Deconstructing Putin

by craig on March 19, 2014 1:25 pm in Uncategorized

I listened live to Putin’s speech yesterday with great interest.  Here is my own analysis, for what it is worth.

Putin was strongest in his accusations of western hypocrisy.  His ironic welcoming of the West having suddenly discovered the concept of international law was very well done.  His analysis of the might is right approach the West had previously adopted, and their contempt of the UN over Iraq and Afghanistan, was spot on. Putin also was absolutely right in describing the Kosovo situation as “highly analogous” to the situation in Crimea. That is indeed true, and attempts by the West – including the Guardian – to argue the cases are different are pathetic exercises in special pleading.

The problem is that Putin blithely ignored the enormous logical inconsistency in his argument.  He stated that the Crimean and Kosovo cases were highly analogous, but then used that to justify Russia’s action in Crimea, despite the fact that Russia has always maintained the NATO Kosovo intervention was illegal(and still refuses to recognize Kosovo).  In fact of course Russia was right over Kosovo, and thus is wrong over Crimea.

I was very interested that Putin made distinct reference to the appalling crimes against the Tartars in the 1930’s, but also to the terrible suffering of Ukrainians in that period.  His references were not detailed but their meaning was clear.  I was surprised because under Putin’s rule there has been a great deal of rehabilitation of Stalin.  Archives that were opened under glasnost have frozen over again, and history in Russian schools now portrays Stalin’s foreign policy achievement much more than his crimes (and it is now again  possible to complete your Russian school education with no knowledge the Stalin-Hitler pact ever happened).  So this was both surprising and positive.  Designed to be positive was his assurance that Crimea will be trilingual.  We will see what happens; Putin’s Russia is in fact not tolerant of its ethnic populations in majority Russian areas, and in fact contains a great many more far right thugs than Ukraine –  probably about the same  percentage of the population.

The 97% referendum figure is simply unbelievable to any reasonable person and is straight out of the Soviet playbook – it was strange to see Putin going in and out of modern media friendly mode and his audience, with their Soviet en brosse haircuts and synchronized clapping – obviously liked the Soviet bits best.

The attempt to downplay Russia’s diplomatic isolation was also a bit strange.  He thanked China, though China had very pointedly failed to support Russian in the Security Council.  When you are forced to thank people for abstaining, you are not in a strong position diplomatically.  He also thanked India, which is peculiar, because the Indian PM yesterday put out a press release saying Putin had called him, but the had urged Putin to engage diplomatically with the interim government in Kiev, which certainly would not be welcome to Putin.  I concluded that Putin was merely trying to tell his domestic audience Russia has support, even when it does not.

But what I find really strange is that the parts of the speech I found most interesting have not drawn any media comment I can see.  Putin plainly said that in his discussions with Kuchma on the boundaries of Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they hadn’t wanted to open any dispute with what they expected to be a friendly neighbor, and that therefore the boundaries of Ukraine had never been finally demarcated.  He said twice the boundaries had not been demarcated.  That seemed to indicate a very general threat to Eastern Ukraine. He also spoke of the common heritage of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in a way that indicated that he did not accept that Ukraine might choose a political future away from Russia.

Secondly, he said that on the day the Soviet Union broke up, Russians in many places had “woken up to find themselves in a foreign country.” Again from the context in which he said it, this referred not just to Crimea, and not just even to the rest of Ukraine, but to Russian nationals all over the Former Soviet Union.  I would be worrying a lot about this part of the speech if I was Kazakh, to give just one example.  Putin seemed to be outlining a clear agenda to bring Russian speaking areas of CIS countries back in to Mother Russia – indeed, I see no other possible interpretation of his actions in Georgia and Ukraine.

I think that we should start listening much more carefully to what he says. I also think that the weakness of the EU’s response to events gives Putin a very dangerous encouragement to pursue further aggrandizement.  I posted a few days ago:

The EU I expect to do nothing.  Sanctions will target a few individuals who are not too close to Putin and don’t keep too many of their interests in the West.  I don’t think Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovic need lose too much sleep, that Harrods need worry or that we will see any flats seized at One Hyde Park.  (It is among my dearest wishes one day to see One Hyde Park given out for council housing.)  Neither do I expect to see the United States do anything effective; its levers are limited.

The truth is of course that the global political elite are in the pockets of the global financial elite, and while ordinary Russians are still desperately poor, the money the oligarchs rip out of Russia’s backward commodity exporting economy is parceled around the world financial system in ways that make it impossible for the western political classes to do anything.  Whose funds would the hedge fund managers look after?  Whose yacht could Mandelson and Osborne holiday on?

Personally I should like to see a complete financial freeze on the entire Russian oligarchy.  The knock on effects would only hurt a few bankers, and city types and those who depend on them (cocaine dealers, lap dancers, Porsche dealers, illegal domestic servants).  Sadly we shan’t see anything happen. They won’t let Eton go bust.

 

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644 Comments

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  1. If I can make a sort of footnote through a comment, Putin did speak as though he personally had been involved in negotiating Ukrainian independence with Kuchma, which surprised me as I think he was still at the KGB then?

  2. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    Mr Murray,

    Yet I believe that there is a significant substantial difference between Kosovo and Crimea. There was no ethnic cleansing or even any sort of danger to Russians in Crimea. Completely opposite to Kosovars. I will go even further and claim that if Milochevich and Radich were still in power in Yugoslavia today, it would be highly likely that NATO did nothing against them. Yes, Kosovo might not turned out to be heaven on earth after split from Serbia but the fact is that concluding genocidal behaviour of Serbs against Kosovar it would be highly unlikely that latter would be willing to be ruled by former, And yet again, nothing like this happened in Crimea. In fact it was Ukrainians who fully experienced genocide from Russian in form of Holodomor and throughout previous 600 years.

