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  1. #281
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Not on the scale of Crimea, perhaps, but last I heard several of the events were instigated or assisted in part by the same kind of guys, tightly drilled, seemingly rehearsed, mysteriously armed with Russian military kit
    Russian military kit? What exactly did you expect to see in post-Soviet country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    I'm more irritated by the Russian denials than anything else - of course you're behind these guys! Why wouldn't you be?
    Apply this logic anywhere else please. We will know that America and Israel are behind Al-Quaida, Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. Why wouldn't they be when those guys are fighting the regimes America and Israel don't like?

    I repeat, in Crimea( which is smaller in size and has huge Russian military presense already), the evidence was there before media even noticed things were underway. The logistics for moving around couple of thousand guys are not going to be unnoticed. It's impossible. Here, in a larger and more easily accessible area there is nothing but "this guy looks kind of like the guy from that old photo from RUssian Military thread". What magical special forces are we talking about? The army of McGuyver infiltrators who were trained just to take over Ukraine? What kind of military unit is that? Can anyone name a similar unit in any other army? What sense does it make?

    I'm not trying to "apologise" here, I'm saying it's impossible. I'm irritated too. People are painting Putin as some kind of grandchessmaster when he is clearly not one. This is beyond stupid.


    Minigame, guess who is the Russian special forces operator here.

    SPOILER: a guy in Lova Zephyr boots and with pimped out AK74m.

    http://imgur.com/PRaOBV2
    http://imgur.com/PY9WwDR
    http://imgur.com/XZJct32
    http://imgur.com/7dCKnZQ
    http://imgur.com/QeUmcD9
    http://imgur.com/LnwlL4K
    http://imgur.com/kwOzIh3
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
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  2. #282
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Russian military kit? What exactly did you expect to see in post-Soviet country?
    Personally, I think it's a mixture of entirely separatist groups and groups with Russian backing. FWICT, some groups seem a little too coordinated and well-drilled to be a random flash-mob of malcontents, but I haven't been there myself to judge.

    But where the hell did they find RPG:s (the boom-boom kind, not the game kind)? Or maybe SAM:s, I dunno. That hardly seems like something you'd find in a police station. Unless that's something people keep lying around the house over there, they seem to have a supplier. Granted, that doesn't have to be the Russian state. I just happen to think it is.

    Apply this logic anywhere else please. We will know that America and Israel are behind Al-Quaida, Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. Why wouldn't they be when those guys are fighting the regimes America and Israel don't like?
    How are al-Qaeda, the MB and ISIS/ISIL helping America's or Israel's interests? What common enemies do they have? I'm pretty sure that Obama would rather give al-Assad a rim job than see ISIS/ISIL in control of Syria. Sure, al-Qaeda is sprung from the anti-Soviet resistance in the 80's, but back then America was indeed backing them, AFAIK.

    I repeat, in Crimea( which is smaller in size and has huge Russian military presense already), the evidence was there before media even noticed things were underway. The logistics for moving around couple of thousand guys are not going to be unnoticed. It's impossible. Here, in a larger and more easily accessible area there is nothing but "this guy looks kind of like the guy from that old photo from RUssian Military thread". What magical special forces are we talking about? The army of McGuyver infiltrators who were trained just to take over Ukraine? What kind of military unit is that? Can anyone name a similar unit in any other army? What sense does it make?

    I'm not trying to "apologise" here, I'm saying it's impossible. I'm irritated too. People are painting Putin as some kind of grandchessmaster when he is clearly not one. This is beyond stupid.
    How is it impossible? Of course we're not talking about battalions of armed men running around causing mischief, we're talking about unofficial "advisers". And why would these people/units have to be "McGuyver infiltrators who were trained just to take over Ukraine"?

    I don't think Putin is a grand chess master, since I don't think he's really planning long term (or maybe even cares where things go). I do find him deeply unsettling. He's a major world leader with a Napoleon complex, ruling his nation with increasingly fascist undertones (while accusing everyone else of being a fascist).

