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Old 02-23-2022, 04:59 AM
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Arrow Vladimir Putin: the story behind the real Russian President and former NATO chief rev

Vladimir Putin: the story behind the real Russian President and former NATO chief reveals secret to stopping him
By: David Hammond - Yorkkkshire Post - 02-23-22 (News you can trust since 1754)
Re: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news...ng-him-3582138

Vladimir Putin is a spy turned politician, known for his ruthless efficiency in getting things done. Here we take a look at some of the recent history between Ukraine, Russia and why NATO membership is so repellent to Russia.

Photo link: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/webi...jpg?&width=990
Vladimir Putin, 69, is a keen huntsman, often pictured on his way to shoot and kill animals or by the riverbank pulling in fish he's caught himeslf. Getty

With a background as an intelligence officer working for the KGB - including time spent inside East Germany - the now Russian President retired from operational intelligence gathering service in 1990 after 16 years.

After winning the confidence of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Putin was quickly identified as a likely successor, his steely-eyed ice cold decision making ability setting him out from other would-be candidates.

Putin was made acting President during the final hours of 1999. He went on to win the 2000 election, and assumed control and power. He has been in power ever since, as President (1999 - 2008 & 2012 - present day) and Prime Minister (2008 - 2012).

Putin has two children. He is divorced.

To go with his strong-man style of national leadership, he enjoys exercise, particularly martial arts - he has a black belt in judo. He is also an animal lover, surrounding himself with dogs and horses - though he also likes to kill animals for sport; a hunting enthusiast often pictured wielding high-powered hunting rifles, occasionally shirtless on horseback!

His morning routine involves a long swim - where he claims to do much of Russia's thinking - a gym session and a late breakfast. Born in October 1952, he is currently 69 years old.

Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

The answer is both simple and complex: in simple terms, Ukraine is where East meets West - a crucible of geo-political tension. Democracy meets dictatorship. A bridge from Soviet command and conquer centralism to a pluralist, democratic horizon: opportunity versus oppression. At least, in theory.

Tensions between the two nations fizzed in 2014 when Russian troops were sent to overrun Ukrainian forces, annex Crimea, run unilateral referenda and ultimately attempt to force the UN Security Council to recognise its faux election - one where the result indicated almost every Ukrainian in Ukraine wanted to be Russian. The UN Security Council did not accept that. Instead, a collective envoy - Russian and American - negotiated a series of agreements that resulted - officially at least - in a ceasefire. It is now known as the Minsk Agreement (Protocol).

Ever since coming to power, Putin has sought to control everything from the centre. A dictatorial style of nationhood that requires State-enforced compliance, he quickly dissolved Russia's 89 regions into seven states (districts) that would be easier to observe, run and hold accountable in terms of their leadership and their forthcoming compliance - or otherwise. Putin appointed district commanders personally.

But, in truth, Ukraine has never wanted to dance to Russia's tune. In 1991, Ukraine declared itself independent, and set about electing its own President. By the end of the 1990s - despite significant challenges around corruption - Ukraine had its own currency and a relatively stable economy to call its own, too.

And this is where Russian paranoia begins to be explained: Ukraine is a large country. As well as borders with Russia, it shares borders with Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. It has also, increasingly, shared ambitions with some of its more progressive neighbouring democracies and it is those admiring glances to the West that causes tensions. Unhelpfully, for Ukraine at least, in terms of exposure to marine attacks, it also borders onto the Black Sea.

Ever since Ukraine committed to full nuclear disarmament in the 1990s, it has sought alliances and reassurances from its friends in the West over so-called friends in the East. Effectively seeking European allegiance over Russian. In short, Ukrainians want a peaceful, democratic, progressive and developed landscape; one where their destiny is a pro-choice one, not an enforced military one.

This is where NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - comes in because as Ukraine sees it, should they be able to join NATO, it would benefit from the full force of military might that comes with that - effectively putting more distance between it and Russia. At the time the Minsk Agreement was signed, Ukraine set itself the target of European Union membership by 2020.

Map link: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/webi...jpg?&width=640
As well as borders with Russia, it shares borders with Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. It has also, increasingly, shared ambitions with some of its more progressive democracies and it is those admiring glances to the West that causes tensions. Unhelpfully, for Ukraine at least, in terms of exposure to marine attacks, it also borders onto the Black Sea. Google Maps.

What is NATO and why doesn't Russia want Ukraine to join

NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - in a nutshell, NATO was created in 1949 precisely to guard against Russian (Soviet Union) military might and aggression. Should Ukraine join NATO, Putin would not be able to invade without NATO responding in its entirety. All for one, one for all.

