Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 12, 2014

Ukraine: Serious Media Largely Confirm Donetsk Poll Results

The often criticized main stream media can sometimes do a good job. Here we have a case where some journalists really make a difference.

Videos of yesterdays referendum in east Ukraine showed seemingly high turnout with most of those taking part voting yes. Still the around 80% turnout numbers put out by the people who had called for those votes and did the counting are somewhat dubious. As are the coup-government claims of some 30% turnout. How would Kiev know? But some real journalistic work helps to gauge the numbers validity:

DONETSK, Ukraine — Residents of two regions of eastern Ukraine turned out in significant numbers Sunday to vote in support of self-rule in a referendum that threatens to deepen divisions in a country already heading perilously toward civil war.
There were no independent exit polls Sunday. But it did appear that turnout was relatively high. Journalists from several Western news organizations interviewed 186 residents in the Donetsk region, away from polling stations, and found that 116 had cast ballots or intended to. A total of 122 favored self-determination. The results were not scientific but reflected the level of interest in the referendum.

According to the German FAZ, whose correspondent took some of the interviews, the following media took part:

Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Kyodo News Agency, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Irish Times, The Washington Post, ZDF.

Most of these are German but had so far largely followed the propaganda filled, pro-Kiev "western" view. Now they find, in their admittedly unscientific poll, that about two third of the people in the Donetzk and Luhansk regions are in favor of more autonomy.

This is much larger share than one could have guessed from previous polls. But those polls were taken before the coup government in Kiev opened its fight against "terrorists" in the east and before right wing militia and mob mass-killed people in Odessa and Mariupol. As the Washington Post notes:

Residents’ attitudes appear to have hardened considerably with the deaths of dozens of pro-Russian activists in the city of Odessa this month and with reports that troops fired at a crowd in Mariupol last week.

In Ukraine's political circles there now seems to be a bit of turnaround behind the scenes moving against the coup-government's current path. On Sunday the richest Ukrainian oligarch Ahmetov announced to provide neutral security forces for Mariupol and today the Kiev imposed governor of Donetzk Taruta called for an end of the "anti-terrorism" operation Kiev has been pushing against the east. If yesterday's poll helps to bring up more of such voices it was already well worth the effort.

Posted by b on May 12, 2014 at 9:40 UTC | Permalink

next page »

100% counted votes:

Donetzk - 74,87%
Lugansk - 81%

Donetzk - 89,07%
Lugansk - 90,53%

Posted by: Harry | May 12 2014 10:07 utc | 1

1st numbers - participation.

Posted by: Harry | May 12 2014 10:08 utc | 2

It seems not improbable to me that Akhmetov, seening how the whole mess isn't going to end well for most of the local plutocracy, struck a bargain with Moscow, perhaps similar to the one offered to Abramovich, and hence has now defected to the other side in the conflict. So far this is baseless speculation on my part, but it would give events a very interesting spin if it were the case.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | May 12 2014 10:12 utc | 3

Akhmetov move may signal further break down of Ukraine into fiefdoms. Kolomiskiy thugs attacked Mariupol, the heart of Akhmetov's holdings. Kolomisky also held that "referendum" in Donbass on Donbass joining his fiefdom of Dnipropetrovsk. On the other hand, his banks got burned in Donbass. He also controls Odessa. Tymoshenko is also forming an "army". As is Poroshenko. One educated opinion is that Tymoshenko is looking for a way to cancel elections since she has fallen in polls to the 3rd place.

Posted by: CC | May 12 2014 10:23 utc | 4

No.3: ...defected...

Let's hope you're right... But it could simply be a form of deceit, to lower the guard of the people. Time will tell.

Posted by: ɓʁuçɚ | May 12 2014 10:25 utc | 5

Perhaps he is trying to prevent a Russian invasion, since he must realize that in this scenario he will have no good options. Also, I believe his low profile so far in connection to the ongoing presidential campaign is an important indicator. After all, he is a Tartar, so he cannot be in complete alliance with the putchists who are overtly Galician. Probably he is leading his own game and this is an attempt to outflank all of the parties in the conflict, but an understanding with Moscow is also likely - that would be a wise move.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | May 12 2014 10:39 utc | 6

as usual, cherry picking some of these newspapers. The Washington Post, in the same article states: "Many observers say the referendum lacks any credibility. Names were checked against a 2012 voters’ list, but anyone who turned up with a passport was allowed to vote, even if they weren’t on the list. Indeed, in one polling station in the city of Mariupol, many people brought multiple passports on behalf of relatives and openly filled out two, three or even four ballot slips themselves.

The ballots lacked markings that could prevent them from being widely copied. The people staffing the polling stations and counting the ballots were activists who supported a yes vote. There were no international oversight missions."

...but then again, what would anyone expect from someone parroting Russian propaganda

Posted by: Another Jeff | May 12 2014 11:03 utc | 7

RT CrossTalk - Ukraine vs. Ukraine - May 12, 2014 07:30

Posted by: Paty Kerry | May 12 2014 11:05 utc | 8


The referendum is a great victory for the east (even if in some cities the crazy military ruined it).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12 2014 11:13 utc | 9

@ 4

I believe the fiefdom analogy is the correct one. The central government, if that's what you want to call it, does not have the means to impose it's will on the outlying provinces, and must therefore compose with the pligarchs who run them. Anyone who has studied the history of early modern France can recognize the pattern. A feature of that pattern is that the players frequently change sides as a function of their current interest and situation. This is understood by all parties, which results in considerable slack to permit defectors to return to the fold at a later date. This could evolve into a comparatively stable equilibrium resulting in federalization. The big danger is the willingness of the USA to intervene on the side of the central regime. I believe the intervention will fail because the regime has no real legitimacy. These are questions the US foreign policy elite have a hard time coming to grips with. They are used to manipulating relatively coherent states. Afghanistan is another example, more extreme, of that inability to think things through.

Posted by: Knut | May 12 2014 12:09 utc | 10

Caught part of a TV3 (New Zealand) overview (no attribution to anyone) of the referendum - another "hit piece" if the Odessa coverage was anything to go by - The theme was there was intimidation by armed men. As we are being told that it's obvious from the visuals that it was self defense forces GUARDING polling stations. Then it moves on to "poll won't be credible" due to turnout being non representative, whilst showing huge crowds of people young through to very old waiting to vote. Next piece of "evidence" that polls couldn't be trusted was that voting was taking place without checks & balances - that ID were not being checked. Mean while on screen were people in a voting station showing ID & having details recorded.

The whole piece was surreal. The reporter was telling us one thing and the visuals were basically showing the exact opposite. Believe the reporter - don't believe your lying eyes !! A back room revolt against the lies ??

Posted by: Chris In Ch-Ch | May 12 2014 12:44 utc | 11

The CIA-generated, rump, neo-fascist regime in Kiev is very much on the back foot.

Not all CIA regime-change operations are successful.

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US living in Moscow

Posted by: Arnold Lockshin | May 12 2014 13:05 utc | 12

Obviously the purpose of the plebiscite is to show the world that the imperialists' media is telling lies.
The vote does an 'end run' around the propagandists which is probably an explanation for the relatively reasonable reports to which 'b' alludes.

Anyone capable of walking and chewing gum simultaneously will realise that, when it comes to "armed men" intimidating voters and secret counting, not to mention the outright banning and if necessary assassination of opponents of the US Dispensation, the elections in Iraq and Afghanistan furnish much more interesting copy.

