Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Aneristic Illusions => Topic started by: Random Probability on January 23, 2014, 12:35:09 am

Title: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on January 23, 2014, 12:35:09 am
Lots of fun and games going on in Ukraine.  I'm not sure how much is on Prime Time (since I don't have TV), but things are starting to get really interesting.

For instance, take this new development (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/ukraine-introduces-draconian-new-laws-and-begins-monitoring-messaging-protesters-mobile-phones/story-fni0xs61-1226808357575).

A few highlights:
Quote
PROTESTERS were massing when, suddenly, thousands of cell-phones chimed in unison: "Dear subscriber … you are a participant in a mass disturbance". It's real. It just happened in Ukraine.


Among the draconian measures introduced this week are:
-Participating in "mass disruptions" will incur 10-15 years imprisonment

-You can be convicted by a court in absentia

-MPs can be arrested during sessions of parliament

-It is forbidden to drive a car in a column larger than five vehicles long.

-It is illegal to set up an unauthorised sound system

-You will be jailed for 15 days if you put up a tent

-Distributing "extremist opinion" will attract a three-year jail term

-Group violation of public orders will land you in the cooler for two years

-The government can disable the internet at will

-Many are interpreting the moves as a deliberate attempt to incite unrest in order to invoke even more extreme legislation.

The opposition leader looks like he knows his days are numbered.
Quote
``Tomorrow we will go forward together,'' Yatsenyuk told a crowd of tens of thousands of demonstrators. ``And if it's a bullet in the forehead, then it's a bullet in the forehead, but in an honest, fair and brave way.''

After a comment like that, though, I doubt he'll be shot, which is probably why Yanukovych added that bit about arresting MPs.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on January 23, 2014, 01:47:08 am
I just started paying attention to this today.  It's fucking grim.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Lenin McCarthy on January 23, 2014, 02:00:53 am
Wow. That mass SMS is creepy stuff.

The posts (and further links) in this thread (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,35968.0.html)
are probably helpful.





Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: outoftheloop on January 23, 2014, 05:23:29 am
live stream from the barricade http://www.ustream.tv/channel/live-action-spilno-tv

4chan thread with good info http://boards.4chan.org/pol/res/25673143
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on January 23, 2014, 05:53:31 am
This is disgusting, and I fully expect Anonymous or some such bunch of Internet hooligans to devise ways to foil and evade technology that allows this kind of shit to happen. If they don't, they'll be proving their uselessness to the resistance.

And not that this applies directly to Ukraine, but I have become convinced that in addition to having what amounts to tribute/serf states and pools of slave labor, one of the main reasons the US tends to prop up awful regimes throughout the world is to field-test theories and practices in the most effective way to implement absolute rule.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Left on January 23, 2014, 08:05:12 am
...one of the main reasons the US tends to prop up awful regimes throughout the world is to field-test theories and practices in the most effective way to implement absolute rule.

That's a disturbing thought.
I figured it was just that resources, human and otherwise, are easier to extract cheaply with corrupt bastards in power; and that it didn't go farther than that...
 Until now... :eek:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 23, 2014, 08:54:06 am
The protests have been bubbling for a while and have been getting increasingly nasty. From what I gather, everyone involved in them seems to understand that the EU's not exactly perfect and neither is Russia, but more would rather be in be with Merkel than Putin.

By "getting nasty", I'm told that it's been a favourite trick of the protesters to spray cops with water. Which may not sound serious but when it's freezing outside....

The main plus side I can see to all this is a lot of people will now have an incentive to create a communications system somehow separate from current existing infrastructures.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 23, 2014, 09:44:04 am
The majority of people may want to be in the EU, but the majority of people also disagree (http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/01/19/yanukovych-is-courting-disaster-in-ukraine/) with the protests:

Quote
Polling from late December shows that while 43% of Ukrainians do want to join the European Union now (13 points higher than any other option), fully 50% of Ukrainians do not support the Kiev protests. That latter statistic marks a turnaround in Ukraine’s tolerance for the protest—only weeks prior a majority had supported them. More significantly, only 31% of Ukrainians believe that the outcome of the protests will be positive for Ukraine.

Today’s violent protests may only strengthen ordinary Ukrainians’ desire to see an end to the bedlam. Many are only too happy to trade freedoms that they rarely use for peace and quiet. Cognizant that, in a nation where stability sells, events like today’s do not acquit the opposition forces well, the movement’s leaders have called on protestors to refrain from violence. They warn that many of the angry young men in the street are provocateurs paid by Yanukovych’s party to create chaos and turn the tide of public opinion fully against the protest movement.

But many of the protest movement are also aligned with Ukraine's nationalist/fascist parties, who are not exactly shy about using violence or their aim to topple the regime either.  And given the previous role of the CIA in sponsoring mass civil disobedience in Ukraine, it is not entirely unlikely that elements within the CIA or another western intelligence agency (BND, MI6) are helping support these protests.

When a regime's back is against the wall, they'll do stupid shit.  This isn't news.  In fact, it's probably being counted on.

The problem is, if Ukraine moves into the EU sphere of influence, it cannot be kept there.  The demographics and geography of the country wont allow it, and Russian intransigence means Ukraine will be an economic basket case.  Of course, admitting that means admitting limits on European and American power and influence, which is almost heresy in those respective governments.

Supporting these protests, while it may be done with the most noble of intentions, is pretty irresponsible.  Nothing done in Ukraine will change Russia's views, and it's their opinion that matters.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on January 23, 2014, 12:13:31 pm
By "getting nasty", I'm told that it's been a favourite trick of the protesters to spray cops with water. Which may not sound serious but when it's freezing outside....
It still isn't if the cops just go home to put on dry clothes, or go inside somewhere. It is a perfectly peaceful way of breaking a blockade. If their bosses decide to fire them for protecting their own health by going somewhere warmer then the bosses are dicks.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 23, 2014, 12:55:21 pm
Let me make this perfectly clear - I think the use of water by protesters is clever and ballsy as hell. The water cannon has been a riot control favourite for many years and the whole use against police is covered in delicious irony.

That said, being piss wet through in freezing conditions can become deadly quickly. And we all know how police react to any injury on their side. You're not going to get the police on your side if you actually harm them.

I've been thinking a little more about the technology mentioned at the start of the thread. I assume it's already easy enough to pull of something similar in other nations. Got a horrible feeling we will see more of this kind of thing soon. Greece, maybe? I would have considered Egypt as a potential adopter but I'm not sure if the tech is able to distinguish between loyal activists and evil protesters. As a lot of demonstrations usually have an opposing demo going on nearby, it could be quite amusing to see pro-X supporters being told that they're attending a mass disruption and must now go to jail. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: outoftheloop on January 23, 2014, 02:02:47 pm
Orwellian texts, a wall of fire, broadcated live on the Internet, slogans projected on the wall by lasers - this world is getting more cyberpunk by the minute.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on January 23, 2014, 02:11:29 pm
Let me make this perfectly clear - I think the use of water by protesters is clever and ballsy as hell. The water cannon has been a riot control favourite for many years and the whole use against police is covered in delicious irony.

That said, being piss wet through in freezing conditions can become deadly quickly. And we all know how police react to any injury on their side. You're not going to get the police on your side if you actually harm them.

If the police are hitting you in the head with clubs and/or shooting at you, they are not on your side.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 23, 2014, 02:29:20 pm
That's a given. That said, Police having any of their own injured or killed seems to lead to bad shit for everyone who isn't a police officer. I bet a decent part of the populations problem with the protests is that they're uninvolved/uncaring and still have to put up with a lot of shit in the aftermath.

Bad times off the starboard bow.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 23, 2014, 02:34:51 pm
I heard from a native Russian speaking acquaintance of mine that the riot police had been ordered not to fight back.

Which of course leads to a situation of either riot police standing their ground and taking a drubbing from violent protestors, or else riot police deciding to ignore their orders and pre-empt any would-be attackers.

Those orders, if that is in fact the case (the friend in question is something of a Slavophile/Eurasianist) could be part of the government's outrreach to protestors, with the Prime Minister stating he is willing to negotiate and compromise.  Taking a lighter hand and letting the protestors discredit themselves is not an entirely terrible tactic.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 23, 2014, 02:43:49 pm
It also allows you to push further extreme measures when you take the magnanimous stance. An empty police vehicle left in the middle of the protest zone will get burnt out sooner or later and serves to mainly to justify exactly these types of controls. It isn't unheard of for certain London forces to leave their older vehicles empty in the middle of a kettle. It's a good move. Not only do you get to discredit the protest, you can claim on the insurance for a brand new vehicle.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on January 23, 2014, 06:33:57 pm
I've been thinking a little more about the technology mentioned at the start of the thread. I assume it's already easy enough to pull of something similar in other nations. Got a horrible feeling we will see more of this kind of thing soon. Greece, maybe? I would have considered Egypt as a potential adopter but I'm not sure if the tech is able to distinguish between loyal activists and evil protesters. As a lot of demonstrations usually have an opposing demo going on nearby, it could be quite amusing to see pro-X supporters being told that they're attending a mass disruption and must now go to jail.

It should be noted that every country has this capability currently.  It's child's play to monitor a cell tower and identify every phone registered through it.  Meta data such as the time the phones registered on the tower, signal strength, and GPS location will readily identify individuals in Group A or Group B.  For bonus points you can do traffic analysis on, say, Group A and discover exactly who the ring leaders are and who are just hangers-on.  That way you don't clog up court time trying to put everyone on trial.  Bash the casual supports with fines which can't be fought and throw the leaders in the clink.  Problems tend to go away that way.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 26, 2014, 01:20:55 pm
Opposition have turned down (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25900267) significant concessions, including the post of PM for Arseniy Yatsenyuk and deputy PM to Vitali Klitschko.

They really think they can go all the way. 

Quote
But the BBC's David Stern, in Kiev, says the opposition - confident in its position - appears to have taken these offers as a sign of weakness on Mr Yanukovych's part, and is forging ahead with the campaign to unseat him.

I hope they realize they're taking massive risks in doing so.

Although I am warming to the idea of a revolution in Ukraine, if only because I may have made some enemies among the ruling elite there.  At the very least, I got their children expelled from the UK and facing criminal charges....
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on January 26, 2014, 07:23:02 pm
I've been following J Fox Circe's coverage on FB. Cain, any odds on 'western' covert action to instigate or accelerate the Ukraine situation (as kickback for Russia throwing a stick into the bike wheels in Syria)? Just a random though my roommate had...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 26, 2014, 07:31:50 pm
Probably.  I haven't seen anything overt, but given the work that went into the Orange Revolution, I'm sure there are still assets from those time involving themselves in current activities.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on January 26, 2014, 07:40:46 pm
Huh, well good to know we didn't have such a crazy idea then.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 26, 2014, 07:45:54 pm
The Guardian's reporting on the Orange Revolution as it happened is pretty instructive.  It wouldn't be unfair to notice that Yulia Tymoshenko was the designated (hand-chosen?) leader of the revolution, and would probably be at the head of this one as well, if she were not already in jail.  In fact, I suspect one of the reasons the opposition refused the government deal was because Tymoshenko wouldn't be part of the government, and while Klitschko certainly has all the right politics, he doesn't have the kind of blat Yulia brings to the table, which could be used to move the country to a pro-EU position while not overly antagonising an obviously suspicious Russia.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 27, 2014, 10:32:55 am
Shit continues:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25908643

Quote
Ukraine's justice minister has warned anti-government protesters occupying her ministry she will call for a state of emergency if they do not leave.

Olena Lukash told local media she would ask the National Security and Defence Council to introduce the measures.

Protesters seized the building in Kiev late on Sunday and set up barricades outside with bags of snow.

Unrest is spreading across Ukraine, with activists taking over municipal buildings in up to 10 cities.

Buildings have come under attack even in eastern areas which have traditionally had closer ties with Russia and where President Viktor Yanukovych has enjoyed strong support.

Quote
But Ms Lukash told Inter TV channel: "If the protesters do not leave the justice ministry building... I will ask the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to impose the state of emergency."

She said water had been sprayed inside the building, "turning it into a veritable ice rink".

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/72538000/jpg/_72538277_68d4a441-d704-443f-8792-3eb6c73f0822.jpg)

I'm starting to really admire this use of water in protesting.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 27, 2014, 11:03:56 am
The Crimean regional parliament is demanding that the President crack down hard on protestors, and has expressed servere displeasure at the negotiations thus far.

Chances of this putsch attempt turning into civil war - slowly rising.  I'm starting to think Yulia Tymoshenko needs to out of jail, she's possibly the only unifying figure who can appeal to the east and west of the country.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 27, 2014, 11:50:28 am
I can't see that happening quickly though, if indeed at all. The other thing is whether she will actually be able to unite east/west. I'm guessing not before getting shot.

Which, subsequently, may turn out to be a unifying event. A long and happy life is probably not on the cards.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 28, 2014, 08:47:46 am
Azarov offering to resign now. I doubt it's nearly over though.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 28, 2014, 09:06:39 am
They already offered everything but the Presidency.

I don't know how legit this news site is (http://www.regnum.ru/news/fd-abroad/polit/1759091.html), but apparently the city of Sevastopol is threatening to break away from Ukraine and set up a ""Federal State of Ruthenia/Core-Russia".

My Ukrainian source also informs me there are rumours that nationalists have seized weapon depots.  Just rumours right now.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on January 28, 2014, 09:15:50 am
It wouldn't shock me if they happened to be true. Nationalists tend to have a bit of thing for any kind of weapons.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on January 28, 2014, 05:02:29 pm
So what are the odds that Putin's folks are leading some of these "nationalist" groups seizing weapons?

I want to say it's our folks priming the pump, but the current administrations in the West (I'm looking at Obama) have trouble even finding Ukraine on a map, let alone being pro-active enough to accomplish anything useful (such as arming insurgents for the coming civil war).

Any clue how the permanent folks in the community are working this?  Events are progressing at an accelerated rate now, and that says there is a plan behind it.  Grassroots protests peter out too quickly for this to be a purely self organized event.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on January 28, 2014, 06:50:16 pm
Obama doesn't need to find it on a map.  He has people for that.  Besides, the CIA and Freedom House and all the rest were there a decade ago, stirring it up.  And John McCain has been seen palling around with the head of the largest Neo-Nazi party in Ukraine.  As in, within the last month.  Talking about "freedom", hilariously.

And the Ukranian skinheads hate Russia.  It's a cultural thing.  The west is more inclined towards Poland, their history is one of anticommunism and resistance to Russian rule.  The east is aligned with Russia culturally...their history is one of resisting rampaging Wehrmacht units.  All the skinhead heroes earnt their dubious positions of "honour" by slaughtering Russians and Communists by the hundreds.

Plus the people who back the current President are, at least in some cases, related to Putin.  Viktor Medvedchuk, for example.  If the Russians were behind it, the Neo-Nazis would still be present, probably, but they'd be much weaker.  As things stand, they're the tip of the spear for the opposition forces, and they threaten to get really out of hand.   Putin can be accused of many things, but he's not as stupid as we are.  He doesn't arm tomorrow's enemies today, not to this extent anyway.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on January 29, 2014, 04:25:17 pm
I actually mean it was Obama's people who couldn't find it on a map, but that's splitting hairs.

I was viewing the arming of insurgents as a first step in rooting out the opposition.  A bit along the lines of "the tallest nail gets hammered" principle.  If pro-Russia provocateurs can't make any headway against the tide of pro-West provocateurs, it would make sense to come down on them like the wrath of Beardy McCloud.  You know, as an example to others.

But that was just a passing thought.  My knowledge of Russian thought processes is limited to things like that business in Lebanon in the 80's, and the way they deal with Chechen wackos.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 03, 2014, 10:02:06 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26012340

Quote
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is to return to work on Monday after four days of illness, with protesters still demanding he give up power.

The political crisis has continued unabated in his absence, with thousands on the streets of the capital, Kiev.

The EU and US are considering a big loan to help debt-laden Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The aid package would be conditional on Kiev embracing "real reform and a real transition", a US official said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton discussed the possible lifeline for Ukraine at a security conference in Munich at the weekend.

Russia, engaged in diplomatic rivalry with the EU over Ukraine, last week said it was delaying the next instalment of a $15bn (£9bn) aid package.

Quote
Meanwhile, the severely injured Ukrainian opposition leader Dmytro Bulatov has arrived in Lithuania for medical treatment.

Mr Bulatov appeared on TV last week saying he had been abducted and tortured.

Quote
Mr Bulatov arrived in Vilnius in the early hours of Monday morning and was immediately taken to hospital, the Baltic News Service reports.

Lithuania has promised to treat any protesters injured in the crisis.

He went missing on 22 January and re-emerged eight days later on the outskirts of Kiev.

He appeared on TV with a gash on his face and part of his ear cut off. He said he had been held and beaten for eight days.

Quote
Mr Bulatov was a leader of a group called AutoMaidan, made up mainly of drivers who would protect the protest camps and blockade streets.

He told the media he had been "crucified" by his abductors, whom he could not identify other than to say they had Russian accents.

Totally surprising and unexpected, right?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 03, 2014, 10:15:06 am
Russian sounding.  Uh-huh.  Because Ukraine certainly doesn't have any people bright enough to figure out to torture someone or experienced enough in their own FSB.  I mean, beating someone up is a complex skill set, not just any thug could do it.  No wonder they needed to go find outside help, Russian help to torture the guy.

Yeah, I'm just slightly suspicious.  Russia doesn't need to do anything, here.  The economic sanctions mean whoever is in charge in Kiev, they will have to pivot themselves due Moscow or else they'll be out of power, because what's left of the Ukranian economy will crumble.

If Russia is acting anywhere, it will be in the Crimea, to protect it's fleet.  Interestingly enough, the Crimean regional government and Sevastapol have come to an arrangement to create civilian militias should the government in Kiev fall.  So that's already taken care of.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 03, 2014, 10:22:40 am
The "Russian sounding" thing stinks all over. The Crimean angle is new to me, I'll have to dig into that more. Civilian militias can cause all sorts of fun, so it's handy to know about it now. I'm guessing if Putin doesn't get what he wants then these people will become "difficult"?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 03, 2014, 10:35:02 am
The Crimea was, briefly, an independent republic, and still has significant amount of freedom within the Ukranian political system.  It's also the richest part of Ukraine, and benefits significantly from trade with Russia, as well as the presence of the Ukranian and Russian Black Sea fleets.

As far as I can see, that would satisfy Russia's major geopolitical needs in the region.  Obviously it would rather Kiev were not a basket case, but the Black Sea Fleet is secure, and trade will continue.  The west is dragging down the east in economic performance, the Crimea in particular, so there are likely benefits to succession, as Putin can them palm off the basket case provinces to the EU. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 07, 2014, 10:19:59 am
Because it's just not a news story until there's an embarrasing US leak:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26072281

Quote
An apparently bugged phone conversation in which a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been posted online.

A voice resembling that of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland refers to the EU using a graphic swear word, in a conversation apparently with the US ambassador to Ukraine.

The US said Ms Nuland had "apologised for these reported comments".

Quote
he alleged conversation between Ms Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, appeared on YouTube on Thursday.

The 4min 10sec video was entitled "Maidan's puppets" in Russian - a reference to the square in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, where pro-EU protests have been held for months. A transcription of the whole conversation was also posted in Russian.

At one point, the female speaker mentions the UN and its possible role in trying to find a solution to the Ukraine stand-off.

She says: "So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the UN help glue it and you know..." she then uses the graphic swear word about the EU.

Quote
US officials refused to confirm or deny the tape's authenticity, but state department spokeswoman Jan Psaki said: "I didn't say it was inauthentic."

Quote
Earlier on Thursday, a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs.

Sergei Glazyev said the US was spending $20m (£12.3m; 14.8m euros) a week on Ukrainian opposition groups, supplying "rebels" with arms among other things.

While the last part may be bullshit, it's not in the realms of the unknown for either side. If there is this kind of level of arms moving into the country the chances of them ending up with less than responsible people are rather high.

More fun ahoy then.

ETA - Fixed idiot mistake.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 07, 2014, 10:32:29 am
The funny thing it is in the best national interest that Ukraine is stable, which neither the EU or Russia are contributing towards.

Of course, the US record in realising and acting on their own best interest is fairly poor.  To put it mildly.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 07, 2014, 10:43:49 am
That's the understatement of the day.

I can only assume that there's more money to be made from an unstable Ukraine than a stable one. At least in the short/medium term. Long term? Who gives a fuck. Someone else in power by that point so it's no big deal.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 19, 2014, 08:54:13 am
This shit just isn't stopping:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26252679

Quote
In a statement, the health ministry said on Wednesday the number of dead on both sides had risen to 25. Nine of those killed were police, the interior ministry says. A journalist has also died.

Hundreds of people have been treated in hospital for injuries and there are fears the number of deaths could rise still further.

Quote
In a statement on Wednesday morning, President Yanukovych said: "The opposition leaders have disregarded the principle of democracy according to which one obtains power not on the streets or maidans - but through elections."

"They have crossed the line by calling for people to take up arms," he said, warning that those responsible for violence would face the law.

But the president added that there was a "better and more effective way" to solve the crisis - through dialogue and compromise.

Not looking better any time soon.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 19, 2014, 09:28:35 am
They tried storming parliament.  While it was debating provisions to return to the 2004 constitution.  Which opposition groups had been pressing for.

It's getting entirely out of control over there.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 19, 2014, 10:07:45 am
Police are now using water cannons which can only crank up the death/injured rate. With the arms factor this could get very ugly, very quickly.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 19, 2014, 11:53:00 am
Given nine police officers were shot and killed, I suppose we should count ourselves lucky they haven't started shooting people dead in the streets.

I mean, the Met wouldn't show that kind of restraint.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 19, 2014, 12:50:19 pm
True. I'd wager good money that anyone arrested in the foreseeable future learns exactly how many hidden stairs are in police stations though.

Which adds the "protestor killed in custody" angle sooner or later. At this rate probably by the weekend.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 19, 2014, 05:14:03 pm
I actually doubt it. Tortured while in custody, sure, but actually killed...far less likely.

Meanwhile, John McCain is making some kind of big deal about how Ukraine's crackdown on protestors comes just as Ukraine gets financial aid from Russia.  McCain doesnt mention, for some reason, that protestors tried to storm parliament after receiving funds from Neocons and German conservatives (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/17/us-eu-paying-ukrainian-rioters-protesters-paul-craig-roberts/).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 19, 2014, 11:40:55 pm
Well apparently a truce is agreed with the toll standing at "at least 26". Will be interesting to see how long it holds for.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 20, 2014, 09:45:04 pm
Everything just went in the shitter.  At least 70 more dead.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 20, 2014, 10:35:43 pm
That's an understatement:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26280710

Quote
Ukraine's health ministry says 75 people have now died and 571 have been injured in violence since Tuesday.

At least 21 protesters were killed by security forces in Kiev on Thursday following the breakdown of a truce the previous day.

Several dead bodies of protesters killed on Thursday were brought to Independence Square, the focal point of the protests, the BBC's Duncan Crawford in Kiev reports.

Assembled crowds shouted "martyrs!" and "heroes!", with some protesters in tears, our correspondent adds.

Witnesses have told the BBC that some of those killed on Thursday died as a result of single gunshot wounds, typical of sniper fire.

