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Accession of Crimea to Russia

While

News  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Recommended Links Victoria Nuland’s ‘Ukraine-gate’ EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong?
Ukraine's oligarchs Provisional government The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Russian Fifth column Humor  Etc

While I oppose accession of Crimea to Russia, it is difficult not to understand the reasons.

There was a unique situation when government in Kiev has zero international legitimacy. That actually make a huge difference between Crimea case and several other European cases of secession: both past and future. No legitimate central government existed at the time of referendum. 

There was a danger of far right groups with anti-Russian agenda. Really hostile to Russian speaking population. Really intimidating much like Ernst Röhm  storm troupers in Weimar Germany, or pogrom thugs of Czarist Russia. 

Provisional government was installed by West as a result of a coup. Essentially Eastern Ukraine now became occupied by Western Ukraine.  Also Kosovo created a precedent and it was the USA that undermined the system of inviolately of national borders.

Among obvious common moments:

And it was the USA which organized and financed EuroMaidan. Here is is interesting to reconstruct the line of thinking of one of the architects of EuroMaidan Radosław Sikorski. Here is what The Kremlin Stooge wrote about his line of thinking:

...because the government advisory position on the international legality of its declaration – upon which turned its recognition by Poland, first of the Slavic countries to welcome it, was written by…

Poland, we hear, “viewed the Declaration of Independence [of Kosovo] of 17 February 2008 as an act that has not conflicted with any norm of international law.” International law, saith Mr. Sikorski, does not contain norms that would apply to the question of declaring independence; a state (pay attention, this is important) is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty…the existence of the state is a question of fact, the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory.

You’ll want to keep that last phrase in your back pocket for when the west and its cronies uniformly refuse to recognize Crimea as a state. A declaration of independence, it is Poland’s official position, is merely an act that confirms these factual circumstances, and it may be difficult to assess such an act in purely legal terms.

For those who don’t recognize it, that is a defense of unilateral declarations of independence that squirms around the question of whether they violate international law, implying “No” because everybody on the Good Guyz side wanted Kosovo to be independent.

There’s much more – of course, it was written by a politician, and when have you ever known a politician to use ten words when ten thousand will do as well – but Poland relies heavily on the “unique status” of Kosovo, which, while subordinated to the Republic of Serbia and being represented in the Federation’s presidency, enjoyed full status of self-governance appertaining to the Republic, including even their own central banks.

The “strive” of Kosovars, we hear (that’s a little deviation from perfect Oxford English, Mr. Oxford graduate, into the realm of the purely made-up, it should have been “striving” or “struggle”) manifested itself through massive protests that were repressed by central authorities of Yugoslavia. The unilateral declaration of independence by the Crimea is about to manifest itself in a powerful referendum majority which will reflect the will of the people, and it has been repressed in advance by the unelected central government of Ukraine by an order to dissolve the Crimean parliament and preordainment that the results of any referendum instigated by that body will be irrelevant and ignored.

There were also features of Crimea crisis which make it different from Kosovo

So in Crimea case like in Case of Kosovo the principle of self-determination conflicts with principle of the inviolability of postwar borders. While I prefer  principle of the inviolability of postwar borders that choice is difficult if the your country is high jacked by far right junta which will definitely treat you as a second class citizen. Of course, an immigration is an option, especially for highly qualified specialists, but this is dramatic decision that changes your life.

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[Apr 06, 2014] Выношу из комментариев.

This guy Борис Битнер is an interesting member of "useful idiots" type of supporters of far right...
Apr. 2nd, 2014 at 2:39 PM barbazan пишет в ответ на вежливую просьбу Леся Подеревянского:

Послушайте Ян, или как Вас там на самом деле!
Постарайтесь что ли понять - никто в России не рад тому, что происходит на Украине.

Если и есть подонки, кто злорадствует - те просто подонки.
Они есть везде.

Постарайтесь понять и то, что никто не желает никакой войны и никакого вторжения. Мы знаем, как выглядят и как пахнут трупы.
А также никто не собирается поучать Украину, как ей жить, кого выбрать в президенты.

Но и видеть нацистские марши, слушать "геть" и "москаляку на гиляку" тоже никто не хочет. И особенно гнусны действия Правого сектора, Свободы и таких упырей, как Ляшко, Фарион и Музычко с Тягнибоком.

Нам не нужна любовь Ваша. Объелись ею по самое "не балуйся". Нужно выстраивать взаимоприемлемые отношения на основе уважения, взаимного терпения и выгоды.

И перестаньте наконец уже, искать врага вне Украины. Главный враг Украины - внутри её. Никто не сделал больше вреда для Украины, кроме самих украинцев.

И не забудьте, лежать под США также неприятно. Если думаете, что если не с Россией, то независимы, то заблуждаетесь. Если думаете, что в США все спят и видят, как бы сделать хорошо Украине - глубоко ошибаетесь.

Я не люблю, Я ТЕРПЕТЬ НЕ МОГУ Фарион, мне АНТИПАТИЧЕН Тягнибок, я БРЕЗГЛИВО отношусь к Ляшко, а Музычко... Ну, а что о покойниках говорить? Нечего. Тут мы сходимся с российским юзером.

А вот дальше звучит старая песня.

Нам тоже не нужна ваша любовь. Мы хотим добрососедских взаимоотношений - теперь не понимаю как это достижимо. Крым, знаете ли, мешает.
Да, наш самый большой враг - мы сами. Я писал об этом неоднократно. Но...
Все, что происходит в нашей стране - это наше внутриукраинское дело. С кем мы дружим, какие песни поем, с кем ложимся, с кем встаем, с кем целуемся в десна. И все соображения по поводу того, как Россия справедливо вмешивается в наши внутренние дела, в связи с защитой русскоязычного населения неизвестно от кого, в связи с военными интересами, в связи с наступающим фашизмом (какая бредятина!)...

"Ты виноват лишь в том, что хочется мне кушать!"

Не надо искать повод для оправдания решения своих геополитических интересов. удовлетворения амбиций и проч.. Что-то я не припомню защиты прав русскоязычного населения в Туркменистане, в Киргизии, в Узбекистане. Или там не было русских? Или в Украине кого-то убили (не дай Бог!) за какой-либо язык? Все происходящее от начала и до конца - это агрессия. А какой повод для этого будет найден - пофиг.

Произошедшее оправдания не имеет.Термин "подлость" вроде как неприемлем для межгосударственных отношений, но очень уж подходит к произошедшему.
О крымчанах их желаниях и Крыме я напишу отдельно.

Я выбрал этот пост из комментариев, как наиболее типичный. Нам до вас нет дела, говорит автор. Только это, это, это, это и это - нам не по душе. Но - неважно. Мы же соседи. Просто мы вам сделаем это, это и то. И вам не нравится лежать под нами? А вы думаете под другими будет приятнее? Не... Мы лучше знаем, с кем приятнее. Будете лежать.

Есть посты умнее, есть посты изощреннее в аргументации, но и этот - на средне интеллигентном уровне - очень показателен.


solar_kitten, Apr. 2nd, 2014 11:50 am (UTC)

"Все, что происходит в нашей стране - это наше внутрикрымское дело. С кем мы дружим, какие песни поем, с кем ложимся, с кем встаем, с кем целуемся в десна." :)

Такая аргументация - она зеркальна. Поэтому я с нетерпением жду твоего мнения о крымчанах, их желаниях, и Крыме.

tatka_tatka_k

Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:36 pm (UTC)

РФ далеко не безразлично, что в соседней стране служба безпеки, которой американский посол выдает дипломы, крышует нацистов, которые кричат о войне с РФ

tatka_tatka_k

Apr. 2nd, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)

посмотрите репортаж ВВС на ютубе "Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine" и поспорьте с ними
там нацик дословно повторяет нацистские доктрины в духе "одна страна - одна нация", только что не добавил "один фюрер"

natouniforma

Apr. 2nd, 2014 11:43 am (UTC)

Он всё правильно написал.
У вас там - бурления. Мы попросту наблюдаем и недоумеваем. Притом недоумение всё больше сменяется чистым любопытством: а что вы там курите? Откуда столько эмоций?

И не надо по Крым. Если в семье папка хочет сменить пол, работу, страну, ориентацию - не факт, что кто-то из семейных не решит завести отдельный квартирный счёт, оттяпав комнату-другую с последующей продажей или обменом, ибо жить с буйным вместе уже как-то западло.

dr_ionych, Apr. 2nd, 2014 11:47 am (UTC)

Кому охота жить в стране, где тебя постоянно троллят?

Как русским в Латвии, Литве и в Эстонии.

Иван Тарасов, Apr. 2nd, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Кому охота жить в стране, где тебя постоянно троллят?

А это уже дело крымчан. Это они захотели от Украины отделиться. Причем отделились мирно. Без погромов, как в Киеве, без убийств, без коктейлей Молотова.

Неудивительно, что Штаты взбесились. Они ведь не для этого майдан организовывали, переворот устраивали, 5 млрд долларов потратили...


fr0ster, Apr. 2nd, 2014 11:47 am (UTC)

Никто из апологетов защиты русскоязычного населения Украины так и не смог ответить, на кой она нужна, например, мне. :) Как бы вот так.

Иван Тарасов. Apr. 2nd, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)

Это лучше у самих крымчан спросить.

А россиянам в основном, до Украины дела нет.

