Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 03, 2014

Ukraine: More Thoughts and Comments

Some more thoughts on the Ukraine:

1. There are claims that there was a Russian "invasion" of the Crimea. I have yet to see any evidence that there are more Russian troops, other than those regularly stationed on the Crimea, involved. Sure the Kiev coup-government claimed that dozens of huge Russian transport planes landed but how come that there is not even one picture of them available? To me it seems that the troops usually stationed on Crimea, which include various Marine infantry and Marine special forces units ,who obviously also have the support of the population are quite sufficient to secure the island. No shots were fired and the Russian navy, one might argue, is simply securing the larger perimeters of its bases.

2. The Europeans, unlike the U.S. do not want make much hassle about the Russian move. Britain is against financial sanctions on Russian politicians and oligarchs because their money feeds the City of London. Forty percent of the oil and gas used in the EU is coming from Russia. No one will sanction that stream. For the German industry Russia is one of the biggest foreign markets. Other then some symbolic "We are miffed" sanction will not be done.

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. That interpretation would indeed fit with this bit from the same piece:

Working from the Oval Office over the weekend, wearing jeans and a scowl, [Obama] called several of his G-8 counterparts to “make sure everybody’s in lock step with what we’re doing and saying,” according to a top aide.

3. There is some hyperventilation about reactions in the Russian stock markets and the price of the ruble:

The stock market has been absolutely pummeled: as of the time that this piece was written (around 7:30 am on Monday the 3rd) the MICEX was down by 11.2% and the RTS was down by 12.8%. As the Financial Times noted, the sell-off did not spare the companies that function as bastions of the Russian state: Gazprom was down 10.7% and Sberbank was down by 9.8%.

The activity in the currency market might have been even worse. The ruble reached all-time lows against both the dollar and the euro, falling by 2.5% and 1.5% respectively.

First: Unlike the U.S. government the Russian government simply does not care about stock market numbers. There is a lot of volatility now because a lot of people want to make money out of it. But the stock prices will recover soon especially as oil prices, and thereby the profits of many big Russian companies, have risen. Besides that all stock markets in Europe are down 2-3% today. So what? Second: The Russian government and its central bank were already following a policy of devaluation of the ruble to help the local industry towards more exports. From late January:

Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev sounded an upbeat note about the decline that is likely only to spur ruble selling.

"I am not a proponent of stimulating the economy through an artificial weakening of the ruble," Ulyukayev told Moscow's Prime business news agency.

"But since what we have now is not an artificial but a natural weakening ... then why not enjoy its positive effects?" he asked.

"This will help improve the competitiveness of a range of industries," the economy minister stressed.

Today's downward move of the ruble will make the Kremlin more happy than concerned. "Western" analysts seem to not understand that ant are just following the anti-Russian propaganda line.

4. The very smart coup government in Kiev is doing what everyone on the Maidan demanded (not):

The office of President Oleksandr V. Turchynov announced the two appointments on Sunday of two billionaires — Sergei Taruta in Donetsk and Ihor Kolomoysky in Dnipropetrovsk — and more were reportedly under consideration for positions in the eastern regions.

The people in eastern Ukraine, who may already be inclined to rather go with Russia, will be very happy to now have Kiev friendly oligarchs ruling over them (not). This idiotic move plays right into the hand of the Russian strategy as announced by Medvedev today:

"Yes, the prestige of President (Viktor) Yanukovich is almost negligible but this does not nullify the fact that under the Constitution of Ukraine he is (still) the legitimate Head of State. If he is guilty before Ukraine carry out a procedure of impeachment in accordance with Ukraine's Constitution (Article 111) and put him on trial. All the rest is arbitrariness. A seizure of power. And this means that such a procedure will be utterly unstable and will end with a new coup, and a new bloodshed," Medvedev maintains.

Both sides can play the coup game. There are pro-Russian demonstrations all over the eastern and southern Ukraine and there will soon be more of them. Occupation of government buildings will follow. The coup government dissolved the Berkut riot police and as now nothing to put up against demonstrators but some fascists gangs. Should those threaten Russia friendly demonstrators in eastern Ukraine Russia would have a good reason to intervene. But that again could ignite a bigger war:

The real and urgent issue now is what happens across the eastern and southern Ukraine, and it is essential that neither side initiates the use of force there. Any move by the new Ukrainian government or nationalist militias to overthrow elected local authorities and suppress anti-government demonstrations in these regions is likely to provoke a Russian military intervention. Any Russian military intervention in turn will compel the Ukrainian government and army (or at least its more nationalist factions) to fight.

The West must therefore urge restraint—not only from Moscow, but from Kiev as well. [...] In the longer run, the only way to keep Ukraine together may be the introduction of a new federal constitution with much greater powers for the different regions.

Russia would win any fight against the coup government in Kiev and its military. The Ukrainian armed forces are not loyal to the government and anyway ill prepared for war. They are easy targets to hit. But fighting against fascist gangs would escalate into a guerrilla war. Russia could win that too but only at high costs. It should keep the Crimea and should try to find an agreement with the "west" that will keep the Ukraine, along these lines, mostly finlandized and neutral between two somewhat competing economic blocs.

Posted by b on March 3, 2014 at 15:16 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Logic and the truth will always win.....

Posted by: georgeg | Mar 3 2014 15:28 utc | 1

I think Russia could invest the Fascist areas in 1 week and complete mopping up operations in another 2 or 3. What do you consider a rational response to multi-generational Fascist hatred should be?

Posted by: par4 | Mar 3 2014 16:27 utc | 2

“make sure everybody’s in lock step with what we’re doing and saying,”
Attributed to Obama?

I don't know does that make him look strong and forceful or just dictatorial.

Combine that with Kerry's statement regarding Russia -lol

"You just don't in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext."

and one comes away with a real theatre of the absurd kinda feeling.

The Crimea will vote to secede and the NATO backed Tatars will make no end of troubles, which is why Russia is being pro active in that area

As for the rest of the Ukraine?

If the Russian dominant areas wish to break away, what can the international community ie: the west really do about it?
After all they do support the will of people to choose their own destiny
I noticed Merkel is being a bit more sensible
Does she not want the Germans to freeze in the dark?

Posted by: Penny | Mar 3 2014 16:38 utc | 3

Isn't an important rule of war to never stop an opponent when he is making a mistake? Just help support protesters and, most importantly, set up some future leadership that isn't oligarchs with all their money in Britain. And come up with carrots and sticks for certain European countries, such as offering to go back to the EU agreement, but the Crimea keeps its vote on independence. This price might be reasonable for Germany, for instance. The US can push to keep the coup going, but it just pushes the population away. Then Russia can ask for international monitoring of the vote, and the Russia-friendly areas will be rather radicalized by what has gone down. Make it so the Western Ukraine has a separatist/fascist gang problem.

Posted by: Ozawa | Mar 3 2014 16:39 utc | 4

From an Op-Ed by various of our former ambassadors, etc. in yesterday's WaPo: "A Russian attack on Ukrainian forces or territory would result in classic and bloody tank warfare the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II."
The whole piece is truly a work of art:

Posted by: Nora | Mar 3 2014 16:40 utc | 5

Come on b, germany most likely said that to their and EU's master - obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 16:40 utc | 6

This is an unusually nuanced and reasonable piece from Jonathan Steele in the Guardian.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 16:45 utc | 7

This at RT is interesting too:

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 16:50 utc | 8

Very rational assessment. Everyone wants to get in Putin's head to justify "pulling the trigger". Putin is wise to maintain a deafening silence and low profile that irritates the U.S. to no end and causes much posturing and hand-wringing.

