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Violence in Ukraine: Can Russia or the West Make it Stop
Time ^ | Simon Shuster

Posted on 01/25/2014 7:29:37 PM PST by cunning_fish

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union, piped up on Thursday with a wake-up call for the Western world: Ukraine is now everybody’s problem. The turmoil in its capital, where pitched battles have raged all week between protestors and police, “threatens not only Ukraine and her neighbors, but Europe and the entire world,” he wrote in an open letter to the U.S. and Russian Presidents. He was certainly right about Europe, which now has a real dilemma on its hands. The only question is whether Ukraine’s neighbors can do much to resolve it. For the West, there are few good options. Much of the influence the E.U. had over Ukraine was lost in November, when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign a trade and association deal with the E.U. That is what sparked the protests against him, while also bringing a flood of recriminations down on him from the West. Since then, he has practically become an outcast in Europe, so any further Western pressure “would have little impact,” says Alex Brideau, a Ukraine expert at the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm based in New York City. “His preference is the hardline approach rather than compromise.”

Russia, by contrast, holds a much stronger hand. After

(Excerpt) Read more at world.time.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: alexbrideau; europeanunion; eussr; kerry; mikhailgorbachev; obama; revolt; revolution; russia; ukraine; unrest; viktoryanukovych
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1 posted on 01/25/2014 7:29:37 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: cunning_fish

If Putin were really a public servant, he’d give the Ukraine back to the Ukrainians and kick the statist DickTaters out.


2 posted on 01/25/2014 7:32:32 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: cunning_fish
Getting really ugly over there. Lots of pics here:

http://zyalt.livejournal.com/984735.html

3 posted on 01/25/2014 7:34:17 PM PST by lightman (O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, giving to Thy Church vict'ry o'er Her enemies.)
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To: Paladin2

From the article it is that he does.


4 posted on 01/25/2014 7:35:33 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: cunning_fish
Can Russia or the West Make it Stop

Sure.

Western Ukraine back to Poland. Eastern Ukraine back to Russia. 1 trillion new DM to Russia. East Prussia back to Germany.

What's the problem?

5 posted on 01/25/2014 7:36:19 PM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: cunning_fish

No we can’t.


6 posted on 01/25/2014 7:38:25 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cunning_fish

Its interesting that we didn’t see this level of handwringing in the western media when Prime Minister Erdogan cracked down on protesters in Istanbul, or subsequently when he dismissed large numbers of judiciary and police who were involved in an investigation of corruption in his administration.

But then Turkey has already kissed the ring of its EU paymasters.


7 posted on 01/25/2014 7:59:38 PM PST by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: lightman

From the link at #3 It appears that the general population has come together to address is grievances with an over-reaching authoritive government. at the same time it also appears that that government is exercising restraint in that it using fairly normal riot control instead of brute force. Meanwhile basic services are not interrupted, the lights are still on, the water is working, food and supplies are getting to the protesters. It reminds me of Egypt when millions raised up to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood.


8 posted on 01/25/2014 8:02:55 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: Paladin2

Ukraine has very large natural gas reserves locked up in shale that if/when developed will cut deeply into Russia’s gas strangle hold on Europe. Follow the money!


9 posted on 01/25/2014 8:34:24 PM PST by WellyP (question!)
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To: cunning_fish

Violence in Ukraine: Can Russia or the West Make it Stop

Why should we do anything?


10 posted on 01/25/2014 8:48:02 PM PST by GraceG
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To: mac_truck

Its interesting that we didn’t see this level of handwringing in the western media when Prime Minister Erdogan cracked down on protesters in Istanbul, or subsequently when he dismissed large numbers of judiciary and police who were involved in an investigation of corruption in his administration.

Or what about the green revolution in Iran that we did nothing at all with because Obama din’t want to get involved, but then we got involved in Lybia...


11 posted on 01/25/2014 8:50:47 PM PST by GraceG
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To: mac_truck

Help me out here: because one, the other nothing? (Just trying to get into the Kremlin mindset).


12 posted on 01/25/2014 8:57:05 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Jim Noble

Yeah 40 million Ukrainians will go for that.
How about we give Poland back to Germany. Then maybe the Ukrainians will think about it.