Video footage has emerged apparently showing snipers firing on demonstrators who had been trying to retake their protest camp in Independence Square.

The authorities said that one policeman had died and that 67 police had been captured by protesters.

Officials said more than 20 policemen had also been injured.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 20, 2014, 10:37:35 pm
Well apparently a truce is agreed with the toll standing at "at least 26". Will be interesting to see how long it holds for.

The answer appears to be "Much less than 24 hours".
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on February 20, 2014, 10:51:27 pm
These are interesting times!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on February 21, 2014, 09:55:11 am

The authorities said that one policeman had died and that 67 police had been captured by protesters.


Police Control. Kinda like the inverse of Crowd Control. Something I suspect we'll all benefit from learning a bit of in the near future. I got a kick out of the cops entrenched in a schiltrom of riot sheilds. Effectively neutralised. Also interesting was the "scalped" riot shields a lot of the protesters were seen using. Heavily armed only works when you can keep a hold of the heavy arms  :wink:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 21, 2014, 05:30:02 pm

The authorities said that one policeman had died and that 67 police had been captured by protesters.


Police Control. Kinda like the inverse of Crowd Control. Something I suspect we'll all benefit from learning a bit of in the near future. I got a kick out of the cops entrenched in a schiltrom of riot sheilds. Effectively neutralised. Also interesting was the "scalped" riot shields a lot of the protesters were seen using. Heavily armed only works when you can keep a hold of the heavy arms  :wink:

More to the point:  Police are a tiny minority, no matter how well armed.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on February 21, 2014, 06:51:50 pm
Yeah but tactics, training and kit can and does go a long way to addressing the balance. I'm trying to think of something new. A distributed viral tactical implementation. Something along the lines of an app or even a meme that takes advantage of swarm or flocking dynamics of undisciplined mobs and directs it without a chain of command.

There's a couple of things that would really help give the good guys a leg up. Dividing and isolating the opposition , requisitioning the weapons, deploying non combatant units for maximum effect. I'll admit the whole concept is still pretty woolly but it's one I think is worth working on. The kind of behaviour I'm talking about is demonstrated by starlings, fish or ants. I don't think it's a complex ruleset.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 21, 2014, 07:42:06 pm
Yeah but tactics, training and kit can and does go a long way to addressing the balance. I'm trying to think of something new.

It seems to be working there.  No fear of police = no police, practically speaking.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 21, 2014, 07:42:54 pm
A distributed viral tactical implementation.
This is a really cool concept I've been thinking about recently as well...hard as fuck to make it concrete though.
Quote
Something along the lines of an app or even a meme that takes advantage of swarm or flocking dynamics of undisciplined mobs and directs it without a chain of command.

Infographics...basically, you draft up an info graphic on, say, first aid or small unit tactics or how to operate an AK-74 or whatever. You load it with ideological sloagans and weasally language (i.e. describe a grenade as a "fascist thumper" or whatever...) that support the political aim of your campaign and then boom: if the info is useful, you now have people who subtly are effected by your strategic aims being trained in your SOP for running an operation.

I will say this though: you mention swarm/flock dynamics and all that jazz. This may be fine and dandy for a non-lethal protest movement, but once you get an enemy who's using live ammo and firing on non-coms and medics...yeah, not a fucking protest anymore. I'd suggest coming up with a way to make fire and maneuvre tactics a reality in that situation -- just charging at a formation hoping to breach their lines is gonna end up with a bunch of dead friendlies.



Quote
The kind of behaviour I'm talking about is demonstrated by starlings, fish or ants. I don't think it's a complex ruleset.

Fish, ants and starlings don't have to deal with small arms fire...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on February 21, 2014, 07:48:01 pm
The Portland Occupy folks had some serious success with a "bike mob". Kept the police out of an occupied city park for 2 days & nights by having a swarm of bikes ride constantly around the perimeter.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on February 21, 2014, 08:31:42 pm
That only works when the police aren't willing to bring in the water cannons.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 21, 2014, 09:20:24 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 21, 2014, 09:36:39 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on February 21, 2014, 09:42:50 pm
That only works when the police aren't willing to bring in the water cannons.

True. The occupy folks were definitely banking on any media attention being in their favor, and because the bike mob was technically NOT "loitering" it was very hard for the police authorities on the ground to find something to charge the bike people with. If the water cannons have already been deployed (or if harming a bunch of "law abiding cyclists" would not get media attention), this isn't a good tactic.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 21, 2014, 10:42:49 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 21, 2014, 10:52:31 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?

well, the fuck else are you really gonna do?
you COULD go try to send guys to occupy all of the decent/likely sniper spots in the area...but that'd imply you have the man power AND know what those spots would be (i.e. you have someone with you who's trained in sniper tactics)
You could also engage in counter-sniping...but again, this requires someone well-versed in sniper tactics.

so yeah, I'd say that if you're really on about whatever it is your band of people are doing, burn some tires and run like fuck and use cover/concealment when you're in more open areas...

sucks, but it is what it is...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on February 21, 2014, 11:13:53 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?

well, the fuck else are you really gonna do?
you COULD go try to send guys to occupy all of the decent/likely sniper spots in the area...but that'd imply you have the man power AND know what those spots would be (i.e. you have someone with you who's trained in sniper tactics)
You could also engage in counter-sniping...but again, this requires someone well-versed in sniper tactics.

so yeah, I'd say that if you're really on about whatever it is your band of people are doing, burn some tires and run like fuck and use cover/concealment when you're in more open areas...

sucks, but it is what it is...
It seems your tactics always include escalation of violence. Might I just point out that that is not wise if you do not have superior force?
You want to de-escalate. Put a flower in a gunbarrel, tell a police officer you love them, share your cookies with them, talk about how overtime sucks no matter where you work, that sort of thing.
Hell, ask a cute cop out if you feel like it.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 21, 2014, 11:38:02 pm
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?

well, the fuck else are you really gonna do?
you COULD go try to send guys to occupy all of the decent/likely sniper spots in the area...but that'd imply you have the man power AND know what those spots would be (i.e. you have someone with you who's trained in sniper tactics)
You could also engage in counter-sniping...but again, this requires someone well-versed in sniper tactics.

so yeah, I'd say that if you're really on about whatever it is your band of people are doing, burn some tires and run like fuck and use cover/concealment when you're in more open areas...

sucks, but it is what it is...
It seems your tactics always include escalation of violence. Might I just point out that that is not wise if you do not have superior force?
You want to de-escalate. Put a flower in a gunbarrel, tell a police officer you love them, share your cookies with them, talk about how overtime sucks no matter where you work, that sort of thing.
Hell, ask a cute cop out if you feel like it.

I get the angle you're coming from, but in this ukraine scenario, wherein there are snipers picking off unarmed individuals (including medics), police intentionally baiting protestors into maneuvring into line-of-fire for snipers, and rioters who are openly firebombing troop transports, I don't see much room for de-escalation other than packing up your shit and going home. With the fact that there are attacks on unarmed protestors with live fire, hell, "escalation" in this scenario appears to me to be simple self-defense from a police force that's gone overboard.

meh, either way, all I can say is this whole thing is grade-A shitty...as things stand, although I'd love for otherwise, I really can't see any good outcome to what's going on in this whole thing.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on February 22, 2014, 11:00:45 am
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?

well, the fuck else are you really gonna do?
you COULD go try to send guys to occupy all of the decent/likely sniper spots in the area...but that'd imply you have the man power AND know what those spots would be (i.e. you have someone with you who's trained in sniper tactics)
You could also engage in counter-sniping...but again, this requires someone well-versed in sniper tactics.

so yeah, I'd say that if you're really on about whatever it is your band of people are doing, burn some tires and run like fuck and use cover/concealment when you're in more open areas...

sucks, but it is what it is...
It seems your tactics always include escalation of violence. Might I just point out that that is not wise if you do not have superior force?
You want to de-escalate. Put a flower in a gunbarrel, tell a police officer you love them, share your cookies with them, talk about how overtime sucks no matter where you work, that sort of thing.
Hell, ask a cute cop out if you feel like it.

I get the angle you're coming from, but in this ukraine scenario, wherein there are snipers picking off unarmed individuals (including medics), police intentionally baiting protestors into maneuvring into line-of-fire for snipers, and rioters who are openly firebombing troop transports, I don't see much room for de-escalation other than packing up your shit and going home. With the fact that there are attacks on unarmed protestors with live fire, hell, "escalation" in this scenario appears to me to be simple self-defense from a police force that's gone overboard.

meh, either way, all I can say is this whole thing is grade-A shitty...as things stand, although I'd love for otherwise, I really can't see any good outcome to what's going on in this whole thing.
Good point about the details of this specific situation.
I agree with teh bolded.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on February 22, 2014, 11:13:40 am
And fuck all works against snipers.

dense smoke screens...

Feeling lucky?

well, the fuck else are you really gonna do?
you COULD go try to send guys to occupy all of the decent/likely sniper spots in the area...but that'd imply you have the man power AND know what those spots would be (i.e. you have someone with you who's trained in sniper tactics)
You could also engage in counter-sniping...but again, this requires someone well-versed in sniper tactics.

so yeah, I'd say that if you're really on about whatever it is your band of people are doing, burn some tires and run like fuck and use cover/concealment when you're in more open areas...

sucks, but it is what it is...
It seems your tactics always include escalation of violence. Might I just point out that that is not wise if you do not have superior force?
You want to de-escalate. Put a flower in a gunbarrel, tell a police officer you love them, share your cookies with them, talk about how overtime sucks no matter where you work, that sort of thing.
Hell, ask a cute cop out if you feel like it.

The dippy hippy shit I can do without but you have got me thinking about how best a crowd can exercise authority in a given situation. Taunting and threatening, however common, seems to make shit messy. If you're protesting about something the mission is not to impose your message on the police.

I've seen all sorts of police abuse of power in the real world and in the media but I've also seen good examples of how the police deal assertively with a legitimate asshole. If a crowd understood that their job was the same as the police - ie to defuse a potential public order situation. It's a localised democracy. The police are minority agitators. I'm imagining a crowd of thousands encircling a couple of hundred police, in isolated groups, all acting in the kind of politely assertive manner we'd like to think our protectors should act.

Lead by example.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2014, 02:22:23 pm
Looks like the President is in an "undisclosed location" for the time being.

I am sure I hear the distinct sound of champagne corks popping in the White House and State Department...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2014, 03:36:55 pm
Interestingly, reports of sniper fire killing police officers were reported, hours before the Ukranian government snipers were deployed.

I know every idiot with an Xbox thinks they could be an elite sniper, but that's a pretty specialised skill set.  I mean, you have to account for distance, weight, trajectory and wind when making shots...and with the snow, ice and occasional riot-influenced fire in Kiev at the moment, a clear line of sight is hardly guaranteed either.  It also takes a certain kind of person, mentally, to be able to kill someone not posing a direct threat to them.

So the question is, where did these snipers come from?

I mean, I see two likely explanations, though they are mutually contradictory.  Explanation one is a false-flag.  Elements within Ukranian security simulated an attack on riot police in order to justify deploying counter-sniper teams, who then opened fire on protestors.

Explanation two is more worrying.  I am coming around to the belief that Ukranian fascists did manage to loot military depots.  The Ukranian Army deployed troops away from the capital to protect these depots at a sensitive time, and undertook a large counter-terrorism operation aimed at securing airports and airlines, rather than at the protestors.

That would explain how they got possession of the arms.  The other question is how they were trained in their use, and by who?  Obvious suspicion falls on the US...but I don't believe even US intelligence would be that stupid.  If they were involved, it would be via a cut-out...only one is not springing to mind.

There's also an alternative version to explanation one.  The leadership of the Ukranian security services has been utterly abysmal during this crisis.  The riot police, for example, were instructed to only use hoses, riot shields and flash-bang grenades to defend themselves, even as they were having molotov cocktails and handguns used against them.  It's been bad enough that I believe there is reason to suspect someone sympathetic to the protestors or to their international backers within a position of influence in the Ukranian security structure.  Thus the sniper attacks were designed not only to justify the deployment of the counter-sniper teams, but they were then used to target innocent protestors in order to justify the violent wing of the anti-government forces.

Admittedly, that's a convoluted way to approach such things.  But it would explain a lot.  The protestors, even the non-violent ones, are no longer listening to the liberal parties in the Ukranian parliament who initially supported them.  In fact, their activities around Parliament in the past couple of days helped derail political attempts at a settlement.  The nature of the mob is that it is stupid and prone to irrational action...but that can also give cover to those who nudge the mob in key directions at key moments.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2014, 04:34:06 pm
Heh, paleoconservative and Ron Paul sites have been found to be taking money from the Ukranian government in return for talking points.  I am Cain's complete and utter lack of surprise, not only that offers were made, but were also accepted.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2014, 04:41:26 pm
Yanukoych outsted.  Yulia Tymoshenko has been released from custody, and is currently on her way to Kiev.  Presidential elections are set for May 25th.

Parliament seem to be taking charge at the moment, which is probably a good thing.  If they act like they're in charge in the absence of Yanukoych, more people will be inclined to accept it.  Transfer of the security services to parliamentary control was achieved yesterday.

It remains to be seen how the protestors, both the non-violent ones and the Right Sector/Svoboda linked ones respond.  I think Right Sector might actually hold off on doing something stupid, but stupid is pretty much Svoboda's guiding ideology, with low-rent fascism coming in a close second place.

Also remains to be seen is how Crimea and Kharkiv react.  If a civil war is to occur, the battle lines will be between the government in Kiev and those two regions.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 22, 2014, 06:20:26 pm
Interestingly, reports of sniper fire killing police officers were reported, hours before the Ukranian government snipers were deployed.

I know every idiot with an Xbox thinks they could be an elite sniper, but that's a pretty specialised skill set.  I mean, you have to account for distance, weight, trajectory and wind when making shots...and with the snow, ice and occasional riot-influenced fire in Kiev at the moment, a clear line of sight is hardly guaranteed either.  It also takes a certain kind of person, mentally, to be able to kill someone not posing a direct threat to them.

So the question is, where did these snipers come from?

I mean, I see two likely explanations, though they are mutually contradictory.  Explanation one is a false-flag.  Elements within Ukranian security simulated an attack on riot police in order to justify deploying counter-sniper teams, who then opened fire on protestors.

Explanation two is more worrying.  I am coming around to the belief that Ukranian fascists did manage to loot military depots.  The Ukranian Army deployed troops away from the capital to protect these depots at a sensitive time, and undertook a large counter-terrorism operation aimed at securing airports and airlines, rather than at the protestors.

That would explain how they got possession of the arms.  The other question is how they were trained in their use, and by who?  Obvious suspicion falls on the US...but I don't believe even US intelligence would be that stupid.  If they were involved, it would be via a cut-out...only one is not springing to mind.

There's also an alternative version to explanation one.  The leadership of the Ukranian security services has been utterly abysmal during this crisis.  The riot police, for example, were instructed to only use hoses, riot shields and flash-bang grenades to defend themselves, even as they were having molotov cocktails and handguns used against them.  It's been bad enough that I believe there is reason to suspect someone sympathetic to the protestors or to their international backers within a position of influence in the Ukranian security structure.  Thus the sniper attacks were designed not only to justify the deployment of the counter-sniper teams, but they were then used to target innocent protestors in order to justify the violent wing of the anti-government forces.

Admittedly, that's a convoluted way to approach such things.  But it would explain a lot.  The protestors, even the non-violent ones, are no longer listening to the liberal parties in the Ukranian parliament who initially supported them.  In fact, their activities around Parliament in the past couple of days helped derail political attempts at a settlement.  The nature of the mob is that it is stupid and prone to irrational action...but that can also give cover to those who nudge the mob in key directions at key moments.

I'll agree with you that sniping is indeed a specialised skill, but as for where the arms came from: ukraine does permit civil ownership of hunting arms.  There are images floating around of protestors with hunting rifles, shotguns, and even makarov and fort 12 handguns. (these latter arms are probably stolen, or otherwise illicit).

Although the techniques of sniping are indeed specialised, I would certainly say that some guy with a hunting rifle could certainly climb into a window and take pot-shots at the police. Naturally, his fire would be less effective than a trained sniper, and counter-sniping him would be far easier than counter-sniping  a trained sniper, but imo, this could certainly account for the higher amount of effectiveness displayed by the ukrainian military over the opposition forces (i.e. there are far more dead protestors than police).

As for whether the opposition snipers are false-flag or not, that's anyone's guess, but there have been rumours of the government doing as much...it wouldn't suprise me.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2014, 06:23:27 pm
Would a hunting rifle necessarily penetrate a police helmet though?  I mean, those things look pretty damn solid.  I would expect a hunting rifle to have some serious heft behind it, but I would suspect a proper military sniper rifle to have even more.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: von on February 22, 2014, 06:40:41 pm
Would a hunting rifle necessarily penetrate a police helmet though?  I mean, those things look pretty damn solid.  I would expect a hunting rifle to have some serious heft behind it, but I would suspect a proper military sniper rifle to have even more.



Most of the time, "hunting rifles" are chambered in a full-sized rifle cartridge. Given that this is east-europe/former soviet land, I'd say this would probably be something like 7.62x54mmR. Conversely, the ukraine military/police "sniper rifle" is the Dragunov...also chambered in 7.62x54mmR.
You might get some slight differences in muzzel velocity and accuracy based on barrel length of the firearms and machining quality, but overall, they'd be firing a round with about the same properties.

As for the Ukraine military helmet, they use the BK-6 Helmet, although I cannot find ballistic information on it. If its like military helmets in general, it should provide protection from shrapnel and some firearms, although I'd hazard that 7.62x54mmR COULD penetrate it. As for what sorts of plates or soft armour the ukraine forces are wearing...beats me, so I couldn't say. Anyway, this would certainly mean that an opposition sniper COULD kill a cop with a hunting rifle...he would have less effectiveness due to training and gear, but it wouldn't render him 100% ineffective...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on February 23, 2014, 02:25:35 am
What about simplifying things?

Some cop fucked up, bam! Friendly fire. Oops. What to do? Blame it on a sniper!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 23, 2014, 11:54:21 am
There's a lot of social media at these events though, including video cameras.  I would expect such an event to be captured on film, but I've not seen any evidence of it yet.  The reports of "sniper fire", those exact words, came from both the opposition and the government, the only question is over timing and chain of events.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 24, 2014, 12:43:58 pm
Remember way back, when I said the "liberal opposition" were as big a gang of oligarchs and kleptocrats as the government?

http://souciant.com/2014/02/the-tymoshenko-problem/

Quote
While Yulia may or may not have exceeded her authority in that gas deal, she certainly did abuse her office, repeatedly, and usually for her own financial gain. This caused a wave of scandals. Yet prosecutors have been reluctant to pursue any such abuses, out of a fear of self-exposure.

Even the most clear-cut corruption case against Yulia (first brought to light by the economist Andrey Novaka) – the collapse of United Energy Systems – never made it anywhere near the 2011 proceedings. Investigating this would have required cracking down on a network of very well-connected insiders.

Quote
Vyacheslav Konovalov, a criminology researcher, explains that “the initial idea behind ‘Dear Friends’ was a transparent system for monitoring public finance in place of the Soviet model. To do so, a system of tenders and a tender chamber were set up. Specially “favored” people with Western degrees were appointed to control the system. Soon enough the initiative produced many thirty year old ministers and deputy ministers, dubbed at the time ‘Kinder Surprises.’” They are an “untouchable tender mafia” presiding over a system where brokers enjoy kickbacks of thirty, fifty, up to seventy percent.

The tenders made it easy for Yulia and her allies to enjoy luxurious lifestyles without actually owning anything on paper. According to court documents, by the end of her trial, the only property they could confiscate from Yulia was a modest apartment in Dnepropetrovsk. But Yulia, as many others political elites in Ukraine spent much of her time in police-protected, luxurious villas.

The Yanukovych family has gone even further on a larger, more grotesque scale. According to the PEP Watch anti-corruption center, the net-worth of Yanukovych’s son Oleksandr has gone from 7 to 510 million UAH since 2010. His dacha in Mezhyhirya, showed off to the public on February 22nd, was a rude awakening. Luxury cars, gilded toilets, a lakeside galleon, and a private zoo were found. Acres and acres of tasteless, overpriced junk that cost millions of dollars.

The opinion on whether Yulia Timoshenko’s tenure in office was criminal or effective differs. But as the crowds gear up for lynching Yanukovych, it might be wise to remember that both more than occasionally relied on offshore schemes for personal benefits and maintaining “friendship” with Russia. The gas deal Yulia cut with Russia isn’t so different from the (since annulled) contract Yanukovych signed with Putin on December 17th.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 26, 2014, 12:01:52 pm
Cain, Full kudos for calling the Tymosenko developments. I really should start trying to place bets based on your predictions.

Snipers, I'll go into that more when I get some time later. There's something very odd there and I suspect there's shooters from multiple factions with various sympathies. There's enough weapons kicking around and plenty of people with grudges against both police and protestors. Hell, you can't even rule out a couple of random lunatics. My main point here was if you're relying on smoke cover against guns, it's not going to end well for you. It's not like they only get one shot.

Further developments:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26350088

Quote
kraine's acting interior minister has said the elite Berkut police unit, blamed for the deaths of protesters, has been disbanded.

It is unclear what will happen to Berkut officers, but Arsen Avakov said more details would be given in a briefing on Wednesday.

The unit had 4,000-5,000 members stationed across Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a new cabinet is expected to be presented to protesters in Kiev on Wednesday afternoon.

This is going to get fun. How do you think the police in question are going to feel about all of this? I'd go for "Disgruntled". Good job upset cops never do anything foolish, eh?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 26, 2014, 12:25:50 pm
It's not so much a prediction as "paying attention" and "knowledge of how countries like Ukraine work".  When you pay attention to the fact that Ukraine is an oligarchical political-economy, it stands to reason that major political actors, such as Tymoshenko, are also oligarchs.  They may be clever about it, like she was, or they may be stupid and ostentatious like Yanukovych (who allowed his family to publically flaunt their wealth and used to boast to foreign leaders about his riches).

It also explains why the protests got backing, aside from US geopolitical interests.  Because an oligarchical system runs on bribes and insider dealing on government contracts.  As the economic condition of the Ukraine worsened and those opportunities for corruption dried up, it meant more and more oligarchs were willing to throw in against the President*.

The major possible exception to this is Klitschko, who of course made his money in a far more honest business.  I am warming to Klitschko, not least because Asst. Sec-State Nuland and the US Ambassador in Kiev don't want him to be a major player.  "Go do his homework" indeed.  However, with Tymoshenko now out of prison, his own support base may be divided, which doesn't bode well.

*A fun game you can play here is to obtain a copy of Bueno De Mesquita's Logic of Political Survival and Diego Gambetta's Codes of the Underworld.  While this isn't the Unified Field Theory Of Politics In Corrupt States, it's pretty damn close.  It's also pretty applicable to US and British politics, unsurprisingly.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 26, 2014, 12:44:39 pm
Those both sound like they're well worth a read, thanks. I'll try and track down copies as soon as I can.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 26, 2014, 12:55:23 pm
Should be available via Amazon, though Mesquita's Dictator's Handbook may be better for general reading.  Same material as the above book, just for a non political science audience. 

