Skip to comments.What's really happening in the Ukraine.
Posted on 04/07/2014 1:02:54 PM PDT by dangus
I don't claim to be able to peer into Putin's soul. I don't even claim to be an expert on Russia or the Ukraine. But if we're to have a chance of dealing intelligently in Eastern Europe, we should at least have a mastery of the basic facts. And that's where media sources, left, right and center have made complete fools of themselves. So without wanting to in any way defend the indefensible Yanukovich:
If the Russians hadn't been in Crimea, there's no way the Crimeans would've voted to join Russia.
Crimea has pretty much always been Russia since its first civilization, except for various times when the Turks had conquered it. It has never been part of the Ukraine, until 1992. It was not even part of the anti-communist Ukrainian Republic of the early 1920s. It only split from Russia when the Ukraine went democratic, but the Soviets still ran Russia. It voted in 1992 to become a fully autonomous region affiliated with the Ukraine, but then the Ukraine unilaterally revoked that autonomy. [From 1965 until 1991, it was part of the Ukrainian SSR].
The Russians want Crimea because of oil!
There is no oil in Crimea. There is no oil pipeline. The largest ports in the Ukraine are not in Crimea.
The Russians want Crimea because it is so wealthy!
Crimea possesses some potentially wonderful tourist beaches. But it is not wealthy. At all. Crimea's one of the poorest Oblasts in a poor nation; most of the wealth of the Ukraine is concentrated in Kiev.
It's 1930s Germany all over again!
Maybe. But not because of the Russians. When the mob took over Kiev, they installed several neo-Nazis to key posts.
That neo-Nazi talk is just Russian propaganda!
It refers to the Socialist-Nationalist party, also known as Svoboda, which idolizes the Banderites. The Banderites tried to prove to Adolf Hitler that they'd be valuable allies by killing an entire region's population of 80,000 Polish people. But at least the Banderites have never been ties to the Nazis' hatred of Jews. Svoboda blames Jews for ruling Russia.
Surely the HEADS of the Maidan aren't Nazis, though!
Julia Tymoshenko, the once and probably future Prime Minister of the Ukraine, was recorded in a phone conversation that the only way to establish secure rule over the Ukraine would be to kill all Russians.
No-one really wants to secede; it's just the Russians stirring trouble.
Did you miss the part about the Tymoshenko wanting all Russians killed? Was it just hot-blooded rhetoric? Perhaps, but after mobs overthrew the people they voted for, you can hardly blame the citizens of Donetsk Oblast for being wary when their leader calls for their genocide.
The Russians really just want a land bridge to Crimea.
Russia does not need a land bridge to Crimea. In fact, it would be insane to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles all the way around the Sea of Azov, instead of taking a two-mile planned bridge across the placid Straits of Kerch.
But the Russians have been causing trouble in the Ukraine all along! They poisoned President Yushenko!
My only point in bringing the following up is that the initial narrative is likely false, not to cast blame on other parties; It's really too shrouded in conspiracy to know what happened. But actually, Victor Yushenko himself believes he was poisoned by pro-EU former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's ally, Davyd Zhvanya. His initial diagnosis was refuted by a commission established by his own legislature. Why would Tymoshenko, from his own party, want Yushenko poisoned? His poisoning helped his election; once dead, she would lead the country.
No-one would want to join Russia! It is a godless, dying society.
Russia's birth rate is up 50% in the last few years. The abortion rate is down 80%. The life expectancy has gained 5 years in just 8 years. And more than 80% of Russians now identify as Christians (Yes, church attendance is in the single digits, but church attendance isn't seen as necessary as it is among Catholics and high-church Protestants.) It's the West which is now dying out.
No-one would want to join Russia! The Oligarchs control all the income!
The top 10% in Russia earn 33% of the income. In America, they control roughly half of the income. Family-run micro-farms produce 58% of the agricultural output. The GDP has increased by a factor of 10 since the post-Soviet economic collapse.
Putin doesn't allow opposition parties!
The opposition parties hold 47% of the seats in the Duma.
Putin is a Eurasianist! He's a neo-Stalinist! He's a Socialist!
The main opposition parties are Zhirinovski's Eurasianists, the communists, and the Nationalist-Socialists. Putin regularly campaigns against socialism, economic centralization, and government control in a way few but the most ballsy Westerners do. And THAT'S why socialist Lebedev, whose newspapers' commentary dominate Western reporting on Russia, hates him.
Don’t bother asking for sources. Although I checked primary sources, there’s not a word in here you can’t verify from Wikipedia.
Svoboda Party and the Right Block are very Neo-Nazi.
Putin wanted territory, and he took it. Simple as that. (even before 0bama said he couldn’t lol)
It’s a DAMN GOOD THING there isn’t another Hitler right now with a nation like Germany behind him. He would sweep across Europe before the State Department even got out their first sternly worded press release.
Or Russia state-owned media, for that matter.
I don’t think so. Putin didn’t engineer this. He was taken by surprise. It’s important to keep in mind that the cessationists are not necessarily pro-Putin. Some are, I am sure, but not the majority, by far. This movement is not about politics; it is about cultural and linguistic self-determination.
“AlthoughI checked primary sources, there’s not a word in here you can’t verify from Wikipedia.”
Or GOP Establishment-approved media for that matter.
Or RINO-approved media for that matter.
Informative post. Thank you.
Then please don't bother posting. You've supposedly been on FR for approximately half of my lifetime and you haven't yet figured out that unsubstantiated posts are red meat for FReepers?
Absent sources a post like yours is just a mere vanity.
>> Or GOP Establishment-approved media for that matter. <<
>> Or RINO-approved media for that matter. <<
Did you read the article before posting? Because each and every point contradicts the MSM narrative directly.
Do you have any information which contradicts any of these points? Besides the Yushenko poisoning (which I noted the truth of which is just about impossible to intangle)?
Sure. I’ll post some links when you do.
Just so. Putin did not start this mess. He stepped in after violent revolutionaries overthrew the elected government of Ukraine.
And that revolution was funded by George Soros and his buddies, and the CIA.
Putin stepped in AFTER that happened. He was not about to let revolutionaries take over Ukraine and persecute the Russian speakers there, or make trouble for Russia.
Soros made a big, stupid mistake. And now the Ukrainians are paying for it.
Add to that, of course, the evident fact that Obama is a cowardly jerk and John Kerry is a ding berry. And the Defense secretary is a Communist whose assigned job is to destroy our military. And so forth.
So, Putin didn’t start this. But now he finds a golden opportunity to undo some of the agreements Russia made with the West when it was much weaker.
It’s actually considered poor form to cite references to “encyclopedic knowledge.”
There’s a lot natural gas in Crimea, especially offshore.
I read that if tapped, might eventually be equivalent of 10% of Ukraine annual consumption.
Russia is going to build a pipeline to Crimea, will take 2 years.
Thanks for the post.
The Soviet Union gifted the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954.
The Russians want Crimea for Sevastopol, its only warm water port.
Poverty engenders many extremist parties.
Because oil is at ~$100 Russian income is at around $22k GDP per capita and the neo-Nazi movement very prevalent in Russia in the 90’s has receded. Most of Russia’s wealth is concentrated in Greater Moscow. Calling the Russian Communist Party and A Just Russia Party headed by one of Putin’s close buddies “opposition” parties is a farce. They are a window dressing for Russian “democracy.” They are part of Putin’s state apparatus.
Ukraine with a GDP per capita of ~$4k is a breeding ground for extremist of all kinds including Neo-Fascist. There are strong Neo-Fascist(Nazi) movements inside the EU like Hungary, Austria, and Greece. But they are a small minority in Ukrainian Government.
Ukrainians have the right to protest and Parliament has the right to remove the president, which the Ukrainian Parliament exercised. No coup.
Thought this might be of interest to you.
I lean towards your interpretation of events, but the incredible thing is how unnecessary it is to interpret events! If Crimea weren’t so pro-Russian, there’s no way Putin would want — or be able to afford — a restive, occupied province. He’s got his hands full. Is he Macchiavellian? Before answering that, people should note the central thesis of Macchiavelli was that his sponsor should NOT occupy Corsica.
