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The latest big news out of the Ukraine

Have you heard what the latest big news out of the Ukraine is? No? There is a mini-Maidan under way and Ukrainian nationalists seem to hope that Poroshenko will be kicked out before the end of the week. You did not know? Well, that is the real big news, the fact that you did not hear about this.

Truthfully, what is going on is kind of interesting. Let me sum it up: the former President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili (who was stripped of his Georgian citizenship and of this Ukrainian citizenship) recently crossed the border (through Poland, of course) and proceeded to travel to Kiev to demand Poroshenko’s resignation. You think that I am kidding? Check t he Wikipedia article about him, it has all the details. It gets better. There is a consensus amongst analysts that Saakashvili is being used as a battering ram by somebody far more influential – Iulia Timoshenko, of course. But what is really new is that many well informed analysts and commentators seem to think that the USA and EU are not the main driving force behind these latest developments (though they are involved, of course).

What is going on here?

Well, as I said, the big news is that you did not hear about it. You did not hear about it because fundamentally nobody cares, least of all the Trump Administration. True, the Trump Administration is so busy self-destructing that it does not really care about Kurdistan either and that implies that it does not even really care about the Holy of Holies : Israel (cry me a river Bibi!). So never mind the Trump administration, even the Ziomedia mostly seems not to care anymore what happens in the Ukraine (of course, some hardcore hardliners still continue to hallucinate). Hence the (relative) silence on this issue. What this tells the Ukrainian politicians is that they are pretty much on their own. And that is why they are taking matters in their own hands.

I don’t think that it is worthwhile to plunge into all the personalities and factions which are currently involved in the political struggle. I can summarize it by saying that there are four main group currently identifiable: bad, worse, even worse and the silent majority. Let’s begin by the last one, the silent majority.

By all accounts (and from all my personal contacts) it is pretty obvious that the vast majority of those who could not leave the Ukraine are now depressed, silent and in a “survival mode”. The Ukrainians, like the Russians, are extremely good at this survival mode which a very painful history has taught them: they could survive in conditions where everybody else would perish. Their history has also taught them that there are times when you want to stay low, shut up and focus on making it through the day. I also think that most Ukrainians fully realize that there is no faction/force out there representing their interest and that means that they have absolutely no reason at all to get involved. This has nothing to do with passivity or political ignorance: that is common sense. Getting involved is what gets you killed. Hunkering down until the worst of the storm passes is the only correct survival technique in times of very ugly political struggles.

Then there are bad, worse and even worse. Bad – that’s Poroshenko. Worse – that’s the crazies à la Oleg Liashko. Even worse – that would be the rabid ideologues like Tiagnibok or Farion. We can think of it as the Crooks, the Clowns and the Nazis.

The Crooks, the Clown and the Nazis:

Right now, the Crooks are still in power but they are struggling. Worse, the Crooks are terrified of the Nazis, so they constantly have to engage into a stream of concessions to try to appease them which, of course, fails, and only emboldens the Nazis (sounds exactly like Trump’s never-ending stream of concessions to the Neocons, doesn’t it?). As for the Clowns, they can be bought by both sides, sometimes at the same time, and they keep the people entertained by their antics. The Clowns are really a byproduct of the terminally lunatic Ukrainian nationalist ideology, but they don’t really represent a powerful constituency: the Crooks and the Nazis are far more powerful. Still, don’t dismiss the Clowns too soon, because they could suddenly switch to the Crooks or the Nazis depending who offers them a better deal (or scares them most).

This would all seem rather amusing if yet another Urkonazi attack was not a very real possibility. Here is how this could happen.

The Crooks are barely holding on to power, and they might have to start a war to deflect the mounting political pressure against them in another direction. Wars are good for circling the wagons and crushing the opposition.

The Clowns, due to their ideology, would have to approve of a new war. They simply could not say anything against it. If a war is launched, they would have to give it a standing ovation. Besides, if they tried any form of disagreement they would be easily crushed by the Crooks and Nazis. So the Clowns will always support whatever the other two factions agree upon.

As for for Nazis, well, war against Russia and anything Russian is their raison d’être, the very core of their identity and the purpose of their lives. The Ukronazis have a profoundly revanchist worldview and agenda and if defeating Russia is not an option (although some of them won’t even accept that as a fact of life) then killing or expelling all the non-Ukronazis from the Ukraine is an acceptable substitute for them. Yup, they even have some convoluted racial purity theories (Ukie Aryans versus Finno-Ugric Russian Mongols). True, bona fide Nazis are a minority in the Ukraine, but the compensate for that by having guns, lots of guns.

ORDER IT NOW

What has kept the Ukronazis from attacking since their last attempt is the painful memory of the crushing defeat they suffered at the hands of the Novorussians. But herein also lies a very real risk: defeats often make armies better, victories often makes them complacent. When I hear the Novorussians speaking of “next time we go to Kiev” I hope that their confidence is warranted, but I am afraid that they might be underestimating the opponent.

Are the sides really ready for a resumption of warfare?

In truth it is very hard to assess the chances of another Ukronazi attack. On one hand, the Ukronazi forces have had two years to regroup, lick their wounds, reorganize, rearm, retrain, etc. Most importantly, it appears that they have built defensive positions in depth, possibly including 2 or even 3 defensive echelons. Why does defense matter? Because if your defensive positions are strong, then the risk of counter-attack by the enemy’s forces are much lower and that, in turn, means that your offensive is far less likely to end up surrounded in a “cauldron” (I simplify here, in reality this is a little more complicated as it depends on the depth of your attack, but never mind that). A couple of years is a lot of time to dig in and prepare for defense and without access to classified data it is hard to gauge how effective these efforts have been. In terms of new equipment (whether Ukrainian or new deliveries from the Empire), this will make no difference at all, that’s just political talk. My advice is that as soon as you hear or read anything about the delivery of “lethal weapons” you ignore everything that comes after that. Ditto for training by Polish or US experts. That is just propaganda. What is not propaganda is the intelligence support offered by the Empire overtly (satellites) or covertly (EU ‘observers’ etc.). That and the fact that the Ukronazis have a 2-2.5:1 numerical advantage over the Novorussians.

Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.). Also, they would have the home turf advantage. Finally, and Putin very clearly stated that recently, Russia will not allow the military reconquest of Novorussia, which means that even if the Ukronazis somehow succeed in breaking through the Novorussian defenses they will be engaged by the Russian armed forces, primarily by missile/bombing strikes at which point the war will stop in less than 24 hours.

The big conceptual mistake, however, would be to assume that the Ukronazi really want to reconquer Novorussia (or Crimea, for that matter). In reality, everybody knows that these territories are gone forever and that Kiev simply has no means to control them even without Russian assistance. Let me repeat this: even if by some magical effect the Russians were to let the Ukronazis invade the Donbass this would result in a fantastically nasty guerrilla war by the locals which the Ukronazis would have no chance at all to defeat. Yes, it would be a bloodbath, but it would never end with a workable pacification of the Donbass my the Ukronazis. I would therefore say that the role of Russia is not to prevent Kiev from regaining the control of the Donbass, but to prevent a bloodbath in the Donbass.

The real goal: not to win, but to trigger a Russian intervention (same old, same old)

Now I have been saying for years that the real goal of the junta is to force Russia to openly intervene in the Donbass. As soon as the Russians overtly get involved that would kill the Minsk 1 and 2 agreements, it would turn the current disaster in the Nazi occupied Ukraine into a war of national liberation against the hated Moskals, NATO would immediately put an end to all that recent cozying-up of various EU political parties towards Russia and the AngloZionst Empire’s wet dream would finally come true: such a Russian intervention would usher a new Cold, possibly even Tepid, War in Europe thereby giving a meaning to NATO (finally!) and crushing any kind of anti-imperial feelings in Europe. The Balts and the Poles would finally be secure in their mission to “protect Europe from a resurgent Russia” and the US Neocons would have a big victory party. True, Russia would liberate all of Novorussia in 24 hours or less and, yes, with Russian help the Novorussians could push the line of contact (well, at this point, the frontline) pretty much as far West as they would want to. But that would be a small victory in the context of a global political catastrophe (along with an ugly bloodbath).

This is why the Russians have made a huge effort not to intervene, even if that has costs them a lot of political capital (there are still those out there who speak of a Russian “sell-out” of the Donbass). Unlike their western counterparts, who still don’t understand that the purpose of warfare is to achieve a political objective, the Russians fully realize that an (easy) military victory against the Ukronazis would come at a cost of an immense political disaster. The last thing the Kremlin wants is to copy what the US Americans did in Iraq and Afghanistan: begin by an easy victory, declare victory, and then end up with an absolute disaster on their hands from which they sill are unable to extricate themselves. In this respect, the Crimea was a totally different and unique case: a vitally important piece of land, which historically was Russian, populated by people who were overwhelmingly pro-Russian (or, simply, Russian), with easy to control choke-points connecting with the Nazi occupied Ukraine and fantastic economic prospects. And yet, even in these ideal condition, the Russian economy is struggling to rebuild this relatively small territory.

It is pretty clear that at the end of the day, Russia will also have to pay for most the reconstruction of the Donbass, however hard this will be. But as much as that is possible, Russia would much prefer to make the reconstruction of the Ukraine an international problem, yet another reason for her to try to avoid any real, overt, military intervention. Because once Russia occupies any territory, she owns it and she becomes responsible for it.

The bottom line is this: we don’t hear much about the Ukraine right now because at least the Americans seem to have given up on this entire project and because they are busy with more important issues (self-destructing, mostly). But that does not mean that the situation in the Ukraine cannot suddenly reignite with very serious international consequences.

So when I speak of Crooks, Clowns and Nazis, I am not taking these issues lightly at all. Yes, they truly are crooks, clowns and Nazis, but they also very dangerous individuals, especially collectively.

A tiny ray of hope for “less bad”?

Rumor has it that the two big figures behind the scenes in the Ukraine are Igor Kolomoiskii (who now has a personal vendetta against Poroshenko and Saakashvili) and Iulia Timoshenko. I honestly have no means to assess these claims, but I will say that while these two are truly profoundly evil and hateful people (Kolomoiskii was probably deeply involved in the MH-17 false flag), neither of them is stupid. Furthermore, they are both Crooks, not Clowns or Nazis, which means that they can be negotiated with, however distasteful this maybe. Last but not least, they both have a real power base in the Ukraine, money in Kolomoiskii’s case, true popularity in Timoshenko’s case. In this I see a tiny ray of hope.

With the Americans busy fighting each other internally, and with the Europeans slowly waking up to the total disaster “their” (it is not really “their’s” – but nevermind that) Ukrainian policy has been, maybe, just maybe, there is a tiny chance of, say, some EU leaders getting together with, say, Timoshenko (Kolomoiskii will never be a public official again, he will pull the strings in the back) to sit down with the Russians and the Novorussians and finally seriously negotiate some kind of end to this very dangerous situation. Remember, Poroshenko is a pure US puppet, and he is weak. There is no way he could negotiate anything of substance any more. All he needs to do now is to prepare his flight to the US, UK or Israel. But Timoshenko is still “for real” and she is far more capable of dealing with the Nazis than Poroshenko, his billions, his chocolate factory and his Eltsin-like dependence on alcohol.

Of course, there is “the devil you know” argument. And in many ways, Poroshenko being the greedy weak booze-soaked coward that he is looks like the lesser evil. The problem with that is that he is terrified of the Nazis and that they are either paralyzing him or making him do stupid things (like the recent law making Ukrainian the sole language used in schools). And for all the desperate window-dressing the fact remains is that the Ukraine is already a failed state which is going down the tubes with a momentum which nobody can stop, at least not with the current political deadlock in Kiev. Still, we should also remember that Eltsin was also a greedy weak booze-soaked coward, but that did not prevent him form triggering the bloodbath of the First Chechen war. Greedy weak booze-soaked cowards can be extremely dangerous.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine, Ukrainian Crisis 
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  1. Dan Hayes says:

    The Saker,

    Thank you for your Ukrainian Rogues Gallery of the good, the bad and the ugly. Plenty of badness and ugliness, and not much goodness!

    Like a bad penny, Saakashvili always seems to show up. I thought that he was safely ensconced in Brooklyn after escaping from Georgia a few steps ahead of their gendarmes. But no, he then miraculously parachuted out of the sky into Ukraine. Whatta Guy!

    Thank you for pointing out the problems of any major Russian intervention. I hope that Putin can continue to avoid this major potential quagmire/trap .

    With one notable exception, in the US of A we are only presented with the neoconservative interpretation of Ukraine. The exception being Prof Emeritus Steve Cohen. Have you any thoughts on Cohen? If so, I would very much like to hear them.

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  2. This is why the Russians have made a huge effort not to intervene, even if that has costs them a lot of political capital

    Only among “strategic thinkers” such as Girkin, Rozhin and followers of their cult–hardly a significant majority. In fact, Russia never had so much political capital in her modern history once one considers what processes have been started in 2014. Strategic ramifications of “not interfering” are already immense, in fact, global paradigm changing.

    True, Russia would liberate all of Novorussia in 24 hours or less and, yes, with Russian help the Novorussians could push the line of contact (well, at this point, the frontline) pretty much as far West as they would want to. But that would be a small victory in the context of a global political catastrophe (along with an ugly bloodbath).

    Larger issues here are at play. One of them is WHO will feed them? Also, the factor of a brainwashing, especially youth, and I have my own contacts, can not be ignored. It is a huge factor. Kharkov had its chance, they chose Kernes. Too bad, people need to go through the phase of living with the consequences of their decisions. I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    It is the case similar to that story that you once brought up regarding Syria of young and old bulls standing on a hill looking down for cows. No need to fiddle with one cow when one can get the whole herd with patience and right behavior.
    One man I know used to say that "через жопу до головы дойдёт"- getting hurt at backside will make things better in head. I think eventually it will get to Ukraine population as well. They seems have not got enough. Russia also should work i interests of own people to improve life of own population to the level that it becomes the envy. Then things will go easy everywhere.
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  3. Russian activity in Syria and Ukraine are moves of desperation from a position of weakness. The United States has Russia boxed in. The United States forced Putin to take these actions. He would be removed from power otherwise. He had no choice. He is not in control.

    In Russia you are either strong and in total control or they murder you. At least that has been the case for the last thousand years.

    There was no “huge effort not to intervene.” If there was, I’d like to know who made it and when.

    This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Comparisons to American involvement in these two places have limited utility.

    Just because one thinks American moves are not “strategic” only means you don’t fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Assigning emotional labels is not helpful. You are right that Ukraine is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is hard to understand why Saker would use such a facile analogy.

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative. But that is not necessarily a sustainable advantage. Hitler had the initiative too, and so did Napoleon, they had all the initiative until they didn't. (I know poor analogy, but tempting).

    The prize in Ukraine was Crimea and the Russian Naval base. That was the prize, not who gets to grow potatoes in Lviv or scoop up coal in Donbass. Crimea is gone, and I think all rational people would agree that for now that is irreversible. So what is the fight about? Torch marching in Kiev, Nato relevancy, or who gets to subsidise 40 million very poor people? To control Ukraine (Kiev really) is now a hot potato that nobody particularly wants. It is like fighting over who has the control of Bihar in India, or eastern Nigeria, or any number of poor, non-strategic backwaters full of people who mostly want to emigrate.

    Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. They invested a lot in it, and they had the initiative. But the locals screwed up, they were too slow, too unfocused and too distracted by nationalism. So Russia won Crimea and all else are just provincial consequences of little long-term interest.

    Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would - Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what 'might happen' with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid.
    , @peterAUS

    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.
     
    Well, I'd say:
    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia was reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and had Putin off-balance.

    What has been interesting to me is something Martyanov hinted to here:

    no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.
     
    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That....lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.

    They don't buy US/West vision anymore.
    The thing is, they don't buy Russian either.

    They just don't care.
    Maybe that's worse than fighting for either side.

    When you are, effectively, in a state of constant conflict between ...states....and most of population doesn't care, that looks as people there got their spirit crushed.

    And, oligarchies do like people with crushed spirit.
    Just a pliable mass doing what's told.

    Just a thought.
    , @voice crying in the wilderness
    Yes Tommy, you are right. America never stages coups in foreign countries. But it does help freedom loving people everywhere, just not in Crimea or in Russia.
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  4. Furthermore, they are both Crooks, not Clowns or Nazis, which means that they can be negotiated with, however distasteful this maybe.

    Crooks keep their money in westerns banks and companies, and they’re vulnerable to criminal prosecution by western powers (see Dmytro Firtash, for example). Thus, tasteful or not, it seems highly doubtful to me that they can be negotiated with.

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  5. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Saakashvili (who was stripped form his Georgian citizenship and of this Ukrainian citizenship)

    seems not to care any more

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  6. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Still, don’t dismiss the Clowns too soon, because they could suddenly switch to the Crooks or the Clowns depending who offers them a better deal (or scares them most).

    You mean the Nazis?

    yet another Urkonazi attack

    You mean UKRO-Nazi

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  7. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Why does defensive matter?

    You mean defense.

    but nevermind that).

    Never mind

    their morale and training is probably much higher

    are

    As soon as the Russian overtly get involved

    The Russian what?

    even if that has costs them a lot of political capital

    Cost

    Unlike their western counterpart, who still don’t

    doesn’t

    In this respect, Crime was a totally

    Crimea

    the Russian economy is struggling to rebuilt this relatively small territory.

    rebuild

    they are either paralyzing him or make him do stupid things

    making

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    • Replies: @JGarbo
    Hey, Anon, when you're through nit picking, I have a bunch of hounds with fleas you can play with. Saker is a non-native speaker, typing very fast. The facts matter far more than the grammar. If you understood journalism, you'd be admonishing his sub editor, not him. Now where do I send my hounds?
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  8. To better understand what is going on, all three groups — crooks, clowns, and nazis — fall into the schnook category. They are being duped and used by the Globalist Empire that also controls the US. US is the Jewel in the Crown of the Globalist Empire but still a subject than a sovereign nation. It’s like India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire but not a free independent nation.

    The US is part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire). The ‘migrant crisis’ in Europe is also the result of this power. US and EU are used to fight Wars for Israel and then burdened with taking in ‘refugees’ from these wars and chaos. 99% of the Russia Hysteria in the US is the result of Sempire’s total grip on the mass media. And it is now moving on internet platforms to shut down alternative news. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all working with Zionist ADL that seeks to Palestinianize white Americans.

    So, even as Saker says the US no longer cares about Eastern Europe, Ukraine has been turned into a bear trap by the Sempire. The Sempire just waits for Russia to make a move and then get its paw ensnared.

    The only way this Semperial Narrative of ‘Russian Aggression’ can be countered is by exposing the true nature of power in the world.

    All this talk of the US, Russia, EU, Ukraine, and etc misses the point because it leaves out the discussion of the greatest power pulling the strings of all nations. Judenia or Sempire.
    It’d be like discussing a battle with no mention of air power. It’d be like discussing African wilderness without mentioning elephants. It’d be like discussing football with no mention of quarterbacks. It’d be like discussing the British Empire without mentioning the role of Anglos. I mean, how could Indian affairs be understood without acknowledging the dominant power of the Brits? And ‘neocons’ just won’t to. It’s a trick-term to conceal the ethnic character of the agenda.

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    • Replies: @Issac
    Saker writing a Philip Giraldi level expose from that angle would probably have him out of a job. The Russian ruling class is not interested in making an enemy of Israel or vice versa.
    , @Kiza
    I fully agree with your explanation of the root-cause and who is TPTB as anyone sane would. But you are a little unfair to Saker because what you are discussing is not what he was discussing. You know how in every lord’s household the servants and hands met usually in the kitchen and discussed and quarrelled? Well, this Sakers discussion is from the global kitchen, not from the lord Israel’s study where the important decisions are made. Also, Saker is not afraid of being labeled anti-Semite as far as I am aware from his writing.

    Finally, I am truly happy that the regular paid Hasbara trolls at UNZ (PeterAUS, Johnny Rico etc) are starting to debate their sh** among themselves when no sensible and respectable people here want to engage them any more. Only this newbe Beckow fell for the tricks. I do skip everything those sh**-generators excrete, but I am also happy that most others have wizened up. It is true that our tax dollars are paying for the efforts of these excrement manufacturers, but nothing lasts forever and the globalists may hit a brick wall one day soon.
    , @Anonymous
    Good post. I had similar thoughts when Saker said that the Trump's Administration doesn't care about the situation in Ukraine so everyone in the area is "on their own".

    That's beyond naive. Trump himself might not care much but his Administration is filled with swamp creatures and the Tribe's globalist apparatus is intact. They didn't go anywhere.

    It really looks like Saker can't comprehend the big picture. He's looking at the individual national leaders, parties and personalities while completely ignoring the supranational cabal behind those chess pieces. No wonder most of them seem crazy or delusional to him when he refuses to see the strings.
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  9. Beckow says:
    @Johnny Rico
    Russian activity in Syria and Ukraine are moves of desperation from a position of weakness. The United States has Russia boxed in. The United States forced Putin to take these actions. He would be removed from power otherwise. He had no choice. He is not in control.

    In Russia you are either strong and in total control or they murder you. At least that has been the case for the last thousand years.

    There was no "huge effort not to intervene." If there was, I'd like to know who made it and when.

    This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Comparisons to American involvement in these two places have limited utility.

    Just because one thinks American moves are not "strategic" only means you don't fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting - not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

    Assigning emotional labels is not helpful. You are right that Ukraine is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is hard to understand why Saker would use such a facile analogy.

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative. But that is not necessarily a sustainable advantage. Hitler had the initiative too, and so did Napoleon, they had all the initiative until they didn’t. (I know poor analogy, but tempting).

    The prize in Ukraine was Crimea and the Russian Naval base. That was the prize, not who gets to grow potatoes in Lviv or scoop up coal in Donbass. Crimea is gone, and I think all rational people would agree that for now that is irreversible. So what is the fight about? Torch marching in Kiev, Nato relevancy, or who gets to subsidise 40 million very poor people? To control Ukraine (Kiev really) is now a hot potato that nobody particularly wants. It is like fighting over who has the control of Bihar in India, or eastern Nigeria, or any number of poor, non-strategic backwaters full of people who mostly want to emigrate.

    Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. They invested a lot in it, and they had the initiative. But the locals screwed up, they were too slow, too unfocused and too distracted by nationalism. So Russia won Crimea and all else are just provincial consequences of little long-term interest.

    Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would – Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what ‘might happen’ with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative.
     
    Is it really so? They lost in Syria, they are stuck with Kiev with no discernible game plan (far as I can tell anyway), and they're fighting various insurgencies inside their own domain. I don't see any initiative anywhere at the moment, frankly.
    , @Johnny Rico
    I agree with much of what you say.

    My feeling is that The Saker is always talking about the superiority of Russian "strategy" in retrospect while speculating about the minutiae of tactical deployments.

    Americans rarely talk strategy and there is always an ongoing discussion in the higher levels of foreign policy academia and journals about what exactly the policy or strategy is or whether we even need one.

    That was the title of Kissinger's 2002 book :

    Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

    This, however, does not mean there is no strategy.

    The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture.

    We are not fighting insurgencies (as Mao Cheng Ji contends). That ended in Iraq in about 2010 and Afghanistan in about 2012.

    Since 1980, Russia and the Soviet Union have lost FAR more troops (especially as a proportion of total population) in combat than the United States.

    Everywhere US elite light infantry troops are stationed now they basically sit on their asses safe in bases. Occasionally they go out and call in airstrikes for local allies or conduct a raid on a "high-value target." Occasionally they die or get suicide-bombed by a local infiltrator.

    All the guys I've ever met that are in these units LIVE to do what they are doing. I even know a couple dozen guys who have been either kicked out of the military or been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and they still say that the best time of their lives was walking around over there with a rifle.

    They would be quite surprised by the notion that they are being forced to do what they do by the "ZioMedia" - whatever that is. This is not 1968 in Vietnam.

    Syria has no oil. Ukraine is a basket-case economy with too many people. Georgia has 4 million people. That's more than Albania and less than Massachusetts. Most Americans couldn't find the state of Georgia on a map - nevermind the country.

    Now in 2008 Russia launched an assault on Georgia that it had been planning for at least a decade after provoking what it wanted. It didn't go well technically but it went okay tactically, but because of the size mismatch it couldn't not be a success for the Russians. But it was quick because the Georgians are stupid but not that stupid. So it could be called an operational and strategic win. The United States tailored its response. But here you will always see it portrayed as some great Russian victory over a NATO-trained military and an attempted genocide of the South Ossetians. The Russians it appears used it successfully as a learning experience and got their act together militarily.

    All along the periphery of the Russian Empire/former Soviet Union the US and the Russians play games. It's a big game.

    Saker's last article was about whose propaganda is better. It's a big game. It keeps people employed in the respective defense industries.

    The latest thing I read is that the US is spending $8 Billion on a rapid response division or something in Eastern Europe. There was a Toyota ad I think for an armor brigade in Poland during the Super Bowl. Ridiculous. A single division.

    Nobody wants a war. There isn't going to be any fighting in Poland. If Russians and Ukrainians want to kill themselves over Kharkov, Americans don't care. I think the Russians and Germans fought three times over Kharkov. I guess it had a railroad track or something. Americans don't care.

    All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea - it's just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He's got to scrape and claw over nothing.

    The Saker always talks about Russia having a "defensive" strategy. Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet's real estate is "owned"- where the US Empire stands now - trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker - what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

    And Russia is still boxed in.

    , @Dicky Cone
    "Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. "

    Is this just speculation on your part or do you have actual evidence that this was the plan? The US does dumb stuff all the time but I find it very hard to believe that anyone was planning anything quite as stupid as a US military presence in Crimea. I'm pretty sure such a presence would be violently rejected even in western Ukraine, let alone any ethnically Russian area.
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  10. @Beckow
    Assigning emotional labels is not helpful. You are right that Ukraine is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is hard to understand why Saker would use such a facile analogy.

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative. But that is not necessarily a sustainable advantage. Hitler had the initiative too, and so did Napoleon, they had all the initiative until they didn't. (I know poor analogy, but tempting).

    The prize in Ukraine was Crimea and the Russian Naval base. That was the prize, not who gets to grow potatoes in Lviv or scoop up coal in Donbass. Crimea is gone, and I think all rational people would agree that for now that is irreversible. So what is the fight about? Torch marching in Kiev, Nato relevancy, or who gets to subsidise 40 million very poor people? To control Ukraine (Kiev really) is now a hot potato that nobody particularly wants. It is like fighting over who has the control of Bihar in India, or eastern Nigeria, or any number of poor, non-strategic backwaters full of people who mostly want to emigrate.

    Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. They invested a lot in it, and they had the initiative. But the locals screwed up, they were too slow, too unfocused and too distracted by nationalism. So Russia won Crimea and all else are just provincial consequences of little long-term interest.

    Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would - Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what 'might happen' with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid.

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative.

    Is it really so? They lost in Syria, they are stuck with Kiev with no discernible game plan (far as I can tell anyway), and they’re fighting various insurgencies inside their own domain. I don’t see any initiative anywhere at the moment, frankly.

    Read More
    • Agree: Cyrano
    • Replies: @Beckow
    Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts. It is neither good nor bad and initiatives that fail are worse than if they had done nothing. That is true about Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine; in each case the status quo before the 'initiative' was better. Russia and China don't show anywhere as much 'initiative', they mostly react, they don't set the agenda.

    People with too much initiative get stuck in muck of their own creation and eventually lose even what they safely controlled before. But the Washington-Brussels elites cannot help it, they must start things because they are not fully serious, they have had it too good, they believe in their own mythologized narratives, and their careers are based on it. So they will keep it going. The insurgencies within the domestic domain are still very minor, this has years to go, maybe decades.

    , @Sergey Krieger
    Being desperate busy body, making badly thought through and ultimately failed moves time after time is not exactly sign of having initiative. In body increased activity leads to increased metabolism, which leads to need for increased food intake and what if that food is not available in necessary quantities anymore? Often doing nothing or as little as possible is the best option but the West lacks wisdom and faculties to behave in this way. Russia on the other hand.,...
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  11. peterAUS says:
    @Johnny Rico
    Russian activity in Syria and Ukraine are moves of desperation from a position of weakness. The United States has Russia boxed in. The United States forced Putin to take these actions. He would be removed from power otherwise. He had no choice. He is not in control.

    In Russia you are either strong and in total control or they murder you. At least that has been the case for the last thousand years.

    There was no "huge effort not to intervene." If there was, I'd like to know who made it and when.

    This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Comparisons to American involvement in these two places have limited utility.

    Just because one thinks American moves are not "strategic" only means you don't fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting - not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

    Well, I’d say:
    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia was reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and had Putin off-balance.

    What has been interesting to me is something Martyanov hinted to here:

    no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That….lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.

    They don’t buy US/West vision anymore.
    The thing is, they don’t buy Russian either.

    They just don’t care.
    Maybe that’s worse than fighting for either side.

    When you are, effectively, in a state of constant conflict between …states….and most of population doesn’t care, that looks as people there got their spirit crushed.

    And, oligarchies do like people with crushed spirit.
    Just a pliable mass doing what’s told.

    Just a thought.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    The thing is, people gotta work.

    People work for one of these oligarchies or the other.

    When a computer scientist -- 22 years old, in debt to her eyeballs but with top notch skills from hard work and study -- lands a job with Lockheed Martin -- HOORAY! The family back home in the mountains celebrates -- first member of the clan to graduate from college, we are all so proud of you!

    Lockheed flew her to her new job site, picked her up at the airport in a limo, housed her in the company suite until she can find an apartment -- WOW, dazzled. All that hard work paid off! I'm smart and LM recognizes it, rewards me for it.

    The kid ends up effectively working for Oligarch A. She didn't CHOOSE to be part of what Priss (correctly) named the "US . . . part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."

    As Priss points out, a choice for Oligarch B would still make our bright young grad embarking on her career a "part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."

    She can't NOT choose to be " part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."


    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That….lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.
     
    Eventually, she will be soul-killed.

    How do you drop out of this trap?

    Not to choose is not a choice.

    -------

    Is Iran an option? Real Men (and Women) Go to Iran, or North Korea -- where Judenia/ the Sempire is resisted.

    How about China? Will Zuckerberg divorce his Chinese wife?

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  12. Beckow says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative.
     
    Is it really so? They lost in Syria, they are stuck with Kiev with no discernible game plan (far as I can tell anyway), and they're fighting various insurgencies inside their own domain. I don't see any initiative anywhere at the moment, frankly.

    Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts. It is neither good nor bad and initiatives that fail are worse than if they had done nothing. That is true about Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine; in each case the status quo before the ‘initiative’ was better. Russia and China don’t show anywhere as much ‘initiative’, they mostly react, they don’t set the agenda.

    People with too much initiative get stuck in muck of their own creation and eventually lose even what they safely controlled before. But the Washington-Brussels elites cannot help it, they must start things because they are not fully serious, they have had it too good, they believe in their own mythologized narratives, and their careers are based on it. So they will keep it going. The insurgencies within the domestic domain are still very minor, this has years to go, maybe decades.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts.
     
    I guess it's kinda true in the sense that the US specifically (not necessarily the West as such, it seems) needs to have the uninterrupted chain of wars and cartoonish all-powerful super-evil adversaries threatening its very existence.

    I suppose it's needed for economic (mic) reasons, to maintain the internal unity/morale/discipline, and to run the usual protection racket abroad. Sorta like Oceania in Orwell's 1984.

    But I don't think this amounts to 'initiative' in any flattering sense. By the same token a rabid dog shows 'initiative'.

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  13. @Beckow
    Assigning emotional labels is not helpful. You are right that Ukraine is nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is hard to understand why Saker would use such a facile analogy.

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative. But that is not necessarily a sustainable advantage. Hitler had the initiative too, and so did Napoleon, they had all the initiative until they didn't. (I know poor analogy, but tempting).

    The prize in Ukraine was Crimea and the Russian Naval base. That was the prize, not who gets to grow potatoes in Lviv or scoop up coal in Donbass. Crimea is gone, and I think all rational people would agree that for now that is irreversible. So what is the fight about? Torch marching in Kiev, Nato relevancy, or who gets to subsidise 40 million very poor people? To control Ukraine (Kiev really) is now a hot potato that nobody particularly wants. It is like fighting over who has the control of Bihar in India, or eastern Nigeria, or any number of poor, non-strategic backwaters full of people who mostly want to emigrate.

    Washington (with Poland and a few other fire-eating nut-cases in EU) made a strong move in 2013-14 trying to get their hands on Crimea and to replace the very strategic Russian Navy base in Sebastopol with a Nato base. They invested a lot in it, and they had the initiative. But the locals screwed up, they were too slow, too unfocused and too distracted by nationalism. So Russia won Crimea and all else are just provincial consequences of little long-term interest.

    Ask yourself a simple question: would Washington be better off with the status quo ante, would they be happy to go back to 2012? Of course they would - Crimea would be in Ukraine and in play, Russia would be subsidising Ukraine (not EU or IMF). But most importantly Russia would be sweating what 'might happen' with Crimea. Once West made its move and lost that threat was gone. It was just stupid.

    I agree with much of what you say.

    My feeling is that The Saker is always talking about the superiority of Russian “strategy” in retrospect while speculating about the minutiae of tactical deployments.

    Americans rarely talk strategy and there is always an ongoing discussion in the higher levels of foreign policy academia and journals about what exactly the policy or strategy is or whether we even need one.

    That was the title of Kissinger’s 2002 book :

    Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

    This, however, does not mean there is no strategy.

    The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture.

    We are not fighting insurgencies (as Mao Cheng Ji contends). That ended in Iraq in about 2010 and Afghanistan in about 2012.

    Since 1980, Russia and the Soviet Union have lost FAR more troops (especially as a proportion of total population) in combat than the United States.

    Everywhere US elite light infantry troops are stationed now they basically sit on their asses safe in bases. Occasionally they go out and call in airstrikes for local allies or conduct a raid on a “high-value target.” Occasionally they die or get suicide-bombed by a local infiltrator.

    All the guys I’ve ever met that are in these units LIVE to do what they are doing. I even know a couple dozen guys who have been either kicked out of the military or been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and they still say that the best time of their lives was walking around over there with a rifle.

    They would be quite surprised by the notion that they are being forced to do what they do by the “ZioMedia” – whatever that is. This is not 1968 in Vietnam.

    Syria has no oil. Ukraine is a basket-case economy with too many people. Georgia has 4 million people. That’s more than Albania and less than Massachusetts. Most Americans couldn’t find the state of Georgia on a map – nevermind the country.

    Now in 2008 Russia launched an assault on Georgia that it had been planning for at least a decade after provoking what it wanted. It didn’t go well technically but it went okay tactically, but because of the size mismatch it couldn’t not be a success for the Russians. But it was quick because the Georgians are stupid but not that stupid. So it could be called an operational and strategic win. The United States tailored its response. But here you will always see it portrayed as some great Russian victory over a NATO-trained military and an attempted genocide of the South Ossetians. The Russians it appears used it successfully as a learning experience and got their act together militarily.

    All along the periphery of the Russian Empire/former Soviet Union the US and the Russians play games. It’s a big game.

    Saker’s last article was about whose propaganda is better. It’s a big game. It keeps people employed in the respective defense industries.

    The latest thing I read is that the US is spending $8 Billion on a rapid response division or something in Eastern Europe. There was a Toyota ad I think for an armor brigade in Poland during the Super Bowl. Ridiculous. A single division.

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland. If Russians and Ukrainians want to kill themselves over Kharkov, Americans don’t care. I think the Russians and Germans fought three times over Kharkov. I guess it had a railroad track or something. Americans don’t care.

    All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea – it’s just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He’s got to scrape and claw over nothing.

    The Saker always talks about Russia having a “defensive” strategy. Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

    And Russia is still boxed in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.
     
    You can call it 'depth', or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don't think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc...

    Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies - but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI's life.

    And Russia is still boxed in.
     
    Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point?

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland.
     
    Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland - it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

    I don't think either Russia or West have better or worse 'strategy'. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

    By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia 'anticipated' it and took advantage. Isn't it their job to 'anticipate'? Wouldn't any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some 'strategist' who likes to 'poke the Russian borders' to keep them in a 'box'? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.
    , @Sergey Krieger
    I am sorry but I have to say this. How has led by Kissinger and Nixon strategy of opening China worked out? Is creating major geopolitical foe where there was none considered a sign of deep strategical long term thinking?
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  14. @Beckow
    Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts. It is neither good nor bad and initiatives that fail are worse than if they had done nothing. That is true about Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine; in each case the status quo before the 'initiative' was better. Russia and China don't show anywhere as much 'initiative', they mostly react, they don't set the agenda.

    People with too much initiative get stuck in muck of their own creation and eventually lose even what they safely controlled before. But the Washington-Brussels elites cannot help it, they must start things because they are not fully serious, they have had it too good, they believe in their own mythologized narratives, and their careers are based on it. So they will keep it going. The insurgencies within the domestic domain are still very minor, this has years to go, maybe decades.

    Initiative means that US-West are the ones starting conflicts.

    I guess it’s kinda true in the sense that the US specifically (not necessarily the West as such, it seems) needs to have the uninterrupted chain of wars and cartoonish all-powerful super-evil adversaries threatening its very existence.

    I suppose it’s needed for economic (mic) reasons, to maintain the internal unity/morale/discipline, and to run the usual protection racket abroad. Sorta like Oceania in Orwell’s 1984.

    But I don’t think this amounts to ‘initiative’ in any flattering sense. By the same token a rabid dog shows ‘initiative’.

    Read More
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  15. bob sykes says:

    Please explain the map legend “Occupation of RSA” with respect to Kharkiv. Who is doing the occupation, and what are their goals and allegiances?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    I would not holding my breath for a reply from the Saker to anyone here. Have never seen an example.

    RSA, of course, is meaning 'Republic of South Africa', they were briefly to set up a statelet there.

    More seriously, also being curious, the map is a direct lift from the English Wikipedia, or Wikimedia Commons.

    RSA is 'regional state authority', so the meaning of the poor map legend is 'Occupation of regional state authority buildings [or building]'.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. Beckow says:
    @Johnny Rico
    I agree with much of what you say.

    My feeling is that The Saker is always talking about the superiority of Russian "strategy" in retrospect while speculating about the minutiae of tactical deployments.

    Americans rarely talk strategy and there is always an ongoing discussion in the higher levels of foreign policy academia and journals about what exactly the policy or strategy is or whether we even need one.

    That was the title of Kissinger's 2002 book :

    Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

    This, however, does not mean there is no strategy.

    The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture.

    We are not fighting insurgencies (as Mao Cheng Ji contends). That ended in Iraq in about 2010 and Afghanistan in about 2012.

    Since 1980, Russia and the Soviet Union have lost FAR more troops (especially as a proportion of total population) in combat than the United States.

    Everywhere US elite light infantry troops are stationed now they basically sit on their asses safe in bases. Occasionally they go out and call in airstrikes for local allies or conduct a raid on a "high-value target." Occasionally they die or get suicide-bombed by a local infiltrator.

    All the guys I've ever met that are in these units LIVE to do what they are doing. I even know a couple dozen guys who have been either kicked out of the military or been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and they still say that the best time of their lives was walking around over there with a rifle.

    They would be quite surprised by the notion that they are being forced to do what they do by the "ZioMedia" - whatever that is. This is not 1968 in Vietnam.

    Syria has no oil. Ukraine is a basket-case economy with too many people. Georgia has 4 million people. That's more than Albania and less than Massachusetts. Most Americans couldn't find the state of Georgia on a map - nevermind the country.

    Now in 2008 Russia launched an assault on Georgia that it had been planning for at least a decade after provoking what it wanted. It didn't go well technically but it went okay tactically, but because of the size mismatch it couldn't not be a success for the Russians. But it was quick because the Georgians are stupid but not that stupid. So it could be called an operational and strategic win. The United States tailored its response. But here you will always see it portrayed as some great Russian victory over a NATO-trained military and an attempted genocide of the South Ossetians. The Russians it appears used it successfully as a learning experience and got their act together militarily.

    All along the periphery of the Russian Empire/former Soviet Union the US and the Russians play games. It's a big game.

    Saker's last article was about whose propaganda is better. It's a big game. It keeps people employed in the respective defense industries.

    The latest thing I read is that the US is spending $8 Billion on a rapid response division or something in Eastern Europe. There was a Toyota ad I think for an armor brigade in Poland during the Super Bowl. Ridiculous. A single division.

    Nobody wants a war. There isn't going to be any fighting in Poland. If Russians and Ukrainians want to kill themselves over Kharkov, Americans don't care. I think the Russians and Germans fought three times over Kharkov. I guess it had a railroad track or something. Americans don't care.

    All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea - it's just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He's got to scrape and claw over nothing.

    The Saker always talks about Russia having a "defensive" strategy. Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet's real estate is "owned"- where the US Empire stands now - trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker - what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

    And Russia is still boxed in.

    Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

    You can call it ‘depth’, or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don’t think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc…

    Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies – but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI’s life.

    And Russia is still boxed in.

    Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia’s extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What’s the point?

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland.

    Wars happen even if nobody ‘wants’ them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland – it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and ‘defensive’ divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

    I don’t think either Russia or West have better or worse ‘strategy’. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

    By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia ‘anticipated’ it and took advantage. Isn’t it their job to ‘anticipate’? Wouldn’t any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some ‘strategist’ who likes to ‘poke the Russian borders’ to keep them in a ‘box’? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    ...what is it all about? What’s the point?
     
    That rhetorical question?

    Regime change in Moscow->incorporating Russia into Empire at vassal level.
    Or...back to happy Yeltsin era.
    Happy for some I mean.

    With vengeance.

    As for this:

    There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership
     
    Couldn't agree more.

    That's the real worry at present.
    Combination of who are people in power and means of warfare.

    People on the ground in Ukraine at "West" side incompetent and weak crooks.
    People on the ground in Ukraine at "East" side are also incompetent crooks. Not so sure how weak they are, though.They must be weak enough to obey Moscow but hard enough to keep....ahm..pruning... own ranks from those unpopular with Moscow. Besides, they got into power by armed insurrection so usually those types can be hard.

    I, personally, don't see much fuss about all this. Could be wrong, of course.

    The real question would be how, really, good Ukrainian armed forces are.
    Have they used the time well to get good enough to create a serious problem for Donbass.

    My...feeling ....(haven't spent much time researching it) is they have not.

    Now, not so sure, whatever Saker is saying here, how good Donbass military is. In reality.
    I concede that they got better organized and equipped. Doesn't mean much , IMHO.
    The more important is how WILLING they would be to face an attack.
    I....suspect....that the will when it was all started isn't there anymore. Could be wrong. Still think I am not. Or, better....feel that way. Those assassinations, plus overall quality of life there, plus unclear future (not what Moscow is saying, people on the ground don't buy that) aren't good for combat morale.

    At the end, I suspect, when/if it comes to renewal of hostilities, it will be:
    First and foremost artillery exchanges. Nothing changes.
    Then, small unit raids. Nothing changes.
    Then, tactical incursions by Ukrainian best. After initial success they'll be met by Donbas best.Because either side don't have many of those nothing changes too.
    A lot of talk from Washington and Moscow. Some dead/mutilated mercenaries.
    And while those "games" go the rest of peoples there just keep what they've been doing so far.
    Oceania vs Eurasia ........
    , @Johnny Rico
    Again, I agree with a lot of what you say.

    However, I'm not sure if you are expert in the history of Russian-Georgian-NATO-US relations since the fall of the Soviet Union and specifically what happened in 2008.

    It is more complex than you describe and than the Russians on UNZ Review will admit.

    Ten years later, nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response.

    The Russian-Abkhazian-South Ossetian coalition committed every escalating action FIRST. Whether in minutes, hours, days, or months.

    It was planned by the Kremlin for years.

    This is how the big boys play hardball. They set everything up meticulously to make it look like they are the nice guys, acting to help the poor South Ossetians.

    Just read the propaganda RT fabricates every day. You'll get the idea.

    You don't think all of Putin's opponents and none of his supporters get murdered or jailed by accident, do you?

    , @voice crying in the wilderness
    Countries like Poland develop a habit of wanting to be kicked around. It doesn't feel normal otherwise.
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  17. peterAUS says:

    Speaking of crooks and thieves.
    True, those Ukrainian elites are that.
    Can’t argue that most of US/Western elite aren’t.

    But, Russian (current) regime elite?
    How about this:

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

    So, I guess that an average Ukrainian ponders a simple question:
    For which crook I am supposed to lose my life and limb? And risking the same for people I care for?
    Tough decision.
    If if doubt do nothing feels as the best option.
    Keep your head down, keep your mouth shut and try to scrap a living there.
    Or, if you can, emigrate somewhere.
    If you can that is.

    Read More
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  18. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.
     
    You can call it 'depth', or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don't think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc...

    Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies - but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI's life.

    And Russia is still boxed in.
     
    Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point?

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland.
     
    Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland - it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

    I don't think either Russia or West have better or worse 'strategy'. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

    By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia 'anticipated' it and took advantage. Isn't it their job to 'anticipate'? Wouldn't any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some 'strategist' who likes to 'poke the Russian borders' to keep them in a 'box'? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.

    …what is it all about? What’s the point?

    That rhetorical question?

    Regime change in Moscow->incorporating Russia into Empire at vassal level.
    Or…back to happy Yeltsin era.
    Happy for some I mean.

    With vengeance.

    As for this:

    There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership

    Couldn’t agree more.

    That’s the real worry at present.
    Combination of who are people in power and means of warfare.

    People on the ground in Ukraine at “West” side incompetent and weak crooks.
    People on the ground in Ukraine at “East” side are also incompetent crooks. Not so sure how weak they are, though.They must be weak enough to obey Moscow but hard enough to keep….ahm..pruning… own ranks from those unpopular with Moscow. Besides, they got into power by armed insurrection so usually those types can be hard.

    I, personally, don’t see much fuss about all this. Could be wrong, of course.

    The real question would be how, really, good Ukrainian armed forces are.
    Have they used the time well to get good enough to create a serious problem for Donbass.

    My…feeling ….(haven’t spent much time researching it) is they have not.

    Now, not so sure, whatever Saker is saying here, how good Donbass military is. In reality.
    I concede that they got better organized and equipped. Doesn’t mean much , IMHO.
    The more important is how WILLING they would be to face an attack.
    I….suspect….that the will when it was all started isn’t there anymore. Could be wrong. Still think I am not. Or, better….feel that way. Those assassinations, plus overall quality of life there, plus unclear future (not what Moscow is saying, people on the ground don’t buy that) aren’t good for combat morale.

    At the end, I suspect, when/if it comes to renewal of hostilities, it will be:
    First and foremost artillery exchanges. Nothing changes.
    Then, small unit raids. Nothing changes.
    Then, tactical incursions by Ukrainian best. After initial success they’ll be met by Donbas best.Because either side don’t have many of those nothing changes too.
    A lot of talk from Washington and Moscow. Some dead/mutilated mercenaries.
    And while those “games” go the rest of peoples there just keep what they’ve been doing so far.
    Oceania vs Eurasia ……..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    "Regime change in Moscow"
     
    The single best way to assure that there isn't a 'regime change' is by constant probing of Russia's borders, by constant attacks, etc... So I don't buy that, the experts in Washington are not that stupid. They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow.

