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Latest reports that Kiev is planning to impose martial law.

Anyhow.

Poroshenko’s only real hope of getting reelected is by having a short victorious war (as I suggested back in May).

Though the “victorious” part will be really hard.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Geopolitics, Piracy, Ukraine 
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  1. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    O/T

    What’s up in Armenia? Is the country going into the EU orbit?

    • Replies: @g2k
    , @Cato
    , @Seraphim
  2. Epigon says:

    In Putler’s Russia, border violates you.

    On a more serious note: transparent really uncreative turn of events that was predicted even by Timoshenko months ago: https://strana.ua/news/150018-poroshenko-khochet-vvesti-voennoe-polozhenie-i-sorvat-vybory-timoshenko.html

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  3. Reading Unz.com the past little while I conclude this has something to with autocephaly (which kinda sounds like fun).

  4. Adam says:

    What are the odds that this escalates to an actual war? It would certainly be preferable to have some kind of conclusion rather than an endless frozen proxy conflict.

    • Replies: @joun
  5. Vendetta says:

    Ukraine’s latest provocation is embarrassing even by their standards. Two 50-ton gunboats (an export design for river and lake patrol in Uzbekistan, taken into service by Ukraine in lieu of their ability to afford anything better) and a tug, sent to challenge the Russian fleet in its home waters.

    LOL!

    These “gunboats” have an armament of a 30 mm autocannon and a few automatic grenade launchers. For perspective, a T-72 tank parked near the shore would have no trouble blowing one of these boats out of the water, and the gunboat’s weapons wouldn’t even be able to land a scratch on it in return.

    This maybe the most pathetic show of naval force the world has witnessed in the last century.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @AP
    , @Anon
  6. peterAUS says:
    @Vendetta

    Pretty much, more or less.
    The cannon with proper ammo IS able to do much more than a scratch in that exchange. Academic, of course, here.

    And, the 30 mm cannon barrel(s) were prudently and carefully covered.

    Pathetic attempt in technological/tactical sense for sure, BUT, in the world we live in that means nothing.

    It’s all about managed perceptions and agendas.

    I can’t see the regime in Kiev doing this without approval from..ahm…abroad.

    The question I don’t have an answer for now is..why now?

    What Washi…I mean, Kiev, was/is hoping to achieve here?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mitleser
  7. joun says:
    @Adam

    The odds are exceptionally low. A frozen conflict isn’t necessarily an unwelcome outcome.

  8. @peterAUS

    To prolong the existance of the regime. Ukrainian election is scheduled to take place next March. Poroshenko is currenly polling at 8% and has incentives to take risks.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @peterAUS
  9. JLK says:

    There are a lot of threats being passed back and forth between Russia and the US right now, many out of (or almost out of) public view.

    Truly a pivotal time in history.

    • Replies: @joun
  10. joun says:
    @JLK

    Where might I read about some of these threats?

    • Replies: @JLK
  11. Cyrano says:

    I think that this is another example of Ukrainians taking things too literally. I guess they’ve must have heard from their mentors – US, about gunboat diplomacy.

    US probably failed to mention to the Ukrainians that gunboat diplomacy is not likely to be very effective if that’s all you got – gunboats.

    Then again, the US could have really played a prank on the Ukrainians by telling them that there is such a thing as inflatable raft diplomacy. Imagine the embarrassment on the faces of those “diplomats” upon reaching the Russian shores.

  12. JLK says:
    @joun

    Where? I’d go right to the propaganda outlets like rt.com and svoboda.org instead of what is filtered through the mainstream media.

    Read between the lines.

  13. Not relevant to this topic, but to follow up on your twitter feed, but apparently the AP is reporting that the trials in question have already resulted in live births. The first genetically engineered humans have already been born. Apparently 7 pregnant women carrying the engineered children for the trials, the first of which have already come to term resulting in the birth of twin girls.

    Resistance to HIV and Cholera is all nice and all, but I want my future descendants to be superhuman demi gods with strength, intelligence, reflexes, and fortitude all at least 3 standard deviations above the base homo sapiens sapiens norm. Why roll the dice when you can min-max your descendants or better yet fix the random number generator in your favour.

    • Replies: @utu
  14. AP says:
    @Vendetta

    Ukraine’s latest provocation is embarrassing even by their standards. Two 50-ton gunboats (an export design for river and lake patrol in Uzbekistan, taken into service by Ukraine in lieu of their ability to afford anything better) and a tug, sent to challenge the Russian fleet in its home waters.

    Assuming it was deliberate (probably was, but error cannot be ruled out) do you really think the purpose was the beat the Russian Navy, or to get the Russians to respond in a way that would be advantageous to Ukraine?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Beckow
  15. utu says:
    @Duke of Qin

    I want my future descendants to be superhuman demi gods with strength, intelligence, reflexes, and fortitude all at least 3 standard deviations above the base homo sapiens sapiens norm

    They won’t be your descendants. You descendant can be smarter than you only if you couple with a very smart women and then their smartness will be more hers than yours.

  16. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:

    “Poroshenko’s only real hope of getting reelected is by having a short victorious war.”

    Ah, the farce of democracy continues. Remember back when Bush justified illegally attacking Iraq with claims that democracies “don’t go to war with each other”? What a close-mined, ahistorical view of reality.

  17. So, can anyone predict:

    1. Whether this will actually become a formal war between Russia and Ukraine?

    2. If Ukraine loses (most likely), what will happen to it?

    3. Will this cause Russia sanctions to get upgraded to Iran levels?

    • Replies: @AP
  18. Mikhail says: • Website

    CNN just ran an overly biased account that included the unchallenged input of this establishment individual:

    https://twitter.com/MarkHertling?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    The UNSC will be meeting on this issue today.

  19. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:

    “CNN just ran an overly biased account that included the unchallenged input of this establishment individual”

    Pro tip: most of the more prominent American “news” sites such as CNN and the NYT are state propaganda by proxy. The government may not directly staff or fund them on paper (they do clandestinely through tax breaks and payment for services rendered schemes – and there is a revolving door between media employees and the US federal government), but the people who run and influence these outlets do speak for the US government/deep state; hence, the schizophrenic love/hatred for Trump: they love the guy when he carries out deep state policies such as attacking Syria but hate him when he publicly challenges their empire by pointing out uncomfortable facts about NATO or threatens their immigration plans (they are trying to compete with China in terms of population). Public opinion be damned.

    The NSA infiltrates tech companies and international bodies in order to influence tech policy making in their favor, and I can promise other government agencies do the same with the media. They did in Iraq when they embedded reporters – an effort to reduce negative criticism. You don’t think they do the same with the Times and CNN? You don’t think it’s merely a coincidence that all of these early Trump admin leakers were leaking to their former roommates at prominent “news” sites until that fact was pointed out, do you? My, what a coincidence. One might be led to believe that some prominent “journalists” got their jobs based on who they know in the government and not based on their talent or CV.

    Don’t you find if funny how outfits like the WaPo – ostensibly accountable to paying readers – could be so pro-war in spite of public opinion/the opinion of their own readers? Well, I’m sure that CIA funding/US mail subsidy/non-enactment of anti-trust legislation against an obvious monopoly to Jeff Bezos’s Amazon has nothing to do with that…hint, hint. And you don’t find it funny that the NYT, the same outfit that supported Bush’s Iraq War, could be so tone-deaf as to post a cartoon attacking Trump for defending the borders with a group of US soldiers telling him they signed up to fight wars in the Middle-East, instead? In my experience, virtually none of these enlisted guys signed up for that. It’s almost like the government and its shills are trying to tell people what to think as opposed to merely relating public opinion objectively, hint hint.

  20. anon[288] • Disclaimer says:

    “Whether this will actually become a formal war between Russia and Ukraine?”

    My hope is that the Americans will tell the Ukrainians to STFU. However, democracy is rule by idiots, so who knows. And Trump has surrounded himself with the likes of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo – two utter buffoons.

    “If Ukraine loses (most likely), what will happen to it?”

    Not sure. A formal declaration of war must be met with extraordinary seriousness, in my opinion. If I were the Russians, I might remove Ukraine’s ability to make war by eliminating its government in an opening salvo – similar to what the US tried doing to Iraq circa 2003 – the hope being a quick end to the conflict without sparking a conflagration elsewhere. The danger here is that there might not be anyone left to sign a peace treaty with or that attacking their government makes an all-out slugfest inevitable; in such case, Russia should invade and take the entirety of the country in perpetuity*. But the benefit, assuming success, is that an unpopular loser is removed from power, breaking the backs of the Ukrainians in the process and perhaps leading to a cease-fire quickly; it’s better than the alternative: drawn out war.

    “Will this cause Russia sanctions to get upgraded to Iran levels?”

    That’s probably what they are aiming for.

    The Russians should wait for a declaration of war first before striking. This will muddy the waters a bit since it would be the Ukrainians who technically started things, and the American public will have no stomach for confrontation against a country seen to be merely defending itself against a war declaration.

    *Seemingly resource intensive, but Russia would not need to occupy the entire country to get something out of it. They could merely disband/destroy Ukrainian armed forces and maintain a moderately-sized force outside of the urban areas tasked with preventing the formation of any serious attempt to rebuild a Ukrainian military through airstrikes and special forces raids. Basically, hunker down and prepare for siege warfare – destroy arms shipments to Ukraine and destroy/permanently keep down their military while otherwise leaving the country alone to make its own policies.

  21. @AP

    It was a smart trap. They sent these boats to Crimean waters, so that Russian invocations of international law would sound feeble, so Russia had to do something. First they sent some small ships, which resulted in the ramming (again seems to be deliberate with the Ukrainian boat simply stopping in front of the Russian vessel), and then when they persisted, Russia finally stormed the vessels. Had it not done so, I’m sure the Ukrainian boats would’ve eventually found a way to provoke Russia further. I don’t think there was a smarter course for Russia.

    • Agree: melanf
  22. Ukraine’s fleet has not yet perished.

  23. neutral says:

    It is safe to assume that all such actions needs to be authorized with their US masters first. So the question is what the the US wants to achieve with this? They don’t really need excuses to do sanctions as they create new ones from a whim, so one must assume that they either want to add Ukraine into NATO using some kind of crises narrative or they really want to have an open war with Russia.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  24. @neutral

    The US is deeply dysfunctional, unfortunately, so it’s possible that Poroshenko (who has his own reasons with the election approaching) simply got encouraged or vaguely authorized to escalate by some deputy assistant secretary in an office of a bureau in the Department of State. And that this official never considered the risks of a further escalation or what Russian reactions might be (there’s a reason he never got promoted to assistant secretary), and that some of his bosses might be horrified by all this.

    Then, contrary to what you wrote, the possibility that they want to use it for further sanctions cannot be ruled out. While the US can sanction Russia at whim, this is not true of lower level DOS officials. So they might encourage the Ukrainians to escalate in the hope of being able to push the US government or Congress to introduce further sanctions.

  25. US reconnaissance aircraft is flying close to the Crimea, both to the south over the Black Sea and to the north in Ukrainian airspace.

    https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-force-aircraft-makes-reconnaissance-mission-in-ukrainian-airspace.html

  26. AP says:
    @AquariusAnon

    1. Very doubtful

    2. Land corridor to Crimea, perhaps loss of Kharkiv.

    3. If invasion of Ukraine – most likely.

    ::::::::::::::

    I doubt elections will be cancelled; small chance of delay. Most likely martial law will mean populist crackdown on oligarchic anti-Poroshenko media which will serve two purposes = make anti-Poroshenko nationalists happy, and limit anti-Poroshenko articles in media. Idealistically (but doubtfully) extra-legal corruption crackdown against non-Poroshenko figures (Putin-like consolidation).

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  27. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:

    Glorious victory for make benefit Poroshenko! :-D :-D

  28. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:

    There are rumors about that this could have been intended as something more serious than an election prank for Porky. From Sic Semper Tyrannis:

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/11/incident-in-the-kerch-strait-ttg.html

    I can’t vouch for it, of course. But it really makes you wonder what’s going on.

    • Replies: @Swarmy Greek
  29. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:

    @RonUnz

    There could be a lot more to this than we know. A lot more!

    nb: TTG is a high-IQed guy (RPI grad) who spent his career in the U.S. military in Joint Special Operations Command. He’s a regular contributor over at the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog and is drawing attention to an anonymous post of SouthFront.

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/11/incident-in-the-kerch-strait-ttg.html

    Incident in the Kerch Strait – TTG

    Earlier today Russian Navy, Coast Guard and Aerospace Forces intercepted and captured three Ukrainian vessels as they attempted to pass through the Kerch Strait en route to Mariupol. Russian authorities claim the Ukrainians failed to coordinate the passage and illegally entered Russian territorial waters. Ukraine claims their ships were illegally seized during a routine transit of the Strait. A detailed account of the incident, including a video of the deftly executed collision with the tugboat, can be read on the SouthFront site and many other sites by now.
    These types of incidents occur from time to time. Remember the Navy patrol boats seized by the Iranians? They’re eventually resolved after much huffing and puffing and diplomatic activity. What strikes me about this incident is the lengths the Russians went to in stopping one Ukrainian tugboat and two small gunboats. The passage under the Kerch bridge was blocked by a large cargo ship. Two each Su-25 aircraft and Ka-52 attack helicopters flew overhead. The surface fleet consisted of several Sobol and Mangust class fast patrol craft, and a Svetlak class corvette. That tugboat was not going to pass through the Strait or get close to that new Crimean Bridge. Was there more to this than a mere provocation or coordination SNAFU? The following anonymous comment is from a SouthFront article. It may be just a conspiracy theory from a tinfoil hat wearing crazy. The commenter definitely has a flair for the dramatic. It may be disinformation. But what if there’s some truth in it? If so, holy crap!

    ————

    Very important Info appeared briefly on Russian media (before being scrubbed) that a NATO SADM, possibly a Diver deployable device, was being transported by Ukrainian and British Special Forces to the Kerch Straight to be used on the Crimean bridge. The device was being tracked by the Russians and they knew it had been loaded on to a Ukrainian Tug (escorted by 5 warships!! – 3 in the Black Sea, including one NATO vessel, and 2 waiting in the Sea of Azov).
    This is why the Russians acted!
    They never react with force and have never blockaded the Sea of Azov. Ground attack jets and Helicopter gunships, plus a warship armed with ASM and Torpedos were waiting.
    This level of force would not be used just for a tug and a few old Ukrainian ships. But a tug carrying a tactical nuclear device about to bring down one of the worlds most strategic bridges, a bridge hated by NATO – as per the recent Op Ed in the ‘Washington Examiner’ (Ukraine should bomb the Crimean Bridge).
    Ukraine regularly provokes Russia to little effect, but today the Russians acted to stop a terrible event.
    Ukraine is now in panic mode and there may be direct NATO intervention if the to cover this, if the Russians make this public.
    The device may have come from the UK.
    The UK have been psychologically preparing their people for a war with Russia.
    The SADM explosion would have brought down the bridge and melted the foundations, but looked like a conventional IED blast from above due to the underwater detonation and relatively low yield of less than 1KT.
    This was a WW3 level provocation STOPPED by the Russian FSB and SF’s!
    All traces of these reports are being scrubbed as I write!
    Get this out before the story is completely scrubbed.
    I will not contact you again.
    (SouthFront comments)

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @reiner Tor
  30. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    On the PR front, already plenty of biased anti-Russian BS on this evident at CNN and the BBC.

  31. Responding to the crisis

    Carpenter [a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center] said the United States should “respond immediately by giving Ukraine radars to boost its maritime domain awareness and land-based anti-ship missiles so it can defend its Azov Sea littoral.”

    “The United States should also impose a complete asset freeze on at least one major Russian bank, such as Sberbank, VTB, or Gazprombank. The sanctioning of a Russian bank—or several banks if Russia fails to respond initially—should be made conditional on Russia restoring Ukraine’s access to its own ports and withdrawing its troops from the Donbas. Until this happens, the costs on the Kremlin should continue to mount,” he added.

    Anders Åslund, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said: “NATO and the United States should send in naval ships in the Sea of Azov to guarantee that it stays open to international shipping.”

    Such action, Åslund said, “would be in full compliance with the UN Law of the Sea Convention of 1982 and the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits of 1936.”

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/russia-ukraine-feud-heats-up-the-sea-of-azov

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  32. So the Ukraine becomes a literal junta today, LOL.

    • Replies: @Swarmy Greek
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Anon
  33. @Anonymous

    Sites like southfront or russia insider’s comments are full of tinfoil conspiracies. I wouldn’t lend much credence to any anonymous comment on such sites . The Ukies used a tug because their boats are not fit for sea travel, in case they broke down and needed to be tracted.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @peterAUS
  34. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anonymous

    A pretty fantastic (and stupid) story. Let me get this right: A small tugboat sent by the Ukrainian government was outfitted with a small nuclear bomb in order to somehow be strapped to the Kerch bridge (or possibly a suicide mission?) to destroy it? Did I miss something here?

    Frederick Forsyth came up with more believable scenario in the ‘Devil’s Alternative’ when a bunch of Ukrainian nationalists hijacked an oil freighter and tried to used is in a more believable plot against the Kremlin then what we hear here.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @peterAUS
    , @Gerard2
  35. @Anatoly Karlin

    The live broadcasting of the security council made it pretty obvious that the entire incident was a farce cooked up by Mr Chocolate so as to avoid elections.I’m interested in seeing how Poroshenko will use his new prerogatives to consolidate power.

    • Replies: @neutral
  36. Epigon says:

    Russia will not start a war in Ukraine.

    Nord Stream 2 is on the horizon, gas consumption/heating season is starting, and election outcomes in Ukraine actually work in Russian favour: fragmentation, large chance of Poroshenko ousting etc.
    In addition, EU parliament elections are approaching and parties and movements less anti-Russian are poised to increase their share. Several EU countries have voiced their desire for closer cooperation with Russia in the future.

    So Russia would very much like to keep things quiet in Crimea and a frozen conflict in Donbass.

    I believe the injuries are related to ramming and boarding action subduing by special forces, and not due to use of firearms and shipborne armament of Russian ships taking part in operation.

    I am not buying the nuclear device tugboat for one second – Southfront, Russia Insider and RT comment sections are full of shit, false flag shills and disinfo.

  37. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Hack

    A pretty fantastic (and stupid) story. Let me get this right: A small tugboat sent by the Ukrainian government was outfitted with a small nuclear bomb in order to somehow be strapped to the Kerch bridge (or possibly a suicide mission?) to destroy it? Did I miss something here?

    Yeah, TTG, a career JSOC officer with decades of U.S. special forces operations command and had full access to TS-SCI/NATO cleared operations who made reference to it. Too bad he doesn’t have benefit of the wisdom of armchair Clausewitzes who can immediately dismiss this as ludicrous.

  38. Mikhail says: • Website
    @for-the-record

    Hack like replies for sure. Muted from that spin is the notion that Russia has a right to police water reasonably within its territory.

    Russia is claiming the Ukrainian side had previously adhered to this understanding by providing proper notice. In this instance, the Russian side has said that no such notice was given. There’s also the matter of some casually calling for terror attacks against the bridge in that area. Tom Rogan comes to mind:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/23/naming-top-anti-russian-advocates.html

    Bridge safety for a narrow waterway is understandable along the lines of airport safety. Imagine if some planes suddenly decided to land as they please in a busy airport.

    This matter has the appearance of a possible political move on the part of Petro Poroshenko, along the lines of his state intervention in the affairs of the church.

  39. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It finally caught up to Russia, that became one over 20 years ago when Putler took over.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  40. @Mr. Hack

    The Ukraine is indeed about 20 years behind Russia in many things.

    This gap will probably increase even further now. Martial law allows for the arbitrary confiscation of civil assets for the needs of defense, which I am sure is never going to be abused in a country such as the Ukraine. (Just kidding. Even the Babchenko fake assassination was cover for the SBU to raid an arms factory). Business is going to flee, and I now expect the lumbering progress that the Ukraine has been making since 2015 to reverse.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Mr. Hack
  41. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:

    The U.S. must’ve had prior knowledge of this. The Ukraine is now a fully-owned subsidiary of Foggy Bottom and Ukraine needs our approval to even take a shit. I wonder which restaurant in Georgetown it was decided that Poroshenko will be the leader of the Ukraine indefinitely? And what restaurant in Arlington it was decided to split the Orthodox Church? Lol.

  42. Looking at the video again, the Russian vessel turns inexplicably left right before the collision. Well, it’s only inexplicable if we assume that they didn’t intentionally ram the tugboat.

    So I’d think it was intentional ramming. Still it looks like a provocation by the Ukrainians – the two Russian vessels obviously tried to push the tugboat to the right, instead it stopped, which probably led to the Russian captain’s decision to ram it to show he means business.

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  43. @Anonymous

    But why wouldn’t Russia parade around the British nuclear device? The Britons don’t even have an independent nuclear force. I doubt they’d use a nuclear device anyway. If the goal was merely damaging (or even destroying) the bridge, they could easily have used a conventional TNT device. And it’d still be paraded around by the Russians.

    Even if their goal was to destroy the bridge, I think the Ukrainians might be smarter here. They might simply use these incidents to create a crying wolf situation for the Russians – after a long series of provocations, the Russian might lower their guard. Which would then be the time to use the device. Of course, a more likely explanation is simply facilitating Poroshenko’s re-election or postponing the election.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  44. neutral says:
    @Swarmy Greek

    It is no longer a crazy hypothetical to believe that the US is planning to take Crimea by force. Something like sending some special forces to take over key military bases and key administration buildings, combined with some astro turfing colour revolution thing where the people demand to be “liberated”. Could such a secret plan avoid detection from the Russian spy services (considering that Karlin has said they are not very good) and if such a plan was successfully executed would Russia send its full military into Crimea or would it give up Crimea?

  45. @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, it’s a possible outcome, if Poroshenko goes full dictator. Though he might become some kind of Ukrainian Putin.

    • Replies: @AP
  46. Mikhail says: • Website

    An example of BBC bias:

    https://twitter.com/irenatar?lang=en

    This particular svido was on the BBC, where she said that Porky has nothing to gain by initiating a provocation with Russia – instead calling it a Russian conspiracy theory. There was no challenge whatsoever to her. The Kiev regime has at least a hat trick for unnecessarily provoking things.

    - the Babchenko stunt
    - state interference with a church matter
    - its response to this latest incident.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  47. Epigon says:

    Does anyone else share my feeling that Maidan actually benefited Russia and Russians in Ukraine in the long-term?

    Yanukovych in power would mean more wasted Russian subsidies, more Russian purchases of Ukrainian-made products but more importantly: more time for methodical, steady Ukrainization of “pro-Russian Ukrainians” (themselves mostly descendants of Russians and Sovoks) and remaining Russians in Ukraine through education, state-mandated propaganda and soft power of diaspora, USA, Canada.

    Faced with Maidan, Svoboda, radicals etc. all of this was brought to an abrubt halt and they were faced with the final decision – bow down and integrate, or double down and wake their Russianes, their opposition to Banderists, Ukrainian unitarians, uniats etc.

    This might sound cynical, but Sovoks+pro-Russians of Ukraine by themselves are not a particularly useful long-term “resource” for Russia. Gaining Crimea, eradicating Donbass industry, crippling Ukraine with war, exodus and brain-drain (Russia received a large share) might be their optimal utility.

    Ukraine doesn’t look any more modern, less-corrupt and “Western-style” than prior to revolution, it has arguably degraded in freedom of speech, business and media, and with the martial law in power, the economy and prospects in the future might get even worse.

    • Replies: @Anon
  48. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Business is going to flee, and I now expect the lumbering progress that the Ukraine has been making since 2015 to reverse.

    Kind of a quick assessment, or are you getting fed some sort of a script from somewhere higher up?

    • Replies: @Anon
  49. The Ukrainian ambassador in Germany has demanded that EU and NATO warships should be sent to the Black and Azov sea to deter Russia:

    https://jungefreiheit.de/politik/ausland/2018/ukraine-fordert-nato-kriegsschiffe-gegen-russland-an/

    What a bunch of deluded assholes.

  50. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Vendetta

    “Ukraine’s latest provocation is embarrassing…”

    Russia confiscated this embarrassment from those monkey grenadiers, and is keeping it from public eyes.

  51. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So the Ukraine becomes a literal junta today, LOL.

    Note that when nationalist orcs straight out of the Maidan were dying by the truckloads in Ilovaisk, the Ukrainians were screaming about Russian intervention, and I actually believe Russia did send help to Donbass rebels there.

    Thousands of “best sons of Ukraine” died over there, and no martial law was imposed. Now, after a non-deadly altercation on the sea but 4.5 months to an election, they impose a martial law.

    Interesting…

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  52. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Kind of a quick assessment, or are you getting fed some sort of a script from somewhere higher up?

    I would very much like to do business in a country, where the government can arbitrarily confiscate it. Who wouldn’t?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  53. @reiner Tor

    Of course the ramming was intentional. The Russians simply got sick of their shit.

    During the last several months there were a number of incidents – a small fishing ship being arrested (recently it got sold on an auction organized by Ukraine, I am not sure if the crew is still in jail or free) and even a tanker! A real Somalia on the Black Sea. Also frequent incursions in Russia’s territorial waters and refusal to do the proper warnings and requests for permission to pass through is reason enough for someone to finally get pissed.

    That southfront comment sounds like complete bullshit but it’s not like blowing up the bridge hasn’t been suggested by Ukrainian public figures and by American journalists, like that one time in the Washington Post.

    There was also a similar provocation recently, but the rusty buckets were simply escorted by the coast guard that time. They went to build a base in Berdyansk I believe, which will be hosting old Oliver Perry class frigates gifted by the United States.

  54. @neutral

    This is politically and militarily unrealistic on every level.

  55. g2k says:
    @Anon

    A mixed bag. It’s what Pasinyan was promising in opposition, but, now he’s in government, he’ll have to be a bit more responsible (we can hope). He has less room for manoeuvre than Saakashvilli had, because Armenia still has disputed territory to lose and Armenia gets its subsidised energy from Russia* and not Azerbijian. Georgia really was at rock bottom in the mid 00s. A lot of his party activists are atlanticist, soros trpes, others are more pragmatic and disliked the Karabakh clique for entirely understandable reasons. The only thing we know for sure is that someone’s going to get cucked over there; It could go either way, but his party was always likely to get a superiority.

    *It’s not just for heating, almost all of their vehicle fleet runs on compressed natural gas and there’s now a lot of dutch style heated greenhouses exporting all of their produce via Verkhniy lars. Their railway is also a subsidiary of rzd.

  56. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Epigon

    I don’t think the Maidan benefited anyone but certain Ukrainian oligarchs (not Kolomoysky though in the end) and the US government, which got to conserve Ukraine in an anti-Russian mode in a situation where the West is considerably weaker and no longer able to expand and integrate further countries into the Euro-Atlantic space.

    The people that are happy with post-Maidan situation are rather rare in Ukraine. Some statistics I have seen say about 8% are happy. The situation does not benefit ordinary Ukrainians, it does not benefit Russia, Crimea, DNR and LNR, it does not benefit Europe either.

    It is true though that Crimea and Donbass are free from Kiev’s current Ukrainisation of all facets of life agenda. But in a situation, where the government is weak and unpopular, there is no reason somewhere in the future Russian language will not get equal rights with Ukrainian in Ukraine proper. It is a language of a significant number of people.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  57. A recording of an Ukrainian crewman begging the Russians for help

    The Russians tell him that their (ukies’) boats are armed, so they have to come out with their hands visible and unarmed and surrender, while the Ukrainian repeats his pleas and coordinates.

    It’s pretty funny and pathetic, but on 1:53 you can hear someone in the background say “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Moskal” – a popular maidanist/anti-russian slogan.
    You really can never be sure and can never assume that you are dealing with normal people when dealing with Ukrainians, so preventing a possible threat to the bridge is not as unrealistic as it may sound.
    I believe I heard in one of the news videos that the Russians also requested to inspect the vessels before they can pass, and the Ukrainians denied the request. So it had to be done the hard way.
    No need for British nukes conspiracy theories here, everything makes perfect sense.

  58. APilgrim says:

    Ukraine may need to purchase another new navy, before their next incursion.

    Putin has impounded these 3 ships.

    Perhaps Ukraine can get their crews returned.

  59. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anon

    Why don’t you consider moving to Russia then??…

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  60. Beckow says:
    @AP

    …to get the Russians to respond in a way that would be advantageous to Ukraine

    What could that be? I know the ‘perception‘ is more important than reality crowd will go and on about how this hurts Russia in the Western media, or how this ‘weakens‘ Kremlin, blabla…
    I see, Russia’s Western coverage will get worse…how is that even possible?

    Perception is a just an attribute of reality, a relatively small one and it does nothing. It can help fools feel better, or maybe it can help Western press fool their captive audience. But what is the purpose? My guess is that the departing oligarch-government needs few months of distractions to be able to pack in peace and get the hell out of Kiev (with their luggage) before the next group of ‘European democrats‘ takes over. It is a slight of hand so the suffering people won’t get too upset as the golden-plated planes depart. It will also allow the next boss (Timoshenko?) to claim some moderation after taking office. It was the same game Porky used to climb to power 4 years ago.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @peterAUS
  61. Mitleser says:
    @peterAUS

    I can’t see the regime in Kiev doing this without approval from..ahm…abroad.

    I do.

    By the way seems like this time pro-Ukrainian actions were not approved and pre-arranged with US – as US RC-135V plane only came to the area when events already over

    https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/5bfbadc79a794774f8aa51e4?from=newsfeed

  62. AWM says:

    “The US is going to invade Crimea.” “A British tactical nuclear device.” “Gunboat diplomacy.”

    This has gotten way out of control, folks.
    Let us just hope that the Ukrainians haven’t actually procured a ex-Soviet “loose nuke.”
    Couldn’t blame them considering how things have turned out since 1991.
    The Russians probably are seeking a land bridge to their newly acquired territory of Crimea which has been under Russian control for the vast majority of the last few centuries.
    The Ukrainians should probably cede them that land bridge if it would mean the removal of all those little green men in the other parts of their country.
    Seems like a fairly equitable trade, all things considered.

    Otherwise, literally anything could and probably will happen. It’s incredible how many people seem to be watering at the mouth for a conflict.
    Nobody profits from broken windows except the MIC which produces the billion dollar weapon systems used to actually break the glass and a whole lot of other things.

  63. A land bridge could have been a feasible strategy back in 2014, for a short while, before Russia decided to back off and only provide the bare necessities of assistance to keep LDNR afloat.

    Now there’s an up-and-running proper bridge across the Kerch strait however, so…

  64. peterAUS says:
    @Swarmy Greek

    The Ukies used a tug because their boats are not fit for sea travel, in case they broke down and needed to be tracted.

    Yes. Or got damaged in confrontation.

  65. @Beckow

    Russia could be hit by even harder sanctions, and Ukraine would receive further military assistance. Due to the coverage of the issue in the Western press, it could force the hands of the USG/EUSA/NATO collective leaderships.

    So basically Ukraine lost a few ships, but will receive way more military assistance, meanwhile its enemy Russia will be hit with further sanctions, which might make it easier for Ukraine to keep increasing its relative position.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    , @Beckow
  66. peterAUS says:
    @neutral

    …US is planning to take Crimea by force. Something like sending some special forces to take over key military bases and key administration buildings…

    Oh……oh my.
    Whoah.
    Even with the fast skimming through the comments this got me. Had to re-read it a couple of times.
    Moving on.

  67. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    …It is a slight of hand so the suffering people won’t get too upset as the golden-plated planes depart. It will also allow the next boss (Timoshenko?) to claim some moderation after taking office. It was the same game Porky used to climb to power 4 years ago

    Sounds plausible.

  68. JLK says:

    The Kerch incident is probably best viewed as part of a pattern of escalation including Syria, the Norway exercises, the growing ties between Russia and China, etc. Russia has been pushing back against US hegemony, and the US has been broadening the front to take advantage of its superior resources.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  69. @JLK

    One of these incidents might be miscalculated by one side or the other. It’s highly unlikely, but probabilities are additive. As the number of incidents increases, the chances of a serious screwup due to miscalculation increase, too.

    It’s unlikely, this time, or the next. But over the next twenty years? Let’s hope tensions will decrease sooner.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  70. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    …over the next twenty years…

    If only.
    I’d half that time span; on a gloomy day tend to half that half.

    The paradigm appears to have everything wrong going along exponential curves.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  71. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

    Can somebody give me a non-Putinist/chauvinist account of what happened? BBC says that these waters are mutually shared by treaty and that free passage for both countries has been the norm but that Russia has recently begun searching Ukrainian vessels. If so this seems like a deliberate provocation and escalation on the part of Russia.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @peterAUS
    , @Mikhail
    , @E
  72. @peterAUS

    Well, I’m pretty sure we won’t survive twenty years with this level of tension without a world war. So that’d be 100% chance of a war in twenty years. 50% in ten years. 25% in five. Even next year is not impossible.

    Of course these numbers are based on scientific gut feelings, nothing more.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  73. @neutral

    Often feel like that, having thoughts like this ?
    I recommend you seek medical advice urgently. Such delusions can lead to severe life threatening situations.

