How Should NATO react to the Crimean Situation?

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For those of us who have not heard, recently the Russians have further violated Ukrainian territory by seizing a natural gas terminal just north of the peninsula. This latest act again brings the all important question forward; what should NATO do about the Crimean Situation?

There was recently an Op-Ed written by Sen. John McCain on this issue where he called for certain steps to be taken against the Russian Federation and the Putin Government. First is to lay down economic sanctions to hurt the Russians and to exclude the Russians from the upcoming G-8 summit. Next is to politically harm Russia by isolating them internationally and undermining the Putin Government. Lastly and most importantly is to back up Ukraine with Economic aid and indirect military backup.

I personally agree with the Senator on all things except one; I think we should station a sizable contingent of NATO troops and air assets in Ukraine and naval units(a Carrier Strike Group with other assets) in the Black Sea. The most obvious reasoning is because a NATO presence would deter any further Russian aggression due to NATO's much higher capabilities and the fact this would steel the resolve of the Ukrainian government to hold firm. This move would also possibly undermine the Putin Government by making the seizure of Crimea look to be a big gamble to seize lost glory, and a possible repeat of the Crimean war of the 19th century(which Russia lost).

Now my most noble Escapists, what do you think should be done?

I don't really think NATO should do anything as regards to Russia. They don't have any authority or legitimacy in the area, as Ukraine isn't at all a part of NATO. Going in as NATO would likely bolster Russian opinion in the matter and really highlight it as a west vs east thing again. Not good.

However, going in as normal nations is fine. Going in as individual countries, or trying finangle some solution via the UN would be the good idea, and they're certainly doing that. Bolstering Ukraine and using soft power on Russia are great ideas.

Finding some way to remind Russia of the military might that could be brought over there would probably be good. Need to play the game of chicken at least a little. But I really don't think it should be as NATO, that's too antagonistic.

If I may be a bit cheeky, evacuate Crimea entirely, let people move to whichever country they want to live in then sink the entire peninsula to the bottom of Black Sea.

On a more serious note, there's no heroes and villains here, but two sides with conflicting geopolitical interests, with a lot of animosity and historical adversity between the two.

I think what should be done is whatever is most beneficial to people who actually live there. If Crimea remains within Ukraine, someone needs to ensure that the rights of the Russian ethnic citizens are going to be respected and that they will not be marginalized. But right now there's a lot of playing chicken going on. Both sides know that neither can afford and actual armed conflict, so they're both just throwing their weight around and simply throwing displays of power at each other. On the other hand, Russia's already taken a big hit even if they get their hands on Crimea - making Russians and Ukrainians into enemies...It would be like turning USA and Canada against each other, or Sweden and Finland.

But really, if NATO stations its forces in Ukraine, I'm relatively certain Russia is going to call that bluff. Also, I'm against doing anything just so that we can feel big and tough for sticking it to the russkies. I mean, I get realpolitk tends to be a cynical stance, but I don't think there's much room for idealism and prinicples here, and Russia isn't a throwaway country like Iraq you can intimidate, it's a permanent UNSC member.

I've also had the displeasure of running into some people who genuinely want someone to invoke Clausewitz here so this escalates into an actual full-on war between Russia and the West (to the extent of calling for WWIII) and I don't have a good opinion of those.

I think that it would make sense for Crimea to be part of Russia. I mean wouldn't the portions of Ukraine that are overwhelmingly Russian be best situated in ... Russia? As for Putin grabbing that gas terminal, they shouldn't do that but all the same I would hope that the US and EU not get involved. Whatever misgivings one has about Putin, I really don't feel the world benefits from Ukraine becoming a client of US-EU. It's not a cause worth provoking the Russians over at any rate.

SOCIALCONSTRUCT:
I think that would make sense for Crimea should be part of Russia. I mean wouldn't the portions of Ukraine that are overwhelmingly Russian be best situated in ... Russia?

Most Ukrainians don't seem to think so. The country broke away when Russia was the Soviet Union (as did other countries) for reasons of believing they should live the way they want to. Now, their government has turned their backs on them to face Mother Russia again. Unless Ukraine was a shit-hole country AND its citizens felt the same, they should not go back to mom's place.

OT: Well, with the loud battle of No-Confidence thrown against their government, it wouldn't be wrong for said people to appeal to the UN and get help. The political pressure McCain wants to put to Russia would not be unreasonable. Calling them out on trying to restart the Domino Effect is certainly the right frame of mind. We can't have them pulling that and thinking it's time for another cold war arms race and whatnot. History repeating itself and bullshit like that.

