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Russia's recent annexation of Crimea is fueling more protests around the rest of Eastern Ukraine, with protestors demanding that Russia annex Donetsk next, the Associated Press reports. Today, Putin ally and Parliament Speaker Valentina Matvienko said that there were "no plans" for Russia to occupy the rest of Eastern Ukraine, something also stated by Putin. However, the protestors are telling a different story.

"They're trying to tear us away from Russia," said demonstrator Igor Shapoval, a 59-year-old businessman. "But Donbass is ready to fight against this band which already lost Crimea and is losing in the east."
And the parliament there has already formed a working group to consider a referendum for that area to secede to Russia.
The local parliament on Friday formed a working group to develop a referendum analogous to the one in Crimea. Activists on Saturday passed out mock ballots, although no referendum has been formally called.

The AP reports that Ukraine is rounding up people who they say are fermenting the separatist movement in Donetsk. This will give Putin ammunition regardless of whether these arrests are right or wrong. Putin will likely use this as "proof" that Ukraine is persecuting its ethnic Russian population in Eastern Ukraine. Despite their statements that they have "no plans" to invade Eastern Ukraine, we know Putin has massed troops right across the border in Russia. This is their way of saying that all options are on the table, similar to what the US is doing with Iran and their alleged nuclear weapons program.

The question is, where does it all end for Russia? I personally met someone from the eastern part of Ukraine who still considered herself Russian even 10+ years after the collapse of Communism and Ukraine's breakaway declaration of independence. Putin's game plan is clear -- thousands of ethnic Russians not happy with the way things are being run in Kiev agitate in the streets and beg for aid from Russia, who is seen as a Big Brother protector of ethnic Russians and Slavs abroad. Voter intimidation is practiced and a "referendum" is held. Russia annexes the province, surrounds the Ukrainian soldiers there, and seizes the new province without firing a shot. To be fair, even in a fair election, Crimea would have voted to annex themselves to Russia. But this is a case of tyranny of the majority at work. Russia rationalizes that they are acting perfectly in accordance with International Law because, in their worldview, the new government in Kiev is not legitimate. After all, we did not consider Serbia's government or Saddam legitimate.

And, rationalizes Putin, Russia has a right to defend itself under International Law since NATO has encroached to the border of Russia for the last 20 years. After all, we ran the USSR out of Cuba after they secretly put nuclear missiles there and pointed them at our cities. We even brought the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe over that.

We are no longer under the Pax Americana which ruled from the collapse of Communism to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. We are now living in a multipolar world in which any entity with a platform and a microphone can compete for influence. Russia Today is simply the best-known of these efforts. There is Venezuelanalysis, which presents propaganda from a Chavez perspective. Press TV broadcasts news and commentary from an Iranian perspective. China has long had state-run media outlets which broadcast news from their perspective. India Today covers news from India's point of view. IPS News covers news from third world countries' perspective. Electronic Intifada covers news from the Palestinians' perspective. There are several different outlets that cover Israel's point of view.

The breakaway of Kosovo from Serbia was recognized by the West a few years ago, and has been recognized by over 100 countries since then. But the unintended consequence of that is that it could serve to open a Pandora's Box of separatist movements around the world. The Uyghur Muslims in China are getting restless and the Dalai Lama has always agitated for more freedom in Tibet. Russia has complained for the last few years about what they say is discrimination by Estonia against Russian minorities there. There are separatist movements in Libya, who say the central government there has denied them promised oil revenues. The ISIS is trying to build an Islamist state by carving up parts of Iraq and Syria. The Kurds have always tried to carve up parts of Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey to form an independent state. Russia is playing up Serbia; last night, RT posted a promo for an extensive documentary that they plan to do on the bombing victims there.

In the meantime, skirmishes continue as the Russians and their Crimean allies seized Belbek Air Base in Crimea after one Ukrainian soldier was wounded and the Ukrainian soldiers there laid down their arms. A few days ago, Ukraine ordered its troops to leave Crimea; however, Russia says that only 2,000 have done so.

The Russian Defense Ministry says that as of late Friday less than 2,000 of 18,000 Ukrainian servicemen in Crimea had "expressed a desire to leave for Ukraine." The ministry, however, stopped short of saying the remainder of the troops would serve in the Russian army.
The implication is clear -- Ukraine is broke and so weak that it cannot control its own troops anymore.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And yet no reports of the Russian troops storming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1

    Ukrainian military bases using women as human shields.

    Why not report on the atrocities committed by the Russians?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:16:07 PM PDT

  •  Crimea-Ukraine (17+ / 0-)

    versus  Kossovo- Serbia.

    In one case we supported separatism (Kossovo) and in the other case we "condemn" it, because Putin is a "bad guy".

    This approach could be used to define and set the standard of political hypocrisy.

    •  Precisely. And as always, we personalize it. (11+ / 0-)

      Our propaganda is so much more effective if the "bad guy" has a name and a face we can plaster across the TV.

    •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 03:44:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's an awfully facile comparison, though. (16+ / 0-)

      Which one of those involved an act of genocide followed by a whole string of war crimes?  If you take away all the pertinent context, then sure, it looks like hypocrisy.  But that context was why it became an issue in the first place.

      We can agree or disagree about what's happening in Crimea, but it's been mostly an argument about legal rights and political power.  

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

      by pico on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:17:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody Gives a Shit about International Law (5+ / 0-)

        Certainly not the U.S.  So what Russia is doing in the Crimea may actually violate international law (or maybe not), but it is an issue of great salience to Russia, being right on its border, involving its own citizens and an area that was part of Russia for at least a century.  

        What is the Ukraine to the U.S. and the EU other than another step to isolate and cow Russia?

        Given the track record of Germany and the United States, neither has any standing even to raise the issue of "human rights" or "international law."

        I was at the Kremlin in 1984 and watched as people brought bunches of flowers to throw at the monument for the war dead.  Watched as they threw themselves on the pavement in tears almost forty years after the end of the war.  All from the trauma that Germany inflicted on Russia.

        The U.S. and its western allies were perfectly happy to let Russia bleed itself white fighting the Nazi invaders.

        So how can we now sit in judgment of people still reeling from the trauma of that brutal war?

        Angela Merkel may think that bygones can be bygones, but I don't think Russians see it that way.

        Fuck her and fuck her allies.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:46:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The U.S. position (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Euroliberal, Alhambra, AoT, shaharazade

          . . . is not that they law doesn't apply to us, but to insist that we ARE the law. That's what is meant when we hear talk about American exceptionalism. An invasion of a sovereign country on a false, trumped-up pretext is legal when WE do it, not when some other country does it. Any mention of "hypocrisy" or "double-standards" & one would be branded "anti-American" & thus per se illegitimate.

        •  It's not about Russia v. Germany. (9+ / 0-)

          And if you make an argument about "track records", then we have nothing to talk about, because no one has any ground to stand on, anywhere (least of all Russia, sheesh.)  Plus, I don't have much interest in the way Russia fetishizes World War II nearly 70 years afterwards (we do the same damned thing, incidentally, and it's just as annoying.)  It's not a bludgeon, for chrissakes.

          Very current, relevant example: the box-office smash in Russia right now, and their top-grossing film of all time, is a movie called Stalingrad, a big budget spectacle about the battle with the Germans over every street in the city.  

          The source for the movie is a section from Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate.  Grossman was a war reporter embedded in Stalingrad, risking his life repeatedly to send back dispatches from the front.  Grossman saw firsthand the ugliness of the battle, but in L&F he gives his account moral ambivalence, both because he recognized the messy, complex humanity of the thing and because he saw the terror his own country was building on the back of the victory (specifically: Stalin borrowing Hitler's antisemitic policies, etc.) Grossman's work is one of the great historical documents of the 20th century, and he was unequivocally a hero.

          Stalingrad empties all of that complexity and ambivalence out of Grossman's account to make it a rousing patriotic bit of chauvinistic nonsense. This is the state of official national pride in Russia in 2014: American-style military hagiography.

          So no, this argument doesn't do much for me.  For what's happening in Ukraine, right now, World War II is irrelevant.  Besides, Russia has accused Ukraine of exploiting past tragedy cynically vis-a-vis Holodomor, so to use your formulation: how can they sit in judgment of anyone?

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

          by pico on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 08:32:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Dove has Torn her Wing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, Joncleir

            What Russia is doing isn't excusable or justified any more than what the U.S., or its allies Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatamala did.

            Are we supposed to fix our gaze on the shiny object of warning shots at a Crimean navy base and forget about the School of the Americas?  U.S. support for Jonas Savimbi?  The Suharto coup in Indonesia in which 500,000 Chinese were exterminated?

            My point is that what is happening in the Ukraine is very salient -- a military threat -- to Russia and not in any sense a military threat to the United States or Germany.  As far as U.S. and EU interests are concerned, what is happening between Ukraine and Russia is salient only because it frustrates a long-term EU/U.S. project to isolate and enfeeble Russia.

            So don't expect me to be all outraged about what Russia is doing to Ukraine, violative of international law as it may be.  

            I am most interested in NOT getting into a new cold war between nuclear-armed adversaries.  Been there; done that.  I am not interested in the Cheneyites using this to gut the social safety net and increase even more our defense budget.

            Whipping the U.S. into a moral lather about poor Crimea to justify jacked-up defense budgets and cuts to everything else is an old nightmare that I am sick of re-living.  To the extent people around here help to wag Cheney's dog, they are dumb asses, the foreign policy equivalents of Dennis Kucinich.

            The Kiev rioters should have thought about what Russia might do to them if they got overtly in Russia's face, inviting NATO and Star Wars on to Russia's southern border.   Too fucking bad for them.  I resent their attempt to exploit neo-con desires to fuck over America's citizenry.

            This aggression will not stand, man.

            by kaleidescope on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:55:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think this is symptomatic of the same (0+ / 0-)

              cold war view of the world that you're decrying, though: whatever the motivations, best interests, and individual lives of Ukrainians (Crimeans or otherwise) are secondary to your cold war fears, which erases any particularity from the people over whom we're supposedly fighting (though I don't know who you're arguing with in this thread, since no one here is arguing for any of the things you're inveighing against.)

              "Too fucking bad for them."  Ladies and gents, that says it all right there.

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

              by pico on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:42:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't blame Russians for Putin. I don't excuse (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mindful Nature

          Putin and his use of the Russian state just because the Russian people have, and still do, suffer. Putin isn't a good guy, his handling of Pussy Riot, his own elections, hell his own getting around term limits, his handling of Georgia, leave it there as enough. None of these have to do with blaming the Russian people for anything.

        •  Certainly not the AMerican left (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Texas Lefty

          if it isnt going to score points in the next election or allow for anti-American grousing.

          And how about the massive genocidal crimes of the Soviet state?  After all, let's not forget that Stalin made Hitler look like an amateur.  You want to see trauma, tour around Eastern Europe.  Forgetting the Holodor are we?

        •  In case it escaped your notice... (0+ / 0-)

          Stalin signed a pact with hitler in 1939 which enabled him to invade Poland, Romania, and the Baltics.

          The Russians laid down with hitler and paid the price…no pity.

          “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

          by frenchy339 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:48:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In one case... (10+ / 0-)

      ...there was a protracted, years-long campaign of paramilitary death squads supported by the central government committing mass murder and ethnic cleansind, and a corresponding push by the locals for independence to get away from said central government.

      In the other case a central government came to power in a questionable manner, and passed (but then nearly-instantly vetoed) a repeal of a 1.5 year old law about which languages to print documents in...and three weeks later another country had invaded, installed a prime minister, called a referendum, won a referendum, and annexed the region.

      The comparison is because they are two independence referendums. There are far more differences than similiarities, though.

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:57:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crimea had a vote in 1991 (4+ / 0-)

        where they voted to join Russia by more than 90%.

          What's more, Russia has managed to seize Crimea practically without violence, unlike our bloody efforts to remove Kosovo from Serbia.

          So which one should we be condemning again?

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:12:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (6+ / 0-)

          gjohnsit:

          Crimea had a vote in 1991 where they voted to join Russia by more than 90%.
          The referendum you appear to be referring to was NOT to join Russia. That 90% vote was to re-establish the CASSR as a political entity within the USSR, which still existed at the time.
          On January 20, 1991 the Crimean Referendum was held and the people were asked to answer the question: “Do you want to restore the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic as a subject of the USSR and member of the Treaty Alliance?”
          http://www.unpo.org/...

          Later that year (December 1991), 54% of the CASSR voted for Ukranian independence from the (Russian-dominated) USSR. The lowest percent of any region, yes, but a majority nevertheless.

          http://web.archive.org/...

          Anyway, I am not against a referendum, past or present, to decide the future of Crimea. I am not against them joining Russia. The 1994 referendum -- which for increased autonomy and dual citizenship, though NOT for joining Russia -- should have been listened to far more thoroughly and acted upon.

          I am, however, against the illegitimate process of this particular referendum -- the lack of due deliberation, the violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and the marginalization and intimidation of a large swath of Crimeans in the process.

          What's more, Russia has managed to seize Crimea practically without violence, unlike our bloody efforts to remove Kosovo from Serbia.
          Yes, to avoid provocation that would lead to a full-scale invasion Ukraine was unprepared for, they did not fight back or resist the Russian troops and paramilitary forces. It was a pragmatic move by Ukraine, but that doesn't make Russia praiseworthy -- it makes them overwhelmingly more powerful than the country they were invading.

          Kosovo and Serbia were bloody before NATO intervened. That was why intervention was deemed necessary. The bloodiness did not, magically, stop upon intervention.

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:40:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's an extreme understatement (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, aufklaerer
            The 1994 referendum -- which for increased autonomy and dual citizenship, though NOT for joining Russia -- should have been listened to far more thoroughly and acted upon.
            This is from your Wikipedia link:
             On 5 May 1992 the Crimean Supreme Council declared independence, dependent on a referendum that was planned for August. However, the Ukrainian Parliament ruled that the declaration was illegal, and gave the Supreme Council a deadline of 20 May to rescind it.
             One thing is for certain: the people of Crimea didn't want to be part of Ukraine. Consistently.
               The 1994 election showed 82.8% of Crimeans wanted to hold Russia passports.

              Seriously, let's be realistic here. The overwhelming majority of people in Crimea want to be part of Russia.
               Does that make Putin's grab OK? No. It certainly doesn't legitimize it. But it also explains why Ukraine let Crimea go so easily. And it also explains the results of the recent election.