    • Replies: @neutral
  74. @Anonymous

    Ukrainians detained a Crimean (Kerch) fishing boat called “Nord” in March, and held its crew as prisoners until recently (so like over half a year), demanding that they renounce their Russian citizenship and admit being Ukrainians. They accused the captain (and maybe the rest of the crew) of violating the rules of visiting Crimea (Ukraine basically prohibits non-Crimeans from traveling there without Ukrainian permission). This looked like a deliberate provocation and escalation on the part of Ukraine.

    The Ukrainians were also threatening to blow up the bridge the Russians just built. So it’s somewhat understandable that the Russians want to make sure it won’t be happening.

    • Replies: @AP
  75. peterAUS says:
    @Anonymous

    Can somebody give me a non-Putinist/chauvinist account of what happened?

    Don’t think so.
    You’ve, so obviously, made your mind there.I mean….hahaha…BBC……
    Crackup.

    All good.Free will and such.

    Ah…just seen reiner Tor reply. Admirable.

  76. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Well, I’m pretty sure we won’t survive twenty years with this level of tension without a world war. So that’d be 100% chance of a war in twenty years. 50% in ten years. 25% in five. Even next year is not impossible.

    Feels like it.

    Of course these numbers are based on scientific gut feelings, nothing more.

    Well….probably better methodology than presently used in any of major western capitols in any serious decision making process.

    This is the part when being old works rather well. I do remember 80′s, Pershings etc. Was part of the system then.

    The players, then, were, in my book, wizards comparing to players now.
    Public feels even worse. Much worse, actually. I am quite sure that 80 % of people reading and posting here have no clue how MIRVs actually work. And…hehe….those are, at least, interested in the topic.

    What can go wrong…..

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @reiner Tor
  77. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Basically zero chance of Poroshenko becoming a dictator (unless you treat Ukraine like western media treats Russia). Elections may be delayed by a month or three but not cancelled. The likely outcome is that martial law will enable Poroshenko to do to his rivals what Putin did to his. Much of Ukraine’s mass media is still owned by eastern oligarchs who are not very friendly towards Poroshenko. This will likely be treated like Gusinsky’s media empire was in the early 2000s. Poroshenko places second in most presidential polls, with more media control he may find a way to get to first place.

    The hryvnia has dropped (as has the ruble) but I doubt policies that result in the halt of the post 2015 economic recovery will be implemented. Poroshenko doesn’t have the power to state in power if the people hate him. They don’t now.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  78. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Yes, but Russia has also been stopping and searching all ships going to and from Ukraine’s ports on the Azov sea. This costs $10,000s per day for each ship.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  79. DreadIlk says:
    @reiner Tor

    Ukraine does not decide anything.

  80. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anon

    Excellent point. Just saw “Putin’s banker” on the Fox News Business channel. In terms of giving a mainstream Russian perspective, a much better job could’ve been done in that exchange.

  81. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anon

    US foreign policy establishment realist John Mearsheimer, was really off when he said that Russia is trying to wreck Ukraine:

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/will-ceasefire-ukraine-russian-separatists-last

    Give him another Valdai invite over some others. Russia doesn’t benefit from having a country on its border as large as Ukraine flop.

    • Replies: @anon
  82. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    For that matter, you could go to Kiev regime controlled Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  83. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    The answer to your inquiry has already been stated at this thread in comment 40 as well as some others.

  84. I thought you meant John Derbyshire was intervening.

  85. JLK says:

    Anyone else having a problem with RT being offline?

  86. E says:
    @Anonymous

    This is probably as good an account as you’ll find which also details the international law aspects:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/11/russia-blocks-ukrainian-navy-from-militarizing-the-sea-of-azov.html

    Ukraine also had treaty obligations which they didn’t live up to.

  87. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    I’m not the one who’s clamoring for a place to go where somebody might “very much like to do business in a country, where the government can arbitrarily confiscate it. Who wouldn’t?”

    How about you, Mickey what’s keeping you from moving to Russia? Russian language classes would be relatively inexpensive and you could watch all sorts of Russian hockey too? Think about it, you could finally master the language of your forefathers and put a stop to the constant ridicule that you have to undergo so often for not knowing the language of the country you profess to be an expert in? You could cross over from the make believe side to the other real side and finally be a real Russia expert and know the language too? Why not, what’s there not to like?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  88. This was deliberate provocation, pure and simple. There are only six functional ships in the Ukrainian Navy (all cutters; two of these were arrested during this provocation): their flagship frigate “Sagaydachny” is in repairs, so is corvette “Vinnitsa”, landing ship “Oliferenko” and cutter “Priluki” are out of order and not even in repairs. It must have been clear to anyone that Russian coast guard can take on the whole Ukrainian Navy and win hands down.

    To sincerely believe that Ukrainian Navy can win, Poroshenko should have been a clinical idiot. His prowess in thievery (Poroshenko is the only Ukrainian oligarch whose net worth increased after Maidan) shows that he is not a clinical idiot. The idiots are those who still support him in Ukraine. There are about 7% of those; thus, 13 out of 14 Ukrainian residents are not idiots.

    Most likely Poroshenko planned to introduce martial law and cancel presidential elections, which he has zero chance of winning, even with feasible levels of election fraud. Judging by the fact that he proposed to introduce martial law only for 30 days, and allowed Rada (Ukrainian parliament) to set presidential election date at March 31, 2019, Washington politburo actually decided to replace Poroshenko with someone more palatable and informed him and Rada deputies about that decision. In fact, Poroshenko was getting ready for that: he is already selling his assets in Ukraine preparing to run away.

  89. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    You’re so easy to debunk. In reply to a set of comments you obviously don’t like, you suggested that a commenter other than myself go to Russia.

    In turn, I turned that table on you. Once again, your language proficiency bravado doesn’t coverup your lack of intelligence – especially on the subjects that I comment on.

    As previously noted, Alexander Mercouris, David Johnson and the aforementioned (at this thread) John Mearsheimer don’t appear to be more Russian fluent than yours truly. Never mind the well educated fluent Russian speakers who appreciate my input.

  90. @peterAUS

    The real big war (e.g., WWIII between the dying empire and either Russia or China) is highly unlikely. The US elites want huge military budgets to steal billions from, but they must realize that to enjoy their loot they have to be alive. They don’t give a hoot about Ukrainians or other aborigines dying to provide them a pretext to further increase Pentagon budget, but they won’t sacrifice even their own gardeners, let alone themselves.

  91. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    There is no such thing as sustainable ‘harder sanctions’. We are at a point that only very basic and almost unavoidable business transactions are taking place, there is not much more that could be ‘sanctioned’. If the West sanctions Russian energy, it will trigger a recession at home. If it sanctions Swift, it will undermine global finance and splinter reserve currency policies even more. If they ban more Putin ‘friends’ from travel or expropriate their investments, Russia can easily retaliate by taking over very substantial Western investments in the Russian energy and minerals.

    This is a cul-de-sac, we have sanctioned this to death, there is no rational place to go. And Russia will clearly survive, it is hardly isolated, more than half of the economic world is joyfully trading with them (China, Korea, most of Asia, Latin America, Turkey, Izrael, India…). Europe and Russia have lowered their economies by around 2-3% with the mutual sanctions, noticeable, but also not catastrophic.

    Ukraine has no way to benefit from more weapons. They are not in the same league militarily as Russia, so more weapons means very little. What are they going to do with more weapons, invade Russia? This is a lose-lose, sooner or later even Kiev will realize it. But first they have to get over their emotions. The real problem in the Azov See is that there is almost no trading activity, the industry is dead, sending tug boats on a fishing expedition is a sign of that economic collapse.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  92. anon[707] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mikhail

    That link is from 2014! Although it seems like it might as well been yesterday. I’m concerned that the neocons are so pleased with developments.

    Meanwhile anyone else find it interesting that Russia announced retaliation for rebel chlorine gas shells used in Syria last week. The West seemed to be caught by surprise by this incident. I suspect that in the past, Syria would have responded to an ineffective chlorine attack with the always lethal high explosive weapons.

    Also–the increasingly non lethal chemical WMDs were denounced when US border agents used tear gas on Central Americans storming the US border.

    I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who expresses moral outrage over non lethal or barely lethal alleged WMDs. I’m calling out Obama on this one.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @anon
  93. Mikhail says: • Website
    @anon

    Mind you, he’s one of the more evenhanded of the US foreign policy establishment elites. In that particular segment, I’ve the impression that he was seeking to find common cause with the likes of McFaul, as opposed to providing a rock solid counter.

    Typical for US mass media and body politic to dodge the latest report of chemical weapon use in Syria which you brought up.

  94. anon[707] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/syria-russia-airstrikes-alleged-aleppo-poison-gas-chlorine-attack-ceasefire/

    This is getting memory holed. CBS could barely say ‘alleged’ since the moderate rebels couldn’t possibly do this.

  95. Kind of OT.

    I don’t agree with all of Pobyedonostsev’s views but I find this to be a really beautiful defense of Tsarism.

    https://www.socialmatter.net/2018/11/23/the-political-legacy-of-konstantin-pobedonostsev/

  96. Mikhail says: • Website

    Kerch Strait Incident Follow-up

    Russian side claiming that the Ukrainian vessels at issue violated Russian territory, which was internationally recognized as such prior to Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

    RT has shown some of the detained Ukrainian personnel who acknowledge not answering the initial Russian calls.

    Looks like Russia has acted responsibly. So much for the BS spouted by the likes of Ali Velshi of MSNBC.

  97. peterAUS says:

    Hehehe….trying to have your cake and eat it?

    Is that a Russian thing? This acting tough and then trying to be a “nice guy”?
    A big mistake. Again.
    The regime in Kremlin really can’t seem to get it. Or, I don’t seem to get it what they try to achieve.

    This reaction to the regime in Kiev provocation was respectable. I was pleasantly surprised.

    And…hahaha..now, what….trying, again, to explain to …WHO…that they acted properly?
    What’s wrong with them?

    You do this and say you’ll do it worse if the opposite side tries anything similar.
    THAT is the message which will be heard, understood and acted on.

    Ah…..

  98. Mikhail says: • Website

    Far superior to the coverage aired on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News:

    http://theduran.com/the-real-reason-behind-ukraines-sudden-martial-law-video/

  99. anon[130] • Disclaimer says:

    “The real big war (e.g., WWIII between the dying empire and either Russia or China) is highly unlikely.”

    It’s much more likely than you think. A lot of people seem to have this misconception that the Ruling Class of each country is wise and motivated by rational thought. Often enough, their thoughts are ill-informed and subject to emotional, in-the-moment, manipulation. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten the first world war, but we did obviously.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  100. @anon

    People also often react in ways which might be considered silly or absurd by most observers. It’s interesting that occasionally innocent people were pressured into confessing to serious crimes by simply yelling at them for hours and draining their nerves by long interrogation sessions.

    Similarly, perhaps some politician would start a nuclear war to avoid the humiliation of having to resign.

  101. @Beckow

    That’s wishful thinking.

    Of course there could be more crippling sanctions. And of course with Russia being smaller than the whole West, such sanctions are bound to be more crippling for Russia than for the West. But that’s not even what I said. I merely said that that’s what the Ukrainians and their American mentors might be pushing for, regardless of whether they are feasible.

    Regarding more weapons for Ukraine, of course they would be useful. Yes, they will never be able to conquer Russia, but that’s a silly proposal anyway. The more weapons Ukraine has, the higher the cost of any war for Russia will be. It’s a big deterrent. And for the neocons it’s a win-win, since they cannot lose even if Ukraine loses such a war: it will weaken Russia, and that’s all that matters to them. But for the Ukrainians the weapons are also useful, since they decrease the likelihood of a Russian attack, eventually even in the case of a Ukrainian attack on Donbas.

    You seem to be angry at the Ukrainians and the neocons for not accepting that they are already defeated, that they cannot do anything to harm Russia. Well, they are not defeated, and they can do Russia a lot of harm.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  102. @AP

    Though they started it only after the Ukrainians refused to release the boat or even the crew.

    However, it’s possible that it’s all linked to the bridge, in which case it’s more the Russians’ fault. The whole situation with the unrecognized Crimea annexation is just highly unstable, because now there’s a bridge which is vulnerable to attack, but while it’s there, it interferes with the traffic, and merely to protect it from possible sabotage (and it’s obvious that the world wouldn’t blame Ukraine for it, if it were to happen), the Russians have to go to such lengths which causes a lot of inconvenience and economic harm to Ukraine.

    I cannot see an easy solution here.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  103. @peterAUS

    80 % of people reading and posting here have no clue how MIRVs actually work

    I’m unfamiliar with the technical details. I know that before reentry the warhead (basically, multiple warheads packed together in the part of the missile which is still traveling) automatically disintegrates into multiple smaller vehicles, each directed at a different target. This means, I think, not one targeting Los Angeles and another New York, rather something like LA and San Diego. They use, I believe, some kind of wings to change course, both to correct their course to hit their targets more precisely and to avoid anti-missile defense systems. Once above the target, at an optimal distance, the warhead detonates. Not all warheads are created to be equal, some being better at both steering themselves and knowing where to detonate than others. One big enough ICBM could probably wipe out a larger US state, at least the big cities. The smaller towns are probably safer, at least from the initial detonations.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  104. Gerard2 says:
    @Mikhail

    look at her twitter account…the account of a typical blinkered and crazed Ukro-nazi bitch. The English Russia Correspondents are just as braindead and unprofessional.

    One good thing they did though was a completely fair documentary on Viktor Bout, it made clear the plentiful BS in the American operation and allegations against him

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  105. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Frederick Forsyth came up with more believable scenario in the ‘Devil’s Alternative’ when a bunch of Ukrainian nationalists hijacked an oil freighter and tried to used is in a more believable plot against the Kremlin then what we hear here.

    I agree. Those sailers arrested speak the most natural, perfect Russian and move, look ,gesture in a such a quintessentially Russian way…and look unbelievably relaxed in mood and demeanor ( as if chatting with their mates ( the FSB) in a bar or with their brothers)…..that it would be impossible to call these guys ” Ukrainian nationalists” you twerp.

    Did you even see the video? Those guys all talk Russian at a million-miles per hour, I would not be surprised if they have never spoken a word of “Ukrainian” in their lives. Over what is a huge international and bilateral incident, and with a few of their countryman injured due to the orders of their pseudo-state…..this is the most unbelievably relaxed series of chats of military prisoners with interrogators from the “aggressor state” that will ever exist.

    Look at them you idiot….these “Ukrainian” sailors are Russian in every sense of the way

    So for the fantasist retard idea of “Ukrainian ” nation we now have to take away all regions with a coast, because coastal oblast =Navy recruitment area , Navy=Russia in historical sense for insecure Banderatards and navy areas=Russia…and will always be open to allegations of ’5th column” and so on, this to go with the east being Russian, Kiev being the most russian city of all, and the Russianess of the north of Ukraine criminally underrated by the authorities….and Zakarpattia not being “Ukrainian”….then all we have left are a bastard freakshow group of non-entities comprising of the pseudo idea of “Ukraine”

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  106. @reiner Tor

    it’s possible that it’s all linked to the bridge, in which case it’s more the Russians’ fault.

    So, in your view:

    1. Russia should not have annexed Crimea and/or

    2. Having annexed Crimea they should not have built the bridge.

    Is this correct?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  107. @for-the-record

    I don’t think Russia had other options than these two, but since they broke international law here, everything that follows is more their fault than that of the Ukrainians.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  108. @reiner Tor

    Don’t you think that some norms were violated when US blatantly interfered in Ukrainian politics to help overthrow Yanukovich?

    Anyway, Medvedev now says that Poroshenko has “zero chance” to remain in power in the Ukraine. Patrushev, who serves on Russia’s Security Council, agrees. I wonder where this confidence comes from?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  109. Epigon says:

    The bridge itself has nothing to do with navigational restrictions in the Kerch Strait. Look up the satellite picture of the Strait.

    The navigational procedures were in place before the bridge as well, due to currents and navigational hazards, shallows and to avoid ship accidents.


    Looks like the Russians fired a “warning” 30 mm shell at the “armoured” “artillery” BOATS.

    Also, if I understood it correctly, the Ukrainian ships entered Russian territorial waters that were Russian territorial waters even prior to 2014 Crimea reunification. Yes, I am not calling it an annexation, and if anyone claims that a free, open, democratic referendum would result in Crimeans voting to remain/become a unitary part of Ukraine, he might need a shrink appointment.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  110. neutral says:
    @Den Lille Abe

    Fuck off moron, if 5 years ago somebody said that Ukraine is sending its troops to the Russian border as a hostile force – would you have believed it? The intention to take back Crimea is absolutely clear, combine that with the foreign policy behaviour of the US in the last few decades and an increasingly fanatical American population, everything is on the cards – absolutely everything.

  111. Mitleser says:
    @Epigon

    Are you sure?

    Izumrud AK-630 probably didn’t do that as it cannot fire single shots so most likely explanation is severalprecision hits by 12,7 mm machine gun. Otherwise I’m at the loss of what can do such a hole in a bulletproof hull of the boat. Or maybe Ukrainians skimmed the funds and forgot to add actual armor.

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/posts/52778677/

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  112. @Mitleser

    Or maybe Ukrainians skimmed the funds and forgot to add actual armor.

    It’s the fucking Ukraine – there is no need to overthink it.

  113. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2

    .then all we have left are a bastard freakshow group of non-entities comprising of the pseudo idea of “Ukraine”

    And what a show! And this was only the part filmed in Kyiv, ‘the most Russian city of all. LOL! :-)

  114. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    I am not angry, I am baffled. I assume rational self-interest and when one doesn’t see it (e.g. most Ukrainians) it seems weird.

    If you think there are some feasible sanctions, could you suggest some? All the easy ones have been done, anything now would have both sides about equally.

    In a war situation having more weapons and still be weaker is about the worst place to be for Ukraine. Without good weapons, they can simply give up (and save lives, property), with enough weapons the escalation could get really ugly very quickly. And that could mean more casualties for Ukraine. Being partially armed is a pretty bad thing in an all-out fight. The point is that Russia can also escalate more, they can literally demolish most of Ukraine with air power and missiles. For that the neo-cons have no solution. Pointless bleeding in a hopeless fight is irrational.

  115. JLK says:

    I wouldn’t count on the beneficence of the neocons if I was a Ukrainian leader. Western European investment and being a bridge to commerce with Russia is probably their best bet.

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

    I am not angry, I am baffled. I assume rational self-interest and when one doesn’t see it (e.g. most Ukrainians) it seems weird.

    I reasonable person would assume that perhaps you are wrong, rather than millions of those others being wrong.

    If you think there are some feasible sanctions, could you suggest some?

    I don’t know about specifics. Iran and North Korea are much more heavily sanctioned than Russia so presumably much more can be done to Russia. Countries dealing with Russia (such as South Korea or China) could face start to face sanctions linked to their trade with Russia. Such countries will likely not choose trade with Russia over trade with the entire West.

    anything now would have both sides about equally

    West is much bigger and has many more options, so it would not suffer equally but much less. Moreover, any losses by the west would be shared by a much larger population so the hit would be less significant. If EU (population 500 million, GDP $18.8 trillion) loses $5 billion through new sanctions and Russia (population 150 million, GDP $1.6 trillion) loses $5 billion also, who suffers more?

    In a war situation having more weapons and still be weaker is about the worst place to be for Ukraine

    But not in a prewar or limited war situation. It was a good idea for Sweden and Switzerland to have the best militaries they could have during World War II, even though neither one would have survived an invasion by Germany.

    Do you suggest that Iran unilaterally disarm itself in the face of American threats?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @DreadIlk
  117. Gerard2 says:

    I don’t know about specifics. Iran and North Korea are much more heavily sanctioned than Russia so presumably much more can be done to Russia. Countries dealing with Russia (such as South Korea or China) could face start to face sanctions linked to their trade with Russia. Such countries will likely not choose trade with Russia over trade with the entire West.

    errmmm…..the obvious difference being that sanctions on Russian disproportionately negatively effect Ukraine you stupid idiot. This gas supply in domestic homes and factories debacle, across many parts of Ukraine during the last 2 weeks is one of many, many examples of this.

    So sanctions on Ukraine have a multipler negative effect on Ukraine’s energy, Ukraine’s production, Ukraine’s manufacturing, already a catastrophic effect on Ukraine’s defence industry, their banking industry, the personal income of the creeps in charge of Ukraine ( and their wives) , medicines, pipes, automobile industry and so on. Completely different , obviously to Iran which has many local enemies and North Korea which has had near zero trade with South Korea or Japan. You see , only retarded, US controlled moron countries ask for sanctions against another country that massively weakens their own, corrupt, poor, waste of space state.

    But not in a prewar or limited war situation. It was a good idea for Sweden and Switzerland to have the best militaries they could have during World War II, even though neither one would have survived an invasion by Germany.

    ummm…worked well for France and the hopeless Poland, didn’t it you dipshit?

    I reasonable person would assume that perhaps you are wrong, rather than millions of those others being wrong.

    LOL..a lowlife prick as yourself is claiming to be part of a collective of millions of Ukrainians even though you know fuck all about it or have any connection? This “millions” is utter garbage. A dreadful rating of it’s President by the population, likely to be kicked out in as much embarassment as Yushchenko, a Government liked even less then him, and a Parliament that struggles to get even 1% of it’s people approving of their work……..the only effect here is doping….by the fact Ukraine’s media is utterly corrupt and controlled by Oligarchs but for one state narrative, millions voting with their feet by leaving the country ( often to Russia) , and the fact everything is being done to turn the population against Russia, but even more being done to silence those ( and this is real millions) who view the coup as illegal and Russia as in the right and a benefit to Ukraine

  118. @Beckow

    You are forgetting that neocons (and the US elites in general) don’t give a hoot about the lives of Ukrainians. They are treated by the US as expandable aborigines. That’s the real tragedy for poor unfortunate Ukraine. However, as the Western Ukrainians (dominating in the current regime) always chose the losing side throughout history (Swedish Charles XII, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler, etc.), there must be something wrong with them. The rest of the residents suffer because they let this gang of scoundrels dominate them.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
    , @RadicalCenter
  119. @JLK

    That would be true if we were talking about leaders who care about the country. So far Ukraine had all sorts of scoundrels who only cared about lining their pockets. This applies to all Ukrainian presidents since 1991, not only the current nonentity.

  120. @AP

    reasonable person would assume that perhaps you are wrong, rather than millions of those others being wrong.

    So, millions of Germans supporting Hitler weren’t wrong? A fat lot of good it brought them.

  121. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Pretty much.

    As for weapons, all the regime in Kiev needs is those which would make limited Russian intervention in Donbass too costly.

    It’s amusing reading all those posts about Ukraine attacking Russia.
    If any attack happens it will be on a part of Donbass. Not even all. Just a part.
    Having advanced weapons would help, definitely.

  122. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Something like that. You could’ve mentioned decoy warheads there too, but, overall, good enough.
    This is important:

    …One big enough ICBM could probably wipe out a larger US state, at least the big cities….

    One ICBM. Just one.
    Plenty of those around, though.

    Great, a?

  123. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    ….The point is that Russia can also escalate more, they can literally demolish most of Ukraine with air power and missiles. For that the neo-cons have no solution. Pointless bleeding in a hopeless fight is irrational…

    I can think of at least one scenario where having advanced weaponry and attacking Donbass can work quite well for both the regime in Kiev and their supporters abroad.
    Probably two; with a stretch even three.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  124. @peterAUS

    Can you describe those scenarios?

    My idea was just simply “the Russian President blinks and decides not to intervene.”

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  125. @Beckow

    AP and peterAUS pretty much summarized it. Even AnonFromTN’s input was interesting (i.e. neocons have different calculations than Ukrainians).

    If you think there are some feasible sanctions, could you suggest some? All the easy ones have been done, anything now would have both sides about equally.

    Anything up until North Korea style. Some countries in the Western sphere are still trading almost without restrictions with Russia (South Korea is the most obvious example), they could be pushed to join the sanctions.

    Russia being much smaller, even if sanctions cost Russia only half what they cost the West, the West is so much bigger it could more easily afford it.

    In a war situation having more weapons and still be weaker is about the worst place to be for Ukraine.

    No. AP is correct. Iran is weaker than the US, but an invasion of Iran would be costly enough for any US president to think twice before attacking them. Why is it bad for Iran?

    Pointless bleeding in a hopeless fight is irrational.

    Game theory predicts that such a totally rational man will always lose. You have to be willing to engage in irrational behavior if you want to have the best expected outcome.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Beckow
  126. @Felix Keverich

    Don’t you think that some norms were violated when US blatantly interfered in Ukrainian politics to help overthrow Yanukovich?

    Not even comparable. They gave some money to some NGOs and politicians, that’s it. It was wrong to do that, but not illegal at all.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  127. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Can you describe those scenarios?

    I can.
    Caveat: it will be huge oversimplification. I simply can’t do it right. Well, nobody here can; actually nobody in public. Bottom line, real, proper scenarios are state secrets as we speak.

    Having said that, let’s just address one, most likely. Easiest if you will.
    Pretty much based on:

    My idea was just simply “the Russian President blinks and decides not to intervene.”

    I’d rephrase it in:
    “My idea was just simply “the Russian President decides to use a carefully measured response.”
    Sounds familiar?

    The regime in Kiev needs just to attack, with overwhelming force, a carefully chosen small part of the current Donbass area. Caveat: I can’t say which one. A lot of work there re terrain, logistics etc. Can’t do.
    Donbass itself has no forces strong enough to successfully counteratack and retake the ground.
    So…here we are.
    The regime in Kremlin will need to react and send enough forces to do the job. Oh, yes, Kremlin could do it in a blink of an eye…the question is… would it? Better armed, organized and trained Ukrainian forces are BIGGER, more visible, the Russian force will be.
    Visibility, transparency is the key.
    Visible, transparent enough….better for the regime in Kiev and Neocons everywhere.
    In practical terms: “Russian invasion” plastered all over western public sphere.

    So, here is, IMHO, the most feasible scenario:
    Incursion into Donbass->Eviction by Russian forces, ONLY->Political benefits for Kiev, Neocons…and not so sure for Kremlin.

    The only losers in that, I’d say macabre game, are the foot soldiers on the ground there. True cannon fodder, little pawns. Several hundred dead and/or mutilated men in prime of their life.

    What a world, a?

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
  128. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    the Western Ukrainians (dominating in the current regime) always chose the losing side throughout history (Swedish Charles XII, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler, etc.), there must be something wrong with them.

    The ‘only thing wrong with them’ is that in fact they are not significantly the real leaders of the country. You shouldn’t try and float these simplistic tropes here, especially since you claim to have lived in both Western and Eastern Ukraine. The Maidan clearly showed that Ukrainians from all corners of the country are for a free an independent Ukraine, one without the undue influence of Moscow type shills like you.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  129. Considering current state of the Ukrainian army, especially troops stationed in Donbass, the “overwhelming force” is an unlikely proposition.

    In practical terms: “Russian invasion” plastered all over western public sphere.

    This was plastered all over Western MSM without a shred of proof for many years now. So, are the MSM expected to say “we lied to you all this time, but now we are telling the truth”? Fat chance.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  130. @Mr. Hack

    No answer on substance? Why am I not surprised?

    BTW, what recently captured Ukrainian sailors are saying on camera surely shows that

    Ukrainians from all corners of the country are for a free an independent Ukraine, one without the undue influence of Moscow

    LOL

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  131. @AnonFromTN

    So, are the MSM expected to say “we lied to you all this time, but now we are telling the truth”? Fat chance.

    No, they’ll get the same message, but this time backed up with lots of incontrovertible evidence.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  132. @reiner Tor

    You didn’t really answer my question.

    I can assure you, that no Russian laws were broken, when Crimea integrated into Russian Federation. Our Constitution allows it and we have a special law on admitting new Federal Subjects. ;)

    As for the notion of “international law” being broken in the Ukraine, it’s really quite moot (which is why I phrased my question the way I did). To start, there is no supranational body that could enforce “international law” on countries like Russia or the US.

    Different countries have different ideas about the wording and interpretation of “international law” – whose vision should prevail? USA likes to brandish “international law” against geopolitical adversaries like Russia, China and Iran. Doesn’t see a problem with Saudi war in Yemen. Or Israeli apartheid in Palestine.

    It is certainly against the norm to facilitate a coup in foreign country however, which is what America did, and it’s the cause of present day Ukrainian conflict.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  133. @reiner Tor

    Don’t you think that even clinical idiots (normal MSM audience) would notice that the evidence is presented for the first time in many years? Or maybe I overestimate the mental capacity of those clinical idiots.

  134. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    However, as the Western Ukrainians (dominating in the current regime)

    Poroshenko – central Ukrainian. PM Groysman – also from central Ukraine. Parubiy – western Ukrainian. Hardly domination.

    always chose the losing side throughout history (Swedish Charles XII, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler, etc.)

    1. Mazepa – born outside Kiev, central Ukrainian.

    2. Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russian Empire both lost. But Russian Empire lost first, to Austria-Hungary and Germany. So in the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Russia, western Ukrainians were on the winning side.

    3. Germany indeed lost World War II but the ultimate losers were Sovoks, whereas Westerners (including those Ukrainians who allied with Germans and fled West after World War II) prospered.

    Moreover your knowledge is limited. You forgot:

    Konstanty Ostrogski – supreme commander of Polish forces who defeated Moscow at battle of Orsha

    Petro Sahaidachny – Galician hetman of Zaporozhians, allied with Poles against Muscovites, defeating the Muscovites and taking a lot of territory; he also allied with Poles against Turks and with them defeated the Turks at Battle of Khotyn

    Western Ukrainians allied with Polish King John Sobieski (himself of partial Western Ukrainian descent) against Turks and won

    Napoleonic wars – western Ukrainians tended to be loyal to Austria (Poles preferred Napoleon). Austria won.

    Obviously during the Cold War, Western Ukrainians were anti-Soviet and pro-Western. Soviets lost the Cold War.

    So only during World War II did western Ukrainians choose the losing side.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @AnonFromTN
  135. @Felix Keverich

    Well, the number of coups in foreign countries the US organized in the last 100 years or so defies imagination. So, one more won’t change anything. The wonnabe Nazis brought to power in Ukraine are also far from unique: many Latin American dictatorships installed and supported by the US were no better.

    An interesting thing is that talking about Crimea, Deep State MSM never mention Kosovo. To wit, there were never any referendums in Kosovo (as opposed to Crimea), and by now a third of Kosovo population ran away from that “paradise” (again, as opposed to Crimea).

    Reminds me of the joke that foreign intelligence officers are spies, whereas our spies are intelligence officers. Roosevelt, speaking about Somosa in Nicaragua, put it best: “but he is our son-of-a-bitch”.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  136. @AP

    I like the stories of glorious Polish victories supported by Western Ukrainians. Is that why when the Poles once captured Moscow they ended up eating their horses and each other in the besieged Kremlin? Is that why Germany and Russia kept dividing up Poland for two centuries?

    In terms of choosing the losing side the only competition Ukraine has is Poland. In view of recent events, Ukraine wins that competition.

    Reminds me of a joke. Wife berates her husband:
    - You are such a loser. If there was a world competition of losers, you’d take the second place!
    - Why the second?
    - Because you are a loser!

    • Replies: @AP
  137. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    Your scenario depends on the ‘enemy’ (Russia) not responding forcefully. When you place your faith in what the enemy will do – or not do – you are already half lost. I cannot imagine a bluff of that magnitude. For one, Russia is not N Korea, Iran, Iraq or even Serbia in the 90′s. Russia has acted decisively in the recent past and it has the ultimate weapons. It is also unlikely any leader in Kremlin would stay in power for too long if they would watch as Donbas gets pulverised.

    So, yes you can come with a scenario, but it is so unlikely in the real world that it amounts to hoping for divine intervention (and we are back to the mental cargo cult that so often leads to disaster).

    Do you have another, more realistic scenario? If not, any military hostilities would be a disaster for the poor Ukrainian soldiers. And what exactly is there to keep Russia from tossing a few missiles at key military bases, factories, or Lvov. Do you really think when the chips are down they will worry about a nasty editorial in NY Times?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  138. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I like the stories of glorious Polish victories supported by Western Ukrainians. Is that why when the Poles once captured Moscow they ended up eating their horses and each other in the besieged Kremlin?

    This is like bragging about Soviet losses in 1941 to prove something about World War II.

    Although Poles were driven out of Moscow they won that war, gaining territory at the expense of Muscovy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Muscovite_War_(1605%E2%80%931618)

    Is that why Germany and Russia kept dividing up Poland for two centuries?

    If you knew some history you would know that this division was happening after Poles and Ukrainians turned against each other.

    But while they were united they were winning.

    In terms of choosing the losing side the only competition Ukraine has is Poland

    As we have seen, western Ukrainians chose the winning side in every war other than World War II.

    That you are unaware of this speaks to your ignorance, though this is well-established.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  139. @AP

    If you knew some history you would know that this division was happening after Poles and Ukrainians turned against each other.

