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josh

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the situation in Ukraine could be settled on the basis of the February 21 Agreement. . . . . “We’re talking about the agreement as an indispensable stage to settle the crisis. Till now no one has heard us,” he said. “I hope that those who helped reach a stalemate in Ukraine will find ways to overcome it. It is only possible on the basis of the Agreement of February 21,” Lavrov said, adding “All agreements should be implemented. It is necessary to work honestly and not try to get over someone.”

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/722208

NorthReport

The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law

Money and hard power count, and that's that

In Obama's case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.

 The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, violating the "international law" Obama was demanding Putin obey.

 The U.S. insists that Israel's occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.

 It's easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain's prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin's pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.

 But that's diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.

 What's remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.

 When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.

 Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia's ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, as though Russia's creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.

 On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

 

 

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-ukraine-crisis-through-the-whimsy-of-in...

MegB
Unionist

Yup, Duncan is [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/ukraine?page=1#c... worth reading today[/url]. Wink

6079_Smith_W wrote:
But I think the articles about Russia only being there to protect human rights, lauding Putin's chess skills, pre-emptive strikes, and the need for Russia to have a buffer all speak to a bit more tolerance for this than if it had been a U.S. invasion.

Yeah but Smith, I asked a simple question of another babbler - where had s/he seen support for Putin's occupation of Crimea here? You think some people linking to alternative viewpoints, rather than lining up behind Harper, Baird, Obama et al, amounts to support for an occupation?

No, I realize you don't. That's why I asked my question. I think there's dangerous disinformation, as usual, going on in the MSM, and by one of two of the more extreme-minded of our friends here. That is: How DARE anyone question what's happened in Kyiv? How DARE anyone wonder whether it was a real "people's revolution", rather than maybe just a putsch carried out by one gang of oligarchs against another gang of oligarchs? How DARE anyone put Putin on the same geopolitical power greed grid as the "democrats" of the West?

And when someone dares to treat all these thieves and gangsters as enemies of the people of Ukraine and the world, watch out.

That's why I asked my question. Who here supported Putin's occupation of Crimea, to the extent that one of our more clear-thinking babblers had to be "totally shocked" (that's a direct quote)? Still waiting for an answer.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

If the Yats regime attacks minorities in eastern Ukraine and/or Crimea, I expect the same result for them as for that tie-chewing war criminal Saakashvili. Nobody here seems to remember what happened in 2008. The Russian regime, under President Medvedev mind you, gave the Georgian militarist regime a well deserved thumping ... and then they left.It was the Georgians thenselves who hoofed the war criminal out of there.

I expect the same here, with the caveat that Ukraine and Russian have a long standing agreement allowing 25,000 Russian troops in Ukraine to around 2045. The Ukrainians get a deal on gas and around .5 to 1 billion a year in rental fees.

All the talk about 16,000 Russian troops "moving into" Ukraine was those troops. In other words, a crock of shit, as usual, from Western media.

The economics are going to determine things. As always.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Don't assume what I see and do not see, please.

I mean, I'm not "totally shocked" but I take an equally dim view of it, and while I don't agree with all PrairieDemocrat15's points, I think there was a fair caveat there about not questioning the west, the legitimacy and motives of the new govenrment.

So I'm not sure what you are on about. That is to say, when I see a string of articles justifying and praising Putin's move in Crimea, and extolling the need for a territorial buffer, I take that as tacit support.

Someone wants to deny it. let's hear it, but turning this into some cagey word game is as bizarre as the godwinism argument we just dealt with.

Sorry, but I think we all have a fair idea where each of us stands. When PrairieDemocrat15 made that comment I knew exaclty what he was talking about and I called it.

That would be, in other words, the answer you were waiting for, from my perspective.

Something needs to be clarified? Well let's talk about it, but I'd much prefer coming straight out and saying what we mean than dancing around this stuff. I mean there's no reason for any of us to be ashamed of where we stand on this.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:
... when I see a string of articles justifying and praising Putin's move in Crimea, and extolling the need for a territorial buffer, I take that as tacit support.

 

The Putin regime sees it as protection of Russian-speaking and other ethnics in Crimea, as protection of their naval fleet in Sevastopol, and economically to protect (from looting) of the Russian-financed industry in eastern Ukraine. There are other reasons too, no doubt.

