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Utopia Talk / Politics / Ultimus Ukrainium
large member
Mon Sep 18 09:10:59
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but Kyiv and its Western backers have refused to engage in talks, we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are.”

That is the Russian position on restarting negotiations.

large member
Mon Sep 18 09:19:17
Now, I get that negotiations put Ukraine in a hard spot. For example a kosovo solution to occupied areas would quickly emerge from any reasonable suggestion that local referenda decide the fate of Ukrainian provinces under Russian occupation.

But that would boil down to the war being fought to block regional self-determination. It might explain why Ukraine is fighting instead of negotiating, but it would not make the fighting just.

The core problem is really that Ukrainian propaganda is entirely correct. There are orks and elves. Sadly, a lot of orks live on Ukrainian soil and will probably vote to join Sauron if given the chance in a internationally recognized referendum.
Mon Sep 18 10:09:57
Lol. Ukraine has no reason to talk right now. Despite all your claims momentum is with Ukraine and time will only increase that for them. Ofc course Russia wants to negotiate now. Their economy is going to shit and its clear they will not be able to launch an offensive campaign again and as it gets worse it gets more humiliating for Russia who will have to admit to its people it lost the war it started.
large member
Mon Sep 18 10:11:15
I have never seen anyone mix hopium with copium and inhale so deeply. I hope you will be ok eventually Obam.
Mon Sep 18 10:26:53

The same folks that said they had no plans to invade Ukraine in January?

They have repeatedly said that Ukraine needs to recognise the Russian declaration that Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporhirhizia oblasts are now, in their entirety, part of Russia.

From there perspective, that isn't part of the talks, that is a fact that is done, dusted and in the past that they expect Ukraine to recognise.

I get why you want to try and delegitimise Ukraine. This has always been your way in these situations - always on the side of the authoritarians.
Mon Sep 18 10:27:57
Ukraine has suggested the possibility of a referendum for occupied Donetsk and Luhansk - a condition for that would have to be Russian military withdrawal.

Mon Sep 18 10:44:39

Damn you! I was going to continue to series with "ad absurdum".

Mon Sep 18 10:48:55

"Sadly, a lot of orks live on Ukrainian soil and will probably vote to join Sauron if given the chance in a internationally recognized referendum."

That seems like a simple enough problem to fix.

large member
Mon Sep 18 11:02:06
To the last Ukrainian was topical.

Not to start negotiations. Remember if you will that Russia has had negotiations with Ukraine before without pre-conditions. Then Ukraine listened to Boris. Never listen to Boris. I thought you knew that by now.

Everyone should be delegitimizing Ukraine for refusing to begin talks with Russia. Negotiations will take forever anyway.

Fighting has become stupid. Nothing to be gained. This is true for both parties. Waah making progress. Not progress if you can cover every inch of gains with the corpses of those that died taking it.

Is Ukraine open to referendums? Let the negotiations begin!
Mon Sep 18 11:57:56
"Why fight for your land? Is it worth the price in lives to keep it? Of course not! You can have peace this very instant, all you need to do is surrender to our demands. No need for any more killing!"

Said every demented strong man in the history of humanity when said strong man is coming to the realization that they are going to lose.
large member
Mon Sep 18 12:30:58
That is fair enough if fighting lead to Ukraine keeping more land than it would through negotiations.

Protip: It will not.

If Ukraine beleives different, then it should continue to negotiate until it gains more from talking than from fighting.

Right now, Ukraine is just playing into Russian hands. To the last Ukrainian pretty much sums up Russia's attrition strategy.

Breaking Ukraine comprehensively also works from a Russian standpoint. Rendering Nato membership moot through demographic means.
Mon Sep 18 17:27:12

Offering negotiations but only on the basis that they begin with the acceptance that a bunch of Ukrainian territory unoccupied by Russia is sovereign Russian territory is a precondition. Even if you say it is not.

"That is fair enough if fighting lead to Ukraine keeping more land than it would through negotiations."

The repeatedly stated position of Russia is that it requires Ukraine under any circumstances to surrender land that Russia does not yet occupy to Russia.

By definition continuing fighting leads to Ukraine keeping more land than it would through negotiations.
large member
Mon Sep 18 17:37:34
Russia has not offered negotiations. That would be an overstatement. It says it has no preconditions for starting negotiations.

If Ukraine wants to talk, it can talk.

Russia has not defined its territorial goals. It holds enough of various administrative districts to happily have them function without the rump portions still under Ukrainian control. See the Korean DMZ along the 38th for sliced adminastrative areas.

But this is certainly something to talk about. Russia may very well push for regional referenda.

Fair enough that Ukraine may continue fighting, but at least they are talking. The Korean and Vietnam war had ongoing negotiations as fighting continued.

Continuing to fight may very well lead to Ukraine losing a lot more than it has.
large member
Mon Sep 18 17:43:25
A lot more is an overstatement for the forceable future. Russia is playing for attrition, not for territory.
Tue Sep 19 02:54:59
The attack on the market in Kostiantynivka on september 6 that Zelenskyj blamed on ”Russian terrorists” … it was actually Ukraine who attacked the market and killed 17 people. So we can now say that it was ”Ukrainian terrorists”.

All the evidence says it was Ukraine. But let’s blame Russia, right? It is more fun to lie and its consistent with Ukrainian values.

Tue Sep 19 04:28:39

"It says it has no preconditions for starting negotiations."

Except that it would need to start from the basis of recognising Russian annexations.

Which is a precondition dressed up as a scope question that only an idiot would fail to recognise.

"Russia has not defined its territorial goals"

Of course it has. It's formally annexed the whole of Kherson, Lugansk, Donetsk and Zapohrirhiza as Russian territory. It's published maps. That's a territorial goal.
Russia's govt position is that Ukraine is occupying Russian territory and the talks need to start from that basis.

This is a clear precondition.

In any case, Russia had repeatedly shown it will not stick to previous agreements.

Diplomacy in that context is pointless.

Ukraine should continue to fight as long as it feels it can win.
large member
Tue Sep 19 06:31:18
No preconditions.

Sure, if Ukraine does not mind fighting an unjust war, then sure. Go for it.

Not quite as big a deal as its current president signaling he is going to cancel elections. But it is up there.

I will get popcorn as we watch Ukraine transition from a government to a regime.
large member
Tue Sep 19 06:34:06
Ukraine really does need to be willing to talk.
Tue Sep 19 06:52:36
As I said, only an idiot.
large member
Tue Sep 19 07:14:14
The no true scotsman fallacy.

There are no preconditions for talks and if Russia tries to impose intermediate agreements during talks, Ukraine can simply refuse.

Ukraine on the other hand has made negotiations illegal formally. That is not acceptable at this juncture.

Ukraine has to be willing to talk. It also has to hold elections.

If it does not? Well, a transition from a democracy to a regime on its way to becoming a failed state is entirely to be expected.
Tue Sep 19 07:42:18
Ukraine is not allowed to talk/negotiate. UK’s former PM Boris told Ukraine to stop the negotiations in March 2022. The US has stated that Putin must go/be removed and Russia has to be defeated on the battlefield. I believe Zelenskyj started to parrot the same thing afterwards.

Putin/Russia has no one to talk to. The only option they have to stop Ukraine from being a platform from which the US can threaten Russias nuclear detterence and national security is to advance to the Polish border.