Markets are not equipped to handle ambiguity so they're reacting prematurely and erratically in a sense to provoke some action no matter how detrimental, but in my opinion, what we are witnessing is A MARKET TANTRUM that Putin should dismiss and ignore. This is a stand-off folks, and it might go on indefinitely, so quit panicking and get back to business or everyone will lose!

"It should keep the Crimea and should try to find an agreement with the "west" that will keep the Ukraine, along these lines, mostly finlandized and neutral between two somewhat competing economic blocs."

Thank you! Ban-ki-Shill take note!

Why can't idiot leaders see this as the only viable solution? Ukrainians will get what they wished for ( careful what you wish for). And Russians will feel less threatened with such an option. Hello??? If the West and Ukraine insist on hanging on to a small territory that wants nothing to do with them and want to go to war with this excuse when the majority of the people in this already autonomous territory, Crimea, want to be associated with Russia, then the real goal was U.S. hegemony and to antagonize and try to destabilize Russia and provoke war. And the world can then conclude and confirm that the U.S. and its cronies have lost their effing marbles and are in no position to call the shots or claim any moral highground!

Crimeans want none of U.S.-instigated tyranny and will vote to secede at the end of the month anyway. So suck it up ZUS-AYYY.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 16:52 utc | 9

Over the weekend, after a brief ray of sunshine casting doubt on the legitimacy and competence of the putsch government, the Western media returned to its anti-Russian information war. Despite this, looking at the comments section of the NYT last night, it is amazing how few people are buying the U.S./EU propaganda.

When the dust settles on this, Obama will have even less credibility, if that is possible, than he does now.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 3 2014 16:54 utc | 10

Is the UKRAINIAN MEDIA playing the propaganda game trying to put words in Putin's mouth???

Can someone find out where this "face a military storm" ultimatum originated?

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 17:12 utc | 11

Anti-Maidan protesters storm regional govt building in Donetsk

News | 03.03.2014 | 20:37

Nearly a hundred pro-Russian protesters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have seized two floors of the regional government building, after the self-imposed Kiev government appointed a local oligarch as a Donetsk Region governor.

In the building there are currently over 20 journalists and deputies of the local parliament, according to ITAR-TASS.

Earlier on Monday morning thousands of anti-Maidan activists came to the building of local administration. They were chanting "Taruta - out!" and carrying Russian flags and banners reading“ Russians are our brothers.”

The chances are that resistance to junta will spread which increases the possibility of a civil war and a perfect candidate for the Empire to turn into another 'failed state'. Hopefully, Ukrainians have got more sense.

Posted by: William Bowles | Mar 3 2014 17:16 utc | 12

Several articles at Counterpunch today.
This is one that I've read. There are several irritating inaccuracies in it but Hudson is an economist so it doesn't matter.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 17:26 utc | 13

I would like to share in the enthusiasm some have here of brainwashed imbecile Americans finally seeing the light. Instead, what I'm seeing is A LOT of on left-leaning sites is a whole bunch of false moral equivalency which is usually the second wave of the propaganda tsunami, the one that rolls out after the first waves hit the walls of reality.

Now - like with Assad, Qaddafy, etc etc ad infinitum - I'm seeing the pathetic mewling of the fake-left propagandists start rolling out these memes:

"There are no good guys here..."

"Well, Putin is a dictator too...

"Although it may have been a US led/supported fascist putsch Putin has no right to involve the military..."

And other such fucking idiocy. Even if their articles/comments will generally have some sort of accuracy these memes inevitably appear.

This is one of the most effective forms of propaganda because instead of allowing the absurdity of real events to wake normally conscientious people from their slumber and oppose the US it makes them namby-pamby, ineffective, co-opted troglodytes who are content to wallow in the "greyness" of the purported situation.

"The situation's complex..."

"Well, if you look at a detailed analysis of the history of the region..."

"Let's break done the good and the bad on BOTH sides...."

Anything to get people from correctly viewing the US as a nation of war criminals opening up yet ANOTHER front in the war of aggression against the world.

It's disgusting and sickening.


Like I said would happen: admitted nuclear spy for the apartheid genocidal state of Israel Arnon Milchan was feted by American traitors last night at the Oscars as he won the Best Picture award.

Possess fake WMD's? America will murder millions of innocent people and ruin the lives of millions more.

Help a genocidal apartheid state become a nuclear state and thus actually threaten the lives of millions of people? You get an Oscar in idiot America and to hobknob with the creme de la creme of the idiot menagerie.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 17:28 utc | 14

No. U.S. presidential delegation to Paralympics. Oh right, 'cause that's the way to go; punishing the physically challenged. Nice going Zusa!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 17:30 utc | 15


Sorry, wrong link to Milchan getting this due from Zionist traitors at the Oscars.

However, the incorrect link goes to a discussion of another Hudson article and some of the comments are good examples of the earlier thrust of my post.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 17:33 utc | 16

@15 Did you see this?

Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 3 2014 17:37 utc | 17

Given that an agreement was reached between China and Ukraine last September for China to control an area of Ukraine's arable land the size of Belgium, I'm surprised that we haven't heard more coming out of Beijing - or rather, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp (XPCC), a quasi-military organisation also known as Bingtuan..."the first such major foray into continental Europe"

Note, too

The Chinese firm said it would help build a motorway in the Crimea and a bridge across the Strait of Kerch to connect the Crimea with the Taman peninsula in Russia.

Perhaps it isn't only Russian influence in Ukraine that is under attack. A pivot to Asia can take many forms.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 3 2014 17:39 utc | 18

This is a useful summary to send friends in need of enlightenment:

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 17:41 utc | 19

Kalithea @ 16. The mentally challenged punishing the physically challenged.

Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 3 2014 17:45 utc | 20

This is from, yet another Counterpunch piece on Ukraine:
"The day after democratically elected government forces fled from the capital Kiev, the successful opposition political leaders sucked the enthusiasm out of the “revolution” when they informed the public that they would be presiding over a “doomed” transitional government, because they “have to make some unpopular decisions.” The new nominee for Prime Minister called his new cabinet a “Kamikaze government.”

"The government is suicidal because they are seeking loans from western financial institutions — like the IMF and European Commission — that come at a heavy price; in exchange for money Ukraine will have to implement a massive austerity program where the living standards of Ukrainians will be destroyed in Greek-like fashion..."

It raises a very important question. Suppose that the new "government" should contract a loan with foreign banks. Clearly such a loan, by a government without anything close to a popular mandate, which doesn't even claim to represent more than about 60% of the population -"the ethnically pure Ukrainians'- can't be charged to the account of the people as a whole.

In other words lenders should be put on notice that any loan to this Putsch cabal will be, in legal terms, odious. The people of Ukraine would have no obligation to pay interest on the loan.

This, of course, is what lies behind the plan to hold (rigged) elections between now and May.

