Russia invades Ukraine

Iskra

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If the Finns attempted to join NATO now, there is a major risk of a pre-emptive Russian strike which could lead to Helsinki resembling Mariupol today. That would be an avoidable tragedy. Finland has had a modus vivendi with the USSR/Russia since the end of WW2 and it would be foolish to destabilise this arrangement. Unlike Ukraine, Finland is essentially physically separated from the rest of Europe by the Gulf of Bothnia, but has a very long land border with Russia, so is vulnerable to a well-organised Russian attack, as in 1944; once the Finns' military supplies are exhausted, it would be difficult to replenish them from abroad.
This is total nonsense. Finland does not constitute a threat to Russia and is free to act as it wishes.

Finland is not separated from Europe, it is attached to Sweden and Norway and a short flight or sail from Sweden or Estonia.

Russia don't do well-organised attacks. If the Ukrainians can hold off the Russians, so can the Finns because the terrain and road network is much more favourable to the defender in that area- as the Soviets found out. And the long land border works both ways- Finland could cut off Murmansk from the rest of Russia if it wished (although I am not recommending that course of action).
 
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najaB

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Russia don't do well-organised attacks. If the Ukrainians can hold off the Russians, so can the Finns...
And I return to my original question? Where is the army coming from with which to attack Finland? They're having to call up reservists to prosecute the war in Ukraine!
 

AlterEgo

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If the Finns attempted to join NATO now, there is a major risk of a pre-emptive Russian strike which could lead to Helsinki resembling Mariupol today.
No chance. The Finns feel the safest they've done in years, with Russia already heavily occupied down in Ukraine.

Finland has had a modus vivendi with the USSR/Russia since the end of WW2 and it would be foolish to destabilise this arrangement.
Who has destabilised whom here?

Unlike Ukraine, Finland is essentially physically separated from the rest of Europe by the Gulf of Bothnia, but has a very long land border with Russia, so is vulnerable to a well-organised Russian attack, as in 1944; once the Finns' military supplies are exhausted, it would be difficult to replenish them from abroad.
Almost zero chance of Russia attacking an EU state. It is already close to being militarily exhausted and is low on political capital too.
 

Iskra

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And I return to my original question? Where is the army coming from with which to attack Finland? They're having to call up reservists to prosecute the war in Ukraine!
Exactly! And we've already seen how chucking poorly equipped, confused conscripts against an army motivated by national survival works...
 

DustyBin

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Exactly! And we've already seen how chucking poorly equipped, confused conscripts against an army motivated by national survival works...

Quite, and the Finnish military is considerably larger and better equipped than that of Ukraine, including the largest artillery in Europe. The fact that they've trained for decades to repel a land invasion which realistically could only come from one country helps as well....
 

Shrop

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Every so often we hear people claiming that Putin might be ill, about to concede defeat or be overthrown. I do wonder where people get these ideas from?

News items on several UK channels this evening have been showing Putin looking as calm and healthy as ever, rallying his people along with his friend and ally Lukashenko of Belarus, talking in a manner which we in “The West” believe to be wholesale propaganda. The things he was saying would suggest that everything is going to plan, and can we really be sure that they’re not? If his goal has always been just to reclaim the Dombas region, then what better way to achieve this (assuming the heartless and cruel mentality which we believe to exist) than to scare the hell out of the rest of the country first, prior to consolidating in the East? And if Putin ever wondered what the reaction of The West would be if Russia was to flex its muscles in the most inhumane manner, he has now achieved an excellent understanding of that too, including that The West really is incredibly scared of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

As for being overthrown, reports even on our own news channels are showing that the Russian people are now more supportive of Putin than they were before this war, so how can we therefore assume that any such motivation exists? What we also know is that people in any position of authority who have spoken out against Putin have been known to meet a terrible fate, one way or another.

So with regard to my opening comment, are these musings about wanting Ukraine to beat off the Russians, and how this might happen, really any more than just wishful thinking?

I look forward to being proved wrong.
 

birchesgreen

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I thought this was an interesting link, a list of military aid to Ukraine by country.


This non-exhaustive list focuses on lethal weapons and some non-lethal material. It does not count humanitarian and developmental aid that has been sent to Ukraine in the same period. Arms trade research organizations have noted the timeline and official receipt of equipment is hard to confirm due to security concerns. In some cases, such as with France and Turkey, an official tally has not been made public.
 

najaB

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The things he was saying would suggest that everything is going to plan, and can we really be sure that they’re not?
Well, he's hardly likely to admit that they aren't now, is he?