I don't think this is in the US/Nato's interest, not in Europe's interest, not in Ukraine's interest, and not in Russia's interest. But the US/Nato and our Western leaders are not thinking rational. They are insane. Peace and security is something that can only be achieved mutually. It is not something that only one of the parties can enjoy at the expense of the other. Europe will be forced to also consider Russia's security interests. The sooner our European leaders comes to their senses, the better. We may first have to be blunt and tell the US/Nato warmongers to fuck off, to go home.
Tue Sep 19 08:06:58

"There are no preconditions for talks"
If Russia has said that the only peace talk it is willing to entertain requires Ukrainian acceptance of Russian sovereignty over Ukrainian territory Russia does not hold, then there is clearly no basis for talks.

Whether you call this a pre-condition for talks, or a limit of the scope of talks that Russia is willing to entertain, clearly there is no point in engaging in talks because there is zero overlap. The war would need to continue until Russia at the very least changes its opening position so that there is something to actually negotiate.

Negotiations are a waste of time and energy at this point, and might also cause Ukraine's partners to start doubting whether they should be committing to continue to arm Ukraine - which materially decreases Ukraine's negotiating position during talks if fighting is happening in parallel.


Debunked on multiple occasions.

"It is not something that only one of the parties can enjoy at the expense of the other"

Indeed. Which is why the only reasonable peace can be based on a full Russian withdrawal from all the territories it has invaded. Russia's paranoia cannot be indulged at the expense of Ukraine.

Tue Sep 19 09:00:10
The US and the EU refused to consider Russia’s security concerns and refused to listen to Russia, which is why the invasion happened. In the end the US and the EU will have to take into consideration and see it to that everyone’s security concerns are being satisfied. Which is what you should have done from the start. But this is what the US and EU arrogantly ignored. It was more important to expand Nato and to save Nato's prestige than to keep the peace. The US/Nato's provocations and arrogance led to the war. Had Russia's legitimate security concerns been satisfied, had they got some kind of security guarantees, from the start, then the US/Nato and the EU would not need to do it now in a future peace agreement.

I assume of course that the US and EU are interested in Russia existing as a sovereign and independent country in the future. But maybe you don't? In such cases I am of course wrong, but then I don't understand what you are waiting for? Why do you let Ukraine crumble and die, why don't you get into Ukraine and help them defeat Russia and make Russia submit to your will, and make Russia understand that Nato is only a defensive alliance that means no harm?
Tue Sep 19 10:07:09

The US and the EU listened in great depth to Russia's security concerns.

Russia's invasions of Ukraine had no basis in improving Russian security, it had its basis in Russias desire to control Ukraine.

Tue Sep 19 10:44:30
It is more like the US wanted/wants to control Ukraine and steal Crimea from Russia and use it as military and naval base.
Tue Sep 19 11:16:17

Things that are true only in your imagination.
large member
Tue Sep 19 12:57:31
Russia has no preconditions for peace talks. You are conflating its position on what it says are its requirements for peace.

Peace negotiations are about finding compromise and not sticking to maximalist positions.

Perhaps Ukraine wishes to retain maximalist goals and does not want peace talks to be given bandwidth.

Well, the justifications for fighting unjust wars can be many.

Russia obviously is obligated to talk. Talks are the only way out of its unjust war too.

A reasonable and just peace could also be based on local self-determination. See the Kosovo model.

Demilitarizing the line of contact by both Russia and Ukraine where both withdraw troops seems a valid negotiating point. True dat.
large member
Tue Sep 19 13:23:56
You might think local referenda is unfair as there is a likelihood of alignment with Russia.

Well, Ukraine faced hard choices after Maidan and in particular after Febuary 2022. It chose to base its national identity on Ukrainian nationalism despite having a significant Russian minority population.

Unsurprisingly, it lessens regional support for remaining part of Ukraine in some areas.

As to punishing Russia. You can keep on doing that forever if you like. I dont see a future where sanctions will ever be lifted.
Tue Sep 19 15:58:25

"Kyiv will have to start negotiations with Russia by recognising the realities that have emerged since march 2022".

That's Peskov 5 days ago, using the phrase they use for the annexations.

That's their red line. There's no basis for talks.

"A reasonable and just peace could also be based on local self-determination"

Not possible without Russia first abandoning its annexation which is for them a red line.
It also would require withdrawal of Russian forces from the territories it occupies given numerous reports of military intimidation in the referenda they ran. Which is another red line for Russia.

It's absolutely moral for Ukraine to continue to fight at this point, there's no talks to be had until Russia drops it's red lines.

large member
Tue Sep 19 16:31:15
So that is the first thing Russia wants to talk about (though I am pretty sure you are misrepresenting the position). What is the future for occupied areas? Ukraine has its opinion. Russia has its opinion.

Russia has no red lines beyond Ukraine never becoming part of nato. But that is a peace agreement red line, not a negotiation red line.

Of course referenda can be held in a way that can be internationally recognized under Russian occupation.

The numerous reports involved the fact that polls had to have armed security due to, well, Ukrainian terror attack threats.

Ukraine is not fighting a just war until it engages in negotiations.

You are disingeniously misidentifying the problems. Ukraine is currently not willing to give up its maximalist goals, so does not want to engage in negotiations that would undermine such goals because of compromise being the nature of negotiations.

That is the problem. Ukraine is waging an unjust war until it engages in negotiations. It may take a while for negotiations to result in an armistice, but the defining feature is engaging in talks.

So step 1 in becoming a regime achieved. Step 2 if Ukraine refuses to hold its elections. Then we can start calling the government a regime and begin to wonder wtf we are supporting it.

Btw. I did the math. The correct ratio for Russian-Ukrainian POW exchange during an attrition war is 5,25:1. Russia should get back 5+ soldiers for every Ukrainian POW to break even demographically speaking.
large member
Tue Sep 19 18:03:53
My point is ultimately that Ukraine has agency. My criteria for continued support is

1. It is willing to engage in negotiations
2. It holds next year's elections.

I will not support Russia just because I no longer support Ukraine. I will simply gain the peace of mind achieved by holding a neutral status.

Why does it matter? Well, I am a placeholder for a certain fraction of the voter mass. A mass that will eventually impact on policy.

Why does it matter to Ukraine? Well, perhaps it should listen to me instead of playing into Russia's attrition strategy.

Ukraine's attempt at gaining a decisive victory through maneuvre failed. It cannot but lose a war of attrition.

Lose in sense of it becoming a broken state with no net value to the West. No net value means it has to become pretty broken.
Wed Sep 20 03:12:18
That is what I was always saying: only 270000 dead Russian soldiers. So we can continue the SMO for 10 more years without any problems at all, the Russian population is big enough, we have many more men than Nazi Ukraine.

Even if Nazi Ukraine losses would be slightly smaller than ours then it would not matter. In WW2 we lost many more soldiers than Nazi Germany but nevertheless we won the war. History will repeat itself!


Evidence has emerged in Russian government documents to confirm Ukrainian reports of Russia's staggering losses in the war, which now stand at 273,460 killed

Russia's labour and social development ministry has ordered 259,493 death certificates since the all-out war's start, according to tender documents discovered by independent Russia media Verstka

The discrepancy with Ukraine's higher figure can be accounted for by the fact that until June, Russia only provided death certificates to families of deceased regular army personnel

About 20,000 Wagner mercenaries are thought to have been killed in the war - virtually all in fighting before June

"The numbers may indirectly indicate the approximate scale of the Russian group participating in the battles and losses," Verstka reports

The same ministry also ordered over 936,000 combat veteran certificates - a figure that coincides with Ukrainian and other figures for the number of starting and newly recruited troops Russia has deployed to Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022
Wed Sep 20 05:22:26
It doesn't want to *talk* about it. It says Ukraine must start by *accepting* it.

