Kiev

(164 Posts)
telsa Wed 19-Feb-14 08:25:40

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.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 19-Feb-14 21:55:14

I have no idea but too would like to find out.

I am in Kiev......it is chaos sad

itshardthinkingofanickname Thu 20-Feb-14 22:39:30

From what I understand - some people want to be in Europe with the EU, others want to be closer to Russia.

75 dead. sad Using AK47s.

But that's all I understand.

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 20-Feb-14 22:43:31

Political stalemate I think (between, very broadly, pro-EU people mainly of Ukrainian ethnicity and pro-Russia people mainly of Russian ethnicity. This fault line divides the country, including geographically). There have been long paralysing protests and the protesters had seen off police, riot police and special forces. So now the govt is using snipers to pick people off and retake the streets.

SantanaLopez Thu 20-Feb-14 22:56:29

Thinking of you Nessie.

The lack of reporting is really shocking.

HighBrows Thu 20-Feb-14 23:00:02

Nessie I hope you and yours keep safe. I was watching on channel 4 it's shocking what's happening and what does the international community do? Impose sanctions.

cashewfrenzy Thu 20-Feb-14 23:01:32

Nessie sad I hope you feel as safe as you can.

It is scary and I'm sure we're only hearing about some of what's going on.

claig Thu 20-Feb-14 23:20:51

As far as i understand it, Ukraine is in a very bad financial state and has been negotiating for a while about a partnership with the EU The EU offered them a deal but it wasn't a very good one - open up markets, "free trade" etc. Russia said it would increase oil prices of Ukraine did deal with EU. Russia offered a better deal, kept oil prices lower and offered a $15 billion bond deal. President accepted Russian deal.

People protesting about that and want governemnt to stand down now and hold elections. but governemnt says no because election is next year and protestors cannot force an elected government to stand down.

There is a far right party involved in the protest. It got about 10% in the last elections. Klitschko, the boxer, is leader of another party that got about 13% and then there is the other party that got about 25%. They are all protesting.

Some people are saying that this may become another Syria. hopefully not. But this is a geopolitical power struggle between EU/US and Russia over influence. Very dangerous because it is possibly the beginning of a coming clash with Russia. Russians claim that some of the protestors are supported by Merkel, EU etc.

Statement by Nigel Farage of UKIP

"Two weeks ago it was revealed that the EU and the US were manoeuvring to set up a new government in the Ukraine. This is unacceptable. This should be a matter solely for the Ukrainian people to decide themselves without foreign interference. The provocative speeches and intervention of European foreign ministers and people like John McCain in the Ukraine have also been very deeply unhelpful.

"Too many people have died already; the street violence from both sides should stop. There will be a presidential election in the Ukraine next February. Hold off on your bullets and your stones, and use your ballot paper instead. Democratic involvement and change is infinitely better than needless violence."

www.politicshome.com/uk/article/93232/nigel_farage_on_ukraine_use_your_ballot_paper_not_bullets_and_stones_to_exert_change.html

WestieMamma Thu 20-Feb-14 23:28:53

I thought it all really kicked off when the government rushed through draconian legislation taking away peoples rights to protest and oppose them. At that point it became a battle for democracy.

claig Thu 20-Feb-14 23:34:18

Government backed down and made compromises but that did not stop the violence. In the Orange Revolution of 2004-2005, half a million people were on the streets but there ws no violence.

There are some far right activists involved in this battle and there are political forces at work. Listen to Farage.

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 20-Feb-14 23:39:33

There's some good information in this BBC article:

Why is Ukraine in Turmoil

claig Thu 20-Feb-14 23:45:23

"There is this tug of war, not only between Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine but also between the European Union and Russia - both see this country's future as within their own sphere of influence ."

www.itv.com/news/update/2014-02-20/ukraine-is-a-tug-of-war-between-the-eu-and-russia/

claig Thu 20-Feb-14 23:50:38

'but is it right that the extreme. Right ( Pravy Sektor) are majorly involved in the uprising.'

I don't think that these extreme right are the majority, but they may possibly be some of the most violent ones. Whichever side wins, the extreme right ones will be ditched after victory, because the forces behind this are much bigger and more powerful than any extreme right party.

claig Thu 20-Feb-14 23:59:00

'In a surprising reversal after weeks of sitting on its hands, the European Union is swallowing its pride and mounting an aggressive new cash campaign to bring the Russian satellite into the western orbit.

This, despite a highly public snubbing by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who recently reneged on an association agreement with the EU when Moscow came calling with a much-needed $15-billion dollar'

...

What we're seeing now, I think, is the beginning of a bidding war, quite frankly, between the Russians and the Europeans, for Ukraine's loyalties and Ukraine's future," said Hampson.

...

"This is about the kind of economic support that includes expertise, technical ability, resources that can be given, the role of institutions internationally, the role of the European Union, member states, other countries.

"So it is about how do you pull together an economic package that would provide for the clear economic needs of the country in the context of the economic reform."

It's a daunting challenge. But Ukraine is highly motivated to make it work. The country is facing bankruptcy and default on some key loans. And Russia is putting on the squeeze.

Yesterday, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, publicly mused about the clause in its contract to provide natural gas to Ukraine, which allows it to demand billions in payments – up front. It's a bill Ukraine could not hope to pay.

But in attempting to manipulate the situation by withholding its own cash package at the same time as the Winter Olympics, Russia misjudged the moment, and has only itself to blame for creating a window of opportunity for the EU , said Hampson'

www.cbc.ca/news/russia-eu-in-bidding-war-for-ukraine-s-loyalty-rick-macinnes-rae-1.2526032

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 00:10:26

'At that point it became a battle for democracy.'

Elections are next year.

As Farage said

"There will be a presidential election in the Ukraine next February. Hold off on your bullets and your stones, and use your ballot paper instead. Democratic involvement and change is infinitely better than needless violence"

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 08:47:19

Listen to Farage - something most people find hard to do.

It was a dispute about a trade deal which I think Russa thwarted. Draconian leglisation was brought in to deal with protests, deals were ignored and that's brought people out. The country seems massively divided and then they use guns on their own people.

It seems some sort of deal is being sorted.

Yes....Farage....the fountain of knowledge and wisdom on all things Ukrainian.....hmm

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 08:57:09

Hope things get better Nessie

It seems some deal is being put together.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:00:40

That's right. Just as Farage was against a strike on Syria when Cameron wanted it.

This Ukraine situation is very serious for every person living in Europe because it is the geopolitical battle of the EU versus Russia and the people of Europe and Russia will be the ones who will suffer.

This is more dangerous than Syria for the world. This is a power battle between elites.

Farage, yet again, is responsible just as he was over Syria.

WithRedWine Fri 21-Feb-14 09:07:55

I'm not saying Farage is wrong, but it's really hard to trust the judgement of a man who fills his own party with racists, misogynists, homophobes & xenophobes.

WidowWadman Fri 21-Feb-14 09:10:29

Thanks for the very informative BBC link, Anne.

I don't trust Farage further than I can throw him, and don't expect him to come up with an explanation which is neutral instead of biased by his own political agenda.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:12:05

I think most politicians understand the importance of Ukraine. It's not just Farage who has a unique insight.

And I totally agree that Farage is not someone whose judgement I would trust.

But this thread is about Kiev, not Farage.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:15:39

Start taking an interest in EU politics and Europe because it will affect everyone of us. The EU is a giant and it wants to increase its sphere of influence. The Ukraine contains millions of Russian speaking people who feel more allegiance to Russia than to the EU. Kiev is the city where the Rus kings were crowned.

It is very dangerous. Politicians can solve the problems but they must be calm and understand what is at stake. This has similarities with the situation in Syria where external influence has wrecked the country.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:18:07

Kiev is about Europe and EU/Russia relations and that is about the politics that affects each one of us. But OK if you prefer other politicians' responses to the dangers, that's fine.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:19:06

It also contains millions of people who want to be part of Europe and the opportunites they see.