Вот еще бы зомбированные 5-м каналом украинцы в русскоязычном ЖЖ истерику не нагнетали...

fr0ster

Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:24 am (UTC)

Зомбированные Киселевым россияне рассказывают вообще, что украинцев и украинский язык чуть ли не в 19 году Черчиль придумал. Дела нет, но мнение есть.

Насчет Крыма и русского языка, то извините, русским пользоваться в Крыму не запрещал никто, но вот нежелание знать украинский как раз и приводит к претензиям на госстатус языка, хотя это не отменяет необходимость знать украинский язык.

Иван Тарасов, Apr. 3rd, 2014 07:35 am (UTC)

А зачем вы смотрите Киселева?
21 век на дворе - вся информация есть в интернете, надо просто голову включать.

И россиянам, в общем-то, все равно, на каком языке говорят на Украине.

fr0ster, Apr. 3rd, 2014 08:14 am (UTC)

Мне приходится общаться и с теми, кто смотрит.

Иван Тарасов, Apr. 3rd, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)

Технологии пропаганды в информационных войнах у всех стран одинаковые и неплохо отработаны. Вывести людей на площадь в наше время гораздо проще, чем раньше. И большинство будет верить, что вышел сам, а не ради чьей-то выгоды.

Here's How to Think About Russia and the Ukraine Crisis The American Conservative

Answering the key questions about NATO, Putin's intentions, and what George Kennan would do.

By Daniel Larison • March 27, 2014


...There is not much evidence from past sanctions regimes that a regime can be coerced into giving up something that it considers to be very valuable, and based on Russian behavior over the last month there is every reason to think that it isn't going to give up Crimea after having gone to such lengths to acquire it. Insofar as sanctions against Russia increase tensions, they make it more difficult to de-escalate the crisis, and the more expansive and punishing these sanctions are, the worse these tensions are likely to become.

There is the additional danger that Russia will retaliate against Europe and specifically against Ukraine by withholding energy supplies, and that would be very harmful to many European countries that rely most heavily on Russian energy. Sanctions can do significant damage to the Russian economy, but only at an extremely high price that Western governments probably aren't and shouldn't be willing to pay. For that reason, I'm not sure what stronger punitive measures will achieve that couldn't also be achieved through less disruptive and costly measures.

Another factor that Western governments don't seem to be paying enough attention to is the general lack of support for sanctions elsewhere in the world. China, India, and Japan all appear to be more interested in maintaining good relations with Moscow than they are in punishing it over Crimea, so sanctioning Russia could end up imposing enormous costs on Europe without having as much of a punitive effect as expected.

Sanctioning Russia could also have other consequences for U.S. goals on other issues that are not directly related to Ukraine or the former Soviet Union, such as the negotiations with Iran and the ability to supply and to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Many Westerners imagine that Russia seeks to thwart the U.S. at every turn. That isn't true right now, but it could become the case if the U.S. and its allies resort to strong punitive measures.

... ... ...

Kennan was a vocal opponent of the first round of NATO expansion that included Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, so it is not hard to imagine how much more forcefully he would have rejected the idea of expanding the alliance-and Western influence more generally-into the former Soviet Union.

In a 1997 diary entry, Kennan recorded his fears about current and future NATO expansion, which he saw as having "unjustifiable and terrible implications" and lamented that it portended a "total, tragic, and wholly unnecessary end to an acceptable relationship of that country to the remainder of Europe." His New York Times op-ed from the same year described NATO expansion as "the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era."

He would likely have seen U.S. and EU actions in Ukraine over the last few months as being similarly misguided and unfortunate and would not have wanted the U.S. to encourage the overthrow of the previous Ukrainian leadership, not least because he would have been more sensitive to Russian concerns and more likely to anticipate Moscow's hostile reaction. Kennan would probably have seen the Ukraine crisis from last fall until now as a grim vindication of his warnings about the effects of NATO expansion and Washington's enthusiasm for promoting democracy overseas.

What is Putin up to? What's the best way to counter regimes that break important international norms?

Putin appears to believe that he is countering undue and unwelcome Western influence in Russia's vicinity, he thinks he is pushing back against decades of Western overreaching in this part of the world, and he is reacting to the overthrow of a more or less friendly government by political forces that he considers to be hostile to Russia.

He has come up with an ad hoc justification-the protection of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers-that has been invoked for the purpose of justifying Russian action in Crimea, but it isn't yet clear how much of this is just nationalist demagoguery for this occasion and how much it tells us something meaningful about future Russian foreign-policy goals. The principle that Putin articulated to defend the annexation of Crimea could be a very dangerous and disruptive one if it became an important part of Russia's relations with its neighbors, but it is also possible that it was never intended to be applied in other places.

It isn't very satisfying, but there is not a great deal that can be done to stop regimes from violating international norms if they are intent on doing it. When a regime runs roughshod over international law as blatantly as Russia has, that will inevitably have its own consequences for that regime's ability to have normal relations with other states, and if it makes a habit of this behavior it will tend to make itself into a pariah.

... ... ...

The Ukraine crisis has been a disaster for the relationship between the two countries, and it may take a decade to repair the damage, if there is any interest on either side to make the effort to repair it. Even when relations were gradually improving and U.S.-Russian cooperation was producing modest results a few years ago, there was enormous resistance in both countries to a closer relationship, and now hardliners in both countries are going to be driving policy decisions in their direction for years to come.

This is great news for China, which stands to benefit in several ways from hostility between Russia and the U.S. It is also likely to benefit hardliners in Iran in that Russia will have fewer incentives to cooperate in pressuring Tehran on the nuclear issue and it will have a new excuse to undermine negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Syria negotiations have been stalled from the start, but now Russia and Western governments will be less inclined to work with each other on making them a success. The effect on Syria's conflict may not be that great, but any effect that there is will be a negative one.

Is this Cold War II?

It can't be for the simple reason that Russia isn't the Soviet Union and doesn't really seek to revive anything like it in the future. Americans have no good way of thinking about a Russia that is neither tsarist nor communist, and so we are constantly resorting to comparisons with these earlier periods, but they are very misleading and cause us to misinterpret Russian actions on a regular basis. We may be seeing the beginning of an intensified great power rivalry between the U.S. and Russia in the former Soviet Union. This is as unnecessary as it is undesirable for the U.S., but it doesn't begin to compare to a global, ideologically-driven rivalry such as the Cold War.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative.

[Mar 29, 2014] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KCPBqEd7IXM

Lavrov's interview about Russian isolation efforts (In Russian)

Obama calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine's border - The Washington Post

Greed Over Patriotism

I bet Iran wished that the USA would remove its troops from the countries on their borders - Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Wishes don't always come true

birchbank

@ JB 1 wrote [1:30 AM EST]:

"Ok, the part about 'Conquer Iraqi', well the ARMY & Marines cut through the Iraqi's like butter, Rumsfeld had no occupation plan. Foreigners have to remember, the US military has very strict "Rules of Engagement" so what you see as weakness is the US showing restraint,"
_____________________________________

"Strict rules of engagement??" Did you actually fight on the front lines in Iraq, or talk to combat troops there, or see shows on the veterans? We bombed, shot and blew the hell out of Iraq and its people and homes, killing scores of thousands of civilians, many of them women and children. Our troops often broke into civilian Iraqi homes and killed all the adult males there, who were often sleeping. Many "guards" of private US companies openly shot down anyone not American on the streets. Our troops slaughtered over 120,000 Iraqi civilians.** And by far most of the casualties were many YEARS AFTER we captured the weak tinpot dictator Saddam and disbanded his army.

WE caused Iraq to rise up against us because WE were the bad guys there, illegally invading a sovereign nation who had done nothing wrong to us (violating the #1 UN law) - wouldn't you if another nation invaded us ?? (Saddam had no connection with 9/11 or Al Qaeda, as he was Sunni Muslim, who are enemies of bin Laden and his Shiite Muslims, and the lame Bush/Cheney lies that Saddam did have long been exposed...nor did he have any WMDs, which the UNSCOMB inspectors were trying to *tell* Bush.) So for what reason did we really invade Iraq? Its oil. If all those troops had been deployed in Afghanistan, we'd have nailed bin Laden and killed and scattered Al Qaeda there MUCH sooner with much less costs in both blood and treasure.

Many veterans are forever scarred with horrible guilt and PTSD over their killing so many civilians and children or seeing them killed. Where in the hell was there anything CLOSE to the "restraint" or "rules of engagement" you talk about? You go talk with or see shows on many veterans who will be forever emotionally damaged by the brutality with which we "fought" (aka "slaughtered the innocents") in Iraq, and you'll find out about the fictitious "rules of engagement" our troops actually practiced in Iraq.

Btw, I agree that Rummy and the rest of the scumbags of that lying, incompetent regime (probably the worst in US history) were also too dumb to even come up with a post-war occupation and reconstruction plan.


** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Ira...

Oscargo

Nobody wants Ukraine. Least of all Western Europe. There are enough former Russian colonies who joined the EU begging for money and socialist benefits. Enough eastern cab drivers and Romanians hos in London and Paris.

England, France and Germany all hope they don't have to deal with Ukraine. And they want to keep their lucrative associations with Russia intact.

The U.S. has no business in Ukraine and no business getting involved. U.S. taxpayers have spent enough in futile wars abroad.

