/ Ukraine

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
mat123 - on 20 Feb 2014
Just wondering what people's opinions are. Seems we have a major revolution/unrest not thousands of miles away but right here in Europe, yet the usually very active UKC posters don't seem to have noticed!
I'm quite surprised at some of the comments I've read on Telegraph and DM sites, one may not like the way the protests turned violent but when the government is shooting live sniper rounds at people, I know which side I cannot support...
David Martin - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

Similar things going on in Thailand at the moment too. Ukraine looks a hell of a lot more violent though, the scenes of tin-helmeted protesters behind stone barricades bringing images of Stalingrad to mind.
crayefish - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to David Martin:

Nothing compared to what's happening in Syria though. But I hope Ukraine manages to sort it out. Wouldn't be surprised if this ended with an east/west split in a year or two.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

You do realise who these "freedom fighters" are, don't you?

Democracy in Ukraine has elected the present government, at the next elections the people of Ukraine can make a different choice, I don't see why a minority led by a nucleus of extremely unpleasant neo-fascists should be applauded for attempting to destroy democracy by violence - could you explain why I should?
crayefish - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You do realise who these "freedom fighters" are, don't you?

> Democracy in Ukraine has elected the present government, at the next elections the people of Ukraine can make a different choice, I don't see why a minority led by a nucleus of extremely unpleasant neo-fascists should be applauded for attempting to destroy democracy by violence - could you explain why I should?

Slightly one sided view there! This is not just a tiny group of anarchists; from the information we get here, it seems as approximately half the country was against the government cozying to Russia instead of the EU (west Ukraine) while the other half is pro Russian.
mat123 - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

do you think that it's EVER justified to fire live sniper rounds at protesters? Whether you like the protesters' agenda or not, in any other European state the government would simply step down or sit down to negotiations. Violence against their own people can never be justified.

And I don't agree that ALL, or even majority of the protesters are neo-Nazis - they have widespread support in about half of the country, yes there are some small extremist groups among the opposition but that does not invalidate the cause of the protests.
thomasadixon - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

Do you know what exactly is the cause of the protesters? As far as I have seen (not much!) they seem to want to unseat the - democratically elected - government because they don't like their policies...

Agreed snipers shouldn't be shooting protesters (assuming they are, and assuming the protesters aren't armed themselves).
mat123 - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to thomasadixon:
yes I think I do know what the cause of the protests is - it's pretty much along the lines of what crayefish described i.e. government breaking off negotiations with the EU, and at the same time signing an agreement with Russia.

Meanwhile, from the "democratically elected" goverment: I think the opposition has crossed the line. I think the policy of negotiations has exhausted itself, said the deputy head of the Party of Regions, Oleg Tsarev, in parliament. This is from Russia Times, and it sounds as if they're just preparing ground for a massive violent crackdown. No democratically elected government can ever claim that peaceful negotiations are no longer an option.
Post edited at 13:48
Axel Smeets - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

I'm off there in early April (well, that was the plan) spending some time in Kiev and then the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Monitoring the situation closely at the moment. Was there in 2012 and it's sad to see places I recognise being torn to pieces.

I got talking to a local Kiev chap at a football match (Dinamo)in 2012 and what was quite startling was the complete and utter hatred he had for his government. I often wonder if he's on the front line somewhere now....
cap'nChino - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You do realise who these "freedom fighters" are, don't you?

> Democracy in Ukraine has elected the present government, at the next elections the people of Ukraine can make a different choice, I don't see why a minority led by a nucleus of extremely unpleasant neo-fascists should be applauded for attempting to destroy democracy by violence - could you explain why I should?

By all account the other choice in the elections were corrupt thugs
In reply to mat123:

A friend of mine, a 43 year old physicist, is involved in the demos. She is simply someone sick of living in a country with such a corrupt government. It is far more complicated than those favouring the EU versus those favouring Russia. I mostly know Russian-speaking people in the East and they don't like Yanukovich either.
redsonja - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

its very shocking and sad to see this violence- I well remember the jubilant scenes from the orange revolution just a few years ago. we were in Ukraine 3 years ago and No- one we spoke to (not even in crimea which is consisered pro Russian) had anything good to say about yanocovich. did make us wonder how he came to power
ByEek - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I couldn't agree more. Because the powers that be in the Ukraine and their old Russian allies certainly don't have a habit of trying to assassinate or lock up opposition leaders do they?
Larey - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Its not about weather they have a say at the next election.

Its about the government beating a peaceful group of protesting students last year.
Its about the corruption,
The current priministers son doubling his wealth mainly thanks to government contracts,
The ex priminister being imprisoned,
And the Shift away from the Eu which many people see the Eu as a great help in their current economic state.

And probably how the government are handling the current situation including, the regime style protest laws, the squads of security forces without allegiance to the police beating protesters in hospitals and dragging them to the woods to get information out of them.

I'm certainly not Pro violence and i really think its going a bit far over there at the moment, but i certainly think i can see where they are coming from.
Rob Naylor - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You do realise who these "freedom fighters" are, don't you?

Actually, they're a very broad church, Bruce. Yes, there are some unpleasant right-wingers involved....but the majority are ordinary people who are fed up with the corruption, additional repressive laws and deal-breaking that's gone on in the present regime since it was elected.

A close relative was there a couple of weeks ago, and talked to people from all walks of life. My best local friends in Russia, who I was with last week, are Ukrainians, and are usually very apolitical. My Russian teacher in UK is Ukrainian and similarly usually apolitical, as is her family. But they're all angry and frustrated with Yanukovich, and scared shitless that he's dragging them back into being a satellite of Russia. There's a lot of shit going on there with shed-loads of Russian "advisors" in-country now....and if you think some of the protesters are neo-fascist thugs then you should also take a look at a lot of people working on the government side!

Nuff said...I have to go back to Russia in 5 weeks :-)
FrankBooth - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

I can't claim any expertise here, but I do wonder whether once the Olympics are over, Putin will send in troops to 'help' the Ukraine government - strong echoes of Prague '68?
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

Its nothing to do with the people of Ukraine.

Like Syria its another major fault Line in the new cold war being played out by the wealthy Elites in east and west.

As usual, people are the pawns. They sacrifice the pawns to Protect the Kings and Queens.

Hopefully, this will end in stalemate like Syria. Or Kiss your family, your Life, and your world Goodbye.
crayefish - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> Hopefully, this will end in stalemate like Syria.

I don't see how anyone can hope the situation to end up with something similar to Syria. A quick resolution either way is probably best so that fewer people are killed. The stalemate in Syria is resulting in thousands dying and whole cities being turned to rubble. In most conflicts stalemate always ends up with huge numbers of casualties... look at Stalingrad or the trench warfare in WW1.

Postmanpat on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to

> Hopefully, this will end in stalemate like Syria.

Possibly the most stupid comment on UKC this year, but it's only February.
redsonja - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

hopefully? did you mean hopefully not?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> hopefully? did you mean hopefully not?

No, because if the west or Russia push the Other into a corner on Ukraine, BOOM!!! And that boom includes you and everyone you Know.

welcome to the new cold war. Pray it doesnt Turn hot.
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> In reply to

> Possibly the most stupid comment on UKC this year, but it's only February.

Truth is Scary isnt it.
crayefish - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

Nuclear war (I assume that is what you are getting at?) is not going to happen between the West and Russia. If anyone is going to get into a shooting match it will probably be Pakistan and India, and even that is very unlikely.
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:
> Nuclear war (I assume that is what you are getting at?) is not going to happen between the West and Russia. If anyone is going to get into a shooting match it will probably be Pakistan and India, and even that is very unlikely.

If that denial of reality helps you sleep, fair play to you. Ukraine is geopolitics. Dont Kid yourself its about anything else. Yep, nuclear war is the Final Destination on this ride. Youre doing what was called in the 60s 70s and 80s, Psychic numbing.
Post edited at 17:44
jonnyblindsign - on 20 Feb 2014
Quite an intersting article on the protests in Ukrain here... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?insrc=hpss
crayefish - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> If that denial of reality helps you sleep, fair play to you. Ukraine is geopolitics. Dont Kid yourself its about anything else. Yep, nuclear war is the Final Destination on this ride. Youre doing what was called in the 60s 70s and 80s, Psychic numbing.

The cold war was significantly more tense with far more fanatical people involved. But even then they were not stupid enough to use the bomb, despite how close it got.

I suggest you start building your bunker :)
Larey - on 20 Feb 2014
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Possibly the most Judgemental post on UKC. still, its only the 21st Century.
MG - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> No, because if the west or Russia push the Other into a corner on Ukraine, BOOM!!! And that boom includes you and everyone you Know.



Eh? What possible scenario would result in a nuclear war over Ukraine?
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Agreed snipers shouldn't be shooting protesters (assuming they are, and assuming the protesters aren't armed themselves).

Some of them are armed now, without calling Molotov cocktails an arm which some German tank crews may disagree with! - as they have pillaged police buildings in the West of the country and taken weapons. That's not counting the neo-Nazi militias, the ones who use a swastika like emblem, who are para-militaries and have arms right from the start. Funny how little is shown about these people, their leader is shown but the press doesn't insist too much on what party he is leading, extreme right nationalists.

As for snipers, isn't funny how of late whenever a government is hard pressed by a violent movement of opposition which has support from "our side" all of a sudden the governments decide to use "snipers" (if we are to believe the press) just to kill innocent bystanders, children and doubtless pregnant grannies if any were out and about, as if they are making a deliberate effort to look as evil as possible! They have all manner of anti-riot gear available - water canon, tear gas, bulldozers and armoured vehicles to clear the street but instead they use "snipers" exactly when any normal person would be careful not to do this!

I even heard one journalist on the radio saying they were Russian snipers, the film Stalingrad comes to mind and doubtless that ace sniper of the day is still as good as he was back then! And, of course, we are all so gullible that we believe them.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

> No democratically elected government can ever claim that peaceful negotiations are no longer an option.

If the IRA had been anywhere near as violent as these "protesters" - have you seen the state of the city, government buildings occupied or burning, the streets like a war zone, and so on, any British government would have agreed to negotiate while the centre of Belfast was occupied by hundreds of armed people and policemen were lying dead? I can't see it myself, but then I'm doubtless prejudiced because I don't see why we should apply different standards for them and us.
Postmanpat on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> Possibly the most Judgemental post on UKC. still, its only the 21st Century.

Socialists eh, no head and not even a heart either....
Larey - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to thomasadixon:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dd7_1392895682

Seriously not for the faint hearted. but that clearly shows protesters without any noticeable firearms being shot at and shot at again when on the ground and not even just in the legs as a warning but kill shots.
Simon4 - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> Possibly the most Judgemental post on UKC.

He is an adult, and adults have judgement, which they should use. When you say something as stupid and also as monumentally evil as wishing the situation in Syria on the population of the Ukraine, it is entirely right and reasonable that judgement should be used to condemn you.

You are weighed in the balance and found wanting.
Post edited at 19:08
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> They have all manner of anti-riot gear available - water canon, tear gas, bulldozers and armoured vehicles to clear the street but instead they use "snipers" exactly when any normal person would be careful not to do this!

I don't know what you would call the guy lying down shooting at people using a rifle equipped with a bipod and telescopic sight, but sniper works for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKYXDHBJVHE
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:

Youre missing the Point Prince Valiant.

This aint no Moral crusade, its political Elite against political Elite. Putin, Obama, Cameron, etc dont give a flying f*ck about the ordinary people in Ukraine, or in their own countries. They dont care about Syrians, Ukrainians, you, me, or anyone else who gets Caught in their crossfire.

You want to Change things, well ill tell you, regime Change begins at home.
In reply to Choss:

> Youre missing the Point Prince Valiant.

> This aint no Moral crusade, its political Elite against political Elite. Putin, Obama, Cameron, etc dont give a flying f*ck about the ordinary people in Ukraine, or in their own countries.

You missed that the political elite in Ukraine don't give a f*ck about the people of Ukraine.

Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
That was implied i Thought?

Schoolboy anarchist Error ;-)
Post edited at 19:22
In reply to Choss:

> You want to Change things, well ill tell you, regime Change begins at home.

How is changing something here going to make the slightest bit of a difference in Kiev or Homs? Seriously - I think you are over estimating our importance more than a little!
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Keep Voting for the status quo Toby.

ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Choss:

You don't know if I vote and who I vote for, but why don't you answer the question rather than spout some radical sounding nothingness? What changes in the UK will make a difference in Kiev or Homs?

Seriously - I'm interested.
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> You don't know if I vote and who I vote for, but why don't you answer the question rather than spout some radical sounding nothingness? What changes in the UK will make a difference in Kiev or Homs?

> Seriously - I'm interested.

Come on Toby, thats cheap. Im not just Advocating Change in the UK. I believe in global anarchism. Take Power From the Elite whatever country they are in. That starts here for me, as it does wherever Someone is.
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:

Thatll be by you then?

Well balanced Scales? I think not.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> You don't know if I vote and who I vote for,

But we can all guess pretty easily :-)
Eric9Points - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:


> This aint no Moral crusade, its political Elite against political Elite. Putin, Obama, Cameron, etc dont give a flying f*ck about the ordinary people in Ukraine, or in their own countries. They dont care about Syrians, Ukrainians, you, me, or anyone else who gets Caught in their crossfire.


If you read the thread from top to bottom you'll notice that three people, I think, who have first hand experience of the Ukraine have said that this is a popular movement against an extremely unpopular government.

For the rest of the readers. Yes, a very sad situation. Not sure what to think about it. The protesters no doubt have valid grievances but have blood on their hands as do the Government. Recently they have started confrontations with the police which were likely to end in bloodshed. Not a good situation.
In reply to blindsign:

> Quite an intersting article on the protests in Ukrain here... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?insrc=hpss

Snyder's book Bloodlands is one of the more impressive histories I've read in the last decade, so it's unsurprising his article in the NYRB is so coherent. His question "Why exactly do people with such views think they can call other people fascists? And why does anyone on the Western left take them seriously?" is the perfect one for Bruce to answer in the light of his "the protestors are all fascists" post above.
In reply to Choss:

I'm not quite sure how much more anarchistic you would want than central Kiev at the moment. Diverse groups politically, religiously, linguistically all come together to resist a state co-opted by a small powerful elite mainly it seems for reasons of their own self enrichment. But you want stalemate? That seems a bizarre position for an anarchist to take.
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
You dont have much Understanding of anarchy do you.

It isnt the sex pistols.

We can Change what happens in Kiev or homs by tearing down our own systems. They sell the weapons, they play the Games, they Deal in Death, they are the Problem. You vote for them you Deal in Death too.

You cant Change the Ukraine govt, but you can your own. We must not be afraid of ruins.
Post edited at 21:08
In reply to Choss:

Why don't you actually argue the point rather than just taking shots at me? Please, give me an anarchist reading of the current situation in Ukraine - I'm genuinely interested. Why don't you think the anti-government protesters are worthy of support?

I'll happily admit I've not read much original anarchist literature but then I've always seen it as more a position of perspective than a political ideology.
In reply to Choss:

> You dont have much Understanding of anarchy do you.

> It isnt the sex pistols.

> We can Change what happens in Kiev or homs by tearing down our own systems.
.
But how? Get rid of the UK government tomorrow, even get rid of the Russian and Saudi governments tomorrow - and would that really stop the fighting in Homs? Don't the people on both sides have desires and interests to protect totally independent of what our governments do? And I don't think we are selling weapons to anyone in Syria (and probably not in Ukraine either).

> We must not be afraid of ruins.

I'm not sure a refugee from Homs living in poverty and squalor in Lebanon would agree with you. But it's easy to say things like that living in a country where there aren't any ruins.
I like climbing - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:
Latest news / facts according to Ukrainain TV:
The army is on the side of the people in Lviv but on the side of the police and Govt in Kiev. So they are split......
Russia has sent troops in secretly
Yanukovic has released prisoners to stir up unrest
20 people have left Yanukovic's govt today
Over 100 people killed today.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> is the perfect one for Bruce to answer in the light of his "the protestors are all fascists" post above.

Having read the article I'm less impressed than you are, which is hardly surprising. What is equally unsurprising is your insertion of the word "all" in what you present as a quotation from my post! A bit like those Stalinist photos with faces that go missing, but here you add a word :-)

As usual you pedal the official Western line, and yet the present assembly and president of Ukraine were both elected in elections considered fair and honest by international observers present such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). So when is democracy not democracy? When it returns results which Toby doesn't approve of appears to be the answer.
Bruce Hooker - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> even get rid of the Russian and Saudi governments tomorrow - and would that really stop the fighting in Homs?

Add Qatar to Saudi and you would probably stop the fighting in Homs, yes. BTW, looking at Libya as they head towards elections, of a sort, are you satisfied with the results of the NATO + islamist invasion you supported so strongly? I can't see that you have any reason to be, especially if one includes the mayhem it has led to throughout much of Africa... a little mea culpa would seem appropriate, or is that too much to ask?

So now you support armed insurrection in another country, don't you ever tire of bloodshed and destroyed lives?
Choss on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

It doesnt Matter. Whichever side you Profess to Support on here, you support either the east or the west.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

When I stayed in Dnepropetrovsk there was a story on the news of a girl run-over at a crossing. In the ensuing court case the girl's family was ordered to pay costs for damage to the car. This sort of corruption has an insidious effect on people who generally feel powerless against such entrenched, powerful interests. Now there is a movement against the president and those entrenched interests are under threat, all those feelings of injustice are coming to the fore, which is why ordinary people are demonstrating.

It's a nightmare situation though - who knows what will happen if Yanukovich goes, as the opposition is a mix of people with different interests.

I'm slightly puzzled as to why the EU and the US are so interested in the Ukraine. I'm pretty sure it's not because they give a f*ck about the Ukrainian people.

I'm very worried about people I care deeply about - that's the reality of it for me.
In reply to Choss:

> It doesnt Matter. Whichever side you Profess to Support on here, you support either the east or the west.

As I've said, it's way more than that.
off-duty - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Having read the article I'm less impressed than you are, which is hardly surprising. What is equally unsurprising is your insertion of the word "all" in what you present as a quotation from my post! A bit like those Stalinist photos with faces that go missing, but here you add a word :-)

> As usual you pedal the official Western line, and yet the present assembly and president of Ukraine were both elected in elections considered fair and honest by international observers present such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). So when is democracy not democracy? When it returns results which Toby doesn't approve of appears to be the answer.


The current parliament appear to be distancing thrmselves at a rate of knots from the President, according to Al Jazeera and various sources on social media in breaking news at the moment.

As for the snipers - if they are dressed like Berkut, armed like Berkut and deployed with Berkut then, much as I applaud your scepticism, they probably are Berkut.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:
What "official line"?

There were all sorts of machinations between the different power blocs in Ukraine over the last decade - none of the political clans have been great, and many corrupt. But Yanukovich did win the last election, so he's in power legitimately. But his margin was small enough and the politics before that so divisive, that he needed to try and find some national consensus which he clearly didn't do. Instead its just been more chance to loot the country's coffers. The people started protesting as is their right, he has used violence and confrontation in response, progressively more and more deadly violence and against the citizens of his country.

If I quote some one on ukc I use the

> this is a quote tag.

So apologies, I used the quote marks around my summary of what you said - the protesters are led by fascists so deserve what's coming - not around your actual words.
Post edited at 23:03
Postmanpat on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> Youre missing the Point Prince Valiant.

No, it's about whether you think innocent people being murdered, maltreated and tortured is ok. It's not. You know its not but you're not( I assume) but you don't seem to have factored that into your comment. Incidentally, do you think being "judgemental" is a bad thing?

I like climbing - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Horrific story.

If Yanukovic had changed the constitution as he promised the current trouble would have been avoided. People would have waited for the next election.
Apparently if / when Yanukovic goes none of the better known politicians want to be President.
All the main opposition parties are standing for anti corruption.
I think US and Europe are interested because Ukraine is very rich in natural resources. West Ukraine used to feed the whole of Russia.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I'm slightly puzzled as to why the EU and the US are so interested in the Ukraine.

Perhaps Choss's explanation is not a million miles from the truth? Give or take a little - as Russia, China and what we used to call the third world starts to express it's economic strength in geopolitical terms the old East-West, Europe-Russia, cold-war come Great Game tensions are coming out again?
Bruce Hooker - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> As for the snipers - if they are dressed like Berkut, armed like Berkut and deployed with Berkut then, much as I applaud your scepticism, they probably are Berkut.

When in Northern Ireland the IRA was killing policemen and so on the British Army shot to kill too, didn't they? Sometimes they shot to kill just because they thought they had seen armed men in the crowd, as in Bloody Sunday. In the recent shooting of an armed, or thought to be armed, gangster your colleagues didn't hesitate to shoot him dead, and I don't blame them. Here we have armed gangs, plus a lot of people along for the ride, confronting, wounding and killing the police services while burning and occupying buildings, taking policemen prisoner, what would the reply of you and your colleagues be if it got to this situation in the centre of London?

Elections are due, normal civilised people would simple vote this government out... unless they think that the majority are against them and provocateurs are at work destabilising yet another country.
redsonja - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to I like climbing:

they have the black sea ports aswell
imkevinmc - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

> Just wondering what people's opinions are. Seems we have a major revolution/unrest not thousands of miles away but right here in Europe, yet the usually very active UKC posters don't seem to have noticed!

We were waiting for you to notice it and start a thread.

Now move along.

I like climbing - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to redsonja:

Good point !
Eric9Points - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:


> I'm slightly puzzled as to why the EU and the US are so interested in the Ukraine.

It borders an EU country? Or two (is Slovakia in the EU?)?

http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europe/ua.htm
In reply to Eric9Points:

I'm familiar with the geography.
redsonja - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to Eric9Points:

it has borders with Poland, Slovakia, hungary and Romania, all of which are in the EU
Redacted - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Socialists eh, no head and not even a heart either....

Do your capitalists have a heart ?
You know ?the capitalist nations that have murdered more unarmed civilians than any others.
Redacted - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

No that clip didn't show the guy lying down with the gun to be actually firing it.
biped - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Do your capitalists have a heart ?

> You know ?the capitalist nations that have murdered more unarmed civilians than any others.

He was prodding a deserving rib. Bark up another tree.
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:
Rather than the dross written on here by some people who know a Ukrainian,here are the words of an expert-http://rt.com/op-edge/extreme-radicals-violence-ukraine-742/

'We are talking about 2 or 3 thousand very aggressive rioters, just some of them provided with firearms, some with Molotov cocktails, but the country of almost 15 million people is held hostage by a very radical small group.'

Snipers on rooftops were used by the Muslim Brotherhood to murder protesters and policemen alike in Syria,at the very beginning.The extremist Muslim Brotherhood who were used by the US to create the Syrian civil war.
The extremist Islamists gathered by the USA,Qatar and the Saudis did the same in Libya.
The rich crypto-fascists of Venezuela directed by the Bush Admin used snipers from rooftops to murder their own people who were protesting,then blamed it on Chavez supporters.This was their false flag to kidnap Chavez and start a coup.The US manipulated filmed footage to try and show that this was the case.

The fabrication and US lies that were broadcast on FOX,CNN,ABC all the fascist channels were shown to be complete lies.

John McCain the other cryto-fascist gets wheeled out to stir conflict where ever he goes.

The US in Libya,Syria and the Ukraine is fostering insurgency against the Russia and it's old allies,this is borne true in Webster Tarpley's prophetic book- Obama-the postmodern coup in which the US regime now use 'soft warfare' to destabalize countries on the cheap.

One sad truth is that so called leftists who historically support insurgencies against oppressive,tyrannical and mass murdering capitalist regimes are tricked into siding with CIA organised Islamist maniacs as in Libya and Syria and Svoboda Nazis in Ukraine.
Fooled by the corporate media in the West who broadcast the US regimes lies.
Post edited at 00:24
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to biped:

> He was prodding a deserving rib. Bark up another tree.

Whatever ! i'm well up for a debate about such matters.
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Some of them are armed now, without calling Molotov cocktails an arm which some German tank crews may disagree with! - as they have pillaged police buildings in the West of the country and taken weapons. That's not counting the neo-Nazi militias, the ones who use a swastika like emblem, who are para-militaries and have arms right from the start. Funny how little is shown about these people, their leader is shown but the press doesn't insist too much on what party he is leading, extreme right nationalists.

> As for snipers, isn't funny how of late whenever a government is hard pressed by a violent movement of opposition which has support from "our side" all of a sudden the governments decide to use "snipers" (if we are to believe the press) just to kill innocent bystanders, children and doubtless pregnant grannies if any were out and about, as if they are making a deliberate effort to look as evil as possible! They have all manner of anti-riot gear available - water canon, tear gas, bulldozers and armoured vehicles to clear the street but instead they use "snipers" exactly when any normal person would be careful not to do this!

> I even heard one journalist on the radio saying they were Russian snipers, the film Stalingrad comes to mind and doubtless that ace sniper of the day is still as good as he was back then! And, of course, we are all so gullible that we believe them.

So I'm clear on where you're coming from, are you saying the accounts of snipers being visible in broad daylight is propaganda?
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Hi,
Did you read what i wrote ?as well as the obvious typo in the link.
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
Yes I did. Isn't RT a little bit like the Russian version of the BBC? That's the impression I get from their TV news channel at least, which might be wrong.

Given that journalists who speak out against Putin and the people in charge in Russia have often been killed by unknown and uncaught assailants, I'm cautious about trusting a Russian news outlet unless I know it's independent from the political establishment of Russia.

I hope that makes sense.
Post edited at 01:39
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Not what i linked but what i wrote as in the use of Muslim Brotherhood snipers in Syria to provoke the US target government to react,as well as the use of rooftop snipers by the US supported Venezuelan fascists.
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

The US's meddling in South America is unforgivable.
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:
The US meddling in governments all over the world ?
Especially the comerades of the former USSR.
Post edited at 01:44
off-duty - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Rather than the dross written on here by some people who know a Ukrainian,here are the words of an expert-http://rt.com/op-edge/extreme-radicals-violence-ukraine-742/

> 'We are talking about 2 or 3 thousand very aggressive rioters, just some of them provided with firearms, some with Molotov cocktails, but the country of almost 15 million people is held hostage by a very radical small group.'

And parliament. And a significant portion of the police.
Oh bugger, I forgot, it's Russia good everyone else bad, isn't it.
Still it's cool to shoot a few of these "radicals" as we are entirely justified, aren't we.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to off-duty:
> And parliament. And a significant portion of the police.
Significant ?
Proof !
> Oh bugger, I forgot, it's Russia good everyone else bad, isn't it.
Would you like to argue that instead of spewing shit ?

> Still it's cool to shoot a few of these "radicals" as we are entirely justified, aren't we.

Would you shoot back if you were shot at ?
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
To my mind though, post break up of the USSR I'm not too sure if Russia has any more right than the US does, to do anything other than leave former members of the USSR to follow a path of their own choosing, and leave it to them to knock on Russia's door as it were.

I'm not too convinced this is what Russia has been doing under Putin, with his apparent urge to hold onto power by whatever means he can do, and his less than friendly approach towards human rights and an independent media.

If things politically were different in Russia, I'd possibly have a different point of view on any influence it tries to exert, or that Putin tries to.
Post edited at 02:12
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:
> To my mind, though, post break up of the USSR I'm not too sure if Russia has any more right than the US does, to do anything other than leave former members of the USSR to follow a path of their own choosing, and leave it to them to knock on Russia's door as it were.

Did the Ukrainian people vote for Yanakovich ?
Did Russia make this happen ?

> I'm not too convinced this is what Russia has been doing under Putin, with his apparent urge to hold onto power by whatever means he can do, and his less than friendly approach towards human rights and an independent media.

Yawn !
What of the human rights 1 million Iraqis killed by the US/UK in the 90's ?

Do you want to talk about HR ?

> If things politically were different in Russia, I'd possibly have a different point of view on any influence it tries to exert, or that Putin tries to.
After nearly a full century of western imperialist attacks on Russia,which continue full on as seen in Ukraine, do you think Putin is good for Russia and gives hope to exploited people the world over as well as being an antidote for the genocidal psychopaths of NATO ?


Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
> Did the Ukrainian people vote for Yanakovich ?

It could appear so.

> Did Russia make this happen ?

Apparently not.

> Yawn !

> What of the human rights 1 million Iraqis killed by the US/UK in the 90's ?

Why wouldn't I not think that's a bad thing? It's dreadful what's happened to Iraq.

> Do you want to talk about HR ?

Yes I do. Putin sucks.

> After nearly a full century of western imperialist attacks on Russia,which continue full on as seen in Ukraine, do you think Putin is good for Russia and gives hope to exploited people the world over as well as being an antidote for the genocidal psychopaths of NATO ?

Not if one is lesbian or gay or a journalist, or a political threat to Putin, no. He's making Russia more powerful on the world stage, but that's something different.

Do you think people who aren't hetrosexual can feel hopeful, or that journalists can, or people who don't agree with Putin?

Go read about what's happened to political opposition and the press in Russia, it's really sinister, they recently put a dead body on trial for not paying taxes, this person 'by coincidence' wasn't a friend or fan of Putin's.
Post edited at 07:32
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist who was very critical of Putin and what has happened in Russian since he came to power, and she was murdered.

There's a clear pattern of journalists being murdered after being critical of Putin and what has happened in Russia since he came to power.

Newspapers can find their premises raided or their rent increased, or have their offices closed down pending tax investigations being completed, and staff can be attacked or killed.

This all happens most to those who are critical.

girlymonkey - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

My Ukrainian friends all say they just want peace. None of them are publicly stating who they are supporting, but all just sadenned by the number of deaths on both sides, and are desperate for life to be peaceful again. It really is a small number that are being so violent. I hope this current lull continues and people can start rebuilding their lives.
Politically, the whole eastern block is really complicated, and I don't have in depth understanding of either side enough to make judgements.
I just want there to be peace!
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> Still it's cool to shoot a few of these "radicals" as we are entirely justified, aren't we.

If people were shooting at you wouldn't your armed colleagues shoot back at them? Simple question but you haven't answered yet when I asked the same thing less directly.

Don't forget you spent hours typing posts to justify the shooting of someone who didn't actually shoot a gun he had near him in a car hidden in a sock... something I agreed with you about at the time. Why do you appear to be so forgiving to armed men in Ukraine but not in Britain?
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Have you read this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26293446

It explains a little what Putin's attitude to Ukraine really is. Obviously it's just one opinion but it's not from RT but the BBC, not a body well known for having a pro-Putin bias.
off-duty - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> If people were shooting at you wouldn't your armed colleagues shoot back at them? Simple question but you haven't answered yet when I asked the same thing less directly.

When "the state" chooses to open fire on its citizens it has to be extremely careful about what it is doing and why.
Shooting into crowds which may contain armed offenders but also contains a large number of unarmed protestors is never going to end well. When that shooting is being done by sharpshooters who appear to have managed to single out unarmed people and shoot them under the gaze of international TV, then you are going to be faced with an uphill struggle to justify your actions.



> Don't forget you spent hours typing posts to justify the shooting of someone who didn't actually shoot a gun he had near him in a car hidden in a sock... something I agreed with you about at the time. Why do you appear to be so forgiving to armed men in Ukraine but not in Britain?

Much as I admire your ability to muddy the waters and link unrelated events, Duggan in comparison to the Ukraine? You have to be joking.
Unless of course you are referring to the subsequent riots, in particular events in Birmingham, where Police were lured to a burning pub and repeatedly fired upon. I dont recollect the deployment of firearms and shooting into crowds occurring then.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to off-duty:

So still no simple answer to a simple question. In terms of muddying the water it is hardly as you present it, the police were also being attacked with extreme violence, just look at all those burnt out government buildings, those responsible included some very nasty armed gangs from Western Ukraine, descendants of those who fought alongside the Nazis in WW2, and are in no way peaceful demonstrators shot down by evil government thugs.

I wasn't think of the riots a was thinking of Duggan, shot because he appeared to be threat to the police - in Ukraine it is not just an apparent threat the police were under attack and unable to even defend state building, which gives an idea of the violence of the crowds.

To sum up your viewpoint; in Britain it's ok to shoot a single person who may be armed if the risk seems strong, in Ukraine the police should not shoot even after they have been trying all other means for days and are coming under fire and attack with paving stones, petrol bombs and heavily armed para-military groups. I didn't see how you can deny you have a rather contradictory position here.
Simon4 - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

> My Ukrainian friends all say they just want peace. None of them are publicly stating who they are supporting, but all just sadenned by the number of deaths on both sides, and are desperate for life to be peaceful again. It really is a small number that are being so violent. I hope this current lull continues and people can start rebuilding their lives.

