Russian Tensions

April 2024 Forums General discussion Russian Tensions

Viewing 15 posts - 5,056 through 5,070 (of 5,150 total)
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  • #249290
    chelmsford
    Participant

    My old mate McDonagh would argue ( to anyone who would listen ) that, yes, America and Russia have enough atomic weaponry to wipe out the whole human race, but you can say the same thing about kitchen knives.
    There is something deeply unsound about this argument but I’ve never been able to put me finger on it.
    In my humble judgement Moo old boy, I wouldn’t go making any long term plans if I were you. The capitalist class might not like the idea of a world war, but those in government might see things differently, and they have far more autonomy than SPGB thinking ( merely the executive of the ruling class ) allows.

    #249303
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I’d be more worried about the very real prospect of ‘non-world” wars such at the moment in Gaza and Ukraine (and before that in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia. etc, etc, etc) continuing to break out from time to time for as long as capitalism lasts. The case against capitalism as the cause of wars is strong enough without needing to invoke (or getting anxious about) an apocalyptic vision.

    #249465
    chelmsford
    Participant

    For the sake of argument let us say Russia overruns all of the Ukraine. The US and Europe have up to now lent the Ukraine over a hundred billion dollars. With Russia in control that sum would be lost. The west have to stick with it to whatever grisly end to ensure it gets it’s money back. This may involve limited atomic fisticuffs.
    The US entered the first Great War because J P Morgan had lent the British and French governments a billion dollars, and at one point it looked as though Germany might win, so the american working-class were sent in
    to save Morgan’s money. The same thing will happen in the Ukraine with potentially unpleasant results.
    So Moo has every right to be nervous.

    #249466
    PJShannon
    Keymaster

    “For the sake of argument let us say Russia…”
    You could argue it this way, but you could also read it another. $100bn is only 1/8th the US defence budget, and may have been thought worth spending to bottle Russia up and choke off its oil/gas markets in the West, take over Ukraine’s resources and gas fields, and extend NATO (that part worked). But now the picture has changed. With Iranian-backed missiles closing off Gulf shipping and threatening global trade, money has to be diverted to Israel, and with a global chip farm facing a hostile takeover in hopelessly underprepared Taiwan, squillions has to be spent arming them, or else moving the factories somewhere safe, but preferably both. Even the US can’t fund 3 separate wars all at once, which might be why the Republicans are pressing Congress to cut their losses in Ukraine and let Putin have his way, which was the only realistic outcome anyway. I don’t see a nuclear exchange being likely. It’s hard to envisage how it could stay ‘limited’, and therefore impossible to see how any side would benefit – unless we believe key players are delusional psychopaths. In any case, it’s not the smartest move. These days if you wanted to take down another country you probably wouldn’t use the nuclear option, you’d use cyberwar to take out their satellites, which would cripple their infrastructure and blind their military strike capabilities.

    #249467
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Will happen” ! So Russia is going to conquer all Ukraine and NATO is going to send its own troops in to counter this? And bang, a nuclear war. I don’t think so. Conquering the whole of Ukraine is not even Russia’s war aim, though no doubt they would like to seize Odessa and the whole of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast if they could.

    Most observers seem to think that the most likely outcome of the war is going to be a stalemate based on the existing line of contact between the two armies.

    #249485
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    A “limited” nuclear war is impossible, as anyone reading (or watching) Carl Sagan’s warning will know.
    Even a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan alone would bring about a global nuclear winter which would kill us all.

    #249492
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Probably, they are going to settle for a territorial division between NATO/USA and Russia, as they did in WW2,

    The USA is financing several wars fronts and the US congress does not want to provide any more funding for Ukraine, unless they do like Ronald Reagan which financed the war in Central America with drugs money and it is not going to be enough. The Republicans are willing to provide funding for Israel

    The USA wants to continue being the leaders of electronic chip production, control and distribution and they do not want China to take over in Taiwan, and they are not ready to move the whole operation to the USA

    They do not want another economic military power to take over the production and distribution of oil in the Middle East and they can not take the risk of letting Iran to take over the region

    The USA obtained what they wanted in Ukraine which was to stop the expansion of Russia and China new silk road, they have killed two birds with one shot, therefore, they might split the pie among both, and Russia already control about 27% of the Ukraine territory.

    #249700

    Ukraine Increasing conscription and raising taxes The article alleges the burden will fall on the poor:

    “The two complementary bills regarding on mobilisation which were submitted by the government to parliament on December 30 2023, indicate that Zelensky and his inner circle are serious about this. At the same time, if adopted and implemented, the new approach to mobilisation will also add significant strain for already stretched the Ukrainian state institutions and society.”

    “The planned mobilisation will be accompanied by a new economic strategy to increase the tax burden on individual citizens and small and medium-sized businesses, while social spending will be radically reduced.”

    Given Ukraine is practically bankrupt, with donor states paying its civil service wage bill, this is an ugly sign: the demographics are not good, and the economy is crashed (and taxing people while calling up more workers is death spiral territory).