And the Teapers refuse to pay our obligations at home, the last the bill came due. There is no money period.

freddie11

Some are calling for referendums in all of Ukraine, letting the citizens of each area decide their own futures, like the citizens of Crimea did. What a novel idea, huh, self-determination. There are deep divisions betwwen the eastern and western areas of Ukraine, if you don't accept that, you know nothing about Ukraine. Putin has said he has no plans to invade Ukraine, I assume that is contigent on what transpires within the rogue government now in power in Kiev, a subject carefully avoided by the American media.

[Mar 29, 2014] Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine, White House Says

Taking into account the ffort spend of brainwashing of public by MSM, this is a very suprising set of comments. Might sygnal that MSM methods of branwashing became not that efficient.
NYTimes.com
David, Canada 9 hours ago

Putin will agree to back away from the threat of invading the remainder of Ukraine and will also withdraw troops from the border. While Obama will not agree to formally recognize Crimea as part of Russia, he will acquiese and focus on the "victory" of preserving the remainder of Ukraine as a free nation. In short, Putin will have accomplished his primary goal and frankly it is difficult to be critical, considering the politics of NATO over the past several years.

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, MI 5 hours ago

This commentary fails to explain a major Russian point, probably what is most important. It mentions this, then slides right over it even as it mentions it:
"an illegal coup carried out by right-wing extremists with Western encouragement. In fact, the nationalist groups, largely based in western Ukraine, had formed just one segment of a broad coalition of demonstrators"

The Russian concern is that this was orchestrated by the West. It is not just that right wing extremists played a part.

It is the West whose actions are seen by Russia as a threat to what it considers to be a security buffer zone. A collection of neo-Nazis may be a fine propaganda target, but it does not threaten Russian ideas of their security.

NATO has pushed in toward Russia for twenty years, and Putin has been objecting for most of that time. That is what the Georgia fighting was about too six years ago. Present events are a continuation of that long standing Russian concern, and the West's long standing refusal to see or consider it.

Putin considers that he drew a red line, with events in Georgia, and the West crossed that line. Hence confrontation. It is no different than if Putin crossed an American line regarding Cuba or Nicaragua, no matter that the world aligned against the US policy on both places.

It is tiresome to see our press hammer away at this, failing day after day to see the issue for all the smoke and propaganda from our own side, just as it contributed to start of the Iraq War.

Kevin Cahill, Albuquerque 5 hours ago

Russia's reabsorption of Crimea stabilizes the region because it makes any eventual (and unwise) absorption of Ukraine into NATO or the EU less threatening to Russia.

Rohit, New York 5 hours ago

I think it is ridiculous that so many readers do not take Putin's offer to talk as a friendly gesture. This is how America is? "If you offer to talk, we think you are weak and dishonest. If you don't offer to talk, we fight you."

No wonder America is involved in so many wars.

Personally I am glad that Putin called Obama, and I very much hope that Obama's listens to Russia's just demands.

NO further expansion of NATO, and full respect for the rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine.

manny 5 hours ago

The White House has now finally recognized that the coup in Kiev they instigated was stupid and not worth all this. They are about to hang the " revolutionaries" out to dry, and promise that Ukraine will never become a NATO country. Watch.

ger, boston 5 hours ago

Russia gets Crimea. The West gets Ukraine. Which would you rather have?

Bear man, Ohio 5 hours ago

Well conceding Crimea ,which is historically Russian is not such a bad move -- but doing so only through the U.N. Allowing the Ukraine to join the E U if the Ukrainians want to ,should also follow . Putin is gumptious but not a fool, his nationalist dream is real.

Therefore , only western competing economies will make it impossible for him to make another emboldened move . The real crux of the problem is sharing the resources and deep sea gas, therefore western companies should use their know how in bolstering Ukraine claim

Zhouhaochen

This article portrays the situation as a battle between Putin and the western world. That is not the case. The majority of Russians and people living in Crimea support the annexion of Crimea. Whatever you might think about Putin, how he got and stays in power, in this case he did what the majority of Russians wanted him to do. Should the majority of these people change their mind, he would probably too. If they do not he will probably not either.

Sonny Pitchumani, Manhattan, NY 6 hours ago

This move by Putin is probably intended to appease the Europeans who want him to appear willing to be a half-decent guy so that they can continue to buy much-needed nat-gas from Russia. Anyway, Obama should take this opportunity to call an end to his tough and somewhat angry rhetoric, and declare Putin blinked.

As long as Putin does not advance further into rest of Ukraine from Crimea, Obama should begin to focus on domestic priorities

Lawyer/DJ, Planet Earth 6 hours ago

How would Obama be the one that started a war in this situation?

Mark Thomason, is a trusted commenter Clawson, MI 5 hours ago

"How would Obama be the one that started a war in this situation?"

That would be the self-proclaimed $5 billion effort to destabilize Ukraine and run regime change there, as part of our Cold Warriors pushing NATO through the Russian security zone and hard up against the Russian borders.

Think Cuba, Bay of Pigs. That got a nuclear response, and we backed off military action against Cuba only to unwind the Missile Crisis. We ought not to do that again.

Wolff, Arizona 7 hours ago

The only way to diffuse the situation is to call attention to the 15 Ukrainian Billionaire who caused the ethnic uprising and takeover of the Kiev government of Ukraine.

We need to know their motives, and whether they fit into a rational view of the world of the future. They are on trial. If they cannot justify their actions, both to the West and Russia, then they must be tried in an international court.

Obama and Putin cannot decide otherwise.

Taurean, Queens, NY 7 hours ago

The international brigandage of the military-industrial-financial complex orchestrated from Washington has never been equaled in world history.

It will require a closely coordinated, multi-pronged response from those nations not yet in thrall to the strangulating tentacles of Western "freedom" and "democracy" to definitively break the dollar as the world's reserve currency and, with it, the campaign of overt and covert terror waged by the US/NATO axis of evil.

JD, CA

It does not seem the people living in Clrimea are protesting the Russian takeover. In fact when asked, the Crimeans and seem very happy to be under the Russian umbrella.

Funny, we invade Iraq and kill hundreds of thousands of people. No big deal, put a "support our troops" bumbper sticker on a car and we're good.

No wonder so many people hate America.

W.A. Spitzer, is a trusted commenter Faywood, New Mexico

You completely miss the point. Crimea was once a part of Russia, by agreement Russia maintained a port for its military fleet in Crimea, and most of the inhabitants of Crimea are Russian. Of course Russia has a reasonable and legitimate claim to Crimea. It is the manner in which Russia enforced its claim that every fair minded person should object to. Without prior negotiations with Ukraine, which certainly deserves some serious compensation for giving up the territory, they send in an occupying army, declare a referendum with one week advance notice, have a vote without international observers, and declare Crimea to be part of Russia. Slam Bam. Using force, however otherwise justified is not an acceptable way to change international boundaries. Period. No exceptions.

Lawyer/DJ, Planet Earth

Crimea was once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Do the Turks have a reasonable and legitimate claim to it, too?

Obama says 'bigger nations cannot simply bully smaller ones'. Wait... what

RT News

President Obama's key speech in Brussels on Ukraine and attempts to isolate Russia appears to be an exercise of omission, mutually-exclusive statements and unveiled double standards.

Here's a quick look at what Obama told an audience of some 2,000 people in his damning 30-minute speech.

"Each of us has the right to live as we choose."

But it's true only for those good pro-European protesters in Kiev, who used firebombs and batons to make their point. The bad pro-Russian residents of Crimea are not allowed to, right?

"Together, we've condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and rejected the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum."

That's right. Referendum = bad. Firebombs = good.

Well, Obama says Russia invaded Ukraine while the US and the EU stayed at arm's length and allowed things to settle down.

"Make no mistake, neither the United States nor Europe has any interest in controlling Ukraine."

And they absolutely didn't send troves of officials to Kiev to cheer up anti-government protesters. And when Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discussed with Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should and who shouldn't be in the next Ukrainian government, that was merely small talk between two observing diplomats.

When it comes to invasions, President Obama has a lesson or two to teach Russians.

"We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future."

This sovereign nation has only token sovereignty over Kurd territories in the north. Terrorists roam free in some rural areas and want to carve an Islamist state of it. And deaths from car bombs are more frequent then deaths from car accidents. A decade of statecraft later, at least 7,800 civilians and 1,000 troops killed in 2013 alone. Mission accomplished.

Obama mentioned another interventionist success story in his speech, that of Kosovo.

"NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years."

Good point. Of course the alliance didn't bother to get a UN Security Council mandate and bombed the Serbian capital, killing hundreds of civilians in the process, in violation of international law. The same law which Obama accuses Russia of violating with Crimea. But that was even before Bush Jr., so who cares?

"We are confronted with the belief among some that bigger nations can bully smaller ones to get their way - that recycled maxim that might somehow makes right."

World's biggest bully preaching peace and love. And its flying killing robots are the messengers. And guards in secret CIA prisons are the keepers. And the NSA keeps an eye on those who won't listen.

As the Romans used to say, quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi (what is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to the bull). Well, there are no gods sitting in Washington, and some people just don't want to be treated as cattle.

