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Jacob

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I'm sure that the many Poles, Czechoslovakians, Romanians, Latvians and Lithuanians I've worked alongside over a fair part of the last 20 years would regard the loss of freedom and human rights in their respective countries as being a necessary part of life to preserve the rights of the peace-loving USSR. After all didn't they regard it as a pleasure to have hosted the Russian military for half a century? No? Well there's a surprise.
They were even less happy hosting the Nazis, even if it was only for a few years
Russian "self-defence" was nothing more than a land grab.
It's that what the Russians were doing at the siege of Leningrad, just gearing up for a land grab?
"This resulted in the deaths of up to 1,500,000 soldiers and civilians and the evacuation of 1,400,000 more (mainly women and children), many of whom died during evacuation due to starvation and bombardment. Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in Leningrad holds half a million civilian victims of the siege alone."
 
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Jacob

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Neither the creation of the USSR, nor its dissolution, were the product of an enlightened Russian political plan - .....
The creation was most certainly the product of an enlightened political plan, though we all know it didn't work out perfectly; over-idealistic, one form of serfdom replaced by another, the arrival of Stalin as dictator etc. Tragically interrupted by WW2, who knows what might have happened otherwise?
The dissolution was fairly enlightened too, in the circumstances.
Politics is a messy business and there's much more to it than just deciding who are the goodies and the baddies!
 
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Jacob

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JobandKnock

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They were even less happy hosting the Nazis, even if it was only for a few years
Oh, so that's why in the early stages of the invasion of Russia the German army had so many problems recruiting volunteeers from the Baltic states and the Ukraine - nbecause the Russians had treated them so well?

It's that what the Russians were doing at the siege of Leningrad, just gearing up for a land grab?
No, but what they did at Warsaw, where they halted their advance and allowed the German army to wipe-out the Polish Home Front was - it is much easier to install a puppet government if the opposition is dead
 

Blackswanwood

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"On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany."

I think it's the next sentence that really highlights the expansionist policy of the USSR that was of course interrupted by WWII, delivered by the post WWII settlement, reversed with the end of the Cold War and Putin now seems to be resurrecting ...

"After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states."
 

Jacob

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No, but what they did at Warsaw, where they halted their advance and allowed the German army to wipe-out the Polish Home Front was - it is much easier to install a puppet government if the opposition is dead
Germans had invaded Poland 16 days previous to the Soviet invasion. With hindsight the west should have formed a strong alliance with the USSR when it was on offer. Soviets trusted nobody.
Interesting stuff all this - I'm having to look things up as I eat my porage! Computer is amazing - in the old days it would have to be the complete Encyclopaedia Brittanica on the kitchen table, getting covered in marmalade!
 

JobandKnock

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And what makes you think the West could ever trust the USSR of the 1930s? The Russians were happy to form alliances with the Germans after WWI which allowed German manufacturers to construct aircraft, etc inside the Soviet Union away from prying eyes in contravention of the Armistice, something the west eventually became aware of in the early 1930s. Also remember the duplicitous behavior of the USSR towards, for example, the Ford workers who went there in the late 1920s/early 1930s to build a truck industry - many of whom were never allowed out of the country again and ended up in the gulags of Siberia. What about the show trials, such as the Metro-Vick affair of the 1930s? Another example of Soviet "openness". This is in addition to the cover-up of the Holodomor, where the Soviets attempted to discredit journalists such as Gareth Jones (probably subsequently murdered in Japanese-occupied Mongolia in 1935 by NKVD agents), Malcolm Muggeridge and Rhea Klyman (amongst others), by the manipulation of international notables including George Bernard Shaw and Edouard Herriot who were hoodwinked into publishing positive articles about the Ukraine, and in some cases by coercion of American journalists such as Walter Duranty (Pullitzer prize winner) and Eugene Lyons, both of whom toed the (Communist) party line to publish denouncements of Jones' work in particular. In the case of Lyons it was because he was enamoured of the Communist regime (he subsequently left the USSR and became a vehement opponent of Stalin's regime), whilst in Duranty's case because he was allegedly being blackmailed by them

Yes, all very innocent, so why wouldn't we trust Russia?

Of course the USSR's subsequent behaviour at Katyn in April and May 1940 where NKVD executioners shot dead 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia in a sort of production line had nothing to do with wanting to take over Poland without opposition, had it?
 
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Jacob

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And what makes you think the West could ever trust the USSR of the 1930s? The Russians were happy to form alliances with the Germans after WWI which allowed German manufacturers to construct aircraft, etc inside the Soviet Union away from prying eyes in contravention of the Armistice, something the west eventually became aware of in the early 1930s. Also remember the duplicitous behavior of the USSR towards, for example, the Ford workers who went there in the late 1920s/early 1930s to build a truck industry - many of whom were never allowed out of the country again and ended up in the gulags of Siberia. Whjat about the show trials, such as the Metro-Vick affair of the 1930s, another example of Soviet "openness". This is in addition to the cover-up of the Holodomor, where the Soviets attempted to discredit journalists such as Gareth Jones (probably subsequently murdered in Japanese-occupied Mongolia in 1935 by NKVD agents), Malcolm Muggeridge and Rhea Klyman (amongst others), by the manipulation of international notables including George Bernard Shaw and Edouard Herriot who were hoodwinked into publishing positive articles about the Ukraine, and in some cases by coercion of American journalists such as Walter Duranty (Pullitzer prize winner) and Eugene Lyons, both of whom toed the (Communist) party line to publish denouncements of Jones' work in particular. In the case of Lyons it was because he was enamoured of the Communist regime (he subsequently left the USSR and became a vehement opponent of Stalin's regime), whilst in Duranty's case because he was allegedly being blackmailed by them

Yes, all very innocent, so why wouldn't we trust Russia?

