Eastern Europe/Ukraine

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pankajs
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 15:29

Steve Rosenberg ‏@BBCSteveR 34m

Large crowd in Donetsk, thousands of proRussia activists marching through the city pic.twitter.com/UAkqTT1jMr
Image

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 01 May 2014 17:40

Being in open opposition to Putin in Russia is dangerous to your health and your ability to stay out of court or jail. So is being homosexual theses days.

Homosexuality is a crime in India too. Of course India is evil and we assume a recipient of your distaste.
Those who have landed in jail danced naked in the holiest place in Russia or were oligarchs who stole billions during the west`s darling Yeltsin`s regime.
The Kremlin`s guilt seems to be much lesser than that of the west which has been murdering people in Libya, Serbia and Iraq to name a few. Suddenly your distaste for the Kremlin sounds amazingly funny.
With a propagandist media and a gullible society which likes to find fault in others while proclaiming `next only to god`correctness in its own behaviour, the Kremlin I think would approve of your distaste.
:)

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 17:45

Homosexuality is not good for you freedom or health in our dear good old America too. Why one of the states has a law on books where if a gay couple is married in a Church the priest officiating such a ceremony goes to jail or something very close to it!!!

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 01 May 2014 19:32

Steve Rosenberg ‏@BBCSteveR 34m
Large crowd in Donetsk, thousands of proRussia activists marching through the city pic.twitter.com/UAkqTT1jMr


shiv, look at THAT crowd!!!

Using our J&K Crowd Estimation Algorithm (where 5 Pakis strolling down a street scratching their musharrafs was described by Indian Express and The Hindu as "20,000 Kashmiris protesting their Freedom") I estimate this crowd to be at least 1,700,345,237.0357

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 19:52

Steve Rosenberg ‏@BBCSteveR 23m

Policeman running away from the violence at Prosecutor's building in Donetsk tells me “How on earth can we deal with this kind of thing?"

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 20:08

Putin 'walks the walk' over Ukraine but not as Obama wants

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/ ... Q120140430
In a move that seemed designed to mock Obama's choice of words, state television lingered on Putin striding with knowing confidence across a vast hall to deliver his verdict on the sanctions to reporters during a visit to neighboring Belarus.

...
"It was handing out those pies on the Maidan that paved the way to the crisis," he said, referring to a visit in which U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to anti-government protesters on Kiev's main square in December.

There is no overt sign that the asset freezes and travel bans imposed by the United States and European Union, reinforced by moves by Japan and Canada, are having any effect on Putin.

And Western Kremlin watchers remain deeply uneasy about forecasting just what the president might do next in Ukraine.

He may think he has little reason to be the one to "blink" first; although the annexation of the Crimea peninsula and the massing of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine have left East-West relations more tense than at any time since the Cold War, Putin's popularity has soared in Russia.

A poll on Wednesday showed 82 percent of Russians support the former KGB spy's actions, his highest rating since 2010.

The sanctions were considered so mild in Russia that share prices rose in Moscow when they were announced. Moscow also regards the European Union and the United States as divided over how to handle the crisis, largely because the EU is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas and has more trade with Moscow.

Some Russians say Putin's position may even be hardening.

"The sanctions have an impact on Putin but not necessarily the impact intended. The West wants to deter him, make him back down, split him from his entourage, set the 'oligarchs' against him, make the Russian people mistrust and topple him," said Dmitry Trenin, head of the Moscow Carnegie Center think-tank.

"In my view it will not work. Sanctions could contribute to Russia being more of an adversary to the U.S. - poorer, less connected to the world and less predictable."

...
"What we have noticed is that the fear of sanctions could be even more powerful than the sanctions themselves, the fear of escalation of sanctions," said Antonio Spilimbergo, head of the IMF's mission to Moscow.

"Economically it's very difficult to estimate costs from individual sanctions. But the fear of uncertainty, especially among investors, is having a large effect."

...
"At the moment the Russian people are not feeling the impact of sanctions, but Putin knows he cannot allow the economic or political situation to deteriorate beyond a certain point."

Some Western diplomats say they, too, have detected signs that Putin is being increasingly cautious and does not want to take the risk of a military conflict in Ukraine.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 20:19

So Putin is walking the talk and not invading Ukraine. It is the people of the region who are fighting for their rights.
Simon Denyer ‏@simondenyer 1h

Riot police were utterly humiliated in #Donestsk today, forced to surrender by mob, led away with heads cowed through angry crowd.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 20:33

Washington Post ‏@washingtonpost 1h

Putin demands that Ukraine withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine http://wapo.st/SdJrBj
Putin made the demand in a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the Russian leader Thursday about the deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine. She reached out to Putin a day after Ukraine’s acting president said he had lost control of that portion of his country.

