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New Year in a Ukrainian trench As darkness falls, the bombardment begins

“We look. We find. We kill.” (Natali Dovbish)

“We look. We find. We kill.” (Natali Dovbish)


January 7, 2023   8 mins

Ochakiv, Ukraine

The sun rises on 2023. Its rays light up the trench, an unwelcoming black void into which we gratefully disappear to take cover from the artillery, rockets and Iranian Shahid drones that are launched daily from the Russian positions just kilometres across the water. All around, the landscape is ragged and torn. This is the emergent topography of southern Ukraine, a land sundered by violence. Nearby, a cat wanders across an expanse of concrete — unperturbed by it all.

To enter a trench on the frontlines of a war is to go both deep into the earth and back in time. I arrive as the war enters its ninth year, just before New Year’s Eve; the mood seems strangely familiar. Inside the sleeping quarters, at the end of a narrow corridor strewn with coats, shoes, helmets, and automatic weapons, a line comes to me from Isaac Rosenberg’s great First World War poem, Break of Day in the Trenches. We are, I realise, now “sprawled in the bowels of the earth”.

A thick, gnarled tree branch has been converted into a pillar that juts into the ceiling; three bunks surround it. A wood-powered boiler heats the place. It is suffused with the particular combination of body odour, stale cigarette smoke and cheap deodorant common to all small spaces in which soldiers sleep for sustained periods of time. I know that after five minutes I will no longer be able to smell it.

I keep moving through the trench — a maze of narrow alleys with wooden walls dug almost two metres into the ground — to the front and arrive at a lookout post right on the front where a young soldier is manning a DShK heavy machine gun. He greets me and points straight ahead. I follow the line of his finger out into the distance.

“Russian pigs,” he says with a grin.

***

The 26th Border Guards Division has been in Ochakiv since April 2022. The town is a strategically important point and home to Ukraine’s marine base, built by the US in 2019. When Putin gave his maundering speech declaring the start of the 24 February offensive, he claimed Ochakiv was central to American and Nato plans to launch attacks against Russia. It is also the entrance to Kherson and Mykolaiv by sea. Moscow wants it — badly.

As we arrive from Odesa in the late morning, we are immediately told to take cover. Shahids have been spotted. Inside the Division’s office, a small room adorned with the flags of Ukraine and the Border Guards, I meet Oleg, a 32-year-old senior lieutenant from Mykolaiv, and the second-in-command here. He is a contract (volunteer) officer, and he has been here since April. The job of the soldiers here, he explains, is twofold: first, to detect incoming Russian attacks and to give their coordinates to the air defence forces; and second, to fight what he describes as the “artillery duel” with the Russians a few kilometres away in the occupied Kherson region. Their base here is shot at constantly, he explains. They are dug into trenches because they are attacked by a varying array of drones: Shahids, Russian Lancets and Orlans, and small Mavics. This the most noticeable evolution of the war since I was last here: drones are now at its heart.

The sun rises on New Year’s Day. (Natali Dovbish)

“This position is vital,” Oleg tells me. “If the Russians deploy their forces here, it means they would be able to access Odesa.” This autumn was particularly intense, he explains. On the worst day, the Division experienced three waves of attacks: missiles, artillery and — “for dessert” — a swarm of drones. “We intercepted one wave; unfortunately, another was successful and there were some casualties.”

The Shahids arrived in August. He estimates the Russians opposite have about 70 of them. “They are effective because they are cheap [and therefore plentiful].”  A small mug sits on the table with “I love you” written across it; some tinsel hangs forlornly over a small fridge. He continues: “As soon as we saw the drones coming, we took up positions and began shooting. I gave the order to use the heavy machine guns — we didn’t have the drone gun yet.” He picks up what looks like a short guitar case and holds it proudly. “It blocks the signal between the drone and its operator — you can either just make it fall or take control of it.”

I ask what he thinks of  Russians? He laughs. “They are just killers, destroyers, and rapists. They have no dignity or respect; they come just to destroy everything, but they underestimated us. They broke their teeth on Ukraine. One day they will go back to their fields and forests because they will never win here. They’re just a bunch of Pederas.”

Back in the trench, I meet Artem. He’s 24 and has also been fighting since April. He has a faded smudge of a tattoo on his hand. I ask what it is. “I got it four years ago,”’ he replies. “When I was young and more stupid.” He speaks to another soldier and suddenly becomes agitated. “Pederas,” he snorts. “Russians?” I ask. “No,” he replies. “The postal service. They lose everything. I sent my wife an ant farm as a gift and they fucked up the delivery so when it arrived, almost all had died. Though two survived. So the farm will grow again.”

He snaps back to the present and proceeds to show me how it all works. At intervals across the front of the trench stand lookout posts sitting behind wooden walls topped with sandbags. With a pair of high-powered binoculars, I look at some houses across the river. “Russians are hiding in there,” he tells me. “They fire at us all the time. At night they suck, because their aim is shit. During the day they just shoot all the time. Day and night, we sit and watch them and return fire.” Out here, on the front, far away from politics and civilian life and family, things become very simple indeed.

“It’s easy,” he shrugs. “We look. We find. We kill.”

***

Darkness is falling. Before the light goes, Oleg wants to take me on a tour of the surrounding area to show me the effects of the huge artillery battle that is raging. There is much talk here of a renewed spring offensive after the weather starts to get warmer. He expects things to get much worse, he tells me matter-of-factly. I struggle with my body armour, and he comes over to help me. Doing it up at the back, he pats me on the shoulder. “Ok, now you are a special soldier.”

We walk about 30 metres from the trench to a huge bomb crater that must be 2 metres deep. I climb down inside and look up at a grinning Oleg. This was a rocket strike from just three weeks ago, he tells me. We walk on and he shows me the remains of a Grad rocket that also narrowly missed the trench. Another few yards away, he points out yet another piece of enemy hardware. I am, I realise, in the centre of a battlefield.

A bomb crater near the trench. (Natali Dovbish)

A short while later, it is time for dinner: a feast of beef, chicken, ham, potatoes, salami, bread and coleslaw is served. The men take it in turns to cook and the camaraderie is clear. They laugh and joke here on the front, as soldiers under repeated attack almost always do. There is little point behaving otherwise. I sit at a table with my photographer Nataliya and six soldiers. The mood lifts. Artem starts joking about the Russians. “They are afraid of our punches in Moscow,” he says. “They are like rats!” he laughs.

Meanwhile, the sound of shelling — “the shrieking iron and flame/Hurled through still heavens” — outside is growing louder. “2022 was hard for everyone, not just Ukraine,” he continues, a glass of Coke in his hand as if nothing is happening. “People all over the world saw that Ukraine is the strongest nation in the world — I appreciate that is my subjective opinion — and that we did not want to be part of Russia. For 2023, I feel hope: hope is the one thing nobody can take away. I want less death and more love — and also more weapons.”

It’s time for a night-time tour of the trench. Just before we leave, Artem shows me some books his wife has sent him on strategy — some are about the US army, he says happily. “You can learn a lot from these,” he tells me. “The brain is the most important weapon in war.” A thick fog has descended. The company dog, a good-natured mongrel Polkan (derived from Polkovnik meaning colonel) who the soldiers take into the trench with them when they are attacked, joins us. The shelling becomes louder and more frequent. As we walk across concrete to the trench, the fog rolls across us. “It’s a bitch,” Artem tells me. “You have to wipe the guns down constantly.”

He shows me the night vision equipment and some imagery on his phone: “See that red dot? … Russians.” The process goes like this: when he hears any Russian movement, he uses the compass app on his phone to locate the direction it has come from. Then if it continues, he uses Google Maps to try to locate the exact position, which he sends to the artillery. “To the strongest boys,” he laughs, “with the strongest punches!”

The drone gun (Natali Dovbish)

The new year is approaching. I stand on the lookout post in a trench shrouded in mist; I can see my breath billowing gently into the ether, and it’s all very beautiful. I think about the nine years I’ve spent covering Ukraine. I was here when the war began back in 2014. I was in the Donbas when local “separatists” and then Russians took the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk and Slovyansk. I remember when the thugs with baseball bats and pavement slabs morphed into professional soldiers with machine guns; when shitty local cars were turned into tanks and armoured vehicles. Nine years on, it’s evolved into the biggest land struggle in Europe since the Second World War. I think of all the friends I have made, and the ones that I have lost.

At midnight there’s a brief toast in the office. As the phone’s glowing numbers hit 00:00, we raise a glass of tea and roar: “Slava Ukrainii… Heroyam Slava!” And then as an addendum: “Fuck Russia!”

“Yeah, and fuck Putin too,” says Oleg.

***

“Good morning, motherfuckers,” says our roommate with a laugh. Last night, several rockets landed just a few hundred metres from our trench, forcing us to take cover. Our beds shook. Sleep was intermittent. I assumed that the tinkling sound near my ears was debris shaking loose from the walls. “Nah,” said my bunkmate, “that will just be the mice.”

“The night was bad,” a soldier explains a little later, “because they like to attack during holidays when people in the cities will have gathered in larger numbers.” I watch the first sunrise of 2023 from the lookout post on the very frontlines of the war in Ukraine. The sky is a deep red. The new year has brought with it the same old madness from Putin. In his new year address, he said that Russia is fighting to protect its “historical territories in the new regions of the Russian Federation”.

Conspiratorial and meandering as ever, it’s clear he has no intention of backing down. The truth is he can’t — he can only double down. “The West lied to us about peace while preparing for aggression, and today, they no longer hesitate to openly admit it and to cynically use Ukraine and its people as a means to weaken and divide Russia,” he rambled. “We have never allowed anyone to do this and we will not allow it now.”

I look out over the sea and think about Putin’s words, and then of the continuing fortitude of these soldiers; and I think of Rosenberg once more. “Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins/Drop, and are ever dropping;/But mine in my ear is safe — Just a little white with the dust.”

I remember what Oleg said to me the night before. “2022 was a very difficult year for our people — we managed to stop a huge army, but in 2023 we will be back to our 1991 borders [when Ukraine declared independence]. Then we will return home to our families and our children, and we will build a huge wall between us and Russians, and never again will anyone call us brothers.”