    I am not trying to be apologetic to the actions of NATO in Yugoslavia, for me this Yugoslavia like many other places around the world (not at least Rwanda) is yet another confirmation of limitations of International Law. The whole system is based on realist approach where sovereign states are primarily and everything else is secondary.

    For me Crimea is an example of Putin’s mastery in misinterpreting facts and feeding west hating Russian public (applies to majority) ethical and legal grounds for Crimean Anschluss.

    Worse, I fear yet to come. Weak response from the west gave Putin card blanche for even more adventures in the former soviet space. And if left unanswered, who knows one day Russia might complete its aim to be dominant power in Europe. Mad western lefties will of course welcome such great opportunity.

  3. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 1:59 pm

    Mr Murray,

    One small remark. Ukraine became independent under president Leonid Kravchuk and not Leonid Kuchma. Kuchma becamse president in 1994. The first transition of power from one to another in post soviet space (excluding Baltics).

  4. I see Putin conceding influence to NATO moving into Ucraine proper. Russia has a history of protecting it’s borders (containment, which is where Stalin comes in again).

  5. ” Putin seemed to be outlining a clear agenda to bring Russian speaking areas of CIS countries back in to Mother Russia – indeed, I see no other possible interpretation of his actions in Georgia and Ukraine.”

    It’ll be interesting if CIS countries and the Baltic states decide it means Putin would like Russian-speakers back in Mother Rueeia. Given Russia’s declining population it could even be what he meant!

  6. Uzbek

    yes he must have said Kravchuk, I guess – was taking notes furiously so it just looks like K-slur.

  7. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Hector

    I doubt this a lot. There are at least 20 million Russian speaking outside of Russia and within former USSR. It takes Russian authorities ages (at least 2 years) to get paperwork approved for Russians from Central Asia for them to move and settle in Russia. Putin is quick to issue Russian citizenship only in cases when he wants to grab piece of land with new Russian citizens.

  8. Strange that Putin claims Ukraine’s borders were never finally demarcated. In 1994 Russia (Along with the US and UK) signed an agreement promising to respect Ukraine’s territorial independence in return for Ukraine giving up it’s share of the Soviet nuclear arsenal (1,900 warheads). How could they have done that if they didn’t know where the boundaries of that territory were?

  9. Here’s the full official English transcript. I’ve added headings to aid with citation navigation and general readability. Otherwise it is verbatim from the Kremlin.

    Note also the videos. Anyone with any doubt about Putin’s popularity – of a magnitude that our western mediocrities can only dream of – needs to watch them.

    I found the speech particularly noteworthy for its calm factual analysis of the contempt with which the US-NATO has behaved towards Russia ever since the dissolution of the USSR. Russia has clearly had enough of it.

    Craig is no doubt correct about Russian inconsistency over Kosovo, but only in still refusing to recognise it. If he is implying that both the Kosovo and Crimea secessions are illegal under the amendment to International law that UN acceptance of the Kosovo secession confirms, then he needs to study the matter further. Putin does a creditable job of explaining it in his speech.

  10. Reminds me of what Basil was thinking about Hitler in that episode of Ponty Pyithon where he kept telling himself not to mention the war to that German visitor, only to keep doing so.

  11. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 2:30 pm

    Russians now claim that none of the states that guaranteed Ukrainian territorial integrity have approved Budapest memorandum via their parliamnent. Basically what Putin claims that the memorandum is not even worse a paper it was signed on. It is becoming more and more common for Russian authorities to disrespect the laws it signed on to adhire to. President was of course put by US/UK invasion to Iraq, but as many western lefties claim, putin is a good guy. Who accidently behaves more like bad guys.

  12. Ba'al Zevul (Хождение в народ!)

    19 Mar, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    Thanks for the synopsis and interpretation. Question is, is it more in Britain’s interest to oppose or to go along with this reversion to what is, after all, traditional rule in Russia, brutal as it often is? We’re back in the 18/19th century, aren’t we – with the addition of MAD? I suspect that sometime in the next decade we’re going to have to abandon our humanitarian scruples and pretensions to democratic values and deal realistically with the new Peter the Great – as I am sure he sees himself, absolute power having corrupted him absolutely. Napoleon and Hitler discovered the hard way what ‘dealing realistically’ with Russia didn’t mean…

    Pragmatism, boys. We don’t have any moral high ground left.

  13. Sorry, it was in Fawlty Towers.

  14. Craig; BRICS is why Putin is careful with China/India rhetoric.

  15. “I also think that the weakness of the EU’s response to events gives Putin a very dangerous encouragement to pursue further aggrandizement.”

    I’m struggling to buy this. I agree the EU response is on the face of it weak, but I don’t see that this would encourage Putin to claw back more of the old USSR.

    For me, ever since Yanukovich was removed from office, Russia has been scrambling to make the best of a bad situation. I don’t for a moment believe this is how Putin wants to restore prestige. Gaining Crimea, strategically important though it is, is hardly a great victory for Mother Russia. Most of Ukraine, until recently a client state of Moscow, is now lost. It’ll be part of the EU in a few years.

    So I don’t see how Putin is genuinely celebrating. If this is the pattern of the former USSR, where those countries fracture and large parts of which turn their back on Moscow, this is no aggrandizement strategy, it’s a diminuition of influence.

    Goodness knows the EU has its problems, but if the new Ukraine turns into another enlargement success story, I know who I call this win for.

  16. The horrid Siberian isolation of it all.

    You’re a bit behind the curve, Craig.

    “India not to support Western sanctions against Russia”

    “With Russia facing sanctions from the United States and some other countries after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine, India on Wednesday made it clear that it will not support any “unilateral measures” against Russian government.”

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/india-not-to-support-western-sanctions-against-russia/article5805479.ece?homepage=true

    And that Chinese abstention.

    Then the West’s voodoo economy.

  17. let me be the first to put my name down for a council flat at One Hyde Park.