    Volhynia massacre, anyone? Internet is choke-full of pictures of murdered Poles, including little children, as “Ukrainian patriots” were so stupid that they didn’t even think of hiding their atrocities. BTW, Polish parliament declared it genocide (https://www.rferl.org/a/poland-parliament-declares-volyn-massacres-/27874252.html). Note that this link is from RFE/RL directly funded by the US. Masters betraying their slaves? Or just choosing more useful slaves over less useful?

    • Replies: @AP
  140. peterAUS says:

    I think you didn’t, quite, get what I said.
    Let’s try again……

    Your scenario depends on the ‘enemy’ (Russia) not responding forcefully.

    No. My scenario depends on the ‘enemy’ (Russia) responding with restraint. Sounds familiar?

    When you place your faith in what the enemy will do – or not do – you are already half lost.

    The second element of METT-T.

    I cannot imagine a bluff of that magnitude.

    I can imagine a limited incursion and related response of that magnitude. With ease.

    For one, Russia is not N Korea, Iran, Iraq or even Serbia in the 90′s.

    Agree.

    Russia has acted decisively in the recent past and it has the ultimate weapons.

    It has and it has not re the former; irrelevant re the later.

    It is also unlikely any leader in Kremlin would stay in power for too long if they would watch as Donbas gets pulverised.

    Agree.
    Change “pulverized” with “ejecting limited incursion” and things change there for much better.

    Do you have another, more realistic scenario?

    Nope. The above is the best for the regime in Kiev and its backers abroad.
    Probably not bad for Kremlin either.
    It definitely bad for pawns and cannon fodder but, well, that’s what they are for.

    If not, any military hostilities would be a disaster for the poor Ukrainian soldiers.

    I’d say ‘not good”. Probably worse for the Donbass civilians and militias, in that order. Not quite good for Russian troops on the ground either.

    And what exactly is there to keep Russia from tossing a few missiles at key military bases, factories, or Lvov.

    Restraint. That thing which has been hailed by the “Team Russia” since Putin came into power.
    Smart moves. Long term strategy we, ordinary humans, can’t comprehend. Wisdom.
    As in Georgia, Syria and last, but not the least in Ukraine. We have to go through all that again?

    Do you really think when the chips are down they will worry about a nasty editorial in NY Times?

    What chips?
    The regime in Kremlin will benefit from “defending Donbass” internally.
    The regime in Kiev will benefit from initial success, if only within 10 Kms and crying for help later on.
    The TPTBs in West will benefit with more sanctions, propaganda and such.

    The dead and mutilated Donbass civilians won’t, of course. Combatants with similar fate at least choose that; comes with the trade.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  141. @Beckow

    No, PeterAUS wrote a scenario where they win despite Russia acting forcefully.

    By the way, even now, Ukraine seems to occupy a few villages each year, so there’s that.

    what exactly is there to keep Russia from tossing a few missiles at key military bases, factories, or Lvov

    There are Ukrainian missiles, too. If Russia starts bombing Ukrainian cities, Ukraine might start lobbing missiles at some Russian cities. Another perk of lots of military assets is that Russia might think twice about that, too.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @peterAUS
  142. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …Anything up until North Korea style sanctions

    How would that work? Would Germany stop buying gas? Would Italy? Would they stop selling (very profitably) their goods in Russia? Does Washington still have that much power that they could just order their ‘allies’ to stop trading with Russia?

    Russia is not N Korea, or Iran, or Cuba. It is big, has lots of stuff that others want to buy, and has a decent market for selling stuff. I have worked with (S) Koreans and they are mean motherf…ers when it comes to business, you don’t tell them what to do or what to sell.

    The analogies that people are throwing around are just the common modern mistake of seeing false analogies everywhere. The situation in Russia-Ukraine is very specific, it would play out based on its local circumstances. Russia could also play an irrational card, or one can never be sure. But I disagree with you about the irrationals having an advantage in a game theory, it is not the irrational ones, it is the ones who can threaten credible moves that appear irrational but who stay in control. The true irrationals – e.g. the current crowd in Kiev – have no plan, no moves, and their irrationality is self-defeating. Their only move is to hope for a massive Western intervention, and an almost complete breakdown of West-Russia relations – how likely is that? No matter how many provocations they stage, no matter how much their Western ‘friends’ egg them on, at the end of the day, the cavalry isn’t coming. It will be a long way down.

  143. DreadIlk says:
    @AP

    Sanctioning North Korea and Iran failed. Russian GDP is three times bigger then Iran’s. Plus Russia and US are playing nice right now mostly doing things to each other that don’t matter. Any significant sanctions would be answered the same way. As @Beckow mentioned the big sanctions would undermine global institutions. It’s not the dollar amount that would worry US but the fact that alternatives will be made.

    • Replies: @AP
  144. @reiner Tor

    Russia won’t bomb Ukraine for the simple reason that it isn’t cost-effective. It is playing the waiting game, as nobody ever did more damage to Ukraine than its current “leaders”. There was even a joke in Russia that Ukrainian coup leaders (and Obama, BTW) should be awarded medals “For the liberation of Crimea”. The people who suffer because of this waiting game are Donbass residents. Ukraine is dying, but headless chicken can run for a while, doing damage in his path.

  145. JLK says:

    Putin wants NATO to fracture and to do business with a neutral France and Germany. A shooting war with Ukraine would be very counterproductive at this point.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  146. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    …responding with restraint

    I think in Russia’s case the ‘restraint’ is defined as the minimum hostile activity that achieves their goals. So they will be ‘restrained’ as long as they are winning. In a scenario where the restraint no longer suffices, I am pretty sure they would escalate.

    The idea that Ukraine can bloody them is a valid one, they certainly could. But in most of these uneven contests the weaker side (here Ukraine) only fights when they have superior motivation and morale to the enemy. Otherwise they tend to collapse, soldiers run away, officers hesitate to take bold action, etc… Given the well known weaknesses that Ukraine has (it is internally divided!), how likely is it that they would actually stay in the fight?

    The main restraint on Russia is not the fear of Kiev’s might nor fear of Western intervention and sanctions. The main dynamic forcing restraint on Kremlin is that they see Ukraine as a ‘brotherly’ nation, that they are thinking long-term, and that they don’t want a bloody generations long vendetta to start between Russians and Ukrainians. Rather responsible, but I am not sure in a bloody confrontation it would last. Then a logic of ‘let’s get it done sooner, rather than later, there will be fewer casualties’ takes over. And you get the fireworks.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  147. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You’re the one trying to float the old cliche of Galicians or West Ukrainians running the country, and all of the rest of the sheeple following the leader – it just isn’t so. Try something new, more believable, please.

  148. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Comment in no way contradicts what I wrote.

    However it illustrates an important point: as we have seen, when Ukrainians and Poles were united, they usually won. But when they were divided, it was a mixed record. So this is why pro-Russians like to bring up horrors such as the Volhynian massacre whenever they can.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  149. @JLK

    That’s exactly why the US handlers egg their Ukrainian dogs to start a shooting war with Russia. If this were a spots event, Russia would have suffered a technical defeat: it did not show up for the war. The only thing that restrains current Ukrainian “leadership” is cowardice: they know the outcome and don’t want their precious skins to suffer, especially now that they stole so much and want to enjoy their loot.

  150. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    ..PeterAUS wrote a scenario where they win despite Russia acting forcefully..

    Not exactly.

    The handle wrote a scenario where all major players win, and pawns and cannon fodder lose.
    Again.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  151. AP says:
    @DreadIlk

    Sanctioning North Korea and Iran failed.

    It kept those countries backward and poor, and weaker than they would be otherwise.

    Any significant sanctions would be answered the same way.

    Sure. And Russia loses that game against the West.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
  152. @AP

    Are these horrors real, or a tale of pro-Russian propaganda? Were Bandera followers who committed these crimes pro-Russians? Was Maidan organized by the Kremlin to take Crimea back? Was Obama tricked by Putin into financing maidanistas for that reason?

    My condolences, though: when you stick to a false narrative, it is impossible to make things gibe.

    • Replies: @AP
  153. @peterAUS

    Well, Ukraine would win, which is what matters to Ukraine.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @peterAUS
  154. @reiner Tor

    The words “Ukraine” and “win” cannot be used in the same sentence. American handling of that unfortunate would-be country since 2014 shows this clearly.

    • Replies: @AP
  155. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Are these horrors real, or a tale of pro-Russian propaganda

    They were, of course, real.

    Were Bandera followers who committed these crimes pro-Russians?

    No, but Stalin killed more Poles than did Bandera’s followers so when Russian nationalists feign (I am not implying you here) horror at the loss of those Polish lives it is hypocritical.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  156. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    I think in Russia’s case the ‘restraint’ is defined as the minimum hostile activity that achieves their goals. So they will be ‘restrained’ as long as they are winning. In a scenario where the restraint no longer suffices, I am pretty sure they would escalate.

    Obviously…………………………………………………………

    The idea that Ukraine can bloody them is a valid one, they certainly could.

    You haven’t, for some reason, defined “them”?
    I shall: Donbass people. Civilians and militiamen. In that order.
    BTW, you, for a HUGE change in similar discussions, do appear to be:
    -civil enough
    -knowledgeable
    -not quite a Putin fanboy.

    So……..re the second which has been PUZZLING me since the start of all this a couple of years ago (so I can get something from this chat):
    Why we have NOT seen a properly organized armed force of Novorossya/Donbass/whatever?
    Simple question the “Team Russia” has been careful to avoid.

    Because not enough men and material there? Yeah…..
    Not enough expertise? Haha….yeah.

    All it would’ve been needed is a properly organized Corps (say…..3 brigades etc…) with LOCAL commanders. I say COMMANDERS. Specialists could’ve come from …..Papua New Guinea if necessary.
    Any ideas?

    Oh, BTW, before some amateurs start to chime in just keep in mind that I have worked, once upon a time, as a little guy in Corps H.Q. so know a thing or two about that. Or..hehe..so I say.

    But in most of these uneven contests the weaker side (here Ukraine) only fights when they have superior motivation and morale to the enemy. Otherwise they tend to collapse, soldiers run away, officers hesitate to take bold action, etc… Given the well known weaknesses that Ukraine has (it is internally divided!), how likely is it that they would actually stay in the fight?

    Now you are talking….
    Ukraine is NOT a weaker side actually. It all depends on the ….ahm…RESTRAINT in Kremlin.
    Without Kremlin help Ukraine would steamroll over that area in a couple of weeks.

    So, Ukraine can attack on front of, say, 20 Kms achieving depth in, say, 10 Kms, with not much difficulty, in, say……..72 hours, then stop, consolidate, dig in,the works.
    Should Russians respond in FORCE they run for their lives back. If properly organized shouldn’t be a big of a problem. THAT is, of course, utilized by the “Masters”, both local and abroad.
    Now………..if there is ahm….restraint………..well………………………………………………………a lot of options there. A lot.

    The main dynamic forcing restraint on Kremlin is that they see Ukraine as a ‘brotherly’ nation, that they are thinking long-term, and that they don’t want a bloody generations long vendetta to start between Russians and Ukrainians.

    Main concern, agree.

    Rather responsible, but I am not sure in a bloody confrontation it would last. Then a logic of ‘let’s get it done sooner, rather than later, there will be fewer casualties’ takes over. And you get the fireworks.

    The worst case scenario here re the regime in Kiev would be mauling of the force assembled for attack. Including, of course, rear echelon, depots etc. Georgia type. And then STOP.
    I do not see Russian forces going further.

    How would that be utilized in the real game here (The Empire vs Kremlin) could be an interesting conversation for some other time, perhaps.
    My take is…it would reinforce all the major players here. Hardened all positions. Till the next confrontation.

    Take this incursion as a test of sort.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @DreadIlk
  157. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ukraine has been mostly winning starting in 2016. You are just living in eternal 2014.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  158. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Well, Ukraine would win, which is what matters to Ukraine

    You mean the regime in Kiev and all those in/outside of Ukraine who, ahm, do NOT like Russia/Russians?
    Agree.

    Not so sure about the brigade combat team actually doing the incursion; especially air assets supporting the effort and those poor guys in the lead battalion.
    That’s for the “teeth”.
    As for the “tail”, well….there will be some bloody excitement there too.
    Emphasize on “bloody” re Russian standoff capability.

    Comes with a job I guess.

  159. @AP

    Sweet dreams. Don’t wake up: the reality is horrible.

    • LOL: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @AP
  160. Epigon says:

    As if I walked into an alternate dimension.

    Russian restraint and “non-intervention in conflict”, “cooperation with Western partners for finding peace in Ukraine” (for which Putin and government came under fire by simpletons) was in reality actual T-72B3 and T-90A tank platoons in action in another state, obvious Russian professionals dispatching an entire batallion of T-64BM Bulats near Luhansk airport that was blocking the route of White convoy, in a single night, and the obvious employment of Russian Army to eradicate those threatening Ukrainian maneuvers near the border.

    And people here write about restraint and blinking.

    Do you understand the implications of Russian tank regiments operating in Ukraine, and the message that one picture of neatly parked column of T-72B3 in Ukraine in Russian cammo was supposed to send?

    Red line. Ukraine is Russian red line. There is nowhere else to retreat – militarily and geopolitically.
    On the other hand, Russia is interested in minimalising the bloodbath, so encircled troops were admitted to Russia and then returned to Ukraine, Debaltsevo salient was evacuated after negotiations through that narrow, exposed corridor, and the Ilovaysk was in reality not the massacre it could have been, followed by release of many prisoners.

  161. @AP

    Stalin killed a lot fewer Poles in many years than Ukrainian nationalists during the Volhynia massacre. What’s more, his goons never nailed little children to trees or cut open bellies of pregnant women. Even German Nazis did not do that, delegating dirty work to untermenschen.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @AP
  162. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ukraine GDP growth rate, horrible reality for you starting in 2016:

    • Replies: @Jon0815
    , @RadicalCenter
  163. Epigon says:
    @peterAUS

    Ukrainians advancing, stopping and digging in would expose them to…. well, the toys whose aftermath you see here: http://lostarmour.info

    You literally outlined the worst possible way of action, which in reality resulted in battalions and regiments savaged when caught stationary.

    Have you forgotten the map of frontlines
    from July/August 2014?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  164. Epigon says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Why the pretend, fake sympathy for Poles killed by Ukrainians?

    It is amusing when Russians and Sovoks do it, for the sake of opposing Ukrainians. I mean, your Stalin argument could be countered with the fact how Polish resistance fighters and nationalists were dealt with by Soviets, or how RKKA stopped to let Germans extinguish Warsaw uprising.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mikhail
    , @AnonFromTN
  165. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Stalin killed a lot fewer Poles in many years than Ukrainian nationalists during the Volhynia massacre.

    Ukrainian nationalists killed up to 100,000 Poles in Volhynia massacres:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia_and_Eastern_Galicia

    NKVD killed 111,000 Poles in 1937-1938. Another 30,000 died in gulags, so about 140,000 victims total.:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Operation_of_the_NKVD

    “The Polish Operation was the largest ethnic shooting and deportation action during the Great Terror campaign of political murders in the Soviet Union, orchestrated by Nikolai Yezhov.[9][10] It is also the largest killing of Poles in history outside any armed conflict”

    This affected ethnic Poles living in the USSR before the Soviet invasion of Poland.

    Between 1939 and 1941 another 150,000 Poles were murdered by Stalin (the 22,000 murdered in Katyn were the most famous).

    A few 100,000s more were deported; many of thee died during the process.

    Thank you for demonstrating your ignorance yet again.

    So again, some Russian nationalist, or Sovok, complaining about what Bandera did to Poles is grotesquely hypocritical.

  166. LondonBob says:

    You can’t sanction Russia meaningfully because the price of commodities would go up by a multiple and the European banking system would collapse even before the impact of the commodities price surge.

  167. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Epigon

    There’s a small but noticeable segment of pro-Russian Poles. Conversely, there’re Russians who really don’t want to dislike Poland – but find some difficulty in doing so – given the overall anti-Russian slant among Poles.

    Denikin was half Polish and sympathized with Poland, while identifying more with Russia and opposing Pilsudski’s type of nationalism:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    Russians don’t collectively oppose Ukrainians. The former understandably oppose the svido variant among some of the latter.

    Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    • Replies: @Epigon
  168. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Gerard2

    Re: https://twitter.com/irenatar?lang=en

    Intellectually, she’s a quite collapsible svido. In her (as of this posting) latest Tweet, she repeats what Ukraine’s UN ambassador said at the UNSC yesterday. That ambassador also said that one of the detained Ukrainians is in critical condition. Let’s see the follow-up on that claim. Russia could’ve done a much better job at communicating its position at yesterday’s UNSC meeting. The leading Western nations were quite phony at that meeting.

    I do recall the Beeb having a Russian correspondent, who awhile back gave an eye opening (for Western mass media) mainstream Russian view – something that generally runs counter to that news venue.

    CNN keeps cranking out the false narrative that Russia is the party which was provocative in this Kerch Strait incident. At that network, Nick Paton Walsh is especially horrid.

  169. Epigon says:
    @Mikhail

    Pro-Russian Poles are a myth today, IMO. Too much bad blood and PR issues for Poles to gloss over, with both Imperial and Soviet period seeing anti-Polish repression.

    As expected, Russians feel less strongly about Poles than vice versa.

    An interesting timeline would be the one where Dmowski triumphs over Pilsudski.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  170. peterAUS says:
    @Epigon

    I think we are talking past each other.

    You find important something which I don’t (save that “cannon fodder” element).
    You don’t find important something I think is, very (the issue of non-existing local forces and, hence, the need for so visible Russian intervention….or NOT).

    All good.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  171. Mikhail says: • Website

    Over the years Tom Nichols has come across as a pretentious twerp:

    https://radio.foxnews.com/2018/11/26/professor-at-the-naval-war-college-tom-nichols-the-russians-are-trying-things-because-they-can/

    I recall him saying that Molly McKew is a worthy source. Nichols is among a slew who duck substantive point-counterpoint exchanges.

  172. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Epigon

    The aforementioned Soviet stop could very well have been for other reasons. Guderian said the Red Army needed a break. Others note the Soviets having other strategic concerns at the time, in addition to the Warsaw Uprising Poles not having told the Soviets beforehand of their plan.

    Another account says the London Poles were initially (when the Nazis withdrew from Warsaw) suggesting that the Red Army wasn’t needed. Can imagine Stalin saying okay we aren’t needed – let’s see how they do without us.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @AnonFromTN
  173. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Epigon

    Are they really such a myth? Some have put their figure in the 10%-15% range.

  174. Epigon says:
    @peterAUS

    You base your conclusion on wrong premises.
    Even the double, triple the number of local militiamen would in practice be of far less importance than the colossal force
    multipliers that most modern, night-fighting suitable Russian tanks, self-guiding AT Smerch subminitions or cluster warheads, and Krasnopol and similar toys.

    Ukrainian Army roamed the countryside, utilizing the vast advantage it enjoyed in mechanized and armoured assets. Rebels controlled urban areas and major
    settlements, which were isolated one from another and partially or completely surrounded by Ukrainian Army at various points.
    Rebels simply couldn’t counter
    this and weren’t equipped and trained for combat in open terrain.

    However, Russian regulars, “volunteers”, “North wind” etc. then procedeed to systematically target, isolate and defeat those Ukrainian battle groups. The priority targets were Airmobile brigades, manned by most combat ready Ukrainians, professional soldiers, and most mobile ergo selected to secure the border and separate Donetsk and Lugansk from Russia.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @peterAUS
  175. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Ukraine GDP growth rate, horrible reality for you starting in 2016:

    Pitifully weak.

    Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia all averaged faster GDP growth than Ukraine in 2016-2017, despite per capita GDP ranging from 4-8 times higher.

    Moldova, with per capita GDP on par with Ukraine, also did better, with growth averaging 4.5% vs. 2.4% for Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  176. Epigon says:
    @Epigon

    Furthermore, the fact that Moscow imposed commanders loyal and obedient towards Moscow is completely logical. Without Kremlin, all would have been over by the end of July.

    So all those various local “famous commanders” and their personal warbands were unified and placed under control. Those unwilling to play by these ruled were replaced or probably even assassinated – this war, like all wars do, attracted shady and criminal people as well.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  177. Epigon says:
    @Mikhail

    Which party allegiance would these “10-15% of Poles” have? I simply can’t see several millions of Poles being pro-Russian, not even close.

    Of course the Soviets made the right decision for Soviet war/geopolitical effort. The whole point of the uprising timing was to utilise the disarray, weakened presence and general retreat of Germans ahead of Soviet advance to liberate Warsaw before the Soviets and flip them off.

  178. Gerard2 says:
    @Jon0815

    Moldova, with per capita GDP on par with Ukraine, also did better, with growth averaging 4.5% vs. 2.4% for Ukraine.

    ….and Belarus….and Armenia (alot) and Kyrgyzstan ….and even Priedniestrovie if we separate it from Moldova…AND almost certainly Iran and even Syria and Libya and Iraq!

    • Replies: @AP
  179. peterAUS says:
    @Epigon

    You base your conclusion on wrong premises.

    Yeah.

    You lost me on “….triple the number of local militiamen….”.

    One day, when you have time try to, instead of that Russian “colossal force multipliers ” etc. think, just for one minute, about Donbass/Novorosya/whatever “Corps”.

    All good.

  180. peterAUS says:
    @Epigon

    … the fact that Moscow imposed commanders loyal and obedient towards Moscow is completely logical.

    It is.

    …Those unwilling to play by these ruled were replaced or probably even assassinated.

    I know.

    You simply don’t get what I am trying to say here.
    Moving on.

  181. AP says:

    Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia all averaged faster GDP growth than Ukraine in 2016-2017

    Russia’s was lower. Russia’s declined in 2016 while Ukraine’s grew, and Ukraine’s growth has been higher than Russia’s in 2017-2018.

    Ukraine has also done better than Belarus in 2016-2018 (Belarus better in 2018 but a lot worse in 2016-2017).

    So from 2016 Ukraine has outpaced 2 of 3 non-EU neighbors but has done more poorly than the EU members that it borders. It has also done better than non-EU member Macedonia.

    Moldova, with per capita GDP on par with Ukraine

    Moldova’s nominal per GDP is 87% that of Ukraine and its PPP is 66% that of Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  182. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    ….and Belarus

    Belarus -2.5% growth 2016, Ukraine +2.3% growth 2016. Belarus +2.4% growth 2017, Ukraine +2.5% growth 2017.

    This isn’t even per capita.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  183. @reiner Tor

    It’s an ill wind.

    Both countries need stability and steady development more than anything else, but are trapped in a situation of mutual distrust aggravated by the interference of third parties.

  184. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Russia’s was lower. Russia’s declined in 2016 while Ukraine’s grew, and Ukraine’s growth has been higher than Russia’s in 2017-2018.

    Ukraine has also done better than Belarus in 2016-2018 (Belarus better in 2018 but a lot worse in 2016-2017).

    Russia has 4x Ukraine’s per capita GDP, and is having economic warfare waged against it by the West, so it’s not very impressive or meaningful that Ukraine has managed to outperform it. And of course Belarus’ economic fortunes are closely intertwined with Russia’s.

    So from 2016 Ukraine has outpaced 2 of 3 non-EU neighbors but has done more poorly than the EU members that it borders.

    The EU averaged 2.2% GDP growth from 2016-2017, virtually the same as Ukraine’s 2.4%, despite having a per capita GDP 13 x higher. The driving force of the Maidan revolution was the promise that a “European Choice” would produce real progress on convergence with European living standards, and it has failed to deliver on that promise.

    With Ukraine’s combination of Third World poverty, high intellectual capital, and Western financial support, it should be growing at 5%-10%, as most other Eastern European and former-Yugoslav countries did when they were at a similar level of per capita GDP.

    P.S.- I’m curious, was the power situation in Kiev better or worse in 2014?

    • Replies: @AP
  185. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Russia has 4x Ukraine’s per capita GDP, and is having economic warfare waged against it by the West, so it’s not very impressive or meaningful that Ukraine has managed to outperform it.

    And Ukraine is having a civil war and is having problems with it largest neighbor. How is economic growth in other places with civil war?

    The EU averaged 2.2% GDP growth from 2016-2017, virtually the same as Ukraine’s 2.4%

    Ukraine’s per capita growth has been higher.

    The driving force of the Maidan revolution was the promise that a “European Choice” would produce real progress on convergence with European living standards, and it has failed to deliver on that promise.

    Driving force was removal of Yanukovich and his regime. Maidan was the work of the western and central half of the country. These parts have seen growth well above the national average. They got what they wanted and benefit from it. Economic problems with Russia and civil that continues thanks to Russia mostly hurt the parts of Ukraine that didn’t support Maidan in the first place anyways.

    With Ukraine’s combination of Third World poverty, high intellectual capital, and Western financial support, it should be growing at 5%-10%, as most other Eastern European and former-Yugoslav countries did when they were at a similar level of per capita GDP.

    It is no longer the 1990s and early 2000s. That train left.

    I’m curious, was the power situation in Kiev better or worse in 2014

    For most residents, no different.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Jon0815
    , @DreadIlk
  186. @Epigon

    I don’t know about you, but in my book people who nail babies to trees and cut open the bellies of pregnant women are the lowliest scum on Earth, regardless of the nationality of the victims. Maybe “democratic” values are different. Then I am proud that I don’t share them.

    Personally, I know few Poles and have nothing against them. In Moscow State I even helped one Polish girl to solve her problems with the education officials. I know from experience that in every nation there are very good people, so-so people, and scum, so I never generalize by nationality, gender, race, religion, or any other superficial thing. Again, if “democratic” values are different, I am glad that I don’t share them.

    In my book a murder is a murder, and a murderer is a murderer, whatever the nationality of either him/her/it or the victim. I know that “democratic” countries don’t give a hoot about aborigines, but I treat all human beings as human beings, and “democracy” be damned.

    • Agree: JLK
  187. @Mikhail

    Well, it was possible: Tito liberated Yugoslavia without Soviet help, and Stalin had no pretext to move his troops there (even though he clearly wanted to). So-called Warsaw uprising was planned in London to show that Poles can free themselves. It failed. Its propagandists never mention an earlier uprising of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, who did not expect any outside help. They also studiously avoid mentioning that Poles handed Jews running away from ghetto after the uprising to the Germans. Then again, there are different shades of black: Lithuanians and Poles eagerly helped Germans to round up Jews, but there were no Lithuanian or Polish Waffen SS divisions, whereas there were Estonian, Latvian, and Ukrainian.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  188. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:

    If only John McCain was still around to tell us we are all Ukrainians now!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. Hack
  189. @anon

    Yes, he was that kind of scum. A historic guy, though: he was the only person in history who managed to completely take an American aircraft carrier out of commission. If it weren’t for an Admiral dad and Admiral granddad, he’d spend the rest of his life in the gaol.

  190. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    And Ukraine is having a civil war and is having problems with it largest neighbor

    Do you really consider the war in Donbas a ‘civil war’? Sure, I’m aware that some locals have been coopted into this war by Russia and some locals join in for lack of many other options, but wouldn’t it still be more accurate to label the whole affair as a ‘Russian proxy war’? Initially and for a good long while after 2014, there was ample evidence that Russians and Asians were being recruited all over Russia, but especially from its Eastern areas to take part in these actions. Social media outlets were full of stories posted from these sorts of mercenaries including their adventures in Ukraine. One would even read about recruiting stations in Russia and also about the large contingent of regular Russian forces stationed right on the Russsian/Ukrainian border (with strong inferences being made that these forces would often cross the border and take a part in operations). One can only wonder how the latest affair in Kerch will effect these recruting efforts going forward.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @AP
  191. Mr. Hack says:
    @anon

    Don’t fret, you can always watch John on youtube. There’s more like this too:

  192. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    Soviet troops were in Yugoslavia to aid the Partizans before the end of WW II. The Red Army presence was evident in Belgrade when it was liberated.

  193. Mikhail says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The overwhelming majority of the Donbass rebel fighters are from the former Ukrainian SSR – primarily the Donbass area.

    The not so Russia friendly Serhiy Kudleia has acknowledged this as have some others including Paul Robinson.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  194. Mikhail says: • Website

    Russia Should Play Role Reversal

    Re: https://us.cnn.com/2018/11/28/politics/putin-trump-g20-meeting/index.html

    The Russian government should designate a pit bull to say that given the US government’s poor behavior over the Kiev regime’s provocations, Putin might feel the need to cancel a planned meeting with Trump.

    Said pit bull could note a pattern of Trump exhibiting a comparatively more restrained and reasoned attitude over the likes of Nikki Haley – only to then see Trump tilt to a more provocative tone.

    Poroshenko appears to be engaging in cheap nationalist acts for the purpose of trying to score immediate propaganda points.

    Regarding Nikki Haley:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/23/naming-top-anti-russian-advocates.html

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/19042018-confronting-russia-in-syria-analysis/

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/12042017-latest-bump-in-us-russian-relations-analysis/

    Will add that Mike Pompeo and James Mattis, have been pretty obtuse on the matter of the recent incident in the area of the Kerch Strait.

  195. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail

    That’s Serhiy Kudelia .

  196. Mikhail says: • Website

    In the below linked exchange, Ivan Katchanovski doesn’t note the Russian claim that some (if not all) of the Ukrainian vessels at issue had entered Russian territory, internationally recognized as Russia prior to Crimea’s reunification with that nation. In any event, it’s unsafe to have vessels not properly coordinating their movement in the Kerch Strait area with the established agreement that has been in place. That’s a key issue which the likes of Jim Mattis, Nikki Haley and much of Anglo-American mass media have downplayed or out-rightly ignored – instead engaging in hyperbolic anti-Russian propaganda.

    That heavy handed bias serves to further make Russians especially vigilant in making sure that their country is well protected – once again noting the calls to use terror against the bridge linking Crimea with the rest of Russia.

    The position taken by Poroshenko has some resemblance to Saakashvili’s provocation against Russia in 2008.

    https://www.academia.edu/37865340/Metro_Interview_Concerning_the_Incident_between_Ukrainian_and_Russian_ships_and_the_Martial_Law_in_Ukraine_English-Language_Text_

  197. @AnonFromTN

    To wit, there were never any referendums in Kosovo (as opposed to Crimea)

    You need to inform the Nobel Peace Prize President of this, ‘cuz he says otherwise!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  198. DreadIlk says:
    @AP

    Backward and poor was before the sanctions aswell and it is a moot point. Goal not achieved. Failure is the point.

    Sure. And Russia loses that game against the West.

    No everyone loses. That is why these were not undertaken. It is an escalation in conflict. It is damage to both sides.

    I know you are biased but step up your game.

  199. DreadIlk says:
    @peterAUS

    Talking past each other you right. On first read I was going to shit talk. On second read what you are saying makes sense.

    I would say that we can’t realistically refer to the rebels as a separate side from Russia. Ethnic Russians in Donbas is Russia because Russia publicly said they will not allow ethnic Russians to get wiped out. And we can’t consider Ukraine as an independent player. If it was up to Ukrainians they would never have central government seized by western Ukrainians and furthermore there would have been a partisan war in western Ukraine and not conventional war in eastern Ukraine. So all scenarios with Ukrainian military steam rolling eastern rebels is by default impossible.

    So with these considerations it becomes moot to guess how much Russians will get involved. They will constantly up the escalation to counter anything that comes down from Washington. And the second Washington loses interest the westerners will get f..ed.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  200. @AnonFromTN

    Let western Ukraine be its own country, with small border areas of heavy ethnic concentration possibly joining their home countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). They can join NATO or the Islamic Union (EU) or any other foolish idea they like.

    Let the more-Russian oblasts of Eastern and southeastern Ukraine join Russia, or be independent and allied with Russia, if they wish.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
  201. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    And Ukraine is having a civil war and is having problems with it largest neighbor. How is economic growth in other places with civil war?

    The low-level civil war in Donbass has virtually zero impact on Ukraine’s economy. The physical damage from shelling is mostly occurring in rebel-held areas not counted in Ukraine’s economic statistics. The bad relations with its largest neighbor have certainly had a negative effect, but that is my point: The Maidanist policy of spurning Russia, in favor of the false promise of EU membership, has been a failure for Ukraine.

    Ukraine’s per capita growth has been higher.

    Not much higher. From 2016-2017 the EU (per capita GDP $33000) averaged 2.0% growth per capita, vs. 2.8% for Ukraine (per capita GDP $2500).

    Maidan was the work of the western and central half of the country. These parts have seen growth well above the national average. They got what they wanted and benefit from it.

    Growth has been well below potential in the west and center too, though somewhat less so than in the east. And slower growth overall means fewer tax revenues to Kiev: Hence fewer/less reliable government services everywhere, than would be the case with faster growth, regardless of how that slower growth is regionally distributed.

    Economic problems with Russia and civil that continues thanks to Russia mostly hurt the parts of Ukraine that didn’t support Maidan in the first place anyways.

    It’s true that the eastern regions have disproportionately suffered, and I have no sympathy for them. They had the opportunity to join Donbass in rebellion, and chose to remain under the rule of a regime hostile to them, so they deserve everything they get as a result. From a Russian nationalist perspective, the more that growth in eastern Ukraine lags the west, the better, since this will increase the east’s alienation from the west, making it more likely that Ukraine will eventually fragment on it’s own (or at least make that territory much easier to pacify after reunification with Russia by military means).

