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2 votes
Accepted

Would Finland's joining NATO be a violation of the 1947 Treaty of Paris?

According to the treaty, it can be changed only by the UN Security Council, so changes made by Finland, mentioned in previous answers, are invalid. So it's definitely a violation. By breaking this ...
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3 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

Not the only reason by any means, but one can't ignore how the behind-the-scenes lobbying in Washington went at the time: The arms makers quickly latched onto the idea and over time helped the ...
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7 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

An often neglected reason for the fundamental change in the NATO-Russian relationship is the civil war in Yugoslavia. Before that, there were ideas to create a pan-European security system that would ...
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3 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

Active intervention in case of attacks One of the underlying principles of NATO is that a military attack on one country is an attack on all, and will be responded to militarily. Since the total ...
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5 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

I think calling it extending still shapes the question in a somewhat wrong light. NATO has a charter with rules that regulate how new members can join. Countries can decide on their own if they want ...
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6 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

So at the begin of the 90s the Cold War was officially over no Warsaw Pact and even no USSR was there to threaten NATO. The new Russian government was relative pro-western, the most pro-western ...
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26 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

I'll quote this verbatim from an answer I wrote on History.SE. The explanation is by Bill Clinton - American president during the expansion. American President Bill Clinton, who was President during ...
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19 votes

What was the reason for extending NATO in the 90s?

So no real threat from Russia was expected at that time. Governments can change. This issue was mentioned as such in this regard by [then Deputy Secretary of State] Strobe Talbott, in 1995: among ...
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2 votes

What is the ethnic composition of Russian military forces?

I don't have answer to the direct question, and doubt that it exists, so I will provide some context: We don't have any reliable information about the number, or composition, of Russian war losses, ...
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1 vote

What is the meaning of the Z and V symbols being sported by the Russians in the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict?

There is now an official answer by the russian MOD: The translation: Dear Evgeny Viktorovich! Your appeal to the Minister of Defense Russian Federation, on “issues of explaining the meaning of signs ...
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4 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

It would be if Russia was allowed to participate in regular trade. But the current USR/RUB rate is heavily influenced by the fact that many Russian entities are under sanctions. To get slightly poetic,...
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8 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

Russian here. Please consider the fact that back in the March Central Bank of Russia made a statement of temporary law for the exporters of ANY kind of goods (oil, metals, supplies, vehicles, ...
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15 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

You could argue that this is a "fake" exchange rate, but it seems like Russia keeps increasing the limit on foreign currency exchange, so citizens are indeed able to convert their rubles for ...
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2 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

Russian Balance of Payments figures have improved since Western sanctions against Russia. Russia's current account surplus hit $58.2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 — a three-decade high. Russia ...
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0 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

Look what happened after the Crimean conflict in 2014 with RUB: The west also imposed sanctions back then, and rouble would quickly start to fall, but then the government made the interventions and ...
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2 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

I'm not the only one who, with the war apparently stalling, is wondering how long it will drag on. Italian Philosophers 4 Monica mentioned an analysis from the renowned Institute for the Study of War. ...
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7 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

While the exchange rate is not a good indicator of almost anything of practical importance (not only in Russia, but everywhere), surges in both directions ARE signs that something is wrong with the ...
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25 votes

Is the Ruble exchange rate a reliable indicator of economic stability in Russia?

Exchange rate is not an indicator (or a very poor one) of economic well-being: it can be controlled by a central bank, via increasing money supply ("printing money", although nowadays it is ...
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14 votes

Did Russia once want to join NATO? Does former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov refer to a serious interest in the past?

If we treat the question Did Russia once want to join NATO? broadly, to include the Soviet era, then the USSR indeed show interest in joining NATO very early, was rejected and subsequently founded ...
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32 votes
Accepted

Did Russia once want to join NATO? Does former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov refer to a serious interest in the past?

Others, albeit Westerners remember such talk from Russia, and more specifically from Putin some 20+ years ago too: Vladimir Putin wanted Russia to join Nato but did not want his country to have to go ...
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4 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

This question assumes that Ukraine and Russia are basically tied and so instead of protracting the war and increasing the number of casualties, should rather negotiate around the current lines of ...
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3 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

General consideratons Any war stops either when one side is completely destroyed (this is what happened at the Second World War), or when both sides want to stop it. By themselves, victory or defeat ...
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0 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

For now, the exit strategy both sides have taken is "drag it out". US and EU countries are selling off their military surplus to Ukraine, and until they've sucked them dry, or sold all their ...
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6 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

Total Victory for Ukraine Pt. II My answer exceeded the character count, so this is the last part: Timeline If Russia lost half its operational BTGs in 78 days, then at the same operational tempo, it ...
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11 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

Total Victory for Ukraine Pt. I This is my prediction, and I anticipate it will occur before the end of the year (I actually think it could occur as soon as end of summer). While it is easy to dismiss ...
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13 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

It seems that "Internet time" and some modern short wars have led people to unrealistic ideas about timeframes. Conversely, WW2 took one and a half years before Germany invaded the USSR, and ...
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5 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

You're assuming the "Russian" motivation is more than just the will of one man Vladimir Putin effectively has full and unlimited control over Russia, both politically (through imprisonment ...
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  • 7,162
18 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

Frame challenge: You assume the participants in this war are looking towards an outcome. You don't see the war itself as a possible goal. Western interests: The longer the war progresses, the more ...
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39 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

This seems to naturally lead to case-fire negotiations that would determine a "line of actual control" close to an eventual realistic military outcome but save thousands of lives, let alone ...
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1 vote

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

One possible exit scenario for the war that is very desirable for NATO/ the West is that Russia completely withdraws its troops from Ukraine because they realize that the military losses are too high ...
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36 votes

Whose photos are carried by Vladimir Putin and those by his side in the May 9, 2022 Moscow Victory Day Parade and what are their significance?

