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Ukraine

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Jeez, the point of asking for evidence is asking for any information. I didn't imply you have none.

Any information I have, you can just as easily find. In the news, where I would get it from. What's the point of asking me to look it up for you?

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Any information I have, you can just as easily find. In the news, where I would get it from. What's the point of asking me to look it up for you?

Because this is a discussion board, meaning it is fine to ask where you find your information. No two sources are identical, and if you already know of good articles, it's more productive for both of us if you just say "I saw it in the New York Times" for instance.

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Because this is a discussion board, meaning it is fine to ask where you find your information. No two sources are identical, and if you already know of good articles, it's more productive for both of us if you just say "I saw it in the New York Times" for instance.

Is that what I should've inferred from "Evidence, please."? That you're looking for tips on what's a good news outlet? Spare me your passive aggressive nonsense. I just wish I could put you on ignore.

 

How come we can't put mods on ignore?

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Nicky, is the question "who will moderate us from our moderators" anything like "who will protect us from our protectors". In this particular, articles that you might consider relevant to the situation at hand may be superior to some of the tripe I've harvest from the Drudge Report, Detroit News, or LewRockwell.Com.

Edited by dream_weaver

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The issue with a generic google source on what is going on the area defies, often, objective analysis.

 

For instance, Russia Appears to Pull Some Troops from Ukraine Border.

 

Russia on Monday withdrew some troops from its border with Ukraine, as it sent its prime minister  to the newly annexed Crimean peninsula with promises of wide-ranging economic relief.

 

Oh great, Russia withdrew some troops.

 

Details of the troop drawdown were not clear late Monday, but both Russian and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that some forces had been pulled back from the tense border area.  Russian authorities referred to the withdrawal of a battalion - a unit that generally consists of 500 to 700 troops. U.S. officials estimate Moscow has deployed 40,000 soldiers to the area.

 

Whew. Troops have been withdrawn.

 

Meanwhile, NATO sources are saying that they are aware of reports of small numbers of Russian troops relocating, but believe these reports are inconclusive at this time.

 

Wait, it's not really happening?

 

There are many reasons why military units move, including for exercise purposes, resupply, repositioning, or for troop rotation, the sources said.

 

Possibly. There are many reason why military groups move.

 

The United States estimates Russia has 40,000 troops along the border, while Kyiv says the number is closer to 100,000.

 

Only 60,000 difference. What the hey?

 

Putin told Merkel that Ukraine must enact constitutional reforms to ensure that the interests of all its regions are respected, and called for measures to end what he called a “blockade” of Moldova's breakaway Transdniestria region, his office said.

 

Gee, an opportunity to interject a objective viewpoint that others have not considered as relevant to the situation on hand.

 

Putin and Merkel discussed “opportunities for international support for the restoration of stability” in Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said. It gave no details, but Russia has indicated it wants Western states to press the Kyiv government to grant broad autonomy to Ukraine's regions.

 

And what should we make of this cryptic statement.?

 

The U.S. has insisted that any matters pertaining to Ukraine’s governance are for Kyiv to determine.

Western officials have expressed concern that Putin may have set his sights on pro-Russian Transdniestria, on Ukraine's western border, following the annexation of Crimea.

 

While Kyiv should decide this, U.S. officials are concerned that Putin may have "decided" this for them . . .

 

 

While I don't know just how "objectively" I'm evaluating the data here - I'm not content to just assert a view point without being able to bolster it with data that just might be relevant,

 

Granted, this still leaves four paragraphs of this particular concrete to be addressed.

Edited by dream_weaver

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The issue with a generic google source on what is going on the area defies, often, objective analysis.

Plus it's also better to ask people who know more and have specific sources in mind as reliable when other people know a lot more about the topic. I didn't find any particular articles on assassinations in the Ukraine, except some tangental things in reports on unsubstantiated claims. If there is anything to be careful about, it's bias towards Russia based on old fears of the USSR. Not that Russia is the best government, but facts are needed for rational understanding and problem solving.