  3. #283
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Personally, I think it's a mixture of entirely separatist groups and groups with Russian backing. FWICT, some groups seem a little too coordinated and well-drilled to be a random flash-mob of malcontents, but I haven't been there myself to judge.
    There weren't even serious clashes yet. How do you know?

    Also, Kiev disbanded entire police units already, what so strange that some of them are not happy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    But where the hell did they find RPG:s (the boom-boom kind, not the game kind)? Or maybe SAM:s, I dunno.
    Couple of weeks ago they captured 5 or 6 bmd-s. Most likely from there, rpg-s and manpad-s are always in any ex-Soviet battlefield taxi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    How are al-Qaeda, the MB and ISIS/ISIL helping America's or Israel's interests?
    How about fighting Syrian regime and Iranian proxies? Of course they don't want ISIS to win. THey want them to kill each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    How is it impossible? Of course we're not talking about battalions of armed men running around causing mischief, we're talking about unofficial "advisers".
    Well, no. The Ukrainian narrative goes like this "huge part or all of them are GRU-SPN-ALPHA operatives". The "advisers" claim is almost humble. And yes it's makes more sense.
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  4. #284
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    we aren't getting involved in this, it is too complicated and we have nothing to gain
    Hmm I think its more that they know that Putin could send a picture of a man next to the wheel that switches off the oil pipe to all the western european countriez as soon as they got involved.

    Also the russian sepretist who seem to be causing lots of troubles that would play into Putins hands are totally not Putins? Give md a break how can people be that silly not to see that. No point having a big military because they know they cant piss off the europeans to much so secret groups that go around doing this stuff is a lot better means that there is no evidence its him.

  5. #285
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    There weren't even serious clashes yet. How do you know?

    Also, Kiev disbanded entire police units already, what so strange that some of them are not happy?
    There have been stormings of police stations and other government facilities. I doubt that the police units are storming their own stations, but I suppose it could be ex-Berkut or whatever.

    Couple of weeks ago they captured 5 or 6 bmd-s. Most likely from there, rpg-s and manpad-s are always in any ex-Soviet battlefield taxi.
    Okay, that works for me. Still have to know how to use them, though.

    How about fighting Syrian regime and Iranian proxies? Of course they don't want ISIS to win. THey want them to kill each other.
    No, they want stability in the region. Conflict breeds further conflict and makes strategic considerations more difficult and complex. I'm not saying that Assad is a friend of the US, but I'll bet they'd rather have him in power than see a civil war there. Nor am I saying that America's chief motivation in the conflict is concern for the Syrian populace, but that it's of strategic importance to the US. If there are three sides in a conflict, one of which is hoping for increased democracy, another being radical Islamists and the third being a dictator allied to Russia, it's no major surprise where the US will put their hopes. That doesn't mean they like what they see.

    But that's off-topic.

    Well, no. The Ukrainian narrative goes like this "huge part or all of them are GRU-SPN-ALPHA operatives". The "advisers" claim is almost humble. And yes it's makes more sense.
    Oh, I don't read Ukrainian media, but that does sound quite unlikely. I'm going by what I read in Western media, as well as what I believe is plausible. That is, Russia is actively influencing and encouraging the events in Ukraine, both by official posturing and unofficial assistance.

  6. #286
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    No, they want stability in the region. Conflict breeds further conflict and makes strategic considerations more difficult and complex. I'm not saying that Assad is a friend of the US, but I'll bet they'd rather have him in power than see a civil war there. Nor am I saying that America's chief motivation in the conflict is concern for the Syrian populace, but that it's of strategic importance to the US. If there are three sides in a conflict, one of which is hoping for increased democracy, another being radical Islamists and the third being a dictator allied to Russia, it's no major surprise where the US will put their hopes. That doesn't mean they like what they see.
    I realise this is off-topic, but with all the talk of America I feel it's worth mentioning that people keep talking about the US as if it's a single entity, if all actions are towards a single goal. I think if theirs one thing America can be described as its polarizing, The vast majority of the time the left hand of American foreign policy has no clue what the right hand is doing.

