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The Russian-Ukrainian [War]

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  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    What part of France is he willing to give up top Russia for peace?

    None? then he can shut the fuck up about Ukraine giving up shit

    If Ukraine wasn't, by all appearances, beating the shit out of Russia, I could see concessions. Like if Odessa was on the verge of breaking to a siege or something... maybe, but, now?
    Zelensky should say that they're willing to discuss surrender terms. On the off-chance that Putin falls for it and doesn't see the obvious punchline, he can wait until they set terms.
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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Keep in mind that Ukraine is taking losses throughout all of this, and starting from a much less strong point than Russia. It's easy to forget, because of course they don't tweet out their own tanks and planes and men being lost, but they are.

    I'm not sure why people keep taking this as a given. Russia was outnumbered on the ground on day one of the war, and outnumbered by soldiers who are not only defending but who actually know how to do their jobs. Those "Russia has eighteen trillion tanks" claims the news keps treating as gospel were never really worth taking seriously, and that's before the Russian army's deficiencies in, well, functional things generally started getting really obvious. Russia's main advantage has been in airpower, but they've done an abysmal job actually making use of that.

    The two sides are not exactly trading one for one here (and even if they were, Ukraine could probably afford to do that longer than Russia).

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    klemming wrote: »
    What part of France is he willing to give up top Russia for peace?

    None? then he can shut the fuck up about Ukraine giving up shit

    If Ukraine wasn't, by all appearances, beating the shit out of Russia, I could see concessions. Like if Odessa was on the verge of breaking to a siege or something... maybe, but, now?
    Zelensky should say that they're willing to discuss surrender terms. On the off-chance that Putin falls for it and doesn't see the obvious punchline, he can wait until they set terms.
    "Oh sorry, you meant us?"

    I bet Putin would feel very owned

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  • GiantGeek2020GiantGeek2020 Registered User regular
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    Keep in mind that Ukraine is taking losses throughout all of this, and starting from a much less strong point than Russia. It's easy to forget, because of course they don't tweet out their own tanks and planes and men being lost, but they are.

    I'm not sure why people keep taking this as a given. Russia was outnumbered on the ground on day one of the war, and outnumbered by soldiers who are not only defending but who actually know how to do their jobs. Those "Russia has eighteen trillion tanks" claims the news keps treating as gospel were never really worth taking seriously, and that's before the Russian army's deficiencies in, well, functional things generally started getting really obvious. Russia's main advantage has been in airpower, but they've done an abysmal job actually making use of that.

    The two sides are not exactly trading one for one here (and even if they were, Ukraine could probably afford to do that longer than Russia).

    Though it should still be pointed out that they aren't in a stronger position than Russia and all this because it's Ukraine's cities that are being turned to Rubble Ukraine's civilians that are getting blasted to bits Ukraine’s economy that is being ground under the war.

    Ukraine's still got a hell of a lot of fight left in them but let's not kid ourselves to the costs.

    So once again f*** you Rand Paul for delaying the aid.

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  • Redcoat-13Redcoat-13 Registered User regular
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    I believe France were thinking “Invading would be such a bad idea, it won’t happen”

    Which I think all of us were hoping. The understand France don’t spend much on their intelligence services and may rely on the US and the UK more than they’d care to admit.

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  • GiantGeek2020GiantGeek2020 Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    I believe France were thinking “Invading would be such a bad idea, it won’t happen”

    Which I think all of us were hoping. The understand France don’t spend much on their intelligence services and may rely on the US and the UK more than they’d care to admit.

    Yeah the whole clap your hands and don't believe in Ukraine's existence thing was real f****** weird.

    Like if they'd tried for annexing the areas they had already stolen most of us here would predict that probably would have gone off without much of a hitch.

    But instead it's just been this massive stepping on your own dick Fest

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    Option 2.

    Speaking for myself, I was firmly in the Option 2 camp because I just saw the parallels to Iraq and Afghanistan and thought that Russia was smart enough to not put their hand in a meatgrinder after seeing the US do it for 20 years. Invading Ukraine was going all in on a high risk strategy with significant blowback potential. Which is what happened.

    Its one thing to step on a rake, its another thing to see somebody else step on a rake and then proceed to deliberately step on a similar rake.