Of course the USSR's subsequent behaviour at Katyn in April and May 1940 where NKVD executioners shot dead 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia in a sort of production line had nothing to do with wanting to take over Poland without opposition, had it?
It's all tit for tat. The west tried to stop the revolution itself, the establishment being firmly behind the Tsarist dictatorship, as they would be today. The revolution in its early days was naive, idealistic, democratic but probably viable. Lenin moved towards a modern mixed economy but all went s shaped under Stalin. Yes it took some time for western communist supporters to catch up but they did.
Neo fascist supporters are still with us loud and strong, just take a look at the Daily Mail. Pre-war and along with parts of the royal family and the establishment, big supporters of fascism
The west has it own appallingly brutal history too, which includes colonialism, the empire, slavery, Hitler himself.
To get back to reality - Putin doesn't really bear comparison with his predecessors. This is interesting: Vladimir Putin reveals family’s WWII ordeals in magazine article
 
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Blackswanwood

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Jacob

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I'm sure we can rely on Russia Beyond to give an accurate portrayal of the Putin family :unsure::whistle: Just off to check there's nothing smeared on my door handles ...
Haven't you heard of the CIA, Mossad, The Daily Mail et al? Do you think there is something radically different about Russian diplomacy and propaganda as compared to the west and USA activities - or other allies Rise and Kill First - Wikipedia
 

Blackswanwood

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Haven't you heard of the CIA, Mossad, The Daily Mail et al? Do you think there is something radically different about Russian diplomacy and propaganda as compared to the west and USA activities - or other allies Rise and Kill First - Wikipedia
While I've little time for the Daily Mail I'd struggle to put them in the same grouping as CIA and Mossad.

I don't doubt that many of the intelligence agencies across the world are deeply flawed. That doesn't negate the rather toxic aspects of the current Russian regime.

Eastern Europe is a very complex mixture of ethnicity, loyalties and attitudes which it suits both ends of the spectrum to ignore.
 

Spectric

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This quote is what the Americans need to read, and then ask themselves is Ukraine worth the risk of sacrificing everyone else by getting involved in another oversea's conflict, I would have thought their last fiasco in Afganistan would have made them think twice, it did last too long and with proper management could have ended in an orderly fashion but now is it a case of Biden looking to get his moment of fame.

The first rule of international relations is that the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must. The second rule is that, most of the time, not even superpowers can change the first rule. Unfortunately, advocates of a strong U.S. security commitment to Ukraine seem not to understand these rules. They believe instead that Washington can somehow prevent strong Russia from doing what it will with weak Ukraine. But this is a fantasy. The harsh reality is that Washington can’t deter a Russian invasion of Ukraine — and shouldn’t even try.
 

Jacob

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ah, the apeasement strategy of abandoning the very basics of the ethics and morals you claim your nation is built on. That's worked out well in the past.
:ROFLMAO:
UK and USA foreign policy has hardly ever been based on ethics and morals, in the whole of history!
 

Terry - Somerset

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The record of western involvement in the Middle East has been completely unconvincing .

A few "almost successes" - eg: Kuwait where a successful campaign to eject Iraq was followed by a strategic failure to finish the job.

The war in Iraq 2003-2011 directly lead to the deaths of over 250,000 (mainly Iraqis) and ended only because Obama wanted to claim it was over. It wasn't - but they did have a ceremony.

Invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 suppressed, not eliminated, Islamic State. The war ended in 2021, the West withdrew troops, economic and social chaos followed. Deaths estimated at 200,000+.

The US largely stayed out of Syria - I assume concluding that deploying ground troops increased US casualties (not a vote winner). They did send in military jets with and interfered a bit.

They embraced the "Arab Spring", and dropped bombs on Libya in the naive belief that the Middle East would be transformed by peaceful democracy. History has proved them wrong - no Middle East state has got remotely close to the original aspirations.

Russia has done no better in the Middle East - one could easily be drawn to the conclusion that the actions of both the West and the East have been a play for political dominance in the region, with limited regard for the welfare of citizenry.

Despite the experiences of the last 25 years, they are at it again over Ukraine - stupidity is often defined as "trying again what has already been proven to fail.

The UK is a bit player on the world stage (the empire went decades ago), should remain firmly on the touchline, and Liz Truss should do likewise instead of inconsequential sound bite politics ahead of a leadership contest.
 

Jacob

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Exactly - not that two wrongs make a right!
In terms of world peace though, things are currently better than they have been since WW2 then ever before.
 

Jacob

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Russia has done no better in the Middle East - .....
Hmm dunno in recent years since Glasnost the Russians have been responsible for far less death and destruction than the USA, possibly even than the UK.
 
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