Why They Thought It’d Be Easy

Here’s an explanation for the Russian invasion and why the Russians expected an easy win and no resistance.

The Russians don’t understand that we don’t like them. It’s impossible to explain to them how we feel. They sincerely thought that crowds of happy, liberated Ukrainians would cheer them in the streets. No evidence to the contrary can change their minds. They honestly think that a small gang of anti-Russian “criminals and drug addicts” (I’m quoting Putin) usurped power and is preventing Ukrainians from reuniting with the Russian brothers.

Remember, I have a Russian husband. And he’s one of the best ones. I’ve tried everything. Stories, anecdotes, videos, books, jokes. He doesn’t get it. I told him that I always said I’d consider any guy, of any race, creed and nationality but never a Russian. (Then God decided to be funny and here we are but that’s a different story.) But it’s useless. “We always got along so well,” he says. “I just don’t get it.” Hopefully, now he’ll get it but I’m not too optimistic.

47 thoughts on “Why They Thought It’d Be Easy

  1. Д.Быков― Продолжаем разговор. Меня просят прочитать балладу «Тень». Я обычно свои стихи в эфире «Одина» стараюсь не читать, но сейчас я прочту ее, потому что это баллада 2015 года. Написанная тоже здесь, я в Принстоне тогда преподавал. Ну и тоже у меня было чувство бессилия дикого — это сразу же после убийства Немцова было. Вот я и написал ее тогда и сейчас прочту. Ни единого слова я не хотел бы в ней изменить. Прошло семь лет, а все пока сбывается неуклонно.

    Страшна не сама по себе хренотень
    В российских редеющих кущах,
    Но то, что ложится зловонная тень
    На восемь веков предыдущих,
    С их русской идеей про русский Эдем,
    С их вечной Вандеей, владеющей всем,
    Со всеми мечтами и снами,
    Которые кончились нами.

    На карту поставлены реки, леса,
    Просторы с ветрами, полями,
    История вся и поэзия вся –
    Никак не уйти в пополаме!

    Под знамя поставлены Пушкин, Колчак,
    Романовы, Сталин и старший Собчак,
    И жертвы, и те, что пытали,
    Скрываются в общем портале.

    Не сам ли Державин, державен и хвор,
    Был предан престолу без лести?
    Не Пушкин ли молвил, что все это спор
    Славян меж собой – и не лезьте?
    Не Сталин ли нам возвратил РПЦ?
    Не Жуков ли с нами во вражьем кольце?
    Под ними трещащая льдина,
    На ней они все заедино.

    …У нации тоже случается рак –
    Поистине худший из раков;
    Стоял у истоков его не дурак,
    А чинный мыслитель Аксаков.
    Языков, Самарин, Попов, Хомяков
    Писали на лучшем из всех языков –
    Не их ли ветвистые фразы
    Пустили в него метастазы?

    Все было – и Грозный, и глад, и Бирон,
    И пытки, и бунты с коммуной,
    Но вызовы, лезшие с разных сторон,
    Сжирались системой иммунной.
    Но время себя ухватило за хвост,
    А клетки решили, что рак – это рост,
    И все накрывается крепкой,
    Рехнувшейся раковой клеткой.

    Историю русскую, выскажем вслух,
    Венчает не птица, а крыса.
    Так дух нибелунгов и Шиллера дух
    Когда–то нацизмом накрылся,
    Легенда о Фаусте так умерла
    В тени хакенкройца, под сенью орла,
    И фюрером кончился Дюрер,
    И Лютер от этого умер.

    Ужасен злодей, но ужасней дебил,
    Парашливый пафос острожный.
    Хоть Пушкина Сталин еще не добил –
    Теперь его шансы ничтожны.
    Чего там – и Тютчев, и Блок, и Толстой
    По полной вложились в текущий отстой,
    А Федор Михалыч особо –
    Такая в нем буйствует злоба.