After all the "NO" option was on these ballots: in the US lauded election in Yemen there was only one candidate. In the process whereby the thugs currently plundering Haiti came to power, not only were candidates of the largest and most popular party banned from running but, when the US favourite was rejected by the electorate, he was promptly re-instated, and the woman who beat him removed, by the US government.

And then, of course there was Honduras and Paraguay where, as in Kiev, the president was chased out of the country by US agents.

I'm continually surprised by the impertinence of those like "Another Jeff" who are stern critics of irregularities in every country but their own, which is the one place in which their opinions have any force.

Posted by: bevin | May 12 2014 13:10 utc | 13

It is interesting that the first reports from Donetsk written by the NYT yesterday were unremittingly positive, except for mentioning a drop off in turnout by the afternoon. Then the final story posted, Ukraine Vote on Separation Held in Chaos, played up the violence without highlighting the fact that it was all caused by the Maidanista national guard; it also speculated based on the Pew poll (which b notes was conducted before the Odessa and Mariupol massacres) that a large number, possibly a majority, stayed home.

In actuality the referendum was a great success. Peaceful, except for junta violence, with robust voter participation and efficient administration. The people of the Donbass don't want to be part of Kiev's coup. This isn't going to change, no matter how much violence.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 12 2014 13:20 utc | 14

a real revolution , one which it has no control over, is what the US fears
PaulaSlier_RT @PaulaSlier_RT
‪#‎Lugansk‬ leader says it's probable that,after independence,the rgn 'll form an unit govt w/ ‪#‎Donetsk‬.Acc. to him, other rgns 'll follow them

so lets see how long the republic of Donetsk lasts..US and Kiev wont take this lying down

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 13:29 utc | 15

comedy from a master destabiliser: who has helped sink Ukraine
09:03 GMT:
The acting president of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, has condemned as a “farce” referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

“This propaganda farce won’t have any legal consequences, except for criminal charges for its organizers,” Turchinov said, Interfax reported.

The referendums, according to Turchinov, were inspired by Russia to “totally destabilize the situation in Ukraine, disrupt the presidential election and overthrow the Ukrainian government.”

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 13:41 utc | 16

1. Reparent me as the Supreme commander DND all permanently stationed on the territory of the Republic of military forces, security agencies, police, customs, border guard service, Prosecutor's office, as well as other paramilitary structures. Commanders now to do my orders and instructions.

2. To introduce on the territory of DND, the counterterrorist operation (CTO). Within the framework of WHO all the guerrillas of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups (so-called "national guard", Right-hand side, "battalion Lyashko" and others) are subject to detention and, in the case of armed resistance to be destroyed on the spot.

3. Law enforcement agencies of the Republic to ensure the criminal prosecution of the leaders of the Kiev junta and other persons involved in inciting, organizing and committing mass murders on the territory of the DND: Kolomoyskit, Nalivaichenko, Parubiy, Havanova, Yulia Tymoshenko, Atarinov, Arseniy Yatseniuk, Lyashko, Artemenko and U.S. citizens Brennan, Nuland, Psaki.

4. All the soldiers and officers of the armed forces, internal troops, security service, interior Ministry and other military structures of Ukraine from this moment are considered to be illegally staying on the territory of DND. For 48 hours they are required to swear allegiance to the DND or leave it. All passed under the command of the authorities DND guaranteed the preservation of military and special ranks, salaries and social guarantees (provided had not been involved in committing serious and especially serious crimes).

5. Given the emergency nature of the situation in the country, unleashed Kiev junta genocide of the Donetsk population and the threat of intervention by NATO, turning to the Russian Federation with a request to provide our military assistance.


Posted by: anonymous | May 12 2014 13:45 utc | 17

@ 17

A link ?

Posted by: Outraged | May 12 2014 13:50 utc | 18

“Moscow respects the expression of will of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and proceeds on the basis that the implementation of the results of the referendums will be carried out in a civilised way, without any relapse of violence, through dialogue between representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk,” the statement says.


Those four way Geneva talks (with the US and EU at the table) can be history now!

Posted by: Tea | May 12 2014 14:01 utc | 19

@ brian | 15

so lets see how long the republic of Donetsk lasts..US and Kiev wont take this lying down

Kiev has only one choice - start using honey instead of vinegar, and they might still retain south-east, just as an autonomous region. But they have to begin good-faith negotiations immediately, every day lost with roaming death squads and nearing next referendum would make this option more and more distant.

If Kiev will continue their terror approach, you can bet there will be even more separatists (no longer pro-federation type), and next referendum will mean break-off from Ukraine.

This would put Russia in the tight spot, they dont want south-east (Russia would be perfectly happy with those remaining in Ukraine as autonomous state and no NATO base, written in constitution). Otherwise its 20 mln. extra hungry mouths to feed, headache of doubling salaries and pensions; dire need to rebuild the region and its failing economy, which would costs hundreds of billions, etc. Not to speak of sh** storm which would happen internationally if Russia do accept them as they did Crimea.

If Ukraine is federalized instead, Russia gets all the benefits and no headaches, I'm pretty sure whats what they are heavily pushing through all channels.

Posted by: Harry | May 12 2014 14:07 utc | 20

Relevant interview from TRNN, on US foreign policy. Why the oligarchs will decide the fate of the Ukraine, not the peons.

Posted by: ben | May 12 2014 14:26 utc | 21

Pavel Gubarev accused many of his comrades of taking money from Rinat Akhmetov

Apologies accepted and will NOT be posting here any more

Posted by: Canada | May 12 2014 14:32 utc | 22

Highly improbable and totally ineffectual for anyone to try to vote multiple times given the long line ups at the polling stations. Yes, someone may try to put in more than one ballot in the transparent boxes but this would be clearly seen. There was a picture taken of an old woman's foream and hand placing two ballots but this could be a case where a grandmother was assisted by a younger babushka to place her votes together. The MSM journalism is screeching foul because it lost big time. The PEW survey was a con trying to prevent the inevitable outcome. The people voted enthusiastically under the threat of the gun of the Kiev criminally insane thugs.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | May 12 2014 14:35 utc | 23

This is what newyorktimes and other propaganda sites really say:

New york times: "Everyone want to belong to murdering nazis in kiev. Referendums? Thats fraud!"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12 2014 14:45 utc | 24

GrahamWPhillips ‏@GrahamWP_UK 42m
Yesterday Oleg Lyashko confirmed that police chief Valery Androshchuk, reported by many sources hanged, was alive -

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 14:54 utc | 25

Must read, for French speakers!
(non-French speakers can still admire the map broadcasted yesterday by CNN where Ukraine is localized.... somewhere on the border between Pakistan and Iran...!)

Posted by: Mina | May 12 2014 15:03 utc | 26

The often criticized main stream media can sometimes do a good job.

And that is THE hallmark of superior and well-oiled propaganda mechanism.

Sure, we at the [insert MSM outfit name here] are war criminals directly responsible for the murder/maiming/torture/displacement/imprisonment of millions and millions of innocent people but if we tell you pissants a smidgeon of truth from time to time you'll keep reading us, trusting us and depending on us - no matter how cynical you get - for your news in some way shape and form. Even if you're reacting AGAINST what we are saying we are still effectively defining the parameters of the "debate" and controlling the discourse.

Well, the NYT did give me a great recipe for mushroom quiche last weekend. They couldn't TOTALLY be lying about Putin raping those babies in that incubator before he ate them, could they?

