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Old 07-30-2014   #1
OUTLAW 09
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Default Ukraine: military (Aug '14 to mid-June '15) closed

Moderator's Note

I have decided to:
  1. Close the existing main Ukraine (catch all) thread (1991 replies and 99k views) and move all August posts to here
  2. Create two threads for current matters
  3. First the fighting and military aspects - this thread
  4. Secondly the wider non-military context (diplomacy, politicis, economics etc)
  5. The Russian Info Ops thread is now in the Europe arena (ends)



Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
So - duplicity is a trait of a rogue state?
AP---this is a good read as a beginning learner for you--even some inside Russia state close to what I am saying and I am not even Russian.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...ia/504196.html

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Old 07-30-2014   #2
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Outlaw - I'm still waiting on that definition of "criminal rogue state". You've implied only one characteristic (duplicity). In the international system, what makes a state "criminal" and/or "rogue"?

Not sure how the article furthers the conversation; I've already made the argument that Russia is an empire. I'm inclined to agree with the idea that Russia is a "rogue" state in its behavior as a spoiler and its characteristics as an imperial state; but, alas, you still have not offered a definition of what actually constitutes a "rogue" state.
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Old 07-30-2014   #3
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Sorry for not replying sooner, but life gets in the way. The situation in East Ukraine has still not resolved to the point that I am able to determine whether the sudden maneuver by the Ukrainian mechanized group that attacked cross-country on July 27 between the key cross-roads town of Debaltseve in the north towards Shakhtarsk in the south has had its intended impact. By the morning hours of July 28th the separatists were able to pry open the east-west roadway in Shakhtarsk and to push back the Ukrainians to both the southern as well as the northern outskirts of the town. Ukrainian losses in armored vehicles due to fighting in urban terrain against short range anti-tank weapons appear to have been fairly heavy. However, Russian claims to have destroyed upwards to 125 vehicles are unconfirmed. Photographic evidence shows a few burnt out BTRs and BMPs. If claims of a modern day Prokhorovka (WWII Battle of Kursk encounter) are to be true, then one would expect video of a field of destroyed tanks by now, but none have appeared in the internet. Even if the Russians have reopened the road towards Luhansk, the road link to the city of Donetsk through Shakhtarsk is tenuous at best; the Ukrainians have the ability to interdict much of the traffic with artillery. Based on accounts by separatist eyewitnesses, a portion of the Ukrainian armored column bisected the east-west road on July 27th and raced southeast to attack Saur-Mohyla mountain from the north; that is from behind of the defenses facing Ukrainian forces to the south (which are currently trapped along the Russian border). However, many armored vehicles were disabled by dense minefields as the Ukrainians attacked up the reverse slope of the mountain. Then the Russians hit them with artillery. Enough infantry dismounted to reach the top in order to seize the mountain, or at least a portion of it. For the last three days, both sides claim to control Saur-Mohyla and concede that the opposite side is fighting very hard to recapture it. According to Ukrainian reports, the separatists are supported by heavy arty and rocket fire from across the border, no more than 8 kilometers to the south. Fresh Ukrainian airborne troops from the 95th brigade and tank support from a company of tanks from the 30th mech brigade are fighting but partially surrounded at Stepanivka, just east of Saur-Mohyla. It seems that any attempt by one side to outflank the other results in a new encirclement. Reportedly, some but not all of the surrounded brigades along the Russian border have been resupplied and a few units have been rotated out and replaced by fresh troops. In an attempt to maintain the initiative, the Ukrainians started a limited offensive to block the same east-west road to Donetsk at Khartsysk, west of their recent breakthrough towards Shakhtarsk and closer to Donetsk. They made some headway (up to Ilyowsk) but are still some 5 kilometers south of the road. Not to be outdone, the separatists have sent long range raiding parties to attack north-east of Debaltseve, to threaten the line of communications of the armored group that attacked recently towards Shakhtarsk. This is a whirlwind campaign where the Ukrainians constantly seek open country for maneuver while the Russians react by forcing the Ukes into positional warfare, preferably in urban terrain. As stated by me previously, all depends on whether the Russians can maintain the rate of reinforcement and resupply over the border near Luhansk (actually towards Krasnodon). One last comment about Outlaw 09's snippet regarding Lt. General Victor Muzhenko, Ukr. Chief of the General Staff, leading the armored maneuver group in a tank. This report is unconfirmed. In the first days of July, when the Ukrainians began this campaign to clear the Donbas, Muzhenko was not Chief of the General Staff. He was merely the commander of the East Ukrainian theater of operations. Reportedly, he led a battalion of the 79th airmobile brigade in an attack up Saur-Mohyla mountain, as a preliminary attack before the Ukrainians sent troops to seal off the border (these three brigades eventually were surrounded and had to dig in). The attack on July 1 to take Saur-Mohyla failed, despite Muzhenko's personal involvement. Perhaps the earlier incident is now mistakenly attributed to the maneuver on Shakhtarsk two days ago. Either way, Muzhenko is quite the "fighting general." The Ukrainians better hope he survives. Muzhenko may be the closest reincarnation of Heinz Guderian, George Patton and/or Ariel Sharon, anywhere today. Where would they be in this war without him?
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Old 07-31-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
I think your line of argument opens questions about the long-term consequences for Russia's internal situation. Are sanctions and destabilizing Russia's economy more important than dominating in Ukraine? Is it in the U.S. interest to destablize Russia?
I don't think the US is destabilizing Russia. Putin has to some extent destabilized his own regime by choosing policies that exacerbate the conflict in interests between and among his key constituents. That's his own doing. Why should the US or "the West" refrain from sanctions to protect Putin from the consequences of his own decisions? Putin is not Russia; Russia was there before him and will be there after him. If Putin steps in a pile of merde and destabilizes his own government, so it goes. The US doesn't need to clean his boots.

