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Putinís expensive victory
The Economist (UK) ^ | Dec. 21, 2013

Posted on 12/20/2013 7:45:43 AM PST by 1rudeboy

Under its current government, Ukraine may be a prize not worth winning

ANOTHER victory for Vladimir Putin, another defeat for the West. That is how the outcome of the battle for Ukraine, the country between Russia and the European Union, is being portrayed in Moscow and in many Western capitals.

On December 17th, after a meeting between Mr Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s president, Russia agreed to lend Ukraine $15 billion and to slash the gas price from $400 to $268 per thousand cubic metres, as a reward for Mr Yanukovych’s ditching of an association agreement with the EU. Unsurprisingly, the mix of money and political cover for theft and violence proved more enticing to Mr Yanukovych than the EU offer of the rule of law, free trade, competition and reform.

Yet look closer, and Mr Putin’s victory and Europe’s loss seem less obvious. Probably Mr Yanukovych never intended to sign an agreement with the EU—certainly not without being paid for it. By keeping up the pretence, he was able to bargain with Mr Putin, who has now agreed to provide money without Mr Yanukovych having signed a deal to join his Eurasian customs union.

And neither Mr Yanukovych nor Mr Putin nor EU leaders factored in the response of Ukrainians, who have been pouring into the streets for the past four weeks. Angered by Mr Yanukovych trading the country’s future for his own benefit, they were bolstered when he used violence against students. What started as a modest-sized street action demanding a deal with the EU has turned into a national awakening and vocal rejection of a kleptocratic post-Soviet state.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/20/2013 7:45:43 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Ukraine will always be a prize because of the extent of it and the port. I would be happy to see it merge with Mother Russia. And I believe it will. I really don’t think Independence has done anything for the people.


2 posted on 12/20/2013 7:49:38 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau
Yup. What Ukraine needs is a stronger authoritarian in charge. Someone who can make the trains run on time.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., we protest that sort of thing.

3 posted on 12/20/2013 7:53:13 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

I think “We” Americans should send over the best of Obama’s diplomatic corps to help rally the Ukrainians to “Democracy” and if they happen to end up in a ditch bleeding out we will then mourn them and send Putin a sternly worded email.


4 posted on 12/20/2013 7:58:05 AM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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To: 1rudeboy
EU Credit downgraded

Ukraine dollar bonds up

5 posted on 12/20/2013 7:59:38 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: junta

Or, we could send some homos to the Olympics, and pajama-boy too. That’ll show him!


6 posted on 12/20/2013 8:00:26 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Sacajaweau

“I really don’t think Independence has done anything for the people.”

Yea, I’m sure Ukrainians loved standing in those soviet era bread lines.


7 posted on 12/20/2013 8:02:00 AM PST by tlozo
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To: 1rudeboy
What Ukraine needs is a nice purge of all Soviet-era politicians. Russia is a colossal preserve of these dinosaurs, so closer to Russia means more corruption and stagnation. The only way out is in opposite direction.
8 posted on 12/20/2013 8:02:09 AM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: 1rudeboy
...the EU offer of the rule of law, free trade, competition and reform.

Are there two EU's? I don't recognize that one.
9 posted on 12/20/2013 8:04:00 AM PST by 867V309 (Obama- he's just crazy enough to do it.)
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To: 1rudeboy
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., we protest that sort of thing.

Unless it is a leftist authoritarian -- then the Media and leftwards cheer them on...

10 posted on 12/20/2013 8:04:49 AM PST by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: Sacajaweau

Russia is to Ukraine as Obama is to the US middle class.


11 posted on 12/20/2013 8:05:59 AM PST by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: Navy Patriot

“Ukraine dollar bonds up”

Well then I recommend you buy the Ukrainian dollar /sarc


12 posted on 12/20/2013 8:06:10 AM PST by tlozo
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To: 1rudeboy

13 posted on 12/20/2013 8:06:39 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: 867V309

“the EU offer of the rule of law, free trade, competition and reform.”

Compared to Russia. Ask Russian Oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky


14 posted on 12/20/2013 8:09:03 AM PST by tlozo
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To: tlozo
Those bread lines were the result of bad economic times and extended all throughout that region AND prior to Putin's policies. All those 5 year plans were crap. Putin's economic has made life much better for all its people.

We still have relatives in both Russia and the Ukraine.

15 posted on 12/20/2013 8:37:13 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: junta

Agreed.

And if they can’t do the job, send the Community Organizer in Chief.


16 posted on 12/20/2013 8:37:44 AM PST by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
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To: 1rudeboy

If you want to best understand Ukraine, think of Chicago politics on a national scale. There’s corruption all over the place, but the people deal with it and make the best of it. And the citizenry are wonderful people. I have visited there twice in recent years and have never had a problem. All they want it is observance of the “rule of law” by everyone.

