Friday, September 02, 2016

Why the Russians Just Piss Me Off

Sure, Russia's aggression is something to worry about and work to block. But what really ticks me off is their blatant denial of reality even as they continue to invade Ukraine.

We all know Russia invaded Ukraine in Crimea and the Donbas. Russia denied invading Crimea as they did it and continues to deny that they've invaded Donbas. Yet we all know Russia has invaded Ukraine!

No matter what documentation is offered, the Russians reply with bigger lies and denials that what our lying eyes reveal is real.

This is typical of Russia's aggravating attitude:

Russia’s Supreme Court rules that the USSR did not invade Poland in 1939[.]

I'm sorry. What?

Do read it all for the full nuance of how the Russian supreme court reached that mind-boggling conclusion that flies in the face of the historical record of the Soviet Union invading Poland to divide it up with Nazi Germany.

Really, talk of Russia inventing a new method of warfare is just nonsense as far as I'm concerned. It's just engaging in warfare while denying you are at war.

Russia invaded Crimea with special forces and conventional forces against a paralyzed Ukrainian military that did not resist and invaded the Donbas with conventional forces. In both regions the Russians astro-turfed local rebellion by arming and controlling locals or imported gunmen who supported Russia.

The so-called new generation of warfare consisted of stripping Russian units of insignia and simply standing before the world and denying that Russia was invading Ukraine no matter what kind of evidence was shown.

No, Russia isn't invading Ukraine and by the way the USSR never invaded Poland. This is "new generation" warfare? Oh please.

I suspect this is just a peek at how a Hillary Clinton administration would be run. Just deny the evidence and carry on like the accusers are nuts or actually the guilty party.

This Russian approach is all based on Russian conventional weakness (compared to America-against their western neighbors Russia has the edge). Tell me that Russia wouldn't have preferred to hit the Donbas hard and win fast. The West got over the stripping of Georgian territories in 2008 because the war was over fast. The West seems to be ignoring the Russian conquest of Crimea and no doubt would have forgotten about it almost as quickly, given all the excuses still being deployed in the West to justify Russian aggression.

That's the way it works. The USSR subdued Hungary and Czechoslovakia quickly. We could do nothing. The USSR failed to subdue Afghanistan and eventually we made them pay a price for fighting there.

Russia should have invaded the Donbas while they took Crimea if they had the capability and gotten it done fast--or refrained from the attempt, being satisfied with the well-executed seizure of Crimea.

But maybe Russia is just gearing up for another big lie:

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced large-scale snap military exercises on land and in the Black and Caspian seas, increasing worries in Ukraine and other Western neighbors about Moscow's intentions.

The exercises, which began early on August 25, put thousands of troops on combat alert and followed weeks of increasing tension along Ukraine’s eastern borders and in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Large-scale movements of military weaponry and equipment have been reported in Crimea and border crossings into mainland Ukraine were blocked briefly earlier this month after Russia said two security personnel had been killed during an alleged incident with a group of Ukrainian saboteurs. Kyiv called the Russian claims preposterous.

Russia is also scheduled to hold previously announced war games in southern regions called Kavkaz 2016, which will included thousands of personnel and hundreds of heavy weapons and other equipment.

I don't know if Putin will try to finish the Donbas conquest. But if I was a paranoid Russian ruler, that's what I'd do this month.

And if Russia does renew the war, don't expect the Russians to admit they are invading Ukraine (again). Expect the Russians to lie some more. And perhaps blame America complete with "evidence" from Russia's lost and found bin set out for loyal "journalists" to report.

UPDATE: The Russian lies are weaponized on an industrial scale, of course:

With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

Russia is the prime suspect for this disinformation.

The Russians don't care if you believe these lies. They just care that you aren't sure enough to believe the truth of what Russia is doing long enough for Russia to get away with their actions.

If only the Russians would use their powers for good rather than evil.

UPDATE: Even more from the Czech intelligence service on Russia's disinformation campaign in the Czech Republic.