It should be borne in mind that the enormous debt, already contracted by the Ukraine- the debt which leads observers to conclude that the country is bankrupt or very close to it- has been contracted in the post Soviet era. Any popular party in coming elections should demand an audit of the debt and transparent negotiations of any new loans.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 17:59 utc | 21


According to Greek language,, Medvedev signed off on the bridge project today. It will cost 3 billion dollars and is assigned to Russian(?) construction company, Avtodor.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Mar 3 2014 17:59 utc | 22

Interfax has denied the ultimatum. The Kiev putchists don't know how to get the conscripts to show up probably.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 3 2014 17:59 utc | 23

I was right in my suspicion! The supposed Russian ultimatum the inZane mainstream claimed that the Russians threatened Ukraine with is BOGUS, made up by Ukrainian media! LOL. A Russsian spokesperson denied through CNN that there was ever any ultimatum threatening a "military storm" by 5 o'clock tomorrow if Ukraine didn't surrender Crimea calling those reports "utter rubbish".

You see what the Ukrainians are up to? They're trying to put words in Putin's mouth to up the ante; to incite aggression by Western forces.

Their game is transparent and laughable!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 17:59 utc | 24

Mary Dejevsky on Sunday Independent really gets inside Putin's head to explain why the history of ``Nato's betrayals'' - among other things - finally pushed the Russian leader to go eyeball to eyeball with the West:

``more remarkable than Putin's current threat to use force was the relative calm with which he initially responded to the Kiev protests and the collapse of the Ukrainian administration. He even sent an envoy to join the EU foreign ministers brokering a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition, and looked ready to accept the outcome.

It was when that deal collapsed, violence broke out, and the conflict spread, that Putin started to play hardball. And he did so in a way, it is worth noting, that carefully mirrored certain Western practice: a limited and deniable show of force (in Crimea); a vote in Parliament, and reference to a "responsibility to protect" an endangered population.''
See, Mr Pragma? I told you that Mr Putin never originally wanted to cock his rifles for a shooting war.
In other news, Sergey Lavrov announces that China is in agreement with Russia's stand on Crimea/Ukraine. China's FM dances on eggshells, to state its support in diplomat-ese.
Memo to Mr Xi Jinping:`` Worry less, and live a little dangerously.''
As Putin has already shown, talking nice with the West is like casting pearls before swine. It won't make Washington dial down the tensions in the Western Pacific, or leaven support for the ``splittists''/terrorists.

Posted by: nakedtothebone | Mar 3 2014 18:01 utc | 25


No, but having read through the comments it is literally amazing that after all of the needless death and destruction that the US is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for spanning decades, people cannot reflexively understand that if there is trouble/violence/destabilization etc somewhere in the world you can bet YOUR ASS that the US is involved in it up to its neck.

Some believe that this is giving too much credit to the US and its war criminal minions but after the smoke has cleared in 99 cases out of 100 American fingerprints have been found at the scene of the crime.

I mean, if you KNEW for a fact that someone in your family was a deranged psychotic serial killer and it just so happened one day that scores of people in the neighborhood were found brutally murdered, wouldn't you MAYBE AUTOMATICALLY suspect that the killer was close to home, ffs?!!! That just MAYBE the investigation should start with a short tour of the household to make sure everyone was accounted for?

This is apparently WAAAAAYYYY too difficult a concept for today's propagandized Americans to understand especially the ones who think they are "up" on world events.

No matter the amount or level of atrocities the US commits, American citizens still all childishly believe that they are all "good people" and therefore exempt from taking the blame for atrocity after atrocity because SURELY there are some mitigating factors somewhere, right, NPR? CNN? MSNBC? NYT?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 18:04 utc | 26

@Pat Bateman - China is fully on Russia's side on this. See Xinhua editorials today.

Posted by: b | Mar 3 2014 18:04 utc | 27

They (the media/neo-cons,whatever?) must be getting pretty desperate
if they've taken to misquoting tel conversations
(between Merkel and Pres Obama),(if my interpretation is true)

Perhaps they're in the Land of the Fairies

Posted by: chris m | Mar 3 2014 18:05 utc | 28

Buaaahaha! CNN was fooled by a phony ultimatum story fabricated by Ukraine propagandists. CNN was pushing this bullshet ultimatum story for over an hour. Egg on their face! Some journalism! They don't even vet their sources....LOL!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 18:06 utc | 29


Its kind of said, I thought that after the public refusal to support a war on syria that we wouldnt have to go through this again, but no, the world, especially western people are insanely brainwashed.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 18:20 utc | 30

27) Frankly, I think the Chinese keep out of this. From Xinhua

Qin said China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country's internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

"There have been reasons for today's situation in Ukraine," said the spokesman, without detailing the reasons.

China will closely watch the development of the situation in Ukraine and calls on all sides concerned to respect international law and pursue a political solution to their disputes through dialogue and negotiations to safeguard peace and stability in the region, Qin said.

The occupation of Crimea is clearly outside of international law. But as the Chinese say: There have been reasons ...

Russia pretends to acknowledge Yanukovich as president. They did not even bother to force him to agree to the Crimean takeover.

Britain (Falklands) and US (Iraq) cannot really complain. But it is outside of international law.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 18:22 utc | 31

One of the most disgusting pieces on Ukraine, Fascism, Antisemitism from NY Review of books:

The history of the Holocaust is part of our own public discourse, our agora, or maidan. The current Russian attempt to manipulate the memory of the Holocaust is so blatant and cynical that those who are so foolish to fall for it will one day have to ask themselves just how, and in the service of what, they have been taken in. If fascists take over the mantle of antifascism, the memory of the Holocaust will itself be altered. It will be more difficult in the future to refer to the Holocaust in the service of any good cause, be it the particular one of Jewish history or the general one of human rights.

I wonder if the author would care to comment on the documented collaboration between fascist antisemites and radical Zionist groups (that later, btw, became Netanyahoo's Likud Party) before and during WWII and how today's American radical Zionists (read: the neoconservatives like Nuland, Kagan, etc) have similarly collaborated with the blatantly antisemitic leaders of the Ukrainian putsch?

Those historical parallels would surely make an informative article wouldn't they? Ardent Zionists - many of them Jewish - documented both then and now giving support to antisemitic fascists. Whew, interesting, huh?!!!

Or are we supposed to just read the word "Holocaust" and unthinkingly shut up?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 18:26 utc | 32

Crimean borders must be secured. Radicals from Kiev are trying to smuggle in explosives and weapons to create a false flag incident they can blame on Russia. 400 kilos of explosives were seized at a checkpoint leading into Crimea.

The phony ultimatum story is also a false flag mechanism. There was no 5 o'clock ultimatum given by the Russians. It was all made up on the Ukrainian side. Everyone knows that a big part of the solution to this crisis lies with Crimean secession. Germany is beginning to see this. Ukraine cannot force this region into submission! So by pulling this false flag phony ultimatum, Ukrainians are trying to poison this possible option by accelerating a phony Russian threat.

There is no doubt that Ukrainian fascists are up to no good. People in Crimea need to be on high alert for suspicious plots. Crimeans have very good reason to reject what is taking place in Ukraine and protect their own interests. They should be very wary of plots to hurt their interests and security coming from Ukraine radicals.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 18:30 utc | 33

@27 b, I am really asking this with no snark intended: do you think there is anyone here in any position of power who is capable of reading and understanding this, let alone figuring out what to do next? well, okay, a little snark but I'm also quite serious: Robert Parry and someone else, I forget who, are claiming Obama's now trying to get control of the NeoCons and Hagel's in there helping him. Well, better late than never if in fact this is so, but I think our entire foreign policy is essentially a free-for-all, with every single group, alphabet agency and NGO alike, just simply doing their own thing. Leadership? Planning? In the Oval Office? You've got to be kidding.

