The Volokh Conspiracy

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The War in Ukraine, III

The brutal attack on Ukraine, alas, continues

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Alert readers will recall that about a month ago, a few days after the Russians invaded Ukraine, I predicted (and placed a $50 wager with a willing Commenter) [here] that the war would be over and the Russians on their way out of Ukraine by the first of April.

Obviously, I've lost my bet. Russian forces are still in Ukraine, and the war rages on.

I was optimistic last week, with the news that the Russians were pulling their forces from western Ukraine and the area around Kyiv, that the two sides appeared to be close to a negotiated settlement, and that Putin announced that he would be willing to meet with Zelensky once the terms of a completed draft agreement had been settled on. Unfortunately, those hopeful signs have not borne fruit - though I am still optimistic, or at least hopeful, that while my timing may have been off the ultimate outcome will nonetheless be as predicted, and that the end will come sooner rather than later.

NEXT: Military Federalism and State Sovereign Immunity

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  1. I do not see this ending anytime soon, although I hope that I am wrong.

    The sadly unsurprising revelations of Russian brutality and atrocities will not doubt continue. There will be ongoing and rising demands in the West for justice against the perpetrators- mostly, Putin.

    Perhaps there is an off-ramp. But increasingly, Putin has put himself in this situation, and by ignoring the easy exits early, is in a place where he cannot win, and cannot afford to lose.

    1. I know the effect of law school on intelligent, ethical young people. So I forgive the dipshit lawyers here.

      Again, why are Putin and his oiligarchs alive? $Trillions in breakage, 10's of 1000's of death on both side for no reason. Why is Putin still alive? Why? He is immunized by the lawyer traitors at the highest levels of government. Maybe they should be arrested, and the torment can end immediately. Beyond the direct effects of the war, millions will die from starvation as food supply is less, and as inflation makes people live on the edge of survival fail.

      1. I suspect Putin remaining in power has more to do with the national guard (basically a combined military and police force) being extremely loyal to him.

        1. Ukraine can send a drone to his window. They have full legal justification. We can claim clean hands. Just supply the equipment, and say we know nothing.

      2. Imbecilic incel inveighs.

        1. Hi, Queenie. I really missed you. Have you been busy? Are you looking for a job? Count on me for enthusiastic support. What is your self identified race if I may ask?

        2. Hi, Queenie. Zero tolerance for Putin sympathizers. Do not be a Putin sympathizers.

      3. Dictators don't need lawyers within their own countries.

        1. Yet they still have them, and still cloak their decrees as legislation.

        2. Putin is a lawyer, of course. He is an able practitioner of lawfare. Make rubble 2 in your business, now there is something wrong with your paper work. The problem could land you in Russian prison. So you agree to a plea, give Putin half your profits. Solves your problems.

          1. This is called rent seeking. Pay, get nothing of value save being left alone. If Putin is sucking up half the Russian economy for his enrichment and that of his oiligarchs, that is terrible. The take for the American lawyer is a $trillion a year, same result. Take the money at the point of a gun, return nothing of value, save not going to jail. Same remedy for both. Drones.

    2. Anti-naziism, or Anti-fascism if you will isn't pretty, but of course has to be done.
      /Sarc of course but it certainly illustrates the concept of our violence is justified because we are against the bad guys.

      I actually found my self in the middle of a Pro-Putin, pro-Russian demonstration in Belgrade last Wednesday, but I had no idea what they were demonstrating for or against at the time, all the signs were in Serbian, they weren't trying to attract any western sympathies.

      Of course NATO bombed Belgrade and killed thousands, including several hundred civilians in 1999. And they mostly still deny there was any ethnic cleansing going on in Bosnia or Kosovo.

      1. That was a Hillary special. She is an Ivy indoctrinated lawyer. Do not kill those responsible. Kill thousands of working people. Protect evil. That is the lawyer way. The most toxic occupation, 1000 times more toxic than organized crime.

  2. I support the brave people of Ukraine…but how is my life better with a weakened Putin?? I stand by my original position that Ukraine would have been better off selling the Donbas to Russia and also America could have chipped in a few billion dollars. From a historical perspective Putin wanting Donbas is consistent with how counties have traditionally operated and it isn’t an irrational desire to want Russian speakers in Russia.

    1. All Putin wanted was a little peace!

      A piece of the Donbas. A little piece of Crimea. A little piece to connect them. A little piece of Kyiv. A little piece of all the rest of Ukraine. A little piece of Moldova.

      And heck, once he achieves that, maybe he needs some more ... you know, because guess who is on his borders? It's hard when all you need is a little piece!

      1. And now we have had a month of death and destruction. Once again—Qatar funds it’s government the exact same way Russia funds it’s government only it has a mere 300,000 citizens and they all live like kings. More people means Gazprom’s profits are spread thinner and Russia gets weaker. Only the Anglo countries and Israel and perhaps China have dynamic growing economies…every other country macroeconomics don’t work and they must depend on microeconomics.

        1. "And now we have had a month of death and destruction."

          When you invade people that DON'T WANT TO BE INVADED, that tends to happen.

          The simple solution to this is not to invade another sovereign country. Especially where, as here, the people didn't much want to be invaded.

          1. Ukraine has suffered death and destruction—we should want to prevent death and destruction.

            1. You do realize that by your reasoning we should all be speaking German now.

              1. No, Putin is more like Franco than Hitler. Nationalism/traditionalism has clear limits.

                1. Perhaps you missed the part where he believes the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest of tragedies.

                  1. The USSR squandered Russia’s oil and gas wealth.

                2. I suppose national boundaries are clear limits, if you observe them. Not that Franco was averse to inviting in the the Luftwaffe.

                  And aside from not attacking outside Spain, what clear limits do you see Franco observing? Even after the Civil War and WW II he was still gratuitously executing political opponents by the thousands.

                  1. I’m not defending Putin and I stand with the Ukrainians. I am lamenting that all of this death and destruction has occurred after the Obama administration refused to send lethal aid for fear that it could escalate the war in Donbas…the war escalated and now Democrats apparently believe sending lethal aid was the right thing?!?

                    Everyone here seems to believe that diplomacy/appeasement always leads to an autocrat wanting more. Except Nazis and communists were motivated by asinine ideologies based on world domination and magical economic thinking and prior to the escalation of this war most people believed Putin was a rational actor motivated by nationalism/traditionalism that understood he had to live within his economic means. I don’t think people here have really given a lot of thought to how Nazism and communism came into being while I have.

            2. So we should "prevent" Ukraine? I'm not sure where you're going withi this. It's the old "it takes two to tango" argument when it comes to violence. If the Ukraine had surrendered to a murderous dictator and let him strip them of their freedoms, there would have been no violence, right? There's no need for a "stand your ground law" if the prevailing wisdom is to blame the victim for resisting.

        2. every other country macroeconomics don’t work and they must depend on microeconomics.

          Yeah. Got it.

          1. Argentina and Mexico have Harvard trained macroeconomists. Kamala’s and Obama’s fathers came to America because people really believed macroeconomics could magically transform developing countries.

        3. "mere 300,000 citizens and they all live like kings"
          Including the part where they preside over virtual sleeves. A couple million of them, in fact.

          1. Damn, "slaves" of course.

            1. No, those people are called “workers” and they work in exchange for money in Qatar knowing full well they can never gain citizenship. Every country is free to create their own immigration and naturalization system…except apparently America. 😉

              1. Every country is free to execute whatever policies its sovereign can convince the people to abide, pretty much without limit. That does not make a policy of virtual slavery for foreign workers fair to the workers, wise for the country, or moral.

        4. "And now we have had a month of death and destruction."

          Why? Because the lawyer is protecting, privileging, and empowering evil.

      2. He only wants to control the land next to what he already controls.

        1. And then the land next to that land...

          1. Land comes with mouths to feed.

              1. I don’t believe that was Putin’s goal just like I don’t believe Trump intended to kill more Assghanis by easing the rules of engagement…but Trump ended up killing more innocent civilians in his last ditch effort to defeat the Taliban.

                1. Were the extra Afghans Trump supposedly killed found with their hands tied behind their backs or in mass graves? Raped and then burned? No? Ethos’s this isn’t the same then.

                  This is the way that the Russians have always conducted war. Zero regard for civilians, zero regard for captured members of the opposition, zero regard for even their own soldiers.

                  1. No, they were just killed with bombs.

    2. The Russians have traditionally used Russification to subdue unruly regions as far back as the tsars. They did it in the Baltic states when they were under the Russian Empire by banning local culture and encouraging Russians to emigrate there especially after the USSR forcibly re-annexed them. When given the ability to break free of the Russian yoke the Russians used those immigrants as a bargaining chip to maintain influence.

      1. All true.
        In Moldova, they went as far as forcing the locals to stop using the Latin alphabet for their (Romanian) language, and use the Cyrillic alphabet instead.

    3. Sebastian, to set a precedent that we are better than we were a hundred years ago, and if you launch a war of aggression, the rest of the world will tank your economy, kill lots of your soldiers, and just generally extract a price high enough to not be worth it.

      We are nowhere near actually eradicating wars of aggression, but anything we can do to deter them helps.

      1. Israel is constantly expanding its borders. Russia is losing population and it has a higher standard of living than Ukraine. Bottom line—diplomacy should have won the day.

        1. Israel is constantly expanding its borders.

          Right, that's why it constantly has to fight its Arab neighbors -- because it keeps invading them, not vice versa.
          (I am being facetious. I think the commenter I'm replying to is delusional.)

          1. The notion borders are sacrosanct and created by Jesus is absurd. People are free to leave their country and become American citizens and people in a country should be able to stay in their house and join a different country…just like Tejas became Texas and an American state.

            1. Didn't the end of WWI create Israel and deny the Arabs their Caliphate or whatever the word is I can't think of now that they wanted and were promised for helping?

              As for borders being sacrosanct, does that mean I can just care out my little piece from your property? Or house?

              Borders aren't immutable, but there needs to be some kind of organization and rule regarding them or it's pretty meaningless, isn't it?

              Also, you either moved the goal posts or just plain ignored the issue with your previous statement which was brought up.

              1. Israel is a great country—they give people citizenship when they expand their borders. Russia does the exact same thing as they hand out passports and give people pensions.