Posted by: JSorrentine | May 12 2014 15:19 utc | 27

Posted by: Canada | May 12, 2014 10:32:07 AM | 22

He seems to argue for a federalized united Ukraine. And seems to say that they broke the oligarchic system.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2014 15:41 utc | 28

@13 bevin - i agree. as for another jeff.. waste of time.. anyone who showed up with a passport could vote. is that anything like any mercenary with a gun could murder regardless of what type of passport they held?

Posted by: james | May 12 2014 15:54 utc | 29

Well, self-rule or determination is a no brainer in this situation.

What looks dodgy about these votes is the participation rate. In the case of Crimea it was imho *not* credible. Here... who knows... Remember though that in votes that are perceived to be a ‘done deal’, abstention is high. For trivial issues yays and nays both abstain, but for important ones, the majority opinion is so strong that nays feel defeated a priori, or prefer not to oppose thru social pressure, etc. On rare occasions, the minority make a last ditch determined effort.. but that didn’t happen here.

Kiev post: May 10, “100,000 yes ballots for referendum intercepted in Sloviansk.” ???

By picky Swiss standards (beware of discussing voting with the Swiss, you won’t get away till 2 am) and of course only from what I have read and some pictures I saw, this vote would be seen as a Petition (with nays set aside.) When the Canton I live in joined Switzerland 200 years ago it was done by petition, because women and children did not have the vote, everyone was in a hurry, etc.; this was considered perfectly adequate.

Approving self-determination is just the beginning of the story, it is an easy, attractive thing to vote for.

Often, a populist proposal to ‘gain legitimacy’, even if the vote never takes place, or is lost. The ‘leaders’ of that ‘self-determined entity’ then gain a lot of power. Donesk will NEVER become a self-sufficient autarky.

Note nationalism (e.g. contra EU) and regionalism are on the rise. The Crimea vote, a request for annexation, is an exception.

Posted by: Noirette | May 12 2014 16:34 utc | 30

Posted by: Noirette | May 12, 2014 12:34:20 PM | 30

The referendum under conditions of civil war would not be considered valid in any country but people would get a right for a referendum in most European countries (ie Scotland). I would consider the suppression illegal and the referendum a petition as Noirette said. But it does not matter. Crowds were convincing enough for photographs to equal Maidan photographs.

Kyiv post now has an English article on the Gubarev - Akhmetov controversy - so Russia does not support Akhmetov? Russia supports Gubarev? Or Russia supports both hedging its bet?

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2014 16:57 utc | 31


I would stay away from that propaganda site.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12 2014 17:00 utc | 32

There seems to be near consensus in the Main Stream Media now - this is the Guardian

Ukraine should be left to forge its own course
A key principle of liberal politics is self-determination. Step forward the people of Ukraine – not Washington or London

A fundamental principle of liberal politics is self-determination. It was for this that Britain went to war in the Falklands and Kosovo, and – so Tony Blair later said – in Iraq. It is for this that David Cameron tolerates a referendum in Scotland and proposes one on the EU. It is a sound principle, and one that should not be discredited.

While Russia's behaviour in Crimea and Ukraine has been crude and belligerent, it has rested on local consent. The regime in Kiev clearly has to accommodate a classic separatist movement within its borders. A new status for eastern Ukraine is vital – but that is Ukraine's business and, given the apparent views of local people, inevitably Russia's business.

This is not Sarajevo or Sudetenland. It is not the business of Washington or London or Brussels. When distant powers feel justified in intervening against the will of peoples, motives get mixed and serious wars begin.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2014 17:04 utc | 33

Actually there is no surprise in their voting pattern. In the last presidential election in 2010, Yanukovych got 80-90% of votes in Donbas and Lugansk.

What was important was the turnout. The massive turnout, even if the official number is exaggerated, is still a big success for the rebels there.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 12 2014 17:28 utc | 34

Simon Jenkins is an independent minded Tory. His columns are sometimes very good, sometimes not. But he should not be mistaken for the official voice of The Guardian. I'm afraid that the Russophobe/MI6 crew in the newsroom will continue to push the Obama party line.
As our old (and very dear) friend J Sorrentine points out somewhere above, allowing a little bit of dissent through is essential in a well oiled propaganda machine.
Still, somebody, the policy of the US is so irrational that Jenkins may just be a herald of sanity. Let us not hold our breath though.

Posted by: bevin | May 12 2014 17:29 utc | 35

Posted by: bevin | May 12, 2014 1:29:41 PM | 35

I am pretty sure it is over. You are right in principle but google Cameron and you will find nothing else.

Small news item from Der Spiegel - link translates as Steinmeier has problems with the Kiev government, actual title "Steinmeier meets the powerless"

Der außenpolitische Sprecher der SPD-Bundestagsfraktion, Niels Annen, sagte SPIEGEL ONLINE: "Dass Übergangspräsident Turtschinow trotz der Geiselnahme in Slowjansk eine Offensive angeordnet hat, obwohl Premier Jazenjuk Zurückhaltung zugesagt hatte, zeigt, dass die politischen Verhältnisse in Kiew dringend geklärt werden müssen." Die Präsidentenwahl am 25. Mai sei auch deswegen wichtig. Denn: "Wir brauchen einen eindeutig legitimierten Ansprechpartner in Kiew", sagte er.
Translation: The foreign policy spokesperson of the SPD parliament faction, Niels Annen, told Spiegel online: Political power in Kiev should be cleared up urgently as interim prime minister Jazenjuk had promised restraint whilst interim president Turtschinow ordered an offensive in Slowjank in spite of the hostages held there.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2014 18:10 utc | 37

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 12, 2014 1:28:36 PM | 34

I think the only party questioning the legitamacy of armed resistance in the East and South is Obama and the USG.
I disagree with this characterization.

Recent Poll

My concern is that a large question remains as to what relevancy this referendum will hold when it comes to the 25 May elections, when it appears that there is a sizable majority in the South and East which may not vote at all.
Who are the viable candidates that the pro-federalist Easterners, or Ukranians, may vote for?

Is the plan to even put forth candidates or just pursue the OSCE "round table talks" with representatives from the East?

Where is this going???

(This is the most recent poll that I could find, but would like to see another by a different source.)

Posted by: Tea | May 12 2014 18:12 utc | 38

What a mess.

Posted by: Tommy Long | May 12 2014 18:16 utc | 39

Tea | May 12, 2014 2:12:14 PM | 38

I used the word "rebels" as a value-neutral term. If you prefer, I can use armed resistance.

In any case, they gained popular mandate by this vote.

As for the coming presidential election, I think they will refuse to participate. The result is already a forgone conclusion, and two candidates associated with the Party of regions already withdrew their candidacy.

They will let the Chocolate king win and try to negotiated with him.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 12 2014 18:29 utc | 40

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 12, 2014 2:29:30 PM | 40

RE: terms, got it.
The rhetoric has gone through such phases! There have been several terms tossed around to characterize those opposed to Kiev.

I think it is likely that they will not vote either.
A series of polls continue to indicate that.

I have not put the Chocolate scenario out of mind entirely either.

Posted by: Tea | May 12 2014 18:39 utc | 41

As I said on an earlier thread, Putin supported the May 25 prez election (conditionally) and dissed the referendum in the East. I think Putin has little to gain from yesterday's referendum, but knows how to deal with oligarchs, the chocolate king or any other. I think Russia's best interest lies in getting rid of the coup govt in Kiev, imo Russia views any new govt is better than a fascists "govt" aligned with US.