    Especially since if he had call his troops back to base he would been seen as a 5d chessmaster that used the appearance of Russia's Mighty Army to influence global events. It would have given him so many more options on how to proceed in relation to the Ukrainian conflict than simple war would. Diplomatic, Economical, Political, you name it. It would have allowed him to set his own goals and standards of victory and give him the initiative to do so. So that if the situation didn't work out, he could step away and still call it a win.

    For example something as simple as asking for Russian to be made an Official Language of the Ukraine as a precondition of "peace talks". If Ukraine accepted, its a win. Setting the stage for the next slice at the salami. If Ukraine refused, it would have been a win domestically and in Europe. Maybe get those sanctions lowered. He could have used it as an excuse to reinforce the Separatist officially with Russian Troops. The best Salami tactics are the ones where the enemy has no choice but to accept that you are cutting off a piece. All at next to no cost to himself or Russia.

    Russia really had so much to gain by not invading that I had a hard time imagining it happening.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I don't see why Putin should have the privilege of an international audience at all

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    A lot of it was wishful thinking, but not in the sense that "Russia can't possibly invade!" More like, "Russia will just take another nibble at Ukraine and we'll all make our angry noises and add more sanctions and go back to our corners."

    It has been French and (moreso) German policy to try to bring Russia "into the fold" by engaging with the country economically, with the hopes that those ties would bind the nations so closely together that they wouldn't consider attacking each other. This is not at all dissimilar to U.S. policy on China since Nixon visited the country.

    So France & Germany were hoping that Russia wouldn't do something completely stupid like try to conquer the whole of Ukraine because Russia wouldn't want to lose out on those fat energy export checks.

    The problem with this approach is that it doesn't bind Russia to everyone. It only binds Russia to Germany and France. So the calculus shifts when you're taking about a third player, such as Ukraine, who isn't part of the deal and doesn't represent an existential threat to any of the main parties. What you end up with is a skewed calculus where both sides try to see what they can get away with without crossing the line. Which ends up being a pretty fat line.

    Which leads to the other problem, in that Russia has fundamentally different values as a nation than Germany or France. Neither of those countries have any interest in wars of expansion or territorial gain. They want everything to be peaceful amd friendly because: (a) that's how you make money, and (b) they value freedom and the right to life. So when you look at the skewed calculus of third parties, the aggressor always comes out ahead because they will continue to push the envelope as far as they can been because their value system gives them an advantage.

    This is, fundamentally, the problem with appeasement as a policy. The aggressor is never satisfied, and the appeaser, not wanting to wage war themself, has no tools with which they can stop the aggressor that do not in turn hurt them.

    At a larger scale this is my problem with the "sell them jeans" policy. Economic engagement has almost no bearing on ethical, cultural, social, or political values. People are depressingly good at separating their financial concerns from everything in their lives. The only major way to maintain the link between money and values is to choose who you do business with in the first place. At a micro level this is buying fair trade food. At a macro level this is allowing the exchange of currencies or the use of your own currency by another nation. Which goes to why sanctions act as not just a political tool, but a moral judgement as well - I'm not going to take your money because I can't trust you. Money entails obligation, and I don't want to be obligated to you.

    Which is why I am at least somewhat heartened by the fact that so many people across the world are willing to take a financial and economic hit in support of Ukraine. It shows the value of shared values, and the weakness of cynical realpolitik approaches. Maybe I think Frenchies are cheese-eating surrender monkeys, but I know they will at least feel bad and try to help if something terrible happens to my country. Russia and China would just wait for me to die and pick over my dead corpse.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    I cynically think Option 3.

    They knew it was going to happen, figured Ukraine would fall. Not in 72 hours or w/e, but in the Gulf War 2 timeline about 5 weeks of combat operations. Maybe support adds a few more months to that, but ultimately Russia wins.

    Then if you're a German/French 1 percenter not in the arms industry the best outcomes are:

    1st No War
    2nd Quick Russian Victory
    3rd Salami Slice followed by Sanctions
    4th a long conflict and large ongoing sanctions.


