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US Policy--Russia Interests

#41 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:49 AM

The West supports Ukraine's right to self determination, and wish for that determination to lead them westward, is a better description. Both sides want the Ukraine to tie closer in with them, but only one sided invaded Ukraine to make sure it happened.

To me everything else is just window dressing.
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#42 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

 Nicodimas, on 04 March 2014 - 10:56 PM, said:

The interesting blurb I hear is china allied itself with Russia on this, versus saying nothing

Yes well, as noted time and time again, what you 'hear' and what is actually true aren't the same.

Russia claimed China stood with them. The actual official Statement from China is that they are worried about the situation in Crimea and support the sovereign national borders of the Ukraine.

Now, you can find this quote just about anywhere, even the official Chinese site if you feel like looking for it, but
http://online.wsj.co...1704060190.html

Quote

But China's foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, gave a somewhat different take on China's position during the past two days: "It is China's longstanding position not to interfere in others' internal affairs. We respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," he said, according to a statement posted on the Chinese ministry's website on Sunday.

China is deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine. We condemn the recent extreme and violent acts there and have been urging the relevant parties in Ukraine to resolve their internal disputes peacefully


China clearly isn't endorsing Russia's movement of military material into Crimea, however they are playing it safe and essentially just sitting out of it. That is vastly different than 'allying themselves with Russia'.
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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:20 PM

 Gwynn ap Nudd, on 05 March 2014 - 05:01 AM, said:

Interesting to read a thread on the discussion boards about Russian agression in the Ukraine and see it devolve into discussions about military capabilities. I was expecting more discussion about self determination and maybe some references about how the main target of Russian aggression has been the autonomous region of Crimea, where the majority of the people would prefer to be part of Russia from what I have read. Maybe a bit of talk about how the difference in preference of closer ties to the EU or Russia depends strongly on where one lives within the Ukraine.
My take on Ukraine, based on what I posted on another site: The vast majority of Ukrainians want to continue to be in an independent Ukrainian state. There's a divide to be sure between a Europhile west and Russophile east, but there's also a divide between an older generation who are still culturally Sovietised and a younger generation who can't remember much before independence. What this is is a debate about where Ukraine is going with its future, whether it is sticking closer to Russia or moving closer to Europe. The Crimea is contentious because it is majority Russian and also has a separate cultural history due to the presence of the Muslim Tatars there, who were the largest ethnic group in that region as late as 1900. But with places like Odessa and the Donbass, these are majority Ukrainian culturally, the difference being that many of these are Russified Ukrainians who have traditionally looked to Russia (also remember that this area was controlled by Russia from the late 18th century onward and was heavily settled by Russians [http://en.wikipedia....ki/Novorossiya], whereas by contrast areas like Lviv in the heartland of Russophobic Ukrainian nationalism were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then Poland and were only taken by Russia in 1945). It's also worth noting that Ukrainian national sentiment has a history at least as long as Russian national sentiment, and that Ukrainians in both the old Austro-Hungarian Empire and in the Russian Empire attempted to establish independent states in the aftermath of the First World War. Note that there are also areas such as the Kuban (on the other side of the Kerch strait from Crimea) which historically have considered themselves Ukrainian but are in Russia today. So different areas of Ukraine have had different histories but, with the exception of Crimea, are all Ukrainian majority and the vast majority of these Ukrainians want to be part of a separate Ukrainian nation, but disagree as to whether it should lean towards Russia or the EU.
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#44 User is offline   Tapper 

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:57 PM

Self-determination in Ukraine is also a tricky thing. Ethnic minorities like the Russians in the Crimea want to join Russia whereas Tartar minorities in Crimea want to stay in the Ukraine. The Russians were OK with staying in the Ukraine while it was in the Russian backyard, but now that it might become orientated to the west, they don't want to. For us this might all be the same "you're living within the borders so stick to it" but sure as hell, for them it isn't.

Secondly, I think that whomever thinks that "Russia invades the Ukraine" ends in the foregone conclusion that Russia will win easily, is mistaken.

Diplomacy-wise, Russia cannot overcommit troops as their statements so far are all about the protection of ethnic Russians - part of whom don't want to be in Russia. You don't protect people with a full scale invasion. The Crimea is what he'll get away with, but any Ukranian government would have had to give huge guarantees to Russia over it to begin with - probably expanding the independence even further. As such, the methods are deplorable (and Russia's long term position will be messed up as a result) but the results for now don't look all that different from how it would all turn out with a peaceful take over.

Secondly, Putin stated he saw no way that Yanokuvich would return to power - he literally said that he had no role to play despite Yanokuvich's statements to the contrary. Hence, there's no Ukranian puppet government to reinstate even though Russia regards the current government as non-elected. If the Ukraine gets their elections done before the Russians invade, Putin has no logical reason to install a different regime, unless he claims massive election fraud (he might, and he knows all the tricks himself).

Thirdly, military wise, I think Silencer is overstating the Russian possibilities because Russia can also not fully commit their army because, well, it has plenty of other borders. Georgia might try some funny stuff, China could well try and profit and Japan might snap up the Kurilles, for example. Ukraine's army is about 130.000 strong, quite motivated, even the ethnic Russians in it - see the reaction by the Navy to their defected commander. Equipment seems to be such that the grunts are on par with one another and the Ukranians will be way more motivated. You don't conquer/invade/control a country without lots of boots on the ground, and while Russia has about 6 times more personel than the Ukraine, they can't use it all, not in the least because it would be a logistical nightmare.

