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Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry employees clear rubble at the side of the damaged Mariupol theater building during heavy fighting in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, May 12, 2022. (AP Photo)
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Kremlin warns of retaliation after Finland moves toward NATO

83 Comments
By OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI

The Kremlin warned about taking retaliatory “military-technical” steps after Finland’s leaders came out in favor of applying to join NATO, and Sweden could do the same within days, in a historic realignment triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the first war-crimes trial of a Russian soldier since the start of the conflict was set to open Friday in Kyiv. A 21-year-old captured member of a tank unit is accused of shooting to death a civilian during the opening week of the war.

On the ground, Russian forces pounded areas in central, northern and eastern Ukraine, including the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol, as part their offensive to take the industrial Donbas region, while Ukraine recaptured some towns and villages in the northeast.

Two and a half months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through Moscow’s neighbors, Finland’s president and prime minister announced Thursday that the Nordic country should apply right away for membership in NATO, the military defense pact founded in part to counter the Soviet Union.

“You (Russia) caused this. Look in the mirror,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said this week.

While the country's Parliament still has to weigh in, the announcement means Finland is all but certain to apply — and gain admission — though the process could take months to complete. Sweden, likewise, is considering putting itself under NATO's protection.

That would represent a major change in Europe's security landscape: Sweden has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, while Finland adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviets in World War II.

Public opinion in both nations shifted dramatically in favor of NATO membership after the invasion, which stirred fears in countries along Russia's flank that they could be next.

Such an expansion of the alliance would leave Russia surrounded by NATO countries in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic and would amount to a stinging setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had hoped to divide and roll back NATO in Europe but is instead seeing the opposite happen.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance would welcome Finland and Sweden with open arms.

Russia's Foreign Ministry warned that Moscow "will be forced to take retaliatory steps of military-technical and other characteristics in order to counter the emerging threats to its national security.”

NATO's funneling of weapons and other military support to Ukraine already has been critical to Kyiv's surprising success in stymieing the invasion, and the Kremlin warned anew in chilling terms Thursday that the aid could lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia.

“There is always a risk of such conflict turning into a full-scale nuclear war, a scenario that will be catastrophic for all," said Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council.

In other developments, Ukrainian officials said their forces took out another Russian ship in the Black Sea.

The Vsevolod Bobrov logistics ship was struck as it was trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island, said Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president.

He said the ship was badly damaged but was not believed to have sunk. A spokesman for the Odesa regional military administration said the vessel caught fire after the strike.

There was no confirmation from Russia and no reports of casualties.

In April, the Ukrainian military sank the Moskva cruiser, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet, and in March it destroyed the landing ship Saratov.

While Russia's advance in the Donbas has been slow, its forces have gained some ground and taken some villages.

Four civilians were killed Thursday in three communities in the Donetsk region, which is part of the Donbas, the regional governor reported.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia’s focus on the Donbas has left its remaining troops around the northeastern city of Kharkiv vulnerable to counterattack from Ukrainian forces, which recaptured several towns and villages around the city.

Russian strikes Thursday killed at least two civilians on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, local authorities said.

The attacks also damaged a building housing a humanitarian aid unit, municipal offices and hospital facilities, Vyacheslav Zadorenko, the mayor of the suburban town of Derhachi, wrote in a Telegram post.

None of the sites "had anything to do with military infrastructure,” Zadorenko said.

Ukraine also said Russian forces had fired artillery and grenade launchers at Ukrainian troops around Zaporizhzhia, which has been a refuge for civilians fleeing Mariupol, and attacked in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions to the north.

Overnight airstrikes near Chernihiv, in northern Ukraine, killed at least three people, Ukraine's military said. It said that Russian troops fired rockets at a school and student dormitory in Novhorod-Siversky and that some other buildings, including private homes, were also damaged.

In his evening address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the assaults.

“Of course, the Russian state is in such a state that any education only gets in its way," he said. "But what can be achieved by destroying Ukrainian schools? All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick and incurable.”

Twelve Russian missiles struck an oil refinery and other infrastructure in the central Ukrainian industrial hub of Kremenchuk on Thursday, the region's acting governor, Dmytro Lunin, wrote in a Telegram post. In early April, he said, the refinery, which had been the last fully functional one in Ukraine at the time, was knocked offline by an attack.

In the southern port of Mariupol, which has largely been reduced to smoking rubble with little food, water or medicine, or what the mayor called a “medieval ghetto,” Ukrainian fighters continued to hold out at the Azovstal steel plant, the last stronghold of resistance in the city.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said negotiations were underway with Russia to win the release of 38 severely wounded Ukrainian defenders from the plant. She said Ukraine hoped to exchange them for 38 “significant” Russian prisoners of war.

