A Different perspective on the situation in Ukraine. I have a stake in this since my wife is from Simferopol. How this all shakes out will affect us greatly. Check out the video from a source I highly trust on getting facts together.
During the past week, I've been hoping that cooler heads would prevail. However, it now seem nearly certain that Putin is committed to annexation of Crimea, and continues to threaten invasion of the rest of eastern Ukraine.
Further, I have heard one report (don't know its validity) that Russia was sending provocateurs into Ukraine who are tasked to spark violent altercations in public protests, in order to strengthen Russia's claim that Ukraine is in chaos, and perhaps to provide the pretext for further military invasion.
I expect that if Russian forces move 100 meters beyond Crimea's border with the rest of Ukraine, or 100 meters beyond any part of Russia's lawful border with Ukraine, that Ukraine will feel itself obligated to respond with military force.
By any rational calculation, this would work very terribly against Russia's interests.
I pray that rational minds may influence the course of events.
On a more personal note, I made reference to my Russian friend who completely accepts that Ukraine is now governed by neo-Nazis, and that Russia's actions are Noble, Just and Pure.
More than a week ago, I wrote to her, using polite language, that our continuing to debate the international crisis wasn't serving any purpose, and that I accordingly wouldn't respond to any more of her emails about it. Since then, she sent at least a dozen messages, mostly links to youtube videos, or articles in reliably anti-American publications (some from Iran!!!).
Finally last night, I wrote to her again, asking her (given that I'm not reading these messages) what is she looking for, in continuing to send so many of them? Again, I wrote gently, suggesting that I didn't need to get an answer from her, but that the question might be useful to think about.
Her response began, "It feels so good to me to know that not all people are bastards." It went on to label me as "narrow minded, ignorant, indifferent, self-content, hypocritical, shallow, brain-washed" (probably all true, you guys decide!)
Her email closed by saying "I would really prefer if you never write me back."
I've known her more than five years. In fact, I have a bottle of liqueur I picked up (at her request) to bring the next time I traveled to her city.
Such is the fury that may be unleashed, when a person questions the Religion of Wrathful Russia's Righteousness.
I have a Russian email account. The "opening page" always has a list of news headlines.
As sensational as recent events have been, they haven't seemed to monopolize Russian news ... until now. All seven of the headline stories are related to international crisis.
The top headline claims (if I understood the Russian correctly) that attempts at "electronic warfare" against Russian TV satellites have come from "the territory of western Ukraine", and carries a warning from the Russian ministry of communications: "people who make such decisions should think about the consequences."
All major news media in Russia are now under the control of the government, or of Putin's personal allies. Accordingly, these headline stories may be understood as the official Russian version of events.
So what might it mean, that Putin's regime wants to draw the attention of the populace so single-mindedly to this crisis?
I have been removed from Russian groups in Facebook when I said things like I believed that Putin was a rogue, and this was before any of the troubles started in Ukraine!
I do not understand why Russians cannot bring themselves to accept that Putin is likely to lead them to financial ruin and even a war with the West that Russia has no chance of winning. Every time I post this comment in a FB Russian group, it gets removed and/or I get blocked.
Ordinary Russians have learned well about censorship from the Kremlin.
If, like me, you've travelled arounf Ukraine by car you'll have seen the parked up military aircraft that have no fuel nor military personnel to fly them, similarly I'd imagine that many munitions that Ukraine may have may well be past their sell by date.
With the might of Russia's military I doubt there would be much of a "war" where it would be miltary force vs military force, I'd imagine that Russia would have a "steamroller" effect flattening or frightening anything in it's path but thereafter there would be "resistance" movements and whilst Russia may have military presence in every city and every street in Ukraine I doubt that they would ever gain complete control with these resistance movements taking pot shots and doing their utmost to "f*ck" with any illegal operation.
And all this because Putin doesn't want to lose Ukraine in favour of the EU when Ukraine now realises that is how it must act.