Fourthly, economic sanctions that last through an occupation of years and years like the US had going in Afghanistan and Iraq would bankrupt the country, gas or no gas. I also don't think Putin's grip on society is firm enough to stay in the saddle through a protracted war. Right now, he accumulates national credit by showing the impotence of the West and the might of Russia, but long term, casualties, unemployment, capital flight and an already very active and vocal opposition would bring him low. A lot of Russia's richer rings of society are westernizing and I don't think they'd like to go back in time out of patriotism.

The worrying trend for me is how far he goes in his accusations. Poland calls for NATO to confer over the issue, and a day later the Polish press reports that Putin publicly accuses Poland of training the "fascist commando's" who fought the Berkut presidential units.
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#45 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:15 PM

 Tapper, on 05 March 2014 - 01:57 PM, said:


Fourthly, economic sanctions that last through an occupation of years and years like the US had going in Afghanistan and Iraq would bankrupt the country, gas or no gas. I also don't think Putin's grip on society is firm enough to stay in the saddle through a protracted war. Right now, he accumulates national credit by showing the impotence of the West and the might of Russia, but long term, casualties, unemployment, capital flight and an already very active and vocal opposition would bring him low. A lot of Russia's richer rings of society are westernizing and I don't think they'd like to go back in time out of patriotism.



Incidentally, Statoil (Norway's semi state owned oil company) claim that they can ramp up gas production to counteract most of the negative effects of a Russian shut down of their own gass supply.
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#46 User is offline   Vengeance 

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:00 PM

 Morgoth, on 05 March 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

 Tapper, on 05 March 2014 - 01:57 PM, said:


Fourthly, economic sanctions that last through an occupation of years and years like the US had going in Afghanistan and Iraq would bankrupt the country, gas or no gas. I also don't think Putin's grip on society is firm enough to stay in the saddle through a protracted war. Right now, he accumulates national credit by showing the impotence of the West and the might of Russia, but long term, casualties, unemployment, capital flight and an already very active and vocal opposition would bring him low. A lot of Russia's richer rings of society are westernizing and I don't think they'd like to go back in time out of patriotism.



Incidentally, Statoil (Norway's semi state owned oil company) claim that they can ramp up gas production to counteract most of the negative effects of a Russian shut down of their own gass supply.


Did they rub there hands together in glee at the prospect. Ala MR.Burns style.
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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:10 PM

 Nicodimas, on 04 March 2014 - 10:56 PM, said:

I think Putin wants to return them to soviet glory.

It's a bit of a stretch to speculate what exactly drives Vladimir Putin to do the things he does.

However, what he's doing isn't crazy or unanticipated. There's been a lot of rumblings throughout the government (not just Putin) about returning Russia to a "better" course - reviving fertility rates for those deemed to be "actual Russians", ensuring that the Muslims stay where they are, keeping Black Sea access open and other long-standing elements of Russian policy.

I don't believe these actions and ideals are designed to return them to Soviet glory. I believe they are intended to return Russia as a whole to basically Tsar Peter the Great's time, which featured its own brand of oppression, expansionism and near-reckless disregard for those considered "others". What kind of scares me about this is that the actual doing of that "return" is impossible and will never work, yet it's become a narrative seized upon mightily by Putin and the others around him. They're willing to ignore the facts to stick to the story and that's what leads us humans into dangerous places.
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#48 User is offline   Tapper 

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:20 AM

 Morgoth, on 05 March 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

 Tapper, on 05 March 2014 - 01:57 PM, said:


Fourthly, economic sanctions that last through an occupation of years and years like the US had going in Afghanistan and Iraq would bankrupt the country, gas or no gas. I also don't think Putin's grip on society is firm enough to stay in the saddle through a protracted war. Right now, he accumulates national credit by showing the impotence of the West and the might of Russia, but long term, casualties, unemployment, capital flight and an already very active and vocal opposition would bring him low. A lot of Russia's richer rings of society are westernizing and I don't think they'd like to go back in time out of patriotism.



Incidentally, Statoil (Norway's semi state owned oil company) claim that they can ramp up gas production to counteract most of the negative effects of a Russian shut down of their own gass supply.

It might well be the European reply: looking towards the own untapped/not fully exploited energy sources, expanding on alternative energy, finding contracts with different states, et cetera.
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#49 User is offline   Morgoth 

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:31 AM

 Vengeance, on 05 March 2014 - 06:00 PM, said:

 Morgoth, on 05 March 2014 - 02:15 PM, said:

 Tapper, on 05 March 2014 - 01:57 PM, said:


Fourthly, economic sanctions that last through an occupation of years and years like the US had going in Afghanistan and Iraq would bankrupt the country, gas or no gas. I also don't think Putin's grip on society is firm enough to stay in the saddle through a protracted war. Right now, he accumulates national credit by showing the impotence of the West and the might of Russia, but long term, casualties, unemployment, capital flight and an already very active and vocal opposition would bring him low. A lot of Russia's richer rings of society are westernizing and I don't think they'd like to go back in time out of patriotism.



Incidentally, Statoil (Norway's semi state owned oil company) claim that they can ramp up gas production to counteract most of the negative effects of a Russian shut down of their own gass supply.


Did they rub there hands together in glee at the prospect. Ala MR.Burns style.


They did not seem entirely displeased with the prospect.
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#50 User is offline   Nicodimas 

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:47 PM

Your move Putin ..

http://www.zerohedge...esponse-ukraine

To me this sounds like more of an incursion into NATO countries if I read it correctly..
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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:54 PM

Also with the joint chiefs issuing this am I the only one that always sees Dr. Strangelove type scenery and casualties analysis.. Wild

I don't see Russia backing down on this one.. I really want to know what is being said behind the scenes for the joint chiefs to issue a statement
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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:40 PM

If you ask an engineer they'll think of a mechanical solution. If you ask a doctor, they'll find medicine that can help. If you ask a general, he's going to think of martial solutions.