Yesica Fisch in Bakhmut, David Keyton in Kyiv, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Jari Tanner in Helsinki, and other AP staffers around the world contributed.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


83 Comments
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Maybe instead of incessantly issuing threats to other countries, Putin and the other Kremlin leaders should ask themselves why so many of their neighbors hate and distrust them so much.

41 ( +46 / -5 )

action and reaction.

balance to be restored.

nothing unexpected at all and fully logical step of Russia as sovereign country.

-42 ( +4 / -46 )

Ok, exactly what? Finland crushed Russia 70+ years ago, now they have a ready and modern defence set up. Use a nuclear weapon, that’s not going to end well for Russia, or anybody. So what are they talking about waves of semi educated country peasants flinging themselves forward? Armed with decades old weapons they don’t understand. Think the Ukrainian resistance was something! Try it!, Sweden, Norway not having that serving of cabbage either.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia that they would always remain Neutral (or USSR). Then again in 1996 , Finland approved that USSRs existing agreements would be replaced as Russian Federations Existing Agreements, so they cannot use the argument that they signed with a different country.

Now In Perpetuity means Forever, not 73 years

-38 ( +6 / -44 )

Another day, another threat by the local bully - it’s getting tiresome.

34 ( +39 / -5 )

a stinging setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had hoped to divide and roll back NATO in Europe but is instead seeing the opposite happen.

So it looks like world's nations might have a choice, NATO/US/EU/UK or the BRICs led by Putin. Both groups will most likely do little if anything to deal with climate change.

Their respective member nations have been major contributors to climate change and the fossils running both groups might lose money and power were they to try to do something about it. Long passed time for younger people who prefer a cleaner and safer environment to replace some of the aging fossils. Putin will be 83 if he lives until the end of his current term of office, at that time Modi will be 85, Xi Jinping 82 Bolsonaro 81 and Trump 89 (if my addition is correct, and yes I used big tech western media sources). The ages of the world's leaders should scare everyone, each of them is currently near warranty expiration date, and each might be willing and want to go out with a bang and take us along with them, None of them has shown much regard for the health and general welfare of their citizens at any point in their long-lived lives, nor for citizens anywhere for that matter, and it's doubtful they can change, After all autocrats are like leopards and their spots. Vote out the fossils, and do not replace them with other fossils.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

You can sign an agreement but when one side shows such aggression against a long term partner. Got to wonder am I next? Missile systems rolled along your border constant warning about joining a group (defence group) NATO is like a safe house, protecting you from a violent partner. And having done absolutely nothing (like the Ukrainians). You’d be stupid to say “oh” Putin is a rational intelligent man. He is the Uncle who turns up at family gatherings drunk deranged and falling asleep in the soup.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia

gee, & Russia signed an agreement that they would never invade Ukraine.

35 ( +40 / -5 )

balance to be restored.

Balance? The main things Putin's Russia has to offer the globe and Europe are the resources, especially fossil fuels, found under Russian soil. Putin, his oligarchs and the global establishment are the ones who have benefited most from them. And Russia might perhaps offer some grain. The 'balance' will just continue to benefit the already haves running the planet, while the rest of us continue to be forced to breathe their exhaust.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

So, what happens if Russia destroys Finland because of this? They have the capability.

-30 ( +6 / -36 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia that they would always remain Neutral (or USSR). Then again in 1996 , Finland approved that USSRs existing agreements would be replaced as Russian Federations Existing Agreements, so they cannot use the argument that they signed with a different country.

Actually the 1948 agreement (which led to the term 'Finlandisation') was dissolved when the 1992 treaty was signed. Under the new treaty, Finland and Russia committed themselves not to use force against each other and to respect their 800-mile border. They also promised to respect the rights of each other's citizens on their territories.

And we all know how fastidious russia is about respecting borders and honouring commitments not to use force. Until they decide not to.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1992/01/21/russia-finland-sign-political-treaty/84e04ce2-40e9-4b2d-ac5c-843b1174f543/

31 ( +36 / -5 )

Yep

Russia will retaliate.

What a dumb situation !

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

try anything funny up there and Finland might welcome them in the border with another Simo Häyhä

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is understandable.

But Russia isn't interested in invading Finland or Sweden.

That's ridiculous.

-23 ( +9 / -32 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia that they would always remain Neutral (or USSR). Then again in 1996 , Finland approved that USSRs existing agreements would be replaced as Russian Federations Existing Agreements, so they cannot use the argument that they signed with a different country.