I think it's safe to conclude that Putin doesn't want to invade the Eastern Ukraine: if he wanted to do it he'd have done it a long time ago. He certainly doesn't want the Ukraine to win the east back. He put his faith in proxies, and the proxies haven't delivered. Now he has to choose between two unwanted outcomes, both of which have negative consequences. That situation is his own doing, and the choice is up to him to make.

Russia is increasingly isolated. If the Ukraine emerges from this with a pro-western government, Putin's only ally on his Western border will be Lukashenko, who is as much liability as asset. In the south the 'Stans are increasingly falling into the Chinese economic orbit. Those events are not about "the West" or China undermining Russia, they are about former Russian satellites asserting their own sovereignty and choosing their own alliances on the basis of their own perceived interests. It's absurd to say that the Baltic States, the Ukraine, or even Belarus "must" stay in the Russian orbit because Russia wants a buffer zone. To make that claim would be to deny that these are sovereign states. If the Kazakhs or Turkmen get better deals on gas and investments from China, why shouldn't they deal with China? If Eastern Europe sees connection to the West as more advantageous to them then connection to Russia, why shouldn't they connect to the West? If Russia wants to retain its influence in these areas, they need to learn how to pursue policies of attraction (not a Russian strong point, I fear) and to make their friendship more desirable than that of their rivals. Of course the Russians can pretend that this erosion of influence is caused by devious machinations of great power rivals. They can even believe their own pretense. That's not going to reverse the erosion.

The US can't "win" in the Ukraine because the US isn't a direct party to the conflict. The Ukraine is fighting for its sovereign right to determine its own alliances and policies. Of course the US would prefer to see the Ukraine win, but it's not the US that's fighting, and framing the conflict as the US vs Russia is not, I think, very helpful.

Whether or not "the World" needs Russia is to me irrelevant. Russia exists, and must be dealt with to some extent.
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Old 07-31-2014   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
So - duplicity is a trait of a rogue state?
AP----let's take the Wikipedia definition as a starting point.

Rogue state is a controversial term applied by some international theorists to states they consider threatening to the world's peace. This means meeting certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism, and seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.

1. Ruled by authoritarian regime---would argue that Putin with the new anti Maidan and internet laws has in fact established an authoritarian regime
2. Sponsor terrorism—would argue that the initial Georgia and Moldavian adventures started out as “terrorist” activities against ethnic Russians—was really a false flag used as the geo political reasoning for armed invasions, Crimea was in fact along the same lines and one could in fact define the sending of irregular/mercenary manpower/weapons into eastern Ukraine as both terroristic in nature and or an armed irregular invasion
3. Proliferation of WMD—one can in fact argue that weapons such as the BMs 21/27 used against civilian targets are in fact WMD, one can argue the use of a Buk missile system to down a civilian airliner killing 298 is in fact WMD, one could argue by using irregular/mercenaries inside another country and randomly well maybe not so randomly killing, torturing, pillaging/plundering and destroying key infrastructure as WMD

Heck AP we define a home made bomb in Boston as WMD these days so why not a Buk or BM 21/27?

A common presumption applied to rogue states is that they do not necessarily behave rationally or in their own best interests. In political theory it is generally believed that a stable nation, ruled by a leadership that is subject to broad scrutiny (though not necessarily democratic scrutiny), will tend to act in its own best interests and will not take actions that are directly contrary to its own interests, particularly not to its own survival. Rogue states, however, may not be subject to this assumption and, as such, relations with them may be more complicated and unpredictable.

Would argue that Russia has not acted rationally since the Georgia events –actually even before that in their direct violation of the INF. Why did they violate the INF—it came out yesterday in a number of press releases after the US charges—the treaty hurts Russia, the treaty is not good for Russia etc. The underlying assumption by the hardliners is ---that was done under weak SU leaders and we are strong thus want to change it now.

We can go further back and look at their violation of the OSCE treaties they signed for the destruction of a set amount of tanks and APCs—they argued to the OSCE that they could not accomplish it due to the ongoing jihadi issues in the ‘stans. But that was over eight years ago and no one has called them on it.

Those OSCE scheduled to be destroyed T64s that Russia agreed to are now fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Then we can look at how their violated the Memorandum on the Ukraine which they signed.

If you really look deeper into these events you will find a single argument—these agreements were done by weak SU leaders in a weak period of the SU and that hurt the new Russia so therefore we no longer hold to them.

NOTE: Stalin one said at a private high level CP meeting---yes we will sign treaties and agreements but and this is critical but we can/will change them when we want to in order to fit the new environment. AP see the continuance of thoughts from Stalin until 2014? So AP then what treaties/agreements that Russia has signed since 1994 do they hold to be valid now in 2014 or better yet will in fact Russia hold to any treaty they sign based on past performance?

The follow on assumption then is we the "new Russia" do not think that former leaders of the SU concluded a “good deal” for the now Russia so therefore we will do what we want to restore the now Russia to renewed superpower status.

Was and or is that not the argument Putin used in annexing the Crimea in a number of his statement just before and after the annexation and still is using when he talks about never giving back the Crimea?

This whole argument about NATO enlargement is a smokescreen and has always been a smokescreen as well as the argument about containment has been a smokescreen since the 60s. It is a smokescreen that allows for increasing their military and strengthening their internal authoritarian population controls.

Since 1994, countries in Europe were free to go their separate ways and conclude agreements that were beneficial to their populations—now we have rouge nation who is redefining the concept of ethnicity/culture/language as a smokescreen for imperialistic nationalistic expansion under the guise of “we want to play again with the big boys” BUT we do not want to play “big boy games” meaning accept responsibility for our actions in the international relations game.