    Тут все состояло из двух половин –
    Из ангелов и негодяев;
    Читались, допустим, не только Ильин,
    Но также и Франк, и Бердяев;
    Однако в процессе стремленья на дно
    Все эти тенденции слиплись в одно,
    А жажда покоя и воли
    Сегодня свелась к «Мотороле».

    Глядишь ли в окно на весенний пейзаж:
    Он скалится алчно и подло.
    Сквозь крымскую даль проступает «крымнаш»,
    И море предательством полно.
    Услышу ли поезд в ночи, например, –
    А поезд стучит: ДНР! ЛНР!
    Вот так побеседуешь с немцем –
    А в нем проступает Освенцим.

    Люблю амфибрахий, державный разбег!
    Сама набегает цитата:
    Как ныне сбирается вещий Олег –
    Та–та–та, та–та–та, та–та–та.
    – Куда ты ведешь нас? Не видно ни зги!
    Шибанов молчал из пронзенной ноги.
    Случайно средь шумного бала
    Шипя между тем выползала…

    Пространство, родство, большинство, торжество,
    Горючая жидкость и рухлядь…
    Но что нам останется после того,
    Как эта конструкция рухнет?
    Как только эпоха свершит самосуд,
    Название «русский» к чему отнесут?
    Ведь все эти рожи, о Боже, –
    Развитье традиции тоже?

    …Как только рассеялся черный туман,
    Тогда, в назиданье внучатам,
    Остатки спасти вознамерился Манн,
    И «Фаустус» был напечатан.
    По правде сказать – ничего он не спас:
    Остался от фауста ржавый каркас.
    В преддверьи последнего часа
    У нас уже нет и каркаса.

    Вот в это уперлись слова и дела
    Искателей правды и света.
    Победа – их общей победой была,
    И общим вот этим – вот это.
    Меня утешает лишь то, что иду
    Ко дну в этом общем бескрайнем ряду,
    Где все как в наброске любимом –
    Россия кончается Крымом.

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    1. Thanks for posting this.

      I find Russian works much better for rhyming poetry than English. There’s just no comparison (for me personally). I suppose it’s also the fact that it has harder consonants that makes it more expressive when sounded out.

      I generally don’t read poetry, but when exposed to it, it’s much more effective at making me feel anything if it’s in Russian.

      My apologies for extra work for Clarissa – Commenting from my phone and too lazy to log in 🙂

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  2. See, I can understand why Putin would believe that, especially after he’s been hiding in a bunker from COVID for 2 years, but I don’t understand why the rest of the population would. Even ignoring the past, it is as clear as day that if your army rolls in a neighboring country that doesn’t even have the slightest antigovt protest, it’s not going to be received with bread and salt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is frightening and will hurt not only Ukrainians but probably also Russians living near the border.

    Won’t be surprised if Putin cares about his own citizens less than I do. Naturally, his children are hidden abroad, while my relatives in Russia live quite close to the border.

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    1. As I said before, Putin genuinely doesn’t like “ethnic Russians.” He does much better with the Chechens and Central Asians. But it’s not even just about Putin. Every Russian military victory in history is about sacrificing incredible numbers of its own population.

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  4. And this one. Does ‘dirty bomb’ mean only nuclear or a chemical attack would also fall under the definition?

    Hope they are simply lying non stop, but who knows what will happen after the attack on Ukraine is revealed as a complete disaster for Russians.

    Seems like Russians have already lost, and the only question is how many Ukrainians and Russians their government will kill till they accept this fact. Am I correct?

    A Ukrainian blogger said Russians dump a few attackers near central cities, the Russian soldiers are quickly killed by numerous Ukrainians, then Russians learn nothing and continue sending more small groups of soldiers to be killed.

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    1. Russia lost before invading because the goal of having an easy and happy surrender of the whole country and a joyful reunification of two brotherly nations was never on the cards. They sincerely expected the people of Ukraine to come out to fight on their side against the Ukrainian government. In that sense, they were doomed to lose from the start. But they won in the sense of destroying much of the reforms, roads, hospitals that have been created since 2014. Such enormously hard work, and so much of it in ruins.

