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HABBENING: The Ukraine Elections 2019 (2nd Round)
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The second round of the Ukrainian elections are this Sunday.

* Zelensky is almost certainly going to win (PredictIt has had him at ~95% for weeks now). It looks like he is going to blow Poroshenko out, probably something like Zelensky 67% vs. Poroshenko 30%.

* Unless plans change I’ll be discussing the Ukrainian elections live on Prosvirnin’s stream on Sunday evening (Moscow time).

* Two things that can save Poroshenko: (1) Last minute disqualification of Zelensky; (2) Еlectoral fraud on a scale that puts anything Putin/United Russia has done to shame.

The first will very likely lead to another Maidan, though in the eastern cities, not Kiev. There is currently a last minute court case to disquality Zelensky as a candidate based on alleged vote buying. It seems to be the private initiative of a svidomy lawyer and its unclear whether it would even have the appropriate jurisdictional strength.

The second will have the same result, but it is even more impractical, because Poroshenko looks like a loser, and the bureaucrats at the Central Electoral Commissions and the teachers/government workers manning the counting booths are not going to stick their necks out for someone who will almost certainly be gone soon.

* DEBATE. I watched the Poroshenko vs. Zelensky debate in Kiev’s main football stadium on April 19.

Main takeaway from Ukrainian debates is the very low level of political culture there. Even US prez. debates look cerebral in comparison. It’s how I imagine such debates go in Third World tinpot democracies.

There was precisely *zero* discussion of policy.

Just insults and mudslinging over who stole more money and dumb theatrics like kneeling to display respect to Donbass veterans (for anyone interested in the details: Poroshenko knelt to the vets in his team on one knee, Zelensky knelt before the assembled crowd on both knees).

Since Poroshenko is an oligarch as opposed to just being sponsored by one, and was in power these past five years, fights over who stole more was not a “debate” that he could win.

For his part, Zelensky said he will continue Poroshenko’s program – he specifically praised the Army reforms, the abortive creation of the Ukrainian Church, the bezviz, etc. – but he would do it better and will less corruption.

He would also end the war, but also somehow return not just the Donbass but even Crimea. How he would accomplish any of that was not specified. These are germane questions, since just like Poroshenko, he has also said he will not abide by Minsk II.

I think these were pretty much the only soundbytes that actually touched on policy however tangentially. All the rest was slights and insults, grandstanding, and veiled (and not so veiled) threats to imprison the other guy.

There were some deluded people on Twitter who thought that these Ukrainian debates would influence or “inspire” Russians, get them to start asking why they can’t also have such performances. First, there are plenty of circuses in Russia, so that’s a factually incorrect premise from the very start. Second, Russia even has political debates during elections. They are nothing to write home about either, but even so, the typical debate between the commie, LDPR, and liberal representative actually has significantly more substance than this Ukrainian zoo. Yes, Putin doesn’t participate in these debates. But he is not legally required to. And there is no point for an incumbent President with vastly higher approval ratings than any of his competitors to engage in debates. If Poroshenko’s and Zelensky’s approval ratings were reversed, it is extremely unlikely that Poroshenko would have debated him either. As it was, that was Poroshenko’s only chance – however far-fetched – of reversing the awning disparity in ratings between them, and he failed.

* Real Junta When? Ukrainian military is not happy with Zelensky for calling LDNR separatists “rebels” during his debate with Poroshenko, as opposed to “terrorists.” This really triggered the svidomy, even though Internet sleuths have since uncovered plenty of occasions on which Poro has called them “rebels” himself. Anyhow, I will be genuinely impressed with the Ukraine if they go ahead and do a military coup, but I’m sure they’ll disappoint as usual.

Anyhow, on a more serious note, with political capital in the form of 70% of the vote, I don’t see Zelensky getting seriously challenged in the near future.

* As I wrote in my previous post, this summer-autumn will likely see Russia begin to give out Russian passports to LDNR residents on a massive scale, creating a Transnistria situation.

Possibly Zelensky can prevent this by recomitting to Minsk II – autonomy within the Ukraine, and amnesty for rebel fighters – but I don’t think he’ll be able to do this even if he wanted to. Like Trump, he has been painted as a Russian stooge even though he is nothing of the sort, so there’s a chance that – if anything – he will have to take a harder line on the Donbass than Poroshenko, who has barked a lot but hasn’t bit much since 2015. Accepting Russian citizenship implies losing Ukrainian citizenship, paving the way for nominally legal mass deportations of Ukraine’s problematic Donbass citizens into Russia in the wake of any future Operation Storm. This is not something that Russia could politically accept. So – five years after the initial optimism and referenda on joining Russia in May 2014 – it looks like we might finally get a timeline for the Donbass’ journey home.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Elections, Ukraine, War in Donbass 
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  1. Mr. Hack says:

    I watched a rerun of the debates this morning on Youtube, and pretty much concur with your assesment herein. To his credit, but too little too late, Poroshenko shared your opinion that nothing really was covered regarding the discussion of policy, and tried to get Zelensky to continue the debates (when, where and why Zelensky would continue this?) somewhere soon?…

    What I’ll come away with from this ‘debate’ is that like Poroshenko 5 year earlier, Zelensky promised to change the rules regarding parliamentarian immunity, presidential impeachment and generally to curtail corruption at the highest levels of government and society. We’ll see, don’t hold your breath – what do you think?…

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  2. Beckow says:

    Porky could declare that he won and nothing would happen. It is too soon, it takes Ukrainians at least 10 years to reassemble between Maidans.

    There was a mild panic in some Western circles about the ‘unknown, untested‘ Zelinsky, most would prefer the status quo to stay, but they will learn how to like the funny guy. Porky flew to Berlin-Paris to cover his escape routes, but the real fear is among his few thousand officials and hanger-ons, he could leave them behind. They could try to declare their own ‘separate and true‘ Ukraine in Galicia and invite Polish volunteers to fight for them.

    The real story is that the economic balance will shift within 12 months: Kiev will lose gas transit money ($3 billion, or 3% of GNP), and its reliable gas. IMF is coming to collect, EU is out of adventure cash, energy prices are heading up, and Washington is busy reasserting the 19th century Monroe Doctrine in its own backyard.

    Plan B has always been to sell Ukraine’s farmland to foreign interests – it will be easier with the ‘new face’ clown guy. He will do his dirty work, and then leave like they all do. What passports are carried by the people in Donbass is of absolutely no interest to the masters of the universe…We are in the endgame, it has failed, I expect zero coverage in the Western media until the next people revolution around 2025-27. But AP will still tell us that ‘it was all worth it‘. And in a weird way, it really was…

    • Replies: @AP
  3. Dmitry says:

    debates is the very low level of political culture

    I could watch a couple of minutes.

    Probably main factor influencing them to be more stupid, was the stadium. Some genius idea from Zelensky to lower the level, by making them shout surrounded by supporters in a sports arena.

    Probably intellectual level is lowered again by the fact they had to debate in Ukrainian, although Zelensky could not manage to stay in that language (positive to see) even with his paper.

    do a military coup, but I’m sure they’ll disappoint as usual.

    Positive with Zelensky, is a slight moderation and more normal attitude to neighbours and countrymen, which was symbolic that he started speaking Russian in debate.

    Negative for Ukraine of Zelensky, is constant change of government.

    Really negative for Ukraine, are the influence of the type of idiots on that Twitter account.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  4. Last minute disqualification of Zelensky…will very likely lead to another Maidan, though in the eastern cities, not Kiev.

    No, it won’t. Maidans in the Ukraine don’t just happen organically. They require support from opposition in parliament, oligarchs and Western NGOs, which won’t be coming this time.

    People in Eastern cities have shown no ability to self-organise in 2014, there is no reason it would happen now.

  5. Anatoly, do you really believe that there is any substantive difference between Porky and this Ze guy, whether he is Kolomoisky stooge or not? In that case I have a mountain to sell you.

    Ukraine is on its steady course of electing shit after shit, and then being surprised that every next shit is shittier than the previous one.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  6. Sean says:

    No country gives up territory, even if the leaders want to. They will not get it back and they will not accept its loss.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  7. @Sean

    Donbass is another loss: you cannot put toothpaste back into a tube, or make carbon dioxide move back into flat Coke. As the saying goes, the army shoots its own people only once. After that it shoots foreign people. But even Donbass is not the last loss for Ukraine. Whoever remains last will pay back the loans.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  8. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The Z-guy is a carbon copy of Macron, same fake sincerity and ambiguity. You could see it as they were meeting in Paris, the new type of a system politician to beat the ‘populists‘, and to buy time by throwing in new faces.

    Z’s main role is to lower the temperature so the failed Maidanistas and their hapless sponsors can pack up, get their assets out, and a complete silence can descend over Ukraine. He is a transition figure, next there will be another ‘new face’ to reach out to Russia, re-establish trade and borrow more money. Parasitical societies often change approach and shape, but they always look for something to live off.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  9. @Beckow

    Yes, there are similarities between Ze guy and Macron: both are nonentities with faces perfect for a hairdresser’s ad. But I don’t think their puppet masters would be ready to leave until they suck the last drop of blood from Ukraine and France.

    If some people in Ukraine intend to leech onto Russia in the end, they are in for a big surprise. Russian public sentiment is very much anti-parasite. If Russian oligarchs try to force rapprochement for the sake of their Ukrainian colleagues, they might face an even bigger surprise: the noose (which they amply deserve), like in 1917. I think the smarter Russian mega-thieves know that and won’t endanger themselves for the sake of their Ukrainian “brothers”.

  10. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    As the saying goes, the army shoots its own people only once. After that it shoots foreign people.

    American Civil War.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  11. Mikhail says: • Website

    Substandard analysis:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/21042019-ukrainian-presidential-debate-sparks-envy-among-russians-and-belarusians-oped/

    Putin has over the years faced live confrontational comments and questions from numerous individuals.

    If anything, Ukrainians in Ukraine are more jealous that Russia has a president who has (to some noticeable degree) stood up to the oligarchs.

    Likewise, Belarus has relative stability when compared to Ukraine – much of that c/o Russian economic assistance to Belarus.

  12. AP says:
    @Beckow

    The real story is that the economic balance will shift within 12 months: Kiev will lose gas transit money ($3 billion, or 3% of GNP),

    Wrong as usual:

    https://www.rt.com/business/454700-russia-gas-transit-ukraine/

    Moscow wants to sign a new gas transit deal with Ukraine after 2019, when the current contract with the country expires, Russia’s deputy energy minister has said.

    “We expect that, to some extent, we will be able to reach an agreement with Ukraine on the transit of gas… If this does not happen in May, it will probably happen in October,” Anatoly Yanovsky told reporters on Monday. The official added he has no doubt the agreement will be reached one way or another.

    Kiev has long claimed that Moscow plans to stop the gas transit through Ukraine, depriving the country of its gas transit revenues. The current contract expires at the end of this year.

    Moscow has repeatedly rebuffed Kiev’s claims, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that the country wants to keep the transit and can prolong the contract with Kiev. Last week, Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee, stressed that the company is ready to renew the document and also start direct gas imports to the Ukrainian market, which could reduce energy prices for locals.

    Ukraine makes claims to get Russia sanctioned and to stop Nordstream, Beckow naively believes them.

    IMF is coming to collect,

    Ukraine has already been paying off its debts.

    https://www.ceicdata.com/datapage/charts/ipc_ukraine_external-debt?type=area&period=5y&lang=en

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/external-debt

    Its debt peaked at the end of 2013 when it reached $142 billion. It is now around $115 billion.

    In terms of debt to GDP it peaked in 2015 at 130%, was down to 88% in 2018:

    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/external-debt–of-nominal-gdp

    In 2019 it’s down to 77%:

    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/external-debt–of-nominal-gdp

    In comparison Greece is at 182%, Italy 127%.

    Ukraine is the worst of the post-Commie countries (Croatia is closest at 73%, Hungary is at 66%). But Ukraine’s number is shrinking every year. Like other clueless Sovoks, you think it is always 2014 or 2015 in Ukraine.

    :::::

    Your record of being wrong is very impressive.

  13. @AP

    That’s interesting. I haven’t done the arithmetic, but I too have been under the impression that Nord Stream II and TurkStream between them largely annul the need for Ukrainian transit.