Ain't nobody starting WW3 over Crimea. Problem is Putin knows this and he can do whatever the fuck he wants with no questioning by his cowed populace.
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 09:40 AM

 Nicodimas, on 12 March 2014 - 06:54 PM, said:

Also with the joint chiefs issuing this am I the only one that always sees Dr. Strangelove type scenery and casualties analysis.. Wild

I don't see Russia backing down on this one.. I really want to know what is being said behind the scenes for the joint chiefs to issue a statement

Meh.
Hr talks specifically about military support in case NATO-countries being targeted by Russia, which isn't the case and won't be the case except for some verbal aggression.
The context regarding the Eastern Ukraine is way more obfuscated in that particular statement:

"We're trying to tell Russia to not escalate this any further into Eastern Ukraine, and come to some kind of resolution in Crimea."

Ergo, Crimea is already an escalated situation and we won't do anything about that except diplomatic damage control, Eastern Ukraine is recognized as an area into which this situation might escalate further - which may lead to US policies changing: political intervention and/or sanctions and higher US alertness are probable.
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#54 User is offline   Gothos 

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 10:04 AM

Self-determination towards this or that superpower aside, Ukraine's close relations with Russia and following the old soviet ways has made it the pretty much weakest, most corrupt and most impoverished economy on the continent of Europe. Starting with ethnic cleansing of the 18th century, through the Holodomor and Soviet enslavement and into the 90s and 2000s' ongoing stagnation/decline, I'm not surprised Ukraine doesn't really want much to do with Russia anymore.

I'm hardly objective on the matter as I'll support any notion that weakens Russia's international and internal position, though. Make of it what you may.
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 12:51 PM

 Tapper, on 14 March 2014 - 09:40 AM, said:

Eastern Ukraine is recognized as an area into which this situation might escalate further - which may lead to US policies changing: political intervention and/or sanctions and higher US alertness are probable.
Eastern Ukraine's staying Ukrainian if Putin has any sense - annexing the Donbass means annexing as many Ukrainians as Russians and also would mean that there would it would be a cold day in hell when the rest of the Ukrainian rump state would ever support a pro-Russian leadership (the one way Putin can get the rest of Ukraine back in his zone is down the line if they vote in a pro-Russian government).
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 02:14 PM

I don't see Ukraine voting a pro-Russian government any time soon - certainly not without massive protests five seconds after the election results are in.
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 02:25 PM

 Morgoth, on 01 March 2014 - 08:27 AM, said:

The US is by no means dependent on Russian oil and gas.
Germany, however, IS. The UK isnít far behind in dependence.
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Posted 14 March 2014 - 09:12 PM

Please allow an actual Uki to bump into your fascinating discussion, as I've literally lived the news for the past several months....

First off: let's get 1 thing straight: this is an incredibly complex and multi-layered manner, at least from a local perspective. any attempts to simplify it into "East v West" will have you missing at least a third of the key points.

now then, where to begin?

So, the basics. Ukrainian protests, known as Maydan, which started out as #Euromaidan due to the original reason being UA's govt refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the EU (a fairly justified move, given their incessant corruption left the country on the brink of default, and the country wouldn't take such a major stress, not with a presidential election looming a year away)became a full-fledged revolution. Unlike what teh Western media liked to believe, Maydan ceased being about EU on November 30th-mere 9 days after its beginning. That day people of Kyiv woke up to teh news that over 300 fully equippedriot cops "Berkut" have "dispersed" the remaining students of the apolitical EuromMaidan. In a sense, people woke up in a country that made strong claims to becoming Belarus no2. Unlike pretty much any other place in the former USSR, however, Ukraine has spent 23 years of its Independence with a firm conviction that people have a right to go out onto the street and say whatever the hell they want about politicians (although everyone tacitly accepted that that was the extent of the citizens' involvement). Having taken away that right, Yanukovych crossed the line and all his further actions to stymie the protests only ended up causing greater resistance.

On Feb 18, Protesters went to picket the Parliament in an attempt to convince the pro-president majority to reschuffle with the opposition and accept a principal demand-a return to a previous version of the constitution that made Ukraine a parliamentary-presidential republic (This was originally reversed in 2010 by a Constitutional Court hand-picked by Yanukovych-givign him EVEN MORE power than any previous pres--a move rightly considered "usurping power"). the marching protesters were assaulted by bogh riot cops and pro-govt armed thugs, commonly referred to as "titushki". Street fighting resumed, additional riot cops were called in, Maydan supporters were overwhelmed since they've stretched too thin, they lost majority of their key strongpoints around the Maidan itself. They've managed to regroup during a night assault, where they destroyed the 2 ATPs sent against them, and with minimal casualties, a status quo was resumed (no one then knewa bout the wounded people that burned alive in the Trade Union Building).

Wednesday the 19th-the day is spent in negotiations. nothing happens. Occasional shootings, wounds, but nothing happens. Meanwhile the country at large goes insane, in many regions all organs of law enforcement are destroyed, taken over by Maydan supporter, weapons are acquired, large groups of Maydan supporters flood into Kyiv, bypassing the numerous roadblocks.

