back to article Finnish govt websites knocked down as Ukraine President addresses MPs

Cyberattacks took down Finnish government websites on Friday while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Finland's members of parliament (MPs). Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks hit Finland's ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs' websites around noon local time. About an hour later, both government agencies …

  1. Tomato42

    NATO

    Yeah, that sure will make Finns to not want to join NATO.

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        1. DryBones

          Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

          Ok. How about this?

          We'll have a decent conversation when you admit you're actually talking about what Russia's been doing in east Ukraine for almost a decade. And did in Crimea, etc, etc.

          Ukraine's legitimate leadership asked for military and humanitarian assistance against hostile invasion by Russia, who happens to be committing a plethora of war crimes intentionally.

          Stop the whataboutism.

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        For supposedly intelligent people from Five Eyes countries you seem to have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that not everyone disagreeing with your "values" is a Russian, a troll, someone carrying water for them, or a combination thereof.

        Sorry to break it to you, but the rest of the world hates you at least as much as you hate Russia and China, and you will only be hearing more of that hate going forward. That is, unless your corporate overlords shield you from it by suppressing dissenting opinions.

        We hate you because you are democrats in name only -- you do not hesitate to use deception, censorship, strongarming, and military force to get what you want, and in that regard you are no better than Russia, China, and North Korea.

        Yes, your citizens are treated better, but your foreign policy is authoritarian unless the other side has nukes.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

          I don't think I've ever seen someone making such a big deal about their identity while posting anonymously.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

            And your response addresses which part of my post? That's right, no part of it -- it tries to dismiss it by painting my desire to remain anonymous while still having identity as a bad thing.

            Why do you need to know my real identity anyway? So that you can use my identity, nationality, gender, age, education, occupation, skin color, etc, for dismissing my arguments or for ad hominem attacks?

            How about just treating me as a fellow human being with a different opinion coming from a vastly different life experience?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

      And yet... somehow.... after all these years, and all these screw ups... Those democratic countries still seem to be able to admit their mistakes and try to do "the right thing".

      That's why Freedom of speech and Choice of Government will always win out over a Government that has to lie and cover up, and definitely avoid any type of voting (because they know they don't actually have the support of their population).

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      2. razzaDazza1234

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        OMG. We've got one here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

          Your math is way off buddy. Take Earth population, subtract Five Eyes' and Israel's population from it, and that's how many of us are here with you.

          Imagining how insignificant you are must hurt so better run and find some safe space under your mom's skirt.

          1. DryBones

            Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

            It's adorable that you claim to be able to speak for most of the earth's population. You get to speak for yourself, the same as any of us.

            Sorry to burst your bubble, sunshine.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

              I am not speaking for anyone but myself, it just happens that statistically there is much greater chance that out of 7 billion people there are more who agree with me than there are people who agree with your western "values" which you are so vehemently defending by suppressing any opinions not aligned with your own. Downvoting was meant as a self-moderation tool for harmful content and you lot are using it as "I don't like this and no one else should see it" button and as a way if reinforcing in-group beliefs (a.k.a.echo chambers).

              So much for democracy and dialogue.

              1. Jesthar

                Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

                "Downvoting was meant as a self-moderation tool for harmful content and you lot are using it as "I don't like this and no one else should see it" button and as a way if reinforcing in-group beliefs (a.k.a.echo chambers)."

                Whilst I can only speak for myself, from general experience I suspect that is a very niche way of interpreting upvoting and downvoting on a forum. Personally my interpretation has always been:

                Upvote/Like - "I agree with the general content, sentiment and/or opinion expressed in this post," i.e a tool to allow quick expression of personal agreement, not a self-moderation tool.

                Downvote/Dislike - "I disagree with the general content, sentiment and/or opinion expressed in this post," i.e. a tool to allow quick expression of personal disagreement, not a self-moderation tool.

                Report abuse/Flag to moderators - "In my opinion this post contravenes the posting rules of this forum and should be considered for removal," i.e. a tool to draw the post to the attention of official moderating staff for judgement, not a self moderation tool.

                Hide post/Hide all from this poster - "The opinions expressed by this post/person do not break forum rules but are not things I wish to see." I don't believe we have this option here, but it is the closest I have encountered on any forum to being a self moderation tool.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        Except I don't see them owning up for any of those "mistakes".

        Their MO seems to be "It is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission".

        "Sorry we invaded Iraq, we learned from that mistake and we will strive to do better in the future".

        Afghanistan has entered the chat.

        "Oops... guess we did not mean what we said about being better going forward. It's not like you can do anything about it so shut up an take it like a man"

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        ... and after all these years, the flow of people between the democratic countries and 'the rest of the world' as he puts it, is pretty much one way. Including now, between Russia and the Evil west. Or, stricly speaking, between Russia and those countries that still let Russians in...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

          You mean, after that same west destroys those other countries, sometimes literally with bombs, sometimes economically with sanctions, or through lies, political machinations, financing of NGOs, terrorists, and separatists up to and including CIA incited regime changes and installation of puppet governments?

          .

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

      "British overlords"

      "UK and their proxy war dog USA tactics is simple"

      I really think you need to check your propaganda notes.

      Also, you still need to work on your use of articles and in English you shouldn't drop pronouns as it's common to do in Russian. These points are always a problem for speakers of Slavic languages.

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      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        Sorry your majesty, not everyone has been born with the privilege of English being their first language.

        That said, your response is a rather thinly veiled ad hominem.

        As for those tactics, I had history classes back in elementary and high school and some of those people in my (Slavic) country experienced first-hand.

        Not sure where you are getting your Kool Aid though, seems a bit stale if all you can attack in my post is my improper English and my nationality.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Given that your nationality is apparently Russian and that all your posts are defending Russia, it is hardly an ad hominem attack to point out how your Russian is revealing who you are.

          And as far as your history classes are concerned, you're going to need to read proper History manuals, not party propaganda manuals.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            This might come as a shock to you, but:

            1. I am not Russian

            2. Disliking and criticizing NATO, exposing western hypocrisy and disagreeing with your foreign policy (read: warmongering) does not constitute defending Russia.

            3. You are experts in propaganda and in rewriting history, I was reading regular history books, not your revisionist ones.

            Try harder.

        2. Chris 15
          FAIL

          Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

          Let's see..

          Sealioning: Check

          False Equivalence: Check multiple times

          Projection: Check

          Overall trying to debate in clearly bad faith: Check

          Result: Either KGB^h^h^H FSB or MSS lackey

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

            Let's see...

            Well established list of logical fallacy accusations used to dismiss arguments without the need to address them because it is easier to discredit a person than to disprove a fact?

            Check.

            You must be some leftist from Ars or Reddit, it js their school of discussion.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        as a speaker of /a/ couple of Slavic languages, I need to make /an/ observation: it seems /the/ pronouns and articles start getting dropped across English too, probably influenced by social media gen.

    5. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

      I see the Kremlin still has access to The Register.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        I guess he's doing it in his own free time (see: the argument clinic ;)

    6. razzaDazza1234

      Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

      Yep.

      Ignore the trolls. they dont really know what they are doing unless told so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck NATO, their British overlords, and everyone in it

        Well... the Trolls aren't particularly good at debating without being told what to say.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: God bless NATO

      Let's dissect this propaganda, shall we?

      #1 change the subject away from the inhuman invasion and terror campaign launched by Vlad the himfailure.

      #2 reiterate the Russian nonsense that the invasion is an attempt to protect people.

      #3 claim that democratic nations are no different than Russia - a trope usually reserved for the Big Bad Evil Guy in children's stories and fantasy games

      #4 attempt to paint a picture that the west forced Vlad to invade another country

      #5 outright lie about UN votes that are easily checked and hope nobody does (the voting has not been unanimous although it looks pretty obvious the votes in favor of the murderer of Moscow come from nations either intimidated by Vlad or hoping to turn Russia into their puppet once things turn really sour for Vlad).

      #6 mischaracterize the Queen of England as a totalitarian who is in any sense in control of England.

      Perhaps our unesteemed non-colleague will find this objection to his obvious trolling more adult?

      And anonymous just in case the canine offspring is collecting names.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: God bless NATO

        My friend's wife is Ukrainian. She had some very pro-Russian views when she first moved countries to be with him. Let's just say those views have changed rather drastically recently.