If they're lucky, no shots will be fired by their side unless provoked. I see that the US Navy has been given permission to send a Destroyer into the Black Sea by Turkey. Oh joy. 

Im curious. Do you think that Putin would last as a politician if, for example, he stood by while ethnic Russians, Jews, Tatars and others were stomped on by the well-armed rightists in Ukraine? He'd be toast, politically.

What should Putin do? Pay for Ukraine to join NATO? Not likely. Let me ask the same question a different way, for all the bloody minded Russophobes here.

1. Does Russia have legitimate interests? What are those interests?

2. Is there a legal foundation for Russia to protect ethnics in the eastern Ukraine and Crimea?

3. Who does Putin, or any other Russian leader, negotiate with when the Kiev regime is unelected and there by force? Or does he wait?

4. If they can use force to seize power in Kiev, then is that OK elsewhere? Why or why not?

 

6079_Smith_W

That is an absurd string of questions, ikosmos.

You think Canada or any other country has the right to invade another country to protect its interests?

(well, except perhaps the U.S. military walking into Canada, which Harper signed off on a few years ago)

And if we don't recognize a head of government we have the right to walk in and change it?

Unionist

Listening in on secret phone conversations between Catherine Ashton of the EU and the Estonian foreign minister can be fun:

*BREAKING* Leak : Estonian FM says Maidan snipers were not Yanukovich's

Listen to the whole 10 minutes if you can. The most interesting part, to me, is Ashton laying out a whole plan for "reforming" Ukraine, and finding politicians who will have credibility with the protestors.

 

NDPP

Unionist wrote:

PrairieDemocrat15 wrote:

However, I'm totally shocked by the support some are giving to Putin's occupation of Crimea.

Where did you see this?

Yes, please. And what 'occupation' exactly are you talking about?

@U - yes, I heard the actual phone call on RT, but of course we know RT is all just Russian propaganda, better just keep listening to that big western wurlitzer...

6079_Smith_W

And yet we hear only one side, since it's from a wiretap.

I noted that he talkied about the sniper story (at least the speculation of who was behind them) "taking on its own life". In other words, does he see it as the truth, or rumour?

He said in an RT article he wouldn't comment on the conversation until he had heard it. I'll wait until then.

And this would be the Dr. Bogomolets he spoke with:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Bogomolets

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And yet we hear only one side, since it's from a wiretap.

Why not take the time to listen. Catherine Ashton's lengthy comments are perfectly audible.

Let me know what you think of her comments - about how experienced they are in taking over countries economically and politically. Meanwhile, I'll hunt around for a full transcript.

 

6079_Smith_W

You must have been listening to the conversation from another source, Unionist. The link on the page you posted only has him speaking.

 

(edit)

And here it is:

Quote:

He said there have been altered versions of the recording, aimed at discrediting the new Ukrainian government: “I ask journalists to be extremely cautious with that recording - (in the recording) I was talking about which versions of events were doing rounds in Ukraine.”

“I was not making judgements. I was only expressing concern that if the rumors take on a life of their own, it could harm the situation in Ukraine.”

Some media reports suggested that the officials themselves believed the snipers might have actually been commissioned in a conspiracy by the newly formed government coalition, a possibility that did not appear to be borne out by the recording.

http://news.err.ee/v/politics/bb8da3a6-4c2d-4142-b7bf-259c6acf45d1

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

You must have been listening to the conversation from another source, Unionist. The link on the page you posted only has him speaking.

Good Lord.

Ok, just start listening at 5:25. She talks for almost 3 minutes straight about how they're going to run the new Ukraine. Turn up the volume on your speakers.

Are we really living in different realities? Could someone else please listen to this, and tell us whether you can hear Ashton?

*BREAKING* Leak : Estonian FM says Maidan snipers were not Yanukovich's

 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, please.

Better still, grap the actual URL of the file you are listening to, because all the versions of that I have found just have him speaking. I have checked the settings on my computer, and just about blown my ears out straining to hear. All there is is white noise.

Not being obstructionist. I actually would like to hear her side of the conversation.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i heard ashton speak at length. eta: i just played it again to see if it had changed and i can still hear ashton.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yes, please.

Better still, grap the actual URL of the file you are listening to, because all the versions of that I have found just have him speaking. I have checked the settings on my computer, and just about blown my ears out straining to hear. All there is is white noise.

Not being obstructionist. I actually would like to hear her side of the conversation.

