Skip to main content

US Sec of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov have ended five hours of talks in London that got nowhere. Yesterday Russia began massing troops and tanks on the border with northeastern Ukraine. Today they are making noises about the responsibility to protect the safety of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

Russia and west on collision course over Ukraine as talks fail in London

The Ukraine crisis has entered a new and more dangerous phase after 11th-hour talks in London between the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, broke up without resolving the standoff.

The diplomatic failure sets Russia on a collision course with the west, with Moscow ordering further military deployments on Friday and a contentious referendum in Russian-dominated Crimea set to go ahead as planned on Sunday.

The referendum, which will almost certainly result in a vote in favour of breaking away from Ukraine and union with Russia, will trigger the imposition of sanctions by the west on Monday.

This really seems to paint a picture of Putin being prepared to go for broke. He seems to be intent on making it clear to the west that he won't be intimidated by the threat of economic sanctions. Whether he really wants a shooting war with NATO or not, he is drawing a line in the sand as to a position on Russian security interests. Regardless of intention, this kind of aggressive military movement creates an atmosphere that raises the risk of actual conflict.

It seems quite likely that a showdown will come to pass on Sunday and Monday. The vote in Crimea will happen and then the west will have to decide if it is actually prepared to put its money where its mouth is. That script seems to be pretty clearly laid out. The big question is just what is Putin planning to do with all the tanks on the border.  

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm pretty sure you mean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ

    "Russia begins process to rescue Ukraine from the clutches of the EuroBankers and Neo-Nazis"

    In Putin we trust.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:01:13 AM PDT

  •  Discouraging (13+ / 0-)

    It seems the only diplomatic solution is for Russia to withdraw its troops from Crimea and off the border of Ukraine and Ukraine and Crimea need to start a discussion about a secession referendum that can be conducted openly, and after a campaign for the people in Crimea, and not under the gun, similar to what is happening in Scotland today.

    The referendum slated to be held Sunday is a sham. The voters have a choice between "Yes" and "Yes" with respect to secession.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:08:28 AM PDT

    •  I definitely think it is all cause (8+ / 0-)

      for increasing concern.

    •  They could have got with diplomacy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, HeyMikey

      what they now have with sleazy, thug tactics.  Putin appears to be self-aggrandizing and somewhat stupid.

      "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

      by Publius2008 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:33:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afraid he wants more than just Crimea (7+ / 0-)

        He's been issuing Russian passports to thousands of Ukrainians for the past several years.

        Annexation by Passport   Al Jazeera

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:36:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as a say below (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy, mwm341

          then he will get terrorism, guerilla and perhaps a civil war.  History will repeat itself. We now appear to be returning to the tribalism we had before WW1.  And didn't that lead to wonderful things?

          "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

          by Publius2008 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:39:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  At gunpoint, right? Here you must take and use (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          this passport instead of your other one. Riiiiight.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:09:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluezen

            Feel free to dispute the Al Jazeera article. And if you don't like that one because it doesn't fit your preferred narrative, you can try a number of other sources.

            In the meantime, it would certainly be helpful if you cited a few sources of your own to back up some of the outright silliness you're saying in this diary.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:30:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I saw nothing in that article indicating that (0+ / 0-)

              passports were being forced upon people. Indeed, it contains this very precise language

              "the now-disbanded special operations forces that were deployed against the Euromaidan protesters in Kiev, have been offered Russian passports, too. "
              Lest the word offered confuse you, I will simply assert that acceptance and use of these passports is optional, voluntary, wilful, etc.

              Beyond that, I cannot read Crimean history for you, that is your job, or not, depending upon whether you wish to speak on the subject from a factual, basis or not.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:16:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL !!! (0+ / 0-)

                Keep reading enhydra !! I wonder why Russian passports were given to the special operations forces in the Maidan? Check that out also. Oh, and try to avoid Russia Today.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:38:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  New Ukraine has no legitimae say in what (0+ / 0-)

      The Crimea does or does not do. Crimea was an autonomous republlic, bound to Ukraine solely by certain clauses in the constitution of Old Crimea. When the Euromaidan insurrectionists overthrew the government, they also overthrew that constitution, freeing the Crimea from all such bonds.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:12:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  seriously? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tony Situ, bluezen
        New Ukraine has no legitimae say in what
        The Crimea does or does not do.
        Crimea is part of Ukraine and recognized as such by Russia, and the entire world community.
        bound to Ukraine solely by certain clauses in the constitution of Old Crimea.
        Wrong. It is part of Ukraine by Russia making it part of Ukraine by treaty in 1954 and after it had been part of the Russian Empire for 300 years, and part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries before that. There was no "old Crimea" or Crimean constitution until 1992.
        When the Euromaidan insurrectionists overthrew the government, they also overthrew that constitution, freeing the Crimea from all such bonds.
        Where on earth are you getting this from? The constitution of the Ukraine is still in effect. It wasn't "overthrown". The 1999 Constitution of Crimea is still very much in effect. Even the thugs that took over the Crimean parliament and forced a vote at the end of a gun still recognizes the 1999 constitution. If it was "Overthrown", they wouldn't be having a referendum asking people to vote between joining Russia or going back to the 1992 constitution.

        You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to facts made out of whole cloth.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:28:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are completely wrong about Crimea, it (0+ / 0-)

          has always been recognized as an autonomoous republic and not an oblast, even by Ukraine (and Russia) and has its own constitution. (It once even seceded but immediately elected to revoke that for unknown reasons)

          As an autonomous republic, it is self-governing and free only to the extent not controlled or otherwise bound by  overriding clauses in the Ukraine constitution.

          This is all available by even the most cursory search, btw, even da wiki has this information. You really ought to try learning a tiny bit about both Crimea and Ukraine, you might even find it interesting.

          The Ukraine constitution has never been asserted to contain clauses permitting government, change of government and change of constitution by agreement between the existing head of government and insurgents. Those things happened and said head of government, after signing ran for his life. As that point the constitutional government was overthrown as is the case in every a-constitutional revolutionary change of government/power. That is simple fact. When you overthrown the government, you also overthrow the constitution.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:23:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you should provide some links (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tony Situ

            I see you've backed off to "semi-autonomous" which is correct. However:

            (It once even seceded but immediately elected to revoke that for unknown reasons)
            Yes, for like 6 days. And the reasons are well known. You might want to look them up. in the meantime, every Constitution Crimea has had since its first, 1992, stated it was part of Ukraine, with the exception of that 6 day period.
            You really ought to try learning a tiny bit about both Crimea and Ukraine, you might even find it interesting.
            LOL !!!  I'm glad you're actually doing some research as a result of this exchange. Your tune is quite a bit different than when you first started.

            In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for the Ukrainian people and whats in their best interest, supporting their hopes and their aspirations, unlike Putin or some armchair American blogger who feels like they are best suited to make those decisions for them.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:35:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think it matters. (0+ / 0-)

              Here's the truth: an unstable new government is probably better off without any region where a clear majority don't want to belong.