    The Ukraine situation will not be decided by fighting in Donbass, or in Moscow. It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses. Unless a miracle happens, or most people emigrate, this is not a sustainable situation. They are living worse than in 2013, and they already had it very bad in 2013. Marshall Plan isn't coming, membership in EU isn't coming either. Once that sinks in - it might take 5-10 years - things will change.

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  19. Issac says:
    @Priss Factor
    To better understand what is going on, all three groups -- crooks, clowns, and nazis -- fall into the schnook category. They are being duped and used by the Globalist Empire that also controls the US. US is the Jewel in the Crown of the Globalist Empire but still a subject than a sovereign nation. It's like India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire but not a free independent nation.

    The US is part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire). The 'migrant crisis' in Europe is also the result of this power. US and EU are used to fight Wars for Israel and then burdened with taking in 'refugees' from these wars and chaos. 99% of the Russia Hysteria in the US is the result of Sempire's total grip on the mass media. And it is now moving on internet platforms to shut down alternative news. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all working with Zionist ADL that seeks to Palestinianize white Americans.

    So, even as Saker says the US no longer cares about Eastern Europe, Ukraine has been turned into a bear trap by the Sempire. The Sempire just waits for Russia to make a move and then get its paw ensnared.

    The only way this Semperial Narrative of 'Russian Aggression' can be countered is by exposing the true nature of power in the world.

    All this talk of the US, Russia, EU, Ukraine, and etc misses the point because it leaves out the discussion of the greatest power pulling the strings of all nations. Judenia or Sempire.
    It'd be like discussing a battle with no mention of air power. It'd be like discussing African wilderness without mentioning elephants. It'd be like discussing football with no mention of quarterbacks. It'd be like discussing the British Empire without mentioning the role of Anglos. I mean, how could Indian affairs be understood without acknowledging the dominant power of the Brits? And 'neocons' just won't to. It's a trick-term to conceal the ethnic character of the agenda.

    Saker writing a Philip Giraldi level expose from that angle would probably have him out of a job. The Russian ruling class is not interested in making an enemy of Israel or vice versa.

    Read More
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  20. @Beckow

    Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.
     
    You can call it 'depth', or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don't think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc...

    Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies - but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI's life.

    And Russia is still boxed in.
     
    Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point?

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland.
     
    Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland - it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

    I don't think either Russia or West have better or worse 'strategy'. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

    By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia 'anticipated' it and took advantage. Isn't it their job to 'anticipate'? Wouldn't any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some 'strategist' who likes to 'poke the Russian borders' to keep them in a 'box'? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.

    Again, I agree with a lot of what you say.

    However, I’m not sure if you are expert in the history of Russian-Georgian-NATO-US relations since the fall of the Soviet Union and specifically what happened in 2008.

    It is more complex than you describe and than the Russians on UNZ Review will admit.

    Ten years later, nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response.

    The Russian-Abkhazian-South Ossetian coalition committed every escalating action FIRST. Whether in minutes, hours, days, or months.

    It was planned by the Kremlin for years.

    This is how the big boys play hardball. They set everything up meticulously to make it look like they are the nice guys, acting to help the poor South Ossetians.

    Just read the propaganda RT fabricates every day. You’ll get the idea.

    You don’t think all of Putin’s opponents and none of his supporters get murdered or jailed by accident, do you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    "nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response"
     
    How about, don't start shooting? Tbilisi had the option of not starting the war. You can talk about 'provocations' all day long, with that logic Hitler was 'provoked' into attacking Poland. Saakasvilli was an emotional moron who somehow came to believe that Nato will come and fight a war on his behalf against Russia. Now, who made him think that was even a possibility?

    "It was planned by the Kremlin for years"
     
    Obviously, that's what military planners do. In Russia, in Georgia, in Brussels, everywhere, that's pretty much their main job. Is that a surprise to you? If yes, you need to get out more. If no, why would you use it in a facile propaganda way here?
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  21. I want Saakashvili back in power. I am having my dog pre-chew a new tie for him.

    Read More
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  22. Beckow says:
    @Johnny Rico
    Again, I agree with a lot of what you say.

    However, I'm not sure if you are expert in the history of Russian-Georgian-NATO-US relations since the fall of the Soviet Union and specifically what happened in 2008.

    It is more complex than you describe and than the Russians on UNZ Review will admit.

    Ten years later, nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response.

    The Russian-Abkhazian-South Ossetian coalition committed every escalating action FIRST. Whether in minutes, hours, days, or months.

    It was planned by the Kremlin for years.

    This is how the big boys play hardball. They set everything up meticulously to make it look like they are the nice guys, acting to help the poor South Ossetians.

    Just read the propaganda RT fabricates every day. You'll get the idea.

    You don't think all of Putin's opponents and none of his supporters get murdered or jailed by accident, do you?

    “nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response”

    How about, don’t start shooting? Tbilisi had the option of not starting the war. You can talk about ‘provocations’ all day long, with that logic Hitler was ‘provoked’ into attacking Poland. Saakasvilli was an emotional moron who somehow came to believe that Nato will come and fight a war on his behalf against Russia. Now, who made him think that was even a possibility?

    “It was planned by the Kremlin for years”

    Obviously, that’s what military planners do. In Russia, in Georgia, in Brussels, everywhere, that’s pretty much their main job. Is that a surprise to you? If yes, you need to get out more. If no, why would you use it in a facile propaganda way here?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    What is your source for the events in Georgia? Just curious. Are you just recalling what you saw on the news 10 years ago and combining that with things you've heard since?

    And why do you keep making Hitler analogies?

    No offense, but I'm not really learning anything here. I get out plenty. Thanks. I'm out right now. Waiting for like 6 friends to show up for dinner. Bye.
    , @Wally
    " with that logic Hitler was ‘provoked’ into attacking Poland"

    Indeed, he was / Germany was.

    You brought it up, but for starters:


    "Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to."
    - Polish Marshal Rydz-Smigly as reported in the Daily Mail, August 6th, 1939)
     
    Polish war mongering in 1938
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=11335
    and:
    Polish Atrocities against Germans before 1. September 1939
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7525
    and:
    Gleiwitz
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7282
    and:
    Responsibility for WW2 - summary of the revisionist view
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7544
    and:
    Hitler's Peace Offers Vs Unconditional Surrender
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=10192

    Cheers.

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  23. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    ...what is it all about? What’s the point?
     
    That rhetorical question?

    Regime change in Moscow->incorporating Russia into Empire at vassal level.
    Or...back to happy Yeltsin era.
    Happy for some I mean.

    With vengeance.

    As for this:

    There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership
     
    Couldn't agree more.

    That's the real worry at present.
    Combination of who are people in power and means of warfare.

    People on the ground in Ukraine at "West" side incompetent and weak crooks.
    People on the ground in Ukraine at "East" side are also incompetent crooks. Not so sure how weak they are, though.They must be weak enough to obey Moscow but hard enough to keep....ahm..pruning... own ranks from those unpopular with Moscow. Besides, they got into power by armed insurrection so usually those types can be hard.

    I, personally, don't see much fuss about all this. Could be wrong, of course.

    The real question would be how, really, good Ukrainian armed forces are.
    Have they used the time well to get good enough to create a serious problem for Donbass.

    My...feeling ....(haven't spent much time researching it) is they have not.

    Now, not so sure, whatever Saker is saying here, how good Donbass military is. In reality.
    I concede that they got better organized and equipped. Doesn't mean much , IMHO.
    The more important is how WILLING they would be to face an attack.
    I....suspect....that the will when it was all started isn't there anymore. Could be wrong. Still think I am not. Or, better....feel that way. Those assassinations, plus overall quality of life there, plus unclear future (not what Moscow is saying, people on the ground don't buy that) aren't good for combat morale.

    At the end, I suspect, when/if it comes to renewal of hostilities, it will be:
    First and foremost artillery exchanges. Nothing changes.
    Then, small unit raids. Nothing changes.
    Then, tactical incursions by Ukrainian best. After initial success they'll be met by Donbas best.Because either side don't have many of those nothing changes too.
    A lot of talk from Washington and Moscow. Some dead/mutilated mercenaries.
    And while those "games" go the rest of peoples there just keep what they've been doing so far.
    Oceania vs Eurasia ........

    “Regime change in Moscow”

    The single best way to assure that there isn’t a ‘regime change’ is by constant probing of Russia’s borders, by constant attacks, etc… So I don’t buy that, the experts in Washington are not that stupid. They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow.

    The Ukraine situation will not be decided by fighting in Donbass, or in Moscow. It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses. Unless a miracle happens, or most people emigrate, this is not a sustainable situation. They are living worse than in 2013, and they already had it very bad in 2013. Marshall Plan isn’t coming, membership in EU isn’t coming either. Once that sinks in – it might take 5-10 years – things will change.

    Read More
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  24. @Beckow

    "nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response"
     
    How about, don't start shooting? Tbilisi had the option of not starting the war. You can talk about 'provocations' all day long, with that logic Hitler was 'provoked' into attacking Poland. Saakasvilli was an emotional moron who somehow came to believe that Nato will come and fight a war on his behalf against Russia. Now, who made him think that was even a possibility?

    "It was planned by the Kremlin for years"
     
    Obviously, that's what military planners do. In Russia, in Georgia, in Brussels, everywhere, that's pretty much their main job. Is that a surprise to you? If yes, you need to get out more. If no, why would you use it in a facile propaganda way here?

    What is your source for the events in Georgia? Just curious. Are you just recalling what you saw on the news 10 years ago and combining that with things you’ve heard since?

    And why do you keep making Hitler analogies?

    No offense, but I’m not really learning anything here. I get out plenty. Thanks. I’m out right now. Waiting for like 6 friends to show up for dinner. Bye.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    My source? EU report from 2009, look it up. It clearly states that Georgia attacked and started the war. It criticised Russia for 'provoking' and 'over-reacting'. But it established black on white that Georgia started the war.

    I am baffled that you would seriously consider 'anticipation' or similar vague nonsense a valid argument. It is not, it is nonsense that you throw around to muddy up what happened. This is an issue with Western thinking, you lost the ability to speak clearly, you think that adding colourful verbiage means something. It means nothing, it is semi-infantile to argue that a war was 'caused' by Russia's anticipation and provoking, instead of simply stating what happened: Georgian army attacked in the middle of the night. Try to be serious.
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  25. peterAUS says:

    They understand fully well that placing missiles, coups, border harassment are by far the most reliable way to make sure that nothing changes in Moscow.

    That’s one way to look at it.

    Another is that they believe that’s exactly what’s needed.
    Worked rather well since ’91 I think.
    US soldier couldn’t get pass Germany (West/East) border.
    Now……

    It will be decided in Kiev (and Odessa, Lviv, Charkov) by the currently passive masses.

    Sounds reasonable.
    In meantime……

    Read More
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  26. Beckow says:
    @Johnny Rico
    What is your source for the events in Georgia? Just curious. Are you just recalling what you saw on the news 10 years ago and combining that with things you've heard since?

    And why do you keep making Hitler analogies?

    No offense, but I'm not really learning anything here. I get out plenty. Thanks. I'm out right now. Waiting for like 6 friends to show up for dinner. Bye.

    My source? EU report from 2009, look it up. It clearly states that Georgia attacked and started the war. It criticised Russia for ‘provoking’ and ‘over-reacting’. But it established black on white that Georgia started the war.

    I am baffled that you would seriously consider ‘anticipation’ or similar vague nonsense a valid argument. It is not, it is nonsense that you throw around to muddy up what happened. This is an issue with Western thinking, you lost the ability to speak clearly, you think that adding colourful verbiage means something. It means nothing, it is semi-infantile to argue that a war was ’caused’ by Russia’s anticipation and provoking, instead of simply stating what happened: Georgian army attacked in the middle of the night. Try to be serious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dube
    "Georgian army attacked in the middle of the night." That is correct.
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  27. The Tagliavani report by the EU, as well as OSCE reports on what happened, (one of them attributed the Georgians as “displaying deficits concerning the operation of their weaponry”, I somehow love that phrase), as well as the fact that Georgia reannexed Adjaria and tried to repeat the Adjarian scenario in South Ossetia in 2006 (which basically explained why the South Ossetians were prepared for a quick mobilisation) all speak pretty clearly about what happened.

    Choice for Georgia: Honor the comittments (you see, South Ossetia and Abkhazia won the civil war, the loser does not get to annex the winner, heck, Abkhazia got blockaded by Russia when they broke the “peace” in the mid 90s by launching an invasion in order to exploit disorder in Georgia).

    Recognice, as the current government does, that pursuing an anti Russian foreign policy is simply a bad idea and that, in order to ever get Abkhazia and South Ossetia back, they must create situations in which becoming a part of Georgia is an attractive choice for South Ossetians and Abkhazians.

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  28. @peterAUS

    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.
     
    Well, I'd say:
    A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia was reacting – not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in “control” either, but it has the initiative and had Putin off-balance.

    What has been interesting to me is something Martyanov hinted to here:

    no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.
     
    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That....lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.

    They don't buy US/West vision anymore.
    The thing is, they don't buy Russian either.

    They just don't care.
    Maybe that's worse than fighting for either side.

    When you are, effectively, in a state of constant conflict between ...states....and most of population doesn't care, that looks as people there got their spirit crushed.

    And, oligarchies do like people with crushed spirit.
    Just a pliable mass doing what's told.

    Just a thought.

    The thing is, people gotta work.

    People work for one of these oligarchies or the other.

    When a computer scientist — 22 years old, in debt to her eyeballs but with top notch skills from hard work and study — lands a job with Lockheed Martin — HOORAY! The family back home in the mountains celebrates — first member of the clan to graduate from college, we are all so proud of you!

    Lockheed flew her to her new job site, picked her up at the airport in a limo, housed her in the company suite until she can find an apartment — WOW, dazzled. All that hard work paid off! I’m smart and LM recognizes it, rewards me for it.

    The kid ends up effectively working for Oligarch A. She didn’t CHOOSE to be part of what Priss (correctly) named the “US . . . part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire).”

    As Priss points out, a choice for Oligarch B would still make our bright young grad embarking on her career a “part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire).”

    She can’t NOT choose to be ” part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire).”

    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That….lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.

    Eventually, she will be soul-killed.

    How do you drop out of this trap?

    Not to choose is not a choice.

    ——-

    Is Iran an option? Real Men (and Women) Go to Iran, or North Korea — where Judenia/ the Sempire is resisted.

    How about China? Will Zuckerberg divorce his Chinese wife?

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    • Replies: @Sherman
    Hey Chuck

    What was that part about your parents teaching you to respect Jews?

    :)

    Sherm
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  29. WAY off topic……WTF is going on with the UNZ???

    the whole middle panel of links does not work at all until I get to the geezer article…….none of the links work when I click…….I thought it was just because of my AT&T dialup connection.

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  30. Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?
     
    Aside from the fact that their main language is most likely a local dialect, why would you need to converse in their main language necessarily? Russian works just fine.
    , @Eagle Eye
    An old quip in linguistic is that "a language is a dialect with an army." In Soviet times, Ukrainian was treated as a dialect (because it did not have its own language then.)

    At present, people in the West of the Ukraine region speak Polish dialects, those in the East speak Russian dialects, and those in between speak various dialects which are now classed as "Ukrainian."

    "Ukrainian" and Russian are closely related. The main difference seems to be that Ukrainians pronounce a Russian "G" as "H." This leads to common Russian names like Igor, Sergei and Grigoriy becoming Ihor, Serhiy and even Hrihoriy.

    Similarly, the Ukies insist that the Russian-speaking district of Lugansk is called Luhansk, and their capital is Kyiv rather than the Kiev.

    , @voice crying in the wilderness
    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian. Timoshenko speaks Russian most of the time.
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  31. Another question to the Saker who appears to be displaying that weakness of confident but unsupported assertion which too often undermines his credibility. I refer to the use of “false flag” applied to the downing of flight MH17. Where’s the evidence? What is the case? FWIW I think the most likely explanation is that it was a mistake by the Russian assisted or backed anti Kiev forces. The alternatives are all too complicated.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    Oh, our pet Martian, the Wizard wants proof that MH17 was a false-flag organised by Western intelligence and paid for by Kolomoiskii? Because you are also my pet Martian, I will ask you a question - do not you think that the whole chain of command of the Russian air-defence which (supposedly) shot-down MH17 would have been identified three years after the event? Instead, there is an attempt at this by the plausibly deniable “citizen-journalists” Bellingcat. The fact that Bellingcat are insinuating this is a mighty proof that there is no evidence that the Russians did it, because the citizen-journalism does not need the same degree of proof as an official intelligence agency assessment.

    So far the best the CIA could do is - we know that the Russians did it, but if we showed you the proof we would have to kill you (because our satellite images are so secret). But the satellite images of blowing up the Russian Metrojet over Egypt that our terrorists did were not so secret because they were proving our (rare) success.
    , @Eagle Eye

    ...the downing of flight MH17
     
    Whoever or whatever caused the MH17 disaster, the aftermath - massive anti-Russian propaganda, increase of military supplies to the Ukies, etc. - was precisely what you would expect had the original incident been a false flag. In other words, it might as well have been a false flag, whether it actually was or not.

    Going back in history, it remains unclear to this day who set the famous Reichstag fire in Germany that triggered the de facto abolition of democratic rule. Some historians not suspected of harboring National Socialist sympathies seem to take seriously the possibility that the perpetrators may have been misguided communists acting without official encouragement by the National Socialist.

    Certainly, the National Socialists - like all successful political groups - stood ready to exploit to the hilt any incident that could advance their agenda.

    Just because a dramatic incident is explored by one side does not mean it must necessarily be a false flag. Sometimes, s--t just happens.

    Conversely, a false flag should always be suspected where a dramatic incident seems too convenient to the supposedly opposing side. False flag operations have been staged by political operators since time immemorial.

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  32. Wally says: • Website
    @Beckow

    "nobody has described a path of actions Tbilisi could have taken that would have avoided the Russian response"
     
    How about, don't start shooting? Tbilisi had the option of not starting the war. You can talk about 'provocations' all day long, with that logic Hitler was 'provoked' into attacking Poland. Saakasvilli was an emotional moron who somehow came to believe that Nato will come and fight a war on his behalf against Russia. Now, who made him think that was even a possibility?

    "It was planned by the Kremlin for years"
     
    Obviously, that's what military planners do. In Russia, in Georgia, in Brussels, everywhere, that's pretty much their main job. Is that a surprise to you? If yes, you need to get out more. If no, why would you use it in a facile propaganda way here?

    ” with that logic Hitler was ‘provoked’ into attacking Poland”

    Indeed, he was / Germany was.

    You brought it up, but for starters:

    “Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to.”
    - Polish Marshal Rydz-Smigly as reported in the Daily Mail, August 6th, 1939)

    Polish war mongering in 1938

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=11335

    and:
    Polish Atrocities against Germans before 1. September 1939

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7525

    and:
    Gleiwitz

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7282

    and:
    Responsibility for WW2 – summary of the revisionist view

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7544

    and:
    Hitler’s Peace Offers Vs Unconditional Surrender

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=10192

    Cheers.

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Interesting, I wasn't aware of some of that information.

    Nevertheless my point was correct: you can assemble a lot of information that Poland behaved irresponsibly, provoked, prepared, or even thought that it was 'in a war already'. None of that changes the fact that WWII started with Sep 1 attack by Germany on Poland. Germany started the shooting, they are the ones who crossed the border, therefore they started the war. All that happened before that moment can be analysed and criticised, but it wasn't a war.

    My analogy to what Georgia did in 2008 is imperfect. In many ways what Georgia did that night by starting to bomb S Ossetia, killing over 100 civilians, and invading with its army was different. In some ways worse, in others better. E.g. S Ossetia was more of a 'disputed territory' than Danzig or Silesia, it was ethnically more complicated.

    What is dangerous about a lot of official Western thinking on the subject of Georgia (or Ukraine) is the shallowness and lying, the complete unwillingness to know the reality. See the Rico gentleman above, he simultaneously says 'I am not an expert', but also throws around serious accusations. That is what Western media has become in a nutshell: proudly ignorant advocates for their own cause. It doesn't work and it could get us all killed. Starting a war is a crime under international law - Georgia started a war in 2008 and lost. Let's admit it. (Same with Germany in WWII. If there are other circumstances, provocations, etc.. we should consider them, but still, starting a war was the ultimate crime.)
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  33. Dube says:
    @Beckow
    My source? EU report from 2009, look it up. It clearly states that Georgia attacked and started the war. It criticised Russia for 'provoking' and 'over-reacting'. But it established black on white that Georgia started the war.

    I am baffled that you would seriously consider 'anticipation' or similar vague nonsense a valid argument. It is not, it is nonsense that you throw around to muddy up what happened. This is an issue with Western thinking, you lost the ability to speak clearly, you think that adding colourful verbiage means something. It means nothing, it is semi-infantile to argue that a war was 'caused' by Russia's anticipation and provoking, instead of simply stating what happened: Georgian army attacked in the middle of the night. Try to be serious.

    “Georgian army attacked in the middle of the night.” That is correct.

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  34. Let’s hear it for the Gas Princess.

    Our Treeza can soon cut a Friendship, Trade & Gas Mutual Defence Treaty with her once we’re finally out of the EU and free to think global. And Donald’s got our back.

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  35. @Andrei Martyanov

    This is why the Russians have made a huge effort not to intervene, even if that has costs them a lot of political capital
     
    Only among "strategic thinkers" such as Girkin, Rozhin and followers of their cult--hardly a significant majority. In fact, Russia never had so much political capital in her modern history once one considers what processes have been started in 2014. Strategic ramifications of "not interfering" are already immense, in fact, global paradigm changing.

    True, Russia would liberate all of Novorussia in 24 hours or less and, yes, with Russian help the Novorussians could push the line of contact (well, at this point, the frontline) pretty much as far West as they would want to. But that would be a small victory in the context of a global political catastrophe (along with an ugly bloodbath).
     
    Larger issues here are at play. One of them is WHO will feed them? Also, the factor of a brainwashing, especially youth, and I have my own contacts, can not be ignored. It is a huge factor. Kharkov had its chance, they chose Kernes. Too bad, people need to go through the phase of living with the consequences of their decisions. I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don't blame them but it is what it is and this couldn't be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

    It is the case similar to that story that you once brought up regarding Syria of young and old bulls standing on a hill looking down for cows. No need to fiddle with one cow when one can get the whole herd with patience and right behavior.
    One man I know used to say that “через жопу до головы дойдёт”- getting hurt at backside will make things better in head. I think eventually it will get to Ukraine population as well. They seems have not got enough. Russia also should work i interests of own people to improve life of own population to the level that it becomes the envy. Then things will go easy everywhere.

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  36. @Mao Cheng Ji

    You are also right that US-West have the initiative.
     
    Is it really so? They lost in Syria, they are stuck with Kiev with no discernible game plan (far as I can tell anyway), and they're fighting various insurgencies inside their own domain. I don't see any initiative anywhere at the moment, frankly.

    Being desperate busy body, making badly thought through and ultimately failed moves time after time is not exactly sign of having initiative. In body increased activity leads to increased metabolism, which leads to need for increased food intake and what if that food is not available in necessary quantities anymore? Often doing nothing or as little as possible is the best option but the West lacks wisdom and faculties to behave in this way. Russia on the other hand.,…

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  37. @Johnny Rico
    I agree with much of what you say.

    My feeling is that The Saker is always talking about the superiority of Russian "strategy" in retrospect while speculating about the minutiae of tactical deployments.

    Americans rarely talk strategy and there is always an ongoing discussion in the higher levels of foreign policy academia and journals about what exactly the policy or strategy is or whether we even need one.

    That was the title of Kissinger's 2002 book :

    Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century

    This, however, does not mean there is no strategy.

    The United States does not care about Poland or Estonia or Crimea or Ukraine or Syria or Georgia or even whether the other NATO members spend enough money. It cares about the bigger long-term picture.

    We are not fighting insurgencies (as Mao Cheng Ji contends). That ended in Iraq in about 2010 and Afghanistan in about 2012.

    Since 1980, Russia and the Soviet Union have lost FAR more troops (especially as a proportion of total population) in combat than the United States.

    Everywhere US elite light infantry troops are stationed now they basically sit on their asses safe in bases. Occasionally they go out and call in airstrikes for local allies or conduct a raid on a "high-value target." Occasionally they die or get suicide-bombed by a local infiltrator.

    All the guys I've ever met that are in these units LIVE to do what they are doing. I even know a couple dozen guys who have been either kicked out of the military or been wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq and they still say that the best time of their lives was walking around over there with a rifle.

    They would be quite surprised by the notion that they are being forced to do what they do by the "ZioMedia" - whatever that is. This is not 1968 in Vietnam.

    Syria has no oil. Ukraine is a basket-case economy with too many people. Georgia has 4 million people. That's more than Albania and less than Massachusetts. Most Americans couldn't find the state of Georgia on a map - nevermind the country.

    Now in 2008 Russia launched an assault on Georgia that it had been planning for at least a decade after provoking what it wanted. It didn't go well technically but it went okay tactically, but because of the size mismatch it couldn't not be a success for the Russians. But it was quick because the Georgians are stupid but not that stupid. So it could be called an operational and strategic win. The United States tailored its response. But here you will always see it portrayed as some great Russian victory over a NATO-trained military and an attempted genocide of the South Ossetians. The Russians it appears used it successfully as a learning experience and got their act together militarily.

    All along the periphery of the Russian Empire/former Soviet Union the US and the Russians play games. It's a big game.

    Saker's last article was about whose propaganda is better. It's a big game. It keeps people employed in the respective defense industries.

    The latest thing I read is that the US is spending $8 Billion on a rapid response division or something in Eastern Europe. There was a Toyota ad I think for an armor brigade in Poland during the Super Bowl. Ridiculous. A single division.

    Nobody wants a war. There isn't going to be any fighting in Poland. If Russians and Ukrainians want to kill themselves over Kharkov, Americans don't care. I think the Russians and Germans fought three times over Kharkov. I guess it had a railroad track or something. Americans don't care.

    All this stuff like the coup in Ukraine, sanctions over Crimea - it's just probing moves, games. The US has Putin boxed in. He's got to scrape and claw over nothing.

    The Saker always talks about Russia having a "defensive" strategy. Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet's real estate is "owned"- where the US Empire stands now - trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker - what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.

    And Russia is still boxed in.

    I am sorry but I have to say this. How has led by Kissinger and Nixon strategy of opening China worked out? Is creating major geopolitical foe where there was none considered a sign of deep strategical long term thinking?

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  38. Kiza says:
    @Priss Factor
    To better understand what is going on, all three groups -- crooks, clowns, and nazis -- fall into the schnook category. They are being duped and used by the Globalist Empire that also controls the US. US is the Jewel in the Crown of the Globalist Empire but still a subject than a sovereign nation. It's like India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire but not a free independent nation.

    The US is part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire). The 'migrant crisis' in Europe is also the result of this power. US and EU are used to fight Wars for Israel and then burdened with taking in 'refugees' from these wars and chaos. 99% of the Russia Hysteria in the US is the result of Sempire's total grip on the mass media. And it is now moving on internet platforms to shut down alternative news. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all working with Zionist ADL that seeks to Palestinianize white Americans.

    So, even as Saker says the US no longer cares about Eastern Europe, Ukraine has been turned into a bear trap by the Sempire. The Sempire just waits for Russia to make a move and then get its paw ensnared.

    The only way this Semperial Narrative of 'Russian Aggression' can be countered is by exposing the true nature of power in the world.

    All this talk of the US, Russia, EU, Ukraine, and etc misses the point because it leaves out the discussion of the greatest power pulling the strings of all nations. Judenia or Sempire.
    It'd be like discussing a battle with no mention of air power. It'd be like discussing African wilderness without mentioning elephants. It'd be like discussing football with no mention of quarterbacks. It'd be like discussing the British Empire without mentioning the role of Anglos. I mean, how could Indian affairs be understood without acknowledging the dominant power of the Brits? And 'neocons' just won't to. It's a trick-term to conceal the ethnic character of the agenda.

    I fully agree with your explanation of the root-cause and who is TPTB as anyone sane would. But you are a little unfair to Saker because what you are discussing is not what he was discussing. You know how in every lord’s household the servants and hands met usually in the kitchen and discussed and quarrelled? Well, this Sakers discussion is from the global kitchen, not from the lord Israel’s study where the important decisions are made. Also, Saker is not afraid of being labeled anti-Semite as far as I am aware from his writing.

    Finally, I am truly happy that the regular paid Hasbara trolls at UNZ (PeterAUS, Johnny Rico etc) are starting to debate their sh** among themselves when no sensible and respectable people here want to engage them any more. Only this newbe Beckow fell for the tricks. I do skip everything those sh**-generators excrete, but I am also happy that most others have wizened up. It is true that our tax dollars are paying for the efforts of these excrement manufacturers, but nothing lasts forever and the globalists may hit a brick wall one day soon.

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  39. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Another question to the Saker who appears to be displaying that weakness of confident but unsupported assertion which too often undermines his credibility. I refer to the use of "false flag" applied to the downing of flight MH17. Where's the evidence? What is the case? FWIW I think the most likely explanation is that it was a mistake by the Russian assisted or backed anti Kiev forces. The alternatives are all too complicated.

    Oh, our pet Martian, the Wizard wants proof that MH17 was a false-flag organised by Western intelligence and paid for by Kolomoiskii? Because you are also my pet Martian, I will ask you a question – do not you think that the whole chain of command of the Russian air-defence which (supposedly) shot-down MH17 would have been identified three years after the event? Instead, there is an attempt at this by the plausibly deniable “citizen-journalists” Bellingcat. The fact that Bellingcat are insinuating this is a mighty proof that there is no evidence that the Russians did it, because the citizen-journalism does not need the same degree of proof as an official intelligence agency assessment.

    So far the best the CIA could do is – we know that the Russians did it, but if we showed you the proof we would have to kill you (because our satellite images are so secret). But the satellite images of blowing up the Russian Metrojet over Egypt that our terrorists did were not so secret because they were proving our (rare) success.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.
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  40. @Kiza
    Oh, our pet Martian, the Wizard wants proof that MH17 was a false-flag organised by Western intelligence and paid for by Kolomoiskii? Because you are also my pet Martian, I will ask you a question - do not you think that the whole chain of command of the Russian air-defence which (supposedly) shot-down MH17 would have been identified three years after the event? Instead, there is an attempt at this by the plausibly deniable “citizen-journalists” Bellingcat. The fact that Bellingcat are insinuating this is a mighty proof that there is no evidence that the Russians did it, because the citizen-journalism does not need the same degree of proof as an official intelligence agency assessment.

    So far the best the CIA could do is - we know that the Russians did it, but if we showed you the proof we would have to kill you (because our satellite images are so secret). But the satellite images of blowing up the Russian Metrojet over Egypt that our terrorists did were not so secret because they were proving our (rare) success.

    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Much could be cleared up by simply releasing the air traffic control tapes. The Americans won’t do so because the Russians know what’s on them, having acquired the black box from the rebels after the crash.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft
     
    Sounds like a solid assumption, but still - there's much more to it.

    Kiev definitely knew that the rebels had BUKs (they captured a few at a military base about a week before) . And Kiev admitted that much itself.

    A few days before MH17, Kiev's airstrike sent an apartment building crumpling to the ground Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, right around that area.

    And then they send civil aircraft right there, along their main military air force route?

    If you don't want to call it 'false flag', how about 'frame up' or 'set up'?

    , @Che Guava
    Yes, they were clearly corrupt. NATO and NATO flunkies.

    Up to you, Wiz, to do a little more reading on it.

    Resistance were never capturng a Buk unit.

    You really think, with all of the caution Russia has been showing in all of this, they will be driving one across the border and say, 'Here you are. Have fun!'

    Ukraine is also equipped with Buk.

    Flight was shadowed by two Ukraine jets.

    Russia was releasing all of their information on it.

    Ukraine even was sealing air-traffic control records.

    USA was releasing almost nothing, one satellite photo that is displaying nothing of meaning.

    Not, of course, to saying that I know, but I know which side is looking suspicious.
    , @Bill
    As far as I can tell, the evidence continues to favor the theory that Ukranian forces shot down MH-17. Is there good reason to believe that the militias had BUKs? For example, how many Ukrainian aircraft were shot down by BUKs? Most likely, it was an accident, perhaps a drunken accident as Seymour Hersh reported.
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  41. @Wizard of Oz
    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?

    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?

    Aside from the fact that their main language is most likely a local dialect, why would you need to converse in their main language necessarily? Russian works just fine.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    With what authority do you assert that Russian would have sufficed for his informing himself of the views of Ukrainiams and the information they could provide? My best Ukrainian friend has just told me that over 90 per cent of Ukrainians (I think he means those ruled from Kiev) identify as Ukrainian. That, at least means that a person of Russian background who wants them to speak frankly would do well to speak their language fluently. What dialects are you referring to that woyld be spoken by the people an inquiring journalist would seek out? Urban peasants perhaps?
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  42. Joe Hide says:

    Sealer,
    Brilliant description of current events and behind the curtains political manipulations.
    You still have it wrong about what’s actually being performed through Trump, but you’re smart enough to eventually figure out that hidden game as it unfolds.
    Again, great analysis put in colorful & mentally involving terms!

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  43. Che Guava says:
    @bob sykes
    Please explain the map legend "Occupation of RSA" with respect to Kharkiv. Who is doing the occupation, and what are their goals and allegiances?

    I would not holding my breath for a reply from the Saker to anyone here. Have never seen an example.

    RSA, of course, is meaning ‘Republic of South Africa’, they were briefly to set up a statelet there.

    More seriously, also being curious, the map is a direct lift from the English Wikipedia, or Wikimedia Commons.

    RSA is ‘regional state authority’, so the meaning of the poor map legend is ‘Occupation of regional state authority buildings [or building]‘.

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  44. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?
     
    Aside from the fact that their main language is most likely a local dialect, why would you need to converse in their main language necessarily? Russian works just fine.

    With what authority do you assert that Russian would have sufficed for his informing himself of the views of Ukrainiams and the information they could provide? My best Ukrainian friend has just told me that over 90 per cent of Ukrainians (I think he means those ruled from Kiev) identify as Ukrainian. That, at least means that a person of Russian background who wants them to speak frankly would do well to speak their language fluently. What dialects are you referring to that woyld be spoken by the people an inquiring journalist would seek out? Urban peasants perhaps?

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    My best Ukrainian friend has just told me that over 90 per cent of Ukrainians (I think he means those ruled from Kiev) identify as Ukrainian.
     
    That's silly. And irrelevant. I identify as American, but among the languages I communicate there is no "American".

    That, at least means that a person of Russian background who wants them to speak frankly would do well to speak their language fluently.
     
    Yes, and I'm saying that Russian would perfectly suffice. You were talking about their "main" language before, and that's what I objected to.

    What dialects are you referring to that would be spoken by the people an inquiring journalist would seek out?
     
    Again, that was in response to "main language". Various groups speak various dialects, as their "main" language. All I'm saying is it's not necessary to learn those to communicate with them.
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  45. @Wizard of Oz
    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

    Much could be cleared up by simply releasing the air traffic control tapes. The Americans won’t do so because the Russians know what’s on them, having acquired the black box from the rebels after the crash.

    Read More
    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Can you spell that out? Are you referring to Ukrainian air traffic control tapes? What do you say that they contain? Why do you say that they are in American hands and not disclosed? I understood that they were available to the Netherlands led inquiry and fotmed part (a minor part) of the evidence they relied on. Not so?

    And whst do you say was on the black boxes, and how would it match up with snythimg on the traffic control records? Why wouldn't the Russians disclose what they lesrned from the blsck boxes? Or are you saying that the Americans want it to be left open that Russian troops shot down the plane and the Russians don't want to confirm that it was their protegés, with a Russian weapon snd technical support, that did it?

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  46. @Wizard of Oz
    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

    resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft

    Sounds like a solid assumption, but still – there’s much more to it.

    Kiev definitely knew that the rebels had BUKs (they captured a few at a military base about a week before) . And Kiev admitted that much itself.

    A few days before MH17, Kiev’s airstrike sent an apartment building crumpling to the ground Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, right around that area.

    And then they send civil aircraft right there, along their main military air force route?

    If you don’t want to call it ‘false flag’, how about ‘frame up’ or ‘set up’?

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  47. Che Guava says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

    Yes, they were clearly corrupt. NATO and NATO flunkies.

    Up to you, Wiz, to do a little more reading on it.

    Resistance were never capturng a Buk unit.

    You really think, with all of the caution Russia has been showing in all of this, they will be driving one across the border and say, ‘Here you are. Have fun!’

    Ukraine is also equipped with Buk.

    Flight was shadowed by two Ukraine jets.

    Russia was releasing all of their information on it.

    Ukraine even was sealing air-traffic control records.

    USA was releasing almost nothing, one satellite photo that is displaying nothing of meaning.

    Not, of course, to saying that I know, but I know which side is looking suspicious.

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  48. @Wizard of Oz
    With what authority do you assert that Russian would have sufficed for his informing himself of the views of Ukrainiams and the information they could provide? My best Ukrainian friend has just told me that over 90 per cent of Ukrainians (I think he means those ruled from Kiev) identify as Ukrainian. That, at least means that a person of Russian background who wants them to speak frankly would do well to speak their language fluently. What dialects are you referring to that woyld be spoken by the people an inquiring journalist would seek out? Urban peasants perhaps?

    My best Ukrainian friend has just told me that over 90 per cent of Ukrainians (I think he means those ruled from Kiev) identify as Ukrainian.

    That’s silly. And irrelevant. I identify as American, but among the languages I communicate there is no “American”.

    That, at least means that a person of Russian background who wants them to speak frankly would do well to speak their language fluently.

    Yes, and I’m saying that Russian would perfectly suffice. You were talking about their “main” language before, and that’s what I objected to.

    What dialects are you referring to that would be spoken by the people an inquiring journalist would seek out?

    Again, that was in response to “main language”. Various groups speak various dialects, as their “main” language. All I’m saying is it’s not necessary to learn those to communicate with them.

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  49. Mr. Hack says:

    Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.).

    Like so much of this article, Mr. Saker includes just a little bit of truth to his dialogue, and then embelishes it with loads of BS. Here’s a good example. The ‘Novorussian’ fighting forces have been integrated supposedly into a ‘regular army’. Why not just be truthful and admit that the ‘Novorussian’ fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates,supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments. Everyone remotely familiar with the situation
    know that this is true, and yet trying to spin the Donbas conflict as some sort of a homegrown phenomena is funny if not outright insulting to human intelligence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    "‘Novorussian’ fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates,supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments"
     
    All soldiers today get paid, thus you can call all of them 'mercenaries'. All soldiers drink. Their ethnicities are hard to establish and generalize. Words like 'rag tag', 'yahoos', 'degenerates' mean literally nothing in this context, you just add them to make yourself feel better.

    If you take what your wrote and strip out the unnecessary poetry you might be closer to the truth: Novorussian forces are a combination of local separatists and volunteers who joined them mostly from Russia; Russia has provided most of their modern arms. Russia also acts as a backstop in case of another Kiev offensive to make sure that they cannot be defeated.

    See, I fixed it for you. Now drop the poetic abuse and tell us what can be done about it. And take into account interests of all parties and their relative strength. All people are equal, applying emotional adjectives to your enemies changes nothing.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Restoring my two comments to Mr. Hack:

    1.

    The Saker does indeed peddle a lot of BS, but you are hardly one to talk.

    1. The Chechens were briefly involved in 2014, have long since left.

    2. The vast majority of the NAF (80%) are Ukrainian citizens, as confirmed by multiple sources including a list of names leaked by your ideological comrades at the Peacekeeper website. About another 10% are Russians from the Kuban, which is ethnically and culturally close to the Donbass, while the last 10% are Russians and other adventurers from the wider world.

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov, as well as Russian logistical and artillery support.

    3. NAF volunteers are indeed probably lower than average on the socio-economic scale, but I would be exceedingly surprised if it was otherwise for the UAF and the independent batallions. Certainly the chronic drunkeness, accidents, etc. in the Ukrainian Army that are constantly being written about indicates that doesn't harvest the cream of Ukraine's crop. (And that makes sense - apart from a hard core of patriots and nationalists, any Ukrainian would pay to avoid conscription, if he has the means).

    2.

    So, even by your own admissions,up to 20% of the NAF’s forces are made up by foreigners and Russians...
     
    It was clear from the outset that the bulk of the Donbass resistance was local and I appreciate your Peacekeeper friends for helping quantify it more or less exactly. Not my admission, theirs.

    Take up any complaints about "fudging" with Anton Gerashchenko.

    It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of Ukraine’s forces are actually assembled by Eastern Ukrainians, and not the proverbial Galicians or Nazis that one often hears about.
     
    It's more the case that there are fewer shirkers amongst them. The Galicians are very loud in their nationalism, but tend to fade away into the background once the time comes for making more concrete contributions to the cause.

    https://cs5.pikabu.ru/post_img/2015/02/05/8/1423140234_204693493.jpg
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  50. @Beefcake the Mighty
    Much could be cleared up by simply releasing the air traffic control tapes. The Americans won’t do so because the Russians know what’s on them, having acquired the black box from the rebels after the crash.

    Can you spell that out? Are you referring to Ukrainian air traffic control tapes? What do you say that they contain? Why do you say that they are in American hands and not disclosed? I understood that they were available to the Netherlands led inquiry and fotmed part (a minor part) of the evidence they relied on. Not so?

    And whst do you say was on the black boxes, and how would it match up with snythimg on the traffic control records? Why wouldn’t the Russians disclose what they lesrned from the blsck boxes? Or are you saying that the Americans want it to be left open that Russian troops shot down the plane and the Russians don’t want to confirm that it was their protegés, with a Russian weapon snd technical support, that did it?

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  51. Beckow says:
    @Wally
    " with that logic Hitler was ‘provoked’ into attacking Poland"

    Indeed, he was / Germany was.

    You brought it up, but for starters:


    "Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to."
    - Polish Marshal Rydz-Smigly as reported in the Daily Mail, August 6th, 1939)
     
    Polish war mongering in 1938
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=11335
    and:
    Polish Atrocities against Germans before 1. September 1939
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7525
    and:
    Gleiwitz
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7282
    and:
    Responsibility for WW2 - summary of the revisionist view
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7544
    and:
    Hitler's Peace Offers Vs Unconditional Surrender
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=10192

    Cheers.

    Interesting, I wasn’t aware of some of that information.

    Nevertheless my point was correct: you can assemble a lot of information that Poland behaved irresponsibly, provoked, prepared, or even thought that it was ‘in a war already’. None of that changes the fact that WWII started with Sep 1 attack by Germany on Poland. Germany started the shooting, they are the ones who crossed the border, therefore they started the war. All that happened before that moment can be analysed and criticised, but it wasn’t a war.

    My analogy to what Georgia did in 2008 is imperfect. In many ways what Georgia did that night by starting to bomb S Ossetia, killing over 100 civilians, and invading with its army was different. In some ways worse, in others better. E.g. S Ossetia was more of a ‘disputed territory’ than Danzig or Silesia, it was ethnically more complicated.

    What is dangerous about a lot of official Western thinking on the subject of Georgia (or Ukraine) is the shallowness and lying, the complete unwillingness to know the reality. See the Rico gentleman above, he simultaneously says ‘I am not an expert’, but also throws around serious accusations. That is what Western media has become in a nutshell: proudly ignorant advocates for their own cause. It doesn’t work and it could get us all killed. Starting a war is a crime under international law – Georgia started a war in 2008 and lost. Let’s admit it. (Same with Germany in WWII. If there are other circumstances, provocations, etc.. we should consider them, but still, starting a war was the ultimate crime.)

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  52. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.).
     
    Like so much of this article, Mr. Saker includes just a little bit of truth to his dialogue, and then embelishes it with loads of BS. Here's a good example. The 'Novorussian' fighting forces have been integrated supposedly into a 'regular army'. Why not just be truthful and admit that the 'Novorussian' fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates,supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments. Everyone remotely familiar with the situation
    know that this is true, and yet trying to spin the Donbas conflict as some sort of a homegrown phenomena is funny if not outright insulting to human intelligence.

    “‘Novorussian’ fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates,supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments”

    All soldiers today get paid, thus you can call all of them ‘mercenaries’. All soldiers drink. Their ethnicities are hard to establish and generalize. Words like ‘rag tag’, ‘yahoos’, ‘degenerates’ mean literally nothing in this context, you just add them to make yourself feel better.

    If you take what your wrote and strip out the unnecessary poetry you might be closer to the truth: Novorussian forces are a combination of local separatists and volunteers who joined them mostly from Russia; Russia has provided most of their modern arms. Russia also acts as a backstop in case of another Kiev offensive to make sure that they cannot be defeated.

    See, I fixed it for you. Now drop the poetic abuse and tell us what can be done about it. And take into account interests of all parties and their relative strength. All people are equal, applying emotional adjectives to your enemies changes nothing.

    Read More
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  53. Sherman says:
    @SolontoCroesus
    The thing is, people gotta work.

    People work for one of these oligarchies or the other.

    When a computer scientist -- 22 years old, in debt to her eyeballs but with top notch skills from hard work and study -- lands a job with Lockheed Martin -- HOORAY! The family back home in the mountains celebrates -- first member of the clan to graduate from college, we are all so proud of you!

    Lockheed flew her to her new job site, picked her up at the airport in a limo, housed her in the company suite until she can find an apartment -- WOW, dazzled. All that hard work paid off! I'm smart and LM recognizes it, rewards me for it.

    The kid ends up effectively working for Oligarch A. She didn't CHOOSE to be part of what Priss (correctly) named the "US . . . part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."

    As Priss points out, a choice for Oligarch B would still make our bright young grad embarking on her career a "part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."

    She can't NOT choose to be " part of a world empire that might be called Judenia or Sempire(Semitic Empire)."


    My take is that people there, based on a long experience, simply recognize that they are caught between two oligarchies, and unwilling to choose between them.
    That….lethargy (for a lack of better word) is interesting.
     
    Eventually, she will be soul-killed.

    How do you drop out of this trap?

    Not to choose is not a choice.

    -------

    Is Iran an option? Real Men (and Women) Go to Iran, or North Korea -- where Judenia/ the Sempire is resisted.

    How about China? Will Zuckerberg divorce his Chinese wife?

    Hey Chuck

    What was that part about your parents teaching you to respect Jews?

    :)

    Sherm

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  54. Eagle Eye says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?

    An old quip in linguistic is that “a language is a dialect with an army.” In Soviet times, Ukrainian was treated as a dialect (because it did not have its own language then.)

    At present, people in the West of the Ukraine region speak Polish dialects, those in the East speak Russian dialects, and those in between speak various dialects which are now classed as “Ukrainian.”

    “Ukrainian” and Russian are closely related. The main difference seems to be that Ukrainians pronounce a Russian “G” as “H.” This leads to common Russian names like Igor, Sergei and Grigoriy becoming Ihor, Serhiy and even Hrihoriy.

