Putin has held a conference on Ukraine. Here are the main points:
• No introduction of Russian troops into Ukraine is currently necessary; if it becomes necessary, then all the arrangements for doing so in accordance with domestic and international law are in place.
• Yanukovych is still Ukraine's official president, but doesn't have a future in Ukrainian politics. Ukraine needs reforms, but they have to be carried out in accordance with the law. To this end, a referendum on the constitution is highly recommended.
• All of the military activities in Crimea were carried out by Crimea's self-defense forces, which the Russians wholeheartedly support.
• Russia will not do anything to encourage separatism in Ukraine; such issues have to be decided by the population of Ukraine via a referendum.
In other news:
• The government in Kiev has announced that it is in communication with the government in Moscow. War has been cancelled for now, looks like.
• Russia will no longer be offering Ukraine a discount on natural gas, because it was conditional on Ukraine paying its bills on time, which it hasn't to the tune of a couple of billion dollars.
• There isn't much more on Ukraine's general mobilization in preparation for war. There are, however, reports from the east of the country that paramilitary groups associated with the extreme right-wing “Right Front” are looting armories. Also, something of a consensus among military experts has emerged: Ukraine's army can't fight.
• US State Secretary John Kerry is pushing for sanctions against Russia. For what, exactly? Not even UK is willing to go along with his plan. The Russian response is that if the Americans can't play nice then the Russians will take their business elsewhere. “We don't depend on the United States for anything” is the way one Russian commentator put it.]
[Monday Afternoon Update:
• Yesterday Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev flipped around in his copy of the Ukrainian constitution, and discovered that the ouster of President Yanukovych was illegal and therefore didn't happen. Likewise the appointment of the new government in Kiev, along with every decision it has made. Yanukovych is still Ukraine's president, Medvedev stated, although with “insignificant authority.”
• Yanukovych, in his capacity as Ukraine's president, has asked the Russian Federation that it introduce its military into the Ukraine and use military force to restore constitutional order: “Life and safety of people, especially in the southeast and in Crimea, are under threat. Under the influence of Western countries acts of terror and violence are being committed in the open. People are being persecuted based on political and linguistic characteristics.” [My translation.]
• Russian Federation has convened a meeting of the UN Security Council to inform it of having received this official invitation to introduce troops into Ukraine: “Actions of the Russian Federation are legitimate.” Above is a picture of UN Ambassador Churkin sort of smiling a little bit as he says that. Goose bumps...
• Boris Grebenshchikov has burst forth with a timely new anti-war song. “Love in the time of war,” baby!
• I haven't found much English-language commentary that's all that useful. Best by far is James Howard Kunstler's piece from this morning.]
[Monday Morning Update:
• The Kiev regime announces general mobilization; only 1% to 1.5% of conscripts bother to turn up
• A dozen major cities—pretty much everything southeast of the line that runs from Kharkov to Odessa—are flying the Russian tricolor
• Ukraine's naval flagship is flying Russia's naval flag
• The newly appointed head of Ukrainian navy has defected to the Russian side in Crimea within a few hours of being appointed
• Most of the Ukrainian military units in Crimea have gone over to the Russian side voluntarily, without a single shot fired
• Ukrainian troops from Kirov have been ordered to march on Crimea, but have refused to obey (illegal) orders from Kiev
• During the last two weeks of February 143,000 Ukrainian citizens have requested asylum in Russia]
Once upon a time I had an excellent history teacher, who has made a lasting impact on how I view the world. “It's about the dates,” he taught us; “Be sure to remember the dates, and you'll have the key to history.” You see, dates are important because most of the important historical events are, in fact, anniversaries. There is a hackneyed phrase that history does not repeat—it rhymes; but it would be a lot closer to truth to say that history has a rhythm—a rhythm based largely on multiples of the annual cycle.
Take, for instance, the Boston Marathon bombing which occurred on April 15, 2013. I seem to have been the only one to note that the unprecedented imposition of martial law in large pars of Boston—ostensibly justified by there being at large two Chechen youths who were thought to be carrying handguns—occurred on Patriot's Day. This day is a Massachusetts state holiday and a major anniversary of the American Revolution commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolution, which occurred on April 19, 1775. What an excellent choice of date for ignoring the constitution and setting a precedent for military take-over of a major urban area on the thinnest of pretenses! Perhaps future historians will see these two dates as the two book-ends in the 238-year history of American constitutional democracy.