    It's entirely possible that the US is backing more than one side in a conflict, either knowingly or unknowingly.

    I haven't really got much to say about the issue in the Ukraine, because I'm not familiar enough with the politics and people of the area to know. But for the most part I agree with What Gundato said, most countries barely care about their own population, they couldn't give a shit about someone else's. Which is why it's a such a shame that the UN seems to be ineffective at resolving conflicts.

    Edit: Not sure what popular opinion is of Al Jazeera, but I've found some of the opinion pieces that get written for the site are fairly interesting. Most recently was this one.
    Last edited by Wheelz; 05-05-2014 at 12:37 PM. Reason: links

  7. #287
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Okay, that works for me. Still have to know how to use them, though.
    Seriously? Ukraine has conscription army, just like Russia. Plenty of people know how to use weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    No, they want stability in the region.
    Arab spring wasn't supported by "the free world"? Well now they surely want stability and Egypt regime is executing hundred of people and now it's okay. But when it just started the dominant rethoric was "tough".

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    I'm not saying that Assad is a friend of the US, but I'll bet they'd rather have him in power than see a civil war there.
    They were on a brink of bombing him when chem weapons were used. They are supplying "moderates" with "nonlethal" stuff. NATO countries are suplying "moderates" with their old stocks of atgms and manpads. Gulf states are sending their guys to fight in Syria. I don't see how this could go on without at least some sort of unofficial approval from "the leader of free world".

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    That is, Russia is actively influencing and encouraging the events in Ukraine, both by official posturing and unofficial assistance.
    Official posturing? They are strangely reserved on what's going on. To me it screams unpreparedness and that Donezk/Kharkov wasn't in the cards. Crimea was. This, however, wasn't. Just a few weeks ago someone claimed that "Kremlin is waiting for shocking footage"( or going to stage it, allegedly). Well it's here. There are videos of Ukrainian army bmd's ramming unarmed people who were trying to stop them. There are videos of helicopters firing rockets into Slavyansk. There are videos of people jumping from burning house and being clubbed to death by Ukrainian activists. About 50 people are dead already, most were unarmed. Just recently Putin said something like "don't use army against civilians". It's done, no reaction. Even if we invade eventually, I don't see how it was pre-planned.
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  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Arab spring wasn't supported by "the free world"? Well now they surely want stability and Egypt regime is executing hundred of people and now it's okay. But when it just started the dominant rethoric was "tough".
    Arab Spring was not really supported by the West. It affected both Western allies (Egypt, Bahrain) and enemies (Libya, Syria). There was some enthusiasm about the possibility of more democracy, but not much genuine support. It was always well known that the Arab population was more radical and islamist than their tyrannical rulers, that is partially why those rulers were tolerated as much.

  9. #289
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    I realise this is off-topic, but with all the talk of America I feel it's worth mentioning that people keep talking about the US as if it's a single entity, if all actions are towards a single goal.
    Heh. I've made very similar statements about "The West". But yeah, you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Seriously? Ukraine has conscription army, just like Russia. Plenty of people know how to use weapons.
    Right, didn't think of that. Sure came around and bit them in the ass, huh?

