopefully Russian society has learned from its mistakes, particularly, the ones culminating in this current clusterfuck, and it will avoid kleptocracy and autocratic government going forward. Which means it will move closer towards a European style of government. One can only hope.


I have a business partner with family in St. Pete, Moscow, Kyiv, Odesa, and Chisinau (Moldova -where he was born and raised).  The polling that you see suggesting that Putin is popular is correct.  My partner and his US-based family deal with Nazi and "Russian capture liberation" comments all the time. 

Growing up in the US, I used to think "how could people possibly fall for the propaganda"?  I don't wonder anymore.  I can turn on my TV right now and listen to half a dozen Republicans fighting for PA seats tomorrow talk about stolen elections.  They are all going to "Save America".  How...that's not really important...just that they know it needs saving.

The guy who "leads" their party was on record for decades as pro-choice, yet by standing in front of people and telling them exactly what they wanted to hear, they ignore anything questionable in his past.  This discussion isn't about Russians, it's about people.   People are scared and weak creatures, and they will do things against their own best interests to be accepted and to believe that others share their concerns and complaints.  To align, the critical issue is to agree on an enemy.  You don't have to have a plan, you just have to make sure your enemies don't get to implement theirs.

Putin's power will eventually end.   There are rumors he's sick, but father time will at some point catch up with him.  He's 69 years old.  When it does, Russia will face a very similar dynamic... the people in the cities will want to join Europe (again) and live democratically in a free society.  The rural populations will miss the structure and the past, and they will listen when those hungry for power tell them they will Make Russia Great Again.  It's hard to know who will prevail.  It's likely that power will ebb and flow as groups gain and lose opportunities.

Russia is a vast and rich country.  Logic suggests that the insane wealth of the few people that Putin has selected could support a much more transparent, open, European-esque opportunistic Russia, but those who could gain from a free and open society will feel lost when the walls come down, and will likely long for more structure and less freedom.  People are funny creatures.


miamizsun

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Posted: May 16, 2022 - 4:18am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Thinking aloud here, so excuse the rambling thoughts:

To start with, given the slow pace of Russian advances, if any, and the steady push-back from Ukraine and now the news about 40 year-old Russians getting called up for active duty, things aren't looking too good for Russia winning much out of this war.

You can almost feel it might all just suddenly crumble. It feels reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin wall - a system unable to meet its own expectations suddenly hitting the hard wall of reality. I remember how the eastern bloc just suddenly dissolved, almost overnight, as they opened the borders.

So assuming the Russian military does crumble, where does that take us? I can't see anyone expressing any interest in touching Russian soil or bringing about a regime change by active means. Which leaves it up to Putin to talk his way out of this domestically to stay in power. How long will the country stand behind him? Slowly, the true cost of his misadventure must surely seep through or someone else will pounce on the opportunity to exploit his weakness and take control. But as long as he is in power, I think we can expect the rest of Europe to be very very cautious in dealing with him, which will probably mean continued sanctions and/or reparations and a period of misery for Russia.

But if he does step down, what then? Are we suddenly back to 1990? Somehow I think not as there has been three decades of open trade in the meantime. Russia's problem is not really economic, but political/cultural.
Hopefully Russian society has learned from its mistakes, particularly, the ones culminating in this current clusterfuck, and it will avoid kleptocracy and autocratic government going forward. Which means it will move closer towards a European style of government. One can only hope. 

If this were to be the case, retributions would be the wrong way to go IMO. Maybe some kind of levy on its oil and gas exports to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, but actually the EU is strong enough on its own to restore Ukraine. Again one can only hope.

Maybe, just maybe, eastern Europe will now enter some kind of golden age and it will be the sclerotic west which, relatively, enters a period of decline. Lord knows, there are enough issues to address.



in this day and age with the tech being what it is, trying to rule millions of people over such a vast land mass is practically impossible
it's a losing proposition for sure (how many human beings is putin willing to sacrifice to keep his throne?)
people see how other countries are operating or how they are more conducive to human flourishing and they have to wonder
why tf can't we do that
of course they're right to do this and eventually they will push back against suffocating authority
hopefully the russian army will realize they are wasting time, lives and resources
maybe this will all end and they will just go home, maybe not

 i follow unherd (can't watch or listen to all of their stuff, but i did hear this and it might speak to your thoughts/concerns)
sorta thought this guest was a bit looney at first, but he may be on to something
we'll see


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