Thursday, the 20th, "Bloody thursday"--Riot cops retreat. Maydan supporters start to retake old positions, but encounter sniper fire. Origin of snipers-unknown. Apparently, they've been shooting at "Berkut" (riot cops), too-there are 7 reported casualties. Then the killings began. Majority of the Heavenly Hundred (a colloquial name given to all those who died for the Revolution, and whose cult is being actively developed right now in Ukraine as the first actual "Heroes" of the Independent Ukraine) died on this day. In response to the unprecedented slaughter, the parliamentary opposition once again attempted to reformat the majority--this being accompanied by a cascade of declaratins from pro-Presidential MPs that they are leaving the presidential fraction of the Party of Regions.
After intense negotiations (while people continued being shot out on the street), the opposition scraped together sufficient votes for a simple majority (226+, they managed 237, I believe-a surprisingly significant no, since just as many voted for Independence back in August 1991) to pass a "Resolution" that ordered all law enforcement agents to cease fire and return to their barracks.

Here it's important to note: the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) has earlier made a statemtn sayign that their parliamentary fraction is fully assembled, not far from the Parliament, but will not attend the meeting. This while people were being shot on the streets. This was not taken well, and led to the beginning of the second wave of "Leninfall" all over the country, where people (both Right Sector activists and regular people) began toppling a large number of Lenin monumnets all over Central and parts of Southern Ukraine.
At the same time, pro-govt officials continued to resign all over the country, anti-pres protests intensified, and teh situation on the roads was reversed--instead of cops not letting Maydan supporters into the capital, now roadblocks made up of ordinary people blocked the movement of additional riot cops and "titushki" to help out the government.

Once the order became public, the killings stopped, and cops DID begin to retreat. overnight, the 3 leaders of the opposition, the Pres and EU ambassadors along with the Russina delegation tried to hammer out a compromise. In the end, they've reached an agreement-the opposition was practically bullied into it by the Polish ambassador Sikorski, who witnessed the State of Emergency during Solidarnost' and warned the opposition that "you will all die". The deal, in a nutshell, was this:

Parliament votes a change to constitution, significantly reducing the amount of power the Pres has. Key minsters are also removed from power. Pres to sign said laws into effect within 48 h. New parliamentary coalition, and new Cabinet are formed. Association agreement to be signed soon.
On their end, Opposition promised that protesters would disarm, and Pres be allowed to rule until a re-election to be held in December 2014 (not March 2015).
It's important to note that Russia did not sign this Agreement, as they did not consider it "viable".

The Parliament voted in the old Constitution, followed by removing the heads of every single law enforcement/military structure, followed by passing a law decriminalizing the actions for which Yulia Tymoshenko (the nominal "leader" of the opposition) was put in jail. All decisions were made with a constitutional majority, including the Communists.

The Maydan did not take well to news of compromise with the man now perceived to be bloodthirsty tyrant. The opposition leaders were booed off the stage. One of the squad (Hundred) leaders of the Self-Defence of Maydan spoke up and gave Pres an ultimatum: "if he has not resigned by 10 AM, the Maydan would go storm the Administration Builiding". This was met with ovations. However, further speakers, including the Head of teh Right Sector Yarosh, and the head of the Self-Defence Andriy Parubiy, while maintaining the "we're not going anywhere" rhetoric moved away from the language of direct ultimatums.

The last main even of the exciting Friday was summarised in all Uki media with 2 words-"Харків Встав", meaning "Kharkiv rose up". Now, as a note: Kharkiv is a capital of the same-named Oblast (region) in the east of the country, on the border with Russia. It is a strategic industrial city (home of the T-model of tanks, as well as the AN planes), it is a cultural city (biggest University city in the East), and it has the veneer of being the "First Capital"--during the Russian Civil War, the capital of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist republic was pronounced in Kharkiv, and stayed there until the end of the war). Kharkiv was always looked at as a beakon by all pro-Russia separatist win Ukraine who imagined a separate country for the "South and East". And it was and still is controlled by a odiuos duo of politicians with dubious criminal past and clear anti-Maydan sentiment. Maydan supporters in Kharkiv were always not that numerous due to the atmosphere of repression, and one of the biggest pro-Russia "titushki" thug groups-"Oplot" or "Resistance" was based in Kharkiv and from there they were taken into other cities to terrorize Maydan supporters with tacit support of law enforcement.
So when almost 5 thousand people with Ukrainian flags marched down the streets of Kharkiv Friday evening, chanting "Zeka Het'!" or "Away with the Con" (referring to the fact that the President was twice-convicted during SOviet times, and not for political reasons), It. Was. A HUGE. Deal.

Moreso since the very next day in Kharkiv was a scheduled summit of the pro-presidential governements of the Southern and Eastern Oblasts and Crimea, which, it was rumored, would lead to aseparatist declaration. It ended up being pickedted by about 10-20 thousand of Kharkiv residents who stood for a united Ukraine. Blood spilled on Kyiv streets was enough to snap out pretty much everyone. There were huge pro-Ukraine rallies all over the East and South, where the anti-pres entiment was combined with mourning for the dead. The separatis summit ended up with nothing, with all mebers speaking for closer ties with Russia but within an undivided Ukraine. Crimean Parlimaent, which was supposed to make its own statement on the matter, didn't reach quorum.

And the President, who was supposed to attend the Kharkiv summit? he... dissapeared. A video of his surfaced later that day, accusing the opposition of an "armed takeover", and he has made a blanket refusal to sign any decisions made by the Rada (Parliament). As an adequate response, the Rada with a new majority (consisting of opposition as well as "newly neutral" formerly pro-pres MPs, who were mostly elected in first-past-the-post electoral districts and were the "representatives" of major Ukrainian oligarchs) has passed another declaration, effectively removing the President from power for "refusing to fulfill his duties as mandated by the Constitution". The legalese of the decision is obviously sketchy, but the gist of it effectively impeached the Pres (unless he should choose to return and resume his duties, whereupon the eager Maydan would probably tear him to pieces), and this, based on the Constituion, made the head of the Rada taking on his duties. In the same Declaration, the Rada scheduled a new Pres. election for May 25, 2014. They also pardoned Tymoshenko, who was released form jail the same day, taken to the Maydan, and there received a lukewarm response at best.