                America is an empire and empires have to offer something in return for a country becoming a colony. Rome would offer roads and law and order and commerce and in return people just had to be part of the Roman Empire. America wanted to bestow its largesse on Assghanistan and the economy experienced a “miracle” and grew 9% a year from 2001-2009…but in the end the Assghanis preferred Taliban rule to getting free money from Uncle Sam.

        2. "Israel is constantly expanding its borders."

          Israel has given back far more land to its Arab neighbors than it has "expanded" into

          1. Either way it strengthens my argument—borders aren’t sacrosanct. So America had too many slaves running away to Mexico and so we expanded our border to the Rio Grande so slaves would die in the desert before reaching Mexico…so there are a myriad of reasons to expand or contract borders.

        3. Israel is constantly expanding its borders.

          Israel is constantly shrinking its borders.

          Bottom line—diplomacy should have won the day.

          Tell it to your friend Mr. Putin.

          1. Then Americans should have no problem with Ukraine shrinking its border like Israel.

    4. "it isn’t an irrational desire to want Russian speakers in Russia"

      Like the Studetenland and German speakers? That worked out well.

      "Ukraine would have been better off selling the Donbas to Russia"

      Did Russia ever hint that was a possibility? They invaded Ukraine in 2014, broke off the Crimea and the two puppet state-lets. I don't recall any cash offers.

      Russia has been waging wars of conquest since Ivan the Great. After losing all that territory in 1991, they are returning to the historic pattern. If successful in Ukraine, they are going to try somewhere else. Georgia? Moldavia? Best to stop them here.

      1. That is where diplomacy comes into play. Except America has the Military Industrial Complex that must be fed and as a bonus it does create good union jobs in states like Wisconsin. So NATO expansion is welfare for the Military Industrial Complex and when North Macedonia was admitted Senator Ron Johnson’s biggest donor got a contract to ship LTVs to North Macedonia and jobs were created in Oshkosh. Btw, Raytheon became a defense contractor when a direct descendant of John Adams was its president.

    5. Appease the bullies, a historically successful strategy. They won't keep wanting more, this is really the last time you need to pay Danegeld.

      1. Totally different dynamics—Nazis and communists believed in ideologies based on world domination and they believed they had discovered an economic miracle…Putin doesn’t believe in any asinine ideology he is a nationalist/traditionalist like Trump or Franco.

        1. It is still appeasement. And if Putin says "really really this is the last neighbor I'm going to liberate from the Nazis, pinkie promise", would you believe him? I'm not willing to fight a war for a non-ally like Ukraine. But I really want Russia to suffer enough that it and any like minded expansionist powers will think twice before their next adventure. So the more sanctions hurt Russia the better. And I'm OK with never ending the sanctions until Russia's gains in the Ukraine are fully reversed.

          1. But war makes Putin weaker when it involves countries with nothing to offer like Ukraine. Putin literally wants mouths to feed!?! So it’s not like Iraq invading Kuwait which had oil that was valuable.

            1. I'm confused by your point of view. I mostly don't care why someone invades a neighbor who is doing nothing hostile on a pretext. You are saying that "it is OK to invade neighbors as long as they don't have useful assets"?

              1. Yes, his argument is essentially "no war except for oil".

                1. No, America has an interest in a war for oil which is why we had two Iraq Wars. We are facilitating death and destruction by sending lethal aid to Ukraine…I prefer a diplomatic solution so long as rational actors are involved. Prior to this war I believed Putin was a rational actor that wasn’t motivated by an asinine ideology which makes people irrational.

                  So Americans that support the asinine ideology of Bushism are irrational which is why they wanted to stay in Assghanistan forever…I tried discussing Assghanistan with them and they would make bleeding heart conservative comments about helping “women and children”…while they don’t give a shit about “women and children” in any country BUT Assghanistan.

                  1. Let's clarify something here. We aren't facilitating death and destruction by sending lethal aid to Ukraine. If Russian forces left, by your reasoning Ukrainians would have to continue killing. However, I have a feeling if Russians left all that lethal aid wouldn't be utilized again unless another invasion occurred. It is Russia who is facilitating all the death and destruction.

                    That being said, the US has to stop acting like it's the world police, or a bully. We have used military force in country after country in the last 60+ years. We need to stop. It's not our job to fix everything, and honestly not only can we not do it but we come off as total jerks in many of the situations where we go in trying to 'fix' something.

                    1. Putin believes the Donbas would be Russia but for America getting involved in 2014. So this war has been going on since 2014 and Putin believes America has prolonged the war…so from Putin’s perspective America is facilitating death and destruction.

                      Putin also believes Ukraine should be a trade partner with Russia and buy Russian made crap and not Western crap. So Russia has pretty much every value added manufacturing industry as a legacy of the USSR and Putin wants to perpetuate those industries…but it is getting squeezed by the West and China. An American consultant would advise Russia to reduce its industries and focus on a few that it excels…space and military technology are probably what it does better than everyone but America. And that brings us to NATO expansion…

                  2. So nations that invade their neighbors without (real) provocation should gain something is your view? Can't imagine a diplomatic solution without that. I think the Ukrainians are entitled to fight for their land, and I'm happy to support them in that using sanctions and even by providing weaponry (but no direct involvement of US troops).

                    I don't know what the outcome will be of this war. But I hope the *lesson* will be that invading your neighbors will have a terrible cost. The lesson of your approach seems to be "Invade your neighbors, kill lots of people/destroy lots of buildings, negotiate a favorable settlement, profit".

                    1. Except we are closer to nuclear war than ever by America sending lethal aid. I see this as a failure of diplomacy and a win for the Military Industrial Complex that none other than Ike warned us about…peace dividend schmeace dividend.

                      Btw, do you know what industry Pompeo was involved in?? And it actually makes sense for him to be SoS because it deals with arms transfers which is a euphemism for us giving free shit to other countries while the American taxpayer gladly picks up the tab.

                    2. You appear to be involved in spin and diversion with your whole Pompeo and the Military Industrial Complex claptrap. I don't think the US will become involved in a war, nuclear or conventional, with Russia over this. I also think that "countries with nukes can invade their neighbors without consequences" is a bad policy. It encourages everyone to get nukes. Ukraine clearly should never have surrendered theirs.

                      If by sending antitank and antiair missiles to Ukraine we make the war too expensive for Putin to win, sounds OK to me.

                    3. ^^^celebrated Lez Cheney being voted into leadership in January 2019…now considers her a warmonger shill of the Military Industrial Complex. You are clueless.

                    4. ^^ And you are coming across as a full blown Putin apologist.

                    5. Seeing things from another person’s perspective is an important part of critical thinking and problem solving and wargaming.

                      Right now there is death and destruction in Ukraine and I’m pretty sure what I as a random person on the internet thought was possible through diplomacy and no death and destruction is going to be the outcome of this war...only with death and destruction. So I thought Russia should get the Donbas and Ukraine should get money and there should be no death and destruction.

          2. Honestly we either fight them now in Ukraine, or we fight them in a year or two in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia...

            There is no solution, other than brute force that is going to stop him.

            1. We instigated this by sending aid to Ukraine and prolonging a war…but Putin undermined his position by invading Ukraine. At this point I support Ukraine but I would have preferred a diplomatic solution and I consider this war another failure of American foreign policy.

              1. How did we instigate a war by "prolonging a war"? Aside from this, Ukraine was an independent country. Your reasoning makes no sense. It's like saying Ukraine instigated this by having a military and resisting Russian efforts to dominate install their leaders and take their land. Ukraine didn't instigate anything by acting as what it was (and what Russia agreed it would be when the USSR dissolved): an independent country. The United States didn't instigate anything by supporting an independent country maintain its independence.

                Your logic is like blaming a school boy for instigating a fight with a bully because he brought lunch money. The schoolboy should have known better, right?

                1. Border disputes and wars are fairly common throughout human history—the victor gets to write the history.

                  1. I don't dispute that, it's an axiom of history. I just think if we don't want to see the borders of half of Europe redrawn we'd better start doing more than we are.

                    1. War is asinine…but Putin wanting the Donbas in Russia isn’t unreasonable taken in context.

                    2. Yes, it is. It is completely unreasonable.

                      When I have something that someone else wants, I'm the only one who gets to choose whether I want to keep it or not.

                      If you attack me because I say no, it is completely unreasonable and unjustified.

                  2. The West and Ukraine are most likely going to get to write this history. Putin won't.

                    You wanting a million dollars isn't unreasonable either. Robbing a bank is still both illegal and morally wrong.

                    And neither of those points refutes the fact that you blamed Ukraine and the United States for the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin made that call. He didn't have to. The United States was never going to invade Russia. Neither was Ukraine.

    6. "how is my life better with a weakened Putin?"

      Because you're an American and he's the hostile leader of a competing nation? Not to mentioned Ukrainians (and heck, most Russians) are better off with him weakened. Don't be a useful idiot.

      1. He has been in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet for 20 years and I have felt safe…that’s my only requirement for the leader of Russia.

        1. He hasn't blown you up yet is your criteria? That's true of every Russian leader for the past many decades.

        2. He's threatening to nuke people if we don't let him absorb another sovereign nation. Does that sound like a responsible use of a nuclear arsenal?

          1. Only after we helped Ukraine prolong a war Putin believed should have ended years ago. Btw, we know the Obama administration didn’t send lethal aid because they did want to escalate the situation—it’s officially escalated!!

            1. Putin was the one who started the war. If he believed it should have ended years ago, there was a very simple way for him to make that happen.

              Your do to logic what Putin's army does to innocent men, women, and children.

              1. You can't reason with bigotry, superstition, or belligerent ignorance, NOVA. It is pointless, perhaps even counterproductive, to try.

                This blog attracts some seriously fucked up, disaffected, antisocial people.

                1. Sure, the Obama administration was on the wrong side of history. Wow!

      2. After what we saw this weekend I don't want him weakened, I want him hung.

    7. Really? There are plenty of English speakers in Canada. What do you think we should offer? Personally I'd say nothing, after all Hitler got the Sudetenland for free.

      1. In my lifetime people have seriously discussed the English speaking part of Canada become part of America.

        1. And what percentage of those have seriously discussed a military invasion of Canada to make that happen?

          1. War is asinine.

            1. Making Putin the ass.

              And his apologists too.

