Russian troops withdrawing from Ukrainian border

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    • #418744
      jbnw
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      • Total Posts: 5,738

      The Russian Defence Minister decided to complete a sudden check of the combat readiness of the troops of the Southern, Western Military Districts and the Airborne troops

      The reduction of troops on our border proportionally reduces tension. (Flag of Ukraine) is always vigilant, yet welcomes any steps to decrease the military presence & deescalate the situation in Donbas. Ukraine seeks peace. Grateful to international partners for their support

    • #418749
      gordyfl
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      • Total Posts: 1,857

      April 8, 2021

      Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky travelled to the country’s eastern frontline on Thursday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Vladimir Putin to reduce Russia’s troop buildup near Ukraine.

      https://www.ibtimes.com/ukraines-zelensky-frontline-merkel-urges-putin-pull-back-troops-3177302

      Germany urges Russia to reduce troop presence near Ukraine

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed concerns as tensions increase between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces…

      https://www.dw.com/en/germany-urges-russia-to-reduce-troop-presence-near-ukraine/a-57134905

       

      • #418756
        jbnw
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        • Total Posts: 5,738

        The troops are withdrawing, but the military equipment is not, and we’ll see how Zelensky responds. His increased troops are still at the border with Donbass, and he’s recently asked for Russia to be removed from the international banking system SWIFT and for a meeting with Putin in the war zone in Donbass.

        Putin has yet to respond, though you may hear otherwise from other sources. TASS reports a Kremlin spokesman said “Putin will respond to Zelensky’s proposal to meet if he deems it necessary.” ( https://tass.com/politics/1281541 )

        Shelling continues in Donbass – I suspect that if Ukraine takes this as an opportunity to escalate, there will be a quick and major response.


        @jamesgordon

      • #418795
        jbnw
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        • Total Posts: 5,738

        Putin ready to discuss Russia-Ukraine ties in Moscow anytime

        MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he is willing to discuss bilateral relations with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky in Moscow at any time convenient for the Ukrainian leader.

        “If we are talking about developing the bilateral ties, then please, we will receive the Ukrainian president in Moscow at any time convenient for him,” Putin stressed during talks with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, commenting on Zelensky’s proposal to the Russian president to hold a meeting in Donbass.

        https://tass.com/politics/1281847

        So Putin has offered to talk directly in Moscow – now to see how Zelensky responds.

        In the meeting between Lukashenko and Putin today, the President of Belarus said (translated from https://belaruspartisan.by/politic/532571/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc ) :

        Alexander Lukashenko urged Zelensky to learn “to behave diplomatically”.»

        Alexander Lukashenko called on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to learn how to “behave diplomatically” in relation to the Donbass, RIA Novosti reports.

        He stated this during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, explaining that this is only one of the claims against the leader of Ukraine. Lukashenko also stressed that if Zelensky wants to end the conflict in the Donbas, he should start negotiations with the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

        Earlier, Lukashenko criticized the desire of the Ukrainian authorities to move the negotiation platform on the Donbass from Minsk. He called such a decision “utter stupidity”, but noted that he would not interfere with the idea of Kiev.

    • #418788
      David the Gnome
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      Some here and in other western Countries will take this as a victory – and I can already hear the gloating.  Despite all the posturing though, it would seem to me that Russia, throughout this whole time of “heightened tensions” has behaved far more diplomatically and with far more grace than our supposed enlightened western democracies.  No, they are not going to lie down – but they have also made it clear that they don’t want to fight, it is a shame that other Countries (especially the U.S.) cannot demonstrate the same.

      Yes, we may be pulling out of Afghanistan, officially – but I wonder how many “private military contractors” will remain?  There are more of them than there are U.S. military in Iraq – and in many other places.  We can say “we pulled out” while leaving behind ten thousand, twenty thousand, or more “private security contractors”.  I wonder how many of those same “contractors” would just as happily fight for Russia or China if the price was right.

      Either way, what is happening between Russia and Ukraine is none of our fucking business.

      • #418797
        jbnw
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        • Total Posts: 5,738

        There wouldn’t be a civil war in Donbass except for Joe Biden and the US government color revolution in Kyiv for a pro-US government in Ukraine. It wasn’t supported in eastern Ukraine, and it’s been a civil war since. We can’t forget this from 2013:

        U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland distributes bread to protesters at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 11, 2013

        It’s from a story at https://world.time.com/2013/12/13/western-diplomats-are-going-to-dissapoint-ukraines-protesters/ .

        And there’s still this:

        It’s been another terrible day for shelling in #Donbass. The atrocities committed by the Ukrainian army against civilians is nothing short of shocking. Many people living near frontline positions cover their homes in religious icons and put their faith in God to protect to them

        Time will tell if anything changes.


        @davidthegnome

      • #418845
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,888

        Putin knows that a big chunk of Biden’s electoral credibility depends on him actually getting the American military the fuck out of Afghanistan this year. He’s also got no problem doing what he can to help old Joe out of this little inherited mess of Joe’s own creation, and I’m positive Putin appreciates the multiple ironies of the situation. He is Russian, after all.

