This topic should probably have been added some time ago.
[Updated publish date to bring back to the top]
A Country Divided in Two?
2010 Ukraine Presidential Election Results
EDIT: News updates, videos and links in the comments below]
327 thoughts on “Ukraine, Russia, “The West” And What Comes Next”
Here goes. I think John Pilger’s latest article makes a good start. On US expansionism
Nato’s Action Plan in Ukraine Is Right out of Dr Strangelove
US pushes to dominate the Eurasian landmass
Map of US bases. 773 worldwide. 6 in the UK alone. Zoom and move the map around.
Russia shows off its hardware.
Russia: Missiles and APCs on the move ahead of Victory Day
So much for peace and love at Easter. Even the clerics are at each other.
‘Ukraine unrest: Orthodox Easter messages show divide
Orthodox Easter messages from patriarchs in Kiev and Moscow have highlighted the deep division in Ukraine, where a tense stand-off is continuing in the east.
The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret accused Russia of “aggression” and “evil”.
Russian Church Patriarch Kirill asked God to end the designs of those who wanted to rip apart Russia and Ukraine.’
“Ukraine Jew registration hoax traced”
(to the ADL)
Mary citing Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox church, reminds me on the following, which I read about in a Greek newspaper a couple of years ago.
A Russian press agency photo appeared – and was taken up by several papers – of Kirill giving a news conference in Moscow, and showed that Kirill was wearing an EXTREMELY expensive wrist watch (apparently costing around $25,000). Once this “oversight” was noticed, the photo was immediately retouched (just like in old Soviet times, don’t y’ know) to make the watch disappear.
But what the retouchers forgot was …..that the table at which Kirill had been interviewed was….a glass top table….and that the reflection of that EXTREMELY expensive watch….was still visible, in mirror image, on the glass top!
LOL! Censors (and retouchers) can be soooo stupid. A bit like secret policemen everywhere, I suppose.
By the way, Kirill enjoys the warm support of President rasPutin (he knows which side his bread’s buttered on!) and the feelings of admiration are apparently mutual.
I wonder if the Ukrainian Patriarch is of the same stamp as Patriarch Kirill? I do hope not.
Hab just for you…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIVTBL5r1Hg
Habbabkuk, retouching of news photo’s reminds me of something I experienced in the early ’80s. I was visiting a friend who lived near the top of Dirkhill Road in Bradford. Standing outside his front door and looking right, the road ended in a stone wall on which someone had graffitied “It’s a Mean Old Scene”; it was a local icon of Bradford’s problems.
It was Sunday morning after the party the night before, and us survivors were waking up and regaining our senses when our host returned from the local shop with the Sunday Observer. “Look” he said, holding up the front page of the paper. It was an article about Bradford with a photograph of the familiar graffiti. Grunts and oohs and aahs followed; the photographer must have stood almost right outside…
“No”, said our host, “come out here and look”, and we all followed him out of the front door. He held up the paper and said “look at the lamp post”. The real lamp post bisected the graffiti, so in the picture “they” had moved it off to one side; you’d never have noticed. No harm done, obviously, but it made us all a bit more sceptical.
Here’s a photo of the graffiti, but this isn’t from the Observer:
Also not from the Observer, but you can see the lamp post in this one:
Habbabkuk, I wonder if there was actually an element of mutiny involved in the photographs of Kirill’s watch? The political masters ordered that the watch be removed from the picture, but maybe they didn’t explicitly mention the reflection and it was overlooked “accidentally on purpose”. They could hardly complain, having not mentioned it themselves.
I recently read The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera; do you know the story of Clementis, airbrushed out of history except for his hat?
I note that the Russian Orthodox Church has apologised for the air-brushing and said it was done without authority. They have now replaced the picture with the untouched version.
They haven’t apologised for the watch itself although it is claimed to have been a gift.
Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.
If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session.
To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which currently only Saudi Arabia could afford, Putin said.
The president added he didn’t expect Saudi Arabia, which has “very kind relations” with Russia, will choose to cut prices, that could also damage its own economy.
If world oil production increases, the price could go down to about $85 per barrel. “For us the price fall from $90 to $85 per barrel isn’t critical,” Putin said, adding that for Saudi Arabia it would be more sensitive.
Also the President said that being an OPEC member, Saudi Arabia would need to coordinate its action with the organization, which “is very complicated.”
another wee update from G.R.
