Face to face with the Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine

GTX

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I post this story not to try to illicit a flame war or the like but simply to help people understand that the Ukrainian Crisis is not so clear cut as some would make out. This is not simply some devious plan created by President Putin with squads of Russian forces covertly operating to invade/conquer the Ukraine. Perhaps you will ignore what is written as simply clever propaganda or perhaps you will take the time to consider. That is up to you. Anyway, the article:

Face to face with the Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine

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Avimimus

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Thanks for posting this.
History is full of tragedy and the people on both sides usually have a lot more in common then they'll ever realise.
 

Triton

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The news reports coming out of Kiev make it seem as though the insurgency in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is wholly the result of Russian aggression perpetrated by foreign volunteers. What if the majority of the people residing in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts want to be part of the Russian Federation?
 

Triton

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Orionblamblam said:
What if the majority of people in Chechnya don't want to be a part of the Russian Federation?

The response by the United States and the West is largely based on its interests in the region.
 

Orionblamblam

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Triton said:
The response by the United States and the West is largely based on its interests in the region.

The response by anyone is largely based on their interests in the region.

But while true, it misses the point. If Russia is so enthralled with the idea of "ethnic groups" determining borders, then they should be cutting Chechnya loose right about a generation ago.

And Russian vs Ukrainian ethnicities? Unless they were wearing flags, I doubt many other people could tell 'em apart. And even if they could... who cares?
 

phrenzy

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It's certainly a very confusing situation since next to Belarus Ukraine is probably the most Russified country anywhere. Plus at least part of the most "rebellious" pro Russian territory was actually part of Russia (USSR) until Khrushchev gifted (back?) to Ukraine. When that happened during the height of the soviet/Warsaw pact era it didn't really mean much and even after the collapse it didn't mean much because Ukraine was so obviously culturally and ethnically related to Russia. Even in Kiev where the name European Union isn't a dirty word your more likely to hear people speaking Russian than anything else.

For Russia's part though they could have stayed Ukraines closest national friend if they could live with it being a little closer to Europe at the same time economically but they have managed to completely polarise the country. What are they hoping to achieve? The part they are likely to get if the country falls apart has a little coal and lots of poverty. The other half makes lots of essential military equipment for the Russian federation and is the countries beating economic heart. The West (particulary the US Thanks to tar sands and fracking) can live without Russia but the reverse isn't necisarily true. Though you wouldn't know this to listen to domestic Russian news, apparently sanctions will be a boon to domestic industry and will usher in a new brilliant era of cultural renaissance for the eastern orthodox church... mad.

It's long held Russian dogma that if Ukraine becomes a NATO country (or treaty-less equivalent) Western Russia becomes indefensible but if the county splits in two as Russia seems to be making happe, NATO membership becomes a lot more likely, at least for the western half. They also just gave every European defence hawk (endangered species I know) a prefect argument to push defence budgets and keep NATO together and relevant for years to come. With the sanctions coming and without the Ukrainian military supply chain can Russia effectively counter without a HUGE shake up to their spending and industry?

What did they hope to get out of it? Thinking very conspiratorially I suppose if they were looking really long term they could be hoping to destabalise Ukraine by taking over half and killing the economy in the other half until it becomes a near failed state like South Ossetia and work some finlandization.

Obviously it comes from a place of nationalistic pride and you can't deny the bump in popularity Putin has gotten from it but at such a high cost I have to think something else is going on, it's not like he was facing imminent domestic threat to his presidency and needed a distraction, they just had the Olympics.

It's all very interesting though, almost unique in history to see the rebuilding of an empire, normally they grow and then fall apart, they don't normally come back...I suppose this is the end of the end of history.

Quick disclaimer: what I've said in no way discounts the passionate and I'm sure genuine feelings of the separatists or to say that their aren't genuine issues with the people now in charge in Kiev. It's just that Putin is normally the arch pragmatist and strategist and I don't see what he thought/thinks is going to happen and what he thinks he's going to get out of it, I struggle to believe he didn't see this turning Europe and half of Ukraine against Russia and him personally, he obviously sees an angle I don't.
 

jsport

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muttly

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We as a nation are distracted at this moment. So Russia does something
to get our attention.
 

paralay

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Russia's motives in the Donbas and in Abkhazia and Ossetia are simple and clear. In order to exclude the admission of Georgia and Ukraine to NATO, territorial problems are necessary for these countries. The NATO Charter does not allow such a state to be accepted into the Alliance. To guarantee this state of affairs, two smoldering conflicts have been created in both cases:
for Ukraine - the Luhansk and Donetsk republics
for Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russian interests have found support on the ground. The people of Donbass do not want to have anything to do with Ukrainian fascists, and Abkhazians and Ossetians with Georgians
 

jsport

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