Skip to comments.Ukraine: Can Someone Explain…
Posted on 01/26/2014 7:02:55 PM PST by jimjohn
And so like everyone else, I am staring to see the pictures/videos oozing out of the streets on the Ukraine, but forgive me for being totally confused about what the battles are about. Clearly, there are folks really upset about something, but I simply cant believe the reasons that are given. Let me explain
Word Im getting from western media sources is that all this hub-bub is about the Russian- backed Ukrainian president Whats-his-name refusing to sign a trade deal with the EU, and for that reason, folks are in the streets in sub-freezing temps in protests; protests that have now turned violent. Mind you, I am not taking sides in the affair. My initial interest was only to learned what tactics are being used by the folks not wearing government gear since similar tactics would be in play here if the ATM machines stopped working or worse the satellite networks out of Denver suddenly went offline. When passing through and un-named coffee shop (wifes addiction), I glanced at the front page of a well known national news rag a staple in said coffee shop - that in my opinion lacks any credibility whatsoever (last name rhymes with
rhymes). Hence, I didn't bother reading the state-sponsored propaganda within. But there has to be something more than a government executive not-signing something that gets that many folks so ticked off. It doesn't make sense. Here are some observations I've made just from the reports, photos and videos behind the barricades: The lights are still on in the background. People are still working. Word has it the fights are downtown, but the ready of the city(s) are operating as normal. Folks raising cash for rocks Molotov cocktails, and a few fireworks. So the money must still be worth
something? With the low body-count so far, the cops seems unwilling to use force yet. So, can someone give me the real story? Have the banks all closed? Accounts wiped out? Marshall law? Has the place suddenly gone Jihad? Are they just trying to get attention with the Olympics about to start? Again, not taking sides, but it seems that folks that are willing to freeze outside to assault government positions wouldn't be the types that would want to join a larger government institution that will assure their currency to be devalued, and decisions being made by foreigners far away. And I am positive that any group of people really fighting for their own freedom wouldn't get any accurate (read: fair) reports from the West. So, Im throwing it out there. Other than whats going on on the ground, whats really going on at your average Ukrainian kitchen table/watering hole? Anyone?
I was wondering the same thing...found this pretty good summary: http://www.businessinsider.com/understanding-euromaidan-2014-1
Ukrainians hate Russians, like you don’t know what. The present Ukrainian government is cozying up to the Russians in a big way against the will of the people.
The left wing Ukrainian government responded in the only way they know: Force. They didn’t just stifle protest against the government, they made it a crime.
Basically, it’s Dr. Zhivago in reverse. Go watch the movie backwards. Explains everything.
What’s going on in Ukraine is the president withdrew his support for the EU at the last minute and has been aligning with Putin and Moscow. The people feel betrayed, they want closer ties with European countries and the EU and resent being drawn back into the Russian fold.
Not our problem.
I was on the blog about Chernobyl and she was really upset that Obama did not care about the people’s fight. She is the one who rides her motorcycle to get where cars can not go. If you have not been there, go. I think her blog has changed to kidofspeed but just type in Chernonyl blog. It is amazing to see pictures of the military equipment that had to be destroyed, of the countryside, of a whole town turned into a ghost town, etc.
Ukraine is a divided country. The eastern half speaks Russian, the western half speaks Ukrainian. The eastern half has good employment (though relatively low pay) in industrial manufacturing, many of the factories partnered up with Russian firms just across the border.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t extend to western Ukraine, where corrupt bureaucracy and poor management has led to an economy in ruins.
The EU wishes to reign in as many countries as possible to keep itself afloat (larger currency base), so offered an economic trade deal to Ukraine.
Russia in response countered with an offer of massive loans to avert a default by the Ukrainian government, as well as better natural gas supplies for the years ahead. The president took the deal, which the EU was unable to compete with.
The problem is the protesters in the street want to integrate with the EU, and think any deal offered by Russia is not going to benefit western Ukraine in any tangible way, and they also see the specter of the former Soviet Union dominating their politics. They see the president as a puppet of Putin. So they are protesting violently in the streets and ordering him to step down.
There does seem to be some breakdown of order in the opposition between the leadership which is negotiating with the president, and the people in the street who think that by integrating with the EU, they will see the same prosperity as Poland or the Baltic States. (I’d advise them to look at Greece or Spain first).