 

They're all the same.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/05/1282285/--BREAKING-Leak-Estonia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkC4Z67QuC0

Once the conversation actually begins (around 2:00), his voice comes out of the left speaker, hers out of the right. Maybe that's the source of the problem you're experiencing. You know, as in stereo. Maybe you need to adjust your balance.

ETA: Crossposted - thanks epaulo13!

And to reiterate. The most interesting part of the conversation, for me, is Ashton's program to take over Ukraine and run it with EU puppets, IMF loans, etc.

The part about snipers?? Gee, I'm so shocked that someone would hire killers to shoot at "their own" to create a provocation! Shocked, I tell you! Couldn't happen! Must be Stalinist propaganda!!!!!!!!!

 

6079_Smith_W

Very bizarre... looks like I might have mono coming out of both channels, and I can't seem to fix it. I'll try to listen to it on another computer. Sorry for the confusion.

In any case, you read his assessment of the sniper claim, I presume. If it is true that there is just one sniper, there are plenty of reasons for those on numerous sides to have used them.

 

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If it is true that there is just one sniper, there are plenty of reasons for those on numerous sides to have used them.

And Yanukovych's reasons for ordering people killed after three months of protests were... ??

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

NDPP wrote:

Unionist wrote:

PrairieDemocrat15 wrote:

However, I'm totally shocked by the support some are giving to Putin's occupation of Crimea.

Where did you see this?

Yes, please. And what 'occupation' exactly are you talking about?

My guess would be the one RT says isn't happening... Wink

sherpa-finn

Ukrainian Border Guard: "And where are you from?"

Russian soldier: "Russia"

Ukrainian Border Guard: "Occupation?"

Russian soldier: "Oh no. Just visiting!"

Old joke recycled from Prague, '68.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If it is true that there is just one sniper, there are plenty of reasons for those on numerous sides to have used them.

And Yanukovych's reasons for ordering people killed after three months of protests were... ??

 

Same reason why activists were beinf disappeared, tortured and killed right up until then - intimidation.

As for the charge of "stalinist propaganda", I had already heard of rumours of the opposition were faking stuff. There were already those  bogus (and competing) stories about the protester who was stripped naked in the snow. 

Here we have a wiretapped and altered conversation held up as evidence of a conspiracy, refuted by the fellow who was talking on the phone.

So yeah, it's propaganda.

PrairieDemocrat15

6079 Smith W's response to Unionist pretty much sum up my perspective. Perhaps, I went too far in saying some on this board are "supporting" Russia's actions in Crimea. That specific point seems to be what has Unionist riled up. Maybe it is better to say I am baffled by the uncritical analysis some on this board are giving this whole affair. NDPP's above comment is illustrative. It seems he/she is claiming that what Russia has done in Crimea in the last week is something other than an occupation.

Regarding RT, I think its important to be critical of it, just as Babblers are critical of Western media. I acually found RT's coverage of Occupy informative. That news organization provided much more coverage of police violence towards protesters than any Western media. However, we still need to be mindful of the media's larger agenda. Regarding Occuppy, RT was trying to show how brutal Western nations can be when faced with dissent. In Crimea, its clear that RT is supportive of Russia's actions and is basing their coverage on that position. I'm not going to take seriously the wild speculation and accusations being supplied through links to RT articles until there is some corroberation. I'm listening to the phone call now, we'll see.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If it is true that there is just one sniper, there are plenty of reasons for those on numerous sides to have used them.

And Yanukovych's reasons for ordering people killed after three months of protests were... ??

 

Aside for the false flag sniper one answer to your question would be it could have been a local commander or even a pissed off policeman who have been on the reciving end of all those fire bomb attacks for three months. Being subjected to that kind of stuff has got to wear you out after awhile.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Here we have a wiretapped and altered conversation ...

Boy, that's one big big leap - "ALTERED" - when all Paet did was to warn that there had been altered versions going around. He NEVER denied the audio that I posted. In fact, from the part of your link that you didn't quote:

Quote:
In a press conference at the Foreign Ministry today, Paet confirmed the leaked recording on YouTube is genuine and the conversation with Ashton took place on February 26, a day after his return from Ukraine.

But you do go on:

Quote:
... a conspiracy, refuted by the fellow who was talking on the phone.

Uhhhhhhh, no, he didn't refute anything. All he said was this:

Quote:

“I ask journalists to be extremely cautious with that recording - (in the recording) I was talking about which versions of events were doing rounds in Ukraine.”

