Russia Invades Ukraine: It is a War

Yesterday, Russia began its military offensive against the Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said in a public address that “his goal was to “demilitarize” but not occupy the country.” The Ukraine began conscripting soldiers a few days ago.

As for where the first blasts were heard, reporters and others have mentioned this places: (Maps are also provided).

Russia launched cruise and ballistic missiles at airfields and military headquarters near Kyiv, the country’s capital city, according to Ukrainian officials. In the south, Russian troops landed in Odessa, according to Ukrainian officials.

In eastern Ukraine, Russian missiles hit targets in Kharkiv and Dnipro, according to Ukrainian officials, and loud booms were reported in Kramatorsk. Ukraine’s state emergency services said that attacks had been launched against 10 Ukrainian regions, primarily in the east and south of the country. Several planes were hit at airports, the statement said.

Russia’s military as compared to the Ukraine’s is like a David v. Goliath scenari.. The Ukraine has around 209,000 troops on active service compared to Russia's 900,000; and Ukraine's reserve forces number 900,000, while Russia has 2 million.

The Ukraine has closed the Sea of Azov.

Here is a free link to the Wall. St. Journal news coverage. I really like their news coverage on just about everthing (as opposed to their opinion pieces which I just gloss over).

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    If the y kill Zelenskyy (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 03:37:01 PM EST
    Boy. I think it could change a lot of things.  Zelenskyy sure seems to think it's possible.

    That would be such a shocking thing its hard to believe they would do it but it was hard to believe they would do what they are doing.

    Agreed, the course of (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 04:48:18 PM EST
    war is nothing but uncertain.  Recordings such as this will not help propaganda as to Putin's beneficence.

     And, Pope Francis taking the unprecedented trip to the Russian Embassy in Rome to register his horror will not help Patriarch Kiril, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and partner in everything Putin. (Also, will give support to Catholic Poland, and their need to take refugees).

    A further thought on the effectiveness of sanctions: the worry may not be will the sanctions work, but rather, that they will work to well.  If Putin has, indeed, stepped on his dIck already with military miscalculation, sanctions working (and he knows better than anyone how vulnerable he and his economy are) he may do what fascists/authoritarians then do--become desperate and even more dangerous.


    It's one thing (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 05:43:31 PM EST
    to stick the odd WaPo reporter in a wood chipper or occasionally poison a political foe most people have never heard of of a couple of inconvenient informers.

    Zelenskyy is the face if this.  He's a smart articulate sympathetic guy.  I think it would be different.

    But having done all the things I mentioned with complete impunity Vlad may not get the nuance of it.


    Putin (none / 0) (#16)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 07:10:19 PM EST
    watched tRump getting away with a whole lot of sht without paying a price, so far.

    Putin thinks he can shoot a man on Khreshchatyk and he won't pay much of a price for it.

    Most Americans don't even care if our own democracy is in peril, the Europeans need the fuel and their are plenty of powerful leaders around the world are openly rooting for him.

    Sure he will have the scorn of much the world poured upon his head for the the next few months, and he and the oligarchs will have a little more difficulty laundering their wealth, just the cost of doing business, they will find a way to spend, grow and stash their wealth.


    I really hope you are not correct (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 08:52:37 PM EST
    The US intel services, who have been pretty much right about everything in this case, have said publicly their goal is to hunt him down and kill him.

    I saw video of one massive illegal demonstration where they were chanting his name.

    If Putin is stopped it will be an intervention by those around him.  I would think.  He clearly is not concerned with the way the world sees him and Russia.   Maybe others are.


    What are the chances that U.S. "intel" (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:04:41 PM EST
    is also looking at deniable and clandestine ways to destabilize if not eliminate Putin? A lot of underemployed Special Forces and CIA agents who had been operating in and around Afghanistan until recently, not to mention cyberwarfare folks. Isn't that sort of approach a bipartisan U.S. Gov't "go-to" from time immemorial or at least the last century and a quarter?

    The Pentagon knew at the (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:15:15 PM EST
    Beginning that Putin was in a weak position to do this, but damn...I don't think anyone saw this much of a flustercuck.

    He's got grit (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 06:13:17 AM EST

    U.S. Prepared to Help Zelensky Leave
    February 25, 2022 at 10:51 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 63 Comments

    "The U.S. government is prepared to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leave Kyiv to avoid being captured or killed by advancing Russian forces," the Washington Post reports.

    "But so far, the president has refused to go."

    "As the Russian military ratcheted up its attacks on Friday, a defiant Zelensky pledged to remain in charge of his government despite grave personal risk."

    Reportedly (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 06:53:48 AM EST
    his response was 'I don't need a ride.  I need ammunition'.

    Vladimir Putin's (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:18:13 PM EST
    speech (February 21, 2022) to the Russian people and "Ukrainian Compatriots" gives the lie to Ukraine possibly joining NATO as his prime concern and reveals his bad faith negotiating in the run up to his tragic war in Ukraine. (besides Putin is quite aware of criteria and time it would take to achieve accession even if an application was made last week, which it was not).

    His long speech presents a revisionist historical development of Ukraine as "Vladimir Lenin's Ukraine" and his challenge to Ukraine as a state that gained independence uncovered the Potemkin Village constructed of air and sawdust and labeled as that threatening NATO.

    Putin seeks a "unitary state", essentially, reconstituting the Soviet Union and Russian Empire.

    Ukraine has, he claims, replaced partnership with a parasitic government.  Ukraine owes Russia and yet it has become "Russophobic and neo-fascist", It is now Russia's responsibility to save Ukraine from its corruption, and glances toward the West. Ukraine is just a "colony with a puppet regime". Russia's intention is to return this breakaway Russian territory so as to right historic wrongs and make Russia great again.

    Note: From listening and observing Putin as he read his speech (from a teleprompter), it gave thought to the possibility that Putin may have had Covid.  His presentation was breathlessness and punctuated with deep sighs. Clearly, a pulmonary issue.  Perhaps long Covid with brain fog, that  may account for reports of Putin seeming to have diminished acuity. No doubt our intelligence agencies are spending time on this.  

    Yep, (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:21:38 PM EST
    he wants to annex Ukraine--NATO is just a talking point that Tucker Carlson and others lapped up.

    And, could COVID take this SOB?  Would that not just be priceless?


    This (none / 0) (#201)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 02:12:44 PM EST
    mentality of "so you lost thirty million people in WWII, get over it" is so American..

    It's just too painfully counterintuitive to take the next step to put oneself in the other's shoes. It goes too much against the hyper-competitive American mythos that everyone here has imbibed.



    Putin speech (none / 0) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:24:53 PM EST
    Good points. (none / 0) (#60)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:27:22 PM EST
    I agree that by now it is clear that Ukraine joining NATO is not the issue for him. So before increased military options are there others? I don't see why talking about energy independence is off the table for us. I try to hear different opinions to get a better sense of the issues and what concerns people. Some say that our internal divisions have emboldened Putin too. It is a good sign that there are  protests in Russia and elsewhere, so that is something to monitor.

    You can't really go by Wikipedia (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:06:02 PM EST
    Troop number strength. Russia inflates its numbers horribly. We were shocked that on day one conscripts were being forced to sign contracts to fight in Ukraine. The conscripts are not legally allowed to fight wars outside Russia. Putin didn't have willing troops to do this with.

    It is Russia's 2nd line troops leading in Ukraine. He would leave his best trained most loyal troops guarding Moscow.

