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Tags Russia issues , Russia-Ukraine relations , Russia-Ukraine war , Ukraine issues , vladimir putin , Volodymyr Zelenskiy

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Old 31st March 2022, 08:00 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yeah...but if you had to bet on it, which do you think is more prepared: the Russian military for the Ukraine conflict, or Putin for a coup attempt? He's no Ceausescu, he won't be taken by surprise.
That just means he's the perfect target for a coup. "You think the Senate can surprise me? Not while I've got my boy Brutus watching my back!"

Plus, it seems he was taken entirely by surprise, about the likelihood of success in Ukraine. The guy was a KGB officer. He must have first-hand knowledge of the dynamic of lying to the Bosses. He must also have been intellectually aware of this failure mode of dictatorships. And yet he still didn't see the Ukrainian debacle coming.
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Old 31st March 2022, 08:00 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Western governments sure do seem to be pushing this "Putin's advisors are lying to him" meme pretty hard the past few days. I wonder what the underlying message(s) could be.

Some possibilities:

- Even if Putin's people are being pretty truthful, the seed of distrust has been planted, and even accurate information loses its value for him.

- Even if you had Putin's trust, you can't be sure of that. You better not take it for granted, and get to work on some major CYA.

- The jig is up, Putin's advisors! Everyone knows you've been lying. Better get cracking on your coup endgame before Putin brings the reckoning.

- Putin has no choice now but a massive purge, which he can ill afford, and which will effectively take Russia off the pitch for a few years at least.

Seems like these would all tend to synergize with each other, in a cascading series of trust failures and overcorrections from everyone involved.
Certainly the West should push it for those reasons, but there is evidence of arrests in senior levels of the FSB and military, so it is possibly a case of using the truth itself.
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Old 31st March 2022, 08:07 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That just means he's the perfect target for a coup. "You think the Senate can surprise me? Not while I've got my boy Brutus watching my back!"

Plus, it seems he was taken entirely by surprise, about the likelihood of success in Ukraine. The guy was a KGB officer. He must have first-hand knowledge of the dynamic of lying to the Bosses. He must also have been intellectually aware of this failure mode of dictatorships. And yet he still didn't see the Ukrainian debacle coming.
Arrogance blinds even the clever. Possibly especially the clever, because they assume they won't be subject to that.

Either way, speculation about betrayal can evolve into a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I were close to Putin (I'm not) and he started getting antsy about potential traitors, I'd probably be motivated to go ahead and betray him for real before he got a false impression that I was a potential traitor. The circle of paranoia completes rather neatly, sometimes.
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Old 31st March 2022, 08:11 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Arrogance blinds even the clever. Possibly especially the clever, because they assume they won't be subject to that.

Either way, speculation about betrayal can evolve into a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I were close to Putin (I'm not) and he started getting antsy about potential traitors, I'd probably be motivated to go ahead and betray him for real before he got a false impression that I was a potential traitor. The circle of paranoia completes rather neatly, sometimes.
Yep. That's pretty much how I see it.

"Things are going to go badly, no matter how competently and loyally I do my job. The only thing I have any real control over is how well I can put together a plan to sacrifice my boss to save myself. Since my boss is going to execute me for treason no matter what, I guess it's time for Plan B."
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Old 31st March 2022, 08:14 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yep. That's pretty much how I see it.

"Things are going to go badly, no matter how competently and loyally I do my job. The only thing I have any real control over is how well I can put together a plan to sacrifice my boss to save myself. Since my boss is going to execute me for treason no matter what, I guess it's time for Plan B."
yup.

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Nah, he's safe. I'm not thinking "kompromat," I'm thinking organizational dependence. He's eliminated anyone that could be a rival, which was also anyone who could have taken his place. The only ones left are the little dogs that bark and circle.
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That only ever works up to a point. No dictator is safe if he cannot keep his underlings paid. Maybe Putin will be able to do so, and we should not depend upon him being ousted, but nothing is guaranteed.

Indeed - history is full of deposed rulers who thought they had eliminated all rivals. Organisational dependence only goes so far.


Originally Posted by The Don View Post
No doubt regime change in Russia is very, very desirable and prerequisite for establishing relations with Russia again.

That said, who is there who can take over and, more importantly, attempt to control the forces which seek to destabilise democratic rule ?