The Russian populace will be happy with the referendum results, despite Putin distancing himself from it. But it presents the problem of Eastern Ukraine population's expectations of Russia - admittedly a small "box", but also, is there any doubt Russia wants Ukraine remain whole (minus Crimea of course)? because Putin's long game is to show that Ukraine eventually will be better off in the Customs Union rather than suffering under IMF imposed austerity.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 12 2014 19:14 utc | 42

somebody @37
I hope that you are right. I certainly get the feeling that
the overwhelming weight of evidence is now making the Obama line
untenable. Public opinion, unclouded, in this case, by
the racism that underlies public opinion in the west where muslim
and non-European countries are involved, finds the Kievian narrative
difficult to swallow.

But the real significance, it seems to me, is in the damage the Ukraine
crisis has done to the Fifth Column of friends of the American Embassy
NGOs and westernisers in Russia. The behaviour of the US and the depth
of the Russophobia it encourages has made it impossible for self
respecting Russians not to support Lavrov and Putin in this matter.
This must greatly change the political situation within Russia
and allow the government there more room to manouevre.

Posted by: bevin | May 12 2014 19:30 utc | 43

There is no change in viewing the conflict by the west, remember it took pretty much 4 years in syrian war for msm to even let through different views and that didnt change anything anway.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12 2014 19:37 utc | 44

@34 - puppetmaster - yes. a nice simple overview that says it all regardless of which way any media want to spin it.

@42 - okie. i agree with your assessment.

Posted by: james | May 12 2014 19:38 utc | 45

Posted by: bevin | May 12, 2014 3:30:04 PM | 43

The Russian Foreign Ministry seems to think there is a split in Washington

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2014 19:39 utc | 46

So Donetsk has really put the cat amongst the pigeons!

Donetsk People's Republic asks Moscow to consider its accession into Russia

“We, the people of Donetsk, based on results of the May 11 referendum and the declaration of sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic, declare that from now on DPR is now a sovereign state,” Republic Co-Chairman Denis Pushilin said. “Given the will of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic, and in order to restore historical justice, we ask Russia to consider the issue of our republic’s accession into the Russian Federation,” he added.

Earlier on Monday the results of referendums have been announced in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, showing the majority of voters support self-rule, amid an intensified military operation by Kiev which resulted in several deaths.

Almost 90 percent of voters in Donetsk Region have endorsed political independence from Kiev, the head of the Central Election Commission of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, Roman Lyagin, announced.

“Counting the ballots proved to be surprisingly easy – the number of people who said ‘no’ was relatively small and there appeared to be only a tiny proportion of spoiled ballots, so we managed to carry out counting quite fast. The figures are as follows: 89.07 percent voted ‘for’, 10.19 percent voted ‘against’ and 0.74 percent of ballots were rendered ineligible,” Lyagin told journalists.

In Lugansk Region 96.2 percent of voters supported the region’s self-rule, according to the final figures announced by the local election commission.

The Kremlin’s press service has issued a statement, saying: “Moscow respects the will of the people in Donetsk and Lugansk and hopes that the practical realization of the outcome of the referendums will be carried out in a civilized manner.”


Posted by: William Bowles | May 12 2014 20:35 utc | 47

@47 thanks william bowles.. .."we ask Russia to consider the issue of our republic’s accession into the Russian Federation."
i think this leaves russia lots of options and i doubt they will do something stupid with this, but turn it into something positive depending on how the elections go later in the month.

Posted by: james | May 12 2014 20:42 utc | 48

@William Bowles, james:

Courtesy of the Saker, you can find a language map of the Ukraine here. Other than the Crimea, the two regions which are shown as being predominately Russian speaking are Donetsk and Lugansk.

Posted by: Demian | May 12 2014 21:09 utc | 49

@49 - thanks demian. i was aware of that, but thank you anyways.

Posted by: james | May 12 2014 21:16 utc | 50

@james #49:

I'm kind of skeptical about those being the only three "Russian speaking" regions, given that 82% of Ukrainian respondents to a 2008 Gallup poll preferred to answer the poll in Russian rather than Ukrainian. The Ukrainian government has been clearly following a policy of Ukrainization ever since Ukraine broke away from Russia.

Posted by: Demian | May 12 2014 21:25 utc | 51

@51 - i don't know much about languages, but i would imagine the 2 languages russian/ukrainian share a lot in common too. the wikipedia page on the ukrainian language is interesting.. "The Ukrainian language retains a degree of mutual intelligibility with Russian."

Posted by: james | May 12 2014 21:38 utc | 52


Yeah, we had a fair amount of discussion about that a month or so ago. Some Russians half-jokingly call Ukrainian a dialect of Russian. A Ukrainian dictionary wasn't published until the first decade of the 20th century.

Someone here who knows a lot more about languages than I do said that very few people speak "official Ukrainian". which is a recent creation and needed to have a lot of words imported into it from Polish.

To get back to the sovereignty of Donetsk:

The Donetsk People’s Republic lurched to life Monday, with separatist leaders vowing to drive the Ukrainian military off their territory, and appealing to join neighbouring Russia.

Kjiv has to decide whether it wants to keep its forces in Donetsk.

Posted by: Demian | May 12 2014 21:54 utc | 53

" Indeed, in one polling station in the city of Mariupol, many people brought multiple passports on behalf of relatives and openly filled out two, three or even four ballot slips themselves."

Pundits are trying to confuse this with a presidential or other national election. A referendum is only a broad sampling of public opinion, and proxy voting is perfectly legal in similar circumstances if residents of the southeast can be considered shareholders in their joint effort.

If the referendums enacted and the possibility of more to come were ridiculous and bogus and no threat whatsoever to state power, the phony kangaroo government in Kiev would not be in there with its military, shooting the place up and taking over polling stations in an attempt to disrupt voting.

Posted by: Mark | May 12 2014 22:05 utc | 54

I highly doubt the vote was as decisive as proclaimed. I fully expect every single commentator here, aside from me, would say otherwise. That being said, this unfolding drama with Russian Conservative Revanchism and its feigned concern for fellow Russians/Soviets lost & persecuted in the former Soviet diaspora reminds me of a campy American 1980s movie entitled Revenge Of The Smerds.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | May 12 2014 22:21 utc | 55

Nobody cares what you think, so don't bother telling us. The referendum result is consistent with a poll taken by the FAZ and several other news outlets the day of the referendum and the day before, so there is evidence for its validity, despite independent observers boycotting it.

Posted by: Demian | May 12 2014 22:31 utc | 56

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 12, 2014 2:29:30 PM | 40

'rebels' is not a value neutral term (where did u learn your english?)...not with its romantic associations, which implies rebellion against oppressive illegitimate regimes
'Insurgency',the other term used, which US uses for 'rebels' who attack their patsy regimes, means those who attack a legitimate in syria we have an 'insurgency' omly the western media call them syrian 'rebels'

use of words is meant ot ciondition and control public emotions to create support of outrage for/against a cause

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 22:40 utc | 57

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | May 12, 2014 6:21:55 PM | 55

interesting! how campy! did you see masses of people in the Donbass come out to support the Kiev Junta? No?
yes yuou are alone...apart from your fellow trolls
'Russian Conservative Revanchism ' feigned concern for fellow russians/soviets?
ahem WTF?
by now its clear even to sllow witted trolls from the deeper caverns that russia is very concerned for its citizens..this is not the Yeltsin years

but to call 'conservatives' soviets,....Snigger

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 22:47 utc | 58

Posted by: Demian | May 12, 2014 5:09:40 PM | 49

online is a map of internet language shows how russian is used extensively in eastern ukraine/south fear above actual ethnic russian populations

Posted by: brian | May 12 2014 22:49 utc | 59

"...use of words is meant ot ciondition and control public emotions to create support of outrage for/against a cause."

