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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Soulskill posted about two weeks ago | from the in-case-you-were-feeling-optimistic-today dept.

The Military 789

cold fjord writes Russian President has issued a stark indication of Russia's military capabilities: "I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words." According to News.com.au, "It's the first time in more than 25 years that Moscow has raised the spectre of nuclear war. The difference this time is that its tanks are already pouring over its western borders." To put numbers behind that, "Russia has moved 4,000 to 5,000 military personnel — a figure far higher than one U.S. official's earlier claim of 1,000 troops. The soldiers are aligned in 'formed units' and fighting around Luhansk and Donetsk.... And they may soon have company: Some 20,000 troops are on border and 'more may be on the way.'" On top of that, the Ukraine Defence Minister claims Russia has made threats that they're prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons to stop further resistance.

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Sigh... (5, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about two weeks ago | (#47811107)

I guess I lose my bet that the end of humanity would come from war in the Middle East.

Re:Sigh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811147)

You are an idiot. This won't end humanity moron.

Re: Sigh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811235)

I think you meant your and idiot

Re:Sigh... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about two weeks ago | (#47811155)

It won't be the end of humanity... There's no chance that this will ever develop to that scale.

But for what it's worth, if they go through with this, then I'll be losing a bet as well. I've been figuring for the last 15 years or so that the next nation to use a nuke as a wartime act of agression would be North Korea.

Re:Sigh... (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about two weeks ago | (#47811297)

It won't be the end of humanity... There's no chance that this will ever develop to that scale.

War is an archetypal situation. Once the possibility of one starting develops, it has "suction": people react to the archetype, and that threatens to overwhem rational thought. The archetype was worshipped as a divinity in many cultures precisely because war behaves as if it was a living thing seeking to devour people - or, in this case, the entire world.

So yes, there's every chance this will develop into World War III: Last Dance.

Re:Sigh... (3, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about two weeks ago | (#47811421)

And just because you can lead a country doesn't mean you are rational. Putin: q.e.d.

Re:Sigh... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811501)

And just because you can lead a country doesn't mean you are rational. Putin: q.e.d.

You are dangerously underestimating Putin if you believe he is irrational. Better to go with Machiavellian.

Perhaps you can cite all those examples of "irrationality" you perceive in Putin and the rest of us can judge for ourselves.

Re:Sigh... (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about two weeks ago | (#47811455)

It won't be the end of humanity... There's no chance that this will ever develop to that scale.

But for what it's worth, if they go through with this, then I'll be losing a bet as well. I've been figuring for the last 15 years or so that the next nation to use a nuke as a wartime act of agression would be North Korea.

While I think the actual outright end of humanity is slim, should anyone go any sort of nuclear - artillery or otherwise - there's going to be a pretty epic international shitstorm. There's no telling what some Ukrainian/Crimean commander will do if he actually has the power to retaliate in kind, and where that leads, or who rolls in tanks or planes to support.... ....someone.

I think it's probably going to end in UN finger-wagging and "peacekeepers" on the ground for 50 years, but what do I know...

Re:Sigh... (1, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about two weeks ago | (#47811473)

Considering Russia's poor control of nuclear weapons, I'm going to guess that this is going to follow the playbook right out of CoD: Modern Warfare.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47811539)

i'd take issue with the "next" part of that statement. It takes a particularly un-nuanced view of the events in question.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811187)

Indeed you do lose.

This war comes from Wall St. and Soros and other bullies backing the coup they started in Kiev and thus forcing Putin into a corner
- wrong man to try and bully Wall St.

Could be very bad for all of us, but the bankers - they'll live in the bunkers under Denver! - that's a whole other story.

Re:Sigh... (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about two weeks ago | (#47811347)

This war comes from Wall St. and Soros and other bullies backing the coup they started in Kiev and thus forcing Putin into a corner

Why would a change in government in Ukraine force Putin into a corner? It's not like he's the ruler of Ukraine.

..right?

Re:Sigh... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about two weeks ago | (#47811459)

I think there was a sub-thread in Slashdot a week or so ago discussing how good but subtle posts are lost on many on Slashdot. Nice try though... I agree with you.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811517)

I'm not sure, but such a (Nazi) govt. in Ukraine would put Russians in Ukraine at risk, at least that's what Putin was complaining about.

Re:Sigh... (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about two weeks ago | (#47811557)

Right, Putin had nothing to do with it, and Kiev was full of love for the Russian dominance until the bankers started acting up.

