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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

The Ukraine Thread

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Pretty sure this ain't gonna just blow over, so how about a topic about all the things going on all the way to the East?

 

Recap of the events over the last few weeks:

 

Ukraine's President was forced from power by Ukraine's parliament not too long ago amid protests and a new President took power. This hasn't gone entirely smoothly, however, and there's a lot of tension between the pro-Russian (generally supportive of the last President and in the east) and pro-European (against the last President and in the west) portions of the populace. Russia recently invaded Crimea, the southern peninsula of Ukraine and the only part of the country that is Russian-majority.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/03/world/europe/ukraine-tensions/

 

And so, that is where we stand now. Russia claims that it is in the country to keep order and protect the Russian people of Crimea. The West, meanwhile, sees this as a blatant violation of international law and is considering economic sanctions on the matter.

 

It's unlikely any full-fledged war would break out over this given the nuclear arsenals of Russia and its opponents, but there is room for serious economic damage here given Russia's large natural resources, particularly in the field of energy. Currencies and markets are already weakening over the issue.

 

Personally I think Crimea should have remained Russian to begin with. Ethnic exclaves and enclaves seldom end well, if history's any indication. That being said, unilateral military action is supposed to be illegal, and this is just illustrating how much of a joke the United Nations is; any attempt to legalize actions against Russia will be vetoed by Russia.

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I've been following more on the events in Asia than those around Europe, so the most I've heard about this was something having to do with Ukraine getting friendly with the E.U.

 

About the economic damage, what exactly is best and worst case here? I want the more interesting bits first before I dive into the details

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The worst case is mass sanctions against Russia. Russia's got 143 million people and tons of resources, so this pales in comparison to similar actions against North Korea and Iran. Most importantly, Russia is a major exporter of natural gas, so tensions with Russia mean bad news for European energy prices (indeed, as memory serves, Russia's natural gas supplies to Europe have actually served as a proverbial nuclear arsenal in keeping the peace between the rival blocs). As energy prices going up makes everything else go up usually, it goes without saying this isn't good for everyone else in the region.

 

The best case in terms of economics would be that the West and Russia reach some sort of deal. It sounds like Putin is in fact open to negotiations, and the key detail is he wants to make sure Russia maintains a good grip on the country. The power sharing agreement that was discussed between pro-EU and pro-Russian factions would work towards this. What Putin wants to avoid is Ukraine breaking away from Russia completely and becoming another EU/NATO state.

 

Russia's actually already drawn up legislation that would allow Crimea to join the rest of Russia and there are thinly-veiled threats to occupy northern and eastern Ukraine as well. While Russia's government says this is all to protect the Russians and to make sure the previous power sharing agreement is honored, I think it's pretty obvious Russia's aiming to secure its position in the area.

 

I mean, there's actually a fairly prevalent idea that the Ukraine should be part of Russia anyway and is a "fake" nation-state that's separately purely because of historical events.

 

Let's frame all this in visual terms, while I'm here. You think America's red/blue state looks bad? Try this:

 

%D0%92%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D1

 

The Presidential election of 2010. The blue voted for the pro-Russia guy who was ousted not too long ago.

 

Ukr_elections_2012_onemandate_okruhs.png

 

And here's the Parliamentary election of 2012. The blue areas are the Party of Regions, the same party as the overthrown President.

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Even if it breakups I doubt it would peaceful for long I am seeing a Yugoslavia 2.0. Ethnic cleansing.

 

The United States won't do shit against Russia. Britain has announced it won't sanction Russia nor will Germany as they relay on Russian Gas and Russia has a lot of investments in Britain.

 

Energy prices in the Europe are already up the arse as they are.

 

The US and EU have been fucking really stupid for interfering in Ukraine and not expect Russia to resort to extreme measures.

 

The "Fuck The EU" phone call made that very clear.

 

Really sad that nobody has made a thread on this until now, I would of but I have been absent.

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I really think it's best at this point if Crimea is annexed into Russia (as Russia isn't even denying its desire to, given it's already drawn up the necessary legislation to admit it to the federation). Whether the rest of Ukraine gets split into East and West Germany style or remains one country with a shared central government, I do not know.

 

I do know, however, that power sharing agreements are usually only a temporary solution, since someone is inevitably going to make a power grab. So it would probably be best if Ukraine becomes practically two countries that only collaborate on issues such as defense and foreign policy.

 

Ukraine's just another case of the powers that be creating a political entity that probably shouldn't exist. A state where nearly 1/5 of the population are another ethnic group and not even remotely close to being assimilated... I've seen how this usually ends, and it's seldom well.