  18. One question has been bothering me; If Yanukovich was Putin’s puppet, why was he pushing for the EU, and the IMF austerity?

  19. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    Hector

    “It’ll be interesting if CIS countries and the Baltic states decide it means Putin would like Russian-speakers back in Mother Rueeia. Given Russia’s declining population it could even be what he meant!”
    ______________________

    You might recall that a few threads ago I suggested that it might be a good if the Russians in the Baltic states were to leave for Russia.

    They could be compensated adequately.

    In theory Russia shouldn’t mind and could be helpful on a practical sense – after all, they have form on the matter of displacing populations (both within the USSR, including Ukraine, by the way) and as regards border states (East Prussia and Poland).

    With this, they wouldn’t have to display their touching concern for Russians outside the state borders any longer. And no longer have a pretext for futue interference in neighbouring independent states.

  20. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    I think that the best possible way to deal with Russia is diplomatic and economic. Russia depends on the west more that it wants to accept. Russia needs modernisation of its technology and only west could provide it. Russia needs to have stable marker for its gas and oil and only west could provide it. In long term there are some in Russia (even amongst the most keen Euroasianists) who thinks that Russia’s main adversary is China and not the west. And they realise that Russia needs western alliance in order to resist Chinese hegemony in future. It is already evident in Central Asia that China is overtaking Russia as elder brother. Chinese investments in Central Asia are growing while Russia is only concentrated in status quo (making sure that energy is pumped through Russia). However; even this status quo is becoming more and more difficult to enforce. There are large projects between Central Asian republics to build pipeline to export energy to China bypassing Russia. China is actually proving to be more resilient than EU in diversifying its energy supplies. It is dealing with central asia directly and as investments will grow and pipeline finished China for sure will ensure that Russians are not threaten their energy supply from the region. In fact 4 years ago in the aftermath of Russian intervention to Georgia China signed treaty with central Asian republics (within SCO) that it will guarantee their territorial integrity and provide security guarantees in case of security threat. Russia signed up for this treaty too. It is certain that in case of Russian uniterial action in central asia (similar to Georgia/Ukraine) China will be more forceful than EU/US in enforcing its guarantees, especially considering threat to its energy supplies.

    On the other hand Russia also realise that relying on China as its only energy market is weak and therefore its dependence on Europe as major market is important in Russian foreign policy strategy.

    If west enforces its economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation (at least with western powers) then it will be seriously damaging to Russia in medium and long terms and for sure it will be sufficient to bring Russian KGB establishment back to the negotiating table.

  21. Habby, on Russia

    “after all, they have form on the matter of displacing populations”

    I truly believe you say these things with no sense of irony at all.

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Ed

    Good post there (thank you), which provides more backup for Craig’s thoughts as expressed in the “Putin’s Victorious Defeat” thread.

    And before the usual Eminences start huffin’ and puffin’, I hope that none of them would deny the right of Ukraine to accede to the EU? If they think it has no sich right, then it would be interesting to hear why.

    (and by accede, I don’t mean next month or next year)

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:30 pm

    Herby

    “Habby, on Russia

    “after all, they have form on the matter of displacing populations”

    I truly believe you say these things with no sense of irony at all.”
    ______________________

    Those population displacements are historical fact, Herby, which even you and your Eminent friends can’t wish away. So irony doesn’t come into it.

    Or are you saying that they didn’t happen?

  24. A bit OT. Who were the snipers? http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-secretive-neo-nazi-military-organization-involved-in-euromaidan-snyper-shootings/5371611

    “The leader of UNA-UNSO, Andriy Shkil, ten years ago became an adviser to Julia Tymoshenko. UNA-UNSO, during the US-instigated 2003-2004 “Orange Revolution”, backed pro-NATO candidate Viktor Yushchenko against his pro-Russian opponent, Yanukovich. UNA-UNSO members provided security for the supporters of Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko on Independence Square in Kiev in 2003-4.[4]

    UNA-UNSO is also reported to have close ties to the German National Democratic Party (NDP). [5]

    Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO “GLADIO” organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media. [6]

    According to these sources, UNA-UNSO have been involved (confirmed officially) in the Lithuanian events in the Winter of 1991, the Soviet Coup d’etat in Summer 1991, the war for the Pridnister Republic 1992, the anti-Moscow Abkhazia War 1993, the Chechen War, the US-organized Kosovo Campaign Against the Serbs, and the August 8 2008 war in Georgia. According to these reports, UNA-UNSO para-military have been involved in every NATO dirty war in the post-cold war period, always fighting on behalf of NATO. “These people are the dangerous mercenaries used all over the world to fight NATO’s dirty war, and to frame Russia because this group pretends to be Russian special forces. THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS, forget about the window dressing nationalists, these are the men behind the sniper rifles,” these sources insist. [7]”

  25. Not even the EU is really on board:

    “”We have done what we said we could do, but, yes, the U.S. is from Mars, we are from Venus,” said Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who wanted at least four more names on the EU list but was rebuffed by other member states.

    “I would suggest that we are not overly enthusiastic when it comes to introducing sanctions, because we will pay for it.””

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/eu-in-a-quandary-amid-calls-to-escalate-russia-sanctions/496474.html

    They know that Europe’s future lies east, rather than west.

    I’d say the US is isolated and quite rapidly losing influence.

    The king is certainly lingering on, and no one will say much openly until they’re sure he’s dead. Though I do expect there will be some hastening, behind the scenes.

  26. Irony of course comes into it

    The very power that rules the planet today is a product of the greatest displacement of peoples in all human history.

  27. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    Ed

    You have no idea how putin could go further messing up the situation. Further intervention into east/south of Ukraine is one option. Anschluss of Transdnestr is another (it will have indirect impact on Ukraine but will make it very problematic to get Ukraine into EU). There are some military analysts (Russian of course) who suggest that for Russia to cut of Ukraine and Moldova from Europe (both EU and NATO) Russia must push further for Anschluss of Eastern Ukraine and Transdnestr. There is a risk of course that Russia might get stuck with Ukrainian resistance (military and partisan), but I am sure Putin will stop at nothing to ensure no further advancement of Europeanism towards Russian borders.