    Also, you are correct that the civil war continues thanks to Russia, but probably not the way you mean: Ukraine is the military aggressor, but Russia could end the fighting at any time by recognizing the D/LNR and allowing them to join Russia.

    It is no longer the 1990s and early 2000s. That train left.

    What’s the evidence for 5%+ growth no longer being possible at Ukraine’s PCGDP level, other than Ukraine’s failure?

    For most residents, no different.

    That’s an evasive response, which would be technically true even if not a single resident lacked power in 2014, and 49% lacked it in 2018.

    What % of Kiev residents have currently been without power for days/weeks/months, and how does that compare to 2014?

    • Replies: @AP
  202. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Do you really consider the war in Donbas a ‘civil war’? Sure, I’m aware that some locals have been coopted into this war by Russia and some locals join in for lack of many other options, but wouldn’t it still be more accurate to label the whole affair as a ‘Russian proxy war’?

    The civil war was set up largely by Russia, and continues to exist due to Russia’s assistance to the rebels, but for years now the primary fighters and figures have been locals from the Donbas* so it can IMO most accurately be described as a civil war that is fueled by Russia. A proxy war would also be accurate description of course, both terms apply here.

    The Syrian civil war, prior to Russian intervention, was similar (Ukraine’s is less bloody and more civilized thank God). On one side you had Syria’s government, on the other side you had rebels well-armed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, helped by foreign volunteers as well as Western special forces trainers and advisers augmented by the occasional Western air strike. It is not a Turkish-Saudi-American invasion of Syria but a Syrian civil war made possible by and fueled by anti-Syrian foreign states.

    *Generally, about 10% of the anti-Kiev fighters in Donbas have been Russian volunteers. Many of these were experienced Chechen war veterans so they were more helpful than their numbers indicate. There were also Russian military advisers and trainers involved, and Russian troops in a few critical moments such as Ilovaisk. Overall, generally analogous to experienced jihadists in Syria plus Western trainers and advisers and the occasional Western airstrike against Assad’s government though of course in the Syrian case the foreign jihadists and the western military are supporting different factions.

  203. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Let western Ukraine be its own country, with small border areas of heavy ethnic concentration possibly joining their home countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia).

    Would you support California and other border areas of the USA with heavy ethnic concentrations joining other countries?

    Let the more-Russian oblasts of Eastern and southeastern Ukraine join Russia, or be independent and allied with Russia, if they wish.

    This already happened in 2014. There was no effective central government or army and all regions of Ukraine that wanted to leave Ukraine had the chance, and took it. Russia had hoped that half of Ukraine would have joined Russia, but only Crimea and the southeastern 2/3 (by population) of Donbas did so – about 15% of the pre-2014 country.

  204. DreadIlk says:
    @AP

    And Ukraine is having a civil war and is having problems with it largest neighbor. How is economic growth in other places with civil war?

    You made a statement that Ukraine is winning. 2.4% GDP after huge fall and starting from very low base is not winning. Admitting there is a civil war is not winning.

    Driving force was removal of Yanukovich and his regime. Maidan was the work of the western and central half of the country. These parts have seen growth well above the national average. They got what they wanted and benefit from it. Economic problems with Russia and civil that continues thanks to Russia mostly hurt the parts of Ukraine that didn’t support Maidan in the first place anyways.

    Keep dreaming. I guess they are still bellow what it was before Maidan. At the very least official numbers for entire country are. Once we also consider the growth they could have had had they not started a civil war it becomes even more damning.

    For most residents, no different.

    22 cities with no heat before winter season starts begs to disagree. Sharij had some videos out of Kiev where they did not even bother to clean first snow and people were sliding on ice.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  205. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    “And Ukraine is having a civil war and is having problems with it largest neighbor. How is economic growth in other places with civil war?”

    The low-level civil war in Donbass has virtually zero impact on Ukraine’s economy.

    The eastern parts of Ukraine were integrated with Donbas and this disruption has negatively affected those regions’ economies. It’s not a coincidence that parts of Ukraine further from the civil war zone have experienced higher economic growth than the national average.

    The bad relations with its largest neighbor have certainly had a negative effect, but that is my point: The Maidanist policy of spurning Russia, in favor of the false promise of EU membership, has been a failure for Ukraine.

    Maidanist policy was to focus on EU, Russia retaliated by spurning Ukraine. The result has been a boon to western and to a lesser extent central Ukraine but bad for regions more linked to Russia, who have had the double whammy of civil war disruption and Russian trade disruption.

    Under such conditions, steady 2%-3% national GDP growth (or 3% to 4% per capita growth) is not exactly terrible.

    Growth has been well below potential in the west and center too, though somewhat less so than in the east.

    Corruption at the national level has not helped of course; growth could be even higher. But it is still significant in the west and center.

    From a Russian nationalist perspective, the more that growth in eastern Ukraine lags the west, the better, since this will increase the east’s alienation from the west, making it more likely that Ukraine will eventually fragment on it’s own

    1. The clusterf*ck that is Donbas has basically inured the people of Kharkiv against rebellion.

    2. A lot of the most pro-Russian elements from this region have already left. They have been replaced by pro-Ukrainian people who fled Donbas.

    3. Eastern Ukraine’s economy has lagged behind but it hasn’t been catastrophic as in Donbas itself.

    The place wasn’t interested in rebellion in 2014, it is even less interested now.

    Also, you are correct that the civil war continues thanks to Russia, but probably not the way you mean: Ukraine is the military aggressor, but Russia could end the fighting at any time by recognizing the D/LNR and allowing them to join Russia.

    Russia could also end the fight by ceasing its significant support to the rebels. (personally, I wish that this would be ended your way, as Donbas is bad for Ukraine).

    What’s the evidence for 5%+ growth no longer being possible at Ukraine’s PCGDP level, other than Ukraine’s failure?

    You claimed that it would be possible. What is the evidence for the claim you made?

    What % of Kiev residents have currently been without power for days/weeks/months, and how does that compare to 2014?

    No one has lost power (at least, no significant %).

    About 3,000 homes in a city of 3 million had been without heating or hot water for several months as of October:

    https://www.rbc.ua/rus/news/kieve-okolo-3-tys-domov-goryachey-vody-1538656439.html

    Many Ukrainians were without hot water in 2014 also:

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-09-23/hot-water-ukraine

    And in 2012:

    https://ukrainianweek.com/Society/44613

    Etc.

    In 2013 a third of Russia (1/5 of urban homes) was without heating or hot water (although as AK pointed out many of these are probably semi-abandoned Soviet towns in the far north):

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    :::::::::::::::::

    It’s a Russian nationalist trick, to present this chronic and pervasive problem as new or unique and then blame Maidan.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  206. @for-the-record

    Is the fact that Obama always was and still is a liar news to you?

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  207. @RadicalCenter

    It takes two to tango. They might wish to run away from the Ukrainian madhouse (quite understandable), but would Russians wish to welcome those who did not protest against the Nazi government in Kiev? I doubt that.

  208. @DreadIlk

    I don’t see a point of arguing with Ukies or presumed pro-Russians. History will render its judgement no matter what individuals or governments say. I suggest that those interested in Ukraine or Russia save the comments of the most rabid Ukies and alleged pro-Russians and reread them 10 years from now (if anyone remains alive at that time, which I think is very likely).

  209. @AnonFromTN

    Is the fact that Obama always was and still is a liar news to you?

    Not at all, although I think he may well have believed what he said, which is perhaps worse.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  210. AP says:
    @DreadIlk

    You made a statement that Ukraine is winning. 2.4% GDP after huge fall and starting from very low base is not winning.

    I specifically stated that it has been winning starting in 2016 – for about 3 years. Growth was 2.3% 2016, 2.5% 2017 and looks to be about 3% in 2018. All these figures are higher per capita.

    “Maidan was the work of the western and central half of the country. These parts have seen growth well above the national average. They got what they wanted and benefit from it. Economic problems with Russia and civil that continues thanks to Russia mostly hurt the parts of Ukraine that didn’t support Maidan in the first place anyways.”

    Keep dreaming. I guess they are still bellow what it was before Maidan.

    You guess wrong as usual. Western and central regions experienced a much lower drop in 2014-2015:

    Given the growth rate from 2016 to 2018 they are well above what they were pre-Maidan.

    For example Lviv oblast from January to October this year has seen 20% increase in exports, 13.1% increase in pay (vs. 7.2% increase in consumer prices), 13% increase in construction, etc.:

    http://www.lv.ukrstat.gov.ua/

    If all of your news about Ukraine comes from people you know in Kharkiv than you don’t get a full picture of what is going on the country.

    Once we also consider the growth they could have had had they not started a civil war it becomes even more damning.

    Ukraine had become stagnant before Maidan. .2% growth in 2012, 0% in 2013. It likely would have been around 1% per year. The pre-war economic model was basically to just coast on Soviet-built industry tied to Russia. Not much was reinvested, profits went to private accounts rather than spent on improvement, it was simply stagnation. Maidan disrupted the Soviet-era economy and regions dependent on it have suffered, but opened up new possibilities that have benefited other regions. There is a really booming IT industry, outsourcing as well as R & D, in Lviv nowadays.

    22 cities with no heat before winter season starts begs to disagree.

    Parts of 22 cities.

    Well according to Russian media in 2013 10% of Russian city apartments had no heating at all:

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    Sharij had some videos out of Kiev where they did not even bother to clean first snow and people were sliding on ice.

    You take Sharij seriously. How cute :-)

    So nobody anywhere else failed to clean first snow and nobody anywhere else or at any other time was sliding on ice :-)

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @DreadIlk
  211. @AP

    Paraphrasing British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and Ukrainian statistics.”

    • Replies: @AP
  212. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I suppose all the new stores and the tech park being built in Lviv are also fantasies?

    http://www.uadn.net/2018/06/21/lviv-starts-construction-of-160-million-it-park/

    You are the guy who insisted that no US auto company had any factories in the USA. I guess the news of GM closing some of them is fake, in your world.

    But don’t worry – the huge US factory in the town where you live (but that you claim doesn’t exist) isn’t being closed.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. Hack
  213. peterAUS says:
    @DreadIlk

    On second read what you are saying makes sense.

    You mean re the simple issue of trust?

    … all scenarios with Ukrainian military steam rolling eastern rebels is by default impossible.

    …it becomes moot to guess how much Russians will get involved. They will constantly up the escalation to counter anything that comes down from Washington.

    Because THIS time Kremlin will draw that red line?
    O.K………………….

    And the second Washington loses interest the westerners will get f..ed.

    There is the option other way around. One way to find out.

    Bottom line, you guys trust Kremlin.
    I don’t.

    You know……anyway…..you trust your Government, politicians, when they want you disarmed because they’ll protect you? You know, police etc?
    Feels…….similar here?

    See, all I am asking is so obvious for anyone willing to think: “Why we can’t protect ourselves? Why do we have to rely on YOU?”. Rhetorical question, admit.

    It could’ve been done, with ease, so far.
    It hasn’t.
    I know why.

    Good.

    It would be interesting to see a post here from somebody actually LIVING in that region. “Skin in the game” thing.

  214. @AP

    See my comment #215. I will look through the BS you and other Ukies are spewing in 10 years and get a good laugh. Russians appear to be right: with Ukie propaganda, who needs stand-up comedy?

    • Replies: @AP
  215. Trump cancelled his meeting with Putin, citing the fact that Russia has not yet returned the sailors and vessels to Ukraine. Already a political win for Ukraine, albeit perhaps not a very important one.

    Should they receive two rusty gunboats from the US, and there’ll be no cost to this benefit. They have no incentive to stop behaving the way they do.

  216. JLK says:
    @reiner Tor

    Trump cancelled his meeting with Putin

    I’d love to know if Trump has been kept in the loop of the full contents of the discussion between Bolton and Putin a few weeks ago and any other threats that may have been flying back and forth.

    He must trust his advisors if he doesn’t want to hear things from the horse’s mouth.

  217. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I will look through the BS you you and other Ukies are spewing in 10 years and get a good laugh

    Only one spewing BS in most posts is you and those like you. And one does not have to wait 10 years in the case of your BS. Here is some funny stuff written by a Russian nationalist from 2015:

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/zakharchenko-deinego-and-pushilin-have-set-a-trap-for-poroshenko/

    “The Ukrainian economy is basically dead. There is nothing left to salvage, nevermind turn the tide and overcome the crushing economic crisis. The Right Sector is up in arms and very, very angry. Folks in the western Ukraine are already seriously considering demanding their own special autonomy status. As for Odessa with Saakashvili in charge and the daughter of Egor Gaidar as Deputy Governor, it will inevitably explode, especially since the USA officially pays their salaries.”

    • LOL: reiner Tor
  218. @reiner Tor

    To be honest, this is hardly a punishment. As Helsinki meeting shows, holding talks with Trump is a pure waste of time. This would save Putin a few hours he can use for talks that actually make sense.

    As to rusty US gunboats, they are less rusty than the poor excuses for ships that Ukrainian Navy currently has. However, the problem of Ukraine is that it doesn’t have money to maintain them (and that’s a lot of money). Even if they find the necessary funds in their budget, everything will be stolen by Poroshenko and allied oligarchs. Ukraine is going the way of the Western Roman Empire: it lost to barbarians not because they were stronger militarily, but because pervasive corruption made the Roman Empire impotent.

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

    I’ve been questioning whether this AnonFromTN is really the college biology professor he’d like everyone to believe? How could he not know that such a large GM plant existed right in his own backyard? He’s probably just more cubicle plankton in some Moscow troll factory spewing out his incessant comments here (where does he find the time to complete his administrative duties?), who flunked out of biology school somewhere, with just enough knowledge about how it’s all supposed to work in such a department to create this illusionary profile. :-)

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  220. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I agree that arguing these points today is pointless, let’s wait 3-5 years (10 if you prefer).

    One of the strongest cards Kiev has is to use Trump’s persuasive powers to convince Putin to blink or to at least stand aside. Given known Kremlin propensities to prefer inaction and their risk-averse nature, having Trump repeat it personally is an overall plus for Kiev. Trump not meeting Putin is in my view a loss for Poroshenko.

    There is no agreement possible, the sides are too confrontational. This will come down to mutually-assured long lasting pain (mostly economical) and eventually might resolve itself in a classical blow-up. In a blow-up the strongest guy present usually wins. It is by no means certain, West will be present, that leaves an obvious conclusion that Russia will benefit from the coming confrontation.

    By the way, the main reason for the Western Roman Empire’s collapse were unsustainable and growing levels of debt. That fed the pervasive corruption, the debts were effectively the ‘wealth’ of the elite, but they were mostly un-collectable. Corruption was used as one way to get around that – to cash out so to speak. But the underlying issue was that two or more claimants existed on all productive activity, the producer and the multiple creditors – that always leads to an increase in corruption. Corruption is a short-cut when institutions can no longer function. We are heading to a similar situation.

    • Replies: @AP
  221. @Mr. Hack

    This comment sounds particularly funny coming from someone posing as a physician practicing in the US. The number of comments on this site from a “Mr. Hack” is more consistent with him/her/it being a retired bean counter or school teacher in Zhmerinka supplementing his/her/its meager pension with a few hryvnas from the Ukrainian Ministry of Truth (thanking Orwell for prescience). LOL.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  222. @AP

    Yes, the twenty million, mostly old, people left in Ukraine 25 years from now could have an impressive standard of living at this rate.

  223. @AP

    Fair question, but yes, that’s probably going to happen to the USA as well. It’s a sad and frightening prospect for me as an American, but seems increasingly likely — and not avoidable even with major violence.

  224. @AP

    I am talking about an actual referendum.

    As Ukraine’s population continues to collapse, and most of its supposed Western allies and trading partners — the EU countries and the UK — become muslim/African/Arab hellholes, more people in Ukraine may find union with Russia to be more desirable than they do now. Or at least, they may come to consider it the least bad of a group of unpalatable options. We will see.

  225. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I’ve never once suggested here or anywhere else that I’m a physician or any sort of a medical professional? Once again, you’re displaying your loose handling of the facts, ‘Mr. Professor’. :-)

    So, how was it really, that you weren’t aware that a large GM plant was operating in your own backyard? You must be the real ‘absent minded professor’. :-) :-)

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  226. @for-the-record

    Quite possible. The man is ill-informed and apparently not all that bright. All hype and glorification based on his race and his fashionably antiwhite agenda.

  227. DFH says:
    @AP

    I very much doubt that California/Arizona/New Mexico would ever want to rejoin Texas and have to give up the nice handouts from the rest of America and share their riches with other Mexicans

  228. @reiner Tor

    Exactly, but this is what happens when you surrender all initiative to the enemy. At some point, Kremlins will have to recognise that this problem won’t go away or resolve itself.

  229. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    The eastern parts of Ukraine were integrated with Donbas and this disruption has negatively affected those regions’ economies. It’s not a coincidence that parts of Ukraine further from the civil war zone have experienced higher economic growth than the national average.

    Ukraine chose to impose an economic blockade on Donbass. It can’t use its own policy as an excuse for its economic failure.

    Also, I think a bigger factor is the distance from the Russian border, not from the war zone. Regions farther from the Russian border had fewer economic ties with Russia.

    1. The clusterf*ck that is Donbas has basically inured the people of Kharkiv against rebellion.

    2. A lot of the most pro-Russian elements from this region have already left. They have been replaced by pro-Ukrainian people who fled Donbas.

    3. Eastern Ukraine’s economy has lagged behind but it hasn’t been catastrophic as in Donbas itself.

    The place wasn’t interested in rebellion in 2014, it is even less interested now.

    The areas of Donbass that are occupied by Kiev are certainly not doing well (so the lesson for Kharkiv there, is that if you are going to rebel against Kiev, don’t get reconquered). But we don’t have GDP statistics for the D/LNR, so we don’t really know how the rebel-controlled areas are doing. Probably Donetsk is still less wealthy relative to Kharkiv than it was in 2014, but I think it’s likely that its per capita GDP is also growing significantly faster (given that annual Russian subsidies to the D/LNR are equal to something like 10-20% of their GDP). And there is a nontrivial chance that the D/LNR will become part of Russia within the next 10 years, which would certainly improve economic conditions there, as per capita GDP naturally converged with Russia’s (much higher than Kharkiv’s).

    Economically, Kharkiv’s decision not to rebel was the right one in the short-term, but the medium to long-term remains to be seen.

    You claimed that it would be possible. What is the evidence for the claim you made?

    The fact that it has been the historical norm.

    I count at least 12 former Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, who at some point since 1991 had a per capita GDP on par with 2016-2017 Ukraine (about $2500), and none of whom were EU members at the time: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia.

    Their average per capita growth rate at that PCGDP level was about 7%, with some (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan) reaching as high as 12-14% in a single year. Only Bulgaria averaged worse at that level than Ukraine’s 2.8%.

    Granted, I believe the only other such country to be on par with Ukraine’s current PCGDP within the past 10 years has been Moldova (from 2012-2017) and its average per capita growth over that period has been just under 4%. But that would be very thin evidence to support your claim, since Moldova’s primary obstacle to growth, extreme corruption, is shared by Ukraine.

    About 3,000 homes in a city of 3 million had been without heating or hot water for several months as of October:

    Based on the anecdotal reports I’ve seen on twitter etc., the number of Kiev residents who have been without heating/hot water this fall for at least a week, would surely be >100,000. Earlier in the year, it was reported that 1/3rd of residential buildings in Kiev had no hot water at that time. I don’t know how that compares to 2014 (or for that matter, to Donetsk in 2018).

    • Replies: @AP
  230. DreadIlk says:
    @AP

    I specifically stated that it has been winning starting in 2016 – for about 3 years. Growth was 2.3% 2016, 2.5% 2017 and looks to be about 3% in 2018. All these figures are higher per capita.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-per-capita-ppp We will use the scale that is most generous. So 2013 number 8338 goes to a low of 7464. And from that low you have a recovery to 7894. You still in the hole as a nation. To get growth off the low is not an achievement.

    You guess wrong as usual. Western and central regions experienced a much lower drop in 2014-2015:

    Given the growth rate from 2016 to 2018 they are well above what they were pre-Maidan.

    For example Lviv oblast from January to October this year has seen 20% increase in exports, 13.1% increase in pay (vs. 7.2% increase in consumer prices), 13% increase in construction, etc.:

    http://www.lv.ukrstat.gov.ua/

    If all of your news about Ukraine comes from people you know in Kharkiv than you don’t get a full picture of what is going on the country.

    You realize percent climbing down matter more than percent climbing up? Plus you haven’t shown me real numbers yet per region other than one year snapshot that proves me right.

    Let’s do an experiment 10% decline for one year then 3.3% growth for three what do you get?

    I’m not arguing that western Ukrainians are not better off then Eastern Ukrainians right this moment. But they are still worse off then if Maidan never happened. Furthermore as far as most Ukranians are concerned they would be better off if Lviv was being bombed right now instead of Donetsk and Lugansk.

    Ukraine had become stagnant before Maidan. .2% growth in 2012, 0% in 2013. It likely would have been around 1% per year. The pre-war economic model was basically to just coast on Soviet-built industry tied to Russia. Not much was reinvested, profits went to private accounts rather than spent on improvement, it was simply stagnation. Maidan disrupted the Soviet-era economy and regions dependent on it have suffered, but opened up new possibilities that have benefited other regions. There is a really booming IT industry, outsourcing as well as R & D, in Lviv nowadays.

    Russia and Ukraine were slated for a recession that year. IT industry is a service industry. It can’t survive without manufacturing base. Also still would have been higher GDP PPP then it is post maidan even with shit numbers you give.

    Parts of 22 cities.

    Well according to Russian media in 2013 10% of Russian city apartments had no heating at all:

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    That is not the point. Point is that this would not be happening now if Maidan did not happen. And if it’s standard bs chronic problem Poroshenko would not be sweating and it would not be in national conversation.

    As far as Russia goes we not talking about Russia moot point. As others pointed out you don’t know what is being talked about as in abandoned houses.

    You take Sharij seriously. How cute :-)

    So nobody anywhere else failed to clean first snow and nobody anywhere else or at any other time was sliding on ice :-)

    Yeah because unlike you he is not biased or retarded.

    And matter of fact others do fail to clean snow and it is bad in those cases too. This year it was particularly bad in Kiev.

    • Replies: @AP
  231. @reiner Tor

    This was quite foreseeable, it seems to me, and no doubt part of the original plan. Ukraine is very cleverly, in a certain respect, putting NATO/Trump (and obviously NATO-member Turkey) in a position in which they are going to have to choose between doing something far more serious than sanctions, or looking weak for “backing” down in the face of Russian “aggression”.

    PART I

    Closing of Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships discussed at NATO HQ

    The closing of the Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships could be an adequate response to Russia’s violation of international maritime law in the Sea of ​​Azov, Ukraine’s Naval Forces Commander Ihor Voronchenko has said.

    “The Montreux Convention clearly states: if a conflict occurs between two countries, and one of them is the aggressor, then the Bosphorus automatically closes for ships flying its flag,” said Voronchenko told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency during the 2nd international conference on maritime security in in Kyiv on Thursday.

    The commander of the Naval Forces of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine noted that the topic had already been raised previously in the fall at NATO headquarters.

    “In September, at NATO’s office in Naples, I asked the commander of the Turkish Navy: if there is Russian aggression against Ukraine, will you close the Bosphorus for the aggressor country. The commander replied: we will comply with the convention,” Voronchenko said.

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/549369.html</blockquote

    • Replies: @for-the-record
    , @peterAUS
  232. @for-the-record

    PART II

    Ukraine president calls for Nato warships in Sea of Azov

    The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has called on Nato to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov to “provide security” amid a deepening crisis with Russia.

    Nato foreign ministers are due to meet next Monday in Brussels and will assess their existing presence in the area, but it is unlikely they will send warships to the area.

    The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, insisted there was no military solution, even after describing Moscow’s actions as unacceptable. She said she would be talking directly to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, at the G20 summit in Argentina, which starts on Friday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/29/russia-blocked-ukrainian-azov-sea-ports-minister

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @RadicalCenter
  233. g2k says:
    @reiner Tor

    Every time trump meets putun nothing is agreed, the media goes ballistic and then congress introduces sanctions bills for some made up reason that the former makes no effort to stop. Putin always fails to forsee this, so the fact that trump cancelled on him is a blessing in disguise.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  234. @g2k

    You are probably right, but at the same time Russia benefits from US political chaos. Putin also gets to look like a leader of a superpower, talking “strategic security” with American president.

    BTW, Russian gun activist Maria Butina has been moved to solitary confinement in American prison. I’m not sure, if Karlin still cares about her.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  235. peterAUS says:
    @for-the-record

    The closing of the Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships could be an adequate response to Russia’s violation of international maritime law in the Sea of ​​Azov..

    I was going to comment on how CRAZY this sounds, but then saw who’s said that.

    , Ukraine’s Naval Forces Commander Ihor Voronchenko has said.

    Moving on.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  236. @Felix Keverich

    Russian gun activist Maria Butina has been moved to solitary confinement in American prison

    Don’t think this is correct, she has been in solitary confinement for quite a while, what happened recently is that a judge refused her lawyer’s plea to be returned to the general prison population.

    Solitary confinement may well have had its intended effect, as she is reported to be very near to agreeing a plea deal with the prosecutors. This has some already salivating at what she might say:

    If Accused Russian Spy Maria Butina Sings, Here’s What She Might Tell the Feds

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/11/marina-butina-plea-agreement-coming/

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Gerard2
  237. @for-the-record

    Either of those demands means war. Ideally, Russia just conquers Ukraine as a retaliation. But more likely, world war.

    Of course, most likely nothing will come out of this. But it’s again a crisis where insane demands (which, if implemented, would mean world war) are echoed in the media without a serious pushback, like the previous demands for military intervention and a no-fly zone in Syria. Hopefully the leadership never believes its rhetoric, but… it just creates an unhealthy environment where political leaders will try to steer closer to insanity lest they be called “weak” or “Putin’s poodles.” They might fully understand the risks (or they might not), but they will move a bit to the riskier side.

    • Replies: @AP
  238. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Ukraine chose to impose an economic blockade on Donbass. It can’t use its own policy as an excuse for its economic failure.

    It imposed the blockade due to Donbas being owned by rebels. Donbas is owned by rebels due to the Russian support for rebels.

    The areas of Donbass that are occupied by Kiev are certainly not doing well (so the lesson for Kharkiv there, is that if you are going to rebel against Kiev, don’t get reconquered). But we don’t have GDP statistics for the D/LNR, so we don’t really know how the rebel-controlled areas are doing

    AK posted data showing salaries in the rebel areas are now the lowest in Ukraine, lower than the poorest Kiev-held oblasts.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ukrotriumph/

    Economically, Kharkiv’s decision not to rebel was the right one in the short-term, but the medium to long-term remains to be seen.

    Long-term indeed remains to be seen but short to medium term not rebelling has been a good idea. Four years after Maidan and nobody in Kharkiv wishes that his town were another Donetsk.

    Their average per capita growth rate at that PCGDP level was about 7%, with some (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan) reaching as high as 12-14% in a single year

    Ukraine had growth of 12.1% in 2004 and 7.9% in 2007.

    It’s a different world after 2008.

    Based on the anecdotal reports I’ve seen on twitter etc., the number of Kiev residents who have been without heating/hot water this fall for at least a week, would surely be >100,000. Earlier in the year, it was reported that 1/3rd of residential buildings in Kiev had no hot water at that time.

    It was 1/3 in June, 3,000 houses in late October.

    I don’t know how that compares to 2014 (or for that matter, to Donetsk in 2018).

    Nor do I. The point is that Ukraine (and Russia) has had such problems before and it is silly to single out such an episode now in Ukraine, and blame Maidan.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  239. @peterAUS

    There are two problems here. One is thee obvious, that the leadership of a large country is now warmongering for a world war. The other is that their propaganda claims are now uncritically repeated in the international media (and often echoed by influential pundits), which creates an unhealthy environment where politicians will be taking higher risks than they would otherwise be.

  240. AP says:
    @DreadIlk

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-per-capita-ppp We will use the scale that is most generous. So 2013 number 8338 goes to a low of 7464. And from that low you have a recovery to 7894.

    1. That was 2017. Recovery in 2018 (almost over) is greater than was in 2017. So in the country overall it is close to the level in 2013, and should surpass in 2019.

    2. I did not claim that Ukraine overall has recovered. I only stated that western and central regions have recovered, and are now higher than in 2013. They have as the figures you post prove.

    Let’s do an experiment 10% decline for one year then 3.3% growth for three what do you get?

    Well, Lviv had 5% decline 2014-2015 and lets assume national average (it is higher) 2.5% growth for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). What do you get?

    Zhytomir in central Ukraine has 1.2% total decline 2014-2015 and lets assume national average (it is higher) 2.5% growth for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). What do you get?

    Overall 12 Ukrainian oblasts had declines of less than 6% from 2014 to 2015, and national growth has been a little over 2.5% per year on average since that time. So presumably all 12 of these oblasts are ahead of where they were in 2013. Some of them are far ahead. These 12 oblasts are almost all in the center and west (Kherson is one exception) and were pro-Maidan. So Maidan worked for them.

    I’m not arguing that western Ukrainians are not better off then Eastern Ukrainians right this moment. But they are still worse off then if Maidan never happened.

    Nonsense. The numbers speak for themselves. Or if you don’t believe numbers look at new buildings and factories, growing companies, etc.

    IT industry is a service industry. It can’t survive without manufacturing base.

    You need steel mills to support IT industry?

    As far as Russia goes we not talking about Russia moot point. As others pointed out you don’t know what is being talked about as in abandoned houses.

    You present a problem that exists in both Russia and Ukraine and that existed in Ukriane before Maidan but blame Maidan.

    Also Russian media clears says it is not abandoned houses that are without heating. It is places where Russians live:

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    Tens of millions of Russians living in urban areas are struggling with a lack of basic utilities – 1 in 5 city dwellings have no hot water, and 1 in 10 no indoor sanitation.

    Russia’s Federal Statistics Service reported last year that more than a third of all Russians have no hot water and more than a fifth have no running water at all in their homes.

    So Russian Maidan?

    Now presumably, these houses are mostly not in the capital but in small post-industrial towns in the middle of nowhere. Still, it is silly to blame Maidan for a problem that is rather common in all post-Soviet areas.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
  241. @for-the-record

    She could be put in prison for life for literally nothing. Really horrible.

  242. That’s…interesting

    Quantitative gassing. Could this be the thing that finally makes American LNG competitive in Europe?

    • Replies: @Epigon
  243. @Mr. Hack

    Well, maybe some other stuff Ukie here, like “AP”, made that claim. Hard to distinguish. Then it’s even more ridiculous considering comment diarrhea from that source.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  244. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Either of those demands means war.

    Russia is not going to get into a world war if the Bosphorus is shut to Russian shipping (which probably won’t happen anyways, unless Russia actually invades Ukraine).* It is not crazy. And NATO is not going to force its ships under the Kerch bridge into the Azov sea because it, too, is not crazy.

    Ideally, Russia just conquers Ukraine as a retaliation.

    This too would be a crazy move.

    Of course, most likely nothing will come out of this.

    Correct.

    *I wonder if in a parallel move Russian ships will have to start getting searched or delayed before using the Bosphorus.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  245. @AP

    Russia is not going to get into a world war if the Bosphorus is shut to Russian shipping (which probably won’t happen anyways, unless Russia actually invades Ukraine).* It is not crazy.

    It’s going to have to do something. A blockade is an act of war. Unless Russia admits that it is an aggressor itself, it will have to view NATO as putting it under illegal blockade. It’s easy to see how this could escalate out of control.

    Ideally, Russia just conquers Ukraine as a retaliation.

    This too would be a crazy move.

    Less crazy than starting a world war. That’s why I wrote “ideally.” Not because I welcome such a war.

    crazy

    The Ukrainian leadership is now proposing crazy things. The proposals are also uncritically repeated in the western media without serious criticism. (I.e. without being called crazy.) Which makes the Ukrainian leadership less crazy, but the West more crazy.

    Look. Legally speaking, the USSR had no right to crush the Hungarian revolution in 1956. But it was understood that it was on their side of the fence, and that it was a vital Soviet interest to keep Hungary in its sphere. And it’s a good thing that a world war was not started for Hungary. Ultimately, it was good for Hungary, too, because we’d have become a battlefield of this horrible world war. It’s better it didn’t happen.

    By not accepting the status quo (I’m not talking about a legal recognition, I’m talking about a simple tacit understanding that the Crimea now belongs to Russia and will belong there into the foreseeable future), while being unable to evict Russia from there (of course), the situation has become extremely unstable and volatile. Such crises are bound to happen in the future. One of those crises will turn out horribly badly for all of us.

    • Replies: @AP
  246. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Then it’s even more ridiculous considering comment diarrhea from that source.

    You better be careful, you know how you have a predisposition towards mixing up your facts. You might accept some diarrhea if presented to you, instead of some chocolate – they’re both brown in color, you know. :-(

  247. APilgrim says:

    Reportedly, the 3 Ukraine ships attempted to circumnavigate Crimea.

    This was in a Reuters story. I can provide the link, but it now directs to another story.