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Somehow, I don't think that Putin's going to settle for an annexed Crimea and an all but divided Ukraine. Russia's a resurgent power with a great deal of clout thanks to most of Europe depending on it for its gas, and even if it's just because Putin wants to do it, I think Russia's going to be (if they aren't already) working hard behind the scenes to uplift more pro-Russian politicians in other former-Soviet satellite states. Russian influence is going to spread back across eastern Europe, NATO be damned, and for a good few years things are going to get really scary.

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Thing is, Putin took a HUGE gamble that might not pay off - it's a demonstration that Putin has completely lost control of the situation, and he's desperately trying to retake it by any means necessary, and in the process, is exposing Russia's weakness. The moment Russia invaded the Crimea, the other former Soviet states got spooked, Putin's aggravating a good chunk of the rest of the world, and Russia's economy is already taking a big hit because of the occupation. If the US and the EU are serious and end up placing economic sanctions on Russia, that could very well make Putin blink. And if the US goes further and starts freezing assets from Russian companies, well, we could see Russia's elite call for Putin to back off.

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So I have to ask, where does China fit in all this. they said they were in support of Putin, and I have to wonder what they would do if the US and EU take action to freeze assets towards Russia?

Considering China's so called "maxim" of "don't meddle in other countries affairs" I'd imagine they're in a bit of a tricky spot.

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Though China usually likes to play both sides, I can't help but imagine they'd probably side with the West. Sorry, but Russia ain't buying all those goods. You can find a new supplier of energy, kind of hard to find a new market to offload your stuff to.

 

As always, hate the Godwin, but the runup to World War II taught us how bad it is to practice a policy of appeasement. As Patticus points out, it's very unlikely Putin will stop at Ukraine. We pretty much let him roll across Georgia with but a few condemnations, and that's also what Ukraine is looking like. We need to establish this behavior is unacceptable before he gets even more bold. What's next, Belarus? Kazakhstan?

 

The good news is Putin seems to be exercising restraint, implying that he's within his full rights to occupy more of Ukraine but limiting Russian involvement to Crimea for now. This makes me think he's not quite as recklessly power hungry as Hitler was (to continue the Germany example) and can in fact be reasoned with. He wants Ukraine, that much is clear, but I think he understands he can only push the West so far.

 

America gets away with all the crap it does because it's an economic powerhouse (at about 1/4 of the world's income and all). While Russia's got its fair share of economic power too, it's hardly monolithic and could be cut down to size fairly quick.

 

Consumers hold power in the world, not suppliers (barring a severe shortage). Russia's energy weapon isn't that formidable. The only question is if European politicians will take the risk to their electoral chances and call Putin's bluff.

 

Given the fact most European countries are Parliamentary and any head of government who talks tough can be thrown out with a simple majority... no, they will not.

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As always, hate the Godwin, but the runup to World War II taught us how bad it is to practice a policy of appeasement. As Patticus points out, it's very unlikely Putin will stop at Ukraine. We pretty much let him roll across Georgia with but a few condemnations, and that's also what Ukraine is looking like. We need to establish this behavior is unacceptable before he gets even more bold. What's next, Belarus? Kazakhstan?

My rather limited understanding of Belarus, primarily garnered from British news and documentaries last decade, is that it is quite an autocratic country with strong ties to Russia. So, it is likely already where Putin wants it, politically speaking at least, and might not put up much of a fight if absorption into the Russian Federation becomes an option to its leadership. Then again, I don't know how the people feel there - are they more like western, or eastern Ukrainians? Would they prefer EU integration, or Russian dominance? I strongly suspect that they lean east, not west, but I suppose we shall see.

I can't tell if Putin will go for Kazakhstan any time soon, but I'd hazard a guess that any country that lay within the Soviet sphere of influence will probably end up a target for Moscow's political agents, and potentially eventually its military, at some point. That said, a good number of Russia's former vassal states are now NATO members, which makes pursuing political friendships with these countries all the more important, and direct military intervention all the more hazardous. Get a more popular Yanukovich figure into power in, say, Romania, and you could subvert NATO for your own uses (intelligence, military etc), and/or you could use its resources to start setting up your own NATO equivalent with Russia at its core.

 

The good news is Putin seems to be exercising restraint, implying that he's within his full rights to occupy more of Ukraine but limiting Russian involvement to Crimea for now. This makes me think he's not quite as recklessly power hungry as Hitler was (to continue the Germany example) and can in fact be reasoned with. He wants Ukraine, that much is clear, but I think he understands he can only push the West so far.

He also understands that, thanks to Europe's reliance on Russian natural gas, and to an extent its trade too, he can push the EU a lot further than many people would like.