And who can blame them?

How do you handle a situation where the differences between what people want is so big?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:21:41

'How do you handle a situation where the differences between what people want is so big?'

The way some politicians have suggested. Let democracy take its course.

The riots began after the President accepted the Russian deal instead of the EU one.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:23:32

Democracy doesn't involve snipers on the streets.
Banning protests.
Not listening to the people.

Even Margaret Thatcher realised that after the Poll Tax riots.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:31:52

Did you not watch Newsnight last night?
Did you not see the Russian person asking the BBC presenter why the BBC reporter had not shown the policeman beaten to death with bricks as Russian media had shown and why the BBC did not mention that of the 25 people killed the previous day, 12 of them were policemen?

Have you not seen the beer bottles being filled with petrol to be used as molotov cocktails?

This is not a peaceful protest. The protestors are demanding that the President step down, and it all began after the President signed the Russian deal rather than the EU one.

"The acting head of the Metropolitan Police has clashed with the Prime Minister over a suggestion that the Army could be deployed to quell rioting in London.

Tim Godwin told David Cameron he would agree to troops on the streets of London only after ‘every one of my officers and borough commanders are standing on the police front line’.

The row happened last Tuesday morning in a meeting in Downing Street between the two men and Home Secretary Theresa May."

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2025787/UK-riots-Police-fury-Downing-Street-plan-bring-Army-stop-rioting.html

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:36:08

The protests are no longer peaceful.
"The protestors are demanding that the President step down, and it all began after the President signed the Russian deal rather than the EU one."

I think you are missing out a lot of the stuff that happened between that decision and the current situation. A lot of stuff.

I am sure someone who actually lives in Ukraine and knows what's been going on could inform you.

It did not go from that decision to Molotov cocktails. A lot of stuff and laws / Presidential decisions were made which stoked the anger.

I have no doubt that if our Government introduced such decision about the right to protest, we would see action on the streets.

ConcreteElephant Fri 21-Feb-14 09:37:34

Farage could stop calling the country the Ukraine for a start. It's offensive, dating back to when it was still a Soviet Republic and not properly representing it as an independent nation.

This BBC link explains it well

I took Russian Studies at University and spent 4 months in Kiev in 1996, living with a family and studying at the Uni. I was mainly there to develop my Russian but daily use of Ukrainian language and culture, and a burgeoning pride in the history and development of the nation were really beginning to be in evidence, just 5 years post-independence. I enjoyed my time there immensely, even if it was a bit surreal at times!

We spent many happy hours in Independence Square whiling away our afternoons, popping to the post office to see if we had any mail, enjoying the sunshine.

I lived with a wonderful Ukrainian family, quite young parents who were students at the time of Chernobyl. They had 2 sons, aged 8 and just over a year old at that time - they'd be about 26 and 20 now and I can't begin to imagine what they are feeling. We've lost touch but Nina, Kolya, Andrei and Dima - I'm thinking of you. And any MNers who are watching that lovely city and its people go through this.

Ukraine has always been a country 'on the edge' - its very name means borderland. The differences in outlook between, for example, people in Kiev, Odessa, Lviv etc are immense, it's a fractured nation from the start and this is a critical part of the problem.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:39:40

I suppose you believe that the Syrian lung-eaters and Al Qaeda mercenaries are all in Syria because of Assad preventing "the right to protest".

This is geopolitical and that is why it is so dangerous.

figgypuddings Fri 21-Feb-14 09:40:21

Oh, Nessie. sad

Slightly off topic but are you a Scot? Did you see the piper playing in the midst of all the fighting? I wondered who he was and why he was there.
I hope you and your family are ok.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:41:26

claig

Is this about Syria, Farage or the Ukraine?

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:07

"This is geopolitical and that is why it is so dangerous."

No shit.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:11

'it's a fractured nation from the start and this is a critical part of the problem'

And why is it fracturing right now?
Is it anything to do with the signing of the Russian deal instead of the EU deal? Is it anything to do with spheres of influence?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:47:31

'Is this about Syria, Farage or the Ukraine?'

Of course it is. Don't you understand politics?

This is about EU/US/NATO vs Russia. So is Syria. Russia has stopped Syria falling. If Syria falls, Iran is next.

Now Russia is facing a similar crisis to Syria on its doorstep and in Kiev where its Black Sea Fleet is based.

Farage is a politician who wants to leave the EU and it is the EU that is expanding its sphere of influence and that is a threat to Russia.

All of these things are interlinked because it is geopolitical.

It is dangerous because it may be the beginning of the clash between EU and the West and Russia.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:03:58

Unfortunately looking at it rationally, the clash has already begun. Syria is one aspect of ot and now Ukraine.

This is from the Economist, an establishment journal for finaciers and world leaders, and it doesn't mince its words

"Confronting the Kremlin

It is past time for the West to stand up to this gangsterism. Confronting a country that has the spoiling power of a seat on the UN Security Council, huge hydrocarbon reserves and lots of nuclear weapons, is difficult, but it has to be done . At a minimum, the diplomatic pretence that Russia is a law-abiding democracy should end. It should be ejected from the G8 . Above all, the West must stand united in telling Mr Putin that Ukraine, and the other former Soviet countries that he regards as wayward parts of his patrimony, are sovereign nations."

and this is what Putin and the Russian have said

"We cannot characterise what is happening in Ukraine as anything except a violent attempt to seize power," said foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, blamed extremist groups, Ukraine's opposition and Western leaders for encouraging the violence. "Many western countries, who have tried to interfere in events and played games with insurgents, are also to blame. The west has solidly, repeatedly and shamefully avoided criticism of the actions of extremists, including Nazi elements."

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/19/russian-ukraine-putin-blames-west-protest

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:06:30

Sorry, link to the Economist article and its very strong words is below

"There is a kind of rough justice in the timing of Ukraine’s turmoil. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, its tiny southern neighbour, just as the Olympic games began in Beijing, prompting formulaic Western protests but no meaningful retribution. The events in Kiev interrupted the winter Olympics in Sochi, intended to be a two-week carnival of Putinism. This time the West must make Mr Putin see that, with this havoc at the heart of Europe, he has gone too far."

www.economist.com/news/leaders/21596941-west-must-take-tough-stand-government-ukraineand-russias-leader-putins

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:08:00

I have Ukrainian family and friends there, some in Kiev and I'm very worried for their safety.

Firstly to truly understand the situation I will tell you a little bit of Ukrainian/Russian history.

There was a massive genocide of the Ukrainian people in the 1930's by Stalin. At the time Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is a very beautiful and fertile land and very profitable. The genocide was a man made famine, know as the Holodomor click Wiki link . The Holodomor famine caused more deaths than Jewish people dying in the gas chambers, yet only up until recently have the rest of the world accepted Holodomor was a genocide (this was because UK didn't want to upset Russia by acknowledging it).
The Communist regime set about destroying Ukrainian culture religion and heritage, and all food farmed was collectivised and had to be handed over to the regime. The Ukrainian people were forced to farm their land and hand over every single grain and vegetable to the authorities and were not allowed to keep any food for themselves resulting in mass starvation and death. Any person discovered with even a small cup of flour were either beaten, arrested (not to be seen again) or killed.
My grandmother remembered Holodomor, and she tells of resentment for neighbours they knew for years having lots of hidden food yet refusing to share. There were even reports of people having to eat their dead children.

You can begin to understand why Ukrainian have a deep rooted resentment for being controlled by Russia.

All of this preceeded WW2, and many Ukrainian people were propagandised by hearing on the radio that the German Nazi's were coming to Ukraine to liberate them from the oppression of Russia - another story but you can see how desperate they were to get rid of the Russians. And don't forget even the UK didn't realise the extent of the Nazi regime until after the war had ended.

After the war Ukraine was a broken country. My grandparents came to UK. My grandmother was too afraid to write home, all letters were intercepted anyway by the Soviets, and she was afraid her family may have been persecuted further. From the day she left Ukraine as a 14 year old she never heard from her family again.