As for the Berkut, lots of them were loyal Yanukovych supporters, so no surprise they're getting disbanded.  Senior Berkut officials liked to use the officers to harass and extort people to line their own paychecks and criminal enterprises.  But these are austerity times for Ukraine...both it's government and its actual economy.  Remove a player, remove a burden on state expenses.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on February 26, 2014, 05:03:03 pm
I have to take a second to point out that politics is probably the only line of "legitimate" work that could be said to be less honest than professional boxing. :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 26, 2014, 05:15:26 pm
Yeah, the irony of that description was not lost on me either.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 27, 2014, 10:38:28 am
Looks like scuffles between pro-Russian and pro-state forces are occuring in Crimea.  "Gunmen" have seized the Parliament building, and "Ukrainian security forces" have cordoned the seized buildings off.

In all likelihood, both the gunmen and the security forces are a mix of legitimate law enforcement personnel and militias, and given the political situation in the Crimea, it's not entirely clear where the autonomous republic's own loyalties lie.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 28, 2014, 09:31:51 am
Shits getting all kind of real.

Gunmen wandering around airports "Protecting planes". Seems to be a total mix of militias, the military and anyone with fantasies of being one of those is getting in on the act now. Accusations of Russian invasion flying as well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26379722

Quote
Ukraine's interior minister has accused Russian forces of occupying Sevastopol airport in the autonomous region of Crimea.

Arsen Avakov called their presence an "armed invasion".

But Russia's Black Sea Fleet has denied that Russian servicemen are taking part.

The other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, was also occupied by armed men on Friday. The men are thought to be pro-Russia militia.

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/73272000/jpg/_73272447_32d0ffdb-5163-4da6-b081-f877cd8eed23.jpg)

Quote
Armed men patrol at the airport in Simferopol, Crimea on 28 February 2014
It was unclear who the men in Simferopol were - they arrived at the airport in the early hours

Almost guaranteed to escalate, surely?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2014, 03:05:22 pm
Yup.  Keep an eye on Dnipropetrovsk as well.

It has the perfect ethnic mix in order to become the Sarajevo of Ukraine.  No-one's got a clear majority there, and while it is, broadly speaking, in the east and south, it's close enough to Kiev for the central government to try and lay claim.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2014, 03:37:13 pm
Turns out the gunmen who "seized" the Crimean parliament were in fact the second armed group to take over the Parliament that day.  Earlier on, Crimean Tartars had blockaded the Parliament.

Shortly before the Crimean Republic was to have a referendum on staying in Ukraine or possibly joining Russia.

The gunmen took control and basically told the Tartars to sod off, which they duly did. 

Militias are also controlling the borders currently.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on February 28, 2014, 07:48:16 pm
My roommate was talking about Dnipropetrovsk as a possible strike point for Russia, if it comes to that.... interesting.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2014, 08:42:23 pm
It's also got a strategic position and is Ukraine's 4th most populated city.  Interestingly, it has a very high number of Jews, something like a third of the population.  Given how some of the Euromaidan opposition feel about Jews, we might see them appealing to Russia for protection.

Quote from: Wikipedia entry on Svoboda
Svoboda has been described as an anti-Semitic and sometimes a Neo-Nazi party by international newspapers,[24][82][98] organizations that monitor hate speech,[99] Jewish organizations,[100][101] and political opponents.[41]
Political scientist Tadeusz A. Olszański writes that the social-nationalist ideology which Svoboda formerly adhered to has included "openly racist rhetoric" concerning 'white supremacy' since its establishment, and that comparisons with National Socialism are legitimized by its history; however, Svoboda’s policy documents contain no racist elements.[2] According to Der Spiegel, "anti-Semitism is part of the extremist party's platform," which rejects certain minority and human rights.[24] The paper writes that Svoboda's earlier "Social-National Party" title was an "intentional reference to Adolf Hitler's National Socialist party," and that a Svoboda youth leader distributed Nazi propaganda written by Joseph Goebbels in 2013.[24] According to journalist Michael Goldfarb, Svoboda's platform calls for a Ukraine that is “one race, one nation, one Fatherland,”[dubious – discuss] and criticized the party for honoring the Waffen-SS Galicia (of which the historical role of the unit is contested).[98]

In 2004 party leader Tyahnybok was expelled from the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia."[31][39] Svoboda advisor Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn established a "‘Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre" in 2005, later changing "Joseph Goebbels" to "Ernst Jünger."[2] Mykhalchyshyn wrote a book in 2010 citing works by Nazi theorists Ernst Röhm, Gregor Strasser and Goebbels.[39][82][102] Elsewhere Mykhalchyshyn referred to the Holocaust as a "period of Light in history".[103]
Andreas Umland, a political scientist at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,[51] has asserted that "Svoboda is a racist party promoting explicitly ethnocentric and anti-Semitic ideas".[104] He also believes that internally, Svoboda "is much more radical and xenophobic than what we see”.[62] However, Umland has also stated that he believes the party will continue to become more moderate over time, stating that "there's a belief that Svoboda will change, once in the Verkhovna Rada, and that they may become proper national democrats".[39] Olexiy Haran, also a political science professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, says “There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Svoboda" and that the party is not fascist, but radical.[

Also http://www.channel4.com/news/ukraine-mccain-far-right-svoboda-anti-semitic-protests

Quote
However, in 2004 leader Oleh Tyahnybok gave a speech attacking what he called "the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine" and in another speech declared: "the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state."

Despite the controversy his statements attracted in the West, Tyahnybok was voted Person of the Year by readers of Ukrainian news magazine Korrespondent last year.

In another outburst from the party their deputy chief, Ihor Miroshnychenko, wrote an anti-Semitic attack on Mila Kunis on Facebook: "Kunis is not Ukrainian, she is a Yid. She is proud of it, so Star of David be with her."
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 03, 2014, 08:18:07 am
Escalation continues:
http://rt.com/news/navy-chief-ukraine-crimea-485/

Quote
Rear admiral Denis Berezovsky, appointed as head of Ukraine's Navy forces just two days ago, has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea. Taking his oath, regional Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced creating Crimea's Navy.

Quote
The region's Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced the creation of Crimea's Navy forces and appointed Berezovsky its head.

“The Republic will have its own navy, which will be commanded by rear admiral Berezovsky,” Aksyonov told the journalists Sunday.

“Subsequently, this day will be considered the birthday of the naval forces of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” he added.

"All Navy troops dislocated in Sevastopol are ordered to disregard any commands coming from Ukraine's new self-proclaimed authorities," the PM also declared. "Do not take any orders of using arms till my personal instructions."

Aksyonov promised that “all soldiers, who’ll swear allegiance to the Crimean people, will retain their allowance, health and social benefits, military rank and position.”

Video and more at link.

Overall, another very decisive step towards nothing good, probably.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 03, 2014, 08:48:10 am
my national newspapers are kind of skiddish on the details, but the ambiguity lies between the USA militarly intervening OR boycotting the G8 summit  :?

is this really internatonal clusterfuck time or nobody knows yet?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 03, 2014, 09:41:09 am
Ukraine threatened Russia with nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately for them, they don't have nuclear weapons.  They do, however, have nuclear reactors.  And given the posturing of the US and Iran over the last few years, have opened the door to legitimising Russian military action in the country, subjecting them to international sanctions and having their military and nuclear program scrutinized for forever.

Dumb move, really.

As for international clusterfuck...it's heading that way.  So far, the US is not threatening military action in Ukraine, but you do not put $5 billion on the table to pull Ukraine into a western orbit only for smelly Russian peasants with rifles to ruin it all.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 03, 2014, 10:15:42 am
Yeah, the Nuclear thing was unwise to say the least. At least North Korea had the sense to make the threat plausible.

Somewhat unrelated:
http://weaselzippers.us/177396-flashback-sarah-palin-mocked-for-saying-russia-could-invade-ukraine/

Quote
Hmmm, look who was right.

Via Foreign Policy (10/22/08):

Speaking Tuesday at a rally in a Reno, Nevada, Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin had a little fun with her counterpart on the Democratic ticket, thanking Joe Biden for warning Barack Obama’s supporters to “gird your loins” for an international crisis if the Illinois senator wins.

Palin helpfully offered four scenarios for such a crisis, one of which was this strange one:

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

There's a speech writer somewhere that just earned a hell of a raise for that.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 03, 2014, 10:45:31 am
http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/europe/100000002729580/declaring-victory-in-kiev.html?playlistId=1194811622213

A video walkaround of the Presidential residence.

For fun, compare and contrast with walkarounds of other dictators. Things needlessly plated in gold? Extensive sporting facilities that you obviously never use? Imported goods from the west? Check, check and check.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 03, 2014, 11:46:15 am
Palin was only right on a technicality.  I mean, she successfully predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2008.  The political situation now is very different to back then, and the reason she gives is stupid (we should've gone to war over Georgian aggression, really?).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 03, 2014, 11:53:15 am
As an aside, Russian intervention is a clear violation of international law.  A crisis in a neighbouring state gives no legal right for another state to intervene, even if they do have military bases there.  Should those bases be violated, they of course have the right to defend themselves, and such actions could lead to war, but that's not the same thing.

Of course, NATO can hardly legitimately criticise illegal interventions in foreign states.  Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, the near-attempt on Syria...need I go on?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 03, 2014, 11:58:25 am
Palin was only right on a technicality.  I mean, she successfully predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2008.  The political situation now is very different to back then, and the reason she gives is stupid (we should've gone to war over Georgian aggression, really?).

Quite right, I was more amused by the fact that Palin had been right about, well, anything. Even if it was only technically.

It will be interesting to see the media reactions to Russia's actions. I mean, there's obviously no similarities at all to western-led actions.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on March 03, 2014, 01:16:46 pm
Palin was only right on a technicality.  I mean, she successfully predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2008.  The political situation now is very different to back then, and the reason she gives is stupid (we should've gone to war over Georgian aggression, really?).

Quite right, I was more amused by the fact that Palin had been right about, well, anything. Even if it was only technically.

It will be interesting to see the media reactions to Russia's actions. I mean, there's obviously no similarities at all to western-led actions.

Sarah Palin: the political equivalent to a stopped clock being correct twice a day...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on March 03, 2014, 03:28:29 pm
So using that anytime the Palin quote comes up.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 03, 2014, 03:29:39 pm
Palin was only right on a technicality.  I mean, she successfully predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2008.  The political situation now is very different to back then, and the reason she gives is stupid (we should've gone to war over Georgian aggression, really?).

Quite right, I was more amused by the fact that Palin had been right about, well, anything. Even if it was only technically.

It will be interesting to see the media reactions to Russia's actions. I mean, there's obviously no similarities at all to western-led actions.

HO HO!  You hippies are IN FOR IT NOW!  Sarah Palin could snap you in half just by flexing her ovaries.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Random Probability on March 03, 2014, 06:34:12 pm
Palin was only right on a technicality.  I mean, she successfully predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2008.  The political situation now is very different to back then, and the reason she gives is stupid (we should've gone to war over Georgian aggression, really?).

Quite right, I was more amused by the fact that Palin had been right about, well, anything. Even if it was only technically.

It will be interesting to see the media reactions to Russia's actions. I mean, there's obviously no similarities at all to western-led actions.

HO HO!  You hippies are IN FOR IT NOW!  Sarah Palin could snap you in half just by flexing her ovaries.

I think I've watched too many Lisa Ann movies.  I have the weirdest erection right now.... :fap:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 04, 2014, 09:04:45 am
Back to the snipers (http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/reichstag-fire-in-kiev.html?m=1):

Quote
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.

The Ukrainian Army's training isn't exactly brilliant, but I would hope even they would realise that, if you're going to deploy snipers to clear a protest, you would take out the Right Sector and Svoboda elements first, the hardcore violent elements.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 04, 2014, 09:31:13 am
Well, would you? Militants have their uses and having them act for you is surely more beneficial than having to fight against them. I'm thinking this mainly because the Ukrainian army needs some allies and they're not exactly in a position to be picky about who.

The other angle here is that is seems to be deliberately provocative. To me, that would imply there's more than a few parties who stand to gain from this escalating further in the short/mid term. Going after medics and bystanders is pretty much assuring that this will continue.

Can't help but wonder if the snipers are actually Ukrainian at all. It would be difficult for me to rule out foreign actors in this case given how much other nations have invested in the Ukraine's decisions. Bullets are a very cheap way to influence public opinion.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 04, 2014, 10:41:04 am
The death of one person is a tragedy. The death of 100 is a PR campaign.

Im not surprised, im just disgusted by being reminded how low politics can go.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 05, 2014, 12:54:02 pm
OK, I am extremely suspicious of this phonecall and the circumstances in which it came to light.  However, it suggests that the EU is taking the allegation of shootings committed by opposition supporters very seriously

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

You have to skip to 8 and a half minutes ahead.

I believe their source on this, this "Olga" they reference, is Olga Bogomolets, who treated victims of the sniper attacks in Maidan.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 05, 2014, 01:02:30 pm
Potentially a viable tactic though. Create enough strife to force the EU to reconsider whether you're actually wanted in the club. While that debate happens, Russia stands quietly with open arms and a sweet enough deal for the leaders to take.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 05, 2014, 01:57:24 pm
Oh yes, some FSB goon almost certainly had a role in this tape getting released.  Assuming it's a real tape, and these aren't voice actors or someone's done some clever editing or similar.  It's never too wise to underestimate the FSB in matters of deception operations.  Or US intelligence, for that matter.

I would give it a day.  Catherine Ashton is, surprisingly, a fairly straight shooter, and if she doesn't deny it, then the chances are the tape is legit.  Which still leaves the question of them discussing a report second hand.  I'd like to see if Olga Bogomolets could be interviewed about these allegations in greater detail.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 05, 2014, 02:01:47 pm
For some reason I have a horrible feeling that she's going to have a terrible accident if even a chunk of that could be verified by her.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 05, 2014, 02:03:01 pm
Olga?  Maybe.  She's very high profile though.  They call her "the Mother Theresa of the Maidan protests".
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 05, 2014, 02:06:03 pm
A high profile martyr could serve any sides interest. Just saying if I was her I'd be being very fucking careful for the forseeable future.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 06, 2014, 08:48:00 am
Missed this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26447200

Quote
On Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities confirmed that communication networks had been targeted, the first significant disruption of technology.

"I confirm that an... attack is under way on mobile phones of members of the Ukrainian parliament for the second day in a row," Ukrainian security chief Valentyn Nalivaichenko told journalists.

"At the entrance to [telecoms firm] Ukrtelecom in Crimea, illegally and in violation of all commercial contracts, was installed equipment that blocks my phone as well as the phones of other deputies, regardless of their political affiliation."

In addition, Ukrtelecom said its premises were raided last week by armed men, and fibre optic cabling was tampered with, causing loss of service for some users.

Another angle worth watching and certainly one that will have all sides involved.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 09:21:11 am
The Estonian government has confirmed the phone call mentioned earlier is legit, though it's keen to give the impression that their Foreign Minister was not accusing the new Ukrainian government, merely repeating a serious accusation.

What most people call "splitting hairs"
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 02:18:39 pm
Crimea's parliament has approved a referendum on the region joining the Russian Federation.

It's set for way too soon though.  Like, in a month.  And, lets not forget, the peninsula is already occuped by Russian troops.  There is no way a fair and free vote can take place in these circumstances, even if joining Russia is the will of the people (and, to be fair, it probably is).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 06, 2014, 02:25:11 pm
In a month, it certainly will be. There's a lot you can do to get public favour in a month. They're not off to a bad start by not killing everything moving.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 02:31:53 pm
Well, let's put it this way.  The last time a leader invaded a country, and then that country had a vote on whether to join them within a month was in fact actually Hitler.  And while I'm leery of Hitler comparisons, overused as they are in the case of every tinpot dictator the West hates, this is the exact modus operandi of the annexation of Austria and an extremely dangerous international political precedent.

Even though I strongly believe the Crimean Republic probably really does want to join with the Russian Federation, this is about the worst possible way to go about it.  It sends a message that a major global player believes in using military force to settle territorial disputes, and given the large number of territorial/ethnic disputes there are in the world, we really do not want to go down a route whereby people invade first, then take the vote second.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 06, 2014, 02:38:53 pm
I'm torn between my normal healthy laugh and abject terror.

The implications globally for the future are, as you note, terrifying. China's got more than a couple of places that it would do this to in a heartbeat. Hells, just consider what would happen to Africa. Again.

And the Hitler aspect, wow. Finally, godwins law can be invoked legitimately.  :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on March 06, 2014, 02:47:33 pm
Well, let's put it this way.  The last time a leader invaded a country, and then that country had a vote on whether to join them within a month was in fact actually Hitler

This also gets a :potd:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 03:29:39 pm
It's very worrying.  I think, had the Crimean Republic decided to secede and come under de facto Russian control, that would be broadly acceptable.  That was certainly my assumption, based on previous Russian behaviour in Georgia etc. 

However, this signals a major shift in Russian policy, and could see other areas, like South Ossetia being incorporated into the Federation.  It also means any nations with significant Russian minorities (like Kazakhstan, or Lithuania) have reason to be suspicious as fuck about Russian intentions.  Which will probably lead to greater harassment of Russians, leading to calls on Russia for protection, leading to a spiralling, ethnically driven international security dilemma.

The other reason for such an extreme Russian reaction has to be the Black Sea Fleet.  Notice how no-one, not Ukraine's new government, the EU or the USA have been willing to guarantee continued Russian leasing of the base?  Russia may have taken such silence as consent to the idea of throwing them out.  In fact, that is my belief about what is currently informing their actions.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 03:59:47 pm
As loathe as I am to admit it, Kissinger (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/henry-kissinger-to-settle-the-ukraine-crisis-start-at-the-end/2014/03/05/46dad868-a496-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html) is making a lot of sense:

Quote
Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.

The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia.

The European Union must recognize that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine’s relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis. Foreign policy is the art of establishing priorities.

But then, lack of smarts has never been a problem for Kissinger.  Lack of morals, sure.  But in times like this, I'd rather listen to the guy who went through the last Cold War and has a strongly stated distaste for nuclear weapons than the ideological fools currently populating the State Department, no matter how much blood is on his hands.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on March 06, 2014, 04:09:19 pm
I agree with both of your lasts posts :P
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 06, 2014, 06:45:00 pm
The first dramatic question that springs to mind is: what are the chances that this is just the beginning of a push towards re-establishing the old USSR boundaries as much as possible, at least with regards to the European former soviet states?

I am, admittedly, curious as to Russia's seeming dependence on Sevastopol, when they have their own integral territory fronting the Black Sea.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 06, 2014, 06:46:17 pm
The first dramatic question that springs to mind is: what are the chances that this is just the beginning of a push towards re-establishing the old USSR boundaries as much as possible, at least with regards to the European former soviet states?

I am, admittedly, curious as to Russia's seeming dependence on Sevastopol, when they have their own integral territory fronting the Black Sea.

While I am certain that Putin would love to grab the choicer bits, why would they want the whole thing back?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 07:04:51 pm
A good question.  Putin's media propagandists have been extolling the virtues of Stalin and the Great Patriotic War a lot lately.  Putin seemed to prefer the Eurasia Union approach, but events in Ukraine definitely made that impossible.

I think Putin knows most of Europe is a lost cause, the EaU cannot possibly compete with the EU at this moment in time, so he's retrenching on areas of the Russian border, so Ukraine, Belarus and...well, Transnistria I suppose, technically.  The decisive shift here seems to be from simply protecting Russians abroad, a key component of Putin's foreign policy both in actuality and in propaganda terms, to integrating Russians back into the Federation.  I hope this is a one off, but Putin has won a decisive victory here, despite the diplomatic fallout so I don't think we can discount future occurences.

Putin's overall vision does seem strongly influenced by the Eurasianist faction in Russian politics, which does stress a "third way" Russian Empire...of a pluralistic nature, so they claim, though given the overlaps between Eurasianism and some forms of mystical fascism I'm not sold on that claim.  Such an empire would exist to counterbalance "Atlantacist thalassocracy", and is understood in mostly geopolitcal terms, traditional power politics.  But I don't believe Putin's entirely sold on it, he's far too tactically shrewd I think to be tightly bound to such a vision.  But it is politically expedient for him to use the Eurasianists to bolster his own domestic position.

As for the Black Sea Fleet, from what I can tell, Russia doesn't have the facilities to host the fleet in the Krasnodar Krai coastal cities.  Given their importance for Russian tourism, it may be that the economic incentives for development simply are not there, and given Russian finances, that income may itself be considered a strategic asset.

And of course, there is the history of Sevastopol and Ukraine, which I'm sure I don't need to go into.  Russians sure are attached to their hsitory.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 06, 2014, 07:07:35 pm
So, he's more like a Tsar than a commissar.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 07:11:13 pm
Yeah, for sure.  If there's any ideological component here, it's Russian nationalism and Eurasianism.

I mean, Putin does try to big himself up as another Stalin, but that's Stalin as the Russians see him.  The strong leader, the war leader, the victor against the odds in the face of an implacable enemy.  Not the Stalin who wrote windy long diatribes on the Worker's Revolution.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 10, 2014, 01:45:56 am
For other perspectives on the Ukraine debacle and what the U.S. government has been up to there, I highly recommend the following:

http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/02/28/the-rape-of-ukraine-phase-two-begins/
http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/

Some highlights of your American government propagandists in action:

* John Kerry calling the bloodless, popularly supported takeover of Crimea an “incredible act of aggression”, after supporting the Iraq war that kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

* State Department operative Victoria Nuland saying "fuck the EU", while conspiring to overthrow a democratically elected leader.

* Western establishment pundits comparing Putin to Hitler and drawing comparisons to the Sudetenland, while backing Ukrainian neo-Nazis (need I mention these same pundits' position on the Iraq invasion?)

Here's the architect of Eurasianism, Alexander Dugin's message to Americans (http://openrevolt.info/2014/03/08/alexander-dugin-letter-to-the-american-people-on-ukraine/). A choice bit:

Quote
Now here is what I would say to the American people. The American political elite has tried in this situation as well as in many others to make the Russians hate Americans. But it has failed. We hate the American political elite that brings death, terror, lies and bloodshed everywhere – in Serbia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria – and now in Ukraine. We hate the global oligarchy that has usurped America and uses her as its tool. We hate the double standard of their politics where they call “fascist” innocent citizens without any feature resembling fascist ideology and in the same breath deny the open Hitlerists and Bandera admirers the qualification of “Nazi” in the Ukraine. All that the American political elite speaks or creates (with small exceptions) is one big lie. And we hate that lie because the victims of this lie are not only ourselves, but also you the American people. You believe them, you vote for them. You have confidence in them. But they deceive and betray you.

Trying to drive a wedge between the American people and its elites, George Soros-style, is a nice idea, but the problem is, at some point don't you have to hold the citizens in a "democracy" at least partially responsible for allowing itself to be led by such corrupt, evil, lying criminals? I don't think the American people should be let off so easily. Russia lost 20 million people in World War II; how many does America need to lose before it shows Russia some respect?

 :herewego:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 10, 2014, 02:10:13 am
For other perspectives on the Ukraine debacle and what the U.S. government has been up to there, I highly recommend the following:

http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/02/28/the-rape-of-ukraine-phase-two-begins/
http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/

Some highlights of your American government propagandists in action:

* John Kerry calling the bloodless, popularly supported takeover of Crimea an “incredible act of aggression”, after supporting the Iraq war that kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

* State Department operative Victoria Nuland saying "fuck the EU", while conspiring to overthrow a democratically elected leader.

