What's With Russia?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by joepistole, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Joe,
    Do you feel that a strong and healthy Russia is an important factor in world stability? ( given that Russia is a nuclear power with significant nuclear capacity)
    How can the West encourage Russia towards stability do you think?
     
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Am
    Russia is a factor in world stability, but only because it sits on a pile of nuclear weapons and suffers an unstable governance. The West can only do what it has done and that is impose sanctions. There is an old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink, and so it is with Russia. Russia's problems are all 100% home grown. The West has extended assistance to Russia and former Russian states since the demise of the Soviet Union. Western personnel are in Chernobyl and have been in Chernobyl for decades assisting with the nuclear clean up. As recently as last year, the US government was sending several millions of dollars in financial and technical aid to Russia. Russia's space agency was kept alive with NASA dollars after the demise of the Soviet Union. Short of invading the Russia, governing and rebuilding Russia, the only thing the West can do is impose sanctions as it has done. And I know of no one in the West who wants to invade Russia, govern it and rebuild it as the US rebuilt Western Europe and Japan after WWII. But if Putin keeps upping the ante that may be what eventually happens.

    This isn't about Russia, it is about Putin. Putin controls Russia, lock, stock and barrel. Putin suffers the same problem all dictators and leaders of criminal enterprises face, they cannot retire. Retirement means they give up the reins of power and would likely wind up dead or imprisoned. Putin is looking after his butt, just like Hitler looked after Hitler's butt. Putin has had it easy up till now. Now things are getting dicey with the demise of the Russian economy. And I only see it getting worse. I don't see Putin changing his colors. He can't. And the West, the world for that matter, cannot afford another Hitler. A line must be drawn. A line has been drawn in by the West and that line ends in Ukraine. Chamberlain showed the world how well appeasement worked when the world faced a similar problem some 70 plus years ago. It didn't work. Appeasement resulted in WWII and the loss of many million lives. We would be wise to learn from history.
     
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Right. I understand now. The Russians are increasing fears of a pre-emptive strike on the US with cruise Missiles. A move closer to a new Cold War.
    The planes may not be carrying missiles with live warheads, but then again they could be.

    The missiles are old too, but they do the job.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-55

    This quote from the same source has some interest.

    Lets hope that General Piskun is mistaken.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, Russia (i.e. Putin) wants to increase fear in the West and other developed countries. But it isn't working outside Russia as most countries are not brain dead. I think Putin's sabre rattling is more for internal consumption. The problem for Putin and his missiles is they are of no value if he cannot deliver them. Russia's nuclear inventory is old and who knows how many would actually work even if he managed to deliver them to a target. Nor does he have the manpower needed to defend Russia from an Allied invasion. Allied missile defenses have grown exponentially since the Cold War. If Putin decided to launch his nukes, he would only have that capacity for a few minutes. It would be foolish and the last thing he did.
     
  8. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    [digress]
    Thank you, but in truth it's a borrowed form from English comedy, namely Douglas Adams and Mark Steel, both of whom can do it much better than I can. It seems reflexive or otherwise inherent to their deliveries.

    Well, in Mr. Adams' case, could do it much better.

    That one still hurts.

    We now return you to our regularly-scheduled discussion.
    [/digress]
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    NATO is becoming more responsive to the Russian threat. In recent days, Russian military aircraft have been flying without their transponders turned off. Transponders are a part of an aircraft's electronics which "squawk" their position which makes them visible and identifiable to other aircraft and ground controllers. By not squawking, Russia has engineered a number of near misses with commercial aircraft in recent weeks. The last thing Russia should want at this point is to take down another civilian airliner. If Russia keeps playing Russian Roulette with European aircraft, it will only be a matter of time before a collision occurs. What then will Putin do? What happens if a US or European commercial aircraft and Russian military aircraft collide because Russian aircraft didn't squawk its position as in required by international law? Such an occurrence would most surely, at a minimum, result in the placement of more draconian sanctions on an already severely weakened Russia by Western powers.

    "For the past 19 years, we have been trying to treat Russia as a partner, trying to bring the nations of Europe back together and now what we see is a very different kind of scenario," Breedlove told NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/nato-aims-be-more-responsive-wake-russian-aggression-n266956

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/13/russia-plane-near-miss-passenger-aircraft-sweden
     
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    So much for Putin's plans to use Cuba as a refueling and maintenance base for his nuclear bombers. It is going to be impossible for Putin sustain his military aggression. He cannot afford it nor can he physically support it. He doesn't have the global support facilities he needs to pull it off. He can fly his antiquated obsolete bombers around his borders but not much farther.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102249788

    Putin needs to get all of his Russian vacationing soldiers and the Russian military equipment they brought with them out of Ukraine and Georgia.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    There is nothing new there. It's more of Putin's double speak, paranoia, delusion and nonsense.
     
  13. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    You should add Konigsberg, Siberia, eastern Poland, pre-WW2 Ukrainian territories, central Asia and all other Russian colonies to that list, before we allow them to return to the civilized world. Why should we help Russia keep the fruits of past ethnic cleansings when all they've done is use them as a basis to mount further incursions?
     
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  15. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    Putin said it all. Russia values "sovereneighty" not like those lesser countries following Washington orders (instead of Moscows') apparently. Russia needs the right to act unilateraly, it needs well defined spheres of influence where it rules supreme, these must have for a major world power like Russia. All world issues must be settled by Great Powers. It is not emphasized (yet) but longterm Russia seeks the unquestioned right to incorporate certain pieces of the former Russian Empire it likes.

    In short, Russian psyche stuck in 19th century at the time world moved on. Also, Russia didn't experience a decisive, unquestioned defeat. Thus, all the defeats and setbacks are blamed on the scheming enemies within and outside, but overall Russians consider themselves undefeatable. It reminds Weimar Germany quite a bit.
     
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, Russia, like China, wants to be viewed as a big boy but it doesn't want to put in the work necessary to actually become a real life big boy. It's kind of like the kid who doesn't want to work and wants to begin his career at the top of the career ladder rather than at the bottom like everyone else.
     
  17. p-brane Registered Senior Member

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    What are you talking about? Except for the U.S., there are no countries whose actions on the world stage are of greater consequence than those of Russia and China. They're major powers.
     
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, please do explain. How is Russia a major power? Does it have huge advanced and capable military? Does it have the ability to project global power? Does it have the technical and economic strength to project military power? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding NO. It has a puny 2 trillion dollar economy. The EU, Canada, US and Japan have a combined 41 trillion dollar economy. Russia has no global bases and is unable to project military power beyond its borders. It has an ancient military which is poorly equipped and poorly trained. After all, if Putin is to be believed, his vacationing troops went to battle in Ukraine and took their military equipment with them. Russia's navy is mostly rusted scrap. Russia has what is called a brown water or a green water navy. It is unable to project power beyond its borders.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Navy

    The only thing Russia has is its aging nuclear arsenal and if it uses it, it will be the last thing the country does before being completely decimated.

    The EU is of greater consequence than Russia. Australia, Canada, and Japan are of greater consequence than Russia. Their economies are as large or larger, they are more technically and socially advanced, more transparent and more stable than Mother Russia. And with Putin's aggression this year and his shrinking economy, and capital fleeing the country, Russia is becoming less and less important by the day. It has a one horse economy...oil production. And we are in the middle of a global oil glut.
     