          2. We tried that in the War of 1812. Didn't work out so well.

    8. Russian speakers are free to move to Russia any time they want. They can't take Ukrainian territory because they are Russian speakers. That's just insane on its face.

  3. I don't think Putin will settle for anything the Ukrainians will accept, unless he plans to break his word. Talk of negotiations and settlements seems mostly propaganda.

    I don't think Putin can be trusted.

    I also have some concern for Zelensky's recent rhetoric where in dismissing two officials he called the "traitors" then doubled down by saying he didn't have time to go after others but he would. This is very authoritarian sounding, almost Putinesque. It could be interpreted as him moving to keep himself in power indefinitely.

    Just last night he raised the specter of genocide, a mirror of Putin's propaganda. Although the apparent intentional killing and execution of civilians is horrific and a war crime, so far there is no real evidence of a systematic policy of extermination.

    1. We need to clean house, and arrest the internal traitors in the US. Try them. Execute them for treason. To deter.

      1. Addled asinine authoritarian.

        1. I unmuted him to see his comment on my post.
          I'm sorry.

          1. I agree with a lot of people, I disagree with a lot. But this guy is seriously disturbed.

            1. "Seriously disturbed," yes, but the metaphorical equivalent of a hemorrhoid; a disturbing and ugly pain in the ass but typically no real threat. Probably, if everyone ignored him and added a bit of dietary fiber he would retreat into his basement life of serial onanism and fantasies of relevance.

    2. Promising arrest and trial of people who aided the enemy that destroyed their economy and murdered thousands of Ukranians is not the same thing as, well, invading a neighboring country, destroying its economy, and murdering its people. There is no comparison between Zelensky recognizing that the Russian's had help and Putin shooting children in the back of the head to terrorize the survivors.

      This both-sides B.S. is infuriating. There is no equivalence.

    3. I can't really expect a country in the situation Ukraine is to spend too much time with due process.

    4. https://ria-ru.translate.goog/20220403/ukraina-1781469605.html?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

      The Kremlin's policy for the extermination of Ukrainian people came out yesterday on its mouthpiece RIA. It's the Final Solution all over again. Horrifying

  4. I believe you were correct in predicting how long Russia could maintain and large offensive you just underestimated their willingness to dig in and keep gains in the east.

  5. I read news of peace talks. The only terms that appeared possible to achieve were Ukrainian surrender - Russia keeps Crimea and gains the eastern provinces.

    In the West the talk is tougher now. A few more sanctions will be imposed. A few more military supplies will be delivered. The land border between the EU and Russia may close. On the other hand, NATO countries still fear offending Putin by blowing up his stuff and Germany still refuses to give up Russian gas.

    I was surprised to see a complete withdrawl from the north. It's the sensible thing to do, but remember Hitler and Stalingrad.

    I expect a long war with missiles continuing to hit most of Ukraine on and off.

    1. Russia doesn’t have a magical printing press like America and the USSR—Putin has a budget and nobody is going to loan him money to get stuck in a quagmire because everyone knows Putin’s budget and they know how much revenue he can raise.

      1. He's a dictator. His budget is whatever he wants it to be as long as it can be source in Russia or snuck in from China.

        1. That’s not correct, only America can print money willy nilly. Putin has a budget and everyone has a pretty good idea of how financial situation.

          1. Did you get a promotion in the troll farm, or something? You're usually a bit of a troll, but this is a whole new level for you, you're single handedly responsible for something like a third of the comments on this post.

            1. Someone has to share the Pravda with the poor ignorant masses here.

            2. This reads like SC's usual baseline crankness with an additional input of RT's laughable propaganda.

              It is nice to agree with you on something, Brett!

              1. I think I have replied to maybe one of your posts in over 10 years of posting here. America spent $2 trillion in Assghanistan over 20 years…no other country is dumb enough to do something like that.

                1. Putin says, "Hold my beer.".

                  Remember Russia did the Afghanistan disaster before we did. We didn't learn from them, they didn't learn from us.

                  Remember, Russia is already 8 years into their attempt to invade Ukraine.

    2. "I was surprised to see a complete withdrawl from the north. It's the sensible thing to do, but remember Hitler and Stalingrad."

      Apparently Russia's troops are beat up pretty bad. They can redeploy those forces. Ukraine still needs to keep troops defending Kyiv.

      1. According to the folks at understandingwar.org, the withdrawn Russian troops are not fit to be redeployed and may refuse to be redeployed.

        (Also according to the folks at understandingwar.org, Ukraine should fall within days of attack. Not all their predictions are correct.)

        1. As I mentioned, they're pretty beat up. They made need some recovery time before being able to be effectively redeployed

  6. Professor Post...Thank you sir, for the wager. Now we need to arrange to meet, and I collect my winnings....and immediately proceed to buy us some nice glasses of red wine.

      1. LOL, I know where you're going. Um....no. 🙂

        We are at the 'arrange to meet and Commenter_XY to collect his winnings' stage of the process, Daivd. Naturally, I plan to immediately spend aforementioned winnings on glasses of red wine, and enjoy a conversation with a law professor. Commenter_XY is not in a rush to collect. A trip to wherever Professor Post calls 'his home turf' will take some time to set up.

        1. Bah. Just have him donate the money to a suitable charity or cause that will irritate him. Maybe the Ted Cruz re-election fund.

          1. Annoying your betters is about all you have left, Armchair Lawyer, in modern America.

            That, and replacement.

            1. That's our little RAK, a Putin in the making.

              He likes "replacing" people...just like Putin liked "replacing" the citizens of Ukraine.

              1. I do not replace anyone.

                Replacement occurs as old right-wingers take their stale, ugly thinking to the grave in the normal course and are replaced in modern America’s electorate and society by better, younger people. This makes our society less rural, less religious, less bigoted, less backward, and more diverse (less white) essentially every day.

                This improvement occurs consequent to the continuing victory of reason, modernity, tolerance, science, education, inclusiveness, and progress in the American marketplace of ideas (over superstition, backwardness, bigotry, ignorance, dogma, insularity, and pining for illusory ‘good old days’).

                I do not replace people. I applaud replacement, however. I prefer to have my country continue to improve.

                1. Looks like you be celebrating Putin's "replacement" strategy there. That's our little social-organizer RAK. Applauding "replacement" of people he finds socially undesirable.

          2. AL....Nope. No irritation allowed. This was a Gentleman's Wager. I will collect my winnings in-person, and proceed to spend them on the best Ukrainian red wine available, enjoy a few glasses with Professor Post, and have a great conversation.

            This is an opportunity of a lifetime for someone like me, AL. I would never really cross paths with a law professor professionally or socially. What a chance to talk to a law professor 1:1! It is sort of like doing something on your bucket list that you look forward to doing because you know it will be interesting.

            That is how I see this.

            1. Best of luck to you then. If it's on your bucket list, so be it.

              Personally speaking, Law Professors are just like everyone else, they put their pants on 1 leg at a time. As for meeting them...hey look, it's Tuesday. Another law professor. And given the option, there are 50 other items I'd spent a free weeknight on, rather than this.

              But, everyone's different. If this is what you want, best of luck.

              1. After a law professor puts on pants one leg at a time, though, Armchair Lawyer — like many wingnuts — capitalizes law professor.

        2. If the meeting is at VC headquarters, you'll be picked up at an assigned location. Blindfolds and decoy vehicles will be deployed. When you arrive (reportedly a bunker beneath the Washington Monument), you'll find there is no "David Post" nor anyone who's ever heard of him. Nor is there a "Eugene Volokh". No "Ilya." No "Bernstein." No "Adler." Nor any of the others... save one. Don't make me say his name.

    1. Congratulations on your win. Although I would have much preferred that it be over by now. Hopefully you'll get your chance to meet and enjoy your choice of drinks together. Well done on handling your win.

    2. Like the scene from Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy learns that he's been played for a two bit wager.
      Maybe some Ukranian will offer the same poetic justice whoopass to those who wager at his expense.

  7. Does anyone know with any degree of assurance exactly what is going on in Ukraine? I sure as heck can't figure it out and I've tried even looking at off the grid sources such as Telegram and "dark web" places. There is so much misinformation, disinformation, spin, false flag, deep fake, and simply fake I doubt anyone really knows what is going on.

    1. "There is so much misinformation, disinformation, spin, false flag, deep fake, and simply fake"

      So, your usual sources?

    2. Yea and the dopes like the Queen just trust the folks that brought you the Ghost of Kiev, the Snake Island Heroes and now the Bucha fake.

      1. Or that supposed Chechen assassination team that apparently simply did not and never existed....

        1. Is there any evidence it did not exist? I have it classified with things that are likely to be true but are too uncertain to be used as evidence.

    3. Note who, when pretty incontrovertible evidence of Russian atrocities comes out, suddenly says 'how can you know *anything* is true?'

      We sure so have a degree of assurance which side you're into!

      1. incontrovertible? now it seems we're dealing with two bad guys who both have government controlled media, that's incontrovertible.

        So you'll lap up the next Ghost of Kiev story I'm sure

        1. Independent international news organizations are the ones I saw doing the reporting, so not sure what Ukrainian-controlled media has to do with it.

          Your mention of the Ghost of Kiev is the first I heard of it, probably because it was never reported by national news media as fact having quite obviously started as a social media rumor that, surprise, was emphatically not confirmed by the Ukrainian commander-in-chief. The contemporaneous news reports specifically noted it was an urban legend being used to boost moral. So, were some Ukrainians lied to? It would appear so. Did the independent international media run with it as a truth? No.

          Major international news organizations tend to have rigorous journalistic standards which require fact checking, source verification, etc. But you wouldn't be familiar with that if you don't understand the difference between the BBC and Russia Today, between the New York Times and Twitter.

          1. "Major international news organizations tend to have rigorous journalistic standards which require fact checking, source verification, etc."

            That's a good joke. Got another others????

            1. Except this is utter bullshit. Not even you believe it.

              Otherwise, how would you have any idea about anything you did not personally experience?

              You use and believe the media all the time, you just claim to have a reflexive distrust when it suits you.