  248. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Russia is not going to get into a world war if the Bosphorus is shut to Russian shipping (which probably won’t happen anyways, unless Russia actually invades Ukraine).* It is not crazy.

    It’s going to have to do something. A blockade is an act of war.

    Whatever it does, it will not be a war against the West.

    It’s easy to see how this could escalate out of control.

    Russian and Western leadership are too rational to get into a hot war with each other.

    Ideally, Russia just conquers Ukraine as a retaliation.

    This too would be a crazy move.

    Less crazy than starting a world war.

    Correct, but still too crazy to be done.

    The Ukrainian leadership is now proposing crazy things. The proposals are also uncritically repeated in the western media without serious criticism.

    They are mostly just ignored. Nobody seems to be saying – bring NATO boats into the Azov Sea.

    Look. Legally speaking, the USSR had no right to crush the Hungarian revolution in 1956. But it was understood that it was on their side of the fence, and that it was a vital Soviet interest to keep Hungary in its sphere. And it’s a good thing that a world war was not started for Hungary. Ultimately, it was good for Hungary, too, because we’d have become a battlefield of this horrible world war. It’s better it didn’t happen.

    Correct, and if Ukraine were God forbid invaded by Russia I would hope there would not be a world war because of it. Although making such aggression as unlikely and painful as possible (by supporting Ukraine with arms) would be a good idea.

    Hungary too, should have been provided with weapons and support (as was Vietnam by Soviets) to make the aggression hurt as much as possible, though events were too quick in Hungary for this to have been feasible.

    By not accepting the status quo (I’m not talking about a legal recognition, I’m talking about a simple tacit understanding that the Crimea now belongs to Russia and will belong there into the foreseeable future), while being unable to evict Russia from there (of course), the situation has become extremely unstable and volatile.

    Well, Cyprus has been fairly stable all these years.

    But building the bridge and then limiting shipping from Ukrainian ports was a very provocative act.

    Ideally some agreement will be worked out: monitored referendum, compensation for lost assets by Ukrainians, recognition of new status.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @reiner Tor
  249. APilgrim says:

    “Russia and Ukraine accused each other of breaking international law on Sunday after Russian border guards tried and failed to stop two Ukrainian armored artillery vessels circumnavigating Crimea en route to a Ukrainian port.”

    This link, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia/russia-and-ukraine-involved-in-black-sea-naval-standoff-idUSKCN1NU0DL – now links to this edited version … https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia/russia-and-ukraine-involved-in-black-sea-naval-standoff-idUSKCN1NU0DL with no reference to ‘circumnavigate’, in any form.

    Original Credits:
    ‘Russia and Ukraine involved in Black Sea naval standoff’, MOSCOW, Reuters, Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Mark Potter, WORLD NEWS, NOVEMBER 25, 2018 / 4:31 AM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia/russia-and-ukraine-involved-in-black-sea-naval-standoff-idUSKCN1NU0DL

    New Credits:
    ‘Russia fires on and seizes Ukrainian ships near annexed Crimea’, Andrew Osborn, Pavel Polityuk, MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters), Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Richard Balmforth, David Gregorio and Paul Tait, WORLD NEWS NOVEMBER 25, 2018 / 4:31 AM / 2 DAYS AGO

  250. APilgrim says:

    Obviously, I do not know the truth of the matter.

    But circumnavigating Crimea would be more provocative than passing by.

    Refusing to be boarded by the Russian Federation Coast Guard, would likely lead to an encounter with the Russian Federation Navy.

  251. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    You appear to be a man on the ground, so to speak, in Ukraine. Plenty of informative posts. Let’s leave it there.

    And then….. this:

    …..Western leadership are too rational to get into a hot war with each other.

    My bold.
    Key word: rational…..

    Lucky you.

    • Replies: @AP
  252. Beckow says:

    …building the bridge and then limiting shipping from Ukrainian ports was a very provocative act

    If I recall the bridge was built because Kiev started to blockade utilities to Crimea and similar ‘provocations’. Once you have an expensive bridge, you have to protect it and that naturally means controls on what sails under it.

    One thing leads to another, people exaggerate, escalate and eventually we will hit a cul-de-sac and West will have to decide how much is holding on to Ukraine worth it.

    Your ‘ideally’ suggestions run into some basic issues: no Kiev government can in the next generation accept any referendums in Crimea or Donbas. Compensation is hard to calculate, e.g. Ukraine owes Russia some substantial sums, destruction in Donbas (who pays?).

    It will either become Cyprus-like (good outcome), or something will trigger an all out fight. If there is an all out war, West only has two choices: start a WWIII over it, or watch Russia prevail. Intelligence is often defined as being able to see a few steps ahead. By that standard both the enthusiastic Maidanistas and their Obama-led supporters will be seen in history as among the dumbest groups in early 21st century. And having an IT call center outside Lviv where people make 1k/month doesn’t quite compensate for that level of stupidity.

    • Replies: @AP
  253. AP says:
    @peterAUS

    You appear to be a man on the ground, so to speak, in Ukraine

    No, though I am in regular touch with family who are.

    Plenty of informative posts.

    Thank you, though I will be back at work tomorrow so volume will decrease.

    …..Western leadership are too rational to get into a hot war with each other.

    My bold.
    Key word: rational…..

    Lucky you.

    Well, rational enough not to get into a nuclear war.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  254. AP says:
    @Beckow

    If I recall the bridge was built because Kiev started to blockade utilities to Crimea and similar ‘provocations’.

    From wiki:

    In 2010, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement to build a bridge across the Kerch Strait.[29] Russia and Ukraine signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on the construction of the bridge on 26 November 2010.

    Your ‘ideally’ suggestions run into some basic issues: no Kiev government can in the next generation accept any referendums in Crimea or Donbas.

    Not in 5 years but possible in 10.

    Compensation is hard to calculate, e.g. Ukraine owes Russia some substantial sums, destruction in Donbas (who pays?).

    Let’s limit to Crimea. It is not too hard too calculate. Value property and assets owned by Ukrainian people or companies that were taken from them can be assessed.

    Here is an example:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/business/oschadbank-wins-case-against-russia-to-recover-1-3-billion-over-lost-crimean-assets.html

    Intelligence is often defined as being able to see a few steps ahead.

    Yes, beyond 2014 and 2015.

    By that standard both the enthusiastic Maidanistas and their Obama-led supporters will be seen in history as among the dumbest groups in early 21st century.

    Because the Maidan-supporting parts of Ukraine are doing better than they ever have, and most likely better than they would have had there been no Maidan. Prior to Maidan Ukraine was run by and for its Soviet-era elites focused on its eastern regions. How did the country to under those conditions? It fell very far behind.

    And having an IT call center outside Lviv where people make 1k/month

    You think that is all that has changed for the better? LOL.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  255. AP says:
    @Beckow

    One of the strongest cards Kiev has is to use Trump’s persuasive powers to convince Putin to blink or to at least stand aside. Given known Kremlin propensities to prefer inaction and their risk-averse nature, having Trump repeat it personally is an overall plus for Kiev. Trump not meeting Putin is in my view a loss for Poroshenko.

    Trump responds very well to flattery and Putin knows what he is doing, so keeping them apart is a win for Poroshenko.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  256. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    It imposed the blockade due to Donbas being owned by rebels. Donbas is owned by rebels due to the Russian support for rebels.

    But it didn’t have to economically blockade the rebel territories, that was a choice. The Syrian government hasn’t cut off trade with the territories held by US and Turkish proxies.

    AK posted data showing salaries in the rebel areas are now the lowest in Ukraine, lower than the poorest Kiev-held oblasts.

    Yes, according to that data, in 2017 DNR wages were 64% of the Ukrainian average, down from around 115% in 2013. However, DNR wages also grew by 22% in 2017. No word yet on DNR wage growth in 2018.

    It’s a different world after 2008.

    Based on what evidence? A sample size of Ukraine and Moldova?

    It was 1/3 in June, 3,000 houses in late October.

    You’re comparing two different things: The number without heat at a particular point in time, vs. the number who have been without heat for months.

    Nor do I. The point is that Ukraine (and Russia) has had such problems before and it is silly to single out such an episode now in Ukraine, and blame Maidan.

    How well a country does at providing a basic service like heat in its capital city, doesn’t seem to me like an irrelevant indicator of how well it is succeeding.

    • Replies: @AP
  257. Beckow says:
    @AP

    MOU is not a contract – the bridge started in 2015 after Kiev started to blockade Crimea. There is an MOU to build another ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua – it has been there for 25 years and nobody s building anything. MOU is a statement of intent (and good will).

    Prior to Maidan Ukraine was run by and for its Soviet-era elites focused on its eastern regions.

    Nonsense. In 2005-10 it was run by Yushenko and an almost identical Western Ukrainian group to Maidan people. How quickly you forget when convenient. 10 years before Maidan there was an ‘Orange’ Revolution.

    Damages are impossible to calculate. Who will pay for the blockade of Crimea? Who will pay for the 25 years of under-investment in Crimea? And the pensions in Crimea that were taken over by the Russian state?

  258. AP says:

    MOU is not a contract – the bridge started in 2015 after Kiev started to blockade Crimea.

    The process began when Yanukovich was still in power:

    In late January 2014, the Ukrainian and Russian governments decided that a new joint Ukrainian-Russian company would be commissioned to handle the construction of the bridge, while the Russian state enterprise Russian Highways (Avtodor) would become responsible for the bridge in the long term.[31] Additionally, it was decided a special working group would determine the location and set the technical parameters.[31] Construction was estimated by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine to take five years with a cost between $1.5 and $3 billion.[31] In early February 2014, Russian Highways (Avtodor) was instructed by the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia to work on a feasibility study to be published in 2015.

    Green light for the solo Russian project was March 2014 before any blockade. So your implications are wrong as usual.

    Prior to Maidan Ukraine was run by and for its Soviet-era elites focused on its eastern regions.

    Nonsense. In 2005-10 it was run by Yushenko and an almost identical Western Ukrainian group to Maidan people.

    This was a 5 year reprieve out of 23 years. And even during those 5 years, Yanukovich was PM for over a year – 2006-2007.

    2014 was the real break from the Soviet past. This makes you very bitter for some reason.

  259. Gerard2 says:
    @for-the-record

    Russian gun activist Maria Butina has been moved to solitary confinement in American prison

    Don’t think this is correct, she has been in solitary confinement for quite a while, what happened recently is that a judge refused her lawyer’s plea to be returned to the general prison population.

    Solitary confinement may well have had its intended effect, as she is reported to be very near to agreeing a plea deal with the prosecutors. This has some already salivating at what she might say:

    What a disgusting scumbag legal system.
    She has also not been allowed to see her parents. The pilot Yaroshenko, arrested in Liberia, probably infringing on some American creeps crimes, got stinged by the Americans for supposed drug smuggling…..and it took 8 years for his wife and daughter to be able to meet him in American prison

  260. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    It imposed the blockade due to Donbas being owned by rebels. Donbas is owned by rebels due to the Russian support for rebels.

    But it didn’t have to economically blockade the rebel territories, that was a choice. The Syrian government hasn’t cut off trade with the territories held by US and Turkish proxies.

    I don’t know why Assad does what he does, but blockading a rebel-held region seems to be reasonable.

    AK posted data showing salaries in the rebel areas are now the lowest in Ukraine, lower than the poorest Kiev-held oblasts.

    Yes, according to that data, in 2017 DNR wages were 64% of the Ukrainian average, down from around 115% in 2013. However, DNR wages also grew by 22% in 2017. No word yet on DNR wage growth in 2018.

    Ukrainian wages grew 23% in September 2018 compared to 2017:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/wage-growth

    So if Donbas has a similar pace as 2017 it has not caught up to Ukraine and wages in rebel-held are still lower than in the poorest Kiev-controlled oblast.

    It’s not a good advertisement for rebellion.

    It’s a different world after 2008.

    Based on what evidence? A sample size of Ukraine and Moldova?

    All Eastern European countries had lower growth post 2008 than prior.

    Russia – 8.5% 2007, highest post 2008 was 5.3% in 2011.
    Poland – 7% 2007, highest afterwards was 5% in 2011.
    Bulgaria – 7.3% in 2007, 3.9% in 2016.
    Hungary – 4.4% in 2005; after 2008 it was under 2% until 2014 (4.2%)

    Ukraine itself had 7.9% growth in 2007, 5.5% in 2011 and then stagnation of .2% 2012 and 0% 2013.

    The point is that Ukraine (and Russia) has had such problems before and it is silly to single out such an episode now in Ukraine, and blame Maidan.

    How well a country does at providing a basic service like heat in its capital city, doesn’t seem to me like an irrelevant indicator of how well it is succeeding.

    But given that the problems are not limited to post-Maidan and not limited to Ukraine, it seems silly to attribute them to Maidan. The current problem seems to be a pricing dispute between bureaucracies.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jon0815
  261. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    Well, rational enough not to get into a nuclear war.

    Ah, you see, they don’t think it would come to that, should they try to escalate confrontation with Russia/China/whoever.

    When you look at the history of modern warfare, say, from 1861 to as we speak, it’s hard to see ONE war that got executed as those starting it wished and expected.

    And, I see this latest crop of Western leaders not in the same league as even those up to fall of The Wall.

    I am quite positive that we’ll see, sooner or later, renewal of hostilities in Ukraine/Donbass.

    Worst case scenario: mauling of Ukrainian armed forces with heavy sanctions etc. imposed on Russia.
    The thing is is that automatic increase of combat readiness of nuclear forces, of all the major players, in the case of serious conventional clash. One mistake, human or/and technological and we could have a BIG problem.

  262. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Trump responds very well to flattery and Putin knows what he is doing, so keeping them apart is a win for Poroshenko.

    Trump responds to flattery by saying nice things about the person flattering him, not with actions.

    He’s practically sounded in love with Kim Jong-Un, but continues to make completely unrealistic demands of North Korea before any lifting of sanctions.

    He got along well with Putin at Helsinki, then hit Russia with more sanctions.

    If Putin had any sense, he would stay far away from Trump. As we saw after Helsinki, whenever they appear on camera together, with Trump acting friendly towards Putin, this will send the US media and political establishment into paroxysms of rage, and trigger the introduction of new sanctions bills in Congress.

    • Replies: @AP
  263. Cato says:
    @Anon

    Funny that Armenia could be a candidate for the EU: it’s on the south side of the Caucasus, and technically in Asia.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  264. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Belarus -2.5% growth 2016, Ukraine +2.3% growth 2016. Belarus +2.4% growth 2017, Ukraine +2.5% growth 2017.

    Which part of “Belarus having substantially higher growth than Ukraine” are you too much of a dumb fu*ckup to understand? It should be 4-5% this year end

    The fact in itself stands out inspite of your lies and imbecilic misdirection, and that is not without considering that Belarus has not experienced a double digit recession in the last 5 years, and over the last 20+ years has been significantly higher in living standard, MUCH richer and so on than Ukropia you time-wasting attention-whore maggot.

    So Armenia with all it’s problems, Priednistroviye with all it’s problems, Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan ( getting much closer with Russia now that Karimov has gone), Kyrgyzstan, even Tajikistan!Belarus i.e all Russia aligned countries ( particularly Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan) are doing much , much better in economic performance than the parasitic, failed state of Ukraine you idiot

    LOL…imagine being such a pathetic retard insecure useless troll account with many accountss stalking pro-Russia blogs with millions of comments….that that BS post is your answer to Syria and Iraq and Libya economically outperforming Banderastan, using your own idiot logic of ‘economic performance”

    Armenia too, doesn’t get to parasite 3-4% of it’s GDP from gas transit fees, and Belarus basically has the same levels of direct Foreign Investment, despite being a much smaller country ( explaining it as being down to Russia won’t do much considering……that Russia is still the biggest FDI for Ukraine!)

    Funny this retarded scumbagness…..if it wasn’t so pathetic

    • Replies: @AP
  265. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Trump responds to flattery by saying nice things about the person flattering him, not with actions.

    He’s been good to the Saudis so far. They buy stuff though.

    He’s practically sounded in love with Kim Jong-Un, but continues to make completely unrealistic demands of North Korea before any lifting of sanctions.

    Good point.

    He got along well with Putin at Helsinki, then hit Russia with more sanctions.

    Was this after Skripal? It wasn’t as a result of the meeting but of Russian actions.

    Would this be repeated after a long friendly meeting now?

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  266. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Which part of “Belarus having substantially higher growth than Ukraine

    Not 2016-2018. Only in 2018, and that’s not enough to compensate for lower relative growth in 2016-2017.

    You are bad at math too :-)

    I’ll repeat. Ask someone to explain to you.

    Belarus -2.5% growth 2016, Ukraine +2.3% growth 2016. So Ukraine was 4.8% better.

    Belarus +2.4% growth 2017, Ukraine +2.5% growth 2017. So Ukraine was .1% better.

    Ukraine is projected to have about 3% growth in 2018. If Belarus has 5% it won’t be enough to make up for the previous 2 years.

    Belarus has not experienced a double digit recession in the last 5 years, and over the last 20+ years has been significantly higher in living standard,

    Yes, it has been terrible that Ukraine has been ruled by Sovoks from the East for most of the time since independence. They ran the country into the ground. Good thing it changed in 2014. Steady improvement starting from 2016.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  267. Gerard2 says:

    So Solzhenitsyn getting his ass kicked in the vote in Mineralnye Vody for the “great name of Russia” project . Some lesson to be learned there

    Shortlist for the 47 airports dominated by the great Soviet military leaders, Tsars, some foreigners under patronage of the tsar, tsarist scientists, Soviet scientists/Engineers…..and Pushkin

    Nothing controversial in the ethnic republics

    Poets are doing well but most of the many many great novel writers and music composers of the 19th and early 20 th century are not there…they must all have cancelled each other out

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  268. Gerard2 says:
    @Gerard2

    …and explorers high on the shortlist also, of course

  269. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Yes, it has been terrible that Ukraine has been ruled by Sovoks from the East for most of the time since independence. They ran the country into the ground. Good thing it changed in 2014. Steady improvement starting from 2016.

    A simple lie from some failure Banderite freak from North America

    As for the ridiculous , idiotic response about Belarus ( lie after lie , upon misdirection and more nonsense)…any one with an IQ above 12 can see that as cretinism………and that’s without even going into Armenia and the other Eurasian Economic Union countries

    • Replies: @AP
  270. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Yes, it has been terrible that Ukraine has been ruled by Sovoks from the East for most of the time since independence. They ran the country into the ground. Good thing it changed in 2014. Steady improvement starting from 2016.

    A simple lie from some failure Banderite freak from North America

    So you are saying the Sovoks from eastern Ukraine who ruled Ukraine did a great job since 1991?

    Or that there has’t been improvement starting in 2016?

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  271. @AP

    Or that there has’t been improvement starting in 2016?

    There hasn’t. I work in an area related to ecommerce. Before 2012 Ukraine was pretty big, big enough for us to care about opening branch offices and supporting the Ukrainian ‘language’.

    Year over year consumer and b2b spending in Ukraine has been plummeting like a rock. Today Ukraine is about as relevant to us as Uganda.

    • Replies: @AP
  272. @Cato

    But Armenians and Georgians are basically Europeans, aren’t they? That’s how it has always been in my mind.

    • Replies: @Cato
    , @AP
  273. Epigon says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Electricity prices have gone negative in Europe repeatedly due to wind power and crappy regulation.

    Supply and demand.

    The negative gas price indicates it may be opportune for them to have someone buy off the gas rather than decrease production.

  274. Mikhail says: • Website

    Kiev Regime Wrongdoing

    Re: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/30/kiev-kerch-strait-gambit-shows-telltale-signs-western-backed-provocation.html

    Some more on the reasoning behind having Ukrainian SBU (ex-KGB) personnel on board the vessels at issue:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/a-matter-of-loyalty/

    A matter that relates to the end of this Nick Paton Walsh CNN segment in Mariupol:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2018/11/29/ukraine-russia-confrontation-nick-paton-walsh-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/

    The featured Mariupol residents express disdain for the Kiev regime and a comparatively greater appreciation for Russia. After which, Walsh editorializes with astonishment at their view (like he knows better), by inaccurately blaming Russia for the thousands of deaths in the former Ukrainian SSR. The action taken by Kiev regime forces is primarily responsible for most of the loss of life in the rebel held Donbass areas of conflict. The overwhelming majority of the Donbass rebels appear to be from the former Ukrainian SSR. Western academics Serhiy Kudelia and Paul Robinson are among those who’ve said that.

    For the purpose of pacifying the rebel held Donbass areas to the Kiev regime’s liking, some have spoken of a “Croatian Scenario”, as noted in this piece:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/06/croatian-scenario-shortcomings-for-ending-donbass-conflict.html

    Chris Murphy’s underhanded comments on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show, can be taken as a roundabout way of negatively noting the pro-Russian/counter-Euromaidan sentiment within Kiev regime controlled Ukraine:

    http://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/all-in/2018-11-28

    Murphy spins the situation as a matter of Ukrainians at some point getting tired of Russian pressure, to the point of striking a deal with Russia. If anything, it’s more a matter of the possibility that a more realistic and less nationalistic/anti-Russian position will gain strength in Ukraine. It was the EU and the US government which took a zero sum game approach towards Ukraine’s economic orientation – much unlike Russia and the Ukrainian government which was overthrown in 2014. Now, Ukraine has a current president with a popularity rating of under 10% flippantly declaring martial law one year before a scheduled presidential vote. The frontrunner in that race has a poll rating of roughly 25%.

    Ukraine needs help. The histrionic Russia bashing is a diversion from what actually has been hindering Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  275. @AP

    blockading a rebel-held region seems to be reasonable.

    If you think that the inhabitants of the area are unwilling hostages under a foreign occupation, while the area itself is economically of negligible importance to the occupier, then it’s pretty unreasonable to blockade it. Moreover, it’s both cruel and politically unwise, because it might turn the inhabitants of the region against the country which is gleefully punishing them for their misfortune.

    The Ukrainian actions reveal that the area is genuinely rising up and supporting the “occupiers.” Anyway, it’s not consistent with the Ukrainian policy of trying to regain control over the area. Either they should tacitly accept their loss, or if they are willing to constantly stoke tensions then they should also at least pursue policies which don’t constantly alienate the population of these regions.

    • Replies: @AP
  276. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail

    Sentence in next to last paragraph should read as: Now, Ukraine has a current president with a popularity rating of under 10% flippantly declaring martial law, within several months before a scheduled presidential vote.

  277. AP says:
    @anonymous coward

    Your record of always being wrong continues.

    https://ecommercenews.eu/popular-ecommerce-websites-ukraine/

    Ecommerce is getting more and more popular in Ukraine. In June, about 13.6 million internet users visited online stores in the Eastern European country, which is 1.3 million more than in the same period last year.

    Year over year consumer and b2b spending in Ukraine has been plummeting like a rock

    “Plummeting like a rock?” LOL. It’s not 2014 anymore.

    https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-europe/ecommerce-in-ukraine/

    ecommerce in Ukraine was worth 1.17 billion euros in 2016 and is estimated to be worth around 1.52 billion euros in 2017

    ::::::::

    Maybe Ukrainians just don’t use Russian sites anymore (you are in Russia)?

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  278. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    “blockading a rebel-held region seems to be reasonable.”

    If you think that the inhabitants of the area are unwilling hostages under a foreign occupation, while the area itself is economically of negligible importance to the occupier, then it’s pretty unreasonable to blockade it.

    The logic is that any profits made from trade with the blockaded region go to the rebel government and that it is therefore used to finance the rebellion. So by buying stuff from them you are giving money to the enemies. This is why pensions aren’t given to people in the blockaded area and they have to come to Kiev-held territory to get it – to make sure rebels don’t get a % of the pension. I do not make a claim that the rebels would actually do this; I don’t know, maybe they would maybe they would not. But it is not unreasonable to assume that they may.

    Sanctions against places like North Korea, Cuba, Iraq under Saddam had a similar motive.

    Moreover, it’s both cruel and politically unwise, because it might turn the inhabitants of the region against the country which is gleefully punishing them for their misfortune.

    Probably. The other reason for the blockade is to make the inhabitants dislike their circumstances and thus the rebellion even more – to inspire them to rise up against the rebel government. It’s the same logic that drives sanctions against Iran, in the hopes of spurring a popular uprising. This strategy has a poor track record of working.

    The Ukrainian actions reveal that the area is genuinely rising up and supporting the “occupiers.”

    More realistic – the area is fairly passive and doesn’t bother to resist the occupiers. There was enough support for rebellion, and not enough support for Kiev, to make the rebellion possible with Russian help and to keep it going. And the bombings and blockade have probably turned the population more against Kiev. Being a Donbas rebel fighter is one of the few ways to make an income in that territory, and yet the number of “volunteers” is somewhat modest. This is the best that the pro-Russian project that hoped to grab half of Ukraine could do in Ukraine – modest support in 2/3 of Donbas.

  279. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    I don’t know why Assad does what he does, but blockading a rebel-held region seems to be reasonable.

    It’s inconsistent with Kiev’s claims to be fighting Russian occupiers. And as long as the rebels aren’t fully encircled, retaining the ability to militarily resupply, then an economic blockade only helps them, since it increases hostility towards the government among the local population, providing them with more recruits. Reportedly, even Poroshenko was against the blockade, until the militia groups forced his hand.

    Ukrainian wages grew 23% in September 2018 compared to 2017:

    So if Donbas has a similar pace as 2017 it has not caught up to Ukraine and wages in rebel-held are still lower than in the poorest Kiev-controlled oblast.

    Ukraine’s average wage increased by about 23% over that time in both grivna and dollars, since the exchange rate remained about the same. The DNR’s average wage of 10130 rubles in October 2017, was a 22% increase from 8300 rubles a year earlier. But the ruble to dollar exchange rate was 57 in October 2017 and 63 a year earlier, so the % increase in dollars was actually 35%.

    Anyway, the DNR apparently doesn’t have an official statistics service providing regular updates on economic data. So we may never find out how much wages grew there from 2017-2018, (or how much per capita GDP increased, which would be a much better basis of comparison with Ukraine than wages) unless some information happens to get posted in DNR media, as was the case in 2017.

    But I think it’s likely that real per capita GDP growth is currently faster in the D/LNR than the (2%?) rate in eastern Ukraine, given the large size of Russian subsidies relative to its GDP.

    It’s not a good advertisement for rebellion.

    At least not for a rebellion where Russia refuses to recognize you afterward.

    All Eastern European countries had lower growth post 2008 than prior.

    Naturally, because the region was wealthier post-2008 than prior. Faster growth is easier when you are staring from a lower base. But what’s the reason to think that the annual growth potential of a country with a per capita GDP of $2500, was higher before 2008 than after?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AP
  280. @AP

    I think we are largely in agreement. This is a very bad situation for all involved, it appears to me that unfortunately neither Putin nor Ukraine is up to the task of making the best of it.

  281. @Jon0815

    what’s the reason to think that the annual growth potential of a country with a per capita GDP of $2500, was higher before 2008 than after?

    Europe as a whole has been doing horribly since 2008. It probably affects all countries in the EU orbit, especially Ukraine which tries to replace all its eastern (Russian) ties with ties to the EU.

  282. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Ukraine’s average wage increased by about 23% over that time in both grivna and dollars, since the exchange rate remained about the same. The DNR’s average wage of 10130 rubles in October 2017, was a 22% increase from 8300 rubles a year earlier. But the ruble to dollar exchange rate was 57 in October 2017 and 63 a year earlier, so the % increase in dollars was actually 35%.

    Makes sense. This still wouldn’t be enough to catch up, except perhaps to Kiev-controlled Ukraine’s poorest oblasts.

    All Eastern European countries had lower growth post 2008 than prior.

    Naturally, because the region was wealthier post-2008 than prior. Faster growth is easier when you are staring from a lower base. But what’s the reason to think that the annual growth potential of a country with a per capita GDP of $2500, was higher before 2008 than after?

    The only other poor European country (which is even poorer than Ukraine) is Moldova. In 2007 Moldova had 7.8% growth. While it had 9.4% growth in 2013, overall its growth has been lower post 2008 than prior to 2008 (-.4% in 2015, otherwise under 5%, whereas growth was above 6% for years prior to 2008).

    I agree with you that corruption in Ukraine probably costs the country 2% to 3% growth a year, people are right to be upset with the government for this, but expecting 7% + growth in these times is unrealistic, and consistent 2% to 3% growth is still significant improvement.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jon0815
  283. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Was this after Skripal? It wasn’t as a result of the meeting but of Russian actions.

    Would this be repeated after a long friendly meeting now?

    Skirpal happened months before the meeting, the sanctions came after the meeting. So at the least, the meeting did nothing to prevent Trump from imposing sanctions on Russia. And it’s quite possible that Trump approved the sanctions as a reaction to all the fury over his friendly appearance with Putin.

    Putin has been flattering Trump long before Helsinki too, and it gained him nothing. From the very beginning Trump has been much tougher on Russia than Obama, on election hacking sanctions, arming Ukraine, etc. There is no potential upside to Putin meeting with Trump, only potential downside, if the subsequent establishment freakout over his failure to denounce Putin to his face, makes Trump think he needs to prove he isn’t Putin’s puppet.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  284. @AP

    This is why pensions aren’t given to people in the blockaded area and they have to come to Kiev-held territory to get it – to make sure rebels don’t get a % of the pension. I do not make a claim that the rebels would actually do this; I don’t know, maybe they would maybe they would not. But it is not unreasonable to assume that they may.

    Thought a bit more. A few remarks. A few remarks. First, I think the rebels may be able to “tax” the pensioners as they are entering rebel held territory anyway. So it might not be very efficient to just cut off banking in the rebel-held region anyway. Second, the rebels obviously receive the bulk of their budget from Russia. This is not just official Ukrainian propaganda. So the effect of such income they’d receive by taxing pensions is probably marginal anyway. (Russia sent pensions and salaries of teachers to Chechnya during the 1990s while it was de facto independent, and during the war, too. Some of it might have been diverted by the Chechens, but in the big scheme of things, it mattered very little anyway.) Third, if such was the case, it could be documented. If it’s not documented, then I’d assume that it’s simply untrue. There’s, after all, mobile internet is available even in Donbas, so it’s a kind of “pics or it didn’t happen” situation.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  285. @AP

    corruption in Ukraine probably costs the country 2% to 3% growth a year

    But does it? I previously formed the impression that corruption depresses GDP, but not growth. So might have the same growth, but lower overall level of GDP. Reducing corruption might be a one-off gain, but after that it does nothing for further increasing GDP.

    • Replies: @AP
  286. @reiner Tor

    A few remarks. A few remarks.

    How did this happen?

  287. @Jon0815

    However, Putin wants to meet Trump. So preventing it is still a victory for Ukraine, especially because they managed to create the same cycle of media denouncements of Trump being Putin’s puppet, so probably Trump will need to introduce further sanctions (or do something similarly bad for Russia). This means that the end result will be the same, but Putin even looks like someone desperate to meet Trump (which is probably true) and still rejected by him.

  288. This is from September (h/t Zero Hedge), but I just heard of it today.

    Region in Ukraine’s west bans Russian-language books, movies
    September 19, 2018

    MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A regional council in western Ukraine has passed a motion to ban all Russian-language books, films and songs in the region.

    The legislature in the Lviv region voted on Wednesday to “impose a moratorium on the public broadcast and use of Russian-language content” until Russia withdraws all of its troops from Ukraine. It was not immediately clear how the ban would be enforced.

    Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and threw its support behind rebels in the country’s east. Much of the separatist movement there was driven by fears that the new Ukrainian government would discriminate against Russian speakers.

    Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine, and while most of its residents speak Ukrainian, Russian is also widely used there.

    https://apnews.com/a86d9ec891e0458dbac0b9f40e457a12

  289. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Being a Donbas rebel fighter is one of the few ways to make an income in that territory, and yet the number of “volunteers” is somewhat modest.

    Syria had around 75,000-100,000 Syrian-born rebels, out of a population of around 20 million.

    DLNR have around 35,000 Ukrainian-born fighters, out of a population of 3.5 million.

    • Replies: @AP
  290. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Makes sense. This still wouldn’t be enough to catch up, except perhaps to Kiev-controlled Ukraine’s poorest oblasts.

    Not that this is likely to happen, but according to exponential growth calculator: If Ukraine starts with an average wage of $276 and continues to grow at 23% every year, the DNR starts with an average wage of $177 and continues to grow at 35% every year, the DNR will catch up to Ukraine in 6 years.

  291. The US senate further undermined its credibility by blaming Russia for the Ukrainian provocation near Kerch. You can claim that black is white only a limited number of times: people notice.

    Generally, the US elites are ruining everything that was good in the country like there is no tomorrow. Military spending and debt both go through the roof. Yet when the US Army actually needs to defend the country against illegal intruders, it does nothing: too busy making enemies out of potential allies and fighting all over the world. At the same time the spending that could have benefitted the US is squeezed. Things as simple as roads or as sophisticated scientific research remain underfunded and visibly deteriorate.