[Mar 27, 2014] Russia, the West, and 'Moral Equivalence'

The American Conservative
There are two main schools of "exceptionalism" in the West: the Europe-centered one and the America-centered one. The first sees the future of mankind as bureaucratic and liberal, the second sees it as democratic and, again, liberal. These schools are exceptionalist because they hold others to the West's own standards: anyone below the high standards of rule of law, gender equality, political freedom, and freedom of speech that the West currently observes is simply inferior in moral authority and civilizational development.

This is why in forums like the United Nations European states try to pass measures to transform the world into a semblance of their own reality and values. It is why the U.S. occasionally feels compelled to intervene abroad to "save lives" and "spread democracy and freedom." Because much of the current body of international law originated in the West, the West deeply resents having that same law used against it. When the West breaks the law, it believes it is doing so for good reason and tries to legalize its breaches ex post facto. This was the case with Kosovo, when NATO's intervention was later legalized with a UN resolution, and with humanitarian interventions in general, which the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine is supposed to justify for the future. In others words, the sovereignty that the West claims is being breached in Ukraine can only be breached on humanitarian grounds-preferably by liberal democratic states.

This helps explain the virulent Western denunciation of false moral equivalence on Russia's part: Crimea is not Kosovo because in Kosovo an ethnic minority was actually being oppressed and required outside intervention for its protection.

Forbes's Paul Roderick Gregory put the West's position eloquently:

We cannot rehash the complicated histories of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Kosovo in a few words, but these enterprises share common features that are notably absent in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

First, in each case, there was no masking or disguising of operations a la Putin. … Second, no Western intervention had territorial ambitions or aimed for annexation of territory, or changes in accepted international boundaries. … Third, in each case, the perceived need to remove, or assist in the removal, of a bad actor or actors, who pose a danger to their own people and beyond their borders, motivated Western military action. … Fourth, in each case, the United States and its allies made every effort, some less successful than others, to attract international partners and the support of international organizations.

While these claims may be generally true, there are exceptions. And they reveal a certain Manichean distinction between good and evil that has less basis in reality than in a number of foreign-policy myths.

First, throughout the Cold War the U.S. did resort to a number of "masked operations," such as with the Bay of Pigs effort in Cuba or the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran. After 1989 such practices became unnecessary, but Russia is correct in pointing out that many of the activists who instigated and led the Color Revolutions, and now the overthrow of Yanukovych, were sponsored or trained by Western NGOs. One might ask what the problem is with furthering and teaching democratic/liberal values, but the answer is obvious: Russia doesn't do the same in the West. What would demonstrations against Western governments during the current economic crisis look like if what Gregory calls "lefties" had financing and education provided by rival foreign governments and NGOs? Indeed, when other governments do provide such financing and education, the West cries foul, as with Saudi-funded Wahhabi/Salafist madrassas across the world.

Second, other countries have indeed annexed territory, or tried to, in recent history, including Egypt, China, Indonesia, India, Armenia, or South Africa. Even Western or Western-backed states such as Turkey, Croatia, Morocco, and Israel have made similar moves-not to mention ongoing disputes between a number of Western states themselves, as for example in the occasional tensions around Gibraltar.

Third, the notion of humanitarian grounds is a bit shaky. While the West always reacts with outrage at any major human-rights violation, the truth remains that it is not always ready to act. If human rights were our primary concern, then recent Western interventions should have occurred primarily not in Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East but rather in Africa and Asia, where rule of law and humanitarian norms are truly lacking. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been accused of being an African court because it focuses much more on African war criminals than Western ones. Yet the ICC is guided by a simple principle: "to act where it is most needed."

The reason why need is not otherwise met proportionately by action is, simply, because the West could never afford it. If the West were to sanction trade with China every time it violates human rights, or stop buying oil from the Middle East every time a sheikhdom muzzles democratic activists, we would soon find ourselves isolated.

However, there is another reason why the West tends to act more vigorously on its own periphery rather than where its efforts are most needed in proportional terms: cultural bias. It is easier for Western elites to identify with people that possess ethnic and ideological profiles similar to themselves. Many of the men and women fighting Vladimir Putin and Arab autocrats are genuine liberals and were educated in Western universities. On the other hand, Asian or African realities are more distant from the ideological radar of North Atlantic normative empathy.

Fourth, it may come as shock to most Westerners to find that Putin is not exactly an outcast in the so-called "international community." Several nations around the world are ready to support or acquiesce to Russia's stance on Ukraine, including India, China, and even Turkey. This reveals that Western outrage is not the same as world outrage - indeed, when many commentators refer to the "international community," they actually mean "Western community."

The West is concerned that a UN Security Council permanent member goes forth in annexing territory. Fareed Zakaria writes:

I have generally been wary of the calls for U.S. intervention in any and every conflict around the world. But this is different. The crisis in Ukraine is the most significant geopolitical problem since the Cold War. Unlike many of the tragic ethnic and civil wars that have bubbled up over the past three decades, this one involves a great global power, Russia, and thus can and will have far-reaching consequences. And it involves a great global principle: whether national boundaries can be changed by brute force.

Nothing Zakaria says is untrue, but imagine for a second what it would have looked like if, at every breach of international law by the West, the rest of the world had decided to sanction and isolate us: no more raw materials or fossil fuels would have flowed to the West, no more manufactured goods or technology would have been exported to the globe. Why should the "[non-Western] international community" care if one more global power and UN Security Council permanent member violates international law?

There is a clear divide between Western perceptions and global perceptions of Ukraine. Why? Perhaps it can be partly explained by the different interpretations of history at play.

For the West, history is seen as linear. It consists of an inexorable evolution to today's sophisticated standards from a primitive and violent past. Francis Fukuyama's "End of History" thesis epitomizes this attitude. Of course, no one in the West wishes to publicly declare themselves superior in any way to the rest of the world other than in material terms. Yet it is obvious from the actions of Westerners that not all democracies are equal-Putin, Yanukovych, and Turkey's Recep Erdogan were all elected and re-elected-and that some "Europeans" are more "European" than others.

For the rest of the world, history is seen as cyclical and the breach of international norms, while crass, is not a calamity. Unlike in Hegelian progressivism, Asians and Africans don't find history flowing in any particular direction, they see it as a succession of cycles of prosperity and turmoil. Which is why to them 1945 and 1989 are not crucial dates. There is no acquis intrinsically worthy of being considered sacred or vital to the international system. Reality changes norms, not the opposite.

In 2011, the Malaysian "Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal" found George W. Bush and Tony Blair guilty of war crimes after trying them in absentia. Obviously the trial was a political stunt, but it serves to show that there is growing resentment of Western normative unilateralism. Russia, being on the immediate periphery of Western efforts to spread democracy and liberal values, feels the same.

Russians feel that they have adapted to everything the West required for civilizational acceptance. They democratized, freed their markets, and even tried in Ukraine to play the election game as best they could, sponsoring and advising a candidate they thought would be more sympathetic to their concerns. They did all this only to find that their democracy and economy are still imperfect by Western standards and that even if they manage to influence elections in Ukraine, their freely and fairly elected partners can simply be pushed aside in breach of both constitutional law and international agreements signed and publicly guaranteed by Western powers. As far as Putin is concerned, there is no longer any point in trying to play the election game by Western rules because the West does not see itself as bound by those same rules. Thus, the smartest course of action in his eyes is to cut his losses and use hard power to secure as much of the Ukrainian polity as possible.

Putin is right about this: the West is profoundly discriminatory in its conduct. There is a sense of entitlement and self-righteousness that derives from cultural autism.

Geert Hostede explains that Western universalism-the belief that Western values apply seamlessly to the other societies-is fundamentally linked to individualism:

individualistic societies emphasize 'I' consciousness: autonomy, emotional independence, individual initiative, the right to privacy, pleasure seeking, financial security and the need for specific friendship and universalism. Collective societies stress 'we' consciousness: collective identity, emotional inter-dependence, group solidarity, sharing, duties and obligations, the need for stable and predetermined friendships, group decisions and particularism.

The rest of the world, along with Russia, sees in the present controversy only a regional power defending particularist interests in Ukraine. The West, however, sees the gravest, most direct threat to normative liberal universalism since Stalin and Hitler.

Much of the world has realized there is no hope of meeting Western standards because many societies are simply incapable of transforming themselves into new Swedens, regardless of how hard they try. Most have adopted the Western bureaucratic state apparatus and political constitutional system. Yet Muslim countries resent Western criticism of their incompatible societal ethics regarding the treatment of women or the lack of secularism, and many southern countries, strive as they may to tackle corruption, find themselves criticized by State Department reports or discriminated against by Western investors.

Academic and bureaucratic elites in the West are only too aware of the striking sociological similarities between the functioning of Russian society and that of other Eastern European ones. The prominent role of oligarchs is not exclusive to Russia, nor is the endemic corruption of the political system or even the lack of independence of the courts. Putin's strongman politics and Russia's many other problems are easy targets for liberal critics, but if these critics were true to their convictions they would not single out Russia but take a look at Ukraine itself, or even some former Warsaw Pact states now integrated into the EU.

The scope of these problems clearly indicates that the problem runs deeper than mere political leadership: just as the removal of Yanukovych will not end corruption in Ukraine, so too Putin's exit would not end corruption. The subversion of the political system and the weak rule of law traverse nonindividualistic societies because there are multiple competing loyalties between the individual and the state: to family, to social circle, to religion, to ethnic group. As one character in "A Game of Thrones" laments:

So many vows. They make you swear and swear. Defend the King, obey the King, obey your father, protect the innocent, defend the weak. But what if your father despises the King? What if the King massacres the innocent? It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or another.