Did you notice that in both the Korean airliner shot down and now MH17 the then SU and now Russia has in fact copied the exact playbook—“ain’t our responsibly” even if somehow someone ran a Buk missile system through our “enhanced border security” that was guarded by both the FSB/GRU and Border Security Services.

If “those independence fighters” are Russians carrying Russian passports---“ain’t our responsibility”, if the international community cannot get to the crash site---it’s the fault of the Ukrainians “ain’t our responsibility”, the fighting is killing civilians then it is the fault of the Ukrainians because we “told” them to negotiate and settle on our terms ie Federated States---ain’t our responsibility” , those T64s/BM21/27/Buks crossing our border--"ain't our responsibility", what somehow we are being blamed for our Army troops shelling Ukrainian positions---"ain't our responsibilty', and the list goes on.

AP recognize by the way the actual events mentioned above?

Now ask yourself the following question and I would like you now to answer it since you wanted a definition of rouge state---does this sound like the actions of a sane, rationally clear thinking participant country in either Europe or Eurasia? Or a sane rational acting country at all?

Thus my statement they are a rogue nation—you can throw in the criminal just based on the Yukos event and the resulting court decision, the killing of the former KGB COL in the UK who was a bitter critic of Putin, and the cyber activities which have never stopped since 1994.

By the way concerning cyber and it is getting worse by the hour and that is why I today have a company combatting it—actually Russian criminals are a great job enhancer these days—check the arrest of a Russian citizen who is now in Guam---and whose mother is the Deputy Duma leader and close supporter of Putin. Then check the Russian citizen recently arrested in Italian---check the amount of personal financial damage done to US citizens/companies.

AP--from Interfax today --another great "it ain't our responsibly" by a Russian sanctioned company. By the way in the current Russia there is some distinct difficulties based on Russian laws and countless shadow/fake companies just who owns these companies or are they in fact just new forms of the old Soviet style state owned companies?

Almaz-Antey chief reacts to company's inclusion on EU sanctions list.

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax-AVN) - The European Union's sanctions against the joint-stock company (JSC) Concern Almaz-Antey prove the great importance of the company's products in providing national defense, said Yan Novikov, the General Director at Almaz-Antey.

"The EU decision to impose sanctions against JSC Concern Almaz-Antey causes a dual feeling. First of all, a sense of pride for the company in relation to such a rating of its importance for the country," he said, according to a company's press release obtained by Interfax-AVN on Thursday.

At the same time, "there is a sense of regret for this hypocritical EU decision," he said. "With no evidence of possible involvement of militias, let alone Russia, in the tragedy of the Malaysian Boeing 777 above the Donetsk land, they resort to all sorts of tricks by blaming the designer of the weapon for what happened," Novikov said.

Rouge has been now answered. Debate concluded.

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Old 07-31-2014   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shchors View Post
Sorry for not replying sooner, but life gets in the way. The situation in East Ukraine has still not resolved to the point that I am able to determine whether the sudden maneuver by the Ukrainian mechanized group that attacked cross-country on July 27 between the key cross-roads town of Debaltseve in the north towards Shakhtarsk in the south has had its intended impact. By the morning hours of July 28th the separatists were able to pry open the east-west roadway in Shakhtarsk and to push back the Ukrainians to both the southern as well as the northern outskirts of the town. Ukrainian losses in armored vehicles due to fighting in urban terrain against short range anti-tank weapons appear to have been fairly heavy. However, Russian claims to have destroyed upwards to 125 vehicles are unconfirmed. Photographic evidence shows a few burnt out BTRs and BMPs. If claims of a modern day Prokhorovka (WWII Battle of Kursk encounter) are to be true, then one would expect video of a field of destroyed tanks by now, but none have appeared in the internet. Even if the Russians have reopened the road towards Luhansk, the road link to the city of Donetsk through Shakhtarsk is tenuous at best; the Ukrainians have the ability to interdict much of the traffic with artillery. Based on accounts by separatist eyewitnesses, a portion of the Ukrainian armored column bisected the east-west road on July 27th and raced southeast to attack Saur-Mohyla mountain from the north; that is from behind of the defenses facing Ukrainian forces to the south (which are currently trapped along the Russian border). However, many armored vehicles were disabled by dense minefields as the Ukrainians attacked up the reverse slope of the mountain. Then the Russians hit them with artillery. Enough infantry dismounted to reach the top in order to seize the mountain, or at least a portion of it. For the last three days, both sides claim to control Saur-Mohyla and concede that the opposite side is fighting very hard to recapture it. According to Ukrainian reports, the separatists are supported by heavy arty and rocket fire from across the border, no more than 8 kilometers to the south. Fresh Ukrainian airborne troops from the 95th brigade and tank support from a company of tanks from the 30th mech brigade are fighting but partially surrounded at Stepanivka, just east of Saur-Mohyla. It seems that any attempt by one side to outflank the other results in a new encirclement. Reportedly, some but not all of the surrounded brigades along the Russian border have been resupplied and a few units have been rotated out and replaced by fresh troops. In an attempt to maintain the initiative, the Ukrainians started a limited offensive to block the same east-west road to Donetsk at Khartsysk, west of their recent breakthrough towards Shakhtarsk and closer to Donetsk. They made some headway (up to Ilyowsk) but are still some 5 kilometers south of the road. Not to be outdone, the separatists have sent long range raiding parties to attack north-east of Debaltseve, to threaten the line of communications of the armored group that attacked recently towards Shakhtarsk. This is a whirlwind campaign where the Ukrainians constantly seek open country for maneuver while the Russians react by forcing the Ukes into positional warfare, preferably in urban terrain. As stated by me previously, all depends on whether the Russians can maintain the rate of reinforcement and resupply over the border near Luhansk (actually towards Krasnodon). One last comment about Outlaw 09's snippet regarding Lt. General Victor Muzhenko, Ukr. Chief of the General Staff, leading the armored maneuver group in a tank. This report is unconfirmed. In the first days of July, when the Ukrainians began this campaign to clear the Donbas, Muzhenko was not Chief of the General Staff. He was merely the commander of the East Ukrainian theater of operations. Reportedly, he led a battalion of the 79th airmobile brigade in an attack up Saur-Mohyla mountain, as a preliminary attack before the Ukrainians sent troops to seal off the border (these three brigades eventually were surrounded and had to dig in). The attack on July 1 to take Saur-Mohyla failed, despite Muzhenko's personal involvement. Perhaps the earlier incident is now mistakenly attributed to the maneuver on Shakhtarsk two days ago. Either way, Muzhenko is quite the "fighting general." The Ukrainians better hope he survives. Muzhenko may be the closest reincarnation of Heinz Guderian, George Patton and/or Ariel Sharon, anywhere today. Where would they be in this war without him?
shchors---this is from Interfax today---now the statement is "many tanks"--that could be defined as say two, three or four as being many.

