What Russia does in Ukraine won't stay in Ukraine. Democracies need to restrain Putin

Status
Not open for further replies.

dvernb

Enlightened One
Staff member
S MOD
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
1,389
Points
1,110
Location
Perched on a rock in Canada
The escalating crisis on the border of Ukraine isn’t just about Ukraine; it’s the new front line in the battle between freedom and autocracy.
 
For all of his claims that he’s concerned about NATO enlargement, what Russian dictator Vladimir Putin likely fears most is any hint of democratization in surrounding countries. As Ukraine continues to develop as a democracy, it threatens Putin’s image as Russia’s savior and invites questions about Russia’s lack of freedom that he’d rather not hear. To defend his own rule, he has an interest in preventing democracy from taking root nearby.
And Putin isn’t alone. He’s part of a network of tyrants who are united in their determination to see freedom fail. It’s clear that these autocrats and aspiring autocrats learn from one another to protect themselves and expand their power. Upon realizing that accusations of “fake news” are a great way to muddy the waters of what’s true, a steady stream of rulers with autocratic tendencies have cried “fake news” whenever their dirty deeds have come to light — from Bashar al-Assad in Syria to Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela to Viktor Orbán in Hungary.

Such tactics, of course, are merely new manifestations of a long-standing effort to combat democracy. After all, even though branding the media as the “enemy of the people” was recently popularized in the U.S. by then-President Donald Trump, it has an illustrious history in none other than the Soviet Union, where it was a formal part of the penal code used to silence dissent. Aspiring autocrats have begun weakening the foundations of democracy with groundless claims of election fraud, while some rulers who have already consolidated their power are able to engage in old-fashioned election-rigging to stay in office.

Communist, nationalist, Islamist and other authoritarian regimes often learn from and support one another not because they share an ideology, but because, in an inversion of the famous Martin Luther King Jr. quotation, the existence of freedom anywhere poses a threat to tyranny everywhere.

We saw this in 1980, when the Solidarity trade union formed in Poland, putting the country on the path toward democratization and inspiring citizens of nearby nations to challenge their communist dictatorships; the Soviet Union collapsed a decade thereafter. More recently, beginning in 2010, when the Arab Spring began, protests in Tunisia toppled the government, leading to widespread demonstrations and unrest in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Syria.

Since Putin came to power two decades ago, he has done what he could to limit such change. When over 100,000 people last year rose up against the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, Russia propped him up. When similar protests erupted in Kazakhstan this winter, Russia sent in the troops. And in Syria, when Assad’s government was threatened, Russia (and Iran) came to its rescue.

As autocrats win these battles and advance, they turn their attention to undermining foreign democracies and extending the front lines farther from home. Russia runs disinformation campaigns in free countries. Iran supports drug cartels in Mexico through its proxy Hezbollah and plots kidnapping and murder on U.S. soil. Belarus weaponizes refugees against Europe and hijacks an Irish airliner, contracted by Poland, as it flies from Greece to Lithuania — all members of the European Union.

If Ukraine falls, what’s to stop Chinese ruler Xi Jinping from feeling sufficiently emboldened to seize Taiwan? Why would Iran give up its nuclear program when Ukraine’s predicament is a result, at least in part, of its having agreed to give up nuclear weapons in return for aid and security assurances? And what happens when Russia assesses that NATO won’t honor its treaty obligations to protect smaller members like the Baltic states?

Garry Kasparov, the chairman of my organization, the Renew Democracy Initiative, and a former world chess champion, once told me that in the early 2000s, he and former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov warned that Putin might be their problem for now, but very soon he’d be the world’s. This proved prescient, though unfortunately Nemtsov was assassinated before he could say, “I told you so.”

The free world didn’t listen back then. It failed to coordinate significant sanctions to stop Putin when the cost of doing so would have been less. Instead, Putin kept his seat in the G-8. His cronies were allowed to park embezzled Russian money in the West. And even former democratic leaders such as Germany’s Gerhard Schröder and France’s François Fillon joined Putin’s payroll.