              1. No I don't trust the media, but they are also not complete liars. They color within the lines like all good sociopaths do. You can get the "gist" through all the bullshit if you really bother.

                The idea that the international press have some fact checking machinery that ought to be held in high regard is simply a joke to anyone with a brain that paid attention during the last five years at least. And, the last forty if you have had the chance to live through that fun experience. There are just so many, many examples....like Dan Rather is calling right now to tell you all about his....

                1. How do you figure out the 'gist?' Volumes are hidden in that little vague exception.

                  With such a shallow knee-jerk system, How do you even know there's a war going on?

                  Again - you trust the media, you just like to say you don't. You get to blow up some anecdotes into a purity test, and ignore whatever stories are inconvenient to your pinched worldview.

                  1. "How do you figure out the 'gist?'"

                    You look for admissions against interest, odd wordings, curious omissions and oddly specific denials. Basically the same way you'd parse any source of information you knew wasn't honest, but was at least reluctant to get caught in an outright lie.

                    1. Lets think about this for a second: you believe nothing until it's an admission against interest for the liberal media.

                      This is a great way to only believe things that support your conservative worldview.

                    2. Bellmore, that is a terrible way to evaluate media. It goes a long way to explain your perpetual entanglement with conspiratorial interpretations. Here is a better method for you to try.

                      Start with this one question: "How do I know that?" Whatever comes your way in media, test it against that question. A reliable news report will go a long way to answer that question. The more consequential the report, the more substantive and various the answers to that question should be.

                      Asking that amounts to a demand that the story be told in a certain way, with citations to sources which are—at least in principle—identifiable, available to be checked with again, well positioned to know whatever it is said they report, and presented with corroborative detail.

                      That last bit, the corroborative detail, can be especially useful. One of the best ways to spot mendacity is to look for a near-perfect story, in which every point presented advances a particular conclusion. Reality almost never works that way. Reliable stories tell something of the random circumstances encountered while digging them out. Often, those extra bits will advance nothing relating to the conclusion, but do add potential verification points to backstop the reliability of the reporting process. That kind of detail can even build a foundation under a story which might otherwise omit specifics about key sources, whose identity may have to be protected.

                      Expect almost any true story to feature some nearly-pointless-seeming information. Suspect any noteworthy media conclusion which omits otherwise trivial corroborative information. Liars strip that stuff out on purpose, so there is nothing checkable lying around to trip them up.

                      There is much more which a skilled reporter or editor can do, but anyone can practice the, "How do I know that," question. Of course, the ability to make use of it comes with a responsibility to suspend judgment in the many instances where good answers have not been supplied forthrightly. Be particularly on guard against use of ideology to posit missing facts about either the story itself, or the way it was reported.

        2. Pretty hard to argue with the satellite images taken not by any government, but a private corporation. Some of those bodies have been laying in the streets of Bucha for 3 weeks, when there were no Ukrainian troops within miles.

      2. I have yet to see "incontrovertible" evidence of anything. They found dead people in a mass grave in the middle of an active war zone. That is hardly incontrovertible or even really unusual given the circumstances....

        1. You think all those photos are all crisis actors?

          1. From recent events I learned in French "mise en scène" is used to describe actors trying to lie still while pretending to be murdered civilians, and other staged events. It doesn't have that sense in English. It's used to talk about fiction presented as fiction.

          2. There are dead people in a war zone. Supposedly the Russian body count is upwards of 20,000+ and I'm assuming the Ukrainian military count is probably somewhere close to that. Also this doesn't include obvious civilian collateral damage which has to be in the thousands as well. Where do you think all those dead bodies go?

            1. There are lots executed civilians in a city the Russians just stopped occupying.

              Do you think that was a put-up job by Ukraine? Because that's some impressive RT-brain if so.

              1. Prime example of how far you can trust the media.

                Are there dead people? Probably. This is true.

                Were they civilians? Well. This is where they start taking some license. Perhaps....

                How does the media know that they were "innocent" civilians? They don't. They are either just leading the reader to conclude this or simply quoting sources that can't be confirmed.

                Now with confirmation bias clearly in place all they have to do is rely on the "Russians bad" narrative and throw in some more fantastical anecdotal unverified (unverifiable) stories and you get "Putin = War Criminal!!!!!!" result.

                This ignores the fact that Ukraine has been passing out guns and arms to civilians and relying upon them as part of their defense strategy. Also, there is absolutely no way if anyone could tell if those dead bodies were involved in any type of operation that made them a legitimate target. It isn't far flung to think that they might have been either again given that Ukraine is relying upon civilians as part of their defense and encouraging guerilla like irregular operations.

                But, why put on your critical thinking cap. Just believe whatever the NYT or CNN tells you to believe. Sit back and take another sip of the kool aid while you are at it.

                1. Do you see how arbitrary you are being in what to believe?!

                  This is such a stark illustration of tailoring your skepticism to confirm a story you've already decided on.

                  Which makes it not skepticism or critical thinking, but just boring ideology. Though if your ideology keeps making you defend Putin...

                  1. This is the part when you ignore facts and reality and say words without backing it up with anything of substance.

                    Or, if you are being a good faith actor here (which I doubt) this is precisely why people fall for this type of thing in the first place.

                    Take your pick I guess. Is Sarcastro just a plain rube or imbecile?

                    1. You're the the one saying ignore what the photographs seem to say because the media is biased.

                      Believing reporting is not falling for anything, you're just paranoid about anything that doesn't agree with your priors.

                    2. I stated it before, what is the significance of dead bodies in a war zone? I didn't say there weren't dead bodies or those were crisis actors. So sure you got dead bodies. Tell me the significance beyond that and why should I, at this point, jump to the conclusion that it was some sort of war crime atrocity, especially given the level of misinformation out there about Ukraine? Provide some specific reasoning, not just your general gas lighting.

                    3. Ziptied bodies?

                      It's a res ipsa loquitor situation.

                      Unless you want to go with some kind of massive hoax, the city Russia was controlling having a bunch of executions discovered when Russia left is not a hard causal chain to draw.

                    4. How do you know they weren't lawful targets under the generally accepted laws of war? You have a situation where civilians are armed and part of the active defense of the nation. Also where they have been encouraged to engage in guerilla type insurgency efforts.

                      You are jumping to conclusions because that is your confirmation bias kicking in. You have no idea. No one has any idea. Is that perhaps a reason? Sure. But there are lots of other possibilities. What happened was in the middle of an active war zone. Truth is you don't know, have no way of knowing, and are jumping to your preferred conclusion.

                    5. How do you know they weren't lawful targets under the generally accepted laws of war?
                      Zipties.

                      You have a situation where civilians are armed and part of the active defense of the nation. Also where they have been encouraged to engage in guerilla type insurgency efforts.
                      Ummm, you're rationalizing war crimes now?

                      I'm not jumping to conclusions, you're twisting yourself into a pretzel to find a way to justify Putin and Russia's latest horror.

                    6. Stating a few obvious facts about warfare in general and specific to this armed conflict is hardly "twisting" myself into a pretzel. It is called basic critical thinking and deductive reasoning. Give it a try. Will open up an entire new world to you.

                    7. The point about the zipties, in case you really don't realize, is that in war you cannot simply execute captured combatants. So even if a civilian picked up a rifle and started shooting at the Russians, the Russians cannot ziptie him and then kill him rather than take him as a prisoner of war. (Or, rather, they obviously *can*, but it's a war crime.)

                2. "How does the media know that they were "innocent" civilians?"

                  Here's a good way to figure out whose story is more likely:

                  One side has several hundred people executed over the course of three weeks and left to lie in the street. This has been confirmed by satellite images from commercial sources and it happened while the Russians had control of the city.

                  The other side doesn't have a story to tell because they were executed by Russians and left to rot in the street.

                  You don't have to claim that they were all "innocent" to know that extrajudicial killings of bound and unarmed people (civilians or otherwise) is criminal.

                  So is your Alex Jones-level conspiracy theory is apparently that the dead were killed in a completely justifiable way elsewhere and collected by the Ukrainians and used to imicate the Russians? With co-conspirators in satellite imaging companies to provide fake images from across multiple days over a three week period? And a quick-repomse force to get it all set up before the reporters embedded with the Ukrainians could catch them in the act?

                  Or, perhaps, the Russians are brutal invaders who are getting more brutal and more desperate as the Ukrainians feed them a steady diet of "get the fuck out of our country" asskicking.

    4. Bit Chute is your friend.

  8. Putin cannot leave Russia anymore and Zelensky would be a fool to meet him anywhere other than an EU country. The fact that there is not a complete and total lock out from world trade for Russia speaks volumes to the West's lack of resolve in protecting all people.

    Just like the corporations the politicians always claim are in it for the money and the money only so are the politicians.

    1. If you go full and total lockout at this stage what do you do when Russia does worse things?

      1. Then you do stuff that is even worse. Not responding to Putin hasn't been working.

        1. For example. Biden is talking about a war crimes trial. Of course, you can't have a credible war crimes trial if you're not in a position to punish a convicted defendant, so somebody is going to need to exert some sort of force to bring Putin to trial.

          1. That would be extremely unwise.

          2. Try him in absentia. Sentenced to death if captured in the USA, a harshly worded reprimand if captured in the EU.

            1. That constrains our diplomatic options considerably without a lot of utility.

              1. Have you grasped yet that utility is not driving a lot of what the current administration is doing? It was pretty stupid at this point to threaten Putin with a war crimes trial, but Biden did it anyway.

                1. ...You don't like what Biden's done, so you want to go pedal to the metal with it?

                  I disagree with what he's said as well - I don't see the benefit of the additional pressure outweighing the constrained diplomatic arena. And I don't see a lot of domestic benefit either.

                  But that means I want the Admin to lay off the rhetorical heat, not commit fully.

                  1. Just to be more honest. we have an old fool trying to look like a tough street fighter.

                    1. I agree that acting tough is a plausible read. Though hardly the only one.

                      And I obviously don't think Biden's a fool - that's a partisan shading.

                    2. No, he's pretty clearly a fool

                    3. Clearly.

                    4. S_0,
                      It was not partisan, it was my judgement that in making an needlessly and dangerously provocative statement, Biden was playing the fool that could encourage Putin to break the nuclear taboo.

