Is that why Russian TV channels are showing Putin heroically promising to "personally" "solve the issue" of egg prices?  Is that why Russian authorities are telling people to grow their own bananas?  This strongly resembles the USSR in its final days. Even the old jokes from that era are relevant once again:
A man goes to a doctor and complains: "Doctor, there appears to be an issue either with my vision or my hearing." - "What makes you say that?" - "What I see doesn't match what I hear."
Are you here for hacker news, or for spreading propaganda because you're on a payroll ?
Why are most of his comments about russia (if that's the true even): perhaps he is interested in the subject and has a nice attitude of only speaking about something he is knowledgeable in. Or maybe the subject of russia is something he find very emotional and feels an urge to speak about it.
Let me mimic your rhetoric:
Why are all your comments about russia, always pro-russian?
Are you spreading propaganda because you're on a payroll?
That said, they (mopsi) do seem to like to say some rather weird, and also intellectually dishonest things -- such their assertion that it was primarily the Russians, not the Germans (with the help of local collaborators) who arranged for the extermination of Baltic Jewry in the summer of 1941:
Despite all evidence to the contrary.
His intentions have been obvious for a very long time for anyone who wants to see them.
The recent Tucker Carlson interview confirmed that Putin has an uncontrollable obsession with a made up version of history, and he gets visibly upset when his long rants about Ukrainian statehood being an anti-Russian conspiracy by the Austrian General Staff and the Pope get interrupted. Nazis running Ukraine is only a small part of that persecution complex.
Putin's speeches deserve as serious consideration as Hitler's. Until tanks started rolling, his speeches were also dismissed as rhetoric.
An often-used example of this is the crash of oil tanker Exxon Valdez, which in terms of GDP is one of the most productive sea voyages of all time.
This gets repeated a lot, but who on the Russian side has ever confirmed it? Many people from that time are still around. Both the USSR's last minister of foreign affairs (1985-1990) and the first Russian minister of foreign affairs (1990-1996) have called that bullshit, with the latter adding in a recent interview that people believing this are "chumps and useful idiots".
I gave a link to the documents, not to hersay.
"who on the Russian side has ever confirmed it"
You mean apart from 'nationalists', 'hardliners' and 'communists'?
It's a speculation that has been categorically refuted by the very persons it mentions.
> You mean apart from 'nationalists', 'hardliners' and 'communists'?
Apart from people like Putin, who at the time was nowhere near the foreign policy circles, but served as an enforcer for St Petersburg's mayor, collecting protection money and bribes from businesses.
While the West failed to seize the opportunity and some diplomatic mistakes were made on both sides, the United States and NATO were on the right side of history by admitting new democracies to the Alliance and being willing to find an accommodation with Russia. It was Moscow that returned to its antagonism toward NATO, which has been intensifying ever since. Yeltsin’s chosen successor president, Vladimir Putin, tried to hinder the West with a charm offensive in the early years of the 21 century and even hinted that Russia might join NATO. In the meantime, domestic anti-American and anti-NATO propaganda has continued to gain momentum. Today the Kremlin has left little doubt about its attitude toward the Alliance in words and in deeds.
NATO remains the main power to safeguard the liberal world order. It is under attack from autocratic, populist and extremist forces who claim that the organization is outdated. The Kremlin’s champs and chumps in the West portray NATO as a bloc promoting American hegemony, expanding to the East and cornering Russia. It is reassuring however, that the U.S. Congress continues to display firm bipartisan support for NATO.
The prospects of a new opening in Russian–NATO relations will depend on the resilience and firmness of the Alliance and on deep changes in Moscow’s domestic and foreign policy. I believe that sooner or later the Russian people will follow the suit of other European nations in finding their national interest in democratic reforms and cooperation with NATO and other Western institutions.
"On July 1, the delegationhad a meeting with M. Woerner—NATO Secretary General. ... Woerner stressed that the NATO Council and he are against the expansionof NATO (13 out of 16 NATO members support this point of view). In the near future, at his meeting with L. Walesa and the Romanian leader A. Iliescu, he will oppose Poland and Romania joining NATO, and earlier this was stated to Hungary and Czechoslovakia. We should not allow, stated M. Woerner, the isolation of the USSR from the European community."
"didn't pressure it enough towards becoming a civilized country"
That was rich.