Now In Perpetuity means Forever, not 73 years

This is simply not true. The treaty says it will stay in force for 10 years (starting in 1948) and contains provisions allowing it to be terminated by either side, the words "in perpetuity" (or anything with a similar meaning) are nowhere to be found in it:

http://heninen.net/sopimus/1948_e.htm

15 ( +17 / -2 )

NATO is at war with Russia already.

-24 ( +6 / -30 )

@Khaos.

With Finland at the NATO table now and Sweden to follow.

Finland was the only non-NATO European Union state bordering with Russia. Finland's official policy states that in a wartime situation, military strength of 280,000 personnel constitutes a sufficient deterrent.

The army consists of a highly mobile field army backed up by local defense units.

The army defends the national territory and its military strategy employs the use of the heavily forested terrain and numerous lakes to wear down any aggressor, instead of attempting to hold the attacking army on the frontier. In other words come on it and get slaughtered down in a lake of fire. The relationship between the Finnish the French has long lasting and very old ties as well. And French war machine? Well pretty darn scary.

Putin and Russia find them selves in a hell of a pickle and closing in fast. Its only a matter of time Putin is removed from his seat of power. History teaches us. Hitler, Stalin Mugabe, Shwe, al-Qaddafi Hussein. Once leaders like this put down the pen and pick up rifle. Its only a matter of time till the disposition of power is taken away.

You can bet the average Russian is thinking right now that.

How can they get food on the table and keep the flat or house heated. The real power lay with average citizen. Its only a matter of time. The sands in the hour glass are running out on Putin and he knows this. Then how will he be remembered? How will you remember Putin?

Tyrant/Murder...This is how I and most of the world will remember Vlad....

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Sorry, NATO is not afraid of Russia with their pathetic little Spain-sized GDP and insecure, *****-sized president.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

So, what happens if Russia destroys Finland because of this? They have the capability.

bahaha - what capability ?

they’ve lost 1000 tanks, 10’s of 1000’s of soldiers & 1000’s of armoured vehicles.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is understandable.

oh, you understand why Russia invaded a sovereign country, do you ? And you understand why they are killing 1000’s of innocent civilians do you ?

bravo

29 ( +34 / -5 )

Fascist Russia, through their invasion of a sovereign nation, has directly led to nations joining NATO. Good on Finland and soon to be Sweden.

It is EVERY nations right to enter into collective self defence pacts - and in this case, the only safe course now.

What you gonna do, shakin' Putin? Shake uncontrollably some more at your oversized table?

22 ( +27 / -5 )

No doubt Finland made a stupid move.

-37 ( +6 / -43 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia that they would always remain Neutral (or USSR). Then again in 1996 , Finland approved that USSRs existing agreements would be replaced as Russian Federations Existing Agreements, so they cannot use the argument that they signed with a different country.

Now In Perpetuity means Forever, not 73 years

Also, just further to my previous comment on this, the treaty of 1948 which you are referring to was in fact terminated by Finland and the Russian Federation under the terms of the treaty in 1992 and a new treaty to govern relations between the two countries replaced it that year. The new treaty contains no provisions at all on Finnish neutrality. You can read it yourself at the below link, the relevant treaty is found at page 256.

TLDR: Finland is under NO legal obligation whatsoever to Russia to remain neutral.

https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%201691/v1691.pdf

17 ( +20 / -3 )

No doubt Finland made a stupid move.

In the minds of fascists and their supporters only.

The world is increasingly lining up against the shaky wonder - and he brought it all on himself.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

Its a war of attrition that will spill out of control quickly if not ended by NATO and her allies soon.

I predict that.

Putin will be removed from power soon. And we will see Russia in a re-construction phase that will see Russia doing massive payouts to assist Ukraine to re-build. Germany has had to do the same thing with the death of the Nazi party. Now Russia has not killed millions in death camps. But imagine if we had social media during high point of war during those times.

Payouts may exceed way more and go further and wider than and above what Germany has had to pay out and still pays out to Jewish community.

Putin needs to go.....

16 ( +20 / -4 )

A direct quote from Finland’s president to Pootin on their joining of NATO: “You did this. Look in the mirror”

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Ah yes....I forgot the most important.

Payouts to the families. Russia is the aggressor here.

Let us not forget the Mothers and Fathers who lost sons and daughters.

Children and the innocents....Material loss. Russians rise up against you monstrous dedicator and remove this heinous asinine bastard !