              The new Ukrainian government should have announced on day 1 that it would soon invite the UN to supervise elections in eastern Ukraine, so each region could decide to stay with Ukraine, join Russia, or go independent. Then the new government would have been left with only those people who actually want it to succeed.

              That was in its own self-interest. After the recent history of Georgia and Chechnya, Ukraine should have seen this coming--and should have known that Europe and NATO would not go to war to stop it.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:56:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why should the gov't have done that? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                Were there demands for secession before Putin's puppet was ousted?  If not, then why should the gov't, after ousting the puppet, invite the UN in to oversee secession proceedings?  What would the impetus of such a move be if nobody was demanding secession in the first place?

                Even if there were demands for secession, your prescription sounds akin to Lincoln inviting Britain and France to oversee peaceful secession proceedings (which both Britain and France would have been willing to do since they sided with the south until Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation).

                And still doesn't justify Putin's conquest.

                •  self-interest (0+ / 0-)

                  Several reasons:

                  (1) The wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

                  (2) The armed conflict over Kosovo (really more of #1).

                  (3) Chechnya.

                  (4) Georgia's armed conflict with Russia.

                  (5) The recurrent wars of Europe for the last 2,000+ years.

                  How badly do you want to be right? Badly enough to require the deaths of a significant % of your population?

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:34:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You're wrong again (0+ / 0-)

                If you do your homework, you will find there was a vote several years ago for complete independence and the Crimeans turned it down.

                Furthermore, there's a poll thats been posted a few times in the comments here which shows 60% of eastern Ukrainians don't want union with Russia. So, why would Crimea be any different? You make assertions with no factual support. You don't know what the Crimeans want and have nothing to back up what you say they want.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:42:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Calm down. (0+ / 0-)

                  I am not asserting that a majority of people in Crimea or eastern Ukraine want to secede and join Russia.

                  I'm asserting that having a UN-supervised plebiscite on that question--regardless of the outcome--would likely have defused the threatened violence and threatened/actual military actions.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 04:03:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, but quote where I said (0+ / 0-)

              "semi-automonous". I didn't "back off", I used the correct term throughout. That you seem to not have had a clue what it means and seem to know nothing about Crimean history and government doesn't change a word of what I said.

              The Ukraine is not Crimea, and what is best for the Ukranians is nt necessarily what is best for the Crimeans any more than what is best for the Germans is best for the Poles.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:18:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I could be mistaken but there appears to be (6+ / 0-)

    different stories about those tanks on the border.  Russia denied it was amassing tanks on the border and authorized a Ukraine flyover to let them confirm for themselves.  
    The Guardian link doesn't provide any additional evidence whether it's true or not.
    Trying to find the evidence that Russia is amassing tanks on the border.

    "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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:09:27 AM PDT

  •  And where did this come from? (4+ / 0-)
    Today they are making noises about the responsibility to protect the safety of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
    And Sarah says.
    We can multilateralize our efforts. As I noted earlier, R2P recognizes that the prevention of atrocities is a matter of international concern. That’s why the recently adopted Arms Trade Treaty, which will help prevent the illicit flow of arms to atrocity perpetrators, is so important. It’s why peacekeeping missions should have the training and mandates they need, and it’s why we each need to support the UN Secretariat—including our dynamic colleague, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng. Given the important role that UN mediation capacity plays, I am pleased that the Friends of Mediation, which the U.S. recently joined, will be meeting at the ministerial level on the margins of the General Assembly opening session to advance support for this critical function.
    Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At an Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect

    "multilateralize"  Wut does this word mean?

    And who are the "the Friends of Mediation"?

    My prognostication, nothing happens.  Russia takes Crimeria.  And we are left sputtering about 19th century thinking.  The EU won't f up their economic ties.  The US deploys Kerry to stutter about BS.  Putin owns us.  Just admit it and move on.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:18:18 AM PDT

    •  Samantha, not Sarah. oops. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:19:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It came from the article that I linked. n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Yes, but the "Responsibility to Protect" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mwm341

        Started where?  Here?  Yes?

        It is the international "Stand Your Ground"  law.

        I only invade to "protect" those unfortunate, beleaguered citizens.

        Welcome to Sudetenland.

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:33:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It has pretty much always been a feature (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BMScott, fcvaguy, Spit

          on international politics. The British used to protection of the commercial interests of their citizens as a justification for spreading the control of the empire. The notion of genocide is a post WW II creation, but ethnic rights were concocted at the conclusion of WW I in the Paris treaty negotiations.

          •  So you delve into your History Books (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LanceBoyle

            And ignore the reasons and people involved that spurred our involvement in Libya.  Russia wouldn't be invoking the "right to protect" as a justification if the US, (the POTUS, Admin, SOS and Samantha Powers) hadn't done that only a few years ago.  

            Nice try on avoiding the point.

            That is, we did it.  They do it.  And now we are shocked that gambling is going on here.

            Oh, please.

            "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

            by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:46:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh come off it! (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              katiec, BMScott, amyzex, fcvaguy, Spit, marsanges

              I said nothing that was an attempt to apologize for the more recent activities of the US. I have generally been opposed to those adventures. It is a historical reality that governments have been these political games for a very long time.

              •  Nope. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

                by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:54:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  ? I don't see Richard taking the tack you're (6+ / 0-)

              ascribing to him.

              I think you're reading in.

            •  Pretty sure that 2008 predates 2011, no? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              whizdom, Lawrence, fcvaguy

              Lavrov clearly invoked the notion of R2P to justify Russia's actions in Georgia.

              So the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the laws of the Russian Federation make it absolutely unavoidable to us to exercise responsibility to protect. (BBC interview, 9 Aug 2008)

              Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

              by angry marmot on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:04:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And we then used it in Libya (0+ / 0-)

                What's a few years among friends?  

                He said, they said.  It's current and in use by the powers to justify invasions.  Yes?

                "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

                by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your statement was explicit... (5+ / 0-)
                  Russia wouldn't be invoking the "right to protect" as a justification if the US, (the POTUS, Admin, SOS and Samantha Powers) hadn't done that only a few years ago.
                   
                  ...and, given Russian leadership's claims on R2p in 2008, easily corrected.

                  If your general point is that R2P, whether as a general concept or codified principle, can be and has been used to rationalize and/or justify military operations for which the concept may or may not actually apply, then it's difficult to see where you're disagreeing with the diarist, and disagreeing so aggressively.

                  Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

                  by angry marmot on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:23:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You're being deliberately obtuse (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  angry marmot, ImagineOhio

                  The Putin Doctrine has been in place since 2008, when he took over South Ossetia. Its a fundamental part of Russia's foreign policy and their constitution - the right to protect and defend Russians no matter where they live anywhere in the world.

                  Do some reading:

                  Great piece on Al Jazeera:

                  Annexation by Passport

                  http://america.aljazeera.com/...