    Similarly, the Ukies insist that the Russian-speaking district of Lugansk is called Luhansk, and their capital is Kyiv rather than the Kiev.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Thanks. BTW - since I take you to know somethiñg of these things - what is the significance of part of Ukraine being Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My understanding is that there were lots of good Christian young men (probably Ukrainian Catholic) who joined the Waffen SS towards the end of WW2 (and even had priests in the division, unknown to Himmler, simply because they hoped to join up with the Western allies and march on Moscow when the Germans lost.... I suspect some of the throwing round of "Nazi" today is rather out of context.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    An old quip in linguistic is that “a language is a dialect with an army.”
     
    Yeah, and that's fine. I love Ukrainian dialects, they're incredibly cute. However, one thing y'all are missing about the current official 'Ukrainian language' is that it's no one's dialect. It's an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That's common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/
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  55. Eagle Eye says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Another question to the Saker who appears to be displaying that weakness of confident but unsupported assertion which too often undermines his credibility. I refer to the use of "false flag" applied to the downing of flight MH17. Where's the evidence? What is the case? FWIW I think the most likely explanation is that it was a mistake by the Russian assisted or backed anti Kiev forces. The alternatives are all too complicated.

    …the downing of flight MH17

    Whoever or whatever caused the MH17 disaster, the aftermath – massive anti-Russian propaganda, increase of military supplies to the Ukies, etc. – was precisely what you would expect had the original incident been a false flag. In other words, it might as well have been a false flag, whether it actually was or not.

    Going back in history, it remains unclear to this day who set the famous Reichstag fire in Germany that triggered the de facto abolition of democratic rule. Some historians not suspected of harboring National Socialist sympathies seem to take seriously the possibility that the perpetrators may have been misguided communists acting without official encouragement by the National Socialist.

    Certainly, the National Socialists – like all successful political groups – stood ready to exploit to the hilt any incident that could advance their agenda.

    Just because a dramatic incident is explored by one side does not mean it must necessarily be a false flag. Sometimes, s–t just happens.

    Conversely, a false flag should always be suspected where a dramatic incident seems too convenient to the supposedly opposing side. False flag operations have been staged by political operators since time immemorial.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Well that's balanced reasoning in contrast to the usual certainties on these threads!

    But I think you are wrong about the "increase of military supplies to the Ukies" if you are implying that should count for much in the reasoning becaise it is my understanding that restraint on supplying Ukraine with serious weaponry has been practised - and criticised.
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  56. @Mr. Hack

    Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.).
     
    Like so much of this article, Mr. Saker includes just a little bit of truth to his dialogue, and then embelishes it with loads of BS. Here's a good example. The 'Novorussian' fighting forces have been integrated supposedly into a 'regular army'. Why not just be truthful and admit that the 'Novorussian' fighting forces have from the very beginning just been a rag tag collection of Chechen and Russian mercenaries,with a few local alcoholic yahoos, all directed by imported Russian degenerates,supported all along with Russian national troops and armaments. Everyone remotely familiar with the situation
    know that this is true, and yet trying to spin the Donbas conflict as some sort of a homegrown phenomena is funny if not outright insulting to human intelligence.

    Restoring my two comments to Mr. Hack:

    1.

    The Saker does indeed peddle a lot of BS, but you are hardly one to talk.

    1. The Chechens were briefly involved in 2014, have long since left.

    2. The vast majority of the NAF (80%) are Ukrainian citizens, as confirmed by multiple sources including a list of names leaked by your ideological comrades at the Peacekeeper website. About another 10% are Russians from the Kuban, which is ethnically and culturally close to the Donbass, while the last 10% are Russians and other adventurers from the wider world.

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov, as well as Russian logistical and artillery support.

    3. NAF volunteers are indeed probably lower than average on the socio-economic scale, but I would be exceedingly surprised if it was otherwise for the UAF and the independent batallions. Certainly the chronic drunkeness, accidents, etc. in the Ukrainian Army that are constantly being written about indicates that doesn’t harvest the cream of Ukraine’s crop. (And that makes sense – apart from a hard core of patriots and nationalists, any Ukrainian would pay to avoid conscription, if he has the means).

    2.

    So, even by your own admissions,up to 20% of the NAF’s forces are made up by foreigners and Russians…

    It was clear from the outset that the bulk of the Donbass resistance was local and I appreciate your Peacekeeper friends for helping quantify it more or less exactly. Not my admission, theirs.

    Take up any complaints about “fudging” with Anton Gerashchenko.

    It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of Ukraine’s forces are actually assembled by Eastern Ukrainians, and not the proverbial Galicians or Nazis that one often hears about.

    It’s more the case that there are fewer shirkers amongst them. The Galicians are very loud in their nationalism, but tend to fade away into the background once the time comes for making more concrete contributions to the cause.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Russian volunteers like Strelkov
     
    LOL. Anatoly, in this case I have to ask you--and in what sense are you better than Saker?

    as well as Russian logistical and artillery support
     
    Only that?
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  57. Here’s my disappeared WSJ picture again:

    See how the MH17 flight (and other flights, no doubt) is directed towards Snizhne?

    That’s the same Snizhne where 3 days before the crash Kiev’s military jet destroyed a perfectly civilian apartment building, murdering 11 perfectly civilian people, causing tremendous outrage among the rebels: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/airstrike-demolishes-apartment-block-in-ukraine-killing-11-1.1914458

    And here, again, the WSJ piece acknowledging that Kiev’s authorities knew about BUKs in rebels’ hands: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10025263801

    Looking at these facts, I don’t think any reasonable person can have any doubt whatsoever that sending MH17 onto that course was a deliberate provocation, a planned scenario.

    Now, whether the rebels shot it down (which seems likely), or whether they didn’t and a Kiev’s BUK had to do it, I have no knowledge of that.

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    • Replies: @Johnny Rico

    Looking at these facts, I don’t think any reasonable person can have any doubt whatsoever
     
    Yeah. Of course. If you are using that line, then you must be 100% correct above everything you say ;)

    Those are the ONLY FACTS there are, right?
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  58. Pavel says:

    From the very first lines with all these “ukronazis”, “junta” and “Novorossia” it’s clear that the author is extremely pro-Russian biased and it weakens his article significantly. It makes it no different from Russian official position on the invasion, occupation and annexation of parts of the sovereign nation – annexation without any territorial claims or even voiced concerns prior to sending the troops. Invasion which was nothing but a cowardly, unprovoked attack on supposedly brotherly nation.

    During the invasion, Putin said he did not know “who it was”… only to admit on Russian TV, in a documentary about annexation presented, proudly, to the world, that it were his soldiers, acting on his orders, in uniforms without insignia.

    The bottom line is this – Putin did not like Ukraine’s pro-West trend and used Ukraine’s domestic political conflict of early 2014 to simply rob Ukraine of part of her territory, specifically, Crimea, which even former president Yanukovich always wanted to remain as part of Ukraine – he publicly said so at his last press conference from Russia, which actually became his last public press conference exactly because of his position on Crimea.

    There is no such thing as “Novorossia”. Small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (oblast) of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian mercenaries and regular troop. These parts are much smaller than we see on the map on top of this article. What the Russians wanted to become part of Russia you see marked as “pro-Russian protests” regions on the map, the protests carefully arranged for by FSB (yes, it has been proven, same groups of Russians were bused in to “protest”) but actually dissolved by the people of Ukraine, regular citizens who are nothing much but patriots of their Motherland – Ukraine.

    Russia could not possibly do anything, except annexing Crimea, and for one reason and only – population of Crimea, predominantly Russian ethnically and culturally, all of them of course Russian speaking and a very large number of them Russian ex-military allowed to stay with their families in Crimea, – supported the annexation. Only two other areas within Luhansk and Donetsk regions remain under the control of Russian invaders now, and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which – thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    What Russia holds now is small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Russia, add here predominantly ethically and culturally Russian Crimea. Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won’t be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won’t even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Putin knows that any move against Ukraine now would be met with resistance resulting in dozens of thousands dead bodies of invader soldiers, with or without insignia, coming back to Russia from Ukrainian war, not to mention guerrilla war which would be taken inside Russia, too. Putin knows that his popularity inside Russia would plunge and disappear if it happens. Russians in modern times like to win without casualties, and no attack on Ukraine can be without mass casualties.

    Ukrainian politics… Politics of alive nations, dynamic and developing nations, are always messy. Sure Ukraine has domestic problems, like many others, for better or worse, but what the author, just like his Russian compatriots, cannot understand is that their “concern” about Ukraine is pathetic. They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good – Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of “I love you, please get back!’ and “I will kill you now!..” Pathetic, to say the least.

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

    ... thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.
     
    Yes, a popular svidomy fairytale. Here is a map of the Malorossiyan percentage of the population in the guberniyas of what is today Ukraine:

    http://i.imgur.com/SiBBxix.png

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.

    Here is how Bolsheviks (rabid haters of so-called Great Russian chauvinism) viewed the Donbass in 1921 - as the "heart of Russia."

    http://www.rossiyanavsegda.ru/uploads/other/2014/05/03/donbass_-_serdtse_rossii1.jpg
    , @Cyrano

    They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife
     
    I have a better analogy. Russia might be a jealous husband, but Ukraine is a stupid ho, whose escapades threaten to ruin the poor husband.
    , @peterAUS
    You appear to know a bit about the place and, surprisingly enough here, on the Kiev side.
    So, while you are still around (before being chased away by the resident..... horde of Rusophiles) could you please give us a bit more insight into Ukrainian military?
    Just from your perspective.
    Any progress made since Maidan?
    Organization, recruitment, TRAINING, LEADERSHIP.
    You could skip weapons and equipment if you wish.
    Or if you could point to a more or less realistic/less patriotic/less propagandist Website where one can take a look?
    , @Wally
    said:
    "Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won’t be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won’t even be a close friend. Smart politics?.. "

    Russia is not interested in any of that. The have the Crimea and the Russians in that region, and that's all they wanted ... the Crimea will remain Russian.

    The last thing they want is the need to support the pathetic Ukrainian basket case.

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  59. @Pavel
    From the very first lines with all these "ukronazis", "junta" and "Novorossia" it's clear that the author is extremely pro-Russian biased and it weakens his article significantly. It makes it no different from Russian official position on the invasion, occupation and annexation of parts of the sovereign nation - annexation without any territorial claims or even voiced concerns prior to sending the troops. Invasion which was nothing but a cowardly, unprovoked attack on supposedly brotherly nation.

    During the invasion, Putin said he did not know "who it was"... only to admit on Russian TV, in a documentary about annexation presented, proudly, to the world, that it were his soldiers, acting on his orders, in uniforms without insignia.

    The bottom line is this - Putin did not like Ukraine's pro-West trend and used Ukraine's domestic political conflict of early 2014 to simply rob Ukraine of part of her territory, specifically, Crimea, which even former president Yanukovich always wanted to remain as part of Ukraine - he publicly said so at his last press conference from Russia, which actually became his last public press conference exactly because of his position on Crimea.

    There is no such thing as "Novorossia". Small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (oblast) of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian mercenaries and regular troop. These parts are much smaller than we see on the map on top of this article. What the Russians wanted to become part of Russia you see marked as "pro-Russian protests" regions on the map, the protests carefully arranged for by FSB (yes, it has been proven, same groups of Russians were bused in to "protest") but actually dissolved by the people of Ukraine, regular citizens who are nothing much but patriots of their Motherland - Ukraine.

    Russia could not possibly do anything, except annexing Crimea, and for one reason and only - population of Crimea, predominantly Russian ethnically and culturally, all of them of course Russian speaking and a very large number of them Russian ex-military allowed to stay with their families in Crimea, - supported the annexation. Only two other areas within Luhansk and Donetsk regions remain under the control of Russian invaders now, and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which - thanks to Stalin's population replacement policy - were intentionally and deliberately "russified", populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    What Russia holds now is small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Russia, add here predominantly ethically and culturally Russian Crimea. Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won't be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won't even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Putin knows that any move against Ukraine now would be met with resistance resulting in dozens of thousands dead bodies of invader soldiers, with or without insignia, coming back to Russia from Ukrainian war, not to mention guerrilla war which would be taken inside Russia, too. Putin knows that his popularity inside Russia would plunge and disappear if it happens. Russians in modern times like to win without casualties, and no attack on Ukraine can be without mass casualties.

    Ukrainian politics... Politics of alive nations, dynamic and developing nations, are always messy. Sure Ukraine has domestic problems, like many others, for better or worse, but what the author, just like his Russian compatriots, cannot understand is that their "concern" about Ukraine is pathetic. They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good - Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of "I love you, please get back!' and "I will kill you now!.." Pathetic, to say the least.

    … thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    Yes, a popular svidomy fairytale. Here is a map of the Malorossiyan percentage of the population in the guberniyas of what is today Ukraine:

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.

    Here is how Bolsheviks (rabid haters of so-called Great Russian chauvinism) viewed the Donbass in 1921 – as the “heart of Russia.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of 'NovoRosija' were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.

    By the way, the 'Novorosija' land (gubernia) lasted for roughly 25 years (1764-1783, 1796-1802). Apparently the name itself was not all that important, and the land area was enlarged and subdivided into 3 separate gubernias. It's ironic that Russian nationalists had to pull the name out of the dustbin of history and try to reanimate it in 2014. Modern history shows us just how popular the 'NovoRosija' experiment was among the majority population of Ukrainians in these southern Ukrainian lands, all except the Crimea and the furthest wisp of borderland in far eastern Donbas.

    , @AP

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.
     
    Today is 26 years after independence. 1989 would be more relevant.

    Well, Kherson guberniya in 1897 (which included the city of Odessa, but not the area south of Odessa city that is currently part of Odessa oblast) was 53.5% Ukrainian, 21% Russian, 11.8% Jewish, 5.4% Romanian and 4.5% German.

    I don't think Lenin got rid of the Jews, and the elimination of the Romanians and Germans was probably not part of some sort of Ukrainian nation-building project.

    In 1990 Odessa oblast was 27% Russian (today it is about 21% Russian).. Couldn't find data for the other parts of Kherson governate.

    But:

    Here is demographic data for Ukrainian SSR as a whole

    In 1926, the Ukrainian SSR was 80% Ukrainian and only 9% Russian. In 1989 it was 73% Ukrainian and 22% Russian, despite the annexation of western Ukraine.

    From 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%.

    So Ukrainians were killed, Russians were settled in.
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  60. Mr. Hack says:

    Ukraine won’t be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won’t even be a close friend. Smart politics?…Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good – Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of “I love you, please get back!’ and “I will kill you now!..” Pathetic, to say the least.

    Good comment. I totally agree with you.

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  61. Cyrano says:
    @Pavel
    From the very first lines with all these "ukronazis", "junta" and "Novorossia" it's clear that the author is extremely pro-Russian biased and it weakens his article significantly. It makes it no different from Russian official position on the invasion, occupation and annexation of parts of the sovereign nation - annexation without any territorial claims or even voiced concerns prior to sending the troops. Invasion which was nothing but a cowardly, unprovoked attack on supposedly brotherly nation.

    During the invasion, Putin said he did not know "who it was"... only to admit on Russian TV, in a documentary about annexation presented, proudly, to the world, that it were his soldiers, acting on his orders, in uniforms without insignia.

    The bottom line is this - Putin did not like Ukraine's pro-West trend and used Ukraine's domestic political conflict of early 2014 to simply rob Ukraine of part of her territory, specifically, Crimea, which even former president Yanukovich always wanted to remain as part of Ukraine - he publicly said so at his last press conference from Russia, which actually became his last public press conference exactly because of his position on Crimea.

    There is no such thing as "Novorossia". Small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (oblast) of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian mercenaries and regular troop. These parts are much smaller than we see on the map on top of this article. What the Russians wanted to become part of Russia you see marked as "pro-Russian protests" regions on the map, the protests carefully arranged for by FSB (yes, it has been proven, same groups of Russians were bused in to "protest") but actually dissolved by the people of Ukraine, regular citizens who are nothing much but patriots of their Motherland - Ukraine.

    Russia could not possibly do anything, except annexing Crimea, and for one reason and only - population of Crimea, predominantly Russian ethnically and culturally, all of them of course Russian speaking and a very large number of them Russian ex-military allowed to stay with their families in Crimea, - supported the annexation. Only two other areas within Luhansk and Donetsk regions remain under the control of Russian invaders now, and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which - thanks to Stalin's population replacement policy - were intentionally and deliberately "russified", populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    What Russia holds now is small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Russia, add here predominantly ethically and culturally Russian Crimea. Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won't be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won't even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Putin knows that any move against Ukraine now would be met with resistance resulting in dozens of thousands dead bodies of invader soldiers, with or without insignia, coming back to Russia from Ukrainian war, not to mention guerrilla war which would be taken inside Russia, too. Putin knows that his popularity inside Russia would plunge and disappear if it happens. Russians in modern times like to win without casualties, and no attack on Ukraine can be without mass casualties.

    Ukrainian politics... Politics of alive nations, dynamic and developing nations, are always messy. Sure Ukraine has domestic problems, like many others, for better or worse, but what the author, just like his Russian compatriots, cannot understand is that their "concern" about Ukraine is pathetic. They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good - Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of "I love you, please get back!' and "I will kill you now!.." Pathetic, to say the least.

    They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife

    I have a better analogy. Russia might be a jealous husband, but Ukraine is a stupid ho, whose escapades threaten to ruin the poor husband.

    Read More
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  62. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.
     
    Yes, a popular svidomy fairytale. Here is a map of the Malorossiyan percentage of the population in the guberniyas of what is today Ukraine:

    http://i.imgur.com/SiBBxix.png

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.

    Here is how Bolsheviks (rabid haters of so-called Great Russian chauvinism) viewed the Donbass in 1921 - as the "heart of Russia."

    http://www.rossiyanavsegda.ru/uploads/other/2014/05/03/donbass_-_serdtse_rossii1.jpg

    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of ‘NovoRosija’ were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.

    By the way, the ‘Novorosija’ land (gubernia) lasted for roughly 25 years (1764-1783, 1796-1802). Apparently the name itself was not all that important, and the land area was enlarged and subdivided into 3 separate gubernias. It’s ironic that Russian nationalists had to pull the name out of the dustbin of history and try to reanimate it in 2014. Modern history shows us just how popular the ‘NovoRosija’ experiment was among the majority population of Ukrainians in these southern Ukrainian lands, all except the Crimea and the furthest wisp of borderland in far eastern Donbas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel
    Hi Mr Hack,

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Regards,
    Mikel
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of ‘NovoRosija’ were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.
     
    Yes, exactly. In 1897 (i.e. before Stalin) and today (i.e. after Stalin).

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.
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  63. @Eagle Eye

    ...the downing of flight MH17
     
    Whoever or whatever caused the MH17 disaster, the aftermath - massive anti-Russian propaganda, increase of military supplies to the Ukies, etc. - was precisely what you would expect had the original incident been a false flag. In other words, it might as well have been a false flag, whether it actually was or not.

    Going back in history, it remains unclear to this day who set the famous Reichstag fire in Germany that triggered the de facto abolition of democratic rule. Some historians not suspected of harboring National Socialist sympathies seem to take seriously the possibility that the perpetrators may have been misguided communists acting without official encouragement by the National Socialist.

    Certainly, the National Socialists - like all successful political groups - stood ready to exploit to the hilt any incident that could advance their agenda.

    Just because a dramatic incident is explored by one side does not mean it must necessarily be a false flag. Sometimes, s--t just happens.

    Conversely, a false flag should always be suspected where a dramatic incident seems too convenient to the supposedly opposing side. False flag operations have been staged by political operators since time immemorial.

    Well that’s balanced reasoning in contrast to the usual certainties on these threads!

    But I think you are wrong about the “increase of military supplies to the Ukies” if you are implying that should count for much in the reasoning becaise it is my understanding that restraint on supplying Ukraine with serious weaponry has been practised – and criticised.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
    Yes, some actual constraints appear to have been in operation.

    There was certainly a lot of media TALK about providing more sophisticated weaponry to "defend" the Ukies, disturbingly referred to as our Ukrainian "allies." One would assume that a lot of armaments before and after MH17 were provided surreptitiously.

    Hillary all but threatened a hot war with Russia during the election campaign. Her motivation is puzzling given her personal background in doing deals with Russia. To look tough? To satisfy McCainist bloodlust? Alinskyite misdirection? Yet another Clinton kickback deal?

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  64. @Eagle Eye
    An old quip in linguistic is that "a language is a dialect with an army." In Soviet times, Ukrainian was treated as a dialect (because it did not have its own language then.)

    At present, people in the West of the Ukraine region speak Polish dialects, those in the East speak Russian dialects, and those in between speak various dialects which are now classed as "Ukrainian."

    "Ukrainian" and Russian are closely related. The main difference seems to be that Ukrainians pronounce a Russian "G" as "H." This leads to common Russian names like Igor, Sergei and Grigoriy becoming Ihor, Serhiy and even Hrihoriy.

    Similarly, the Ukies insist that the Russian-speaking district of Lugansk is called Luhansk, and their capital is Kyiv rather than the Kiev.

    Thanks. BTW – since I take you to know somethiñg of these things – what is the significance of part of Ukraine being Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My understanding is that there were lots of good Christian young men (probably Ukrainian Catholic) who joined the Waffen SS towards the end of WW2 (and even had priests in the division, unknown to Himmler, simply because they hoped to join up with the Western allies and march on Moscow when the Germans lost…. I suspect some of the throwing round of “Nazi” today is rather out of context.

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  65. Mikel says:
    @Mr. Hack
    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of 'NovoRosija' were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.

    By the way, the 'Novorosija' land (gubernia) lasted for roughly 25 years (1764-1783, 1796-1802). Apparently the name itself was not all that important, and the land area was enlarged and subdivided into 3 separate gubernias. It's ironic that Russian nationalists had to pull the name out of the dustbin of history and try to reanimate it in 2014. Modern history shows us just how popular the 'NovoRosija' experiment was among the majority population of Ukrainians in these southern Ukrainian lands, all except the Crimea and the furthest wisp of borderland in far eastern Donbas.

    Hi Mr Hack,

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Regards,
    Mikel

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Maybe I could try.

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?
     
    Regrettable collateral damage.
    As a lot of French/Dutch civilians killed by Allied effort against Nazi Germany.

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.
     
    Disagree.
    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects. Also, there was a case of, as with any young army, incompetence of handling artillery.
    We regret those casualties. And it wasn't carnage, just an expected number where civilians are caught in combat zone.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?
     
    We see Ukraine as one country. We regret any civilian loss of life. Civilians would be advised to LEAVE combat zone. The combat zone is all of Donbas unfortunately.

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?
     
    Our goal is a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine.
    We deeply regret all loss of life and property.
    We believe that so-called leadership of Donbass. should lie down their arms.....

    Not bad a?

    , @Mr. Hack
    Your feeble attempt to try and run some sort of interference for Karlin is really quite pathetic. I was commenting about Karlin's map, that shows that historically, the 'NovoRosija' gubernia was predominantly made up of Ukrainians, not Russians. Come back when you're better prepared for an adult discussion.
    , @AP

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)
     
    Every civilian death is a tragedy. Ukraine is not operating with precision weapons and highly trained forces, against an enemy that has embedded itself in highly settled areas. This situation is similar to the one Russia encountered in Chechnya (Ukrainian military was probably not unlike the Yeltsin-era Russian military, even further degraded), or Syria in its country.

    The civilian death toll in Donbas is estimated at around 3,000.

    Estimates of civilian casualties in Chechnya (which has fewer people than Donbas) range wildly from 50,000 to 250,000.

    The Syrian civilian death toll is estimated at about 98,000.

    So Kiev has acted much less inhumanely towards civilians than have Russia or the various sides in Syria, though in a way that probably* not in accordance with modern Western European norms. It is somewhere between these two.

    *Of course, no western European country has recently had a situation such as Kiev has in Donbas. Scots and Catalonians are nonviolent. IRA never seized and embedded its forces in civilian areas within large parts of northern Ireland. OTOH Croats killed more Serbs in the 90s than Ukrainians killed in Donbas, and Croatia is in the EU.
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  66. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Here's my disappeared WSJ picture again:
    http://graphics.wsj.com/mh17-crash-map/img/villagemap-mobile.jpg

    See how the MH17 flight (and other flights, no doubt) is directed towards Snizhne?

    That's the same Snizhne where 3 days before the crash Kiev's military jet destroyed a perfectly civilian apartment building, murdering 11 perfectly civilian people, causing tremendous outrage among the rebels: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/airstrike-demolishes-apartment-block-in-ukraine-killing-11-1.1914458

    And here, again, the WSJ piece acknowledging that Kiev's authorities knew about BUKs in rebels' hands: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10025263801

    Looking at these facts, I don't think any reasonable person can have any doubt whatsoever that sending MH17 onto that course was a deliberate provocation, a planned scenario.

    Now, whether the rebels shot it down (which seems likely), or whether they didn't and a Kiev's BUK had to do it, I have no knowledge of that.

    Looking at these facts, I don’t think any reasonable person can have any doubt whatsoever

    Yeah. Of course. If you are using that line, then you must be 100% correct above everything you say ;)

    Those are the ONLY FACTS there are, right?

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  67. peterAUS says:
    @Pavel
    From the very first lines with all these "ukronazis", "junta" and "Novorossia" it's clear that the author is extremely pro-Russian biased and it weakens his article significantly. It makes it no different from Russian official position on the invasion, occupation and annexation of parts of the sovereign nation - annexation without any territorial claims or even voiced concerns prior to sending the troops. Invasion which was nothing but a cowardly, unprovoked attack on supposedly brotherly nation.

    During the invasion, Putin said he did not know "who it was"... only to admit on Russian TV, in a documentary about annexation presented, proudly, to the world, that it were his soldiers, acting on his orders, in uniforms without insignia.

    The bottom line is this - Putin did not like Ukraine's pro-West trend and used Ukraine's domestic political conflict of early 2014 to simply rob Ukraine of part of her territory, specifically, Crimea, which even former president Yanukovich always wanted to remain as part of Ukraine - he publicly said so at his last press conference from Russia, which actually became his last public press conference exactly because of his position on Crimea.

    There is no such thing as "Novorossia". Small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (oblast) of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian mercenaries and regular troop. These parts are much smaller than we see on the map on top of this article. What the Russians wanted to become part of Russia you see marked as "pro-Russian protests" regions on the map, the protests carefully arranged for by FSB (yes, it has been proven, same groups of Russians were bused in to "protest") but actually dissolved by the people of Ukraine, regular citizens who are nothing much but patriots of their Motherland - Ukraine.

    Russia could not possibly do anything, except annexing Crimea, and for one reason and only - population of Crimea, predominantly Russian ethnically and culturally, all of them of course Russian speaking and a very large number of them Russian ex-military allowed to stay with their families in Crimea, - supported the annexation. Only two other areas within Luhansk and Donetsk regions remain under the control of Russian invaders now, and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which - thanks to Stalin's population replacement policy - were intentionally and deliberately "russified", populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    What Russia holds now is small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Russia, add here predominantly ethically and culturally Russian Crimea. Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won't be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won't even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Putin knows that any move against Ukraine now would be met with resistance resulting in dozens of thousands dead bodies of invader soldiers, with or without insignia, coming back to Russia from Ukrainian war, not to mention guerrilla war which would be taken inside Russia, too. Putin knows that his popularity inside Russia would plunge and disappear if it happens. Russians in modern times like to win without casualties, and no attack on Ukraine can be without mass casualties.

    Ukrainian politics... Politics of alive nations, dynamic and developing nations, are always messy. Sure Ukraine has domestic problems, like many others, for better or worse, but what the author, just like his Russian compatriots, cannot understand is that their "concern" about Ukraine is pathetic. They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good - Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of "I love you, please get back!' and "I will kill you now!.." Pathetic, to say the least.

    You appear to know a bit about the place and, surprisingly enough here, on the Kiev side.
    So, while you are still around (before being chased away by the resident….. horde of Rusophiles) could you please give us a bit more insight into Ukrainian military?
    Just from your perspective.
    Any progress made since Maidan?
    Organization, recruitment, TRAINING, LEADERSHIP.
    You could skip weapons and equipment if you wish.
    Or if you could point to a more or less realistic/less patriotic/less propagandist Website where one can take a look?

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  68. peterAUS says:
    @Mikel
    Hi Mr Hack,

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Regards,
    Mikel

    Maybe I could try.

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Regrettable collateral damage.
    As a lot of French/Dutch civilians killed by Allied effort against Nazi Germany.

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Disagree.
    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects. Also, there was a case of, as with any young army, incompetence of handling artillery.
    We regret those casualties. And it wasn’t carnage, just an expected number where civilians are caught in combat zone.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    We see Ukraine as one country. We regret any civilian loss of life. Civilians would be advised to LEAVE combat zone. The combat zone is all of Donbas unfortunately.

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Our goal is a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine.
    We deeply regret all loss of life and property.
    We believe that so-called leadership of Donbass. should lie down their arms…..

    Not bad a?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel

    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects.
     
    No. Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse. And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn't actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern "Katsaps".
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  69. Mikel says:
    @peterAUS
    Maybe I could try.

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?
     
    Regrettable collateral damage.
    As a lot of French/Dutch civilians killed by Allied effort against Nazi Germany.

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.
     
    Disagree.
    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects. Also, there was a case of, as with any young army, incompetence of handling artillery.
    We regret those casualties. And it wasn't carnage, just an expected number where civilians are caught in combat zone.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?
     
    We see Ukraine as one country. We regret any civilian loss of life. Civilians would be advised to LEAVE combat zone. The combat zone is all of Donbas unfortunately.

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?
     
    Our goal is a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine.
    We deeply regret all loss of life and property.
    We believe that so-called leadership of Donbass. should lie down their arms.....

    Not bad a?

    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects.

    No. Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse. And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn’t actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern “Katsaps”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    I see that you didn't get my point.

    A couple of things regarding war, if you please.

    War is about killing people. Modern war is about ripping human beings into shreds, burning them etc. in terrible pain.That's what modern munitions do. Much worse than being hacked by a sword.
    Children too.
    That is why modern wars are much worse than those of old while firing lasts.
    True, after the firing stops usually there are no massacres and such, but, while it lasts it's worse.

    War is a serious state business. Moral considerations mean nothing. Or, better, it's about "managing perceptions"....ONLY. The real decision makers don't take them into account.

    Most of civilians posting on Internet do not want to understand that.
    For many reasons....

    So, that what you posted...means nothing in real play.
    Now, if you want to play "ethics" here, no prob...just count me out.

    Your post is either propaganda (which I respect) or misguided naivety.

    So, here is a bit of propaganda back:

    Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse.
     
    We regret any civilian death in our struggle for independent and whole Ukraine.
    We tried to investigate that unfortunate event but local authorities refused to cooperate.
    From available sources we came to conclusion that those civilians were close to a house where a command post of Donbas militia was stationed. The missile was launched on that command post but was jammed and missed the target killing the civilians.
    Also, we believe that some of those images have been doctored for propaganda purposes.

    And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn’t actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern “Katsaps”.
     
    The High Command always pays the highest attention to prevent civilian casualties.
    In this particular case we had strong intelligence that a command post was in the object and decision to launch a surgical strike was taken after much consideration.
    It is assumed that jamming of the missile came from a site where a unit composed from Russian volunteers was stationed.

    We can play this stupid game if you want.
    I just posted above on the fly, from top of my head. Real pros do it much better and in their sleep.

    Your call.
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  70. peterAUS says:
    @Mikel

    It was a careful targeting of Donbas militia who deliberately put their own assets close to civilian objects.
     
    No. Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse. And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn't actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern "Katsaps".

    I see that you didn’t get my point.

    A couple of things regarding war, if you please.

    War is about killing people. Modern war is about ripping human beings into shreds, burning them etc. in terrible pain.That’s what modern munitions do. Much worse than being hacked by a sword.
    Children too.
    That is why modern wars are much worse than those of old while firing lasts.
    True, after the firing stops usually there are no massacres and such, but, while it lasts it’s worse.

    War is a serious state business. Moral considerations mean nothing. Or, better, it’s about “managing perceptions”….ONLY. The real decision makers don’t take them into account.

    Most of civilians posting on Internet do not want to understand that.
    For many reasons….

    So, that what you posted…means nothing in real play.
    Now, if you want to play “ethics” here, no prob…just count me out.

    Your post is either propaganda (which I respect) or misguided naivety.

    So, here is a bit of propaganda back:

    Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse.

    We regret any civilian death in our struggle for independent and whole Ukraine.
    We tried to investigate that unfortunate event but local authorities refused to cooperate.
    From available sources we came to conclusion that those civilians were close to a house where a command post of Donbas militia was stationed. The missile was launched on that command post but was jammed and missed the target killing the civilians.
    Also, we believe that some of those images have been doctored for propaganda purposes.

    And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn’t actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern “Katsaps”.

    The High Command always pays the highest attention to prevent civilian casualties.
    In this particular case we had strong intelligence that a command post was in the object and decision to launch a surgical strike was taken after much consideration.
    It is assumed that jamming of the missile came from a site where a unit composed from Russian volunteers was stationed.

    We can play this stupid game if you want.
    I just posted above on the fly, from top of my head. Real pros do it much better and in their sleep.

    Your call.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel
    I think that it is you who is not getting my point.

    Let's assume that some armed Catalan hotheads occupy public offices and such. Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc. But much more importantly, the Spanish people itself would not have the stomach for such a carnage. Same in a Scottish rebellion scenario. Can anyone imagine Edinburgh and Glasgow subject to indiscriminate shelling with cluster bombs by the UK armed forces?

    That's why I was asking this question not to you but to a person of Ukrainian roots. The whole Maidan revolution thing was about Ukraine becoming an EU-like country, wasn't it? But, at the first chance they truly had to demonstrate how different from and more civilized than the Russians they were, they botched it big time.
    , @Erebus

    We can play this stupid game if you want.
     
    Only you seem interested in playing games on these threads. On those occasions where you seem to have a point, it struggles to make itself known against a background of puerile noisiness. I wonder why you don't tire of it.
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  71. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikel
    Hi Mr Hack,

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Regards,
    Mikel

    Your feeble attempt to try and run some sort of interference for Karlin is really quite pathetic. I was commenting about Karlin’s map, that shows that historically, the ‘NovoRosija’ gubernia was predominantly made up of Ukrainians, not Russians. Come back when you’re better prepared for an adult discussion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel

    Your feeble attempt to try and run some sort of interference for Karlin is really quite pathetic.
     
    I think that it is very clear that I was trying to get some critical assessment from you of how the Ukrainian government has conducted the war in Donbass. But well, perhaps your answer above is all I can expect from Ukrainian nationalists. It is what it is.

    The one time I visited Kiev I did get the impression that Ukraine was actually more "Soviet" than any other neighboring country.
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  72. Wally says: • Website
    @Pavel
    From the very first lines with all these "ukronazis", "junta" and "Novorossia" it's clear that the author is extremely pro-Russian biased and it weakens his article significantly. It makes it no different from Russian official position on the invasion, occupation and annexation of parts of the sovereign nation - annexation without any territorial claims or even voiced concerns prior to sending the troops. Invasion which was nothing but a cowardly, unprovoked attack on supposedly brotherly nation.

    During the invasion, Putin said he did not know "who it was"... only to admit on Russian TV, in a documentary about annexation presented, proudly, to the world, that it were his soldiers, acting on his orders, in uniforms without insignia.

    The bottom line is this - Putin did not like Ukraine's pro-West trend and used Ukraine's domestic political conflict of early 2014 to simply rob Ukraine of part of her territory, specifically, Crimea, which even former president Yanukovich always wanted to remain as part of Ukraine - he publicly said so at his last press conference from Russia, which actually became his last public press conference exactly because of his position on Crimea.

    There is no such thing as "Novorossia". Small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (oblast) of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian mercenaries and regular troop. These parts are much smaller than we see on the map on top of this article. What the Russians wanted to become part of Russia you see marked as "pro-Russian protests" regions on the map, the protests carefully arranged for by FSB (yes, it has been proven, same groups of Russians were bused in to "protest") but actually dissolved by the people of Ukraine, regular citizens who are nothing much but patriots of their Motherland - Ukraine.

    Russia could not possibly do anything, except annexing Crimea, and for one reason and only - population of Crimea, predominantly Russian ethnically and culturally, all of them of course Russian speaking and a very large number of them Russian ex-military allowed to stay with their families in Crimea, - supported the annexation. Only two other areas within Luhansk and Donetsk regions remain under the control of Russian invaders now, and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which - thanks to Stalin's population replacement policy - were intentionally and deliberately "russified", populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    What Russia holds now is small parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Russia, add here predominantly ethically and culturally Russian Crimea. Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won't be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won't even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Putin knows that any move against Ukraine now would be met with resistance resulting in dozens of thousands dead bodies of invader soldiers, with or without insignia, coming back to Russia from Ukrainian war, not to mention guerrilla war which would be taken inside Russia, too. Putin knows that his popularity inside Russia would plunge and disappear if it happens. Russians in modern times like to win without casualties, and no attack on Ukraine can be without mass casualties.

    Ukrainian politics... Politics of alive nations, dynamic and developing nations, are always messy. Sure Ukraine has domestic problems, like many others, for better or worse, but what the author, just like his Russian compatriots, cannot understand is that their "concern" about Ukraine is pathetic. They just cannot let Ukraine go. Russia behaves like a loser drunkard husband whose beautiful wife has decided to leave for good - Russia runs around her, with an axe in hand, yelling obscenities in a weird mix of "I love you, please get back!' and "I will kill you now!.." Pathetic, to say the least.

    said:
    Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won’t be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won’t even be a close friend. Smart politics?..

    Russia is not interested in any of that. The have the Crimea and the Russians in that region, and that’s all they wanted … the Crimea will remain Russian.

    The last thing they want is the need to support the pathetic Ukrainian basket case.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pavel
    Look at the map on top of the article. What you see in color is exactly what the Russians wanted to become their "Novorossia".

    The goal was clear and simple - to invade, occupy and quickly, through what has become known as "occupendum" (referendum in the reality of foreign armed forces occupation), take over the Crimea, then immediately start "building the land bridge" to the annexed peninsula through the Ukrainian south-east.

    In reality, despite occupation and annexation of Crimea were successful (no surprise here, when one stabs his declared friend in the back it's usually successful), the Russians could not achieve anything apart from holding small parts within Luhansk and Donetsk regions (mind it not whole regions, but small parts of them only).

    The Russians could not even hold Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, which was quickly retaken by the Ukrainian army and the National Guard, same way as Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and certain other towns within Luhansk and Donetsk regions were liberated from Russian troops, uniformed or in plain cloths.

    It's not that the Russians did not want to split Ukraine in 2 and made south-eastern part of her, plus Kharkiv region (currently fully under the control of the Ukrainian government) their "Novorossia". They wanted exactly that, and they were working hard to make it happen. Putin talked publicly about it using the terminology such as "Novorossia", but the fact was, and remains to be, that the Russians just could not achieve their goal.

    The main reason of the Russian failure in creating "Novorossia" is that Putin finally understood, probably in late 2014, that splitting Ukraine in 2 would cost him his presidency and, most likely, his life, because even within his close circle of friends, no matter what they say publicly appearing as "united", people were not, and are not, prepared to lose everything - add here guerrilla war against them personally, their interests everywhere, both outside and inside Russia - in exchange for this "Novorossia" imperialist fantasy.

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create "Novorossia" because of some rational considerations. Russia wanted "Novorossia" to happen, badly, it's just that Russia could not get it done, for various reasons, among them moral unpreparedness of the Russian people to lose dozens of thousands of lives of young Russian soldiers in stupid Kremlin war with neighboring white European nation of Ukraine, in the reality of rapidly growing Ukrainian patriotism in the reality of foreign aggression committed by supposed "friend" (which added bitterness to natural anger in response to cowardly backstabbing attack).

    Russia has no problem supporting "the pathetic Crimea basket case", which cost Russia a lot, as reported by the Russian government economists. Russians inside Russia does not like it very much, but at least annexation of Crimea was somewhat "justified" to them preying on their respect to history of the region combined with the complete juridical illiteracy. However, of course, annexation still remains to be illegal because one just cannot grab what he believes is his without at least
    presenting claims in civilized manner first, pursuant to the international law which, let me remind you, applies to Russia equally thus protecting her current ownership of the territories which not that long ago belonged to Finland, Germany (Prussia), China and Japan.

    Crimea will of course be returned to Ukraine, but not before Russia realizes that this is a necessity to restore trust-based relationship with Ukraine and, through this example, others. It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state. It will be extremely difficult for Russia to restore this trust, it may take a couple of generations.

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians, his nation's (even if not his personal) natural allies. By his cowardly, backstabbing, stupid imperialistic attack on brotherly nation of Ukraine, Putin committed not just a crime but delivered great disservice to his own nation and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written. To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.

    It's worth to mention that ones who support Putin's aggression on Ukraine are simply anti-white.

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  73. Mikel says:
    @peterAUS
    I see that you didn't get my point.

    A couple of things regarding war, if you please.

    War is about killing people. Modern war is about ripping human beings into shreds, burning them etc. in terrible pain.That's what modern munitions do. Much worse than being hacked by a sword.
    Children too.
    That is why modern wars are much worse than those of old while firing lasts.
    True, after the firing stops usually there are no massacres and such, but, while it lasts it's worse.

    War is a serious state business. Moral considerations mean nothing. Or, better, it's about "managing perceptions"....ONLY. The real decision makers don't take them into account.

    Most of civilians posting on Internet do not want to understand that.
    For many reasons....

    So, that what you posted...means nothing in real play.
    Now, if you want to play "ethics" here, no prob...just count me out.

    Your post is either propaganda (which I respect) or misguided naivety.

    So, here is a bit of propaganda back:

    Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse.
     
    We regret any civilian death in our struggle for independent and whole Ukraine.
    We tried to investigate that unfortunate event but local authorities refused to cooperate.
    From available sources we came to conclusion that those civilians were close to a house where a command post of Donbas militia was stationed. The missile was launched on that command post but was jammed and missed the target killing the civilians.
    Also, we believe that some of those images have been doctored for propaganda purposes.

    And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn’t actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern “Katsaps”.
     
    The High Command always pays the highest attention to prevent civilian casualties.
    In this particular case we had strong intelligence that a command post was in the object and decision to launch a surgical strike was taken after much consideration.
    It is assumed that jamming of the missile came from a site where a unit composed from Russian volunteers was stationed.

    We can play this stupid game if you want.
    I just posted above on the fly, from top of my head. Real pros do it much better and in their sleep.

    Your call.

    I think that it is you who is not getting my point.

    Let’s assume that some armed Catalan hotheads occupy public offices and such. Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc. But much more importantly, the Spanish people itself would not have the stomach for such a carnage. Same in a Scottish rebellion scenario. Can anyone imagine Edinburgh and Glasgow subject to indiscriminate shelling with cluster bombs by the UK armed forces?

    That’s why I was asking this question not to you but to a person of Ukrainian roots. The whole Maidan revolution thing was about Ukraine becoming an EU-like country, wasn’t it? But, at the first chance they truly had to demonstrate how different from and more civilized than the Russians they were, they botched it big time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc.
     
    Your trust in "the EU, the Press, the UN, etc." is touching.

    In reality, all of these organizations are slavering for the blood of rebels against rule by the GLOB.

    , @peterAUS
    Not bad.

    You omitted, though, in your Spain/UK examples, the elephant in the room.
    Russia.
    Which changes all that dynamics a lot, don't you think?

    But you are correct in the point that different rules apply to countries on the "correct" side of the Iron Curtain and those on the other side.
    History and such.

    But, when we do play those games here, here is one for you:

    Russia, after the fall of Communism, wanted to become modern democracy.
    So, pray tell, how then this could happen:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Russian_constitutional_crisis
    Quote: Tanks of the Taman Division shelling the Russian White House on October 4, 1993

    Imagine British Army shelling, by direct tank fire, the Westminster?
    Or Spanish tanks shelling their own parliament.
    Terrible, a?
    Or not?
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  74. Eagle Eye says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Well that's balanced reasoning in contrast to the usual certainties on these threads!

    But I think you are wrong about the "increase of military supplies to the Ukies" if you are implying that should count for much in the reasoning becaise it is my understanding that restraint on supplying Ukraine with serious weaponry has been practised - and criticised.

    Yes, some actual constraints appear to have been in operation.

    There was certainly a lot of media TALK about providing more sophisticated weaponry to “defend” the Ukies, disturbingly referred to as our Ukrainian “allies.” One would assume that a lot of armaments before and after MH17 were provided surreptitiously.

    Hillary all but threatened a hot war with Russia during the election campaign. Her motivation is puzzling given her personal background in doing deals with Russia. To look tough? To satisfy McCainist bloodlust? Alinskyite misdirection? Yet another Clinton kickback deal?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You point to puzzling questions.

    The only thread of rationality I can find is that Israel is genuinely afraid of Iran and its protegés, wants 99 per cent assurance of security (cp. say Thailand about 85 per cent, Australia say 90-95 per cent....) and therefore uses its control over US ME policy to try and leave the Arab world Balkànised and not under Iranian influence. But what explains anything else which is controversial about US foreign policy is hard to make out.
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  75. Eagle Eye says:
    @Mikel
    I think that it is you who is not getting my point.

    Let's assume that some armed Catalan hotheads occupy public offices and such. Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc. But much more importantly, the Spanish people itself would not have the stomach for such a carnage. Same in a Scottish rebellion scenario. Can anyone imagine Edinburgh and Glasgow subject to indiscriminate shelling with cluster bombs by the UK armed forces?

    That's why I was asking this question not to you but to a person of Ukrainian roots. The whole Maidan revolution thing was about Ukraine becoming an EU-like country, wasn't it? But, at the first chance they truly had to demonstrate how different from and more civilized than the Russians they were, they botched it big time.

    Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc.

    Your trust in “the EU, the Press, the UN, etc.” is touching.

    In reality, all of these organizations are slavering for the blood of rebels against rule by the GLOB.

    Read More
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  76. Mikel says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Your feeble attempt to try and run some sort of interference for Karlin is really quite pathetic. I was commenting about Karlin's map, that shows that historically, the 'NovoRosija' gubernia was predominantly made up of Ukrainians, not Russians. Come back when you're better prepared for an adult discussion.

    Your feeble attempt to try and run some sort of interference for Karlin is really quite pathetic.

    I think that it is very clear that I was trying to get some critical assessment from you of how the Ukrainian government has conducted the war in Donbass. But well, perhaps your answer above is all I can expect from Ukrainian nationalists. It is what it is.

    The one time I visited Kiev I did get the impression that Ukraine was actually more “Soviet” than any other neighboring country.

    Read More
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  77. Cyrano says:

    I think it was Churchill who once said: “Russia is a mystery, wrapped into enigma, inside a Rubik’s cube” – or some stupidity like that, I really don’t want to waste time looking for the exact quote on the internet – I don’t really care.

    Anyhow, I want to update that saying and apply it to Ukraine. So here it is:

    Ukraine is a disaster, wrapped into calamity, inside a basket case.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Congrats - see #78
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  78. Well done. On the stupidity scale you established above (with or without the Rubik’s Cube anschronism) you have hit the jackpot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @some points
    Life is too short to waste it on sophism and pointless mental jousting (unless one gets paid for it of course; money trumps everything). Ancient Greece did sophism and look where it got her. Well, at least wise men and play writers understood the problem. Like in Aristophanes' "The clouds', the father sends his son to learn sophistry (ie, how to make a bad argument look good), only for his son to then beat him up and argue that it is just for a son to beat his father and even his mother. That is what the so-called Ukraine does. It thinks itself to be smart and cunning and 'everyone has its own truth', only to beat itself up and get nowhere.

