Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 30, 2014

Ukraine: Coup-Government Acknowledges Defeat

Pushed by CIA Director Brennan and Vice President Biden the Ukrainian government twice tried to use its military against federalists in the east. The second time, when it pushed to blockade the city of Slovyansk, the Russian Federation announced a snap maneuvers of its border troops and threatened to intervene. Kiev called back its forces and the federalists occupied state buildings in more cities in east. Some 23 cities and towns in the Donbass region, which delivers a third of Ukraine's GDP, are now in their hands. More will be by tomorrow.

The coup government in Kiev has, for now, given up:

Ukraine’s president warned Wednesday that its police and security forces are “helpless” to subdue unrest in the country’s east, even as pro-Russia militants seized government buildings in another city in the restive region.

“I will be frank: Today, security forces are unable to quickly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control,” said acting President Oleksandr Turchynov ...

"Western" media call the protesters in the east "separatists" or "pro-Russian". Those concepts are wrong. Unlike in Crimea there is no majority in the east that wants to join the Russian Federation. These people want autonomous states within the Ukraine with locally elected governments and some control over their foreign relations. They want a federal Ukraine with a weak central government that does not interfere in their affairs.

As things proceed now they may well get what they, and Russia, want. With no authority over the east and no reliable security forces the Kiev government can do nothing to prevent that. The U.S. public is against further U.S. intervention in Ukraine and six month before midterm elections public opinion will for once be noticed. There is also no support in Europe for any escalation like further sanctions on Russia. The "west" and its stooges in Kiev have run out of valid instruments to achieve their goals.

The neocon plan to capture the Black Sea harbor Sevastopol for NATO was defeated when Russia snapped Crimea away. The NATO plan to include Ukraine into its containment ring around Russia has failed. The European Union plan to devour what is left of Ukraine's natural richness is in tatters.

Ukraine will become, as an elder statesman (and war-criminal) adviced two month ago, a finlandized federal nation between the east and the west.

But there are still possible spoilers. The neocons and humanitarian interventionists will fume about their loss and they may still plan some mischief. They could, using their connections with the Ukrainian fascists, try to start a civil war in Ukraine. If only to keep Russia busy and to distracted it from other issues.

Posted by b on April 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

Comments
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I think this quote is one of the most important things right now:

"Western" media call the protesters in the east "separatists" or "pro-Russian". Those concepts are wrong. Unlike in Crimea there is no majority in the east that wants to join the Russian Federation. These people want autonomous states within the Ukraine with locally elected governments and some control over their foreign relations. They want a federal Ukraine with a weak central government that does not interfere in their affairs.

Still the pathetic MSM deny this fact! "pro russian" Give us a break!

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 30, 2014 12:36:19 PM | 1

"Western" media call the protesters in the east "separatists" or "pro-Russian".

Along with "activists", "terrorists", "militias", "militants", "rebels", "gunmen" and "protesters".

I've noticed a distinct lack of coordination from the media on this one compared to, say, Syria. They can't decide what to think; perhaps finding it difficult to draw distinctions between men with guns in Donetsk and men with guns in Kiev. Or perhaps I'm mistaken.

Anyway, the regime is now focusing on 'containment' and making sure that there are enough Ukrainians left to shoulder the terms of the IMF 'rescue' package and enough land and industries to sell off to private investors for debt repayment. I expect that when things really start to pinch, 'containment' will be truly put to the test.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Apr 30, 2014 12:37:06 PM | 2

They don't dare, on pain of the cookie lady's wrath, call them "anti american freedom fighters".

Why does the Western meedja hate the truth?

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Apr 30, 2014 12:41:43 PM | 3

Ukraine is a pseudo-state created in 1918 by the German General Staff. It never was really a country and has largely been the foot stool of various Empires. In the 1200s it was Mongols, 1526 it was a part of a large Polish Republic, then the Russian who took part of it during the Russo-Turkish war 1769-1774. Now it is infested with neo-fascists and Nazis. Political remnants that were keep in check by the past Soviet Empire. The US government has decided to use these elements with its NGOs/CIA entities to topple a democratically elected government. The results $5 billion down the drain. The Kiev coup government will crumble. It has largely been prove to be incompetent and impotent. The disturbing issue is why would the so-called democratic republic, the USA support these people in the first. I am elated that the endeavor of the West in Ukraine is failing. We do not need the rise of Nazism again in Europe. This would not only be bad for the west, but every nation on earth. If we are lucky and if there is any sanity in Washington,DC, we can escape this fiasco without a thermonuclear war.

Posted by: Andre E. Williams | Apr 30, 2014 12:46:42 PM | 4

We do not need the rise of Nazism again in Europe. This would not only be bad for the west, but every nation on earth.

Agreed. This is precisely why the coup government in Moscow must be deposed and the sentiment suggested in #1 above applied to Russia. It should be broken up into sovereign statelets with their own respective local governments and autonomy and the former Russia's nuclear weapons dismantled so such a threat never surfaces again and mankind can finally evolve out of serfdom.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 30, 2014 12:55:03 PM | 5

I do not believe the US will give up easily. It cannot afford to. Like an organized crime syndicate, it cannot allow anyone to defy it. If it does, one will become two, two will become a trickle, then a trickle will become a flood.

My big concern is that the US will organize death squads among the fascists in western Ukraine and sic them on the east. I believe that is current US thinking on counter insurgency tactics. It worked to great "success" in El Salvador, and then in Iraq. I'm not sure it can work in Ukraine, but that doesn't mean they won't try it. US foreign policy machinery loves death squads.

Posted by: shargash | Apr 30, 2014 1:03:44 PM | 6

FEMEN!!

Chaaaaarge!

Lol!

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Apr 30, 2014 1:17:00 PM | 7

@ Shargash

I agree.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 30, 2014 1:25:56 PM | 8

The Ketchup Boy says: "Today Russia seeks to change the security landscape of Eastern and Central Europe, we have to make it absolutely clear to the Kremlin that NATO territory is inviolable we will defend every single inch of it."

What? Ukraine is now inviolable NATO Terrortry?

Russia seeking to change the security landscape of Europe?

Dunno, I thinks the Ketchup Boy is in a wee bit over his head.

Posted by: El Sid | Apr 30, 2014 1:32:55 PM | 9

Golden Cornfield: you and whose army is going to break Russia up into autonomous statelets? Do you have magic, seven-league boots?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 30, 2014 1:37:09 PM | 10

The one thing that will come from the US/NATO defeat in Ukraine and Syria is a change in tactics.

The tactics of color revolutions, murky false flag operations, arming jihadis and funding destabilizing NGOs will no longer work because everybody in the general public realizes that these tactics are really USG operations---they are not genuine, spontaneous expressions of the people in the countries attacked. After having seen the same blueprint followed in country after country, we've finally learned.

As a result, like good followers of Sun-Tzu, the USG planners and strategists will come up with new tactics that have never been tried before. Because the tactics will be new and don't fit the old blueprint, observers will be more apt to argue about what's going on in the countries and wont be able to mobilize public opinion as easily as it is done now.

Russia won the information war in Ukraine and Syria, the US will develop new tactics and technology to counteract the present Russian advantage.

Posted by: ess emm | Apr 30, 2014 1:58:36 PM | 11

@11 Or they might just go back to the old tactic of scaring the pants off Europeans.

Posted by: dh | Apr 30, 2014 2:12:30 PM | 12

@5

The dismantling of Russia would CAUSE serfdom, as the United States would be the sole Global Superpower.

Your russophobia knows no bounds. Russia has many problems but without it there is no counterbalance to the US Empire

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 30, 2014 2:15:49 PM | 13

@11

Youre giving the strategists in the USA too much credit. Its entirely possible that, when faced with the fact that their tactics are not working, they will just DOUBLE DOWN ON THE SAME TACTICS. "If death squad information war and NGOs arnt working, we need MORE death squads, MORE information war, MORE NGOs!!"

Such a phenomenon has been well demonstrated in psychology, if anything such behavior is more common than actually adopting new strategies for dealing with problems.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 30, 2014 2:19:48 PM | 14

"Golden Cornfield: you and whose army is going to break Russia up into autonomous statelets? Do you have magic, seven-league boots?"

It's worse than that. There is a disconnect into seeing the U.S. oligarchs as somehow a different breed from the ones in Russia.

How many countries has Russia invaded re the U.S.? How many times (ok, 50 times by some account) has the U.S. threatened to bomb other nations back to the stone age, and essentially kept people in serfdom re to Russia?

Posted by: erichwwk | Apr 30, 2014 2:28:19 PM | 15

#6 - the one thing going for Ukraine in resisting the push for civil war mounted by the West's neo-liberal plutocracy is that Ukrainians do not seem to have the mind or the stomach for throwing their lives away senselessly. Even the facist of the west do not appear all that keen going on suicide missions. Unlike Iraq and Syria, there are no al-qaeda like, nihilism minded radical youth corps, ready to throw themselves under the gun willy-nilly. Hooligans - yes, corruption - of course - of these there is plenty. But organized death squads? may be not so easy to put together. And suicide bombers? well, they are not Chechen, that's for sure.

Here's my theory: as bad as things were and are for Ukraine economically and socially, the population - while divided - has never descended into the kind of hopelessness that is so essential for producing deep radicalization. Ukrainian society is rather well educated and not insensible. The country, such as it is, has not been colonized so often that the people lost faith in personal prosperity or identity. They have strong and beautiful women and men who are resourceful and not insensibly patriarchal (no sexism intended). Neither is the hold of religion so deep that average folks can be beaten into the kind of fatalism on which violent authocracies thrive. It is a state that's fallen on hard times, but the people are not hopeless. they continue to aspire, even if there are huge obstacles. There is no equivalent of "it's Allah's or God's will". The drug cartels did not take over [yet] and while there is appetite for improvement, there is little for mayhem.

So the crazy neoconized portion of the west finds itself a bit short on semi-crazed, suicidally minded foot soldiers to do its bidding. If there were enough of those we would have already seen many more bodies everywhere. All in all, and at least so far, the body count has been remarkably low, given the tensions, the passions, the external trouble formenting and the availability of weaponry.

Let us hope this stays the case, and Ukrainians - as a whole - on whichever side they are, will have the will and stamina to resist the nefarious plans for turning their young into cannon fodder and their country into a failed state with its resources sold away to the ever-greedy robber barons of the west and east.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Apr 30, 2014 2:30:57 PM | 16

I was about to go berserk at poor old Catcheroftheflies, but then remembered I had better things to do. Like, anything really.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | Apr 30, 2014 2:33:30 PM | 17

shargash @ 6
"...My big concern is that the US will organize death squads among the fascists in western Ukraine and sic them on the east. I believe that is current US thinking on counter insurgency tactics. It worked to great "success" in El Salvador, and then in Iraq. I'm not sure it can work in Ukraine, but that doesn't mean they won't try it. US foreign policy machinery loves death squads."

Agreed. And Obama loves drones; it must be really hard for him to restrain himself from ordering the droning of militia checkpoints and occupied building in the Donbas. I wouldn't be surprised if we learned, when his memoirs are published, that he had used the assassin's joystick himself. As a special treat, maybe on his birthday. Or for Christmas.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 30, 2014 2:56:53 PM | 18

RT editor-in chief Margarita Simonyan today makes a lot of the same points about nomenclature, here:
http://rt.com/op-edge/155960-presenting-lies-facts-propaganda-exposure/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 30, 2014 3:14:08 PM | 19

@11,

As a result, like good followers of Sun-Tzu, the USG planners and strategists will come up with new tactics that have never been tried before.

You flatter them that they can.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 30, 2014 3:20:08 PM | 20

@19

Good article. One that should be printed off and given to high school kids. Physically. Staple it and leave it in the can.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 30, 2014 3:24:30 PM | 21

@6 and @18

"Agreed. And Obama loves drones; it must be really hard for him to restrain himself from ordering the droning of militia checkpoints and occupied building in the Donbas."

And then Putin would send the RF air force to shoot down the US Warship 'fish in a barrel' in the Black Sea. Then wtih the Iksanders, selectively target where ever the drones came from, which would really get EU friends clucking and then Obama and his side of ketchup may cry knuckle.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 30, 2014 4:01:51 PM | 22

Obama Bin Biden has a enormous lack of intelligence, only overcomed by his arrogance.
Perfectly impotent when faces people who are light years ahead.
And we thought that Bush was a moron...
Well, living and learning...

Posted by: Scan | Apr 30, 2014 4:10:16 PM | 23

b has an optimistic view of the current situation. I tend (hope?) to agree with him. This spectacular failure of the current Kiev regime to assert its control over the east does leave open the possibility that a negotiated settlement is still possible. This would of course mean that Ukraine would have to be federalized and its neutrality in foreign affairs written into its constitution.

Now the big unknown is will Obama and Kerry come to their senses? Or will they continue with their meaningless threats and military build up in the bordering countries.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 30, 2014 4:29:05 PM | 24

You know the suggestion made by old N. Holefield | Apr 30, 2014 12:55:03 PM | @5Makes a lot of sense and just needs to be edited and expanded a bit. Thus:

This is precisely why the neocon government in Washington D.C. must be deposed and the sentiment suggested in #1 above applied to the USA. It should be broken up into 50 sovereign statelets each with their own respective local governments and autonomy and the former USA's nuclear weapons dismantled so such a threat never surfaces again and mankind can finally evolve out of serfdom. Perhaps a better idea than dismantling the former USA's nuclear weaponry would be to limit their geographical reach it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to transform intercontinental delivery systems to interstate ones. That way Americans can nuke their neighbours 'til they glow and then shoot 'em in the dark to their hearts' content while the rest of us get on with our lives.

Dubhaltach

Posted by: Dubhaltach | Apr 30, 2014 4:31:40 PM | 25

More stupidity by kiev.

20:18 GMT:

Ukraine has expelled the naval attaché of Russia’s embassy in Kiev, declaring him persona non grata, Interfax news agency reported,

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 30, 2014 4:38:09 PM | 26

i said it before, i'll say it again...there is no consensus for civil war in Ukraine.

“We used to paint a lot. We found an opportunity to paint as much as we could. The art scene can’t change just because some powerful forces are interested in keeping it in this way – the way of human degradation. Not only in art scene, but nothing can change for the better when the worst people of society lead the country.”

(Interesni Kazki)

Posted by: john | Apr 30, 2014 4:49:47 PM | 27

Just so Newbies know: Cold N. Holefield is considered a troll.

Posted by: MRW | Apr 30, 2014 4:52:17 PM | 28

Give Putin a Chance
Russia's annexation of Crimea violated international law, but the West triggered the crisis in Ukraine.

By Hans-Werner Sinn
April 29, 2014
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303939404579531461674343266

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 30, 2014 5:01:08 PM | 29

bevin@18

Compare and contrast the flyweight Nobel Peace Prize Laureate with the greatest, the Heavyweight Champion of the World - 47 years ago, Muhammad Ali refused the draft in Houston.

He electrified me for all time.

Posted by: john francis lee | Apr 30, 2014 5:03:43 PM | 30

@ MRW 28

and what are you considered?

Posted by: john | Apr 30, 2014 5:08:55 PM | 31

I wonder if 'Toad in the hole' believes what he writes, or is he forced labour- maybe his family is under threat from his handlers- and every weasel word and drop of bile is accompanied by silent tears of impotent rage?

Posted by: bridger | Apr 30, 2014 5:12:33 PM | 32

Re: Western media's terms for the Ukrainians in the east of the country resisting Kiev and its actions -- Two days ago I heard an NPR report on what was happening. I swear they called both sides "protesters," and I had no clear idea of who was doing what to whom.

Maybe it was the BB?

Anyway, it was clear the agitprop is just not yet settled on by the PTB's and thus the reporters are sort of, well, floundering. The do so need the clear directives from their masters.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 30, 2014 5:26:41 PM | 33

Posted by: ess emm | Apr 30, 2014 1:58:36 PM | 11

The western color revolution strategy is an incremental adjustment of previous strategies. With each new destabilization, the west reviews the operation, looks at what worked, what didn't, and tries to determine why. When a new destabilization is planned, the previous ones are reviewed to see what of them could be used in the new operation. Specific tactics are formulated for each destabilization based upon what worked in previous ones and adjustments thought necessary to the situation in the new operation. Each one of these is therefore built upon the previous ones. None of these destabilizations involve radical changes from previous. This is a major portion of the work the various western "think tanks" do, which is not published publicly.

It is this predictability inherent in these operations that has now allowed the Russians, and any body else defending against these aggressions, to regularly successfully counter them. Whether the west can change their tactics radically enough to get past this predictability is a question. Looking at the kinds of personalities they prefer to employ, I think they will remain behind now. The west doesn't like to use very creative people, they prefer the predictable and easy to control "team players". Such people find it difficult to think outside the box. It's the basic corporate scenario where loyalty and the ability to follow orders correctly without deviation is the criteria. Creative people are not as easy to control, and the corporate "types" behind all this monopolistic hegemonic garbage have long learned that it's safer, and more profitable in the long run, to stick with the reliable lap dog, rather than gamble on a genius.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 30, 2014 6:10:23 PM | 34

The Vineyard of the Saker has a new situation report up that is very informative.

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/04/ukraine-sitrep-update-april-20-1612.html Ukraine SITREP-update April 30, 16:12 UTC/Zulu: "US/EU Hedgehog scaring techniques"

This part had me in stitches:

"On the same program on Ukie TV which featured Nemtsov, a well-know Ukrainian nationalist, Iurii Lutsenko, seriously declared that the "genetic code of the Ukrainian people give them the ability to live outside lies, whereas the genetic code of childern of Gengis Khan makes them willing to live in lies and spread the patriotic syphillis". His comments about the genetic makeup was made particularly comical since he was sitting next to a Jew (Nemtsov), on a TV show hosted by a Jew (Savik Shuster) and that he was co-organizing the conference which invited Nemtsov to Kiev with another famous Jew (Khodorkovsky). I wonder why these Jews who usually are hyper-sensitive to "genetic" issues all remained silent and smiling when a neo-Nazi nationalist was seriously discussing how the Asia genes of Russians made them different and less capable of opposing lies than the putative Ukrainian "race".

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 30, 2014 6:22:21 PM | 35

31;Well with the NSA,NED,Rockefeller Foundation,The project for a New American Century,VOA,The WH,the Pentagon,the CIA,Congressional critters and their staffs,AIPAC and all its affiliates,etc.,etc.,etc.,they will come up with some diabolical plan to continue to destabilize Ukraine.Expect the worst from the worst.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 30, 2014 6:36:03 PM | 36

Just so Newbies know:

Troll N. Colefield is considered a hole.
And a smart *ss hole at that, definitively not bangable.

Posted by: Sören P. Assbutter | Apr 30, 2014 6:46:20 PM | 37

@10 Rowan Berkely

Maybe NGO boy has read this paper from 2000 by Center for Strategic and International Studies
http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/pm_0124.pdf> The Finlandization of Russia? The
Kremlin's Geopolitical and Geo-economic Choices

I didn't understand Finlandization and ran across that googeling info to enlighten myself.

Posted by: rouge | Apr 30, 2014 7:37:59 PM | 38

@35 "the genetic code of childern of Gengis Khan" Hahaha. Can you imagine how idiotic this must sound to the average Ukrainian? And even to the show host and Khodorkovsky standing there - now do they realize who they have allied themselves with?

It is hilarious to watch these monkeys dance, much like we can sit here watch and watch these goons like Cold Handjob and brb/sts/rbr/foff/stfu/hmm be driven to conniptions by the confluence of their sense of superiority and the fact that they are being beaten - and beaten badly - by those whom they feel themselves innately superior to. They don't know what to do - so they sqwak louder and louder. They double down - much as I'm afraid the US will do. Let's not forget that they are still active in Syria and have now deployed TOW missiles. Some people never learn.

I am hoping that these Ukrainian nationalists have hit their high water mark. Now the tide will reverse, and they'll be driven by their Ukrainian countrymen into a social and political no man's land from which they never return. They'll be forever tainted by their associations with the hated Americans, they'll have endless questions about the Maidan snipers that will hound them, about the Ukraine's gold, about the IMF plans. It seems as though every rightwing movement eventually hits a peak of stupidity and then slowly fades away - how many die in the process, this is the problem. Let's not forget Golden Dawn, assaulting people on Greek television, finally murdering a popular musician - how long after that did the Greek government arrested the lot of them?

These fascists have a definite shelf life. As their powerlessness becomes more and more apparent, we'll start to see, I would guess, rebellions against them even in Kiev and in the central areas, rebellions by people who want to save what is left of Ukraine before these clowns lose it all.

There is something about these types who are driven by their sense of superiority. They seem to lose for exactly the same reasons they tried to win in the first place.

Ah, to get to see Hitler in the bunker, sweating and trembling with the sub-humans closing in on him, put the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger! This is the "Superman"?

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 30, 2014 8:09:25 PM | 39

b - thanks for sharing your viewpoint and perspective. i think this is a positive way to look at it and i would agree. the problem as others point out is how 'big idiot overseas buddy' continues to ramp up the insanity..

@4 Andre E. Williams quote "If we are lucky and if there is any sanity in Washington,DC, we can escape this fiasco without a thermonuclear war."

what would sanity in washington look like? constantly grovelling after campaign funding for the next election? i haven't seen any sanity myself unless that is a form of sanity.

@24 ToivoS quote "Now the big unknown is will Obama and Kerry come to their senses? Or will they continue with their meaningless threats and military build up in the bordering countries."

i think they will continue.. does a leopard change it's stripes?

@28 MRW quote "Just so Newbies know: Cold N. Holefield is considered a troll."

lots of folks here like feeding trolls here too!

Posted by: james | Apr 30, 2014 8:12:37 PM | 40

b’s post and Merlin2@16 give one hope. To be honest I am surprised that Russia has not annexed the Eastern Provinces for no other reason than a secure landline to Crimea. But, this thinking has to be due to US media propaganda and being ruled by Corporatists since the 2000 Coup. It is becoming fairly clear to me that a faction in DC and some Western Oligarchs planned to split Russia off from Europe and destabilize it, again, They did it by supporting the Kiev Putsch and imposing sanctions. This was all to egg on Russia to invade Ukraine and start a new Cold War II and maybe even a hot war. So far, Russia has resisted the bait.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 30, 2014 9:11:56 PM | 41

Posted by: Merlin2 | Apr 30, 2014 2:30:57 PM | 16

Great comment. Young soldiers' refusal to fight is a beautiful thing. The ghosts in WWI trenches are cheering them on.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 30, 2014 10:31:44 PM | 42

Now the big unknown is will Obama and Kerry come to their senses? Or will they continue with their meaningless threats and military build up in the bordering countries.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 30, 2014 4:29:05 PM | 24

I think Obama and Kerry have shown they don't have what it takes to deal with a real adversary like Putin. The West -- if it remains committed to the interests of the global arms and finance industries -- may have to wait this one out and then hire a neocon nutcase President in 2016.

So, good news, two or three years more of relative peace.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 30, 2014 10:47:08 PM | 43

@42

They dont need a nutcase, just a puppet.

Killary Klinton or Jeb Bush would be fine for the elites interests.

Though, then again, Klintons a nutcase, if they do need one...

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 30, 2014 11:32:37 PM | 44

Would it be against etiquette to repost here what I already said to Saker? I guess it would be OK if I squeeze in the link to Saker's latest SITREP. Unfortunately I see scalawag above has already beat me to it. I originally wrote this in response to comments there about the "15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 160 tanks," but it became more general.

Ukraine SITREP-update April 30, 16:12 UTC/Zulu: "US/EU Hedgehog scaring techniques"

There seems to be some kind of military genius at work in the Donbass People's Militia – maybe totally unintentionally. The resistance is now building an iron ring from Mariupol to Donetsk, to Slovyansk, to Lugansk, effectively encircling all of Kyiv's troops and armor in the east. There is a great danger (for the Kyiv junta) that these will fall into the hands of the antifascist resistance. Large parts of the army may simply join the People's Army. There may be enough tanks there to liberate Kiev!

Moscow claimed that there are "15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 160 tanks" in Donbass ready to crush the resistance. This seems to be misinformation from the Russian side. Most are regular Ukrainian Army troops sent to the east to block Russian tank columns. The Ukrainian Army has never allowed itself to be used in the internal political conflict, nor do I think it would now. For internal suppression and oppression NATO has established the Natsionalniy Gvardii (NazGuard).

***

I have been reading on the Slovenian Independence War or "Ten-Day War". In essence the war was about control of border crossings. Initially Slovenia took control of the posts. The Yugoslav Army responded by moving in heavy armor and retaking most of the posts. In the end 4,600 Yugoslav troops were taken prisoner along with much of the heavy armor.

Turchinov's task now is to avoid this scenario. He will have to withdraw all Ukrainian troops, police and border guards from Donbass and set up new border posts and defensive lines in Izyum and in the west. If he succeeds, Donbass will become Russia overnight.

For all of Novorossiya to be liberated the resistance must not play by this book. It is vital that the troops and border controls – with Ukrainian flags and under Kyiv control – be kept in place as long as possible.

In Slovenia the Brioni Accords delayed independence by three months. In retrospect, it may be exactly this delay that led to the total breakup of Yugoslavia.

***

One must not forget, that Putin and Russia took a major step in stabilizing Ukraine by annexing Crimea. If that had NOT happened, Crimean self-defense troops, even regular army troops stationed on Crimea would now be fighting in Novorossiya – perfectly legally under international law!

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 1, 2014 12:28:48 AM | 45

AIPAC's pork barrelers want stiffer sanctions against Russia.

http://rt.com/usa/156008-senate-republicans-russia-sanctions/ Republican senators introduce bill containing harsher sanctions against Russia

Posted by: scalawag | May 1, 2014 1:08:02 AM | 46

@Petri Krohn #44:

I was wondering about those "15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 160 tanks"; thanks for your explanation. (I follow the Saker but rarely read the comments.)

Here's another consideration concerning eastern Ukraine:
Russia and the Ukraine: Military-Industrial Complex Paranoia

Only the quote from the FT (which has a paywall) is noteworthy; the rest is Russophobic. The basic point is that the Ukraine has stopped shipping military parts to Russia, and Russia can't build its own factories for those parts overnight.

@Rowan Berkeley:

Thank you very much for directing us to that lecture by Andrei Fursov. The whole thing is very interesting and informative, but I will just quote something that relates to a point I have made several times here (what I put in boldface relates to my point):

Recently the film-maker Karen Shakhnazarov said something very true when he appeared on TV: “The West never ended the Cold War against Russia. The Soviet Union disintegrated, everything continued.” Brzezinski spoke very honestly in one of his interviews, this was after the Cold War had already ended. He said: “Don’t fool yourself. We are not at war with communism, but with Russia, whatever it may be called.” If he´d said war against “the Russian spirit”, then he would have been practically repeating the words of Churchill, who said in 1940: “We are not at war with Hitler, or even the National-Socialism. We are at war with the German spirit, the spirit of Schiller, so that it may never be revived.” The kind of spiritual castration that was imposed upon the Germans after 1945, that’s what they wanted to do to Russia after 1991. In one of his interviews Alexander Rahr, he’s a kind of German fringe politician, said that many Western politicians and journalist are surprised as to why Russia doesn’t repent. Meaning: Russia lost the Cold War, so they must repent. One more thing he said, for which he was criticized in the West: “For the West the victory over the Soviet Union was no less important, and possibly more important, that the victory over Hitler.” Because Hitler belonged to them. Russia never did.

I should like to track down that Churchill quote. (Would someone reading it out loud while giving a speech be arrested for hate speech, like an EU Parliament candidate recently was in England for quoting Churchill on Islam?)

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 1:26:03 AM | 47

I confess I don't fully understand the situation in Ukraine with the regular army. If they're neutral and sitting this one out, where is this happening and how is it happening and how is it breaking down and when will they make a move - in other words, what will it take for the army to take over the country and restore civil government?

The "genius" that Petri Krohn #44 speaks of is perhaps Igor Strelkov? I'm so behind the curve I only heard of him an hour ago, but this English translation interview from 4 days ago is wonderful to read:

Interview with GRU officer & People's Militia Commander Igor Strelkov

Try this taste and see if you can stay away:

If we were to open fire against mercenaries and extremists in military uniform, we'd be destroying Ukrainian army soldiers at the same time. For the time being, we will not do so. Well, and nor do we want to fire at our brothers. But if this practice continues we will have to do things differently. I'll go back to the destruction of the helicopter as an example. We had the Kramatorsk airfield under observation for several days and had an opportunity to down helicopters carrying personnel. But we selected one which had only the crew on board ; it was a helicopter carrying munitions. We will try to continue operating in this way. But there's no guarantee that today, tomorrow, or the day after, ordinary soldiers might not suffer.

Posted by: Grieved | May 1, 2014 1:37:54 AM | 48

I listened to the Q&A section following Fursov's lecture. He interjects in response to a question:

Any criticism of Russia or Stalin is, in the final analysis, a criticism of Russia. Scratch a Sovietophobe, and you'll find a Russophobe.

bevin should like that. :-)

And goes on to say:

It's completely clear, that the only instance of a successful alternative to the global liberal project was the Soviet project, which [matured? – can't make out a word] with Stalin. Therefore, it is necessary to equate this project with Hitler's… I think that in ten, twelve years, Hitler will be depicted as a victim of Stalinism. Aside from that, one needs to remember that the Third Reich was a common Western project. It solved problems for the West. … Hitler created the first European Union. … Hitler is significantly closer for Europeans than Stalin. Stalin is simultaneously anti-capitalism and a powerful Russia. And Stalin destroyed three times the plans of the globalizers to destroy Russia. So their attitude to Stalin is completely comprehensible. As is the attitude of those in Russia who see in Stalin the peak of power; however, one should not idealize the Stalin epoch, as one should not demonize it. … Stalin made a good number of mistakes, as has any political actor. But what needs to be recognized is that the Stalin epoch is the peak of Russian power, however she is called. To repeat, whatever she's called, she's still Russia. Thus, people who reason soundly, when they compare the Stalin epoch with the Yeltsin period, can figure out [which was better and which was worse – Fursov used some adage I couldn't make out, but I got the basic point].

And on that note, Fursov ends. I'm not saying I agree with the above, but I do find this idea intriguing.

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 3:16:39 AM | 49

Ah, this appears to be the original source of the Fursov talk transcript (which doesn't include the Q&A):

Battleground Ukraine

Never heard of WikiSpooks. They've provided a great service by creating this transcript.

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 3:56:12 AM | 50

The author of the letter Ms. Larisa Shevchenko from the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk, who has mobilized against the coup activities on the Maidan in Kiev since December last year and so is familiar with the developments in her country firsthand:

Dear citizens of Germany!
On behalf of the people of Donbas I turn to you with a request for support. As you know: events have taken place in recent months in Ukraine which caused great agitation and unrest all over the world.
We live here in Ukraine and know very well that the reports that have been sent by Ukrainian and Western media from Ukraine and are still being sent, do not correspond to the truth.

In these reports the events in Kiev are described as a democratic movement, expression of the popular will and peaceful revolution, the events in the southeastern regions of the country on the other hand as illegal activities by separatists and collaborators.

In reality, the citizens in the southeast of our country have taken to the street since December 2013 as a counterpoint to the Maidan under the slogan “against EU”, “against the interference of the West in the Ukrainian politics”, “against the disorder on the Maidan”; we are against the illegal actions of people on the Maidan, we support the Berkut units and our conscripts.


The media have intentionally concealed or misrepresented these facts and referred to us as “paid activists from Yanukovych”.

At present, the situation has escalated – in recent months, many thousands of Ukrainian citizens demanded a referendum because in Chapter 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution the federalization of all regions is provided.

But the self-proclaimed government in Kiev did not hear us! On our protests we have pointed out that the self-proclaimed government is not recognized by us as legitimate as the constitutional procedure of impeachment of a president and his cabinet has not taken place.

The longer, the more clearly it was for us that we are simply ignored by Kiev and obviously not considered part of the Ukrainian people.

The junta has their own plans about us and is not even hiding them! 


We,the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, are threatened with total annihilation!

From this understanding of the situation, our leaders in the cities have made the decision to occupy administration buildings in order to attract the attention of the world community.

The internationally-notorious US private (but thePentagon-sponsored) “paramilitary business”, in other words, the “machinery business”, called Blackwater, Xe, or Greystone (but all three names belong to a same mother organization) present in Ukraine ever since the US-backed coup had begun last November 2013.

In response, Kiev sent the army, special units of the police, heavy military equipment and mercenaries of a private American security company (Greystone ), which is involved in a lot of scandals. They have permission to shoot sharp.

The Special Forces “Berkut” and “Alfa” have already officially denied the criminal orders of arsenic Awakow and stood by the side of the people, and we are sure that the army will also not fire on peaceful people.

But the mercenaries scare us! We have already seen what they have done on the 18 – 20th February on the Maidan.

I turn to you, to all citizens of Germany, as a country that has managed to free itself from fascism and defeat it.

Under the leadership of the U.S. and the EU, a whole generation of neo-Nazis has grown in Ukraine that are prepared to eradicate all those who in their opinion do not belong to the “master race”.

They demand without fear to destroy Russians and Jews, poison us with chemicals in drinking water (through shale gas extraction in the district Donetsk and Kharkov by fracking), they left us without work and as a result with no means of survival.

Members of the “right sector” come to our cities and destroy the monuments of the Soviet soldiers, beat and humiliate our veterans of World War II.

To whom shall we turn and ask for support, if not to you, to the German people ? We ask you not to conceal the appeal of the Ukrainian people, but to publish and distribute, so that this cry will be heard by the whole world.

As proof of our peaceful intentions and the very broad support of our movement in the population I have collected video material. 


We are writing to you with the request to support our efforts for a referendum because we understand that a peaceful solution to the conflict is no longer possible otherwise.

The junta is not interested in such a solution and is apparently ready to shed a lot of blood of peaceful people in Ukraine. In view of the fact that our media belong to powerful oligarchs, I am convinced that the world public has been presented false information and invented facts about the conflict in Ukraine and will obviously continue to receive such.

An information blockade has been imposed against the Ukraine; all Russian channels were switched off, the servers and email accounts are hacked and controlled, informations and videos on YouTube are blocked and deleted. For the rest of the world it is very difficult with the available information to obtain an adequate assessment of the situation in Ukraine. Currently in Ukraine is a whole army of “experts” and special agents on the go who just think up “news”.

Let´s remember the Crimea. The whole world has been able to watch that the referendum on the Crimea was held according to global standards and without violations. The election observers and OSCE mission themselfes could see that informations from Kiev doe not nearly correspond to reality.

The same should now also take place in the southeast of Ukraine. 


We, the citizens of Donbas, count on your reason and adequate help.

In behalf of the people, Yours faithfully!
http://www.4thmedia.org/2014/05/01/urgent-request-for-help-from-ukraine/

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2014 4:26:27 AM | 51

Virgile29, good catch
Sinn is probably Germany's most conservative economist, at least with high public profile. This article makes too much sense for US policy makers to consider it, but I think Germany and Great Britain are both thinking along these lines, even though they can't discuss it publically. Sinn is a deep insider with Merkel's Christian Democratic Party's fiscal conservatives, and often represents their views in newspaper article and speeches. Here, it's certain he's representing Merkel's position.

"...

However, it must be borne in mind that the present crisis was triggered by the West. The overtures made by NATO to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in recent years effectively threatened to encircle Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the only ice-free port at its disposal.

If U.S. President Barack Obama believes that Russia is just a regional power that will have to put up with this, he is wrong. Russia has protested as energetically as the U.S. did at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. Moscow used a referendum as its instrument in Crimea, but things could have been far uglier..."

"...In 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a free trade area stretching to Vladivostok from Lisbon. What happened? The EU worked on a free-trade agreement with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia instead. This only increased Moscow's nervousness, because it implicitly posed the threat of customs barriers for Russia.

Free trade with a country specialized in commodities, such as Russia, that complements the West's specialization in manufacturing, promises major trade gains that would be much greater than the benefits of trade between similar economies alone. EU politicians are currently negotiating a free-trade deal with the U.S., which would bring benefits to the countries involved. But the inclusion of Russia in a free-trade agreement could turn out to be a real gold mine for all parties. Free trade is no zero-sum game; everybody stands to gain. It enables the specialization and division of labor, which is the source of prosperity. Even countries with scant political affinities can engage in free trade and, by creating interdependencies, free trade also promotes peace.

Germany has no discernible Russia policy to date, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel is very familiar with the country. In the interest of preserving peace in Europe, it is high time for Berlin to actively pursue a strategy of convincing the EU bodies to forge good neighborly relations with Russia, and with Ukraine and the other countries situated between the power blocs...."


Posted by: okie farmer | May 1, 2014 5:07:06 AM | 52

The author of the letter Ms. Larisa Shevchenko from the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk, who has mobilized against the coup activities on the Maidan in Kiev since December last year and so is familiar with the developments in her country firsthand:
Dear citizens of Germany!
On behalf of the people of Donbas I turn to you with a request for support. As you know: events have taken place in recent months in Ukraine which caused great agitation and unrest all over the world.
We live here in Ukraine and know very well that the reports that have been sent by Ukrainian and Western media from Ukraine and are still being sent, do not correspond to the truth.
In these reports the events in Kiev are described as a democratic movement, expression of the popular will and peaceful revolution, the events in the southeastern regions of the country on the other hand as illegal activities by separatists and collaborators.
In reality, the citizens in the southeast of our country have taken to the street since December 2013 as a counterpoint to the Maidan under the slogan “against EU”, “against the interference of the West in the Ukrainian politics”, “against the disorder on the Maidan”; we are against the illegal actions of people on the Maidan, we support the Berkut units and our conscripts.
etc
http://www.4thmedia.org/2014/05/01/urgent-request-for-help-from-ukraine/

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2014 5:11:44 AM | 53

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 30, 2014 11:32:37 PM | 43

My background assumption is that it's difficult to get past the dependence of Germany and much of the EU on Russian gas, and that the world's best economic growth is on the eastern edge of the Eurasian landmass, so there is and will be strong momentum for Europe increasingly to orient itself toward a Eurasian economic community and away from the US/EU combination.

To pull Europe back toward a less and less profitable U.S. embrace, it's gonna take some very expansive militarism based on some sort of deranged U.S. war. I think the PTB is on the lookout for someone willing or stupid enough to do start, fairly quickly, an incredibly stupid and wasteful (i.e., incredibly profitable for the military-industrial complexes in the U.S. and EU) war like GWB Jr. did when he invaded Iraq and re-balanced the Middle East toward Iran. Hilary is probably too connected to reality to go along with that sort of thing.

Posted by: fairleft | May 1, 2014 7:49:53 AM | 54

Ah, this appears to be the original source of the Fursov talk transcript (which doesn't include the Q&A): Battleground Ukraine. Never heard of WikiSpooks. They've provided a great service by creating this transcript. Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 3:56:12 AM | 49
No, Demian, he copied it from New Insight's youtube publication of the original video. First, they subtitled the video, then they copied their own subtitles line by line to give us a continuous transcript, and posted it in the form of four long comments beneath the youtube video. The I copied it for Niqnaq, in my own way, and Wikispooks copied to for his project, in his own way. You can confirm all this for yourself by looking at the youtube page: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXLUJpqaQpY

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | May 1, 2014 8:36:04 AM | 55

fairleft53
I think you're wrong about Hillary. She's supported every 'deranged' war from the beginning of her political career. Yes, she's in bed with Wall St oligarchs, but they in turn are in bed with the MIC.

Her mishandling the Benghazi affair gives me no confidence she "connected to reality". Why on earth did she go with the WH talking points on Benghazi (the anti-Muslin film) instead of insisting on simply telling the truth? If she becomes prez, she'll be just as lost as O on FP.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 1, 2014 8:49:17 AM | 56

Not a bad analysis for an alleged CIA disinfo site, quite reasonable: Armageddon Warned Near As Russia Orders “All-Out War” On Petrodollar


An ominous new report prepared by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on President Putin’s order yesterday to accelerate the opening of the St. Petersburg Exchange (SPE), where prices for Russian oil and natural gas will be set in rubles instead of US dollars, is warning that this “catastrophic blow” to the petrodollar amounts to nothing less than “all-out war” against the West and that an “Armageddon response” from the Obama regime should be expected to swiftly follow.

According to this report, Putin’s order regarding the SPE was in direct response to the Obama regimes placing sanctions yesterday upon Igor Sechin the CEO of the Russian energy giant Rosneft and a nominated board member of the SPE, and of which Deputy Minister for foreign relations, Sergey Ryabkov, had warned: “A response of Moscow will follow, and it will be painfully felt in Washington DC.”

Sechin, this report notes, was directly threatened by the Obama regime earlier this month due to his October 2013 remarks at the World Energy Congress in Korea where he called for a “global mechanism to trade natural gas” and went on suggesting that “it was advisable to create an international exchange for the participating countries, where transactions could be registered with the use of regional currencies”.

Furious Putin Orders “Project Double Eagle” To Destroy US, EU Economies


n one of its most shocking reports since the beginning of the Ukrainian Crisis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is warning today that President Putin has ordered the immediate implementation of “Project Double Eagle,” which when fully realized will cause all global energy supplies to be purchased in gold thus, in effect, ending the US Dollar reign as the global reverse currency and collapsing both the United States and European Union economies.

“Project Double Eagle,” this report says, calls for The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) to begin production of 5 Ruble Gold Coins containing .1244 Troy Ounces of .900 Pure Gold, with a diameter of 18mm, emblazoned with a shielded and crowned double eagle, and which will become the worlds alternative to both the US Dollar and Euro in purchasing energy supplies.

Critical to note, this report continues, “Project Double Eagle” includes the creation of a new “national payment settlement system” which will allow Russia to build a foundation that could very soon offer an alternative to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) banking system and allow nations around the world the chance to move away from the American Dollar and US hegemony...

Aside from Putin’s implementation of “Project Double Eagle,” this report notes, he further ordered Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia and all of Eastern Europe, to halt the issuance of consumer loans in foreign currency, a move the highly influential American financial website Zero Hedge warned “[lit] the fuse that takes away Russia's choice whether or not to depart the petrodollar voluntarily, and makes it a compulsory outcome.”

Important to note about SWIFT, this report says, is that it is the “glue” that holds the global monetary system to the US Dollar and that this “bank of central banks” works as the medium for currency exchanges, and has been the pivot point for global commodity and energy transactions tied to the reserve currency, but which a Russian system based on gold would “destroy in a fortnight.”..

To sustain “Project Gold Eagle” against the inevitable US-EU backlash, this report notes, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is reporting that the Natalka Project has already begun production and is able to supply the CBR with an “endless supply” of gold to further the success of this new global currency for energy supply purchases...

Posted by: ProPeace | May 1, 2014 8:56:45 AM | 57

@scalawag:

"Whether the west can change their tactics radically enough to get past this predictability is a question. Looking at the kinds of personalities they prefer to employ, I think they will remain behind now. The west doesn't like to use very creative people, they prefer the predictable and easy to control 'team players'. Such people find it difficult to think outside the box. It's the basic corporate scenario where loyalty and the ability to follow orders correctly without deviation is the criteria. Creative people are not as easy to control, and the corporate 'types' behind all this monopolistic hegemonic garbage have long learned that it's safer, and more profitable in the long run, to stick with the reliable lap dog, rather than gamble on a genius."

Wow, scalawag! You really hit the nail on the head there. In fact, not only does this give a good account of what went wrong with our foreign policy; to a large extent, "corporate types" are what's wrong with our entire country.

Posted by: James Patrick | May 1, 2014 9:04:37 AM | 58

More interesting news from the SF realm:
US Spy Drone Shot Down Over Northern Fleet Base Alarms Russia

Posted by: ProPeace | May 1, 2014 9:08:52 AM | 59

Very good, but sad: Chris Hedges: The Crime of Peaceful Protest

Posted by: ProPeace | May 1, 2014 9:11:31 AM | 60

Meet the global elite, your masters, drowned in human blood, sacrifice, suffering, sweat and tears. Staying away from the limelight they've been breeding, funding, sending radicals, fanatics, extremists, barbarians, terrorists, mercenaries, commandos, criminals to destroy Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Russia in order to create "friendly" business conditions for their operations aimed at eventually dominating the whole human race. Isn't it the high time to hold these masters of puppets finally responsible? Chuck Hagel meets with BRT executives over sanctions on Russia: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel received on March 19 the CEOs of the Business Roundtable to discuss economic sanctions against Russia. This discreet encounter is not listed on either the Secretary of Defense’s website or on the BRT’s. Business Rountable is the largest business association in the United States. It represents a third of the market capitalization of the country.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 1, 2014 9:19:36 AM | 61

"...Any criticism of Russia or Stalin is, in the final analysis, a criticism of Russia. Scratch a Sovietophobe, and you'll find a Russophobe...."

Demian, there is some truth in this. But it is not true of the most significant critics of Stalin and the Soviet Union which his faction within the Bolshevik party built and, in the end, ushered to its destruction.

I am referring to those who criticised Stalin for his policy errors. The basic problem with Stalin and his friends is that they always underestimated the malevolence of capitalist governments and it was this that cost so many millions of lives.
I have not made any detailed study of Soviet diplomacy but I am sure that any such study of foreign policy in the 1930s up until Munich, including the Spanish crisis, will detail the timidity and conservatism which characterised it.

Of course this caution had a lot to do with the Stalin faction's pre-occupation with keeping power by getting rid of any critics. Much of this witch hunting through the ranks of the party and well beyond was aimed at preventing discussion of the failures of Soviet policy in China-where the Communist party was almost wiped out by Chiang, who was backed by the Soviet Union- Spain and the Popular Front policies.

Stalin's stance was that Europe's liberals were allies in the fight against fascism and that socialist policies could be "put on hold" until fascism was defeated. It was tragically mistaken, Russia's isolation and debility today flowed from it.

Then there was the pact with Hitler in 1939, which stemmed, essentially, from Moscow finally realising that the Poles and their western european allies would never commit themselves to an alliance with the Soviet Union. And ended in Stalin's complete refusal to understand Hitler's intentions and to credit the intelligence which insisted that millions of men, horses, arms and ammunition were massing on his borders.
I know that there are those who see this as just evidence that Stalin was playing a deep game- that he knew of Barbarossa and allowed it to develop in order to stretch German lines of communication etc. But that is incredible. If true, given the vast number of "pawns" sacrificed between the Polish border and Moscow's outskirts, it would give real substance to the "Stalin as Monster" charges.

Fursov exemplifies the contradictions in the position of Russian nationalists without domestic policy programmes. His nationalism in the end consists of chest beating "We are all proud Russians!" It is a very old nationalism but by 1917 it had become hollow as the reality that underneath this exemplary nation there are class differences, that Mr Oligarch with his Mayfair properties and his harem in Nice, all financed by his "ownership" of the mineral rights of the Eurasian heartland, has very different interests from the great mass of the Russian people. They may be his brothers but they are also his victims and slaves.
And that is the question that has been framed, since Tsar Nikolai's day as "What Is To Be Done?"

Posted by: bevin | May 1, 2014 10:07:37 AM | 63

Demian @ 49: Thanks for the link. Credible? Who knows, but a good read.

Posted by: ben | May 1, 2014 10:22:24 AM | 64

Steiner ‏@Steiner1776 11m
Urgent! #Ukraine Reports of armored vehicles on the way to #Donetsk via @PaulaSlier_RT

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2014 10:27:38 AM | 65

Couple of developments the OP has missed. One - over the past 12 hours, both Ukrainian and Russian media sources are reporting a "war-to-end-all-wars" security operation by Ukraine against the "separatists" in Slavjansk and elsewhere scheduled for May 2. So we shall see what happens there.

Second, as of 24 hours ago Ukrainian Kiev-aligned media began to report that the government is "considering" doing a sort of a...they're not calling it a referendum, but rather a "consultative poll" on Ukraine's "territorial integrity". In other words, pre-empting the referendum in the eastern regions with a non-binding (underline that) referendum of their own. Presumably this would have to be approved by parliament and run ahead of the presidential vote on the 25th, but who knows. I suspect they're in ad-lib mode, trying to control the situation while also keeping the U.S. off their back.

Which you have to understand. They need U.S. support for things like money, but at the same time they probably don't want to do EXACTLY what the U.S. is telling them (which is to crush the rebellion with tanks, or some variation thereof), because that puts them personally in danger (plus not every security unit is actually keen to carry out its orders). Hence the stop-start nature of "counterterrorist operations". We'll see how things transpire tomorrow, hopefully won't turn into a total bloodbath.

Posted by: Angry Panda | May 1, 2014 10:27:56 AM | 66

Patrice ‏@jsnyder555 8m
“@rozakazancctv: "We are because we don't support the govt in Kiev that came to power through violence" #Donetsk pic.twitter.com/bn7V8T9oGe”

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2014 10:32:28 AM | 67

Quote from the "Saker" blog: " Too bad that a parasitical plutocracy of 1% has put a non-entity like Obama in power."

I, and many Americans, agree.

Posted by: ben | May 1, 2014 10:36:38 AM | 68

Donetsk storming of prosecutors office
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwkvJ6XpRtQ&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: brian | May 1, 2014 10:41:27 AM | 69

A good movie about this very same topic is The Russian Ark, by Alexander Sokurov

Posted by: Mina | May 1, 2014 10:50:10 AM | 70

Sorry, forgot to ref #46

Posted by: Mina | May 1, 2014 10:50:34 AM | 71

Posted by: James Patrick | May 1, 2014 9:04:37 AM | 57

Yeah, that was a great paragraph by scalawag. I think the other aspect of that is that the current 'leaders' are products of the intellectual conformity and lack of depth and diversity in academia, which got much worse in US universities from the late 1970s early 1980s. (Especially in economics!) Doing well in that environment requires excruciating conventional opinion conformity, especially (let's say) from the time you enter an elite law school. You can't have 'off the wall' ideas and continue to ascend... Everyone Obama's age or younger is a 'victim' of that anti-intellectual elite academic culture.

Of course the above has always been the case to a degree, but it was much less so in 1960s and into the 1970s, for the usual 'crazy 60s' reasons, and it was different for several decades prior to the 1950s crack down on 'commies' in academia. And off-campus intellectual culture was certainly stronger before the age of Reagan and Rambo.

Posted by: fairleft | May 1, 2014 11:14:19 AM | 72

Long time reader, first time poster.

Just saw this on CNN and it was too hilarious not to share. They start the video off by showing a 'Russian father' teaching his 6 year old son how to smoke, then it segue ways into a generic 'don't smoke around your kids' message.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2014/04/29/wallace-smoke-orig-cfb.cnn.html

Posted by: WG | May 1, 2014 11:41:39 AM | 73

@56 Hard to know what to think about 'Project Double eagle' (if it's true). On the one hand it should mean a rise in the price of gold (more users).....but increased production could have the reverse effect. Good article on Russian gold production here....

http://goldminersreport.com/library/from-russia-with-gold/

Posted by: dh | May 1, 2014 11:43:24 AM | 74

@fairleft no. 71

And off-campus intellectual culture was certainly stronger before the age of Reagan and Rambo.

Yes.

Just a small observation--30 or 40 yrs ago in Greyhound bus stations there would be a rack of books for sale which would include Vonnegut, Heller, and Kesey, and people on the buses or in the waiting rooms would actually be reading books. Not so much anymore.

Posted by: sleepy | May 1, 2014 12:05:47 PM | 75

“We are not at war with Hitler, or even the National-Socialism. We are at war with the German spirit, the spirit of Schiller, so that it may never be revived.”

That doesn't sound like Churchill to me, in fact it sounds to me like the opposite of what he would have said. And it also sounds like something Goebbels or somebody else in his Ministry of Propaganda would have made up and put in Churchill's mouth.

Posted by: lysias | May 1, 2014 12:25:25 PM | 76

If the Ukraine loses control over the eastern part then the IMF won't lend Ukraine $ 17 billion. That's ZEROHEDGE's take on the news. Source:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-30/imf-approves-loan-pay-ukraines-gazprom-bill

No wonder violence flares up again in eastern Ukraine. Source:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-01/meanwhile-donetsk-its-getting-ugly-here-live-feed

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2014 12:27:24 PM | 77

"Referendum coming soon":
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-30/peoples-republic-donetsk-unveils-independence-referendum-set-may-11th

Posted by: Willy2 | May 1, 2014 12:29:26 PM | 78

Something like Project Double Eagle, if it is real, would go a long way towards explaining the desperate moves the U.S. has been making over Ukraine.

Posted by: lysias | May 1, 2014 12:31:02 PM | 79

The mask is now officially off.

http://news.yahoo.com/nato-official-russia-now-adversary-150211090--politics.html NATO official: Russia now an adversary

"NATO's second-ranking official says Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine have compelled the U.S.-led alliance to start treating Russia as more of an enemy than a partner."

And what an incredibly ugly visage it reveals.

Posted by: scalawag | May 1, 2014 12:40:36 PM | 80

For those who understand German:

Edward Snowden: Befragung durch NSA-Untersuchungsausschuss - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Es sei bereits eine "strafbare Handlung", so der US-Jurist, wenn der "Haupttäter" (gemeint ist Snowden, Anm. Redaktion) etwa durch deutsche Parlamentarier veranlasst werde, geheime Informationen preiszugeben. Gegebenenfalls könne das als "Diebstahl staatlichen Eigentums" gewertet werden. Je nach Faktenlagen könnten Strafverfolger gar von einer "Verschwörung" (conspiracy) ausgehen.

This so called expertise explained that interviewing Snowden could be considered theft or even conspiracy. Meaning that the immunity of German Parlamentarians might not be respected if the travel to the US.

Posted by: Fran | May 1, 2014 1:19:32 PM | 81

scalawag 79

Crazy statement and show that nato have no intent to deescalate.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2014 1:30:58 PM | 82

Fuck the psyop Edward Snowden as it's reported he's about to dump a bunch of shit a la Assange/the Syria files. Gee, isn't that odd? I would have never guessed he would do that. Fuck him.

Posted by: JSorrentine | May 1, 2014 1:51:13 PM | 83

@75, if you google that quote you get four hits, all of recent vintage in re Ukraine. Nothing earlier than April, nothing from a Churchillian archive or WWII war history.

Posted by: ruralito | May 1, 2014 1:54:00 PM | 84

@lysias #75:

Hehe, if it doesn't sound like Churchill, that's because he speaks of "the spirit of Schiller" instead of "the land of the Hun".

But I have a feeling that you're probably right. A google search for that quotation only came up with references to Fursov's talk (not that that definitively settles the matter).

My experience is that many Russians, including Fursov, have pet weird, conspiracy-like theories. Fursov is no exception. Fursov also claims that the Yellowstone supervolcano poses an imminent danger and would solve Western elites' problems, filling the sky with ash for years. In the post on his blog, Rowan tags that as "disinformation", but from the Q&A, it is clear that Fursov is serious.

@bevin #62:

Yes, Fursov is definitely a nationalist. I would say that he is a cruder nationalist than Alexander Dugin, for example. As for your comments on Stalin's foreign policy, you may well be right. I know very little about the subject. Coming from a White Russian background, I have avoided learning much about Stalin, since I found the whole subject too unpleasant.

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 2:00:44 PM | 85

"...Of course the above has always been the case to a degree, but it was much less so in 1960s and into the 1970s, for the usual 'crazy 60s' reasons, and it was different for several decades prior to the 1950s crack down on 'commies' in academia. And off-campus intellectual culture was certainly stronger before the age of Reagan and Rambo."
fairleft@71

It was even true of the 40s and even the 50s, thanks to the GI Bill influxes and the rearguard action, in culture, against McCarthyism.

You are quite correct: those (Obama's years in college) were the worst of times. Even today when things are in reality much worse there is the saving grace that nobody takes these whoring academics seriously any more unless they prove themselves different.

No comment on the "psyop" charge @82.
No evidence: no contradiction.

Posted by: bevin | May 1, 2014 2:01:12 PM | 86

It seems to me possible that the Churchill quote is real. He wrote an awful lot of books, including a so-called "History of the 20th Century." Now, anodynely-named 'ProPeace' person, once again you have posted things that to the practiced eye (and I claim to have one of these) are obvious fabrications. There is no melodramatically-named "Project Double Eagle". This is all juvenile fantasy. And no one is about to "switch off the Internet". You do pick the crappiest sources. Veterans Today is entirely composed of bullshit, I bet I can get a majority agreement here upon that proposition. If this was Saker's blog, he would ask users in general (carefully impersonal) to be more polite than this. But it
really annoys me to have to constantly bat away these flies with their aimless buzzing, like you.
)-:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | May 1, 2014 2:05:38 PM | 87

"Then there was the pact with Hitler in 1939, which stemmed, essentially, from Moscow finally realising that the Poles and their western european allies would never commit themselves to an alliance with the Soviet Union. And ended in Stalin's complete refusal to understand Hitler's intentions and to credit the intelligence which insisted that millions of men, horses, arms and ammunition were massing on his borders."

This is idiotic. Stalin, most Russians, knew precisely Hitler's intentions. They had recently defeated the Whites; of course they knew what Hitler was up to.

"The basic problem with Stalin and his friends is that they always underestimated the malevolence of capitalist governments and it was this that cost so many millions of lives."

Backwards nonsense. The evidence is exactly the opposite.

http://stalinsmoustache.org/2011/08/23/in-defence-of-stalin/

Posted by: ruralito | May 1, 2014 2:19:24 PM | 88

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 3:16:39 AM | 48

Yes, I think a useful analogy here is the US treatment of Nicaragua under the Sandinistas back in the 80s. It was necessary to demonize them by branding them as Communists and Soviet allies, even though the Sandinistas were neither.

The branding served to justify the terrorist war the US funded and supported against Nicaragua. It's not about Communism, real or alleged, it's about a country, any country striking out on its own terms, independent of the Empire.

It's also the central dilemma of the left as events in Venezuela illustrate. Under the rule of the Empire, to what degree can any country (that doesn't possess nuclear weapons) defy the Empire? Worse still (as far as the Empire is concerned), actually try and build a socialist, or at least leaning towards socialism, society?

Clearly, it will not be permitted. The same applies to the rise of Stalinism. To what degree was the West responsible for Stalinism by not allowing the young, Soviet Republic to do its socialist thing? Instead, we invaded, blockaded and isolated the country. In other words, we created the right pre-conditions for a man like Stalin to do his thing. And there can be no doubt that tens of thousands of people quite happily carried out the instructions of Stalin/Communist Party. Stalin didn't do it by himself and archives of regional Communist Parties from the 1930s that survived the war, bear this out.

Moreover, those same archives reveal that much depended on where you lived and who your friends were (or your enemies) as to whether you survived the purges and ideological realignments.

It's an unfortunate reality that we live, and always have lived, in a capitalist world. But for seventy-odd years there was a (nuclear-armed) alternative that gave us Western lefties a false sense of security as well as a convenient whipping boy for our failings, not those of the Soviets!

Now the awful reality of what a pre-Soviet world looks like, a world that Queen Victoria would be quite at home in.

Posted by: William Bowles | May 1, 2014 2:31:07 PM | 89

It's not Russia that's pushed Ukraine to the brink of war
The attempt to lever Kiev into the western camp by ousting an elected leader made conflict certain. It could be a threat to us all

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

...
So you don't hear much about the Ukrainian government's veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government's ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west's attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

Posted by: Virgile | May 1, 2014 2:36:28 PM | 90

@William Bowles #89

The branding served to justify the terrorist war the US funded and supported against Nicaragua.

I'm embarrassed to say that I fell for that. Now I don't know how I could have done that, given that I knew the Viet Cong were basically nationalists, not "communists". I'd attribute it to the darkness of the times, with the Internet still available only to people at universities, but that's just making excuses.

You make excellent points.

To get back to Ukraine: the NY Times has finally mentioned the three captured Ukrainian special ops officers. Reportedly, two of them were swapped for prisoners held by the putsch regime.

In a separate report from Interfax, the pro-Russian movement in Slovyansk said that it had freed two of three captured members of the Ukrainian security services in exchange for the release of an unspecified number of its own activists. The report could not be immediately confirmed by independent sources. Continue reading the main story

In a video posted online earlier this week, the three men were shown beaten and bloodied. They were filmed wearing nothing more than their shirts and underwear, with blood oozing from behind the duct tape covering their eyes.

