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Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:19 AM

China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions

Last edited Sat Mar 15, 2014, 06:07 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.

In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.

"We don't see any point in sanctions," Shi said. "Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don't want this."

-- MORE


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-ukraine-crisis-china-idUSBREA2C0PB20140313

44 replies, 2039 views

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Reply China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions (Original post)
Lodestar Mar 2014 OP
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #1
davidpdx Mar 2014 #2
DetlefK Mar 2014 #8
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #9
DetlefK Mar 2014 #11
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #12
Igel Mar 2014 #13
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #14
another_liberal Mar 2014 #35
EX500rider Mar 2014 #36
another_liberal Mar 2014 #43
EX500rider Mar 2014 #44
Lodestar Mar 2014 #3
DFW Mar 2014 #4
go west young man Mar 2014 #15
DFW Mar 2014 #27
go west young man Mar 2014 #29
DFW Mar 2014 #32
go west young man Mar 2014 #41
go west young man Mar 2014 #42
another_liberal Mar 2014 #5
newfie11 Mar 2014 #6
go west young man Mar 2014 #16
red dog 1 Mar 2014 #30
swilton Mar 2014 #33
DeSwiss Mar 2014 #7
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #10
go west young man Mar 2014 #17
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #18
go west young man Mar 2014 #19
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #20
go west young man Mar 2014 #22
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #24
go west young man Mar 2014 #25
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #26
go west young man Mar 2014 #28
EX500rider Mar 2014 #37
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #38
EX500rider Mar 2014 #39
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #40
The Stranger Mar 2014 #21
bemildred Mar 2014 #23
Sunlei Mar 2014 #31
red dog 1 Mar 2014 #34

Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:50 AM

1. If China supports the right of Crimea to break away, it concedes any legal claim against Taiwan

and Tibet.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:13 AM

2. Very true

And I highly doubt they would do so. I personally think Crimea is the first step to them invading Eastern Ukraine. Strategically they'll have military on both sides of Ukraine (while they have always had that, they obviously will have no limitations on what they can do from Crimea once it joins Russia).

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 07:41 AM

8. The exact opposite: It's precedent for China's right to conquer Taiwan.

After all, the population of Taiwan is chinese, just as the population of Crimea is predominantly russian.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 08:52 AM

9. Russia's pretext is Crimea is seceding and has a right to do so. nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 09:07 AM

11. Russia's pretext is the will of the people!

Russia is not claiming territory in Ukraine in Crimea. It's presenting itself as protectors of the russian part of the population who is threatened by extremists.
"What do we hear? A protester died? Great, now we HAVE to send russian peace-keepers into an ukrainian city."


Imagine, the policy of China and Taiwan getting closer continues. Eventually, some people in Taiwan will demand that Taiwan join the PRC. Imagine demonstrations, arrests, tear-gas, water-cannons. If the violence would go on long enough, sooner or later someone is bound to die and that's the pretext China needs to send troops to protect the harassed political minority who supports the PRC.

It's a stretch, off course, but if China manages to send in troops in a quasi-legal pretext, without provoking the US-fleet near Taiwan, Taiwan's fate is sealed.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 10:23 AM

12. the real issue with China isn't the land of Taiwan, but rather the principle

that there is an alternative to "one China"--if Taiwan can declare independence, why not the Uighurs?

For all of its authortarianism, the biggest threat China worries about is anarchy and dissolution.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:07 AM

13. Firepower.

It's the same with the Chechen Republic. It was originally the Chechen-Ingushetia Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and granted autonomous status within the Russian SFSR (notice the "F" for "federal").

After the USSR dissolved it broke into the Chechen Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia.

The Chechen Republic declared it wanted to break away from Russia.

Russia decided that self-determination wasn't for Chechens. There was a bit of a war, then a bit more of a war.

You'd think maybe this would be a precedent for the justifiable invasion of Crimea. But Putin's all "self-determination" when he makes the self-determination; firmly against it when it doesn't suit him.

Same for the Chinese. The Uighurs have no right to self-determination. They are part of the empire. Nice, abstract principles are always tempered by the needs of the power, by the potential application of force, and by the need for maintaining territorial integrity.