* Western establishment pundits comparing Putin to Hitler and drawing comparisons to the Sudetenland, while backing Ukrainian neo-Nazis (need I mention these same pundits' position on the Iraq invasion?)

Here's the architect of Eurasianism, Alexander Dugin's message to Americans (http://openrevolt.info/2014/03/08/alexander-dugin-letter-to-the-american-people-on-ukraine/). A choice bit:

Quote
Now here is what I would say to the American people. The American political elite has tried in this situation as well as in many others to make the Russians hate Americans. But it has failed. We hate the American political elite that brings death, terror, lies and bloodshed everywhere – in Serbia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria – and now in Ukraine. We hate the global oligarchy that has usurped America and uses her as its tool. We hate the double standard of their politics where they call “fascist” innocent citizens without any feature resembling fascist ideology and in the same breath deny the open Hitlerists and Bandera admirers the qualification of “Nazi” in the Ukraine. All that the American political elite speaks or creates (with small exceptions) is one big lie. And we hate that lie because the victims of this lie are not only ourselves, but also you the American people. You believe them, you vote for them. You have confidence in them. But they deceive and betray you.

Trying to drive a wedge between the American people and its elites, George Soros-style, is a nice idea, but the problem is, at some point don't you have to hold the citizens in a "democracy" at least partially responsible for allowing itself to be led by such corrupt, evil, lying criminals? I don't think the American people should be let off so easily. Russia lost 20 million people in World War II; how many does America need to lose before it shows Russia some respect?



:tldr2:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 11, 2014, 08:14:18 am
Interesting.  William Engdahl (http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-secretive-neo-nazi-military-organization-involved-in-euromaidan-snyper-shootings/5371611) is suggesting that the snipers were elements from Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense, a fascist group with a history of violence. 

However, he fails to mention that Andriy Shkil is also linked to the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a relative of Putin's (by marriage IIRC) and backer of the previous President.  According to a UK journalist, UNA-UNSO have a history of doing what he tells them to (http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.se/2014/02/pro-russian-network-behind-anti.html).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: hirley0 on March 11, 2014, 08:18:39 am
NOpe :herewego:  Europe is not in the picture

hirley0 and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 02:28:17 pm
NOpe :herewego:  Europe is not in the picture

hirley0 and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

It's not my fault.  I TRIED to read down.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 11, 2014, 02:45:31 pm
Although strictly speaking I'm ignoring Brother Nihil, I just want to point out it's cute he thinks some of us aren't already following those links.

He's like that guy who runs up to you and goes "have you heard about this website called Facebook, it's really cool and stuff"....in 2009
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 02:54:11 pm
Although strictly speaking I'm ignoring Brother Nihil, I just want to point out it's cute he thinks some of us aren't already following those links.

He's like that guy who runs up to you and goes "have you heard about this website called Facebook, it's really cool and stuff"....in 2009

Or someone busting in here to tell us about the principia discordia.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 11, 2014, 02:54:35 pm
That too.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 02:55:10 pm
What I don't get is that he keeps coming in here spouting his shit, when he KNOWS nobody is listening to his Nazi ass.  EVANGELICAL FAILURE.  Seriously, this guy is weapons-grade RETARDED.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 11, 2014, 02:58:08 pm
But if he were capable of learning, would he still be a neoreactionary?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 03:00:09 pm
But if he were capable of learning, would he still be a neoreactionary?

Excellent point.  It's like the kaos mahdgickque tards.

The neoreactionary thing tells me that he's given up all hope of ever actually getting laid.  It's sort of a nerd rage quit thing.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 07:42:55 pm
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

:tldr:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on March 11, 2014, 08:33:40 pm
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

:tldr:
I did. It was filled with a depressing lack of perspective.
Pro-tip: Don't bother.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 09:21:28 pm
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

:tldr:
I did. It was filled with a depressing lack of perspective.
Pro-tip: Don't bother.

This is not my first BBQ, Regret. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2014, 09:22:25 pm
Is it just me or has Ukraink always been this fucked up? At some point in the distant past they even had an Era called simply "The Ruin" lolz. THEN they had World War Uno and intense nationalist revolution. Following total fail some Ukrainks started shit in Poland like a bunch of dicks and immediately following the internal Russian civil war devastated the region even harder (which was not even physically possible). 10 Million savage Ukranks died from lack of Vespene Gas which unfortunately left millions more to bitch and complain for years to come.

Cue World War Dos' and again, yet again Ukraink nationalism rears it's fugly head to make problems. This seems to be just the current ripple in a long line of toilet-bowl surface undulations which is the Ukrank lifestyle.

Russia in general, and all of Eastern Europe came out of the bronze ages fucked up, and then stayed that way.

Also, you can never have enough Vespene gas.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 11, 2014, 10:46:20 pm
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

(http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-01-15-11214NeildeGrasseTysoninsidemainftr.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Pergamos on March 12, 2014, 02:58:48 am
I hope my avatar makes it clear to the fascist that I know just how fabulous Russia can be.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 12, 2014, 03:42:04 am
I hope my avatar makes it clear to the fascist that I know just how fabulous Russia can be.

I doubt he gets it.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on March 12, 2014, 08:09:56 am
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

:tldr:
I did. It was filled with a depressing lack of perspective.
Pro-tip: Don't bother.

This is not my first BBQ, Regret.
You'd think I would learn from you.
Or from experience.
Or common sense.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 12, 2014, 01:12:53 pm
My friends, your psychological insight is, shall we say, not up to Hannibal Lecter standards. The high school level sexual jabs are particularly amusing; like I said, I lived in Moscow for a year, at the tail end of the Yeltsin years. Repressed Judeo-Christian progressive Amerikans who preach about freedom have no idea what a sexually free society actually looks like (here's a hint: dyke kike Marxist feminists are nowhere in evidence, thanks be to Yahweh). I pity Westerners who have never experienced Russia, land of the free, the straight, and the sexy!

:tldr:
I did. It was filled with a depressing lack of perspective.
Pro-tip: Don't bother.

This is not my first BBQ, Regret.
You'd think I would learn from you.
Or from experience.
Or common sense.

I don't even learn from me.  I'm barely a biped, fer Chrissakes.  I just fucking hate Nazis.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 13, 2014, 01:51:49 pm
Just worth noting, one of the blog writers BN endorsed just wrote this:

Quote
Guys, please try to make an effort and understand the following: Nazis and other racist trolls are not welcome here.  Please do not mistake my letting you post as a sign of approval or interest for the worthless crap you post here.  Simply put again: Nazis, Fascists and racists are not welcome here: I loathe Hitler for my own reasons: I consider him a nasty, arrogant, ignorant, megalomaniac, pagan racist SOB. I personally have known MANY people who suffered horrors at the hands of the Nazis, and I have absolutely *zero* sympathy for him or his followers. To me, Hitler is the ultimate expression of the West arrogance, imperialism and brutality. And if you think I speak of ignorance or under influence of the corporate media, you are quite mistaken. I have read Mein Kampf, I have read Goebbels, Streicher and Evola. I personally met plenty of Nazis, both in Argentina and elsewhere. And I have read most of the best known revisionists and negationists. I personally met some and had long talks with them.  I even had one bona fide real Nazi friend (who, alas, passed away now).  I read Mussolini too, by the way. I know National-Socialism well enough to know how stupid and evil it is.

LAWL.  I guess BN wont be endorsing him again in the future.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 13, 2014, 02:45:53 pm
As an aside, the Saker  (http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/03/dont-listen-to-what-they-say-look-at.html#rssowlmlink)has another article up, on the composition of the new cabinet in Kiev, and in particular where the extreme rightwingers are.

Quote
Check out where he put his neo-Facists:

Vice Prime Minister Alexandr Sych (Freedom Party)
Minister of Defense Igor Teniukh  (Freedom Party)
Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov (officially member of the Fatherland Party but in reality an agent for the Right Sector)
Head of the National Security and Defense Council Andrei Paribii (Social-National Party of Ukraine)
Deputy Head of the National Security and Defense Council Dmitri Iarosh (Right Sector)

Amazing no?  The neo-Fascists are occupying all the positions of power, what is often referred to as "power structures".  Instead of putting them where they could do the least amount of harm, Iatseniuk put them right where they are the most dangerous.

The Freedom Party is, of course, Svoboda, whom we've discussed before.  I suppose this offsets the chance of a civil war breaking out in the western Ukrainian ranks...but at what cost?  Putting pretty much the entire hard power structure of the Ukranian state in the hand of militant right-wingers and anti-Semites.

Sometimes, you have to fight.  To delay war is to cede advantages to the enemy.  But "Yats" clearly doesn't have the stomach for this one.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2014, 09:18:22 pm
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Xb21i5b4Bw0/UyTKg2bgXvI/AAAAAAAACbE/Yp6ZnU90OiI/s1600/The+choice+for+Crimea.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on March 15, 2014, 09:19:23 pm
Damn, that's some effective memetics.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2014, 09:34:49 pm
Very.  Russian propaganda is putting this whole thing in a WWII (Stalin-approved version) perspective.  You know, the version where Russia didn't decide to dick over the rest of Europe by signing a pact with the Devil and then got shafted when they least expected it, building on a history of eliminating socialist rivals and capitalists before attacking fascists, but the one where the Glorious Motherland was always in the vanguard of the fight against the Nazi Menace, took the greatest casualties and paid the highest price to defeat Hitler, a stooge created and supported by the villainous west to bring ruin to the Soviet experiment.

Like all good propaganda, there's elements of truth in there, but it's also unadulterated bullshit in large amounts.

Anyway, Russia is strongly hinting that the exact same scenario is happening again.  Sovobda play the role of the Nazi Party, which is being sponsored by the evil west to undermine Russia by sponsoring an insurgency against a Russian ally and threatening Russian naval bases, as part of a long-term gameplan by western powers to dismember Russia.  The new Ukrainian government is controlled by Nazis and Western stooges, and once again it is up to Russia to save its people and the civilised world from this menace.

Again, elements of truth mixed in with unadulterated bullshit.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2014, 09:38:04 pm
All we need is for Russian state channels to start airing Alexander Nevsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Nevsky_%28film%29) and we'll have the full set.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Pergamos on March 15, 2014, 09:55:49 pm
Very.  Russian propaganda is putting this whole thing in a WWII (Stalin-approved version) perspective.  You know, the version where Russia didn't decide to dick over the rest of Europe by signing a pact with the Devil and then got shafted when they least expected it, building on a history of eliminating socialist rivals and capitalists before attacking fascists, but the one where the Glorious Motherland was always in the vanguard of the fight against the Nazi Menace, took the greatest casualties and paid the highest price to defeat Hitler, a stooge created and supported by the villainous west to bring ruin to the Soviet experiment.

Like all good propaganda, there's elements of truth in there, but it's also unadulterated bullshit in large amounts.

Anyway, Russia is strongly hinting that the exact same scenario is happening again.  Sovobda play the role of the Nazi Party, which is being sponsored by the evil west to undermine Russia by sponsoring an insurgency against a Russian ally and threatening Russian naval bases, as part of a long-term gameplan by western powers to dismember Russia.  The new Ukrainian government is controlled by Nazis and Western stooges, and once again it is up to Russia to save its people and the civilised world from this menace.

Again, elements of truth mixed in with unadulterated bullshit.

This after Russia used the same rationale to annex Crimea that the Nazis used to annex the Sudetenland...
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2014, 10:18:09 pm
Sure.  A strong sense of irony is not exactly a key Russian cultural trait.

But on the other hand, we have spent 20 years trying to destroy Russia as a cohesive political player, through the application of shock economics, encouraging the rise of the oligarchs, support for Chechen rebels, encroaching on Russia's former sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and generally treating them like morons whenever they complained about this ("conspiratorial Soviet mindset" etc).

In Putin's position, would you listen to anything western diplomats and leaders had to say?  Or would you work to protect your core military and strategic assets, in the face of a threat with overwhelming conventional military superiority, greater economic resources, control of most major international institutions and extensive propaganda networks?

That's what is so amusing about the "punish Russia/invade Crimea" crowd.  They don't realize Putin and his strategic advisors already believe Russia is threatened, that the West is an existential risk for the Russian state, and this is how they are responding.  Instead, they want to dial up the idiocy to 11 and threaten to embroil us all in a really serious war.

As an aside, check out Aleksandr Dugin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Dugin).  Neo-Eurasianism, National Bolshevism and the Nouvelle Droite all have strong overlaps with fascism.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 16, 2014, 10:33:43 pm
All we need is for Russian state channels to start airing Alexander Nevsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Nevsky_%28film%29) and we'll have the full set.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 17, 2014, 03:00:46 pm
Tom Clancy would've been loving this shit.  No more writing inane nonsense about terrorists, the Russians are back!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 17, 2014, 05:21:14 pm
Le sigh?

You think we should get into a shooting war with Russia over a piece of land that is, historically, culturally, linguistically, and ethnically Russian?

Don't get me wrong though, I understand why Poland is the most strident voice against all of this. But let's make sure it's actually going to play out like that before we start acting like it already is.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 17, 2014, 05:42:37 pm
I'm not 100% sure that the US-Europe axis doesn't have the stones to impose sanctions on Russian energy exports, which would have a very real and immediate effect.

I'd say the chances of Russia moving to take all of eastern Ukraine are pretty good. Troops massing on the border, news broadcasts in Russia talking about ultra-nationalists committing violence against ethnic Russians in Ukraine, Russia talking about its right to protect its compatriots abroad, etc.

I think there's a chance that, if "The West" acts quickly and decisively at that point, it may stop there.

If not, well, I'm glad I'm too old to be conscripted.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on March 17, 2014, 06:09:47 pm
I've been wondering what will come of that treaty.....
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 17, 2014, 07:32:57 pm
The fact is, Ole' Slick Willie signed a treaty with Ukraine guaranteeing American military protection specifically from Russia way back in 1994. 10 years later almost to the day, at the first hint of trouble, we're blinking.

It's an indicator, is why I'm sighing. I'm not going to say it's a death knell for American global dominance, but it's a huge indicator that we're no longer prepared to back up our treaties.

And if we don't back up our treaties, the entire show is going to begin falling like the largest Jenga game ever played.

So right now we watch while Ukrainian loyalists are getting killed by the hundreds and soon the thousands waiting for American troops who will never come.

Things change a lot in 20 years. And a decline in USA global political dominance? Boo hoo.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 17, 2014, 08:08:14 pm
Meh, treaties are pieces of paper.  Or are we going to seriously argue that the UK and USA wont dispose with their treaty obligations when it suits their national interests?  Lest we forget, Russia also signed the Budapest Memorandum. I'm pretty sure anyone waving that around on the Crimean border would've gotten a short, sharp shock in the reality of power politics.

Incidentally, that protection was meant to be in return for Ukraine giving up all its nuclear ambitions.  My chatty little friends in the country tell me that regional governments in Ukraine have been pressuring the government to repudiate the memorandum and announce nuclear ambitions since 2009.  And there was a more recent threat along those lines too.

Russia could furthermore argue that outside influence on the Euromaidan protest movement shows the UK and USA were not respecting the sovereignty of Ukraine either, and such violations resulted in a change of government, thus voiding Russia's obligations.

Quote
It's becoming increasingly obvious that they have no fear of the current administration

 :roll:

You know, not everything in the world is about the US.  There's an increasingly vicious power struggle in the Russian cabinet at the moment over strengthening links with the EU versus links with China, which the Crimean crisis is being used as a proxy for.

Furthermore, you clearly didn't read any of my earlier posts.  I'll give you a reminder:

Quote
But on the other hand, we have spent 20 years trying to destroy Russia as a cohesive political player, through the application of shock economics, encouraging the rise of the oligarchs, support for Chechen rebels, encroaching on Russia's former sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and generally treating them like morons whenever they complained about this ("conspiratorial Soviet mindset" etc).

In Putin's position, would you listen to anything western diplomats and leaders had to say?  Or would you work to protect your core military and strategic assets, in the face of a threat with overwhelming conventional military superiority, greater economic resources, control of most major international institutions and extensive propaganda networks?

Ukraine also offers a possible base for early-warning detectors for any future "European Shield" missile defense plan, another land and maritime base to threaten to encircle Russia with.  Russian fear of strategic encirclement dates back to the Mongol invasions, and is a constant theme of their geopolitical strategy.  So Russian fear of NATO intentions, not lack of fear, drove these actions.

Quote
I'm not going to say it's a death knell for American global dominance, but it's a huge indicator that we're no longer prepared to back up our treaties.

And if we don't back up our treaties, the entire show is going to begin falling like the largest Jenga game ever played.

No nation is prepared to back their treaties unless its in their interests.

And again, the rest of the world doesn't interpret US actions the same way the US does.  What western hawks see as American inaction, Russia sees as American subversion, sabotage and insurgency.  In fact, let's just look at an account of the decision-making (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/world/europe/russias-move-into-ukraine-said-to-be-born-in-shadows.html) before the invasion of the Crimea:

Quote
An examination of the seismic events that set off the most threatening East-West confrontation since the Cold War era, based on Mr. Putin’s public remarks and interviews with officials, diplomats and analysts here, suggests that the Kremlin’s strategy emerged haphazardly, even misleadingly, over a tense and momentous week, as an emotional Mr. Putin acted out of what the officials described as a deep sense of betrayal and grievance, especially toward the United States and Europe.

That hardly sounds like Russia was emboldened by American weakness.  So why should we assume that other actors will not also react in similar ways?

Quote
Russian news casters tell of 'Ultra-Nationalists' which is just another term for 'current Ukrainian citizens' who 'don't want massive parts of their country stolen by a neighbor' committing 'violence' against people who want to let the nearest neighbor take massive parts of the country.

Well, I'm glad to hear that Svoboda and Right Sector are not extreme nationalist movements with a history of armed violence and anti-Russophone sentiment.  Could you please explain that to their membership?  You may want to bring a flak jacket.

Quote
These 'russian compatriots' are 'traitors' of the Ukraine. It's all a word game in the news media. If Mexican-americans here in California began agitating to have California, Texas and New Mexico annexed to Mexico, or if Canadians began agitating for Northern states to be annexed to Canada they would be traitors.

Entirely inappropriate analogy.  Crimea was part of Russia until the 1950s, and was transferred as part of a larger administrative change within the Soviet Union.  The Crimea also declared independence after the fall of the USSR, but was coerced into integrating with the rest of Ukraine by outside powers afraid of empowering secessionist movements in the former Soviet Union and creating large zones of conflict across the region.

I didn't realise Texas also had such a complex recent history.

Quote
Don't let Russian propaganda get to you. Remember, they are the ones ready and willing to steal massive tracts of land in a military invasion.

And what of American propaganda?  Are you naive enough to think the US threw money to help take advantage of discontent and unrest in Ukraine without also significantly managing the message the media were sending out about events in the country?  Please.  This is a geopolitical clusterfuck, a good 50% of reporting is based on "anonymous sources" reading off intelligence agency or foreign ministry talking points.

And to be honest, in any free and fair election, Crimea would almost certainly join Russia.  Doesn't justify how Russia has gone about what it's doing, which is certainly a violation of international law, but it doesn't exactly make it completely unjustified conquest either. (though let's not forget, advocating secession in Russia is a criminal offence, and Russia will never let Dagestan or Chechnya secede.  Hypocrisy, in my international politics?  Quelle surprise).

Quote
Also, remember that Putin stole all of Georgia not even 5 years ago. He's an aggressive expansionist.

lolwut.  You cannot be serious.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Such independence was supported by Russia, but not without some brutal fighting beforehand, with involved some very nasty ethnic cleansing on both sides.

In 2008, Georgia's President decided to gamble on reinvading South Ossetia while the world was focused on the Olympic games and reconquering his lost province.  Georgian forces killed Russian troops in South Ossetia, sparking a large-scale Russian military response.

It was completely unjustified in terms of scale, and clearly intended to serve as an example of punitive measures against people who kill Russian troops.  But Georgia is still, in fact, an independent state and not merely a part of the Russian Federation.

Oh, and at the time, the President of Russia was Dmitry Medvedev, not Putin.  Contrary to popular belief (read: unsupported opinions), Medvedev was not merely a Putin lackey, and had several quite different policy agendas to Putin.

So Russia has, in the past decade, invaded exactly two countries.  Wow.  I wish the UK and USA had that kind of "aggressive expansionist" record.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 17, 2014, 08:33:51 pm

If the yard stick were measuring by is: war-mongerism, imperialism, corruption, geopolitical positioning self-interest and profit... i have news for you, Russia isnt the worst nor the only offender.

Are you american? That might be giving you some type of rose coloured glasses towards the actions of some of the political actors... we foreigners? we just see a clusterfuck with grey-on-grey morality.

And Hitler comparisons are passé since around almost 3 decades ago, please.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 17, 2014, 09:21:40 pm
Don't let Russian propaganda get to you. Remember, they are the ones ready and willing to steal massive tracts of land in a military invasion.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 17, 2014, 09:23:43 pm
The beginning of the South Ossetian conflict is debated by both sides. Georgians say the Russians and South Ossetians shelled them and uplayed the whole thing to invite conflict. The russians say they were shelled first. What ended up happening was Russian expansion.

You seem to forget that Vladmir Putin is a Dictator who, when it was time to leave office in Russia, created a WHOLE NEW POSITION TO INSERT HIMSELF INTO. He has now served as the De Facto head of Russia since 1999 under various guises of supreme ruler.

He ruthlessly crushes public opposition and simply incarcerates those who speak out against him. And here we are again, with Russia poised for another Hitleresque military expansion and people want to just applaud along happily.

I'm having a hard time seeing how anyone but the most severe Kremlin apologist could defend him right now.

Not sure about "defending" him.  It's just that, you know, who cares? 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 17, 2014, 09:24:33 pm
You're supporting military invasion of sovereign states as a way to solve political boundary issues. Or maybe not. I can't hang with that, I must be a craaazy American. And it's true, we are Free men and women. We have no Czar like Russia, we have no King or Queen, Pope or Junta.

This is awesome satire.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 17, 2014, 09:29:18 pm

I DEMAND a showdown between Von, Scilon and Nihil.

(http://www.blackborder.com/q/sites/default/files/images/highlander.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 17, 2014, 09:39:09 pm

I DEMAND a showdown between Von, Scilon and Nihil.

(http://www.blackborder.com/q/sites/default/files/images/highlander.jpg)

VoT would have been good, too.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 17, 2014, 09:41:40 pm

I DEMAND a showdown between Von, Scilon and Nihil.

(http://www.blackborder.com/q/sites/default/files/images/highlander.jpg)

VoT would have been good, too.

idk if i cant recall or i wasnt around yet =\
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: N E T on March 18, 2014, 01:47:49 am
Too bad we can't agree on any point but it's hard when you can't see any part of my post where I might have credence or sense  :|

Is it possible that your post just makes no sense after looking at multiple sources on the issue? Where are you getting your information from?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 18, 2014, 07:43:54 am
Too bad we can't agree on any point but it's hard when you can't see any part of my post where I might have credence or sense  :|

You're supporting military invasion of sovereign states as a way to solve political boundary issues. Or maybe not. I can't hang with that, I must be a craaazy American. And it's true, we are Free men and women. We have no Czar like Russia, we have no King or Queen, Pope or Junta.

