r/worldnews Jan 21 '22 Silver 11 Helpful 20 Wholesome 15 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Helpful (Pro) 1

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania sending anti-armour and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-estonia-latvia-and-lithuania-sending-anti-armour-and-anti-aircraft/
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u/blazindoo Jan 21 '22

Thumbnail makes it seem like they are sending them very quickly, cash on delivery lol

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u/PaulSavedMyLife69420 Jan 21 '22

“Just refuel them when they get there”

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u/DirkBabypunch Jan 22 '22

★☆☆☆☆

Item broken as received, and delivery made a mess of my front garden.

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u/lchntndr Jan 21 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Vibing Shocked

Nice picture…hopefully that’s not how they’re sending them!

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u/kahn_noble Jan 21 '22 Silver Helpful

Blursed alliance

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u/AbsolutelyUnlikely Jan 21 '22

Sent the missiles, boss

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u/Lord_Emperor Jan 22 '22 Silver Wholesome

What are you doing, step-ally?

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u/Ok-Worth-6509 Jan 22 '22

Stuck in Crimea I see, let me just slide my way in.

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u/InfelicitousRedditor Jan 21 '22

"Send the missiles to Ukraine ASAP! - Yes General! Few hours later YOU DID WHAT?!?"

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u/tempest51 Jan 22 '22

"Well it says here on the manual it's a missile delivery system, so I thought that's what it did!"

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u/Norma5tacy Jan 22 '22

“I thought it weird it didn’t give me a tracking number though…”

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u/tempest51 Jan 22 '22

"But it did allow me to input the exact coordinates to the customer's location, awfully convenient that."

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u/Budget_Inevitable721 Jan 21 '22

I don't see a pic on that page. What is it?

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u/clarkkent491 Jan 21 '22

A missile being launched. To be fair, it would get there pretty fast.

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u/SpikDsad Jan 21 '22

Same day delivery

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u/007meow Jan 21 '22

Amazon Prime ain't got shit on this

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

So what are the odds Russia says fuck it and invades? This is one hell of a build up, including now Canadian and Spanish and other Western fleets just off the coast

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u/F0rkbombz Jan 21 '22

Hard to say. Russia has certainly made it LOOK like they are planning to invade. Other than that, all bets are off. The appearance of an imminent invasion may have been the intent, or this could actually be staging for a future invasion.

In any case, Putin may have overplayed his hand, or this could still be part of the plan, lol.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

What plan? Beyond, “Foundations of Geopolitics,” there’s no beneficial motive

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u/socialistrob Jan 21 '22 Silver Platinum Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy Starry

A decade ago the Baltic states were roughly on par with Russia in terms of GDP per capita but since then they’ve westernized and linked with Europe far more and now have a GDP per capita of roughly twice that of Russia. Ukraine desperately wants to westernize, join NATO and the EU which would set themselves up for longterm prosperity much like Poland has done. Mass protests in 2014 toppled the Russian backed government in Ukraine and replaced it with a western friendly one. We’ve also seen big protests recently in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Even Azerbaijan is no longer as reliant on Russia as they once were.

Basically Russia used to dominate all the countries around them and in the last decade that has been changing rapidly. The countries around Russia are westernizing and the ones Russia still controls are under constant threat of having their governments toppled. What do you think will happen to Putin and the oligarchs when Russia is one of the poorest ex Soviet countries, when they’ve lost influence over their neighbors? How can Putin convince the Russian people that they’re better off when their economy is stagnant and everyone around them is improving? What happens when western Europe switched to renewable energy and no longer needs Russian natural gas? Russia’s economy is already smaller than that of Canada and they’re declining in power every year. Putin needs to assert dominance over Ukraine while he can or risk gradually slipping in power both internationally and domestically.

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u/H0agh Jan 21 '22

Great analysis.

Putin might indeed feel he really has nothing to lose here.

There's also his age, he knows he is probably in one of his last terms before retiring unless he seriously plans to stay in power until his 80s.

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u/jabba_1978 Jan 21 '22

He does. Didn't he get the Russian constitution changed so he can be prime minister after but still hold the same power as president?

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u/First_Foundationeer Jan 22 '22

I think he tested the old switcheroo but realized that he can't leave for one reason or another.

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u/iamplasma Jan 22 '22

No, he already did that once. The more recent change reset the term limits so he can stay in the presidency a lot, lot longer.

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u/TRYHARD_Duck Jan 21 '22

I mean this is basically what he did while Medvedev was president from 2008 - 2012 lol

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u/rubicon_duck Jan 21 '22

When was the last time you heard of an autocrat willingly giving up his power? No, Putin will stay there until he dies or is forced out somehow.

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u/Sean951 Jan 21 '22

Kazakhstan just a few years ago. It happens all the time, and when it's this autocratic it almost never goes well. I'm sure that's also a serious fear of <everyone else> considering Russia has a major nuclear arsenal.

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u/Daley--Dubz Jan 22 '22

I don't think putin is able to retire without fear of either his successor turning on him or his successor not being able to quell an uprising. he'd probably end up in jail and not be able to enjoy retirement. Putin has locked himself in a golden cage.

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u/WildlifePhysics Jan 21 '22

Putin needs to assert dominance over Ukraine while he can or risk gradually slipping in power both internationally and domestically.

Putin's already slipping. This move will only make Ukraine slip, too.

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u/VibeGeek Jan 21 '22 Silver

There are a few obvious benefit that I see for Russia staging a false invasion.