You've got the various armed forces who would likely seem to be able to resolve their own internal squabbles in order to get rid of a democratic leader who doesn't give them sufficient support. Then there's the FSB who also have a vested interest in maintaining the kind of society where their services are still vital. Of course the oligarchs want to keep their influence (though I suppose they could just do what they do in the West and simply buy it) and will try to get rid of anyone who wants to constrain the kleptocracy.

That's not to say it's impossible, but it is a very, very big ask .

This is why I think Putin will probably survive, say at about a 70% chance if nothing else goes too badly wrong for him. But he's destroyed a lot of his influence outside Russia and damaged his personal influence with his lieutenants. As he has started purging people, it makes the others more aware that they might be next, and reduces the relative risk of action vs inaction.
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Old 31st March 2022, 09:14 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Western governments sure do seem to be pushing this "Putin's advisors are lying to him" meme pretty hard the past few days. I wonder what the underlying message(s) could be.

Some possibilities:

- Even if Putin's people are being pretty truthful, the seed of distrust has been planted, and even accurate information loses its value for him.

- Even if you had Putin's trust, you can't be sure of that. You better not take it for granted, and get to work on some major CYA.

- The jig is up, Putin's advisors! Everyone knows you've been lying. Better get cracking on your coup endgame before Putin brings the reckoning.

- Putin has no choice now but a massive purge, which he can ill afford, and which will effectively take Russia off the pitch for a few years at least.

Seems like these would all tend to synergize with each other, in a cascading series of trust failures and overcorrections from everyone involved.
Another possibility of course is that Putin, being a master of disinformation himself, will simply see the GCHQ and NSA intelligence reports as misinformation designed to try to demoralise Russia. It is what countries do in war time situations (e.g., Lord Haw-Haw).
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Old 31st March 2022, 09:17 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That just means he's the perfect target for a coup. "You think the Senate can surprise me? Not while I've got my boy Brutus watching my back!"

Plus, it seems he was taken entirely by surprise, about the likelihood of success in Ukraine. The guy was a KGB officer. He must have first-hand knowledge of the dynamic of lying to the Bosses. He must also have been intellectually aware of this failure mode of dictatorships. And yet he still didn't see the Ukrainian debacle coming.
Putin was a KGB officer and director but he has always been a suit. He has never been a soldier, rolled up his sleeves or got his hands dirty. He'll be with his generals poring over a map and a whiteboard with pins. I suspect communications are rubbish and nobody in Kremlin has centralised information except after the event.
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Old 31st March 2022, 09:30 AM   #48
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Max Hastings in today's TIMES says monsters tend to live to old age. He talks of how the USA and Thatcher remained friends with the likes of Pinochet and other monsters, such as Mao, as China as a country could not be simply ignored in the long run.

Quote:
At the higher end of the killing scale, a significant fragment of Churchill’s greatness as a war leader derived from his immediate grasp of the need in June 1941 to embrace Stalin, heedless of his responsibility for the deaths of millions during the 1930s. Compare and contrast all the prominent British people who wanted nothing to do with the bloodstained Bolsheviks. General Sir Henry Pownall, vice-chief of the imperial general staff, wrote in his diary: “Would that the two loathsome monsters, Germany and Russia, drown together in a death-grip in the winter mud . . . [The Russians] are not Old Etonians.”
THE TIMES

Hastings argues that the only people to bring an end to the monster that is Putin are the people themselves, or combining with another monster (as Roosevelt did with Stalin):

Quote:
And so to Vladimir Putin. Few of us doubt that the Russian leader merits a bad end. Yet there is a long march between appropriate punishment and what is likely to prove attainable, given the unyielding realities of geopolitics and, in Putin’s case, control of priceless natural resources.

The only assured way for foreign enemies to secure the departure of a monster is to invade and occupy his country (not “his or her” because thus far the world thankfully lacks female mass murderers or megalomaniacs). Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein — I do not include Bonaparte, merely because I could not endure the correspondence from his admirers — met appropriately squalid ends.
ibid

I wouldn't like to predict how this ends. However, it is possible Russia pack up in Ukraine, staying in Donbas, sets up fake referendums and the world gradually begins to accept all of this as it did Crimea, and Putin still the figurehead of Russia.
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Old 31st March 2022, 09:35 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Another possibility of course is that Putin, being a master of disinformation himself, will simply see the GCHQ and NSA intelligence reports as misinformation designed to try to demoralise Russia. It is what countries do in war time situations (e.g., Lord Haw-Haw).
He's already arrested senior aides.