The Chinese in Taiwan have full rights to self-determination, as long as they self-determine what the PRC has already self-determined for them. And, really, they wouldn't mind (the PRC, that is), having it go the same way: Have a group of armed men surround the parliament and not let in any opponents as a representative to parliament that got 4% of the vote was decreed president. Then he can have a self-defense force sporting new PRC materiel occupy the island, have a large media campaign saying how horrible the nationalists (nationalist = fascist!!!, fascist = Japanese aggressor!) and Westerners are, with a snap vote while it's clear that the large country is both threatening, bribing, and occupying the island. It's very much a Russian way of doing things, but the Chinese have shown themselves adept at borrowing political "technology" and adapting it, and even improving on it.

Many here, no doubt, that find a security guard near a polling place in one place in a city and find it to be full-blown fascist and an attempt to force election results would do as they do now--find 30k "unknown" armed occupation troops a perfectly reasonable, safe election. And if only public money is spent--albeit, all for a given decision, using blatant propaganda techniques while controlling the press, outside access, and any dissidents--at least it's free from the taint of "special interests." They, on behalf of the Taiwanese, would welcome their (not "their own") Chinese overlords.

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Response to Igel (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:09 AM

14. China won't invade Taiwan--economically they're already integrated

and the last time they tried an amphibious invasion it didn't work out so well for them.

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Response to Igel (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:35 PM

35. And we continue to murder Puerto Rican Nationalist leaders as well.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:41 PM

36. "And we continue to murder Puerto Rican Nationalist leaders as well." BS

When the FBI surrounds a wanted bank robber's house i suggest he come out slowly with his hands up instead of opening fire.

"murder" NOT

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 06:25 PM

43. You are entitled to your opinion . . .

Amy Goodman's Democracy Now is also so entitled.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #43)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 06:34 PM

44. Yeah, that's is where i got my FACTS, not opinion.

The facts stated in your link:

"He was wanted by the FBI for his role in a 1983 bank heist."

"The shooting occurred Friday after FBI agents surrounded a house where he was staying."

"The FBI claimed the 72-year-old Ojeda Rios fired first but independence activists accused the FBI of assassinating him."

The facts are the FBI said he shot 1st.

You prefer to believe some people who were not there....big surprise.

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:13 AM

3. Russia is ready to retaliate with counter sanctions against the EU and US

Russia is ready to retaliate with counter sanctions against the EU and US if they go ahead with economic measures against Russia over tension in Crimea, the Russian Economic Ministry has said.

"We hope that there will only be targeted political sanctions, and not a broad package affecting economic trade,” Deputy Economic Development Minister Aleksey Likhachev said.

“Our sanctions will be, of course, similar,” he added.

One way Russia plans on shielding itself from pending sanctions is by boosting trade in other currencies, not the US dollar.

“We need to increase trade volume conducted in national currencies. Why, in relation to China, India, Turkey and other countries, should we be negotiating in dollars? Why should we do that? We should sign deals in national currencies- this applies to energy, oil, gas, and everything else,” Aleksey Ulyukaev, the Minister of Economic Development said in an interview with the Vesti 24 TV channel.

more - http://rt.com/business/russia-us-eu-sanctions-546/

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:43 AM

4. "Why....should we be negotiating in dollars?" Ever walked the streets of Moscow, TOB. Likachev?

Because everything is done in dollars, THAT'S why. Maybe it's beneath the dignity of a Deputy Minister to get down to street level these days,I don't know.

When you negotiate with the taxi driver, it's in dollars. When you go buy stuff at the flea market, it's in dollars. Want a deal at the open air market for the food you'll be eating at lunch? Pay in dollars. Negotiate a deal with a company in the west to import something, or to sell them something? In Russia, it's done in dollars. Rubles are for the poor krestyany who have no dollars.

The Russians were perfectly content to let their ruble become play money and the dollar be the de facto hard currency even before the fall of the Soviet Union, although my German friends tell me the D-Mark was also welcome before the Euro. They won't change the people's minds (or habits) overnight, no matter what imperial ambitions Putin has in mind.

As for the Chinese, considering what they did to Tibet, they hardly could come up with another response without being asked when the Independence Celebrations would begin in Lhasa.

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Response to DFW (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:14 AM

15. I've been to Russia once a year for the last 8 years.

I've never bought anything with dollars. Everything is paid for in rubles. If you go to a bank to exchange dollars. They will only take US $20 bills and higher of pristine new quality. They will not accept older twenties. I don't know where you get your info but it's completely inaccurate. Taxi drivers usually won't accept US currency because they know there's a chance that the babushka sitting behind the teller window will tell them they won't accept it. Eta Russia.

