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View Diary: Ukraine's government says its airports have been invaded by Russian troops (64 comments)

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  •  I don't really understand the internal politics (5+ / 0-)
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    CwV, a2nite, IL clb, Dodgerdog1, FarWestGirl

    well enough to make intelligent comments CwV. I'm just reporting a few articles I saw this morning that look important.

    At the very lest, Vladimir Putin seems to be doing some "sabre rattling."

    I'm wondering if "former" President Yanukovuych's statement that he is still President of Ukraine might not be a prelude to him "asking" Putin for help "restoring" order to "his" country?

    Then Russia could say it was not an invasion, but a "joint military exercise," but at the same time, intimidate the Ukraine military forces back into submission?

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:58:08 AM PST

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    •  That sounds quite plausible. (1+ / 0-)
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      I also have very little knowledge of Ukraine, I can only speculate from what I've read over the past month.
      More questions than answers.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:03:09 AM PST

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    •  For those of us who remember the cold war (6+ / 0-)

      this is very unsettling. I vividly remember the invasion of Czechoslovakia:

      The reforms, especially the decentralization of administrative authority, were not received well by the Soviets, who, after failed negotiations, sent thousands of Warsaw Pact troops and tanks to occupy the country. A large wave of emigration swept the nation. While there were many non-violent protests in the country, including several suicides by self-immolation (such as that of Jan Palach), there was no military resistance. Czechoslovakia remained controlled until 1989.
      I remember watching the story unfold on TV, and the sight of tanks lumbering into a country that is struggling to reform its leadership is not pleasant.

      I've been following the current story all night and it is very troubling.

    •  Not Necessarily Former (4+ / 0-)
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      HoundDog, burnt out, Odysseus, FarWestGirl

      I strongly oppose Yanukovych the butcher, and of course favor the Ukrainian people's right to self determination and the integrity of their country - free from the Russian control and intimidation that defined it for centuries until independence from the collapsed Soviet Union.

      However, the method by which the Ukrainian parliament removed Yanukovych is very possibly not legitimate. As I understand it, the parliament couldn't just remove him under their constitution. So first they voted on a law reverting their constitution to a version about a decade old that did provide for unilateral removal of the president, and then used that power to remove him (and his henchmen at the top). However, the latter constitution required that the president sign the law reverting to the old constitution, and of course he didn't do that. So the changed constitution was illegitimate, and parliament doesn't have the power to remove him, and so he's still the president.

      Now, I have no idea how such a constitutional crisis works out in Ukraine. Probably their top court must decide, which must probably be initiated by either parliament or the president, very likely neither of whom have done so.

      Parliament and the country were in a bad position. I don't see how they didn't have the power to remove a president who was ordering mass murder in Independence Square and likely elsewhere, among other unacceptable provocations. But I haven't heard that they did have the power, and it does seem the power they used wasn't actually legal.

      It's a bad situation. If the end of removing Yanukovych justifies the means of an illegal constitutional change, then new ends of a new government can justify what they believe are imperatives, too.

      I believe that Ukraine performed a bloodless revolution this month, and has schedule democratic elections for May. I suppose that's an adequate way to work out their government problem. But it's not entirely clear and legal.

      I hope everyone learns from these demonstrated critical errors. A republic is very complex.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:31:13 AM PST

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      •  You make excellent points. He is giving a press (1+ / 0-)
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        conference in which he is saying he is still the President and he will fight for his country.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:41:24 AM PST

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      •  Good question. (2+ / 0-)
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        HoundDog, FarWestGirl

        The deal signed on February 21 required reverting to the 2004 constitution. I'm not sure if the president needs to sign off constitutional amendments, although I will acknowledge the process is unclear. I think that if the president doesn't sign it, the Verkhovna Rada's speaker can do it. In any case, Yanukovych does not have any power, and he can hardly be considered the president.

      •  there is that (1+ / 0-)
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        revolutions arent necessarily all legal. as always, legality and legitimacy must be kept apart.

        They performed a revolution, quite right. Legality was out the window when Yanukovich had special police fire live on demonstrators.

        in the end, politics is what counts. Law and legality follow politics, not the other way round. Note that Yanukovich´s own party voted for the constitution change and for removal of Yanukovitch, and accused him of treason to his country. That wasnt just partisans of one side.

        •  Everything Counts (1+ / 0-)
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          Claudius Bombarnac

          Yes, law and legality follow politics. That is to be roundly condemned, when the laws are legitimate. As far as I know, the law requiring the president to sign a change to a constitution that lets parliament vote out a president was passed legitimately.

          Republicans would love to vote out Obama in favor of someone they elected on the spot, without even bothering with impeachment.

          I'm not saying I prefer Yanukovych to have stayed, or that I know there was a better, legal way. To the contrary, I explicitly said the opposite.

          But I also said that Yanukovych says his ouster wasn't legal. Which does appear to be true, and does matter (even if not enough to undo).

          You agree it's a revolution. In fact you agreed with me entirely in that post. Except where you imply that law and legality don't count when they disagree with politics. I disagree with that.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 12:43:46 PM PST

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    •  Quite likely, however, since the uprising is (0+ / 0-)

      massive and thus demonstrably popular, I think it will give Putin pause in moving broadly.

      He may or may not send something into Crimea, but more likely there than anywhere else. I don't think he'll venture into the greater part of Ukraine.

      The US & EU will stare them down about the western part of the country, but it's going to be at least tense for a while.

      Yanukovich has been badly damaged by the discovery and publication of the records of his looting and hoarding. They're digitizing and posting everything they've found, essentially crowd sourcing the search, and will categorize it later. That should help degrade support for him by Russia, and bolster the new government's credibility.

      Keep fingers crossed.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:30:39 AM PST

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      •  Crimea is a terrible problem. (1+ / 0-)
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        Apparently, Nikita Khruschev when the leader of the USSR transferred the Crimea in particular from being a part of Russia proper to being a part of Ukraine at a time in 1954 when the two were not realistically separate entities. In 1953, Crimea was a part of Russia as we now know it.  Putin is not inventing a new problem here.

        According to the flurry of NYT articles this morning, this transfer was formally rescinded in 1992 when the USSR collapsed, and part of Ukraine, the Crimea, tried to sever its tie with Ukraine and go home again. Crimea is now a sort of autonomous territory with more ties to Ukraine than to USSR formally, but with the 1954 transfer nullified. And a huge Soviet base sitting in the middle of it from before the transfer.

        And one must not forget the Tatars, an entire people removed by force from this area by Stalin to central Asia, because he wanted to, many of whom are now back and are not interested in doing that again, and, incidentally, are to no small degree Islamic folk, not so far away from other Islamic folk with heavy weapons.

        This is not a newly invented divergence. IIRC there was a point in late Medieval times when one of the cultural stars of Slavic culture of the kind that became Russian was Kiev, in the days when fighting off the Turks was almost more important than that round of fighting the direct neighbors.

         Culture has moved, nation states that did not exist then do now, greater powers vanished, rose and then vanished again, the great powers doodled on borders after both of the last two world wars, and the housekeeping remains in places like this.  This is part of what is driving the current round, but if it were not this round in this time, it would probably be the same sort of round another time.

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