Nukes are a bluff and a piece of hybrid war disinformation. If anything, everyone’s attention will get focused. It’s still early, especially since some sanctions don’t take effect for as long as 30 days. Putin has now seen how much cooperation there is and sides are being drawn. The open question is how he thinks that he will profit once the end game is entered, because we’re not even at the end of the opening moves.
The unconfirmed report of a Russian mutiny needs to play itself out, but there are likely no provisions in the modern Russian armed forces to use punishment squads.
In the Odessa Steps sequence a crowd of friendly citizens has gathered on the steps leading down to the port of Odessa to celebrate the victory of the mutinous sailors over the Czarist officers on the battleship Potemkin, which is now waving the red flag of revolution offshore. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, lines of government soldiers appear at the top of the steps, and begin firing into the crowd. The action of this scene alone is an attraction or spectacle. As filmmakers have always known, violent images have an irresistible attraction for spectators, for the same reason that people find it hard not to look when driving by a highway disaster. But Eisenstein's choice to stage a massacre on the Odessa Steps, combined with his revolutionary editing techniques, resulted in an un-precedentedly horrifying and stunning spectacle, charged with political meaning.
Shtrafbats (Russian: штрафбат, штрафной батальон) were Soviet penal battalions that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II.
The shtrafbats were greatly increased in number by Joseph Stalin in July 1942 via Order No. 227 (Директива Ставки ВГК №227). Order No. 227 was a desperate effort to re-instill discipline after the panicked routs of the first year of combat with Germany. The order—popularized as the "Not one step back!" (Ни шагу назад!, Ni shagu nazad!) Order—introduced severe punishments, including summary execution, for unauthorized retreats.
In his order, Stalin also mentioned Hitler's successful use of penal battalions (known as Strafbataillon) as a means to ensure obedience among regular Wehrmacht units.
2. Bullies gonna bluster. But when confronted with overwhelming force they find a way to back out. It’s telling me that we’ve managed to make it through the nuclear age without a (second) nuclear conflict. In short, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction works.
3. The guy was trained as a KGB agent. He dissimulates. If there is one lesson of the era of Trump it is that pretending to be unstable can be a negotiating advantage! So I take the threat with a grain of salt for that reason as well. Size of grain TBD.
4. We have hardly backed him into a corner YET—e.g. billions in payments for his oil & gas will still be flowing from EU to RUS. Don’t get me wrong, I’m surprised & pleased by how much the Europeans have done, but this is hardly the Full Monty.
5. Now that he sees what he’s up against, there are possible face saving solutions for him like Ukraine pledging not to join NATO & resolving the territorial seizures (as sickening as those kinds of options are to me & as much as they just kick the can ala Munich ‘38).
6. So we are far from a point in the conflict where he has no choice but to go nuclear to save his ego or whatever. We are just 4-plus days in! We friends of Ukraine were too pessimistic on Friday and are probably a little too optimistic now.
All of which is why I won’t be losing sleep tonight. Maybe tomorrow but not today Satan. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong @McFaul @RadioFreeTom @joshtpm
& everyone else! And Слава Україні! /END
In a blink of an eye Germany will spend 100bn euros on defense. To put this in context their entire defense budget is 53bn euros. Germany, Sweden, and the EU are sending lethal asst. This will dramatically grow EU's hard power capabilities. 2/
The EU was already an economic power. But it is showing its geopolitical resolve w/ sanctions. Europe will likely suffer a hit in the tens of billions of loss of economic activity. Much more so than the US. But the EU is leaning in. 3/
I also expect this crisis will lead to some structural reforms to strengthen the EU. Expect to see some real advances on EU defense and perhaps some structural reforms to create a more EU foreign policy. 4/
While I am surprised at the pace and extent of the steps, this also shouldn't have been a huge shock to those watching the EU. Anytime the EU comes under threat, it doesn't wilt, instead it fights like hell to defend its union, as @APHClarkson
has noted. 5/5
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If Germany or France or even Poland were being invaded like this, they would have support. Ukraine is multi-ethnic with a significant Roma population, and growing Afro-Ukrainian and African population. Not being European enough has been lobbed at Ukraine since it’s independence/2
So, the recent jackass comments from Western European journalists not believing their eyes b/c these people are like them is incredibly new to the discourse. In 2014 when Crimea was taken, when Luhansk and Donetsk occupied, Ukraine was backward, not European enough. 3/
In closing, we can have strong critiques of the racism in current media treatment of Ukraine, but please believe, this is new. Because Russia is doing this now because in 2014 the West decided Ukraine wasn’t European enough, and the 2014 conflict was just another E. Europe dustup
I may lose followers for this thread, but understand this: I am a historian, and one of less than five Black people in my discipline. I’m here to contextualize what is happening for those who want to know more. I educate, and I’ll do that long after I’m back to 3k followers.
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