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:55:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angry marmot, bluezen, HeyMikey

                Putin issued passports to 90% of South Ossetians even though they are not ethnically Russian and then said he had the responsibility to protect Russian citizens. He did the same in Abkhazia, Transnistria and Gagauzia.

                It was puzzling why he would make such an aggressive move in Transnistria and Gagauzia because Moldova doesn't even border Russia (Ukraine is in-between). However, if he takes Crimea, and then the Russian majority eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine, then he can take eastern Moldova. Ukraine would become landlocked, with no access to the Black Sea.

                Reinvention of the Soviet empire seems well on its way.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:50:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The USSR was a reconstruction (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy

                  of the tzarist empire. This is Russian history.

                •  At the time, (0+ / 0-)

                  Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians were being stripped of their rights, and the MID was using force,

                  Funny situation, UNA-UNAO anti-Russians fighting along side Russians to protect Transnitrians from evil Moldavians.

                •  The reason for issuance of Russian passports (0+ / 0-)

                  . . . to people in these "breakaway republics" allied to Russia is that they are recognized only by Russia & a small handful of other countries. Their citizens live in some sort of suspended state of development, unable to attract any foreign investment & unable to travel (since passports issued by these republics themselves would not be considered valid by most countries). To a person who resides in Abkhazia or South Ossetia or Transdniestria or Gagauzia, a Russian passport is a godsend, enabling people to travel & have some semblance of a normal life. And Russia itself gains from this policy because it fosters fealty & dependence on Moscow.

                  •  That depends on which place you're talking about (0+ / 0-)

                    South Ossetians had and still have valid Georgian passports. Transnistrians have valid Moldovan passports. If you're point is that South Ossetia "broke away", which is debatable, South Ossetia theoretically could have started issuing its own passports and they would never have likely been recognized internationally because most of the world except Vanuatu, who were paid by the Russians to recognize them (see great report from Rachel Maddow on the subject).

                    And, Putin has been issuing passports to Russians living in other regions for quite some time - 2002.

                    Annexation by Passport

                    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                    by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  South Ossetia hasn't been under Georgian control (0+ / 0-)

                      . . . since 1992. It HAS broken away from Georgia & that's the fact on the ground, not really debatable. Whether it should be recognized as a sovereign, independent country by the international community is debatable. South Ossetia has had de facto independence from Georgia since then, while Georgia considers it to be nothing more than a renegade province. Same with Transdniestria vis-a-vis Moldova. For a South Ossetian to carry a Georgian passport would be tantamount to acknowledgment of Georgian sovereignty over his country. It'd be far preferable to carry a Russian passport in that peculiar circumstance.

                      •  South Ossetia was under Georgian control (0+ / 0-)

                        up to 2008. You may be referring to the 1992 referendum which even the referendum proponents said had to be redone.

                        The phenomena of significant ethnic Russian populations exists in several other European countries, as well as independent countries on Russia's southern flank. And that is why what has happened in Moldova, repeated in Georgia, and now being repeated in Crimea, is a serious international issue.

                        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                        by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:52:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Most of South Ossetia was free from Georgia (0+ / 0-)

                          before the 2008 war, which, irrespective of which side one believes to be in the right, was provoked by Georgia. I was referring to facts on the ground, not the dubious legality or competing claims of sovereignty or territory or referendums. But it's also worth noting that Ossetians are not ethnic Russians; they speak an Iranian language only distantly related to Russian.

                          I'm actually of conflicted opinion on this matter. On the one hand, if Georgia wishes to be free of Russian domination, fair enough; but then why should the wishes of the Ossetians & Abkhazians to be free of Georgian domination be denied? After all, the 1992 wars were started when Georgia's central government revoked these republics' autonomy. Too often, these ethnic fights are a zero-sum game & it's hard to see them as matters of right & wrong. But on the other hand, to redraw boundaries by force opens the door to constant warfare or even world war, as happened 100 years ago, & 20 years ago, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

                          •  Georgia fears its ethnic Russians (0+ / 0-)

                            just like Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, and several other countries fear them. Understanding why they fear them is the root of the problem.

                            When millions of Irish emigrated to the US, if Ireland insisted it had right to protect over those Irishmen, you'd understand why.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:16:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ethnic Russians in Georgia . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            number approximately 68,000 out of a total Georgian population of 4.4 million, of which 3.7 million are ethnic Georgian. Hardly anything to fear as far as the national identity is concerned. Other countries of the former Russian Empire/Soviet Union have much larger ethnic Russian populations.

                            The fact is that Russian populations that were stranded in these newly independent countries have faced varying degrees of scrutiny, harassment, or even denial of the rights of citizenship. Sometimes this was motivated by vengeance. Other times by fears that Russians would constitute some sort of 5th column. Other times it was motivated by the (legitimate) fear by the non-Russian population of becoming a minority in their own country, for example Latvia & Kazakhstan. Latvia & Estonia require proficiency in their national languages, respectively, in order to have the full rights of citizenship. Thus Russians living there were required to learn & use those languages, be stripped of citizenship, or else emigrate. However one sees it, it's a pretty loaded & complicated situation.

                          •  Check the numbers for Estonia (0+ / 0-)

                            and some of the other countries I listed.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:36:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Libya was authorized by UN and was not an attempt (8+ / 0-)

              to annex territory.  

              This is why the American left has low credibility on foreign policy; the lame attempts by too many on the left to blame the US or West for everything.  So Putin's annexation of portions of Ukraine isn't
              Putin's fault, it's Obama's?  Puh-leaze.  The letters "ODS" come to mind.

              •  The UN authorized a no fly zone, not a seven month (5+ / 0-)

                bombing campaign to destroy the country.

                "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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:20:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Russia felt deceived on Libya no-fly resolution. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BigAlinWashSt, Lepanto

                  It was presented to them as a strictly humanitarian operation, to prevent bloodshed & massacres, & they acquiesced, only to see NATO go all-out for regime-change under the fig leaf of the UN resolution. Undeniably it was a bait-&-switch.

                  That's why Russia has been so obstinate on Syria. It sees the struggle there as another attempt by the West to foster instability & civil war in order to deprive it of influence & regional allies. If the real goal in Syria were to stop the bloodshed, there might be the potential for cooperation with Russia. But it's been transparent for some time that the U.S./NATO/Saudi/Israeli goal in Syria is to replace a hostile regime with a pliant, subservient regime.

              •  Never said that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec

                my comments go to the point that the Responsibility to Protect is a false and misused excuse by Governments for their international adventures.

                Gee the UN is all on board...

                International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect

                Oops, Russia's not supposed to invoke that.

                "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

                by EdMass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:27:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  baby steps (0+ / 0-)

                  Humanity is still pretty new at figuring out how to resolve international disputes without killing a significant % of the people in the territories involved, and making most of the rest suffer horribly.

                  But I think we are getting better.