    And that this is indeed one of the main goals of these expensive projects. Why else would they do it? Just to enrich connected contractors?

    This view is so standard across both Russophiles and Russophobes that I assume its accurate that I assume Yanovsky’s comments are exactly what Ukraine claims they are for the purposes of sanctioning Russia and stopping Nord Stream II.

    You are correct on the debt, though ofc the manageable stress limits for emerging markets (60% is a common estimate) such as the Ukraine are much lower than for formally developed nations like Italy and Greece. That said, as I have noted before, I agree that the moment of greatest danger for Ukraine passed several years ago now.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @AP
    , @Beckow
    , @Dmitry
  14. Mitleser says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That’s interesting. I haven’t done the arithmetic, but I too have been under the impression that Nord Stream II and TurkStream between them largely annul the need for Ukrainian transit.

    They will, but it won’t the annul the need for Ukrainian transit in the near future.
    For instance, the main part of TurkStream is finished, but the extensions that would make it possible to supply Balkan countries like Serbia are not.

    One week ago,…

    Afterwards, construction works on the stretch will be officially opened, Brnabic told a press conference after the governments of Serbia and Hungary held a joint session in Subotica, northern Serbia, Tanjug is reporting.

    “We have already launched preparatory works so we will issue construction permits for the first two sections by the end of the month,” she said.

    The 403 kilometer section of the pipeline in Serbia will run from the border with Bulgaria to the Hungarian border.

    https://www.b92.net/eng/news/business.php?yyyy=2019&mm=04&dd=15&nav_id=106627

    • Replies: @Beckow
  15. WHAT says:
    @AP

    Lol, Ukraine wishes it was 2014 there again. How`s that basic bitch epidemic doing? Is new batch of cow dung vaccine ready? Europe will not economically integrate uke prostitutes otherwise…

  16. @Mikhail

    The divide actually remains, more than 150 years after the war. The South is still full of Confederate war monuments and Confederate flags. There are bumper stickers “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God”. I was recently told that Southerners make a distinction between Yankees (Northerners that come South and then go back home) and damn Yankees – the Northerners that come South and stay.

    • Replies: @216
  17. @Dmitry

    … Zelensky could not manage to stay in that language (positive to see) even with his paper.

    To be fair, Ukrainians had their language and culture stripped from them when they were brought on ships to Russia. Even their names and their gods are not their own. Petro Poroshenko should call himself Petro X, in the style of Malcolm X.

  18. Beckow says:
    @AP

    One can’t be ‘wrong‘ about something that has not happened yet. If you don’t understand something so basic, I can’t really have a reasoned discussion with you. One can be ‘naive‘, or irrationally optimistic, believing that the other side is showing all its cards, but let’s look at the precise words:

    …We expect that, to some extent, we will be able to reach an agreement with Ukraine on the transit of gas…

    Expect to some extent…right, it would be hard to find a more weasel evasive statement. What is driving Moscow today is the need to complete North Stream II and Turkish stream. It is almost there, but US (and Poland, Ukraine) are still throwing a temper tantrum and could scuttle some of it, or delay it. Russia sends mixed messages, unenforceable assurances, and fake vague promises to give Germany a fig leave to use against its critics. If you don’t see it, maybe it is you who is naive.

    I can see both sides well, Slovakia, Hungary and Czechia would be among the hardest hit by the reduction of transit through Ukraine. Slovakia makes almost half a billion a year on transit fees and even more by re-selling gas back to Ukraine because Kiev refuses to buy it directly from Gazprom.

    You really think Washington, Poland and Britain are ‘pretending’ when they desperately try to stop North Stream II? Why would they do it? It has nothing to do with sanctions, those are already there and can be ramped up for any reason any time. North Stream II is a strategic disaster, they know it.

    We don’t know the precise timing, or the amounts – I suspect it will be phased in slowly. But the strategic reality starting in 2020 will be different: Ukraine will have very little power to negotiate, they will have to pay back all their old debts to Gazprom, they will lose all (or most) transit fees, and if they don’t pay (up front and in cash) there will be no gas. If you don’t see it, well, maybe you should stay out of business and stick with geneology.

  19. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It would cut it down significantly, I’m not sure how much – over 50% probably, perhaps even 75%. But far from completely. And the timeline is longer than the start of 2020.

  20. AP says:
    @Beckow

    One can’t be ‘wrong‘ about something that has not happened yet

    Yes you can. If I say that within 12 months you will sprout wings and fly to Africa I would be wrong.

    You said that within 12 months Kiev would lose all gas transit. Your words – “within 12 months: Kiev will lose gas transit money ($3 billion, or 3% of GNP).” You were wrong, as usual.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  21. Preliminary map of turnout as of 3pm relative to the first round of the elections (where Poroshenko was trounced).

    Now turnout even further down in the far west, the base of Poroshenko’s support.

    Looks like even my 30% estimate for Poroshenko was far too optimistic so far as he is concerned.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    , @Beckow
  22. Beckow says:
    @Mitleser

    The Balkan link will take a year to complete, the amount of gas that would go that route is a small fraction of the overall Ukraine gas transit. The link from Baltic to Czechia is done (interestingly it bypasses Poland, they will have their LNG terminals at about 50% mark-up in cost).

    The big winners of the new pipelines are: Germany, Turkey, Austria (with a new distribution hub), and Russia.

    The big losers are: Ukraine, Poland, and Bulgaria that stupidly gave away the planned South Stream to Turkey going from a seller with transit fees to a poor customer of Turkey, they know it, but it is too late – they lost about 3-5% of GNP with that one idiotic motional move – well, McCain flew in to demand that they cancel South Stream so they had to do it.

    If you take a long-term view, we know that internal EU gas consumption is declining (North See, etc…). We know that the demand will go up. We know that Russia has now an alternative market with the Siberian pipelines to China-Korea. We know that adding North Stream III, or IV, or Turkish II, will be easy – all the infrastructure is in place. That’s why Washington is freaking out.

  23. Beckow says:
    @AP

    I didn’t say ‘all’ of it, maybe they will get 10-15% for a year. Are you that simple-minded? Your inability to be rational makes discussing with you rather pointless. Too bad, these are interesting times and topics, but if the best you can do is suggest an absurd nonsense like, ‘sprouting wings‘, we are not even on the same planet mentally. Enjoy your loss, you can always learn from it.

  24. @Anatoly Karlin

    Every map I can remember seeing of Ukrainian voting patterns suggests it should be two countries: Novorossiya and the rest. It probably has to be a confederacy, due to the people caught in the grey zone between the two Ukraines.

  25. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    …You are correct on the debt, though ofc the manageable stress limits for emerging markets (60% is a common estimate) such as the Ukraine are much lower than for formally developed nations like Italy and Greece.

    You are right that about the ability to service, although both Greece and Italy are also quite marginal – what they have is ‘euro’ and that provides monetary stability.

    AP is wrong about the debt: Ukraine’s external debt is $130 billion and its GNP is $112 billion, the actual service ratio is 120%. Most of Ukraine’s external bonds are issued by different government agencies and utilities (gas transit is a big one), only around a quarter is issued directly by the Ministry of Finance. But the $130 billion (at average 8% interest) is guaranteed by Kiev.

    Ukraine is also running a trade deficit of $10 billion a year, so no money is earned to pay down the debt. The decline we saw was a write-off and a swap for assets. What will almost certainly happen is that more assets will be given to creditors to pay back the debt: ports, utilities, and sooner or later, farmland.

    Talking about ‘colonial’ economy, you couldn’t get any more colonial than this – it reminds one of the 19th century South America when Britain would take over Argentinian exports, or run local railroads until the debts were paid. And the poor Kiev suckers thought that Moscow was bad…Moscow sent money to Ukraine, West takes them out and also takes over assets (permanently). Maybe being a servant class comes naturally to the people who are still dreaming abut their Habsburg or German overlords…

  26. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If Poroshenko wins in Kiev, his supporters can come out and riot their way to victory (again). That’s the beauty of today’s metropolitan voting landscape – some people are more equal than others.

    All it takes is to get a bunch of global institutions, aspiring students, media prostitutes, well-off capitol real estate beneficiaries, government employees, NGO’s and the heavily subsidised culture parasites – and the globalist side controls the capitol. That’s all that is needed, they rule no matter what, from Brussels to Washington, from London to Kiev, it is the same story of some being more important than others.

  27. First exit poll from TSN: https://kireev.livejournal.com/1588545.html

    Zelensky 72.7%
    Poroshenko 27.3%

    [Exit polls were very accurate in the first round. Adjusting for spoiled ballots, Ze will get around 71%]

    By region, Zelensky got:
    East: 88%
    South: 86%
    North: 75%
    Center: 79%
    West: 52%
    Kiev: 60%

    Total wipeout for Poroshenko.

    Another exit poll from PPI shows Zelensky 75.2% vs. Poroshenko 23.1%.

    Poroshenko only winning in Lvov lol, not even in Rivne or Ivano-Frankovsk.

    http://ppi.org.ua/news/exitpoll_2019_ppi_zelenskij_75_21_poroshenko_23_10/2019-04-21-384?fbclid=IwAR0Lga5jU0Rs61RD7PQXhz9H3dfzTUkimm7oNrGohjcCrjU3HajbtNfYE1c

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  28. @Beckow

    Who is Nordstream II a strategic disaster for?

    The Ukraine possibly, if it turns out Putin is bluffing about wishing to negotiate a new transit agreement.

    Certainly not Poland, which is simply motivated by pathological Russophobia. Poland is prosperous and doesn’t need gas transit money.

    Even less the United States, which isn’t even in Europe. Aside from those Americans who entertain ridiculous fantasies about high-cost American LNG (which barely even exists at present) replacing Russian pipeline gas. American efforts to counter Nordstream II are laughably stupid. Let’s say the US somehow succeeded and got Germany to drop the project. The advantage of this “victory” is…what?

    I’m reminded of America’s silly efforts to prevent the Chinese from diving into the most colossal corporate welfare project of all time. We can’t let China pour tens of billions of dollars into the bottomless pit that is Pakistan because that job belongs to CENTCOM and the IMF. How dare the Chinese want to squander money on these shithole countries…

    This is just one of these things people are worked up over because it feels good to be worked up about something.

    Nordstream II assures reliable gas transit between Russia and Germany by removing the danger of blackmail and gas theft.

    Since the Ukraine plans on modernizing its economy, presumably in the future it expects to be able to reliably pay its energy bills. So it’s not even a disaster for them. You could even argue that it’s a good thing in the long term by eliminating a source of stubborn conflict between the Ukraine and its much more powerful neighbor.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Beckow
  29. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Some people are desperate for Ukraine to have disasters so they make them up (or magnify their scale).

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  30. @Anatoly Karlin

    Third exit poll from “Global Management”: https://112.ua/glavnye-novosti/zelenskiy-nabiraet–poroshenko–vseukrainskiy-ekzit-pol-488673.html

    Ze gets high 88% in East, 86% in South, 72% in Center, 56% in West.

  31. @Thorfinnsson

    I am not in the Ukraine catastrophist camp.

    However, the potential loss of up to $3 billion per year in transit fees + $5 billion (?) that it may have to cough up for Kolomoysky now that his protege is President are not insignificant challenges for a country with a nominal GDP (that is what counts in these calculations) of around $100 billion.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  32. @AP

    To be perfectly fair to Beckow, it appears that the consensus opinion is that Nordstream II is a “disaster” for America and the non-Russian states of Eastern Europe. Clearly all American policymakers subscribe to this view, even President Trump (to his credit, for commercial reasons as he wants to export LNG).

    I don’t know what people in the Kremlin and Berlin think, but it seems to me this was just a business decision. They were sick of Eastern European deadbeats interfering with their business relationship and undertook measures to eliminate that problem.

    The Russians don’t want to stop using the existing pipelines for good reason, so there’s no reason gas will stop moving through those pipelines unless the locals stop the transit.

    Which they won’t because it’s bad for their own interests.

    The big change is now they know they can’t steal gas or default on energy bills because Russia could retaliate by ending deliveries of energy to them. That does constrain their freedom of action, but long-term it’s arguably a good thing because it encourages responsible behavior like paying your bills. That sort of positive behavioral reinforcement is especially useful for the Ukraine, which has been very badly governed for many years.