There is nothing in the document confirming an eternal commitment to not accept new members into NATO.
Until late-1990s, the position of most NATO countries was indeed that Eastern Europe was too underdeveloped and unstable for membership, and the document accurately reflects that. This undermines the narrative of how NATO has always wanted to surround Russia.
By the time new members were accepted into NATO almost a decade later, Wörner was long dead, the USSR was long gone, Russia had started its descent into a totalitarian dictatorship, and all 13 opposing countries had changed their position.
"By the time new members were accepted into NATO ... Russia had started its descent into a totalitarian dictatorship"
The decision to expand NATO was made in 1997 
And by the way, here is a passage from wikipedia on that first round of NATO enlargement :
"That year, Russian leaders like Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev indicated their country's opposition to NATO enlargement. While Russian President Boris Yeltsin did sign an agreement with NATO in May 1997 that included text referring to new membership, he clearly described NATO expansion as "unacceptable" and a threat to Russian security in his December 1997 National Security Blueprint."
And a bit from "What Eltsin heard" :
"On December 1, Foreign Minister Kozyrev unexpectedly refused to sign up for the Partnership of Peace; and on December 5, Yeltsin lashed out about NATO at the Budapest summit of the CSCE, in front of a surprised Clinton: “Why are you sowing the seeds of mistrust? ... Europe is in danger of plunging into a cold peace …. History demonstrates that it is a dangerous illusion to suppose that the destinies of continents and of the world community in general can somehow be managed from one single capital.” "
I am not inventing anything. I have not seen a single source that would indicate a commitment not to accept new members into NATO until the present day. Nor have you cited any high-ranking Soviet or Russian officials from those times saying that they had a firm commitment. The constant unmet Russian demands that you cite also point that way.
> The decision to expand NATO was made in 1997 
By that time, liberals had lost influential posititions in Russia and hardliners had been consolidating power for several years. Putin had risen from St Petersburg's mayor's errand boy to presidential staff in the Kremlin, to become the head of Russian security service (FSB) a year later.
The first Chechen War started in 1994 and Russian atrocities committed there were a key turning point in taking Central and Eastern European security concerns seriously:
The First Battle of Grozny was the Russian Army's invasion and subsequent conquest of the Chechen capital, Grozny, during the early months of the First Chechen War. /---/ The battle caused enormous destruction and casualties amongst the civilian population and saw the heaviest bombing campaign in Europe since the end of World War II.
> "On December 1, Foreign Minister Kozyrev unexpectedly refused to sign up for the Partnership of Peace; and on December 5, Yeltsin lashed out about NATO at the Budapest summit of the CSCE, in front of a surprised Clinton: “Why are you sowing the seeds of mistrust? ... Europe is in danger of plunging into a cold peace …. History demonstrates that it is a dangerous illusion to suppose that the destinies of continents and of the world community in general can somehow be managed from one single capital.” "
Kozyrev is who wrote the three paragraphs I cited previously. In the PDF I linked to, he gives a description of NATO-Russia relations during his tenure (1990-1996). In the end, he concludes that Russians were on the wrong side of history and Americans and Europeans were on the right side of history. The outcome - peace and prosperity in Europe, death and destruction in Russia and everywhere they go - certainly supports his view.
You are inventing a strawman again. 1997 isn't present day. Bye.
In fact, western governments can't give such informal guarantees further than their election term even if they wanted to, because unlike in Russia, governments change every 4-5 years and the current president, prime minister or cabinet ministers can't promise what their successors will or won't do, because the successors are often completely different people from different political parties with vastly different political platforms. That's why we have written treaties. Soviet and Russian diplomats are without any doubt educated enough to know that.
Merkels and Schröders are how we got here. German military is now planning for missile attacks against their infrastructure: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nato-russia-missile-strik...
Russia attacking the rest of Europe is just fear mongering.
Except perhaps for:
The Polish-Russian War of the 1600s
The Great Northern War
The Russo-Turkish Wars
The Partitions of Poland
The Crimean War
The Winter War
The Invasion of Czechoslovakia
or some other
Unfortunately this absolutely not the case, as applies to the Baltics and Moldova. The threat to those countries is very real.
Basically Putin's whole idea is that any place the Russian Empire (or its temporary proxy, the Soviet Union) sat on at one point or another in the past 350 years is fair game for re-occupation, vassalization and/or intimidation of some sort today.