                  50 or 100 years ago, something like the Ukrainian situation could have led to WWI or WWII or Vietnam. Hell, something like the Ukrainian situation did lead to WWI.

                  Avoiding the deaths of tens of millions of people seems like a low bar to clear to count as improvement. Yet it really is.

                  No, we shouldn't be satisfied with that. But we also shouldn't give up hope; progress is possible.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:04:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Context: 30 Years' War (0+ / 0-)

                    Ta-Nehisi Coates (if you aren't reading him regularly, you should be), reminding us that in the 30 Years' War a million people died just in Saxony, and quoting Wedgwood on the 30 Years' War:

                    The fugitives who fled from the south after Nordlingen died of plague, hunger and exhaustion in the refugee camp at Frankfort or the overcrowded hospitals of Saxony; seven thousand were expelled from the cantons of Zurich because there was neither food no room for them, at Hanau the gates were closed against them, at Strasbourg they lay thick in the streets through the frosts of winter, so that by day the citizens stepped over their bodies, and by night lay awake listening to the groans of the sick and starving until the magistrates forcibly drove them out, thirty thousand of them.

                    The Jesuits here and there fought manfully against the overwhelming distress; after the burning and desertion of Eichstatt they sought out the children who were hiding in the cellars, killing and eating rats, and carried them off to care for and educate them; at Hagenau they managed feed the poor out of their stores until the French troops raided their granary and took charge of the grain for the Army.

                    By the irony of fate the wine harvest of 1634, which should have been excellent, was trampled down by fugitives, and invaders after Nordlingen; that of 635 suffered a like fate, and in the winter, from Wuttemberg to Lorraine, there raged the worst famine of many years.

                    At Calw the pastor saw a woman gnawing on the raw flesh of a dead horse on which a hungry dog and some ravens were also feeding. In Alsace the bodies of criminals were torn from the gallows and devoured; in the whole Rhineland they watched the graveyards against marauders who sold the flesh of the newly buried for food; at Zweibrucken a woman confessed to having eater her child. Acorns, goats' skins, grass, were all cooked in Alsace; cats, dogs, and rats were sold in the market at Worms.

                    In Fulda and Coburg and near Frankfort and the great refugee camp, men went in terror of being killed and eaten by those maddened by hunger...

                    http://www.theatlantic.com/...

                    If Europe is avoiding repeating this--or Sarajevo and Srebrenica of the 1990s--then it is in a significant way succeeding. An awful truth, but truth still.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:14:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Your being deliberately hostile (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon, tarkangi

              instead of attacking the diarist and ridiculing with propped up strawmen, why don't you take a shot at explaining your own view and position on the current situation and let it be subject to scrutiny?

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:42:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  careful now, someone will play the "Godwin" card (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy, HeyMikey

          on you.

  •  I've read the Tanks, Etc. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, amyzex, mwm341, Lepanto

    near the border are there for a planned maneuver, not an invasion.  Take that with a grain of salt - no information on when it was planned and if it had been announced before this all brewed up.  But, I wouldn't blame any country for moving troops to the border of another Nation in Chaos.

    My other problem with all this is why is Europe and the US supporting a country that is displaying Nazi and Confederate Flags.  That's not to say I support Russia.  Fact is considering what I have read to date - I don't support either.

    Final point - this is certainly not worth going to war over.

    •  Like you, I'm finding it hard to care much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VictorLHKOS

      when it's (neoliberals+neo-Nazis) vs Russians.

    •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, Lepanto

      My sentiments are similar.  I'm not about to throw support to a government in Kiev which seized power via a coup with far-right elements within in.  Eastern Ukraine and the EU instigated the split within Ukraine when they ousted the democratically elected government.  Actions have consequences, as they're finding out now.  They're going to lose Crimea and possibly more territory over their actions.

      •  Same nonsense above, desperately trying to (5+ / 0-)

        justify Russian aggression and taking a sovereign countries territory. A key to planning to continue to try to defend the indefensible:

        They're going to lose Crimea and possibly more territory over their actions.
      •  huh? The "ousted" leader murdered 100 or so (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, fcvaguy, Hey338Too, bluezen

        demonstrators by ordering troops to fore machine guns into the crowd.  When that inflamed rather than quell the situation, he fled into his puppet master Putin's arms.  Then the Ukrainian parliament ousted him by a nearly unanimous vote, including members of his own party.  Oh, and he's now wanted for mass murder and theft of the treasury.  And you think all of that excuses Putin's invasion and land grab?  

        •  Nowhere close to unanimous - 73% (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass

          And it's still not clear that the February parliamentary vote upholds the constitution.  In total 73% voted for removal, shy of three-fourths majority vote required.  The Ukrainian parliament then dismissed five judges of the Constitutional Court on February 24 under dubious circumstances.  So basically they removed the elected President with fewer than the number of votes required and booted judicial officials who might interfere with their unconstitutional moves.

          I suppose if the GOP were to take the Senate in 2014 you'd have no problem with President Obama being impeached and removed from office with under the 2/3rds required by the Constitution in the Senate, right?

          •  It was unanimous (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy, Spit

            328-0. And while it was indeed only 73%, rather than the required 75%, what should have been done given the circumstances. There's an English version of the Ukraine constitution online. Take a look at it and see if you can find the clause that says what you should do when the President flees the country, records a resignation, and then recants it a few days later and half his own party flees with him, while the other half of his party stays behind to denounce him.

            In the meantime, the interim prime minister has made it clear he's interim and the parliament voted for new elections May 25. I'm not sure what else should have been expected with millions in the streets.

            In the meantime, lets give the actual Ukrainian people some consideration over your own judgement and preconceptions:

            Here's a poll from a few days ago that clearly demonstrates Russian Ukrainians want Ukraine to stay intact with good relations between the EU and Ukraine and Ukraine and Russia. And that would be a big majority in West and EAST Ukraine.

            The opinion survey, involving 2,000 mobile telephone interviews, showed more than 76 percent of respondents in eastern Ukraine saying they "strongly" or "somewhat" favor talks to guarantee minority rights and ensure Russian troops in Crimea return to their bases.

            More than 90 percent of western Ukrainians backed talks.

            In populous eastern Ukraine, more than 56 percent of those polled said they would prefer the ex-Soviet state to align itself equally with Moscow and the West.

            In western Ukraine, that notion was backed by nearly 44 percent, while nationwide the figure stood at 52 percent.

            The survey also showed a degree of consensus on the removal of Yanukovich, following the deaths of dozens of people in mass demonstrations in Kiev. In eastern Ukraine, more than 67 percent of respondents approved of Yanukovich's overthrow, with the figure climbing to 94 percent in the west.

            http://www.reuters.com/...

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:10:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you referring to the rump parliament (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lepanto

              Where the Party of Regions (the leading party in the last round of elections) was not even present?  Gee, of course it was unanimous when the side that isn't pro-EU can't even attend parliament to vote with the RW rabble outside threatening them.

