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Thought I would create a thread, though I do not know how much there is to discuss, really. The situation is very complex, and I don't trust the Russians or the Americans (the issues stem from a long history of ethnic and political control, resentment, and fighting, and the recent history is a lot of foreign-backed insurgencies and outright warfare).

 

"What the Ukrainians want" is also complex, and standard American views on the politics and situation generally do not apply. There is a lot of propaganda, foreign meddling, and a lot of history with fascism (both left and right wing) at play.

 

Ultimately, I feel like if Russia is going to do anything, it is not a full scale invasion to occupy all of Ukraine. It is going to look a lot more like the annexation of Crimea, and the past 10 years of separatist groups in Ukraine. The question is how hard of a line we want to take; almost all of it is posturing and brinksmanship.

 

This video is, I think, a fair summary of the past 15 years (particularly, the past 8).

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Yet when Biden was in the White House during the invasion and annexation of Crimea we did not hear about "human devastation" and the prospect of World War. The entire reason Russia is flexing its military is for Putin to get recognition. We're giving an irrelevant Cold War Era figure the relevance he desperately craves on the world stage in the 21st century.

The White House is like the guy telling everyone about his ex's Instagram. Just let it go, dude. It's over. Nobody cares. No Americans or Europeans (outside of the country itself) want to wake up and read about Ukraine. Not even Russians other than Putin.

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- 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 -

Heavily in support of Ukrainian's right to self-determination and autonomy. That goes in general (that people should have the right not to be invaded) and extensive reports from Ukrainians in and out of government show intense opposition to being invaded or being part of Russia again.

 

Statements by the Russians are obviously blatant lies which only play inside Russia, where they shut down most/all dissenting opinion. (They also have an extreme resemblance to Trumpian defense of "legitimate political discourse", etc.)

 

Zelensky is a badass.

 

1 hour ago, natsume said:

The White House is like the guy telling everyone about his ex's Instagram. Just let it go, dude. It's over. Nobody cares. No Americans or Europeans (outside of the country itself) want to wake up and read about Ukraine. Not even Russians other than Putin.

This is true that most Russians don't like hearing about it, from what I've heard. As for other Europeans and Americans, this is clearly false. Can I ask if you're in either America or Europe?

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10 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

Heavily in support of Ukrainian's right to self-determination and autonomy.

The question is - does that extent to the separatists who have been fighting a hot ground war for a decade?

 

 

10 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

That goes in general (that people should have the right not to be invaded) and extensive reports from Ukrainians in and out of government show intense opposition to being invaded or being part of Russia again.

There is definitely the majority opinion of opposing occupation by a Russian empire, which is absolutely not surprising for freaking Ukraine.

 

The fact that their elections have supported EU and peace-oriented candidates for years now is a strong signal.

 

The real question is: How does anyone stop Russia? Is it the role of the EU? United States? NATO? How far are we willing to go? How far is RUSSIA willing to go?

 

Russia is not going to be able to just invade and occupy Ukraine, which is why they have been puppeting the separatist movement for a decade.

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RoseGoesToYale

I hope I'm not made to eat my words here, but I really think this is just high-level posturing on Putin's part. Putin's the kinda guy who likes to stir up big international drama because he's rich, powerful, existentially bored and because he can. Like with the whole Russia-interfered-with-our-elections thing that happened when Trump was elected. Putin was laughing like a school boy who just played a practical joke on the teacher's lounge. He also strikes me as lazy, as in he likes to do stereotypically masculine entertaining things, but not work-work. An invasion, let alone a war, requires work-work. 

 

A professor at my alma mater thinks he's not likely to invade because the political and economic costs are too high to Russia. Russia deals with a chronically stagnant economy, and COVID sure didn't help.

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Sorry to interrupt the conversation. I have absolutely nothing to say, because I am stupid and helpless in politics. All I know is that where I live, they are constantly talking about the Ukrainian crisis. Every day, over and over again, we are told about the aggression of the United States and the prospects of World War III. Again, and again, and again. Anti-Western propaganda and escalation of the situation are very strong.

 

You just don't believe anyone or anything anymore. And you live in constant tension. Just the thoughts of the person who is on the other side

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2 hours ago, natsume said:

We're giving an irrelevant Cold War Era figure the relevance he desperately craves on the world stage in the 21st century.x's Instagram. 

As long as Russia and China are collegially dividing up the world, Putin is not irelevant.  