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Here's another good news source:

http://www.world-newspapers.com/

 

I found sixteen Ukranian news sites, made up of local papers, magazines and blogs.  The following is a sample from one:

 

"Ukraine hits back strongly at Russian calls for it to federalize
Journal Staff Report
 

KIEV, March 31 - Ukraine has hit back strongly at Russian calls for it to federalize its state structure and make Russian an official state language, saying its proposals were aimed at the break-up of Ukraine.

In an unusually harsh statement issued late on Sunday in reaction to comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Ukrainian Foreign Ninistry said he was making demands on Ukraine which Russia would never allow itself at home."

 

http://www.ukrainianjournal.com/index.php?w=article&id=18263

 

... and here's another from news sources in Russia...

 

"April 01, 2014 17:30

Russia didn't violate Budapest Memorandum with regards to Ukraine - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - Moscow rejects all claims it has violated its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum of December 5 1994.

"Concerning claims that Russia is demonstrating an unreliable nature of the concept of 'negative' security 'guarantees' for nonnuclear states, thus 'destroying' the nuclear nonproliferation regime, it should be underscored that the pledge not to use and not to threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states alone constitutes the common element of the Budapest Memorandum and of the 'negative guarantees' concept in its classical understanding. Russia has in no way violated this obligation with regards to Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sd mk"

 

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=493585

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Update:  Jews ordered to register in Ukraine

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

 

Kerry reacts to a report that Jews in Ukrainian city told to register

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/17/kerry-jews-in-ukrainian-city-told-to-register/

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Away From Show of Diplomacy in Geneva, Putin Puts On a Show of His Own

 

. . . On the question of Ukraine, Mr. Putin repeated his assertions that Russia feels an obligation to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, where they are a large minority of the population. “We must do everything to help these people to protect their rights and independently determine their own destiny,” he said.

 

“The question is to ensure the rights and interests of the Russian southeast,” he added. “It’s New Russia. Kharkiv, Lugansk, Donetsk, Odessa were not part of Ukraine in czarist times, they were transferred in 1920. Why? God knows. Then for various reasons these areas were gone, and the people stayed there. We need to encourage them to find a solution.”

 

Rights here, cannot be anything like what is embodied in the Cicero-Locke-Paine tradition.

As to only God knowing why, according to Wikipedia on Ukraine,

 

When World War I ended, several empires collapsed; among them were the Russian and Austrian empires. The Russian Revolution of 1917 ensued, and a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination reemerged, with heavy Communist/Socialist influence. During 1917–20, several separate Ukrainian states briefly emerged: the Ukrainian People's Republic, the Hetmanate, the Directorate and the pro-Bolshevik Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (or Soviet Ukraine) successively established territories in the former Russian Empire; while the West Ukrainian People's Republic and the Hutsul Republic emerged briefly in the former Austro-Hungarian territory. This led to civil war, and an anarchist movement called the Black Army led by Nestor Makhno, developed in Southern Ukraine during that war.

 

However, Poland defeated Western Ukraine in the Polish-Ukrainian War, but failed against the Bolsheviks in an offensive against Kiev. According to the Peace of Riga concluded between the Soviets and Poland, western Ukraine was officially incorporated into Poland, which in turn recognised the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in March 1919. With establishment of the Soviet power in Ukraine, the country lost half of its territory: the eastern Galicia was given to Poland, Pripyat marshes region – to Belarus, half of Sloboda Ukraine and northern fringes of Severia were passed to Russia, while on the left bank of Dniester River was created Moldavian autonomy. Eventually, Ukraine became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union in December 1922.

 

Even so, what was (and perhaps still is) the allure of Ukraine. Earlier in the article provides a plausible suggestion:

 

Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket due to its extensive, fertile farmlands. As of 2011, it was the world's third-largest grain exporter with that year's harvest being much larger than average. Ukraine is one of ten most attractive agricultural land acquisition regions. Additionally, the country has a well-developed manufacturing sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment.

 

As to the mainstream media bringing forth the developments in the ongoing charade of: "We report (selective facts), you decide." leaving the organization of the relevant factors according to the appropriate governing principles as an ongoing work in progress.

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Ukrainian Jews Seek Extra Security After Anti-Semitic Incident

 

Demands That Jews Register in Eastern Ukraine Are Denounced, and Denied

 

In time of war, and rumors of war, the first thing to go is truth.