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      1. // But they won in the sense of destroying much of the reforms, roads, hospitals that have been created since 2014.

        Roads and hospitals, sure, but reforms? What do you mean by that?

        I expect Ukraine will join NATO after this ends and, most importantly, go full force for necessary reforms to transform into a true prosperous Western democracy.

        It will be ‘reforms on steroids’ situation, no?

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        1. There were amazing regions going on in the past few years. I should have been posting about them this whole time. It’s a hard, long road and the destruction of the economy right now will set everything back yet again.

          During COVID, for example, Zelensky somehow managed to get gigantic shipments of monoclonal antibodies that we couldn’t get here in Illinois. I couldn’t understand it. How come I could get treated with antibodies in Kharkiv but not in Illinois?

          And everything that was being done to improve the housing situation for the young people. Internet connection for remote villages. The rebirth of manufacturing has been nothing short of miraculous. And a lot more.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. How do you think it will end? Russian forces keep pouring into Ukraine. My heart breaks for my beloved Kyiv but I can’t imagine it not being taken over.

          Now that Western countries are supplying weapons to Ukraine, are there enough Ukrainians in the West to attempt to retake the territory from Russians and would that even be possible?

          Or do you mean that perhaps the situation will stabilize with the Western half of Ukraine remaining independent?

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          1. “How do you think it will end?”

            I read about a retired Greek politician named Varoufakis who wrote on Twitter that everything could end with a promise from the US that Ukraine would remain neutral to NATO.

            If enough people say the same thing loudly so as to overcome the propaganda and warmongering flooding the media, all of this could be reversed in a matter of days.

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            1. There you go believing Russian propaganda again. It is not about NATO. It is a fantasy about a Russian empire.

              If the US and Ukraine signed agreements that Ukraine would never join NATO then Putin would just find another reason to invade.

              I actually like Varoufakis in some contexts but he doesn’t understand Eastern Europe any better than your average news anchor.

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              1. “There you go believing Russian propaganda again. It is not about NATO. It is a fantasy about a Russian empire.”

                I do not believe anything, but rather arrive at an informed opinion based on learning, deduction and experience.

                Like I have said before, I have an unusual certain closeness to politics and have seen how the US operates up close in regards to regional powers like China, even to the point of seeing exactly where Russian political donations go as well as why. The pattern is the same, though more egregious in regards to the Russians.

                No one is talking about the US secretary of state promising in 1990 that NATO would not move East.

                No one is talking about senior US politicians saying that a limited nuclear war is acceptable.

                No one is talking about Obama bragging about spending $5 billion in Ukraine to undermine the political system there.

                I am old enough and experienced enough to see the formula of propaganda used – which, by the way is purely emotive so far – and well connected enough to know which federal politician is in which faction who should not be saying the things that they are saying, which means that they have been pressured, blackmailed, or bought.

                This whole thing stinks and is emanating from the West, no doubt about it. The fact that local Ukrainian politicians are going along with it is irrelevant.

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              2. “I don’t know who Varoufakis is but the dude has a big future in standup comedy.”

                Former Greek finance minister, taught economics in Australia, was part of the Tsipras government half a dozen years ago when Greece was being dispossessed by the so-called Troika.

                He has a habit of talking about his experience in politics and with EU bureaucrats candidly, which often makes establishment politicians and bureaucrats appear as if they are part of an administrative cabal rather than the competent statesmen that they try to present themselves as.

                Despite being a very much leftist politician, he often surprises people by bluntly talking about the mechanics of things behind the scenes and offering practical solutions that you would normally hear from rational centrists or even those on the (European) right. His contemporaries are usually horrified.

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            2. Man, you really are naive. This has nothing to do with NATO. Even if there was no NATO Russia cannot stand an independent and democratic Ukraine. It flies in the face of their imperialistic world view that is increasingly falling apart. You really have to jump to many mental gymnastics to really believe this is about NATO.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. “You really have to jump to many mental gymnastics to really believe this is about NATO.”