Yes Brian we all understand that. I'm not sure how true it is or whether it applies in this case but for
the sake of argument...

However PuppetMaster specifically said "I use rebel as a value neutral term"

And that ought to be good enough for us. One of the great strengths of this blog is that it attracts people
from many countries and many comments from people for whom English may be a second or third language.
Do we really want to score points so desperately that we won't give everyone here the benefit of the doubt?

Posted by: bevin | May 12 2014 22:54 utc | 60

Nuland Grilled on Neo-Nazis in Ukraine & Money U.S. is Spending
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
2172 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | May 8, 2014 10:00am

A 1937 Report of the State Department's European Division described the rise of Fascism as the natural reaction of "the rich and middle classes, in self-defense" when the "dissatisfied masses, with the example of the Russian revolution before them, swing to the Left."  Fascism therefore "must succeed or the masses, this time reinforced by the disillusioned middle classes, will again turn to the Left."  The Report also noted that "if Fascism cannot succeed by persuasion [in Germany], it must succeed by force." 
"The reasons for the warm American response to Fascism and Nazism are explained quite openly in the internal U.S. government planning record." - Understanding Power footnotes

Posted by: Tom Murphy | May 12 2014 23:44 utc | 61

@Tom Murphy

That's a very interesting quote. I recently heard it in a Chomsky talk from the early 1990s. He follows it up with a prediction that - seeing world events today - is dead on:

"That conception [that fascism is the natural and healthy middle class reaction to a rising left] is now being revived by ultra-right and neoNazi German historians, and will doubtless be the accepted doctrine of the future, given its utility to power interests."

This is in fact exactly what we see today all over, with a mayor in the heart of the former Soviet Union praising Hitler on Victory Day (to the boos of those working class citizens who know better). With certain unmentionables here touting the same ideology. With the transformation of Communism from an ally in the fight to save the world from Naziism into an entity "worse than Hitler". And, of course, with the United States now actively supporting outright fascists in the heart of the dismantled Communist Bloc.

And it is no accident that this rehabilitation of Hitler comes as part of the same package that includes death squads, the IMF, the burning of Union Halls (and trade unionists). It is all part of the same anti-social movement happening in the Ukraine.

This intellectual transformation of fascism from demonstrably the world most dangerous, aggressive, and murderous force (except for, perhaps, its spiritual forebears - European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and the Americas) into a "understandable" reaction to "the even greater evil of Communism" is an absolutely key plank of the doctrine of American Exceptionalism and the historical victory of Liberal Capitalism.

The prediction Chomsky made some 30 years ago is playing itself out before our very eyes today.

Good find, Tom!

You can see it here:

Posted by: guest77 | May 13 2014 0:31 utc | 62

@62 ahem... 20 years ago.

Posted by: guest77 | May 13 2014 0:34 utc | 63

@60 agreed however I did appreciate the clarification of #57. Nothing wrong with teaching a little linguistics !

Posted by: thereals | May 13 2014 0:34 utc | 64

@ bevin.... Agreed.
Free counters!

Posted by: Thought Less | May 13 2014 0:46 utc | 65

I had an interesting conversation at work that I think shows the twisted depths of the US propaganda system.

I was asking this German woman wether she knows about this Eurovision contest, this whole bearded lady thing, and she said "oh yes of course, I love the subversive undertones!"

Knowing where this was going, I prodded a bit and asked what she meant, and she replied: "Oh, you know the whole Russia (well, specifically Putin) being so fascist about homosexuality - its like the Olympics!"

Now, there is so much wrong with this - beginning first with the characterizing the attacking of America's enemy du jour as a "subversive act".

Second, she certainly has who is responsible for the "gay laws" a bit backwards. It isn't "Putin specifically" but is a Russian law, quite outside of his purview. I suppose he could have stood up for homosexuality - but this would be like expecting Obama to, I don't know, not drone people.

Third - this is a German woman discussing the "gay law" in Russia in terms of "fascism". She should certainly be aware - being that it is her recent national history - that fascism is hardly so benign as what is spelled out in that particular (a bit stupid, imho) Russian law. Really - to describe that as fascism soils the memory of fascisms real victims, it should be clear.

It is interesting how the US PR machine can convince "progressives" to extend the issues they have with the GOP (and such they should, considering the terrible effect the Xtian rights anti-gay ideology is having on place like Uganda, where real horrors are exhibited) apply to foreign affairs and allow themselves to so easily be used. It is quite embarrassing, and I certainly think social media - with its effect that one "follows" and "friends" the might USA PR machine - is responsible for much if not all of this manufactured outrage.


OT - is anyone else seeing these American flags icons under some people's posts?

Posted by: guest77 | May 13 2014 1:11 utc | 66

Question for Demian. You speak Russian I gather. You mentioned that you dislike the sound of Ukrainian. Can you understand spoken Ukrainian?

Posted by: ToivoS | May 13 2014 1:12 utc | 67

"Still the around 80% turnout numbers put out by the people who had called for those votes and did the counting are somewhat dubious. As are the coup-government claims of some 30% turnout. How would Kiev know?"

Sowing the initial doubts to help grease the way for one of the likely western media spin vectors. This preparation provided lubricant for the next step in the process. Resuscitation of the totally discredited western media, or specifically, the more influentially important purveyors in it who set the tone for the rest to work from.

"The often criticized main stream media can sometimes do a good job. Here we have a case where some journalists really make a difference."

Sure it does. Sure they do. Just like they did after they couldn't milk the "Iraq has WMDs" propaganda any more. The western media engage in these very selective and ephemeral flirtations with accurate reportage for damage control. No doubt, the 6 owners of the western media realized too many people in the west are not going to buy their BS if they spin the voting totally "Fox News". The number of people getting their news off the web from sources outside of western control has placed the western media in quite a bind. They are losing suckers for their manure at a phenomenal rate and risk losing control of the minds of all but the most dim.

The WP article claimed as "real journalistic work" by "b" is mostly the same western propaganda spin as their previous garbage, and no doubt the WP will continue lying in the future in order to warp minds for the NWO. What they did was weave a little real journalistic work into a piece that was probably 3/4 disinformation. Imagine a judge who in 25% of the cases he sees, rules in a neutral manner based upon the law, but who in the other 75% of the cases bases his rulings on corruption and flagrant bias. Would this be called real judicial work, implying a judge who can be trusted?

Of course not. At least not by an honest person.

Posted by: scalawag | May 13 2014 1:15 utc | 68

People often forget that both Mussolini and Hitler began their political
careers after WWI on the British government's payroll. They were subsidised
to fight socialism.
Links? Not now.

Posted by: bevin | May 13 2014 1:22 utc | 69

@66 guest77 - ot - yes, i am seeing these too.. my understanding of the gay laws is based on a more traditional christian culture is behind this.. if we roll back to the 50's in north america, i think it was something similar.. ask your friend at work if she knows what happens if you are gay in saudi arabia - one of the usa's closer friends.. she is probably as out in the dark about that as most people.. now why would the usa make such a big deal about this prior to the sochi winter games, but never mentions it when discussing their cozy relationship with s.a.? it is very plain to see how hypocritical the usa is in it's selective tarring of certain world leaders and not others..

Posted by: james | May 13 2014 1:23 utc | 70

Regarding my comment that the "Still the around 80% turnout numbers put out by the people who had called for those votes and did the counting are somewhat dubious" being grease to ease in the western disinformation, right on que...

Posted by: Noirette | May 12, 2014 12:34:20 PM | 30

"What looks dodgy about these votes is the participation rate. In the case of Crimea it was imho *not* credible."