It let's them see how the rest if Europe would react IF Russia were to really invade, so now they can go back and draw up better plans for any future takeover.

Additionally, this is a good readiness exercise for them. Doing a large scale and concentrated build up like this will help their Defense Ministry determine any outstanding weaknesses that they might not have been aware of.

Lastly, it's a great training exercise for their troops.

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u/ydalv_ Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

It let's them see how the rest if Europe would react IF Russia were to really invade, so now they can go back and draw up better plans for any future takeover.

Allowing your enemy to prepare has never been a good plan. If this didn't happen, Ukraine wouldn't have been receiving military aid now but the next time. Meaning that next time they'll get even a lot more and there would be even more preparations since the threat has been made real.

The current response of the West is VERY spread out, next time it will be a lot more coordinated. Since Russia is essentially forcing the West to come to together on the issue and to create a joint plan.

Thus all of that doesn't make any sense at all and is exclusively in the West's favor. Especially because the West is more populous, has a stronger economy and a larger/stronger combined military. Or it would have to be that Russia has a China angle, but even that's a bit doubtful since I don't think they truly want to become China's bitch (while they're strongly going down that path).

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u/DMAN591 Jan 21 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome

The big twist is that Ukraine and Russia were secretly allies this whole time, and now they're getting all this free military hardware. For the small cost of staging a low-intensity conflict. /s

I'm joking of course. But I'm actually doing this very thing in Ark Survival. One of the big alpha tribes has been funding us high level dinos and tek to "fight" against another alpha tribe on a different server. They don't know that we're actually allies with that other tribe. This has been going on for months.

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u/Mrozek33 Jan 21 '22

I do not know what your angle is sir, but that Ark Survival bit was so obscure and so outta nowhere that it has completely baffled me. Have a free award, if you have a Twitch stream where I can see you arming up these tribes I will donate you my life savings.

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u/Wolverinexo Jan 21 '22

This will make Putin look weak he wants to maintain his image so he’s not overthrown. This was also insanely expensive for them.

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u/FantasyThrowaway321 Jan 21 '22

There's always money in the banana...er, borscht stand...

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u/EmotionalSuportPenis Jan 21 '22

You've now put banana borscht in my head and its such a horrible thought that I'm sending it right back to you.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 22 '22 Silver

[deleted]

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u/Quantentheorie Jan 21 '22

I do wonder if this saber rattling is actually cheaper than the sanctions.

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u/Cockroach_Jaded Jan 21 '22

Actually he's got a point. The sanctions on Nordstream 2 were blocked specifically so that they could be used in case of invasion.

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u/BrainOnLoan Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

Most 'real' experts seem to think the likelihood to be very high... though its an open question what the exact goals are.

For example, they might "just" want to link Donbas and Crimea, turning the already occupied East Ukraine into a more viable entity. Or simply remove the Ukrainian capability to interfere with those territories for the foreseeable future then withdraw from Western Ukraine again.

A much more expansive option would be also taking and permanently holding the Southern Coast including Odessa. That would establish their goals respective control of the the Black Sea.

There best assessment/interview I've found is this very long piece:
https://youtu.be/gwrzophpNJA

It's 75 minutes long, but its getting better all along. Certainly helped me to understand what wr don't know and to put everything in perspective; also to gain some understanding of the Russian perspective.

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u/Sicarum Jan 21 '22 Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

So here's what I'm thinking...

Last time, Russia hosted the Olympics to distract everyone, and then invaded Ukraine as soon as the games ended.

So, I believe that this time, they are faking an invasion of Ukraine to stealthily throw a sporting event.

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u/nvn911 Jan 21 '22

I prefer this take. I'd have a stealthy sporting event over a bloody war any day

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u/Tristanssj15 Jan 21 '22

Weapons from Uk, the Baltic nations, Canada etc on top of their own stockpile. Even if russia wins can their economy handle the loss of money, equipment, and manpower?

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u/WhyShouldIListen Jan 21 '22

Even if russia wins can their economy handle the loss of ... manpower

Yes, and Putin doesn't care about a single one of them. Soldiers are a commodity with zero price in Russia.

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u/Corvus-Nepenthe Jan 21 '22

“Arrows cost money. The dead cost nothing.”

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u/[deleted] Jan 22 '22

[deleted]

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u/Corvus-Nepenthe Jan 22 '22

My thinking was that he wasn’t going to have to pay them for their work that day. Come payroll time, he would have gotten a battle out of them that he didn’t have to pay them for…

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u/Untun Jan 22 '22

I understand your thinking, but it costs time, food, money and equipment to make a person into a effective soldier; You lose all that effort when that soldier dies needlessly.

"Dont die for your country, make the other bastard die for his!" -some author I cant remember.

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u/Electricfox5 Jan 21 '22

Looks like the US is also sending some Javelin missiles, a Transport Command 747 Freighter is landing in Kiev from Germany.

https://twitter.com/EnjoyTheHate/status/1484638832897236993/photo/1

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u/[deleted] Jan 22 '22

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u/Landolph Jan 21 '22 Duck Dance

I do not understand Putin's play. Six years ago, he was playing 4D chess. Now he's trying to put a square peg through a round hole.

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u/TheyMikeBeGiants Jan 21 '22

Putin's been winning games of brinkmanship for 20 years because nobody's been willing to call his bluff, including blatantly lying about whether or not thousands of invading Russian soldiers are Russian.

This time, his bluff got called.

