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janbb's avatar

What do you think will happen with Russia and Ukraine?

Asked by janbb (62670points) January 24th, 2022

And what do you think the United States’ role should be? Are we in charge of NATO and should we be?

Do we really want to get involved in another war?

(When will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?)

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20 Answers

jca2's avatar

I haven’t followed too closely but I saw today on the news that we’re considering military intervention. Honestly I hope we’re not playing with fire. I don’t know what the alternatives are but I’m liking Biden less and less.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Probably nothing good. We certainly don’t need any conflict but we can’t roll over and just let Russia have this one. Same thing happening with China and Taiwan. I’m more than a little concerned that both will happen.

Demosthenes's avatar

We (the U.S. and Europe) let Russia annex Crimea in 2014 with little retaliation. Russia is emboldened by that experience to try and annex more of Ukraine. Ukraine is strategically and culturally important to Russia and they would love to have it back. I don’t know if a new ground war is the answer, but I don’t think we (and Europe, I might add, they need to step up as well) should let Russia violate Ukraine’s sovereignty once again.

LostInParadise's avatar

Biden originally said that if Russia invaded Ukraine that the U.S. would impose sanctions but there would be no military involvement. Now that appears not to be the case and there is talk about war preparations. If the threat of sanctions does not deter Putin then I guess we must prepare for war, as distasteful as that may seem.

flutherother's avatar

Putin is an autocrat and not satisfied with ruling over the largest country in the world he wants to extend his baleful influence westward. I am not a fan of Putin’s and I believe and I hope that his attempts to take advantage of perceived weaknesses in the west are a miscalculation and he will be forced to back down. If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will next turn his eye to the Baltic States I am sure.

filmfann's avatar

When the USSR disband, one of the dangers was all these smaller countries that now had nuclear weapons. The US promised these countries, including Ukraine, that if they surrendered their nukes, we would defend them.
Do I want to? No, but we have to live by the deal we made.

si3tech's avatar

@filmfann Did they surrender their nukes?

Jeruba's avatar

Putin still wants us to pay for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the humiliation of that loss. He looks for destabilization in the West as his opportunity to move in.

Trump seriously destabilized us, but he buddied up to Putin, so Putin didn’t get in his way, just sneaked around him or simply used him. Now it’s open season on Biden. The dysfunction of Congress in the face of rabid partisanship is another ace in his hand. (And I happen to believe that some of our members of Congress—in both chambers and both parties—are in Putin’$ pocket.)

In my opinion, people who are intent on tearing down the current administration are too fanatical and short-sighted to see that it’s against their own interests to do so, unless their own interests are consistent with Russia’s gaining dominance. Why, it’s almost like refusing to take a life-saving vaccination.

And of course covid has destabilized everything, and Putin knows people are acting out because of being fed up with it, and blaming Biden for not curing it. Between politics and viruses, we’re less unified than we’ve ever been, at least since 1865. What better opportunity is he going to get?

Equally well suited to his purposes is the disunion in Europe about how to deal with him and the fact that Russian oil is so essential to so many. If I were Putin, I would consider all this as a gold-plated invitation to strike.

Putin has been quoted as saying that the moment he loses power, they’ll have him up against the wall; i.e., he’s a dead man. And he doesn’t want to go to the wall.

Sources: Karen Dawisha, Bill Browder, Masha Gessen, et al.

mazingerz88's avatar

All up to Putin now. I think he will invade. He will look weak if he does not at this point. My symphaties for those Ukrainian and Russian soldiers who would end up killing or get killed themselves.

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filmfann's avatar

@si3tech yes they did.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Just cyber attacks, and economic sanctions.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

President of Ukraine will die of an unknown disease (lead bullet in brain), Putin puppet will take over.

Jeruba's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, or an inexplicable case of Novichok poisoning.

si3tech's avatar

@janbb I think Putin will invade. Not our fight. Biden will blunder in.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It will be our fight though, and I do think Biden’s administration will back down if Russia invades as war with Russia would be catastrophic. If that unfolds we’ll see China invade Taiwan next. That will be the day the USA is not #1 on the block anymore. The day we stop playing whack a mole is when all the rats come out in force. There won’t be an end, North Korea, Iran and anyone else being kept in check by US muscle. There is no good scenario if Ukraine is invaded so lets just hope that Russia backs down.

kritiper's avatar

If Russia invades, NATO will respond and so will the US. The US has to.
Putin is no dummy. He knows what mistakes the Germans made in WWII and he wouldn’t/won’t copy those mistakes.(If he was to go that far.) And he doesn’t have another foe to the East to fight like Germany did, and that is/would be to his advantage.

Jeruba's avatar

Here are a few little quotes and notes from Karen Dawisha’s 2014 book Putin’s Kleptocracy:

222, “Putin’s objective, and the objective of those who came to power with him and helped bring him to power, was to restore the idea of Russia as a Great Power…”

Yes, his mission was to make Russia great again.

224, “It is the contrast between Putin’s open statements supporting democracy and his covert promotion of an authoritarian blueprint that is the key to his presidency and provides the core reason it is possible to see the shape and direction of his entire rule from this early period.”

257, Putin’s idea of patriotism is the KGB’s: ”‘the country is as great as the fear it inspires, and the media should be loyal’”

293, Putin’s “vertical of power”: “suppress opposition, control the mass media, diminish federalism, and remove the legislature as a source of independent activity”

310, at his inauguration, Putin wanted opponents in Moscow population to understand implicitly: “This is my country and my city, and I can rule without you.”

312, Putin’s accomplishments in seizing control in his first 100 days “should be registered as a singular achievement in the annals of authoritarian rule.”

318, the Kremlin’s propaganda message in the anti-American “information war” at the time of annexation of Crimea in 2014: collapse of Soviet Union was imposed by the West, which was blamed for Ukraine invasion

330, “In any Western country, this [corruption] would be called criminal malfeasance. In Russia it is called government.”

331, key passage: “Putin alone decides who and what will be profitable. There is no more important rule in today’s Russia.”

340, Russia’s money laundering and scamming relies on partnering with Western banks and institutions.

348, Putin thinks Russia likes totalitarianism

349, “In an effort to live his life beyond the control of others, he has forced a whole people to submit.”

Jeruba's avatar

Der Spiegel’s (English edition) interview with Russia experts Nina Khrushcheva, Sabine Fischer, and Masha Gessen.

Masha Gessen was one of Dawisha’s most trusted sources, and I Iisted her above as one of the authors I’d read. Nina Khrushcheva is the granddaughter of the Khrushchev some of us still remember well; she teaches international politics in New York.

Jeruba's avatar

Unintentional ambiguity ^^^: “I’d read” meant “I had read” (past) and not “I would read” (future subjunctive).

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