...
Putin told her that “it was imperative today to withdraw all military units from the southeastern regions” of Ukraine, and he called for a “broad national dialogue” about reforms to Ukraine’s constitution, the Kremlin said.

But on the ground in Ukraine, any hope of dialogue appeared to be slipping ever further away, as protesters opposed to the Ukrainian government in Kiev stormed the general prosecutor’s office in the eastern Ukrainian regional capital of Donetsk a day after they had taken over the city council building there.

Crowds of separatists massed in front of Donetsk’s police station Thursday, demanding that all pro-Russian activists be freed across eastern Ukraine. They waved Russian flags — and at least one banner depicting World War II-era Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Communist hammer and sickle symbol — and played Soviet patriotic songs. Then they turned their attention to the nearby the state prosecutor’s office, where dozens of black-clad riot police with metal shields stood in front of the entrance.

A confrontation quickly ensued, as the riot police attempted to push the crowd away from the entrance with tear gas. The protesters, chanting “fascists,” threw rocks, breaking windows in the office building and demanding that the prosecutor come out. Men in black balaclavas quickly pushed the riot police away from the entrance and forced them to surrender, less than an hour after the pro-Russian protesters had arrived.

If Ukraine’s interim government carries out military operations in the eastern part of the country, it “could lead to disastrous consequences,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Thursday.

“We are calling on Kiev, as well as the U.S. and the E.U. indulging it . . . not to commit criminal mistakes and to soberly assess the gravity of possible consequences of using force against the Ukrainian people,” the ministry said in a statement.


In an acknowledgment of his weakness, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on Wednesday said the Ukrainian government’s goal now was to prevent the agitation from spreading to other areas, and he called for the creation of special regional police forces so that a presidential election could take place May 25 as scheduled.

...
Pro-Russian gunmen extended their control over that part of the country Wednesday without encountering resistance.

Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, admitted that police and security forces were either “helpless” to prevent the unrest or were actively colluding with separatist rebels.

...
Turchynov instructed the governors to try to prevent the threat from spreading to other regions in the central and southern parts of the country.

“Our task is to stop the spread of the terrorist threat first of all in the Kharkiv and Odessa regions,” Turchynov was quoted as saying.

The mayor of Kharkiv, who had been credited with keeping Ukraine’s second-largest city calm, was shot in the back this week.

The Ukrainian government and the United States accuse Russia of fomenting the unrest.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 01 May 2014 20:54

Johann wrote:
The Kremlin can't have it both ways.


On a lighter note: That is so (b)anal. Putin doesn't like homosexuality and obviously doesn't approve of it both ways. You perhaps just questioned and answered it yourself?

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Suraj » 01 May 2014 21:03

Johann wrote:What buffer states? That's something that emerged only after the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires collapsed at the end of WWI.

Wrong. Image
Call it what you want - buffer states, annexation, or anything else. Starting with Peter the Great, Russia has always sought to have a territorial and cultural buffer between itself and western Europe. Eastern Europe is its cultural buffer.
Johann wrote:Russia has historically only been isolated when it chose to unilaterally re-do borders in Europe. In the Crimean war they faced France and the Ottoman Empire as well.

I'm not trying to mock you here, but is there any other way to redo borders ? How exactly does one 'non-unilaterally' do so ? Borders are redone when a significant power imbalance exists. By definition it is always unilateral. You might imagine that some UN-brokered action is multilateral, but it really is not - that's just a cover used to ensure the process works out peaceably. Cases like the Czech-Slovak split are the exception, rather than the rule.
Johann wrote:There's no question that Moscow has been angry about NATO in the post cold war era, and that this anger was wished away or dismissed as manageable in places like DC, Berlin, Paris and London.

But you haven't answered - is NATO, the EU or the US willing to rollback the expansion ? If not, what business do they have to suggest Russia should not expand by the means it chooses ?
Johann wrote:But why were all of those ex-Warsaw Pact and ex-Soviet states keen to join NATO? In dollar terms the military aid they received was minor compared to Israel, Egypt or even Colombia. What was attractive to eastern European states like Poland and the Baltic Republics that had been invaded and had territory annexed twice by Moscow in living memory is that it was a guarantee against invasion. No one was sure how deep the changes in the Russian political system were, or if they would stick. No one was quite sure how Russia would behave once it recovered. But once your territory was guaranteed by NATO, Russia had to treat you as a peer state because coercive threats were off the table. That is priceless.