              This isn't pro-Russia propaganda. This is reality.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:53:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eglantine, Mindful Nature, codairem, Asak

              Well, I really wish you'd at least acknowledged that the facts in your previous comment were wrong, seeing as how they formed the basis for the comment I was replying to. I don't know how to keep moving forward with an honest discussion when that's ignored, and you choose instead to nitpick at a statement you apparently agree with, but which I apparently "understated". It's off-putting and it makes it seem like I'm in a personality conflict instead of a discussion of realities.

              Re: the "understatement". I said the results should have been acted upon -- that is an objective and clear statement of support for the referendums results.

              The 1994 election showed 82.8% of Crimeans wanted to hold Russia passports.
              And, as I said, those sentiments as formalized in the 1994 referendum should have been listened to far more thoroughly and acted upon.
              Does that make Putin's grab OK? No. It certainly doesn't legitimize it. But it also explains why Ukraine let Crimea go so easily. And it also explains the results of the recent election.   This isn't pro-Russia propaganda. This is reality.
              I know it's reality. It's also my opinion exactly. Crimea is heavily pro-Russian. Crimea was put out by the temporary government in Ukraine. Crimeans in general would likely have voted "yes" for most referenda along a spectrum of "increased autonomy" to "dual citizenship" to "independence" to "joining Russia". I don't have a criticism of any of that. I have an issue with, well, what I just said I had a problem with in the previous comment.

              it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

              by Addison on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:01:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  LEt's stop the distortions shall we? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, eglantine

              Again, votes for more autonomy does not equal support for joining Russia.  As much as you like to claim they are the same, they are not.

              •  If anything that vote would indicate (0+ / 0-)

                that they were more likely to take not joining Russia as an option, because that is exactly what they voted for previously. And I'm pretty sure Russia already offers ethnic Russians in Crimea dual citizenship.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:37:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  no (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          codairem, eglantine

          that vote was to be an independent entity on their own.  Joining RUssia was not on the ballot.  Ukraine also had such a referendum in 1991.

          Once again, we find distortions and untruths defending Russia.  Hmmm....

    •  in one case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eglantine, Asak

      the government finished a genocidal campaign and ethnic cleansing against the inhabitants of the region (Kosovo and Bosnia), whereas in the other there was no such thing.

      Yes, your comment could well be used, but mostly as an example of how the American left mostly couldn't give a rats ass about human rights abuses anywhere else in the world.

  •  Crimea is essentually Russian. (11+ / 0-)

    I say leave them in peace.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:25:01 PM PDT

  •  I feel it necessary to disclose that (6+ / 0-)

    I am partly ethnically Russian.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:33:28 PM PDT

  •  If I ever get banned again from this site, it's (18+ / 0-)

    likely to be over my disgust at the pro-Russian propaganda, including the major lie that the Ukrainian revolutionaries are Nazis and fascists.

    The moment we heard news of troops without insignias surrounding the Crimean parliament building and the airport in Sevastapol, I said Putin was going to annex Crimea.  This view was mocked.

    Now I'm saying I think it's inevitable that he will grab at least a slice of eastern Ukraine, because he needs a land route to Crimea.  The Russians are not going to put up with having to pass Ukrainian checkpoints while traveling to and from Crimea.

    They might be able to build a big bridge from eastern Crimea to Russia, but that would take years.

    And incidentally, I don't think the illegal seizure of Crimea is necessarily a fait accompli.

    •  I didn't mock predictions of a Russian (13+ / 0-)

      annexation of Crimea. It was quite predictable after the Ukrainian coup. Crimea has been part of Russia since Catherine's time, no responsible Russian leader would allow it to be split off by NATO, the EU or the US.

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:55:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe Russia... (0+ / 0-)

        should worry more about its basket case economy, incredibly low life expectancy and all of its other problems, rather than worrying about "NATO".  Russia's own attitude is why NATO is viewed as an enemy.  Former communist states have joined NATO, it's not like it's an exclusive club that no one can get into.  

        If Russia had gotten its act together, it probably could have joined NATO as well.  The problem is they're still trying to act like some great military power, when they're not.  Russia is not going to get back to the role it held as the predominant country in the USSR.  

    •  It is simply a fact that neo-nazis and fascists (10+ / 0-)

      hold major posts in the provisional government. This is not mere propaganda. Which is not to say that the revolution in its entirety, nor even a major part of it, is either neo-nazi or fascist. But there are elements within it now, in key positions, of which ethnic Russian Ukrainians have every reason to be wary. Perhaps they will be voted out in the coming elections, but until then, they remain a threat to national stability. And a perceived threat to Russia itself.

      •  they captured those posts--and those posts (13+ / 0-)

        include the head and deputy head of the national security council, as well as the national prosecutor's office. The army and police are under their control, and right now they are purging officials and forming a national guard of brownshirts.

        They're so brazen that a gang of Svoboda MPs walked right into a TV station, beat up the director, and forced him to resign for being too pro-Russian (in their opinion). They taped this and uploaded it online themselves.

        Hitler was not elected democratically, he was installed by feckless, greedy mainstream conservatives. So too with the Ukrainian fascists.

        Democracy has nothing to do with it; the wishes of the Ukrainian people have nothing to do with it. This is about brute force now. The fascists were handed the keys to the kingdom by feckless European and American leaders, and now they're riding high.

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

        by limpidglass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:45:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am afraid you are right. (6+ / 0-)

          Nuland is in way over her head.

        •  Russia tolerates it own neofascist skinhead thugs (7+ / 0-)

          and their brazen fascist-saluting, beating and killing; and wasn't the term 'Red-Brown Alliance' coined to describe their electoral success?

          Doesn't make the Ukrainian ones any better... just seems it's going around lately, these Golden Dawn-type groups.

          •  The problem is that in Ukraine there are Nazi and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mookins, limpidglass, shaharazade

            fascist parties participating in the new governing coalition.

            •  inform yourself (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus

              about the origins of your rumors.  Thanks.

              •  So is the BBC a tool of Putin also? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mookins
                •  That's a great video (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Timaeus

                  Because it shows how the "fascist" and "neonazi" parties are in large measure actually anti imperialist nationalists.  The interviews make clear that the key idea for many is this idea of a Ukraine based on an ethnic identity much like Israel or France in fact.   The wolfsangel mentioned was in fact banned from use by one of the two so-called "neonazi" groups, Svoboda, by its current leader in fact. Indeed the c14 leader interviewed was pretty clear that he is anti Nazi and anti communist, which makes sense in a country brutalized by both. The key fact if a history of being conquered and oppressed will do that. I notice the story did not actually find any actual neonazis, but rather said they are camera shy.  

                  So, by all reasonable accounts there is a coalition government (headed by a man who is by some account Jewish himself) that includes two parties from the more moderate end of the nationalist right that purged themselves of neonazi a some years ago when standing for election that may still have some members who are or may have been neonazis.   Hell, that's a pretty close description of the US government.   Does that mean that either Ukraine or the US has a "neonazi" or "fascist" government?   Of course not and saying so is such a misrepresentation as to be utterly untrue.

                  •  You are simply refusing to face reality (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mookins, Joncleir, limpidglass

                    neo-nazi parties are on the rise again in europe (another example is golden dawn in Greece) and among the demonstrators that brought down the previous pro-Russian Ukranian governement were paramilitary neo-nazi groups.     Swoboda and the right sector have clear fascist and neo-nazi elements.    If you are unwilling to accept known facts that all over  the internet, you simply refuse reality as it is.   I think your comments only reflect your wishful thinking.