There's no point entering into negotiations where Russia's stated red line is that the amount of territory they occupy should increase.

It would simply cast doubt on Ukraine's intention to resist further invasion.

Demanding Ukraine to begin talks on that nature is to be complicit in Russia's aggression. The definition of immorality.
large member
Wed Sep 20 05:50:16
Incorrect. Russia has no preconditions. Ukraine has tons of preconditions and laws against negotiations.

Seems to me maintaining international support might be a reason to start talking.

And no, Ukraine has not right to my money. I can be happily neutral without giving Ukraine or Russia a cent.

Indifference is the conscequence of Ukraine fighting an unjust war, not complicity. I am fine with keeping sanctions on Russia forever.

Ukraine has to be willing to talk and has to hold elections to be worthy of continued support.
large member
Wed Sep 20 05:53:52
If it did emerge that Russia will not talk without preconditions after Ukraine has dismantled its barriers to talks and had signalled clearly that it was ready to negotiate, then I would consider it having in fact begun negotations.

Ukraine has agency. It should comply with my suggestions.
Wed Sep 20 05:59:35
”270000 dead Russian soldiers”

Ukraine Resists Russian Genocide... Yeah Again

Not a trustworthy source. Lol
Wed Sep 20 06:15:16

Under Russian constitutional law, what power does the Russian govt have to negotiate the sovereignty of Russian territories?
Wed Sep 20 06:16:36
"And no, Ukraine has not right to my money"

Nobody said it did. Demanding they concede to Russian aggression and arguing it is immoral for them not do so is a separate matter.
Wed Sep 20 06:20:26
"then I would consider it having in fact begun negotations."

And in the meantime, the likely result world have been a reduction in delivery of arms to Ukraine.

Oh dear. Such a shame.

And if Russia sticks to it's red lines, demanding (as it is legally bound to) that Ukraine surrender Kherson, zapohrirhiza, Lugansk and Donetsk, well of course that is fine?

"Ukraine has agency."

It does. And it isn't interested in talks about how much more territory it must give to Russia.

Wed Sep 20 06:39:55
What was your estimate for Russian KIA again jergul?
Wed Sep 20 06:48:42
Demanding? Or are they letting the people decide for themselves in a referendum whether they want to belong to Ukraine or Russia?

If people rather want to belong to Russia it is not surprising given the hostility of Ukraine's government and right-wing militias towards the population. Ukraine been shelling these areas for years, for an example.
large member
Wed Sep 20 06:53:37
What barriers does the constitution set for negotiations? None. An actual agreement may require constitutional change. I dunno.

You must realize how weak your position is when you keep on twisting what I am saying. I am not demanding Ukraine conceed to Russian agression. I am demanding that is remove barriers to talks and engage in efforts to begin talks with Russia. As per just war theory. Otherwise, it will suffer the full weight of my indifference. I may very well end up typing *yawn* many times.

A likely outcome of negotiations is new, UN monitored referenda for the 4 areas with a possible outcome of referenda results following the line of contact (Ukrainian held areas voting to remain Ukrainian, Russian held to Russia).

Sad, but it is what it is. Fragmentation based on regional self-determination was always the danger from nation building on the basis of Ukrainian nationalism in a multi cultural state (Hungary linked its minority rights to supporting Ukraine's EU and Nato ambitions yesterday at the UN).

Aid to Ukraine would more likely surge during negotiations to give it the "best hand possible".

Everyone knows Ukraine has to talk with Russia. The question is when. Just war theory says now.

large member
Wed Sep 20 07:05:25
Meduza's current count is 31,665. An equivalent scrub of Ukrainian open source obits etc set Ukrainian losses to 50k.

I think the ratio indicative, though Ukraine has a MIA problem for structural reasons (there is economic motive to delay confirming soldier deaths. Not so for the Russians. MOD wage payments are direct deposit and not funneled through the combat unit).

3:5 to 1:3 ratio of attrition to all causes would be my best guess. Russia is winning the war of attrition even without leveraging its demographic advantage.
large member
Wed Sep 20 07:12:50
Oh, and as to LC's (he lives up to the lazy in his tag) cp. The Ministry ordered certificates for dependents of veterans from wwii. Administrative overhaul. Dependents still have privileges. Interesting that there is only 1 million left with special rights stemming from the war.
Wed Sep 20 07:32:21

"I am demanding that is remove barriers to talks and engage in efforts to begin talks with Russia."

What would be the point when the Russian's current position is so extreme as to offer no basis.

All it would do is signal weakness of commitment to continue fighting, which would be taken as a reason to reduce aid.

Obviously, they need to continue until Russia is not starting with such an absurd position.
large member
Wed Sep 20 07:38:03
Well, like I said, justifying unjust wars can take many forms. Sad to see you doubling down on it, but it is what it is.

Russia has figured this out anyway, so has geared its activity to attritional warfare.

If Ukraine has to be broken more before it will talk, then so be it. Sad for the individuals involved. I hope as many as want to can find safe haven abroad.
large member
Wed Sep 20 07:41:36
You can start preparing your defence of Ukraine cancelling next year's election if you like. We will end up talking about that soon enough.
Wed Sep 20 08:16:12

There is nothing unjust about Ukraine's war to defend itself from Russian aggression.

large member
Wed Sep 20 08:18:50
Ukraine fails to meet the criteria for a just war so it is currently fighting an unjust war.

Ukraine has agency. The refusal to talk has moral consequences.
Wed Sep 20 08:32:30
The current constitution forbids elections during martial law and has done since 2015.

You've always been such a stickler for this kind of legalistic point.

In practical terms though, how is Ukraine supposed to organise an election when Russia is bombing the country?

They'd need to suspect their procedures to ensure electoral integrity where ballot boxes must be visible to observers and officials at all times and be counted in a single sitting in sight of all observers.

All Russia needs to do is drop a few bombs on polling stations and the integrity of the elections is in question and disrupt national government.

The UK did not hold a general election during WWII until it was safe to do so in 1945 - and we weren't even under occupation.

Can you give any precedent of countries holding elections while invaded and ongoing attacks across the entire country to establish this is a break from democratic norms?

If that, and then you can outline a plausible case as to how Ukraine can conduct free and fair elections under the current circumstances without undermining the integrity of the election, there might be a case for it.

But being subject to full scale invasion and regular aerial bombing across the whole country is a pretty good reason for not being in a position to do so.

It seems to me this is just further attempts by you to delegitimise Ukraine.
Wed Sep 20 08:34:32
” Can you give any precedent of countries holding elections while invaded and ongoing attacks across the entire country to establish this is a break from democratic norms?”

Wed Sep 20 08:47:41
Zelensky has said that he will hold elections if he gets $5 billion from the West. So it sounds like it is possible to hold an election. Zelensky just wants money first.
large member
Wed Sep 20 08:57:29
Zelenskij has the majority he needs to change the constitution after banning 10 political parties back in 2022. The Constitutional change in 2015 was specifically to disenfranchise Donbas as those regions were administratively under martial law.

You mean, Ukraine should talk to Russia about limiting attacks while it runs its elections. Never mind the trivial volume of bombing being done. The sum total of kalibr explosives were easily outdown by single british night time raids against Germany during world war 2.

It is an open question if Ukraine can even justify nation-wide martial law given the regional characteristics of ground combat. Russia has limited martial law measures to combat areas.