Now, with over 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, we can still stop Putin, but interest has accrued, and the cost has gone up. We can’t afford to delay any further.

If we truly believe, as President Joe Biden said at the Summit for Democracy in December, that the “defining challenge of our time” is autocracy versus democracy, then we must decide to actually fight! The free world must unite in defense of freedom in the same way that dictators have been uniting in support of authoritarianism.

The Renew Democracy Initiative’s Frontlines of Freedom project is a call from those who have put their lives on the line for democracy to those living in the free world to join the fight. We must use the rights that those in unfree countries wish they had to combat disinformation, support democratic reforms and vote for those who believe in democracy.

This also means demanding that our leaders stand firm against authoritarians. The Russia sanctions Congress is considering are a good start. The U.S. should also help its European allies meet their energy needs without giving Putin a Nord Stream 2-shaped knife that he can put to Europe’s throat.

Most important, we should approach dictators in a way that allows us to engage when necessary but not confer any legitimacy they didn’t earn. The Biden administration, for instance, made the right choice by excluding Turkey and China from the Democracy Summit, and now it should make the same choice not to invite Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua to the Summit of the Americas, which the U.S. is hosting in June.

This struggle is a time when morality and self-interest coincide. We must do the right thing not only because it is the right thing, but also because global freedom is at stake. The free world has every advantage, but to win, it must first decide to fight.

Code:
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/what-russia-does-ukraine-won-t-stay-ukraine-democracies-need-ncna1288395

 







 
Last edited by a moderator:
Ukraine has been a pawn for  a very long time. It has never been about what’s good for Ukraine or her people. Why would anyone believe that has changed?

After all the death and destruction there the US and Russia find themselves still trapped in a propaganda battle neither is ready to stand down from nor commit to total war over.

Have you seen any real footage of life for the people of Ukraine? They live in utter poverty without basic services. No one seems to care. There are no PSAs or pleas to help them. It makes me wonder why so many Save The Animals, Save The Children, Save Africa, Save “this or that” causes are drummed into our ears but not a thought for Ukraine?

 
Last edited by a moderator:
The last thing Putin wants on his doorstep is a thriving democracy full of people who are free. 

All the other dictators & thugs are watching this very closely.

If Putin is free to trample Ukraine how long do you think it will take China to stomp on Taiwan?

Even though the focus right now is on Ukraine this is a situation with global consequences.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
The Swiss don't fight wars?

Bern – Three neighbors at war for two years over a cat

fGIyd1D.jpg


 
Thank You, to the people and countries of the world who stand with Ukraine today against the disease from the East, V. Putin and his Thugs. And Thank You to those who in the past have helped Ukraine regain its freedom and fight to keep it so. I have to believe that the world sees and knows what is truth and what are lies, what is good and what is bad. Yet, everyday one sees that lies repeated long enough become truth somehow, in todays world. Something about the lessons of history come to mind here, but age and memory betray me.  cnaba Ykpaihi

 
Thank You, to the people and countries of the world who stand with Ukraine today against the disease from the East, V. Putin and his Thugs. And Thank You to those who in the past have helped Ukraine regain its freedom and fight to keep it so. I have to believe that the world sees and knows what is truth and what are lies, what is good and what is bad. Yet, everyday one sees that lies repeated long enough become truth somehow, in todays world. Something about the lessons of history come to mind here, but age and memory betray me.  cnaba Ykpaihi
cnaba Ykpaihi = Слава Україні!
I suppose that the last two words are Latin transliteration of Cyrillic words Слава Україні! and they mean "Glory to Ukraine"

 
We stand behind Ukraine in our free world.  Well I do, I guess most of us here would say the same.

I'm an atheist so I don't pray to god. I just pray to karma it goes well.  We in the whole world do not need another war which will kill thousands of people, some of them civilians.

We don't want to count the dead young men, leaving behind young families and parents because of this Russian Pride/acquisitive/ bully tactics.

I hope the whole world can help to resolve this threat.

 
I'm so very worried about this. Putin is stepping over the line.