Sabotage in Czech Republic, the Vrbětice explosion? They blew up the ammunition stockpile of some weapons trader that intended to sell them to Ukraine. That does not seem directed at the Czech Republic.
Maybe I am missing something, but the history of Transnistria sound not unlike many other civil wars to me.
And just to be clear, I am not supporting Russia, but we have to be real and stick to the facts. False judgments - no matter whether it is making Russia more or less evil than it is - can lead to bad decisions. In my opinion a random assortment of incidents like the ones you named are hardly enough to draw the conclusion that Putin wants to reestablish the Soviet Union.
If you look at Transnistria, it's definitely not a random civil war, but very much a proxy conflict (like breakaway republics in Georgia, or what Russia was doing in Eastern Ukraine 2014-2022).
In my opinion a random assortment of incidents like the ones you named are hardly enough to draw the conclusion that Putin wants to reestablish the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union, no. But what he does want is as much re-establishment as possible of Russia's historical "sphere of influence", and in Putin's mind, of Russia's role as the protector of Slavic culture and Eastern Orthodox values.
There are plenty of statements in support of this, all over the place, and very easy to find.
And maybe to add to the first point, sure, Russia certainly wants as much influence as it can get, but that is no different than every other country. There is of course a wide spectrum of means to achieve this, from economical cooperation, to supporting a coup d'état, to starting a war and a million things in between. Some we would consider legitimate, some not. That Russia would immediately jump to one of the most expensive options requiring a commitment for decades to succeed, that needs some pretty good evidence in my opinion.
That they have done so already in Ukraine is all the evidence we need, in my opinion.
The entire country, no.
By all indications, they only wanted to annex about 60 percent of it -- including of course the capital, the entire Black Sea coast, and likely a good chunk of buffer territory. The remaining regions, being almost entirely non-Russian speaking, would have been left as battered rump state, to be perhaps dealt with later.
The goal was clearly and unambiguously to wipe independent Ukraine off the map, and to eliminate as many of the intelligentsia on its kill lists as it could find. The remaining population was to be forcibly expelled or assimilated, as has already happened in the occupied regions.
All of which, by their planning, would have been basically cakewalk, and over and done in a matter of weeks.
Whether they wanted to properly annex 60 percent or 100 percent of Ukrainian territory is irrelevant in this context - and basically amounts to splitting hairs.
USA undoubtedly had better access to a wide variety of groceries due to its geography and agrarian economy. Russia doesn't have a California or Mexico (the best candidate, Turkey, was part of NATO).
That doesn't mean USA also didn't have a vastly superior propaganda ecosystem, from Hollywood to the NYT.
Basic goods like sausages, stockings and toilet paper - which had constant shortages - aren't some high tech that only a selection of countries are able to produce, geography permitting. It was USSR's choice to focus so much and so wastefully on the military that western stores looked like an unbelievable dream to Soviet citizens who lived their entire lives deprived of most mundane consumer goods.
Who even needs a propaganda ecosystem, when western plastic bags with graphic prints were such a luxury item in 1980s USSR that people proudly paraded them around in the public, then came home, carefully folded them (some even ironed with a cold iron to get rid of wrinkles), and put away for the next time - until the bags became completely faded.
Nobody in the west would've believed the sheer absurdity of everyday life in the USSR.
As I've said elsewhere in this thread, the people who tore apart the USSR did so because the USSR didn't work. That he went on to be instrumental in the ultimate dissolution of the USSR is not evidence that his shock and awe at the abundance in the US was staged.
> USA undoubtedly had better access to a wide variety of groceries due to its geography and agrarian economy. Russia doesn't have a California or Mexico (the best candidate, Turkey, was part of NATO).
Your parent commenter is talking about the reactions they got from people visiting Finland.
> That doesn't mean USA also didn't have a vastly superior propaganda ecosystem, from Hollywood to the NYT.
The USA had a better propaganda system if you include the facts they had at their disposal as part of that system. If we instead look at how well each country did with the facts that they had, you are living proof that the USSR's propaganda system was incredible.
Faced with the fact that people in the USSR starved by the millions while people next door in Finland had abundance, you somehow manage to place the blame on geography instead of on the human systems that the Soviets put in place.
