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The Prime Minister of Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to start World War III.

"The world has not yet forgotten world war two, but Russia already wants to start world war three," Yatseniuk told his interim cabinet in remarks broadcast live. "Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe."
"It is clear that Russia's goal is to wreck the election in Ukraine, remove the pro-western and pro-Ukrainian government and occupy Ukraine politically as well as military," Yatseniuk added.
"Russia's support for terrorists and bandits who torture peaceful citizens is an international crime. It is a crime against humanity," added the prime minister.
It is obvious from these quotes that the Ukrainian government is not interested in making the peace process work. All the preliminary elements of starting a war are present -- delegitimizing and dehumanizing the other side, making unfounded allegations that cannot be proven or disproven, and calling the other people terrorists. That was the same sort of thing that Bush did prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Ukraine can show that they are serious about making the peace process work by toning down the rhetoric.

If Ukraine's president believes in the fairy tale that he can bait Russia into invading because the West will come running to his aid, he has another think coming. Ukraine barely has an army worth speaking of; Obama has consistently stated that where there is no clear US interest involved, the US is not going to shoulder the burden alone. He would be making the same mistake that Georgia made in 2008 and Hungary made in 1956. The US may have expressed moral support this time around, like they did in 2008; however, it does not follow that the US will come running to the aid of Ukraine should they succeed in baiting Russia into invading. Even Bush was not going to bail out Georgia.

The creation of a "volunteer" force of 12,000 soldiers to fight the separatists in the East is a sign of weakness, not of strength.

It will reportedly include not only Yarosh’s “Donbass” squadron, but also a “Dnepr” fighting battalion under the control of business oligarch Igor Kolomoysky.
Ukraine used to have one of the top military forces in the region, one that even Putin was reluctant to go against.
In 2003, Moscow-commanded forces made a lunge for an island in Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from Russia, but were quickly rebuffed by Ukraine. Mobilization in Crimea was swift, with navy and border guards placed on full alert.
But that is not the case anymore. The one strength that Ukraine has going for them is the fact that their people are a lot more willing to die for their homes and freedom than Russia is in occupying Ukraine should Russia make the catastrophic mistake of taking the bait and invading.

While Dmytro Yarosh may only get 1% of the vote in the upcoming elections, he is exerting a disproportionate amount of influence in the current government.

Yarosh explained that the armed wing of his organization had not been disbanded, but legalized. “Our battalions are part of the new territorial defense. We have close contact with the intelligence services, and the general staff. We actually have good relations with everyone, apart from the police,” he told Spiegel Online.
In the interview, he made clear that Right Sector does not accept the authority of the current government, nor would it accept a future elected government. “Our revolution will only be completed when we have totally renewed the state,” he stated.
Think of Cliven Bundy actually in a position of power to influence world events.
Asked by Spiegel Online about his motives, Yarosh answered, “I am a Ukrainian nationalist. My goal is a strong state.” He described liberalism as “a form of totalitarianism.” On the EU, he criticized its alleged “anti-Christian orientation.”

“We oppose the destruction of the traditional family, and are against same-sex marriage.”

In his militarist work “Nation and Revolution,” Yarosh expressed himself even more explicitly, as Spiegel Online pointed out. In it, he openly opposes parliamentary democracy and advocated an ethnically-based nationalism. He intends to spread “the nationalist ideology throughout the entire territory of our state,” “de-russify” eastern Ukraine, and ensure that the native people have the leading role in the state.
In a clear sign that the events to overthrow the Yanukovych government were planned ahead of time, 80+ Right Sector activists were brought to Poland two months before the Euromaidan protests that would overthrow Yanukovych by the Polish government in what was billed as a "student exchange."
Meanwhile, there are reports indicating that western cooperation with Right Sector goes back some time. According to a report in the Polish weekly Nie (“No”), published by 80-year-old journalist Jerzy Urban, the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski invited 86 members of Right Sector to an intensive, four-week training course at the Police Training Center Legion near Warsaw last September.

The fascists were trained in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. The training was officially described as “student exchange.”

The Polish Foreign Minister is a Neocon, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute.
The Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski has close links to ruling circles of the USA. He is married to the right-wing American author Anne Applebaum and was director of the Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, starting in 2002.
One of Russia's most common charges against Ukraine is that they are controlled by fascists. While that is frequently an epithet, in this case, there is a lot of truth to that. Yarosh's actions fit the description of fascism perfectly. All three elements are present in his ideology -- veneration of the state, devotion to a strong leader, and militarism. Given Yatseniuk's rhetoric, it is clear that this government is succumbing to the forces of militarism when they don't even have an army to defend themselves worth speaking of. That is a sure recipe for disaster and a failed state even if Russia doesn't invade.

And as Spiegel notes, he is also an anti-Semite.