A few days ago, I read an article that included quotes from various ordinary Ukrainians about the situation.
A Ukrainian man with military experience predicted that Russia would quickly defeat Ukraine's military, specifically because of its insufficient supply of weapons; after that, the fighting would be by partisans (the World War II term for the guerilla fighters against Nazi occupation).
I agree with you, that Putin's actions will likely bring about, more quickly and strongly than otherwise would have been possible, exactly what Putin was afraid would happen: a united, patriotric Ukraine strongly aligned with the West.
If ever he was the great "chess master" that some people imagine him to be, right now he doesn't seem to be thinking many moves ahead.
I have had good solid communications for 3 months now with a woman from Mariupol who was russian and is now a citizen of Ukraine.Things were going very well she is from fiance.com . We have been coming up to the point of me flying over there then the shit hit the fan in Kyiv and now Crimea.I hinted to her at the present moment the geo-political scene is on rocky shoals and we have to wait a little because it could become a war. I asked her first what was her thoughts and she said she was nuetral. She then asked me the same question and i told her that Putin was a dictator and a bully scared of Ukraine having a real democracy and ties to the west. She then replied that i would not like how she really feels.Being a true russian native but living in Mariupol she says she only watches russian television programs and news.She said Putin is protecting russian interest and russian speaking people in UA.She says she only recognizes Yanukovich and she voted for him.She then sais Benderovtsy worked for the Nazis and now the nazis want to have power again.She said she would be very happy when Crimea becomes part of the great soviet empire it used to be. It gets better, she then explains how her grandfather and her husbands father were real celebrated heroes who helped liberate Berlin from Fascism so she will not betray her grandpap`s cherished memory by acknowledging a return to Nazism and Fascism.She says she is Russian and loves Russia and wants he Donbass Region free from Bendera.She then states that the people of Sevastopol are proud,brave,freedom loving people who are fighting for freedom.
Men, where do i go with this woman from Mariupol ????????? I am at a total loss of words to write her.I admire her honesty but are they brainwashed or is the media in her city is controlling what they see and hear. Does she have any idea what the free world means.Durak and LR,What should i do ? Should i respect her opinion and continue or flush it down the toilet ?
Wow sunvolt ... I don't have advice at the moment, but do want to make an observation.
Yes, Ukraine has an ugly strain of bigotry, especially any-Jewish bigotry.
Yes, in the mid-20th century, Ukraine had very nasty ethnic violence.
Yes, there were many far-right activists in the Maidan protests, and most of the militarism and violence came from them (but note well, these guys were ALWAYS a minority of the protesters).
Accepting that these are truths about Ukraine (and especially western Ukraine), the neo-Nazis, ultra-nationalists and other violent extremists are VERY STRONGLY OUTNUMBERED in by much more reasonable and moderate citizens. If the government had been taken over by those extremists, with the intention of setting up a dictatorship ... well, that would be a bad thing (and, by the way, a thing that most Ukrainians east, west and center would fight with tooth, nail, and weaponry).
The actual interim government includes some people from right-wing parties (NOT a majority). And they are committed to hold elections within three months, about as soon as possible making allowances for time needed to organize candidates, campaigns, and the election itself. After the election (which I predict will NOT be a crooked Russian-style election), Ukraine's government will well reflect the sentiments of its whole population, and WILL NOT have strong representation of neo-Nazis or other extremists.
NO REGION OR CITY OF UKRAINE IS CONTROLLED BY RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS.
But people like sunvolt's lady, who watch the Russian TV channels, have seen and heard, LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF TIMES, that Kyiv is now run by Nazis Nazis Nazis Nazis Nazis. Most people in the FSU are really unsophisticated, when it comes to media deception. They lack our Western experience of generations of bombardment of lies by capitalist advertising, which (in some folks, at least) develops a certain skepticism toward claims.
