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  1. #1
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    General Russian foreign entanglements thread

    Ok, sorry people, I just couldn't take using the "Russian Ambassador Shot" thread for this anymore, especially since it is broadening. I kinda don't care if this also captures the Russia Russia Russia stuff, but I'd prefer the emphasis to be on Russia's actions - not necessarily US suspicions or reactions.

    But, this is INGO. Topic-creep will happen.

    Regarding Sergei Skripal, new leaks suggest the leading theory is that the daughter brought something with her in her luggage that contained either the agent itself, or a precursor.

    Russia spy Sergei Skripal?s daughter Yulia had nerve agent ?planted? in suitcase

    There's related reporting that Yulia may have been the actual target. That'd be a kick in the head. The story/rumor goes that she was the girlfriend of an intelligence officer and the lad's mom didn't like her son dating the daughter of a traitor. So, she pulled some strings and had took care of things.

    That's too tabloidy for me, but its out there.

    Also, there is reporting that a Russian banker in 1995 may have been the first actual victim of novichok. Generally, there is a sense that there could be any number of rogue entities/oligarchs that could have this technology.

    No real update on Glushkov.
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  2. #2
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by roscott View Post
    I'm late to the party. I haven't followed the situation with Russia very closely, but it seems to be escalating and I'd like to catch up. Most news articles seem to be pretty slanted toward either it's-no-big-deal or it's-WWIII. Can someone maybe link me to an article that summarize the situation as it stands now? (AKA Russia-for-dummies?)
    A good summary of what is known so far about the Skripal situation.

    Russian spy: What we know so far - BBC News
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  3. #3
    Grandmaster Kutnupe14's Avatar

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    The Russians are attempting to expand their influence in a world that increasingly seeing American respect and influence wane.
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  4. #4
    Grandmaster Fargo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutnupe14 View Post
    The Russians are attempting to expand their influence in a world that increasingly seeing American respect and influence wane.
    Yeah, I have trouble figuring out what is the chicken and what is the egg on that.

    The 7+ years of war under Bush left the US with relatively little will to continue going down that road.

    Obama tried to pull that back, but in my opinion let his mouth write checks that everyone knew were not going to be cashed and ended up looking weak to both our allies and enemies, and most importantly to the electorate.

    That resulted in the election of our "us first" strongman-lite who is supposed to be outnegotiating Putin. Of course, the "us first" portion of that means that our ties with NATO and many others of our allies are going to be significantly weakened, which cannot help but create a power vacuum in the cluster known as the European Union. IMO, the countries comprising NATO and the European Union need to wake up as far as creating their own viable security and defense apparatuses.

    For better or worse, the last nine years have shown just how unstable America's political will is when it comes to military action. It has also become painfully clear that Putin has tired of looting his own country.

  5. #5
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    I think the move towards having our allies "pay their fair share" (which IMHO goes back to GWB, but in a less antagonistic way and because America's cost of war went up so much) has created the military and political vacuum that Putin is leveraging. And Xi, to a lesser extent.

    But that's part of history's ebb and flow, right? One nation's rise to power has an unavoidable fall, which in turn clears the path for another nation's rise.

    Here's something I just thought of: what if Putin's motivation is China. That is, he can't compete with China in Africa. (Neither can we.) He can't move west because China. His only direction of expansion - politically and otherwise - is east. To Europe.

    ETA
    Or south, to the ME. But that's a gordian knot.
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  6. #6
    Grandmaster Fargo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.Lex View Post
    I think the move towards having our allies "pay their fair share" (which IMHO goes back to GWB, but in a less antagonistic way and because America's cost of war went up so much) has created the military and political vacuum that Putin is leveraging. And Xi, to a lesser extent.

    But that's part of history's ebb and flow, right? One nation's rise to power has an unavoidable fall, which in turn clears the path for another nation's rise.

    Here's something I just thought of: what if Putin's motivation is China. That is, he can't compete with China in Africa. (Neither can we.) He can't move west because China. His only direction of expansion - politically and otherwise - is east. To Europe.

    ETA
    Or south, to the ME. But that's a gordian knot.
    I would say that the way that many of our allies were leveraged into participating in the invasion of a Iraq probably put a significant strain on those ties going back to early Bush years.

    They got on board with an invasion they really didn't want because they were relying on our military to provide for national/regional security in Europe.

    Our post -invasion unwillingness to continue playing that role has fundamentally shifted the spheres of power and influence in the region over the last 15 or so years .

  7. #7
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    Indeed.

    In other news, Boris Johnson, UK's foreign secretary (like our secretary of state), makes HRC look like a freaking genius. He has intentionally articulated that Putin himself ordered the use of the nerve agent in Britain.

    Spy poisoning: Putin most likely behind attack - Johnson - BBC News

    Speaking during a visit to a west London military bunker with the Polish foreign minister, Mr Johnson said the UK's "quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin".

    "We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War," he said.

    That "his decision" part is personal to Putin, and problematic.

    Buckle up, this could get bumpy. As long as this stays a war of rhetoric, things could remain stable. But, I have by doubts....
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  8. #8
    Grandmaster Fargo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.Lex View Post
    Indeed.

    In other news, Boris Johnson, UK's foreign secretary (like our secretary of state), makes HRC look like a freaking genius. He has intentionally articulated that Putin himself ordered the use of the nerve agent in Britain.

    Spy poisoning: Putin most likely behind attack - Johnson - BBC News



    That "his decision" part is personal to Putin, and problematic.

    Buckle up, this could get bumpy. As long as this stays a war of rhetoric, things could remain stable. But, I have by doubts....
    I would be unsurprised to see Russia invade/occupy/annex a former satellite in the next month, just to make it clear exactly how they feel.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo View Post
    I would be unsurprised to see Russia invade/occupy/annex a former satellite in the next month, just to make it clear exactly how they feel.
    Curious to me that Johnson would call out Putin at a meeting with the Polish foreign minister.

    That guy isn't getting paid enough to sit through THAT level of discomfort. Somewhat related, the German foreign minister arrived in Poland for some talks. So, it looks right now like Poland is putting its money behind the Europeans.
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  10. #10
    Grandmaster T.Lex's Avatar

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    Whew. This will certainly help.

    Russia to open criminal investigations on the Skripal attempted murder and the Glushkov murder. Which is interesting, because I don't think UK officials have ruled the Glushkov death a murder. Yet.

    Clearly, the Russian investigators are just better at their jobs. They know its a murder already.

    https://sputniknews.com/russia/20180...investigation/

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