et's hope that there is no large scale violence that breaks out in Ukraine. Lets pray there isn't. I have to say that I see plenty of biased commentary here.
First of all, understanding something about Ukraine itself. Ukraine is not monolith in its make up. The people of south-east regions of Ukraine differ in their values, the way the see and interpret their history, and the way they see their future. The South-east is mostly Russians and Russophile Ukrainians. The language you will hear spoken on the streets of these cities is Russian. West and center are russhophobes and will be speaking mostly Ukrainian. This split is pretty much half and half. Ukraine is two mentally different people placed in one nation. Ukraine has been in an identity and political crisis ever since the fall of the USSR. The more agresive, loud, and violent part of Ukraine is definitely the western part, while the eastern and southern are the industrial heartland with working people.
Ukraine has been plagued by horrible and weak leadership.
Now what about Maidan? Basically Yanukovich set himself up a turkish bazzar between Moscow and Brussels going back and forth seeing who is going to offer the better deal. Ultimately the EU could not match the 15 billion direct investment, no customs fees, and cheap gas that Russia was offering and thus Ukraine started to orient itself east - and that's when maidan was unleashed.
Now Maidan was anything but a peaceful process.
You can find plenty more of this on youtube. What would happen to peaceful demonstrators just like this in Washington?
Also, this pathetic Yanukovich gave in to pretty much all demands even for all intents and purposes signing away his power in an agreement with the opposition to hold early elections with German, Polish, and French foreign ministers signing on. Yet the maidan militants still stormed administrative buildings and live ammo was fired at Berkut officers who were unarmed (YES unarmed) until the end.
What happened was a subversion by the north-atlantic block of an elected government of Ukraine. I don't care how bad or corrupt it was, it was elected -- and he did give in to pretty much all demands signing away his power on Feb 21st and yet both his residence and administrative buildings were stormed.
The South-east was completely unrepresented at Maidan so in effect what you have today is a putch, the south-east people of Ukraine do not recognize the authorities in Kiev and call them an "illegitimate junta". Every Sunday the south-east Ukraine people come out in droves by the thousands in Odessa, Nikolaev, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov and so on.... But one obvious difference is that because they are working people, the demonstrations actually are peaceful. No coctails, no men in gas-masks shields and helmets, no burning tires -- yet the new authorities are conducting mass arrests of the organizers of these actions.
Concerning Crimea. Lets face it. Crimea is soaked in Russian blood. From the Crimean war to the desperate defense of Sevastopol in 1942. Lets also face the fact that the major military strategic move to subvert the government of Ukraine was to ultimately force the Russian black sea fleet from Crimea. NATO bombed Serbia- NATO is powerful military alliance very hostile towards Russian military capability. The north-atlantics global vision of a unipolar world differs vastly from the Kremlins view of a multipolar world.
Just days before the overthrow, a "right-sector" group raided a military warehouse in Lvov and apparently the guards just stood there and let them.
Now before the "green-men" ever showed up on the streets of Simferopol, the Crimeans already formed "self-defense" forces everywhere. Frankly Crimean Berkut and Berkut officers who were beaten, burned, and shot happily came to Crimea to help organize these formations. The Crimean parliament rejected the Kiev junta and they forced out the Kiev appointed governor. Only after that the mysterious soldiers started to show up. Also, the inclusion of Crimea in the RF was more of a case of the tail wagging the dog -- the Crimeans drove the action in response to the Kiev coup. The Russian military operation was a military contingency, a reactionary operation. The soldiers were under very strict rules of engagement with orders not to talk to anybody and just guard their assigned objectives. That the RF refused to claim these troops is really Putin showing the nato block the middle finger. If the north atlantic block brazenly subverts a government and claims that they had nothing to do "The people of Ukraine and democracy", likewise Russia plays the same game -- "Well we don't know who those well armed, trained, and disciplined troops are -- and where they got weapon systems that only Russia and her CSTO allies have -- all we know is that they are Crimean self-defense units".
I don't see a military incursion by Russia into the south-east, Russia seems to be interested in a diplomatic resolution - but that would mean that the Russian language is a second official government language since it is understood by 100% of the people and spoken regularly apparently according to gallop poll by more than 80% of the people. And the south-east get to choose their own local governments and geo-political and economic orientation. Obviously the west is going to squirm at this for a while since the big economic prize was always the south-east.