Posted by: Nora | Mar 3 2014 18:32 utc | 34


Do you consider Yanukovich the legal president of Ukraine ? Or in another words, do you think the coup was illegal ?

Posted by: ATH | Mar 3 2014 18:35 utc | 35

To add to my previous post. Imagine this scenario. Ukrainian fascists drop a phony story in the Zionist mainstream that goes like this: Russia has threatened a "military storm" if Ukraine doesn't surrender Crimea by 5 o'clock tomorrow. Then fascist radicals start blowing things up after that deadline. Hello? The shet hits the fan and the U.S. cries murder, murder and has an excuse for war! FALSE FLAG PLOT. The bullshet ultimatum story could have been part of a FALSE FLAG scenario.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 18:45 utc | 36

Looks like ZOMEBODY is trying to muddy the waters of debate as per usual :(

Posted by: anti-zionist | Mar 3 2014 18:46 utc | 37

The EU, at heart, wants no part of the Ukr mess, imho.

Endless trouble.. They were happy with Yanukovitch, as they would have been with anyone who could be made to look respectable and kept the status-quo going, e.g. his predecessor.

However, the looming prospect of a Ukrainian default, plus all its attendant miseries, such as gas transit, bonds unpaid, loss of income from industries (that go to EU Oligarchs ..), disruption of finance, agri, and more, etc. signaled by Yanuk’s reaching out for monetary support prompted them to make some feeble offer.

Providing a convenient spark for lurking US neo-cons, with a pro-West vs. pro-Russia script ready to launch with media fanfare.

The EU’s poodle-rear-guard-yapping role vis à vis the US now leaves Brussels caught between a rock and a very cold place.

The EU can’t ally with Russia or support it in any way, it can’t refute, contest, the fiction of a ‘democratic peaceful revolution’ in the Ukr., it can’t act financially with sanctions or the like, be it against the Ukr. or anyone else, it has no so called peace-keeping troops to send, no influence on the ground, nada, zilch.

The efforts the EU (Germany and others) made in the direction of de-escalation were scotched at every turn, speedily, and that continues.

The EU is a prisoner of its own hypocrisy and contradictions, left in a powerless stasis.

Eff the EU was quite apt, Victoria may be foul-mouthed b***, heh. the EU can accomplish that on its own.

No doubt Merkel is feeling the pain and going overboard and floundering.

Coming up: a lot of tongue-twisting and talking pol correct talk, with little movement on the ground.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 3 2014 18:46 utc | 38

35) Well, if you say "coup", you consider it illegal. But obviously there is the "normative power of the actual".
The solution in the end will not depend on legalities.
Presumably this is fought on identity politics and Ukrainian/Russian and other nationalities passports.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 18:56 utc | 39

I dont either get this user "somebody" what occupation for one, is he talking about?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 18:57 utc | 40


The EU has everything to lose with this U.S. led stand-off and escalating hostility, and the U.S. has nothing to lose except its credibility on a staggering scale and it will sacrifice the EUs painful economic recovery in a heartbeeeeat, to come out on top. This is greedy, selfish ZUSA foreign policy as usual, "drag everyone down with our hubris" politics.

The EU needs to consider the only viable option for its own economic interests. ALLOW THE CITIZENS OF CRIMEA WHO ASKED FOR RUSSIA'S PROTECTION TO DECIDE THEIR FUTURE and end this debacle. After the incitement, foreign manipulation, radical rioting and violent takeover in Ukraine, the people of Crimea, who have regional autonomy, are justifiably questioning the legitimacy of this new government in Ukraine and fearing for their future with good reason. And Europeans should also fear for their future and disengage from misguided and selfish U.S. foreign policy specifically at this moment on this issue.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 19:08 utc | 41

'uaaahaha! CNN was fooled by a phony ultimatum story fabricated by Ukraine propagandists. CNN was pushing this bullshet ultimatum story for over an hour. Egg on their face! Some journalism! They don't even vet their sources....LOL!'
@ 29
CNN wasn't fooled at all. This is the way propaganda works. If a journalist checked a story like this he would get fired.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 19:28 utc | 42


Double-agent, double-speak? It is considered bigotry to use people's ethnicity against them as a political tool and strategy to seize power.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 19:33 utc | 43

The Russian gov has agreements with the legally elected Gov of Ukr to station thousands of Marines, Sailors and Special Forces in Crimea. Illegal puppet Gov in Kiev claims Russian invasion without a shred of evidence to prove it's claim. So if troops displaying no insignia, securing Crimea are Russian it is not possible to say they are not lawfully placed forces under previous agreements between Kiev and Moscow. Ergo absolutely no evidence of occupation/invasion. Just Russian troops securing their legally held bases and environs.

Posted by: anti-zionist | Mar 3 2014 19:37 utc | 44

@26 I live in the US, among many loyal Democrats, and it's appalling how many of them are so team-oriented that they don't see the obvious similarities between this administration and the last, and can't wait to vote for Hillary in 2016. Seriously.

Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 3 2014 19:40 utc | 45

40) The Russian Federation has obviously occupied Crimea. They say so.

The Black Sea fleet units staying in Crimea do not interfere in Ukrainian domestic political affairs,” the Foreign Ministry stressed, “All redeployments of units stem only from the task of providing security of the fleet’s objects and the inadmissibility of attacks of extremists and radicals on our compatriots.”

I guess it is normal to redeploy military units to guarantee the security of compatriots never mind where they are.

Anyway, German media now has dramatically changed the narrative.
For the first time Der Spiegel (in German) admits that
- the Kiew government has Fascists in high security posts
- is under pressure from Fascist militias with no security of their own
- threatens the ethnic Russian speaking population by legislation and prosecution

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 19:41 utc | 46

@ Kalithea 41:

yes the EU is a doomed looser of a kind, and it would be welcome if they supported the ppl of Crimea as to independence or close.

Will not arise from the EU side.

The EU is totally subservient to the US, - arms superiority of the US and long history, see e.g. NATO - and will only ‘switch’ when the discourse changes, which is not up to them, but the US.

The US might just let Crimea “go” to become basically in some form a part of Russia, it is a real possibility.

Whereupon the EU will flood in there for commercial deals.

EU citizens are dealing with austerity and have little time for post WW2 scenes (as they see it.)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 3 2014 19:44 utc | 47

somebody @31

"The occupation of Crimea is clearly outside of international law." Are you implying there's an occupation in breach of international law?

The only occupation breaching International Law that I can think of that is the longest-running occupation in modern history is the ZIONIST OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE.

"Russia pretends to acknowledge Yanukovich as president. They did not even bother to force him to agree to the Crimean takeover."

What takeover? Force him??? Regardless. The Russian fleet leased the port in Crimea for 20 years. The people of Crimea have been clamoring in demonstrations for Russia's help.

What takeover?

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 19:45 utc | 48

43) I agree. But this is played with ultra nationalists, language laws, religion, monuments and conflicting historical narratives.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 19:48 utc | 49


That's nice. I'm glad somebody is coming to their senses, including Germany!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 3 2014 19:48 utc | 50


That's interesting, because we all know Hillary had four years at State to purge the neocon influence - if she had any intention of doing so. As I see it, she may well be PNAC's favorite for 2016.

Posted by: Jon Lester | Mar 3 2014 19:50 utc | 51

50) You do not seem to understand what the Russian explanatory policy statement for the "redeployment of troops" in Crimea means.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 19:56 utc | 52


By saying: "The occupation of Crimea is clearly outside of international law", you had already made 2 legal claims, one that this is an occupation and two that it is outside the international law.