“I was not making judgements. I was only expressing concern that if the rumors take on a life of their own, it could harm the situation in Ukraine.”

So now, where exactly did he "refute" anything?

And if you listen to his actual words - you know, like, his words when he wasn't at a press conference - it sure doesn't sound like he is reporting this conspiracy theory with much disbelief in his tone. He goes into a whole bunch of detail. Doesn't he?

I'm not sure why you seem so invested in discrediting this perfectly normal-looking story of a false flag operation, whether it was big or small scale, regardless. No matter who killed whom, it does not justify Russian troops crossing borders. No matter who sniped at what, it does not justify U.S. and EU and Canadian pigs organizing a putsch and trying to install their own puppets.

What disturbs me is the level of pre-digested judgment shown by some here. Rather than analyze events on the basis of facts, they catapult to conclusions and then seek "facts" to bear them out.

 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Ok, I just listened to the entire tape and I have my doubts, with all due respect to the doctor(s), as to if they would be able tell which side a sniper was on that shot someone (on either side) by the wound that was inflicted. Here’s why: being eastern bloc there would be only one type of ammo available to both sides. The standard round for an east block sniper rifle would be 7.62 x 54R or 7.62x 39 (AK 47)… both sides would use or have acess to the same round which would inflict the same type wound. Unless these false flag snipers were stupid enough to use some caliber round not indigenous to the local government (why would they do that if they are trying to inplament the government?) no one would be able to tell who fired the shots based on the wound inflicted.

Without farther evidence proving the rounds were not standard east block ammo this conversation about snipers being on this side or that side based on wounds inflicted is speculation.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That is an absurd string of questions, ikosmos.

You think Canada or any other country has the right to invade another country to protect its interests?

(well, except perhaps the U.S. military walking into Canada, which Harper signed off on a few years ago)

And if we don't recognize a head of government we have the right to walk in and change it?

 

I take by your response that, unlike Canada or any "Western" country, Russia has no interests, no billions invested in eastern Ukraine, no compatriots in same, no legal naval base in Crimea with 25,000 troops in danger, no gas pipeline through Ukraine, and so on.

In other words, I call BS. Pathetic.

Your last point is also pathetic. Yankovich was elected. Yes, he's not coming back, but he is the legitimate President. This new regime was installed by violence. Only an idiot would think that more violence will not follow in eastern Ukraine, in Crimea, from the same cabal of zealots and fascists in Kiev, if there isn't something stopping them.

Putin has argued for elections, in a safe environment and has made clear that he has distanced himself from Yankovich while, for humanitarian reasons, letting him stay in Russia.

This stuff is ABC. Russophobia is incurable, eh?

6079_Smith_W

Yanukovich was removed by a parliamentary vote. If there are concerns over the technicalities, an election has been called.

And as for interests, are you saying that capital investment gives a nation the right to invade another, and trumps sovreignty?

If they have investment, ethnic russians, and leases they feel need to be safeguarded, seems to me the solution is through the Ukrainian courts. Once there is an actual case that is.

It's not sending in troops, taking over military bases, and initiating standoffs (with warning shots) to unarmed Ukrainian military personnel.

 

 

Unionist

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Without farther evidence proving the rounds were not standard east block ammo this conversation about snipers being on this side or that side based on wounds inflicted is speculation.

Exactly.

And yet, it was the death of protestors at the hands of snipers which was used by the MSM to justify, in Western "minds" (I use the term with caution), the overthrow of a government elected in the same way ours are. You know - "he's murdering his own people!!!" (Saddam, Gaddafi, al-Assad, etc. etc.). Just like: "We had to send in troops to protect our ethnic blood-siblings!!!"

I almost forgot unplugging newborns' incubators...

So you have the point nicely, Bec. It could have been some low-life thugs acting out their own idea of how to get some action. It simply doesn't matter. Ukraine has become the plaything of the great powers. As Canadians, the best we can do is to speak, as one, telling our government (and its slavish so-called "opposition" parties) to keep out of this fight and to use diplomacy world-wide to encourage others to do likewise.

Fat chance, I know. But we need to try.