Scandinavia is perhaps the best example of individualism in the West, for it is there that family has lost its traditional role, where religion has been completely removed from every nonceremonial place, and where states are almost perfectly ethnically homogeneous. It is there where individual rights are strongest and hierarchy the weakest, where society represses ostentation and inequality, where children are taught to be independent from early on rather than dependent on their family for social advancement. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in democratic India, there are still villages where rape is an acceptable form of debt payment. Eastern Europe figures somewhere between the subordination of the individual to the collective in India and the subordination of the collective to the individual in Sweden. Societies aren't static; values can change. But such a monumental change is not within the reach of any one political leader-it will be carried out by structural forces alone.

It is therefore of extreme importance to hold onto moral equivalence because it is the most important way to contextualize the actions of different actors in the world system. Without moral equivalence one is ideologically blind. Context in the case of Ukraine can reveal that while Russia is consciously breaking international rules, its motives are merely parochial and no grand imperialistic plan is afoot; and while the West is morally disgusted, its own watering down of the rules provided precedents that have furthered the world's apathy-as was foreseen by figures as different as John Bolton and Lawrence Eagleburger, who jointly wrote:

A reassessment of America's Kosovo policy is long overdue. We hope a policy that would set a very dangerous international precedent can still be averted if that reassessment begins now. In the meantime, it is imperative that no unwarranted or hasty action be taken that would turn what is now a relatively small problem into a large one.

Miguel Nunes Silva has worked with the International Criminal Court and the European External Action Service, as well as written for such publications as Small Wars Journal and Asia Times. He is currently an analyst for the geostrategy consultancy Wikistrat.

[Mar 26, 2014] Khrushchev's transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was unconstitutional – Putin Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

MOSCOW, March 18 (RAPSI) – The 1954 decision by leader Nikita Khrushchev to hand over the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine was unconstitutional, President Vladimir Putin said in an official address to federal and regional officials Tuesday.

Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic within Ukraine, was part of Russia until it was gifted to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954. President Putin said in his address that the decision was made with evident violations of the constitutional norms prevailing at the time.

The Russian President added that Sunday's referendum, which resulted in Crimea professing its independence from Ukraine, was conducted in full accord with democratic principles and international law.

Putin added that one must be familiar with Crimean history to understand the desire of its people to reunite with Russia.

The president further added that Ukraine appealed to the UN Charter when declaring independence from USSR, and pointed out that Crimea acted similarly.

President Putin drew parallels between the struggles for independence in Crimea and Kosovo, and accused the West of employing double standards.

Putin signed a decree Monday recognizing Crimea as an independent state, following a referendum Sunday that saw voters overwhelmingly support secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia.

Crimea's leadership has refused to recognize as legitimate the new government in Ukraine that came to power following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych last month.

The US and EU imposed sanctions Monday on senior Russian officials, including visa bans and asset freezes, in protest of Russian support of Crimea's actions.

On Tuesday, Russian lawmakers will consider imposing reciprocal sanctions against the US and EU.

[Mar 26, 2014] Thoughts on Crimea

For the US, which largely views itself as having a unique moral authority, an American exceptionalism, a manifest destiny, the parallels with Russia run uncomfortably deep.

Anonymous said...

You might want to read these articles. They might change your view. They tell about the historical conflicts that have occurred in Ukraine and why Russia might feel threatened by the westward expansion of NATO.

They will also tell you about the types of people (neo Nazis, neo fascists, anti Semites) that the western nations are hypocritically supporting in the Kiev government. Some of these people actually fought against the Allies in WWII and acted as guards in the Nazi concentration camps. Now the U.S. and Canada are supporting this coalition.

They will also point out the roles that the C.I.A. in particular had in overthrowing democratically elected governments (e.g. in Iran in 1953/4, etc.) or of sending drones into other nations (e.g. Yemen, Pakistan) which make it really brazen for the U.S. to be accusing other nations of breaking international law.

They will also point out that the U.S. nearly brought about a nuclear war with the USSR over the Cuban missile crisis. Now NATO is potentially bringing its nuclear arsenal next door to Russia (at least Cuba was separated from Florida by a sea).

No, Putin is not an angel, but I think Russia was not solely responsible for this crisis.

BTW, could I also recommend, if you had not already read it, Eric Margolis' book: American Raj: Liberation or Domination? It really opened my eyes as to what the U.S. was really doing in the middle east. Hopefully, it might interest you too.

Here are the links:

(1) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/10/ukraine-and-west-hot-air-hypocrisy-crimea-russia

(2) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/clash-crimea-western-expansion-ukraine-fascists

(3) http://ericmargolis.com/2014/03/vlad-the-bad-steals-a-march-on-the-west/

(4) http://www.amazon.com/American-Raj-Liberation-Domination-Resolving/dp/B003RCJRJI

Crimée, Ukraine, Europe, euro les peuples sont-ils maîtres de leur destin - 21-03-2014 - News et vidéos en replay - Ce soir

From Irena blog

На вторую часть пока времени не хватило.

Ведущий: Фредерик Тадеи - журналист.

Участники :

Эмманюэль Тод - историк, в 1976 году предсказавший развал СССР.

Жак Сафир - экономист, специалист по России.

Андрей Курков - украинский писатель, русского происхождения, заявивший, что русский патриотизм превратился в русский шовинизмом и рискует в дальнейшем перерости в обыкновенных фашизм.

Элен Бланк - политолог, автор книг о России :"Империя всех мафий", "Хищники Кремля" и т.д.

Элизабет Гигу - президент комиссии по иностранным делам в национальной ассамблеи.

Корали Делом - писательница

Бернард Бади - геополитик

Жан-Луи Бурланже - бывший депутат евро-парламента.

Примечание : Итак, офоциальным лицом здесь является Елизабет Гигу. Все остальные выражают только своё мнение. Она же, как официальное лицо, участвующее в переговорах запада по поводу России, практически обязана освещать события и высказываться в соответствии с официальной точкой зрения. Именно поэтому следить в деталях следует именно за её речью.


В начале дискуссии показывают кадры референдума в Крыму, отрывки из речи Путина и реакцию западных политиков и прессы.

Ведущий предлагает участникам высказать своё мнение по этому поводу.

Жак Сафир говорит о противоречии в интернациональном праве между принципом нерушимости (неизменности) границ и правом наций на самоопределение. В данном случае, по словам Ж.С., в Украине нарушена непрерывность конституционного закона (произошла революция) и таким образом, принцип нерушимости границ не действует, остаётся только право наций на самоопределение.

Элизабет Гигу не соглашается, говоря о том, что референдум не легален не потому, что крымчане не имели права голосовать, а потому, что это первый случай, когда часть одного государства, без согласия этого самого государства, анексируется другим государством. И именно поэтому, по словам Элизабет Гигу, нельзя сравнивать Крым с Косово? Косово получило независимость, тогда как Крым был присоединён к России. Элизабет Гигу не согласна также с тем, что конституционный порядок в Украине был нарушен. Она указывает на то, что за возврат в конституции 2004 года проголосовало большинство депутатов киевской рады, что сторонныки Януковича не голосовали, потому что сбежали (и таким образом сложили с себя полномочии), и что таким образом, конституционный порядок был соблюдён.

Андрей Курков говорит о том, что украинский парламент остаётся легитимным и работоспособным. И добавляет, что при голосовании в Крыму были вбросы, что, на самом деле, за присоединение к России там "проголосовало" 123%. А.К. объясняет так же причину, по которой Хрущёв передал Крым Украине : Крым территориально связан с Украиной, и все ресурсы (бода, электричество, газ) идут туда из Украины.

Эмманюэль Тод говорит о том, что украинцы устроили революцию и в настоящее время за неё расплачиваются очень большой ценой. Говорит, с точки зрения языка, культуры и истории Крым был русским, что подарок Хрущёва был аномалией, которая сейчас исправлена. "Русские вышли из эпохи СССР с честью, республики СССР получили независимость без кровопролитной борьбы. И при этом русские позволили им навязать аномальную ситуацию с Крымом. В течение 20-ти лет русские подвергались всем возможным обвинениям и унижениям. В течение всего этого времени никто никогда не указывал на то, что от всех негативный явлений советской эпохи страдал в том числе и русский народ. За эти 20 лет НАТО подобралось к российским границам. И вот теперь, наконец, мы наблюдает возрождение России." - добавляет Э.Т.

Во время пламенной речи во славу России Эмманюэля Тода, показывают крупным планом скептическую улыбку Андрея Куркова.

"Я был счастлив за русских", - заканчивает свою речь Э.Т., - "за крымчан, которые были вынуждены ранее жить в отрыве от своей культуры".

Проиcxотит небольшой спор по поводу того был или не был референдум в Украине в 1991-м году по поводу отделения от СССР. Жак Сафир элегантно затыкает Андрея Куркова, говоря, что референдума такого не было.

Далее Эмманюэль Тод рассказывает о прогрессе России за последние несколько лет (увеличение средней продолжительности жизни, уменьшение преступности и алкоголизма ...) и делает вывод : "Россия становится всё более и более привлекательным государством, тогда как Украина разорилась. И в этом то и заключается проблема Украины. Европа, в состав которой должна была войти Украина, сама в упадке "

(А теперь внимание !)