You don't send your best troops in as a diversion. Your army doesn't take their dress uniforms if they're expecting a long, hard fight. You don't send policemen in with the attack on the capital if you aren't planning on occupying it.
 

Loppylugs

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As a matter of interest why can NATO not hold military exercises on the borders of Belarus? After all, they wouldn't be intruding on the wrong territory and to quote Putin "would have no intention of invading". Merely a flexing of muscles.
 

Shrop

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Well, he's hardly likely to admit that they aren't now, is he?

You don't send your best troops in as a diversion. Your army doesn't take their dress uniforms if they're expecting a long, hard fight. You don't send policemen in with the attack on the capital if you aren't planning on occupying it.
His best troops? The ones who have been beaten by Ukraine forces? Are you sure his best troops aren't ready and waiting to go into Dombas?
 

takno

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His best troops? The ones who have been beaten by Ukraine forces? Are you sure his best troops aren't ready and waiting to go into Dombas?
Arguably some of the troops ready and waiting to go into Donbas are the best of the best - after all they are what remains of the "best" troops he sent down to occupy Kiev, *and* they were good enough to avoid dying there.
 

yorksrob

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If his goal has always been just to reclaim the Dombas region, then what better way to achieve this (assuming the heartless and cruel mentality which we believe to exist) than to scare the hell out of the rest of the country first, prior to consolidating in the East?

If that were the case, wouldn't it have been a lot easier for him to stop at those areas (as I thought he was going to do anyway).
 

tommy2215

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Every so often we hear people claiming that Putin might be ill, about to concede defeat or be overthrown. I do wonder where people get these ideas from?

News items on several UK channels this evening have been showing Putin looking as calm and healthy as ever, rallying his people along with his friend and ally Lukashenko of Belarus, talking in a manner which we in “The West” believe to be wholesale propaganda. The things he was saying would suggest that everything is going to plan, and can we really be sure that they’re not? If his goal has always been just to reclaim the Dombas region, then what better way to achieve this (assuming the heartless and cruel mentality which we believe to exist) than to scare the hell out of the rest of the country first, prior to consolidating in the East? And if Putin ever wondered what the reaction of The West would be if Russia was to flex its muscles in the most inhumane manner, he has now achieved an excellent understanding of that too, including that The West really is incredibly scared of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

As for being overthrown, reports even on our own news channels are showing that the Russian people are now more supportive of Putin than they were before this war, so how can we therefore assume that any such motivation exists? What we also know is that people in any position of authority who have spoken out against Putin have been known to meet a terrible fate, one way or another.

So with regard to my opening comment, are these musings about wanting Ukraine to beat off the Russians, and how this might happen, really any more than just wishful thinking?

I look forward to being proved wrong.
You can't seriously believe this. So Putin has intentionally had quite a high number of his top generals and colonels killed, intentionally wracked up billions and billions of debt on this prolonged war, intentionally had thousands of Russian troops killed, intentionally had the war last weeks, intentionally had his own armed forces humiliated, intentionally turned Zelensky into a global hero, intentionally gave his troops far less supplies than they needed and intentionally gave them low morale?
Surely a suitable punishment would be to put Putin, and his sympathisers (especially his army generals) in rooms with the victims of bombs, rape, beatings etc, one at a time, and to listen to what they think of him/them. Not for him to get beaten up as we don't need to be as barbaric as this, but to have him forced to listen to what he's done to his victims, for hours, days and weeks without a break. And all whilst not being allowed out of that room at any time. The room, should be very cold, his only bed being a thin blanket on a hard floor, and with very little food. Altogether, something which forces him to think about what he's inflicted upon others. The punishment needs to fit the crime.

Whatever happens, Putin should not be permitted to die believing himself to be a hero.
You can't seriously believe this either. Putin is not going to have a change of heart, certainly not by this bizarre method. And besides the second half of your opinion constitutes torture.
 
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TheEdge

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They are not. They sent in the VDV to attack Kyiv. Other than Spetsnaz there aren't any other better troops.

VDV appear to have been as useful as a chocolate teapot in a blue beret and stripey t-shirt. Western Intelligence thinking has long been Spetznaz are trained, at best, to the levels of Western shock infantry such as the USMC, Royal Marines or Paras. Not a direct match for NATO SFs. The performance in Ukraine of the Russian forces makes it look like it's probably a decent approximation.
 

