Ok, can anyone explain what is happening in Kiev. I am sure the govt are monsters, but is it right that the extreme. Right ( Pravy Sektor) are majorly involved in the uprising. What are the demands.
And further on the question of tycoons and where their interests lie -- it is really hard to crack into the European market thanks to the red tape and the existence of producers who are already in and well established and very keen to protect their market share, whereas Russia is already Ukraine's biggest trading partner.
'China does not care who she upsets. China doesn't have to worry about treading on anyone's toes.'
Yes, you may be right there. That means that Russia is in decline, I think.
I have been reading up a bit about Brzezinski but haven't had time to chase all the links up to see if they are true.
From what I can gather, they say he has been an adviser to Obama and his son apparently is now an influential adviser. They say Brzezinski is a Russophobe. But I have read a bit of his 1997 book, the Grand Chessboard, and what he says does make cold hard sense.
He believes in pushing for advantage when you have the upper hand, which makes sense.
His strategy was the one which got the Baltic States into Nato and it worked, and one of his many strategies was to detach Ukraine from Russia and draw it into the European Union and Nato. The logic is that this will prevent Russia being capable of being an Empire and Russia will then have to decide whether to be a Eurasian power, which will lead to war with Asian countries, or whether to be European. He says they will now need to make a decision, and he thinks they will choose Europe and he offers the hope that Russia itself will eventually be integrated into a Europe that stretches from the Atlantic to the Urals. He believes that Putin is a cold war KGB dinosaur and that a new generation of Russian leaders will eventually emerge who will be more friendly with the West. It all makes sense.
Part of the strategy is to paint Putin as a gangster and a Mussolini so that European people will be anti. He even wants to almost provoke the Russians so that they have to make a decision whether to turn East or West, and if they become defensive and hostile then it will turn the West more against them and they will lose just as they lost in Afghanistan when he provoked them there.
It all makes good sense it it works. But if he has got it wrong, then it is dangerous.
But whatever Russia does now, it looks like a lose-lose for them. So I think that Brzezinski may well be a grandmaster on the Grand Chessboard.
Also this Ukrainian revolution is a follow-up of the 'colour revolutions' attempted in Georgia, Iran and Ukraine before, and this one has worked, and there is talk that they may extend them to Russia itself and eventually topple Putin.
'I suspect the Ukrainian tycoons are very likely to press for acceptance of the Russian offer if that guarantees stability for their own interests, plant, markets, etc. I suspect they would like to see their business interests safe no matter whose troops do the safeguarding.'
Yes, that is a very good point.
I think that the East is the industrial heartland of Ukraine but I am not sure. It would be interesting to know where the oligarchs' business empires are based and how prosperious West and East Ukraine are.
Going by past examples, whatever the IMF and EU come up with as a deal will not end being very good for Ukraine, as Doctortwo said, and you are right that Ukraine does more business with Russia than it does with the entire rest of Europe.
So a lot of it does depend on what the oligarchs do.
No, Russia is not in decline as China does not have the raw materials that Russia has, and thanks to successive Putin administrations, Russian oil and gas and other precious commodities are securely in the hands of the Russian government (and not in the hands of Shell or BP or any Chinese companies' hands either; the acquisition of Russian oil and gas was and remains the main plank of American geopolitical strategy and to hell with democracy, ever since the fall of the Wall. This is why Washington hates Putin. It has nothing to do with rights, Pussy Riot, gay parades, etc.)
Brzezinski was Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor. That is how old he is. He is a dyed in the wool Cold Warrior with a personal lifelong ambition of revenge against anything with even a whiff of 'Soviet' off it and if it doesn't have a whiff then he will imagine it does simply on the basis that it uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Brzezinski apparently can't deal with anything that won't fit into the only mould he knows anything about and hence his thoughts on Putin, who seems to have a far more subtle appreciation of the big picture than pretty much anyone west of . If your paragraph on what he says is a fair synopsis of what he believes then he is a crazy idiot and his thoughts are dangerous drivel.