At that point, things kind of began to settle. The country stared getting info dump shocks, as journalists made their way into the abandoned residences and villas of major governmental higher ups-revealing the luxury with which they were surrounded, all this being shown on all major channels as even the most pro-govt commercial channels were eager to show how they all got rid of censorship.

Among one of the very first decisions of the newly reformatted Rada majority was a decision repealing the law about regional languages. Now, this is important, because it is being bandied around in Russian propaganda (which is where most Western media used to get their news from) as "forbidding the use of Russian language" and in some, more ludicrous redactions--"instituting criminal responsibility for not speaking Ukrainian".
Now, this is gonna get complicated, as any legalese inevitably does, bu the gist of it is this:
1) the existing "law about regional languages" was
a) introduced by the pro-presidential Party of Regions as "fulfilling their campaign promise" for the Presidentiary election
:) was never actually implemented (why, see below)
c) was incredibly broad, elaborate and complex: essentially, it granted ANY minority the right to use their native language as the official language in ANY part of Ukraine where they "resuded compactly"--this meant that nay single of the nearly 50 minority groups in Ukraine that happened to live in an enclave (off the top of my head: Russians, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgairians, Gauz, Greeks, Jews, Poles, Belarussians, etc) could potentially demand that their local village govt accept any govt documents in their own language. You can imagine the practical implications of such a law.
2) The proposed repealing of the law that was never actually implemented anyway, was to go back to the old law, which was part of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR and expressly stated that the governemnt will protect and encourage the development "of Russian and other minority languages". So there was never any talk of discrimination.
3)Although I fully agree with the general sentiment that the mere suggestion of dealing with the nonexisting "language issue" was an absolutely moronic thing to be doing immediately after assuming power (as was the toppling of Lenin in Mykolayiv, or attempts to topple Lenin in Kharkiv-cities that have bloody DISTRICTS named after him)--it's important to note that this law never received executive assent, and was effectivey vetoed.

But the seeds were sown. Add to that an absolutely murderous amount of Anti-Maydan propaganda over the past 4 months from Russian state media (that is watched religiously by many in the Russian speaking parts of the country), and the Revolution couldn't not raise concerns in some of the more Russophile parts of the population.

However, massive show of pro-Ukraine support on March 2nd made it obvious that majority of Ukrainians have thrown their lot with the Revolution and the promise of greater fairness, equality and the dream of an actual rule of law civil society that it brought.

Enter Crimea, part2. Prior to the official beginning of the intervention, there were a number of local attempts to assert independence--Crimea was run by a part of the same Donetsk-based crime syndicate that the ex-pres was part of, and they needed to both distance thmselves fom him (just as everyone else), and assert their control of their own fief. these attempts were not successful, due to the activation of Crimean Tatars, who loathe Russia with a passion and will die rather than see Crimea be ruled from Moscow again. On FEb 26th there was a major Tatat rally in Crimea capital in fron to the parliament. They faced the Pro-russians, and managed to push them away from the building.

INtervention officially began on Feb 27th, when overnight, unknown armed men have entered the Crimean parliament, disarmed the guards and took over the place. The next day, Crimean MPS have voted behind closed doors, electing a new PM, a leader of the "Russian Block" party (last election support in Crimea- 4%), a known criminal with a handle of "Goblin". The re-educated Crimean Rada voted for a referendum on the fate of Crimea to be scheduled the same day as the presidentiary election-May 25.

Reaction from Kyiv was slow-the former opposition, that was the core of the govt's support-was incredibly weak in Crimea. Law enforcement structures were also weak. In particular so, since "Crimean "Berkut" riot cops" were one of the demons of the Maydan, while Russian news on the orther hand lionized them for 4 months. The first order of the new Minister of the Interior was to disband "Berkut" and re-form a new special poilce unit from those mambers that pass re-attestation, (including psych checks) and were not involved in the deaths and beatings on the Maydan and elsewhere during Revolution. Crimean "berkut" refused to reform, and then they all pledged allegiance to the "Crimean govt". Enter blockades of UA military units, coinciding with the scheduled "training exercises" from Russia, including the Black Sea Fleet.

The new Kyiv govt's response to a possibility of a war with Russia was an interesting one--they tried to recruit some of Ukraine's largest oligarchs-businessmen to defend the country. Several of the most well-known oligarchs were appointed Governors in the South and Eastern regions. Effects were well-pronounced in the central industrial powerhouse region of Dnipropetrovsk (often considered "East)--there were practically no "pro Russia" rallies there, and instead we had a video of about 15k people singing the national anthem on Sunday.

The last weekend of February saw a number of protests of pro-Russian groups all over the East (predominantly on the Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, HQ and home turf of the ex-pres' Party of Regions, also the most criminalised, economically inefficient area of the country. Heavily industrialized, but anything that was worthwhile has been privatized by now, with money going into oligarchs pockets through offshores, while every other enterprise has been taken apart for scrap. Remaining govt enterprises are the mines that "feed the entire Ukraine' as the miners are told, but actually require several billion dollars worth of subsidies yearly.), bu also in the South. It's important to note that there's a number of pieceis of circumstantial evidence that suggest that the core of these "protest groups" were actually Russian citizens brought to Ukraine to stir up issues. In partivular, in Kharkiv, such "tourists" who stormed the Oblast Admin building, killing 2 locals were lead by a lad from Moscow. the proof? his own VK profile with a proud picture of him throwing down the Ukrainian flag and replacing it with the russian tricolor on the flagpole of Kharkiv OGA.