Ukraine Crisis: 300 German Intellectuals Support Putin, Criticize US-NATO Influence in Europe and Mainstream Media Propaganda
Open Letter to Vladimir Putin
Dear Mr. President !
In your speech to the State Duma you asked for understanding from the Germans.
We are German citizens who have experienced the post-war majority in the western half of Germany. When the Cold War ended in 1990 and our country was re-united, a sigh of relief went through the world, because the ever- looming danger of a nuclear military conflict which would have engulfed the entire globe seemed to have been avoided. Germany would have been wiped out.
The Soviet Union made unparalleled sacrifices in its decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from Nazism. Nevertheless, in 1990 it was ready to support German reunification in 1991, to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and accept NATO membership of the reunified Germany. This was not honored by the West. The then US Ambassador in Moscow (1987 to 1991), Jack Matlock, confirmed a few days ago in the Washington Post that President Bush had agreed not to take advantage of the generosity of President Gorbachev. The expansion of NATO into former Soviet republics, the establishment of military bases in former Warsaw Pact states and the establishment of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe with a unilateral termination of the ABM Treaty by the United States are not only blatant breaches of good faith. These measures are understood by us as a Western claim to power directed against the Russian state and the economic consolidation of your country after you took office in 2000. Moreover, Keir A Lieber and Daryl G Press in their 2006 Foreign Affairs article “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy” convincingly showed that the purpose of the missile defense shield is to facilitate a first strike nuclear neutralization of Russia.
This history, in concise form, reflects the background against which we judge the events in Ukraine since November 2013. It is now well documented that the U.S. has exploited the legitimate protests of the Ukrainian people for their own purposes. The pattern is evident form other countries: Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine in 2004, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Venezuela ……
More of the Letter @
This joins with Putins claim that Poland was training the revolutionaries. If you look at the lead-up to both WWI and II, economically we all seem perched on the precipice of another Global conflagration.
“OTTAWA – Canada announced Thursday it will contribute six CF-18 jet fighters to a NATO air-policing mission in response to the crisis in Ukraine, just as top diplomats from the troubled east European country, the U.S. and Russia announced steps that could ease tensions.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the military contribution, which included the dispatch of up to 20 staff officers to bolster the Canadian presence at NATO headquarters.
NATO requested Canadian participation, the prime minister said.
“This is in response to the situation that is developing there and frankly more generally to the concern that we have on what really is expansionism and militarism on the part of Russia under the presidency of Mr. (Vladimir) Putin,” Harper said.
“I believe this to be a long-term, serious threat to global peace and security and we’re always prepared to work with our allies in NATO and elsewhere.”
The US and the EU must be getting desperate to send the old hasbeen Biden there.
He went bearing promises of gifts.
U.S. offers Ukraine a new $50 million aid package
Vice President Joe Biden announces the package during a state visit to Kiev where he met with the country’s leadership.
and upping the ante, 600 US troops are deployed to Poland.
JEEZO, Squonk…Aint it all just a pretty picture… Soon be Time for that End of the world party… have you still got a cellar full of champs…. 🙂 Help….
BUT TALKIN of Pictures…the NYT has been caught Red handed comiting more war crimes… the fellow Propaganda criminals at the bbc just had to get in on the act too…
AND NOW Lookee here…. evil war mongering piece’s of cold Granite.
New York Times Admits It Pushed Fabricated Evidence about Iraq, Syria and Ukraine
That’s the trouble with champagne cellars – you spend your last millions on stocking it up and then drink it all over the weekend!
Only emergency, heavy-duty Buckfast supplies left in cellar now 🙂
Meanwhile as Obama is about to visit Korea
Lol… thanks for the second giggle yesterday… (do they still sell El Dorado….YUK )..
the Ba’l Dark artist being the first… Hab made me smile too believe it or not… top of page tantrum.
anyhoo… i think the S. Korea stepping stone is just that… a fleeting pat on the bum –
Washington’s Trans-Pacific Power Play by Ashley Smith + TPP Raises Fears of Global Internet Censoring
Obama will travel to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, the U.S. government’s main allies in the region. But looming over each stop and every meeting will be a country that definitely isn’t on the presidential itinerary: China.
The Obama administration’s celebrated “pivot to Asia” is specifically aimed at countering China’s growing influence–economic, political and military. China is now the second-largest economy in the world, with the second-largest military budget behind the U.S., and its rulers have been increasingly aggressive in asserting both forms of power, especially in their own “backyard.”