    Here is a fine summary from an international law (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:39:08 PM EST
    perspective. Violation of the treaty (to which the U.S. and Russia are both parties) under which Ukraine, upon becoming independent, gave up its nuclear stockpile. Violations of the U.N. charter. A war crime (launching a war of aggression), over which (if I am not mistaken) there is universal jurisdiction, under the precedent established at Nuremburg (a capital crime with individual liability for government leaders) and incorporated into the U.N. framework.

    Putin is moving the TOS-1 in now (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:52:05 PM EST
    It is supposed to be used to clear mines with. Putin used it in Syria against ISIL. Nobody complained though because ISIL. He seems intent to incinerate Ukrainians with it tonight. More war crimes coming.

    We maybe should not glide over (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:07:10 PM EST
    the part of that agreement where they give up their nukes for the pledge from the west of defending their sovereignty

    Those countries eying nukes for defense (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:08:53 PM EST
    will probably notice this.  I would.

    Not at all clear what the Budapest Agreement (none / 0) (#73)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:55:53 PM EST
    authorizes by way of enforcement mechanisms (downloadable PDF of the treaty).

    Countries isolating Russia in various ways (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 09:19:39 AM EST
    Poland And Sweden Refuse To Play Russia In World Cup Playoffs

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Poland's refusal to play its World Cup qualifier against Russia next month in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine gained wider support when Sweden followed with its own plans to protest to FIFA on Saturday.
    Sweden, a potential opponent of Russia in next month's playoffs, later joined Poland in declaring its national team would not play a match against the Russians regardless of where it takes place.

    Thanks to the Greens (1.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 10:26:46 AM EST
    Both here and in Canada.  Restrictions on energy production and exports was a huge help in financing Putin's latest adventure.

    That's hilarious (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 04:19:09 PM EST
    Fact-free, specious smears are fun, aren't they?

    Four years of genuflecting and groveling at Putin's feet by our own, jealous, wannabe-orange-kleptocrat were a huge help in aiding Putin's latest adventure.  Not to mention his current defense of and praise for Putin.  Guess that's what you voted for.


    Some Repubicans (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 05:10:11 PM EST
    like Putin more than Biden. And, they go from there.

    What is fact free and specious about this? (1.50 / 2) (#33)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    You don't think Merkel's shutdown of nuclear and coal power and increasing dependence on Russian gas, while reluctant to build up its military power, had any impact on Putin's aggression?

    The Trump administration killed Russians in Syria, sold weapons to Ukraine, maintained sanctions against oligarchs, increased defense spending and made the US energy independent. But somehow Trump was was Putin's puppet.


    First of all, ... (5.00 / 3) (#161)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 05:06:14 PM EST
    ... he said absolutely nothing about Merkel/Germany.  What he said was:

    Thanks to the Greens ... Both here and in Canada ...

    In fact, he provided zero evidence to support his claims, which is why I used the terms "fact-free" and "specious".

    But your attempts to defend Trump are even more hilarious.  First of all, the "Trump administration" did not kill the Russian mercenaries in Syria, the American military did.  They did this after they were attacked - Trump did not order it and there was no option other than allow themselves to be killed.  It was not a decision made by Putin's puppet.

    As far as sanctions, they were already in place when he took office.  The few sanctions during Trump's term were after Congress passed the sanctions with an overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majority.  It would have been embarassing for Trump to try to veto them and it would've been easily overridden.

    Trump did permit the sale of $39 million of weapons to Ukraine.  Oddly enough, however, they restricted them to western Ukraine where they were stored and couldn't be deployed against Russian separatists.  Trump then decided to withhold $400 million in military aid while he tried to blackmail the Ukranian government to help his reelection campaign by digging up imaginary dirt on his opponent.

    Do you really need a list of all the times Trump praised his favorite dictator and defended him, accepting his bald-faced lies while dismissing reality?

    "Independent" - right.


    I really do try to see different viewpoints. (1.00 / 1) (#171)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:40:05 PM EST
    I can't help it. That is the way I think. I appreciate your points and don't have the fortitude to debate all this but I know your and my opinions are different for some things, but not others. Maybe if this continues we will get to know each other.

    You betcha (1.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 03:49:35 PM EST

    A Putin puppet would clamp down on US energy production to the benefit of Russia.  

    (Hint, that was not Trump)

    Biden cancelled the XL pipeline while we import Russian petroleum products!!!!!!!!

    Energy from Canada, no!

    Energy from Russia, yes!

    This only makes sense if defunding the Russian war machine is a lower priority to satisfying the well funded Green lobby.



    Stupid GOP propaganda (none / 0) (#107)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    We do not import that much Russian fossil fuels compared to other sources.

    Just what is the timeline for actually getting any fuel from those sources?  How many years in the future?

    Postponing the transition to renewables only prolongs any dependence on fossil fuels.

    And, you support Trump, no?  He has been the most treasonous cheerleader for Putin and you guys brush it off.

    Until you denounce Trump, you simply cannot be taken seriously.


    I was just listing some facts (1.00 / 1) (#109)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 05:54:22 PM EST
    as well as giving opinions. I do not limit myself to a single party or pledge allegiance to any person.
    I do not look to fight with you and respect your opinions. I do not like name-calling.

    Clamp down on US energy production (none / 0) (#163)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 05:09:25 PM EST
    That's hilarious.  Are people really ignorant enough to believe that ridiculous nonsense?

    That "only makes sense" if you have no clue about basic economics and your tinfoil has worked its way loose.


    Thanks for the link. (none / 0) (#167)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:11:23 PM EST
    It is very helpful. It defines energy independence as importing less energy than we consume. We did reach it for a while in 2019.
    It says we don't yet know the long-term effects of blocking the XL, the moratorium in the Arctic, or the blocking of new fracking.
    Critics argue that we could pump more oil than we do now and that would lessen our dependence on outside sources. Our gas prices are high due to lack of supply. The XL pipeline, at least, would have moved 830,000 barrels a day. The USA has more capacity for oil production than we currently allow.
    Much more important than our inflation problem is the position that Europe is in for being dependent on Putin's energy.

    That's some selective reading (5.00 / 3) (#182)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 08:47:29 PM EST
    You skipped a few things that completely disprove his claim.  Like the fact that Keystone had nothing to do with US energy production.  Or the fact that it was many years away from transporting (not producing) Canadian crude.  Or the fact that the same crude will be shipped by rail.  Or the fact that the low supply was caused by the private oil producers voluntarily slowing production to keep prices up after demand cratered during COVID.
    You have a very selective "desire to learn."

    I read the politifact that talked (none / 0) (#184)
    by ladybug on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 12:38:48 AM EST
    about energy independence. I was aware that the pipeline still needed to be constructed (creating jobs) and is facing lawsuits, which is why it says  "long-term effect." I knew that it transports from Canada and the other two involve US production.
    But I didn't see data here about the transport by rail. I knew that supply and demand were affected by COVID but also didn't see it mentioned here. It did say
    The suspension of the Keystone XL, which would have helped carry Canadian oil to U.S. refineries on the Gulf coast, means the U.S. will seek more crude oil from areas such as the Middle East rather than Canada.

    I guess we were just reading different politifacts. I didn't look through all of them. But I am happy to be proved wrong about any mistakes I make.  

    It is true (none / 0) (#185)
    by ladybug on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 12:54:07 AM EST
    that I also went beyond what was in that politifact when I said "critics say..." I was just adding my own thoughts there.

    I meant (none / 0) (#170)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:24:41 PM EST
    we produced more than we consumed and imported less. It was a helpful definition of energy independence.

    Anything (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 08:21:11 PM EST
    To defect from decades of conservative Putin apologia.