    Official posturing? They are strangely reserved on what's going on. To me it screams unpreparedness and that Donezk/Kharkov wasn't in the cards. Crimea was. This, however, wasn't. Just a few weeks ago someone claimed that "Kremlin is waiting for shocking footage"( or going to stage it, allegedly). Well it's here. There are videos of Ukrainian army bmd's ramming unarmed people who were trying to stop them. There are videos of helicopters firing rockets into Slavyansk. There are videos of people jumping from burning house and being clubbed to death by Ukrainian activists. About 50 people are dead already, most were unarmed. Just recently Putin said something like "don't use army against civilians". It's done, no reaction. Even if we invade eventually, I don't see how it was pre-planned.
    Official posturing. Condemnations, demands, propaganda and keeping tens of thousands of armed troops near the border. Official posturing. An invasion would benefit no one, so that's very unlikely to happen. The Kremlin do however send signals, further increasing the tension and escalating the conflict. I highly doubt that Putin is planning to annex the rest of Ukraine at the moment.

    No one's saying that the Ukrainian government are saints. I'm sure that there are way better ways of handling the situation than they've done.

  10. #290
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Official posturing. Condemnations, demands, propaganda and keeping tens of thousands of armed troops near the border.
    What they are doing is half-assed at best.
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  11. #291
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    What they are doing is half-assed at best.
    Oh, and then there's the gas of course, but that was to be expected. So what would you have them do? I would advise against an invasion.

  12. #292
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    So what would you have them do?
    Now it's too late. They are caught woefully unprepared. Anti-maidan militias are taking a beating as we speak, I guess magical special forces aren't as tough or aren't as real as some people claimed, referendum is probably not going to happen. No pretext for popular supported invasion, bad terrain, huge landmass, SAMs. Naah. Everyone go home. Bearded guy is probably dead by now.

    I may be totally wrong, of course. The cost of inatcion is going to be Putins reputation at home. So yeah he will try something. But you can't just invade someone without preparation. We have plenty of negative experience with that already. So I expect diplomacy, maybe it's going to be heavy-handed, I don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    I would advise against an invasion.
    Yeah, hang on I'll tell Vladimir. Vladimir says he reconsidered and is going for cultural victory now. No need to worry.
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  13. #293
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Putin is obviously playing a modern Paradox game, he has got that Casus Belli on the western side of Ukraine and by god he is going to use it! I expect a stealth oh we now own this part of Ukraine in a number of months mark my words.

  14. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Putin is obviously playing a modern Paradox game, he has got that Casus Belli on the western side of Ukraine and by god he is going to use it! I expect a stealth oh we now own this part of Ukraine in a number of months mark my words.
    I had a strong Crusader Kings II vibe from what Putin is doing. The thing is, in Crusader Kings II I am playing a medieval asshole.

  15. #295
    Network Hub Rath's Avatar
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    Alternet has a couple of articles up right now about how various media outlets are not reporting the scale of how much Neo-Nazism is going on right now. I realise Alternet is hardly the most non-partisan of sources, but it seems worth a read.

    10/5/14 - Ukraine’s Protesters Are Getting Burned Alive in Brazen Arson Attacks

    In the U.S. press, Ukraine’s “National Guard” is usually described as a new force derived from the Maidan’s “self-defense” units that spearheaded the Feb. 22 revolt in Kiev overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych. But the Maidan’s “self-defense” units were drawn primarily from well-organized bands of neo-Nazi extremists from western Ukraine who hurled firebombs at police and fired weapons as the anti-Yanukovych protests turned increasingly violent.

    But the mainstream U.S. press – in line with State Department guidance – has sought to minimize or dismiss the key role played by neo-Nazis in these “self-defense” forces as well as in the new government. At most, you’ll see references to these neo-Nazis as "Ukrainian nationalists."
    12/5/14 - Massacre in Odessa: The Inevitable Result of a Government Full of Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

    Andriy Parubiy, who founded, along with Oleh Tyahnybok, the Social-National Party of Ukraine--subsequently renamed Svoboda (Freedom)--is now Kiev’s National Security Chief and in charge of military operations against Ukrainian civilians who oppose the unelected junta in Kiev. These actions are being termed an “ anti-terrorism operation” while the terrorism that accompanied the Maidan coup in Kiev, which included throwing Molotov cocktails on police, neo-Nazis patrolling Kiev in armed groups, and serious allegations regarding Maidan activists hiring snipers who fired on crowds, is accepted as legitimate by the West and not questioned.
    "Men shall never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Diderot