On 23 February of this year in Kiev there took place a coup d'état in which armed neo-Nazi militants surrounded and took over Parliament and forced the parliamentarians, under duress, to replace the elected government with opposition figures who were supported and promoted by the EU representatives and the US State Department. Representatives of the party of the overthrown government—the Party of Regions—were threatened into resigning.
What provided the rationale for the coup d'état was the killing of demonstrators by uniformed snipers, blamed on the previous government. The overthrown president, who has since fled to Russia, was accused of mass murder, and the new government demanded his extradition (a dumb move, since Russia's constitution forbids extradition). But there are serious questions about this interpretation of events: the special forces were never issued rifles and were never ordered to open fire on the protesters; there were quite a few special forces members themselves among those killed; the killings were carried out in such a manner as to incite rather than quell protest, by targeting women, bystanders and those assisting the wounded. The killings were followed by a professionally orchestrated public relations campaign, complete with a catchy name—“Heaven's Hundred” (“Небесная сотня”)—complete with candlelight vigils, rapid clean-up and laying of wreaths at the scene of the crime and so on.
Unfortunately, this name has a nasty antecedent in the “Black Hundred” (“Чёрная сотня”), which was the name of a coalition of anti-Semites and ultra-right-wing nationalists back in 1905. It is illustrative of a certain ham-handedness on the part of the PR campaign's authors, and bears a similarity to the choice of white ribbons—a World War II symbol worn by Nazi collaborators and Wehrmacht auxiliaries in Nazi-occupied territories—which were shipped in from abroad for the anti-government demonstrations in Moscow in December of 2011. These demonstrations are commonly thought to have been organized by Western NGOs. It would seem that the same PR organization is behind both events. Wouldn't it then make sense to assume that this PR organization is staffed by fascists, hence their consistent choice of fascist symbols and terminology?
Now let's look back exactly 81 years. On February 23, 1933, somebody set fire to the Reichstag building in Berlin (the fire was blamed on the Communists, but this remains far from proven and the event is commonly suspected to have been a false flag operation). A day later, Hitler used the fire as an excuse to assume emergency powers and to flush the Communists from government, giving the National Socialists a majority. February 23, 1933 is the day remembered as the definitive turning point in the rise of fascism in Europe, setting it on course for World War II and the loss of millions of lives.
Obviously, this is far from a replay but more of a faint echo. It is a work-out of a long sequence of events. Leaving aside the dim past which gave rise to such organizations as the Black Hundred and its Pogrom artists, the major problem is that Western Ukraine (Eastern Poland prior to World War II) was never properly de-Nazified (the technical German term for this process is Entnazifizierung). Then there was the fateful mistake of giving away Russian Crimea to Ukraine by Khrushchev (a Ukrainian), neatly paralleling the giving away of Abkhazia to Georgia by Stalin (a Georgian). Then came the years of neglect following the collapse of the USSR during which Ukraine, never quite capable of self-governance, achieved truly stunning levels of misery and corruption and became famous for its main export—young prostitutes. Then came the Orange Revolution, in which Yushchenko, who is the husband of a former Reagan-administration neocon, was thrust into office in a US-orchestrated campaign. He, along with his side-kick Yulia Tymoshenko, continued the orgy of corruption, until they were voted out of office and replaced by an equally venal, but additionally very thick-headed Yanukovych, who was the one chased out of office on the anniversary of the Reichstag fire.
And now the situation in the Ukraine is roughly as follows. The new Ukrainian government, born, as it were, of an incestuous relationship between a Ukrainian neo-Nazi skinhead and his pig (or was it a US State Department operative?) lacks legitimacy. In the Russian-speaking provinces in the east, people are taking over local governments and appealing to Russia for help, which Russia is quick to offer, moving troops into the historically Russian Crimean peninsula and handing out Russian passports to anyone who wants one. (Interestingly, they are handing out Russian passports to the members of Ukrainian special forces, who are now on the run. Clearly, the Russians don't think that the allegations of mass murder will stick.) Having lost 26.6 million dead fighting fascists during World War II, it is not in Russia's political DNA to allow fascists to rise to power right in the Slavic heartland. Nor is a newly resurgent Russia, whose team just came in first at the winter Olympics in Sochi, beating the old Soviet record for the number of medals, is likely to strike a relaxed pose with regard to a fascist takeover of Ukraine. And so, on March 1, the Russian parliament approved Putin's request for the use of the armed forces in Ukraine. Right now in Western Ukraine they are busy demolishing World War II memorials and celebrating Nazi collaborators as national heroes, but my guess is that, as events unfold, Western Ukraine will finally be de-Nazified, 70 years late.