    Dude if we had gotten off fossil fuels back in the 80s when we realized it was a problem this wouldn't be a concern


    Unfortunately, magic is not a viable solution.

    So of course (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:35:29 AM EST
    you have no response other than nonsense. Conservatives have no solutions, no ideas, nothing positive ever to further the country only boulders on their shoulders wanting to reinstate the past.

    What is the objective of the sanctions? (none / 0) (#2)
    by coast on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 12:53:59 PM EST
    Putin's objective is clear - takeover Ukraine and replace the current government.  The only thing that's unclear is whether he stops at Ukraine.

    But what's the objective of NATO's sanctions?  It certainly isn't to stop the invasion, it's happening.  Its not to deter further movement into the country, Biden told reporters questioning the sanctions being made, to give them time.  Russia will overrun Ukrainian forces within a week, possibly a few weeks at most.

    So what is NATO's objective?

    Militarily, Ukraine's position is untenable. (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 24, 2022 at 07:45:47 PM EST
    They are surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Even if member states were so inclined, NATO could really do little to counter the Russian invasion once it started.

    But while it's one thing for Russia to overrun and conquer Ukraine, it may well be another matter entirely for its military to actually occupy and hold the country for a prolonged period of time against the will of a sullen and hostile populace.

    As I would like to believe our own country learned in Iraq, conquests can be sometimes ridiculously easy. But military occupations are complex undertakings, particularly if you've never clearly defined your objectives beyond the ouster of the opposing government and you have to create a new governing authority from scratch.

    One needs to remember that nature abhors a vacuum, especially a political one. And unless you take steps to fill that void in order to get things up and running again in the country, you may not like what forms and presents itself in the absence of the once-prevailing civil authority. That's how insurgencies can and do take root, as it eventually did in Iraq.

    As the late Ed Beechert, a history professor of mine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was wont to quip, "Empire is expensive." Well, he was right. The British Empire at its zenith (1880-1950) only lasted about 70 years or so. What brought it to an end was not military defeat, but the enormous economic cost associated with its maintenance. Likewise, we conquered Iraq in four weeks in 2003 but $2 trillion later, we couldn't hold it indefinitely and subjugate people who by and large resented our presence there.

    By imposing what will likely be crippling economic sanctions, NATO's objective is to render Russia's long-term military occupation of Ukraine cost prohibitive. And with a national economy that's approximately the size of Illinois', the Russian people are soon going to feel some very significant pain as a result of Vladimir Putin's gambit, particularly if Ukrainians refuse to acquiesce to their fate and decline to cooperate with their occupiers.



    I would have told you on day one (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:11:48 PM EST
    That isn't true :)

    This was always going to be one hell of a slog for Russia. The Ukranian people were always going to fight tooth and nail. Now there are rumors that Russia is running out of munitions. It takes about 4 mos to resupply that but Russia needs raw material from Slovenia, who has sanctioned Russia now.


    Heard something you might comment on (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:21:21 PM EST
    We often hear how the army won't fight because they are just "conscripts"
    Suggesting their hearts are not into fighting their fellow slavs.

    I saw a general say this is not true.  That about 80% of the army are basically mercenaries.

    Think that's true?  Maybe we just pay them more to switch.  Half snark.


    Russian troops have the reputation (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:28:36 PM EST
    For lawlessness. Part of what used to make Russian soldiers seem scary. I think it is fair to call a lawless paid soldier a merc. I wish I knew the breakout for how many contracted soldiers vs. conscripts Putin brought to the border, but I don't think anyone knows yet. Jaws were on the floor that on the first day conscripts were surrendering.

    As for morale, lawlessness always makes for terrible morale. Ukraine has been training with NATO for 8 yrs now and addressed the lawlessness in its military. The Ukraine military seems to have come a long way in professionalism and leadership. And by God their citizens don't give away their position. They're like ghosts right now.


    The captured conscript kids (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:39:18 PM EST
    Do break my heart.  It's a kid, and he didn't get a choice IMO. Bothers me when they are labeled Russian soldiers when they are a Russian conscript.

    By imposing what will likely be crippling (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 12:19:47 PM EST
    By imposing what will likely be crippling economic sanctions...the Russian people are soon going to feel some very significant pain as a result of Vladimir Putin's gambit

    How soon do you think "soon" is?

    The TV pundits I saw this AM didn't think that cutting off Putin and his hand-picked oligarchs from the international banks, etc, would force a particularly quick change in Putin's tactics.


    I agree the sanctions are going to do little (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 02:06:07 PM EST
    certainly in the short term.  Short meaning weeks or months.  If the rest of the world can be convinced to join they could eventually.  And if as the Russians are now threatening 'they will kill the families of the soldiers if they don't surrender' I think almost all of the world will come around.  And they have to talk up sanctions because in truth what are the options?  WWIII?

    I think this is a massive blunder from Putin.  This country might be easy to take but it will be impossible to hold.  There will be a massive underground resistance that will make occupation painful.  Russias economy is the size of Apple.  Empire is expensive.

    It might take a while but this really could be Putin's undoing.  We can only hope his little midlife crisis does not include launching a few thousand nukes on his way out.

    But I have to say reading around and even talking to friends it's hard for me to decide if the most stupid suicidal shite is coming from the right or the left.  I just got a FB message from a green partier that could have been issued by the Kremlin.  Complete with Nazi references for the Ukrainians.

    I once thought that if we were ever attacked, by someone like Russia, it might be the one thing that could unite us.  Sadly I think that ship has sailed.


    I (none / 0) (#12)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 04:03:01 PM EST
    think we should start some asymmetric economic warfare. Call fair game on Russian assets to all our white collar criminals and hackers.

    After all the DOJ seems to find those crimes "hard" to prosecute, wink, wink.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 04:29:26 PM EST

    Russian Government Websites Suffer Disruptions
    February 26, 2022 at 5:17 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 65 Comments

    "The main Kremlin website and other Russian government websites were inaccessible Saturday amid reports of cyberattacks targeting Moscow in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine," the Wall Street Journal reports

    I believe economic (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 03:11:27 PM EST
    sanctions can be very effective if solidarity is sustained.  Russia will pay a price but it will not become apparent for months and even a couple of years.  The price will include no pipeline deals and little or no foreign investments--all consequences that will not be noted for some time, no new construction, industries, etc.

    However, financial sanctions are likely to pinch in a very short period of time since reducing Russia's capabilities to raise money and to effect transactions are readily possible. All the more possible if/when Russia is denied use of the SWIFT system of payments among banks.

    The SWIFT system will, in my view, eventually (months?) be denied to Russia, but that will need to be rolled out so as to minimize winter heating problems in European countries. The goals are for the sanctions to hurt Russia much more than us and the European Union. For us, it would not be as major a step as for the European countries, since we are not dependent upon Russian natural gas(but we would be susceptible to the rising gas prices caused by the Russian shortfall). And, solidarity is as important a weapon as the particular sanctions themselves.

    Trade sanctions are not much to look to: the US has little trade with Russia (anyone in the US just dying to get a Russian washing machine or vehicle?)and European countries, primarily, see Russia as a big gas station.

    A promising sanction is the financial pressure on Putin and his cronies rather than the Russian economy itself---money laundering, London and NYC luxury real estate, hidden offshore accounts.UK did freeze the accounts of some of these Russian kleptocrats as did the US. These cronies owe their positions of wealth to Putin, but they help him stay in power, too. And, after all, it is just business.
    accounts. Very possible, but there will be the


    I was just hearing one of the (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 03:19:33 PM EST
    serious talking heads, I honestly forget which one, that the effects of the Swift system is being possibly overrated.  Not only because other methods of payment exist but blocking Swift could lead to an increase in others less easy to track.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 04:32:11 PM EST
    it would be overrated if its  denial is thought of as the silver bullet, rather than as one readily available means to further complicate banking transactions.

