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  1. #1
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    Default The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    The report into the claim the Russans interfered in the Referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014, on the EU Referendum of 2016, and subsequent General Elections in the UK, has concluded that the most outstanding fact, is that the British Government neglected its duty to scrutinize Russian activities. It is rather like that catchphrase, 'Am I bovvered?' to which the answer seems to have been 'no'.

    In addtion, the Goverment has decided not to pursue these investigations any further, notably into the EU Referendum. But just as they say one thing, and then something contradictory on Covid 19, so the Government appears to acknowedge the Russians are a threat, and that they don't intend to do much about it -but who knows what the Intelligence Servies think and know, when their evidence to authors of the Report amounted to six pages?

    The Russians are here, that is the point. They have a presence -legal- in Social Media. They have a presene -legal- through their investments in property, in commerce- legal-, and in the provision of fine dining for members of the House of Lords -legal-. As for 'I say, anyone for tennis?' as far back as 2014 it was reported-

    "A game of tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson has been sold off by the Conservative party for £160,000 to the banker wife of a former minister in Vladimir Putin's government."
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...ory-fundraiser

    Here is the problem, as itemised by Martina Hyde (she ought to have included the attack on the UK using nuclear-weapons materials, resulting in the death of Alexander Litvinenko)-

    "Russia brings down passenger planes and lies about it; it uses nerve agent to poison UK citizens in our historic market towns, then sends the would-be assassins on TV to give deadpan interviews about spire heights. The Russian state’s troll farms and high-level hacks are well documented, as is the Russian state’s hack and leak on the US Democratic party. London, meanwhile, is awash with sensationally questionable Russian money and people who service it, including those in the House of Lords."
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tate-whitewash

    How did this all come about? It dates back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and she declared the UK 'open for business'. Lifting controls on the circulation of capital, the ownership of property and the right to invest in UK firms and infrasructure, many 'foreign capialists' flooded London with cash. For 'Conservative' Anne Phillips, this resulted in the Arab money that transformed previously moribund Edgware Road into 'Londonistan' -a succession of groceries, Middle Eastern eateries (most owned by the same Lebanese businessman), and the cafes frequented by wannabee or actual 'Jihadis' (as Phillips might claim), while Mayfair and Chelsea went Russian.

    The Chinese came later, but splashed the cash to the enduring gratiude of estate agents and 'businessmen' too lazy or indifferent to invest in their own country, so now (let[s not mention Huawei) China owns-
    -25% of North Sea oil production
    -Chinese steel company Jngye now owns British Steel
    -Hong Kong based MTR owns 30% of South Western Railway and a % of Crossrail
    -owns 30% of Hinckley Point C nuclear power station (which refurbished will provide 7% of UK energy).

    So much for free trade, given that few other states, such as the US allow foreign direct investment to own at the levels the UK allows -now the UK is being asked to give the US 100% access to UK markets in exchange for what, in the US -5% access?

    The fundametal problem is that we don't know if this 'clean money' or if the UK has just become a giant laundry for money stolen from the people of Russia/Ukraine/China/Azerbaijan -name the rest as you please.
    And its not as if the majority of the British people see any benefit from this 'trade'.

    But the money is all that matters, which is why the Russians get away with it, like Putin's Appentice in the Oval Office, deepening divisions in the US at home, weakening the USA's influence abroad, for who else benefits? And who, remkind me again, is Felix Sater?

    For a relatively minor economic power with a lot of land and nuclear weapons, Russia exerts an extraordinary influence on world affairs -but only Russia is better off as a result of its intrepid trips.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    A lot of speculation in the media about Russia's military,100,000 strong we are told, massing on the border with Ukraine, and not just for the 'war games' they held there over the weekend. NATO went to Moscow for talks with the Russian Foreign Ministry, though both sides seem to talk down an actual war. Putin views Ukraine as a 'Domestic' issue in the same way that China views Taiwan, and it is no secret that Russia does not want neighbouring States such as Ukraine and Belarus in NATO, though at one time early on in his first phase as Russian President, Putin did consider taking Russia into NATO.