Posted by: scalawag | May 13 2014 1:24 utc | 71

I do believe I have our politically correct colleague here in a cleft stick. He will have to dismiss both Andrei Fursov (the Stalinist historian whose video & transcript were first posted at the obscure Saker blog) and this Saker himself (retired military field intelligence officer & Orthodox mystic) as eccentric and unimportant. But they aren't. This is a perfect case stody of Jewish dialectical cultural manipulation at work, playing both ends against the middle as it always does. And the proof is, these supremely intelligent and well-informed men are peddling the vital disinfo of the moment: that Israel has no interests in Ukraine (Like hell it doesn't.) And look what they're offering as bait! the dubious pleasure the sharing white supremacist humour: that Obama is "a monkey in a top hat"!

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | May 13 2014 1:30 utc | 72

scalawag, you are either an idiot or a tool:

Let me interrupt your regularly scheduled Orwellian rewrite of history for a brief, reality based factoid:

"On January 20, 1991, Crimeans voted to restore their ties with Russia by almost the same percentage (93.2%) we saw in Sunday’s election—where, according to the BBC, 93% of Crimean voters once again voted Russian...On Sunday, the Crimeans voted to join Russia in huge numbers—80% turnout, 95% for joining Russia according to reports. That result tracked with the BBC exit polls"

Posted by: S Brennan | May 13 2014 1:44 utc | 73

rowan says: vital disinfo of the moment: that Israel has no interests in Ukraine (Like hell it doesn't.)

Of course Israel has interests in Ukraine. Of those 1.5 million settlers that moved to Israel from the Soviet Union (today called "Russians" close to half came from Ukraine and Moldova. At the same time Israel has a relationship with the current state of Russia -- they will not endanger that relationship over some deranged Pole in the US that has gained influence in Washington and desire war with Russia.

Rowan, your problem is that there is not some central puppet master directing all players on the world stage -- there really are nation states that have national interests based complex histories and these nation states reflect the views, biases, whatever of the people who live there.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 13 2014 1:52 utc | 75

And your problem, my dear esteemed colleague (see I can do this too), is that you cannot raise yourself to your full Homo Erectus stature and survey the terrain using the stereoscopic vision God gave you.


Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | May 13 2014 1:59 utc | 76

@ToivoS #67:

No, I can't understand spoken Ukrainian. (Part of the reason may be that I don't like Ukrainian. When I hung around a lot with Spanish people, I began to be able to understand Spanish, just because I know French.) In my experience, if a Russian person is exposed to Ukrainian for a few days, he will begin to understand Ukrainian.

As for written Ukrainian, I would say that I understand about 80% of it, but there's a lot of guesswork involved.


Have you seen this: Украина: Армия-мобилизация-дезертирство

(That's about a hundred Ukrainian reservists who were called up deserting.)

Meanwhile, the Yukis keep coming up with all kinds of stories:

Donetsk’s Own Coup d’Etat

It makes me embarrassed as an American that my government pretends to take these people seriously.

Posted by: Demian | May 13 2014 2:00 utc | 77

OT re: the flags

I'm using a Firefox plug-in called Ghostery, for tracking suppression. For this site, I leave 'TypePad Stats' and 'SiteMeeter' active, and they've been the only trackers here for a while. I just noticed (doing a page refresh) that another tracker named 'Flag Counter' has just cropped up. Probably a new TypePad 'feature'. ClubOrlov has a similar widget on the right sidebar, as do several other sites.

Not saying it's good or bad...just noticed that it appears to be a new stat tracker.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 13 2014 2:52 utc | 78

Posted by: S Brennan | May 12, 2014 9:44:25 PM | 73

"scalawag, you are either an idiot or a tool:

Let me interrupt your regularly scheduled Orwellian rewrite of history for a brief, reality based factoid"

Brennan? Brennan...where have I heard that name before? Oh...(slaps forehead).

Mr. Brennan

Fortunately, not your tool, Grasshopper. ;)

Posted by: Demian | May 12, 2014 10:00:03 PM | 77

"Have you seen this: Украина: Армия-мобилизация-дезертирство"

No, I haven't, thanks. But I've seen info about desertions and poor conditions of real Ukrainian soldiers (not the western run death squads) before. There was a story in the Russian media about anti-junta people giving food to a group of Ukrainian soldiers stationed near them, I think RT also carried the story. Your article seems to indicate the desertion rate is debilitating.

Posted by: scalawag | May 13 2014 4:09 utc | 79

Posted by: Demian | May 12, 2014 5:25:35 PM | 51

This here is an Austrian linguist who knows his stuff, paid to prove that Ukrainian exists as a language but keeping his dignity ...

We linguists do not really know what a language is as opposed to a dialect. There are no real criteria distinguishing a language from a dialect, and that's a problem.

It is obvious that Ukrainian was elevated from an everyday way of talking to the rank of literature and society in the 19th century for the sake of politics. The bible seems to have been translated into Ukrainian first in 1863 - that is very, very late.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 4:30 utc | 80

German business leaders demand cease-fire, free trade for Ukraine.

Die Deutsche Wirtschaft fürchtet erhebliche Schäden, wenn die Sanktionen gegen Russland wegen der Ukraine-Krise verschärft werden. Im schlimmsten Fall könnte das Bruttoinlandsprodukt in diesem Jahr um 0,9 Prozentpunkte und im kommenden Jahr um 0,3 Punkte geschmälert werden, heißt es in einem streng vertraulichen Papier der EU-Kommission für die Bundesregierung.

In dem Zehn-Punkte-Programm fordert das Forum unter anderem Gespräche am Runden Tisch als eine mögliche "Vorstufe zu einer nationalen Versammlung", eine Dezentralisierung und Stärkung der Regionen, Freihandelsabkommen der Ukraine nach Osten und Westen, Garantien für die russische Sprache und eine Verständigung über die zukünftige Energieversorgung der Ukraine.

Summary: German GDB could decrease 0.9 percent this year and 0.3 percent next year in a worst of case scenario of sanctions against Russia. In a 10 point programme, the German Ukrainian business forum demands round table talks possibly leading to a national assembly, decentralization and empowerment of the regions, free trade agreements by Ukraine to East and West, guarantees for the Russian language and an agreement on future energy supplies to Ukraine.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 5:05 utc | 81

@somebody #80:

That's interesting about when the Bible was translated into Ukrainian. Although, to be fair, I must admit that, coming from a Russian family, we did not have a Bible in the house, but only an icon of Jesus (plus I had a small icon of my patron saint hanging on my bed post). We only got a Bible once I went off to college, and my Russian literature professor said that the Bible is an important work of literature which one should be familiar with lol.

By the way, I think I asked you this before, but you never answered: do you come from a Catholic or a Protestant background?

As an aside, a German atheist from a Catholic background told me that the difference in Germany between being Protestant and being Catholic only became insignificant under the Nazis. Thus, the Nazis unified the Germans in this respect. Do you think that's true?

You don't have to answer either question, of course. :-)

Posted by: Demian | May 13 2014 5:06 utc | 82

The Vineyard of the Saker had an RT 'crosstalk' episode which featured (too little of) someone named Andrew Korybko, who made 3 very strong points, according to my lights :

~ 10:00 1. NATO is going to hold joint exercises with the Kiev mob (invade Ukraine) in July. Andrew thinks they won't go home.
~ 17:30 2. the US/CIA are (soon to be?) flooding Ukraine with weapons, anti-tank guns mentioned, that will undoubtedly be sold and fall into hands of people who may use them in Western Europe.
~ 22:00 3. US/EU thinks the fan is going to blow the shit into Russia ... but it may well blow into the EU instead.