    From what I've seen and heard, ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:49:03 AM EST
    ... everything is on the table. Nothing has been ruled out. European countries have held off banning the importation of Russian gas and petroleum, but that's likely only until some alternative source is lined up and commitments are in place to replace Russian energy imports. If I had to guess, potential big winners in that regard would be Saudi Arabia and thee U.A.E.

    We're not going to see quick changes. The hop is that change will come as the Russian economic position begins to deteriorate.



    I hope you're right (none / 0) (#20)
    by coast on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 08:37:11 PM EST
    I guess I just don't understand laying sanctions out there and not making a further statement such as "these sanctions will remain until.....".  It seems more like we're just throwing sh$t against the wall to see what sticks.

    Also, I'm not sure how "crippling" these really are.  As you point out, Russia has a relatively small economy, so sanctions should have an impact.
     However, that works both ways.  It also means it doesn't take as much to offset any sanctions and keep moving along.  Russian crude is selling for 50% more than it did a year ago, oil & gas makes up about 30% of its GDP.  I don't think I heard one country, including our own, who has said they are cutting off their purchases of Russian oil & gas.  So that alone takes the bite out the sanctions. In addition, Russia has a deep pocketed friend in China.  Xi basically gave the west the middle finger by removing import restriction on Russian wheat.  That will be another shot in the arm to Russia.  We have no idea what agreement may exist between these two countries.

    There are currently more than 30 sanction programs according to the US Treasury.  I'd bet most couldn't name more than 5 to 10 of them, and many have been in place for years.  In other words, sanctions are a mixed bag; its often hard to define success; and most, like these, seem indefinite.


    What's the alternative? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 07:10:27 AM EST
    Sanctions can be problematic, but what's the alternative?  We're not going to war in the Ukraine with another nuclear power, so apart from supporting the Ukraines and any insurgency, our option is the strongest economic sanctions we can maintain with our allies.

    For years Russia has wanted (none / 0) (#29)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 07:55:27 AM EST
    guarantees that Ukraine would not join NATO and has not gotten them, even though, as it is clear now, the West was never going to let it join. I wonder why those assurances could not have been given as part of the negotiations leading up to this war, and why they can't be part of the sanctions now, as an attempt to stop this. Any thoughts?

    (As you know, I love hearing opinions and learning new things)


    We don't let dictators ... (none / 0) (#164)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 05:13:36 PM EST
    ... tell us who (and who can't) join our economic or defense alliances.  As a fledgling democracy, Ukraine gets to decide whether they want to join the EU, NATO, etc. and those organizations get to decide whether they will be allowed to join.
     It's not rocket science.

    Biden's Russian-speaking CIA director (none / 0) (#198)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 01:30:53 PM EST
    William J Burns in 2008:

    "Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all red lines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin's sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests."

    The blinding rage to get back at 'Putin' for 2016 that's taken hold of people at this site seemingly makes ratcheting of the threat of WWIII a small price to pay.


    Possibly (none / 0) (#30)
    by coast on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 09:44:58 AM EST
    Openly encourage and admit current non-NATO countries to join, starting with Finland and expand to other non-NATO countries.

    As quickly as possible, reduce and work to eliminate purchases of Russian oil and gas by all NATO nations.

    Not just freeze bank accounts and access to cash, but seize assets of oligarchs, including homes, planes, yachts in all NATO territories.  Expel them and their families from NATO countries.  They sat there as Putin declared war, they are complicit.

    We will not put boots on the ground, but NATO can do more.


    We could expend NATO and (1.50 / 2) (#35)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:26:58 AM EST
    military force but we probably won't. We could also  expand our energy production and become less reliant on Russian and Saudi oil (but we won't). And Biden could talk to the nation without a teleprompter and explain everything more clearly.

    Teleprompter? (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:32:09 AM EST
    Can the canned digs.

    The situation is complex and explosive.  Your petty attacks not relevant.  


    You call that a petty dig (2.00 / 2) (#39)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    when this site is full of talk about traitors and an orange menace? And that is what you focus on from my comment?  I am fully serious. A more engaged public response from our leader would be helpful.

    Well, I could have focused on (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:19:04 PM EST
    your (GOP) talking point about expanding oil production.

    No, expanding our alternative energy production better.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#46)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:29:21 PM EST
    We are expanding our green energy but it takes time. In the meantime, we are buying oil from Russia and Saudia Arabia. Is this really just a GOP talking point? We are currently dependent on oil so isn't that exacerbating this current situation? Similarly, Merkel has made Germnay dependent on Russia. That must have contributed to Putin's aggression.

    Here's the thing (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 01:45:59 PM EST
    as long as we use any petrol we are going to be enriching the petrol states whomever that may be Russia, the Saudis etc. There is no such thing as energy independence where fossil fuels are concerned simply because of the way crude is put on the market by the barrel and bought by the barrel never by who the barrel is from. The only way that fossil fuel independence could actually be a thing is for all the gas companies in the US to be nationalized and not allowed to sell their crude on the open market. All crude here would stay here in that scenario. 40-50 years ago we knew that we were enriching some very bad actors with our fossil fuel dependence but we just didn't care and we have been reaping the unfortunate benefits of one political party completely financed by the fossil fuel industry. It just seems to me that now even after 9/11 we have absolutely failed to learn any lessons regarding all this.

    What I meant by independence (none / 0) (#102)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 02:11:27 PM EST
    is that we buy no or at least much less oil from other countries, especially Russia and Saudia Arabia. Buying from Canada is better. But better yet would be to produce our own energy. Green energy is best but in the meantime the less dependent on those other states, the better. We are not in a position yet to get rid of fossil fuels but we are getting better at protecting the climate. I don't think we can pretend that energy is not an issue at all in this current crisis.    

    Vladimir Putin (none / 0) (#128)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:39:25 AM EST
    wants to reconstitute the Soviet Union. That is what is behind him attacking Ukraine.

    What I meant by independence is (none / 0) (#103)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 02:19:27 PM EST
    that we buy no oil from other states, especially Russia and Saudia Arabia. Canada is better, but producing our own energy is best. We are not yet in a position to get rid of fossil fuels entirely but we are getting better at protecting the climate. I don't think we can pretend that energy has nothing to do at all in this current crisis. I wonder if we learn any lessons from history at all. But I am glad we can talk about the issues.

    "In the meantime" (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 04:57:51 PM EST
    Stupid comment.

    Drilling at will does not yield oil for many years.


    Turning on the XL pipeline (none / 0) (#110)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 06:05:31 PM EST
    would negate Russia's 595,000 barrels a day by providing 833,000 barrels as well as provide well-paying jobs.

    When? (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 06:25:49 PM EST
    Your comments are irrelevant.

    Why do you come here to spout GOP nonsense?

    The leverage Russia has is not oil or natural gas.  Those resources can easily be replaced.

    Gee, what does Russia have that gives it real leverage--and the chief reason why we do not want a direct war with it, the reason why we need to be careful?

    Don't know, do you?   You focus on a trivial GOP talking point, and miss the real issue.  


    Do you mean the fact that they control (none / 0) (#112)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 06:30:51 PM EST
    45% of the world's nuclear armaments? We have a little under that. They have leverage both because of oil and nuclear arms. I find this site interesting and I do learn things here, especially when interacting with others.