                    •  He says there were no actual neo-nazis in the (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      native

                      video. They are either in the video or they are not in the video. He has a point about the background of these people. They don't just spring up out of the dirt. People copy the behavior they see around them. It's what looks normal.

                      There are still alive in Ukraine today who witnessed serious brutality. They don't just shake it off and go on with life raising normal well-adjusted children. They pass their psychosis on to the next generation.

                      The Tsarnaev family might be an example. They were given refugee status as Chechens who fled the Caucusas when Putin was waging a campaign of genocide against them. You'd have to be steeped in what they went through to grasp how damaged survivors can be.

                      Ukrainian nationalists have a lot of baggage about Russia. Not as a people or nationality because they have a lot in common with Russians. Their country is impoverished because of the disparities between Ukraine and Russia. And their own leaders betrayed them too.

                      They know it was the Yanukovych government that fired on them and it's inhuman to deny them justice even now by refusing to acknowledge the fact. Yanukovych's Interior Minister said after January 16 that protesters would be given the harshest treatment. That's when the shooting began. It's further tormenting these people to try to change the story after the fact.

                      And it's particularly unseemly for Americans to join in on it when they really don't have a clue what Ukraine is all about.

                      There is no existence without doubt.

                      by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:11:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually not (0+ / 0-)

                      Actually I think I just said that there are such elements. However I also notice that there are simple nationalist elements which is very different I the Ukraine than in Greece.  Portraying the entire government as dominated by element of two coalition member when those elements dominate neither Svoboda not Right Sector is a lot more reality denying and fear mongering.  Saying that a neonazi government has taken over in Kiev is simply untrue.   Such a characterization ignores all the other factions in the ruling coalition.   My comments are based in actually understanding the nature and history of these groups and understanding the distinctions among them.  I don't just listen to overblown Russian warmongering propaganda

                      •  ? (0+ / 0-)
                        Saying that a neonazi government has taken over in Kiev is simply untrue.
                        I never said that.   I said that there are nazi elements within the Ukrainian government   Any government that tolerates nazis is pathetic in my opinion.
                        •  True (0+ / 0-)

                          Even the notion that these are neo nazi parties isn't particularly accurate

                        •  Do you understand how democracy works? (0+ / 0-)

                          You don't get to approve the winners. Especially in a foreign country.  You have a tough problem to solve when the voters elect 37 members to Parliament and you have an objection.

                          That's part of how this whole cluster got started. It was because certain politicians in Ukraine had an imperfect understanding of democracy like you do.

                          When you have final say over elections, that's a dictatorship. Since when is that a liberal democratic value?

                          There is no existence without doubt.

                          by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:07:32 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  there are fascist skinheads in many countries, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mookins

            particularly in Europe. But for the most part, they're not a member of the governing coalition and don't control the armed forces and the police. They do in Ukraine, and we helped them do it.

            Speaking of Golden Dawn, people freaked out over their winning 6.8% of the vote and were very fearful that the army and police might fall under their sway. Svoboda won 10% in the last election and they seized control of the army and police forces in the new interim government, in addition to the prosecutor's office and the ministries of education and agriculture.

            The fact is that the West has backed these lunatics in a shortsighted gamble to gain influence in Ukraine. And it won't take long for it to come back to haunt us.

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

            by limpidglass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:58:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  how about the disappearances (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          codairem, Timaeus

          and deaths by torture of Crimean Tatars?  

          Your desciption is a far better description of the reality in Crimea.  The Ukrainian interim government was elected by the Parliament, as corrupt as it is. The Crimean one was installed at gunpoint.

      •  you mean the Crimean one? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem

        because they are the ones moving against ethnic minorities, not the government in Kiev.

      •  And yes it is propaganda (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem, Timaeus

        and has been repeatedly debunked.  The neo-nazi elements of Right Sektor and Svoboda were purged about ten years ago.  

        but whatevs.  The real threat to Russia is the idea that people can throw out their corrupt leaders.  I'm sure PUtin is quite eager to put a stop to THAT idea spreading

        •  People who throw out corrupt leaders (0+ / 0-)

          but are unable, for whatever reason, to replace them with strong leaders of their own, usually get nothing but trouble for their efforts. Recent examples: Egypt, Libya, Syria.

          You are obviously a partisan idealist, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that. But I think you would do well to keep in mind this dictum from Bob Dylan:

          Democracy don't rule the world,
          You better get that through your head.
          This world is ruled by violence,
          But I guess that's better left unsaid.

    •  Why is a land route necessary? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass, AoT, native, gjohnsit

      Does the lower 48 states of the US have a land route to Alaska? Does Canada have a land route to Newfoundland? For that matter, does Russia have a land route to its exclave Kaliningrad?

      Shipping across the Kerch Strait is puddle-jumping compared to the intra-national maritime connections that are SOP in many other countries.

      -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

      by Wreck Smurfy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:49:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course you're correct that a land route is not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins

        "necessary."  I didn't say it is.  I just think Russian pride and imperialism will insist on it.

        •  You wrote "needs". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, gjohnsit

          That's identical to "necessary", for all intents and purposes. In any case, bridging the Kerch Straits has been in discussion or planning off and on for 70 years. "Pride and imperialism" is unlikely to overcome the natural obstacles the project has faced since it was first proposed.

          -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

          by Wreck Smurfy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:28:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ha. You got a rec from the number 1 pro-Russian (0+ / 0-)

            poster here.

            •  That's rich (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wreck Smurfy, ozsea1, gjohnsit, Blue Wind

              It's interesting that you'd call me the number one when I consistently say that Russia was not justified in seizing Crimea. Funny how that's more pro-Russian than the people saying the referendum was legit.

              A large fraction of your comments in diaries on this subject have been specifically attacking me.

              And you refuse to acknowledge the existence of fascists in Ukraine and in the government of Ukraine.

              And your when your only response is who recced someone's comment then you need to step back a little from the meta.

              You made a specific claim, when that claim was shown to be factually untrue  you resorted to a skewed sort of guilt by association. This is obviously a topic that you can only think with your emotions on.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:09:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  All wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nachtwulf

                I've criticized you a lot based on YOUR posts, not on some predetermined bias on my part.

                And no, I have never refused to acknowledge the existence of fascists in the government of Ukraine!  The facts are what they are.  

                I've refused to acknowledge the conclusions that you and other pro-Russian propagandists reach from that.

                The revolutionary government in Ukraine is NOT a fascist government.  But that's what you and your allies are arguing.  It's a LIE.

                As to emotions, I suspect you have cooler reasons for your persistent, wrong propaganda.

                •  Please link to the comment where I called (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Timaeus, Wreck Smurfy, Addison, Asak

                  the government in Ukraine a fascist government. One comment. You have refused to ever back up your accusations of me spreading propaganda. Not once have you been able to provide a shred of evidence that I've called the government of Ukraine fascist.

                  And the fact that you continue to call me the biggest supporter of Russia is absolutely uncalled for. There are people who are calling the referendum legitimate in this thread and I have never done so, and I'm a bigger supporter than they are? Get it together.

                  What I am doing is pointing out the realities of the situation and pointing out when people are resorting to hyperbole and fear mongering. I'm not a supporter of Russia for objecting to the comparisons between Putin and Hitler, nor am I apologizing for Russia when I note that they aren't going to attack NATO. That's common sense, not apologia.