For years, Yarosh has been fighting for the "De-Russification" of Ukraine and has produced manifestos calling for the "spread of the nationalist ideology across the entire territory of our state." Today, Yarosh denies that antisemitism is part of that ideology. But in a book, he has written: "I wonder how it came to pass that most of the billionaires in Ukraine are Jews?"

He believes that "anti-Christian" powers are afoot in the European Union and that Brussels forces people into lifestyles such as gay marriage. It is, he says, "a variety of totalitarianism." He doesn't see Europe or NATO as a potential partner and believes the US is also part of an "anti-Ukrainian front." Yarosh studied linguistics, and he is almost eloquent as he explains that a Kalashnikov can be a Ukrainian's only reliable ally.

The Right Sector is in favor of legalizing gun ownership in order to develop a "country of free, armed men." That, he adds, "is the only way we can defend ourselves from state capriciousness and against Russia." Yarosh's words are a threat, and not just against Moscow. More than anything, his target is the Kiev establishment. He closes with the statement: "Our revolution is not yet complete."

From this, it is clear what two of Russia's main objectives in Ukraine are -- stop Ukraine from joining NATO and keep Yarosh from ever ascending to a position of power in the country. And given Yarosh's beliefs in "De-Russification," Russia fears that Ukraine's latest actions could result in an ethnic cleansing campaign that would result in a bloodbath.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

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

    by Eternal Hope on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:42:00 AM PDT

  •  AEI and fascism.... who knew....ZOMG (5+ / 0-)
    The Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski has close links to ruling circles of the USA. He is married to the right-wing American author Anne Applebaum and was director of the Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, starting in 2002.

    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 Apr 25, 2014 at 06:53:34 AM PDT

  •  None of our business. If Russia and Ukraine (7+ / 0-)

    Get into a war situation,  thats on them. Nothing to do with us.

    •  If we need to support a resolution for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope

      UN observers to oversee a secession referendum in some parts of Ukraine....that's about the total extent we ought to be involved.

      Genuine diplomatic efforts to avoid war and massive human suffering aren't bad things, but leading Ukrainians to think we've got their backs (we don't) in order to create a headache for Putin in the hope that it will give us room in Syria....

      That's the kind of Brzezinski/Kissinger shit that got everything so fucked for half of humanity.

      Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

      by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:55:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good grief! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Mindful Nature, Texas Lefty

    This is called "blaming the victim."  The first part of the diary is entirely backwards.  I stopped reading after the first paragraph over the fold.

    •  Blaming the victim? (9+ / 0-)

      Ukraine's government is hardly the victim given the rampant nationalism and fascism. Yarosh wants war with Russia as evidenced by his belief in "De-Russifying" Ukraine. Given that Putin is a nationalist and Yarosh is a nationalist, war is a very real possibility unless cooler heads prevail and people like Yarosh are kicked out of power.

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

      by Eternal Hope on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:19:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yatseniuk was supposed to be smarter than this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, Eternal Hope

        His rhetoric is foolish and counterproductive. It makes him sound just as unhinged as Yarosh or Tyagnybok. He is making the same blunder as Saakashvili in Georgia (who was being coached by John McCain. That raises the question of whether Yatseniuk is being badly coached by US Neocons).

      •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, Texas Lefty, sviscusi

        The rampant nationalism of Russia and its military escalations are a major source of the conflict.  If Putin had chosen to act responsibly instead of seeking to destabilize Ukraine we would be looking at an entirely different situation here.   Let us not forget that Russia has been beating the drum that the protestors are alternatively fascists, neonazis, gays or Jews since the outset and has done nothing but vilify the government, largely one expects out of frustration that the protestors succeeding if removing his puppet from power

        Yet again, we see nary a word of denunciation of the country that is acting as the imperial power here.  Your inclusion of the Hungarian 1956 uprising against Soviet occupation is extremely telling of your pro authoritarian instincts here

        •  I'm sure Right Sector is taking volunteers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          if you believe blood needs spilling for your cause and you're so convinced they're not a pack of Fascists.

          Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

          by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:57:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          I call it both ways. Putin may well be a fascist and nationalist, but so is Yarosh (right sector honcho). And it is fact that there are fascists such as Yarosh (who is also an antisemite) who have a disproportionate influence in government. That's not Russian or RT hyperbole; that is settled fact. You're not hearing me look the other way regarding Putin's aggression. You need to read what I write before making accusations.

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

          by Eternal Hope on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:05:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's no comparison really (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FutureMan, Mindful Nature, Timaeus

            Putin, head of state of one of the largest militaries in the world and largest nuclear country in the world vs. Yarosh, a leader of a party with very little actual power.  

            Which fascist is more dangerous?