I don’t think this is a good deal for Ukraine at all. Russia is a dying country. Their demographics are terrible, GDP is forecasted to be near zero and oil revenue is falling. However, Putin offered cash upfront to help Ukraine hold off bankruptcy. The EU was not so forthcoming. But the Ukraine currency, the Hrivina (Greev-na), is not very tradable and integration with the euro would have been a big plus for them. I’m not saying the EU is without their problems, but they do offer more opportunities.

All in all, the Ukrainians are tough people after being conquered numerous times over the centuries. But it would help if the U.S. had a leader that believed in the “rule of law” and provided some pushback on Putin. Sadly, we don’t.


17 posted on 12/20/2013 8:45:27 AM PST by bushbuddy
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To: tlozo
I don't trust Russia, but I trust the Russians more than the snakes-in-the-grass EU independence-stealing technocRats.
18 posted on 12/20/2013 8:48:42 AM PST by 867V309 (Obama- he's just crazy enough to do it.)
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To: 1rudeboy

Russia gave help to a fraternal country - this was the most natural thing to do.

The “Euromaidan” movement has the illusions Brussels is wonderful! But in reality, Ukraine would sign over its statehood, its control over its budget and the welfare of its population to another colonial office. And Western aid to upgrade Ukraine’s economy to European standards would come with strings attached!

Ukraine’s opposition imagines the EU is a free gift. They’re rightfully suspicious of what Russian aid will entail but Russia has no desire nor the will to compromise Urainian statehood. On the other hand, in the seeming welcome of the West, Ukraine will get a new master! And any one in Ukraine who thinks association with the EU can be done on the cheap will receive a rude wakeup call.

Its not Russia’s business to decide for the people of Ukraine their future. They have every to make that choice for themselves without outside meddling, coercion or interference. But they should know exactly what they would be getting if they do turn West and it would be hard and Russia has to then protect its economy and markets. In principle, there is nothing against what the EU offers but it should be looked at soberly and objectively.


19 posted on 12/20/2013 9:00:12 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: tlozo

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is always held as some icon of business and free markets. He’s a monument to Soviet era strongman crap. In the 80, as a party member, he was allowed to open a business. Then he was allowed to found a Bank. Yes, a Bank, in the USSR, before the wall fell.

Guess what kids, regular people had zero chance of opening a capitalist bank there and then, unless you were nomenklatura, AND very trusted by the party.

Guess who got picked to administer the trust fund for the Chernobyl victims, good old party boy Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

After the dissolution of the USSR, everything that HAD been state owned, suddenly was ownerless. Apartments, factories, oilfields. This guy Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the strongest thugs who wound up on top of Yokos when it was privatized. Its not even disputed that there were numerous murders in the founding of Yukos. So he could back it up when he ran it.
Then he got into politics and was trying to buy enough power in the Duma to permanently protect him. He was literally an Oligarch. People even call him that and never pause to think about the meaning of that word. It isn’t a good word.

His misfortune is that he tried it on Putin. Like Khodorkovsky, Putin had emerged into political power from his own Soviet era background. When Mikhail Khodorkovsky was making clear moves at dethroning Putin, and gaining political power too, maybe even president, the battle occurred and he lost.

Khodorkovsky is barely discernible from Putin in his background, tactics, communist background, and connections. The only reason he is so beloved by the west is because he was willing to happily play with the London banking community no matter what the cost to normal Russians.
He isn’t a good guy, he just lost his game of king of the hill with someone a little faster and stronger.
And its probably better for Russia anyway.


20 posted on 12/20/2013 9:09:29 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: goldstategop

Poor, poor Russia. Imagine, having to “protect its economy and markets” from a superpower like Ukraine. If things get much worse, Russia might be forced to assassinate some political opponents (or put them in prison), and stop shipping natural gas, again.


21 posted on 12/20/2013 9:10:57 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: goldstategop
Russia gave help to a fraternal country - this was the most natural thing to do.

“There’s a conscious element of a memory of nation breaking. It isn’t just of famine. The Ukrainians have a lingering memory of a previous union with the Russians that nearly broke the back of their nation,” Zaryckyj tells me. “In fact, some may claim that it did break them.”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor — a genocidal famine inflicted on the Ukrainian people by Stalin’s Soviet government, during which millions perished in the span of months and Ukraine’s intelligentsia and political, social, and religious elites were annihilated.

The Roots of the Ukraine Protests: Stalin’s Genocide, Alec Torres, National Review, December 19, 2013.


