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Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 13711 times)

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Offline SGTDan

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #175 on: March 17, 2014, 06:30:30 PM »
As is only logical, the US and the EU have condemned the referendum as a mockery of democracy.  From what I've gleaned from global news, we've slapped a couple of Russian bigwigs with sanctions and called it a day.

The questions I pose are thus: is this enough?  Will it have an effect?  And, the controversial one, should we be doing more?
All the NATO and UN can do at this moment sadly. Will the sanctions have a effect? I doubt it because it will hurt other countries far more then Russia. For doing more? Doing anything else would be too little reward for far too much risk. Even if Ukraine was to ask for military intervention...I doubt NATO would be in a position to provide.

Online Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #176 on: March 17, 2014, 06:35:28 PM »
Probably should engage in freezing financial accounts of Putin and other high level Russian leadership. The natural gas issue is tricky, so sanctions might be chancy especially in regard to Germany and other nations in Eastern Europe but this is a pretty clear illustration that alternatives should be pursued and will be now.

It does seem unfortunate, but NATO and the West seem to think Crimea is already lost. When this crisis first surface, NATO should've waited for Ukraine to ask for military assistance. With Ukrainian permission, NATO could've pulled a Pristina Airport maneuver, only do so with competence and send it's own 'peacekeepers' to monitor the 'non-Russian' militias that seemed to show up in Crimea in the 'non-invasion.'

In other news... Crimea's new Chief Prosecutor has lots of fans already... dunno why.



Offline consortium11

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #177 on: March 17, 2014, 08:06:53 PM »
One of the issues for the UN is the whole "principle of self-determination" thing.

While this is generally used with regard to (ex-)colonies who want independence as opposed to an area that is basically doing the opposite (wanting to rejoin a larger country) the rough situation is the same; it's a principle of the UN that if a "people" (defined vaguely) want to leave a state then they should be allowed to. If you take the recent poll at face value (and of course there are issues with that) then it's a pretty clear example of a people making a determination.

Looked at with more of a real-politique angle, the gas issue certainly arises. There's been a real effort in Eastern and Continental Europe to diversify their supply since Russia last turned off the taps which on paper makes it less of a threat this time.

Why only on paper?

Because the place most of the countries used to pick up the slack is Libya... which is currently in even worse of a situation than Ukraine.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #178 on: March 17, 2014, 11:11:20 PM »
This could potentially bit Russia in the ass down the line. Yes,  Eastern Europe, and to a lesser extent the EU, are terribly reliant on the Russia natural gas and gasoline supply. But this could be the point where they start to look elsewhere.

Last week I heard a report on NPR where there was serious discussion on the export of US natural gas to Europe. Apparently over the last decade or so, the US has developed a production surplus and there is talk of increased export. It won't fix the 'Russian' issue tomorrow, but a little foresight could see Putin with rivals in the EU at least in a few years. 

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #179 on: March 18, 2014, 12:13:01 AM »
Russia is no more expansionist than the US, unless you simply ignore anything bad that the US does. Let's not paint Russia as "the bad guys" when what they do is no different to what other's do.

As for the Crimea, it was a forgone conclusion that they will succeed when the US issued they won't recognize the result, because they knew what was going to happen and how they have no measures they could take to stop it.

Let's do bring in some facts of what actually happened during this "invasion" and "land grab." No shots were fired, no one died, no incidents happened during the referendum vote, and the turn out was over 83% and 97% voted to join Russia.

 Invasion and land grab are the same thing when the land is going to become a part of the nation. And this is Russia expanding. I will bet they try to do the same to more of Ukraine and Moldova and the Baltic states (which were never Russian, they had ethnic Russian citizens that were moved there years/decades ago).

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #180 on: March 18, 2014, 02:22:36 AM »
Hmm... I wonder what Russian for 'Lebensraum' is?



« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 09:35:38 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #181 on: March 18, 2014, 05:39:04 AM »
One of the issues for the UN is the whole "principle of self-determination" thing.