    Rome did not do sophistry, nor did it do racism. Rome did Empire. English did Empire and did racism and did not last long (one can argue that the English sort of stumbled into an Empire merely following their commercial interests). Russians and the Cossacks handed English their asses at the Battle of Balaclava. It was one of the worst defeats suffered by the English. When the historian and pretend car enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson visited Crimea and Ukraine, that was the only thing he could think about (see Top Gear). The English got maneuvered into galloping on horses with their swords against ... cannons... cannons!... like some aborigines (no offence to aborigines) would do against the English in the tropics and be slaughtered. That was the end of the English adventure (no offence to English; it is what it is) into Russia and the Cossack land. At this very time these same English were destroying the Qing dynasty of China in the Second Opium War. (Those losses on the part of Han eventually led to the fall of the Emperor and the rise of the Communist Party.)

    That is inspiring... I am one of probably a few people from a small village in the middle of nowhere (where people speak a native Ukrainian) who through happenstance has gotten a chance to travel the world. I know I can do well. Behind me are successful forefathers. And if they could do it, so must I.

    Now, what does the 'modern' 'Ukraine' offer me? Stale German racism... In 1990s, these students from the West of Ukraine would whisper these jokes: 'what is better than a dead Russian? A fresh dead Russian everyday!". Now this kind of garbage is shouted openly on the streets of Kiev. Seriously? Not interested... And yes, my grandfather did fight against Germans in WWII. You want me to think of my grandfather as a traitor of your racist ideals... Not interested... And the Cossack regiment in my village did go against Mazepa and held him to as a traitor. You want me to believe that somehow they got it all wrong. Well, they were the winners, and your idols were the losers. My forefathers got it right...

    I believe that we will have a back to the future moment of clarity soon.
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  79. @Cyrano
    I think it was Churchill who once said: “Russia is a mystery, wrapped into enigma, inside a Rubik’s cube” – or some stupidity like that, I really don’t want to waste time looking for the exact quote on the internet – I don’t really care.

    Anyhow, I want to update that saying and apply it to Ukraine. So here it is:

    Ukraine is a disaster, wrapped into calamity, inside a basket case.

    Congrats – see #78

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Thanks man, I was just trying to be funny. It would have never occurred to me that Churchill actually died about a decade before the Rubik's cube was invented, you stupid monkey.
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  80. @Eagle Eye
    Yes, some actual constraints appear to have been in operation.

    There was certainly a lot of media TALK about providing more sophisticated weaponry to "defend" the Ukies, disturbingly referred to as our Ukrainian "allies." One would assume that a lot of armaments before and after MH17 were provided surreptitiously.

    Hillary all but threatened a hot war with Russia during the election campaign. Her motivation is puzzling given her personal background in doing deals with Russia. To look tough? To satisfy McCainist bloodlust? Alinskyite misdirection? Yet another Clinton kickback deal?

    You point to puzzling questions.

    The only thread of rationality I can find is that Israel is genuinely afraid of Iran and its protegés, wants 99 per cent assurance of security (cp. say Thailand about 85 per cent, Australia say 90-95 per cent….) and therefore uses its control over US ME policy to try and leave the Arab world Balkànised and not under Iranian influence. But what explains anything else which is controversial about US foreign policy is hard to make out.

    Read More
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  81. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS
    I see that you didn't get my point.

    A couple of things regarding war, if you please.

    War is about killing people. Modern war is about ripping human beings into shreds, burning them etc. in terrible pain.That's what modern munitions do. Much worse than being hacked by a sword.
    Children too.
    That is why modern wars are much worse than those of old while firing lasts.
    True, after the firing stops usually there are no massacres and such, but, while it lasts it's worse.

    War is a serious state business. Moral considerations mean nothing. Or, better, it's about "managing perceptions"....ONLY. The real decision makers don't take them into account.

    Most of civilians posting on Internet do not want to understand that.
    For many reasons....

    So, that what you posted...means nothing in real play.
    Now, if you want to play "ethics" here, no prob...just count me out.

    Your post is either propaganda (which I respect) or misguided naivety.

    So, here is a bit of propaganda back:

    Just to set an example, the plane that threw a missile in the middle of Luhansk at the beginning of the hostilities and killed 8 civilians (horrible images uploaded by passers-by and even recorded by a CCTV) did not have such an excuse.
     
    We regret any civilian death in our struggle for independent and whole Ukraine.
    We tried to investigate that unfortunate event but local authorities refused to cooperate.
    From available sources we came to conclusion that those civilians were close to a house where a command post of Donbas militia was stationed. The missile was launched on that command post but was jammed and missed the target killing the civilians.
    Also, we believe that some of those images have been doctored for propaganda purposes.

    And, obviously, the High Command people who ordered attacks like these did not care much about loss of civilian lives. Assuming they didn’t actually desire to deliberately kill a good bunch of those Eastern “Katsaps”.
     
    The High Command always pays the highest attention to prevent civilian casualties.
    In this particular case we had strong intelligence that a command post was in the object and decision to launch a surgical strike was taken after much consideration.
    It is assumed that jamming of the missile came from a site where a unit composed from Russian volunteers was stationed.

    We can play this stupid game if you want.
    I just posted above on the fly, from top of my head. Real pros do it much better and in their sleep.

    Your call.

    We can play this stupid game if you want.

    Only you seem interested in playing games on these threads. On those occasions where you seem to have a point, it struggles to make itself known against a background of puerile noisiness. I wonder why you don’t tire of it.

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  82. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.
     
    Yes, a popular svidomy fairytale. Here is a map of the Malorossiyan percentage of the population in the guberniyas of what is today Ukraine:

    http://i.imgur.com/SiBBxix.png

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.

    Here is how Bolsheviks (rabid haters of so-called Great Russian chauvinism) viewed the Donbass in 1921 - as the "heart of Russia."

    http://www.rossiyanavsegda.ru/uploads/other/2014/05/03/donbass_-_serdtse_rossii1.jpg

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.

    Today is 26 years after independence. 1989 would be more relevant.

    Well, Kherson guberniya in 1897 (which included the city of Odessa, but not the area south of Odessa city that is currently part of Odessa oblast) was 53.5% Ukrainian, 21% Russian, 11.8% Jewish, 5.4% Romanian and 4.5% German.

    I don’t think Lenin got rid of the Jews, and the elimination of the Romanians and Germans was probably not part of some sort of Ukrainian nation-building project.

    In 1990 Odessa oblast was 27% Russian (today it is about 21% Russian).. Couldn’t find data for the other parts of Kherson governate.

    But:

    Here is demographic data for Ukrainian SSR as a whole

    In 1926, the Ukrainian SSR was 80% Ukrainian and only 9% Russian. In 1989 it was 73% Ukrainian and 22% Russian, despite the annexation of western Ukraine.

    From 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%.

    So Ukrainians were killed, Russians were settled in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    However, Kherson is much more Ukrainian than is Odessa.

    Your UkSSR data is a much better argument.

    However, I should remind readers that Pavel was making a more specific argument:

    ... and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which – thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.
     
    But the areas in question (Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts; former Stalino during 1924-30) always had a very strong Russian presence.

    In 1926, Ukrainins were: 53% in Stalino (now Donetsk oblast, roughly); 52% in Lugansk; 26% in the city of Donetsk (Russians 57%).

    In 1989, Ukrainians were: 51% in Donetsk (now including the city!), 52% in Lugansk oblast.

    Source.

    So he is specifically wrong on the specifics.

    Second, yes, Russians immigrated into Ukraine during the USSR, as they did to Central Asia, and Ukrainians did to places like Central Asia and the Russian Far East as well.

    But that was a steady pattern through Soviet history that was not specific to Stalin, nor synchronized with the Holodomor.
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  83. AP says:
    @Mikel
    Hi Mr Hack,

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)?

    Apart from the images and videos that we have all seen, especially during the recovery of most of Donbass by Ukraine in 2014, reports by the UN, HRW or Amnesty International leave no doubt that indiscriminate shelling has caused a carnage of civilians.

    Now that the disputed/occupied lands approximately correspond to the areas where people are most strongly pro-Russian, as you yourself recognized, is it worth it to continue the bloodbath?

    Can a democratic, civilized and Western oriented Ukraine be conceived while it causes such suffering to its own people?

    Regards,
    Mikel

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)

    Every civilian death is a tragedy. Ukraine is not operating with precision weapons and highly trained forces, against an enemy that has embedded itself in highly settled areas. This situation is similar to the one Russia encountered in Chechnya (Ukrainian military was probably not unlike the Yeltsin-era Russian military, even further degraded), or Syria in its country.

    The civilian death toll in Donbas is estimated at around 3,000.

    Estimates of civilian casualties in Chechnya (which has fewer people than Donbas) range wildly from 50,000 to 250,000.

    The Syrian civilian death toll is estimated at about 98,000.

    So Kiev has acted much less inhumanely towards civilians than have Russia or the various sides in Syria, though in a way that probably* not in accordance with modern Western European norms. It is somewhere between these two.

    *Of course, no western European country has recently had a situation such as Kiev has in Donbas. Scots and Catalonians are nonviolent. IRA never seized and embedded its forces in civilian areas within large parts of northern Ireland. OTOH Croats killed more Serbs in the 90s than Ukrainians killed in Donbas, and Croatia is in the EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree.
    , @Mikel
    You make good points, as usual.

    But I used to discuss this with Ukrainians at the Kyiv Post, when it more or less allowed a certain degree of debate, and your position largely resembles the predominant one there: "the Russians also done it", "the Russians are worse",...

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians. This may be true (although I didn't see much evidence that Ukraine made any less military progress due to a lack of willingness to inflict damage to civilians) but it doesn't show much real ambition in its Europeanization project.

    The other thing is that Croats indeed killed Serbian civilians (and vice versa) and Russians killed Chechen civilians. Ukraine declared an "anti-terrorist" operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.

    That the Russians were clearly supporting that rebellion does not have any obvious relationship with the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities (and the Ukrainian society at large) to resort to those brutal measures. People in Donbass had recently voted overwhelmingly for the deposed President so very large numbers of them were undoubtedly opposed to the new authorities, with or without Russian intervention. Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration (remember what Timoshenko said that should be done with them).
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  84. @Wizard of Oz
    @Cyrano

    Well done. On the stupidity scale you established above (with or without the Rubik's Cube anschronism) you have hit the jackpot.

    Life is too short to waste it on sophism and pointless mental jousting (unless one gets paid for it of course; money trumps everything). Ancient Greece did sophism and look where it got her. Well, at least wise men and play writers understood the problem. Like in Aristophanes’ “The clouds’, the father sends his son to learn sophistry (ie, how to make a bad argument look good), only for his son to then beat him up and argue that it is just for a son to beat his father and even his mother. That is what the so-called Ukraine does. It thinks itself to be smart and cunning and ‘everyone has its own truth’, only to beat itself up and get nowhere.

    Rome did not do sophistry, nor did it do racism. Rome did Empire. English did Empire and did racism and did not last long (one can argue that the English sort of stumbled into an Empire merely following their commercial interests). Russians and the Cossacks handed English their asses at the Battle of Balaclava. It was one of the worst defeats suffered by the English. When the historian and pretend car enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson visited Crimea and Ukraine, that was the only thing he could think about (see Top Gear). The English got maneuvered into galloping on horses with their swords against … cannons… cannons!… like some aborigines (no offence to aborigines) would do against the English in the tropics and be slaughtered. That was the end of the English adventure (no offence to English; it is what it is) into Russia and the Cossack land. At this very time these same English were destroying the Qing dynasty of China in the Second Opium War. (Those losses on the part of Han eventually led to the fall of the Emperor and the rise of the Communist Party.)

    That is inspiring… I am one of probably a few people from a small village in the middle of nowhere (where people speak a native Ukrainian) who through happenstance has gotten a chance to travel the world. I know I can do well. Behind me are successful forefathers. And if they could do it, so must I.

    Now, what does the ‘modern’ ‘Ukraine’ offer me? Stale German racism… In 1990s, these students from the West of Ukraine would whisper these jokes: ‘what is better than a dead Russian? A fresh dead Russian everyday!”. Now this kind of garbage is shouted openly on the streets of Kiev. Seriously? Not interested… And yes, my grandfather did fight against Germans in WWII. You want me to think of my grandfather as a traitor of your racist ideals… Not interested… And the Cossack regiment in my village did go against Mazepa and held him to as a traitor. You want me to believe that somehow they got it all wrong. Well, they were the winners, and your idols were the losers. My forefathers got it right…

    I believe that we will have a back to the future moment of clarity soon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Every human life lived involves some kind of suffering. But not every human suffering deserves sympathy. Not in my wildest dreams I could summon the generosity of spirit to have sympathy for someone like Hitler. Although there is no doubt in my mind that he suffered too, I have no sympathy for such suffering.

    Quite often the suffering comes not as a result of some unfavorable conditions outside of our power to influence them, but it comes as a result of our own stupidity.

    The chain of events is like this: Stupidity produces evil which produces suffering both for the person with whom the stupidity originated and for those around him.

    That’s why I have no sympathy for the suffering of the Ukrainians. People will say, what kind of Slav are you if you can’t have sympathy for your fellow Slavs? They might think that I should be more forgiving towards them because they are Slavs.

    Actually, I feel the opposite. The stupidity of the Slavs bothers me more and makes me angrier, because it reflects on me too. If, for example, the Anglo-Saxons or the Romanic nations, or any other nations did something stupid that doesn’t affect the rest of us – it doesn’t bother me. They are free to engage in any kind of stupidity in their own free time – as long as they are the only ones that will suffer the consequences of their actions.

    I find it unforgivable when Slavs do something stupid. Like the Ukrainians. And then they cause suffering for themselves and others. For themselves – they deserve it, for the others – that’s who I feel sympathy for. Ukrainians never seem to have learned one very simple and basic fact. Going against Russia has never brought them anything good and this time is not going to be any different either.
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  85. @Eagle Eye
    An old quip in linguistic is that "a language is a dialect with an army." In Soviet times, Ukrainian was treated as a dialect (because it did not have its own language then.)

    At present, people in the West of the Ukraine region speak Polish dialects, those in the East speak Russian dialects, and those in between speak various dialects which are now classed as "Ukrainian."

    "Ukrainian" and Russian are closely related. The main difference seems to be that Ukrainians pronounce a Russian "G" as "H." This leads to common Russian names like Igor, Sergei and Grigoriy becoming Ihor, Serhiy and even Hrihoriy.

    Similarly, the Ukies insist that the Russian-speaking district of Lugansk is called Luhansk, and their capital is Kyiv rather than the Kiev.

    An old quip in linguistic is that “a language is a dialect with an army.”

    Yeah, and that’s fine. I love Ukrainian dialects, they’re incredibly cute. However, one thing y’all are missing about the current official ‘Ukrainian language’ is that it’s no one’s dialect. It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/
     
    A fairytale commonly passed around by Russian nationalists is not common "knowledge."

    Only someone totally unfamiliar with Ukraine and its language would believe the nonsense in the article. Thanks for yet again proving your gullibility.

    A funny example made famous by Bulgakov, which has nothing to do with the actual Ukrainian language but which a Russian-speaker might think its true -

    "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает."

    Nope. In the Ukrainian language a cat is "кит", a whale is "кыт" (not quite - there is no sound in Russian exactly like the this vowel in Ukrainian). It is clearly two different words with two different vowels. This example is a dead giveaway that the author is gearing B.S. towards Russian who don't know anything about Ukrainian.

    Article is another example of Russians ascribing to Ukraine what is true of Russia. The Russian literary language is the artificial one, significantly changed in the late 18th century/early 19th century, loaded with Church Slavonic and French words, and grammatically simpler, losing cases (such as the vocative, kept in Ukrainian as in other Slavic language, lost in Russian, retained only in archaic phrases such as Боже мой).

    Here is Kotliyarevsky's Aneida, written in the 18th century, easily understandable for modern Ukrainian-speakers:

    http://www.knyga.in.ua/index.php/biblioteka/k/kotlyarevskyy-ivan/1178-eneida-1-sha-chastyna

    Intermedia. :cat in a bag", from a play written by Mitrophan Dovhalevsky in 1619:

    http://www.everyday.in.ua/?p=12327

    Климко. Що ты тутъ, побратиме, собі порабляешь?
    Кажи мені, як живешь, та якъ ся маешь?

    Стецько. Я тут не роблю ничого. Ось иду до дому свого
    Та и зъ тоіеми горшками, якъ зъ своими сусідами.

    Closer to modern Ukrainian than Shakespearean English is to modern English.

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  86. peterAUS says:
    @Mikel
    I think that it is you who is not getting my point.

    Let's assume that some armed Catalan hotheads occupy public offices and such. Spain would not reduce Barcelona and Girona to rubble killing thousands of civilians. It would not be tolerated by the EU, the Press, the UN, etc. But much more importantly, the Spanish people itself would not have the stomach for such a carnage. Same in a Scottish rebellion scenario. Can anyone imagine Edinburgh and Glasgow subject to indiscriminate shelling with cluster bombs by the UK armed forces?

    That's why I was asking this question not to you but to a person of Ukrainian roots. The whole Maidan revolution thing was about Ukraine becoming an EU-like country, wasn't it? But, at the first chance they truly had to demonstrate how different from and more civilized than the Russians they were, they botched it big time.

    Not bad.

    You omitted, though, in your Spain/UK examples, the elephant in the room.
    Russia.
    Which changes all that dynamics a lot, don’t you think?

    But you are correct in the point that different rules apply to countries on the “correct” side of the Iron Curtain and those on the other side.
    History and such.

    But, when we do play those games here, here is one for you:

    Russia, after the fall of Communism, wanted to become modern democracy.
    So, pray tell, how then this could happen:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Russian_constitutional_crisis

    Quote: Tanks of the Taman Division shelling the Russian White House on October 4, 1993

    Imagine British Army shelling, by direct tank fire, the Westminster?
    Or Spanish tanks shelling their own parliament.
    Terrible, a?
    Or not?

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    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    the current official ‘Ukrainian language’
     
    Officially, we must now call it the Ukrainian lanhuahe. Ukies like to replace Gs with Hs, e.g. turning Lugansk into Luhansk.
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  87. Eagle Eye says:
    @peterAUS
    Not bad.

    You omitted, though, in your Spain/UK examples, the elephant in the room.
    Russia.
    Which changes all that dynamics a lot, don't you think?

    But you are correct in the point that different rules apply to countries on the "correct" side of the Iron Curtain and those on the other side.
    History and such.

    But, when we do play those games here, here is one for you:

    Russia, after the fall of Communism, wanted to become modern democracy.
    So, pray tell, how then this could happen:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Russian_constitutional_crisis
    Quote: Tanks of the Taman Division shelling the Russian White House on October 4, 1993

    Imagine British Army shelling, by direct tank fire, the Westminster?
    Or Spanish tanks shelling their own parliament.
    Terrible, a?
    Or not?

    the current official ‘Ukrainian language’

    Officially, we must now call it the Ukrainian lanhuahe. Ukies like to replace Gs with Hs, e.g. turning Lugansk into Luhansk.

    Read More
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  88. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    An old quip in linguistic is that “a language is a dialect with an army.”
     
    Yeah, and that's fine. I love Ukrainian dialects, they're incredibly cute. However, one thing y'all are missing about the current official 'Ukrainian language' is that it's no one's dialect. It's an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That's common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/

    It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/

    A fairytale commonly passed around by Russian nationalists is not common “knowledge.”

    Only someone totally unfamiliar with Ukraine and its language would believe the nonsense in the article. Thanks for yet again proving your gullibility.

    A funny example made famous by Bulgakov, which has nothing to do with the actual Ukrainian language but which a Russian-speaker might think its true –

    “И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает.”

    Nope. In the Ukrainian language a cat is “кит”, a whale is “кыт” (not quite – there is no sound in Russian exactly like the this vowel in Ukrainian). It is clearly two different words with two different vowels. This example is a dead giveaway that the author is gearing B.S. towards Russian who don’t know anything about Ukrainian.

    Article is another example of Russians ascribing to Ukraine what is true of Russia. The Russian literary language is the artificial one, significantly changed in the late 18th century/early 19th century, loaded with Church Slavonic and French words, and grammatically simpler, losing cases (such as the vocative, kept in Ukrainian as in other Slavic language, lost in Russian, retained only in archaic phrases such as Боже мой).

    Here is Kotliyarevsky’s Aneida, written in the 18th century, easily understandable for modern Ukrainian-speakers:

    http://www.knyga.in.ua/index.php/biblioteka/k/kotlyarevskyy-ivan/1178-eneida-1-sha-chastyna

    Intermedia. :cat in a bag”, from a play written by Mitrophan Dovhalevsky in 1619:

    http://www.everyday.in.ua/?p=12327

    Климко. Що ты тутъ, побратиме, собі порабляешь?
    Кажи мені, як живешь, та якъ ся маешь?

    Стецько. Я тут не роблю ничого. Ось иду до дому свого
    Та и зъ тоіеми горшками, якъ зъ своими сусідами.

    Closer to modern Ukrainian than Shakespearean English is to modern English.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AP
    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality:

    Compared to Ukrainian, Russian is a poor and underdeveloped language from every linguistic point of reference, particularly in terms of its vocabulary and grammar. It's understandable, as modern Russian, from the historic perspective, is a very young and largely artificially created language, a sort of Esperanto; and it hasn't had enough time, unlike Ukrainian, to develop the variety of linguistic forms and shortcuts that emerge only when a language is used naturally and for a long period of time by common people communicating with one another daily , rather than via being concocted in an ivory tower. As a result, there're thousands of Ukrainian shortcut adverbs (e.g.: торік, чимдуж, etc.) that can be expressed in Russian only by using a combination of three separate words. Likewise, Ukrainian has three single-word superlative degrees, while Russian has only one. Ukrainian has two Infinitive forms for every verb (e.g.: робити/робить) versus a single form in Russian. Ukrainian has single-word forms of Future Imperfect (e.g. матиму, матимемо, матимеш, матиме, матимуть) completely absent from Russian. Ukrainian has the Plus Quam Perfectum tense (e.g. він почав був читати, та його зупинили); Russian doesn't. And the list goes on and on.
     
    Examples:

    Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).
    All U verbs in Present Imperfect ending in "є" also have two forms (e.g., буває/бува) vs only one (бывает)in R.

    Every U verb can be used in Plus Quam Perfectum (e.g., я був почав); this tense is absent from R altogether.

    Every U verb can be used in a single-word Future Imperfect (e.g., матиму/матимемо/матимеш/матимете/матиме/матимуть); again, there's no such tense in R.

    Scads of U verbs have synonyms, usually more than one (e.g., говорити/казати/мовити), for a corresponding Russian single verbal form (e.g. говорить). Plus, each of them has yet another form (говорить, казать, мовить) per the note above.

    Every U verb, adjective, and adverb with prefix "у" has its exact counterpart with prefix "в" (e.g., умерти/вмерти, уперта/вперта, упродовж/впродовж, etc.) vs a single form in R (e.g. умереть, but not вмереть).

    U has an astonishing variety of synonyms when it comes to nouns, especially related to things of nature. E.g. U has 13 synonyms for the word "horizon": горизонт, обрій, небозвід, небосхил, крайнебо, круговид, кругозір, кругогляд, виднокруг, видноколо, виднокрай, небокрай, овид. R has just one: горизонт. And it's just one example.

    U has thousands of single-word shortcut adverbs absent from R, such as торік, чимдуж, здебільш, навшпиньки, насамперед, завдальшe, etc. absent from R, all of which require two or three R words to express the same.

    U has three forms of superlative adjectives and adverbs (e.g., найвищий/якнайвищий/щоякнайвищий) vs one in R (e.g., наивысший).

    While in U, all of the above forms were present in common everyday speech in the 1700's (that's the speech and vocabulary Kotliarevsky used to write "The Aeneid" published in 1798), R at the time was a mere rudiment of what it has become after Pushkin and is today.
     
    , @Mr. Hack
    You'd think that Mao Cheng Ji would quit posting his insincere and dilettantish quips regarding the Ukrainian language by now. It's obvious that he doesn't know what he's talking about and that his posting of these unfounded memes is a total waste of the reader's time. :-(

    On a similar path to posting dilettatish quips is Karlin himself? He and his map of Southern Ukraine seem to have been complete wash out...

    , @Mao Cheng Ji
    Bugakov's got nothing to do with it, not to mention the 18th century. The issue is vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages within the last 20 years or so.
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  89. AP says:
    @AP

    It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/
     
    A fairytale commonly passed around by Russian nationalists is not common "knowledge."

    Only someone totally unfamiliar with Ukraine and its language would believe the nonsense in the article. Thanks for yet again proving your gullibility.

    A funny example made famous by Bulgakov, which has nothing to do with the actual Ukrainian language but which a Russian-speaker might think its true -

    "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает."

    Nope. In the Ukrainian language a cat is "кит", a whale is "кыт" (not quite - there is no sound in Russian exactly like the this vowel in Ukrainian). It is clearly two different words with two different vowels. This example is a dead giveaway that the author is gearing B.S. towards Russian who don't know anything about Ukrainian.

    Article is another example of Russians ascribing to Ukraine what is true of Russia. The Russian literary language is the artificial one, significantly changed in the late 18th century/early 19th century, loaded with Church Slavonic and French words, and grammatically simpler, losing cases (such as the vocative, kept in Ukrainian as in other Slavic language, lost in Russian, retained only in archaic phrases such as Боже мой).

    Here is Kotliyarevsky's Aneida, written in the 18th century, easily understandable for modern Ukrainian-speakers:

    http://www.knyga.in.ua/index.php/biblioteka/k/kotlyarevskyy-ivan/1178-eneida-1-sha-chastyna

    Intermedia. :cat in a bag", from a play written by Mitrophan Dovhalevsky in 1619:

    http://www.everyday.in.ua/?p=12327

    Климко. Що ты тутъ, побратиме, собі порабляешь?
    Кажи мені, як живешь, та якъ ся маешь?

    Стецько. Я тут не роблю ничого. Ось иду до дому свого
    Та и зъ тоіеми горшками, якъ зъ своими сусідами.

    Closer to modern Ukrainian than Shakespearean English is to modern English.

    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality:

    Compared to Ukrainian, Russian is a poor and underdeveloped language from every linguistic point of reference, particularly in terms of its vocabulary and grammar. It’s understandable, as modern Russian, from the historic perspective, is a very young and largely artificially created language, a sort of Esperanto; and it hasn’t had enough time, unlike Ukrainian, to develop the variety of linguistic forms and shortcuts that emerge only when a language is used naturally and for a long period of time by common people communicating with one another daily , rather than via being concocted in an ivory tower. As a result, there’re thousands of Ukrainian shortcut adverbs (e.g.: торік, чимдуж, etc.) that can be expressed in Russian only by using a combination of three separate words. Likewise, Ukrainian has three single-word superlative degrees, while Russian has only one. Ukrainian has two Infinitive forms for every verb (e.g.: робити/робить) versus a single form in Russian. Ukrainian has single-word forms of Future Imperfect (e.g. матиму, матимемо, матимеш, матиме, матимуть) completely absent from Russian. Ukrainian has the Plus Quam Perfectum tense (e.g. він почав був читати, та його зупинили); Russian doesn’t. And the list goes on and on.

    Examples:

    Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).
    All U verbs in Present Imperfect ending in “є” also have two forms (e.g., буває/бува) vs only one (бывает)in R.

    Every U verb can be used in Plus Quam Perfectum (e.g., я був почав); this tense is absent from R altogether.

    Every U verb can be used in a single-word Future Imperfect (e.g., матиму/матимемо/матимеш/матимете/матиме/матимуть); again, there’s no such tense in R.

    Scads of U verbs have synonyms, usually more than one (e.g., говорити/казати/мовити), for a corresponding Russian single verbal form (e.g. говорить). Plus, each of them has yet another form (говорить, казать, мовить) per the note above.

    Every U verb, adjective, and adverb with prefix “у” has its exact counterpart with prefix “в” (e.g., умерти/вмерти, уперта/вперта, упродовж/впродовж, etc.) vs a single form in R (e.g. умереть, but not вмереть).

    U has an astonishing variety of synonyms when it comes to nouns, especially related to things of nature. E.g. U has 13 synonyms for the word “horizon”: горизонт, обрій, небозвід, небосхил, крайнебо, круговид, кругозір, кругогляд, виднокруг, видноколо, виднокрай, небокрай, овид. R has just one: горизонт. And it’s just one example.

    U has thousands of single-word shortcut adverbs absent from R, such as торік, чимдуж, здебільш, навшпиньки, насамперед, завдальшe, etc. absent from R, all of which require two or three R words to express the same.

    U has three forms of superlative adjectives and adverbs (e.g., найвищий/якнайвищий/щоякнайвищий) vs one in R (e.g., наивысший).

    While in U, all of the above forms were present in common everyday speech in the 1700′s (that’s the speech and vocabulary Kotliarevsky used to write “The Aeneid” published in 1798), R at the time was a mere rudiment of what it has become after Pushkin and is today.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    No wonder, the great Slavic linguist Mao Cheng Ji loves the

    Ukrainian dialects, they’re incredibly cute.
     
    For they seem to be much more sophisticated than the formal Russian language! :-)
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality.
     
    Complexity tends to be more a feature of underdeveloped languages.

    Some of the most complex and impenetrable ones belong to small bands.

    The great "world" languages, such as English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese (that is, in comparison with local variants) are grammatically simple for ease of communication in the context of large unified nation-states and/or empires.

    OTOH, small languages suffer from not having the vocabulary to describe many of modern civilization's more technical terms.
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  90. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/
     
    A fairytale commonly passed around by Russian nationalists is not common "knowledge."

    Only someone totally unfamiliar with Ukraine and its language would believe the nonsense in the article. Thanks for yet again proving your gullibility.

    A funny example made famous by Bulgakov, which has nothing to do with the actual Ukrainian language but which a Russian-speaker might think its true -

    "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает."

    Nope. In the Ukrainian language a cat is "кит", a whale is "кыт" (not quite - there is no sound in Russian exactly like the this vowel in Ukrainian). It is clearly two different words with two different vowels. This example is a dead giveaway that the author is gearing B.S. towards Russian who don't know anything about Ukrainian.

    Article is another example of Russians ascribing to Ukraine what is true of Russia. The Russian literary language is the artificial one, significantly changed in the late 18th century/early 19th century, loaded with Church Slavonic and French words, and grammatically simpler, losing cases (such as the vocative, kept in Ukrainian as in other Slavic language, lost in Russian, retained only in archaic phrases such as Боже мой).

    Here is Kotliyarevsky's Aneida, written in the 18th century, easily understandable for modern Ukrainian-speakers:

    http://www.knyga.in.ua/index.php/biblioteka/k/kotlyarevskyy-ivan/1178-eneida-1-sha-chastyna

    Intermedia. :cat in a bag", from a play written by Mitrophan Dovhalevsky in 1619:

    http://www.everyday.in.ua/?p=12327

    Климко. Що ты тутъ, побратиме, собі порабляешь?
    Кажи мені, як живешь, та якъ ся маешь?

    Стецько. Я тут не роблю ничого. Ось иду до дому свого
    Та и зъ тоіеми горшками, якъ зъ своими сусідами.

    Closer to modern Ukrainian than Shakespearean English is to modern English.

    You’d think that Mao Cheng Ji would quit posting his insincere and dilettantish quips regarding the Ukrainian language by now. It’s obvious that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and that his posting of these unfounded memes is a total waste of the reader’s time. :-(

    On a similar path to posting dilettatish quips is Karlin himself? He and his map of Southern Ukraine seem to have been complete wash out…

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  91. @AP

    It’s an artificially created mumbo-jumbo. That’s common knowledge, see here, for example: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/ne-rodnoy-rodnoy-ukrainskiy-yazik/
     
    A fairytale commonly passed around by Russian nationalists is not common "knowledge."

    Only someone totally unfamiliar with Ukraine and its language would believe the nonsense in the article. Thanks for yet again proving your gullibility.

    A funny example made famous by Bulgakov, which has nothing to do with the actual Ukrainian language but which a Russian-speaker might think its true -

    "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает."

    Nope. In the Ukrainian language a cat is "кит", a whale is "кыт" (not quite - there is no sound in Russian exactly like the this vowel in Ukrainian). It is clearly two different words with two different vowels. This example is a dead giveaway that the author is gearing B.S. towards Russian who don't know anything about Ukrainian.

    Article is another example of Russians ascribing to Ukraine what is true of Russia. The Russian literary language is the artificial one, significantly changed in the late 18th century/early 19th century, loaded with Church Slavonic and French words, and grammatically simpler, losing cases (such as the vocative, kept in Ukrainian as in other Slavic language, lost in Russian, retained only in archaic phrases such as Боже мой).

    Here is Kotliyarevsky's Aneida, written in the 18th century, easily understandable for modern Ukrainian-speakers:

    http://www.knyga.in.ua/index.php/biblioteka/k/kotlyarevskyy-ivan/1178-eneida-1-sha-chastyna

    Intermedia. :cat in a bag", from a play written by Mitrophan Dovhalevsky in 1619:

    http://www.everyday.in.ua/?p=12327

    Климко. Що ты тутъ, побратиме, собі порабляешь?
    Кажи мені, як живешь, та якъ ся маешь?

    Стецько. Я тут не роблю ничого. Ось иду до дому свого
    Та и зъ тоіеми горшками, якъ зъ своими сусідами.

    Closer to modern Ukrainian than Shakespearean English is to modern English.

    Bugakov’s got nothing to do with it, not to mention the 18th century. The issue is vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages within the last 20 years or so.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I showed that the idea of "vandalizing the language" is a fantasy. "Vandalizing it" by bringing it in line with how it has always been? Bulgakov's example showed that the article simply contained a false statement - "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает.”

    That's just not true, as I explained.

    Ukrainian word for cat - кіт (Russian, pronounced кит)
    Ukrainian word for whale - кит (Russian doesn't have quite the same sound, but basically кыт)

    Two different words. Bulgakov joked that it was the same word, and Russians who don't know Ukrainian believed him. Russians who don't know Ukrainian but read this article will think the claim is true, when it is not.

    You are gullible as always.

    BTW I am amused that your source is of course a Party of Regions guy from Donetsk. Your go-to source for "information" about Ukraine :-)

    vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages
     
    Language was vandalized by communist savages in 1933. It came back to the pre-1933 Kharkiv standard.
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  92. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP
    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality:

    Compared to Ukrainian, Russian is a poor and underdeveloped language from every linguistic point of reference, particularly in terms of its vocabulary and grammar. It's understandable, as modern Russian, from the historic perspective, is a very young and largely artificially created language, a sort of Esperanto; and it hasn't had enough time, unlike Ukrainian, to develop the variety of linguistic forms and shortcuts that emerge only when a language is used naturally and for a long period of time by common people communicating with one another daily , rather than via being concocted in an ivory tower. As a result, there're thousands of Ukrainian shortcut adverbs (e.g.: торік, чимдуж, etc.) that can be expressed in Russian only by using a combination of three separate words. Likewise, Ukrainian has three single-word superlative degrees, while Russian has only one. Ukrainian has two Infinitive forms for every verb (e.g.: робити/робить) versus a single form in Russian. Ukrainian has single-word forms of Future Imperfect (e.g. матиму, матимемо, матимеш, матиме, матимуть) completely absent from Russian. Ukrainian has the Plus Quam Perfectum tense (e.g. він почав був читати, та його зупинили); Russian doesn't. And the list goes on and on.
     
    Examples:

    Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).
    All U verbs in Present Imperfect ending in "є" also have two forms (e.g., буває/бува) vs only one (бывает)in R.

    Every U verb can be used in Plus Quam Perfectum (e.g., я був почав); this tense is absent from R altogether.

    Every U verb can be used in a single-word Future Imperfect (e.g., матиму/матимемо/матимеш/матимете/матиме/матимуть); again, there's no such tense in R.

    Scads of U verbs have synonyms, usually more than one (e.g., говорити/казати/мовити), for a corresponding Russian single verbal form (e.g. говорить). Plus, each of them has yet another form (говорить, казать, мовить) per the note above.

    Every U verb, adjective, and adverb with prefix "у" has its exact counterpart with prefix "в" (e.g., умерти/вмерти, уперта/вперта, упродовж/впродовж, etc.) vs a single form in R (e.g. умереть, but not вмереть).

    U has an astonishing variety of synonyms when it comes to nouns, especially related to things of nature. E.g. U has 13 synonyms for the word "horizon": горизонт, обрій, небозвід, небосхил, крайнебо, круговид, кругозір, кругогляд, виднокруг, видноколо, виднокрай, небокрай, овид. R has just one: горизонт. And it's just one example.

    U has thousands of single-word shortcut adverbs absent from R, such as торік, чимдуж, здебільш, навшпиньки, насамперед, завдальшe, etc. absent from R, all of which require two or three R words to express the same.

    U has three forms of superlative adjectives and adverbs (e.g., найвищий/якнайвищий/щоякнайвищий) vs one in R (e.g., наивысший).

    While in U, all of the above forms were present in common everyday speech in the 1700's (that's the speech and vocabulary Kotliarevsky used to write "The Aeneid" published in 1798), R at the time was a mere rudiment of what it has become after Pushkin and is today.
     

    No wonder, the great Slavic linguist Mao Cheng Ji loves the

    Ukrainian dialects, they’re incredibly cute.

    For they seem to be much more sophisticated than the formal Russian language! :-)

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  93. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Bugakov's got nothing to do with it, not to mention the 18th century. The issue is vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages within the last 20 years or so.

    I showed that the idea of “vandalizing the language” is a fantasy. “Vandalizing it” by bringing it in line with how it has always been? Bulgakov’s example showed that the article simply contained a false statement – “И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает.”

    That’s just not true, as I explained.

    Ukrainian word for cat – кіт (Russian, pronounced кит)
    Ukrainian word for whale – кит (Russian doesn’t have quite the same sound, but basically кыт)

    Two different words. Bulgakov joked that it was the same word, and Russians who don’t know Ukrainian believed him. Russians who don’t know Ukrainian but read this article will think the claim is true, when it is not.

    You are gullible as always.

    BTW I am amused that your source is of course a Party of Regions guy from Donetsk. Your go-to source for “information” about Ukraine :-)

    vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages

    Language was vandalized by communist savages in 1933. It came back to the pre-1933 Kharkiv standard.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I'm well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov's works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.

    Again, this has nothing to do with overenthusiastic nationalist savages vandalizing the perfectly fine language in the last 20 years or so. Your replies are non-sequatures.
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  94. anon says: • Website • Disclaimer

    Amazing what Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, etc were able to do with such an awful language. Who are those towering figures of Ukranian literature again?

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    • Replies: @AP
    No one said "awful", the posted comments stated artificial and simpler, and provided examples of this. The genius of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, etc was largely in their ideas and stories, language itself is less relevant.
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  95. @AP
    I showed that the idea of "vandalizing the language" is a fantasy. "Vandalizing it" by bringing it in line with how it has always been? Bulgakov's example showed that the article simply contained a false statement - "И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает.”

    That's just not true, as I explained.

    Ukrainian word for cat - кіт (Russian, pronounced кит)
    Ukrainian word for whale - кит (Russian doesn't have quite the same sound, but basically кыт)

    Two different words. Bulgakov joked that it was the same word, and Russians who don't know Ukrainian believed him. Russians who don't know Ukrainian but read this article will think the claim is true, when it is not.

    You are gullible as always.

    BTW I am amused that your source is of course a Party of Regions guy from Donetsk. Your go-to source for "information" about Ukraine :-)

    vandalizing the language by overenthusiastic nationalist savages
     
    Language was vandalized by communist savages in 1933. It came back to the pre-1933 Kharkiv standard.

    I’m well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov’s works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.

    Again, this has nothing to do with overenthusiastic nationalist savages vandalizing the perfectly fine language in the last 20 years or so. Your replies are non-sequatures.

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    • Replies: @AP

    I’m well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov’s works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.
     
    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?

    vandalizing the perfectly fine language
     
    When someone restores a nice old building by removing the crap such as aluminum siding added onto it in recent times is this "vandalizing" in your world?

    In 1933, Communists vandalized the Ukrainian language by trying to bring it in line with Russian. They removed the letter "g", for example, so that that Ukraine only had the letter "h", and made it correspond exactly with the Russian letter "g". They simplified the Ukrainian grammar. They tried to purge some words that were similar to Polish. This was the vandalism.
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  96. Cyrano says:
    @some points
    Life is too short to waste it on sophism and pointless mental jousting (unless one gets paid for it of course; money trumps everything). Ancient Greece did sophism and look where it got her. Well, at least wise men and play writers understood the problem. Like in Aristophanes' "The clouds', the father sends his son to learn sophistry (ie, how to make a bad argument look good), only for his son to then beat him up and argue that it is just for a son to beat his father and even his mother. That is what the so-called Ukraine does. It thinks itself to be smart and cunning and 'everyone has its own truth', only to beat itself up and get nowhere.

    Rome did not do sophistry, nor did it do racism. Rome did Empire. English did Empire and did racism and did not last long (one can argue that the English sort of stumbled into an Empire merely following their commercial interests). Russians and the Cossacks handed English their asses at the Battle of Balaclava. It was one of the worst defeats suffered by the English. When the historian and pretend car enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson visited Crimea and Ukraine, that was the only thing he could think about (see Top Gear). The English got maneuvered into galloping on horses with their swords against ... cannons... cannons!... like some aborigines (no offence to aborigines) would do against the English in the tropics and be slaughtered. That was the end of the English adventure (no offence to English; it is what it is) into Russia and the Cossack land. At this very time these same English were destroying the Qing dynasty of China in the Second Opium War. (Those losses on the part of Han eventually led to the fall of the Emperor and the rise of the Communist Party.)

    That is inspiring... I am one of probably a few people from a small village in the middle of nowhere (where people speak a native Ukrainian) who through happenstance has gotten a chance to travel the world. I know I can do well. Behind me are successful forefathers. And if they could do it, so must I.

    Now, what does the 'modern' 'Ukraine' offer me? Stale German racism... In 1990s, these students from the West of Ukraine would whisper these jokes: 'what is better than a dead Russian? A fresh dead Russian everyday!". Now this kind of garbage is shouted openly on the streets of Kiev. Seriously? Not interested... And yes, my grandfather did fight against Germans in WWII. You want me to think of my grandfather as a traitor of your racist ideals... Not interested... And the Cossack regiment in my village did go against Mazepa and held him to as a traitor. You want me to believe that somehow they got it all wrong. Well, they were the winners, and your idols were the losers. My forefathers got it right...

    I believe that we will have a back to the future moment of clarity soon.

    Every human life lived involves some kind of suffering. But not every human suffering deserves sympathy. Not in my wildest dreams I could summon the generosity of spirit to have sympathy for someone like Hitler. Although there is no doubt in my mind that he suffered too, I have no sympathy for such suffering.

    Quite often the suffering comes not as a result of some unfavorable conditions outside of our power to influence them, but it comes as a result of our own stupidity.

    The chain of events is like this: Stupidity produces evil which produces suffering both for the person with whom the stupidity originated and for those around him.

    That’s why I have no sympathy for the suffering of the Ukrainians. People will say, what kind of Slav are you if you can’t have sympathy for your fellow Slavs? They might think that I should be more forgiving towards them because they are Slavs.

    Actually, I feel the opposite. The stupidity of the Slavs bothers me more and makes me angrier, because it reflects on me too. If, for example, the Anglo-Saxons or the Romanic nations, or any other nations did something stupid that doesn’t affect the rest of us – it doesn’t bother me. They are free to engage in any kind of stupidity in their own free time – as long as they are the only ones that will suffer the consequences of their actions.

    I find it unforgivable when Slavs do something stupid. Like the Ukrainians. And then they cause suffering for themselves and others. For themselves – they deserve it, for the others – that’s who I feel sympathy for. Ukrainians never seem to have learned one very simple and basic fact. Going against Russia has never brought them anything good and this time is not going to be any different either.

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  97. @Mr. Hack
    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of 'NovoRosija' were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.

    By the way, the 'Novorosija' land (gubernia) lasted for roughly 25 years (1764-1783, 1796-1802). Apparently the name itself was not all that important, and the land area was enlarged and subdivided into 3 separate gubernias. It's ironic that Russian nationalists had to pull the name out of the dustbin of history and try to reanimate it in 2014. Modern history shows us just how popular the 'NovoRosija' experiment was among the majority population of Ukrainians in these southern Ukrainian lands, all except the Crimea and the furthest wisp of borderland in far eastern Donbas.

    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of ‘NovoRosija’ were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.

    Yes, exactly. In 1897 (i.e. before Stalin) and today (i.e. after Stalin).

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.

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    southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.
     
    It was more like 57% in 1897 (53.5% Kherson governate, 60% Tavria governate outside Crimea). The loss of Jews and Germans accounts for much of this increase.

    Stalinism did involve mass killing of Ukrainians and importation of Russian colonists.

    From 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%.
    , @Mr. Hack

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.
     
    So, whether we believe your version of the facts regarding the importation of Russians into Ukraine to replace dying Ukrainians, or AP's different version, the fact remains that Ukrainians were (in 1987), and still remain (2017) the dominant ethnic group in these Southern Ukrainian lands. And, as you point out, for whatever reason, the Ukrainian ethnos is increasing there all of the time. Isn't this enough reason for you to give up on the outdated and revisioninst idea of somesort of a new NovoRosija. It seems clear, that even your close Russian nationalist cohort, Ahdrei Martyanov, is smart enough to see the bright light:

    I have my own contacts, can not be ignored. It is a huge factor. Kharkov had its chance, they chose Kernes. Too bad, people need to go through the phase of living with the consequences of their decisions. I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

     

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  98. @Anatoly Karlin
    Restoring my two comments to Mr. Hack:

    1.

    The Saker does indeed peddle a lot of BS, but you are hardly one to talk.

    1. The Chechens were briefly involved in 2014, have long since left.

    2. The vast majority of the NAF (80%) are Ukrainian citizens, as confirmed by multiple sources including a list of names leaked by your ideological comrades at the Peacekeeper website. About another 10% are Russians from the Kuban, which is ethnically and culturally close to the Donbass, while the last 10% are Russians and other adventurers from the wider world.

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov, as well as Russian logistical and artillery support.

    3. NAF volunteers are indeed probably lower than average on the socio-economic scale, but I would be exceedingly surprised if it was otherwise for the UAF and the independent batallions. Certainly the chronic drunkeness, accidents, etc. in the Ukrainian Army that are constantly being written about indicates that doesn't harvest the cream of Ukraine's crop. (And that makes sense - apart from a hard core of patriots and nationalists, any Ukrainian would pay to avoid conscription, if he has the means).

    2.

    So, even by your own admissions,up to 20% of the NAF’s forces are made up by foreigners and Russians...
     
    It was clear from the outset that the bulk of the Donbass resistance was local and I appreciate your Peacekeeper friends for helping quantify it more or less exactly. Not my admission, theirs.

    Take up any complaints about "fudging" with Anton Gerashchenko.

    It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of Ukraine’s forces are actually assembled by Eastern Ukrainians, and not the proverbial Galicians or Nazis that one often hears about.
     
