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Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 13706 times)

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Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2014, 03:58:42 PM »
         I wonder, "back down" how?  I mean, I could imagine Putin perhaps being allowed to keep Crimea for some considerable length of time.  As for moving on the rest, I really don't know enough to be completely sure.  Though I'd be surprised if NATO set out for more than a carefully announced, limited air campaign.  The Baltics may be in, but I don't imagine that there are actually boots on the ground to defend everyone (rather more buffer state treatment?) and then I imagine Ukrainian terrain may not be so easy to defend conventionally.  There is some speculation it could turn into something of a Bosnia/Kosovo situation, if you have a real stomach for brinkmanship perhaps. 

         As it is...  The question could be, just how long is Putin really interested in playing the old Soviet "who can or can't really stand alone economically" game?  I wonder if he anticipated anyone actually applying sanctions.  There is a whole lot of rhetoric about those now.   
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 04:00:49 PM by kylie »

Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2014, 04:48:29 PM »
Reading all this, it makes me want to cry. So upsetting.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2014, 05:25:44 PM »
         I wonder, "back down" how?  I mean, I could imagine Putin perhaps being allowed to keep Crimea for some considerable length of time.  As for moving on the rest, I really don't know enough to be completely sure.  Though I'd be surprised if NATO set out for more than a carefully announced, limited air campaign.  The Baltics may be in, but I don't imagine that there are actually boots on the ground to defend everyone (rather more buffer state treatment?) and then I imagine Ukrainian terrain may not be so easy to defend conventionally.  There is some speculation it could turn into something of a Bosnia/Kosovo situation, if you have a real stomach for brinkmanship perhaps. 

         As it is...  The question could be, just how long is Putin really interested in playing the old Soviet "who can or can't really stand alone economically" game?  I wonder if he anticipated anyone actually applying sanctions.  There is a whole lot of rhetoric about those now.   

Well the West backed down to Hitler in similar circumstances. Neville Chamberlain preached of 'peace in our time' back in the day and I could easily see concessions being made in similar manner.

Offline Florence

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2014, 05:56:26 PM »
I just feel like asking... am I the only one who's been feeling like every single thing Putin's done since starting this anti-gay campaign and hosting the Olympics has been like... right out of Hitler's play book?

Find a minority to blame for all the problems of the country, use as a scapegoat to boost unity and national pride.
Host the Olympics to further boost national solidarity, gain some prestige with other countries (though I would say that failed when half the hotels had packs of feral animals in them), and maybe a little economic boost.
Start annexing neighbors.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2014, 06:18:50 PM »
I just feel like asking... am I the only one who's been feeling like every single thing Putin's done since starting this anti-gay campaign and hosting the Olympics has been like... right out of Hitler's play book?

Find a minority to blame for all the problems of the country, use as a scapegoat to boost unity and national pride.
Host the Olympics to further boost national solidarity, gain some prestige with other countries (though I would say that failed when half the hotels had packs of feral animals in them), and maybe a little economic boost.
Start annexing neighbors.

The Olympics do seem to have a bit of a sour aftertaste now... Amazingly the Paralympics will be going ahead in Sochi - they regularly come after the main Olympic games. I wonder how many countries will consider pulling out of those - not a very visible statement as the paralympics are not that big a tv event, but still something.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2014, 06:38:16 PM »
The Olympics do seem to have a bit of a sour aftertaste now...

I was sort of hoping for a 'Jesse Owens' moment, myself.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2014, 06:55:19 PM »
I was sort of hoping for a 'Jesse Owens' moment, myself.


During soundcheck for the ice hockey final, the very last event, the in-house organ they use at play breaks, goals and so on played the intro to Won't Get Fooled Again. I had a feeling it was a final message from the home team who hadn't made it to the final match.  ;)

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2014, 07:54:49 PM »
'Russian-ethnic' segments of the country.

 How much of the populations of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Poland and Finland are of Russian decent? It smells like a set up to go after those states too. Russia has wanted Baltic Sea ports for a very long time.

Well the West backed down to Hitler in similar circumstances. Neville Chamberlain preached of 'peace in our time' back in the day and I could easily see concessions being made in similar manner.

 Unfortunately, I can see the same thing happening with Ukraine.

Online Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2014, 08:51:53 PM »


Also Al Jazeera America had an interesting story on the Crimean Tatars who make up twelve percent of the Crimean population.

How much of the populations of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Poland and Finland are of Russian decent? It smells like a set up to go after those states too. Russia has wanted Baltic Sea ports for a very long time.

Most of the people of the Baltic Countries have very little affection for the Russian government in general.

Very little.

And Russians are a significant minority. About 25-30% in Latvia and Estonia and something like five percent in Lithuania, a really small number. And they've been on a decline.

The next likely target would be Moldova if he wants to troll the West again, or else he'd go for Georgia again, probably fabricate an excuse in the Pankisi Gorge or something.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 08:54:42 PM by Neysha »

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2014, 11:12:39 PM »
Well the West backed down to Hitler in similar circumstances. Neville Chamberlain preached of 'peace in our time' back in the day and I could easily see concessions being made in similar manner.
         Shrugs.  Just this moment, it sounds a little like Europe could be waffling about sanctions after all...  But really not sure yet what'll happen there.