While this is generally used with regard to (ex-)colonies who want independence as opposed to an area that is basically doing the opposite (wanting to rejoin a larger country) the rough situation is the same; it's a principle of the UN that if a "people" (defined vaguely) want to leave a state then they should be allowed to. If you take the recent poll at face value (and of course there are issues with that) then it's a pretty clear example of a people making a determination.
         It's messy...  I'm not sure if you're talking more about the General Assembly or the Security Council or who...  But there are various ways of deciding who this will apply to or not.  And what level should it apply to?  If a district of a city wants to separate, say all the Tartars on one side of some city in Crimea?  What then?  Or you get huge swaths of people scattered across parts of an 'established' state a la the partition of India, Bosnia-Croatia 1995, or so many places in Africa.  Also...  How long do they have to be there?  Is it okay if another state encourages a group to move, and then that group calls for the same state that was so interested in putting it there, to come intervene on its behalf?  Whatever is the 'statute of limitations' as it were, before everyone is going to accept "facts on the ground" as if no one were manipulating them?  Or is there a clear standard for what constitutes manipulation.

          So back to the present:  Even though I feel that in principle, it's nice for notable groups (however we decide the minimum requirements for that) to be able to choose their place or to make another one...  Here it seems like the Russian government has been driving events more than people in Crimea.  It's hardly what you call a spontaneous, independent separatist or ethnic movement.  Here we can't separate out some "self-determination" from the idea of a Greater Russian state that called for Russian occupation before the vote.

         Here's another question...  Was there was a serious Crimean secession movement to speak of, before Yanukovich lost power?  If so, it is an interesting question whether they would ever have been allowed to proceed by Kiev.  But even if there were and Kiev wouldn't approve right away, relying on an invasion at the very moment of a government change does not come across so well.  I can see how it might seem that this was the only time they "had to" do it or could do it, but even if all that were true...  Everyone else is left never knowing what might have happened under more peaceful circumstances and without the Russian state being directly involved.



Offline consortium11

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #182 on: March 18, 2014, 06:15:13 AM »
         It's messy...  I'm not sure if you're talking more about the General Assembly or the Security Council or who...  But there are various ways of deciding who this will apply to or not.  And what level should it apply to?  If a district of a city wants to separate, say all the Tartars on one side of some city in Crimea?  What then?  Or you get huge swaths of people scattered across parts of an 'established' state a la the partition of India, Bosnia-Croatia 1995, or so many places in Africa.  Also...  How long do they have to be there?  Is it okay if another state encourages a group to move, and then that group calls for the same state that was so interested in putting it there, to come intervene on its behalf?  Whatever is the 'statute of limitations' as it were, before everyone is going to accept "facts on the ground" as if no one were manipulating them?  Or is there a clear standard for what constitutes manipulation.

It's deliberately vague and doesn't give any indication of what is technically required to secede instead being left as a "principle". I suspect the reason for that is that there are a number of regions within countries where there are pretty powerful secession movements and the respective governments don't really want to give them a framework of what to aim for... Catalonia in Spain is probably the most obvious example right now while the Basque region has also pressed for it.

Crimea has always had an independent streak with Russian leanings. It's been an autonomous state pretty much from the moment it became part of Ukraine and in the mid 90's nearly broke away (with Ukraine having to step in and remove the elected president, Yuriy Meshkov). Tensions died down somewhat in the late 90's and early 2000's but then kicked off again in about 2006. So yes, there always has been a strong secessionist movement in Crimea... the question of how much of that it "legitimate" and how much is fueled by Russia is another question entirely.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #183 on: March 18, 2014, 07:19:40 AM »
I think historically the UN hasnt been at all "trigger happy" at driving the idea that nations or minority peoples - even persecuted minority peoples, which clearly doesn't fit for the Russian-speakers in Crimea . should have their own national states. It might look like that because as soon as a breakaway country has finally managed to establish itself, the UN offers it membership, but it hasn't been a big piece of agenda for the UN to split off countries. With South Sudan, it took more than a decade of a bloodstained civil war and de facto control by the new guys, the seceding government, before the new state was accepted as a fact by the UN and many countries around the world. In Congo around 1960, the UN was working very hard, even putting boots on the ground (armed UN troop units), to stop Katanga from breaking away and make sure other regions didn't split off as well. The support by the UN for Tibet, Kurdistan or Australian aboriginal land rights has been fairly minimal - even if there has sometimes been a fiery speech for those peoples made by some member state at the UN, or at a conference hosted by some UN organization.