              •  are you for real? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bluezen

                First, you say the Party of Regions was the majority and they weren't even present.You are wrong on both counts. They held 187 seats of 450. That aside, how do you get 328-0 vote in a 450 member parliament, if Yanukovich's majority was absent? And every one of those 328 were elected members of parliament; elected by the people in the most recent election. The balance fled along with Yanukovich.

                So, what does the Party of Regions say?

                It has denounced Yanukovich and had demanded he resign. In fact, he did and then changed his mind.

                In a written statement the next day, the party denounced Yanukovych, stating they "strongly condemn the criminal orders that led to human victims, an empty state treasury, huge debts, shame before the eyes of the Ukrainian people and the entire world. On 24 February 2014 faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov declared that the party was moving into the opposition. 77 of its MPs had left the faction over the past few days. On 25 February 2014 Anatoliy Kinakh and 32 other mostly former PoR deputies created the parliamentary faction Economic Development.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                So, easy for you and Russia Today to label it a rump parliament, except it isn't. Every single member sitting in Ukraine's parliament was elected.

                Now, given your views, tell us how you feel about the Crimean parliament and the circumstances around the referendum vote?  

                Finally, look at that poll posted above. Here, I'll make it easy for you:

                The survey also showed a degree of consensus on the removal of Yanukovich, following the deaths of dozens of people in mass demonstrations in Kiev. In eastern Ukraine, more than 67 percent of respondents approved of Yanukovich's overthrow, with the figure climbing to 94 percent in the west
                .

                2/3 of Yanukovich's base of power - eastern Ukraine - wanted him gone.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:13:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Depends (0+ / 0-)

            If Richard Nixon had fled to Bermuda after killing 88 protesters demanding his impeachment, maybe.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:41:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That was a rump session of parliament. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass, Lepanto

          in which many Party of Regions deputies were not present, out of fear for their lives or physical inability to enter the parliament building.

          It would be like the House of Representatives voting to impeach Obama, then having thousands of gun-toting teabaggers descend on Washington to physically blockade the Capitol building, deny Democratic senators entry to the chamber, then holding a vote to remove the president from office.

          It isn't hard to see why the Russian government would have felt sucker-punched by that turn of events, coming so soon after negotiations to end the stand-off.

          Now I don't believe that this necessarily justifies Russia's incursion into Crimea. But the U.S. & Russia just keep talking past one another. Russia refuses to recognize the new Ukrainian government, while the U.S. still insists that it must negotiate with (& thus implicitly recognize) this government, stand down on Crimea, eventually be prepared to give up its base at Sevastopol, & get nothing in return. No surprise then that diplomacy seems to be headed nowhere.

        •  the fact that there were 0 votes in favor (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          katiec, whizdom, Lepanto

          of Yanukovych is extremely suspicious.

          Herbert Hoover called out the Army on a bunch of peacefully protesting veterans and still nearly 40% of the electorate voted for him. There is no way Yanukovych would have gotten zero support in any free vote.

          Western media is very vague about what happened--they all become very vague at about the same point. They say that Yanukovych up and fled with all his security people, and the palace was thrown open. Who made them flee? They fled peaceful protesters, and just abandoned the seat of government? That makes no sense whatsoever. If you believe this guy is a ruthless bastard willing to cling to power at any cost, he would not have fled if all the protesters were peaceful. He would have stayed to the bitter end and shed far more blood in doing so.

          The only thing that would have made him flee is superior firepower, the threat of violence. The neo-fascists, like Right Sector, who were the most fanatical and active of the Maidan protesters, were the only ones who had it.

          Svoboda and Right Sector have captured six posts in the new government (secretary and deputy secretary of national security, the prosecutor general's office, the ministry of education and of ecology, and the deputy prime ministry). This is a party which has only 10% electoral support. How could they possibly get that many key positions in any legitimate process?

          What must have happened was that the neo-fascist militias must have violently stormed the palace, forcing Yanukovych to flee. Then they compelled the remaining parliamentarians under threat of violence to unanimously vote to boot Yanukovych. Then they demanded and got key government posts, also under threat of violence. Remember, at this point the legitimate security forces had fled. It was anarchy; whoever had the biggest guns was the law.

          This is the only explanation that makes a lick of sense. Otherwise you have to believe that a party which won 10% of the popular vote landed six very powerful government posts (including the key national security posts) purely democratically; that a desperate despot clinging to power would have fled from peaceful protesters; that not even one member of parliament would have voted for Yanukovych; that there is no connection between their removal of judges and the legitimacy of Yanukyovch's ouster.

          The reality is that the vote to remove Yanukyovch was no more free or democratic than the vote for Crimean secession will be. It was coerced, and this interim government is a cipher which is heavily dependent on the support of Ukrainian fascists.

          Remember, Svoboda controls the national security forces. If the new government tries to move against the neo-fascists, well…they may find, like their predecessor, that they don't have the "protection" they need.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:09:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So far from the facts its ridiculous (5+ / 0-)

        And if you really believe this, why do you turn your head at what happened in the Crimean parliament? Thugs take over the parliament with guns, force MPs to convene, confiscate their cellphones, bar the media from entry, lock the doors, and force a vote on an independence referendum and a new prime minister; a prime minister who's party had only 3 seats in the 100 seat parliament.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:01:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  victorlhkos -- oh, really? then, i guess you have (0+ / 0-)

      "another problem":

      http://www.dailystormer.com/...

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

      by bluezen on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:30:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An invasion of easten Ukraine (8+ / 0-)

    would appear to be crossing a German line in the sand to Merkel

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:29:05 AM PDT

    •  Russia won't invade (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex

      Russia's play is pretty simple. Eastern Ukraine is where the neutralist and pro-Russian get their majorities from.

      Leaving it in Ukraine means that as the economic impacts of a EU alignment gut Ukraine, the next elected Government will be neutralist or pro-Russian,

      Once the levistration purges are undone, the Ukraine will be federalized and the Crimea might rejoin the Ukraine.

      The only way a war will start is if somebody, stupidly attacks Crimea.

      •  Oh lord (0+ / 0-)

        You talk like an expert. Eastern Ukraine Russians don't want to leave Ukraine and the majority of them wanted yanukovich gone. Check out the poll posted elsewhere in these comments,

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:46:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then again, I didn't think Russia would invade (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lepanto

        . . . Crimea. Certainly not to force a vote on secession & annexation by Russia. Lopping off Crimea from Ukraine would obviously be self-defeating for Russian interests in the long-term, as it has drawn near-unanimous international condemnation & would deprive the pro-Russian political faction in Ukraine of more than 1 million votes, thus ensuring that the remainder of the country tips decisively westward. Biting off additional chunks of eastern Ukraine would leave an even more staunchly anti-Russian western Ukraine & an enraged West, which would practically ensure eventual NATO membership & a hostile government on Russia's southwestern flank. I doubt this is what Putin had in mind.