I realize that many readers in the US may find what I say here shocking, but it must be understood that they are subject to the same ham-handed PR campaign that has run amok in Moscow and Kiev. The people who run this campaign are not particularly well-read, but there are two books that they apparently find seminal and follow slavishly, textbook-fashion: George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Their initiatives tend to be a blend of these two approaches to mind control. Specifically, they have embraced the concept, from 1984, of “two minutes of hate”—a daily ritual in which the populace is made to redirect its negative emotions away from the obvious failings of its own government and toward a possibly nonexistent external enemy.
And so US citizens, saddled with their feckless, thieving Presidents and Congressmen and gradually going broke as a result, are being systematically conditioned to hate Vadimir Putin. (As thieving presidents go, Bush is ahead so far with over a trillion dollars stolen via the bank bailouts and the so-called “Iraqi Reconstruction” while Obama is behind, having gobbled up just the “stimulus spending,” but may pull ahead of Bush soon thanks to the massive grift scheme known as “Obamacare” and other assorted swindles.)
Now, Putin is only the most competent Russian leader since perhaps Peter the Great, enjoys greater popularity among his own people than Bush and Obama ever did put together, and is a respected statesman around the world, which, by the way, sees the US as the greatest threat to world peace. Putin's first great initiative, dictatorship of the law, transformed a once lawless Russia into a generally law-abiding state, though slightly too conservative and restrictive for some people's taste. His second great idea, sovereign democracy, made Russia almost completely impervious to Western attempts at political manipulation.
Add to that his economic successes (Russians' incomes have doubled repeatedly while US incomes have stagnated) and his foreign policy successes (his government recently prevented a major conflict in Syria, then engineered a rapprochement between the West and Iran) and you can begin to see why he makes US State Department apparatchiks and assorted US neocons absolutely livid with rage. That kind of anger tends to be catchy, and so we find journalists and commentators in the US so wrapped up in their negative feelings towards Putin that they are neglecting to do their job, which is to inform people. Even some otherwise fairly intelligent Russians have managed to get caught up in it. If Putin now manages to achieve peace in Ukraine, then perhaps they will all succumb of apoplexy, and the world will rejoice.
Finally, it bears pointing out that, Rechstag fires aside, the current state of affairs in Ukraine is the West's direct fault: Ukraine was forced to choose between signing a worthless deal with the EU and entering a customs union with Moscow. Both Washington and Brussels, along with most of Western media, completely ignored Putin's suggestion that all the sides negotiate a compromise solution to avoid Ukrainian bankruptcy, which is now all but assured. Because of Western intransigence, Ukraine's government was forced to lurch between the EU and Moscow, losing face in the process and providing the fascists with a convenient opening.
In light of all this, some people might wonder: were the people in Washington and in Brussels always eager to favor fascists, or is this a new thing for them? I believe the answer is that it doesn't matter. Their assigned job is to destroy countries, and this they do well. They have destroyed Iraq, Libya and Syria, but these are small, and the beast is still hungry. They would love to destroy Iran, but that has turned out too tough a nut to crack. And so they have now set their sights on larger prey: Venezuela and Ukraine. And the reason they have to continue destroying countries is so that the process of wealth destruction, which is inevitable as the world runs short of critical resources, can run its course some place other than the West's economic heartlands in the US and Northern Europe. It matters very little to them whether they have to support al Qaeda fighters in Libya and Syria or fascists in Ukraine; it's all the same to them.
Some people might also wonder whether Ukraine's masked gunmen are really fascists. Yes, there are a lot of skinheads, and they like swastikas and their leaders hate Jews and like to quote Goebbels, but are they really fascist? (Yes, they are.) Such soul-searching on the subject of fascism is most touching (not to me). If you find the topic interesting, John Michael Greer recently came out with a 3,200-word treatise on the subject with a similarly lengthy follow-up. He takes a long time to define fascism and his thesis is, roughly, that fascism tends to spring forth like a naked lady from a cake whenever the political center fails to hold.
In case you would prefer something much shorter, my thesis is that fascism can be handily equated with militarized bigotry, and that while most countries are at this point immune to it, seeing it as idiotic at best and criminal at worst, certain countries are not—weak, socially disrupted, destitute countries, with an unresolved fascist past, that are subject to unscrupulous external political manipulation—such as poor Ukraine.
