Joe Biden greenlights Russian 'incursion' into the Ukraine - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15208428
Telegraph wrote:
Ukrainian president rebukes Joe Biden over 'gaffe' that gives Vladimir Putin 'green light to invade'

US President describes it as the 'most consequential situation' since Second World War as Macron calls for EU security pact with Russia.

The president of Ukraine has rebuked Joe Biden for a gaffe which was described as an "invitation for Putin to invade".

Volodymyr Zelensky warned against distinguishing between a small or large Russian attack on his country as he criticised the US leader for saying a "minor incursion" may not trigger a Nato response.

"We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations," Mr Zelesnky said on Thursday.

"Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power."

At a White House press conference on Wednesday, Mr Biden said he now believed that Vladimir Putin will “move in" on Ukraine, and reiterated warnings that such an attack would have “disastrous” consequences for Russia.

But he added: “It’s one thing if it's a minor incursion, and we [in Nato] end up fighting about what we should do, not do."

Asked if he was giving Mr Putin "permission" for a "minor incursion," Mr Biden said: "It did sound like that, didn't it?”

The remarks drew a furious response from Kyiv, with one official telling CNN it gave Mr Putin a "green light" to invade.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, played down divisions, saying there was no question about Mr Biden's commitment to Ukraine.

But he warned against repeating the "mistakes of 2014," when Russia's use of unmarked troops to annex Crimea and covert support for a war in the east of Ukraine succeeded in spreading confusion in the West about what it was doing.

"If we are speaking about a military invasion, there can be no distinction between small or large. Russia is already on the territory of Ukraine and is already killing Ukrainian soldiers," he told reporters in Kyiv.

"We won't accept attempts to explain to Ukraine that there is no need to do anything to restrain Russia, because it is not a significant enough invasion, or there is not enough proof these are Russian soldiers," he said.

The White House said in a clarifying statement that "if any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies."

The Kremlin said Mr Biden’s remarks that an attack would be a "disaster” for Russia could destabilise the situation.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, reiterated Mr Biden's warning yesterday, saying: "any kind of incursion into Ukraine, on any scale whatever...would be a disaster, not just for Ukraine, but for Russia."

Russia has deployed upwards of 125,000 troops near its border with Ukraine in what the Western government say is preparation for an invasion.

Mr Putin has warned he may take military action unless Nato delivers on a number of security demands and the West forces Ukraine to make concessions on a 2015 peace deal.

Anthony Blinken, the US secretary of State, is due to hold talks with Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, on Friday in what could be the last chance for a peaceful solution for the crisis.

He was in Berlin on Thursday to confer with his German, British, and French counterparts in Berlin in a last minute diplomatic scramble to maintain Nato unity and avert a conflict.

The diplomatic effort has been accompanied with an increase in military assistance to Ukraine as fears mount an attack is imminent.

A State Department official with Mr Blinken’s delegation in Berlin said the US was "expediting authorised transfers of US-origin equipment from other allies” after Lithuania said it wanted to send some of its American-made weapons to Ukraine.

"European allies have what they need to move forward on additional security assistance (to) Ukraine in the coming days and weeks," the official said.

Britain began airlifting short-range anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to strengthen its defences against a possible ground attack.

The meeting in Berlin came as Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, was accused of sowing transatlantic divisions by suggesting the European Union countries should “conduct their own dialogue” with Russia.

Mr Macron, who wants the EU to beef up its defences to become less reliant on Nato and the US, said in a speech to the European Parliament that the bloc must make its own offer on Russia's security demands.

"We should build as Europeans working with other Europeans and with Nato and then propose it for negotiation with Russia," he said.

The Telegraph understands Paris had failed to inform European capitals that Mr Macron would make the remarks, which broke away from a previous agreement by EU foreign affairs ministers to present a “strong, clear and united transatlantic front”.

“It is, of course, not the first time that we are surprised by uncoordinated ideas from the big two (France and Germany),” a senior EU diplomat told the Telegraph.

A second European official said the comment "sends a signal of division, which is sad because there really isn't any in reality. Europe and the US are incredibly synced up on this".

"They will love this in Moscow and that is why it is dangerous," they added.