        But after the regime-change in Kiev, all bets were off. Perhaps Putin's gambit was that a light show of force would bring the Ukrainian government & its Western backers to their senses, as a demonstration how strong Russia's position is, by showing how easily Russia COULD take & hold Ukrainian territory or by showing how Russian soldiers would be welcomed with open arms. Probably his initial intent was leverage. But once Russian forces were on the ground in Crimea, it set off such a nationalistic wave that Putin couldn't stand down without paying a heavy political price. But leverage is useless if there are no negotiations in which to apply it. And the U.S. & Russia are still just talking past one another. Russia is demanding the restoration of the status quo ante in Kiev, while the U.S. insists that Russia must negotiate with (& thus implicitly recognize) the new pro-Western government. The U.S. demands that Russia withdraw from Crimea but offers it nothing in the way of securing its hold on the naval base at Sevastopol & nothing to assure Russia that it would back off in its longstanding efforts to foment instability & install hostile governments in Russia's "near abroad".

        If the referendum on secession in Crimea does take place, what it might indicate is that Putin has decided to cut his losses, forsake the whole of Ukraine, & just seize those parts of Ukraine that he deems vital to Russian security & interests. But this obviously sets the stage for permanent confrontation with the West. The world will never recognize Russia's unilateral redrawing of the map, & if Russia ever finds itself weak & prostrate again (as it was in the 1990s), it may well lose Sevastopol & the whole of Crimea for good.

    •  I think NATO would have to look the other way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, fcvaguy, chimpy

      at a special status for, or reintegration of, the Crimea into the Russian political system. It's their Navy's only warm water port, has been for 150 years, and no one wants to refight the Crimean War.

      Eastern Ukraine is a different kettle of krill. There are ethnic Russians living in every former Soviet Republic, all of which are members now of the United Nations. The Russian military needs to get its ass out of Ukraine proper or there will be a new Cold War, with all the important trappings, including ICBMs re-aimed at our rooftops.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:58:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the history of the Ukrainian military and (6+ / 0-)

    paramilitary is informative

    The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was a Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary and later partisan army that engaged in a series of guerrilla conflicts during World War II against Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and both Underground and Communist Poland. The group was the military wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists — Bandera faction (the OUN-B)....The UPA's leader, Roman Shukhevych, was killed during an ambush near Lviv on March 5, 1950. Although sporadic UPA activity continued until the mid-1950s, after Shukhevich's death the UPA rapidly lost its fighting capability. An assessment of UPA manpower by Soviet authorities on 17 April 1952 claimed that UPA/OUN had only 84 fighting units consisting of 252 persons. The UPA's last commander, Vasyl Kuk, was captured on May 24, 1954. Despite the existence of some insurgent groups, according to a report by the MGB of the Ukrainian SSR, the "liquidation of armed units and OUN underground was accomplished by the beginning of 1956".

    Controversially, it has been suggested that there were NKVD units dressed as UPA fighters which committed atrocities in order to demoralize the civilian population. among these NKVD units were those composed of former UPA fighters working for the NKVD. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) recently published information about 150 such special groups consisting of 1,800 people operated until 1954. Bohdan Stashynsky was ex-UPA turned MVD fighter who would then climb the ladder of MGB (and later KGB) hierarchy to become a foreign agent who assassinated the OUN chief Lev Rebet in 1957 and later Stepan Bandera in 1959....

    In 1951 CIA covert operations chief Frank Wisner estimated that some 35,000 Soviet police troops and Communist party cadres had been eliminated by guerrillas affiliated with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in the period after the end of World War II.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:30:23 AM PDT

  •  Something occurred to me while I was listening (6+ / 0-)

    to Secretary Kerry talk about the failure of his meeting with Lavrov.  What Putin is doing is not about Crimea or even about Ukraine.  Everything Putin does is designed to consolidate his power in Russia.  Putin is totally aware that foreign capital will flee Russia as a result of his aggression.  If enough of it flees the Russian state will be required to take equity shares in all large firms.  Maybe that's the whole point -- a return to an old-fashioned command economy.  Putin couldn't get more powerful than that.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

    •  I suspect Putin is a bit of a nationalist, and (0+ / 0-)

      wouldn't mind foreign capital being reduced.

      Can't blame him really.

      do I like Putin?  Nope.  But, while it might make him personally more powerful, it would also make Russia less of a neo-colony as well.

      It's not like all that foreign capital made it's way into Russia fairly.

    •  Risking (or seeking?) more than economic isolation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex

      If this is all more than just a simple matter of keeping turf clear for his own crime syndicate, then Putin is playing a risky game. No risk to himself, of course, since his own rackets benefit from economic chaos and legal ambiguities.

      But Russians expatriates everywhere have a great deal to lose. What if the leaders of other countries look at Crimea, and see their own Russian communities as similarly serious liabilities?

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:36:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dunno about the economics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex

      There, I suspect he has europe in a bind enough to not have too many real and longterm problems. I don't know that he's after an old school command economy, but modern oligarchies can and sometimes do perform the same basic functions so long as there's rampant cronyism, say.

      I have also, though, been wondering about how much of this is much more about Russian politics at home than anything. Secure feeling leaders don't generally jail random punk bands for just some criticism. Putin has been facing a lot more protests in the last years, and I'm sure that watching a culturally similar neighbor have its hard-line government brought down by protestors has not been comforting. He has every reason to want to stoke nationalism in his own country.

      I'm sure there are really a bazillion different reasons here, but this is one I seldom see considered, and I don't know but do wonder how much it plays in.

  •  I see DailyKos Putin apologists are still at it. (3+ / 0-)

    The "both sides are bad" "nothing really to choose between Putin and Ukrainians" lines just don't wash any more. I'm imagine they'd still give similar lines if Russia invades, occupies, and sends to a new Gulag Ukrainians. Don't hear any criticicsm by them of the laughably silly referendum terms (ignoring the illegality of the referendum itself).

  •  'Right to Protect" or R2P (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, katiec, Pablo Bocanegra

    Is a Foreign Policy construct that was fully developed into a doctrine by Samantha Power.  That countries have a right to act to prevent an atrocity even without  UN approval

    Now Putin is using it.   I am sure the irony escapes neither Power or Putin.

    •  Samantha Power is a disaster, IMO n/t (4+ / 0-)
    •  Putin has been using it since 2008 (0+ / 0-)

      Georgia and moldova

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re - R2P (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whizdom, Richard Lyon

      If my memory of history is correct, "right to protect" was first invoked by none other than Tsar Nicholas I to justify his military campaigns against Turkey. It amounted to a claim of dominion by the Russian tsar over all the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire. These Russian campaigns against Turkey were, as we know, checked by Britain & France in the Crimean War.

      It was a transparently self-serving doctrine, then as it is now. U.S. President Ronald Reagan invoked it to justify its invasion of Grenada in 1983, as did George W. Bush for his invasion of Iraq, indeed, as Samantha Power had advocated in her push to intervene in the Syrian civil war.