    I think a lot of leaders, like say the ones that approved and continually defended Nord Stream 2, would have been completely okay with a quick Russian take over. Hell it might even be preferred over another salami slice and round of sanctions. They want the quickest possible route to normalized trade relations with Russia. I don't think its a coincidence how quickly 'sanctions would just hurt innocent average Russians' popped up all over the place, until the horrors from Bucha started being broadcast.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    I think generally the US was sounding the alarm about an invasion because they simply have far far better intelligence in Putin's inner circle then anyone else. Everyone else I think assumed, based on what information they could get and what seemed like a credible plan of action, that Russia was gonna take another bite out of eastern Ukraine in the same way they did Crimea. The US was the one sounding the alarm that this was going to be much worse because they were the ones able to know about the specific directives and discussions going on in the high levels of the Russian government. And thus knew Putin was dead serious. Even though that option seemed like the dumbest one.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    What part of France is he willing to give up top Russia for peace?

    None? then he can shut the fuck up about Ukraine giving up shit

    If Ukraine wasn't, by all appearances, beating the shit out of Russia, I could see concessions. Like if Odessa was on the verge of breaking to a siege or something... maybe, but, now?

    Keep in mind that Ukraine is taking losses throughout all of this, and starting from a much less strong point than Russia. It's easy to forget, because of course they don't tweet out their own tanks and planes and men being lost, but they are.

    Yes but in the current state, as a nation they are clobbering Russia, and Zelinsky has said itll be by referendum what concessions (if any) they'd take

    My money is still on conceding Crimea but little else

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Speaking for myself, I was firmly in the Option 2 camp because I just saw the parallels to Iraq and Afghanistan and thought that Russia was smart enough to not put their hand in a meatgrinder after seeing the US do it for 20 years. Invading Ukraine was going all in on a high risk strategy with significant blowback potential. Which is what happened.

    Its one thing to step on a rake, its another thing to see somebody else step on a rake and then proceed to deliberately step on a similar rake.

    What exactly are the parallels, beyond it being A War? Iraq and Afghanistan weren't wars of conquest, we went in with the strategy of offloading as much as possible of the burdens of combat and governance to the locals as possible, while minimizing danger to our own troops.

  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    Redcoat-13 wrote: »
    Weren’t French intelligence completely caught out by the invasion?

    You had the US and the UK say the invasion was happening (in an attempt to try stop it) and yet you had France and Macron saying it wouldn’t with Macron bragging he’d spoken to Putin directly (and do consequently looking like a complete birk).

    The question I'd like answered when everything gets declassified was: Did France (and Germany) just ignore/miss the buildup and refusal to leave, or was it a case of concluding that the invasion would be such a bad idea for all the reasons we've seen it be a bad idea that no sensible person would actually do it? Because humans are good at falling into the trap of "this bad thing won't happen because it would be so bad".

    I cynically think Option 3.

    They knew it was going to happen, figured Ukraine would fall. Not in 72 hours or w/e, but in the Gulf War 2 timeline about 5 weeks of combat operations. Maybe support adds a few more months to that, but ultimately Russia wins.

    Then if you're a German/French 1 percenter not in the arms industry the best outcomes are:

    1st No War
    2nd Quick Russian Victory
    3rd Salami Slice followed by Sanctions
    4th a long conflict and large ongoing sanctions.


    I think a lot of leaders, like say the ones that approved and continually defended Nord Stream 2, would have been completely okay with a quick Russian take over. Hell it might even be preferred over another salami slice and round of sanctions. They want the quickest possible route to normalized trade relations with Russia. I don't think its a coincidence how quickly 'sanctions would just hurt innocent average Russians' popped up all over the place, until the horrors from Bucha started being broadcast.

    I agree that a quick Russian victory was probably the preferred outcome for Germany (and maybe France) and that there’s certainly no question that EU (especially German) foreign and energy policy of the recent pre-invasion past looks badly misguided in hindsight. It’s ruined Angela Merkel’s legacy.

    I honestly think that Germany and France believed Putin wouldn’t do it, though. If they believed that the invasion was really imminent, Macron would never have made the public assurances he did. Instead, he’d have been talking shit about Zelensky and the right wing extremism of the Ukrainians during the month or two before.

    A bunch of French military intelligence officials resigned in disgrace not too long ago, for not predicting the invasion and/or being Putin suck-ups, and I imagine that there’s probably some sort of reckoning going on among German military and diplomatic institutions, too. They’ve been made fools of and they know it, which is probably the main reason Europe’s response has been surprisingly forceful.