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

dpatrikarakos

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martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Every day we see this war evolving. Every day Ukrainians eventually get all the weapons that the West had previously denied them.
The AMX-10s, Bradleys and Marders will soon be followed by M-1s and Leopards. Ukraine also gets ever more sophisticated anti-air defences, making Surovikin’s Syrian-style assault on infrastructure and hospitals increasingly less effective.
Most important, every Russian client state in Central Asia and the Caucasus had either abandoned Russia, or actively opposing the expansion of the “Russian World.”
Perhaps Iran and North Korea can even the balance. Perhaps mobilized Russians totally unprepared for 21st Century war will still somehow hold the line.
But the trajectory of this war is very clear.
Putin’s Russia is losing.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

As I said the day Russia invaded, they’ve already lost. We’re just totting up the score of how much they lose now.
The reputation of the Russian armed forces has been trashed. They’ve basically destroyed their own defence industry – their kit has performed very badly and they’ve lost access to the Western technology (like advanced chips) needed for guided weapons. Western companies have pretty much pulled out of Russia – and a lot of skilled younger people with them. Young men are either being killed or leaving the country to avoid the war. They’ll run into difficulties very soon maintaining their oil and gas fields without Western oilfield services companies to help them.
And all they can do now is try to destroy Ukraine – because if they can’t have it, no one else should. What an absolutely wretched mentality. Nothing positive to offer – only corruption, brute force, inefficiency and incompetence.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Rather like Rogozhin in Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot.”
If he can’t have Nastasya Fillipovna, no one can.
So Russian…

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Rather like Rogozhin in Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot.”
If he can’t have Nastasya Fillipovna, no one can.
So Russian…

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Putin’s Russia is not losing.
Russia is in this for the long game.
Zelenskyy wil flee to the US if the Asov battalion don’t get him first.
Ukraine will be destroyed and that will be the result of the west’s meddling.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

The Beast with the four dirty paws will win
And thats how the story goes

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>Putin’s Russia is not losing.
Strategic retreats and 3d chess akshually

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

You’ll see.

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I’ll see Russia taking more L’s, yes

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Exactly.
So why not have a cease fire and negotiate?

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Why would Ukraine negotiate with the side thats is still engaged a war of conquest and occupying her territory?

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Why would Ukraine negotiate with the side thats is still engaged a war of conquest and occupying her territory?

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Exactly.
So why not have a cease fire and negotiate?

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I’ll see Russia taking more L’s, yes

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You’ll see.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

When strategy, stealth and brute force don’t prevail, well, I guess inspired prophecy is all that’s left.
Any thoughts on the lottery, or the next race at Cheltenham?

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

No.
Have you ?
Do share.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

No.
Have you ?
Do share.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

The Beast with the four dirty paws will win
And thats how the story goes

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>Putin’s Russia is not losing.
Strategic retreats and 3d chess akshually

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

When strategy, stealth and brute force don’t prevail, well, I guess inspired prophecy is all that’s left.
Any thoughts on the lottery, or the next race at Cheltenham?

Victor Whisky
VW
Victor Whisky
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Unfortunately, I believe the news on the front is quite the opposite. Why is Vitoria Nuland of the US state department, the creator and director of this whole tragic opera not passing out cookies to the Ukrainian soldiers in the trenches? As I see it, this is a proxy war between Israel and Russia. Putin had to go, it was planned long ago, ever since he sent troops to Syria, ending Israel’s plan to drive the entire middle east Arab nations back to the stone age, so that Israel would be the dominant power and left to continue its border expansion with ease. And presently, it has been admitted, by many in the US government, this is all about regime change and all in charge of this regime change project on both sides, Ukraine and US, by coincidence, happen to be zionists. They are using US treasure and Ukrainian blood to achieve this goal. For the sake of this idiotic plan devised by this cabal, thousands of young Ukrainian and Russian boys are dying and Ukraine may never be whole again. Hope Poland has no ambitions. As we have seen, when nations are asked to join in, throw their young men in other’s wars, they are promised a prize and it usually is in the form of more territory. Does Poland have its eye on Lviv? Pilsudski’s motto was “z morza do morza” (from sea to sea), meaning from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. And will the US, one day pack up an leave as it had done in Afghanistan and Vietnam, or will we be heading towards world war 3. There is one thing zionist hate to admit, it is to being incompetent and having made a mistake. They will persist on their foolish path until the last Ukrainian soldier falls and will still not admit to being responsible for this totally unnecessary and avoidable tragedy.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

As I said the day Russia invaded, they’ve already lost. We’re just totting up the score of how much they lose now.
The reputation of the Russian armed forces has been trashed. They’ve basically destroyed their own defence industry – their kit has performed very badly and they’ve lost access to the Western technology (like advanced chips) needed for guided weapons. Western companies have pretty much pulled out of Russia – and a lot of skilled younger people with them. Young men are either being killed or leaving the country to avoid the war. They’ll run into difficulties very soon maintaining their oil and gas fields without Western oilfield services companies to help them.
And all they can do now is try to destroy Ukraine – because if they can’t have it, no one else should. What an absolutely wretched mentality. Nothing positive to offer – only corruption, brute force, inefficiency and incompetence.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Putin’s Russia is not losing.
Russia is in this for the long game.
Zelenskyy wil flee to the US if the Asov battalion don’t get him first.
Ukraine will be destroyed and that will be the result of the west’s meddling.

Victor Whisky
Victor Whisky
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Unfortunately, I believe the news on the front is quite the opposite. Why is Vitoria Nuland of the US state department, the creator and director of this whole tragic opera not passing out cookies to the Ukrainian soldiers in the trenches? As I see it, this is a proxy war between Israel and Russia. Putin had to go, it was planned long ago, ever since he sent troops to Syria, ending Israel’s plan to drive the entire middle east Arab nations back to the stone age, so that Israel would be the dominant power and left to continue its border expansion with ease. And presently, it has been admitted, by many in the US government, this is all about regime change and all in charge of this regime change project on both sides, Ukraine and US, by coincidence, happen to be zionists. They are using US treasure and Ukrainian blood to achieve this goal. For the sake of this idiotic plan devised by this cabal, thousands of young Ukrainian and Russian boys are dying and Ukraine may never be whole again. Hope Poland has no ambitions. As we have seen, when nations are asked to join in, throw their young men in other’s wars, they are promised a prize and it usually is in the form of more territory. Does Poland have its eye on Lviv? Pilsudski’s motto was “z morza do morza” (from sea to sea), meaning from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. And will the US, one day pack up an leave as it had done in Afghanistan and Vietnam, or will we be heading towards world war 3. There is one thing zionist hate to admit, it is to being incompetent and having made a mistake. They will persist on their foolish path until the last Ukrainian soldier falls and will still not admit to being responsible for this totally unnecessary and avoidable tragedy.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Every day we see this war evolving. Every day Ukrainians eventually get all the weapons that the West had previously denied them.
The AMX-10s, Bradleys and Marders will soon be followed by M-1s and Leopards. Ukraine also gets ever more sophisticated anti-air defences, making Surovikin’s Syrian-style assault on infrastructure and hospitals increasingly less effective.
Most important, every Russian client state in Central Asia and the Caucasus had either abandoned Russia, or actively opposing the expansion of the “Russian World.”
Perhaps Iran and North Korea can even the balance. Perhaps mobilized Russians totally unprepared for 21st Century war will still somehow hold the line.
But the trajectory of this war is very clear.
Putin’s Russia is losing.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

Russia’s current leaders are in this simply for Love of the Game. Nothing more.
Nobody considers who’s in charge now: spies and generals. “Siloviki” like Putin, Shoigu and Patrushev have zero expertise in creating a world class economy. All they know is how to play spy games and launch surprise military operations. They have nothing but contempt for educated technocrats like Mishustin, Naibulina and Kudrin.
Putin will never make Russia into a first class economy, because then he would be redundant. There would be literally thousands of business people, each demanding some say in governance. Putin would never be able to control them. That’s why he has a single oligarch for each separate industry–who answers directly to him.
Even more important, Russians would demand that a firm Russian border be negotiated, to end Russia’s countless “frozen conflicts.”
But Putin’s whole regime is based on the assertion that “Russia has no borders,” and will never be constrained by them. Indeed, that’s the message repeated over and over on Russian TV since 24 Feb. It also makes generals and spies indispensable to Russia.
For all his failures, Putin is still wise enough to know, that, without the distraction of constant war on his borders, people like him would be VERY dispensable within a few months.

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

So why did the west under Obama start this war in in 2014 by overthrowing
President Yanukovych ?
Why did the west renege on the ABM treaties ?
Why did the west allow NATO to encroach on Russia’s borders ?
Why is the western MSM fanatically cheer leading this conflict ?
It is because the west lead by Biden want this war and they don’t want a resolution.
As for the UK, the war is a convenient distacrion
from domestic problems such as the energy crisis and the handing over of the UK to WEF and UN control

Last edited 1 year ago by Stoater D
Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Implying that Ukrainians have no agency. Yanukovych was elected on the promise of euro integration but he did a 180 and was about to enter an alliance with Putin. Russia has a long tradition of meddling with its neighbours and invading them, before Ukraine there was Transnistria, Chechnya and Georgia. The whole encroaching narrative the Kremlin is pushing is absurd, NATO was never planning on war with a nuclear Russia and it’s the Kremlins fault they suck and nobody wants to be their allies.
Russia is paying the price for exterminating its elites in the 20th century, and this is only the beginning. 19th-20th century egalitarian ideals really degraded the quality of human capital worldwide

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You haven’t address the points I raised.
You have been duped by the MSM.
But yours is exactly the type of response
I expected from people who have swallowed years of anti Russia propaganda.
You are wrong on NATO’s encroachment.
It is absurb to deny that.
It is also absurd to deny that the west DIDN’T engineer this conflict.
Russia has a long tradition of meddling with it’s neighbours ?
What about the US tradition ?
The US meddle on a GLOBAL level.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>But yours is exactly the type of response
>I expected from people who have swallowed years of anti Russia propaganda.
MSM ? I’m from eastern europe and I know russian, nice try. Whats up with that comment structure btw ?
>What about the US tradition ?
What about your whataboutism ? The US didnt annex Crimea and set up bs proxy republics and then invade its neighbour under this type of pretences :
https://ccl.org.ua/en/news/ria-novosti-has-clarified-russias-plans-vis-a-vis-ukraine-and-the-rest-of-the-free-world-in-a-program-like-article-what-russia-should-do-with-ukraine-2/

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You are from from eastern Europe ?
So what ?
I know Czech people who regard Zelenskyy
as the crook that he is.
Again the US State Department under
Saint Obama started this whole thing
back in 2014.
This is the US’s proxy war and Biden has picked up the baton from Obama.
Why deny that ?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

So what? He just called out your ignorance and bigotry Stoater!