You know .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811195)

The Romans had peace in the Middle East. So did the Nazis - briefly.

Just say'in.

*choking back disgust and contempt at the whole region and their peoples*

Re:You know .. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about two weeks ago | (#47811579)

The west also causing much of the unrest in the middle east by trying to stop it, by support of dictators, by policies, by drawing artificial lines on a map, by colonization, etc. In the last thousand years, Europe is a much more violent place than the middle east.

Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811247)

While this sort of news is important, without a doubt, I just don't see why it's on Slashdot's front page. This submission contains nothing but political news.

There are thousands upon thousands of news and discussion web sites that focus on politics and current events of this sort. We can go there if we want to read and discuss news such as that in this submission.

There are comparatively fewer web sites focusing on technology, mathematics, science, and computing. Slashdot was such a site. We'd be able to come here to find articles and dicussion that wouldn't be readily available from other sources or venues.

Please, keep Slashdot about technical topics. Leave the politics for other sites! Please!

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (1, Informative)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about two weeks ago | (#47811265)

I'm not sure why you're modded at zero points. I'd mod you up if I could.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (0)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about two weeks ago | (#47811291)

PS: This news is of interest to me, but it's hardly related to technology or geek culture.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811489)

So was 9/11. Still made some posts, didn't it?

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811503)

Yes, the editors have made mistakes in the past. And this submission is a mistake just like those others that you've mentioned. None of them should have been on Slashdot in the first place. The fact that earlier mistakes were made doesn't justify this mistake, or make it any less of a mistake. This submission is totally irrelevant when it comes to Slashdot's focus.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about two weeks ago | (#47811383)

You do realize he's an AC, right? That's why he's starting at 0 mod points. No one has modded him down.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about two weeks ago | (#47811425)

Thanks, and no I did not realize that.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811307)

Because if Putin keeps on this path, we will soon be partaking in a massive Applied Physics experiment on a global scale.
Is that technical, nerdy, sci-fi enough for you, you whiny little pleb?

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811341)

While this sort of news is important, without a doubt, I just don't see why it's on Slashdot's front page.

News for Nerds Stuff that Matters

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811481)

First of all, the "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." tagline isn't even used on the current site. Only "News for Nerds" is used on the beta site. So you're getting worked up over a tagline that's old hat at this point.

Second of all, read the GP's post. It states in the FIRST GODDAMN SENTENCE that this news is important. But the old "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." tagline that you're referring to isn't a logical disjunction (an "OR"), it's a logical conjunction (an "AND"). It was always "News for Nerds AND Stuff that matters.", not "News for Nerds OR Stuff that matters.", like you incorrectly think it is. Slashdot submissions should meet both criteria, not just one of them.

So the GP is right, and you're wrong. This stuff may matter, but it surely is not "News for Nerds", since it's very general political news that is of interest to non-nerds, maybe more so than it is interesting to nerds.

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about two weeks ago | (#47811401)

Repeat after me: "News for nerds. Stuff that matters."

When one of the world's superpowers is threatening to make use of their nuclear arsenal, it is, most certainly, "stuff that matters".

Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | about two weeks ago | (#47811467)

I come to Slashdot for a certain type of view point, and sometimes, I am indeed interested in what Slashdotters have to say on topics of political and economic interest.

In that sense, I am often delighted when Slashdot carries such articles because it gives me an opportunity to understand a particular issue in a new light.

The signal to noise ratio here is significantly better than, say, CNN (i.e., imagine siphoning through thousands of comments on R vs. D debates). In contrast, I find that there is more rational discussion, and new insights here on Slashdot than elsewhere. Obviously, YMMV.

Not the end... (3)

Etherwalk (681268) | about two weeks ago | (#47811339)

1) Putin is just posturing re: tactical nukes.

2) If Russia used tactical nukes, at least against NATO troops, it would go *very* badly for Russia. We're talking collapse-their-economy bad at the absolute minimum.

Re:Not the end... (1, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about two weeks ago | (#47811381)

The Ukraine isn't part of Nato yet. NATO agreed to defend the Ukraine in agreement for the Ukraine disarming itself of nuclear weapons.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about two weeks ago | (#47811507)

No, we always knew it would come from a crazy person.