Post World War 2, the United States recognised that its safety and security would be better served should Russia's neighbouring countries stand united against possible Russian threats. And so NATO was formed. The United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom were the founder members. The Germans joined in 1955. The Spanish in 1982.

NATO now comprises 30 countries: ALBANIA - BELGIUM - BULGARIA - CANADA - CROATIA - CZECH REPUBLIC - DENMARK - ESTONIA - FRANCE - GERMANY - GREECE - HUNGARY - ICELAND - ITALY - LATVIA - LITHUANIA - LUXEMBOURG - MONTENEGRO - NETHERLANDS - NORTH MACEDONIA - NORWAY - POLAND - PORTUGAL - ROMANIA - SLOVAKIA - SLOVENIA - SPAIN - TURKEY - UNITED KINGDOM - UNITED STATES.

If Ukraine were to make it 31, those nations would collectively defend the territory of Ukraine as one against Russian attacks, hence Putin's determination to seize control of Ukraine, or obtain guarantees from the international community that Ukraine will never join NATO - a reassurance that Ukraine, and the international community, appear unwilling to offer.

Ukraine and Russia at war: what is happening now?

In short, Putin's Russia has begun its invasion of Ukraine. Military experts estimate some 150-200,000 Russian troops deployed around the Ukraine border, adopting strategic positions. To all intents and purposes, Putin and Russia are ready to trigger a full-scale invasion - one that will inevitably lead to bloodshed and loss of life not seen in Europe since the Second World War. Open source satellite images show the full scale of what could happen should Putin give his generals the go-ahead, with hardware in position.

Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions: the secret to seizing Putin's power?In an essay written exclusively for The Yorkshire Post, David Hobbs - former Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and current CEO of the Atlantic Treaty Association of the United Kingdom says that, yes, in the short term multiple sanctions by multiple nations - including flushing London clean of Russian money - is key. Germany has already halted Nord Stream 2 - a multi-billion-Euro gas network investment that would have pumped energy the way of Europe and Euros the way of Russia.

But long term he says that climate consciousness - the race to carbon neutrality - is as much about saving the planet from pollution, emmissions and the natural disasters brought on by climate change as it is about weaning the West off Russian gas and fossil fuels, thereby starving Putin - and future Russian commanders-in-chief - of the resources they need to maintain their military threat to those around them and others around the world.

Tags: Valdimir Putin - Ukraine - NATO - President - Boris Ueltsin
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Personal note: You must know your enemy - for those who don't know the
history or background of Putin - this outline is presented above.
-
The world is complicated and difficult to understand - for those who need
to know more so I posted this article.
-
I don't condon his actions but you need to know more about your
adversaries in order to see into their mind and habits. You need
to be aware of his actions and re-actions - so as to counter such
negative operations.
-
Note: Putin is an old cold war veteran and is pretty set in his ways
and difficult to deal with most of the time.
-
You must learn about your enemies in order to sorta get into their
mindset and habits. He's difficult as most world leaders are. The
more you know about your enemy - the more you can see through
them.
-
Options are always available - but its a give and take result based
on a clear understanding between the issues under discution.
-
If you can work out a deal - where both sides save face - here's where
compromises can be put inplace. Thereby walking away - and where
both side are feeling good about the deals they just worked out.
-
Don't get me wrong - I'm American and I want whats best for us
- but its the cost of a compromise - that impacts the agreements that
cease further actions. This is where political and social agreements
satisfy both sides - in short a compromise is made & put into writing
and hopefully ends the issues at hand.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 02-23-2022, 06:55 AM
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Post Putin’s antagonism toward Ukraine was never just about NATO – it’s about creating a n

Putin’s antagonism toward Ukraine was never just about NATO – it’s about creating a new Russian empire
By: The conversation News - 02-23-22
Re: https://theconversation.com/putins-a...-empire-177687

As some Western observers have feared, Russian President Vladimir Putin has just proved that his aggression toward Ukraine was never really about NATO.

In a speech on Feb. 21, 2022, Putin recognized the occupied territories in Ukraine of Donetsk and Luhansk and moved Russian forces into them.

Putin’s speech showed that he has concocted his own view of history and world affairs. In his view, Ukraine’s independence is an anomaly – it’s a state that should not exist. Putin sees his military moves as a way of correcting this divergence. Largely absent from his discussion was his earlier emphatic grievance that an eventual spread of NATO to Ukraine threatens Russia’s security.