Just to recap:

Germany has blocked all sanctions against Russia even in the event of an invasion. Germany also blocked NATO airplanes from supplying Ukraine with military hardware.
The US has said a Russian invasion will trigger war but a Russian 'incursion' will not trigger war, instead it will trigger sanctions akin to the ones that "prevented" Russia from occupying the Eastern and Southern parts of the Ukraine. :roll:
France wants to integrate Russia to the Western military apparatus and is wary of US initiaves(who could blame them after all?).
Russia demands Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Baltic States as Russian protectorates.

Seems like a pre-determined outcome here. Regardless of what happens, that thing called "the west" no longer exists.
#15208434
noemon wrote:Just to recap:

Germany has blocked all sanctions against Russia even in the event of an invasion. Germany also blocked NATO airplanes from supplying Ukraine with military hardware.
The US has said a Russian invasion will trigger war but a Russian 'incursion' will not trigger war, instead it will trigger sanctions akin to the ones that "prevented" Russia from occupying the Eastern and Southern parts of the Ukraine. :roll:
France wants to integrate Russia to the Western military apparatus and is wary of US initiaves(who could blame them after all?).
Russia demands Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Baltic States as Russian protectorates.

Seems like a pre-determined outcome here. Regardless of what happens, that thing called "the west" no longer exists.

Looks like things are falling into place.... I suspect this will be another strategic gain for Putin in the long, slow war of manoeuvre he has been fighting with the West (and the West with him) for two decades.

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#15208441
Does Biden really think showing weakness will help him for the midterm? :?:

After the Afghan fiasco, he can't afford to do that.

Of course there's the question of what should NATO do were Russia to invade Ukraine anyway. I think the US and other major members should just hint that they would not blame Ukraine for wanting to join were the Donbass invaded. Quite obviously, they can't afford the same degree of protection the Ukraine they'd grant to an actual member, but I think this would make sense.

Also, wasn't Ukraine meant to be a buffer between Russia and NATO? Then an invitation to join were Russia to invade would make even more sense.

At last, if Russia was to invade all of Ukraine then I suspect it would become bogged in an unending asymmetric war there, so I doubt Putin has any appetite to eat that.
#15208444
wat0n wrote:Does Biden really think showing weakness will help him for the midterm? :?:

After the Afghan fiasco, he can't afford to do that.

Of course there's the question of what should NATO do were Russia to invade Ukraine anyway. I think the US and other major members should just hint that they would not blame Ukraine for wanting to join were the Donbass invaded. Quite obviously, they can't afford the same degree of protection the Ukraine they'd grant to an actual member, but I think this would make sense.

Also, wasn't Ukraine meant to be a buffer between Russia and NATO? Then an invitation to join were Russia to invade would make even more sense.

At last, if Russia was to invade all of Ukraine then I suspect it would become bogged in an unending asymmetric war there, so I doubt Putin has any appetite to eat that.

Actually, one of the requirements for a nation to be able to join NATO is that it must have no border disputes. By maintaining the ‘frozen conflict’ in the Donbass, Putin has effectively imposed a veto on Ukraine joining NATO for the foreseeable future. Putin is, of course, aware of this.
#15208476
Beren wrote:I wonder if the US administration actually means to encourage Putin to engage in a limited armed conflict with Ukraine because they figure it would absorb his attention and much of Russia's resources while he also couldn't get out of it positively anyway.

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This is a very good question and if it is the case then US is not dumb. It heavily depends how Russia will approach this if they are going to go in which is unlikely.

My opinion or read on this is that if Russia invades then they will just occupy the already occupied regions. Going in to unoccupied Ukraine itself where they don't have control is suicidal in the long term due to resistance. Sure, there is a chance that Russia will overwhelm the regular army in the East and may be even manages to take Kiev but what after that? There will be armed resistance non-stop even in Kharkiv and Odessa. Ukraine circa 2022 is not the same Ukraine circa 2014. It has a half-decent army now, the people are severely anti-Russia and anti-Putin and so on even if Ukranians are slavic, speak Russian and so on...
#15208477
Being aggressive is certainly easier than trying to be half assed diplomatic, or even actually diplomatic.

The west as a whole is too divided (or as @noemon say's... "what west?"), so Russia will certainly get its way.