Put it this way (4, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | about two weeks ago | (#47811121)

Forget about MAD [wikipedia.org] or Deterrence. The only MADness here is Putin. If he does what he says what he will do (and he seems to rarely back down from anything due to his massive ego), most of the First World countries are going to immediately join forces to invade and permanently occupy Russia. This is obviously much harder than it sounds, and with lots of radioactive fallout there will be far more civilian causalities than in any other war ever imagined. The only question is - can Putin visualize the worst case scenario at all or has he completely lost his mind?

Re:Put it this way (5, Interesting)

Dins (2538550) | about two weeks ago | (#47811141)

The only question is - can Putin visualize the worst case scenario at all or has he completely lost his mind?

He's just confident that the west will let him have Ukraine. Unfortunately, I don't think he's wrong. Will be interesting to see if we ever draw a line somewhere and then what we do when he crosses it...

Re:Put it this way (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811305)

I'm reminded of the CDT from the Keith Laumer "Retief" series on how the US and EU are conducting business.

Right now, they are in full, "peace at any cost" Chamberlain mode, willing to accept any concession. However, we all know how well that went.

With the way things are, I fear the line will be when Russia decides not to heed the '90s treaty that settled Germany, but goes back to the one from '45... and takes back their chunk. Hope Bonn can serve as a capital again. Same with the US. I wonder if the CIC we have would have the cajones to do something if Alaska got overrun and Russia stated they would defend their claimed territory with nukes.

Re:Put it this way (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about two weeks ago | (#47811369)

Will be interesting to see if we ever draw a line somewhere and then what we do when he crosses it...

We already showed him what'll happen in that case, when we drew lines in the sand in Syria. Assad stepped across them we backed up and drew another line...lather, rinse, repeat.

So we stopped drawing lines.

Which is what'll happen with Ukraine - Putin will take as much of the country as he wants, we'll let him.

And then Putin will start looking around for more real estate he likes. I hear there are a lot of ethnic Russians in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia....

Re:Put it this way (3, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about two weeks ago | (#47811445)

If he does back down he risks losing a lot more than the next election.

Re:Put it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811197)

That's not the only question. There's also: "is he bluffing?" To which I'd say, "probably."

Re:Put it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811271)

His bluff really NEEDS to be called here. It's the only option. Either he backs down and behaves or we have at it. The truth may be ugly, but it's still the truth.

Re:Put it this way (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | about two weeks ago | (#47811275)

Have you been awake for the last 20 years? Putin does not bluff. If anything, Putin is the revolver in Russian Roulette.

Re:Put it this way (2)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47811561)

:) like playing russian roulette with six bullets. your only chance is manufacturer defect :)

Re:Put it this way (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about two weeks ago | (#47811345)

He might not jump to nukes so quickly, but I think he feels confident - with good reason- that he can annex the Ukraine without any serious reprisal; not from Obama or Congress, so not any other country then. Worst case, Ukraine might be the Sudetenlan of the 21st century. Hopefully not.
I still think the middle east is the catalyst for the next major war though.

Re:Put it this way (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about two weeks ago | (#47811219)

most of the First World countries are going to immediately join forces to invade and permanently occupy Russia

Why do you think that? I have the strong feeling most of the first world looks at this like a bag of poo that's on fire. No one really wants to do anything with it but pretend it's not there.

Not due to Putin's ego (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about two weeks ago | (#47811221)

Putin has a massive ego, yes. But he's also a realist.

He knows that no other superpower will do anything no matter what he does. Certainly not the U.S. No-one has or will do anything about a whole jetliner of people shot out of the sky with citizens from around the world, why would they about a war in the Ukraine?

Your notion anyone would join forces to invade Russia is the real madness...

So he does whatever he wants because he can. And people are surprised about that?

Re:Not due to Putin's ego (1)

jfengel (409917) | about two weeks ago | (#47811415)

I may be wrong, but I suspect that actual use of nuclear weapons crosses a Rubicon, even for Putin. It suddenly becomes an existential crisis for the rest of Europe, and even the most pacifist, non-interventionist parts of Europe will see themselves as the next target.

In a sense that's purely symbolic: as you point out he's already gone far beyond the pale. But it's a kind of invisible line, like the use of chemical weapons in Syria that had even the French considering action against Assad. It was vigorous enough that Assad agreed to destruction of the chemical weapons.