Posted by: Demian | May 1, 2014 2:54:58 PM | 91

Paul Craig Roberts: Moving Closer To War:

The Obama regime, wallowing in hubris and arrogance, has recklessly escalated the Ukrainian crisis into a crisis with Russia. Whether intentionally or stupidly, Washington’s propagandistic lies are driving the crisis to war. Unwilling to listen to any more of Washington’s senseless threats, Moscow no longer accepts telephone calls from Obama and US top officials. The crisis in Ukraine originated with Washington’s overthrow of the elected democratic government and its replacement with Washington’s hand-chosen stooges. The stooges proceeded to act in word and deed against the populations in the former Russian territories that Soviet Communist Party leaders had attached to Ukraine. The consequence of this foolish policy is agitation on the part of the Russian speaking populations to return to Russia. Crimea has already rejoined Russia, and eastern Ukraine and other parts of southern Ukraine are likely to follow. Instead of realizing its mistake, the Obama regime has encouraged the stooges Washington installed in Kiev to use violence against those in the Russian-speaking areas who are agitating for referendums so that they can vote their return to Russia. The Obama regime has encouraged violence despite President Putin’s clear statement that the Russian military will not occupy Ukraine unless violence is used against the protesters. We can safely conclude that Washington either does not listen when spoken to or Washington desires violence.

As Washington and NATO are not positioned at this time to move significant military forces into Ukraine with which to confront the Russian military, why is the Obama regime trying to provoke action by the Russian military? A possible answer is that Washington’s plan to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base having gone awry, Washington’s fallback plan is to sacrifice Ukraine to a Russian invasion so that Washington can demonize Russia and force a large increase in NATO military spending and deployments.

In other words, the fallback prize is a new cold war and trillions of dollars more in profits for Washington’s military/security complex.

Posted by: lysias | May 1, 2014 2:59:52 PM | 92

The prelude to the war: The NATO Economy, the solution to the U.S. crisis


New Secretary of State John Kerry’s first contacts were not devoted to the Asia pivot (transfer of U.S. forces to the Far East) or the partition plan for the Middle East, but to the creation of a NATO economy, without arousing the slightest concern in Europe. However, should it be implemented quickly, this project would solve the economic crisis in the United States at the expense of Europeans.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 1, 2014 4:02:26 PM | 93

Re #92

I think Roberts is wrong here; I think it was entirely the intention of the Empire, either to directly annex the Ukraine to USEUNATO or failing to do that directly, provoke a confrontation with Russia over it. That was its objective and as always with the added benefit of total chaos and the destruction of civil society.

In a way, it's an echo of the Cuban Missile Crisis insofar as, the actions of the Empire have been precisely designed to provoke the Russians into doing something they may well (along with the rest of the planet), regret later. But better still, back down, be good boy and do as your told.

It's the masser mentality, yes masser, no masser. Give em the finger and the Empire loses it.

What's interesting is that, Krushchev (allegedly) sent a boatload of missiles to Cuba knowing full well that it would provoke the US, and agreed to withdraw them on condition that the US not invade Cuba.

I say allegedly sent them because for all we know those canvas covered cylinders could have been covering cardboard tubes. It's not at all clear that the Soviets actually had that type of missile at that time. It could have been a big bluff on the part of Krushchev.

However, I think this is where the parallel ends. I think Putin is far more of a pragmatist that Krushchev, and definitely wiser to the ways of the Empire. But I think the Russian political class has had to learn some harsh lessons in its dealing the West.

Above all else, it shows just how poisonous and corrosive anti-communism has been in the creation of the current situation.

I think the question now is, will the Empire call the Russian's bluff? Just how far do they want push it? Interestingly, well at least I think so, is the fact that sociopaths aren't necessarily mad, in an irrational sense because they pretty much regard the rest of us as mere ciphers in their game. So I think the Empire will push it to just short of nuclear war. IN other words, trust their luck.

I think WWII was initiated in part, to stave of revolution in the metropolitan centres of the Empire, as well as destroy (actually existing) socialism. Of course, and this is what's interesting, is that it didn't turn out the way they planned, at all.

The Soviet Union ended up with the biggest land army on the planet, whereas the US ended up with the biggest naval and air fleets (hence the Soviet Union's focus on rockets, as it didn't have a big bomber force, plus it had a long interest extending back to the 19th century in space travel, so the two naturally came together).

I think someone else here said that one big war ain't doable, but lots of 'small' ones are. I don't think the Empire gives two fucks what kind of chaos it creates, it's all money in the bank isn't it. Didn't the US become a superpower from the money it made out of WWII?

Posted by: William Bowles | May 1, 2014 4:10:51 PM | 94

@89 william bowles. nice summation. thanks. i do think it is all about 'branding'.. i suppose this goes with the idea of corporations advertising too. how to sell something.. if you want to sell a war, make sure you have all the branding right and the packaging works well with it too. geez, it is hard not to be cynical in my late 50's, but then i suppose i have always had a tendency towards cynicism.

Posted by: james | May 1, 2014 4:12:50 PM | 95

And, I might add, 'backward' Russia became a superpower because deformed though it was, its socialism could still harness resources that allowed an essentially Third world country (at that time) to destroy the most technically advanced state on the planet, Germany.

Posted by: William Bowles | May 1, 2014 4:21:25 PM | 96

@88 ruralito
"'...The basic problem with Stalin and his friends is that they always underestimated the malevolence of capitalist governments and it was this that cost so many millions of lives...'

Backwards nonsense. The evidence is exactly the opposite."

The evidence in the shape of the initial success of Operation Barbarossa, (the destruction of enormous amounts of soviet property, including a significant portion of the state's industrial base, factories etc as well as agricultural resources and the smashing of tens of divisions of the Red Army as well as the capture and death (virtually the same thing) of tens of thousands of men, and millions of civilian casualties, is clear enough.
Or are you arguing that it was all a cunning plot on Stalin's part? If it had been he truly would have been a monster.
I am not going to wrangle with anyone about Stalin, Lenin or anyone else but the fact that the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 was a disaster from which the country barely recovered, at the cost of more than twenty million dead, is, I suspect, undeniable.
Give it a try though, if you feel up to it.

Posted by: bevin | May 1, 2014 4:26:27 PM | 97

Germany at the time of World War Two not only was technically advanced, it had the high morale of a revolutionary society (which is how Marc Bloch explains Germany's victory over France in Strange Defeat.

Posted by: lysias | May 1, 2014 4:26:54 PM | 98

@87
I agree the quote has a very Churchillian ring to it. He was, from the first obsessed with the "German menace." He was a member of the Asquith cabinet during the Naval arms race. And First Lord of the Admiralty in the war. This was the time of "Made in Germany" "The Secret of the Sands" and the Daily Telegraph interview with the Kaiser. Germany was the enemy. For Churchill it remained so.


This quote, from a Welsh Socialist MP for a Scots mining seat, who translated Burns into Russian, and regarded Churchill as a charlatan is reliable

"You must understand that this war is not against Hitler or National Socialism, but against the strength of the German people, which is to be smashed once and for all, regardless of whether it is in the hands of Hitler or a Jesuit priest." Emrys Hughes, Winston Churchill - His Career in War and Peace, p. 145; quoted as per: Adrian Preissinger, Von Sachsenhausen bis Buchenwald, p. 23.

The only thing missing is Schiller whose romanticism frightened many for its celebration of will power.

Posted by: bevin | May 1, 2014 4:39:23 PM | 99

Ummmm, as concerns Stalin et al and their "shortsightedness", I do seem to recall something about the brevity of the "Battle of France" and the rapid success of the Nazi's Western campaign being just a teensy weensy bit of a factor in the Soviets "unpreparedness/underestimations" as concerns Barbarossa and following. It wasn't that Stalin didn't know what the capitalists were going to inevitably do - there are many documents which show that Stalin et al knew Russia was next - it was that he couldn't get ready fast enough.

Also, if anything Churchill is documented as having near incessantly, constantly and virulently expressing fucking hatred for the Bolsheviks from 1917 on likening Communism to a disease time and time and time again and Communists to subhuman animals. Oh yeah, and he just HATED the "international Jews" at the heart of Bolshevism. Certainly, he said shit about the Germans but he really really always fucking hated the Commies...

The offensive declarations of January 1927 were of a different nature, in that they clearly justified the introduction of Fascism as a bulwark against Bolshevism: “If I had been an Italian, I am sure I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.”65


This argument was to be repeated ten years later, at the time of the Spanish Civil War, in a slightly different form—though the old assimilation with animals was not taken up: I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between Communism and Nazi-ism, I would choose Communism.66

Posted by: JSorrentine | May 1, 2014 5:11:39 PM | 100

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