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How many in a troop?

didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,725
I always thought a troop of people (or soldiers) was an unspecified number of people. Yet nowadays it seems to refer to individuals, as here (from today's Guardian):

"Tensions between the two countries are running high, with Washington warning that Russia could attack Ukraine at any time. Moscow denies any such intention, despite massing more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, and has accused western governments of hysteria."

In this context it suggests 100,000 individuals, not 100,000 troops of soldiers as I would have thought it.  
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,135
    I saw a troop of baboons when I was walking in Ethiopia once. The guide ran off at top speed waving his kalashnikov rifle at them.

    When he returned I asked him why he’d done that and he replied “if we don’t chase them off, the’ll chase us off.”

    Just as well nobody’s given the baboons rifles yet. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,553
    edited 14 February
    It's one of those multi-purpose words. It can mean a unit of soldiers, or it can mean a soldier. Or it can mean walk around in large numbers, like soldiers do
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,422
    Apparently we’ve withdrawn our soldiers from Ukraine … what were they doing there … it’s not part of NATO?  At least Russia’s troops are in Russia … 🤔 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,422
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,725
    Apparently we’ve withdrawn our soldiers from Ukraine … what were they doing there … it’s not part of NATO?  At least Russia’s troops are in Russia … 🤔 
    Weren't they there at the request of Ukraine to help train the Ukraine army? As you say, Ukraine isn't in NATO so no need for them to remain there.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,422
    edited 14 February
    They were there to train the Ukrainians to use weapons we'd sold them ... IMHO this stand-off is doing nothing but increase our economy after Covid and Brex*t ... the UK is the second largest arms exporter in the world ... and we're not fussy who we sell them to ... instability plays to our advantage and the West is  milking it for all it's worth. 

    We seem to have taken over wherever and whenever we've wanted to ... anyone listen to the interviews with the Chagosians this morning 😡😭

    This is how NATO has advanced towards Russia since the breakup of the USSR. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/10/europe/nato-troops-eastern-europe-map-intl-cmd/index.html

    is it any wonder that Russia feels the need to protect its own interests?
     
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Apparently we’ve withdrawn our soldiers from Ukraine … what were they doing there … it’s not part of NATO?  At least Russia’s troops are in Russia … 🤔 
    And Belarusia. Also,  I Eastern Ukraine and the occupied or disputed crimea. So not just in Russia at all. Oh nearly forgot there's possibly some in semi autonomous zone that's technically part of Georgia  the country. No doubt more places. Oh and if course Syria! 

    So not just in Russia. What are they doing in those places? Easy to criticise your own country and not others perhaps?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,422
    edited 14 February
    I don't think the UK can claim any moral high ground when it comes to 'disputed territories'  :o

    Every year for yonks Russia and Belarus have conducted joint exercises ... just as the US has been conducting over our heads in East Anglia just lately.  

    Russia feels the West has broken a promise

    "...Vladimir Putin believes Ukrainians are really Russians, and he wants America to agree that Ukraine will never be a member of Nato. He’s still spitting teeth about Western troops piling into eastern Europe after the Cold War. In his mind, says Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker, Western leaders promised not to advance towards Russia’s borders after the fall of the Soviet Union – standing up to Nato on Ukraine is merely “rectifying a historical injustice”. At a press conference last December, Putin made his understanding of history clear: “‘Not one inch to the east,’ they told us in the nineties. So what? They cheated, just brazenly tricked us!”  (see my earlier links)



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,725
    I don't really want to get drawn into the politics of this - Russia is being an a***hole and we are not lily white either - as Dove says, our arms trade depends on aggression.
    But troops?  Found this in Merriam-Webster:
    1. As a collective noun, in reference to a unit of military personnel (or boy or girl scouts): “The general ordered three troops of cavalry to move forward.”

    2. As a singular noun (which is always used in the plural), referring to a mass of individuals: “16,000 troops were stationed outside the city.”

    3. As collective military forces (indicating a large, indeterminate number of people): “They were holding a bake sale to support the troops.”

    4. As a singular noun (which is condemned by almost everyone): “Two jeeps were destroyed and one troop was taken hostage last weekend.”

    That last shows how troops must always be used in the plural.  Except where it might be used like this: the attack was aggressive and resulted in one troop (The GW Light Infantry) being taken hostage.
  • Heard on the radio today that US intelligence are the source for how many 'troops' are amassing on the border, makes me think a bit about 'weapons of mass destruction'.

    Are we ever given the truth?
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
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