13 posted on 01/25/2014 9:00:01 PM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: GraceG

Nice to see the support a European Christian nation, that suffered terribly under Communism gets around here.


14 posted on 01/25/2014 9:02:43 PM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: WellyP

The money leads to Eurocrats trying to subvert officials in the Ukrainian government into joining the EU so that the EU can just take the fossil fuels, and on the other side we have the populace who desires to remain sovereign and develop those resources for the national benefit.

There are no twists and turns here.

This is pretty straightforward.


15 posted on 01/25/2014 9:03:57 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Kozak

[ Nice to see the support a European Christian nation, that suffered terribly under Communism gets around here. ]

ANY help that the US does would be in favor of the faction that wants to join the EU.....

The anti-EU faction has a far better chance if we don’t (as a nation) get involved in this.


16 posted on 01/25/2014 9:06:21 PM PST by GraceG
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To: GraceG
Dear Grace,

Thank you for all of your support.

Vladimir Putin

17 posted on 01/25/2014 9:10:03 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

[ Dear Grace,

Thank you for all of your support.

Vladimir Putin ]

So you want the Ukraine to be in the EU?


18 posted on 01/25/2014 9:11:51 PM PST by GraceG
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To: GraceG

Not gonna play that game with you, sorry. Unless—do you want Ukraine to be in the CIS (or whatever Vladi calls it nowadays)?


19 posted on 01/25/2014 9:14:31 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Not gonna play that game with you, sorry. Unless—do you want Ukraine to be in the CIS (or whatever Vladi calls it nowadays)?

If the US “helps” it will be the Obama Admin “Helping’ and that doesn’t bode too well at all...

Libya, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, etc etc....

Need I go on.....

We as individual should help, of course, but not the USA with the current POS in chief.


20 posted on 01/25/2014 9:17:04 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Jim Noble

I’m all for the restoration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


21 posted on 01/25/2014 9:18:42 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: GraceG

Wait a minute—you just added the US to the mix? Jeepers, good night.


22 posted on 01/25/2014 9:18:47 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: GraceG

Grace, Ukraine has had plenty of experience of being under the boot of Russia. The protests are more about removing a pro-Russian, corrupt and criminal Putinista boot licker than it is about “joining the EU”. There are many on FR who have a strange nostalgia for the Soviet Union and see in Putin their chance to see that goal achieved.


23 posted on 01/25/2014 9:18:51 PM PST by Agog
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To: dfwgator

What is it about a sovereign and independent Ukraine you find so threatening?


24 posted on 01/25/2014 9:21:02 PM PST by Agog
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To: dfwgator

Hell, yes!


25 posted on 01/25/2014 9:21:10 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: MrEdd

Actually, MrEdd, the money leads to Vlad Putin, all 15 billion of it, who is trying to keep Ukraine under Russian control and, eventually in his Eurasian Union. On the other side we have the populace who does not desire to be subjugated by the smelly Russian boot anymore.


26 posted on 01/25/2014 9:25:28 PM PST by 05 Mustang GT Rocks
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To: 1rudeboy

At first I was on a Russian side of this but as far as it is developing I have no affiliations right now.
Both sides need a chance and if nationalist pro-EU fraction is more active let them have it.
I really hope their leaders or people who a getting ready to rise on the unrests aren’t another cronies (thus I really doubt it).
Anyway, picking a EU deal over Russian will bring enormous negative impact on their national economy in short to middle term run.


27 posted on 01/25/2014 9:25:53 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: Agog

I have no problem with Independent Ukraine, per se.

But I believe rather than being a part of the EU, I would love to see the other former “captive nations” form their own bloc, independent of both Brussels and Moscow.

And the downfall of the Commonwealth was a great tragedy for Europe, IMHO.


28 posted on 01/25/2014 9:27:29 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

trade with Europe.. fine... but they should refuse to be bound to the EU politically


29 posted on 01/25/2014 9:29:18 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: GeronL

Exactly....I believe that’s what Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc. should have done in the first place.


30 posted on 01/25/2014 9:30:26 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Agog

It also concerns me that some of the Ukrainian Nationalist groups still worship the memory of Stepan Bandera and his UPA-OUN thugs.