There is little that is romantic or inspiring about the reality of most revolutions or turbulent times, no matter how much they might appeal to the misfits and misguided idealists and cranks that are to be found in any society, paradoxically the more settled and stable, the freer the crackpots are to express their ideas. Thus left-wingers in Britain can launch an endless series of deeply personal and insulting attacks on a whole range of coalition ministers, their appearance, school background and religious convictions, they know full well that despite their proclaiming Britain to be a virtual dictatorship, they will suffer nothing more damaging than a weary shrug for these nasty and tacky ad-hominems.

Life in a real dictatorship is very different, with real oppression and brutality, with dissident ideas being suppressed with utmost vigour. Here a ludicrous song and dance can be and is made about a protestor having a finger-nail broken, as part of a systematic process of making mountains out of molehills.

> Politically, the whole eastern block is really complicated, and I don't have in depth understanding of either side enough to make judgements.

Most of the participants in this thread are in a similar position, you just have the honesty and self-knowledge to admit it. Those who claim the most insight are simply applying their standard pastry-cutter explanation to the Ukraine as they would to any country in disorder, be it Syria, the Ukraine or Venezuela. Ironically Bruce probably does know quite a lot about the travails of the Hollande government in France, but I would be surprised to hear him discuss them.

One thing I do know from well before this crisis is that there is a long standing historical split in the country between Ukrainian-speaking, Western-looking West Ukraine and mostly Russian-speaking, Eastern-looking East Ukraine. It is questionable if the country can hold together for long, given this deep rift.

> I just want there to be peace!

You and any person of goodwill, who does not have a partisan axe (and endless supply of industrial-strength whataboutery), to grind.
Post edited at 13:22
In reply to Redacted:

> Rather than the dross written on here by some people who know a Ukrainian,here are the words of an expert-http://rt.com/op-edge/extreme-radicals-violence-ukraine-742/

That's funny! Your expert according to Russia Today is Professor Mark Almond of Oxford University - funny because he's not a professor and he's not at Oxford. He is called Mark Almond though. So only 2 mistakes/lies out of three supposed facts from RT. But you keep listening to his master's voice eh?

You realise that he's the chair of the loony British Helsinki Human Rights Group don't you? Well, I'm sure you do as they are the standard apologists in the UK for dictatorial leaders across the former Soviet space (and are completely bonkers) but would be parallel to those such as yourself with a remarkable love for dictators of countries you're lucky enough not live in.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> descendants of those who fought alongside the Nazis in WW2, and are in no way peaceful demonstrators shot down by evil government thugs.

Even if this was true, which it isn't, you are justifying the extrajudicial killing of people for the sins of their grandfathers. Even for you Bruce, that disgusting.

According to a number of reporters in Ukraine - and ironically from your perspective - many of the hardcore that went to Maidan to defend the lefty student protestors who were getting the crap beaten out of them by the riot police back at the end of last year, were Red Army Afghan veterans. I'm sure in the 80s you would have backed to the hilt the same men you are now calling fascists.

Bruce Hooker - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> a remarkable love for dictators of countries you're lucky enough not live in.

Two simple question, was the president of Ukraine elected and were these elections judged to have been fair and representative by organisations that look at such things, the OSCE for example?

If you answer "yes" to both these is he a "dictator"?

Bruce Hooker - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> you are justifying the extrajudicial killing of people for the sins of their grandfathers. Even for you Bruce, that disgusting.

Again you are putting words in my mouth, I am saying that what happened to them is because of what they, not their grandfathers, have been doing here and now for several weeks, if not months. Isn't burning down government buildings and attacking the police a little "extra judicial" too?

It seems that you condemn violence when it comes from the left but approve when it comes from the right, an unusual attitude. Most conservatives at least condemn violence from all quarters.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I wasn't refering to Yanukovich, rather Putin in particular who Shona is such a fan off, and Assad more generally.

Yanukovich was elected fairly, although his funding seems to have been heavily assisted from foreign sources, but he immediately imprisoned his opponent and this uprising is in part the result of his attempts to change the law (many say unconstitutionally) to outlaw opposition to his policies.
redsonja - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:

I too, just want peace. not only in Ukraine, but all over the world. is it so hard for us to all live together peacefully, regardless of religion or political views.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> It seems that you condemn violence when it comes from the left

Yanukovich and his riot police are the left are they? :-) I suppose Putin is a left wing leader too in your book.

Well, you are brightening up a dreich afternoon with such arguments!
kevin stephens - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:


> One thing I do know from well before this crisis is that there is a long standing historical split in the country between Ukrainian-speaking, Western-looking West Ukraine and mostly Russian-speaking, Eastern-looking East Ukraine. It is questionable if the country can hold together for long, given this deep rift.

I agree, I've spent a lot of time in Ukraine's second city Kharkiv; close to Russia and Russian speaking. Ukraine has a very big land mass with relatively poor road and rail links, hence the cities tend to be isolated from each other. The folk in Kharkiv are liberal and not in a dictatorship, but their livelihood depends on the heavy industry which trades more with Russia than Western Europe. They may see the petrol bomb wielding rioters in Kiev are a major threat as the local industry would not survive if the country cut its relationship with Russia in favour of Europe.

To me partition looks inevitable
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
He is called a professor in his Guardian articles to but if that is a mistake i don't know.
Mark Almond *is* a Fellow of Oriel Collage Oxford where he has lectured as well as in Turkey,so you are wrong on one point and possibly right on another meaningless point.
I had never heard of the BHHRG although it's good to see some individuals who will stand up against the hell inflicted by NATO on millions of people.Good for them !
And you are not completely bonkers TobyA ?In your worship of Nato mass murderers ?
In reply to Redacted:

> He is called a professor in his Guardian articles to but if that is a mistake i don't know.

Where? I can only see in his old Guardian CiF articles he is listed as lecturer. Also where is he listed as a fellow of Oriel? He's not on their list of honorary fellows or on their staff list - I guess he might have been given that title whilst lecturing there but it seems his contract has been renewed.

Maybe he uses the title professor because that what he is called by the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity? http://ronpaulinstitute.org/about-us.aspx There he seems to be on the board with Laughland his mate from the BHHRG, and a bunch of American far rightist. It does seem in that these days it's in loving Putin and his Eurasianism where you far leftist and the far right so regularly and comfortably meet.

You should give http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.se/2014/02/pro-russian-network-behind-anti.html a read although you probably won't. Bruce might find it interesting as well as both Madam Le Penn and his friends at Global Research all get a look in!
EarlyBird - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:

> Thus left-wingers in Britain can launch an endless series of deeply personal and insulting attacks on a whole range of coalition ministers, their appearance, school background and religious convictions, they know full well that despite their proclaiming Britain to be a virtual dictatorship, they will suffer nothing more damaging than a weary shrug for these nasty and tacky ad-hominems.

Yes, let's thank our lucky stars for the dispassionate objectivity of the Right.

Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:
> Those who claim the most insight are simply applying their standard pastry-cutter explanation to the Ukraine as they would to any country in disorder, be it Syria, the Ukraine or Venezuela

I will list a couple of recent US covert actions ignoring the 50 odd other US actions against Leftist Sovereign Nations since WW2-
Did the US instigate a coup against the Venezuelan Government ?
Did the US instigate a coup against the Syrian Government ?
Did the US instigate a coup against the Libyan Government ?

Did Paul Wolfowitz tell Gen.Wesley-Clark that the key lesson of the 1991 Gulf war in Iraq was that the US could invade a country in this region near Russia without it intervening ?

And that they had only so long to "clean up" the other pro-Soviet countries in the region (Iraq,Libya,Syria)

Wesley-Clark would implicate the Disgusting imperialists and mass murderers
of PFNAC or the Project For A New American Century,Rumsfeld,Cheney and Wolfowitz.

'Pastry-cutter explanation',soft warfare,special forces-unconventional warfare,countergang,CIA foreign legion,death squads,CIA contra-gangs,call it what you want but the US has done this all over the world to peoples when it doesn't use a full invasion and war or bombings/mass murder with economic sanctions.

The proof is there,everyone can see it open your eyes.
Post edited at 19:40
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Where? I can only see in his old Guardian CiF articles he is listed as lecturer.
Yes that is where i see it.
> Also where is he listed as a fellow of Oriel? He's not on their list of honorary fellows or on their staff list - I guess he might have been given that title whilst lecturing there but it seems his contract has been renewed.
He is in here-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fellows_of_Oriel_College,_Oxford
Oh and i will give that a read,but later.
Choss on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:
just say the sniper rifles that were Shooting people being From the UK was a Nice touch

If youre buying, we are selling

Protecting British jobs no Matter what the cost.

Support campaign against the arms Trade!
Post edited at 19:40
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
Oh and if you Nato apologists aren't constantly calling me names or trying to smear me then you need to try the tactic of associating me with some right-wing loonies,come on !That's juvenile Toby you can do better than that.
Post edited at 19:36
In reply to Redacted:

> try the tactic of associating me with some right-wing loonies,

I'm not associating you with rightwing loonies - I'm just pointing out how many of the pro-Putin/Russia/Eurasianism voices on the 'anti-imperialist left' - people you refer to - end up very cozy with fringe ultra-libertarian far right types in the US. Hence all those people on the Ron Paul Institute's boards who are also all regular commentators on Russia Today.

BTW, the author who you mentioned early, Tarpley, for having an amazingly prescient book or some such, came up when I was reading around on this. Also an RT contributor, LaRouche associate and a 9/11 Truther. I love these guys, they are like James Ellroy characters, just for real.

Have you Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics?" I think you might enjoy it.


Graeme Alderson on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

The BHHRG do seem like a bunch of right-wing loonies though http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Helsinki_Human_Rights_Group
Choss on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> The BHHRG do seem like a bunch of right-wing loonies though

Theyve found a home Here then :-D
Sir Chasm - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:

> just say the sniper rifles that were Shooting people being From the UK was a Nice touch

> If youre buying, we are selling

> Protecting British jobs no Matter what the cost.

> Support campaign against the arms Trade!

Yes, much better to be slaughtered by a peoples ak47.
Simon4 - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
Shona, Gudrun or whatever you are calling yourself this week ...

I am not remotely interested in your endless whataboutery. This thread is about the crisis in the Ukraine. Unless you can confine your comments to that, and, even more improbable, make them remotely rational or objective, you are just noise on the line.

There may be some people on UKC who have something sensible and informed to say about the situation in the Ukraine or Syria or wherever the latest troublespot is. You are not one of them. It would be very useful to be able to filter you out, to see what rational people have to say.
Post edited at 20:37
Simon4 - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I agree, I've spent a lot of time in Ukraine's second city Kharkiv; close to Russia and Russian speaking.

On the other hand, there is a great deal of historical baggage that puts Kiev (using the Western spelling), as the font of Russian culture. Historically Kievan Rus was the original Russian source of power, before Moscow rose to prominence.

> To me partition looks inevitable

Sad, but probably true. If they are lucky, it will be as peaceful as the "velvet divorce" in Czechoslovakia, but the omens look far from good for that now. Even if the situation were relatively peaceful, which clearly it is now not, the description you give of the Ukraine gives huge scope for bitter border and land allocation disputes. Despite the description that you and I both concur in, i.e. the East mostly Russian and the West mostly Ukrainian, there will inevitably be large minority populations in both regions, who may be treated either reasonably well or very badly, depending on how it plays out.

Divorces, either of individuals or of nations, tend to bring out all the inherent nastiness and lingering resentments in a relationship, as the Scots are starting to discover.
Post edited at 20:49
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> I love these guys, they are like James Ellroy characters, just for real.

Can't say i know who James Ellroy is and i'm honest enough to admit it instead of quickly going off and reading up on him.When you say you love them what do you mean ? The fact they fight against the NATO mass murderers and are not to frightened to broadcast US crimes and atrocities ? or that they sometimes make mistakes like 9/11,nobody's perfect you know,except me that is :)

Ps. RT is always very good,i know it's not a part of your genocidal NATO PR arm like Sky,Fox,CNN,ABC,Reuters,Al-Jazeera,BBC,ITN,C4,all the Western private newspaper corporations and all the rest.
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:

> I am not remotely interested in your endless whataboutery.

Not whataboutery just hard facts kid.
You could learn a lot from me about the situation in Syria,libya as well as Ukraine,but everyone knows the truth doesn't fit the deceitful narrative of a rabid Nato apologist like yourself.Stick to promoting your disgusting pro-Nato lies it's what you do best.
IainRUK - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

You've done that thing where you pick a side just because you dont like one side.. regardless of what they stand for.

This is why the EU is such a good thing, the wider it is the better for me. We want these states in the EU.
Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> You've done that thing where you pick a side just because you dont like one side.. regardless of what they stand for.

What utter tosh !I know what i stand for and i know which side i am on and why.
> This is why the EU is such a good thing, the wider it is the better for me. We want these states in the EU.

The better for you ?
For you ?
What about the people who don't want to be EU/NATO murderers or is it only what is good for you that matters ?
IainRUK - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> What utter tosh !I know what i stand for and i know which side i am on and why.

So I was right.. you picked a side.

TBH I think neither are right, both have used snipers. Some protestors are there for the right reasons, some are not good people at all but they've done what you do.. pick a side..

Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Yanukovich and his riot police are the left are they? :-)

Yeah support the Antifa coppers who stood off until they were fired on !

> I suppose Putin is a left wing leader too in your book.

Leader of the Former USSR, home of the original progressive workers state and Socialist peace camp.Ah !<sigh>



In reply to Redacted:

>

> Can't say i know who James Ellroy

Writer of crime fiction - LA Confidential for instance? But I bet you would enjoy the Underworld USA trilogy, as its a fictional romp through the very ugly underside of US Cold War history. Really good stuff.

> Ps. RT is always very good,

Of course it is, it tells you exactly what you already think. Did you read the comments under the very -shall we say- "neutral toned" piece RT showing the Cossack blokes whipping and beating up the Pussy Riot women? I'm not sure if you'd call that "very good".

I am interested in how as communist you are so supportive of the Putin regime. It makes me think that your politics aren't really very serious.

In reply to Redacted:

> Leader of the Former USSR, home of the original progressive workers state and Socialist peace camp.Ah !<sigh>

Oh, Shona/Gudrun/Naedanger/whatever-it-is-this-week - you are funny one. Have you been enjoying a few wee drinkies tonight? :-)

Redacted - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Nothing funny about ' Leader of the Former USSR, home of the original progressive workers state and Socialist peace camp.'

No,no booze for me tonight toby or whatever your real name is.oh but i'm glad i've put a smile on yir miserable coupon:)
Timmd on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:


> Leader of the Former USSR, home of the original progressive workers state and Socialist peace camp.Ah !<sigh>

The man who's responsible for cr*p like this.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/09/02/russia-first-person-to-be-convicted-under-anti-gay-propaganda-l...

Read about it and tell me you still like Putin...
nufkin - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> I know which side i am on and why.

What do you mean 'which side'? Unless you've been over in Independence Square these last few months, you're not really 'on' either side
I like climbing - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to I like climbing:
The chocolate man should be the next President of the Ukraine.
In reply to Simon4:

> Sad, but probably true. If they are lucky, it will be as peaceful as the "velvet divorce" in Czechoslovakia,

There are various analysts trying to get over that Ukraine is a lot more complicated than the image of the East/West division that is getting used so much now can express http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/02/22/a_house_united I noticed yesterday that people were tweeting statements from local police departments in the Eastern cities saying that they would not use violence against anti-Yanukovych protestors and an acquaintance who researches that region was pointing out that even within the Party of the Regions there is real anger against Yanukovych. Watching the BBC report from Kiev last night it was also interesting that whilst most of the people out in the square seemed happy that Tymoshenko was out of prison, they weren't interested in her returning to politics - and many left the demonstration when she started speaking.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to blindsign:

> Quite an intersting article on the protests in Ukrain here... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?insrc=hpss

Quite an interesting article here about the lies spread by the author of the above article-http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/timothy_snyder_protest_0412.html

His apologism,down right lies and masking of the truth about Nazi movements are predictable in his views of the nature of the Ukrainian protesters being leftists.Which is utter tosh as the few thousand hardcore protesters intent on regime change are far right nazis and ultras who beat up anyone in independance square that were promoting Leftist views.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
Tymoshenko is a corrupt crook who should still be in jail.

Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:
The gay guy who was prosecuted said-

on 17 August he tweeted: Western media has no respect for Russia and its people and LGBT population included. What they report about Sochi and gay propaganda is sham.

All Western media want to hear from me that Russia is shit and I dont want to take part in this hypocrisy. So all interviews are over!

Yes Putin is wrong with this law to that i agree but i still love the guy for all he has done to get Russia back on it's feet again after the constant attacks on it and it's allies by the deceitful mass murdering psychos of the US empire.

The rich privately owned Western media outlets are demonizing Putin with their never ending propaganda,just like they do to Chavez,Gaddafi and Assad.They hate leftist countries that won't bow down to the evil American reich and want them destroyed,this they have done all over the world murdering millions in the process.

The gay activist above acknowledges this.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
biped - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:


> Yes Putin is wrong with this law to that i agree but i still love the guy for all he has done to get Russia back on it's feet again after the constant attacks on it and it's allies by the deceitful mass murdering psychos of the US empire.


You are Timothy Treadwell and I claim my 5 roubles.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

Any news on those Czech prisoner numbers yet?
Sir Chasm - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
"Yes Putin is wrong with this law to that i agree but i still love the guy for all he has done to get Russia back on it's feet again after the constant attacks on it and it's allies by the deceitful mass murdering psychos of the US empire."

Say what you like about Mussolini, at least he made the trains run on time.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to biped:
Any arguements or serious points to make Biped ?
Of course not that would be silly !
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Any news on those Czech prisoner numbers yet?

Go for it kid.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Go for it kid.

Come on babe. You've kept me waiting three years. A man can only wait so long...
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:
you think Putin is like Mussolini ?
Your ignorance knows no bounds.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
Oh your such a flirt !
I hope you are not too disappointed when i say i can't recall the question,so if you remind me we can proceed unless you just want to keep flirting,you big tart,you.
biped - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:


> you think Putin is like Mussolini ?

> Your ignorance knows no bounds.

And your blinkers are something else. I doubt many on here would argue too hard with you regarding bloody handed western adventures (Vietnam, South and Central America, Iraq, many others) but does it ever occur to you that both sides may actually be as bad as each other? Sainting Putin and Russia seems a weird thing to do given your stated, and imho laudable humanitarian concerns.

I realise that this point is very simplistic and basic but somehow it seems necessary.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> I hope you are not too disappointed when i say i can't recall the question,so if you remind me we can proceed unless you just want to keep flirting,you big tart,you.

You mean I'm not always on your mind?

Here you go: how many prisoners were there in crime free Czechoslovakia's jails prior to the velvet revolution in 1989?
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to biped:

Good some serious content thanks.
> but does it ever occur to you that both sides may actually be as bad as each other?

Of course but this is complete rubbish and if you want to start a discussion about that then fire away.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

off the top of my head i dunno.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> off the top of my head i dunno.

But you promised you'd check it out for me. You promised.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
Ok i'll take your word for it and go and try and find out.
And keep yer knickers oan !
elsewhere on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to elsewhere:

I told my Ukrainian friend's husband about the duckhouse scandal and he replied "In Ukraine they would be made of gold"

He wasn't wrong...
Graeme Alderson on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to elsewhere:

Obviously all fake, create by the nasty imperialists to discredit Putin's friend ;-)
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to elsewhere:
The guy likes ducks !!! lets overthrow this democratically elected government quick....to the barricades duck haters !

Jesus,Joseph and Mary !
Do we really want to start talking about the wealth of the super-rich in the UK,USA,Germany etc ?

ps. Pat you will have to fill me in with these figures you are on about cos i can't find them and cant be arsed to go phoning people up to get them.
Post edited at 17:47
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> he replied "In Ukraine they would be made of gold"

> He wasn't wrong...

Is that a new type of gold where you disguise it to look indistinguishable from normal wood ?
Post edited at 17:50
In reply to Redacted:

Ah yes, Prof Furr - professor of medieval English at a small New Jersey public college - and in his free time Stalin defender - one of the more 'eccentric' voices in American academia!

You realise he thinks Stalin ultimately failed because he was too social-democrat don't you? http://www.revleft.com/vb/group.php?do=discuss&gmid=27273 And that Stalin never committed any crimes at all. You do pick 'em, you do!

He may be an excellent teacher and researcher on medieval English though.
In reply to Redacted:

> Tymoshenko is a corrupt crook who should still be in jail.

Yep, probably right on that. Yanukovych could go in the cell next to her, and his son in the one next to that.

Did you like the pictures of this galleon in his garden 'pond'?
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
> ps. Pat you will have to fill me in with these figures you are on about cos i can't find them and cant be arsed to go phoning people up to get them.

Shona my sweet, the correct answer is 58,000 out of a population of 15.6 million so that's about 371 per 100,000 people. To put that in perspective, the "drug and crime ridden" UK has about 150 prisoners per 100,000 people., the highest proportion in Western Europe.

So go figure, why were all those innocent people in prison?
Post edited at 20:17
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:
And ah yeah !
> and in his free time Stalin defender - one of the more 'eccentric' voices in American academia!

Well considering US academia blatantly bury their heads in the sand when it comes to their genocides,massacres,starvations,invasions,fascism,slavery and industrially mass-produced anti-Communist revisionist publications that are full of lies,then yes he would be very unusual,which says more about them than him.

> You realise he thinks Stalin ultimately failed because he was too social-democrat don't you? http://www.revleft.com/vb/group.php?do=discuss&gmid=27273 And that Stalin never committed any crimes at all. You do pick 'em, you do!

Yes i do because the US consensus is a lie.Apart from his blaming Ezhov for the excecution of traitors,terrorists and murderers in the 1937-38 period,which i don't know about,i don't see much wrong with his interview.His opinion about Stalin being too S-D is nothing new you know.

But getting back to the point his damning criticism of this blatant liar Timothy Snyder is all there,in black and white,care to argue that ?
Post edited at 20:22
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
Eh link Postie.
To the Czechoslovak figures.
Post edited at 20:40
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Eh link Postie.

> To the Czechoslovak figures.

http://tinyurl.com/nv5es8v
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Duno if i am looking in the wrong place in your link(thanks for that) but the figure for the prison total in 1990 before Havel's idiotic release of criminals says 22,278 but up thread you say it was 58,000.
I don't get it.
biped - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> I don't get it.

And so concludes the thread.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to biped:
Very funny i don't think,what is your weirdo problem with me kid,are you just another obsessive or do you actually think you are funny.And if you want to debate like adults do then try it out or you could just continue behaving like a child.
Post edited at 21:41
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Duno if i am looking in the wrong place in your link(thanks for that) but the figure for the prison total in 1990 before Havel's idiotic release of criminals says 22,278 but up thread you say it was 58,000.

> I don't get it.

Actually, my mistake 22.3k (Czech) + 13.5k (Slovakia)=36k=230 per 100k of population. Still 50% higher than any country in Western Europe.

PS. I win a prize if you mention the word "traitors"
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Link to Slovakian prison pop please.
You traitor!

Damn it !
Pick a prize.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Link to Slovakian prison pop please.


Same place as the Czech number.

> You traitor!

> Damn it !

> Pick a prize.

I'll be enjoying it later..;-)

Don't you wonder what all those non criminals were imprisoned for?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
what non-criminals ?
Their society had an incredibly low crime rate,with hardly any murder,violence,drugs and sexual abuse compared with the West.They also stamped out gangsters and organised crime but this took a while,remember they had radically overturned their whole system to an egalitarian one only 40 years earlier.They had also been under occupation by Nazis who hated them,and there were many Nazi collaboraters and sympathisers like Havel's family.There were also many internal enemies of this more progressive society who tried to attack the Socialist system as well as the ones who would not conform to working.Most people like my mans uncle were only in for 6 months to a year for persistently avoiding work.Over and above this there were many subversives and spies working for the Nazi BND,CIA or MI5 since the Cz like DDR was constantly being undermined by the West who sought to sabotage all Workers States.
Post edited at 22:32
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
> what non-criminals ?

Well, as you have pointed out before and point out again, there was no crime, so presumably there were no criminals???

> There were also many internal enemies of this more progressive society who tried to attack the Socialist system as well as the ones who would not conform to working..Over and above this there were many subversives and spies working for the Nazi BND,CIA or MI5 since the Cz like DDR was constantly being undermined by the West who sought to sabotage all Workers States.

Ah, you mean, er,.. let me guesser..traitors!!!!
Post edited at 22:44
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Well, as you have pointed out before and point out again, there was no crime, so presumably there were no criminals???

Crime levels were very low compared with the West 1/10 in the GDR compared to the FDR for instance and the same is true for Cz.The streets were safer and like i said many of the criminal things we have in the west like organised crime,prostitution,mugging,drug dealing and gang fighting were stamped out by locking the perpetrators up for a long time.Prison sentences would be longer in these places and in cases of fraud against the people you would get hammered and not let out after 3 years like in this country or 5years for murdering someone.

Result - more of the right people in jail and a much safer society.
Post edited at 23:03
dissonance - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Result - more people in jail and a much safer society.

So you agree with the US approach to justice?
Graeme Alderson on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

But it appears that you could be locked up for a year for signing on.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to dissonance:

No not really because all the other things i mentioned like organised crime,violence,drug dealing and abuse,gang fighting,unsafe streets,no-go areas and prostituion are absolutely huge and very much a major feature of American society.where as in the CZ these things were practically stamped out.

Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Result - more of the right people in jail and a much safer society.

So, people who think the wrong things and people who don't work?
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Unemployment was technically illegal so yes very much so,why should i have to work when someone else who is quite capable of working doesn't want to ?It's not fair on everyone else as we all know.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> So, people who think the wrong things and people who don't work?

Yes people who don't work and criminals as well as those plotting against the workers state.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Unemployment was technically illegal so yes very much so,why should i have to work when someone else who is quite capable of working doesn't want to ?It's not fair on everyone else as we all know.

Give Salmond and Cameron a call, "fellas, I've had a great idea. How about we lock up the unemployed? We could build new prisons and labour camps called, oh, I don't know... how about..."the gulag"?"

You could be on to a winner.
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Yes people who don't work and criminals as well as those plotting against the workers state.

Brilliant idea. You could also suggest some sort of special force of police, secret ones, to enforce the law. What shall we call them?
Sir Chasm - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted: So in shona's worker's paradise the unemployed are incarcerated? Wow!

dissonance - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> where as in the CZ these things were practically stamped out.

Yet you were claiming that was down to the harsh sentences?
So have you looked at US sentences recently?
dissonance - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Redacted) So in shona's worker's paradise the unemployed are incarcerated? Wow!

Well, yes. Because its a worker's paradise not the "lackees of foreign powers and slackers paradise".
I cant think of anything which could go wrong with this approach.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
> How about we

Nah you need to change the entire system first from capitalist to Socialist,you see it's not the unemployed's fault if there are not enough jobs for them is it ? oh dear you rabid Tories want to blame the poor for everything as usual.
Your getting a bit hysterical now Pat so i'll let your nurse sedate you in peace and say goodnight, i'll deal with both your replies tomorrow.
Graeme Alderson on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

Wow. You could get a job at the Centre for Policy Studies with that kind of go get them attitude.
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to dissonance:
> Yet you were claiming that was down to the harsh sentences?

Yes and a better more equal society.
> So have you looked at US sentences recently?

See above.

Sir Chasm - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to dissonance:

> Well, yes. Because its a worker's paradise not the "lackees of foreign powers and slackers paradise".

> I cant think of anything which could go wrong with this approach.

But will shona consider it paradise when the workshy have been eliminated? Is that sufficient? Perhaps the disabled, bloody scroungers, should be dealt with. And the queers. It'll be lovely.
pawelx - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

Residence of Chief Prosecutor, a close friend of Yanukovytch http://4ubuk.blogspot.se/2014/02/blog-post_23.html
Worth checking out by those here still claiming Yanukovytch government was democratically elected and full of best intentions, etc.
This photo (of the prosecutor himself) shows very well what how these people saw themselves http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UCwDLoM2npI/Uwop5QkbQEI/AAAAAAAAHV4/eZA-7PrJILk/s1600/DSC_8001.JPG hardly a humble public servant..
Postmanpat on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Nah you need to change the entire system first from capitalist to Socialist,you see it's not the unemployed's fault if there are not enough jobs for them is it ?
>
Blimey, why didnt we think of that? Secret police, prison overseers, lackeys for thr party apparatchiks. No end of jobs, a socialist paradise. Sleep tight babe xx
ads.ukclimbing.com
Redacted - on 23 Feb 2014
In reply to pawelx:

Does having a big house like that mean you weren't democratically elected ?
Redacted - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Secret police !
cough-CIA-cough-Nazi BND-cough-RUC-cough- SPG !
Redacted - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> But will shona consider it paradise when the workshy have been eliminated? Is that sufficient? Perhaps the disabled, bloody scroungers, should be dealt with. And the queers. It'll be lovely.

Worhshy eliminated !
Disabled dealt with !

Isn't that the current Con Dem policy ?
Simon4 - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

I'm afraid that people like you, who actually know something about the situation in the Ukraine from personal experience, i.e. in your case being familiar with Kharkiv, are being entirely drowned out by ignorant jamming of the wavelength. This is the problem with the inane shooting their mouths off, those who are actually informed and might have something interesting to say give up and say "sod that for a laugh, that thread is being swamped by an extremist moron".
kevin stephens - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:

Thanks Simon, also for your interesting contributions (and TobyA, offduty etc). Of course ill informed tosh is not unusual on the UKC forums

For those interested this is the post Simon referred to

Simon4:



> One thing I do know from well before this crisis is that there is a long standing historical split in the country between Ukrainian-speaking, Western-looking West Ukraine and mostly Russian-speaking, Eastern-looking East Ukraine. It is questionable if the country can hold together for long, given this deep rift.


I agree, I've spent a lot of time in Ukraine's second city Kharkiv; close to Russia and Russian speaking. Ukraine has a very big land mass with relatively poor road and rail links, hence the cities tend to be isolated from each other. The folk in Kharkiv are liberal and not in a dictatorship, but their livelihood depends on the heavy industry which trades more with Russia than Western Europe. They may see the petrol bomb wielding rioters in Kiev are a major threat as the local industry would not survive if the country cut its relationship with Russia in favour of Europe.

To me partition looks inevitable
pawelx - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:
> Does having a big house like that mean you weren't democratically elected ?

no obviously it doesn't. But if you enter the office with fairly modest income and savings, and build a house like this, or if your (i.e. Yanukovytch's) under 30 son becomes one of the richest oligarchs in the country within 2 years - we're literally talking billions of dollars net worth - then the suspicion of corruption becomes so probable that the argument about you having been democratically elected is no longer relevant, really.
Post edited at 08:40
Postmanpat on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Secret police !

> cough-CIA-cough-Nazi BND-cough-RUC-cough- SPG !

Nah, name it after some pros, not the amateurs.
In reply to Redacted:

> of this blatant liar Timothy Snyder is all there,in black and white,care to argue that ?

The colour of his un-sourced rantings on the internet are not really here nor there. You show where Snyder "lied". I suppose you haven't actually read his book - it is rather long after all - but I'm sure you could make it through if you put some effort in.

But you will side with the internet rantings on the glory of Stalin of a medieval English specialist over the exhaustively researched and sourced book of one of the leading historians (at the about best university in world) of that era - a book that has been debated, critiqued and reviewed and argued over by fellow experts in the field perhaps as much as any other. I would say that this just shows once again that you have absolutely no interest in the best attempts of serious researchers to reach the truth. Instead you just don't want your bizarre world view threatened in any way at all.
In reply to kevin stephens:

Kevin - the research done on the protesters is here (first Dec. survey) http://www.dif.org.ua/en/events/gvkrlgkaeths.htm and here (February update) http://www.dif.org.ua/en/publications/press-relizy/vid-mchi-sho-zminilos.htm

The origins of the protestors is interesting and seems to be what has sparked some of the more optimistic assessment for Ukraine not necessarily splitting up or facing civil war. About the half the protestors are Ukrainian speakers (which means Western Ukraine) and about a quarter bilingual (Kiev and the centre) and about a quarter Russian speaking (East and South). The proportion of Ukr speakers has gone up over the period, presumably as the more nationalist groups have come to the fore in organising.
I like climbing - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

Did you hear about the move to ban Russian from being spoken in schools and state institutions in Ukraine ? I believe it is about to be voted on.