Besides, when Putin is talking of "Russians in the Crimea" or in the Ukraine, he really means Russian-speaking people. We don't call French-speaking Belgians Frenchmen or U.S. Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for generations and are legal citizens of the land "Mexicans", do we?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #184 on: March 18, 2014, 07:31:17 AM »
Besides, when Putin is talking of "Russians in the Crimea" or in the Ukraine, he really means Russian-speaking people. We don't call French-speaking Belgians Frenchmen or U.S. Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for generations and are legal citizens of the land "Mexicans", do we?

You haven't hung out with American rednecks, have you?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #185 on: March 18, 2014, 07:44:25 AM »
You haven't hung out with American rednecks, have you?

*considers that someone might call her sister a "shabby Mexican" and feels her blood rushing*.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #186 on: March 18, 2014, 09:07:07 AM »
*considers that someone might call her sister a "shabby Mexican" and feels her blood rushing*.

I'm in the same boat thinking the same thoughts about my niece and future nephew.

And given my liking of baseball caps, steel toe boots an jeans, I have been on occasion been called a red neck.

Clarification on my previous post: I was referring to the practice as used BEFORE the Nazis took hold of it. The term was actually brought up by a man named Fredrick Ratzel. And goes to another term Ostsiedlung. There as some curious parallels between these ideas and what Putin is doing today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostsiedlung

As such.. I think I'll bow out of any future posts since the person who took me to task also referred to the moderators. So.. Have fun folks.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 09:37:18 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #187 on: March 18, 2014, 09:41:21 AM »

Besides, when Putin is talking of "Russians in the Crimea" or in the Ukraine, he really means Russian-speaking people. We don't call French-speaking Belgians Frenchmen or U.S. Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for generations and are legal citizens of the land "Mexicans", do we?

 The scary thing is that excuse, if it becomes viable, could be used to conquer other lands to aid the ethnic people of your nation/race that live there.  China has a LOT of places with ethnic Chinese living in them, Japan the same, as the same with many other nations. This got me to thinking if this might get some Mexican nationals try to get the southwestern US to hold a referendum and hold a vote to rejoin Mexico since that's CLEARLY what the ethnic Mexican people in the SW US would want and Mexico must intervene  in the form of 'indigenous self defense groups' that spring up in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas to help secure the rights and safety of the native Mexicans that live there and to hold an 'open and fair' election to vote those states into Mexico.  :|   

 I don;t see that actually happening unless the President becomes totally spineless, but I can see some Mexican nationalist groups wanting to do that.

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #188 on: March 23, 2014, 02:05:15 PM »
          Here's one article suggesting it isn't so much a plot to seize all the ex-Soviet territories, but something more complicated.

But then, how many of the "complicated" parts like "too much" tilt to the West could as easily be applied to some other places?  I'm not really sure. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #189 on: March 23, 2014, 03:56:44 PM »
Very interesting article, Kylie - and it brings out how Putin and the Russian elite have been feeling ringed, cornered by a growing belt of NATO-affiliated and western-friendly countries over the löast fifteen years, but also how opportunistic Putin can be when it comes to international law. He really wants Russia to regain superpower status (surprise?)