This is the kind of banana republic Ukraine is:
11 admirals but no navy, russia has 9 admirals by comparison
Concerning "legality" "illegality", etc... NATO bombed Serbia and NATO set the precedent. One can't break international law to attain its g
stoptheinsanity, regarding your avatar, start with yourself. With the Russian Crimean occupation and troop build up just east of Ukraine, the Russians seem to be interested in a diplomatic solution? Stop the insanity !!! If you really want to know the turn out of a real Crimean vote, first withdraw the Russian troops. Then, you can have an election, not the other way around.
The southeast was not represented in Euromaidan, but they were not excluded. Perhaps they are not as passionate as the Crimeans, but not protesting is not a reason for a complete Russian takeover. The legality in question is not the bombing in Serbia. NATO did not take over Serbia. It is the occupation of Russian troops and then having the election. If the Crimeans wanted to be a part of Russia, and have an election, then it should be without Russian interference and done long ago. Crimea being soaked in Russian blood is also not a reason. In all of Ukraine are people of Russian blood. Below is a poll a year ago. I suppose you also believe a 97% vote for Russia. Yes, they are not passionate about protesting, but they didn't want to become Russian.
No, Euromaidan was not a peaceful process, but it was until around your YouTube video was shot on January 20. Euromaidan started in the third week of Novemeber 2013. It was peaceful for about two months. When it was clear that the peaceful protesters were not going away, they were arrested and killed for protesting. Protesting was made illegal. I am in touch with a few Ukrainians from all over the country. This is what they told me which barely touched the news: There were thugs hired and bussed from all over the country to beat up to disrupt the protesters. They didn't care if the protesters were women or children. Police were were shooting at their own people so they could blame in on the protesters. How about making protesters strip and pose? Protests in the US are many things, but they do not come near to that.
"First of all, understanding something about Ukraine itself. Ukraine is not monolith in its make up. The people of south-east regions of Ukraine differ in their values, the way the see and interpret their history, and the way they see their future. The South-east is mostly Russians and Russophile Ukrainians. The language you will hear spoken on the streets of these cities is Russian. West and center are russhophobes and will be speaking mostly Ukrainian. This split is pretty much half and half. Ukraine is two mentally different people placed in one nation. Ukraine has been in an identity and political crisis ever since the fall of the USSR. The more agresive, loud, and violent part of Ukraine is definitely the western part, while the eastern and southern are the industrial heartland with working people."
Two different kinds of people are not reasons for a military takeover to split them up. Many countries have more than one kinds of people. For some, there are hundreds. A military takeover to split them up is in order? Stop the insanity!!!
Thank you for an elaborate defense of the Russian Federation. You did a better job than most Kremlin apparatchiks could.
Your argument, as I understood it: "Ukraine not real country, west Ukraine bad, Ukraine government bad, NATO bad: so anybody who criticize Russia stinking hypocrite." Did I miss anything?
Some of your statements are factual. As to others ... let's review some of my favorites:
"The more agresive (sic), loud, and violent part of Ukraine is definitely the western part, while the eastern and southern are the industrial heartland with working people." I get it! West Ukraine is the lazy shiftless violent n*ggers, and east Ukraine is the virtuous whities who actually WORK. Thanks for spelling that out for us.
"West and center are russhophobes (sic)" Well, a lot more them are NOW than a few weeks ago. Seriously, where do you get this stuff? The people I know in central Ukraine speak Russian every day. How do you go around hating Russians when half the people in the city are ethnically Russian -- you yourself are half-Russian -- so much of your history and culture are Russian? Do you know that many Ukrainians don't know their ethnic background, and frankly don't care? That Euromaidan was about ethnic nationalism is KREMLIN BULLSHIT. Ukrainians want out of the sewer of mass theft, epic corruption, and political repression that is the vast majority of former Soviet territories, ESPECIALLY Russia. Yes, a small minority are rabid nationalists: that is absolutely true of Russia itself, and a great many other countries I could name.
"What happened was a subversion by the north-atlantic block of an elected government of Ukraine." My friends who protested on the Maidan were acting on behalf of themselves, their children, and their country -- not ANY foreign power, East or West.
"The South-east was completely unrepresented at Maidan" Euromaidan had no protesters from Kharkiv? Donetsk? Luhansk? Await your citation of an authority on that.