My question is: do you then consider the ouster of the president of Ukraine illegal or not. Any rational thinking person would understand that if the ouster was illegal and if Yanukovitch, illegaly removed from power, claims that he is still the acting president then the legality of the Russian actions depend on the agreement between him, still the head of Ukraine state, and the Russian state. It is not the claims of outsiders or the putschist or worse, "facts in the ground", that will determine this legality but what Ukraine and Russia have agreed on.

Posted by: ATH | Mar 3 2014 19:58 utc | 53

somebody is apparently someone that have been turned to the other side due the media propaganda, dont feed the troll. This boy is lost.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 20:00 utc | 54

53) Well, I am pretty sure the Ukrainian constitution in whichever form does not give the president absolute power, even Putin needed a parliamentary vote on war powers (and got it with something like 52%).
So, obviously, no president can sign the sovereignty of parts of his country away in secret agreements.
It is clear, Russia is redesigning its territory and nobody will stop it, but if you prefer to be the oistrich ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 20:05 utc | 55

53) Well, I am pretty sure the Ukrainian constitution in whichever form does not give the president absolute power, even Putin needed a parliamentary vote on war powers (and got it with something like 52%).
So, obviously, no president can sign the sovereignty of parts of his country away in secret agreements.
It is clear, Russia is redesigning its territory and nobody will stop it, but if you prefer to be the oistrich ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 20:05 utc | 56

Poland is definitively going to freak out now - Russian and German foreign ministers meet in Geneva.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 20:09 utc | 57

Anyone have a link to the real/false claim that the ukrainian government have rejected the ban to use nazi/facist symbols et.c?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 20:15 utc | 58


You are still avoiding to answer the question about the legality of Yanukovich removal.

Here's what you said in this blog 7 days ago at the time of the putsch:

Ukrainian putsch government is completely out of any legal or democratic framework. Yanoukovich already survived the Orange Revolution and was reelected. You cannot keep people from pursuing their economic interests. When hegemony has lost economic power, that's it.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 26, 2014 3:02:28 AM | 39
**end quote**

Have you since then changed your mind about the legality of the current power holders ? Can you give us a rational reason why you have done so ?

Posted by: ATH | Mar 3 2014 20:18 utc | 59

I as usually widely agree with b.

a) @somebody
which part of "the available legal procedures to impeach the ukrainian president haven't been used. Instead force and blackmailing - even against the family - have been used." don't you understand?

Also, which part of "Russia is entitled by agreements with ukraine to use their bases as well as to freely travel between them. Russia did at no point in time cross the limit of allowed troups on their bases" is intellectually unreachable to you?

b) @b
I do not agree with you concerning the nazis. Because their only realistic chance to survive would be to blend in with the normal citizens; to do that they needed to give up their weapons and their protective gear, at least temporarily. But this would already match the goal to a large degree.
Furthermore I do not think that Russian troups would handle them. Because, for one, they are kievs problem and secondly, in the pro-Russia regions militia and berkut could handle them.

c) I'm also not that sure about the stock market situation. Partly I agree with b's asessment. But I also assume oligarch involvement, particularly in the banking/trading sector which has a high percentage of pro western and, uhm, "chosen people" (is that correct to say or is it considered anti-semitic when being said by a goyim?).
Which anyway would be rather good than bad for Russia because it would strongly suggest to Putin to repeat the yukos protocoll.

Furthermore ... @all

3 more regions, covering everything along the coast to the west of Crimea, among them Odessa (!) have formally asked Crimea to "let them in" as soon as the Crimea Independence referendum is done.

This is *very* bad for both kiev-ukraine and zusa. Remember, the zusa ships are near Odessa and the ukrainian navy leaving Sevastopol went to Odessa.
I expect berkut and other professional to help Odessa to quickly buld up, train and weaponize a militia to secure the region.

From what can be seen so far, only 2 regions (in south/east) have not yet shown clear signs for wishing to join Crimea, one of them basically being surrounded by Russia (read: sure enough joining later).

At the same time kiev ukraine produced only more errors and failures. It seems quite reasonable to assume that quite soon there will be a new state (based around Crimea) with strong Russian support and protection and, consequently no financial, economic or other basic worries.

Actually I think that the ("target") date of march 30 was somewhat conservatively set and that it will change to an earlier point in time. Sure enough Russia as well as the regions want to keep the timespan of uncertainty short and also, of course, make the best use of the currently very high level of anger against kiev.

Another point: zusa is beginning to seriously threaten to freeze Russian assets and accounts incl. those of state orgnisations. I think that would be extremely stupid because the west still has very major business interests in Russia; furthermore this would invite and enable Russia to clean out all those cia sponsored ngos. As almost certainly zeu will be forced to go at least part of the was, too, this will become an extremely painful shot in their own feet.
Probably even worse it will drive Russia - and other countries - to very seriously re-evaluate their zusa accounts, dealings, and business involvements. Additionally it will make a dollar departure and denial strongly more attractive.

obama should have listened to gates who reminded him that strong words must be followed by strong actions (or they will be followed by loss of respect, shame and damage).

Ceterum censeo israel americanamque vehementer delenda esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 3 2014 20:31 utc | 60

What seems to me very clear in this whole fiasco is the total absence of the so called free press, and also a failure of the propaganda machines. There are no pictures to talk about, on both sides. There is a lot of posturing, but all the pictures and videos seem staged. The few images that are available are repeated on all the news sites. No independent reporting either, I guess reporting is a job from the past century at this point.
Back to the press, BBC seem to be stuck to the "Russian ultimatum" headline, while CNN is actually less confrontational. This tells me there is battle going for the public in Europe. I don't see how this battle could go, except in Russia's favor, as all of Europe depends on them or are afraid of them (like in Romania, where the usual anti-Russian rhetoric has disappeared completely)

Posted by: tod | Mar 3 2014 20:32 utc | 61

LOL@polish fm say on twitter that nato will meet tommorow again to use nato against russia.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 20:55 utc | 62

Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper is live in Kiev literally reporting every little bip and bop the rightwing putschist government thinks might play well in the msm. "12 transport trucks full of Russian soldiers seen in Kerch, eastern Crimea".

And now Kerry is due to arrive shortly. Of course he will meet with the skinheads and financial criminals who will be dressed alike, the skinheads in norm-drag. And Kerry will probably tell them that it's not cool to hang a confederate flag in their parliament and also to clean up the nazi graffiti. Probably then pop another xanax and meet w Right Sector to make them hand in all of their White Power flags so there are no more embarrassing Youtubes.


Samantha Power's talking...called Russian actions 'a response to an imaginary threat'. 'No evidence' of any Russians being harmed or threatened.

Allegations of threats and distortions from Russia (but no examples of course)

Elections on May 25.

I was going to say, before I was so rudely interrupted, that this stuff almost writes itself. And there it goes.