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u/Intense-Vagina Jan 21 '22

He's old and his life is coming to an end, maybe he wants to go out with a bang

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u/Kneel_The_Grass Jan 21 '22

Ok yeah great, but maybe he doesn't have to take half the world with him.

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u/bigpapajayjay Jan 21 '22

Lol Putin is old school KGB from the Soviet Union days. You better damn well believe he’s going to try to take half the world with him when he goes.

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u/Alexdoh Jan 21 '22 Wholesome

Ukraine had been asking for ages for the better anti tank weapons to counter Russian tanks and had been denied each time by the West for fear of provoking Russia.

Now Ukraine is gonna have a massive glut of anti tank weaponry, If Russia is dead set on doing an invasion then Ukraine is going to make it extremely painful and expensive before the West disconnects them from the SWIFT system.

Well done Putin, You played yourself.

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u/override367 Jan 21 '22

Plus Ukraine's strategy on a Russian invasion is to put up a stiff resistance at first and have thousands of people disappear into the hills and cities with caches of AT and AA weapons. Guy-sitting-in-cover-with-MANPAD is a nightmare a lot of Russians still remember

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u/egyeager Jan 21 '22

True, but the Armenian-Azerbaijan war last year showed that cell phone triangulation and artillery is a deadly combination, even if the defender is in the hills

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u/Diplomjodler Jan 21 '22

Note to self: turn off cellphone next time I'm hiding in the hills with a manpad.

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u/Topcity36 Jan 21 '22

Pro tips are always in the comments.

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u/neuropean Jan 21 '22

Not to mention how well they used drones and anti-aircraft counter measures. Those videos were wild to watch. From drones taking out entire platoons, to anti aircraft missiles immediately doing a 180 and slamming into the ground.

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u/kagethemage Jan 21 '22

I made a video for Ars Technical about the use of drones in that conflict. I had to sit through hours of footage watching hellfires rag doll bodies. Videos of guys hiding in a trench and then boom. The footage was clear enough to see body parts go separate ways. That was the last video i worked on for that series. Couldn’t handle more.

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u/egyeager Jan 21 '22

Christ, that sounds horrible :(. Hope you are working on something more palatable now!

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u/giesej Jan 21 '22

This. His window to invade is shrinking by the hour. Very surprising that he's allowed this to occur.

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u/Alexdoh Jan 21 '22

Plus we know full well what he is doing.

No one is believing any troops are going on holiday this time.

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u/DigiQuip Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

I read somewhere that Russia isn’t economically stable enough and doesn’t have the support for a conflict of any meaningful length. Short of just walking in and swapping out the flag, Russia can’t actually go to war without risking a devastating impact on their economy. Which, in their current political climate could turn a foreign war into a domestic upheaval. But this was a few months ago when some that the posturing was nothing more than an attempt to see how the world would react.

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u/Arrogancio Jan 21 '22

See, I've read that he almost can't afford not to attack, because the cost of mobilizing all the forces for nothing would weaken his position.

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u/DigiQuip Jan 21 '22

At this point yeah. He’s probably entering a point where he has to consider the sunk cost of moving forces. I read what’s in my original comment a long while ago when this first started. A lots happened since then.

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u/JD_Walton Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 22 '22

It's a yes and yes.

If he'd just taken the oil money and assassination bits and used it to root out corruption and coax foreign investors to stay in Russia long enough to bloom the Russian economy, to not put all of his eggs in the petrol basket and maybe just coasted on his reputation and (let's take a deep breath and forget the war crimes) victory over the Chechnyans... he might have actually been all of the things people who admire him ascribe to him. He just couldn't help himself though. He either pulls the trigger and breaks Russia all the way down after thousands of casualties and the sort of permanent black mark normally reserved for slave traders and rapists, or else he fucks Russia by not pulling the trigger and exposes the national insecurity and lack of capability to project power to his domestic audience? I mean, how will his people ever survive the elections afterward? /s

But yes, the central issue is that Russia is using invasions as a bandaid to cover for a flailing economic situation that they find themselves unwilling to resolve since (I think) the major players in the reason the economy is so unstable is the corruption promoted by the very people in charge like Putin.

If it were a corporation Russia would be the one that half of the upper management were committing outright fraud and extracting value out of, so to cover it up they were promising wild shit to shareholders and lying to the faces of journalists and investors about how awesome their product was. But also, the whole company culture's mirroring the management, everyone's stealing a little bit here and there. It's bleeding money no matter how much gross profit it makes - the CIO is stealing millions and the lower level management are filling their houses with office supplies from work so no actual growth can happen. Even if the company looks healthy and stable from within, it's actually kind of a house of cards. Except, in this case, the company also possesses an aging, who-knows-how-actually-capable nuclear arsenal and their aggressive market moves involve mortars and killing people.

I love Russians. I really do. But they're delusional about this and they're following the lead of a greedy, manipulative imbecile whose main selling points are his capability to not be as drunk as the last guy, an unrestrained murderous urge, and shirtless photo shoots.

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u/historymajor44 Jan 21 '22

Which, in their current political climate could turn a foreign war into a domestic upheaval.

Hmm, like exactly what happened in Russia a hundred years ago?

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u/MaryBerrysDanglyBean Jan 21 '22

Pretty much. History does often repeat itself. Especially after the stuff with Navalny and that video showing Putin's palace. Could definitely imagine the Russian people finally having enough of Putin's shit if they are made poorer and loads of their relatives start getting killed in some pointless war.

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u/Artur_Mills Jan 21 '22

It can only happen if military goes against putin

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u/Kuronan Jan 21 '22

History has shown that Russian wars are decided by the Russian Military... particularly during Winter.