For those who identify as Russian (at least culturally) and came to consciousness before the Soviet Union ended, the one and only sacred thing in their history is WW II (which they call the Great Patriotic War, or VOV -- looks like BOB in Cyrillic). They have the horror and sacrifice this war, and the nobility of resistance against the Fascist invaders, fed to them with their mother's milk and buckwheat. Most Russians feel as strongly about the war as they do about their religion -- if not more so.
Putin's Big Lie, which consumers of Russian news have been receiving for more than three months now, is calculated to tug at Russian folks' most sensitive heartstrings.
If it's any little comfort, sunvolt, this woman is not unusual -- millions upon millions have swallowed Putin's wagon-loads of horse manure.
As a PS, if anybody really wonders whether maybe there's SOME truth to the claim that neo-Nazis are taking over Ukraine:
(edit out any spaces in the URL; it's the site of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress)
This is an open letter to Putin, written just 10 days ago (well after the supposed Fascist take-over), signed by numerous leaders and notables of Ukraine's Jewish population (which numbers more than 50,000). It strongly denounces the lies from the Kremlin, and asks Putin to "butt out" in no uncertain terms. The letter is presented in English, and it's a great read! Some excerpts:
"The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not being humiliated or discriminated against, their civil rights have not been limited. ... Your certainty of the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine also does not correspond to the actual facts. It seems you have confused Ukraine with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year."
"Unfortunately, we must admit that in recent days stability in our country has been threatened. And this threat is coming from the Russian government, namely – from you personally."
"Vladimir Vladimirovich, we highly value your concern about the safety and rights of Ukrainian national minorities. But we do not wish to be 'defended' by sundering Ukraine and annexing its territory. We decisively call for you not to intervene in internal Ukrainian affairs, to return the Russian armed forces to their normal fixed peacetime location, and to stop encouraging pro-Russian separatism."
If Ukraine has been taken over by Nazis ...
Why are Jewish organizations -- especially those in Ukraine! -- not loudly protesting to the world about this?
Why hasn't Israel's IDF sent soldiers to Ukraine to protect Jews from Nazi atrocities, and shepherd them to safe havens?
Why aren't tens or hundreds of thousands of victims of ethnic hatred streaming as refugees from Ukraine to other countries?
I don’t see any future with her! It’s one thing to be sympatric to one side or the other,,, but to be totally blind or oblivious to the truth???
My Ex-wife was Russian,,, and it was difficult to know her mood on east-west affairs. One day she would hate the color red,,, and some days even talked about how bad daily living was in Russia. Another day, I started to open and read the mail,,, when she asked me what the letter was about,,,, I told her it was from the Republican party,,,, she yanked the letter out of my hand and threw it away! She must have forgot that someone from the Rep party personally cleared up a paperwork snafu with the old INS.
Then,,,, she would have a lot of pride over Russia. We were talking a little bit about history,,,, and I asked her who the two guys between Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev were??? They are not guys,,,, they are men, they are leaders!!! It wasn’t too long before this,,, that she thought it would be a funny thing for me to buy a set of those stackable M dolls,,,,, a set with Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, and Monika??
Sunvolt,,, you need to think about how life with that woman would be like. This conflict will be on the news for years,,,,,, it really is a war between good and evil. Is it possible to find a happy balance with something so divisive?
You know , i had this idea in my head she was this sweet little Ukrainian woman who loves to be a homebody which she is.But she is a true Russian.She loves to proudly announce that Sevastopol is the home of great brave naval officers several times over in a few letters from her. Her father is a marine mechanic.Her former husband is Russian also. Maybe her grandfather and her ex husbands father helped rape the three million german women in and around Berlin.No wonder General Patton called them mongolian beasts and wanted to push them back across Poland.
I _suppose_ if I were in your shoes, I would want to tell her that I respect her values and her reasoning ... and at the same time, have very strong reason to believe that she has been given false information.
She may be old enough to remember Soviet times, when lies direct from the Kremlin were faithfully echoed by all of the Soviet press and television. In other words, she has seen this movie before (just mention Chernobyl -- she'll get it).
