Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2014

Ukraine: U.S. Takes Off-Ramp, Agrees To Russian Demands

There was another phone call today between Secretary of State Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. The call came after a strategy meeting on Ukraine in the White House. During the call Kerry agreed to Russian demands for a federalization of the Ukraine in which the federal states will have a strong autonomy against a central government in a finlandized Ukraine. Putin had offered this "off-ramp" from the escalation and Obama has taken it.

The Russian announcement:

Lavrov, Kerry agree to work on constitutional reform in Ukraine: Russian ministry

(Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed on Sunday to seek a solution to crisis in Ukraine by pushing for constitutional reforms there, the Russian foreign ministry said.

It did not go into details on the kind of reforms needed except to say they should come "in a generally acceptable form and while taking into the account the interests of all regions of Ukraine".
...
"Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov and John Kerry agreed to continue work to find a resolution on Ukraine through a speedy launch of constitutional reform with the support of international community," the ministry said in a statement.

The idea of "constitutional reform" and the "interests of all regions" is from the Russians as documented in this Russian" non-paper".

The non-paper describes the process of getting to a new Ukrainian constitution and sets some parameters for it. Russian will be again official language next to Ukraine, the regions will have high autonomy, there will be no interferences in church affairs and the Ukraine will stay politically and militarily neutral. Any autonomy decision by the Crimea would be accepted. This all would be guaranteed by a "Support Group for Ukraine" consisting of the US, EU and Russia and would be cemented in an UN Security Council resolution.

It seems that Kerry and Obama have largely accepted these parameters. They are now, of course, selling this solution as their own which is, as the "non-paper" proves, inconsistent with the reality.

Here is Kerry now suddenly "urging Russia" to accept the conditions Russia had demanded and which Kerry never mentioned before:

Secretary of State John Kerry called on Moscow to return its troops in Crimea to their bases, pull back forces from the Ukraine border, halt incitement in eastern Ukraine and support the political reforms in Ukraine that would protect ethnic Russians, Russian speakers and others in the former Soviet Republic that Russia says it is concerned about.

In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, their second since unsuccessful face-to-face talks on Friday in London, Kerry urged Russia "to support efforts by Ukrainians across the spectrum to address power sharing and decentralization through a constitutional reform process that is broadly inclusive and protects the rights of minorities," the State Department said.

Obama has given up. His empty threats had now worked and he now has largely accepted the Russian conditions for the way out of the crisis.

The U.S. plot to snatch the Ukraine from Russia and to integrate it into NATO and the EU seems to have failed. Russia taking Crimea and having 93% of the voters there agree to join Russia has made the main objective of the U.S. plans, to kick the Russians out of Sevastopol and thereby out of the Middle East, impossible.

The Russian (non public) threat to also immediately take the eastern and southern provinces from the Ukraine has pushed the U.S. into agreeing to the Russian conditions mentioned above. The only alternative to that would be a military confrontation which the U.S. and Europeans are not willing to risk. Despite the anti-Russian campaign in the media a majority of U.S. people as well as EU folks are against any such confrontation. In the end the U.S. never held the cards it needed to win this game.

Should all go well and a new Ukrainian constitution fit the Russian conditions the "west" may in the future well be allowed to pay for the monthly bills Gazprom will keep sending to Kiev.

It will take some time to implement all of this. What dirty tricks will the neocons in Washington now try to prevent this peaceful outcome?