Posted by: L Bean | Mar 3 2014 20:57 utc | 63

54) I am just capable of saying that
a) yes it was a putsch
b) the removal of the president was illegal - same as a) and
c) Russian occupation of Crimea is illegal
d) and it is obvious from events that it will be not just occupation but will be annexation by referendum and
e) it is completely pointless to take sides as
f) Yanokovich is a crook who should have been impeached a long time ago
g) the Putsch government is an alliance with Fascists
h) Russia has a split personality distinguishing Ukrainians, Russian speakers and compatriots

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 20:59 utc | 64

"LOL@polish fm say on twitter that nato will meet tommorow again to use nato against russia.@62"

The Poles seem to have forgotten that they no longer own western Ukraine, although, no doubt, they plan to re-occupy it soon.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 3 2014 21:02 utc | 65

I expected the narrative to turn against the fascists, because after all I think that they were meant for the dirty work and not for official administrative offices. Russia's move (in)to Crimea certainly came a little unexpected for the maidanistas and their sponsors (that's the impression I get from all the screaming of the "west") so I'd have thunk that they will need them for a while longer. Of course I'm just trying to pick up the spins of our media and make some sense out of that. My prediction is, that the hardcore-fascists will be pushed out of the ("future, democratically elected" etc.) administration and that this will be the deal the west will try to sell to russia (and us): we create a neutral, purely econocratic government, and there's no need to "protect" russian folks on crimea, so russia pulls out of crimea and they'll get some sort of autonomous status.
What I can't see is how the right sector etc. will react. Guess there are some sufficiently corrupt officers among them to get them out of offices and back to the street.
One thing, looking back on the terrorist techniques the west has employed in the past: the notion of russians coming peacefully into the eastern part of ukraine doesn't seem to bother the average ukrainian much, but if by some terrorist action they can be lured into the slightest military action on ukrainian territory, I'd expect the mood of the population to swing somewhat against russian influence, let alone troops. I would not be surprised to see something of that kind, but I also expect the russians to be prepared and remain as calm and peaceful as is reasonable. But as someone mentioned, that fake "ultimatum" may have been a first cautious step into this direction. Sorry for writing kinda woozily.

Posted by: peter radiator | Mar 3 2014 21:09 utc | 66

Okay, that's it now. Russia has asked for an urgent UNSC meeting presenting a letter from Yanukovich asking for intervention.

This debate will be fun.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3 2014 21:12 utc | 67

Nato try to find a reason to send troops to ukraine.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 21:17 utc | 68


Nobody here I believe is fighting directly for any sides. But the truth is, if, at the time of crisis like that, one can't show an objective analysis of the situation with clear and delineated positions, s/he cannot have a claim to credibility.

And the clear line of analysis is: 9 days ago there was an agreement between different protagonists, agreed by both sides and with a seal of approval from both the EU and Russia, which was setting the political agenda for a renewed check by the population in December 2014. This agreement was forcefully rescinded by some direct action from the street followed by a putsch - obviously backed by the US side. Russia had already calculated this risk and had options available to counter it. These options haven't violated the international law, neither the laws of Ukraine or Russia in any formal way. In another words, Russia has used the same kind of joggling with the dark corners of the international law without breaking them that the "west" usually considers appropriate only for herself. Russia is not formally occupying Crimea and the right of the nations for self-determination is part of the international law. The legal president of Ukraine has asked for help and Russia can claim to have the legality, the legitimacy and the moral upper hand on her side.

You have, for some mysterious reason changed, your mind about the illegality of the actions encouraged by the outsiders in Ukraine and their immediate consequences and haven't provided any reason for doing so.

Posted by: ATH | Mar 3 2014 21:26 utc | 69

Here's more of the kind of mitigating American bullshit propaganda I'm talking about:

In a crisis that betrays simple narratives, analysts hope for solutions that de-escalate the threat of violence while protecting ordinary Ukrainians from the various interests of elite powers

As the events in Ukraine have sent world leaders scurrying to develop and spread narratives that serve their own interests, the complexities of the geopolitical and economic implications—whether from a Russian, American, European or Ukrainian perspective—have become elusive to those trying to understand exactly what's going on inside the country.

Gee, that sound so REASONABLE, doesn't it, huh? Multiple vectors, complexity, competing narratives...yup, it's all there meant to keep the thinking American at bay through the old "analysis paralysis" whereby American culpability is just ONE and not THE prime mover - once again - of all of this murderous nonsense.

By cleverly mixing some of the more sober assessments of the situation by Cohen et al with other mitigating viewpoints these propagandists purposefully muddy the water so - gee, shucks - no one is really right or wrong, guilty or innocent.

Just like the Syrian "democracy party", right, guys?

Here's another one from the US "libertarian" site Zero Hedge.

Most American mainstream media say that the Ukranian people rose up against a decadent dictator to chart their own destiny.

On the other hand, some knowledgeable commentators say that the Ukranian protests were really a violent coup initiated by the U.S., and carried out by Neo-Nazi factions within Ukraine.

People like Mark Ames argue that all sides have dirt on their hands.

Still others – like Charles Hugh Smith – say that there are much deeper forces at work. Indeed, some argue this is really a war over natural gas (and see this and this).

At this point, I have no idea which of these explanations is correct, or whether some combination of these forces is playing out in the region.

But I do know one thing: we should stay the heck out of Ukraine.

Wow, what to believe? What narrative could be the right one? I am so confused!

Yup, after all of the murder and mayhem that the US has caused for like - oh, I don't know - EVER AND the fact that their fingerprints are ONCE AGAIN all over this situation, I think the only rational solution - nudge, wink - is to conjecture that US meddling is just ONE of the many, many complex factors here at work. Back to you in the War Room, Wolf!

Again, this is purposeful propaganda meant to atomize/waylay any opposition as to what is going on and who is responsible for this shit. That's why CIA Intern Anderson Cooper is there in Kiev to create even MORE nonsense narratives that deflect blame away from where it rightfully deserves to be laid: the US fucking A.

No one seems to ask questions like: if the US had not provided all those BILLIONS of dollars in Ukraine...or Syria...or Libya....or etc etc would any of this shit have ever gotten as far and as violent as it has?

Nope, it's just TOO FUCKING COMPLEX for our puny minds to compute. Who could be responsible? Responsi-what?!

And yet the "educated" masses keep slurping it up.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 21:28 utc | 70

And Samantha "2014 Sauciest American War Criminals: Miss March" Power had this to say:

"There is no evidence that ethnic Russians are in danger," U.S. ambassador Samantha Power responded. "Russia is trying to convince the world community that up is down, and black is white.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 21:36 utc | 71

Well, JSorrentine,

that bitch isn't too far off. She merely forgot the last words "... in zusa and zeu".

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 3 2014 21:42 utc | 72

Nora #34 You bring up a good point. I am sure that Obama and Kerry did not want this Ukrainian crisis. Their failure was not paying attention and allowing left over neocons to hold important European portfolios at State. As a result we have no coherent foreign policy with respect to eastern Europe*. Kerry is not going to be able to undo the damage since it seems clear that a dynamic has been set that will lead to the secession of the eastern Ukrainian provinces. For now all Kerry can do is make it clear that the US is not going to get involved militarily. He needs to fire his speech writer -- talk of all options on the table is going in the wrong direction. Next he should remove Victoria (F@@ the EU) Nuland and our ambassador to Ukraine and replace them with some grownups.

I think part of the problem is that Kerry is not that smart. At some level he should have known instinctively that violent demonstrations by ultra nationalist Ukrainians leading to the overthrow of a president elected by the Russian speaking minority would have serious repercussions. He obviously had no clue and based on what he is still saying it seems he remains clueless. His trip to Kiev tomorrow could very well turn out to one big embarrassing fiasco. I simply cannot see him accomplishing anything by travelling there at this time.

*Looking at our policy towards Syria and the pivot to Asia, one might conclude we have no coherent foreign policy anywhere.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 3 2014 21:54 utc | 73


Horrible woman, how the heck does she look like anyway? Mix between a street prostitute and a witch!