If Putin makes his move, it's gonna be in the next two months.

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u/FruRoo Jan 21 '22 edited Feb 26 '22

RemindMe! 3 Months

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u/paddywacknack Jan 21 '22

Putin being overthrown is what I want for Christmas.

Getting rid of russian trolls would do wonders for the west.

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u/dawiz2016 Jan 21 '22

Putin only has gas to sell. If they stop doing that, which they’ll have to as a consequence of the EU not playing to his fiddle, Russia is broke in a matter of months.

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u/mangalore-x_x Jan 21 '22

This. His window to invade is shrinking by the hour. Very surprising that he's allowed this to occur.

To me the biggest assurance nothing will happen. It is a very crappy way to prepare a war. Most importantly there is no real diplomatic build up to justify it in the world public.

In previous actions Russia managed to present itself as the party reacting to a crisis and intervening into a conflict on the spot and create realities before the West or others could figure out what things were about and they were willing to do about it. The very way this circus is going on is sabotaging any claim for Russia to use such an excuse.

So I find it rather weird as to what the goal of the song and dance and this song and dance raises the risk of plain stupidity creating an incident that gets people killed.

Obviously I also can be plain wrong. Just beside the internet hype it does not seem very sensible for Putin to go for it after warning the West for weeks on end. Seems atypical for him, too. Too risky and too open.

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u/Prevailing_Power Jan 21 '22

Russia has an economy the size of Italy. They can't deploy that many troops and not gain. They're setting up field hospitals and still deploying more resources. From all accounts I've read, Putin is having a hard time at home politically. His wealthy friends have been getting sanctioned out the ass for years. His home just got leaked.

He looks like he was gambling that the west wouldn't respond, and low and behold, tons of anti-armor got shipped directly to his target. Now he's facing an army 120-200k strong with modern weaponry.

This looks like a world class blunder to me. Can he even back down and survive the political aftermath? He's probably worried about getting pushed out a window at this point if this doesn't come to anything.

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u/flyingace1234 Jan 21 '22

This is what I’m worried about. If he doesn’t get results soon he may be forced to do anything to distract from issues at home

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u/newdawn15 Jan 21 '22

I don't this is accurate. There's only one reason he's attacking: drones.

In Putin's mind (the mind of a former KGB officer) the Soviet Union was the best thing ever and Ukraine is a key part of it. However, the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict showed last year that a country that has relatively cheap TB2 drones can quickly get decisive victory.

More importantly, TB2s were deployed in Syria against S-400s (a really advanced Russian anti-aircraft system) and the results were bad... for Russia. A mass of TB2s can basically poke holes in an S-400 system, which is allegedly the most advance system outside what the US has.

The problem for Putin is TB2s have been getting sold to Ukraine for all of last year. In fact, Ukraine is set to manufacture the engines for them.

So Putin knows something I suspect the US gov does, which is that in 1-2 years a mass of TB2s with better software could put it permanently outside of Russia's orbit. Which is a problem for his "Soviet Union is best union" world view. Hence all the rush now.

Anyways, I think Russia will have a really tough time in Ukraine regardless even without TB2s.

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u/tranquility30 Jan 21 '22

Interesting theory. I have always viewed it as a game of cat and mouse. Yes, drone technology has exploded and is quite the asymmetric weapon (orders of magnitude cheaper than the SAMs that would attempt to shoot them down) but at the same time, anti-drone technology has exploded as well. Armenia didn't have the resources to launch Gen4+ fighters, plentiful ground based SAM/AAA systems, and a host of advanced EW to counter drones. Not to mention longer range standoff munitions (cruise-missiles/SRBMs) which can take out drone staging areas, esp. when combined with SIGINT and AESA/SAR from aircraft (whatever their JSTARS equivalent is). An S400 has never been used in combat so it would be really interesting to know if it truly had trouble with drones, or other factors were at play (e.g. they didn't turn them on). If the S400s were ready/on and had Pantsirs for the shorter range engagements and still got through, that would be very, very impressive. I think you're right about Putin worrying about Ukraine's buildup of forces since 2014. This does seem rather unprovoked, being that there was no massive call to have Ukraine join NATO recently. I just think Russia is a different animal...the NLAWs/Javelins/Stingers will no doubt help, but we're talking about the 2nd or 3rd best military in the world, and with a lot of experience (unlike the Chinese). I def. think an insurgency could still win, esp. with Ukarine's preparation, EU/NATO resources, and (hopefully) a strong will to fight. I'm just not sure Putin is looking at a drone-tech timeline that he has to beat. But who knows, it's an interesting point you make and I am a layman with this stuff (I just find it fascinating). Thanks

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u/socialistrob Jan 21 '22

The fog of war makes these things very difficult to read. On the one hand if Putin was going to fully invade Ukraine he would absolutely be doing huge build ups and moving ships accordingly. Ukraine in 2022 is a lot stronger than 2014 and a few special forced taking a generally pro Russian area simply isn’t the same as the amount of forces necessary for a full on invasion.

On the other hand the West was never going to recognize Crimea as part of Russia under the status quo. If Putin begins making extreme demands, preparing for a full fledged invasion and then comes back with a much more reasonable offer of “recognize Crimea as Russia” then maybe the West would actually bend. We also don’t really know how unified the West is. Would the GOP stand behind Biden and through serious sanctions at Russia? Would Germany abandon Nordstream 2? If the EU and US are united they could cripple Russia without firing a shot but if there are a lot of internal divisions then maybe Russia could get away with it. Russia has gradually been losing influence in the post Soviet states for a decade and if no action whatsoever was taken that trend would surely continue.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

If Putin reverts to "recognize Crimea" from his outlandish initial demands everyone will laugh in his face.