07/31 12:50 DPR militia claims to have destroyed many Ukrainian tanks, still controlling Shakhtarsk
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Old 07-31-2014   #7
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The UK Independent reported this morning of a secret Putin/Merkel peace plan for the Ukraine---"gas for land" ie the Crimea remains Russian with Russia paying billions for lost Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet rents and the Ukraine gets a long term lower gas price for their economy.

Was also released this morning in the German der Spiegel online.

Both the Independent and der Spiegel could get no responses from the Russians, Germans, and the British FMs on the article which is interesting as one would think that denials would be forth coming if not true.

Plan would be hard for the US/UK to accept as they have gone on record as stating that the Crimea will always remain Ukrainian and there has been no response out of Kiev on the article.

http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/...d_4028632.html
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Old 07-31-2014   #8
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An interesting comment from one of Putin's trusted media commenters. what is really interesting is that over the last few days more and more comments pop up around the net from "Russian commenters" indicating that well maybe it was a mistaken identity of the aircraft by the irregulars that led to the downing thus if a mistake then they are not "terrorists". That messaging was even voice Monday by the Russian UN Ambassador.

An interesting flip of the terms. Terrorists before but if a mistake then not terrorists?


“Putin’s favorite journalist,” Andrey Kolesnikov from Kommersant is broadcasting a very interesting thing. He is broadcasting, and not expressing his own opinion, the text makes it obvious.

http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/07/3...downed-boeing/


It is not excluded that the Russian president, not trusting anyone fully, does not want to receive another information channel – counting on the “black box” decryption to be controlled by a big number of specialists from various countries, and that in reality this situations is not one in which the Brits may hide something or even intend to do so.

And if in the end at some moment we do find out that the rebels have had something to do with it, it will radically change the attitude towards them. Even if it turns out that it was by pure accident…

Children, adults too, and the elderly who have died for nothing are the red line he cannot cross, nonetheless. Covering for those who did it, knowing that they were the ones responsible… No, he will not burden his soul with such a sin. It is not worth it.

But in order not to cross it, he has to now who did it. It seems he has received all the information he could have from his sources. Now he would like to get information from others. And of course, not SSU workers – everything is already crystal clear about them.

If, I repeat, it turns out, the resistance fighters really did not know that the Boeing was taken down before the plane parts and bodies of the victims started raining down on them – then the policy of the relations with the fighters of the resistance will be reexamined forever.

Yes, Vladimir Putin will refuse to work with them.

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Old 07-31-2014   #9
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Cited in part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
The UK Independent reported this morning of a secret Putin/Merkel peace plan for the Ukraine---"gas for land" ie the Crimea remains Russian with Russia paying billions for lost Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet rents and the Ukraine gets a long term lower gas price for their economy.
Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...s-9638764.html

Outlaw09,

I find this story odd, first though this was a deal:
Quote:
However, these attempts by Ms Merkel to act as a broker between President Putin and the Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, were put on the back-burner following the shooting down of the MH17 plane in eastern Ukraine.
Does the fact that The Independent is owned by Alexander Lebedev, a Russian oligarch in exile in London a factor? He also owns the London Evening Standard, which is a free evening paper.

Wiki seems to think it is:
Quote:
The paper originally described itself as "free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence"—a banner it carried on the front page of its daily edition. This banner was dropped in September 2011.
Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Independent
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Old 07-31-2014   #10
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Onlookers should see this as a test of ethical journalism for the editorial staff of The Independent and it 31 year old Editor.

Newspaper staff seldom meet the standards they set for others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Cited in part:

Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...s-9638764.html

Outlaw09,

I find this story odd, first though this was a deal:

Does the fact that The Independent is owned by Alexander Lebedev, a Russian oligarch in exile in London a factor? He also owns the London Evening Standard, which is a free evening paper.

Wiki seems to think it is:

Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Independent
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Old 07-31-2014   #11
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Looks like the FSB/GRU really does have to teach young Russian soldiers to not use social media.

Since it seems the FSB cannot do it---the Duma is now trying to stop social media posting by Russian soldiers.

"A Communist Party deputy is reportedly preparing legislation that would ban soldiers from posting photos and videos on social networks that revealed military equipment or positions."----This alone confirms that all postings are in fact valid postings and geo locations.

This Russian soldier uploaded photos of himself being in both Russia and the Ukraine and basically crossing back and forth----photos were geo tagged and indicated he was inside the Ukraine when he uploaded them.