 

"Don't like what I'm doing in your back yard? Here, have a three month long natural gas outage, see how your economy and people like that, blyad."

 

Europe can only be pushed so far too, however, even if that's a lot further than we'd like, but I fear that the aforementioned reliance on Russia will make many European leaders (fearful of the consequences, primarily electoral, but also economic, should the gas/trade taps be turned off), much more inclined toward appeasement than confrontation, even though they all know quite well where appeasement got them the last time an autocratic European country began gobbling up its neighbours...

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http://youtu.be/ZEgJ0oo3OA8

 

What the flying fuck? According to this the snipers Kiev were not Yanukovich's but Maiden Leaders?

 

I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut but this whole thing is starting to smell of some pretty strong bullshit.

 

 

As always, hate the Godwin, but the runup to World War II taught us how bad it is to practice a policy of appeasement. As Patticus points out, it's very unlikely Putin will stop at Ukraine. We pretty much let him roll across Georgia with but a few condemnations, and that's also what Ukraine is looking like. We need to establish this behavior is unacceptable before he gets even more bold. What's next, Belarus? Kazakhstan?

 

I am sorry but I don't think were in the moral right here either its clear to me that we have just has been interfering as Russia has been.

 

This isn't Russia building a new Empire that is old fashioned shit. Its keeping Europe off its borders and dependent on Russian Gas and Oil. In recent times oil has been discovered in western Ukraine if a Pro EU Ukraine can be established or at least in the west then these natural resources can be used instead of relying on Russia which puts them at disadvantage. Also the Crimea as we all know being home to Russia's Black Sea fleet which they will not give up at all no matter the cost.

 

128991865879234381.jpg

 

The irony is the current Ukrainian leaders are just as corrupt and wealthy as Yanukovich what the fuck do they have common with the Ukrainian peasant? EU stooges. Not to mention these psychotic neo-fascists that the media continues to gloss over I really hope nothing comes out that we armed and funded those bastards and if does the mainstream media won't report it.

 

The US, the EU underestimated Russia and now they are paying the price by putting themselves in a very difficult position.

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Were there radical elements in the Maidan protests? Absolutely, but for every one of them, there were far more ordinary citizens simply protesting for what they believed in. The protests were more complicated than both sides usually made them out to be, but let's not delude ourselves here, the West had no part in fueling the protests, nor were they driven by the radical elements. Hell, the west didn't even bother to notice until people started getting killed, and it's basically accepted fact at this point that the cops shot first - Yanukovich lost whatever the moral high ground he might've possibly had there and then when he actually ordered police to start shooting.

 

While the radical elements were somewhat glossed over by the western press, the Russian propaganda machine over-exaggerated their influence to absurd levels, and quite frankly, in the long run, they're not that important. If you want to get a more accurate picture of what's going on, just ask the regular people of Ukraine. Yanukovich was not remotely popular when he was removed from power, even in the places where people voted for him, and ultimately, everyone in the Ukraine just wants independence and a government that can be held to account.

 

Putin's motives for sending in the troops are simple - he wants to keep an iron grip on the Ukraine by any means necessary, but use of force is the only means available to him, and it betrays his weakness as a result, he's lost control of the situation, and he's desperate to get it back and try and look strong, while making a huge gamble that could alienate Russia's neighbors, including the Ukraine itself, and further isolate itself from the rest of the world. In his mind, if the mass protests can happen in Kiev, they can happen in Moscow, he was likely utterly infuriated with Yanukovich's decision to not simply crush the protests before they had time to gain traction. This year was supposed to be Putin's crowning achievement, including securing an iron grip on the Ukraine and using the Sochi Olympics as a massive PR boost, but the effort for the Olympics have amounted to nothing, and the Ukraine may end up evading him after all, and his attempts to avert this could cause more damage to Russia's economy and international relations more than what could possibly be worth the trouble.

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What infuriates my father more than anything else at the moment is the fact that the Pro-EU crowd was somehow being funded and motivated by the US from the very beginning, before any of the actual physical violence and vandalism even began to occur.
We don't think that sneakily planting the seeds for corruption and conflict should be a part of any constitution whatsoever.
Putin is clearly on the defensive and doing the right thing in this particular scenario. However, this does not imply that he has always been a saint in everything that he ever did. I'm only referring to the particular situation at hand as I type this.

My whole family supports him. And the fact that my grandmother and cousins all live in the Crimea only strengthens the support.