It's hard to imagine what the response might be; none of the options are anything but awful. But I think that the actual use of a nuclear weapon would put options back on the table that many countries wouldn't have considered in response to more "conventional" atrocities. I don't really completely understand why mass murder with nuclear and chemical weapons is somehow worse than mass murder with bombs and guns, but it's widely perceived that way.

Re:Not due to Putin's ego (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811469)

Putin has a massive ego, yes. But he's also a realist.

He knows that no other superpower will do anything no matter what he does.

No- one is interested in a direct confrontation.
That doesn't mean that one can't assassinate him or kidnap his daughter.

There is very little point in killing a bunch of Russian soldiers that doesn't know better.

Re:Put it this way (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about two weeks ago | (#47811245)

Although I don't want to find out the hard way, it would be interesting to know if the US successfully developed nuclear counter measures. I know they had a few prototypes years ago but I imagine with the advancements in technology that it would be much more effective now than ever.

Re:Put it this way (2)

Monty845 (739787) | about two weeks ago | (#47811349)

There is no way the West would attempt to invade Russia after it had already demonstrated willingness to use Nuclear weapons. That is the surest way to nuclear apocalypse. The west would be forced to abandon the Ukraine, and limit its response to sanctions and digging in along the NATO border. Every nation with the means to develop nuclear weapons would look at what happened to the Ukraine, look at what happened to the NATO countries protected by US nuclear arms, and start crash programs to develop or extent their own arsenals. Good bye anti-proliferation.

Re:Put it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811387)

Forget about MAD [wikipedia.org] or Deterrence. The only MADness here is Putin. If he does what he says what he will do (and he seems to rarely back down from anything due to his massive ego), most of the First World countries are going to immediately join forces to invade and permanently occupy Russia. This is obviously much harder than it sounds, and with lots of radioactive fallout there will be far more civilian causalities than in any other war ever imagined. The only question is - can Putin visualize the worst case scenario at all or has he completely lost his mind?

This is why the solution, if Putin persists in this line of thinking, will involve a single bullet from a covert operative, not legions of troops or thousands of missiles.

Re:Put it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811389)

The only question is - can Putin visualize the worst case scenario at all or has he completely lost his mind?

For him or for everyone else?

A war in Ukraine is pointless for everyone else. Ukraine wants its freedom and Russia wants the land. No-one else really wants Ukraine but no-one wants Putin to get away with just taking it. A direct confrontation would be too costly for someone who has nothing to gain so the most viable scenario appear to be to assassinate Putin. That would probably be the worst case scenario for him.
Direct confrontation where only soldiers die and the leaders are unharmed is the best case scenario for him.

Re:Put it this way (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about two weeks ago | (#47811463)

most of the First World countries are going to immediately join forces to invade and permanently occupy Russia.

Yeah, but by the time their biggest enemies attack, all of their military units will have gained a ton of experience points from skirmishing with their neighbors all those years. High-level modern armor is nothing to sniff at.

Re:Put it this way (3, Interesting)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about two weeks ago | (#47811505)

He's decidedly not mad in the sense of being irrational. Everything he does adds up towards his goal of strengthening the Russian state and the Russian military industrial complex. (Someone ought to investigate on Putin's and his family and friends stock ownership).

Russia has a strong hand the next 20-30 years, as the western world runs out of petroleum and has yet to create a replacement. Russia has huge untapped petroleum resources, which it can use as a bargaining chip. A country of merely 140 million, this may well be Russia's last chance to expand its borders until the end of history, so if that is Putin's goal then now is the time to play his hand as hard as he possibly dares to.

I would say that Putin might be a megalomaniac psychopath, but those are not irrational if they actually have great power. The time from now until he dies will be interesting.

Re:Put it this way (2)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about two weeks ago | (#47811525)

Honestly, I think most of the First World countries have completely lost their spines, and will sit idly by while Putin takes over all the former Soviet countries, and then starts to expand outward. People will raise sanctions while he grabs all the land he needs to rebuild an independent economy where sanctions are little more than a slight nuisance. Then he'll start to expand outward, bringing some of the Latin American socialist countries into his NuSSR, following with the weaker European and Asian countries. And the US will sit by and scold him on being a terrible human being, while not doing anything to stop him. Why? Because we've lost our stomach for a real war. A real war is nasty business, far worse than what most people alive in the US today have ever experienced. Unfortunately, Russia is one of the few countries with both the desire and the capability to bring that type of war to our shores, and God help us if we've let all our allies fall before we awaken and actually do something about it.

http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811137)

Top level intelligence people call B.S. on Russian invasion

Take a look at this Aug. 30 memo to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian “invasion.” This was put out by top intelligence people: William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)
Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)
MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are long-time veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on Sept. 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicious of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried on Aug. 29 to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now it’s not really a shift.”