I don't know what the consequences of directly-involving NATO would be. I believe that the OP's idea should be carried only under a vote of nil opposition where unanimous can't be found. None of this half-and-half shit on an issue as large as Russia. It's a BIG country with alot of clout. We have to be damn sure on this. In the event that too many people feel direct troop movement is unwise, I suggest giving indirect support to the people fighting Russia, namely better damn weapons. You saw the report. They're fighting with alot of improvised stuff where even a few dozen pistols would be preferrable. Hell, a crate full of even non-lethal concussion grenades (should people of the UN eschew violence) would push back troops more effectively than a bottle tied to a piece of rope.

And then, we find a way to cut off all of Russia from vodka supplies!

Xeorm:
I don't really think NATO should do anything as regards to Russia. They don't have any authority or legitimacy in the area, as Ukraine isn't at all a part of NATO. Going in as NATO would likely bolster Russian opinion in the matter and really highlight it as a west vs east thing again. Not good.

However, going in as normal nations is fine. Going in as individual countries, or trying finangle some solution via the UN would be the good idea, and they're certainly doing that. Bolstering Ukraine and using soft power on Russia are great ideas.

Finding some way to remind Russia of the military might that could be brought over there would probably be good. Need to play the game of chicken at least a little. But I really don't think it should be as NATO, that's too antagonistic.

I think it would be best to go in as NATO partially as a sign that the organization is still very relevant, but mostly because it is just very convenient as the necessary procedure and logistics are already in place.

Vegosiux:
But really, if NATO stations its forces in Ukraine, I'm relatively certain Russia is going to call that bluff. Also, I'm against doing anything just so that we can feel big and tough for sticking it to the russkies. I mean, I get realpolitk tends to be a cynical stance, but I don't think there's much room for idealism and prinicples here, and Russia isn't a throwaway country like Iraq you can intimidate, it's a permanent UNSC member.

I don't think so. Putin knows that in a head on fight the Russian Armed Forces cannot beat NATO, especially not in the Air or on the Sea. Trying to fight it out would destroy him as nothing is worse for approval ratings then a war of aggression that you lose. The most likely result would be Russian troops staying in Crimea to boldly defend it against Western imperialism(or something) while quietly ceasing all seemingly aggressive operations.

Shock and Awe:

Vegosiux:
But really, if NATO stations its forces in Ukraine, I'm relatively certain Russia is going to call that bluff. Also, I'm against doing anything just so that we can feel big and tough for sticking it to the russkies. I mean, I get realpolitk tends to be a cynical stance, but I don't think there's much room for idealism and prinicples here, and Russia isn't a throwaway country like Iraq you can intimidate, it's a permanent UNSC member.

I don't think so. Putin knows that in a head on fight the Russian Armed Forces cannot beat NATO, especially not in the Air or on the Sea. Trying to fight it out would destroy him as nothing is worse for approval ratings then a war of aggression that you lose. The most likely result would be Russian troops staying in Crimea to boldly defend it against Western imperialism(or something) while quietly ceasing all seemingly aggressive operations.

I completely agree with Vegosiux. Nato has very little to gain from a war, especially if you think of this as a game of chicken. Russia do have nuclear weapons and playing chicken with nuclear weapons seems to me as being too risky.

A much better approach would be for the EU to import gas from the USA (you do have a surplus right now) and then stop buying Russian gas. The only problem with that plan, is that transporting gas on ships are a lot more expensive than transporting it in pipes (even if gas prises in the US is a lot lower than in Europe).

Well, there are no Russian forces in Ukraine to begin with (if Putin is to be believed), so just threated that in 24 hours military units will be moving in to restore order to the area. The chaos the not-so-self-defence forces have been caused is alone enough to justify a counterattack.

Yes.
How? No idea, doubt sending in tanks would do much to help anyone.But then even just a public denouncing of the action, with nothing else, is an action (no matter how ineffectual).

And there is very much a villain in this situation.
And that is the one invading a neighboring country on a flimsy to non existent justification, and creating a "referendum" about becoming independent or joining Russia, with no option for staying part of Ukraine.

I say we privately ask the leaders of Ukraine if they want NATO in the country and if they consent, send in our troops to every region that the Russians haven't occupied. Two can play at the 'nuclear power occupier, what you going do about it?' game, we'd see if the Russians are quite so brave when taking another slab of territory means coming up against the combined forces of three nuclear powers and allies. The Russians may be many things but they aren't dumb and they wouldn't risk a nuclear war over taking more of Ukraine any more than we'd risk a nuclear war by trying to take back the Crimea by force.