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Response to go west young man (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 02:15 PM

27. Last time I was in Moscow

Everything was paid in dollars. I didn't exchange anything once, as we were guests of the Moscow chief correspondent of German Radio News, but he told us not to bother bringing anything other than dollars, which we did. We all speak the language (except for my wife), and his girlfriend is a Muscovite who doesn't speak anything else, so it's not like we misunderstood any instructions.

That's where I get my information. замечательно!

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Response to DFW (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:16 PM

29. In the modern day

anyone who travels to Moscow gets their on person spending cash exchanged into rubles at Sheremetvo or Domededvo and if they are like most people they use a credit card and bank machines for all transactions thereby waving any conversion fees except what your own bank charges. Is it possible your friend took care of the cab for you and you used your card for all transactions because that's the way it usually goes down for my experience? In markets and malls I always pay in rubles. They won't take US dollars from me. Granted Moscow may be different as my time spent there is much less. My wife and I are translators. Her Russian and me French. She's from Voronezh and we live in Russia for a month each year for the past 8 years working for New Tech Start Ups. Moyia Ruskie eta plohoi ya kazal malinki slavaa. Moyia zhena kazal oochin bolshoi. Peace.

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Response to go west young man (Reply #29)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:05 PM

32. Sounds like we were at different ends of the spectrum

Except for a brief sojourn to Zagorsk, I was only in Moscow, and our friend picked us up at Sheryemyetyevo. The only taxis we took were when he was with us. I never used a credit card, just cash.

понятно on the language end. Though translator is not my profession, it is one I respect greatly. I speak nine European languages (le français compris, biensûr) and it's rare that a week goes by when I don't use all of them in the course of my work. I am based in the German Rheinland, and we speak German at home (my wife's language).

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Response to DFW (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 05:44 PM

41. Very cool.

I'm glad there are others who have actually been to Russia giving DU'ers a bit of first hand knowledge on Russia. For me, Russia is a crazy interesting place with many amazing qualities and a lot of problems that need fixing, but it is definitely not the way I think many DU'ers perceive it in light of the old Cold War. Having spent quite a lot of time in Slovakia and Czech Republic I find Voronezh, Lipetsk and Volgograd not much different. Particularly Voronezh. I'm curious on your overall thoughts on Russia and the people you've met. Personally I think I've seen tremendous growth and changes since I've been going over the last 8 years. No pressure, but what do you think? If you prefer not to answer I understand. Cheers.

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Response to DFW (Reply #32)


Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 06:16 AM

5. World economic depression anyone?

All of that pain and suffering just so as to make it possible for a gang of "vulture capitalists" and banker-loving "technocrats" to loot Ukraine under a pliant government, a government which won't insist on a fair deal for the Ukrainian people.

We in the West should be both afraid and ashamed.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 06:36 AM

6. +1

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:24 AM

16. +2

Once the US energy companies have raped Ukraine of their land and pensions and lowered their wages even further so they can sell gas to Europe instead of Russia doing it, the Ukranian people will be left wondering how they let a bunch of skin head hooligans open the door and let these conmen in. East Ukraine looks likely to secede without help from Russia if anyones been paying attention to video coming out of the region.

As far as the US goes, were just enabling the 1% to make themselves richer at the expense of common sense and the spectre of the ridiculous long over Cold War. The MIC is already drawing up the new contracts that will take away dollars from social programs that are needed here in the states.

We make our choices and a choice for a new Cold War is an uneducated one. We should be putting our dollars into education and well being for our people.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:44 PM

30. + 3

"Russia and West on a Collision Course over Ukraine as Talks fail in London"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014755229#post9/

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Response to red dog 1 (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:18 PM

33. + 4

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 07:30 AM

7. It looks like the EU is about to be hit with a BRIC.



- K&R

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 08:54 AM

10. good luck getting those countries to tank their economies out

of solidarity with Mother Russia. China and India and Brazil and S.A. may opt out of sanctions, but they won't retaliate on Russia's behalf.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:25 AM

17. Do the math on those populations and their growth rates

economically and physically and you'll understand that Russia is making some very wise moves.
Believe it or not Sub-sharan Africa and North Africa are now being eyed as growing investment markets. A look into Obama's US AID program can give you the info you need to understand the growth that is coming. Incomes are rising across Africa as a whole.