The UK extended the 1935 Paliament by passing a law, not by using martial law. The US held its elections in 1944.

Well, Ukraine has banned 10 political parties, so I am pretty sure any election would be unfree and unfair. Cloaking this by a "muh martial law" handwave supports the theory that Ukraine is controlled by a regime.

So, yah, its political system should be investigated and validated by external observers.

The easiest mechanism would be holding an election that is subject to international observation.

But it rotates back to talks. Ukraine cannot be ruled under martial law forever and still retain the characteristics of a democracy. Its an incremental thing. The longer the martial law, the less of a democracy. See the Nazi regime and emergency powers. Democracy there was never overthrown, it was just put on pause for the duration of the emergency.
large member
Wed Sep 20 09:05:59
I think declaring martial law initially was fine in the early days of the invasion. But banning the political opposition for guilt by accociation was hugely problematic.

The war eventually stabilized in a way that isolated ground combat to the eastern regions of Ukraine.

Why is Lviv under martial law? To name an example.

Russia is doing better at limiting the suspension of fundamental rights. And doing better than Russia is a pretty low bar to pass.
large member
Wed Sep 20 09:20:42
My point is really that Ukraine has had a free pass for long enough. It is time to start examining more closely measures it has introduced that do consolidate power for the ruling elite, but have little basis in actual combat operations taking place in the East.

You had the toubles in Northern Ireland. Did that spill over into a general suspension of fundamental rights in the UK?

Ukraine has a lot to learn about democracy. Pretending it does not does a great disservice to the Ukrainian people.
large member
Wed Sep 20 09:28:09
You may call this delegitimizing the regime if you like, but the principles of sovereign integrity are not reserved to democracies. Russia's invasion was unjust no matter Ukraine's form of government.

It does undermine Ukraines narrative. But what can I say? Ukraine has agency. It did not have to write a narrative that placed it as the bulwark of democracy.

But since it has, then it has something to live up to. By what metric is Ukraine a democracy right now? Is there anything it can do to improve that status?

Well, turns out, there is. Why exactly is Lviv under martial law anyway?
large member
Wed Sep 20 09:51:11
I am actually quite enjoying this conversation with myself.

From a Russian perspective, the war was probably about regime change at the start. Not the people so much as to compel a complete swap in certain policies they wanted to follow.

Right now though, it is more about Ukrainian control of regions that in all likelihood no longer want to be part of Ukraine anyway.

Conscription into combat operations is one thing in a existential war for survival, but another entirely for regional disputes. I get that someone may not want to risk dying to compel Donetsk to return to the fold. To me that simply resolves the issue of military aged men abroad. Of course they should be granted sanctuary. They are being called to fight a war that is not worth fighting anymore.

Now, Westphalian principles exist for a reason that fundamentally boil down to averting wars. But when wars over territorial control happen anyway, then resolution tends to devolve to the basis of Sovereignity: The right to self-determination.

I was never particularly outraged about Kosovo. An amusing case of double standards, but factually, most people in Kosovo no longer wanted to be part of Serbia. So, given the circumstances, independence was the best option based on the fundamental principle of self-determination.

Sadly, the same logic applies for some areas of Ukraine. A function of the post maidan Ukrainian nationalism project more than any other single factor. It is hard to rally a multicultural state under the single nationalist banner of one chosen group.
large member
Wed Sep 20 10:05:44
Now, you could say that achtually, the war is about deterrence. Would be bad actors have to learn doing bad things have high costs.

Well, dont you think that lesson has been learned? Russia is under permanent sanction and has to regear its trade at a fundamental level. The accumulated loss of prosperity since 2014 when the sanctions began are rediculously high.

The military and human costs are also exceedingly high. Anyone thinking of engaging in such adventures before the conflict would be less inclined, not more, to do so now.

And for what? Some bases Russia was willing to leave anyway (novorossisk was built up as an alternative base for decades) along with decrepit industry and heavily damaged infrastructure?

This really was a lose-lose event. But on the other hand. Don't enact policies that give someone the perception it has no choice but to attack either. Taiwan may face that problem, but I think it too has learned lessons. De jure independence instead of defacto is just not worth it given the very obvious downsides it can see in Ukraine.
Wed Sep 20 11:53:51

"You had the toubles in Northern Ireland. Did that spill over into a general suspension of fundamental rights in the UK?"

Totally different situation. The IRA didn't have cruise missiles and telephoned to warn of attacks to minimise cost of life.

Russia has form in disrupting elecciones to create issues of legitimacy.

The idea that Russia wouldn't bomb polling stations is for the birds, as is the idea it would stick to such an agreement.

The suspension of elections requires a parliamentary vote - it's no different from the UK in WW2, and a strong case can be made that Germany has less power to disrupt elections in the UK than Russia has now.

Find me a beginner point of comparison where a Western county has gone through elections while undergoing nation wide attacks with an ongoing invasion and we can talk.

Otherwise this is just more of you attending to de-legitimise Ukraine.
large member
Wed Sep 20 12:12:13
1300 bomb attacks in 1972 alone. And the IRA did intentionally target civilians. So, yes, totally different. The IRA was way worse.

No election is way less legitimate than an election with some irregularities. How would you rate Russian FB campaigns up against say banning 10 opposition parties like Ukraine has done in terms of undermining democratic legitimacy?

Russia does not have the luxery of intentially bombing civilian even if it want to. Too many targets with military relevance and too few munitions.

The UK extended the 1935 parliamentary period. Ukraine is using martial law to void the need for elections. The analogy is closer to Hitler's use of emergency powers.

Let me see. You are in favour of Ukraine fighting a perpetual war and also in favour of it not having elections for the duration.

It is democratic why exactly? We know it is not a democracy right now. How long do you expect its fledgling democratic institutions to survive without oksygen?

Like I said, the longer Ukraine maintains martial law in areas where there is no need and the longer it delays elections, the less legitimate its regime becomes.

I am not delegitimizing Ukraine. It has agency and is doing that to itself.
Wed Sep 20 12:16:29
” a Western county has gone through elections while undergoing nation wide attacks with an ongoing invasion and we can talk. ”

Sweden :) We are being invaded by refugees and there are fightings and shooting all over the country now, despite of it we have held elections.

USA is in a similar situation. Their border to Mexico has been breached and they are being invaded, and there are more shootings and fightings there than in Sweden. The US is also being involved in wars, but they can still (albeit barely) hold elections.
large member
Wed Sep 20 12:18:44
India and Pakistan, Cyprus and Turkey, Ecudor and peru, Armenia and Azerbadjan can serve as models for how democracies negotiatee conflict and keep democracy functioning even while fighting.

large member
Wed Sep 20 12:23:41
The problem with Ukraine and elections is that they would be unfair and unfree to Ukraine's government suppressing political opposition based on guilt by association.

Ukraine does not want international observers to note that 10 opposition parties have been banned and a significant number of political opponents jailed under various justifications afforded by the introduction of martial law.
large member
Wed Sep 20 12:40:26
I think you are trying to make a "as democratic as possible given the circumstances" argument.

This simply does not stand up to any reasonable test. Ukraine is under far less pressure than it was in the spring of 2022 and has successfully limited fighting to the Eastern part of the country.

We can speculate on why Ukraine is choosing to be less democratic, with less fundamental human rights and more martial law than it needs.

Or we can just note that this is the case and resign ourselves to a holding pattern of grand indifference until the conflict burns itself out.
Wed Sep 20 14:03:34

"1300 bomb attacks in 1972 alone"

Source for that? That seems off by an order of magnitude unless you are counting very small IEDs.