      That's not to say that the concept is illegitimate per se. But it must, in my view, have international legitimacy & mustn't be invoked unilaterally. And it must always be treated with a fair degree of skepticism.

    •  An atrocity (0+ / 0-)

      wasn't really actually happening, though.

      Thinking that invasion is justified if someday in the future there might be an atrocity is... well, the Bush doctrine, basically, and isn't the same thing as preventing an actual atrocity that you see unfolding in front of you.

  •  Putin is going for broke (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ, mwm341, ImagineOhio, fcvaguy

    Putin is going for broke.  He made a rash decision to go into Ukraine, and Obama tried to offer him a way out while offering Putin a way to save face.

    But no, Putin did not want to do it Obama's way.  Why should he? He had half the American people on his side, with the right wing undermining Obama, the left wing unhappy and unwilling to make a stand that might lead to another war.

    Don't think for a minute Putin does not have his ear to the politics of America, and if you think he keeps his propaganda within Russia and Russian targets, think again.  Putin knows who to count on in America to further his own agenda.

    I've been saying this for weeks: Americans need to get behind our President.  Obama is not Bush. Obama is a negotiator, but how can he negotiate, and sound like he means what he says when his own Congress is broadcasting that they don't believe in him?

    If we had got behind Obama in Syria, I don't think Putin would have hastily invaded Crimea. "But, whine, I don't like war."

    If we had got behind Obama in Crimea, I don't think Putin would be in Ukraine. "But, whine, I don't wanna war."

    By the time Putin invades the USA, it will be a little late. "But, whine, I can't fight back by myself."

    When do we come together as Americans, defend our allies, and stand with the President of the United States?

    •  The only solutions we have at our disposal... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      katiec, fcvaguy

      ... do not require much national will.

      It really matters very little whether Americans are vocally in support of our president right now. Obama would have to spend zero political capital to levy economic sanctions, travel restrictions, etc. Should Putin invade Ukraine, or should tensions escalate into shooting in Crimea, those measures should be expected to sail through Congress and the president will sign them as they sail past his desk.

      The only reason support for Obama is a factor in the equation is if some sort of military response is even remotely imaginable. It isn't. Nobody of sound mind is considering it.

    •  "invades the USA". Say what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot

      "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 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:38:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The American right hates Pres Obama's guts and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImagineOhio, fcvaguy, PJ Parker, bluezen

      would gladly vote for Putin or even Osama bin Laden in an election over Obama.  The American left is not much better, for a significant portion of them see the US as inherently evil and reflexively side with anyone the US is at odds with.

      And remember that lots of the American left invested themselves into the idea of Putin as a grand statesman and peace lover.  They even pushed him for Peace prize.  They're now finding it difficult to walk back from that, thus all the Putin apologetics we see around here (not talking an out the diarist).

    •  Invades the U.S.?! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice, Lepanto

      Scare tactics at it's finest.  We were not going to war over Syria.  We are not going to war over Ukraine.  Sorry, nope.. not going to happen.  It isn't our fight.  

      I'm not about to blindly folllow our President and support his "aid" package for the rump Ukrainian government or thinly veiled threats against Russia.  We aren't the world's police anymore, get over it already.

    •  If we had got behind Obama in Syria (0+ / 0-)

      . . . we'd be neck-deep in a brutal sectarian war. It would have been just more gasoline on the fire, with no easy exit & no outcome favorable to peace & stability & human rights. No thanks! If we'd got behind Obama on Syria, we could effectively have kissed goodbye to anything we hope to see accomplished in his 2nd term. Intervention in Syria would have been tantamount to a surrender of Obama's foreign policy to the neoconservative agenda. If we'd got behind Obama on Syria, we'd be certain to go into the November elections with a divided & angry Democratic base. Granted, it wasn't Obama's finest hour as president, but in the end he made the right decision to call off the intervention.

      Besides, Syria is only tangentially connected to what's happening in Crimea, & even that is a stretch. The bottom line is that Crimea is much more important to Russia than to the U.S. Russia is willing to fight for it; we're not. If anything, a U.S. intervention in Syria would have made Russian moves against Ukraine even more likely, as it would have confirmed Putin's view that the U.S. cannot be trusted & its continually trying to undermine Russian power & interests, all in the false guise of democracy, human rights & protecting civilians.

      •  I don't thing you understand what's happening. (0+ / 0-)

        Russia has a seaport in Crimea, and Russian has a seaport in Syria. Look at a map and see how that is significant.

        Also, here's some news you may have missed:
        "LONDON - In recent weeks Russia has stepped up supplies of military gear to Syria, including armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs, boosting President Bashar Assad just as rebel infighting has weakened the insurgency against him, sources with knowledge of the deliveries say.

        Moscow, which is trying to raise its diplomatic and economic influence in the Middle East, has been a major provider of conventional weapons to Syria, giving Assad crucial support during the three-year civil war and blocking wider Western attempts to punish him with sanctions for the use of force against civilians."

        http://www.jpost.com/...

        •  We all know Russia is supporting the Syrian gov't. (0+ / 0-)

          Just as the U.S. continues to sell weapons to its allies Israel & Saudi Arabia. I understand full well what is happening in Syria & the Levant. It's ugly & tragic; it's also far from a case of good guys against bad guys.

          But Russia's role in Syria doesn't explain anything about what's happening in Crimea. This idea that Putin felt "emboldened" to invade Crimea because of U.S. "weakness" or "lack of resolve" with regard to Syria is just plain nonsense. Does anyone really believe that if the U.S. had attempted regime-change in Syria that Putin would have been deterred from acting in what he believes is Russia's interest in Crimea?

          •  The USA was not interested in a regime change in S (0+ / 0-)

            The USA was not interested in a regime change in Syria.  Where did you get that idea?

            Syria was about chemical weapons. That's WMD's, weapons of mass destruction.  Illegal weapons. Crimes against humanity. Weapons banned by the United Nations.

            Again, we had an obligation as a member of the UN, and being the largest superpower in the world.

            Somehow, young people never got the message about WMDs, and the right just don't understand or care about anything until it's in their back yard.

            Radiation, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are banned, everywhere in the world, by the United nations.  It was our responsibility to do something about it.

            What happened?  Oh yeah, Putin said he would take care of it. Putin was sitting on the security council, and vetoed action by the USA.

            Putin's probably going to lose his seat on the security council, and possibly his membership in the UN.  Bye bye security veto.

            •  Oh yes it was. (0+ / 0-)

              From the earliest stages of the Syrian conflict, the official U.S. position has been that President Assad must step down. President Obama declared him to have lost legitimacy as early as May 2011. With regard to Syria, it's always been about proxy war, about deposing a regime hostile to Israel, about depriving Iran of its crucial regional ally, about depriving Russia of its Mediterranean naval station.