Posted by b on March 16, 2014 at 18:34 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

I'm so grateful for this site. I just wanted to let b know that Pepe Escobar mentioned Moon of Alabama this morning:
"US Secretary of State John Kerry - as when Moscow saved the "red line" Obama administration from bombing Syria - will go on overdrive to steal all the credit from the Russians. US corporate media will duly buy it, but not independents such as Moon of Alabama."
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-170314.html

Posted by: madisolation | Mar 17 2014 11:40 utc | 101

Merkel nor anyone else will back now. Right now more sanctions are prepared.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 17 2014 11:53 utc | 102

I don't share Thomas' sentimental feeling for the song. It's hypocritical, in any case, to interfere with discussion of the future of Crimea just to sentimentalise about the names of songs. His concept of leftism is a classically 'denazified' one, ie it's based on the idea of anti-Semitism as original sin, repentance for which requires re-enslavement to the Jewish God, and so on.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Mar 17 2014 11:53 utc | 103

HnH @95: Google translate says you're also drearily defending b's private property rights and attacking thomas's audacious free speech:

At least as important that you have the audacity "b" to prescribe what would appear to * his * blog for content and comments.

Again with those stars next to *his*. They make it obvious to any bourgeois mind that property rights are absolute!

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 12:03 utc | 104

The Crimeans have already decided to transition to the ruble. I wonder if that would also be permitted for the devolved/federated/autonomous southeast Ukrainian region. If that were so, or if the southeast were allowed to have its own currency, the solution proposed by Russia a couple months ago becomes easily doable: Ukraine splitting economically and allowing the west to become (a very subordinate) part of the EU and the south and east (and Crimea) part of the Eurasian Union. Like two separate countries in all but name. Very face-saving and another example of Russia's smart diplomacy.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 12:14 utc | 105

@fairleft: if you wish to annul property rights, then you need to advocate and go back to the Hunter Gatherer existence. Ever since the advent of agrarian era property rights have become essential to a functioning social system. For property rights to be defended you need a state with the ability to defend the rights on property as agreed in the social contract.

Without property there is no state, and no civilization possible above the complexity of the Hunter Gatherer existence. Even in socialism and communist systems property is very clearly defined.

So, again. Are you sure that all and sundry property rights should be annulled?

Also, there is a clear difference between free speech and and the utterance of threats.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 17 2014 12:20 utc | 106

fairleft

b did not limit thomas' freedom of free speech. He did *not* in any way make use of the fact that this is *his* blog.

thomas, however, wanted to dictate what can be said and what can not be said on this blog, which is not his blog and where he has no standing whatsoever.

And what is it that is so intolerable to thomas? It's "anti-semitism" that is, the right of others to judge for themselves rather than to bowing to the zionists dictatorial commands.

So, it's thomas who wants to limit the free speech - and, if only he could, even the free mind - of others.

But then, that's what zionist nazis and fans of mass murderers do. zionist rats like you and thomas.

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 12:24 utc | 107

are you so stupid? this sentence is intolerable to a blog with the name "Moon of Alabama":

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse!

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17 2014 12:30 utc | 108

If there's a lesson in Obama's decision to take the off-ramp off-ered by Putin, it is this:
Paper Tigers shouldn't play with fire...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2014 12:41 utc | 109

thomas

Before you dictate what's acceptable on MoA hell freezes over.

And now go and have a long swim at Fukushima, zionist rat!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 12:47 utc | 110

Russia Urges Ukraine to Adopt Federal Constitution
RIA Novosti, Mar 17 2014

MOSCOW – Moscow on Monday called on Ukraine to draft a new federal constitution granting broadened powers to the country's disparate regions in order to protect minority populations. Russian leaders have in recent weeks expressed concern that the new government that rose to power in Ukraine amid violent protests in the capital Kiev does not represent the interests of all segments of the country’s society. The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the Ukrainian parliament in a statement Monday to convene a constitutional assembly to provide for greater autonomy for the country’s regions, guarantee Russian as a second official language, and enshrine a principle of geopolitical neutrality for the country. The draft constitution would need to pass a public referendum before nationwide elections are held, the ministry said. Russia has proposed setting up an international contact group to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine that erupted in November following a step back by Pres Yanukovych from closer ties with Europe. Months-long protests in the country's capital Kiev that repeatedly turned deadly eventually led to his ouster by a vote of parliament Feb 22. “The current situation in Ukraine was not created by us, it is the result of a deep crisis in the Ukrainian state that led to a polarization of society and an escalation of conflict among various parts of the country,” the statement said.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Mar 17 2014 12:49 utc | 111

107: No, you used the 'property rights' defense 'for' b. You obviously believe very strongly in them. I don't.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 12:56 utc | 112

fairleft

You may throw the "property right" herring as much as you like. It doesn't change the fact, however, that it isn't b who dictates what is acceptable to think and write here; it's your zionist friend thomas is set to limit our free speech.