According to one of the guys the Guardian have talked to, the original Russian plan after Yanukovych was ousted wasn't to actually annex Crimea into Russia, but to make it a semi-independent state controlled more by Russia than by Ukraine (though perhaps still formally part of Ukraine), one they could then easily use as a pawn to push Ukraine and its politicians and parties about.

Quote from: Guardian
Markov says Putin laid down several conditions to western leaders which he saw as a compromise solution but they viewed as unwarranted meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. The conditions included ensuring that Ukraine's interim government involved a coalition of all political forces, including Yanukovych's Party of Regions, disbanding all armed revolutionary factions and making Russian an official state language.

"If this had happened, Crimea would still be part of Ukraine," says Markov.

As well as merely reacting to events in Ukraine, there was also a sense that the Crimea situation is a culmination of many years of grievances with what Putin sees as an unfair international system. "They say we are violating norms of international law … It's a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never," said Putinlast week, to an ovation from the hall. "They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right."

If what he says in that passage is true it really indicates Putin has no grasp of what the Ukraine revolution and street fighting was about. How could Yanukovych and his guys possibly form part of a new government, together with several of the opposition movements from far-right wing to more liberal parties? That kind of cabinet would be completely shot from the start, it would sink in impotence as soon as it began taking charge. But of course, an imploding and discredited new government and parliament would pave the way for any kind of new dictators - including a Putin puppet government.

The demand to make Russian an official language in Ukraine, side by side with Ukrainian, would likely be unacceptable for most of the parties and groups in western Ukraine, and to just about anyone who opposed Yanukovych in Kiev. And it would spell serious meddling, of course. The next step, if there was one, would probably be Moscow asking for some sort of military cooperation pact, or regular consultations on foreign policy, much like the friendship pact that Finland settled for with the Soviet Union after WW2 (practically with a gun to her head on Finland's part) and which gave the USSR a measure of final control over what Finland could do politically and what kind of space it had to act within, if there was a crisis in the near area.

Naturally, that kind of coercion sould be repeated in other countries if it would work with the Ukraine.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 04:02:56 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #190 on: March 24, 2014, 12:16:26 AM »
         Meanwhile, the people whose job it is to count guns on the ground and plan for the worst...  Are still thinking of possible targets further West.  They're talking about Russia possibly sweeping straight across the south into Moldova, though the Russians say they won't (big shrug there).

         I have no idea really what Putin has in mind next...  Except most apparently, to nag Kiev as much as possible in the short term.

         Wonder if in fact he was a little surprised if in fact, the Crimean backers for his moves were not happy being another Abkhazia and wanted full Russian citizenship...  But the Duma doesn't seem to have minded.  Wonder if Crimea will really get all the trappings, though. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #191 on: March 24, 2014, 01:38:07 AM »
Russian writer and journalist Arkady Babchenko, who has been doing some unflattering and atmospheric reporting about the Chechnyan wars, published a satirical "open letter to the Crimeans" titled Welcome to Russia! this weekend in The Daily News, the biggest morning newspaper of Stockholm. I think it was written or translated exclusively for the paper, haven't seen it published anywhere else, and it's a hilarious and dark run-down of Putin's regime and the implications of joining Russia for ordinary people in Crimea. Here's the opening part and a bit from further into the piece:


WELCOME TO RUSSIA!

So happy to see you – and allow us to send our heartfelt congratulations to you on the last referendum of your lives. Trust me, there will be no more. You will see no more queries for your free choice – never and on nothing. Not even on the colouring of the borders to your own back yard. Remember where you heard it first.

Point the second, you can kiss your own television goodbye. Bye bye live transmissions, talk shows and true debate programmes. Say hello to fearmongering, dead bodies, loonies and joking about peeing and gender. Hardcore propaganda instead of news! And extra hours with Putin’s own exclusive monologues.