This will have quite an impact.
MargieB - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:
Ukraine highlights the political leverage to which Russia will go in its use of Russian gas pipelines to Ukraine. It switches them off at will and Ukraine is held to ransom. Would we like Europe to be that dependent or would we like the UK to be that dependent on Russian gas? I would say no, but we should roll on getting as much energy independence as possible, even at this late stage of our energy policy decision making.
Post edited at 16:53
I like climbing - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to I like climbing:

Even the head of the church in Ukr has been replaced by the new regime. The former head had been bribed by Yanokovich......expensive cars apparently.
The previous justice minister's house was seen today. He had a large picture of Napoleon with his own head replacing Napoleon's !
Postmanpat on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to I like climbing:

> Did you hear about the move to ban Russian from being spoken in schools and state institutions in Ukraine ?

No, where did you hear this? Seems spectacularly unlikely.



In reply to Postmanpat:

There is something going on in their parliament regarding language.
mat123 - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

the language isn't being banned, but is being removed as the official language (one of the 2, leaving only Ukrainian) of the country.
Nobody proposes to ban a minority (Russian) from speaking their language between themselves, but the state won't have to bear the additional costs of having to produce bilingual documents, or teaching kids two languages which only serves to deepen the west-east division.
elsewhere on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
> No, where did you hear this? Seems spectacularly unlikely.

It sounds too stupid to be true so I didn't believe it either.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/russia-ukraine-west-yanukovich

I like climbing - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

We have Ukrainian and Russian TV at home and this was mentioned on Ukrainian TV. I agree that it sounds bizarre. Having said that Political commentators have discussed that a law may be passed which prosecutes anyone who discusses separation.
What I have done on this thread is mention things that may not have been mentioned on UK TV which we also have.
Another odd fact: statues of Lenin are going up in the East of Ukraine while statues of Lenin are being pulled down in the west of the country.......
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> ... serious researchers ...

Your faith in "serious researchers" is touching! None of them could possibly have political views or have their eyes on well paid jobs, or desire to keep those they have already, could they?

Bruce Hooker - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No, where did you hear this? Seems spectacularly unlikely.

Russian is being "demoted" from being in the same level as Ukrainian... which seems a bit inflammatory before elections have even taken place and gives an idea of the ambience in "post revolutionary" Kiev... a bit of a provocation towards half of the population. An indication of the role played by Nationalist extremists in the West of Ukraine.
Postmanpat on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Russian is being "demoted" from being in the same level as Ukrainian... which seems a bit inflammatory before elections have even taken place and gives an idea of the ambience in "post revolutionary" Kiev... a bit of a provocation towards half of the population. An indication of the role played by Nationalist extremists in the West of Ukraine.

I slightly reluctantly have a lot of sympathy for Putin on this one.
ads.ukclimbing.com
pawelx - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> a bit of a provocation towards half of the population
"half a population" seems a bit exagerated. More like 20% http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine#Languages
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Inflammatory, yes.

I don't know to what extent the opposition can be described as Nationalist extremists. I know for a fact that a large percentage of the demonstrators were just ordinary people.
In reply to pawelx:

I think the language picture in Ukraine is much more complex than that.
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I don't know to what extent the opposition can be described as Nationalist extremists

I didn't say it was but there are extremists amongst them and they play a leading role. Organised groups obviously influence a movement beyond their numerical strength. There are plenty of articles to be found on internet which give a run down of who's who. It's also regional, the West tends to be more open to European influence and the East to Russian. The East being more industrial and having Russia as a major client it's easy to see why opinions should differ.

One aspect which is rarely mentioned is that the country being in great economic difficulties a while ago the ex-government was in negotiations with EU and Russia. The EU offered a few hundred millions aid (not sure whether $ or ) the Russians something like 30 billion! This was why they decided to scrap the EU approach and sign up with Russia, it's not hard to understand. Russia also offered a deal on money owed for gas and future prices.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I know - they are, to use the Russian expression "between the hammer and the anvil".
Redacted - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

For all your false bluster you seem incapable of reading anything that criticizes your heavily biased opinions,which always favour the US/Nato genocidal mass murderers and their historical revisionists.
Only some of the points in Snyder's book have been shown to be wrong,i never said otherwise.The points you look for are perfectly clear from the article by Grover Furr, as well as the points by Holocaust in the Baltics expert Dovid Katz.
Back to Ukraine-
For more criticism of Snyder's Russophobia and his Ukraine article see this and the many criticisms of Snyder(what an appropriate name!)by Stephen F.Cohen-http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37635.htm



Redacted - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

I'm sorry to you and the folk i dissed on here earlier,i was very angry about Ukraine,very angry,sorry again.
Redacted - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to pawelx:
> then the suspicion of corruption becomes so probable that the argument about you having been democratically elected is no longer relevant, really.

That is very different from saying-

> Worth checking out by those here still claiming Yanukovytch government was democratically elected and full of best intentions.

He was democratically elected and now the US maniacs have another regime change created as always by some of their fanatical neo-nazi/Islamist extremist/drug mafia friends.
Post edited at 22:13
Redacted - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Simon4:
I'll tell you what's extremist kid, being an apologist for the country and system that has intentionally murdered more unarmed civilians than any other in history.(USA and capitalism)That created it's wealth from the suffering of countless millions of black slaves and starved to death tens of millions from economic plunder all over the world(UK and partly USA and capitalism)Then there is your endless wars and robbery,yeah you call your mafian countries who bleed others dry whilst committing genocide,installing their Tyrants,neo-nazis,fanatical religious maniacs and gangsters in numerous countries who had elected leaders that we didn't want,and getting away with it....yeah you call them normal,if it helps you sleep at night kid,i'll happily be an 'extremist'
'Moron',I've forgotten more than your atrophied mind knows.
nufkin - on 25 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> the country and system that has intentionally murdered more unarmed civilians than any other in history.(USA and capitalism)

The Khmer Rouge killed quite a lot. So did the Mongols
In reply to Redacted:

> as well as the points by Holocaust in the Baltics expert Dovid Katz.

Katz's point is that Snyder's comparison of the crimes of Stalinism and the crimes of the Nazis play into the hands of Baltic Nationalists - and I'm sure he's correct there. If you visit the Museums of Occupation in Tallinn or Riga, you can see a somewhat Baltic nationalist view of history in action - for perhaps understandable reasons, if not academically correct ones. They focus on the mistreatment of Estonians and Latvians by the Soviet Union, while not dwelling that much on their own countries complicity in the Holocaust. But from what I remember of reading Katz Guardian piece he wasn't disputing Snyder's facts, but his interpretation.

MargieB - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

What's being played out in Ukraine is a bigger picture of the relationship between Russia and EU given that Russia intends to sell EU a hell of a lot of gas in the future because of our shortsighted, shortfall- energy policies. It's a reconstruct of a Russian/ eastern European relationship but of course economic Russian ambitions seem at odds with soveriegn independence and Can Russia sell gas and not demand old style satellite political states as in the past? Can a relationship be developed on new lines? All up for grabs.....
neilh - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to MargieB:

The gas threat has weakened. There is a thing called fracking which has weakened Russia's positon.
MargieB - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to neilh:

Which is true, and Russia tried a massive British put-down by calling us a small country- but we have the advantage of a long, long coastline for other energy systems.But Inland/Eastern Europe has not got that advanatge.
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Katz's point is that Snyder's comparison of the crimes of Stalinism and the crimes of the Nazis play into the hands of Baltic Nationalists - and I'm sure he's correct there.
Yes you are correct there,as you cannot compare them,full stop and Snyder attempts to do exactly that,which is absolutely despicable.
> But from what I remember of reading Katz Guardian piece he wasn't disputing Snyder's facts, but his interpretation.
Agreed.
Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Yes you are correct there,as you cannot compare them,full stop and Snyder attempts to do exactly that,which is absolutely despicable.

>
Yup, Stalin's moustache was much much better, incomparably so.
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to nufkin:

> The Khmer Rouge killed quite a lot. So did the Mongols
75,000-150,000(Finnish Inquiry Commission)Many killed for collaborating with the US bombers(who murdered 1/2 a million Cambodian civilians) and many killed after an attempted coup,it was the Vietnamese Communist Army that drove them out.The millions of deaths are falsely attributed to Pot Pot but this is untrue as many died of starvation from the US bombings which destroyed Cambodian agriculture and 75% of their draft animals.Rural housing was decimated and millions of people flocked to the cities to get away from the US bombs.

The US was helping to feed some of these millions swelling the cities before Pol Pot came to power(disgusting irony)a report of theirs stated if they stopped the aid then 1 million would die in 1975 alone from starvation.Not only did the US bombers stop the aid after Pol Pot came to power but they imposed an embargo of all food to Cambodia.China sent some aid but this resulted in Pol Pot forcing city dwellers out in to the countryside to resume farming their bombed out land.
Nowhwere near the 11 million + unarmed civilians that the genocidal USA have systematically murdered though,the USA caused the trouble in Cambodia that brought about the rise of the khamer rouge in the first place.The USA bombed this country into the stoneage causing mass starvation as well and murdering 1/2 million unarmed civilians by bombing.
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> 75,000-150,000(Finnish Inquiry Commission)Many killed for collaborating with the US bombers(who murdered 1/2 a million Cambodian civilians) and many killed after an attempted coup,it was the Vietnamese Communist Army that drove them out.The millions of deaths are falsely attributed to Pot Pot but this is untrue as many died of starvation from the US bombings which destroyed Cambodian agriculture and 75% of their draft animals.Rural housing was decimated and millions of people flocked to the cities to get away from the US bombs.

> The US was helping to feed some of these millions swelling the cities before Pol Pot came to power(disgusting irony)a report of theirs stated if they stopped the aid then 1 million would die in 1975 alone from starvation.Not only did the US bombers stop the aid after Pol Pot came to power but they imposed an embargo of all food to Cambodia.China sent some aid but this resulted in Pol Pot forcing city dwellers out in to the countryside to resume farming their bombed out land.

> Nowhwere near the 11 million + unarmed civilians that the genocidal USA have systematically murdered though,the USA caused the trouble in Cambodia that brought about the rise of the khamer rouge in the first place.The USA bombed this country into the stoneage causing mass starvation as well and murdering 1/2 million unarmed civilians by bombing.

Wow.. that is just incredible.. anything/anyone is OK as long as they are against the US!
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Oh aye i forgot about you.
Do you want to talk about gulags,prison numbers and what was it... secret intelligence services and their atrocities ?
If so open a new thread so as not to divert this one and we can have a cosy wee chat.
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to IainRUK:
I am no fan of this maniac Pol pot and his henchmen,so no,not ok.
Glad to clear that up for you.

Ps. Were the 1/2 million+ murdered children,old folks and other helpless folks murdered by the USA ok ?
Post edited at 19:57
Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Oh aye i forgot about you.

You just broke my heart :-(

> Do you want to talk about gulags,prison numbers and what was it... secret intelligence services and their atrocities ?

>

Nah, lets talk moustaches. Any favourites apart from Uncle Joe? How about this one ?

http://tinyurl.com/l6gfy2f

but it's american so may not be your taste.
In reply to mat123:

Who would know that there had been a revolution in Ukraine from reading this thread?
In reply to Redacted:

> Yes you are correct there,as you cannot compare them,

You can compare any two things but we seem to be falling down an epistemological rabbit hole now. Have you read Bloodlands by the way? Or are just going by what others say?
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> I am no fan of this maniac Pol pot and his henchmen,so no,not ok.

> Glad to clear that up for you.

> Ps. Were the 1/2 million+ murdered children,old folks and other helpless folks murdered by the USA ok ?

No, but I become a yank on Sunday so I'm not going to speak out against them... they have eyes..
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to TobyA:

No i haven't and didn't say i had,but what i am saying is that the article of Snyder's that was linked to has many intentional mistakes that are there to support his anti-Russian bias.The whole point about Snyder was the article he wrote about Ukraine.

Did you read the link criticizing it that i posted by Stephen F.Cohen ?
Redacted - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

A Yank on Sunday !Shocker !
Subvert from within Iain ! and remember to vote for the http://cpusa.org/
or better still join them !
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Redacted:

According to the great state of Texas there is already a commie in the white house.... and he's also muslim... oh and born in Kenya...
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Feb 2014
In reply to mat123:

So the leader of the "Fatherland Party", involved in various corruption affairs around his close ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, recently released from prison on corruption charges, has been "appointed" as president of Ukraine:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26316268

It looks like the Brave New World promised by so many looks very much like the unbrave old world decried by the same! What legitimacy does the new government or president have, apart from what the crowd in Kiev is shouting? Back to the latter part of the Roman Empire... or a banana republic.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

The problem with both Russia and Ukraine is that pretty much everyone is or has been corrupt, and on the rare occasions when they haven't been, the corrupt judicial system makes it pretty easy to nick them for it anyway.

The only difference between Khodorkovsky and Abramovich in Russia was staying on the right side of Putin.

The situation from Crimea is very unsettling for the Crimean Tatars.
redsonja - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

putin has sent troops in to crimea but says we should not intervene in Syria. I wonder why
neilh - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

That is a bit of a simplification.I have dealt with plenty of Russians who are not corrupt.
off-duty - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> putin has sent troops in to crimea but says we should not intervene in Syria. I wonder why

I'm sure Shona will be along shortly to explain. I think it's got something to do with the bad US imperialists and the slave trade, versus the poor communists who throughout history have been forced to imprison and execute all the traitors and activists who dared to speak out against the regime.

So really the Russians had no choice....
In reply to neilh:

It's probably a SLIGHT exaggeration to say they are all corrupt (which indeed has negative connotations I don't mean - they are operating within their societal norms), but I have 30+ Russian/Ukrainian friends and acquaintances who have told me that it is so - even down to the marks children get at school.

In any case, the point I was making is that to say Tymoshenko and her allies are crooks is meaningless in a country like Ukraine - she's either just like everyone else or she's been fitted-up in a corrupt system. You can draw no meaningful conclusions from it. It's like the situation with Navalny in Russia at the minute.
In reply to off-duty:

I can understand them seeking to protect their military interests there, but what they have done appears to have far exceeded that.

It's the Tatar people I feel sorry for in the Crimea. They don't have much to be optimistic about at the moment.
elsewhere on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> What legitimacy does the new government or president have, apart from what the crowd in Kiev is shouting?

The president fled and the parliament voted to replace him - that's about as legitimate as it gets in a crisis.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to elsewhere:
He fled because he was scared, he went to a zone where he wasn't in personal danger. I do think he should step down and new elections should take place (although it's not for me to say, just an opinion) but until then the existing parliament, itself unpopular and riddled with the same kind of corruption and extreme right nasties, don't really have much of a mandate either - measures like demoting Russian as an official language, for example, goes far beyond being a caretaker until new elections can take place, a total provocation aimed at destabilizing the country. At present a violent and active minority is running the country. What the Russian majority in Crimea have done is just as legitimate as what these people have done in Kiev, if not more so.

The Tartars in Crimea have nothing to fear, I hope they are sensible enough not to be instrumentalized by outside agents. Crimea is an autonomous region of the Ukraine, after al, and was part of Russia until 1954.
Post edited at 14:15
Doug on 01 Mar 2014
No comments on the latest events ? is this a Russian invasion ?
I like climbing - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Doug:

I don't know but it's not looking good. This actually affects me personally so I'm following it carefully.
In reply to Doug:

It's a nightmare.
myth - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

Just so we are clear. You are the reincarnation of Gunrun off of ukc?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Douglas Griffin - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> It's a nightmare.

Indeed. Already desperate with the potential to become a lot worse.

What's most astonishing of all is the speed at which events have moved. Who could have guessed we'd be here 2 weeks ago?
Post edited at 21:03
Skyfall - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

I thought it was pretty obvious and amazed people are surprised at Putin. Ukraine is a vital strategic area for Russia and there is no way Russia would 'lose' it to the EU/West.
In reply to Skyfall:

It would be nice if it wasn't being used as a pawn in the next instalment of the Cold War.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> It's a nightmare.

The nightmare started months ago when the mechanism of destabilization of the Ukraine was set in motion. Now we have an "interim government" put in power by the mob so what's to stop another mob putting someone else in power by violence too? People talk about 80 dead but forget that about a quarter of these were amongst the security forces... The Western media "forget" this but you can bet in Ukraine people know. You'd think that a lesson would have been learnt in Kosovo, Libya and Syria, but it seems it hasn't. It's easier to stir people up than calm them down.

Whatever, I doubt that the Russians will sit back and watch their people be massacred so a military intervention is guaranteed unless democracy is restored and this phony interim government is replaced by an elected one.

The ironic thing is that all these people have been getting worked up because they have been led to believe that there is a place for the Ukraine in the EU but the EU has been quite clear that this is not really being envisaged, not for man years anyway. The EU is already finding it difficult to digest the latest new memberships, any new ones are quite off the cards for quite a while. When they realise they've been conned I wonder how they will react?
Post edited at 21:17
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Who could have guessed we'd be here 2 weeks ago?

Quite a few people actually but when everyone is gung ho in the glorious battle for democracy and anti-Russian frenzy who wanted to listen to reason?
Douglas Griffin - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Skyfall:

'Obvious'? There really are some clever people on here.
Douglas Griffin - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Well, in that case I take my hat off to you too.

I didn't see the last couple of days (Crimea) coming.

What's going to happen next then?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I fail to see where the threat is to Russians in Ukraine and the need for Russian military involvement. Maybe an increased presence at their naval base, yes.

As I've said before, the demonstration in Kiev may have been triggered by the EU v Russia leaning of the country, but it became much more than that. People were sick of the corruption and wanted a better way.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> It would be nice if it wasn't being used as a pawn in the next instalment of the Cold War.

To be honest they've already been pretty active pawns themselves!
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Indeed. I regularly speak with Ukranians from across the country (but mainly from the east and Crimea) and I struggle to get to grips with it. It was a difficult country to understand before all this; it's even harder now. Mainly I'm concerned for their welfare.

To Bruce- I'm far from anti-Russian btw.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

No! They want to live in a decent country! I read recently that Yanukovich had amassed a fortune of 45 billion. Do you think we would sit calmly and talk of our democratically elected govt if Cameron had creamed that amount from the UK coffers?
Douglas Griffin - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Yep, I know one or two people there too. My old Russian teacher was from Donetsk, so I guess her family should be OK (for now).

My bedtime reading for tonight: Robert Service's 'Russia: Experiment with a People' - the first chapter deals with all the territorial changes of the RSFSR, including the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 - one of many changes, but one that looks like being by far the most significant...
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

I suppose if the Russians stayed in Crimea until such time as there is a referendum, that would be something, but of cold comfort to the Tatar people there. I had an acquaintance who's a Tatar - she said the situation was really scary. I can't keep in touch now because she's deleted her VK page. It was clear though how divisive it had all become, she had lost friends through it all and emotions were running very high. If the Russians start deploying throughout Ukraine, as I understand Putin has got permission from the Russian parliament to do, I dread to think of the consequences.

My close friends are in Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk, so on the Russian side of the country. It's such a mess. I worry about their safety, but probably more so the economic side of things. My dearest friend has just got a job with a British company in Donetsk, after working her guts out at university and in learning English (I helped her prepare for her interview and was so pleased for her when she got the job, especially after staying with her family and seeing how difficult life was for them in comparison to the standard of living here). It breaks my heart to think that her company may pull out of Ukraine owing to the instability there and all her work would have been for nothing.

Just to illustrate what life was like in Ukraine, there was a news story when I was there. A girl had been run over and killed at a crossing, and there was a court case which established that her family should pay the driver for damage to his car, despite the fact that he ran her over at a crossing and was totally to blame. I asked my friend why people put up with such injustice and she just shrugged and said "What can we do?". I guess at the Maidan they saw what they could do.
Douglas Griffin - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

A mess indeed. :-(
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> People were sick of the corruption and wanted a better way.

That's what our medias trot out anyway, I'm not wholly convinced when I see the swastikas daubed on the walls and see the mugs of the militants involved.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I haven't got that from our media.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

No, but then he doesn't need to, he and his cronies, moist of them anyway, already are rich. Funny how we accept such flagrant riches in our own countries "That's just the way it is" to quote the film Babe, but get all shocked and grumpy when the same happens elsewhere - we never notice the gold on the Queen's coach or her palaces, or the life style of our lords of industry. That's different. Clearly he was corrupt but then so was the blond with pig-tails who is presented as a hero.

Whatever, Cameron was elected so we should accept him however much wealth he has in excess of the average, why not the same in Ukraine? Once you let mob rule loose what's good for the goose goes for the gander.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Do you know why Crimea was transferred to Ukraine? It seems odd given the naval base there. No one was forcing them, so why?

Anyway now I imagine you would be all for their return to Russia given the views of the majority there? Like Scotland except 60 years is a little less than 3 centuries.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Do you know why Crimea was transferred to Ukraine? It seems odd given the naval base there. No one was forcing them, so why?

According to Robert Service's book (published 2002)

"...Khruschev [then Party First Secretary] proposed the transfer of the Crimea from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. The ostensible move for this was largely logistical. Crimea's transport links were more convenient to Kiev than Moscow. It made sense, argued Khrushchev in the confidential discussions of the Kremlin, to put Ukraine in command of the peninsula.*
The emotional echoes of the decision were strong even though public debate was prohibited. Crimea had been conquered by the troops of Catherine the Great in 1735. They had attacked and defeated the Tatars, who had been Russia's enemies for centuries. Generations of educated Russians were taught to regard Crimea as a 'Russian' region bought by Russian soldiers' blood; and the Russian Imperial fleet had been a strong presence at Sevastopol by the Black Sea. Even so, Khrushchev blithely transferred this region from Russia to Ukraine. His reasoning was probably not confined to geography. Khrushchev had served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukraine before and after the Second World War; he was therefore acutely aware that Stalin had trampled upon Ukrainian national identity from the 1930s and this had done much damage to Russo-Ukrainian relations at the popular level. Many of Khrushchev's political associates either were Ukrainian or had worked in Ukraine. After Stalin's death he began a display of conciliatory gestures to Ukrainians. Educational and cultural controls were relaxed somewhat - and the release of Crimea into the administrative framework of Ukraine was a sign of the Kremlin's goodwill."

*Istorischeskii Arkhiv, No.1 (1992), pp.48-49
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Incidentally, I also have a copy of William's 'Khrushchev - The Man and His Era' (published 2003), and the transfer of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR doesn't get a single mention in the book's 650 pages.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Rodric Braithwaite, former British Ambassador in Moscow:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ukraine-crisis-no-wonder-vladimir-putin-says-crimea-is-r...
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

That's interesting. I think the horrors of the second world war still resonate in Russia, and they seek a barrier between them and the foe in the west.
Mr Lopez - on 02 Mar 2014

I may be reading it wrong, but didn't the President of Crimea ask the Russians for support to protect key sites? How do that make it an invasion?

There's the argument that the President of Crimea is not recognised by his Ukrainian counterpart, but seeing that both raised to power in a similar manner, i don't see how we can recognise one and not the other.

He was voted in by a majority and has already set a date for a referendum for the population to decide on segregation from Ukraine, not sure if all MP's were allowed to vote or only the ones from a particular party though.

The Russian troops on the ground seem like a disincentive for Ukraine to use force to keep Crimea than a conquest, and it seems preferable for them to be there to allow Crimeans to decide on their own future peacefully rather than getting embroiled in a civil war against mainland Ukraine.

Just look at what happened all over the World recently when the shit was allowed to hit the fan.

Am i getting it spectacularly wrong by not buying into the whole cold war/'russians are bad and want to rule the World' Hollywood type of thing?
Post edited at 15:39
biped - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Rodric Braithwaite, former British Ambassador in Moscow:


Thanks for posting that Doug. Anyone with an interest in this should read it.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to biped:

Aye, he knows his stuff, Rodric Braithwaite. I've got his book about the battle of Moscow in WW2 - it's excellent.
Postmanpat on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> That's interesting. I think the horrors of the second world war still resonate in Russia, and they seek a barrier between them and the foe in the west.

It's not just WW2; it's Charles X11 of Sweden, Napoleon and WW1. The need for a buffer zone has long been a leitmotif of Russian policy which the West always interprets as an aggressive rather than defence posture and screws up it's response accordingly.
Post edited at 16:10
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

And it's not just military - as Braithwaite's article points out, for Russia, the Ukraine isn't just any old borderland.
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Mar 2014
andyathome - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

And it would appear that at least some of the armed forces stationed there have some doubts about the legitimacy of the unelected government that is now issuing orders to them.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26410431
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:

I quite agree, which may not make you feel any easier :-)

The Western regions have taken over their bits, by force and in the absence of any democratic formalities, all applauded and even encouraged by Western governments, now the Eastern bits are doing the same but with a lot less violence and destruction and as far as I can make out in areas where there is little doubt of the majority position, and no swastikas or anti-Semitic graffiti about. Now the firebrands in Kiev are talking of going to war for Crimea, a part of Ukraine only since 1954, possibly a charge of the Heavy Brigade is on the cards?, while the Ukrainian army and navy are looking very uneasy and wondering which way to jump.

Hopefully they won't jump at all, each area will remain as they are until elections can take place and it will all calm down, with possibly some bits, including Crimea, going the way most of their population wants... In other words a compromise. The question is will Obama and his minions in Europe accept this or will they go for their pound of flesh once again. If they do at least I won't need to worry about holiday plans next summer :-)
andyathome - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Wonder if Britain's last armed enterprise out there still has some resonance for them?

In reply to andyathome:

> Wonder if Britain's last armed enterprise out there still has some resonance for them?

Not that I'm aware of. WW2 is remembered more in Russia that here, as far as I can tell.
andyathome - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Given the toll in 'Russia' I am not at all surprised!

I also see that the ultimate sanction - David Cameron not attending the Winter paralympics - has already been deployed.
woolsack - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

I found this from John Kerry quite amusing ""You just don't in the 21st-Century behave in 19th-Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext,"

Guess no-one told him about Iraq and Afghanistan
andyathome - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to woolsack:

Only just beat you to the punch - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=580219

But agree that it is relevant to this thread. We can be quick to condemn the things that we don't see ourselves as being guilty of.
Ridge - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to andyathome:

> Wonder if Britain's last armed enterprise out there still has some resonance for them?

We do seem to be doing the retro military thing in recent years. Mesopotamia, the 4th Afghan war... Time to issue Balaclavas again?
Eric9Points - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to andyathome:

A bit of a red herring though isn't it. Organising the annexation of large parts of a foreign country without a UN mandate is wrong. The ethnic Russians in Ukraine were not in danger. Are we likely to see the same kind of belligerence turned on Estonia and Latvia as well?

On C4 news tonight Malcolm Rifkind referred to Russia as behaving as if Ukraine was some kind of semi autonomous Russian colony. I think I'd agree with that.

Let's hope things sort themselves out peacefully.
Redacted - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> putin has sent troops in to crimea but says we should not intervene in Syria. I wonder why

Why should we invade Syria ? Please tell.
Sir Chasm - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Why should we invade Syria ? Please tell.

Do you think he might be saying "we" shouldn't invade Syria AND Putin shouldn't invade Ukraine? Maybe? Is that a possible interpretation?
Redacted - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Eric9Points:

> The ethnic Russians in Ukraine were not in danger.

Really ?How do you know that ?
> Are we likely to see the same kind of belligerence turned on Estonia and Latvia as well?

No that would be ridiculous.
> On C4 news tonight Malcolm Rifkind referred to Russia as behaving as if Ukraine was some kind of semi autonomous Russian colony. I think I'd agree with that.
I wonder how Rifkind would refer to all the British invasions or bombing campaigns,say since WW2 or even the very recent ones.
It's people are majority Russian and want protection from thousands of far-right Nazis who are running amok whilst broadcasting their hatred for Russia and all things Russian.


ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Redacted:

> It's people are majority Russian and want protection from thousands of far-right Nazis who are running amok whilst broadcasting their hatred for Russia and all things Russian.

I'm glad to read you get a free lunch with all this work Shona! :-)
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/10/russias-online-comment-propaganda-army/2804...
Redacted - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
I'm doin all this for free tae !
D'ye think they'll backdate me ?



Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Skyfall:

> I thought it was pretty obvious and amazed people are surprised at Putin. Ukraine is a vital strategic area for Russia and there is no way Russia would 'lose' it to the EU/West.

Anne Applebaum didn't see it coming either.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anne-applebaum-the-pressure-is-on-ukraine/2014/02/27/1b080328...
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Eric9Points:

> The ethnic Russians in Ukraine were not in danger.

Weren't (aren't) they? Did you know that one of the first measures of the putsch government in Kiev was to demote the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, in a country where practically everyone can speak Russian and a great many do as their daily language... one of the others was to revoke a law banning fascist symbols and insignia such as swastikas!

Your probably right though, there's nothing to worry about from the present auto proclaimed "government". Those people who actually live there, unlike you or me, are certainly being rather silly.
In reply to Redacted:

That'll be a lot of free lunches then! Hopefully they could give you some as freeze dried meals so you could hang on to them for future camping trips.

For everyone but Redacted and Bruce who will get upset the by the reactionary-neo-fascist-zionist-CIA-propaganda Synder's latest piece for the NYR blog is very good once again: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/mar/01/ukraine-haze-propaganda/
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Read the thread, we are not the only ones who aren't repeating Western propaganda like you are. You should change your blog name to "His Master's voice from the North"!
dissonance - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> Read the thread, we are not the only ones who aren't repeating Western propaganda like you are.

yes its lucky we have you for a completely unbiased viewpoint.

Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

PS. I just read your article, like previous ones by the same man how you can take this is calm and objective I don't know. Whether it is true, partly true or not the language used and many of the statements don't correspond to what one would normally expect from someone who isn't a simple propagandist with an axe to grind. He could get a job on the Daily Mail!
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to dissonance:

I said I wasn't the only one not that I am unbiased - I am very strongly biased against what the Western powers are, and have been doing for years - slowly pushing their influence to the East by all means possible and with sod all care for the populations caught up in it. Can you really say that the Yugoslavian people came out of the destruction of their country better off, that all the deaths were worth it, or those in Libya or Afghanistan?

In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept, instead of cooling down the extremists whose influence in the self appointed government far outweighs their numbers they are encouraging them. Be honest, can you really see any attempts at compromise, at reassuring the Russian minority? For example, changing the status of the Russian language at a time like this, is it really the major problem facing Ukraine at present? Is it calculated to reassure Russian speakers or provoke them?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Whether it is true, partly true or not...

i.e. - you don't really have any knowledge on this that you haven't gleaned from sources you select because they tell you what you want to hear.

> ...the language used and many of the statements don't correspond to what one would normally expect from someone who isn't a simple propagandist with an axe to grind.

We have these epistemological discussions before. Just because he doesn't tell you what you want to hear doesn't mean it isn't true. Actually, these days I get to the point where it seems more like that the more you don't want to hear it, the more likely it is to be true.

> He could get a job on the Daily Mail!

He has a perfectly good job as a professor of history at one of the best universities in the world where he researches Eastern European history, mainly from original sources in the languages of the region that he speaks (he apologies for not speaking Lithuanian and Hungarian, only the slavic, romance and germanic languages of central and eastern Europe!). What's the basis of your expert knowledge on Ukrainian history and current social relations from where you denounce the "propagandists"?



In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept,

Can you give me an example of an EU official or an elected senior politician within an EU member state who has said Ukraine will join the EU within the last year for example? I don't think I've heard any say that. Are French politician regularly suggestion Ukraine should join the EU? Some people (Poles I think) said this back after the Orange Revolution - but they can't get to an association agreement now - which is a million miles still from membership.

The Euromaidan protests began over a trade deal that was being done between Ukraine and the EU. Membership wasn't on the table and I would suspect, that like Turkey, it would be at the closest - and in the rosiest of scenarios - a decade or more away legally/technically. Far more likely (like Turkey) is that it wouldn't happen due to internal problems within the EU.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Read the thread, we are not the only ones who aren't repeating Western propaganda like you are. You should change your blog name to "His Master's voice from the North"!

You do know the Russians engage in a spot of propaganda, don't you?

My friend in Kiev said she'd read a Russian newspaper article about something she had first hand knowledge of, and it was 100% inaccurate. There was a story about 600,000+ ethnic Russians fleeing like refugees to Russia, when in fact it was the customary border crossing to Poland!