And that zionist rat doesn't even shy away from openly threatening b.

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 13:02 utc | 113

So, again. Are you sure that all and sundry property rights should be annulled?

The usual fantastical mischaracterization.

When property rights and the right to free speech collide, this blog should not be defended by a leftist with the "It's *his* blog" argument. Thomas is saying how he thinks things should be done here. You should defend his right to say that and not attack him for 'daring' to tell the 'owner' what to do with *his* blog.

We need free speech, and if (big) internet blogs are not the present-day 'free speech zones' then free speech is basically dead.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 13:03 utc | 114

to call somebody "zionist rat" is intolerable on a blog with the name "Moon of Alabama"

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17 2014 13:03 utc | 115

107: No, you used the 'property rights' defense 'for' b. You obviously believe very strongly in them. I don't.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17, 2014 8:56:58 AM | 112

Save it for the next 'Open Thread', then tell us all in detail how you are going to organize society without property rights.

Posted by: DM | Mar 17 2014 13:03 utc | 116

@ all: it's not about property rights of names, b has no rights to the name, only to his blog.

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17 2014 13:05 utc | 117

Congratulations: almost all of the discussion of the ownership of the MoA name has been a complete waste not just of time but of mental energy.
Thomas makes very good points, generally, but he is wrong, in an extraordinarily sentimental way, here.

HnH is also wrong about the history of property but it is of small consequence here. He is simply rehearsing the antique theories of the Scottish Enlightenment, the broken record which is the dirge accompanying humanity's descent into self immolation.

I disagree with Okie farmer that scratching a libertarian reveals a fascist. He seems to me to be using libertarian in a very narrow US sense, libertarianism in Spain, for example is as far from fascism as you can get.

As to Mr Pragma, whatever else Thomas may be he is not a zionist rat, and to call him one is guaranteed to cause offence. You persist in polluting the very many useful and sensible things that you say by wrapping them up in this laughably hyperbolic abuse: it creates an image of extraordinary impotence which distracts from the proper appreciation of your views.

Am I not right Rowan?

Posted by: bevin | Mar 17 2014 13:09 utc | 118

I don't care batshit about what thomas the ZIONIST RAT which openly - and criminally - threatens the man running this blog, thinks about MoA.
Neither do I care batshit about his opinion about the name "MoA", about B. Brecht, or about anything else other than his favourite suicide method and its implementation.

Because he is a ZIONIST RAT that wants to terrorize us and to limit our freedom.

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 13:15 utc | 119

DM @117: Pushing aside your lame mischaracterization, nearly all societies are already organized with limited property rights, especially when they conflict with free speech. But some societies like the US consistently rule in favor of property rights when the two sets of rights conflict. Most leftists think that is bad, and want to expand free speech rights at the expense of property rights, and one place that needs to happen is on big blogs ...

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 13:22 utc | 120

bevin

As if anything you say could carry any weight after you have been exposed as an incompetent jabberer of, that is conceded, well formed phrases ...

If anyone around here had the intellectual potency to protect the zionist rat it'd be rather my neighbours dog than you.

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 13:24 utc | 121

You're right bevin, "a very narrow US sense" - don't know anything about libertarians in Spain.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17 2014 13:26 utc | 122

Just btw. it's interesting that the zionist rats are so much in a distraction and disturbance frenzy in *this* thread, the thread that deals with a big-time defeat of the zionist criminal attack on ukraine ...