Long-term strategy, then fasttrack rUkraine and Georgia into NATO, along with the Baltic States and other Eastern European countries who are already members we'll then have Russia virtually surrounded (except Belarus, but they might as well be in Russia's pocket anyway). By that point any further aggression on Russia's western front would inevitably bring in NATO and they wouldn't risk that, so peace in Europe for the time being will be assured. Now, where's my Nobel Peace Prize :-P

As every time it was, Americans are overegocentric. They think that they are always right and the others are always wrong. They think that independent activity of other government is always aggression and every activity of US government in foreign countries is always protection of people.

You know nothing about Ukraine and Russia because you never have lived there.

I can explain the situation in Ukraine and Crimea. Imagine something in Canada. There are two main groups of people: englishspeakers and frenchspeakers. Imagine that some of franchspeakers (about 5%) are Nazi. They want to create a new Nazi government with fascist order, to reform by force englishspeakers spike only French (to declare English as a deprecated languige in Canada), to declare the USA the enemy number one. Secretly frenchspeakers train their extremists in the forests, teach them to create napalm. One day frenchspeakers begin a meeting in the centre of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The meeting longs two month, frenchspeakers deliver people for meeting from Montreal (most french sity in Canada) and pay some money to them. One day the policemen hurt some demonstrators. Next day most demonstrators come home, their place is taken by extremists in masks, helmets, steel and wood sticks, napalm. They begin very aggressive hurting policemen, flinging of bricks from the pavement, firing them by napalm, pressing them by the bulldozer, launching petards with attached steel fractions, capturing and firing the government buildings. After two weeks of blood, the government capitulates. Next days they begin vandalism: destroying the monuments of the famous Englishmen. In Canada there are some towns with almost englishspeakers living in. They do not want becoming frenchspeakers, they are saddened to watch vandalism, they do not see a nice future in the Nazi country with invaders in the government. One of this towns is Edmonton. People and government of Edmonton decided to make a referendum to choose want they want: to live in Canada or to become a new state of USA. USA is not against of accepting Edmonton. But Edmonton gets water and natural gas from the neighbouring territory, not attached to Edmonton. To prevent capturing by the frenchspeakers of the objects that provide Edmonton water and natural gas, the USA further violated Canada territory by seizing a natural gas and water terminals. In the Russian and China mass-media this action is adduced like an aggression of the USA to Canada. And Russians politics now talk about stationing a sizable contingent of Russian and China troops and air assets in Canada and naval units (a Carrier Strike Group with other assets) in the Hudson Bay.

This injustice has place in Ukraine. The extremists of ukrainianspeakers captured the government and want the Nazi terror for russianspeakers in Crimea. People of Crimea today (16 of March) make a referendum. They want to be a part of Russia. Russia tries to defend them from fascist and invaders. The people of the territory that have the terminal of natural gas sympathize to Russians. But ukrainianspeaker extremists can arrive this terminal.

US mass-media is only a propaganda against Russia. If you want to know the truth, you can learn Russian language and read the independent blogs where independent people write what they see. For example http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/

Shock and Awe:

I don't think so. Putin knows that in a head on fight the Russian Armed Forces cannot beat NATO, especially not in the Air or on the Sea. Trying to fight it out would destroy him as nothing is worse for approval ratings then a war of aggression that you lose. The most likely result would be Russian troops staying in Crimea to boldly defend it against Western imperialism(or something) while quietly ceasing all seemingly aggressive operations.

It would also be one hell of a costly war for NATO. Even if Russia is far from its' USSR glory days, it is still a respectable military power and has plenty of resources to throw into an all-out war should push come to shove. It would be a war that no NATO country would want to fight all out, because no NATO country bar Poland and the Baltic states have anything to gain from it and even they can at best hope for indirect victories in the form of lesser Russian pressure in the future, which at the moment isn't significant for any of those countries. Is any NATO nation really ready to risk hundreds of thousands of potential casualties? Because that's one potential outcome of NATO posturing against Russia.

On top of that Russia has the 2nd largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and you simply don't play Russian Roulette (pun!) with nuclear weapons.

Gethsemani:

It would also be one hell of a costly war for NATO. Even if Russia is far from its' USSR glory days, it is still a respectable military power and has plenty of resources to throw into an all-out war should push come to shove. It would be a war that no NATO country would want to fight all out, because no NATO country bar Poland and the Baltic states have anything to gain from it and even they can at best hope for indirect victories in the form of lesser Russian pressure in the future, which at the moment isn't significant for any of those countries. Is any NATO nation really ready to risk hundreds of thousands of potential casualties? Because that's one potential outcome of NATO posturing against Russia.

On top of that Russia has the 2nd largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and you simply don't play Russian Roulette (pun!) with nuclear weapons.

But we're the good guys! We should have plot armor, right? ...right?