    The news has pointed out that with oil over $43 a barrell, Russia can afford to fight a short war, but would find extra sanctions difficult in the long term. Russia has decreased its dependency on foreign direct investment and has built up its Gold reserves, but the real questions are what a full invasion of Ukraine would achieve, and how an 'integrated' Ukraine would be managed if the majority of the population are opposed to it.

    So there are still unanswered questions, and maybe Putin is just arsing about to see how 'we' react.

    Anyone think there will be a war? Or some Russian moves on Ukraine?



  3. #3
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    I have no idea what is going to happen in Ukraine, but it going to be fascinating to see the contortions on the Republican side given Trump's history of sycophancy towards Putin. Obviously, it's all Biden's fault, but they can't seem to agree on whether it's because he's been too weak or because he's provoking Putin by backing Ukraine.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps...putin?ref=home
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=uxbndlbing

    You have to wonder about the mentality of someone like Tucker Carlson who appears to have more sympathy for a ruthless, bullying autocrat than for the smaller and more democratic country he is threatening. Not surprising though, given he's a big fan of autocrats as long as they are white nationalists. There's no doubt that this guy thinks race should take precedence over economics.
    https://www.vox.com/22904444/tucker-...entary-special


    Last edited by filghy2; 01-31-2022 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Terribly Mysterious Veteran Poster Nick Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    I have no idea what is going to happen in Ukraine, but it going to be fascinating to see the contortions on the Republican side given Trump's history of sycophancy towards Putin. Obviously, it's all Biden's fault, but they can't seem to agree on whether it's because he's been too weak or because he's provoking Putin by backing Ukraine.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps...putin?ref=home
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=uxbndlbing

    You have to wonder about the mentality of someone like Tucker Carlson who appears to have more sympathy for a ruthless, bullying autocrat than for the smaller and more democratic country he is threatening. Not surprising though, given he's a big fan of autocrats as long as they are white nationalists. There's no doubt that this guy thinks race should take precedence over economics.
    https://www.vox.com/22904444/tucker-...entary-special
    You know what Reagan or Bush Sr. would have done? They'd have pulled Ukraine into NATO in defiance of Putin, and put so many Air Force bases there that Russia would be begging us to stay out of Crimea. Trump might have done something similar, but more on base impulse than wise counsel. But now maybe you're starting to see the problem of having a laughably weak President. Suddenly it's a problem for Europe too. To quote Stavros, funny ol' world innit?


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  5. #5
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    Obviously, it's all Biden's fault, but they can't seem to agree on whether it's because he's been too weak or because he's provoking Putin by backing Ukraine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    We have a President spoiling for war with Russia to bring his approval rating up to nominal
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    You know what Reagan or Bush Sr. would have done? They'd have pulled Ukraine into NATO in defiance of Putin, and put so many Air Force bases there that Russia would be begging us to stay out of Crimea. Trump might have done something similar, but more on base impulse than wise counsel. But now maybe you're starting to see the problem of having a laughably weak President. Suddenly it's a problem for Europe too. To quote Stavros, funny ol' world innit?
    And sometimes they can't even agree within the same mind. Or is this Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wmk886ravORfyT3uvb6wVAAQkYd.jpg 
Views:	61 
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ID:	1362905

    I see that Putin's poodle is claiming this would not be happening if he was still President. No doubt that's right because he would have given Putin what he wants.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...oy-troops.html


    Last edited by filghy2; 02-01-2022 at 10:19 AM.

  6. #6
    Terribly Mysterious Veteran Poster Nick Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    And sometimes they can't even agree within the same mind. Or is this Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wmk886ravORfyT3uvb6wVAAQkYd.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	55.2 KB 
ID:	1362905

    I see that Putin's poodle is claiming this would not be happening if he was still President. No doubt that's right because he would have given Putin what he wants.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...oy-troops.html
    Your brain is fried, Flighty, you've been locked down too long. Obviously the aggressive move would be the way to AVOID war - make it impossible for Putin to invade Ukraine without declaring war on the entirety of Western civilization. Maybe in your school days you remember something called the Cuban Missile Crisis? Appeasement is the path to war. Resolute action and clear boundaries render all threats untenable.