 

6079_Smith_W

Gee.... do you think maybe how sniper fire cutting down civilians made members of parliament (including members of Yanukovich's party) think is a little more relevant that how western powers thought of it? I know plenty inagine there must be puppet strings installed in the roof of the Verkhovna Rada, but can we have a little more consideration for the role of the Ukrainian people in shaping their own destiny?  It wasn't CNN that kicked Yanukovich out.

This is reminding me more and more of Libya, but not in the way some might think.

And frankly, if we want to talk about stories ignored by the western media, it was only after one of the Udar members turned up with his ear cut off that they even noticed that people were being kidnapped and murdered. How the spinmeisters missed the opportunity to put that on the front page is a mystery to me.

 

 

 

Bluegreenblogger

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Gee.... do you think maybe how sniper fire cutting down civilians made members of parliament (including members of Yanukovich's party) think is a little more relevant that how western powers thought of it? I know plenty inagine there must be puppet strings installed in the roof of the Verkhovna Rada, but can we have a little more consideration for the role of the Ukrainian people in shaping their own destiny?  It wasn't CNN that kicked Yanukovich out.

This is reminding me more and more of Libya, but not in the way some might think.

And frankly, if we want to talk about stories ignored by the western media, it was only after one of the Udar members turned up with his ear cut off that they even noticed that people were being kidnapped and murdered. How the spinmeisters missed the opportunity to put that on the front page is a mystery to me.

Having just dredged through a number of pages of people arguing about Russias role, neo-nazis, EU interests, and Americas doings, somebody finally noticed that the principle actors in the Ukraine are the Ukranian people. It is pretty easy to understand what happened. They have been mis-ruled by corrupt leadership ever since the dissolution of the USSR. That was what it was like in Russias orbit. I can see why so many of them hoped that they were going to emulate the EU, and cleanse the corruption. It certainly wasn't neo-nazis who brought out so many tens of thousands of pretty ordinary people. They came out on the streets when Yanukovych cancelled the EU agreement in favour of a loan from Russia. That is the basic and salient fact, not who was pulling what strings where. Yanukovych was thrown out by a popular demonstration, that included lots and lots of people of every political stripe, and they were pro-european.

In the Eastern Ukraine, about half the Russian speakers are actually ethnically Ukranian, according to the Ukraines last census. It is nonesense to speak of Russian speaking majority areas when fully half of those Russian speakers self-identify as ethnic Ukranians. There are only a couple of regions that are majority Russian by ethnicity. Ultimately, there are going to be elections for representative governments in every part of the Ukraine. Even in the East, there is not a constituency for partition. With the exception of the Crimea, I would bet that most of the East would vote to stay in Ukraine. So if Russia tries to partition any sizeable chunk of the Ukraine, then they will have an antagonistic government on their hands after the first trip to the ballot box.

wage zombie

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And as for interests, are you saying that capital investment gives a nation the right to invade another, and trumps sovreignty?

Talking about rights here is a red herring.  The precedent has been established that superpowers are not going to rule out military force in order to protect their interests.  It's not about rights, if such things can even exist, it's about established global protocols.

In a world where the USA has shown that it is willing to invade other nations to protects its interests, it's hard to view Russia's recent action as somehow "against the rules".

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yanukovich was removed by a parliamentary vote. If there are concerns over the technicalities, an election has been called.

I don't feel aligned in this particular issue.  This is a tug of war between the West and Russia and Ukrainians will be the ones suffering.  I'm not particularly receptive to the narrative that the new Ukrainian government is a neo-Nazi regime.  But I'm also not receptive to the framing of Putin as new Stalin and Russia as the big bad bogeyman.

Smith, I think you are losing this debate here.  IMO, you will get more mileage by arguing for the legitimacy of the new Ukraininan regime than by arguing against evil Russia.  If Yanukovich was removed by force, then the new govt is illegitimate.  If he was removed by parliamentary vote, then it is another story.

I don't know much about how the Ukrainian parliament works.  Nobody has really spelled it out for me.  So was the parliamentary vote part of standard parliamentary procedure?  Or was it an extraordinary measure?  Was it the same thing as Dion and Layton trying to form a coalition?  Or was it shadier than that?

Russia's going to respond to being pushed around.  That's the reality.  Some things I have read suggest that Russia was willing to let Ukraine be neutral and the West was not.  It's very hard to sort this stuff out though.