    It has taken further 50 years and historical miracle (according to realists) from end of WWII for the eastern European members of EU to get their true freedom. It might take even longer for Ukraine, if at all. Russians when smell weakness of their adversary will not stop at anything. Ask Tatars, Turks, Central Asians, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and even Germans.

  28. Uzzie

    “I am sure Putin will stop at nothing to ensure no further advancement of Europeanism towards Russian borders.”

    Obviously he’ll want to limit the faux NATO neocon version, but his longer term plan would be to accomodate Europe qua Europe.

  29. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    I am saying it again and again. Little reading of Ukrainian and Russian history and modern days politics could benefit some MAD lefties on this blog and give them some sense of knowledge before coming up with stupid questions and build their fake conspiracy theories around Putin’s (ironically) right wing propaganda.

    I have read and heard many times that back in 1930th to 1970th there were very few (in fact very devoted) lefties which (deliberately which not who) praised some of the most effective murderes in human history – Stalin and Mao. Their workers paradise tails have been passed through generations of MAD western lefties, but Holodomor, Gulag, Purges, Great Leap forward and Great Cultural revolution was something that was greatly ignored. Ignorance was blamed, when fact of these mass murders became known, just like in case with Hollacaust.

    Stop being IGNORANT. Stop being MAD.

  30. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 3:56 pm

    I am not responding to bloody racist mad leftie sh..t.

  31. CIA has been banging on Russia with their self-determination hammer ever since Gates wrangled Carter for them. Never occurred to them that self-determination could also serve to agglomerate the empire that it splintered. I wish Putin would foment some cultural separatism in the civilized enclaves of the USA. By some counts you could break it up into 11 distinct nations. Think how much safer the world would be.

  32. Uzzie

    “Russians when smell weakness of their adversary will not stop at anything.”

    Isn’t that exactly what the Americans have been doing very openly since 1990, and way back to the Munroe doctrine.

    Irony free, as I say.

    There’s little point in terms of understanding to throw accusations of “air-breathing”. We all do it.

    It’s just cheap delusional propaganda. It’s of no value.

  33. Identity politics…..but are they wrong? Shoot the messenger with rhetoric. It doesn’t hurt.

    http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.se/2014/02/pro-russian-network-behind-anti.html

  34. Mouth breathers provide nothing but wind.

  35. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:10 pm

    Following your logic, every street in large megapolysis (like London, Paris or NYC) could be broken up into separate individual houses/nations. Most streets I have been to have houses with occupants belonging to different cultures. In London house of Hindu’s, right next to house Pakistani, right next to house of Pol, right next to house of White Anglo Saxon etc. So do you suggest to break streets in London into over 200 different separate nations.

  36. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Herbie

    “The very power that rules the planet today is a product of the greatest displacement of peoples in all human history.”
    ______________________-

    Ah, I see. Silly me! You’re drawing a parallel between (European) emigration into the USA and the forced displacement of populations within the USSR by Stalin and his henchmen.

  37. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    “They know that Europe’s future lies east, rather than west.”
    __________________

    Good to know you’re privy to their thoughts, Herbie.

  38. truth is of course that the global political elite are in the pockets of the global financial elite

    Ergo the cloak and dagger kabuki unfolding before us all is only a spat between the relevant bunch of greedy over bloated super class that has descended into a turf war as is common with any two bit gangster outfits.

    The fact remains however; either Russians had to stop the long march of the western carpetbaggers in Ukraine, Georgia, etc, or start preparations for fighting them in the outskirts of Moscow.

    We all know that the current thrust of the “consolidations/acquisitions and mergers” albeit at the point of bayonets and under the hail of machine gun fire is ceaseless “wave of progress/birth pangs of the newest of the new world order” that is the legacy of the morally bankrupt, financially bankrupt, economically bankrupt, and ideologically bankrupt western super class, who are too busy gambling away for all or nothing. After all it is not any skin off their noses, it is only few million wogs/sand niggers/coloureds/potential asylum seekers/etc who are getting killed and maimed anyway!

  39. @Uzbek –

    I’d like to make one thing abundantly clear up front. I place no faith or trust in Putin or his motives, and he fully acknowledge the fear that exists under his leadership.

    What I am questioning is an assumption that Putin is increasingly emboldened to cut loose the Red Army with the aim of reconstructing the old USSR. I’m not buying that, not yet.

    My take is that his preferred course is to buy-off the likes of Yanukovich and Lukashenko, and accumulate power and influence this way. I don’t see how what has happened in the Ukraine will cause Putin to alter his preferred course. Yes, he has a military he can use, but it’s a last resort. He’s still a KGB man to the core, and he’d rather keep the military in its box.

  40. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    You see how simple omission of ‘forced’ allows some to overlook greatest human tragedies in modern history. When Stalin was forcing thousands Chechens and Crimea Tatars into trains (like Hitler was doing with Jews), the least he was concerned is opportunities that will open up before these deported ethno groups. It was effective extermination, physical but more importantly moral.

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Uzbek

    Herby has been appointed point man on this particular thread, Uzbek.

    Having looked at his various posts, I’d advise you not to let him wind you up.

    Just keep making your points – which are in almost all cases valid and informative ones – and don’t try to reply seriously to someone who’s not serious and is just fooling around. He’s just an I’ve got talent version of Tovarish Goss :)

  42. “However, there were indications that it was the separatist Crimean government’s recently created “Self Defence Forces” who had actually carried out the fatal attack. Local officials, meanwhile, claimed that “fascist snipers” had fired the first shot from a residential building and one of the injured was one of the defence force members.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/crimea-crisis-fears-of-war-grow-after-ukrainian-officer-is-killed-at-military-base-in-simferopol-9200203.html

  43. Quite so Ben BRICS is on the back-channel.

    I myself was very interested that Putin made distinct reference to the appalling crimes against the Tartars in the 1930′s and also to the terrible suffering of Ukrainians in that period.

