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The Military

Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling 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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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @05:47PM (#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?

  • by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @05:51PM (#47811265)
    I'm not sure why you're modded at zero points. I'd mod you up if I could.
  • Actual full quote (Score:5, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @05:54PM (#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:Not the end... (Score:2, Informative)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:00PM (#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.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:00PM (#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:Unreal... (Score:5, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:01PM (#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.

  • Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mbone ( 558574 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:20PM (#47811595)

    This sounds like real news. You would think it would be on the front page of the world's news sites. However...

    Isn't on the BBC
    Isn't on the Guardian
    Isn't on the Washington Post
    Isn't on the New York Times*
    Isn't on the LA Times

    I detect a pattern here.

    * The NYT does have on its home page a story entitled "Putin’s War of Words: A Roundup." I guess saying that "thousands of words are already pouring over its western borders" doesn't have quite the same pizazz.

  • Re:Not the end... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:27PM (#47811677)

    NATO did not agree to anything. There was an agreement [wikipedia.org] where Russia, the U.S., and the UK confirmed the following;

    1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
    2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
    3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
    4. Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
    5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
    6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.

    Nowhere is there a commitment to defend Ukraine against conventional forces.

  • Re:Put it this way (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mistah Blue ( 519779 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:41PM (#47811809)
    Our CIC has no foreign policy and lacks the will to protect anything.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @06:47PM (#47811897)

    But he was not only person using fighting words. At a youth forum on Friday, Vladimir Putinâ(TM)s nuclear threat was simple.

    "I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words."

    Itâ(TM)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.

    "A great war arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II,â Ukraineâ(TM)s Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey wrote on Facebook overnight, warning of âoetens of thousands of deaths".

    Putin appears to agree.

    Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports Putin has told the outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso: "If I want, I take Kiev in two weeks."

    Okay... short of posting the entire fracking article, the context doesn't seem to be the problem.


    Okay-- now imagine Obama responding,
    âoeI want to remind you that America is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.â

    And then saying to the prime minister of UK,
    "If I want, I take Moscow/Havana/etc. in two weeks."


    Short of Putin coming out and saying, "I'm going to bomb Ukraine with nuclear missiles during the next two weeks"... it was about as threatening as a head of state can get.

    This is the problem with a closed circle jerk news system.

  • Re:Sigh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:17PM (#47812755) Homepage

    if they do that, every single country out there will go out and develop nuclear weapons deterrents. Ukraine specifically received guarantees from Russia for its protection when it gained independence, 20--25 years ago. Russia's word is so easily broken? Sad, dangerous and sad.

  • Re:Sigh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @01:36PM (#47818289)

    Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah - need I go on?

    Skip ahead a bit, brother.

    How about Hawaii? It was a kingdom in the late 1800s, ruled by Queen Lili'uokalani. In 1893 she was overthrown and the government was replaced with a provisional government, led by an American lawyer. President Cleveland commissioned a report which found that the overthrow was illegal. The provisional government ended the following year and was replaced by the Republic of Hawaii. In 1898, despite opposition from a majority of native Hawaiians, and despite letters written by Queen Lili'uokalani also in opposition, the US passed a resolution which annexed Hawaii as a US territory. In 1959 it would become the 50th state. In 1993 the US Congress would pass a joint resolution signed by Clinton which apologized for overthrowing the government of Queen Lili'uokalani.

    Or, how about Guantanamo Bay Naval Base? We invaded and captured that land in 1898 (good year for the US, I guess), refused to give it back, built a military installation on it (our only one in a country with which we do not have diplomatic relations), and Cuba has been protesting every year since 1959 that the occupation of it is illegal. But US interests.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun