March 04, 2014
The EU U.S. Tug Over Ukraine Policy
Yesterday I doubted that a certain Obama administration "leak" to the New York Times was truthful:
While Merkel and other EU politicians seems to want to calm the situation down the White House feels domestic political pressure to do more of "something". That is likely why we see this "leak" in today's New York Times:
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.
This does not sound like typically Merkel but rather strange for her. I doubt that she said that the way the "people briefed on the call" told it to the Times stenographer. It is rather an attempt to discredit Merkel and to make it more difficult for her to find a solution with Russia outside of U.S. control.
The German government, through the conservative, Merkel supporting daily Die Welt, denied the correctness of that quote. Die Welt writes (my translation):
The chancellery is unhappy about the report in the New York Times. Merkel by no means meant to express that Putin behaved irrational. In fact she told Obama that Putin has a different perspective about the Crimea [than Obama has].
No, I am no supporter or defender of Merkel, but the tug over the Ukraine is as much between the EU and the United States as it is between the "west" and the "east". Yes, the EU screwed up its Ukraine strategy by giving an ultimatum to Yanukovich to sign an association agreement and, when he rejected, by instigating trouble in Kiev. But what the U.S. is doing is worse. It managed to sabotage the February 21 comprise three EU foreign minister had negotiated between Yanukovich and his opposition and ordered fascist storm troupers onto the Ukrainian parliament to press it to illegally "elect" its favorite candidate to head the Ukraine. Six members of the fascists Bandera follower party Svoboda are now part of the illegitimate Ukrainian government. Certain U.S. policymakers seem to want war with Russia. The Europeans have very different interests.
All favored comments below the Merkel piece in Die Welt are taking the Russian position in this conflict and point out the fascists in the Ukrainian government. This in a paper with a usually conservative and very pro-American readership. The German public, despite an anti-Russian propaganda campaign in most main-strem media, is certainly not on the side of the United States and its NATO interventionists.
There is a long "tradition" of using fascist nationalist groups against Russia. That country lost over 20 million people fighting fascism and for Russians to see fascists ruling in Kiev is therefore an incredible assault on their national identity. Russians know their history and they certainly know who is standing behind these fascists. That is likely what Merkel told Obama about Putin's perspective.
The Svoboda and the RightSector in the Ukraine see themselves in the tradition of Stepan Bandera, a Galician ultranationalist, brutal terrorist, fascist and later asset of many "western" secret services. An eyeopening book by the U.S. National Archives about Hitler's Shadows - Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence and the Cold War (pdf) includes a chapter on "Collaborators: Allied Intelligence and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists". Some excerpts:
British operations through Bandera expanded. An early 1954 MI6 summary noted that, “the operational aspect of this [British] collaboration [with Bandera] was developing satisfactorily. Gradually a more complete control was obtained over infiltration operations and although the intelligence dividend was low it was considered worthwhile to proceed....”
Bandera was, according to his handlers, “a professional underground worker with a terrorist background and ruthless notions about the rules of the game.... A bandit type if you like, with a burning patriotism, which provides an ethical background and a justification for his banditry. No better and no worse than others of his kind...
In April 1959 Bandera again asked West German intelligence for support and this time Gehlen was interested. The CIA noted that, “It [is] apparent that Bandera [is] seeking support for illegal ops into Ukraine.” The West Germans agreed to support at least one such mission based on the “fact [that] Bandera and group no longer the cut throats they were” and because Bandera “supplied proof [of] existing contact with inside assets.” A team trained and funded by the BND crossed from Czechoslovakia in late July, and the BND promised Bandera support for future operations if this one were to be even “moderately successful.”
In June 1985 the General Accounting Office mentioned Lebed’s name in a public report on Nazis and collaborators who settled in the United States with help from U.S. intelligence agencies. The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in the Department of Justice began investigating Lebed that year. The CIA worried that public scrutiny of Lebed would compromise QRPLUMB and that failure to protect Lebed would trigger outrage in the Ukrainian émigré community. It thus shielded Lebed by denying any connection between Lebed and the Nazis and by arguing that he was a Ukrainian freedom fighter. The truth, of course, was more complicated. As late as 1991 the CIA tried to dissuade OSI from approaching the German, Polish, and Soviet governments for war-related records related to the OUN. OSI eventually gave up the case, unable to procure definitive documents on Lebed. Mykola Lebed, Bandera’s wartime chief in Ukraine, died in 1998. He is buried in New Jersey, and his papers are located at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.
There is little doubt that U.S. secret services and certain neo-con politicians are still pulling the strings of the fascist movements in the Ukraine. Who else would have trained them, as Putin alleges, in neighboring countries. It is their russophobia that is now threatening European peace.
Posted by b on March 4, 2014 at 05:11 AM | Permalink
Coincidence or is there more to it?
Largest Oil Refinery in Europe is on Fire
[...] It is located in Tatarstan, Russia and today, at 7.00pm Moscow Time, dozens of firemen were urgently summoned as the oil giant started burning. More photos and videos inside. [...]
Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 4, 2014 5:41:48 AM | 1
it s hard to live down an historical legacy: georgian journos find:
GEORGIAN JOURNALISTS FACE DIFFICULTIES WORKING IN CRIMEA
GEORGIA, UKRAINE /In defense of the media /03.03.201450°
A filming crew of the Georgian TV company “Imedi” has its camera broken in Simferopol. According to the Guram Rogava, a journalist of the channel, the incident occurred at the building of Consulate General of Russia on March 3rd, where the crew was filming the process of registration of citizens wishing to receive Russian citizenship in a fast-track procedure.
“We were taking the comments, when a policeman approached and asked us to leave the territory. We moved away for a few meters, but the law-enforcers forbade us to work even there. On hearing our conversation with the police some citizens standing around came. When the strangers learned that we were journalists from Georgia, one of them became aggressive and shouted at us that we did not have right to work in the Crimea, that we were Saakashvili’s agents and that we should returned to Georgia. Then he ran at the cameraman and damaged the camera”, the journalist said.
Guram Rogava, who had been previously covering the events at the Euromaidan, says that Georgian journalists face numerous problems working in Simferopol – it is difficult to get a comment, the local people are aggressive towards journalists.
“It is difficult for Georgian journalists to work here. People often call us provocateurs and foreign agents”, Rogava says.
Posted by: brian | Mar 4, 2014 5:48:22 AM | 2
a touch of uncommon sense: Asked about Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine, Cohen said that Putin did not create the crisis and had no choice but to react. Cohen also said that next to Mikhail Gorbachev and possibly Boris Yeltsin, Putin was the least authoritarian Russian ruler in 400 years. The transcript of the interview follows:
Zakaria: Steve, you say that this guy is not the rank imperialist and rank dictator we see him as. Explain why he isn’t those things.
Cohen: Nor is he, as Secretary Albright and Professor Brzezinski suggested, “Hitler,” with their references to Munich. Putin is not a thug; he’s not a neo-Soviet imperialist who’s trying to recreate the Soviet Union; he’s not even anti-American. What he wet is is intensely, historically pro-Russian. He’s been in power fourteen years, and his mission is, as he sees it, and many Russians see it, [to] restore Russia from the disaster of 1991, the collapse of the Russian state. Remember, that was the second time in the 20th century the Russian state had collapsed, the first time in 1917. So to recreate the stability, prosperity, greatness, whatever that means in Russia at home, and in the process, restore Russia’s traditional zones of national security on its borders; that means Ukraine as well. He did not create this Ukrainian crisis; it was imposed on him, and he had no choice but to react. That’s [unintelligible] today etc
Posted by: brian | Mar 4, 2014 6:49:12 AM | 3
Mark Aims of eXiled (again) may have hit something. (Remember, he is the one that exposed the Koch – Tea Party connection half a year before the New Yorker.)
Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show – February 28, 2014
From Voice of America:
USAID got Maidan coup up and running – media – March 3, 2014
Pando published financial documents, showing numerous funding entries for NGO activities across Ukraine, including in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Ternopil, Sumy, and elsewhere, mostly in the Ukrainian-speaking west and center. The list also names US-based contributors, such as billionaire George Soros, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his Omidyar Network foundation, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded largely by the US Congress.
According to the leaked papers, a network of interlocking NGOs– Chesno (Honestly), Center UA and Stop Censorship, to name a few – were growing in influence in Ukraine by “targeting pro-Yanukovych politicians with a well-coordinated anti-corruption campaign that built its strength in Ukraine’s regions, before massing in Kiev last autumn.”
Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 4, 2014 7:25:37 AM | 4
" Zakaria: Steve, you say that this guy is not the rank imperialist and rank dictator we see him as. Explain why he isn’t those things."
Jesus fucking Christ. Zakaria is one of the worst, bpainless tools around - but this is still incredible.
Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4, 2014 7:32:59 AM | 5
Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4, 2014 7:33:28 AM | 6
Zakaria is an embarrassment. His "interview" with Klichko was a laugh. He kept feeding him with the answers to his questions - Klichko apparently does not have a decent grasp of the English language. "Z" is as big of a tool as Blitzer....
Posted by: georgeg | Mar 4, 2014 7:52:12 AM | 7
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- The Obama administration readied economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday as it formally announced an aid package of $1 billion in energy subsidies to Ukraine amid worries that Moscow would extend its military reach into the mainland of the former Soviet republic......?????
Posted by: georgeg | Mar 4, 2014 7:53:56 AM | 8
On 22 January 2010, the outgoing President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, awarded to Stephan Bandera (posthumously) the title of Hero of Ukraine, the highest national title that can be conferred upon an individual citizen by the Government of Ukraine. In January 2011, the award was officially annulled by the successor government of Ukraine.
The above item shows that the tradition of Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian nationists is still supported by most of the population of in Western Ukraine, and opposed in Eastern Ukraine. For more history on the Bandera-istas, see Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists — Bandera faction and Ukrainian Insurgent Army at Wikipedia, which includes the nugget: "Its growth and strength were a reflection of the popularity it enjoyed among the people of Western Ukraine."
Ukraine has no logical, historical, ethnical or ethical justification to exist in its current form. Partition of the country is in the best interests of ALL in the country.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 4, 2014 7:57:34 AM | 9
what needs partitioning is the US
Posted by: brian | Mar 4, 2014 8:17:38 AM | 11
I was right :D
By no mean Merkel said that. It was too much, too obvious, it tesselated to much into the narrative.
Posted by: Rhysa | Mar 4, 2014 8:21:24 AM | 12
WSJ (figures) correspondent thinks president Putin is paranoid: Paul Sonne @PaulSonne 30m
Clear that Putin thinks maidan is a US/EU plotted coup against him and a threat to Russia. Crimea, scrapped gas discount = him fighting back......................the best of US 'journalism in its twilight years? no wonder americans are so confused about the rest of the world
Posted by: brian | Mar 4, 2014 8:25:40 AM | 13
13) Actually, he said quite the contrary, that he understands protesters' fury at political crook being replaced by political crook.
I guess, they are close to solving it now
BERLIN—The German government has hinted at a possible federal structure for Ukraine as a way out of the crisis that has seen Russia occupy the country’s restive region of Crimea.
Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, told journalists Monday that Berlin was advocating the creation of a “contact group” that would include Ukraine, Russia, other states and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe or the Council of Europe, which he said had “great expertise with regards to federalizing solutions.”
Only problem left: Russia does not seem to want to pay.
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 8:46:31 AM | 14
Mark MacKinnon @markmackinnon Mar 1 (of Globe and Mail...Canadas state media)
Berkut fighters seen in Crimea have easy choice: get prosecuted by Ukrainian authorities, or become heroes of Crimean independence/Anschluss
o u naughty boy! anschluss and invoke Hitler, when the nazis are in Kiev
how does one become a ukrainain 'authority'? have a date with Vicki(Fuck the EU) Nuland and throw molotov cocktails while crying: were being repressed!
no wonder Crimeans and libyans and syrians and venezuelans and....hate the MSM
Posted by: brian | Mar 4, 2014 8:54:28 AM | 15
14) plus - actually Putin might have given Ukraine just a bail out that will not cost anything. "A new state old agreements do not apply", so debt neither, I suppose?
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 9:06:39 AM | 17
Fully agree and wrote about this before here. Ukraine is not a nation, but a geographical location. There are Rusyns in the West and Cossacks in the East. The two had led a largely separate existence from before 1000 AD until 1939!!!
Posted by: CC | Mar 4, 2014 9:10:38 AM | 18
I don't see Russia ponying up a dime while neo-Nazis are in power in Kiev.
Posted by: RC | Mar 4, 2014 9:10:56 AM | 19
@ 11: "what needs partitioning is the US."
Yeah, I'll second that. Jesus, hasn't the world had enough of the US meddling in other countries affairs? The list is endless, and all at the behest of so-called "American interests". AKA, more money for mega-corporate transnationals. I wish Russia well in this confrontation. Someone must blunt this drive for "Western" hegemony.
Posted by: ben | Mar 4, 2014 9:16:31 AM | 20
brief, not too good, article linked below “Ukr. Revol. places Elites back in power” has a little about the new Kiev-anointed. Err, nominated.
Elites is the wrong term.
The three referred to are figures belonging to or close to a group of extremely rich industrial capitalists in extractive industries (energy, mining ..) who are also linked to finance, banking, at the same time supporters of the authoritarian nationalist right (Right Sektor, etc., ‘fascists’..) which is on their part only an opportunistic strategy of domination.
“Yats” as previous foreign minister, minister of the economy, and head of the Central Bank (still today, or not, read one article about ‘a new governor being appointed’ some lackey perhaps .?) knows, one can be sure, what is on Ukr. books and where he, and these I presume favored buddies, want to go.
There were genuine protestors against corruption and strangleholds in Kiev, one should not forget.
As I said before, the Ukranians are about to get shafted or let’s call it sacrificed. Nobody will help, not the EU, the US. (Russia controlled parts if any may do better.)
Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4, 2014 9:18:58 AM | 21
I still believe that the whole thing was a homegrown coup of East and West oligarchs against Yanukovich, who had threatened their wealth. That's why the Party of Regions, Yanukovich's OWN party, remained in place and cared little about his fate. These wealthy people were then rewarded with governorships. One idea was that the Ukrainian oligarchs will work things out with the Russian counterparts. Perhaps, that's why Putin said that Kolomiskiy (or whatever his name is) is such a charlatan that he cheated Roman Abramovich. Abramovich is the wealthiest Russian oligarch based in the UK. Subtext -- you burned your bridges with Roman, expect a payback.
Posted by: CC | Mar 4, 2014 9:23:15 AM | 22
Noirette @ 21: From your link, thanks.
"In yet another example of how the recent Ukrainian “revolution” was nothing more than an Anglo-American destabilization of a foreign nation for geopolitical purposes, recent appointments to political posts inside Ukraine should serve as clear evidence of that fact. "
Yes, there were some legitimate protesters, but peppered into the mix were operatives from the empire. That's how the game is played.
Posted by: ben | Mar 4, 2014 9:28:00 AM | 23
Funny when putin speaks he speaks with confidence, when obama, merkel, kerry or EU speaks they speak like 10 yr old girls.
Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 4, 2014 9:44:11 AM | 24
Tymoshenko with her control over infantile men-boys (http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/02/male-pundits-find-yulia-tymoshenko-sexually-threatening/358449/), pissed-off oligarchs and Rusyn nazis -- that is what now stands for the government.
If they did a coup because they believed that Yanukovich will make them poor before the 2015 election, fine. The problem is that they took US/EU bullying of Putin and Russia at the face value. They figured that if they prove their worth to the bullies - US and EU, by bullying Russia themselves, they would be accepted into the exclusive club of the cool boys. I read in the pro-coup press in the Ukraine all sorts of nonsense -- Marshall Plan for Ukraine!! Ukraine will pass a resolution and join EU!!! Tymoshenko calls for WWIII!! That little boy the appointed "prime minister" claimed that he is willing to be the most unpopular prime minister in the history of Ukraine just to implement IMF and EU demands. Wasn't the "revolution" done in the name of people, to make their voice heard. It hasn't been even a week since you ascended to power and you already imposing your and foreign will on the people.
I am also amazed by the Rusyn nazis - the Svoboda and Udar parties. Has it ever occurred to them that they are not the only little dipsh*t ethnic group that imagined itself to be better than everybody else. Did they forget that by genes they are closer to Russians that they are to the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon tribes. And how would they justify living off a different nation. Idiots...
Posted by: CC | Mar 4, 2014 10:00:07 AM | 26
The blue part minus Crimea would be called the Hetmanate...
Posted by: CC | Mar 4, 2014 10:04:49 AM | 27
You also colored Moldova in blue, they are an independent country...
Posted by: CC | Mar 4, 2014 10:06:22 AM | 28
It's interesting to note that while George Soros was funding NGOs whose purpose was to overthrow the government of Ukraine, he was simultaneously making a huge bet that the US stock market would crash. One might suspect that he had advance knowledge of the impending putsch and placed his bet accordingly.
Posted by: Gareth | Mar 4, 2014 10:20:33 AM | 29
Putin broke his silence and the markets are recovering. Rational leadership was required to bring reason to ramped up, manufactured U.S. insanity.
Kerry is in Ukraine to throw 1 billion tax-payer dollars down the rabbit hole, and keep in mind that the Ukrainians are asking for $4 billion now and $20+ billion in total.
Ukrainians should know that all those billions come with a steep price tag...just saying. Again, be careful what you wish for.
Posted by: kalithea | Mar 4, 2014 10:20:42 AM | 30
28) Could be a good solution for Moldova though which is pretty isolated just now ... that would be the Eurasian Trade Zone and EU would have an association agreement with the yellow part. Only part left is to finlandize ie. ensure the yellow part is not allowed to join NATO.
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 10:20:45 AM | 31
31) would also allow to split the gas pipelines - less robber baron power
And the neocons helped Russia to get there ....
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 10:30:07 AM | 32
From my writings on 25.02.2014: Nazi Collaboration by Banderists in East Galicia
Stepan Bandera – Hero or Nazi Sympathizer
On January 22, 2010 Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko honored Stepan Bandera by posthumously bestowing on him the state honor, “Hero of Ukraine.” The Soviet KGB assassinated Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist-in-exile, in 1959. Many Ukrainians, including Ukrainian émigré groups in Canada, pressed Yushchenko to grant the honor, which, according to one statement, "would restore justice and truth about the Bandera and the...struggle for liberation that he headed." To this day, many Ukrainians view Bandera as a martyred freedom fighter.
As an uncompromising leader of the militant, terrorist branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Bandera became a Nazi collaborator who lived with his deputies under German protection after World War II began. In preparation for the attack on the USSR, the Nazis recruited Bandera’s followers to act as Ukrainian-speaking policemen and to serve in two Ukrainian volunteer army battalions. By working with the Nazis, Bandera hoped to free Ukraine from Soviet rule and establish his own government there.
When the Germans invaded the USSR in June 1941 and captured the East Galician capital of Lvov [Lviv in Ukrainian], Bandera’s lieutenants issued a declaration of independence in his name. They further promised to work closely with Hitler, then helped to launch a pogrom that killed four thousand Lvov Jews in a few days, using weapons ranging from guns to metal poles. “We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet,” a Banderist pamphlet proclaimed to Ukrainian Jews.
The Germans intended to keep Ukraine for themselves. They arrested Bandera for his intransigence on the issue of independence, but released him in 1944 when it appeared that his popularity with Ukrainians might help stem the Soviet advance. But whatever their disappointment with the Germans, the Banderists never disagreed with their Jewish policy in Ukraine, which eventually killed over 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews.
A well known historical fact about Nazi collaborator Pieter Menten in East Galicia. He was unmasked by journalist Hans Knoop and his trial in The Hague brought many facts about local pogroms and executions of the Jewish population. The Ukrainians in Lviv played a major role of collaboration with the Nazis. The defense attorney Van Heijningen was well known to me. There was major media coverage of Pieter Menten's trial in The Hague.
Posted by: Oui | Mar 4, 2014 10:30:55 AM | 33
I got a hunch that maybe in 2-3 days this will be buried and the US/west will focus more on to topple venezuela. Maybe I am wrong. But tensions atleast today has going down on ukraine imo.
What do you guys think?
Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 4, 2014 10:46:14 AM | 35
@25 and anyone else who wishes to post graphic material
I'd like to respectfully request that folks who post pictures reduce them sufficiently, so that they don't increase the width of the text inordinately. Have a problem with vision and believe the big pictures are responsible for increasing line length and thus requiring me, and any others here who require some magnification, to scroll back and forth on each line.
Simple linking to the pic would be another fix.
Posted by: oboblomov | Mar 4, 2014 10:49:34 AM | 36
Thanks so much.
We now have around 5 threads that are supposed to be about the events in ukraine in one way or the other.
And we've succeeded in infesting and finally disolving and killing them with political bickering, historical tit for tat and bickering, plenty of (today) quite irrelevant matters like who was the guilty in holodomor, what socks the best friend of the brother of some nationalist preferred etc.
And No, my complaint isn't about b whose look at merkels alleged statement and some related factors *is* relevant for the ukraine matter, neither is it about r'giap who didn't bicker or stupidly politically fight but rather made some statements helpful for understanding and interpreting current events.
Originally I had in mind to jot down what I understand to be a rather probable - and surprising for most - branch in the tree of potential ways and possibities.
But then, who am I to disturb beloved, if completely irrelevant, bickering and showing off competitions in issues like banderas, greenwald and (Oh, I'm sure you will find more trivia matter to heatedly discuss).
And btw. thanks for demonstrating one of the major factors making the weztern world looking clueless. Because they *are*. One of the major reasons? Incapability to intellectually follow any matter through but rather getting caught in sidelines, an inreasingly vast array of dogmata, and personal likes, dislikes, and trivia, and fighting for beliefs before having nearly understood them.
And what a coincidence! The devil isn't 60m and shooting flames, he's more like an army of wood eating ants which eat your house from the inside; lies, deceptions, distractions, dissolution.
He's nearly completed his mission in the weztern world - and minds - it seems. Congratulations.
And now, kindly forgive my little interruption. Go ahead, and quarrel about banderas favourite cheese and about all the greenwalds, and, of course, good and bad communists and the diverse details.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 10:58:19 AM | 37
OT only a bit
Kolomoisky (many spellings), Igor/Ihor, new Gov. of an industrial region in Ukr. (1) has seen his empire decimated, thru vicious fights fought both in the courts and on the streets with gunmen.
(No links about the gunmen, sorry, outrageous gossip, never mind.)
Kol’ is president of a lame European Jews association which has some kind of status in the EU, created some Jewish parliament, idk. A double national, Isr. + Ukr.
Looked it up, it is lodged in Geneva. Kol’ is believed to live in Switz.
Big industrialist, banker. (E.g. founded Privat bank.) Controls all kind of stuff, airlines, mass media, the usual. Described as the 2nd - 3rd richest person in the Ukr.
Kiev Post, March 3, 2014, Kol’ blast Yanukovitch and Putin, and predictably focusses on Ukr. state building.
Independent, Sept. 2013, reports on some international matters, court cases and power plays, tip of the iceberg:
>> sidebar: Sidor Kizin, Svoboda member, was nominated as Gov of another region. Some news reports say that 16 Governors were replaced ..? Note that Morsi did the same thing and that galvanised the opposition and imho did him in.. << end sidebar.
1 Dnipropetrovsk Oblast (from press.)
Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4, 2014 11:34:18 AM | 39
Believe it or not, sort of an articulate, albeit backhanded, warning for Obama not to mess with Putin from that self-styled "thinking man's Republican" David Brooks, "Putin Can’t Stop":
The implication for Western policymakers is that we may not be dealing with a “normal” regime, which can be manipulated by economic and diplomatic carrots and sticks. Threatening to take away inclusion in the Group of 8 or freeze some assets may become irrelevant because the Russian regime will have moved up to a different level. The Russian nation may be motivated by a deep, creedal ideology that has been wafting through the culture for centuries and has now found an unlikely, cynical and cold-eyed host.
Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 4, 2014 12:02:02 PM | 41
Mr. Pragma - always look forward to reading your comments - so damn helpful in better understanding events - because the news media in the empire's homeland is garbage.
I don't ever watch it, but was not home last night - a major station's evening news consisted of this: Two minutes worth of tanks rolling around, a slow pan across Putin's face, a serious tone and concerned look assumed by the news anchor describing possible economic sanctions over "The Russian Invasion," and that was it.
Seems like a lot of Neocons are butthurt over Putin gaining the upper hand. Can only imagine what would have transpired in the East and Crimea had not Russia beefed up security.
Again, thanks for your informative comments.
Posted by: Prey4 Justice | Mar 4, 2014 12:04:26 PM | 42
Russian troops are only protecting Russian citizens(dual-nationality)
in the same way as US/NATO troops are protecting
KLA organ-snatchers in Kossovo.
Posted by: chris m | Mar 4, 2014 12:08:37 PM | 43
Above picture is in all likelihood a bad photoshop. The problem is, they are allied with right wing forces.
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 1:53:06 PM | 47
bevin, thanks for that Whitney link - a terrific article. Hope it bring more visitors to MoA.
I was rather astonished with Zbig's piece in WaPo. He is more furious than any neocon in DC, crazy furious. I think Whitney's article summed up why Zbig is so furious, it was Zbig's advice to O to authorize the intelligence agencies to move the puchtists down to Crimea and drive Russia out of the Black Sea. Kerry and the neocon echo chamber in DC reflect exactly what Whitney described in the article.
Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 4, 2014 2:01:58 PM | 48
Petri Krohn (40)
I personally think that that map is wrong in terms of "which regions will join/form the new independent state?"
In my opinion the members of the new state will basically be all regions along the Russian border and the black sea, startin in the north with Kharkov and down to Odessa, plus Dnipropetrovsk. While both Sumy in the North and Kirovograd, closer to kiev and with lower probability, might possibly be candidates, I don't see them in the state, particularly Kirovograd; a mil unit not fighting against Crimea doesn't equate to desiring to join the new state.
The new state that I, based on political preferences, ethnic constellations, and current events like requests to join, expect as realistic will have todays Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Crimea, Mykolaiv, and Odessa regions, that is a total of 224.265 km² and ca 18 Mio citizens, or, incl. Dnipropetrovsk region, the only not outer region quite probably joining 256.179 km² and ca. 21.5 Mio citizens, which translates to roughly 40% of yesterdays ukraines area and ca. 45% of its citizens.
Which basically is a funny situation because, sure enough Putins desire was *not* to basically cut ukraine in half (and even less to "annect" that chunk). I think that Putin on one hand doesn't particularly like the idea of that large (or even larger) a part of yesterdays ukraine falling away and creating a new state; on the other hand he will quite likely think sth. to the effect of "Well, if that's how things turn out and what the people want than, well, be it, let them do their thing".
Probably some out there will ask why the new state should take as much as it can get, in particular the, pro-Russian after all, northeastern border regions, and even more so when considering that not taking them in would translate to a strategic hole ...
My point of view is that, well, first they are right in a way. But there are other factors, too. Unlike the wezt, Putin and Russia are simply not driven by get anything and all and as much as you ca possibly can get. Also, that whole zato thingy is largely a weztern issue; I don't think that Russia *really* cares batshit about largely impotent zato missiles being stationed or not; and anyway, no matter what the frontier happens to be, zato will station their junk anyway, so this whole thing is largely a shifting question rather than a solution. Furthermore, zato needed to be fucking braindead (which the politicians are - but not the generals) to squeeze themselves in between Russia, the new extremely Russia friendly state and Belarussia.
Additonally, this should not be forgotten, this whole thing is, while by no means surprising, *not a Russian thing*, it's a plain weztern created quagmire.
Also again, remember what I wrote about Putin (although it probably was overlooked in pile of greenwald, communist, nazi, holodomor and whatnot stuff). Putin is *not* anti Western or anti zusa or anti anything; that anti bla attitude is a weztern projection that in the end is based on divide et impera - not a Russian strategy ...
ukraine, pro western, pro Russia, or pro antarctica is simply quite meaningless. For Putin ukraine was a neighbour, plain and simple. Having a severely sick neighbour is a bad thing. I'm quite certain that Putin preferred a healthy zeu-associated ukraine easily over a sick and internally broken ukraine. Of course, that's theory because being associated with zeu is vreating sickness, no matter whether for eastern or western countries, while being associated with Russia has a tendency to pay off handsomely. But the point was that Putin respected ukraines souvereignty and wanted it to happily exist even if as a eu member.
Well, now that zusa/zeu have two wars running, one internal between themselves (and a third one between the zeu states to follow) and one external in ukraine, Putin *had* to do something to protect the ethnic Russians in ukraine who have a right to not suffer even worse for chruschevs and sovjet mistakes. *That* was his motivation.
*Of course* he could assume that, given the situation with nazis, Russia-haters and chaos in ukraine, most of the eastern regions would want to leave ukraine. Now what? Was he seriously supposed to tell them "Go, fuck yourselves!"? Of course not. Even as he never had the plan to split ukraine.
To put that again very clearly: The coming split was *not* Putins desire, quite the contrary. It is a direct consequence of zusas and zeus criminal attitude and mingling in a souvereign states internal affairs and their instigating and sponsoring of terrorists and criminals, both on the street and in the "new government".
Accordingly, Putin will likely do the only sensible thing to do for anyone with any democratic attitude, he will nolens volens accept the declared and even bravely fought for will of the people. This should ring a bell with zamericans; but don't hold your breath.
Finally I do think that Putin will actually try to persuade the pro-Russian regions to stay very modest and to *not* bring in all regions wishing to join them. Simply because wants rest-ukraine to stay and become again a viable state and not europes junkyard. Stripping away all regions who might want to join the new "crimean republic" would, however, so exactly that, it would leave ukraine as a republica moritura. And that's not what Putin wants - after all, Putin isn't a zamerican but a sentient and intelligent human being.
And mrs. merkel should very quickly reflect how smart - or not - it is to bow and pray to a fatally ill and rotten deamon and pissing in a healthy and strong bears garden, even more so when that bear basically has friendly feelings for Germany.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 2:08:46 PM | 49
@48 I don't know why we let Brzezinski have any influence. It may not be obvious to others, but I think it's plain his whole career has been motivated by his Polish historical grievances, at the expense of the living. It's hard to find, but he actually told the Mujahedin, "we believe that God is on your side," and of course he hasn't shown any remorse for precipitating 1 million Afghan deaths, 9/11 or any other consequences of Carter/Reagan foreign policy.
Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 4, 2014 2:11:00 PM | 50
Ha ha :) While we are on posting pix, only with links of course,
Here a photoshop compo, spoof, pic of Putin and Obiman and some selected Europeans.
Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4, 2014 2:17:37 PM | 52
@51 Not particularly serious, I think, but maybe the G7 leaders should go to Kiev and see the graffiti for themselves.
Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 4, 2014 2:18:07 PM | 53
Jon Lester, "we" don't let Zbig have any influence, it's only inside the beltway he has influence and it's considerable. As I understand it he's O's go-to-guy on US foreign policy; he's been around a long time, and imo plays a role for Dems like Kissinger played for Rs. And you're absolutely right about his Polish grievances, he's talked about it two of his books I've read. Actually using Poland as "example".
Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 4, 2014 2:32:11 PM | 54
Funny how the Western msm have successfully managed to divert the narrative from coup to Russian invasion. They don't mention the fascist coup anymore and seem to have almost legitimized the thieves in Kiev..I think the only thing that'll save Ukraine is either the thieves are kicked out of the country or a split - Banderastan in the West and Ethnic Russians speaking Ukrainians in the East...
Posted by: Zico | Mar 4, 2014 3:18:15 PM | 55
The problem with the idea of splitting Ukraine in two is that neither part is likely to be viable. This is particularly true of the western and northern parts, which would, unless I am mistaken, be landlocked. It may be that separatism leading to annexation by Poland was not so much Plan B as plan 1A. With the neocons as ready to settle for it as the more problematic aim of taking over the entire country including a bloc of one third to a half either opposed to the EU or unwilling to make any sacrifices for "independence."
With the IMF already wandering around Kiev making lists of things to be sold, in a firesale, to Goldmann Sachs and the European banks, and the coup regime warning that hard times are coming, because There Is No Alternative, a built in minority of opposition, forming a consolidated population bloc, is the last thing either the fascists or their western sponsors should want.
My guess is that Russia would be happy to take its chances that, given reasonably free elections and campaigning, in future elections the fascists would be unlikely to improve their support over the 10% level which, outside of the Galician heartland, appears to be their ceiling. The current situation, as the electoral fate of Yukshenko suggests, necessitates compromise and moderation on the part of Ukrainian governments, at least in their foreign policy. So long as Ukraine, even minus Crimea, is united the Russians can count on, at the very least, a solid, vetoing, bloc of sympathisers in any Assembly (except those such as the current one where opposition is intimidated or expelled) which may be elected.
On the other hand a Lvov-Kiev rump state of what are waggishly referred to as "ethnically pure Ukrainians" would be very likely to become a base for nutcases tired of the weather in the Baltic. Maybe it would like to rejoin the Swedish empire, because one thing is certain: the only empire that the Galicians seem to object to is the Russians'.
Posted by: bevin | Mar 4, 2014 3:24:27 PM | 56
Brezinski is a Polish noble whose father sat out WWII as a Canadian Ambassador, I think. It's also claimed he "mentored" Obama when he was an undergraduate at Columbia, which strikes me as rather odd. Other hunches I'm mulling (sorry, Mr. Pragma, I hope I'm not derailing things too much) are that Obama's mother was CIA handled, in her micro-banking endeavors (this part is true) by Timothy Geithner's father; and that Valerie Jarrett, whose parents were well-placed in Iran under the Shah, is his CIA handler. In any case, the whole thing stinks and the Great American Public are the only ones not gagging. Of course, they've never known anything else.
Posted by: Nora | Mar 4, 2014 3:35:32 PM | 58
While on pix see this one:
In mid Dec. 2013, John McCain went to the Ukr.
McC holds his hand out to “Yats” who sports designer stubble sadly not on the jaw but the noggin, and to Oleg (Tyahnybok, Svodoba party leader, wearing a blue ribbon but nobody wants to hear about ribbons :_( .. ) and seems not to be too well received.
More seriously, McCain’s message was that Ukr. would be fine and dandy and in its place in Europe. Because of err hum affinities, culture, geography and blah blah.
The EU was put on notice. Support these Revolutionaries! Afaik, this was rogue diplomacy, he had no Gvmt. / State mandate for that trip. Obama and the FM, and his office, have no control or prefer not to exercise it or don’t even think things out.
Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4, 2014 3:42:39 PM | 59
Well, I would't worry about the viability of the "Crimea State". Not at all.
But ... - Prognosis (updated) -
I basically see three scenarios
1) new state
In this scenario, largely explained above, possibly (though unlikely) with less or more regions joining, there would be a new state, centered around Crimea, of ca. 40-50% of the territory and citizens of yesterdays ukraine.
2) same as 1) but without statehood but rather some form of strongly enhanced autonomy and written down in the constitution to never join or otherwise cooperate with zato.
In this situation, ukraine would be basically forced to stay clean and to not play games because solution 1) would always be looming at the horizon.
And it would have the advantage of leaving ukraine as intact as it can possibly be after what the wezt did there.
Quite possibly the most attractive option for everyone except the Crimea and some other regions.
3) Something else, like Russia conquering ukraine completely.
Highly unlikely. I also basically see the diverse poland annects west ukraine in this category.
Which one it will be will largely depend on the wezts behaviour. The more zusa/zeu push or even threaten Russia, the more likely it will be 1). The more reasonable the wezt behaves and the more zusa confesses its failure and Russias right, the more likely 2) will be.
The reason why I see 1) as the most likely is not Russias supposed and implied interest but the fact, that zusa and zeu will almost certainly play games and threaten Russia with sanctions like they try since yesterday. While Putin is in no way anti-zusa or anti-zeu, it *is* in Russias interest to not tolerate any such negative approch against itself.
- Prognosis, part II -
What to do about kiev, lvov and other regions?
Obviously, Putin can simply chose the line "you broke it, now it's your problem". many think that's what Putin will do. I'm not so sure.
Call me crazy but I see something completely different coming up. Something like:
On day X (quite probably very soon) ...
- yanukovich (officially) returns to ukraine (namely Crimea)
- He has a declaration sent to kiev "government" which is also sent over TV to all ukrainians. Say at 9:00 in the morning.
in this declaration yanukovich declares that
- He will re-take his position
- He will hold elections very soon, maybe in May
- possibly that he himself will not join the election (read: he won't go for another term). This might be very useful, maybe even
necessary to demonstrate that he is all about restoring democracy and a properly working state - and that it's not about him wanting power.
- he gives the members of the illegal "new government" 6 hrs. to turn themselves in and to be brought to court; the same ultimatum also
concerns high officials of any kind who did support the criminals. They will all be charged, among others, with treason and an attack
on the constitution.
- he will be acting president only until a new government has been elected. And, if at all, he himself will take part in the elections
only, if, say in a referendum, a considerable part of the people suggest so.
- he demands all loyal and law abiding police units to arrest and jail any known active criminal nazis and other violent criminals.
Failure to do so will lead to being fired and possibly being brought to court.
- During the whole day (incognito) special forces will observe all leading government and agency officials closely.
- Minutes after the ultimatum *ukrainian* forces, possibly Berkut having been smuggled incognito to kiev, will arrest all high leven traitors and criminals (gov'ment, federal agencies, etc.)
- Loyal forces and Berkut will have all neccessary material (like helicopters) available, if needed borrowed by Russia.
- all government and major agency building as well as riot headquarters will be sealed off and very well guarded so as to protect evidence. Similar procedures will apply to residences and offices of known traitors and supporters.
- all zamericans and zeu agents will be arrested, declared personae non gratae, and sent out of ukraine. supporting "ngos" and similar crime agencies will be raided.
Within days full order and proper government will be restored, and evidence against zusa, zeu, and traitors will be published. Including, in particular evidence for concrete plans of the criminal "government" to loot and plunder and sell out ukraine to the wezt.
Then a referendum will be held, asking the ukrainians whether ukraine should join or associate with eu. A vast majority will vote "No".
Any installations, bases, ngos and alike of zusa and zeu will be searched and closed. Only basic diplomatic presence will be allowed.
With a little luck, ukraine can stay intact, albeit at the cost of making major autonomy concessions to southern and eastern regions; Crimeas autonomy will also be enhanced up to the point of being ukrainian only in name.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 4:10:33 PM | 60
Mr. Pragma, # 60, part II : from your keyboard to God's ear... (bypassing entirely all the usual suspects) ;~)
Posted by: Nora | Mar 4, 2014 4:27:07 PM | 61
The breakup map @ 25 -- Means the Western oriented Ukraine ail be solidly landlocked.
And, this morning, I caught mention of US war ships in the Black Sea -- per CNN. That there was talk of blockading the Russian fleet there.
Posted by: jawbone | Mar 4, 2014 4:28:49 PM | 62
German MP Ströbele finally got an answer from the German government
Yes, from 2009 to 2013 the Yanukovich government/Ukrainian security services were advised by the German government eg on the fight against terrorism. The German government does not know of any funding of right wing groups.
This just shows, so Ströbele, how fast yesterday's friend can suddenly be enemy and dictator.
Posted by: somebody | Mar 4, 2014 4:29:56 PM | 63
Re: The leak --make that planted story-- about Merkel saying Putin had lost touch with reality was getting heavy repeated mention on the BBC's hour long news carried on many US public radio stations.
It seems to be a description the US loves to apply to any leaders whose policies do not support the aims of The Hegemon. And, probably, to the true believers in US supremacy, any leader not properly kowtowing to the US must surely be mad. It's just crazy, see, to not go along with what the Hegemon wants and orders.
The propaganda in the US media, the complicit Mainstream Corporate Media, is almost unbelievable. Except that it happens so frequently and so repeatedly.
Posted by: jawbone | Mar 4, 2014 4:37:42 PM | 64
You equate the people in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea with the mafia gov't of Kosovo? A bit of a stretch there, no?
Either way, tit for tat. It was only a matter of time before someone with a set of brass balls and a large nuclear arsenal stepped up to give the bullying and lawbreaking West a taste of it's own juice.
Posted by: Prey4 Justice | Mar 4, 2014 4:37:53 PM | 65
I know, I know, it sounds crazy to many.
But it's based on the situation and on the only player who counts, Putin.
I came to think when pondering the question of territorial integrity. Again, Putin does *not* want ukraine kaputt or split and even less does he want to annect it.
But now look at the facts. zusa and zeu are basically out of the game. In the south and east of ukraine every day that passes a "we need and want our own state" sensation and movement is growing stronger - and more realistic.
So, time is of essence; Putin can't wait weeks and weeks.
So one is to ask, which solution would best suite everyones major interests, which solution would be the best compromise?
And, once more, how does Putin tick?
Putin almost certainly (well, so I think) doesn not want a split ukraine. Neither does he want ukraine to stay an unnerving trouble pot.
That pretty much translates to two issues: a) a non fractured ukraine and, a working, solid, realistic, democracy with economic potential and b) ukrainians understanding that zusa/zeu don't care shit and see ukraine only as some place to loot and rob, and to use at their liking.
a) means to convince the pro-Russia regions. b) means to educate - and to prove what you say - the ukrainians, all of them.
a) can only be reached if a viable state can be re-erected and protected and some built-in guarantees can be given.
b) can only be reached by exposing the weztern criminals.
Last but not least, it has been a strategic priority from the beginning for Putin to stay outside and have everything done, decided, and implemented by ukrainians (well, the pro-Russia variant, of course).
Put all of it together and you should, if I'm not completely senile and mistaken, at Prognosis, part II.
And just btw. this would also completely take any and all wind out of weztern sails.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 4:39:54 PM | 66
I saw that article and figured PCR's been reading MOA! Seriously though, we're way past the point where the crazed rantings of this murderous thieves should elicit anything from rational people except complete derision and scorn as every platitudinous piece of crap that comes out of their and their minions' mouths takes us ever farther from correctly placing blame, discovering truth and seeking justice.
There's nothing to say, talk about or analyze when the supposed "serious" people such as Obama, Power, Kerry, Zbig or any of the others insult people's intelligence with shameless and infantile rationalizations for their criminality especially as we are currently witnessing God only knows what iteration this is 20? 30? of the same murderous game plan we've all seen before.
As I said, I do believe that they think they can escape the gallows/prison cells for war crimes prosecution through a clever reliance on their media whores to continually allow for the incessant rewriting of history most of it before our very eyes. That's the propagandistic theory behind all of the war criminal books from the last administration - e.g. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, etc. It's more difficult to call them war crimes if the waters have been so muddied with sycophantic horseshit/analysis/debate especially with war criminals emeriti like Kissinger and Zbig still around rewriting THEIR criminal pasts.
If the Nazis (I could chose any "villainous" group" but since we've been talking about neo-Nazis lately I choose them for convenience) had been more successful we would inevitably have been regaled with books such as:
Himmler's "Crisis Points: Decisions to Save Freedom"
Hitler's "In My Time: A Personal Account of the Career of a Political Animal"
Goring's "War for Peace: My Life For Freedom"
and other such nonsense that would have provided shameless ghost-written drivel for their paid whores on tv/newspapers and in the halls of think tanks to quote and "seriously" discuss/debate/analyze so that the common person is left with a more "equivalent" understanding of these "conflicted" men during "trying" times - i.e., a rewritten "documented" past that now must include the fabricated and white-washed first person accounts of murderous war criminals that mitigates their wrong-doing.
That's what I think is behind the utter absurdity/insanity of comments like Kerry's and Zbig's: they need to keep reading their lines or they know that they are that much closer to the gallows. If they can always frame their war crimes as matters "open to debate" then there is enough room for them to scrape by on technicalities. Yes, it is insane but it's clever insane.
In reality, like PCR states, there really is nothing to discuss/debate anymore in the US about the nature of the people in power and any type of narrative/event that keeps more people from understanding that there's no need to figure anything more out about the nature of the TPTB and the crimes they've committed should be quickly denounced and ignored.
Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 4, 2014 4:42:30 PM | 67
As I see it, all develops the way I was worried about long ago.
Putin is just too old. That fascist scum must be not just confined but eliminated. What we see now looks like 1st Chechen war - which ended with "Khasavyurt Accord".
What we've got afterwards is more terror, more civilian death, including Russian *kids* killed by those "western liberal-democratic Chechen" with machine-guns and knives.
For now it looks like Putin will trade. He'll get some preferences which may include or may not include Crimea as independent state. Whatever he gets by trade - Western Ukraine which already became inhumanity cluster will be preserved. Which means more deaths to Russians.
If he would be willing to protect the humanity - Ukraine would be liberated by now already and those thouthands of fascists been on emergency psychic treatment in Magadan or around.
Posted by: Sergey | Mar 4, 2014 4:46:13 PM | 68
There was a Wall Street Journal editorial calling for sending the Sixth Fleet into the Black Sea. I don't think they or whomever at CNN actually spoke to any US Navy personnel, because any given officer would quickly point to the bottleneck at Istanbul, which a truly audacious Russia could easily seize, and therefore assume absolute control of who gets in or out. I don't think any such thing would really happen, although MIT support of Tatar terrorists would certainly provide a pretext, should it come to that.
Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 4, 2014 4:50:11 PM | 69
Mr. Pragma, I don't think it sounds crazy at all -- I'm just hoping you didn't give advance notice to any of our many, many thug-meisters. I am so hoping we've finally over-played our hand -- but see #62 and I'm wondering if maybe some of our guys can play chess after all? God it's awful to really hope your country fails, but we've just got to be stopped.
Posted by: Nora | Mar 4, 2014 4:52:23 PM | 70
Nope, no trading. Simply because Putin holds all cards. He doesn't need to trade.
But regarding the nazis I'm with you. A bullet would be just right for that scum.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 4:52:38 PM | 71
I found this earlier today , I think at Irish news, but noticed it once at Cbs. Now this is a bit worrying. The rest is sabre rattling. The Europeans won't do a darn thing beyond money 'sanctions' and earlier today the Brits already announced it wont be as bad as they had first said. What's worrying is not the test itself but how it might be seen by other more lunatic parties. And by the way, Russia lost 25 million people in WW2
Blessings and peace to all
Posted by: anna | Mar 4, 2014 4:53:29 PM | 72
I was thinking about that problem, too. But don't worry. As things are by now, they can know. It doesn't matter. They are dead meat anyway.
timochenko, tough, is an experienced old bitch- She might have prepared ... but even she can't prepare against a well trained sniper ...
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 4:55:59 PM | 73
P.S. And it goes without saying the Americans and Kerry in particular are two-faced hypocrites. I mean, what do they take us for, idiots? They went off and destroyed Iraq and now they squeak about the Crimea? A strange bunch there... has anyone noticed any comments on the situation by Chomsky?
Posted by: anna | Mar 4, 2014 4:56:09 PM | 74
If the US sent in the 6th fleet and tried to blockade Sevastopol that would be an act of war. Those warships would end up at to bottom of the Black Sea very quickly in that case. The Soviets realized very early that they could not compete with the US Navy. The dedicated themselves to building antiship missiles. This resulted in what is called (by NATO) as the sunburn-22 and sunburn-27. The latter is a self guided, ram jet cruise missile that flies above mach 2. It looks like it would be invulnerable to the Aegis defenses deployed by the US Navy though they have not yet been tested in actual combat. These missiles only have a range of 200 km but that can be extended when launched from aircraft. Basically any ship in the Black Sea would be in range. I seriously doubt that the US Navy is interested in testing their Aegis defense against these weapons.
Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 4, 2014 5:11:41 PM | 76
You're absolutely right.
I recall talking to one of the navy officer who did his service in Mediterranean Sea as a part of Black Sea Fleet - the had a very small reconnaissance fleet there all the time back in 80's. He stated that "mean time to live" for any ship there in case of a full-scale conflict is 6 minutes. They kept them there only to transfer some data before terminating.
Posted by: Sergey | Mar 4, 2014 5:24:31 PM | 77
I recall reading an article in Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, the professional journal of U.S. naval officers, back when I was a naval officer myself, maybe 30 years ago. Even then, the article said, U.S. submarine officers called surface ships "targets".
Posted by: lysias | Mar 4, 2014 6:07:16 PM | 78
For one, according to international treaties *no* carrier (and btw. also no submarine) of zusa could possibly pass the Bosporus.
Of course, zusa doesn't care much about legality but rest assured that some Russian submarines aren't far away from Bosporus. If really needed, those zusa ships wouldn't sink in the black sea but right at the Bosporus exit.
As for the Russian anti ship missiles ...
Yes, they are originally based on the famous Sunburn, but todays missiles are families in their own right. As for the reach of Jachont, there are floating different numbers but ca ~200km is the official number for *export* variants which typically have half of the range (and lower speed, etc.) than the Russian variant.
Considering that Russia tends to tell smaller numbers than real ones, it seems reasonable to assume that modern anti-ship missiles have a reach of 450 - 700 km and fly at speeds of Mach 2,5 - 4.
Furthermore it seems that there is also a cruise missile style variant of the jachont or club missiles with reaches of 1.000 to 1.500 km but considerably lower speeds.
About the smartest of all stupid mil. moves zusa could do is to fake either wanting to go through Bosporus or to go against Syria because both moves would somewhat spread Russias capabilities, albeit at the cost of turning out to be suicidal for zusa.
There are rumours of some kind of blackwater mercenaries going toward Odessa, which sounds at least not completely nonsensical. I would expect, however, that those mercenaries (or cia troups) would find a very bad surprise around Odessa, namely that for some weird reason Odessa turns out to have citizen militias of special forces quality and adequate weapons along with modern equipment.
While I personally very much like that blackwater story to be true (because I love shot zamerican criminals) I can't arrive to believe that zusa would send their guys on a suicide mission. But then, who knows, *every level* of stupidity is imaginable with zamericans ...
Ceterum censeo israel americanamque vehementer delenda esse!
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 6:19:41 PM | 79
@lysias Does that mean we can use submarines? I'm totally ignorant about this stuff; haven't a clue what-all we've got or how well any of it works...
Posted by: Nora | Mar 4, 2014 6:20:23 PM | 80
#78 I recall a story from about 30 years ago when one of big US carriers visited Pear Harbor. There were bands and a lot of hoopla going on and the crew of a submarine put up a big banner of welcome saying "Just another target".
Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 4, 2014 6:29:56 PM | 81
This exchange reminds of another anecdote. After Israel's disastrous war against Hezbollah in 2006 a reporter talked with an IDF commander and he summarized that war with the quip "yes Iran supplied the anti-tank missiles and we supplied the targets".
Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 4, 2014 6:34:49 PM | 83
Yes, yes, everyone loves a magic weapon and a submarine is a magic weapon - to a degree, that is.
But not really. Let's not forget that THE raison d'etre of submarines (at least since after WW II) was to carry a hidden and lethal load of nuclear power. Bunkers are vulnerable and damn fixed in their location. And what if the enemy succeeds with his 1st strike? It's that scenario that submarine designer and strategists had in mind. To have an ace up your sleeve, to have somewhere over the globe your 2nd strike (back) capacity.
Then came, of course, the desire to find and possibly, if needed, kill those nuclear under water bases. So, a new generation and type of submarines was born; and better nuclear carrier with at least some defense capability. And the hunter hunters. And so on.
The Russians made a smart move there, too. By developing missiles that could be fired from torpedo shafts. And, in fact, there exists a Jachont "torpedo launchable" type. Bad thing for oppenents, really bad thing.
And yes, pretty every submarine *can* kill/sink a ship. But at no small risk. And at a high price, nowadays that is. 50 years ago or so, sinking ships was *the* job for submarines. Nowadays it isn't or, well, rarely is.
So, sorry to risk spoiling the fun but *today* submarines aren't what they used to be decades ago. Usually, that is. But those submarines that are build, at least in part, to kill ships will almost always have high value targets on their hit list and not some stinking frigate. Like zusa carriers.
And just btw. as anyone who followed the georgia war might (actually should) have seen, the Russian fleet has some innocent looking almost ridiculously small boaties (you'd hardly call them "ships" unless you saw what they can do ...) that are one hell of a mean guy. Again, thanks to missiles. I'd be way more afraid of one of those than, say, a french corvette. ukraine, as far as I know, also has quite some of those.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 4, 2014 7:03:24 PM | 84
The purpose of big surface ships like carriers seems to be to intimidate and beat up third world countries that can't fight back. I doubt they would be much use against "peer" or "near peer" enemies.
Regarding subs, I've always wondered if someone would ever develop some sort of spy satellite that could see deep under water. I have no technical knowledge so have no idea if such a thing is even possible. But if it is then eventually subs become just targets too.
That is part of the futility of weapons development. Enormous sums of money are spent on weapons that become obsolete in just a few years. And then, they start all over again.
Posted by: Lysander | Mar 4, 2014 7:35:08 PM | 85
So the neo-con rag the New Republic is going to push the "Putin is crazy" meme based upon the bullshit Merkel quote and a deliberately poorly paraphrased translation of Putin's presser.
Oh, don't worry the writer's just
a nice girl neocon war criminal whore who got a Fulbright scholarship from the US State Department to travel live in Moscow - gee, reminds me of Navalny's Yale World Fellowship, huh? - and has been calling Putin insane ever since. Don't worry, she's hated RT for like EVAH and thinks that Ossetia was all Putin's fault. Good doggie. You've earned your grant money!!!
She did a piece for that piece o' shit rag Foreign Policy back in 2012 called - shocker! - Vlad "The Unstable".
Oh, but it looks like she's leading the new neocon propaganda charge.
Here's a piece called "Vladimir Putin "unstable" from another fucking retard yesterday.
Would someone please put these war criminals in a fucking prison somewhere or at least break their fucking fingers so we could all attempt to live in peace?
And it wouldn't be nearly so maddening if it wasn't all so goddamned fucking childishly stoopid and transparent.
Anyone remember the one about Al Gore inventing the Internet? Holy fuck.
Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 4, 2014 8:01:33 PM | 86
Some eerily familiar propaganda nonsense from the above writer in her Vlad the Unstable piece in FP which you can get to if you go through a Google link it seems:
It's not clear who started the violence. There were smoke bombs streaking through the sky in both directions, and the protesters quickly lost their diversity: They became, almost uniformly, angry, young, and male, some of them wearing the signature masks of soccer hooligans. They resisted not only the calls of the police to disperse, but of the organizers to get them into a small camp of tents (an attempt to stay for days, as the protesters in Ukraine's Orange Revolution did in 2004-2005). "Who is that guy in a blue shirt?" one of the protest organizers barked, pointing to a young man who kept stirring up those around him not to move an inch. "He's a provocateur! Get him out of here!"
There were definitely provocateurs in the crowd, but whose? Dmitry Gudkov, a Duma deputy with the Just Russia party who has been active in the protest movement, said afterwards that he heard rumors of officers in the notorious anti-extremism wing of the police briefing a group of soccer hooligans -- the state's weapon of choice -- in a café before the rally began. But that couldn't be confirmed. He himself saw young men in black masks charge the police cordon during the sit-in. But he couldn't confirm whether they were state-hired goons or simply the young men of which the nationalists and anarchists have plenty in their ranks, the young men, full of testosterone, who are only too happy to come out and rage against the machine.