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  20. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    It's a song the country replays over and over... (Interesting read)

    Russia has made an unofficial New Year's resolution: this year, it's time to cut down on the booze. On Jan. 1, [2010] the Kremlin adopted new minimum-price standards for vodka that will nearly double the cost of a half-liter bottle of the national spirit, from $1.69 to $3. The move, part of President Dmitri Medvedev's anti-alcoholism campaign, is designed to curb Russians' excessive drinking.
    ...
    In World War II, every Russian soldier at the front was given a daily ration of vodka — roughly a shot's worth — and by the 1950s Russia had fallen completely off the wagon.

    http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1951620,00.html
     
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, it is an interesting read and an interesting pattern. Alcohol and more specifically, Vodka, has helped Russians tolerate the intolerable time and time again. Putin's recently announced reversal of Medvedev's policy is a sign of the times in Putin's Russia.
     
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Few Russians see it that way - even those most greatly suffering the effects of the Ruble's fall in Value. There are slightly more than 3% of Russians home owners with dollar mortgages - Many of them now have mortgage payments greater than their total income. (In part because they did not qualify for mortgage in Rubles - less risk to bank if it was in dollars the banks assumed.) Several hundred of them now protest in red Square, etc. more than once per week. I watched CNN's coverage of such a demonstration a few days ago.

    One lady, who would not tell her last name, said she fully expected Putin to come to her aid as she was already several payments late ("It was a choice: pay the bank or feed my three kids.") CNN asked her if she still supported Putin's taking over Crimea. She said "Yes - it made her proud of Russia again." after a brief pause, she added: "I'd rather lose my apartment, live on the street, than give Crimea back." CNN reported pressed her again: Do you think Putin will help you? Reply was: "Ask me again in six month, if I'm not on the street."

    The typical Russian does not think a "partner" should be sweeping up ever more of the USSR's old empire into Euro zone (Lithuania last week) and especially not be moving missiles into those former USSR countries, ever closer to "mother Russia." This is in large part why they give at least 85% support to Putin. Suffering is not a new problem for Russians - more than half of all those that died defeating Hitler were Russians, and silly central planning of the economy has made things much tougher than they need have been, but love of Russia is still strong and their pride in being Russian is returning. So long as there is bread, potatoes, beets (for Borscht Soup) and vodka, Putin will be several times more popular than Obama. BTW, Russia is a major wheat producer and warm Crimea produced at least half of ALL the different grains that feed the Ukraine; the current Russian crop is a record! but the 2015/16 crop may be less:
    Also the main income is from oil, which is sold in dollars still. Russia is the world's largest producer with increasing production, yet getting paid dramatically less (about half per barrel on more barrels) for it. None-the-less, the government earns MORE Rubles now than ever before and most salaries etc. it pays are Ruble expense. - Why the Russian government, unlike the US, does not (yet?) need to borrow to pay it bills, but if it does, China has 4 trillion in reserves to lend with.* It is, as always, the Russian people who will suffer with the high inflation as their salaries lose buying power.

    *China takes a very long view. For example as I type, the President of Venezuela is in Bejing and has already gotten relief** from paying the regular oil shipments to China for the 50 billion dollars China has already lent or invested in his country. I bet he goes home with even more funds too. Venezuela, like Russia is very rich in oil, (especially shale and or "tight"- more than Canada has, by far). China wants still to add to / lock up even more oil supplies (even for needs 50 years from now - one of the advantages of having 10 "five-year" plans for the non-market part of their economy.) The market place is more pure capitalism with less permits and regulation than the US market place is.

    As an example of this "long POV" the planning for the by far the word's largest water transshipment project, which I call the "half Nile," started in 1950s and about 10 days ago Beijing began, for the first time, receiving fresh water into it distribution system.
    See some photos of it here: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/bric-news-comments.84022/page-39#post-3258594
    While there go a few posts earlier to 769 to get more facts & then see post 768 - the photos of the fantastic, world's largest ice park at Harbin, China. - simply unbelievable and beautiful again this year.

    ** I.e. he can sell it or just store it for later sale at higher price - greater reduction on the 50 billion from China?
    China as the world's largest importer of oil is the main, and huge, beneficiary of the 50% lower oil prices in the market now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2015

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