Which would set the ball rolling with or without help from the West. He also must be a bit paranoid about how accurate the White House was in publicising its plans. Some stuff could have been deduced by satellite, but not all.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:07 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
According to the news today, Putin's advisers are apparently too scared to tell him the truth about how badly the war is going, so he's deluded about what's going on. A disastrous war and a dictator they're scared of? It seems the ideal conditions for a coup.
I wonder how deluded/deceived he actually is. He's cut off access to Western news media and social media for his people, but I'm sure he can still see it himself.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:07 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Certainly the West should push it for those reasons, but there is evidence of arrests in senior levels of the FSB and military, so it is possibly a case of using the truth itself.

I think it's true that Putin's people have been lying to him, but I recall reading some informed speculation that another reason the FSB guys were arrested is that they used the money that was supposed to go toward building a cadre of Ukrainian Quislings to line their pockets.

Also, some of the generals may have been arrested for alleged cowardice, incompetence, or disloyalty, and not necessarily just for lying about the situation on the ground.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:13 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Seems somewhat obvious, but the costs and profits of war are not equally distributed. People absolutely made a killing off the invasion of Afghanistan, just like all other wars.

People are profiting off the current war in Ukraine. Whoever makes all these anti-tank weapons are probably having champagne lunches for the foreseeable future.
In that situation, then, there are two possible scenarios:
1. The US government spent $2.3 trillion to secure $80 billion of opium for the CIA, or
2. The US government spent $2.3 trillion to secure $80 billion of opium for someone else.
Even by the low standards of US foreign policy decisions, that's a really stupid plan.

Going back to Ukraine, if those anti-tank weapons help that country to defend itself from aggression, then I really don't have a problem with the manufacturers making a profit from that. To me, that's the same as the vaccine manufacturers getting some reward for their efforts. Why shouldn't they?
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:14 AM   #53
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The "Putin got bad intel, he would never have invaded had he known" narrative is an olive branch to Putin, an excuse to blame everything on underlings, reverse course and return to a position from which The West can once again deal with Him, instead of a replacement.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:18 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Going back to Ukraine, if those anti-tank weapons help that country to defend itself from aggression, then I really don't have a problem with the manufacturers making a profit from that. To me, that's the same as the vaccine manufacturers getting some reward for their efforts. Why shouldn't they?
It's more an issue of perverse incentives. Warnings about the danger of the influence of war profiteers are not new, as Eisenhower's famous farewell address shows.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:19 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The "Putin got bad intel, he would never have invaded had he known" narrative is an olive branch to Putin, an excuse to blame everything on underlings, reverse course and return to a position from which The West can once again deal with Him, instead of a replacement.
Any face-saving BS that allows for Putin to end this aggression is a good thing. Hoping for a palace coup is gambling with Ukrainian blood.

I worry that the interests of Ukraine might be eclipsed by Western powers wanting to punish Putin or Russia. There's certainly plenty here in the West that would be happy for Ukraine to remain a thorn in Putin's side for much longer, ignoring how much cost such a proxy war would inflict on innocent Ukrainians.

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Old 31st March 2022, 10:27 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Any face-saving BS that allows for Putin to end this aggression is a good thing. Hoping for a palace coup is gambling with Ukrainian blood.

I worry that the interests of Ukraine might be eclipsed by Western powers wanting to punish Putin or Russia. There's certainly plenty here in the West that would be happy for Ukraine to remain a thorn in Putin's side for much longer, ignoring how much cost such a proxy war would inflict on innocent Ukrainians.
I'm not really foreseeing him saying "Oh, wait, they invaded? I only authorised a special policing operation. I shall stop this immediately. Deputy heads will roll."
I mean it would be great, but I don't see it.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:56 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Any face-saving BS that allows for Putin to end this aggression is a good thing. Hoping for a palace coup is gambling with Ukrainian blood.