Fast forward to 1990 and Ukraine finally gains independence. Since then Ukraine has not fared well, high levels of crime and corruption persist right up to top levels of the government even today.

The far east of Ukraine and Crimea are Russian speaking and pro Russia. Russian companies provide these areas with heavily industrialised jobs, mining, steelworks, shipworks etc. In Crimea, the Russians lease a strategic naval base in exchange for cheaper gas provided by Russia.

Todays trouble are because the people of Ukraine, mostly the central and western Ukrainian's want a closer link with Europe. In 2012 the EU and Ukraine entered an agreement but Ukraine had to agree to address concerns over democracy which President Yanukovych agreed.
Then in 2013, Russia changed its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine effectively creating a trade block, and some saw this as a protest from Russia against Ukraine's strengthening links with Europe.

In November 2013, President Yanukovych attended the EU summit where he was expected to sign the EU agreement, but did not.

The peaceful protests were violently dispersed by Berkut riot police who allegedly beat up children. This in turn escalated into full scale riots, and the protesting we are seeing today.

Most of the protests are disruptive yet peaceful, there are protests going on across the whole country of Ukraine involving thousands of people without violence. Some local authorities have denounced their government. Even the Mayor of Kiev resigned in protest. The violence occurs when police respond with heavy handed tactics.
The police have also targeted medics and journalists, including one medic who was shot after having his hands raised to the police.

It's been reported that Russia is sending the Ukrainian government help after accusing the EU of using blackmail against Ukraine.

All the protesters want is for the president to step down and allow democracy to rule without corruption. All they want is real freedom and independence!

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:09:18

I heard someone on the news say "without Ukraine, Russia is just a country. With Ukraine, it's an Empire".

Nuff said.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:12:40

It seems Russia is using Ukraine as a pawn to warmonger with Europe.

cashewfrenzy Fri 21-Feb-14 10:14:09

Glossy that's a really good summary for simpletons like me, and it's fascinating to understand the history and reasons for people's actions today. Thank you.

I hope your family and friends all stay safe.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:22:59

Glad to be of help. xxx

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:31:46

There is a lot of history in such countries - lots that we in the West can never ever truly understand.

My heart goes out to you and your friends.

PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 10:46:09

But why on earth would Russia want to be at odds with Europe?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:50:29

It doesn't. It is the other way around and that it is very sad.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:52:11

And what do you base that claim on?

Do you have a good understanding of Ukraine and the history of Ukraine?

I don't. I just see people fighting for a right to be heard.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:55:34

'Do you have a good understanding of Ukraine and the history of Ukraine?'

I have a good understanding of geopolitics. This is about much more than "people fighting for a right to be heard".

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:58:19

Of course there's geopolitics involved.

But why are you blaming Europe?

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 11:06:03

Purely because Russia wants to be recognised as a superpower also they profit greatly from Ukraine, and they fear that Ukraine turning to Europe would jeopardise that.
Unfortunately, Russia has never had Ukraine's interests at heart, only their own. Europe however would not gain that much by joining forces with Ukraine, but for Ukraine the rewards of joining the EU would be massive.
Simple sums really.

Thank you all for your kind and understanding comments. We can only hope and pray for a peaceful resolve xxx

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:10:56

Europe is a minnow. It is a puppet. Le Pen says she will leave Nato and may leave the EU. Farage wants to leave the EU. If Russia turns on us, Germany will be swallowed, and other countries will start to want to leave the EU while the weak and bankrupt ones will have just joined thinking that made them safe and prosperous. Only the United States can save us if it comes to that. But that could lead to a terrible war in Europe all over again.

Read the language in that Economist article, which amazingly enough seems to be a Leader. The Economist is very influential among the financial and decision making elite, so what it says is important.

It is past time for the West to stand up to this gangsterism . Confronting a country that has the spoiling power of a seat on the UN Security Council, huge hydrocarbon reserves and lots of nuclear weapons, is difficult , but it has to be done . At a minimum, the diplomatic pretence that Russia is a law-abiding democracy should end. It should be ejected from the G8 . Above all, the West must stand united in telling Mr Putin that Ukraine, and the other former Soviet countries that he regards as wayward parts of his parts of his patrimony, are sovereign nations."

"There is a kind of rough justice in the timing of Ukraine’s turmoil. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, its tiny southern neighbour, just as the Olympic games began in Beijing, prompting formulaic Western protests but no meaningful retribution . The events in Kiev interrupted the winter Olympics in Sochi , intended to be a two-week carnival of Putinism . This time the West must make Mr Putin see that, with this havoc at the heart of Europe, he has gone too far ."

You don't get this kind of language from Putin and Russia. They don't want confrontation.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 11:14:48

Yeah and did you see the opening ceremony at Sochi? Just plain creepy and disturbing.

WidowWadman Fri 21-Feb-14 11:24:38

claig - why do you keep talking about Farage as if he had any real power? (and why keep talking about him here at all?)

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:25:24

The United States even knows that the EU is not up to much if the chips are down. The leaked phone conversation about the EU came recently.

"That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it and you know, fuck the EU," Nuland says.

....

The leak came as tensions between Washington and the Kremlin flared still further when Putin's economic adviser Sergei Glazyev accused the United States of funding the protesters and even supplying them with ammunition.

"According to our information, American sources spend $20 million a week on financing the opposition and rebels, including on weapons," said the Kremlin's hawkish pointman on Ukraine.

Nuland on Friday dismissed Glazyev's charges as "consummate fantasy".

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10624361/Angela-Merkel-fumes-at-US-diplomats-curse-of-EU.html

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 11:29:13

claig please can you summarise in a nutshell what your stance is on Ukraine's situation. You are referencing a lot of statements but not clarifying your own opinion.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:31:14

'why do you keep talking about Farage as if he had any real power? (and why keep talking about him here at all?)'

Because this is about EU/Russia relations and even though Farage has no power, he is representative of some thought within the EU that is in favour of leaving the EU.

In May, there will be Euro elections, and it is predicted that 30-35% of the EU MEPs will then be anti-establishment, anti-EU, populist politicians.

Marine Le Pen has said she will leave Nato. She may not win, but has huge backing in France.

If this escalates, I think Europe will fold like a house of cards, because independence movements in the major countries will grow as European people will not want this clash.

Farage is only indicative of that strand of thought and of course, the worse the confrontation becomes, the more powerful he will grow as he has warned against it, just as he did in Syria.

All of these things are interconnected.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 11:32:52

"Farage is only indicative of that strand of thought and of course, the worse the confrontation becomes, the more powerful he will grow as he has warned against it, just as he did in Syria."

Why did that remind me of Darth Vader and the power of the Dark Side grin

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:37:54

'please can you summarise in a nutshell what your stance is on Ukraine's situation'

I think these riots have started ever since the President decided to accept the Russian deal and not the EU one. I think that this is a geopolitical struggle and the right wing Nazi style parties are being used to inflame the violence and not wait for the elections in February, where the people of Ukraine can make a decision to throw the government out if they want to. But I don't think that an armed uprising is the way to go about getting change when an election is to be held in February.

I agree with Farage when he says

"There will be a presidential election in the Ukraine next February. Hold off on your bullets and your stones, and use your ballot paper instead. Democratic involvement and change is infinitely better than needless violence"

I don't agree with escalation and sanctions and the language used by the Economist that accuses Putin of gangsterism and that says that Russia should be ejected from the G8.

That may be alright for the financial elite, but it will create trouble for ordinary European people.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 11:42:04

What about all the things the President said he would do but then changed his mind about?

Do you think he is trusted by people?

And what should the ordinary Ukrainian people do until next February? You say that this is about much more than their right to be heard......but that is what they are dying for.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:50:40

'Do you think he is trusted by people?'

Possibly not, but we don't know until an election is held. These protestors don't reflect the views of all the Ukrainian people. An election will tell and it will be held in february and today i think the President has said he may bring it forward.