                  You need to go back and read my comments without your filter on.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:27:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good comment. I probably owe you an apology. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, doinaheckuvanutjob, nachtwulf, Asak

                    My accusations are based on much reading in these threads, but I sometimes read too fast.

                    Although I have reservations, let me just apologize and resolve to stop engaging with you on this issue--unless you really piss me off with something.

                    •  I apologize for not making (4+ / 0-)

                      clear where I stood in a more clear way previously.

                      unless you really piss me off with something.
                      It is DailyKos, i'd ask no less;)

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:37:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  INdeed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      I'm going to come to AoT's defense here.  ALthough we've disagreed on a lot, I'd say his/her approach is pretty darned measured and steady in a ridiculously complex situation.

                      AoT is one of few who understands the difference between a government that includes some parties that have had, but purged, neonazi elements in the recent past and trying to legitimize the invasion based on a notion that "facists and neonazis" have taken over in Kiev.  The former is an accurate description, and the latter is Russian propaganda.

                      AoT has consistently been putting forth the former.

                      I'd also say that his/her comments are never to be read quickly, since they are nuanced.  I have learned this the hard way!

            •  I respect AoT's view of the situation, (0+ / 0-)

              and I'm happy to accept his/her rec. And I'm not keeping rankings of who is more or less pro-Russian here. That seems to be your job. Hope you're happy with it.

              -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

              by Wreck Smurfy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 08:30:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The bridge is trivial (0+ / 0-)

            the real problem is power, water and food.

            Crimea gets 100% of its power from Ukraine, 100% of its water from Ukraine and 70% of its food supply from Ukraine.

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

            by fcvaguy on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:36:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They haven't had a land route for 15 years (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Asak

        They don't need one now. All that stands between Crimea and Russia is a 5 mile ferry ride.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:24:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course Ukraine will be partitioned. (8+ / 0-)

      Some of us predicted this from the very start back in December. Anyone with half a brain knew it would end this way, which makes it entirely laughable when our State Department and the EU governments act as if this came out of the blue, that they had no clue Russia would move so quickly to protect its interests in the region. What a farce! The question is, what exactly do they think the end game will be? I'd bet real money that the US doesn't give a rat's ass if Ukraine is partitioned so long as they get to put missiles in southwestern Ukraine aimed at Iran.

    •  How can you deny that Right Sektor is fascist? (8+ / 0-)

      How can you deny that Svoboda is fascist?

      Your claims that no Ukrainian revolutionaries don't stand up to what the leftist groups in Ukraine are saying. At all.

      Certainly, claims that the government is fascist are overblown at this time, but this nonsense you're spreading about there being no fascists in Ukraine is wrong.

      And incidentally, I don't think the illegal seizure of Crimea is necessarily a fait accompli.
      I agree it was illegal, but I'm not sure how it would be stopped short of a war against Russia. Is that what you're suggesting?

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:15:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What makes Crimean secession illegal? (6+ / 0-)

        If Kosovan secession if legal, why is Crimean secession illegal. It's totally hypocritical, conveniently legal in one case but illegal in the other, because we're in favor of one but opposed to the other.

        •  The Crimean parliament was seized by force (10+ / 0-)

          and then forced a vote that didn't include an option to retain the status that Crimea had previously. And then there's the whole 95% in favor of seceding. That's an unrealistic number and screams fraud in an election that occurred with no monitoring and armed Russian troops stationed all over the place. It was gross intimidation.

          Kosovo independence took place under the auspices of the UN, not to mention that there were ongoing attacks on the civilian population by Serbian forces, which was not at all true of the situation in Crimea. Certainly, there are questions of legitimacy, and efficacy, around the NATO bombing campaigns, but there is little if any comparison between a situation where Kosovars are actually being attacked and ethnic Russians had a brief threat of having their language not allowed in government. And let's not leave out the part where both sides were consulted, Belgrade and Kosovo, ad a deal that even Russia signed off on was reached.

          Are you claiming active hostilities between ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians? Because that's the only way it would be comparable.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:45:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not so much the 95% in itself (7+ / 0-)

            as the options on the ballot: secession (which about half or more of the population wanted) or reversion to the '92 constitution (which hardly anyone wanted).  No "none of the above" option.  No "status quo" option.  So anyone not there to vote for secession stayed home, basically.

            If the referendum had been run fairly and cleanly, giving all its citizens a voice, it probably still would have passed with something like 60% of the vote.  Even with the smaller number, it'd have been a more convincing leg to stand on.  But Moscow couldn't leave well enough alone, so we got something straight out of the old Party elections handbook.  

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

            by pico on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:20:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Aye yup. All true, except 82% did show up to vote (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim P, Wreck Smurfy, gjohnsit

              That's not an inconsequential percentage of eligible voters. That means that some voters were not ethnic Russians, and they obviously voted to join Russia. Why? It's a very straightforward matter of economics. Russian pensions are three times as much as Ukrainian pensions; Russian civil servants and soldiers are paid considerably more than their Ukrainian counterparts; Crimeans are much more dependent on Russia for trade than they are Ukraine. The economic gap between Russians and Ukrainians will get even wider once the IMF imposes its reforms. Intellectual and artistic freedom is nice, but you can't eat them, they won't heat your apartment in the winter. Joining Russia was a pragmatic economic choice.

            •  Are you sure about that? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, ER Doc

              I thought the referendum had only two options: (1) independence, with secession from Ukraine, or (2) joining Russia, with secession from Ukraine.

              I'm pretty sure that's accurate.

          •  That's bullshit. (5+ / 0-)

            Serbian forces were not attacking civilians in Kosovo leading up to the referendum. Milosovic had already died in The Hague. A pro-Western government was in power in Belgrade. On the contrary, prior to the referendum Kosovar Albanians were murdering Serbs, driving them out of their homes, destroying their churches, ethnically cleansing the area. UN forces had to step in and protect the Serbian population. I know personally one of those Kosovan Serbs, a monk whose family was murdered in their farmhouse and who had to flee his monastery or be killed himself. The UN has to remain in Kosovo and will never be able to withdraw without inviting genocide of the Serbs. And as far as Serbia being consulted, they never accepted the legitimacy of the referendum and have staunchly refused to accept the result. In that respect Serbia superficially resembles Ukraine, except that Kosovo was a part of Serbia much longer than Crimea was a part of Ukraine. Let's at least get the facts straight.

            Regarding Crimea, the Crimean Parliament was seized by Crimean Russians, not unlike ethnic Ukrainians seizing the Ukrainian Parliament. Russian troops were not involved, nor were they "stationed all over the place" as you claim. With respect to the referendum, granted, the option of remaining a part of Ukraine was not a choice on the ballot, but being an autonomous state was. And as for the claim that there was fraud in the result, not even the US government is claiming that. Plenty of European media outlets were on scene and no credible source has claimed that the Crimean population was coerced into voting in favor of annexation to Russia. Instead the US complains that the Crimeans had no legitimate right to hold a referendum, not that the result was illegitimate. Why? Because the US and EU know that the referendum could be held again tomorrow under UN auspices and the end result would be the same. No matter how many times the vote would be taken, the majority of Crimeans would vote to join Russia because it makes the most economic sense for them. This will become crystal clear in the weeks and months ahead as the IMF beggars Ukraine.