I'm actually serious, so many people seem to be treating this as if it was a scene in Europa Universalis or something it baffles me. >.>

Irmin:

If you are so occidentophobic, then why do you stay in the first place? Perhaps Pakistan could accept you as a refuge so you can escape from the horror of being freely allowed to express your political opinion, something Putin would surely deny Ukrainians if he could.

Also something you would surely deny SOCIALCONSTRUCT if you could, judging from what you said next:

You are a spoiled low-life and your citizenship should ideally be offered to someone living under an anti-Western authoritarian regime.

You know, "I support your right to do X, but I'll treat you like shit if you do X" is actually the exact opposite of supporting someone's right to do X.

X being, in this case, having and expressing a different political opinion.

If Crimea is to acquired because of a large Russian population, then what about Estonia, Poland, and many other nearby counties with a large Russian population, are they to be acquired as well?

I say no. Ivan is not to extend any future.

Estonia's economy after 1991 collapses. Estonians are mendicants today. They didn't believe that friendship with E.U. and NATO will bring poverty to society.

Poverty - is a real future for New Ukraine (or better say Ukreich). Most of the ukrainian society understand this but they are very pacific to hit the invaders. Invaders don't ask society about what direction to move: to Russia or to E.U. This is a question for referendum, but no any referendum was.

Some of you are like "well it would make sense for the Russian parts of Ukraine to be part of Russia" which is like Saying the Mexican parts of Texas should be part of Mexico. It's THEIR land and they should keep it, not to mention the strategic port and resources in that land.

NATO should do whatever they can and tell Russia to go eff themselves. Russia is a bully and always have been.

Rayne360:
Some of you are like "well it would make sense for the Russian parts of Ukraine to be part of Russia" which is like Saying the Mexican parts of Texas should be part of Mexico. It's THEIR land and they should keep it, not to mention the strategic port and resources in that land.

Wait, were the Mexican parts of Texas handed to the US administration by Mexico in 1954? It's not like that at all. Now there are considerations that the territorial integrity of Ukraine should be preserved and stuff, but the comparison isn't that good.

A better comparison would be Russia asking for Alaska back...provided Alaska was still ethnically Russian and the sale happened in the late 1900s.

Rayne360:
NATO should do whatever they can and tell Russia to go eff themselves. Russia is a bully and always have been.

I agree. There is a reason many former East bloc states as quickly as they possibly could sought to belong to the EU/NATO umbrella. Those memberships mean a level of protection from Russia.

at the end of the day NATO is a defensive military alliance based around very simplistic and straightforward treaty stipulations.

it is highly dangerous to the lasting integrity of that (genuinely important and worthwhile) defensive alliance for any parties within it to attempt to wield it offensively in pursuit of a foreign policy goal.

basically everyone is fine with the "one for all, all for one" idea (everyone "signed on" for that...) but try and task it with anything else and you could quite easily break it.

i have to say there is an aspect to this that is a bit "lets send NATO to fight the war no one wants to fight..."...and the thing is "we've" done that before...its imo it's a deeply unfair "offloading" of a thing...look at NATOs post cold war deployments : Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan...all historical "clusterfucks" arguably and all "forgotten wars" that basically no one back home really gave a fuck about...

...and that's not a criticism of NATO btw...those conflicts are simply not what it was designed to be involved in/do....NATO is meant for a balls deep "they attacked us, let's kill them." fight (indeed that "all in" retaliatory threat is the bedrock of its geopolitical function).

and tbth the reason the conflicts i named all stand out historically as "clusterfucks" is because

A. they were not that (and btw neither is "Ukraine").

and

B. because politicians (after chewing the fat) conspired to only commit to sticking a hand in a piecemeal half hearted way under a seemingly convenient NATO banner (and it was little else as they completely abused the main "all in" principal of The North Atlantic Treaty in doing so) and leaving the actual fighting men and women fighting "half hearted"/"forgotten" wars...which if i'm honest is what bothers me a great deal about this whole "groove"...

and probably isn't how you'd want to fight OR attempt to intimidate "the Russians" anyway.

let's be clear about this: if the full force of NATO had been brought to bare on the likes of Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan...things would likely have been very, very different...

hell, they could have joined hands and marched over every inch of Afghanistan...NATO has at least 3-4 million troops ffs...and if it was to truly turn it's hand to something in the manner it's supposed to imho the only sane option for those facing it would be capitulation...

but "they" didn't do that (in relation to all "sides" as it happens).

because The North Atlantic Treaty is not what was really employed/deployed in those aforementioned conflicts...

and let's be honest nor would it be this time.

regardless of how much i too would like to see that kind of "your move bitch" "diplomacy" occasionally.

in short "this is not the alliance you are looking for" *waves hand*

...and you'd be far better, if you wanted to do such a thing, looking to make another like the one that fought saddam in the first gulf war...which btw is not actually that big an ask if there is actually the genuine geopolitical "will" to do such a thing in the first place...

but don't sent the "others" off to die in a war "no one really wants to get involved" in...

because for one thing they aren't "others" at all.