    I forgot to answer your question (none / 0) (#113)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 06:45:48 PM EST
    about when. That's a tricky question because of lawsuits against the XL pipeline and now official administration policy. With a different policy it could be implemented quite quickly. But rather than mere talking points, whether Republican or Democrat, this is an issue that matters to many people and may enter into their votes.  

    "May enter into their votes?" (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 07:13:56 PM EST
    Idiosyncratic syntax.

    Sounds like a bot.


    a more sophisticated Linea (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by leap2 on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 09:03:56 PM EST

    maybe Linnea for all (none / 0) (#122)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:11:03 AM EST
    I know. I'm watching. But unless that's confirmed, please hold off on insults.

    Someone asked me this before (none / 0) (#123)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:23:32 AM EST
    and I am not Linnea. I have no idea who that is but it sounds like that person may have been banned. I do not want to cause discord on this site. I have really liked the discussions so far and do learn things from the posts and from responding to them.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#148)
    by jmacWA on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 03:40:52 PM EST
    You are not Linnea.

    But are you Linea?

    Because as she would likely  deny because of the double n


    I love this comment. (none / 0) (#115)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 07:33:24 PM EST
    Talking about syntax, I have studied quite a bit of linguistics. But my syntax comes from many years of academic study and teaching. So this is how I communicate in writing, even here.

    MKS, I think we have said enough about this (none / 0) (#116)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 08:01:10 PM EST
    topic, although I have really enjoyed the interaction and appreciate your responses. I will stop now and wish you a good night. Best wishes to everyone.

    Most (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:21:50 AM EST
    if not all of the of the oil pumped thru that pipeline was to be shipped overseas and would only create about 30 permanent jobs.

    You pretend to have an open mind but all you do is parrot false right narratives and barf up apologies for monsters like Putin and tRump.


    Please provide links to reputable (none / 0) (#119)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 08:23:25 AM EST
    sources for this. The issues are complex and I try to learn from all sources because I am certainly no expert.

    As (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 08:37:22 AM EST
    if you ever do when you throw out your right wing talking points.

    You claim to be an educator but you seem so uneducated.


    As I've said, I haven't been able to (none / 0) (#121)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 10:10:48 AM EST
    figure out how to link things here. It comes out as the url rather than a blue link. I have just been responding to specific points as they come up. As you know, these issues are complex. As an academic I have been trained to look at different sides of an issue and that is what I try to do. I am open to your arguments and evidence. The world is not divided into right and left although too often it does seem to be. The pipeline issue is also not a simple pro or con. All of this discussion of energy has been in the context of Russia's current aggression. In a different context, the argument would be different too.

    Ladybug no one here is an expert (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:26:28 AM EST
    on Russia or the Ukraine. What is it about this site that makes you want to read the comments here? If your goal is learning more about the issues, surely there are better places for you to learn.  We are not presenting facts or evidence here. We are stating our opinions. (We back them up with links we find persuasive or interesting or factual). This site is not intended to educate anyone on issues other than crime. This site is not here to educate anyone on issues other than crime.

    I'm starting to doubt your sincerity. As an academic, surely you can figure out how to post a link -- there is a link symbol at the top of the comment box next to the "B" and "I" and "U". Click on it and insert your link.


    if you are using a MAC (none / 0) (#125)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:28:33 AM EST
    the chirons above the comment box might not appear. In which case, please google how to properly insert a url and make sure you hit "preview" first to see that it worked. Thank you.

    Yes, I have been frustrated about the links, (none / 0) (#130)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:54:02 AM EST
    I have a PC and when I use that link icon and I put in the URL and it only comes out like this:
    If I hit the quotes icon it comes out like this:
    Delegations from Kyiv and Moscow met in Belarus, even as Ukraine said dozens were killed in a Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.
    At school, I can talk to the tech people by phone for computer issues.  
    I am sincerely curious about different opinions and respect the opinions of people on this site. I do not do social media at all. I am just learning how people with different opinions think about things and where they get information. I know I have a lot to learn.

    Go to comment #129 (none / 0) (#131)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:56:26 AM EST
    How To Link: (none / 0) (#129)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:53:45 AM EST
    Write something.

    Highlight a word or sentence in what you wrote.

    Copy the url you want to link to.

    Click the "Link" icon between the underlined "U" and the "Envelope" icons.

    Paste the url into the box that appears.

    Click "OK."

    (Optional: Click the "Preview" button.)

    Click "Post."


    OK. Here goes (none / 0) (#132)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:06:12 PM EST
    I am inserting a link from NYT.

    I was not highlighting so (none / 0) (#133)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:07:38 PM EST
    that was the problem. Now I will try a quote.
    Highlight a word or sentence in what you wrote.
    Copy the url you want to link to.
    Click the "Link" icon between the underlined "U" and the "Envelope" icons.
    Paste the url into the box that appears.
    Click "OK."

    I highlighted the quote (none / 0) (#134)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:08:30 PM EST
    but how do you get the indented quote with a blue line?

    I have no idea what that is

    They (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:21:56 PM EST
    are not sending their best.

    You just cannot stop the insults can you? (none / 0) (#140)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    I have not had need to do links before. This is new for me.

    It is a red line. (none / 0) (#137)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:19:01 PM EST
    CapnHowdy's latest post has an example.

    I will try doing the link again.


    If you click the "Quote" icon (none / 0) (#141)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:35:36 PM EST
    to the right of the "Envelope" icon, you'll get this: < blockquote >< /blockquote > (without the spaces).

    If you paste something < blockquote >HERE< /blockquote > what you pasted will get the red line and indentation.


    OK (none / 0) (#142)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:38:10 PM EST
    I will try it again
    If you paste something < blockquote >HERE< /blockquote > what you pasted will get the red line and indentation.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#143)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:39:07 PM EST
    I have never had to do this before. I appreciate your patience. Now it is easy.

    Your NYT link did not work (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:13:02 PM EST
    This is a test. (none / 0) (#138)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 12:21:52 PM EST
    Sorry about two posts. (none / 0) (#104)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 02:21:27 PM EST
    My computer glitched and I tried to rewrite what I wrote, thinking it was gone.

    I already (none / 0) (#127)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 11:37:47 AM EST
    explained that the way energy markets are constructed this is impossible. As long as we use fossil fuels we will continue to fund bad actors.

    Yes, I'm not sure I understood that point. (none / 0) (#144)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 01:02:50 PM EST
    My thinking was that we could produce and even sell our own oil rather than buy it from Saudia Arabia or Russia. We do need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and we are getting better. But there is a tradeoff between having the energy we need and important environmental concerns. Now in the context of Germany's dependence on Russian gas, energy security is being emphasized, but I don't see it as just a talking point.

    Once oil (none / 0) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 03:29:30 PM EST
    goes on the open market there is no control as to what country gets it. What you are advocating for is a Venezuela type situation where the government controls the means of production and distribution.

    Thanks for explaining your point. (none / 0) (#154)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:10:52 PM EST
    We are already producing most of our oil and getting more from Canada and Mexico. What I was wondering is if we could lessen our dependence on Russia and Saudia Arabia, which is an even smaller amount.  Even that small amount could add to the curent concerns about inflation.

    I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing, but I appreciate your patience with me.  


    I am wondering about how we buy oil (none / 0) (#156)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:21:58 PM EST
    not sell it. We produce most of our own energy but we still buy it. If we produced more, we could buy less.

    I'm thinking about what you said. (none / 0) (#158)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:47:11 PM EST
    I think you mean that we will always buy the cheapest oil on the market. So until we can produce oil that is both good for the environment and less costly than buying it we will always depend on someone else.