Shrop

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You can't seriously believe this either. Putin is not going to have a change of heart, certainly not by this bizarre method. And besides the second half of your opinion constitutes torture.
There's a lot that I don't want to believe. As for your allegation that it would be torture to get Putin to face his victims, perhaps you'd prefer that we just tell him he's a very naughty boy and refuse him a holiday in the UK?
Oh, and since when did Putin rate the lives of expendable army officers above his ambitions of power? We have a strong tendency to believe what our media tells us, but as for our perceptions about how Putin thinks, I fully admit that any comments I make at this point are mainly guesswork. But then, that might apply to others too.
 

bspahh

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Every so often we hear people claiming that Putin might be ill, about to concede defeat or be overthrown. I do wonder where people get these ideas from?

News items on several UK channels this evening have been showing Putin looking as calm and healthy as ever, rallying his people along with his friend and ally Lukashenko of Belarus, talking in a manner which we in “The West” believe to be wholesale propaganda. The things he was saying would suggest that everything is going to plan, and can we really be sure that they’re not?

The first minute of Episode 10 of the BBC Putin Podcast starts with a report of recorded meetings with Putin being played back as live events. One time this was when he was meeting a Kremlin governor who in another public meeting in his home province at the same time.
 

tommy2215

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There's a lot that I don't want to believe. As for your allegation that it would be torture to get Putin to face his victims, perhaps you'd prefer that we just tell him he's a very naughty boy and refuse him a holiday in the UK?
You said leave him locked in a hard, cold room with no food and left for many weeks. Are you telling me that is not torture? And no, the unfortunate honest answer is there is nothing we can do to make Putin pay for his crimes. Or give him a change of heart.
Oh, and since when did Putin rate the lives of expendable army officers above his ambitions of power? We have a strong tendency to believe what our media tells us, but as for our perceptions about how Putin thinks, I fully admit that any comments I make at this point are mainly guesswork. But then, that might apply to others too.
Most of them he probably doesn't care about but you can't have a functioning army if all the ones in charge keep dying. And it has a bad effect on Russian morale and is a boost to Western propaganda. So Putin definitely would not intentionally send so many generals and corporals to death. Plus that was only one of many reasons your post couldn't be accurate.
 

Cloud Strife

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If the Finns attempted to join NATO now, there is a major risk of a pre-emptive Russian strike which could lead to Helsinki resembling Mariupol today. That would be an avoidable tragedy. Finland has had a modus vivendi with the USSR/Russia since the end of WW2 and it would be foolish to destabilise this arrangement. Unlike Ukraine, Finland is essentially physically separated from the rest of Europe by the Gulf of Bothnia, but has a very long land border with Russia, so is vulnerable to a well-organised Russian attack, as in 1944; once the Finns' military supplies are exhausted, it would be difficult to replenish them from abroad.

Russia won't do it. They've been brutally exposed in Ukraine, and the well-trained Finnish population with ample access to equipment would make mincemeat out of the Russians. As mentioned above, it's more likely that the Finns would retake Karelia and leave Saint Petersburg in grave danger. It would also be a step too far for NATO, and you could probably expect a Polish attack on Belarus followed by Minsk swiftly falling. Even the relatively poor state of the Polish Army would overwhelm Belarus quickly, and Russia could never hope to fight on three fronts.
 

Shrop

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You said leave him locked in a hard, cold room with no food and left for many weeks. Are you telling me that is not torture?
Yes, it would be torture with no food. But I said "very little food", not "no food". My point was precisely NOT to be quite as bad as torture, but I do think a serious punishment is warranted when you see how much damage has been inflicted. Don't you?
 

Cowley

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Yes, it would be torture with no food. But I said "very little food", not "no food". My point was precisely NOT to be quite as bad as torture, but I do think a serious punishment is warranted when you see how much damage has been inflicted. Don't you?

It’s completely hypothetical isn’t it though?
I’m sure that most of us would love to think of him getting punished for this but as mentioned upthread, that’s only going to happen if his own people turn on him and either take things into their own hands, or hand him over to the Haig.

Either way it’s probably not worth getting bogged down with at the moment.
 

GS250

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Finland would be an even tougher nut to crack than Ukraine. Their Army especially is well equipped and well trained. They specialise in a defensive role in their own back yard. A former Warrant Officer who runs the cadet unit at work reckons they are more than capable of stopping a Russian land invasion in its tracks. In fact they would actually allow the invaders to cross the border and then pick them off once amongst the forestry etc.