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>You are from from eastern Europe ?
>So what ?
>I know Czech people who regard Zelenskyy
>as the crook that he is.
Why do your replies look like copy/paste ?
So what ? It’s clear that you’re arguing in bad faith. In your last reply you tried to discredit me by calling me a victim of MSM, which i’m not because I’m from Eastern Europe and I speak Russian. In fact, I probably consume more Russian media than MSM.
Now, you’re make some completely irrelevant and unprovable claim about some “Czech people who regard Zelenskyy”. Zelensky is widely known as a comedic actor in the post soviet world, Putin on the other hand is a dictator with a long trail of blood, crime and corruption behind him. Here is a video of Zelensky and Russian state propagandist Vladimir Solovyov celebrating new year 2013 on one of Russias most popular tv channels https://twitter.com/visegrad24/status/1581392122863030272?lang=en

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

So what? He just called out your ignorance and bigotry Stoater!

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>You are from from eastern Europe ?
>So what ?
>I know Czech people who regard Zelenskyy
>as the crook that he is.
Why do your replies look like copy/paste ?
So what ? It’s clear that you’re arguing in bad faith. In your last reply you tried to discredit me by calling me a victim of MSM, which i’m not because I’m from Eastern Europe and I speak Russian. In fact, I probably consume more Russian media than MSM.
Now, you’re make some completely irrelevant and unprovable claim about some “Czech people who regard Zelenskyy”. Zelensky is widely known as a comedic actor in the post soviet world, Putin on the other hand is a dictator with a long trail of blood, crime and corruption behind him. Here is a video of Zelensky and Russian state propagandist Vladimir Solovyov celebrating new year 2013 on one of Russias most popular tv channels https://twitter.com/visegrad24/status/1581392122863030272?lang=en

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You are from from eastern Europe ?
So what ?
I know Czech people who regard Zelenskyy
as the crook that he is.
Again the US State Department under
Saint Obama started this whole thing
back in 2014.
This is the US’s proxy war and Biden has picked up the baton from Obama.
Why deny that ?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

So Obama and Biden cleverly laid a trap for Putin–and he fell into it?
That’s pretty smart!
That alone merits Biden another 4 years.

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

>But yours is exactly the type of response
>I expected from people who have swallowed years of anti Russia propaganda.
MSM ? I’m from eastern europe and I know russian, nice try. Whats up with that comment structure btw ?
>What about the US tradition ?
What about your whataboutism ? The US didnt annex Crimea and set up bs proxy republics and then invade its neighbour under this type of pretences :
https://ccl.org.ua/en/news/ria-novosti-has-clarified-russias-plans-vis-a-vis-ukraine-and-the-rest-of-the-free-world-in-a-program-like-article-what-russia-should-do-with-ukraine-2/

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

So Obama and Biden cleverly laid a trap for Putin–and he fell into it?
That’s pretty smart!
That alone merits Biden another 4 years.

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You haven’t address the points I raised.
You have been duped by the MSM.
But yours is exactly the type of response
I expected from people who have swallowed years of anti Russia propaganda.
You are wrong on NATO’s encroachment.
It is absurb to deny that.
It is also absurd to deny that the west DIDN’T engineer this conflict.
Russia has a long tradition of meddling with it’s neighbours ?
What about the US tradition ?
The US meddle on a GLOBAL level.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Isn’t it obvious?
It was one vast, bipartisan US plot to lure Russia into attacking Ukraine on 24 Feb 2022, and then wipe it off the face of the earth.
Obama.
The 21st Century Hitler…

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Of course.

Black Silk Knickers
BS
Black Silk Knickers
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Are you serious???

Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Of course.

Black Silk Knickers
Black Silk Knickers
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Are you serious???

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Even if the US did overthrow Yanukovych, which I don’t believe they did, why is that any different from Russia trying to poison Yushchenko in 2004? Why is seemingly ok for Russia to meddle in other nations affairs and not the Americans?

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So the Americans don’t meddle in other nations affairs ?
Is that what you are saying ?

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

They’ve been known to, nobody has ever suggested anything to the contrary. However I don’t believe they orchestrated the overthrow Yanukovych and I’ve never seen any evidence presented that says they did. Russia however did poison Yushchenko so why are you not condemning the Kremlin for that?
It appears to me your dislike of America has led to a bias of blindly following the narrative of any country in opposition to it

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because he is a Russian, living in Russia
No other explanation for his stupidity

Michael Davis
MD
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because he is a Russian, living in Russia
No other explanation for his stupidity

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

They’ve been known to, nobody has ever suggested anything to the contrary. However I don’t believe they orchestrated the overthrow Yanukovych and I’ve never seen any evidence presented that says they did. Russia however did poison Yushchenko so why are you not condemning the Kremlin for that?
It appears to me your dislike of America has led to a bias of blindly following the narrative of any country in opposition to it

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So the Americans don’t meddle in other nations affairs ?
Is that what you are saying ?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

No war no energy crisis

Muppet

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Buying into the propaganda has confused you. The agreement of 1991 has been violated by Russia. That must be repaired. Russia must be forced out if not by Ukraine itself than those who made the agreement – the US and UK.
I know of nobody happy with this conflict. Nobody is cheering. I hope everybody would have hopes for Russia’s future once it’s leaders stop using the nation as a source of revenue.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Implying that Ukrainians have no agency. Yanukovych was elected on the promise of euro integration but he did a 180 and was about to enter an alliance with Putin. Russia has a long tradition of meddling with its neighbours and invading them, before Ukraine there was Transnistria, Chechnya and Georgia. The whole encroaching narrative the Kremlin is pushing is absurd, NATO was never planning on war with a nuclear Russia and it’s the Kremlins fault they suck and nobody wants to be their allies.
Russia is paying the price for exterminating its elites in the 20th century, and this is only the beginning. 19th-20th century egalitarian ideals really degraded the quality of human capital worldwide

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Isn’t it obvious?
It was one vast, bipartisan US plot to lure Russia into attacking Ukraine on 24 Feb 2022, and then wipe it off the face of the earth.
Obama.
The 21st Century Hitler…

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Even if the US did overthrow Yanukovych, which I don’t believe they did, why is that any different from Russia trying to poison Yushchenko in 2004? Why is seemingly ok for Russia to meddle in other nations affairs and not the Americans?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

No war no energy crisis

Muppet

Hardee Hodges
HH
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Buying into the propaganda has confused you. The agreement of 1991 has been violated by Russia. That must be repaired. Russia must be forced out if not by Ukraine itself than those who made the agreement – the US and UK.
I know of nobody happy with this conflict. Nobody is cheering. I hope everybody would have hopes for Russia’s future once it’s leaders stop using the nation as a source of revenue.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

>They have nothing but contempt for educated technocrats like Mishustin, Naibulina and Kudrin
Lol Naibulina. It’s true that bydlo like Putin is typically contemptuous of intellectuals and white collar types but he has no contempt for the names you mentioned, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Putin is an underclass degenerate crook and it is absurd to have any great expectations about his governance and the people he surrounds himself with

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

You like that word “absurd” don’t you ?

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

If you were a native English speaker rather than a Russian troll you would realise that calling yourself a stoat is a tad unfortunate.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

One should NOT mock the afflicted, but in this particular case you are correct in chastising this juvenile commentator.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

One should NOT mock the afflicted, but in this particular case you are correct in chastising this juvenile commentator.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Implying that i’ve overused it ? LOL

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

If you were a native English speaker rather than a Russian troll you would realise that calling yourself a stoat is a tad unfortunate.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Implying that i’ve overused it ? LOL

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Testosteroni
Stoater D
SD
Stoater D
1 year ago

You like that word “absurd” don’t you ?

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

So why did the west under Obama start this war in in 2014 by overthrowing
President Yanukovych ?
Why did the west renege on the ABM treaties ?
Why did the west allow NATO to encroach on Russia’s borders ?
Why is the western MSM fanatically cheer leading this conflict ?
It is because the west lead by Biden want this war and they don’t want a resolution.
As for the UK, the war is a convenient distacrion
from domestic problems such as the energy crisis and the handing over of the UK to WEF and UN control

Last edited 1 year ago by Stoater D
Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

>They have nothing but contempt for educated technocrats like Mishustin, Naibulina and Kudrin
Lol Naibulina. It’s true that bydlo like Putin is typically contemptuous of intellectuals and white collar types but he has no contempt for the names you mentioned, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Putin is an underclass degenerate crook and it is absurd to have any great expectations about his governance and the people he surrounds himself with

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Russia’s current leaders are in this simply for Love of the Game. Nothing more.
Nobody considers who’s in charge now: spies and generals. “Siloviki” like Putin, Shoigu and Patrushev have zero expertise in creating a world class economy. All they know is how to play spy games and launch surprise military operations. They have nothing but contempt for educated technocrats like Mishustin, Naibulina and Kudrin.
Putin will never make Russia into a first class economy, because then he would be redundant. There would be literally thousands of business people, each demanding some say in governance. Putin would never be able to control them. That’s why he has a single oligarch for each separate industry–who answers directly to him.
Even more important, Russians would demand that a firm Russian border be negotiated, to end Russia’s countless “frozen conflicts.”
But Putin’s whole regime is based on the assertion that “Russia has no borders,” and will never be constrained by them. Indeed, that’s the message repeated over and over on Russian TV since 24 Feb. It also makes generals and spies indispensable to Russia.
For all his failures, Putin is still wise enough to know, that, without the distraction of constant war on his borders, people like him would be VERY dispensable within a few months.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

The problem with a ‘negotiated’ settlement/peace deal is that it requires a signed treaty. The entire history of mankind shows that treaties between nations, which have usually been made to end wars, last as long as one side wants them to before they break it. Boris was of course particularly quick of the mark repudiating his Brexit deal, but in the Bloodlands (to understand the region you must read the book by Timothy Snyder) the two relevant ones are the German/Russian non-aggression pact of 1939, which lasted just under 2 years, and the 1992 (?) treaty by which the USA, UK and Russia guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.

International treaties ain’t worth diddly-squat unless they have an enforceable penalty clause, which is highly unlikely and why Russia hates NATO because that is reasonably solid against Russian aggression.

Any piece of paper Putin puts his moniker on is worth absolutely nothing, which is why a peace settlement is something of a chimera. Post-Putin (fingers’ crossed not too long away) the only hope of peace would be Ukraine (and Georgia?) joining NATO.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago

The problem with a ‘negotiated’ settlement/peace deal is that it requires a signed treaty. The entire history of mankind shows that treaties between nations, which have usually been made to end wars, last as long as one side wants them to before they break it. Boris was of course particularly quick of the mark repudiating his Brexit deal, but in the Bloodlands (to understand the region you must read the book by Timothy Snyder) the two relevant ones are the German/Russian non-aggression pact of 1939, which lasted just under 2 years, and the 1992 (?) treaty by which the USA, UK and Russia guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.