    I meant produce oil in a way that (none / 0) (#159)
    by ladybug on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:48:48 PM EST
    is good for the environment, or better for the environment than other ways.

    Nope (none / 0) (#49)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:55:06 PM EST
    Not menace. Crime boss. (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:21:12 PM EST
    And full on traitor

    Disagree (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:11:39 PM EST
    I meant expand (none / 0) (#37)
    by ladybug on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:28:10 AM EST
    It could (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 10:02:36 AM EST
    And a lot of this is already in progress or discussion. I was just listening to talk of Finland and Sweden joining NATO.  And at least the Swift system looks like it might happen sooner than anyone thought.

    More needs to be done.  Agreed.


    Those aren't alternatives (none / 0) (#165)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 05:18:05 PM EST
    They're more sanctions, some of which are already being done.  So I guess your questions isn't "what is the objective of the sanctions?", so much as you want more sanctions from other countries?

    Putin is rattling nuclear saber (none / 0) (#17)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 07:38:24 PM EST
    Bringing the nukes out in public, etc.  Threatening Sweden and Finland if they join NATO.

    Not sure Putin is all that together.....

    I'd watch this guy for super irrational reactions to less than great results from his standpoint in Ukraine.

    A conventional war in Europe over the Baltic States or Poland not out the realm of possibility.

    And, who knows if Putin just loses it.....


    Long nurtured greivance (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 07:41:17 PM EST
    over a humiliating national defeat.  A twisted leader with absolute power....

    I do not like the similarities.....


    I never thought (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 25, 2022 at 08:02:27 PM EST
    Brezhnev was crazy......

    Leonid Brezhnev was not crazy. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:14:34 AM EST
    Brezhnev was a hardliner, to be sure, but he was also quite pragmatic. On October 14, 1964 he and Alexei Kosygin orchestrated the forced retirement of Nikita Khrushchev from power by the Presidium and that Central Committee, because he considered the man a destabilizing and erratic element.

    Brezhnev was already wary of Khrushchev's aggressive efforts to reform the U.S.S.R.'s decrepit Stalinist-era socialist economy. But the Cuban Missile Crisis two years prior frankly alarmed Brezhnev, who thought the U.S.S.R. had been humiliated by Khrushchev's ill-advised showdown with President Kennedy.



    I don't see any way Russia (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:21:06 PM EST

    The challenge seems to be in preventing Putin from doing something nuclear when reality sets in for him. With tanks racing to set up new frontlines he doesn't seem to be there yet.


    If Russia attacks NATO members, ... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:34:56 AM EST
    ... then it will likely lose very badly and Putin will be destined either for the criminal docket in The Hague or a death by his own hand or that of his own once-(semi)trusted cronies and subordinates, who will be seeking to curry favor with the West and somehow mitigate their own obvious guilt. See Ceaușescu, Nicolae (1918-1989).

    And he would (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 06:02:29 AM EST
    allow that to happen without using the nukes?

    Medvedev (none / 0) (#36)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:27:19 AM EST
    threatening the withdrawal of Russia from the nuclear arms control treaties.....apparently aimed at preventing the exclusion of Russia from SWIFT.

    Somebody had better be thinking long and hard just beyond the Ukraine or defending Poland or the Baltic states.

    Been reading the new potboiler, part vintage Tom Clancy, part Danielle Steele, by Ken Follett, Never.  It has China and Korea as the antagonists, but substitute Russia, and there we are.



    I just heard (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 10:14:41 AM EST
    people are throwing bicycles in front of tanks to foul them up.

    Not sure what's more amazing about that, that people are actually doing it or that it seems to work, at least sometimes.

    And, the guy who did that (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 11:22:13 AM EST
    actually stood and then kneeled in front of the tank, stopping it--at least temporarily.

    If the people of Ukraine fight like this, they have a chance.

    The Russians do not have enough troops to occupy Ukraine and maybe not even Kyiv.

    One former general said that of the 180,000 or so Russian Troops, only perhaps 70,000 are actually infantry or combat troops.  By way of comparison, NYC has about 50,000 cops, and Kyiv is the size of Chicago.

    So, if the people will fight, the Ukrainians may prevail.


    Taking Kyiv (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:57:37 PM EST
    with the Zelensky government still in place significantly adds to the Russian's problem.

    Just saw a Facebook video (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:16:34 PM EST
    of a Ukrainian civilian driving down a highway and stopping to talk to a Russian tank crew heading in the opposite direction.

    The tank is stopped and the Ukrainian asks if they are broken down.  The Russians say they are out of gas, and say they have no idea where they are going.
    The Ukrainian asks if they want a lift back to Russia.

    Running out of gas.  Shades of the Panzers at the Battle of the Bulge.  


    Yes, they are throwing Molotov cocktails (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:43:14 PM EST
    And (none / 0) (#48)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:54:31 PM EST
    Hmm, wrong link (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    But it was from the Twitter feed of the Kyiv Independent.

    I think Mr Putin (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    has made himself a big shite sandwich

    He's in trouble (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 01:07:07 PM EST
    This is going to finish him.

    There is a law (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:11:17 PM EST
    against assassination of foreign heads of state...

    But there has got to be a way to try to "capture" him a la' Eichmann.  

    And, hopefully we have some super spies working Putin's associates....can someone internally stop this guy?  Get his finger off the button.


    nobody stopped (none / 0) (#69)
    by leap2 on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:22:56 PM EST
    our homegrown orange traitor, I don't have much hope any of our spies could do something about the orange traitor's puppeteer.

    I believe that under international law precedent (none / 0) (#70)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:24:45 PM EST
    sitting heads of state have a certain degree of (temporary) immunity from enforcement measures vis a vis war crimes etc., unless and until a state of war exists between the pertinent nation states.

    Here is the tank out of gas video (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:29:39 PM EST
    Better transcript (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:43:03 PM EST
    better transcript of tank out of gas>

    This is just amazing. Some guy just driving around in a car taunting the Russian soldiers.


    These street signs (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:56:25 PM EST
    changed to confuse the Russians.

    I have to laugh...so far, the spirits of the people are strong.

    Basically, the new signs say some version of eff you or eff you back to Russia.


    Street sign photoshopped, not real (none / 0) (#80)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 04:27:45 PM EST
    don't you figure?

    Hmm, they (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 04:30:12 PM EST
    really didn't have time to fabricate professional looking signs like that, so....

    Our extended family in Poland (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:15:02 PM EST
    Telling us that at any time they expect Russia will use electronic warfare to take Ukraine offline. The war crimes will not be televised. Good luck Ukraine.

    Facebook and Twitter (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:27:32 PM EST
    Are now blocked.

    in Russia

    That kind of reeks of desperation.


    Yeah, that will work! (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 02:32:28 PM EST

    https:/www.theverge.com > russia-f...
    Russia partially blocks Facebook for fact-checking state-owned media - The Verge
    1 day ago -- The Russian government has partially blocked access to Facebook in the country after it claims the social network "restricted" the accounts ...

    https:/www.theverge.com > russia-b...
    Russia blocks Twitter as Ukraine invasion escalates - The Verge
    8 hours ago -- As fighting continues in Kyiv, Russia has blocked its citizens from access to Twitter in an apparent effort by President Vladimir Putin to ...

    Don't want protests organizing (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:23:41 PM EST
    This is really a shitty moment

    But this is a losing battle (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 03:32:10 PM EST
    You can't really keep information from people.  At least not in Russia.  Maybe North K.

    Putin's War Ushers in Crisis for Russia
    February 26, 2022 at 1:41 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 49 Comments

    "President Vladimir Putin has ushered in a crisis for his country -- in its economy and identity," the New York Times reports.