    Agony and pain pervade the event horizon with past crimes of the global financial elite. That pain can be relived here and intention called up:

    http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/drohobycz/history/petroleum.asp

    and here:

    http://www.drohobycz-boryslaw.org/en/drohobycz-boryslaw-and-vicinity/history

    Putin’s distinct reference to this memory of appalling crimes does indeed give some hope to future generations; the sackcloth and ashes though is eminently high; curiously the planet is left staring down the barrel of a gun or at worse viewing the radiance of a thousand suns.

  44. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    Ed

    “What I am questioning is an assumption that Putin is increasingly emboldened to cut loose the Red Army with the aim of reconstructing the old USSR. I’m not buying that, not yet.”
    ___________________

    I note your “not yet”, Ed. A wise and prudent approach. Let us wait for a while and see what happens with eastern Ukraine, Moldova and the Baltic states in the fullness of time.

  45. Habby

    “You’re drawing a parallel between (European) emigration into the USA and the forced displacement of populations within the USSR by Stalin and his henchmen.”

    Noop.

    I’m thinking of the violent displacement of native peoples across the planet, which you rather quaintly call “emigration”.

    Bit too close to home, perhaps.

  46. Schooling or what passes for it in Britain didn’t and doesn’t, dwell on Britain’s inglorious and continuing despicable and treacherous affairs. You forget Poland hadn’t existed since Chopin was in short trousers until the Versailles carve-up post WW1.

    Why should we care which set of oligarchs rule over us much less over Ukranians. A pox on all of their razor-wire and cctv’d tasteless castles and keeps, their place in the country and their bling. I think all this Russia versus ‘the West’ baloney is like the fake left-right paradigm, just a bun-fight amongst the ruling psychopaths. We’re being led up the garden path again. Like World War One, a Battenburg-Windsor-Guelph family squabble with our ‘King’, the German Kaiser and Russian Tsar, all not too distant relations, between them effecting a cull of the masses. In France during world war one, more people – pacifists and conscientious objectors were killed by over-worked firing squads than Robespierres terror or the Spanish Inquisition ever despatched. Here’s to self-determination for all people and an end to massed ranks of pawns being slaughtered for some rich man’s ego and as an end in itself.

    It’s so pleasing that the our media’s latest bogeyman over there, is, on the streets, pubs and clapped-out omnibus -the bad boy anti-hero, the enlightened human that said enough is enough what’s past is past, we all go forward together, we rebuild each our new societies not on the ashes or on the graves of our forebears but on living growing hopes for a better world. The time is now before the poison that is capitalism destroys and devours the whole planet, before nuclear follies or natural disaster of our own making destroys all.

    There’s only one Vlad Putin! Come the hour, come the man.

  47. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    On the matter of western response. Just read one very accurate description from Mr Leontyev. Mad lefties are no doubt familiar with one of Putin’s ‘Dr Goebbels’ who was recently (after years of pro-putin rants on TV) promoted to the PR Directors or Rosneft (Russia’s largest Oil company).

    Leontyev said that western reaction is like attempt to stop “wild tiger with a toothbrush”.

  48. The breadth of your knowledge takes my breath away, Mark.

    Wheels within the wheels of triangulation makes occam’s razor simply infer….Follow the money.

  49. Craig: “Personally I should like to see a complete financial freeze on the entire Russian oligarchy. The knock on effects would only hurt a few bankers, and city types and those who depend on them (cocaine dealers, lap dancers, Porsche dealers, illegal domestic servants). Sadly we shan’t see anything happen. They won’t let Eton go bust”.

    Personally, I would like to see a complete financial freeze on the entire US and UK oligarchy, especially the ones who engaged in regime change operations in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Ukraine, Sudan, Afganistan and, of course, the attempt on Syria. better yet, it would be great to not only freeze the assets of the Kagans, Nuland, Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz, Pojo Zabludovich, Aipac etc (just to mention a few of the parties involved) but actually confiscate and use as compensation to the millions of victims they left in their wake. I would love to see freeze of the asset of that idiot Robert ford who did more damage to human beings than 5 Putins combined.

    As for Ukraine, we are just beginning to see the outlines of what a fascist dominated state might look like. But hey, this must be ‘democracy” because by definition they are “our” fascists, just like in Syria, the cuddly, lovable Al Nusra were “our “Al Queda” (oops that must be ISIS).

    And while we are at it, may be it’s time to bring the house of saud, that most despotic of regimes to justice? surely they have a few billions spare as compensation for the good people of Egypt? or gaza?

    It’s really something when people use twists of the English language to redefine meanings. So the military “coup” in Egypt was not a coup because, well, the people wanted it. And in Ukraine, it wasn’t a coup d’etat, supported by those regime change artists (Nuland et al) because, well, the people of Ukraine wanted “freedom”. It would be laughable were it not so tragic.

    While no one denies Putin is a nationalist, he is by far the sanest leader around. he did what he had to do because no one doubts what the plan was all about. His speech was pretty good all in all. While not denying a touch of hypocricy, that’s something Obama/Kerry have first dibs on.

    Congratulations to the people of Crimea for their courage and perseverance in voting the bums out (cf Yat’s, the hoodlums et al).

  50. @Uzbek – Very confused by your last comment.

    You say, and I see no reason to disagree, that for years, Leontyev was a Putin apparatchik, spewing ludicrous pro-Kremlin proganda. And now, he spews further obvious pro-Kremlin talking points, yet this time we are supposed to take him seriously?

    Either you are now being taken in by the same propaganda you say dopy leftists were long duped by, or suddenly Leontyev is not the propagandist you claim he is.