Claims to be a commo specialist in a APC but mentioned the Buk. So was he the comms dude for the Buk? The SBU did mention they had a voice intercept of a Russian inside the Buk.

Article indicates that he took a beating from Russian commenters for his stupidity of uploading the information.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ls-border.html

Second article referencing and expanding the first article.

http://www.businessinsider.com/russi...ukraine-2014-7

Another either active or former Russian soldier fighting in the Ukraine posts on social media.

http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/07/3...ictims-online/

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Old 07-31-2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Cited in part:

Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...s-9638764.html

Outlaw09,

I find this story odd, first though this was a deal:

Does the fact that The Independent is owned by Alexander Lebedev, a Russian oligarch in exile in London a factor? He also owns the London Evening Standard, which is a free evening paper.

Wiki seems to think it is:

Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Independent
David--second thought could be he was testing the waters since he is tied to the oligarchs and they are voicing although unnamed recently their critique of Putin driving Russia into isolation.

Thirdly if that was the case then it was discussed.

Surprisingly there has been virtually no further mention of it in der Spiegel which means the Germans are trying to let it die without comment---the same for die Zeit.

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Old 07-31-2014   #13
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Seems like more Russian personnel and armored vehicles arrived into the Ukraine in the past few days---50 vehicle of mixed MRLs, APCs and artillery alone in this convoy.

Video is part of the article.

http://maidantranslations.com/2014/0...e-from-russia/
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Old 07-31-2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
AP----let's take the Wikipedia definition as a starting point.Rogue state is a controversial term applied by some international theorists to states they consider threatening to the world's peace. This means meeting certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian regimes that severely restrict human rights, sponsor terrorism, and seek to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.
Right of the bat you confirm that "rogue state" is a political definition. So - let's look at your definitions of a "rogue state":

Quote:
1. Ruled by authoritarian regime
2.Sponsor terrorism
3.Proliferation of WMD
The characteristics are problematic. Why? They do not offer any objective value to understanding the behavior of states. Sure - they provide good political commentary, hence the "controversy" of using the term in the first place. If you were to compare the U.S. list of rogue states with all the states in the international community that meet the three characteristics you provide, there is a significant discrepency. The implied definition excavated from your statement is that a rogue state is a state that does not conform to the currently established norms of international conduct in the U.S.-led international system. Now - the real question is this: why is that relevant?

Quote:
Heck AP we define a home made bomb in Boston as WMD these days so why not a Buk or BM 21/27?
That's a qood question. I'd have to double check, but there's something like over 100 definitions of weapons of mass destructing between local, state, federal, and international law. In some of those definitions, large explosives are classified as WMD. Now - what are the legal implications of classifying conventional military systems as WMD? If the Buk, why not the Patriot missile system? If the BM 21, why not HIMARS?

Quote:
A common presumption applied to rogue states is that they do not necessarily behave rationally or in their own best interests.
That is a presumption with which I disagree. More often the case, the presumption is the result of a failure of analysis by the one making the presumption.

Quote:
In political theory it is generally believed that a stable nation, ruled by a leadership that is subject to broad scrutiny (though not necessarily democratic scrutiny), will tend to act in its own best interests and will not take actions that are directly contrary to its own interests, particularly not to its own survival. Rogue states, however, may not be subject to this assumption and, as such, relations with them may be more complicated and unpredictable.
Regime type (authoritarian, democratic, etc) does influence state behavior but authoritarian states are not less 'rational' than democratic states. They are responding to different stimuli in their domestic politics.

Quote:
Would argue that Russia has not acted rationally since the Georgia events –actually even before that in their direct violation of the INF. Why did they violate the INF—it came out yesterday in a number of press releases after the US charges—the treaty hurts Russia, the treaty is not good for Russia etc. The underlying assumption by the hardliners is ---that was done under weak SU leaders and we are strong thus want to change it now.
You answered your own question. I highlighted it in bold. The nationalists and realists have gathered strength during the second Putin administration, pushing the technocrats and liberals (what's left of them) aside. As I've stated in previous posts, the Russian elite is gaining in confidence and capability, and there's also disenchantment with the dissonance between Russia's ascribed and perceived status. So - if Russia has the means, motive, and opportunity, how are they acting irrational?

Quote:
now we have rouge nation who is redefining the concept of ethnicity/culture/language as a smokescreen for imperialistic nationalistic expansion under the guise of “we want to play again with the big boys” BUT we do not want to play “big boy games” meaning accept responsibility for our actions in the international relations game.
The basic tenant of realist IR theory is: "the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must." Why would Russia "acceptable responsibility" for actions for which they do not want to accept responsibility, and why is Russia's decision to not accept responsibility any more objectionable than any other powerful state that refuses to accept responsibility?

Quote:
Now ask yourself the following question and I would like you now to answer it since you wanted a definition of rouge state---does this sound like the actions of a sane, rationally clear thinking participant country in either Europe or Eurasia? Or a sane rational acting country at all?
Yes - as described in this post and previous posts, Russia has the motive, means, and opportunity to act as a spoiler in the international system. Motive - insecurity caused by the difference between perceived and ascribed status. Means - improving military capabilities relative to other great powers. Opportunity - Georgia, Ukraine, et. al. Again, if all three are present, how is the Russian elite acting irrationally?

Quote:
Rouge has been now answered. Debate concluded.
And so here we come full cycle. It's clear that Russia has the motive, means, and opportunity to act as a spoiler. But why now? As I've discussed in previous posts, states are concerned with relative power with other states. There's a perception (not completely unfounded, and certainly not helped by U.S. politics) that the U.S. is in retrenchment. That does not necessarily mean U.S. power is diminishing. It just means that U.S. capabilities are diminishing or is perceived to be diminishing relative to other major powers (namely China and Russia, and to a smaller extent, Japan, India, Germany, and perhaps a few others).

