JolobinSmokin: I read this in a Thomas Friedman column so take it as you will, but If Putin was so strong why are his supporters wearing masks?It seems like his position and what he is trying is from a place of complete weakness and only projecting strength but with hollow weights.
tinyarena: JolobinSmokin: I read this in a Thomas Friedman column so take it as you will, but If Putin was so strong why are his supporters wearing masks?It seems like his position and what he is trying is from a place of complete weakness and only projecting strength but with hollow weights.Let me run it down for you:Russia lost Ukraine by offering them a $15B trade deal, when it should have been about $50B. This pissed off the people of Ukraine who realized they could get a better deal from the West. They tossed out the pro-Russian government. From this point it all goes down-hill for Russia.Now Ukraine is getting$18B from the IMF$15B from the EU$1B from the USA$3B from the World Bank$37B TotalNext: Russia realized that Ukraine would probably void Russia's lease on Sevastopol and other Russian bases in the Ukraine. So they quickly invaded Ukraine and took over the Crimean Peninsula. They had to act fast before Ukraine's new government got organized enough to protect their own territory. Russia knew there would be a backlash from the West, but they really had no choice.At this point it's too late for any further invasions by Russia. Ukraine is getting better organized with each day that passes. Ukraine is using Western Intelligence services and Western Advisers to coordinate their response to the invasion. Russia's economy has stalled and is being hurt. More invasions won't work. And they still have no land-bridge to the Crimean Peninsula.Putin knows he can't support the separatists. That would cause even more, harsher trade sanctions. But if he doesn't look strong at home he could lose his job. Putin is in a dilly-of-a-pickle
kbronsito: if you bluff and win, you still win.Although my best estimations on this is that it seems its gonna be a short term win and not a long term... for Russia. For Putin it may be a full win. He gets to look tough at home and now any economic problems he can blame on the West whether they stem from the sanctions or not. He's going to ride this nationalist wave for a while thanks to all of this. It allows him to create enemies to consolidate power.
RINO: Wasn't it reported that one of the first actions taken by the interim government was to assure Russia that their leases (through ~2040 iirc) were still good?
Wessoman: Simply put, the Eastern Ukrainians want to be part of Russia and want Putin to act, and are even going ahead with their referendum. External factors have now forced his hand, and he's lost control of the entire situation.
Summercat: 70% of Eastern Ukraine, according to source upthread, wants to stay in Ukraine.
Grahor: Summercat: 70% of Eastern Ukraine, according to source upthread, wants to stay in Ukraine.Absolutely. But a significant part of those 70% wants to stay in Ukraine and yet "be separate". Hell if I know how they are planning to achieve that, but "not being ruled by thieves in Kiev" is a big part of what even those who want to stay in Ukraine want.Funny thing is Western Ukraine wants the same, so they are going to get it (serious decentralization). Although with economic and political situation Ukraine is now Putin doesn't have to hurry. There would be opportunities to eat up Ukraine in future aplenty.
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