Meanwhile Syria is cleaning up the zionist sponsored terrorist vermins. When finished and properly weaponized by Russia, izrael, in a troubled relation with its weaker and weaker protector zusa, might rather find itself in a very, very inconvenient position - for some time, that is.

Once izrael is taken care of, zusa may become usa again and consequently this world might finally re-establish a human civilization.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 13:35 utc | 123

Mr Pragma, many thanks for, so promptly, proving my point.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 17 2014 13:36 utc | 124

Mr. Pragma, fairleft, thomas - SHUT UP

Posted by: b | Mar 17 2014 13:41 utc | 125

Oh, oh, me so impressed by bevins super-smart remarks (that are, once more, just empty rhetoric shells).

OF COURSE, you like to distract and destroy this discussion. It's after all the discussion where you have been outed as an incompetent jabberer.
And supporting izraels criminals interests is anyway a habit of yours and a welcome side effect.
Fraternizing with attackers on b though is gross, even for someone like you. But I guess that's your "potency".

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 13:46 utc | 126

@ bevin.

Calling me an adherent of Scottish Enlightenment is not, in my eyes, the disparagement you seem to imply. To the contrary, rational thought and empiricism is one of the most fundamental cornerstones for induction, deduction, reflection, self-reflection and the ability to put a humanist outlook into practice. In contrast to Scottish Enlightenment I think that education needs to be extended to all and should be compulsory. An emphasis of mine would clearly be fostering critical thinking.

Humanities' descent into self-immolation is a consequence of a lack of critical thinking and the ensuing behavioral changes, not the other way round.

However, with regards to the emergence of property, property rights, the state without an agricultural society you are very clearly wrong. Take a step back from bias and ideology, and look at the systemic forces that lead or do not lead towards the development of an increasingly complex civilization. For further reading have a look at, among others, Graeber Debt: The First 5000 Years, Too Smart for our Own Good by Dilworth, Secular Cycles by Turchin and Nefedov, and the theories of property, interest and money by Heinsohn and Steiger.

@fairleft.
Just because you disagree doesn't make it so. Obviously, there is a dimension of what is leftism. On one extreme, in communism property in a defined area belongs to the people of that state, not to all people in the globe. If everything belongs to everyone, then everything belongs to nobody and property itself is non-existent. That means that there is possession only.

Possession only exists solely in Hunter Gatherer societies and during anarchy. Hunter Gatherer societies are clearly viable and a stable way of living, just not for 7billion people. Carrying capacity of the earth for Hunter Gather societies only is about a couple of hundred million. Anarchism would support even less, because it does preclude any form of societal organization.

Just because you do not like the attribution of property does not mean that does not have an important and structuring function. If you disagree, then you are encouraged to make your case for the societal organization you would support and what extent of civilizational complexity it would allow.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 17 2014 13:59 utc | 127

lol?! This is just moronic!

http://rt.com/news/sanctions-russia-eu-us-338/

So Crimea have a democratic vote and Russia gets sanctions!?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 17 2014 14:17 utc | 128

I think that, after b's intervention, one should be careful to discuss with fairleft and thomas as they might feel that they can't respond.

Similarly, it has become shockingly obvious that defending b or MoA is not welcome by b and such loyalty even risks negative consequences.

Should b feel that this comment is against his dictum ("shut up") I will without hesitation leave MoA if he desires so (I will do the same if he ever again puts myself next to zionists (further specification absent for reasons of fairness; see above)).

I *do* respect that this is b's blog and that he is in contol (although some might accuse me of "property-ism", haha). I will, however, neither accept to be limited in my free speech nor will I accept being put next to people who (specification omitted due to reasons of fairness).

If my contributions, although no worded well enough to become famous on counterpunch (no matter the content), aren't worth an extra line, I should leave anyway; If, however, they are, I should deserve a line for myself (and potentially other contributors) and not be put on the same line as people who (specification omitted due to reasons of fairness).