            •  If you want to draw a parallel between (8+ / 0-)

              Kosovo and Crimea: the whole reason the KLA formed in the first place was because of political and cultural repression beginning in the early 90s that mirrors, uncomfortably, the direction Ukraine has been headed.  The  dissolving of the Kosovo assembly, the shutting down of Albanian-language media, closing of the university and Albanian-affiliated institutions... I mean, it was an ugly situation before the first shot was fired.  (Ukraine should have learned something from this, but they seem stubbornly like they want to repeat the lessons of the past.)

              By the time the West got involved in Serbia at all, it had already been a humanitarian disaster, but mostly against the Kosovars - I don't know why your history here is so selective.  The streamlining of the narrative into good (Kosovo) and bad (Serb) is certainly both offensive and contrary to the fact that Kosovars were charged with crimes against humanity as well - you're entirely right about that - but by 1998 the amount of people murdered and displaced were so heavily on the Kosovo side that it kinda beggars belief to suggest otherwise.

              If anything the literal balkanization of the Balkans looked necessary to avoid another round of Srebrenica-style cleansings.  It certainly didn't work out that way.  But given the circumstances, it doesn't look like a good parallel to what's been a contentious, but nowhere near as violent, split over Crimea.  

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

              by pico on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:47:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am sorry (0+ / 0-)

                can you show a single incident of any harrassment, political repression or cultural respression of Crimean russians to back up that statement.

                We know the Tatars are being subject to this, but there is so far next to no evidence for any kind of campaign against Russians in the Ukraine.  I'm sorry but this is absurd.

            •  There was open conflict between Serb and Kosovar (6+ / 0-)

              forces, official and otherwise. Pretending otherwise is ignoring history. Kosovo wasn't taken by force and then put to the vote as Crimea was.

              Regarding Crimea, the Crimean Parliament was seized by Crimean Russians, not unlike ethnic Ukrainians seizing the Ukrainian Parliament.
              Ukraine still has the same parliament that was elected two years ago, the Crimean parliament was completely replaced through violence. If you don't see the problem there then I don't know what to say. And the legitimacy of the results aren't separate from the legitimacy of the process. Pretending like you can hold a snap election and have it be binding without having a legitimately elected parliament, which Crimea does not have, is absurd.

              There are serious problems with how Ukraine wet about getting rid of their government, and I don't consider it a terribly legitimate government currently, but there's no comparison with Crimea.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:51:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  um (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Addison, eglantine

              did you forget all of the events of 1998 and 1999 when Serbia expelled close to a million Kosovars?

              After actions like that, it is pretty clear that Serbia had lost all right to control Kosovo.

              I am curious, how do you feel about the expulsions of Germans from Czechoslovakia and POland after WWII?

          •  The Crimean vote was realistic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            limpidglass
            And then there's the whole 95% in favor of seceding. That's an unrealistic number and screams fraud in an election that occurred with no monitoring and armed Russian troops stationed all over the place.
            I was incline to agree with you until I discovered that Crimea voted in 1991 to remain autonomous from Ukraine by 94%. That number is too close to the recent election to ignore.
               Even more important, more Crimeans voted to become part of Russia than to become part of Ukraine in 1991.

              Finally, shouldn't we have heard some official complaining about "rampant fraud and intimidation" about the recent vote by now?

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:31:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you support Putin's annexation of Crimea? (0+ / 0-)
              •  I support what the people of Crimea support (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joncleir

                If the people of Crimea wanted to be become part of Romania, or Iran, or Australia, then that would be OK with me too.
                   The fact is that the people of Crimea have consistently voted that they aren't interested in being part of Ukraine.

                And now they aren't.

                  It wasn't just Russia's power that is the determining factor here. Ukraine let Crimea go partly because Crimea wanted to go.

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:57:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Simply not true: (5+ / 0-)
                  The fact is that the people of Crimea have consistently voted that they aren't interested in being part of Ukraine.
                  This:
                  Polls in 2011 showed 33 percent of Crimeans of all ethnic backgrounds in support of joining the federation, and another showed that figure had dropped to 23 percent in 2013.
                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Surely, you can't believe a vote conducted under occupation can be free and open.

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

                  by fcvaguy on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:33:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  yes he does (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timaeus

                and he believes every last shred of propaganda that comes out of the Kremlin to boot.

                •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                  For a second there I thought you were being sarcastic

                  None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                  by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:28:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Some of each (0+ / 0-)

                    I know you are a fair minded person, but you really ought to take a closer look at

                    A) what was actually voted on in the referenda
                    B) what the context was for each
                    C) what the status of ethnic minorities under Russian til will be like
                    D) the actual polling and vote totals in local elections have been

                    Long story short, there has been an interest in autonomy, but there has never been a vote on annexation. Remember for many independence from both Ukraine and Russia is a preferred option also.  The annexationist block haven't ever broken 5% of the vote ever to my knowledge

                    Thus, this notion that "the people" of Crimea want this is at best unproven.   Consider that about a third of the legitimate pre cleansing  population is in Siberia and Khazakstan and the issues become yet more difficult and far more complex than your simplistic portrayal suggests.

            •  so (0+ / 0-)

              you are citing a Soviet era vote to leave the Soviet Union as your evidence?

              That's actually really funny.

        •  John McCain didn't approve of it (0+ / 0-)

          That makes it illegal.

          John McCain also wants to launch a land war against Russia. In the winter. In the Senate, the inmates have taken over the asylum.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:05:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But what about that great catch Svoboda made (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pico, AoT, mookins, Jim P, limpidglass

        for the Mets in the '69 World Series? Nothing fascist about that.

        Wait, that was "Swoboda." My bad.

        •  Baseball Team Owners are imperialist lackey (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          running dogs, who work day and night to suppress the creative ability of pitchers to apply grease to, and to nick, the baseball.


          Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

          by Jim P on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:14:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is undeniable (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, the correct term is not fascist, it is neo-nazis.    

    •  Take it in stride, Timaeus. (7+ / 0-)

      Nothing worth getting banned over.  I've gotten frustrated with a lot of these comments, too, but it's easier just to walk away from the computer: nobody here is affecting international policy, so well-formed and ill-formed opinions alike are just circulating in their own vacuum.  

      I don't know if you saw the last diary I posted, but I recommended people keep up with the articles posted by NYU's Jordan Center for Advanced Russian Studies.  They've been publishing the best analysis on these issues so far, avoiding most of the simplistic, inaccurate narratives that have been dominating the discussion both in MSM and on the blogs.  I wish they were publishing and updating more, but it takes time to put together good work.

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

      by pico on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:30:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crimea never wanted to be part of Ukraine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pale Jenova, shaharazade

      They voted in 1991 to be Autonomous by 94%.
         More Crimeans voted to remain part of Russia than those who voted to be part of Ukraine.

        With that being said, Ukraine can't lose its eastern provinces. This isn't Crimea we are talking about. The eastern provinces are still majority Ukrainian.

        As for Russia "needing" a land bridge to Crimea, that's rediculous. They never needed one for the last 15 years. Why would they need one now?

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  huh... (0+ / 0-)
      likely to be over my disgust at the pro-Russian propaganda, including the major lie that the Ukrainian revolutionaries are Nazis and fascists.
      They are not all of them Nazis and fascists, but quite a few of them certainly are.   It is not a major lie.  It is called reality.  Check your facts.
      •  I stand on my assertion that it's a major lie (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nachtwulf, eglantine

        based on Russian propaganda.