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on Aug. 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on Feb. 5, 2003, that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence” and told him flatly, “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to “widen the discussion beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic.

Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.” In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the U.S. have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a Feb. 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.” Burns gave his cable the unusual title, “NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES,” and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO.”

On Aug. 29, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the Feb. 22 coup d’etat in Kiev.

“Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, “Fuck the EU.”

Timing of the Russian “Invasion”

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on Aug. 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives,” said Poroshenko, adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”

If the “new circumstances” meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to “regroup,” to “rearrange” the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the rag-tag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

Re:http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/ (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | about two weeks ago | (#47811163)

[citation needed]

Re:http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811229)

Putin, is that you?

Re:http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811379)

no its from a working group of mainly american ex-intelligence people. the same group of people who correctly identified that the intelligence used as a pretext for an iraq invasion was also fabricated with less than 5% of contents being real.

jesus, you tards will fall for any old shit your media prints, im english and we are generally as stupid as americans for believing our mass media, but you sycophants are a different level of deluded completely. slashdot is becoming frightening for its level of ignorance and misinformation.

Re:http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/ (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about two weeks ago | (#47811269)

The whole idea that there is no actual Russian invasion falls a little flat when there are captured and dead Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and the official Russian line is that those soldiers, apparently with all of their military equipment and supplies, voluntarily invaded Ukraine on their vacations. You would think that Russia wouldn't want their soldiers taking tanks and artillery on vacation with them, but maybe they just do things a little differently in Russia.

By the way, it's just "Ukraine", not "the Ukraine". I would expect 8 former intelligence officials to know that, or at least be consistent in their so-called "memo".

Wow (2, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about two weeks ago | (#47811157)

I thought we were through with all this by the turn of the century. And I mean you can say that he's bluffing but really, Putin's a psychopath. If you corner a genuine bona fide psycho they'll take you down with them if they can, and they don't need any 72 virgins as an excuse either. Even if he's not, he'll have to act like one - to lose face in his position would represent a fundamental weakening of power, he'd lose support overnight, be deposed and likely disposed of.

It would seem to me that western leaders have been caught with their pants well and truly around their ankles in this situation, I doubt they were expecting this kind of heavy handedness, er, ever again. So my guess is they'll back out and leet him have his way.

Re:Wow (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about two weeks ago | (#47811225)

... western leaders... I doubt they were expecting this kind of heavy handedness, er, ever again.

At least, coming from someone else, and directed at them.

Heavy-handedness is their tool to use on the proles, after all.

Re:Wow (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about two weeks ago | (#47811313)

Lose today and prepare for tomorrow. You may be correct but no matter what happens none of this will rest easy in the long run. Russia be will be handled like a bully from here on out.

I think in today's age you would be quick to see the Russian army dissolve should all world leaders embark against them. Back in WW2 the communication highway didn't exist and if the Germans knew how much they were outnumbered and how quickly they were losing ground, they would have crumbled much earlier. In the face of defeat many choose to back down and that's exactly what will happen if full scale war occurs. Will it prevent nukes from dropping? Depends on how loyal the Russian military is to it's crazy leader.

Grab the Popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811161)

Because this will be fun! I enjoy commie bloodbaths as much as anyone!

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811165)

Good job guys! Way to go, american foreign policy. I expected no less. Now, to check the sturdiness of my basement...

Re:Great (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about two weeks ago | (#47811451)

What are you smoking? Russia has been the aggressor here from the beginning.

seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811169)

seriously? nato propaganda again. come on now, do you think anyone believes this. you are hopeless.

Re:seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811253)

They are hopeless. As an old woman once said, "where's the beef?" All we have is the say-so of "unnamed sources" and liars from NATO and Washington (which includes the junta in Kiev put there by Washington).

Where are the tanks? Oh the "unnamed sources' have said they are there but there haven't been any pictures. So far the "war" is nothing but a fabrication. When Israel bombed the fuck out of Gaza there was no doubt an invasion was going on. WHERE'S THE BEEF? No smoke, no fire. Just Washington drooling at the prospect of war to keep the petrodollar afloat.