Third point: conscripted army service, which is a chapter of its own. Over the last twenty-three years you had forgotten what military occupation is like: it means your children getting called up for service in wars that don’t have anything to do with you. But hey, so what? You’ll soon remember what it felt like. Especially when kids in our – sorry, make that your – army begin to die from diseases that young, healthy people in other parts of the world haven’t died from over the last century. Pneumonia, for instance. They were used to the Crimean terrain but will be sent to serve far away on the isle of Kunazhir, on the shores of the subarctic Pacific. - It might also be a good idea to check out what the “Caucasus force” have tattooed into their clean shaved skulls.

Why, I almost forgot to give you this link: http://mright.hro.org. It’s to the Foundation for Mothers’ Rights, which for two decades has been offering assistance and legal support to mothers of young conscripted soldiers killed during their term of service. Out of such Russian soldiers killed during that time, 20 percent were suicides, 20 percent “enforced or prompted suicide”, 25 percent diseases and 5 percent abused or beaten to death.

(---)

 I guess you already met our Cossacks? Handsome young men, are they not? But it’s almost nothing, guys. You haven’t met our priests yet. Oh by the way, there’s a state funded campaign in build-up phase to increase spirituality in the people and to further religious feelings of togetherness. The tagline being “A church on every estate plot”. You may have thought you’d get a kindergarten or a road crossing, but you’re getting a church instead in those places. Yup, that’s how it’s run around here. Opposite my house they are building a new church instead of repairing the broken traffic lights. There are queues and jams every morning but never mind the street crossing, dear friends! A church is what we need and nothing else. Oh by the way, you're the ones who will have the honour of paying for the effort.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 03:51:39 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline ShadowFox89


Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #193 on: March 29, 2014, 04:14:51 AM »
         Now what is this about?  Just being ready for all contingencies of Putin's moods?  Or does the Russian military generally field units without the usual identification  nowadays?

Quote
The Russian deployments on the border with Ukraine include the establishment of supply lines and the fielding of a wide range of military forces, US officials said.

These include militia or special forces units made up of Russian fighters wearing uniforms lacking insignia or other identifying markings, similar to the first Russian forces to move into Crimea during Russia's recent military takeover there, according to US and European sources familiar with official reporting.


Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #194 on: April 03, 2014, 07:55:33 AM »
Okay, I don't like what I'm seeing out of Russia but some of the follow up worries me from the EU/US side too.

I seem to recall a treaty promise that NATO wouldn't accept former Soviet states as Members or base sites back in the '90s. That clearly is being tossed out.

Granted the massing of troops on Ukraines borders is worrying, as is the double price increase of gas in less than 3 days but isn't violating treaties giving the Russians justification to blow off treaties?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #195 on: April 03, 2014, 08:56:54 AM »
         Now what is this about?  Just being ready for all contingencies of Putin's moods?  Or does the Russian military generally field units without the usual identification  nowadays?

Isn't that against the Geneva Conventions or something?

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #196 on: April 03, 2014, 09:43:33 AM »
Isn't that against the Geneva Conventions or something?

 Nope, not at all. As long as they are obviously military they get a pass.

Offline Valerian

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #197 on: April 03, 2014, 09:53:04 AM »
According to this, the wearing of uniforms without insignia is "shady, but not illegal".

Quote
“Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention says you have to wear symbols recognizable at a distance, but they do not need to indicate national origin,” Gary D. Solis, a law professor at Georgetown University who specializes in the laws of war, explained.

The point of the Geneva Conventions in this case is to enforce the principle of distinction between civilians and military combatants, so that civilians are not targeted.... The troops in Simferopol may not have been obviously identifiable as Russian, but they were clearly armed personnel in military garb, and as such, they were not violating the obligation that they should not be confused with civilians.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #198 on: April 03, 2014, 09:59:43 AM »
I stand corrected.

Offline Valerian

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #199 on: April 03, 2014, 10:28:54 AM »
It does seem like it should be illegal, doesn't it?  :/  But Putin apparently does his homework...