[Update: Based on some of the responses, people still have trouble imagining what it's like to have the fascists in charge. Well, here's a short video in which one of the “revolutionaries” is “holding discussions” with a Ukrainian Attorney General, on camera. You don't have to understand Ukrainian to see what's happening.
For some alternative perspectives on what's happening, see here and here and here.]
Thanks for writing about Ukraine and helping me learn about what's going on. Interesting to hear about how very capable Putin is. Curious to hear more about your thoughts of future developments. I'll check back to hear more from you about Ukraine. Loved the John Michael Greer dig. He's great, but like you say, too long winded.
Outstanding as always, Dmitry. REALLY appreciate the perspective and the prose.
I read JMG's fascism primer, and tend to agree with the overarching point, but there's no question that militarism, in any form, makes for a perfect bedrock upon which to build a civilization of murder. And though racism is abjectly stupid, its atavistic gravity blends well with Big Lies, personal ambition, and bullets.
I was thinking global war by 2017. Might have to push that timetable up a bit....
It does seem the US will be involved under the guise of "democracy". If this gets messy with Russia, how will this turn out?
How do you make sense of Timothy Snyder's account? It's so different.
How does such a different narrative emerge?
His book 'Bloodlands' is excellent. How can we see current developments through the haze?
Easy question. Timothy Snyder's account is propaganda pure and simple.
I respect your writing, though I am not sure I agree with it 100%. I just think that you are too fixated on "the fascists" as the ones behind everything. Look into the neocons, crony capitalism, and the recent Exxon gas development issue. No one's hands are clean in this matter.
Paul Craig Roberts has been writing some good stuff that meshes well this article. The propaganda is so thick its nice to find a couple of threads of truth to string together. The Russian Dictator story is like a Hollywood remake of a movie that wasn't so good the first time, now it really sucks. A remake of "Dumb and Dumber" would be more appropriate, starring 1 US president after another.
Thanks for this. Highly edifying, Dmitri.
Gday Dmitri ,
Thanks for sticking your head over the parapet to explain to us whats going on over there .
Loved your succinct summary of The Archdruids essay , he's a great bloke , were lucky to have him .....
The Fascists of the 30s were "the naked lady " between europes old elites , capital and bolshevism ....
Things seem much more complex this time around , as The Titanic founders..,,,,
As you say, Al Qaeda , Fasxists , whoever are the naked lady between "the west and the rest "
A single-handed antidote to Western propaganda which even with an internet seems ubiquitous. Thank you Dmitry.
What concerns me most about this recent Western provocation is its place in the context of the collapsing financial derivatives bubble. The Fed's tapering combined with Basel III capital restrictions are at this moment sucking the leverage out of the system. Deflation into war and hyperinflation if that's even possible on a global scale?
The East may not be on board with the West’s currency reset plans. And the US has been dragging its feet on the IMF 2010 Code of Reforms which is setting the stage for slicing up the resource pie after the Great Reset.
But this move in Ukraine has Brzezinski’s fingerprints all over it. He was very proud of drawing the Soviets into what he called an “Afghan trap.” He apparently thinks he is now doing the same with Russia. Something tells me it’s going to work out differently this time.
I didn't publish your comment. Yes, young people are idealistic. I remember discussing this with you, and explaining to you that this is a failure of their education. You laughed at the time. It's not so funny when they start dying in droves, though. Yes, Russians are so much better at criticizing their country that you may end up convinced that yours is better. If you fall for that then that's your own fault.
Putin's approval rating in 2008 was 83%, in 2012 it was 54%. It remained there for 2013. This is probably because of the speculation among many Russians that he rigged the 2012 elections. On a brighter note, however, in 2009 Russia's population increased for the first time since 1991. And in 2013, Russia saw a natural population increase (meaning not counting immigration) - indicating that Russia is becoming more "livable" and I understand that the country is undergoing a massive build-out. Crime nationwide has also fallen substantially each year since 2005, and is now lower than it was even before the collapse in 1990. Life expectancy has been slowly increasing as well, after dropping off in the 1990s. However Dmitry, I'm not sure if you've seen those Dash Cam videos that are all over YouTube, the devices are quite popular in Russia to combat police corruption and insurance fraud (as well as the occasional Russian Mafia road rage attack). Driving in Russia seems like quite an experience. There are serious issues in places such as the North Caucus as well. Otherwise, I'm glad to see that Russia is finally doing pretty well for themselves.
