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Old 15th Jun 2014, 15:45   #21 (permalink)
 
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And an awful lot of Finns speak Russian
Its so much easier that their own language!

It is the only place where I have been handed a menu that was utterly meaningless.

Fortunately I had an English speaking Finnish companion to translate it.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 15:48   #22 (permalink)
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I'm interested to know what territorial claims Russia would have on Finland.
Vladimir Putin ‘wants to regain Finland’ for Russia, adviser says

After annexing Crimea and with troops massed on the border of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will not stop trying to expand Russia until he has “conquered” Belarus, the Baltic states and Finland, one of his closest former advisers has said.

According to Andrej Illarionov, the President’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005, Mr Putin seeks to create “historical justice” with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet Union under Stalin. Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Mr Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests”.

“Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors,” Mr Illarionov said.........
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 15:51   #23 (permalink)


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finncapt : I don't know ...... but some years ago I was sailing on the Saimaa Lakes and somewhere near Imatra, which is right on the border (I know you know that but others may not!), got chatting to some Finnish people and they told us that the Russians claimed that part of Finland (is that Karelia?) as theirs.

Finland's past has given rise to some rousing patriotic music by Jean Sibelius, one of my favourite composers.

Ironically, conducted by a Russky.

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Old 15th Jun 2014, 16:06   #24 (permalink)
 
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Yes, that area is part of Karelia.

You could be right that the Russians want the Finnish bit but the Finns talk, probably many years ago, of the Russians trying to do a deal with the Finns whereby they would sell back the bits they already had - when they needed hard currency?

Sadly? for the Finns the price was too high.

If the Russian intention is to go back to the Tsarist borders then you are right and I think that would cause, certainly a cold war type standoff and possibly a confontation - smacks of Germany invading Czechoslovakia.

In simple terms, at the time of the Russian revolution, the whites won in Finland (it was an autonomous part of the Russian empire) and declared independence.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 21:07   #25 (permalink)

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What scares me is that, although Hitler and Czechoslovakia is used to explain Crimea, when Hitler made his move, the world didn't have nuclear weapons. Mutually Assured Destruction worked during the Cold War, when the threat was USSR against the West, but this is a new scenario. We are unlikely to use conventional force against Russia (could we?), to defend sections of a country, and our only other option is nuclear. So, Putin "liberates" countries a bit at a time. What then?
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 21:54   #26 (permalink)
 
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Herod, if they are places like Crimea or Eastern Ukraine which are historically part of Russia then let him have them. Most of the lines on a map do not mean all that much. As long as they do not get designs on all of western Europe ie anymore territory than they had in the Cold War I won't worry to much. Right now they don't seem bothered about former Warsaw Pact nations but more former Soviet Republics. I would turn a blind eye to that. None of our business and not worth all nuclear war and thus destroying all life on Earth. Maybe if NATO had not been pushed right up to their borders they would not have been so keen to push back! I would like to see a reverse in direction to all of our defence cuts in recent years though. Right now we in Britain must be more weak than we have ever been before. I would rather deal from a position of strength ie peace through strength. Just base the military here at home and not close to Russia!
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 06:29   #27 (permalink)
 
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I must say I am of a similar opinion to RR, inasmuch as I agree that Putin seems more interested in the ex Soviet Republics.

These are also the areas where significant numbers of people are ethnic (if that's the right word) Russians.

It may be that all this "sabre rattling" is to provide a diversion from any problems he may have with the his domestic political situation.

Interestingly, Finland has a new Prime Minister from today (Kokoomus - Right party) and he, I understand, is a NATO leaner (my wife is away, visiting her grandchildren, so I may have got the translation wrong).
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 17:59   #28 (permalink)
 
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No nation is "all nice" but I met a lot of very very decent Finns when I worked for Nokia. They make the world better and the corporate culture at Nokia was extremely positive, natural, friendly and responsible. It had other problems but it was infinitely less rapacious than what I was used to before and have experienced since. So bugger Putain and up with the Finns.

We ought to care about every bit of land he sucks in - how else did Russia become so large but by sucking in more and more? Are we to wait till he's at our doorstep?
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 19:47   #29 (permalink)

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First they came for the Gypsies, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Gypsy.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the disabled, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not disabled.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

As true now as it ever was.
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 20:00   #30 (permalink)
 
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Herod - should be on a notice in every parliament world wide
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 20:07   #31 (permalink)
 
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Sweden

Sweden has a very good working relationship with NATO - it has been a troop contributing nation for a numbe rof operationsand took a very active part in the Libyan Air Campaign. It is, in fact, a member in all but name, but of course, does not have the collective defence that is afforded by Washington Treaty Art. 5. Arguably, Russia's belligerancy has increased domestic calls for applying for NATO membership.
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 20:16   #32 (permalink)
 
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Herod, if they are places like Crimea or Eastern Ukraine which are historically part of Russia then let him have them.
75% of the population in Eastern Ukraine do not want to be part of Russia or some other 'independent' state.

The 'pro-Russia rebels' are mainly Russian citizens, as the body count of Russian dead at the airport attack attests.

The leader of the Russian insurgents has admitted they are mostly Russia fighters, he justifies by saying that part of Russia has always been Russian, not Ukraine.