However, Putin made a huge mistake, imho. He gave a nation that was still unsure of what happened, but had an inkling that what happened was "good" (many reasons for this-1) the "success" of the Revolution-"people made the tyrant goa away"; 2) the revelations of the ex govt's luxury--"those bastards surrounded themselves in gold and jewelry using money stolen from us!"; 3) The emerging idea of "one nation", aided by creation of a truly "uniting" natioal myth-the Heavenly Hundred was a brand new development, heroes that belonged to Independent Ukraine, and would not be divisible as Red Army veterans vs the Bandera followers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA):p an outside threat/enemy--and he got an upsurge. On the first weekend of March, people were clamoring at the mobilization committees all over Ukraine-and a lot them in South and East, despite being Russian-speaking, and having many familial ties with Russia. In the eyes of many, Putin has "hit us when we are down"--and this quickly shattered the cultivated myth about "brotherly countries" of Ukraine and Russia.

Since then the situation's been on and off. Crimea is difficult, its getting more locked down every day, but the troops are holding strong, because they feel the support of the populace (any account to support any Crimean Unit raises thousands overnight). The South is quiet. The East, particularly Donbass is the new hotspot-at a peace Rally in Donetsk yesterday, Russian "tourists" caused one confirmed death--but even on the Donbass the situation's far from assured. Kharkiv is a question mark, but if Russia tries it, they'll get a cross between Belfast and Chechnya. Anything further West-and they'll need trainloads for the bodies. People are determined that they're not going back to USSR.

Crimea itself... its a whole different beast. There are 5 major groups.

1) Tatars:-ranging from 250-500k (repending on who you ask), they are the "native population' of Crimea. Prior to the deportations of 1944, they were the majority. Now they are a minority. Having actively returned from Central Asia at the behest of past Ukrainian Presidents, Tatars see themselves as Crimeans, in union with Ukraine. Or, if you ask the most extremist, Turkey. but certainly not Russia. They are not armed (yet), but small numbers of Tatars have been around in every major muslim "jihad" hotspot-most recently seen fighting against Assad in Syria. They have connections, and shoud Russia attmpt cleansing them, they will spill blood

2) Ukrainians/Russian Maydan supporters--these are not numerous, but they are here. they are often closely related to Group3. They actively don't want to leave Ukraine, they organise small pro-ukraine rallies (regularly assualted by bigger pro-russain ones), they prevent spetsnaz and "crimean self-defence" from storming Ukrainian military units, they bring said units food, and they do what they can. But tehy are few,a nd generally unorganized.

3) simple, thinking Crimeans. These people may not like the Maydan. But they realize that seceding to Russia is suicide. Some don't want to be drafted, others realize that overnight they'll find themselves without fresh water, gas, electricity (all that comes from the mainland, along with a lot of the food and most consumer and household goods). They realize who the people in 6) are, they try to privately reach to people in 4), but they are intimidated by the guns and threat of violence on the streets. They don't want to be Russia, though they may not like Ukraine either.

4) The biggest group. People who don't know. People who don't really care. People who think that, "ok, cool, we'll be Russia in name not just in reality. People whose main concern is "how many tourists will there be this summer, and how can i rent my cottage for a higher price?

5) a sizeable group. People who seek Russia to save them from the Fascists they heard are running things in kyiv, according to Russian TV they watch. People who honestly expect Right Sector to come down from the mainland by trainloads and shoot anyone who can't give proper answer to the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!". these people regard the "Crimean self-defence" and Russian military fondly. They will go to pro-Russia rallies, though they probably won't turn violent on their own accord.

6) The government and "spontaneously formed Crimean Self-Defence". These people are Putin's pawns. They are doing what they do in order to keep their great spot as de-facto rulers of crimea. They have a network of enforcers, their own force to make this happen. They fail to comprehen how quickly they'll dissappear once Putin makes the border shift official.

Today 40k Crimeans took to the main roads, making human chains in support of an indivisible Ukraine. The referendum is on Sun, they are printing ballots with the checkmark already there. The referendum is rigged in its very question--the options either make Crimea join Russia outright, or bring back the 1992 constitution (unapproved), that would make Crimea a subject of international law based on an "agreement" with Ukraine. This latter option leads to an "independent" Crimea making a request to Russia to join the Federation (such a request having already been submitted).

The referendum will be boycotted by large numbers, but Russians are being brought from Russia to substitute. The balots are being preinted with checkmarks on them. Since the Central Electoral Commission has denied Crimea access to the voters' register, they are making their own lists.

the consequences of Crimea joining Russia?

Economically-it's a boon. Crimea required annual subsidies, plus fresh water, electricity and gas-all of which can potentially now be sold at international tariffs. Since no Ukrainian tourist will go to Crimea, Odessa may become a more popular spot, as will the Azov sea.

Politically-while setting a dangerous precedent, losing Crimea means losing about 1.5 million pro-Russia voters. This is a huge shift. Should Donbass be subtracted from the equation, the shift will become even more apparent.
In terms of precedent-Pro-russians will speak up even louder about federalization,but so will pro-unity--who see federalization as the first step to annexation.