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- 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 -
29 minutes ago, Zagadka said:

The question is - does that extent to the separatists who have been fighting a hot ground war for a decade?

As for the Donbas region, when a pro-Western government was elected in 2014 there were protests against this, which is of course perfectly fine.

 

Quote

While the initial protests were largely native expressions of discontent with the new Ukrainian government, Russia took advantage of them to launch a co-ordinated political and military campaign against Ukraine.[30] Russian citizens led the separatist movement in Donetsk from April until August 2014, and were supported by volunteers and materiel from Russia.[31][32][33] As the conflict escalated in May 2014, Russia employed a "hybrid approach", deploying a combination of disinformation tactics, irregular fighters, regular Russian troops, and conventional military support to destabilise the Donbas region.[34][35][36] (Wikipedia)

It's a deliberate destabilization by the Russian government with substantial military intervention. Even in an alternate reality where it was orchestrated by the people actually living there, I am generally against civil war in the absence of very good reasons, and I don't count "the newly elected government is more pro-Western" as a good reason for war. Instead these things should play out politically.

 

As for Crimea, Russian invaded that. (Supposedly to prevent ridiculous trumped-up propaganda claims like Ukrainians crucifying Russian-speakers. Ukrainians don't even mind Russian speakers, like a third of the country speaks it as their first language, including Zelensky, and it has traditionally been used in most official capacities.)

 

28 minutes ago, Luna88 said:

Sorry to interrupt the conversation. I have absolutely nothing to say, because I am stupid and helpless in politics. All I know is that where I live, they are constantly talking about the Ukrainian crisis. Every day, over and over again, we are told about the aggression of the United States and the prospects of World War III. Again, and again, and again. Anti-Western propaganda and escalation of the situation are very strong.

 

You just don't believe anyone or anything anymore. And you live in constant tension. Just the thoughts of the person who is on the other side

Yikes, I didn't know the Russian propaganda was so strong there! It sounds like you've got it sorted out. In my mind the most ridiculous thing is that Russia has the largest troop buildup in Belarus and the Ukraine-Russia border since WW2, and in 2008 they attacked Georgia and in 2014 they attacked Ukraine, both in Crimea and the Donbas. And then Russian diplomats act like they have zero idea whatsoever why Ukraine and other governments find that threatening. It's like a bully who attacked someone 3 times suddenly deciding to hang outside their house 24/7 with a bat in their hand, then pretend they can't figure out how that's threatening.

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It is absolutely a grab by Russia - and by Russia, I mean Putin, who wants to be Stalin without the communism.

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3 hours ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

It sounds like you've got it sorted out. 

Nope, as a Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan, we watch mostly Russian TV, because, unfortunately, we do not know the state language. Since my father is a big supporter of politics, I have to listen to this most of my time. And it's really painful, because I really really love Europe and the USA since I was a child. It got to the point that I had several quarrels over politics in my own family. It's horrible. It's like I've been bisected for most of my life.

 

Please forgive me for straying from the topic. This is a really burning question for me

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22 minutes ago, Luna88 said:

Nope, as a Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan, we watch mostly Russian TV, because, unfortunately, we do not know the state language. Since my father is a big supporter of politics, I have to listen to this most of my time. And it's really painful, because I really really love Europe and the USA since I was a child. It got to the point that I had several quarrels over politics in my own family. It's horrible. It's like I've been bisected for most of my life.

 

Please forgive me for straying from the topic. This is a really burning question for me

Sure thing, of course!

 

And even though I am much in support of The West with respect to current conflicts with Russia's government, I don't want people to feel pressured to agree just to have an honest discussion. In other words, even if you weren't a fan of Europe and the USA that would be no problem :) I think the important thing is for people to approach questions honestly, to just try to find out what's true and pay attention to how reliable different sources turn out to be. If people seek answers honestly and get different answers, then that's just a healthy part of societal discussion.

 

Anyway I remember you said you don't want to talk more about Ukraine which is just fine with me. I'm sorry you've been torn between politics, that's always tough.

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1 hour ago, Zagadka said:

The real question is: How does anyone stop Russia?

"The real question is: How does anyone stop Russia Putin?"