 
V. Putin's idiotic ramblings only reflect his far from true statements about Ukrainian history and BS about brotherhood. Does world see what a individual Ukraine has been dealing with for years? Russian agreements and promises mean nothing, there it is out there for ALL to see. Unfortunately many will and are suffering because of his fear and force. His next steps will be to round up dissidents and they will disappear. This is Ukrainian/Russian history that he does not speak of. 

 
Slava,

Putin has timed this perfectly.

The whole world has been battling covid for 2 years, so their reserve money chests are depleted.  The war chests are low.  So he chooses this time to launch this attack.  Also, this time of year means he will not have to cope with winter like it was in the past aggressions.

We pray Ukraine will be OK, but I don't hold out much hope.

The rest of Europe is ready for the refugees that will come our way as they escape this abomination.

 
The EU response to this round of land grabbing by Czar Putin has been weak. The American response has been no better.

Explaining these failures with financial reasons doesn’t work. War spending would be good for the economic troubles caused by the global lockdowns and interruption of commerce.

I believe aggression is the result of signs of weakness. If anyone was serious about defending Ukraine and were willing to make a stand with Ukraine against a super power like Russia or in the case of Tibet against China there might be a chance to stop aggression. The West is lead by weak, appeasing, greedy pigs who only want to posture and boast while they rob their taxpayers blind.

Ukrainians live in a constant state of war and have no hope of the cavalry coming to their rescue. They are brave in the face of imminent destruction. Americans needs to take a lesson from Ukraine’s people.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
RUSSIA ATTACKS UKRAINE!

Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. Ukraine's government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in what it called a “full-scale war” that could rewrite the geopolitical order and whose fallout already reverberated around the globe.

In announcing a major military operation, Russian President Vladimir Putin deflected global condemnation and cascading new sanctions — and chillingly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal as he threatened any foreign country attempting to interfere with “consequences you have never seen.”

NATO's chief said the “brutal act of war” shattered peace on the European continent, as the U.S.-led alliance mobilized more troops to move toward eastern Europe.

Sirens rang out in Ukraine’s capital and people massed in train stations and took to roads, as the government said the former Soviet republic was seeing a long-anticipated invasion from the east, north and south and reported more than 40 soldiers had been killed and dozens wounded.

“A full-scale war in Europe has begun,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said. “Russia is not only attacking Ukraine, but the rules of normal life in the modern world.”

World leaders decried the attack, which could cause massive casualties, topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government, upend the post-Cold War security order and result in severe economic impact around the world from soaring heating bills to spikes in food prices.

“We woke up in a different world today,” Germany’s foreign minister said, as NATO agreed to beef up air, land and sea forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia.

Global financial markets plunged and oil prices soared, and governments from the U.S. to Asia and Europe readied new sanctions after weeks of failed efforts for a diplomatic solution. But global powers have said they will not intervene militarily to defend Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cut diplomatic ties with Moscow and declared martial law. Ukrainians who had long braced for the prospect of an assault were urged to stay home and not to panic, even as officials said Russian troops were rolling into Ukraine, and big explosions were heard in the capital of Kyiv, Kharkiv in the east and Odesa in the west.

“We are facing a war and horror. What could be worse?” 64-year-old Liudmila Gireyeva said in Kyiv. She planned to head to the western city of Lviv and then to try to move to Poland to join her daughter. Putin “will be damned by history, and Ukrainians are damning him.”

After weeks of denying plans to invade, Putin justified his actions in an overnight televised address, asserting that the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine — a false claim the U.S. had predicted he would make as a pretext for an invasion. He accused the U.S. and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demands to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and for security guarantees.

His spokesman said Thursday that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine but will move to “demilitarize” it.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels: “This is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion. ... Russia is using force to try to rewrite history."

The attacks came first from the air. Later Ukrainian authorities described ground invasions in multiple regions, and border guards released security camera footage Thursday showing a line of Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine’s government-held territory from Russian-annexed Crimea.

An Associated Press photographer in Mariupol heard explosions and saw dozens of people with suitcases heading for their cars to leave the city. Another AP reporter saw the aftermath of an explosion in Kyiv. AP reporting elsewhere in Ukraine found other damage.