How Should NATO react to the Crimean Situation?

They could fund the secular syrian rebels and give them the cash and firepower to take the upper hand over both the Assad regime and the fundies. Since the Assad regime is subsidized by Moscow who wants to keep control of its naval base in Tartus, its collapse would go a long way to cripple Putin's empire building plans.
Cash is probably even more important than weapons, since the reason the fundamentalists hold the upper hand against the secular faction of the rebellion comes from all the petrodollars they use to give descent salaries to their troops (hence why so many rebels joined the fundies: "We can help you feed your family" is one powerful incentive).

The group which holds the most cards is the European Union, though. Should it decide to flex its enormous yet barely used political and economical muscle (but that will take looooooooong debates and horse trading within its baroque political structure) it can put Ukraine on fast track to its integration and restart negotiations with Turkey and the Caucasus Republics, then pull a Marshal Plan in its eastern half: Western Europe being so much more prosperous than the Eastern Block was one of the reason the Soviet Empire lost all its support in central Europe: the last thing Putin and its parasitic regime want is to for their subjects to see their most direct neighbours prospering precisely because they are outside of Moscow's sphere of influence.

"Europe" needs to get its military act together...not that i think they'd do anything in this case per se...and ofc "Europe needs" to do quite a lot of things...but anyway...ye...

A carrier battle group in the black sea is SSK bait. The black sea has terrible sonar conditions and the small size means an SSK can snort in friendly aircover. A big fat target like carrier is a submariners dream. Any Tango or Kilo captain would give his right arm for a carrier battle group in such restricted waters. Stick a few DDGs in but nothing you couldn't afford to lose.

As to air units deploying to Ukraine is risky. The Russians can come in too many directions and base security would be a nightmare. Its better to deploy tactical aircraft to Germany and run CAPs over Ukraine. Deploy strategic aircraft to the UK and leva them out when Russian recon satellites pass over. NATO ground forces my pack more punch but they don't have the numbers to defend a long front. The Russians can attack anywhere from the Baltic to the black sea and even in NATOS hey day they couldn't hold a front that long.

Def:
As every time it was, Americans are overegocentric. They think that they are always right and the others are always wrong. They think that independent activity of other government is always aggression and every activity of US government in foreign countries is always protection of people.

I'm from Finland, and in this case I'm very much on the US' side. I may not like a lot of US policy, but unlike the Russian state, they are not the Enemy. Putin has reminded us, not just here in Finland, but in Poland and the Baltic countries as well, that the greatest threat to our nations is Russia.

They should do nothing, the Ukraine however should join NATO ASAP, the EU, and US should sanction Russia ASAP, and we should stay out of it, while still hurting Russia. Cut the grain exports, we aren't their charity, it's our food, we should do whatever we want with them, maybe lower the price, and sell them to a few allies that need food like in Asia.

That's all you need, you won popular support, and you made Russia pay a price, we should do it to China too if they decide to steal another blueprint.

Of course the west does not have the balls to sanction either, so I guess I better watch us do more empty threats to the Russians while Putin laughs at us.

Def, are you Russian by any chance? Because the level of propaganda, false equivalencies and ad hominines in your arguments on this subject seem to point towards either that, or Russia Today being your main source of news. 5% of Ukrainians being Nazis? I'm sorry, but being a little over nationalistic and out right exterminating minorities are two VERY different things, and the fact you'd use my homeland in your example that does NOT reflect the reality in Ukraine just makes me angry.

Positioning NATO troops on the Ukranian mainland may needlessly antagonise the situation further, especially when it is highly unlikely that Putin will attempt to annex the Ukranian mainland. He's audacious, but not to the point of being stupid.

The West does however need to hit Russia with sanctions, especially since it seems likely Russia will go ahead and annex Crimea- such a blatant breach of international law can not go unpunished, and failure to act will set a dangerous precedent for other countries (Like perhaps North Korea) to copy Putin's stunts.

The EU for one should agree to a long-term strategy to isolate Russia economically. Stop buying Russian oil and gas and source from new suppliers elsewhere. Such a move will hurt Russia more than the EU. Then the EU should get an association agreement signed with Ukraine, and build up the country economically and politically- make it into a stable, prosperous liberal democracy and let Russia and Crimea go into stagnation.