In some ways -- indeed, in all the important ways -- it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the only lasting images -- and memories -- of yesterday's protest will be the blood and the brute force. And, in that, a line has been crossed. The protest movement, once festive and peaceful, then downtrodden but channeled into concrete, effective actions like election monitoring and contesting municipal elections across the country, has become one marked by and met with violence. It has, in other words, entered a period of radicalization, and here's a tell-tale sign: In the run up to Sunday, the organizers of previous rallies pooh-poohed the May 6 event or were on vacation, while the more radical figures in the movement -- like Udaltsov, a Stalinist -- took the wheel. And this, of course, plays right into the hands of Putin and company, who have been insisting for months that radical agents bent on creating chaos and bringing color revolutions to Russia, not the liberal middle class, are the core of the protest movement, and should be quashed like the enemies that they are.
We saw the seeds of this process in the winter. Addressing a pool of Russian journalists on Dec. 24, four days after an estimated 100,000 Muscovites protested on Sakharov Avenue, an unprecedented number for the past two decades, Putin shrugged and said, "there's no one to talk to." In the preceding weeks, he had dismissed the protesters as U.S. State Department pawns, as provocateurs bent on violence, and as the howling, delusional monkeys in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. He even nervously admitted to mistaking the symbol of the protest -- a white ribbon pinned to the lapel -- for a condom. It didn't help, of course, when the protests kicked off Dec. 5, Navalny roared into the microphone with the promise that "we will cut their throats." Or that, in the two days of protests that followed, police arrested nearly a thousand people in Moscow.
Wow, this propaganda whore who is in Russia due to a US State Dept scholarship was writing about the protests in Russia 2 years ago but it sure seems as if she touched upon a number of themes that were present in the fascist Ukraine putsch just a little bit ago? Wow, that's fucking weird, huh?
Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 4, 2014 8:19:34 PM | 87
I meant to highlight this bit of coincidence?:
He even nervously admitted to mistaking the symbol of the protest -- a white ribbon pinned to the lapel -- for a condom.
Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 4, 2014 8:21:23 PM | 88
The EU U.S. Tug Over Ukraine Policy
Great headline, b.
(Tug = Wank in Oz, UK etc)
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 4, 2014 8:23:35 PM | 89
Sorry Mr. P. I really don't think its a crime worthy of four long complaints our discussion of the second most discussed topic on this blog (the NSA leaks and Snowden/Greenwald) as it relates to the current number one topic, Ukraine. I also think that the topic of history is exceptionally important here - as b himself has posted in this OP. The revision of history is crucial to what is happening throughout the former Soviet sphere - and indeed here in the US. And they don't try to call Venezuela, today, "Stalinist" because history is irrelevant.
No one is preventing you from posting your thoughts. I can't be sure about others, but I know I personally would appreciate the same courtesy.
As for the idea that the man who fled his country with all the dignity of a pigeon being chased off of the sidewalk - I truly doubt he is going to return like a colossus with 6 hour ultimatums. Nor do I think there is any chance that Russia will put a bullet in Tymoshenko's head (though I wouldn't be so sure about Olexander Muzychko and Oleh Tyahnybok).
Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4, 2014 8:37:48 PM | 90
I was very disappointed to see Abby Martin step in the dog poo like this. If she gets fired, it will be because she is stupid, not because she is courageous.
Also very disappointed in Craig Murray, the Brit diplomat who was a whistleblower against the West's penchant for propping up despots. Apparently, he retained some of his Western diplomatic biases, since he thinks Putin is occupying Crimea.
Posted by: Linda J | Mar 4, 2014 8:58:45 PM | 91
I wonder how much pressure is being put on Western journalists to, erm, toe the Party line. Money/jobs, or more. Of course, at this point few of them in the US are even capable of understanding the difference between journalism and stenography, but I'm assuming other people elsewhere still do know what they're supposed to be doing.
Posted by: Nora | Mar 4, 2014 9:09:06 PM | 92
@91 Wow. That's a pretty astonishing. That's as clear an example of misapplied courage as I have ever seen.
RT would obviously be crazy to let her go, and to their credit they show no sign of doing so, they're even retweeting her statement. She admitted she should know more about the history of the Ukraine. Perhaps she could learn in the course of doing a series of shows on that history, and how it lead to this western-backed overthrow.
Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4, 2014 10:11:08 PM | 93
Christ, this is simply the best cartoon I have ever seen: (from The Saker)
Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4, 2014 10:20:08 PM | 94
Posted by: denk | Mar 4, 2014 10:38:40 PM | 96
You just cracked me up with that cartoon. It is a really amazing one!
Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Mar 4, 2014 11:42:09 PM | 97
I must however say that as much as I want it to be an exact mirror of the reality unfortunately the cartoon is not. IMO in the best case scenario at least the western part of Ukraine seems to have been lost to the Western imperialism. The question is whether the eastern and southern parts will be lost too or not. I guess one can always hope for the people in the western parts of Ukraine to rise up against the game being played on them; but I doubt that that will happen, not in the short term at least. Once a piece of global geography is lost to the western imperialism, it becomes very difficult for that part to get out of the Western orbit.
So our 'b' believes that the "poor parts" of Ukraine which are worth nothing will be a burden to Europe and the West, while Russia will get the relatively more industrialized East/South, but I am not sure about that. First of all that would be only a best case scenario, and secondly West has no problem with masses of poor people; does EU have any substantial problem with Romania and Bulgaria? The poor population will be just an addition to the reserved industrial army at the disposal of the West and their land could be used as "all inclusive" touristic destinations or even a land of cheap brothels (I hear that Turkish mafia men in particular have a taste for Slavic women) for the West!
Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Mar 5, 2014 12:07:59 AM | 98
Agreed. But age has nothing to do with this. He has always been a "softy". The tough guy act is to disguise the inner lack of strength. He has been shoved into a big role and he performs it to the best of his ability with his mind not his heart. He needs passion and all those other qualities that the West assigns to him, but he really does not possess.
The things are going toward a protracted conflict between the West and East of Ukraine. The West will initially dominate with foreign support. But in due course it should only rekindle the warrior spirit and self-awareness of the East people.
Posted by: CC | Mar 5, 2014 12:25:12 AM | 99
I respect your feelings and thoughts. But you are you and I am me.
All the stupid political discussions like those evidently dear to your heart haven't made the world a better place. Actually they have contributed to make it what it is, a bad place.
Because while you and others get distracted by contemplating farts of politician crooks, media crooks, and "human sciences" blabbers, the obamas, merkels, and other gangsters just happily - and undisturbed - go about their business ruining our world.
My only problem with that is that there are a zillion of blogs and forums where happy little voting, working, and consuming animals believing in the biggest fairy tales ever made up by murderous gangsters, democracy, are happily chatting meaningless details and sidelines, while the little freedom they still have is taken away. And if you told them that are (for their masters) just useful voting, working and consuming animals in an orwellian "democracy" farm they'd stare at you in disgust and - worse - disbelief.
All I wanted was to have ONE fucking place where some really smart people discussed about what really matters.
But then, go ahead and exercise your right in completely meaningless discussions of distractions and sidelines and enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling of being an oh so intellectual individual.
You see it differently? I accept that and wish you good luck.
(Note: This was no personal attack. It was merely my answer to what you said. And actually you got that answer only because I'm convinced that you are *not* stupid.)
This guy always did what he was told and driven to do. Be it by greed for power or money or whatever, or be it by chief crooks. So he will do again what he's told to do; this time by some hope, by his desire to live and by some hints from Putin.
You'd be surprised by what even small people do in the rare moments they understand that their future and possibly their life depends on it.
And anyway in the end it comes down to his habit for many years that is, playing to be someone he isn't. With the notable difference that this time he'll have a really smart director and author.
Whatever. My whole prognosis was made in a rather volatile and de nature difficult to interpret situation. If I am wrong, so be it. Until now my interpretation was quite nicely matching. We'll soon know, anyway.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 5, 2014 12:33:49 AM | 100