You should probably lay off the hippie lettuce. Especially before you argue geopolitics with Cain, who does that for a living. And especially especially if you think there's some meaningful and monumental difference between "America/Americans" and "those other countries/people"
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Reginald Ret on March 18, 2014, 08:20:09 am
Too bad we can't agree on any point but it's hard when you can't see any part of my post where I might have credence or sense  :|

You're supporting military invasion of sovereign states as a way to solve political boundary issues. Or maybe not. I can't hang with that, I must be a craaazy American. And it's true, we are Free men and women. We have no Czar like Russia, we have no King or Queen, Pope or Junta.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 18, 2014, 09:07:51 am
You're supporting military invasion of sovereign states as a way to solve political boundary issues. Or maybe not. I can't hang with that, I must be a craaazy American. And it's true, we are Free men and women. We have no Czar like Russia, we have no King or Queen, Pope or Junta.

This is awesome satire.

This is awesome Kool-Aid consumption. Dude could drink Jim Jones right under the table.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 09:39:57 am
I'm not 100% sure that the US-Europe axis doesn't have the stones to impose sanctions on Russian energy exports, which would have a very real and immediate effect.

I'm fairly sure the UK would have no choice but to decline sanctions against Russia, given the large number of Russian transactions that take place via London banks.  The City is already feeling the strain, and thats just due to the uncertainty of Russian businesses in the current climate.  Russian business makes up a good 1/6th (or thereabouts) of IPOs in London in recent years...and that aint exactly small change.

And if London declines, the rest of Europe doesnt really get a choice in what follows, since I believe under EU rules, once it is in London it can go elsewhere in the Union without restrictions.  And leaked documents from the UK have basically already said "we don't have any real options or leverage, let's make lots of noise and hope Putin doesn't call our bluff".  Because, of course, Putin has shown he is easily cowed by international condemnation and pressure before now.

That said, Cameron is making up policy on the fly now, and ignoring the advice of the civil service quite frequently.  And with an election due next year, he's especially tempted into making populist moves which make no sense in reality, but look good when you view the world via polling companies.  But I think, for the moment, William Hague is exerting a significant amount of influence on the FCO response, so it will probably be more measured than what Cameron may be tempted into doing.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 10:05:35 am
The beginning of the South Ossetian conflict is debated by both sides. Georgians say the Russians and South Ossetians shelled them and uplayed the whole thing to invite conflict. The russians say they were shelled first. What ended up happening was Russian expansion.

Data from international observers with no affiliation with Russia (Western European) and military training show Georgian troops shelled Russian positions first.  This was preceeded by small arms fire, but this is not uncommon in the region, where border skirmishes are frequent.  And the result of the conflict was a restoration of the post-1994 status quo.

If that's Russian expansion, then it's practically glacial in speed.

You seem to forget that Vladmir Putin is a Dictator who, when it was time to leave office in Russia, created a WHOLE NEW POSITION TO INSERT HIMSELF INTO. He has now served as the De Facto head of Russia since 1999 under various guises of supreme ruler.

You seem addicted to emotional arguments and sweeping statements.

Despite an authoritarian and illiberal style of rule, calling Putin a "dictator" is a term of abuse masquerading as political analysis, obscuring more than it reveals.  Putin uses a number of means to sustain his administration, including "managed democracy" and a variety of institutional mechanisms, including the United Russia Party, the siloviki and oligarchs.

And your lack of knowledge about the Russian political system is obvious when you declare Putin "created" a new position.  The role of Prime Minister has existed in Russia since Czarist days, and continued to be used during the Soviet period and afterwards. Putin himself was appointed to the position of Prime Minister by Yeltsin in 1999.

Quote
He ruthlessly crushes public opposition and simply incarcerates those who speak out against him. And here we are again, with Russia poised for another Hitleresque military expansion and people want to just applaud along happily.

Does he.  That's news to most international human rights groups and organizations, who characterize Russia as a hybrid regime with a partially free/illiberal rating.  That's certainly better than, lets say, China, or Saudi Arabia, while of course being entirely insatisfactory on other grounds.

Nor is this new.  Russia had these exact problems under Yeltsin.  Or do I really need to go into the whole "fantastic dead journalists of the 1990s" and "dead Chechens voting for the man who bombed their villages into dust" debacles?

Of course, if you're determined to oversimplify a complex and constantly shifting civil liberties environment, feel free. 

Quote
I'm having a hard time seeing how anyone but the most severe Kremlin apologist could defend him right now.

Given your apparent definition of "defend" involves "pointing out the world is more complex than you'd like to believe", you should probably re-examine your assumptions.  And, I don't know, maybe read the thread?  Because if you did, you'd see I'd already criticized Russian conduct.  In fact, I've had dealings people within Putin's inner circle, both in Ukraine and Russia, who know me by name and don't have anything nice to say about me.  Admittedly in circles unrelated to their politics, but I dare say I have more personal reasons to criticize Russia than anyone of non-Chechen heritage on this board.  And yet, I'm taking a nuanced approach.

Maybe you should ask why that is.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 10:10:45 am
Too bad we can't agree on any point but it's hard when you can't see any part of my post where I might have credence or sense  :|

Maybe because I have actual knowledge of and contacts in that part of the world, and enough expertise in the area and the vagaries of international politics that my opinion is sought by private parties on these situations, and you're some guy on the internet, relying on news feeds. 

Quote
You're supporting military invasion of sovereign states as a way to solve political boundary issues. Or maybe not. I can't hang with that, I must be a craaazy American. And it's true, we are Free men and women. We have no Czar like Russia, we have no King or Queen, Pope or Junta.

Yes, I'm clearly supporting a military invasion.  You can tell this, because earlier on ITT, I called Russia's invasion illegal and a flagrant violation of international law with no good basis, and that they should withdraw immediately.  I furthermore said that even though Russia has a point about the Crimea, the way in which they are going about it sets a dangerous international political precedent.

You should see me when I criticize someone.  It's truly vicious.

And LOL.  Americans are amusing when they fall for their own ideological posturing.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 10:14:18 am
idk if i cant recall or i wasnt around yet =\

He was a long time ago.  Some Bush supporter type.  Standard Neocon nutter circa 2004, thought the Iraq War was peachy, jokes about France were the height of wit, and that the spirit of Churchill flowed through his every pronouncement.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 10:42:54 am
I'm not 100% sure that the US-Europe axis doesn't have the stones to impose sanctions on Russian energy exports, which would have a very real and immediate effect.

I'm fairly sure the UK would have no choice but to decline sanctions against Russia, given the large number of Russian transactions that take place via London banks.  The City is already feeling the strain, and thats just due to the uncertainty of Russian businesses in the current climate.  Russian business makes up a good 1/6th (or thereabouts) of IPOs in London in recent years...and that aint exactly small change.

And if London declines, the rest of Europe doesnt really get a choice in what follows, since I believe under EU rules, once it is in London it can go elsewhere in the Union without restrictions.  And leaked documents from the UK have basically already said "we don't have any real options or leverage, let's make lots of noise and hope Putin doesn't call our bluff".  Because, of course, Putin has shown he is easily cowed by international condemnation and pressure before now.

That said, Cameron is making up policy on the fly now, and ignoring the advice of the civil service quite frequently.  And with an election due next year, he's especially tempted into making populist moves which make no sense in reality, but look good when you view the world via polling companies.  But I think, for the moment, William Hague is exerting a significant amount of influence on the FCO response, so it will probably be more measured than what Cameron may be tempted into doing.

Just to follow up on this

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/17/us-eu-sanctions-russia-ukraine-crimea-referendum

Quote
The US and the European Union retaliated over the Crimea referendum by targeting sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday, a move widely greeted with scepticism as "toothless".

The White House imposed sanctions against 11 named individuals: seven senior Russian politicians and officials and four Crimea-based separatist leaders accused of undermining the "democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine".

But the US pointedly avoided targeting the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, or key figures in his inner circle.

Quote
"We think they will be effective," one senior administration official told reporters in Washington. But the kind of sanctions that might bite, such as hitting Russian oligarchs or even their companies, particularly energy firms, were pointedly absent.

It's more than I expected, to be perfectly honest.  But then I do sometimes underestimate the temptation to give into Dosomethingitis.

Of course, this could just be the opening round, and Obama is going to apply pressure in a staged manner, leaving him with options to escalate should the political situation demand it.  But I don't think that is the case.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on March 18, 2014, 11:31:18 am
Cain, thanks for the knowledge in the face of bombast.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 11:37:15 am
You are most welcome.

I'd also like to point out I got 4 hours of sleep yesterday (after a 12 hour night shift), and 2 last night.  Hence why I haven't hyperlinked the fuck out of everything.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on March 18, 2014, 11:40:29 am
Jeez, get some sleep already!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 11:41:31 am
Yesterday was justified.  Had an 8pm appointment, but wanted to be on a better sleep schedule for today.

Tried sleeping today, but I think I had too much coffee.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on March 18, 2014, 11:43:29 am
If you start heading into sleep-deprivation psychosis, keep posting here so we all can watch.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 18, 2014, 11:45:38 am
Will do.  I got no plans for today anyway. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 18, 2014, 08:59:20 pm
Getting picked apart sucks.

The jist of what I have been saying is still this:

Putin is an aggressive expansionalist and Russian invasion of Crimea violates a treaty signed by the US.

Beyond that I'm not all sure why anyone is arguing with me but for lack of something better to post.


LALALA I CANNOT HEAR YOU OVER MY AMERIKAN DEMOKRACY BLARING IN THE BACKGROUND
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 18, 2014, 11:28:15 pm

Putin is an aggressive expansionalist and Russian invasion of Crimea violates a treaty signed by the US.


Russia isn't bound by article VI of the US constitution.  We really can't do much about it without going to war.  And I don't know about you, but the idea of war with Russia over the Crimea doesn't seem particularly wise.

For one thing, there's nothing to gain.

For another thing, the way this shakes out will be determined by how well Putin plays the political game.  It could either stabilize the area or have it come completely unglued.  If the area becomes stable, I am all for it.  If it turns into another Chechnya...Well, that's Putin's look out, not ours.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 19, 2014, 08:17:49 am
Reasons I put up with my job #3372B - I can Copy/paste the past couple of pages of this thread and read them in a mandatory meeting that I have no reason to be at.

Thanks Cain.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 19, 2014, 09:00:04 am

Putin is an aggressive expansionalist and Russian invasion of Crimea violates a treaty signed by the US.


Russia isn't bound by article VI of the US constitution.  We really can't do much about it without going to war.  And I don't know about you, but the idea of war with Russia over the Crimea doesn't seem particularly wise.

For one thing, there's nothing to gain.

For another thing, the way this shakes out will be determined by how well Putin plays the political game.  It could either stabilize the area or have it come completely unglued.  If the area becomes stable, I am all for it.  If it turns into another Chechnya...Well, that's Putin's look out, not ours.

This! It's not a humanitarian crisis unless valuable resources are being harmed. "harmed" in this context, meaning "up for grabs"
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 19, 2014, 09:05:13 am
Not read the rest of the thread yet, but I just want to point out Crimean authorities are claiming that yesterday's shooting of a Ukranian officer also killed a "self-defense militia" member.

And they're claiming mystery snipers are behind these shootings, too.  Seems to be an awful lot of mystery snipers running around Ukraine these days.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on March 19, 2014, 12:55:55 pm

Its funny how in this day and age unnacountability is still a thing.

OR

Illuminatis
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 19, 2014, 01:05:12 pm
Could be anyone who thinks they have something to gain by forcing a confrontation.

Which, these days, is practically everyone.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 19, 2014, 07:08:57 pm

Putin is an aggressive expansionalist and Russian invasion of Crimea violates a treaty signed by the US.


Russia isn't bound by article VI of the US constitution.  We really can't do much about it without going to war.  And I don't know about you, but the idea of war with Russia over the Crimea doesn't seem particularly wise.

For one thing, there's nothing to gain.

For another thing, the way this shakes out will be determined by how well Putin plays the political game.  It could either stabilize the area or have it come completely unglued.  If the area becomes stable, I am all for it.  If it turns into another Chechnya...Well, that's Putin's look out, not ours.

Of course you're right, Russia isn't bound by our Constitution never meant to imply that. My concern is that we as the USA!USA! are bound to mutual aid and defense with Ukraine through treaty (as much as we all wish we weren't).

They have already had a violent clash of troops, I expect things to heat up over the next weeks. We'll see what happens on the 21st to see if the tentative truce is renewed or not.

As far as Putin's political game, I have to say with respect that he has Obama largely trumped.

Obama isn't even part of the equation; I am referring to whether or not he can pacify the Crimea's population and mollify (or just cow) the Ukraine.  I seriously doubt Putin has given our opinion a second thought.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 19, 2014, 07:09:22 pm
Aaaaaaand checking the news Russian forces have stormed and taken a Naval base in Sevastopol, somehow peacefully. Not clear if they took prisoners or what happened to the garrison on duty.

What is clear is that they are not backing down from taking territory. Just like South Oss. they will likely take and hold, defying Western backed powers to force them back out.

They stormed it peacefully?   :?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 19, 2014, 07:15:24 pm
Aaaaaaand checking the news Russian forces have stormed and taken a Naval base in Sevastopol, somehow peacefully. Not clear if they took prisoners or what happened to the garrison on duty.

What is clear is that they are not backing down from taking territory. Just like South Oss. they will likely take and hold, defying Western backed powers to force them back out.

They stormed it peacefully?   :?

Maybe they stormed it with cotton candy and dandelion puffs.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 19, 2014, 07:16:06 pm
Aaaaaaand checking the news Russian forces have stormed and taken a Naval base in Sevastopol, somehow peacefully. Not clear if they took prisoners or what happened to the garrison on duty.

What is clear is that they are not backing down from taking territory. Just like South Oss. they will likely take and hold, defying Western backed powers to force them back out.

They stormed it peacefully?   :?

Maybe they stormed it with cotton candy and dandelion puffs.

They stormed it with polite requests.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 19, 2014, 10:52:20 pm
Aaaaaaand checking the news Russian forces have stormed and taken a Naval base in Sevastopol, somehow peacefully. Not clear if they took prisoners or what happened to the garrison on duty.

What is clear is that they are not backing down from taking territory. Just like South Oss. they will likely take and hold, defying Western backed powers to force them back out.

They stormed it peacefully?   :?

Maybe it was the naval base in Sevastopol that's their own base? :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 20, 2014, 09:32:40 am
Cain, what is your opinion of the possibility of Russia moving to annex more of eastern Ukraine?

In the short term, I don't see it happening.  Russia will need to consolidate its military position in Crimea, and further aggressive moves threaten to isolate it further from India and China, whose approval they seem to be desperately seeking at the moment.  China in particular is not happy with how things went down...you know, their fears concerning internal unrest leading to international tensions.

But there are some worries.

Firstly, if Ukraine descends into civil war, Russia will intervene.  I think that's a given.  I can see an eastern Ukrainian government, while probably not entirely keen on Russian rule* would certainly welcome Russian military protection and whatever edge that could give them in a conflict.  The Ukrainian military is in pretty awful shape, I have no doubt Russian arms and Russian training would prove superior in any confrontation, and the Eastern oligarchs are no doubt aware of this poor military situation.

Secondly, and more concerning, is Putin's references in his speech the other day to the "historical mistake" that led to Russians finding themselves in new countries, and talked about how the Ukrainian border with Russia had never been properly demarcated following the collpase of the Soviet Union.  Both true, of course, but if I were a Baltic state, or Kazakhstan, I'd not be feeling confident about such a speech and where the implications of those problems lead.

Interestingly, Putin's same speech also directly referenced Stalin's crimes in Ukraine, both towards the Tartars and to the Ukrainian Presidency.  I will admit, I did not expect that.  I can only wonder whether it was intended to mollify the Crimean Tartars, or if there was another intended audience for such a message.

Of course, events on the ground have to be taken into account.  Will the Ukranian military attempt to seize the Crimean peninsula by force?  History shows Russia would probably respond to such an attack not just by repelling the invading force, but carrying the attack over deep into Ukrainian territory, likely bombing Kyiv and the logistical support for any such attack.  Would the West then respond by sending material and military advisors to Ukraine?  We're refusing to close the door on potential Ukrainian membership in NATO...and given the support to the Euromaidan, I'm not so sure we wouldn't try and use the Ukranians as a proxy force to bleed Russia.  Obama is a student of The Zbig, after all, and that was his playbook in Afghanistan.  And given the awful state of the Ukrainian military, the assistance would have to be significant.

And the above scenario is the one which keeps me up at night.  Ukrainian internal bickering draws us all into a conflict we don't want and don't need. Russian intelligence in Ukraine is significant enough to be able to tap phonelines of diplomatic calls at will, or so it seems.  Russia would find evidence of such support, and then things would get really bad, really fast.

Incidentally, I ran the Budapest Memo by some international law-involved friends.  Their general feeling was that it did not amount to a strict security guarantee, certainly nothing like, say, the British military alliance with Belgium before WWI.  Not that I ever expected us to feel legally bound to get into a war we did not want in the first place, but that line of thought seems to be being promoted by people with that sort of agenda in mind, to create the feeling of obligation and the expectation of it being carried out.

*My understanding is that while they see themselves as culturally Russian, the political affiliation is far weaker.  Furthermore, the leadership of these provinces know that if they join the Russian Federation, they will have to render unto Moscow...unlike in the current situation, where they mostly render unto their Swiss numbered accounts. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 20, 2014, 05:02:57 pm
Quote
And the above scenario is the one which keeps me up at night.  Ukrainian internal bickering draws us all into a conflict we don't want and don't need. Russian intelligence in Ukraine is significant enough to be able to tap phonelines of diplomatic calls at will, or so it seems.  Russia would find evidence of such support, and then things would get really bad, really fast.

Incidentally, I ran the Budapest Memo by some international law-involved friends.  Their general feeling was that it did not amount to a strict security guarantee, certainly nothing like, say, the British military alliance with Belgium before WWI.  Not that I ever expected us to feel legally bound to get into a war we did not want in the first place, but that line of thought seems to be being promoted by people with that sort of agenda in mind, to create the feeling of obligation and the expectation of it being carried out.

There's a number of remarkable similarities between what seems to be going on now and previous conflict build-ups. I can't help but think that there's a substantial number of businesses that profit in environments like this and even more so when times get worse. People shrug when the military-industrial complex problem is mentioned about the USA. Israel still leads in drone manufacture. All of these and related industries are highly profitable with extremely lucrative contracts for some. Hostile environments are ideal for creating sudden shortages and market manipulations.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I can't help but also consider this in financial fuckery terms because I'm damn fucking certain no end of that has and will go on.

My other thought is that the lines may eventually be drawn based around who's been caught spying on their "friends" and who hasn't. The EU has been fairly mild in its treatment of GCHQ compared to the NSA. It wouldn't take much to make that change. Economic consequences again follow.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on March 20, 2014, 05:34:00 pm
http://rt.com/politics/russian-duma-sanctions-crimea-594/
Quote
The State Duma has passed a motion suggesting that the US and EU extend the freshly introduced sanctions to all Russian MPs rather than a limited group of officials, defying western pressure just hours before Russia and Crimea signed a federation treaty.

The motion was supported by a unanimous vote on Tuesday morning. It was prepared the day before by all four parliamentary parties after representatives of the United States and the European Union said they were slapping sanctions, such as visa bans and asset freezes, on a number of Russian officials who are seen as “key ideologists and architects” of the policy towards Ukraine.


Oh really?  :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 29, 2014, 07:49:17 am
This Is Your Euromaidan On Drugs Power:

Quote from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IanWelsh/~3/79ZSR7KbUAk/#rssowlmlink
Meanwhile the new PM in the Ukraine is imposing IMF austerity measures, like removing subsidies on Gas (50% increase) and cutting pensions (50%) cut. He says he’s on a Kamikazee mission.  That’s because he’s not elected, so he can do thing that an elected leader could never do.

Which is to say: there is a coup, backed by a popular uprising in the capital, which puts in place an unelected government, which does things that elected governments repeatedly refused to do.  The East and South of the country, which voted in the last elected government, is unhappy with this.

It’s really hard to conclude that Crimea didn’t do the right thing for most of their population by joining Russia.  50% increase in natural gas prices and 50% cut in pensions?  Would you stand still for that? Oh, and the average pension in the Ukraine is—$160/month.  $80 after it’s cut.

The last government may have been a bunch of corrupt assholes, but it’s hard to conclude that taking Russia’s deal of 15 billion dollars and subsidized gas wasn’t, actually, a better deal for most Ukrainians than approximately the same amount of money from the West + IMF austerity.  And these are only some of the measures: the civil service will be slashed, the government natural gas company will be privatized (meaning even higher prices down the road), the ban on selling agricultural land to foreigners will be lifted, and so on.

The EuroMaidan’s legacy won’t just be losing Crimea, it will be turning the Ukraine into Greece.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on March 29, 2014, 03:56:24 pm
A quick phone call will clear that up...

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/world/europe/putin-calls-obama-on-Ukraine.html?referrer=
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 29, 2014, 04:10:24 pm
There's an interesting undertone to that NYT article re: Crimea.  If I'd woken up from a coma yesterday and read that article first, I'd have no idea there was a referendum in the peninsula and it voted overwhelmingly to join.  I mean, sure, we can quibble about the exact amount of fraud, intimidation, propaganda, the rush and overall political atmosphere, the Tatar boycott...but even so, high numbers were all for it.  And it's not like we've hailed elections held under similar conditions as proof of our commitment to Whiskey Sexy Democracy (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: East Coast Hustle on March 29, 2014, 06:33:55 pm
I've heard noise about Russian troops massing on the border of Transdneistria, another region that would probably vote to join Russia if given the opportunity to do so.

Anything to that? And if so, what does it reveal about Putin's larger intentions/ambitions?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 29, 2014, 06:57:34 pm
Yeah, that's one which worries me.

NATO Command are responsible for putting that particular story out there.  While it wouldn't surprise me if it were true, I know from a careful reading of what the intelligence community were telling Obama before the Crimea crisis that America doesn't have the assets in that part of the world to determine what the Russian military is doing - especially when it makes lightning fast moves.

So it would seem all that is certain for the moment is that there is a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.  And there are a number of good reasons for that, not least if the Ukrainians decide they'd like their lost province back, or civil war actually kicks off.  We also haven't heard much about refugees, but I would expect there to some, given the economic conditions in Ukraine if nothing else. 

Russians also have forces in Transnistria already.  Not much, a garrison a bit shy of 2000 troops, but I suspect strongly this is probably better armed than anything Moldova, or Transnistria itself could muster, if a straight out invasion/annexation were on the cards.

It is also my understanding the new Ukrainian government, possibly due to being high on gas or something, have been stepping up the blockade that the previous government agreed to, in conjunction with Moldova, since 2006.  This blockade was mentioned as a key concern by Putin, in his talk with Obama. 