International treaties ain’t worth diddly-squat unless they have an enforceable penalty clause, which is highly unlikely and why Russia hates NATO because that is reasonably solid against Russian aggression.

Any piece of paper Putin puts his moniker on is worth absolutely nothing, which is why a peace settlement is something of a chimera. Post-Putin (fingers’ crossed not too long away) the only hope of peace would be Ukraine (and Georgia?) joining NATO.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The war obscures the most important outcome of this war–Russia ceases to be a significant economic and military power.
1) Europe will no longer be dependent on Russian gas, or much of anything else. Gas is already at half its price in 2022, and it will be years before the gas fields in western Siberia can go to China. Until then, Putin will have essentially zero revenue. Russian oil is already at a huge discount.
2) The “brain drain” from mobilization has also pretty much destroyed Russia’ tech industry. And once the second mobilization happens in the next few months, at least a million more Russians will flee.
3) That means Russia will be unable to fund both its civilian economy and its military economy. Since Putin will have to choose the latter, it really means the end of Russia as a great power.
4) That in turn means a peace dividend for both Europe and the US, since it will halve the defence budgets of both.
5) Finally, Eastern Europe can freely develop economically. Ukraine may well be the powerhouse of Europe in future.
Looks like Obama’s coup in Kyiv succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and Zelensky’s attack on Russia in 24 Feb 2022 was an even greater master stroke.

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Those are the positives Martin, but the negatives you’ve not mentioned can be extremely disturbing to put it mildly, the consequences in terms of implosion of the federation, break up of the regions/states, power grabs and resulting conflicts, what’s left of the military/nuclear arsenal, population movements westwards. It could resemble a giant roulette table giving a new meaning to the Russian version. Another worrying aspect is the general mentality of the Russian population if I’m to believe the interview with Lev Gudkov in Der Spiegel’s weekend newsletter. It will not leave us unaffected.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Indeed.
Again, why, oh why, did Zelensky attack Russia?
He condemned us to years of privation.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Indeed.
Again, why, oh why, did Zelensky attack Russia?
He condemned us to years of privation.

Tim Lever
TL
Tim Lever
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

1) Europe will instead be dependant on much more expensive US LNG (and solar and wind which don’t work except as marginal additions to a more resilient fossil fuel or nuclear electricity grid)
2) Putin is popular in Russia and people understand why there is a war Why Putin is still so popular in Russia – Asia Times
3) Russia sells less gas and oil and makes more money now than last year. Europe bought huge amounts of gas to fill its reserves prior to the sanctions coming in – what will they do next year? India buys Russian oil and sells it to…Europe at a profit as “non-Russian” oil lol. Russia sells enormous quantities of gas to China. Japan has given up trying to make do without Russian fuel and pulled out of sanctions. South America, Malaysia, Indonesia, most of Africa, the Middle East are not involved in sanctions.
4) Europe is bankrupt and its industry is being pillaged by the US – our “allies” lol
5) Hungary might be ok as they got an EU exemption to keep buying cheap Russian fuel, the rest of Eastern Europe is as fukt as Western Europe.
I guess you can’t persuade people who are emotionally attached to certain positions to change their minds with facts.
Has Russia run out of missiles yet – I thought that was scheduled for May ’22, then July, then August, then Sept etc. Has Putin died of his serious illness yet? Has Shiogu had another heart attack? How may times can you be told lies and keep believing new ones?

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Those are the positives Martin, but the negatives you’ve not mentioned can be extremely disturbing to put it mildly, the consequences in terms of implosion of the federation, break up of the regions/states, power grabs and resulting conflicts, what’s left of the military/nuclear arsenal, population movements westwards. It could resemble a giant roulette table giving a new meaning to the Russian version. Another worrying aspect is the general mentality of the Russian population if I’m to believe the interview with Lev Gudkov in Der Spiegel’s weekend newsletter. It will not leave us unaffected.

Tim Lever
Tim Lever
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

1) Europe will instead be dependant on much more expensive US LNG (and solar and wind which don’t work except as marginal additions to a more resilient fossil fuel or nuclear electricity grid)
2) Putin is popular in Russia and people understand why there is a war Why Putin is still so popular in Russia – Asia Times
3) Russia sells less gas and oil and makes more money now than last year. Europe bought huge amounts of gas to fill its reserves prior to the sanctions coming in – what will they do next year? India buys Russian oil and sells it to…Europe at a profit as “non-Russian” oil lol. Russia sells enormous quantities of gas to China. Japan has given up trying to make do without Russian fuel and pulled out of sanctions. South America, Malaysia, Indonesia, most of Africa, the Middle East are not involved in sanctions.
4) Europe is bankrupt and its industry is being pillaged by the US – our “allies” lol
5) Hungary might be ok as they got an EU exemption to keep buying cheap Russian fuel, the rest of Eastern Europe is as fukt as Western Europe.
I guess you can’t persuade people who are emotionally attached to certain positions to change their minds with facts.
Has Russia run out of missiles yet – I thought that was scheduled for May ’22, then July, then August, then Sept etc. Has Putin died of his serious illness yet? Has Shiogu had another heart attack? How may times can you be told lies and keep believing new ones?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The war obscures the most important outcome of this war–Russia ceases to be a significant economic and military power.
1) Europe will no longer be dependent on Russian gas, or much of anything else. Gas is already at half its price in 2022, and it will be years before the gas fields in western Siberia can go to China. Until then, Putin will have essentially zero revenue. Russian oil is already at a huge discount.
2) The “brain drain” from mobilization has also pretty much destroyed Russia’ tech industry. And once the second mobilization happens in the next few months, at least a million more Russians will flee.
3) That means Russia will be unable to fund both its civilian economy and its military economy. Since Putin will have to choose the latter, it really means the end of Russia as a great power.
4) That in turn means a peace dividend for both Europe and the US, since it will halve the defence budgets of both.
5) Finally, Eastern Europe can freely develop economically. Ukraine may well be the powerhouse of Europe in future.
Looks like Obama’s coup in Kyiv succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and Zelensky’s attack on Russia in 24 Feb 2022 was an even greater master stroke.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

To those who bang on endlessly about negotiating with Putin – “I arrive as the war enters its ninth year”. It’s been going on for nine years, not one year. It has been attritional for nine years, not just recently. Putin has been trying to conquer Ukraine for nine years. You can’t negotiate with an obsessive psycho.

But I am so impressed by the resolve and the character of the Ukrainians. So many commenters on Unherd rightly lament the woke and weakness of our country and the West generally, but we should acknowledge that we are, right now, seeing a great country being forged before our eyes. Like Spain after the Reconquista. After the war is over, probably with a Ukrainian victory that excludes the recovery of Crimea, I anticipate Ukrainians will create a hugely successful country.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

To those who bang on endlessly about negotiating with Putin – “I arrive as the war enters its ninth year”. It’s been going on for nine years, not one year. It has been attritional for nine years, not just recently. Putin has been trying to conquer Ukraine for nine years. You can’t negotiate with an obsessive psycho.

But I am so impressed by the resolve and the character of the Ukrainians. So many commenters on Unherd rightly lament the woke and weakness of our country and the West generally, but we should acknowledge that we are, right now, seeing a great country being forged before our eyes. Like Spain after the Reconquista. After the war is over, probably with a Ukrainian victory that excludes the recovery of Crimea, I anticipate Ukrainians will create a hugely successful country.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

Oh yes indeed NATO, via their proxy Ukraine, are going to have a glorious victory in 2023 – just like the fabulous victory they achieved over insuperable odds (a few AK47s and IEDs) in …………..
Afghanistan in 2021.

Just believe!

P Branagan
PB
P Branagan
1 year ago

Oh yes indeed NATO, via their proxy Ukraine, are going to have a glorious victory in 2023 – just like the fabulous victory they achieved over insuperable odds (a few AK47s and IEDs) in …………..
Afghanistan in 2021.

Just believe!

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Again, communication theory requires the sender to clearly explain what his message is, not whoever receives it.
But when the message consistently remains unclear WRT Ukraine, it’s likely the poster is either a fool or a troll.
No intelligent person manages to keep their message unclear after a dozen posts.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Again, communication theory requires the sender to clearly explain what his message is, not whoever receives it.
But when the message consistently remains unclear WRT Ukraine, it’s likely the poster is either a fool or a troll.
No intelligent person manages to keep their message unclear after a dozen posts.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

David – there is a question I have which is very important to me to understand this war, and one I have not heard anyone explain who one can relied on – (so have had to just supply my own answer from what I think) – a question that without an answer, and an answer one can believe in – none of this war makes any sense at face value.

What is it the average person now fighting in the Ukraine Army, and also the typical Ukrainian person on the street —-

—- What did they think would have happened if Ukraine has just capitulated at the start? If Biden had not funded this all, and the diplomatic answer was taken up instead of this war? If Appeasement was used rather than fighting on this scale.

Points I would like covered: Financial results of Russia political occupation to the regular civilian. Freedoms lost by Political Occupation. Jobs and education differences from Russian Political Occupation. Car, house, business, farm, investment – how would they change due to a Russian Political Occupation. What Political Oppression, what Ethnic oppression would a Political occupation have resulted in. What change to Borders and National Sovereignty would have resulted? And Then – How long would this Political Occupation be expected to have lasted before things Normalized.

From what I hear it would appear to be the most Pyrrhic of all victories if they win.

In other words, the death, maiming, destruction of industry, infrastructure, education, housing, jobs, savings, pensions, and everything – is this better than what would have been from a Negotiated deal with Russia.

In other words – what did the average Ukrainian think Russia would have done to them if they had set a truce and treaty of appeasement at the onset. I do know the Oligarchs and leaders would be out – but what of the citizens?

Is this fighting all just for a principal? Or were the fears which exceeded the costs of this fighting? Obviously when the Germans came in they killed a couple million – then when Stalin took it back he killed a couple million more – I did not see this happening. I see it having been more like a very light Vichy sort of thing – and would have resolved similarly…and the place be whole, and schools open and people going to work and so on.

But to know I need to understand – What did the population think Russia was going to do to them that this is a preferred outcome?

Or was the fighting all a mistake in their eyes now? Do they feel they were Used – used as proxy pawns on some global chess board, and this was not the best action for them and the country?