But I agree that there's nothing more to be gained by continuing this conversation.
That was an excuse, not motivation. Hitler was motivated by theories of racial superiority, which he immediately began carrying out in Poland after invading the country and dividing it with the USSR, which had attacked Poland from the east in a supporting action (they even held a joint victory parade). Hitler sought to exterminate all Jews and most Poles living in Poland and turn the few remaining Poles into a slave race serving German settlers, who were given Polish farms and businesses. Hitler managed to murder roughly 3 million Polish Jews and 3 million Poles before finding a sorry end in a petrol-filled ditch somewhere in Berlin. Systemic extermination of people living in Poland had been planned for years in advance and started right on the first days of the invasion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligenzaktion
Russian theories of superiority, exceptionalism and Russki mir are eerily similar to the German ideas of superiority and Lebensraum in both theory and practice:
Operation Tannenberg (German: Unternehmen Tannenberg) was a codename for one of the anti-Polish extermination actions by Nazi Germany. The shootings were conducted with the use of a proscription list (Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen) targeting Poland’s elite, compiled by the Gestapo in the two years before the invasion of Poland. The secret lists identified more than 61,000 members of the Polish elite: activists, intelligentsia, scholars, clergy, actors, former officers and others, who were to be interned or shot. Members of the German minority living in Poland assisted in preparing the lists.
USSR did the same in the parts of Poland they invaded:
The Katyn massacre was a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia prisoners of war carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD ("People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs", the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. /---/ The order to execute captive members of the Polish officer corps was secretly issued by the Soviet Politburo led by Joseph Stalin. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the remaining 8,000 were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be "intelligence agents and gendarmes, spies and saboteurs, former landowners, factory owners and officials".
And the same thing is going on in occupied parts of Ukraine right now:
In a deliberate, widespread campaign, Russian forces systematically targeted influential Ukrainians, nationally and locally, to neutralize resistance through detention, torture and executions, an Associated Press investigation has found. The strategy appears to violate the laws of war and could help build a case for genocide. Russian troops hunted Ukrainians by name, using lists prepared with the help of their intelligence services. In the crosshairs were government officials, journalists, activists, veterans, religious leaders and lawyers. /---/ The pattern was similar across the country, according to testimonies AP collected from occupied and formerly occupied territories around Kyiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv and Donetsk regions.
And there's no marginalization or racial issues or whatever, at least nothing outside the norm. You can find countless ethnic minorities in various positions of power that aren't there just because of an invisible quota or whatever, but because all that matters is who can do the job best. For instance Sergei Shoigu  is a name you probably know, and he is ethnically Tuvan. The American far right who view Russia as something like a white Christian ethnostate are seen, by Russians, as complete idiots.
One can disagree with another, even be involved in a violent war, without trying to turn them into the Devil incarnate. Such fatuous and exaggerated claims also ultimately make light of when there are real issues, such as in another war we're supporting, which is nothing like this one.
 - https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/largest-ethnic-groups-in...
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Shoigu
As to ethnic minorities in Russia:
> And there's no marginalization or racial issues or whatever, at least nothing outside the norm.
Complete lie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification#In_Russian_Feder...
This is not really what I would call ethnic strife. I do agree that language is a big part of ethnic identity, but such a law obviously does not prevent people from using or learning their ethnic language, and people being unable to communicate in a common tongue is likely to lead to real ethnic strife within a region. To me, the ideal of a multi-ethnic nation would be one where people have a shared common identity first, yet also don't entirely relinquish their own unique distinctions. Like I think in America one of the reasons there's such an increasingly absurd division in society is that we've lost any sort of shared collective identity.
Out of curiosity, would you actually even prefer the opposite of what is described in the page you linked to? If there happens to be an ethnic minority that is a majority in some region, should that region be able to determine that education, and so on, should be in the language of the local ethnic group?
It is only one measure of many that is driving the rapid decline of indigenous peoples in Russia. Russia has a long history of methodical persecution of indigenous peoples with a wide arsenal that spans from closure of schools and suppression of media to made up charges about "extremism" and being a "foreign agent" to punitive psychiatry in the best Soviet traditions. Many languages and cultures have already become extinct like Native American tribes that were forced into conditions that caused a permanent loss of language, culture and identity. With official departure from the European Convention on Human Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and other international treaties, Russia doesn't even bother to act like they care about human rights. The council that monitored how signatories enforced the framework convention used the same word in their reports about the situation of minorities as you did: marginalization, increasingly so.