Maybe, and this is just speculation, but it would be consistent with the behaviour of a lot of small states lately, Moldova is hoping to use the current crisis to build support for a venture to bring Transnistria back under control.  At the very least, by putting the squeeze on their wayward province they cause them to go squealing to the Russians, and when the Russians predictably rattle their sabres, Moldova can turn around to Europe and America and say "we're being threatened!  Give money for military upgrades plox"  Moldova's not eligible for NATO membership due to its ongoing border disputes and its official neutrality clause in the state constitution, but the former was also the case for Georgia, and it seems pretty clear Moldova knows where its bread is buttered.  Namely, in Brussels and DC. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 31, 2014, 09:23:13 pm
Looks like there has been a partial withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian border by the Russian Army.

Good news, that.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 01, 2014, 10:11:48 am
Gas price shenanigans afoot. The economic side of this just got serious again.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 01, 2014, 11:13:40 am
Well, NATO are denying Russian troops are pulling away from the border.

Quote from: BBC
Nato is not seeing a Russian troop pullout from the border with Ukraine, the military alliance's chief has said.

Speaking ahead of a Nato summit, Anders Fogh Rasmussen again stressed that the best way to solve the crisis was through "a political dialogue".

Again though, we have some evidence that "NATO"'s intelligence - read as "the NSA and GCHQ" - are having some problems in that part of the world.  Some people believe this is because Snowden, willingly or unwillingly gave information which allowed the FSB and GRU to undertake countersurveillance measures...I doubt that is the case, the thing to remember about Russia is that as a former great power it is both technically advanced and Not Stupid, not to mention Russia was a counterintelligence state long before all the cool kids were doing it.

Although, NATO should have spy satellites focusing on the border.  It's been long enough.

Quote
Meanwhile, Russian energy firm Gazprom is increasing the price it charges Ukraine for gas from Tuesday.

Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller said the price of Russian gas for Ukraine had gone up to $385.5 (£231) per 1,000 cubic metres in the second quarter of 2014 from the previous rate of $268.5.

Mr Miller added that Ukraine's unpaid gas bills to Russia stood at $1.7bn.

Fun times.  Ukraine's gotta pay those debts, but I somehow doubt it's top of their "to do" list right now.

Ukraine's also having problems disarming its "illegal armed groups".  Right Sector are kinda pissed right now, by way of example.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 01, 2014, 11:20:56 am
Quote
Quote
Meanwhile, Russian energy firm Gazprom is increasing the price it charges Ukraine for gas from Tuesday.

Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller said the price of Russian gas for Ukraine had gone up to $385.5 (£231) per 1,000 cubic metres in the second quarter of 2014 from the previous rate of $268.5.

Mr Miller added that Ukraine's unpaid gas bills to Russia stood at $1.7bn.

Fun times.  Ukraine's gotta pay those debts, but I somehow doubt it's top of their "to do" list right now.

No doubt. Which leaves some potentially very interesting situations further down the line. The austerity measures that will get imposed in order for any kind of aid to be provided will probably ensure shitty times for years ahead.

I bet the Crimea is looking very attractive to some right now.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: N E T on April 02, 2014, 11:45:59 pm
Just a heads up to anyone researching Ukraine, keep your Adobe software updated:

Quote
Now, once again the MiniDuke virus is spreading in wild via an innocent looking but fake PDF documents related to Ukraine, while the researcher at F-Secure were browsing the set of extracted decoy documents from a large batch of potential MiniDuke Samples.
http://thehackernews.com/2014/04/miniduke-malware-spreads-via-fake.html

Quote
We don't know where the attacker got this decoy file from. We don't know who was targeted by these attacks. We don't know who's behind these attacks.

What we do know is that all these attacks used the CVE-2013-0640 vulnerability and dropped the same backdoor (compilation date 2013-02-21).

We detect the PDF as Exploit:W32/MiniDuke.C (SHA1: 77a62f51649388e8da9939d5c467f56102269eb1) and the backdoor as Gen:Variant.MiniDuke.1 (SHA1: b14a6f948a0dc263fad538668f6dadef9c296df2).
http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002688.html

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 02, 2014, 11:48:17 pm
Thanks.  I don't use Adobe, but it's worth knowing regardless.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: N E T on April 02, 2014, 11:53:14 pm
Thanks.  I don't use Adobe, but it's worth knowing regardless.

No problem. :)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 07, 2014, 08:50:47 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26919928

Quote
Pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine have seized state security buildings in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukrainian officials say.

Reports say that in Luhansk the protesters have raided the arsenal in the security building. Police have reacted by blocking roads into Luhansk.

On Sunday protesters broke into the regional government buildings in the two cities and also Kharkiv.

Ukraine's acting president has called an emergency security meeting.

Fun and games.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 07, 2014, 02:14:05 pm
The leadership of these protesters seems a lot shakier than previous months. Looking at the barricade construction, tyres seem to feature quite heavily. While the attempt may be respectable, their choice of building materials is questionable at best. Tyres burn for one thing, and the shitty bits of barbed wire on top will do precisely fuck all if the base is on fire.

Is there a chance of the various regions slowly going the way of the Crimea? From the descriptions of the regions a slow rolling annexation program sounds possible if not likely?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 08, 2014, 11:29:14 am
No surprises here

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/07/the-less-americans-know-about-ukraines-location-the-more-they-want-u-s-to-intervene/

Quote
Since Russian troops first entered the Crimean peninsula in early March, a series of media polling outlets have asked Americans how they want the U.S. to respond to the ongoing situation.  Although two-thirds of Americans have reported following the situation at least “somewhat closely,” most Americans actually know very little about events on the ground — or even where the ground is.

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 08, 2014, 11:36:20 am
I'm also exceedingly amused at how anti-government protestors seizing buildings and taking control of cities is being treated as horrifying mob action Russian terrorism by the western press.

Um, do you even remember two months ago?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 08, 2014, 11:43:22 am
I'm also exceedingly amused at how anti-government protestors seizing buildings and taking control of cities is being treated as horrifying mob action Russian terrorism by the western press.

Um, do you even remember two months ago?

Well, no. The media is kind of invested in you not really remembering what happened 2 days ago, let alone months. I'm kind of expecting a load of "Woah shit, chemical weapons in Syria Bro! You heard about this?" any day now.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 08, 2014, 11:50:35 am
Russia is alleging American mercenaries from Greystone Ltd are operating in Ukraine under the auspices of Ukrainian Special Forces.  Greystone used to be their own private military company, but they now operate under Blackwater...or Academi, as they are currently known.

Interestingly, GREYSTONE is allegedly the CIA designation for compartmentalized counter-terrorism operations and related covert activities in the wake of 9/11.  Coincidence, but interesting.

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 08, 2014, 11:58:49 am
These naming styles could really drive someone to paranoia. If they weren't already, of course.

The allegations could certainly hold some merit. A PMC running snipers would seem as plausible to me as disaffected nationals.

Is there a mercenary outfit of choice for Russia or do they just tend to use in-house killers? Can't help but think that if there's one outfit operating, there's probably at least one more out there as a counter to them.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 08, 2014, 12:06:48 pm
There's a few, yes, and more than a few rumours have said they are currently operating in Ukraine.  Most Russian mercs cut their teeth fighting in Chechnya...being in Crimea must be a hell of a nice change for them.

Nothing as big as heavy hitters like Aegis and DynCorp though.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on April 08, 2014, 12:29:10 pm
Wait, Blackwater is Academi, now?  What happened to Xi?

Was it Xi?  Something with an "X" in it, I think.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 08, 2014, 12:47:11 pm
Close, it was Xe.

After Erik Prince sold the company, private investors changed the name to try and remove the stigma of past corporate actions.  Obviously, not very sucessfully.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on April 08, 2014, 12:49:39 pm
Reminds me of the apartment at the end of American Psycho.  Just paint the walls, air out the room, no one will ever be the wiser.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 08:45:18 am
Today's game of "Let's keep a straight face" is this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26982173
Quote
The US has accused Russia of using its energy supplies "as a tool of coercion" to try to control Ukraine.

Article contains many more things that the USA certainly doesn't do, all the fucking time, everywhere.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 08:46:25 am
Also, shit's getting medieval round some parts there:
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74172000/jpg/_74172777_a58df5c5-13c6-4683-8032-f41797d132a4.jpg)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 14, 2014, 03:36:17 pm
Greystone has responded to claims it is operating in Ukraine with denial.

As for the guy in armour...well, there's a very interesting history of guys in armour in that part of the world.  I don't know what his excuse is, but look up the "Teutonic Knights" and the "Livonian Brothers of the Sword".  These groups, though obscure, do play a significant role in the identity of several groups in the region.  Catholicism versus Orthodox, east versus west, the Novgorod Republic, the creation of Prussia, Russian imperialism...all can be traced back at least as far as these groups.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 15, 2014, 07:23:05 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27030652

Article has relatively little of substance, Obama and Putin had a phone call essentially.

This map is interesting though:
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74236000/gif/_74236107_easten_ukraine_624.gif)
Quote
Map: Ukraine
The map shows towns where pro-Russian activists have seized buildings

Surely going to get worse yet before progress.

Are we to assume Greystone's denial is pretty much worthless? It's not like they would tell people if they did have killers knocking around the place.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 15, 2014, 10:53:00 am
I'm fairly sure we can take the word of the worst convergence of corporate America and hired killers at face value.

And yes.  The problem is, I don't think this is necessarily off-duty Russian troops popping over the border for a bit of violence and fun.  This actually does reflect sentiment in those areas, and is in response to the viciously Russophobic sentiment in Kiev.

While Russian's not a language I'm fluent in, I am fluent in how people in violent situations think, and I would not be surprised to discover the more extreme elements of Ukrainian nationalism decrying Russian speakers as Putin's 5th column in the country...because that's the kind of retarded statement nationalist idiots make all over the globe in such situations. 

There's also the credibility gap that exists between the (unelected) government in Kiev and the elected officials in control of the regions and cities in the east.  The government has tried to close that gap by appointing governors and mayors, but as you can imagine, that is really not going down well.

Fortunately, Right Sector have had a major falling out with the government in Kiev, with some gangland style killings going down.  My feeling is that someone in the provisional government or Parliament finally figured out an independent paramilitary force with political ambitions was not best left to its own devices, and instead was better dealt with before it decided to pull a Reichstag fire scenario.  Just as well, or we might be seeing Right Sector auxilaries supporting the Berkut in suppressing the protestors and insurgents.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 15, 2014, 10:55:46 am
This is, however, moving dangerously close to a civil war scenario.  The kind of scenario we really don't want, because if Ukrainian suppression of Russophones is severe enough, it will probably provoke a terroristic response, which will respond in an even more brutal crackdown until the spiral of violence justifies a Russian intervention under the Medvedev doctrine ("All Russians will be protected by the Russian state, regardless of location").
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on April 23, 2014, 11:55:18 am
Hmm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27122008

Quote
Tony Blair has warned Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.

In a speech the former UK prime minister - now a Middle East envoy - said powerful nations must "take sides" and back "open-minded" groups.

Mr Blair told the BBC ahead of the speech the West would pay a "very heavy price" for not intervening in Syria.

He said the opportunity to create "an optimistic solution" had been missed.

It's been a few years now and Blair is STILL shilling for the arms industry. I'd be shocked if it hadn't been his day job for decades.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 23, 2014, 12:05:17 pm
I think Blair is just upset he cannot figure out a way to make Ukraine part of the Middle East, and so come under his jurisdiction as the Quartet "Special Envoy".

Which, incidentally, he's been doing a smashing job as.  The Middle East has been a lot more peaceful since Blair took over as the Quartet's representative there. Har har har.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 24, 2014, 02:17:27 pm
Blair's derp is, apparently, infectious (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/anne-marie-slaughter-on-how-us-intervention-in-the-syrian-civil-war-would-alter-vladimir-putin-s-calculus-in-ukraine):

Quote
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.

Because, you see, an illegal military strike on a nation done in the name of humanitarian reasons but in all probability mostly done for geopolitical ones would totally dissuade a an illegal military strike on a nation done in the name of humanitarian reasons but in all probability mostly done for geopolitical ones.

Not to mention focusing US military and intelligence attention on Syria would totally help the Ukraine situation, because Russia...uh, routes intelligence via Damascus or something.  I dunno.  I'm not as good at crazy as neocons, or their liberal doppelgangers.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 24, 2014, 02:22:12 pm
Cain, where the hell is the payoff for the UK and the USA, here?

I mean, other than measuring dicks with Putin.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 24, 2014, 02:32:01 pm
Putting missile bases and anti-missile weapons systems in Kyiv would totally neuter Moscow's ability to project westward power in any military form.  Had Putin not taken Crimea, the Black Sea fleet would've been dismantled as well.

The western backed politicians there are also overseeing "IMF reforms", which is of course code for "opening the Ukrainian market, jealously protected by its oligarchical masters, to western firms".  Probably not all forms of business, the western oligarchs have their own interests to protect, but certainly a freer hand for business fits into the calculus.

It also puts Belarus, Europe's last dictatorship, in a NATO pincer.  Belarus is not only a dictatorship, but also still has a Soviet-era economy.  Which is annoying, considering the Pripyat depression is full of oil and oil shale, not to mention an underdeveloped agricultural, mining and commercial sector.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 24, 2014, 03:30:03 pm
Putting missile bases and anti-missile weapons systems in Kyiv would totally neuter Moscow's ability to project westward power in any military form.  Had Putin not taken Crimea, the Black Sea fleet would've been dismantled as well.

The western backed politicians there are also overseeing "IMF reforms", which is of course code for "opening the Ukrainian market, jealously protected by its oligarchical masters, to western firms".  Probably not all forms of business, the western oligarchs have their own interests to protect, but certainly a freer hand for business fits into the calculus.

It also puts Belarus, Europe's last dictatorship, in a NATO pincer.  Belarus is not only a dictatorship, but also still has a Soviet-era economy.  Which is annoying, considering the Pripyat depression is full of oil and oil shale, not to mention an underdeveloped agricultural, mining and commercial sector.

Now it makes sense.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 24, 2014, 04:21:43 pm
No problem
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 25, 2014, 03:33:13 pm
The New York Times is pushing propaganda

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/23/nyt-retracts-russian-photo-scoop/

Quote
Two days after the New York Times led its editions with a one-sided article about photos supposedly proving that Russian special forces were behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Times published what you might call a modified, limited retraction.

Buried deep inside the Wednesday editions (page 9 in my paper), the article by Michael R. Gordon and Andrew E. Kramer – two of the three authors from the earlier story – has this curious beginning: “A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.”

In the old days of journalism, we used to apply the scrutiny before we published a story on the front page or on any other page, especially if it had implications toward war or peace, whether people would live or die. However, in this case – fitting with the anti-Russian bias that has pervaded the mainstream U.S. press corps – the scrutiny was set aside long enough for this powerful propaganda theme to be put in play and to sweep across the media landscape.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 25, 2014, 03:35:19 pm
Oh Roger, here's more on the economic angle in Ukraine

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/24/beneath-the-ukraine-crisis-shale-gas/

Quote
Ukraine has Europe’s third-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While for years U.S. oil companies have been pressing for shale gas development in countries such as Britain, Poland, France and Bulgaria only to be rebuffed by significant opposition from citizens and local legislators concerned about the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction – including earthquakes and groundwater contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – there has been considerably less opposition in Ukraine, a country that has been embroiled in numerous gas disputes with the Russian Federation in recent years.

Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, controlling nearly one-fifth of the world’s gas reserves, supplies more than half of Ukraine’s gas annually, and about 30 percent of Europe’s. It has often used this as political and economic leverage over Kiev and Brussels, cutting gas supplies repeatedly over the past decade (in the winters of 2005-2006, 2007-2008, and again in 2008-2009), leading to energy shortages not only in Ukraine, but Western European countries as well. This leverage, however, came under challenge in 2013 as Ukraine took steps towards breaking its dependence on Russian gas.

On Nov. 5, 2013 (just a few weeks before the Maidan demonstrations began in Kiev), Chevron signed a 50-year agreement with the Ukrainian government to develop oil and gas in western Ukraine. According to the New York Times, “The government said that Chevron would spend $350 million on the exploratory phase of the project and that the total investment could reach $10 billion.”
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on April 25, 2014, 03:38:05 pm
Did someone say oil?
              /
 :oilpig:
       \
BOMB THEM!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 25, 2014, 05:11:51 pm
Did someone say oil?
              /
 :oilpig:
       \
BOMB THEM!

In this case it's Putin saying "invade them" and then us saying "stop the invasion".
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on April 25, 2014, 05:40:35 pm
Or, to get even more nuanced, it's us saying "let our proxies take control of the government to sell this valuable natural resource to our companies" and Puting saying "I'd rather the incompetent oligarchs who were in power before keep in charge, because they are stupid and corrupt and it means a greater market for actually existing Russian oil, a key plank of our geopolitical and economic influence".
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 25, 2014, 05:52:00 pm
Or, to get even more nuanced, it's us saying "let our proxies take control of the government to sell this valuable natural resource to our companies" and Puting saying "I'd rather the incompetent oligarchs who were in power before keep in charge, because they are stupid and corrupt and it means a greater market for actually existing Russian oil, a key plank of our geopolitical and economic influence".

Point.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: hirley0 on April 25, 2014, 11:12:25 pm
latel
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 03, 2014, 06:52:07 pm
As morally reprehensible as the fire in Odessa was, it may also be a smart move.

The fire allows for bodies to be recovered - which may allow for identification.  If dental records can show the dead are, say, Spetsnaz, and not citizens of Odessa...well, that would put Russia in a much more difficult position.  It would completely blow apart Putin's lies about the uprisings being entirely spontaneous and natural.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 06, 2014, 03:40:26 pm
The CIA and FBI are currently acting as counterinsurgency advisors to the Ukrainian government, according to the German press.

Troubling, if true.  Right Sector formations have been folded into the National Guard, paramilitary units under military command designed to replace the loss of the disbanded Berkut riot police who would otherwise be dealing with these rebellious cities.  Right Sector could charitably be called "Ukrainian nationalist" or, less charitably, "neofascist" in orientation.

Given the history of US cooperation with far-right groups acting as counterinsurgency troopers, this is really not a good thing.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on May 06, 2014, 03:53:22 pm
That is somewhat troubling. Given the nature of the insurgents, I can't see this leading to much apart from bloodshed and death.

By proxy though, which makes it OK somehow, apparently.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on May 06, 2014, 04:06:21 pm
By the way, did I hear correctly this morning on the radio that Putin is somehow blaming the creation of  Internet for all of their country's woes?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 13, 2014, 08:53:47 am
Not heard that.

This (http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/05/08/how-offshore-finance-sunk-western-soft-power/), however, is interesting:

Quote
When most people think about offshore finance, they don’t think about the future of Europe: They think about palm trees, about shell corporations headquartered in a P.O. Box, and about secret Swiss bank accounts. But this is not what people in Eastern Europe think.

When Russians, Ukrainian, Azerbaijanis—I will spare the reader from a roll call of the 15 fraternal republics—when these countries think offshore finance, they think about their stolen futures. But isn’t that a good thing? Won’t that make them realize that West is best?

Not so fast. First, a few figures. The offshore economy has grown into a gargantuan parallel financial system. There may be more than $20 trillion hidden in more than fifty tax havens. The colossal treasure hidden in British tax havens alone is more than $7 trillion. And a disproportionately large share of that money is Eastern European. Take Russia’s missing $211.5 billion: That’s the conservative estimate for illicit financial flows out of Russia alone between 1994–2011…

East European corruption fighters are discovering that Western countries and their systems of offshore economies have enabled the colossal theft of their countries’ resources. Bubbling up from beneath the surface of both the Russian opposition and the Ukrainian Maidan is a new sense of disdain for the West…

This is what happened to Daria Kaleniuk at Kiev’s Anti-Corruption Action Centre. The director of one Ukraine’s most important NGOs battling corruption spent years investigating how corruption actually works. But the more she learned, the more she viewed both America and the European Union as hypocrites.

Kaleniuk explains:

Quote
What we found was that the money stolen in Ukraine was heading into British and European tax havens and hidden using shell companies inside the European Union. This was very uncomfortable to find out. What we felt is the Western elites were being hypocritical to us—preaching anti-corruption but allowing this offshore world to flourish.

…..Ukrainian MP Lesya Orobets is running for Mayor of Kiev on a platform that flirts with nationalist outrage. She is enraged by Western complicity with the offshore black hole into which Ukraine’s national wealth has long disappeared:

Quote
What you need to understand is that Western tax havens have resulted in Ukrainian deaths. Take for example the theft of Ukraine’s HIV budget. The national budget for fighting HIV was stolen and hidden in tax havens and in Great Britain. But this has consequences—we are now approaching a 2 percent HIV infection rate in Ukraine, which is near the no-return point of pandemic. This corruption will kill British men too. I hear they come to Ukraine. But they also return home. What will happen if the British do not close down their tax havens? I will be deeply, negatively, impressed.

….The West has gotten used to enjoying a hero’s reputation amongst Eastern European democrats. But get to know the Moscow opposition or the Maidan and you soon learn that London is now a byword for corruption, and the names of whole European countries—Luxemburg, Cyprus, Switzerland, Andorra, and even the Netherlands—are synonymous with “theft.”
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on May 13, 2014, 12:03:35 pm
Forgive me, being dense here, but how is the Ukranian money being stolen in the first place?

Are we talking Ukranian corruption and grift?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 13, 2014, 12:07:00 pm
Yup.

Government contracts siphoned off by oligarchs and then put in western banks. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on May 13, 2014, 12:22:22 pm
Gotcha.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 14, 2014, 10:51:04 am
Oh Roger, here's more on the economic angle in Ukraine

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/24/beneath-the-ukraine-crisis-shale-gas/

Quote
Ukraine has Europe’s third-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While for years U.S. oil companies have been pressing for shale gas development in countries such as Britain, Poland, France and Bulgaria only to be rebuffed by significant opposition from citizens and local legislators concerned about the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction – including earthquakes and groundwater contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – there has been considerably less opposition in Ukraine, a country that has been embroiled in numerous gas disputes with the Russian Federation in recent years.

Russia’s state-owned Gazprom, controlling nearly one-fifth of the world’s gas reserves, supplies more than half of Ukraine’s gas annually, and about 30 percent of Europe’s. It has often used this as political and economic leverage over Kiev and Brussels, cutting gas supplies repeatedly over the past decade (in the winters of 2005-2006, 2007-2008, and again in 2008-2009), leading to energy shortages not only in Ukraine, but Western European countries as well. This leverage, however, came under challenge in 2013 as Ukraine took steps towards breaking its dependence on Russian gas.

On Nov. 5, 2013 (just a few weeks before the Maidan demonstrations began in Kiev), Chevron signed a 50-year agreement with the Ukrainian government to develop oil and gas in western Ukraine. According to the New York Times, “The government said that Chevron would spend $350 million on the exploratory phase of the project and that the total investment could reach $10 billion.”

Oh, would you look at that.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/hunter-biden-ukraine-gas-board-106631.html

Quote
Hunter Biden, the younger son of Vice President Joe Biden, will be joining Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, the company announced in a statement.

“The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals,” Alan Apter, Burisma Holdings’ chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement, which was reported by The Moscow Times on Tuesday.