Anyway, I agree that western powers should not meddle in Ukraine's affairs (or any other country's for that matter). People ask me why I didn't vote in the U.S. 2012 elections (which was the first elections in which I could legally have voted). I then cite the ineffective political system in this country, and how each president is simply a continuation of the previous - no real change occurs. Like the comedian George Carlin once said "...the shit they shuffle around in there every four years? Doesn't mean a goddamned thing."
George Bush runs up the hell out of the national debt, needlessly provokes countries like he did to Russia in the 2000s (such as the anti-missile shield along Russia's borders and further expansion of NATO), then in 2008 we get Obama into office. In 2010 he signed that useless "New START" agreement with Russia, which was supposed to renew the deteriorating United States-Russia relations. But Obama didn't actually DO anything after that. No word on the anti-missile shield or anything. And now Obama just drones innocent families to death in the Middle East, because we "thought" they were terrorists (like the wedding procession in Yemen). Such hypocrisy. Obama and his administration are the terrorists now.
Apologies for the long post. I really hope things turn out okay for all (wishful thinking, I suppose). I am poor, the cost of living here in California is extraordinarily high and I have HFA, which severely limits my occupational & social functioning which means that I rely heavily on government assistance. Economic collapse would be a death sentence for someone like me. Best of wishes to you Dmitry, I look forward to reading more from you.
Thank you for this succinct summary of events, particularly that in your third paragraph. Until now my general impression has been "Kerfuffle in Ukraine, former President and kleptocrat ousted, on the lam," and that was about it. The bit about fascists evicting the government at gunpoint somehow got glossed over in other accounts. It's nice to have clarity.
This is definitely the best summary of the Ukrainian situation I have read and the comments are informative too.
Clive said he thinks things will turn out differently this time and I would love to know why.
Ukraine mobilises for war, calls up reserves
"Ukraine's security council ordered the general staff to immediately put all armed forces on highest alert, the council's secretary Andriy Parubiy announced. The Defence Ministry was ordered to conduct the call-up, potentially of all men up to 40 in a country that still has universal male conscription."
I agree with you knopwing a lot more than what is on the nightly news but things aremoving really fast now. What next? Civil war in Ukraine? Natural point of new border is Dnieper.
Thanks a lot for the analysis.
Something I find quite impressive, the logo or emblema of CENTCOM ( United States Central Command) :
This is to buy time for delaying the dollar and the euro collapses. They bring destruction to what they call «peripheric countries» to bring prived central banks, puppet governements and all this to prop up the dollar, so that it remains the world reserve currency by default... I would like to hear from you what you think about this.
Listening to NationalPublicRadio this morning on Ukraine, some US ex-ambassador was going on about international rule of law and territorial integrity and the NPR lady was acting as if he was serious. It is like the last 10 years never happened. Today, no one can take a US official seriously when discussing rule of law and territorial integrity. You only hear those words when it is convenient for US objectives. Yet NPR is discussing this issue as if the US government actually believes in rule of law and territorial integrity. Certainly smells like 1984.
The moment enough oil is no longer traded in dollars the US collapse will begin in earnest. Then Russia and China will pounce. Then we'll see if the US can project militarily as its society is cut off from imports and is chaotically breaking down.
The Fed is pulling in the credit at the downturn of the 4-6 year credit cycle when in a Keynesian system they should be injecting credit into the banks. Why? In combination with the Basel III capital ratios, which will prevent the banks from inflating out of trouble, it looks like a controlled demolition of the credit markets as Saddletramp over on GLP puts it in his brilliant analysis. US bonds may rally at first as a safe haven but then what? This: A Wile E. Coyote moment at the recognition that the governments are not going to bail the banks this time. If the LBMA defaults you will wake up one morning with gold bid no offer. That's a run on the dollar.
All this playing out as the US provokes Russia in Ukraine? The BIS clearly has a Great Consolidation debt reset on the table but is everyone on board?
Bread lines in Venezuela,
Rice stocks southeast Asia,
Red faced Krainia,
Tanks roll in Russia,
Hard rain's coming fast,
Drops in the bucket do overflow,
Winter begins and ends in a long fall,
And the center doesn't last for long,
The store up and closed,
People lined and fold,
Statisticians playing politicians,
Playing static radio stations,
That's just how I feel, now,
Things fall apart fast now,
That's just how I feel, nah.
April 19th is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
John Reed in Ten Days That Shook the World (1919) has an important segment that crystallizes the Russian perception of what happened then, and a lot of what is happening now, in the Ukraine.