 

Attributing this to the Donetsk People’s Republic appears to be the ruse. Politics often use tactics to divide and pit groups with one another. Forget the common umbrella of being human, divide and pit the smokers against the non-smokers, the rich against the poor, black against white. While the infighting provides distraction and cover, those who seek to prey operate less observed in the shadows.

 

Who might gain from such a tactic, the Donetsk's as the newly created and yet unrecognized faction, or others seeking to undermine any traction that might be gained from such a faction?

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...

In time of war, and rumors of war, the first thing to go is truth.

...

 

Absolutely

 

...

Attributing this to the Donetsk People’s Republic appears to be the ruse. Politics often use tactics to divide and pit groups with one another. Forget the common umbrella of being human, divide and pit the smokers against the non-smokers, the rich against the poor, black against white. While the infighting provides distraction and cover, those who seek to prey operate less observed in the shadows.

 

Who might gain from such a tactic, the Donetsk's as the newly created and yet unrecognized faction, or others seeking to undermine any traction that might be gained from such a faction?

 

Agreed, and it remains to be seen who will ultimately benefit from a tactic that appears to replay what led to historical atrocities.  Putin's actions continue to play off the premise of trying to provide stability and security to a deteriorating situation caused by others, and perhaps this particular ruse was designed to promote instability in order to take control of the situation.

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Ukraine Violence Spreads as Government's Grip on East Loosens Further

The Ukrainian government and the West have repeatedly blamed Russia for instigating the unrest and of organizing parts of the rebellion by sending in highly trained Russian military-intelligence officers. Moscow has denied playing any role in the uprising.

 

Kremlin says it is weighing response to ‘thousands’ of pleas for help from Ukraine

The spate of violence prompted the Kremlin to warn that it was weighing how to respond as thousands of Russian troops massed along the border. Putin has previously said he would be prepared to intervene if the interests of compatriots in Ukraine were under threat.

 

“People are calling in despair, asking for help. The overwhelming majority demand Russian help,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters Saturday. “Thousands” of calls had come in the previous 24 hours, he said, although he offered no evidence.

 

Behind the Masks in Ukraine, Many Faces of Rebellion

Yuri, who appears to be in his mid-50s, is in many ways an ordinary eastern Ukrainian of his generation. A military veteran, he survived the Soviet collapse to own a small construction business in Druzhkovka, about 15 miles south of here.

 

But his rebel stature has a particular root: He is also a former Soviet special forces commander who served in Afghanistan, a background that could make him both authentically local and a capable Kremlin proxy.

 

In this war, clouded by competing claims on both sides, one persistent mystery has been the identity and affiliations of the militiamen, who have pressed the confrontation between Russia and the West into its latest bitter phase.

 

Moscow says they are Ukrainians and not part of the Russian armed forces, as the so-called green men in Crimea turned out to be.

 

Western officials and the Ukrainian government insist that Russians have led, organized and equipped the fighters.

 

These bring to mind the adage that war is when the government tells you who the enemy is. Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself. 

 

The division lines and what is being fought for/against here is described as clouded by competing claims on both sides. What seems clearer is that the unrest appears to be unified by discontent with Ukraine rule with a pro-Russian bent to it. (Edited to regroup thought.)

 

What seems clearer is that the unrest appears to be unified by discontent with Ukraine rule with a pro-Russian bent to it.

 

Quite a different portrait from the volunteer militia appearing to observe what the BLM wants with a rancher having a grazing rights dispute.

(Edited to add:)

What Are the Terms of Russia's Compromise?

It is clear what Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want; it is less clear what he does. He does not want Ukraine to be a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nor a member-state of the European Union. He will use all available means to prevent either from happening, including military threats, political sabotage and economic leverage.

Edited by dream_weaver

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What Are the Terms of Russia's Compromise?

It is clear what Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want; it is less clear what he does. He does not want Ukraine to be a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nor a member-state of the European Union. He will use all available means to prevent either from happening, including military threats, political sabotage and economic leverage.

That's the easy part. Putin wants everything he thinks he can get. Right now, that's Eastern Ukraine. Later on, it's gonna be a lot more, if the West doesn't act to limit him to Eastern Ukraine, by proving that getting Eastern Ukraine wasn't worth the price through crippling economic sanctions against Russia.