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  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    Prohass wrote: »
    CNN had an article from a ukranian lawmaker confirming what I suspected, which is that Ukraine is suffering severe losses in more recent fighting compared to the start of the war, which is what happens when things shift to just shelling entrenched positions. They were begging for more advanced military aid to counter this. Another reason to be pissed off at Ron Paul’s bad faith spanned in the works. Now is the worst time to take the foot off the gas so to speak, because it will favour Russian attempts at just attritional grinding down of Ukrainian people and armed forces

    Not surprising. Hopefully if they've been frantically training new soldiers as fast as they can since the beginning of this thing, and all indications are that they have, in which case they should have a bunch of new troops just about ready to go at this point. Equipping them might be the bigger issue, and it occurs to me what an absolute clusterfuck Ukrainian logistics must be right now. They have their own assault rifle, the Malyuk, but it sounds like it isn't really widely used, and in most footage I've seen their ground forces seem to be armed with some kind of AK variant. There are also a bunch of foreign weapons trickling in, and while there are only a couple of standard ammunition types, I can see how it could be a huge pain to find what you're looking for in the field.

    I mean, just take a look at this:

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

    There's 39 different assault rifles in there. Thirty-nine. And that's just assault rifles, not counting battle rifles, semi-automatics or bolt-actions. Imagine you're a unit being rotated off of the front to resupply and your unit is using AKs, but all they have at the depot is 5.56 NATO ammo. Or they have 7.62, but no magazines that fit your specific models. I imagine that just trying to keep track of what units are where, using what weapons and ammo types would be enough to make the average quartermaster's head explode.

    Who the hell gave the Ukrainians mini-14s? Did Ruger just make a private donation or something or has someone been combing the Cabella’s and shipping them overseas?

    I mean it isn’t a terrible weapon or anything but its a bit weird to see a weapon that to my knowledge has never been used in an actual military (I may be wrong but certainly not wide scale) and is mainly used as a trail gun or ranch gun by civilians popping up in military usage half way across the world.

    The source for the Mini-14's entry in the list (which is just a blog post analyzing guns that have appeared on social media and in news footage) doesn't actually mention the Mini-14, so someone probably screwed up there. It does mention the Ruger American, a bolt action rifle, though, and speculates that it was some Ukrainian civilian's hunting rifle that was pressed into military service.

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  • CornucopiistCornucopiist Registered User regular
    edited May 14
    Ukraine just won the Eurovision Song Contest. Putin must feel so ronery tonight…

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Ukraine just won the Eurovision Song Contest. Putin must feel so ronery tonight…

    They get to host it next year

    Foreign aid will have to switch from Javelins and planes to glitter and smoke machines

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  • marajimaraji Registered User regular
    Ukraine just won the Eurovision Song Contest. Putin must feel so ronery tonight…

    They get to host it next year

    Foreign aid will have to switch from Javelins and planes to glitter and smoke machines

    Let it be so.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Ringo wrote: »
    Somebody has to be keeping an open dialogue with Putin, and the last reported attempt by anyone not named Macron was Israel who said Ukraine should unilaterally surrender.

    So as dumb as it appears, Macron is the one keeping Putin talking to the world, and that is a necessity

    What? No.. just no. International leaders including the Pope have been talking to Putin this entire time. It's just that the only person who doesn't walk away thinking it was a stupid waste of their time on God's green earth is Macron, who hears the same thing time after time and still seems able to come away with the idea that progress is being made.

    They all report "these are still Putin's terms" so everyone can have a grim laugh at the expense of the two hours they would have better spent trying to figure out their country's looming energy crisis, as Zelensky likely sits groaning into his hands that he STILL needs ammunition and not another mailman.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • DarklyreDarklyre Registered User regular
    Y'all must have better principles than me in not liking the adopt-a-bomb campaign. All of you have severe reservations, and here I am trying to decide between "Poggers," "U mad?," and a trollface drawing.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    Darklyre wrote: »
    Y'all must have better principles than me in not liking the adopt-a-bomb campaign. All of you have severe reservations, and here I am trying to decide between "Poggers," "U mad?," and a trollface drawing.

    People mostly have some feelings about it because the entire disaster deserves to be treated more seriously than that yeah.

    Its one thing when its Ukrainians making jokes but, man

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Darklyre wrote: »
    Y'all must have better principles than me in not liking the adopt-a-bomb campaign. All of you have severe reservations, and here I am trying to decide between "Poggers," "U mad?," and a trollface drawing.