Perhaps until Russia presents a larger and more obvious existential threat, they will be able to do what they wish.
#15208478
JohnRawls wrote:This is a very good question and if it is the case then US is not dumb. It heavily depends how Russia will approach this if they are going to go in which is unlikely.

My opinion or read on this is that if Russia invades then they will just occupy the already occupied regions. Going in to unoccupied Ukraine itself where they don't have control is suicidal in the long term due to resistance. Sure, there is a chance that Russia will overwhelm the regular army in the East and may be even manages to take Kiev but what after that? There will be armed resistance non-stop even in Kharkiv and Odessa. Ukraine circa 2022 is not the same Ukraine circa 2014. It has a half-decent army now, the people are severely anti-Russia and anti-Putin and so on even if Ukranians are slavic, speak Russian and so on...

I don't think the Russians actually mean to go to war with Ukraine unless the Ukrainians move into the Donbass, otherwise they're just posturing and flexing muscles to soften the US stance during the talks.
#15208480
wat0n wrote:I am aware of that treaty provision, but I think Ukraine might also be compelled to just accept the loss of the Donbass and Crimea as part. It's either that or being defenseless against Putin...

I suspect that this is Putin's long-term goal.
#15208483
Potemkin wrote:I suspect that this is Putin's long-term goal.


How gullible. Everyone here thinking that Putin has some kind of master plan.

His only long term goal is how he and his cronies can stay in power to basically steal more money at this point. I have written this 10 times by now, he doesn't view it the same way as the West views it. This whole aggression is happening because his popularity is rock bottom and he has no other way to fix it. He has 2024 election coming with minimal ratings when he will need to violate the constitution fully again with minimum ratings and rock bottom support way below 50%, it is around 25-30% right now. The country might explode if that happens.

So he either wants a "Crimea" like win with occupation of Donbass and Luhansk but that is not enough because sanctions will follow nor anybody will really buy it unless he also takes Kharkov, Odessa, Kiev and so on. The problem is that plan is very risky due to the fact that Ukraine will fight back desperately and even victory on the battlefield doesn't necessarily mean that bodycount will not continue due to resistance.

NATO and US already told him to fuck off with his removal of bases demands and so on. If NATO and US/EU agreed to all of them perhaps he would be pleased but that is realistically not going to happen under any scenario.

Come to think of it, does this mean that invasion is really the only choice? And by the looks of it Donbass and Luhanks only invasion is useless so it has to be majority of Ukraine until Kiev according to this logic. Crazy conclusion but it seems to be the case.

Still I also consider it happening unlikely, this is madness just to go this far to stay in power.
#15208485
Putin's long-term goal is to have a general security agreement with the US and NATO putting Ukraine in such a position as Austria was put in 1955, which means Ukraine should be at least militarily neutral, either as a federal state or with the Donbass enjoying autonomy. His demands that NATO should withdraw from Romania, Bulgaria, etc. are only blusters.
#15208489
Remember when Trump was a "Russian puppet" but then environmentalist Biden became President and almost immediately approved the Russian oil pipeline that Trump wouldn't approve and told the world he wouldn't commit troops to defending Ukraine from Russia?

That was awesome. /s

Noemon is basically right here, some of us used to imagine a huge war between NATO and China-Russia-Iran but what we're actually seeing so far is Joe folding on everything and major countries like Germany and France want to play both sides. Maybe there won't be even be a major conflict, people can tell when they're beat or something. What even is "the west" if there isn't a unified response to foreign powers trying to conquer other countries?
#15208492
"But the basic problem remains. Gray zone tactics on the border of Russia have not worked, and posturing has not resulted in the kinds of concessions Putin can brag about at home or abroad. The political problem for him at this point is that the concessions he needs from the United States to justify drawing down Russian forces must be tangible, especially in light of his very public efforts to mobilize Russian public opinion. De facto neutrality for Ukraine would achieve his nominal objectives, for the time being, but Putin will have no piece of paper or public declaration from Washington to show for his brinkmanship. Even more disconcerting for Moscow, Kyiv will continue its reorientation to the West, and gray zone conflict will continue indefinitely.