    Please elaborate.

  51. doug scorgie

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Uzbek in the UK
    19 Mar, 2014 – 2:30 pm

    “…but as many western lefties claim, putin is a good guy.”

    Uzbek, who are these “many western lefties” you claim that Putin is a good guy?

    Why do you not give links or references for your claims?

  52. An aside: re the reference to the suffering of the Ukrainians during the famine: history records the name one of the primary agents of the holodomor as Kaganovich. History will also record one of the key agents of the war crimes against Iraq (nearly 1 Million dead and country destroyed) as a certain Kagan. And now, when it comes to the handover of the Ukrainian people to a fascist regime (+a new selection of favored oligarchs) we have another kagan in the shadows (right next to Nuland).

    just keeping the records straight – for the history books, you know…..

  53. Uzzie

    ‘Dr Goebbels’ was a student of Edward Bernays who more or less constructed the propaganda model for the Americans.

    I know you like to throw this propaganda about but it doesn’t aid understanding.

    In fact, you remind me very much of that rather piss poor propaganda the Soviets used to put out.

    We’re more amused than impressed, and especially so when you do it in a funny voice.

  54. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:04 pm

    Mark Golding

    How cheaply you were bought by Putin’s propaganda. Back in times Stalin announced to the world that Soviet Jews were given their own autonomy. By accident it was further away from inhabitable lands of vast soviet empire than Gulag. Try finding Jewish autonomous region on Russian map, and you will get what I mean. It did not stop Stalin from unleashing terror on Jews in Doctors Case and other less known murders. It is irony how western lefties keep buying KGB propaganda throughout generations. I assume it is a case of what one wants to believe in then what one is actually hearing.

  55. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Ed

    Make your judgment on Leontyev yourself. I just said what he said about western reaction on Crimean Anschluss. It pretty much describes how little influence west have over putin.

  56. “How cheaply you were bought by Putin’s propaganda. Back in times Stalin announced to the world that Soviet Jews were given their own autonomy. By accident it was further away from inhabitable lands of vast soviet empire than Gulag. Try finding Jewish autonomous region on Russian map, and you will get what I mean. It did not stop Stalin from unleashing terror on Jews in Doctors Case and other less known murders. It is irony how western lefties keep buying KGB propaganda throughout generations. I assume it is a case of what one wants to believe in then what one is actually hearing.”

    You have many assumptions supported with anecdotes.

  57. Craig writes:

    Here is my own analysis, for what it is worth.

    It’s absolutely worth NOTHING, and I’d appreciate that you’d email these rants beforehand to us free people living in some of the worlds free enclaves, befor you publish this rubbish. It’s important for all free men and women to recognbise: Craig Murray is a nut-case, and a nullity, which should be ignored at all tumes.. He really needs to ask for PERMISSION from the free peoples of the world before he publish anything. What have the world come to if buts like these just think they can punlish anything that springs to their perverted minds?

  58. I agree, Ben and Mark, about BRICS. My first thought when I read this much more measured blog-post, like the Craig Murray of old, was Putin’s reason for keeping those countries sweet. However, China’s abstention, while not being an endorsement of Crimea’s referendum, was not an opposition to it. China has a lot of investment in the US, as well as elsewhere, and in the good old fashion of Henry Kissinger’s triangular diplomacy, was probably the prudent move. It only takes one veto to veto something, and I believe the UK abstained over a resolution regarding Guantanamo Bay.

  59. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:17 pm

    doug scorgie

    Do your own reading. Nobody provided me references when I wanted to learn something. I presume you are elder (and hopefully more intelligent) than A-level student.

    I could not even speak English until few years ago (and still have issues with it as evident from my writing) but it did not stop me from learning, researching and thinking.

    What I am trying to say is that pro-putin propaganda is not the only source. There are different opinions on those matters, different histories just like in case with intervention to Iraq. Why in one case you read from different sources (rather than ZBBC or SKY) and in another you blindly believe information coming from one single source (KGB)?

    Does it make you MAD leftie? Judge for yourself (proportionately to your level of intelligence)

  60. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Ben

    Read mate. If this is anecdote for you than I am sorry for western education (or more precise) for the school and university (if any) you attended.

  61. What have the world come to if nuts like these just think they can publish anything that springs to their perverted minds? And on their own websites! Well, I’ve never. On their own websites! And these jerks thinks that they can just publish all the rubbish that befell their perverted minds! Is that it?

    Well it will be without me then. Either its me or you. Do you understand? Either you close this website down in recognition that you’re just a nut case, or I’ll be leaving. Which will you prefer?

  62. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    Marlin

    Do you think that Chechens, Dagestanies, Tatars and Bashkirs have to be given the same opportunity, as Crimean Russians? For the sake of Russian domination over them being tested against strong rule of popular vote?

  63. And here we have finger pointing about racist thugs in Russia without a passing mention of the Nato-US State Dept-Chatham House-backed Nazi regime in Kyiv.

    What did Jesus say about moats and beams? LOL.

    And if “Russia was right over Kosovo, and thus is wrong over Crimea”, then the West though right about Crimea, must have been wrong about Kosovo, so Putin is playing tit-for-tat, an elementary rule of the game of international politics.

    Nazi-NATO committed an act of murderous aggression in Kyiv with the aim, among other things, of putting nukes on Russia’s Ukraine border. What’s a competent Russian leader supposed to do? Nothing?

    O’Barmy and co. must have known that Russia would respond by taking back the Russian territory of Crimea: that’s why it’s happened without a shot fired. The whole thing was probably scripted in advance by a joint US-Russian working group.

    On the face of it, Russia has gained much less than the West, but Putin is probably betting that the addition of one more large and economically non-functional state to the Eurozone will finish the European Union.

  64. The truth is of course that the global political elite are in the pockets of the global financial elite,

    Well …. doesn’t just stop there whenever you have only just got started, Craig. Go on please, and finish the progression, or at least progress it to the next spooky level …… and the global financial elite are in whose pockets filled to overflowing with sensitive intelligence and juicy information?