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Doing nothing and trusting Russia would be the stupidest move possible.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

What a stunning own goal. It’s just as well Russia won’t be attending the World Cup.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Kremlin is out of their minds.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Putin knows wars and threats of wars help Russia's and the other warmongering nation's defense industries profit, Russia's central bankers and the Kremlin along with other war profiteer around the world are probably also encouraging more wars. I know Russians tend to be ultra-nationalistic, but I doubt many Russians of military eligible age are keen on enlisting to help Vladimir's various armies. But if the globe's economic problems continue maybe he can buy more mercenary forces from impoverished nations to do the fighting for him and his oligarchs, maybe his pals Modi and Xi can help him in Putin's rage against the west. If Putin keeps up his wars in Ukraine and Syria and then expands into other areas he'll need lots of people doing the dirty work, bleeding and dying for him so he and his oligarchs and other fossil capitalists can maintain their lavish lifestyles.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

the Kremlin warned anew in chilling terms Thursday that the aid could lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia.

“There is always a risk of such conflict turning into a full-scale nuclear war, a scenario that will be catastrophic for all," said Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council.

History shows that Russia will fold when faced with war. It did during the Berlin blockade and during the Cuban Missile crisis.

The rest of the world knows that it is still a danger, especially to smaller countries, so the only logical step is to support them.

Russia is a great bear -strong and wild, and dangerous if you get too close. But we don't let bears roam in our society and we know that they still sh*t in the woods.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@tooheysnew

Nuclear capability. We should never forget that Russia holds enough firepower to destroy the entire human civilization.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Nuclear capability. We should never forget that Russia holds enough firepower to destroy the entire human civilization.

It would be nice if they themselves could be part of that civilization one day.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Russia holds enough firepower to destroy the entire human civilization.

Yes, Putin & his cronies make sure the world never forgets that.

How long does the world have to bow down to his threats & bullying ? You’ve got to stand up to bullies - History has taught us that.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Putin’s definitely not a brilliant strategist he believes himself to be …. He’s just made NATO get bigger lol . Slow clap well done.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@tooheysnew

And Russia is standing up to the west (US/EU/NATO).

In their eyes, and not just theirs, US/EU/NATO are the world's bullies. UK even left EU because it was seeing it as an economic and political bully. EU member states are bullied for years until they're accepted as members, and then they end up being told what to do by unelected EU bureaucrats.

US/NATO military is almost everywhere on the planet, issuing threats and warnings to whoever dares pursuing independent security. The west funds rebels and convenient politicians, make coups and strike down governments all the time, in order to ensure their grip on global political power.

They have no hesitation in twisting the arms of weaker countries to their will.

-25 ( +1 / -26 )

not a brilliant strategist

Well, let’s say he lives very well by all such underestimating like yours. Do you really think he started the war alone and out of no idea or strategy? No, this is all planned well, has a longer time frame than you might think or be able to watch while on this planet and surely they have considered all different branches and outcomes of the probability tree. And every chess player knows you can still win well even if sacrificing the queen right at the beginning. So I don’t like him and what he’s doing too, but that’s no reason for underestimating or saying he is a bad strategist.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Russia the underdog barks loudly. As their forces have troubles in Ukraine, how could Russia possibly expand its "special military operations" in the new front line?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If Russia wants to "respond" by putting forces and nuclear weapons close to the Finnish border, NATO can do likewise. If Russia wants to invade Finland as a response. NATO will utterly destroy Russian military capability.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Can Pooptin afford to take so many countries at once economically n with personnel both n bcom bit weaker military neighboring China will start salami slicing border territories

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And Russia is standing up to the west (US/EU/NATO).

There's nothing to stand up to. Nobody was threatening Russia. Nobody is going to invade Russia. Nobody is interested in Russia. All they have to do is pump their oil and ship their wares and nobody gives a toss about them.

You and others have bought into yet another one of Putin's lies about why he is doing this, whether it be nazis, Nato, or some other boogeyman. It's pathetic and embarrassing.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Looks like the Ruskies and Finns can dust off their cross country skis and rifles and put all that practice from the otherwise useless olympic sport of the biathlon into real life practice. Who knew that they were practicing under the guise of the olympics.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@kaos

please provide evidence of where & how NATO have ever threatened Russia.

while you’re at it, please tell us where NATO have sent their military around the world (besides Yugoslavia)

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Finland signed an In Perpetuity agreement with Russia that they would always remain Neutral (or USSR). Then again in 1996 , Finland approved that USSRs existing agreements would be replaced as Russian Federations Existing Agreements, so they cannot use the argument that they signed with a different country.