    Like I get the fundraising and all but I feel like people really do lose how horrifying war is. It's not buying some 'lol eat shit's meme, people are gonna die miserably and horribly. In large numbers.

    I want Russian soldiers to die but only because it means Ukraine and Ukranians live. I'm not cheering for anyone to die.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    And its one thing to have like some black humor about the entire thing on a forum but putting memes on bombs for a war that your entire connection to is that your country is supply arms just seems way across a line.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    I will never criticise someone for trying to talk down a madman. I'll think its a waste of time. But I will never fault them for trying. I genuinely don't care about their reason.

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  • dporowskidporowski Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    There is no small value in the President of France, a core, long time member of NATO, a member of the EU, definitely "The West" being seen to openly and visibly take Putin and Russia seriously as rational actors and a real country that NATO totally doesn't want to fight, see?

    Is it bullshit? Maybe. Lots of international politics is bullshit done for the optics. But it hurts nothing, it changes nothing about what's happening (Russia is getting pretty absolutely shellacked here), and if France's head of state has to look a little silly in the eyes of some as an effort to maybe keep things from getting worse, hey, fair trade.

    Good Cop/Bad Cop doesn't work if there's no Good Cop, and it's hard(er) for anyone to say "ALL OF NATO IS AGAINST US RAAAR" if Macron was just very obviously Right There trying to be buddies with you and talk like you were a big kid at the big table.

    Edit: I mean sure, Macron could be an idiot. IDK. But they're still doing the things that need to happen when it comes down to it, and France/the French have seen some shit, so I feel like maybe they know what they're doing.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    I don't think Macron is going to get anywhere, but I'm not sure what actual harm is happening and making it'll leave France in a position to mediate a conclusion to this debacle somewhere down the road.

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  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    I don't think Macron is going to get anywhere, but I'm not sure what actual harm is happening and making it'll leave France in a position to mediate a conclusion to this debacle somewhere down the road.

    I know I said this before, but..

    If an agreement had been reached and Macron had come out with it, there would be pressure on Zelenskyy to accept it. Think about how many people here and elsewhere want Ukraine to make that choice even now.

    By making it public that Ukraine / Zelensky disagrees with it, but before anything was put together, it puts pressure on the EU leaders from even attempting to create such a deal in the first place. So, yes, it actually could cause harm if you believe it would harm Ukraine by making them cede territory.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    I don't think Macron is going to get anywhere, but I'm not sure what actual harm is happening and making it'll leave France in a position to mediate a conclusion to this debacle somewhere down the road.

    What Ukrainian delegation is being included with Macron during his negotiation for their country?

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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    I might have missed some details but it definitely seems unclear what Macron's trying to offer in order to give Putin his off ramp. They say they aren't offering any concessions from Ukraine but I can't imagine what else could possibly placate Putin. All he's really got to offer is 'stop the war and we'll stop sanctions'.

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  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    macron has no business negotiating with Putin on any terms other than "stop being a fucking idiot, look what you're doing to your own country with this idiocy"

    Ukraine is not Macron's to negotiate, and you do not, under any circumstances, have to hand it to him for trying. He's an underhanded scheming snake and should be disparaged at any opportunity.

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  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    There is also something incredibly patronizing about Macron negotiating a peace without ukraine's input and suggesting that putin gets just a *little* territory.

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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    Honestly, with heads of state like Macron, I find it best to look at them like a corporation to begin with, and not so much the individual morality of it, or appearances and the ethics it might imply.

    And I don't say that to give any leeway to it or him, or permissiveness from a moral or ethical standpoint. Just that on the whole, what is best for France, who is geographically isolated from the conflict, and is less directly effected by the energy effects of this conflict (they get less than half of their energy needs from Russia, that Germany does, for example); is that there be no conflict? They also don't have, that I'm aware of, any major historical ties to Ukraine or Russia, outside of WWII and the Cold War, so while it might seem callous to those who are watching this with more vested interest, suggesting that Ukraine, who is seemingly (at great cost and sacrifice) schooling the living fuck out of Russia, from a plain, cold, calculus, it isn't remotely surprising or shocking.

    Also, just plainly, as a tactic in any negotiation, you start by asking for higher than you know is reasonable. You don't lead with what you assume will be the inevitable compromise, that would just weaken your position and likely lead to you walking away with even less than you could have.