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u/King_Internets Jan 21 '22

This is something that actually worries me, tbh. It seems uncharacteristic of Putin to be this sloppy and back himself into a corner, and this makes me feel like there’s something more at play here.

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u/Psyadin Jan 21 '22

Pure speculation incomming:

Honestly I think people don't realize the corner he was already backed up in, he's almost certainly been struggling to keep power when all his rich friends are getting hammered by the west for years due to sanctions, the countrys economy has suffered greatly and there was the documentary of his home a d all that, he's likely grasping as straws, a couple of successfull invasions would help him a lot with the common man, solving one problem.

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u/DigOutDigDeep Jan 21 '22

This has been my view the whole time. He's on a mission to prove Russia still needs him. The uglier, the better.

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u/DravenPrime Jan 21 '22

Waging a pointless war is a common dictator's tactic. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he gets Idi Amin'd if it ever comes to that.

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u/gecko090 Jan 21 '22

His power is predicated on him being able to both pay people and protect them from consequences.

But he can't protect them from US Treasury sanctions that most other countries will abide by.

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u/ykafia Jan 21 '22

Speculation but it seems very logical

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u/TheMisanthropy Jan 21 '22

Which i think is the funny part, the czar fell partly because of the same mindset. Country was weak lets go beat up a weak nation(Japan) they got their ass kicked and made people even more unhappy. The fall of the Russian monarchy was complicated and this wasn't only factor but it was one.

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u/fantomen777 Jan 21 '22

Country was weak lets go beat up a weak nation(Japan)

Russia did beat up a weak nation China, for a Chinese port, then Japan (stronger nation) beat up Russia to get the same port.

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u/ivandelapena Jan 21 '22

Putin has thrown away a lot over a long time. There was a time in the early 2000s when the EU was courting Russia and talks of them even joining the EU were on the cards. Trade was booming and Medvedev becoming President made Russia seem like more of a normal country. Since then Russia's economy has been tanking, the oligarchs are pissed off at the Magnitsky Act, they've been spending huge amounts propping up Assad in Syria, for some reason getting involved in Libya, using nerve agents in England to kill people and of course, Ukraine, Belarus and now Kazakhstan. They've been hit hard by COVID recently and lied about the scale of the problem so Putin needs to take the spotlight off all of these longstanding issues. He has seen in Syria, Libya and now Kazakhstan what can happen if the people get sick of you and he is desperate to avoid that.

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u/Geronimo_Roeder Jan 21 '22

I think the last part of your comment is something people are not aware enough of. Reportedly Putin watched the video of Ghadaffi being lynched over and over and over again for like half a day. It shook him to the core. The guy is terrified of loosing power and falling prey to the fury of the Russian people, or maybe even worse, a new regime.

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u/J4jem Jan 21 '22

This war is needed by Putin to deflect domestic anger from a myriad of internal failings.

Russia is really struggling with COVID-19. Their economy was failing even before a significant portion of the workforce died. Imagine all of the chaos the US is experiencing with logistics, inflation, and a difficulty in finding workers, and then heap that on top of a chronically mismanaged economy that is experiencing drastically higher percapita death rates than the US. Russia is in bad shape, and Putin needs to deflect externally in order for his regime to survive.

For reference, the heavily doctored official numbers from Russia are well above 350k COVID deaths. Real values likely exceed 1million, as excess death rate since the start of the pandemic is around 1.1 million by some estimates. For a country less than half the size of the US, this is a massive hit to the domestic economy. They have an excess death value that may exceed that of the USA, a country with 2.5x the population, and that is a recipe for disaster in an already poor economy.

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u/CountMordrek Jan 21 '22

The West has been terrible at signalling intent since 2014, so it’s not that surprising that Putin makes these mistakes.

With all the talks about Germany not supporting Ukraine, let’s remember that WWII started with Germany not expecting anyone to do anything to help Poland after the Munich Agreement.

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u/f_d Jan 21 '22

The West has been terrible at signalling intent since 2014, so it’s not that surprising that Putin makes these mistakes.

On the other hand, Putin could have tried to build a better government with better ties to the rest of Europe. His moves are all built on the idea that he deserves more say in other people's lives than the other people are willing to grant him. If he thought they would give in more easily than they did, it doesn't take away his responsibility for trying to make them give in.

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u/Jim_Lahey68 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

Honestly no one really did do much to help Poland, which is why he conquered it so easily. Sure, Britain and France did declare war but they didn't take any significant offensive actions and allowed Hitler to make the first move.

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u/Ltb1993 Jan 21 '22

The UK and France honored an agreement to defend Poland from German aggression specifically.

They declared war, One they weren't expecting to happen, wanted to fight or was even prepared to fight.

There was indecision and preparation, Germany had a massive head start and had done so secretly, with recent war experience against European nations and tactics to boot.

France who bore the brunt of ww1 which devastated North Eastern France. (Check out the Red zone in France, its still a modern day problem).

Despite this and numerous other issues France was preparing for a great effort and mobilising for a war of attrition against a nation twice its population (with the newly added territory), in a far better position to wage war.

The UK was readying for war and mobilizing also. Than the USSR declared war changing the situation drastically once more.