By the way, I have yet to find, among my Eastern Ukrainian, Russian-speaking friends whom Putin states he is saving from the hordes of fascists in Kiev, any who welcome Russia's military involvement.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Weren't (aren't) they? Did you know that one of the first measures of the putsch government in Kiev was to demote the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, in a country where practically everyone can speak Russian and a great many do as their daily language...

That was an astounding misjudgement.


one of the others was to revoke a law banning fascist symbols and insignia such as swastikas!

Where did you find that out? I hadn't heard it.

Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
Ste Brom - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Can you give me an example of an EU official or an elected senior politician within an EU member state who has said Ukraine will join the EU within the last year for example? I don't think I've heard any say that. Are French politician regularly suggestion Ukraine should join the EU?

Try
http://www.ukrinform.ua/eng/news/tags/rompuy

Loads there
biped - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Some good points and a bit of context here too, not overly hopeful reading though.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/03/ukraine-theres-no-way-out-unless-the-west-under...
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to biped:

Aye. Ta for posting.
In reply to Ste Brom:

I had a quick look through, lots of Rompuy supporting the Association Agreement, and rightly so, nothing specifically on membership though.
In reply to biped:

If you think that is depressing, try this column from the Voice of Russia! http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_02/Russian-peace-and-stabilization-intervention-in-Ukraine-Pro...
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> > Whether it is true, partly true or not...

> i.e. - you don't really have any knowledge on this that you haven't gleaned from sources you select because they tell you what you want to hear.

Ere, no, that's not what my words mean, they mean that no matter if what he says in different parts of the article (some is true, some isn't some is half truths, as I know myself and I would have imagined you were aware of too) the way he presented it was what I went on to say.

So he's a professor, and although I realise you have an endless admiration for academics because you identify with them, we've had that discussion too enough times, how many of such people are chosen to govern countries? Could there be a reason? As they often disagree with each other how can they all be right?

Come on now, even you in your desire to follow the establishment can't find that article is well written and balanced.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Interesting article here too:


Good article, but then I would say that as he says what I've been saying for a few day :-)

I'd like to quote the whole article, but here's just a bit:

Simferopol, Crimea, on 2 March. Underlying the crisis in Crimea and Russias fierce resistance to potential changes is Natos undisguised ambition to continue two decades of expansion.'
Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

And another link to the Guardian, even if this is like a red flag to a bull for some:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/29/ukraine-fascists-oligarchs-eu-nato-expansion
off-duty - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Only Ukrainians can overcome this crisis. Continuing outside interference is both provocative and dangerous.

I take it you agree with the conclusion and will be joining your voice to those calling for Russian withdrawal.....


In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You still haven't said who has been 'leading on' the Ukrainian people by saying they could join the EU. I've been looking but haven't found who you mean yet.
David Martin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Unpleasant to think Yanukovych's ousting could become another Archduke Ferdinand moment. In a 100 years from now a modern Nial Ferguson and co. could be debating "Did the West have to join WWIII against Russia?"

The unwillingness to back down, the stakes, and the complete bloody-mindedness and blindness to the other side of the argument, by both sides, is not a helpful. Add to that massive armies, simmering cold-war animosity, nuclear weapons, China and Japan at each other's throats, the ME in turmoil, environmental issues, resource scarcity, and subjective approach to revolutions in democratic states....

...did Nostradamus have any thing to say about 2014?
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to David Martin:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26424738#TWEET1060896
The Russian military has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 03:00 GMT to surrender or face an assault, Ukrainian defence sources have said.
The head of Russia's Black Sea Fleet Aleksander Vitko set the deadline and threatened an attack "across Crimea".
MikeTS - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

The plan is clear. Control Crimea (like Georgian invasion - it helps to have a military base in the country you're invading! - create a Russian enclave, anyone that wants to be a refugee can go 'back' to Ukraine, any 'persecuted' Russians are welcome into Crimea, reset to when Crimea was part of Russia in 1991.
Game over.
Who could stop this even if they wanted to?
Hint: look at a map!!)
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to MikeTS:

Crimea wasn't part of Russia in 1991?
lynx3555 - on 03 Mar 2014
Ridge - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to David Martin:

On the plus side, the MoD have given a large proportion of the Army their P45, the carriers fitted for, but not with, aircraft aren't ready, the US is skint from kinetically applying democracy in sandy places, and the public are of the opinion that we've got quite enough paralympians, thank you very much. The EU have got enough problems to deal with without egging NATO on to get embroiled in all this, and perhaps more to the point, the 'bad guys' are handy lads in a scrap and not short of weaponry.

I'm hoping for a lot of strongly worded foot stamping and a quiet climbdown all round.
MikeTS - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Crimea wasn't part of Russia in 1991?
Well technically for a short period of time in 1991 it was part of the USSR and not Ukraine.

From Wikipedia

On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimean Oblast from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.

Following a referendum on 20 January 1991, the Crimean Oblast was upgraded to that of an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine, which led to tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

On 26 February 1992, the Verkhovniy Sovet (the Crimean parliament) renamed the ASSR the Republic of Crimea and proclaimed self-government on 5 May 1992 (which was yet to be approved by a referendum held 2 August 1992) and passed the first Crimean constitution the same day. On 6 May 1992 the same parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine.

On 19 May, Crimea agreed to remain part of Ukraine and annulled its proclamation of self-government but Crimean Communists forced the Ukrainian government to expand on the already extensive autonomous status of Crimea.
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to MikeTS:

> Well technically for a short period of time in 1991 it was part of the USSR and not Ukraine.

Yes, so not Russia - the USSR.
MikeTS - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Yes, so not Russia - the USSR.
Technically, as I said, part of USSR. But at this time the USSR was effectively very similar to what is now the Russian Federation.
In reply to MikeTS:

It's hardly an important point, given what is going on now!
off-duty - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Ridge:

> On the plus side, the MoD have given a large proportion of the Army their P45, the carriers fitted for, but not with, aircraft aren't ready, the US is skint from kinetically applying democracy in sandy places, and the public are of the opinion that we've got quite enough paralympians, thank you very much. The EU have got enough problems to deal with without egging NATO on to get embroiled in all this, and perhaps more to the point, the 'bad guys' are handy lads in a scrap and not short of weaponry.

> I'm hoping for a lot of strongly worded foot stamping and a quiet climbdown all round.

You may get your wish - according to Nick Robinson (BBC) Twitter feed a document photographed in the hands of an official entering Downing Street indicates Government will not curb trade with Russia, close London's financial centre to Russians or discuss military involvement.

off-duty - on 03 Mar 2014
Douglas Griffin - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26424738#TWEET1060896
> The Russian military has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 03:00 GMT to surrender or face an assault, Ukrainian defence sources have said.
> The head of Russia's Black Sea Fleet Aleksander Vitko set the deadline and threatened an attack "across Crimea".

Since retracted according to C4 News.

(Incidentally, having seen Matt Frei reporting from Kiev over the past couple of weeks, the worse the situation gets, the more excited he appears. Not nice to watch, at all.)
off-duty - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Just to add to the various links - a live blog of the general situation with various contributors :-
http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-liveblog-day-14-could-a-cold-war-turn-hot-today/#1935
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Several links were posted above but apart from that I'm surprised you haven't followed events, I thought you were interested in foreign affairs... for weeks in France and on the BBC they've been saying that this was a pro-Western, pro-Eu movement sparked off when the ex-President chose the much more attractive Russian financial proposition and cut off negotiations with the EU. Wasn't this reported in Finland?
MargieB - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Cameron is not a statesman when it comes to foreign diplomacy, especially handling this situation with Russia. He has, at this very early stage, ruled out military intervention- it should not have been ruled in or out at this stage and does not take into account a Russian mentality that responds to strong positions but views a negative {ruling out military intervention} as a positive to go forward itself. Putin just said that in his first interview, saying he will do so, if in his opinion, the situation warrants it. This would place Poland,Latvia into joining military forces with Ukraine and start an Eastern European action that is not really good for Europe as a whole, when it should be a collective European response with US UK France and Germany with other EU states.So one mistake by Cameron in his diplomacy could be very dangerous.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Several links were posted above

None of which said what you said they said.

> for weeks in France and on the BBC they've been saying that this was a pro-Western, pro-Eu movement sparked off when the ex-President chose the much more attractive Russian financial proposition and cut off negotiations with the EU.

Again that's not what you said. You said some days ago:

> In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept

Who made such promises? Perhaps someone has - but I haven't heard them. Wikipedia references Polish officials in 2005 saying Ukraine should join the EU (not promising that it could IIRC). But you said some one is promising that Ukraine can join the EU - but who said that?
In reply to MargieB:

I'd like to say that you are well-informed and make good points. It's quite refreshing)
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As I said before, it became about much more than Russia v EU.
neilh - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

Makes you wonder how " Mrs T" would have reacted.
woolsack - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to neilh:

> Makes you wonder how " Mrs T" would have reacted.

I just shuddered as I remembered Reagan doing that microphone sound check before an interview when he joked about a pre-emptive strike being launched in the next 30 seconds
Choss on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

worth Pointing out the election of Yanukovich was described by the OSCE as 'fair, pluralistic, and a good example of democracy'
In reply to Choss:

And then he changed the constitution, controlled the media, damaged the independence of the courts and lined his pockets to the tune of 43 billion while people lived in poverty. Oh, and his son made a billon overnight.
Choss on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Oh, and his son made a billon overnight.

Well he is a dentist ;-)

Ridge - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> And then he changed the constitution, controlled the media, damaged the independence of the courts and lined his pockets to the tune of 43 billion while people lived in poverty. Oh, and his son made a billon overnight.

Sounds like he got the hang of the EU thing.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:
> He has, at this very early stage, ruled out military intervention- it should not have been ruled in or out

You're surely not suggesting that Britain should consider taking on Russia militarily, are you? It would be a little different to bombing Libyan civilians after US cruise missile have destroyed any Libyan aircraft and missile sites!
Post edited at 09:56
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

So are you seriously denying that the Ukrainians have not been led to believe that there is a place for them in the EU? Come off it Toby, that's what this is all about... all those youngsters on the dole in Ukraine, or probably not on the dole as even civil servant salaries haven't been paid, are just dying to have the same possibilities as their counterparts in other E European countries who have won the EU jackpot. Why do you think they think this if no one told them they could? Do you think they risk there life for nothing in the freezing cold or maybe you think they are all fascist extremists? I seem to remember them saying quite the opposite?
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Just one of many from Brom's link above:


"KYIV, January 11 /Ukrinform/. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has once again expressed support for the European aspirations of Ukrainians.

He said this in Riga, where he took part in the celebrations of Latvia's accession to the euro zone, Ukrinform's Brussels correspondent has said.

I pay tribute to the people of Ukraine wanting an Association Agreement with the EU. They are longing for a modern, independent, democratic Ukraine. We remain on their side. Nobody can prevent them to see their dreams realised one day, Rompuy said."


Go on, say this isn't a promise!
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

For the association agreement - the thing that kicked off the protests! You really are being rather dense this morning Bruce. So - still - have found any senior EU political figure that has said Ukraine can/should join the EU? I'd be surprised if there wasn't someone somewhere, but you don't seem to have heard or read anyone saying that.

Again, you grasp of the idea of facts seems a little tenuous here.
Doug on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As has been said several times, " an Association Agreement with the EU " is a long way from EU membership.
RomTheBear - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> You may get your wish - according to Nick Robinson (BBC) Twitter feed a document photographed in the hands of an official entering Downing Street indicates Government will not curb trade with Russia, close London's financial centre to Russians or discuss military involvement.

Of course not, at the end of the day I don't think any country in the west will give a single f* about Ukraine, we will see a lot of words and probably no action. All we've seen is some posturing and some vague threats of economic and diplomatic sanction, which would probably harm as much Russia as it harms the west, but nobody wants to start WWIII so most likely nothing will happen. Putin will do what he wants. Now it's going to be interesting to see if Putin recognises the new Ukrainian government once elections are held.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to Doug & TobyA:

For you this is a long way from membership but it is the first step and these days direct membership seems to be a thing of the past, but to the people involved the meaning is clear when said by a top Eurocrat, their country "has it's place in Europe" doesn't mean just geographicaly, it means joining the EU with all the advantages that entails for them individually.

To Toby: I knew you would say this wasn't a promise but you are, alas, being your usual dishonest, pedantic self. What about Turks, don't you think for them they were "promised" membership of the EU, even if there's no bit of paper being sign here to join tomorrow. There have been demonstrations in Kiev for a long time but what made the fat hit the pan was when the government dropped the EU agreement and turned to the Russians, denying that is really playing with the facts.

Jim Fraser - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

If any of you thought that a few sentences about recent elections, Krushchev and Stalin would sum up the historical background to what is going on in Ukraine then think again.

In western Europe, every country uses the word slave, or similar. Step over the border into Slovenia or Poland and the etymology changes completely.

Why is this relevant? Because the word slave and the word slav are the same word. At the centre of this ancient disgrace is the Crimea. Across several centuries, Crimean Tatars enslaved millions of Slavs, mainly from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. All tied in with the Mongol empire in the previous centuries and the Ottomans later on until the Russians eventually got powerful enough to hit back. Stalin and Hitler were just a couple of copy-cat criminals.

Remember this one?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Much better if they come for the neighbours and not you. Centuries of old scores are waiting to be settled as soon as anyone gets a chance. Makes Northern Ireland look like an uncomplicated land of peace and tranquillity.

Russia and Belarus cannot let go of the old ways. The Ukrainians want to let go and live like the Poles and the Lithuanian do now.

Let's not talk about fascists when the term is routinely being used completely out of place. In any country from the old Soviet block, a fascist is anyone not aligned with the corrupt Soviet dictatorship under a Marxist-Leninist camouflage.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> the meaning is clear when said by a top Eurocrat, their country "has it's place in Europe" doesn't mean just geographicaly, it means joining the EU with all the advantages that entails for them individually.

Some one should inform Norway and Switzerland then.

> To Toby: I knew you would say this wasn't a promise but you are, alas, being your usual dishonest, pedantic self.

If that's what you want to call me pointing out your mistakes (I'm presuming you weren't deliberately trying to pass false information to make a point), then so be it.

> What about Turks, don't you think for them they were "promised" membership of the EU, even if there's no bit of paper being sign here to join tomorrow.

The Turks put in their application to join the then EEC in 1987 and got the Commission's initial response almost immediately. Formal negotiations began in 2004 IIRC, and everyone knows the story of how the stalled over Cyprus.
Post edited at 18:57
MargieB - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

That is misunderstanding the subtlety of diplomatic discussion. I said you should not rule out military action at this stage. Why? Because you must look at the whole picture- but you are like Cameron, looking linearly at Russia . But the chess board is wider, and you are also effecting change within European itself by ruling out military action at this stage. By discounting military action at this stage you force/push stronger and unilateral alliances between fearful, independent, Baltic states near to Russia. That actually heightens the conditions for war. It should not have been ruled out or ruled in at this stage -and that is not the same as definitely saying we will bomb you now. A Concerted European stance, with miltary action in the collective wings but not overtly expressed as yet is a clearer signal to Putin, who is a consummate strategist and would read that more clearly than you and would possibly hesitate before an extravagant but explosive second move .
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> If that's what you want to call me pointing out your mistakes

The Ukraine is in crisis and all you can do is try and mark points, it's pathetic. You asked for "proof" and you were given it, you then deliberately lied, saying the link was not on the subject - a common practice as many people don't actually check things out, we believe people are honest. I nearly did, then I thought I'd check and it turns out the link does just what was said, loads of quotes from an eurocrat saying the is welcome into the EU and so on, but not just any Eurocrat, the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy! It's not my mistakes here's it your deliberate lies... Why? I've no idea, your attitude is pretty weird... as is bringing Switzerland and Norway into the discussion.

But there's worse I suppose, I just saw Cameron on the telly calling for the respect of law in Ukraine when he is supporting a government that came to power by mob rule after the same mob drove the legal President out... and Milliband bending over backwards to be even more bellicose than Cameron. Have you all gone mad?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

> I said you should not rule out military action at this stage..

You bet I want to rule out military action by Britain against Russia, no doubt about that! No offence meant, but are you mad too? What's all this talk of war against Russia? Doctor Strangelove, WW3?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I think you need to put your glasses on old chap. You quote Van Rompuy yourself: "I pay tribute to the people of Ukraine wanting an Association Agreement with the EU."

You could even take the two minutes it took me to google and find the actual speech for greater context http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2013/december/ukraine-s-future-lies-with-europe-/79188.aspx

Van Rompuy was trying to get Yanukovych to reconsider not signing the association agreement, celebrating the pro-EU demonstrators out in the Maidan, and saying that he wants Ukraine to be an active partner with Europe. But he didn't say Ukraine should join the EU (that is what you said), and that's the point that you don't seem to get. I would have thought that the relevance of Norway and Switzerland was obvious - although you'll have to forgive me - Switzerland has a free trade agreement with the EU not an AA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Association_Agreement#Association_Agreements
RomTheBear - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> For you this is a long way from membership but it is the first step and these days direct membership seems to be a thing of the past, but to the people involved the meaning is clear when said by a top Eurocrat, their country "has it's place in Europe" doesn't mean just geographicaly, it means joining the EU with all the advantages that entails for them individually.

> To Toby: I knew you would say this wasn't a promise but you are, alas, being your usual dishonest, pedantic self. What about Turks, don't you think for them they were "promised" membership of the EU, even if there's no bit of paper being sign here to join tomorrow. There have been demonstrations in Kiev for a long time but what made the fat hit the pan was when the government dropped the EU agreement and turned to the Russians, denying that is really playing with the facts.

Lots of what you said is not really true as far as I recollect. I don't think any country was ever "promised" EU membership (Damn, even Scotland can't get such a promise and they are already in it!)
Bruce Hooker - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

It's totally disingenuous to say that his remarks and the remarks and of others were not designed to give the impression to Ukrainians that there was "a place for them in the EU" if they wanted it. The situation of Switzerland and Norway is totally different in numerous ways, as you well know... If either wanted to join the EU tomorrow the door would be wide open, but they don't for specific reasons that you also know as well as anyone.

Membership of the EU is not a simple economic affair, even if economic levels are supposed to be important they also imply all sorts of political conditions which basically require alignment of the state concerned on the liberal capitalist model - even France has difficulties on this one with it's desire to retain a large and subsidised public sector, so for the EU membership for Ukraine and other E European countries is a way of eliminating any residual aspects of their Communist period. For many in the countries concerned this is part of the attraction too, plus freedom to come and work in W Europe and, essentially, the dream of attaining the degree of prosperity they think comes automatically with EU membership... a dream that is less and less in contact with the reality.

You know all this so to deny the meaning of Van R's statements, not just one but many as linked a couple of days ago despite your denials, is twisting the facts and ignoring the political sense of the way these countries are strung along with the carrot of EU membership, it's all part of the new "Great Game", but is not an innocent game as the recent tragic events show. And they haven't finished EU people are still toing and froing between Brussels and Kiev, using the same double language.
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Might be of interest with reference to the fascist anti-semitic mobs that you claim are dictating Ukrainian policy.

http://maidantranslations.com/2014/03/05/open-letter-of-ukrainian-jews-to-russian-federation-preside...
In reply to off-duty:

That's interesting. It also completely accords with the views of Russian speakers I know from the East of Ukraine.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I agree with much of what you say about joining the EU, but you don't seem to get the difference between offering a country an association agreement with the EU, and offering a country membership in the EU. You said that the Ukrainians were being told they could join the EU. I hadn't heard that, so asked you who said that, and so far it seems you can't actually find anyone who actually has. The rest is your obscuration.
neilh - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Is it correct that Crimea has large reserves of shale gas which will come into play in a couple of years?On Radio 4 this morning.
In reply to TobyA:

I will ask one of the demonstrators what her view is of what was on offer from the EU.
In reply to TobyA:

I asked my friend, who was an active demonstrator at the Maidan. She's a 43 year old theoretical physicist and not, as far as I know, a Nazi.

Me:

"What I want to know is, did the protesters think that Ukraine would join the EU?"

Her:

"As far as I know EU has never offered membership
No, they didn't
They said about association only"
But in fact European position was not so important neither for Yanukovich nor for protesters I think :)"
In reply to mat123:

"They said about principles, first of all
EU is associated with democracy, Russia - with communist past
So, EU is more symbol, than real something"
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Cameron's been on the phone to Obama about it though. Here's the proof:
https://twitter.com/David_Cameron/status/441306815733579776
MargieB - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Irrespective of whether you think it is "right " or" wrong "to occupy the Crimea, from Putin's point of view the Crimea was occupied recently for a motivation {that is centuries old} to Russia, namely their sense of imcompletion with being landlocked and thus a requirement for access to the sea via St Petersberg and the Crimea.
Next move could be a different motivation, namely the crossing an Eastern European border to protect a Russian minority, relatively speaking.That would be a highly provocative move in the European context. Putin may misjudge the effect, - the Crimea was a calculated bloodless risk and he pulled it off. But say he goes from "prudent" to "wreckless"... We need to persuade him otherwise, even if the Ukraine disintegrates into civil war within its own boundaries. Why so many troops on that eastern Ukrainian border? Surely at the very least we should not rule out a military response { a clear Response to that build up}, though there are many stages to go to settle things down, and hopefully we never get to the point of discussing a miltary response atall! Anyway, Cameron has toughened up his response. I believe all aim for a de-escalation in the West and ironically toughness may achieve it with Putin.
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Cameron's been on the phone to Obama about it though. Here's the proof:


Wow! Status update: "It's complicated"...
In reply to MargieB:

I'm sure Putin doesn't really believe his own rhetoric about protecting Russian-speakers in the east, and I think he's unlikely to make what would be a catastrophic mistake in invading that part of the country. There is always just the possibility that all his actions so far have been right - maybe Russian troops presence has saved greater bloodshed?

There is no doubt in my mind though, that Russian troops entering eastern Ukraine would be a massive mistake by Putin.
j0ntyg on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Has anyone thought about this? Countries that are made up of peoples with different languages don't work. eg.
Check and Slovakian republics
Belgium, Dutch and French speakers arguing.
Africa, where the British and French made deals like, you can have everything north of latitude X and we will have the south of it, cutting tribes in half and forcing them to join made up countries with other tribes.
So let the Russians have Crimea, move the pro Ukrainians to Ukraine and the pro Russian people in Ukraine to Crimea or Russia. The confusion will die down eventually and everyone will be happy long term.

MargieB - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I'm not so sure he doesn't believe in protecting the Russsian minority in the East. It would be an old motivation but Putin is sort of old fashioned in his values- he's pretty confident, thinks he's infallible at the moment and could be thinking this way, erroneously as it would escalate things badly perhaps beyond his expectations and judgement. It did so in Syria.
elsewhere on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to j0ntyg:
Great idea - enthic purity and ethnic cleansing makes everybody happy.

Most countries with land borders have border zones with intermixed and intermarried populations that can't be unmixed without babarism.
In reply to MargieB:

I don't know; time will tell. I think he's pretty shrewd, and the shrewd move is to stay put. He must know that Russian troops will not, in the main, be welcome in Ukraine. He could, however, be a megalomaniac. I dearly hope not.
In reply to j0ntyg:

I'm not sure there is such a big difference between Russian and Ukrainian, and in any case it seems that a high percentage of people are bi-lingual anyway.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

There's an interesting map here:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/ukraine-russia-explainer

"While it's true that Ukrainian language dominates in Kiev and the west of the country and Russian is far more common in the east, most of the country is bilingual. It's not uncommon for two people one speaking Ukrainian, the other Russian to hold intelligible conversations using either language."

"Ukraine's lingua franca is Surzhyk, a motley mix of Ukrainian and Russian (sometimes with bits of Hungarian, Romanian and Polish)."
In reply to j0ntyg:

> Has anyone thought about this? Countries that are made up of peoples with different languages don't work. eg.

Loads of countries are multilingual and get along fine.
MG - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to j0ntyg:

> Has anyone thought about this? Countries that are made up of peoples with different languages don't work. eg.

Switzerland
India
Pakistan
China
US
Canada

No, your're right, they never work.
mockerkin on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to elsewhere:
> Great idea - enthic purity and ethnic cleansing makes everybody happy.

> Most countries with land borders have border zones with intermixed and intermarried populations that can't be unmixed without babarism.

So, there are neighbouring countries where people along the mutual borders get along with each other, we all know that. But they tend to be natural divisions. This Ukraine problem involves peoples who don't like each other.
It is an artificial construction.
There are posts above where people mention the bi-lingual aspects of Ukrainian/Russian life in Ukraine but that doesn't mean that they like each other.
Post edited at 18:20
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mockerkin:

> This Ukraine problem involves peoples who don't like each other.

What's your basis for saying that?

mockerkin on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> What's your basis for saying that?

Riots
In reply to mockerkin:

You're right - the people don't like the government
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mockerkin:

People rioting is not the same as entire peoples not liking each other.
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> She's a 43 year old theoretical physicist and not, as far as I know, a Nazi.

:-) Or as da' kidz say - lolz.

Very interesting to hear her perspective. Thanks for asking her.

Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

> from Putin's point of view the Crimea was occupied recently for a motivation {that is centuries old} to Russia, namely their sense of imcompletion with being landlocked

Wtf are you on about ?
Landlocked ?

Don't they have maps in la la land ?

> Next move could be a different motivation, namely the crossing an Eastern European border to protect a Russian minority,

What like they did in S.Ossetia when that mafian Saakashvili started bombing 'a Russian minority', and murdering 2000 of them before the Russians came to there rescue and kicked the Georgian mafians arse ?
Don't forget he did Saakashvili started bombing civilians the day after Condoleesa Rice left.Similarities with Ford leaving Indonesia before the US maniacs there went to E.Timor to murder 200,000 people.
redsonja - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Russian and Ukrainian languages are a bit different- I think Ukrainian is a bit like Czech or belarussian. but, like all Slavic languages, if they speak slowly, they can usually understand each other. incidentally, I was told that yanocovych cant actually speak ukrainian
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> Let's not talk about fascists when the term is routinely being used completely out of place. In any country from the old Soviet block, a fascist is anyone not aligned with the corrupt Soviet dictatorship under a Marxist-Leninist camouflage.

Wtf are you on about ?

'Corrupt Soviet' come on then you wana argue go for it !

Are you saying the Svoboda and the many other far right groups who have been instrumental in the US's regime change are not fascist ?
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

You must be gutted about Liz Wahl and Abby Martin. I guess it's just a shame they can't just "disappear" them like in the good old days.
It never used to happen when it was just plain old "Pravda" - damn this necessity for a 24-hour rolling propaganda channel....
In reply to mat123:

http://adilebkk.wordpress.com/

Please read my friend's blog on the current situation for Crimean Tatars.
In reply to redsonja:

The alphabet is a little different. I think Yanukovich learnt Ukrainian late in life, and his attempts to speak it in public made for good YouTube fodder.
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> For everyone but Redacted and Bruce who will get upset the by the reactionary-neo-fascist-zionist-CIA-propaganda Synder's latest piece for the NYR blog is very good once again

You do us a disservice there Toby as anyone knows the USA admins, intelligence services and armed forces have supported fascists and spread fascism,for a not inconsiderable time.Or do you need a wee lesson ?

How about this http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37635.htm reply to your Sniderwho is from the bestest college in the whole wide world ?

I noticed you did your squirming snake act further up thread when i asked you about it and you slimed away.You see there are very many academics from with illustrious backgrounds and so called reputations who,when it comes to Russia and Communism seem to let there good ol hillbilly redneck show.Do want me to educate you ?


Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> Russian and Ukrainian languages are a bit different- I think Ukrainian is a bit like Czech or belarussian. but, like all Slavic languages, if they speak slowly, they can usually understand each other.

Not sure if that's quite true. Probably more true within each of these language groups:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Slavic_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Slavic_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Slavic_languages
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:
Oh that's those US RT news presenters that showed their true colors but they weren't plugged in or summat ?
So what ?
Interesting reply i seen from you about the Ukrainia Jewish leaders letter to Putin.Very strange considering the firebombed synagogue,swastikas,SS symbols and Nazi salutes everywhere.Not to mention the right sector who's enemies are Jews,Communists and Russians kidnapping and torturing the head of the Communist party as well as firebombing another Communist leaders home.

Ps. Are you a member of the Right Sector ?I think you would get on well.

'Propaganda chanel' try your British BeobaChter,CNN,C4,Rueters,SKY,Weasel,ABC,ITN,NBC and all the Western lies that you call newspapers if you want proper ganda.
Post edited at 20:45
paul mitchell - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Ukraine borders Poland.Poland borders Germany.
NATO has been in contact with Putin.
Never mind gas reserves or whatever,this is a matter of
strategic wriggle room.Putin feels increasingly enclosed by neighbours affiliating to NATO.Paradoxically,he risks his own security by challenging NATO so directly.Frightened people make hasty decisions.
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Oh that's those US RT news presenters that showed their true colors but they weren't plugged in or summat ?

> So what ?

I don't know of many (any?) "Western" broadcasters that have quit becuase of biased coverage by their employer in the middle of an international crisis.

> Interesting reply i seen from you about the Ukrainia Jewish leaders letter to Putin.Very strange considering the firebombed synagogue,swastikas,SS symbols and Nazi salutes everywhere.Not to mention the right sector who's enemies are Jews,Communists and Russians kidnapping and torturing the head of the Communist party as well as firebombing another Communist leaders home.

"Everywhere"? I certainly wouldn't argue that their are dangerous influences in positions of power within the current Ukrainian situation, but as usual I think it is far from the black and white situation that you always seem to cling to.

Regardless - I'm sure this is the first time I've heard you arguing in favour of a country charging in to get involved in the internal problems of another country (though I admit to descending to moral relativism/whataboutism in that comment ;-)


> Ps. Are you a member of the Right Sector ?I think you would get on well.

LOL - A joke I guess. You need to practise them, generally it's better if they're funny.
ads.ukclimbing.com
armus on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> People rioting is not the same as entire peoples not liking each other.

Not everyone perhaps, but why are so many people rioting or demonstrating?
Post edited at 21:08
Douglas Griffin - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to armus:

Out of a population of 45 million, not that many. And those that are aren't necessarily doing it because of their dislike of another people.
In reply to armus:

I think a quick read through the thread will explain it.
Postmanpat on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:


Hey babe, I found a "sing along a Shona" song. Fancy a duet? x

Let us sing greeting to the party
Her youth is marked by young shock workers
She has the reason of a million heads
And the strength of millions of human hands
And her battalion is the
words of Stalin and Gottwald

In the midst of blooming May
In the far-away confines
Above the old castle the flag is swaying
With the words, "the truth prevails"
The words gloriously fulfilled themselves
Workers truth has prevailed!
Towards a glorious future our country rises
Glory to the Gottwald's party!
Glory! Glory
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> I don't know of many (any?) "Western" broadcasters that have quit becuase of biased coverage by their employer in the middle of an international crisis.

I think that tells you more about Western journos and their unquestioning loyalty to the system that won't let them question don't you think ?

> "Everywhere"? I certainly wouldn't argue that their are dangerous influences in positions of power within the current Ukrainian situation, but as usual I think it is far from the black and white situation that you always seem to cling to.

You are talking rubbish with this B&W nonsence,fascists were running amok after the sniper murders in Maiden.Fact !

> Regardless - I'm sure this is the first time I've heard you arguing in favour of a country charging in to get involved in the internal problems of another country (though I admit to descending to moral relativism/whataboutism in that comment ;-)

When it comes to fascists then all bets are off.

> LOL - A joke I guess. You need to practise them, generally it's better if they're funny.

LOL means laugh out loud,don't laugh if you don't find it funny :)
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Now your talking PP !
I knew you'd come good in the end.
Love it !
xxxxx
Postmanpat on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Now your talking PP !

>
I'm working on the chants, "US is SS"
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37857.htm

It seems there are 'strong' beliefs that the current illegitemate self proclaimed government of Ukrainia hired snipers to kill protesters and police.

If so that would follow a distinct pattern of regime change.
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> I think that tells you more about Western journos and their unquestioning loyalty to the system that won't let them question don't you think ?

Yes, it's awful. If they want to challenge the views of the Government or the state they have no option in the UK other than to resign. I can't think of any anti-government stories that they have ever been allowed to run.

> You are talking rubbish with this B&W nonsence,fascists were running amok after the sniper murders in Maiden.Fact !