“Poor form?” Whose stylebook are you using? I would argue that it is “poor form” to present debatable conjectures as “encyclopedic knowledge.”
Agreed! And, I certainly agree with Putin on several issues. But, he did invade another country for shaky reasons (yeah, I know we invaded Irag for shaky reasons, so spare me that comment please........).
In addition, he is dropping hints at invading other countries including Finland.
So, minimally, Putin remains on the “dubious” list.
Of course. Those Russian troops that crossed the border simply "lost their way."
I agree that the MSM narrative is being contradicted by your thread.
RINOS and the GOP-e probably don’t agree, though.
Don’t bother. The erasing of posts seems to extend to some by not all. I use Ad Homs IN REPLY to Ad Homs hurled at me (without provocation) and nothing apparently gets done. OTOH, when I...
Oh, please. The notion that Zyuganov is a buddy of Putin is so idiotic it is impossible to comment on.
The parliament only ousted Yanukovich after he had already fled the country and the parliament literally had armed mobs occupying its halls. They might as well have announced, “Ratify our actions or die!”
The 22K income per capita is by far the highest its even been in Russia, wealthier than the vast majority of the Earth, and six times what it was when Putin took over in the 1990s.
More "encyclopedic knowledge?"
Russia is the largest country in the world. The last thing
Putin needs is more territory.
OK, which one of these posts (besides the Yushenko poisoning) do you even consider debatable?
Is there some contention as to who owned Crimea in 1650? 1750? 1850? 1950?
Is there some contention as to which are the largest ports in the Ukraine?
Is there some contention as to whether or not there are pipelines through the Crimea?
Is there some contention as to whether Kiev is really the wealthiest part of the Ukraine, as opposed to the Crimea?
Is there some contention as to whether or not Svoboda glorifies the Banderites? Or whether the Banderites wiped out the Poles in Western Ukraine?
Is there some contention about how far around the Sea of Azov you have to travel to go from Russian to Crimea? Or that a bridge is being built to make the trip just two miles across the straits of Kerch?
You tell me where I posted a contestible point as fact, and I’ll happily note it.
One way to start would be to compare your last post with your original. Note which “items” you left off the second list, and you’ll have a good idea what’s debatable.
The pathetic, laughable thing is that every one of the “myths” I contradict has been presumed true by mainstream AND “conservative” authors without anyone fact-checking, let alone sourcing.
So your “encyclopedic” sources are contradicted by others, encyclopedic or otherwise?
They risk it. Mother Russia can be cruel to unfaithful...
Oh please! I stopped because I thought I had beaten a dead horse long enough! Is it contestible that Tymoshenko was recorded calling for the death of all Russians in the Ukraine? No; I noted her intents by saying that were contestible, and I avoided drawing the conclusion that she wanted them all dead. I only allowed the reader to draw their own conclusion whether a Russian in Donetsk might not want her as their ruler. So again, which item do you debate?
Now, I admit I have actually been contradicted in the past with conspiracists that the UN echoed the falsified data regarding Russian birth rates, death rates, etc., But that quickly fell into the argument that no source was good enough (except my opponent’s own intuition). But again, just go look that up in Wikipedia, and you’ll find endless sources.
Now you’re being purposely stupid. I noted that there was no fact-checking at all, let alone sourcing.
Nobody cares about any of your opinions. Therefore your points are moot.
You have made it clear on this forum that you desire to disparage others for expressing opinions. Even if they post vanity threads to debate those opinions with others you pop in (instead of just turning off the vanity posts in your settings) to tell them how much you despise vanity threads.
Your attitude and the intellectual vacuum from which it derives negates any contemplation of your input which might otherwise occur.
Svoboda Party and the Right Block are very Neo-Nazi.
I found this the other night while researching just how deeply some Ukrainians vested in the Nazis. They were able to raise an entire division, not for the Wehrmacht, but for the Waffen SS - 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Ukrainian).
In early August of last year there were some festivities to honor and celebrate those happy days. From that well known Russian propaganda source, yahoo.
Russian neo-Nazis came to help celebrate the nostalgic moment. A good time seems to have been had by all.
What a toxic, tangled mess.
I'll take this one. Let's look at what you posted:
[Question] Surely the HEADS of the Maidan aren't Nazis, though!You imply she is a Nazi, and it is debatable, despite your "encyclopedic" knowledge, and those "mainstream AND 'conservative'" authors who suggest otherwise.
[Answer] Julia Tymoshenko, the once and probably future Prime Minister of the Ukraine, was recorded in a phone conversation that the only way to establish secure rule over the Ukraine would be to kill all Russians.
Your opinion means nothing to me. Nothing has changed.
Sergey Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia Party, is a buddy of Putin.
The Communist Party of Russia is not an opposition party and part of Ruling Mafia, even if Zyuganov and Putin are not best buds. Saying otherwise is completely ignorant of the facts on the ground.
“Ratify our actions or die! you must be confused because I think that is the United Russia Party slogan.
Yes,Russia has the highest GDP per capita income ever. It is in a middle income country trap. It depends and concentrates efforst on exporting raw materials while letting Russia’s manufacturing and engineering capabilities atrophy. Russia is a boom/bust country depending on global price of its raw materials like Saudi Arabia or Brazil. To become healthy it needs to dramatically increase its birth rate but it can not dramatically increase its oil reserve base.
But I congratulate Putin for not being as stupid as the General Secretaries of the Communist Party. It is like being the smartest kid on the short bus.
Ukraine and events from the Arab Spring, along with the idea of nation building shows us how unique and fragile the American Republic was and why we need to fight like hell to restore it.
I didn’t imply she was a Nazi. I implied a contradiction to the notion that she surely is NOT a Nazi. I then explicitly proceeded to suggest she may NOT be a Nazi (something lost when you took MY quote out of context), but that the citizens of Donetsk may nonetheless be uneasy being ruled by someone who stated she wanted them all dead.
I’ll admit, I wouldn’t even know HOW to source something which was not actually stated.
You forget one major player/culprit, the EU. The European Union probably spent just as much money if not more than the US during the last years to support and build up pro-EU sentiment in Ukraine.
(I’ll try and post some links later, but in the meantime anyone interested can search “Ukraine” at the blog Eureferendum.com )
>> Sergey Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia Party, is a buddy of Putin. The Communist Party of Russia is not an opposition party and part of Ruling Mafia, even if Zyuganov and Putin are not best buds. Saying otherwise is completely ignorant of the facts on the ground. <<
I do not mean this rhetorically: I would love to know more of what you are talking about. As I note, I cannot know what is in Putin’s heart... and it is admittedly enigmatic. Since the Communist Party opposes everything Putin does, since they violently protested his re-election, since their puppet minion controls (Lebedev) controls half of the papers in the UK and incessantly writes the most ridiculous trash about Putin, I find it easier to believe that the Republican Party are just fake opponents for the Democrats. But the notion that they are led by a patsy is very intriguing to me.
>> Ratify our actions or die! you must be confused because I think that is the United Russia Party slogan. <<
More over-heated rhetoric which makes it hard to take you seriously.
>>Yes,Russia has the highest GDP per capita income ever. It is in a middle income country trap. It depends and concentrates efforst on exporting raw materials while letting Russias manufacturing and engineering capabilities atrophy. Russia is a boom/bust country depending on global price of its raw materials like Saudi Arabia or Brazil. To become healthy it needs to dramatically increase its birth rate but it can not dramatically increase its oil reserve base. <<
This part, I absolutely agree on. But Putin HAS dramatically increased Russia’s birth rate, by an astounding 50%. (Any more direct actions would get a lot of husbands very jealous!) And the manufacturing base HAS grown. This criticism comes from a country with a collapsing birth rate, and shrinking manufacturing base.
Its important to keep in mind that the cessationists are not necessarily pro-Putin
The “secessionists” have first class weaponry and equipment. That equipment didn’t fall off a cabbage truck, FRiend.