And it's gotten much worse since Putin decided to invade Ukraine in 2022. Russia is now decimating indigenous populations by disproportionally conscripting them to die in Ukraine. Buryats and Nenets are overrepresented by a factor of 50 in casualties compared to ethnic Russians from Moscow. Two genocides for the price of one - trying to overwhelm Ukrainian defenders by throwing indigenous peoples from Russia at them.
So for example, I decided to look up the European Convention on Human Rights things, because it sounded pretty interesting. And what you've been told is not quite what happened. It seems that after the invasion of Ukraine, the relevant bureaucracy chose to suspend Russia's representation in such, so Russia announced a petition to withdraw from the organization, which the Council responded with, 'you can't quit, you're fired!' type stuff. 
It's just the ongoing of weaponization of international organizations in the West, which ultimately serves little purpose other than to undermine their relevance and authority. Observe the the grossly incongruent responses to actions of Israel vs those of Russia. Organizations whose actions become driven by politics become seen as political actors, which entirely defeats their purpose.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Council_o...
It wasn't me who changed the topic from blaming Poland for Hitler's invasion, to denial of the well-known persecution of indigenous peoples in Russia, to calling international human rights organizations weapons against the glorious Russian motherland. Denial of mistreatment of indigenous peoples is particularly nasty, because it has been a cornerstone of dissident Russian human rights and environmentalist movements for a very long time. Indigenous peoples inhabit many Russian regions rich in natural resources and they have seen persecution not only in the form of suppression of their language and culture, but also in the form of physical destruction of their native land through mismanaged and inefficient resource extraction that leaves behind toxic wastelands. "We don't want to live in moonscapes," as one activist put it: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/1/23/in-russia-indig...
Would you prefer to return to how Hitler only wanted Danzig and other Nazi myths? For some unknown reason they are very widespread in Russia and have strong foothold among boomers like Putin.
So here, it seems to me that your biggest and most compelling issue with Russia is the mistreatment of ethnic indigenous groups? But the article you linked to uses a lot of words to say very little. And what it does say is so absurdly one sided that it just completely omits any sort of detail whatsoever. For instance:
Pressure on Sulyandziga began after he organised public hearings on pressure on an Evenki Indigenous community that developed a jade mine on their ancestral lands.. In 2012, the mine was taken over by the Rostec state-run corporation focusing on defence and hi-tech... That year, criminal charges were brought against community leaders, leading to confiscation of jade and land, activists say... Sulyandziga claimed he was accused by state officials of “separatism”, “espionage” and embezzlement... In 2016, Sulyandziga left for New York to deliver a speech at a UN session about Russia’s Indigenous rights situation. He says he never returned because a high-ranking security official told him that intelligence services planned to kill him and present his death as “suicide”.
What was the conclusion of the charges? Why were they initially made and/or dismissed? What happened between 2012-2016? How did a random indigenous tribesman in Russia find himself able to present a speech in front of the UN? I feel like this article is trying to appeal to my emotions, and not my logic. I want details, I want logic, I want evidence. I want something that doesn't assume I already agree with the premise of what's being said, and thus will just happily accept anything they say.
What really made you take up the issue of indigenous peoples in Russia as such a key cause? Was there some significant event that happened? Is it something personal? I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from, and perhaps with such I might be able to see the world through your eyes. Make sense?
The trouble with this narrative is that it's fictional and not supported by facts. It is no different from Hitler's delusions about global Jewish conspiracy against the Germans. One can subscribe to these narratives only if they accept known falsehoods as the truth and reject many facts as lies.
Even rhetorically, arguments like the oppression of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are preposterous given how Russia has become one of the most oppressive places on the planet. Such allegations sound like Hitler justifying the bombing of London with the way the English treated the Scots or the Irish - while turning a blind eye to the Holocaust going on at home.
Taking into account the daily terror raids conducted with artillery and missiles on towns and villages of annexed parts of Ukraine like Kherson, I don't think you'll find many suckers who'll fall for that excuse.
If Russian government feels strongly about protecting people, particularly ethnic Russians, they could start by ordering the police not to beat and molest peaceful protesters on the Red Square anymore.