    Indeed, as this blog post notes: “In late November, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed off on the 2024 Ukrainian state budget, which earlier had been passed by the Verkhovna Rada. It goes without saying that the war is the key factor affecting the structure of revenues and expenditures. The state budget anticipates revenues of UAH 1.78 trillion ($43.7 billion), while expenditures almost doubled, to an anticipated UAH 3.35 trillion ($82.3 billion). The expectation is that the difference will be covered by international loans and grants.” (For comparison the UK will spend £1,189 billion ($15,128 billion).

    This is stark: “If sufficient external funding is not available, the government and the National Bank may resort to money printing and use the liquidity reserves of the national banking system, which are about $20 billion. But this would lead to running inflation, with devaluation of the national currency and higher national debt. Ultimately, these factors jointly would be expected to cause a national default between 2025 and 2027.”

    #249709
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Russian Christmas today. Both sides pray to God for victory in the killing fields. God must decide which is the holiest killing.

    #249822
    ALB
    Keymaster

    One of the publications handed out at the anti-Gaza war demonstration in London yesterday was by a new grouping called “anti-capitalist resistance” which seems to be a front organisation for “Socialist Resistance” affiliated to one of the many Trotsktist Fourth Internationals (the late Ernst Mandel’s, I think).

    The front page full page headline was “Stop Israel’s genocide” while the back page’s one was “Defend Ukraine! Victory to the Ukrainian resistance”. Clearly they are picking and mixing which activities by “American Imperialism” to support and which to oppose.

    But the worst is an article on an inside page headed “Ukraine: Russia troops, stop the genocide” by Fred Leplat, one of the leaders of “Socialist Resistance”, in which he gives advice to the Ukraine government on how to wage the war:

    Ukraine: Russian troops out—Stop the genocide

    “Ukraine could make much greater gains against the Russian army if it were supplied with the weapons it needs.”

    So, go on, President Biden, supply Ukraine with more weapons, push through Congress authorisation to spend and send more weapons to Ukraine.

    “Ukraine could do much better in the war if it adopted a ‘war-economy’ like the US and Britain did in World War Two which put private companies under state control to produce tanks and planes rather cars.”

    But why not go the whole hog and demand the the Ukraine government nationalise the top armaments companies under workers control?

    Incredible! You’d have thought that an organisation calling itself “eco-socialist” might call for a “ceasefire now” to stop the Ukraine war’s contribution to global warming. But no, they want the war with its destruction and pollution to continue.

    Some Trotskyist are more contemptible than others and “Anti-capitalist Resistance” and its sponsor so-called “Socialist Resistance” must be strong contenders for the title of the most contemptible. But they are up against strong competition from other Trotskyist groups that support Russia in this war.

    More on Fred Leplat here:

    https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?auteur93

    Why doesn’t Fred he put his money where his mouth is and sign up with other mercenaries in the Ukraine Foreign Legion?

    #250472
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Another Putin opponent has died. They are competing with Joseph Stalin

    https://www.npr.org/2024/02/16/1232050539/alexei-navalny-death-russia-putin-critics

    #250476
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    If Putin does end up controlling Ukraine, he will have an endlessly hostile and rebellious population to deal with.

    #250477
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I wouldn’t have thought that that was ever the aim of the Russian ruling class. They would have only wanted to overthrow the government there and replace it by one not so tied to the US, the EU and NATO. To install such a government would be why they tried to march on Kiev. When that failed they concentrated on controlling the majority Russian-speaking areas near to the Russian border.

    It’s Ukraine that would have a rebellious population to control if ever they conquered these areas, especially Crimea (and unless they ethnically cleansed them). But this is hardly likely to happen even with NATO weapons.

    The most likely outcome would seem to be some sort of truce or ceasefire, formal or informal, more or less along the present line of contact. The sooner the better of course.

    #250478
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    ALB
    Keymaster
    I wouldn’t have thought that that was ever the aim of the Russian ruling class. They would have only wanted to overthrow the government there and replace it by one not so tied to the US, the EU and NATO. To install such a government would be why they tried to march on Kiev. When that failed they concentrated on controlling the majority Russian-speaking areas near to the Russian border.

    It’s Ukraine that would have a rebellious population to control if ever they conquered these areas, especially Crimea (and unless they ethnically cleansed them). But this is hardly likely to happen even with NATO weapons.

    The most likely outcome would seem to be some sort of truce or ceasefire, formal or informal, more or less along the present line of contact. The sooner the better of course.

    ——————————————————

    That is the correct analysis. I do not think that we made a wrong analysis at the beginning of the conflict, the USA pushed russia to invade Ukraine as they did in Kuwait

    #250479
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think this from the official Russian state news agency presents the situation rather well and explains why those in control of the Russian state decided to invade Ukraine two years ago.

    They see the incorporation of Ukraine into the NATO sphere of influence as an existential threat to their state while those in control of the US state want to incorporate Ukraine into its sphere of influence just to weaken Russia.

    https://tass.com/politics/1748083

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