            "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

            by Texas Lefty on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:58:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My apologies (0+ / 0-)

            you have done a good job overall, and I've said to repeatedly.  However, this one is pretty wide of the mark to suggest Ukraine is trying to goad Russia into invasion.  That's hard to do, considering Russia has already invaded.  These quotes are far more explicable as a leader who is watching his country get dismembered as the world watches by.  I seriously doubt that anyone in Ukraine expects the US to intervene.  Hell, Poland, the Baltic States and Japan are having their doubts, and Ukraine is far weaker ties to the US.

            Indeed, Yatsenyuk sounds far more like someone who is trying to get the world to actually do something.  And you can't fault him on this one:

            "It is clear that Russia's goal is to wreck the election in Ukraine, remove the pro-western and pro-Ukrainian government and occupy Ukraine politically as well as military,
            That is precisely what is going on here.  That much is completely obvious.
  •  Wow. Election? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, rhutcheson, ChadmanFL
    It is clear that Russia's goal is to wreck the election in Ukraine
    More like, Russia does not recognize the coup in Ukraine.

    Let's just hope the US can stay out of it. The neocons would like nothing better than another expensive war.

    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 Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:33:46 AM PDT

  •  With the caveat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, Texas Lefty

    that no analogy is ever not flawed, a question:

    If heavily armed militias took over the city government of, say, Spokane, would you think that the federal government had no right whatsoever to act against them?

    Yarosh and his crew may have disproportionate influence right now, but I frankly don't see any particular reason to use Yarosh to paint the entire Ukrainian interim government with such a broad brush. And frankly, the best way for that influence to wane is for the elections process to continue, which is flat opposed by Russia and by the pro-Russian militias that have militarily taken over the governmental structures of several Eastern cities.

    You can compare Yarosh and the rest of them to Bundy if you'd like, but there's also a fascinating parallel I've noted in which basically a bunch of folks here have been arguing that the US government should intervene on Bundy and his militia buddies, being aghast at the armed guys hanging out and threatening opponents or US officials, while the Ukrainian government should just sort of do nothing about armed groups within its borders actually forcing out local governments and other local resources.

    They've offered amnesty deals if they disarmed, they've tried talks of various kinds, they've tried negotiations that would allow the east more autonomy and guarantee that the Russian language is recognized there officially. The factions holding these local governments refuse to take steps to disarm, and have apparently starting just sort of disappearing the people they really don't like, from time to time.

    Ukraine is a sovereign nation. There seem to be rather a lot of people here who forget that, and not because they're "US imperialists." Of course the Ukrainian government has the right to act against armed militias holding local power by force illegally within its own country. That has nothing really to do with Yarosh or any of the rest of it, that has to do with sovereignty and defense of government authority.

    PS Funny how one quote from the Ukrainian side, which I agree is a little awkward at best, gets highlighted here -- but the flat out belligerent statements coming out of Lavrov and company warrant nary a mention. If Ukraine isn't "trying for peaceful solutions" hard enough, what exactly do you think Russia is doing?

    •  You skipped the whole coup. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duckmg, CharlesII, protectspice, ChadmanFL

      There's no analogy that serves any purpose that ignores that there was coup which flatly violated the Constitution.

      Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

      by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't all agree that it was a coup. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Texas Lefty, sviscusi

        A bunch of y'all have decided it was a coup. That doesn't make it factual.

        A major authority -- like the military, say -- within Ukraine did not, in fact, come in and remove the heads of state and replace them without any discussion or negotiation whatsoever.

        Popular uprisings do tend not to follow constitutional laws to the letter, though frankly, he was impeached within the closes following of the law that was possible at the time. Was that good enough? I don't know. I wasn't there, and I don't know how the lines of power worked. But it's not obvious to me that this was some nefarious coup that took out a legitimate elected leader in some random power play. Once peaceful protesters are getting shot by authorities, constitutional law is already getting pretty thoroughly stomped on, no?

        Defining a coup isn't necessarily straightforward, and neither is defining a popular uprising, it's not entirely clear how everything unfolded on the political end, and none of it is some black and white thing that IMO allows it to simply be written off clearly as fascists with US backing performing a coup, which is basically what a bunch of people here seem to be asserting as fact.

        •  The Ukrainian uprising fits the definition of a... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL, Eternal Hope

          The Ukrainian uprising fits the definition of a soft coup. In a soft coup, the forms of democracy are followed, but in a manner that is highly undemocratic.

          In the Ukraine, the US, the EU, and corporations have spent many millions--probably hundreds of millions of dollars to promote democracy and otherwise influence the political system. According to an article on Huffington Post, USAID funds both the parliament and political parties. Activists received foreign training.

          In the Ukraine, there were peaceful protests. But there were also "Right sector" (i.e., neo-Nazi)  paramilitaries firing on police. Between bribes, outside meddling, and the president's own blunders and corruption, conditions were created where his own party essentially abandoned parliament and the judges who were supposed to review the matter were removed. Had due process been followed, the Court would have reviewed matters, deputies would have switched parties or resigned and been replaced, and so on.  