"Прежде всего, Европа никогда не планировала включить в свой состав Украину. Во всяком случае, я категорически против."- Tут же парирует Элизабет Гигу.

Далее Элизабет Гигу рассуждает об опасности признания крымского референдума, говоря о том, что даже если крымский народ действительно хотел присоединиться к России, признание референдума может привести к хаосу храниц о потери доверия к международным договорам по ограничению распространения ядерного оружия.

В заключение, Элизабет Гигу возвращается к теме экономического кризиза Украины. Говорит о том, что эконмический кризис в Украине был и до последних событий, и что, Европа не должна была обещать Украине включить её в состав ЕС. Что с самого начала нужно было вести по этому поводу диалог с Россией. Что невозможно себе даже представить возможность разрешения этого кризиса без участия России, и ещё меньше вход Украины в блок НАТО - всё это было в чистом виде провокацией по отношению к России. Единственным реальным выходом из сложившейся ситуации Е.Г. считает диалог с Россией.

Элен Бланс говорит о том, что Путин не остановится на захвате Крыма. Что Путин не идёт на переговоры, и что лично её это не удивляет - такая у Путина натура, он никогда не идёт на переговоры. Элен Бланк выражает также беспокойство по поводу будущего украинцев и крымских татар в Крыму.

Андрей Курков говорит о пробеме признания Крыма в составе России. Боится, что в результате президентских выборов в Украине придёт к власти ставленник Путина, который эту анексию признает и тем самым легализует.

Жак Сафир возвращается к вопросу конституционного порядка, указывая на то, что конституционная коммисия была в Киеве разогнана, непрерывность конституционного порядка нарушена, и именно поэтому, референдум в Крыму был легальным. Далее Ж.С. говорит о важности взаимоотношеной с Россией для вуходя из украинского кризиса. Указывает на то, что экономика восточной части Украины сильно зависит от экспорта в Россию, что санкции направленные против России разрушат прежде всего Украину, и что ухудшение экономической ситуации в Украине грозит ей распадом. В заключение Ж С предупреждает : "Требовать от России финансировать вступление Украины в ЕС это безумие".

Элизабет Гигу соглашается с тем, что нобходим диалог с Россией и формулирует основные условия разрешения украинского кризиса :

1) Президентские выборы в Украине с участием всех регионов и всех партий, под наблюдением международных представителей, в том числе и со стороны России.

2) Разоружение отрядов "самообороны".

3) Расследование ситуации со стрельбой на Майдане.

Эмманюэль Тод рассыпается в комплиментах в адрес Элизабет Гигу, и затем говорит об уровне развития государственности, сравнивая Украину с Россией. Общий смысл его высказываний на этот счёт заключается в том, что в России порядок, а в Украине бардак, и что в настоящее время Украина представляет собой несостоявшееся государство, где процветают беспорядки и экономическая разруха. "Для того, чтобы помочь Украине, нужно не бумаги подписывать, а влить в экономику Украины сотни миллиардов, но в том состоянии, в котором находится Европа ..." - говорит в заключение Эмманюэль Тод, имея в видут тот экономический кризис, в котором нахотится в настоящее время ЕС.

Далее берёт слово Корали Делом, говоря о том, что противостояние Запада и СССР себя изжило, и что теперь Европе гораздо выгоднее сотрудничать с Россией, чем с США.

Элан Бланк снова пугает тем, что Путин на анексии Крыма не остановится, что целью Путина является воссоздание СССР, и что нынешнее правительство Украины заявило о решимости вернуть Крым любой ценой. "Означает ли это войну?" - спрашивает в заключение Элен Бланк.

Ответить на этот вопрос предлагают Андрею Куркову. Андрей Курков уходит от ответа, начиная рассказывать об истории Майдана, и говорит, что украинцы хотели бы украинскую и русскую коррупции заменить на французскю или английскую.

Французы в ответ нервно улыбаются. Такие вещи вслух в Европе не говорят. Но украинцу простили, видимо думая, что-то вроде :" Ну что с неотёсанного медведя можно взять, не понимает он всей тонкости европейской дипломатии".

Crimea Annexation And Recognition -- The Legal Battles Ahead

Dissolving the regional parliament in Crimea could strengthen Kyiv's argument that Crimean secession violates international law because it violates Ukraine's constitution.

At the same time, the dissolution of Crimea's regional parliament could be seen as an attempt by Kyiv to counter proposed legislation in Russia's Duma that would be required for the Kremlin to annex Crimea.

Currently, there are legal barriers under Russian constitutional law that must be removed before the Kremlin can take the step of annexation.

Duma lawmakers addressed those hurdles in a draft bill that is expected to have its first reading by March 17. That legislation would allow Moscow to accept "a part of a foreign country" into the Russian Federation "if the decision was approved or in accordance with a request from the organs of state power of that part of the foreign country."

The draft bill also says any request to join Russia must be approved by "a referendum conducted in accordance with the laws of the foreign state in the territory of that part of the foreign state."

That means Crimea's regional authorities must approve the results of the March 16 referendum for Russia to agree to annexation.

Early exit polling showed overwhelming support for Crimea to join the Russian Federation. Crimea's parliament said it planned to approve the vote as soon as possible after official results were announced.

From Kyiv's perspective, dissolving Crimea's parliament before the March 16 referendum allows Ukrainian authorities to argue that a Crimean annexation request fails to meet the requirements of the Duma's draft bill because it was not carried out by "regional organs of state power."

Duma lawmakers said they would consider the draft bill after the results of Crimea's referendum were announced and after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his recommendation on the issue.

Kellman concludes that the Duma's draft legislation and any arguments emerging from Moscow about Russian law in the days ahead are irrelevant under international law.

"The Russian legislation -- the Duma legislation – is of no legal significance outside of Russia," Kellman says. "If it clears a Russian constitutional hurdle, from an international perspective, it's just irrelevant. Their constitutionality has no bearing on the legality of the annexation as a matter [of law] outside of Russia."

But Kellman also says there is no practical way to enforce international law if Russia choses to annex Crimea following the referendum.

"That's extremely difficult because the typical answer would be through UN Security Council action. But, of course, Russia holds a veto on the Security Council. So that's a nonstarter," Kellman says. "So, in truth, there is no way to enforce that. The problem, from Russia's standpoint, is with recognition. Will anyone other than Russia recognize Crimea as a part of Russia? The reality is that they can take it over and, after a while, yes, it does become a fait accompli. Take a look at China's takeover of Tibet. This is not a legal process. This is a process of exerting military power."

On March 16, Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone that Moscow would "respect" the choice of Crimean voters. The Kremlin says Putin told Merkel that Russia believes the referendum in Crimea does comply with international law.

The United States and the European Union have condemned the referendum as illegal and have threatened economic and political consequences for Russia if Moscow takes further action to seize control of Crimea.

For Crimea, Secession Is Only as Good as Recognition By DAN BILEFSKY

Mar 15, 2014 | NYTimes.com

When Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, with the strong support of the United States, Russia, a staunch ally of the Serbs, insisted that the declaration was a reckless breach of international law.

Now, as Crimea votes Sunday on a referendum on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, Moscow has invoked Kosovo to justify the vote, while it is the United States and Europe that insist Russian and Crimean officials are breaking the law.

As to who is right, that remains a thorny legal question, said James Ker-Lindsay, an expert on secession at the London School of Economics. The legitimacy of any move to secede would ultimately depend on whether many countries beyond Russia recognized it, which seemed doubtful.

"You can declare the front room of your house an independent state, but if no one recognizes it, such a declaration is meaningless," he said.

To justify Crimea's pursuit of independence from Ukraine, Crimean and Russian officials have cited a seminal ruling by the International Court of Justice in July 2010, in which the United Nations' highest court ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia did not violate international law.

However, while the court had not found Kosovo's declaration to be illegal, the ruling did not necessarily confer legitimacy on the state of Kosovo, Mr. Ker-Lindsay said. As such, it was not actually the precedent that Russia claims it is.

While dozens of countries, including the United States, Germany, France and Britain, have recognized Kosovo as a sovereign nation, the United Nations, which confers legitimacy, has not. Nor have all of the European Union's members, some of whom fear that to do so would give momentum to secessionist movements across Europe, from Scots in Britain to Catalans in Spain. The result is that Kosovo has struggled to gain international legitimacy.

In the case of Crimea, Ukraine has insisted that its referendum violates the country's Constitution. But constitutional constraints on territorial independence are not necessarily sufficient to hold a country together, Mr. Ker-Lindsay noted.

Plenty of states, he said, have constitutions affirming their territorial integrity, but this can nevertheless be upended by the popular will to secede, geopolitics, or both.

What mattered under international law for a country trying to prevent its breakup was whether its territorial integrity was guaranteed by an international treaty or affirmed by an international body, such as the United Nations Security Council.

Here, Cyprus is a good example. In 1983, after Turks in northern Cyprus declared independence from Cyprus and created the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Security Council passed two resolutions calling the declaration illegal, and requesting that no other states should recognize it. That effectively isolated the north and deprived it of international legitimacy, as well as much-needed foreign investment. To this day, Turkey remains the only country to have recognized Northern Cyprus.

Though Russia and Crimea are citing Kosovo as a precedent, the differences may be more powerful than the similarities.