For many people, history is not forgotten. History actually matters.
"There remained several centres of dangerous opposition, such as the 'republics' of Ukraine and Finland, which were showing definitely anti-Soviet tendencies.
"Both at Helsingfors and at Kiev the governments were gathering troops which could be depended upon, and entering upon campaigns of crushing Bolshevism, and of disarming and expelling Russian troops. The Ukrainean Rada had taken command of all southern Russia, and was furnishing Kaledin reinforcements and supplies. Both Finland and Ukraine were beginning secret negotiations with the Germans, and were promptly recognised by the Allied governments, which loaned them huge sums of money, joining with the propertied classes to create counter-revolutionary centres of attack upon Soviet Russia.
"In the end, when Bolshevism had conquered in both these countries, the defeated bourgeoisie called in the Germans to restore them to power."
The Ukraine has been the breadbasket of Russia for a long time. It's soil is some of the richest loam in the world.
The United State has systematically destroyed it's top soil from the time mechanised harvesting began and the small family farms were bought up to make mega farms.
Twenty years ago US President Bush 1 gave the Monsonato Corporation the legal right to force it's
genetically modified seed iron-clad contracts on US farmers. Seeds which once grown over and over destroy the farms, the earth in the farmland, all bees, bugs, earthworms and cattle, who stop being able to reproduce healthy offspring. True of the farmers as well. All lawsuits against them in the US have failed
The sitting President of the European Union has just okeyed the US sales of Monsanto seed contracts in European Union nations.. The US/EU plan to push them on a split, angry and demoralised and much poorer Ukraine.
Russia just banned them. Maybe it can save Ukraine, then Europe from the United States many criminal insanities, if not from America itself. One must begin somewhere. Keep on supporting America the species is doomed.
And at the end of the comments? Yes, a link to a "Pretty Ukrainian Ladies" site. I don't make this stuff up. Reality is way ahead of me.
April 19th is also the day of the Oklahoma city bombing, & the Waco fire, and it is also the day of sacrifice of women and children to the beast of the church of Satan.
Makes you wonder about the real motives of the sociopaths running our societies?!
This is a real eye-opener:
DEEP STATE - HIDING IN PLAIN SITE
Everyone knows about the military-industrial complex, which, in his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned had the potential to “endanger our liberties or democratic process” but have you heard of the “Deep State?”
Mike Lofgren, a former GOP congressional staff member with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees, joins Bill to talk about what he calls the Deep State, a hybrid of corporate America and the national security state, which is “out of control” and “unconstrained.”
In it, Lofgren says, elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is … the red thread that runs through the history of the last three decades.
It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war.”
It is great to hear a bit of sanity on the net, or anywhere for that matter. Thank you for that. I just finished reading "The Iron Heel",by Jack London,again. Amazing how many parallels I see in that book to what is happening in the US. I had been wondering what the real news would be on Ukraine, now I've seen it. ps, Interesting comments I get on your t-shirt.
Croatia was not de-Nazified too, but they become the member of EU.
Looking from this perspective, war in former Yugoslavia looks to similar to this situation:Neo-Nazies comes to power, pretext of "Serbian aggression"/"Russian aggression etc. Main difference is that Russia is not Serbia :)
Extremely useful, thank you! The Finnish media is singing from the western propaganda songbook...Looking at the map, that seems quite foolish.
Thanks again for your usual thought provoking analysis of Ukraine's turmoil. Your perspective diverges from the MSM and the propaganda coming out of the administration which I always accept with a pickup truck load of salt and the current empty suit in the oval office has done little to inspire confidence in his competence and judgement especially now that he is interfering in the affairs of Russia. My problem is your statements of events have to be taken with a grain of salt as well, which seems to have been missed by many of the commenters here. There is simply no way to know the truth of any of the talking heads reporting on Ukraine because of the inherent bias of every reporter, yourself included. But I must say when a former Russian speaks up, I pay attention! I would rather see a post stating "facts" of Ukraine on one side of the ledger which are certainly true, along a continuum ending with "Facts" almost certainly false. And some documentation of where and how you obtained such facts. You said a few things which startled me . A skinhead "fascist" group took over the Parliament in Kiev?? Putin the most competent Russian leader since Peter the Great? Stunning comments if true. I would be careful equating Russian economic prosperity with Putin's leadership.GNP numbers are irrelevant to a large extent. Russia is the world's largest producer of oil and near the top in gas but subtract that vast wealth from its economy and what's left? Subtract oil wealth from Saudi Arabia and what's left? If Putin wants to take back what Krushchev gave away, there is nothing the US or Europe can or should do.