So you are aware that the whole exercise was playing with fire, but choose to understate it. Essentially you chose to add them to NATO, calculating that Russia would accept it as the consequence of the end of the Cold War. It is clear today that you calculated wrong - Russia will use whatever means it can to reverse that.

Once again, I'll remind you this: you're dealing with the world's largest country, with the biggest nuclear arsenal and a historical paranoia about its borders. Sensibility suggests one should be *very* careful about taking advantage of its temporary weakness. Clearly, NATO compounded stupidity with overconfidence, when they chose to let in those who wanted in. Note, I'm not arguing that they didn't want in. NATO decided poorly when they choose to open the doors.

As much as the history of invasions in Eastern Europe is tragic, the west is merely offering lip service to it; a lot of countries in the world have faced invasion, without ever being offered such a defence treaty. No, this is about western interests, not concern for their past victimization.
Johann wrote:But Russia has to use persuasion rather than threat, and that's fine with me.

This is quite nonsensical. The Germans have threatened the Greeks several times during the PIGS crisis. They didn't literally threaten to send Leo 2s past the Parthenon, but the distinction between persuasion and threat is entirely subjective.
Johann wrote:You are skeptical of CNN and White House narratives, but I don't see passion for RT or the Kremlin POV.

The CNN and WH *are* due greater skepticism - they are involved in yet another geopolitical crisis of their own creation, 6000 miles from home, where their own partisanship is plainly visible. The Russians are dealing with their immediate neighborhood regarding territory that they have a legitimate claim upon, doing something that every nation had done in its history.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 01 May 2014 21:34

pankajs wrote:
Steve Rosenberg ‏@BBCSteveR 34m

Large crowd in Donetsk, thousands of proRussia activists marching through the city pic.twitter.com/UAkqTT1jMr
Image


Thats Huge , I wasnt expecting the support would be that large and the divide between West and East of Ukraine would be that great.

Some one in CIA did not do the study well when they planned the event ....ditto goes for Syria , Iraq and Libya

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 01 May 2014 21:35

UlanBatori wrote:Using our J&K Crowd Estimation Algorithm (where 5 Pakis strolling down a street scratching their musharrafs was described by Indian Express and The Hindu as "20,000 Kashmiris protesting their Freedom") I estimate this crowd to be at least 1,700,345,237.0357


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby member_28352 » 01 May 2014 21:48

Now the latest bright ideas from the bulbs at EU/DC/wherever else is to incorporate Sweden and Finland into NATO.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Karan M » 01 May 2014 21:54

Johann wrote:
svenkat wrote:I fully agree with this.The white man has progressed to a post-modernist society wherein passports,visas do not matter.These SDRes with their group think and tribal passions,controlled narrative,caste system,their yearning for a dictator like Modi overlooking the million faultlines within India really do suck.



Svenkat no need to be so local in perspective. The Tea Party sucks and UKIP sucks too, and so do the mainstream politicians that try to sound like them. Religious nationalism is a global phenomenon, and it sucks everywhere.


There there SVenkat, you have been given gyaan from Mt Olympus. How perceptive, now be a good SDRE and cower in your dark places. :lol:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 01 May 2014 22:06

Austin wrote:Thats Huge , I wasnt expecting the support would be that large and the divide between West and East of Ukraine would be that great.

Some one in CIA did not do the study well when they planned the event ....ditto goes for Syria , Iraq and Libya

Actually the US actions (not its propanganda and rhetoric) suggests that it wants to divide Ukraine.

The way I see it, the only new card in the deck is crimeans joining whole heartedly to russia. That takes out whatever leverage nato had on russia over sevostopol.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 01 May 2014 22:32

Bloomberg News ‏@BloombergNews 37m

As many as 1,000 gunmen have seized buildings in more than 10 cities in eastern Ukraine: http://bloom.bg/1nM9jRw pic.twitter.com/nycQd1vNQE

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 01 May 2014 22:34

Virupaksha wrote:Actually the US actions (not its propanganda and rhetoric) suggests that it wants to divide Ukraine.

The way I see it, the only new card in the deck is crimeans joining whole heartedly to russia. That takes out whatever leverage nato had on russia over sevostopol.


Strategically yes the Black Sea Fleet is now fully under Russian control.

From what we can say for sure is West is strong when it comes to Military Operation but very poor when it comes to Non-Military one like we see in Ukraine or post Iraq Occupation or Syria or Libya ..... The west way of dealing with things has been either win militarily and things would fall in place once we bring in democracy or we sanction you and make you suffer.

In any case Ukraine joining NATO is out of question now and NATO expansion will only remain rhetoric .......... in either case Russia should be prepared to withdraw from INF treaty ...deploys Nuclear Weapons/IRBM class missile on Kalingrad Enclave and CSTO nation should NATO try to expand. They have nothing to loose from here .....As West is Economically Significantly Weaker Economically and verge of Bankrupcy.

Beyond that they should follow their own advise Do Yoga , Chill Out , Watch Movies :lol:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 01 May 2014 22:57

Some reality check for Ukrainians wanting to join EU from friendly Polish president

Komorowski: "magic wand" will not help Ukraine join the EU

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in an interview with the Polish news agency PAP spoke about the prospects of Ukraine's membership in the European Union. According to him, only to prepare for accession to the EU country will need at least 10 years, provided that the Ukrainians themselves retain a desire to become members of the European community.

"We entered into the European Union with great difficulties, we were not wanted to see. Poland" made it "in the EU and NATO. As for the EU, it was necessary to work on it for 15 years. Do not see any reason to other countries just like that - if by magic - would have to do it for a year or two, "- said the president of Poland.

According to him, Poland is interested in preserving the openness of the European Union, so no one should talk to the Ukrainians that their country will never join the EU. However, said Komorowski, membership in the European Union should not be taken as a "lifeline."

"There is no reason that the EU and its membership seen as a lifeline that should be thrown immediately because someone is drowning, and pull him aboard," - said the Polish president, stressing that today considering the European perspective of Ukraine, we can talk only on the Association Agreement.



http://ria.ru/world/20140501/1006208164.html

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby KrishnaK » 02 May 2014 02:27

Suraj wrote:Once again, I'll remind you this: you're dealing with the world's largest country, with the biggest nuclear arsenal and a historical paranoia about its borders. Sensibility suggests one should be *very* careful about taking advantage of its temporary weakness. Clearly, NATO compounded stupidity with overconfidence, when they chose to let in those who wanted in. Note, I'm not arguing that they didn't want in. NATO decided poorly when they choose to open the doors.
Should the same logic be applicable to say India, Pakistan & Afghanistan ? Say in 10 years or so India performs a miracle economically and we're confident enough of forming a military alliance for the sake of guaranteeing security in our near beyond. Should Pakistan's paranoia be given any respect ? Suraj, the point I'm trying to make is, India as she grows will behave exactly like the US/West is doing today, often hypocritically. We have no skin in the Russia/Crimea/EU game other than to not let it distract from the focus on China.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby KrishnaK » 02 May 2014 02:39

Theo_Fidel wrote:Didn't China recently unilaterally annex a piece of ocean and islands larger than western Europe? Forcibly occupied the spratlys and shot at random passersby. There has been zero consequences. In fact some have been quietly urging China to 'occupy' NoKo no questions asked.
Untrue if you consider what the Japanese, US and India are planning to do.

This distaste for Russia is quite odd one must say. Russia gone more than half way in reforming it self for interaction with the west and yet the cold war prism continues going strong. There is almost no difference between Russia and the EU now and yet the temptation to slip into old roles remains.
I can understand Indian reticence to like the EU, but to compare the EU with Russia should be insulting to somebody who argues for liberal secularism and the rule of the law on another thread, in another context. How transparent is the government and judiciary in Russia you think ? Would the pussy riot be sentenced to imprisonment in the EU or India you think ? Would inquiry by independent (and accepted as independent by sympathetic countries like India) Russian institutions be allowed into any of Putin's actions ? I believe what Modi went through was the best thing that happened to him and India.

China gets a pass....
Untrue, Russia was allowed to purchase offensive military hardware from France, the Mistal. Do you think China would be allowed to ?

Really the only thing you can argue is the west is being hypocritical. Russia is not something we'd ever want to emulate in spite of being chums with them.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Hitesh » 02 May 2014 03:56

Crimea is essentially worthless now and the Black Sea Fleet will have to find a new home. For one thing, Crimea would have to find its own source of drinking water somewhere as well as other supplies. It would be too cost prohibitive to resupply by sea and produce drinking water by desalination.

Sevastapol would be only useful for a short period of time before it runs into logistical walls of servicing and maintaining a large naval fleet.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Cosmo_R » 02 May 2014 04:07

Hitesh wrote:Crimea is essentially worthless now and the Black Sea Fleet will have to find a new home. For one thing, Crimea would have to find its own source of drinking water somewhere as well as other supplies. It would be too cost prohibitive to resupply by sea and produce drinking water by desalination.

Sevastapol would be only useful for a short period of time before it runs into logistical walls of servicing and maintaining a large naval fleet.


The Black Sea is not a great place to have a large naval fleet. The Dardanelles are a choke point. What the Russkies will do is base their Mistral types there to intimidate and overwhelm the FSU countries that don't have a NATO connection.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 02 May 2014 08:35

Black Sea Fleet will have a large fleet of Submarine and Frigates deployed besides other supporting assets , The water problem is something they are looking at as alternatives exist
Water supply problem in Crimea to cost $247- 417 million - Kremlin aide

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 02 May 2014 09:17

@KrishnaK - you raise an interesting point. What is India trying to do? [you had mentioned: "Untrue if you consider what the Japanese, US and India are planning to do. " as a response to TF and I wonder what it might mean]

While we are at it, is Spratlys as big as W Europe? China currently seems looking quite lovingly at Zhongye and Scarlbrough [2nd Thomas shoal]. How long before they get
in-waded?

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 02 May 2014 11:18

More money needed ?!
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-0 ... pread.html

Ukraine’s easternmost regions are slipping from the government’s grasp as separatists take over more official buildings, with the International Monetary Fund warning extra financing may be needed if control of the industrial heartland is lost.


The Washington-based lender’s staff said in an e-mailed report that more financing would be needed if there was “a long-lasting disruption of relations with Russia that depresses exports, investment, and growth or loss of economic control over the east that reduces budget revenue.” Ukraine’s three eastern regions accounted for 30 percent of industrial output last year, according to the IMF.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 02 May 2014 11:28

First non propaganda Normal article from the west
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... v-conflict

After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

So you don't hear much about the Ukrainian government's veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government's ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 02 May 2014 11:37

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... ela-merkel
Ukrainian government forces were on Friday said to be conducting operations around the city of Slavyansk in the country's east, with pro-Russia separatists claiming a "large-scale" assault to retake the town was under way.



Ukraine helicopter shot down in Slovyansk

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/20 ... 43470.html

Serious fighting in Slavyansk. !?!

The timing is probably right. The west wouldnt want to give money to Russia through Ukraine. The payment is due this week. If Russia intervenes, then the west/ukrainian nuts will find their excuse not to pay for the gas. If Russia doesnt intervene the unelected self declared leaders will succesfuly plunge Ukraine into complete civil war.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby asprinzl » 02 May 2014 11:42

I read with glee some of the posts above re: Ukraine. Folks seem to be missing the forest for the tree. The most fundamental aspect of this crisis is this: All the European states are facing demographic decline. The only state that is seriously trying to stem the tide is Russia. Everyone else from the Swedes to Ukranians are all marching towards their demise. There are about 25 million Russians living outside Russia's border and Russia wants to being them "home" to bolster their numbers.

On the other hand in Ukraine itself the so called Ukranians (they and the Russians descended from the Kievan Rus and thus are the same people) are declining while that of the socalled ethnic Russian population is growing marginally. In another words in about 15 to 20 years Ukraine will have an ethnic Russian majority. The ethnic Russian dominated regions (eastern UKR) is wealthier due to heavily industrialized and have an extensive trade connection with Russia. The west is more agriculture and crumbling. This is where the crisis originated. Those in the west want to have close ties with Western Europe and North America so that they could all get EU passport and get out of the hellhole for good. They were mad as hell because their dream of getting out of their country got thwarted when the legitly elected president decided to forge closer ties with Russia instead of EU.

In the end Russia does not need to do anything because UKR will eventually fall into their hands when the ethnic russians attain majority which is a certainty.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 02 May 2014 11:43

Its not Russia that's pushed Ukraine to war

The threat of war in Ukraine is growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country's east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a "pariah state".

That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the "masked militants" and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government's use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

"America is with you," Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia's most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

So you don't hear much about the Ukrainian government's veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government's ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west's attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin's absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is "helpless" against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary "green men" (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin's oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia's counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese "pivot" to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia's arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.

The risk of civil war is nevertheless growing, and with it the chances of outside powers being drawn into the conflict. Barack Obama has already sent token forces to eastern Europe and is under pressure, both from Republicans and Nato hawks such as Poland, to send many more. Both US and British troops are due to take part in Nato military exercises in Ukraine this summer.

The US and EU have already overplayed their hand in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor the western powers may want to intervene directly, and the Ukrainian prime minister's conjuring up of a third world war presumably isn't authorised by his Washington sponsors. But a century after 1914, the risk of unintended consequences should be obvious enough – as the threat of a return of big-power conflict grows. Pressure for a negotiated end to the crisis is essential.

asprinzl
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby asprinzl » 02 May 2014 11:46

If you are reading Yahoo News streaming you would think Putin and Russia are in serious trouble. Goes to show that Yahoo has gone totally yahooo.

Austin
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 02 May 2014 12:18

Looks like serious operation in Ukraine by Government and facing serious resistance in East , Looks like a civil war in making with hand held sam in use.

How on earth will they win over the people of east if they use Mi-24 against its own people , even the people on fringes will now support the rebel cause.

Two Mi-24 helicopters downed, one Mi-8 damaged in Slavyansk, two military personnel killed, several injured - Ukrainian defense ministry

"Outside of Slavyansk in the Donetsk Region two Ukrainian military Mi-24 helicopters, which were carrying out aerial patrols, were downed. According to preliminary information, the military machines were taken down by unidentified individuals using mobile Zenit rocket systems. As a result, two military personnel were killed and several others have been injured," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_0 ... stry-3770/


Kiev takes control of 10 block posts in Ukraine's Slavyansk, casualties reported

Acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has claimed that 10 federalist block posts in the country's eastern city of Slavyansk have been taken by law enforcers and activists have been taken prisoner during a large special operation on Friday. The active phase of the special operation against federalists in Slavyansk began in the early morning. "Ten block posts have been taken, prisoners have been taken," Avakov said on his Facebook page.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 02 May 2014 15:02

The unelected self appointed rulers of Ukraine UkBapzis are more than willing to plunge the country in civil war. With empty coffers too. They have brought back conscription. What is emboldening them so much.
But of course it is all Russia`s fault.
One has to read western papers to get the real meaning of delusion. Amazing.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 02 May 2014 15:40

It seems the Ukrainian army has little interest in fighting other Ukrainians. They take orders from top knowing fully well that they are coming from Washington, drive to the east, shoot in the air and give up. The west simply doesnt have any cards in Ukraine. Of course the strategic geniuses in washington dont want to `lose Ukraine`.
Putin is acting smart. Ukraine will get money from IMF but it isnt going anywhere with that kind of Russian population. So they will come back to Russia sooner than later.
Unless UKBapzis manage to disenfranchise the Russian speaking population like in Estonia. But that was Yeltsin then and this is Putin now.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Johann » 02 May 2014 16:02

Suraj wrote: Wrong. Call it what you want - buffer states, annexation, or anything else. Starting with Peter the Great, Russia has always sought to have a territorial and cultural buffer between itself and western Europe. Eastern Europe is its cultural buffer.


Its not a buffer state if its actually incorporated as Russian territory.

Poland and Czechoslovakia were buffer states. Finland is a buffer state. Belarus was part of the Soviet Union and is now a buffer state.

Russia grew in every direction it could - it ended up expanding east in part because once that was easier once they had the technological and organisational upper hand over the khanates and tribes they used to pay tribute to.

Johann wrote: I'm not trying to mock you here, but is there any other way to redo borders ? How exactly does one 'non-unilaterally' do so ? Borders are redone when a significant power imbalance exists. By definition it is always unilateral. You might imagine that some UN-brokered action is multilateral, but it really is not - that's just a cover used to ensure the process works out peaceably. Cases like the Czech-Slovak split are the exception, rather than the rule.


Ah I'm glad you asked - thats where diplomacy comes in. Poor Poland for example was carved up between Russsia, Prussia and Austro-Hungary through mutual agreement in the 18th century.

In the 19th century Bismarck unlike the Kaiser and Hitler knew how to forge agreements with other powers including before making a move, and was able to consolidate Germany. The same thing with Italian consolidation under Garibaldi and the House of Savoy.

The Congress of Vienna, and the agreements at the end of WWII brought about agreed upon changes to territorial boundaries.

In short don't threaten all the other great powers in the neighborhood at the same time. If there's more of you against you than for you, offer better terms, or wait for another time.

Clearly, NATO compounded stupidity with overconfidence, when they chose to let in those who wanted in. Note, I'm not arguing that they didn't want in. NATO decided poorly when they choose to open the doors.

As much as the history of invasions in Eastern Europe is tragic, the west is merely offering lip service to it; a lot of countries in the world have faced invasion, without ever being offered such a defence treaty. No, this is about western interests, not concern for their past victimization.


Eastern Europe is as the name suggests...part of Europe, and that means the lessons of history that led to the formation of the EU and NATO have had an impact.

Both world wars started in part because that zone from the Baltic to the Black Sea was left out of continent wide systems of collective security until it was far too late.

....So you are aware that the whole exercise was playing with fire, but choose to understate it. Essentially you chose to add them to NATO, calculating that Russia would accept it as the consequence of the end of the Cold War. It is clear today that you calculated wrong - Russia will use whatever means it can to reverse that.

Once again, I'll remind you this: you're dealing with the world's largest country, with the biggest nuclear arsenal and a historical paranoia about its borders. Sensibility suggests one should be *very* careful about taking advantage of its temporary weakness.

Clearly, NATO compounded stupidity with overconfidence, when they chose to let in those who wanted in. Note, I'm not arguing that they didn't want in. NATO decided poorly when they choose to open the doors.


Who is 'you'? We're having a discussion as individuals about institutions and states. I am not the NATO Council any more than you are the GoI, and I was not part of that decision making process.

That being said, from what I understand there were many different - and in some cases diametrically opposite- viewpoints that converged on the decision to allow new membership.

Some saw Russian power in permanent, irreversible decline, and felt it was safe to ignore its concerns and take aboard enthusiastic new members. This was I think the most common pro-NATO growth view in America - Im not sure anyone outside the US saw things this way. Especially post 9/11 people like Rumsfeld in particular saw the chance to trade security guarantees in Europe for help in GWOT, whether it was troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or secret interrogation sites for renditioned prisoners, or discounted arms to equip the ANA and Iraqi Army.

Others believed that Russia could or would before long return to the use of force rather than persuasion to expand its sphere of interest in Eastern Europe, and that now was the time to place limits on that by accepting the most vulnerable states into NATO. That was the dominant Eastern European view, shared by some Americans, among both realists and some Neocons.

Still others thought that Russia was still a great power, but a reforming one. That concessions and rewards could be given in other areas that would reassure it and compensate it, and help it transition to a different kind of relationship both with its periphery as well as Europe as a whole. I'd say this view was the most common in Western Europe in favour of accepting new members.

Johann wrote:But you haven't answered - is NATO, the EU or the US willing to rollback the expansion ? If not, what business do they have to suggest Russia should not expand by the means it chooses ?


Europe has enjoyed unprecedented peace over many decades in part by doing its best to discourage territorial conquest and the the militarisation of ethnic conflict.

In keeping with that NATO is a free association of governments - countries are free to enter or leave without the use of force.

If the Kremlin cant or rather wont compete for influence in Europe on the same terms, and choses to ignore a continent wide consensus, then it must also accept the consequences, including condemnation and isolation.

Johann wrote:But Russia has to use persuasion rather than threat, and that's fine with me.

This is quite nonsensical. The Germans have threatened the Greeks several times during the PIGS crisis. They didn't literally threaten to send Leo 2s past the Parthenon, but the distinction between persuasion and threat is entirely subjective.


Theres nothing subjective at all about being hit by a 120mm AP shell. If you feel there’s no difference between that and having your pension cut, and paid leave reduced then we have to accept we live in very different worlds and communication is going to be difficult.

But there's another equally enormous difference - Greece is ultimately free to leave the Eurozone and the EU. No one will invade it to stop it. There's plenty of Germans who'd love to see the back of it, just like there's no shortage of English who wouldn't mind seeing the back of Scotland.

What keeps Greece in is the same thing that brought it in in the first place - the belief that it will be much worse off without it.

There is a consensus that the EMU in 1999 included members who had not really met the criterion for currency union - that is why the new EU members in the East are on a much more gradual pathway to union, which should help avoid the strains of managing a 2-speed monetary union between northern and Mediterranean Europe.
Last edited by Johann on 02 May 2014 16:11, edited 1 time in total.

pankajs
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 02 May 2014 16:11

BBC Breaking News ‏@BBCBreaking 2h

Russia says Ukraine military operation kills "last hope" for Geneva deal on de-escalating the crisis http://bbc.in/1mjTnlL

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Johann » 02 May 2014 16:42

The article's title is silly, but its a useful introduction to the current Polish foreign minister's PoV. Germany and Poland are probably the two most active EU members on the Ukrainian crisis, with the UK and France taking a much less important role.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 ... ia_ukraine

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 02 May 2014 18:42

oh, so polish involvement in a neighboring country is kosher but russia is not! A conference of poland, germany and italy over ukraine is not a conference like "congress of vienna"

see the difference :rotfl:
that is not a neighboring power's hegemony over its neighbor, after all the ceasar is our ba$tard.

and poor me was thinking how it should be ukranian people's decision. all the coups, democracy, people's wisher are kosher as long they do what we want, but when people do not vote as we want (as crimeans did), it is murder of democracy and any nonsense once can sprout. :evil:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 02 May 2014 19:43

The sh*t has hit the fan-two UKR helos downed! The Ukranioans last throw of the dice as if the May referendum is held,it will be impossible for them to justify claim to the eastern regions.They have to gain control now and manipulate/stop the referendum from taking place.

Ukraine crisis: Slavyansk pro-Russian rebels shoot down two helicopters as 'Kiev forces launch military operation'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 14374.html

Ukrainian government forces have launched an anti-terror operation to retake the rebel stronghold of Slavyansk, with two troops reported dead and others wounded after separatists used grenade launchers to down military helicopters surrounding the city.

Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters, killing two crew, after Ukrainian officials said Slavyansk was "tightly surrounded" and called on separatist leaders to release hostages and surrender.

Russia had vowed "catastrophic consequences" if Kiev conducted a military operation on Thursday, The Voice of Russia has reported.

A third helicopter, believed to be carrying medical staff was hit and one of the crew was wounded as a result, according to Sky News.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the offensive was answered with heavy artillery, with the rebels using grenade and portable anti-aircraft missile launchers to bring down planes.

"As a result of the shooting, two troops from the Ukrainian army were killed," Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson accused Kiev of launching a "punitive operation" in south-east Ukraine, destroying the final hope of keeping alive the Geneva agreement designed to defuse the crisis, Russian news agencies reported.

The European Union said it is watching events "with increasing concern".
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the insurgency-appointed mayor of Slavyansk, said self-defence forces had shot down two helicopters, killing one pilot and capturing the other. Details of these claims could not be independently verified.

Describing the operation as "the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation", Mr Avakov said its goals were simple - "free the hostages, lay down their arms and free administrative buildings, and restore the normal functioning of the town's administration".

On the road leading into Slavyansk from Kramatorsk to the south, trucks were parked sideways to block the road.

The fighting began at 4am (1am GMT), officials and local residents said. Ukrainian troops could be in seen in armoured personnel carriers in a southern suburb of Slavyansk.

An Associated Press cameraman reported seeing black plumes of smoke on the edge of the city. An emergency siren had sounded at dawn.
Read more: Government reintroduces conscription
In-depth: Riot police powerless against pro-Russians in Donetsk

If the Ukrainian military action is confirmed, it would be the first major assault against the insurgents, who have seized police stations and other government buildings in about a dozen cities in southeastern Ukraine.

The violence comes after Mr Putin said yesterday that Ukraine should withdraw its military from the eastern and southern regions of the country.

Just hours later Ukraine’s interim president announced the renewal of military conscription for men aged between 18 and 25 after admitting earlier this week police and security forces had been effectively "helpless" to quell the unrest in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Oleksandr Turchynov said efforts would instead be focused on preventing the instability from spreading to other parts of the country.


Clashes start in Odessa too between pro and anti-Maidan factions.One dead
.
Smoke grenades, Molotov cocktails in Ukraine’s Odessa as pro- and anti-Maidan rallies clash
http://rt.com/news/156424-odessa-ukrain ... -autonomy/
Published time: May 02, 2014

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... ary-action
Putin says Geneva agreement no longer viable after Ukrainian military action
Kiev launches offensive against Slavyansk in a bid to retake eastern city from pro-Russia militia

Xcpt:
A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the Geneva agreement to defuse the situation in eastern Ukraine was no longer viable after Kiev launched a military operation against the rebel-held city of Slavyansk on Friday.

The Ukrainian military launched its first serious offensive to retake the city, which is being held by pro-Russia militia, early on Friday morning. The rebel militia said Ukrainian troops had launched attacks on several checkpoints. Ukraine's defence minister, Arsen Avakov, said his forces had taken control of nine checkpoints to form a "tight ring" around the city.

Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down and their pilots killed, both Russian and Ukrainian media reported. One militant was killed and another injured, according to the reports. Ukraine's security service said one helicopter had been brought down by a surface-to-air missile, citing this as evidence that Slavyansk's defenders were not just citizens who had armed themselves.
Last edited by Philip on 02 May 2014 19:54, edited 1 time in total.

Singha
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Singha » 02 May 2014 19:48

Imo Russian vvd and motorized units have no option now but quick deployment in east before their supporters are eliminated.

Virupaksha
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 02 May 2014 20:58

when are the gas payments from ukraine due?

if they are within a week or so, russia will not come to help of ukranians civilians within that time period. After that, it is open season.

Obama who was shouting from the rooftops not to control his manufactured rallies, but is sending his clique's guns and helicopters.


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