The President is between a rock and a hard place. He wants good relations and deals with both the EU and Russia. But the EU deal on offer was not a very good one from accounts that I have read and the Russians played hardball and spelt out how they would increase oil prices etc if he chose the EU deal.

The $15 billion Russian bond deal seems to have been a better deal, but Putin is not handing over all the money until he is sure that he can trust the President to remain in power.

We had an American leaked phone call with fuck the EU which seems to indicate that the US may not be happy with how the EU is handling it and wants the EU ti up its game and come up with a better deal to woo Ukraine away from Russia.

Now we have the EU improving its deal

'In a surprising reversal after weeks of sitting on its hands, the European Union is swallowing its pride and mounting an aggressive new cash campaign to bring the Russian satellite into the western orbit.

This, despite a highly public snubbing by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who recently reneged on an association agreement with the EU when Moscow came calling with a much-needed $15-billion dollar'

...

What we're seeing now, I think, is the beginning of a bidding war, quite frankly, between the Russians and the Europeans, for Ukraine's loyalties and Ukraine's future," said Hampson.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:52:33

'And what should the ordinary Ukrainian people do until next February?'

They don't all support the revolt. Miners are going to Kiev to support the government. The government won the elections with about 30% of the votes.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 11:52:51

"But the EU deal on offer was not a very good one from accounts that I have read and the Russians played hardball and spelt out how they would increase oil prices etc if he chose the EU deal. "

Putin is a bully and has the advantage of controlling oil.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 11:53:24

"The government won the elections with about 30% of the votes."

Democracy in action. Sounds a bit like this country.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 11:56:22

At least Ukraine has a proprortioanl type voting system unlike we have here. Here we have populist parties with approximately 20% of voter support who may not win a single seat in Parliament.

Of course they don't all support the revolt....

You (through Farage of all people) seem to be suggesting that the people should 'hold their bullets and stones'.....it wasn't the people who fired the first shot.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:05:39

Yes, I don't believe in riots and killing and overturning an elected government by force. I believe in democracy and elections and non-violent protest.

I didn't agree with the rioters in London and elsewhere either. I believe in the rule of law in a democratic society.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 12:10:21

What about the Poll tax riots?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:12:05

I was against them.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:13:49

We live in a democracy. We have to obey the laws. We can't riot and try to overthrow an elected government. We have to protest peacefully and use the ballot box.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 12:19:20

What about other countries which are democracies but the rule of law seems to be forgotten when they are in charge and the rulers change the rules?

Does the ballot box work if the rulers change the rules?

This was a peaceful protest. It was the 'elected government' who changed the rules.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 12:26:29

Democracy only works in a non corrupted environment.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:32:43

'What about other countries which are democracies but the rule of law seems to be forgotten when they are in charge?'

What countries do you you mean?

Every government has a duty to protect property and people's lives and maintain law and order. No governemnt can sit back and let rioters overthrow and make demands for an lected government to stand down.

The President signed a deal with Russia rather than the EU. I don't think that gives people the right to overthrow the government.

Boris was quoted as saying
"Get medieval on rioters"

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10604843/Get-medieval-on-rioters-says-Boris-Johnson.html

and

"The acting head of the Metropolitan Police has clashed with the Prime Minister over a suggestion that the Army could be deployed to quell rioting in London."

What would we say if Putin puts sabntions on our leaders for trying to maintain law and order and prevent rioting and the overthrow of our elected leaders?

"No government can sit back and let rioters overthrow"......

No, but they can let peaceful protests continue.....they chose not to.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:49:28

Well someone killed 12 policemen the other day and batterd one to death with bricks and police have been captured in other cities.

Imagine if this was happening in London. do you think the government would do nothing about it? Alright they are not up to protecting the Somerset Levels without the help of Dutch engineers, but the least we can expect is that they could stop police officers being killed and captured.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:51:27

And some of these violent rioters are from extreme right wing Nazi style parties. Would we let people like that attack our police and institutions and arrest our mayors and chain them to posts in public?

Yes....clearly things have gotten out of control.....and that started when the government used violence on peaceful protestors.

It is also a mistake to compare the police in the UK to the police here. It just isn't the same. I am not sure that police in the UK would be forcing prisoners to walk around outside in -25 temperatures completely naked.

So you think the UK government would put snipers on the roof in Trafalgar square and start picking people off?

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 12:54:43

Where is the reference to that? And you do know that 70 people have died with over 500 injured? If 12 police have died that means 58 protesters have also died.
I'm not saying it's right, it isn't but the Ukrainian government have mismanaged this situation. The protests started out peaceful. They only reacted to heavy handed tactics.
Is it acceptable for a protester to be arrested, beaten tortured and left to die in some woods at the hands of the police?! If I lived in a country that allowed police to behave that way I would want to act too.
In Kiev, injured police were rounded up and taken to a hall to be lectured on their civic duties. Did you hear about that? No I bet you didn't you just listen to Russian propaganda.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:58:06

'So you think the UK government would put snipers on the roof in Trafalgar square and start picking people off?'

Who knows? We have never seen rioting and killing of policemen and capturing of mayors and capturing of police who are being held until a mob decides what should be done to them.

But we do know that

"The acting head of the Metropolitan Police has clashed with the Prime Minister over a suggestion that the Army could be deployed to quell rioting in London."

The 'mob' decided to release them.......

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 12:59:34

' Did you hear about that? No I bet you didn't you just listen to Russian propaganda.'

I don't speak Russian, so I don't watch Russian propaganda. I watch the BBC. Are you saying that is propaganda?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 13:00:03

'The 'mob' decided to release them.......'

Good

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 13:03:02

[http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25858875]

Is this acceptable then?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 13:05:42

Of course it is not acceptable. But those officers will be accountable to the law.

"Ukrainian MP Irena Seh told the BBC she was going to raise the allegations of torture with the government.

"He will go to the prosecutor's office tomorrow to file a complaint," she said."

Ha! No they won't...

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 13:24:47

On Radio 4 News now, a reporter said that the question is will the EU be prepared to bail out the Ukraine. Apparently it will need much more than the $15 billion that the Russians have pledged.

How do you think any EU plans to bail out Ukraine will play to the European people in the May Euro elections?

It is now a matter of will and money.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 13:52:51

So can you think of any protests people have made in history that have brought down "democratic" Governments that you would have supported?

Just because a leader has been elected does not mean they are democratic in their actions - especially when they change the rules.

Hitler was democratically elected. Then he started changing the rules and used the Army and Police to enforce them.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:00:30

This President is hardly Hitler. The EU was wooing him for years and when he decided to sign the Russian deal instead of the EU one, all of the riots started.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:01:37

In fact, it is right wing Nazi types who are part of the group that are attacking the police and institutions of the elected Ukrainian government.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 14:05:45

Didn't say he was like Hitler.
I was just asking if there were times when protest is justified against a democratic elected leader.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 14:06:26

So based on your theory, are the Ukrainian government Nazis also for attacking protestors and innocent citizens?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:09:18

Absolutely not. A government has to maintain law and order.

I don't agree with Boris Johnson that "the police need to get medieval on rioters", but police have to stop groups organising themselves to burn down government buidings, throw molotov coctails and kill and capture police officers.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 14:12:33

What if the laws the Government make up are draconian and oppressive?

Should people wait for the ballot box - which might not even exist by the time elections are supposed to be held?

Is non peaceful protest ever right, claig ?

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 14:13:10

And shooting 75 people dead is acceptable?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:14:33

'I was just asking if there were times when protest is justified against a democratic elected leader.'

There is nothing wrong with protest. But if there is an election in February, I don't think a self-appointed group has the right to overthrow a government because they sign an economic cooperation deal with Russia rather than the EU. They should wait until the elections and see if the rest of the people agree with them.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 14:17:20

Do you not think it's a little bit more complicated than that?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:19:52

'What if the laws the Government make up are draconian and oppressive?'