    Which is to say that if anything, what should be exceptionally striking here, is that Macron is suggesting out of the gate that the best case outcome for Russia here, is that things go back to the status quo. That the initial "offer", that is likely knowingly wildly unlikely, is that Russia walks away with what they had already taken, and a bruised ego (broadly, obviously the individual costs and suffering are already catastrophic, particularly for Ukrainians, but again, I'm looking at this like how a corporation that is interested in outcomes, not details). I think that, if looked at from a negotiation perspective, that this statement is already seismic in its implication for where Russia heads from this point on, both from the perspective of knowing that what they could expect as a best case right now is nothing gained, but every day this persists, their prospects are worsening in all likelihood.

    One of the most dramatic differences between what is happening right now, compared to Europe pre-WWII, is that out of the gate the gloves are off for both financial and military assistance from the US specifically, but also from other allies, to Ukraine. No dancing around isolationists (except MAGA fuckwits) or pretenses of neutrality, like we had for several years with FDR figuring out how to support Britain without overtly doing so, risking domestic and international backlash. On top of their clear miscalculation of Ukrainian resistance, it seems that Russia also had an overblown expectation of how their years of influence on the public and politicians in the US would play out in their favor. For sure, they've fucked us up (not to outsize their influence, we've done fucked ourselves up plenty, the religious right and their crusade that even opened the door to Putin's influence, started long before their misinformation shit got started), but outside of some extremists like Tucker, the public response was swift and nearly unanimous, to the point that there has been virtually no opposition to nearly unlimited support for Ukraine, by the government, even leading to some fairly problematic powers being granted to the executive.

    Having said all of that, back to the cold calculus of whatever head of state, Macron or whomever, I think most of us understand that in a different timeline, where Ukraine didn't put up so much resistance, for whatever reason, the vast majority of Western leaders, Biden included, would have offered some public 'tut-tut'ing' of their invasion, maybe a few more sanctions, but ultimately just looked the other way as Russia committed atrocities in the Ukraine and outside of some media that brings up Syria or Yemen occasionally to remind people that "hey, some shit is going on that maybe we should be paying attention to!", the would have collectively shrugged.

    But Ukraine resisted, and it opened up an opportunity for the US and NATO, and we were obviously going to take it. The faint optimist deep inside me hopes that on some level, leaders were aware that at least on some level that opportunity was to not make the exact same mistakes made with Germany, that lead to WWII, with appeasement and lies, and "neutrality". But the realist knows that probably more likely, or at least equally as likely, the opportunity was to weaken an already floundering Russia by just throwing money and weapons at a people who aren't your people, and also, get a far more accurate intelligence perspective on the reality of modern Russian capability, against actual resistance (which they've failed to have, even when they've completely shit the bed, in other conflicts in the past few decades). And the answer, almost immediately was "they don't have shit".

    They have nukes though, and as unrealistic as we'd like to imagine the use of them is, for a head of state, it is of consequence, and thus to even some degree, Russia has to be "handled".

    Is that what Macron is doing? Time will tell I suppose. And as others have pointed out, who else could do it? It's not that other people haven't been speaking to Putin, but certainly Biden couldn't be the one suggesting Ukraine give up anything. The situation here wouldn't allow it. Johnson? Laughable. Germany seems to be confused, at least from the outside, as to who is really even in charge anymore post Merkel. Nordic nations have their own problematic history with Russia, along with not really being viewed as spokespeople for Europe as a whole, or thus far intentionally separate from NATO. Who the fuck even knows what is going on in the addled head of the Pope right now; except whatever it is being evidence that maybe we need to consider not having people who are octogenarians be major leaders?

    Plus, unfortunately, it has to be considered that Macron just won an election against a Putin plant, who got way too many votes considering she was an obvious Putin plant, and internally there was likely some discussion of "the fuckwits who supported Le Pen need to be fed something, maybe Macron can win some of them back from the brink, by at least superficially appearing to be interested in helping Russia save any face here, whatsoever"? I mean, maybe not, but it also wouldn't be terribly surprising.