    Also contrary to Beckow, I don’t think gas consumption will increase in Europe. Energy consumption in Europe has been stable for many years. European gas production will decline, which will help Russia, but there is competition for Russian gas. Sooner or later it seems reasonable to expect a pipeline to Qatar will actually get built for instance.

    Perhaps France could cuck in the future and embrace atomophobia. That would be a bonanza for Gazprom.

  33. @Anatoly Karlin


    Unless the Ukies do something truly stupid (possible, but not likely), why would gas transit through the Ukraine stop?

    The pipelines through the Ukraine remain useful assets and can deliver gas to many European customers (not just Germany) at a lower cost than Nordstream 1 & 2.

    Instead the Kremlin is likely to demand concessions from the Ukraine and other transit states. This would lead to a reduction, rather than elimination, of transit revenue. Or perhaps concessions in other areas.

    Obviously losing revenue is never good, but the gas transit money disappearing completely doesn’t seem likely.

    Is Belarus panicking about Nordstream 2 at all?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Mitleser
  34. Beckow says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    …Who is Nordstream II a strategic disaster for? The Ukraine possibly, if it turns out Putin is bluffing about wishing to negotiate a new transit agreement.

    You make some good points, e.g. China dumping billions into Pakistan (Silk Road) is about as stupid as claiming that ‘India middle class’ will be driving global consumption.

    But no matter how you look at it, North Stream and Turkish Stream are a coup-de-grace to today’s Western vision of Ukraine, and to Kiev West-worshipping globo-proletariat. It has been marginal since 1991, but once Ukraine is forced into business responsibility and has to pay for what it consumes, the silly ‘we are really from Iceland, and we hate the f..ing eastern Martians‘ folklore will get a rude reality check.

    Putin is not bluffing, and he has all the cards starting in 2020: he might make a deal, but it will be a lot more one-sided than today since there is no need to make that deal. He might also be waiting for an especially cold winter. Just knowing how this is laid out strategically will change how people behave.

    Poland will barely feel it, you are right that they are rich enough to pay more. But paying a permanent 50% mark-up for their energy (LNG costs) can’t be good for the Polish industry and consumers. Especially since Germany has wisely decided not to do it.

    There is also the bizarre non-economy of the US ‘oil-and-gas boom’. When you do the numbers, they have been selling at a loss and subsidizing it with investors’ money. That is not a sustainable business model, it was done for political reasons – first Obama pushed it with subsidies, then Trump jumped on it because it is a good PR point. But selling at a loss is not ‘business’, it will go away. If they raise the prices for LNG gas, the customers will pay even more than the 50% current mark-up over Russian gas. If they go bankrupt (some will), the supply will dry up and LNG will be even more expensive. So Poland, Lithuania, etc… do have a problem. They might choose to simply suck it up and pay more for energy resulting in lower living standards, but it will have costs.

    When they crawl back to Russia and try to make a deal a few years from now, Russia can ignore them. No pipelines, no leverage. But I heard that Poland still has lots of coal, and it is even occasionally sunny there. They will survive.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Aedib
  35. @Thorfinnsson

    Well, in recent months, Russia has begun to move ahead with demanding either lower gas subsidies or greater integration from Belarus – to very loud whining from Lukashenko – so it seems that Russia feels it will imminently acquire a much stronger hand in such negotiations.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  36. Poroshenko has conceded, so that’s that.

    As expected the gap between them is so big there is not much point in further following these elections, except perhaps to satisfy minor curiosities (e.g. will he at least manage to hold Lvov?).

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Dmitry
  37. @Beckow

    Why would Poland consume LNG because of Nordstream 2?

    Gazprom gas is still available and low cost.

    If they choose LNG that’s a political decision to pay a higher price borne of pathological Russophobia. And that’s not a decision which is created by Nordstream 2 either.

    Building a few LNG import terminals as a backup plan isn’t the worst idea, though probably just better to store gas.

    Poland does indeed have coal reserves, but actually Poland is now an importer of Russian coal.

    The Ukraine, for its part, will see a reduction (not elimination) of transit income and be forced to pay market rates for gas. That’s certainly a negative development for them, but I don’t know that it qualifies as a disaster. The reduction of transit income might be equivalent to the economic growth of one quarter.

    And Russia was clearly already moving to market pricing which is not something the Ukraine or anyone else could’ve stopped. One gets tired of subsidizing deadbeats after 20 years.

    US fracking is perfectly sustainable financially. Propaganda against US fracking comes from the former Peak Oil doomers who are convinced everything is going to pot soon.

    Take a look at the most recent annual financial results of the pioneering US fracker, Continental Resources: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/732834/000073283419000002/clr201810-k.htm

    Net income of $1bn on $4.7bn in sales. Not too shabby. The 10-K filing also contains much technical discussion of oil and gas.

    The “subsidies” in question are depletion allowances, which have been part of US tax law for a century or so. No one is giving public money to frackers.

    The US fracking industry is a major, unexpected success of the 21st century and has transformed the global energy market. The cost of the marginal barrel is now set by frackers and American frackers have replaced Saudi Arabia as the global swing producer.

    Of course American LNG makes zero sense for Europe which an orangutan can see.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  38. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Why would Poroshenko tweet that? Ok, he lost, but Mr. Z is a total unknown.

    I think Porky is setting up a narrative for leaving Ukraine – he will say that he can’t risk staying in the ‘Russian orbit’. Or possibly he is trying to encourage some deep state forces to prevent the fall into the Russian orbit. They could always do the Trump method – emasculation by process harassment and investigations.

    This is going the way of Georgia, losing without announcing it publicly. That is the new way, media is more important than reality. It is infantile, but then arrested development and life-long childhoods are pervasive in the West. Why not in Kiev?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  39. @Anatoly Karlin

    It must be quite a shock to Belorussian Sovoks that they now need to pay market rates for energy after generations of subsidies.

    But bear in mind that it seems what we’re looking at changes in prices.

    This is the sort of thing non-Sovok countries have always dealt with. Remember when oil went over $140 a barrel in the last decade?

  40. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Unless the Ukies do something truly stupid (possible, but not likely), why would gas transit through the Ukraine stop?

    Not enough investments in the pipelines to prevent failures?

  41. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Hopefully the transition goes calmly and peacefully. Poroshenko is obviously not as bad in this dictator topic as claimed in the media.

  42. @AP

    Ukraine has already been paying off its debts.

    I’m far from an expert on these matters, and even if I were, getting a fair picture of these things takes deep knowledge of the economy at hand.

    That said, I assume Beckow is refering to government debt (what the goverment owes domestic and foreign creditors), not foreign debt (what the government plus local businesses and households owe foreign creditors). Ukraine’s foreign debt has indeed fallen, but if you look at the government debt to GDP ratio, it is still above the 2014 level* (although trending downward). This must mean that household debt and/or business debt has made up for this by falling sharply, and indeed, household debt did fall over that same period. I assume that the same is true of business debt but can’t find any data on it.

    We should also remember that low debt is not always a good sign. Russia’s low foreign debt partly reflects the unwillingness of international creditors to put money into Russia, and that same dynamic could be at play here.

    * My guess is that much of the sharp rise in 2014 can be put down to the currency crisis of that year, making the figures look “worse” than they were, but this can go both ways (e.g. part of the fall in foreign debt since then could have come from the government selling off valuable assets, making the figures look “better” than they were). When looking at these ratios, we must also ask ourselves how GDP is measured over the time period (higher GDP -> lower debt to GDP ratio). Is the Crimea included in the post 2014 figures?. And what about the separatist-controlled areas of the Donbass? And this isn’t even getting into the dark art of financial trickery, which offers endless possibilities for manipulation.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  43. Dmitry says:
    @Beckow

    This defeat will cost Poroshenko some of his net worth. But Poroshenko’s wealth, of course, pre-dates his situation as president. Also his business is in Ukraine and does not have very promising international dimensions (why would you buy Roshen, if you live in the EU, where people do not want to eat chocolate that tastes like pure sugar? – ironic as Poroshenko has diabetes himself) so he will at best have to live between Kiev and London.

    He will now be in the same position as before, conflicting again with other interests and oligarchs, without the advantage of being president.

    A couple of weeks ago, I found the Poroshenko’s family’s personal alias in social media. Some are living in London, and also (as also reported in the media), vacation houses in Marbella. And some of the family looked like they are living in Kiev.

    His children are not nationalists, just normal people – his daughter’s friends look like, for example: mostly Russians, Chinese, some Nigerians.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Gerard2
  44. Beckow says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    …The reduction of transit income might be equivalent to the economic growth of one quarter.

    Or – if you do the numbers with 2.6% GNP growth, $3 billion in transit fees, $112 billion GNP – more like 1-year growth cost. And this is year after year. The reduction will be quite dramatic, whether it is a ‘disaster’ depends on one’s perspective. I don’t think it is, potatoes will still be plentiful and cheap. And there is always wood to burn.

    Building LNG terminals at $1 billion a pop as a ‘backup’ is not irrational, just expensive. For example Poland could buy 6 more F-35s instead. Gazprom will sell them gas, or Germany will re-sell it to them, but with the pipelines becoming optional, the bargaining changes. And if there is a crisis, they might stop selling. Then the LNG terminals kick in and the costs go up. No matter how you look at it, it is a worse situation than today.

    I respect your view of the oil-gas boomlet in US, I just think it is wrong. It is a money losing business overall, the fixed costs are too high. It is a swing producer, but it has the highest costs. But leaving that aside, I only have one question: would you invest in it today? What return would you expect? One thing that could make it profitable is a war in the Middle East (or Venezuela or Russia), if prices go up, it will make money. But then other things will suffer, e.g. with more expensive gas, the Walmart shoppers might buy less.

  45. @Swedish Family

    The Ukraine suffered a deep recession.

    In such recessions households and businesses nearly always deleverage. The same thing happened in the West in the aftermath of 07-o8.

    Typically state spending does not contract (or even increases to provide Keynesian stimulus), so in recessions government debt expands.

    The Russian private sector has plenty of foreign debt because the Ruble is freely convertible and Russian borrowers willingly borrow abroad when they think the terms appear to be better. This caused major problems in 07-08 and again a few years ago when the Ruble tumbled in a major way.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/external-debt

    The Russian state has low debt because the Kremlin is obsessed with building up large reserves. It doesn’t borrow in foreign currency because that’s what banana republics without stable currencies and banks do–like Russia in the 90s.

    Russian borrowers are perfectly creditworthy, but there is now political risk associated with lending to Russia. Probably a good development for Russia as foreign currency borrowing is inherently dangerous.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  46. @Beckow

    We don’t know the precise timing, or the amounts – I suspect it will be phased in slowly. But the strategic reality starting in 2020 will be different: Ukraine will have very little power to negotiate, they will have to pay back all their old debts to Gazprom, they will lose all (or most) transit fees, and if they don’t pay (up front and in cash) there will be no gas. If you don’t see it, well, maybe you should stay out of business and stick with geneology.

    Reminds me of the good old days of the Gas Wars:

  47. @Dmitry

    Have you considered starting your own blog? I think there would be a demand for the kind of social media sleuthing that you like to do.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  48. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Why else would they do it?

    Aside from problems of Ukraine and Belarus, these project will increase volume of gas deliveries and also open new markets in the EU.

    Overall, they are very important projects, which – aside from economic benefits (and environmental/health benefits to importing countries) – will hopefully improve relations with a number of countries. (Or at least act as a limitation, to help prevent relations with countries increasing supply of gas, as being so conflicted in the future, other things equal).

  49. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Lol, this was not difficult – but I should not be associated as publicizing any information of any important people.

    Social media is already a more accurate way to know the truth about some topics, than reading the media. In the future, it will surely be one of the most primary source for historians, if the data is retrievable or recoverable.

  50. @Beckow

    A complete elimination of transit fees would be equivalent to a major recession. The outcome could perhaps be even worse in that it could precipitate a new foreign currency crisis. That’s just math as you’re right to point out.

    My suspicion is that transit revenue will not be eliminated. The pipelines are still useful assets serving Gazprom customers and will continue to be used so long as the commercial terms are favorable for Gazprom and its customers.

    That implies a reduction in revenue, not elimination.

    Of course this still isn’t a good outcome for the Ukraine, but it’s not a disaster.