Pleased to see you acknowledge the sniper murders. Not sure I remember how many people got killed after that by the mobs running "amok". Perhaps you can remind me?

> When it comes to fascists then all bets are off.

At least you don't even try to defend the indefensible. (Not in any rational way at least)

> LOL means laugh out loud,don't laugh if you don't find it funny :)

At you babe, not with you ;-)
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

You've got that X factor now Postie !
In reply to Redacted:

I was listening to Prof Cohen interviewed on the DR show the other day whilst out running. He's interesting but the others on the show were calling him on numerous points - he didn't specify what he meant by the supposed NATO security dimension to the association agreement for instance. He's keen on that because he made the point in your Nation article to: "The EUs civilizational proposal, for example, includes security policy provisions, almost never reported, that would apparently subordinate Ukraine to NATO."

Note the 'apparently' which I guess either means "a bloke in pub told me this" or "I don't understand the ESDP/CFSP in preparatory documents for the assoc. agreement".

Snyder basically covers Cohen's specific points in his latest NYRB piece here http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/ but days back I also linked the research done on who was on the Maidan in December and who was there in February. People can come to their own conclusion on the representativeness of the wider Ukrainian public.
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:


> It seems there are 'strong' beliefs that the current illegitemate self proclaimed government of Ukrainia hired snipers to kill protesters and police.

> If so that would follow a distinct pattern of regime change.

When I want to find out what's happening in a country I always like to go to allegations made by a foreign minister of a country at least 1000km away that shares no borders. When those allegations involve hearsay regarding what that minister was told by a doctor at the scene, well, we could always go and speak to that doctor ourselves... oh...

"Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner.

"Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people," she told The Telegraph. "I have no access to those people."

But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. "No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

"I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.

"Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise."

Mr Paet's assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share.

"I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact," she said. "Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact."

She said the new government in Kiev had assured her a criminal investigation had begun but that she had not direct contact with it so far.

"They told me they have begun a criminal process and if they say that I believe them. The police have not given me any information on it." "
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

Yeah i seen that so she changed her story or he is a liar,i wonder.
In reply to Redacted:

> It seems there are 'strong' beliefs that the current illegitemate self proclaimed government of Ukrainia hired snipers to kill protesters and police.

Alternatively Paet misunderstood what he was told by Bogomololets. She says she never saw the injured police as they weren't brought to her field hospital. She doesn't know how they were injured - she only saw protesters shot: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10677370/Ukraine-Russia-crisis-live.html (go down to 15:17).

Mr Lopez - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to armus:
> (In reply to Douglas Griffin)
> [...]
>
> Not everyone perhaps, but why are so many people rioting or demonstrating?

Egyptian/Orange democracy.

1) You vote.
2) If the person you voted for doesn't win you riot.
3) President stands down.
4) Another election gets scheduled.
5) Go to step "1".
In reply to off-duty:

Anyway - does anyone dispute that some protestors on the final days were armed? I don't watch TV much but saw BBC footage that showed a protestor with some sort of rifle - possibly only an air rifle, but it could have been a small caliber hunting rifle. But some were shooting back.
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Anyway - does anyone dispute that some protestors on the final days were armed? I don't watch TV much but saw BBC footage that showed a protestor with some sort of rifle - possibly only an air rifle, but it could have been a small caliber hunting rifle. But some were shooting back.

There were definitely armed protestors. I guess it would even be possible to argue "they started the shooting" - though I have seen absolutely no evidence of that.

I'm still not sure how this justifies subsequent Russian actions...
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
Bollocks !
'the group that monitors hospitals so that the regime cannot kidnap the wounded is run by young feminists. An important hotline that protesters call when they need help is staffed by LGBT activists.'

'Regime' is the US run by a regime ? are we in the UK ?was the legitemate Ukrainian government a regime ? No. But that is what the Western press and their twisted academics who support US iniciatives call leader who they want rid of.

'Red army veterans,feminists,LGBT ... is that why anyone shouting leftist views in the Maiden were beaten up.

He is a liar and propagandist just like you.

He talks of the Nazi parties as being heroic.

And all the while the end result.

Regime change.

Done and dusted.

I'll dissect it some more tomorrow after work.
Post edited at 22:18
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Anyway - does anyone dispute that some protestors on the final days were armed? I don't watch TV much but saw BBC footage that showed a protestor with some sort of rifle - possibly only an air rifle, but it could have been a small caliber hunting rifle. But some were shooting back.

There were reports by news agencies of a sniper shooting from the top of a hotel who was a protester and not with an air rifle.
In reply to Redacted:

> 'Red army veterans,feminists,LGBT ... is that why anyone shouting leftist views in the Maiden were beaten up.

Who was beaten up (except by the police obviously)?
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Redacted:


> 'and a new conglomeration of nationalists who call themselves the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor).'

> The Nazi right sector have been going on for many years so that's complete rubbish as well,anyone who knows anything about Ukraine knows that but he doesn't ???

Various pre-existing far-right groups came together last November and founded Pravyi Sektor - isn't that exactly what Snyder writes in your quote above.

It is interesting that so many European far-right parties though have turned their back on their ideological brethren in Ukraine and instead sided firmly with Putin. http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.se/2013/12/european-extreme-right-and-russian.html
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Who was beaten up (except by the police obviously)?

Leftists who showed themselves as such ie Communists,Anarchists etc http://anarchistnews.org/content/ukraine-harsh-antifascist-confrontation-awaits-us

did you not see the leader of the Communist party of Lvov taken away and tortured before he ran for his life to Russia ?
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=672554276134265&set=a.235769213146109.59043.212020558854...
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> it is interesting that so many European far-right parties though have turned their back on their ideological brethren in Ukraine and instead sided firmly with Putin. http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.se/2013/12/european-extreme-right-and-russian.html

Utter guff !Hahaha where did you drag this pile of old rubbish out from toby ?Yeah Putin thinks far right parties will take power in Western Europe soon !haha !come on even for you that takes the biscuit and that's saying something.

Away back to your conspiracy theories and dodgy red-neck academics Toby.
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:
> There were definitely armed protestors. I guess it would even be possible to argue "they started the shooting" - though I have seen absolutely no evidence of that.

Or evidence to the contrary.

> I'm still not sure how this justifies subsequent Russian actions...

If fascists who express hatred for Russia overthrow the government by starting to shoot at law enforcers,then begin to run amok.Perhaps it would not be too far fetched for a neighbouring government to want to protect the very Russian people the fascists say are their enemies,and they believe could be in danger.

See the 2000 murdered Russians in S.Ossetia,too late to bring them back now and the US stooge Saakashvili wasn't even a fascist.
Post edited at 23:15
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
off-duty - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:

> Or evidence to the contrary.

Did I suggest that I had?

> If fascists who express hatred for Russia overthrow the government by starting to shoot at law enforcers,then begin to run amok.Perhaps it would not be too far fetched for a neighbouring government to want to protect the very Russian people the fascists say are their enemies,and they believe could be in danger.

I was still wondering about the numbers for the murders committed by these crowds running "amok". Do you have those figures? I assume they are fairly high to justify an invasion.
In reply to Redacted:

I saw a bit of fascist graffiti in Russia...
Redacted - on 06 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> Yes, it's awful. If they want to challenge the views of the Government or the state they have no option in the UK other than to resign.

No they get fired,don't get published,get pushed out for a business/government friendly journalist who doesn't question the rich boys narrative.

> I can't think of any anti-government stories that they have ever been allowed to run.

How about WMD before we attacked Iraq ?How about the silence of Western journalists in Tripoli when our nato bombs were murdering countless thousands ?
How about the endless and i mean absolutely endless lies and fabrications published about Syria ?

You don't know much about the history of 'yellow journalism', and it's history of being used as a tool by western governments/corporate business for propaganda, to drum up support among the masses for their never ending 'next' wars and demonization of their chosen 'next' enemy.

> Pleased to see you acknowledge the sniper murders. Not sure I remember how many people got killed after that by the mobs running "amok". Perhaps you can remind me?

Did i say anyone got killed ?

> At you babe, not with you ;-)

ooh bitchy or what ?At least i put a smile on your poor mush

lynx3555 - on 07 Mar 2014
Redacted - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:
It really is incredible isn't it ?
But that is all thanks to the huge role of the mainstream media,who as always ignore the Islamist fanatics who cut toddlers necks to the spine and gas civilians,or kill blacks for fun or let people starve or die of disease from sanctions,or the formation of neo-Nazi governments and tyrannts.And ignore the effects of mass bombing of civilians.

Why ?

Because they are our fascists/cannibals/gangsters keeping our countries rich.

https://www.facebook.com/TheAntiMedia/photos/a.156753707783006.14385.156720204453023/312607068864335...

Yeah the people who are on the receiving end of our atrocities and war crimes (which never end) are the real bad guys.

We need to tell ourselves this to keep it going and to sleep at night.

Or to save ourselves from doing something to stop it all.
Post edited at 01:29
Redacted - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:

I wrote a letter of complaint to ITN about some idiot journo on news at ten the other night comparing Putin with Hitler, i roasted him.

Dis-information... we help bring neo-Nazi's to power in Ukraine and immediately begin legitimizing them.So we start calling the enemy of the Nazis Nazis,to cover what we have done and what they are in reality.
lynx3555 - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted:
That's good that you did that, comparing Putin with Hitler is very far from the truth. I have very little faith in the Western media anymore, virtually all of it is run by corporate business, which has little interest in carrying out good sound journalism and sadly too many people are buying there crap.
lynx3555 - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted: Just watching the BBC news just now and some bloke is rattling on about giving Crimea to the Russians, and the remainder of the Ukraine to the EU and NATO! He seems to think that the Ukraine will be welcomed into the EU....I almost spat my tea over my iPad!! The same frickin' reporters not so long ago reckoned Scotland had virtually no chance of getting into the EU once it becomes independent....the BBC really has lost it.
What about the East side of the Ukraine, that is largely Russian speaking and seem to support maintaining links with Russia....Nazi politicians within the EU, what a horrible prospect.

In reply to Redacted:

> Utter guff !Hahaha where did you drag this pile of old rubbish out from toby ?Yeah Putin thinks far right parties will take power in Western Europe soon !haha !come on even for you that takes the biscuit and that's saying something.

Shona, just because you don't like something doesn't make it "utter guff" you know? Did you read the linked reports perchance? Such as the Jobbik leader's lecture in Moscow hosted by Dugin? I'm sure you know Dugin's ideology but I'd be interested to know what as a communist who is sympathetic to Putin you make of it.

I read your translated piece on anarchist news. And yes it reports lots of fighting and attacks from the far right groups on leftists, but it also tells the same story as Snyder has been telling - that those protesting on the square particularly at the start before the violence was ramped up came from (an almost bizarrely) wide range of Ukrainian groups - "eco-Anarchists" with their "free earth" barricade to Arsenal fans! It also contains very harsh criticism from anarchists of the Ukr. Communist Party for being Russian patsies - I guess that's why the poor guy in the facebook link got beaten up.
In reply to lynx3555:

> He seems to think that the Ukraine will be welcomed into the EU....I almost spat my tea over my iPad!! The same frickin' reporters not so long ago reckoned Scotland had virtually no chance of getting into the EU once it becomes independent....the BBC really has lost it.

Bruce was saying above that Ukrainians have been promised they can join the EU.
BigBrother - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

UKC is as bad as the mainstream media at covering up the truth. Over 400 posts and not a single mention of the real reason for crisis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aNLvFKPvPc
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> You said that the Ukrainians were being told they could join the EU. I hadn't heard that...

On ARTE, the Franco/German state financed TV channel, yesterday there was a discussion program about Ukraine which at one point focussed on Bernard Henri Levy's antics in Kiev - he is the "nouveau philosophe" who likes to be in the limelight and is said to be the man who convinced Sarkozy to bomb Libya, also very active in the Ex-soviet bloc E European countries. He was making another of his "stirring" speeches to the crowd in Kiev, in French so I don't know how many understood, in which he said the association agreement with Europe must, or would, not sure, be signed immediately. We then return to the studio and one of the panel reminds the viewers who have been on holiday for a few months with no access to the TV or radio that it was the reversal of the plan to sign this agreement that "set off the Maidan movement"... Just as I said yesterday and you scoffed at.

The discussion continued and the Ukrainian man present, fairly old, reminded us at one point of the internal tensions in Ukraine, that during the war 300 000 Ukrainians fought with the Nazis against the USSR - they were present in SS units and had a particularly bad reputation - whereas over a million, 1 300 000 IIRC, who fought in the Red Army to rid their country of the nazi German occupation, that these opposing currents were still present in the society.

There was also a program earlier in the day I didn't see but the resum is interesting - I wonder if it was a coincidence it was programmed just at the moment?

"Les splendeurs de l'ancienne Russie
HISTOIRE :
Kiev, capitale de l'Ukraine depuis 1991, a un long et riche pass, intimement li celui de la Russie : on y retrouve les racines religieuses, culturelles et politiques de l'Europe de l'Est"

"The splendours of ancient Russia
History :
Kiev, capital of the Ukraine since 1991, has a long and rich past, intimately linked to the of Russia : the religious, cultural and political of Eastern Europe are to be found there."


I wonder if Mrs Clinton ever watches ARTE? She might learn a little and could avoid making such "gross" statements all the time... as could a few others on ukc.


off-duty - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I don't think anyone has denied that the decision of the Ukraine government to go with the Russian trade agreement instead of the EU deal is what sparked this trouble.

The issue was your suggestion that it was triggered/driven by promises(false or otherwise) to join the EU.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> I'm still not sure how this justifies subsequent Russian actions...

Errm, well it's along shot but maybe it could be that the Kiev police were being shot at - 15 to 20 were killed BTW - and so they sort of just decided to shoot back? Being better armed and professionals they killed quite a lot. I'm told the same happens in the UK, when your colleagues get shot at, or even fear they may be shot at, the shoot back to kill... I don't blame them and you justified this before, have you changed your mind?
off-duty - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Errm, well it's along shot but maybe it could be that the Kiev police were being shot at - 15 to 20 were killed BTW - and so they sort of just decided to shoot back? Being better armed and professionals they killed quite a lot. I'm told the same happens in the UK, when your colleagues get shot at, or even fear they may be shot at, the shoot back to kill... I don't blame them and you justified this before, have you changed your mind?

Is the death of 15-20 police, now an acceptable justification for instigating military action within a foreign country? Particularly when all the killing appeared to have stopped prior to any Russian actions.
I'm sure you are not in agreement with Shona, that "anything is acceptable if it is against people that are facists" (or that you believe are fascists)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

Well are you really saying that this agreement was seen by Ukrainians as anything less than a first step on the road to membership, whether for or against? Forget Toby's red herrings, a Finnish speciality, about Norway and Switzerland who we all know have no desire to join the EU, there are a lot of people in W Ukraine who want to join and if they reacted so strongly when the government dropped the plan do you think they did it for a simple "association" deal that went no further? If you have any doubts just read the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy's quotes linked higher up the thread. To save you the trouble here's just one:

"European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has once again expressed support for the European aspiration of Ukrainians.

He said this in Riga, where he took part in the celebrations of Latvia's accession to the euro zone, Ukrinform's Brussels correspondent has said.

I pay tribute to the people of Ukraine wanting an Association Agreement with the EU. They are longing for a modern, independent, democratic Ukraine. We remain on their side. Nobody can prevent them to see their dreams realised one day, Rompuy said."


And that's a careful diplomat speaking, what do you think was being said to stir up the crowds on Maidan square? He said this in Latvia "in celebrations of Latvia's accession to the Eurozone", he "once again expressed support for the European aspiration of Ukrainians." and then "Nobody can prevent them to see their dreams realised one day"

Do you really think that a mere Association agreement constitutes a nation's "dreams"?

And that was just one quote. Can you really deny the meaning that it has, or at least what those EU-philes in Ukraine would understand by it?

Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> I don't think anyone has denied that the decision of the Ukraine government to go with the Russian trade agreement instead of the EU deal is what sparked this trouble

Toby and Rom did just above, but maybe they were just getting carried away?
RomTheBear - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> On ARTE, the Franco/German state financed TV channel

I really miss that channel, wish we had one like that in the UK.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

You are mixing up two things here IMO, the reaction - over-reaction possibly - of the riot police after days of violence, arson and fighting in Kiev and the question of Crimea. They are linked, obviously, but not connected directly. When the USSR transferred Crimea to the Ukraine - at the time a part of the USSR - they probably never imagined that one day they would lose this essential military zone. Many people born even in Kiev thought of themselves as Russian as if they had been born in Moscow. I once knew a Russian teacher who presented herself as Russian yet she was born in Kiev. Until recently they probably still felt they could count on the agreements they had with Ukraine as financially they were pretty interesting for the country, but now things have changed which probably explains their reaction.

It could be a negotiating gambit or it could be just a reversion to the old borders now the destruction of the USSR has changed things, I don't know. A referendum on self-determination is to be held in the Crimea in a few days so that will clarify things. If the Crimean's vote to leave the Ukraine to re-join Russia will you have any objection to that?

Given that the UK government has set up a similar referendum for part of it's territory: Scotland, I can't see how they can object logically, although it seems Cameron is doing just this. It's really amusing to see how Western politicians don't even seem to realise they are applying different standards for "them" and "us"... like Kerry and his recent gaff about countries who invade others.
off-duty - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Toby and Rom did just above, but maybe they were just getting carried away?

That's not how I read their posts, neither is it how I remember the situation starting. In fact, quite the contrary, I remember being somewhat confused as to what the intricacies of the trade deal were when the protests started, prior to any violence.

Note "trade deal" not proposed joining of the EU.

I have no doubt that closer ties with Europe are part and parcel of accepting any deal - and are what Rompuy appears to be suggesting. Similarly I'm sure that the Russian / EU alternatives have wider implications given the history of the country, but the only person of all the commentators that have suggested that the EU have lied/misrepresented or promised membership appears to be you.
Doug on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Does anyone pay attention to Bernard Henri Levy ? more clown than philosopher (& isn't he one of Carla Bruni's ex boyfriends ?)
MargieB - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Redacted: perhaps I should have said more clearly that the

Arctic ocean is miles and miles and miles and miles away from the heartland of Russia and its agriculturaly good land. And a road through to the Mediterranean is navigable all year round from the Crimea. The best of Russia is landlocked.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Toby and Rom did just above, but maybe they were just getting carried away?

What? What else sparked the protests besides the back tracking of the Ukr govt on the association agreement?

I see you have just given up on reply to my question - I guess because you haven't been able to find anyone who said what you claimed people were saying.

> And that was just one quote. Can you really deny the meaning that it has, or at least what those EU-philes in Ukraine would understand by it?

Well, SubmittoG. asked his friend who was there at the protests and she hadn't taken it to mean that Ukr would join the EU. But I guess she is just a misguided patsy of the imperialists or what ever else you normally say to deny the agency of people actually involved in political processes. Perhaps if you put a bit of effort into understanding what was in the association agreement and the negotiation process Ukr. and the EU went through, you would understand more why people protested. The biggest attraction seems to have been the rule of law clauses that would have limited the now clear to see massive corruption of the Ukrainian elites.
Mike Stretford - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

> perhaps I should have said more clearly that the

> Arctic ocean is miles and miles and miles and miles away from the heartland of Russia and its agriculturaly good land. And a road through to the Mediterranean is navigable all year round from the Crimea. The best of Russia is landlocked.

The Russian port of Novorossisk gives them the same maritime access as the Crimea does.
RomTheBear - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Toby and Rom did just above, but maybe they were just getting carried away?

I don't know about Toby but I didn't say anything about that ! I was just saying that I didn't recollect the EU promising EU membership to Ukraine (probably because they never did)
Post edited at 11:36
MargieB - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Going back to Putin's character, He is a strategist and could calculate that the West are paralysed through eceonmic dependency to react if he were to come to the defence of Russian Ukrainians should they ask for help or there is a civil war. And I think we are paralysed through economic dependence!. However maybe Ukraine would ask for help from fellow Baltic states who also wish to retain the principle of sovereign statehood. It's still a horrible prospect of war in Eastern Europe. He could calculate that it is worth it which is what I meant by saying he has old fashioned values or he could calculate that it is not worth it. So in a way we are also re-negotiating the terms and conditions of this new economic reality of gas dependency.
In reply to MargieB:

I don't think there's a cat in hell's chance of the west getting militarily involved if Russia invades east Ukraine, partly because of our dependence on gas and oil, partly because we don't tend to pick fights with people that can kick our arse. I guess we would supply weapons etc. The problem for him would be resistance from the Ukrainians themselves, including those he is proclaiming to protect. I don't think that will play out well with the Russian people, it would be akin to a civil war.
neilh - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

Flaw in that argument, is that Russia is equally dependent on us. I cannot imagine that any major Western company is going to make a serious investment in Russia at the moment.Their economy is hardly strong.

In reply to neilh:

The ruble is 20% down on its traditional position.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Doug:

> Does anyone pay attention to Bernard Henri Levy ? more clown than philosopher (& isn't he one of Carla Bruni's ex boyfriends ?)

I don't, but maybe some do, they may like the curly black hair on his chest that he always manages to show through his carefully unbuttoned white shirt... Maybe it turns Carla on? The clip of him on ARTE showed an enormous crowd listening to his words though, people like him can do a lot of harm in an explosive situation. They stir things up then creep away to their hotel suite when the shit hits the fan and people start dying.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> I guess because you haven't been able to find anyone who said what you claimed people were saying

Why do you keep fibbing like this? You were given quotes days ago, not by me either, I don't get taken in by your little "give me proof" games. The other day you tried it on another poster and were irritated when I helped him out. If you want to believe that the Maidan movement is not inspired by a belief that there "is a place" for them in the EU, then you carry on believing it, it won't be the only odd thing you believe in.

As for the person cited, if she had been asked "are you a fascist" she would doubtless have replied no too, does that prove the extreme right nationalists weren't active in the fighting? That all the news films we saw of swastikas, "orient" symbols and ant-semitic slogans ware faked?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> The ruble is 20% down on its traditional position.

I wonder why?

Meanwhile courageous Western politicians are hitting back at the Sochi Paralympics! It must take real guts to spit on all those athletes with quite enough problems in their lives already by boycotting their Olympic games... No need to worry, Cameron, Holland, Obama and Co, they won't hit back.

I wonder how the ukc pro-Western cabal will justify this despicable, spiteful act?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

> (probably because they never did)

So you have the same reading difficulties as Toby?
RomTheBear - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So you have the same reading difficulties as Toby?

Sorry but I haven't seen any evidence from you or anywhere that it was ever the case so...
off-duty - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I wonder why?

> Meanwhile courageous Western politicians are hitting back at the Sochi Paralympics! It must take real guts to spit on all those athletes with quite enough problems in their lives already by boycotting their Olympic games... No need to worry, Cameron, Holland, Obama and Co, they won't hit back.

Difficult decision to make, disappointing paralympians on the one hand, or attending and appearing as hypocrites on the other.
Not sure that patronising the athletes adds much to your argument though.

> I wonder how the ukc pro-Western cabal will justify this despicable, spiteful act?

Well, on the basis that there may be some disagreement within those currently in Sochi, maybe we should invade Russia to protect them.
ads.ukclimbing.com
RomTheBear - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I don't get taken in by your little "give me proof" games.

Brucie lol...
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Monday 09.53 you wrote:

> In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept,

Your Van Rompuy quotes are not him saying that the Ukraine can join the EU, no matter how many times you claim that they are. It doesn't appear that any EU politicians have suggested membership in recent years - I've only found reference to the Polish presidency doing so nearly a decade ago. Not sure why you can't just accept that you were mistaken on this specific point and move on?
Choss on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Monday 09.53 you wrote:

> Your Van Rompuy quotes are not him saying that the Ukraine can join the EU, no matter how many times you claim that they are. It doesn't appear that any EU politicians have suggested membership in recent years.

Good. Nobody wants them in the EU.
Postmanpat on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Not sure why you can't just accept that you were mistaken on this specific point and move on?

You're not? Really? How many times have you argued with Brucie?

In reply to Postmanpat:

Well, to her credit Shona actually gave me some examples of the point she was trying to make last night. They only sort of supported her point, but were interesting in their own right and were deep into the reeds of Ukrainian leftist and trade union politics which was well worth reading. I was hoping Bruce might do the same.
lynx3555 - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
Not just Bruce who thinks that, some bloke on the BBC this morning suggested that they would get in the EU as well.
off-duty - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:

"some bloke" - ?
Tim Chappell - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

I am not convinced that a particularly muscular response to Russia would be appropriate, even if it was possible.

I'm all for the territorial integrity of sovereign states but the Crimea was not part of the Ukraine until Khruschev made it so, in 1954. Before that it was in Russia. It's clear that the Crimean parliament has expressed a wish, which probably has popular support, to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

I think the West, and Kiev, should stop huffing and puffing, and negotiate a referendum for the Crimea with international observers. If they decide in a fair vote to join Russia, let them. If that means the rUkraine (!) needs EU support, fine, give it. Ukraine's possession of the Crimea is not where we should make our stand.

We should not, however, put up with Putin using Gazprom to bully Kiev. We should tell him we're quite prepared to talk about the Crimea, provided he behaves himself.

We should also tell Kiev to behave. There are extremists in the Ukraine, that much is true. Their presence does not justify Putin in his aggression. But it does put a different colour on things from, for instance, the situation in Poland in 1939.

(As ever, parallels with Hitler are fatuous and inflammatory. You have to deal with this crisis, not re-fight some other crisis from 75 years ago.)
Rob Exile Ward on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

There are complications, obviously, and historical resonances which are rather more recent than Bonnie Prince Charlie or Culloden.

1) A good proportion of the Crimea were forcibly moved there by Stalin; they didn't want to go, but they certainly don't want to go back (or become Russian again, the country that killed so many of their families - a bit like asking Israelis to reunite with Germany.) 2) The Ukraine was heavily implicated in WW II and Nazi Germany, and a good proportion of its politicians today remain anti-Semitic, fascist, nationalistic and corrupt. Not necessarily nice people or 'PLU'.

I don't have solutions, just saying...
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I don't understand the extent to which Crimea had the right to self-determination. Is it a bit like Yorkshire unilaterally deciding to be part of Denmark because it's full of Vikings, ignoring the sizeable population of Brits?
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

The Tatars were exiled from the Crimea, their homeland, in 1944 and only got to return in the late eighties/early nineties. Great days for them.
Tim Chappell - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I don't understand the extent to which Crimea had the right to self-determination. Is it a bit like Yorkshire unilaterally deciding to be part of Denmark because it's full of Vikings, ignoring the sizeable population of Brits?


Hey, if Yorkshire wants to join Denmark, we won't stop you. Please. Be our guests :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

The Van Rompuy quote is quite clear, they have their place in Europe can only be understood in one way by people there who want to hear this... but just carry on your trolling - you let the cat out of the bag a few days ago, you just do it for fun, a bit sad but carry on. The Ukrainians have been led on, just as many other peoples before, and not just at the EU level either. Years ago, in the early 60s when I visited the USSR as a child, they were all turned on by ball-point pens and Levi jeans, I didn't understand that at the time, now the dream is joining the EU and all will become sweetness and light. Not long ago it was the "colour revolutions" now that has faded as the "revolutionaries" were as corrupt as the ones they replaced, now it's the extreme-right nationalists that are trying their hand, aided and abetted by the EU and NATO, all holding out carrots but they'll be snatched away once they've done their job as the EU has no money, they'll find it for bombs if it comes to it like in Yugoslavia, but not to pull the Ukraine out of the mess it's in... and the screw tightens on Russia, day after day... Now go on, ask me for proof of all that! What a funny world you live in.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> We should not, however, put up with Putin using Gazprom to bully Kiev. We should tell him we're quite prepared to talk about the Crimea, provided he behaves himself.

How come "we" get to push Russia about but never the other way around - doe the "West" rule the world because that's just the way it is?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I don't understand the extent to which Crimea had the right to self-determination. Is it a bit like Yorkshire unilaterally deciding to be part of Denmark because it's full of Vikings, ignoring the sizeable population of Brits?

No, it's not like that at all... for goodness sakes, can't you just look it up? Or ask your Ukrainian friends to explain?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:

> Not just Bruce who thinks that, some bloke on the BBC this morning suggested that they would get in the EU as well.

Plenty of blokes have been saying this, women too, not only in Britain but France as well, but Toby & Co don't hear them, or pretend they don't. For Toby it can be on the TV, on the radio, anywhere, but if you don't give him an internet link he won't have it, or, as in this case even if you do he won't believe it...it's a game he like to play to wind people up.

Take your beliefs about Scottish independence, can you give an internet link that proves you are right? Of course you can't, it's your profound belief based on loads of things, that's how real people function.
lynx3555 - on 08 Mar 2014
The West like to come over as the righteous ones, and a large portion of the wests population lap it up like little puppy dogs. The US and Britain in particular are guilty not just of meddling with other soverign countries own affairs, but are also guilty of murdering there own citizens.
Two, of likely many murders carried out by our previous Tory government, were Hilda Murrell and Willie McRae, there crime was - they tried to protect us all from wreckless dumping of Nuclear Waste

http://scot-land.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/spooks-murdered-top-scot.html

No doubt the US and other western powers are involved in the Ukraine crisis right from the start.


In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> No, it's not like that at all... for goodness sakes, can't you just look it up? Or ask your Ukrainian friends to explain?

Touchy! I didn't realise that I wasn't allowed to pose a question on here and allow myself to be educated by someone who might know.
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> How come "we" get to push Russia about but never the other way around - doe the "West" rule the world because that's just the way it is?



Hmm. You don't think Putin is currently pushing around anyone he can? Certainly Kiev, for instance, and possibly Germany?

Do I advocate pushing anyone around? Well, I certainly think that if it's possible to exert international pressure to get a decidedly shady Mafia state to behave a little less reprehensibly, that's good.

Whether it is, in this case, I hae ma doots.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Years ago, in the early 60s when I visited the USSR as a child, they were all turned on by ball-point pens and Levi jeans, I didn't understand that at the time, now the dream is joining the EU and all will become sweetness and light.


"Unfortunately the people have voted the wrong way in this election. We their leaders have therefore decided to dissolve the people and select another one"--Bertholt Brecht
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Should've done that to us in 2010...
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Talking of links to the Grauni, I think Freedland is spot on here:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/07/ukraine-debate-both-sides-wrong

Putin has no right in international law to do what he's doing. But there are a lot of pretty dodgy people in Kiev too.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Another long rant, but still no politician saying that Ukraine should join the EU.

The EU wanted the Ukraine to sign the association agreement. I hope they still can soon, and that the rule of law clauses that Yanukovych baulked at will equally squeeze out the corrupt and non-democratic people in whatever regime comes next.

Of course the the EU and other western countries say that Ukraine's place is amongst the European family of nations and all that cosy bollocks - and they are right. As is Russia's, as is Belorus', as is Moldova's and Bosnia's and Serbia's and Montenegro's etc. etc. But that's a long way from joining the EU and if they want preferred access to our markets and all the other advantages, they can live up to the OSCE and CoE human rights standards that they have already signed up to.
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I read that last night; he's right - these things are never as black and white as it's convenient for some people to think.
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I'd like the EU, eventually, to include everything around the Mediterranean, and go as far east as possible as well. Wider still and wider. Like the Roman empire, only without the gladiators and the massacres :-)

Why? Because the EU is basically a civilising influence. For instance, the mismatch between the democracies on the north of the Med and the primitive clerical tyrannies on the south of the Med is a horror. The sooner we can fix that mismatch the better for the future of humanity. If the EU is the way to do it then fine.

Same idea, mutatis mutandis, looking east.
Jim C - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:
> The West like to come over as the righteous ones, and a large portion of the wests population lap it up like little puppy dogs.

This (link to NYT) is what the US think of Britain
( which really means Westminster)
They don't trust us with sensitive documents, never mind state secrets.

If it was once Scotland's elite that was bought off by English wealth in the past, now the Russians are sure that the British elite will also have their price on this matter, ( time will tell)

I guess it is now a case of mutual mistrust.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/opinion/londons-laundry-business.html?_r=0
Post edited at 10:42
biped - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Talking of links to the Grauni, I think Freedland is spot on here:


That sums things up very well, and sums up much of this thread, and many other political arguments on here too. Well worth a read.
Jim C - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> Another long rant, but still no politician saying that Ukraine should join the EU.

> The EU wanted the Ukraine to sign the association agreement. I hope they still can soon, and that the rule of law clauses that Yanukovych baulked at will equally squeeze out the corrupt and non-democratic people in whatever regime comes next.