Invasion? The Crimea VOTED to leave the Ukraine. Oh that's right, that kind of vote is "illegal" according to Washington. The bogus vote for the Kiev junta is the only one that counts.

I fully expect to be accused of being "pro-Russian" (the media's favourite slang). I thought this was a technology site? Oh right...that went out the window when "Your rights online" was used to talk about general politics and 9/11.

So what should we do? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811193)

Its going to be hard for the President to decide. No mater what he decides, it's going to be tough. Should he go with the 3-iron or the 4-iron?

Re:So what should we do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811495)

Good thing we hit the 'reset' button with Russia a few years ago. Otherwise....

I think the President will do the most prudent thing possible here. The US Justice Dept. will begin an investigation immediately (that could ultimately result in an official reprimand, should the facts back up the allegations).

Guess Obama was right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811213)

Russia is our friend, and Romney was living in the past thinking they might be a renewed threat. Oh wait, nevermind, he was completely wrong.

GOOD LUCK EBOLA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811231)

GOOD LUCK EBOLA.

Good luck and prosperity will come to you, but only if you post "Good Luck Ebola" in a reply

How to Deal with a Mad Dog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811239)

OK -- Russia has just crossed a line that can not be ignored.
He is invading a country and threatening to nuke anyone who stops him.

Anyone who thinks "well, just give him Ukraine to avoid Nuclear War" is a fucking fool
He will continue to do this, and forcibly retake other former Soviet Bloc nations that do not wish to join USSR,2.0 which we all know is his true intention.

The only question is how to strike, swift, hard and with precision to stop this incursion and if necessary engage in a Nuclear conflict with Russia, because it's clear this nut-job is going to go there and itching for a fight.

The time for sanctions and sternly worded letters is over.
It's time to go to hot war.

Re:How to Deal with a Mad Dog (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about two weeks ago | (#47811375)

Seriously?

Who cares?

Let Putin have Ukraine.

He can rebuild all of the former Soviet Union if he wants to.

All of those small countries are broke and the United States has no "interests" ... never did, never will.

Re:How to Deal with a Mad Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811427)

Wow, just wow.

Shockingly mis-informed. Are Muricans really this stupid?

Unreal... (3, Interesting)

xfizik (3491039) | about two weeks ago | (#47811249)

Regardless of political preferences... I simply can't imagine in what form those threats could have been made. Phone call? Letter? Email? How can anyone be so [IMHO, unrealistically] stupid to mention using nuclear weapons knowing that every word in today's communications is being recorded and would be published by the opposite side?

P.S. Thank you Slashdot for posting at least 2-3 stories about Ukraine every day. I guess this is really the stuff that matters to nerds that much.

Re:Unreal... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about two weeks ago | (#47811393)

They mention non-official channels. That could be something as basic as one field commander threatening the use of tactical nukes unless the other field commander surrenders.

Re:Unreal... (1)

xfizik (3491039) | about two weeks ago | (#47811475)

Yeah, because "field commanders" have access to nuclear weapons. Are you for real?

Re:Unreal... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about two weeks ago | (#47811531)

No, because field commanders know how to threaten people....

Re:Unreal... (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about two weeks ago | (#47811399)

Regardless of political preferences... I simply can't imagine in what form those threats could have been made. Phone call? Letter? Email? How can anyone be so [IMHO, unrealistically] stupid to mention using nuclear weapons knowing that every word in today's communications is being recorded and would be published by the opposite side?

It was made during a verbal question and answer session some days ago. You can read a transcript of the full thing, without western media's blatantly selective quoting and bias, right here [kremlin.ru] . Do go read it for yourself. The press has been having a field day with taking individual sentences out of context, in many cases not even mentioning that Putin was responding to questions from Russian citizens, to make it look like he's issuing press releases about Ukraine specifically. It's the most amazingly dangerous set of selective quotations I've ever seen. In this case Putin wasn't even talking about Ukraine!

I copy/pasted the full question and answer in a post below. But you can easily find it in that page. It's a long answer to a relatively vague question that asks (amongst other things) about how Russia can avoid being drawn into large scale conflicts. So right at the start he says he doesn't want to be drawn into any large conflicts, he doesn't think it's going to happen and that he thinks nobody has any intention of starting a large scale conflict (er, he might want to re-evaluate that given the noise coming out of NATO). Then he goes on to point out that Russia can defend itself, and talks about the "nuclear deterrent" (same language as the UK uses), and then states again that it's for defence.