I'd think you could make more headway in your argument not by slagging Russia but by arguing for the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian regime, if you can do so with facts.

wage zombie

Bluegreenblogger wrote:

Having just dredged through a number of pages of people arguing about Russias role, neo-nazis, EU interests, and Americas doings, somebody finally noticed that the principle actors in the Ukraine are the Ukranian people. It is pretty easy to understand what happened. 

I don't know that this is true.

I don't think the principle actors here in the Canada are the Canadian people.  I think the principle actors are the people running the show, and I don't think the Canadian people mave much say in that.

So I'm not clear on why you think the principle actors in Ukraine are the Ukrainian people.

NorthReport

US and Russia fail to reach Ukraine deal on day of frantic diplomacy

John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to resume talks on Thursday as pressure grows on EU to pass punitive measures against Moscow

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/russia-us-talks-ukraine-cri...

NorthReport

This perhaps sheds some light on part of this complicated situation.

Why Putin Took Crimea

For the Russian strongman, there’s nothing more useful than an obedient gangster state within Ukraine’s borders.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/03/why_v...

6340

 

sherpa-finn

"Ungrateful Ukrainians lay beating on US: Kerry furious"

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/mar/05/usa-v-ukraine-live

ETA: "Shakey American defense exposed for all to see ..."

Bluegreenblogger

wage zombie wrote:

I don't know that this is true.

I don't think the principle actors here in the Canada are the Canadian people.  I think the principle actors are the people running the show, and I don't think the Canadian people mave much say in that.

So I'm not clear on why you think the principle actors in Ukraine are the Ukrainian people.

It should be pretty clear. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest. That is what overthrew Yanukovych. There will be elections soon. The people will decide. Anybody who has ever worked on a Canadian election campaign knows that it is the electorate that ultimately calls the shots. For example, I have lived through two referendums on Quebec Sovereignty. Fundamental question, settled by none other then `the people` you deem so powerless.

wage zombie

Bluegreenblogger wrote:

It should be pretty clear. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest. That is what overthrew Yanukovych. There will be elections soon. The people will decide. Anybody who has ever worked on a Canadian election campaign knows that it is the electorate that ultimately calls the shots. For example, I have lived through two referendums on Quebec Sovereignty. Fundamental question, settled by none other then `the people` you deem so powerless.

I don't disparage the authenticity of the protests.  And I agree that the protests were the necessary conditions for overthrow.

But it's not clear to me that the Ukrainian people are the principle actors right now.

Don't protest, and the powers stay in charge.  Protest, and you give those powers an opportunity to make a big move.  And chances are, they have the highest capacity to exploit a crisis.

Bluegreenblogger

I just saw this article.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26459937

It seems that I am not alone in presuming that Eastern Ukraine is not going to tolerate a partition. The guy who said the following is a formerly pro-Yanukovych Russian speaking Mayor of Kharkiv

`

So, did this Russian-speaking mayor of Ukraine's biggest Russian-speaking city want Moscow to send troops across the border?

"Russian is my first language," he said, "but I support an undivided Ukraine. I am a mayor of a border city but we will never yield to intimidation.

"We will never make any decision that could undermine Ukrainian statehood."

 

 

josh

Bluegreenblogger wrote:

Having just dredged through a number of pages of people arguing about Russias role, neo-nazis, EU interests, and Americas doings, somebody finally noticed that the principle actors in the Ukraine are the Ukranian people. It is pretty easy to understand what happened. They have been mis-ruled by corrupt leadership ever since the dissolution of the USSR. That was what it was like in Russias orbit. I can see why so many of them hoped that they were going to emulate the EU, and cleanse the corruption. It certainly wasn't neo-nazis who brought out so many tens of thousands of pretty ordinary people. They came out on the streets when Yanukovych cancelled the EU agreement in favour of a loan from Russia. That is the basic and salient fact, not who was pulling what strings where. Yanukovych was thrown out by a popular demonstration, that included lots and lots of people of every political stripe,

A pretty incredible statement. Because there was a disagreement over policy they threw the elected leader out? Hello? In a democracy that's what elections are for. Otherwise it's little more than mob rule.

Sean in Ottawa

I am not defending any side here... but I am reacting to the comparisons and overly simplistic view that is being portrayed in the media. The lack of balance and lack of acknowledgement of basic facts suggests a cold war view with our media playing a propaganda role.

We are told that Crimea is Ukraine and we are told to dismiss Russian interests there. The Russians have a nasty President but their perspective of Crimea does deserve some understanding.