I never hear it as a average man’s ‘Cost/Benefit equation. Just what the global Leaders think, and we know they like war.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago

100% agree with you. Of course it’s shocking to see their homes and towns destroyed. Just how many Ukrainian soldiers have actually died? Like you I have very little information on what the Ukrainian people wanted, where they may have drawn the line. What if, in fact, Russia only wanted those eastern regions under its control? Russia’s never going to give up Crimea. Yes, the fighting is all about principle from our point of view: the fight for democracy. It excuses so much bad behaviour internationally. But the Ukrainians, who are so close to Russia in so many ways, would they have chosen this destruction over a political solution? The cost to rebuild will be huge and felt for many years. And now I read about Blackrock making a deal to rebuilt the country. It’s almost like a corporation could end up owning a country.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

>Russia’s never going to give up Crimea
never say never. Thats what they said about Kherson

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

It is obvious that Russia did not ‘only want those eastern regions under its control’. Rusia already had ‘those eastern regions under its control’ when they went to war.

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

>Russia’s never going to give up Crimea
never say never. Thats what they said about Kherson

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

It is obvious that Russia did not ‘only want those eastern regions under its control’. Rusia already had ‘those eastern regions under its control’ when they went to war.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

It is a good question worth knowing the answer to, and I upvoted you – though I do not like where your argument is going. I’d ask a counter-question though. If Russia had been invading your country, would you have decided that surrender was better than war? Or would you have fought? Also, a lot of people faced this kind of question back in the 1940’s. What would your answer have been then?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“What did they think would have happened if Ukraine has just capitulated at the start?”
Your counter question is of no use at all because it gives not the slightest hint of what Ukrainians thought would have happened if they had capitulated to Russia. And even now we can’t be sure that meant all of Ukraine or the eastern region.
Ironically you’re speaking on behalf of Ukrainians when you pose your counter question.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sorry, when Putin promised not to invade, and then did it anyway, it’s difficult to see that any Russophone would want to be under Russian hegemony, or even make a peace that gave up much of Ukraine.
When even Russophones in a city like Odesa (including many Russian professors) want to tear down statues of Pushkin, one sees the mood throughout the East.
If you have ANY counter evidence, please present it.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Counter evidence for what? The question is about what the Ukrainians might have felt about the situation before and after.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sorry, there is a mountain of evidence for Ukrainians supporting their govt–and from every part of Ukraine. That may or may not be biased.
And we also see robust partisan activity in the occupied parts, and zero evidence of pro-Putin Ukrainians doing the same in Ukraine’s area.
So your contention that there is some “peace party” in Ukraine remains purely theoretical.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

“So your contention that there is some “peace party” in Ukraine remains purely theoretical.”
No one is talking about a peace party. Nor is that my contention. So it’s less than theoretical, it’s a straw-man.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You’re creating a moving target, so that all counter arguments somehow don’t address what you “really” said.
First figure out what you are trying to say in clear English.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Brett won’t engage with you because his argument has clearly been so poorly considered.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Brett won’t engage with you because his argument has clearly been so poorly considered.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You’re creating a moving target, so that all counter arguments somehow don’t address what you “really” said.
First figure out what you are trying to say in clear English.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

“So your contention that there is some “peace party” in Ukraine remains purely theoretical.”
No one is talking about a peace party. Nor is that my contention. So it’s less than theoretical, it’s a straw-man.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Jeez Brett try engaging with the commenter instead of dodging it!

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sorry, there is a mountain of evidence for Ukrainians supporting their govt–and from every part of Ukraine. That may or may not be biased.
And we also see robust partisan activity in the occupied parts, and zero evidence of pro-Putin Ukrainians doing the same in Ukraine’s area.
So your contention that there is some “peace party” in Ukraine remains purely theoretical.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Jeez Brett try engaging with the commenter instead of dodging it!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I’m very good at remembering what I’ve read luckily, Peter Hitchins has covered it fairly well:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9482475/PETER-HITCHENS-Dont-blame-Russia-ones-pushing-war.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9728423/PETER-HITCHENS-wont-popular-Navys-Black-Sea-antics-stupid.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10530885/PETER-HITCHENS-Granny-gets-gun-bunch-shameless-neo-Nazis.html

https://staging.unherd.com/?p=374995?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups%5B0%5D=18743&tl_period_type=3&mc_cid=03efafa652&mc_eid=705bd79106

Also from unherd, Martin logan demonstrating exactly the attitude described quote:

In the past fortnight, the realists have been described as “intellectually bankrupt”, “pro-fascist” and “Putin apologists” — and that’s just in one article. It is a continuation of a trend that became prominent during the Covid era, in which it was no longer enough to question the argument, but to question the morality and the motives of the person making them too.

Such enthusiastic support for Ukraine is a natural symptom of the moral absolutism he displayed during the pandemic. It forgoes rational debate in favour of a moral impulse to be seen to be doing something, even if the costs of those actions are not fully considered. However noble the intention may be, the results are often tragic, as Afghanistan (cost: $2.313 trillion), Iraq ($2.4 trillion), Syria ($1.2 trillion) and Libya ($567 billion) attest

https://staging.unherd.com/2022/10/russia-realists-are-the-new-lockdown-sceptics/

Nationalist As0v contingents being very unreasonable, they caused much of the trouble in the East of Ukraine. Bbc newsnight describes them as a far right militia. They have more power than the police.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hE6b4ao8gAQ

Would you like another list?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Counter evidence for what? The question is about what the Ukrainians might have felt about the situation before and after.

B Emery
BE
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I’m very good at remembering what I’ve read luckily, Peter Hitchins has covered it fairly well:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9482475/PETER-HITCHENS-Dont-blame-Russia-ones-pushing-war.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9728423/PETER-HITCHENS-wont-popular-Navys-Black-Sea-antics-stupid.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10530885/PETER-HITCHENS-Granny-gets-gun-bunch-shameless-neo-Nazis.html

https://staging.unherd.com/?p=374995?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups%5B0%5D=18743&tl_period_type=3&mc_cid=03efafa652&mc_eid=705bd79106

Also from unherd, Martin logan demonstrating exactly the attitude described quote:

In the past fortnight, the realists have been described as “intellectually bankrupt”, “pro-fascist” and “Putin apologists” — and that’s just in one article. It is a continuation of a trend that became prominent during the Covid era, in which it was no longer enough to question the argument, but to question the morality and the motives of the person making them too.

Such enthusiastic support for Ukraine is a natural symptom of the moral absolutism he displayed during the pandemic. It forgoes rational debate in favour of a moral impulse to be seen to be doing something, even if the costs of those actions are not fully considered. However noble the intention may be, the results are often tragic, as Afghanistan (cost: $2.313 trillion), Iraq ($2.4 trillion), Syria ($1.2 trillion) and Libya ($567 billion) attest

https://staging.unherd.com/2022/10/russia-realists-are-the-new-lockdown-sceptics/

Nationalist As0v contingents being very unreasonable, they caused much of the trouble in the East of Ukraine. Bbc newsnight describes them as a far right militia. They have more power than the police.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hE6b4ao8gAQ

Would you like another list?

j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

A weak argument with an attempt at clever dressing. It’s a theoretical question that one could ask about all invasions, but one can’t stop everything and quickly run a survey.
The evidence is that Ukrainian’s overwhelmingly rallied to the cause of defence and repel immediately. Furthermore despite considerable suffering they continue to resist, and that should be sufficient to indicate what they think now. And it’s now that counts.
There is though an historical question one’s always prompted to ponder when considering these sort of questions – how many Brits would have been fine with a settlement in May 40? How many would even have welcomed it and the opportunities for a job in a Milice equivalent? I suspect more than we’d like to admit. But fortunately we were well led at a crucial time.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Quite frankly that’s just a tired and cliched response. What’s a weak argument? There isn’t one, only a question to be considered.
”Overwhelmingly rallied”. That requires some source and proof.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Isn’t the proof self evident? No indications the Ukrainian people are, in significant numbers, saying it was wrong to resist? Does behold you to prove your point too or at least present some evidence?
As it is I actually have family out there. It can only be anecdotal of course but absolutely no indications relayed that the locals they liaise with have anything but hatred for and a desire to repel Russians.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“Isn’t the proof self evident?”
What proof? You want me to present some evidence for what, this is about a question raised by Phillip.
Here’s what he asked:
”But to know I need to understand – What did the population think Russia was going to do to them that this is a preferred outcome?”

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You 100% agreed with a comment that was clearly implying, albeit in a non-direct fashion, the Ukrainian people didn’t agree with resistance. Let’s be straight here – the comment, and your response was implying the Ukrainians have been led down this path of resistance and had they been asked they may have wished something else.
I’m responding saying their reaction, also before NATO could get them more weapons, was one of overwhelming resistance and self determination.
The sense is you have a view for which you are seeking a theoretical justification. It’s a legit view to say NATO/US have pressurised Ukraine into resistance for it’s own geopolitical reasons. I happen, as do many, to v much disagree with that and I think the Ukrainians do overwhelmingly too. But better you say what you think rather than concoct a clever way of trying to imply it.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You obviously are incapable of addressing a question objectively. It doesn’t make one a Putin apologist by considering a question about the war.
Just to repeat, here’s one question that Phillip asked: “What did the population think Russia was going to do to them that this is a preferred outcome?”
”You 100% agreed with a comment that was clearly implying, albeit in a non-direct fashion, the Ukrainian people didn’t agree with resistance.”
Show me.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You seem oblivious to your own tendency to ignore any point directly put to you. For discussion to have any purpose, I think you have to contribute a little more than only asking questions. The comment section is more aimed at letting people express their opinions about article – and not primarily to comment on other people.
As it is, the tone of nagging insinuation in your questions leaves most people in little practical doubt that you probably are a Putin apologist. If you only criticise one side in a dispute, that is the impression created.
Of course, if you are not, you simply have to say so and tell us what your actual views and objectives are and I’m sure any necessary apoligies will be forthcoming,

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“the tone of nagging insinuation in your questions leaves most people in little practical doubt that you probably are a Putin apologist. If you only criticise one side in a dispute, that is the impression created.”
Well of course it would eventually be suggested that I was a Putin apologist. Interesting angle. As you say all I have to do is deny it and then explain myself and all will be well. So I’ll be forgiven if my explanation is “correct”, that is I agree wholeheartedly with the opinion of others.
You mention how this comments section is largely for opinions about an article. But the articles are about a subject, sometimes with an opinion, so comments range over the subject.
Most of my comments have been about addressing a few questions put forward by Phillip. I’m not ignoring any point put to me but trying to keep the comments focused on Phillips questions, which are interesting but go unanswered and instead I’m accused of implying things. I have not criticised one side of the dispute, and what exactly is the dispute anyway?
This is from another poster:
”Your thinking is totally warped and delusional and you continue to demonstrate it with your past, current and probably future comments.”
”Probable future comments”. So I’m guilty before I even open my mouth. I guess I am, then. I hope it’s clear enough for you to see what the tone in these sort of comments including your own, reflect.
Im not really interested in defending myself for what I think, which is to really look at an issue beyond headlines. I think I’m in the wrong place,

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

No. I think you’re in the right place.
But perhaps you would be making a more positive contribution if you actually did bring your own thoughts forward.
Whenever we post something, we create an impression and you’ve certainly created the impression I noted for some of us. Perhaps it is unintended.
I’m quite sure that Philip is capable of following up on responses to his own points if he doesn’t feel satisified. “One riot, one ranger” as they say in Texas.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

As I said, the choice is either a fool or a troll.
And I certainly don’t think you are a troll.
Happy?