"a diplomatic resolution ... would mean that ... the south-east get to choose their own ... geo-political and economic orientation" NO! That is not a "diplomatic resolution." That is the dictation of Ukraine's constitution by a hostile, violent and irretrievably dishonorable foreign power. In my country (USA), most of us believe that the PEOPLE should decide the constitution of its government -- certainly not armed robbers!
interesting read there sanity,,, i have to agree with Durak.
your dig at Nato bombing Serbia made me wonder if you where in mind of the countless atrocity's across former Yugoslavia the Serbs seemed to think they had a right to do?
even long before Nato was born.
of cause they were not the only ones involved in atrocity's, but they were the dominate force without a dealt, been dominate one would hope in humanity as well.
all the former Yugoslav states have felt Serbian reap have they not?
Serbia has one of the worst records in respecting ones sovereignty haven they not?
in reality the Serbs got everything they deserved with what was dish out to them,,,,, the difference between NATO and the Serbs, it was military targets that were given the kick up the ass,, not like what the Serbs were doing.
when Crimea became Ukraine,, do you not think the Kremlin at that time gave thought of the countless deaths involving Russians there?
Russia will always be the big brother of Ukraine, that is how it is.
but big brothers are suppose to stabilize and nurture their younger family members when in need, not kick them in the stomach when they are down.
i feel you are taking way to much out of something that is 'what it is'.
what are you on about the rest of Ukraine was unrepresented?
Ukraine is in turmoil, did you want to see such(Maidan) across the the whole country?
so Russia instead of kicking it while its down can carry on kicking it to death?
that may still happen,,, what a disgusting example of power.
The madness, that comes out of the mouths (or keyboards) of apologists for Russia! (There are very many of them, look at the comments for online articles about Ukraine.)
Independent Ukraine has a steadfast policy of living in peace and friendship with the world, especially its neighboring countries. Those of us who have spent time in Kyiv have walked under the big metal arch dedicated to the Friendship of Nations. Independent Ukraine has never harmed or threatened Russia or any other state in the region. Russia has never had a basis in right of self-defense to act against Ukraine.
Safety and respect for minorities in Ukraine is no worse -- in my belief, generally much better -- than in Russia. Russians in Ukraine are fine, without oppression or violence from their government or neighbors. THERE WAS NEVER A DANGER TO RUSSIANS IN UKRAINE. Russia has never had a basis in the "duty to protect" civilians, to act against Ukraine.
You see? This is simple. It doesn't need a lot of words and arguments to sort right from wrong. You just need to care about the difference.
So: we have a peaceful country, that (excepting the last couple of weeks of Yanukovich regime) takes reasonable care of its citizens.
There is absolutely no right -- now or ever -- for a foreign power to make military occupation, much less seizure of territory, from such a country. People who love to lick Putin's arse make dozens of weaselly "justifications" ... Russia's conduct remains wrong. There is no number of links to youtube videos that can make it anything except wrong.
Yes, Ukraine has had horrible governance, internal tensions, disorder on city streets, and sudden change of government when the existing government collapses. Events like these happen in numerous countries around the world every year. The people and governments of those countries work through the problems and crises, and life goes on. THESE CIRCUMSTANCES ABSOLUTELY DO NOT JUSTIFY INVASION OR THEFT OF TERRITORY.
"The people next door are shouting and fighting among themselves. Their conflict gives me the right to enter their house with a gun, and to take their car and flat-screen TV." Signed, Russia.
A treaty -- still in force! -- between Ukraine and Russia commits both countries to "respect each other's territorial integrity, and confirm the inviolability of the borders existing between them." Russia's actions are absolutely and utterly inconsistent with this treaty. Russia has covered its honor in excrement.
Note: Russia's defenders often cite the US invasion of Iraq (a guy on our street robbed the house to my left, so it's now OK for me to rob the house to my right). The US invasion was absolutely a violation of international law -- this does not fall into any gray area. I don't excuse it. I hope that Americans have learned enough not to repeat such a crime. But the crime of A against B, cannot excuse the crime of C against D.
It was not a coup. It was the action of Parliament and loss of support of his own staff that caused the government to fall. Assassination of demonstrators was the reason. Burning tires in confined area does not rise to the level of an organized force capable of taking down a government. The government collapsed internally because of it's own action internal struggle.
"countless atrocity's across former Yugoslavia the Serbs seemed to think they had a right to do?"
First of all, I completely reject this narrative. I am very acutely aware of many details about the violent break up of Yugoslavia. However, lets not go there because that can get very long. If you really want to drown yourself in the details of accusations and counter claims in the Balkan mess, you can go to a Balkan forum.