    "The Kremlin is hiding the reality of the country's attack on Ukraine from its own people, even cracking down on news outlets that call it a `war.'"

    "But the economic carnage and societal turmoil wrought by Mr. Putin's invasion is becoming increasingly difficult to obscure."

    Soldiers are dying.  They have families and friends.  This wont work for long.  Then what?


    Desperation (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 07:55:41 AM EST
    is not just a book by Stephen King

    The Kremlin today announced that "the provision of any assistance to a foreign state" during the "military operation" would be considered treason, carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

    Julia Ioffe, one of the smartest observers of this, just said a scary thing.  Discussing what a desperate Putin might do.  She said he might just start carpet bombing.

    Surely that would even give China pause.


    The Taliban (none / 0) (#83)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 05:04:01 PM EST
    have critiqued Purim's war. Gee, Puty, when you have lost the Taliban....   You might , just maybe, lose The Former Guy.  Nah!  

    No way Putin will lose his best asset the FG. (none / 0) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 26, 2022 at 06:10:54 PM EST
    I think I read that the FG has over 900 million reasons to love Putin and his rich comrades.

    He offered a rather mealy mouthed (none / 0) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 07:56:50 AM EST
    backpedal.  I expect he was hearing from the enablers.

    NATO and the EU (none / 0) (#93)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 11:09:01 AM EST
    are freezing Russian assets.  TFG had better get long underwear and a fur coat.

    Elon Musk has fixed the issue (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 08:59:47 AM EST
    Of Russia using electronic warfare to take Ukraine offline. He has activated something called Starlink over Ukraine?

    Starlink is a satellite internet system (none / 0) (#89)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 09:50:30 AM EST
    that can't be disrupted by gvmts--this is a great move by Musk to thwart Russian misinformation and help Ukraine get out the truth. Elon Musk is also leading the green energy movement but is being hampered by legislation in California.    

    Musk may need to be hampered (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 10:53:11 AM EST
    in his disregard for the consequences of his actions. Water shortages are no laughing matter.

    Elon Musk dismissed claims that Tesla's German Gigafactory will suck up too much water, but experts say there's not enough to go around

    Elon Musk last year laughed at suggestions that Tesla's new factory in Germany would take too much water from local supply, but a continued decline in water levels could now delay the plant's development, Bloomberg reported.

    Groundwater levels in the Brandenburg area have been dropping for the past three decades because of climate change, and the region has experienced droughts in each of the last four years, Bloomberg reported. That means there wouldn't be enough water for residents when Tesla scales up its factory, experts and local authorities told the newswire.

    I guess Germany can shut down both the coal (none / 0) (#95)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 11:18:46 AM EST
    companies and TESLA but they will just need more Russian gas. Brandenburg Coal uses 171 times more water than TESLA. I think Musk is doing what he can to reduce water usage, but what is the alternative for electric cars?

    A false equivalency (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 12:29:05 PM EST
    It really isn't an either or situation.

    Electric cars can be built in areas that are not experiencing water shortages. The production of electric cars will not be eliminated if Musk is not allowed to deprive ordinary citizens of the water they need to survive.

    Musk wants to build his factory in Germany to complete with Volkswagen for the electric car market. Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMV have all set goals to increase their production of EVs significantly. Germany can get electric cars without having plants built in locations that are already experiencing drought conditions.


    Every use of "or" is not a false (none / 0) (#98)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 12:45:07 PM EST
    equivalency, but do you dispute that Germany needs Russian gas? Of course TESLA competes with other companies. Musk went to Brandenburg because there were already car companies there and he could get a permit more easily. TESLA uses much less water than the other car companies do (Google Fortune magazine..I don't know how to embed links). California is also experiencing water shortages but the problem here is high taxes. On everything.  

    California taxes (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 01:10:42 PM EST
    Really hasn't got anything to do with Musk building his plant in an area that has experienced drought conditions for years. The fact that Germany currently needs Russian gas is not the point either since there are numerous other companies producing EVs now and in the years to come. Whether or not Tesla uses less water than other car companies is irrelevant if their usage exceeds the amount of water supply needed to support the needs of the local population.Tesla had the opportunity to choose the environmentally prudent option of building somewhere where water is not an issue. Musk choose not to do so.

    California has experienced drought conditions (none / 0) (#100)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 01:26:08 PM EST
    for many years but that is not why Tesla has difficulties here. Taxes are. Tesla was invited to build in Brandenburg, per the Washington Post:
    "For the energy minister for Brandenburg state, Jörg Steinbach, who was instrumental in luring Tesla to the area, the site was an ideal one. It had already been zoned for industrial use for the construction of a BMW plant, which ended up being built farther south. It is flanked by both a railway track and a highway, and near a border with Poland, where it's expected to draw some of its workforce...a survey last year that found 82 percent of Brandenburg residents supported the Gigafactory, which is expected to create 12,000 jobs in its first phase."

    As you say, it is not a false equivalency. People will have water and they will have greener energy too.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 09:56:56 AM EST
    it will also help keep at least some Russians informed.  The crackdown on information inside Russia is escalating by the hour.

    I expect he will so the same (none / 0) (#91)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 10:04:01 AM EST
    for Russia. This is a great move and welcome news after the new talk about Putin readying nuclear arms.

    It's (none / 0) (#94)
    by FlJoe on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 11:09:46 AM EST
    all PR unless he ships thousands of ground stations
    The system does not directly connect from its satellites to handsets (like the constellations from Iridium, Globalstar, Thuraya and Inmarsat). Instead, it is linked to flat user terminals the size of a pizza box, which will have phased array antennas and track the satellites. The terminals can be mounted anywhere, as long as they can see the sky.[154] This includes fast-moving objects like trains.[167] Photographs of the customer antennas were first seen on the internet in June 2020, supporting earlier statements by SpaceX CEO Musk that the terminals would look like a "UFO on a stick. Starlink Terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky".[168] The antenna is known internally as "Dishy McFlatface".[169][170]
    per WIKI.

    Yes, I guess I was too (none / 0) (#96)
    by ladybug on Sun Feb 27, 2022 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    optimistic about Russia getting it too because I was happy to get some good news for once. Perhaps the Russian people could find a way to sneak those into the country too if this thing continues and escalates. But Ukraine will get them.

    Blonde throws Molotov cockctail (none / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 01:42:34 PM EST
    at Russian armor from passenger seat of car.


    That link did not work for me (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 01:48:27 PM EST
    but I'm curious "Blond throws bomb from car" ....

    Did they roll down the window first?


    Try this (none / 0) (#150)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:03:43 PM EST
    That's (none / 0) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:05:55 PM EST
    hard core

    Right? (none / 0) (#157)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:22:52 PM EST
    It looks like both the woman in the front seat and the man in the back seat got burning gas/alcohol/whatever on themselves.

    Just brushed it off and kept on keeping on.


    One for the laugh-or-cry (none / 0) (#199)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 01:40:05 PM EST
    category: by claiming it's a picture of a Ukrainian girl, the online rabble is now trying to make 'viral' a photo of a little girl on the West Bank throwing a punch at an IDF soldier.

    Very helpful (2.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 03:46:04 PM EST
    to know the hair color.

    Well, it did stand (none / 0) (#152)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:06:18 PM EST
    out, and made it clear it was a woman.  But make it about ethnicity if you will.

    Something (none / 0) (#153)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:07:48 PM EST
    seems hinky about this war, it seems like the Russians don't have their heart in it.

    Like where is the Russian airforce? They were showing signs of air superiority for the first day or so but now they have seemed to disappeared and only a few have been reported shot down.