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Were there radical elements in the Maidan protests? Absolutely, but for every one of them, there were far more ordinary citizens simply protesting for what they believed in. The protests were more complicated than both sides usually made them out to be, but let's not delude ourselves here, the West had no part in fueling the protests, nor were they driven by the radical elements. Hell, the west didn't even bother to notice until people started getting killed, and it's basically accepted fact at this point that the cops shot first - Yanukovich lost whatever the moral high ground he might've possibly had there and then when he actually ordered police to start shooting.

 

While the radical elements were somewhat glossed over by the western press, the Russian propaganda machine over-exaggerated their influence to absurd levels, and quite frankly, in the long run, they're not that important. If you want to get a more accurate picture of what's going on, just ask the regular people of Ukraine. Yanukovich was not remotely popular when he was removed from power, even in the places where people voted for him, and ultimately, everyone in the Ukraine just wants independence and a government that can be held to account.

 

Putin's motives for sending in the troops are simple - he wants to keep an iron grip on the Ukraine by any means necessary, but use of force is the only means available to him, and it betrays his weakness as a result, he's lost control of the situation, and he's desperate to get it back and try and look strong, while making a huge gamble that could alienate Russia's neighbors, including the Ukraine itself, and further isolate itself from the rest of the world. In his mind, if the mass protests can happen in Kiev, they can happen in Moscow, he was likely utterly infuriated with Yanukovich's decision to not simply crush the protests before they had time to gain traction. This year was supposed to be Putin's crowning achievement, including securing an iron grip on the Ukraine and using the Sochi Olympics as a massive PR boost, but the effort for the Olympics have amounted to nothing, and the Ukraine may end up evading him after all, and his attempts to avert this could cause more damage to Russia's economy and international relations more than what could possibly be worth the trouble.

 

I am well that not all protesters were violent thugs.

 

Thanks for ignoring the video I posted were it proves that the EU is aware that snipers were hired by the Madian groups to increase further instability. 

 

Also have  you not heard the infamous "Fuck The EU" phonecall or did gloss over it? Don't be so naive to think that western government didn't have a hand in this. Not that anybody cares. 

 

Both sides are equally fucking bad. Not matter what the Ukraine people decide to do they are screwed. Be Putin's bitch or be austerity obsessed EU's bitch. 

 

Do you honestly think the US and EU governments give a shit about the Ukrainian people? They just as bad Putin for being out for self interests.

 

If Putin decides to reign down Mother Russia on Ukraine, the West will not intervene. Just send some aid, take some refugees, covertly give the Ukraine resistance weapons including the neo-fasicists. Just like Syria.

 

Same old bullshit of power, lies and corruption. 

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What power; what on earth does Ukraine even have that interests anyone? Way I'm seeing it, Putin only wants to keep it because he doesn't want enemies surrounding him. And the EU/US just wants his influence gone for the sake of keeping him in check. Seems less of a power struggle to me, and more like a game of keep away.

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What power; what on earth does Ukraine even have that interests anyone?

 

The power is the naval base and the port at the Black Sea. It is the property of Russia on contract with Ukraine. NATO is being greedy and wants to take it away from us. They should stop being greedy thieves and build their own naval bases at the Mediterranean Sea.

They should leave us the hell alone and stop adding fuel to the fire.

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The power is the naval base and the port at the Black Sea. It is the property of Russia on contract with Ukraine. NATO is being greedy and wants to take it away from us. They should stop being greedy thieves and build their own naval bases at the Mediterranean Sea.

They should leave us the hell alone and stop adding fuel to the fire.

 

Like ships matter when dealing with the giant landmass of Russia. Anyways, say NATO does leave, and Russia comes in to sweep all of Ukraine, including the half that didn't appreciate having their protesters slaughtered, what then? Should they just deal with that? 

 

While I'm not privvy to the social tension there. The best thing in this situation is to just split Crimea from Ukraine and see where things go from there.

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I am not giving that video any bit of credibility until there is proper evidence to support it, and not some wild claims from some random foreign minister who claims to have seen evidence but hasn't actually presented it to anyone. Nor can I take seriously any claims that the EU or the US was involved in fueling the protests.

 

And to say that Putin is 'doing the right thing' is hilarious bullshit. He could have handled the matter of the Black Sea naval base in other, more diplomatic ways, and there's no evidence to suggest that Russian nationals in the Ukraine are in danger - his claim that he wants to protect them is concentrated bullshit, and everyone knows it. These days, you don't simply just invade another sovereign territory under such a flimsy pretense without attempting other options to get what you want, it's evidence that Putin is desperate to form an iron grip over the Ukraine, consequences be damned, it exposes that he's lost control of the situation, and exposes Russia's weakness, and that's on top of scaring its neighbors and increasingly isolating itself on the world stage. People who have actually spoken with Putin lately have said that his thinking is like he's in another world, he's completely lost the plot.