          (Though I wish the Guardian would start making smaller, new articles and stop tacking the latest bit right on top of the old "live blog" with no real changes in the rest.  It's getting long for them to be putting a new headline on that.) 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2014, 03:24:11 AM »
How much of the populations of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Poland and Finland are of Russian decent? It smells like a set up to go after those states too. Russia has wanted Baltic Sea ports for a very long time.



No native Russians to speak of in Finland, and I don't think there are any large numbers in Poland either - there were some before 1939, but when Poland was moved west on the map after the war they lost those areas that had been mixed; anyway the people there had been hard hit by the war and by extermination. The Baltic republics on the other hand have major amounts of ethnic Russians, many of them moved there (were moved by order) in the fifties and sixties in an attempt to blur out the national imprint of those countries now that they had become part of the Soviet Union - while many ordinary Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians had been hauled off to Siberia and still others made their way west (one of my best friends at school was a Latvian kid whose grandparents and father had escaped across the Baltic in 1944, as part of a boat exodus that comprised hundreds of small boats over two or three autumn months; it's through him and his family that I first got a live idea of the Baltic exile and the oppression "over there" aimed specifically at the Baltic peoples).

The idea of Stalin and Krushchev was to de-ethnicize and russify the Baltic republics, and something of the same kind may have been happening in Ukraine, but in Estonia and Latvia (especially) it was really thorough. By the time those countries reasserted their independence something like 30-40% of the population was of Russian stock and many of these didn't speak the native language at all. There was a lot of tensions flaring, appeals by local political leaders to "throw them all out" and so on, mutual mistrust and so on. Some of that has cooled down by now I think, at least in the kmainstream of society, but it's probably living on if you move out into smaller cities or talk more privately with some people in a country like Estonia. And yes, the presence of large chunks of Russians in those countries serves as a potential excuse for Putin to express his concern.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 05:11:07 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2014, 03:39:20 AM »
        I was under the impression that Russia had already made some pretty serious pushes for post-Soviet power grabs in the Baltic and  had generally been rebuffed.  No?  It's  not something I spent a lot of time looking into.

        But then I don't think those were quite on the same scale as the unrest in Ukraine for a backdrop.  Although I was focused on other things at the time and I could be wrong.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2014, 03:58:11 AM »
        I was under the impression that Russia had already made some pretty serious pushes for post-Soviet power grabs in the Baltic and  had generally been rebuffed.  No?  It's  not something I spent a lot of time looking into.

        But then I don't think those were quite on the same scale as the unrest in Ukraine for a backdrop.  Although I was focused on other things at the time and I could be wrong.

Moscow certainly did try to stop those countries from joining NATO, and has been trying to put pressure on what they can do militarily - radar defence and so on (I think most of the business with the anti-missile shield was with Poland and Romania though). Some flexing of muscles through swaggering military exercises in the Baltic area, too - but I don't think the Russians have made any serious attempts lately to encourage a coup or street unrest in Estonia, accusing those countries of treating Russians as second-class citizens or something like that. There was unrest and a lot of powerplaying in the first years after the dissolution of the USSR, but this died down after a couple of years.

Any kind of open Russian aggression on the Baltic republics would have some serious implications for Finland, Sweden and Poland too. Goes without saying, really, and there's a running debate in Sweden about the need to build more military muscle against Russia.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 04:15:35 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2014, 07:22:52 AM »
The idea of Stalin and Krushchev was to de-ethnicize and russify the Baltic republics, and something of the same kind may have been happening in Ukraine,

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

Online Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2014, 08:18:26 AM »
So this just happened, hope she still has a job in a few months.



And this just happened...

#t=96

« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 08:22:30 AM by Neysha »

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #65 on: March 04, 2014, 08:39:58 AM »
So this just happened, hope she still has a job in a few months.

That's a hell of a risk to take for someone that works for Putin's pet network.

This footage from the 29th shows about a bazillion Russian gunships, allegedly headed flying over Crimea:


Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #66 on: March 04, 2014, 08:52:43 AM »
Wow, that was courageous by a newsreader at Putin's semi-official network.

This guy did something similar at the height of the Afghanistan War, saying openly on the radio in Moscow that the Afghans were bravely defending their country from the Soviet invasion. He lost his job of course, became a "non-person" and was expelled to Tashkent in Central Asia for some time. Could have ended even worse if the case hadn't been noticed by western journalists.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #67 on: March 04, 2014, 09:46:18 AM »
So this just happened, hope she still has a job in a few months.


Hell, I hope she's ALIVE in a few months. There have been a distressing number of journalist deaths since Putin came to power.
That is not to say I think he orders their murders but there is an attitude of 'who cares' among the investigations that go on.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 09:47:33 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Online Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #68 on: March 04, 2014, 09:58:07 AM »
Hell, I hope she's ALIVE in a few months. There have been a distressing number of journalist deaths since Putin came to power.
That is not to say I think he orders their murders but there is an attitude of 'who cares' among the investigations that go on.

