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View Diary: Certain Ukraine Units Refusing Orders to Stop Protestors as Russia Threatens Invasion (83 comments)

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  •  First let me say that I appreciate your articles (9+ / 0-)

    …and updates on the Ukraine, even though they are extremely slanted.

    The headline suggests a causal relationship between "Russia's threat if ethnic Russians are slaughtered and denied self-determination in Eastern Ukraine" and "Kiev-deployed slaughtering-units refusing orders because the Russians intimidated them."

    Non-anglo news sources could provide a more universal view.

    When Mexico decides to join the Russian Custom and Russia puts missiles along the Mexico-US border -- I look forward to your continuing coverage.

    •  Like I said: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Sandino

      The US could end this tomorrow by opposing NATO membership for Ukraine. Meaning no missiles on Russia's border.

      I was jumped a few nights ago for being too biased towards Russia.

      "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

      by Eternal Hope on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:20:00 PM PDT

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      •  And as I said, (2+ / 0-)
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        Involuntary Exile, Sandino

        nobody would believe such a US declaration, and rightly so.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:21:07 PM PDT

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      •  Not only that, (6+ / 0-)

        but there's history of the USA's breaking promises not to expand NATO eastward.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:23:17 PM PDT

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      •  Point taken. (2+ / 0-)
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        Eternal Hope, Sandino

        Your's is a thankless job.

        •  RE: The neo-liberal take over of the Ukraine (10+ / 0-)

          Forbes had an interesting take:

          Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin

          Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, may prove to be arsenic to the beleaguered nation.

          “Recall the phone exchange between the Ukraine ambassador and Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs) that got leaked out, where she basically said ‘we want Yats in there.’ They like him because he’s pro Western,” says Vladimir Signorelli, president of boutique investment research firm Bretton Woods Research LLC in New Jersey. “Yatsenyuk is the the kind of technocrat you want if you want austerity, with the veneer of professionalism,” Signorelli said. “He’s the type of guy who can hobnob with the European elite. A Mario Monti type: unelected and willing to do the IMFs bidding,” he said.


          Among the fairest coverage of both sides -- I like this piece:

          Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s mission to prevent his country breaking up


          Bottomline -- Russia has nothing to do with anything. Nor does the US. So why harp on Russia?

          The two sorry empires are merely playing a propaganda kabuki proxy war of wagging wee-wees.

          •  I can only speak for myself. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Tonight, I focused on Russia because of Lavrov's reference to Georgia, which I took as an implied threat to invade. It depends on the news of the day.

            The problem is that Yatsenyuk has not done enough since April 12th (since that piece was written) to reach out to people in the East. And that is the problem with the whole uprising. It included people in the West, but not the East. That would have been like if the North had risen up against the British in 1776, but not the South. Even if the US and Russia get completely out of the picture, the country is in danger of breaking up.

            "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

            by Eternal Hope on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:52:19 PM PDT

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          •  Ukraine has semi-permanent austerity already (0+ / 0-)

            I can believe the EU wants someone who will export grain westward (cheap), but I don't see what austerity the EU could ask for.

            •  The EU doesn't want austerity... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, Pluto, corvo

              They want their money back. Even if they have to get it from the pockets of the Ukrainians. Which in turn would result in Ukraine descending into austerity.

              •  Blood from stones (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Ukraine's GDP per capita is under $4000, and below Albania, which used to be seen as the most impoverished country in Europe. Other than continued revaluation of the currency, I'm not sure where the EU expects to get money back from, at least, in terms of austerity. (So far, I don't think they have that much invested in Ukraine. The EU offer of investment is what started this mess, when Yanukovych went for Putin's counteroffer.) My best guess would be opening energy resources for private exploitation. Does Ukraine have the capital to do that without either EU or Russian help?

                If you have some idea what the EU would want, other than in kind repayments, that would look like austerity, I'm genuinely curious. How much urban middle class is there to decimate?

                •  Here's a summary of the goals behind the US aid (1+ / 0-)
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                  to Ukraine

                  President Obama and Vice President Biden have made U.S. support for Ukraine an urgent priority as the Ukrainian government works to establish security and stability, pursue democratic elections and constitutional reform, revive its economy, and ensure government institutions are transparent and accountable to the Ukrainian people.
                  lots more detail at the link:


                  Free and fair elections, constitutional reforms, economic assistance, energy security (including conservation measures), government modernization, anti-corruption efforts and pursuit of assets stolen earlier, security assistance, etc.

                  Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

                  by bear83 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:41:30 AM PDT

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                •  Sell off the physical infrastructure (3+ / 0-)
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                  Euroliberal, Pluto, corvo

                  gut the social infrastructure. Standard austerity/looting playbook.