If this should be interpreted as a sign of impotence by certain famous phrase crafters, so be it; I care about content not about wrapping.


Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17 2014 14:24 utc | 129

Recent revelations by Greenwald via the Snowden docs have confirmed that there are programs specifically designed to disrupt and propagandize online commentary. At the same time, every open forum thread is prone to stray off topic and/or lead to dissenting views resulting in heated discussions with no relevance to the topic on hand.

I am a firm believer in free speech, and ones ability to hold fast to their beliefs no matter how asinine they are, however not at the cost of depriving those of us who come here to learn about a specific topic.

I would like to recommend that blog owner open a separate thread, (Flamewars) and instruct those who are in apparent and obvious disagreement on a subject which is only tangentially related to the subject of the post be directed to take their discussion there. A failure to comply and/or a re-ignition should result in limited banishment.

Freedom is not the right to do what you want, but to do what you ought.

All blogs have a limited shelf life because eventually the kids and idiots find them and commence polluting the threads with really high quality comments. /sarc. b, please do what you can to slow the process, but it is coming. It is one of the costs of being successful in this sphere.

BTW, I live in Alabama and it is my moon. No one has the right to assume some special almost religious fervor to a song written about the pursuit of getting drunk and getting laid to it.

Posted by: b4real | Mar 17 2014 14:35 utc | 130

This is good:
http://goingtotehran.com/
So, again is the AToL piece by Pepe Escobar to which madisolation @101 links.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 17 2014 14:35 utc | 131

It's hard not to respond when you feel yourself under attack. Perhaps we could come up with some fight rules? I'll throw out a couple of ideas; hopefully others can do better. What about if we just stick to facts and data rather than ad hominem anything? And/or, limit ourselves to two responses to any attacks or other derailments? And if it's someone who just keeps taunting you, why grace them with a response at all?

This blog is so good, and that's partly bc of b and partly bc of the commenters -- When. We. Stick. To. The. Issues. At. Hand. Let's all try, ok?

Posted by: Nora | Mar 17 2014 14:46 utc | 132

The Americans are getting personal now.

"WASHINGTON (AP) — In the most comprehensive sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War, President Barack Obama on Monday froze the U.S. assets of seven Russian officials, including top advisers to President Vladimir Putin, for their support of Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine. The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians — including former President Viktor Yanukovych and others who have supported Crimea's separation — under existing authority under a previous Obama order. Senior administration officials also said they are developing evidence against individuals in the arms industry and those they described as "Russian government cronies" to target their assets." http://news.yahoo.com/us-announces-sanctions-against-russian-officials-134312016--politics.html

The EU also have announced sanctions against 21 Russians and Ukrainians.

It doesn't look like these guys are taking any off-ramps yet.

Posted by: scalawag | Mar 17 2014 15:00 utc | 133

I saw written somewhere once 'Humanity has lost its way the first time someone stuck a pole in the ground saying 'this is mine', and the people believed him.' Rings true.

Who knows where mankind would be if we would have saved ourselves the millennia of slavery and feudal kingdoms, which the acceptance of property rights has ultimately led to on many occasions throughout the ages. If we would not have spent so much blood, energy and resources on fighting over what belongs to whom for a speck of time.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Mar 17 2014 15:09 utc | 134

scalawag @133: Those have been telegraphed for weeks, so those Russian and Ukrainian officials have had lots of time to move assets to Russia or China, where they'll be perfectly safe. The worst thing is the childish rhetoric, calling Putin's colleagues 'cronies' ... but that too is some meat being thrown to the neocon howling wolves.