The Russian military claimed to have wiped out Ukraine’s entire air defenses in a matter of hours, and European authorities declared the country's air space an active conflict zone. Russia's claims could not immediately be verified, nor could Ukrainian ones that they had shot down several Russian aircraft. The Ukrainian air defense system and air force date back to the Soviet era and are dwarfed by Russia’s massive air power and precision weapons.

U.S. President Joe Biden pledged new sanctions to punish Russia for the “unprovoked and unjustified attack.” The president said he planned to speak to Americans on Thursday after a meeting of the Group of Seven leaders. More sanctions against Russia were expected to be announced.

Zelenskyy urged global leaders to provide defense assistance to Ukraine and help protect its airspace, and urged his compatriots to defend the nation. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pleaded: "The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”

In the capital, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko advised residents to stay home unless they are involved in critical work and urged them to prepare go-bags with necessities and documents if they need to evacuate.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on Facebook that the Russian military had launched missile strikes on Ukrainian military command facilities, air bases and military depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it was not targeting cities, but using precision weapons and claimed that “there is no threat to civilian population.”

The consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions on Russia started reverberating throughout the world.

World stock markets plunged and oil prices surged by nearly $6 per barrel. Market benchmarks tumbled in Europe and Asia and U.S. futures were sharply lower. Brent crude oil jumped to over $100 per barrel Thursday on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies. The ruble sank.

Anticipating international condemnation and countermeasures, Putin issued a stark warning to other countries not to meddle.

In a reminder of Russia’s nuclear power, Putin warned that “no one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor.”

Putin’s announcement came just hours after the Ukrainian president rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and made a passionate, last-minute plea for peace.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” Zelenskyy said in an emotional overnight address, speaking in Russian in a direct appeal to Russian citizens. “But if we come under attack, if we face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves.”

Zelenskyy said he asked to arrange a call with Putin late Wednesday, but the Kremlin did not respond.

In an apparent reference to Putin’s move to authorize the deployment of the Russian military to “maintain peace” in eastern Ukraine, Zelensky warned that “this step could mark the start of a big war on the European continent.”

“Any provocation, any spark could trigger a blaze that will destroy everything,” he said.

The attack began even as the U.N. Security Council was holding an emergency meeting to hold off an invasion. Members still unaware of Putin’s announcement of the operation appealed to him to stand down. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the meeting, just before the announcement, telling Putin: “Give peace a chance.”

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen later promised to hold the Kremlin accountable.

“In these dark hours, our thoughts are with Ukraine and the innocent women, men and children as they face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives,” they said on Twitter.

Code:
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/russia-attacks-ukraine-conflict-reverberates-around-globe/ar-AAUeFFU?li=AAggNb9
 
We in Europe all have nuclear weapons too, a great many of them.  Between us we could destroy the world- well no, we don't want to do this.

But Putin is determined to kill as many people as possible to attain his goal to get Russia united again... WHY?  It makes no sense.  Is he insane. has he got dementia?  It makes no sense.

 
Ukraine had been the breadbasket for Russia for a long time. When Russia was going through the reorganization of the Communist Party several republics declared independence from it during the confusion and while the military was busy killing Russians in their own country like Stalin did. Putin really is much like Stalin was. Once America destabilized Ukraine and encouraged a splinter faction in Ukraine to bring down the Ukrainian gov't so an American friendly regime could take power and America, I'm sure, swore they would defend them against and Russian invasion or domestic retaliation. But that American administration never intended to support the splinter faction. That American administration just wanted to destabilized Ukraine as a strategic move that would become obvious later.

We have no intention of ever going to war with Russia or China and they know that. It's all politics and propaganda. It is very sad for the Ukrainian people. They should never have trusted the West at all. We are weak as water an will not fight.

 
I think Merlin is right. 

Al this talk about massive sanctions is just bafflegab.

They are not putting sanctions on Putin's personal wealth or on the oligarchs who manage it for him.

They are also not removing Russia from SWIFT, the international financial system.