These corrupt people will fit in rather well in the EU, no need to squeeze them out, just explain to them that if they join the club, they will be among birds of a feather, all feathering their nest.

"Russias president, Vladimir V. Putin, gets it: you pay them, you own them. "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26014387
Post edited at 11:22
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

It wasn't meant to be "touchy" just that you've been posting about the place for several days, often interestingly, then you say you don't know much about it! Also given the clear polarisation of views expressed in this sort of forum is it really the best place to find an objective summary on the subject? Type Ukraine into google or Wikipedia and you are far more likely to find what you want to know, which can hardly be covered in a short post anyway.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> a decidedly shady Mafia state...

At your age you surely don't think Russia is the only state capable of shady mafiaesque antics? What about the state the Mafia came from and the state where it has blossomed for over half a century? Surely they can trump Russia on this sort of thing? Kennedy, the blue eyed boy of the West, his father's fortune was made in mafia style activities... at least Putin started out as an honest civil servant.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I know more about it than the average UK citizen I guess, and I have friends there, so I am able, I hope, to illuminate the discussion. What I don't know about is what "autonomous" or "semi-autonomous" means in relation to Crimea's right to self-determination.
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> At your age you surely don't think Russia is the only state capable of shady mafiaesque antics?

Did I say that?

>What about the state the Mafia came from and the state where it has blossomed for over half a century?

What about them? Italy and the US (assuming those are the states you mean) are not perfect but they're *far* behind Russia in the organised-crime-as-principal-economic-activity stakes.

> Kennedy, the blue eyed boy of the West, his father's fortune was made in mafia style activities...

Not really. Joe was a Tammany-Hall-type Irish-American crook, certainly, but I don't think he made his pile mainly by being a crook.

>at least Putin started out as an honest civil servant.

You're having us on, Bruce. "Honest civil servant"?? He was head of the KGB, for crying out loud.

Come to think of it, he effectively still is.
Post edited at 14:41
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Putin has no right in international law to do what he's doing. But there are a lot of pretty dodgy people in Kiev too.

In Ukraine we have a government that came to power illegally, got rid of the legally elected President without using the method required in the constitution, ruling it's capital with para-military thugs belonging to the worst of the far right movements, again with no legal basis, and which has taken into it's cabinet 5 members from extreme right parties on the same wave-length, or worse than the BNP (they belong to the same international grouping), and just for good measure have named a leader of this same Right Sector as deputy national security chief lecturing others, in Crimea, for example, about what's legal and what is not!

They cry out to whoever will listen that the referendum in Crimea is illegal yet they have taken power without even a vote! Really the pot calling the kettle black. If the majority in Crimea vote to return to be part of Russia again in a few days, do you accept this, or is this a Russian plot? The Scots will vote for self determination, why not a region of Ukraine which was until 60 years ago part of Russia before being handed to the Ukraine, without consultation of the people and by a government which many (you included, I think?) thought was not legitimate?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> still no politician saying that Ukraine should join the EU.

You've had one already, stop being childish.

> and that the rule of law clauses that Yanukovych baulked at will equally squeeze out the corrupt and non-democratic people in whatever regime comes next

As effectively as in Greece?

> Of course the EU and other western countries say that Ukraine's place is amongst the European family of nations...

See, even you admit it, and I won't even ask you to provide proof, you are just repeating what has been splashed all over the media for ages, and what considerable part of the Ukrainian people, but not all, have been demonstrating and rioting for.

What was Ashcroft doing buzzing to and fro? No comment about the revelations about who the snipers were? This time, unlike in Syria and Libya maybe we will know who the snipers were... I bet you'll be pleased as you had doubts before.

off-duty - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> What was Ashcroft doing buzzing to and fro? No comment about the revelations about who the snipers were? This time, unlike in Syria and Libya maybe we will know who the snipers were... I bet you'll be pleased as you had doubts before.

Do you mean Ashton?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> they're *far* behind Russia in the organised-crime-as-principal-economic-activity stakes.

Are they? Italy is effectively dominated by the mafia, at least they are unable to destroy it and have accepted a compromise in which the mafia is tolerated and as far as the USA is concerned many, including me, think that the mafia and organised crime in general is in a similar situation vis vis the US government. Both are at least as rotten as the Russian Confederation IMO. They hide it better though, no doubt about that.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> Do you mean Ashton?

Yes, sorry, Baroness Ashton of Upholland apparently.
Tim Chappell - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Illegality is not an iron-cast test for wrongness. The Stauffenberg conspiracy was illegal!

Yanukovych was a crook. Even if the Parliament acted illegally in removing him, which is a question for an expert on Ukrainian law, it was a very good idea to remove him.

As I've said before, I think the future of Crimea should be a matter for negotiation not for rhetoric. If--as seems likely--they vote in a fair election to become part of Russia, then they should be allowed to.

As to whether I think Khruschev's government was legitimate: what an interesting question. Yes and no.

No, because it wasn't democratic and didn't respect human rights, and strictly speaking I think no government like that is legitimate.

Yes, because (a) if Khruschev had allowed (real) elections I think he might well have won them, (b) because by 1954 the Russian communist state had been around long enough to have de facto legitimacy--in particular, it had been at the forefront of the Russian people's heroic actions in WW2, and (c) because, as a matter of real-world politics, it would have been insane for any foreign diplomat or politician to have refused to recognise the Soviet state, at least in practice, in 1954.
off-duty - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

In that case - What was she doing "buzzing to and fro" ?

She was sitting in her office I believe, when she had the phone conversation with the foreign affairs minister from Estonia - Paet.
Paet reported some third party allegations that he claimed had been made by Olga Bogomolets.
When Bogomolets herself was actually spoken to :-

"Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner.

"Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people," she told The Telegraph. "I have no access to those people."

But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. "No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

"I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.

"Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise."

Mr Paet's assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share.

"I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact," she said. "Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact."

She said the new government in Kiev had assured her a criminal investigation had begun but that she had not direct contact with it so far.

"They told me they have begun a criminal process and if they say that I believe them. The police have not given me any information on it." "


(I posted this earlier)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Dauphin - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I

> How come "we" get to push Russia about but never the other way around - doe the "West" rule the world because that's just the way it is?

I think you need some more years back in the reality orientation camp of the motherland comrade. The state broadcaster does its job well.

D
redsonja - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Honestly Bruce! putin an honest civil servant? you are a perfect example of a brain washed communist if that's what you think!
lynx3555 - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> You're having us on, Bruce. "Honest civil servant"?? He was head of the KGB, for crying out loud.
And George W Bush was the Director or the CIA, we know what illegal war that his son was involved in.

In reply to lynx3555:

I think you've got mixed-up.
lynx3555 - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Jim C:
> This (link to NYT) is what the US think of Britain

> ( which really means Westminster)

> They don't trust us with sensitive documents, never mind state secrets.

> If it was once Scotland's elite that was bought off by English wealth in the past, now the Russians are sure that the British elite will also have their price on this matter, ( time will tell)

> I guess it is now a case of mutual mistrust.


That piece is very true....it's funny (or not funny) how we suck up all that dirty money from the likes of Qatar.
"But London has changed. And the Shard the Qatari-owned, 72-floor skyscraper above the grotty Southwark riverside is a symbol of that change"
Yet Qatar is far from democratic...presently the foreign worker death toll in Qatar for the construction of the World Cup stadiums etc...is around 1000 + and rising....A further 1000+ workers have died while working on other unrelated projects. But that's ok as they helped to bail out Barclays Bank and built London a nice big skyscraper.
Post edited at 17:21
lynx3555 - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity: George H. W. Bush then....

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You've had one already, stop being childish.

No I haven't. In that quote, Van Rompuy said in the context of the association agreement negotiations: "To my mind, the future of Ukraine lies with Europe. One can try to slow it down, to block it, but in the end no one can prevent it ..." If you're choosing to pretend to be too thick to understand the difference between membership and association agreements that's your look out.

> What was Ashcroft doing buzzing to and fro?

Do you mean Ashton? I hope we don't need to discuss for another 20 posts what her name REALLY is ;) But if so, she is the high rep for foreign affairs, hence when the EU has dealings with FOREIGN countries she's sent. Stefan Fle is the Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> See, even you admit it, and I won't even ask you to provide proof, you are just repeating what has been splashed all over the media for ages, and what considerable part of the Ukrainian people, but not all, have been demonstrating and rioting for.

Yes, exactly. But you do realise that not all European countries are members of the EU don't you? Perhaps not, and this is where all your confusion comes from?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> She was sitting in her office I believe, when she had the phone conversation

She has also been to Ukraine on behalf of the EU. This was not only to do with the sniper question, it was the general role of the EU in inciting Ukrainians to favour the European option rather than the Russian one. The sniper question is a separate issue, I mentioned both in the same paragraph but there are two questions involved. I have already read the text you quote, the Russians are asking for an independent enquiry, not one carried out by the putschists at present in power in Kiev, they are hardly likely to be objective as it's them who have been accused.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> Honestly Bruce! putin an honest civil servant? you are a perfect example of a brain washed communist if that's what you think!

I'm not the one calling myself "red"! Are you implying that civil servants are dishonest then?
Dauphin - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

In the west we were led to believe that the KGB penetrated ever sector of soviet society. Of course that meant it was totally corrupted by this dark influence. Nothing like that could happen here.

D
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> If you're choosing to pretend to be too thick to understand the difference between membership and association agreements that's your look out.

And you seem to be pretending to be too thick to realise that the association agreement is a step towards membership for countries who wish to go that way - not the case for Norway and Switzerland, more Toby red herrings that you are also pretending to be too thick to realize are not in the same positions as countries like Ukraine, as far a certain number of the population is concerned anyway. Ingenuousness or thickness, which is it to be?
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> But you do realise that not all European countries are members of the EU don't you? Perhaps not, and this is where all your confusion comes from?

But you do realise that when people use the word "Europe" they often mean European Union, such as when people say "Britain should pull out of Europe," Do you think they mean moving Britain by tugboats to some other geographical location? Or when someone says "The future of the Ukraine lies with Europe", can they really ignore that Ukraine already is geographically part of Europe? Perhaps not, and this is where all your confusion comes from?

You love wasting people's time, don't you?
off-duty - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> And you seem to be pretending to be too thick to realise that the association agreement is a step towards membership for countries who wish to go that way - not the case for Norway and Switzerland,


Quite a different proposition from "In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept"
Jim C - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to lynx3555:

> And George W Bush was the Director or the CIA, we know what illegal war that his son was involved in.

Honorable George H. W. Bush Director of CIA 30 Jan 1976 20 Jan 1977
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:
> Quite a different proposition from "In the Ukraine the population has been led on by promises of joining the EU which will never be kept"

Not really if you listen to what various EU people are saying about the possibility of the EU taking on new member countries in the near future, as I mentioned days ago. Several on a panel discussion of French TV I saw a few days ago when I was in France all insisted that despite what the crowds in Maidan Square were being told the EU had decided that there could be no new memberships until the last crop had been digested and the present problems sorted out a bit. Their point was that people were being promised things that were unlikely to be delivered in the near future - not necessarily from Brussels only, by agitators like Henri Bernard Levi whose speech I mentioned a day or so ago.

Most/many commentators have presented the situation of the Ukraine as being at a crossroads, with the basic choices being between closer association with Europe, ie. the EU or Russia. They say also that, simplifying, the West of the country is for the former and the East the latter and that the Maidan riots and the violence was sparked off by the then President's about turn on the subject. I think you said the same on this last point yourself.
Post edited at 00:37
redsonja - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

ni, im saying that Putin killed people, or had them killed, for a living. I don't think human life means a great deal to him
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> ni, im saying that Putin killed people, or had them killed, for a living. I don't think human life means a great deal to him

Well he's making a good effort to protect the people of Crimea from the fascist hordes in Kiev, whipped up to a fury by forked tongue Western promises. Problem is you only look at things from your point of view.

While on the subject of the meaning of human lives for people, what meaning did it have when NATO unleashed its missiles and bombs on Libya, Yugoslavia - was it one or two hundred people killed in the train "we" took out? Then there's Palestine, Syria, Iraq etc etc... wasn't Putin doing the killing there, was it? And that's just the recent stuff.
MargieB - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Well, that is the hub of what is now a world wide phenomenon - popular uprisings against pretty awful governments.How are they handled. We've had it in Syria - Putin sincerely believed a very hard military stance was a solution. Of course we have a completely different cultural response in the Middle East to deal with and the volatilty of national character may not be so frenzied in the Ukraine as it was in Syria- so that is on Europe's side.But is it still Putin's solution to a problem? Afterall, it does present a dilema for Putin within Russia itself should that become an unpopular government and there are few "democratic" outlets for change to counter the many corrupt aspects of a mismanaged transition from Russian communism to Russian capitalism. Capitalism does inevitably concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands corruptly and it is reformatory democracies that have effectively countered this effect in the West. Russian Ukraine is struggling in that direction but Putin would have to agree with this way forward and encourage Russian speaking Ukrainians to participate in this process, knowing it does not occur in Russia...
Bit of a problem for him and a problem in our discussions..... in a way, we are hoping for a change in Russian outlook - in some ways the referendum call in Crimea is a positive sign of this change, and perhaps we should appreciate this in a process of de-escalation in mainland Ukraine. Afterall, the aim now is to avoid war.And now there is a recognition of economic repercussions in Russia. Slowly, slowly forward, some positive signs, though.
Post edited at 12:03
redsonja - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

bruce- whenever there is a discussion about human right, you unleash these comments about NATO, the US, Britain etc. just because countries have commited atrocities in the past doesn't make it right. a tit for tat mentality is never going to bring us world peace. how can our past define our future if we want any sort of change for the better?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

I only say it when I think it is appropriate - here, for example Putin is presented as an arch-villain whereas it seems to me that of late it is the West and it's NATO spear head that have been stirring up trouble. Ever since the arming and financing of the "jihad" in Afghanistan a ball has been set rolling that has never stopped since. Putin is very popular in Russia because people wanted stability and an end to the worst unbridled capitalism, not for any other reason, they aren't asking for expansion, and neither is Putin, he is very much on the defensive, yet you present him as the opposite, some, Clinton for example, are comparing him to Hitler!

It's this "turning the world on its head" that I react to...It's the West that has been bombing left right and centre, encouraging the Israeli occupation of Palestine which destabilises the whole Middle East. It's the West that keeps in power the most abject backward petro-islamist regimes, the ones who have "helped" Syrians fight a brutal and quite unnecessary civil war in Syria, and in Libya, which has in turn led to the destabilisation of whole countries in central Africa. Now it's the West through the mad expansion of the EU and using Nato weapons when required that is pushing it's pawns right up to the frontiers of Russia, threatening to deprive them of their historical naval base in Crimea... and yet you seem to put it all down to one bad guy with a black hat called Putin.

And you appear surprised when I react!
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I agree that Putin's actions are much more defensive than aggressive.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to MargieB:

I can't agree with much of your analysis, Putin is popular and this crisis has made him more so. There was an article the other day, can't remember where, which argued quite convincingly that Putin is in fact fed up with successive Ukrainian governments, the political class in Ukraine as a whole as they seem incapable of running the country at all... He could put up with one side or the other, except the extremist nationalists perhaps, just as long as the country was stable, paid its gas bills and generally respected it treaties with Russia concerning the naval bases and pipe lines. If you listen to what he says he is asking for the legal procedures to be respected, concerning impeachment of the President rather than driving him out by the mob, for the Russian minority to be respected, in their culture and their language and so on... hardly excessive demands.

If we want things to calm down the solution is simple, we should stop pushing things and learn to accept that Russia has the right respect too, just as we demand of other countries, often quite aggressively.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> that despite what the crowds in Maidan Square were being told the EU had decided that there could be no new memberships until the last crop had been digested

So hang on - now you're saying the protestors in Kiev were told specifically that wouldn't be able to join the EU for the foreseeable future? So 180 degrees opposite from your statement a week back that I questioned. Are your 'facts' changed by the wind directions or something?

Again, I suggest you look up countries with association agreements with the EU - the list includes South Africa, Syria, Egypt, Israel and more. I'm not sure if you think they're all on path to membership too.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I can't agree with much of your analysis, Putin is popular and this crisis has made him more so.

I reckon you're right on that. The vast majority of my (western-leaning) Russian friends hate him, but seem to agree with him on this (although that may be something to do with the extreme bias of the Russian media).
redsonja - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

just been watching some horrific scenes of violence from sevastopol
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> So hang on - now you're saying the protestors in Kiev were told specifically that wouldn't be able to join the EU for the foreseeable future?

Forgot your glasses or don't understand the word "despite"?
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> just been watching some horrific scenes of violence from sevastopol

Lucky you, each to his own for TV entertainment though.

Whatever, with a few days going to the referendum you can expect attempts at provocations to prevent calm democracy, just as in Kiev or any of the other countries that have been destabilised in recent years.

PS. Why do you object to a referendum in the Crimea? What about Scotland, any objections there too?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Fantastic, so some one WAS telling the crowds in the Maidan they could join the EU. Who was it then? That's what I've been asking you all week! We are nearly there... :-)
redsonja - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

where have I said I object to a referendum in crimea???
redsonja - on 09 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

you call that entertainment? you enjoy watching it? and what has Scotland to do with Ukraine? you are at it again bruce!
MargieB - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Withdrawing from the Crimea now would probably cause the crimea to disintegrate into a fight. So it's looking more and more like a fait accompli. If a referendum occurs and it goes back to Russia we would only acknowledge it if Russia agreed to acknowledge the result in the remainder of mainland Ukraine, thus forcing the Russian Ukrainians to look more to their Ukrainian nationality, and prevent the erruptive effect of re-drawing that eastern boundary by Russia coming to their aid to enforce a secession. I don't expect that this agreement would occur immediately, but we are in a holding pattern until elections and perhaps Putin could lay off saying he is prepared to come to Eatsern Ukrainians so push them into this process.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Fantastic, so some one WAS telling the crowds in the Maidan they could join the EU. Who was it then? That's what I've been asking you all week! We are nearly there... :-)

Well you haven't actually, you were asking who was promising from the eurocrats and you've been given an example. As for in Maidan square I also mentioned a Frenchy who told them this on this thread. I'll leave you to search for it, you can waste your time instead.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to redsonja:

Well, would you accept a referendum result in Crimea then? Simple question, yes or no. I would have thought the connection with Scotland is obvious but if you are just back from 5 years on a desert island with no connection to the news media here's the why, in Scotland there is a referendum coming soon, September, in which they say if they want to remain part of the UK or become independent. No one seems to question the validity of this referendum, and yet many do for the referendum planned in the Crimea. In the light of some of your remarks I was just wondering what your opinion is.

> you call that entertainment? you enjoy watching it? and what has Scotland to do with Ukraine? you are at it again bruce!

You mentioned you were watching it, not me... How does it compare to what happened in Kiev? How many dead, how many buildings burnt, were they throwing petrol bombs, paving stones, and firing at each other? Any neo-Nazi insignia and anti-Semitic chanting?
redsonja - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

well, this thread is not about Scotland but since you ask, I hope they will stay with us but if they vote not to then im fine about it. neither will affect me directly, its about what the people want. similarly, I hope Ukraine will stay as one country but if splitting is the only way to avoid the mindless bloodshed we saw in Yugoslavia, then that is what they must do. im just sorry for the people who don't want to join Russia, but who live in crimea, or eastern Ukraine. whats best for them? unless they could be re homed somewhere
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

OK so BHL has said it, but no actual politician (discounting your deliberate misstatement over what Rompuy said). Glad we've got that cleared up. I wonder why you bothered claiming something when you clearly didn't know whether it was the case or not in the first place.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> No one seems to question the validity of this referendum, and yet many do for the referendum planned in the Crimea.

Which military forces have taken control of Scotland to allow the referendum to go ahead?
In reply to TobyA:

> Which military forces have taken control of Scotland to allow the referendum to go ahead?

Also, the Scottish referendum has been debated and agreed upon by both sides.

I think the meaning of "autonomous" needs to be understood before commenting on the validity of the Crimean referendum.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> OK so BHL has said it, but no actual politician (discounting your deliberate misstatement over what Rompuy said). Glad we've got that cleared up. I wonder why you bothered claiming something when you clearly didn't know whether it was the case or not in the first place.

I heard Bernard Henri Levi on the telly because the French telly shows French speakers, do you have detailed translated texts of all the speeches, broadcasts, media articles given over the last few months? How can you, who require proof if I say the sky is blue this morning, be so hypocritical. You have no idea what has been said, and apparently have no desire to believe what the press have been telling us for months, that's up to you, but please stop this silly trolling and fibbing.

Many people in Kiev didn't build barricades, fight the police, risk their lives, burn buildings and occupy others for nothing, they had their reasons and most people seem to believe they were fighting to become part of the EU rather than part of a similar Russian based union. You insist that they did this without any reason, no one had ever told them that they had a chance, like many other East European countries had done, of joining the EU. I won't ask you for "proof" of this as I can see there's no way you can prove that they were never led to believe this, but your theory is so absurd that I'm amazed you can seriously believe it, or rather I'm not really as you seem capable of pretending to believe the most unlikely things. Or your just trolling for "fun", I'm not sure which is sillier?

PS. Anyone who wants to, probably that means no one, can check out what Rompuy said, and not in just one speech, so why continually fib about it?
Bruce Hooker - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Which military forces have taken control of Scotland to allow the referendum to go ahead?

The Westminster ones silly, haven't you been following ukc for the last few years?

On a serious note, this is hardly relevant as Crimea has a stronger case than Scotland, it was part of Russia historically once it had been recovered from the Turks and was only handed over to Ukraine, without the slightest consultation of the population, in 1954. The call for the referendum came from the Crimean parliament, it already had a devolved status like Scotland, as a consequence of the severe problems in mainland Ukraine (unlike in Britain, London isn't in the grips of mob rule which has installed violent racist BNP ministers and recently demoted the status of any Scottish language, quite the contrary). A referendum was already planned long before this crisis, which has made it become more urgent and changed the question from more autonomy to leaving the union with Ukraine. The troops present didn't cause it although they do prevent armed mobs coming to Crimea to prevent it.

So all in all if Scots have the right to a referendum then it's quite illogical to deny it to Crimeans.
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:


> Good, well-balanced article here.

Yes, everyone should read it, especially the bit about the agreement that was brokered a few weeks ago which put an end to the crisis and had all parties agreeing to a truce and new elections, only to be broken and abandoned by Kiev extremists. Toby won't like it though as Marina Lewycka, herself Ukrainian, says in the middle of her article:

" Will Ukraine also be offered membership of the EU? This is what most of the Maidan protesters were hoping for, but in truth, it was never on offer."

:-)
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> " Will Ukraine also be offered membership of the EU? This is what most of the Maidan protesters were hoping for, but in truth, it was never on offer."

This is actually exactly my point. As far as I can see no EU official and no heavy weight national politician from an EU country has said that EU membership is on the table for Ukraine - at least not in the foreseeable future. The Ukraine protests were not about joining the EU, we had a first hand account from some one who was protesting above saying that they understood that - even if some Ukrainians hope they can join in the future. The protests started over an ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT with the EU. This is not just an economic document but committed Ukraine to respecting the political and social rights and the rule of law - they saw the EU as a model they wanted their country to be more like whilst Yanukovych represented the opposite - corruption, (lower) living standards on a par with what Russians put up with and less freedom (as Russians put up with).

You said that people were being led on with promises of membership, but they weren't.
Post edited at 08:19
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
So when the US sends it forces into another country you spit fire and brimstone, but when the Russians seize territory by force of arms you're all understanding.

It's a shame you're not younger, prettier, female and American Bruce - because there are a couple of spots going at RT that you would be just perfect for! ;-)
Post edited at 08:25
Postmanpat on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:
Good article by Matthew Paris, basically saying "leave them to it'.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/matthew-parris/9151671/leave-ukraine-to-the-russians/
Post edited at 09:01
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> This is actually exactly my point.

It wasn't what you said though. Even here you twist the meaning of a simple sentence, the writer says "Will Ukraine also be offered membership of the EU? This is what most of the Maidan protesters were hoping for..." and then you on about the something different, something less. Her description of what the Maidan crowds thought is the same as we have been told for months, and as she then goes on to say this was not what the EU are prepared to offer in reality... So someone led them on, who was it in your view?... the Chinese, lets blame then, you haven't had a go at them for a while, was it them?

You refuse to accept that they were misled by people from EU countries and I imagine you wouldn't like to say anything bad about the glorious self proclaimed "government" in Kiev so why not blame the Chinks, it's no more ridiculous than what you pretend to believe on this thread.
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> So when the US sends it forces into another country you spit fire and brimstone, but when the Russians seize territory by force of arms you're all understanding.

Your comparison is very poor, which bit of the USA that they had given away to a semi-autonomous part of the USA within living memory because they made the false assumption that this territory would be forever part of their country (the USSR at the time) have they increased their troop numbers, still within the number allowed by treaty, at the call of the local government at a time of instability which endangered the locals, themselves culturally similar?

The USA has always maintained its "right to use force to defend its vital interests" and has done this numerous times in the last half century.. The main difference being that in the Crimea the Russians were welcomed with open arms whereas for the Yanks they were welcomed with bullets and it was by brute force that they defended their "vital interests"

You really live with blinkers on, "the West, right or wrong" seems to be your motto. As you may ask for "proof" of this statement I present the post I am replying to here, Q. E. D.
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

The articles second title sums the situation up quite well, I think:

"We don't know what we're doing. So let's stop doing it."
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You refuse to accept that they were misled by people from EU countries

I don't refuse to accept it, but I asked you who has been doing this misleading? You have not been able to give any examples beyond perhaps a celebrity French philosopher and by claiming Van Rompuy has said something that he hasn't.

Again you want to rant and rave about the evils of imperialism from the West but you don't actually care enough to understand the facts. Then in your last post you go on to defend armed aggression against a neighbouring state (against all the CSCE treaty obligations that Russia is supposedly meant to respect). But then again perhaps you are more consistent than I give you credit for - you have always defended Serb aggression against Bosnia and also supported the US invasion of Iraq so this fits the pattern I suppose.
j0ntyg on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

If Scotland votes for independence HMG will accept that. HMG also say that the Falklands will remain British unless they vote otherwise. So why shouldn't the Crimea be allowed to leave Ukraine if they so vote?
off-duty - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The articles second title sums the situation up quite well, I think:

> "We don't know what we're doing. So let's stop doing it."

Since the only ones who actually appear to be "doing" anything vare the Russians, I can't believe you really agree with it....
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:
> Since the only ones who actually appear to be "doing" anything vare the Russians, I can't believe you really agree with it....

That's not entirely true, NATO has been pushing Eastwards for decades, the Cold War wasn't invented by me. This affair is just the latest episode, because the affair started months ago, the Russians are just reacting defensively.

PS. Sorry, I cut and pasted the wrong bit.
Post edited at 22:31
Bruce Hooker - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't refuse to accept it, but I asked you who has been doing this misleading?

In your usual way of asking questions you know it's difficult to answer, which then gives you a chance to try and appear to be "marking points"... so silly really as how could I know the names of those who spoke in Kiev to the crowd, who supported first the Western backed "Orange revolution", or who has aiding the neo-fascist groups in Kiev? Someone in Kiev knows and they have reported all this which is then repeated in the media, but you appear to want me to find the name of these people myself.

Even when someone above found you some clear quotes you refuse them, even when a Ukranian who lives there writes an article confirming what I said, ie. that "most of the people in Maidan square were hoping" for EU membership you wriggle and squirm and come back to your childish, and standard for you, "name me name" line. What matters is what is happening not the mnames of those doing it... we are having a discussion, at least some of us are, not writing a history book.

As for the last bit about the Russian reaction to what is happening it's quite amazing that a Western groupie like you has the cheek to criticize "armed aggression" by Russia (how many people have been killed in this "aggression" BTW?) when you spent hours defending and justifying the real armed and extremely aggression of your pals against Libya, to give just one example - tens of thousands killed, a country reduced to anarchy, most of the achievements of Libya since independence destroyed and a ball started rolling that has destabilized a huge zone of Africa gets the weird TobyA seal of approval, Russia sending troops to calm the game down in a zone bordering it's own territory, which was until recently part of it's territory does not! Is there no limit to your hypocrisy?
off-duty - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> Even when someone above found you some clear quotes you refuse them, even when a Ukranian who lives there writes an article confirming what I said...


She lives in Sheffield. She has lived in England for 67 years since coming here at the age of 1.
I'm sure she might be better connected to the Ukraine than us, even if she lives further away than you do, but she has repeatedly claimed in interviews not to have known any of her family in Ukraine until the success of her novel in 2004/2005.
In reply to off-duty:

Facts off-duty, mere facts! Lets not trouble ourselves with such mere trifles.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> In your usual way of asking questions you know it's difficult to answer

The ones that are difficult to answer are often the interesting ones because they might provide us with important information that can then inform our views in a better way. But you're not interested in such information. It would be easy to say that you're a zealot who is so convinced by one side's position that you're not interested in actually what is happening, but the funny thing is you don't seem to have any real politics. Why would anyone who considered themselves a socialist or a communist ardently support authoritarian capitalists powers like Putin or Assad? It seems that you simply start from a hate of the US (and little Satans - UK and France) and therefore anyone who stands against them becomes "your team" who can do what they want. Maybe you could consider that they're all wrong? And that you can be degrees of wrong also?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

There is a clear difference between hoping for something, and believing it has been promised to you. My friend who was there was emphatic that she knew membership had not been offered. She may just be very well informed.
Postmanpat on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Simon Jenkins talking sense. I suppose his key point is that we (the "West") really has to accept the idea of "spheres of influence" and that, legal or not, it's hardly the biggest crime on history for Russia to reclaim Crimea.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/12/ukraine-crisis-west-do-nothing-russia
In reply to Postmanpat:

It's a very British piece isn't it? He's probably right that the UK doesn't have much skin in the game either way. It would be economically disadvantageous for Britain to take part in any sanctions or the like on Russian leaders/elites as we have come to enjoy the oligarchs money so much. But the Russian moves have panicked governments all over Eastern and Central Europe - the Russians are just quietly pulling out of all the CSCE/OSCE confidence building measures that have for 20+ years help hugely in making Europe (from Moscow to Dublin) a mainly peaceful place despite most people not knowing anything about them.

The same day the Russians sent troops into Crimea, they also held huge military drills all around their borders. Putin actually came to observe the Leningrad Military Oblast maneuvers where they 'practiced' huge artillery barrages not far from the Finnish border. Finland has bent over backwards to be a good neighbour to Russia and the USSR before it for 70 years, and the Russians still pull stunts like that. Just imagine what its like for people in countries like Estonia or Lithuania that the Russians really don't like?! The Finnish air force went to 'cockpit readiness' last week, I'm sure it has been considerably worse to the south.
Postmanpat on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> It's a very British piece isn't it?
>

Well, the central question is whether Putin seriously wants to expand a new Russian empire westwards or whether he simply wants to have a secure buffer zone to the West .ie. the Ukraine. If it's the latter, and there is not much evidence that he wants to reestablish control over the old Soviet satellite States, then wouldn't it be wise for Europe to stop trying to expand influence into this territory.

If you're a short man leading a country with a (not irrational) paranoia about invasion and expansion from the West then you see threats in every move. Why does the West feed this paranoia?
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Postmanpat:

> If you're a short man leading a country with a (not irrational) paranoia about invasion and expansion from the West then you see threats in every move. Why does the West feed this paranoia?

Remember that it is the countries to the West of Russia that have fears that are not irrational in the slightest of Russian expansionism - many were under Russian control (albeit called "Soviet") until 25 years ago. Add to this the Kremlin is stating clearly that Russia has security interests in country with Russian speaking people in it regardless of what their citizenship is.

I'm not sure what an EU accession agreement is doing to feed Russian paranoia? Russia has many EU member states for neighbours and does rather well economically from that closeness. If Putin has a paranoid worldview that's not the problem of the Ukrainians (or Poles, Lats, Estonians, Belorussians etc.).

John2 - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

The Russian view of things is that although they offered the US the use of central Asian military bases after 9/11 and they also gave up a radio intelligence station in Cuba and a base in Vietnam they received little in return. They also did not expect NATO to admit the Balkan and Slavic states.