    The questions are:

    • How much revenue will be lost?
    • Over what time period will the revenue cuts be phased in?
    • How much more will gas for Ukrainian customers cost?

    We don’t have the answers to these questions yet. Putin is signaling that he wants to continue gas transit and for the Ukraine to pay market prices for energy.

    Poland as far as I know already pays market prices for Russian gas. It’s in the EU and not part of the “Near Abroad”. As much as the Poles hate Nordstream 2, they might actually benefit from it. An improved Russian bargaining position over the transit states could result in reduced gas prices for Polish consumers.

    The US fracking industry is sustainable with prices over $40 per barrel (not all of it, of course). The part of the oil industry that is no longer sustainable is far offshore ultradeep. Petrobras, Shell, and Chevron have all taken a bath on this. The Norwegians are abandoning ultradeep plans now, ostensibly because of “climate”, but perhaps cost is the real driver.

    The threats to the US fracking industry are not financial, but geological and political. While the oil industry is smugly gloating about the Peak Oil doomers getting blown out, shale formations are still subject to geology and reserves are not unlimited. The “left” also has a bizarre religious hatred of fracking and seeks to ban it wherever possible. New York state has substantial shale reserves, but their exploitation has been banned (a great source of anger in upstate New York). In my state they’re trying, unsuccessfully, to ban the sale of SAND to frackers. Apparently sand mining will cause our state to collapse into the center of the Earth.

    There is also a long-term threat in the form of Peak Oil DEMAND rather than supply. Exxon Mobil expects global oil consumption to peak in 2042, but Shell claims it will happen as soon as 2026. In an environment of static or even declining oil demand, the advantage moves to the lowest cost producers rather than those with the most production potential. The lowest cost producer is still the Persian Gulf.

    For now global oil demand is still rising, and conventional liquid production is declining. That puts the frackers in the catbird seat.

    Gas demand at least will remain robust for a lot longer owing to atomophobia and heating.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @DreadIlk
  51. @Beckow

    Sorry, forgot to answer this point:

    But leaving that aside, I only have one question: would you invest in it today? What return would you expect? One thing that could make it profitable is a war in the Middle East (or Venezuela or Russia), if prices go up, it will make money. But then other things will suffer, e.g. with more expensive gas, the Walmart shoppers might buy less.

    No, but not because I don’t think the industry is viable. I’m just not fond of capital-intensive commodity producers in intensely competitive markets. There’s no moat.

    That’s the sort of business that’s attractive if you’re actually in the business and have the necessary specialized knowledge and connections needed to invest directly (i.e. by developing your own oil wells).

    Integrated producers remain good stocks as they always have been. No one ever went broke owning shares in Exxon Mobil.

    Oil is a cyclical commodity, so if you get in when prices are low you can make a lot of money when prices rise. 1973-1985 and the naughties being good examples of this. You could be waiting a long time with that investment strategy however.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  52. @Thorfinnsson

    The Russian private sector has plenty of foreign debt because the Ruble is freely convertible and Russian borrowers willingly borrow abroad when they think the terms appear to be better. This caused major problems in 07-08 and again a few years ago when the Ruble tumbled in a major way.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/external-debt

    The Russian state has low debt because the Kremlin is obsessed with building up large reserves. It doesn’t borrow in foreign currency because that’s what banana republics without stable currencies and banks do–like Russia in the 90s.

    I see, thanks. I didn’t look up the figures for Russia and only went by what I have picked up from Western media, which often gives Russia’s credit market bad press.

    I’m impressed to see that Russian households have braved the high interest rates and taken on more debt since 2016 (as a percentage of GDP), now nearing the 2014 levels.

  53. @Thorfinnsson

    Even renewnable energy optimists like BNEF have revised their estimates on oil consumption upwards since a lot of previous analysis is overly focused on automobiles.

    Petrochemicals will continue to rise very rapidly. In the next 20 years, the humanity will build (out) more cities than we have ever had in history. A lot of this will require material where petrochemicals are of a necessity. There are many other examples where petrochemicals will be unavoidable and a lot of this is tied to urbanisation, population growth and general development.

    We aren’t getting rid of oil any time soon, nor are we necessarily peaking shortly either. But the demand curve is likely going to flatten quite a bit as the result of the shift to EVs.

  54. Beckow says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Putin likes to keep his threats in reserve, once you use the weapons, people adjust and they are not of much use. So he might keep some gas transit through Ukraine just to make Kiev sweat. Or not, he is getting oder, might get cranky. And winter is coming.

    As much as the Poles hate Nordstream 2, they might actually benefit from it.

    I have been telling them that – a coming shift to Baltic-centric energy corridors dramatically improves Poland’s position. Or it could. As it is, with their emotional Russophobia they will miss the opportunities. For the rest of us, sooner this is purely business based, and sooner we get rid of the deadbeats, better of we are.

    …I’m just not fond of capital-intensive commodity producers in intensely competitive markets. There’s no moat.

    Damn it, that has been my sweet spot! Now I see why I am bumming around provincial cities with over-dressed ladies singing Easter lullabies. I got to get me that moat…

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  55. I just cannot help, but see this result as a wholesale rejection of Ukrainian nationalism. Euromaidan has failed. “Ukrainian project” has failed.

    Zelensky doesn’t owe his victory to crazies, so they can expect no favors from the new regime. It’s back to cleaning toilets in Krakow, or whatever they were doing before the onset of Maidanism.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @sudden death
  56. Epigon says:

    With Ukraine being firmly ruled by Jews – Prime minister, President, oligarchy – when can we expect the Russians to destroy this Khazaria vol. II and liberate the enslaved inhabitants?

    What a joke of a country – supposedly ethnonationalistic “eternal Europeans as opposed to Asiatic Muscovites” subserviently bow down and are ruled by a minority, obediently toiling to enrich the minorities dominated oligarchic class.

    As I have already stated, Ukrainians are Russians disappointed and let down by Russian blunders and incompetence of 1850-1920 period.

    • Replies: @Matt Forney
  57. Beckow says:
    @Felix Keverich

    …see this result as a wholesale rejection of Ukrainian nationalism. Euromaidan has failed.

    It was a forceful rejection of a certain kind of Ukrainian nationalism: Russophobia, Bandera worship, servility towards the West. There is – or should be – a more normal Ukrainian nationalism of simply liking Ukraine and getting along with its neighbours.

    I like ‘nationalism‘, we need more of it, not less. The fact that the Maidan fanatics gave it such a bad name is a huge setback for national awakenings. The elections are devastating for the crazies and their unhinged Western sponsors. It turns out that in spite of the Maidan bravado and Western claims to ‘people revolution’, only around 1/3 of the country actually supports them, with a majority in only one region (Galicia).

    I suspect that the likes of AP, Mr. Hack will stay rather quiet in the next few days…

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @AP
  58. @Felix Keverich

    When result of legal political infighting beetween two Euromaidan sponsors (Kolomoisky/Poroshenko) and the lack of clearly pro Russian candidate in final round of election is being regarded as a failure of Ukrainian project/Euromaidan from Russopatriots then you know that Ukraine is actually on the quite right path 🙂

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Felix Keverich
  59. Epigon says:
    @sudden death

    Your chain is just the right length. Long enough so you can bite the Russians, short enough to prevent you from bothering and/or biting your master.

  60. Current figures (20% counted): https://cvk.gov.ua/pls/vp2019/wp313pt001f01=720.html

    Ze 73%
    Poroh 24%

    LOL.

    Couple of observations:

    1. Donetsk – 12% for Poroshenko. This is *higher* than in most of the rest of Novorossiya, inc. Odessa, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, even Dnepropetrovsk, where he got <11.0%. Donetsk (even the non-DNR bit) is the most oppositionist province in the country.

    Looks like there might have been some moderate fraud again there.

    2. Looks like Lvov is solidly in Poroshenko's hands after all (64% vs. 34%). But Ivano-Frankovsk and Rivne both voted for Ze.

  61. @Beckow

    We’ll see.

    We can certainly expect less svidomism and more practicality under Ze, but I am skeptical of him making any significant progress since he will otherwise be painted as a Russian stooge. He has ruled out abiding by Minsk II (autonomy for LDNR and amnesty for rebels), and his “reset” in talks on Donbass are to consist of inviting the UK and the USA into the Normandy Format.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  62. Matt Forney says: • Website
    @Epigon

    Foolish comment. There are Jews on both sides of Ukrainian politics. One of the most prominent anti-Euromaidan leaders, Vadim Rabinovich, isn’t just Jewish, he holds Israeli citizenship. Also, Russia has good relations with Israel: for example, Israelis enjoy visa-free travel to Russia and vice versa, a privilege that no other Western country save for South Korea enjoys.

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
  63. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This is not about Mr. Ze, he is clearly just a symbol. Close to 3/4 of the country, and close to 90% in the east and south voted against the sitting president and the establishment. It is unlikely that people who want more of the same current policies – war in Donbass, de-Russification, Bandera monuments – voted for Z.

    If we adjust for fraud and removal of millions of pro-Russia voters: Donbas, plus millions who work in Russia, Porky was probably around 15-20%.

    Zelinsky might not change anything, he might even be pushed into more stupid policies. That often happens when weak, protest candidates are placed in power – see Trump and his disastrous policies for a recent example: ‘more immigration!’, not less, more interventions. But what matters is what people have voted for, a data point that is devastating to the Maidan-Nato-war-with-Russia project. Ukrainians clearly don’t care for it.

    If Zelinsky becomes Porky II, he will be gone too. It seems that Ukrainians are still normal people after all. Except in Galicia, where they will probably invite a Habsburg monarch to rule over them and volunteer to clean Western toilets in perpetuity.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  64. Matt Forney says: • Website

    As I predicted, the Ukrainian election unfolded like the Georgian parliamentary election in 2012 did: radical pro-West reformer (Saakashvili/Poroshenko) gets tossed in favor of moderate pro-West reformer (Ivanishvili/Zelensky).

    Euromaidan permanently shifted Ukraine’s Overton window towards E.U. and NATO integration, much like the Rose Revolution in Georgia did. Zelensky isn’t going to change that, and if anything, assuming he can develop a power base, he might actually be more effective than Poroshenko given that he doesn’t have the stink of corruption around him, nor does he engage in lowest common denominator nationalist rhetoric. The fact that he unified all of Ukraine save for Lviv gives him a strong mandate, though his ability to carry out his agenda hinges on whether he can get the other forces in the government to back him (his party is leading in the polls for the upcoming parliamentary election, so we’ll see).

    Poroshenko could end up having to flee his country like Saakashvili did, but I doubt it. Saakashvili is a paranoid nut who started unraveling mentally after his country’s humiliation in the war with Russia; he’ll forever be remembered for that screwup and not for his transformation of Georgia into a reasonably prosperous state, clearing away the corruption and bureaucracy that characterizes virtually all ex-Soviet republics. The guy tried to kill himself to keep the Ukrainian secret service from arresting him for breaching the border, for crying out loud. Petro Poroshenko is the Yeltsin of the 21st century: a bloated alcoholic (look at him, he has obvious booze-face) who just wants to put in a day’s work and spend his off-hours in inebriated bliss. He’s unlikely to be enough of a loudmouth to anger the new regime in Kiev like Saakashvili would have been had he stuck around in Tbilisi.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, AP, Aedib
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  65. AP says:
    @Beckow

    The fact that the Maidan fanatics gave it such a bad name is a huge setback for national awakenings. The elections are devastating for the crazies and their unhinged Western sponsors. It turns out that in spite of the Maidan bravado and Western claims to ‘people revolution’, only around 1/3 of the country actually supports them, with a majority in only one region (Galicia).

    Galicia may have supported “Ze” by a small margin (or if not, he won by only a small margin), Lviv oblast voted for Poroshenko but Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil went for Ze.

    You are a fool if you think that this was about repudiating Maidan (Poroshenko was trying to sell this idea in his desperate attempt to get votes but not many bought it). Among Zelenko’s senior advisers are Maidan activists who were disgusted with Poroshenko’s backsliding on corruption. His military leader is a staunch pro-NATO guy disgusted by the army corruption. This is a continuation of Maidan.

    But you are a fool, we already know that.