Now In Perpetuity means Forever, not 73 years

Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Guffaw. Snort!

Cool story, Vlad!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Russia’s military is weak and in shambles. They can’t handle taking on another war. Nobody is scared anymore.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Interesting as Russia pretty much convinced Finland through its actions and rhetoric that it is not safe to be an isolated nation that borders Russia.

It's not ironic that Finland and Sweden have talked about joining NATO after their decades of relative neutrality regarding Euro-Russian relations. It's predictable.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Just shows how stupid and arrogant Putin actually was, thinking he could just move into Ukraine to declare 'a take-back of the motherland', and now his chickens are really coming home to roost with neighbouring countries Finland and Sweden being forced to seek the protection of the NATO umbrella.

But then when you think about it, he was just some thuggish KGB enforcer, certainly no intellectual, and coupled with his sadistic tastes in mass-murder and bloodlust, plus his deranged mental condition brought on by the steroids, he's actually just a pathetic sub-human who really needs taking-out as quickly as possible - once Putrid is dead, its all over.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Do you really think he started the war alone and out of no idea or strategy? 

I think he listened to a lot of his ‘yes men’ who led him up the garden path and became increasingly unable or afraid to tell him the truth of his situation.

I also think he is suffering from a serious health condition that has affected his past admittedly acute mental faculties. Now he looks feeble and out of control.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If and when putin term in office ends then we may see peace in Europe, until then Europe and the world must be prepared for any scenario.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Finland crushed Russia 70+ years ago,

If Finland crushed Russia then how do you explain why the city of Viborg has been called Выборг for the last 80 years or so?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The new treaty contains no provisions at all on Finnish neutrality. 

Thanks for doing the due diligence and for the page number for the link which I read on my phone. I stand corrected.

Under the old one Finland was not to conclude any alliance or join any coalition directed against the other contracting party.

A country becoming a member of NATO imo should strengthen the alliance and not endanger the alliance. Russia is demanding Ukraine and Finland neutrality.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Who is this Khaos guy.

Look mate if it looks like you're house is going to be burgaled it's time to take measures.

Putin Isa nutcase.

And it's obvious he has some serious medical problems and wants to ensure his "legacy".

He started a war.

End of story.

Stop defending the indefensible

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Keep threatening all you want... We’re not afraid of russian scum...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“You (Russia) caused this. Look in the mirror,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said this week.

I like it!!! He hit the nail right on the head!!! Respect!!!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Nuclear capability. We should never forget that Russia holds enough firepower to destroy the entire human civilization.

Khaos, totally forgot that other nations in the world have nuclear weapons too. I don't think even China, India, Pakistan, and more (even on semi-friendly terms with Russia) will sit back and watch Russia start a nuclear war without turning on them. And Putin is acting like he doesn't want Russia to exist any more.

As I've said many times before, the first nation to actually attack others with nuclear weapons will be the first nation to be wiped out by nuclear retaliatory strikes.

In their eyes, and not just theirs, US/EU/NATO are the world's bullies. 

We call a statement like this bass ackwards logic. You're either living in bizarro world, or a Russian disinformation propagandist.

If NATO is the bully, then why are other countries WANTING to join? Finland and Sweden did not even consider joining NATO until after Putin invaded Ukraine. Logic says, if Putin was in the right to invade Ukraine, then Finland and Sweden would have supported Russia. Not join NATO.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Any country bordering Russia needs to join NATO or start digging a ditch along the entire length of its border that a tank cannot cross. Or both.

However much Western governments enjoy the domestic political benefits of a Cold War, Putin is nuts and they may need to bump him off before he goes nuclear.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So, what happens if Russia destroys Finland because of this? They have the capability.

Really? They can’t handle a country like Ukraine, but Finland, a far better equipped, better connected nation, is just gonna fall? Sure.

And let me make something clear to people here acting like Russia is going to attack Finland or Sweden for joining NATO: It won’t happen.

It won’t happen for one simple reason: NATO has already made clear that they will extend the mutual defense article of the NATO charter to both countries as soon as they begin the process of joining. That means that if Vlad decides to attack, it’s war with NATO.

Not “NATO is going to send money and Javelins to Finland and Sweden”.

Not “The US will just push the Russkies back past the border and then stop”.

Not “We’ll send technical and intelligence support”

Full-scale war. B52 raids on Moscow. Attacks on on shipping at every port. A full trade embargo enforced at gunpoint. A ground invasion. Targeted killings of everyone above the rank of colonel. Total annihilation of Russian industry and the economy. And in a world of ICBMs and spy satellites, the old Russian standby strategy of “retreat past the Urals” won’t save them.