    Where are the cyber attacks, as far as I can tell the  were no successful cyber attacks on vital infrastructure, why is the electrical grid running in any case?.

    I just saw some generals (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:19:07 PM EST
    talking about how the Russians were doing really stupid things.  Like giving away their position to be shot at or captured.  They were saying, just reporting here, they seem really badly trained.  

    They said some of the Russian soldiers captured seemed to honestly have no idea why they were being shot at.  Plus all the other crazy stories about running out of gas and breaking down.

    We know they say there's really two different Russian armys.  The conscripts and the mercs.  

    If I was speculating maybe Putn sends in the "Cannon fodder" conscripts with no support or leadership so they get slaughtered and justifies sending in the shock troops

    As you say, hinky.  We all know this is not the real Russian army.  We have seen them perform fairly recently.

    About the cyber.  I suspect they are worried what might happen to them if they did.

    They are saying any major cyber attack would spill over into one of several NATO countries.  Article 5. We would bring Russia to it's knees.  And we could.


    As crazy as it sounds (none / 0) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:13:46 PM EST
    Even with a 40 mile military convoy on its way to Kyiv, Putin has no chance of taking Ukraine. Everything Russia is moving in is being monitored closely. Ukranian forces will hit some tonight. What makes it through and sets up is doomed. If you are facing Kyiv your backside is open to attack. Russia is surrounded by enemy fighters in Ukraine.

    I don't doubt that (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:18:32 PM EST
    But Putin has so much he could do before losing.  I just posted the description of death by thermobaric bomb.  They are in country.  Among who knows what else.

    I think Putin has lost it and the old rules about what could happen just don't apply.  


    We have watched the TOS roll in (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:49:20 PM EST
    I didn't know what it was prior to the fights with ISIL.

    My husband was awarded TRADOC instructor of the year for completely rewriting target ID for USARMY flight school. He chose to do that all by himself too.

    What happened was my husband was slotted for a teaching spot in Combined Arms at Ft Rucker. This would pull him off the flight line, and he would probably never deploy to fly an Apache again if he spent 2 yrs teaching.

    At first he was furious, he came home after his briefing for the slot and told me he would be back on flight line in two weeks. Whatever man, I get it, you must fly.

    Then he went over the curriculum. He came home and told me that the class was so bad, so outdated, that the only thing it could do was get people killed who you weren't supposed to kill.

    The USSR was falling apart then. And he made friends with folks in the satellite countries who provided him with photos and descriptions of everything Russian. I live with an expert on Russian military hardware.

    He saw a TOSS that Russia rolled into Iraq and he said that's the end of ISIL. And it was.

    He has been watching The film footage of the equipment being rolled into Ukraine. They rolled a TOS in on the first day, they just haven't used it yet. Understand though that Ukranian forces see it too. They know what it is.


    What is a TOSS/TOS? (none / 0) (#183)
    by leap2 on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 09:30:52 PM EST

    Wiki (none / 0) (#186)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 06:28:48 AM EST
    oh, that's lovely. (none / 0) (#187)
    by leap2 on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 07:31:59 AM EST

    Here is (none / 0) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 07:37:21 AM EST
    Used already (none / 0) (#191)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 11:12:50 AM EST
    Military target, going to be hard (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 11:54:21 AM EST
    To nail them with a war crime for that.

    Unconfirmed report that Ukraine has confiscated one TOS-1 now. Many more Russian soldiers surrendering and handing their military equipment over without firing a single shot. I have read that Ukraine is offering them 43,000 euro and asylum for their surrender.


    This is pretty good (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    stuck in the mud? (none / 0) (#196)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 01:04:53 PM EST
    The west should match it (none / 0) (#193)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 12:04:32 PM EST
    great idea.

    You know what I haven't done? (5.00 / 3) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:55:07 PM EST
    I haven't asked him how you kill a TOSS and what the expected blow back could be. He on a Zoom, as soon as he's done I'll ask and get back to you.

    That would be interesting info. (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:05:34 PM EST
    I'll check back again to see what he responds.

    Okay Capt, from the horse's mouth (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:09:51 PM EST
    You could take out a TOSS with anything from an rpg to larger (all things Ukrainian forces have). He would hit the base of the vehicle, but you could go for the turret too.

    There is a big difference between an armed TOSS and the rockets just cooking off. So lighting it up doesn't arm them to fire and everyone 100 meters away is probably safe.

    But that isn't to say hitting the TOSS won't arm one of the missiles, he has seen a tow missile hit a battery and set an armed rocket off before.


    Isn't that thing with ISIL (none / 0) (#177)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:15:35 PM EST
    one of the not times it's been used?  I think I heard that.

    Also I think using it on ISIL and using it on white Europeans will, right or wrong, have a very different response.


    Yes, and that will piss Jeralyn off (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:19:40 PM EST
    Everyone hated ISIL so the world gave it pass when Russia rolled it in after Obama left Iraq. We said nothing. We saw nothing. Well, except for my husband.

    One of the ONLY times (none / 0) (#178)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:16:28 PM EST
    The (none / 0) (#160)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 04:56:59 PM EST
    cannon fodder stratagem is stupid unless you very quickly follow up with your real force. Putin crossed the Rubicon 5 days ago he is way past needing an excuse.

    It is stupid if .... (none / 0) (#162)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 05:09:03 PM EST
    which is why everyone is talking about the next 48-72 hours.

    I do not agree he is "past needing an excuse" to kill thousands of civilians.  IMO he has not done that because understands what it would mean for him.

    He wanted them to kill the conscripts not allow them to call their mothers.


    FWIW (none / 0) (#180)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:41:39 PM EST
    I read where Putin didn't tell these guys they were going into a war. They thought it was just a military exercise. So they were totally stunned by the attacks. Of course with the way things have been going I have no idea if that is true or not.

    Twitter (none / 0) (#181)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 08:02:44 PM EST
    Switzerland breaks neutrality... (none / 0) (#166)
    by desertswine on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 06:09:05 PM EST
    Will Freeze Russian Assets , in Response to War in Ukraine. Switzerland's president, Ignazio Cassis, announced the freeze on Feb. 28. The announcement follows a meeting of the Swiss Federal Council in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among the 367 Russian individuals whose assets will be frozen are Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail V. Mishustin, . and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov. The 367 individuals singled out by the Swiss Federal Council mirrors those who have been sanctioned by the E.U., as well. According to Swiss data, Russian assets in Switzerland equated to $11 billion in 2020.


    Unanticipated consequences (none / 0) (#176)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 28, 2022 at 07:13:20 PM EST
    I'm not sure that anyone would have guessed that the Swiss would break neutrality after all the years that they have resisted doing so.

    The best outcome would be if the wealthy powers that be in Russia, seeing their wealth diminish substantially, decide to give Putin some of the medicine that he is so famous for dishing out.


    "Yes, he would." (none / 0) (#189)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 08:37:26 AM EST
    -- Former national security council official Fiona Hill, quoted by Politico, on whether Vladimir Putin would use nuclear weapons

    Don't forget (none / 0) (#190)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 08:41:40 AM EST
    Former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev responded with an ominous warning to a French comment that Europe was going to wage "total economic and financial war" against Russia.

    Said Medvedev: "Don't forget that in human history, economic wars quite often turned into real ones."

    Stopping the Russians (none / 0) (#194)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 12:50:41 PM EST
    But it is (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 01:19:56 PM EST
    too much for some Republicans to wear masks and get vaccinated to stop a pandemic.

    Ukraine: (none / 0) (#200)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 01, 2022 at 02:12:03 PM EST