                Not at all. All you have to do is look at how the US was ready to start a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis due to nuclear missiles being situated so close to the border, and then surmise that the Russians probably feel the same about NATO missiles directed by US agents being located on the border with Ukraine.

                If you simultaneously consider Hillary Clinton cackling about Gaddafi, whose body was dragged through the streets at her behest also saying that a limited nuclear war with Russia is acceptable, then the reaction of the Russians isn’t surprising.

                The reaction is unspeakably bad, obviously. But not surprising.

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              2. All you seem to think is how this affects Russia and how poor Russia must feel. What about how Ukraine feels after being historically abused and massacred by Russians? Don’t they get a say in all this too?

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              3. “All you seem to think is how this affects Russia and how poor Russia must feel. What about how Ukraine feels after being historically abused and massacred by Russians? Don’t they get a say in all this too?”

                I feel the same about Russians and Ukrainians, which is to say that I care what happens to them as I do every other human being, and also care that both sides are under attack differently.

                The reason I am talking about Russia is because they are the ones who performed the determinative action, which was to invade Ukraine.

                Something made their leadership do that, which makes me primarily interested in them.

                It may seem that my focus on Russian leadership means that I somehow value them above others, but that is not the case. They’re simply most relevant to the question of why at this point in time.

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              4. Russia is once again attacking, murdering and abusing Ukrainians. Russia is the aggressor here, not Ukraine. All discussion on who is the bad guy ends there.

                Liked by 1 person

              5. I remember when Klara was very little, just a toddler, she already somehow knew that in any story I read to her the right thing to do was to support whoever was being attacked or mistreated. I remember being stunned at how such a little human already understands the moral law. It was way before I had any conversations with her about it. She somehow just knew.

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              6. “Russia is the aggressor here, not Ukraine. All discussion on who is the bad guy ends there.”

                When the US boasted about spending $5 billion in Ukraine to install an anti-Russia government, was that action aggressive.

                When the US reneged on a promise made by its own secretary of state that NATO would not move eastward, was that action aggressive.

                When the war hawks in the US published widely that a so-called limited nuclear war with Russia would be acceptable to them, was that aggressive.

                Were NATO to advance eastward enough to position first strike capable weapons on Russia’s border, to which defence is impossible, hence allowing Russia to be coerced indefinitely, was that aggressive.

                I understand that everyone is upset because a war is happening in their homeland, causing an anguish that I can’t say that I know, but the people here are pretty smart.

                What I am saying isn’t hard to understand. There is more than one group of victims here.

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              7. Forget all that. Why is Putin saying that the war isn’t about the NATO or any of the things you list? Why do they matter to you more than to anybody in Russia? It would be such a convenient narrative to explain the invasion. Why isn’t Russia using it?

                The reason is that none of this motivates the people of Russia to go to war. All of the Russians and Chechens who died in Ukraine today didn’t die for any of this. What they died for is in the link I posted earlier. This is how regular Russians speak about this. You aren’t arguing with me right now. You are arguing with the Russian people who are explaining their motivations.

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              8. Respectfully Clarissa, I think that you answered your own question. See how you said this:

                “Forget all that. Why is Putin saying that the war isn’t about the NATO or any of the things you list? Why do they matter to you more than to anybody in Russia? It would be such a convenient narrative to explain the invasion. Why isn’t Russia using it?”

                The reason is probably what you said next, which is:

                “The reason is that none of this motivates the people of Russia to go to war.”

                The most likely reason is that Putin is manipulating the Russian people by giving them an explanation that rallies nationalist/patriotic sentiment so that the necessary people are, as you said, motivated to go to war, or at least accept it.

                The same thing is done by political leaders in China, where the CCP starts a fight with neighbouring countries and then blames those nations to the domestic Chinese population as being the cause of domestic woes. There are border disputes with India for that reason in areas like the Galwan Valley, as well as the contested Senkaku islands with Japan, with the Phillipines and others regarding various reefs in the South China Sea/militarisation of the Spratly Islands.