                  •  What infrastructure? (0+ / 0-)

                    My point is that as far as I can research, there isn't any. Old age pensions are trivial; the elderly have had to go back to work. There's no social safety net, except for Yanukovych's zoo animals. There's no existing energy infrastructure. Even the roads are mostly bad.

                    I can see payment through agricultural products—not just the West but China have been looking at fertile land in underdeveloped countries—and through energy concessions. But I don't see anything already there worth looting?!

                •  Reduce Government spending... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...that is, reduce gas subsidies, reduce pensions, early retirement for government workers, etc.

                  Ukraine is also known as "the breadbasket of Europe" which means good, verdant wheat fields. By the purest of coincidence, on the same day that Ukrainians poured out to protest Yanukovyich, Big Ag Cargill signed an agreement to acquire a part of UkrLandFarming, Ukraine’s largest agribusiness holding

                  Also, this from a Common Dreams article

                  It is generally thought that the Ukrainian economy is largely uncompetitive and overly represented by outmoded basic industries like coal mining, steel, metals and other ‘pre-information’ society industries. But that is a gross misrepresentation. The Ukraine offers an especially attractive economic ‘plum’ ripe for picking by western multinational companies. Here’s just some evidence of this latter point:
                  The Ukrainian economy is heavily invested in nuclear power generation and hydroelectric generation. This offers significant new investment opportunities for western nuclear power construction companies, who are facing growing public opposition to further nuclear plant construction in the west.
                  The Ukraine is the 6th largest exporter of aircraft military goods, especially transport equipment and has an advanced rocket systems industry. It ranks 4th in the world in terms of IT technology professionals, behind only the USA, India and Russia, and has an exceptionally well educated technical workforce and tech-oriented education system that is growing 20% a year. Its tech market is more than $4 billion a year. 90% of its populace is internet connected and has 125 mobile phones per 100 population. Its shipbuilding industry is one of the most advanced, including natural gas tankers. It has a thriving automobile, truck, and public bus production industry. And it has 30% of the world’s richest soil, producing grains, sugar and vegetable oils at costs well below Europe’s. It also has its own proven, significant, but yet totally undeveloped shale gas reserves.
                  What the west wants is for its corporations to get its hands on these industries and their products and to integrate them into their multinational corporations’ global expansion and production plans. They will be aided by the IMF as part of its ‘foreign direct investment’ requirements of any EU/IMF bailout deal. As these multinationals ‘invest’ in the Ukraine, western banks will be paid significant fees (and allow Ukrainian banks to share as junior partners in the process). Downsizing and ‘restructuring’ of these Ukrainian industries will follow to integrate them to the global plans of the western multinationals. Ukrainians will lose jobs in these promising sectors, as their wages stagnant, and benefits are cut—as is the case going on globally for workers in all these industries today including the EU and USA.
                  Possessing Ukraine will also cut Russia off in the knees. To paraphrase historian Norman Stone, with Ukraine, Russia is like the US. Without Ukraine, Russia is like Canada. Although without the charm, I guess.
                  •  Wikipedia doesn't think their auto industry (0+ / 0-)

                    is thriving. Production is down 30%. Their cars were seen as inferior even relative to other Soviet models; they must have been a half-step better than Trabants. Like all the Eastern Bloc car manufacturers, their only hope to be competitive in the world market has been joint ventures with foreign manufacturers: Western, Chinese, and Korean.

                    This is where I'm confused by the conspiracy theory. Wages in Ukraine are not a problem for these manufacturers. Pensions are near zero.

                    Unlike Common Dreams, I'm not a big believer in autarkic development, also known as Juche. And I certainly don't see why Ukrainians would prefer whatever strings Putin attaches to his aid.

                    AFAIK, Ukranians have the same retrograde attitude towards gays that Russians do, but it would be a big laugh to see what would happen at DKos if Putin insisted his aid was conditioned on persecution of homosexuals and the EU insisted their aid was conditions on legalization of homosexuality. My guess is ten percent of the subscribers here would start to sound like Family Forum.

    •  Heh. (7+ / 0-)
      Kiev-deployed slaughtering-units
      After accusing this diarist - who's generally gone out of the way to give multiple perspectives, even if not in every diary - of letting slip a bias.  Nicely done.
      Non-anglo news sources could provide a more universal view.
      Diversity in sources is good!  But it turns out I'm reading non-anglo sources and not coming to the same conclusions you are, so who knows?

