Why would these 4 bullets be propaganda? They seem all four true, whether we agree with them or not. NATO was created because Russia/USSR was an adversary. And it still is. Now Puttin has shown the world its military is much weaker than we feared, it is tactically a good moment to kick them while they are down. There is no real risk in escalation, as Puttin already escalated when they invaded. Let's weaken Russia as much as possible! If it were not for the cost of lives, strategically actually a very sound strategy.

When you talk to people in Eastern European countries, they looked at Russia completely different than Western Europeans and the US did. Many truly feared Russia. As Poland now stated a few months ago - they are no longer afraid. Russia's non-nuclear capabilities are so much weaker than expected that would probably even lose from the Europeans alone if invading despite them neglecting their military for years. Their airforce, training and logistics are mostly to blame here.

But if we takle the human cost out of it, it is good if Russia gets a good beating. It will calm Russia's rhetoric towards the Baltic states and other members on the border. It will possibly also reduce Putin's ambitions in its former USSR vassal states. But even if that latter doesn't happen, the war today already diminished Russia's role in the world as super power. China will have taken note for instance. Also in Africa and Lattin America, Russia as an ally will be less valuable. It is now truly a two-man race (US/China).

Russia overplayed its hands, by overestimating its own capabilities. The best for them is to try and offer a deal. The problem what deal exists the Ukrainians will accept, that would not be an utter defeat for Puttin? I see no deal that would be acceptable. Ukraine because they feel they can win this and want the territories back. But Russia cannot accept that, because not getting the Eastern areas would mean a loss.

Of course, this also means more people will have unfortunately to die. But unless you want Ukraine to surrender, what other option is there? If NATO lowers their rhetoric, that will not make much difference. You can argue rhetoric helps Puttin's hawks. But it will also cause pushback as others there will realize too that a fight with NATO is an inevitable losing battle. It could tip either way. Vietnam also ended with people rather accepting a loss than continuing receiving young men in body bags back.

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If you consider the definition of the term "propaganda", the answer to your question becomes self-evident.

"the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person"


That data points are factually accurate does not prevent them from being used as the material for propaganda.

By Stoltenberg having made the statements he did, Putin and his spinmeisters at TASS and RIA Novosti get ample fodder for pushing an "Russia is at war with NATO" narrative that escalates the war in Ukraine beyond the presumptively narrow scope of Putin's "special military operation" by turning Ukraine into a tool of a bloodthirsty and corrupt NATO.

Which happened to be the thrust of one news item on TASS from today.


As for Russia "realizing" that it is in over its head with regards to a contest with NATO, you must remember that Russia is the country that burned its own capital city of Moscow after the Battle of Borodino, just to deprive Napoleon of the ability to shelter and resupply the Grande Armee. Russia is the country that endured an 872-day siege at Leningrad during WW2, one of the longest sieges in the history of warfare as well as one of the most brutal and barbaric. Russia is the country that gave up 850,000 casualties in the Battle of Kursk to defeat the German Panzer formations and so break the back of the Wehrmacht. Russia has a long history of being too damn stubborn to ever think along the lines you suggest.

Even when Russian public support for a war is not great (as was the case in WW1), the Russian people are still a hardy enough people that they can field disastrously led army after disastrously led army, fighting to wage a war they themselves do not really want. Far from leading to pushback against the war in Ukraine, the more likely outcome is increased support for the complete annexation of Ukraine.

Moreover, facilitating Putin's propagandists casting NATO as an existential threat against Russia (which those four bullet points make very easy) more likely leads to an INCREASED level of rhetoric regarding Poland and the Baltic States. The reason for this is ultimately the same reason that Putin was always going to put troops in Ukraine one way or another: defensible borders. Russia, to maintain its historical defensive postures needs to control Ukraine, Poland at least up to the Vistula, and the Baltic States. Controlling those territories gives Russia enough strategic depth to make Moscow a very difficult capital to assault. If NATO is committed to Russia's economic, military, and geopolitical castration, Putin can easily argue that there is no choice but to press on past Ukraine, targeting Poland and the Baltic States. If one accepts the inevitability of war between NATO and Russia, Russia's best bet now is to control those territories.

And adding to the utter illogic of Stoltenberg's verbal incontinences is the complete disregard for Russia's actual history with NATO in the post-Soviet era. Russia has at one time or another been part of the same Partner for Peace initiatives that are the basis for Ukraine's current relationship with NATO. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO formed with Russia the NATO-Russia Council to build a forum on mutual security issues and cooperation. Russia supported for a time the NATO mission in Afghanistan post-9/11, worked with NATO to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa, and was one of the original participants in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. There were at one time a substantial number of areas where Russia and NATO were productively engaged. Arguably, Russia poisoned that entire well with its annexation of Crimea in 2014.


Rhetorically, decrying Russia's failures to measure up as a NATO partner as the catalyst to the current unstable state of NATO relations with Russia makes all the same security arguments as Stoltenberg's bellicosity, but without giving Putin propaganda talking points. More importantly, to the world outside of Europe it allows NATO to stake a claim to the moral high ground; granted, such a claim is itself little more than pro-NATO propaganda, but the more NATO can push its own propaganda with regard to Ukraine, the less willing countries like India are going to be in helping Russia survive the sanctions regime.

It's one thing to be bemoan the inevitability of more war deaths in Ukraine. It's quite another to be speaking the words that ups the body count.

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You think Jens is irresponsible? Wait until Chrystia Freeland, who is apparently being considered, gets in there as secretary.

A Ukrainian nationalist whose family collaborated with Nazis, Freeland is the architect - one of them anyway - of putting into legislation the power to freeze bank accounts without a court order in Canada. Which, by the way, they showed no remorse for during the public hearings.

She'd bumble the world into a war in seconds flat with her penchant for emotional drivel and remedial musings on international affairs. She's a Democrat-lite war monger.

Just a side bar to this story. Sorry.

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