                What I think will happen will happen is that this week, a small force will be sent into Ukraine, while Western media goes absolutely bananas using emotive propaganda, and while the domestic Russian audience is flooded with nationalist messaging.

                The virtue signallers in the West will all proclaim how terrible everything is even though they can’t find Crimea on a map, but their narrative can’t go anywhere since emotional narratives can only go up in down in volume, not substance. The Russian nationalists, though, will be rallied, stay rallied, and chill the remainder of the population with patriotic messages.

                Next week or the week after or something, the conflict will escalate with many more troops going in or threatened to go in plus or minus an increase in the so-far practically absent large scale bombing. At that time, the Russian narrative will change, and then all of a sudden everyone will start talking about NATO encroachment, the US reneging on promises etc.

                In reality though, half of the virtuous seeming commentators will probably have done their calculations and figured out that the magnitude of humanitarian disaster would be enormous were Kiev to have its power stations bombed, while politicians in the West will realise that a blocked Black Sea is very bad for shipping, food prices, and energy prices etc at home.

                If everyone is lucky, the smarter political people will realise that what is described in the last two paragraphs is awful beyond words, decide diplomacy is better than escalation and then sit at a table to talk things through which is where they should have been the whole time.

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              9. OK, so we are in agreement, then. You agree that Russians went to war not because they are worried about the NATO but because they hate Ukraine. That’s all I’ve been saying this whole time. What were even arguing about? 🙂

                The only beef I have with what you say is the term “Russian nationalists.” Russian nationalists are all either dead or incarcerated. They have been exterminated by Putin between 2005-2021. The last of their leaders was murdered a couple of months ago. Instead of “Russian nationalists,” who actually detested Putin, let’s say “Russians.”

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              10. “OK, so we are in agreement, then. You agree that Russians went to war not because they are worried about the NATO but because they hate Ukraine.”

                Not exactly, no. What I mean is that the political leadership cares very much about NATO because NATO is what affects their power and money. The story fed to the population is different at this point in time and along the lines of nationalism of some kind, including cultural ie “ethnic Russians in Donbass are being bombed by the Ukrainian US puppets” type of thing.

                I can’t express this properly in words, while everyone who hasn’t seen it up close and personal probably can’t understand it, but the ones in charge do not think like you. They’re psychologically different in the same way very senior CCP leaders are completely different to the average Chinese villager.

                Regarding the term Russian nationalists, perhaps this communicates it better – the people who identify as Russians, who think that Russians are more awesome than their neighbours, and who would probably like it if Russia was a grand empire again. Their thinking is tribal, base, and lends itself to zealotry. Like football hooligans except that their team is Russia.

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              11. Clarissa, I did a quick websearch of the term “nato 1990” then clicked the news tab. Many articles come up saying the same thing I have been saying about NATO encroachment and a direct threat to Russia from Ukraine.

                Putin himself has made the same argument. To quote, a week ago, before the invasion, he said:

                “”If Ukraine were to join NATO, it would serve as a direct threat to the security of Russia,” Putin said in televised remarks on Monday, during which he described Ukraine as a “springboard” for a NATO strike against Russia. ”

                The article is here for you to read. If you search the term yourself, you will find many more:

                https://www.dw.com/en/nato-why-russia-has-a-problem-with-its-eastward-expansion/a-60891681

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              12. I did something even better. Googled “white privilege,” and guess what, thousands of articles telling me it exists. Also, toxic masculinity is real. And there is no cancel culture.

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              13. Clarissa, yesterday you asked me the question:

                “Forget all that. Why is Putin saying that the war isn’t about the NATO or any of the things you list? Why do they matter to you more than to anybody in Russia? It would be such a convenient narrative to explain the invasion. Why isn’t Russia using it?”

                Today, I published a link where Putin is saying exactly what you asked.

                In response, you are mentioning things like white privilege, toxic masculinity, and cancel culture, none of which have anything to do with the conversation.