        •  So is BBC a Russian propaganda tool? (0+ / 0-)

          Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine: NEWSNIGHT

          There are hundreds of sources onlince documenting without any doubt the neo-Nazi orientation of some of the leaders of the Ukraine uprising.  

          Here is info about one of the coalition parties in the Ukranian government:

          Svoboda party

          From link above:

          Svoboda has been described as an anti-Semitic and sometimes a Neo-Nazi party by international newspapers,  organizations that monitor hate speech,  Jewish organizations, and political opponents.[41]
          So everything is Russian propaganda huh?  Is the earth flat?
          •  It's the same thing 10,000 other people have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eglantine

            already said and it's what everyone knows.

            In the county where I live, a neo-nazi ran for a minor office as a precinct committeeman, on the Republican ticket, and he won. That was about 6 years ago. He was the real deal. In 2011, he and a buddy showed up at an Occupy demonstration where a few hundred people were sitting in an open area on the grass. They were carrying some very large weapons. It's an open carry anything goes state. The police were keeping their distance and they would have taken him out if he started firing but who knows what would have happened. In May 2012, he killed 4 people and himself about 10 miles from where I live.

            With all of that, I don't believe I ever saw any fuss about this character like the fuss being made over the same thing 5,000 miles away. But that's not my point. It's just an anecdote for you.

            It's not enough to point and call out fascist or neo-nazi. Anyone can do that. It's a serious matter that should be addressed with clarity.  

            Tell me specifically about the 6 individuals in the interim government.


            Mahnitskyy Oleg General Prosecutor
            Mokhnyk Andriy Min of Ecology and Natural Resources
            Shvaika Ihor Min of Agrarian Policy and Food
            Sych Oleksandr Vice Prime Min
            Tenyukh Igor Min of Defence
            Turchynov Alexander Head of  National Security / Defense Council
            I don't want to hear about random guttersnipes, I don't want to see lurid pictures with lightning bolts, I don't want hysteria and frenzy. I just want to know what concerns you have about these individuals and what they've said and done since the parliament approved them a month ago.

            I don't outrage, indignation, or accusations. I want people who handle this topic to handle it with the seriousness that it deserves.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:09:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do those names and positions and accusations (0+ / 0-)

              mean?  It's impossible to know anything from your post.

              •  Sure. I'll explain. I keep hearing generalized (0+ / 0-)

                alarm that there are fascists in Ukraine's government. Fascist isn't a precise term but I understand that the alarm relates to the 6 members of the Svoboda party who were approved by Parliament for cabinet positions.

                I listed the names of those six people and their positions above. I hear comments about fascists, I see pictures and videos, but none of that pertains to the six people who are in the government.

                If people are getting frantic about fascists in the government. they should be able to list what these six people have said and done in the last month that they believe is objectionable.

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:19:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think I agree with your last paragraph, (0+ / 0-)

                  but I think your previous post adds fuel to the fire of the propagandists who are supporting the Russians.

                  •   I'll say it plainer. Before anyone starts (0+ / 0-)

                    screeching about fascists and neo-nazis in Ukraine's interim government, I say Simmer Down! The community here found neo-nazis to be a sensitive and divisive topic.

                    Some people know through their parents and grandparents about the Nazi era. They don't need a lecture or preaching from anyone on the topic.

                    In politics, Americans mostly refrain from labeling each other as fascists or neo-nazis. Some flat-out deny we have any.
                    Guess what. The Russians follow the same pattern. The Ukrainians do, too. You can even see it in the video clip someone linked to a comment in this thread.

                    If one person marched in public wearing a swastika, and held office as a Republican, is the entire GOP neo-nazi? No, Americans make very fine distinctions across the political spectrum. They should think twice before using the broad neo-nazi brush on Ukraine's interim government.

                    So what does anyone know about the 6 neo-nazis in Ukraine's cabinet of ministers?

                    Is the neo-nazi label justified? Where I come from, there should be some exhibits directly relating to these six individuals.

                    Timaeus, this is how I deconstruct Russian propaganda.
                    One. brick. at. a. time.

                    There is no existence without doubt.

                    by Mark Lippman on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:45:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  the irony is that Putin is fascist himself. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eglantine, Mark Lippman, Timaeus

      He's a hardliner ubernationalist autocrat who runs a police state, persecutes minorities, limits free speech, controls the press, and runs phony elections to keep himself in office.  Yet those who claim the pro-EU Ukrainians include fascists act as if there is no fascism in the pro-Putin Ukrainians.  Those demanding to leave Ukraine to join Putin's Russia are demanding to join a fascist state.

    •  "BloodLands" revisited (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eglantine, Timaeus

      After seeing "Divergent", I think I get it.  Have to agree with Timeaeus on this point.  With 5000 demonstrators out in eastern Ukraine where Russia has already massed lots of  troops on the Russian side of the border, eastern Ukraine will probably vote to join Russia sooner than expected.  I don't think Russia has a concept of the protection of ethnic minorities, like the Tartars are now in Crimea.  So, I think ultimately, Putin inherits a big headache given the reality of economic sanctions mounting and the basket case that Ukraine already is.  

      Factions and factionalism is fracturing Ukraine and loyalty to Russia over Europe fanning nationalism everywhere.  The sad part of this whole saga, which you can read about in the book, "BloodLands" between Hitler and Stalin, is that Ukrainians will have to choose which side they favor or be pushed out, marginalized or simply eliminated.

      Ukraine is a lovely land rich in farmland.  It was the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union and under Stalin, millions starved to death to provide the food Stalin needed to run the Soviet state.  Under Hitler, it bleed too, as people were murdered to protect Germany. Border countries are hellish once leaders decide they need a buffer zone to protect their states.  Paranoia rules.  What a mess.

  •  I wonder what proportion of Ukraine's military (6+ / 0-)

    would remain loyal to the provisional government, if push came to shove? Probably not all of it.

    •  Agree. Ukraine military has ethnic Russians in it. (4+ / 0-)

      Not sure what the percentage is, but I'd be surprised if it were much less than their percentage in the overall population. Add to the the fact that the Ukrainian government is running out of money fast and won't be able to make payroll without a quick infusion of US and EU cash, and on top of that, add the fact that Russian soldiers get paid more than Ukrainian soldiers to begin with, and you have the makings of a rapid descent into chaos.

  •  The west overreached by supporting the overthrow (13+ / 0-)

    of the Yanukovich government because it wouldn't sign a trade deal to enshrine neo-liberal economics in Ukraine.  Simply to say it is indication of how absurd the west's behavior was.  Without this undermining  of the elected president, Putin would not have had the pretext to act.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:17:01 PM PDT

    •  Precisely. Which begs the question: (8+ / 0-)

      What's the real US objective here? If many of us on this little lefty blog could predict an ultimate partition of Ukraine from the moment the barricades were being built, surely the US State Department and CIA had gamed it all out. Obviously, they don't really give a shit about Ukraine. They gave bigger fish to fry. And I don't think the aim is to reignite the Cold War with Russia, either. So what, oh what can it be? (she asks as she looks across the Black Sea and to the southeast....)

      •  The EU/US and the Russian objectives are (8+ / 0-)

        basically the same I would guess. Disaster Capitalism.

        Let's not forget that this is a fight between two neoliberal capitalist blocs. Russia is on board with neoliberalism as much as anywhere else is.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:24:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thing is, because of nationalistic motives, (9+ / 0-)

          and also because of the importance of Ukraine for Russian national security, the Russians were willing to pay a higher price for Ukraine's allegiance than the West was.