This is an example of very desperate people with little faith in the future of their country, but like I say, Ukraine is a nation divided into east and west.
Some here have speculated that George Soros is involved since this is his modus operandi. I’m not so sure.
The whole of Europe is one giant clusterf8ck. The unemployment rate in Spain and Italy are sitting at all time highs and France’s economy is dying.
Steer clear of the dead continent.
By the way, Ukraine has a centrist government, so there’s not really an ideological battle to be had here. It’s more a geographical conflict.
Not all Ukrainians hate the Russians. In the western part, you’d probably find more of that compared to the eastern part. For the most part the police response has been mild even when bombarded by Molotov cocktails. There are videos of the Berkut hammering protestors. The stones are from the streets that are being torn up. It’s a changing situation. The protests are throughout much of the county now. But not as intense as in Kiev.
Some do. Most just see a corrupt system, and envy what they see in Western Europe, as much as we don't particularly care for the EU.
It’s the US inflaming another country on a Russian boarder to provoke a War. Zero Hedge a day or two ago had a great picture of the US embassy surrounded by Ukraine protesters telling the US to get out of their country, and conflict. Hey it’s their country, I agree, bring Skelator (AKA: John McCain) home.
Skim through Zero Hedge for the last 3 to 5 days and you will get the just of what is going on, from papers around the world as well from us hedgers that live around the world.
Flame away, to the freepers that don’t look beyond their toes.
Most of the racial hatred part comes from the Football Hooligan types.
Good link, thanks.
Good summary. But let’s not allow our own prejudices against the EU cloud our view of what’s going on in Kiev. There are advantages for underdeveloped countries to join the EU. D’uh, and do your own research if you don’t know. There are advantages for the unemployed workforce, and this I will tell you - 2 million Poles, many well educated, left their native land to wash pots and pans in London pubs. A EU citizen can live and work anywhere in EU, enough for your cheating heart?
Wrong, only half of them hate the Russians.
Well, this is a very good point that others have raised.
A lot of the protesters may actually not want to be in Ukraine or have anything to do with it at all. Integration with Europe gives them a free pass to go to the UK where they can get paid much more than they did back home.
Latvia has seen this problem. Its population shrunk by a whopping 13% in a decade. That’s a demographic disaster waiting to happen.
That’s my dilemma, in the instead of flight from cities as in this country, we are talking about flight from entire countries.
As much as I detested the Berlin Wall, I can kind of understand why the GDR built it, the country would have been emptied of its’ brightest people within a matter of years....Of course, a better approach would have been to enact policies that encouraged people to stay.
The latest news from Kiev is that the protesters have taken over the Department of Justice building. Feeling envious?
You can bet it will be.
“If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”
We Are All Ukrainians, Now. (I wish)
Ukraine is a split country. The US and Russia are playing this. The Us need’s to sit it’s bloated fat ass down, and cut it’s government into 1/8 of what it is... I will not hold my breath. Why is the US meddling in the Ukraine with John McCain??? So the bankers can rob and enslave the Ukrainians as well. If they don’t go with the program, war is the answer....
Check Zero Hedge over the last 5 days for a good snap shot, from around the world. The US media is a joke, only a tool of the government.
Can’t wait for the reports of armored divisions from Austria heading west, other countries to follow.
Thank GOD for youtube.
This is not to mention the damage on the other end, and Britain is saturated with cheap labor.
The Kievan Rus still affects the Ukraine today.
Ukraine suffering population decline
It’s dangerous in Eastern Europe, the reduction of these populations. Look what Japan is going through. Russia wised up and started cracking down on abortions and increasing the life expectancy.
When you live under a corrupt system, it is easy to find scapegoats.
You know you live in East Europe when the EU looks good!
>>When you live under a corrupt system, it is easy to find scapegoats.<<
Bingo. But the answer is not a revolution once or twice each decade.
Ukrainians need to wise up.
Changing one cronies with another doesn’t help much.
We have witnessed tyrannies and crony governments evolving into powerful republics in this century and it wasn’t via revolutions.
Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea - all started after WWII the way Ukraine, Latvia and the rest of these did in 1990.
Where is Singapore and where is Ukraine now?