I think that, even if he wants to hold back, the only way is to offer him a solution so he can save face and come out the strong man he wants to be. This won't happen by backing him into a corner. While I also think that the other countries ('the west') also can't be seen to be weak. Showing (toxic masculine) strength seems to be the language Putin talks, so not showing that kind of strength will be seen as weakness by him. This is a very thin line to walk and there are too many (stupid) people outside of Russia with vested interests pulling the other way. 

 

I think it's also important to step into the shoes of 'Russia' for the west and to see how 'Russia' feels - Europe and the US are always out to get them. Even though a lot of this is lies and spin, a lot of Russians will believe this because there are few other voices. 

 

The question at this point is not 'if' but 'when' will Russia make a move on Ukraine. I can only feel for the Ukranians and wonder how they must be feeling and going through life right now 😞 ... and there's also the opportunity that the pot will boil over and that this spreads and gets completely out of hand. To be honest I don't trust any of the politicians and other actors involved in this. It's plain scary for everyone, all for the whims of one man. 

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1 hour ago, Luna88 said:

Sorry to interrupt the conversation. I have absolutely nothing to say, because I am stupid and helpless in politics. All I know is that where I live, they are constantly talking about the Ukrainian crisis. Every day, over and over again, we are told about the aggression of the United States and the prospects of World War III. Again, and again, and again. Anti-Western propaganda and escalation of the situation are very strong.

 

You just don't believe anyone or anything anymore. And you live in constant tension. Just the thoughts of the person who is on the other side

That's a point I would like to make as well. And on top of that, how much can we believe in the west. How much of what we hear is propaganda against Russia? How sure can you be that you're hearing or reading the truth. Honestly, I've stopped listening to the news and I switched if off when this situation is discussed. 

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58 minutes ago, Luna88 said:

Please forgive me for straying from the topic. This is a really burning question for me

I think this is right on topic. I for one like hearing about the other side of the story. I'm sorry things are difficult for you. 

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3 hours ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

Sure thing, of course!

 

And even though I am much in support of The West with respect to current conflicts with Russia's government, I don't want people to feel pressured to agree just to have an honest discussion. In other words, even if you weren't a fan of Europe and the USA that would be no problem :) I think the important thing is for people to approach questions honestly, to just try to find out what's true and pay attention to how reliable different sources turn out to be. If people seek answers honestly and get different answers, then that's just a healthy part of societal discussion.

 

Anyway I remember you said you don't want to talk more about Ukraine which is just fine with me. I'm sorry you've been torn between politics, that's always tough.

Thank you for your support) No, I don't mind talking about Ukraine, I'm interested in what people from other countries think. It's just that our television annoys me, because there is no truth to be found on it. Propaganda is not even subtle, but very crudely made. And all sources on the Internet that contradict official policy are marked as "Foreign Agent".

I can't help but love my people, but I'm afraid my mentality is too different to accept this policy.

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2 minutes ago, Luna88 said:

Thank you for your support) No, I don't mind talking about Ukraine, I'm interested in what people from other countries think. It's just that our television annoys me, because there is no truth to be found on it. Propaganda is not even subtle, but very crudely made. And all sources on the Internet that contradict official policy are marked as "Foreign Agent".

I can't help but love my people, but I'm afraid my mentality is too different to accept this policy.

I do think that a lot of the longer term conflict between 'Russia' and 'the west' is artificial and 'whipped up' in both camps, not just Russia. In the west it's just much, much more subtle these days. Though they were different times, see the red scare in the US in the 1950s (https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare). It's still there in a more subtle format I feel. And as stated, I really wonder how much influence there is going on over here that we're not aware of or that we've got so used to and have woven into normal discourse about Russia. I think questioning the media is one thing, but we also need to explore the narrative we have and have built up over the decades, even if it's just as a check on our own biases and what we are told and believe. 

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3 hours ago, Acing It said:

That's a point I would like to make as well. And on top of that, how much can we believe in the west. How much of what we hear is propaganda against Russia? How sure can you be that you're hearing or reading the truth. Honestly, I've stopped listening to the news and I switched if off when this situation is discussed. 

The same thing. In fact, you don't trust anyone anymore. I would have thrown away the TV a long time ago if it be only mine. The scariest thing for me is that LGBT people seem to be being used here in this information war. People are trying to inspire disgust towards the West by talking about various "perversions", by which they mean all people from the LGBT community. And although I don't consider myself one of them, I believe that we are on the same side (because tomorrow asexuals may be subjected to the same discrimination)

 

And again I have to apologize to the @Zagadka for the flood

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2 hours ago, Sally said:

As long as Russia and China are collegially dividing up the world, Putin is not irelevant.  