    I preferred Hrytsenko or Smeshko and am concerned about Ze being an empty person with no experience and being Kolomoysky’s puppet (Kolomoyski, the guy who financed Right Sector, is hardly pro-Kremlin). But the idea that this election means rejection of Maidan is very dumb.

    Boyko and Opposition Bloc (Vilkul), not Zelensky, was the rejection of Maidan. Candidates Boyko and Vilkul got 11.67 and 4.15%, respectively. So 15%, mostly in the far east, rejected Maidan.

  66. AP says:

    BTW, LOL at Russian nationalists who claimed Poroshenko would never leave power peacefully and that Ukraine would never have a democratic election..

  67. Beckow says:

    …This is a continuation of Maidan.

    It is definitely a continuation of Maidan, Ukraine will have to ride the Maidan tiger to the bitter end, there is no escaping responsibility for starting a war against half of its population. But people in large numbers voted against Poroshenko and his war and anti-Russian policies. In that they have redeemed themselves.

    Kolomoysky lost his assets in Russia for financing Azov, they were confiscated. Unlike Poroshenko who has kept his assets in Russia till now, it could change once he is no longer in power. Maybe Z. will invade to get K’s assets back, why not, and that could be really funny.

    Electing Z. was basically 80% protest vote, nobody cares or knows what his policies are. He might try more war, less war, infowar, jokes, fly to Moscow, whatever – you are missing the point of his election, this is about the reality that a large percentage of people in Ukraine don’t want a war with Russia and rejected the post-Maidan leadership. If you don’t see it, you will be very disappointed as this unfolds. By the way, Ukraine is f..ed anyway, there is little they can do at this point to undo the fatal mistakes they have made. By voting for the Z. clown they seem to understand that. What is there to hold on to, why not a comedian?

    • Replies: @AP
  68. @AP

    I have a Twitter thread that essentially says what you and Matt Forney said. Too late here to type it up into a post now so here it is:

    • Replies: @Beckow
  69. Aedib says:
    @Beckow

    Contrary to the popular wisdom, Turk-stream and Nord-stream are not made with the purpose of strangling Ukraine. They are made to give Russia multiple and redundant transit options. Miller was crystal clear on the subject. Yes, it may give Russia the ability to close transit via Ukraine but the main goal is to have competing transit avenues to down transit fees. If fees via Ukraine are cheap, gas still will go to Europe via Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  70. Thumbhead says:
    @Matt Forney

    South Korea is a western country now? lol

  71. Beckow says:
    @Aedib

    What you describe is a distinction without much difference. The under-water pipelines have no fees, once they are built, it is all amortization of investment. When you compete against a route that has no fees, you have to be awfully cheap. How cheap can Ukraine pipelines be?

    The main point are volumes: if Russia needs the volume to go through Ukraine because the demand is so high that it exceeds Nord and Turk-streams, they will pump it through Ukraine. That will almost certainly happen because it profits everyone. But in the pecking order the direct under-water pipelines will always be cheaper and thus preferable.

    Turk-stream and Nord-stream are not made with the purpose of strangling Ukraine.

    That strays into motivation. I am not big on determining why people do something, motives are generally very hard to know for sure. People lie, people change their mind. What matters more than the purpose is what is the impact. The impact as I described above is rather obvious.

  72. Mr. Hack says:

    It’s very interesting to note that president elect Zelensky was born in and represents the Krivyi Rih area in Ukraine, in the southern part of Ukraine, right smack dab in the middle of what Karlin likes to characterize as Novo-Russia! It really doesn’t appear that this part of Ukraine wants to be a part of any sort of Russian creation, but is content to stay within the borders of the future Ukraine. Also, interesting to note, is that Zelensky won in every single oblast in Ukraine, except for one, Lviv oblast. For those of our readers here that don’t know, Lviv oblast makes up only 1/3 of the historic bogeyman “Galicia’. The other 2/3 of Galicia, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts both went for Zelensky. Perhaps, Ukrainians really aren’t as divided as the monotonous dialogue one reads at this blogsite seems to indicate. At least politically, Ukrainians across the country chose to vote for one candidate, quite unanimously too (74%). Stay tuned, should be interesting.

  73. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “rejection” of the Maidan. This is nonsense

    On a certain level I don’t disagree, Maidan is a reality and a building block, it will always be celebrated. Even if only as a myth of purity and of a new-start.

    But I am curious what would you consider a ‘rejection of Maidan‘? How would it look, what would happen? Once you consider that, you realize that what we just had – electing a comedian as a protest 5 years after Maidan – is about as close as we can ever get to ‘rejecting’ Maidan.

    Of course, true believers will forever claim that this is the ‘real Maidan’, the true Maidan, that some Maidan advisors are with Z. – but then what were the last 5 years? Or that Porky did slightly better than Yanukovitch electorally (did he?), whatever.

    The fact is that this doesn’t look that good, it looks like people are ‘rejecting’ something, what is it? And how is ‘Maidan’ not a part of what they are rejecting?

    • Replies: @AP
  74. @Mr. Hack

    Whenever did I say it wants to join Russia? I use “Novorossiya” to denote the eight S-E oblasts of the Ukraine that form an identifiable cluster in voting patterns. It is a very convenient term for that, and that it triggers overly sensitive svidomy is a further plus! 🙂

    Those divisions still exist, they were just papered over by the specifics of this election (popular centrist candidate vs. very unpopular “svidomy” candidate). The Russian vector has obviously become much less popular throughout the entirety of the Ukraine, but the same electoral geographic patterns remain.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  75. Dmitry says:
    @Matt Forney

    I don’t think Poroshenko had any problems of basic adequacy, like Yeltsin. Also remember Yeltsin was extremely charismatic, until he lost his mental capacities and reverted to being like a elderly child, after he was 60 years old around the time he became president, while Poroshenko’s problem is lack of charisma (although his wife was slightly charming).

    Sadly for Poroshenko, I don’t imagine any “Poroshenko Centre”, like there is the “Yeltsin Centre” making hi-tech and almost successful propaganda to school children about Yeltsin’s many brilliant “achievements” – unless Poroshenko will pay to built it for himself.

  76. @Beckow

    It’s not even about Maidan, although it accelerated the demise and made it more obvious, but the process started in 1991 and did not stop so far. Ukrainians have a knack of changing faces virtually every election (only the second president, Kuchma, was elected twice) while nothing that really matters changes: the thievery is going on apace, the standards of living and the population keep going down, etc. This is yet another case when the more things change, the more they remain the same.

  77. AP says:
    @Beckow

    But I am curious what would you consider a ‘rejection of Maidan‘? How would it look, what would happen?

    Voting for Boyko and/or Volkul. They got 15% combined support. There is your rejection of Maidan by Ukraine’s voters. Rather pathetic.

    Zelensky spent $1 million of his money on ATO. Zelensky’s defense guy is a hardcore NATO man who condemned Poroshenko for being linked to a man who stole money meant for the the military. Zelensky’s sponsor is the Maidanist who armed the Right Sector militia.

    To be sure, Zelensky promised to wind down the war, while continuing Ukraine’s pro-NATO and pro-EU path. Rather desperate to consider this softer approach to be a rejection of Maidan.

    electing a comedian as a protest 5 years after Maidan

    What was the protest against? NATO? No – Zelesnky is pro-NATO. EU? NO – he supports EU.

    As I have explained but you were too dense to understand, Maidan was about getting rid of Yanukovich, reorientation towards the west, and fixing corruption. The first two were accomplished, the latter wasn’t. Ukrainian voters decided Poroshenko wouldn’t do the last thing and punished him for not having done it. Zelensky promised the next phase.

  78. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    If you look at the actual numbers there is quite a bit of variance. There is a difference between winning with 56%, and 60% (Kiev), and 88 or 90% (Odessa, east). So I am not sure your point about unity is true – there is an obvious geographic split. It was a landslide win and that makes comparing win-loss column very skewed. There was very little winning by Porky.

    What is your point about Novo-Russia, that they are not separatists? Of course they are not – but they have massively rejected the current Kiev leadership. The idea that a few motivated Ukrainians from Galicia and Kiev will be able to rule over all of Ukraine has been dealt a huge setback. The fact that Porky won in central Kiev is also very ironic. Lviv and the elite government district – quite a basis of power in a country of 35-40 million people.

    You still don’t realize how devastating this result is. For one, no Western power will invest in the Ukrainian nationalist fight to control all territory and challenge Russia, it is hopeless. What they see is that in spite of full control the ‘Western Ukrainians’ (for lack of better term) simply will never able to win and rule in the whole country. That makes Western investment very dodgy and hard to sustain. You will see how quickly they will reset the expectations and basically tell Kiev: ‘make the best deal with Moscow that you can, but we are out‘. This by the way will happen even if Z. goes full war-like and outdoes Porky in anti-Russian militancy. There is simply no way to win and West can be stupid, but they eventually learn.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. Hack
  79. AP says:
    @Beckow

    there is no escaping responsibility for starting a war against half of its population

    Donbas was half of Ukraine’s population? LOL.

  80. @AP

    Yes, Akhmetov held his side of the bargain with Porky: he fielded Vilkul to split the vote and make sure that Boyko does not get into the second round at the expense of Porky. However, personally I would not trust either Vilkul or Boyko with a penny. Both of them, just like Yanuk and Porky, are typical representatives of the Party of Regions – scum.

    I like the suggestion of one political analyst familiar with Ukraine: Porky’s strategic mistake was that he did not put an option “against everyone” on the ballot. That would have greatly reduced Ze’s votes in the first round. It is entirely possible that with that option the second round would have been between two old well-known thieves, Porky and gas princess. Then Porky could have had a chance.

    • Replies: @AP
  81. @Beckow

    Churchill once said that you can always trust Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

    • Replies: @anon
  82. 216 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Most US military bases are in the Southern states, and Southerners have higher rates of enlistment.

    The bases have a secondary effect of dampening any mood for future separatism, which tends to be ignored by both the local “swine right” and the Bluestanis complaining about “red state welfare”.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  83. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Your reply is disjointed and betrays somebody who is uncomfortable in acknowledging that the recent election results indicate a Ukraine that was indeeed united in its choice for a new leader. Even 56% and 60% is quite impressive in a world where most leaders win by the smallest of margins. Only in Russia does a president win by 90% or more for over 20 years (president for life scenario). The fact remains, Zelensky won overall by garnering 74% of the votes in 99% of all oblasts! Your whining is pathetic – even Poroshenko hasn’t displayed such discontent and pessimism as you.

    All the rest of your paranoid fantasies are unfulfilled and don’t even merit a reply.

  84. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What I’ll come away with from this ‘debate’ is that like Poroshenko 5 year earlier, Zelensky promised to change the rules regarding parliamentarian immunity, presidential impeachment and generally to curtail corruption at the highest levels of government and society. We’ll see, don’t hold your breath – what do you think?…

    Pretty much every “Ukrainian” Presidential candidate makes this pledge you dimwit. In fact Poroshenko was elected on the belief , not that he was this pseudo-nationalist retard that he claims to be now ( 7 years ago his “Ukrainian” was abysmal)………but on a campaign/manifesto not too dissimiliar to that of Yuri Boiko’s for this year. Boiko I would say is only nominally “pro-Russian”

    On the issue of the debate, I concur with Karlin that it was intellectual excrement…….but I did find it interesting that on talking about Poroshenko’s claim of “achievements” on non-visa/language/church, Zelensky said that ……….

    visa-free “achievement” ……was down to Ukrainian diplomats and diaspora ( actually it was a non-achievement only delayed because Yanukovich didn’t put his signature to the same suicidal agreement that has practically sent Poroshenko/Valtsman to a humiliating defeat)

    the church farce …..was down to Filaret

    the language issue was hardly a success because he said that “Ukrainian” language existed before Poroshenko

    In reality none of those things are achievements

    Zelensky promised to change the rules regarding parliamentarian immunity, presidential impeachment and generally to curtail corruption at the highest levels of government and society. We’ll see, don’t hold your breath – what do you think?…

    What Ukraine needs is MORE corruption you idiot.Don’t you understand anything?
    When a failed state, a prostitute state, an artificial state is managed by the west ( by retards in the west I should add) sharply increases taxation demands, pricing, poverty skyrockets, importing and exporting of goods becomes uncessarily complicated……then corruption is a noble and essential way of all levels of society to unite and counter these conditions

    When you create an immoral and cowardly war against the Donbass people ……..then you guarantee corruption in the security services that has a big transnational flavour to it . When you make security an issue then you guarantee corruption in the security services as an essential way of state function

    How can you make an already f**ked up state be less corrupt when they have to 10 times or even 100 times more for the same goods and services….and pay more taxation to a state run in the sewer?

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  85. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The Russian vector has obviously become much less popular throughout the entirety of the Ukraine, but the same electoral geographic patterns remain.

    All that I wrote is that you like to refer to this area of Southeastern Ukraine as ‘Novorossiya’, I didn’t state that you directly propagated the view that this area ever wanted to leave Ukraine – this was done by several of the other commentators of this site.

    As for the quotation, your analysis is wrong, at least if taken by today’s election results. The ‘patterns’ seem to have converged, when both the West (perceived to be the most nationalistic part of Ukraine) and the Southeastern part (the least perceived nationalistic part) both backed and voted for the same presidential candidate. Something truly unique has occurred, that I don’t think has ever happened before…

    • Replies: @Beckow
  86. @216

    You are right, rates of enlistment are directly proportional to the general depression in the area. However, all this works only as long as there are money to throw into he Pentagon maw, or, to rephrase it in today’s terms, as long as there is someone willing to lend the US government more money. How long do you think this house of cards will stand?

    • Replies: @216
  87. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Lviv oblast makes up only 1/3 of the historic bogeyman “Galicia’. The other 2/3 of Galicia, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk oblast

    …but he won Tsernopil in the first round and Tymoshenko won Ivano-Frankivsk in the first round you dummy. The same regions he /Tymoshenko won or nearly won …were they same regions they or their equivalents have won or nearly won in the last 25 years…..and likewise the heavy & medium size defeats were in the same regions as usual
    8% in Odessa for Valtsman in the first round (LOL) what a desperate and pathetic disgrace…..one which resulted in him making the unprecedentedly corrupt move of firing the Odessa governor…..for not being corrupt enough in vote fraud!

    If anything this election reinforces exactly the same voting patterns of the last 25 years you cretin. The only difference being what form the Kiev( as in the major city, not the government) vote should take….which is not a surprise given the (relative ) ambiguity of the west and ukrop liberasts of who to vote for

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  88. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2

    It’s the second round that counts you imbecile! 🙂

  89. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    …Something truly unique has occurred, that I don’t think has ever happened before…

    You are right there: no large, modern country has ever elected a comedian with zero experience to be its leader. After a vey short 3-month campaign. In that way – and in a few other ways – Ukraine is indeed unique.

    But your point about ‘unity’ is wrong: there is no unity between Odessa and Lviv, and no unity between Kiev and Kharkiv. The variance is 30-40%, quite substantial.

    I agree with the point above that ‘None of the above’ would have won, or at least took votes from Z. So how does a successful, post-revolutionary country, 5 years after the euphoria, end up in a situation where a clear majority of people would vote for ‘none of the above’?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Gerard2
    , @AP
  90. 216 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Is there a large rate of enlistment by Puerto Ricans at the current time?

    h/t jayman

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/military-enlistment-rates-by-state-and-region/

    I don’t think enlistment has a direct proxy to depressed status. One of the biggest indicators of enlistment tends to be if your parent was also in the service. Perhaps the economic explanation makes sense for non-legacy enlistees.

    I think the current system can go on for longer than I’d wish it to. The EU has no indication that it wants to increase military spending, and anti-NATO sentiment is far lower than it was in the 1980s. If the ECB keeps buying Treasury bonds, we’ll keep selling them.

    Notice how even though a new BRAC was supposed to have occured by now, Trump scuttled any talk of it by raising the DoD budget.

    We also need a civilian BRAC, and an academia BRAC.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  91. anon[154] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    luckily Churchill was an expert on doing the right thing

    • LOL: Denis
  92. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    His children are not nationalists, just normal people

    But is Poroshenko a nationalist?
    Probably jewish.
    Owes his entire fortune due to Russian financing and Russian market ( with the mob connections of his father and diplomatic/financial/international connections of his father in law , ex Soviet Ambassador, certainly playing a big role)
    Have you seen videos of him trying to speak “Ukrainian” even as recently as 5 to 6 years ago?….worse than bad
    Not to mention his political “versatility” i.e turncoat in numerous direction in 20 years of politics
    From the video of his son speaking whilst drunk it seems clear that he speaks Russian as a primary language…would a nationalist parent allow that?

    But anyway if you look at places like India and Pakistan…they have both had their elites schooled /University in England, probably directly associating with each-other all the time…but it has not in anyway produced diplomatic breakthroughs, or stopped from engaging in a nationalist identity whilst in power

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  93. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    You are right there: no large, modern country has ever elected a comedian with zero experience to be its leader. After a vey short 3-month campaign. In that way – and in a few other ways – Ukraine is indeed unique.

    You’re wrong again! What about the US? Wasn’t Trump also a television superstar (many would even say a ‘comedian’) peddling TV commercials and sharing his pearls of ‘wisdom’ on the ‘Apprentice’ program, with absolutely no political experience? And although Reagan mostly played hollywood stoic types, he did manage to garner a few laughs in many of his old movies, and he’s considered to be one of the greatest US presidents of the 20th century. I think that its a little premature to throw in the hat quite yet on Zelensky – be careful that this ‘clown’ doesn’t get the last laugh over you! 🙂

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Beckow
  94. Gerard2 says:
    @Beckow

    You are right there: no large, modern country has ever elected a comedian with zero experience to be its leader. After a vey short 3-month campaign. In that way – and in a few other ways – Ukraine is indeed unique.

    LOL….does not do the accurate genius of your comment the justice it deserves

  95. anon[154] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Hack

    ….with absolutely no political experience?

    a billionaire in the private sector but no political experience, as though the second counts for anything

    • Replies: @AP
  96. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I am an agnostic on Zelensky, and if he makes us laugh, so much the better. But so far it is not really about him – his persona is purely symbolic, a stand-in for population who want something else than what they have now.

    Trump is a billionaire businessman with 40 years in public life, and he run an exhaustive 18 month campaign. He is definitely not a ‘comedian’, more like an oligarch, probably in that way closer to Porky. Reagan, if you wiki him, was a governor of California for 8 years, and run for president 3 times. So no, Zelensky is nothing like them.

    The key point in this election is the enormous and obvious dissatisfaction of the voters. This is 5 years after Maidan – if you guys think that this was a vote of confidence in the post-Maidan elite, well, that is completely deluded. The key question is not why Zelensky was elected, but how bad were the other 38 candidates for him to win so big and so easily. Shakespeare would say that there is something rotten in the state of Ukraine…but you are free to delude yourself some more.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @AnonFromTN
  97. anon[154] • Disclaimer says:
    @Beckow

    I am an agnostic on Zelensky, and if he makes us laugh, so much the better. But so far it is not really about him – his persona is purely symbolic, a stand-in for population who want something else than what they have now.

    its odd that nobody better is available, just like in the U.S. there will be no politicians in 2020 advocating for what got Trump elected – building a border wall and deporting the illegals

    or in Britain, it seems all mainstream candidates and parties support continued mass immigration even though its very likely the people don’t (and never did)

    • Replies: @Beckow
  98. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Yes, Akhmetov held his side of the bargain with Porky: he fielded Vilkul to split the vote and make sure that Boyko does not get into the second round at the expense of Porky.

    That’s like saying that Kolomoysky fielded Zelensky to spoil Poroshenko’s chance to win. So?

    Boyko is the only candidate that Poroshenko would beat one on one:

    http://ppi.org.ua/news/khto_bude_u_drugomu_turi_zmagatisja_z_zelenskim/2019-02-18-345?fbclid=IwAR0uVUzEtbPJ2ImsHJ-kTS1HCMC09cuMEO2_9nlq2M0tlgk2WJCW7pfFC4Y

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  99. AP says:
    @anon

    First doesn’t count for much, given the way he is a billionaire in the private sector (when inheriting lots of New York real estate, becoming a billionaire is automatic). Zelensky building up his little media company form scratch is probably no less impressive than Trump’s achievements.

  100. Beckow says:
    @anon

    There is an interesting point in ancient Plato dialogues that a democracy can only be judged by how much the actual results reflect what people want. If the results don’t reflect what people want, there is no democracy, no matter how often and how ‘fairly’ they hold elections. In other words, just having a ‘democratic’ process with no results is pointless. Of course, Plato strongly opposed ‘people’s will’, he thought it would be basically irresponsible, the better people should decide on everything. At least he was consistent.

    Today we have democracies that vote a lot, discuss a lot, but somehow the outcomes in key areas never reflect what most people want. With mass immigration, trade policies, pointless wars. The only rational conclusion is that those are really not democracies, they have some processes, they talk a lot, but no key decisions are actually decided by majority will. Plato would be proud of them. Zelensky is a shout into the wilderness against this hypocrisy. My guess is that nobody will hear it.

    • Replies: @AP
  101. DreadIlk says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Can you talk more about what you think is the future of energy. Peak oil scares me and I hear good things about nuclear but doesn’t that also get used up. Plus aren’t nuclear plants sitting ducks for terror attacks?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  102. AP says:
    @Beckow

    his persona is purely symbolic, a stand-in for population who want something else than what they have now.

    Well, he said pro-NATO and pro-EU, but anti-corruption. That’s what the people want. They want to keep pro-NATO and pro-EU but want a radically different approach to corruption.

    If they wanted to undo Maidan, go back to Russia, they would have voted for Vilkul and/or Boyko. Only about 15% of Ukrainians wanted that.

    Trump is a billionaire businessman with 40 years in public life, and he run an exhaustive 18 month campaign. He is definitely not a ‘comedian’, more like an oligarch, probably in that way closer to Porky.

    Trump inherited a lot of NY real estate and expanded his father’s empire, which was easy to do and required little skill because it was real estate in New York. Poroshenko had to use whatever cutthroat methods were necessary to become filthy rich in the post-Soviet space.

    Anyone who owned a house in Toronto before the influx of Hong Kong people would see their real estate value expand ten times in a few years. Are they all skillful businessmen?

    The key point in this election is the enormous and obvious dissatisfaction of the voters

    Indeed. The problem is that you can’t tell what they were dissatisfied about. You wish it was something more or different than what it was.

  103. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Yes, we know you miss the Sovok system. Just if it was run by younger people.

  104. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    The key point in this election is the enormous and obvious dissatisfaction of the voters. This is 5 years after Maidan – if you guys think that this was a vote of confidence in the post-Maidan elite, well, that is completely deluded.

    Zelensky ran on a pro EU platform and he was most definitely a supporter of the Maidan movement, so not much is left to the imagination than to accept that this vote was an overwhelming ‘vote of confidence of the Maidan’. Where he differs in the minds of his vast younger supporters is that he’s perceived to be the one who’ll finally get serious about fighting corruption (the part of the stool that Poroshenko failed miserably in supporting). How he’ll do is something yet to be seen. Your abilities of seeing into the future are almost as fabled as your ability to pick up hookers on the street corners of Slovakia, I only hope that you practice protected sex! 🙁

    • Replies: @Denis
  105. AP says:
    @Beckow

    no large, modern country has ever elected a comedian with zero experience to be its leader

    France elected a 39 year old investment banker with zero experience. America elected a reality TV star who owned a lot of real estate in Manhattan, with zero experience. Italy had a media mogul who started as a cruise ship singer, with no experience. As for small countries (I know you mentioned large ones in your comment) – Slovakia’s new president has political experience as some minor official in a small town (population 24,000) for a couple of years, which is close to zero. Croatia elected a pharmaceutical executive with zero experience. Slovenia has a former comedian who was mayor of a small town (so almost no experience) as its PM.

    Ukraine elected a comedian and board member/general producer of a media company with no experience.

    Looks like a global trend. This slide to populism continues to develop.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @Beckow
  106. @sudden death

    In the Ukraine oligarchs control access to politics. This election didn’t have a clear pro-Russian candidate because the oligarchs failed to present one. But Zelensky did collect pro-Russian vote. I can guarantee you that the people of Kharkov, Odessa didn’t vote for the fucking “European intergration”. lol

    • Replies: @sudden death
    , @anonym00se
  107. Denis says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Where he differs in the minds of his vast younger supporters is that he’s perceived to be the one who’ll finally get serious about fighting corruption (the part of the stool that Poroshenko failed miserably in supporting).