  16. #296
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rath View Post
    Alternet has a couple of articles up right now about how various media outlets are not reporting the scale of how much Neo-Nazism is going on right now. I realise Alternet is hardly the most non-partisan of sources, but it seems worth a read.
    You know some news reports are hard for outsiders to believe because they simply contradict common sense. Those are the people who demand to join the EU, and then you accuse them of being Nazis. Nazis joining EU? Or EU is actually the Fourth Reich?

  17. #297
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Even though I dont agree with Squirral much im going to have to give him that. Doesnt really make sense since the neo nazis would probably be there own crazy form of nationalism that doesnt want the EU.

  18. #298
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    A few points on the current crisis:
    - It's mostly limited to the so-called Donbass area which includes two regions: Donetsk and Lugansk. The rest of the country is calm enough with the exception of the tragedy in Odessa (which likely was incited by external forces). So Russian talk about "Novorussia" consisting of the whole South-Eeast of Ukraine is wishful thinking.
    - Donbass, however is another story. It has distinctly different attitudes even compared to neighboring regions. For example, there was a recent sociology on Putin's popularity in Ukraine. And while the popularity has drastically dropped in all other regions it actually went up a bit in Donbass.
    - One of the major factors in Donbass that is downplayed by Ukranian media is local "barons" like Rinat Akhmetov (the richest man in Ukraine) and Oleksander Efremov (Party of Regions faction head in the parliament). Donbass power structure was formed in late nineties and quite violently at that and hadn't been challenged since that time. Business of local barons relies on corruption more than in other regions. A striking example is coal mines which are profitable only because of low wages, lack of modern security and substantial grants from the budget. Current situation when Party of Regions is in tatters and there will be economical and austerity reforms to satisfy all the credits that Ukraine is getting now is a direct threat to the Donbass powers-that-be. So they are participating in region's destabilization so that they can use their influence as a bargaining chip with Kiev. It looks, however, that the situation spinned out of their control.
    - Concerning Russian Federation presence in the region there are many different aspects:
    - Russian media play a defining factor in the events by inciting fear towards Ukrainian government. A tug-of-war is going in Donbass with different sides turning on and off Russian and Ukranian TV locally.
    - There are identified volunteers from RF amongst the "separatist". By "volunteers" I mean people with Russian passports who came to Ukraine to "help their brothers in their fight against fascism" and so on.
    - There are evidence that some of the "separatist" leaders do have ties to Russian far-right, specifically to "Russian National Unity".
    - There are no regular Russian forces in the region.
    - Ukraininan government media often talks about RF foreign intelligence agents, but I suppose that they overstate it. On the other hand it would be naïve to think that there are no such agents in the region.
    All in all, RF certainly plays it's hand differently than in the Crimea. While there are no direct military presence it certainly does influence and support the separatists through non-official groups and means and some agents. But most harm is done by media.

  19. #299
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    So please forgive me to ask this but...... what's the chance Ukraine can reclaim Crimea?

  20. #300
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    So please forgive me to ask this but...... what's the chance Ukraine can reclaim Crimea?
    Zero, unless something truly extraordinary occurs. I'm thinking along the lines of a complete collapse of the Russian state or as part of a peace agreement after Russia lost a war. The Russians have far too much invested in Crimea to give it up easily.

    Then again, I'm a specialist in neither geopolitics nor Russia, so I may be wrong. I don't think I'm far off, though.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, I wonder when the EU and American sanctions against Russia will be lifted? The Russians won't give up Crimea, but the sanctions can't well be in effect forever, can they? So, will they be lifted in time, when the Russians have been relatively peaceful for a while, or will the be removed when the current Ukrainian situation is resolved?
    Last edited by Fanbuoy; 14-05-2014 at 02:54 PM.

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