But what's the context of this retrenchment? It follows a period of unilateral policies that have aggravated and sowed distrust in the international community through the Bush Doctrine. The retrenchment of military capabilities could not be patched over through diplomatic efforts because the trust and goodwill simply did not exist. So now - after 8 years of the Bush doctrine championing the U.S.' right to unilaterally act as it pleases internationally, we have the Obama doctrine which attempts to preserve the less objectionable aspects of the Bush era while also simultaneously withdrawing from many foolhardy commitments. But that has only opened the opportunity for states like Russia, chomping at the bit to get back in the game as you said, to act. The U.S. escalated conflict through the War on Terrorism and other Bush doctrine policies; now we're trying to de-escalate. However, other states, namely Russia, have taken our cue (Iraq, Syria, Libya, and so on), and have also decided to escalate. That's the problem and why we're caught in this compromising foreign policy position.

Now - you've said that Russia is an irrational state. That's clearly not the case. They have the means, motive, and opportunity. You've also said that Russia is a "rogue state" - well, that's a matter of perspective since "rogue" implies the existence of an overarching international regime of norms and institutions to which one is bound. If the strong do what they can, and Russia has the means to do what it can, how is it a "rogue" state for acting in its own interests?

Lastly - my concern here has never been defining Russia's aggression. Russia is clearly interfering in the affairs of another state. My dispute with you is (1) your claim that this interference is irrational, (2) that this interference is uniquely objectionable compared to the behavior of other states, including the U.S., and (3) that the U.S. priority should be the salvation of Ukraine, regardless of the consequences to the U.S.-Russian dyadic and the overall stability of the international system.
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Old 07-31-2014   #15
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Outlaw,

Also, if Russia is as you claim a rogue state with no concern or understanding of what's in it's own interests, how can you make the claim that punitive sanctions will compel the desired behavior in Russia?
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Old 07-31-2014   #16
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Instead of attempting to pick holes in everything Outlaw states why not offer your opinion on the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea and now the invasion of eastern Ukraine?


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Outlaw,

Also, if Russia is as you claim a rogue state with no concern or understanding of what's in it's own interests, how can you make the claim that punitive sanctions will compel the desired behavior in Russia?
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Old 07-31-2014   #17
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Instead of attempting to pick holes in everything Outlaw states why not offer your opinion on the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea and now the invasion of eastern Ukraine?
Sure. I'll repeat my opinion:

Under the Putin administration, Russia has emerged from the shadow of the collapse of the USSR. Since 1991, Russia has participated in ten conflicts with a 70% success rate. Russia still has many challenges but given the reference point of the chaos of the Yeltsin administration, today's Russia is much more capable and confident than it was 20 years ago.

However - that's not the reference point for Russia's elite. The perceived height of Russia's status was in its previous incarnation as the USSR and that's what the current regime (an alliance of nationalists and realists, with some technocrats) is pursuing. Hence the risk-taking behavior (i.e. Georgia and Ukraine conflicts) to restore its former status. Sometime during the first Putin administration, the nationalists and realists finally made a break from the policies inherited from the liberals in the Yeltsin administration. Instead of democratizing Russia and transforming it into a West-phalian nation-state, they've reverted to restoring the imperial system of the USSR (and Empire).

All of this is taking place within two contexts: the escalating confrontational characteristics of the U.S.-Russian dyadic, and the shifting of the balance of international power as U.S. entered its period of retrenchment. The confrontations between U.S. and Russia really started during the Clinton years but really came to the fore under Bush - at a time when Russia was also more confident in its own capabilities. That collapse in relations untethered Russia from the last of its committments to the U.S. and its integration into the Western community (capped by its membership in the WTO). The period of U.S. retrenchment also invited opportunitist states that preceive their relative power increasing relative to the U.S. - namely China and Russia. States are more risk adverse when pursuing gains instead of defending against losses, so more aggressive behavior is an indicator of a reduction of risk (i.e. U.S. deterrence). What signals has the U.S. given to Russia between 2001 and 2014? Color revolutions, invasion of Iraq, financial crisis, response to Georgia, Yanukovych affair, ABM treaty, missile defense, withdrawal of U.S. European forces -- all of these things are signals. What message(s) do they convey about U.S. capabilities and the stability of the international system? Namely that U.S. power is in relative decline and that the norms of the international system championed by the U.S. are optional. Since 2003, U.S. credibility has been significantly damaged as a result.

The same problem exists in the U.S. What are American reference points, perceived and ascribed status? If perception exists of relative U.S. decline and Russian gain, that heightens the feeling of insecurity, even if there are worlds between U.S. and Russian capabilities.

So now we come to Ukraine. Russia perceives itself with increased capabilities and confidence, but not sufficient status. It also perceives U.S. relative decline - hence the constant calls for a multi-centered international system. The U.S., in turn, is insecure given the outcomes of the War on Terrorism and the continued political infighting that has paralyzed effective government. That hasn't changed U.S. policies - the execution of the smart power campaign to topple Yanukoyvch and install pro-Western officials fits in the tradition U.S. playbook. But Russia called our bluff; the U.S. had no back up plan (military or otherwise) hence the desperate campaign to build a coalition around sanctions. The U.S. is still operating with the frame that it is a hegemon, but it is not - Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, et. al proves this. It doesn't mean the U.S. is not the strongest power, it just means U.S. power relative to other states or combination of states is not as strong as originally believed.