    The signs that the society is deeply sick are unmistakable.
    Life expectancy in the US has dropped again:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-life-expectancy-declines-again-a-dismal-trend-not-seen-since-world-war-i/2018/11/28/ae58bc8c-f28c-11e8-bc79-68604ed88993_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.66576ce1df7c

    According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017. So, the suicide rate was 14 people in every 100,000 — up 33 percent from 10.5 people per 100,000 in 1999:

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/11/29/18118601/suicide-rate-highest-decades-life-expectancy

    More than 70,000 people died of drug overdose in 2017:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/29/upshot/fentanyl-drug-overdose-deaths.html

    Betraying those who voted for him, Trump keeps antagonizing Russia and started a trade war with China on top of that. Not surprisingly, the US farmers were the first casualties in that war. Basically, unless the population rises up against the elites, the country is doomed. Too bad, it used to be rather decent. I hoped that is will remain decent at least through my lifetime, but it looks like that’s not in the cards (for Brits: not on the cards).

  292. DreadIlk says:
    @AP

    1. That was 2017. Recovery in 2018 (almost over) is greater than was in 2017. So in the country overall it is close to the level in 2013, and should surpass in 2019.

    2. I did not claim that Ukraine overall has recovered. I only stated that western and central regions have recovered, and are now higher than in 2013. They have as the figures you post prove.

    Even with 18 you have not recovered. Plus to be back where you started is hardly a win.

    Well, Lviv had 5% decline 2014-2015 and lets assume national average (it is higher) 2.5% growth for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). What do you get?

    Zhytomir in central Ukraine has 1.2% total decline 2014-2015 and lets assume national average (it is higher) 2.5% growth for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). What do you get?

    Overall 12 Ukrainian oblasts had declines of less than 6% from 2014 to 2015, and national growth has been a little over 2.5% per year on average since that time. So presumably all 12 of these oblasts are ahead of where they were in 2013. Some of them are far ahead. These 12 oblasts are almost all in the center and west (Kherson is one exception) and were pro-Maidan. So Maidan worked for them.

    Didn’t those regions have fuck all in the first place? Sure they have won in relative terms. Not in absolute. Their standard of living would have been much higher had Maidan not happened. You showing me paltry percentage points off of insane low. Ukraine standard of living is utter shit. With this standard of living under truly liberalized regime you should be seeing 10% growth nationally not 2.5%.

    You need steel mills to support IT industry?

    Yes dummy. The fact that you can’t grasp this explains a lot. Manufacturing base is what your exports are. It is much harder to export services. Your hard currency comes from physical things you sell others. Plus people need working pipes before they need w.e IT would pay. This is why you seeing the west struggling now because we are losing our manufacturing.

    You present a problem that exists in both Russia and Ukraine and that existed in Ukriane before Maidan but blame Maidan.

    Also Russian media clears says it is not abandoned houses that are without heating. It is places where Russians live:

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    Tens of millions of Russians living in urban areas are struggling with a lack of basic utilities – 1 in 5 city dwellings have no hot water, and 1 in 10 no indoor sanitation.

    Russia’s Federal Statistics Service reported last year that more than a third of all Russians have no hot water and more than a fifth have no running water at all in their homes.

    So Russian Maidan?

    Now presumably, these houses are mostly not in the capital but in small post-industrial towns in the middle of nowhere. Still, it is silly to blame Maidan for a problem that is rather common in all post-Soviet areas.

    First fuck off with Russia. If you can’t defend your self without pointing fingers you already lost. Second the problems got worse not better in Ukraine. That is the point.

    While we on subject of Russia nothing came up when searching their opposition sites about heating problems.

    • Replies: @AP
  293. A leading German “conservative” politician (i.e. CDU Merkelist woman) proposes to ban all Russian ships from the Sea of Azov from entering any German or European ports.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-30/merkel-ally-blockading-russian-ships

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @RadicalCenter
  294. @reiner Tor

    The title is a bit exaggerating clickbait. Only Russian ships coming from the Sea of Azov are to be banned from EU or US ports, according to the proposal, which is not even officially proposed yet.

  295. @AP

    Hungary too, should have been provided with weapons and support (as was Vietnam by Soviets) to make the aggression hurt as much as possible, though events were too quick in Hungary for this to have been feasible.

    I thought about it, and I disagree. This war to the last Hungarian soldier would’ve resulted in a horrible avalanche of death and destruction in Hungary, while would’ve achieved nothing. The Hungarian People’s Army disintegrated (its commanders were captured by the Soviets a day before the final Soviet attack when they invited them to “negotiate”, and some of the senior generals were communist loyalists who went into hiding), so a serious military confrontation was out of the question anyway. The armed civilians posed a serious enough problem for the Soviet Army (which was more trained and equipped to handle the Third World War and was not really up to the task of subduing a large and hostile population without destroying the infrastructure (and thus the later chance to rule the country peacefully). They needed to bring in reinforcements from elsewhere. The Hungarian People’s Army theoretically could’ve made the task even more difficult, so would’ve resulted in the further destruction of the infrastructure. (Which the Soviets wanted to avoid.) So it’d have been bad for the Soviets, but even worse for the Hungarians, and nothing would’ve been achieved.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  296. @AP

    Your record of always being wrong continues.

    I’m reporting the real situation on the ground while you reply with some links to a clickbait spam site, you tard.

    Maybe Ukrainians just don’t use Russian sites anymore (you are in Russia)?

    It’s a little bit of that, but only a very tiny bit, since we’d be happy to provide them with ‘Ukrainian’ sites if it was profitable.

    No, the margins are too small for any serious player.

    I’m sure there’s a thriving ecommerce market in Uganda for peasant yams and fresh monkey brains; they do have working and ubiquitous mobile payment systems, after all. The margins are so tiny that nobody except village peasants cares about that market.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AP
    , @LH
  297. @anonymous coward

    we’d be happy to provide them with ‘Ukrainian’ sites if it was profitable

    Is it not possible that Ukrainian customers know that your site is Russian, and so are boycotting it? E-commerce is not terribly difficult to do, and I guess both American sites (like Amazon) and native Ukrainian sites are happy to sell the same products as you do. At least, last I heard, e-commerce worked like this.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  298. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    Is it worth fighting against extraordinary bad odds? Does it make the overall situation for the community (nation, tribe) better or worse?

    People often misread reality and fool themselves with irrational hope. Or they choose to be destroyed in a mythical search for heroism. Hungary in 1956 had no chance of prevailing. It was too soon after WWII, so any political blowback against the Soviets was almost meaningless. The West exaggerates a lot and that makes the difference between a small calamity and a wipeout hard to detect. If you have a reputation as a murderous brute anyway, you might as well act like one – it won’t make any difference. My conclusion is that sending arms to Hungary in 1956 would had been the worst thing to do: more killing, more destruction, same result. The eventual outcome of a relatively benign goulash ‘communism’ was the best possibility.

    Ukraine faces a similar dilemma, incl. the persistent misreading of reality, irrational hopes, and the exaggerations. It is similar in a way that bigger is bigger, stronger will remain stronger, and the (Western) cavalry is not coming to save them. Even the silly projection of weakness on Putin is not much more than hoping that sun will not rise tomorrow. The sun will rise tomorrow, and in any actual conflict the Russian side would prevail very quickly. The best analogy is with Ossetia-Georgia in 2008, it was not a contest, it was over in 2-3 days. The idea that more than a symbolic number of Ukrainians would be willing to sacrifice themselves in an uneven fight – in order to make the enemy ‘pay the price’ – is simply stupid. That’s not how the modern people are.

    We don’t know the timing, details, or personalities, but the outcome for Kiev will be either a big defeat or a negotiated quasi-surrender. It will likely happen as other global events overshadow Ukraine, an economic crisis or a slow devolution of EU into a European UN.

    The main impact of Maidan has been to dramatically stiffen Russia’s resistance to Western encroachment, and that means there is no possibility of winning for the West (something similar started with the idiotic bombing of Serbia in 1999).

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @reiner Tor
  299. @reiner Tor

    There is a little issue of shipping costs, though. I’ve tried getting some things from Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Russia in the US, and in most cases shipping costs were higher than the price of a product. Sometimes it was worth it, anyway, but in other cases shipping was prohibitively expensive.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  300. JLK says:

    Ukraine needs to get with the Western culture of victimization and start demanding reparations for the Holodomor.

  301. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    Well….you’ve made your position clear re “Ukraine” issue.
    Disagree.

    My take is very simple: you underestimate Ukrainian nationalism and overestimate Russian motivation in all this. Especially the former.

    No need to discuss, let alone debate this, anymore.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  302. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    …you underestimate Ukrainian nationalism

    A simple fact that the Ukrainian Navy ships had security agents to guard the behaviour of the sailors tells you all you need to know about the motivation of the rank and file Ukrainian military…

  303. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Syria had around 75,000-100,000 Syrian-born rebels, out of a population of around 20 million.

    DLNR have around 35,000 Ukrainian-born fighters, out of a population of 3.5 million.

    Galicia had 100,000 soldiers out of a population of 3.3 million Ukrainians in 1918.

    Bosnians had about 100,000 soldiers out of a Bosniak population of 1.8 million.

    Croats in Bosnia had about 50,000 troops out of 580,000 people.

    There are a little over 1 million Serbs in Bosnia; their forces totaled 80,000.

    (Wiki gives much larger numbers for Syria’s rebels)

    :::::::::::::::::::::::

    So it’s not much voluntarism in Donbas.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jon0815
  304. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    AK pointed out how, for example, IT is strong in Ukraine because it doesn’t require a lot of infrastructure that can be taken (such as a factory). Corruption scares off investment, and money that could have been spent on economic development (by business owners) is spent on bribes instead.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  305. AP says:
    @anonymous coward

    I’m reporting the real situation on the ground while you reply with some links to a clickbait spam site

    I provided the first thing that came up in google, ecommercenews.eu. It provided figures shwoing “commerce in Ukraine was worth 1.17 billion euros in 2016 and is estimated to be worth around 1.52 billion euros in 2017″

    Given your terrible track record of accuracy, noticed not only by me, I’d take those figures over your observations.

    Ukraine has its own ecommerce websites – Rozetka, Olx and Prom. It most popular foreign ones are Aliexpress, Amazon and eBay.

  306. AP says:
    @DreadIlk

    Even with 18 you have not recovered. Plus to be back where you started is hardly a win

    The western provinces are ahead of where they started. So Maidan worked for them.

    “Overall 12 Ukrainian oblasts had declines of less than 6% from 2014 to 2015, and national growth has been a little over 2.5% per year on average since that time. So presumably all 12 of these oblasts are ahead of where they were in 2013. Some of them are far ahead. These 12 oblasts are almost all in the center and west (Kherson is one exception) and were pro-Maidan. So Maidan worked for them.”

    Didn’t those regions have fuck all in the first place? Sure they have won in relative terms.

    No, they won in absolute terms because they are better off than they were before Maidan and better off than they would have been had there been no Maidan.

    Prior to Maidan Ukraine’s economy was growing .2% and 0% annually. It was negative growth per capita. After a two year drop during the adjustment (that was modest in the western parts) the economy started growing 2.5% per year in 2016-2017 and predicted 3% in 2018.

    The eastern, anti-Maidan parts of Ukraine saw a much larger drop and have not been growing as much. They are worse off than they were in 2013. I was not claiming that they are doing better. The western and central parts of Ukraine are doing better.

    Did I write it simply enough that you understood?

    Obviously corruption is still a massive problem and makes growth 2-3% less than what it should be. But the reorientation has still helped the western and central parts of Ukraine.

    Their standard of living would have been much higher had Maidan not happened.

    According to an idiot such you, who has already been proven wrong about his ridiculous claim that the western regions are doing worse than before Maidan.

    You need steel mills to support IT industry?

    Yes dummy.

    Well dummy, explain why places such as Gary Indiana do not have a thriving IT industry, and why places such as Silicon Valley do not have massive steel mills.

    Manufacturing base is what your exports are.

    We were discussing steel mills not “manufacturing.” Donbas wasn’t making computer chips.

    BTW Lviv oblast (Western Ukraine) exports of goods is up 20% this year:

    http://www.lv.ukrstat.gov.ua/

    Lots of Western manufacturing plants have been coming online there.

    It is much harder to export services.

    In the first 9 months of 2017, exports of services (largely IT outsourcing) was $7.8 billion, up 10% from the previous year. This growing industry is mostly in Kiev and Lviv, pro-Maidan areas.

    First fuck off with Russia. If you can’t defend your self without pointing fingers you already lost.

    Your problem is inability to think.

    You claim Maidan caused this problem, which occurred 4 years after Maidan (maybe if something goes wrong in 10 years you will also blame Maidan?).

    But if Russia has a similar problem, than Maidan cannot be blamed, because Russia did not have Maidan.

    Understand now?

    While we on subject of Russia nothing came up when searching their opposition sites about heating problems.

    Just use Russian state media. It comes up on the first page of a googlesearch:

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-city-utilities-hot-water-indoor-plumbing-251/

    The RUE findings showed that nearly a fifth of homes in cities have no hot water, and 12 percent no central heating – a necessity through Russia’s harsh winters. Nonetheless, the figures are still better than those from five years ago – albeit by no more than 2 percent.

    Urban areas still have better amenities than the country as a whole. Russia’s Federal Statistics Service reported last year that more than a third of all Russians have no hot water and more than a fifth have no running water at all in their homes. The same study showed that less than 1 percent of all water flowing out of Russian taps and faucets complies with international safety standards.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Gerard2
  307. Cato says:
    @reiner Tor

    They are Christian. And they are white. Georgians are actually a very handsome version of white people–as good-looking as Moldovans. Armenians tend to be short, dark, and hairy, though often good-looking in their own way. They look like Iranians, and Tehran has plenty of Armenians, who blend right in to the general population.

    • Replies: @DFH
  308. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    Russia’s Federal Statistics Service reported last year that more than a third of all Russians have no hot water and more than a fifth have no running water at all in their homes. The same study showed that less than 1 percent of all water flowing out of Russian taps and faucets complies with international safety standards.

    Well…it’s all about priorities there, as always.

    The elite has all that ( hot water, running water, safe water) and much more working for them quite well.
    Then, Russia has a lot of advanced weaponry. The type to use when NATO tanks start rolling towards Moscow.
    Those with water problems mentioned above (and more), well…they have that spirit thing.

    Didn’t work last time in similar circumstances, but this time it shall, somehow.
    For example when they start rolling over Ukraine when Kremlin tells them to do so. Say…smash those Nazis there is….4 weeks, tops? All that expertise, advanced weaponry and spirit (not necessarily in that order).

    Or so some people want to believe.

  309. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    They are sort of like Greeks or Christian Arabs (except unlike Arabs they are, of course, Indo-Europeans). If Iran had been a Christian country they would be closest to Persians.

    Here are Georgians in folk costumes:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  310. DFH says:
    @Cato

    They’re not white (unless levantine Arabs and Turks are also white)

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Cato
    , @Dmitry
    , @Spisarevski
  311. AP says:
    @DFH

    I assume by “white” you mean “European.”

    They are Indo-Europeans with little connection historically to Europe, like Persians and Kurds, but unlike Persians or Kurds they are also Christians. Isolation from Europe meant no European medieval feudalism, no Renaissance, no Enlightenment (Peter brought Russia to Europe at this point).

    Greeks are more like Georgians and Armenians than they are like Brits or Germans (there was once a Greek population on the southern shore of the Black Sea not far from Armenia).

    Do you consider Greeks to be white?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  312. Cato says:
    @DFH

    Lebanese are probably more “European” than Georgians — they had to learn French ways, while Georgians had to learn Russian ways. But they are short, dark, and hairy, something like the Armenians. Turks, from the Aegean and Black Sea coasts, are light-skinned, and often blue-eyed. If they walked in the streets of London, they would not look foreign. It’s only in eastern Turkey that the short, dark, and hairy kicks in.

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
  313. @for-the-record

    Angela al-Merkel has better say there’s no military solution, as Germany has no serious military to speak of.

    • Replies: @JLK
  314. @reiner Tor

    Germany’s military is a freaking joke, as are the Germans themselves these days. Let’s see them try and stop Russian ships. Pathetic.

  315. JLK says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Angela al-Merkel has better say there’s no military solution, as Germany has no serious military to speak of.

    Nor is there a good incentive to have one. Let the Poles become the neocon’s Gurkhas.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  316. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Georgians are not exteriorly with “uniform” appearance.

    A proportion look just Russians.

    Then a browner proportion look like maybe Northern Italian people.

    And another 1/2 look more like Armenians/Azerbaijanis.

    Armenians/Azerbaijanis, usually look more similar to Iranians, some types of Pakistanis, Kurds, etc. But obviously a proportion them are lighter or same as typical Spanish/Italians/Greeks, etc.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  317. Dmitry says:
    @DFH

    Georgians might have a similar proportion of white people as some EU countries like Spain.

    I can’t say with any expertise as I haven’t been to Georgia, although all over Spain.

    But Georgian people I’ve met personally, who are exteriorly just the same as an average Russian. (Obviously that is not a majority, but it is a proportion there).

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  318. DFH says:

    Obscene victim blaming here. It’s not Ukraine’s fault that Russia illegally annexed Crimea. It’s not Ukraine’s fault that Russia is illegally interfering with international law again to prevent free navigation through the Kerch Strait.

    And honestly, I’m not interested in the flood of articles trying to prove Russian propaganda talking points, this article from Unz being one of the most obvious and pathetic of the various attempts I’ve seen on this subreddit.

    Side bar:

    The Unz Review is an alt-right website ….[2] It contains articles and content that promote white nationalism, the international Jewish conspiracy, Holocaust denial, the white genocide conspiracy theory, racialism pseudoscience and eugenics.

    It’s also obviously linked with the Russia propaganda network. In example, the Unz review article “It’s Time to Drop the Jew Taboo” written by Charles Bausman was originally published in Russia Insider. They also deny the Holocaust on occasion. Fuck me for not respecting the dialogue under one of their articles, right? On the other hand, if this is representative of non “Main Stream Media” articles, maybe you need to get into main stream media, because this sucks. And your poor choice of media consumption speaks volumes about your character … not in a good way.

    Maybe even more than this, I’m not interested in hearing a new variation on Russian propaganda talking point that Ukraine is at fault for Russia’s imperialistic aggression. It just isn’t.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  319. LH says:
    @anonymous coward

    OT comment:

    I’m sure there’s a thriving ecommerce market in Uganda for peasant yams and fresh monkey brains; they do have working and ubiquitous mobile payment systems, after all.

    Their mobile payment system is from Ericsson, as well as the mobile network. These systems had to be modified, to deal with small amounts of money circulating there. I knew a guy who was working on this.

  320. @DFH

    Where is it from?

    • Replies: @DFH
  321. @DFH

    They’re not white (unless levantine Arabs and Turks are also white)

    Assad is whiter than any Anglo

    • Replies: @DFH
  322. @AP

    Yes, but what little I read on the topic points that it’s a kind of a permanent burden (say, permanently 50% lower GDP), so it shouldn’t affect growth rates right now, unless the corruption problem got worse recently.

  323. @AP

    The Donbas militias are financed and organized by Russia. It’s far from certain that the numbers are comparable to locally organized and highly ineffective militias fighting similarly locally organized ineffective militias in a brutal war of ethnic cleansing. Basically, the Yugoslav militias probably had many units which merely protected their own villages against similar militias of neighboring villages, but were incapable of being relocated anywhere else. I think the Donbas militias are above that level, and they have lower motivation due to lower chances of a total ethnic cleansing.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  324. @AnonFromTN

    Is shipping from Russia that much more expensive than from Germany (Amazon, unless it opens its long promised Eastern Central European site) or Ukraine (obviously, in the case of a local site)? The Ukrainian sites will have lower selection of goods, and might be more expensive due to lower economies of scale (but it’s probably way worse relative to Amazon than compared to the Russian sites). But if there’s a difficulty to transport goods from Russia to Ukraine (last I heard, trade was seriously disrupted), then the selection might decrease on the Russian sites (it’s annoying to be told that the items you selected are not being shipped to the country of your address), then that could explain why Russian companies can no longer sell online in Ukraine, while e-commerce as such is still okay in Ukraine.

  325. DFH says:
    @Spisarevski

    Bulgarian contributions to the world: …………………

    I said something disparaging about Romanians recently, but they are like titans compared to Bulgarians

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  326. @Beckow

    Is it worth fighting against extraordinary bad odds? Does it make the overall situation for the community (nation, tribe) better or worse?

    Well, game theory tells us that you need to create the impression of willingness to fight even against overwhelming odds. However, it cannot really be simulated. Your bluffs will be called. So the winning strategy is often to be willing to fight to the last man.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  327. Dmitry says:
    @DFH

    Lol you made me look up for about ten minutes on Wikipedia.

    They won second place in Eurovision song contest 2017.

    In Olympics, they win a lot of golds.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgaria_at_the_Olympics

    Nobel Prizes, not so much.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country#Bulgaria

    Sumo Wresting

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koto%C5%8Dsh%C5%AB_Katsunori

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  328. @Dmitry

    They won second place in Eurovision song contest 2017.

    Minus point.

    • LOL: reiner Tor
  329. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Galicia had 100,000 soldiers out of a population of 3.3 million Ukrainians in 1918.

    Bosnians had about 100,000 soldiers out of a Bosniak population of 1.8 million.

    Croats in Bosnia had about 50,000 troops out of 580,000 people.

    There are a little over 1 million Serbs in Bosnia; their forces totaled 80,000.

    (Wiki gives much larger numbers for Syria’s rebels)

    :::::::::::::::::::::::

    So it’s not much voluntarism in Donbas.

    If you just add up all the rebel + ISIS forces listed on wiki, that total will be too large, because they were not all at their peak strength at the same time. I think the best estimate is that at the 2015-2016 peak, rebels + ISIS numbered a little over 100,000, and around 30% of those were non-Syrian. Also, Syria’s population is younger than Donbass, so there were more men of military age available to be recruited.

    Anyway, you can’t effectively measure “volunteerism” just by looking at number of fighters relative to population, that is far too simplistic. Donbass is a low-intensity conflict with a largely static front line, very different from the fighting in Bosnia. DLNR forces are also completely dependent on Russia for resupply, and Putin doesn’t want them to capture any more territory. So it may be there are 100,000+ potential recruits, but the DLNR doesn’t have the resources to pay and equip a force that large. Though they have managed to create an all-volunteer force which per capita is larger than the one Kiev has been able to muster through forced conscription.

  330. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    The RUE findings showed that nearly a fifth of homes in cities have no hot water, and 12 percent no central heating – a necessity through Russia’s harsh winters. Nonetheless, the figures are still better than those from five years ago – albeit by no more than 2 percent.

    Urban areas still have better amenities than the country as a whole. Russia’s Federal Statistics Service reported last year that more than a third of all Russians have no hot water and more than a fifth have no running water at all in their homes. The same study showed that less than 1 percent of all water flowing out of Russian taps and faucets complies with international safety standards.

    hahaha…you sick fantasist f**k. Fresh from other lies you peddle this article from 5 YEARS AGO ( which isn’t correct BTW)..but even worse it that you know it was from this period ago but pretend as if it isn’t. Freak. How this could compare with Ukropias richest and most populous city suffering from a catastrophe of 30% without hot water for 6-7 months …is a mystery. This is even before we get into the gas cut-off’s happening throughout the country in the last 2 weeks. As an ignorant Banderite fucktard with no knowledge of Russian/Ukrainian….it it quite easy to be a thick moron attempting disinformation…for hours and hours each day

    Your problem is inability to think.

    You claim Maidan caused this problem, which occurred 4 years after Maidan (maybe if something goes wrong in 10 years you will also blame Maidan?).

    But if Russia has a similar problem, than Maidan cannot be blamed, because Russia did not have Maidan.

    Understand now?

    Projection of a retard……errr problem is directly caused by catastrophic economy, IMF mandated tarriff increases and company restructuring , plus lack of FDI -making replacing or maintaining infrastructure a nightmare you fucktard. Anything energy based is of course linked to Russia….so to say these huge problems with hot water and gas aren’t linked to Maidan is retarded beyond belief you idiot

    We were discussing steel mills not “manufacturing.” Donbas wasn’t making computer chips.

    BTW Lviv oblast (Western Ukraine) exports of goods is up 20% this year:

    http://www.lv.ukrstat.gov.ua/

    Lots of Western manufacturing plants have been coming online there.

    It is much harder to export services.

    In the first 9 months of 2017, exports of services (largely IT outsourcing) was $7.8 billion, up 10% from the previous year. This growing industry is mostly in Kiev and Lviv, pro-Maidan areas.

    LOL, and not even taking into account inflation and clearly fake manufacturing statistics.
    The west is the poorest and less densely populated and most failing area of Ukraine you thick twat. There has been no wage increase you idiot, only huge population drain which therefore affects these wage numbers

    • Replies: @AP
  331. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …the winning strategy is often to be willing to fight to the last man

    There is a problem with that, once the last man is gone, the victory will seem a bit hollow.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @reiner Tor
  332. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    lack of FDI

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/foreign-direct-investment

    Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine increased by 667 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018

    clearly fake manufacturing statistics

    Is the new $160 million tech center in Lviv “clearly fake?”

    http://www.uadn.net/2018/06/21/lviv-starts-construction-of-160-million-it-park/

    Lviv is 1/16th the size of Moscow so this is equivalent in relative terms to a $2.5 billion tech center in Moscow.

    Dutch building a new $80 million industrial park in Lviv for manufacturing light automotive and pharmaceutical goods – also fake?

    https://theubj.com/news/view/e-europes-biggest-developer-crosses-border-to-build-first-industrial-park-in-ukraine

    Lviv already has attracted large foreign investors. Vos cited German hypermarket giant Metro, German retail and tourism group REWE, Austria-based transport specialist Cargo Partner, and French hypermarket Auchan.

    Potential clients of the new park are to come from various sectors — high-tech production, logistics, automotive and engineering.

    One company is Fujikura, a Japanese car parts manufacturer, due to set up a third plant to add to two facilities it set up in Ryasne-2 last year.

    Syvak, responsible for Lviv’s investments, said other clients in contact with the developer include Bosch, Siemens and LEGO.

    – So new auto parts factories means increase in exports. 20% increase this year. Fake only in your world.

    The west is the poorest and less densely populated

    Poorest – depends where in the West. Less densely populated??

    ::::::::::::

    You are a useful troll, wherever you are from, because you provide an excuse to transmit useful information.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Gerard2
  333. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Question: what is Poroshenko’s approval rating in Kharkiv? In Odessa? Is he over 10% there?

    The justification for Maidan was that Yanukovitch approval was down to 20% or so, that he lost legitimacy, how about Poroshenko? Or, if you prefer the hapless Macron who is also at 20% something approval.

    What is good for a goose, is also good for a gander…

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
  334. AP says:
    @Beckow

    He is right -according to game theory, those unwilling to be irrational in terms of fighting lose 100% of the time. Those willing to fight irrationally at least have a chance of not losing.

    Iran and North Korea have a 0% chance of beating the USA in a total war. Rationally they should disband their military and invite the USA in to do what it wants. But by being willing to go down fighting (and incurring casualties on the invader, even if this means large scale destruction of their own territory) they win by reducing the chances of an invasion.

    Canada and Mexico shouldn’t bother with trade negotiations with the USA because they would easily lose a war with the USA. So they should rationally give in to every one of Trump’s demands.

    How would the 20th century look if everyone but Germany was”rational?” All of Europe would have surrendered itself to Germany, one by one, without firing a shot (first Czechs, then Poles, then French, than Brits), and would have complied with German demands during occupation. USSR, faced with all of rational Europe, would have then rationally surrendered also.

    Automatic capitulation simply because someone else is stronger is a losing strategy.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  335. @Beckow

    The justification for Maidan was that Yanukovitch approval was down to 20% or so, that he lost legitimacy, how about Poroshenko? Or, if you prefer the hapless Macron who is also at 20% something approval.

    One can always sink lower…

    With a satisfaction rating so low it recently dropped to just 4%

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/01/francois-hollande-not-seek-second-term-president-france

  336. @Dmitry

    Northern Italians typically do not look brown, let alone browner than Georgians. Ridiculous.

    Even with southern Italians, that would be an exaggeration.

    You may be thinking of Sicilians, who are genetically noticeably different from mainland Italians north and south.

    • Agree: DFH
  337. @AP

    How would the 20th century look if everyone but Germany was”rational?” All of Europe would have surrendered itself to Germany, one by one, without firing a shot (first Czechs, then Poles, then French, than Brits), and would have complied with German demands during occupation. USSR, faced with all of rational Europe, would have then rationally surrendered also.

    Perhaps not for Slavs, but for West Europeans collaborating with Germany was the best option. Partisan activity simply made ordinary people suffer more pointlessly.

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

    Question: what is Poroshenko’s approval rating in Kharkiv? In Odessa? Is he over 10% there?

    Doubt it.

    The justification for Maidan was that Yanukovitch approval was down to 20% or so

    Nonsense. Justification for Maidan was that he was down to 20% and was monopolizing power and not going to give it up, and was engaging in actions with permanent consequences that were opposed by a plurality of Ukrainians. Poroshenko has not cancelled elections, nor has he made bold moves that most Ukrainians oppose.

    Furthermore, Yanukovich’s 20% is different from Poroshenko’s 10% because Yanukovich was one of only 2 pro-Russian forces in Ukraine (the other being the Communists) whereas there are about 5 significant pro-Western political groups in Ukraine, which means each one has “diluted” support and can count on some support from the others.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Gerard2
  339. Anon[182] • Disclaimer says:

    A few words about Ukraine. The key test is not whether or not it has regained its 2013 peak. The test is whether it will ever regain its 1989 peak.

    I’m not talking about the Maiden here. Just pointing out that any talk of ‘recovery’ cannot limit itself to 2013 as the benchmark, or 2007. Ukraine never recovered from the 1989 collapse.

    • Replies: @AP
  340. AP says:
    @Anon

    The current government can’t be responsible for the 90s debacle. But at this growth rate it will be very close to pre-Maidan for 2018, and will be close to the 2007 post-independence peak in 2020.

    Without Maidan it likely would have been stagnation at that plateau, never even returning to the 2007 peak.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @Anon
  341. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    ..the Yugoslav militias probably had many units which merely protected their own villages against similar militias of neighboring villages, but were incapable of being relocated anywhere else…

    Comparing Donbass with some parts/sides in Yugoslav conflict could be an interesting exercise.
    For say….3 % of people here, tops.

    You appear to be aware of some facts, so, here is possible homework:

    Take as example Bosnian Serbs. Yes, they did have local militias incapable of serious mobile warfare and unwilling to fight anywhere out of their own area.
    Having said that, they did have something that, say, Donbass is conspicuously lacking: Central political and, more importantly, military authority. Gen. Mladic commanded forces equal to a decent U.S. corps and all that pretty much very well organized…by the book.

    Forces under his command had those “immobile/unwilling militias”, yes, but they did have quite mobile mechanized BRIGADE combat teams, let alone quite mobile and capable units of battalion battle group size.
    Gen Mladic is a Bosnian born and all top commanders there were Bosnian Serbs. Think about that a bit…..

    Bottom line, comparing, quality wise, Donbass military forces with that “Army of Bosnian Serbs” isn’t very flattering for the former.

    As I said before, several times, the differences between those two are both fundamental for this issue and, oh yes, make all the sense.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  342. @AP

    “Without Maidan it likely would have been stagnation at that plateau, never even returning to the 2007 peak. But at this growth rate it will be very close to pre-Maidan for 2018, and will be close to the 2007 post-independence peak in 2020.”

    Good enough. That sure seems like a reasonable cause for a Maidan. We are all looking forward to 2020.

  343. @Beckow

    You don’t understand. The idea is that if you are willing to fight to the last man, you are minimizing the chances of having to fight at all. Because they will be unwilling to attack such a crazy country.

    Of course once you are attacked anyway, it’d be better to be less crazy, but you cannot just switch. Because previously you made yourself really crazy – which is the only way to credibly threaten with being crazy. It just cannot be simulated. A country which is prepared to fight to the last man (with soldiers and officers and even generals eager to die in battle, with a civilian culture glorifying soldiers dying in battle, with politicians believing in those values elected or appointed to office, etc.) will be very difficult to make surrender, even if the top leadership wanted to do that. (The Japanese emperor found it out in 1945, even though his army and navy barely existed anymore.) And the leadership itself has to be prepared to fight, or else their policies won’t be credible. It’s pretty easy to spot a leader terrified of war and one willing to go down fighting to the last man and the last bullet. Though leaders are often somewhat in between, like Putin seems to be terrified of war (which invites aggression like rotting meat invites flies), but it’s obvious that he doesn’t subscribe to your theory of never going down fighting in a lost war against a stronger opponent.

  344. @peterAUS

    Yugoslavia was a highly militarized country compared to 2013 Ukraine, so it had many people who received decent military training and even many highly trained officers locally. There were also lots of military equipment available locally, for the same reason. The Serbs were organized by local Yugoslav army units. The Bosniaks had their own territorial troops already before the war, so they could organize it that way.

    But yes, the Donbas militias are probably neither very large, nor highly motivated, nor very good compared to the Bosnian Serbs. But I’m still not convinced it’s a meaningful comparison.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  345. peterAUS says:

    But I’m still not convinced it’s a meaningful comparison.