Claire D
CD
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You are not in the wrong place, neither is Philip Arundel, I appreciate his questions and your arguments and I doubt whether I am the only one.

With regard to what the Ukrainians would have chosen had they been given the choice in the full knowledge of the consequences it is impossible for me to say.
However, two facts I do know are, Zelensky brought in conscription on 24th February 2022, the day the invasion began, and all healthy able bodied men between the ages of 18 and 60 were forbidden to leave Ukraine. That does not indicate to me unmitigated enthusiasm for war amongst the population.

As someone somewhere else pointed out politicians make war, not ‘the people’.
We will not be able to get to the truth until after this war is over, meanwhile the killing and destruction continues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

The question is hypothetical of course, even if a survey is run after the war it won’t tell us what people felt at the time. (Not quite the same but working up a counter-factual can be applied all over the place – what would happen if we in the UK knew in 2010 what a shambles the Tories would make over 13yrs? Or maybe the same question re: Brexit? In some regards the answers are now irrelevant. What happened happened. The public will get a chance to give an opinion at future Ballot boxes – which of course ironically they wouldn’t if the invasion succeeds)
On the point about conscription – I think we’d be hard pushed to find a country that didn’t immediately introduce conscription when invaded. What seems clear is Ukraine did not have the male exodus that happened, and is still happening in Russia with men fleeing conscription. And again it’s only an anecdote, the family I have working out there indicate there is an immense pride that ripples through Ukrainian’s serving, whether conscripted or not. Putin’s invasion gave that country a sense of itself it never had before. Not a unique psychological outcome to an existential shared threat.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“Ukraine did not have the male exodus that happened, and is still happening in Russia with men fleeing conscription”,

because they are not allowed to leave under the martial law that has existed in Ukraine since 24th February 2022. They would be imprisoned and physical punishment is allowed to be used.
This is according to ‘Country policy and information note: military service, Ukraine, June 2022.’ Gov.uk website.

+ Zelensky said on 28th February 2022, “Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody (prison) and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots.”

+ In the years prior to the war from 2014 – 2018 the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost more than 33,000 people to desertion. By early 2019 another 9,300 troops had deserted.
However, on 4th March 2022 Ukrinform reported a high level of willingness to serve in the West and Central areas of Ukraine at nearly 80%. Less so in the East at nearly 60%.
That is almost a year ago, we do not know what the percentages are now.

The source for all the above points is, ‘Country policy and information note: military service, Ukraine, June 2022.’ Gov.uk website.

Whatever the truth is I sympathise with the Ukrainians, the last thing I want to see is a decade long war of attrition. Let us hope it ends sooner rather than later.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“Ukraine did not have the male exodus that happened, and is still happening in Russia with men fleeing conscription”,

because they are not allowed to leave under the martial law that has existed in Ukraine since 24th February 2022. They would be imprisoned and physical punishment is allowed to be used.
This is according to ‘Country policy and information note: military service, Ukraine, June 2022.’ Gov.uk website.

+ Zelensky said on 28th February 2022, “Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody (prison) and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots.”

+ In the years prior to the war from 2014 – 2018 the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost more than 33,000 people to desertion. By early 2019 another 9,300 troops had deserted.
However, on 4th March 2022 Ukrinform reported a high level of willingness to serve in the West and Central areas of Ukraine at nearly 80%. Less so in the East at nearly 60%.
That is almost a year ago, we do not know what the percentages are now.

The source for all the above points is, ‘Country policy and information note: military service, Ukraine, June 2022.’ Gov.uk website.

Whatever the truth is I sympathise with the Ukrainians, the last thing I want to see is a decade long war of attrition. Let us hope it ends sooner rather than later.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

The question is hypothetical of course, even if a survey is run after the war it won’t tell us what people felt at the time. (Not quite the same but working up a counter-factual can be applied all over the place – what would happen if we in the UK knew in 2010 what a shambles the Tories would make over 13yrs? Or maybe the same question re: Brexit? In some regards the answers are now irrelevant. What happened happened. The public will get a chance to give an opinion at future Ballot boxes – which of course ironically they wouldn’t if the invasion succeeds)
On the point about conscription – I think we’d be hard pushed to find a country that didn’t immediately introduce conscription when invaded. What seems clear is Ukraine did not have the male exodus that happened, and is still happening in Russia with men fleeing conscription. And again it’s only an anecdote, the family I have working out there indicate there is an immense pride that ripples through Ukrainian’s serving, whether conscripted or not. Putin’s invasion gave that country a sense of itself it never had before. Not a unique psychological outcome to an existential shared threat.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

No. I think you’re in the right place.
But perhaps you would be making a more positive contribution if you actually did bring your own thoughts forward.
Whenever we post something, we create an impression and you’ve certainly created the impression I noted for some of us. Perhaps it is unintended.
I’m quite sure that Philip is capable of following up on responses to his own points if he doesn’t feel satisified. “One riot, one ranger” as they say in Texas.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

As I said, the choice is either a fool or a troll.
And I certainly don’t think you are a troll.
Happy?

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You are not in the wrong place, neither is Philip Arundel, I appreciate his questions and your arguments and I doubt whether I am the only one.

With regard to what the Ukrainians would have chosen had they been given the choice in the full knowledge of the consequences it is impossible for me to say.
However, two facts I do know are, Zelensky brought in conscription on 24th February 2022, the day the invasion began, and all healthy able bodied men between the ages of 18 and 60 were forbidden to leave Ukraine. That does not indicate to me unmitigated enthusiasm for war amongst the population.

As someone somewhere else pointed out politicians make war, not ‘the people’.
We will not be able to get to the truth until after this war is over, meanwhile the killing and destruction continues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’ve nailed it Peter. Reading through all the comments it’s obvious Brett’s just trying to come across as cleverly challenging. Pity as I think a good debate could be had with someone constructive.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“the tone of nagging insinuation in your questions leaves most people in little practical doubt that you probably are a Putin apologist. If you only criticise one side in a dispute, that is the impression created.”
Well of course it would eventually be suggested that I was a Putin apologist. Interesting angle. As you say all I have to do is deny it and then explain myself and all will be well. So I’ll be forgiven if my explanation is “correct”, that is I agree wholeheartedly with the opinion of others.
You mention how this comments section is largely for opinions about an article. But the articles are about a subject, sometimes with an opinion, so comments range over the subject.
Most of my comments have been about addressing a few questions put forward by Phillip. I’m not ignoring any point put to me but trying to keep the comments focused on Phillips questions, which are interesting but go unanswered and instead I’m accused of implying things. I have not criticised one side of the dispute, and what exactly is the dispute anyway?
This is from another poster:
”Your thinking is totally warped and delusional and you continue to demonstrate it with your past, current and probably future comments.”
”Probable future comments”. So I’m guilty before I even open my mouth. I guess I am, then. I hope it’s clear enough for you to see what the tone in these sort of comments including your own, reflect.
Im not really interested in defending myself for what I think, which is to really look at an issue beyond headlines. I think I’m in the wrong place,

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’ve nailed it Peter. Reading through all the comments it’s obvious Brett’s just trying to come across as cleverly challenging. Pity as I think a good debate could be had with someone constructive.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You seem oblivious to your own tendency to ignore any point directly put to you. For discussion to have any purpose, I think you have to contribute a little more than only asking questions. The comment section is more aimed at letting people express their opinions about article – and not primarily to comment on other people.
As it is, the tone of nagging insinuation in your questions leaves most people in little practical doubt that you probably are a Putin apologist. If you only criticise one side in a dispute, that is the impression created.
Of course, if you are not, you simply have to say so and tell us what your actual views and objectives are and I’m sure any necessary apoligies will be forthcoming,

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You obviously are incapable of addressing a question objectively. It doesn’t make one a Putin apologist by considering a question about the war.
Just to repeat, here’s one question that Phillip asked: “What did the population think Russia was going to do to them that this is a preferred outcome?”
”You 100% agreed with a comment that was clearly implying, albeit in a non-direct fashion, the Ukrainian people didn’t agree with resistance.”
Show me.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You seem to be enveloped in a post-modernist “Cloud of Unknowning.”
Shouldn’t you visit Bucha–and many other places–to see what the Russians planned for anyone who even passively resisted?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

“You seem to be enveloped in a post-modernist “Cloud of Unknowning.”
Because I was prepared to consider a question put by a subscriber?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sadly, you were not prepared to present evidence for any fixed view.
Again, constantly moving targets that allow you to claim you are being “victimized” by a dense and uncaring public, sedated by the AWFUL MSM.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sadly, you were not prepared to present evidence for any fixed view.
Again, constantly moving targets that allow you to claim you are being “victimized” by a dense and uncaring public, sedated by the AWFUL MSM.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

“You seem to be enveloped in a post-modernist “Cloud of Unknowning.”
Because I was prepared to consider a question put by a subscriber?

Tony Testosteroni
TT
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

People fled in mass from the russian occupied areas after 2014. DPR/LPR were mafia states even worse than Russia itself. Nobody (apart from a small minority of sovoks and their brainwashed grandchildren) wants Kremlin rule

j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You 100% agreed with a comment that was clearly implying, albeit in a non-direct fashion, the Ukrainian people didn’t agree with resistance. Let’s be straight here – the comment, and your response was implying the Ukrainians have been led down this path of resistance and had they been asked they may have wished something else.
I’m responding saying their reaction, also before NATO could get them more weapons, was one of overwhelming resistance and self determination.
The sense is you have a view for which you are seeking a theoretical justification. It’s a legit view to say NATO/US have pressurised Ukraine into resistance for it’s own geopolitical reasons. I happen, as do many, to v much disagree with that and I think the Ukrainians do overwhelmingly too. But better you say what you think rather than concoct a clever way of trying to imply it.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You seem to be enveloped in a post-modernist “Cloud of Unknowning.”
Shouldn’t you visit Bucha–and many other places–to see what the Russians planned for anyone who even passively resisted?