There is no sign of American involvement, weapons or dead. If they were involved you'd expect a lot more success...
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 21:39   #33 (permalink)
 
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Peter, the Russians are there to protect the people of East Ukraine from the maniacs who rose up in Kiev. They are liberators. The people of the east will likely have a far better future as part of Russia anyhow.
My friends in the east of Ukraine are very angry about the actions of Kiev and want nothing more to do with them.


If American troops were involved Peter maybe Kiev would have been liberated by the Russians already
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Old 16th Jun 2014, 22:12   #34 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by peter we View Post
75% of the population in Eastern Ukraine do not want to be part of Russia or some other 'independent' state.
Could you be so kind an provide a (at least ever so slightly trust worthy) source for that claim. It seems so counter- intuitive (also looking at the fact that the pro Russian Yanukovich had been elected my a majority back in the last elections).
I'm starting to wonder how that happened with a clearly anti- Russian Western Ukraine.
Now that we learned from you that Eastern Ukraine (and crimea?) are also majority anti- Russian I'm scratching my head a bit.

While Putin clearly got carried away in this case (Why does he motivate Sweden and Finland even more to join NATO by making such implicit threats? Sometimes I'm really wondering if he started drinking or is it desperation?).

That said I have the impression some here also got carried away a bit.
Putins tactics used so far are only suitable in countries/regions with major/majority Russian population. In a completely foreign Country this wouldn't work. He would have to use massive regular Military and heavy equipment and invade directly/openly and Keep a massive Invasion force continuously in place. That is something completely different from what he did so far and it is questionable if the Russian Military is capable of doing that on a sustainable basis. Russia's conventional Military is a tiny fraction of that of the former SU. (Unlike the nuclear Arsenal. That is still massive)
What he has been doing so far was more of arsonist nature. Not so much conquerer.
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 00:47   #35 (permalink)
 
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Peter, the Russians are there to protect the people of East Ukraine from the maniacs who rose up in Kiev.
Actually in most of the troubles it seems like its the pro Ukrainians who get beaten a soon as they come out of hiding. As reported numerous times by independent reporters.

Quote:
Could you be so kind an provide a (at least ever so slightly trust worthy) source for that claim. It seems so counter- intuitive (also looking at the fact that the pro Russian Yanukovich had been elected my a majority back in the last elections).
Actually its regarded as common knowledge, even in the Crimea it wasn't regarded as a slam dunk for all sorts of reasons.


Most polls (credible ones), have shown the east do not want to be part of Russia. The bloke running Crimea and his party only got a couple of percent at the last credible election.

As for why they got a pro Russian president, there's no mystery in that, its the same as why some other country's can get governments they don't want. As with whats common when you have a sh!t load of contenders, the one who can muster the biggest block wins.

So in this case, the pro western ones couldn't put their differences aside and go for a single candidate. You get the same in Egypt, and some European countrys. Sometimes theres a huge veiw on the public side towards one way, but their cannidates just squabble against one another and hence loose.
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 05:05   #36 (permalink)
 
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RR,
I have a number of Russian-Ukrainian friends (their families are in Ukraine) and, in discussions with them, they are saying pretty much what rh200 has just posted.


Believe nothing you read/hear in the media and only half of what you actually see.
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 11:24   #37 (permalink)
 
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My Ukrainian friends tell me different, well the ones in the east. The one in Kiev thinks much more differently. It almost feels like its two nations in one.


I have no doubt the vast majority of people in places like Crimea want to be with Russia. The place was part of Russia until the 1950s. Older people are going to remember those times and are angry they were given away by the Soviet leadership to Ukraine. My friends in Kharkiv and Donetsk are very envious of the people of Crimea now and wish they and their regions could join them. They tolerated Kiev while they had an eastern/Russian leaning President but now they are very unhappy about the situation and the coup in Kiev which they think Yanokovych should have done more to put down.
My Kiev friend again thinks differently.
But imagine how you/I would feel if a democratically elected leader that we supported along with most of the people in our region only to find he gets ousted in a coup backed by other nations and mainly involving people from other regions. Its no wonder separatism has taken hold in these parts of the country. It would likely be even more widespread if not so harshly put down by the military and regime security forces.
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 15:33   #38 (permalink)
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Really? Three independent polls by 3 different polling organisations would tend to indicate otherwise....

Pew Research Global: Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country

Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization: Public Opinion Survey Residents of Ukraine

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation: How relations between Ukraine and Russia should look like? Public opinion polls’ results
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 16:57   #39 (permalink)
 
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Forget about it, RR's on a roll...
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Old 17th Jun 2014, 17:30   #40 (permalink)
 
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Those figures in no way compare with what my eastern Ukrainian friends have told me about their views and those of their family and friends.


I guess many of you guys are cold war warriors. The trouble is guys the cold war is over. Its no good pretending the big bad Soviet Union/sorry Russian Federation is going to come and get us. There always has to be an enemy, something to keep the sheep scared. In reality they should be far more scared of the terrorists that our own actions have unleashed upon the middle east and likely in future coming to a country near you! So arguably the greatest threat we all face in the west is one caused by the incompetent actions of our own leaders!
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