In the first place, Kosovo was under United Nations administration when it declared independence in February 2008 in the aftermath of a brutal ethnic war with Serbia; Crimean are being asked to vote on independence amid a Russian-backed military intervention.

Petrit Selimi, Kosovo's deputy foreign minister, also noted that violent suppression of Kosovo's majority ethnic-Albanian population by the Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s gave the aspiring country a moral claim on nationhood. Almost no one outside Moscow has argued that the ethnic Russian population in Crimea has been subjected to state-sanctioned repression from Kiev.

"When Kosovo declared independence in 1992, no one listened," he said. "After mass killings took place, that changed. It is sad, but the more blood you have shed, the better the chance you have of your nation being accepted internationally."

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany insisted last week that analogies between the West's actions in Kosovo and Russian actions in Crimea were "shameful." NATO, she noted in a speech to the German Parliament, acted after the international community had helplessly watched ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

"To make it crystal clear: The situation from that time is in no way comparable to what is happening in Ukraine today," she said, referring to Kosovo. "Russia's actions in Ukraine unequivocally breach basic principles of international law."

Nevertheless, Mr. Ker-Lindsay noted, the American argument that Kosovo was a "unique case" was legally and semantically questionable, too, since any country with sufficient geopolitical heft could selectively choose to endorse a territory's independence.

"It is a troubling argument that Kosovo is a unique case," said Mr. Ker-Lindsay. "And it has deeply troubled the Russians, who see it as a double standard."

[Mar 15, 2014] Why the Crimean referendum is illegal

Opening salvo from Yale University -- the training center of color revolution leaders.
The Guardian

Jeremn

"Then there's the bigger problem: the referendum seems inconsistent with the Ukrainian constitution ..."

I'd say the bigger problem is that the government in Kyiv has acted against the constitution - by coming to power in a coup and then bungling the impeachment of its president through the wrong process and using a rump parliament.

So if Kyiv does not respect the constitution, why should the Crimea?

SeeLifeDifferently Jeremn

Don't forget Yanukovich

TiberiusGracchus

So.....If the Scots want to be free of the UK they can move out of Scotland?

Sounds good to me.

Ilja NB

The idiot politicians and journalists who are shouting that it is against international laws don't know what they are talking about, according to international law, regions are allowed to separate themselves if majority who live there wants it.

Or else Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo are all illegal.

Kal El

The referendum is NOT illegal as the new Ukrainian govt itself is NOT even operating under the laws of the Ukrainian constitution that were previously set out.

It's BS to claim people are being bussed in, or that there are troops on the streets stopping it from being free and fair.
Unlike you dear author, I ACTUALLY live in Crimea, Sevastopol actually, and I have not seen one bus full of strangers, and not even one troop on any street.

What I have seen, with my own two eyes though, are completely up to date locally held registers listing the names and addresses of everyone entitled to vote.

Your whole article is just another piece of BS Western propaganda that has absolutely NO basis in actual FACTS.

The ONLY thing illegal about the vote, is that the outcome is not in the pre-determined favour of the West.

Russia alone as U.N. vetoes resolution calling Crimea vote illegal by
By Paul Richter

March 15, 2014 | chicagotribune.com

Power cast Russia's action in Cold War terms, recalling the Soviet military interventions in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Hungary in 1956 to snuff pressure for independence there.

Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, described the referendum as a step needed to allow the majority ethnic Russian population of Crimea to fulfill a desire for independence from the illegitimate new government in Kiev. The interim government was formed when Russian-backed former President Viktor Yanukovich fled Ukraine last month.

China made clear that it was reluctant to part company with Russia, saying that it shared Moscow's view that the West pushed for the Ukrainian uprising. But China, which has long struggled against demands for independence by the Taiwanese, Tibetans and others, did not want to be seen supporting self-determination by breakaway groups.

[Mar 02, 2014] South and East of Ukraine do not recognize new Kiev government

Google translation.
E-news.in.ua

Ukrainian military stationed in the Crimea, is divided. Some surrendered their arms, threw arsenals and military equipment and submitted a letter of resignation from the Armed Forces . Others have gone to the side of the Crimean authorities . Authorities themselves say that they control the situation on the peninsula. Of course, they try to avoid panic among the population and appeal to people , assuring them that everything is under control. But on the streets of Simferopol is not noticeable special excitement .

Split in Ukrainian society , which occurred after the coup in Kiev becomes even deeper. The country is divided between those who support the new government , and those who do not recognize their legitimacy , refuses to obey them and goes to the protests. Most conspicuous sentiment in the south and east of Ukraine. That's a big part of the country , accounting for nearly half of the regions , and live there for more than 50 % of the population of Ukraine.

Everywhere are thousands of protests. Local residents and representatives of local authorities to the streets to show Kiev that they are against the new government. In Sevastopol , a port Crimean city just 80 km from Simferopol , locals mayor was removed from power , to Kiev , and was kicked out of the city a new police chief , also arrived from the capital.

In Kharkov , the largest city in eastern Ukraine , " antiMaidanovtsam " managed to win the regional administration building , which occupied almost the whole week supporters of the new authorities . Protesters raised over the building of the Russian flag . Assault accompanied by clashes and shooting . It is reported that several people were injured.

In another city - industrial center of eastern Ukraine Donetsk - Local authorities said that they would not obey Kiev and voted to soon hold a referendum on the status of the area. Chapter bordering Ukraine Belgorod region said that night in the region were seen crowds of armed men . Nobody can say for sure where they came from and what the goal pursued . They reportedly tried to block the road from Moscow to the Crimea .

Lugansk authorities refused to recognize the legitimate central government

Luhansk regional council recognized "central executive bodies , formed by the Verkhovna Rada (VR ) of Ukraine" illegitimate. This decision was made as a result of the regular session of the regional council .

Luhansk regional council recognized the central government as illegitimate and called "restore legality" , ITAR-TASS reported . According to members of the regional council , a return to the Constitution of Ukraine edition in 2004 was carried out by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in violation of laws .

Furthermore, members of the Luhansk Regional Council demanded that the Ukrainian parliament to give Russian a second state language in Ukraine and "cease politically motivated prosecution of employees of internal troops, police officers and unit" Berkut ", associated with the performance of their duties during the riots ."

Luhansk regional council also demanded to ban political parties and public organizations " pro-fascist and neo-Nazi persuasion that violate the laws of Ukraine" - UNA-UNSO VO "Svoboda" , CHA , " Right sector " and others.

MPs also demanded from the Ukrainian Security Service to prosecute " those responsible for inciting ethnic hatred ."

[Mar 01, 2014] Ukraine's Crimea leader asks Putin for help

Al Jazeera English
'Possible repercussions'

Obama and other world leaders are looking into "possible repercussions" if Russia were to militarily intervene in Ukraine, a former member of the dissolved Soviet union, Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reported from Washington DC, quoting a White House official.

Options include skipping a G8 summit planned for this summer in Sochi, Russia, as well as trade limitations "and putting some commerce deals on hold," Al Jazeera's Jordan reports.

"There are no discussions, so far, of a military response, as it is hoped that the crisis would be solved through words and no weapons," she added.

But as Russia denies any wrongdoing, the crisis is unlikely to ease.

"You all know we have an agreement with Ukraine on the presence of the Russian Black Sea fleet with a base in Sevastopol, and we are acting within the framework of that agreement," Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Friday.

He made the statement after a closed-door UN Security Council emergency session which was called for by Kiev's new government to discuss developments in Crimea.

"The best way to resolve the crisis is to look hard again at the February 21 agreement," Churkin said. "They need to have a constitutional dialogue and process of forming a new constitution. They need to refrain from conducting a hasty presidential election which most likely will create more friction within the country. They need to stop trying to intimidate other regions and other political forces."

TiredOfBsToo > Shahna

I tried desperately to listen to what the EU and US politicians had to say when confronted with the realities in Ukraine, i.e. peaceful protesters vs. scenes of police being molotov cocktailed, shot and beaten; not to mention the calls from the neo-nazis for people to bring arms to fight police and the subsequent arms used. The hypocrisy spilling from their collective mouths, that they saw no signs of violence coming from the protesters, was unbearable as I had been watching the camera pan from the Maidan to the rioters taking and burning government buildings. Kind of makes one wonder why agreements, signed by members of the EU, protesters and the President of Ukraine, stipulated that they had to turn in their weapons and leave government buildings. Of course the agreements signed by the west and opposition carried little weight when it came to salivating over the prospective prize of the south and the east of the country. No wonder the agreement was discarded as they now felt they were in possession; the difference between having to wait for the terms of the agreement to bear fruit vs the instantaneous gratification of grabbing power.

It's also interesting to note that the objects of Nuland's famous telephone call, played out exactly as planned. The US, EU and neo-nazis have made the prospect of a united Ukraine impossible. Yikes, shades of Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine. One wonders if they'll ever learn that their plans don't go according to plans..... or do they? What's interesting is that the war mongers and schemers, never take into consideration the people or societies in whose lives they meddle in their grabs for wealth and power. In the case of the south and east of Ukraine for example, these schemers never took the time to figure out that the east and south is heavily populated by Russians and Russian speaking peoples who don't despise Russia as the west does.