There was a lot done. A lot going on in a very complicated way. So much Ed missed out in this short comment for what actually happened. Saying no one really did much isn't giving them there do.

As for Poland they were expected to be able to fight for longer, to not also be attacked in the rear. They weren't expecting the German offensive to be so effective but the Germans had a new method to war that was effective. Poland or anyone else was not prepared for. There was also indecision in Polish command that left the war preparations. Political decisions also hampered the prepared for war. No matter how heroic they fought they couldn't match the tactics or logistics that the germans had against them in the time and space they had.

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u/truemeliorist Jan 21 '22

If he is bluffing, his bluff is getting extremely expensive.

It really makes me concerned that there is some ace up his sleeve the US or other western countries are unaware of that is making him so cocksure. But then again, maybe that concern is what he's aiming for.

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u/socialistrob Jan 21 '22

I’m not sure about that. This is pure speculation but I think he wants a resolution to the Crimean situation. If he did nothing then there is no way Crimea would ever be recognized as part of Russia, at least not while Putin is still alive, however by making huge demands from NATO and placing the entire Russian military on Ukraine’s border then suddenly if he switches toon to “okay I’ll withdraw as long as Ukraine doesn’t join NATO and I get Crimea legally recognized” then the West may be willing to take him up on that or he could even just drop the Ukraine-NATO bit and settle for recognition of Crimea. It may not be a bluff entirely but it also could just be a negotiating tactic.

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u/quietguy_6565 Jan 21 '22

"Listen guys I only want Austria"

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u/Sthlm97 Jan 21 '22

"Sudetenland guys, then I'll stop, I promise, its okey. Don't worry, you can trust me."

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u/Erected_naps Jan 21 '22

Guys their country fell apart I need to step in or else their will be killing on the streets!

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u/lAmBenAffleck Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 22 '22

"Slight change to the promise I made last year... I take Poland, and then I am done. I promise."

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u/fantomen777 Jan 21 '22

Peace in our time.

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u/BAdasslkik Jan 21 '22

It takes a while to build up an invasion force, from what I've seen in videos Russia is bringing in more armour, aircraft, missiles, and ammunition to the frontlines each day.

It looks like they are hedging their bets on the political support this will garner even with increased casualties, maybe also planning a false flag to kick it off.

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u/giesej Jan 21 '22

I'm curious what the timeline looks lime here. Mainstream media continues to throw out "imminent" since December.

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u/CountMordrek Jan 21 '22

Someone said that an invasion probably wouldn’t occur until February due to normal weather patterns so it might be that he began preparing so early because he didn’t expect the West to send any aid to Ukraine.

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u/Sckathian Jan 21 '22

The thing no one talks about is that Ukraine is just another major Russian foreign policy failure. Russia pushed Ukraine too far and this led to a revolution. Russia invaded Ukraine, solidifying the revolution with nationalism (tbf to Russia its not like this has ever happened before......).

Russia is on the backfoot.

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u/isthatmyex Jan 21 '22

In case it's not abundantly obvious. These weapons were always designed to be able to take out Soviet/Russian assets. NATO was never going to have as much armor and aircraft on hand as the Soviets. These are specifically designed to help small units fight an overwhelming Soviet force anywhere on the line. Shoot-n-scoot. A fighting retreat. The Russians will still pound the Ukrainians. But these weapons give small units a fighting chance to draw real blood up and down the line. And that's expensive.

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u/Theoneandonlyjustin Jan 21 '22

Tbh part of me thinks he just doing it to see if the west will actually do anything.

If not he gets another country. If yes, then he knows what he will be up against so he can plan for the next time

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u/brendano13 Jan 21 '22

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania sound like great neighbors to have!

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u/[deleted] Jan 22 '22

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u/PyllyIrmeli Jan 22 '22

Well, you can literally see Tallinn from Helsinki with naked eye. Day trips to Tallinn and back on a ferry are practically the national sport.

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u/[deleted] Jan 22 '22

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u/DrewSmoothington Jan 22 '22

Seriously, great neighbours. They're just following an adage as old as time, "whenever your neighbour finds themselves in dire straits, send them shoulder mounted javelin anti-aircraft missiles."

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u/collapitalist Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

None of this makes sense to me. Why would Putin put so many forces at the border and not invade? It just seems too costly. So much effort for a little intimidation to keep Ukraine out of NATO? I think they’re going to invade.

At the same time, why invade Ukraine knowing that all of Europe and the US is going to do everything they can to make Russia pay as heavy a price as possible (everything short of total war)?

It seems like a weird/dumb move for Russia either way. Do they really think they can just take Ukraine with relatively little or no consequences? Do they not care what the outcome is? Is there a bigger agenda. So many questions because it all seems so dumb (or maybe I’m just the dumb one here)

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u/Plisq-5 Jan 21 '22

Navalny thinks it’s because Putin wants no further sanctions if they don’t invade. Effectively evading the sanctions.

Honestly, that would be one of the best case outcomes if I’m being honest.

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u/cata2k Jan 21 '22

But he wouldn't have had any further sanctions if he'd just done nothing

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/Psychological-Box558 Jan 22 '22

Maybe he plans on doing something sanction worthy, but will threaten invasion to counter the sanctions for what he was originally going to do

Elections are coming up

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u/Borfistaken Jan 22 '22

“Elections”. Putin only has to worry about the oligarchs. But he really has to worry about them.

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u/iREDDITnaked Jan 22 '22

I think Navalny means that there are ongoing sanctions against russia right now, that Putin would like removed.