        The recent rally in Russia that was televised - apparently she couldn't watch it all the way through. She had no idea that the Russians were so ignorant as to believe what they were being told, and had no idea the Russians hated Ukraine that much.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: She had no idea that the Russians were so ignorant

          Things are no better in the good old USA. Millions of Trump cult members believe every word spouted on Fox News, OAN and Newsmax.

          Brainwashing is bad wherever it happens.

        2. mcswell

          Re: God bless NATO

          "no idea the Russians hated Ukraine that much": I'm *hoping* this is like the Two Minutes Hate in 1984. But my fear is that they really do, although I can't figure out why.

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Mushroom

            > But my fear is that they really do, although I can't figure out why.

            Did the proles of 1984 REALLY hate the subjects of the Two Minutes Hate?

            Of course they did. That was the point. If they were to find and out any one of those un-persons, they would lynch them. That is how humans behave in a witch-hunt scenario. The same goes for apes, dogs, etc.

            When uneducated, ignorant, or brainwashed, we are nothing more than animals.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: God bless NATO

          My wife is Russian and spent a part of her childhood living in Ukraine. She has nothing but love for Ukraine and nothing but contempt for Russia (the Government anyway - not the people). If it wasn't for family, she'd be happy never to return to Russia.

          Obviously not having lived in Russia for 10 years has increased her dislike of how the country is run, but honestly, she was anti-Putin long before she left. All her friends are looking for a way out too. Ironically, the only friend she has with a pro-Russian stance on the war is one who has lived in the US for the past 10 years. Watches too much Fox News I guess.

          Talking to relations in Moscow, they say many were given given time off and told it was part of their work duties to go to the Putin rally. So I'd bet many would not have been there if it wasn't a paid day off.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: God bless NATO

          Russians do not hate Ukraine, just the puppet government installed by the USA.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: God bless NATO

        And anonymous just in case the canine offspring is collecting names.

        Now you are insulting to canines.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: God bless NATO

        If say Texas votes to join China and China puts military bases there whose missiles can reach Washington DC, would USA just sit and watch or would their hand be forced?.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: God bless NATO

          "If say Texas votes to join China".

          What an idiotic comparison, Ukraine is not a part of Russia.

          Why do you write rubbish like that.

  3. msobkow Silver badge

    A "mistake?" Sounds like Putin and the Russkies are threatening to invade Finland next for daring to consider NATO membership.

    Poor Putin. His oil revenues won't last forever due to global warming, his coal revenues won't last for the same reason, he and the oligarchs have pilfered all there is to pilfer from the Russian people, and I do believe he is scared incontinent.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      One has to hope that the Russian kleptocracy puts aside just enough of the Russian oil to immolate Putin in the grounds of the ReichstagKremlin.

      1. Commswonk

        @ David 132: One has to hope that the Russian kleptocracy puts aside just enough of the Russian oil to immolate Putin in the grounds of the Reichstag Kremlin.

        That's all well and good but it is very far from certain that his replacement would be any warmer towards adjacent democracies than Putin is. If Putin is toppled it is more than likely that it will not be for attacking Ukraine but for failing to succeed.

        1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

          > but it is very far from certain that his replacement would be any warmer towards adjacent democracies than Putin is.

          Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

          Putin can't be seen to back down so must either double down on the atrocities or massively repress his own people and economy. A replacement could let Putin take the blame and reopen economic connections with the west - if for no other reason then to strengthen Russia's future economic/military prospects.

          This might at least stabilize the situation even if is just a return to the status quo.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

            there are some views in the west that a miracle happens, i.e. Putin falls off a very long staircase, then fast forward, Navalny becomes president and we're all gonna be pals again. Trouble is, Navalny's views on the role of Russia in relation to neigbhouring countries are not exactly that different to Putin's. And, more importantly: the Russians. Up to 80% support Putin's war. Never mind, make it 60% on account of lying. The rest: uh-uh, I don't know / both sides are lying / there's so much propaganda out there / impossible to say / I'm not interested in politics / I have no view / etc.

            THIS IS THE REAL PROBLEM, Putin is just a temporary, but steady, embodiment of what Russians believe in.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

              Correct, and whether or not those sentiments are a result of Russia's media control is irrelevant. Deprogramming a massive nation like Russia before a replacement for Putin is selected is not possible, and current public opinion means it's very likely we will just get another Putin regardless. This is ignoring the likely leaning for the rest of the upper level politicians that were selected either for their loyalty or similar views.

              1. mcswell

                Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

                A step toward deprogramming Russians might be for them to find out how many Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine. It helped get them out of Afghanistan, and maybe helped towards the downfall of the USSR.

                1. teknopaul Silver badge

                  Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

                  It's gonna be hard to lie to families that their conscripted children are not dead for ever.

                  Saw an interesting state that of the polls done in Russia most people refused to answer.

                  Note: our troll is AC.

            2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

              Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

              Any Putin replacement would also control the Russian media and could claim victory in Ukraine for the special military exercise while withdrawing troops and negotiating a return to more "normal" trade relations with the west.

              Within Russia any recovery in the economy could be presented as the fruits of victory. And the west - desperate for Russia's energy exports - would likely accept Putin as the main culprit rather then sufferer the economic blow-back from ongoing sanctions.

              That's my 2 Rubles.

              1. teknopaul Silver badge

                Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

                In Europe economic ties have done wonders to bring peace, but that tactic did not seem to work with the Ruskies. I think the west will be hesitant to make the same mistake twice.

                Essentially Russia just invaded Europe. Its going to be hard to forget.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: re. Even if his replacement is just a Putin clone it would be an improvement.

                  It would have worked if it were not for USA / UK imperialistic meddling. How dares Putin to be an authoritarian kleptocrat? That title is reserved for English speaking presidents and monarchs.

                  /s

            3. cyberdemon Silver badge
              Big Brother

              > THIS IS THE REAL PROBLEM, Putin is just a ... embodiment of what Russians believe in.

              Hmm, maybe. But I remain skeptical. How many of those russians are succumbing to "groupthink" / "doublethink" i.e. they are lying about what they say they believe, because they are fearful of fascist thugs who are on the lookout for any russian sympathising with the enemy.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      That's a rather Euro or Western-centric view. We've had a couple of decades where the ecofreaks have set energy policy. So Germany's Greens decided Germany was at risk of tsunamis, so decided to shut down it's nukes. Then realised it's kinda hard to power German industry when the wind isn't blowing, it's cloudy, or just dark. Plus companies like BASF pointed out that if gas stops, so does their business, and Germany loses 40,000 jobs.

      So Germany's replacing zero carbon nuclear with lignite burning coal power. That's open-cast mined in Germany and Poland.

      Russia's still funding it's war with the EU's money because the EU is still very dependent on Russian hydrocarbons. So is much of the world. There's a huge range of products derived from fossil fuels, and 'renewables' can't replace them. Plus Russia's been busy finding new customers for it's oil, gas, minerals, metals etc. Stuff the West needs, and is struggling to reconfigure supply chains because we think sanctioning Russia & China won't result in stagflation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The EU chose the be dependent on Russia's exports because it was believed that Russia would join the real world and be successful, just like all the other Warsaw Pact countries did.

        There was no particular requirement to buy oil and gas from Russia. Just as Russia has decided to go crazy, so the EU can decide to buy their oil/gas from somewhere else. It's a huge pain in the neck to switch... but nothing is impossible.

        1. teknopaul Silver badge

          Being nice to Russia didn't work.

          I doubt that Bellarusians and other neighbours will be be blind to how Putin/Russia sees the process of bringing your state into to his military & economic union, compared to how NATO & Europe does it.

          The EU needs to help build back Ukraine, or what ever is left of it, after Putin has taken his spoils of war. If Ukraine ends up a nonNATO military buffer zone, let's make it a rich and peaceful one so that Russians peering over the wall can see that, and which way the Ukrainian national defence decides to point its guns.

      2. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

        Green/pink hydrogen seems like a good alternative in recent times.

        The hydrogen hydrolysis manufacturing chain is ramping up considerably.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Still pretty insignificant, the bulk of hydrogen (>90%) is made by catalytic breakdown of natural gas and superheated steam.

          Also hydrogen is a bit weedy, 3.2 m³ of H₂ has the same amount of energy as 1 m³ of methane and that's before the containment problems which are far from trivial. Hydrogen has a role but it's no saviour.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            It's also a bit pointless, and a demonstration that just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should.

            Problem is entirely driven by a well known problem. The Industrial Revolution displaced wind with more dependable, powerful and cheap steam. Old windmills got converted into quaint character homes.