I worry that the interests of Ukraine might be eclipsed by Western powers wanting to punish Putin or Russia. There's certainly plenty here in the West that would be happy for Ukraine to remain a thorn in Putin's side for much longer, ignoring how much cost such a proxy war would inflict on innocent Ukrainians.
I worry that a palace coup could just result in a replacement who also wants to win the war.

Imperial Russia was losing (or at least taking horrible casualties) in WWI. They tried one last offensive, fairly successful but with horrible casualties among the Russian troops. Not long after there was the March Revolution that ended up with the Provisional government.

Then the Provisional government also tried to win the war, launching an offensive. It failed badly and was one of the things triggering the October Revolution.

Once in power, the communists entered negotiations with Germany but then rejected the proposed settlement. They apparently just declared that the war was over, without any sort of peace agreement. Germany had to resort to another offensive to get Russia back to the table.

So - two revolutions, both new governments tried to keep fighting or even to win. Even if Putin is deposed, I don't think any replacement person or junta would necessarily end the war. They might instead just decide that they themselves are the competent ones and push on.

The idea that Russia might just at some point declare that the war is over because it says so seems like a thing Russia might actually try. Lots of maps of Novorossiya out there with the suggestion that Russia would consider itself to be done with the war once that area is under control. Which, at the current rate will be never. And even if Russia did push that far, there's no indication at all the Ukraine would be in any mood to stop. But, in Russia's overwhelming arrogance towards Ukraine, I could totally see many Russian powerbrokers being genuinely shocked and surprised when Ukraine fails to accept any Russian unilateral declaration of the end of the war.
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Old 31st March 2022, 10:59 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Any face-saving BS that allows for Putin to end this aggression is a good thing. Hoping for a palace coup is gambling with Ukrainian blood.

I worry that the interests of Ukraine might be eclipsed by Western powers wanting to punish Putin or Russia. There's certainly plenty here in the West that would be happy for Ukraine to remain a thorn in Putin's side for much longer, ignoring how much cost such a proxy war would inflict on innocent Ukrainians.
Dude it's the Ukranians whose whole strategy is to bleed Russian forces dry over every little bit of land they try to seize no matter if the Russians respond with indiscriminate bombardment or if civilians get caught in the crossfire.

Why do you think they insist on fighting on in Mariupol? Because if they are going to lose the city then the Russians will only conquer ruins at terrible costs. We're only helping them.

This the doctrine of total defense.
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Old 31st March 2022, 11:17 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
According to the news today, Putin's advisers are apparently too scared to tell him the truth about how badly the war is going, so he's deluded about what's going on. A disastrous war and a dictator they're scared of? It seems the ideal conditions for a coup.
The Norwegian prime minister talked on the phone with Putin today.

He told the media that he told Putin how many soldiers he has lost in Ukraine.
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Old 31st March 2022, 11:28 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I wouldn't like to predict how this ends. However, it is possible Russia pack up in Ukraine, staying in Donbas, sets up fake referendums and the world gradually begins to accept all of this as it did Crimea, and Putin still the figurehead of Russia.
It may be worth noting that preparations for a number of almost certainly BS referendums are being set up. Not just in Donetsk and Luhansk, but also in places like Kherson and the "separatist" area of Georgia, where like 1 out of 7 people there are Russian soldiers.
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Old 31st March 2022, 11:46 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The "Putin got bad intel, he would never have invaded had he known" narrative is an olive branch to Putin, an excuse to blame everything on underlings, reverse course and return to a position from which The West can once again deal with Him, instead of a replacement.
I think it's pointing out to his lieutenants that he's not the master of the situation.

"It's better to be feared than loved because love can turn to contempt" might be a good rule for il Principe but if the fear goes, or there is a greater fear of them being in power, then they're in a precarious position


Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Any face-saving BS that allows for Putin to end this aggression is a good thing. Hoping for a palace coup is gambling with Ukrainian blood.

I worry that the interests of Ukraine might be eclipsed by Western powers wanting to punish Putin or Russia. There's certainly plenty here in the West that would be happy for Ukraine to remain a thorn in Putin's side for much longer, ignoring how much cost such a proxy war would inflict on innocent Ukrainians.
I'm not really foreseeing him saying "Oh, wait, they invaded? I only authorised a special policing operation. I shall stop this immediately. Deputy heads will roll."
I mean it would be great, but I don't see it.
Again, I don't think it's aimed at giving Putin an out. It would make him look weak which is dangerous to him.