Just coincidence, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on May 14, 2014, 12:22:25 pm
Wasn't expecting the connection to be from Biden.  Sneaky.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 27, 2014, 04:50:54 pm
Please.  For all his relative sensibility on US foreign policy, Delaware is about as corrupt as it gets (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2009/nov/01/delaware-leading-tax-haven).  Probably almost every oligarch in Ukraine has a bank account in Delaware, alongside London, and I'm fairly sure that the money and assets the Ukranian oligarchy has would give it access to the likes of Biden.

In other news, with the election now over, the violence in eastern Ukraine is escalating.  Lots more Youtube vids showing artillery strikes on residential areas...in all fairness, probably due to bad aim and training rather than actual malice, but I doubt that's much sympathy to anyone whose home gets levelled in the mean time.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on May 27, 2014, 04:58:31 pm
Huh. Wasn't aware of the financial corruption, though it should have drawn some red flags, now that I think of it (many, many credit companies are incorporated there).  Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is the DuPont connections.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 28, 2014, 09:56:35 am
Well, most tax havens do tend to have better climates and links with London than Delaware.  That's why it flies under the radar so often.

Reports of Chechen mercenaries fighting for the Russians are coming in from Ukraine.  Not 100% certain of this, but I think this is a mistake based on the presence of the "Vostok Brigade" in the fighting.  There is a Chechen Vostok Brigade, which saw action in Georgia, but there is also an Eastern Ukrainian Vostok Brigade who have no known link with the former. 

That said, President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya is Putin's chief security advisor, and did send "advisors" and negotiators to Ukraine to secure the release of Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, two journalists taken hostage there recently.  Kadyrov alluded to "influence" he may have over those groups.

Just saying, treat all mention of Chechens with caution. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 28, 2014, 02:55:43 pm
Please.  For all his relative sensibility on US foreign policy, Delaware is about as corrupt as it gets (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2009/nov/01/delaware-leading-tax-haven).  Probably almost every oligarch in Ukraine has a bank account in Delaware, alongside London, and I'm fairly sure that the money and assets the Ukranian oligarchy has would give it access to the likes of Biden.

In other news, with the election now over, the violence in eastern Ukraine is escalating.  Lots more Youtube vids showing artillery strikes on residential areas...in all fairness, probably due to bad aim and training rather than actual malice, but I doubt that's much sympathy to anyone whose home gets levelled in the mean time.

Wow, I had no idea. Thanks, Cain!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on May 29, 2014, 02:28:37 am
(Super interesting, thanks.)

Hm, Johnny Brainwash just posted this: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27600919
Quote
The president of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia is said to have fled the capital Sukhumi after opposition protesters seized his office.
Alexander Ankvab reportedly retreated to his home town Gudauta, 40km (25 miles) away, when talks with the opposition broke down.
Many people in the Russian-backed region are unhappy with the ailing economy and lack of reforms.

Just something to keep an eye on.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: whenhellfreezes on May 29, 2014, 09:10:50 pm
When you are siphoning that much money into tax havens and shell corporations one has to wonder how the oligarchs plan to cash it in. With so much money in all of their back-pockets how do they not flood markets when they want to grab actual goods? Does every political crisis get turned into an opportunity for privatization? The truth may be uglier than I want to acknowledge here. Also assuming that they are really thinking through their actions and have a plan.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on May 29, 2014, 09:34:39 pm
When you are siphoning that much money into tax havens and shell corporations one has to wonder how the oligarchs plan to cash it in. With so much money in all of their back-pockets how do they not flood markets when they want to grab actual goods? Does every political crisis get turned into an opportunity for privatization? The truth may be uglier than I want to acknowledge here. Also assuming that they are really thinking through their actions and have a plan.

I wonder about the plan sometimes. Like, is there a point where getting more simply become the whole beginning middle and end of it?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 31, 2014, 05:32:46 pm
When you are siphoning that much money into tax havens and shell corporations one has to wonder how the oligarchs plan to cash it in. With so much money in all of their back-pockets how do they not flood markets when they want to grab actual goods? Does every political crisis get turned into an opportunity for privatization? The truth may be uglier than I want to acknowledge here. Also assuming that they are really thinking through their actions and have a plan.

Fortunately for them, there is a whole economy catering to ostentatious status symbols for the financial elite.

In my own experience, many of these people are not what you would consider careful forward planners.  They tend to be risk-takers, focused on the bottom-line and on expected returns.  Legality, sensibility and long-term consequences do not figure much into the process.

Also, the goods they tend to acquire tend to be land and property and precious metals - markets with their own rules, rather distinct from the standard commercial markets.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on May 31, 2014, 05:39:59 pm
In regards to the Vostok battalion (http://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/is-putin-trying-to-regain-control-in-eastern-ukraine/):

Quote
The Vostok (‘East’) Battalion, after all, seems not to be exactly the same as the Chechen unit of that name which was raised from former guerrillas and disbanded after its participation in the 2008 Georgian War.

[...]

This is not a straightforward reconstruction of the old unit. The command structure appears different, and although ‘Vostochniki’ form the core of the battalion, it also includes non-Chechens and volunteers who were never in the old force. It appears to be a hybrid ‘patriotic mercenary’ unit of volunteers happy for a fight, for a chance to get back with their comrades, and for pay. I don’t know who pays it, but even if it is technically the self-proclaimed DPR government, their access to ready cash is pretty limited and, through one cut-out or another, I presume that the GRU is ultimately paying the piper and calling the tune.

The larger article makes the point that, as with almost all kinds of irregular warfare, the whole thing is threatening to spiral out of Moscow's control.  Putin is not interested in Ukrainian warlordism, no matter how beneficial it would be in the short term, because warlordism in the long-term is usually pretty awful and, unlike the Ukrainian political elite (both Russophone and Russophobe), Putin has shown a capability to think more than one step ahead.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 05, 2014, 09:23:06 am
Everyone, you might want to keep your eyes on Lugansk, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

In the former, Ukranian fighter planes strafed the seperatist seized but civilian main administrative building, killing a dozen people.  CNN seem to be reporting on it fairly, the BBC are equivocating in their normal spineless way and RT are being over the top and hysterical in delivery, but broadly accurate.

The latter two are coming under extremely heavy artillery fire, and Ukrainian troop movements suggest plans to attack the cities will go into play sometime this weekend (my bet: tomorrow evening/night, to avoid the international news.  Always invade on a Friday evening, if you wish the press to be absent).
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on June 05, 2014, 09:58:26 am
Well, shit. What's your guess at the end result here? At this rate I wouldn't be surprised to see an east/west split eventually.

Out of curiosity, is there something of a precedent for invading/fuckery on Friday evenings? If I recall right the last major bout of Egyptian chaos kicked off on a Friday evening too.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 05, 2014, 10:15:42 am
Hard to say.  It's pretty chaotic, you have a demoralised and underfunded Ukranian military, using mostly obsolete equipment, against irregulars of dubious military training and AWOL/"on leave" Russian military personnel with mostly light arms.

And yes, there is a long history of coups and invasions on Fridays.  Most civil servants are home, most military personnel who are not on duty are making the most of their free time, and most reporters are doing the same. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Johnny on June 07, 2014, 07:28:28 pm

I got a news from a shitty news site that spams cellphones (which i didnt request and cant cancel, but ANYWAYS) that USA made a new ultimatum to Russia saying that Ruskiland has 30 days to change their policy in the Ukraine.

Uh?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 08, 2014, 05:40:24 pm
Yeah, Obama and Cameron are trying to act tough.

It's pretty bizarre, actually, as one of their demands is that Russia recognise "Petro Poroshenko’s election as the new leader in Ukraine.”  Which, uh, they did.  Like, right after the election.  Almost as fast as the EU and USA.

And the others are things that Russia are already working with Poroshenko over, like how to calm tensions in East Ukraine (or, from the Russian POV, neutralise Russophone sentiment that is not under Kremlin direction.  But basically the same thing).  And if Russia doesn't do these things which it is already doing, then the West will impose sanctions.  Really Real Sanctions (for Realness).  Or so Cameron and Obama say.

Of course, this ultimatum may have been a not so coded message to the Ukrainian government to ramp up the crazy, which Poroshenko has somewhat obliged, with his declaration that Crimea is forever a part of Ukraine.  As Joseph "Funny Man" Stalin might quip, "how many divisions does the Ukrainian Army have?"  Speaking of which...

There's been heavy artillery fire into the residential outskirts of Slavyansk early this morning, followed by reports of heavy fighting in villages near the city.  Lots of reports of Grad missile fire.  An armoured column has taken up position outside Lugansk, but does not appear to be assaulting the city yet.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on June 08, 2014, 05:45:27 pm
Yeah, Obama and Cameron are trying to act tough.


This isn't exactly their strong point.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 08, 2014, 05:53:39 pm
No, it is quite frankly embarassing to watch.  Obama can be tough, but he is publically adverse to conflict, and it shows in his awkward manner whenever he tries to project strength or conviction.

And Cameron...well, enough said.

And of course this is directed at Putin, who is my personal odds on favourite for the most dangerous world leader, in terms of capability and ingenuity.  And who could probably, personally, break either world leader's arm with a well timed handshake turned judo move.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on June 08, 2014, 05:57:12 pm
No, it is quite frankly embarassing to watch.  Obama can be tough, but he is publically adverse to conflict, and it shows in his awkward manner whenever he tries to project strength or conviction.

And Cameron...well, enough said.

And of course this is directed at Putin, who is my personal odds on favourite for the most dangerous world leader, in terms of capability and ingenuity.  And who could probably, personally, break either world leader's arm with a well timed handshake turned judo move.

Obama is the original "smoky back room" dealer.  He doesn't posture well in public, at least on the tough guy level.

His public act ought to be a "you're adorable" act aimed at Putin's recent acquisitions, if he really feels a need to say anything.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: UB on June 08, 2014, 06:26:03 pm
No, it is quite frankly embarassing to watch.  Obama can be tough, but he is publically adverse to conflict, and it shows in his awkward manner whenever he tries to project strength or conviction.

And Cameron...well, enough said.

And of course this is directed at Putin, who is my personal odds on favourite for the most dangerous world leader, in terms of capability and ingenuity.  And who could probably, personally, break either world leader's arm with a well timed handshake turned judo move.

Obama is the original "smoky back room" dealer.  He doesn't posture well in public, at least on the tough guy level.

His public act ought to be a "you're adorable" act aimed at Putin's recent acquisitions, if he really feels a need to say anything.

Contrary to our previous show of displaced discord.... I agree about Obama's presence in the current political front. He is exceedingly impressive, however, with doublespeak and anyone aware of reptilian depth would further appreciative what he seems to bring to the international table. Smoky back rooms may have been the "thing" at one time to conduct the hidden strategies and agendas, but just as what was going on under the table, such secrets have given way to the adept double speaking of our current elitists. Whether we like it or not, Obama represents a political elitist.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 08, 2014, 06:49:53 pm
No, it is quite frankly embarassing to watch.  Obama can be tough, but he is publically adverse to conflict, and it shows in his awkward manner whenever he tries to project strength or conviction.

And Cameron...well, enough said.

And of course this is directed at Putin, who is my personal odds on favourite for the most dangerous world leader, in terms of capability and ingenuity.  And who could probably, personally, break either world leader's arm with a well timed handshake turned judo move.

Obama is the original "smoky back room" dealer.  He doesn't posture well in public, at least on the tough guy level.

His public act ought to be a "you're adorable" act aimed at Putin's recent acquisitions, if he really feels a need to say anything.

Indeed.  I suppose he now no longer has Hillary Clinton for these kind of things...I mean, I wouldn't trust John Kerry or Joe Biden to not somehow fuck it up if they tried, so I can kinda see his dilemma...but yes.  For someone who seems very aware and capable when it comes to rhetoric, he's showing a remarkable lack of awareness of his strengths and weaknesses.

It also pretty much flies in direct contravention to his own-stated Obama doctrine (http://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-obama-doctrine-death-by-thousand.html#rssowlmlink), at least on that rhetorical level.  Which suggests he's doing it to please some constituency or another.  Maybe Robert Kagan and his gaggle of lunatics. It smacks of the Dauphin and his various bullying attempts...which to be fair, he was good at, when he didn't stumble over the script.  Kagan didn't have many complaints about how Bush Jr did business, so perhaps he also wants to see more backbone from Obama.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2014, 04:53:26 pm
Hey, remember when John Kerry said this (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/world/europe/russia-ukraine-unrest.html):

Quote
"It is clear that Russian special forces and agents have been the catalysts behind the chaos of the last 24 hours."

Yeah, well, about that (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/world/europe/in-show-of-support-obama-meets-with-ukraine-leader.html?ref=world)...

Quote
Secretary of State John Kerry also spent time talking with Mr. Poroshenko, privately urging him to provide evidence of Russian involvement with separatists with which to confront Russian officials.

Foolish Kerry.  Lying like that made Putin, who called out the lie when he first made it, only look like the more honest party here.

In other news, two B-2 stealth bombers have been deployed to RAF Fairford, the first time the bombers have ever been deployed in Europe.  Nothing to do with Ukraine though, of course.  Of course.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 13, 2014, 04:02:18 pm
Guess who else (http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/56706/) is in Ukraine?

Only The Fellowship, aka The Family:

Attendee list in Ukrainian (http://umrada.org/59-news/khristiyanski-novini/107-oleksandr-turchinov-organizuvav-parlamenskij-molitovnij-snidanok) includes Doug Burleigh, the son-in-law of Doug Coe, the exceptionally creepy Genghis Khan enthusiast and leader of the Fellowship.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: LMNO on June 13, 2014, 04:03:12 pm
The fuck?  How the hell do they keep getting invites?


Yeah, I know the answer is most likely Power.  Still.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 13, 2014, 04:07:44 pm
Cant find a direct link - best bet is invitation via Hamm/Billy Graham Ministries, who are close to Pastor Turchynov, and also present.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on June 16, 2014, 11:05:48 am
Further escalation:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27862849

Quote
Ukraine says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Kiev, in a major escalation of a dispute between the two nations.

"Gas supplies to Ukraine have been reduced to zero," Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said.

Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom said Ukraine had to pay upfront for its gas supplies, after Kiev failed to settle its huge debt.

Gazprom had sought from Kiev $1.95bn (£1.15bn) - out of $4.5bn it says it is owed - by 06:00 GMT.

The Russian firm said it would continue to supply gas to Europe.

Quote
Gazprom ended its discount price for Ukraine, which was negotiated by former President Viktor Yanukovych last December, in April.

Before the discount was cancelled, Ukraine's gas bill was heavily reduced by Russia to $268 per 1,000 cubic metres.

The price is now $485.50 per 1,000 cubic metres, the highest in Europe.

Almost 15% of gas used in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, which is why EU members are taking a particularly close interest in the stand-off, observers say.

The talks that ended on Monday had been brokered by EU representatives.

Heading into the negotiations, Kiev said it was ready to make the $1.95bn payment if Russia cut its price to $326 per 1,000 cubic metres.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin said $385 per 1,000 cubic metres was his final offer.

I'm assuming the final price agreed will be closer to the $400 mark than the $300 mark. I'd also guess that this will lead to a variety of bad times in the near future until this is settled.

I assume Russia would be quite happy to take something else as payment. I wonder what it will be?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: UB on June 16, 2014, 02:48:15 pm
Cant find a direct link - best bet is invitation via Hamm/Billy Graham Ministries, who are close to Pastor Turchynov, and also present.

So, by most accord, under the guise of those least expected?

Maybe the participants are unaware and could only know by hindsight?

Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2014, 04:27:51 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BrIk0EKCcAACM5p.jpg)

Welcome to Donetsk!
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 30, 2014, 05:46:52 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BrIk0EKCcAACM5p.jpg)

Welcome to Donetsk!

 :aaa: That's terrifying.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on June 30, 2014, 06:31:04 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BrIk0EKCcAACM5p.jpg)

Welcome to Donetsk!

 :aaa: That's terrifying.

I just kinda spooed.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2014, 09:42:38 am
Well, shit:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28105117

Quote
Ukrainian forces have launched a full-scale military operation against pro-Russia separatists in the east, hours after a ceasefire ended.

Rebel bases and strongholds were under attack from aircraft and artillery, government officials said.

The 10-day ceasefire ended on Monday evening, with President Petro Poroshenko saying "criminal elements" had thwarted the chance for peace.

Western leaders and Russia had urged him to prolong the truce.

Ukraine's parliament speaker Oleksander Turchynov told MPs on Tuesday: "I can inform you that in the morning the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation was renewed.

"Our armed forces are carrying out strikes on terrorist bases and checkpoints."

President Poroshenko went on television on Monday night saying: "We will attack, we will free our land."

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/75787000/gif/_75787421_ukraine_donetsk_luhansk_624_20120624.gif)

So, I guess Donetsk and Luhansk are around the value of Ukraine's gas bill? It seems all but inevitable that these regions will end up under Russian control/jurisdiction, so I would guess that the smart thing to do is negotiate the best possible price for them.

Or, you know, Civil war. Good options abound.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on July 24, 2014, 08:07:29 am
Quote
A pro-Russian rebel leader in eastern Ukraine has said his forces do not possess the Buk missile thought to have downed Malaysia airlines flight MH17.

Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), described evidence that showed otherwise as "fake".

However, in a separate interview a rebel military commander said he was aware rebel fighters had the weapon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28457737

Well that clears everything up nicely. I could still go either way on the culprit.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on July 25, 2014, 09:09:20 am
And YET MORE:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28476153

Quote
The US says it has evidence that Russia has fired artillery across the border targeting Ukrainian military positions.

Russia also intends "to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers" to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, the state department said.


More propaganda at 11.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on August 26, 2014, 01:40:55 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28934213

Quote
A group of Russian soldiers captured in eastern Ukraine crossed the border "by accident", Russian military sources are quoted as saying.

Ukraine said 10 paratroopers were captured, and has released video interviews of some of the men.

Total accident, I'm sure.

This map is interesting too:
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/77171000/gif/_77171460_ukraine_convoy_20140826_624.gif)

The Crimea now seems to be Russia, which while inevitable in many ways I would have thought it would have gained more international attention. I suppose that's quite unlikely now with everyone shitting themselves about ISIS. Remember kids, when brown people grab land, it's bad. When white people do it, it's for our own good. When white people grab land from other white people, the white person with the biggest army is correct.


Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on August 26, 2014, 02:22:01 pm
I think it has a hell of a lot more to do with Russia having nuclear weapons and considerable energy reserves than the colour of their skin.

There's also a hell of a difference between an established, if not always friendly or "free" state exercising a claim with some claim to popular will which goes against international legal and political norms than there is an insurgent group with a penchant for sectarian ultraviolence carving out a new state in a previously religiously plural area and proceeding to kill almost everyone who doesn't live up to their standards.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on August 26, 2014, 03:06:42 pm
Fair point. I suppose contrasting it with ISIS shenanigans isn't particularly helpful in this regard. It just surprised me somewhat about how quickly the Crimea issue has disappeared. The easy out of skin colour was the first thought but you're probably much more on the money.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on August 26, 2014, 03:09:21 pm
Well, what can be done about it?  Really?  A decent majority of the population want to be there, the Ukrainians are in no position to press the issue and we're not going to stick our necks out for a bunch of yokels in Kiev - especially when it could, even if only in the worst case scenario, end in nuclear war.

No-one especially likes it, except certain hot-headed Russian nationalists and Putin flunkies, but there are no credible paths leading away from the existing status quo.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on August 26, 2014, 03:40:27 pm
That's moving into a separate area somewhat. The news is fairly unpalatable and there is little, if anything that can be done, so what to do? Ignore it, it seems, would be the way forward.

While hardly new, there does appear to be an attitude of avoiding discussions because there's no obviously positive solution. I can't help but think it's going to leave such places considerably worse off in the long term because there's no real attention to the downward slide.

I'm assuming conditions are worsening, though that said I can't find anything recent that would indicate either way. I suppose it's feasible that life is now cookies and sunshine for those in the Crimea but I somehow doubt it.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Telarus on August 27, 2014, 01:58:20 am
http://rt.com/news/182720-ukraine-parliament-dissove-twitter/

And then he goes and speaks with Putin for 10 hours with no staff present.  :fnord:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 02, 2014, 04:48:44 am
Being completely uneducated on the topic of Ukraine, it would seem to me that Putin has a few reasons for this whole sideshow with Crimea. Obviously the new government in Kiev isn't as friendly to Russia as Putin would like, and the chances that Ukraine tries to get into NATO in the near future are now higher. Putin doesn't like that idea very much, but probably isn't going to go all the way to complete invade and conquer mode over it. Russia is probably more concerned with Crimea for its importance to the Russian navy, so that mostly explains the annexation there. And now with the Russian forces' incursion into Ukrainian territory (flying the flag of Novorossiya no less), they're probably securing a land bridge between Russia and Crimea, and getting all the ugly military and border-drawing business out of the way before ultimately settling down and accepting Ukraine's more pro-Western position. It certainly isn't hurting Putin domestically, and it isn't like the UK or the US are going to start bombing Russian troops over it, so it's more or less safe - a lot safer than it would be to try all this with a member of NATO, anyway.

Ultimately a piece of Ukraine is worth a lot less than military and political stability between Europe, the US, and Russia. So as usual the West will wave their hands and stomp their feet and depending on how long this drags on for, might even send a moderately disapproving letter to Moscow, but nothing else will come of it. I expect all this talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine to die out, at least in American media, by the end of the year if not a lot sooner. Unless some fool NATO member goes and gets itself involved in a conflict, in which case we might have to kick them out of NATO to avoid making good on the alliance.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on September 02, 2014, 08:44:10 am
Pretty much dead on in regards to Crimea.  I mostly agree with the bit about Eastern Ukraine too, but I think it's a little more complex than that.

I think there are two extra agenda to be considered here.  Firstly, Russia doesn't overtly care about eastern Ukraine.  Yes, it would be nice if the whole region just fell into their laps, but I think they realise that there are a lot of potential consequences there which could be unpleasant.

Instead, they're basically doing this to needle Kiev, and show the new government the costs of denying Russian interests.  It's crass bullying, but often such displays are more effective than, say, lodging a complaint with the UN.  Russia is saying "look what we can do...wouldn't you rather be our friend than our enemy?"

This may also work because Ukraine's finances are in such a dire situation, Russia and Russian proxies will, by default (lol) win any struggle of attrition.  They have deep pockets...Ukraine has 60 billion in debt.

There's also the risk, which has been obscured by painting the uprising in the east as entirely the fault of Russian agitation (because people who oppose the west have no agency), of warlordism on Russia's borders.  Sure, the rebels today are pro-Russian...but five years down the line?  10?  If they can drag out the conflict, which seems quite likely even without Russian support, they can turn the entire Russian/Ukrainian border into a no-man's land, rife with banditry and cross-border assaults, rampaging Ukrainian deathsquads and similar. 

Nothing good can come of that.  By supporting the rebels, they control the rebels, and by doing that they give them a cohesive framework in which to operate, which negates the warlordism threat.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 02, 2014, 11:37:33 am
Quote
There's also the risk, which has been obscured by painting the uprising in the east as entirely the fault of Russian agitation (because people who oppose the west have no agency), of warlordism on Russia's borders.  Sure, the rebels today are pro-Russian...but five years down the line?  10?  If they can drag out the conflict, which seems quite likely even without Russian support, they can turn the entire Russian/Ukrainian border into a no-man's land, rife with banditry and cross-border assaults, rampaging Ukrainian deathsquads and similar.