    Sure, but is he really any more likely to tackle corruption than Poroshenko? My guess is that he’ll be much better at giving corruption a nicer covering, but I highly doubt he’ll do more than that. According to AP he’s a puppet of Kolomoisky, which doesn’t really inspire confidence, if true.

  108. @Felix Keverich

    The oligarchs failed to present a clear pro-Russian candidate because they perfectly know that such one has zero chance to win it all since kremlins removed all of the Crimean voters and more than half from Donbas 🙂 In order to collect pro-Russian vote previously candidates were spewing all kinds of traitorous nonsense such as making Russian state language but now there is no need for it and that is huge positive shift.

  109. @sudden death

    There was no need for it this time, because of how repugnant Poroshenko was. But to get reelected and have his party represented in parliament Zelensky will need to offer something more.

    What’s your problem with Russian language?

  110. LondonBob says:
    @216

    I remember reading the stats on Vietnam and the South and Mountain West were the over-represented regions, and I see still are.

  111. Dmitry says:

    Whether Zelensky can reset or hopefully restore better relations with Russia, will depend less on Zelensky’s views – more on national mood in Ukraine, reaction of Russia and America, and whether parliamentary government of Ukraine will support this direction.

    * Poroshenko’s bloc still controls parliamentary government, while Zelensky does not have any political party of his own.

    * Trump is quite favourable for improving interstate relations with Russia, but there is not much support in the American population, or political support including his own political party, for this – even after Mueller Report disappointed “Trump-Russia conspiracy theories”. And the main area of conflict between America-Russia, is still Ukraine.

    * National mood in Ukraine, reacts a lot to Russia. There is some gentle optimism, this could be an opportunity for a reset of relations:

    — English text below —Выборы на Украине состоялись. Результат показал явный запрос на новые подходы при решении…

    Posted by Дмитрий Медведев on Sunday, April 21, 2019

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Gerard2
  112. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    France elected a 39 year old investment banker with zero experience. America elected a reality TV star who owned a lot of real estate in Manhattan, with zero experience. Italy had a media mogul who started as a cruise ship singer, with no experience. As for small countries (I know you mentioned large ones in your comment) – Slovakia’s new president has political experience as some minor official in a small town (population 24,000) for a couple of years, which is close to zero. Croatia elected a pharmaceutical executive with zero experience. Slovenia has a former comedian who was mayor of a small town (so almost no experience) as its PM.

    Ukraine elected a comedian and board member/general producer of a media company with no experience.

    Looks like a global trend. This slide to populism continues to develop.

    LOL…you are just (again) making up crap as you go on…in order to waste plentiful time in your worthless life

    Macron was Economic Minister and protege of the previous President and went to the main school of Frances’s “ruling elite” you dumb prick

    Berlusconi was a media mogul, successful businessman, owner of the most successful football team in Italy ( Italian football being hugely political in itself)& MP ( in other words, two decades of interwined business & political activity for 2 decades ) before becoming Prime Minister you stupid trap…..to call it false equivalence of him with the comedian would be understatement of the year

    America elected a reality TV star who owned a lot of real estate in Manhattan, with zero experience

    Errmmm…..Frequent political commentator for decades, winner of a an 18month political process with numerous debates, plenty of travelling and a billion of dollars of campaigning ( the Republican nomination)……before becoming Presidential candidate you diseased wh**re.
    More importantly being an owner of an international company with billions of dollars worth of property in New York and across the world…frequently dealing with rulers, ruling elite, oligarchs, post-soviet space ( Gruzia and Russia), Israel, Arab princes….was quite an important cog in his campaign of him being suited to the Presidency you idiot. High access /acquaintance to the biggest media moguls, business’s, politicians and rulers is quite a starting point….in addition his “populism” is standard Republican policies for the last few decades you cretin.

    As for Presidencies in Croatia and Slovakia………CEREMONIAL posts you braindead prick.

    So I can banned for telling the truth Karlin….but this blatant troll is allowed to waste time in it’s pitiful life for talking obvious nonsense……and obvious nonsense in the scope of the ulrop President hilariously being kicked out with a 50%+ defeat!

    Ukraine elected a comedian and board member/general producer of a media company with no experience.

    LOL….what’s most amusing about a vermin like you is the fantasy that is required for you to suddenly “defend” Zelensky, in a country you have never lived in or know anything about (outside of wikipedia)….over a comedian who you have certainly never seen any of his tv work over the last 20 years

    but yes…it’s more humiliating for Ukrainians now then Yeltsin at his most alcoholic for Russians, the freakshow that Badnerastan is enduring now….electing a comedian with zero political experience over a candidate with unprecedented western support over the last 5 years

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Beckow
  113. @Dmitry

    Trump is quite favourable for improving interstate relations with Russia

    His administration is strongly opposed and Trump is too lazy to involve himself personally. Volker, Pompeo and Bolton will manage the new Ukrainian government and do outmost to set it on a course of confrontation with Moscow.

    National mood in Ukraine, reacts a lot to Russia. There is some gentle optimism, this could be an opportunity for a reset of relations

    God, I sure hope we won’t give them any more freebies. We gave them a lot of free gas and somehow ended up owing money to the Ukraine.

  114. Gerard2 says:
    @sudden death

    such as making Russian state language

    LOL…..so making state language the most spoken language in the country ( by the way…Ukrainian isn’t a language you idiot), the language of the most popular television programs in the country , radio programs, newspapers, translation of Hollywood films, native language of the President (Poroshenko/Valtsman) and his wife, the FM and his wife, native language of most of the anti-Russian oligarchs ( has the excrement Kolomoisky EVER spoken Ukrop in his life?) , the language of the Interior Minister ( has Avakov EVER spoken Ukrainian in his life?), the language of the Presidents youngest son ( and his oldest son’s Russian wife), the language that most of the western diplomats & imported politicians speak in whilst working in Ukropia ( Saakashvili’s Russian being frenetic but entirely accurate)because they all recognise that the real issue for them is Russia and that Ukraine is just a worthless prostitute state ..and the language by which the President elect has used to make his wealth and become famous., the hugely dominant language of the “youth orientated” internet ( amusing to note that even with all the bans on Russian search sites and social media…..that Ukrainian google still had on it’s most searched things of 2018…..7 or 8 of the top 10 things being RUSSIAN events/tv etc)…..is “traitorous” you cretinous dimwit?

    The oligarchs failed to present a clear pro-Russian candidate because they perfectly know that such one has zero chance to win it all since kremlins

    err no you idiot. Because the oligarchs are a western creation, and can only utilise their wealth if the west allows them…then the media that they control only promotes anti-Russian position in the least democratic white society on the earth you dimwit. Even with all this ( by cheating) the current president only just got past the (nominally) pro-Russian candidate

    • Replies: @sudden death
  115. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Macron was Economic Minister

    That’s correct, I was wrong there.

    Berlusconi was a media mogul, successful businessman, owner of the most successful football team in Italy ( Italian football being hugely political in itself)& MP

    So zero experience as politician until he became PM.

    Frequent political commentator for decades, winner of a an 18month political process with numerous debates, plenty of travelling and a billion of dollars of campaigning

    Yes, Zelensky is much younger than Trump. But both had zero experiences as politicians prior to their successful elections.

    over a comedian who you have certainly never seen any of his tv work over the last 20 years

    I’ve watched his shows with some Russian friends who shared them with me, long before he ran for president. So?

    it’s more humiliating for Ukrainians now then Yeltsin at his most alcoholic for Russians

    In your wishes.

    I am not happy with someone so inexperienced as president, but the bottom line is that the people wanted corruption to be ended, it wasn’t, and the guy who failed to deliver this was peacefully removed from office by someone who promises to do something about corruption while maintaining the Western-oriented trajectory. There are much worse things.

  116. @AP

    The average Ukrainian has no idea that Ze is Kolomoyski puppet, surrounded by pro-NATO advisers. Ze was elected simply because he is not Porky. Poroshenko was the most pro-Western president in the country’s history and his crushing loss to a comedian is an emphatic rejection of the past 5 years:

    – ardent pro-Western “reform”, that impoverished average Ukrainians, and sent them fleeing.
    – attempts to forge a new pro-Western national identity on the basis of Banderism.

    These are the reasons, why Porky has become so reviled. And if Ze continues with this program, he’ll soon be just as hated as Poroshenko was.

    • Replies: @AP
  117. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    Trump is quite favourable for improving interstate relations with Russia

    Not at all because of his heavily pro-Israel position and Russia’s support of Assad and indirect alliance with Iran ( even though I would say the bilateral relation of Russia and Iran is poor)

    If Assad and Israel can become friends again….then maybe- but that won’t happen

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  118. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    His wife and her family are all very public and externally nationalist people.

    Son seems completely normal and on YouTube comments, is just arguing with people about football.

    After that, I was bored and stopped looking more, and just assume they should have privacy – it’s just normal young people in England.

    Probably, there will be no political dynasty even if they wanted to – they do not seem exactly Bushs or Clintons family.

  119. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    Israel wants to cut Syria from Iran (because with Assad as president, Syria is the main armaments line to Hezbollah).

    Syria in divided current state, with Russian and American control displacing some of Iran’s control other things equal, is an acceptable solution for Israel.

    Problem for Israel is, it’s an unstable and temporary situation – it is not really for Russia or America’s real interest, to be involved with Syria, beyond some small bases there. And the long-run trajectory, is slow and steady decrease to involvement in Syria.

    On the other hand, Iran – as a Middle Eastern country like Turkey – is actually committed in Syria, and will be staying in Syria, long-run after other countries decrease involvement. In 10 years, it will looked like the same as what happens with Iraq.

    Fortunately for Israel, American current government, is committed to very violent sanctions with Iran, which will reduce the problem from Israel’s viewpoint. Iran’s forces in Syria, and support of Hezbollah, is all expensive, and therefore dependent on their economy.

    Israel’s position relative to Syria is safe for now, as long as Trump is still the president and sanctioning Iran’s economy. If another Obama is elected, and removes American sanctions vs Iran, then Israel’s position will be trouble again. American presidents change to Democrat at least from 2024.

  120. @DreadIlk

    Peak oil in conventional liquids is true. What the peak oilers didn’t expect was for unconventional reserves to become economically exploitable. These “new” forms of oil are still subject to depletion, but since global oil demand is likely to plateau or even decline that doesn’t seem like a major concern to me.

    Atomic energy is generally the best choice for electricity generation (in certain areas hydro and solar are superior), but unfortunately in the West at least atomophobes have won the battle. There won’t be any substantial new construction of nuclear power plants outside of China and Russia. I don’t believe that generation IV nuclear reactors will change this equation since it’s based on hysterical fear.

    Atomic energy plants are pretty hard targets for terrorist attacks in that they’re literally fortified, well secured, and tightly regulated (making for instance workforce infiltration difficult). They also do not have gigantic explosive potential like gas plants do.

    The future of energy can’t really be forecasted. The only hard prediction I will make is that the sky will not fall and doomers of any variety will be wrong as usual.

    Did anyone predict the fracking boom? Go back in time a little more than a decade and people were talking about cheap oil being gone forever and how countries like Russia and Canada would be tremendously more powerful and prosperous. There was also a lot of talk about America’s vast coal reserves as a wonderful strategic asset owing to oil & gas being so expensive. Now coal struggles to survive.

    Going back to 1960, did anyone predict the Energy Crisis? Or the rise of religious hatred of nuclear power and hydroelectric dams?

    A major surprise to me is that solar panels have become cost effective in many places. Admittedly this shouldn’t have surprised me, but bias blinded me.

  121. @Beckow

    You are wasting your breath. Psychiatrists tell me that mental disorders are incurable. Haloperidol might relieve the worst symptoms of svidomism, but nothing can cure this disease.

  122. @AP

    Kolomoisky never even tried to disguise his desire to punish Porky, as Porky stole much of his loot. I am not saying that one scum is any better than the other, but in this round Kolomoisky won and Porky lost.

  123. @sudden death

    Making one language privileged in a heterogeneous country like Ukraine is spelling doom. Maybe you consider suicide a positive shift, but most people don’t.