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Response to go west young man (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:29 AM

18. Russia is a fascist, imperialist, ultranationalist state whose only friends

are going to be India, Iran, and Syria.

It is a second tier economic power despite having a first tier military, and it's on the outside looking in at the world that's modernizing.

China will play it neutral, waiting for the right time to stab the Russians in the back.

Go ahead and buy up all the rubles you can if you don't believe me.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:10 PM

19. Your calling Russia names is immature and shows the merit of your argument.

Do some research. There's this thing called the CIA fact book. Russias economy is growing at an incredibly fast rate. Contracts signed recently include Brazil and China as well as many Asian and Sub Saharan countries. The world appears to be moving along without you in it. Hell Russia is also one of Iraq's biggest trading partners now, thanks to ridiculous US policy. You may also want to try some energy news as they all seem to be saying the US is along way away from deliveries to Ukraine and blunting Russia's oil dominance. Do you ever source anything you shout or do you just spew it out blindly? http://www.businessreport.com/article/20140307/BUSINESSREPORT0112/140309869

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Response to go west young man (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:11 PM

20. go out and buy rubles then. if you're so confident in Russia, they're really cheap now

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:18 PM

22. Let me do you one better from the people who really know.

http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/russia/overview

Excerpt:

Despite the slowdown this year, the Russian economy is projected to accelerate to 3.1 percent growth in 2014. Global recovery could result in an increase in Russian exports starting in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the World Bank projects oil prices to remain stable at about $105/bbl. Next year’s growth prospects will largely depend on the recovery in Russia's most important economic partner, the Euro Area, and the increased investment activities associated with the recently announced large state investment projects to be financed off-budget.

They have Russia at a 3.1% projected growth rate for 2014, down from the astounding 8% that they had up until 2008. That is roughly the same economic expansion rate as the United States. So let me ask you this, is the US economy growing if it has a projected growth rate of 3.5%? If so then Russia is growing too according to the World Bank. I'm curious where you attained your graphic, certainly not from Healthcare.gov I hope.

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Response to go west young man (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:25 PM

24. that graph is all of 2014, including the crisis Russia brought upon itself.

It shows investors lack confidence in Russia's outlook when the EU and US decide to slap sanctions on it.

Russia's per person GDP is 1/4 of the US's, so a growth rate roughly equivalent to the US growth rate is really unimpressive--growth is supposed to be higher when per person GDP is lower.

Here's what Russia's outlook for 2014 is really like:

Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, a member of Putin's economic council, said that Western banks are already shutting off credit lines for Russian companies. Growth would fall sharply from last year, when the economy grew by 1.3%, already way down on 2012's figure of 3.4%.

"I believe that under the circumstances, will be less than 1% this year. It might even be zero growth this year," Kudrin said, according to Russian media.


http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/14/investing/russia-crimea-markets/index.html

You see, no one's going to lend dollars or euros or yen to Russia-based companies.

Which will hurt.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:28 PM

25. Oh man....

your citing CNN over the World Bank. Gotta love your flailing about. I did make one mistake however, I was wrong about the US growth rate....it's 2.8% not 3.1. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG

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Response to go west young man (Reply #25)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:32 PM

26. you are citing work that was conducted in 2013, before the prospect of sanctions from the

US and EU were contemplated as a possibility

Are you disputing that the ruble has lost value relative to the dollar?

As I said, go buy rubles if you're so damn cocky about Russia's strength relative to the US.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:03 PM

28. The ruble will recover as it always does.

Last edited Fri Mar 14, 2014, 08:45 PM - Edit history (1)

I tend to take the World bank a little more seriously than I would CNN, a corporation (Time Warner) that has a vested conflictual interest in keeping their customer base happy ( the MIC, big oil, wall street) and who propagandized (v=cheerled) the failure that was the Iraq war. Keep on betting on em though, you obviously swear they can't lead you wrong. And by the way the ruble was worth nothing when Putin came to power. Obviously Russia can bounce back again as they have done it starting in 2000 and after the crash of 2008. Keep wishing upon stars though and trusting CNN for your anti Russia rhetoric. Peace.

And here's what the stock traders think. http://seekingalpha.com/symbol/RSX They think it's a good risk to buy soon.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:49 PM

37. "despite having a first tier military" Not even...