You've also picked one of the worse years of the troubles.

The IRA:
1. Generally phoned in warnings - generally they aimed to disrupt, not kill.

2. Their MO meant that it was far easier to secure things like polling stations and guarantee security.

3. Russia attacks with suicide drones and cruise missiles that are much harder to defend against.

4. Changes to the law relaxing how ballots are monitored, plus non inclusion of occupied areas would make any elections legitimacy questionable. This would be more so if several polling stations were destroyed and voters killed.

"The UK extended the 1935 parliamentary period. Ukraine is using martial law to void the need for elections."

A distinction without a difference. It is nothing like Hitler's enabling laws so long as there is good cause for marital law.

"You are in favour of Ukraine fighting a perpetual war"

No. I appreciate you have a hard time digesting this, but I think they may be able to win and at the very least can secure much more favourable outcome than they can today.

If you are so concerned with democracy in Ukraine, maybe you might like to focus more on the invading army than trying to make out that zelensky is somehow comparable to Hitler, and that it is somehow immoral for Ukraine to fight for its independence.

I've always felt your Westphalian principles were little more than cant.

This proves it.

You believe it's moral to allow dictators to conduct crimes against humanity against their own people to preserve this important principle, but quite happy to discard it when Russia invades and annexes.
Wed Sep 20 14:05:20
"India and Pakistan, Cyprus and Turkey, Ecudor and peru"

None of these held elections during a time when there was high intensity conflict going across the country.

It's not a valid comparison.
large member
Wed Sep 20 15:34:29
Not holding an election raises far more questions about legitimacy than holding one with circumstantial flaws.

The reasons have nothing to do with practicality (Russia has held several elections in occupied territories), but rather because it would highlight that the opposition in Ukraine has been banned and in several cases jailed. Its current policies would make elections unfair and unfree.

Is there good cause for ML outside regions in direct conflict? Or is it just convenient for the ruling elite? Why is there martial law in Lviv?

My concern for democracy in Ukraine stretches to the point of disinterest. Zelenskij should probably not emulate Hitler's use of emergency powers to permanently set aside fundamental rights if the comparison bothers you.

I think you need to be a bit more holistic. The costs and gains from war are measured far more than in crappy territory. A long war of attrition will comprehensively and permanently break Ukraine.

Westphalian principles intact thank you. I dont complain about former Albanian enclaves in what used to be Serbia, nor of Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria. War is bad and in violation of Westphallian principles. One recourse is to re-establish the old borders, another recourse is to devolve self-determination and allow regions to choose their future.

The goal of Westphalian peace is to avoid war. It can fail. Sanctions on Russia forever are justified by it breaking Westphalian peace. But what to do now?

Sadly, regional self-determination is clearly the best path. Ukraine would have to embrace multi-culturalism and protect minority rights to language and cultural expression to avoid that. Which is not something Ukraine even wants.

Not sure why you think a high intensity conflict is ongoing in Lviv.
Wed Sep 20 18:57:07
There are 3rd grade level logical failures behind the application of Westphalian peace to actual, real world nation states.

It only works on paper under ideal and artificially laid out conditions, like sebs sweet heart, communism

You're blaming Russia for violating principles that under no circumstances should apply to this situation, because Ukraine is not and was never a legitimate and independent state.
Wed Sep 20 19:01:20
To say nothing of the absurdity of expecting ethnic/cultural/linguistic-ally homogenous states to entertain separation from, or mistreatment of, their historic (if anachronicistic) countrymen.

Similarly, we have no evidence in Europe for respect for minority rights or self determination, and only recent, nation harming examples from the colonies.

And implementation of self deterministic or multi cultural policies as you lay them out will only exacerbate issues for both sides. Which is why no country actually abides by the.
Wed Sep 20 19:04:55
But you're mental gymnastics to justify maintaining/returning to the status quo so that the issue can worsen and erupt more violently later, or alternatively be held off until one or the other side is driven to ruin by 3rd parties, is noted.

Very fucking gay of you.

Violence is the best course of action in all disagreements. This is even more true between nations. Pacifists just forgotten more slowly than out right losers.
Thu Sep 21 02:18:18

"Russia has held several elections in occupied territories"

You believe Russia has held free and fair elections that would pass international standards?

I mean come on jergul.
Thu Sep 21 02:25:04

"The Venice Commission has also stated in general that due to the difficulties to guarantee free campaigning and public debate on reforms with a longer effect, holding referendums during states of emergency, including war and military threats, would go against European standards"

Shock horror. Jergul cites Russian fake elections as a model to follow, while the advisory body to the Council of Europe on these matters says the reverse.
Thu Sep 21 02:26:58

"because Ukraine is not and was never a legitimate and independent state."

Ukraine was recognised as such by every country in the world including Russia.
Thu Sep 21 02:28:56

"ethnic/cultural/linguistic-ally homogenous"

Russia is none of those things.

"Violence is the best course of action in all disagreements"

Obviously not true.
Thu Sep 21 03:18:47
"to permanently set aside fundamental rights"

Good job he isn't then!

"and allow regions to choose their future."

The first step of that has to be for the invading power that occupies those regions to fully withdraw. There simply can't be any process allowing "regions" to "choose" anything under the barrel of an invading armies guns.

And this whole "It's all about language rights" nonsense just makes you look like one of those apologists for the US confederacy.

large member
Thu Sep 21 03:24:37
Straw man fallacy.

You were arguing it is practically impossible to do elections due to the security situation. I pointed out that Russia has held several elections in the conflict zone to dismiss your argument.

I have otherwise been clear that internationally recognized referenda would need to be held to settle what has in practice become a territorial dispute irresolvable by other means. Russia has already held referenda that I consider only indicative, but without legal or practical value.

Why exactly is Lviv under martial law? I accept that there is a strip of territory in Eastern Ukraine were martial law is justified. But Lviv?

Also note that the EU Commission statement is in regards to referenda, not local or national elections.

Your position is slightly ludicrous btw. You are arguing that no elections have greater legitimacy than elections with practical flaws.

Westphalian peace works in general. Returning to the previous status quo however is often impossible. But the sanctity of state integrity is a derived principle stemming from individual self-determination. So sometimes matters need to be resolved by referenda. At a regional level generally to avoid the tyrrany of the majority in multi-cultural states.

Derived self-determination is a key feature. The implicit right of any person to fundamentally change rule in the region they live in acknowledges that representative democracy is one way of expressing self-determination. Referenda (or even violent internal struggle without foreign support to any party) is another.

Westphalia has no democratic criteria for its validity in other words. Seb likes to overlook this minute detail. Despite there being no democracy (well possibly 1) anywhere when Westphalia principles were formulated.
large member
Thu Sep 21 03:32:21
Indefinitely set aside human rights then. Until the end of an endless war if current Ukrainian policy is projected.

The first step is talks. There is no demilitarized criteria for holding referenda. And if there were, the converse would also have to hold true. Regime forces are equally, if not more, adept at subverting elections.

A lot of this is about Maidan Ukraine building a nationalist Ukrainian state in a country that is multi-cultural. Unsurprisingly, minorities became discontent. At this juncture, the only realistic resolution is regional referenda.

Combined with perpetual punitive sanctions on Russia.
Thu Sep 21 04:16:16

"I pointed out that Russia has held several elections in the conflict zone to dismiss your argument."

It is certainly possible to hold sham elections that would fall well short of any acceptable international standards.