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 3 2014 21:54 utc | 74

There are two 'somebody' on this blog.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 3 2014 22:01 utc | 75

okie farmer #75 I was thinking that too!

Posted by: Nora | Mar 3 2014 22:08 utc | 76

ToivoS #73 Kerry has said some unbelievable stuff lately -- maybe Prozac makes it easier to do with a straight face? I'm truly stumped, bc neither he nor Obama are really *that* stupid, craven or crazy.

Posted by: Nora | Mar 3 2014 22:12 utc | 77

shoahscholarship is a very tough field thanks to raul hilberg & christopher browning, michael wildt et al

they do not like frauds, whether it comes in the form of daniel goldhagen or in the form of the writer of the ny review of books piece, timothy snyder, he is very lagely discredited so i wouldn't take a word from him seriouslly, he is a charlatan like hannah arendt who plagiarized hilberg, stopped the publication of his work for a decade but used his work

snyder is of the same species, one of the heirs of corrupt cold war academics like roberts service & conquest, frauds, whos numbers never add up, they have their heirs now in montieofore, figes & even the little novelist prick martin amis

that to say, snyder doesn't know shit from water, he puts his halo on th mythic holdomor & forgets the galician ss quick smart

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 3 2014 22:18 utc | 78

neither he nor Obama are really *that* stupid, craven or crazy.

Yeah, except people seem to be forgetting how Obama reacted to the even MORE egregious war crimes of Iraq/torture etc etc"

Q: The most popular question on your own website is related to this. On it comes from Bob Fertik of New York City and he asks, ‘Will you appoint a special prosecutor ideally Patrick Fitzgerald to independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.’

OBAMA:We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. … My orientation is going to be moving foward.

And have we ever "moved forward", huh? Right into new arenas for blatant American war crimes in other sovereign nations!!!!

So the current war criminal POTUS absolved the last war criminal POTUS yet people think that in the face of more crime there's some sort of disagreement? discontinuity? between the Ghosts of Murdermas Past and Murdermas Present?

That rational people should - mind you, after Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and now Ukraine under this POTUS - think that there is any daylight between this admin and the neocons?!


I'm sure Obama is doing his best...impersonation of someone who could give a rat's ass about truth, peace, justice, not-mudering people, not destroying their countries and on and on.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 3 2014 22:21 utc | 79

thers been no 'invasion' by the russians : thers been twitter and other cries of a 'invasion' to put pressuere on russia to giev way to the US EU backed neonazis.

keep in mind US and NATO invade Libya, a sovereign state that did not call for them to attack, on phony pretexts. Russiaha been called by legitimats authorities in Crimea and by the still legitiomate president Yanukovych: if it did enter ukraine it has far more legal right to do so R2P anyone?????

Posted by: brian | Mar 3 2014 22:25 utc | 80

'I don't know does that make him look strong and forceful or just dictatorial. '

depends where you are: if america 'strong and forceful' is seen as presidential

if russia, 'strong and forceful' is seen by west as dictatorial

the media decides which it is

Posted by: brian | Mar 3 2014 22:36 utc | 81

#78 "mythic holdomor". What is not a myth is that a serious famine swept the Ukraine in the early 30 and that at least 1.8 million peasants starved to death. There is also little doubt that the mortality rate was so high because of inept and criminal actions by the Soviet government. These actions were part of the plan to collectivize the farms. The peasants rebelled and under "antihording" laws the communists seized their food stocks. What would normally have been a food shortage caused by bad weather turned into humanitarian catastrophe. This is an account I recall first reading about Khruschov's recollections of events.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 3 2014 22:40 utc | 82

'I don't know does that make him look strong and forceful or just dictatorial. '

depends where you are: if america 'strong and forceful' is seen as presidential

if russia, 'strong and forceful' is seen by west as dictatorial

the media decides which it is

Posted by: brian | Mar 3 2014 22:47 utc | 83

a) yes it was a putsch
b) the removal of the president was illegal - same as a) and
c) Russian occupation of Crimea is illegal
d) and it is obvious from events that it will be not just occupation but will be annexation by referendum and
e) it is completely pointless to take sides as
f) Yanokovich is a crook who should have been impeached a long time ago
g) the Putsch government is an alliance with Fascists
h) Russia has a split personality distinguishing Ukrainians, Russian speakers and compatriots

Posted by: somebody | Mar 3, 2014 3:59:21 PM | 64

C E H are NO
russia hant occupied ukraine of crima...youre thinking of US occupations:from Iraq to Japan
Russia has no split personality: Ukraine has! US also has due to weak leadership

Posted by: brian | Mar 3 2014 22:51 utc | 84

I'm truly impressed by this Russian invasion in which zero people died. I wish someone in the bush administration asked then how to do that before Iraq.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 3 2014 23:07 utc | 85

Time is on Russia's side. IMF officials arrive tomorrow in Kiev to begin their audit. Ten days is supposedly what it will take. Then the ham-handed putschists who have yet to do anything right, from rescinding the official status of Russian to appointing two oligarchs as governors in the east (because "their workers will listen to them"!?!), will have to deliver the U.S./EU austerity mandates.

In the meantime, what can the U.S./EU do? Sanctions? Merkel has already ruled them out. Cancel the G-8? Oh, my. Send in NATO? Not going to happen. What the U.S./EU can do is continue lying. It is agitating, but it changes nothing.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 3 2014 23:09 utc | 86

kruschev was self interested in perpetuating the holdomor myth - there was a famine all over the soviet union, & yes perhaps it was accelerated by this young society &s was also true in the great leap foprwars, where china had suffered for millenia from famines - - after these famines, there were to be no others

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 3 2014 23:12 utc | 87

Hello and I just recently began to read your blog. I find it very helpful. I came across a link which might interest you.
You prob. already know about it as you referenced VoR the other day. anyhow, thank you for your intelligent commentary; the whole subject is murky and covered in much smoke from all sides.

Posted by: Anna M. | Mar 3 2014 23:15 utc | 88

a fair comment on the abuse of the word 'dictator' and the serpent call for ukraine to join the EU:

BUT Oneill abuses the word himself:

'Ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich is now widely referred to as a ‘dictator’, confirming how exhausted and meaningless that word has become through overuse: unlike serious dictators like Gaddafi or Assad, Yanukovich won a free and fair election, in March 2010'

what does the word 'dictator' mean? and does it mean the person is a good or bad leader?

1. dictator
noun: dictator; plural noun: dictators1. a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.

2. a : a person granted absolute emergency power; especially : one appointed by the senate of ancient Rome b : one holding complete autocratic control c : one ruling absolutely and often oppressively

the word 'dictator'in public use emphasises brutality and repressiveness less tha absolute control...Parents have absolute control of their children./..are they dictators?

Gadafi was/is and Assad are widely loved figures in their countries...Gadafi hadnt been in office for decades,., so why call him a dictator? It shows a typical eurocentric view of africa.

Meanwhile, so called democratic leaders behave like autocrats, ignoring the will of the people, or using the media and PR to make the public will echo the political party in power. EU 'democracies' are subservient to EU and ultimately to US control, as the incideent dfo closig airspace gto the bolivian presidential plane...
worseboth US and EU have now aided neonazis to enter power in a sovereign state, and are usnig blandishments to get that new power to come under their control thru entering EU.