Europe is massively dependent on Russia for natural gas. 

It's like a drug addict looking for ways to sanction his dealer. 

It's all bullshit!

You can see Putin is shaking in his boots.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
I have to disagree.

SWIFT has to be put in place, that's a must.

The gas is another thing, I think we are strong enough to cope with this, I lived through the power cuts in the 70s.  If needs be, I can do it again.

Putin has been surprised at the resistance of the Ukraine people, massive losses of Russian troops.  Not so many on the Ukraine side

I don't know what you mean by Putin's personal wealth.

I think one thing that needs to be addressed are the mobile crematoriums, they should be targeted and destroyed.

The Russian people don't like this aggression, the massive protestations prove this.

If the body bags start to come home.  It could be a game changer.

Putin.... your dream turned into nightmare.

 
I have to disagree.

SWIFT has to be put in place, that's a must.

The gas is another thing, I think we are strong enough to cope with this, I lived through the power cuts in the 70s.  If needs be, I can do it again.

Putin has been surprised at the resistance of the Ukraine people, massive losses of Russian troops.  Not so many on the Ukraine side

I don't know what you mean by Putin's personal wealth.

I think one thing that needs to be addressed are the mobile crematoriums, they should be targeted and destroyed.

The Russian people don't like this aggression, the massive protestations prove this.

If the body bags start to come home.  It could be a game changer.

Putin.... your dream turned into nightmare.


Eh,,, people discussing politics here.

There is a reason why west is reluctant for now to kick Russia from swift, there is a chance that it will hit harder Europe than it will Russia. Anyways what will be German alternative for gas, Arabs? From the moral stand of point whats the difference?

Stories about resistance is mostly propaganda, Ukraine has 40M people and you'd expect stronger fight from country of that size. President was already yesterday desperate handing weapons to untrained civilians.

West underestimated Russia and sadly thanks to propaganda you are falling for it still.

Russians are basically steam rolling Ukraine, they are in Kyev. It's has been day two and this is what they took already

TTIq9MO.jpg


 
Ukraine had been the breadbasket for Russia for a long time. When Russia was going through the reorganization of the Communist Party several republics declared independence from it during the confusion and while the military was busy killing Russians in their own country like Stalin did. Putin really is much like Stalin was. Once America destabilized Ukraine and encouraged a splinter faction in Ukraine to bring down the Ukrainian gov't so an American friendly regime could take power and America, I'm sure, swore they would defend them against and Russian invasion or domestic retaliation. But that American administration never intended to support the splinter faction. That American administration just wanted to destabilized Ukraine as a strategic move that would become obvious later.

We have no intention of ever going to war with Russia or China and they know that. It's all politics and propaganda. It is very sad for the Ukrainian people. They should never have trusted the West at all. We are weak as water an will not fight.
I agree with you on almost everything except that west is weak, it's a global power play and Ukraine fell a victim to it. It's not that west has no strength to take on Russia, it does - but what would be final price for all of us? There would be no winners.

 
I agree with you on almost everything except that west is weak, it's a global power play and Ukraine fell a victim to it. It's not that west has no strength to take on Russia, it does - but what would be final price for all of us? There would be no winners.
You’re right. The West is powerful but the cost of action would be great. The problem, as I see it, is a matter of priorities. The West (ie The US) has poured trillions into foreign aid and military “assistance” for decades. Ukraine never made the cut for either of those handouts. We instigated the pro-West, pro-EU movement in Ukraine because we could. When Russia responded we left them holding the bag. Our priorities don’t allow us to have direct confrontations with Russia. There’s always a scapegoat. The thing we need to face is we are a paper tiger. We stir up trouble then sacrifice the pawns. Russia knows we will run for cover soon as the lead flies.

Russia and USA both waste money and energy playing these deep state games when we should be working together. Our common adversary is China. China isn’t wasting resources on military games. They use spies, thievery and their immense wealth from slave labor in manufacturing to buy media snd financial interests abroad then propagandize. That’s their game. In our minds we know what they’re up to but don’t risk making China retaliate.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top