The point is NATO bombed Serbia from all directions with thousands of bombs and cruise missiles in support of a group that the state department had listed as one of the more dangerous terrorist groups there is -- KLA/UCK. Coming up with reasons and explanations why NATO violated international law is irrelevant. NATO bombed Serbia as part of its eastward expansion -- NATO occupied Kosovo on behalf of Albanians and gave Kosovo to Albanians unilaterally -- thus after this precedent all talk of "international law" is null and void. Unless Russia, China, and USA sit and come to agreement on international laws going forward, it is a game of national interests and power politics. But who are we kidding, it always has been -- "international law" never did exist.
Now concerning you comments on Ukraine.
"what are you on about the rest of Ukraine was unrepresented?"
What I am talking about is that the overwhelming majority of those occupying Maidan are from West Ukraine: Lvov, Ivano-Fankovsk, Ternopil, Rovno, Lutsk.. -- they were bused in by the droves. Most people from Odessa, Kharkov, Donetsk were nervously watching so-called "Right Sector activists" tossing molotov coctails at unarmed Berkut officers. But as soon as the coup happened, there was a meeting held in the city of Kharkov of "South-East and Crimea" -- these were representatives that came together from the south-east regions and made a resolution statement declaring the Kiev group as "having come to power through an armed coup against the government and are illegitimate." "They also passed a resolution that they will not be recognizing any decisions taken in Kiev and run their local affairs". Crimea was most successful at this, mainly because the Crimean Berkut helped to quickly organize the locals -- and then of course the green men came and denied all entry to Right Sector "sotniki".
"Russia instead of kicking it while its down can carry on kicking it to death?
that may still happen,,, what a disgusting example of power. "
From Russia's perspective, they don't mind kicking the junta to death, while they want to rescue the south-east.
No offense, but it is a little difficult for you to assess ground realities when you don't know the language and don't follow details of the events on the ground. For example, do you know that Ukraine's "government" is dominated at the ministerial level by the party "Svoboda"? Do you know that the new defense minister is tied directly to that party? Do you know that the people of south-east completely reject this party as a threat to their values? How do you think they feel over the fact that Svoboda is now in control of Ukraine's military and interior troops?
Now the question I would pose to you: Do you agree that the north-atlantic actively worked to de-stabilize and subvert the government of Ukraine? If you disagree, are you open to accepting evidence that may convince you that this happened?
Dioxin poisoning and the invasion of Crimea are the coups in Ukraine's recent history. Civility has been the norm regardless of the direction of it's future and thus, the need for foreign intervention was not needed as what was not the case in the comparative examples. The other immediate action of Parliament was the humanitarian release of Juliya which only enhanced the civility.
"When the Soviet Union had blocked deliveries of food and fuel to West Berlin, and doomed to hunger and cold death Berliners, the allies organized the "air bridge", which supplied food and fuel to coal. Only in West Berlin was committed 278228 flying transport aircraft, delivered 2326406 tons of cargo. The air bridge operation happened quite a few CHP, during which killed 31 American and 39 British pilots, the result of this blockade was the deterioration of the image of the Soviet Union and accelerated preparations for ob′edineniŻ West lands in Germany. The Germans were able to and we will be able to."
Russians want to talk about this as another crises, most created by them in the first place. The real issues here are the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Russian troop build up just east of Ukraine.
"Who the hell cares who was or who was not in the Maidan?"
Half of Ukraine's population dominating the south-east.
"This is not a legitimate reason for the Russian occupation. Russians were not danger."
Russians + Russophile Ukrainians. Documented cases of Maidan "activists" beating people right in Kiev. Right sector shooting dead 2 pro-Russian activists in Kharkov. Hysterical language laws and ridiculous accusations from the Rada. Svoboda dominating the ministerial levels of government. Armed right sector activists openly anti-Russian wandering the streets with no one disarming them. Current Kiev policies have conducted mass-arrests of pro-Russian political activities. All Russians now know a dude named "Pavel Gubarev" who was declared as "people's governor" as a protest to the oligarch assigned the Donetsk region by the Kiev junta. Threats, intimidation, and political imprisonment currently says that they are and were.
As far as "legitimate" is concerned -- read above. It is legitimate from Russia's perspective, and it is overwhelmingly welcomed by Crimean's and thus legitimate from their perspective as well. No one else's opinion concerning said "legitimacy" matters. If Washington has a problem -- Washington can sit down with Moscow and Beijing and lay out rules going forward with all 3 abiding by the agreements. As it stands, no arguments of "legitimacy" or "international law" are valid.
@durak: Thanks for the suggestion, I suppose you can send yours to reuters.