31 posted on 01/25/2014 9:32:06 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: GeronL

Indeed, the agreement with the EU which the Ukrainian president backed out of at the last minute was a trade agreement. It was not about joining the EU. I doubt very much that the EU would want Ukraine joining any time in the foreseeable future given the mass westward migration of job-seeking Ukrainians that would result in.


32 posted on 01/25/2014 9:42:01 PM PST by Agog
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To: Paladin2
If Putin were really a public servant, he’d give the Ukraine back to the Ukrainians and kick the statist DickTaters out.

Note that 100,000 "extremists" in the streets is only 0.2% of the entire population of Ukraine (about 45 million.) The other 99.8% do not act against the government. They are at home and at work, living their life.

Do you want the 0.2% to dictate their will to the rest of the society? Wouldn't that be, say, undemocratic? One can always find 100,000 people to do anything - you can just hire them, if you can't entice them to do the work for free.

The problem is here, and always, in the question "who are the protesters, and who do they represent?" It's always nice when the protesters *are* on the side of the majority. But is it always so? What would you say if 100,000 card-carrying Communists assemble in Washington and start burning cars, breaking windows and such, demanding that the country abandons the Constitution and instead selects a Secretary General for life, with unlimited power? Will those 100,000 be representing you or me? Who would give them the right to demand anything from anyone?

We saw the same problem in Egypt, when one crowd in Tahrir Square destroyed the government of Mubarak, and then another crowd (or the same one?) a year later in the same Tahrir Square supported the generals against the MB front man? Was the crowd #1 in favor of MB? Or they were just wishing for "anyone but Mubarak?" And after they got Morsi, were they wishing for "anyone but MB?" And was the military action against the elected President democratic? If it wasn't, was it socially positive or not? There are many interesting questions here.

33 posted on 01/25/2014 9:47:14 PM PST by Greysard
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To: GraceG

The anti EU faction are toadies of the Russians.
I don’t love the EU but as has happened time after time for Ukaine it’s a choice of the lesser of two evils.


34 posted on 01/25/2014 10:00:25 PM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: Greysard; Paladin2; GraceG; Kozak; cunning_fish
Note that 100,000 "extremists" in the streets is only 0.2% of the entire population of Ukraine (about 45 million.) The other 99.8% do not act against the government. They are at home and at work, living their life.

I know several Ukrainians who are sympathetic to the protesters even if they are not out on the streets protesting themselves.

35 posted on 01/25/2014 10:15:52 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.)
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To: GeronL

>>trade with Europe.. fine... but they should refuse to be bound to the EU politically<<

What Ukraine has to trade with EU apart from slave labor is a good question.
Right now they are selling a variety of products ranging from beef and diary to motor vehicles and aircraft engines to Russia.
Rejecting Russian deal effectively makes these exports uncompetitive.
Will EADS install Antonov engines on A380s or will Germans buy Ukrainian-built Chevrolets? We all know the answer, the question is purely rhetorical.
And EU will push their subsidized products, made by more influential members on the Ukrainian market for sure. There will be ridiculous regulations making the rest of Ukrainian products absolete too.


36 posted on 01/25/2014 10:21:24 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: Paleo Conservative

>>I know several Ukrainians who are sympathetic to the protesters even if they are not out on the streets protesting themselves<<

I won’t be surprised if they are close to 50% of population but on the other hand the majority of arabs supported arab spring too, before it’s effects has bitten them below their collective back. The majority of said Ukrainians enthusiastically supported SS troops in their Holocaust efforts too, right before they learnt they are next on shedule for extermination by Nazy books. At that exact time they fond their new love with the Soviets and turned into communists again. That is how they are circling around a bowl for centuries, nothing new to see here.


37 posted on 01/25/2014 10:30:23 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: Paleo Conservative
Note that 100,000 "extremists" in the streets is only 0.2% of the entire population of Ukraine (about 45 million.) The other 99.8% do not act against the government. They are at home and at work, living their life.

I know several Ukrainians who are sympathetic to the protesters even if they are not out on the streets protesting themselves.

Approximately 50% of the population of the USA does not like Obama. He has new laws made (and makes some himself) that hurt the people. However the people do not go to Washington, and they do not use force trying to kick the elected President out of the office. Why is that? Maybe because democracy requires us to use other instruments, to respect other people's wishes?