The Baltic membership of NATO and the missiles in Poland (missile shield) deals were both fiascos. Nato doesn't need the Baltic states and its future is questionable and has been for a long time. American and British partnership in all the Middle Eastern adventures of George Bush and now Obama has rendered Nato something of a footnote. Poland didn't endear itself to its new friend the EU by being so cozy with the US. He oversaw the support for the Mujahideen (now the Taliban) in Afghanistan , on the basis that the current enemy of my current enemy is my friend. We have seen how well that turned out. Also on his watch, Iran was transformed from a friend of the US to one of its arch enemies. He has consistently chosen short term and partisan gain over smarter long term policy choices, leaving significant hostages to fortune in his wake at every turn. Pushing for advantage when you have the upper hand does not make sense every time.
The only reason he is now so antagonistic towards Russia and so in favour of policies that seek to push Russia into a corner is that he recognises Russia's current strength. The resurgence of Russia from almost the dustbin of history must have come as a huge shock to him. When he was an advisor to JFK he urged a much more conciliatory approach because he believed then that the USSR was in decline and not worth provoking. He completely fails to see that a strong Russia is needed to combat Islamic fundamentalism (that he himself lovingly encouraged) in post Soviet south Asia and in states that are former Soviet neighbours.
American support for the EEC and later the EU was partly based on the softly softly approach to the USSR that included detente and missile treaties, and partly on American desire to neutralise European fear of Germany, which even in the 50s was emerging as the economic engine of European recovery, which in Washington was seen as necessary to prevent Soviet conquest of the continent. Now that the EU has got a bit of momentum and has become a player in the economic financial world with a mind of its own (especially since the debut of the Euro) it is all 'fuck the EU' from Washington. America will not tolerate an upstart power, or an old one either, if it isn't willing to open its arms wide and accept economic rape or being told how high to jump when Washington snaps its fingers.
The current revolution is the successor of the Orange Revolution that resulted in Ukraine being run into the ground by the wide eyed and incompetent revolutionaries. The revolution in Georgia resulted in power in the hands of a person nobody liked or trusted and in the end Saakashvili was deserted by the west when Russia reasserted dominance, taking over the disputed Georgian territory to the accompaniment of much apoplexy but no action on the part of the US and its puppets, the British. The revolutions in Libya and Egypt have yet to play out to anyone's satisfaction.
Yes, the east of Ukraine is the industrial heartland, mostly Russian speaking and Russian in culture and identification. The west is agricultural and fought a guerrilla war against the USSR in the wake of WW2 for independence (ignored by the west as it wasn't convenient to intervene).
Very good post, lots of interesting info.
Yes Brzezinski may be an old style Cold Warrior and may not have been able to adapt to the new realities. Things have changed dramatically.
'Russia, Germany express concern over Ukraine, Moscow says' Reuters article. This is interesting.
Yes, instability in Ukraine does not suit Germany or Russia, but it possibly suits some other forces.
Have read some interviews with the leader of the Right Sector. There are some very nasty far right Bandera style supporters involved in this revolution. They are very organised and have been training for a long time.
They have obviously had a lot of support, either from oligarchs or outside forces.
The East and South of Ukraine are the richest areas. If Russia were to take the South and East, then the EU would be left with a financial basket case. Some outside forces may even want that, as they don't really care about people, they just like instability because they can use it to their advantage.
I am pretty sure Russia has accused the US of supporting the Right Sector and other nazi elements, and I am pretty sure that accusation is warranted. It smacks of the 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' philosophy. According to the BBC there were calls from the mob for the inclusion of the Right Sector leader in the 'interim government' at a rally yesterday held by the interim PM.
Ukraine is a basket case anyway - hence the current crisis. The US promised $10billion in loans yesterday, clearly to match the Russian offer. However, Russia still controls the gas and oil supply. If Russia has investments in the east or if those who have see Russia as a better guarantor of stability than any other party then I can see a split of Ukraine developing, either soon by military means or 'spontaneous' takeovers of major eastern cities (as in Simferopol) or by continuous agitation for plebiscites on separation, civil disobedience and outright unrest over the next few months.
I agree with you.
That is why it is so dangerous. It makes you wonder if whoever planned this actually wants that to happen as an excuse for a conflict.
The last President was so corrupt that even IKEA had to pull out as they could not operate there - still in the words of Roosevelt [albeit transposed to Putin] "he is a bastard but he is our bastard"
"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,"
John Kerry redefines irony. He's obviously never heard of any of the countries the USA has invaded in the last few years. Terwat.
They have all been corrupt. Since independence from the USSR Ukraine has been run by cute hoors and total flakes (Tymoshenko).
Yes indeed DoctorTwo. They mustn't teach much history in the Political Science department in Yale.
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