I'm from Finland, and in this case I'm very much on the US' side. I may not like a lot of US policy, but unlike the Russian state, they are not the Enemy. Putin has reminded us, not just here in Finland, but in Poland and the Baltic countries as well, that the greatest threat to our nations is Russia.

I have first time seen that Finland without NATO's contract is an enemy of Russia. If you just come out from NATO you immediately become a neutral, russians are not bloodthirsty and they don't wish any war, they don't want your lands. Today russians also don't wish socialism to you as it was in the past. I live in Russia, there is only positive talking about Finland, but NATO is clearly an enemy.

but in Poland and the Baltic countries as well, that the greatest threat to our nations is Russia.

Is it the truth? I heard and understand something else. Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are today very proud and some Nazi. In the schools some people come in SS-ammunition and teach children how heroically Hitler's troops attack russians, and baltic populations should continue attack russians today. In this countries Russian languige often declares as deprecated. If remind history, in USSR's Baltic countries people were allowed to speak their native language.

You say Russia is an enemy of Baltic. Would you say that E.U. is not an enemy for them? In the USSR's times Baltic people with russian's help have built in Baltic lands great plants for electronics. Everybody in Baltic countries had a job and most of job was creative like worker or engineer on plants. After 1990 they have destroyed their plants because agents of the USA and E.U. had a radical destructive and non-creative influence to their economics. Today what the way they gain money? There is no job in Baltic countries, they go for work to neighbouring countries (Poland, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia) and make logistic. Who is a real enemy for Baltic people if Baltic counties came out from NATO? Today russians are much egoistic and do not want to help Baltic countries like it was in the past. I think it is good, because that help was unwelcome. Unwelcome help is always evil.

Def:

I'm from Finland, and in this case I'm very much on the US' side. I may not like a lot of US policy, but unlike the Russian state, they are not the Enemy. Putin has reminded us, not just here in Finland, but in Poland and the Baltic countries as well, that the greatest threat to our nations is Russia.

I have first time seen that Finland without NATO's contract is an enemy of Russia. If you just come out from NATO you immediately become a neutral, russians are not bloodthirsty and they don't wish any war, they don't want your lands. Today russians also don't wish socialism to you as it was in the past. I live in Russia, there is only positive talking about Finland, but NATO is clearly an enemy.

but in Poland and the Baltic countries as well, that the greatest threat to our nations is Russia.

Is it the truth? I heard and understand something else. Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are today very proud and some Nazi. In the schools some people come in SS-ammunition and teach children how heroically Hitler's troops attack russians, and baltic populations should continue attack russians today. In this countries Russian languige often declares as deprecated. If remind history, in USSR's Baltic countries people were allowed to speak their native language.

You say Russia is an enemy of Baltic. Would you say that E.U. is not an enemy for them? In the USSR's times Baltic people with russian's help have built in Baltic lands great plants for electronics. Everybody in Baltic countries had a job and most of job was creative like worker or engineer on plants. After 1990 they have destroyed their plants because agents of the USA and E.U. had a radical destructive and non-creative influence to their economics. Today what the way they gain money? There is no job in Baltic countries, they go for work to neighbouring countries (Poland, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia) and make logistic. Who is a real enemy for Baltic people if Baltic counties came out from NATO? Today russians are much egoistic and do not want to help Baltic countries like it was in the past. I think it is good, because that help was unwelcome. Unwelcome help is always evil.

My god it's worst then I feared, not only is this Russian caught up the propaganda, he also has a severe case of USSR nostalgia. Here's a fun fact: not only did the Baltic peoples NOT like being part of the USSR, there was only 1 year in the 50ish year period when the USSR occupied them that there wasn't heavy resistance, the 1 year between when the armed resistance was finally put down and the massive civil disobedience resistance started.

And as for their economy, I don't know where you get the idea that the US and EU destroyed parts of their industry, but not only are they the only former Soviet republics to have a higher quality of life now then they did at the end of the USSR (something Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Central Asian Republics and the Caucasian Republics can not claim), Estonia has a quality of life TWICE that of when it was occupied.

Look, we know you can't help it that your dictator is an evil man, but yes, as it stands in international politics Russia is the bad guy and no one in its general area isn't worried it might attack (with China being the exception because it actually has nukes and has other things to worry about). Russia is illegally occupying Ukrainian land, is trying to strong arm the international community into letting it get away with this and harbouring a fugitive wanted by the International Crimes Court, and is using an excuse which was not only used by the Nazis themselves for occupation, but that also leaves Finland, the Baltics, Poland, Belarus and other parts of Ukraine under threat of armed invasion for the same illegal reason (though given how Belarus' government feels about Russia, they are the only ones who wouldn't complain. And what do you know, they are the only ones who have not either complained or, in the case of Poland and Lithuania, mobilized their armed forces and called an emergency NATO meeting under Chapter 4 of the treaty: perceived threat of invasion).