                2. Biden's pretty stupid. Period. He's lucky he doesn't have the anti-Trump media on him, otherwise he'd be having a field day.

                  Although to be honest, his best decision was making Kamala Harris his VP. Any thoughts of replacing Biden end up with... "and make Harris president? Oh god no"

                    1. Boring.

                      The truth doesn't need to be entertaining.

                    2. The truth is this is just AL saying 'I HATE THE GUY I'M SUPPOSED TO HATE' and you saying 'ME TO!'

                      Boring.

                    3. The truth is this is just AL saying 'I HATE THE GUY I'M SUPPOSED TO HATE' and you saying 'ME TO!'

                      All criticisms of the guy you voted for must be the above. Except when it was Obama, then all criticisms were racism.

                      Talk about boring...

                    4. AL's post wasn't criticism, it was just insults.

                      That you think it has any truth value just shows how little you care about substance.

                    5. Sarcastro,

                      I always enjoy you telling me what my posts are and what they mean, rather than asking what they mean. It must make arguing so easy for you, to strawman so quickly and easily.

                      Biden's remarks on Putin, re "war crimes" re "he must go" and then walking them back. They're dumb. He doesn't have a clue, and everyone knows.

                      If Trump had made the comments, the media would be nailing him to the wall. As it is, the media is just like "hehe....smile...it's OK, he's just a little...confused..."

                      Biden seriously may be a candidate for the 25th amendment soon. It's the truth people whisper about. The only problem is Harris...

                    6. If you wanted to criticize Biden, you'd post about something he did. But that's not what you did above - you posted nothing but insults,

                      [quote]Biden's pretty stupid. Period. He's lucky he doesn't have the anti-Trump media on him, otherwise he'd be having a field day.[/quote[
                      You want to claim this was something more than partisan signaling? Don't be foolish.

                      He doesn't have a clue, and everyone knows.
                      'Everyone agrees with my take' is not something someone making an argument would say. It is what someone trying to show how certain they are of their conclusion would say.

                      It's partisan nonsense. It's boring. I've seen you engage with more than that, but you so often choose not to.

                    7. Sigh... Sarcastro,

                      If I respond to someone else's post, I don't have to re-post all the criticism they make. I can agree with it, add on, and it's still valid criticism.

                      Seriously...every time you deliberately misinterpret people's statements.

                    8. If Trump had made the comments, the media would be nailing him to the wall. As it is, the media is just like "hehe....smile...it's OK, he's just a little...confused..."

                      This is what Trump said on March 21, 2022 in response to a question from a friendly Fox reporter about whether Trump would send MiGs to Ukraine: “Well, maybe, even more, to be honest with you."

                      He was pressed on what "maybe even more" means, and dodged it, and then the Fox reporter pressed again: “What do you do now? You said you’d maybe do more than just send in the MiG jets. Alright. What more?”

                      And this was Trump's word salad response:

                      "Well what I would do, is I would, we would, we have tremendous military capability and what we can do without planes, to be honest with you, without 44-year-old jets, what we can do is enormous, and we should be doing it and we should be helping them to survive and they’re doing an amazing job."

  9. Horrifyingly unique. Never have we had to deal with such a direct invasion by Russia.

    The Putin’s possession of nukes means a way out will involve giving him “a way out”. As JFK showed in 1962, and as Nixon admitted later, you can’t give Russia a choice of 1) humiliation or 2) pushing the button. It might not look pretty, or even dignified, and it will threaten the fragile manhood of Republicans, but that is how adults have to act.

    1. I dunno. How many million Russians and cities turned to glass do you think Vlad is willing to trade for Ukraine, or even the Donbass? I figure maybe we ought to pick up the Red Phone and ask.

    2. Seems tricky to find a way out that that's acceptable to him and also prevents further aggression on his part.

    3. Unqiue? Never?
      Mr Amin might disagree with you.

  10. You can't negotiate a peace deal with somebody who can't credibly offer peace, and Russia can't.

    Especially given the recent atrocities, we're going to have to begin building our military back up, and fix a long-term goal of the de-nuclearization and eventually de-militarization of Russia.

    1. I'd prefer a goal of seeing Russia partitioned into several small, unarmed, and poor countries who pose a threat to no one.

      1. Giving Putin the Donbas would have made Russia poorer because Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe.

        1. Russia as it is constituted has too much revenue from oil and gas coming in. That needs to be stopped. Their actions and threats over the past month show that they cannot be allowed to possess and maintain a nuclear arsenal.

    2. We'll just tell Russia we're taking their nukes, I'm sure they'll say OK.

    3. "fix a long-term goal of the de-nuclearization and eventually de-militarization of Russia."

      Like that's going to work... We can't "de-nuclearize" North Korea, let alone a country the size of Russia.

      1. The only time it's (relatively) easy to "de-nuclearize" a country is if they don't have nukes already, because the nukes get in the way of doing it against their will. And we're currently deliberately blowing that in Iran, right now. Though why the Biden administration wants Iran to have nuclear weapons I'm having trouble imagining, apparently they do.

        Excepting cases like Ukraine where they stupidly believe your security promises, of course. But that's not likely to happen again.

    4. Based on how much money has flowed to Biden from Russia (and Communist China), do you really think it a coincidence that the weapons deliveries are running slow, Russia is making even more on fuel exports, and Iran is going to get a deal that shovels another 10 Billion to Russia?
      Ukraine has to hold on until November.

  11. begin building our military back up

    Umm, our military is pretty built up.

    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure we have more drag queens under arms than any other nation in the world. But I'd be more confident about our military if our ships would stop colliding and catching fire.

      1. Nice collection of memes, but come off it - any issues our military has does not come from not being 'built up.'

        1. No, what the problems do is compromise any advantages from being "built up". It's a question of WHAT has been built up.

          It seems that the actual capacity to fight wars has been pushed down the priority list. It's not off the list yet, but it's no longer at the top.

          1. Yeah, it seems like that if you only read FOX News.

            This complaining echoes what was said when we integrated the Services as well.
            In the end it made for both a stronger military, and a stronger country since citizenship and national defense are tied up together in some fundamental sociological ways.

            1. "This complaining echoes what was said when we integrated the Services as well."

              FWIW, we didn't reduce physical standards when we integrated. We are now.

              There's nothing the matter with women in the military, including drafting them, as long as you don't lower standards.

              1. The argument then was about unit cohesion. Changing the scope doesn't change the thesis.

                You're assuming that the physical standards are not arbitrary, but driven by actual modern requirements. I'm not sure that's right. I'm not sure it's wrong either...

                The military says the old standards were arbitrary/outmoded, but I don't trust that too much - at some point, the military has gotta say what their CiC says they gotta say.
                At this point, I've not seen any unrebutted evidence on either side.

                1. "You're assuming that the physical standards are not arbitrary, but driven by actual modern requirements. I'm not sure that's right."

                  So what are these physical standards?

                  The most common failure point was the 2-mile run. Soldiers were expected to finish a 2 mile run in less than 21 minutes. 5% of male soldiers failed. 22% of female soldiers failed.

                  Should "running" be expected in today's soldiers? Is it applicable to today's battlefield? I would think so.

                  1. I said I'm not sure that's right. Not the same as that's wrong.

                    I don't know what the threshold should be, and neither do you. A clue you have no idea is the false choice between 'run this much' and 'don't require running at all'

                    1. All you have is a whole lot of "I don't know" while casting doubts everywhere. The signs of a fool.

                      Here's what I know. Yes, in today's military, running is absolutely a requirement. And it absolutely should be a requirement in a physical fitness exam.

                2. "You're assuming that the physical standards are not arbitrary, but driven by actual modern requirements. I'm not sure that's right. I'm not sure it's wrong either..."

                  I'll recommend a book by TR Fehrenbach called "This Kind of War". It's a history of the Korean War. Specifically, I call your attention to the early days when the NK's were handing us our butts. This is an interesting time to me because my father was there. tl;dr - after WWII, a lot of the battle hardened vets left the Army. We had a nuke monopoly, the world was at peace, who wants to get up at 0600 on a Sunday for a 20 mile route march? If you're in Britain in 1943 training for Overlord everyone is motivated - in the late 40's in Korea or Japan, not so much.

                  Then the NKs invade. Our troops just weren't ready. One anecdote from the book to give you the flavor if those times - a US unit is withdrawing. They are walking down a valley road, gear being carried by trucks. They look up at the ridgelines on either side of the valley and NK troops, carrying all their gear, are advancing down the ridgelines faster than the US troops can walk on the road carrying only rifles.

                  In a couple of years that changed, but that didn't help in the early days.

                  Fitness matters. You can quibble whether the test should be a 10 mile march with 80 lbs, 20 miles with 60 pounds, or whatever, but I think you will find the results correlate pretty well.

                  1. I'm *not* saying fitness doesn't matter. I am saying I'm not sure the thresholds currently set are the right ones.

                    1. Let's try this Sarcastro.

                      Why aren't you sure? On what basis do you have to not have confidence in the current metrics? Is it just "you don't know anything about the situation at all, so you aren't sure?" Sounds like that's what it is.

                    2. The military brass said they aren't the correct metrics.

                      I'm not sure I trust their take, but it's enough to not be sure.

                    3. Dancing around, as per usual...

                      Let me put it bluntly. Bullets don't discriminate based on gender. If you're putting standards in place for combat soldiers, they need to be the same for both genders. The bullets aren't going to slow down for women....women shouldn't need a slower run time on the 2 minute mile.

                    4. No, I'm not dancing around, I was pretty clear and concise.

                      You're just bad at responding to what I'm saying. Which is why you decided to just repeat your thesis.

                  2. Absaroka, got any thoughts on the question whether fitness after long-term malnourishment advantages men or women? Starvation has been a pretty regular feature of warfare, and not infrequently decisive. I read somewhere that women do better on that, but it was too long ago to give you a citation.

                  3. You can quibble whether the test should be a 10 mile march with 80 lbs, 20 miles with 60 pounds, or whatever, but I think you will find the results correlate pretty well.

                    Why not put the poundage carried at a percentage of body weight? My guess would be that if you did that, women might even outperform men. And before you answer that isn't how it has to work, because there is a certain amount that has to be carried, try to notice all the carrying capacity supplied by women would be in addition to what you would get if they were excluded.