    None of this is to say that people shouldn't be bothered by it, or that it doesn't feel really shitty and undermining of the resistance Ukraine is showing. Leaders do and say things all the time that are shitty, that feel shitty, and look shitty, but at the same time are understandable. Given how many people these days seem to be behaving in ways that are incredibly shitty, but also make no sense, with no seeming endgame in mind, other than just be shitty and have everything be shitty, and have no foresight whatsoever, I guess, cynically, I'll take the shitty things that I can still work out in my brain, that feel like, even if I think they're wrong, or dumb, or not the right course, I can follow the logic and reasoning and feel like we're the same species. It, maybe weirdly, gives me hope in a better future, at least compared to MAGA "big man yellow man strong man ya ya we best!" idiocy that makes me feel like maybe we'd best be letting the planet get on without us.



    So anyway, hey, I was thinking; lets say one of the outcomes that someone posted about predictions of outcomes here, comes to pass, and Russia's military does completely collapse. There's a nonzero chance, following that, where Russia and China come up with some sort of "accords" that results in China functionally absorbing Russia, entirely. Right? I'm not crazy in having this go through my mind. Right? Right? :lol: It feels like a legitimate potential outcome, and while I don't think Russia just ups and becomes China overnight, if Russia suddenly has zero military viability, and economically they've been near irrevocably cut off from the rest of the world, what route do they have other than to have some recovery funneled through China; and how long does that go on before China says "ok, we'll just take it from here"?

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  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    I might have missed some details but it definitely seems unclear what Macron's trying to offer in order to give Putin his off ramp. They say they aren't offering any concessions from Ukraine but I can't imagine what else could possibly placate Putin. All he's really got to offer is 'stop the war and we'll stop sanctions'.

    Reports / Ukraine said Macron was offering Ukrainian territory.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Zelensky said it outright - Macron suggested to him that giving away the Donbas/Crimea could be a concession to Putin to end the war.

    Again, I have no problem with someone being the negotiator. That role will always have to exist. It's dirty work, but someone has to do it. But there is a meaningful difference between keeping the lines of communication open and attempting to move a peace deal forward by suggesting terms to the main parties when neither party has expressed anything other than a desire for total, complete victory.

    And it's especially galling when, by most accounts, the defenders who are in the moral right are actually winning. Why would they concede anything? They are very clearly not in the psychological or political space to even entertain that idea, and all he's doing is making things worse by continuing to float the idea out there that potentially a peace could be had if only Ukraine gave Russia what it wanted. It moves the window and reframes the negotiation further away from Ukraine's side and closer to Russia's side. It makes it seem as though, "If only the Ukrainians would give up territory, we could have peace!"

    It'd be one thing if he was just asking the question to Zelensky of what is and isn't possible at this point. But it seems pretty apparent that he was trying to push for some kind of deal or concession from the outset. It's fucking stupid, and disgusting besides.

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  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    edited May 15
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    macron has no business negotiating with Putin on any terms other than "stop being a fucking idiot, look what you're doing to your own country with this idiocy"

    Ukraine is not Macron's to negotiate, and you do not, under any circumstances, have to hand it to him for trying. He's an underhanded scheming snake and should be disparaged at any opportunity.

    Agreed 100%.

    All heads of state or government who are displaying a bizarre fascination with playing Chamberlain, Quisling, or Pétain, to Putin's uncanny impersonation of Hitler, need to have scorn heaped on them until the certainty of being vilified by history nudges them back onto the path of reason.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 15
    If Macron is going there trying to talk Putin into just going home then hey, great. Go for it, buddy. If he's reporting back Putin's unchanged terms, he's still doing what everyone else who talks to Putin is also doing. To my knowledge he has absolutely no authority to do any more than that.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Spectrum wrote: »

    Please don't forget to post the content of the tweet.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    I don't think Macron is going to get anywhere, but I'm not sure what actual harm is happening and making it'll leave France in a position to mediate a conclusion to this debacle somewhere down the road.

    What Ukrainian delegation is being included with Macron during his negotiation for their country?

    Its not really a negotiation, in the sense you mean, at all. Macron doesn't have any legal authority to sign anything for Ukraine and as far as I can tell isn't trying to sign anything on their behalf so IDK, this is weird framing. What Macron is doing is very common to third party diplomatic efforts during war times. Conveying demands/requests, feeling out and pushing for terms for later negotiation etc etc. Like I said earlier, its not likely to do anything now, but it positions France to operate as mediator during later negotiations and its not actually causing any harm.

    The way the thread talks about France wrt Ukraine kind of doesn't make much sense when France is also supplying Ukraine with arms. France is strongly allied with Ukraine. They're also keeping some diplomatic channels open with Russia. Its fine.

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