              Regime-change has been the goal even more so for Israel & Saudi Arabia, the U.S.'s major regional allies. There's no doubt that the Israeli Likud government has been trying to goad the U.S. into intervention in Syria for at least 2 years. The Saudi monarchy & its Persian Gulf allies have been pursuing a nakedly sectarian agenda there - to replace the "apostate" Alawite regime with a hard-line Sunni regime. Beyond that, the "green light" or "blind eye" that the U.S. has shown toward repression in Bahrain & Egypt certainly puts the lie to the notion that the U.S. goals center around some benign "spreading of democracy".

              Against this backdrop, chemical weapons were just the pretext. As horrible as this war has been, the Syrian military's regular weapons have proved to be fearsome enough. And that's to say nothing of the brutality of many of the rebel brigades. President Obama has been understandably reluctant to get involved in this sectarian maelstrom, & it has to be considered unwise of him to have drawn that "red line" as he did. After his advisers had all but talked him into intervention last August, it turned out that there was simply no political support for it. The British parliament balked. The Republicans, always gung-ho for war until Obama became president, offered no cover. And the Democratic base was adamantly opposed as well (not that Obama wouldn't have told the Democratic base to go to hell if he'd had adequate political support from elsewhere).

              No, being the "largest superpower in the world" does not give the U.S. the de jure right to launch wars unilaterally, absent U.N. Security Council authorization. With regard to WMDs, President George W. Bush claimed that it was "our responsibility" to do something about them in Iraq. As the world now knows, he was lying. That experience has eroded away any moral high ground on which the U.S. could claim to stand.

              And it's silly to suggest that Russia might lose its seat on the U.N. Security Council. By what mechanism? Does the U.S. get to decide on the other countries' fitness for sitting on that body? Shouldn't the U.S. get "kicked off" the Security Council for all the lies it presented at the U.N. about Iraq & for launching an invasion of Iraq in the specific absence of an authorization to use military force? Russia, like the U.S., is a permanent member of the security council. It can't be kicked off for disagreeing with U.S. policy on Syria or invading Crimea, any more than the U.S. could be kicked off for invading Iraq.

  •  Putin appears to be a thug (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite, Lawrence, fcvaguy

    and somewhat stupid.  What he will get if he gets what he wants is a guerilla and likely a civil war.  

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:31:42 AM PDT

  •  so, latest round of talks is a failure, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto

    and the US threatens ill-defined "consequences" if Russia allows the referendum to go through. Not good.

    Putin's back is against the wall. He cannot allow the Black Sea fleet to be forced out of Crimea (and losing access to the Mediterranean), nor can he allow those ships to be captured by a Ukrainian government heavily influenced by neo-Nazis. He also fears NATO influence in Ukraine. For him, the national security of Russia is at stake.

    Obama has shown zero sign that he understands any of this, so Putin is going to bite the bullet and do what he has to, regardless of world opinion. Obama is not offering anything that would get Putin to back down; and he may not be in a position to guarantee that the Ukrainian government will follow his lead.

    Putin would have preferred Ukraine intact in the Russian sphere of influence, but he'll break off Crimea and keep it under Russian control, to await a more politically propitious time to lure the rest of Ukraine back into the Russian orbit. Three or four years of IMF austerity ought to disabuse Ukrainians of any notions they may have of Western benevolence.

    The potential for civil war will surely increase after the referendum, with tensions running so high. A very dangerous time for Ukraine.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:25:04 PM PDT

  •  Ukraine: Chinese Opportinity in Russia Sanctions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, katiec

    People's Daily -- owned and operated by China's ruling Communist Party -- this morning ran an article on what it sees as the likely impact that an intensification of the crisis in the Ukraine and EU and US sanctions being imposed on Russia.

    Suffice it to say China sees western sanctions as a major opportunity:

    First of all, the structure of China's energy imports can be improved. China relies on importing energy sources from the Middle East, whose transport corridor is the Strait of Malacca – the current limiting factor on China’s imports. If it were able to expand energy supplies from north-eastern and north western channels, it would certainly make China more secure in terms of energy and the current situation impacts on this strategy. The U.S. has begun to consider exporting its gas to Europe as a strategic response to Russian energy exports, although the White House has stated that even if the U.S approves gas supplies to Europe, this will not take effect until 2015. This gives Russia leeway in terms of finding new markets for its energy exports. From the perspective of geo-economy and market capacity, China represents an ideal prospect for Russia.

    Secondly, China will have more opportunities to invest in Russia. According to data from the end of 2012, the top three foreign investors in Russia are Cyprus (USD76.74 billion), the Netherlands (USD 61.49 billion), and Luxembourg (USD 42.74 billion). China ranked fourth with investments of US 27.92 billion. China and Russia have a strong economic complementarity, China’s low-cost manufacturing and Russia’s rich natural resource represent mutual assets that can benefit each side. The relationship between Russia and Ukraine has deteriorated in recent years; in contrast, China and Russia are getting closer. Russia should repair the damage done to its interests by the situation in Ukraine, and plug any gaps if foreign investment is withdrawn. Russia has a long-term need for foreign investment which might offer an opportunity for Chinese investors

    Thirdly, the arms industry is likely to profit from the situation. Ukraine was an important military-industrial base of the Soviet Union, and now occupies a prominent position in the global military industry. If the unrest continues to the extent that Ukraine joins Europe, its aerospace industry, shipbuilding industry and technology will possible expand into more countries, including China.

    Given where this was published, we can probably take this as the actual view of the Chinese government.  It's  not 1973 anymore.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:52:37 PM PDT

  •  r2p and R2P (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    responsibility to protect has been around since time immemorial, it's the claim by a country that it's bound to protect members of its own ethnicity living outside its borders and therefore has the right to intervene in other countries

    R2P is the comparatively recent claim that a powerful country is bound to intervene in other countries when some people (no matter the ethnicity) are in danger and therefore has the duty to intervene on humanitarian grounds

    Putin is using r2p to intervene in Crimea and, perhaps, other parts of predominantly- Russian Ukraine

    R2P is the darling of Samantha Power and we used it in Libya

    they're very different notions but (pardon the cynic in me) they both lend themselves to manipulation, to being invoked as a pretextuous casus belli for ulterior motives

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:29:52 PM PDT

  •  But there were stern statements made. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  sanctions effective against Russia ? (0+ / 0-)
    Abstaining from Russian oil and gas would be “off the table” for Europe, said Marc Lanthemann, Eurasia analyst with Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence company based in Austin, Texas. Europe risks a replay of its failed attempt six years ago to punish the Kremlin for going to war with the Republic of Georgia, when it was unable to impose sanctions after acknowledging its dependence on Russian energy...
    http://www.bloomberg.com/...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:19:55 PM PDT

  •  backlash: Western Ukraine joins NATO? (0+ / 0-)

    Putin might not like that so much... I doubt if he was psyched about the Baltics joining.  

    "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

    by dackmont on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:40:03 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site