You can choose not to believe him if you like. But the USA and UK also have "nuclear deterrents" and their so-called Departments of Defence routinely engage in offence at the drop of a hat. We routinely see far more aggressive language coming out of the White House. So I don't think anything Putin is saying here is particularly unique or unusual.

Re:Unreal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811423)

Good grief. Some 'stuff' universally 'matters.'

Super powers threatening nuclear holocaust ought to count, don't you think?

You can put your head in the sand if you'd like, but don't expect the rest of us to not care.

Re:Unreal... (1)

xfizik (3491039) | about two weeks ago | (#47811519)

Good grief. Some 'stuff' universally 'matters.'

Some stuff that actually happened in this reality sometimes matters.

Re:Unreal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811563)

> Super powers threatening nuclear holocaust ought to count, don't you think?

About the 3rd story is overkill. Way to miss the point.

Eat that pinko fucks (-1, Troll)

ronmon (95471) | about two weeks ago | (#47811257)

All you little commie Snowden lovers should be volunteering to fight for you Russian motherland.

Sign up pussy bitches.

Eat that pinko fucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811465)

Nah I'll let douches like you sign up and die in the Russian winter. If and when Putin decides to attempt to invade this part of the world which is far less likely to happen than the Police having a Military Coup. I'll then fight on my terms and turf. Only idiots sign up to die over foreign bank and trade plots.

Great for the world. (0)

SimonXXX (3810069) | about two weeks ago | (#47811277)

Stockpiles of weapons are overflowing on both sides.
Military factories can't wait to unload its production somewhere.
Nothing worse for the soldier than time of peace. War keeps them alive.

Yeaaaaah baby.

Try it, you prick (0)

realmolo (574068) | about two weeks ago | (#47811285)

If Putin actually uses nukes, NATO will just have him assassinated. It's that simple. We don't want to go to war with Russia, but there's no need to. Putin just needs to be killed.

Re:Try it, you prick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811321)

Would it not be emminently more practical to have him assassinated *before* he has the chance to use said nukes? Even the threat is serious enough to warrant action.

Re:Try it, you prick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811377)

If Putin actually uses nukes, NATO will just have him assassinated. It's that simple.

Want to guess how I know you live in your mom's basement playing Splinter Cell all day?
No, assassinating a head of state is not "that easy", at least not since JFK

Try it, you prick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811405)

If NATO or the US could just assassinate (insert x leader that is disliked) they would have done it already. In reality they couldn't even get Castro back when back when he was screwing up the oligarchs manifest destiny party in the 60's and 70's.

Re:Try it, you prick (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about two weeks ago | (#47811471)

Depending on how loyal his people are, it could have major ripple effects. It also goes against U.N. peacetime laws. To assassinate a leader such as Putin you would need to first declare war on them. Standing behind a keyboard makes it seems much easier than it is but war declaration is far more involved than it sounds and usually requires the UN agreeing.

Actual full quote (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about two weeks ago | (#47811303)

Full transcript of this youth camp Q and A session is available here [kremlin.ru] .

ROMAN SMAGIN: Good afternoon, Mr President.

I am Roman Smagin from Novosibirsk Teacher Training University.

It’s no secret to anyone that history tends to repeat itself. Historical events seem to unfold according to a cyclical theory. Over these last two years we have remembered and celebrated the historic choices that Russia made at important moments for our country’s destiny, such as in 1612, 1812, and 1914.

In this context, I want to ask you what view you take of the cyclical nature of history as we can see it in Russia. Also, I want to ask you about your view of historical memory, how it helps us, how it can help to preserve Russia’s political influence on the international stage, contribute to our society’s development, and not let Russia be drawn into a new open global conflict.

Thank you.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Historical memory is a very important part of our culture, history and present. Of course, we must draw on our historical experience and historical memory as we look towards the future. I can therefore say straight away that Russia is certainly not about to let itself be drawn into any large-scale conflicts. We do not want this and will not let this happen.

Naturally, we need to be ready to respond to any aggression against Russia. Our partners, no matter what the situation in their countries and the foreign policy ideas they follow, always need to be aware that it is better not to enter into any potential armed conflict against us. Fortunately though, I don’t think anyone has the intention today of trying to start a large-scale conflict against Russia.