Zontar:
Def, are you Russian by any chance? Because the level of propaganda, false equivalencies and ad hominines in your arguments on this subject seem to point towards either that, or Russia Today being your main source of news. 5% of Ukrainians being Nazis? I'm sorry, but being a little over nationalistic and out right exterminating minorities are two VERY different things, and the fact you'd use my homeland in your example that does NOT reflect the reality in Ukraine just makes me angry.

I don't see Russia Today. Yes, Russia Today is a propaganda like any mass-media. Today the best way to know the truth in some place is living there or reading independent blogers of their natives. For example I would show you a school celebration in Ukraine. Just one minute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrJC6rU9lG0

What they are speaking? "One country, one nation, one nationality. I will hurt russians. Who is not jumping now that is russian!"

Def:

Zontar:
Def, are you Russian by any chance? Because the level of propaganda, false equivalencies and ad hominines in your arguments on this subject seem to point towards either that, or Russia Today being your main source of news. 5% of Ukrainians being Nazis? I'm sorry, but being a little over nationalistic and out right exterminating minorities are two VERY different things, and the fact you'd use my homeland in your example that does NOT reflect the reality in Ukraine just makes me angry.

I don't see Russia Today. Yes, Russia Today is a propaganda like any mass-media. Today the best way to know the trust in some place is living there or reading independent blogers of their natives. For example I would show you a school celebration in Ukraine. Just one minute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrJC6rU9lG0

What they are speaking? "One country, one nation, one nationality. I will hurt russians. Who is not jumping now that is russian!"

And 3 things:

1) How do I know any of that is true given my inability to speak the language?
2) Assuming it is true, how do we know that it is referring to Russian speakers and not the nation that has invaded them (they are not one-and-the-same)?
3) Assuming that it is talking about Russian speakers and not the Russian Empire, how does this reflect the greater situation when I can just as easily find a video of Russian Neo-Nazis screaming "Russia is Russian" and then of Russian Communists calling for the reunification of the USSR?

That's the problem with unsourced, uncitted news, it's even worst then US and Russian Mainstream news (I call them out because in most countries it actually isn't a problem).

Zontar:

And 3 things:

1) How do I know any of that is true given my inability to speak the language?
2) Assuming it is true, how do we know that it is referring to Russian speakers and not the nation that has invaded them (they are not one-and-the-same)?
3) Assuming that it is talking about Russian speakers and not the Russian Empire, how does this reflect the greater situation when I can just as easily find a video of Russian Neo-Nazis screaming "Russia is Russian" and then of Russian Communists calling for the reunification of the USSR?

That's the problem with unsourced, uncitted news, it's even worst then US and Russian Mainstream news (I call them out because in most countries it actually isn't a problem).

1) I am sorry, you should find a familiarman that understand Ukrainian and trust for his translation.

2) There was some bureaucratic mistakes in the past. In USSR's times Ukrainian SSR and Russian SSR were always minded as two regions of one country. So, it was not important which SSR belong to. So, some West territory of Russian SSR were bureaucratically gifted to Ukrainian SSR and nobodies cared this transformation. In 1954 Crimea was also bureaucratically gifted to Ukrainian SSR and nobodies cared. I have spend two weeks in Crimea and everywhere I have heard Russian language, not Ukrainian. In 1991 Ukrainian SSR became independent Ukraine and the borders were saved. Nowdays the situation is another. Population of Crimea have met with destructive influence of ukrainian government. Population in Crimea is much poor than in Russia, and the future they see is dark. So, they want to come back to "Russian Empire" as you named it. Who is a real invader for Crimea, "Russian Empire" or Ukraine? Poverty is one evil, Nazis pressure is second. Maybe I should find documents about future ukrainian laws that will press russianspeakers in Crimea and East territories of Ukraine. But they will be also not in English. South-East population of Ukraine understands Nazi pressure quickly. Besides, ukrainianspeaker extremists already arrived South-East territory by buses with weapons and hurt weaponless russianspeakers lived there and struggled for their rights (official two languages in Ukraine, legitimating the ukrainian government). What the children screams is directed not only against Russia, but also against population that lives in South-East of Ukraine and speaks Russian language.

3) Yes you can. But there is no schools in Russia, where this Nazi ideology is implanted in children's minds. Try to find analogical video in russian schools (it is impossible). Screams "Russia is Russian" is censured in Russia's politics and Russia's society. But in West Ukraine this is normal.