Tony Testosteroni
Tony Testosteroni
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

People fled in mass from the russian occupied areas after 2014. DPR/LPR were mafia states even worse than Russia itself. Nobody (apart from a small minority of sovoks and their brainwashed grandchildren) wants Kremlin rule

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“Isn’t the proof self evident?”
What proof? You want me to present some evidence for what, this is about a question raised by Phillip.
Here’s what he asked:
”But to know I need to understand – What did the population think Russia was going to do to them that this is a preferred outcome?”

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Isn’t the proof self evident? No indications the Ukrainian people are, in significant numbers, saying it was wrong to resist? Does behold you to prove your point too or at least present some evidence?
As it is I actually have family out there. It can only be anecdotal of course but absolutely no indications relayed that the locals they liaise with have anything but hatred for and a desire to repel Russians.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Quite frankly that’s just a tired and cliched response. What’s a weak argument? There isn’t one, only a question to be considered.
”Overwhelmingly rallied”. That requires some source and proof.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sorry, when Putin promised not to invade, and then did it anyway, it’s difficult to see that any Russophone would want to be under Russian hegemony, or even make a peace that gave up much of Ukraine.
When even Russophones in a city like Odesa (including many Russian professors) want to tear down statues of Pushkin, one sees the mood throughout the East.
If you have ANY counter evidence, please present it.

j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

A weak argument with an attempt at clever dressing. It’s a theoretical question that one could ask about all invasions, but one can’t stop everything and quickly run a survey.
The evidence is that Ukrainian’s overwhelmingly rallied to the cause of defence and repel immediately. Furthermore despite considerable suffering they continue to resist, and that should be sufficient to indicate what they think now. And it’s now that counts.
There is though an historical question one’s always prompted to ponder when considering these sort of questions – how many Brits would have been fine with a settlement in May 40? How many would even have welcomed it and the opportunities for a job in a Milice equivalent? I suspect more than we’d like to admit. But fortunately we were well led at a crucial time.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

”If Russia had been invading your country, would you have decided that surrender was better than war? Or would you have fought?”

I would have surrendered immediately. Not to Hitler if I was in UK – because that would mean actually becoming a slave to a psychopath – but in this situation I would have taken the Petain-Gamlin (although they were horrible leaders and basically engineered this defeat – but once lost they quit fighting and saved France) route like France did as soon as their army fell apart. To save France from being destroyed like Poland was France agreed to Vichy.

The schools stayed open, people went to work, farms farmed, buses ran, churches stayed open, houses and cities left intact.

This is what I would have chosen. I believe in ‘Live Free or Die’, but my people – the innocents – they should not die for my pride and vanity. There is no insurance in a war – those who lost their house – business – car – pension – unless USA buys them a new one they have had their life’s work destroyed. I also know given some years the occupation would have ended. Putin, I suspect, would have replaced the Oligarchs with his puppets and then let things return to the normal state of almost 100% corruption which is Ukraine.

I feel the only reason the nation fought was to keep the corrupt Oligarchs, like the monster Zalensli, in power and in the conduit to steal dozens of $Billions – and with that money they could pay for the warlords fighting although it destroys the nation – they grow super wealthy and powerful.

I suspect if Putin and Zalenski were put on a balance scale that measured goodness the scale would be in perfect balance.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago

Perhaps you aren’t aware that the collaboration of the Vichy regime did not save them from total Nazi occupation in the end – Germany took control of all of France in November 1942.
Fortunately, not all French people were as deluded as you are and bravely fought on in the Free French and the resistance. Many were tortured and murdered by the Gestapo. How hard did the Vichy regime protect its citizens there ? Or its Jewish citizens ?
Were the French republic in 1940 and Nazi Germany also morally equivalent (as you appear to believe is the case for Ukraine/Zelensky and Russia/Putin) ?
You clearly do not believe in “live free or die” if you would be a collaborator. Stop writing such blatant nonsense.
As Benjaim Franklin famously said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

Aha! The real agenda!
And Pure Putin:
“Zelensky is a crook like all the rest”
(although the vast majority of Ukrainians in the south and east voted for him)
“So why not just surrender and let me be your crook.”
The bargain most Russians have made with Putin.
Which is why they are the most contemptible cowards on earth.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

The choice between submission and the carnage of war is real. But the question is not whether you would have fought in Ukraine. If Russia mounts a credible invasion in Britain, or Alaska, or Maryland, or wherever you live, will you risk the horrors of war, or will you opt for peace and surrender to Putin? Whether your answer is the same or different for your home country as it is for Ukraine, it will illuminate your position.

Your point seems to be that for ordinary Ukrainians there is not much to choose between living under Zelensky and living under Putin, so it can only be those horrible corrupt oligarchs who tricked them into opting for war and destruction instead of Russification. That is Putin’s point, basically, but all available evidence suggests that Ukrainians do see a significant difference.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

Putin has already forcibly repatriated tens of thousands of Ukrainians to camps in Russia, probably for life. You think that’s freedom?

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago

Perhaps you aren’t aware that the collaboration of the Vichy regime did not save them from total Nazi occupation in the end – Germany took control of all of France in November 1942.
Fortunately, not all French people were as deluded as you are and bravely fought on in the Free French and the resistance. Many were tortured and murdered by the Gestapo. How hard did the Vichy regime protect its citizens there ? Or its Jewish citizens ?
Were the French republic in 1940 and Nazi Germany also morally equivalent (as you appear to believe is the case for Ukraine/Zelensky and Russia/Putin) ?
You clearly do not believe in “live free or die” if you would be a collaborator. Stop writing such blatant nonsense.
As Benjaim Franklin famously said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Aha! The real agenda!
And Pure Putin:
“Zelensky is a crook like all the rest”
(although the vast majority of Ukrainians in the south and east voted for him)
“So why not just surrender and let me be your crook.”
The bargain most Russians have made with Putin.
Which is why they are the most contemptible cowards on earth.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

The choice between submission and the carnage of war is real. But the question is not whether you would have fought in Ukraine. If Russia mounts a credible invasion in Britain, or Alaska, or Maryland, or wherever you live, will you risk the horrors of war, or will you opt for peace and surrender to Putin? Whether your answer is the same or different for your home country as it is for Ukraine, it will illuminate your position.

Your point seems to be that for ordinary Ukrainians there is not much to choose between living under Zelensky and living under Putin, so it can only be those horrible corrupt oligarchs who tricked them into opting for war and destruction instead of Russification. That is Putin’s point, basically, but all available evidence suggests that Ukrainians do see a significant difference.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

Putin has already forcibly repatriated tens of thousands of Ukrainians to camps in Russia, probably for life. You think that’s freedom?

Peter Johnson
PJ
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It would have been completely rational for the UK to do a peace deal with Germany in 1940.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

And contemptible.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

And contemptible.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“What did they think would have happened if Ukraine has just capitulated at the start?”
Your counter question is of no use at all because it gives not the slightest hint of what Ukrainians thought would have happened if they had capitulated to Russia. And even now we can’t be sure that meant all of Ukraine or the eastern region.
Ironically you’re speaking on behalf of Ukrainians when you pose your counter question.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

”If Russia had been invading your country, would you have decided that surrender was better than war? Or would you have fought?”

I would have surrendered immediately. Not to Hitler if I was in UK – because that would mean actually becoming a slave to a psychopath – but in this situation I would have taken the Petain-Gamlin (although they were horrible leaders and basically engineered this defeat – but once lost they quit fighting and saved France) route like France did as soon as their army fell apart. To save France from being destroyed like Poland was France agreed to Vichy.

The schools stayed open, people went to work, farms farmed, buses ran, churches stayed open, houses and cities left intact.

This is what I would have chosen. I believe in ‘Live Free or Die’, but my people – the innocents – they should not die for my pride and vanity. There is no insurance in a war – those who lost their house – business – car – pension – unless USA buys them a new one they have had their life’s work destroyed. I also know given some years the occupation would have ended. Putin, I suspect, would have replaced the Oligarchs with his puppets and then let things return to the normal state of almost 100% corruption which is Ukraine.

I feel the only reason the nation fought was to keep the corrupt Oligarchs, like the monster Zalensli, in power and in the conduit to steal dozens of $Billions – and with that money they could pay for the warlords fighting although it destroys the nation – they grow super wealthy and powerful.

I suspect if Putin and Zalenski were put on a balance scale that measured goodness the scale would be in perfect balance.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It would have been completely rational for the UK to do a peace deal with Germany in 1940.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

I suspect the fact that most Russophones supported the peacenik candidate Zelensky shows what happened on 24 Feb 2022:
Putin had scoffed at any idea of a Russian invasion–and then used it as cover for his plan to take Kyiv and as much of the rest of the country as possible. Every Russophone felt as betrayed as every Ukrainian speaker.
We know that the invaders had lists of people to incarcerate and torture. We also know that hundreds if not thousands have been killed, either as part of policy, or by casual executions by Russian soldiers.
We know that more than a million people have been forcibly exiled to Russia.
Most important, we know the normal reaction by of society to people who explicitly want to obliterate them as a nation:
Kill as many of the invaders as possible.
Once Putin invaded, there was zero chance of the “irenic” solution proposed above.
As history shows, that’s just how human beings operate.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Sadly, an invasion by 120,000 Russian troops is not a “political solution.”

Phillip Arundel
PA
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

”Most important, we know the normal reaction by of society to people who explicitly want to obliterate them as a nation:
Kill as many of the invaders as possible.
Once Putin invaded, there was zero chance of the “irenic” solution proposed above.
As history shows, that’s just how human beings operate.”

If you know any Military history the German invasion (Malta Agreement, ‘Peace in our time’) of Cz basically was where they were allowed to conquer that nation who had a huge military – no shot fired. Also the taking of Austria has some correlations in a distant way as it did not trigger the ‘Allies’ response. Then Quisling – then Vichy – I mean – you seemingly know nothing of history and just parrot the MSM fed agenda.

And if I may – the entirity of history before modern times nations capitulated when their military was lost rather than now days where the concept of ”Total War’ came about – and the entire nation destroyed.

No this fighting was not people rising I do not believe – it was $$$$ in the hands of Oligarchs fighting to maintain their positions of power and wealth and being able to pay people to fight.

