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07 April 2016

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johnf

A Dutch referendum on whether the EU should abolish its trade barriers with the Ukraine has been defeated by 61% to 39%, 32% of Dutch voters taking part in the vote. This should trigger a move by the government to reject this EU agreement. Unanimity is required by EU governments to implement such agreements, but the Dutch government will probably find a way to wriggle its way out of this embarassment.

But it does show that the average EU citizens does not necessarily back The West's hawkish position on the Ukraine, and has not been unduly influenced by the continual propaganda attacks on Putin. And remember that the Dutch particularly, after the shooting down of the airliner, should have reason to back Ukraine against Russia.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35976086

wabuno

Careful. The overthrow was Feb. 21 or 22 in 2014 I think. Perhaps you're just behind a year in your dating. Donetsk airport wasn't a bombed out ruin in early 2014. I only mention this because the servants to power will pounce. A small flub by an individual that doesn't have 'fact checking' interns at their disposal doesn't negate the message. An ironic word is disposal in this case.
Fine work TTG. Thanks.
Givi, Motorola, and many more deserve respect aplenty.
All ought to search on YT "roses have thorns" an excellent collage of the vast amounts of video hours dumped-up to the WWW in real time during the Donbass conflict. Deep cellphone penetration in this country. An Aussie I think is the compiler. Perhaps a grasp if the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian language capabilities were used to compile this sad, angering but compelling compilation.

Barish

The two dates are off by a year, February 2015* and January 2015*. One year before then the "ATO" wasn't yet on, nor announced even.

Regarding the referendum, keep in mind that the EU has a record of various referenda which it either had re-done to get the "right" result or which it ignored outright. Yes, I am somewhat unconvinced that the EU-leadership over here will see sense even now.

Ghost ship

"Yesterday’s Dutch referendum “no” vote on the EU association treaty with Ukraine may hasten that collapse."
The Mossack Fonseca papers also mention President Porochenko (although you'd be hard put to notice given the references to Putin who is not mentioned at all) whereas I've seen no claim that ex-President Yanukvych is mentioned. So the United States replaced a democratically-elected corrupt politician with a less democratically-elected, more corrupt politician. Will we now see the return of the Maidan protesters and another putsch?

William R. Cumming

Thanks TTG for the update. Your flower post on Facebook amazing.

Can we summarize the Ukraine fighting now as risking death for your favorite oligarch?

Haralambos

Barish and Ghost ship: this is up in my mail today from the "Brussels Briefing" on the FT: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/153ef3e56954e825

"Dutch say No"

"The Dutch referendum ended in a thumping defeat for advocates of the EU trade pact with Ukraine. There was a brief fluster when exit polls put turnout 1 per cent short of the 30 per cent threshold that the government have promised to recognise. But the winner was not in doubt: the No side took 61 per cent of the vote. Eurosceptics are crowing. Volkskrant can barely contain its shame. Mark Rutte, the prime minister, is playing it calm. Our man Duncan Robinson braved the poor Dutch weather and explains the implications in this Q&A. The fallout is probably manageable. But this is another bad day for the European project."

SmoothieX12

This is what I wrote more than a year ago before Debaltsevo was reduced.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-brief-thought-on-fate-of-debaltsevo.html

1. There ARE Russian advisers in Donbass and by that I mean SO people. From the get go it was clear that there was, behind (and sometimes in front) the scene, "presence" of people from GOU of General Staff too.

2. Kiev most likely (but not 100%) will try to mount some sort of "offensive" to mitigate Poroshenko's and junta's humiliation in Holland referendum. There are also the news today of Trans-Karpathia calling on autonomy for itself. If confirmed--this is really a bad news for Kiev. So we may expect some sort of heightened activity.

The Twisted Genius

Wabuno and Barish,

Thanks for catching the dates. I knew it was last year, but I must have forgot it is now 2016. That's what happens when old people try to do things late at night. I fixed the post.

cynic

Any thoughts on why the Kievan military leadership has been so consistently inept? They came from the same Russian military background as the rebels.

The Twisted Genius

cynic,

The Ukrainian military suffered from serious neglect beginning almost immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Their existing equipment was sold for cash. There was no investment in training or maintenance. When the fighting started shortly after the Maidan coup, both sides had to pretty much start from scratch to build their forces. The Russians are obviously much better at building armies than the Ukrainians and their NATO allies. Then there is the moral aspect of this war.

elkern

What's the story on the picture of the tank at the outskirts of Kiev?

Looks like someone photoshopped a modern tank, some smoke, & some graffiti onto an old postcard. (shadows don't match).

And I need some help with the Cyrillic:

1. does crossing out the "I" in "KNIB" change it from "Kiev" to something meaningful in Russian and/or Ukrainian? A pun?

2. scrawled in Red on the same sign is something like "Pyccku u ropog". The first word is obviously something about Russia or Russians; but what's it all mean?

Bottom line: whose propaganda is this, who is it aimed at, and what effect are they trying to have?

The Twisted Genius

elkern,

It's just a piece of rebel war art showing Givi on the outskirts of Kiev. Pure propaganda. The "i" is crossed out because that is the Ukrainian spelling as opposed to the Russian spelling of "Киев". The remark below that means Russian city.

Mark

Yesterday the head of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the outfit that toiled for a year on the Panama Papers, publicly said that the effort was not directed against Russia. He backpedaled like that although 76% of British media outlets either led with a picture of Putin or mentioned him in the story - or both - while only 24% noted the discovery that Prime Minister Cameron's father was one of the catches. The same head of the organization, Gerard Ryle, also disclosed that no data was released on American politicians, and will not be.

https://www.rt.com/news/338439-panama-papers-icij-leak-russia/

It is also worth reading the brief prepared by the "No" side in the Dutch referendum - it makes the point that the agreement would be a bad deal for Ukraine, would force most small-business owners out where small business is a mainstay of the Ukrainian economy, and quotes some startling numbers.

https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/the_expected_impact_of_the_eu-ukraine_association_agreement.pdf

The Dutch decision was in no way selfish, but you would never know from the furious and threatening commentary on Ukrainian social media.

cynic

Thank you. If the Kievans still haven't learned their lesson, and attack again, whilst the rebels might have improved their ability to perform encirclements and pinch out salients; might Putin lengthen their leash to allow them to capture more of Donbass and perhaps Kharkov or that port in the south?

The Twisted Genius

cynic,

I think that is a real possibility.

Patrick Armstrong

On the sequence of events http://patrickarmstrong.ca/2016/02/27/fracking-slavyansk-and-war/

Joe100

Cassad noted earlier this week that a second unsuccessful assassination attempt was made on Givi over the weekend. As with the first attempt, it appears to have been unprofessional (unlike "Brain's" quite professional assassination) and seems related to Givi getting cross wise with some gangs during the heavy conflict period.

Cassad also had a great post some time ago - I think around the ceremony when Givi and Motorola received their big awards - that showed Givi at his retail store security guard job. Amazing to see how someone like that blossomed into a real leader "under fire"..

Patrick Armstrong

It's a drawing of the triumphal capture of Kiev by Givi's group. The dotted i (which is Ukrainian orthography) is crossed out -- the Russian spelling is КИЕВ. The written bit is Русский город which means Russian city. I don't know whether Givi & Co really do plan to go all the way to Kiev, but the truth is that regime change is the only good end. I believe that Putin&Co are playing the long game and expecting the Ukrainians to rise up against their current masters. But it will be a long and unpleasant trip.

LondonBob

Russki Gorod - Russian City.
Киев is the Russian spelling, just crossing out the Ukrainian letter.

Easy to forget this has gone on for two years now.

Said it before and will say it again, accepting the ridiculous borders drawn by the communists in the FSU and former Yugoslavia guaranteed some nasty ethnic conflicts as people sought to forcibly redraw those borders to reflect ethnic reality.

Fred

Mark,

" International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ..."

Further bad news for actual journalism is are the actions being taken against the group that investigated Planned Parenthood and put out the 5 videos that show sale of fetal body parts in violation of (US) federal law. A Texas prosecutor took the issue of obtaining a business license (the journalist used the business created as a cover for the investigation) to a grand jury which brought an indictment against the two reporters for "tampering with a government document".

We can't have investigative journalists researching the party in power:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Harris-grand-jury-indicts-pair-behind-Planned-6782865.php

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/06/california-law-enforcement-officers-seize-planned-parenthood-videos-activist-says.html

LeaNder

I may be misguided, but I still wonder about the larger context in which the Ukraine surfaced in one of the largest scandals in the recent decades on the German scene.

It may or may not be a piece of the puzzle to lure Ukrainians to some type of all hope West fantasy. (notice, I did not seriously reflect this sentence)

ex-PFC Chuck

re: "Amazing to see how someone like that blossomed into a real leader "under fire".. "

Reminds me of a guy named Grant.

LeaNder

Fred, if I don't want to follow your associative links or line of thought, can you give me some type of nutshell view, that led your associative line of thought?

Basically, to summarize my view, there is by now a one-day-after help, which would as solution to the problem and rid the partisan fetus activists of much of their argument.

Are these activists prepared to help young women, and the younger they more they are endangered to get pregnant, even more if they do not understand their body and its reactions, if they are young and and easily lured into matters?

Trey N

Really? Grant's Vicksburg campaign was well-conceived and well-executed, but it was a flash in the pan. Other than that, he got his ass kicked from start to finish by the Confederates:

At Belmont his men were routed from the field and had to run for their transports.

He was surprised in his camp at Shiloh and only saved by the fortunate arrival of Buell's army at the end of the first day.

His victory at Chattanooga was again due to pure luck: his planned left hook by Sherman was stymied by Cleburne, and Thomas' men won the day by converting their demonstration into a successful assault without orders (Grant was actually furious when he saw the bluecoats charging up the mountainside, and demanded to know who had ordered the attack!).

Lee successfully countered every move by Grant in the Overland Campaign, and capped it off by absolutely slaughtering the Union troops at Cold Harbor. Grant's repeated assaults against well-entrenched Confederate soldiers cost the Army of the Potomac 60,000 casualties in just six weeks. Grant eviscerated his own army by the loss of so many veteran officers and men.

It doesn't take a genius to win a campaign when one side has a huge advantage in manpower and an overwhelming superiority in material. In spite of such disparity, Lee successfully defended Petersburg and Richmond against Grant for nine months. If their roles had been reversed, Grant would not have come close to accomplishing what Lee did from 1862-1865 -- and the CSA would have been defeated much sooner than it was.

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG, SST;
Just wanted to post a remembrance of Alexey Mozgovoi who also fought selflessly for the Donbass and was liquidated under strange circumstances. I hope Givi and others will not meet the same fate.
Ishmael Zechariah

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