Keep in mind that they are humans with hopes and dreams and fears, not video game units that will fight to last man exactly like they can fight at the start. Morale breaks down way before 100% casualties, some estimates have it at 30% before the soldiers start really thinking about their own mortality rather than the mission at hand. Flip side, Ukraine doesn’t have the capability to inflict anywhere near that, it would be air superiority and AC-130 flights chunking 30mm shells along the line nonstop. If that column can stay mobile and agile, then there’s not much to be done.
I think that from Russia’s point of view the current situation is the Cuban missile crisis with US invading Cuba before Soviet Union was able to deploy missiles. If Cuba received weapons from Russia, would US back down?
Just want to say thanks for sharing. There are a lot more meat than the ones you quote in that interview, I recommend reading it in full (yeah we are all snowed under by info so…)
Fiona Hill also has a lovely northern (English) accent we can’t hear over those word. 😌
“Russia” doesn’t view things that way, Putin and proponents of Great Russia do. Yes the Ukrainian government has made noises about wanting to join NATO (and no wonder, given the events of the last few days!) but lots of NATO members were not interested in admitting it.
Let’s face it, what Putin and his cabal hate is that Ukraine was becoming an example of a free democratic Slavic nation-state right on Russia’s borders that presents an alternative model to their authoritarian kleptocracy. They can’t have that.
TLDR: Russia is not a big player in the world economy, except in oil and natural gas.
Here’s an info dump sharing some random economic facts about Russia I was just Googling in a quest to learn why the war hasn’t had a bigger impact on markets (the gold market in particular.)
- Russia has the 11th largest GDP among nations.
- However, because of the power rule, that’s not as big as you might think. Only about 1.3% of global GDP (GWP?) is generated by Russia. South Korea, Canada, and Italy all have bigger economies than Russia.
- The US economy is roughly fourteen times the size of Russia’s.
- Because of its large population (145 million) Russia ranks something like 66th in GDP per capita. (Though note that this counts teeny places like Monaco and Andorra in with the US and China.) Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania all have a higher GDP per capita.
- Russia does not rank all that high (20th) among world exporters by value overall. The Netherlands, Ireland, and Singapore are all bigger exporters.
- But … Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer, and the second largest natural gas producer.
Russian convoy ‘stretches up to 40 miles’
Satellite imagery company Maxar Technology says that earlier reports indicating the column of Russian armour advancing on Kyiv is 17 miles (27km) long are inaccurate.
The convoy actually stretches about 40 miles, according to Maxar.
The company added that new images also show ground troops and attack helicopters in southern Belarus, less than 20 miles from the Ukraine border.
Don’t you remember that time the Confederates won after Bull Run, or when the U.S. surrendered after Pearl Harbor?
Yea, good point. Morale is right there on social media, fake and real, in this war. It’s probably the most complex variable in this.
GDP measured in terms of USD is not an accurate gauge of the productive capacity of the Russian economy. Although it has its own issues, GDP measured in terms of PPPs (i.e. it takes into account that many things are much cheaper in Russia) more reflects their productive capacity:
Here, Russia is ~6th in the world and just behind Germany.
Using the straight USD approach, Russia has barely a larger economy than Australia which is clearly untrue haha.
Oh, please. Show me a single Russian official who liked the idea. Not even all Americans thought it was great.
Ukraine had 23 years to become a free democratic Slavic nation-state. Are you saying it lacked the Azov battalion to become one?
I support all Ukrainians. I do not support the Ukrainian government. There is a huge difference between them.
Yep. Sadly the fact that Russia thinks it’s a decent idea to have a whatever-miles-long convoy means that the convoy is more or less safe to proceed. They’re obviously way less competent than we thought, but they aren’t that incompetent.
How? What are you seeing that is different here, on this planet? Is the weather nice on your world?
Hmm… Where do I start? Maybe with my brother-in-law who is stuck in Kyiv and is afraid to go outside because the government distributed more than 10,000 guns to panicking civilians who shoot whatever moves? (To be fair, it’s not only civilians - https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-698922)
Or with my cousin who had to flee Luhansk region back in 2014 when the Ukrainian army started to shell nearby settlements?
I came from Ukraine to the US 25 years ago and I still follow closely what’s going on there. Are you sure you don’t want to take the blue pill?
I mean, Ukraine has only gotten its act together very recently.
2019 election seemed like a turning point. Not an end point, but a movement in the right direction.
I’m not saying Russian officials were cool with NATO expansion into old Warsaw Pact countries, nor that all American Russia experts thought it was a good idea (and given Poland and Hungary’s backsliding on the democracy front they may have been right). Can you show me where I wrote that? How does your completely orthogonal observation contradict my point that despite the Ukrainian government’s wishes to join NATO, a lot of longstanding NATO member countries were not interested in admitting it?
As far as the Azov Batallion and other neo-Nazis are concerned, do they dominate the current Ukrainian government or is that a bunch of FSB agitprop?
Even with all the well-reasoned explanations for that long convoy, it seems a bit odd that it is one, that big and dense, and two, that it is so far largely unmolested (as far as we’ve seen). Even a modest strike on some of the intersections would seem to be capable of seriously delaying it. Do the Ukrainians lack the means? Are the air defenses that formidable (I know the Russian SHORAD stuff is voluminous and generally good on paper, but those columns seem woefully un-tactical)? Lots of things we don’t know.
OK, this is bullshit. You could see the missiles in Cuba on photographs.
What you’re justifying is an invasion of Ukraine based on the hypothetical missiles that might be stationed there on the hypothetical possibility that it might have been admitted into NATO one day. Even though there is not a single US nuclear missile anywhere in Europe, let alone Eastern Europe.
It’s almost like there is an invading army about to start killing people or something.
This smells of alt-right nonsense. Maybe that isn’t your intention, but it’s not a great look to use their catch phrases.