And God forbid it goes nuclear, there won’t be a single living thing left in Russia.

Putin is stuck. He’s spent so much time around sycophants and yes-men that he honest to god believed his own propaganda about the strength of his nation. He’s Kim-jong Un without the sense of style. He’s Nero without the musical skill. He’s a little man with big delusions, which have been smashed to pieces against the reality of Ukraine.

If Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO, Putin has two options: empty saber-rattling, or starting a war his country cannot possibly survive. Maybe that’s what is needed. Maybe what Pussy Riot said is true; Russia needs to be destroyed. Knock it to pieces like Nazi Germany, pick up what’s worth keeping, and rebuild based on that.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Putin will be 83 if he lives until the end of his current term of office, at that time Modi will be 85, Xi Jinping 82 Bolsonaro 81 and Trump 89 (if my addition is correct, and yes I used big tech western media sources). The ages of the world's leaders should scare everyone,

Trump is not a world leader. He never was.

mz16Today 03:47 pm JST

No doubt Finland made a stupid move.

No doubt you are wrong.

Finland and Sweden have been backed into a corner by Russian aggression. They did not want to join NATO until Russia invaded Ukraine without any rational reason. Showing it could do the same to Finland at any time. Finland has the right to join NATO and no nation outside of NATO has a right to interfere with that choice.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Turkey to block Sweden and Finland NATO bid

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Russia has already shot its self in the foot. The best thing for Russia to do is get rid of Putin or this man will have them back in the stone age when dirt is covering his face!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As I've said many times before, the first nation to actually attack others with nuclear weapons will be the first nation to be wiped out by nuclear retaliatory strikes.

I honestly do not think it will ever get that far. The US has the means to know when the Russians are preparing for a nuclear strike. It won't be a surprise, especially now with US ISR assets so focused on the movements and communications of Russian forces. Their tactical nuclear forces are well known. Any movements or preparations will be detected. The US is focused on this.

B-2s and F-35s can penetrate Russian airspace without being detected, take down their command and control architecture so they cannot authorize use of nuclear weapons and destroy many of them using conventional precision guided munitions. The B-2s could potentially knock out ICBM silos and kill Russian leadership using only conventional weapons. A B-2 can carry two 15 ton deep target penetrators that can blow any bunker made and leave a deep crater where the Kremlin stood. I think if the US detects an imminent Russian nuclear strike they have the ability to act within hours to stop it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Full-scale war. B52 raids on Moscow.

No. Not no but heck no! Only all-aspect low observable aircraft can survive over Russia, or China. Even a B-1B is not stealthy enough to survive very long inside Russian or Chinese airspace. The most these old aircraft can do is launch JASSM-ERs or JASSM-XRs at Russian targets near their coasts from stand off distances beyond the detection range of Russian air defense radars. The missiles themselves fly very low and are stealthy. Right now only the B-2, F-22, F-35 and RQ-180 have the necessary L-O characteristics to attack targets inside Russia or China. The B-21, in low rate initial production now, will add to this capability. By the end of the Vietnam War it was already apparent that old, slow high flying bombers like the B-52 and B-66 were not survivable attacking targets with any kind of decent ground based air defense missiles. Even the big command guided SA-2 was chewing them up back then.

And obtw, the same is true for the Russians. They have no stealth bombers. Their TU-95, TU-22 Blinder and TU-160 Blackjack are every bit as vulnerable to western air defenses. They would suffer the same horrific losses trying to attack targets in the US or NATO as the BUFF or BONE would suffer trying to attack targets inside Russia or China. Russia's SU-57 is sort of stealthy but the intakes still expose compressor blades and it is not stealthy from the rear or side aspects the way the F-22 or F-35 are, plus it doesn't have the range to threaten the US or Canada, or most of Europe either. Russia doesn't have the means to conduct non nuclear strategic attacks the way the USAF can. That forces them to either go nuclear or back down where the US has a middle option of stealth bomber attacks on strategic targets with conventional munitions.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Turkey to block Sweden and Finland NATO bid

A lot of Mr. Erdogan's political opponents have found refuge in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, where he cannot arrest them while they remain free to criticize him from afar. Mr. Erdogan and his political party are hostile to NATO in general. He is refusing to participate in any of the sanctions the US, Canada, EU and others have imposed on Russia. Turkish ports are a safe haven for several oligarchs yachts. Mr. Erdogan has not yet foresworn admitting Finland to NATO, only saying so far he has a low opinion of it. I suspect a deal of some sort is possible but it will probably be a very bitter compromise on some subject dear to both him and the US, like demanding the US arrest Fethullah Gulen and extradite him to Turkey. Such a move would obviously end up in the US Courts and take many years to resolve.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Alternatively Mr. Erdogan may demand Sweden arrest and extradite the members of this website, some of whom are fugitives under indictment in Turkey. Read some of the articles on this site and you can see why Mr. Erodgan might want to find a way to close it down. One way or the other there will be a price extracted by Turkey for their vote to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

https://nordicmonitor.com/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is understandable.