Zionism is EVIL > Daimler Altschuh

Most of the G8 are third rate bankrupt nations like Italy, France, UK and Canada. Do you really think Putin gives a hoot? LOL

TiredOfBsToo > John Parlour

As the Russians have so aptly pointed to the binding agreement for transferring power for all of Ukraine which the opposition, EU reps and the President of Ukraine signed; followed by the discarding of same by the EU and opposition, legality sides with Ukraine's elected president (unpopular as he may be everywhere, albeit for different reasons). The fact that a violent overthrow of an elected government by one segment of society will not make for it's successful imposition on the other; nor will it be considered a unity government and unite Ukraine.

topolcats > european

I did not know the Catholics were that tolerant to support Nazis and football hooligans and outlaw the Russian language in the Ukraine either! But then again I forgot about Pius the 12th and his friend Hitler!

Azad

Whatsoever steps are being taken by the EU and US block to safeguard their interests in Ukraine and whatsoever steps are being taken by the Russia to keep Ukraine falling into the hands of USA and EU,,,this will not work as unrest has reached in the region and it will end with natural outcome.
A wide split among the Ukrainian people has been created by these political crisis so it will take time. By the way Russia must help the Ukrainian people from falling in the hand of USA and EU

Ukraine crisis No wonder Vladimir Putin says Crimea is Russian

The Independent

With irresponsible talk of EU and Nato membership, the West has badly mishandled relations with Ukraine – and with Moscow


Much recent comment on Ukraine in the British press has been marked by a barely forgivable ignorance about its history and politics, an overhasty willingness to put the blame for all its troubles on Vladimir Putin, and an almost total inability to suggest practical ways of bringing effective Western influence to bear on a solution.

So perhaps we should start with a short history lesson. A thousand years ago Kiev was the capital of an Orthodox Christian state called Rus with links reaching as far west as England. But Rus was swept away by the Tatars in the 13th century, leaving only a few principalities in the north, including an obscure town deep in the forests, called Moscow.

What became known as Ukraine – a Slav phrase meaning "borderlands" – was regularly fought over by Tatars, Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Turks, Swedes and Cossacks. One large chunk, including Kiev itself, joined Russia in the 17th century. Galicia in the west fell to the Austrians in the following century, but was taken by Poland after the First World War, when the rest of Ukraine joined the Soviet Federation. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin handed Galicia and its capital Lviv to Ukraine in 1945. All these changes were accompanied by much bloody fighting.

Ukraine's Crimean peninsula followed a different but equally tumultuous path. The seat of a powerful and predatory Tatar state, it was conquered and settled by the Russians in the 18th century. Stalin deported its Tatar minority in 1944 because, he said, they had collaborated with the Germans. They were later allowed to return. Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Kiev as a present.

Ukraine became an independent country for the first time since the Middle Ages when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It had many of the requirements for success: an educated population, good links with the outside world and substantial industry, though its economy remained distorted by the Soviet legacy. But it was still divided, with an uncertain sense of nationhood. Today 77 per cent of the country's population is Ukrainian. But 17 per cent is Russian, a third of the population speak Russian and many of these people have strong family ties with Russia. Only the Ukrainians from Galicia look unequivocally to the West.

Meanwhile, most Russians feel strong emotional links to Ukraine as the cradle of their civilisation. Even the most open minded feel its loss like an amputated limb.

Things started well enough. Russia and Ukraine negotiated a sensible agreement to allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to remain in Crimea. With well-judged concessions, the Ukrainians assuaged the demands of Crimea's Russian inhabitants for closer ties with the motherland. But the Ukrainians were unlucky in their country's new leaders, most of whom were incompetent or worse. They failed to modernise the economy; corruption ran out of control. Then Putin arrived in 2000, ambitious to strengthen Russia's influence with its neighbours. And the West began its ill-judged attempts to draw Ukraine into its orbit regardless of Russian sensitivities.

Despite his best efforts, both overt and covert, Putin has failed to shape Ukraine to his will. He got his puppet Yanukovych elected president in 2004, only to see him overthrown in an Orange Revolution supported by millions of dollars of Western money. The "democratic" leaders who then emerged proved incompetent as well as corrupt. Yanukovych was re-elected in a fair election in 2010, but was even more incompetent and corrupt. His forceful ejection at the height of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, intended to showcase a modern and powerful Russia, was a humiliation for Putin and an unintended consequence of his intrigues. He is a vindictive man who will want revenge.

Although he is also a cunning politician, he already looks incapable of calm calculation. His apparent threat – or intention – to use force in Crimea would up the stakes in ways whose consequences neither he nor anyone else can foresee.

He may of course believe that the West will be unable to find an adequate response, and he may not be wrong. Western policy towards Ukraine has had two inadequate parts. The first is respectable but merely rhetorical: Ukraine is entitled to decide its future for itself, and Russia has no legitimate claim to a voice. The second is a piece of old-fashioned geopolitics: Russia can never again become an imperial threat if Ukraine is incorporated into Nato and the European Union. This part of the policy is impractical to the point of irresponsibility. It ignores four things. The members of Nato and the EU have lost their appetite for further enlargement. Most Ukrainians do not want their country to join Nato, though they would be happy to join the EU. A majority want to remain on good terms with Russia.

Above all, the West does not have the instruments to impose its will. It has no intention of getting into a forceful confrontation with Russia. Lesser sanctions are available to it, both economic and political, but they will hardly be sufficient to deflect a determined Russia from its meddling.

The alternative is for the West to talk to the Russians and to whoever can speak with authority for Ukraine. So far the Americans have been ineffective on the sidelines, the British seem to have given up doing foreign policy altogether, and only the Germans, the Poles and the French have shown any capacity for action.

An eventual deal would doubtless have to include verifiable agreement by the West as well as the Russians to abandon meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a credible assurance that Nato will not try to recruit Ukraine and arrangements for the both the Russians and the West to prop up Ukraine's disastrous economy. The sums involved are vast ($35bn has been mentioned). The task of ensuring that they are properly spent will be taxing in the extreme.

All that would involve much eating of words on all sides. It would enable the West to show that it can move beyond fine rhetoric about democracy to real deeds. It will be very hard to achieve. It may already be too late. But the alternatives are liable to be far worse.

Rodric Braithwaite was ambassador in Moscow in 1988-92. His last book was Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89

After Initial Triumph, Ukraine's Leaders Face Battle for Credibility

Jackson: "In essence, he suggested, the revolutionaries "have knocked out the foundations of modern Ukraine," and they need to be restored in a way that recognizes the diversity of the country."
NYTimes.com

"You have a revolution, with unelected guys seizing power," said Andrew Wilson, a Ukraine expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

"The people on the Maidan might be right, they might be martyrs, and they have good arguments, but no one elected them," he said. "You need to get real politics and competition and more legitimacy. Of course, the counterargument is just concentrate on economy. But the credibility question is tearing the country apart, and the transfer of power cut a lot of corners constitutionally."

Reaching out to the Russian-speaking east, the industrial heartland of the country, is crucial, all agree, even by a new government that has very few representatives of what was regularly the country's largest and most popular party, the Party of Regions, led by the ousted president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. Instead, the government is currently dominated by those associated with a former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, who is widely blamed for the failure of the 2004 Orange Revolution to change Ukraine's corrupt political system, and by Ukrainian nationalists.

An early triumphalist mistake, Mr. Wilson said, was the quick overturning of a 2012 law on languages that allowed regions to make Russian a second official language, needlessly offending, even goading Russian-dominated regions like the Donbass and Crimea.

... ... ...

What worries him, Mr. Jackson said, is that the new government is too beholden to the people's movement on the Maidan. He is also concerned that it is not reaching out sufficiently to the east and needs the credibility of both presidential and parliamentary elections to answer Mr. Yanukovych's charge, echoed in Moscow, that those politicians of western Ukraine, who have regularly lost elections, have seized power instead.

.... .... ...

... Crimea is only the most vivid challenge to the credibility of the new Ukrainian government. Russia possesses numerous tools to destabilize the new powers in Ukraine, from financial instruments and customs duties to energy supplies and trade sanctions. A push for decentralization in Crimea can easily be followed by similar demands from eastern Ukraine, far more dependent on Russian trade. On Saturday, for example, thousands of demonstrators shouted pro-Russian slogans in Donetsk.

In essence, he suggested, the revolutionaries "have knocked out the foundations of modern Ukraine," and they need to be restored in a way that recognizes the diversity of the country.

Sudden, unmediated political change in countries like Ukraine rarely goes smoothly, he said, pointing to the Rose Revolution in Georgia, whose main proponents are now out of office and many in exile.

... Russia is unlikely to give up the bargaining chip of Crimea quickly, and without obtaining a substantial benefit.

Even if Ukraine solves Crimea crisis with Russia, it has a rocky road ahead

The Washington Post

Western Ukraine, once the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, was never part of the Russian empire and only came under Moscow's rule as a result of World War II. A hero there is Stepan Bandera, who raised an army to fight against the Soviet invasion of Galicia during the war. In eastern and southern Ukraine, which suffered terribly under the Germans, Bandera is considered a Nazi collaborator and traitor.

A banner with a large portrait of Bandera hung next to the Maidan stage for months, leading to the inevitable charges in Crimea and elsewhere that the protesters were "Banderites" and fascists.

One of Parasyuk's grandfathers fought with Bandera. The other? He was a Soviet soldier.

... ... ...

"It's a power grab by one clan from another," said Alexander Serdyuk, a law student in Kharkiv.

The question is whether the divide - in language, sensibility, historical memory - will reassert itself in the hazardous months ahead.

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