And this big show is Putin's way of forcing the US and Europe's hand.

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u/samrequireham Jan 21 '22

yeah but doesn't it seem like the west is JUST NOW fully united behind an exclusion of russia from global affairs? biden has been changing his mind day by day; yesterday he said russia would be unable to use dollars if they invade. that's a massive threat and putin is letting once-squabbling western powers talk ourselves into it.

seems like even if russia dramatically stood down, increased sanctions and penalties for russia are now much more permanent and stable than two months ago. feels like a lose-lose for putin.

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u/LeonTheCasual Jan 21 '22

Keep in mind as well, US sanctions need to clear congress before they’re lifted, which often results in sanctions not being lifted until decades after the original cause of the sanction has ended.

Russia may be in a “either we get them to clear all the sanctions, or fuck it what’s a few more”

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u/ridnovir Jan 21 '22

Eastern block must help each other against Putin’s aggression because if he is not deterred he will not stop at Ukraine alone.

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u/dry_rainyday Jan 21 '22

Eastern block must help each other against Putin’s aggression because if he is not deterred he will not stop at Ukraine alone.

Russia attacking the eastern block would have made a strange headline in 1989.

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u/ChrisTinnef Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 22 '22

The Moscow Warsaw Pact was only ever used for military operations against it's own members

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u/WeimSean Jan 21 '22

shoulder mounted anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles aren't a game changer in terms of preventing Russia from invading, but they raise the price Russia will pay if they do so.

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u/rugbyj Jan 21 '22

The interviews I’ve seen with Ukrainian military during this build up they’ve been acutely aware of both their inability to stop any major incursion and their tremendous ability in bogging a superior occupying force down in an expensive and fruitless conflict.

They know what is being asked of them and I can only hope they extract their toll on any invading force with maximum effectiveness.

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u/Mennovich Jan 22 '22

God, how awful stressful to be a Ukrainian soldier right now, facing a force which you can not realistically beat. All that is said is: “holding back Russian as long as possible” and “making it painful”. Not “winning”

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u/RingedStag Jan 22 '22

Finland here, it's been our main objective since 1946. It's not about winning. We wouldnt win.

But its about making the win not worth it for the enemy

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

That seems to be the strategy. Make it as painful as possible as a deterrent. I have no fucking clue what the Russians are thinking beyond, “Foundations of Geopolitics.”

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 30 '22

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u/Atreaia Jan 21 '22

Sweden's strategy for hundreds of years has been to fight until last Finnish man. They've always chickened out when it mattered.

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u/WeimSean Jan 21 '22

A Norwegian friend I knew would tell this joke.

"What's the one thing Sweden has that Norway doesn't?"

-Good neighbors.

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u/dry_rainyday Jan 21 '22

Sweden's strategy for hundreds of years has been to fight until last Finnish man. They've always chickened out when it mattered.

well that what happens when you live in a buffer state, whether it is ukraine, poland or finland.

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u/NocKme Jan 21 '22

Would you trade loads of tanks and planes fro some farmland and then be actually wide open for an attack?

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u/cat-head Jan 21 '22

are we playing AOE or Total War?

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

Any AOE players knows you can't win in post-imp without an ungodly amount of farms.

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u/nomadic_farmer Jan 21 '22

Real talk. Also you must be trading at the markets with trade carts if you are playing team games.

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u/hammyhamm Jan 21 '22

I love it when the ex bloc countries band together to fight off their old oppressor

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u/Half_Past_Five Jan 21 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Bravo!

To show solidarity with its Allies, the United States is reportedly considering sending Florida Man to the front lines of Ukraine.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/thatonen3rdity Jan 21 '22

but he's been told that the enemy took his 12-pack

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u/Cptn_Canada Jan 21 '22

And has more meth

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u/throwaway_ghast Jan 21 '22

And riding an alligator.

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u/Assassinatitties Jan 21 '22

They're also rumored to be releasing their Top Secret unit of bath salt cannibals they've been developing and testing since their initial emergence

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u/Oh_Archie Jan 21 '22

300 Florida men. Their numbers will count for nothing.

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u/MyrddinSidhe Jan 21 '22

Madness?? This. Is. Florida!

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u/RunningInTheDark32 Jan 21 '22

"No dude, you're in Ukraine."

"FLORIDA!"

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u/Chicano_Ducky Jan 21 '22

Florida man grabs a russian and crushes his entire body against his forehead like an empty pabst blue ribbon

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u/Professor_Arkansas Jan 21 '22

If that is the case then sorry to both Ukraine and Russia. No one should be exposed to Florida Man.

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u/Yeazelicious Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

If Ukraine's weaponry and tactics can't hold back the Russian army, the PTSD from interacting with Florida Man surely will.

"He pulled up to our compound on a segway and said he was looking for the Waffle House. When we told him to move along, he... Five of my men, he... Oh my god."

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u/dudicus1414 Jan 21 '22

Dang, if this keeps up, Ukraine will be able to invade Russia

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u/IM_YOUR_GOD Jan 21 '22

The ol' switchar..... hold on a minute, wait, what?

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u/PaulSavedMyLife69420 Jan 21 '22

Sounds like the perfect Onion article.

“We realized the opportunity and decided to take it”

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u/Popinguj Jan 21 '22

You're joking, but Russia is moving pretty much all of their capable forces to the Ukrainian border, placing their hardware and people in tightly organized parks.

If our missile program was completed, they would make a tempting target.

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u/PygmeePony Jan 21 '22

Baltic bros helping out Ukraine. Up yours, paranoid Putin.