    Obviously.
    It’s O.K.

    I am positive that, say……6 commentators I’ve “felt” so far on this site know exactly what I am talking about.
    Say….2 of those are quite O.K. with the state of affairs as it is; 4 aren’t, but don’t want to talk about it. Just my impression, mind you.

    All good.

  346. Anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @AP

    You’re missing the point. I’m not talking about either the current government or about Maidan.

    I’m simply pushing back on your habit to benchmark either 2013(pre-Maidan) or 2007(pre-GFC) as the yardstick years that we should use when thinking about Ukraine’s current predicament. Such events would make sense if Ukraine had regained its previous 1989 peak, like Russia did. It has not.

    I’m merely pointing out that 1989 remains the real benchmark as long as this remains the case. Ukraine, unlike vast majority of its contemporaries, never recovered its 1989 peak. Therefore, any bombastic exclamations of “Ukraine keeps winning” is wildly premature until the 1989 peak is regained. On top of that, the world has hardly stood still in these past 30 years, so in a relative sense, Ukraine has slipped much further behind compared to the US and other leading economies.

    A longer time horizon is necessary before any grand proclamations can be trumpeted about. Only once Ukraine has recovered the 1989 peak can any talk of success be even modestly entertained. Given how far behind the country still is from that date – we could be talking a full decade on current growth trends – and that’s assuming no intervening recession in the meantime, I would council some humility in these discussions.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  347. @Anon

    However, the issue at hand for Ukrainians is which of the incompetent or moderately competent ruling factions to choose. From the data it appears that the currently ruling faction is at least not worse than the Yanukovich faction.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @Beckow
  348. Mikhail says: • Website

    Fact Check the BBC – Second Guessing James Mattis – Remembering George Bush

    As part of a December 1 BBC TV newscast around the time of Vladimir Putin’s live G20 Buenos Aries news conference, the BBC’s Tim Willcox stated as fact that Russia “intentionally” built a low bridge at the Kerch Strait to “block tall Ukrainian cargo ships”.

    Multiple sources have said that the waterway at issue isn’t deep enough to be able to successfully take in especially “tall” (large) vessels, regardless of their national origin (Russian, Ukrainian or otherwise). Note that the BBC recently ran a series on “fake news”, which targeted some other venues.

    ——————————

    From someone who has been described as one of the Trump administration’s “adults in the room”:

    https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/mattis-slams-putin-says-no-smoking-gun-on-khashoggi-murder/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BreakingDefense+%28Breaking+Defense%29

    According to Jim Mattis, there’s more convincing evidence that the Russian government meddled in the most recent US election, when compared to identifying which party was involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoogi.

    Another Mattis beaut of recent note:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/mattis-says-russia-cannot-replace-u-s-commitment-in-middle-east/29566838.html

    On Middle East matters, Russia is the only country which has been able to hold open talks with the governments of Syria, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and (when not pressured by some in the US) America.

    From several years ago, recall the openly stated desire to see the Syrian president leave office.

    ——————————

    The late George Bush’s foreign policy seems like it could’ve been very well influenced from when Bush served the Nixon administration in prime positions at the UN and CIA.

    As the Soviet Union was on the verge of breaking up, Bush received some flack (from the likes of the late William Safire), for responsibly cautioning the then Ukrainian SSR to not take a path of “suicidal nationalism”.

    To date, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s uber nationalist actions haven’t helped him at the polls.

  349. I found some sense regarding the Nuke under the bridge / aka SADM affair from a familiar voice not heard for years, so I cant remember his name. He stats the False Flag conspiracy theory is a positive ‘psy-op’ preparing western minds for 9/11 disclosure, disclosure of deep state infil into NATO and various other issues: https://youtu.be/mNfcHUP9spk

  350. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    But yes, the Donbas militias are probably neither very large, nor highly motivated, nor very good compared to the Bosnian Serbs. But I’m still not convinced it’s a meaningful comparison.

    The Bosnian Serbs’ performance was not particularly impressive considering they were the best-armed faction in Bosnia.

    Whereas the Donbass militias have held their own against a NATO-backed Ukrainian army that is better equipped, has 7 times the standing manpower reserves, and outnumbers them by 3-1 at the front line.

    So, even granted that the Ukrainian army is not as competent or motivated as the Bosnian Croats or Muslims were, I don’t see the basis for concluding that the Donbass militia are not very good compared to the Bosnian Serbs. Quite possibly they are better.

  351. @reiner Tor

    …. currently ruling faction is at least not worse than the Yanukovich faction.”

    I hope you do realize that, in hindsight, “at least not worse” sounds utterly ridiculous.

  352. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry

    Some Spanish are quite dusky but they are more often not, Basque and other Northern Spanish have a lot in common with Northern Europe. Anyway Spanish IQ is high and they have been and are integral to Western Europe.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  353. LondonBob says:
    @AP

    Greeks are Eastern Mediterranean.

  354. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …which of the incompetent or moderately competent ruling factions to choose

    But have they been able to freely choose? When you end up with failed governments as the last 4-5 in Ukraine, and a country that is worse off than in 1990, we should look at different explanations:

    – a systemic problem (incl. geographic location)
    – elites that have no interest in Ukraine’s well-being
    – or possibly that a majority of Ukrainian voters are morons.

    Next year they will choose among the same set of the same old names, nothing new. So the result will be the same.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  355. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    – elites that have no interest in Ukraine’s well-being

    I think that this explanation is closest to the real reason for Ukraine’s inability to make any huge leaps forward. But then again, where on the planet is there a country where the elites are more interested in the welfare of the people, more than their own? The traditional beacon of democracy in the world, the US, is slipping further and further into an elite driven morass (just read Fred Reed’s latest eye opener here: https://www.unz.com/freed/comparing-china-and-america/ where there seems to be more similarities than differences between the US & China).

    As far as any chance of an outsider making it to the top echelons of government, just how much of an ‘outsider’ was Trump really, even though he cleverly positioned himself as one during the election campaign, look at who’s now surrounding him in the inner circle.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  356. @Mr. Hack

    The traditional beacon of democracy in the world, the US, is slipping further and further into an elite driven morass

    Who are you and what did you do to our Mr. Hack?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  357. Beckow says:

    …where on the planet is there a country where the elites are more interested in the welfare of the people, more than their own?

    True, but that wasn’t my metric. The difference in Ukraine is that there seems an almost Third World detachment by elites from the people, in most of the advanced world there is a give-and-take. That includes US, Russia and China.

    The powerlessness of ordinary people in Ukraine is stunning. The ones I talk to are among the most fatalistic and skeptical I have ever met. One of the main mistakes of Maidan (there were quite a few) was that it didn’t clear the deck of all the assorted former prime ministers, ministers, long-term oligarchs – there was no fresh start, they recycled the same people who were in power previously. By definition that is not much of a ‘revolution’. 1 million people come out to freeze on Kiev squares and they reinstate a few Yushenko Orange revolution retreats? How did that happen? It makes one suspect that there really was a script.

    I think Trump is probably the best one can hope for. If he is removed, or neutralized, the insiders will not make a mistake of allowing any outsider a chance for 1-2 generations. And the system cannot be sustained for that long without some major changes.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  358. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    One of the main mistakes of Maidan (there were quite a few) was that it didn’t clear the deck of all the assorted former prime ministers, ministers, long-term oligarchs – there was no fresh start, they recycled the same people who were in power previously.

    I agree with you. This is the biggest mistake associated with the current regime in power, and especially with Poroshenko. Poroshenko has made virtually no real progress in stemming the corruption within Ukraine. Indeed, why would he, if he’s no doubt involved in the corruption as much as other politicians. Ukrainians are seeing through his game, and his popular positions regarding the Ukrainian national issues will not be enough to pull him through the next election cycle. Hopefully, his replacement wont be front runner Timoshenko who is also of that same old crowd and has her own unsavory baggage of corruption following her too.

    As far as a fresh start, the Maidan signaled an abrupt halt to the expansion of Regionnaire power and Yanukovych’s brand of incipient authoritarianism – this was a good thing!

    But I do agree, it’s way past the time that a newer, younger breed of politicians need to take over the mantle.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AP
  359. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob

    I work everyday with a Basque. I’ve learned even some sentences of Euskera. (And I’ve travelled all over Pais Vasco a few years ago). We also have in our work Catalans, Italians, a guy from Rome, guy from Sardinia. To go to the pub after work for me, is like a meeting of the United Nations.

    I don’t call them niggers in real life, my social life would be even less, and they don’t understand my sarcasm anyway.

  360. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine needs mainly just years of political stability. I’m not even sure it is important who it is as leader – it could have been someone like Lukashenko , and the country would be in a better position today.

    I’m sure his chocolate tastes better as well…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  361. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Newer and younger people, why not? :-)

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
  362. AP says:
    @Beckow

    The difference in Ukraine is that there seems an almost Third World detachment by elites from the people,

    As I explained earlier, Ukraine’s elites were basically second rate Sovoks – people loyal or invested in the Soviet system rather than the Ukrainian people (otherwise they would not have collaborated with it), who also weren’t good enough to end up in Moscow or who screwed up and were sent back. So they had two strikes against them. I can’t think of analogues elsewhere. Even post-colonial situations tended to at least have the best the locals could produce, no matter how bad they were. Even Russia had smarter, if amoral people.

    The powerlessness of ordinary people in Ukraine is stunning.

    They were able to lash out and send the government running.

    The ones I talk to are among the most fatalistic and skeptical I have ever met.

    You talk to those who have fled. It’s a skewed sample. Look at Russians such as Julia Ioffe who ran away from Russia and what they write about the country they left.

    One of the main mistakes of Maidan (there were quite a few) was that it didn’t clear the deck of all the assorted former prime ministers, ministers, long-term oligarchs

    Correct. The diaspora finance minister Jaresko was rather effective in turning things around. Predictably, she was pushed out after getting death threats and replaced; had she become PM the reforms would have accelerated. Instead a Poroshenko crony became PM.

    But in the eyes of Ukraine’s enemies it is always bad. If you have “foreigners” such as her or some Georgians (the reforms in Georgia were actually effective) in charge – the Ukraine is being colonized by the USA. If it’s locals, they are compromised. It’s not like 20-something activists, or seemingly smart but completely inexperienced activists such as the Okean Elzy singer can necessarily run a country. Among experienced locals you have Poroshenko (corrupt central Ukrainian oligarch), Tymoshenko (likewise), Boyko (corrupt Donbas oligarch), Hrytsenko (Yushchenko guy) and Sadovy (Lviv mayor). The last one is probably least corrupt or tied to oligarchs, and has some experience. Then you have a rock singer and an actor who plays a reformer on TV.

    By definition that is not much of a ‘revolution’.

    Two things were necessary to transform the country: reorientation to the West, and corruption reform. One of those two things has been done. The economy is growing and in new ways, they have a chance to vote out this group if they want, people have the opportunity to work in the West if they want to. But the ongoing corruption is keeping growth, while steady, modest. People are right to be upset with 2% to 3% growth; it’s better than Yanukovich-era 0% to 1% stagnation but it is not good enough.

    That having been said, it is Russian nationalist or post-Sovok wishful thinking/sour grapes that nothing has changed or that Ukraine is spiraling downward. The nothing has changed/nothing will ever change argument, in addition to being false, is a good one to keep whoever is in power, in power forever.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @peterAUS
  363. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    But who? Is Poroshenko’s younger protege like Groysman better?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Seraphim
  364. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Poroshenko has made virtually no real progress in stemming the corruption within Ukraine. Indeed, why would he, if he’s no doubt involved in the corruption as much as other politicians

    He did more the strengthen the Ukrainian military than previous presidents, and he did tie Ukraine to the West rather than Russia. He also made the national Church happen. So he did not to nothing. But a strong economy is as important as a strong military, and his performance here has been only mediocre, due to corruption that benefits him and his associates. There is something Putin-like in the Poroshenkoist system (strong state system, real but small economic gain), although Putin was at least blessed with high oil prices for much of his reign.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @peterAUS
  365. @Beckow

    Well, France has its own Maidan right now, just as senseless and violent. If you ask me, serves it right. Previous French government (along with the German one) followed the US lead and supported the coup. Europeans along with US “diplomats” oversaw signing an agreement with Yanuk that was broken the very next day by a violent coup, without a murmur from Europe or the US. Then French elected Rothschild banker as a president, illustrating the fact that every nation has a government it deserves.

    There is Russian saying: “don’t dig a trap for someone else, you might fall into it yourself”.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  366. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    You talk to those who have fled. It’s a skewed sample. Look at Russians such as Julia Ioffe who ran away from Russia and what they write about the country they left.

    Some would dispute whether Ioffe is Russian. She seems to identify more with being Jewish than Russian. Her departure was likely due to her family (at least some of them) seeking better payola (Multiple sources say that she has family relations still in Russia, including her grandmother.).

    Meantime, plenty of Russians in the West who don’t dis Russia. These are the kind of Russians typically muted out of Western mass media, much unlike the Iofees.

    Conversely, there’re a Ukrainian ex pats who aren’t so pro-Euromaidan and anti-Russian. They’re the kind of Ukrainians typically getting muted in the Western mass media and body politic structures..

    Regarding Ioffe:

    Re: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/31/strange-twist-fate-now-its-russian-jews-praying-american-jews/?utm_term=.33e807663dff

    Excerpt –

    Like the century before it, the Soviet era was riddled with anti-Semitism. Jews were often discriminated against by the government, from restrictive quotas at top universities to having the equivalent of a letter ‘J’ marked in their internal Soviet passports. Anti-Semitic imagery and slogans were rife and generally accepted by Soviet society.

    Starting in the 1970s, Soviet Jews began leaving for Israel and the West. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, a 1-million-strong exodus had taken place. The chaotic 1990s saw many more go.

    More accurately put, the Cold War era saw the USSR take a geopolitically motivated anti-Zionist/anti-Israeli line, which isn’t necessarily anti-Jewish. Somewhat reminded of those who say that being against the Russian government isn’t necessarily anti-Russian.

    Despite the aforementioned restrictions, Jews in the Soviet Union compared socioeconomically well to other ethnic groups in that dictatorship – which adhered to a set of beliefs, known for being theoretically opposed to all religions. The aforementioned restrictions bring to mind the matter of affirmative action in the US and a recent Fox News segment of Harvard University discriminating against Asian applicants.

    If I’m not offhand mistaken, the described Soviet internal passports listed the stated ethnic group of the given person – “J” or otherwise. Zionism supports the idea of a Jewish nation. It has been said that some people of Jewish background in the USSR listed their ethnic identity as something other than Jewish. Soviet census taking allowed the individual to have some leeway on how they wanted to be ethnically listed.

    During the Cold War, there was a noticeable US political activity seeking justice for Soviet Jews. There was also the reality that living conditions in the US and the West in general, was considerably better than in the USSR. At the time, it was understood that the best way to get US approval for entry was to claim being ethnically discriminated against, as opposed to seeking a better economic standing.

    I know a pro-Israeli Jewish attorney who worked for the INS reviewing Soviet Jewish applicants. According to him and some others, a good number of the stories about persecution seem exaggerated, if not completely made up. In addition, there has been second guessing on just how Jewish the background of some (not all) of the applicants.

    I don’t dispute that the USSR, post-Soviet Russia and some other parts of the world have (in varying degrees) what Jeffrey Goldberg described relative to the US:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Goldberg

    BTW, there’re some golf clubs on Long Island that are known for not taking in Jewish members. Quite different from the numerous US and/or Israeli based Jews flying Aeroflot.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @RadicalCenter
  367. @Hyperborean

    Sounds familiar:
    - What do you do when you are being raped?
    - Relax and try to enjoy it.
    Thing is, it has been documented that women who behave like that during rape get permanent psychological damage, whereas those who “irrationally” resist do not. We are humans, not robots.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  368. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I didn’t state that Poroshenko did nothing, only that he hasn’t done much to combat corruption, something that has been a big problem in independent Ukraine for all of its existence.

    There is something Putin-like in the Poroshenkoist system (strong state system, real but small economic gain), although Putin was at least blessed with high oil prices for much of his reign.

    To a degree. The real Putin clone in Ukraine was Yanukovych, whose strong authoritarian traits were thankfully curtailed. We’ll see how Poroshenko reacts and what sorts of measures he’ll resort to if his chances to be reelected are curtailed…

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Gerard2
  369. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I don’t really have an answer and am not very familiar with the younger crop of politicians. In replying, I was enchanted by the young and pretty Ukrainian girl eating the chocolate bar. :-)

  370. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail

    Should read as: Conversely, there’re Ukrainian ex pats who aren’t so pro-Euromaidan and anti-Russian. They’re the kind of Ukrainians typically getting muted in the Western mass media and body politic structures.

  371. @JLK

    There’s always an incentive to have a strong military: reality and a basic knowledge of history and human nature. What if a country decides it isn’t threatened by anyone militarily and won’t ever be, then finds out that it was wrong? Death, destruction, dispossession, subjugation.

    Yeah, there’s no incentive to have a real military. And the cost of being wrong about that is no big deal.

  372. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    ….reorientation to the West…

    Whoah. THAT is the problem. An unforgivable sin by….well, you know who.
    Unforgivable

    Welcome.

  373. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    He did more the strengthen the Ukrainian military than previous presidents, and he did tie Ukraine to the West rather than Russia. He also made the national Church happen. So he did not to nothing. But a strong economy is as important as a strong military, and his performance here has been only mediocre, due to corruption that benefits him and his associates. There is something Putin-like in the Poroshenkoist system (strong state system, real but small economic gain), although Putin was at least blessed with high oil prices for much of his reign.

    Agree.

  374. Seraphim says:
    @Anon

    You may get a fair assessment from the blog:
    “Heralding the Rise of Russia. Russo-Armenian relations, Eurasian geopolitics and resisting the Western alliance”@http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/

  375. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    Walzman or Groysman? Is there any difference? Where is Kolomoyskyi, BTW?

    • Replies: @AP
  376. Mikhail says: • Website

    Poroshenko’s “achievements”

    His state interference on a religious matter has served to further sow division among Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and abroad. At the same time, his goal of having one UOC completely separate from the MP appears far off from happening anytime soon, if ever.

    Ukraine’s military has been in a pitiful state. Hence, it doesn’t take much to improve it, thru cheap nationalist propaganda that results in getting some Western aid. Let’s see his forces successfully take the rebel held Donbass areas.

    Poroshenko doesn’t appear to come close to controlling Ukraine’s oligarchs as much as Putin with the Russian variant.

    If he was so successful, he’d be at under 10%, despite conjuring up cheap nationalist acts like the fake Babchenko, murder, going against the UOC-MP and the recent stunt in the Kerch Strait that included the presence of SBU (ex-KGB) personnel on board the now detained vessels, to see that the operation went thru.

    • Replies: @AP
  377. Mikhail says: • Website

    Re: https://thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/the-bathtub-navys-christmas-vacation/

    Excerpt –

    Another bone of contention I have with Mary’s piece is her speculation that Russia constructed the Kerch Strait bridge with blocking the navigable channel in mind. This is demonstrably not so, and were it the case, Russia would have constructed the bridge in such a way that the center section was too low to allow ships through. The center section coincides with the deep-water channel, and the rest of the strait is simply too shallow for ships of any size to pass, unless Ukraine was disposed to dig out the whole thing and maintain it through biannual dredging. I am sure I am not the only one to have seen no sign of any such intention.

    Relates to when the BBC’s Tim Willcox erroneously stated (during a December 1 telecast) that Russia “intentionally” built a low bridge at the Kerch Strait to “block tall Ukrainian cargo ships“.

    Multiple sources have said that the waterway at issue isn’t deep enough to be able to successfully take in especially “tall” (large) vessels, regardless of their national origin (Russian, Ukrainian or otherwise). Note that the BBC recently ran a series on “fake news”, which targeted some other venues.

    Excerpt –

    Finally, I dispute her assertion that Moscow recognizes that it has ‘lost’ Ukraine. That’s a very shortsighted view, if you’ll forgive my saying so, and I will make my customary wager – a case of beer – that Russia will eventually (say, within 15 years) end up with a far closer association with the remainder of Ukraine than the European Union enjoys, if Ms. Dejevsky cares to accept it. If I were in charge of Russia, I would give western Ukraine to Poland, because the nationalist nutjobs are always going to be a problem.

    ****

    It remains to be seen whether Russia has “lost” Ukraine. Poroshenko’s anti-Russian leaning nationalist stunts haven’t helped his popularity. The pro-Russian to (for lack of a better term) neutral (not anti-Russian, but not so pro-Russian) perspectives among Ukrainians are regularly downplayed in the West.

    It’s not for the Russian leader or anyone else to “give” western Ukraine to Poland. Among Ukrainians in the western parts of Galicia and Volhyn (the most nationalistic areas in Ukraine), there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable level of support for these territories, or all of Ukraine to be part of Poland. For accuracy sake, anti-Russian sentiment among some Ukrainians shouldn’t by default be equated with being pro-Polish.

  378. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The real Putin clone in Ukraine was Yanukovych, whose strong authoritarian traits were thankfully curtailed

    I disagree. Yanukovich was not as smart, under him the state and its organs (such as the military) became weak, and economic performance wasn’t even mediocre.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  379. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    Walzman or Groysman?

    “Walzman” is a myth. To be fair to you, I assumed it was true too.

    Where is Kolomoyskyi, BTW?

    More or less neutralized. Poroshenko outmaneuvered and neutralized the Donbas gang (whom he preserves minus Yanukovich, as they serve some use – they joined him in the parliament to water down anti-corruption reforms) and Kolomoyski.

    Tymoshenko remains as a rival. Poroshenko has consolidated power and has made the state stronger, but has failed to solve corruption, so unlike Putin he isn’t popular enough to win the election (so far), which will prevent him from continuing to consolidate power into the next presidential term. If Tymoshenko takes Poroshenko down, she’ll finish off the Donbas gang but might resurrect Kolomoysky, who has no chance of unseating her.

  380. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    His state interference on a religious matter has served to further sow division among Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and abroad

    Hasn’t made divisions any worse – he has consolidated the two non-Russian Orthodox who are uniting and has diminished the Moscow Church which is losing churches.

    . At the same time, his goal of having one UOC completely separate from the MP appears far off from happening anytime soon

    There will always be a Church in Ukraine for the ethnic Russians, Crimeans and the Russian nationalist fringe (these groups all overlap of course). This is what the UOC-Moscow is becoming. “Ukrainian” only in the sense of territory.

    Ukraine’s military has been in a pitiful state. Hence, it doesn’t take much to improve it

    The previous presidents didn’t bother. The current military has about four times the troops of the one Poroshenko got, they are well-armed when they weren’t before, better trained, and new weapons systems are coming online. Ukraine has gone from having a sub-Yeltsin military to having a Putin’s-first-presidential-term military. Still much room for improvement, but the change has been massive.

    Let’s see his forces successfully take the rebel held Donbass areas

    Ukraine is not capable of defeating Russia, which will step in if Donbas is assaulted.

    Poroshenko doesn’t appear to come close to controlling Ukraine’s oligarchs as much as Putin with the Russian variant

    He is not there yet. Putin neutralized Berezovsky and Gusinky in his first year, and Khodorkovsky three years later.

    Poroshenko has neutralized the Donbas gang and Kolomoysky, but not Tymoshenko.

    If he was so successful, he’d be at under 10%

    He is under 10% when people are given the choice of eleven people. When narrowed down to two he’s in the 40s. He didn’t have the luxury of rising oil prices, and unlike Putin there are others seemingly no worse than him.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  381. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Hasn’t made divisions any worse – he has consolidated the two non-Russian Orthodox who are uniting and has diminished the Moscow Church which is losing churches.

    That hasn’t happened. The UAOC and UOC-KP haven’t merged into one church, with the UOC-MP remaining opposed to the Vatican like decision of Bartholomew and Poroshenko’s state interference on a religious matter.

    There will always be a Church in Ukraine for the ethnic Russians, Crimeans and the Russian nationalist fringe (these groups all overlap of course). This is what the UOC-Moscow is becoming. “Ukrainian” only in the sense of territory.

    For that matter, there’re churches in Ukraine for nationalist anti-Russian types. It can be reasonably said that the UOC-MP is less political than the UOC-KP and UGCC – something that serves to attract non-Svido Ukrainians, who aren’t anti-Russian or are not so pro-Russian, but opposed to some core Svido takes. The UOC-MP remains larger than the UAOC and UGCC.

    The previous presidents didn’t bother. The current military has about four times the troops of the one Poroshenko got, they are well-armed when they weren’t before, better trained, and new weapons systems are coming online. Ukraine has gone from having a sub-Yeltsin military to having a Putin’s-first-presidential-term military. Still much room for improvement, but the change has been massive.

    Perhaps a bit generous in putting it on par with Putin’s-first- presidential term military.

    Poroshenko has neutralized the Donbas gang and Kolomoysky, but not Tymoshenko.

    The latter being the front runner in the next Ukriian presidential election.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  382. AP says:

    That hasn’t happened. The UAOC and UOC-KP haven’t merged into one church

    The process is the unification of these two Churches and the addition of defectors from the Moscow Church. This process is going forward now.

    “Ukraine has gone from having a sub-Yeltsin military to having a Putin’s-first-presidential-term military. Still much room for improvement, but the change has been massive.”

    Perhaps a bit generous in putting it on par with Putin’s-first- presidential term military.

    No. Karlin posted, for example, training accident data that showed Ukraine’s military improving to ~ 2004 Russian levels from an abysmally poor number. The new weapons and missile systems upgraded analogues of ones Russia released in the 2000s (for example the Neptune cruise missile is a modernized version of the Kh-35 that entered Russian service in 2003, and that Russia still uses; the Grom-2 missiles are analogues to the Iskander missiles that entered Russian service in 2006).

    Mind you, the Russian military of 2005 was far from the one Russia currently has. But it was also much improved from the one Yeltsin had. And Ukraine’s military in 2014 was even worse than Yeltsin’s – it was Yeltsin’s plus another ten years of decay. So Ukraine’s military improvement under Poroshenko has been substantial and swift. Of course, it was due to necessity.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Jon0815
    , @Gerard2
    , @AP
  383. @AnonFromTN

    Sounds familiar:
    - What do you do when you are being raped?
    - Relax and try to enjoy it.
    Thing is, it has been documented that women who behave like that during rape get permanent psychological damage, whereas those who “irrationally” resist do not. We are humans, not robots.

    Are Czechs and Slovaks damaged in comparison to Poles?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  384. Mikhail says:
    @AP

    The process is the unification of these two Churches and the addition of defectors from the Moscow Church. This process is going forward now.

    Far from being complete. For now, they primarily agree on having one UOC that’s completely separate from the MP. That alone doesn’t make for such. There’s still a UOC-KP, UAOC and UOC-MP.

    No. Karlin posted, for example, training accident data that showed Ukraine’s military improving to ~ 2004 Russian levels from an abysmally poor number. The new weapons and missile systems upgraded analogues of ones Russia released in the 2000s (for example the Neptune cruise missile is a modernized version of the Kh-35 that entered Russian service in 2003, and that Russia still uses; the Grom-2 missiles are analogues to the Iskander missiles that entered Russian service in 2006).

    Mind you, the Russian military of 2005 was far from the one Russia currently has. But it was also much improved from the one Yeltsin had. And Ukraine’s military in 2014 was even worse than Yeltsin’s – it was Yeltsin’s plus another ten years of decay. So Ukraine’s military improvement under Poroshenko has been substantial and swift. Of course, it was due to necessity.

    Is that all to it to substantiate what’s claimed? The “ necessity” being the desire of the neocons, neolibs and Svidos.

  385. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    He may never have been as dramatic as Putin has been, but I think that some parallels do indeed exist. Putin’s rise has been slow and methodical over more than a 26 year span, whereas Yanukovych didn’t even complete his first 5 year term. I think that Putin too spent most of his early years consolidating his power base by reeling in the Russian oligarchs. The other changes occurred later, not all at once. Yanukovych was relatively successful in rebuilding the coalition of oligarchs that supported Kuchma over his 10 year term, all except Timoshenko. But then again, noone has been able to subdue her, for very long.

  386. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    And Ukraine’s military in 2014 was even worse than Yeltsin’s – it was Yeltsin’s plus another ten years of decay.

    No, Yeltsin’s military was just as bad as Ukraine 2014, and probably worse. Under Yeltsin, Russia could not even reconquer Chechnya, a region with 1% of its population and no foreign support.

    There is a strong correlation between the quality of a military force and spending per soldier, and Russia’s spending per soldier in 1996 was less than half of Ukraine 2014 (according to to World Bank figures: $16 billion for 1,700,000 personnel, vs. $4 billion for 200,000 personnel).

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  387. @Hyperborean

    Don’t know enough of either to pass judgement.

    The stats on rape I mentioned are documented (google rape trauma syndrome, or just rape psychological damage).

    Anyway, there must be a difference between habitual victim nations (usually small ones with big strong neighbors, like the three you mentioned) and those that had real power at some point in history. What matters here is the last couple of centuries; e.g., Mongol Empire was too long ago to affect their national psyche today, even though they named the airport in Ulan-Bator after Genghis Khan. So, the perceptions in Russia might differ from those of Georgians or Armenians, both of which exist today only because they voluntarily joined Russian Empire long time ago.

    Then again, it might be something else: say, no government in Russia would last long if it surrenders to anyone (remember, the first violent revolt against traitorous Yeltsin regime happened in just two years, in 1993), whereas formerly Great formerly Britain appears to go down the drain docilely.

  388. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Jon0815

    Ukraine’s naval and air force capabilities before and after 2014 as well as in 1996, relative to Russia – never minding the nukes factor.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  389. @Jon0815

    Several corrections. First, Chechen rebels did have foreign support: jihadists of all stripes and their Saudi sponsors. Second, Putin did not conquer Chechnya, he enlisted several powerful Chechen clans (including Kadyrov’s clan) to quell the other Chechens. Same strategy as the British Raj used in India.

    Agree that the investment per soldier matters. Net result is, right now Russian Army has no deficit of enlistees. In fact, it has surplus, whereas in 1996 a lot of potential draftees dodged draft using any loopholes available (including direct bribes). But the army is only part of the equation. It must be supported by a stable economy. That’s what Yeltsin’s Russia, as well as Ukraine since 1991, lacked first and foremost.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  390. @Mikhail

    Ukrainian “leaders” robbed the country since 1991. Ukraine sold billions of dollars worth of military hardware it inherited from the USSR. The money was stolen by the oligarchs, just like now they steal IMF loans and EU aid. In that sense nothing changed: all Ukrainian “presidents” were thieves first and foremost, Poroshenko fits the mold perfectly.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Dmitry
  391. READ BETWEEN THE LINES!

    Is this Partial Official Disclosure regarding the Crimea Bridge bomb, now placed ON THE OFFICIAL RECORD?

    Extract from interview posted on Russian Foreign Ministry website (link at bottom):

    Question:
    Have you managed to bring across to our European partners the truth on what really happened in the Black Sea, and not in the Sea of Azov, as they usually write? Have they finally heard our position?

    Sergey Lavrov:
    I think they could not but hear it because President Vladimir Putin, while meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, personally explained “in lay terms” how all this happened, how the provocation had been planned and how its execution was attempted, as well as how responsibly the Russian border guards performed their functions trying to prevent any undesirable incidents. Regrettably, the [Ukrainian] agents and provocateurs, and the provocation carried out by two craft and a tug, was controlled by two Ukrainian Security Service officers who did their best to fulfil the order………
    ………..President Putin personally told his interlocutors about this. I did not hear from them a response that would be based on different facts.

    Question:
    Presidents Putin and Trump have held a short meeting after all. As for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was he evading you, or did he have to meet with you?

    Sergey Lavrov:
    Of course, I did not pursue him, and he did not try to meet with me. To be quite frank, I do not even know if he is here, because I have not seen the full US delegation. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a conversation with Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, who deals with political matters, that they [the US administration] would like to resume and normalise our dialogue. We are ready to do this as soon as our colleagues are.

    Question:
    Do you think there is a connection between the provocation in the Kerch Strait and the US cancellation of the planned meeting between our presidents?

    Sergey Lavrov:
    I don’t believe in the conspiracy theories. However, there have been too many coincidences, when a provocation that takes place ahead of a major event is used for fanning hysteria over sanctions. British Prime Minister Theresa May has demanded that Brussels further worsen its Russia policy, even though Britain has almost exited the EU.
    We know our partners very well, and we have masses of questions about the adequacy of their approach to serious problems. There are very serious and very real threats. The fight against these challenges cannot be improved by making sacrifices to immediate geopolitical considerations.

    Question:
    When will President Putin and President Trump hold a full-scale meeting after all?

    Sergey Lavrov:
    I won’t even try to guess.

    FIN
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

  392. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    I’m not taking issue with that. Rather:

    Ukraine has gone from having a sub-Yeltsin military to having a Putin’s-first-presidential-term military.

    Ukraine’s current military is on an overall par with Russia’s at the time of Putin’s first term as prez?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  393. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Lukashenko is even an idiot, but at least a stable idiot.

    After some time most people can tolerate him and the country still develops successfully.

  394. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Only in the Kiev Rada, can you have such a nice life….