But that is why I ask – what did the people think Putin was going to do to them if they capitulated what makes destroying (thus far 150,000 dead by estimate I hear) Ukraine worth it?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

We agree on something:
“before modern times nations capitulated when their military was lost.”
So why doesn’t Russia capitulate, as it did in 1855, 1905 and 1917?
It’s not rocket science…

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

For someone who claims to know military history you seem to be overlooking the fact this war has been going on for nine years. It didn’t just start last year.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

We agree on something:
“before modern times nations capitulated when their military was lost.”
So why doesn’t Russia capitulate, as it did in 1855, 1905 and 1917?
It’s not rocket science…

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

For someone who claims to know military history you seem to be overlooking the fact this war has been going on for nine years. It didn’t just start last year.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Sadly, an invasion by 120,000 Russian troops is not a “political solution.”

Phillip Arundel
PA
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

”Most important, we know the normal reaction by of society to people who explicitly want to obliterate them as a nation:
Kill as many of the invaders as possible.
Once Putin invaded, there was zero chance of the “irenic” solution proposed above.
As history shows, that’s just how human beings operate.”

If you know any Military history the German invasion (Malta Agreement, ‘Peace in our time’) of Cz basically was where they were allowed to conquer that nation who had a huge military – no shot fired. Also the taking of Austria has some correlations in a distant way as it did not trigger the ‘Allies’ response. Then Quisling – then Vichy – I mean – you seemingly know nothing of history and just parrot the MSM fed agenda.

And if I may – the entirity of history before modern times nations capitulated when their military was lost rather than now days where the concept of ”Total War’ came about – and the entire nation destroyed.

No this fighting was not people rising I do not believe – it was $$$$ in the hands of Oligarchs fighting to maintain their positions of power and wealth and being able to pay people to fight.

But that is why I ask – what did the people think Putin was going to do to them if they capitulated what makes destroying (thus far 150,000 dead by estimate I hear) Ukraine worth it?

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago

Maybe you could yourself do a little exercise in conjecture of the two alternatives based on Poland over the last 30 years. I can believe what a lot of the Ukrainians would want is to be in Poland’s position now in maybe 10-15 years time. The alternative is remaining in a totally corrupt society with repression, absence of democracy, poverty for all but the oligarchs and party members, and a country going nowhere whose only intention is threatening and manipulating other countries. I’ve witnessed what’s happened in Poland every year since the 90’s and the reformation is astounding compared to how it looked at the end of the 80’s. I believe that’s what the majority of the Ukrainians have been wishing for since 2013.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Well I guess everything’s okay, because you know what’s best for the Ukrainians. Like I said, they really don’t have a voice, do they?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Except that Russophones voted overwhelming for the present leader of Ukraine.
But I guess evidence is soooo un-Post-Modern…

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Yes they did. But part of the “non-discussion” is did they realise and are they perhaps shocked at the consequent destruction of their country. This is not about who’s right and wrong. It’s a question about just how much people can endure.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Are Russians shocked at the losses they’ve suffered, to include almost all of its front line units, and hundreds of aircraft?
And the total decoupling of Europe from Russian gas? (selling at HALF its value now)
To say nothing of $300 billion frozen in western banks, which Russian taxpayers will never see again?
But how else can we destroy Russia?

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

They voted for him after many years of the very destructive war in the east – you seem to think the destruction only started last year.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Are Russians shocked at the losses they’ve suffered, to include almost all of its front line units, and hundreds of aircraft?
And the total decoupling of Europe from Russian gas? (selling at HALF its value now)
To say nothing of $300 billion frozen in western banks, which Russian taxpayers will never see again?
But how else can we destroy Russia?

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

They voted for him after many years of the very destructive war in the east – you seem to think the destruction only started last year.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

un-Post -Modern: what is that?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sanity…

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sanity…

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Yes they did. But part of the “non-discussion” is did they realise and are they perhaps shocked at the consequent destruction of their country. This is not about who’s right and wrong. It’s a question about just how much people can endure.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

un-Post -Modern: what is that?

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’m not saying I do know, I’m just assuming what the elected representatives in Kiev decided on as the course to follow to rid itself of 100+ years of Russian oppression including the genocide of 1929. Your thinking is totally warped and delusional and you continue to demonstrate it with your past, current and probably future comments.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Except that Russophones voted overwhelming for the present leader of Ukraine.
But I guess evidence is soooo un-Post-Modern…

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’m not saying I do know, I’m just assuming what the elected representatives in Kiev decided on as the course to follow to rid itself of 100+ years of Russian oppression including the genocide of 1929. Your thinking is totally warped and delusional and you continue to demonstrate it with your past, current and probably future comments.

Phillip Arundel
PA
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

But Poland is Not Ukraine. I am sure the Chechens and Georgians and Belarus also would love to be modern Poland – but that is just not the Geo-political and historical reality. They would love to be Finland – but that is just now where the reality is, or has been.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

No difference between Poland and Ukraine geo-politically.
Both are bordered by Russia and Belarus.
So once Russia/Belarus become non-viable, they can be prosperous states within the EU.
By then their borders will stretch to the Urals.

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
1 year ago

Given what I’ve read on Belarus over the last 2-3 years it will be interesting to see what happens if and hopefully when Russia is further weakened by this war. Belarus might just try again to seize its chance to break free. “Poland is not Ukraine”? Well, areas in west Ukraine were part of what once was Poland for a time and the Polish culture is latently intact there. There were up to 1m Ukrainians working in Poland before last year’s war. There have been differences, conflicts and genocide (Wolyn) over the last 100 years between these countries, but today’s reality is more a case of their aspirations and common goals.

Last edited 1 year ago by stephen archer
Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

You’ve just demonstrated you know little of Poland and Ukraine. They have very significant cultural and ethnic overlaps.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

No difference between Poland and Ukraine geo-politically.
Both are bordered by Russia and Belarus.
So once Russia/Belarus become non-viable, they can be prosperous states within the EU.
By then their borders will stretch to the Urals.

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago

Given what I’ve read on Belarus over the last 2-3 years it will be interesting to see what happens if and hopefully when Russia is further weakened by this war. Belarus might just try again to seize its chance to break free. “Poland is not Ukraine”? Well, areas in west Ukraine were part of what once was Poland for a time and the Polish culture is latently intact there. There were up to 1m Ukrainians working in Poland before last year’s war. There have been differences, conflicts and genocide (Wolyn) over the last 100 years between these countries, but today’s reality is more a case of their aspirations and common goals.

Last edited 1 year ago by stephen archer
Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

You’ve just demonstrated you know little of Poland and Ukraine. They have very significant cultural and ethnic overlaps.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Great point Stephen!

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Well I guess everything’s okay, because you know what’s best for the Ukrainians. Like I said, they really don’t have a voice, do they?

Phillip Arundel
PA
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

But Poland is Not Ukraine. I am sure the Chechens and Georgians and Belarus also would love to be modern Poland – but that is just not the Geo-political and historical reality. They would love to be Finland – but that is just now where the reality is, or has been.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Great point Stephen!

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago

Please, just stop this nonsense. There is plenty of reporting of what ordinary Ukrainian people think – you are simply choosing to ignore it because it doesn’t fit the agenda you’re so desperately still trying to push in denial of all the facts.
It is quite clear that the average Ukrainian soldier is highly motivated and would not be so if there was not some principal they were fighting for. I suggest their motivations include:
* people just don’t like their country being invaded
* historic mistrust of Russia in Ukraine (there’s plenty of history there)
* strong sense of Ukrainian national identity (reinforced by Putin’s stupid invasion)
* distrust and dislike of Putin and his corrupt regime
* aspiration to be a normal, developed, free and relatively law-obiding and non-corrupt Western country like Poland
How you can believe after everything that’s happened that anyone can trust Putin and his regime is beyond me. That is why there was never a “diplomatic answer”. That and the absurd demands Putin was making a year ago (NATO pulling back from Poland etc).

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Incredible. What nonsense? Phillip poses a perfectly reasonable question which you don’t address. I’m sure the soldiers are highly motivated. But the question was about the people. Just what agenda is his post pushing?
“That is why there was never a “diplomatic answer”. Not yet anyway.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Here’s a clue as to his agenda “From what I hear it would appear to be the most Pyrrhic of all victories if they win.” Also, the anti-American tone of his comments in general.
Essentially, he seems to be pushing the view (and I have formed this from reading many of his comments now) – without we note having the courage to come out and explicitly say so – that Ukraine should not be defending itself against an unjustified Russian invasion. He is also – as you are – attempting to throw up a cloud of uncertainty and doubt about things happening in Ukraine where in practice there is no doubt.
And it is this – this laughable attempt to create FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) – which is the nonsense of your arguments and his.
That and the pretence that you are both fair and impartial observers merely asking “reasonable questions”. Your outright denial of the fact that the Ukrainians are pretty united and determined to defend their country – and are indeed succeeding in this – gives the lie to this pretence.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Your outright denial of the fact that the Ukrainians are pretty united and determined to defend their country – and are indeed succeeding in this – gives the lie to this pretence.”
I never made any such statement.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You’ve never made ANY coherent statement.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

You’ve never made ANY coherent statement.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Your outright denial of the fact that the Ukrainians are pretty united and determined to defend their country – and are indeed succeeding in this – gives the lie to this pretence.”
I never made any such statement.

Peter B
PB
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Here’s a clue as to his agenda “From what I hear it would appear to be the most Pyrrhic of all victories if they win.” Also, the anti-American tone of his comments in general.
Essentially, he seems to be pushing the view (and I have formed this from reading many of his comments now) – without we note having the courage to come out and explicitly say so – that Ukraine should not be defending itself against an unjustified Russian invasion. He is also – as you are – attempting to throw up a cloud of uncertainty and doubt about things happening in Ukraine where in practice there is no doubt.
And it is this – this laughable attempt to create FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) – which is the nonsense of your arguments and his.
That and the pretence that you are both fair and impartial observers merely asking “reasonable questions”. Your outright denial of the fact that the Ukrainians are pretty united and determined to defend their country – and are indeed succeeding in this – gives the lie to this pretence.

Phillip Arundel
PA
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I know they Ukrainians a bit – I was married to one – the thing is the Nation is destroyed. Mass death, the economy destroyed, 8,000,000 refugees –

And here is the very biggest thing of all – historically half war refugees never return – and these young woman and children are VITAL to the future of Ukraine in its demographic nightmare. Europe would like to keep them very much – young people in a EU with a demographic mess its self. If they do not return their loss will be worse for Ukraine than the physical damage to the infrastructure by far. (these are not unskilled, single men, like seen a decade ago in EU, who are a different thing)

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

The funny thing is nations recover after even the most catastrophic wars. Germany and Japan in 1945 were in a far worse state than Ukraine is now. How did they recover so well ?
I don’t buy into this doom-mongering.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago