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23 February 2018

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blue peacock

Pavlo

"...these characters are symptoms, not the disease itself..."

What is the disease?

blue peacock

All

I haven't been following the Ukraine story much at all. What is the current situation?

drifter

Publius Tacitus, would you be so kind as to change the reference, 'Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces...' to "February 2014"? In April 2014, the Ukrainian army was already fighting the separatists at Sloviansk.

burton50

Andrei, agreed. The better analysts (Rostislav Ishchenko especially, among others) have long maintained that the whole Maidan “project” was a cost-effective attempt at getting the Russian Federation involved in a very bloody, very expensive mess in/on the Ukraine. Vladimir Vladimirovich and his team has, in my view, wisely refrained, in spite of the howls of protest from Russia’s own “hurrah-patriots”. That said, the suffering of the people in the Donbass under constant shelling by the Ukrainian “army” has to be tough to take. As to the Crimea, unlike the boobs in DC, he did his homework conscientiously (I’m sure the populace was polled carefully, so that the referendum results were known, approximately, beforehand) and the main body of armed forces was already available on site. Having visited the Crimea on at least three occasions myself in the "oughts", the sentiments of the locals was never in doubt. But I still get a kick out of the job tenders put up – and still up – by the U.S. Navy on the Federal Business Opportunities website for infrastructure projects in the Crimea, all dated in and around September, 2013. True, they all bear cancellation notices, "due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine".

Pavlo

blue peacock,

The disease is this: Ukrainian identity is a regional identity at best. There is no way to elevate it into a national identity without violent rejection of the original parent nationality (I seem to recall that Robert Rhett and some of the other Confederate ideologues engaged in this). The latest attempt at Ukrainian statehood inevitably drifted into red-and-black extremist nationalism because there's nothing else to found a separate nation on.

If the Ukraine were to envision itself as just another Russian state, then the drift back into the Russian orbit would be very difficult to avoid. The political and commercial elite see that as a threat to their own power and wealth - they'd be poorer and considerably less influential in the RF than they are in a separate Ukraine. Banderite nationalism's goals align with their own, so the Ukrainian elite have absorbed its views and motivations (while demoting most its original adherents to subordinate roles).

Better the first man in a Gallic oppida than second man in Rome - that is the thinking. It isn't unique to the Ukraine either - Lukashenko in Belarus has exhibited this mentality more and more as his own hopes of attaining the Russian presidency have faded.

Tel
"The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production."
I'm not going play the "how many millions?" game either with Stalin's murders or with Hitler's murders because we should be able to agree that such things are unacceptable, regardless of exactly how many millions died.

Mismanagement caused the shortage, but bloody mindedness decided who would pay the ultimate price for said shortage. If there had been widespread acknowledgement that socialism causes starvation then perhaps those people would not have died for nothing, but sadly this is a lesson that we keep learning over and over. Attempts to downplay the history only necessitate one more cycle of the same hardship.

 jld

Excuse me but this is SST and your trolling doesn't match the required level for the premises.
Who sent you there?

integer

Kiev appears to be in the latter stages of preparation for another attempt to seize the Donbass territories, and has been receiving significant amounts of foreign assistance (i.e. training, intelligence, and equipment) during the last few months. See Free Ukraine Now for more info.

rkka

"I wouldn´t put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. "

Dunno about that. These Ukrainian Nationalists, like the Belarus Nationalists just to the north, facilitated German military operations implementing GeneralPlan Ost, the German plan to remove the Slavic populations of the areas they lived in so that the land could be settled by Germans. Thus would the territorial foundations of global power be laid for the Thousand-Year Reich.

The main political question settled between Hitler and Stalin was this: Will Europe's Slavs continue to live in their lands, or will they be killed, starved, or driven away so Germans could have it. Because Stalin won that war, the answer was yes. Had Hitler won, the answer would have meant racial extermination for them, Ukrainians & Belarus very much included. And these Ukrainian & Belarus nationalists were too blinded by hatred to see that backing Hitler meant death for the peoples they purported to represent. So 'Glory to Ukraine!' meant 'Glory to an idea, whether Ukrainians survive the process or not!'

Everything past your first paragraph I wholeheartedly concur with.

Tom

I am not saying he was a nice guy. I was just saying that his opponents were no better. Just read the contemporary accounts "Assignment to Utopia" or " I chose freedom" by Kravchenko. Cold blooded mass murder and mass starvation was enacted not only by the NKVD but also by perfectly "normal" Komsomol fanatics. Or just read the novel "life and fate" by (jewish authour) Victor Grossmann where he compareS nkvd and Gestapo and finds no meaningful difference. YOu can´t understand neither the Baltics nor the Western Ukrainians support of the "wrong" side of the war without taking into account what the communists did in the thirties. As long as the Red Army is lionized by the East the Western Ukraine will cling to Bandera.

Tom

You probably are Polish. I would recommend the books by one very knowledgable Polish historian. His name is Bogdan Musial. He details the atrocities the Red Army committed against the local population in Western Ukraine. When they retreated they butchered all political prisoners. Tens of thousands in Lwiw alone. As to the Polish Armija Kraiova: they exterminated villages of Ukranians as well. It was a free for all of butchery. You just have to be on the right side to be well remembered. According to official Polish figures 300 ethnic German woman and children died every day in Wroclaw from starvation after the war. You just didn´t feed ethnic Germans. And so on and so on. Bandera was no exception. He was just on the losing side.

rkka

"If there had been widespread acknowledgement that socialism causes starvation then perhaps those people would not have died for nothing, but sadly this is a lesson that we keep learning over and over."

Social Democratic Swedes have been starving? Who knew?

Mother Nature took a hand in this matter, it wasn't all Stalin:

Given these inconsistencies, there remains one factor in explaining the cause of the small harvest of 1932 that can account for the improved harvest in 1933, and that is the complex of environmental factors in 1932. As I documented in a recent publication, the USSR experienced an unusual environmental disaster in 1932: extremely wet and humid weather that gave rise to severe plant disease infestations, especially rust. Ukraine had double or triple the normal rainfall in 1932. Both the weather conditions and the rust spread from Eastern Europe, as plant pathologists at the time documented. Soviet plant pathologists in particular estimated that rust and other fungal diseases reduced the potential harvest in 1932 by almost nine million tons, which is the largest documented harvest loss from any single cause in Soviet history (Natural Disaster and Human Action, p. 19).

https://eh.net/book_reviews/the-years-of-hunger-soviet-agriculture-1931-1933/

Bandit

Many thanks to Publius Tacitus for this and other excellent exposes. I would like to add just one clarification to this and other works in which many state or subscribe to the idea that, "We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination". There may well be a number of deliberately ignorant politicians, war mongering militarist and media dupes among the chorus of neocons who believe that Russia is the perp set on world domination, but the great majority of that chorus know that it is just the convenient lie, the underlying pretext, the excuse for all of the saber rattling by the US in order to justify its neo-colonial imperatives.

Unfortunately, that type of framing of the build up to wars, gives these very same neo-cons and all of the "ignorant" masses the excuse that they were somehow misled, tricked, as in the case of the Irag war. Don't be fooled for one minute that this is the case. The profound stupidity of the American people cannot be excused. And, it is the media, which spends much energy burying reports that prove it is the US and not Russia that is the actual perpetrator and the greatest threat to world peace, and moreover the real "axis of evil" which consists of the the US and its western allies.

Adrestia

There is a huge distrust of the traditional political parties in Europe. This is partly because the EU has become a non-democratic entity that is far away from the different European peoples who don't feel represented at all and want something else (IMO the same reason why Trump was chosen in the US)

European law is above national law and is increasingly causing problems. The different European countries have differen cultures and also different economies. The main problem is the common currency which puts all these different countries in a straight jacket (Maastricht treaty):
* a maximum of 60% debt of GDP
* not more than 3% of budget deficit

This removes the ability of national governments to stimulate their own economies (by printing money or increasing the national debt). The Maastricht treaty forces national governments to impose austerity on the population as their only option. National governments (but especially politicians) are increasingly losing faith with their electorate. For example last week statistics were released in the Netherlands that only 20% of all crimes are reported to the police while the politicians were claiming victory because of the decrease in crime (on paper). There is no faith in their ability to serve the people and one of the common complaints is that the police is just another part of the tax department (eg speeding ticket of 10 km (6 miles) = 120 EUR/$130)

IMO it is significant in the western world (OECD-countries) that in all elections the ruling politicians are losing dramatically. Democracy seems to be a genuine problem for the ruling groups (borg, economical elite etc). IMO it will be a question of time that democracy will be replaced (eg state-of-emergency laws replaces by common law in France and similar trends as in our new intelligence and security services law).

IMO there is a reason the Italian elections are not covered. The populist left and right seem to have created a partnership for these elections to get out of the Euro. Traditionally the Italian economy needs inflation for their economy. Eg when they devalue other northern Europeans go there on holiday because it is cheap.

If these parties win this might be the drop that overfloods the bucket and is the start of the desintegration of the EU. The populations don't want it anymore and countries want to cherry-pick parts at the expense of other countries. The EU needs reform because the foundations are breaking up, but it is very unlikely that they will do this.

pantaraxia

#24 James T,
" but to me it looks like a chessboard with Russia on one side and the US on the other".

There was another game being played which has been all but ignored, a sort of bastardized version of the Game of Thrones between various oligarchal factions for control of the ongoing looting of the Ukraine. This game may have played more of a role in the fomenting and eventual outcome of the Maidan revolution than generally recognized.

An article in The Ukrainian Weekly, written approximately one year prior to the Maidan provides some background:

THE UKRAINIAN WEEKLY
http://ukrweekly.com/archive/2013/The_Ukrainian_Weekly_2013-06.pdf

quote:

The ever-expanding business empire of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is now preying on top oligarchs, forcing them to sell their business assets to family interests and cease their political activity....

. “With this group coming to power, they’ve begun to force out others and now we have open financial-corporate wars in very rough forms,” said Dr. Oleh Soskin, chair of the Institute of Society Transformation in Kyiv. “Yanukovych, his sons and his closest circle are devouring and taking over all the smaller players around them on Ukraine’s political and economic map.”
Western observers, such as Dr. Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and Dr. Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University Institute for International Economics in Washington and Dr. Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University in Newark, were predicting the current scenario as early as the autumn of 2012. They also predicted the oligarchs would retaliate politically, which hasn’t happened yet. “These elections will be either the final step in Yanukovych’s consolidation of power or his opponents’ last to disrupt his family rule".. “This time, however, the most palpable threat to his rule comes not from the crowds on the street but the elite businessmen he has alienated"

...Compared to someone like Mr. Firtash, who controls 15 to 20 percent of the entire Ukrainian economy, Mr. Kolomoisky is an easier target for the family, controlling between 5 and 10 percent “which is enough to widen its resource base,” ...

Peter AU

Dave 18

Here is a map, by regions, of the voting preferences prior to the 2014 coup.
Yanuckovych vs Yushchenko. This election was deemed fair and above board by international observers.
http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/files/500px-Ukraine_ElectionsMap_Nov2004.png

Here is a map of the language groups in Ukraine by regions
https://www.newcoldwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Languages-of-Ukraine.png
(note - this particular map originated from a university. I have lost my original link)
Both these maps I found in the weeks after MH17 and where on the net prior to 2014.

Here is a map by OCHA on the displace people in Ukraine and where they are displaced to
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ukr%20displacement_16%20March%202015.pdf
Note the vast majority to Russia and Belarus.

If you have a look on the net, you will fid both video and transcipt of Nuland's speech in Ukraine where she states US spend five billion, yes five billion on bringing democracy to a democratic but corrupt Ukraine.
No Ukraine is not democratic (the ethnic Russians no longer have candidates to vote for, as they have now been deemed Russian spies or whatever), and is even more corrupt than before.
Crimea has always been an autonomus province of Ukraine, that was removed from Russia and tacked onto Ukraine by the then Ukrainian president of the Soviet Union.
Look it up. I didn't give a fuck about Ukraine or Russia and knew nothing about them prior to MH17, but had to look up all this stuff when my politicians and media were feeding me crap.

Peter AU

Dave
Also note on the map of displaced people, Crimea is the only region there are none.
Note the displaced persons map is OCHA

https://www.unocha.org/about-us/who-we-are
"OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies."

DianaLC

I tried to reply before, but it did not post for some reason.

My own ancestors came from both the Volga Valley and the area above the Black Sea and the Ukraine. There had actually been another famine before the Holodmor in the 20's. You are right about the Soviet mismanagement of agriculture. Russians just are NOT farmers.

Catherine the Great and Alexander I invited farmers from Europe, mostly from German speaking areas, to come in to Russia specifically to far4m first the Volga Valley and then the steppes above the Black Sea and into Ukraine (what they called Bessarabia for some reason)

The German farmers knew always to keep a supply of grain in case of famine for replanting and for food. The Bolsheviks determined that they were being greedy and took those reserves that would have prevented both famines. And, you are right, the factory and communal farms were a failure. Any real farmer would have been able to tell them those plans would fail.

All my great grand parents and grandparents and their families came to the U.S. in the early 1900's to escape the Bolsheviks. My generation grew up hearing "bolshevik" before we studied its use in Russia when we attended school. The way our elders used the term made us feel it meant something like "devil."

My guess is that the Germans who did not have the courage and foresight to leave ended up favoring the Nazis because they had never spoken Russian all the time they lived in Russia (some over 100 years), so they would have gravitated to German speakers. In fact, many of them--I had a great aunt in this category--were sent to work camps in Siberia. In fact, in my ethnic community, one of the insults they would give each other was to call the person a "Roosian." It's sad that they did then gravitate to the Nazis.

The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia now often arranges trips back to Russia so people can visit the villages from which their grand parents and great grandparents emigrated. I know my villages: Friedricksfeld, Frank, und Dittel. They, of course, now have Russian names.

Thank you PT for your very informative post.

English Outsider


burton50 - as with PT's article above I find myself in complete agreement with your assessment. Just wish I could put it as cogently myself - there are so many round my way who still believe of the Ukraine disaster "It's those evil Russians!", and it seems nothing one can say can convince them otherwise.

I only looked at one tender in detail. That was a US Navy tender for the refurbishment of a school. I looked at it because it was often cited at the time as evidence that the the US Navy was intending to establish a base in the Crimea.

As far as I could tell it wasn't. The contract details showed no evidence that the school was to be used for any other purpose than a school. It was intended that the same pupils would return to the school after completion. A similar contract was put out by the US Navy at much the same time elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and there too there was no indication that the school was to be used for military purposes or for the children of US Navy personnel. I'm not familiar with US or Ukrainian building standards but as far as I remember it looked as if the school was to be refurbished to local building standards and the renovated facilities didn't look as if they were to be modified for US use.

I didn't therefore believe that this particular tender could be used as evidence of intended occupation by the US Navy. In fact I think it's most unlikely - it was a public tender so it would be as if the US Navy were announcing to the world "We're coming", which they would scarcely have done.

I wondered if you or other commenters on the Colonel's site knew of other tenders that might show NATO or US intentions in the Crimea.


As a footnote, your comment led to me looking at Russian tenders put out for infrastructure work in the Crimea. Looks as if they intend to be there a while. Good. That's one lot of people not getting shelled daily.

http://www.rusconsulatemumbai.in/Crimea%20%20Investment%20Opportunities%20%20FEZ.pdf

Dennis Daulton

In reference to CIA chief visiting in April 2014, don’t forget that there was a Malaysian airplane shot down just about three months later over Ukraine. It was reported at the time that the Russian presidential airplane had passed through that same airspace maybe 20 minutes before.

Tom

Socialism and capitalism are so many words. The reality was that the Bolsheviks basically had to give up on war communism (abolition of money and state distribution of all goods during the civil war) because of the resistance of the peasants. Sure Tukhatshevski used poison gas against the Antonov rebellion in Tambov. Hundred of thousands if not millions of peasants were slaughtered by the Bolsheviks in 22/23. But that proved not enough to get the peasants to turn over their produce for nothing. Finally the Bolsheviks retreated. The retreat is called NEP and it was declared in 1923. New economic policy which basically meant market economy for the peasants. Unfortunately the State was not able to produce as much of interest to the farmers that they considered expanding their production beyond their immediate needs.
But without expanded agricultural production there was no expansion of industry and no growth of an industrial, military base. Therefore it was decided to take the land away from the peasants and force them into collectives. Basically make them slaves of the state. (They were even denied freedom of movement) The farmers in turn refused to work and slaughtered their animals. Stalin then took the hardest decision of his political life. (That is what he told Milovan Djilas at least). He decided to starve the peasants into submission. Every bid of grain was confiscated and brought to the cities. At least 12 millons died. One knows the number because in the nineties the heretofore censored population census of 1937 was finally published. The majority perished in Ukraine. There are any number of books about all of that. This is nothing but consensus among historians. The only question regards the Ukraine. That is the claim by Ukrainian nationalists that this holocaust was engineered especially against them.

Prem

The suppurating mess, that is the post-Maidan Ukraine, is a treat for aficionados of grim humour.

We have self-described "Zhido-Banderas", Radio Mille Collines-style TV stations supported by EU "yooman rights" funding, the Guardian newspaper writing gushing puff pieces about the Azov battalion, illustrated with photos of their vehicles festooned with 1488s and SS symbols.

Hilarious.

rkka

Tom,

"You can´t understand neither the Baltics nor the Western Ukrainians support of the "wrong" side of the war..."

Neither the Balts nor the Galicians experienced the events you say scarred them so.


"...without taking into account what the communists did in the thirties."

Keep in mind that Imperial Germany defeated Imperial Russia with her secondary effort, while Imperial Germany's main effort was in the West.

Just after getting out of the war, Russia had a bloody and destructive civil war. By 1922, Russia's GNP was about 1/5th what it had been in 1913. By 1928, the NEP got the USSR back to the 1913 GNP. But Germany had a boom in the mid-'20s, financed significantly by American loans, so Germany's 1929 GNP was a good deal greater than it had been in 1913, so by comparison, the German military-economic advantage over the USSR was even greater than Imperial Germany's advantage over Imperial Russia in 1913.

So the main thing the Communists did in the '30s was to endow the USSR with the economic/industrial sinews of war such as no Tsar ever dreamed. By 22 June 1941, the USSR had the industrial capacity to build 25,000 tanks a year, 40,000 aircraft a year, 150,000 artillery pieces a year, 150,000 trucks a year, plus fuels, lubricants, and munitions for same, just in time for a German war of racial extermination against 'Jew-Bolshevik-ridden subhuman Slavs'. This was what prevented Adolf exterminating said subhuman Slavs, and prevented the Baltic peoples being deported from their lands, Germanized, and scattered throughout the East, their languages & cultures destroyed.

I can see why Western Ukrainians & Balts hate being reminded that they still live in their lands only because of what the Communists did in the '30s.

Anna

Why the well-funded Nazi-hunters focus on the senescent former Nazi camp guards when there is a new crop of Nazis (neo-Nazi) that are supported by Israel-firsters in the US and UK? Nuland-Kagan and an Israeli citizen Kolomojsky should have been already ostracized by the Jewish community at large if the Holocaust biz was serious about Nazi collaborators. What about the memory of victims of the WWII?
One of the most pronounced signs of the US victory in Ukraine has been the steep rise in anti-Semitism after the 2014 revolution arranged by Nuland-Kagan & the CIA: https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/01/israel-announces-ukraine-as-most-anti.html

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Excellent piece.

To that add the composition of the new govt. Various foreigners just domesticized like Natalie Jaresko (US), Aivaras Abromavičius (lithuanian), Alexander Kvitashvili (georgian), all staunchly pro-US. Ah yes and ex-georgian strongman Saakashvili also suddenly turned ukrainian became governor of a province all this in govts ruled by extreme nationalists.

This world has gone crazy.

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