 

And NATO isn't trying to steal away the naval base, that's just stupid. If Putin wanted to keep Ukraine away from NATO, invading was not the right choice, because it caused the Ukraine to actually ask NATO for help. Whoops!

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Like ships matter when dealing with the giant landmass of Russia. Anyways, say NATO does leave, and Russia comes in to sweep all of Ukraine, including the half that didn't appreciate having their protesters slaughtered, what then? Should they just deal with that? 

 

The truth is that the citizens of Crimea and Putin would rather be eager to split Ukraine into two separate halves, but the new unelected thug leader keeps insisting on selfishly maintaining the integrity when he himself has never even lived in Crimea and knows nothing about its people, and the west keeps supporting his foolish insistence.

My family would rather prefer a division instead of preservation of integrity given to the west.

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I am not giving that video any bit of credibility until there is proper evidence to support it, and not some wild claims from some random foreign minister who claims to have seen evidence but hasn't actually presented it to anyone. Nor can I take seriously any claims that the EU or the US was involved in fueling the protests.

 

 

*Sarcastically claps*

 

Well done, don't question anything keep believing what the media tells you, well done. 

 

EU, US involved yes is a stretch that I can't to prove you with reams of evidence but the "fuck the EU" phone call and way the media has been spreading disinformation it is like the Iraq War all over again.

 

John Kerry doesn't have a leg to stand on "You don't invade a country under false pretences".  Er, hello  yeah Mr. Kerry some pissed off Iraqis and the families of war dead would like a word with you!

 

Why is the mainstream media not perusing to find if the phone call is legit?

 

The Ukrainian government using dirty tactics to gain power isn't a stretch most of them are rich millionaires what do they have in common with the Ukrainian peasant? 

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John Kerry doesn't have a leg to stand on "You don't invade a country under false pretences".  Er, hello  yeah Mr. Kerry some pissed off Iraqis and the families of war dead would like a word with you!

 

Pretty sure Kerry was always against the Iraq War, and voted against it, but let's not get bogged down in little things like that...

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Pretty sure Kerry was always against the Iraq War, and voted against it, but let's not get bogged down in little things like that...

 

Sorry Pat you are wrong. John Kerry initialy supported the War In Iraq saying and I Quote:

 

 

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

 

Kerry only went against the War when decided to run for President against Bush in 2004 because lets face it was a good way to get alternative votes when the situation in Iraq by this point was dire.

 

Oh have we are all been lied to.

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Kerry likely only had the administration's word to go on, as we all did, and he was probably as pissed off as anybody when it turned out that the entire war was based on lies and the administration's inability to calm its fucking tits following 9/11. Still though, he should've known better, he was in Vietnam FFS, and it's really damn hypocritical of him to support one war of aggression and not another. Then again though, the very same could be said of the famously anti-interventionist Russia.

 

 

Breaking News: The Crimean parliament has just voted to become a part of Russia. A public referendum will be held on the 16th of March.
 
 
The government in Kiev is saying that such a move would be unconstitutional, so couldn't go ahead anyway. I predict escalating tensions and a humiliating defeat for Kiev in the referendum, followed by Putin's Sauron-esque eye turning toward eastern Ukraine as a whole.

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Might makes right. Russia's law allows them to annex any area that wants to become part of Russia, sovereignty be damned. So unless Ukraine feels like dislodging Russia from Crimea... it's not going to happen.

This is ultimately for the betterment of the region, really. Democracy and peace seldom last long in ethnically-divided states. They either fragment into states with more homogenous populations, or go to war.

With regards to good guys versus bad guys... as the European nations have a lot more democracy and liberty to them than Russia, I'm not really inclined to see them as a "bad guy" despite a competing interest with Russia. The nations in the European Union have free association. Putin on the other hand invaded another country.

Let's go back to the Cold War. When France decided to break the ranks of the Western bloc, what happened? Nothing. Some displeasure from the rest of NATO, naturally, but they were allowed to conduct their own business. When Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc. broke ranks? The Soviets came down on them hard.

The European Union is a free association despite the prominence of Germany and France. Putin's bloc is a Russian Empire in all but name. Europe wants allies. Russia wants vassals.

Basically, I think European expansionism serves the best interests of democracy and human rights. Russian expansionism does not. I am perfectly fine with the principle of expanding the European Union so it surrounds Russia from all sides, even if this isn't practical.

Russia makes its own Hell. It wants Europe to be an enemy, so that's what it will be.

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