All three points sound valid to me, I wish mr crosstalk had spent more time on Andrew than on the other talking heads who had less original things to say.

Posted by: john francis lee | May 13 2014 5:06 utc | 83

Posted by: john francis lee | May 13, 2014 1:06:52 AM | 83

I read the article on German militarism you linked. It was really interesting.

What shocked many was carefully prepared. For more than a year, 50 leading politicians, journalists, academics and military and business figures discussed a more aggressive German foreign policy in a project under the auspices of the government-aligned Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP, German Institute for International and Security Affairs) and the Washington-based think tank German Marshall Fund (GMF).

At the conclusion of the consultations last autumn, a paper was published entitled “New power, new responsibility: Elements of a German foreign and security policy for a changing world.” It provides a blueprint for the policies that are now being implemented in practice in the form of sanctions against Russia and the rearming of NATO. With the document, the German bourgeoisie is returning to militarist, great power politics following two world wars and horrific crimes.

Actually, the same thing is happening in Japan. The Abe government is trying to repeal the peace constitution and revive the Japanese militarism against not so enthusiastic public.

Therefore, it will be US/German/Japan Axis.

Do you have an opinion on what kind of interest those Germans see in the revived militarism. Or is it because just the US asked them?

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 13 2014 5:24 utc | 84

Posted by: Demian | May 13, 2014 1:06:33 AM | 82

I come from a "mixed" :-)) family - as I said before my family stretches all types of Germany.

Bible translation usually is first documentation of written language across Europe as universal state and church language used before was Latin. Usually they were done in the 16th century

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 5:42 utc | 85

OT, but very symbolic of the current times. ;)

U.S. Men's National Team Falls to Russia, 6-1

I know, the horror, like watching Hitler roll over western Europe in 1940. ;) Not a lot of coverage of this in western media, CNN had a story about a US win back in February...

The western media is really missing out on a golden opportunity to smear Russia. Think about it, just going by their current coverage of things Russian. They could:

1) say the Russian players cheated.

2) say the Putin bought the refs.

3) say Russian "polite armed green fatigued men" forced the outcome and terrorized the fans.

4) say the Russian team was given viagra.

5) say Russian made pucks were used.

6) say Germany wasn't being supportive of the American team enough.

7) say the Russians used steroids and bribed the steriod checkers.

8) say Putin staged the whole thing.

My creativity here is lacking, but the possibilities are endless for those bright boys and girls of Global Perception Management, Inc.

Come on, western media people, get on the behind the puck, in this case, and get them Roosskies.

On topic, the American and Israeli puppets of the EU are in full "New York waiter" mode now.

Russia disappointed over additional EU sanctions

“Instead of trying to solve the situation through de-escalation, disarmament of the Right Sector, improvement of dialogue between Kiev’s authorities and Ukrainian regions, EU colleagues are demonstrating a one-sided and one-dimensional policy, not worthy of the European Union,” Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov as saying.

Further sanctions were introduced on Monday following the results of referendums that have been announced in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, showing the majority of voters support self-rule, amid an intensified military operation by Kiev which resulted in several deaths.

EU foreign ministers have expanded their sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine, adding two Crimean companies and 13 people to the bloc's blacklist, EU diplomats stated.

The sanctions will come into effect Tuesday. Earlier, 48 Russians and Ukrainians were targeted by EU asset freezes and visa bans over Crimea joining Russia in March.

Among the individuals banned entry to the EU are the chief prosecutor of Crimea and Internet sensation Natalia Poklonskaya and her colleague from Sevastopol, Igor Shevchenko. Also the list includes influential individuals such as the deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, the Commander of airborne troops Vladimir Shamanov, State Duma deputy Vladimir Pligin, Crimean administration chiefs and six pro-autonomy activists in eastern Ukraine, reported Itar-Tass."

They sanctioned Poklonskaya?

Was it from petty spite, because she is not another Madonna or Lady Gaga, or Merkel or Clinton, or Golda Meir, or "Tootsie", their ideals of the feminine? Or out of envy? Looking at the assorted harpys the west prefers to promote to "leadership" positions, it appears their pool of potential candidates not only lack humanity, they don't even look human, let alone like women. Petty seems to be a predominant personality factor in western decision making now, while inhumanity and greed predominates in the philosophical.

But there might be another more serious explanation for the EU sanctions on Poklonskaya. One of her current cases concerns investigating Oleg Liashko for molesting young boys. Perhaps the EU puppets see that as an assault on their own sensibilities? We all know how birds of a feather stick together.

Posted by: scalawag | May 13 2014 5:46 utc | 86

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 13, 2014 1:24:07 AM | 84

Well, I read the SWP paper linked and it said nothing of the kind. It noted German interdependence in Foreign Policy and talked of "containment" of spoilers (formerly known as "axis of evil"). Russia, China are defined as "challengers"

How you can interpret that as return of militarism is beyond me. It is an obvious attempt to save Germany's transatlantic "partnership" in the face of economic "interdependence" with Russia and China. Maybe you don't know what "militarism" means. It does not mean buying hard or software but it a glorification of war.

The blind spot of the paper is that it thinks of countries and not of a new political and economic space. It is obvious that Russia has made huge inroads into populist anti-European right wing movements challenging the established parties whilst the EU is trying to support a liberal opposition to Putin, and whilst "the West" is putting pressure on Russian oligarchs, Russia is putting pressure/influence on Western business leaders.

Let's hope that the technique to fund militias and popular uprisings in other countries stops in Ukraine. It is the new type of warfare and quite frankly, it freaks me out.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 5:58 utc | 87

@somebody #82:

Thanks for (kind of) answering one of my two questions. I could ask you in what church you were baptized, but I won't. The church one was baptized in is an interesting matter for me, since as someone who was baptized in an Orthodox church, I can take communion in a Lutheran, but not a Catholic, church. (Disclaimer: I am an atheist. But according to my understanding of Lutheranism, that does not prevent me from being able to take communion in a Lutheran church in good conscience.)

Bible translation usually is first documentation of written language across Europe as universal state and church language used before was Latin.

Latin was never used by the Eastern church. The language used was Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. Modern translations of the Bible ignore the Vulgate and use Hebrew texts for the Old Testament and Greek texts for the New Testament. That is what Luther did, with help from scholars who knew Hebrew better than he did. Your bringing up Latin in this context reinforces my suspicion that you were raised Roman Catholic. ;-)

By the way, after the Reformation, the Roman Catholic church banned possession of a Bible in any language other than Latin, although I am too lazy to dig up a reference for that now. The idea that the Bible must be translated into the native language of worshipers is specifically Protestant, and something the Roman Catholic church fought against tooth and nail.

Posted by: Demian | May 13 2014 6:12 utc | 88

The EU has added new sanction on Russia and this time also on people from Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, according to Der Spiegel.

Now I read this Book Reveals Wider Net of U.S. Spying on Envoys

WASHINGTON — In May 2010, when the United Nations Security Council was weighing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, several members were undecided about how they would vote. The American ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, asked the National Security Agency for help “so that she could develop a strategy,” a leaked agency document shows.

Will there now be sanctions on the US? Okay, okay, I know stupid question. :-(

Posted by: Fran | May 13 2014 6:12 utc | 89

Posted by: Demian | May 13, 2014 2:12:19 AM | 88

My parents were practical people so I was baptized in the religion of the majority of the place where they lived in which was Catholic. I left the church officially when I was 14 - that is German law - so I guess I am ex-communicated now :-))

Trend in Germany: You use the church for festivities like marriage, birth and sad events like funerals. Because the state collects taxes for the church you state your are in, many people leave and there is a market for private pastors who do these occasions to your personal liking.