JMMMYzA.png

 

As much as I hate Putin, I also don't believe a word of what the US media or any US politician says about Russia.

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It's annoying how everyone is accusing everyone else of being pro-war, with no attempt to understand the motivation or reasonings. People who support intervention and want to send troops and equipment to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression are accused of being foreign war lovers. Those opposed to intervention for fear of making it worse are accused of being Russia bots and Putin lovers.

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1 hour ago, Tanthos said:

It's annoying how everyone is accusing everyone else of being pro-war, with no attempt to understand the motivation or reasonings. People who support intervention and want to send troops and equipment to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression are accused of being foreign war lovers. Those opposed to intervention for fear of making it worse are accused of being Russia bots and Putin lovers.

I think most people have more moderate views and that it's not everyone, at least it's not what I see over here in Europe. 

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6 hours ago, Acing It said:

I think it's also important to step into the shoes of 'Russia' for the west and to see how 'Russia' feels - Europe and the US are always out to get them. Even though a lot of this is lies and spin, a lot of Russians will believe this because there are few other voices.

This is very important, yea. The creeping expansion of NATO and discourse from the US specifically about 'Russia' is a real issue.

 

 

5 hours ago, Tanthos said:

It's annoying how everyone is accusing everyone else of being pro-war, with no attempt to understand the motivation or reasonings. People who support intervention and want to send troops and equipment to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression are accused of being foreign war lovers. Those opposed to intervention for fear of making it worse are accused of being Russia bots and Putin lovers.

The issue goes back to what we were discussing earlier, with Ukraine and other European countries clearly and publicly telling the United States to, in short, shut up and stop being aggressive, as that was undermining their positions.

 

When we say "pro-war," we aren't generally talking about average people. Almost no one wants war. We mean what the government and media is doing/saying to sell everyone on war.

 

 

8 hours ago, Sally said:

As long as Russia and China are collegially dividing up the world, Putin is not irelevant.  

The United States has over 800 foreign military bases and has invaded and occupied more countries in the past 30 years than anyone.

 

As far as "dividing up the world," Russia and China's aggressions have been limited to their direct borders. China certainly has been influencing other countries, but they do it in the form of economic and infrastructure investment, which does not come from altruism, but is certainly better than military occupation.

 

bases444.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Zagadka said:

As far as "dividing up the world," Russia and China's aggressions have been limited to their direct borders. China certainly has been influencing other countries, but they do it in the form of economic and infrastructure investment, which does not come from altruism, but is certainly better than military occupation.

 

bases444.jpg

This map perversely reminds me of another map, this time of the British Empire where the sun never sets. lol. 

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7 hours ago, Luna88 said:

And again I have to apologize to the @Zagadka for the flood

Your experience and viewpoint are both very interesting and good to hear 🙂

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2 hours ago, Zagadka said:

Your experience and viewpoint are both very interesting and good to hear 🙂

Thank uoy so much 🙏🙂

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19 minutes ago, Acing It said:

This map perversely reminds me of another map, this time of the British Empire where the sun never sets. lol. 

Very similar to the old meme

 

RyssKrig-a_450.jpg

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43 minutes ago, Zagadka said:

 

bases444.jpg

There are US troops in Russia and China? :huh:

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- 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 -
18 minutes ago, Zagadka said:

The United States has over 800 foreign military bases and has invaded and occupied more countries in the past 30 years than anyone.

 

As far as "dividing up the world," Russia and China's aggressions have been limited to their direct borders. China certainly has been influencing other countries, but they do it in the form of economic and infrastructure investment, which does not come from altruism, but is certainly better than military occupation.

To add some context to this, at least the vast majority of bases are done in agreement with the countries they're in, and I believe this is at least predominantly negotiated with positive rather than negative incentives. In other words "we'll pay you and offer other assistance if you let us have a base here" rather than "we'll impose an embargo if you don't". With that many bases and that much history I expect there's a few exceptions, but it's generally very cooperative.