                I would like to remind you that I am not your opponent in any way about any of this, since I am completely neutral and absolutely opposed to war.

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            3. Funny. 🙂 Thank you (or Mr Varoufakis) for making me smile.

              “Mommy, if I say the magic word really loudly, that will make the monster under my bed go away, right?”

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      2. What a harsh crash with reality for them. I love seen this.

        Russian paratroopers were sent in to take over an airport near Kyiv. They thought it was going to be easy and they’d be able to fly in reinforcements and take over the capital that day. Instead they got beaten out and they still haven’t been able to take Kyiv, even though Kyiv is less than 100 miles from their staging area.

        They probably will still take over the city due to overwhelming force, but there is no way in held they’re going to keep it, much less the rest of Ukraine.

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  5. With respect most governments are actually run by criminals who are often addicted to drugs. Apart from knowing the details of some of the use among local politicians, I was even once approached by a senator who did not know who I was, who asked where to buy drugs.

    When I hear politicians talk about groups of criminals and drug addicts, it is a bit like hearing them say that water is wet.

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    1. It would be a lot more valuable, of course, if these politicians fought drug addicts and criminals among their own governments instead of sending troops to other countries.

      But in this situation, Putin is simply repeating a talking point from the election propaganda about Zelensky. You have to be in the Russian -speaking media space to recognize the reference.

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      1. “It would be a lot more valuable, of course, if these politicians fought drug addicts and criminals among their own governments instead of sending troops to other countries.”

        Naturally, although I do not think that it is possible at this point in time because the ethical standards of the average person, and especially the average politician, are too low.

        In my experience, it is almost impossible for the average person or politician of high ethics to gain traction in a world where drug dealers and criminal mafias can offer them millions of dollars with one hand while pointing a gun at the family of the politician with the other.

        To me, modern politics in general is reductive and a complete dead end, akin to a group of people flipping a coin so that the loser can forfeit all of their money and position to the winner, the latter of which has to play again against other “winners”, on and on, until there is only one left who dominates everything.

        Then everyone gets upset, kills that person, and the whole dumb thing starts again.

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        1. ” modern politics in general is reductive and a complete dead end”

          So…. what? Just let the thieves and drug addicts do what they want? Where does your philosophy lead to the possibility of a better tomorrow? And how?

          Cynicism is cool and edgy in teenagers but death to the soul for adults.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “So…. what? Just let the thieves and drug addicts do what they want? Where does your philosophy lead to the possibility of a better tomorrow? And how?”

            No of course you don’t let thieves and junkies do what they want. The short version of what to do is something that Clarissa said when she was talking about communism falling.

            Quoting imperfectly, it was something like “the way all of it ends is when every last person looks at the politician talking, smiles sarcastically, and says ‘sure you will’ ”

            After that, my personal opinion is to change the structure of government towards systems like that in Switzerland, where people themselves vote about how to fund media, change laws, and go to war.

            Generally speaking, the public does not vote to go to war unnecessarily, and does not willingly give taxpayer money to the entities that create conditions for war – particularly the media.

            Also, yes, I know that talking about it and actually doing it are different. But you did ask about philosophy and possibility, not probability or ease.

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  6. “US secretary of state promising in 1990 that NATO would not move East

    And you’re not talking about the fact that NATO’s “move East” did not originate with NATO. I’m very glad the country I’m in is in NATO which maybe (knock on wood) means it’s not as high on Putin’s “to invade” list.

    Even Putin supporters realize the NATO thing is a pretext. Did you read the link by the fanatical Putin supporter who recognizes that it’s not about NATO?

    “This whole thing stinks and is emanating from the West”

    The real stink is emanating from Moscow and whatever bunker Putin is holed up in.

    Not everything is about “the West”. If you understood Eastern Europe better you’d realize that motivations here are often difficult for outsiders to grasp (and not necessarily what they seem like on the surface).

    At minimum (to be truly informed) you need to be able to read at least one (preferably more) languages of the region. Most of the really critical stuff doesn’t exist in English.