I have to say, I agree with Parris' point on the accession of Ukraine to the EU - did the reunification of Germany not teach the Germans how disastrously expensive it is to integrate the eastern European states? It's not as if the current EU states didn't have any financial problems of their own.
Postmanpat on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Remember that it is the countries to the West of Russia that have fears that are not irrational in the slightest of Russian expansionism - many were under Russian control (albeit called "Soviet") until 25 years ago. Add to this the Kremlin is stating clearly that Russia has security interests in country with Russian speaking people in it regardless of what their citizenship is.

> I'm not sure what an EU accession agreement is doing to feed Russian paranoia? Russia has many EU member states for neighbours and does rather well economically from that closeness. If Putin has a paranoid worldview that's not the problem of the Ukrainians (or Poles, Lats, Estonians, Belorussians etc.).

The Soviet control of those countries was part of an agreement made with the allied powers toward the end of WW2. The Soviet Union never tried to expand beyond those boundaries. So, aside, what is the evidence that Russia want s to establish control over those countries as opposed to wanting a friendly stable State in Ukraine not interfered with by the EU?


Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm not sure what an EU accession agreement is doing to feed Russian paranoia?

Couldn't you make just a little effort to understand the Russian point of view? For them Russia was invaded massively three times in the 20th century by the West, the last one cost them over 20 million dead... They were then subjected to decades of "Cold War" aggression which was so successful in the end that it brought about the collapse of their social system and years of decline, even population decline. Are you really incapable of understanding just a slight tendency to wariness, or "paranoia" as your Mailspeak puts it?

In the interest of balance how many times did Russia invade Western Europe in the same century?

PS. That you find my opinions difficult to follow and contradictory is not surprising, you are clearly more at ease with people who have the old "package deal" opinion sets, and preferably the same ones as you and Uncle Sam.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

> I'm sure she might be better connected to the Ukraine than us

So am I.
off-duty - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So am I.

Hence my use of "might be" ....

If only she had clarified her opinion piece with any information specific to her eg "my niece/aunt/relative were in the square/whose friends were in the square/who have told me...."
Without that unfortunately we have an opinion piece by someone who happens to have a Ukranian name and a knowledge of Ukranian history as perhaps evidenced by the bulk of the article being a description of Ukranian history.

So on face value we have an article by someone who doesn't live in the country, wasn't an eyewitness to the events in the square, and although knowledgeable, isn't an expert on Ukranian history, or politics.
In reply to John2:

But as I've been discussing with Bruce at some length ;-) there is no plan for the Ukraine to accede to the EU. I can't imagine any EU member state thinking it would be desirable or feasible currently.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> In the interest of balance how many times did Russia invade Western Europe in the same century?

Western Europe isn't really important here though is it? Russia was attacked by Germany, not "Western Europe", and Russia invaded at different times most of the sovereign states on its border. I have quite a few Russian friends so understand the variety of Russian views rather well, but you seem to be unable to consider how these Russian actions (can you hear Russian artillery fire from the border of the country where you live?) seem to Ukrainians, or Poles or Lats, Estonians or Finns.
John2 - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I'm a simple man, Toby - I believe most of what I read on the BBC web site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18018002

'Moves to reach an association agreement with the EU - seen as a key step towards eventual EU membership - again fuelled tensions with Russia, and the government's decision to drop the agreement brought tens of thousands of protesters out onto the streets in November 2013'.
Mike Stretford - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to John2:
Yeah, it's pretty obvious the EU and the Ukraine have been flirting with each other.... Toby's point that the EU hasn't formally 'proposed' seems disingenuous to the debate.
Post edited at 15:58
In reply to John2:

Look at the link to wikipedia I put up earlier about association agreements - Israel, South Africa, Tunisia - etc. all have association agreements with the EU so countries that will never join have them. I'm not actually sure if you need an association agreement to begin the accession process - if the Wikipedia article is accurate I guess you don't as Finland didn't have one before beginning its membership negotiations. So overall I think the statement in that article is simply wrong.

The BBC generally isn't too good on the technical issues around EU structures and laws. FT, IHT and Economist tend to have the Brussels expertise.
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Yeah, it's pretty obvious the EU and the Ukraine have been flirting with each other.... Toby's point that the EU hasn't formally 'proposed' seems disingenuous to the debate.

It's much more than "flirting", the EU and Ukraine have been in a long and formal negotiation process. There are thousands of pages of documents on the negotiations and where they had got to up November, but they weren't accession negotiations - that's a very different and far more complicated process that takes years even when all the winds for all sides are fair.

Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to off-duty:

She mentions her family there, speaks Russian and clearly has looked into it all... of course her distinct left wing background might no appeal to some. So why don't we do what we should always do faced with a text, read it and see if it makes sense? Personally I think it does.

She has a web site with a partial biography and enough information to form an opinion of what sort of person she is.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> But as I've been discussing with Bruce at some length ;-) there is no plan for the Ukraine to accede to the EU. I can't imagine any EU member state thinking it would be desirable or feasible currently.

Then why does the President of the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy say: "To my mind, the future of Ukraine lies with Europe. One can try to slow it down, to block it, but in the end no one can prevent it ..."

Obviously the EU are not in a hurry, they would prefer someone else to bail the country out rather than do it themselves but here's at least one eurocrat encouraging those Ukrainians who lean to the West rather than the East. It's probably a pity for him to say this while colleagues are saying the opposite but that's nothing new for the EU, or governments in general... White man speaks with forked tongue, after all, it's traditional.


John2 - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

'they would prefer someone else to bail the country out rather than do it themselves '

Well the EU are proposing to give Ukraine $15 billion in loans and grants over the next few years. This decision was made after the Russian invasion of Crimea.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Obviously the EU are not in a hurry, they would prefer someone else to bail the country out rather than do it themselves but here's at least one eurocrat encouraging those Ukrainians who lean to the West rather than the East.

Yes, exactly, to lean to the west. To trade with EU, to open their markets to our EU products tariff free, to join all sorts of dull and worthy cultural, academic and scientific partnerships under EU framework funding, to live up to their pledges within the Council of Europe framework and even to seek counsel from and maybe vote at the UN with Brussels (or at least with Berlin and Warsaw). That's why we wanted them to sign the association agreement.


Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

A quick refresher in European history:

1) 1914 invasion by the Central Powers: Germany and its allies: Austro Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, Finland, the Ottoman Empire etc etc.

2) 1918 The War of Intervention, invasion by United Kingdom, British Empire, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, United States, France, Romania, Serbia, Italy, China.

3) 1941 what the Russians call the "Great Patriotic War" (a term banned by the putchist government in Ukraine at present), invasion by Germany, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Finland.

For information neither Russia or the Soviet union have launched similar invasions from East to West during the century, whatever your Russian pals may have told you.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
I thought they invaded Finland just before WW2 and got their arses kicked? I may have got mixed-up though.
Douglas Griffin - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

No mention either of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany, and the resultant annexation of the Baltic states and the partition of Poland.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to John2:

> Well the EU are proposing to give Ukraine $15 billion in loans and grants over the next few years. This decision was made after the Russian invasion of Crimea

And the USA has suddenly found billions of dollars available but months ago the EU was offering about half a billion dollars, totally inadequate given the mess the Ukraine is in, and then Russia propose 30 billion in several payments, plus a deal on gas - I think the first payment was given but I haven't checked this. That, probably more than anything else, is what made Ukraine turn towards Russia.

Now it seems everybody wants to "help" the Ukraine but as a journalist I saw on the telly the other day said, it's a pity the money wasn't available when the government of Ukraine was begging for it, all this crisis, destruction and deaths might have been avoided.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin and Gravity:
It was a brief resume, I guessed I'd be taken up on the details - my gist is that the Russian view is not devoid of truth, nothing more.

PS. I have myself spoken to participants of all three, including the War of Intervention, so I do have "proof" :-)
Post edited at 20:51
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I agree that the Russian position is in general more defensive than aggressive.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> A quick refresher in European history:

Yep you need one matey.

> 1) 1914 invasion by the Central Powers: Germany and its allies: Austro Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, Finland, the Ottoman Empire etc etc.

Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire at the time, how part of the Russian Empire invade Russia, I'm not quite sure.
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

They invaded Finland, in December 1939. The Finns managed to fight them to a standstill through the winter, but the leadership improving on the part of the Red Army (Stalin had recently killed many of it's professional officers before invading in purges) and the spring weather favouring the Soviet tactics - they started to grind the Finnish army down. Finland sued for peace and Russia annexed about a third of its territory, including it's second city. About 400,000 Finns were made refugees - about a tenth of the country's population had to be moved to the non-annexed parts of the country. Russia also demanded military bases elsewhere in Finland - for example a peninsular just outside Helsinki. More were made refugees having to leave those areas.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

It was towards the end of the war, briefly in 1918... I only put it in to irritate you anyway :-)

I was just reading about the Finish Civil War, the Red lost to the Whites who were being helped by Germany in the last months of WW1, and the butchery the Whites inflicted on the Reds was truly horrendous. It's funny how anti-communists always seem to ignore these horrific episodes when they blame the commies for being so violent during the revolution. I suppose it's because they don't consider communists to be real human beings?
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> They invaded Finland, in December 1939. The Finns managed to fight them to a standstill through the winter, but the leadership improving on the part of the Red Army.... More were made refugees having to leave those areas.

How strange, in "Toby's world" Finland didn't side with the Axis in WW2! I can see why you are having problems understanding the Ukrainian crisis today.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> How strange, in "Toby's world" Finland didn't side with the Axis in WW2!

Of course they did but not until June 1941, something you would know if you were actually interested and not just trying to score cheap points in your defence of Putin's authoritarian nationalism. Finland also fought Nazi Germany in WWII, from Sept 44 to April 45 - again as such a claimed history expert I would have thought you would know that.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> It's funny how anti-communists always seem to ignore these horrific episodes when they blame the commies for being so violent during the revolution. I suppose it's because they don't consider communists to be real human beings?

Again, you should do some more reading Bruce before proving your ignorance. Most of the Reds weren't communists, they were social democrats and very resistant to Lenin's expectation that after revolution they would become another republic of the USSR. This is why Russian soldiers who had been left in Finland fought with Reds. The USSR also supported the Reds, although over all both German and Soviet interventions were marginal to the final outcome. If there had been a red victory, there probably would have been a further conflict between the nationalist social democrats and the pro-Soviet communists. Nevertheless the whites didn't make any distinction when it came to who got 'taken behind the sauna' in the 'White terror' that followed the surrender. You might enjoy Vin Linna's "Here Under the North Star" triology, the classic novels of a common man's view of Finnish history from before independence to the end of WWII. It is arguably a rather SDP view of history though, so you might not like that.
neilh - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

I will suggest what is going to drive a resolution on this, it is pure " capitalism".

The rouble has devalued because of the position.

My company sells into Russia.I now have my Russian distributor saying they will pay us 100% upfront for ordering now and delivery in 6 months time.This is because of big daily variations.

There is only so long the Russian economy can take this. The oligarchs will be breathing down Putins neck to sort it out diplomatically before the economy goes pear shaped.
nufkin - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Finland also fought Nazi Germany in WWII, from Sept 44 to April 45

In what manner? Wasn't the 3rd Reich pushed back into Poland by then? Or did the Finns operate in Norway?

Not questioning your history, BTW - genuinely don't know
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> from Sept 44 to April 45 - again as such a claimed history expert I would have thought you would know that.

When it was nearly over and the winning side was clear? I've never claimed to be an expert on history, and certainly not of Finnish history but your posts prompted me to have a look on Wikipedia as it seemed to me your version had missed something out, which it had in a big way.

As for who are "reds" that is quite relative, many yanks are convinced that France is run by reds today and that Britain was under Labour. It has to be admitted that "the Red Flag" is a Labour song though, but that was "before".
In reply to nufkin:

There is quite a lot of context needed to understand the Lapland War! :) It was the third war that Finland fought during what we call WWII. Finland became a co-combatant with Nazi Germany between June 1941 and Sept 1944, called the 'Continuation War' distinguishing it from the 39/40 Winter War. When Germany launched operation Barbarossa, Finland attacked the Soviet Union too and allowed German Forces to operate in Northern Finland into Russia towards Murmansk. For the summer of 41 they made good advances, retaking basically all of the territory that they had had to concede to the USSR in the peace terms of 1940. But by the end of the 41 political pressure led to orders to cross the old border into what had always been Russia and take more land. There were plenty of German sympathising extreme nationalist types who believed in the idea of a "Greater Finland" (there have always been 'Russians' in Eastern Karelia (always considered Russia) who speak a Finno-ugric language, and the Finnish nationalists thought they had a claim to them and that land (that was when the UK declared war on Finland - Dec. 41 I think). The senior military were actually sceptical about 'conquest' along with the centre and left in Parliament, and the military never cut the Murmansk-Leningrad railway or attacked Leningrad itself, to the annoyance of the Germans - but Russians in the occupied areas were treated badly - there were some bad harvests and they came at the bottom of the Finnish governments priorities. 42-43 settled into trench warfare but the Finns saw what happened at Stalingrad and realised they were on the wrong side and started to negotiate secretly with Stalin. In spring 44 the Soviets launched a massive assault in to Finland to push it out of the war. The Finns resisted like crazy and slowed the assault but gradually got ground down, the Russians offered terms as they decided it was too costly to keep fighting the Finns and needed their forces to push to Germany. Finland lost more territory than in 40, and also agreed to push the Germans in Northern Finland out into Norway.

This became the Lapland war, it was a bit of phoney war to start with but the fighting became heavier and Germans took reprisals. They basically burnt every town and village in Lapland as they went, including Rovaniemi the regional capital. There are still jokes about people in Rovaniemi refusing to sell German tourists matches and the like! If you drive up the main road out the top of Finland on the west side, you drive up a river valley for 100s of kms, with Sweden on the other side of the river. All the way a long you see old wooden village church towers in Sweden and big old farm houses and barns etc. But there are non on the Finnish side and everything dates from the 50s or later.

Right -what an essay but you did ask! :)
andyathome - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Of course they did but not until June 1941, something you would know if you were actually interested and not just trying to score cheap points in your defence of Putin's authoritarian nationalism. Finland also fought Nazi Germany in WWII, from Sept 44 to April 45 - again as such a claimed history expert I would have thought you would know that.

A bit like Italy, then? Fought as part of the Axis for the bulk of the war and then against Germany once the Allies had established supremacy.

Have I got that right?
andyathome - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> There is quite a lot of context needed to understand the Lapland War!

I think I followed your essay. You paint an attractive picture of a nation of blatant opportunists who just took the side of whoever they thought was winning in order to grab land from whoever they thought was losing.

And your original point about the Finnish war was what exactly? That the Russians are bastards?
In reply to andyathome:
I think Bruce's original point mentioned that Russia had been attacked by Finland in 1941, but he failed to mention that Stalin attacked Finland in 1939 and seized about a third of its territory. He was, as ever, trying to explain Putin's policies now as understandable due to things happening 70 years ago.

On Italy, I don't know. Did the Italian government chose to change sides? Or were they told they had to as part of a peace treaty with the Allies? I thought Italy had something of a civil war going on anyway with anti-fascist partisans fighting the Germans and Italian fascists?
Post edited at 20:21
stroppygob - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

To offset any possible lost Gas revenues and to boost the economy, the Ukraine has anounced plans to open Chernobyl, their nuclear disaster site, to tourists. They say it's just like Disneyland, except the 6-foot mouse is real.


64% of U.S. students can't find Ukraine on a map. Doesn't matter, really. Soon, nobody will.



Say what you will about George W Bush, but he wouldn't have stood for Russian aggression in Ukraine. He'd have invaded New Zealand by now.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Now the USA is sending drones over Crimea.... I wonder if the UN will threaten them with sanctions for intruding?

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-intercepted-us-drone-over-crimea-arms-180430584.html
Al Evans on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:



> Say what you will about George W Bush, but he wouldn't have stood for Russian aggression in Ukraine. He'd have invaded New Zealand by now.

Lol :-)
Douglas Griffin - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I suppose it was always likely with the referendum coming up but things seem to be taking a turn for the worse again today. Deaths reported in Kharkiv and now reports of clashes between Russian and Ukrainian military in the Kherson distict of southern Ukraine. Let's hope that calm heads prevail.
ads.ukclimbing.com
IainRUK - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

The UN really needs modernising, its just undemocratic with this veto system..

There needs to be a more global membership and no veto's.. even if the big 5 had votes which counted for more..
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

At least in Moscow the police let the protest go ahead - last week they broke up peace protests in both Moscow and St Petersburg pretty harshly and arrested loads of people. The pro-Kremlin demo is just weird to look at with all those people with Soviet flags.

Thinking of which, did you read: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n06/james-meek/putins-counter-revolution ? I found it very interesting.
Bruce Hooker - on 16 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

So that's it then, 95% vote in favour of a return to Russia... the SNP would be happy with half this figure in their referendum. Does anyone contest the right of the Crimeans to choose their destiny now?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Does anyone contest the right of the Crimeans to choose their destiny now?

The Crimeans who didn't vote and believe the vote and occupation to be illegal clearly do.

Refat Chubarov, leader of the Tatars' unofficial parliament, said the referendum was illegal, and held in a hasty manner under the control of Russian troops.

"The fate of our motherland cannot be decided in such a referendum under the shadows of the guns of soldiers," he told the BBC.

The Tatars were deported to Central Asia by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1944. They were only able to return with the fall of the Soviet Union and many want to remain in Ukraine.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26607466

I guess the Russian army could just deport all the Tartars once again.

Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

12% of the population, and who have received firm assurances from the Crimean assembly that their rights will be respected? I'd say their situation in Crimea is safer than pro-Russians in Kiev, the places is not policed by neo-Nazi groups and has remained calm throughout the crisis. Couldn't it be that the "revolutionaries" in W Ukraine have overplayed their hand and scared the average person by their excesses? Plus the better financial situation in the Russian Federation - state pensions, for example, are considerably higher - never forget the power of "pensioners" in ageing populations.

We haven't got the full results yet but the provisional one suggests a very high turnout and none of the journalists present have suggested electoral fraud so at least some of the non-Russians must have voted for a return to Russia, they were given a second solution of remaining in Ukraine but with more autonomy, as they had until a few years ago, but few even seemed interested - the result is pretty clear by any standards.
Douglas Griffin - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Does anyone contest the right of the Crimeans to choose their destiny now?

Would you be in favour of a similar referendum in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation (for example)?
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Why not?

On the general subject of auto-determination though I was talking to a French friend yesterday who is by no means right wing or authoritarian and he was concerned by what he saw as a problematic trend towards regionalism and any part of a country calling for a referendum. He believed in the classic republican notion of defending "La Rpublique, une et indivisible" as defined in the first article of the Constitution:

"La France est une Rpublique indivisible, laque, dmocratique et sociale"*

Which dates back to the Convention of 25 September 1792, over two centuries ago.

He said, for example, that for him it was not reasonable for one part of the Republic that was richer and more prosperous to decide they would break away and abandon the poorer parts of the country, the notion of national solidarity was essential to the Republican, democratic ideal.

I think both arguments are worth considering but in the case of the Ukraine and Crimea the specific circumstances make it clearer, all this change is doing is correcting and earlier decision (1954) that may have been reasonable at the time as Ukraine and the Crimea were all part of the same state, the USSR, so it didn't really make much difference but since the destruction of the USSR and the independence of the Ukraine the compromise that had been respected for the last 20 years or so is no longer workable.


*"Article 1

France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis."
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> not policed by neo-Nazi groups and has remained calm throughout the crisis.

You keep going on about this, it doesn't actually make it true despite you obviously wishing it was. Oddly there were far-right in Crimea, the Russian forces had invited them as election observers. Jobbik was there but Nick Griffin didn't make it in the end http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/ukraine-crisis-crimea-referendum Do you know if the FN got there? Mme Le Pen was sympathetic to the Russian seizure along the lines you are - but I haven't seen if they sent people after being invited. http://euobserver.com/news/123453
Rob Exile Ward on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

I wonder how much control Putin has over all this, there must be (literally) dozens of statelets within the Russian Empire thinking, if the Crimea can opt in, why can't we opt out?
Douglas Griffin - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I wonder how much control Putin has over all this

Quite a lot, I suspect.

> there must be (literally) dozens of statelets within the Russian Empire thinking, if the Crimea can opt in, why can't we opt out?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia#Political_divisions

Simon4 - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> So that's it then, 95% vote in favour of a return to Russia... the SNP would be happy with half this figure in their referendum. Does anyone contest the right of the Crimeans to choose their destiny now?

Rather similar to the result in the plebiscite held in the Sudetenland after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, held under similar circumstances - a very powerful neighbour with historical and territorial ambitions in next door countries, a history of frequent boundary changes, a pattern of overlapping ethnicities and languages with no clear location where international boundaries should naturally lie. The greatest similarity of all, a series of what looks very like manufactured incidents to show the national minority of the local superpower have been in some way mistreated, hence justifying invasion, all supposedly legitimated by a hastily held and very one-sided ad-hoc vote.

There are already signs that Putin is likely to move on to Latvia (with its own Russian linguistic and ethnic minority, who also feel that they have grievances), Moldova and possibly elsewhere. In addition, there is a fairly pronounced feeling in the Russian elite and to a certain extent in the population that the "God-given" boundaries of Russia are the same of the old Soviet Union and satellites (or for that matter those of the old Tsarist empire), and that is what they should return to in natural justice.

Historical analogies are always dangerous, the differences historical events widely separated in time and space tend to be greater than superficial similarities. But the record now, after the brutal wars in Chechnya, the invasion of Georgia and now the first territorial seizures in the Ukraine, all driven by an ex-military (or ex KGB), strongman being feebly opposed by a debilitated and indecisive West do look strikingly like the history of the progressive seizure of the Rheinland, the Suddetenland and then the Anschluss with Austria. Again, Western policy looks less and less like prudence and more like appeasement of a brutal tyrant.

Your comparison with the Scottish independence referendum shows how flawed and fake this plebiscite is compared to a proper democratic process. In the Scottish referendum, the process is taking months or even years, the wording of the question is carefully considered by as independent body as it is possible to have while rival campaigns make their case lengthily (some might say tediously), over the media, social media, websites like this etc to their hearts content. No such proper process and relatively democratic even-handedness has been shown in the very rapidly conducted vote in the Crimea, held under the guns of Russian special forces.
Post edited at 10:09
redsonja - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

what about the people who don't want to join Russia? rather than forcing them to do something they don't want to, I hope they can come to some agreement where everyone is happy
John2 - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Simon4:

'There are already signs that Putin is likely to move on to Latvia '

Really? Where?

Latvia is a member of NATO - that really would be a different situation.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> You keep going on about this, it doesn't actually make it true despite you obviously wishing it was.

The opposite is true too, the leading role played by far right militias in the fighting in Kiev and elsewhere has been shown even on BBC and other state media since the beginning, as has their use alongside police forces since the putsch to "maintain law and order". If you would let go of your radiator at the back and wake up a bit you might even read about the extreme right members of the self proclaimed government: such as the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Parubiy, or the deputy prime minister, Oleksandr Sych. All in all 7 of them according to this Channel 4 article:

http://www.channel4.com/news/svoboda-ministers-ukraine-new-government-far-right

to quote:

"Two weeks ago I could never have predicted this. A neo-fascist party like Svoboda getting the deputy prime minister position is news in its own right.

"There are seven ministers with links to the extreme right now. It began with Svoboda getting 10 per cent of the vote in the last election, it is certainly a concern in the long run."


There are loads of other articles to be found if you were interested, or you could listen to the originals on the radio or TV. If Finnish telly doesn't give this information why not get yourself a satellite dish? It'll save you missing out on what's gong on in the world.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Simon4:

> But the record now, after the brutal wars in Chechnya, the invasion of Georgia and now the first territorial seizures in the Ukraine, all driven by an ex-military (or ex KGB), strongman being feebly opposed by a debilitated and indecisive West do look strikingly like the history of the progressive seizure of the Rheinland, the Suddetenland and then the Anschluss with Austria. Again, Western policy looks less and less like prudence and more like appeasement of a brutal tyrant.

That's your opinion, perhaps, but it doesn't stand up to close examination IMO, or even a distant glance. Same for Scotland, the differences are the lack of urgency and the lack of overwhelming support for independence. There have been no riots and barricades in London, no extreme right armed militias or deaths, no real danger for a minority, no ethnic or cultural component (IMO) but my question is that if self determination is good for Scotland why not for Crimea? I also seem to remember you attitude concerning the Malvinas referendum, again why OK in the Malvinas but not in Crimea? Ditto Gibraltar.
GrendeI on 17 Mar 2014
On NATO/ EU countries response to Crimea...

As part of any sanctions, would Turkey close the Bosphorous Straight to Russian naval vessels? I imagine such a ban would be quite crippling to Russia's sea faring military, leaving them essentially isolated (within a rather small inland sea)and for NATO it would be quite a tactical move in the long run, a bit like fish in a barrel.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/846105.shtml#.Uyb56_ldXHU

and the US appear to be in there too.

http://rt.com/news/us-warship-black-sea-966/

Just passing curious.
RCC - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to GrendeI:


> As part of any sanctions, would Turkey close the Bosphorous Straight to Russian naval vessels? I imagine such a ban would be quite crippling to Russia's sea faring military, leaving them essentially isolated (within a rather small inland sea)and for NATO it would be quite a tactical move in the long run, a bit like fish in a barrel.


Couldn't legally be done. International convention allows innocent passage through territorial waters for both military and civilian ships.
Rob Exile Ward on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

AT risk of stating the obvious, just about everyone IS in favour of self determination for the Malvinas, it's who the 'self' is that is the question - the people who live there, or the people who live 300 hundred miles away - coincidentally just about as far from the Islands as the Scottish border is from London...

Bit of a no-brainer really.
Cuthbert on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to RCC:

Apparently there is something called the Montreaux Convention:

"oviet and post-Soviet role[edit]
While designated an aircraft carrier by the West, the design of the Admiral Kuznetsov class implied a mission different from carriers of the United States Navy, Royal Navy or French Navy. The Russian-language term used by her builders to describe the Soviet-era ships is "&#1090;&#1103;&#1078;&#1105;&#1083;&#1099;&#1081; &#1072;&#1074;&#1080;&#1072;&#1085;&#1077;&#1089;&#1091;&#1097;&#1080;&#1081; &#1082;&#1088;&#1077;&#1081;&#1089;&#1077;&#1088;" tyazholiy avianesushchiy kreyser (TAKR or TAVKR)heavy aircraft-carrying cruiserintended to support and defend strategic missile-carrying submarines, surface ships, and maritime missile-carrying aircraft of the Russian fleet. As such, the Soviet Union and later Russia argued that these ships are not aircraft carriers under the Montreux Convention and not subject to the tonnage limits imposed on these ships in travelling through the Bosphorus.[12][13]!
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

'I also seem to remember you attitude concerning the Malvinas referendum, again why OK in the Malvinas but not in Crimea? Ditto Gibraltar.'

Hi Bruce,

I also seem to remember your attitude concerning the Falklands referendum, again why OK in Crimea but not the Falklands? Ditto Gibraltar.

Best wishes

Gregor
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Not withstanding the circumstances, I have to agree with you Bruce, it does smack a bit of hypocrisy that we are against the will of the Crimean Russian majority, yet play that card for the Falklands, Gibralter and the Scottish referendum.

Rampikino - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:
I think you are missing the point somewhat. If 95% of the people of Crimea genuinely want to move away from Ukraine then that's fine, but this move appears to be any number of the following:

1. Contrary to the constitution of the sovereign nation that currently controls the region.

2. Carried out too quickly for the public to be able to get a fair and balanced amount of information.

3. Not overseen by independent election authorities.

4. Carried out under an atmosphere of anti-Ukraine tension and violence towards pro-Ukrainians such that a fair vote could not be guaranteed.

Number 1 is by far the most important to me - the referenda (?) in Scotland and The Falkland Islands were/are both carried out within the constitutions of their sovereign frameworks meaning that the results should be considered a valid opinion of the electorate (even if others don't like the outcome).
Post edited at 14:48
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

I don't disagree, but who overthrew the democratically voted governement in Ukraine?

It's a mess for sure, but the reality is those Russian speaking Crimeans are unlikely to change their mind after a year of "white paper" debate on the pros and cons.

Far better to see it for what it is and get a quick resolution IMO
Graeme Alderson on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I don't disagree, but who overthrew the democratically voted governement in Ukraine?

The democratically elected parliament overthrew the President.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

and replaced him with someone they liked. I kind of see why the Russians in Crimea might be a bit anti with the language law and the fact that the old president hasn't actually been impeached correctly.

I'm not pro Putin but I find it hard to see how our stance on the wishes of the Crimeans can sit comfortably with our concience.

Happy to be told otherwise...just my take on it on what I have read
MG - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:


> I'm not pro Putin but I find it hard to see how our stance on the wishes of the Crimeans can sit comfortably with our concience.


Isn't it the Mugabesque nature of what has happened that is the problem? Putin has basically annexed Crimea (even if there is a good chance it wanted to be annexed). What is to stop him taking chunks of Latvia (or wherever) next time using similar techniques but in areas where the support is far less clear cut. I am sure with Russian soldiers, militias, loaded questions etc. he could win a vote in many places.
Andy Say - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> The democratically elected parliament overthrew the President.

'Parliament names speaker Olexander Turchynov as interim president. An arrest warrant is issued for Mr Yanukovych, and the acting president warns of the dangers of separatism. Members of the proposed new government appear before demonstrators, with Arseniy Yatsenyuk nominated prime minister.' is how the BBC are reporting that.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to MG:

Hang on a second, what instigated all this? Did Putin start the revolution to overthrow Yanukovych?

it seems to me that the situation landed in Putins lap. He's not going to look this gift horse in the mouth and is using the "self determination" argument for a bit of a land grab. It's not like they didnt already have a huge military base there already.

How this effects the Ukranians in the north I am unsure, but it seems that this was always a likely scenario if the country became unstable.

Anyway, my point originally was that it seems to me to be slightly hypocritical to pontificate to the Russian Crimeans about not recognising their referendum. I accept that this was not held in an open manner as Rampkino mentions above.

Regarding Latvia, I have no idea what Putins ideas are there. But it wouldn't suprise me if he did have plans. I think they are part of NATO, so surely that would be a whole different scenario altogether?
Simon4 - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> There have been no riots and barricades in London, no extreme right armed militias or deaths

Hopefully it will remain like that (in Scotland at least). But the "extreme right wing militias" seems to be at most wild exaggeration, at worst complete propaganda fantasy. The Crimea seems well supplied at the moment with what may be militias, or may just be Russian troops thinly disguised as local "activists".

Nazi rhetoric prior to the Anschluss, the occupation of very strategic parts of Czechoslovakia and the invasion of Poland very much centred on supposed oppression of ethnic Germans by the national majorities in those countries, frequently following deliberate provocation by local Nazi movements encouraged or controlled by Berlin. These were largely or entirely manufactured or imaginary outrages organised for the purposes of ramping up tension.

As I say, analogies can be both misleading and facile, but the comparison on this point is striking - a resurgent military power that thinks it has been wronged in the past, lead by a fairly dictatorial strong man, facing weak opponents and uncertain foreign actors, taking ever greater risks on the confident assumption that no serious action will be taken against them, growing stronger and more confident with every incident that it gets away with.

It is also striking that there are Russian national minorities in most of the surrounding countries, often due to deliberate Soviet policy of population swamping, much like the Chinese policy toward Tibet. At any rate, these countries all have substantial intermingling of language and national groups. There is the potential for all or many of these minorities to be use for an excuse to re-establish Russian control, though, as some have pointed out, the cases may be different, not least because some of them are in NATO (though NATO association did not protect Georgia, nor was NATO able or willing to take any tangible action when it came to it).

> if self determination is good for Scotland why not for Crimea?

Though not particularly keen on the idea of Scottish separation, I, like most people in England, think they can only democratically be kept in the union of their own free will. So they have to have a vote to settle the matter. Other than being disingenuous, it is very hard to see how anyone could confuse the vote in Scotland - very long lead time, carefully neutrally worded question, passionately argued on both sides (as the many threads here show), with the vote just held in Crimea - after what is effectively an invasion, with a shockingly short time, no opportunity for public debate with each side being free and unmolested to put its view. We have seen here lengthy passionate discussions and disagreements about the future economic peril (or massive advantages according to the other side) of an independent Scotland, as has virtually every other possible ramification been argued out.