SO a bettter and devils dictionary defn of 'dictator' runs like his:
'strong capable free and independent leader', one not controlled by any foreign power'

Posted by: brian | Mar 4 2014 0:56 utc | 89

Timothy Snyder was on Democracy Now today in a debate with Ray McGovern. His timid manner beliedhis lack of confidence in his argument: he dry swallowed his way through the most abysmal sequence of half truths and hyperbole I have heard since the Ukraine crisis began. It was surely one of the most revolting displays of Ivy League Know Nothingness I have ever heard.

I wont go into a long comparison of him to McGovern; suffice it to say that there is a striking contrast between the man whose profession was to study the reality of Soviet society for the CIA, and the man's whose profession is to pave the way for American Exceptionalism from the blinkered and blinded perspective of American academia - even if it means steamrolling right over the current facts in the Ukraine.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 0:59 utc | 90

from Oneills bananas slip to Craig Murrays:

'The final extraordinary outbreak of hypocrisy is on the British left. Russian military invasion of Ukraine is approved by them, because it is an invasion by Russia, and not an invasion by the West. They are precisely as hypocritical as Hague. Both think it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations, but only by their chosen side.


someone tell Murray russia has NOT yet invaded Ukraine..and inspite of his dredging history, may not do so :BUT the authorities and people of Crimea and western ukraine WANT russia to enter and help them....has Murray forgotten then 2nd world war? Who decided to finally enter continental europe to stem the nazis? the brits and US...why doesnt he also condenm that 'invadion?

Posted by: brian | Mar 4 2014 1:05 utc | 91

##55 said "It is clear, Russia is redesigning its territory and nobody will stop it." #64 said: "It is obvious from events... it will be annexation by referendum."

In my view, it would be better for most people in Ukraine if the present country was partitioned into two or more countries. After partition, the nationalists in the north & west would have a country that they are able to fully control, a country where a large majority would support having the Ukrainian language as the sole language of State, and they'd have their capital at Kiev. The east & south would have a Russian-speaking democracy where the Ukranian nationalists would be only a small part of the voting population. It doesn't really matter whether the south and east is annexed into Russia or is set up as an independent sovreign State, or annexed in provinces and set up sovreign in other provinces, and of course the people in the south and east would make their own choices about that question. The thing that matters is to get a divorce of the people of the south & east from the people of the north & west. The Ukranian nationalists will never consent to the divorce. It has to happen against their will.

In the UK, Scotland is soon going to have a referendum on whether to exit from the UK and become independent. The people of England have the decency to allow the Scots to decide it for themselves. In the Ukraine, the nationalists will never have the decency to allow the east and south to decide for themselves. According to my values, every government in the West should be advocating for referendums in each province of Ukraine, to decide what State entity that province will be annexed by. The Western governments have that sort of attitude with regard to Serbia/Kosovo and Israel/Palestine. They've got no good reason to not have it with regard to Ukraine.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 4 2014 1:19 utc | 92

@ 89 - he is a fraud, demonstrably so

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 4 2014 1:46 utc | 93

I think, personally, it is useless to talk of legalities at this point.

The US and EU took by force something they could not have taken fairly. As they did in Chile, Iran, and may other places, they have turned another democracy - no matter how corrupt this one may have been (and it looked quite corrupt - into a genuine fascist dictatorship. Russia has responded as it must.

What remains is for us is to sit and to watch this increasingly dangerous game of chicken between the craven butchers in Washington DC, and a proud nation threatened with war on her very borders for the third time in living memory.

The only thing that matters now are the facts on the ground. Who is stronger than the other. Who wants what most, and who is willing to fight to keep it. A shit state of affairs - but what honest person could believe that it was Russia who has brought us to this point?

One more thing: Americans like Timothy Snyder need to realize that Russian people and indeed most people in the former Soviet space don't see their history as some dark, sullied tragedy - though it surely is a history of survival against great odds. The Russian Revolution wasn't something they read about in some academic journal, tainted by a unscrupulous cold war ideology. The Russian Revolution was a story told to them by their grandparents. And many people suffered in the 1930s - but where didn't they? And the Battle of Stalingrad and the stunning victory over the Nazis didn't come to them through clippings in a foreign newspaper: it came to them from the stories they heard at the grave of their great aunt and uncles. From the battlefields and memorials in their hometowns that people they knew could point to places where the bodies were piled.

To this day, most see the Soviet times as the best of times - and the victimization and break up of their country during the 1990s as the worst of them.

The thing is this: the people of the former Soviet Union don't have to look back and see a genocide of practically every last native in the lands they colonized - they mingle with all of them today (though not if a pig like Navalny has his way). They don't have to look back and see 300 years of slavery and terrorism - or if they do, they know it was they who were the slaves. They don't have to look back at on crimes like the occupation of India, or the Opium Wars or Vietnam. They don't have to look back and know they supported butchers like the Contras. In short, they don't suffer from the historical inadequacies of westerners like Snyder and Applebaum and Robert Conquest, and no amount of melodramatic western flights of fantasy will make them. The people of the former Soviet Union are proud of their history and it will not be taken from them.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 1:47 utc | 94

Here is a bit from Snyder: "The Germans shot so many civilians in part because Soviet partisans deliberately provoked reprisals."


Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 2:01 utc | 95

So funny to hear Powers: "Russian military intervention is not based on a responsibility to protect..."

She's like an angry comedian: "Hey! That's my bit!"

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 2:11 utc | 96

Jeez, this Ukrainian Holocaust Denial those 2 communazis above are engaging is is oretty fucking neauseating

Not content with your fellow communists mass murder of millions of ukrainians, it looks like you two nazis are so enthusiastic about denying this that you almost be prepared to dig em and kill em again just for having the temerity of being murdered by communazis in the first place

Why don't you two left wing nazis f off and stop polluting the net with your pig-ingnorant hate filled droolings

F-ing communazis- worse than the actual nazis

Posted by: communazis | Mar 4 2014 2:12 utc | 97

The events in the Ukraine are about 1000x times more serious than 2008 Georgia, so I'm sure we can see a 1000x stronger NATO response. So... whats 1000 times zero again?

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 2:15 utc | 98

@96 fuck off, foff.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 4 2014 2:17 utc | 99


thankfully as i said timothy snyder is seen as a johnny come lately by other shoah scholars, he had to like goldhagen - withdraw a great many of his thesis because they were demonstrably wrong

i was arguing today that from 1939 & the annexation of poland, no jewish person who escaped with the russians died,, yes they went to the urals but so did many others, they did not die & in every part of eastern europe & the baltic but especially in galicia western ukraine where the ss galicia was involved in at the very leat 900,000 murders or the baltic whete they were completely extinguished, that sin can never be laid at the door of the soviet union

it possessed the only constitution in the world that made illegal anti semitism

but those cunts cold war 'scholars spread so much shit some of it was bound to stick - we are nearly 100 years from the revolution & as far as i am concerned there is no book in french spanish or english that really does service to that history with rigot, none & certainly not mrs applebaum

as pinter said the real stroy is nevertold

that the life of the masses in the west & in the colonised countries was hell with very few exceptions indeed - christ european countries still have bidounvilles that would or should shame them & what has been the plantation or the prison except massive gulags

it was said hitler feared being taken back to moscow in a cage more than death, perhaps if that had been done, fascim woul be the mockery of an idea that it is, it is capitalism speaking openly & brutally, that is all - the difference is quantitative

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 4 2014 2:28 utc | 100

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