I seem to recall a Vice video on Transnistria which in which this is effectively occurring right now. I had assumed that an outside actor had some degree of control over the situation. That said, I can certainty see why having another such place pop up wouldn't do business any good.

Unless your business happened to be arms.

Links for the curious:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria#Military (see this and section below it)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Transnistria
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on September 02, 2014, 11:53:21 am
Transnistria is a great place to pick up arms without having to fill in tedious paperwork or worry much about the legality of the weapons in question.

That said, Transnistria also doesn't border on Russia's rich agricultural and industrial territory.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 03, 2014, 09:22:08 am
Some HA HA?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-29042561

Quote
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he has agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on a "permanent ceasefire" with rebels.

"Their conversation resulted in agreement on a permanent ceasefire in the Donbass region [the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk]," his office said.

The Kremlin said Mr Putin had not agreed to the ceasefire himself as Russia was not party to the conflict.

Quote
The White House said Mr Obama would use his trip to Estonia, where about 25% are ethnic Russians, to make it clear that it is "not okay for large countries to flagrantly violate the territorial integrity of their smaller neighbours".

These people say this shit with a straight face. There simply isn't enough rope in the world to deal with all of them appropriately.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on September 03, 2014, 10:30:21 am
Tony Abbott, the Australian PM, was saying much the same.

Note: Abbott served in the Howard government, which certainly never undertook a flagrant violation of a neighbouring state.  It went halfway around the world to do it, instead.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 03, 2014, 11:08:24 am
For what it's worth, I'd make sure there was rope for Abbott.

I'd weave the damn thing personally if required. As far as I can tell the only use for the man is throwing his various quotes into the "Nixon or Bush?" game.

For example, there's these gems:

Quote
I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak’

Quote
‘Climate change is absolute crap’

Quote
Same-sex marriage? I'm not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.

Quote
Jesus didn't say yes to everyone, Jesus knew there was a place for everything and it's not necessarily everyone's (asylum seekers and refugees) place to come to Australia.

There's many, many more. I'm sure he'll dispense sage wisdom on the Ukraine shortly. After all, it's the man who said about syria

Quote
"It's not goodies versus baddies, it's baddies versus baddies"

An intellectual giant of our time.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on September 03, 2014, 12:14:01 pm
Even his own party consider him a moron.  He has a particular talent for sticking his foot in his mouth.  And because he's socially quite conservative, the old time Liberal Party members are really not happy with him (Australia's Liberal Party was always finanically rightwing/pro-capitalist/deregulation, but it used to be a lot more "and what do you in your own time is your own business" and less "gays are icky").

Anyway, his comment was almost exactly the same as Obama's.  Word for word in places, and a couple of days before.  The tail doesn't wag the dog, so I wonder if Obama and Abbott are both getting their briefings from someone who used that line (an American thinktank, maybe)?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 03, 2014, 03:30:43 pm
I horribly misunderstood you. For some idiot reason I thought you were saying Abbott was saying similar to what I was, not echoing Obama and Co.

That's quite a relief.


I'll still keep rope for Abbott though.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 04, 2014, 01:47:26 pm
Latest indicates it's getting nastier while staying quite low-key.

Quote
Bloodied, dirty and stinking, the Ukrainian soldiers who passed through the town of Komsomolske on Saturday morning made for a sorry sight. But they were the lucky ones, who had managed to escape alive from an assault they say involved regular units of the Russian army.

Having fled from encirclement in the town of Ilovaysk, their column of 70 armoured vehicles and hundreds of soldiers was ambushed and shelled, according to one soldier. "Our vehicles were colliding with one another and our tracks were running over our own fighters," said Taras Samchuk, 28, whose 51st brigade was one of the units surrounded.

Many died, some were captured, and about 100 soldiers survived, often "with legs broken or smashed, with shrapnel in our hands, legs, bodies, with smashed teeth and broken noses", he said.

Two weeks ago, Ukraine looked as if it was winning its battle against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, but the tide has turned in recent days, with the encirclement at Ilovaysk a key moment. Samchuk, like many Ukrainian fighters, said there is only one reason for this. Instead of fighting a ragtag group of rebels, the Ukrainians have suddenly found themselves fighting the regular Russian army.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/03/ukraine-soldier-youre-better-clueless-because-truth-horrible-moscow-ilovaysk

Yeah, when the full details on this start becoming clear it's almost certainly going to be bad. "Big pits for all the bodies" bad.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on September 04, 2014, 03:21:01 pm
Unsure to shove this here or in the Syria thread, but it's kind of relevant to both:
http://www.inquisitr.com/1449621/isis-capture-russian-jets-in-syria-tell-vladimir-putin-hes-next/

Quote
In the video, released online on August 31, the ISIS militants addressed Assad directly, while sitting on a captured Russian jet:

“You’d better watch out Bashar – we’re coming for you in planes!. We’ll be coming for you from the skies, with these planes, Allah willing. Brace yourself for what’s coming, you pig.”

Obviously ISIS must really dislike president Assad asit even reverted to petty name calling in the video clip.

ISIS also doesn’t seem to like Russian president Vladamir Putin very much as they turned their attention to him, saying:

“Vladimir Putin, these are the Russian planes that you sent to Bashar. Allah willing, we will take them back to your own turf, and liberate Chechnya and the Caucasus, Allah willing… Your throne is being threatened by us.”

First impressions is that it seems legit, though obviously far from fucking smart.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on September 04, 2014, 04:01:25 pm
Unsure to shove this here or in the Syria thread, but it's kind of relevant to both:
http://www.inquisitr.com/1449621/isis-capture-russian-jets-in-syria-tell-vladimir-putin-hes-next/

Quote
In the video, released online on August 31, the ISIS militants addressed Assad directly, while sitting on a captured Russian jet:

“You’d better watch out Bashar – we’re coming for you in planes!. We’ll be coming for you from the skies, with these planes, Allah willing. Brace yourself for what’s coming, you pig.”

Obviously ISIS must really dislike president Assad asit even reverted to petty name calling in the video clip.

ISIS also doesn’t seem to like Russian president Vladamir Putin very much as they turned their attention to him, saying:

“Vladimir Putin, these are the Russian planes that you sent to Bashar. Allah willing, we will take them back to your own turf, and liberate Chechnya and the Caucasus, Allah willing… Your throne is being threatened by us.”

First impressions is that it seems legit, though obviously far from fucking smart.

Well, at least they're serious about having a good time.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on September 07, 2014, 04:03:21 pm
Unfortunately for ISIS, the Caucasus Emirate has nothing nice to say about them.  The CE are much more opposed to suicide bombings and attacks on non-military targets, and additionally they dislike that some Chechen and Dagestani fighters are part of ISIS's ranks.  They would much prefer a unified Caucasian Syrian Front, under the Emirate's overall command.

Which means they basically have no assets or friends in Russia.  Additionally, the Emirate's leadership have close and personal contacts with Zawahiri, and so are not willing to turn their back on Al-Qaeda just because Islamic State are the flavour of the month.

Not to mention Putin is also serious about a good time.  I think the fate of Shamil Basayev is important to keep in mind here.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 10, 2015, 01:35:52 pm
Daily reminder: there are no Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.  At all.

(https://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/azov-squad-hitler-photo.jpg)

This is the Azov Battalion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion)...who, perhaps amusingly, are funded by a Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihor_Kolomoyskyi). 

According to the battalion's leader (http://Andriy Biletsky) in 2010, his philosophy is that " "From the mass of individuals must arise the Nation; and from weak modern man, Superman... The historic mission of our Nation in this watershed century is to lead the White Races of the world in the final crusade for their survival: a crusade against semite-led subhumanity... The task of the present generation is to create a Third Empire -- Great Ukraine... If we are strong, we take what is ours by right and even more; we will build a Superpower-Empire...".
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 10, 2015, 04:18:43 pm
Daily reminder: there are no Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.  At all.

(https://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/azov-squad-hitler-photo.jpg)

This is the Azov Battalion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion)...who, perhaps amusingly, are funded by a Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihor_Kolomoyskyi). 

According to the battalion's leader (http://Andriy Biletsky) in 2010, his philosophy is that " "From the mass of individuals must arise the Nation; and from weak modern man, Superman... The historic mission of our Nation in this watershed century is to lead the White Races of the world in the final crusade for their survival: a crusade against semite-led subhumanity... The task of the present generation is to create a Third Empire -- Great Ukraine... If we are strong, we take what is ours by right and even more; we will build a Superpower-Empire...".

So, a self-hating Jew is funding a battalion of Ukranian neo-Nazi trash?

What could go wrong?
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on February 10, 2015, 05:33:14 pm
Popcorn.jpg
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 12, 2015, 08:30:10 am
So, a self-hating Jew is funding a battalion of Ukranian neo-Nazi trash?

What could go wrong?

Oh its even better than that.  Ihor Kolomoyskyi is a well known sponsor of Jewish causes, including the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, the European Council of Jewish Communities and the European Jewish Union.

This all political expediency.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 12, 2015, 04:38:40 pm
So, a self-hating Jew is funding a battalion of Ukranian neo-Nazi trash?

What could go wrong?

Oh its even better than that.  Ihor Kolomoyskyi is a well known sponsor of Jewish causes, including the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, the European Council of Jewish Communities and the European Jewish Union.

This all political expediency.

Wow.  :lol:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2015, 10:32:53 pm
Well, I'm sure this is a good sign.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/26/midst-war-ukraine-becomes-gateway-europe-jihad/

Quote
I N THE 17th century, the area to the east of the Dnieper River was known as the “wilderness,” an ungoverned territory that attracted refugees, criminals and peasants — a place beyond the reach of the Russian empire. Today, this part of Ukraine plays a similar role, this time for Muslim brothers. In eastern Ukraine, the green flag of jihad flies over some of the private battalions’ bases.

For many Muslims, like Rizvan, the war in Ukraine’s Donbass region is just the next stage in the fight against the Russian empire. It doesn’t matter to them whether their ultimate goal is a Caliphate in the Middle East, or simply to have the Caucuses free of Russian influence — the brothers are united not by nation, but by a sense of community and solidarity.

But the brothers barely have the financial means for fighting or living. They are poor, and very rarely receive grants from the so-called Islamic humanitarian organizations. They must earn money for themselves, and this is usually done by force. Amber is one of the ideas Rizvan has for financing the “company of brothers” fighting in eastern Ukraine — the Dudayev battalion, which includes Muslims from several nations, Ukrainians, Georgians, and even a few Russians.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 11, 2015, 07:08:16 pm
Still no fascists in Ukraine:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Pdbnkv36CI/VP829WS6H1I/AAAAAAAABA8/pZjHv6G_Jqs/s1600/anaconda%2Bguardian%2Bjonathan%2Balpeyrie%2Btransterra%2Bmedia.jpeg)

The Guardian, naturally, completely misses this fact in this piece of piss (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/05/ukraine-women-fighting-frontline) masquerading as reporting.

(for those of you not aware of Nazi symbology, 1488 is a very well known Nazi slogan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen_Words).  Additionally, the symbol on the door is the symbol of the Dirlewanger Brigade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/36th_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS), the most depraved SS battalion in WWII, made up of career killers, rapists, child molestors and serial killers).

The Guardian has since (silently) updated the article with a caption to mention the "far right links" of the insignia.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Junkenstein on March 12, 2015, 12:04:43 am
So the eventual destination for this shit is where exactly? I can't see it staying there and Transinistra and other shady disputed areas spring to mind.

Or I guess you just let it sit and fester. That's what's been happening for what, over a year now? Probably contributes to the lax reporting. No-one's shocked by overt right wing displays in some places now.

For fucks sake, there was an EDL march in Manchester last week. That was just comical.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 12, 2015, 01:25:39 am
Posting to get in on the thread.

What is the meaning of holding one finger up as in the group pic above on this page?

I'm convinced that the only high mammal more disgusting than dogs is man. A dog will merely go back and eat it's own vomit. Humans go back, throw some glitter on their atrocities and have another go with them.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2015, 04:26:35 am
Might be emulating ISIS.  Or mean "unity"
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 12, 2015, 04:45:50 am
Posting to get in on the thread.

What is the meaning of holding one finger up as in the group pic above on this page?

I'm convinced that the only high mammal more disgusting than dogs is man. A dog will merely go back and eat it's own vomit. Humans go back, throw some glitter on their atrocities and have another go with them.

Hey man, waste not, want not.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 12, 2015, 11:44:04 am
Might be emulating ISIS.  Or mean "unity"

Thought that was likley, but never can be sure. The Nazi's were big on physical gesture.

ISIS does it too eh? Gestures in some ways say much more to the body of the person gesturing than to the onlooker. The 'meaning' in you head is reinforced every time you do it.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 12, 2015, 11:47:26 am
Posting to get in on the thread.

What is the meaning of holding one finger up as in the group pic above on this page?

I'm convinced that the only high mammal more disgusting than dogs is man. A dog will merely go back and eat it's own vomit. Humans go back, throw some glitter on their atrocities and have another go with them.

Hey man, waste not, want not.

 :lol: Guess the basic laws of nature still apply! You spend so much time thinking of a good atrocity, why only use it once?

Oh... we're doomed.  :|
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 13, 2015, 09:07:54 pm
So the eventual destination for this shit is where exactly? I can't see it staying there and Transinistra and other shady disputed areas spring to mind.

Or I guess you just let it sit and fester. That's what's been happening for what, over a year now? Probably contributes to the lax reporting. No-one's shocked by overt right wing displays in some places now.

For fucks sake, there was an EDL march in Manchester last week. That was just comical.

Well, eventually it will leak back into Russia.  The assassination of Nemtsov suggests this is already happening.

Kadyrov's got ambitions.  It remains to be seen whether Putin can effectively slap him down.  His list of competent allies is getting thing.  Perhaps Kadyrov knows this.  I would've said it was too early to be planning Putin's fall, but I'm not in Russia. 
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on March 24, 2015, 08:22:30 pm
So, a self-hating Jew is funding a battalion of Ukranian neo-Nazi trash?

What could go wrong?

Oh its even better than that.  Ihor Kolomoyskyi is a well known sponsor of Jewish causes, including the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, the European Council of Jewish Communities and the European Jewish Union.

This all political expediency.

Wow.  :lol:

And once again, it is shown that the operating lense through which it is best to analyse Ukrainian politics is that of oligarchy:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-20/ukraine-s-oligarchs-are-at-war-again-

Quote
On Thursday, the government appointed a new chief executive for Ukrtransnafta, but Lazorko didn't want to leave. The bodyguards for the new appointee had to fight through a security cordon to get their boss into the office. Kolomoisky's reaction was swift. He occupied Ukrtransnafta's headquarters with a detail of camouflaged men, arriving with an entourage that included legislators.

Video footage of the raid looks as dramatic as anything seen in the 1990's, when the former Soviet Union's first billionaires were working on their first millions. Asked by a Radio Liberty journalist what a regional governor was doing at a state company's office so late, Kolomoisky replied (I'm editing out copious cursing): "I came to see you. I have no other chance to see your face, Radio Liberty. Why aren't you asking how Ukrtransnafta was seized and Russian subversives got in here? Or have you come to see Kolomoisky? We liberated the building from Russian subversives who had seized it, and you and your Liberty are sitting here watching like a dame watches for her unfaithful husband."

Quote
It would now be natural for Poroshenko to fire Kolomoisky as governor. "The country received a challenge yesterday," Nayyem wrote in a blog post. Failure to respond, he said, would show Ukraine's creditors and allies that it is indeed "the failed state of which Vladimir Putin has been dreaming for many years."

Even if Poroshenko fires Kolomoisky, however, his wealth and influence on the volunteer battalions would still make him a powerful figure. When he labels someone a "Russian subversive," thousands of armed people listen, if only because he has been better able to equip and pay them than the government in Kiev. Kolomoisky is too shrewd a businessman to bring about a military coup, but he will hardly allow Poroshenko -- who was until recently his equal -- to push him around.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 24, 2015, 10:45:21 pm
Part of me wishes that the cursing had been left in.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: jonb on April 08, 2015, 04:15:45 am
I think you should find that this is a deep enough explanation of my view. Well actually it isn't, its old and made when I had the intention of maybe visiting the east coast, Mind you even with that admission I am next to sure you will find some points contained within quite moot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITpgYewlwNw  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITpgYewlwNw)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: ivan on April 11, 2015, 01:28:17 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Kuchma (2nd president of Ukraine)
(http://i019.radikal.ru/1401/22/7e0ad91c58f5.jpg)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yushchenko (3rd president of Ukraine)
(http://s004.radikal.ru/i205/1401/c9/376637055853.jpg)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych (next president)
(http://s57.radikal.ru/i158/1401/bf/f7905248a98e.jpg)

There the hint (https://translate.google.ru/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fmignews.com.ua%2Fsobitiya%2Finukraine%2F624495.html&edit-text=)
...the world's largest...
...conceived and created a unique short term...


Why?

Because:
Tzadikim (https://translate.google.ru/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fru.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2F%25D0%25A6%25D0%25B0%25D0%25B4%25D0%25B8%25D0%25BA&edit-text=)
In Hasidism tzadiks transformed into spiritual leaders ( rabbi ), which go for advice, who ask for prayers and blessings. They even founded dynasties, and after their death, their tombs became places of pilgrimage. These graves are in Berdichev , Uman and Chernobyl (this places in west, central and east ukraine, of these places grow roots Hasidism and Chabad.)

Of course, between all this information there is no connection, it's an example of conspiracy delusions from modern Ukraine.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: ivan on April 11, 2015, 01:33:01 pm
Direct political activism of ukrainian nationalists (Praviy Sektor):

https://translate.google.ru/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Flenta.ru%2Fnews%2F2015%2F04%2F09%2Flustration%2F&edit-text=

(http://icdn.lenta.ru/images/2015/04/09/22/20150409223110900/pic_1059159c1f863c842e89b8629ab770ef.jpg)

In Ivano-Frankivsk head of justice department rolled into a garbage can
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 12, 2015, 05:52:20 am
Direct political activism of ukrainian nationalists (Praviy Sektor):

https://translate.google.ru/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Flenta.ru%2Fnews%2F2015%2F04%2F09%2Flustration%2F&edit-text=

(http://icdn.lenta.ru/images/2015/04/09/22/20150409223110900/pic_1059159c1f863c842e89b8629ab770ef.jpg)

In Ivano-Frankivsk head of justice department rolled into a garbage can

I see Charley Sheen is WINNING again.
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 12, 2015, 09:51:13 pm
Direct political activism of ukrainian nationalists (Praviy Sektor):

https://translate.google.ru/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Flenta.ru%2Fnews%2F2015%2F04%2F09%2Flustration%2F&edit-text=

(http://icdn.lenta.ru/images/2015/04/09/22/20150409223110900/pic_1059159c1f863c842e89b8629ab770ef.jpg)

In Ivano-Frankivsk head of justice department rolled into a garbage can

I see Charley Sheen is WINNING again.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: ivan on April 13, 2015, 07:33:56 pm
ODD# I(e)/5,v;22Dsc3180
The Soviet Navy operated a research facility 44.5800°N 33.4023°E to explore military uses of marine mammals at Kazachya Bukhta, near Sevastopol. The Russian military is believed to have closed its marine mammal program in the early 1990s. In 2000, the press reported that dolphins trained to kill by the Soviet Navy had been sold to Iran.
Ukraine's spy dolphins switch allegiance to Russia
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10724506/Ukraines-spy-dolphins-switch-allegiance-to-Russia.html
Dolphin communication
http://67.55.50.201/lilly/dolphin01.html
Return of Dolphins to the Wild
http://67.55.50.201/lilly/interspeciesx.html
(http://s020.radikal.ru/i713/1404/44/d2a7a7512b39.gif) (http://67.55.50.201/lilly/hub.html)
Title: Re: Anybody look at Ukraine lately?
Post by: Cain on October 12, 2015, 12:26:52 pm
For those of you who haven't been keeping track, this Foreign Policy article (http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/08/ukraines-far-right-threat-poroshenko-imf-austerity-winter/) is a good starting point of the current state of play:

Quote
Ukrainians are seething with anger over the plunging quality of life and the government’s failure to purge the country of oligarchy and corruption, the very issues that ignited the 2013-2014 Maidan uprising in the first place. This is not Kremlin propaganda. A Washington Post article in August spoke of the “sense that last year’s wave of protests delivered little but fresh misery.” A recent Atlantic Council report states that “f the Ukrainian government does not follow through with an ambitious reform agenda, public support for reforms will wane while dissatisfaction will increase, threatening political stability and the country’s successful future.” Even George Soros, a stalwart backer of Kiev, wrote this month that “the general population is increasingly dissatisfied both with the slow speed of reforms and the continued decline in living standards.”

If Ukraine were a stable country, this mounting public disillusionment would manifest itself through an unseating of the ruling party in the next election or perhaps through a referendum of no confidence in the administration. But Ukraine — fresh off a revolution followed by 19 months of war — is far from stable. Its citizens have more weapons than they do trust in their government. If the average Ukrainian can’t scrape together enough money to feed and heat his family in the brutal Ukrainian winter, he will blame Kiev (and the West) and express his outrage not at the polls, but in the streets.

Quote
As with many things in Ukraine, the far right’s numbers, as well as the extent of Kiev’s control over their battalions, remains nebulous. In July, Right Sector’s Dmytro Yarosh was able to call up around 5,000 members for a march in Kiev, though how many of the participants were fighters as opposed to party supporters is unclear. Likewise, the Azov Battalion, which has been banned from receiving U.S. training and weapons by Congress, has been nominally under Kiev’s control when it comes to fighting separatists; where Azov’s loyalty lies when it comes to facing Kiev is an open question.

What is clear is that these groups are capable of sowing immense chaos and carnage, as was proved on Aug. 31, when grenade-wielding thugs from Svoboda killed four Ukrainian National Guardsmen and wounded 138 others in front of the parliament building in Kiev. This attack was far from the first time that the far right has threatened Kiev or spilled blood: On July 11, Right Sector was involved in a deadly shootout with police in the western Ukrainian town of Mukacheve, and members of several battalions have threatened a coup after the fighting in the east is concluded.

Up to this point, more or less, the far right and Kiev have shared a common enemy: Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But as the violence in the eastern regions abates, the ultranationalists — including their affiliated (and heavily armed) battalions — are turning their attention inward. Over the past several months, these groups have been increasingly ratcheting up the pressure on Poroshenko, declaring his administration to be an “internal occupation” and calling, as Right Sector put it, for the “new phase” of the revolution.

Kiev and the far right are at a stalemate. Poroshenko doesn’t have the power to disband the ultranationalists (the administration’s response to the Aug. 31 bloodshed has been restricted to a handful of arrests), but the far-right factions aren’t able to openly move on Kiev either. For that, they’ll need to have everyday people protesting in the streets. They need another Maidan.

Quote
Under the most optimistic scenario, a far-right uprising would greatly destabilize Ukraine; Poroshenko wouldn’t be able to continue implementing IMF reforms if he were busy fending off an armed insurrection in the middle of Kiev. At worst, this would set off a chain of events that would rapidly turn the country into a fractured, failed state of 45 million people in the middle of Europe.