First Crimea is not a historic or integral part of Ukraine and is in fact a semi-autonomous republic. It's history since the 1700s was Russian. It came to Ukraine as a gift from a leader without any democratic mandate, Krushchev. The occasion was to celebrate the 300th anniversary of unity between Ukraine and Russia. The people of the Crimea were not consulted.

Even today ethnic Russians number more than double ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea (ethnic Ukrainians are about a quarter of the population). But the gift from Khrushchev was largely symbolic as it was made without any anticipation of it being separated from the Soviet Union or Russia in any substantial way. It was not a gift to an independent Ukraine and had Ukraine been independent such a gift would have been inconceivable. The feeling could be compared to a couple where one gave the other a huge gift of jewelry before the other broke off the engagement. You can understand the desire to have it back.

When Ukraine left the close orbit of Moscow, it was still considered a country very close to Russia. In striking a path to the west away from close ties with Russia, there is some reason to reflect on how this gift of symbolism is having unintended consequences. I am not sure what Krushchev's Ukraine connections were but we know he was born close to the border on the Russian side in a place called Kalinovka.

Hitler's invasions really are not comparable to what is taking place here - even as aggressive as we note the stance of Russia has been, the history bears little resemblance.

And Crimea is not a bit of jewelry it is a place with a population that is recognized as having a distinct border and identity. This fact is a problem for Canada in particular. We have an understanding of a place within our state that has an identity and we accept the principle of self determination. I find it difficult not to see a case for self-determination there given the circumstances of the transfer and the fact that this transfer was in living memory for people who are alive today (even if distant).

I don't think the aggression is defensible but we should not pretend that Russia has no right to have a significant interest there. Nor should we presume that Russia feels no responsibility to ethnic Russians who live there. The people of Crimea also ought to have a say. There is a strong possibility that they might prefer to be with Russia if Ukraine is looking west.

I am not denying the claim of Ukraine or Ukraine's interest but that has already been the topic of many news stories.

Certainly in this context, I can imagine that there is a lot to work out and the changing direction of Ukraine could have a bearing on the will of the people of Crimea. It would not suprise me if they were comfortable in a Ukraine that was close to Russia but would want another option if the direction were to be a different one.

Seeing all this context, I feel there is a very powerful argument for Canada not to interfere in what is a complicated regional, local and semi-internal matter. If Canada wanted to object to instability, urge caution and peace that is one thing but we do not have the legitimacy to pressure, using sanctions, for our vision of what that part of the world should look like. The fact that Putin is a nasty character, in so many ways, does not give us the authority to use our tiny power to help decide things there.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Seeing all this context, I feel there is a very powerful argument for Canada not to interfere in what is a complicated regional, local and semi-internal matter. If Canada wanted to object to instability, urge caution and peace that is one thing but we do not have the legitimacy to pressure, using sanctions, for our vision of what that part of the world should look like.

Agreed, Sean, but I've opened a thread (quite well populated by now) to discuss, precisely, what political stance Canada, its government, and opposition parties are taking and should take. I'll just note that the most aggressive in this respect has been the NDP. They were demanding sanctions and freezing of assets long before there was any incursion by Russia. You may want to have a look at that thread - your analysis (as always) will be appreciated.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Thanks- not sure that I would want to repeat all this there. Sorry it is in the wrong place but I suspect people that are in that thread will have seen it here.

I really have not liked anything I have heard on Ukraine from Canadian parties. It is a pity becuase there is no need for ignorance - this informaiton is widely available but people don't read up before they speak. The NDP is justifiably angry with Putin over human rights but judgement over matter like this do not have to be driven by other positions. I don't think my respect for the history of the region negates my feelings about human rights in any way. New Democrats would do well to see fewer absolutes at times. You don't have to always be about your "brand loyalty"

Being fair to those you disagree with most earns credibility and supports positions more than consistant opposition to the same people on every issue right or wrong.

cco

wage zombie wrote:

I don't know much about how the Ukrainian parliament works.  Nobody has really spelled it out for me.  So was the parliamentary vote part of standard parliamentary procedure?  Or was it an extraordinary measure?  Was it the same thing as Dion and Layton trying to form a coalition?  Or was it shadier than that?

Shadier.