        Old Vlad’s got a knack for good timing. Right now, Biden needs a foreign policy win because he’s been fucking up in the eyes of maybe 90% of the rest of the world ever since he strongly doddered into the Oval Office. I would hope there would be somebody in Biden’s administration who would think that maybe something should be done about that.

        In his speech announcing the retreat of the Imperial Army, Biden said that both Russia and China should agree to invest in Afghanistan to make sure that shit doesn’t get fucked up any more than it has to after the troops leave. Well, that’s how a lot of my coworkers would understand it. Vladimir Putin isn’t about to pass up an opportunity like this to be the Reasonable Man on the world stage.

        I think he wants a summit with Biden so he can offer Russian investment and cooperation in post-occupation Afghanistan, possibly including Russian and maybe Chinese peacekeepers, in exchange for some form of a negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian mess that allows everybody to just back down. The Europeans will be, at worst for Putin, divided. If he can get the Chinese to endorse his proposals, it strengthens Russia’s international prestige for years.

        If the Biden people are smart enough to reach some sort of Ukrainian/Afghan deal with Putin, the world will be a little bit safer of a place, and it would help their domestic political popularity.

        But their think tanks and consultancies might lose money, so I wouldn’t bet on intelligence and just plain common sense prevailing over greed.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #418838
      gordyfl
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      So I get this feeling he’s doing this for his approval ratings. He doesn’t want to come out of this looking bad. He also knows (or believes) the West has his back. It seems to me like Zelensky does an awful lot of grandstanding.

      • #418859
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,888

        NATO would collapse if an attempt were made to get it into a war with Russia. There’s also the fact that a Russo-Ukrainian War is just not in any nation’s best interests. Especially Ukraine’s.

        I wonder if Zelensky’s smart enough to figure that out. He was a professional comedian before he was elected, you know. Sort of the Stephen Colbert of Ukraine. My wife’s Ukrainian cousins in Lwiw, pretty nationalistic themselves, say most people thought their vote for the guy was a kind of None of the Above vote, a to all the political parties. A celebrity. So I really don’t know if he’s smart enough, or whether he’s become somebody’s total tool by now.

         

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #418911
        jbnw
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        • Total Posts: 5,738

        calls Zelensky and the government in Kyiv stupid – but that’s small sample size.

        And I don’t know how he can come out of it looking good. Donbass being allowed to have their own elections would not go over well in Kyiv, and there (should) be no way for Ukraine to become a NATO member with an unresolved conflict.

        The Minsk protocol says items like

        On the first day after the pullout a dialogue is to start on modalities of conducting local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” and also about the future of these districts based on the above-mentioned law.

        Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with a new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts), and also approval of permanent legislation on the special status of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in accordance with the measures spelt out in the attached footnote, by the end of 2015.

        It’s from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk_Protocol and shows some of the long-unresolved issues.


        @jamesgordon
        @ohiobarbarian

    • #418844
      Dragon Turtle
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      • Total Posts: 91

      It’s currently at about 96% complete.

      • #418846
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,888

        The Germans aren’t going to stop building it when it’s 96% complete. For one thing, that wouldn’t be very German of them. No, this thing’s going to get fucking built. Vladimir Putin knows that is the reality, regardless of whatever fantasy of power relations the Ivy Leaguers in the Biden Administration are play-acting at.

         

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #418856
        gordyfl
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,857

        Oh yeah, no doubt. Nord Stream 2.

        I would be shocked if the US figures out a way to stop the pipeline now. Ukraine will be losing a lot of money in fees. Maybe there are US companies in the Ukraine which stand to lose money on the Nord Stream pipeline, not to mention the US losing out on selling liquidfied gas to Germany. And the Nord Stream 2 could eventually branch out to other countries in Europe from Germany. All I know is the US is really hung up on that pipeline.

        I think there is even more to it than meets the eye.

        I think Merkel told Putin something like “We know you can destroy the Ukraine, but back off and let’s focus on Nord Stream 2. We don’t need a distraction. Be wise. Be the bigger man.” Something along those lines.

         

      • #418913
        jbnw
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 5,738

        which is already hurting economically. From https://www.gtreview.com/magazine/volume-18-issue-1/nord-stream-2-spells-pain-ukraine/ :

        Ukraine acts as the gatekeeper in the transfer of natural gas from Russia to Europe, but the completion of Nord Stream 2 will enable Russia to go through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukrainian land and the accompanying US$2-3bn-worth of transit fees every year. In 2018, Gazprom supplied Europe with more than 200bcm of gas, of which 87bcm went through Ukraine. The Nord Stream 2 route crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones or territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany instead of going via Ukraine like many Russian gas pipelines currently do.

        Evghenia Sleptsova, senior economist at Oxford Economics, tells GTR: “On the one hand, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline allows Russia to ensure a more undisrupted trouble-free supply stream to Europe and on the other, it is hurting Ukraine economically. It is a two birds with one stone situation. It will be painful for Ukraine to stop seeing transit flows through its territory.”


        @dragonturtle
        @ohiobarbarian @jamesgordon

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