          The IMF was in a pickle because if they'd loosened their conditionality rules to compete with Putin's offer, they'd have been faced with a revolt by European states groaning under IMF austerity. There was no way they were going to allow that, and no way they were going to let Ukraine slip from their grasp, so they had no choice but to kneecap the Ukrainian government to keep them from doing business with Putin.

          Our 1% talk a good game about the importance of competition and the free market, but when their own ass is on the line, it's gimme gimme gimme and fuck the free market. The free market was actually working--the side that was willing to pay more was winning out. But Western plutocrats couldn't just stand by and let that happen, so they blew up the free market.

          Other than that, it is just another fight between two sets of capitalist oligarchs.

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

          by limpidglass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:36:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It might be due to sheer incompetence. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limpidglass, Wreck Smurfy
        •  Possibly, but if that's true... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass, native, Wreck Smurfy

          it should gives us all pause. If some of us non-professionals could so easily predict this outcome way back in December but our CIA and State Department could not, we all better worry.

        •  power makes stupid (8+ / 0-)

          this latest group of American foreign policy "experts" is intoxicated by their own self-righteousness and utterly convinced of the supremacy of American military power. We've come a long way down from the days of Dean Acheson, or even Henry frickin' Kissinger! With clueless hacks like Nuland and Samantha Power running the show, egged on by their idiot enablers in the corporate media (Bill Kristol is particularly egregious), it's amazing we haven't started WWIII already.

          Why do you need to be smart or tactical or efficient, if you can just kick everyone's ass when you don't get your way? They've never been humbled by defeat, every time they fail they just blame someone else and keep doing the same stupid shit.

          Putin has operated from a much weaker position, but he's been much more efficient and strategic. Consequently, he's come out of this in a considerably stronger position, while the West has come out of it more isolated, less trusted, and more of a laughingstock.

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

          by limpidglass on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:51:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Czechoslovacia . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Involuntary Exile

    needs to happen to Ukraine also.

    The Yugoslavia "model" leads to bloodshed . . . let democracy resolve the issues instead.  The presumption that there is some "territorial integrity" to these "states" cobbled together in the aftermath of "World Wars" is absurd.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:32:08 PM PDT

  •  I am of Ukrainian descent. (16+ / 0-)

    It pains me to see people on this site supporting Putin.

    Something I would expect to see on a right wing website.

    My family left Ukraine after the Holomodor in the 1930's, wherein Stalin starved Ukraine.

    Millions died. Including some of my relatives.

    If you wonder why there is such vehemence between Ukrainians and Russians, this may be one of the reasons why.

    Would it be all right if Mexico decided to annex Texas because of the way Latinos are treated there?

  •  Concerning the 16,000 soldiers, (6+ / 0-)

    Tagesschau has a slightly stronger take:

    Aus Moskau hieß es, insgesamt wollten sich 16.000 ukrainische Soldaten, die auf der Krim dienen, den Russen anschließen, 2000 wollten gehen.  Die Regierung in Kiew bezeichnet die Zahlen als Propaganda und als übertrieben. Die Soldaten hätten einen Eid auf die Ukraine geleistet, und dieser sei zu erfüllen.
    Roughly:
    From Moscow it was put about that altogether 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers serving in Crimea wanted to join the Russians, and 2000 wanted to leave.  The government in Kyiv characterized the numbers as propaganda and as exaggerated, said that the soldiers had sworn an oath to Ukraine, and said that this oath was to be fulfilled.
    According to another Tagesschau article, Transnistria is now also strenuously agitating to join the Russian Federation, and Moldova has appealed to Romania for help.  Both Moldova and Romania are asking for a clear prospect of admission to the EU for Moldova in order to ensure Moldova’s security.
  •  I believe in the self-determination of peoples. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wreck Smurfy, Pale Jenova

    If an area is ethnically Russian, and has been part of Russia for most of its history and only got divided up during soviet times, they should be free to rejoin Russia if the overwhelming majority of people living there agree.

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:19:23 PM PDT

  •  That's not how you do it! (4+ / 0-)

    You're supposed to build "settlements" first and then send the army in to defend them.

    Jeez, do I have to teach these people everything?

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:26:06 PM PDT

  •  If they want to live in Russia, why don't they (4+ / 0-)

    just move to Russia?  It's not like it's that far away.

  •  ITT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, Texas Lefty, Addison

    ITT there are actually people advocating for partitioning the world along ethnic lines, defending states' rights of secession, and justifying imperialism as long as it's not the US engaging in it. And these people describe themselves as leftists?

  •  Crimea would probably NOT have voted to seceed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texas Lefty, AoT, eglantine

    in fact in a fair election.  I don't know where this meme comes from, but it is dangerous and it is wrong.

    in fact, people have been polling this exact question for decades, and they haven't found that majority support.  Before the current Crimean government installed itself at gun point the separatist block that the "prime minister" hails from never managed more than 4% of the block.

    However, these days, if a few RUssians in the minority protest, apparently on these pages RUssia has a claim.

    So when do we hand over Brooklyn?

    •  Speculation (0+ / 0-)

      But what's more, it's none of my country's business what the Crimeans decide to do. Joining Russia is clearly the lesser of two evils--given the forced austerity the European Union wants to impose on the people of Ukraine.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:09:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you don't mind me throwing in a word (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eglantine, killjoy, Firefly, Pale Jenova

        here about something. I hear that comment about austerity a lot. It's an assumption and in Ukraine's case, it's a fallacy.

        At this link, there's a graph that explains why.

        Ukraine is impoverished. The graph shows that average incomes reached a high point in 1989 and declined. 25 years later, income at $6400 is still 25% lower than it was in 1989.  

        The graph shows the obvious effect of austerity on Greece. Income reached a high point in 2007 and declined 20% since then, but the average is still $21,000 compared to $6400 in Ukraine. When austerity began in Greece, income was $26,400. Even the World Bank and the IMF know that austerity isn't a policy that would be applicable to a country with a per capita income of $6400.

        Ukraine's present situation isn't due to austerity. It has endured something far worse and it's one of a very few countries that's worse off today than it was 25 years ago.

        Ukraine has a practically flat income tax. Everyone pays 15%-17% instead of progressive graduated rates. In addition, there's a 20% VAT which is like a sales tax. After taxes, the per capita net income is $4300.  This is already beyond any austerity. When people are living in this condition for decades with little hope for improvement, there is always political and social instability.

        This is research that I do. Not something from a blog or the media. If you liked the piece I posted about the election in France today, you're welcome to click on my name and browse the list of diaries I posted, There are several that relate to Ukraine and Russia. These aren't editorial opinion pieces for or against this or that. They're examples of the research I do. Anyone can draw their own conclusions but the point is that there's always much more to a story than what we're told.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:23:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Flat tax and lots of poverty? Paul Ryan calls it (0+ / 0-)

          "Utopia."

          No wonder the right wing is gaga for Ukraine. I guess the establishment Democrats tag along in pathetic "me-too"-ism.

          Although, the EU and the IMF (the IMF is always bad news) are offering a $15 billion "rescue" loan for the Ukraine, which won't do much for its $80 billion in foreign debt except, yep, bail out the European banks.

          With friends like these, who needs Putin (barr rassler) anyway?

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:56:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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