    It's more the case that there are fewer shirkers amongst them. The Galicians are very loud in their nationalism, but tend to fade away into the background once the time comes for making more concrete contributions to the cause.

    https://cs5.pikabu.ru/post_img/2015/02/05/8/1423140234_204693493.jpg

    Russian volunteers like Strelkov

    LOL. Anatoly, in this case I have to ask you–and in what sense are you better than Saker?

    as well as Russian logistical and artillery support

    Only that?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?

    "Only that?" No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention? Again, what specifially do you want to nitpick?
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  99. AP says:
    @anon
    Amazing what Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, etc were able to do with such an awful language. Who are those towering figures of Ukranian literature again?

    No one said “awful”, the posted comments stated artificial and simpler, and provided examples of this. The genius of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, etc was largely in their ideas and stories, language itself is less relevant.

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  100. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    I'm well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov's works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.

    Again, this has nothing to do with overenthusiastic nationalist savages vandalizing the perfectly fine language in the last 20 years or so. Your replies are non-sequatures.

    I’m well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov’s works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.

    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?

    vandalizing the perfectly fine language

    When someone restores a nice old building by removing the crap such as aluminum siding added onto it in recent times is this “vandalizing” in your world?

    In 1933, Communists vandalized the Ukrainian language by trying to bring it in line with Russian. They removed the letter “g”, for example, so that that Ukraine only had the letter “h”, and made it correspond exactly with the Russian letter “g”. They simplified the Ukrainian grammar. They tried to purge some words that were similar to Polish. This was the vandalism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?
     
    It doesn't lie, it expresses a point of view. And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it's common pretty much everywhere: in the East, South, Zakarpattia, and Kiev. Maybe less so in Galicia and Volhynia, but that's a different story.
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  101. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of ‘NovoRosija’ were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.
     
    Yes, exactly. In 1897 (i.e. before Stalin) and today (i.e. after Stalin).

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.

    southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.

    It was more like 57% in 1897 (53.5% Kherson governate, 60% Tavria governate outside Crimea). The loss of Jews and Germans accounts for much of this increase.

    Stalinism did involve mass killing of Ukrainians and importation of Russian colonists.

    From 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
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  102. @AP

    Southern Novorossiya is far more Ukrainian today than it was in 1897, thanks primarily to Lenin and Stalin.
     
    Today is 26 years after independence. 1989 would be more relevant.

    Well, Kherson guberniya in 1897 (which included the city of Odessa, but not the area south of Odessa city that is currently part of Odessa oblast) was 53.5% Ukrainian, 21% Russian, 11.8% Jewish, 5.4% Romanian and 4.5% German.

    I don't think Lenin got rid of the Jews, and the elimination of the Romanians and Germans was probably not part of some sort of Ukrainian nation-building project.

    In 1990 Odessa oblast was 27% Russian (today it is about 21% Russian).. Couldn't find data for the other parts of Kherson governate.

    But:

    Here is demographic data for Ukrainian SSR as a whole

    In 1926, the Ukrainian SSR was 80% Ukrainian and only 9% Russian. In 1989 it was 73% Ukrainian and 22% Russian, despite the annexation of western Ukraine.

    From 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%.

    So Ukrainians were killed, Russians were settled in.

    However, Kherson is much more Ukrainian than is Odessa.

    Your UkSSR data is a much better argument.

    However, I should remind readers that Pavel was making a more specific argument:

    … and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which – thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.

    But the areas in question (Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts; former Stalino during 1924-30) always had a very strong Russian presence.

    In 1926, Ukrainins were: 53% in Stalino (now Donetsk oblast, roughly); 52% in Lugansk; 26% in the city of Donetsk (Russians 57%).

    In 1989, Ukrainians were: 51% in Donetsk (now including the city!), 52% in Lugansk oblast.

    Source.

    So he is specifically wrong on the specifics.

    Second, yes, Russians immigrated into Ukraine during the USSR, as they did to Central Asia, and Ukrainians did to places like Central Asia and the Russian Far East as well.

    But that was a steady pattern through Soviet history that was not specific to Stalin, nor synchronized with the Holodomor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    In 1926, Ukrainins were: 53% in Stalino (now Donetsk oblast, roughly); 52% in Lugansk; 26% in the city of Donetsk (Russians 57%).

    In 1989, Ukrainians were: 51% in Donetsk (now including the city!), 52% in Lugansk oblast.
     
    Rural Ukrainians also traditionally have had a significantly higher fertility rate than ethnic Russians, who tended to be urban. This, plus the disappearance of Jews and Germans, accounts for a relative increase in the Ukrainian %.

    Second, yes, Russians immigrated into Ukraine during the USSR, as they did to Central Asia, and Ukrainians did to places like Central Asia and the Russian Far East as well.

    But that was a steady pattern through Soviet history that was not specific to Stalin, nor synchronized with the Holodomor.
     
    Correct for most of the Soviet period. This process would result in a slow and gradual erosion of the Ukrainian % in the Ukrainian SSR, which is what happened.

    Stalin's time was different, however. But during the Holodomor, the Ukrainian population dropped while the Russian population kept increasing. That's why from 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%. The reason for that, of course, is that the Holodomor killed millions of peasants (most of whom were Ukrainians) but didn't really affect city-dwellers much (where the Russians lived and moved to).
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  103. @AP
    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality:

    Compared to Ukrainian, Russian is a poor and underdeveloped language from every linguistic point of reference, particularly in terms of its vocabulary and grammar. It's understandable, as modern Russian, from the historic perspective, is a very young and largely artificially created language, a sort of Esperanto; and it hasn't had enough time, unlike Ukrainian, to develop the variety of linguistic forms and shortcuts that emerge only when a language is used naturally and for a long period of time by common people communicating with one another daily , rather than via being concocted in an ivory tower. As a result, there're thousands of Ukrainian shortcut adverbs (e.g.: торік, чимдуж, etc.) that can be expressed in Russian only by using a combination of three separate words. Likewise, Ukrainian has three single-word superlative degrees, while Russian has only one. Ukrainian has two Infinitive forms for every verb (e.g.: робити/робить) versus a single form in Russian. Ukrainian has single-word forms of Future Imperfect (e.g. матиму, матимемо, матимеш, матиме, матимуть) completely absent from Russian. Ukrainian has the Plus Quam Perfectum tense (e.g. він почав був читати, та його зупинили); Russian doesn't. And the list goes on and on.
     
    Examples:

    Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).
    All U verbs in Present Imperfect ending in "є" also have two forms (e.g., буває/бува) vs only one (бывает)in R.

    Every U verb can be used in Plus Quam Perfectum (e.g., я був почав); this tense is absent from R altogether.

    Every U verb can be used in a single-word Future Imperfect (e.g., матиму/матимемо/матимеш/матимете/матиме/матимуть); again, there's no such tense in R.

    Scads of U verbs have synonyms, usually more than one (e.g., говорити/казати/мовити), for a corresponding Russian single verbal form (e.g. говорить). Plus, each of them has yet another form (говорить, казать, мовить) per the note above.

    Every U verb, adjective, and adverb with prefix "у" has its exact counterpart with prefix "в" (e.g., умерти/вмерти, уперта/вперта, упродовж/впродовж, etc.) vs a single form in R (e.g. умереть, but not вмереть).

    U has an astonishing variety of synonyms when it comes to nouns, especially related to things of nature. E.g. U has 13 synonyms for the word "horizon": горизонт, обрій, небозвід, небосхил, крайнебо, круговид, кругозір, кругогляд, виднокруг, видноколо, виднокрай, небокрай, овид. R has just one: горизонт. And it's just one example.

    U has thousands of single-word shortcut adverbs absent from R, such as торік, чимдуж, здебільш, навшпиньки, насамперед, завдальшe, etc. absent from R, all of which require two or three R words to express the same.

    U has three forms of superlative adjectives and adverbs (e.g., найвищий/якнайвищий/щоякнайвищий) vs one in R (e.g., наивысший).

    While in U, all of the above forms were present in common everyday speech in the 1700's (that's the speech and vocabulary Kotliarevsky used to write "The Aeneid" published in 1798), R at the time was a mere rudiment of what it has become after Pushkin and is today.
     

    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality.

    Complexity tends to be more a feature of underdeveloped languages.

    Some of the most complex and impenetrable ones belong to small bands.

    The great “world” languages, such as English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese (that is, in comparison with local variants) are grammatically simple for ease of communication in the context of large unified nation-states and/or empires.

    OTOH, small languages suffer from not having the vocabulary to describe many of modern civilization’s more technical terms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    This is a very good point. OTOH these imperial languages tend to be more artificial or manufactured. The comment I posted was in response to the common (false) Russian idea that the Ukrainian language is an artificial one, in comparison to Russian, when in reality the opposite is the case.

    Modern Ukrainian is very similar to the excerpts I provided from 1619 and 1798, and has preserved archaic grammar features that have disappeared in Russian. When Ukrainian was standardized (as Little Russian) by Little Russian activists in the 19th century there was a very deliberate effort to use the pure speech used by people was Poltava; Russian in contrast used a lot of Church Slavonic and French words; it was less organic. I suspect this had to do with the fact that Ukrainian was standardized a few decades later, when Romanticism had come to emphasize peasants, than was Russian.
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  104. @Andrei Martyanov

    Russian volunteers like Strelkov
     
    LOL. Anatoly, in this case I have to ask you--and in what sense are you better than Saker?

    as well as Russian logistical and artillery support
     
    Only that?

    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?

    Only that?” No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention? Again, what specifially do you want to nitpick?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?
     
    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud: militarily, geopolitically, politically, ideologically etc. Today more and more information becomes available both about the fate of Slavyansk and of Girkin's activity there. After non-stop delirium which Girkin delivers for the last three years--enough to read (difficult to do without cringing) his "forecasts" on Syria--on the whole range of issues, one has to face not only on the merit but irresistible question--what does it say about a person who states this:

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov
     
    I'll open some secret to you--there were more competent, more courageous and more experienced people than Girkin and who still remain in the shadows, as they are supposed to do. The more I learn details, the more I (and not me only) have questions about Girkin "competencies" as a military man.

    “Only that?” No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention?
     
    But you still made, entirely false, statement above. In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today. The actions of Moscow on several major levels, of Russia's Armed Forces, of intelligence services etc. made sure that Republics will not fall.
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  105. @AP

    I’m well aware of кiт and кит, and the Bulgakov’s works, and most likely much more aware of all that than you are.
     
    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?

    vandalizing the perfectly fine language
     
    When someone restores a nice old building by removing the crap such as aluminum siding added onto it in recent times is this "vandalizing" in your world?

    In 1933, Communists vandalized the Ukrainian language by trying to bring it in line with Russian. They removed the letter "g", for example, so that that Ukraine only had the letter "h", and made it correspond exactly with the Russian letter "g". They simplified the Ukrainian grammar. They tried to purge some words that were similar to Polish. This was the vandalism.

    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?

    It doesn’t lie, it expresses a point of view. And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it’s common pretty much everywhere: in the East, South, Zakarpattia, and Kiev. Maybe less so in Galicia and Volhynia, but that’s a different story.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    It doesn’t lie, it expresses a point of view.
     
    No, it made a factual claim:

    И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает

    That was clearly false. A lie.

    Nothing else the author wrote can be trusted.

    And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it’s common pretty much everywhere:
     
    Translation: some dishonest Party of Regions writer in Donbas said it's common, and gullible Mao believes him.

    I'm sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn't make it true.
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  106. Pavel says:
    @Wally
    said:
    "Sure the Russians can destroy Ukraine, but they cannot subjugate her. Ukraine won’t be Russian slave any more, plain and simple. Putin did everything to ensure that now Ukraine won’t even be a close friend. Smart politics?.. "

    Russia is not interested in any of that. The have the Crimea and the Russians in that region, and that's all they wanted ... the Crimea will remain Russian.

    The last thing they want is the need to support the pathetic Ukrainian basket case.

    Look at the map on top of the article. What you see in color is exactly what the Russians wanted to become their “Novorossia”.

    The goal was clear and simple – to invade, occupy and quickly, through what has become known as “occupendum” (referendum in the reality of foreign armed forces occupation), take over the Crimea, then immediately start “building the land bridge” to the annexed peninsula through the Ukrainian south-east.

    In reality, despite occupation and annexation of Crimea were successful (no surprise here, when one stabs his declared friend in the back it’s usually successful), the Russians could not achieve anything apart from holding small parts within Luhansk and Donetsk regions (mind it not whole regions, but small parts of them only).

    The Russians could not even hold Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, which was quickly retaken by the Ukrainian army and the National Guard, same way as Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and certain other towns within Luhansk and Donetsk regions were liberated from Russian troops, uniformed or in plain cloths.

    It’s not that the Russians did not want to split Ukraine in 2 and made south-eastern part of her, plus Kharkiv region (currently fully under the control of the Ukrainian government) their “Novorossia”. They wanted exactly that, and they were working hard to make it happen. Putin talked publicly about it using the terminology such as “Novorossia”, but the fact was, and remains to be, that the Russians just could not achieve their goal.

    The main reason of the Russian failure in creating “Novorossia” is that Putin finally understood, probably in late 2014, that splitting Ukraine in 2 would cost him his presidency and, most likely, his life, because even within his close circle of friends, no matter what they say publicly appearing as “united”, people were not, and are not, prepared to lose everything – add here guerrilla war against them personally, their interests everywhere, both outside and inside Russia – in exchange for this “Novorossia” imperialist fantasy.

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations. Russia wanted “Novorossia” to happen, badly, it’s just that Russia could not get it done, for various reasons, among them moral unpreparedness of the Russian people to lose dozens of thousands of lives of young Russian soldiers in stupid Kremlin war with neighboring white European nation of Ukraine, in the reality of rapidly growing Ukrainian patriotism in the reality of foreign aggression committed by supposed “friend” (which added bitterness to natural anger in response to cowardly backstabbing attack).

    Russia has no problem supporting “the pathetic Crimea basket case”, which cost Russia a lot, as reported by the Russian government economists. Russians inside Russia does not like it very much, but at least annexation of Crimea was somewhat “justified” to them preying on their respect to history of the region combined with the complete juridical illiteracy. However, of course, annexation still remains to be illegal because one just cannot grab what he believes is his without at least
    presenting claims in civilized manner first, pursuant to the international law which, let me remind you, applies to Russia equally thus protecting her current ownership of the territories which not that long ago belonged to Finland, Germany (Prussia), China and Japan.

    Crimea will of course be returned to Ukraine, but not before Russia realizes that this is a necessity to restore trust-based relationship with Ukraine and, through this example, others. It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state. It will be extremely difficult for Russia to restore this trust, it may take a couple of generations.

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians, his nation’s (even if not his personal) natural allies. By his cowardly, backstabbing, stupid imperialistic attack on brotherly nation of Ukraine, Putin committed not just a crime but delivered great disservice to his own nation and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written. To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.

    It’s worth to mention that ones who support Putin’s aggression on Ukraine are simply anti-white.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations.
     
    No, it didn't. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Russians inside Russia does not like it very much...
     
    By "Russians inside Russia" OP evidently means about 10% of Russians, that is, West-worshipping liberals and the small percentage of self-hating nationalists who are Nazi-LARPers.

    It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state.
     
    And you are qualified to adjudicate between the two... exactly how?

    ... and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written.
     
    Dugin has nothing to do with either white European brotherhood nor bright minds. He is an open borders Eurasianist who wants to create a Greater Turkestan, and (thankfully) has minimal influence within Russia itself . Though I will give him kudos on his hardline stance on the Ukraine.

    To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.
     
    Putin throws nationalists in jail without much regard for their pro/anti-Ukraine status.

    Almost all Russian nationalists apart from aforementioned Nazi-LARpers support Crimea, and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    , @Andrei Martyanov
    You really need to get back on your meds. But it seems that living in the reality is not a thing practiced by Ukrainians anymore (I doubt it was in the last 25 years).

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians,
     
    I have some good news for you--10 Buryat Armored Divisions (all equipped with T-14 Armata MBTs) have been just demolished by VSU near Kherson and hospitals are filled with wounded Buryat tankers. Meanwhile Chechen armies are in full retreat around Donetsk. Schee Ne Vmerla Ukraina!!! ;-)
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  107. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Some detailed comments by someone else, about Russian vs. Ukrainian linguistic artificiality.
     
    Complexity tends to be more a feature of underdeveloped languages.

    Some of the most complex and impenetrable ones belong to small bands.

    The great "world" languages, such as English, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese (that is, in comparison with local variants) are grammatically simple for ease of communication in the context of large unified nation-states and/or empires.

    OTOH, small languages suffer from not having the vocabulary to describe many of modern civilization's more technical terms.

    This is a very good point. OTOH these imperial languages tend to be more artificial or manufactured. The comment I posted was in response to the common (false) Russian idea that the Ukrainian language is an artificial one, in comparison to Russian, when in reality the opposite is the case.

    Modern Ukrainian is very similar to the excerpts I provided from 1619 and 1798, and has preserved archaic grammar features that have disappeared in Russian. When Ukrainian was standardized (as Little Russian) by Little Russian activists in the 19th century there was a very deliberate effort to use the pure speech used by people was Poltava; Russian in contrast used a lot of Church Slavonic and French words; it was less organic. I suspect this had to do with the fact that Ukrainian was standardized a few decades later, when Romanticism had come to emphasize peasants, than was Russian.

    Read More
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  108. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    However, Kherson is much more Ukrainian than is Odessa.

    Your UkSSR data is a much better argument.

    However, I should remind readers that Pavel was making a more specific argument:

    ... and only because there is not enough Ukrainian resistance in these areas which – thanks to Stalin’s population replacement policy – were intentionally and deliberately “russified”, populated by ethnic Russians during the Soviet time.
     
    But the areas in question (Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts; former Stalino during 1924-30) always had a very strong Russian presence.

    In 1926, Ukrainins were: 53% in Stalino (now Donetsk oblast, roughly); 52% in Lugansk; 26% in the city of Donetsk (Russians 57%).

    In 1989, Ukrainians were: 51% in Donetsk (now including the city!), 52% in Lugansk oblast.

    Source.

    So he is specifically wrong on the specifics.

    Second, yes, Russians immigrated into Ukraine during the USSR, as they did to Central Asia, and Ukrainians did to places like Central Asia and the Russian Far East as well.

    But that was a steady pattern through Soviet history that was not specific to Stalin, nor synchronized with the Holodomor.

    In 1926, Ukrainins were: 53% in Stalino (now Donetsk oblast, roughly); 52% in Lugansk; 26% in the city of Donetsk (Russians 57%).

    In 1989, Ukrainians were: 51% in Donetsk (now including the city!), 52% in Lugansk oblast.

    Rural Ukrainians also traditionally have had a significantly higher fertility rate than ethnic Russians, who tended to be urban. This, plus the disappearance of Jews and Germans, accounts for a relative increase in the Ukrainian %.

    Second, yes, Russians immigrated into Ukraine during the USSR, as they did to Central Asia, and Ukrainians did to places like Central Asia and the Russian Far East as well.

    But that was a steady pattern through Soviet history that was not specific to Stalin, nor synchronized with the Holodomor.

    Correct for most of the Soviet period. This process would result in a slow and gradual erosion of the Ukrainian % in the Ukrainian SSR, which is what happened.

    Stalin’s time was different, however. But during the Holodomor, the Ukrainian population dropped while the Russian population kept increasing. That’s why from 1926 to 1939 the Ukrainian population increased by only 1.93% but the Russian population increased by 56%. The reason for that, of course, is that the Holodomor killed millions of peasants (most of whom were Ukrainians) but didn’t really affect city-dwellers much (where the Russians lived and moved to).

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  109. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    All that the map that you show does is to verify that the majority of inhabitants of the fictious land of ‘NovoRosija’ were indeed Ukrainians. Only the very outer core of the Donbas region, the part roughly held by the rebels today, is made up mostly of non-Ukrainian stock.
     
    Yes, exactly. In 1897 (i.e. before Stalin) and today (i.e. after Stalin).

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.

    So, whether we believe your version of the facts regarding the importation of Russians into Ukraine to replace dying Ukrainians, or AP’s different version, the fact remains that Ukrainians were (in 1987), and still remain (2017) the dominant ethnic group in these Southern Ukrainian lands. And, as you point out, for whatever reason, the Ukrainian ethnos is increasing there all of the time. Isn’t this enough reason for you to give up on the outdated and revisioninst idea of somesort of a new NovoRosija. It seems clear, that even your close Russian nationalist cohort, Ahdrei Martyanov, is smart enough to see the bright light:

    I have my own contacts, can not be ignored. It is a huge factor. Kharkov had its chance, they chose Kernes. Too bad, people need to go through the phase of living with the consequences of their decisions. I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    '1897' not '1987'.
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  110. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    So why do you knowingly post an article that lies?
     
    It doesn't lie, it expresses a point of view. And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it's common pretty much everywhere: in the East, South, Zakarpattia, and Kiev. Maybe less so in Galicia and Volhynia, but that's a different story.

    It doesn’t lie, it expresses a point of view.

    No, it made a factual claim:

    И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает

    That was clearly false. A lie.

    Nothing else the author wrote can be trusted.

    And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it’s common pretty much everywhere:

    Translation: some dishonest Party of Regions writer in Donbas said it’s common, and gullible Mao believes him.

    I’m sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn’t make it true.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    I’m sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn’t make it true.
     
    I'm sure Russian nationalist activists don't care. But ordinary people from all over the place say that they have trouble understanding crappy official mambo-jumbo language that sounds like a parody of itself. And that's all there is to it.
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  111. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)
     
    Every civilian death is a tragedy. Ukraine is not operating with precision weapons and highly trained forces, against an enemy that has embedded itself in highly settled areas. This situation is similar to the one Russia encountered in Chechnya (Ukrainian military was probably not unlike the Yeltsin-era Russian military, even further degraded), or Syria in its country.

    The civilian death toll in Donbas is estimated at around 3,000.

    Estimates of civilian casualties in Chechnya (which has fewer people than Donbas) range wildly from 50,000 to 250,000.

    The Syrian civilian death toll is estimated at about 98,000.

    So Kiev has acted much less inhumanely towards civilians than have Russia or the various sides in Syria, though in a way that probably* not in accordance with modern Western European norms. It is somewhere between these two.

    *Of course, no western European country has recently had a situation such as Kiev has in Donbas. Scots and Catalonians are nonviolent. IRA never seized and embedded its forces in civilian areas within large parts of northern Ireland. OTOH Croats killed more Serbs in the 90s than Ukrainians killed in Donbas, and Croatia is in the EU.

    Agree.

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  112. Part 1 of 3

    The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia

    [MORE]

    Chapter 9
    After August 7: The Escalation of the Russia-Georgia War
    byPavel Felgenhauer
    The sequence of events that led to the Russia-Georgia war is a matter of political contention and shifting blame, even though there is broad agreement on the narrative of the subsequent combat per se. Of course, the fog of war continues to obscure many details; staff documents are still secret on both the Russian and Georgian sides, as are figures on the exact number of men, tanks, and warplanes that were involved. However, there are good estimates on numbers and on the moves made by both sides in a short but eventful war.
    The Strategic Mismatch
    The Russians and their separatist allies in Abkhazia and South Ossetia prepared and executed in August 2008 a war which the Georgians did not predict or expect. The Georgians, until they were plunged headlong into the fighting, appear to have prepared only for a replay of previous confrontations in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions in the early 1990s, which had resulted in a military standoff with the separatist forces, who were sup-ported to some extent by the Russian military and by so-called North Caucasian volunteers and Cossacks. But this time, the Russian military staged an all-out invasion, planning to totally decimate and destroy the Georgian military—in effect, a full demilitarization of Georgia, as well as to overthrow the hated pro-Western regime led by President Mikheil Saakashvili. For this purpose, the Russian staffs mobilized and prepared for action tens of thousands of servicemen from the Navy, Air Force, and Army. The Russian war plans also envisaged a possible escalation of the conflict with Georgia to involve the U.S. and NATO.

    In the actual fighting in August 2008, the separatist forces that the Georgians had seen as their main adversary played only a supporting role as a vanguard to the Russians, to engage and draw the Georgian forces into combat. Subsequently their role shifted to that of an auxiliary infantry. This strategic mismatch in perceptions and planning produced a disastrous result for Georgia and threw Western policy-makers into disarray and created utter uncertainty over what to expect from Russia in the Caucasus or else-where. This confusion persists to the present.

    In public testimony before a parliamentary commission investigating the war with Russia, the Chief of Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces during the war, General Zaza Gogava, disclosed that “military and foreign intelligence information coming before August was not comprehensive enough to indicate that such a large-scale Russian military intervention was to be expected. We were not expecting what started on August 9 – a full-scale military intervention with the goal to take over the capital city, Tbilisi.” Gogava, as well as other Georgian officials who testified before the commission, divided the Russian military intervention into two phases—the first from August 7-9, and the second starting from August 9, when Russia launched what the Georgians term a “full-scale aggression.” The Georgian failure to predict the Russian intervention was attributable in part to intelligence failure. Indeed, Gogava complained ruefully that “In 2005 the Intelligence unit in the Ministry of Defense had been disbanded.” [1]

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  113. @Anatoly Karlin
    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?

    "Only that?" No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention? Again, what specifially do you want to nitpick?

    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?

    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud: militarily, geopolitically, politically, ideologically etc. Today more and more information becomes available both about the fate of Slavyansk and of Girkin’s activity there. After non-stop delirium which Girkin delivers for the last three years–enough to read (difficult to do without cringing) his “forecasts” on Syria–on the whole range of issues, one has to face not only on the merit but irresistible question–what does it say about a person who states this:

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov

    I’ll open some secret to you–there were more competent, more courageous and more experienced people than Girkin and who still remain in the shadows, as they are supposed to do. The more I learn details, the more I (and not me only) have questions about Girkin “competencies” as a military man.

    “Only that?” No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention?

    But you still made, entirely false, statement above. In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today. The actions of Moscow on several major levels, of Russia’s Armed Forces, of intelligence services etc. made sure that Republics will not fall.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud...
     
    Yes, I'm quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.

    But you still made, entirely false, statement above.
     
    In the same way that I made a false statement about Russia not having an alternative to SWIFT c. 2014, which you disputed, but were unable to provide any hard evidence of? (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).

    In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today.
     
    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs' deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia's leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don't have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.
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  114. @Pavel
    Look at the map on top of the article. What you see in color is exactly what the Russians wanted to become their "Novorossia".

    The goal was clear and simple - to invade, occupy and quickly, through what has become known as "occupendum" (referendum in the reality of foreign armed forces occupation), take over the Crimea, then immediately start "building the land bridge" to the annexed peninsula through the Ukrainian south-east.

    In reality, despite occupation and annexation of Crimea were successful (no surprise here, when one stabs his declared friend in the back it's usually successful), the Russians could not achieve anything apart from holding small parts within Luhansk and Donetsk regions (mind it not whole regions, but small parts of them only).

    The Russians could not even hold Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, which was quickly retaken by the Ukrainian army and the National Guard, same way as Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and certain other towns within Luhansk and Donetsk regions were liberated from Russian troops, uniformed or in plain cloths.

    It's not that the Russians did not want to split Ukraine in 2 and made south-eastern part of her, plus Kharkiv region (currently fully under the control of the Ukrainian government) their "Novorossia". They wanted exactly that, and they were working hard to make it happen. Putin talked publicly about it using the terminology such as "Novorossia", but the fact was, and remains to be, that the Russians just could not achieve their goal.

    The main reason of the Russian failure in creating "Novorossia" is that Putin finally understood, probably in late 2014, that splitting Ukraine in 2 would cost him his presidency and, most likely, his life, because even within his close circle of friends, no matter what they say publicly appearing as "united", people were not, and are not, prepared to lose everything - add here guerrilla war against them personally, their interests everywhere, both outside and inside Russia - in exchange for this "Novorossia" imperialist fantasy.

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create "Novorossia" because of some rational considerations. Russia wanted "Novorossia" to happen, badly, it's just that Russia could not get it done, for various reasons, among them moral unpreparedness of the Russian people to lose dozens of thousands of lives of young Russian soldiers in stupid Kremlin war with neighboring white European nation of Ukraine, in the reality of rapidly growing Ukrainian patriotism in the reality of foreign aggression committed by supposed "friend" (which added bitterness to natural anger in response to cowardly backstabbing attack).

    Russia has no problem supporting "the pathetic Crimea basket case", which cost Russia a lot, as reported by the Russian government economists. Russians inside Russia does not like it very much, but at least annexation of Crimea was somewhat "justified" to them preying on their respect to history of the region combined with the complete juridical illiteracy. However, of course, annexation still remains to be illegal because one just cannot grab what he believes is his without at least
    presenting claims in civilized manner first, pursuant to the international law which, let me remind you, applies to Russia equally thus protecting her current ownership of the territories which not that long ago belonged to Finland, Germany (Prussia), China and Japan.

    Crimea will of course be returned to Ukraine, but not before Russia realizes that this is a necessity to restore trust-based relationship with Ukraine and, through this example, others. It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state. It will be extremely difficult for Russia to restore this trust, it may take a couple of generations.

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians, his nation's (even if not his personal) natural allies. By his cowardly, backstabbing, stupid imperialistic attack on brotherly nation of Ukraine, Putin committed not just a crime but delivered great disservice to his own nation and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written. To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.

    It's worth to mention that ones who support Putin's aggression on Ukraine are simply anti-white.

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations.

    No, it didn’t. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Russians inside Russia does not like it very much…

    By “Russians inside Russia” OP evidently means about 10% of Russians, that is, West-worshipping liberals and the small percentage of self-hating nationalists who are Nazi-LARPers.

    It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state.

    And you are qualified to adjudicate between the two… exactly how?

    … and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written.

    Dugin has nothing to do with either white European brotherhood nor bright minds. He is an open borders Eurasianist who wants to create a Greater Turkestan, and (thankfully) has minimal influence within Russia itself . Though I will give him kudos on his hardline stance on the Ukraine.

    To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.

    Putin throws nationalists in jail without much regard for their pro/anti-Ukraine status.

    Almost all Russian nationalists apart from aforementioned Nazi-LARpers support Crimea, and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    No, it didn’t. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.
     
    Yes and no.

    Yes if Russia had used own armed forces.
    No, as it didn't, for obvious geopolitical reasons.

    The effort relied on local forces (with help from Russia but not direct involvement...let's not get into semantics here) and it failed.
    Lack of enthusiasm among locals, IMHO.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.
     
    1. Solid "majority" of who?
    2. Any numbers to back such a claim?
    3. What is a claim of that "majority" to being privy to everyday diplomatic, humint, signint, analytical and other highly classified data which Russia's leadership receives? May I go on a limb here in defining who this "majority" is?
    , @Pavel
    There is no hypothetical in regards to "Novorossia" project. It existed, and Kremlin did not make a secret out of it. Let's talk facts here. Russia was trying hard to create "Novorossia", for many months, not weeks. Everybody in Ukraine, Russia, and outside remember the aggressiveness of Russian special propaganda at that time, specifically on that matter. Putin himself talked, publicly, about "Novorossia" and how she'd become a reality.

    But soon he realized that going through south-eastern Ukraine would not be as easy as backstabbing attack on Crimea, which succeeded largely because of the factor of suddenness. Putin understood, and you probably should, that taking over the territories is meaningless, unless you either prepared to keep your occupying troops there permanently, or unless you have a majority of the people there supporting you.

    In Crimea you had, and continue to have, a very large number of ethnic Russians who always considered themselves nothing but Russians and were loyal to Russia, despite their Ukrainian passports. Also, following the annexation, many Ukrainians refused to live under the Russian occupation and moved out of the annexed Crimea, objectively increasing the number of pro-annexation Russians.

    But in south-eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in Ukraine, sizable ethic and cultural Russian presence is simply not the case. In some cases, like Odessa, for instance, most ethnic Russians clearly identify as Ukrainians and are openly anti-Putin. Mind that before the Russian attack on Ukraine most of them were unquestionably friendly towards Russia.

    Simply put, you can occupy, but you cannot hold, unless the population accepts you, or unless you are ready to wipe the population out and replace it with the one loyal to you. Putin understood that and thus he made a decision, probably in late 2014, not to advance in Ukraine. Let me repeat his obvious rationale: he could not, and cannot, afford keeping dozens of thousands of soldiers in that area to hold it, and he could not, and cannot, afford receiving truckloads of soldiers killed in action occupying Ukraine.

    This is not to mention that in weeks following the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level and citizens were ready to fight the Russian aggressors everywhere. Putin made a huge geopolitical mistake by invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, but he was correct in deciding to drop the fantasy of "Novorossia" as extremely dangerous - moving forward would have undeniably created something way more disastrous for Russia than Afghanistan or Chechnya.

    Ukrainians would have brought this Russian war to the streets of Russian cities. Sure Putin could have nuked Ukraine out of existence, potentially, but what's next?.. He'd immediately received dramatically increased NATO presence in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and Finland would have probably joined NATO in a matter of weeks (you know they seriously considered this, it was discussed in the Russian media). It would all have complicated Putin's reality, Russia's existence, beyond belief. Putin understands that. You also should try.

    Russia failed and then started to talk about how she supposedly did not even attempted. This is not only dishonest (however, in all fairness, nobody expects honesty from Russian advocates of backstabbing attacks on neighbors), but exceptionally pathetic.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It's a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it's a complete loss. And, "thanks" to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    By "Russians inside Russia" I mean that most Russian residents would not like to see their husband, son, brother, cousin, friend or neighbor killed in a war with (out of all places) Ukraine. 10% liberals you are talking about would have not even consider sending their males to that war, they'd rather leave Russia immediately. By "Russians inside Russia" I mean people who support Putin on everything, including on Ukraine (as they are not sophisticated enough to see that taking part of a foreign country by brutal force is no different from taking some of their property, say, a summer cottage outside of town (dacha), by brutal force).

    These people would have not tolerated receiving dozens of thousands of dead young Russian soldier bodies from Ukraine. People would have rebelled, not just some "liberals", but the masses. Russians can tolerate losses, yes, but only when Russia is under attack, not when Russia is an actual attacker such as in the war against Ukraine, which many Russians, not just some "liberals", see as at least "somewhat unnecessary".

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. Why? - Because they are the ones who were cowardly attacked. Because they defend themselves and what is dear to them - their soil, their culture, their families, even their own mess. In that sense, Ukrainians feel no different from how the Soviet people felt about Nazi Germany's attack in June 1941.

    Most true white Russian nationalists do not support the war on Ukraine. These include people who fought for the USSR in Afghanistan and for Russia Chechnya, or who supported USSR and Russia, respectively, in these wars. Why they do not support an attack on Ukraine? - Because they see it as an attack on the brotherly white nation.

    Interestingly enough, battalions of Ukrainian National Guard comprise patriots of Ukraine who are not only ethnically Ukrainians who speak the Ukrainian language. Some of these patriots of Ukraine, - call them "Nazis" all you want - are ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians, like many in the "Azov" battalion.

    They all serve the sacred duty - defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

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  115. @Pavel
    Look at the map on top of the article. What you see in color is exactly what the Russians wanted to become their "Novorossia".

    The goal was clear and simple - to invade, occupy and quickly, through what has become known as "occupendum" (referendum in the reality of foreign armed forces occupation), take over the Crimea, then immediately start "building the land bridge" to the annexed peninsula through the Ukrainian south-east.

    In reality, despite occupation and annexation of Crimea were successful (no surprise here, when one stabs his declared friend in the back it's usually successful), the Russians could not achieve anything apart from holding small parts within Luhansk and Donetsk regions (mind it not whole regions, but small parts of them only).

    The Russians could not even hold Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, which was quickly retaken by the Ukrainian army and the National Guard, same way as Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and certain other towns within Luhansk and Donetsk regions were liberated from Russian troops, uniformed or in plain cloths.

    It's not that the Russians did not want to split Ukraine in 2 and made south-eastern part of her, plus Kharkiv region (currently fully under the control of the Ukrainian government) their "Novorossia". They wanted exactly that, and they were working hard to make it happen. Putin talked publicly about it using the terminology such as "Novorossia", but the fact was, and remains to be, that the Russians just could not achieve their goal.

    The main reason of the Russian failure in creating "Novorossia" is that Putin finally understood, probably in late 2014, that splitting Ukraine in 2 would cost him his presidency and, most likely, his life, because even within his close circle of friends, no matter what they say publicly appearing as "united", people were not, and are not, prepared to lose everything - add here guerrilla war against them personally, their interests everywhere, both outside and inside Russia - in exchange for this "Novorossia" imperialist fantasy.

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create "Novorossia" because of some rational considerations. Russia wanted "Novorossia" to happen, badly, it's just that Russia could not get it done, for various reasons, among them moral unpreparedness of the Russian people to lose dozens of thousands of lives of young Russian soldiers in stupid Kremlin war with neighboring white European nation of Ukraine, in the reality of rapidly growing Ukrainian patriotism in the reality of foreign aggression committed by supposed "friend" (which added bitterness to natural anger in response to cowardly backstabbing attack).

    Russia has no problem supporting "the pathetic Crimea basket case", which cost Russia a lot, as reported by the Russian government economists. Russians inside Russia does not like it very much, but at least annexation of Crimea was somewhat "justified" to them preying on their respect to history of the region combined with the complete juridical illiteracy. However, of course, annexation still remains to be illegal because one just cannot grab what he believes is his without at least
    presenting claims in civilized manner first, pursuant to the international law which, let me remind you, applies to Russia equally thus protecting her current ownership of the territories which not that long ago belonged to Finland, Germany (Prussia), China and Japan.

    Crimea will of course be returned to Ukraine, but not before Russia realizes that this is a necessity to restore trust-based relationship with Ukraine and, through this example, others. It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state. It will be extremely difficult for Russia to restore this trust, it may take a couple of generations.

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians, his nation's (even if not his personal) natural allies. By his cowardly, backstabbing, stupid imperialistic attack on brotherly nation of Ukraine, Putin committed not just a crime but delivered great disservice to his own nation and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written. To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.

    It's worth to mention that ones who support Putin's aggression on Ukraine are simply anti-white.

    You really need to get back on your meds. But it seems that living in the reality is not a thing practiced by Ukrainians anymore (I doubt it was in the last 25 years).

    Another important aspect of what has happened is that Putin sent his troops, many of them Muslim Chechens and Asiatic Buryats, to kill white European Ukrainians,

    I have some good news for you–10 Buryat Armored Divisions (all equipped with T-14 Armata MBTs) have been just demolished by VSU near Kherson and hospitals are filled with wounded Buryat tankers. Meanwhile Chechen armies are in full retreat around Donetsk. Schee Ne Vmerla Ukraina!!! ;-)

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  116. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    In other words, the dominant effect was not Stalin killing off Ukrainians and replacing them with Russians, but Ukrainians Russifying in the Kuban, and southern Ukraine Ukrainizing from 55% in 1897 to around 65%-70% in 1989.
     
    So, whether we believe your version of the facts regarding the importation of Russians into Ukraine to replace dying Ukrainians, or AP's different version, the fact remains that Ukrainians were (in 1987), and still remain (2017) the dominant ethnic group in these Southern Ukrainian lands. And, as you point out, for whatever reason, the Ukrainian ethnos is increasing there all of the time. Isn't this enough reason for you to give up on the outdated and revisioninst idea of somesort of a new NovoRosija. It seems clear, that even your close Russian nationalist cohort, Ahdrei Martyanov, is smart enough to see the bright light:

    I have my own contacts, can not be ignored. It is a huge factor. Kharkov had its chance, they chose Kernes. Too bad, people need to go through the phase of living with the consequences of their decisions. I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

     

    ’1897′ not ’1987′.

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  117. @AP

    It doesn’t lie, it expresses a point of view.
     
    No, it made a factual claim:

    И со словом «кит» – этим словом обозначается и тот, что на заборе сидит и мурлычет, и тот, что в океане плавает

    That was clearly false. A lie.

    Nothing else the author wrote can be trusted.

    And this point of view is extremely common, and incidentally it’s common pretty much everywhere:
     
    Translation: some dishonest Party of Regions writer in Donbas said it's common, and gullible Mao believes him.

    I'm sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn't make it true.

    I’m sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn’t make it true.

    I’m sure Russian nationalist activists don’t care. But ordinary people from all over the place say that they have trouble understanding crappy official mambo-jumbo language that sounds like a parody of itself. And that’s all there is to it.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Never heard it when I was in Ukraine,including central Ukraine. And your "evidence" was a blog post by an obvious liar.

    I suspect: recent events meant Russians are more exposed to Ukrainian than before. Contrary to their stereotype, they can't understand it that well. So this is an "explanation" - the language isn't "real".
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  118. Part 2 of 3

    The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia

    [MORE]

    The secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council during the war, Alexander Lomaia (appointed Georgian ambassador to the UN in December 2008), testified that Russia used about a third of its combat-capable land forces in the operation against Georgia (“over 80,000 Russian servicemen were involved in all operations”) and that “neither we nor any foreign intelligence service had any information about Russia’s expected full-scale invasion and occupation of a large part of our territory – it was a shock and a surprise.” According to Lomaia, it was known that several thousand Russian troops deployed during the Kavkaz-2008 military exercises on Georgia’s northern border and in the vicinity of South Ossetia in July 2008, began moving through the Roki tunnel into South Ossetia on August 7, but the Georgian leaders believed they had enough troops to deal with such a force. Apparently, the Georgians did not notice a statement by General Yuri Netkachev that the number of troops involved in the Kavkaz-2008 exercises (8,000) “was officially underestimated.”[2] According to Lomaia:

    “We can suppose that a political decision [on full-scale military intervention] was made in Russia on August 9 when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Vladikavkaz; it seems that he was informed about the heavy damage inflicted on the Russian forces [already fighting in South Ossetia]
    and it seems that the decision was taken, after that to put into operation the plan involving a full-scale intervention.” [3]

    Georgian leaders did not fully understand Russian intentions, and made staggeringly erroneous assessments that led to strategically disastrous decisions. Georgian foreign intelligence service chief Gela Bezhuashvili, a former defense and foreign minister, in public testimony before the parliamentary commission stated that:

    Our information suggested Russia was planning a military intervention. A decision was made in principle to carry out aggression against Georgia in the second half of 2007. Analysis of both open and secret sources indicated that provocations were being prepared in the conflict areas, involving training and arming of the separatists forces, as well as preparing Cossacks to intervene in the area of conflict. The mobilization of Russia’s air force started at the Mozdok airbase in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic. Russia’s A-50 reconnaissance aircraft, which is an AWACS type spy-plane, landed in Mozdok on August 4 or 5th. It is capable of correcting [i.e. tracing] artillery fire. [4]

    Bezhuashvili’s assessment seems to be accurate, though some mistakes in it have never been corrected. For example, the old Russian A-50 AWACS is equipped with ancient electronics, cannot “see” anything on the ground, and cannot possibly “correct artillery fire.” Such mistakes, apparently, led to disastrous misinterpretations. Bezhuashvili acknowledged that “an assessment of the expected scale of the aggression was not easy.” As a result, according to Bezhuashvili, Georgian foreign intelligence did not foresee that war might break out in August. “We were expecting that Russia would escalate tensions in September, October or in November 2008.” The Georgians did not foresee that Russia was planning an invasion on two fronts (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) at the same time. To quote Bezhuashvili again, “we had no intelligence information that Russia was planning to occupy western Georgia including Poti, Senaki and Zugdidi.”[5] Apparently, the Georgians did not take seriously a statement by Abkhazia’s foreign minister, Sergey Shamba, made in May 2008, that “it will take us two days to go on the offensive into Western Georgia and create a security buffer zone.” [6]

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  119. @Andrei Martyanov

    Formally Strelkov was retired, certainly he had no contractual obligations to go to Slavyansk, and most certainly his militia was composed of volunteers, so what, exactly, do you wish to nitpick?
     
    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud: militarily, geopolitically, politically, ideologically etc. Today more and more information becomes available both about the fate of Slavyansk and of Girkin's activity there. After non-stop delirium which Girkin delivers for the last three years--enough to read (difficult to do without cringing) his "forecasts" on Syria--on the whole range of issues, one has to face not only on the merit but irresistible question--what does it say about a person who states this:

    So yes, it is indeed very homegrown, though it is true that the NAF would not have survived in its embryonic stages without the more competent and experienced Russian volunteers like Strelkov
     
    I'll open some secret to you--there were more competent, more courageous and more experienced people than Girkin and who still remain in the shadows, as they are supposed to do. The more I learn details, the more I (and not me only) have questions about Girkin "competencies" as a military man.

    “Only that?” No, but those were the major contributions. Was I writing an essay about the scope of the Russian intervention?
     
    But you still made, entirely false, statement above. In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today. The actions of Moscow on several major levels, of Russia's Armed Forces, of intelligence services etc. made sure that Republics will not fall.

    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud…

    Yes, I’m quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.

    But you still made, entirely false, statement above.

    In the same way that I made a false statement about Russia not having an alternative to SWIFT c. 2014, which you disputed, but were unable to provide any hard evidence of? (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).

    In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today.

    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs’ deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia’s leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don’t have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Yes, I’m quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.
     
    Wrong framing of the issue. What I think is really not that important, more important--what do actions say. If you want to deny that Girkin is grotesquely incompetent man, such as his "thoughts" which he "shares" with uneducated people, testify to, be my guest. I wonder about your opinion on how did he manage to leave 25 wounded soldiers behind in Slavyansk.

    (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).
     
    It is called PerSec, actually, since some of those "sources" used to be a very remarkable people. I can only talk about people who are public and do not hide, quite justifiably, behind some avatars when they make their opinions public. Even those who are more-or-less public still may not necessarily be enthused on conveying their opinions with association to their names. I "got out of the closet" also relatively recently, 2014, but then again, circumstances demanded it. I even have a photographic proofs of what I am talking about.

    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs’ deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia’s leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.
     
    Absolutely a wild claim with not a shred of proof and which was utterly debunked in 2014, and in 2015, and in 2016 and... fill in the blanks. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Highlighted in bold is altogether an exact thing which puts anyone even remotely acquainted with causality into stupor. Just a reminder.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/russia-military-exercises-ukraine-border

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don’t have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.
     
    I don't think that we are comparable in any respect, least of all in the military issues. You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.
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  120. peterAUS says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations.
     
    No, it didn't. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Russians inside Russia does not like it very much...
     
    By "Russians inside Russia" OP evidently means about 10% of Russians, that is, West-worshipping liberals and the small percentage of self-hating nationalists who are Nazi-LARPers.

    It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state.
     
    And you are qualified to adjudicate between the two... exactly how?

    ... and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written.
     
    Dugin has nothing to do with either white European brotherhood nor bright minds. He is an open borders Eurasianist who wants to create a Greater Turkestan, and (thankfully) has minimal influence within Russia itself . Though I will give him kudos on his hardline stance on the Ukraine.

    To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.
     
    Putin throws nationalists in jail without much regard for their pro/anti-Ukraine status.

    Almost all Russian nationalists apart from aforementioned Nazi-LARpers support Crimea, and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    No, it didn’t. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Yes and no.

    Yes if Russia had used own armed forces.
    No, as it didn’t, for obvious geopolitical reasons.