Culturally-Russia will become once and forever, an enemy. All of those who still haven't snapped out of the fact that Russia can backstab us like this-will have their bewilderment change to hate. In this, I doubt the hate will be focused on ethnic Russians--instead it'll be focused on Russian citizens

Globally-this is what you guys were talking about, no? Ukraine will try ASAP to go nuclear again. We have the missile-making capacities, and getting a "dirty bomb" or 2 is literally a question of weeks, given the presence of Uranium mines all over the country.

Also, expect Iran to go nuclear. After the violation of the Budapest Memorandum, no one will rely on the "Nuclear Club"'s guarantees anymore. In a world where Russia annexes Crimea, only guarantee of territorial integrity is deterrence.
Other countries that have the capacity but were on the fence (Brazil, Argentina, etc) will deffo choose "to have" when faced with the question.

Legal precedent-the precedent could be a dangerous thing for Russia. China and Japan have both introduced symmetric laws, making it easier for Russian citizens to get their passports, and creating a theoretical procedure of annexation of any "requesting" territory.

Russia-it's getting sanctioned. The West can't totally lose face by letting Putin get away scot-free. Furthermore, this is a very questionable move from inside of Russia. Over the past 2 days, Putin has silenced a number of opposing internet sites. Censorship is strong, and in the best traditions of the USSR, Putin is asking major artists to support his actions. There is a steady opposition to this, far greater than there was to Georgia.
Russia's economy-well, we'll see. Stock market is plunging. head of Gazprom's Board of Directors dumped his stock today (mind it was less than 1%, but it's still telling). Maintenance of Crimea will cost them a fortune.

Also fun fact-one of the biggest Uki oligarchs, who made his money through intermediary companys b/w Gazprom and its Uki counterpart, Naftogas was arrested in Austria today, at the bequest of FBI. there's a 125 mil euro bail and he's awaiting extradition to US. A sign of things to come for Russia's elite? dunno.

Finally, a really brief history lesson concerning some key points in the information war b/w UA and RU:

1) "Language question". there is none. All over UA, people who were born in the 80s or older are functionally bilingual. Reason? no matter where in UA you live, you are surrounded by Russian culture (it's virtually impossible to find non-fol Uki music on the radio), but at the same time, having Ukrainian as the only official language, people have a decent understanding of it. And if they are from a Russian-speaking family, then they won't forget Russian--not with the masssive amount of money Russia pours into promoting the language.
The people that ARE concerned with this, are predominantly older people in the East and South, but realistically, their numbers are getting smaller each year.

2) East v West, or "West and Center v South and East". This is an INCREDIBLY popular myth. It's so popular and effective, even the most pro-unitary ukraine media usually fall victim to it.
And yet it remains a myth. that's about 10 years old. Here's proof:

http://uk.wikipedia....%B8_1999-uk.png

This is an election map for presidentiary election of 1999, run-off second round. The incumbent Kuchma "democrat"-wannabe dictator v the Communist Symonenko. The divide is nowhere near as pronounced as it is in all the elections that "specialists" like to toss around. The myth about the "divide" was propagated for elections before, but became super-active and super-divisive in 2004. The pro-russian candidate Yanukovych's electoral campaign included a poster "from the other side" about "3 grades of Ukrainians". This myth has been actively played with since, though really the level to which a regon identifies itself with "South and East" as somehtign other than "Ukraine" (as a general rule, the West and center tend not to identify as such) is really related to the level of Sovietization of the populace. And the maydan and the Revolution showed that Russia is losing the battle in its attempt to divide us effectively (I can be pretty assured that they've lost Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk for good. Other major cities are somewhat questionalble, but the countryside is Ukrainian).

3) The "Fascists". Contrary to popular belief, the terrible neo-nazis do not constitute the bulk of the protesters. Even at their worst I would hardly call them "nazis", though "ultra-nationalists" is probably a good name. Despite their right-wing ideology, they make it perfectly clear that the divide between "friend" and "foe" is "recognising the right of existance for a sovereign Ukrainian state", which is not that hard. There was NO discrimination on the maydan based on religion (priests of every confession were with the protesters, though Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was much more vary of open support. Even they renounced Putin's aggression, though), nationality (the first 3 victims of the Maydan were, chronologically, an Armenian, a Belorussian, and a Ukrainian. There's even a Russian, from either Moscow or St. Petersburg among the Heavenly Hundred.), or language (Kyiv is predominantly Russian-speaking. 70% of non-political talk on the Maydan stage was in Russian). With regards to individual video excesses that are paraded oin Russian media-context matters. give me examples, and I will try to refute them.

ok, this was a long-ass post. If anyone read this far, please feel free to ask questions, i'll do my best to answer.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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#59 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 10:03 PM

If given a choice to join NATO but on the prerequisite that Ukraine stays non-nuclear, which opinion do you think would prevail? Do you think Ukraine will want to join NATO at all?
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#60 User is offline   Mentalist 

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:47 AM

 HoosierDaddy, on 14 March 2014 - 10:03 PM, said:

If given a choice to join NATO but on the prerequisite that Ukraine stays non-nuclear, which opinion do you think would prevail? Do you think Ukraine will want to join NATO at all?


in terms of pure discussion, I tend to mostly follow "pro-West" sites, so my sampling is biased, but online there's a strong sentiment among recent Russophiles that we need NATO asap. Such a move in the near future is unlikely, as announced by our PM-UA joining NATO will be a direct offence to Russia's security. Let's face it: NATO exists from its inception to be a counterweight to "the Russian Civilization", as they envision the imperialist idea.