The USA/EU support of Proto-Nazis in Ukraine is similar to their support for Takfiri/Salafi extremists in Syria. The resulting misery from unleashing these murderous elements is currently being felt by the people in those countries that have been targeted.
However, citizens of the USA and Western Europe have been, thus far, largely immune from the negative feedback of their governments' actions.
We live on a finite planet, so contagion from the furies being deliberately unleashed is inevitable.
It would be wise for citizens of the USA/EU to reign in their rogue politicians before the chickens come home to roost.
The article presents the view from other side...But the truth is still out there. I do not know what all Ukrainian people think about new government...NOBODY KNOWS THAT!!! what do they want? I guess it is the time to get rid of this government now, or later it will be too late when they will come up with the strong plan and start to RULE!...I have called and spoke to my relatives at Ukraine, they live near Borispol. two elderly ladies, one of them is medical doctor.. she is afraid to go to work... they are so scared, they are afraid to go outside and they stay inside mostly...For several days they were afraid to go shopping...Both are Ukrainians with no even a drop of Russian blood ( even though the both nations are so closely related, how someone can separate them????) They are afraid of new government (that means they do not want it?) they expect all kind of violence from them...but they were too scared to talk by phone that I did not ask for details... For me it is logical to suggest that Russia is truly interested in wealthy, happy and peaceful Ukraine. Do not we all love to live next to happy, friendly and peaceful neighbors? Do not we? I do not understand the politics of many European governments – how about to use some clever political skills and build good stable relationship with Russia? How about to use some brains and make friends with Russian government for a change? Do not you want to live next to happy neighbor? Why to poison the relationship and spread NATO bases so close to Russia? Or it some kind of Spanish Bull Fight fun for them? Or Europeans are blinded by propaganda and really think that all Russians are evil bloody warriors? (Like in computer games or in American movies). Ok, even if Russians are half that bad as they are presented -the country has so much land – they do not need more! It is already the largest country in the world, which is comparatively low populated. I do not believe that it is ONLY geopolitical step for Russians – I hope that it is Russians that are threatened at Crimea and Russia wants to help them… I suspect that Russian psychological profile is damaged by two terrible wars and many small ones, they can not react cold-bloodedly to what is going on at Ukraine…but what about the rest of superior nations? Are their hearts two sizes too small to understand and be friendly with Russia? Why to push Russians to the edge???
Thank you Alexa.
I also have relatives in Ukraine. I have relatives and friends in Russia too. One of my Ukrainian relative lives in Moscow, married to a Russian. I can only imagine what the conflict does to their children.
No doubt Yanokovich had to be ousted, but for that there is an impeachment process. Most of the country would be for that. But it did not play in the hands of Western powers.
So now Victoria Nuland can be happy: the new Ukrainian government is not what Ukrainians need. It is exactly what she planned. Well, "divide and conquer", old but still working.
All we have to do is to hope the people will soon figure everything. If not - God help us
I was re-orienting myself last night to the geography of the area, as it's been 40 years since I've been to western Ukraine, and, as I'm wont to do, began following my nose. I got curious about the early history of the area, and about some of the smaller post-USSR countries like Moldova. Anyway, I came across a Wikipedia article about the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture which thrived between approximately 4800 to 3000 BC, and the cultures from the east, including what is now Crimea, that eventually absorbed them (likely due to climate change, eh?). Some details on the culture:
"Members of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture shared common features with other Neolithic societies, including:
An almost nonexistent social stratification
Lack of a political elite
Rudimentary economy, most likely a subsistence or gift economy
Pastoralists and subsistence farmers".
Lets hope that history does, indeed, rhyme, and hoping that some here may enjoy this 'wayback machine' article. What a mess we've made of their future.
Thanks so much Dmitry for your efforts over the years to make a better world for us all. The Neocon global death march has met some serious resistance in Syria and now the Ukraine, at the hands of Russia. I also give credit to the good human beings within our own system --think Admiral "not on my watch" Fallon, regarding the planned Neocon attack on Iran around 2006 --, but Russian strength seems to be imperative at this time.
There is another blog that I find extremely valuable for analysis and insight into Russia and the Ukraine:
A few bits of translation straight from the horse's mouth for English-speaking folks.