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u/marksman230591 Jan 22 '22

Seriously, what the fuck does Putin expect is gonna happen if he decides to invade when literally every European nation except for like Belarus will be against him?

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u/Imgoga Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

We Lithuanians are long time Ukrainian friends. They once were part of Grand Duchy Of Lithuania and later Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. We always supported them and never forget them, we understand what is like to live with asshole neighbor who twice occupied us all. Once by Czarist Russia and second by Soviet Russia, they like to blame others of Imperialism, but never admit doing it themselves. They are incarnation of hypocrisy and whataboutism.

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u/ajr901 Jan 21 '22

I’m appreciating this collective “fuck you, Russia” from all these countries

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u/BurmaJones Jan 21 '22

Think Ukraine's Baltic brothers shares a common historical grievance with the Soviets. Read a book called Bloodlands, or listen to The Anti-Humans from the Martyrmade podcast if you want your stomach turned inside out.

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u/fuber Jan 21 '22

I wonder about the logistics of this. Wouldn't you need people who know how to use this equipment for it to be effective? Do the countries send that too or just an instruction manual?
Also, isn't it difficult to distribute and plan the use of this equipment last minute?
I'm not at all experienced in military operations but it just seems that this is too little too late. I certainly don't want Ukraine to fall but it feels like to me that they'd really need a shit ton more troops on the ground to prevent an incursion.

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u/Traversar Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

UK sent troops for training along with the missiles yesterday, and Lithuania has had training troops in Ukraine for years because of 2014, probably similar for Latvia and Estonia.

Edit: 40 Lithuanians on a training mission in Ukraine, couldn't find anything specific for the others.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22 edited Feb 22 '22

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u/imgrandojjo Jan 22 '22

Canadian special forces pound for pound are among the very best in the world. I hope the Ukranians are proverbially picking their brains as we speak.

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u/Warhawk137 Jan 21 '22

We sold them some javelins a few years back, so presumably they have at least some training in their use. Don't know about stingers. The NLAWs that the UK is sending them are apparently very easy to operate, like you can start training after breakfast and still be done by brunch.

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u/ChiefQueef98 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

If the Mujahideen could learn how to fire Stingers, then I'm sure Ukraine's army won't have too much trouble. Can't be much different than their Strelas.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/FrostWyrm98 Jan 21 '22

I don't doubt the ability of a human to fuck something up, but a lot of modern anti-tank materiel are heavily automated. They use complex algorithms to track targets and even the warheads themselves in some cases are self-correcting as in the NLAW, the "shoot and forget" rocket.

Militaries are very aware that most people do not read manuals cover to cover, and reducing complexity of use is a big focus for the past half century with computers being a bigger part.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

As far as I know, the NLAW does not track the target. If the target is moving, then the operator follows the target for a while and shoots, and the missile uses that initial speed to adjust flight path. The warhead has a magnetometer that detects when it is on top of the target to trigger the explosion.

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u/FrostWyrm98 Jan 21 '22

Yup! I knew I was forgetting something, according to Wikipedia it requires a 3 second tracking period to lock the target. I'm mostly talking about the fact that in theory it's pointing for 3 seconds and leaving as opposed to the operator having to correct during flight. From wiki:

"For a moving target, the gunner maintains tracking for three seconds, training the missile's guidance electronics to compute the target's angular speed.

After launch the missile flies autonomously to the target making the necessary corrections according to the data acquired by the tracking."

For simplicity I was just referring to the last part

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/UrinalCake777 Jan 22 '22

Lithuania is pretty cool.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22 edited Apr 06 '22

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u/AmarHassan1 Jan 21 '22

Nordstream

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/donkleone Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

Cyberattacks on Russia are free. And any citizen of the free world can do them.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/Male_strom Jan 21 '22

Editing their latest 'last chance' video

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u/EggHash Jan 22 '22

Working for various governments or holding school information hostage for crypto

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u/heikkiiii Jan 21 '22

Knowing how much javelins cost for such a small country and how little of them we have, is heartwarming knowing that we gave them away for free to friends in need.

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u/kroggy Jan 21 '22

I love how there's alredy entire pro-Ukrainean coalition gathering.

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u/TaiVat Jan 21 '22

Its not pro-Ukrainean, its antirussian. Most of the countries that hate russia the most are the ones that were in it not that long ago.

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u/Rikeka Jan 21 '22

The west needs to bankrupt Russia. End every trade deal, isolate it, and make Russia allies choose who to make business, Russia or the West.

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u/KingOfSpeedSR71 Jan 22 '22

Ukraine: “Latvia….these are potatoes”

Latvia: “Yes, potato help”

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u/Contagious_Leech Jan 21 '22

I really hope this doesn’t come to the pointless loss of life. Yeah we talk about it like “invasion” and “tank fleets”. But those are people’s kids in a tank. That’s a persons son or daughter taking shrapnel.

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u/Surprisetrextoy Jan 21 '22

Russia is really in a bad spot. The entirety of Europe is against them. Canada, US sending help and money. Who knows who else will step up. It'll be a terribly costly invasion both in equipment and especially manpower. Sanctions will just crush them afterwards. So either they get the shit kicked out of them or someone stops this foolishness at the top. Do we see Putin assassinated?

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u/Dominum_Pullum Jan 22 '22

Fuck yea go Baltics!

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u/juhziz_the_dreamer Jan 21 '22

I am from Russia and I must say that countries should start imposing embargoes against Russia.

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