That is a matter of judgement. If a country decided to reinstate the death penalty for murderers, do you have the right to overthrow it by rioting when the silent law-abiding majority agree with it?

'Should people wait for the ballot box - which might not even exist by the time elections are supposed to be held?'
Yes. If it is removed, then that changes things.

'Is non peaceful protest ever right, claig ?'
If the governemnt were rounding up people and executing them because they didn't agree with their theory on 'global warming', then obviously people would have to defend themselves.

'And shooting 75 people dead is acceptable?'
It is not acceptable. It is tragic. But killing police officers and beating them to death and capturing young cadets who are only doing their jobs is not acceptable either.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:21:56

'Do you not think it's a little bit more complicated than that?'

Yes, I have said that it is geopolitical and I suspect that the protestors have support from outside the country and that some of the Nazi types are being used to try and overthrow the government because someone doesn't like the fact that the President signed a deal with Russia and not the EU.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 14:23:50

I think the people on this thread who are there and know more about the situation and history are the ones who understand more than you do.

I should imagine not signing the deal was the final straw in a very complex country with a complex history.

I would like to know what you think peaceful protestors should do when their own government starts shooting at them?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:43:16

Did you watch the BBC and Channel 4 pictures of people smashing bricks up to use as weapons and filling bottles up with fuel and transporting them to the protestors in the front line in shopping trolleys. It was organised. It wasn't peaceful.

The Occupy movement at St Pauls was peaceful. They stayed there for weeks and threw no molotov cocktails.

Sky News interviewed Financal Times journalist just now. He said that there was a limit to what the EU would do and Putin knows it, similar to what happened in Georgia.

Obviously this was an organised protest and has leadership, and some people have been encouraged to continue when the reality is that the EU will not be able to help them.

difficultpickle Fri 21-Feb-14 14:45:06

It's not a simple as saying that the president chose a Russian deal over an EU one. The Russian deal is worth US$2 billion. At the heart of it is Putin's own interests and wish to be seen as powerful and to keep Ukraine firmly under Russian governance. There is nothing in that deal that will lead to a long term democratic and independent economic future for Ukraine.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 14:52:31

'The Russian deal is worth US$2 billion.'

It is $15 billion and oil price kept down. Putin has only handed over $2 billion so far in case the President doesn't survive.

Ukraine is broke. It needs energy. The EU has led them on because it will not be able to bail them out - the European people will vote in 30-35% populist anti-EU parties in May and the EU won't be able to supply Ukraine with its energy needs. That is why the President signed with the Russians in the end. Without energy, Ukraine will be in trouble and the Russian deal offered more than the EU one.

Yes, this is about Russia's interests and the West's interests and it is being played out through Ukraine and its people.

The FT journalist said that he can't see Putin accepting any government that is against Russian interests.

Who has the will? Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton or Putin?

Europe is fast going Eurosceptic and is falling apart.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 15:00:27

They told us that the EU would end wars in Europe.
Now look what is happening as Van Rompuy and co. poke the Russian bear.

The EU is on its final legs. France may yet vote in Marine Le Pen and she has said that France will leave Nato and the Euro and hold a referendum to get out of the EU.

While the EU is trying to entice outlying countries, its core countries are bringing it down from within.

European peoples do not want empires anymore. They want cooperation between sovereign states.

Don't poke a bear and stir up a hornet's nest unless you are sure that you can win.

I didn't need to watch BBC or Channel 4 pictures, I was able to see it with my own eyes. You didn't answer my question.

This was a peaceful protest....the molotov cocktails came after the government fired the first shot. Do you think that having been shot at, the protestors should have just given up and gone home?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 16:15:36

Have you got a link that says who fired the first shot?

Why was it only yesterday or the day before that the EU decided to place sanctions on some of the Ukrainian leaders if the police had opened fire on peaceful protestors earlier than that?

I don't think protestors should go home, just like the Occupy protestors at St Pauls didn't go home for weeks. But I am against protestors throwing molotov cocktails at police doing their duty.

See 30th November:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26248275

My friends and I walked through the barricades and camp often in the early days and we met an Armenian man called Serzh Nihoyan. He gave us tea and chatted for a while. A few weeks later he was dead. Shot by a police sniper. There was nothing 'radical' about him.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 16:41:38

Thanks

21 November : President Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet announces that they are abandoning an agreement that would strengthen trade ties with the EU, and will instead seek closer co-operation with Russia . Ukrainian MPs also reject a bill that would have allowed jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to leave the country. Protests begin that same night, with only several hundred present at first , but already comparisons with the Orange Revolution begin to be made.

30 November : Police launch their first raid on protesters, arresting 35. Images of injured protesters spread quickly in the media, raising the international profile of the protests.

Nobody shot on the 30th

17 December : After talks with President Viktor Yanukovich, Russian leader Vladimir Putin throws Ukraine an economic lifeline, agreeing to buy $15bn of Ukrainian debt and to reduce the price of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine by about a third.

Putin offers deal to cut price of gas by a third

22 January : The unrest turns deadly for the first time as two people die from gunshot wounds after clashes with police . The body of a high profile activist, Yuriy Verbytsky, is found the next day in a forest after he was reportedly abducted earlier in the week.

These are the first deaths and they come after clashesWe are not told what these clashes involve.

29 January : )Parliament passes an amnesty bill* promising to drop charges against all those arrested during the unrest, if protesters leave government buildings. The opposition rejects its conditions

18 February : At least 18 people, including seven policemen, are killed. Protesters take back control of Kiev's city hall . Riot police encircle Independence Square, where some 25,000 protesters remain.

Yes, I have read it thanks.....not sure what your point is?

No pictures of injured policemen after 30th November.........

I watched the clashes on live broadcast, I heard the church bells indicating that there had been an attack....I saw multiple photos that friends had taken and posted. I am not sure who you are trying to defend here or why, but the black and white of it is that this 'government' is responsible for many many deaths. They are responsible for turning a peaceful protest into this - where people on both sides are suffering.

On another note - many of the policemen have been proved to be Russian secret service.......

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 16:56:48

My point is that protests began after President said he was abandoning deal with EU.

Nobody shot on Nov 30th.

First deaths two months after protests start. We aren't told what nature these clashes took on that day and whether any of teh "peacefil protestors" were armed.

Just now on Sky they have said that the far right "Right Sector" is saying it does not agree with the deal because they do not agree with the president and Sky said they were armed
Maybe they aere armed during those clashes too, but BBC does not tell us nature of those clashes.

However, BBC makes clear that on Jan 22, it was not a peaceful protest as

"Wednesday's violence began in a small area around Hrushevskyy Street, a road leading to government buildings and also close to the main protest encampment at Maidan (or Independence Square).

Shortly after 08:00 (06:00 GMT) - following a relatively peaceful night - police stormed the protesters' barricades on Hrushevskyy Street.

The police later fell back to their positions after fierce clashes with protesters, but by the afternoon had pushed on through the barricades.

Protesters again hurled petrol bombs and stones while riot police responded with stun grenades and rubber bullets , the BBC's Duncan Crawford reports."

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 16:57:28

I don't need the BBC to tell me the nature of those clashes.....

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:00:37

'many of the policemen have been proved to be Russian secret service'

Have you got a link for that?

Because if true, I would expect Klitschko, Van Rompuy, Baroness Ashton, Merkel etc to make complaints to Putin about that and I would expect the BBC to report that, but I haven't heard that before, but I may have missed it because I haven't paid detailed attention to it.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:01:32

'I don't need the BBC to tell me the nature of those clashes.....'

OK, so you were there. But do you deny what the BBC said is true?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:05:13

''many of the policemen have been proved to be Russian secret service'

Do the Ukrainians have a shortage of manpower? Is that why they use the "Russian secret service"?

Is the elite Ukrainian riot police force, the Berkut, staffed by Russian secret service?

