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When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Russia is the World's second nuclear power, and fancies itself as a power military player in every sector. So it leverages its military capabilities and oil and gas resources as much as it can. Now its non-nuclear capabilities are being found out.

It's economy has long been hollowed out by the Oligarchs. It's GDP is less than 2% of the World economy, and its no longer in the top 10 nations - behind Italy and Canada, and less than 5 times Ireland's. This war isn't going to help those figures at all and its conventional military prestige is shot. The danger is that it falls back on the one thing it is still a world leader in - nuclear weapons.

The shape of a potential deal with Ukraine has been obvious from day one: Russia gets to (officially) keep Crimea and Ukraine keeps Donbass as an autonomous province but with close links to Russia, doesn't join NATO but can join the EU. It's just a matter of how much time and destruction it takes before military realities force Russia to accept such a "solution".

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 10th, 2022 at 05:58:36 PM EST
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