Where does that leave us? Sanctions are a political response - (1) they require coordination and commitment from multiple parties, making them difficult to implement (where are China's sanctions on Russia?); (2) they rarely change state behavior, and (3) they are signals to U.S. allies and domestic polities that U.S. is committed to protecting its status (the commitment of which is compelled by framing the U.S. as a guarantor of European security in the first place). A military response is also ineffectual for reasons discussed above - what does a U.S. security commitment to Ukraine look like? That leaves diplomacy.

This is really a question about the balance of power within the U.S.-Russian dyadic - is Russia now a peer competitor to the U.S. or not? And if it is, the secondary question is: what are the implications for the U.S. international security system?

A strategy to address Russia must be constructed within this frame, and it must be honest about U.S. and Russian capabilities and limitations. Russia is acting the role of spoiler because the Russians are honest about their limitations - hence their 70% success rate in conflict. The Russians are confident in their capabilities but know they cannot compete directly with the U.S. - hence the participation in Iran, Syria, Ukaine, etc. Obstructing the U.S. strategy buys them time since the passage of time favors the gaining power and disfavors the declining power. Russia does not benefit for the status quo so it will actively work to change it. Spoiling is a strategy for a state that is strong enough to influence the outcome but not strong enough to dictate it.

Recognizing Russia as a spoiler also implies that there are a range of strategies for dealing with spoilers in the international system. Mainly, that is either building a collective response or of integrating the spoiler into the international system. They are both difficult for their own reasons. Ukraine is a part of this process - it's not a conflict in isolation and its outcome will have consequences for the U.S. Russian dyadic and the international community. We should not rush to failure because our passion about Ukraine's liberty compels us to act immediately.

How do we want to shape the international security environment? What kind of relationship do we want with Russia and why? What can be done to improve U.S. capabilities and credibility?
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Old 07-31-2014   #18
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AP---you actually have to finally have your own opinions. You tear things about much like Dayuhan does and yet we seem to never see a total comment by you --so start by answering JMAs comments.

Your comments show you do now understand the use of power soft or hard.

If the rouge state in this case Russia has power pressure addressed towards it ie sanctions then:

1) Russia has two choices either continue down the path of total isolation and economic demise or

2) adjust it's actions and attempt to rejoin the community it claims to want to be accepted by as a superpower or equal to the G7 he tried to join for over seven years

As some say here it is their own choice and it is not being pushed on them the last time I checked---was it not the "little green men" that first Putin denied they existed--- but strangely then did admit they existed that suddenly appeared on a former piece of the Ukraine-- Crimea after annexation,

So did the West- the EU- the NATO, or the US start this game over seven months ago? Remember every thing on NATO did this or that or US did this or that is just another smoke screen he has been running since 2008.

Even his argument of no Russian troops actually inside the Ukraine has fallen completely apart by today with over ten Russian soldiers posting on Russian social media stating they were all inside the Ukraine ---who all forgot that their photos were geo tagged.

Yesterday there were comments coming out of Moscow that Putin had given his military orders to stop weapons from crossing into the Ukraine but somehow they were ignored as the 50 armored vehicles videoed today crossing the border seem to suggest the opposite just as the FSB ignored his orders to secure the border. So it begs the question is he or is he not in charge are is anything he says for real?

Putin is in his own world of perceptions but after yesterday he has now the two choices.

It is now fish or cut bait time and since he is a outdoors type he should know how---and it will be interesting to see the choice he takes.

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Old 07-31-2014   #19
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AP---you actually have to finally have your own opinions. You tear things about much like Dayuhan does and yet we seem to never see a total comment by you --so start by answering JMAs comments.
My opinions are scattered throughout this entire thread - they're probably buried under the mountain of comments that you have provided. Namely, my opinion from the beginning and remains that resolving the political crisis in Ukraine means having free, open, internationally monitored elections inclusive of ethnic Russians. Just because you failed to read it doesn't mean I don't have my own opinion.

Quote:
Russia has two choices either continue down the path of total isolation and economic demise or
Russia is not on a "path of total isolation". It's on a path of relative isolation from the United States and Europe. Is the 'economic demise' of Russia a realistic or even rational policy? What is gained by destroying Russia?

Quote:
adjust it's actions and attempt to rejoin the community it claims to want to be accepted by as a superpower
The thing about superpowers - they don't join communities. They build communities around them. That's alliance-making 101. Joining a 'community" (a regime with norms and structures) means ceding some degree of autonomy. Great powers are notoriously jealous of their autonomy so why would Russia be at all interested in joining the U.S.-led system under U.S. conditions with which it clearly disagrees?

Sanctions are going to put the U.S.-Russian relationship in the freezer for a long-time; it will harm Russian economic interests for a short time but states eventually adapt to their conditions, and so sanctions lose their utility over time. Which means we are giving the Russians another pretext to continue pursuing its role as a spoiler rather than building opportunities for engagment to resolve points of conflict.
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Old 07-31-2014   #20
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Sure. I'll repeat my opinion:

Under the Putin administration, Russia has emerged from the shadow of the collapse of the USSR. Since 1991, Russia has participated in ten conflicts with a 70% success rate. Russia still has many challenges but given the reference point of the chaos of the Yeltsin administration, today's Russia is much more capable and confident than it was 20 years ago.

However - that's not the reference point for Russia's elite. The perceived height of Russia's status was in its previous incarnation as the USSR and that's what the current regime (an alliance of nationalists and realists, with some technocrats) is pursuing. Hence the risk-taking behavior (i.e. Georgia and Ukraine conflicts) to restore its former status. Sometime during the first Putin administration, the nationalists and realists finally made a break from the policies inherited from the liberals in the Yeltsin administration. Instead of democratizing Russia and transforming it into a West-phalian nation-state, they've reverted to restoring the imperial system of the USSR (and Empire).