Now, I tried to say something similar to my Russian friend (see above) without in any way making it personal, or taking a derisive or snarky tone. You can read how well she took it :
If the two of you DO make a future together, probably she will gradually come to understand how insane the propaganda machine has gotten, once she it outside of it.
Part of the confusion is that the old Putin (before his stint as prime minister, and back when there were plentiful independent media voices in Russian press) was apparently a lot more grounded and reasonable than Putin 2. People who are accustomed to relying on his word may struggle to see how extreme and crazy he has gotten in recent years.
It's a tough challenge, but probably good practice for you as a couple, if you can navigate it.
I read a memoir of an American WW II aviator, who was shot down and later escaped from a German POW camp. He spent a few hours with some Russian soldiers, and witnessed their nauseating savagery toward German civilians. I can tell you, as a man who feels a deep connection to Russia, it was very distressing to read.
This flyer had a very obvious hatred and disgust toward Russia in general. Based on his personal experience, I could surely understant his feeling that way.
That's the problem of humanity: the dark and light are all mixed together. We Americans have committed enough atrocities, but we tend to minimize our own darkness (as is true in all countries), and most of these hideous deeds were committed by people who are long dead, making it easier to shrug off as "nothing to do with us."
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been looking for all sources of info and statistics on this crisis. At first all were pro-protesters,,, and anti Russian,,,, then slowly, pro Russian propaganda info began to appear online and on TV. Most people don’t believe a word that comes out of Russia,,,, but more and more are showing up,, drinking the Kool aid perhaps?
I’m starting to wonder if a large % of Russians don’t suffer from a form of Stockholm Syndrome??? Many hate their lives,,,, yet with a little pressure,,, they all fall into line.
Years ago, I had some hope that real relations could be possible with Russia,,, that they would realize the benefits of peace?! Now,,,, we are a whole generation away from peace,,,, a generation away from the day that Putin and all like him are no more. Putin wants to take his country and all of the little fsu countries around him back to the dark ages,,,, all because of ego!
Durak,,, it is a fact from history, that Russia killed more Germans,,, than the number of Jewish people killed by Germany. But history only concentrates on the Jewish holocaust!
“Russia can't thwart Afghan war drawdown, U.S. commander says”
“WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia, locked in a standoff with the West over Ukraine, would be unable to thwart a complete or partial U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan even if it cut off access to Russian supply routes, a top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
Asked at a Senate hearing whether the United States could still get its equipment out of Afghanistan even if Russia cut off routes running through its territory, General Joseph Dunford, the top U.S. and NATO commander in the war effort, replied: "Yes."
"We've got resilience in the system and I'm not concerned at all about a loss of the Russian (routes in the) Northern Distribution Network," Dunford said, referring to the military's network of supply routes through Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.”
LR, there is big difference between holocaust( defenseless) and fighting between armed factions.
Almost half of casualties in WW2 were Russian(SU) 20-25 million of the ~50 million deaths, while Germany had 5-6 million die ( on both fronts). I think the high death toll gave rise to the Great Patriot War syndrome because so many gave their lives.
In regard to sunvolt, I think you are reading too much into this girl, relax, can't change someone if they believe in something, as time goes on she will either change because she feels different or she will saty as she is. Politics between partners can be the same anywhere you go....and lead to splitting up.
Beemer,,, when they say that more Germans were killed than Jewish,,, I don’t think they are counting the Germans soldiers killed on the lines,,, they are referring to citizens and POWs! So,,, it would also be mostly defenseless people.
As for Russians killed in WWII,,, check out the new movie “Stalingrad” that is being advertised on fb. I wrote about this years before the movie. In the battle for Stalingrad,,, the cold winter and extended supply lines stopped the German advance in it’s tracks. In the spring,,, Russia sent in mostly unarmed civilians, which consisted of old men and women armed with a broom or stick, in front of their normal army to “collect” bullets.
So,,, would you say that they were killed by Germans,, or would you say that they were sacrificed by Russia??