Ukraine-Russia Crisis Thread

Actually agree with this, although with an asterisk - it’s not quite as straightforward as a “Western nationalists want A/Eastern Russian speakers want B” demographic split.

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Oh yeah, for sure.

I am shocked to find myself agreeing with the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins, of all people.

Any reasonable observer would see Minsk as a practical and fair way out of this crisis. It has largely been blocked by a Kyiv regime that has long feared Donbas’s pro-Russian sentiment and resisted its “home rule”. Recognise the autonomy of the Donbas region, Putin says, and he will withdraw. He cannot want to keep 100,000 troops mobilised on the Donbas border indefinitely, any more than he can seriously fear a western army storming east across Ukraine.

At that point, the realpolitik of power comes on stage. It is inconceivable that Nato, in the shape of the US and Britain, would confront Russian battle lines in Donbas. Germany and France would have no part in it. Nor do the US and Britain have the necessary troops. They have the threat of missile barrages, but without logistical support these merely sow destruction.

Moreover, Britain has no obligation to defend Ukraine. Nor does it have an obligation to deter or confront what appears to be an imminent Russian attack. The country has no alliance with Ukraine. Ukraine is not a member of Nato. And Britain has no significant means of influencing the outcome of a battle on the ground. For these reasons, it should stay well out of the situation.

There is a tendency on the left to think, “well, maybe this time we can offer military aid/intervention and it won’t work out as badly as it always has”. I am very much a hardline isolationist in this respect, because all we ever have to offer is an indiscriminate bombing campaign and arms shipments to the most reactionary forces in whatever region we’re interfering in. We have no business involving ourselves in an affair that has nothing to do with us at all.

What I hope (perhaps naively) is that Germany and France/the EU can work with Ukraine and Russia to resolve this. It would send a pretty clear message that the days of US/UK-led “diplomacy” are coming to an end and perhaps offer a new model for others to follow.

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This build-up is only going one way, and if there’s a diplomacy-based climbdown for now based on Ukraine ceding the Donbas to administrations that are autonomous in name only, where next would “resist” against the “home rule”? The Russian-speaking folks near the Transnistria border in Odesa Oblast? The Rusyn-speakers in Zakarpattia who the Kremlin - and Hungary, through the passport operation at their embassy in Berehove and active interference in the 2019 elections - have openly been trying to woo in recent years? (Recent Ukrainian language laws have been poor to Rusyn and the region still has strong memories of the succession efforts from the early '90s.)

I recognise that this is using the royal “we”, I’m going to be more sensitive about this due to having family on the ground, and I get the sentiment based on not trusting our own government to manage…anything, but it stings.

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Not sure on the translation of this, but the gist seems interesting

I feel awful for you, I can only imagine how worried you must be right now. But this:

The Russian-speaking folks near the Transnistria border in Odesa Oblast? The Rusyn-speakers in Zakarpattia who the Kremlin - and Hungary, through the passport operation at their embassy in Berehove, interference in the 2019 elections - have openly been trying to woo in recent years?

…is all the more reason not to get involved. I doubt there are, what, two ministers in the entire Tory government who even know about any of this beyond vague awareness. And so I don’t think we should be glibly riding tanks around for photo ops and talking up “consequences” for Russia.

I appreciate this completely. But I remember our intervention in Syria, and in Libya. Each time we armed and supported the most reactionary forces because they were the only ones who were willing to fight, and they would also handily keep those states destabilised and easy to exploit. I don’t want my country arming the nazis embedded in Ukraine’s military structure, like Azov Battalion, and I simply don’t accept that Ukraine is worth starting WW3 over.

Basically, I have seen lots of people comparing this to appeasing Hitler in WW2 but actually it’s closer to WW1, in that it’s entirely a war of choice on the West’s part, one that is utterly pointless and bound to lead to unimaginable human suffering.

weren’t the us previously funding azov for a while too? i guess any funding to ukraine military likely ends up in the hands of old azov members as well?

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I work for a company with HQ in America but that was started in Belarus, and I have loads of colleagues there, Ukraine and Russia. Things are getting pretty tense on internal forums. A lot of my Ukrainian colleagues are scared but very defiant.

hmmm

While the US and UK are itching for a war, this Ukrainian is saying Western scaremongering and threat amplification is not helping Ukraine.

I dunno, I can’t help but think that in some way, the (soon to be?) invading country may have to shoulder a small portion of the blame.

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Dubya’s “I’m a War President” clip but with Biden’s head on him etc.

Yes, and we have no business getting involved and potentially transforming it into a broader conflict. Ergo this war is a war of choice for us.

Not sure isolationism has necessarily a much better history than getting involved.

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When has the West actually attempted isolationism post-WW2.

I think The Cold War has to be seen as its own specific part of history, but I’m not really sure I can easily answer your question as I don’t have an exhaustive list of conflicts.

Edit: it’s not that I am saying getting involved is a good thing, I am just very wary of thinking “we shouldn’t get involved” is any sort of strategy itself, rather it feels like an abdication of responsibility.

Important surely to note the distinction between sending troops to countries you’re in a formal military alliance with to demonstrate resolve/intent and sending them to the country under threat of occupation, which surely has absolutely zero chance of happening.

Isn’t that exactly what is happening though? Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

There aren’t any troops being deployed to Ukraine are there? Weapons yes, but not troops. Unless I’ve missed something.