    Invariably it will not be what/who you think it is, for such is the true nature of the intelligence beast in Great Games Play ….. it protects itself from live discovery, and leaves the deserving to deal with the chaos and madness that sub-prime systems mal-administration collapse delivers with the presentation of catastrophic systemic flaws.

  65. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:24 pm

    Kenneth Sorensen

    What is wrong with you? I met no one who has more courage and more integrity than Mr Murray. You can argue with him, but dismissing his thoughts as rubbish does not make you any good.

    Even MAD lefties on this blog are right (correct) sometimes. Just not in this particular case.

  66. Uzbek in the UK

    19 Mar, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    CanSpeccy

    One could look at it and see that precisely because of putin’s reaction over Ukrainian revolution many former soviet colonies in eastern Europe are very encouraged to bring US nukes onto their territory. Something that did not exist before.

    In fact Putin made NATO very relevant again and will push European nations into military spending again. Something western lefties have been opposing for ages.

  67. Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post, has done a telephone interview on PressTV in which he says Russia has sold off 80% of its US treasury bonds. If China sold its remaining bonds, amounting to $1.3 trillion, it would amount to half the holdings of foreign investors.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/18/355142/sanction-on-russia-causes-global-crisis/

    To my mind it seems ludicrous that any foreign country would want to buy another country’s debt, even in times of prosperity – but today even more so – of course they did not buy them yesterday. This too might be a reason why China abstained in the veto.

  68. Craig Murray is a nut case. Just look at his photo! He needs to close this websitw down in recognition that he’s a nut case who has NO rights in addressing free peoples of this world. Indeed its an isult every time he does.

  69. “because of putin’s reaction over Ukrainian revolution many former soviet colonies in eastern Europe are very encouraged to bring US nukes onto their territory.”

    For which claim you offer no evidence whatever.

    Anyone with nukes will be targeted with nukes, so what’s the big attraction?

    Anyway, the US already has 480 nukes in Europe. Isn’t that enough to reduce Russia to radioactive ash?

    In fact, the missiles, if any, that NATO will deploy in Ukraine will be designed to destroy Russia’s second-strike capability, following a Nazi-Nato first strike, as in the case of missiles already on the Russian border in Poland. Such missile installations will, naturally, be targeted by Russian missiles.

  70. Just look at his longt blog post. I have never understood any of them. Lesson one in any blogging is that you try — in every day words – to address current problems that ordinary men and women care about. But this bloke just cannot speak in a language that ordinary men and women understands! He’s a nut case, that shall be ignored. He is in this world due to our mercy, and he need to act accordingly.

  71. “broken up into separate individual houses/nations…”

    Uz, that’s reductive. The cultures dividing the US are not ethnic but historical. The cultures are distinct in terms of their propensity for violence, psychological makeup (particularly intellect and neuroticism) and tolerance for authoritarianism. Some nations, like New England, are remarkably cohesive in terms of intra/inter communication patterns, and others like Dixie are xenophobic even toward their nominal compatriots.

    So when it’s time for the US to implode like its mirror image the USSR, it could bust up several different ways:

    http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/features/up-in-arms.html

    https://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/174-the-nine-nations-of-north-america/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion%27s_Seed

    Just don’t be in Texas when it happens, they’ll string you up!

  72. “it seems ludicrous that any foreign country would want to buy another country’s debt”

    Which shows just how much you know!

    China bought US debt as part of its merchantilist trade policy. By accepting paper for real goods, China speeded the hollowing out of the American economy. At the same time it gave China a powerful economic weapon against the US should it ever be needed.

    China could, for example, wade into the stock market and buy all of America’s defense contractors. Well of course the government of the free market US of A would have to prohibit that by law. But at least China could buy, say, Apple, Exxon, IBM and Google for cash anytime they like.

  73. So Craig, you are not one of these MAKERS, DOERS AND SAVERS then!

    George Osborne claims his Budget is for “makers, doers and savers” but Labour says it is for the “wealthy” and the “privileged”.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1228381/budget-2014-for-makers-doers-and-savers

    We are taken for eejits.

  74. The Western backed fascists in Kiev continue their brownshirt bullying.

    Here a fascist MP forces a television chief to resign.

    The comments below give further info, including other such incidents involving Uzzie’s friends:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/19/ukrainian-mp-assaults-television-chief-pro-russian-miroshnichenko-panteleymonov

  75. Its interesting that the BBC are giving such prominence to the right wing group who have forced the TV boss to resign because he showed Putin’s speech. I saw this on RT and wondered if it was just staged Russian PR but now I see it on the BBC (of course after years of conditioning when I see it on the BBC I believe it). Anyway I couldn’t but surmise that this, i.e. intimidation of a TV boss, is really what gets the BBC’s goat and gets it to come off message.

    Why on earth did that group film themselves doing it? Are they really that thug’ish. Do they think that by filming and broadcasting themselves they will intimidate others and not calculate that the negative foreign press can take second place to the immediate fear generated. Anyway have to be surprised that it has also resulted in the BBC, previously pretty much on message, going off message and broadcasting the very Kiev face which Putin is pointing at and which we have hitherto been ignoring. Curious.

  76. A few more videos detailing Western-backed Ukrainian fascist attacks on Russians.

    Viewer discretion advised.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=37a_1394230961

    How anyone on this blog can support this is beyond me.

  77. Excuse me Mr Sorensen, are you on the right page?

  78. Would you like to buy my debts Canspeccy?

  79. “Why on earth did that group film themselves doing it?”

    There’s a big network of these fascists all over Europe, and they’re quite proud of themselves and wish to share.

    They believe that fascism is the future and within their own groups it feels like that.

    I’m afraid we’ve become much too complacent, and there’s plenty of complacency and outright stupidity in this blog, so far as events in Ukraine are concerned.

  80. Herbie – its not easy to know what is going on. Information is limited and its difficult to evaluate.

  81. Would you like to buy my debts Canspeccy?

    Certainly not. You have no central bank to print the money to pay them back.

  82. The UK, US and japan can clone currency. Not so much, the Ukraine, so austerity has even less chance of working.

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 7:04 pm

    Uzbek

    I have already advised you how to deal with Herbie, the junior Tovarish Goss.

    Regarding Doug Scorgie, I’d give you similar advice. His favorite trick is to ask people for “references and links”. This is strange from someone to whom I once supplied a link on request and who then told me, upon interogation, that “he couldn’t be arsed to read it”.

    So keep making your points, but ignore him. He’s not serious either.

  84. At last we agree on something. It’s better to ignore the unserious.

  85. Fool

    To me the BBC has been pretty notably changing round to a pro-Russian position the last few days, cheer led by Jon Simpson’s utterly uncritical reporting of the “97%” nonsense. I think the word has got round that sanctions might hit Mandelson’s yacht opportunities or Boris Johnson’s mates in the City, so it’s all to be played down.

  86. Would you like to buy my debts Canspeccy?

    Certainly not. You have no central bank to print the money to pay them back.”

    The central bank. Would that be this one then Canspeccy?

    http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/the-economy/articles/Federal-Reserve-Fed-portfolio-bonds-portfolio/12/11/2013/id/52994

  87. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 7:26 pm

    (Uzbek) “There was no ethnic cleansing or even any sort of danger to Russians in Crimea. Completely opposite to Kosovars”

    This is true, isn’t it? As ‘Fool’ says “its not easy to know what is going on. Information is limited and its difficult to evaluate”

    Where’s the social media from Ukraine? With Turkey (where I disagreed with Craig’s analysis actually) reports from the ground were everywhere.

  88. Craig

    “To me the BBC has been pretty notably changing round to a pro-Russian position the last few days, cheer led by Jon Simpson’s utterly uncritical reporting of the “97%” nonsense. I think the word has got round that sanctions might hit Mandelson’s yacht opportunities or Boris Johnson’s mates in the City, so it’s all to be played down.”

    You’re partially correct, but that’s not good enough.

    The BBC is certainly playing down the sanctions end of things because that could hurt Britain, just as the EU is playing them down too.

    They’re however not playing down the political propaganda.

  89. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 7:32 pm

    Not ‘pro Russian’ in our parliament, though, according to the Times’ sketch writer. One dissident voice, Edward Leigh ‘We must stop playing power games. The West cannot tear Ukraine away from Russia”.

  90. The central bank. Would that be this one then Canspeccy?

    Don’t know what your link is all about.

    My point, that if you have a central bank you can repay your debts, was that the US Fed, or any other central bank, can print money without limit. (That’s why Greece and Spain are in deep shit, as soon will Ukraine also be. They cannot print away their deficits.) So any country with a central bank can always repay it’s loans. If the US Fed were to repay all US Government debts that way overnight there’d be a spot of hyper-inflation. But I assume you don’t owe that much.

  91. As a chess fan I must admit I’ve enjoyed Grandmaster Putin move today, pulling yet another neat one, leaving all the Russophobes scratching their heads !

  92. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:14 pm

    How extraordinary to call people who object to a murderous regime ‘Russophobes’. Strangely analogous to those people who accuse critics of the West as ‘haters of their country’. And yet, guess what, the victims of the latter are first to point the same finger. Human nature: endlessly fascinating.

  93. No Technicolour, there is a difference between those who smear others as self-haters, and quite another to those that display an irrational fear/dislike of Russians.

  94. Excellent article.

  95. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:36 pm

    Really, Macky. ‘People who have an irrational fear or dislike of Russians’ is what you call people who object to murderous Russian regimes. The analogy is exact.

  96. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    I expect if you were part of the FSB you would describe Anna Politskvaya as a ‘self-hater’.

  97. @Technicolour, you’ve progressed from “who object to a murderous regime” to “who object to murderous Russian regimes” ! Next you will be doing a Uzbek in the UK special in declaring that Russians are inherently ““Chauvinistic ”; BTW when was the last time you called the UK, US or French, etc governments “murderous regimes” ?

  98. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:47 pm

    Habbabkuk’s Invigilating Service

    Mr Goss posts the following

    “Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post {NB – for which Mr Goss also writes }, has done a telephone interview on PressTV in which he says Russia has sold off 80% of its US treasury bonds.”

    I was going to ask Mr Goss how he thought Monsieur Mercier would know that, but then to save him unnecessary effort thought I’d first listen to the link provided.

    There, Monsieur Mercier said it was “according to the US Central Bank” (sic),but gave no further information (eg, when and how). Press TV did not, of course, press him on that.

    Has anyone seen anything official from the US Treasury on this? Or something from a reliable source? Or is Monsieur Mercier just possibly making it up?

  99. technicolour

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:51 pm

    I think we’ll leave readers of the thread to understand why I inserted the word ‘Russian’, since it came of the back off your ‘Russophobic’ comment. Your beef with Uzbek you can take up with Uzbek, I think. As for when I last called blah blah blah: is that the best you can do? Because if you’re trying to smear me as someone who doesn’t stand up against murderous violence wherever it happens, you’re batting on the wrong team.

  100. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Mar, 2014 - 8:53 pm

    “I’m thinking of the violent displacement of native peoples across the planet, which you rather quaintly call “emigration”.”
    _____________________-

    Pity, that.

    And there was I, thinking about the forced displacement of entire nations. Cattle trucks, y’know – 3000km journeys in the winter cold – 20% death rates during those deportations – Siberia or the Kazakh desert – a cup of water and two salt dry fish every two days. You know!

    ****************

    “Life just got better, life just got merrier!” (V.V. Putin, 2014)

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