Putin may be able to snatch compromise from the jaws of quagmire. Yet, he may also be forced to fight by his own decision to escalate Russian coercive diplomacy by mobilizing the same forces that make invasion more feasible. Whereas gray zone conflict is attractive in lieu of war, war becomes more likely in a brinkmanship contest due to path dependence and uncertainty. A limited war might enable Putin to save face, but even limited wars must run some risk of turning into larger cataclysms. It would not be the first time that nations found themselves involved in a conflict that, ex ante, they seemed intent on avoiding."

https://www.lawfareblog.com/why-did-russia-escalate-its-gray-zone-conflict-ukraine
#15208493
Potemkin wrote:I suspect that this is Putin's long-term goal.


Indeed, it would make sense if it were. But what else could or should NATO do? Modern Ukraine was set up as a buffer state and that implied both NATO and Russia agreed with this arrangement. Clearly, Putin doesn't anymore if he's chopping Ukraine bit by bit... So the West should at least try to salvage those parts where the population is squarely against Russia and prevent those from falling under Russian influence.
#15208503
Beren wrote:Putin's long-term goal is to have a general security agreement with the US and NATO putting Ukraine in such a position as Austria was put in 1955, which means Ukraine should be at least militarily neutral, either as a federal state or with the Donbass enjoying autonomy. His demands that NATO should withdraw from Romania, Bulgaria, etc. are only blusters.


This just shows that you don't really know what Putins regime is all about. If you think that they care about NATO and by they i mean Putin and his inner circle of corrupt cronies then I have bad news for you. They don't care and this is a propaganda tool for inner consumption. They understand that Russia can't really win a war against NATO and all of its allies nor do they expect to fight that war because of nuclear weapons.

Additionally they are not stupid and know that NATO forces have declined to minimal levels since ever I guess in Europe. This includes both the US forces deployed or the total military numbers of NATO member states.

You probably wondered at least a bit why now all of the sudden is this happening? Well, what changed? Was there perhaps an election recently that Putin lost badly and had to falsify 40-50% additional votes for his party? Was perhaps the crackdown in Russia escalated because he is loosing power?

How is he planning to wage a conflict against NATO and its allies while his own country is unstable and his allies just had revolutions that failed? There is no logic to this unless you think it from the perspective of Putin keeping power. A quick successful war with gaining some territory or large NATO concessions that he can sell for inner propaganda. If he gets denied both then he is in total shit for 2024 when he will be going for his 5th term or 6th if you count medvedev as him.
#15208541
Rugoz wrote:@JohnRawls

You're correct of course.

He's incorrect in his belief that Putin's being on the offensive.

Rugoz wrote:Putin always seems to be muddling through. He has no great plan other than to stay in power. There's no reason to create a buffer of autocracies around Russia other than to secure his own. He lost Ukraine that way and may also lose Belarus.

His great plan is post-Soviet Russian imperialism, with which he could stay in power. So he obviously has to keep Belarus, which he de facto annexed, and at least neutralise Ukraine, which he's trying to do so desperately.
#15208557
Beren wrote:He's incorrect in his belief that Putin's being on the offensive.


His great plan is post-Soviet Russian imperialism, with which he could stay in power. So he obviously has to keep Belarus, which he de facto annexed, and at least neutralise Ukraine, which he's trying to do so desperately.


Putin is not on an offensive, you inherently misunderstood what I said. He is desperate because he is loosing power and as much of a scum bag he is, he doesn't really want to increase the crackdown and this Ukraine agression is only an attempt to fix his ratings. Someone who is desperate is not on an offensive but on a suicide mission of sorts because the alternatives are worse.
#15208561
JohnRawls wrote:Putin is not on an offensive, you inherently misunderstood what I said. Someone who is desperate is not on an offensive but on a suicide mission of sorts because the alternatives are worse.

So I inherently misunderstood you, although you seem to only have semantic problems with what I said. :lol:

Anyway, Putin was on the offensive during the populist wave in the Trump-Brexit era, but the tide has turned since then. He's on the defensive now, even though he's posturing and flexing muscles, and roaring as loud as he can, as a lion does to warn and intimidate (possible) intruders. He may be aggressive towards Ukraine, but Ukraine's only a pawn in this game.
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