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    1. “And you’re not talking about the fact that NATO’s “move East” did not originate with NATO.”

      NATO is mostly by the US, which spends about 4% of its gigantic GDP on defence. By way of contrast, European nations spend about 1% of their much smaller GDP on defence.

      That, combined with Obama spending $5 billion in Ukraine etc means that the decision to move East came from Washington.

      By the way, since my heritage is from a Balkan nation, Eastern European politics isn’t that strange. It’s dumb and backwards obviously, but not that strange.

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  7. Just George is a great example of someone wanting to believe something and lining up the facts that prove their theory. The world is so complex and there are so many similarities between different events in various aspects, that you could always cite combinations of events to prove almost any theory you want to come up with.

    I don’t think it makes any sense to argue about this particular issue any further with this particular person. I was born and lived there, have relatives who served in the army after the 2014 invasion, and one who is still in the city at this moment, hopefully still alive. I won’t waste any of my time on further discussions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Just George is a great example of someone wanting to believe something and lining up the facts that prove their theory. The world is so complex and there are so many similarities between different events in various aspects, that you could always cite combinations of events to prove almost any theory you want to come up with.”

      Surely this applies to all of us.

      Like

      1. I’m making a hypocrite out of myself by responding. Yes, it happens to all of us, and you have to consider it on a case by case basis. And it is happening to you with this issue right now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “I’m making a hypocrite out of myself by responding. Yes, it happens to all of us, and you have to consider it on a case by case basis. And it is happening to you with this issue right now.”

          Yet surely, it could be happening to you with this issue too.

          Also please do not feel bad by responding. This is supposed to be an interesting and respectful conversation, not a battle or contest or something.

          Like

        2. Hey, I have a (now former) friend from Kharkiv who on Friday ate my brain with a spoon for an hour trying to prove that it’s all an exaggeration and Kharkiv wasn’t getting bombed. Right at the time it was getting bombed. I finally gave up because if a person is in denial, there’s nothing anybody can do.

          Like

            1. Use Google translate to see for yourselves how the Russians official media explain the war in Ukraine. The article clearly says that opposing NATO is not the most important reason for the invasion. https://ria.ru/20220226/rossiya-1775162336.html

              I don’t know why we are second -guessing people who clearly explain their own reasoning. The linked article says exactly what Putin said on the eve of the war: they invaded because Ukraine isn’t a real country and should be part of Russia.

              Like

              1. “I don’t know why we are second -guessing people who clearly explain their own reasoning.”

                Because the official narrative is usually full of lies intended to manipulate people, while the truth can usually be found by looking at the self interest of the ones making decisions, which is usually entirely about power and money rather than ideology.

                To me, Putin’s speeches about nationalism are in the same category as George W Bush’s speeches about weapons of mass destruction and people hating American freedom ie complete trash. In my experience, after a long time, the truth becomes visible and it is always about who got to be in charge, who got to make decisions, and who got the money.

                If NATO missiles are on Russia’s border, Putin and his friend don’t get to be in charge so much anymore, and don’t get to keep the money so much anymore. That is where the self interest is, right next to the truth.

                Like

          1. Ok, so this is not directly related, but a male Russian-speaking acquaintance of mine from Toronto (he’s Jewish, not sure from where originally) posted a meme on Facebook after Russia started its invasion. A normal-looking Russian tank on top and the American one, with a much shorter turret, painted pink, with they/them spray-painted on it in black.

            I responded with “You’re right, . I would be disgusted if the tanks that entered my hometown after overnight bombardments looked like the American ones”, and he liked my comment.

            He’s also posted memes of women saying how their place is in the kitchen or that’s where they’ll be or belong as the war starts.

            I told him that he completely misunderstood my comment, fuck the Russian tanks, I’m sorry that his daughters have him for a father and to have a nice life. At least I was polite to him personally. I unfriended him and it was encouraging that there were almost no comments or likes on his posts.

            Like

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