The lesson is poor people aren’t really interested in freedoms. They would either sell liberty for a dime or give it away to populists promising hope and change.
That is what we see in Ukraine right now.
They are about to rejects a Russian deal bearing a real capabilities to sustained economic growth for a “change” of their corrupt elites with who knows who for a “hope” of European integration. Sounds familiar, isn’t it?
This thing initially started pretty small and could have just died down, but one police crack down later ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdRSXESoQd0 ), the issue no longer was pro-EU or no EU, but the brutality of the crackdown that Yanukovich had ordered.
What followed was the violent beating of a journalist critical of the president (you can google for images of Tatiana Chornovol, but it’s upsetting). More arrests, more beatings, more injuries on both sides, more protests, more arrests...until two weeks ago when Yanukovich passed what have been called “dictatorial laws”. These were rejected outright by the protesters and things got really crazy, molotovs and all.
By my count, there are 5 protesters dead: three shot, one beaten and thrown off the roof, one kidnapped from a hospital and beaten to death ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10598227/A-heros-grave-in-Ukraines-west-for-the-father-who-went-east-for-the-cause.html )
Last couple of days, more stories about prisoner abuse by the police, and for the first time, protests outside of the capital. One policeman was killed yesterday but protesters aren’t claiming the responsibility.
It’s a bit like a game of chicken now, Cold War between protesters and Yanukovich, see how much they can get away with without resorting to lethal weapons. If police really opens fire, then that’s it, get your Kalashnikovs ready
>>>My dad said they should’ve cleaned the apparatchiks offices with a Kalashnikov in 1991, start with new people, like in Chech Republic. But no, they went with “stability” that the old communists supposedly offered. Ukraine looks very stable about now<<<
Who are these “new people”? Communist apparatchics are certainly not a single breed of bad leaders in this world.
In order to have a a normal society, Ukrainians has to develop a sense of responsibility.
If you are going to revolt and put another Czars to office, just to replace previous, who hasn’t met your expectations it is no more than that said circles.
Authorities are a shadow of society in the first place. Corrupt officials are coming from that same societies. A position of power is that makes difference with the rest of the population. Being an inept crook is not coming with a parliament member card.
>>>It would be more accurate to say that all of Ukraine is in economic ruin. Factories in the east are heavily subsidized - that’s one way to keep unemployment lower. Mainstay of the economy in the West are the migrant workers who bring in 7-9 Billion USD annually, which is pretty significant when comparing to the country’s annual budget (please don’t make me look for the reference, but I’m sure that’s the number) This is a minor consolation, but at least this money goes to the family members directly, bypassing taxation by the Ukrainian government. Western Ukraine is not a consumer of the Russian gas and doesn’t have the trade with Russia; exact opposite for the Eastern part. The $15 billion and cheaper gas that Russia is promising goes directly to maintaining these eastern subsidized factories, so we agree there.
Easy to point to the obvious, the billionaires in the East should have been re-investing their billions to update their facilities and look for new customers, rather than exposing yourself to a client like Russia who on a whim can shut off its trade like that.<<<
So it’s a revolt of poor “mainstay” Western tax-free gast-arbeiters, cleaning toilets in Poland and Germany, against an Eastern “fat-cat” decadent industrial billionaires, stealing from the Western poor via bailouts (provided by whom? a gast-arbeiters who pay no taxes?)?
And there are still enough money to maintain an infrastructure and welfare in the West while the mainstay of western economy is collectively out of “decadent industries” and actively “bypassing taxes” hanging around neighboring countries or sitting on their behinds dreaming about better future.
Maybe a burden like that is a real reason of Eastern hardships and inability to “update facilities”?
Nice to see you have injected a little class warfare here too, but I don’t think you’ll fly far with EU with that kind of mindset.
The Ukraine has been exploited by the Russians for hundreds of years. Stalin starved and shipped people of the Ukraine of to camps to be worked to death. When the Nat's invaded during WW2 they were welcomed by some as liberators. And yet the economy of the Ukraine is now near bankruptcy. They need Russian natural gas and money. Russians/Soviets brought in people to repopulate the country after the starvation, deportation, and world war. And yet some now want the economic certainty of good old days of Soviet rule.