 

When it comes to military conflicts involving the US, the vast majority of these are part of international coalitions. That doesn't mean I support all of them, the Invasion of Iraq being the "bad war winner" for the past 30 years, I'd say. But looking down that list, the large majority of these conflicts took place in cooperation with the government of that country, generally to help fight terrorist cells. Or the state had collapsed and the US was there as part of an international stabilization mission (e.g. the Balkan wars). I'm not saying that makes everything perfect, but it's not really an invasion or occupation if the country's government asks for your help, and occupations to stop civil wars aren't what people usually think of with the words invasion or occupation. The international nature of these conflicts is also notable: the UK has been involved in the vast majority of these too, for example. That alone doesn't necessarily say anything about justification, but it's at least not a US-only thing.

 

Speaking broadly, the US has many bases and is in many wars because it cooperates with many countries. (Not just in wars either, there are constant joint exercises to share skills and build relations.) Russia and China take more of the approach of outright dominance, I read a scholar's observation recently that Russia only accepts vassals and enemies, and if you won't be one (like Ukraine refused to be) then you become the other. Also, the US has massive foreign investment in countries, that's hardly a China-only thing, but China is notable because they're one of the only countries who do that on a scale that even approaches the US.

 

34 minutes ago, Zagadka said:

The creeping expansion of NATO and discourse from the US specifically about 'Russia' is a real issue.

NATO expands because countries choose to be a part of it. NATO isn't annexing countries, countries are saying "yes, we want to be part of an international organization that standardizes military technique and equipment and agrees to mutual defense". If "blame" is to be assigned for NATO's expansion, it falls on the countries joining it: Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, North Macedonia, etc.

 

Speaking anecdotally, I've lived and worked in multiple regions of the US (in liberal circles) and there's never been any ill-will towards Russian people. It's just a country, and people are just people. There's been as much interest and enjoyment of their art and contributions as anywhere, and Russian immigrants are accepted here as much as anyone else.

 

Even when it comes to the Russian government, things seemed for a while like they were on the up and up. I knew there was this crazy leader who went around poisoning his enemies, but I didn't hear of the government being all that terrible. I think it's Russia's recent invasions and Putin's increasing clampdowns that have made people think less of the government. People I knew seemed to think we were past the time when the Russian government was a scary regional menace, it was just another post-Soviet European country. (Yes I know most of the land is in Asia.) But I think Putin wanted people to see Russia as a scary regional menace again, rather than "just another post-Soviet country", and he's succeeding.

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11 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

Russia and China take more of the approach of outright dominance,

What countries does China "outright dominate"? :huh:

 

Quote

People I knew seemed to think we were past the time when the Russian government was a scary regional menace, it was just another post-Soviet European country. (Yes I know most of the land is in Asia.)

Have you considered that the US meddled in Russian elections to keep the incompetent Yeltsin in power after Russians were sick of the death march of neoliberalism?

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14 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

To add some context to this, at least the vast majority of bases are done in agreement with the countries they're in, and I believe this is at least predominantly negotiated with positive rather than negative incentives. In other words "we'll pay you and offer other assistance if you let us have a base here" rather than "we'll impose an embargo if you don't". With that many bases and that much history I expect there's a few exceptions, but it's generally very cooperative.

Imperialism is imperialism. There is no such thing as establishing a military presence in another country in a way that does not make inherent demands and expectations, even if the government at the time is cooperative.

 

Even in our most "friendly" places, such as Okinawa, locals hate it. Even in places that are agreeable, decades later, they may not be.

 

 

14 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

When it comes to military conflicts involving the US, the vast majority of these are part of international coalitions.

I don't see how "me and my friends are coming" is better than "I am coming."

 

 

14 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

But looking down that list, the large majority of these conflicts took place in cooperation with the government of that country, generally to help fight terrorist cells.

This avoids the question of who the government is and who the "terrorist cells" are.

 

A brief look at our actions in the Americas, to this day, reveals us backing dictators and outright fascists carrying out human rights violations against leftists trying to stop those human rights violations.

 

 

14 minutes ago, - 𝕱𝖗𝖆𝖌𝖌𝖑𝖊𝕽𝖔𝖈𝕶 - said:

NATO expands because countries choose to be a part of it. NATO isn't annexing countries

To the former, yes. The question is why those countries choose to be part of NATO.

 

To the latter, no, it is not annexation, and not similar to how Russia is taking territory. That was not the claim. It is that NATO is a military defense alliance which is expanding those agreements. After the fall of the USSR, we voluntarily stated that NATO would not expand at the behest of anyone with a brain to not provoke Russia.

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26 minutes ago, Still said:

There are US troops in Russia and China? :huh:

That's what I was thinking!

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