                    1. "Why not put the poundage carried at a percentage of body weight?"

                      A mortar baseplate weighs the same regardless of the gender of the person carrying it.

                      "all the carrying capacity supplied by women would be in addition to what you would get if they were excluded"

                      I think you are trying to compare 10 guys carrying 100 lbs each with 10 guys carrying 100 lbs plus 10 gals carrying 50 lbs each? So your argument is that 1500 lbs > 1000 lbs?

                      Well, women can surely carry loads - see e.g. Sherpa women porters. But I'm not sure your math works for the military. The objective isn't just to transport X thousand pounds to the top of Hill 987 using any number of people. For one thing, each person requires resources - food, water, and so on. These aren't waiting for you on top of Hill 987; you have to bring them with you.

                      Let me give you a real world example. My wife and I like to bum around the mountains. She is one tough lady. She can hump 70 pound packs up and down 11000 foot passes all day, and has done so. Outside the military, there aren't a lot of guys that can do that - especially in their 40's..

                      But let's do the math - these are actual numbers from a trip we took into the Wind River Range. Our personal gear (clothes, backpack, crampons, ice axe, etc) was about 30 lbs each. Our group equipment (tent, stove, ropes, climbing hardware) was about 30 lbs total. Dividing that gives 45 lbs each, excluding food, which runs about 2 lbs per person per day. So the better half can carry 70-45=25 lbs of food, or enough for 12.5 days. On that trip I carried a 105 lb pack. 105-45=60 lbs of food, or 30 days worth. So having my dear wife along makes the trip a lot more fun, but it isn't making the loadbearing easier - my pack is heavier with her along than if I go alone.

                      Or to look at it another way, if we both went solo, I can go for (105-(30+30))/2 = 22.5 days. If she goes solo, she can go for (70-(30+30))/2 = 5 days.

                      Similarly, we've taken several trips with our 8 to 14 year old nephews. It's a hoot to have them along, but having them along means I carry a heavier, not lighter, load, even though they carry their own packs.

        2. "any issues our military has does not come from not being 'built up.'"

          Dunno how closely you follow military stuff, but at least some units have been sustaining very high op tempos.

          For another example, I see pics of Navy ships with a lot of rust, and several of the recent oopsies - collisions and so on - have cited fatigue from under manning and high op tempo as root causes.

          Two months ago everyone thought the Russian Army was an unstoppable colossus ...

          1. I'm not saying we're unstoppable, I'm saying the problems you cite are not solved just be becoming even bigger. From what I've read, the ops tempo seem like policy issues than a fundamental too small for requirements issue.

            I haven't looked into the ships maintenance issue but I don't know what percentage of our fleet is supposed to be seaworthy at any given time - this may be as expected/planned for.

            We've ended at least one war we were fighting since then. It didn't have a lot of navy involvement, but that can't hurt.

            I also know we're currently basing our requirements on fighting a two-front war.

            1. " From what I've read, the ops tempo seem like policy issues than a fundamental too small for requirements issue. "

              Did you mean 'seems more like'? If so, I'd love to know your sources. Op tempo seems like a classic not big enough for requirements issue.

              It's reasonable to say we should take on fewer obligations and have a smaller military, but you can't have the smaller military without reducing the obligations.

              1. When that second collision occurred, I read analyses of the events by media military analysts. I can't be sure exactly what I read - it's been a bit.

                As I recall, it had to do with the resourcing folks prioritizing fleet size over manpower, as well as something about training and who could be acting commander.

                But no one said 'the issue here is that the Navy's budget is too small.'

                1. I wouldn't say their budget is too small, either. I'd say the problem is that being militarily effective isn't job 1 anymore, other things have moved into 1st place. That's not a problem you solve by having more money to spend on doing the wrong thing.

                  1. And I think that's you the FOX News take, and they're quite willing to throw the military under the bus for some culture war red meat.

                    I've seen no evidence the military's lethal capabilities are any less than they were 10 years ago.

                    But, TiP's original statement that I objected to was: 'we're going to have to begin building our military back up.' It seems you and I at least agree that is a mischaracterization of what our military needs to be effective.

                    1. Depends on whether you regard "returning the focus to war fighting instead of QUERTY recruitment" as "building our military back up". A military that was focused on winning wars would be run differently.

                    2. A military that was focused on winning wars would be run differently.

                      Which is not 'built up.'

                      And also, your support for your thesis appears to be just yelling about the queers in the military.

                    3. Two points of reference here, Sarcastro:

                      1) Relaxation of physical fitness requirements to accommodate women; Because half of all women recruits could not meet the requirements, they changed them. Does this make field equipment lighter, or combat easier? Nope.

                      2) Accepting recruits who have had 'sex-change' surgery, and have additional medical requirements as a result. Complicating field medical treatment and logistics.

                      3) Providing 'sex-change' treatments to soldiers.

                    4. I'm tempted to make a Monty Python reference, but, no, just forgot to go back and edit the 1st line.

                    5. The transgender thing is quite marginal. And medically-based. And while I share your skepticism of the driver behind changing fitness requirements, I don't think that means you get to jump to assuming a loss of capability.

                2. Say what?

                  You have commitments - we need these ships here at this time, those ships there at that time, and so on. You only have so many ships to go around. Reduce the number of ships and keep the commitments the same, then each ship spends more time at sea. Run ships with under strength crews and you either let maintenance slide, or the ongoing training slides, or sleep slides and sleep deprived people make mistakes. You start having marginally qualified people in charge, etc.

                  It sounds like you got the facts, but aren't following them to the logical conclusion.

                  1. You seem to be assuming our current fleet size is right-sized for our current commitments. But current commitments are not what drives fleet strategy - it's potential sudden future needs.

                    Plus Navy requirements take into account stuff like how many ships need to be down for maintenances at any given time.

                    Lack of training seems a pretty easy policy fix to me. The fatigue is a bit trickier, but looks more like a misalignment of manpower with ships. Which is likely just a reallocation - don't forget how many seamen are not actually deployed at any given time; that number is changeable.

                    1. "You seem to be assuming our current fleet size is right-sized for our current commitments."

                      The op tempo problems seem to indicate it is undersized for current commitments. My sense is this is pretty much the consensus.

                      I'm not arguing we should have more or less commitments, just that the commitments need to match the available force.

                      "Plus Navy requirements take into account stuff like how many ships need to be down for maintenances at any given time."

                      Well, duh!

                      "Lack of training seems a pretty easy policy fix to me."

                      Trying to do 60 hours of work in 40 hours isn't a policy fix. It isn't a case of PO Smith getting two weeks of training when he needs three, it is that there isn't time available to keep up with all the needed main and training. There are 24 hours in a day, and this cannot be changed by policy.

                    2. The op tempo problems seem to indicate it is undersized for current commitments.
                      I don't think that follows. It's one possible cause, but dumbass policies are at least as likely.

                      My point re: commitments is that force needs look well beyond current commitments to potential future needs in the case of a conflict. This may just be a semantic difference in how we're using the word commitment.

                      Lack of training does not mean there was no time for the training, it just as easily means training requirements were nonsense and not aligned with actual needed capabilities of the seamen.

                      Bottom line, you're saying every failure is due to lack of resources, whether people or time or money.
                      I think inefficient deployment of said resources is just as likely.

                    3. "Lack of training does not mean there was no time for the training, it just as easily means training requirements were nonsense and not aligned with actual needed capabilities of the seamen."

                      The people afloat see to disagree with you. To convince e, you'd have to make the case that their first hand experience is wrong, and your hand waving is right.

                      "Bottom line, you're saying every failure is due to lack of resources, whether people or time or money.
                      I think inefficient deployment of said resources is just as likely."

                      And your evidence for that is???

                    4. Absaroka, I read an interesting article a couple of years ago, maybe in the Atlantic. It detailed a navy effort to make a new class of littoral combat ships operational with smaller crews than would have previously been standard. The notion was that navy planning had typically amounted to use of redundant crews, to provide 24 hour readiness, and ready combat replacements for casualties. So an old-time WW II destroyer sailed with twice or more the complement it strictly needed to keep operating.

                      The new idea was to get rid of surplus hands, and train everyone to do at least two jobs—which I suppose must double the training effort per hand—so the desired economy fell short. It is not hard to imagine how that could go wrong in other ways, and apparently it did. Knowing an extra job is not the same as being able to do two jobs at once.

                      It is a simple fact that the U.S. navy is so disproportionately large in comparison to all potential adversaries (even in combination), that suggestions to enlarge it further have to be suspect. The standard has to be beating the other guys, not matching performance to an ever-increasing operational tempo which already leaves the other guys far behind.

                    5. And your evidence for that is???

                      What's your evidence that it's a resources problem?

                      Both policy and resources are plausible explanations for everything you laid out. So I don't see why you think the second is more likely than the first.

                    6. "So an old-time WW II destroyer sailed with twice or more the complement it strictly needed to keep operating."

                      That's, umm...not remotely true. Number 1, my dad served on one, number 2 ... read any biography or history. Couple of keywords: 'General Quarters' and 'watch and watch'.

                      "It is a simple fact that the U.S. navy is so disproportionately large in comparison to all potential adversaries (even in combination),"

                      1)You might want to do a little research on the Chinese navy
                      2)If you read carefully, you might note I am not advocating enlarging, or shrinking, the navy or army. I am saying that to need to match the force to the commitments; if you try to cover too many commitments with too little force for too long you get a hollow force. If you prefer a smaller force, that's fine, just realize the limits on what you have.

                    7. "What's your evidence that it's a resources problem?"

                      In addition to the one already posted, here's the first hit I got searching for 'us navy optempo problem'.

                      Not trying to be snarky, but do you follow military affairs at all? This stuff is all over. Crewmen post on random blogs. Think tanks do think pieces. I'm just trying how to understand how this could be news to you? I mean, if you had said 'Sure, reports of op tempo probs are everywhere, but I disagree because XXXXX', fine. But not knowing that this is widely known?

                      And your argument that it's bad policy would be more effective if you would specify what the bad policy is, and what your better policy is?

      2. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure we have more drag queens under arms than any other nation in the world."