            Now, Greens want to pretend that never happened. When it's dark and the wind isn't blowing, they can produce Green hydrogen via electrocuting water. Simply take electricity costing £140/MWh, add the cost of electrolysis and produce H2. So congrats Greens, you've come up with a way to make 'gas' far more expensive and less efficient than good'ol CH4.

            And you still have the problem that 'rewables' can't meet current demand, let alone demand from EVs, heating & cooling etc etc. No wind, no H2 production. No energy, industry stops, and people die.

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't think Russia is going to get much respect from China. I think China are currently thinking that *just maybe* they didn't make a good choice.

        In any case, I suspect that Putin is terminally ill which is why he is trying to make a name for himself before he dies. It isn't going to work, and he can probably say bye-bye to Crimea and Kaliningrad as a result of this.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Unhappy

          "bye-bye to Crimea and Kaliningrad as a result of this.".

          I wonder if you know or not that Russian propaganda in Russia is claiming that Poland is going to try to take Kaliningrad.

          There is an immense amount of similar shit aimed at Russians in Russia.

          One that comes to my mind now is that they claim NATO is paying EU countries for accepting Ukrainians into the EU.

          So my question for you AC is, are you out to spread shit like that or what.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            A lot of people in Kaliningrad want independence from Russia. This is a good opportunity for them to declare independence.

            I'm not sure why you think this is propaganda. It's been on the cards for years now...

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              "A lot of people in Kaliningrad want independence from Russia".

              So what if that was true, there is still nobody who is interested in occupying it.

              And to claim somebody would is indeed propaganda.

              The propaganda game in Russia for the Russians is to have them believe both NATO and the west is out to get them and Ukraine is run by fascists and the Russians are there to liberate the country from them.

              If you don't understand this you must be a total idiot, or an idiotic optimist of a Putin troll.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Well... No-one but you said anything about invading Kaliningrad - they can become independent like all the other former USSR countries: one more or less doesn't matter.

                Russia only keep it around to use as a port, it's not like they actually care about the populous...

                1. Lars Silver badge
                  Thumb Down

                  @AC

                  "about invading Kaliningrad".

                  I was writing about the Putin propaganda going on in Russia trying to make NATO feel like an enemy threatening Russia. Surprised?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    So why are you attacking the original poster? They didn't say anything about Russian propaganda?

                    "If you don't understand this you must be a total idiot, or an idiotic optimist of a Putin troll."

                    Are you some kind of lunatic?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              it would be pretty ironic, if Russia invaded Kaliningrad Oblast on account of their wanting to break off!

              Not that they have to invade themselves, they're already there..

            3. teknopaul Silver badge

              Wish for Independence is not equivalent to Poland taking it. The former may well be true the later sounds like propaganda. Poland isn't about to invade anywhere. Its people have just taken on a huge number of Ukrainian refugees and are putting them up in their homes.

              Putin seems to think the only way for a state to get "independence" is for him to flatten it first.

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Trollface

        A quick click and

        Posts by razzaDazza1234

        34 posts • joined 8 Mar 2022

        Most posts pro-Russia/Putin or anti-West. The rest pretty incoherent. Appropriate icon chosen, should be mandatory on rD's posts.

    4. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Putin Khuylo doesn't give a damn about the future of Russian revenues. His personal wealth is estimated between $40,000,000,000 and $,200,000,000,000,000, hidden well enough so everything won't be confiscated. He pillaged his country enough for not having to care of his financial future.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Amazing

    How someone can progress from 'give me your lunch money' to 'give me your country'...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing

      Like the Europeans did with Nort-American Indians? Spain with the Americas? Europeans with Africa?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazing

        If you want to troll for Russia, you need to do better than "what-aboutism".

        Feel free to prosecute or stop anyone doing bad things to Native Americans, South Americans, or Africans. You have the West's full support.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amazing

          > you need to do better than "what-aboutism".

          I think the person above is merely trying to say that everyone should be measured by the same stick and that we shouldn't be afraid of self criticism. Otherwise, how could we lead by example?

          > You have the West's full support.

          Diego Garcia?

          Nuclear disarmament?

          Augusto Pinochet?

          Iraq war crimes?

          At least you replied with an attempt at a counter argument addressing what the poster said.

          We can see how propaganda works: the guys exposed to the Russian side of the story and inclined to believe it (both are necessary conditions) will also shoot down with extreme prejudice anyone questioning the narrative they embrace. That's not healthy: that's a sign of weakness, insecurity and fear.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Amazing

            P.S.: anyone who feels like accusing me (the poster above) of Russian trolling, please save yourself the embarrassment. I am a European, and one who tries hard to live by the values of freedom, justice and equality that we claim to espouse. I've also served Western interests in far flung ex colonial parts of the world and know all too well we're not quite what we claim to be. Because I believe in freedom, justice and equality, I will measure everyone with the same stick, including ourselves.

            1. razzaDazza1234

              Re: Amazing

              indeed. Glasshouses and stones

            2. msobkow Silver badge

              Re: Amazing

              Interestingly enough, Russia is indeed on the European continent so Russians can honestly claim they are European...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Amazing

            Diego Garcia?

            Nuclear disarmament?

            Augusto Pinochet?

            Iraq war crimes?

            Yes - absolutely go for it. Plenty of people you can go and complain about, plenty of causes to support. All completely off-topic for a war between (recent close allies) Ukraine and Russia. This is the definition of "what-aboutism".

            To be honest, at least Putin could conceivably have a point about Russian-speakers in Ukraine being left out (although it's sort of hard to see how this war helps them). He isn't saying dumb stuff "in 43AD Rome invaded Britain, so now I'm invading Ukraine".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Amazing

              Just because you don't want to talk about other topics doesn't mean everyone else has to take any notice of your rules. People can talk about whatever they choose.

              The point being made is that cancelling Russia for its crimes doesn't stack with the millions of casualties Western governments are directly responsible for and their complicity in dealing with Saudi Arabia when the civilian fatalities in its wars are significantly higher, see CAAT.

              The BBC's financial self interest prevents it ramming that news down everyone's throats 24/7, unlike their Ukraine Today output.

              Like Tony Blair and George Bush, Putin will still walk free. A "perk" of their countries being on the UN Security Council. :(

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Amazing

                Ok - let's talk about recent Russian history, maybe? Like early to middle of last century? When they were oppressing the "equal partner" countries in the USSR? Like Ukraine?

            2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Amazing

              Ukraine and Russia haven't really been close allies, especially not since their 2014 coup. That put hardline nationalists into power, who proceeded to do anti-Russian things. One objective was removing Russia from Crimea, denying their Black Sea fleet a port, and denying Russia access to the Med. That was one of the objectives from the West's support for the coup.

              Russia rather frustrated that plan, triggering the West, and the first wave of sanctions & propaganda. Most successful was probably the idea that Russia invaded Crimea. Reality is they didn't, and had no need to given it's a major fleet base with a lot of sailor & soldiers. Thus no real suprise Crimea voted to join Russia.

              Especially given the coup also triggered Ukraine's civil war between nationalists and seperatists. That's been very brutal, with nationalists using indiscriminate shelling, war crimes and all the stuff Russia's been accused of doing now. The station attack's been blamed on Russia because the missile was green, not grey. Snag there is something like 40 Tochka missiles have been fired since the civil war began, so there's evidence from Donbass towns to what that looks like, including green painted Ukrainian missiles.

              Minsk was supposed to lead to peace, but Ukraine ignored it and carried on bouncing the rubble in Donbass. Then last year, Zelensky authorised the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity by force, ie recapturing Crimea and Donbass. Naturally that concerned Russia, and Ukrainians who didn't want to be ruled by Ukraine's nationalist kleptocracy.

              An analogy would be the BNP seizing power in Westminster and announcing that Wales, Scotland and NI will lose their regional autonomy and henceforth be directly governed from London. English will be the only official language, and if you don't like it Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast will be bombed.

              But such is history. An alternative would probably have us watching Ukraine 'invading' Donbass & Crimea, but at least the West's not stuck with trying to justify that. But that's also Ukraine's problem. Peace could have been restored by simply restoring autonomy to Crimea & Donbass, but Ukraine is ruled by it's oligarchs and nationalists, not Zelensky.