No, it isn't. That's the whole issue and it started in 2014. Russia shouldn't invade other countries that don't attack them, unless they are asked.

Belarus ask/allowed Russian military in.

That's completely different than killing border guards, sending tanks in, and claiming that a country has NAZIs, especially when the elected leader of that country is Jewish.

Russia backers need some medication to get out of their fantasy land.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My bet is most Russians are wishing putin was gone long ago & are now dreaming of doing what the people of Romania did to CEAUSESCU!!!

The only way for Russia to try to redeem itself now is to get rid of its ""leaders"" & beg forgiveness to Ukraine & the world or they are in for many decades of sanctions!!!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Putin, not the master strategist after all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@ tooheysnew

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the 8 year conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the wall of NATO countries specifically built to oppose Russia has something to do with the current situation.

You seem to assume that Russia just invaded Ukraine for no reason.

Shame your so ignorant and don't have any real situational awareness or understanding of current or past events.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Putin who had hoped to divide and roll back NATO in Europe but is instead seeing the opposite happen

Divide NATO was what Putin wanted? that's one way to look at it, to me it looks like Putin and. the Kremlin wanted to expand the Russian Federation's Eurasian Economic Union to include all nations currently on the European continent. And Putin and the Kremlin were willing to start WW3 and use nukes. to get what they wanted.

Now people living in those European countries should have a choice to leave things as they are and be part of the EU with some NATO protection or to be ruled by Putin, the Kremlin and whichever other nations might align with Russia, perhaps China, India and North Korea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You seem to assume that Russia just invaded Ukraine for no reason.

Shame your so ignorant and don't have any real situational awareness or understanding of current or past events.

One could say that about all acts of aggression. Japan had a reason to attack the US. Germany had a reason to attack Poland, followed by the rest of Europe. Mussolini has his reasons for attacking Libya, Ethiopia, Corfu and annexing Albania, his concept of Spazio Vitale, which was not unlike Hitler's concept of Lebensraum. Having a reason does not justify any of these attacks. In fact Mr. Putin's reasons for fearing NATO and invading Ukraine look an awful lot like their Fascist predecessors Spazio Vitale and Lebensraum. We know where those took the world. Mr. Putin's ambitions need to be constrained before he can drag half the world into a massive war like his Fascist predecessors did.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@ Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

You seem to assume that Russia just invaded Ukraine for no reason. Shame your so ignorant and don't have any real situational awareness or understanding of current or past events.

Unfortunate rhetoric. Considering that it is well established that long standing Red Army doctrine for decades was for their forces to reach the English Channel in mass within 48 hours or less. The Put was also reported to have told a diplomat about four years ago that they had plans, within a decade or so, to bring back the empire largely through border "allies" who owed sole allegance to Russia politically, militarily and economically; facilitated largely by large scale relocation of ethnic Russians in the border countries to a large minority population. Failing that, he reportedly told said diplomat, that they could "possibly" accomplish it by eliminating political opposition/ opponents in these countries of interest, and by military force, if necessary.

Hence, real situational awareness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is a war to get Russia on its knee, Ukraine had been used to provide a pretext !

Force to westerns had always been the answer to "NO"!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Turkey to block Sweden and Finland NATO bid

Erdogan has a fine line to tread. His country’s membership in NATO is already on thin ice as a result of issues stemming from the war in Syria. Rocking the boat too much is not in his best interest. In all likelihood, he’ll make a show of disapproval so he can tell Putin he tried, but ultimately I think Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO is a foregone conclusion at this point.

In other news, Russia has cut supplies of electricity to Finland, which is about all they can really do at this point. But in all likelihood, this will only serve to push Finland to further integrate with Europe. Russia’s attempt at energy extortion is bound to backfire, because all it does is add fuel to the fire of bringing fossil fuel usage to an end. When your only bargaining chip is a resource that people are already looking for an excuse not to use, handing them a ready-made excuse is rather stupid.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kremlin warns of retaliation after Finland moves toward NATO

And if Finland does? What, is Russia going to start another war of incompetence that will make them look bad? I think not. They already look weak.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lots of rather interesting comments and hateful speculation that ignores the reality that Russia intervened in the war between the Kiev regime and the population of what used to be a democratic united country called Ukraine after its months of diplomatic entreaties to the countries that instigated the coup and empowered the Kiev regime to try and mitigate the situation where rejected.