    The effort relied on local forces (with help from Russia but not direct involvement…let’s not get into semantics here) and it failed.
    Lack of enthusiasm among locals, IMHO.

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  121. @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly, Girkin (aka Strelkov) is a fraud, what is interesting, he is a multidimensional fraud...
     
    Yes, I'm quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.

    But you still made, entirely false, statement above.
     
    In the same way that I made a false statement about Russia not having an alternative to SWIFT c. 2014, which you disputed, but were unable to provide any hard evidence of? (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).

    In fact, if not for Girkin, LDNR might have had a better strategic position today.
     
    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs' deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia's leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don't have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.

    Yes, I’m quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.

    Wrong framing of the issue. What I think is really not that important, more important–what do actions say. If you want to deny that Girkin is grotesquely incompetent man, such as his “thoughts” which he “shares” with uneducated people, testify to, be my guest. I wonder about your opinion on how did he manage to leave 25 wounded soldiers behind in Slavyansk.

    (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).

    It is called PerSec, actually, since some of those “sources” used to be a very remarkable people. I can only talk about people who are public and do not hide, quite justifiably, behind some avatars when they make their opinions public. Even those who are more-or-less public still may not necessarily be enthused on conveying their opinions with association to their names. I “got out of the closet” also relatively recently, 2014, but then again, circumstances demanded it. I even have a photographic proofs of what I am talking about.

    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs’ deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia’s leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.

    Absolutely a wild claim with not a shred of proof and which was utterly debunked in 2014, and in 2015, and in 2016 and… fill in the blanks. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Highlighted in bold is altogether an exact thing which puts anyone even remotely acquainted with causality into stupor. Just a reminder.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/russia-military-exercises-ukraine-border

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don’t have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.

    I don’t think that we are comparable in any respect, least of all in the military issues. You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.
     
    As I tried to point out to Karlin above, contrasting your own views with his regarding the viability of a 'NovoRosijan' project in Ukraine. :-)

    I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

     

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  122. Mikel says:
    @AP

    How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces killing so many civilians (the ones they are supposed to protect from aggression)
     
    Every civilian death is a tragedy. Ukraine is not operating with precision weapons and highly trained forces, against an enemy that has embedded itself in highly settled areas. This situation is similar to the one Russia encountered in Chechnya (Ukrainian military was probably not unlike the Yeltsin-era Russian military, even further degraded), or Syria in its country.

    The civilian death toll in Donbas is estimated at around 3,000.

    Estimates of civilian casualties in Chechnya (which has fewer people than Donbas) range wildly from 50,000 to 250,000.

    The Syrian civilian death toll is estimated at about 98,000.

    So Kiev has acted much less inhumanely towards civilians than have Russia or the various sides in Syria, though in a way that probably* not in accordance with modern Western European norms. It is somewhere between these two.

    *Of course, no western European country has recently had a situation such as Kiev has in Donbas. Scots and Catalonians are nonviolent. IRA never seized and embedded its forces in civilian areas within large parts of northern Ireland. OTOH Croats killed more Serbs in the 90s than Ukrainians killed in Donbas, and Croatia is in the EU.

    You make good points, as usual.

    But I used to discuss this with Ukrainians at the Kyiv Post, when it more or less allowed a certain degree of debate, and your position largely resembles the predominant one there: “the Russians also done it”, “the Russians are worse”,…

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians. This may be true (although I didn’t see much evidence that Ukraine made any less military progress due to a lack of willingness to inflict damage to civilians) but it doesn’t show much real ambition in its Europeanization project.

    The other thing is that Croats indeed killed Serbian civilians (and vice versa) and Russians killed Chechen civilians. Ukraine declared an “anti-terrorist” operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.

    That the Russians were clearly supporting that rebellion does not have any obvious relationship with the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities (and the Ukrainian society at large) to resort to those brutal measures. People in Donbass had recently voted overwhelmingly for the deposed President so very large numbers of them were undoubtedly opposed to the new authorities, with or without Russian intervention. Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration (remember what Timoshenko said that should be done with them).

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    • Replies: @AP

    your position largely resembles the predominant one there: “the Russians also done it”, “the Russians are worse”,
     
    Well, Ukraine is a post-Soviet country with a post-Soviet military. It is expected that its military would act a little like Russia did in Chechnya. That's just the way it is. Ukraine didn't have precision missiles and deadly drones to take out its enemies (and even those produce some civilian casualties). It has artillery. But, it was much less deadly towards civilians than was the Russian military.

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians
     
    I don't know if it is satisfied. Ukraine would probably love to get its hands on better Western equipment, that would minimize civilian casualties. But if the situation is - "our positions are being attacked from this civilian area, we can either just take the bombing, abandon our positions, or shoot back" - shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya. Clearly the Ukrainian forces aren't trying to maximize civilians casualties.

    Ukraine declared an “anti-terrorist” operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.
     
    Well, didn't Russian civilians die in the anti-terrorist action in the the NordOst theater and in Beslan? In Nordost 170 civilians and 40 terrorists died. The civilians died from gas poisoning by Russian forces. In the Beslan school siege 31 terrorists and 340 civilians were killed. According to human rights organizations (so perhaps, take with a grain of salt) 80% of the civilians casualties came from Russian fire.

    The ratio of dead civilians to dead militants in ATO is much better than that.

    Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration
     
    If the Kiev forces were totally indifferent to civilian lives (or worse, wanted to kill a lot of civilians) the death toll would have been much higher than it has been. Donbas rebels and Russian volunteers are operating out of heavily-populated urban areas, because such areas provide good cover for them. Civilians pay the price.
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  123. @Anatoly Karlin

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations.
     
    No, it didn't. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Russians inside Russia does not like it very much...
     
    By "Russians inside Russia" OP evidently means about 10% of Russians, that is, West-worshipping liberals and the small percentage of self-hating nationalists who are Nazi-LARPers.

    It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state.
     
    And you are qualified to adjudicate between the two... exactly how?

    ... and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written.
     
    Dugin has nothing to do with either white European brotherhood nor bright minds. He is an open borders Eurasianist who wants to create a Greater Turkestan, and (thankfully) has minimal influence within Russia itself . Though I will give him kudos on his hardline stance on the Ukraine.

    To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.
     
    Putin throws nationalists in jail without much regard for their pro/anti-Ukraine status.

    Almost all Russian nationalists apart from aforementioned Nazi-LARpers support Crimea, and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    1. Solid “majority” of who?
    2. Any numbers to back such a claim?
    3. What is a claim of that “majority” to being privy to everyday diplomatic, humint, signint, analytical and other highly classified data which Russia’s leadership receives? May I go on a limb here in defining who this “majority” is?

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  124. Part 3 of 3

    Chapter 9
    After August 7: The Escalation of the Russia-Georgia War

    Pavel Felgenhauer

    The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia

    [MORE]

    Georgia’s defense minister during the August war, Davit Kezerashvili, told this author in Tbilisi in November 2008 that, “if we would have known the scale of the Russian invasion, we would have prepared defensive positions, trenches and dugouts.” Several days later, Kezerashvili told the parliamentary commission that “Georgia’s army was not prepared for conventional warfare, as its training was mainly focused on lower-scale operations and anti-terrorist operations. In Principle, we knew Russia might attack, but I was not sure it would until August 7. Friendly Western nations all told us that it is impossible that in the twenty-first century Russia might initiate a direct intervention. We could have built fortified defense positions, dugouts and bunkers from Gori to Tbilisi and from Abkhazia to Kutaisi, but this could have led to panic [of the civilian population].” [7] Therefore, nothing was built.

    The massive Russian invasion caught the Georgians off guard and unprepared both strategically and tactically. Russia, led by former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, managed to hide its preparations and intentions not only from the Georgians, but also from Western governments and intelligence services. The Georgian military was ready for a mobile, mostly offensive war either in Abkhazia or South Ossetia, but not for simultaneous large-scale combat with superior, heavily armed, and air-supported enemy forces invading from Abkhazia and Ossetia, in other words, on both fronts at the same time. As Georgian forces pushed north into South Ossetia during. August 8, they may have been prepared to fend off a limited Abkhaz assault against the heavily fortified upper Kodori Gorge, but a full-scale Russian invasion over the Inguri River to occupy western Georgia was surely a surprise. Because of this huge strategic blunder, from the very first shot in August 2008, the Georgians had no chance of successfully repelling the Russians. Political and military disaster was inevitable.

    The Russian War Machine Goes into Action

    Once the fighting was over, a Georgian parliamentary commission publicly scrutinized the events of the August war, though some of these proceedings in Tbilisi took place in secret. In Moscow, however, there were no public official hearings of any sort, or detailed official disclosures about the pre-war plan of combat or the actual course of the war. Moscow wanted its military action in Georgia in August 2008 to be seen merely as a reaction to “Georgian aggression” against Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, and against Russian peacekeepers in the region. However, this official Russian position ignores the simple fact that an invasion of such a magnitude would require long-term preparations involving the entire Russian military, including the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

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  125. Pavel says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Please do not try to present it as if Russia did not want to split Ukraine and create “Novorossia” because of some rational considerations.
     
    No, it didn't. If it did, it would have been done in a matter of weeks, and with minimal casualties, considering the degree of chaos and lack of Ukrainian military preparedness at the time. Establishing a land bridge to Crimea would have even more trivial.

    Russians inside Russia does not like it very much...
     
    By "Russians inside Russia" OP evidently means about 10% of Russians, that is, West-worshipping liberals and the small percentage of self-hating nationalists who are Nazi-LARPers.

    It will happen when Russia will finally accept herself as true European nation, not a semi-Asiatic rogue state.
     
    And you are qualified to adjudicate between the two... exactly how?

    ... and severely damaged the entire concept of white European brotherhood about which many bright minds, from Guillaume Faye to Alexander Dugin, have written.
     
    Dugin has nothing to do with either white European brotherhood nor bright minds. He is an open borders Eurasianist who wants to create a Greater Turkestan, and (thankfully) has minimal influence within Russia itself . Though I will give him kudos on his hardline stance on the Ukraine.

    To add insult to injury, Putin has thrown in jail true Russian patriots, nationalists, who openly opposed the attack on brotherly white European nation.
     
    Putin throws nationalists in jail without much regard for their pro/anti-Ukraine status.

    Almost all Russian nationalists apart from aforementioned Nazi-LARpers support Crimea, and a solid majority believes Putin cucked on Donbass.

    There is no hypothetical in regards to “Novorossia” project. It existed, and Kremlin did not make a secret out of it. Let’s talk facts here. Russia was trying hard to create “Novorossia”, for many months, not weeks. Everybody in Ukraine, Russia, and outside remember the aggressiveness of Russian special propaganda at that time, specifically on that matter. Putin himself talked, publicly, about “Novorossia” and how she’d become a reality.

    But soon he realized that going through south-eastern Ukraine would not be as easy as backstabbing attack on Crimea, which succeeded largely because of the factor of suddenness. Putin understood, and you probably should, that taking over the territories is meaningless, unless you either prepared to keep your occupying troops there permanently, or unless you have a majority of the people there supporting you.

    In Crimea you had, and continue to have, a very large number of ethnic Russians who always considered themselves nothing but Russians and were loyal to Russia, despite their Ukrainian passports. Also, following the annexation, many Ukrainians refused to live under the Russian occupation and moved out of the annexed Crimea, objectively increasing the number of pro-annexation Russians.

    But in south-eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in Ukraine, sizable ethic and cultural Russian presence is simply not the case. In some cases, like Odessa, for instance, most ethnic Russians clearly identify as Ukrainians and are openly anti-Putin. Mind that before the Russian attack on Ukraine most of them were unquestionably friendly towards Russia.

    Simply put, you can occupy, but you cannot hold, unless the population accepts you, or unless you are ready to wipe the population out and replace it with the one loyal to you. Putin understood that and thus he made a decision, probably in late 2014, not to advance in Ukraine. Let me repeat his obvious rationale: he could not, and cannot, afford keeping dozens of thousands of soldiers in that area to hold it, and he could not, and cannot, afford receiving truckloads of soldiers killed in action occupying Ukraine.

    This is not to mention that in weeks following the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level and citizens were ready to fight the Russian aggressors everywhere. Putin made a huge geopolitical mistake by invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, but he was correct in deciding to drop the fantasy of “Novorossia” as extremely dangerous – moving forward would have undeniably created something way more disastrous for Russia than Afghanistan or Chechnya.

    Ukrainians would have brought this Russian war to the streets of Russian cities. Sure Putin could have nuked Ukraine out of existence, potentially, but what’s next?.. He’d immediately received dramatically increased NATO presence in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and Finland would have probably joined NATO in a matter of weeks (you know they seriously considered this, it was discussed in the Russian media). It would all have complicated Putin’s reality, Russia’s existence, beyond belief. Putin understands that. You also should try.

    Russia failed and then started to talk about how she supposedly did not even attempted. This is not only dishonest (however, in all fairness, nobody expects honesty from Russian advocates of backstabbing attacks on neighbors), but exceptionally pathetic.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It’s a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it’s a complete loss. And, “thanks” to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    By “Russians inside Russia” I mean that most Russian residents would not like to see their husband, son, brother, cousin, friend or neighbor killed in a war with (out of all places) Ukraine. 10% liberals you are talking about would have not even consider sending their males to that war, they’d rather leave Russia immediately. By “Russians inside Russia” I mean people who support Putin on everything, including on Ukraine (as they are not sophisticated enough to see that taking part of a foreign country by brutal force is no different from taking some of their property, say, a summer cottage outside of town (dacha), by brutal force).

    These people would have not tolerated receiving dozens of thousands of dead young Russian soldier bodies from Ukraine. People would have rebelled, not just some “liberals”, but the masses. Russians can tolerate losses, yes, but only when Russia is under attack, not when Russia is an actual attacker such as in the war against Ukraine, which many Russians, not just some “liberals”, see as at least “somewhat unnecessary”.

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. Why? – Because they are the ones who were cowardly attacked. Because they defend themselves and what is dear to them – their soil, their culture, their families, even their own mess. In that sense, Ukrainians feel no different from how the Soviet people felt about Nazi Germany’s attack in June 1941.

    Most true white Russian nationalists do not support the war on Ukraine. These include people who fought for the USSR in Afghanistan and for Russia Chechnya, or who supported USSR and Russia, respectively, in these wars. Why they do not support an attack on Ukraine? – Because they see it as an attack on the brotherly white nation.

    Interestingly enough, battalions of Ukrainian National Guard comprise patriots of Ukraine who are not only ethnically Ukrainians who speak the Ukrainian language. Some of these patriots of Ukraine, – call them “Nazis” all you want – are ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians, like many in the “Azov” battalion.

    They all serve the sacred duty – defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree, more or less and up to a point.
    What puts me a bit back are "attributes/adjectives/emotionally loaded" as:

    They all serve the sacred duty – defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.
     
    This is of some interest:

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight.
     
    Now...be that as it may, could you post how many people you personally know joined combat units of Ukrainian military? And, how many of your....say...bloodline....joined too? Percentage wise would suffice. Say....of all males capable of service I know half joined (not got conscripted...joined). Or, 2/3 of my relatives volunteered and joined.

    I am not trying to be difficult. Just, by those very numbers, we'll know more about all that stuff than by reading any "professional analyst" ...position paper.

    Or...you can say, "sorry, OPSEC/PERSEC' and I'll buy it.
    , @Mr. Hack

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It’s a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it’s a complete loss. And, “thanks” to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.
     
    You're spot on here, that's for sure. By pursuing Putin's half cocked ideas, Russia has greatly diminished its influence in Ukrainian affairs, for many years to come. Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.
    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess. The float in Crimea would still be operating, under its recently renogiated 50 year extension. The Crimea and Donbas would have continued with their historic pro-Russia platforms, and Russia would not be experiencing world sanctions for its aggressive behavior. I'd say, Russia, under Putin's tutelage has taken a major step backwards! Oh, did I forget to mention that Ukraine wouldn't be nearly so aggressive, as it is today, in trying to shore up its NATO relationship?...
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    By Nazi LARPers, I was referring specifically to the only sort of nationalist in Russia where there was some significant degree of support for the Ukraine (and not a majority even amongst them).

    I thought that was pretty clear.

    Incidentally, I am pretty familiar with Russian nationalist circles, and your idea that there is any groundwell of pro-Ukrainian sentiment there is one of the most delusional ideas I have heard this past month.

    Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level ... This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. ...
     
    That's a lot of words but the mobilization statistics in 2014-15 indicated quite the contrary.

    http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9495/108365762.e/0_ac5c1_986f20fd_orig.jpg

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional (I will leave the fever dreams about Russia nuking Ukraine out of existence uncommented, and leave this particular fantasy to Ukrainian Defense Ministers).

    In the west, yes, you'd probably have something in between Chechnya and Northern Ireland in intensity in the event of a Russian occupation, but nobody is, was, or will be interested in that agricultural backwater anyway.
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  126. C’mon people, don’t be so hopelessly high-IQ.

    Recently I started to like Girkin, all his bullshit notwithstanding. There was something very fascinating in the story, something of Spanish conquistadors and Russian rebels, like Razin. Super-colorful characters: Babai! Strelkov! Shtepa! Real-life adventure-action-thriller happening right in front of our eyes, day after day. Don’t you miss the excitement?

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  127. Heros says:

    Nazi, Nazi, Nazi, UkroNazi, Nazi,Nazi,Nazi

    These “Ukronazis” are clearly on the Jewish/Mossad payroll and agenda, and they are also clearly slavic.

    So if we set aside the “Nazi’s” racism towards slavs and jews, what exactly is the difference between “Nazi’s” and “Fascist’s”?

    Hatred for Germans.

    Sometimes I thank Saker=Morgentau.

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  128. Cyrano says:

    One of the reasons why Stalin couldn’t stand the look of the Ukrainians is because they acted like they are too good for Communism – I guess based on their pheasant aristocratic background they felt that they are above all that Communism nonsense.

    Nothing much has changed since then. Now the Ukrainians are acting like they are too good to be Eastern European.

    Well, what are you going to do about it? Here is a suggestion – strap Ukraine around the necks of the Ukrainians – some of them seem to have pretty strong necks – like oxen – some of them actually have the intelligence to match too, and then when Ukraine is safely attached around the necks of the Ukrainians, just whip them up into action and don’t let them stop until they’ve reached Western Europe.

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  129. Mr. Hack says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Yes, I’m quite aware that you have a low opinion of Strelkov. That is not news to me.
     
    Wrong framing of the issue. What I think is really not that important, more important--what do actions say. If you want to deny that Girkin is grotesquely incompetent man, such as his "thoughts" which he "shares" with uneducated people, testify to, be my guest. I wonder about your opinion on how did he manage to leave 25 wounded soldiers behind in Slavyansk.

    (Apart from your secret high-placed sources).
     
    It is called PerSec, actually, since some of those "sources" used to be a very remarkable people. I can only talk about people who are public and do not hide, quite justifiably, behind some avatars when they make their opinions public. Even those who are more-or-less public still may not necessarily be enthused on conveying their opinions with association to their names. I "got out of the closet" also relatively recently, 2014, but then again, circumstances demanded it. I even have a photographic proofs of what I am talking about.

    Possible course of events if Strelkov had mounted a last stand in Slavyansk (as Kremlin flunkies like Kurginyan wanted him to): He and his men would have died martyrs’ deaths, Ukrainian Army would have swept into Donetsk without any major resistance, Russia’s leadership would wash their hands of a major headache.
     
    Absolutely a wild claim with not a shred of proof and which was utterly debunked in 2014, and in 2015, and in 2016 and... fill in the blanks. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Highlighted in bold is altogether an exact thing which puts anyone even remotely acquainted with causality into stupor. Just a reminder.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/russia-military-exercises-ukraine-border

    Or maybe not, and you are right. I don’t have the detailed insider information needed to make an accurate judgment on this score, but you will forgive me for suspecting that in this respect, we are comparable.
     
    I don't think that we are comparable in any respect, least of all in the military issues. You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.

    You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.

    As I tried to point out to Karlin above, contrasting your own views with his regarding the viability of a ‘NovoRosijan’ project in Ukraine. :-)

    I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    The actual numbers of those who really wanted to get away from Ukraine were relatively small in most locations. What were the exact percentages--only GRU and FSB (and Putin) know. I know how almost 600,000 people in 1.5 million population city on one square look and sound like and what happens when shit really begins to hit the fan--a lot of corpses, shooting, burning and other "wonderful" things. Now, even in the first approximation, Kharkov, which had a reputation for being the most "Russian" city in 2014 barely scrambled (even by the looks of it) 50000 at the peak of activity, in reality, probably, even fewer people--what shoud one expect? Demonstrations are called such for a reason. I guess, it is precisely the case which calls for: let the numbers speak. Donetsk and Lugansk, we all know what happened--people wanted to fight and die for the cause. Now comes this very sensitive point, that Russia's main geopolitical objective was Crimea alone but it seems that many, obviously, think that contingency planning is very easy in the nation with such a position and weight as Russia. It is not. The main Girkin's "point" that Russia "flushed" Donbass down the toiled was, well flushed down the toilet by all events of the last three years.
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  130. peterAUS says:

    Well…a good idea, overall.

    https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/sergeants-call-shots-ukraines-improving-army.html

    Now, implementing this could prove…tricky.
    I mean, they’ve waited 3 years just to come up with the idea.
    The article, abridged:

    Ukraine will take a leaf out of U.S. military manuals, and build its new army and navy around a professional sergeant corps surrounded by a range of other mid-ranking officers.
    To prevent this from happening, all fire teams, squads or platoons are to be commanded by skillful and experienced servicemen with the rank of sergeant. While higher-ranking officers take the tactical decisions, sergeants will follow their orders on the ground and lead the soldiers in battle. New recruits will be brought up to scratch by professional drill sergeants serving as instructors at training camps.
    That, in general, has been the practice of most of Western militaries for decades.
    However, since independence, Ukraine’s forces continued to use the less effective Soviet approach, where a sergeant is merely a link between soldiers and officers, with the rank sometimes even being given to a conscript.
    Ukraine’s supreme command eventually decided that a reformed Ukrainian army should be built around a robust core of contracted career sergeants.
    For example, in the modern U. S. Army a fire team of three privates is led by a sergeant — the fifth rank (E 5) in the 13 ranks of enlisted men in the army. Two such fire teams make up a squad, commanded by a staff sergeant (E 6), and three squads make up a platoon, led by a sergeant first class.
    All sergeants are directly responsible for their subordinates, and live and work with the lower-ranking soldiers.
    All of Ukraine’s combat units have been switched to the new system, and all of the non-commissioned officers leading fire teams, squads and platoons now have to be contracted career servicemen.
    Moreover, in June, the Ministry of Defense said it had drafted a bill to completely reorganize the rank system to NATO standards. According to ministry spokesperson Oksana Gavrilyuk, the bill will introduce the ranks of Corporal, Sergeant, Senior Sergeant, Sergeant Major, Staff Sergeant, Major Staff Sergeant, Master Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeant.
    The military says they hope the bill will pass during the current autumn session of parliament and enter into force next year.

    So, as I read this, the best case scenario (for the regime in Kiev) is to have some sort of decent armed force comes summer 2018. Somewhat unlikely, IMHO related to lack of enthusiasm of an average Ukrainian.
    From now to then……..let’s say that Novoroissia, even without help by Russian units, has nothing to worry about. Which can be good or bad, of course.Actually, that would be a good time to go on the offensive against regime in Kiev. No wonder the regime dug in well.

    From summer to winter Novorossia could have a bit of problem but should solve it by itself.

    Now, comes winter 2018, with just decent work by Ukrainians, Novorossia could face a problem it won’t be able to solve by itself. Russia would need to get involved a bit more….

    But, good ideas or not, it all really boils down to how motivated Ukrainians are/will be to join that armed force.

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  131. peterAUS says:
    @Pavel
    There is no hypothetical in regards to "Novorossia" project. It existed, and Kremlin did not make a secret out of it. Let's talk facts here. Russia was trying hard to create "Novorossia", for many months, not weeks. Everybody in Ukraine, Russia, and outside remember the aggressiveness of Russian special propaganda at that time, specifically on that matter. Putin himself talked, publicly, about "Novorossia" and how she'd become a reality.

    But soon he realized that going through south-eastern Ukraine would not be as easy as backstabbing attack on Crimea, which succeeded largely because of the factor of suddenness. Putin understood, and you probably should, that taking over the territories is meaningless, unless you either prepared to keep your occupying troops there permanently, or unless you have a majority of the people there supporting you.

    In Crimea you had, and continue to have, a very large number of ethnic Russians who always considered themselves nothing but Russians and were loyal to Russia, despite their Ukrainian passports. Also, following the annexation, many Ukrainians refused to live under the Russian occupation and moved out of the annexed Crimea, objectively increasing the number of pro-annexation Russians.

    But in south-eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in Ukraine, sizable ethic and cultural Russian presence is simply not the case. In some cases, like Odessa, for instance, most ethnic Russians clearly identify as Ukrainians and are openly anti-Putin. Mind that before the Russian attack on Ukraine most of them were unquestionably friendly towards Russia.

    Simply put, you can occupy, but you cannot hold, unless the population accepts you, or unless you are ready to wipe the population out and replace it with the one loyal to you. Putin understood that and thus he made a decision, probably in late 2014, not to advance in Ukraine. Let me repeat his obvious rationale: he could not, and cannot, afford keeping dozens of thousands of soldiers in that area to hold it, and he could not, and cannot, afford receiving truckloads of soldiers killed in action occupying Ukraine.

    This is not to mention that in weeks following the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level and citizens were ready to fight the Russian aggressors everywhere. Putin made a huge geopolitical mistake by invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, but he was correct in deciding to drop the fantasy of "Novorossia" as extremely dangerous - moving forward would have undeniably created something way more disastrous for Russia than Afghanistan or Chechnya.

    Ukrainians would have brought this Russian war to the streets of Russian cities. Sure Putin could have nuked Ukraine out of existence, potentially, but what's next?.. He'd immediately received dramatically increased NATO presence in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and Finland would have probably joined NATO in a matter of weeks (you know they seriously considered this, it was discussed in the Russian media). It would all have complicated Putin's reality, Russia's existence, beyond belief. Putin understands that. You also should try.

    Russia failed and then started to talk about how she supposedly did not even attempted. This is not only dishonest (however, in all fairness, nobody expects honesty from Russian advocates of backstabbing attacks on neighbors), but exceptionally pathetic.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It's a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it's a complete loss. And, "thanks" to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    By "Russians inside Russia" I mean that most Russian residents would not like to see their husband, son, brother, cousin, friend or neighbor killed in a war with (out of all places) Ukraine. 10% liberals you are talking about would have not even consider sending their males to that war, they'd rather leave Russia immediately. By "Russians inside Russia" I mean people who support Putin on everything, including on Ukraine (as they are not sophisticated enough to see that taking part of a foreign country by brutal force is no different from taking some of their property, say, a summer cottage outside of town (dacha), by brutal force).

    These people would have not tolerated receiving dozens of thousands of dead young Russian soldier bodies from Ukraine. People would have rebelled, not just some "liberals", but the masses. Russians can tolerate losses, yes, but only when Russia is under attack, not when Russia is an actual attacker such as in the war against Ukraine, which many Russians, not just some "liberals", see as at least "somewhat unnecessary".

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. Why? - Because they are the ones who were cowardly attacked. Because they defend themselves and what is dear to them - their soil, their culture, their families, even their own mess. In that sense, Ukrainians feel no different from how the Soviet people felt about Nazi Germany's attack in June 1941.

    Most true white Russian nationalists do not support the war on Ukraine. These include people who fought for the USSR in Afghanistan and for Russia Chechnya, or who supported USSR and Russia, respectively, in these wars. Why they do not support an attack on Ukraine? - Because they see it as an attack on the brotherly white nation.

    Interestingly enough, battalions of Ukrainian National Guard comprise patriots of Ukraine who are not only ethnically Ukrainians who speak the Ukrainian language. Some of these patriots of Ukraine, - call them "Nazis" all you want - are ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians, like many in the "Azov" battalion.

    They all serve the sacred duty - defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

    Agree, more or less and up to a point.
    What puts me a bit back are “attributes/adjectives/emotionally loaded” as:

    They all serve the sacred duty – defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

    This is of some interest:

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight.

    Now…be that as it may, could you post how many people you personally know joined combat units of Ukrainian military? And, how many of your….say…bloodline….joined too? Percentage wise would suffice. Say….of all males capable of service I know half joined (not got conscripted…joined). Or, 2/3 of my relatives volunteered and joined.

    I am not trying to be difficult. Just, by those very numbers, we’ll know more about all that stuff than by reading any “professional analyst” …position paper.

    Or…you can say, “sorry, OPSEC/PERSEC’ and I’ll buy it.

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    • Replies: @Pavel
    If you take my word for it, the honest answer is - yes, I personally knew people from Mariupol who joined, and other guys who I met but could not say I knew well, some of them from occupied by the Russians Donetsk. Also, I watched with my own eyes, in Lviv, in spring 2014, young and not-so-young guys staying in line for a long time waiting to be interviewed to join, as volunteers, anti-invasion forces.

    I also know a few guys who wanted to join, wholeheartedly, but could not do it at that time as they're married with kids, were only bread runners to support their families, and leaving everything at that time could have simply ruined their families. But they stayed prepared, they got a basic training (they served in the army years ago, conscription) with one of the National Guard battalion, and they made it clear to all, and it was well received and well understood by their families, that should that cowardly backstabber Putin continued his aggression, moved further inside Ukraine, then they'd have no other choice but put everything aside, leave jobs and their families, hopefully temporarily, and join the patriotic national force to fight the invasion.

    Because in that case, frankly, it would have been no other choice left for anybody who considers himself a true Ukrainian - either you fight the invading force, or you lose everything which you hold dear, including your Nation.

    Look, people under attack do not have much to lose, they have a simple choice - you defend your home or you become a slave. This is very different from invaders who, like Russian contractor soldiers, went to fight in Ukraine basically for the money, despite how the Russian propaganda tried to present them as "conscious defenders of Russians in Ukraine" etc. These Russian contractors did not want to die, they did not see why they should, they did not really care about "Novorossia" and all that bs. Most of them, as it became clear once some of Russian war prisoners were questioned, did not even have any strong feelings against Ukrainians to begin with.

    Sure Ukrainians did not want to die too. Nobody wants to die. But you may try to understand the difference in attitude - the Ukrainians went to defend their Motherland under attack, whilst the Russians were part of the invading force fighting in the foreign country, away from their homes, defending nothing but Putin's stupid neo-imperialist ambitions.

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  132. @Mr. Hack

    You can not even grasp the abyss, even with your obviously high IQ.
     
    As I tried to point out to Karlin above, contrasting your own views with his regarding the viability of a 'NovoRosijan' project in Ukraine. :-)

    I have a very good first-hand experience with how real self-determination movements start, no part of the Novorossia, with the exception of Lugansk and Donetsk, matched even one tenth of scale and effort required to get back to Russia, or, at least, get away from Kiev. I don’t blame them but it is what it is and this couldn’t be ignored and it is not being ignored, thankfully.

     

    The actual numbers of those who really wanted to get away from Ukraine were relatively small in most locations. What were the exact percentages–only GRU and FSB (and Putin) know. I know how almost 600,000 people in 1.5 million population city on one square look and sound like and what happens when shit really begins to hit the fan–a lot of corpses, shooting, burning and other “wonderful” things. Now, even in the first approximation, Kharkov, which had a reputation for being the most “Russian” city in 2014 barely scrambled (even by the looks of it) 50000 at the peak of activity, in reality, probably, even fewer people–what shoud one expect? Demonstrations are called such for a reason. I guess, it is precisely the case which calls for: let the numbers speak. Donetsk and Lugansk, we all know what happened–people wanted to fight and die for the cause. Now comes this very sensitive point, that Russia’s main geopolitical objective was Crimea alone but it seems that many, obviously, think that contingency planning is very easy in the nation with such a position and weight as Russia. It is not. The main Girkin’s “point” that Russia “flushed” Donbass down the toiled was, well flushed down the toilet by all events of the last three years.

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  133. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    I’m sure that Russian nationalist activists from all over the place make this claim. This doesn’t make it true.
     
    I'm sure Russian nationalist activists don't care. But ordinary people from all over the place say that they have trouble understanding crappy official mambo-jumbo language that sounds like a parody of itself. And that's all there is to it.

    Never heard it when I was in Ukraine,including central Ukraine. And your “evidence” was a blog post by an obvious liar.

    I suspect: recent events meant Russians are more exposed to Ukrainian than before. Contrary to their stereotype, they can’t understand it that well. So this is an “explanation” – the language isn’t “real”.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    I suspect: recent events meant Russians are more exposed to Ukrainian than before. Contrary to their stereotype, they can’t understand it that well. So this is an “explanation” – the language isn’t “real”.
     
    Oh, good - now we are getting somewhere. You certainly have the right to an opinion. But, as much as it may be hard for you to believe - so do other people.
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  134. Mr. Hack says:
    @Pavel
    There is no hypothetical in regards to "Novorossia" project. It existed, and Kremlin did not make a secret out of it. Let's talk facts here. Russia was trying hard to create "Novorossia", for many months, not weeks. Everybody in Ukraine, Russia, and outside remember the aggressiveness of Russian special propaganda at that time, specifically on that matter. Putin himself talked, publicly, about "Novorossia" and how she'd become a reality.

    But soon he realized that going through south-eastern Ukraine would not be as easy as backstabbing attack on Crimea, which succeeded largely because of the factor of suddenness. Putin understood, and you probably should, that taking over the territories is meaningless, unless you either prepared to keep your occupying troops there permanently, or unless you have a majority of the people there supporting you.

    In Crimea you had, and continue to have, a very large number of ethnic Russians who always considered themselves nothing but Russians and were loyal to Russia, despite their Ukrainian passports. Also, following the annexation, many Ukrainians refused to live under the Russian occupation and moved out of the annexed Crimea, objectively increasing the number of pro-annexation Russians.

    But in south-eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in Ukraine, sizable ethic and cultural Russian presence is simply not the case. In some cases, like Odessa, for instance, most ethnic Russians clearly identify as Ukrainians and are openly anti-Putin. Mind that before the Russian attack on Ukraine most of them were unquestionably friendly towards Russia.

    Simply put, you can occupy, but you cannot hold, unless the population accepts you, or unless you are ready to wipe the population out and replace it with the one loyal to you. Putin understood that and thus he made a decision, probably in late 2014, not to advance in Ukraine. Let me repeat his obvious rationale: he could not, and cannot, afford keeping dozens of thousands of soldiers in that area to hold it, and he could not, and cannot, afford receiving truckloads of soldiers killed in action occupying Ukraine.

    This is not to mention that in weeks following the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level and citizens were ready to fight the Russian aggressors everywhere. Putin made a huge geopolitical mistake by invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, but he was correct in deciding to drop the fantasy of "Novorossia" as extremely dangerous - moving forward would have undeniably created something way more disastrous for Russia than Afghanistan or Chechnya.

    Ukrainians would have brought this Russian war to the streets of Russian cities. Sure Putin could have nuked Ukraine out of existence, potentially, but what's next?.. He'd immediately received dramatically increased NATO presence in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and Finland would have probably joined NATO in a matter of weeks (you know they seriously considered this, it was discussed in the Russian media). It would all have complicated Putin's reality, Russia's existence, beyond belief. Putin understands that. You also should try.

    Russia failed and then started to talk about how she supposedly did not even attempted. This is not only dishonest (however, in all fairness, nobody expects honesty from Russian advocates of backstabbing attacks on neighbors), but exceptionally pathetic.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It's a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it's a complete loss. And, "thanks" to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    By "Russians inside Russia" I mean that most Russian residents would not like to see their husband, son, brother, cousin, friend or neighbor killed in a war with (out of all places) Ukraine. 10% liberals you are talking about would have not even consider sending their males to that war, they'd rather leave Russia immediately. By "Russians inside Russia" I mean people who support Putin on everything, including on Ukraine (as they are not sophisticated enough to see that taking part of a foreign country by brutal force is no different from taking some of their property, say, a summer cottage outside of town (dacha), by brutal force).

    These people would have not tolerated receiving dozens of thousands of dead young Russian soldier bodies from Ukraine. People would have rebelled, not just some "liberals", but the masses. Russians can tolerate losses, yes, but only when Russia is under attack, not when Russia is an actual attacker such as in the war against Ukraine, which many Russians, not just some "liberals", see as at least "somewhat unnecessary".

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. Why? - Because they are the ones who were cowardly attacked. Because they defend themselves and what is dear to them - their soil, their culture, their families, even their own mess. In that sense, Ukrainians feel no different from how the Soviet people felt about Nazi Germany's attack in June 1941.

    Most true white Russian nationalists do not support the war on Ukraine. These include people who fought for the USSR in Afghanistan and for Russia Chechnya, or who supported USSR and Russia, respectively, in these wars. Why they do not support an attack on Ukraine? - Because they see it as an attack on the brotherly white nation.

    Interestingly enough, battalions of Ukrainian National Guard comprise patriots of Ukraine who are not only ethnically Ukrainians who speak the Ukrainian language. Some of these patriots of Ukraine, - call them "Nazis" all you want - are ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians, like many in the "Azov" battalion.

    They all serve the sacred duty - defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It’s a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it’s a complete loss. And, “thanks” to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    You’re spot on here, that’s for sure. By pursuing Putin’s half cocked ideas, Russia has greatly diminished its influence in Ukrainian affairs, for many years to come. Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.
    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess. The float in Crimea would still be operating, under its recently renogiated 50 year extension. The Crimea and Donbas would have continued with their historic pro-Russia platforms, and Russia would not be experiencing world sanctions for its aggressive behavior. I’d say, Russia, under Putin’s tutelage has taken a major step backwards! Oh, did I forget to mention that Ukraine wouldn’t be nearly so aggressive, as it is today, in trying to shore up its NATO relationship?…

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    That's one way to look at it.

    There is another:
    NATO troops would patrol Ukraine/Russia border.
    NATO heavy assets would be positioned in Ukraine.
    The fleet would be effectively besieged in their base rendering it almost inoperable. That would directly affect current state in Syria.

    Also, after consolidation of the regime in Ukraine a next phase of the "push Eastwards" would commence. The same push that's been going on since '89.
    , @voice crying in the wilderness
    It would have been fine. But the US helped Ukraine with five billion dollars to create anti-government demonstrations and then hired snipers to shoot at both sides at night. Why did they do that?
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  135. AP says:

    Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.

    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess.

    I doubt it. Ukraine was slowly drifting westwards. The demographics favored a westward approach (large population decline in the East, stability in the West). What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.

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    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Makes sense I guess.
    Although Poles are split on Ukraine (aid them or not, friendly or not).
    And with Russia, while most Poles distrust Russia, half want to trade, the other half do not.
    , @Mr. Hack

    What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.
     
    How did what I write contradict your own thoughts on the matter?...
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia
     
    Wrong. I'll give you only one thing, though, Ukraine DID happen as a nation and that is a factor which cannot be dismissed and it was not dismissed. This whole conversation, everyone included, lacks two things:

    1. Real logic;
    2. Any serious geopolitical, military and economic knowledge.

    I understand people's sentiments around here, but most of it is BS. Ukraine cannot exist as a whole state and be "friendly" to Russia--it is not a possibility. States and nations are not static, they move. Where they move--is another matter. One can only speculate on the future of a Ukrainian State but it is not bright to put it mildly. Comes 2019, well, it is a whole other game altogether. Russia is NOT interested in Ukraine anymore other than it being a security risk and the rights of Russo-phones there. This is not to mention that many of them moved to Russia anyway. This whole idea that Russia is simply not really interested in Ukraine may seem as anathema to many Ukrainians but that is exactly what it is. What's left for Ukraine? War. But that is also whole other subject altogether.
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  136. @Pavel
    There is no hypothetical in regards to "Novorossia" project. It existed, and Kremlin did not make a secret out of it. Let's talk facts here. Russia was trying hard to create "Novorossia", for many months, not weeks. Everybody in Ukraine, Russia, and outside remember the aggressiveness of Russian special propaganda at that time, specifically on that matter. Putin himself talked, publicly, about "Novorossia" and how she'd become a reality.

    But soon he realized that going through south-eastern Ukraine would not be as easy as backstabbing attack on Crimea, which succeeded largely because of the factor of suddenness. Putin understood, and you probably should, that taking over the territories is meaningless, unless you either prepared to keep your occupying troops there permanently, or unless you have a majority of the people there supporting you.

    In Crimea you had, and continue to have, a very large number of ethnic Russians who always considered themselves nothing but Russians and were loyal to Russia, despite their Ukrainian passports. Also, following the annexation, many Ukrainians refused to live under the Russian occupation and moved out of the annexed Crimea, objectively increasing the number of pro-annexation Russians.

    But in south-eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in Ukraine, sizable ethic and cultural Russian presence is simply not the case. In some cases, like Odessa, for instance, most ethnic Russians clearly identify as Ukrainians and are openly anti-Putin. Mind that before the Russian attack on Ukraine most of them were unquestionably friendly towards Russia.

    Simply put, you can occupy, but you cannot hold, unless the population accepts you, or unless you are ready to wipe the population out and replace it with the one loyal to you. Putin understood that and thus he made a decision, probably in late 2014, not to advance in Ukraine. Let me repeat his obvious rationale: he could not, and cannot, afford keeping dozens of thousands of soldiers in that area to hold it, and he could not, and cannot, afford receiving truckloads of soldiers killed in action occupying Ukraine.

    This is not to mention that in weeks following the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level and citizens were ready to fight the Russian aggressors everywhere. Putin made a huge geopolitical mistake by invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, but he was correct in deciding to drop the fantasy of "Novorossia" as extremely dangerous - moving forward would have undeniably created something way more disastrous for Russia than Afghanistan or Chechnya.

    Ukrainians would have brought this Russian war to the streets of Russian cities. Sure Putin could have nuked Ukraine out of existence, potentially, but what's next?.. He'd immediately received dramatically increased NATO presence in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and Finland would have probably joined NATO in a matter of weeks (you know they seriously considered this, it was discussed in the Russian media). It would all have complicated Putin's reality, Russia's existence, beyond belief. Putin understands that. You also should try.

    Russia failed and then started to talk about how she supposedly did not even attempted. This is not only dishonest (however, in all fairness, nobody expects honesty from Russian advocates of backstabbing attacks on neighbors), but exceptionally pathetic.

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It's a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it's a complete loss. And, "thanks" to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.

    By "Russians inside Russia" I mean that most Russian residents would not like to see their husband, son, brother, cousin, friend or neighbor killed in a war with (out of all places) Ukraine. 10% liberals you are talking about would have not even consider sending their males to that war, they'd rather leave Russia immediately. By "Russians inside Russia" I mean people who support Putin on everything, including on Ukraine (as they are not sophisticated enough to see that taking part of a foreign country by brutal force is no different from taking some of their property, say, a summer cottage outside of town (dacha), by brutal force).

    These people would have not tolerated receiving dozens of thousands of dead young Russian soldier bodies from Ukraine. People would have rebelled, not just some "liberals", but the masses. Russians can tolerate losses, yes, but only when Russia is under attack, not when Russia is an actual attacker such as in the war against Ukraine, which many Russians, not just some "liberals", see as at least "somewhat unnecessary".

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. Why? - Because they are the ones who were cowardly attacked. Because they defend themselves and what is dear to them - their soil, their culture, their families, even their own mess. In that sense, Ukrainians feel no different from how the Soviet people felt about Nazi Germany's attack in June 1941.

    Most true white Russian nationalists do not support the war on Ukraine. These include people who fought for the USSR in Afghanistan and for Russia Chechnya, or who supported USSR and Russia, respectively, in these wars. Why they do not support an attack on Ukraine? - Because they see it as an attack on the brotherly white nation.

    Interestingly enough, battalions of Ukrainian National Guard comprise patriots of Ukraine who are not only ethnically Ukrainians who speak the Ukrainian language. Some of these patriots of Ukraine, - call them "Nazis" all you want - are ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians, like many in the "Azov" battalion.

    They all serve the sacred duty - defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.

    By Nazi LARPers, I was referring specifically to the only sort of nationalist in Russia where there was some significant degree of support for the Ukraine (and not a majority even amongst them).

    I thought that was pretty clear.

    Incidentally, I am pretty familiar with Russian nationalist circles, and your idea that there is any groundwell of pro-Ukrainian sentiment there is one of the most delusional ideas I have heard this past month.

    Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level … This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. …

    That’s a lot of words but the mobilization statistics in 2014-15 indicated quite the contrary.

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional (I will leave the fever dreams about Russia nuking Ukraine out of existence uncommented, and leave this particular fantasy to Ukrainian Defense Ministers).

    In the west, yes, you’d probably have something in between Chechnya and Northern Ireland in intensity in the event of a Russian occupation, but nobody is, was, or will be interested in that agricultural backwater anyway.

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    • Replies: @AP

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional
     
    Guerrilla activity of course not. But IRA attacks, bombings, shootings - likely. Right Sector, Azov, etc. are mostly eastern Ukrainians. Presumably, however, Russian intelligence services would be able to infiltrate and liquidate these within a year or two, at which point you would have a largely resentful (over half opposed to Russian rule) but peaceful population.
    , @Pavel
    Why you guys are so obsessed with Ukraine, which, let me remind you, elected pro-Russian Yanukovich who ran on the platform of... euro-integration (and it is exactly his betrayal of this platform in 2013 that ignited the Maidan movement)? Why you even discuss which part of Ukraine would you steal and which you would not want? It's not yours and it won't be yours no matter what!

    Ukraine is backward? Sure, Ukraine is smaller than Russia. Ukraine stupidly gave up her nukes, the 2nd largest arsenal within the USSR, in exchange of Russia's and certain others guarantees of safety and security, including territorial integrity. If Ukraine had nukes, you'd never attack.

    But why are you focused on Ukraine so much, which is a foreign country to you? You won't unleash a new Holodomor on Ukraine, comrade commissar Karlin. We won't allow that. You'd better focus on your own country, Russia, which cannot even feed herself and continue to depend largely on food imports, mostly from supposedly hated, "scary" NATO block (which Putin applied to join just some 15 years ago). So much for your "greatness"...

    Sure Ukraine has a lot of problems, but they are not much different from the problems Poland or Romania faced some 25 years ago. Leave us alone, and we will rebuild Ukraine, for Ukrainians. You know we will. But maybe this is what makes you so angry, comrade commissar Karlin?

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  137. The US’s purpose for Ukraine is many Imo and doesn’t require much forethought or hands on management.
    1. Ukraine is now within the US influence. In reality, the US can do with Ukraine whatever it wants. For instance, if it wanted to set up some Missile Bases there, it will, using some tired and lying trumped up defensive reason. The US wields power and influence now in Ukraine that 5 years ago it could only dream of. Right up to Russia’s border and, that may be a thorn the Western Zionists can use at any point into the future and, for any nasty anti Russian reason they can think of.