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Economic sanction are being spun as ineffectual here.

 

Modern democracies only consider military action in exceptional circumstances: in response to genuine threats or moral principles, after deep public debate and diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. But here U.S. and European leaders saw economic sanctions as an easy option that would let them dodge the challenges of serious diplomacy and difficult public debate.

 

Instead, they laid down simplistic and non-negotiable principles — that international boundaries were completely sacrosanct and that only the national government in Kiev could have any democratic legitimacy. This left Ukraine and Russia nothing to negotiate.

 

When goods and services cease to cross borders, tanks and armies do.

 

Softwarenerd provided a list of several possibilities earlier in this thread. Putin could be considering the possibility of just creating a contiguous Russia across the Black Sea for now.

 

Odessa Jewish community mulls emergency evacuation. Contrary to many of his contemporaries, the Rabbi Refael Kruskal anticipates “The next weekend is going to be very violent."

"While other communal leaders are more sanguine, all have evacuation plans in place."

 

Meanwhile, Gen. Herbert Carlisle of the US, links Russian planes [being] more active in Asia-Pacific "to the situation in the Ukraine. He said Russia was demonstrating its capabilities and gathering intelligence on U.S. military exercises."

 

Is Vladimir Putin right in thinking the Ukraine can be annexed in this way without setting off a world war?

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Is Vladimir Putin right in thinking the Ukraine can be annexed in this way without setting off a world war?

It probably can, but I doubt Putin would want to take all of Ukraine. The west probably won't don anything militarily, but the more he takes the more serious the sanctions will get and the more NATO and the EU will react in other ways. And, for his effort, he's likely to end up with a West-supported underground in the western parts demanding Russian attention. 

 

Similarly, I think Putin will prefer not to actually take Eastern Ukraine in a full-fledged annexation. It seems to me that this would change the balance of voters inside Ukraine in a way that would speed up entry into the EU and eventually bring NATO's border to the middle of Ukraine. 

 

Having secured Crimea for good, Putin would be best served with a united Ukraine which is in disarray until he gets a Ukraine where the East and West do a deal allowing each side to be fairly independent and agreeing that the country as a whole will defer a move toward the EU.

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Economic sanction are being spun as ineffectual here.

Economic sanctions that would be effective are unlikely (because European leaders are incapable of making hard choices). But it is pretty obvious that economic sanctions can be effective. Countries under economic sanction (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, etc.) are struggling economically.

If Russia struggles economically, Putin, or whoever else is in charge, loses both popularity and military capabilities. How is that ineffectual? That's the goal. Since it's becoming pretty clear that Russia won't be a force for good in the world anytime soon, weakening Russia is the next best goal the West should set.

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Ok, breathing a little rarified political air here. Cuba is an island economy under a dictatorship. Iran, Iraq, Syria etc., are theocracies. The sanctions have made for struggling economies, and the political policies are still well entrenched. In the case of the theocracies, as their religion continues to grow, it is not be the economy that is being placed as the high priority.

 

We trade with China, and even had, or have them as, a 'most favored trade nation', despite their communist bent. I don't know how China's trade relationship with Russia is, but to the degree it thrives, it would amount to trading with Russia by proxy.

 

Stating that European leaders (as well as those of the US) being unwilling to make the hard choices, rewords the excerpt from the cited article, suggesting that sanctions are not likely to be effective (as currently laid down.)

 

edited:

A side note, on your choice of a samurai sword as a profile picture, there's a Japanese saying "satsujinken/katsujinken" that translates to "The sword that takes life. The sword that gives life." The kanji in mine is roughly "protective warrior".

Edited by dream_weaver

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From an article written by Edward Lucas, author of "The New Cold War"

How Putin's walking all over us: Six years ago EDWARD LUCAS was branded a scaremonger for warning of the danger posed to the West, but today the threat's more alarming than ever

 

Any criticism of modern Russia — my book, included — was countered by an influential pro-Kremlin lobby of bankers, lawyers, accountants and businessmen, whose comfortable lifestyle depends on lavish fees and contracts earned from the suppurating mess of Kremlin crony capitalism.
 