If Russia is allowed to annex Crimea, with tacit non-interference by the West (IE, if France will act like nothing's happened and continue building those "Mistral" helicopter carriers to sell to Russia, for example), then majority of people will feel they are no more than a chip in game between the Great Powers. In which case, they are FAR more likely to be receptive to the "Russia betrayed us, the West sold us out. The only one who can help us is ourselves" rhetoric of the more hardcore nationalist groups.

Basically, it all depends. UA's in a terrible position right now. Spirits are high, the creative class is incredibly motivated, there's a very strong intention to learn from the mistakes of the Orange Revolution--the Revolution cannot end, until every single govt official realizes, there are penalties for corruption, and that the people are always watching. There's a strong sentiment that people in charge will be changed, until we find the ones who will enter true dialogue with the budding and blooming elements of civil society. The downside of such as approach, of course is a lack of a monolith "government". Right now one of the most desired pieces of legislature for many is introducing mandatory reservist gun ownership, per the Swiss model.

When you get away from the people and look at economics, the country's a wreck that's teetering on the blink of default. IMF is demanding a new round of austerity "shock therapy", which will really hurt the sectors of populace that rely on social assistance--who have been buttered up by the previous govt for years to buy votes with pension raises.

At the same time, an economic shift away from CIS markets and into Europe and the world will be shocking. UA's high tech industries are largely unnecessary competition for the West. The IMF is insisting we allow the sale of agricultural land--the single largest remaining national resource. If that is allowed, on the background of an economic rut, the land will be bought out by Western investors for pennies, and the country will be left with nothing. without major Western support to soften the blow, it will be disastrous. And given the world economy, its fairly futile to expect that support-unless the West really DOES comb every offshore account to bring back the billions that oligarchs pumped out of the country over 23 years, which is also on the level of a pipe dream.

If the West at least tries to soften the blow, while showing real support against Russia in return for aggression-then UA may continue its Western trend. If not, then the rational question is, what does the West offer us?" The Revolution already happened, we did it ourselves. What we want from Europe are values-rule of law, civil society. We don't want European economy, in which we are another market for "old Europe" while our own products are banned there for not meeting Euro-standards".

It's important to realize, our political elite presents economic integration and societal values as a package deal. A lot of people in UA don't necessarily see things that way, or like the price--at its peak, the "for Europe" phase of Euromaydan attracted about 50k people. After the first "dispersal", for the protest of "government has no right to beat its citizens" a quarter of a million took to the streets.

Especially now, I dunnno. Europe has to realize that despite what the Ukrainian leaders (whose popularity has never been that high, who were considered completely incompetent in how they led the Maydan by many, and whom everyone believes must join the ranks of the previous govt among the "lustrated"--those not allowed to hold any office if found involved in any corruption mechanisms--they cannot treat Ukraine as a junior partner. There's 48 million people, dedicated to the idea of making their country better. If EU offers us "friendship and values" and in return takes away the industry that is people's livelihood, there will be a social explosion. In November, some Italian official suggested that we use use the Yuzhmash factory (one of the world's biggest missile/rocket production complexes) to manufacture....dog collars. This type of looking down is unacceptable, or Ukrainians will turn away, and on their own become a constant area of instability at Europe's borders.

And on a historical note: Ukrainians have virtually no history of strong "own" (as in "Ukrainian for Ukrainians") government--the only strong government we've ever had was foreign tyranny. This experience makes us weak as a country, but also very strong as individuals. We are self-reliant due to still largely agrarian mindset (my generation is only twice removed from the countryside), and capable of great feats of self-organization, as shown by the Maidan which essentially functioned as a "city withing a city" for several months, coordinating the goodwill of ordinary Kyiv residents into a viable infrastructure.

And we have an hyper-trophied sense of "freedom". Our anthem's chorus is "we will lay down our bodies and our souls for our freedom, and we will show the world, brothers, that we are of the Cossack stock!" And many take this incredibly seriously. Although our politicians (who have never been the best of us) may be willing to make unfavorable deals behind our backs, if we are duped by EU, we will not stand for it--with many possible negative side effects for the sated capitalist world powers.

I realize that what I wrote sounds incredibly high and mighty coming from a nearly broke country with no army to speak of, but I'm barely trying to convey what EU might be getting itself into if it relies on the worlds of our politicians. Ukraine may have been robbed dirt poor, but on the world map it will be an upstart, very eagerly trying to change the rules of the game--not the least because it has just rediscovered itself as a nation. And it's full of a desire to change the world, regardless of how cynical that world around it is. Right now Ukraine is open to the West, but if the West doesn't adjust its usual manner of acting at least somewhat to correct for the hyper-enthusiastic expectations, then Ukraine is likely to turn away as bitter enemy. And if the people in Ukraine feel cheated by those investors who move in to take advantage of the land, they WILL take up arms and nationalize everything--the above-mentioned lack of respect for the government means that they won't bother with the legal niceties if they are cheated. I'm not trying to threaten or scare away potential investments, I'm merely trying to be realistic. I've studied enough history to know the "Modus operandi" of the West in "Banana republics"--and if stripped of the remainders of its high-tech industrial potential, Ukraine WILL be reduced to a level of a Banana Republic--and I can assure you, that in Ukraine such a move will not work without significant consequences.

the current govt is a temp. They are there to clean up the mess left post-Yanukovych. after the presidential election, new parliamentary is slated for the Fall. in that one, new faces-leaders of Maydan-people from nowhere who have shown themselves as capable organizers, dedicated to the cause volunteers-they will ideally step forward to take over, and manage the building of that bright future so many have suffered for.

At least that's the dream. Right now, we're de-facto at war.
The problem with the gene pool is that there's no lifeguard
THE CONTESTtm WINNER--чемпіон самоконтролю

View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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