    At the moment it looks like the US have lost focus and interest in Ukraine but they still hold the reins of power in the place. That is real power and, it’s how the US likes to operate.
    2. The US Corporations have already come into Ukraine and raped the place for any value they can find. They will sell the leaves off the tress if they can find a buyer. This is the other ‘fiscal’ motivation for the coup.
    The Eastern part of Ukraine has rejected the US authority but the US knows that they don’t really matter that much for their purposes. The US is not intending to rebuild Ukraine or invest huge amounts of money into the place to make it a shining example of Western hegemony in action. They don’t care what happens to Ukraine or the people as long as they control the real power of decisions there when they decide to act.
    3. Russia is the obvious long term enemy of the US zionists and Ukraine gives them a wonderful staging area to do their evil deeds whenever they deem it necessary.
    The ONLY threat to the US’s power in Ukraine are the normal people. The silent majority you called them. They are too busy keeping their heads down and trying to find enough food to feed their families. But, if they ever tire of what is happening in their country and start to organise and fight against the Nazi’s and the corruption then, and only then, will the US start to worry about what’s happening in Ukraine.
    Russia should be funding, organising and trying to initiate a groundswell movement to assist and help normal Ukrainians to retake their country but, does the normal Ukrainian have the guts, interest, and vision to start the resistance?
    Time will tell but, their decision will cause them to see their next generation either have bent backs from slavery and no hope or, strong straight backs with confidence, purpose and vision for the future.
    I know which future I would choose if I happened to live there.

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    • Replies: @polskijoe
    wouldnt it be, Liberals, Neocons and Zionists all leading the charge?
    I guess the Ukrainian lobby have significant influence over in Canada too.
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  138. peterAUS says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It’s a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it’s a complete loss. And, “thanks” to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.
     
    You're spot on here, that's for sure. By pursuing Putin's half cocked ideas, Russia has greatly diminished its influence in Ukrainian affairs, for many years to come. Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.
    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess. The float in Crimea would still be operating, under its recently renogiated 50 year extension. The Crimea and Donbas would have continued with their historic pro-Russia platforms, and Russia would not be experiencing world sanctions for its aggressive behavior. I'd say, Russia, under Putin's tutelage has taken a major step backwards! Oh, did I forget to mention that Ukraine wouldn't be nearly so aggressive, as it is today, in trying to shore up its NATO relationship?...

    That’s one way to look at it.

    There is another:
    NATO troops would patrol Ukraine/Russia border.
    NATO heavy assets would be positioned in Ukraine.
    The fleet would be effectively besieged in their base rendering it almost inoperable. That would directly affect current state in Syria.

    Also, after consolidation of the regime in Ukraine a next phase of the “push Eastwards” would commence. The same push that’s been going on since ’89.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Before Putin's Ukrainian war began, Ukrainians were hesitant to join NATO:

    According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] However, since the start of the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership.[17][18][19][20] Some 69 percent of Ukrainians want to join NATO, according to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, compared to 28 percent support in 2012 when Yanukovich was in power.[21]
     
    A big miscalculation for Russia!
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  139. AP says:
    @Mikel
    You make good points, as usual.

    But I used to discuss this with Ukrainians at the Kyiv Post, when it more or less allowed a certain degree of debate, and your position largely resembles the predominant one there: "the Russians also done it", "the Russians are worse",...

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians. This may be true (although I didn't see much evidence that Ukraine made any less military progress due to a lack of willingness to inflict damage to civilians) but it doesn't show much real ambition in its Europeanization project.

    The other thing is that Croats indeed killed Serbian civilians (and vice versa) and Russians killed Chechen civilians. Ukraine declared an "anti-terrorist" operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.

    That the Russians were clearly supporting that rebellion does not have any obvious relationship with the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities (and the Ukrainian society at large) to resort to those brutal measures. People in Donbass had recently voted overwhelmingly for the deposed President so very large numbers of them were undoubtedly opposed to the new authorities, with or without Russian intervention. Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration (remember what Timoshenko said that should be done with them).

    your position largely resembles the predominant one there: “the Russians also done it”, “the Russians are worse”,

    Well, Ukraine is a post-Soviet country with a post-Soviet military. It is expected that its military would act a little like Russia did in Chechnya. That’s just the way it is. Ukraine didn’t have precision missiles and deadly drones to take out its enemies (and even those produce some civilian casualties). It has artillery. But, it was much less deadly towards civilians than was the Russian military.

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians

    I don’t know if it is satisfied. Ukraine would probably love to get its hands on better Western equipment, that would minimize civilian casualties. But if the situation is – “our positions are being attacked from this civilian area, we can either just take the bombing, abandon our positions, or shoot back” – shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya. Clearly the Ukrainian forces aren’t trying to maximize civilians casualties.

    Ukraine declared an “anti-terrorist” operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.

    Well, didn’t Russian civilians die in the anti-terrorist action in the the NordOst theater and in Beslan? In Nordost 170 civilians and 40 terrorists died. The civilians died from gas poisoning by Russian forces. In the Beslan school siege 31 terrorists and 340 civilians were killed. According to human rights organizations (so perhaps, take with a grain of salt) 80% of the civilians casualties came from Russian fire.

    The ratio of dead civilians to dead militants in ATO is much better than that.

    Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration

    If the Kiev forces were totally indifferent to civilian lives (or worse, wanted to kill a lot of civilians) the death toll would have been much higher than it has been. Donbas rebels and Russian volunteers are operating out of heavily-populated urban areas, because such areas provide good cover for them. Civilians pay the price.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Good post, IMHO.
    , @Mikel

    shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.
     
    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I'm not even talking about civilians), I'd rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,... too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.

    I know for a fact that this is the way most Basques feel and the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards... Perhaps it's not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya.
     
    Indeed, there we go again. The Russians are even worse. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
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  140. polskijoe says:

    Why are people pointing fingers at only one country?

    This whole situation had several players involved.

    I assume the modern Russian tactics are not to overextend (like SU)
    but to limit Western influence.

    They took Crimea and small area of Donbass (fighting still happening?).

    I dont buy arguments they are gonna start rolling tanks to Warsaw or Berlin or Kyiv.

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  141. polskijoe says:
    @Peppercorn
    The US's purpose for Ukraine is many Imo and doesn't require much forethought or hands on management.
    1. Ukraine is now within the US influence. In reality, the US can do with Ukraine whatever it wants. For instance, if it wanted to set up some Missile Bases there, it will, using some tired and lying trumped up defensive reason. The US wields power and influence now in Ukraine that 5 years ago it could only dream of. Right up to Russia's border and, that may be a thorn the Western Zionists can use at any point into the future and, for any nasty anti Russian reason they can think of.

    At the moment it looks like the US have lost focus and interest in Ukraine but they still hold the reins of power in the place. That is real power and, it's how the US likes to operate.
    2. The US Corporations have already come into Ukraine and raped the place for any value they can find. They will sell the leaves off the tress if they can find a buyer. This is the other 'fiscal' motivation for the coup.
    The Eastern part of Ukraine has rejected the US authority but the US knows that they don't really matter that much for their purposes. The US is not intending to rebuild Ukraine or invest huge amounts of money into the place to make it a shining example of Western hegemony in action. They don't care what happens to Ukraine or the people as long as they control the real power of decisions there when they decide to act.
    3. Russia is the obvious long term enemy of the US zionists and Ukraine gives them a wonderful staging area to do their evil deeds whenever they deem it necessary.
    The ONLY threat to the US's power in Ukraine are the normal people. The silent majority you called them. They are too busy keeping their heads down and trying to find enough food to feed their families. But, if they ever tire of what is happening in their country and start to organise and fight against the Nazi's and the corruption then, and only then, will the US start to worry about what's happening in Ukraine.
    Russia should be funding, organising and trying to initiate a groundswell movement to assist and help normal Ukrainians to retake their country but, does the normal Ukrainian have the guts, interest, and vision to start the resistance?
    Time will tell but, their decision will cause them to see their next generation either have bent backs from slavery and no hope or, strong straight backs with confidence, purpose and vision for the future.
    I know which future I would choose if I happened to live there.

    wouldnt it be, Liberals, Neocons and Zionists all leading the charge?
    I guess the Ukrainian lobby have significant influence over in Canada too.

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  142. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    your position largely resembles the predominant one there: “the Russians also done it”, “the Russians are worse”,
     
    Well, Ukraine is a post-Soviet country with a post-Soviet military. It is expected that its military would act a little like Russia did in Chechnya. That's just the way it is. Ukraine didn't have precision missiles and deadly drones to take out its enemies (and even those produce some civilian casualties). It has artillery. But, it was much less deadly towards civilians than was the Russian military.

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians
     
    I don't know if it is satisfied. Ukraine would probably love to get its hands on better Western equipment, that would minimize civilian casualties. But if the situation is - "our positions are being attacked from this civilian area, we can either just take the bombing, abandon our positions, or shoot back" - shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya. Clearly the Ukrainian forces aren't trying to maximize civilians casualties.

    Ukraine declared an “anti-terrorist” operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.
     
    Well, didn't Russian civilians die in the anti-terrorist action in the the NordOst theater and in Beslan? In Nordost 170 civilians and 40 terrorists died. The civilians died from gas poisoning by Russian forces. In the Beslan school siege 31 terrorists and 340 civilians were killed. According to human rights organizations (so perhaps, take with a grain of salt) 80% of the civilians casualties came from Russian fire.

    The ratio of dead civilians to dead militants in ATO is much better than that.

    Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration
     
    If the Kiev forces were totally indifferent to civilian lives (or worse, wanted to kill a lot of civilians) the death toll would have been much higher than it has been. Donbas rebels and Russian volunteers are operating out of heavily-populated urban areas, because such areas provide good cover for them. Civilians pay the price.

    Good post, IMHO.

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  143. polskijoe says:
    @AP

    Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.

    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess.
     
    I doubt it. Ukraine was slowly drifting westwards. The demographics favored a westward approach (large population decline in the East, stability in the West). What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.

    Makes sense I guess.
    Although Poles are split on Ukraine (aid them or not, friendly or not).
    And with Russia, while most Poles distrust Russia, half want to trade, the other half do not.

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    • Replies: @Mikel

    Poles are split on Ukraine (aid them or not, friendly or not).
     
    It looks like things have changed a lot since the 90's. I have plenty of family and friends in Poland and when I decided to travel to Kiev everybody advised me strongly against it. There was a lot of banditry coming from the East in those days and Ukrainians were particularly feared. Najgorsze Rossii, they used to call them. But nothing bad happened to me.
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  144. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.

    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess.
     
    I doubt it. Ukraine was slowly drifting westwards. The demographics favored a westward approach (large population decline in the East, stability in the West). What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.

    What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.

    How did what I write contradict your own thoughts on the matter?…

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    • Replies: @AP
    You wrote that a savvy pro-Russian party would/could have come to power in Ukraine if Russia hadn't taken Crimea and helped the rebellion in Donbas. I think that would have been very unlikely.
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  145. Mr. Hack says:
    @peterAUS
    That's one way to look at it.

    There is another:
    NATO troops would patrol Ukraine/Russia border.
    NATO heavy assets would be positioned in Ukraine.
    The fleet would be effectively besieged in their base rendering it almost inoperable. That would directly affect current state in Syria.

    Also, after consolidation of the regime in Ukraine a next phase of the "push Eastwards" would commence. The same push that's been going on since '89.

    Before Putin’s Ukrainian war began, Ukrainians were hesitant to join NATO:

    According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] However, since the start of the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership.[17][18][19][20] Some 69 percent of Ukrainians want to join NATO, according to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, compared to 28 percent support in 2012 when Yanukovich was in power.[21]

    A big miscalculation for Russia!

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Yeah.....

    And that would've made a difference.

    I mean....what people want versus what bought up politicians want (or, better, their true masters).
    In Ukraine?

    You serious?
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Before Putin’s Ukrainian war began
     
    LOL.
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  146. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    By Nazi LARPers, I was referring specifically to the only sort of nationalist in Russia where there was some significant degree of support for the Ukraine (and not a majority even amongst them).

    I thought that was pretty clear.

    Incidentally, I am pretty familiar with Russian nationalist circles, and your idea that there is any groundwell of pro-Ukrainian sentiment there is one of the most delusional ideas I have heard this past month.

    Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level ... This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. ...
     
    That's a lot of words but the mobilization statistics in 2014-15 indicated quite the contrary.

    http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9495/108365762.e/0_ac5c1_986f20fd_orig.jpg

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional (I will leave the fever dreams about Russia nuking Ukraine out of existence uncommented, and leave this particular fantasy to Ukrainian Defense Ministers).

    In the west, yes, you'd probably have something in between Chechnya and Northern Ireland in intensity in the event of a Russian occupation, but nobody is, was, or will be interested in that agricultural backwater anyway.

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional

    Guerrilla activity of course not. But IRA attacks, bombings, shootings – likely. Right Sector, Azov, etc. are mostly eastern Ukrainians. Presumably, however, Russian intelligence services would be able to infiltrate and liquidate these within a year or two, at which point you would have a largely resentful (over half opposed to Russian rule) but peaceful population.

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  147. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.
     
    How did what I write contradict your own thoughts on the matter?...

    You wrote that a savvy pro-Russian party would/could have come to power in Ukraine if Russia hadn’t taken Crimea and helped the rebellion in Donbas. I think that would have been very unlikely.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I should have been clearer there. What I meant to say is that a new pro-Russian party could have supplplanted the moribund party of the Regions, but not one that would take the ruling role in Ukraine.
    It could have rebounded the pro-Russian orientation to some degree and had a significant voice perhaps in Ukraine's future course but as it turned out, the pro-Russian politicians have not been able to regroup in today's Ukrainian political landscape.
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  148. Mikel says:
    @AP

    your position largely resembles the predominant one there: “the Russians also done it”, “the Russians are worse”,
     
    Well, Ukraine is a post-Soviet country with a post-Soviet military. It is expected that its military would act a little like Russia did in Chechnya. That's just the way it is. Ukraine didn't have precision missiles and deadly drones to take out its enemies (and even those produce some civilian casualties). It has artillery. But, it was much less deadly towards civilians than was the Russian military.

    I have a problem with a country that declares its intention of becoming more civilized, modern, European, etc but then engages in a war against a part of its own citizens and satisfies itself with saying that they were less barbaric than the Russians or the Syrians
     
    I don't know if it is satisfied. Ukraine would probably love to get its hands on better Western equipment, that would minimize civilian casualties. But if the situation is - "our positions are being attacked from this civilian area, we can either just take the bombing, abandon our positions, or shoot back" - shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya. Clearly the Ukrainian forces aren't trying to maximize civilians casualties.

    Ukraine declared an “anti-terrorist” operation but what we all saw was the quelling of a rebellion that involved killing thousands of its own civilians.
     
    Well, didn't Russian civilians die in the anti-terrorist action in the the NordOst theater and in Beslan? In Nordost 170 civilians and 40 terrorists died. The civilians died from gas poisoning by Russian forces. In the Beslan school siege 31 terrorists and 340 civilians were killed. According to human rights organizations (so perhaps, take with a grain of salt) 80% of the civilians casualties came from Russian fire.

    The ratio of dead civilians to dead militants in ATO is much better than that.

    Once the ATO was put in place from Kiev, to this outside observer it looked like the loss of civilian Moskali lives was not given much consideration
     
    If the Kiev forces were totally indifferent to civilian lives (or worse, wanted to kill a lot of civilians) the death toll would have been much higher than it has been. Donbas rebels and Russian volunteers are operating out of heavily-populated urban areas, because such areas provide good cover for them. Civilians pay the price.

    shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.

    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,… too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.

    I know for a fact that this is the way most Basques feel and the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards… Perhaps it’s not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya.

    Indeed, there we go again. The Russians are even worse. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,… too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.
     
    Auh...........!?!

    Im....pressive......

    If I'd only known.

    , @AP

    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.
     
    I don't know what the polls are - IIRC perhaps 1/3 don't want to retake Donbas. I wish it were higher. As I've mentioned in other posts - one reason for fighting there is so that the fight won't spread elsewhere. One hears that from a lot of people in Ukraine. Typical comment, said to me by some lady from Dnipropetrovsk, former Yanukovich voter, who had opposed Maidan actually: "we didn't fight in Crimea, so they took it. At first we didn't fight in Donetsk, and they started taking towns. How much could we allow them to just take? So we had to do something."

    the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards… Perhaps it’s not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?
     
    The people you mention also, all don't mind packing their countries with troublesome Muslims. Unlike Eastern Europeans. I'm not sure the latter mentality is "post-Soviet", rather than simply pro-Polish, pro-Ukrainian, etc.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are.
     
    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery). The problem is that in this case, the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives. Is this reasonable?

    Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
     
    Ukrainian troops in Crimea, unlike Donbas rebels and Russian adventurers, didn't fight back out of populated areas, drawing fire into them. They basically didn't fight at all. Do you think that if the Ukrainian troops dug into residential areas and shot at the Russians, the Russians would leave Crimea alone? I doubt it - they would have wiped put the Ukrainian forces and there would have been civilian collateral casualties.

    Kharkiv didn't fight against Kiev - and no bloodshed.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast? Or would they have instead set up Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, etc. Republics. Hell, out of Kiev's 4 million or so people, a few 10,000s pro-Russians could be found, to set up a pro-Russian Republic there too, if every Ukrainian was a pacifist who refused to fight, in order not to take any lives.
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  149. Bill says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Your somewhat excitable ramble round your mind has not produced anything relevant to my Comment. I said nothing about all the Russian activity you hypothesised. You have given me no reason to follow you in interest in Bellingcat.

    Why anyone should think a highly risky false flag operation with seriously bad consequences if exposed is a priori more likely than a stuff up resulting from a missile launcher crew mistakenly thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian military aircraft escapes me. And that deems to be consistent with the conclusion of the five nation inquiry. Feel free to prove that was incompetent or corrupt.

    As far as I can tell, the evidence continues to favor the theory that Ukranian forces shot down MH-17. Is there good reason to believe that the militias had BUKs? For example, how many Ukrainian aircraft were shot down by BUKs? Most likely, it was an accident, perhaps a drunken accident as Seymour Hersh reported.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously you have only a casual interest in the matter, like me. But I know of no actual evidence that the Ukrainians shot down MH17 and have never heard the "drunken accident" applied to them - only deliberate "false flag" (with zero evidence).

    You should get up at least to the bog standard level of assertive ignorance on these threads. Look back on this one and I think you will agree that no one with any memory neurons left is denying that a Russian BUK was moved into and out of the rebel area at relevant times. Who was manning it is perhaps less clear but it seems likely that it would have included some Russians trained to use them. (Could have included some Russophile former Ukrainian servicemen I supposè).
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  150. Mikel says:
    @polskijoe
    Makes sense I guess.
    Although Poles are split on Ukraine (aid them or not, friendly or not).
    And with Russia, while most Poles distrust Russia, half want to trade, the other half do not.

    Poles are split on Ukraine (aid them or not, friendly or not).

    It looks like things have changed a lot since the 90′s. I have plenty of family and friends in Poland and when I decided to travel to Kiev everybody advised me strongly against it. There was a lot of banditry coming from the East in those days and Ukrainians were particularly feared. Najgorsze Rossii, they used to call them. But nothing bad happened to me.

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  151. @Beckow

    Change the perspective for a second. Knowing that all the planet’s real estate is “owned”- where the US Empire stands now – trade routes, bases everywhere around the remaining oilfields in the Middle East. AND, here is the kicker – what if you consider that the US has the defensive strategy now? That is some serious flexible depth.
     
    You can call it 'depth', or you can also call it being exposed with too long supply lines. I don't think there is an automatic benefit to being everywhere, it could be a liability in a multi-site crisis. Hitler controlled almost all of continental Europe (and so did Napoleon), all it did was that when he was forced on a defensive (in the east), all of those territories became potential liabilities with allied landings, rebellions, countries switching sides, etc...

    Another problem is that US is trying to do it on the cheap with bombing, technology and allies - but with minimal casualties. The inability to take casualties is a weakness, you cannot in the long-run control all this geography and also protect every GI's life.

    And Russia is still boxed in.
     
    Russia is boxed in by its geography, and so is China. There is nothing new there. Enemies have been pressing on Russia's extensive borders forever. It is not likely that anyone would actually try to cross that border given this one reality: nuclear weapons. Unless the constant prodding has an answer to that reality, what is it all about? What's the point?

    Nobody wants a war. There isn’t going to be any fighting in Poland.
     
    Wars happen even if nobody 'wants' them. There are situations when wars happen almost on their own and nobody ever claims ownership. And if there is a war, there will be fighting in Poland - it is literally ground zero (as so often before), and no amount of NY Times editorials will make any damn difference. The country is too small, so it would be annihilated. Poland is storing missiles and 'defensive' divisions for its allies across the Atlantic with an open admission that they are targeting Russia. What do you think would happen in a real crisis or a war? Do you think US would look kindly at Russian missiles in Canada or Mexico? That is the true madness, and Poland is kind of in a heart of it. As so often before.

    I don't think either Russia or West have better or worse 'strategy'. They play with what they have. Lately Russia has been prevailing, maybe because West pushed too far and is on thin ice in most of these far-away places.

    By the way, your description of the Georgia conflict in 2008 omitted the key event: as the Beijing Olympics were starting, Georgia attacked S Ossetia with massive bombardment (100+ civilians killed). You say that somehow Russia 'anticipated' it and took advantage. Isn't it their job to 'anticipate'? Wouldn't any country? But the key point is that without the extremely stupid, almost suicidial attack by Georgia, none of that would happened. Who the hell told Saakasvilli that this would be a good idea? Some 'strategist' who likes to 'poke the Russian borders' to keep them in a 'box'? This is abstract thinking at its worst. Get real.

    Countries like Poland develop a habit of wanting to be kicked around. It doesn’t feel normal otherwise.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    You got it man. What was that philosophical BS - I think therefore I am. Translated into Polish: I am being kicked around therefore I am. It's the only kind of existence they know.
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  152. peterAUS says:
    @Mikel

    shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.
     
    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I'm not even talking about civilians), I'd rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,... too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.

    I know for a fact that this is the way most Basques feel and the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards... Perhaps it's not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya.
     
    Indeed, there we go again. The Russians are even worse. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

    I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,… too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.

    Auh………..!?!

    Im….pressive……

    If I’d only known.

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    • Replies: @Mikel

    Auh………..!?!

    Im….pressive……

    If I’d only known.
     
    People keep forgetting how horrible and messy wars are. Which is why they start them once and again. Which is why we're having this particular discussion.

    Fortunately, places like Western Europe have learned to avoid wars for 80+ years. And it turns out that life is much better that way. That's obviously why most everyone in the rest of Europe wants to join our institutions, including Ukrainians. But it is not unwise to allow only peaceful, stable countries to join.
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  153. @Wizard of Oz
    Question to The Saker. Do you speak Ukrainian fluently enough to have serious conversations with people for whom it is their main language?

    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian. Timoshenko speaks Russian most of the time.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Why do you utter such utter BS as your first sentence witbout at least looking up something like Wikipedia's Languages of Ukraine and acknowledging that you need to do quite a bit of work if you are to maintain any credibility. (Warning: it is long and cites and links many studies).

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to start by defining what you mean by "Ukraine" when making such assertions. Donbass included? Crimea?

    , @Cyrano
    "Ukrainian" is just a broken Russian. That's because they are too stupid to learn the proper one.
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  154. peterAUS says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Before Putin's Ukrainian war began, Ukrainians were hesitant to join NATO:

    According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] However, since the start of the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership.[17][18][19][20] Some 69 percent of Ukrainians want to join NATO, according to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, compared to 28 percent support in 2012 when Yanukovich was in power.[21]
     
    A big miscalculation for Russia!

    Yeah…..

    And that would’ve made a difference.

    I mean….what people want versus what bought up politicians want (or, better, their true masters).
    In Ukraine?

    You serious?

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  155. @Johnny Rico
    Russian activity in Syria and Ukraine are moves of desperation from a position of weakness. The United States has Russia boxed in. The United States forced Putin to take these actions. He would be removed from power otherwise. He had no choice. He is not in control.

    In Russia you are either strong and in total control or they murder you. At least that has been the case for the last thousand years.

    There was no "huge effort not to intervene." If there was, I'd like to know who made it and when.

    This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Comparisons to American involvement in these two places have limited utility.

    Just because one thinks American moves are not "strategic" only means you don't fully grasp what is going on. Remember, the narrative which is being presented here is that the United States has caused both conflicts. A coup in Ukraine and supporting regime-change in Syria. That necessitates that Russia is reacting - not calling the shots.

    The United States is not in "control" either, but it has the initiative and has Putin off-balance.

    Yes Tommy, you are right. America never stages coups in foreign countries. But it does help freedom loving people everywhere, just not in Crimea or in Russia.

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  156. @Mr. Hack

    This war brought you Crimea, temporarily, but you lost Ukraine. It’s a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. To be blunt, it’s a complete loss. And, “thanks” to Putin, Ukraine, despite our domestic problems, are united as a Nation like never before.
     
    You're spot on here, that's for sure. By pursuing Putin's half cocked ideas, Russia has greatly diminished its influence in Ukrainian affairs, for many years to come. Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.
    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess. The float in Crimea would still be operating, under its recently renogiated 50 year extension. The Crimea and Donbas would have continued with their historic pro-Russia platforms, and Russia would not be experiencing world sanctions for its aggressive behavior. I'd say, Russia, under Putin's tutelage has taken a major step backwards! Oh, did I forget to mention that Ukraine wouldn't be nearly so aggressive, as it is today, in trying to shore up its NATO relationship?...

    It would have been fine. But the US helped Ukraine with five billion dollars to create anti-government demonstrations and then hired snipers to shoot at both sides at night. Why did they do that?

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  157. Cyrano says:
    @voice crying in the wilderness
    Countries like Poland develop a habit of wanting to be kicked around. It doesn't feel normal otherwise.

    You got it man. What was that philosophical BS – I think therefore I am. Translated into Polish: I am being kicked around therefore I am. It’s the only kind of existence they know.

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  158. Mikel says:
    @peterAUS

    I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,… too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.
     
    Auh...........!?!

    Im....pressive......

    If I'd only known.

    Auh………..!?!

    Im….pressive……

    If I’d only known.

    People keep forgetting how horrible and messy wars are. Which is why they start them once and again. Which is why we’re having this particular discussion.

    Fortunately, places like Western Europe have learned to avoid wars for 80+ years. And it turns out that life is much better that way. That’s obviously why most everyone in the rest of Europe wants to join our institutions, including Ukrainians. But it is not unwise to allow only peaceful, stable countries to join.

    Read More
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  159. @voice crying in the wilderness
    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian. Timoshenko speaks Russian most of the time.

    Why do you utter such utter BS as your first sentence witbout at least looking up something like Wikipedia’s Languages of Ukraine and acknowledging that you need to do quite a bit of work if you are to maintain any credibility. (Warning: it is long and cites and links many studies).

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea to start by defining what you mean by “Ukraine” when making such assertions. Donbass included? Crimea?

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    His is wrong that

    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian.
     
    But he's certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home. Simply because most people live in cities, and Ukrainian dialects are mostly spoken in villages and smaller towns.

    It (obviously) doesn't contradict the fact that most of them identify as Ukrainians.

    It's somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic.

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  160. @Bill
    As far as I can tell, the evidence continues to favor the theory that Ukranian forces shot down MH-17. Is there good reason to believe that the militias had BUKs? For example, how many Ukrainian aircraft were shot down by BUKs? Most likely, it was an accident, perhaps a drunken accident as Seymour Hersh reported.

    Obviously you have only a casual interest in the matter, like me. But I know of no actual evidence that the Ukrainians shot down MH17 and have never heard the “drunken accident” applied to them – only deliberate “false flag” (with zero evidence).

    You should get up at least to the bog standard level of assertive ignorance on these threads. Look back on this one and I think you will agree that no one with any memory neurons left is denying that a Russian BUK was moved into and out of the rebel area at relevant times. Who was manning it is perhaps less clear but it seems likely that it would have included some Russians trained to use them. (Could have included some Russophile former Ukrainian servicemen I supposè).

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    "Casual interest", in your case Wiz, can usually be substituted with "ignorant of the facts". When it comes to the MH-17 incident, it can certainly be.

    If you wish to remedy that, I suggest you look up the following:
    - the real-time Twitter postings by Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller at Kiev ATC during the shootdown
    - photos of the pilot's body, still strapped in his seat, riddled with what appear to be bullet holes
    - photos of the plane wreckage, esp the panels closest to the pilot seat
    - what a typical BUK warhead consists of, and whether it could have caused any of the visible damage
    - the hacked Facebook accounts of Kolomoisky's associates, giving each other shit for having released press statements about the shootdown the day before it happened (in Ukrainian)
    - reports of 2 Georgian marked, Israeli modified, Scorpion missile equipped SU-25s that were parked at Dnepropetrovsk early in the day, but were never seen again
    - what the Scorpion's warhead consists of, and its modus operandi (these are critical)
    - Kolomoisky's relationship to Dnepropetrovsk's airport
    - what it takes to use a BUK, or any other sophisticated Air Defence Complex.

    There's more, especially concerning the extraordinary legal restrictions and undertakings surrounding the official investigation, but if you get through those above you'll be able to pontificate from a position somewhere above rank ignorance. Not sure if that suits you, but it would be a welcome change.
    , @Bill
    OK, where is the evidence that there was a Russian BUK which was moved into and out of the rebel area at relevant times?
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  161. AP says:
    @Mikel

    shooting back is not unreasonable, even though the consequences are tragic.
     
    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I'm not even talking about civilians), I'd rather stay the way we are. I have witnessed violence and it is a very messy business. You destroy the lives of the people you kill, their children, spouses,... too much suffering and moral degradation for a simple political gain.

    I know for a fact that this is the way most Basques feel and the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards... Perhaps it's not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?

    Again, 3,000 civilians died in Donbas. 50,000-250,000 civilians died in Chechnya.
     
    Indeed, there we go again. The Russians are even worse. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.

    I don’t know what the polls are – IIRC perhaps 1/3 don’t want to retake Donbas. I wish it were higher. As I’ve mentioned in other posts – one reason for fighting there is so that the fight won’t spread elsewhere. One hears that from a lot of people in Ukraine. Typical comment, said to me by some lady from Dnipropetrovsk, former Yanukovich voter, who had opposed Maidan actually: “we didn’t fight in Crimea, so they took it. At first we didn’t fight in Donetsk, and they started taking towns. How much could we allow them to just take? So we had to do something.”

    the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards… Perhaps it’s not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?

    The people you mention also, all don’t mind packing their countries with troublesome Muslims. Unlike Eastern Europeans. I’m not sure the latter mentality is “post-Soviet”, rather than simply pro-Polish, pro-Ukrainian, etc.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are.

    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery). The problem is that in this case, the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives. Is this reasonable?

    Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

    Ukrainian troops in Crimea, unlike Donbas rebels and Russian adventurers, didn’t fight back out of populated areas, drawing fire into them. They basically didn’t fight at all. Do you think that if the Ukrainian troops dug into residential areas and shot at the Russians, the Russians would leave Crimea alone? I doubt it – they would have wiped put the Ukrainian forces and there would have been civilian collateral casualties.

    Kharkiv didn’t fight against Kiev – and no bloodshed.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast? Or would they have instead set up Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, etc. Republics. Hell, out of Kiev’s 4 million or so people, a few 10,000s pro-Russians could be found, to set up a pro-Russian Republic there too, if every Ukrainian was a pacifist who refused to fight, in order not to take any lives.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    A very reasonable post.

    The issue is, though, you are debating with a pacifist.

    Your call.
    Good luck.
    , @Mikel

    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery).
     
    Not really. A simple rational calculation of costs and benefits. One that, as I said, is shared by the vast majority of people in the part of Europe Ukraine wants to adhere to.

    I'm not into religion but, as I understand it, it takes much more to become a saint than being unwilling to kill civilians in order to have one passport or another.

    the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives.
     
    No. If an armed robber tried to steal my wallet I might surrender it. But if he tried to harm my family be sure that I'd fight maybe as hard as an Azov patriot. In fact, I've been in that situation a couple of times when I lived in Latin America. I doubt that the last bastard who tried to assault me has recovered yet.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast?
     
    Well, that's pretty much what happened. While the first ATO operatives were surrendering to the defenders of Slavyansk, the rebellion did not take hold in Kharkiv and Odessa and, as even Martyanov is explaining, everybody lost interest, especially the Russians, who didn't even send enough resources to keep the majority of Donbass in rebel hands.

    I didn't like the Western interference in Ukraine but I would have supported Ukraine against a full blown invasion by Russia. That's not quite what happened though and, as things stand now, it might make sense for Ukrainians to accept that part of the territories they inherited from the USSR are inhabited by people with more allegiance to Russia than Ukraine. How about ceasing all hostilities and negotiating a binding, OSCE-monitored referendum in Crimea and Donbass? If most people there do not want to belong to Ukraine, Ukraine is better off without them, just as Russia is better off without hostile Ukrainian territories.

    Best regards,
    Mikel
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  162. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.
     
    I don't know what the polls are - IIRC perhaps 1/3 don't want to retake Donbas. I wish it were higher. As I've mentioned in other posts - one reason for fighting there is so that the fight won't spread elsewhere. One hears that from a lot of people in Ukraine. Typical comment, said to me by some lady from Dnipropetrovsk, former Yanukovich voter, who had opposed Maidan actually: "we didn't fight in Crimea, so they took it. At first we didn't fight in Donetsk, and they started taking towns. How much could we allow them to just take? So we had to do something."

    the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards… Perhaps it’s not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?
     
    The people you mention also, all don't mind packing their countries with troublesome Muslims. Unlike Eastern Europeans. I'm not sure the latter mentality is "post-Soviet", rather than simply pro-Polish, pro-Ukrainian, etc.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are.
     
    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery). The problem is that in this case, the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives. Is this reasonable?

    Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
     
    Ukrainian troops in Crimea, unlike Donbas rebels and Russian adventurers, didn't fight back out of populated areas, drawing fire into them. They basically didn't fight at all. Do you think that if the Ukrainian troops dug into residential areas and shot at the Russians, the Russians would leave Crimea alone? I doubt it - they would have wiped put the Ukrainian forces and there would have been civilian collateral casualties.

    Kharkiv didn't fight against Kiev - and no bloodshed.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast? Or would they have instead set up Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, etc. Republics. Hell, out of Kiev's 4 million or so people, a few 10,000s pro-Russians could be found, to set up a pro-Russian Republic there too, if every Ukrainian was a pacifist who refused to fight, in order not to take any lives.

    A very reasonable post.

    The issue is, though, you are debating with a pacifist.

    Your call.
    Good luck.

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  163. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP
    You wrote that a savvy pro-Russian party would/could have come to power in Ukraine if Russia hadn't taken Crimea and helped the rebellion in Donbas. I think that would have been very unlikely.

    I should have been clearer there. What I meant to say is that a new pro-Russian party could have supplplanted the moribund party of the Regions, but not one that would take the ruling role in Ukraine.
    It could have rebounded the pro-Russian orientation to some degree and had a significant voice perhaps in Ukraine’s future course but as it turned out, the pro-Russian politicians have not been able to regroup in today’s Ukrainian political landscape.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Okay - this is accurate.

    Prior to recent events 65% or so of western Ukrainians had positive feelings towards the country of Russia.

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  164. Pavel says:
    @peterAUS
    Agree, more or less and up to a point.
    What puts me a bit back are "attributes/adjectives/emotionally loaded" as:

    They all serve the sacred duty – defend our Motherland, Ukraine, against the brutal, lying, backstabbing coward from the East who we, erroneously, considered our brother just a few years ago.
     
    This is of some interest:

    I am sure none of you pro-Russian propagandists here would go to fight in a large scale war in Ukraine, and of course none of you would send your own brother or son to possibly die there. This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight.
     
    Now...be that as it may, could you post how many people you personally know joined combat units of Ukrainian military? And, how many of your....say...bloodline....joined too? Percentage wise would suffice. Say....of all males capable of service I know half joined (not got conscripted...joined). Or, 2/3 of my relatives volunteered and joined.

    I am not trying to be difficult. Just, by those very numbers, we'll know more about all that stuff than by reading any "professional analyst" ...position paper.

    Or...you can say, "sorry, OPSEC/PERSEC' and I'll buy it.

    If you take my word for it, the honest answer is – yes, I personally knew people from Mariupol who joined, and other guys who I met but could not say I knew well, some of them from occupied by the Russians Donetsk. Also, I watched with my own eyes, in Lviv, in spring 2014, young and not-so-young guys staying in line for a long time waiting to be interviewed to join, as volunteers, anti-invasion forces.

    I also know a few guys who wanted to join, wholeheartedly, but could not do it at that time as they’re married with kids, were only bread runners to support their families, and leaving everything at that time could have simply ruined their families. But they stayed prepared, they got a basic training (they served in the army years ago, conscription) with one of the National Guard battalion, and they made it clear to all, and it was well received and well understood by their families, that should that cowardly backstabber Putin continued his aggression, moved further inside Ukraine, then they’d have no other choice but put everything aside, leave jobs and their families, hopefully temporarily, and join the patriotic national force to fight the invasion.

    Because in that case, frankly, it would have been no other choice left for anybody who considers himself a true Ukrainian – either you fight the invading force, or you lose everything which you hold dear, including your Nation.

    Look, people under attack do not have much to lose, they have a simple choice – you defend your home or you become a slave. This is very different from invaders who, like Russian contractor soldiers, went to fight in Ukraine basically for the money, despite how the Russian propaganda tried to present them as “conscious defenders of Russians in Ukraine” etc. These Russian contractors did not want to die, they did not see why they should, they did not really care about “Novorossia” and all that bs. Most of them, as it became clear once some of Russian war prisoners were questioned, did not even have any strong feelings against Ukrainians to begin with.

    Sure Ukrainians did not want to die too. Nobody wants to die. But you may try to understand the difference in attitude – the Ukrainians went to defend their Motherland under attack, whilst the Russians were part of the invading force fighting in the foreign country, away from their homes, defending nothing but Putin’s stupid neo-imperialist ambitions.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Thanks for the reply.

    This is helpful:

    If you take my word for it, the honest answer is – yes, I personally knew people from Mariupol who joined, and other guys who I met but could not say I knew well, some of them from occupied by the Russians Donetsk. Also, I watched with my own eyes, in Lviv, in spring 2014, young and not-so-young guys staying in line for a long time waiting to be interviewed to join, as volunteers, anti-invasion forces.

    I also know a few guys who wanted to join, wholeheartedly, but could not do it at that time as they’re married with kids, were only bread runners to support their families, and leaving everything at that time could have simply ruined their families. But they stayed prepared, they got a basic training (they served in the army years ago, conscription) with one of the National Guard battalion, and they made it clear to all, and it was well received and well understood by their families, that should that cowardly backstabber Putin continued his aggression, moved further inside Ukraine, then they’d have no other choice but put everything aside, leave jobs and their families, hopefully temporarily, and join the patriotic national force to fight the invasion.
     
    As for this:

    Because in that case, frankly, it would have been no other choice left for anybody who considers himself a true Ukrainian – either you fight the invading force, or you lose everything which you hold dear, including your Nation.
     
    There are two more options, of course:
    1. Flee (preferably into West)
    2. Submit to the occupying force at least temporarily.

    Look, people under attack do not have much to lose, they have a simple choice – you defend your home or you become a slave.
     
    Sounds patriotic.
    In reality, though, there is another option: flee....or, in modern terms, emigrate.
    And as for this:

    This is very different from invaders who, like Russian contractor soldiers, went to fight in Ukraine basically for the money, despite how the Russian propaganda tried to present them as “conscious defenders of Russians in Ukraine” etc. These Russian contractors did not want to die, they did not see why they should, they did not really care about “Novorossia” and all that bs. Most of them, as it became clear once some of Russian war prisoners were questioned, did not even have any strong feelings against Ukrainians to begin with.
     
    If I were you I wouldn't buy it. Your call, of course.

    But you may try to understand the difference in attitude – the Ukrainians went to defend their Motherland under attack, whilst the Russians were part of the invading force fighting in the foreign country, away from their homes, defending nothing but Putin’s stupid neo-imperialist ambitions.
     
    Well, I believe I have a quite good understanding of the topic. A bit..how to put it..... more....complicated...than yours.
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  165. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously you have only a casual interest in the matter, like me. But I know of no actual evidence that the Ukrainians shot down MH17 and have never heard the "drunken accident" applied to them - only deliberate "false flag" (with zero evidence).

    You should get up at least to the bog standard level of assertive ignorance on these threads. Look back on this one and I think you will agree that no one with any memory neurons left is denying that a Russian BUK was moved into and out of the rebel area at relevant times. Who was manning it is perhaps less clear but it seems likely that it would have included some Russians trained to use them. (Could have included some Russophile former Ukrainian servicemen I supposè).

    “Casual interest”, in your case Wiz, can usually be substituted with “ignorant of the facts”. When it comes to the MH-17 incident, it can certainly be.

    If you wish to remedy that, I suggest you look up the following:
    - the real-time Twitter postings by Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller at Kiev ATC during the shootdown
    - photos of the pilot’s body, still strapped in his seat, riddled with what appear to be bullet holes
    - photos of the plane wreckage, esp the panels closest to the pilot seat
    - what a typical BUK warhead consists of, and whether it could have caused any of the visible damage
    - the hacked Facebook accounts of Kolomoisky’s associates, giving each other shit for having released press statements about the shootdown the day before it happened (in Ukrainian)
    - reports of 2 Georgian marked, Israeli modified, Scorpion missile equipped SU-25s that were parked at Dnepropetrovsk early in the day, but were never seen again
    - what the Scorpion’s warhead consists of, and its modus operandi (these are critical)
    - Kolomoisky’s relationship to Dnepropetrovsk’s airport
    - what it takes to use a BUK, or any other sophisticated Air Defence Complex.

    There’s more, especially concerning the extraordinary legal restrictions and undertakings surrounding the official investigation, but if you get through those above you’ll be able to pontificate from a position somewhere above rank ignorance. Not sure if that suits you, but it would be a welcome change.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Well one word is well chosen, but to descrine your own emission. I mean "pontificate".

    I challenge you to show how my expressions of doubt and pointing out to Bill (not you) that he was in error about the BUK missile launcher can amount to pontificating.

    I take it that you have assemblèd from memory (and not checked as the absence of links suggests) what you regard as important and weighty as proof that Ukraine shot down MH17. Still, if there is so much, where is the book? From you or anyone credible?

    Why have the Russians not proved the downing of MH17 to be according to your script?

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  166. Pavel says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    By Nazi LARPers, I was referring specifically to the only sort of nationalist in Russia where there was some significant degree of support for the Ukraine (and not a majority even amongst them).

    I thought that was pretty clear.

    Incidentally, I am pretty familiar with Russian nationalist circles, and your idea that there is any groundwell of pro-Ukrainian sentiment there is one of the most delusional ideas I have heard this past month.

    Ukrainian patriotism has reached the unprecedented level ... This is what I am talking about. Ukrainians, to the contrary, would go and fight. ...
     
    That's a lot of words but the mobilization statistics in 2014-15 indicated quite the contrary.

    http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9495/108365762.e/0_ac5c1_986f20fd_orig.jpg

    The idea that there would be any significant guerilla campaign in places like Odessa or Kharkov, where Euromaidan vs. Antimaidan sentiment was 50/50, is similarly delusional (I will leave the fever dreams about Russia nuking Ukraine out of existence uncommented, and leave this particular fantasy to Ukrainian Defense Ministers).

    In the west, yes, you'd probably have something in between Chechnya and Northern Ireland in intensity in the event of a Russian occupation, but nobody is, was, or will be interested in that agricultural backwater anyway.

    Why you guys are so obsessed with Ukraine, which, let me remind you, elected pro-Russian Yanukovich who ran on the platform of… euro-integration (and it is exactly his betrayal of this platform in 2013 that ignited the Maidan movement)? Why you even discuss which part of Ukraine would you steal and which you would not want? It’s not yours and it won’t be yours no matter what!

    Ukraine is backward? Sure, Ukraine is smaller than Russia. Ukraine stupidly gave up her nukes, the 2nd largest arsenal within the USSR, in exchange of Russia’s and certain others guarantees of safety and security, including territorial integrity. If Ukraine had nukes, you’d never attack.

    But why are you focused on Ukraine so much, which is a foreign country to you? You won’t unleash a new Holodomor on Ukraine, comrade commissar Karlin. We won’t allow that. You’d better focus on your own country, Russia, which cannot even feed herself and continue to depend largely on food imports, mostly from supposedly hated, “scary” NATO block (which Putin applied to join just some 15 years ago). So much for your “greatness”…

    Sure Ukraine has a lot of problems, but they are not much different from the problems Poland or Romania faced some 25 years ago. Leave us alone, and we will rebuild Ukraine, for Ukrainians. You know we will. But maybe this is what makes you so angry, comrade commissar Karlin?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Angry, me? To the contrary I am amused more than anything to deconstruct your delusions (the latest one: That the world's largest wheat exporter "depends largely" on food imports from "hated NATO block").

    I also don't understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zhenziyou/14947834/104642/104642_original.jpg

    http://his.img.pravda.com/images/doc/c/b/cb6be19-1-a.jpg
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    You know we will
     
    OK. The problem with this statement is that "rebuilding" Ukraine (whatever that means) requires two things:

    1. A lot, like really-really huge sums of money and resources. And I am talking hundreds of billions of dollars. You mentioning of Poland, which was afforded huge low interest credits and straight financial aid to make her a facade of new "Europe" testifies to a complete obliviousness to the real situation. BTW, Poland was largely deindustrialized. Romania--this is not serious.

    2. Population and its qualifications. I am not sure about actual numbers of Ukrainians permanently living in Ukraine proper but, call it a hunch, numbers are not as high as they are presented and judging by the "developments" such as slow painful death of Antonov and Yuzhmash turning into a zombie--I doubt it will become better.

    In the end, don't listen to me--here is a father of Ukrainian "Ukrainiansm" (that is "Not Russia"), a former President and a Yuzhmash CEO, Mr. Kuchma and I quote:

    We are becoming a raw materials appendix. What's left is metallurgy, chemical industry and agriculture. We practically do not have any high tech industries. Where are we going? We rejoice at the free trade with Europe. And what do we offer for this trade with Europe? Look at the statistics. Wheat. Other than agricultural products there is nothing more to offer. Quotes are rigid, we filled practically all of our quotes in first quarter of this year. And now observe how Europeans put us on our knees--"harvest your forests and bring timber to Europe". Where is any concrete help to Ukraine, to put her on her feet!? If we remain poor nobody will need us.
     
    Pay attention to what is in bold--a typical Ukrainian attitude. And that is why "rebuilding" contemporary Ukraine is not physically possible. Here is an original:

    https://112.ua/mnenie/ni-ssha-ni-evropa-ukraine-ne-pomogut-my-prakticheski-odni-397265.html

    But the question is deeper and the stopwatch started. Ukraine has to be used for a single purpose--to drag Russia in war, any war. And it will be used and nobody gives a flying fvck about Ukrainians and Ukraine after the war starts. It never was about Ukraine. This is the thing which many here (not all) completely do not understand. In the end, the red (or was it a blue? Do not remember) pill will have to be taken.
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  167. Cyrano says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Congrats - see #78

    Thanks man, I was just trying to be funny. It would have never occurred to me that Churchill actually died about a decade before the Rubik’s cube was invented, you stupid monkey.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You were cleatly struggling with something. "Trying to be funny": a genial aspiration. Can I introduce you to someone who runs courses in that. I am sure he could sell you one and then the ultimate purchse like the Brooklyn Bridge.
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  168. @AP
    Never heard it when I was in Ukraine,including central Ukraine. And your "evidence" was a blog post by an obvious liar.