              So it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. Based on their actions and inaction, I have very little sympathy for Ukraine's regime, but a great deal of sympathy for the Ukrainians caught up and dying in this shitshow.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: Amazing

                Russia has still a lot of space in the Black Sea. Just loot at a map. What it lacks are the ports and especially the naval yards that are now part of Ukraine. Most of the Russian fleet was built in Mykolayv (then Nikolaiev). Bulding them anew in a cleptocracy is very difficult. Putin hoped to get them quickly and for free.

                What Russia is attempting is to gather what it needs to try to get hold of the Mediterranean Sea and try to strangle Europe. Ukraine is just one of the first steps. The activities in Northern Africa - i.e. Libya and Mali are part of the same plan.

                Kicking Russian out of Ukraine thereby is very important to avoid that.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Amazing

                  Perhaps look at what happened around the Black Sea during WW2. If you look at a map, there are obvious choke points that would easily prevent Russia dominating the Med and beyond. Turkey controls entry to the Black Sea, and is a loyal NATO and EU member. Ish.

                  Ports & shipyards are also a sanctions thing. As Ukraine gained independence, it also thought it should gain the Black Sea Fleet. Russia disagreed, and eventually lead to the 1997 Partition Treaty that gave Russia basing rights till 2017 in exchange for a $100m a year discount on Russian oil & gas. But Ukrainian oligarchs promptly started stealing gas, or just not paying for it.

                  Bit of a Treaty or contract breach there.

                  Then in 2010, Ukraine & Russia signed the Kharkiv Pact giving Russia access to Crimea and Sevastopol in exchange for revised gas contracts, due to run until 2042. Some Ukrainians didn't like this, and the West hated it. So then the coup, the new anti-Russian, pro-EU government, and the body count started rising.

                  Sitting behind that was the 1997 Friendship Treaty signed by Kuchma and Yeltsin. Eventually cancelled by Poroshenko in 2018, because by that point, the relationship was anything but friendly. Who's fault that was is debateable, but it certainly wasn't one sided.

                  And ports are part of the problem. Ukraine's been ranked as one of the world's most corrupt countries. Ports are extremely lucrative for organised crime, eg the 'Bratva', or 'Russian' mafia that controls places like Odessa. And aren't always Russian, eg Semion Mogilevich is Ukrainian, not Russian.

                  But such is politics. Zelensky probably can't agree a peace deal even if he wants to because he's not the real power. The oligarchs and bratva are, and they have a tendency to kill anyone who opposes them. And then blame Russia. And now we're giving Ukraine a near perfect assassin drone.

                  What could possibly go wrong?

                  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                    Re: Amazing

                    Your presentation of the various deals is very one-sided. Organised crime and oligarchs loom large in both Ukraine and Russia, but you left the second bit out. Indeed, Putin was counting on the Ukrainian oligarchs agreeing in 2014 that Ukraine would be better off as part of Russia. But most of them decided against this and he's been plotting an invasion ever since.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Amazing

                Russia agreed that Crimea was part of Ukraine in 2004. Everything else you wrote is equally incorrect.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Amazing

                  Citation needed. Like which 2004 agreement, and how that modified the main 'Friendship' one. Also curious what you think is incorrect, and why? The history between Ukraine & Russia is long and complex.

                  1. First Light Silver badge

                    Re: Amazing

                    Crimea was 86% indigenous Crimean Tatar in population before the mid-nineteenth century. If it's Russian majority (75%) now, that is only because of sustained, relentless colonization with Russian settlers by the Russian and Soviet Empires. That colonization included the removal of the entire Tatar population after WW2, which only began to return in 1989 with the Soviet Union's impending collapse. The Tatars' entire current political elite have been either imprisoned or exiled due to Russian harassment, and the population are reduced to squatting where they can because the lands they once occupied are now held by descendants of Russian colonists.

                    Crimea is simply a highly successful colonial enterprise. But claiming it has some kind of indigenous ethnic Russian forever population is historically incorrect and straight out of Putin's playbook.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Crimea

                    https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/09/07/revolving-door-persecution-crimea

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Amazing

                      That's cherry picking history a bit. The Tatar's claim derived mostly from the Crimean Khanate. That did a thriving business encouraging inward migration of Poles, Russians etc. Then exporting them to the Ottomans, with the Khan taking a cut of the sale price. One the reasons Russia ended up moving it's capital to Moscow. Even though the Crimeans had sacked Moscow in the past.

                      Then along came Catherine the Great, annexation, and then some more fighting over Crimea. Again why the history is complicated. Ukraine's been occupied, re-occupied, fought over and had it's borders drawn & redrawn many times over last 1,000yrs.

                      But that's something a lot of Europe has managed to deal with over that timeframe. Problem tends to come when there's strong nationalism, especially when that's not grounded in reality. So the Nazis, and their twisted vision of Germany, which included Teutonic ideals that never really existed. Ukraine's got much the same problem, made arguably worse by various ethnic cleansings, Stalin's dekulaksation, the Holodomor or just deaths during WW1 & 2.

                      Ukraine's never been a place you want to hear the words "We're from the government, we're here to help"

                      But such is politics. After Ukraine became independent, the Tatar's became Kiev's problem, and they didn't exactly help. Arguably after the coup, they made the situation worse by marginalising ethnic minorities and clawing back powers and removing regional autonomy. If it'd stuck with the traditional oblast governance model, it probably wouldn't be in this mess.

                      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                        Re: Amazing

                        There wasn't a coup. That's your own cherry-picking.

                        Yes, history is complicated but post-WW II policy is based heavily on respecting the 1945 borders, wherever they happened to be. Putin's foreign policy has been largely about disregarding this in an attempt to resurrect the Soviet Union.

              3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

                Re: Amazing

                --An analogy would be the BNP seizing power in Westminster and announcing that Wales, Scotland and NI will lose their regional autonomy and henceforth be directly governed from London.--

                Living in the Scottish Highlands I would like to tell you that "regional autonomy" isn't all its cracked up to be.

                -- English will be the only official language, and if you don't like it Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast will be bombed.--

                It may not be the only official language but I'd like someone to tell me the point of having dual language (English & Gaelic) signs when the vast majority of the population neither speak nor read Gaelic. I'm also unsure of section headings on council/government documents being dual language with the rest of the text in English only.

              4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: Amazing

                There wasn't a "coup" in Ukraine in 2014, it was a popular uprising and Yanukovych left of his own accord.

                Minsk was supposed to lead to peace…

                It was at best a face-saving exercise that cemented a frozen conflict in Ukraine and led to thousands of dead. Russia's idea was to bleed concessions from Ukraine and hope for pro-Russian government. Instead the Ukrainian population decided to cut itself off from the Russia economy. Opinion in the country, especially in the East was divided and then the tanks moved in and now it's hard to find anyone who thinks the invasion was a good idea.

                I have very little sympathy for Ukraine's regime

                It's not a regime, it's a government. There's still lots of corruption and ineptitude but it's still an elected government.

              5. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Amazing

                I seem to remember Putin claiming the forces in Crimea occupying government buildings and ukranian military bases just before the vote was organized were not russian forces.

                At that time he although claimed "Our actions are legitimate from the point of view of international law, because Ukraine's legitimate president asked us for help."

                That would indicate that Ukraine has a claim on Crimea but i assume in his point of view that claim has been sundered by the people there voting to join Russia.

                The "legitimiate president" he cites there hadn't much claim left in any part of Ukraine (not controlled by Russia) so the west didn't really think those action were legitimate which triggered the first round of sanctions.

                I believe those first sanctions have been pretty mild as most people in the west understood that allowing the major fleet base in the area going to a country that is friendly to NATO is seen as a security thread and would be hard to tolerate for russia.

                This however seems to have sent the wrong message that Putin can get away with trying to force former members of the USSR back into the fold without meeting heavy resistance.

                I wonder if "military special operations" are the best way to form a strong strategic alliance to stop the west.

                IMHO russias resources would be much better spent trying to get russian domestic industry up and running isntead of buying everything from abroad (most modern cars running in russia seem to be kia or hyundai, electrical appliances from bosch and other western or asian brands, ....)

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Amazing

              well, Kremlin spokeswoman (Zaharova?), I saw her recently, one of her justifications of what is happening to Ukraine and Ukrainians is that those Ukrainian fascists (let's be blunt: kitchen nazis!!!) banned Russian cookery books, yessir. No, seriously, you can google this and she said that, it's not a Fuehrer in the bunker spoof. And Russians are buying this shit, check out a youtube channel 1420, English transcription avalable, pretty depressing though.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Amazing

                They banned Russian books, TV, radio, movies as well. Which didn't exactly make the post-2014 regime popular with Russian speakers, even if they identified as Ukrainian.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Amazing

              > This is the definition of "what-aboutism".