The larger problem is whether the US neocons and their subordinates in Ukraine will scuttle the (almost too reasonable, almost too good to come true) move toward federation and a new constitution. Kerry may want a peaceful settlement of this crisis, but after being frustrated last year in Syria the neocons are not in the mood for a tensions climbdown.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 15:28 utc | 135

Excellent finds B, have re-blogged bits on my site (with full attribution). As of this morning (haven't checked since lunch) UK media don't seem to have noticed any of these latest 'diplomatic' moves. BBC still running 'sanctions and consequences' theme. Will watch with interest.

Posted by: Carrie | Mar 17 2014 15:39 utc | 136

fairleft

There really is no duality in western policies. What is portrayed as political difference is just "good cop"bad cop" theatrics to entertain the gullible. The Syrian "talks" amounted to nothing, thanks to western duplicity. Why should these people act any different with the Ukraine? The west uses diplomacy as a cover for its expansion. The Russians obviously realize this and expect it now. They are also well prepared to counter the west's aggressive strategy as Crimea amply shows.

Posted by: scalawag | Mar 17 2014 15:52 utc | 137

scalawag: I agree that the reasonable, federation settlement seems unlikely, but the mild sanctions are not evidence of that. I think there are competing factions inside US politics (the surprise peaceful resolution of last September's Syria crisis is actually evidence of that). The Wall Street crowd agrees on the overall crusade with the neocons but scary short-run considerations, like the immediate economic losses of full-scale economic war with Russia, may be causing them/Obama to pull back. If you agree with the premise of competing factions, then you could see how neocons in positions of power could muck up something complicated like working out a settlement based on a new constitution for Ukraine.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 16:25 utc | 138

fairleft # 138: another constraint on US policy might well be that $100b of T-bills removed from the Fed last week, presumably by Russia. It's not just chess vs. football, it's chess vs. football players sans quarterback.

Posted by: Nora | Mar 17 2014 16:33 utc | 139

fairleft, scalawag is right, and you're an idealistic dreamer. There are no competing factions is US politics, anything that looks like it is entertainment for the masses. Stage magicians call it 'misdirection'.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17 2014 17:03 utc | 140

okie farmer: So you think the called off attack on Syria was misdirection? It looked more like confusion or Obama getting cold feet. I don't think things are much more complicated than Obama feeling pressured by the neocons to set 'red lines' or otherwise engage in extremely belligerent rhetoric, and then when the time for real war and/or severe economic pain comes his Wall Streety non-neocon nature asserts itself.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17 2014 17:54 utc | 141

I read these articles and comments and just shake my head in wonder. How can a rational person think that there can be an impartial referendum with the options of "go independent" or "join Russia" with Russian soldiers standing around all over the place? How can you believe that in a province with 60% Russian speakers, 85% of the entire voting age population turns out and 95% of those vote for joining Russia? Do you even think of who actually registered to vote and how "extremist" non-separatists were denied the right to vote? Did you even know that the Tatars, 12% of the population, boycotted the vote? I can accept that you think the US has a poor history of respecting other nations' sovereignty, but how can you possibly think that Russia is better given its even more sordid history? The Russians starved millions of Ukrainians to death. So do you really think that 95% of the 40% non-Russian Crimeans really wanted to be annexed? Or was the whole referendum just an illegal, non-representative farce? I'm thinking the latter. Take the troops away and redo the referendum without the blatant discrimination and transparent ballot boxes, then you may have an argument.

Posted by: Matt C. | Mar 17 2014 19:07 utc | 142

fairleft, you changed the subject. US's Syria stand down had nothing to do with "competing factions inside US politics". US got outmaneuvered by Russia. Period. O's neoliberal/neocon loyalties have been well established, he just got beat in a geopolitical chess match.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17 2014 19:08 utc | 143

Congratulations Bernhard! You've made it to the VoltaireNet:

Ukraine: U.S. Pulls Back, Agrees To Russian Demands

Posted by: ProPeace | Mar 17 2014 19:10 utc | 144

Once again just a quote from spiegel-online's live feed

20:09 Uhr
17. März 2014
Die größte ukrainische Oppositionspartei fordert eine weitgehende Autonomie der östlichen Landesteile, um die Lage im Land zu beruhigen und vielleicht doch an der Krim festhalten zu können. "Wir wollen zudem ein föderales System mit großer Autonomie für die einzelnen Landesteile der Ukraine. Dafür muss die ukrainische Verfassung geändert werden", sagte Oleg Zarew, stellvertretender Vorsitzender der Partei der Regionen.