        That's a feature not a bug because of our inclusive society.

        It's part of what makes us strong.

  12. Ukraine is not winning folks.

    1. They're not quite losing either...

      1. Ukraine is most definitely loosing the propaganda war both (a) among those under 30 and (b) among wealthy non-Western nations. Each of these losses is likely to contribute to an ultimate loss, particularly as the conflict is prolonged. In fact -- and as Diamon's letter to shareholders hints -- there is a predictable point (within one year) at which current American policies render America unable to defend against a ground invasion of American homeland: assuming the likely condition that Biden will be unable to admit error and reverse current policies, all Russia needs to do to be ultimately victorious is to prolong the conflict for one more year!

        [Regarding (a), for one poll, see https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/03/29/our-polling-reveals-a-striking-generational-divide-on-ukraine . Regarding (b) see maps offered by both the Economist and by CBS_News/CGTN (and, yes, CBS now uses footage and graphics from China state-run TV).]

        1. there is a predictable point (within one year) at which current American policies render America unable to defend against a ground invasion of American homeland

          What the heck?

        2. [Regarding (a), for one poll, see https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/03/29/our-polling-reveals-a-striking-generational-divide-on-ukraine

          Um, did you bother to read it? It shows Ukraine massively winning the so-called propaganda war among those under 30.

        3. OK.... You made me agree with Sarcastro and David. No mean feat there. Congrats.

          1. This whole Ukraine thing is making some amusingly strange bedfellows. Which, if you ask me, is a good thing.

    2. Truths in conflict number 27:
      The attacker has to overcome. The defender has to survive.
      This is the basis of all guerrilla wars.

  13. So, there have been lots of analogies for what the Ukraine war is. It's analogous to Iraq 2003, or Chechnya or Afghanistan or even Vietnam.

    However, perhaps a better analogy is the Israeli war of Independence in 1948. A smaller country, surrounded by a far larger power is invaded simultaenously on all sides. Independent observers expect the smaller country to quickly crumble in the wake of the large, militarized assault. But through sheer preservation and critically imported western supplies, the smaller country inflicts massive casualties on the invading armies and drives them off, solidifying its borders.

    Ukraine may be the Israel of the 21st century.

    1. I hope so, but I believe this war could have been prevented. The 1948 war involved an ideology and so you can’t reason with someone under the spell of an ideology. So 1948 is more like Iraq in 2003 because Bush developed an truly asinine ideology in order to start a war that was mostly about Bush’s re-election and liberating Iraq’s oil so the global economy could continue growing. Prior to Putin invading Ukraine he seemed to be motivated not by ideology but by values that have motivated leaders throughout history—making a country stronger by increasing its population by adding people with similar culture and language. So the same values that motivated Zionist motivate Putin.

      1. Are you on drugs, or just mentally ill?

        1. Are you on drugs, or just mentally ill?

          "or"?

          Anyone who hasn't muted SC already and continues to read/respond to his idiocy has too much time on their hands.

        2. Borders are sacrosanct!! Except for Israel!! And America!! Canaduh should be bombed for leaving the British Empire!!

    2. I'd say closer historical parallels would be the Russo-Japanese War (1905) although that was more naval, or the Italian invasion of Greece in 1940, although I do not think the Ukrainians have the capacity to pursue the Russians the way the Greeks did the Italians.

  14. Further thoughts about the war, and likely progression of the war.

    Time is on Ukraine's side here militarily. Substantially so.

    1. Russia failed in its initial lightning invasion, as well as taking substantial losses to its mechanized forces and professional military. In addition, Russia is very slowly replacing its losses, if at all. It has repeatedly said it won't send conscripts into battle....and given the morale issues, sending conscripts to die in Ukraine may backfire horribly. The replacements to its military equipment will take even longer, especially with the current sanctions in place. Russia can't build modern microchips...it imports them.
    2. Meanwhile Ukraine is rapidly expanding its military forces. It's brought all its reservists back to service (as should be expected). In addition, it's rapidly training new troops from its population. Ukraine is also readily obtaining new military equipment from its Western partners to replace that equipment that is destroyed or used. In two months, expect several newly trained brigades to enter combat for Ukraine, armed with Western arms.
    3. This has the effect that CURRENTLY Ukraine's military forces in Ukraine outnumber Russia's military forces in Ukraine. As Ukrainian recruitment, training, and equipping continues, Ukraine's firepower will exceed Russian firepower in Ukraine in ~2 months.
    4. At that point (if not before), expect a Ukranian campaign to retake all the lost territory in Ukraine, followed by a complete retaking of Donetsk. This will be an opportunity that Zelensky won't turn down. As Russian forces are driven from Donetsk, the Russians will get more desperate.
    5. The key turning point here will be the proposed Ukrainian liberation of Crimea. Putin will not want to lose Crimea, and will threaten WMDs, including tactical nukes, to keep it. At this point, Ukraine will "come to the peace table" to avoid being nuked. Russia will maintain de facto control over Crimea, but Ukraine will not give up its claims. Donetsk will be fully re-integrated into Ukraine. Russia will pay reparations of some sort. Estimated date for the armistice: October 2022.

    1. I'm dubious it will go that way. You say it is "likely", but I don't see how one can know. In particular, if Russia is willing to continue to degrade Ukraine's infrastructure, I don't see how Ukraine lasts that long. Lost of water, electrical power, and ability to distribute food seem like real issues.

      I could be wrong, I hope I am. I'm rooting for Ukraine to win and would like your scenario to be true. Just don't see it happen.

      1. It will all depend on the amount and quality of Western arms that are supplied.

        1. Maybe? I'm all good with the supplying of materiel aid to Ukraine. Hand held anti-air and anti-tank missiles seem helpful. But I'm still thinking if Russia is willing to target the civilian infrastructure (dams, power plants, fuel, etc) Ukraine won't be livable by most of its population.

          1. Well I have always maintained that all the talk about MIG 29's was silly. There just hasn't been a lot of air combat going on there. Nobody has talked about or filed actual dogfights going on over Ukraine. What they really need are SU-25's, which are the Soviet equivalent to our A-10 Warthog, a close air ground support plane. Those could be used to bust tanks, take out mobile missile launchers, break up rail and road supply lines The Czech Republic and Slovakia have several in reserve inventory.

      2. "if Russia is willing to continue to degrade Ukraine's infrastructure"
        They have to have the capability to do so...and they don't.

        Russia can effectively degrade infrastructure when its within artillery range. Most of Ukraine isn't within artillery range. After than Russia needs to use aircraft and long range missiles. In terms of aircraft, airspace is too contested for the types of major sorties needed to degrade infrastructure. In terms of missiles, they don't have enough left, and don't have the capability to manufacture more under sanctions.

        If you're talking about the cities under siege (Mariupol), that's one thing. But Lviv, Kyiv, Odessa, aren't under siege.

        1. I don't know that they don't have the capability to destroy much more infrastructure than they have. You could be right though. You are making very confident pronouncements, I'm dubious that confidence is warranted myself.

          1. There have been a lot of estimates thrown out there of how many missiles Russia has used, and how many it has left. Estimates put it at 1100 on March 25th.

            Here's the thing...Cruise missiles don't grow on trees. They're expensive. They take time to build. And they require advanced electronics (that Russia may not have access to anymore). Russia may not have many left...

            1. One of the fears is that Russia will escalate to tactical nukes just out of a shortage of conventional munitions.

              1. That's a tricky subject, but there are a few issues with it.

                1. Nukes aren't cheap. Your average nuclear warhead costs over $20 Million.
                2. To a certain extent, "Nuclear" missiles and Conventional missiles can use the same missile. It's just changing out the warhead. The very expensive (but more powerful) nuclear warhead for conventional explosives.
                3. Russia could use nuclear weapons to effectively degrade Ukraine's infrastructure. At that point, they'd realistically be considered strategic nuclear weapons use.

                Putting all this together, yes, Russia could "win" if they just nuke Ukraine. That would cut Russia off though, and even the Chinese likely wouldn't support Russia in such a situation. There would also be substantial blowback across the world. Not to mention the nuclear radiation coming back across Russia.

                And there's the worst case scenario for Russia...Russia's conventional warheads aren't exploding properly, with high failure rates. What if Russia drops a nuke on Ukraine, and it doesn't explode and Ukraine recovers it....

                1. I don't think we can assume behavior from Russia that we'd consider rational. Simply invading Ukraine breached that threshold.

                  And that's setting aside the evidence that he's possibly dying of cancer, and compromised by the treatments.

                  1. I think invading Ukraine WAS rational, based on the pre-existing set of information (that proved to be faulty).

                    Remember, Russia basically walked into Crimea in 2014, taking the entire peninsula with only a single casualty. Russia walked all over Georgia. The entire military consensus was that Ukraine would quickly fall in the face of overwhelming Russian firepower. Not just Russia's military consensus, but the West's as well.

                    Putin thought (not unreasonably, based on the above), that Russia would invade, and Ukraine would fold in a week or two. They'd put a new friendly government into power. The West would put some minor sanctions into place, and the entire situation would quickly, effectively put Ukraine back in Russia's sphere of influence.

                    The fact that Ukraine decided instead to resist...well...was unexpected.

                    1. This is precisely correct. The invasion was rational given some faulty assumptions we know Putin had. This is one of the problems with being a dictator, you end up getting bad information. Bad input = bad output.

                      Of course, one could argue that the same thing applies to the use of nukes. But there really isn't any possibility that Putin is not aware that the use of nuclear weapons would have dramatic and unpredictable consequences. Moreover, there is a very large possibility, I think probability, that the people around Putin might be willing to go along with a wrong-headed invasion of Ukraine, but would be much less likely to go along with the likely suicidal use of nuclear weapons. Putin can't launch those by himself and there are multiple points for less suicidal people to stop any such attempt.

                      Therefore, even if Putin is crazy enough to give the order (which itself is doubtful), I think it is unlikely his chain of command is sufficiently crazy to implement the order.

                    2. In fairness, it may not even be faulty assumptions that "just" Putin had. Keep in mind, most western advisors thought that Ukraine wouldn't last that long either.