              Ah yes, what a wonderful neologism!

              Back in my day the gag used to be "Don't change the subject! We're talking about you, not me!"

              Except that it was said in jest.

              Kids today like complaining but by God don't criticise them, lest you hurt their feelings.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amazing

          So it would be OK to return North America to native indians?

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Amazing

            That's a question for the people of North America, Indian and non-Indian alike, to consider and settle between them in their own time and using their own processes.

            It would emphatically not be OK for anyone else to try to impose any other settlement on them.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Amazing

        Finland has had rather minimal part in colonialism of any kind - whether in the Americas or Africa.

        So, why are you bringing the whole western world to the conversation to justify Russia's war agains Ukraine and their hostile rhetoric against Finland and other countries.

        1. John Hawkins

          Re: Amazing

          Strictly speaking, the Finns were colonised first by the Swedes and later by the Russians after the 1809 war. Though the Russian colonisation didn't get heavy handed until a bit later on. Then of course there was the Winter War 1939 - 1940, when the Soviets basically tried to do to Finland what the Russians are trying to do to the Ukraine.

          So the Finns have been on the receiving end of colonisation rather than the other way round and have more reason than most to be suspicious of Russian motives.

          1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

            Re: Amazing

            >have more reason than most to be suspicious of Russian motives.

            I suspect that the Finns are justifiably suspicious of all foreign motives. But Russia has now made it crystal clear which is the best choice when forced to pick between NATO or Russia.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Amazing

              And it's the "forced to pick" part which matters here

              Finns have historically preferred not to, they're making that choice NOW because they now have to. Neither NATO or Sweden is threatening to invade

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Amazing

                well, it's hard not to come to the obvious conclusions what happens if you do NOT join NATO, and you happen to have Russia on your doorstep...

            2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Amazing

              But Russia has now made it crystal clear which is the best choice when forced to pick between NATO or Russia.

              Not even best, just least bad.

            3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Amazing

              Neutrality was sort of a condition for Finnish independence after WW II, demanded by the Soviet Union, which also kept a large part of the country, presumably for "safe-keeping".

              When it comes to colonisation: the mosquitoes won.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Amazing

            "the Finns were colonised first by the Swedes and later by the Russians after the 1809 war.".

            That is rather silly, then again trying to tell the history of one country in one sentence is not possible.

            The "colonisation" by the Swedes happened when there was no Finland and hardly no Sweden either.

            It was more about Christianity moving north and north east in Europe.

            Sweden had some 40 wars with both Norway and Denmark and a few with Russia but none with Finland.

            Nor was the Russian much of an colonisation either in 1809.

            Finland become Finland in 1809 with, for the first time, borders both with Sweden and Russia and a government.

            But the Russians did loot the country much earlier, for instance, as described here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjFglWuwn6g&t=119s

            Greater Wrath

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Amazing

        And think what Indoeuropeans did with existing people! Or Homo Sapiens to poor Neanderthals!

        Not to mention Egyptians, Babylonians, Aztecs (who need war prisoners for their bloody sacrifices),Chinese. etc. etc. What about Genghis Khan or Attila? What about Timur?

        Yet not surprisingly now Russia has the same idea Mussolini had - he was trying to bring Italy back to Roman Empire glory, now the madman in the Kremlin believes he can be the next Caesar.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amazing

          So your argument is that we should turn a blind eye to what the judge (UK), the jury (EU), and the executioner (USA) did in not so distant past, and let them sentence and punish the curent criminal (Russia) without themselves ever being held responsible for their past crimes much less relieved of duty for which they have proven time and again they are unfit for?

          That is some weird idea of justice and due process.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazing

        like what the Russians did around the same time to Poles, Finns, the peoples of the Baltics, the Ukrainians, the Caucasia, never mind those minor peoples in Siberia. Yeah, what about Homo Sapiens doing awful, awaful thing to the Neandertals (never mind having sex with the beasts, ugh!)

  5. DS999 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

    That is, if his goals were to unify and expand NATO, increase NATO spending and troop presence, increase presence of anti-missile defenses in NATO border countries, while exposing his military's weakness, ineptitude and cruelty to the world and ingraining hatred of Russia in the Ukrainian people for the next century.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

      I think his goal is just to enlarge Russia's influence... and he's just admitted he can't do it by... you know... by leading something a bit EU-like in the former USSR countries to create jobs and prosperity.

      It's absolutely crazy to see - it's like the USA invading Canada, or the UK invading Ireland. As for NATO... well... Russia was considering joining not that long ago (at least as an affiliate member) so I'm not sure I see that it was any particular threat to Russia after the Berlin wall came down.

      1. razzaDazza1234

        Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

        "UK invading Ireland"

        Done and dusted many years ago. I think we have invaded something like 95% of the world and the other 5% is just ice so ...

        Are credentials are immaculate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          The British Empire is a well known fact.... ...and not really relevant to the current war between Russian and Ukraine.

          1. john.w

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            The British Empire tended to be a commercial operation, state backed but not directly about territorial acquisition. Brutal but also left the local hierarchy in place, enforcing a more modern pax romana to stop local conflicts. The Belgians, Spanish and Portuguese tended to wipe out the elites and try to run their empire directly, top down.

        2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          What is your point? That we should not comment or complain about Russian atrocities because everyone is doing it?

          So I can assume that if Ukraine or NATO starts bombing Russian civilian targets will you tell us not to complain or condemn that as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            Don't throw stones in a glass house and all that.

            He who has not sinned shall throw the first stone.

            Etc, I hope you get the point.

            Which is -- your complaintsqbout Russia would be more credible if you did not outright dismiss all the bad things your governments did as a thing of the past but instead condemned that as well.

            Of course, that would require some introspection which is a service your media does not provide and you schools and parents apparently don't teach.

        3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          I've upvoted your post not because I think its relevant to the discussion but because the second paragraph made me chuckle.

          The final paragraph needs editing!

        4. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          The UK didn't ever invade Ireland. That's because the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Great Britain being the political union of England & Scotland, and the UK being Ireland joining the union of Great Britain later.

          Little history lesson. A thousand or so years ago we were attacked quite a few times by the Vikings and came up with a fairly nice little Navy. After killing every single person attacking a few times by sinking their ships, the Vikings realised that it was safer attacking somebody weaker, and attacked France instead and ended up conquering Normandy.

          After a good while, the French of the time got quite good at dealing with them, and they cast eyes back towards the Isles of Albion. After invading southern England they then got a bit fed up with successively the Welsh, Scots and Irish and invaded the lot; forming the Angevin Empire. I did mention a thousand years or so ago? It's at about the point that the Kievan Rus state disintegrated to the Feudal period in Russia for general reference.

          You'll note that Ireland sits next to the the rest of the UK and despite them wanting different things to us we don't invade them because it would be hugely expensive in money, lives and prestige, and at the end of it all we'd end up with is half a planet worth of people who hate us. It'd be both ridiculous and pointless; something which Russia is in the process of learning.

          For at least 200 years it's been far more profitable to trade with your neighbours rather than conquer them to plunder their treasuries; a lesson which Russia will learn as the Chinese end up owning and controlling everything in Russia.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

      All I can see is that Ukraine survives the Russian attack, NATO becomes a solid alliance, Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the EU weaned off russian fossil fuels and the russian economy finally imploding when the rich run out of money to steal.

      In which case , as a student of Russian history, putin will end up in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg....

      Or this happens >>>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

        There's a good chance Russia will become self sufficient - it has the largest land mass on the planet, has significant natural resources and agricultural products that most other countries need and won't be giving up any time soon, just because the US says so. Particularly when those countries are affected by the forthcoming global famine. And it also has its own currency.

        Just because the relentless propaganda tells Westerners that Russia is destined to fail, doesn't make it so.

        That the western accelerates its change to non-fossil fuels won't affect Russia - they'll probably keep polluting the atmosphere as the West has done for many decades to come. No matter how green the West becomes, no one will be going to war with them over their lack of green credentials. Any improvement will only come about by diplomacy. Not by endless war, no matter how much the US needs its bogeyman.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "There's a good chance Russia will become self sufficient"

          It never did in many centuries because the Russian elites weren't ever interested in developing their own properties - just like now they largely prefer to show off abroad with the money they steal from their peasants. Russia kept on invading Western Europe while having ginormous territories in the East to develop. But they were too far from Paris and its restaurants and brothels.