They ignored the growth of a dangerous cocktail of autocracy and nationalism in Russia, where Putin and his ex-KGB cronies brook no opposition and share a sinister, superstitious belief in their own destiny.

 

They want to restore Russia’s former greatness — and believe that God is on their side.
 

Bizarrely, they combine those beliefs with Soviet nostalgia — not for Lenin’s failed communist experiment, but for the power and influence of the old empire.


In truth, that empire was built on the bones of tens of millions of innocent victims, including countless Russians. But the Putin regime has no time for such quibbles.

 

For pointing this out, I was accused of Russophobia.
 

But in truth, the real Russophobes are those who collude with a regime that loots its own country — a country whose language I am proud to speak, whose literature I adore, and whose people I admire.

 

Far from scare-mongering, I now believe I actually understated the danger.

 

I said then that the ‘New Cold War’ was about banks not tanks, subterfuge, bluff, propaganda and the use of cash for political ends.

 

What I did not foresee was the terrifying way that Russia would modernise its armed forces.

 

This excerpt is essentially the theme of this article, appearing about 1/3 of the way through, the rest being mostly an organized collection of concretes. Using Putin's recent appearance in Crimea, Lucas ties this in with many details he has been abreast of over the years.

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These two articles support the notion that Russia supports instability in the region.

 

Russia Sent Tanks to Separatists in Ukraine, U.S. Says

 

The daytime journey of the three tanks through eastern Ukraine, which was filmed in multiple videos and witnessed by Western reporters, could not have been more obvious, and yet the convoy was too small to serve a military purpose.

 

Dozens Killed as Ukrainian Transport Plane Is Shot Down by Rebels in Luhansk

 

Pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane early Saturday, killing all 49 people on board, in the deadliest episode of months of unrest in eastern Ukraine.

 

It also came less than a day after the U.S. said it had confirmed the rebels had acquired tank and missile launchers from Russia and as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization released images it said supported allegations that Russian tanks had entered Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently denied charges that the country has provided weapons and troops to the rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

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Ukraine Finally Signs the EU Deal That Started It All

 

This new deal will bring Ukraine closer to the rest of Europe and will surely anger Russian president Vladimir Putin. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin threatened Ukraine with "serious consequences" for signing the deal. Similar threats prompted former president Viktor Yanukovych to back out of signing the deal in November at the last minute.

 

Is this historic trade and economic deal with the EU, essentially submitting to EU contract law for settling disputes? An article referenced from this one states:

 

The agreements signed Friday let businesses in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, trade freely in any of the EU's nations without tariffs or restrictions as long as their goods and practices meet EU standards. Likewise, goods and services from the EU will be sold more easily and cheaply in the three countries.

 

This sounds more like the icing on the cake, excepting that as long as their goods and practices meet EU standards (i.e., submit to EU governance). Even as the Ukraine is seeking admittance, the UK is seeking withdrawal from the pact.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Ukraine Finally Signs the EU Deal That Started It All

 

This new deal will bring Ukraine closer to the rest of Europe and will surely anger Russian president Vladimir Putin. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin threatened Ukraine with "serious consequences" for signing the deal. Similar threats prompted former president Viktor Yanukovych to back out of signing the deal in November at the last minute.

Is this historic trade and economic deal with the EU, essentially submitting to EU contract law for settling disputes? An article referenced from this one states:

 

The agreements signed Friday let businesses in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, trade freely in any of the EU's nations without tariffs or restrictions as long as their goods and practices meet EU standards. Likewise, goods and services from the EU will be sold more easily and cheaply in the three countries.

This sounds more like the icing on the cake, excepting that as long as their goods and practices meet EU standards (i.e., submit to EU governance). Even as the Ukraine is seeking admittance, the UK is seeking withdrawal from the pact.

The Ukraine isn't submitting to EU governance, the businesses which wish to export goods and services to the EU do. Sounds like a fair deal.

If the UK ever decides to withdraw from the EU, it will likely get the same deal. Not that the UK would be any better off. I'm sure they'll just create their own absurd rules and regulations, to replace the EU ones. The real reason why the UK wants to withdraw from the EU is xenophobia. The far right don't like it that EU nationals have the right to work and live in the UK as per EU rules.

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