As for what form the Russian reaction is going to take, well, look at what form the Russian reaction to the European states escalating the situation by gifting the Kiev regime and its present authoritarian head with insane amounts of weapons, cash, and ego stroking, and declaring an economic war on Russia has taken.

That means, cutting them off from the Russian energy the decades of peace and economic integration has allowed them to integrate into their economy. Sure, they will be able to, in a few years, redesign their infrastructure and build new energy production, but it's going to be expensive and their economy and their population's quality of life will take a hit.

It also means cutting them off from Russian (and Free Donetsk and Free Luhansk and probably Belarusian) resources, goods, and markets. Again, something that can be dealt with, but not quickly or cheaply.

And though losing the markets and revenue from more of the one billion people of the Imperium is going to hurt the Russian economy, Russia was in the process of building the infrastructure to access the growing markets of the SIX billion people outside the Imperium (who, it should be noted, in every public opinion poll of the past few decades, have consistently named the US as the number one threat to them, their prosperity, their growth, their security, their stability, their independence, and in many cases their democracy...)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Lots of rather interesting comments and hateful speculation that ignores the reality that Russia intervened in the war between the Kiev regime and the population of what used to be a democratic united country called Ukraine after its months of diplomatic entreaties to the countries that instigated the coup and empowered the Kiev regime to try and mitigate the situation where rejected.

Russia provoked NATO by invading Ukraine, expanding Russian borders, threatening NATO nations. Why did Russia provoke NATO to war? This is 100% Russia’s fault for invading a foreign nation and forcing NATO to respond to expanding Russian territory on NATO borders.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a war to get Russia on its knee, Ukraine had been used to provide a pretext !

Force to westerns had always been the answer to "NO"

Vladimir Putin has stated many times that the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest socio-political tragedy of the 20th Century. Many of us think it was one of the greatest things to happen but there you are. He claims the dissolution of the USSR separated Russian speaking people from Mother Russia, the "Rodina", and should never have happened. He insists that Ukraine is not a country but legitimately part of Russia. He makes the same claim about the three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He is ardent to recapture all the Russian speaking regions and place them under Russian control. We saw that in Georgia in 2008. Mr. Putin is fixated on this idea that the Ukraine is not, and never can be an independent nation. It has to be part of Russia and see it as his life long mission to bring it back under Russian control.

It is not all a grand plot by NATO folks. Get that nonsense out of your head. You have a Russian leader with a romantic vision of what he thinks Russia is and seems willing to use military force to achieve this vision. The Ukraine and the rest of the world are under absolutely no obligation to cooperate with Russia on this endeavor of theirs and has every right to oppose it. Ukraine is legitimately an independent nation and if you value the independence of the nation you live in then you must place a high value on defending the independence of Ukraine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

DT is correct. Russia is provoking NATO by trying to expand its borders with NATO aligned countries. Russia must stop provoking NATO.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When an enemy gets as closer as to your border you will have to try peaceful means first to make your concerns seen and heard, but then if ignored and undermined, you will be left with no option but to try what your enemy would be more than willing to try if threatened, Force!

Iraq ,thousands of miles away,had been destroyed on false faked pretext

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

A coup to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin is underway, according to Ukraine's military intelligence chief.

https://www.businessinsider.com/putin-coup-underway-impossible-to-stop-ukraine-military-intel-2022-5

He so it begins...........

Always happens when the dictators put down the pen and pick the rifle.

Always!

.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In their short history, Finland has already been attacked 3 times by the Soviets since 1918 - they've been repelled each time. Finns know not to trust them

Russia can't do squat, especially with how much trouble they're having in Ukraine. Finland is not Ukraine. Finland is already at near NATO level and regularly trains together

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Desert TortoiseMay 15  02:33 am JST

Some sense amongst the madness on here!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is our world, run by stupid, egomaniacs with chips on their ugly shoulders. They want to get back at every single person/country who does not lick their ugly boots.

What are [retaliatory “military-technical” steps]? Is Putrid just going to threaten every country with nuclear bombs?

Human beings have learned nothing in all the years of recorded history. Certain "leaders" are unable to accept that not everyone will kowtow, not everyone is the same. These leaders will destroy others and also their own citizens in the false belief that they alone know what is right.

The survival of the human race has always been on a thread; I do not see any of this ending well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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