Ukraine

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Ukraine

Postby Lysol » Fri Feb 28, 2014 22:45

Well... Seems like Ukraine is getting invaded by Russia, even though it isn't "official" yet.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26380336

Scary? Yes. Discuss.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby atleonar » Sat Mar 01, 2014 0:46

I think it will calm down after a while. I don't think Russia would want to further de-stabilize Ukraine. I think their main goals at the moment are to protect the Russian minority and secure the Russian naval base in Sevastopol. In the long term I think it will be in their interest to have normal business relations with Ukraine and sell their gas etc irrespective of the corrupt politicians in Kyiv are pro-Russian or anti-Russian.

The map from the last presidential election shows how divided the country is. It's not just a tyrant against the population, but two parts of the population that have a real trouble living together, at least when the economy is declining.

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Re: Ukraine

Postby AdMartin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 19:06

Well, even if the people in Eastern Ukraine speak mostly Russian and voted for Janukovich, they're still Ukrainians.

On the Crimea the situation is different since the majority are ethnic Russians who moved there after Soviet policies led to starvation and deportation of the Crimean Tatars. While the Tatars have now moved back after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians are still in majority. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has also maintained control of the naval base of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet on the Crimea. I.e. Russia has their Black Sea Fleet based on Ukrainian territory. I'm pretty sure this is a planned move from Putin and his hawks to ensure full control of the strategic Crimea. Getting control of the Crimea is more important for Putin than a stable Ukraine, I'm sure. That the majority on the Crimea are Russians is just the excuse he needed. This excuse has been used many times before, e.g. Texas 1846 by the US, Sudetenland 1938 by Germany and not least South Ossetia 2008 by Russia.

Putin will not back off. A situation on the Crimea of permanent occupation, similar to the current situations on the West Bank or South Ossetia is one possible outcome. On the one hand, Ukraine must defend their own territory and not least defend the Tatar and Ukrainian minorities on the Crimea, but on the other hand, they can't take on the Russian army alone. That would likely lead to a full-scale Russian invasion, like the one in Georgia 2008.

What will happen now is anyone's guess. Only one thing is certain, there will be much sorrow. :(
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Re: Ukraine

Postby John Tarantula » Sun Mar 02, 2014 22:11

:( :( :( :( yes whole thing is very sad!
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Re: Ukraine

Postby atleonar » Sun Mar 02, 2014 22:33

If the vast majority of the population in Crimea want to leave Ukraine and enter a union with Russia, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so? Slovenia left Yugoslavia and has eventually become member of EU and NATO. Even Kosovo, which was historically very important for the Serbs, was allowed by the international community to declare independence. I think it would be better to ask the population in Crimea rather than insisting that Ukraine should defend their territory. The Tatar minority must of course also be heard.

The really worrying thing is that Ukraine is caught in a strategic game between Russia and the West. It seems like Russia is signalling their position: "You can keep the rest, but we want Crimea". I think that will be the outcome if somebody on the ground starts to shoot. But I still think that Russia would prefer a peaceful solution and would accept Crimea to be part of Ukraine if the Russian interests there are respected.

In order to avoid a lot of bloodshed, I think the Ukraininan government should offer Crimea some sort of self-government and eventually let them decide through a referendum. Imagine how much suffering that could have been avoided if Yugoslavia had done that with Slovenia, Croatia and the rest of the republics in the 1990s.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby AdMartin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 23:36

If the vast majority of the population in Crimea want to leave Ukraine and enter a union with Russia, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so? Slovenia left Yugoslavia and has eventually become member of EU and NATO. Even Kosovo, which was historically very important for the Serbs, was allowed by the international community to declare independence. I think it would be better to ask the population in Crimea rather than insisting that Ukraine should defend their territory. The Tatar minority must of course also be heard.


The day Russia lets Czechnya and Dagestan be independent, let's talk... Also, remember, Russia was very much against Kosovo gaining independence, supporting Serbia's claim on Kosovo and saying that other countries shouldn't interfere in Serbia's internal affairs...

The really worrying thing is that Ukraine is caught in a strategic game between Russia and the West. It seems like Russia is signalling their position: "You can keep the rest, but we want Crimea".


...for now...

I think that will be the outcome if somebody on the ground starts to shoot. But I still think that Russia would prefer a peaceful solution and would accept Crimea to be part of Ukraine if the Russian interests there are respected.


No, it's gone past that by now. Russia will occupy Crimea indefinitely, they won't lose their face. I'm pretty sure about that, unfortunately.

In order to avoid a lot of bloodshed, I think the Ukraininan government should offer Crimea some sort of self-government and eventually let them decide through a referendum. Imagine how much suffering that could have been avoided if Yugoslavia had done that with Slovenia, Croatia and the rest of the republics in the 1990s.