The Orange revolution changed things and gave the western half of the country hope for freedom and economic health. The current leader took over, the previous leader was charge with corruption and sent to jail. The EU felt it was all political and required as part of a trade agreement that the jailed leader be set free to seek medical treatment in Germany.
The country was on the verge of bankruptcy and the trade deal with the EU offered economic hope and righting what some saw as a political wrong. It was scheduled for a vote....and then the current leader said no. In rode Putin with promises of reduced fuel costs and loans to prevent bankruptcy.
Oh one last thing, some of the Ukrainian cities like Sevastopol are critical Russian military posts needed for Russian defense. The Russian do not want to loose these critical assets to the EU or NATO.
Historic wrongs, politics, economics, desperation, critical military infrastructure and a divide people.
When people started protesting, government used security forces with full brutality against them, most of normal people run away, who's left protesting in the capital are mainly “fanatics” throwing molotovs at security forces, however protests are now also in many other cities including some in the east. People over there are simply disgusted with their “elites”, they are relatively well educated and hard working but live in a dirt poor country due to incompetence of their politicians and 3rd world style corruption. Read here in #57 what happens on a daily basis over there http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3115797/posts?q=1&;page=51
It's not yet some Mad Max chaos, outside of places where protests take place people are living relatively normal life, however If they keep using live bullets against protesting people, everything may happen, for example some of government forces may switch sides and then we will see full scale civil war... hopefully that won't happen.
a new leader in the Ukraines trying to get the country out of the western sphere and back under “soviet” influence or doomination.
Lot of folks don’t take kindly to being under russia’s boot
I spoke my friends in Ukraine this morning. This started over a proposed trade agreement with the EU. It has morphed into a serious protest over government corruption and the self dealing of Pres Yanukovich and his cronies. The news focus is on Kiev but the protests have spread to Donetz, Dneperpetrovsk, and many other major cities. Internet and cell phone see ice is intermittent and people are blaming the government
This could wind up in revolution with Yanukovich eventually getting “Ceaucescued”.
Disagree Ukrainians self identify as Ukrainians and do not care much for Russians There are still people who remember The Holodomor and the famine that Stalin caused
As to corruption it is not east or west Ukraine but the government in Kiev lead by the convicted rapist and criminal Yanukovich that the root of the problem. He should be in jail along with Yulia Timoshenko
Noone offers Ukraines a place in the EU. The treaty is about shrinking Ukraine's food exports to Europe and renovating the Uk infrastructure a-la EU (including the railway gauge) and guess on whose account.
BTW she has been outed a “fake”.
Russia constitutes 25% of the both Uk imports and exports.
>>Read here in #57 what happens on a daily basis over there http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3115797/posts?q=1&;page=51<<
Ukrainian government were into such a tricks long before Yanukovitz.
There’s more dignity in cleaning European toilets than being a government victim accepting pennies working in a subsidized coal mine, in my opinion. But I don’t want to judge them too harshly, they’re also Ukrainians and have their own life realities. The money that work migrants bring in is invested into the local economy and is taxed when the work migrants start spending it. << shouldn’t really be said, it’s so obvious
The Billionaires in the East is not a reference to the dirt poor millions but to the Communist factory directors who started reading Adam Smith in 1991. Nothing class warfare about the current crisis, just your regular corrupt president trying to contain a revolt
>>>Theres more dignity in cleaning European toilets than being a government victim accepting pennies working in a subsidized coal mine, in my opinion<<<
Subsidized by whom?:)
I like this post better, nothing really to disagree with.
After each crisis (1991, 2004) there was hope that Ukraine will be a state ruled by law, but this didn’t materialize. Each infraction of the law should have been confronted, rather than tolerated until it became unbearable and exploded. Additional factor today is that there are casualties, so maybe, that will be more of a motivation to obey the law in the new post-crisis Ukraine. I do pray they wise up
I know that.
Personally I believe that all of this is inspired by Soros buddies. The EU has little to offer to the Ukrainians, they don’t let them join. Opposition is divided and they already had one successful revolution. Their poor governing and internal quarrels let Yanukovich to be elected once again.
If Ukrainians are so pro-EU like all the media claim, let them elect politicians that support this direction. All these revolutions destabilize the country.
Perhaps Ukraine should decide to be divided if both sides have so different expectations. This is better solution than countless revolutions.
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