Well Russia Today released this update:

Quote from: Russia Today
Russia Today responds: "Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn’t beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby’s commentary on the Ukraine.

"We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin.

"In her comment Ms. Martin also noted that she does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea. As such we’ll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story."

I find this ironic in a dark manner.

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #69 on: March 04, 2014, 10:10:48 AM »
         We had RT on the cable for a few months when I was in Georgia.  It was pretty much the only English programming some people could afford in that part of the countryside, although richer places in the cities had many more service options (night and day, really).  Not that most of them would watch English programs anyway, and I think they found it a little funny that I'd watch a Russian-organized one. 

         ...  But the funny part is, RT seems to have picked up quite a few very committed activists.  They often go overboard and some of their analyses are silly to problematic.  Yet they report on some stuff the US media hardly talks about seriously anymore (Palestinians come to mind...) .  And as this shows, some can be more loyal to their basic principles than to the government line.  However overdone those principles tossed a little ranting and shotgun may come across to a Western audience sometimes.  Me included.  It's kind of ironic that in the apparent effort to say anything harsh counterpoint to US foreign policy with a somewhat educated and passionate set of English speakers, RT ends up with this too.

            Though yeah, you have to wonder who will be waiting for her to arrive in Crimea whenever.  And how many doctored or exaggerated documents...

         
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 10:12:37 AM by kylie »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2014, 11:10:39 AM »

No native Russians to speak of in Finland, and I don't think there are any large numbers in Poland either - there were some before 1939, but when Poland was moved west on the map after the war they lost those areas that had been mixed; anyway the people there had been hard hit by the war and by extermination. The Baltic republics on the other hand have major amounts of ethnic Russians, many of them moved there (were moved by order) in the fifties and sixties in an attempt to blur out the national imprint of those countries now that they had become part of the Soviet Union - while many ordinary Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians had been hauled off to Siberia and still others made their way west (one of my best friends at school was a Latvian kid whose grandparents and father had escaped across the Baltic in 1944, as part of a boat exodus that comprised hundreds of small boats over two or three autumn months; it's through him and his family that I first got a live idea of the Baltic exile and the oppression "over there" aimed specifically at the Baltic peoples).

The idea of Stalin and Krushchev was to de-ethnicize and russify the Baltic republics, and something of the same kind may have been happening in Ukraine, but in Estonia and Latvia (especially) it was really thorough. By the time those countries reasserted their independence something like 30-40% of the population was of Russian stock and many of these didn't speak the native language at all. There was a lot of tensions flaring, appeals by local political leaders to "throw them all out" and so on, mutual mistrust and so on. Some of that has cooled down by now I think, at least in the kmainstream of society, but it's probably living on if you move out into smaller cities or talk more privately with some people in a country like Estonia. And yes, the presence of large chunks of Russians in those countries serves as a potential excuse for Putin to express his concern.

 I thought so. I am afraid that if Russia gets away with the Crimean land grab, it will try something in the Baltic states and Poland. I wouldn't put it past Russia to 'covertly' start something they can use an an excuse to invade to protect the lives of ethnic Russians.
Putin and his goons are the type that will keep pushing as long as they think they can get away with it.


Quote
The next likely target would be Moldova if he wants to troll the West again, or else he'd go for Georgia again, probably fabricate an excuse in the Pankisi Gorge or something.

 I can't see how they can make a land grab in Moldova without having bitten off the entire southern part of Ukraine and maybe part of Romania since Moldova is a land locked country. Russia would have to violate the sovereign territory and airspace of 1-2 nations to reach Moldova. That brings up the question, is Russia looking at the city and region of Odessa as well as the Crimea?

Online Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2014, 11:47:31 AM »
They probably are. Odessa has a strong Russian sentiment and has seen lots of ProRussia protests.

Moldova is a weak country and already faced Russian meddling over the Transdnestria region. (I'm butchering the spelling)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2014, 11:56:38 AM »
They probably are. Odessa has a strong Russian sentiment and has seen lots of ProRussia protests.

Moldova is a weak country and already faced Russian meddling over the Transdnestria region. (I'm butchering the spelling)

A guy I heard giving a lecture about the Danube region - he had been living in the region for a few years, working with financing and relief efforts - compared Moldova to "the Island of the Outlaws" in the Phantom comic strips - a free-for-all paradise for gangsters and a good base for criminal networking into Europe.  :D Transdnistria, in his opinion, was just as bad and with zero state control of anything. It's pretty much a no-man's-land.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2014, 12:55:13 PM »


 I had a scary thought. If this Russian gambit works and is accepted, this frees up China to do the exact same thing to the nations around it that have ethnic Chinese minorities.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2014, 02:14:08 PM »

 I had a scary thought. If this Russian gambit works and is accepted, this frees up China to do the exact same thing to the nations around it that have ethnic Chinese minorities.

Do they have the same perceived need to? I mean, N. Korea already applies a significant buffer to the West's largest strongholds in the area, and they've already got more land and people than they can manage at the moment.