Alamar has covered the significance of the parade and of whom the photo Putin carried was. The man on Putin's left in the red jacket is Gennady Ivanov, one of the co-chairs of the Immortal Regiment ...
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22 votes

Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

Are there signs that Ukraine and the West would be willing to, however grudgingly, factually (but not politically or legally) accept a Russian occupation and enter cease-fire talks? Zelensky has ...
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39 votes

Whose photos are carried by Vladimir Putin and those by his side in the May 9, 2022 Moscow Victory Day Parade and what are their significance?

The idea of this specific parade is to carry the photos of your relatives who fought in a war (usually WW2). In this case it seems to be a photo of Putin's father. I suspect there is no other ...
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12 votes

Is there any value for Russians in completely eliminating the Ukrainian resistance at Azovstal, Mariupol?

If you look at the map, you will see that road M14 goes closely to Azovstal Combinat. This road is very important for transport between Crimea and Russia. While there are Ukrainian forces in Azovstal, ...
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8 votes

Is there any value for Russians in completely eliminating the Ukrainian resistance at Azovstal, Mariupol?

That depends. I am sure there will be a lot of comments pointing to Azov's history, paraphernalia, alleged statements, etc., to support Russia's claim. I am going to remain neutral on that claim in ...
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40 votes

Is there any value for Russians in completely eliminating the Ukrainian resistance at Azovstal, Mariupol?

Of course there are: It frees the Russian soldiers currently guarding Azovstal to do other things (like deploy in another part of Ukraine). It removes the threat of the fighters in Azovstal. These ...
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3 votes

Why does the US treat the problems of Russia and Ukraine as its own?

The reason the US treats the problems of Ukraine as its own, is because a very real sense, it believes Ukraine is its own. When the then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs,...
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0 votes

Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

The system that we call "democracy" is a Western idea. More precisely it is called the "liberal democracy" or "Western form of democracy". This idea originated in ancient ...
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38 votes
Accepted

Why can't Hungary import oil from somewhere other than Russia without "ruin[ing] the Hungarian economy"?

All the refineries in Hungary (and in Slovakia) are calibrated to the Ural type of oil coming from Russia. This type is different from the Brent type of oil coming from North Sea, etc. Adjusting the ...
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3 votes

Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

You are taking things out of contexts and picking up some conditions that might determine the situation and ignoring the other ones. You compare Zimbabwe and Botswana ignoring that the second has a ...
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  • 4,622
4 votes

Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

One of the issues with authoritarian regimes is they tend to be kleptocracies where those in power benefit, but not the majority of the population. One significant factor that holds India back is it's ...
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14 votes

Why can't Hungary import oil from somewhere other than Russia without "ruin[ing] the Hungarian economy"?

Ruin is relative. Hungarians would certainly take an economic hit. If you look at the oil pipelines in Europe, you can see that they are by and large going east to west, not north to south or south to ...
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0 votes

In what ways will the Russian-Ukraine war benefit/harm the United States?

Nobody benefits from this war, whatever the outcome. Some nations will suffer more, some suffer less, but there's absolutely no benefit to anybody, unless you call suffering less than others a benefit....
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0 votes

In what ways will the Russian-Ukraine war benefit/harm the United States?

Disadvantage: we get a spike in energy prices, which is never a good thing, especially coming on top of a generally dismal economic picture. Benefit: most of the civilized world has reacted very ...
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  • 9,999
4 votes

What are some non-partisan sources about the relative balance of power in the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

TLDR: There's not that much and the better quality sources are pretty clear that the situation is very fluid and hard to call. Like o.m. I'll nominate ISW. Their daily updates have been pretty good ...
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7 votes

What are some non-partisan sources about the relative balance of power in the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

I've been reading the ISW updates, after finding them quoted repeatedly on the BBC. One could argue that they are partisan because of their ties to the United States, which is technically not at war ...
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3 votes

What is The Kremlin?

Generally, "kremlin" (with the lowercase k) is the Russian word for citadel or fortress. Like elsewhere, early on, its walls encompass the whole settlement; then only its central/historical ...
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  • 406
8 votes

What arguments do Russia-critics offer to support their view that Russia is committing genocide?

In the most general sense, "genocide" is destroying a people. The convention which specifies what that means tries to list various ways of how that may be accomplished. To quote the United ...
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4 votes

What arguments do Russia-critics offer to support their view that Russia is committing genocide?

There is a difference between genocide and more generic war crimes and crimes against humanity. What sets those apart is committing enumerated crimes with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, ...
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5 votes

Bombing Ukraine president location

Russia apparently did make some attempt to capture/kill Zelenskyy at the start of the war, but since then they've held back; in fact they have avoided attacking Ukraine's decision-making centers ...
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