          Nor they could develop a working industry. China did more in fifty years than Russia did in 150. Putin could have developed a modern economy but preferred to make himself and a few oligarchs enormously rich and developed mostly nothing. Good luck doing it now.

          One of the reason they need to destroy Ukraine is exactly that "Little Russian" were far able to become a modern country than "Big Russian" could - and that Russia can't allow.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "There's a good chance Russia will become self sufficient"

            "One of the reason they need to destroy Ukraine is exactly that "Little Russian" were far able to become a modern country than "Big Russian" could - and that Russia can't allow."

            Yes, a massive intelligence failure by the West. Again. Reactive rather than proactive.

            As to your other point, mother is the necessity of invention. China has proven it's possible, Russia could follow suit if it chose, though not in Putin's lifetime. Paraphrasing financial advice, past performance is no indication of future performance.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "There's a good chance Russia will become self sufficient"

              past performance IS an indication of future performance. The issue is not the landmass, or natural resources, which, in theory, would have turned Russian into superpower. The issue is the people and their ruling classes, and the inter-relationship between the two. Arguably, the West has progressed from the 'under the thumb' approach, long ago and the benefits are pretty... obvious (though by no means perfect). While in Russia, practically NOTHING has changed in population / top for the last 500 years... And NOTHING is changing, and this is an indication of any future performance.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "There's a good chance Russia will become self sufficient"

                "...and this is an indication of any future performance."

                All things staying equal, you forgot to add.

                That's a very big IF.

                I very much doubt you're qualified to make that assumption. There's a pretty good chance things won't being staying equal. Putin won't be in charge for much longer, regardless of the outcome in Ukraine.

        2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          Russia could become self sufficient but not likely prosperous - leading to a lower standard of living and making it difficult to maintain their defence posture. The whole point of economic trade is that both trading partners benefit from economic/production efficiency. Russia looses that benefit.

          Russia would at least need China on side. China is straddling the fence now, as they would like to reclaim Taiwan, but if forced to choose I think they would maintain trade with the west over trading with Russia.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            I think China are happy to keep Putin's Ukraine war going as long as possible, to reduce Russia's ability to maintain control of Siberia in the longer term. Remember the Russians stole a lot of it from China in the 19th Century. A Russia focused on Europe and dependent on Chinese goods and technology might suit them.

        3. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          Self sufficient in what?

          They are very self sufficient in food, energy and making military hardware like tanks and planes. Beyond that they will just buy everything from China. Hope Putin doesn't mind letting Xi spy on his citizens!

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            They are very self sufficient in food, energy and making military hardware like tanks and planes.

            Food? Probably, but there's an awful lot of Siberia where very little will grow so it has to be brought in, which means trucks, trains and planes.

            Energy? Check.

            Military hardware? At least the only major tank manufacturer and one shipyard have closed down due to lack of raw materials and components that can't be imported any more due to sanctions.A good part of the USSR defense industry was located in Ukraine. Which was not much of a problem until 2014. self-sufficient

          2. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            They are very self sufficient in food, energy and making military hardware like tanks and planes.

            Except the engines for the tanks and planes, and subcomponents for their more advanced military technology which they buy from Ukraine. Which they are currently invading so they won't sell to them.

            Oops.

            Still, that leaves them self sufficient in food and energy.

        4. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          It's unlikely. The country is too big and too fragmented to govern

          What we call "Russia" is something like 87 "autonomous republics" and it's more likely that many of those will announce full independence

          It's lkely that by June 90% of the aviation fleet will be grounded (only 5% are 100% russian-built and getting spares/support for the rest is essentially impossible) with large chucks of the sector already idled. The significance of that is the lack of year-round passable roads across large chunks of the Russian hinterland

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            "The country is too big and too fragmented to govern."

            That sounds like wishful thinking. Empires have successfully spanned territory larger than Russia.

            Russia could barter their existing aircraft for non-EU / US alternatives. And wherever there's a need for a product, there's always a black market.

            It's not quite as cut and dried as Western politicians would have you believe.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

              Empires have spanned more territory, that's true. I'm having trouble thinking of one that did so "successfully". And even the best of them only lasted a few generations. That's hardly an encouraging omen.

            2. teknopaul Silver badge

              Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

              "wherever there's a need for a product, there's always a black market."

              You faith in the criminality of the world outside Russia may be misguided, and in the purchasing power of the Rouble.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

                It's called the real world.

                The failed war on drugs is a classic example of supply and demand.

                1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                  Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

                  The failed war on drugs is a classic example of supply and demand.

                  You are forgetting the other part of the equation, supply and demand of money. Russia just won't have the supply of money.

        5. veti Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          Russia could have been self sufficient by now. Should have been. But for the unbelievable levels of corruption and incompetence at every level of its government.

          The problem is that the people who run the place have no interest in the welfare of the people or the future of the country. They just don't give a shit. It's that simple. It would take a strong leader to change that - much stronger than Putin, that's for sure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            ironically, your quote on 'unbelievable levels of corruption and incompetence at every level of its government' was very well pictured in one of the episodes of the Ukrainian copy series with Zelensky, a case study of why a piece of local road was in such a poor state of disrepair (it was quite predictable, but no less hilarious).

            btw, it's not 'whataboutism', the difference with Ukraine is that, over the last... I'd say 5 years, they have fought hard to break off this vicious corruption circle, and getting some success. Not only on how they roads started looking, before Russian tanks tried to take them back to pre-tarmac times, but also in _trying_ to build corruption resistant admin structures. Trouble is, little people there had / have (?) no faith when the efforts from the top are genuine, because, over the years, they have grown cynical. I mean, you hear from suited politicians that drop on your village in a plushy western limo, how he's going to fight corruption, and you think: yeah, right, I think I have heard this before... about 4 times over the last 20 years. But I do hope that this war will galvanise the Ukrainians, at least for some time, and catch up with the West. It's just a shame about Russia though, it's such a potential, and yet, every time, people there seem to do everything in their power to make it fail...

        6. Ken G Bronze badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          It could, if it wasn't corrupt. It could have been successful under communist party rule, if it wasn't corrupt. It could have been successful under a right wing dictatorship like Putin's, if it wasn't corrupt. Look at China, Vietnam or Taiwan and Singapore. People will put up with a lot, international businesses even more, so long as the rules are consistent and the wealth gets spread around.

        7. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          I like this bit AC...

          "Particularly when those countries are affected by the forthcoming global famine. "

          Don't think you realise how far people are in the west from the breadline. If you live in Russia I can imagine that is hard to understand.

          If food prices doubled, many people in the world go below the bread line, this would be a global tradegy, but the west, people delay their phone upgrade and buy a cheaper car.

          The EU weaning ourselves of Russian oil and gas is going to be painful, and our system is not immune to poverty, but if Russia closes up shop completely, sadly, its going to be people less fortunate than ourselves that suffer famine.

          It would be nice if Russia did its bit to keep Ukrainian bread basket working at full efficiency by removing the tanks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

            re: "Don't think you realise how far people are in the west from the breadline. If you live in Russia I can imagine that is hard to understand."

            You seem to be under the impression that "global famine" revolves around you and your breadline. Whilst you may delay buying your next four digit mobile phone, or next car, hundreds of millions will end up literally starving possibly because rich western nations can outbid the poorer ones for limited resources.

            Russia and Ukraine supply 30% of the world's grain and seriously significant amounts of fertiliser ingredients. Whilst the US midwest is slowly turning into a dust bowl. Who do you think is going to pick up the slack?

            Significantly more people will die as a result of western imposed sanctions than Putin will ever kill. But the west has the moral high ground. /S

            And accusing people of being Russian because they think differently from you is just pathetic.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

              In 2019, the Russian Federation exported $6.1 billion's worth of food... and imported $10.6 billion's worth. Mostly from Europe.

              Just sayin'.

      2. Dr Paul Taylor

        Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg

        It was demolished in 1977, the operation being supervised by one Boris Yeltsin,

        at least according to our old friend Wikipedia.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

      there are many more benefits the West can be thankful for Putin trying to achieve his goals. For western politicians, it would have taken decades of farting in plushy armchairs to break off dependency on Russian coal, gas, oil. Now, the more children and civillians are murdered by Russian soldiers, the quicker that breakoff (yes, it's a horrible price). Another goal of Putin: make Russia great again. Well, fuckno, quite the opposite, both on the sanctions and on the military front, it's like Afghanistan on steroids for Russian economy. AND brain drain in Russia, in process.