      To the diarist:

      Yeah, this diary could have used some more rounded sources, but it's hard to discuss this issue clearly (disinformation campaigns on both sides, making it very difficult to pinpoint facts), much less parse Lavrov's nutso statements over the past two days, in which he did the same thing John Kerry did earlier this week and cynically propped up manufactured nonsense as proof of wrongdoing.  

      Ukraine has real reasons to fear Russian military intervention: Lavrov confirmed troop buildups on the border, and his squishy use of "Russian" (россиян) in reference to Ukrainian citizens suggests that there's something of a fait accompli in the works here, too (the nuance is lost in English, but he seems to be conferring legal recognition on the separatists above ethnic identification).  The Geneva pact is looking frailer by the day, even without the recent shootout: the kidnappings have become more prominent, and the concerted effort to manufacture blame (on both sides) means that there are too many people working against any kind of long-term solution.  It's very disheartening.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and back to Pluto: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, Alhambra, cryonaut, Pluto

        I started writing this comment before you and the diarist reached some detente, so it looks harsh in retrospect.  But seriously: I've gotten into some pretty big disagreements with EH over the material, but I don't detect any consistent or malicious bias at work.  Some of the diaries have tilted more pro-Russia, some more anti-.  

        This is not an issue I've found exceptionally covered anywhere, and most of the specific information is often available to non-speakers through rough google translations at best.  (If I'd had more time last week, I'd have posted a more complete translation of the Putin interviews that Snowden participated in, because it was much more interesting than the excerpts in English-language media.)  

        Point being: I'm trying to be more patient with people who clearly want to know, even as I'm losing patience with people who think they know already.

        YMMV, etc.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:17:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So does that mean you're the only one that knows? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Because you've ruled out anyone else that think they know.  Only those that want to know are to be patient with?

          "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:32:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lower in the comments section (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I posted a long-ish comment below about why it's so hard to know, and what my own difficulties have been with parsing the good information from the bad.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something.  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:52:14 PM PDT

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            •  It's always that way. It can still be summarized (0+ / 0-)

              in a fairly accurate manner.  The problem is, there are two completely different views.  

              •  Why two? (0+ / 0-)

                On the ground, there are people in favor of EU integration, people in favor of Russian annexation, people in favor of federalizing the state, people in favor of a more complete ethnic balkanization, people in favor of returning to the pre-Maidan status quo, or to the 90s arrangment (pre-constitution that established the legal status of places like Crimea), etc. etc.  It only resolves to two sides if you're stuck on the Great Game narrative between the U.S. and Russia, but however much those two sides are playing for their benefit, the situation for Ukrainians is far more complex.

                Take, for example, the fake antisemitic circulars from last week.  Pro-Kiev Jewish leaders (e.g. Kaminezki) were out front dismissing the circular as a fraud, even though it implicated Kiev in the forgery.  So it's not even a matter of taking evidence and filtering it through one or the other ideology.  It's not always about views.

                Murders, kidnappings: these are not just matters of perspective.

                To that end - look, I've been upfront about my biases here, and I think it's important to understand that pro-Western integration has a lot more at stake than anything the U.S. or NATO is selling economically or geopolitically (well-captured in a kerfuffle in Russia this week over a popular but controversial cartoon.)  That's why it's so frustrating to see everything getting boiled down into these "two viewpoints".

                But it's also about sources.  Pluto isn't wrong, above, that getting everything through English-speaking media is not going to give you a very rounded view of events.  I don't think roundedness is the only problem, though. Lately I've been trying to go a step further and only link to primary sources (as much as possible - it's a frustration that Russian-language media typically doesn't do transcripts, and it's a lot of work to transcribe myself).  Because a lot gets lost in the translation.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:35:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was referring to this blog where it's impossible (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  to rationally discuss issues such as this.  That's what it usually boils down to.
                  Pro-Gaddafi, pro-Assad, pro-Hussein, pro-Putin
                  versus U.S. is good, Obama is good, the U.S. is not doing anything wrong.  Etc.
                  An over generalization perhaps but that's what it usually devolves into, or starts as depending on the content of the diary.

                  "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:52:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why's it impossible? We seem to be doing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    pretty well.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:03:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We haven't talked about anything specific. If (0+ / 0-)

                      say we talk about the chemical attack last August in Syria and who did it, that's when the discussions stop.  That's the kind of thing that can't be debated.  It can be discussed among those who have the same views, but when someone believes it was done by Assad and another believes it wasn't, it usually devolves into that name calling I mentioned above.  
                      That's part of the reason I stopped writing diaries.  It wasn't worth the headache anymore.  It's also why I usually don't even write substantive comments anymore.  It's like, what's the use.  Part of it is trying to do it on the internet.  It's certainly not as conducive to debate as in person.

                      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

                      by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:18:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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