Be interesting to see links about that

Do you read Ukrainian?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:10:52

No

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:11:38

But if it is true then why haven't Baroness Ashton and the BBC mentioned it or have they?

Let me see if I can find English links...

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:20:38

OK thanks

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 22:23:16

For any one who is interested in these issues in Ukraine, there is an excellent Daily Telegraph podcast called
"Is the West still the moral leader of the world?"
between Janet Daly of the Telegraph and Peter Oborne of the Telegraph.

Thank God for people like Oborne frankly. Because just as the Economist article was frightening in its simplistic view of the world and its crass language for what our future may hold in its confrontationist approach to world politics, then so too is Janet Daly's intervionist somewhat Blairite approach and confrontational language.

Hopefully some of the people at the top think like Peter Oborne or we really are in for a frightening future.

https://audioboo.fm/boos/1936229-is-the-west-still-the-moral-leader-of-the-world

Janet Daly starts the discussion off at about 6.30 into the stream.

itshardthinkingofanickname Sun 23-Feb-14 11:30:19

Claig

What do you think of the recent developments?

claig Sun 23-Feb-14 14:26:13

Been reading up on it trying to get a better understanding.

Very, very dangerous for the world.

Deliberate antagonistic policy of embarrassing Putin in the midst of the Sochi Oympics - EU leaders not turning up for opening ceremony, Pussy Riot etc etc - and presidential overthrow occurring while Sochi going on.

At the end of the day, it is a brilliant coup. But clearly it's not over.

Reading newspaper comments etc, a lot of political commentators believe that the objective is to move Ukraine into the Western sphere of influence and into some sort of NATO umbrella with the ultimate aim of depriving Russia of the warm water port at Sevastopol in the Crimea.

Will Putin accept that? Can he stop it? I don't know.
Clearly the Russians weren't smart enough or capable enough to stop the presidential overthrow happening so they may not be able to stop that happening.

But Ukraine is nearly bust and there is talk that there may be a run on Ukrainian banks which could affect Western banks. So if Ukraine falls into Western orbit, we will need to bail them out and Ukraine freezes in winter so they will need gas and who knows what Putin will do now.

But lots of political pundits are saying that this could lead to a break up of the country. Our media has not been reporting on the Nazi type group that is leading the violence and has not interviewed peope from the East and south of Ukraine who support the President. The Nazi style Right Sector are virulently anti Russian but they are also anti EU because they want Ukrainian independence.

There is another far right party called Svoboda which has 10% of Parliamentary seats but they want closer EU links and their leader has met Western politicians. But it is the Right Sector who booed Klitschko and who did not accept the deal signed by the opposition with the President.

Apparently Russia have given Russian passports to lots of citizens in Crimea and people are saying if there are any attacks on Russians, then Russia might intervene like they did in Georgia and that may possibly lead to a breakup of the country.

Apparently it is the billionaire oligarchs who run Ukraine really. Akhmetov controls lots of MPs in the President's party and he is a Tatar from the Crimea. The oligarchs do not want a split country because it is bad for business. A lot of what happens depends on what the oligarchs decide.

Putin never quite trusted the President and didn't think he did enough to maintain law and order and that is why he did not hand over all of the money promised. The President was between a rock and a hard place with the EU and Russia, but sounds like he is corrupt and lots of the Russian speaking East, and the West of the country are anti him and his corruption and what they call his "Family" who have grown rich.

According to political pundits, the EU deal was not good enough and Putin offered a better deal, but that is all history now.

This is probably the most dangerous situation in Europe for a very long time, because Russia has lost some of its sphere of influence right on its doorstep and in the heart of where Russian Orthodoxy began.

Two very good articles in todays' Mail on Sunday - one by Peter Hitchens who speaks Russian and once used to be a correspondent in Moscow and the other by the really excellent Oxford historian Mark Almond. He is a brilliant historian, I remember him from years ago, and is probably our top Eastern European historian.

This is from Mark Almond

"Why the eruption in Kiev could set off a tsunami that will engulf us all: As Ukraine burns, a stark warning from our most authoritative historian of Eastern Europe

Television pictures of revolutions can make them seem like a spectator sport.

Having Vitali Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing champion, playing a starring role in the events in Kiev reinforces that impression.

But the implosion of the Ukrainian state in the last 48 hours is a political earthquake.

*Chaos in Kiev could set off a tsunami that will toss Western Europe from its moorings too

It is a mistake to think we are watching from a safe distance *

...

"Given Ukraine’s desperate economic mess, meeting the EU’s requirements was not really an option.

Worse still, Kiev needed billions of dollars to service its huge debt to Western banks. But the West wasn’t willing, or able, to lend any more.

Putin’s huge oil and gas revenues seemed to give Russia the trump card. The Kremlin offered Ukraine a soft loan but on condition it stopped associating with the EU."

...

The capacity of Ukrainians to flout their Western well-wishers was shown when the protesters ignored that EU-sponsored deal to seize control of Kiev.

The radicals might ignore the West, but the West cannot ignore the consequences of letting them run riot into a conflict with local Russians or the Kremlin itself.

If political and economic chaos leads to civil war in the country lying between Nato and Russia, Yugoslavia’s break-up would seem like a vicarage tea party

www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2565792/Why-eruption-Kiev-set-tsunami-engulf-As-Ukraine-burns-stark-warning-authoritative-historian-Eastern-Europe.html

and Hitchens says

"A month ago I warned that simple-minded Western intervention in Ukraine risked provoking civil war in that dangerous, unstable region.

Now I repeat the warning. Our encouragement of this post-modern putsch now threatens the worst civil violence in Europe since similar lobbies sponsored the break-up of Yugoslavia."

...

"Most Western politicians and commentators seem to assume that the Kiev mob are democrats. Are they? In what way?

They demanded the resignation of the Ukrainian government, because they said so. They wouldn’t go home until they got their way.

How is that democratic? President Yanukovych is certainly no saint. But he came to power legitimately."

...

And yet, on the BBC’s supposedly enlightened and thoughtful World Tonight radio programme, an academic was allowed to describe this government as a ‘regime’ without challenge, and a series of politicians from Eastern Europe were brought on to demand sanctions against Ukraine, while no voice was heard from the other side. Anyway, who are these demonstrators? There is no doubt that police have been injured by petrol bombs thrown from the crowd, and shot at with guns. Yet the reports seldom seem to ask who is doing the throwing and the shooting.

...

It is these people who have been receiving the support of the United States. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is famous for her ‘** the EU!’ statement in a bugged phone conversation in which she discusses naked intervention by the USA in Ukraine’s affairs.

But last December she trotted round the main square of Kiev with a little plastic bag, handing out biscuits and buns to demonstrators. Other outsiders who have sided with the anti-democratic mob have included German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Ashton.

Didn’t these people realise what effect their endorsement might have? Do they know what ghosts they may raise? If they don’t, they are ignorant and rash. If they do, they should remember what happens to children who play with fire.

www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2565762/PETER-HITCHENS-Beware-nation-steeped-blood-carpeted-graves.html

claig Sun 23-Feb-14 14:54:38

Very complicated to understand.

Putin may not have wanted this President either. The lease for the port at Sevastopol runs out in 2017 and the President has not signed an extension for Russia.

In 2015, Russia is starting a Customs Union with Belarus and other ex-Soviet republics and Russia would have liked Ukraine to be in that and it could not allow Ukraine access to this Customs Union while also being part of an EU association.

There clearly will be some kind of counter strategy from Putin. Russia has some of the best chess players in the world so they must have worked out some strategies.

Crimea was given as a gift to Ukraine by a former Soviet leader and Putin once said to George Bush

"Putin is not known for his tact when speaking of Russia's western neighbor, which declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In April 2008, a source told Russia's Kommersant newspaper how Putin described Ukraine to George Bush at a NATO meeting in Bucharest: "You don't understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us."

content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900838,00.html

It is possible that Putin may have wanted this all along because of what might happen next. He may not want the West of Ukraine.

claig Sun 23-Feb-14 16:20:06

Other complicating factors are Western companies signing deals for shale gas with Ukraine which may eventually give Ukraine gas independence from Russia. Chevron have signed a potential $10 billion shale deal in the West of Ukraine and Shell has signed a shale deal in the East of Ukraine.