    To be fair, it’s one of the pro-Russian politicians, only there because of his brother…

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  395. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    According to message of his phone, he is using his time sitting in Rada to buy a package holiday (for 6 – probably to take his family), for 135,145 euros (with 10% Christmas discount lol).

  396. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Furthermore, Yanukovich’s 20% is different from Poroshenko’s 10% because Yanukovich was one of only 2 pro-Russian forces in Ukraine (the other being the Communists) whereas there are about 5 significant pro-Western political groups in Ukraine, which means each one has “diluted” support and can count on some support from the others.

    hahahahaha! LOL you disinfo cretin. What utter bollocks ( in the whole series of your garbage posts on this blogpost……but this one is the most stupid)

    Poroshenko’s rating..less then 10%
    the Ukrop Government’s rating……even worse then the “less then 10%” of Poroshenko
    Verkhovna Rada’s rating…….even worse then the “even worse then the “less then 10%” of Poroshenko”..I heared somewhere that it was as low as 1%

    “diluted support” …the depths some disinfo spreading lowlife will descend to , in order to make a fake point

    So that’s all the main tiers of Politics in Ukraine( President, Government, Parliament)) held in contempt, and your too much of a scumbag, with no pseudo-nationalist blog ( in North American) to copy and paste some more BS on this issue ……the Ukrainian government/PM is held in view more separately from the Presidency than in Russia ( you couldn’t actually think that Poroshenko is aligned politically or held responsible by everybody for the catastrophic “health” policies of the crazed Nazi bitch from North America running the Health Ministry?)

    Leaving aside other facts that the so-called “pro-West”Ukrainians” are utter failures and just as cutthroat with each other as they are on their enemies, Yushchenko being the one who initiated the whole case against Tymoshenko that she went to jail for……….

    Yanukovich’s 20% ( actual 32+%) you lying prick is different from the sub-10% of failure war criminal Poroshenko, because 30% approval can keep you in power a very long time, particularly with the benefits of the very strong deal he signed with Russia, and the fact the last economic quarter of his Presidency was relatively successful you idiot.

    Merkel, Macron,Cameron would be perfectly stable with that rating you idiot….the only difference being those are normal and sane countries, with normal and sane, non-fucktard diaspora’s ( well, actual diaspora’s, not fantasist thinking they’re Austrian or Polish , but Ukrainian…or some other retarded nonsense)

    • Replies: @AP
  397. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    There is a strong correlation between the quality of a military force and spending per soldier, and Russia’s spending per soldier in 1996 was less than half of Ukraine 2014 (according to to World Bank figures: $16 billion for 1,700,000 personnel, vs. $4 billion for 200,000 personnel).

    The World Bank figures are very strange. Other sources don’t claim $4 billion in military spending for Ukraine in 2014.

    This one states $1.9 billion in 2013 (World Bank states over $4 billion):

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/ukraines-military-back-24674

    Here there is $2.6 billion in 2013, $3.2 billion 2014:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/military-expenditure

    Here it has the Russian budget in 1996 as $19 billion:

    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/mo-budget-1996-99.htm

    That is $28.6 billion in 2014 dollars.

    :::::::::

    Also, the 90s were not far removed form the 80s when the Soviet military was arguably the best in the world. There was massive corruption, demoralization and disarray but the degradation had not been nearly as lengthy as in the case of 2014 Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  398. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    So Ukraine’s military improvement under Poroshenko has been substantial and swift. Of course, it was due to necessity.

    LOL……absolutely nothing to support this fantasist timeasting horseshit,

    Struggle in mobilisation, mass suicides, corruption, practically everyone being in the firing line at some stage for “Russian agent’5th column” allegations, nobody to export to( who isn’t black market/terrorist), the Americans doing their usual publicity but actually doing very little to help this shit military ( army, navy, air force) that hasn’t been tested to even come close to supporting your BS theory…except when they have attacked Donbass…where these clowns have failed to make even incremental gains in territory , despite numerous attempts

    as for these supposedly updated weapons systems….utter fantasy

  399. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Poroshenko’s rating..less then 10%

    There are ten candidates running for president, so 10% places Poroshenko in 2nd or 3rd place.

    Yanukovich’s 20% ( actual 32+%) you lying prick is different from the sub-10%

    At the time of Maidan about 25% of Ukrainians supported Yanukovich, and about 40% supported those who wanted to violently overthrow him.

    The last presidential poll had him at 29%.

    because 30% approval can keep you in power a very long time

    We saw how it kept him in power for a very long time :-)

    the fact the last economic quarter of his Presidency was relatively successful

    Ukraine had 0% GDP growth in 2013:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=UA

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

    To a degree. The real Putin clone in Ukraine was Yanukovych, whose strong authoritarian traits were thankfully curtailed. We’ll see how Poroshenko reacts and what sorts of measures he’ll resort to if his chances to be reelected are curtailed…

    jeez……..gosh you are one seriously thick…and menopausal twerp……not as thick and retarded as the other ukrop freak…..but still not good

    Yanukovich, by a mile was the best President and certainly the best PM Ukraine ever had………that doesn’t classify as any type of achievement for this fake country, but it is something.

    He successfully extorted Putin over the naval base lease extension ,and the other deal he signed before the Nazi coup was exceptional and orders of magnitude better than what has been accepted from the IMF/EU/US since. There was plenty corrupt, but nothing “authoritarian” about him you idiot….unlike Poroshenko.

    When so much of the country depends on international influence in it’s education, governance, health, resources etcetera, then power must be more focused on the Presidency…particularly when the Parliament is a cesspit full of freaks..that isn’t “authoritarian” you idiot, but something the west actually wanted, because in a fully democratic Ukraine , they know they wouldn’t have had a chance of getting EU integration ahead of Russia Customs Union, in a fair fight

    Anyway, the “Great name of Russia” Airport naming competition went very well, great Communist figures, great Russian Empire figures, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Nicholas 2nd (Omsk), Korolyov, Mendeleyev, Pushkin and numerous others will have airports named after them…..of course this would be impossible to do a similar competition in Ukraine…….for the embarrassing fact that numerous great Communist figures and Tsars would wipe the floor with these fucktard sadists and imaginary ethnicity of people called “Ukrainians”……literally the airports would be named after Russian/Russian world people you cretin.

    What they could and should do in Ukraine is name every airport and railway station after Stalin…..he is to Ukraine what Saint Patrick was to Ireland, maybe more so

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  401. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Ukraine had 0% GDP growth in 2013:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=UA

    errrr…now for the data from the last quarter of 2013 you ludicrous twat.

    The so-called 0% was perfectly reasonable when compared to a preceeding 20% GDP drop over the next few years, and the fact that the World Economy, particularly in Europe, was very, very moderate in growth that year you idiot……or when comparing the failed economy of “Ukraine” now…..to the much superior performing Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan economies

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mikhail
  402. Gerard2 says:
    @Gerard2

    Nicholas 2nd (Omsk)

    Murmansk

  403. @Mikhail

    Of course not. Since 2014 Ukies have continuously worsening draft dodging problem. To compensate, they drafted lots of convicted criminals and added Nazi battalions to their Army. Those “heroes” are good at robbery and rape, but run away when they meet armed resistance. That’s why Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics armies beat Ukie army, despite its theoretical huge advantage in numbers and hardware.

    • Replies: @AP
  404. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    now for the data from the last quarter of 2013

    Irrelevant. 0% growth in 2013 and .2% growth in 2012.

    Under Yanukovich, Ukraine’s economy got back around 60% of what it lost in the 2008 crisis and then stopped growing.

    Its GDP PPP per capita was about the same from 2011 to 2014:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.KD?locations=UA

    The so-called 0% was perfectly reasonable when compared to a preceeding 20% GDP drop over the next few years

    You mean – 16%.

    Ukraine’s GDP PPP per capita will equal 2013 in 2019 at current and projected growth rate. If it continues to grow at the current pace after that, as it is expected to, it will surpass the level it was stuck at during Yanukovich’s rule.

    the World Economy, particularly in Europe, was very, very moderate in growth that year

    Ukraine’s growth was worse in 2013 than that of it Western neighbors:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD.ZG?end=2017&locations=UA-PL-RO-SK&start=2007

    Despite, as others would point out, its lower GDP.

  405. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    “Great name of Russia” Airport naming competition

    Are Sovoks impressed by airport names?

    How many of those names were stolen from Ukrainians, Poles, etc? They used a Dane for one of them didn’t they?

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  406. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Gerard2

    Without US government influenced IMF loans, Ukraine’s economic “improvement” wouldn’t be evident.

    Yanukovych sought a prudent policy of trying to get the best from Russia and the West. Relatively speaking, he wasn’t so brutal towards his opponents, while apparently putting too much faith in the Western brokered power sharing agreement he signed with his main opposition – who went onto violate that signed piece of paper.

  407. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Of course not

    Ignorant in TN is…ignorant in TN.

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/osw-studies/2017-07-07/best-army-ukraine-has-ever-had-changes-ukraines-armed-forces

    “The best army Ukraine has ever had.”

    Those “heroes” are good at robbery and rape, but run away when they meet armed resistance

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3598435.html

    That’s why Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics armies beat Ukie army

    Beat it in 2014 and 2015, with significant Russian help including Russian forces in key battles.

  408. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2

    I’m sorry to hear that I only come up #2 on your list of “ukrop freaks”, but I promise to try harder in the future to become #1. Your nostalgic musings over Yanukovych also don’t elicit any sympathy from me, as he was just a moronic thug who deserved a fate far worse than he was meted out by the Ukrainian people. His own party members even all turned on him in the end. If you’re ever in Rostov, you might want to look him up, I hear that you might be able to get a good price on lady’s hats. Rumor has it that he’s back in the hat business:

    As a young man he served two prison sentences for robbery and stealing women’s hats –

    Just for you, how most Ukrainians remember this thug (quick, find your handkerchief):

    I can see why this flunky might appeal to you! You just can’t stage this kind of stuff! :-)

  409. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …don’t dig a trap for someone else, you might fall into it yourself

    Our version of that saying is: ‘if you dig a hole for your neighbour, you will fall into it yourself’.

    Well, they never learn. I am down on the Frenchies – electing Macron is not forgivable, I don’t care what the constraints were. They willingly jumped of the cliff. If that is no remedied by evolution what would be the point of having evolution?

  410. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    The World Bank figures are very strange. Other sources don’t claim $4 billion in military spending for Ukraine in 2014.

    This one states $1.9 billion in 2013 (World Bank states over $4 billion):

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/ukraines-military-back-24674

    Here there is $2.6 billion in 2013, $3.2 billion 2014:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/military-expenditure

    The grivna lost a lot of value relative to the dollar from 2013-2014, so according to the World Bank, while Ukraine’s military spending rose as a share of GDP from 2.4% to 3.0% (peaking at 3.9% in 2015), the dollar value of that spending actually fell slightly from $4.3 to $4 billion.

    In constant 2010 dollars, the World Bank puts Ukraine’s 2013 military spending at $3.4 billion in 2014 and $4 billion in 2014.

    I don’t see the author of the National Interest piece giving a source for his numbers. The tradingeconomimics.com estimates (not sure what sources they are based on) might be using constant dollars, as they are similar to the World Bank’s 2013-2014 constant dollar increase in percentage terms.

    Also, the 90s were not far removed form the 80s when the Soviet military was arguably the best in the world.

    The Soviet military might have been best (more likely second best) in the world in overall power, but certainly not in terms of quality.

    And the quality of conscript armies, where enlisted personnel only serve on average a handful of years, can degrade very quickly due to rapid turnover. Very few enlisted personnel who were serving in the Soviet Army in 1989 were still serving in the Russian army in the mid-90s, so the latter was literally a different army, which reflected the quality of training and discipline in the 90s (very poor).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  411. Jon0815 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    First, Chechen rebels did have foreign support: jihadists of all stripes and their Saudi sponsors.

    I meant no support from any foreign governments- I don’t think the Saudi government was bankrolling them, just individual Saudi citizens (I could be wrong about that though).

  412. @Jon0815

    The grivna lost a lot of value relative to the dollar

    It’s irrelevant. Both Russia and Ukraine source almost all of their military procurement locally from their own respective MICs, and salaries etc. also have to be paid in local currency. You have to adjust the numbers roughly by ppp (more precisely a special military ppp), and then compare different years roughly using inflation (more precisely a special military inflation), but using dollars is pretty dumb.

    I agree with the second half of your comment.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  413. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    I don’t know of anyone who is publishing military spending figures adjusted for PPP, they are usually expressed in their current dollar value for the given year. SIPRI used to publish such PPP-adjusted estimates for the top 10 military spenders- which were always very close to simply multiplying nominal military spending by the ratio of nominal GDP to GDP (PPP)- but I don’t think they are doing that any more.

    However, as a rough estimate: In 2014 Ukraine’s GDP (PPP) was 2.8 times larger than its nominal GDP, while Russia’s in 1996 was 2.1 times larger. Applying those same ratios to military spending, gives 2014 Ukraine an $11 billion (PPP) budget for for 200,000 personnel, and 1996 Russia $32 billion (PPP) for 1,700,000 personnel, for a difference per soldier of almost 3-1 in favor of Ukraine.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  414. @Jon0815

    A few things might need to be considered.

    1) there was inflation between 1996 and 2014. It needs to be taken into account. You converted the Russian expenditure to 1996 dollars, while the Ukrainian one to 2014 dollars. This alone could bring the almost 3:1 ratio down to 2:1. Or is it already in constant dollars?

    2) you are using a flow variable, while stock variables might be just as or more important. Military hardware stays for a long time. A lot of the 1989 hardware was still more or less working in 1996. In 2014? Well, some hardware probably still worked then, especially the low-tech hardware like some trucks or off-road vehicles. They were very unreliable, so maybe of little use in a real war. I’d imagine lots of artillery pieces, battle tanks, and similar were around in 2014, too. But no comparison to how they looked like in 1996. Or even in terms of quantity, how many of them were in working condition (even if poorly working) in 1996, and in 2014? Cannibalizing the assets (which they were forced to do in the absence of new procurement) will reduce their numbers quickly. You are only calculating with expenditure in that year, but didn’t take into account the stock variables, which was considerable in the ex-USSR. (Both Ukraine and Russia.) And kept deteriorating. (Probably in Russia until sometime in the 2000s or even 2010.)

    3) as a corollary, as long as the budget stays below the level needed to replace stocks, any increase in the budget will merely slow down the rot, but won’t reverse it. So Ukraine spending twice as much per soldier in 2014 merely meant it was rotting slower, but it kept deteriorating.

    4) one big ticket item in Ukraine was imported, so you cannot fully make the ppp adjustment: fuel. It was probably cheaper for Russia in 1996 (even relative to the US) than Ukraine 2014. And fuel is very important for training soldiers.

    5) regarding the soldiers. While the rank-and-file serving in 1989 got fully replaced by 1996, it wasn’t true of the majority of the officers, and their impact on the quality of the armed forces is probably disproportionate. While by 2014 few officers remained of those who served in 1989, probably just a few old colonels, and the generals. Do NCOs serve that long? Even if they do, the majority of them in 2014 never saw real training or a properly functioning military.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Jon0815
  415. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Video here:

    https://globalnews.ca/video/4732069/ukraines-military-tests-new-anti-ship-cruise-missile

    It hit a target 280 km away, which puts much of the Black Sea including Crimea’s coast in range. Mass production may be a year away but is planned. This missile is a huge step beyond what Ukraine currently has in terms of range and accuracy.

    It’s very similar to the Russian Kh-35U:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-35

    Details here:

    https://defence-blog.com/missiles/ukraine-reveals-details-newest-cruise-missile.html

    Cost of potential invasion of Ukraine keeps getting higher.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  416. AP says:
    @AP

    Ukraine has gone from having a sub-Yeltsin military to having a Putin’s-first-presidential-term military.

    Karlin posted, for example, training accident data that showed Ukraine’s military improving to ~ 2004 Russian levels from an abysmally poor number. The new weapons and missile systems upgraded analogues of ones Russia released in the 2000s (for example the Neptune cruise missile is a modernized version of the Kh-35 that entered Russian service in 2003, and that Russia still uses; the Grom-2 missiles are analogues to the Iskander missiles that entered Russian service in 2006).

    One exception – the new Ukrainian Vilkha missiles have specs very similar to the Russian Tornado-S, which entered service in Russia in 2016:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%85%D0%B0_(%D0%A0%D0%A1%D0%97%D0%9E)#%D0%A1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B5_%D1%81_%D0%B4%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B8_%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%BF%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%B8

    They finished the last round of tests and are in the process of starting mass production:

    https://www.armyrecognition.com/april_2018_global_defense_security_army_news_industry/vilkha_300mm_guided_rocket_cleared_for_mass_production.html

    So with this particular weapon Ukraine has rough parity with Russia.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  417. @AP

    There could be lots of such exceptions. Like maybe the helmets of soldiers, or their infrared goggles (didn’t they receive these from America?), and similar stuff. But they are in general not very important, at least they don’t change the overall picture.

  418. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    there was inflation between 1996 and 2014. It needs to be taken into account. You converted the Russian expenditure to 1996 dollars, while the Ukrainian one to 2014 dollars. This alone could bring the almost 3:1 ratio down to 2:1. Or is it already in constant dollars?

    Using the World Bank figures for GDP (PPP) figures in constant (2011) dollars, does bring the ratio down to less than 2-1 in favor of Ukraine. However, even if Russia 1996 and Ukraine 2014 spent exactly the same amount per individual personnel, this would still leave Russian ground forces worse off, since Russia was spending money on maintaining missile forces, submarine fleet, and other things that Ukraine wasn’t. Ideally the comparison would be ground forces budget vs. number of ground forces personnel.

    Military hardware stays for a long time. A lot of the 1989 hardware was still more or less working in 1996. In 2014?

    I agree that in terms of hardware the Russian army in 1996 was in better shape than Ukraine was in 2014. But if the quality of a military was determined by how well it was equipped, then Saudi Arabia would have one of the highest-quality militaries in the world.

    regarding the soldiers. While the rank-and-file serving in 1989 got fully replaced by 1996, it wasn’t true of the majority of the officers, and their impact on the quality of the armed forces is probably disproportionate. While by 2014 few officers remained of those who served in 1989, probably just a few old colonels, and the generals.

    Officer quality is irrelevant if they don’t have competent troops to lead. Even if every Ukrainian officer in 2014 had been a Soviet military vet, I doubt it would have improved the effectiveness of the Ukrainian military very much.

    Do NCOs serve that long? Even if they do, the majority of them in 2014 never saw real training or a properly functioning military.

    There weren’t many NCOs who had seen real training or a properly functioning military in the 1996 Russian military either. I believe the Russian military didn’t really have NCOs until after 2010, before then it was basically just officers and conscripts who had served no more than 2 years.

  419. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Poorest – depends where in the West. Less densely populated??

    hahaha! err….do you know what “population density” is you idiot? You’ve clearly got the retarded thinking that Trump won 95% of the American vote in 2016 based on similar maps

    For the last time, 5 of the top 7 most industrious and populated regions on “Ukraine” are in the Novorossiya regions you dumb prick. You too retarded to know what a city is and notice the extremely higher amount of big dark black spots on that map( which is fake but still disproves your imbecilic point)?

    Poorest…noticeably so you twat….ghosttown Lvov barely making it into the top 10 of highest pay, in an already Africanised economy, with the rest much worse except Zakarpattia

    Is the new $160 million tech center in Lviv “clearly fake?”

    http://www.uadn.net/2018/06/21/lviv-starts-construction-of-160-million-it-park/

    Lviv is 1/16th the size of Moscow so this is equivalent in relative terms to a $2.5 billion tech center in Moscow.

    Dutch building a new $80 million industrial park in Lviv for manufacturing light automotive and pharmaceutical goods – also fake?

    https://theubj.com/news/view/e-europes-biggest-developer-crosses-border-to-build-first-industrial-park-in-ukraine

    Lviv already has attracted large foreign investors. Vos cited German hypermarket giant Metro, German retail and tourism group REWE, Austria-based transport specialist Cargo Partner, and French hypermarket Auchan.

    Potential clients of the new park are to come from various sectors — high-tech production, logistics, automotive and engineering.

    One company is Fujikura, a Japanese car parts manufacturer, due to set up a third plant to add to two facilities it set up in Ryasne-2 last year.

    Syvak, responsible for Lviv’s investments, said other clients in contact with the developer include Bosch, Siemens and LEGO.

    – So new auto parts factories means increase in exports. 20% increase this year. Fake only in your world.

    LOL….this is more fantasist….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…drivel with fake numbers. On the car issue, they aren’t even making car parts or componants for car parts…but components for components of car parts you cretin. No actual Ukrainian ( i.e not North American fucktard) disputes that lack of investment is real and abysmal and a serious threat to the economy

    Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine increased by 667 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018

    not “increased by”…that what the amount it was you POS……..which is unbeliwvably shit, not just for any state, but for a parasite state that critically needs this FDI. Somehow, FDI investment is the same amount as Belarus, more then 50% down from Yanukovich time and as a comparison, heavily sanctioned Russia has a FDI for the year at about 20 billion dollars…..heavily supported “Ukraine”..a hilariously inept 2 billion dollars, which may as well be 30 cents as it does nothing, particularly after getting stolen

    • Replies: @AP
  420. Thumbhead says:
    @Cato

    Georgians are definitely more Western than the Lebanese, a country mainly known for exporting gang-rapists and Hezbollah militiamen.

    Lebanon is about as western as India or Uganda or any British ex-colony – in other words, not very.

    • Replies: @Cato
  421. Mr. Hack says:

    In warning to Russia, US flies Open Skies aircraft over Ukrainian territory

    Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity,” the release added. “The United States seeks a better relationship with Russia, but this cannot happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

    https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/12/06/in-warning-to-russia-us-flies-open-skies-aircraft-over-ukrainian-territory/

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  422. Gerard2 says:

    Miss Iceland won by ..a Russian girl. No dispute as she looks extremely beautiful……inbreeding must be an issue in Iceland as a nation of only 300000 people does need to be producing it’s own “Miss” for nationalist credibility….especially worse considering how political these competitions tend to be

    King of Malaysia ( probably about 60 years old) marrying an ex Miss Moscow girl in the last month too

    The long awaited “soft power” from the beauty of Russian women is at last here..

    • Replies: @DFH
  423. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    In warning to Russia, US flies Open Skies aircraft over Ukrainian territory

    Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity,” the release added. “The United States seeks a better relationship with Russia, but this cannot happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

    https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/12/06/in-warning-to-russia-us-flies-open-skies-aircraft-over-ukrainian-territory/

    jeez..were you dropped on the head ( in your case also your penis) at birth you demented twerp?

    After the “success” of Americans training of Gruzians serving as a permanent mark of humiliation for the country, Afghans government forces, Iraqi government forces, their own terrorists in Syria being utterly inept, Bay of Pigs, countless others……..is that retarded bilge you posted supposed to intimidate anyone in Russia?

  424. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    do you know what “population density” is

    You obviously do not. You claimed population density in western Ukraine was low.

    It is clearly not:

    5 of the top 7 most industrious and populated regions on “Ukraine” are in the Novorossiya regions

    You are too stupid to understand that population density involves both population and area.

    You don’t know what a city is, and think that a city means population density.

    Lviv oblast has the second highest population density in Ukraine (not including Kiev City). Only Donetsk oblast is higher.

    In third place is Chernivtsi oblast.

    Indeed, 4 of the 7 most densely populated provinces in Ukraine, are in western Ukraine.

    On the car issue, they aren’t even making car parts or componants for car parts…but components for components of car parts

    So car parts.

    Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine increased by 667 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018

    not “increased by”…that what the amount it was

    Increased by:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/foreign-direct-investment

    “Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine increased by 667 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018. ”

    Other sources have different figures.

    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/foreign-direct-investment

    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/foreign-direct-investment

    “Ukraine’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by 422.0 USD mn in Sep 2018, compared with an increase of 818.0 USD mn in the previous quarter.”

    more then 50% down from Yanukovich time

    Yanukovich time was 300% down from Yushchenko time. So?

    Somehow, FDI investment is the same amount as Belarus

    https://tradingeconomics.com/belarus/foreign-direct-investment

    “Foreign Direct Investment in Belarus decreased by 298.40 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018″

    So Ukraine’s FDI increased by $667 million in second quarter, Belarus decreased by $300 million.

    Math is hard for gerard2.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  425. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    It looks to me that Gerard2 is really Retard1.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  426. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I think there is a 30% chance that he is an anti-Russian troll. He tries to make Russia and Russians look bad, acting like the vulgar swearing Russian of anti-Russian tropes, but his posts provide an excellent springboard for corrections that disprove various Russian propaganda stories. It seems that he wants those cherished myths to be debunked, and practically begs for this to be done.

    So, I play along and do so.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @Mr. Hack
  427. DFH says:
    @Gerard2

    Alleged beauty of Russian women would go a lot further if they wren’t constantly scowling

  428. Gerard2 says:

    Alleged beauty of Russian women would go a lot further if they wren’t constantly scowling

    I can understand you confusing Russian women with Polish women ( who actually do a lot of scowling)….but how on earth can you confuse Russian women with Chinese women?

    • Replies: @DFH
  429. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    but his posts provide an excellent springboard for corrections that disprove various Russian propaganda stories

    laughable projecting freak….you know your a spambot idiot account and spending all day here every day is your sick life …the “springboard” is just your disinformation and stupidity that you need to invent some justification for the abnormal amount of time you spend here

    • Replies: @AP
  430. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Are Sovoks impressed by airport names?

    LOL…..What part of “perfect mix of Tsarist and Communist era people” as I have previously written , are you too thick to understand you idiot? How could the cretinous reference to “Sovok” apply, considering what I have said….particularly with Nicholas II and other tsarist figures winning?

    Also, most of us here our proud of our grandfathers/fathers who fought in WW2, …and thus a random despicable retard as yourself has no right to flimsily use the word “Sovok”, as of course you would be ashamed of the failure, murdering, rapist ( of humans of any age and animals) , turncoat, coward Banderite retard relatives of yours

    As for “being impressed”…this is the mind of a 4 year old whose algorithm for typing BS to waste time on here , is failing…..everybody is impressed when a country has such a great history, successful and talented people. pride, patriotism that there are so many names with which to choose from for important public space ( i.e Airports) .Particularly bizarre you would write that drivel in view of how extremely insecure Ukraine is over this type of thing *( for obvious reasons), focusing huge efforts on renaming or knocking down things…and any “Ukrainian” would be in positive delirium if some genital hair in America was named after them.
    The idea of “Ukraine” is such a non-starter that they will soon be forced to do what the shithead Poland and Baltic states do…….have such a lack of “history”, culture, talented and great people ( well many great people, just that they are of course Russians) that they are forced to name public places after scumbags like Chechen terrorist Dudayev ( in Warsaw and Estonia) , numerous pseudo-”Human-rights” activist cretins from Russia , American Presidents, Crimean -Tatar “activists” and so on.

    They used a Dane for one of them didn’t they?

    Hahahahahhaah! You only know that because I have been going on about this project for the last few weeks and mentioned this exact thing you dumb prick,! something along the lines of “foreign people under patronage of the Tsar”. There is Vitus Bering, Kant nearly won, I would have tried to get guys such as Euler and Bernoulli in, they could have got in the British guy, who because of decision making in Saint Petersburg, built the first bridge over the Dniepr or who helped set up the coal industry in Donbass…but the point remains of the abnormal freak you are , copying my comments but then completely doing a BS misinterpretation/distortion of it.

    What the point there is that, clearly, there are way more than enough Russians to choose from you dumb prick. Overflowing with super-talented people in our history…but the good thing here is that the country/society is so secure and stable that Communist or Tsarist figures….nobody minds, foreign people who worked to benefit Russia?….same thing. Now compare this to the cesspit that Ukraine is at state and organisation level you thick twat.

    How many of those names were stolen from Ukrainians, Poles, etc?

    Utterly bizarre. Can’t be bothered with that drivel

    • Replies: @AP
  431. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    We all have our particular weaknesses – at least Averko likes to wear his Russian allegiance on the sleeve by choosing a Russian moniker (Mikhail), but this yolup thinks that he’s some sort of Anglo (Gerard). My sweet mother would sometimes come up with her own pidgin Ukrainian/Englsih dialectical phrases. For ‘get out of here’ she shortened it all to ‘geradi’. It’s appropriate for our friend here:

    ‘Geradi Gerard! :-)

  432. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    aughable projecting freak… spending all day here every day

    I wrote four posts yesterday.

    The day before I wrote 3 posts.

    The day before that I wrote 8 posts.

    I know you are so dumb that it might take you all day to write 4 posts or 8 posts but it does not take normal people all day to do so.

    So it is projection by you.

    But I see you wrote another long post I can use. Thank you, anti-Russian troll.

  433. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    ..What part of “perfect mix of Tsarist and Communist era people… How could the cretinous reference to “Sovok” apply, considering what I have said

    It’s very cute when Sovoks try to appropriate pre-Sovok people and try to be proud of them.

    Also, most of us here our proud of our grandfathers/fathers who fought in WW2

    People who fought bravely to defend their homes and families should be honored. At the same time, only a Sovok would deny that the mass nature of the sacrifice was the product of Sovok stupidity and failure, and the fruit of all that sacrifice was a shabby second-rate society, eclipsed within a generation by the enemies it barely (to to its own stupidity) defeated.

    You must be bitter that the Banderists who escaped West live so much better than do the ex-Sovoks.

    Average Ukrainian-American family income is $72,449. Remind me what average family income in Russia is?

    They used a Dane for one of them didn’t they?

    Hahahahahhaah! You only know that because I have been going on about this project for the last few weeks

    No, I googled the project.

    It’s a shame they are renaming Sheremetyevo airport. It was built on or near the lands that your Sovok ancestors stole from the Sheremetyevo family. Instead of reflecting the history of the place, you have Sovok cargo cultism approach, renaming it after Pushkin.

    Trying to erase history that you are ashamed of?

  434. Cato says:
    @Thumbhead

    Georgians are definitely more Western than the Lebanese, a country mainly known for exporting gang-rapists and Hezbollah militiamen.

    I assume you are thinking of the experience of Australia, which picked the wrong Lebanese, importing an entire crime-ridden clan.

    But Lebanon is “diverse”. In the US, in my boyhood (1960s-1970s), the Lebanese I knew were children of business owners and physicians. They were ambitious and likeable guys (and the girls were pretty). They were Orthodox Christians (Antiochian patriarchate). They benefited from America, and even my jaded old xenophobic WASP self believes that America benefited from them.

    Immigration just needs to be restrictive. Extremely restrictive. Never import a likely candidate for the underclass. Import only someone that that a college-educated American might envy.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  435. DFH says:
    @Gerard2

    It is completely the opposite, I always see Russian women scowling but Polish women smiling sweetly.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  436. @Mikhail

    I’m willing to suffer some, too, if it will induce a couple million Jews to leave the USA for Israel.

  437. @DFH

    I haven’t been to Poland in about ten years. At that time, anyway, nobody was smiling on the streets and in the restaurants, hotels, and museums of Warsaw. Same as you describe Russia. Perhaps it’s different now.

    For the record, I think both polish women and Russian women overall are a sexy bunch. Ukrainians absolutely too. (A Polish guy told me a joke, “for every beautiful Polish woman, God made an ugly Polish man.” I can appreciate the emotional security needed for self-deprecation.)

    Of course there’s a more diverse genetic spectrum and thus a wider range of “looks” in Russia. Poland doesn’t have the part-Korean/Chinese people that Russia has around Vladivostok, for example. (I met Russians from there in LA. I talked to them out of curiosity because they looked entirely Korean but were speaking Russian to each other. They said it’s not unusual out there.).

    Nor does Poland have many people who are a substantial part central Asian as Russia does, e.g. half-Tuvan defense minister Sergei Shoigu. I’ve also read that there are Northern and southern Russian types, with the former being heavily Slavic and Scandinavian (to me a perfect blend), the latter being mostly Slavic but having often substantial genes from Caucasus, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and the like. Each can be hot in its own way. But smiling makes almost any woman more attractive.

    Basically, my hierarchy of women for little old me: (1) MY WIFE (hey she reads unz sometimes, nah I’m serious anyway), (2) white gals, certainly including Slavs, (3) some Asian gals.

  438. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cato

    In my neighborhood, they were all Maronite Catholics, and thy eventually built a fabulous and large church. While they were building it, they conducted mass at the neighborhood Ukrainian Catholic church. My first recollection of any Lebanese individual was that of the neighborhood pornographer who had a modest sized venue for his wares and tares that was fronted as a newspaper stand including a wall of comic books. Within it was housed a backroom filled with boxes an boxes of glossy print girly books galore. Downtown, he owned a number of movie houses that showcased x-rated movies (before the era of home video TV equipment). Most of the community was a hard working, church going people (like their Ukrainian and Polish neighbors). Lebanese bars and restaurants that included their exotic mix of foods were to be found dotted throughout the neighborhood. My first introduction to tabouli and even the now ubiquitous gyro was at one of these establishments. I can still remember the mouth watering pie made from fresh apricots. And yes, the girls with their shiny coal dark and wavy hair were some real head turners…..

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