But that defeats the point of holding them, which is to establish the legitimacy of the govt.

You want Ukraine's legislature to change the constitution to permit elections (contrary to established European and international norms). This would necessarily mean the govt encouraging people to campaign, to hold rallies and hustings, and have election officials staff and international observers in voting booths.

This with 20% of the country occupied, another 20% within artillery range of Russia; a country with a long history of disrupting Ukrainian (and other countries) elections.

Could the govt of Ukraine honestly guarantee the safety of any of the participants?

It would mean establishing accurate voter registers with around 25% of the population internally displaced or refugees.

There's simply no way to do this in a way that doesn't undermine the safety of the population; and would result in a vote that had any legitimacy.

The European norm - and indeed recommendation of the council of Europe - is to suspend elections under these circumstances- cf. the Venice Commission.

It is also the overwhelming view of Ukrainian NGOs in this space, and increasingly of international bodies like the IFES and the Atlantic Council.

If this conflict becomes the status quo, Ukraine will need help to establish conditions where internationally accepted free and fair elections can occur.

However the war has been going on for a year and a half. Saying this means in perpetuity is absurd.

Indefinitely is accurate only in that Ukraine has not had the ability and support needed to work out how to hold viable elections at this point in time.

And the sham that Russia conducted is a risible refutation.

"The first step is talks."

Not when the other side is so unrealistic. The first step is for Russia to come to realise what it is currently asking for cannot be achieved by force or negotiations.
Thu Sep 21 04:16:59
The absolute idiocy in asking for a vibrant public campaign and voting, when Russia dropped a bomb on a fucking theatre filled with children clearly labelled as such.
large member
Thu Sep 21 04:48:32
It is certainly possible to hold elections. Your security concerns have been dismissed.

You are still holding a rather ludicrous position that no elections are better than elections with practical flaws.

You are misidentifying why Ukraine is unwilling to hold elections. The problem rests with the opposition parties being banned and leaders jailed under various martial law pretexts.

I actually think Ukraine should suspend martial law in most areas of Ukraine. Martial law is a disproportionate intrusion on civil rights.

The European Commission commented on the validity referenda.


You see? Entirely possible do hold elections midst ongoing fighting, a defacto occupation, election boycotts and a sunni insurgency doing a pretty dammed good job at disrupting the process.

Permanent ink worked wonders to make sure people only voted once. Is that what Ukraine is missing? Permanent ink?

large member
Thu Sep 21 04:52:19
Talks on Syria have also taken place with people holding insanely unrealistic ideas.

Why is Ukraine so special? What manifest destiny gives it the luxery of refusing to talk?

The talks will lead nowhere in the beginning. The first step is to start talking.
Thu Sep 21 06:02:45

"It is certainly possible to hold elections. Your security concerns have been dismissed."

Then why are all these NGO and civil society orgs saying otherwise?

"You are still holding a rather ludicrous position that no elections are better than elections with practical flaws."

That is obviously the case. The purpose of holding an election is to assure the legitimacy of the govt.

Changing the constitution ad-hoc in the middle of a war to conduct elections that by definition exclude over a quarter of the electorate, which have a certainty of being attacked by the enemy as part of their efforts to disrupt the government, and which respected international watchdogs and advisory bodies on this matter council against does none of those.

Democracy is more than simply pantomime voting.

"A rigid security clampdown succeeded in preventing major disruption of the polling. In most parts of the country Iraqis were able to vote freely."

Firstly, the 2005 elections in Iraq were an attempt to establish a legitimate government where none existed before.

Ukraine has a legitimate government, operating under its current constitution and with a pre-existing mandate from the population, is suspending the election for the duration of the war (or at least until a proper election can be called) in line with European norms.

Secondly, securing polling stations against attack from the ground is far easier than securing them from cruise missiles and drones.

I would be very happy to see elections in Ukraine under similar conditions as Iraq. Namely if it is flooded with an international force that can guarantee security at the ballot box; and forces hostile to democracy such as the Russian occupation force and its allies have been so far as possible disarmed and marginalised by said international force.

Then we can have international observers, campaigning and ballot box integrity.
Thu Sep 21 06:04:38
It is no surprise at all, Jergul, that you assert the Ukrainian govt has no legitimacy.

Your shallow pot stirring is dismissed.
large member
Thu Sep 21 06:17:06
Straw man fallacy.

I am saying that Ukraine has agency and has to enact measures to keep its legitimacy intact.

Primarily to begin talks and to prepare for next years elections. Your security concerns have been dismissed. Elections have been held under far more adverse security contexts.

I agree that the purpose of elections is to keep legitimacy. The problem is that Ukraine is not holding elections to keep legitimacy. A fledgling democracy before martial law has fallen into overreach.

Ukraine changed its Constitution in the midst of a rebellion specifically to disenfranchise rebel elements. It can revert back to what it used to have, or suspend martial law in most of the country. Or both.

Or it can opt for formenting disinterest in its plight internationally and gradually see its legitimacy fade as time passes. *Yawn*.

Flooded with occupation forces you mean? Not sure you want that. Iraqis had no security guarentees as they risked their lives to cast their votes? What in particular warrants this sense of Ukrainian exceptionalism?

It is easy enough to claim shallow pots are being stirred. We are not the ones watching our country fade into relative oblivion in all senses of the word.
Thu Sep 21 07:37:21

It's legitimacy is not in question.

It is a duly elected county, operating under an established constitution, suspending elections during a conflict where it cannot practically conduct a free and fair election that would have integrity, in line with established global and European norms.

The govt changing the constitution to organise a ballot in which it cannot guarantee safety of participants or legitimacy of the outcome would be reckless. It would expose people to risk and replace a govt with a legitimate mandate from the people with one that did not.

The best approach would be to follow the constitution and European norms, while making preparations to be able to hold an election in future. This would include: support for creating robust voter enrollment and voting opportunities for refugees and IDPs and alternative ways of securing ballot box integrity that are less susceptible to disruption.

You can say my position is dismissed all you like, but it reflects the views of most IGOs and watchdogs on the matter and that's the people you need to care about.

They, and other govts are unlikely to care that Russophile Norwegian ex fisherman thinks Ukraine's govt is illegitimate, or dismisses their views.
Thu Sep 21 07:38:04
Duly elected govt.
large member
Thu Sep 21 08:10:28
The country has been at war since 2014 and held elections and changed its constitution during the war despite a part of its population being disenfranchised.

Your argument in defence of not holding elections falls on Ukraine making fundamental changes while at war and while part of the country was occupied.

The part about security not allowing for it fails in comparison to other countries like Iraq or Afghanistan. We expected voters to trudge to the polls under great personal risk, so even if we were to think your outlandish claim was true and Russia would target polling stations, Ukrainian air defences and warnings would dramatically lessen the risk of casualties. Not that Ukrainians dont go about their business daily anyway and always are targettable. Polling stations do not have greater person density that markets or religious services.

Legitimacy is not an absolute and can be questioned. Like I have said several times now. Ukraine has agency. Its decisions impact on its legitimacy.

Fighting an unjust war a case in point. Ukraine has to start talking to change that status.

The UNSC has signed off on numerous Syrian roadmaps. As it also did on Iraqi and Afghani elections. That is the authority you are looking for. Not cherry picking until you find something a defacto party to the conflict decided to ruminate over.

My sentiments are a placeholder for that of many. Not that my views matter at all because I hold them. Just view what I am saying as an emerging trend.

