See ? That's what all those EULA's were for !
You thought all those greedy software companies had expensive licensing agreements because of dirty lucre, but really it was to fight the commies !
With the largest data center chipmakers locking Russia out of next-generation devices, not to mention the withdrawal of mobile and software makers from that market, it is no surprise Russian researchers are on the fast track to develop ways around the new technologies that will drive the rest of the world. This is important in …
Even if he "handed back Ukraine" it isn't like all the sanctions would be dropped. The worst of them, sure, but there has to be a price for killing thousands of people and doing billions in property damage.
I guess for the latter all the assets that are seized from oligarchs could be auctioned and the proceeds given to Ukraine for rebuilding / resettlement costs.
It depends on the definition of madman. He was already slipping in popularity within Russia, and the economic failure of Russia compared relative to Ukraine was only becoming more glaring over time. Putin may have calculated the the best way to cement his power for the rest of his life would be to do exactly what Putin is doing, sanctions and all. Putin doesn't really need oligarchs - his security apparatus is composed almost entirely of people who have little intersection, longing, or need for the trappings of Western wealth (yachts, schools, etc.). Indeed, the Russian wealth that no longer flows to London will be stuck in the Russia/China sphere of influence - that will make Russia more powerful not less.
Moreover, if - as widely expected - Russia eventually ends up controlling Ukraine completely, then he has really gained face, and played the "madman" card to his advantage. China will definitely use that template in Taiwan, because if Europe/USA wouldn't respond with military presence in Ukraine which shares a land border with Europe, then it is reasonable to assume there will also be nothing but an economic response to an invasion of Taiwan.
Personally I think it is a mistake for the EU/NATO not to be willing to commit troops. 5, 10, or 20 million refugees is going to be hard to absorb - that alone is reason Russia's actions deserve and equal and opposite response. Even if means a divided Ukraine - the likely outcome required to cease hostilities - that much land is needed to live on free from fear of imprisonment and persecution. EU/NATO has a right to militarily fight for that land to prevent a refugee crisis.
Putin/Xi have as much reason not to want a nuclear war as we do - eventually we have to be willing to stand up to that threat - and at least some land for the millions of Ukrainians who literally cannot live under the Russian yoke is the right place to draw the line.
I'm not really anti-Russian, just pro-Ukrainian and anti refugee crisis. IMO it would have long ago been alright to drop the Crimean sanctions as a lost cause, and reasonable to have ceded Russia of portion of Eastern Ukraine - I don't believe in fighting over tidbits or lost causes. I'm not if favor of war for wars sake.
Problem with NATO committing troops.. is that Ukraine isnt part of NATO.
Morally it may be the right thing to do, but if it isnt in the contract, then acting beyond its scope damages its legitimacy.
And Legitimacy outweighs morality at every contest beyond kindergarten.
I agree with you at one level, but let's not get carried away. After the Great War, the Allied powers pretty much imposed the same conditions on Germany - no military, swingeing reparations, utter and abject economic humiliation.
That led to the insane hyperinflation of the Weimar era, and a festering sense of us-vs-the-world injustice that a certain short dictator with delusions of grandeur was able to leverage in the 1930s to disastrous effect.
In my armchair general opinion, the aim of the West should not be to humiliate and/or cripple Russia in the long term. It should be a simple binary choice for Russia - topple Putin and relinquish all claim to Ukraine (albeit with reparations to be negotiated) and be welcomed back into the modern world as respected equals, or... continue to pursue your mad claims against a Ukraine that doesn't want you and is prepared to drag you down into another Afghanistan, and remain an international pariah with no access to funding, consumer goods, or sporting accolades.
We (by which I mean the other Western countries - the Ukrainians might feel differently) can forgive, but that's not to say we must forget.
sanctions should only be lifted, any of them, when Russia can no longer afford or are technologically incapable of operating an effective military
Decades of even stronger sanctions have not stopped North Korea from affording and making technological advances for their military.
You can't sanction a country into being unable to make war. Especially one with thousands of nukes. All you can do is hope by squeezing both the oligarchs and everyday people that they decide to get rid of Putin. That hasn't happened in North Korea, but there are no oligarchs there, and the people around "dear leader" are given enough that they apparently don't want to rock the boat (because they see how poorly normal citizens live, nevermind how those in prison do)
It is an interesting test to see whether Putin will really be able to clamp down on all outside sources of information about the war as he is attempting to do. This isn't North Korea where citizens have never had access to outside media, or China with its great firewall. China knows they can't block unapproved news, too many Chinese live or visit outside the country. So they concentrate on not letting them spread their news via forbidding certain topics.
What is surprising is that while China isn't taking part in the sanctions they also aren't lifting a finger to help Putin go around them. Chinese banks are refusing to issue new debt to Russia even with oil as collateral.
If Putin can't pay his soldiers, or what they get paid can't feed their families, they will refuse to fight for him. That will at least stop the war going further and force Putin to abandon any attempts to occupy Ukraine and set up a puppet government. North Korea is able to get by on little because it has always been that way. Russian citizens won't be willing to endure going from a middle class existence to a North Korean peasant existence, they will revolt. They've done that twice in the past hundred odd years, revolution is in their blood. We just need to put the conditions in place for them to light that spark.
It should be a simple binary choice for Russia - topple Putin and relinquish all claim to Ukraine (albeit with reparations to be negotiated)
Can EU/NATO realistically make that demand without even being willing to commit troops to Ukraine? If EU/NATO sent in troops now I think a ceasefire and de-facto divided Ukraine would at least prevent a refugee crisis in Europe, with limited chance of nuclear war, and with little if any fighting. Anything more than that is just a dream. Unfortunately EU/NATO won't commit troops, and limited chance of nuclear war exists anyway.
KimJung-il, Assad - those guys are still there. Putin is almost certainly going to remain in power for a while. Let's not mix up moral outrage with what is realistically possible.
EU and NATO are distinct and different. Key members of NATO are not in the EU, and the role of each is entirely different.
If the EU sends troops into Ukraine and those troops attack Russian forces then EU countries will come under military attack.
If a NATO member country sends troops into Ukraine that those troops attack Russian forces then that country will come under military attack.
If NATO sends troops into Ukraine it'll be because Russia attacked a NATO member without either of the above happening first. NATO is a defensive organisation. Why do anonymous posters keep trying to position it otherwise?
What many probably don't realise is that a lot of these powerful gpu enabled systems in Russia are being used to spy on the population - watch out for dual purpose technology. I also read on a very 'informative' forum that the Vlad Putin we see at the end of the long table isn't the real Vlad Plutin, and is actually a hologram controlled by the Sberbank computer.....clearly Skynet has taken over.
I'm reminded of a tale I heard many years ago, from an entirely unreliable source, and about which I can find absolutely no evidence.
Nevertheless, the story goes that Khrushchev was giving his leader's speech to the Party Congress, and illustrating the vanguard of Soviet technology.
"Comrades," he concluded, "why should these computers of the decadent western imperialists concern us, when it is the Soviet Union that produces the largest microchips in the world?"
How many vacuum tubes does it take to build a supercomputer? And just how warm would the room/building get if you tried?
I remember a story from Bletchley Park. It was all woman teams that operated the Bombes. Young officer is sent into the room with a message on a rainy day. To find all the women stripped to their underwear using the nice warm machine to dry their outer clothes.
And a very happy young junior officer he was! There being much fewer opportunities for a young man in the 1940s to see so much of the female form. Sadly, somebody talked. And a system of female messengers was instituted to spoil his fun...