The Ukrainian constitution changes regularly depending on which group's in power, but the extant constitution at the time said impeachment requires a 3/4 majority vote and a review by the Supreme Court. The deal Yanukovych briefly struck involved the restoration of the former constitution, which made it easier for parliament to remove the president. It also involved him staying on as leader. Either way, it hadn't been signed into law when parliament voted -- 328/450 (a 3/4 majority would be 338) -- to remove him immediately with no court trial.

The choice of successor was also legally shady -- under the constitution in force, it should've been the prime minister, not the speaker of parliament, who assumed the position.

The Ukrainian system isn't parliamentary like Canada's is. In all its permutations, it's semi-presidential. Parliament pretty clearly didn't have the power or sufficient votes to do what it did. Not that it seems to matter now.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

One issue that I think is worth getting clarity on is the question of Russian troops in Crimea, etc.

 

My understanding is that currently there are 16,000 of the allowable 25,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. These 16,000 were already there as part of the Russian Navy at Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet; this is an arrangement from the 1990's between Russia and Ukraine, for which Ukraine gets 1/2-3/4 $Billion and a huge discount on natural gas. It's a legally binding document as much ast the Yanqui agreement to have a base at Guantanamo in Cuba. Only the Yanquis don't pay the Cubans shit, AFAIK.

Are there more than that? AFAIK, all the "Western" media reports of a Russian "invasion" were making devious reference to these 16,000, with the usual file shots from another time or place (CNN, for example, used live shots from another part of Russia to convey the idea of troops "moving into Ukraine", etc. ) .

So, the question is, are there more than the 16,000? There are local so-called self-defence units in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and there are plenty of reports (Russian media) in which Ukrainian military authorities in these areas have sworn allegiance to Crimean authorites and not to the Kiev regime. I remind readers that the former is actually elected; this is important becuase it becomes a significant issue of negotiations and keeping the peace; with whom do negotiations take place? Who recognizes whom? and so on.

 

In any case, the question is: did Russian troops actually move into Ukraine at all? Is this a complete fabrication, or were there actually troops moved from Russia TO Ukraine?

 

Let's be clear: "Russia reserves the right to deploy troops in order to prevent bloodshed." So they will do it. But have they?

NDPP
NDPP

Cross Talk: Ukraine Divided (and vid)

http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/ukraine-divided-crimea-media-894/

"How is Crimea covered in Western media? How can US policy in Ukraine by described? Does Russia use the 'Responsibility to protect' doctrine in Ukraine? And is Ukraine destined to be divided?

Cross Talking with Stephen Zunes, Eric Draitser and John Laughland

NDPP

Ukraine: US, NATO, EU Want Nuland's Neo-Nazi Thugs in Power - Prof Francis Boyle

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_05/Ukraine-US-NATO-EU-want-Nulands-neo-...

"..We very well might see these neo-nazi thugs in Kiev invite NATO troops to enter Western Ukraine to allegedly defend them in Kiev, and at that point Ukraine, at least Western Ukraine, will become a de-facto member of NATO which has been their objective all along.

So it is an extremely dangerous situation. I think this is being orchestrated, they already have two US warships in the Black Sea that they prepositioned before the Olympics and a third one is on its way.

So it is clear, their attitude is 'we stole Kiev and western Ukraine and we are going to keep it no matter what.."

 

Ukraine Lawmakers Introduce Bill on Joining NATO

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/03/05/353374/ukraine-mps-launch-bill-...

"A group of Ukrainian lawmakers have introduced a bill to the parliament aimed at forcing the country into joining NATO. The draft bill was introduced on Wednesday by the pro-West Fatherland Party, which is led by released ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko..."

 

'Cold War Sterotypes Russia Condemns NATO Plan to Strengthen Cooperation with Ukraine

http://rt.com/news/russia-nato-ukraine-cooperation-014/

"We will step up our engagement with the Ukrainian civilian and military leadership. We will strengthen our efforts to build the capacity of the Ukrainian military, including more joint training and exercises. And we will do more to include Ukraine in our multinational projects to develop capabilities,' Rasmussen clarified.

'Tomorrow, I will meet the prime minister of Ukraine to make clear NATO's support,' he stated..."

 

NDPP

Chronology of the Ukrainian Coup  -  by Renee Parsons

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/chronology-of-the-ukrainian-coup/

"Let's be clear about what is at stake here: NATO missiles on the adjacent Ukraine border aimed directly at Russia..."

josh

Crimean parliament votes to hold referendum to join Russian federation.

http://m.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26465962#TWEET1063745

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