Translation:
The vice chairman of ukraine's biggest opposition party, party of regions (that's yanokovich's party) proposes to change ukraine's constitution towards a federal system of autonomous regions to stabilize the country and possibily keep crimea ukrainian.
Sounds almost verbatim to what b has posted above. It's so much, that the guy is voicing this suggestion but more that the major western newsfeed prints it (and not as a "russian" but as a "ukrainian" suggestion, too).

Posted by: peter radiator | Mar 17 2014 19:34 utc | 145

No Russian counter sanctions today, but Pres.V.Putin Did recognize Crimea. So the "wet noodle" face saver concept seems to be holding, or would not Russia have retaliated?

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 17 2014 20:11 utc | 146

Here's what EU did re: sanctions:

European ministers agreed on Monday to impose sanctions against 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine, including travel bans and asset freezes.

http://www.euractiv.com/video/eu-imposes-sanctions-russian-ukr-534190

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17 2014 20:45 utc | 147

@ HnH #106 who claimed:

"For property rights to be defended you need a state with the ability to defend the rights on property as agreed in the social contract"

False, many examples. A few that come to mind:

1. COMMUNITY ENFORCEMENT OF INFORMAL CONTRACTS:
JEWISH DIAMOND MERCHANTS IN NEW YORK http://bit.ly/1edkflG

2.Order Without Law? Property Rights During the California Gold Rush
http://bit.ly/1kXX3fL based on

3. Theory of Property Rights With Applications to the California Gold Rush
http://amzn.to/1g3ApQQ


Posted by: erichwwk | Mar 17 2014 20:59 utc | 148

@ HnH #106 who wrote:

For property rights to be defended you need a state with the ability to defend the rights on property as agreed in the social contract.

False, many examples, a few that come immediately to mind:

1.COMMUNITY ENFORCEMENT OF INFORMAL CONTRACTS:
JEWISH DIAMOND MERCHANTS IN NEW YORK http://bit.ly/1edkflG

2. Order Without Law? Property Rights During the California Gold Rush
http://bit.ly/1kXX3fL based on

3. Theory of Property Rights With Applications to the California Gold Rush

http://amzn.to/1p56p6F


Posted by: erichwwk | Mar 17 2014 21:19 utc | 149

Has anyone heard of the "Answer Coaltion" yet ? They are trying to organize opposition to funding right wing extremist govt In ukraine

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 17 2014 21:51 utc | 150

@erichwwk, not to mention Engels' Origin of the Family.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 18 2014 0:30 utc | 151

thomas

the "left" means abandoning class struggle for alternative gender "libertarion" issues? your left.
what is a "cultural dependency?"
like when Stalin re-opened the doors of the Orthodox Church?
when you capitalize and festoon/guilt-trip "Holocaust" here, it's pretty conspiratorial--advancing the aims of Zionism by way of perpetuating sympathy for subsidy for continuing exploitation. I could quote a few Jewish writers who would agree on that one.

Posted by: truthbetold | Mar 18 2014 0:34 utc | 152

@149 ANSWER seems to have the right frame of mind. They've not missed a chance to denounce US Imperialism no matter where it takes place in the world: Venezuela, Iran, Ukraine to name a few.

Brian Becker, who is the national coordinator of ANSWER, often appears on RT's CrossTalk program.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 18 2014 1:47 utc | 153

@Matt C.

You bring up the United States as if to draw a counterpoint to Russia. But this is impossible. A country which has both invaded and overthrown or attempted to overthrow governments all across the world - leading to upwards of a million of death - cannot be compared to Russia's non-violent intervention in Crimea.