Since the dates matter, it is wise to note that Crimea is too muddy for modern ground war now. The dry season comes in May. Expect changes on the ground then.
Thanks Dmitry. I'd be grateful if you would continue to update this post. I'm struggling to find any decent news sources on this issue.
I'm a long time reader of your writing. I was originally attracted by your independent, insightful analysis.
How do you explain the fact that Ukrainian Jews (http://www.timesofisrael.com/ukraine-jews-appeal-to-russia-to-stop-aggression/) and Muslims (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/2/crimean-tartars-feelhemmedinfromallsidesinukraine.html) support the uprising in Kiev, despite the involvement of a neo-Nazi element? If these articles are more propaganda, how has the West's propaganda machine managed to co-opt The Times of Israel and Al-Jazeera on this issue?
My respect to you for publishing this comment unedited.
Hey, 'greatest since Peter' sounded a bit much. Then again, there are more Russians available these days & Peter got himself picked from a much smaller sample.
Anyone who foils a US ploticy maneuver can't be all bad -- but isn't it possible that he falls a bit sort of actually being 'good'?
Then again, I understand that Peter was a maniac with occasional panic attacks who continually self-medicated on some nasty stuff the monks produced because vodka wasn't awful enough....?
Also, I do wonder what's going to happen to the Ukranians...? Having 'no money' has come to mean automatically getting screwed... but there is this pipeline running through their country; and the rest of Europe will want to get gas delivered peacefully through it. Can they cut a deal, not end up with one of our 'breaka you legs' loans?
Once an ethnic fuss gets rolling, modern weapons seem to give far too much potential for really crazy people to screw things up. In Ireland, opposing leaders, having aged a bit and gotten really really tired of losing friends, snuck into a local Quaker house & settled things (Still settled? I really don't know!) But things could get pretty ugly while the trigger-happy people are doing in each other & anyone else in sight. Any hope for doing better than that?
Mark Leonard wrote: "If these articles are more propaganda, how has the West's propaganda machine managed to co-opt The Times of Israel and Al-Jazeera on this issue?"
Al-Jazeera is the mouthpiece of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the prime sponsors of the international Takfiri/Salafi mischief. With the current exception of Egypt where Saudi Arabia and Qatar have chosen different sides, you will find that Al-Jazeera is firmly in the "Saudi America" foreign policy camp.
New information has now emerged that the snipers in Maidan Square were not from the government: http://rt.com/news/ashton-maidan-snipers-estonia-946/#
Bilaal Abdullah wrote: "you will find that Al-Jazeera is firmly in the "Saudi America" foreign policy camp."
I found this on Al-Jazeera:
'The hypocrisy is as palpable as it is indefensible. So much so that it's hard to imagine how US Secretary of State John Kerry could have said the words with a straight face.
"You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped up pre-text," he explained on Sunday to David Gregory, host of the NBC Sunday talk show Meet the Press. No smile or even smirk can be spotted on his face, which remained as stoic as when he famously explained during his last Senate campaign how authorising the invasion of Iraq "met the national security interests of our country".' (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/crimea-invasion-why-un-veto-go-20143554242372959.html)
"US officials have criticised the channel [Al-Jazeera] as anti-American and encouraging Islamic militancy." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2893689.stm)
Also, it appears that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a long history of spats, and that Al-Jazeera has been at the center at least one of them:
"2002: Riyadh withdraws ambassador to Qatar following comments made by Saudi dissidents on Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel." (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/government/uae-saudi-arabia-and-bahrain-recall-their-ambassadors-from-qatar-1.1299586)
It appears to me that Al-Jazeera does not always support US foreign policy and that Qatari foreign policy is often at odds with Saudi foreign policy. Therefore, I still trust Al Jazeera to report the Muslim viewpoint in Crimea as objectively as they can.
I also trust Jewish organizations to speak out against anti-Semitism when they see it. This from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
'A highly critical open letter to Vladimir Putin by leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish communities was published on the website of Ukraine’s Vaad yesterday...“Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts,” wrote the group. “Perhaps you got Ukraine confused with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.”
Calling for Putin to cease his intervention in Ukraine and his calls for pro-Russian separatism within the country, the group stated that it does not wish “to be ‘defended’ by sundering Ukraine and annexing its territory.”
Instead, the authors wrote, “we are quite capable of protecting our rights in a constructive dialogue and in cooperation with the government and civil society of a sovereign, democratic, and united Ukraine.”'
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