    I suspect: recent events meant Russians are more exposed to Ukrainian than before. Contrary to their stereotype, they can't understand it that well. So this is an "explanation" - the language isn't "real".

    I suspect: recent events meant Russians are more exposed to Ukrainian than before. Contrary to their stereotype, they can’t understand it that well. So this is an “explanation” – the language isn’t “real”.

    Oh, good – now we are getting somewhere. You certainly have the right to an opinion. But, as much as it may be hard for you to believe – so do other people.

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  169. @Wizard of Oz
    Why do you utter such utter BS as your first sentence witbout at least looking up something like Wikipedia's Languages of Ukraine and acknowledging that you need to do quite a bit of work if you are to maintain any credibility. (Warning: it is long and cites and links many studies).

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to start by defining what you mean by "Ukraine" when making such assertions. Donbass included? Crimea?

    His is wrong that

    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian.

    But he’s certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home. Simply because most people live in cities, and Ukrainian dialects are mostly spoken in villages and smaller towns.

    It (obviously) doesn’t contradict the fact that most of them identify as Ukrainians.

    It’s somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic.

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    • Replies: @AP

    But he’s certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home
     
    Certainly wrong about that:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    When 10,000s of Ukrainians from all regions over a couple years were asked to complete a survey in Russian or Ukrainian, about 40% chose Ukrainian, 43% chose Russian, the rest were completely indifferent.

    Among ethnic Ukrainians, a little over 50% chose Ukrainian, 32% chose Russian. Among ethnic Russians preference for Ukrainian vs. Russian was 4.6% and 84%, respectively.

    With Crimea and urban Donbas gone, certainly over 50% of the general population is Ukrainian-speaking at home.

    It’s somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic
     
    This is true of the urban ethnic Ukrainians who outside Lviv mostly speak Russian, except that far fewer than 40% of Ireland's people speak Gaelic at home.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    If you are goung to bother to persist why not at least do better than "voice cryong in the wilderness". As i pointed out assertion is no substitute for reading something like the Wikupedia article I referred to and then answering its facts if ýou can.
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  170. Cyrano says:
    @voice crying in the wilderness
    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian. Timoshenko speaks Russian most of the time.

    “Ukrainian” is just a broken Russian. That’s because they are too stupid to learn the proper one.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Is that you "trying to be funny" again. You'd better flag it to relieve doubt.
    , @Cyrano
    Keep writing you stupid monkey. You are only few more posts away from single-handedly winning Crimea from Russia back. When the see what a brave patriot you are, they'll get scared and give it back to you. Keep writing, monkey.
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  171. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    I should have been clearer there. What I meant to say is that a new pro-Russian party could have supplplanted the moribund party of the Regions, but not one that would take the ruling role in Ukraine.
    It could have rebounded the pro-Russian orientation to some degree and had a significant voice perhaps in Ukraine's future course but as it turned out, the pro-Russian politicians have not been able to regroup in today's Ukrainian political landscape.

    Okay – this is accurate.

    Prior to recent events 65% or so of western Ukrainians had positive feelings towards the country of Russia.

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  172. @AP

    Just consider, had Russia not fomented war in Eastern Ukraine, and then outright annexed the Crimea, how things might be today.

    A newer, more calculating and impressive pro-Russia political power would have taken the place o the moribund and totally corrupted Regionaire mess.
     
    I doubt it. Ukraine was slowly drifting westwards. The demographics favored a westward approach (large population decline in the East, stability in the West). What probably would have happened, is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia. And NATO would have had about 25% popularity. Instead, Ukraine has become like another Poland. But Russia has Crimea.

    is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia

    Wrong. I’ll give you only one thing, though, Ukraine DID happen as a nation and that is a factor which cannot be dismissed and it was not dismissed. This whole conversation, everyone included, lacks two things:

    1. Real logic;
    2. Any serious geopolitical, military and economic knowledge.

    I understand people’s sentiments around here, but most of it is BS. Ukraine cannot exist as a whole state and be “friendly” to Russia–it is not a possibility. States and nations are not static, they move. Where they move–is another matter. One can only speculate on the future of a Ukrainian State but it is not bright to put it mildly. Comes 2019, well, it is a whole other game altogether. Russia is NOT interested in Ukraine anymore other than it being a security risk and the rights of Russo-phones there. This is not to mention that many of them moved to Russia anyway. This whole idea that Russia is simply not really interested in Ukraine may seem as anathema to many Ukrainians but that is exactly what it is. What’s left for Ukraine? War. But that is also whole other subject altogether.

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    • Replies: @AP

    "Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia"

    Wrong.
     
    How so? When I visited in 2013, there was a lot of hatred of Yanukovich in the center and west but he was perceived as a Ukraine problem (or a Donbas problem), not a Russia problem. Polls showed that even 65% of western Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. While western Ukrainians certainly wanted to join the West, the animosity towards Russia/Russians was fading. Hanging out in Lviv with Russians - we encountered less negative feelings than Anglos can in Quebec City.

    And that is western Ukraine. The center was even more friendly towards Russia (despite, as in western Ukraine, strongly preferring to integrate with the EU). And then there was Ukraine's East.

    Here is the latest KIIS Levada poll which also shows pat attitudes:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=722&page=1

    As late as November 2013, over 80% of Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. It's now at under 40%, having dipped in September after rising a little in MAy.

    So overall, had Ukraine been left alone by Russia, it would have closer toward the EU and would have been a Russian friend within the EU's orbit, being populated by people who like Russia.
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  173. @Mr. Hack
    Before Putin's Ukrainian war began, Ukrainians were hesitant to join NATO:

    According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] However, since the start of the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership.[17][18][19][20] Some 69 percent of Ukrainians want to join NATO, according to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, compared to 28 percent support in 2012 when Yanukovich was in power.[21]
     
    A big miscalculation for Russia!

    Before Putin’s Ukrainian war began

    LOL.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin? Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian? How about Putin's little green men that subdued the Crimea?
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  174. @Pavel
    Why you guys are so obsessed with Ukraine, which, let me remind you, elected pro-Russian Yanukovich who ran on the platform of... euro-integration (and it is exactly his betrayal of this platform in 2013 that ignited the Maidan movement)? Why you even discuss which part of Ukraine would you steal and which you would not want? It's not yours and it won't be yours no matter what!

    Ukraine is backward? Sure, Ukraine is smaller than Russia. Ukraine stupidly gave up her nukes, the 2nd largest arsenal within the USSR, in exchange of Russia's and certain others guarantees of safety and security, including territorial integrity. If Ukraine had nukes, you'd never attack.

    But why are you focused on Ukraine so much, which is a foreign country to you? You won't unleash a new Holodomor on Ukraine, comrade commissar Karlin. We won't allow that. You'd better focus on your own country, Russia, which cannot even feed herself and continue to depend largely on food imports, mostly from supposedly hated, "scary" NATO block (which Putin applied to join just some 15 years ago). So much for your "greatness"...

    Sure Ukraine has a lot of problems, but they are not much different from the problems Poland or Romania faced some 25 years ago. Leave us alone, and we will rebuild Ukraine, for Ukrainians. You know we will. But maybe this is what makes you so angry, comrade commissar Karlin?

    Angry, me? To the contrary I am amused more than anything to deconstruct your delusions (the latest one: That the world’s largest wheat exporter “depends largely” on food imports from “hated NATO block”).

    I also don’t understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.}

    Sure did.
    Lenin, then Stalin added large chunks of lands to Ukraine (...according to this map).

    https://russianuniverse.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/territories-annexed-to-ukraine.jpg

    (Does someone know who those lands belonged to before they were annexed to Ukraine?)
    , @AP

    I also don’t understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.
     
    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.

    In 1917 prior to Bolshevik rule an easy majority of people in what is now Ukraine had already voted for Ukrainian parties. During the Civil War, there were no major pro-Russian armed bands or leaders among ethnic Ukrainians/Little Russians in Ukraine. Zero. There were nationalists, anarchists, a few Bolsheviks (but not many), but zero pro-Russians. Territory of the Ukrainian SSR was based on the territory of the pre-Bolshevik Ukrainian National Republic. (non-Galician) Ukraine may have been unorganized, and rudimentary, but it already existed. Bolsheviks didn't make it possible.

    Bolshevisk did not have an easy time subduing Ukraine. The first attempts involved Russification policies and ended in failure. Concessions in terms of language were made to the locals in order to placate them while the state tightened its grip.

    S0-called "Ukrainianization" was merely teaching Ukrainians in their own language as they attained literacy. I suppose improvement in literacy in Russia would be "Russification?"

    Ukrainian SSR was over 70% ethnic Ukrainian, yet the chart you posted shows that never, under the Soviets, were 70% of books in Ukraine published in Ukrainian. By 1990 it was down to about 20%.
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  175. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    His is wrong that

    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian.
     
    But he's certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home. Simply because most people live in cities, and Ukrainian dialects are mostly spoken in villages and smaller towns.

    It (obviously) doesn't contradict the fact that most of them identify as Ukrainians.

    It's somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic.

    But he’s certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home

    Certainly wrong about that:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    When 10,000s of Ukrainians from all regions over a couple years were asked to complete a survey in Russian or Ukrainian, about 40% chose Ukrainian, 43% chose Russian, the rest were completely indifferent.

    Among ethnic Ukrainians, a little over 50% chose Ukrainian, 32% chose Russian. Among ethnic Russians preference for Ukrainian vs. Russian was 4.6% and 84%, respectively.

    With Crimea and urban Donbas gone, certainly over 50% of the general population is Ukrainian-speaking at home.

    It’s somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic

    This is true of the urban ethnic Ukrainians who outside Lviv mostly speak Russian, except that far fewer than 40% of Ireland’s people speak Gaelic at home.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf
     
    Pew says 83% pick Russian.

    Some Kiev thing named KIIS (that obviously has a dog in the fight) reports (according to you) something weird:

    about 40% chose Ukrainian, 43% chose Russian, the rest were completely indifferent.
     
    About 40%? And what did the rest, the 'indifferent', choose? Between Russian and Ukrainian, 'indifferent' is not a choice...

    Nah, I think I'll go with Pew here.
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  176. @Cyrano
    Thanks man, I was just trying to be funny. It would have never occurred to me that Churchill actually died about a decade before the Rubik's cube was invented, you stupid monkey.

    You were cleatly struggling with something. “Trying to be funny”: a genial aspiration. Can I introduce you to someone who runs courses in that. I am sure he could sell you one and then the ultimate purchse like the Brooklyn Bridge.

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  177. @Cyrano
    "Ukrainian" is just a broken Russian. That's because they are too stupid to learn the proper one.

    Is that you “trying to be funny” again. You’d better flag it to relieve doubt.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    No, man, seriously, I am just trying to help. You know how for example Italian is sometimes referred to as “language of the lovers”, or how French is referred to as the “language of diplomacy”. In same vein I think that “Ukrainian” should be known as the language of the stupid. I think you got that part of the market pretty much cornered.
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  178. @Pavel
    Why you guys are so obsessed with Ukraine, which, let me remind you, elected pro-Russian Yanukovich who ran on the platform of... euro-integration (and it is exactly his betrayal of this platform in 2013 that ignited the Maidan movement)? Why you even discuss which part of Ukraine would you steal and which you would not want? It's not yours and it won't be yours no matter what!

    Ukraine is backward? Sure, Ukraine is smaller than Russia. Ukraine stupidly gave up her nukes, the 2nd largest arsenal within the USSR, in exchange of Russia's and certain others guarantees of safety and security, including territorial integrity. If Ukraine had nukes, you'd never attack.

    But why are you focused on Ukraine so much, which is a foreign country to you? You won't unleash a new Holodomor on Ukraine, comrade commissar Karlin. We won't allow that. You'd better focus on your own country, Russia, which cannot even feed herself and continue to depend largely on food imports, mostly from supposedly hated, "scary" NATO block (which Putin applied to join just some 15 years ago). So much for your "greatness"...

    Sure Ukraine has a lot of problems, but they are not much different from the problems Poland or Romania faced some 25 years ago. Leave us alone, and we will rebuild Ukraine, for Ukrainians. You know we will. But maybe this is what makes you so angry, comrade commissar Karlin?

    You know we will

    OK. The problem with this statement is that “rebuilding” Ukraine (whatever that means) requires two things:

    1. A lot, like really-really huge sums of money and resources. And I am talking hundreds of billions of dollars. You mentioning of Poland, which was afforded huge low interest credits and straight financial aid to make her a facade of new “Europe” testifies to a complete obliviousness to the real situation. BTW, Poland was largely deindustrialized. Romania–this is not serious.

    2. Population and its qualifications. I am not sure about actual numbers of Ukrainians permanently living in Ukraine proper but, call it a hunch, numbers are not as high as they are presented and judging by the “developments” such as slow painful death of Antonov and Yuzhmash turning into a zombie–I doubt it will become better.

    In the end, don’t listen to me–here is a father of Ukrainian “Ukrainiansm” (that is “Not Russia”), a former President and a Yuzhmash CEO, Mr. Kuchma and I quote:

    We are becoming a raw materials appendix. What’s left is metallurgy, chemical industry and agriculture. We practically do not have any high tech industries. Where are we going? We rejoice at the free trade with Europe. And what do we offer for this trade with Europe? Look at the statistics. Wheat. Other than agricultural products there is nothing more to offer. Quotes are rigid, we filled practically all of our quotes in first quarter of this year. And now observe how Europeans put us on our knees–”harvest your forests and bring timber to Europe”. Where is any concrete help to Ukraine, to put her on her feet!? If we remain poor nobody will need us.

    Pay attention to what is in bold–a typical Ukrainian attitude. And that is why “rebuilding” contemporary Ukraine is not physically possible. Here is an original:

    https://112.ua/mnenie/ni-ssha-ni-evropa-ukraine-ne-pomogut-my-prakticheski-odni-397265.html

    But the question is deeper and the stopwatch started. Ukraine has to be used for a single purpose–to drag Russia in war, any war. And it will be used and nobody gives a flying fvck about Ukrainians and Ukraine after the war starts. It never was about Ukraine. This is the thing which many here (not all) completely do not understand. In the end, the red (or was it a blue? Do not remember) pill will have to be taken.

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    • Replies: @Pavel
    Nobody cares about Russia. Really, no offense, but nobody. All what world wants from Russia is that she remains in her internationally confirmed borders and mind her own business. Nobody wants a war with Russia either. There is no need and no purpose. Russia will sell anything she has anyway, and on a cheap.

    Nobody wants to invade Russia, well, except the Chinese, but they will take the eastern part of Russia peacefully, without even a circus of sending soldiers with no insignia, but with a smile, slowly but surely, like a python swallowing a rabbit. We know it has already been happening.

    All you guys in Russia have to do is to leave Ukraine alone, stop lying to others and to yourself that Ukraine could have potentially cause any danger to you, even if she has joined NATO. Turkey and the Baltic States are in NATO, the distance from the Latvian border to Moscow is almost the same as from the Ukrainian border, not to mention that missiles from either Turkey, Bulgaria or Romania, also NATO countries, can destroy Russian aircraft and navy vessels in Crimea and the Black sea in a matter of short minutes. Are you losing your sleep over it? Of course you don't.

    What's driving your obsession with Ukraine is that you cannot accept the fact that she's not your slave any more, that she's drifting away from you, becoming more and more independent and more and more European (slowly, but surely).

    All your supposed riches part of which has been promised to Ukraine in exchange of her love result in nothing, and it makes you mad. Yes, this is what makes you mad.

    You just cannot let Ukraine go, like that dumped drunkard husband with an axe from my first comment here. Sure, you were sad when you lost Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, but they were "Nazis" in your eye anyway so you did not worried too much about them leaving. Sure when Kazakhstan left it caused you pain too, but they're "narrow eyed" aliens to most Russians anyway, so you do not care much, too - especially because you're convinced that you'd keep them dependent on you one way or another and through this continue to exercise your influence, just like you do with Belarus, a white European nation, which depends on you, for now, to a significant degree.

    But Ukraine... You see she does not want to be with you, and you know that she does not really need you all that much. This is exactly what maddens Russia. Russia hates to be rejected, especially by the ones who you guys consider to be your eternal slaves.

    But if you consider yourself a male, grow a pair, Russia. Quit whining all the time. Behave like a grown up, behave like a man. Yes some divorces can be hurtful and messy, but they are not reversible. Let it go. Nobody can force others to love them, and you, Russia, is no different. Your stupid actions only breed hatred towards you. Get it already.
    , @peterAUS

    Ukraine has to be used for a single purpose–to drag Russia in war, any war. And it will be used and nobody gives a flying fvck about Ukrainians and Ukraine after the war starts. It never was about Ukraine.
     
    Agree.

    But, then, again, Ukrainian nationalists seized the opportunity.

    Where all this will be going, well, one way to see it.
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  179. AP says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    is that Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia
     
    Wrong. I'll give you only one thing, though, Ukraine DID happen as a nation and that is a factor which cannot be dismissed and it was not dismissed. This whole conversation, everyone included, lacks two things:

    1. Real logic;
    2. Any serious geopolitical, military and economic knowledge.

    I understand people's sentiments around here, but most of it is BS. Ukraine cannot exist as a whole state and be "friendly" to Russia--it is not a possibility. States and nations are not static, they move. Where they move--is another matter. One can only speculate on the future of a Ukrainian State but it is not bright to put it mildly. Comes 2019, well, it is a whole other game altogether. Russia is NOT interested in Ukraine anymore other than it being a security risk and the rights of Russo-phones there. This is not to mention that many of them moved to Russia anyway. This whole idea that Russia is simply not really interested in Ukraine may seem as anathema to many Ukrainians but that is exactly what it is. What's left for Ukraine? War. But that is also whole other subject altogether.

    “Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia”

    Wrong.

    How so? When I visited in 2013, there was a lot of hatred of Yanukovich in the center and west but he was perceived as a Ukraine problem (or a Donbas problem), not a Russia problem. Polls showed that even 65% of western Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. While western Ukrainians certainly wanted to join the West, the animosity towards Russia/Russians was fading. Hanging out in Lviv with Russians – we encountered less negative feelings than Anglos can in Quebec City.

    And that is western Ukraine. The center was even more friendly towards Russia (despite, as in western Ukraine, strongly preferring to integrate with the EU). And then there was Ukraine’s East.

    Here is the latest KIIS Levada poll which also shows pat attitudes:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=722&page=1

    As late as November 2013, over 80% of Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. It’s now at under 40%, having dipped in September after rising a little in MAy.

    So overall, had Ukraine been left alone by Russia, it would have closer toward the EU and would have been a Russian friend within the EU’s orbit, being populated by people who like Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    So overall, had Ukraine been left alone by Russia, it would have closer toward the EU and would have been a Russian friend within the EU’s orbit, being populated by people who like Russia.
     
    Again--wrong.

    1. Statistics, especially...well anywhere is a very imprecise tool. So, the only real things statistics gives in human field (precise sciences--this is a completely different field and there precision matters) are the feels of the trends. So we may overdose here on statistics but it will, for the most part, fail in giving a good grasp. A great demonstration of this whole "human" statistical approach being totally discredited--look at the results of last US Presidential Elections. As they say: statistics-twististics. So, let's leave it here at that.

    2. Many Russo-phones, including from the East, are the most rabid Russophobes and all these never-ending polls cannot realistically register a complex set of attitudes to one or another event, especially in the nation which, as I said, did happen, and which was subjected for the last 25 years to incessant propaganda of own uniqueness and not being Russian. The major rationale behind modern Ukraine is simple--Not-Russia, which translates into Anti-Russia easily. And it did.

    3. A defining characteristic of Ukrainians, which is proverbial in Russian culture is--my hut is on the fringe. Moya Hata s Krayu. This is a cultural background which, for all numerous polls testifying often to a mutually exclusive trends, produced since 1990s what we all have today. It is a hard cold reality which cannot be ignored. The mood of the so called "Russia-friendly" Ukrainians was not, in the same time, foundation of their world-view. Hence really fast change.

    4. Youth, here we come to the key issue--Maidan was produced by Ukrainian youth to a large degree. Ukrainian youth is not "pro-Russian", whatever that means.

    These are just some of the factors which create a complex but also a deadly dynamics for both Ukraine and her neighbors. While Ukraine did happen as a nation, it is the country with effectively external rule. It is also a militant oligarchy. This is not a mix which could have been some "friend" of Russia and the "liking" of Russia would be diminishing one way or another because of the radical difference in the economic dynamics in Ukraine in Russia. In fact, it is happening as I type this. Today, Ukraine is a full fledged third world nation which can not and never could exist as the first world one, especially in the "EU Orbit", that is LOL. Sure, that is why they came up with Europe of Two Speeds concept in EU. Yes, sure, Germans, French and Italians are rushing like crazy to build modern manufacturing plant in Ukraine, LOL. In other words, a little bit more realistic assessment of own capability and the place in the world could be a good start but I don't hold my breath. After all, we all know that Kerch Straight Bridge is a hologram, right? ;-)
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  180. @Erebus
    "Casual interest", in your case Wiz, can usually be substituted with "ignorant of the facts". When it comes to the MH-17 incident, it can certainly be.

    If you wish to remedy that, I suggest you look up the following:
    - the real-time Twitter postings by Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller at Kiev ATC during the shootdown
    - photos of the pilot's body, still strapped in his seat, riddled with what appear to be bullet holes
    - photos of the plane wreckage, esp the panels closest to the pilot seat
    - what a typical BUK warhead consists of, and whether it could have caused any of the visible damage
    - the hacked Facebook accounts of Kolomoisky's associates, giving each other shit for having released press statements about the shootdown the day before it happened (in Ukrainian)
    - reports of 2 Georgian marked, Israeli modified, Scorpion missile equipped SU-25s that were parked at Dnepropetrovsk early in the day, but were never seen again
    - what the Scorpion's warhead consists of, and its modus operandi (these are critical)
    - Kolomoisky's relationship to Dnepropetrovsk's airport
    - what it takes to use a BUK, or any other sophisticated Air Defence Complex.

    There's more, especially concerning the extraordinary legal restrictions and undertakings surrounding the official investigation, but if you get through those above you'll be able to pontificate from a position somewhere above rank ignorance. Not sure if that suits you, but it would be a welcome change.

    Well one word is well chosen, but to descrine your own emission. I mean “pontificate”.

    I challenge you to show how my expressions of doubt and pointing out to Bill (not you) that he was in error about the BUK missile launcher can amount to pontificating.

    I take it that you have assemblèd from memory (and not checked as the absence of links suggests) what you regard as important and weighty as proof that Ukraine shot down MH17. Still, if there is so much, where is the book? From you or anyone credible?

    Why have the Russians not proved the downing of MH17 to be according to your script?

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  181. Avery says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Angry, me? To the contrary I am amused more than anything to deconstruct your delusions (the latest one: That the world's largest wheat exporter "depends largely" on food imports from "hated NATO block").

    I also don't understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zhenziyou/14947834/104642/104642_original.jpg

    http://his.img.pravda.com/images/doc/c/b/cb6be19-1-a.jpg

    {the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.}

    Sure did.
    Lenin, then Stalin added large chunks of lands to Ukraine (…according to this map).

    (Does someone know who those lands belonged to before they were annexed to Ukraine?)

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    • Replies: @AP
    Map is largely false. Half the yellow area (including Kiev, Chernihiv, and Poltava) was the Ukrainian Hetmanate that was not annexed to Ukraine by the Tsar.

    Since Ukraine participated in the Tsar's wars it earned spoils also.
    , @Pavel
    Crimea was administratively transferred to Ukraine by Klim Voroshilov, not Nikita Khrushchev, but it's not that important. It was one of dozens of administrative land transfers within the USSR. "Russian tsars" were hardly "bolcheviks", but this is also not that important in the context of this discussion.

    What is important though is that these territories were added not to Ukraine, but to the Russian Empire and later to the USSR (Soviet Empire). At that time, nobody saw Ukraine as an independent nation. In the eye of tsars and later "bolcheviks", Ukraine was just a piece of their own empires.

    What is also important is that Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state now, no matter how much some in Russia may hate this reality same way they hate Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, even Finland and some of them... Alaska not being parts of their Russian empire.

    As Ukraine's borders were agreed upon within the frame of the international law, and as Russia, as a state, has accepted them, voluntarily, what's the point of discussing which parts of Ukraine belonged to who in the past?..

    But if you feel like talking history - parts of modern day Russia belonged to Finland, Germany (Prussia), China and Japan not that long ago. Should these parts be returned to their lawful owners now? If you are OK with Crimean "occupendum", how do you feel about asking people in Vyborg - mind without presence of a foreign well armed soldiers being present - whether they'd prefer to "come back" to Finland or remain in Russia?

    But Putin outlawed this kind of referendums in Russia immediately - immediately - after the Crimean "occupendum". Coincidence, I guess...

    This is not to mention that a huge part of modern day Russia historically belonged to Mongols. Should it be given back to Mongolia now, in all fairness, as they are direct descendants of those Mongols?
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  182. @Mao Cheng Ji
    His is wrong that

    Most Ukrainians speak only Russian.
     
    But he's certainly right that most of the population of the former state of Ukraine prefer Russian and speak Russian at home. Simply because most people live in cities, and Ukrainian dialects are mostly spoken in villages and smaller towns.

    It (obviously) doesn't contradict the fact that most of them identify as Ukrainians.

    It's somewhat similar to English vs Gaelic in the Irish Republic.

    If you are goung to bother to persist why not at least do better than “voice cryong in the wilderness”. As i pointed out assertion is no substitute for reading something like the Wikupedia article I referred to and then answering its facts if ýou can.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    As i pointed out assertion is no substitute for reading something like the Wikupedia article
     
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit? Seriously?
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  183. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Angry, me? To the contrary I am amused more than anything to deconstruct your delusions (the latest one: That the world's largest wheat exporter "depends largely" on food imports from "hated NATO block").

    I also don't understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zhenziyou/14947834/104642/104642_original.jpg

    http://his.img.pravda.com/images/doc/c/b/cb6be19-1-a.jpg

    I also don’t understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.

    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.

    In 1917 prior to Bolshevik rule an easy majority of people in what is now Ukraine had already voted for Ukrainian parties. During the Civil War, there were no major pro-Russian armed bands or leaders among ethnic Ukrainians/Little Russians in Ukraine. Zero. There were nationalists, anarchists, a few Bolsheviks (but not many), but zero pro-Russians. Territory of the Ukrainian SSR was based on the territory of the pre-Bolshevik Ukrainian National Republic. (non-Galician) Ukraine may have been unorganized, and rudimentary, but it already existed. Bolsheviks didn’t make it possible.

    Bolshevisk did not have an easy time subduing Ukraine. The first attempts involved Russification policies and ended in failure. Concessions in terms of language were made to the locals in order to placate them while the state tightened its grip.

    S0-called “Ukrainianization” was merely teaching Ukrainians in their own language as they attained literacy. I suppose improvement in literacy in Russia would be “Russification?”

    Ukrainian SSR was over 70% ethnic Ukrainian, yet the chart you posted shows that never, under the Soviets, were 70% of books in Ukraine published in Ukrainian. By 1990 it was down to about 20%.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.
     
    Actually, those are cold hard facts, with the exception of antibiotics. LOL.
    , @Mr. Hack
    Isn't this the point where Karlin conveniently disappears from the discussion, because he doesn't have anything worthwhile to counter with? You've checkmated him with this move, he's cornered, and he has nowhere to go. I've seen this before, and he should admit that you're right. But don't hold your breath waiting...
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  184. @AP

    "Ukraine would have been a relatively pro-Russian country in the EU orbit, not as pro-Russian as Greece but fairly friendly towards Russia"

    Wrong.
     
    How so? When I visited in 2013, there was a lot of hatred of Yanukovich in the center and west but he was perceived as a Ukraine problem (or a Donbas problem), not a Russia problem. Polls showed that even 65% of western Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. While western Ukrainians certainly wanted to join the West, the animosity towards Russia/Russians was fading. Hanging out in Lviv with Russians - we encountered less negative feelings than Anglos can in Quebec City.

    And that is western Ukraine. The center was even more friendly towards Russia (despite, as in western Ukraine, strongly preferring to integrate with the EU). And then there was Ukraine's East.

    Here is the latest KIIS Levada poll which also shows pat attitudes:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=722&page=1

    As late as November 2013, over 80% of Ukrainians had positive feelings towards Russia. It's now at under 40%, having dipped in September after rising a little in MAy.

    So overall, had Ukraine been left alone by Russia, it would have closer toward the EU and would have been a Russian friend within the EU's orbit, being populated by people who like Russia.

    So overall, had Ukraine been left alone by Russia, it would have closer toward the EU and would have been a Russian friend within the EU’s orbit, being populated by people who like Russia.

    Again–wrong.

    1. Statistics, especially…well anywhere is a very imprecise tool. So, the only real things statistics gives in human field (precise sciences–this is a completely different field and there precision matters) are the feels of the trends. So we may overdose here on statistics but it will, for the most part, fail in giving a good grasp. A great demonstration of this whole “human” statistical approach being totally discredited–look at the results of last US Presidential Elections. As they say: statistics-twististics. So, let’s leave it here at that.

    2. Many Russo-phones, including from the East, are the most rabid Russophobes and all these never-ending polls cannot realistically register a complex set of attitudes to one or another event, especially in the nation which, as I said, did happen, and which was subjected for the last 25 years to incessant propaganda of own uniqueness and not being Russian. The major rationale behind modern Ukraine is simple–Not-Russia, which translates into Anti-Russia easily. And it did.

    3. A defining characteristic of Ukrainians, which is proverbial in Russian culture is–my hut is on the fringe. Moya Hata s Krayu. This is a cultural background which, for all numerous polls testifying often to a mutually exclusive trends, produced since 1990s what we all have today. It is a hard cold reality which cannot be ignored. The mood of the so called “Russia-friendly” Ukrainians was not, in the same time, foundation of their world-view. Hence really fast change.

    4. Youth, here we come to the key issue–Maidan was produced by Ukrainian youth to a large degree. Ukrainian youth is not “pro-Russian”, whatever that means.

    These are just some of the factors which create a complex but also a deadly dynamics for both Ukraine and her neighbors. While Ukraine did happen as a nation, it is the country with effectively external rule. It is also a militant oligarchy. This is not a mix which could have been some “friend” of Russia and the “liking” of Russia would be diminishing one way or another because of the radical difference in the economic dynamics in Ukraine in Russia. In fact, it is happening as I type this. Today, Ukraine is a full fledged third world nation which can not and never could exist as the first world one, especially in the “EU Orbit”, that is LOL. Sure, that is why they came up with Europe of Two Speeds concept in EU. Yes, sure, Germans, French and Italians are rushing like crazy to build modern manufacturing plant in Ukraine, LOL. In other words, a little bit more realistic assessment of own capability and the place in the world could be a good start but I don’t hold my breath. After all, we all know that Kerch Straight Bridge is a hologram, right? ;-)

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    • Replies: @AP

    So we may overdose here on statistics but it will, for the most part, fail in giving a good grasp. A great demonstration of this whole “human” statistical approach being totally discredited–look at the results of last US Presidential Elections.
     
    Stats about Ukraine showed 80% plus viewed Russia positively in November 2013. This was a very stable trend. So whatever actions Ukraine would take, it would be a country where an overwhelming majority of the people liked Russia as a country - even if, as was the case, a slim majority preferred integrated with the West rather than with Russia.

    Many Russo-phones, including from the East, are the most rabid Russophobes
     
    Currently - yes. Indeed some of the most extreme Russophobes may very well be Russian-speaking. Azov battalion is mostly from Kharkiv.

    The major rationale behind modern Ukraine is simple–Not-Russia, which translates into Anti-Russia easily
     
    This is a myopic Russian view that doesn't correspond to reality. A Russian who knows little about Ukraine but who holds the false idea that Ukraine really is the same as Russia, will see in Ukrainian nationalism nothing but rejection of Russia, because what else could there be?

    It's like an American claiming that Canada is nothing more than not-America. Or for a Brit - America - nothing more than not-England. Ireland too - just not-England. To a German, Austria- simply not-Germany. To a Swede - Norway - not-Sweden. Etc.

    So when Ukrainians yearn for a democratic system as in other Western countries and which they themselves once enjoyed in some form this is nothing more than a rejection of Russia. When they promote their own native language - this is a rejection of Russia. When they promote their own historical myths rather than Russian or Polish or some other historical myths - a rejection of Russia.

    defining characteristic of Ukrainians, which is proverbial in Russian culture is–my hut is on the fringe. Moya Hata s Krayu
     
    Another example of Russians falsely claiming Ukrainians to be like them.

    Ukraine IIRC has a history of cooperatives and credit unions and other such mutual aid societies and community involvement. Indeed its history of popular revolts speak to a greater degree of community involvement, and less apathetic "moya hata s krayu", then among many peoples (including Russians).

    Today, Ukraine is a full fledged third world nation which can not and never could exist as the first world one,
     
    Sour grapes? Ukraine's 2016 per capita GDP (it is going to be a bit higher in 2017) was on the same level as that of Belarus in 2004. Was Belarus a "full-fledged third world nation" in 2004? Ukraine's Human Development Index ties it with Armenia, and places it above China (and above the world average). Full-fledged third world nations? Ukraine does well per capita in programming competitions, not a third world characteristic. Ukraine's GDP is growing again - it's not getting poorer. Ukraine is having problems to be sure, it is one of Europe's poorest countries, but let's not exaggerate.

    Yes, sure, Germans, French and Italians are rushing like crazy to build modern manufacturing plant in Ukraine
     
    They are rushing in and building a lot of light industrial plants making stuff like wire cables for their cars. Not rockets or airplanes, but not nothing, either.

    As for Kuchma's quote:

    We are becoming a raw materials appendix. What’s left is metallurgy, chemical industry and agriculture. We practically do not have any high tech industries. Where are we going? We rejoice at the free trade with Europe. And what do we offer for this trade with Europe? Look at the statistics. Wheat. Other than agricultural products there is nothing more to offer.
     
    I know you prefer hardware to software, but Ukraine's very strong IT sector (worth $2.7 billion in 2016, and expected to increase this year), ignored by Kuchma, ought not be simply dismissed. It's pharmaceutical industry is also increasing.
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  185. Mr. Hack says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Before Putin’s Ukrainian war began
     
    LOL.

    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin? Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian? How about Putin’s little green men that subdued the Crimea?

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin?
     
    You see, here one has to have a very good grasp of what "offensive" is. There is no denial that in regards to Donbas Moscow initially was in a pretty reactive mode and a lot of improvisation went into the initial phase. Far form any "offensives", the early task was to give the movement some structure. After initial battles, starting in Autumn 2014, one already could see the hand of the General Staff. So, in this sense, they were hatched.

    How about Putin’s little green men that subdued the Crimea?
     
    Very wrong semantics since there was no subduing anyone. Crimea was and is overwhelmingly Russian in its attitudes, which is known to anyone who even remotely knows what Sevastopol and Black Sea Fleet mean for majority of Russians. I know this on a professional, highly informed, level. Operation was brilliantly executed and most forces were those of Black Sea Fleet and other units of Russian MoD, which were in Sevastopol since late 18th Century and never left, with the exception of 1942-44 short period of time.
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  186. AP says:
    @Avery
    {the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.}

    Sure did.
    Lenin, then Stalin added large chunks of lands to Ukraine (...according to this map).

    https://russianuniverse.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/territories-annexed-to-ukraine.jpg

    (Does someone know who those lands belonged to before they were annexed to Ukraine?)

    Map is largely false. Half the yellow area (including Kiev, Chernihiv, and Poltava) was the Ukrainian Hetmanate that was not annexed to Ukraine by the Tsar.

    Since Ukraine participated in the Tsar’s wars it earned spoils also.

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  187. @AP

    I also don’t understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.
     
    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.

    In 1917 prior to Bolshevik rule an easy majority of people in what is now Ukraine had already voted for Ukrainian parties. During the Civil War, there were no major pro-Russian armed bands or leaders among ethnic Ukrainians/Little Russians in Ukraine. Zero. There were nationalists, anarchists, a few Bolsheviks (but not many), but zero pro-Russians. Territory of the Ukrainian SSR was based on the territory of the pre-Bolshevik Ukrainian National Republic. (non-Galician) Ukraine may have been unorganized, and rudimentary, but it already existed. Bolsheviks didn't make it possible.

    Bolshevisk did not have an easy time subduing Ukraine. The first attempts involved Russification policies and ended in failure. Concessions in terms of language were made to the locals in order to placate them while the state tightened its grip.

    S0-called "Ukrainianization" was merely teaching Ukrainians in their own language as they attained literacy. I suppose improvement in literacy in Russia would be "Russification?"

    Ukrainian SSR was over 70% ethnic Ukrainian, yet the chart you posted shows that never, under the Soviets, were 70% of books in Ukraine published in Ukrainian. By 1990 it was down to about 20%.

    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.

    Actually, those are cold hard facts, with the exception of antibiotics. LOL.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    For somebody who purports to have an intelligence that's way off the charts, perhaps on a par or greater than Karlin's himself (wow!), your reading comprehension skills seem to be sub par. AP convincingly negated your nonsensical held belief that somehow the Bolsheviks created Ukraine. Reread his whole reply to Karlin (who has conveniently disappeared again). I'll quote only one part of his informative rebuttal to your nonsense:

    Territory of the Ukrainian SSR was based on the territory of the pre-Bolshevik Ukrainian National Republic. (non-Galician) Ukraine may have been unorganized, and rudimentary, but it already existed. Bolsheviks didn’t make it possible.
     
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  188. Cyrano says:
    @Cyrano
    "Ukrainian" is just a broken Russian. That's because they are too stupid to learn the proper one.

    Keep writing you stupid monkey. You are only few more posts away from single-handedly winning Crimea from Russia back. When the see what a brave patriot you are, they’ll get scared and give it back to you. Keep writing, monkey.

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  189. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I also don’t understand your hatred towards the Bolsheviks, since they did more than anyone else to make Ukraine possible.
     
    Myth. Bolsheviks made Ukraine possible like they made literacy, or electrification, or antibiotics, possible.

    In 1917 prior to Bolshevik rule an easy majority of people in what is now Ukraine had already voted for Ukrainian parties. During the Civil War, there were no major pro-Russian armed bands or leaders among ethnic Ukrainians/Little Russians in Ukraine. Zero. There were nationalists, anarchists, a few Bolsheviks (but not many), but zero pro-Russians. Territory of the Ukrainian SSR was based on the territory of the pre-Bolshevik Ukrainian National Republic. (non-Galician) Ukraine may have been unorganized, and rudimentary, but it already existed. Bolsheviks didn't make it possible.

    Bolshevisk did not have an easy time subduing Ukraine. The first attempts involved Russification policies and ended in failure. Concessions in terms of language were made to the locals in order to placate them while the state tightened its grip.

    S0-called "Ukrainianization" was merely teaching Ukrainians in their own language as they attained literacy. I suppose improvement in literacy in Russia would be "Russification?"

    Ukrainian SSR was over 70% ethnic Ukrainian, yet the chart you posted shows that never, under the Soviets, were 70% of books in Ukraine published in Ukrainian. By 1990 it was down to about 20%.

    Isn’t this the point where Karlin conveniently disappears from the discussion, because he doesn’t have anything worthwhile to counter with? You’ve checkmated him with this move, he’s cornered, and he has nowhere to go. I’ve seen this before, and he should admit that you’re right. But don’t hold your breath waiting…

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  190. @Mr. Hack
    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin? Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian? How about Putin's little green men that subdued the Crimea?

    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin?

    You see, here one has to have a very good grasp of what “offensive” is. There is no denial that in regards to Donbas Moscow initially was in a pretty reactive mode and a lot of improvisation went into the initial phase. Far form any “offensives”, the early task was to give the movement some structure. After initial battles, starting in Autumn 2014, one already could see the hand of the General Staff. So, in this sense, they were hatched.

    How about Putin’s little green men that subdued the Crimea?

    Very wrong semantics since there was no subduing anyone. Crimea was and is overwhelmingly Russian in its attitudes, which is known to anyone who even remotely knows what Sevastopol and Black Sea Fleet mean for majority of Russians. I know this on a professional, highly informed, level. Operation was brilliantly executed and most forces were those of Black Sea Fleet and other units of Russian MoD, which were in Sevastopol since late 18th Century and never left, with the exception of 1942-44 short period of time.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Would 'annexed' the Crimea be preferable than 'subdued'? Don't change the subject. I didn't ask you what motivated the invasion, but where were these ideas hatched in the first place? Oh, and you somehow, conveniently, forgot to answer the first of only two questions that I posed to you:

    Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian?
     
    , @peterAUS

    You see, here one has to have a very good grasp of what “offensive” is. There is no denial that in regards to Donbas Moscow initially was in a pretty reactive mode and a lot of improvisation went into the initial phase. Far form any “offensives”, the early task was to give the movement some structure. After initial battles, starting in Autumn 2014, one already could see the hand of the General Staff. So, in this sense, they were hatched.
     
    Agree

    most forces were those of Black Sea Fleet and other units of Russian MoD, which were in Sevastopol since late 18th Century
     
    Most...but not all....those "little fellows" weren't initially there. They flew in.
    But, that's nitpicking, I admit.
    Crimea was logical and well executed move by Moscow.
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  191. Mr. Hack says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Is there really any doubt at all that the go ahead offensive actions in Ukraine were all hatched in the Kremlin?
     
    You see, here one has to have a very good grasp of what "offensive" is. There is no denial that in regards to Donbas Moscow initially was in a pretty reactive mode and a lot of improvisation went into the initial phase. Far form any "offensives", the early task was to give the movement some structure. After initial battles, starting in Autumn 2014, one already could see the hand of the General Staff. So, in this sense, they were hatched.

    How about Putin’s little green men that subdued the Crimea?
     
    Very wrong semantics since there was no subduing anyone. Crimea was and is overwhelmingly Russian in its attitudes, which is known to anyone who even remotely knows what Sevastopol and Black Sea Fleet mean for majority of Russians. I know this on a professional, highly informed, level. Operation was brilliantly executed and most forces were those of Black Sea Fleet and other units of Russian MoD, which were in Sevastopol since late 18th Century and never left, with the exception of 1942-44 short period of time.

    Would ‘annexed’ the Crimea be preferable than ‘subdued’? Don’t change the subject. I didn’t ask you what motivated the invasion, but where were these ideas hatched in the first place? Oh, and you somehow, conveniently, forgot to answer the first of only two questions that I posed to you:

    Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian?

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Would ‘annexed’ the Crimea be preferable than ‘subdued’? Don’t change the subject
     
    No, the preferable would be return. But since you a feisty little fella, let me first answer your question on that:

    Name even one Donbas separatist leader in 2014 that was a Ukrainian?
     
    Most of them were Ukraine citizens from Gubarev, to Pushilin to Kofman (this one is a Jew). So, what is your point? I think it is you who have really serious difficulties understanding basic facts, hence pretense as seen from your quote above with "changing subjects". Now, without changing subject, what about "offensive", again? And I don't mean merely semantics, I understand that you have no a fvcking idea what Combat Manual is or how "offensive" is used in military professional environment, so what about "offensive" (Goggle, Google, dive, dive).
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  192. Mikel says:
    @AP

    I am sure that there are Ukrainians that consider that it is not worth it to retake Donbass if the only way to do it is by shedding civilian blood and causing so much suffering. But to date I have not been able to meet any.
     
    I don't know what the polls are - IIRC perhaps 1/3 don't want to retake Donbas. I wish it were higher. As I've mentioned in other posts - one reason for fighting there is so that the fight won't spread elsewhere. One hears that from a lot of people in Ukraine. Typical comment, said to me by some lady from Dnipropetrovsk, former Yanukovich voter, who had opposed Maidan actually: "we didn't fight in Crimea, so they took it. At first we didn't fight in Donetsk, and they started taking towns. How much could we allow them to just take? So we had to do something."

    the same goes for Catalans (as we are witnessing right now), Scots, Flemings, Lombards… Perhaps it’s not s not just the military that was post-Soviet in Ukraine but also the mentality?
     
    The people you mention also, all don't mind packing their countries with troublesome Muslims. Unlike Eastern Europeans. I'm not sure the latter mentality is "post-Soviet", rather than simply pro-Polish, pro-Ukrainian, etc.

    That is, BTW, exactly how I feel about my native Basque Country. I would like it to be independent from Spain and France but if achieving that goal requires killing anyone (I’m not even talking about civilians), I’d rather stay the way we are.
     
    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery). The problem is that in this case, the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives. Is this reasonable?

    Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Maybe. But in Crimea there were around zero casualties. It looks like that time they did take some care to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
     
    Ukrainian troops in Crimea, unlike Donbas rebels and Russian adventurers, didn't fight back out of populated areas, drawing fire into them. They basically didn't fight at all. Do you think that if the Ukrainian troops dug into residential areas and shot at the Russians, the Russians would leave Crimea alone? I doubt it - they would have wiped put the Ukrainian forces and there would have been civilian collateral casualties.

    Kharkiv didn't fight against Kiev - and no bloodshed.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast? Or would they have instead set up Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, etc. Republics. Hell, out of Kiev's 4 million or so people, a few 10,000s pro-Russians could be found, to set up a pro-Russian Republic there too, if every Ukrainian was a pacifist who refused to fight, in order not to take any lives.

    A saintly attitude (I say this without mockery).

    Not really. A simple rational calculation of costs and benefits. One that, as I said, is shared by the vast majority of people in the part of Europe Ukraine wants to adhere to.

    I’m not into religion but, as I understand it, it takes much more to become a saint than being unwilling to kill civilians in order to have one passport or another.

    the preemptive surrender for the purpose of not taking of lives, means that you cede the world to those who are willing to take lives.

    No. If an armed robber tried to steal my wallet I might surrender it. But if he tried to harm my family be sure that I’d fight maybe as hard as an Azov patriot. In fact, I’ve been in that situation a couple of times when I lived in Latin America. I doubt that the last bastard who tried to assault me has recovered yet.

    If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Donetsk oblast?

    Well, that’s pretty much what happened. While the first ATO operatives were surrendering to the defenders of Slavyansk, the rebellion did not take hold in Kharkiv and Odessa and, as even Martyanov is explaining, everybody lost interest, especially the Russians, who didn’t even send enough resources to keep the majority of Donbass in rebel hands.

    I didn’t like the Western interference in Ukraine but I would have supported Ukraine against a full blown invasion by Russia. That’s not quite what happened though and, as things stand now, it might make sense for Ukrainians to accept that part of the territories they inherited from the USSR are inhabited by people with more allegiance to Russia than Ukraine. How about ceasing all hostilities and negotiating a binding, OSCE-monitored referendum in Crimea and Donbass? If most people there do not want to belong to Ukraine, Ukraine is better off without them, just as Russia is better off without hostile Ukrainian territories.

    Best regards,
    Mikel

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    • Replies: @AP

    "If Ukrainians refused to fight in Donbas, do you think that those rebels and Russian adventurers would have respected pacifism and politely stopped at the border of Done