No such debate or discussion has taken place about the hugger mugger plebiscite in the Crimea, unless you think that advocates of Scottish independence think that England might invade the day after a Yes vote, or that they might be disappeared by the English equivalent of a KGB, to emerge as gaunt skeletons years later, if at all. So it is the ultimate in false equivalence to compare the Scottish referendum vote with what has just happened in the Crimea.

As someone said above, the history in this part of the world is thick, bloody and bitter, while due to the incessant surges of power, war and control this way and that in the Ukraine, there are no "right" or "natural" borders - there will always be national minorities, short of brutal expulsions and ethnic cleansing (which is far from unknown in these regions). But generally since WW II in Europe, we have agreed that international borders must remain settled purely for pragmatic reasons, it is so much more peaceful that way, unless they are changed by a proper legal (and ideally democratic) process.

What has just happened in the Crimea, and what may happen in other parts of Eastern Ukraine, is certainly not legal, voluntary or democratic.
Post edited at 16:48
Choss on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Simon4:

... but is their own fault really. The EU brokered them a bloody good Deal for Change, but right wing Ukraine folk shat all over the Deal that night. Very soon Proclaiming law against the Russian Language, now BackTracked.

Crimea is Russian, argue about it if you Like Putin can Take east Ukraine if he wants. The Violent overthrow so called Ukraine govt Know now that Nobody is going to charge in on a White horse and save them.

Its Lots of shouting and Stamping of feet, but at the end of the day real politic rules.

They f*cked up.
IainRUK - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I don't know.. where does it end?

I can see in isolated cases, say Tibet? The Malvina's, Gibralter..

I can see an argument for the crimea but it should have been much better planned, longer term planning, run up..

But what if Cornwall wanted to leave? Brittany? The Alsace wanted to return to Germany?

Pretty scary how this is escalating
Choss on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

Pretty scary how this is escalating

Yep. Cant Stand all this Posturing Phoney war shit. If theyre gonna Kick off get it over with.
In reply to Choss:

> Pretty scary how this is escalating

> Yep. Cant Stand all this Posturing Phoney war shit. If theyre gonna Kick off get it over with.

Are you joking? You're talking about real people's lives here!
In reply to Choss:

> ... but is their own fault really. The EU brokered them a bloody good Deal for Change, but right wing Ukraine folk shat all over the Deal that night. Very soon Proclaiming law against the Russian Language, now BackTracked.

> Crimea is Russian, argue about it if you Like Putin can Take east Ukraine if he wants. The Violent overthrow so called Ukraine govt Know now that Nobody is going to charge in on a White horse and save them.

The Ukrainians themselves will fight back though.

andyathome - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> I don't know.. where does it end?

> But what if Cornwall wanted to leave? Brittany? The Alsace wanted to return to Germany?

Looks like it is spreading :-)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26604044

> Pretty scary how this is escalating
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> Number 1 is by far the most important to me - the referenda (?) in Scotland and The Falkland Islands were/are both carried out within the constitutions of their sovereign frameworks meaning that the results should be considered a valid opinion of the electorate (even if others don't like the outcome).

That's your opinion concerning the Malvinas but not that of all of the rest of South America and countries that make up the majority of the world's population... but do we really want to go further on this point? it was just an example of what seems to me to be hypocrisy, an in depth debate on the Malvinas would seem an inappropriate use of energy as WW3 approaches (if we take the warmongers in Downing Street seriously, but who does?)
IainRUK - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

what do you mean?

Why was the Falklands not acceptable?

dissonance - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> Why was the Falklands not acceptable?

They didnt give an answer Bruce approves of.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Simon4:

> ... the "extreme right wing militias" seems to be at most wild exaggeration, at worst complete propaganda fantasy...

You must have been sleeping on the same radiator as Toby! What about the 7 extreme right members of the Kiev government? Just a "fantasy"? Or the militants with swastika style armbands and the anti-Semitic graffiti in the buildings they occupied? It was on all the TVs round the world, did you miss them like Toby?

> What has just happened in the Kiev, and what may happen in other parts of Ukraine, is certainly not legal, voluntary or democratic.

There you are, I put it right. Or maybe you have mellowed with age and now favour barricades, violence, molotovs, cobble stones and bullets as a way to change a democratically elected regime nowadays? Most people went through that sort of phase in their teens, perhaps you are a late developer, like Cameron?
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> I can see an argument for the crimea but it should have been much better planned, longer term planning, run up..

What, to give the yanks time to stir up violence and make any sort of peaceful transition impossible? Look at recent history, has the West made much effort to solve problems without violence finding reasonable compromises, or has it gone in for it's pound of flesh, systematically pushing toward solutions of violence and endless conflict, like Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and so on for ever and for ever Amen?
Douglas Griffin - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Simon Schama on C4 News just now. While stating that the Russians clearly aren't Nazis, he said that parallels with the 1930s are not too wide of the mark.

(Incidentally, why do so many people - Schama, for example - insist on saying "Pyootin". It's "Pootin". The "yoo" and "oo" sounds are totally different characters in Russian.)
andyathome - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

Game over.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26621726

Unless we think someone is going to order the tanks to roll? (And the gas pipelines to be cut....)
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> The Ukrainians themselves will fight back though.

That's tough talk from someone who won't get killed himself... give it a rest, there are enough nutters ready to die for their country as it is, no need to encourage them.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

But they are very very wide of the mark if you look at the situation calmly... Hitler was an fanatical Nationalist with a personal ideal as he put down in writing in Mein Kampf of world conquest, Germanic supremacism who thought that Slavs, Jews and others were sub humans to be enslaved or exterminated. He took power in a world that was totally shaken by it's worst calamity ever experiences by the human race, WW1, and of an economic crisis that put millions out of work with no social safety net... basically they starved. Today the world is different and Putin is no Hitler, has written no Mein Kampf and the Russian people have been well inoculated against extremism. Now they want a quite life, with a decent wage and decent house, they are not out for world conquest.
andyathome - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> The Ukrainians themselves will fight back though.

Exactly which 'Ukrainians' are you expecting to fight? And why would the 'Ukrainians' enter a war over the fate of Crimea?
Jim C - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> ?..the Russian people have been well inoculated against extremism. Now they want a quite life, with a decent wage and decent house, they are not out for world conquest...

That seems to be the case from what I hear, my daughter works with Russians at Uni, and is over there just now, and is finding the Russian people really very warm.
( ironically as she is in a Siberia:)

Douglas Griffin - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Well, I did say that he wasn't likening Putin or the Russians to Nazis. His reasoning went along the lines of Russia being an ex-Imperial power bent on righting perceived historic wrongs, re-uniting Russian-speaking territories with the motherland (analogous to the Sudetenland), that sort of thing.

Not sure I agree but his opinion is surely worthy of some respect.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> there are enough nutters ready to die for their country as it is, no need to encourage them.

What have you been doing all day besides that to the Russian nationalists? You really are a bizarre chap.

andyathome - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> What have you been doing all day besides that to the Russian nationalists? You really are a bizarre chap.

Do you really imagine that any Russian Nationalists in the Crimea, or elsewhere, give a FF for the opinions expressed on UKC? You do have a strange view of the world :-(
andyathome - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

And, as I said above, at eight o'clock, the game has moved on. Crimea is a part of Russia right now.

I'll be in interested to see how that shifts over the next year or so.
In reply to andyathome: You might have noted that Brucey was suggesting that dissonance was stirring up the war hungry nationalists. I actually know some Russian nationalists, or at least nationalistic Russians, they seem to take their news mainly from Russian state TV. My liberal Russian mates are much more diverse and multilingual in their media consumption, but I can confirm even for them it doesn't extend to UKC!

In reply to andyathome:

> And, as I said above, at eight o'clock, the game has moved on. Crimea is a part of Russia right now.

According to the Russians. Has any other country recognised the incorporation? It will be interesting to see what Nazarbayev and Lukashenko say in the next day or two.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> What have you been doing all day besides that to the Russian nationalists? You really are a bizarre chap.

I haven't been encouraging fighting at all, there is no fighting in Crimea, the fighting is the "revolution" you and the Western Press adore in Kiev and other mainland Ukrainian cities. In Crimea a bloodless operation is righting a historical wrong with the enthusiasm of the majority and the acquiesce of the minority in a calm ordered fashion.

You and your NATO pals would like it to go wobbly but for the moment it's Russia which is calming things down, as they did recently in Syria. They failed in Libya because they took the West's word on trust but they won't do it twice in a generation, they've learnt their lesson.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Eh? I'm not warmongering - I'm reflecting what Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians have told me. It's the last thing I want, there are people I care about deeply there.
In reply to andyathome:

I was talking about if Russian troops entered the main part of Ukraine. I'm reflecting the views of people I know there.
In reply to Jim C:

Russian hospitality is amazing and the people are wonderful. That doesn't actually have much bearing on the intention of their government.
Bruce Hooker - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Russian hospitality is amazing and the people are wonderful. That doesn't actually have much bearing on the intention of their government.

Excepting that they elected this government.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Yep, 110% of them. "Without opposition there is no democracy". What chance of Navalny or Khorkovsky being able to run against Putin?
Post edited at 22:30
Jim C - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> Russian hospitality is amazing and the people are wonderful. That doesn't actually have much bearing on the intention of their government.

Help ma boab
I was only agreeing with Bruce on ordinary Russians views ( as opposed to governments)not making any political points
( I knew nothing good would come of it;)
Post edited at 22:44
In reply to Jim C:

No worries)
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Russian hospitality is amazing and the people are wonderful.

But I think Russians are also far more likely to be openly racist, homophobic and sexist than most western Europeans these days. One of my good Russian friends is from a Jewish family and that's a whole other and rather depressing story too. It's a contradictory culture.
In reply to TobyA:

I fell out with a Russian friend about her homophobic views. Generally though the people I know are western-looking and more enlightened.
Graeme Alderson on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>and the acquiesce of the minority

Really?? Sometimes I think that you might have some credibility but this statement removes any doubt.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

"acquiesce" doesn't mean agreement. The basis of all democracy is the acceptation by the minority of the controlling right of the majority. In countries where this is not the case democracy is more or less impossible. The situation is quite common if you look around the world at the moment.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You didn't actually read what I put did you Bruce. 1/10 for paying attention.

I'm afraid in your little ivory tower the black and white of your imagination must look very, very clear, but I fear your vision has become rather blurry and you see what you want to see in your 'moments of clarity'.

This isn't a Falklands thread but if you think you can use "nasty British colonialism" as an excuse to replace the long-established people of the Falklands with a Hispanic Colonialism (which WIPED OUT the indigenous peoples of Argentina in a mass colonialism surge by Spain and Portugal) then go ahead - but that's your warped logic.

I'm saying nothing more on the Falklands here but feel free to start yet another Falklands thread if you wish.

On Ukraine, I think there is no simple case of this being right or wrong. It's not a petty matter by any means.
Graeme Alderson on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> "acquiesce" doesn't mean agreement.

Yes it does. Read a dictionary.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

I read what you wrote in your N1 but I think this opinion is incorrect, even if Mr Cameron agrees with you. The "sovereign rights" on these islands is contested and the majority of the world doesn't share your opinion, even if the minority you belong to gets its way because it is the richest and has most guns.

My reason for mentioning the Malvinas was not to reopen a tribune for Empire loving archaics but to illustrate the hypocrisy of the Western world in general, and Cameron in particular, ready to cry for "self determination" when it suits them and refuse it when it doesn't. Your reply doesn't present any argument which shows this isn't the case.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

It means acceptance, not agreement, there is a difference.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, you would do an awful lot better if you didn't choose to hide your argument behind silly bluff and bluster. "even if the minority you belong to gets its way because it is the richest and has most guns." Don't attribute such a pathetic stance to me. My stance is based on my own opinion built up over time. And hey, I've been to the Falklands, have you?

And here's the point that you are missing because you didn't really engage and because you didn't really read properly. I will spell it out as clearly as I can.

If the people of Crimea want to become Russian then that is their choice. It is not one rule for one lot of people and another rule for another lot IN MY VIEW. However, such a referendum has to be carried out in a free and fair way, and it is clear to me that what just happened in Crimea and the atmosphere it was carried out under was neither.
neilh - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I relate a tale. In November I had 9 Russians visit my company. 3 were from Moscow, 3 from 200 miles South of Moscow and 3 from 2,000 km East of Moscow.All hard core engineers. One night took them to local pub. There was an outrageously gay waiter, painted finger nails, the lot.I cringed having heard about their homophobia.They just laughed saying they get this in Russia as well.They just were not bothered about it.

It is a contradictory culture.Both rampant capitalism and communism in one. Anybody visiting Red Square sees this, Lenin's tomb and directly opposite Louis Vitton.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> and it is clear to me that what just happened in Crimea and the atmosphere it was carried out under was neither.

Unlike in the Malvinas with the military base and the place being under the thumb of the British government? And you accuse me of bluster! So you think that the majority in Crimea didn't want to become Russian again? That's just an opinion, and one that doesn't correspond to the images we all saw on our TVs by people who were there, on the spot.

If you were a Russian Ukrainian watching the mess going on in Kiev, would you want to be part of it? Wouldn't you prefer to be part of the country your parents were born in - Crimea was part of Russia until 1954.

PS. I haven't been to the Malvinas, although I have to S America climbing, but how does that change anything, the situation there is well know to all. What facts did you glean there that I can't in Europe? I don't think you have been to Crimea but you can still form an opinion.
IainRUK - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Unlike in the Malvinas with the military base and the place being under the thumb of the British government? And you accuse me of bluster! So you think that the majority in Crimea didn't want to become Russian again? That's just an opinion, and one that doesn't correspond to the images we all saw on our TVs by people who were there, on the spot.

So are you saying you now agree that the UK should hold them?

I'm actually not convinced either way yet on Crimea, however I do think the 'referendum' should be repeated.. you cannot have an effective referendum when there's no time to campaign and armed soldiers about..
dissonance - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Unlike in the Malvinas with the military base and the place being under the thumb of the British government? And you accuse me of bluster!

that or trolling. Lets have a look at what the UK military presence was at the beginning of the 1980s shall we?
Can you think of any possible event that might have resulted in it being increased?

> If you were a Russian Ukrainian watching the mess going on in Kiev, would you want to be part of it? Wouldn't you prefer to be part of the country your parents were born in - Crimea was part of Russia until 1954.

So by that logic the UK can start eyeing up the empire again?Since you are comparing Falklands and Crimea care to give the equivalent of the Srgn for the Falklands?

Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> So are you saying you now agree that the UK should hold them?

Sometimes a referendum is a good idea, although I believe in representative democracy for most decision, referenda should only be reserved for special issues IMO. For example at the time of Irish independence it seems reasonable to have had a referendum, although many might think it should have been just at the national (Irish) level, not local to avoid splitting the country up. For Scotland it seems required, although whether just for Scotland or all the UK is debateable... this is being demanded for Ukraine by some, but this was not the UK choice. The Malvinas had a referendum, applauded by the British government and many posters here, so my point is that they are not being logical if they deny the Crimeans the same procedure.

As for the rapidity of the referendum and the fact that it was done under armed guard, that was hardly the fault of Crimea, it was due to the situation in Ukraine, in the throws of a "Nationalist Revolution" and a general break down of law and order, mob violence and the overthrow of the democratically elected President by violence... so how could the referendum have been held in any better conditions? The people there felt they were in danger and didn't want to give the Kiev regime the possibility of overthrowing their democratic choice.

I can't see how they could have done otherwise. If they had waited and not guarded their access roads the Kiev regime would have bussed in the same charming crew we all saw throwing molotovs at the policenin the West, except by now they have weapons and are mixed in with organised armed units. It would have been either submission or a blood bath... which would you have chosen?
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to dissonance:

> So by that logic the UK can start eyeing up the empire again?

I don't think the Ukraine can be considered to be the equivalent to the British Empire, historically it was the centre of the Russian culture and I think you'll find that many Russians and Ukrainians feel there is a special relationship between Ukraine an d Russia. The militant extreme right anti-Russian nationalists are a minority - 300 000 joined the Nazis to fight the USSR but over a millions fought in the Red Army against them. Not quite the same relationship as existed between Britain and the India Raj, IMO.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Read what I said you dickwad.

3 times you have posted replies without reading what I put and have tried to twist my words.

If you weren't Bruce Hooker I would call troll. Instead I'm just calling dickwad.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> PS. I haven't been to the Malvinas, although I have to S America climbing, but how does that change anything, the situation there is well know to all. What facts did you glean there that I can't in Europe? I don't think you have been to Crimea but you can still form an opinion.

Because you get to speak to real life Falkland Islanders, not ones that you dreamed up in your imagination. Then you find out first hand what their views are and whether or not they believe they are under the thumb of the British Empire. Something you patently can't do but you are prepared to plaster your blurry views all over t'internet as though it is fact. Dickwad.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

So you think that the majority in Crimea didn't want to become Russian again? That's just an opinion, and one that doesn't correspond to the images we all saw on our TVs by people who were there, on the spot.

Actually here's what I wrote, the bit you ignored you Dickwad:

"If the people of Crimea want to become Russian then that is their choice."
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> So are you saying you now agree that the UK should hold them?

> I'm actually not convinced either way yet on Crimea, however I do think the 'referendum' should be repeated.. you cannot have an effective referendum when there's no time to campaign and armed soldiers about..

^ This

(and yes, you soon spot the hypocricy that BH writes into is own posts. He sees some things as crystal clear black and white but it soon gets blurry and then he blathers on about the evil British Empire all over again)
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> If you weren't Bruce Hooker I would call troll. Instead I'm just calling dickwad.

That's a pretty solid argument, well done.

PS. I have read what you wrote, I don't agree with you, that's all. I hope that's all right?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> Actually here's what I wrote, the bit you ignored you Dickwad:

> "If the people of Crimea want to become Russian then that is their choice."

Yes but you then went on to qualify this saying:

> However, such a referendum has to be carried out in a free and fair way, and it is clear to me that what just happened in Crimea and the atmosphere it was carried out under was neither.

All your long trips South seem to be playing havoc with your memory, a brief sleep might help.

ow arm - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

stupid governments playing games and wasting money for their own good rather than the peoples. The amount of money wasted on such nonsense rather than being spent on improving the lives of the people in that country is appalling
Douglas Griffin - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Just been reading the text of Putin's speech. He claims that the west has "re-written its own rule-book", citing what happened in Kosovo. He also said that Russia has absolutely no designs on eastern Ukraine - they "don't need it".

For a while now it's been interesting to compare the tone of reports on the same subject on the BBC and 'Russia Today'. The difference is probably greater now than it has ever been. One talking about an illegal annexation of Crimea, the other about its reunification with Russia. It's as if someone had turned the clock back 25+ years - when I studied Russian back in the 1980s it was always fascinating to read and hear the same news stories being reported in drastically different ways from the way the were reported here.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You think it was free and fair? Then Dickwad is an understatement.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Yes it's more than all right. I insist on it. If I find myself agreeing with your warped and odious views on the world I would have sunk a long way to your belly-creeping level.
Rampikino - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

I couldn't agree more and it's an odd one as I'm not comfortable with either extreme. The moves today have been so rapid and with an element of crude brutality that doesn't sit right.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Can you speak Russian then, something I never even attempted, managing in French is all I can do. I have a friend who works in Azerbaijan, in the oil industry, and even though it has been independent for a while a lot of people still speak Russian there, enough that he has started learning it himself, which struck me as courageous as he's the same age as me.

I have listened to RT when in England as it's available on Freeview, the tone is quite different to say the least! Even I find it a bit over the top sometimes, but then listening to the BBC makes me wince quite often to. It's the double standards which I find the most irritating and the overall assumption that what Russia does is always suspect... They are no longer communists but nothing has changed, they are still the enemy, just as they were during much of the 19th and 20th century.

Anyway, there's a good documentary about WW1 just starting on French TV, all original film but coloured afterwards... we've just seen Sarajevo, and the red blood on the Archduke Ferdinand blue uniform. About the only time Britain and Russia were allies, the photo of King George and Emperor Nicolas looks like two identical twins, even if they were only cousins. Hope it's not premonitory :-)
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Looking at my Russian friends' VK pages, there's a lot of celebration about Crimea "returning". I chatted with a woman I don't know particularly from Moscow today on Skype and she was absolutely non-plussed by the fuss in the west, doesn't see a problem for the minorities there. I hope she's right.
Douglas Griffin - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Not fluently, but I have a reasonable understanding, especially in chess-related matters - I used to play chess competitively and have a fairly large library of Russian chess literature.

I was following a conversation today on Twitter between one of the world's top chessplayers players, a Russian who was born in Simferopol and represented Ukraine for many years before changing allegiance a few years ago, and one of his former Ukrainian team-mates from Eastern Ukraine. The former was very much in favour of what has happened, the latter evidently a good deal less so.

Agree that RT is way over the top at times but it's always good to hear alternative opinions (within reason, of course!). Al Jazeera's good for that too - certainly one of the more reasonable news outlets these days.

dissonance - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I don't think the Ukraine can be considered to be the equivalent to the British Empire, historically it was the centre of the Russian culture

is this your special version of history? I notice how you ignore those inconvenient details about the population being biased towards ethnic Russian because the locals got victimised by Stalin.

> The militant extreme right anti-Russian nationalists are a minority - 300 000 joined the Nazis to fight the USSR but over a millions fought in the Red Army against them.

They are also a distinct minority in the current situation as well. However that doesnt stop you, like Stalin, distorting the facts to try and justify actions.


Jim Fraser - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I don't think the Ukraine can be considered to be the equivalent to the British Empire, ...

Any situation that's bluff and bluster and full of sh1t can easily be equivalent to the British Empire.


> ... historically it was the centre of the Russian culture ...

Bruce, I really think that we should not take the 'people of the Rus' stuff too seriously. Middle and southern Slavs look a bit different from northern slavs who tend to look a bit like Finns and Swedes. Just as much of Tatar territory is now Russia, a significant part of NW Russia is really Finland. The home of modern Russia is really Moscow, in spite of periodic Euro-centric pretentions based on St Petersburg and the Kievian Rus which was either pure legend or a mere excursion. For every source proclaiming it Rus there is one describing it as Pole or Magyar.
Jim Fraser - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> ... Al Jazeera's good for that too - certainly one of the more reasonable news outlets these days.

BBC Penisular & Orient.
andyathome - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> You think it was free and fair? Then Dickwad is an understatement.

I believe that you are getting over-emotional. Moving away from this thread might be beneficial?
In reply to mat123:

Just got sent a link from my friend in Simpferopol - it's her talking on TV about being a Tatar in Crimea right now:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ih5k9xnh0kr916m/Adile---LIVE-NN---0630---HH---March-18_low.mp4
Graeme Alderson on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

She is obviously a CIA stooge and/or a neo-Nazi, to paraphrase Bruce's blinkered reply.
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Seems I have a lot of those...
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> from northern slavs who tend to look a bit like Finns and Swedes.

Are "northern slavs" something different from "Russians" because if not, this sounds like bollocks. It's very rare to not be able to say almost straight away that someone is Russian or Russian-background here in Finland. I imagine it's the same in Sweden. And there are tens of thousands of Russians living in my city.
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to dissonance:

> However that doesnt stop you, like Stalin, distorting the facts to try and justify actions.

I just watch the telly, the standard channels not RT (not available in France), read the news on BBC and French equivalents and listen to the radio just as you do, I imagine. I don't distort events I just draw different conclusions to you, apparently.

At present it seems to me the danger is the over-excited elements in the Ukraine, they've overthrown the government by violence and encouraged by the West and I fear this will go to their heads and even more serious violence will start. I imagine you only see heroes with orange flags defending democracy... and yet we are looking at the same images, listening to the same words. Funny, isn't it?
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

What TV channel is that she was on?

I hope she stays safe, there have been plenty of accounts of journalists and pro-Maidan activists being kidnapped and/or roughed up by masked armed men wearing no insignia or uniforms. These had so far not had any terrible outcomes until today, now with the wide reporting of a Crimean tatar's body being found after he was taken away by these mysterious militias http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/18/us-ukraine-crisis-tatars-burial-idUSBREA2H1NR20140318
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to TobyA:

I don't know what channel it is. Some American one I presume. She was talking there about kidnappings etc, which is why she didn't want her surname used.

I've been acquaintances with her for about 9 months, but I didn't chat with her much because she was interested in fashion and stuff that for me is quite superficial. It's been sad but interesting to see how these external events have changed her life and her outlook in such a short space of time. I'm really quite proud of her. Last time we spoke she was talking about seeking refugee status.

It's important when discussing these geopolitical events that it's just normal decent people like her that suffer. It really pissed me off upthread when someone said something like "Let's just have a war and get it over with". It's OK if it's not you and yours risking your lives.
dissonance - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I imagine you only see heroes with orange flags defending democracy... and yet we are looking at the same images, listening to the same words. Funny, isn't it?

You really are clueless arent you? Just because you are a simple minded extremist doesnt mean everyone is. Most people can manage a tad more nuance.

I have decided not long enough has passed between my random psychological experiments of understanding your world view so wont waste any more time on it for now
Jim C - on 18 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Just been reading the text of Putin's speech. He claims that the west has "re-written its own rule-book",........- when I studied Russian back in the 1980s it was always fascinating to read and hear the same news stories being reported in drastically different ways from the way the were reported here.

What would be of interest is who's view did you believed to be the more accurate ?
(or bluntly was one of them lying to their populace )

Douglas Griffin - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to Jim C:

There are elements of truth in both. No doubt in my mind that Russia breached international law when its forces crossed the border. Didn't Russia sign an agreement respecting the borders of Ukraine (Budapest, 1994) in return for the latter giving up its weapons? Certainly what Simon Schama said the other night.

Then again, whatever you think of Yanukovich, the way his government was overthrown (and the subsequent one elected) hasn't been particularly 'legal' either. Russia Today speaks of it being a 'coup', which I think is nearer the truth than the way that it's reported by the BBC.

When it comes to breaching international law, well, Russia is quite entitled to point out that the West has been prepared to be fairly flexible in its own interpretation of what is and isn't legal over the last 25 years.

As for the talk of ' re-uniting' Crimea with Russia, well, that's what has happened. Maybe not legally, but 'illegally re-united' has a bit of a strange ring to it!
Bruce Hooker - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to dissonance:
> You really are clueless arent you? Just because you are a simple minded extremist doesnt mean everyone is. Most people can manage a tad more nuance.

"A tad more nuance" like in this post? Your idea of nuance is a little different to mine. You do realise that your posts are public and anyone can read them, don't you?

Have you anything to say about the situation in Ukraine? That's what this thread is supposed to be about.
Post edited at 07:01
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

It seems to escape mot people that the truth is very nuanced and complex. There are rights and wrongs on all sides.
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> Russia Today speaks of it being a 'coup', which I think is nearer the truth than the way that it's reported by the BBC.

A coup normally involves armed forces seizing the head of state and the institutions that help control the country (always TV stations get seized etc.). The army in Ukraine stayed completely out of it, it seems that the police not wanting to use more violence against the protestors was central to Yanukovych doing a bunk.

I would say it was a revolution far more than a coup, but plenty would take exception even to that because the majority of the Ukrainian parliament including the Party of the Regions voted that the president had abandoned his office so a new interim president was appointed, they say according to the constitution. There are plenty who argue that this wasn't constitutional though - and not know anything about Ukrainian constitutional law I've got no idea either way.

But I don't think it was anymore a coup than Mubarak's ousting was a coup.
Douglas Griffin - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Yes, maybe - you know a lot more than I do about this. Though I must admit I find it hard to see how what happened to Yanokovich's regime could be anything other than unconstitutional?! It'd be a strange sort of constitution...

Just looked again at what I typed earlier this morning - with reference to the Budapest agreement, I of course meant Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.
Bruce Hooker - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> the majority of the Ukrainian parliament including the Party of the Regions voted that the president had abandoned his office so a new interim president was appointed, they say according to the constitution.

Did you see the films of the fisticuffs in the Parliament though? Didn't look very constitutional to me. As for whether it was a "revolution" or a "coup", or a "putsch" for that matter, this seems like playing with words... There was a lot of violence, there were barricades and building burnt, people killed on both sides, something the media tend to forget, the level of intimidation must have been very high for anyone actually there. How easily could a supporter of Yanukovych have expressed himself in Parliament of in the Maidan Square? So hardly a constitutional change of government, by any standards.

Which is why new elections would seem to be an absolute priority, before any other measures, and certainly before launching any kind of attempt to recover the Crimea. Does the new power in Kiev seem to be heading that way? ON the TV in France last night they showed recruiting going on in the street for the Ukrainian Army and people making all sorts of patriotic and bellicose statements, which bodes no good IMO, even if they do have such hardened "chefs de guerre" like Holland and Cameron to egg them on.... Oh, and Toby too? Or have you calmed down now, a good night's sleep often cools the earnest heart.
Graeme Alderson on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

I radomly came across a Daily Mash article from 2008. Seems apt to post it here :-)

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/russia-evil-after-all-200808111159
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Oh, and Toby too? Or have you calmed down now, a good night's sleep often cools the earnest heart.

Oh grow up Bruce. Please point to one place where I've encourage war. I've been trying to point out that Russia is unilaterally withdrawing from the security system that has kept post-Cold War central and Eastern Europe mainly at peace and is risking that.

Anyone who is interested in this - including Mr Hooker - will probably find this weeks edition of Rear Vision from the ABC interesting, lots of Ukraine experts discussing its history since the end of the USSR and the current events in that light: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/ukraine/5298098

Bruce Hooker - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Oh grow up Bruce etc

Sorry, I was wrong, one night's sleep is not enough, you remain as humourless as yesterday.
andyathome - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to mat123:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26656617

Interesting video embedded in that report of the head of the Ukraine TV station being forced to resign because he reported on what Putin was doing.
Douglas Griffin - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to andyathome:

Report in the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/19/ukrainian-mp-assaults-television-chief-pro-russian-miro...
"A group of at least five men, including MP Igor Miroshnichenko from the nationalist Svoboda party, barged into Oleksandr Panteleymonov's office, then shouted at him and landed blows before forcing him to write the letter.
Miroshnichenko is a member of the new parliamentary committee on freedom of speech."
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

So now you're "just joking" when you say something that isn't true and that you later can't stand by then? OK - good that's clear.

Doug - I think this is a rather sensible argument for what should happen next http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141039/alexander-j-motyl/is-putin-rational Basically take up any Russian offers to talk even if their opening positions are completely unacceptable. Play for time really and let the domestic situation in Russia cool down.
Douglas Griffin - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to andyathome:
A quick search on Google shows that Mr Miroshnichenko has been in the news before.

I'm fairly sure that Matt Frei, when reporting from Maidan Square in Kiev at the time of the violence there in February, interviewed a member of the Svoboda ('Freedom') party at some length. He (the interviewee) was at pains to assure everyone that the Svoboda party wasn't really far-right, anti-democratic, etc...
Post edited at 20:10
Douglas Griffin - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Ta - will have a read later!
andyathome - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to Douglas Griffin:



> Miroshnichenko is a member of the new parliamentary committee on freedom of speech."

That is just so cool. 'I am the minister for Freedom of Speech. You resign or I beat you to a pulp.'
Bruce Hooker - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
I didn't say I was just joking, you really do support a very violent bunch as the BBC video shows, I said you were still as humourless as yesterday, which is clearly true. To quote the BBC:

"Meanwhile, shocking footage has emerged of MPs from Ukraine's far-right Svoboda party roughing up Oleksandr Panteleymonov, the acting chief executive of the state broadcaster, over his decision to broadcast the treaty ceremony in the Kremlin."

Now tell us again, the role of the far right in Kiev has been exaggerated, it's a fantasy?

PS. I read your debate link, do you never tire of asking us to read stuff from pro-Western think tankers? Hardly a balanced discussion giving all sides of the question a fair airing, was it?

PPS. As for your Foreign Affairs article, how can you take such a page of drivel seriously? So one of Putin's options may be world domination, a "blitzkrieg" through Ukraine and on to Europe? McCarthy lives!
Post edited at 20:57
Jim Fraser - on 19 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Are "northern slavs" something different from "Russians" because if not, this sounds like bollocks.

Only slightly.


> It's very rare to not be able to say almost straight away that someone is Russian or Russian-background here in Finland. I imagine it's the same in Sweden. And there are tens of thousands of Russians living in my city.

A few in my town too. Easily identifiable (regardless of passport variety) because they walk and talk as wannabe mafioso, or as though the Cold War is still at its height and they are winning it. Not a racial characteristic however. More like a Putin fetish.
ads.ukclimbing.com

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.