The church in Germany is of no real importance in society any longer, especially after the fall of the wall added some 20 million atheists.

Even Catholics who are nominally church members do not follow the teachings. They live a modern liberal life and remember that there is a church for the occasions mentioned above.

No German politician would go on an election campaign featuring him visiting churches. This question is not discussed in politics. I would never dream of asking anybody, not even a close friend if he/she was baptized or not. Not because it is taboo. Just because it has no importance whatsoever.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 6:33 utc | 90

Sorry, Christian churches used to be based in Rome and all used Latin. But you are correct, it is a long, long time ago, and the shift to regional languages in the area of the Byzantine Church would be from Greek, not from Latin.

Ignorance: The Byzantine Church knew less and less Latin and even less Latin tradition, and vice versa. So most patriarchs in Constantinople couldn’t read any Latin, and most popes in Rome couldn’t read any Greek. Byzantines in the East used leavened bread in their Divine Liturgy to symbolize the Risen Christ, and Latins in the West used unleavened bread as was used by Jesus at the Last Supper.

However, the Byzantine Empire does not really represent Europe, just its periphery ...

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 6:47 utc | 91

plus 90/91 And of course Ukrainian nationalism/language is the heritage of 19th century Hungarian Austrian imperial politics and was supported by Austria - leading right up to the first world war.

Austrian officials worried that Russia was adopting a pan-Slavist policy designed to unite all Slavonic-speaking peoples under the Tsar's leadership. This lead them to pursue an anti-Slavic policy domestically and abroad. The major source of tension between Austria-Hungary and Russia was the so-called Eastern Question: what to do about the weakening Ottoman Empire and its rebellious Christian subjects.

In order to counter Russia's support for independence movements in the Balkans, Austria occupied Bosnia in 1878. This brought Austria into conflict with the Principality of Serbia, an autonomous (de facto independent) state within the Ottoman Empire under Russian influence and protection.

Serbia was elevated to a kingdom in 1882, as the Ottoman Empire further decayed. When the Ottomans attempted to assert control over Bosnia, Austria formally annexed it in 1908, against the protests of Serbia and Russia, during the Bosnian crisis.

The lasting result was bitter enmity between Austria-Hungary on one side and Serbia and Russia on the other. After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Serb nationalists of the Black Hand secret society, Austria delivered the July Ultimatum to Serbia demanding that the Austrian police and military have the right to enter Serbia. Serbia rejected this which led to the Austrian invasion of Serbia, the first battle of the First World War. Russia and Austria would fight to the point of exhaustion on the bloody Eastern Front. The war ended with revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy in both empires.

Seems like not much was learnt in one hundred years.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 7:04 utc | 92

Don't know if this has been linked, before. sorry if that should be the case, on the other hand, a hint of redundancy won't do harm here. It's some days old.

Hearing of Nuland, Glaser, Farkas in front of the senate (?). Frankly I didn't fully get what kind of administrative event that exactly is, but it's obviously the ones that pay questioning the ones that execute.

This is rather interesting. My overall impression (I actually watched almost the full 3 hrs).

- they see no chance in any kind of military operation. no amount of military material will make the junta "win" a war with russia

- the overall goal is to escalate sanctions so much that russia will seriously harmed

- that's only possible if the EU does it ("$40bn US marketplace with russia / $500bn EU marketplace with russia

- the EU is reluctant. increased independence of eu and ukraine russian gas is most important. only then the really heavy sanctions can take place

- most of the senators argue for increased "lethal" military aid, especially Mccain gets really angry that they couldnt sent loads of arms to ukraine yet. Interesting why the executives obviously remain reluctant to the supply of heavy and small arms. My guess because the right sector and swoboda already have more power than they were meant to. Giving them all the weaponry they demand might bring them completely out of reach.

So we're going to see further sanctions, no matter what actually happens in ukraine. I guess what bothers them most about losing eastern ukraine would be the fracking gas reserves, not because they're so huge or valuable, but because they'd be needed to relieve at least some of the pressure when the russian gas stops flowing into europe.

This is crazy. Listening to all of those who speak in this hearing, it's clear that this is just the very beginning of the cold or hot "war" against russia and russia has few means to stop them. They'll not be satisfied until russias ressources are open to the "market" again.

Posted by: peter radiator | May 13 2014 7:08 utc | 93

plus 92 makes me suspect that the shift in Galicia's bible to Ukrainian might have been
from Latin after all.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2014 7:10 utc | 94

sigh. excuse the missing words, quotes and generally sloppy writing. I didn't read it twice. I know I promised I would never hit the post button again before reading it all twice. I did, though.

Posted by: peter radiator | May 13 2014 7:11 utc | 95


Thank you very much for satisfying my curiosity. Given that I spend so much time in this virtual world, I want to have some sort of idea of whether I can actually get some kind of feeling about a person just from his posts in an internet forum.

Everything you said about religion in Germany I already knew. That whether one was baptized, and by what church, is a significant issue for me is my own personal eccentricity, having to do with my personal reception of Christianity. Perhaps at bottom it comes down to a nostalgia for magical thinking, preserving some kind of connection with a world that is not entzaubert, to use Max Weber's term.

the Byzantine Empire does not really represent Europe, just its periphery ...

Hehe, the Ukraine crisis shows that this is still eine aktuelle Frage.

Posted by: Demian | May 13 2014 7:14 utc | 96

right now, the spiegel's headline is
Merkel: there's no military solution to this crisis
Of course not, cause they'd lose! That's why there's no military solution to this.

Posted by: peter radiator | May 13 2014 7:22 utc | 97

Interesting documentation on the Ukrainian extreme-right has been gathered here
including two pics of Jean-Marie Le Pen with somme extreme-right leaders in 1998 and 2009.

Must be fun at dinner in the Le Pen family with the father praising his neo-nazi friends and the daughter Marine trying to find strategies to keep both her pro- and her anti-Putin friends...

Posted by: Mina | May 13 2014 7:43 utc | 98

Two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, asking the U.S. to add 16 Russian officials to a sanctions list for human rights violators.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina met privately with Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., to discuss human rights abuses in Russia.
“We’d like to remind our government that they have obligations that they have signed that they have to honor and we would like them not to continue having such an anti-Russian policy as they do have right now,” Tolokonnikova said at a news conference through a translator.
“One of the main slogans of President Putin is ‘stability,’ whereas today we can state that Putin is leading Russia not to stability but to complete instability and chaos.”
The lawmakers praised the two women for speaking out about Russia’s abuse of human rights.
“It is my pleasure to welcome to the United States Capitol members of the Pussy Riot,” Cardin said. “We had a chance to talk with them about the conditions today in Russia, the experiences that they had, including the fact that they were arrested and sent to prison, how they had tried to help the citizens of Russia deal with the current deterioration of human rights in Russia.”
“The only way we’re going to get advancements on human rights is to put a spotlight on those who are violating human rights to stand up and make it clear that we will not accept these behaviors,” Cardin added.
Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were famously arrested in 2012 after protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.

Posted by: sabicas | May 13 2014 7:55 utc | 99

The same recap mentioned above (
explains how Iatsenyouk ("Yats"), Timochenko and Svoboda have been allied since 2012.

Posted by: Mina | May 13 2014 8:05 utc | 100

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