One can accept a violent revolt (like the one in Ukraine) only if democracy there ran out of steam and is completely replaced by dictatorship. I do not believe that was the case; they haven't ran out of their set of boxes yet. So far the government there does not do anything that the US government wouldn't have done in similar circumstances. If anything, it's more timid. A democratically elected government is not even supposed to fall on its knees before any random bunch of protesters; one of its duties is to protect law and order. If the government surrenders to requests of a tiny portion of the population it will betray the majority who elected that government in the first place.

I must admit that I am looking at this case from a philosophical point of view. Truth on the ground may be different. But from purely theoretical POV fairly elected governments should not obey to demands of a tiny but very loud and very scary-looking minority. If they do, it would be an anti-democratic revolt, and another Saddam Hussein can waltz into the President's office. In a democratic society candidates present, explain and defend their political platform, and then voters decide who is better. Who can say what political platform is promoted by leaders of the uprising in Kiev? Who can say who gets to rule if they win? What if they declare themselves Communists of the new generation and start killing rich people left and right? (as an example.) Obviously, one can't run a country like that. Events like this are often the seed of a new dictatorship that is dark and long and bloody (if French or Russian history tells us anything.)

38 posted on 01/25/2014 11:14:16 PM PST by Greysard
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To: cunning_fish

Russia is going to seal off its border and halt all trade with Ukraine.

This is unfortunate but to expected. No country would tolerate anarchy spilling over its borders.

If events in Kiev take a dangerous turn, this is the likely outcome.


39 posted on 01/25/2014 11:18:23 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Greysard

Well said.


40 posted on 01/25/2014 11:18:34 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: goldstategop

Not only anarchy. Protests are clearly anti-Russian in it’s nature and it makes perfect sense for Russia to sanction a country allowing it. Georgia comes to mind. Saakashvili has campaigned on anti-Russian agenda at the time but was surprised to find his nationals (1 in 5 Georgians were working illegally in Russia sending their paychecks home!) deported and Georgian imports to Russia (80% of Georgian exports) banned. He has responded supporting Chechen terrorists, supplemented economic losses with US aid but the rest is still history.


41 posted on 01/25/2014 11:29:48 PM PST by cunning_fish
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To: cunning_fish

Nobody in Ukraine gives a tinkers dam what Gorby has to say. Hard line Russians consider him a traitor


42 posted on 01/26/2014 3:27:45 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: cunning_fish

Ukraine reported that they exported 38 million tons of grains this year. They also export many tons of iron ore steel and coal to Europe and North Africa


43 posted on 01/26/2014 3:34:09 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: Jimmy Valentine

Let’s see how they do it under EU regulations. At least Russians won’t close businesses for using conventional light bulbs or misrepresenting females and minorities within workforce. A concept of aggressive unions, minimal wage are alien to them too, just like compliance with halal norms in food industry.


44 posted on 01/26/2014 7:20:27 AM PST by cunning_fish
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To: cunning_fish
Well, Ukraine does have unions, but they are every bit as corrupt and self serving s the unions here.

The issue as I understand it is opening a trade agreement with the EU and maybe participating in the Schengen Agreement, not ceding sovereignty. They have had enough of that.

45 posted on 01/26/2014 7:32:50 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: Jimmy Valentine

Do you really believe they can be allowed to be a part of Schengen agreement? Brussel is not that insane to open borders to a nation of prostitutes travelling to India and Mexico to escape poverty.
As for a Ukrainian capacity to trade with EU I have pretty much summarized earlier. You haven’t said a thing proving that I was wrong.


46 posted on 01/26/2014 7:53:01 AM PST by cunning_fish
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To: Jimmy Valentine

Yeah grain exports will make them rich, and those “many tons of iron” sure sound impressive... kinda... not really.


47 posted on 01/26/2014 8:14:44 AM PST by DagnyTaggar (Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them.)
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To: cunning_fish
25% of Ukrainian export (very small for a country of that size) goes to Russia, in currency units that is less than half of what a several times smaller Czech Republic sells to Germany and about as much as Polish export to the same small Czech Republic... Sure Ukrainian economy is a mess right now but it shouldn't look like that, that's only due to totally incompetent governments running the country for past +20 years. They have huge potential and should produce and export pretty much all categories of products. Investors from all corners of the world would be flooding the country If it was run at least semi-professionally, now they don't as it is more corrupted than many 3rd world countries.