I believe Finland has national service and for a good reason too.

You may even find Sweden would step in with its powerful Air Force if it felt it was next on Russia's list.
 
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DustyBin

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As a matter of interest why can NATO not hold military exercises on the borders of Belarus? After all, they wouldn't be intruding on the wrong territory and to quote Putin "would have no intention of invading". Merely a flexing of muscles.

To be honest, apart from the ever-present risk of escalating the conflict, NATO doesn’t need to as it has nothing to prove. Plus the amount of hardware flying around over Eastern Europe is reminder enough of NATO’s capabilities.

His best troops? The ones who have been beaten by Ukraine forces? Are you sure his best troops aren't ready and waiting to go into Dombas?

Along with his latest tanks and aircraft perhaps? He sent his best troops in (VDV etc.) during the initial attack and in many cases they were decimated. It’s well documented; some elite regiments no longer exist. Their support didn’t arrive on time (or at all in some cases) and/or they ran into fierce resistance, including Ukrainian special forces who I suspect may have benefited from a little training by certain Western counterparts……

VDV appear to have been as useful as a chocolate teapot in a blue beret and stripey t-shirt. Western Intelligence thinking has long been Spetznaz are trained, at best, to the levels of Western shock infantry such as the USMC, Royal Marines or Paras. Not a direct match for NATO SFs. The performance in Ukraine of the Russian forces makes it look like it's probably a decent approximation.

I think you’re right but as per my response above they appear to have been hung out to dry in many cases. And the VDV units that formed part of the ground assault were cannon fodder in their lightly armoured vehicles.
 

Annetts key

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I think it’s clear now that the main thing the Russian army have as an advantage is just numbers. Even with their losses, they still have greater numbers compared to Ukraine.

The only other advantages are that they have and know how to use long range artillery, rockets and missiles to attack both military, infrastructure and civilian targets. And Russia can manufacture weapons with little risk of their manufacturing facilities being hit.

Meanwhile Ukrainian resources are far more limited.
 

DelayRepay

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I believe Finland has national service and for a good reason too.

You may even find Sweden would step in with its powerful Air Force if it felt it was next on Russia's list.

There's also the question of how other EU member states would respond. Whilst the EU is not a defensive alliance, I find it inconceivable that other EU member states would simply watch on during an invasion.
 

Cloud Strife

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Finland would be an even tougher nut to crack than Ukraine. Their Army especially is well equipped and well trained. They specialise in a defensive role in their own back yard. A former Warrant Officer who runs the cadet unit at work reckons they are more than capable of stopping a Russian land invasion in its tracks. In fact they would actually allow the invaders to cross the border and then pick them off once amongst the forestry etc.

I believe Finland has national service and for a good reason too.

You may even find Sweden would step in with its powerful Air Force if it felt it was next on Russia's list.

There's also one other element: military service in Finland is seen as a desirable thing by employers. There's a lot of stigma against men who chose to do civil service instead, and it's common for men to be asked about their military service in job interviews. That has the effect of creating a reserve force that is highly educated and capable, combined with the Finnish mentality of sisu.

The Finns have around 900,000 in reserve. Given that Russia is struggling badly against Ukraine which can't even field most of their reserves, they'd get eaten alive in the Finnish forests. Not to mention that Finnish defence doctrine since the 1970s at least has been based on quiet cooperation with NATO combined with a laser-like focus on the threat from the Soviet Union/Russia.
 

tommy2215

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Yes, it would be torture with no food. But I said "very little food", not "no food". My point was precisely NOT to be quite as bad as torture, but I do think a serious punishment is warranted when you see how much damage has been inflicted. Don't you?
Very little food or no food either way it constitutes as torture as per the Geneva Convention. It would be great if we could make him resign, but as I said the unfortunate truth is that there's nothing we can do.

According the BBC, Putin has said the peace talks are at a dead end. It would be a huge shame if this was the case. If it is the case then I can see the war in Ukraine lasting months or possibly even years.
 

yorksrob

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According the BBC, Putin has said the peace talks are at a dead end. It would be a huge shame if this was the case. If it is the case then I can see the war in Ukraine lasting months or possibly even years.

Make no mistake, they always were. I don't for one moment believe that Moscow ever acted in good faith. The talks were nothing more than a PR stunt for the junta.
 

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