    Putin will get what he wants. He's playing chess, Biden's playing patty-cake.


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    I have no idea what is going to happen in Ukraine, but it going to be fascinating to see the contortions on the Republican side given Trump's history of sycophancy towards Putin. Obviously, it's all Biden's fault, but they can't seem to agree on whether it's because he's been too weak or because he's provoking Putin by backing Ukraine.


    You have to wonder about the mentality of someone like Tucker Carlson who appears to have more sympathy for a ruthless, bullying autocrat than for the smaller and more democratic country he is threatening. Not surprising though, given he's a big fan of autocrats as long as they are white nationalists. There's no doubt that this guy thinks race should take precedence over economics.
    Someone on the radio argued that Putin is not much of a chess player, and says he is more like a poker player. The point being Putin has short term strategic aims but no long terms ones, and thus plays a hand and often seeks to deceive his opponents.

    I think there is a broader issue here, which is why Putin thinks Russia is threatened by the US and Western Europe or NATO if you prefer. Does he think there is an invasion plan -as if the record of Napoleon and Hitler has not put that into the dustbin of hisory? During the Cold War, the scenario presented to NATO allies was of an aggressive USSR prepared to march out of East Germany and Czechoslovakia with no deep thinking as to how the USSR was going to both achieve this and maintain its rule. The idea that local Communist Parties would spring into action betrayed an ignorance of their support in key countries, such as Italy and France, so I never understood the argument having any coherence, other than providing the Military with a Strategic Plan that required Government spending on arms.

    The irony is, and Putin knows this, that the 'invasion' happened on Yeltsn's watch, and took the form of global corporations investing in Russia's dilapidated infrastructure. By 1991, the oil and gas industry was barely at the level the UK and US had been in 1970, with untold riches under the earth, the Russians had no option but to accept the billions that Exxon, Shell and BP could pour into the country. The Oligarchs who bought existing Russian companies at the time had zero interest in the industry, but purchased these assets on the basis someone else would develop/overhaul them and reap even more money than they made from lending each other cash on the basis of some future return. And this is a key fact: Putin welcomed the investment.

    The problem emerged after the industry had been dragged into the 21st century and Putin saw vast profits being repatriated to the US and Europe. Moreover, the changes that had been taking place in Russian society made his political position insecure, hence his relentless pursuit of opposition politicians. Like many leaders who have been in office too long, he became reluctant to give up his power, was probably integrated into organized crime -predating the collapse of the USSR- and felt the need to 'break out' of Russia in the same way Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler felt Germany had been compressed into Europe but had lost out elsewhere in the world.

    Crucial to this turn too, was Putin's belief he had been deceived by NATO through the overthrow of Qadhafi in Libya and was determined not to let the West do the same to Asad in Syria. He felt Russia had been made to look llike the weak link in global security, and threw in his lot with one of the most vicious regimes in the world, but in doing so extended Russia's reach into the Middle East, where it remains an expensive project with no apparent outcome so far other than the permanent subsidy of Asad's criminal government.

    So to some extent, the NATO allies provoked Russia, and Russia has responded. I am not sure NATO needs to take Ukraine into its fold, it can hardly be expected to pay its share given the state of its economy. Finland has not joined NATO and enjoys the reputation for being the nicest state in Europe if also one of the coldest, in Winter. For all his bravado, I think Putin is in the weakest position, because while the oil price remains high enough to fund his adventures, it can't last, and the Russian economy has suffered from sanctions, and Putin would not want to become dependent on China at any level.

    So the prospect of a war seems fraught with too many costs and unknown outcomes. That said, I think Putin enjoys seeing NATO dancing to his tune.