All of this is taking place within two contexts: the escalating confrontational characteristics of the U.S.-Russian dyadic, and the shifting of the balance of international power as U.S. entered its period of retrenchment. The confrontations between U.S. and Russia really started during the Clinton years but really came to the fore under Bush - at a time when Russia was also more confident in its own capabilities. That collapse in relations untethered Russia from the last of its committments to the U.S. and its integration into the Western community (capped by its membership in the WTO). The period of U.S. retrenchment also invited opportunitist states that preceive their relative power increasing relative to the U.S. - namely China and Russia. States are more risk adverse when pursuing gains instead of defending against losses, so more aggressive behavior is an indicator of a reduction of risk (i.e. U.S. deterrence). What signals has the U.S. given to Russia between 2001 and 2014? Color revolutions, invasion of Iraq, financial crisis, response to Georgia, Yanukovych affair, ABM treaty, missile defense, withdrawal of U.S. European forces -- all of these things are signals. What message(s) do they convey about U.S. capabilities and the stability of the international system? Namely that U.S. power is in relative decline and that the norms of the international system championed by the U.S. are optional. Since 2003, U.S. credibility has been significantly damaged as a result.

The same problem exists in the U.S. What are American reference points, perceived and ascribed status? If perception exists of relative U.S. decline and Russian gain, that heightens the feeling of insecurity, even if there are worlds between U.S. and Russian capabilities.

So now we come to Ukraine. Russia perceives itself with increased capabilities and confidence, but not sufficient status. It also perceives U.S. relative decline - hence the constant calls for a multi-centered international system. The U.S., in turn, is insecure given the outcomes of the War on Terrorism and the continued political infighting that has paralyzed effective government. That hasn't changed U.S. policies - the execution of the smart power campaign to topple Yanukoyvch and install pro-Western officials fits in the tradition U.S. playbook. But Russia called our bluff; the U.S. had no back up plan (military or otherwise) hence the desperate campaign to build a coalition around sanctions. The U.S. is still operating with the frame that it is a hegemon, but it is not - Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, et. al proves this. It doesn't mean the U.S. is not the strongest power, it just means U.S. power relative to other states or combination of states is not as strong as originally believed.

Where does that leave us? Sanctions are a political response - (1) they require coordination and commitment from multiple parties, making them difficult to implement (where are China's sanctions on Russia?); (2) they rarely change state behavior, and (3) they are signals to U.S. allies and domestic polities that U.S. is committed to protecting its status (the commitment of which is compelled by framing the U.S. as a guarantor of European security in the first place). A military response is also ineffectual for reasons discussed above - what does a U.S. security commitment to Ukraine look like? That leaves diplomacy.

This is really a question about the balance of power within the U.S.-Russian dyadic - is Russia now a peer competitor to the U.S. or not? And if it is, the secondary question is: what are the implications for the U.S. international security system?

A strategy to address Russia must be constructed within this frame, and it must be honest about U.S. and Russian capabilities and limitations. Russia is acting the role of spoiler because the Russians are honest about their limitations - hence their 70% success rate in conflict. The Russians are confident in their capabilities but know they cannot compete directly with the U.S. - hence the participation in Iran, Syria, Ukaine, etc. Obstructing the U.S. strategy buys them time since the passage of time favors the gaining power and disfavors the declining power. Russia does not benefit for the status quo so it will actively work to change it. Spoiling is a strategy for a state that is strong enough to influence the outcome but not strong enough to dictate it.

Recognizing Russia as a spoiler also implies that there are a range of strategies for dealing with spoilers in the international system. Mainly, that is either building a collective response or of integrating the spoiler into the international system. They are both difficult for their own reasons. Ukraine is a part of this process - it's not a conflict in isolation and its outcome will have consequences for the U.S. Russian dyadic and the international community. We should not rush to failure because our passion about Ukraine's liberty compels us to act immediately.

How do we want to shape the international security environment? What kind of relationship do we want with Russia and why? What can be done to improve U.S. capabilities and credibility?
AP---out of all the above and it would take a book to respond---here is your ten word key statement and yet you failed to even answer it yourself.

is Russia now a peer competitor to the U.S. or not?

I will turn the ten words into a question-- is in fact Russia a peer competitor OR really a near peer competitor?

I would argue currently it is a striving near peer as I believe as you do not that while Russia is a military power and a political power---the political power is not from their military strength but rather through their nuclear weapons. Russia has no economic power to enforce/project their military and nuclear political power.

Currently they can only threaten their previous SU empire border countries and that is about it and yet when those countries were offered an alternative their ran in the direction of the EU/NATO not in the direction of Russia--wonder why?

Example--- the threats yesterday about increasing gas prices--all bluff as Russia needs the money that the EU pays--not forcing the EU to shift and become more self sufficient--and that big Chinese deal---the Chinese are using the Russians as a cheap source of oil and gas as they do the African countries for other raw resources.

Some argue that the US is in demise--but can it still project political, military and economic power anywhere in the world---yes it can. I would argue that while chasing UBL and jihadi's around the world they have via their counter threat finance group discovered in fact a fourth power---the power to monitor the flows of USDs and if needed apply legal power against those flows just as they are now applying it against Russian state owned businesses and banks. AP that is the ultimate power and they have learned very well how to use it--ask the Iranians, ask the European banks and the fines they are paying.

So let's see in about 6-8 months if the Russia economy is that of an economic superpower.

Russia is simply a developing country with two raw resources that is being used to finance a corrupt government, a corrupt ruling elite, and the oligarchs that have failed in providing an increased standard of living for the entire Russia population equal to the earnings coming from those resources since 1994.

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