More than 50% of American's want to stop aid to Ukraine i a poll released today. But frankly, they mostly don't care. Few follow the conflict. Supreme indifference is the endpoint. I am sure Ukraine can leverage popular passivity to get some aid at least.

But sure, you can watch Ukraine lose its future as much hopium as you can huff. Note that I gave Ukraine agency there. It does not have to fade or rant into oblivia. That is merely the course it has chosen.

It really should start talking with Russia.
large member
Thu Sep 21 08:14:34
I have incidentally already condemned Russia as harshly as I am able. The question is what should happen now.

You do not deal well with difference of opinion. I will calk that down to your country's colonial past screwing with your mindset.
large member
Thu Sep 21 08:21:29
August poll* It was in the feed today, so I thought it more recent.

large member
Thu Sep 21 08:29:19
Speaking of phil. Is there anything, anything at all, that you think Ukraine has done since 2013 that is in the least bit questionable?
Thu Sep 21 09:50:50

"The country has been at war since 2014"
There was a ceasefire during previous elections, the country was not subject to high-intensity war on a national scale combined with a nationwide aerial bombing campaign.

The situation in 2015 - Feb 2022 was manageable - this is a qualitatively different and it is pure sophistry to claim otherwise.

"The part about security not allowing for it fails in comparison to other countries like Iraq or Afghanistan."

I'm sorry but no. The situations are not comparable.

*In Iraq and Afghainstan, elections were held only after it the best possible arrangements to guarantee security and prevent attacks were made. There is little Ukraine can do to protect most polling stations from aerial attack.

*In Iraq and Afghanistan, there was no legitimate civil government in place. Elections were necessary to establish one, and establishing one was necessary part of the strategy to bring peace and stability to the country. Ukraine HAS a legitimate government; and holding elections will not reduce the threat Russia poses to Ukraine.

"Ukrainian air defences and warnings would dramatically lessen the risk of casualties"

It would also create situations where ballot box integrity could not be guaranteed, and the right to vote could be lost.

It would be trivial for Russia to disrupt the election to the point that the result could be disputed, casting doubt on its legitimacy. It would certainly do so, as disrupting Ukraine's govt leadership up to and including attempted decapitation missions has been a hallmark of Russia's approach for decades.

"Legitimacy is not an absolute and can be questioned."
You need to have a basis for doing so. Your basis is weak. It would be in line with established Ukrainian law and European and broader western norms not to have an election at this point. It would undoubtedly be dangerous to do so, and it would be unlikely to result in a govt with more legitimacy than this one.

Instead, we must look at your broader pattern of behaviour, which is unfortunately depressingly consistent in this matter.

"My sentiments are a placeholder for that of many."
Yes, there are many useful idiots and 5th columnists in the west.

"More than 50% of American's want to stop aid to Ukraine i a poll released today."
The reason is not about whether Zelensky is duly elected though.

Earlier you suggested we should not listen to populists, so to cite the populist faction in the US is striking.

"I have incidentally already condemned Russia as harshly as I am able."
A telling caveat.

One only needs to look at the volume of your criticism to see you are far from even handed.

large member
Thu Sep 21 10:50:22
The situation is managable now too. High intensity combat is limited to a narrow strip in the East. Look at the trivial concerns you raise. Ballot box integrity? Well, if that is the worry, then electronically monitor ballot boxes on the off-chance they cannot be physically watched.

The problem here is lack of will. Ukraine does not want to hold elections or suspend martial law because that is inconvenient for the ruling elite.

So, yah, failing to hold elections would undermine regime legitimacy. Not fatally, legitimacy loss is a progressive thing.

No elections weaken credibility more than an election with some flaws. That seems to be a really hard point for you to grasp.

A more multipolar legislature with banned parties returning to politics would definitely have greater legitimacy. 11 parties were banned on March 20th 2022 and their assets siezed by the State under martial law decree. So the assets should be returned too.

Iraq and Afghanistan held elections under horrible circumstances. There was no need if the result lacked legitimacy as you claim is the default.

My broad pattern of behavior starting 3 days ago? Ukraine was only put on the clock then after it became obvious its one shot at making significant gains had failed.

I said the ongoing Russian invasion and occupation was magnitudes worse than Iraq and Afghanistan. I expounded on why. I was pretty negative to the US lead invasions. Oh, and it still is worse.

I have consistently called for perpetual punitive sanctions on Russia too. That is harsher than your opinion. You can see scenarios where you would lift sanctions. I cannot.

So yah, Adhom fallacy.

The question is what to do now. You seemingly want a stab in the back myth to poison the next few generations of Maidan Ukrainians. On the offchance that something maybe will work out somehow.

You are writing off half the US electorate as populist? Anyone who disagrees with you suffers some form of mental or moral illness? Is your operating theory?

You do not deal well with dissent at all. Conformity is actually not a part of the Western Democratic Humanist Tradition. See religious dogma for details on where conformity belongs.

And why is there martial law in Lviv? And do try to think of one questionable thing that Ukraine is responsible for that has happened after 2013. I await your response with baited breath.
Thu Sep 21 11:39:16

"High intensity combat is limited to a narrow strip in the East."

There are daily aerial attacks across the country. You yourself have touted the effectiveness of Russia's ability to destroy Ukrainian civil infrastructure such as transport and power grids nationwide, and the ineffectiveness in being able to provide absolute protection against this. Denying this now is disingenuous.

"Well, if that is the worry, then electronically monitor ballot boxes on the off-chance they cannot be physically watched."

How would you guarantee that these have not hacked? It would obviously command less confidence than the election by which the present govt was elected.

There is no basis for your bad faith speculations regarding failure to change the law to allow an election.

It is against European and international norms for established governments with legitimate mandates to conduct elections under these circumstances. The bodies that have been set up to safeguard democracy and constitutional norms in Europe advise against it.

It would require the govt to urge the people to do something legally and morally unnecessary at this point of time which would undoubtedly put them at risk.

There's simply no basis to questions Ukraine's govts legitimacy and motivations at this point in time for abiding by these norms.

Instead we must look at your historic pattern of behaviour and deduce your motivations. You are simply looking for further reasons to justify your longstanding belief that Russia must be allowed to defeat Ukraine, because the alternative is too dangerous.

"There was no need if the result lacked legitimacy as you claim is the default."

I've answered this one already. In both cases, there was no legitimate government, and improving the security situation required the creation of one; leaving elections under the best possible circumstances that could be achieved the only viable route forward.

This is not the case in Ukraine. Ukraine has a govt that was elected legitimately. It has a legal basis for not holding elections at this point. It would be against European and international norms and best practice to hold elections under the current circumstances. There is no immediate prospect of holding an election where a president of Rada would have more legitimacy than the current one.

Over time, this may change.

"I said the ongoing Russian invasion and occupation was magnitudes worse than Iraq and Afghanistan. I expounded on why."

You have mostly said this by claiming you have said it previously. Nevertheless, pretty much all your recommendations and discourse in all of these discussions on Ukraine or other situations over the year is why, regrettably, Russia or its proxy must be allowed to prevail as the least worst option, and how every other party is illegitimate in some way or another, peppered with increasingly tenuous exculpations or flat out denials of Russian or its proxies attrocities.

The pattern is well established. They called you Baghdad Jergul for a while.

"I have consistently called for perpetual punitive sanctions on Russia too."
Yes, but you have also said that you think this would be ineffective or even beneficial to Russia as it enables a pivot East - so in your own frame you are asking that instead of taking concrete action to improve and remedy the aggression on Ukraine, that we substitute it instead with measures you have repeatedly stated to be ineffective or even beneficial to Russia in the long term while also allowing Russia to extract further concessions.