Def:

Zontar:

And 3 things:

1) How do I know any of that is true given my inability to speak the language?
2) Assuming it is true, how do we know that it is referring to Russian speakers and not the nation that has invaded them (they are not one-and-the-same)?
3) Assuming that it is talking about Russian speakers and not the Russian Empire, how does this reflect the greater situation when I can just as easily find a video of Russian Neo-Nazis screaming "Russia is Russian" and then of Russian Communists calling for the reunification of the USSR?

That's the problem with unsourced, uncitted news, it's even worst then US and Russian Mainstream news (I call them out because in most countries it actually isn't a problem).

1) I am sorry, you should find a familiarman that understand Ukrainian and trust for his translation.

2) There was some bureaucratic mistakes in the past. In USSR's times Ukrainian SSR and Russian SSR were always minded as two regions of one country. So, it was not important which SSR belong to. So, some West territory of Russian SSR were bureaucratically gifted to Ukrainian SSR and nobodies cared this transformation. In 1954 Crimea was also bureaucratically gifted to Ukrainian SSR and nobodies cared. I have spend two weeks in Crimea and everywhere I have heard Russian language, not Ukrainian. In 1991 Ukrainian SSR became independent Ukraine and the borders were saved. Nowdays the situation is another. Population of Crimea have met with destructive influence of ukrainian government. Population in Crimea is much poor than in Russia, and the future they see is dark. So, they want to come back to "Russian Empire" as you named it. Who is a real invader for Crimea, "Russian Empire" or Ukraine? Poverty is one evil, Nazis pressure is second. Maybe I should find documents about future ukrainian laws that will press russianspeakers in Crimea and East territories of Ukraine. But they will be also not in English. South-East population of Ukraine understands Nazi pressure quickly. Besides, ukrainianspeaker extremists already arrived South-East territory by buses with weapons and hurt weaponless russianspeakers lived there and struggled for their rights (official two languages in Ukraine, legitimating the ukrainian government). What the children screams is directed not only against Russia, but also against population that lives in South-East of Ukraine and speak Russian language.

3) Yes you can. But there is no schools in Russia, where this Nazi ideology is implanted in children's minds. Try to find analogical video in russian schools (it is impossible). Screams "Russia is Russian" is censured in Russia's politics and Russia's society. But in West Ukraine this is normal.

How could the people in Crimea even know WHAT the transitional government was going to do if it was invaded almost immediately after the old president ran away? Plus, so what about the bill which has been proposed (but has not gone through the legal proses yet) to remove Russian as a regional language? Apart from the fact there has been no vote, the law which made Russian a regional language in the first place was passed in 2010, so it's not exactly something new.

And you keep calling them Nazis, you know, as someone who knows exactly what the word means, you're not wining any point by overusing it. Plus, are you forgetting the poll from before the invasion that showed only at most 40% of Crimean's wanted to join Russia? If there was legitimacy to the referendum (the fact that remaining part of Ukraine is not an option in-and-of-itself invalidates it by international law) one would be shocked if in that case the "join Russia" camp won, but given how things are now (Occupation by Russian forces, intimidation of the populous, etc.) the outcome of the referendum is already known, and it's just a formality (as formal as illegal invasions to annex territory can be when dealing with what could potentially brake the UN).

albino boo:
A carrier battle group in the black sea is SSK bait. The black sea has terrible sonar conditions and the small size means an SSK can snort in friendly aircover. A big fat target like carrier is a submariners dream. Any Tango or Kilo captain would give his right arm for a carrier battle group in such restricted waters. Stick a few DDGs in but nothing you couldn't afford to lose.

As to air units deploying to Ukraine is risky. The Russians can come in too many directions and base security would be a nightmare. Its better to deploy tactical aircraft to Germany and run CAPs over Ukraine. Deploy strategic aircraft to the UK and leva them out when Russian recon satellites pass over. NATO ground forces my pack more punch but they don't have the numbers to defend a long front. The Russians can attack anywhere from the Baltic to the black sea and even in NATOS hey day they couldn't hold a front that long.

While I will defer to your judgement on the Naval aspect as I am not terribly familiar with Navies and the Black sea's conditions, I must disagree on the matter of the air assets. Stationing tactical aircraft in Germany is to far away for CAS in many cases as it would take hours for aircraft to respond to calls from ground units. It also severely limits any loiter time the aircraft would otherwise have. We could safely station tactical aircraft in Ukraine and Turkey as long as we did not station them near the border or coast. As for strategic aircraft the UK and Germany would both probably serve as quality bases for them as we already have the infrastructure in place at many bases in both countries.

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