Some of Russia's existing gas pipelines to Europe go through Ukraine.

Shale is important as a way of reducing dependence on Russian gas for Ukraine but also for Europe. However, Chevron has suffered opposition to shale exploration in Romania and Lithuania and apparently Poland's projected shale reserves have been downsized.

claig Sun 23-Feb-14 18:21:23

Spectator article. BBC didn't tell us this.

' Let us never forget that the majority of the 25 deaths on the night of 18 – 19 February were murders committed by the protesters : 9 policemen were shot dead or stabbed to death, while 3 members of the governing party and a journalist were also killed .'

Second, the choice Ukraine faced between the EU and Russia was not an equal one. The EU association accord was a comprehensive political straitjacket designed to lock Ukraine into the orbit of Brussels and Washington by installing, as all over the EU itself, a pro-EU (and ultimately pro-NATO) elite whose policies would remain unchanged whichever team was in power. By contrast, Ukraine’s agreements with Russia are confined to a free trade zone and, lately, loans. They carry no internal political implications at all. Even the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia, which Ukraine will probably not now join, takes decisions by consensus: it has none of the heavy-handed supranational and technocratic control of Brussels.

Third, Ukraine did not really have a choice. Thanks to decades of corrupt politics, the Ukrainian state is bankrupt. So is the EU. In spite of stringing Kiev along with pretty words about a European future, the EU could offer only $800 million , via the IMF, and that came at the price of exceptionally painfully economic reforms. Ukraine would have been subjected to the same devastation of its agriculture, on which it depends, as Romania and Bulgaria were in their pre-accession period . Its industry would have collapsed as well . Russia, by contrast, has been able to offer nearly 20 times this sum in loans to prevent Ukraine from becoming insolvent, and it is the biggest market for Ukrainian exports – bigger than the whole of the EU put together.

....

Ukraine’s signature on the EU association agreement (the one Georgia signed runs to 400 pages) would have been the longest suicide note in history

To avoid facing up to its own inexorable decline, the post-modern EU, like the United States, has plunged ahead with a radically anti-Russian geopolitical and ideological agenda based on left-wing fantasies about resurgent nationalism in Moscow. We used to laugh at Cold Warriors but the absurd anti-Russian ravings of Dr Strangelove and Jack D. Ripper have now become the standard fare served up in Washington and Brussels. What a shame most of the Western media swallows this rubbish

blogs.spectator.co.uk/john-laughland/2014/02/ukraine-its-not-about-europe-vs-russia/

MyCatIsFat Sun 23-Feb-14 21:04:25

There was an interesting perspective on this on Radio 5 last night when Dotun Adebayo interviewed the author who wrote 'A short history of tractors in Ukraine?'. Her parents had been Ukranians who had fled to Britain. She mentioned that it's wrong to think that the whole country wishes to turn westwards as the east? of the country is actually pro-Russia. She equated Russia and Ukraine as being akin to England and Scotland.

It's a dangerous situation and the timing is obviously Olympic related, but I dohope that the EU stays well out of this one. The EU ballsed up the FYR break-up. It has no business involving itself in this potential flashpoint.

claig Sun 23-Feb-14 21:13:35

It is too late, MyCatIsFat, the EU is involved. They met with the protestors and backed the deal and the people like the ones shown in Kharkiv on Sky just now say they weren't asked.

There are Euro elections in May and if the crisis gets worse, I think people will vote for anti-EU parties because European people do not want to be dragged into this and be asked to bail out Ukraine etc.

MyCatIsFat Sun 23-Feb-14 22:14:10

There's no chance of the EU bailing out Ukraine. No way at all. The EU has enough problems with it's own PIIGS without looking to assist non-EU members.

No, what I meant was the potential for political stirring as when the EU pre-emptively recognised Croatia and forced the hand of its member sovereign states to recognise that country's independence from Yugoslavia. We do not want the EU recognising one element of a broken Ukraine.

The EU will start a bloody war one day with their stupidity. The sooner the whole shit heap just implodes the better.

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 06:01:10

I think the EU will be given orders to bail Ukraine out.

Very good point about recognising Croatia. Yes, it is very dangerous.

mathanxiety Mon 24-Feb-14 06:29:21

"We cannot characterise what is happening in Ukraine as anything except a violent attempt to seize power," said foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, blamed extremist groups, Ukraine's opposition and Western leaders for encouraging the violence. "Many western countries, who have tried to interfere in events and played games with insurgents, are also to blame. The west has solidly, repeatedly and shamefully avoided criticism of the actions of extremists, including Nazi elements."

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/19/russian-ukraine-putin-blames-west-protest

I agree with this Russian pov that was quoted earlier. There is much game playing going on, and the usual irresponsible posturing on the part of Washington. Russia is right to insist that a legitimately elected government in Ukraine should not be overthrown by what is basically hoodlums occupying the streets, no matter how good their English is and no matter how photogenic they may be. Would this be tolerated in Belfast? Or Seattle? I think not.

The much vaunted Orange Revolution resulted in Ukraine being governed by a bunch of incompetent nincompoops who are now poised to run the country into the ground again (Tymoshenko and pals). Millions of old people face again the spectre of their pensions jeopardised. They're not out on the streets because they're old.

And it will be most interesting when Ukraine asks how much it means to the EU to have it onside. The amount Russia is willing to put on the table is already known. My guess is the EU can offer bailout terms similar to Greece's. If the opposition weren't idiots they would understand this. They would also understand that Ukraine depends on Russian gas. Or maybe they are hoping German taxpayers will foot that bill.

I can see 'Ukraine' being politically divided east/west, and maybe soon, the return of the Crimea and the heavy industry of the east to Russia.

I can also see conservative Poland and Ukraine (west) joining forces within the EU and making things interesting in Brussels. The EU needs to be careful what it wishes for.

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 06:35:23

Spot on, mathanxiety

'If the opposition weren't idiots they would understand this.'

They are puppets, they have no choice, and of course the EU are puppets too and that will begin to become more and more evident to the people of Europe as time goes on.

mathanxiety Mon 24-Feb-14 06:42:59

Western banks are of course going to have a say in all of this, just as they influenced the EU bailout terms of Ireland, Greece, etc.

Banks are no doubt worried that a mob thumbed its nose at a Russian deal that would have enabled the banks to be paid their lawful repayments. They will be looking for evidence of acceptance of reality from whatever 'government' follows Yanukovich's, and the Ukrainian independence crowd will take some reining in once the news is broken to them that it is western banks that in fact own the country and not them.

mathanxiety Mon 24-Feb-14 06:52:20

When I say influenced I mean of course 'dictated'.

I am normally a fan of the EU but in this case I think there has been massive overreaching, and incredible stupidity that I ascribe to undue American influence. I think one of the other key players in all of this besides Russia, will be Germany -- Germany will ultimately foot any bill that comes due if Ukraine becomes closely allied with the EU, and a coalition of Poland and Ukraine in Brussels would not necessarily be to Germany's advantage, so if they haven't already done a cost-benefit analysis of various outcomes they are no doubt sharpening their pencils.

Germany already bailed out Greece, in the teeth of an offer dangled from Russia to Athens. The political fallout was significant in Germany. Merkel hung on but only just. I do not know how she can sell the potential purchase of even half of Ukraine to the electorate even on the grounds that it would effectively reverse the outcome of WW2.

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 07:05:55

Unfortunately, I am not a subscriber to the Financial Times, so can't read their latest article, but today we have

"West scrambles to find Ukraine rescue plan"

They are worried that Russia will withdraw its $10 billion financial help and will no longer provided subsidised gas.