"The question is what to do now."

I have answered that:

Continue to provide military support as long as Ukraine asks for it, and enhanced capabilities - at an accelerated pace rather than drip feeding as we have done to date.

Work with Ukraine to address the challenges to running elections should these conditions persist indefinitely.

Develop plans for providing long term security guarantees for Ukraine backed by western forces to be deployed inside Ukraine at an appropriate juncture in the future, under NATO nuclear umbrella.

large member
Thu Sep 21 12:43:37
There were daily ground attacks across Iraq and Afghanistan. Your point?

How indeed can we verify that electronic voting measures have not been hacked. My god, so many elections potentially stolen. We better put on our tinfoil hats.

A have 11 banned parties with confiscated assets that suggest elections and lifting martial law may be inconvenient to Ukraine's ruling elite.

By your metric, there was no legitimate government after the elections. People risked their lives in a futile excersize. Which only proves that your metric is wrong.

Banning parties using emergency powers removes your free and fair election argument. The representation the people voted for no longer exists (some of the people at least. Residents of Donbas were formally disenfranchised by the Constitutional ammendment you referred to).

Over time it will change. We are discussing what happens if Ukraine does not hold an election next year. Parliamentary elections btw. Not presidential.

I have said it many times. You should engage in devil's advocacy more often. If you had explored my justification with the vigour you confirm your on bias, then my position might have become more memorable to you.

I maintain that it is hubris to think Ukraine could ever beat Russia and that has flavoured what I think the best outcomes are. In this case, talks leading to referenda that likely will give Ukraine more territory that it holds now.

4 days ago. That is when I said, mkay Ukraine tried, but failed in its lightning offensive to cut the land bridge. Its final chance of gaining a better outcome through fighting than through talking has passed. Nice try GG.

I have said that Russia has been under sanction since 2014 and was slowly being strangled. Putin decided the best course of action was to rotate East. Russian prosperity would have been way higher under pre-2014 regimes and would bounce back if we lifted sanctions to 2013 levels. I dont think we should do that.

Yes, you think Ukraine should keep fighting. Accelerated pace? Does the UK have anything left to send (leaks suggest the 14 Challengers were most of what is operational in the UK).

And maybe some realism? US opinion is slowly shifting (not to mention Poland saying it will pledge no new weapons). The highwater mark of aid to Ukraine has passed.

So you accept some of my argument. At some point, Ukraine will have to hold elections. Just not yet. Well, there is an overlap with my view there. Postphoning elecions has an incremental degrading effect on regime legitimacy. The longer it waits, the less legitimate it becomes.

Good. You understand that Ukraine is currently not under a nuclear umbrella. Long term security assurances are based on Russia and Ukraine talking first. So agreement there too. Ukraine and Russia have to talk.

Was that so hard?

Still waiting for you to find me an example of some questionable Ukr policy from Maidan forward. Falsification theory. For your thoughts to be rational, there has to be something Ukraine can do that you would not support. Otherwise you are just practicing religion.
large member
Thu Sep 21 12:48:22
I should prolly clean my keyboard*
Thu Sep 21 13:42:40

"There were daily ground attacks across Iraq and Afghanistan. Your point?"

I've already addressed this twice. It was both possible for the occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide security at polling stations against ground attack and there was no alternative to secure a legitimate national govt.

Ukraine cannot offer protection of polling stations against air attack, and it has a legitimate govt.

Asking Ukraine to deviate from European norms and put lives at risk to hold an election that could only decrease the legitimacy of the govt (a substantial fraction of the electorate disenfranchised due to being displaced and inadequate provisions to register and allow them to vote) simply to keep to pre-war electoral cycles is absurd.

"How indeed can we verify that electronic voting measures have not been hacked"

Normally due to a carefully developed system painstakingly tested and assured against attack. This is not practical in the current timescales and should not be a priority at this point in time, though it may be if this situation is to persist indefinitely. But that doesn't seem to be the case right now. Perhaps this is a useful role for Norway to assist in.

"We are discussing what happens if Ukraine does not hold an election next year. Parliamentary elections"

No. Parliamentary elections were to happen October this year and have been suspended as per constitution with a parliamentary vote. Next year's elections are presidential.

Clearly you are so concerned about this and not just hawking around for shallow reasons to call into question the legitimacy of Ukraine that you have taken the time to be informed and up to date

"So agreement there too. Ukraine and Russia have to talk."

Yes. What we disagree on is what is required for talks to take place. You think Ukraine should begin them now when Russia is only interested in discussing flavours of surrender of further territory and it is immoral of Ukraine to not begin such talks.

I think they should occur when Ukraine thinks it is in their interests to do so. As long as Russia is in occupation of Ukrainian territory, it is perfectly moral and just to continue to fight.

What is immoral is Russia's actions. The govt of Ukraine and it's policy to continue to fight and refuse talks on conceding further territory is perfectly legitimate and there is no good faith reason to call them into question.
large member
Thu Sep 21 15:25:24
Ukraine can offer protection from air attacks (not that I accept the assumption that Russia would target polling stations) that is way more effective that protection of polling stations were. Damn, how do you even protect a polling station from a suicide bomber. He can trigger it waiting in line to be checked if he wanted.

Ukraine is on a sliding scale with ever decreasing legitimacy. It started at a very high level.

Yes, lets all get our tinfoil hats because digital systems cannot be trusted. Poll boxes can be secured in the case of an airraid alert.

This year? Well, yawn. My disinterest sort of covers not caring enough to check when it was. I see you actually checked given your belated correction.

Russia still has no preconditions for talks. It has its pulse on the international sentiment you see.

Ukraine is waging an unjust war until it decides to talk with Russia.
large member
Thu Sep 21 15:26:44
Falsification. What imaginable thing could the Ukrainian regime do that you would not support?

Or this just a religion for you? I sort of need an answer. Fanatics are sort of boring, so, well, are you a fanatic?
large member
Thu Sep 21 15:28:09
Also, I am fine with Ukraine continuing to fight after it agrees to talks. I rather expect it would.

You are conflating talks with a ceasefire.
Thu Sep 21 15:41:40

"Ukraine can offer protection from air attacks"
There are regions of Ukraine right now where there isn't even the civil infrastructure to set up polling stations. You want to offer all of them protection against cruise missile and suicide drone attack.

"Damn, how do you even protect a polling station from a suicide bomber."

Check points, armed guards outside looking stations, intelligence. This still results in an unsatisfactory approach, but better than nothing when there's no govt with democratic legitimacy. But that is not the case in Ukraine.

"Ukraine is on a sliding scale with ever decreasing legitimacy."
You would asset this - you've continually been dismissive against Ukraine's interests all the way back to when you used to gloat about "Cry me a river" in 2014. You've always pushed Russia's disingenuous claims to overwhelimg popular support in Donbas and the legitimacy of the potempkin uprising of little green men there. In much the same way in Syria you downplayed Russian and Syrian atrocities and made absurd claims there.

Your views, which aren't widely held, carry little weight as a result.

"Falsification" - how would that falsify the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Ukraine holding elections? That can be derived from principles. My views are inline with a number of international bodies charged with safeguarding electoral norms in he democratic world. There is no need to look for additional motivations for my position. It is your position that is absurd and makes no sense and is in need of explanation.

"after it agrees to talks"
Russia says talks can only occur if there's a cease fire.
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