      This special military operation in Ukraine, Putin's gift that keeps giving! Never mind Ukraine for now, EU membership or not, they're going to enjoy much closer economic ties with the West and the Russians will have a direct comparison with their 'Russkij mir'. Did I forget Georgia? Oh well, we'll see about that too...

      And full NATO military presence in the East, no more tripwire nonsense! Poland, Romania and the Baltics thank you VERY much, Gaspadin Putin, we'd NEVER dreamt this would actually happen, EVER, but under your glorious leadership - DONE in no time!

      For all that: Slava Putinu!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

        @AC

        Indeed. The US is totting up all the business opportunities and weapon sales that will result from this war for years to come. And how much it will be able to dominate world affairs.

        Kerching! America wins. /S

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Putin is accomplishing all of his goals

          Well, yes, that's because America, for all its faults, is mostly run by people with functioning brains and an interest in the future. Unlike Russia.

  6. b0llchit Silver badge
    Alert

    Defense pact

    Finland is part of the EU defense pact. If Russia would attack Finland, then the EU would be the opposing part, regardless whether Finland is part of NATO or not. Actually, it doesn't even matter that they are in the EU defense pact. If the EU would stand idly by with an outside military attack, then the whole of the EU would disintegrate.

    If Finland joins NATO, then the US (and a few others) will also be on the opposing part too. But I do not think that it makes a very large difference at this point whether they would be attacking an EU country or a NATO country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Defense pact

      It's hard to say. The EU defence pact hasn't really been tested - it would require individual countries to choose to provide military assistance. NATO has been around longer and has an allocated military count.

      Would EU countries go to war to protect a member state? Possibly... but I would really want to be part of NATO as well...

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Defense pact

        NATO's Article 5 isn't a guaranteed armed response. Members can still choose to opt out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Defense pact

          Sure - but the key thing is that it is opt-out, not opt-in.

          The EU as an organisation has no military allocated - there has never been a Europe-wide army, so there are no structures or training. If the EU voted, it would be (e.g.) the German Army working with the French Army doing the work.

          Maybe at end of all this, the EU will get a permanent army as a result of this like NATO does, though...

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Defense pact

            That's changing. During the Brexit 'debate', the prospect of an EU military was raised and claimed to be fake news. Post Brexit, the EU's been doing it. Which kinda raises the question about whether Europe needs both NATO and an EU force. Advantage to NATO is it exists, and is open to non-EU members. Disadvantage is NATO and EU interests aren't always aligned.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Defense pact

        The same thing as now would happen only the theatre would move west - non-EU NATO members would supply arms to EU NATO members.

        There's more chance of an EU response than a NATO response, once the US get involved then the chances of nuclear missiles being thrown about get higher.

        EU countries would get dragged into the war, no question. If Russia starts with Finland, a Baltic country, or Poland and carves a hole out of them and they get away with it, the EU couldn't continue as it would violate one the founding principles of the union.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Defense pact

          To be realistic, US, NATO and EU are already involved in this war. It may not be EU/NATO soldiers pressing the buttons, but it is EU/NATO weapons and a leaflet explaining how to press those buttons...

          1. John Doe 12
            Pint

            Re: Defense pact

            That is really elegantly put. Have a virtual beer on me :-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Defense pact

            Indeed.

            One wonders how long it will be before the penny drops in Moscow that this is a proxy war and one nuke on Kiev would end it all...

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Defense pact

              One nuke on Kiev would end Putin's life because there's no way NATO would watch that happen and do nothing.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Defense pact

                "One nuke on Kiev would end Putin's life because there's no way NATO would watch that happen and do nothing."

                Ukraine is not NATO's fight. What makes you think NATO wants to start WW3 - moral grounds?!?

                The only precedent is the US nuking Japan - a country that, at the time, posed no danger to the US. Yet the US decided killing hundreds of thousands of civilians was a price worth paying because it felt "threatened". Putin could claim the same.

                Ironically, might is right, today, just as it was 77 years ago.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Defense pact

                  The US was about to invade Japan (with the allies) and stood to lose around 1 million soldiers in the process. They're STILL (in 2022) handing out purple hearts minted in anticipation of that 1945 land invasion

                  Japanese civilian casualties were projected to be around 10 million

                  Meantime another 25 million people would have died in China - a US ally at the time - as the IJA continued its scorched earth retreat policy for at least another 6 months

                  The Japanese leadership weren't even particularly impresssed with Hiroshima. Compared with the one million dead in the Tokyo firestorm it wasn't even a drop in the bucket. What got their attention was that it was achieved with ONE bomb and they only realised that 3 days after the event

                  Hindsight is 20/20 but even Japanese will tell you that the 2 nuclear weapons saved more lives than they killed

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Defense pact

                    The US could have isolated Japan with a naval blockade. It chose to kill civilians instead.

                    Justifying it with "it saved lives" is just propaganda for those unable to deal with the killings. Imagine if Putin used the same justification - do you think that would wash?

                    1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                      Re: Defense pact

                      An effective naval blockade would have led to significant loss of life through starvation (lack of fuel etc to grow crops and to distribute food), plus almost certainly seen the mass murder of the many allied PoWs held in Japan.

                      As already pointed out, since a blockade is not a quick way to win the war, it would have allowed the ongoing deaths of large numbers of Chinese (military and civilian).

                      Drop two nukes on Japan - kill (Japanese) civilians

                      Blockade Japan = Kill (Japanese) civilians, make likely the death of (Chinese) civilians, make likely the murder of allied PoW (i.e own people).

                      If you can see a clear morally superior alternative, good for you. Both options seem morally bad to me, and I can quite understand why the option that concentrated the suffering on the enemy population was chosen.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Defense pact

                    More to the point, the Soviet Union had just sent over a million troops into Manchuria on August 8th.

                    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

                      Re: Defense pact

                      ... ad after this deported 600,000 japanese soldiers to Siberia, with at least half of them dying there.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Defense pact

                "One nuke on Kiev would end Putin's life because there's no way NATO would watch that happen and do nothing."

                More wishful thinking.

          3. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Defense pact

            So every time US or other forces met Russian weapons - it was a Russian war? Where North Vietnam weapons came from? It doesn't look to me there were MiGs factories in Vietnam. Even the pilots often weren't Vietnamese... In Korea? In Iraq? Where the weapons Egypt and Syria attacked Israel were from?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Defense pact

              Those were Soviet, not Russian - you're playing into the Russian narrative of their being the only successor state to the USSR, which is why they got the nukes and the UN Security Council seat, instead of sharing them with, for example, Ukraine.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Defense pact

            I really would like to say that the West is supplying the right weaponry. I mean, it's great (and true) there are 10 'javlins' against each Russian tanks, but you can't take back your land with javelins. I know, Western politicians do take time to get used to the idea of providing latest weapons, but every time I see a scattered bodies and suitcases, in a pool of blood, my heart sinks. How many dead children ready for travel before a tipping point to supply hi-tech weaponry? 36 raped and videoed in social media would do the trick? Or perhaps 'just 6', burnt alive, would be enough?

  7. Denarius Silver badge

    EU army ?

    Such a hybrid would be frozen solid on creation IMHO. So many bureaucrats, so many memories of power, empire and multiple parliaments all competing for influence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EU army ?

      An EU army doesn't need to be powerful... just to exist as an organisation. Just like the UN doesn't really have its own military, but has the infrastructure and training to coordinate resources when they are supplied.

      That way, there is no (ok: less) political infighting as to who is going to make decisions when an army is needed.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I'm reminded of:

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

    Seems to describe Putin rather well.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm reminded of:

        Ok - Invading was Russia's last resort to what, exactly?

        As far as I can tell, all the other USSR countries are still in one piece, with their culture and languages intact and their people living happily and peacefully. What makes Russia under threat?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I'm reminded of:

          That all other USSR countries are under some form of dictatorship - but Ukraine and the Baltic States. That makes them a real thread for Putin the Dictator. An ex-CCCP country that shows it can become a fully democratic one is a real no-no, maybe even other ones could discover it is better. Belarus had already to crush those asking it, and Russia had to send troop to keep Kazakhstan rulers in place...

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: I'm reminded of:

        Statements such as yours are "the last refuge for the mouthy, but no action crew". Are you even aware of necessary evil? Guss the name of the plane that filmed Enloa Gay dropping her bomb? U guessed it.

        I'm guessing you've never read The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov.