I'm afraid that Putin has no face-saving option that would save face in the constituency that actually matters. And he must know it. So for him it's install a puppet in Kyiv or die.
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Old 31st March 2022, 11:52 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yeah...but if you had to bet on it, which do you think is more prepared: the Russian military for the Ukraine conflict, or Putin for a coup attempt? He's no Ceausescu, he won't be taken by surprise.
You don't know that. In fact, if it did happen, it will be a surprise to him.

Not saying it will or won't happen. Just that this kind of speculation is worthless. His position is dependent on an array of other people. And none of us can say enough about the human dynamics of his situation.
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Old 31st March 2022, 11:58 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Western governments sure do seem to be pushing this "Putin's advisors are lying to him" meme pretty hard the past few days. I wonder what the underlying message(s) could be.

Some possibilities:

- Even if Putin's people are being pretty truthful, the seed of distrust has been planted, and even accurate information loses its value for him.

- Even if you had Putin's trust, you can't be sure of that. You better not take it for granted, and get to work on some major CYA.

- The jig is up, Putin's advisors! Everyone knows you've been lying. Better get cracking on your coup endgame before Putin brings the reckoning.

- Putin has no choice now but a massive purge, which he can ill afford, and which will effectively take Russia off the pitch for a few years at least.

Seems like these would all tend to synergize with each other, in a cascading series of trust failures and overcorrections from everyone involved.
You nailed it. Putin's survival is dependent on a certain number of people that he must trust implicitly. What happens if he starts to lose trust in them? What happens if they suspect he is losing trust in them?
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Old 31st March 2022, 12:10 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The "Putin got bad intel, he would never have invaded had he known" narrative is an olive branch to Putin, an excuse to blame everything on underlings, reverse course and return to a position from which The West can once again deal with Him, instead of a replacement.
Won't happen. I think that West has finally woken up to the fact you cannot trust PUtin.
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Old 31st March 2022, 12:11 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You nailed it. Putin's survival is dependent on a certain number of people that he must trust implicitly. What happens if he starts to lose trust in them? What happens if they suspect he is losing trust in them?
I suspect that Putin might go full Stalin and attempt a purge of his upper ranks. Whether he can pull it off is unknown.
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Old 31st March 2022, 12:14 PM   #66
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I just saw the Russian Army rations capturied by the Ukranian soldiers.
God, and I though when I was in the US Army that MRE's were pretty bad....
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Old 31st March 2022, 12:24 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I just saw the Russian Army rations capturied by the Ukranian soldiers.
God, and I though when I was in the US Army that MRE's were pretty bad....
There's always the chance that their rations were in date when you were in the US army. Assuming you've not been in it recently.
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Old 31st March 2022, 01:18 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I just saw the Russian Army rations capturied by the Ukranian soldiers.
God, and I thought when I was in the US Army that MRE's were pretty bad....
Ah, I remember years ago when Gourmet magazine did a test of MREs. The bloke testing them was not impressed...
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Old 31st March 2022, 01:24 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
There's always the chance that their rations were in date when you were in the US army. Assuming you've not been in it recently.
I was in the US Army in the late 80's but talking to people who have recently gotten out....and a few who are still in...today's MRE's are still a long way from being something you look forward to.
One difference...and this is for the good, I guess...is that today's MRE are automically heatable....the plastic bags the individual items come in have chemical heat tables..you press them and the dish is heated. The MRE pack even has a empty plastic bag with a Heat tablet so you put water in it, heat and and have hot Instant Coffee.
But they are still bland as hell, and the small bottle of Tabasco that come with each MRE is still the most valued part.
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Old 31st March 2022, 01:27 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I was in the US Army in the late 80's but talking to people who have recently gotten out....and a few who are still in...today's MRE's are still a long way from being something you look forward to.
One difference...and this is for the good, I guess...is that today's MRE are automically heatable....the plastic bags the individual items come in have chemical heat tables..you press them and the dish is heated. The MRE pack even has a empty plastic bag with a Heat tablet so you put water in it, heat and and have hot Instant Coffee.
But they are still bland as hell, and the small bottle of Tabasco that come with each MRE is still the most valued part.
Nah, I don't think there've been any Soviet rations found by the Ukrainians yet.
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Old 31st March 2022, 01:34 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I suspect that Putin might go full Stalin and attempt a purge of his upper ranks. Whether he can pull it off is unknown.
That is certainly possible. Even if he could, I'm not sure that improves the situation and could make it worse. Certainly worse for the Russian people.
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Old 31st March 2022, 01:38 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
That is certainly possible. Even if he could, I'm not sure that improves the situation and could make it worse. Certainly worse for the Russian people.
History tending to rhyme. Stalin's officer purges of the Red Army harmed that a lot.



Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Arrogance blinds even the clever. Possibly especially the clever, because they assume they won't be subject to that.

Either way, speculation about betrayal can evolve into a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I were close to Putin (I'm not) and he started getting antsy about potential traitors, I'd probably be motivated to go ahead and betray him for real before he got a false impression that I was a potential traitor. The circle of paranoia completes rather neatly, sometimes.
Indeed, and they must be thinking about this, as Putin *has* started getting antsy.
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Old 31st March 2022, 02:01 PM   #73
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The Hill is reporting that Russia is going to draft 135,000 men into their army between April 1 and July 15. The article doesn't discuss whether this differs from drafts in other recent years.

https://thehill.com/policy/internati...n-ukraine-war/
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Old 31st March 2022, 02:06 PM   #74
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The Washington Post is reporting that Russian soldiers have been putting tree branches on top of vehicles for camouflage since apparently the Russians do not have camouflage nets.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...lauge-ukraine/
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Old 31st March 2022, 03:45 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by TellyKNeasuss View Post
The Hill is reporting that Russia is going to draft 135,000 men into their army between April 1 and July 15. The article doesn't discuss whether this differs from drafts in other recent years.

https://thehill.com/policy/internati...n-ukraine-war/
It looks about normal, though don't expect many articles today to tell you that...

https://www.understandingwar.org/bac...d-mobilization

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The Russian Armed Forces conscript men semi-annually, with the fall draft lasting from October 1 until December 31 and the spring draft running from April 1 until July 15.[3] In 2022, the Kremlin announced the spring draft early on February 18.[4] The draft affects all men aged 18 to 27 years old, though some conscripts can be as young as 16 years old.[5] Russian conscripts typically serve one year.[6] The annual conscription pool of all Russian military-aged men is approximately 1.2 million people, though only about half are compelled to present themselves at their local military commissariat (voenkomat). The Russian General Staff reported conscripting 127,000 people for the fall 2021 draft and 134,000 people in spring 2021 out of 672,000 summoned men.[7] The number of conscripts is relatively consistent year on year, with 263,000 in 2020 and 267,000 in 2019.[8] Approximately 261,000 conscripts from 2021 are currently serving across Russian units, with the fall 2021 conscripts entering their third month of training.
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Old 31st March 2022, 04:46 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Nah, I don't think there've been any Soviet rations found by the Ukrainians yet.
Of course not. They don't give the good rations to the grunts.
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Old 31st March 2022, 04:49 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Western governments sure do seem to be pushing this "Putin's advisors are lying to him" meme pretty hard the past few days. I wonder what the underlying message(s) could be.

Some possibilities:

- Even if Putin's people are being pretty truthful, the seed of distrust has been planted, and even accurate information loses its value for him...
That one doesn't work. Even before the invasion, he was already holding "meetings" in auditorium-sized rooms with him at one end and everybody else at the other. You can't plant what was already planted.

Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I worry that a palace coup could just result in a replacement who also wants to win the war.
I don't see much reason for somebody who's in favor of this war to bother couping him.
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Old 31st March 2022, 05:00 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by TellyKNeasuss View Post
The Washington Post is reporting that Russian soldiers have been putting tree branches on top of vehicles for camouflage since apparently the Russians do not have camouflage nets.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...lauge-ukraine/
I saw that photo, The US Army Sergeant who taught us about camoflage in Basic Training is laughing his head off at the Russians.
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Old 31st March 2022, 05:01 PM   #79
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Best comment I made about the way Russian Equipment seems to be failing:

"Putin made a big mistake buying his crap from the Acme company".
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Old 31st March 2022, 05:40 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Ah, I remember years ago when Gourmet magazine did a test of MREs. The bloke testing them was not impressed...
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