    2. Seems way too pollyanna to me. Ukraine can't sell wheat, oil, sunflower oil, or metals not and is basically going broke while Russia is selling oil to India, China, Japan, and several other countries as well as wheat. Russia can simply lob missiles from inside Russia at will while Ukraine has limited ability to attack Russia proper.

      The real question is how long the West will be willing to take the economic hit of high oil/gas prices, nasty inflation, and absorb the cost of sending military stuff to Ukraine. Not to mention the human cost to Ukraine of what use to be called the brain drain. Most reports are that Ukraine has had around 10% of it's population leave the country and there seems to be little reason to think it has ended.

      I still say there is no happy ending.

      1. Ukraine is running this war on debt and foreign aid. That's not uncommon, especially with a war of survival. In addition, while Ukraine's exports have dropped, its non-military imports have also dropped

    3. Ukraine couldn't win in the east with comparatively weak Russian presence. I doubt they can win there with all the extra Russian forces. And unlike Putin, Zelensky will not want to destroy the village in order to save it.

      1. Ukraine was restrained there before, with a far weaker military.

        From 2014 to 2018, Ukranian military forces pushed back the "insurgents" in Donbass in its anti-terrorist offensive. Only when Russian troops began to enter more thoroughly in 2018 did they press back. Ukraine couldn't cross the border, for fear of widening the war (That ship has sailed).

        Now the Ukrainian military is much larger, and the Russian forces weaker. Ukrainian forces are arguably better armed. Any reservations about hitting targets across the border in Russia are gone.

    4. Unfortunately, this is beyond the control of Ukraine; it depends on other nations actually delivering heavy weapons, not just promises.
      (looking at you 'He who is owned by Russia')

    5. This is an excellent, cogent assessment of the situation. It may be a bit optimistic (I am not sure I agree in all particulars), but it is a realistic and logical assessment. And I absolutely hope your predictions come true.

  15. Have to agree with those that say there is a lot of "fog of war" disinformation going on here. When one poster claimed to be ignorant of the "Ghost of Kiev" I had to do a double take. I would be embarrassed about admitting such a thing.

    Some of the things I am sure of is that Ukraine is paying a big price and I see little reason to think there will be a quick end to it. Not saying Russia is getting a free pass but historically Russia plays the war of attrition game and cares little about men and material losses. As far as I can tell one fuel dump in Russia was hit by Ukraine choppers while the destruction of cities in Ukraine has been massive. Not to mention Ukraine is losing money by not being able to sell sunflower oil (if that does not mean something to you google it), wheat, oil, and metals. On the other hand Russia is selling oil and gas to India, Japan, China, Germany, and some other countries at discount prices while the West is paying through the nose to get high priced oil.

    What worries me most is claims that Putin has to go. Don't confuse me with being a Putin fan boy but the question is if Putin is deposed, killed, dies from ill health, whatever what makes anyone think his replacement will be an improvement. My intel is that the most likely replacement would be a older former KGB guy who is even more hardline than Putin. Not to mention if Putin's back is to the wall I have little he will press the big red button.

    Maybe the real question is how long the world economy can function with the energy disruption and the cost of the West financing a proxy war in the Ukraine before the West has a change of heart,

    Not trying to be a Debby Downer but no matter what happens I don't see a happy ending.

    1. The unofficial Russian policy regarding nuclear devices is that they would only be used in the face of an existential threat.
      It is not very smart of Mr Biden to make what sound like existential threats to Mr. Putin, likely identifies such threats to him as threats to Russia.
      We're not talk about global nuclear war, but the use of a small device (say 2 kT) that would break to taboo against any use of nuclear weapons.

    2. When one poster claimed to be ignorant of the "Ghost of Kiev" I had to do a double take. I would be embarrassed about admitting such a thing.

      You would be embarrassed to be unaware of an urban legend? There are undoubtedly all sorts of untrue things said on the internet. It isn't particularly relevant to assessing the actual situation to be aware of untrue things. To the extent it is important to be aware that Russia and Ukraine (at minimum) sometimes or often say untrue things to influence internal and external opinion, sure. But you needn't be aware of what, precisely, Putin is claiming about supposed bioweapons labs (or even, necessarily, that he is making any particular claims about labs) to assess the military situation or even Putin's aims. And the bioweapon labs lie at least has some relevance to Putins' intentions (false flag, justification for his own use of bio or chemical weapons), whereas the "Ghost of Kyiv" was a made up story of heroism which, at best, was a composite of the Ukrainian air force which, reportedly, collectively downed six Russian jets, and, at worst, was completely false story to boost morale. It has no relevance from an intelligence, military capability, strategy, or tactical standpoint.

      That you want to make it into a big deal, as you have elsewhere, is something to be embarrassed about.

      1. Funny you think I made a big deal out of the "ghost of Kiev' when it was all over the internet and cable news programs so much so that anyone who had not seen it mentioned was boycotting a lot of media.

        1. Name one major news organization that reported the Ghost of Kyiv as a true story with a citation to the article.

  16. From the Kremlin information arm RIA Novosti on Apr. 3rd. The blueprint for Ukraine:

    "In this case, the necessary initial steps of denazification can be defined as follows:
    --- ???????????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? (???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????????????????, ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????????????????), ???????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????????, ????????????????????????????????????????????????????, ???????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????????????? ????????????????????????????????;
    —the formation of public self-government bodies and militia (defense and law enforcement) of the liberated territories, protecting the population from the terror of underground Nazi groups;
    —installation of the Russian information space;
    —the withdrawal of educational materials and the prohibition of educational programs at all levels containing Nazi ideological guidelines;
    —???????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????, ???????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????, ???????????? ???????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ????????????????????????;
    —????????????????????????????????????????, ???????????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????? ????????????????????????, ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? (???????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????????? ???????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????);
    —the adoption at the local level, under the supervision of Russia, of primary normative acts of denazification "from below", a ban on all types and forms of the revival of Nazi ideology;
    —the establishment of memorials, commemorative signs, monuments to the victims of Ukrainian Nazism, perpetuating the memory of the heroes of the struggle against it;
    —the inclusion of a complex of anti-fascist and denazification norms in the constitutions of the new people's republics;
    —creation of permanent denazification bodies for a period of 25 years."

    https://ria-ru.translate.goog/20220403/ukraina-1781469605.html?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp&fbclid=IwAR0xFbWuWRAgQopx2EFmTatvZKKQKs8uJxPR9iQxYD5NAUgfFXyNYEiZ3DE

  17. Well that didn't work out. Let's try it this way:

    From the Kremlin information arm RIA Novosti on Apr. 3rd. The blueprint for Ukraine:

    " In this case, the necessary initial steps of denazification can be defined as follows:
    —liquidation of armed Nazi formations (which means any armed formations of Ukraine, including the Armed Forces of Ukraine), as well as the military, informational, educational infrastructure that ensures their activity;
    —the formation of public self-government bodies and militia (defense and law enforcement) of the liberated territories, protecting the population from the terror of underground Nazi groups;
    —installation of the Russian information space;
    —the withdrawal of educational materials and the prohibition of educational programs at all levels containing Nazi ideological guidelines;
    —mass investigative actions to establish personal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, the spread of Nazi ideology and support for the Nazi regime;
    —lustration, publication of the names of acccomplices of the Nazi regime, involving them in forced labor to restore the destroyed infrastructure as punishment for Nazi activities (from among those who will not be subject to the death penalty or imprisonment);
    —the adoption at the local level, under the supervision of Russia, of primary normative acts of denazification "from below", a ban on all types and forms of the revival of Nazi ideology;
    —the establishment of memorials, commemorative signs, monuments to the victims of Ukrainian Nazism, perpetuating the memory of the heroes of the struggle against it;
    —the inclusion of a complex of anti-fascist and denazification norms in the constitutions of the new people's republics;
    —creation of permanent denazification bodies for a period of 25 years.

    https://ria-ru.translate.goog/20220403/ukraina-1781469605.html?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp&fbclid=IwAR0xFbWuWRAgQopx2EFmTatvZKKQKs8uJxPR9iQxYD5NAUgfFXyNYEiZ3DE

    1. Wow. I wonder what percentage of the Russian population actually believe that crap?

      1. Probably hard to get an honest poll in a country where speaking against the war has become a crime.

        But I'd bet a decent number do believe it. The narrative above is presumably basically everywhere in Russian media. The alternative is to believe foreign sources telling you that your country is evil and your leader (who many support/supported there alas) is a criminal. Perhaps it is easier/safer/more comfortable to believe the state's narrative.

      2. Given that, apparently, 25% of Republicans identify as QAnon believers, which is far more wacky than the very wacky Putin lie about Nazis in Ukraine, quite likely upwards of 50% actually do.

        Extraordinary claims should require extraordinary evidence. We, in America, should remember that too, instead of just shaking our heads at the gullibility of Russians.

  18. Reasons I do not believe that mainstream narrative:
    (1) Lying is so common, it is more likely than not.
    (2)The purpose of Censorship is to protect the Official Lie.
    (3)The direction of the lie is the direction of the censorship. And I know that RT and other pro-Russia info is being censored.
    (4) Our Elite's ox has been gored.
    (5)Russia could have broken/turned off the electricity, gas, sewage, internet connectivity and a host of other things in Kiev, but they have not. So why do what has been alleged?
    (6) The mainstreams allegations against Trump visa-vie Russia turned out to be lies.
    (7) The lies in (6) and (8) are in danger of being further exposed.
    (8) Hunter Biden.
    (9) our mainstream has been caught in other lies against Russia.
    (10) Putin has an 80% approval rating, so the mainstream is full of shit.
    (11)Many other.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but there is no way to know what evidence is and what is really lies. There was no WMD in Iran. Our leadership is clearly on the brink of war. War requires a proven case, but this is impossible.

    Putin/Russia could still be the Devil. No proof he is not. But no proof he is. He could be just a world leader trying to make his country great again.

    All I am saying is give peace a chance.

    1. Reasons I don't believe that Paul Elliott is a real person rather than a Russian bot acount:

      1) The last comment "he" posted.

    2. Share that Pravda, comrade Bot...

  19. real person. Real history of buying things. Amazon knows me. Real address.

    So your bot theory is totally phony. What other things I wonder do you believe that are not true. The google account this email comes from is over 10 years old. It has said things. and done things. People know me.

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