During Obama’s trip, you’ll read a lot about something you may not have heard much about: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a trade agreement-and-much-more–the economic component to U.S. imperialism’s response to China, meant to draw together other Asian countries in a U.S.-led economic bloc that excludes China. As much as aircraft carriers and military bases, the TPP is a weapon of U.S. imperialism.
IF YOU don’t know much about the TPP, that’s by design. The agreement has been developed in utmost secrecy. The Obama administration has neither publicized the treaty, nor even shared the full text with members of Congress. “Think of the TPP as a stealthy delivery mechanism for the policies that could not survive public scrutiny,” writes Lori Wallach.
But corporate scrutiny? That’s another matter. The U.S. capitalist class has played a central role in designing and negotiating the TPP–starting with central figures in the Obama administration. According to the Republic Reports website:
Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November…Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left Citigroup to join the Obama administration.”
Froman’s office reportedly consults with more than 600 bankers and corporations who have helped shape the U.S. negotiating position on the TPP.
Unsurprisingly, Obama wants to keep this corporate plot secret. He intends to bypass the democratic process by securing “trade promotion authority”–popularly known as “fast track” authority–allow the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) to negotiate the treaty and permit representatives only a yes-or-no vote, robbing Congress of the ability to amend the deal.
The only reason we have any idea what is actually in the TPP is thanks to WikiLeaks. It managed to secure and publish the chapters on investment and the environment. These confirm treaty critics’ worst fears.
As Lori Wallach points out, the TPP is “not mainly about trade. It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade.” Japan in Focus’s Sachi Mizohata elaborated on this point:
The TPP agreement affects not only trade issues, but also non-trade matters that immensely impact lives of citizens in all participating countries. The areas at stake include, for example:
– Domestic court decisions and international legal standards (e.g., overriding domestic laws on both trade and non-trade matters, foreign investors’ right to sue governments in international tribunals that would overrule the national sovereignty);
– Environmental regulations (e.g., nuclear energy, pollution, sustainability);
– Financial deregulation (e.g., more power and privileges to the bankers and financiers);
– Food safety (e.g., lowering food self-sufficiency, prohibition of mandatory labeling of genetically modified products, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy–BSE–or mad cow disease);
– Government procurement (e.g., no more buy locally produced/grown);
– Internet freedom (e.g., monitoring and policing user activity);
– Labor (e.g., welfare regulation, workplace safety, relocating domestic jobs abroad);
– Patent protection, copyrights (e.g., decrease access to affordable medicine);
– Public access to essential services may be restricted due to investment rules (e.g., water, electricity and gas).
Brian; TPP is the Petrodollars answer to BRICS and as China and Russia enter their agreement for the gas pipeline through Siberia, it is another fly in Obama’s economic ointment. Cheers.
Please sign and pass it on…..
Have signed Ben. Thanks.
Ref the Obomber tour of the Far East, China excepted.
A lot of hype about N Korea and nuclear but no mention when he was in Japan about Fukushima. Sitreps more alarming than ever.
This is another petition to keep internet access free to all.
Internet for the Wealthy on the Way Unless We Stop It
Take Action Today: Immediate mobilization required to save open Internet
by Kevin Zeese / April 24th, 2014
I shan’t be signing Mary’s latest petition. There are far too many low-lifes and wasters on the internet these days, wasting both their own time and that of others.
The minimum age for internet use should be 14 and usage should be limited to 5 hours a week. This would help concentrate minds and free up time for healthier activities.
No one under 45 and earning less than £50000 should be allowed to post anything. Posting only between 08h00 and 20h00 UCT.
Facebook and similar should be forbidden.
It’s Gettin Ugly BIG TIME over there…
Unelected Kiev Regime Begins Killing Spree in Eastern Ukraine
The use of fanatical, irregular forces, armored vehicles, and aircraft including warplanes and helicopter gunships, signifies an escalation of violence by Kiev against its own people through the use of clearly disproportionate force aimed at terrorizing the population. That the United States and European Union have spent the past 3 years engaged in what they called the “responsibility to protect” in both Libya and Syria, and are now backing a regime that is arraying military forces against its own people, marks a new low in both the impartial application of “international law” and the perceived legitimacy of the Western nations now increasingly involved in Ukraine’s political crisis.
West’s Hypocrisy: Libya vs. Ukraine
In March of 2011, US President Barack Obama said the following regarding America’s military intervention in Libya (emphasis added):
In the face of the world’s condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.
Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.
Of course, years before the “Arab Spring” in 2011, regime change in Libya was a long-standing geopolitical goal of the West. The charges President Obama made in his speech regarding the situation in Libya were based on intentionally falsified evidence exposed by the very so-called “human rights” organization who fabricated them. Worse yet, those “innocent people” President Obama cited in his 2011 speech were later confirmed to be heavily armed militants from the US State Department designated terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise who would later, with NATO backing, travel to fight in Syria as well.
As heavy weapons are now being turned against the Ukrainian people by the unelected regime in Kiev – led by literal Neo-Nazis, bigots, racists, and anti-Semites – the US and EU through NATO have signaled their full unflinching support for Kiev, going as far as offering weapons, training, and the backing by NATO troops of Kiev’s so-called “anti-terror” operations now unfolding tentatively in eastern Ukraine. NATO troops have been deployed to nearby Poland while naval forces have been shifting into the Black and Baltic seas, all an attempt to pressure Russia.
Paradoxically, NATO is helping Kiev do in reality what it falsely accused Libya of doing in 2011 – before applying sanctions, a no-fly zone, and eventually full spectrum bombardment of Libya while it armed and funded proxy militant forces on the ground to overthrow the government. NATO’s overt contradiction undermines its perceived authority and endangers further its already strained legitimacy.
Full piece @
Can’t imagine how terrifying it must be there. There is a definite escalation.
Thanks anyway for the info. There are over 500 comments on the piece, too many to wade through.
The helicopter downing was a crash according to the MoD and the corporate media with a suggestion that it was a special op as it was near the Pakistan border and ‘insurgents’ were the target. The Taliban are claiming it as an attack.
‘The crash is understood to have happened around 30 miles from the Pakistan border, near Kandahar air base in the Takhta Pul district.’ BBC
Here’s a Chap who appears to know what he’s talking about –
” So you’re seeing a replay of Chile under Pinochet and the military dictatorship in the Ukraine now. And the result, of course, will be to tear Ukraine apart – it’s bankrupt, no matter what, there no doubt will be civil war there. The Americans are hoping to use the civil war as an opportunity to move in NATO and to move H-bombs right onto the Russian border. This is risking a threat of war. This is crazy.”
Michael Hudson @
Spot the difference…
“Ben, April 23, 2014 at 2:18 am
This joins with Putin’s claim that Poland was training the revolutionaries. If you look at the lead-up to both WWI and II, economically we all seem perched on the precipice of another Global conflagration.”
Putin’s claims appear to be right Ben. The US/NATO alliance appears to have known about it, that is, funded it.
I realise this is more than a week old but do not see it linked elsewhere and think, together with the Catherine Ashton and Urmus Paet leaked telephone conversation, it points the finger at exactly who was responsible for the overthrow of the legitimate government in Kiev and the killing of protestors and police.
Not Ukraine but Syria.
There is a definite push on Assad on the BBC website. No mention of the rabble rebels or of their supporters and provisioners.
‘Children ‘killed in Aleppo strike’
An air strike by Syrian government forces hits a school in Aleppo and kills at least 18 people, including 10 children, activists say.
Aleppo gripped by barrel bomb fears
Pannell: ‘Nowhere is safe’ Watch
Child pulled from debris Watch
In pictures: Aftermath of bombings
A woman affected by what activists say was a chlorine gas attack in Talmenes is treated by medics in Bab al-Hawa (21 April 2014)
UK urges swift Syria chlorine probe
The UK has called on the global chemical weapons watchdog to carry out “with urgency” its investigation into the alleged use of chlorine in Syria.
Syria blasts kill dozens in Homs’
Medialens have other examples.
Truth or BBC lies?
‘Many dead’ in Ukraine offensive
Many rebels have been killed, injured and arrested in a government offensive in east Ukraine, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov says.
If true, then a civil war is breaking out.
Live streams right now. Clashes between both sides in Odessa .
Ukrainian nationalists appear to be trying to burn down a building with Russian nationalists inside.
[Streams go up and down so be patient]
UN meeting live http://webtv.un.org/
Multiple dead bodies seen on street in live coverage. Unclear what side they belong to. Some inured Russian supporters rescued by fire brigade being beaten up, bloody and dazed, by Ukrainian supporters live on camera.
This is very bad. I cannot see Russia not reacting to this. The Ukrainian police need to intervene right now. They are there but mainly standing back while men with baseball bats hit injured pro-Russians lying on ground.