    2. Anonymous Coward
  9. Lars Silver badge
    Go

    Hello Putin

    When you behave like you do, what do you expect your neighbours to do.

    The Finnish armed forces are more NATO "ready" than some NATO members and they take part in NATO exercises, something that has annoyed Putin for years.

    Last poll was 62% for and 16% against NATO.

    It has traditionally been about fifty/fifty between yes and don't know and no.

    I think both Finland and Sweden should just join now as it's too late to postpone it, even if Putin should show some sanity eventually.

    I also think we have to accept that there was a time when we in western Europe hoped and expected Russia to grow and move towards a democracy.

    1. razzaDazza1234

      Re: Hello Putin

      I wdn't trust the Fins or the Swede's given what they have done to their country over the past 10 years.

      Especially the Swedes who have blanked out that they too had a small empire. Nothing in comparision to ours.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hello Putin

        Russia also used to have an Empire. Unlike most of the British one, and the French ones, they seem to be scaring off the countries who were members.

        If you want to debate irrelevant history, I reckon you need to start at Stalin.

      2. Dave@Home

        Re: Hello Putin

        What have the Swedes and Fins (sic) done to their country then?

        1. m-k

          Re: Hello Putin

          prosper

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hello Putin

      "and expected Russia to grow and move towards a democracy."

      The only lesson we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.

      Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion that Westerners view communism.

      (And that's before they consider the FPTP system in use in only the UK and Belarus in Europe, which is clearly undemocratic).

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion"

        Sure - those who believe that's a real advantage living in a country where rules are made by those with power and it's easier thereby to exploit everybody else.

        Some also like to be able to buy eight year old children at the market for their pleasure.

        Democracy was born to limit the power of the powerful and ensure rights for everybody - it's quite clear because some doesn't like it, and brainwash others to believe it. Until they found they have not the power they dreamed, and become the slaves of those who have.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion"

          Democracy started in ancient Greece as a quick and easy way to get agreement on things in a community. It was very different to democracy today, but they laid the foundations.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion"

          "Sure - those who believe that's a real advantage living in a country where rules are made by those with power and it's easier thereby to exploit everybody else."

          Exactly how the US behaves towards the rest of the world.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion"

          "Sure - those who believe that's a real advantage living in a country where rules are made by those with power and it's easier thereby to exploit everybody else."

          Yeah, it's called capitalism.

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: "Many countries that see Western democracy view it with the same revulsion"

            I am not denying that those in power in the Western democracies wouldn't exploit people. Of course they do. However, it seems to be that the exploitation by those on the top in so called communist/socialist countries is on totally different scale and the divide between the ruling elite and plebs is far greater. Don't forget that power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

            No, the west and capitalism are not perfect, nothing ever will be, but I find it a lot more appealing than the alternatives.

  10. John Savard

    A Rant, of Course

    We wouldn't have had any of this nonsense if Ukraine had been given full Article 5 NATO protection well before the invasion. But no, the world let Putin draw his nuclear red line first.

    If Russia didn't have the nuclear secrets it stole from the United States, even this denial of service attack against Finland alone, without all the other provocations, should be enough to result in regime change.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Rant, of Course

      arguably though, if Ukraine had been given NATO membership post-2008, they would have not become as efficient as they're not, had it not been for their fight in Donbas since 2014. That said, with NATO membership, weak or not, Putin would have probably not decided to invade them. But then again, with NATO, until _very_ recently, showing extremely meek approach (for a military org), Putin might have decided to invade the Baltics, or land corridor to Kaliningrad,and got away with it anyway.

      Either way, Russia lost. It can't win in Ukraine, it will be an open wound that will bleed for years. It can't win in nuclear all-inclusive either. That said, it wasn't going to 'win' in any other scenario, until they chose to make a radical political shift, which would never happen anyway.

    2. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Re: A Rant, of Course

      Very Bad Idea.

      But just for the record, the German defence minister in 2015 was the one to decide to refuse to supply Ukraine with weapons, *after* the invasion of Crimea. She vigorously, publically and very vocally defended her decision at the Munich Security Conference. She called her interviewer a warmonger.

      She’s rather better known now than then. A certain Ursula von der Leyen.

      1. Ken G Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: A Rant, of Course

        I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking Manfred Weber was the better candidate.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putin wants Alaska back too

    I’m sure Trump’s Republicans would be happy to assist.

    (Troll runs away!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Putin wants Alaska back too

      It was "historically Russian" and it's got oil and gas, so...

  12. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I know what will be Russian apology for invasion of Finland: Finland is a nazi haven and here's the proof

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      @Potemkine!

      There are those here who don't know that the "swastika" was adopted by the Finnish air force long before the Nazi adopted it and that it came from Sweden, painted on a plane as a gift from Eric von Rosen in 1918.

      It was used by the Vikings as a good luck charm, one has to assume, and found all around the world too.

      It's use by the air force ended after the war.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Air_Force

  13. general_bear

    Seems like I stumbled onto Reddit somehow.

    So many comments from clever stupid people. Not one single post has any actual, direct, modern day knowledge of the the situation in Russia and Ukraine. Lots of incorrect histories here and there.

    Just to attempt to qualify my following opinion for transparency :

    I am British...married to a Russian. I was a Remainer and still miss being in the EU. I am most certainly not a Russian troll. We have spent the past decade living between both countries. My Other Half has Russian and Ukrainian family...a lot. Some in Lviv, Kyiv and Donbass. We have been following this crap since before 2014.

    You go through Russia until recently and all you would hear would be the brotherhood between Russia and Ukraine. A lot of Russians are deeply deeply affected by this war. There have been a raft of legislation in Russia making life exceptionally difficult for people to speak out. The custodial sentences are already being dished out. My wife has seen a regression to the silent fear of Soviet times. People just do not dare to discuss the situation. We in the West just cannot...cannot...understand the pressures of their culture. They want the war to stop. They are scared to lose Putin. They know 100% what he is but..

    and this is the rub...there are far worse people that he keeps in check. My wife tells me awful stories of 90's Russia, food shortages, armed conflicts in the streets between gangs (some of whom are now oligarchs). Putin came to power, crushed the mafia and all opposition. He brought internal peace and stability...at a price. He put down the trouble in the south of the country and held a lot of nasty people in line. If he goes it could well be a Russia in civil war...a country with a huge nuclear arsenal.

    Now to Ukraine. Our family and friends there are suffering. Some have not been heard from in almost a week. A big worry. What is also concerning the others is Zalensky and his slow but steady grip on power. He is a dodgy oligarch, mentioned in the Panama Papers. He has overseen some shitty things...blocking water to Crimea, removing 95% of drinkable water ; intensifying military action against those in the east of the country. He has most certainly been poking the Russian bear. He needs to keep the nationalists happy. In recent weeks he has introduced legislation removing all other political parties, removing all but one television news outlet, restricted media and so forth. He is literally the only power in Ukraine. No checks and balances anywhere. Our Ukrainian side are very concerned that he is using this war partly as a means to set himself up as a kind of dictator. They see Putin as wanting to turn Ukraine into a European Syria...a sinkhole for EU and Nato money and weapons, while putting pressure on surrounding countries with a refugee crisis (3.5m have already left). While this war continues Zalensky remains in power. This scares them.

    There is so much propaganda coming out of the UK, EU, US, Russia and Ukraine it is actually terrifying. We watch Russian, Ukrainian and Western news every day and I can say that most of the comments on here are so incorrect and founded on such dire journalism that most here should be embarrassed by their lack of critical thinking. As the food prices rise in Russia, the people just adjust accordingly. They are such hardy and resilient people. The sanctions are such a true waste of time.

    When I ask my wife's family about how Russia should be approached, they all agree that opening the door and pushing for inclusion would have worked amazingly. The hunger for Western culture has always been there...historically. iPhone, Steam games, Western fashion and values were always there, always in demand. Now the West has run away and left a vacuum because of sanctions (which is bullshit, it was because companies did not want to pay higher costs in SWIFT alternatives). The West invited Putin to do tit-for-tat actions and increase his power. You listen...actually listen to his speeches and there is some very sad truth among the lies and hyperbole : The US goes back on its deals ; NATO has a very aggressive history ; NATO wants to surround Russia ; nobody took any notice of the ethnic cleansing in East Ukraine etc etc. These truths make the propaganda palatable and acceptable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems like I stumbled onto Reddit somehow.

      Thank you for your objective appraisal.

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