    As for Carlson, he is one of those Americans who has given up on the Constitution and the Separation of Powers, and believes only strong leadership in the US can defeat the left, the 'radical' left, the Marxists and whoever else keeps him awake at night. Or it just bullshit, he knows it is bullshit, but loves, like Putin, to see his critics dancing to his tuneless rants, the only sound he enjoys being the jingle of coins in Murdoch's pocket, where Carlson seems to live.


    Last edited by Stavros; 02-01-2022 at 05:20 PM.

  8. #8
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    Obviously the aggressive move would be the way to AVOID war - make it impossible for Putin to invade Ukraine without declaring war on the entirety of Western civilization. Maybe in your school days you remember something called the Cuban Missile Crisis? Appeasement is the path to war. Resolute action and clear boundaries render all threats untenable.
    I'm sure you didn't learn this at school, but the reason the Cuban missile crisis was resolved was that Kennedy secretly agreed on a quid pro quo with Krushchev where the US would withdraw it's missiles from Turkey in return for the Russians pulling their missiles out of Cuba. It was the previous US deployment of these missiles that prompted the Russians to send missiles to Cuba. So arguably it was resolved by appeasement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...crisis/309190/

    Perhaps you didn't read the link I posted, but your man Trump does not seem to agree with your viewpoint.
    "Former President Donald Trump said the US should not be involved in the Ukraine-Russian crisis, calling it a 'European problem' after Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold talks with Germany, France and Ukraine while Joe Biden said he would deploy troops to the area 'in the near term' without backing from NATO.

    Speaking with conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Saturday, Trump said the US should keep out of Europe but doubted Germany could help broker a peace agreement due to its gas dependence with Russia through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal."


    Last edited by filghy2; 02-02-2022 at 05:37 AM.

  9. #9
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    Someone on the radio argued that Putin is not much of a chess player, and says he is more like a poker player. The point being Putin has short term strategic aims but no long terms ones, and thus plays a hand and often seeks to deceive his opponents.
    Surely his objective is to recreate the Soviet sphere of domination, and thereby go down in history as a great man? It also helps divert attention from domestic problems that are weighing on his popularity. Rather than a fragile economy hampering his ambitions, I think it actually increases the incentive to take more risks.

    Maybe it's not a realistic goal, but the reason history is full of examples of over-optimistic expansion plans is that people don't learn the lesson. There seems to be something in the psychology of autocrats that they can't be satisfied with dominating only their own country.



  10. #10
    Terribly Mysterious Veteran Poster Nick Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    I'm sure you didn't learn this at school, but the reason the Cuban missile crisis was resolved was that Kennedy secretly agreed on a quid pro quo with Krushchev where the US would withdraw it's missiles from Turkey in return for the Russians pulling their missiles out of Cuba. It was the previous US deployment of these missiles that prompted the Russians to send missiles to Cuba. So arguably it was resolved by appeasement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...crisis/309190/

    Perhaps you didn't read the link I posted, but your man Trump does not seem to agree with your viewpoint.
    "Former President Donald Trump said the US should not be involved in the Ukraine-Russian crisis, calling it a 'European problem' after Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold talks with Germany, France and Ukraine while Joe Biden said he would deploy troops to the area 'in the near term' without backing from NATO.

    Speaking with conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Saturday, Trump said the US should keep out of Europe but doubted Germany could help broker a peace agreement due to its gas dependence with Russia through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal."
    I didn't read that, but it's interesting. On the other hand who knows what Trump would do. Right now he's out there on his own with no advisors just hamming it up. I don't really have a preference here, it's just a game of brinksmanship between Putin and Biden, which Biden will lose. Far as Ukraine itself goes, they're a raw materials country, iron and steel and such, and we don't need anything from them, nor do we have any cultural ties there. I mean hell, much as I hate to admit it, Trump may be right. On the other hand, if I were in Eastern Europe, I'd probably have very strong opinions about whether we should allow Putin to waltz right in there.

    Sovereignty is a funny thing. Some people's sovereignty seems to matter to the international community, others not so much. The key factor always seems to relate to whether or not they produce oil.


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