Some Ukrainian police now finally attempting to protect injured Russians from mob attack. Unknown if any still trapped inside burning building. Death toll not known. Many pro Russians shown with head and other injuries after they attempted to escape burning building.
“Wondering why Treasury yields plumb new depths, gold’s having its best day in a month, and stocks can’t keep a bid no matter how many times JPY or VIX is slammed? The answer lies in these disturbing images from Odessa which show Pro-Russian forces under attack by Ukrainian forces, buildings burning, deaths, and of course – most critically – the kind of anti-Russian actions that Vladimir Putin said was the red-line for him taking action…”
Warning. Graphic Footage.
Inside the building video (warning Youtube may not let you see it on direct link unless you are signed in to an over 18 account – the embed seems to work for now) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv9_z6Cdf3g
One day following this of course. Posted on Medialens.
IMF Warns Ukraine: Fight For The East Or No Money
Posted by mike on May 2, 2014, 6:21 pm
IMF approved the $17bn tranched loan [notice this is hardly ever refereed to as a ‘loan’ in corporate media] to Ukraine last night, Gazprom gets paid; Ukraine gets its cash; and the door’s wide open for the US and EU to pour more ‘controlling influence’ into the divided nation… Except there’s one thing:
IF UKRAINE GOVERNMENT LOSES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER EAST OF COUNTRY, $17 BLN IMF BAILOUT WOULD NEED TO BE REDESIGNED
Which, roughly translated, appears to mean go to war with pro-Russian forces (and thus Russia itself if Putin sees his apparent countrymen in trouble) or you don’t get your money!
Some other items of note include:
IMF URGES UKRAINE TO REACH PRICE ACCORD WITH GAZPROM BY SEPT
UKRAINE INFLATION MAY JUMP TO 16.2% THIS YEAR, IMF SAYS
RUSSIA’S GAS PRICE INCREASE MAY WEAKEN HRYVNIA: IMF STAFF
Do they have shekels in the treasury for support, or is it like the Revolutionary Militia;
“Bring your own Kalishnokov”
“Part of the IMF money will help Ukraine settle $2.2 billion in back payments to Russian state-controlled OAO Gazprom for natural gas and pay for future imports. Gazprom said it will ask Ukraine to pay $485 per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter, more than the European market price.’
Mary; Failure to do so is a deal-breaker for the IMF, no?
“IF UKRAINE GOVERNMENT LOSES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER EAST OF COUNTRY, $17 BLN IMF BAILOUT WOULD NEED TO BE REDESIGNED
Which, roughly translated, appears to mean go to war with pro-Russian forces (and thus Russia itself if Putin sees his apparent countrymen in trouble) or you don’t get your money! ”
No, it means nothing of the sort.
It means that if Ukraine loses control of its eastern regions, the loan will be smaller. This is because a part of the loan is designed to cover Ukraine govt disbursements in those regions.
Warning. Extremely Graphic so I’m not embedding. Bodies inside Trades Union building.
Habba; *not expecting an answer, just hoping*
What is your relationship with Craig? He seems quite protective of your continued presence, to an over-weaning degree.
Great work AA…Some more
Mind manipulation turns truth on its head. People are convinced wrongs are right. Wars are glorified in the name of peace.
Peaceful countries become cauldrons of violence. Instability rocks them. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and others are US imperial victims.
So is Ukraine. It’s a global flashpoint. Potentially it’s worst of all. It threatens to spin out-of-control. It risks regional conflict. Possible East/West confrontation looms.
Washington bears full responsibility for numerous world hot spots. Imperialism works this way. It instigates violence. It fosters instability.
It promotes state-sponsored terrorism. It’s what we do, not them. More on this below.
On April 30, the State Department issued its “annual assessment of trends and events in international terrorism…” It covers the period January 1 – December 31, 2013.
“It includes a strategic assessment, country-by-country breakdowns of counterterrorism efforts, and sections on state sponsors of terrorism, terrorist safe havens, and foreign terrorist organizations.”
It bears repeating. The world’s top sponsor by far is omitted. None in human history compare.
Craig has a (ahem) post about the Ukraine, kinda sorta. He’s framed the narrow topic into his pet peeve about comments that OCSE observers are there for little good.
I see no need to comment. That sidebar to the possible conflagration is not a worthy subject for such an esteemed individual.
Comments are closed.