          There's a lot we don't know. But having followed soft coups, there's a pattern--notably of large amounts of USAID money-- and this fits it  closely enough that we should be suspicious.

  •  I don't know why you'd say that Yarosh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spit, Timaeus, Eternal Hope

    is exerting a disproportionate amount of influence in Ukraine: if anything it's been in a tailspin since Maidan, where he almost had a shot at a cabinet position.  Yatsenyuk et al. blocked the cabinet position and tried to appease him with a deputy position, but Yarosh was pissed and left the conversation.  Then the head of Right Sector in the Western part of Ukraine (Muzychko) was killed/killed himself after being arrested by Kiev on suspicion of organized crime and violence - Yarosh went nuts and has been trying to force resignations over that, and everyone's ignoring him.  I wouldn't take his comments about deep-level cooperation too seriously, given his track record.

    That being said, the likely participation of RS in the violence in East Ukraine shows that they could very well tip the region into war, so he's a dangerous guy either way.  Especially now that he's feeling both marginalized and cornered.

    In the meantime Kiev has been touting polls that show the violence and separatism is a fringe phenomenon, even in the East.  All of these polls are from outlets likely unsympathetic to Russia, though: so caveat lector, of course.  Here's the report from the Kharkiv Human Rights group.  Note that Kharkiv is in the northeast (Putin recently referred to the city as part of this offensively-named for historical reasons "Novorossiya" group that shouldn't be in Ukraine in the first place), but its size and diversity has made it less of a prominent player in the separatist movement.  It's had some clashes, but by and large Kharkiv has tried to negotiate its place in a continuing Ukraine.

    Still: caveat lector, as always.

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

    by pico on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:44:20 AM PDT

    •  All that said, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spit, Eternal Hope

      you're entirely right that Yatsenyuk's comments are, to put it mildly, not helping.  Putin may be beyond negotiation, but he's not beyond provocation, and this is just fuel to the fire.

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

      by pico on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:47:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right Sector is Fascist. Period. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Eternal Hope, ChadmanFL

    They carry posters of Nazis FFS.  

    There's a lot of legitimate debate to be had about just how much power they've got inside the Ukraine right now, but there's no legitimate debate about whether they're Fascists.

    Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

    by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:51:54 AM PDT

  •  One more quick (unrelated) point, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spit, JesseCW, Eternal Hope, ChadmanFL

    but it's not enough to write a new diary on.  E. Katherine Foshag has a really interesting article up about how Western reports of Russia's economic tailspin have been exaggerated, or at least haven't taken into account the more volatile economy of Russia.  Here's the article, and it's a worthwhile short read.

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

    by pico on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:52:51 AM PDT

    •  It's interesting, thanks for the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope, pico

      simultaneously, the credit markets are lowering ratings pretty quickly -- S&P put them one step above "junk" this morning, and other ratings agencies are pondering the same, is the rumor. And that will filter. I think these events are moving too fast to be looking at investor reaction from last month, personally, but your mileage may vary.

      Capital flight currently is around $37B, IIRC. Now, certainly the Russian economy can handle that for a time, it's not a huge amount in the grand scheme of a very large economy. But if this all continues to spiral, it will start to really hit at some point.

      Also, Crimea is reportedly running out of water (was on BBC earlier today, I can find the link if you'd like,) which all comes from the rest of Ukraine via canal. The annexation of Crimea while also remaining under very tense relations with Ukraine is going to likely prove very costly for Russia, at least in the short to medium run. There are no current cheap options to get more water there without it running through Ukraine, and it will basically mean crop failures all over Crimea.

  •  Russia needs to back off (0+ / 0-)

    The majority of Ukraine want to move west, while the minority wants strong connections with Russia, and then an even smaller minority want to be part of Russia. Russia lost Ukraine, like they lost the former USSR states, Warsaw Pact states, and Serbia because those countries see a brighter future in the EU.  Perhaps if Russia could offer something better, they would stay. Putin needs to stop acting like a child throwing a tantrum and join the rest of the 21st century with Europe.

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:55:30 AM PDT

  •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)

    Dailykos is a pro facist russian site now? fck....Sorry people the Ukranians ARE the good guys here.

    •  You didn't hear me say that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, CharlesII

      And I'm sorry, but things just aren't as black and white as they seem. There are no good actors here.

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

      by Eternal Hope on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:06:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are a bunch of very vocal posters who (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope

      will take the side of any nation who positions itself as an adversary to the U.S., Eternal Hope is not one.  While some of his conclusions are debatable, thats true with most people who have voiced opinions on the conflict.  They're also well within the realm of good faith conclusions and are perfectly reasonable given the complicated situation that exists over there.

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