Politicians over there (both gov and opposition) must understand that If they go on with this mess, people will keep revolting (now against Yanuk, next year against current opposition) and in the long term everyone will lose out, politicians, oligarchs, security forces, If people are dirt poor and own nothing, you can't even steal from them... Russia and “west” should forget for a while about geopolitical games and help them stand on their own feet because If shit hits the fan, there will be millions of refugees fleeing in both directions and after such collapse the country will become a huge black hole, which will need to be heavily subsidized by both sides for decades.

48 posted on 01/26/2014 8:58:46 AM PST by Grzegorz 246
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To: Greysard

Yanukovich may have been elected democratically, but there’s fear, now turning into certainty, that the next election will not be fair. Below are the key highlights of his presidency, hopefully giving credence to the notion that it’s more than a simple protest against an unpopular president and that he has lost any legitimacy of a democratic leader:

- in 2010 he rewrote the constitution, changing the country from what they call parliamentary-presidential (parliament in charge) to presidential-parliamentary (office of the president is the highest seat of power) This was allowed to happen because Ukraine doesn’t have a truly independent judicial system. The police, the judges, bureaucrats- it’s all corrupt.

- in 2011, he jailed his main opposition rival former prime minister Y. Tymoshenko, as well as former Interior Affairs Minister Y. Lutsenko on trumped up charges. Former, for damages that were caused to the state when she negotiated a gas deal with Russia in 2009. Latter, for charges of “abuse of office” - allegations for things like overpaying $5000 to his driver, to giving a handgun as a present to a retiring officer, etc. International community was quick to condemn these arrests as politically motivated.

- November 30 2013 took it to a totally new level when police was ordered to disperse what until then had been a two week old, small, and very peaceful by today’s standard, protest. Police were chasing the protesters for blocks, beating them when they’re down. Everything that followed - the tractor, the molotovs, was the result of seeing images like these http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdRSXESoQd0

- on January 16 2014, Yanukovich fraction in the parliament voted for the so-called “dictatorial laws”. Voting was done without allowing the lawmakers to previously read the legislature, by show of hand, and counting of the votes in 5 seconds. Among others, the laws disallowed protests that have not been “sanctioned” by the government, introduced 2 year prison terms for defamation (if you recall, Ukraine doesn’t have an independent judicial system so this is viewed as direct threat by the free press in Ukraine); 10-15 year terms for mass disruption and very broadly defined “extremist activities”. Everybody and their mother in the international community have condemned these laws as undemocratic. Btw, the Tea Party would definitely fall in Yanukovich definition of “extremist”.

This list doesn’t include gross cases of corruption (Yanukovich’s son,a dentist by profession, became a multi millionaire, +$100M USD, within the last few years), intimidations and attacks on journalists and opponents (ex. Chornovol), and now most recently, use of live ammunition on the protesters, as well as kidnappings and tortures, ex. I. Lutsenko, Niskoguz, Verbitsky (dead)

As recent mass demonstrations across Ukraine show, the 100,000 “extremists” are now backed by almost half of the nation. In the other Ukrainian thread there’s a map of cities that the protesters now control who are refusing to follow Yanukovich’s government.

There have been cases where a democratically elected leader becomes a tyrant. A certain Austrian in the 1930s comes to mind. If one seizes power democratically, what certainty is there that he will relinquish it later on? None, unless there are strong institutions already in place, and Ukraine obviously doesn’t have them. At least in the US you know Barry will be going in 2016. One of the key demands of the protesters are free democratic elections. The Ukrainians protests feared, and now they know, that a fair democratic is not possible under this guy. Thus we see what we see


49 posted on 01/26/2014 9:50:02 AM PST by Ivan Mazepa
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To: Greysard

Sorry for the wordy response. :)
Your post was well thought out, I was thinking it warranted a decent reply


50 posted on 01/26/2014 9:52:54 AM PST by Ivan Mazepa
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