Wednesday 18 February 2015

Nick Drew right about Russia, again

Ukrainian troops withdrawing from, err, Ukraine

As usual, ND has it right. Last week predicting that the Russians will interested in closing off a pocket in the line that they have cleared in rebel areas.

Predictably, the ceasefire agreed last week has been 'in place' everywhere except here. Now the Ukrainian troops are withdrawing having lost control of the vital railway station. Now of course, the ceasefire can be honoured!

I still cannot explain rationally what Merkel and Hollande thought they were doing. Clearly Putin told Merkel to get on with a plan for separation lest the war be expanded and also that Germany had its gas cut-off*. Unsurprisingly, these same calls with Cameron and Obama did not meet with a desire to travel the world working out a Russian appeasement strategy. Quite why Cameron is getting a bad press from not engaging in this charade is beyond me - but then again, the press has lots of left-wing Quislings who perhaps have not noticed Russia's fast move from Communism to Fascism.

The only real question left is does Russia want a bigger client state and a new land border with Crimea or is the current chunk enough to satisfy the demand currently?

One valuable lesson of the 1930's is that land grabs are addictive for successful leaders and don't stop until a serious war effort is made to halt them.

*I may have been informed of this by a rather reliable source.


hovis said...

Agree that the analysis on the railway junction was spot on.


"...who perhaps have not noticed Russia's fast move from Communism to Fascism."

Excuse me while I snigger into my cup of tea.

If you havent noticed military adventurism, client states and a corporist industrial complex arent too far away from here - only the mood music and matter of degree.

That doesnt mean I think Russia is some paragon or not a threat to interests. I simply don't swallow Big Bad Bogey man Putin or Putin = Hitler stories without thought.

Jer said...

Much talk of "Ukraine" as if it is a country.
It isn't, it's a feudal patchwork.

It isn't just government troops on the front line (A Ukrainian friend told me "what we have learned about the Ukrainian military, is that there is no Ukrainian military"). There are private armies. Note in the Telegraph today-"Semen Semenchenko, the commander of the pro-Kiev Donbass volunteer battalion".

Share with Hovis the view about Russia, but as usual the US foreign policy is screwing up everything. In the last year or so Russia has become noticeably more nationalist. What do they want? To replace Putin with a foaming Russian fascist?

DJK said...

Jer: You're right, not a country and certainly not an independent country. Natalie Jaresko, the finance minister, is a former US State Dept official.

Nick Drew said...

France imports quite a lot of its gas (25%, rule-of-thumb) from Russia too

fortunately for them, (a) they have LNG import terminals too, and LNG prices are dropping like a Scud and (b) daft though it may ordinarily be, they do most of their space-heating with nuclear electricity

even more fortunately for us, we import approx 0% from Russia ...

dearieme said...

"One valuable lesson of the 1930's is that land grabs are addictive for successful leaders and don't stop until a serious war effort is made to halt them."

One valuable lesson of the Bismarck years is that land grabs need not be addictive for successful leaders and may stop without a serious war effort being made to halt them.

Christ, I'm fed up with all the lame Hitler analogies. If we (the West) hadn't wanted Ukraine cut up we shouldn't have fomented so much trouble there.

Suffragent said...

To Quote the Simpsons "Ha-ha"
Herr Merkel returned today after negotiations with President Putin. Upon leaving the plane she announced to the waiting press
"Ich habe in meiner Hand ein Blatt Papier......."

andrew said...

The general theme I pick out from all this is that

- What state you are a citizen of is slowly becoming less important to many people.


- What state you are a citizen of is slowly becoming more important to many states.

Here in the UK, it is pretty simple. Not so for much of the rotw.

People do care about where they live (viz the number of french in the uk)
States care about taxes (US) and control (Russia).

My point here is that this is just the beginning.

CityUnslicker said... about Imperial Japan, umm how about Italy...umm.

Bismark is a risible example. he attacked France in the end and the 'peace' that was left behind ended in WW1.

I have no sympathy if the US was trying to engineer a coup in Ukraine. Maybe it was, there is little evidence beyond beliving what you will of RT.

However, Russian expansionism is also tied to its domestic failure as is so often the case. Unless the domestic failure of state is halted, then its vast military will be put to use.

dearieme said...

If you are going to toss around an adjective such as "risible" you might first (i) learn to spell Bismarck properly, and (ii) get your history right. Bismarck didn't attack France: France attacked Prussia.

You might also reflect on the fact that I was dead right: when he polished off the French there was no need of any grand French/British/Russian alliance to stop him. He just stopped, having got what he wanted. Dear Christ, what sort of junk history did they teach you at your school?

CityUnslicker said...

Dearime - better than yours. 1871 led directly to 1914. The fact that the pre-war period was spent by the Europeans focusing on out-doing one another in conquering the rest of the world just meant it was delayed.

Jer said...

CU - Russia certainly lacks the wherewithal to expand terribly far, at the maximum to the Denpr and "Finlandise" the Baltics (and maybe also Finland).

I don't even see that happening, but even if it did... why should we care?

I'm more concerned about the French.

dearieme said...

"1871 led directly to 1914." What does that even mean? Germany didn't turn into all-purpose aggressor until long after Bismarck had been sacked. Geeze, your school must have been rubbish.

Thud said...

Dearieme, Schleswig, Austria lots of other threatening moves, I have my doubts about your education.

Anonymous said...

"One valuable lesson of the 1930's is that land grabs are addictive for successful leaders and don't stop until a serious war effort is made to halt them."

Totally different situation. Russia's not driven by racial animosity (which is more than I can say for some in the US State Department) and theories of lebensraum - their concerns are to keep enemy alliances from their borders and retain warm water ports.

Russia is no threat to me and mine. I wish I could say the same about my own government.

dearieme said...

Thud, you are being thick. Those moves were before his final war, the one against France that he was delighted to fight. Then he stopped.

Your schooling was obviously lacking, but you can surely use Wikipedia?

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