22 posted on 12/20/2013 9:17:12 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 867V309

Choice between a fascist collective and a neo Orthodox state.


23 posted on 12/20/2013 9:26:15 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: 1rudeboy

I have letters from my grandfather with Stalin Stamps on the envelopes.


24 posted on 12/20/2013 9:48:32 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: redgolum

That comparison works, as long as you consider the “neo-Orthodox” to be the arm of an authoritarian state.


25 posted on 12/20/2013 9:49:22 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Sacajaweau

My forebears were not allowed to send letters out of the Soviet Union.


26 posted on 12/20/2013 9:50:59 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Sacajaweau

Disagree. The tendency to see Russia and Ukraine as analogous is false Since partition Ukraine has made great progress. They have a way to go but the new generation is nationalistic and forward looking. They don’t want closer ties to Russia


27 posted on 12/20/2013 9:58:43 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: goldstategop
Ukraine’s opposition imagines the EU is a free gift.

Of course. After accession to the EU, they could all freely move to the UK, Germany, etc. and get free housing and benefits, all without lifting a finger. They see the Romanians and Bulgarians doing that *right now*. Sweet ride on the gravy train! Who wouldn't go for that deal?

28 posted on 12/20/2013 10:28:58 AM PST by Moltke (Sapere aude!)
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To: null and void

I will fight to the last drop of blood in a chickenscratch liberal’s scrawny body to bring democracy to the world.


29 posted on 12/20/2013 10:40:59 AM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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To: tlozo
Well then I recommend you buy the Ukrainian dollar /sarc

You're supposed to buy low and sell high.

30 posted on 12/20/2013 10:41:20 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: 1rudeboy

How many people in America’s politics have connections to the people who perpetrated the Holomodor?


31 posted on 12/20/2013 10:44:46 AM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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To: goldstategop
Ukraine would sign over its statehood, its control over its budget and the welfare of its population to another colonial office. And Western aid to upgrade Ukraine’s economy to European standards would come with strings attached!

Big strings.

... what the EU offers but it should be looked at soberly and objectively.

Bottom line.

32 posted on 12/20/2013 10:52:10 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: junta

Dunno. Bill Ayers, maybe, for one? (Albeit indirectly).


33 posted on 12/20/2013 10:58:35 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Never heard of such a thing.


34 posted on 12/20/2013 11:54:58 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

Well, perhaps your parents weren’t anti-communists. Although I should clarify: of course one was “allowed” to mail a letter from the Soviet Union. Some of them simply were “lost.”


35 posted on 12/20/2013 12:00:47 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: DesertRhino

Agree, am not a fan of Khodorkovsky just used him as an example of how a Russian totalitarian government can crush even an oligarch.


36 posted on 12/20/2013 12:11:25 PM PST by tlozo
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To: 1rudeboy

I’m talking blood relatives who might have been Cheka, I’m also talking oligarchs who profited from the Holomodor.


37 posted on 12/20/2013 12:27:57 PM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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To: junta
...I’m also talking oligarchs who profited from the Holomodor.

Name an oligarch who profited.

38 posted on 12/20/2013 12:30:50 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: goldstategop
“Russia has no desire nor the will to compromise Ukrainian statehood.”

You forgot your sarcasm tag. Please read Post #17, above, which lays out many of the reasons why Russia covets re-integration (economically and politically) with Ukraine.

39 posted on 12/20/2013 12:42:37 PM PST by riverdawg
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To: Sacajaweau

Blabla. Ukraine could go the way of Switzerland but both the EU and Russia would not like it.


40 posted on 12/20/2013 1:00:35 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: Samogon
I don't disagree with the purge sentiment. However, I'm pleased with this turn of events as the EU, with its smug socialism and anti-Christian sentiments, epitomizes the West's descent into a lascivious mire of decadence.

Russians are a different breed from the Euroweenies and also quite far from rugged American individualism. They tolerate ambition in the workplace, for example, from westerners but frown strongly on it in other Russians.

Say what you will, but evaluating the Russians, warts and all with all their plethora of problems, to European socialism and to the latest American experience with something similar, I cannot help but see Russians as the less ungodly and more noble. That says much more about us.

41 posted on 12/20/2013 11:38:31 PM PST by Lexinom
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To: 1rudeboy

You got me, but let me ad that the Holomodor is a peasant operation as compared to the Holocaust which is run by professionals who actually do research instead of just sitting around the fire and moan. I have no doubt if it benefitted the dictator Putin that the Russkies would start leaking info as to who benefitted from the slave labor and which western oligarch is bound up with the old USSR.


42 posted on 12/21/2013 8:33:26 AM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
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