Well, actually, Crimea already is an autonomous republic within Ukraine. They want even more autonomy though, which Ukraine denies them. I totally understand that, it would bring them even closer to Russia and soon they'd see Russian troops on the streets... oh, wait a minute... that's what's happening...
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Re: Ukraine

Postby Lysol » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:24

There are many countries that have regions with a Russian majority. Eastern parts of Estonia for example, and the Russian population there has just become larger and larger the last years. This still doesn't mean Russia can just invade it just like that. And we must remember that although Russians are majority in Crimea, they are not more than like 60% iirc. In other words, maybe up to 40% don't want to become a part of Russia? I don't know. But it isn't really as simple as that.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby Brad-K » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:02

Just seems like any particular incident can be the spark that sets the whole thing off. China's been quite aggressive, Iran sent its navy across the Atlantic, in a sign of aggression, North Korea just shot missiles into South Korea....You've got Syria, and now this, and everything else I've forgotten. ...Scary world...Just seems like things are heating up.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby atleonar » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:55

AdMartin wrote:
If the vast majority of the population in Crimea want to leave Ukraine and enter a union with Russia, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so? Slovenia left Yugoslavia and has eventually become member of EU and NATO. Even Kosovo, which was historically very important for the Serbs, was allowed by the international community to declare independence. I think it would be better to ask the population in Crimea rather than insisting that Ukraine should defend their territory. The Tatar minority must of course also be heard.


The day Russia lets Czechnya and Dagestan be independent, let's talk... Also, remember, Russia was very much against Kosovo gaining independence, supporting Serbia's claim on Kosovo and saying that other countries shouldn't interfere in Serbia's internal affairs...

I supported independence for Slovenia, Croatia etc, East Timor and South Sudan, I support independence for Palestine and Tibet, so I guess the same logic applies for certain parts of Caucasus as well. Russia should leave and let the local warlords establish their sharia states if that is what the people want. And in Crimea I think we should listen to the people even though they are Russian. But there will be minorities in the new states also, so it's not that easy in practice of course.

If a country consists of regions with different populations, it can apparently be held togehter in two ways: Flourishing democracy with generosity towards all minorities, or oppression. Belgium seems to be pretty close to the first one; Yugoslavia, Russia, China, Israel, Iraq, Syria, Turkey etc are examples of the opposite.

Ukraine could have become a true democracy after the independence, but unfortunately the politicians of both camps have failed completely. It is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, it's close to bankruptcy, and no government will be trusted by the majority of the people throughout the country. In that situation I think splitting the country seems to be better than the alternatives.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby atleonar » Mon Mar 03, 2014 16:15

Everybody is (with good reason) afraid of what Putin will do next, but I think we should be a bit worried about unwise steps from the new government in Kiev also. I don't trust a Minister of Defence from the right-wing Svoboda party. "In May 2013 the World Jewish Congress labelled the party as "neo-Nazi" and called for European governments to ban them" [Wikipedia].
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Re: Ukraine

Postby CanadianMetalFan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:56

AdMartin wrote:On the Crimea the situation is different since the majority are ethnic Russians who moved there after Soviet policies led to starvation and deportation of the Crimean Tatars. While the Tatars have now moved back after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians are still in majority. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has also maintained control of the naval base of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet on the Crimea. I.e. Russia has their Black Sea Fleet based on Ukrainian territory. I'm pretty sure this is a planned move from Putin and his hawks to ensure full control of the strategic Crimea. Getting control of the Crimea is more important for Putin than a stable Ukraine, I'm sure. That the majority on the Crimea are Russians is just the excuse he needed. This excuse has been used many times before, e.g. Texas 1846 by the US, Sudetenland 1938 by Germany and not least South Ossetia 2008 by Russia.

Putin will not back off. A situation on the Crimea of permanent occupation, similar to the current situations on the West Bank or South Ossetia is one possible outcome. On the one hand, Ukraine must defend their own territory and not least defend the Tatar and Ukrainian minorities on the Crimea, but on the other hand, they can't take on the Russian army alone. That would likely lead to a full-scale Russian invasion, like the one in Georgia 2008.(


I love the cruel bias here. You forget that it was Georgia that attacked South Ossetia killing Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers deployed in the area. They had peacekeepers there since the 1992 war which was also between Georgia and Ossetia. Russia never started that war, but responded with force and pushed the Georgian army back to the internationally recognized border. Russia had every right to remove the Georgian President Saakashvili, but instead Russia brought peace and stability to the region exactly like they are doing now in Ukraine. We see reports of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering and admirals and generals swearing allegiance to the Crimea and the Ukrainian flagship taking down the Ukrainian flag and raising the Russian flag. The government that is in power now is illegitimate and the Ukrainian army and navy realize this. Yanukovych is the legal leader in Ukraine whether you like it or not.

Russia seeks to restore order. You can the Americans are already beating their war drums look at what they did to Afghanistan and Iraq and the instigated riots that led to Gaddafi's fall in Libya as well as the attempt to overthrow Assad in Syria (again you see the Russians intervening here which would've lead to a wider war possibly engulfing the whole region). Look at the extreme dichotomy between what the United States does to bring peace (Iraq and Libya are in greater turmoil than when Hussein and Gaddafi were in power) and what Russia does to bring peace. Did they bomb Ukraine? Did they kill innocent civilians? That's the paradox to what the Western media is crying about. The Russians are rightly seen as liberators just ask the Ossetians and the Crimeans while the Americans are rightly seen as the invaders. What we have to fear is not what Russia has done, but what the American response will be. The United States is the greatest threat to world peace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Georgian_war

http://rt.com/news/churkin-unsc-russia-ukraine-683/

http://rt.com/news/crimea-arms-explosives-ukraine-614/

http://rt.com/news/ukraine-navy-flaghsip-protest-389/
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Re: Ukraine

Postby withering » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:58

Come on, don't read too much Russia Today, it's not healthy... :P
Even considering that we get a heavily sided bias from western media. RT is the ditch on the opposite side of the road (only worse, imo).
Just focus on the language they use in these stories about the current conflict... Seething in 1984-ish propaganda terms.
Most Russians I know doesn't consider RT a credible news source, and neither should we.

Your post (and RT) makes the foreign policy of Russia sound like that of a benign, altruistic actor.
(Just as most of mainstream western media paints the foreign policy of the US as inherently altruistic.)

Neither of those are true.
It's illusory to believe Russia has/had any other motive in Georgia or Crimea except to further their own geopolitical power.
And that the US, Georgia, or the Ukrainian rebels might have similar (or worse) selfish, bad motives, doesn't change that fact.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby CanadianMetalFan » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:04

Sure I don't deny for a minute that RT is a propaganda machine, but I think they are better and more accurate than the Western mainstream media which is of course mainly driven by propaganda as well.

Russia never attacked Georgia so your claim that they are "further[ing] their own geopolitical power" is illegitimate. Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers and innocent civilians so the Russians pushed them back to their border. Russia never really attacked the Crimea either lol. No one died. Yanukovych even asked Putin to send Russian troops. So no Russia isn't really benign, but then again they don't what NATO and the EU setting up on their borders either. Look at Ossetia, Crimea, and Syria and then compare that to the United States actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Kind of a poor comparison.

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Re: Ukraine

Postby withering » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:25

CanadianMetalFan wrote:Sure I don't deny for a minute that RT is a propaganda machine, but I think they are better and more accurate than the Western mainstream media which is of course mainly driven by propaganda as well.

What I find strange is that you acknowledge RT and western media to be propaganda machines, yet take RT's story at face value. IMO, the natural reaction would be to disbelieve both narratives.

Russia never attacked Georgia so your claim that they are "further[ing] their own geopolitical power" is illegitimate.

Russia's actions (and/or reactions) must be seen primarily as an assertion of power. Whether they attacked first or not is irrelevant. Putin doesn't care the tiniest bit about "democratically elected presidents", repressed expats, or dissidents. (and when it comes down to practice, neither does Obama). And they have both proven that so many times it's worthless to repeat. Don't believe a word they say, judge what they do. That's all i'm saying.
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Re: Ukraine

Postby atleonar » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:21

withering wrote:Don't believe a word they say, judge what they do.

True. Judging by their actions, it seems clear that the superpowers put their own strategic interests above international law and the will of the people in the countries that are of strategic importance.

These days Obama is pointing out very loudly that Ukraine's territorial integrity must be respected and that a breakaway for Crimea would be a violation of international law. In 2008 Putin pointed out that Serbia's territorial integrity must be respected and that a breakaway for Kosovo would be a violation of international law.

Today Russia will use the safety for Russians in Crimea and their very important naval base as justification for military action. In 1989 the US used the safety for Americans in Panama and the very important Panama canal as justification for military action.

Russia simply cannot allow Crimea to be controlled by an anti-Russia and pro-NATO regime. I think the US would be happy with a Ukrainian regime that invited them to deploy missiles in Ukraine, but for Russia it would be almost like the Cuba crisis. Putin will not back down easily on this. I don't think USA or China would have done so either if they were in a similar situation.

The worst thing is that the people in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine is caught in this. I think they should be listened to by the international community. The planned referendum in Crimea should not just be brushed aside by Obama and others. Of course it would not be possible to give independence to any unhappy region of any country in the world. But I think the result of the referendum should be an important input if Russia, EU, UN etc eventually come together and find a solution that is acceptable for both Russa and the West.
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