It's nice that you are concerned about important events of 70 years ago and the fairness of a peaceful election in Crimea. It would be nicer, though, if you would be concerned about the oceans of blood the United States, today, is spilling all over the globe.

....

I don't want to go into your description about "the Russians starving millions of Ukrainians to death" when a simple Wikipedia would show that to be a extraordinarily simplistic way of describing an extraordinarily complex event. Of course we know that in today's political environment, even history has been weaponized for use in pursuing elite aims. And of course no one is saying the event did not occur. Almost any event is more complex than "A did B" of course. But the event you bring up, having so many implications to what we see happening in Ukraine today, is obviously far too complex for that treatment.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 18 2014 2:06 utc | 154

How long before 'al CIA Duh' starts blowing up markets, churches, meetings and other public places in Crimea?

Posted by: Catman | Mar 18 2014 8:22 utc | 155

Catman

As soon as zusa grows the balls and the power to risk getting involved in serious trouble with Russia.

Don't hold your breath though.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 18 2014 10:25 utc | 156

@b :
There is a copycat of your article there http://www.voltairenet.org/article182746.html

Is that yours ? Did you greelight Réseau Voltaire for pubication ?

Posted by: Rhysa | Mar 18 2014 12:52 utc | 157

Woops, my bad, forget it, MoA is mentionned at the bottom.

Posted by: Rhysa | Mar 18 2014 12:52 utc | 158

What would happen if Putin would decide to dump the dollar in his payments?

Posted by: margarida | Mar 18 2014 16:29 utc | 159

@guest77

Most everyone here belies an equally simplistic cognitive bias when they say things like you do: "the oceans of blood the United States, today, is spilling all over the globe" - which is just patent nonsense. I am a critical thinker. I do not blindly love the US, and I despise many things our government and corporations do when they put profit above humanity. But the fact is the US military and CIA kills exceptionally few civilians on purpose in their operations; most civilians deaths occur in the aftermath of US intervention (especially since the end of the Cold War). The fact is it's very difficult to tease apart what deaths would have happened anyway in these unstable environments and even what deaths were prevented by intervening. Of course, anti-Americans try to blame ALL the negative effects on America after any kind of intervention and give them no credit for positive effects.

There is no difficulty in attributing at least 2 million Ukrainian deaths DIRECTLY to Stalin and his cronies: "The combination of the elimination of kulaks, collectivization, and other repressive policies contributed to mass starvation in many parts of the Soviet Ukraine and the death of at least 7 to 10 million peasants in 1930–1937." The United States on the other hand has never done any such thing and helps to prevent famine by exporting hundreds of billions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid (both in cash and in-kind) to developing nations all over the world. Russia has always done the same, but on a MUCH smaller scale (by an order of magnitude) and almost exclusively to its neighboring or allied countries. The US is far less discriminating in giving aid: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/dp-russia-humanitarian-donor-150713-en.pdf

There is also no difficulty counterpointing Russia and the United States in terms of how many governments they've helped overthrow or tried to overthrow. The difference is that the United States, when the USSR was around, consistently did this in order to contain communism: it was always capitalism first and then democracy. And history has shown that capitalism leads to democracy in the long run, and in the short term it's much better for the population (see China's extraordinary growth since embracing private investment for a perfect example of this). Putin only managed to reign in Russian corruption by taking control of major industries by the state and being the biggest bully of all the oligarchs, i.e. a return to communism in all but name.

Posted by: Matt C. | Mar 18 2014 18:05 utc | 160

You have offered us a political nugget. Small, clean, concise exposition of criminal methodology used by...all criminals. Always a wrong doing presented as legit one. I suppose inverse is true too in the hyper-criminal logic frame, which deserves the adjective Zatanic.

Posted by: Rihard | Mar 18 2014 21:45 utc | 161

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