  124. Beckow says:
    @Gerard2

    …Presidencies in Croatia and Slovakia………CEREMONIAL posts you braindead…

    In Slovakia the President is ceremonial, but Ms. Caputova victory was still symbolic because it was a countrywide, direct vote, although the turnout was low. It showed the division in the society: we have an agile and active globo-liberal group who pop up every few years with new faces. The ‘new face’ never lasts.

    They control most of the media, culture, but mainly the capitol cafe shops. Other than that, they could not find their way out of a grocery bag. It is not clear what most of them do; I hear lately ‘experimental‘ theater is big and a surprising number also does temporary gigs in the Third World as cannon fodder for Western charities.

    A small point about your style: could we tone it down? It is tempting to call each other everything under the sun (often even funny), but maybe letting our varied views speak for themselves is a better way to promote thinking. Just a thought.

    I generally think that all feedback is a gift, and when I am called some incomprehensible term from a far away eastern past, I am amused, they might as well call me a Hun raider, that would be equally irrelevant. But the local Habsburg worshippers – possibly even blood descendants of the inbred clan – don’t have it easy: they have been losing for about 100 years straight, and it is just getting worse. So latching on to Zelensky and pairing him up with the (still) pretty good looking Caputova is all they have. Don’t be so cruel.

    • Agree: Denis
  125. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Slovakia’s new president has political experience as some minor official in a small town (population 24,000) for a couple of years

    She was a notary. I am not sure what notary still does, but they use a lot of colorful stamps. She is also hot, single and has 2 even better looking daughters. We are very shallow people, life is good.

    Her main role will be to preside over academic ceremonies, unveil a few statues, and of course, the buffets. I hope she keeps her figure, there will be a lot of potato salad.

  126. @Beckow

    Exxon Mobil thinks it can hit $15 per barrel production costs in the Permian Basin in Texas, that would be competitive with anything gulf states can do if they are right. Even if they are wrong and can’t get that low they are still going to be undercutting a lot of OPEC.

    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2019/03/14/exxon-thinks-can-lower-permian-drilling-costs-15-barrel

    As for LNG, it’s not just US LNG I think Poland’s first received shipment of LNG came from Qatar. Qatar as I understand it is betting big on LNG and aiming to become one of the largest global producers. I do not think LNG is going to replace Russian pipeline gas for Europe but the fact that countries all over the world are building terminals now, the terminals are backed up with orders for years and even skeptical countries like Germany which resisted the idea are now building terminals, it is probably going to be economically successful and there is a market for it to exist and grow.

    Poland is expanding it’s LNG port because it’s already financially successful for the terminal operators and capacity is already booked up for years.

    What figures I can find from googling around suggest US LNG is about 10-20% more expensive to produce than Russian pipeline gas per BTU, not 50%. Not sure about Qatari LNG.

    Even if it costs more money there is plenty of sense for Poland to diversify. Not just with LNG ports but they are also building their own Baltic pipeline through Denmark to Norway, and building pipelines and electric utilities to link up all the Baltic states. The are pushing their own Baltic infrastructure hard. They have been trying to acquire nuclear power plants as well and the government wants to have the first one online by 2030 but they have been having difficulties.

    They have plenty of coal but the EU is gay.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  127. If I was running for leader of Ukraine I would win because I would not only promise to join the EU, NATO and Visegrad but also the G7, the Spanish soccer league, the Association of South-East Asian Nations and the International Space Station.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  128. @Lars Porsena

    Sounds about right. For every Ukrainian election, not only the one in 2019. Fooling the fools has its sweet moments.

  129. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The average Ukrainian has no idea that Ze is Kolomoyski puppet

    LOL.

    Ze was elected simply because he is not Porky.

    There were many not-Poroshenkos. Ukrainians picked a pro-Western one, rather than a Boyko or Vilkul.

    Poroshenko was the most pro-Western president in the country’s history and his crushing loss to a comedian is an emphatic rejection of the past 5 years:

    – ardent pro-Western “reform”, that impoverished average Ukrainians, and sent them fleeing.
    – attempts to forge a new pro-Western national identity on the basis of Banderism.

    When you do not share nonsense that it is always 2015 in Ukraine, you write this nonsense. Such a wishful thinker.

    Ukrainians like the pro-Western orientation and still support it. Sadly, they tolerate Banderism too much. But they are really fed up with the corruption. This was what cost Poroshenko his job.

  130. Beckow says:
    @Lars Porsena

    How many of those $15/barrel would Exxon produce?

    US LNG – and Qatari – requires substantial fixed investments on both sides, plus the transportation costs. When those costs are added, it is quite a bit more pricey.

    There is an LNG port in Lithuania that has mostly sat idle. Yes, they are potentially viable, but so is sticking a trillion square meters of gas in an underground storage somewhere to manage the market. Ask yourself while that is not done much any more (fixed cost + risk).

    Norway production is running out, building a pipeline there might not be the smartest thing. Connecting energy poor Baltic nations with each other is cute, but who will put in the staff to ship. Maybe Estonia could burn its peet deposits?

    Qatar has a choice: ship through Suez or around Africa to LNG ports in Europe, or ship to closer Asian markets where price are usually higher. If there was a pipeline to Mediterenean it might be different (Syria?).

    Nuclear could fix this. Poland will find out that EU regulations and pathological German fear of ‘the atom’ will make it quite expensive to build.

  131. @AP

    The Ukraine has always been corrupt country, always will be. Ukrainians accept corruption as a fact of life.

    Yet no incumbent president has been rejected as roundly as Poroshenko was. Corruption cannot be the explanation for it, unless…you accept my proposition that corruption actually gotten worse after Euromaidan. 😉

  132. @Felix Keverich

    The Ukraine-occupied Donbas voted 90% for Zelensky. AP and Mr. Hack would have us believe that those people are also Maidan acolytes who just want a super-corrupt pro-Western oligarh that will ‘tackle corruption’ (the idea of someone whose entire fortunate and powerbase are based on outright thievery and war-profiteering tackling corruption in the first place is beyond absurd, but I digress). The fact of the matter is that this was a massive protest vote with hyper-svidomy Ivano-Frankivsk and Russophile Donbas both giving Porky and his gang of thugs and thieves the middle finger. The ideological blinkers and outright refusal to see reality that some of our resident (obviously quite intelligent) Ukrainian nationalists display are disturbingly reminiscent of the Russiagate horseshit that s many otherwise intelligent folks have swallowed here in the States. That the Wst is interested in the well-being of the Ukrainian people – instead of simply using the Ukraine as a geo-political bludgeon against Russia with about as much concern for the Ukrainian people as for the Lybians of Iraqis; that Ukraine is headed into the E.U. and NATO – although neither were ever even remotely on the table, and above all that the current winners of the oligarch-musical-chairs that is Ukrainian politics (remember that Poroshenko was one of the founders of the “pro-Russian” Party of Regions and was even Yanukovich’s Minister of the Economy) are doing everything in their power to bring the European Paradise closer to Ukraine is simply taken as dogma and any evidence to the contrary is simply swept aside cuz REASONS (usually pathetic clutching at straws, e.g. AP claiming in full seriousness that a picture of a pedestrian strolling around in clean clothing is ‘proof’ that Lvov is a thriving European metropolis).

    For those that don’t know, Poroshenko owns one of the biggest T.V. stations in the country, beaming into virtually every Ukrainians home (Ukraine has the lowest internet penetration level in Europe, so TV is still very important). He also had several fairly sophisticated voting falsification schemes going. Didn’t do him any good. The people who supported the Maidan were simply sold a bill of goods. ‘European integration’ in the sense they understood it – that is a series of reforms to improve governance and raise living standards in order to ready Ukraine for ascension to the E.U. was never on the table. The reason why Yanukovich refused to sign the E.U. association agreement was not, as current historical revesionists and svidomist ideologues would have us believe, because he was ‘pro-Russian’ or ‘corrupt’. It was because the committee of economists from the Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine tasked with studying the agreement and giving their recommendations told him it would spell economic suicide for the country. The main gist was that if Ukraine’s industries could not be retooled to E.U. standards, Ukraine would have to dismantle them and open its markets to E.U. products (which, conveniently enough do fit said standards LOL). The price tag for this was estimated at 160 billion euro. Obviously the Ukraine doesn’t have that kind of money and no country or organization would lend it to Ukraine. Yanukovich stalled for time, and trito play the E.U. off against Russia, hoping to get a better deal. We know how that turned out. Another proviso of the agreement was the ending of all customs and trade preferences for Russia. The Russians tried to mediate a ‘win-win’ agreement whereby Ukraine could join an E.U. association agreement and the E.E.U., but the E.U. badly needs markets it can dump cheap crap that isn’t competitive in the E.U. itself. The Ukraine was one such market, particularly if competition from native industries is eliminated by simply destroying said industries per the association agreement, and it had no intention of sharing the Ukrainian market with Russia. It bears repeating that neither E.U. membership nor even a path to such membership was ever on the table – that’s just a crock of shit the Ukrainian oligarchs who decided that closer integration with the West was in their financial interests concocted and spoon-fed the public, to get their citizens, particularly young and naive students dreaming of a better life, on board with the Maidan. While the neo-Nazi bacchanalia that accompanied the Maidan, it is my opinion that the Donbas revolted primarily because they realized that the E.U. Association Agreement would be economically suicidal particularly for the industrialized regions of the country that depend so heavily on the Russian market.

    • Replies: @AP
  133. @AP

    The Ukraine has been a cleft country since its inception with the west being, (naturally) pro-Western, the east, particularly the Southeast being Russophile, and the center more or less split. I may be misunderstanding you, but you appear to be claiming that Ukrainians as a whole (as opposed to the populations of Galicina, Zakarpatia and a few other areas are somehow intrinsically pro-Western and simply needed to chase out the corrupt pro-Russian party poopers in order to reassert their identity and, as the bloviating corrupt swine Poroshenko likes to put it “rejoin their common European family”. This is simply not the case. The pro-Western orientation of the Ukraine (again, as a whole, not the ~50% that has historically graviated towards the West) depends on the relentlessly propagandized population continuing to believe two demonstrable falsehoods:

    a. that the conflict in the Donbas is not a civil war but rather a Russian invasion that has been heroically fought to a standstill by the valor of the Ukrainian army and assorted neo-Nazi “volunteer battalions”

    b. that the association agreement Ukraine signed with the E.U. and its general subjection to outside rule from Washington (and, to a lesser extent, Berlin) is a stepping stone to eventual E.U. membership and a concomitant convergence to European levels of economic well-being.

  134. @Gerard2

    LOL…..so making state language the most spoken language in the country ( by the way…Ukrainian isn’t a language you idiot), the language of the most popular television programs in the country , radio programs, newspapers, translation of Hollywood films, native language of the President (Poroshenko/Valtsman) and his wife, the FM and his wife, native language of most of the anti-Russian oligarchs ( has the excrement Kolomoisky EVER spoken Ukrop in his life?) , the language of the Interior Minister ( has Avakov EVER spoken Ukrainian in his life?), the language of the Presidents youngest son ( and his oldest son’s Russian wife), the language that most of the western diplomats & imported politicians speak in whilst working in Ukropia ( Saakashvili’s Russian being frenetic but entirely accurate)because they all recognise that the real issue for them is Russia and that Ukraine is just a worthless prostitute state ..and the language by which the President elect has used to make his wealth and become famous., the hugely dominant language of the “youth orientated” internet ( amusing to note that even with all the bans on Russian search sites and social media…..that Ukrainian google still had on it’s most searched things of 2018…..7 or 8 of the top 10 things being RUSSIAN events/tv etc)…..is “traitorous” you cretinous dimwit?

    All this stream of consciousness just perfectly illustrates that Ukrainian users of Russian language, many of whom are powerful persons, can use it freely without any imaginable opressions and are not discriminated in state apparatus.

    Because the oligarchs are a western creation…

    Oh yeah all those western creations such as Akhmetov, Levochkin, Medvedchuk, Pinchuk, Kurchenko etc 🙂

  135. AP says:
    @anonym00se

    The Ukraine-occupied Donbas voted 90% for Zelensky. AP and Mr. Hack would have us believe that those people are also Maidan acolytes who just want a super-corrupt pro-Western oligarh that will ‘tackle corruption’

    No, nice straw man. Think more carefully before posting, you are not dumb.

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