The Ukrainian people will probably be left high and dry by the EU as usual as with Greece and everywhere else.

The FT also has an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski. He is the real brains, the real mastermind. He has been around for years and planned the original Taliban uprising against Russia in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I can't read what he says because I am not an FT subscriber.

He is the person to listen to, to find out what will happen. Of course, what Russia will do also has to be factored in.

"Brzezinski: U.S. has to talk turkey to Putin"

The EU has to step forward and not just offer slogans and long range invitations, it has to offer some cash , because Ukraine is on the back of economic collapse, literally.

And if Putin comes back and says go with me and I'll give you lots of cash, and we don't offer anything from the West, a lot of Ukrainians will say, well, we have to eat. We have to eat. We have to have jobs.

And the third thing which is needed is we, the United States, we have to talk turkey to the Russians. We have to talk turkey to Putin and say to him, look, this is a critical moment. Don't reignite the cold war because the Ukrainians are willing to be your friends, but they're not willing to be your serfs."

globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/22/brzezinski-u-s-has-to-talk-turkey-to-putin/

Ever since the leaked US phone call with "fuck the EU", the EU has jumped into action and the puppets ran around like headless chickens.

Brzezinski tells Deutsche Welle that Germany has to find the cash to pay, and of course their puppets will pay and won't consult the German taxpayer.

"Zbigniew Brzezinski calls on Russia to push Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych to step down and Germany to put up some money"

www.dw.de/brzezinski-finland-role-model-for-ukraine/a-17448110

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 07:07:16

Crosspost

Yes, you are spot on. Well spotted about Germany having to foot the bill

"Germany will ultimately foot any bill that comes due if Ukraine becomes closely allied with the EU"

Exactly.

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 07:18:58

Article from the influential New York Times

'And it is questionable whether the Kremlin will accept a loss of influence in Ukraine. Mr. Putin had high hopes of making Ukraine a key ally in his planned Eurasian Union. He may have decided that Mr. Yanukovych was too unreliable an ally, but that does not mean he will accept a revolution against him.'

...

Now the European Union needs to come back with a better offer — not just association, but membership

...

The key to this approach lies in Berlin

www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/what-the-west-must-do-for-ukraine.html?_r=0

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 03:04:27

They are worried that Russia will withdraw its $10 billion financial help and will no longer provided subsidised gas.

No shit Sherlock. What makes the FT think any other outcome is likely?

The thing about what Brzezinski says is it has already happened. Russia made the offer. Hands were shaken in Moscow. Hence howls of rage followed by civil disobedience and turmoil. The person who made the deal now has a warrant out for his arrest.

Brzezniski is full of hot air about the Cold War. It's the only thing he knows so he trots it out every time he gets a microphone in front of him.

And yes, I can see Angela Merkel giving a hmm to the idea of the German taxpayer forking over one cent to further American ("fuck the EU") geopolitical ambitions, especially when this idea comes from the man who thought arming the Taliban was a good idea. Mercifully he is now retired.

I doubt if Russia wants western Ukraine. I don't think the EU wants it either. The only element with any interest in the token of western Ukraine is the US.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 07:14:59

'I don't think the EU wants it either.'

The EU's deal was not a good one.

Then we had the leaked US phone call with the statement "fuck the EU"

Then the EU had to increase their offer and pull their finger out. The EU may not have wanted West Ukraine, but the EU has no choice, it does what it is told. Merkel will have to do as she is told. At the moment the EU is looking for money from Canada, Japan and even ridiculously enough, China.

China won't pay because that will upset Russia.

'The only element with any interest in the token of western Ukraine is the US.'

Of course and when the US says jump, the EU says "how high?"

'Brzezniski is full of hot air about the Cold War. It's the only thing he knows so he trots it out every time he gets a microphone in front of him.'

I think you underestimate Brzezinski. Brzezinski will have already foreseen what happens next and he possibly wrote it down years ago.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 07:21:32

The FT is the world's leading newspaper written for the elite on the planet. Every puppet everywhere in a position of power reads it carefully.

The reason that the FT had an article by Brzezinski in its paper yesterday is because they know that Brzrezinski is the person who counts and knows what is hapening and what comes next.

When the FT looks for someone to interview, it doesn't interview the monkey, it interviews the organ grinder.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 07:34:44

''The only element with any interest in the token of western Ukraine is the US.'

It is not a 'token'. It is of strategic importance for NATO, because little by little, Russia is being surrounded. This is chess, and countries and people are the pawns.

The king has been toppled, it was check mate. The elected President has fled. That was game over. A brilliant match.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 07:43:01

"Zbigniew Brzezinski: Ukraine tycoons should pass hat around

"He also says Ukraine tycoons should club together to the amount of $1 billion each to help Ukraine relieve her economic difficulties, UNIAN says Feb. 25.

Writing in The Financial Times, Brzezinski say Russia can still push Ukraine on the road of a civil war by encouraging separatists in Crimea and some Eastern oblasts."

...

Ukraine top ten tycoons who were the main beneficiaries of rampant corruption in the country should be persuaded into donating $1 billion each to stabilize the country.

Sooner or later Ukraine will join the EU family, with Russia going on its heels unless Putin self-isolates his country turning it into a semi-decomposed remnant of imperislism, Z. Brzezinski says."

zik.ua/en/news/2014/02/25/zbigniew_brzezinski_ukraine_tycoons_should_pass_hat_around_464541

The tycoons are now getting the cash ready. Brzezinski has spoken.

DoctorTwo Tue 25-Feb-14 08:11:45

Brzezinski is just another corporate shill. Unfortunately, Ukraine appear to be appealing to the IMF for financial assistance, and that always ends well. For the banks, not the populace, they'll be in enforced austerity like everywhere else the IMF 'helped'.

The world police showed there hand in that 'fuck the EU' conversation, they're trying to install another puppet government, just like they did in South American countries from the 50s till now. They need to step away from cold war attitudes.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 20:12:43

I don't underestimate him. He is old and he is retired. His Polish origins are supposed to give him extra credibility in Europe and that is why he has been de-mothballed for his current role. He is an unofficial spokesperson for the US right now and his function is to test the waters. He is throwing out various outcomes, the only serious one being that Germany should pay for the acquisition of Ukraine, and the State Dept is gauging reaction specifically to that question. Germany does not have to jump and is not likely to imo. Germany is already very extended financially thanks to Greece and Portugal, etc.

The rest of the baloney he is spewing is pure Cold War bumpf. And post Cold War bumpf. Where does democracy fit in in a country bought by tycoons who do not care at all about the will of the people? (This is a question Cold Warriors could equally ask of American 'democracy' where corporations count as individuals where campaign donations are concerned.) 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.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 20:13:16

The real game has only just begun, Claig.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 20:15:15

And China owns an enormous chunk of US debt. China does not care who she upsets. China doesn't have to worry about treading on anyone's toes.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 20:18:58

Democracy and self determination on the one hand, and IMF-imposed austerity or EU-imposed austerity on the other, are not compatible.

Sooner or later this conclusion has to suggest itself to the bright young things now running Ukraine, and at that point Russia is going to start looking better and better.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 20:26:31

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.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 21:57:12

'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.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 22:02:28

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.

claig Tue 25-Feb-14 22:25:58

'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.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 23:57:41

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).

mathanxiety Tue 25-Feb-14 23:58:44

...anyone west of Berlin.

claig Wed 26-Feb-14 05:42:45

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.

mathanxiety Thu 27-Feb-14 02:42:48

'Russia, Germany express concern over Ukraine, Moscow says' Reuters article. This is interesting.

claig Thu 27-Feb-14 05:54:33

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.

mathanxiety Thu 27-Feb-14 15:28:27

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.

claig Thu 27-Feb-14 15:40:54

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.

babybarrister Mon 03-Mar-14 09:46:37

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"

DoctorTwo Mon 03-Mar-14 19:47:08

"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.

mathanxiety Tue 04-Mar-14 02:09:17

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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