Let me remind you that Russia is one of the world’s biggest nuclear powers. These are not just words – this is the reality. What’s more, we are strengthening our nuclear deterrent capability and developing our armed forces. They have become more compact and effective and are becoming more modern in terms of the weapons at their disposal. We are continuing this work to build up our potential and will keep doing so, not in order to threaten anyone, but so as to be able to feel safe, ensure our security and be able to carry out our economic and social development plans.

As far as cycles are concerned, yes, I think that the world’s development does go in cycles. This has pretty much been proven as far as the economy is concerned. There are economists here and they can no doubt explain it better than I can, but there are various cycles in the economy, small waves, large waves and so on, and any country’s development depends on the state of the economy. This is why economic growth and the transition from one technological level to another always have an impact on people’s lives and prosperity and on the social and political situation.

Just look, for example, at the way demand is growing in the European countries, and how hard it is to keep up with this constantly growing demand even at today’s level of technological development. This is a sign that there is a need for something else, that we must compensate somewhere for what we are not managing to achieve with the help of foreign policy and defence policy.

I hope very much that not just Russia’s historical memory but that all of humanity will prompt us to search for peaceful solutions to the various conflicts that are currently unfolding and that will arise in the future. We support political dialogue and the search for compromise.

Re:Actual full quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811417)

LOL, thanks for posting. Looks like we have another "true story" from cold fjord ruined by an eyewitness.

Sigh (3)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about two weeks ago | (#47811327)

OK, I guess this "story" qualifies as "stuff that matters", but can we at least get something more than a smattering of links to stories that are yesterday's news? Putin made his comment 4 days ago, and damn near every think in the summary points to stories that are three days old (and contain more than their share of unsubstantiated speculation).

I'm not normally one to make "why is this on slashdot?" posts. But taking into account the predilections of the submitter, I gotta say this comes off as a troll submission.

isn't this the time when.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811357)

isn't this the time when some people stated the world would end?
Some biblical thingy or something..
its been pushed back billions of times due to miscalculations?

Straight out of the Cold War playbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811365)

"Fear of the bomb" was something Moscow used to great effect to sway public opinion in Western countries for decades. Any move to counter Russia would be derided as warmongering and the peaceful solution, of course, was allowing them to do whatever they wanted internationally to avoid the risk of provoking them. Putin is well aware that the Cold War was first and foremost a test of wills, and Obama has almost as little will to confront him as the Europeans do.

Putin's game plan now will be to create as many facts on the ground as he can for the rest of Obama's term to give him the upper hand against a more hawkish President down the road.

Seriously? (5, Interesting)

gerddie (173963) | about two weeks ago | (#47811407)

From TFA:

Kiev has received threats of nuclear retaliation from Russia through unofficial channels if it continues to fight pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Valeriy Heletey, announced on his Facebook page on Monday.

This is news for nerds, for people who are supposed to love science. Science is, when you can prove things, reproduce them. An announcement from someone on the losing side who has an interest in dragging NATO into this is not a statement that can be relied on. It is not even mentioned what the unofficial channel, is, nor was any kind of prove provided, like with all the rest of the anti-Russian propaganda, btw.

I expect tomorrow news on ./ to be: The pope said that God is real.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811551)

Well said. One has only to look at the name of the submitter to be highly skeptical of this "news"

Hm. (0)

argStyopa (232550) | about two weeks ago | (#47811453)

ISIS
China
Russia

Everyone who thought it was a good idea to hand the US presidency to a posturing lightweight, please enjoy your evening news.

Re:Hm. (3, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about two weeks ago | (#47811499)

I can't tell you how comfortable I would be feeling, right this instant, were Palin vice president.

Obama didn't win; the GOP lost, both in 2008 and 2012. If you want to be angry at anyone, be angry at the GOP for giving us shit choices.

Fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47811513)

Send Sarah Palin in to fix the situation, she's a neighbor and an expert on all things Russia.

But hey... (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about two weeks ago | (#47811541)

The 1980's just called, and they still want their foreign policy back...

The sad part is that the president actually believed what he said that night during the debate. It was all cold war paranoia. Romney was clearly out of touch. Vladimir Putin would NEVER do anything like invade another country in "today's civilized age", let alone do the unthinkable and use nuclear weapons simply to gain some Russian soil. I guess the president can just say: "Well - Chernobyl's already radiated parts of the country, so it's not that big of a deal if the rest glows in the dark, too."

I'm even more sad that so many Americans would STILL vote for this guy today simply because they're Democrats and that's that.

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