"Russian threats to use military force against Ukraine are largely bluff. For a decade now Russia has been struggling to modernize its armed forces most of which are still equipped with Cold War (pre 1991) era weapons and equipment. Despite increasing defense spending by a third since 2008, less than half the troops have modern (post-Cold War) equipment. Moreover, the Russian Army is now smaller than the U.S. Army (300,000 troops versus 500,000), a historical first. Worse, a third of the Russian army troops are conscripts, who are on active duty for one year. While the U.S. Army also has a half million reserve troops who are trained and equipped to quickly enter operations, Russia has less than 100,000 similar (and less well equipped and trained) reserves. Russia also has 200,000 armed men in the Interior Ministry. This is basically a paramilitary forces equipped as light infantry. A few are highly trained commandos and riot police, but most only good for security duties not heavy combat. A third of the Interior Ministry troops are conscripts.

Russia hopes to buy and distribute sufficient new weapons and equipment so that by 2020 at least 70 percent of its combat troops have modern equipment. A lot of Russian commanders are not confident that this deadline will be met. These officers note that since 2008, when the five day Russian invasion of tiny Georgia exposed the equipment and training shortcomings of the army, not a lot of progress has been made to remedy those problems. Russia only has about 100,000 paratroopers, commandos and airborne troops it can really rely on and these elite forces have to be ready to deal with emergencies across the vastness (11 time zones) of Russia. Those hundred thousand troops would be quickly tied down if a similar move were made into Ukraine (which has ten times the population of Georgia and much more capable armed forces). Russia went into Georgia with 20,000 troops, about a third of them pro-Russian irregulars from nearby areas that had grudges with Georgia. That force suffered higher losses and a lot of other unexpected problems. Russian leaders noted the problems and vowed to fix everything. That has not happened.

While Russia has held training exercises in the last few years that quickly mobilized over a hundred thousand troops for unannounced maneuvers and inspections of readiness it later was revealed that while the troops turned out, there were a lot of deficiencies. The Russians put a positive spin on this and they were correct in assessing these “snap exercises” were a beginning. But Russia is nowhere near the finish line with this modernization process.

Russia is supposed to have a million troops on active duty but because of a shortage of volunteers and an abundance of draft dodgers it barely has 850,000. Lots of money is spent on developing new missiles, tanks, aircraft and ships but there is still not enough cash to replace the Cold War era vehicles that are still the norm. So Russia relies on subterfuge and deception in Ukraine. The last thing Russia wants is a situation where they will have to put a lot of their troops and equipment through their paces. The military isn’t ready for that sort of thing yet, especially with all those cell phone cameras ready to record any flubs. Finally there is the past experience with uncooperative Ukrainians. The Ukraine has always been an unwilling part of the Russian empire and have rebelled many times before regaining their independence once more in 1991. There are still elderly Russians who remember the campaign in the Ukraine from 1945 into the 1950s against Ukrainian rebels. The Ukrainians have not forgotten this and promise more of it if Russian troops return. Even in the Ukraine the “Russian” portion of the population is largely in favor of remaining a part of Ukraine. Same deal in eastern Ukraine which the Soviets sought to “Russify” with lots of migrants from Russia. Those migrants may still speak Russian but most think of themselves as Ukrainian. Thus Ukraine is no place for a paper tiger."

1 year conscripts don't make very good soldiers.

http://strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20140313.aspx

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #37)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:51 PM

38. size matters nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #38)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:56 PM

39. It does and the Ukraine is 10 times Georgia's size....

Ukraine manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,984,394
females age 16-49: 11.26 million (2010 est.)



https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #39)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:57 PM

40. Yeah, it would be Afghanistan redux if Russia tried to bite off more than Crimea nt

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:15 PM

21. Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.

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Response to The Stranger (Reply #21)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:22 PM

23. Pretty much.

Orwell knew what he was talking about.

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 03:53 PM

31. why don't you Free Tibet china before you help your buddie russia steal Ukraine.

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Response to Lodestar (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 04:20 PM

34. "Chinese President Xi Jinping..is due to attend a nuclear security summit in the Netherlands...

(From the OP)
..which Obama, Merkel and dozens of other world leaders will attend."

Putin will be there too.

March 24-25 is only ten days from now.



I wonder if Putin will make a move against Eastern Ukraine before then?

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that hinted that Russian forces could intervene in Eastern Ukraine to protect Russians there.
"Russia recognizes it's responsibility for the lives of countrymen and fellow citizens in Ukraine and reserves the right to take people under it's protection," the statement said.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014755229/

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