Since he came to power in 1999, Putin has created an ever-shrinking group of advisers who reinforce his worldview. This allows Putin to ignore not only Ukrainian public opinion, which has turned strongly against Russia since 2014, but also global voices condemning his moves.

Putin’s echo chamber
Many writers have debated how Putin has remained in power for over two decades. While his popular support in Russia has generally been high – especially during high-profile moves such as the annexation of Crimea – what may be more important in facilitating his longevity is this small circle of advisers who tell him what he wants to hear. After he served as prime minister, he returned to the presidency in 2012. From that point onward, Putin began to focus heavily on his narratives about Russia in the world, and he began to make moves on Ukraine.

Putin’s echo chamber keeps him insulated from needing to respond to public opinion that might otherwise discourage him from trying to bring Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit by force. Military operations in Ukraine are unpopular among Russians, but Putin’s inner circle continues to protect the president and defend his decisions.

Ukrainian negativity toward Russia
One of Putin’s most important ideas is that Ukrainians and Russians are the same, sharing history, cultural traditions and, in many cases, a language.

Putin’s claims on Ukraine have made Ukrainians more united in their views of their own country and its European future.

Ukrainians also feel more negatively toward Russia than they have in the past, with a sharp drop in pro-Russian attitudes since 2014. Fully 88% of Ukrainians support their country’s independence from Russia. Survey data from February 2021 shows that 56% of people across Ukraine support the country’s path toward NATO membership. This number was 30% in 2014, just after the annexation of Crimea.

Even the Ukrainian citizens living in the occupied territories care increasingly less about how the conflict is resolved. They are less concerned about being part of Ukraine or Russia and more worried about their own economic well-being.

Russian aggression was never about NATO
Putin’s anti-NATO rhetoric has also pushed Ukraine’s Western allies toward unity against Russia. These Western countries see a further Russian invasion of Ukraine as a European problem, and many support a NATO response to defend Ukraine.

But we’d argue that Putin’s claims that NATO threatens Russia’s security, and that the only way Russia will back down is if NATO promises never to admit Ukraine, is a bait and switch.

First, Ukraine does not have a clear path toward NATO membership. Ukraine would need to implement substantial reforms – including, but not limited to, major reforms in its military – in order to qualify for NATO membership.

Second, Putin has lied many times about his plans for Ukraine. Any concession from NATO is no guarantee of peace or security for Ukraine.

Finally, as scholars of contemporary Ukraine and Russia, we have seen this tactic from Putin before. In response to the 2013-2014 pro-democracy, anti-corruption Euromaidan protests in Ukraine that ousted a Russian-backed leader, Putin annexed Crimea, a large peninsula in the south of Ukraine. When separatists declared autonomy in Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014, Russia supported them first with economic and military aid and later with Russian troops. While Putin claimed this was to protect Russian speakers in these regions, it is now clear that these moves were a precursor to this week’s territorial grabs.

What happens next?
The increasing hostilities threaten to exacerbate a crisis of internally displaced peoples and refugees. At least 1.5 million people have already been forced to leave their homes in Donetsk and Luhansk. Current estimates project that some 5 million Ukrainians might be forced to leave the country if Russia invades further.

Putin’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics could have a spillover effect on other territorial disputes in the region. Some believe that Transnistria, located on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, could be the next to receive recognition from Russia. The recognition of separatist claims in Ukraine could just be the start of a greater trend of Russian action to capture more former Soviet territories.

In an attempt to thwart further violence and aggression, the European Union and the United States have imposed new, aggressive sanctions on Russia, targeting its politicians and members of the economic elite. The German government made the decision not to certify the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have brought Russian natural gas directly to Germany instead of transiting through Ukraine.

Of course, taking these stands against Russia will have an economic impact in Europe. In a tweet responding to Germany’s decision, Dmitry Medvedev, the former President of Russia, snidely noted that Europeans should be prepared for more expensive gas. The U.S., too, may see higher prices on certain goods such as fuel, and the conflict could impact global food security if Ukraine’s significant agricultural exports are affected.

However, we’d argue that such concerns pale in comparison to the hardships that Ukrainians are facing.

Ultimately, Russia’s actions are not caused by fears of NATO expansion. That is merely pretext. Rather, as Putin so clearly laid out on Feb. 21, they are motivated by an antagonism that refuses to recognize the reality of Ukrainian statehood.

[Get The Conversation’s most important politics headlines, in our Politics Weekly newsletter.]
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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