Territorial Integrity 135

I am inclined to think the concept of territorial integrity is overrated.  100 years ago, a guarantee of Belgium’s territorial integrity led Britain into the most disastrous of wars.  Thankfully for all the huffing and puffing about Ukraine’s territorial integrity, no outside power is going to be stupid enough to declare war on Russia.

The boundaries of states are accidents of history.  Ukraine’s certainly are.  There never had been a Ukrainian national state until 25 years ago, and the boundaries of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic were never intended to define a nation state.  Indeed Crimea, which has never in history been ethnically or linguistically Ukrainian (it was Tartar before Stalin deported them), was only added on to the Ukrainian SSR within my lifetime for some obscure reason of Soviet politburo politics.

Rather than burble on about territorial integrity, the western world would do better to cut a deal with Putin wherein referenda on their future in Ukrainian provinces are held under international supervision with some degree of fairness.  Personally I very much want to see Ukraine in the EU, but not with a tail of Russian provinces who really do not want to be there.

Putin, of course, is a total hypocrite.  There is no doubt that the populations of Dagestan and Chehcnya had a genuine and settled desire to secede from Russia, and they have suffered Putin’s genocidal policies in consequence.  Putin is not acting from a belief in self-determination, but from naked Russian nationalism.  That is what is so amusing about the deluded left wingers supporting him against the nationalists of Kiev.

Referenda in the provinces of Ukraine, certainly.  But how about internationally supervised referenda in Dagestan and Chechnya as well?

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135 thoughts on “Territorial Integrity

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  • Anon

    Or rather, an invasion is like only an invasion when we don’t like the invader, like.

  • wikispooks

    Nobody here seems to have noticed that the only remaining legal and constitutional representative of the Ukraine is its duly elected (in western certified ‘free and fair’ elections) president (Corrupt and incompetent though he may be, though no more so than his predecessor) – Viktor Yanukovych, currently under the protection of Russia. That represents something approaching an ace of trumps so far as the ‘International Law’ that so beloved of the US-NATO when it suits.

    For a flavour of who now calls the shots in Kiev – meet one Olexander Muzychko (aka Sasha Biliy) whose party has just secured the Defense and internal security portfolios of the new US sponsored (by “Fuck the EU” US Deputy Secretary of State Nuland) in her Yats led government

    And Craig – I have a serious objection to ostensibly ‘pro-Putin’ opinion being characterised as so-called “Left”. A re-think about your passe political spectrum vocabulary would be welcome.

  • Clark

    Interesting edit war happening on the Wikipedia page Angrysoba linked to. Here’s an example of what keeps being added and deleted:


    The Russian population in Southern and Eastern Ukraine (who, for example, form over 60 percent of the population of Crimea) had voted for president Yanukovych and his government and strongly felt that their democratic rights have been violated by those who overthrew this government. They felt entitled to apply the same, although much more peaceful, measures to appoint their own government in Crimea. Following the threats from the new government in Kiev, Sergei Aksyonov, the new Prime Minister of Crimea, asked Russia for military assistance in protecting the security of the Russian population in Southern and Eastern Ukrain

    Here’s the article’s history; note the repeated additions and deletions:


  • Anon

    Comrades! The malignant forces of the West along with their capitalist attack dogs and lickspittle mouthpieces in the zionist media have declared the actions of our Dear Leader to be akin to those of an “invasion”!! Armed military incursion into a sovereign territory is not an invasion, Comrades, it is a peaceful passing of peoples from one place to another!!!

  • Herbie


    “If there is to be any kind of secession of the Crimea then surely that should be decided by Ukraine. Not by Putin.”

    There was an agreement to hammer these issues out in discussion, but I think you’ll find that western oligarchs scuppered it with violence.

    And, they do have form in this regard.

    Anyway. Let’s hope the Poles are happy with their new neighbours. At least we now know why they haven’t had the best of rides this millenium. Bit clueless, if you ask me.

  • angrysoba

    “There was an agreement to hammer these issues out in discussion, but I think you’ll find that western oligarchs scuppered it with violence.”

    Could you explain what you mean by this?

  • angrysoba

    “Nobody here seems to have noticed that the only remaining legal and constitutional representative of the Ukraine is its duly elected (in western certified ‘free and fair’ elections) president (Corrupt and incompetent though he may be, though no more so than his predecessor) – Viktor Yanukovych, currently under the protection of Russia. That represents something approaching an ace of trumps so far as the ‘International Law’ that so beloved of the US-NATO when it suits.”

    I don’t see what that has to do with International law. Ukrainian law, perhaps.

  • N_

    @Fred “I think the missiles concerned would be defensive missiles there to neutralise the Russian nuclear capability.”

    Fred, you can’t just say that ABM defences are merely defensive and leave it at that. Defence against an opponent’s ability to retaliate massively against a first strike restores your own ability to carry out the said first strike. That’s what ‘missile shields’ are all about.

    And that’s why there was a treaty on anti-ballistic missiles. What was wrong with the ABM treaty that caused the US to tear it up?

    The balance of power in Europe and elsewhere has changed a lot in the last 25 years. If the Crimea fell to NATO then Russia would stop being a great power. The shift would be bigger than when the German forces crossed the Rhine in 1936.

    If the US tries to force Russia out of the Crimea, there will be a US-Russian war – which will probably be nuclear.

    For those who don’t want that, it’s important to keep drawing attention to the West’s role in destabilising the Ukraine in the first place. The West wants to keep its home market.

    The destabilisation has included propaganda about armed pro-western militias recruiting men to go to the Crimea and ‘defend’ it against Russia. Whether any such militias actually exist is another matter. But it is obvious that pressure is being put on the Russian presence in the Ukraine. Psychological warfare is part of a warfare; it is a kind of warfare.

    An interesting question is how does today’s position (which may have changed quite a bit by tomorrow) look for NATO. Remember where the Straits are.

    @Anon “A blog about Ukraine and N_ manages to fit in three references to Rothschilds, Zionists and Israelis. If N_ carries on like this he may find himself in line for the John Dross Trophy for outstanding obsession with the Joos, previously held by Guano and the late Fedup. Fingers crossed!

    ‘Crossed’, eh?

    I suggest that you stop being insulting and sarcastic for a moment and read up, for starters, on how US-Soviet detente came to an end. If you don’t want to look at the Yom Kippur War, have a look at the Jackson-Vanick Amendment.

    On the Rothschilds and Russia, have a look at how Khodorkovsky signed a lot of Siberia over to a Rothschild in London, in the event of his own incapacitation. Khodorkovsky, BTW, had been spotted by a Rothschild in the first place. That’s why he got where he was.

    Also have a look at how one of the places Putin wanted to visit when he came to London was the Rothschild HQ in the City…because of ‘everything they’ve done for Russia’.

    If your interest is piqued, I’d suggest then comparing with the position of the Rothschilds in respect of Czechoslovak steel. Bits of paper had been prepared in London, and the final pay-off was in the 1950s.

    Then find out about the British nuclear sector and the big Canadian uranium deal in the 1950s. British nuclear power ‘lost money’ for decades. That wasn’t how things looked from the point of view of the people who sold the government the uranium, though.

    I doubt that you will get that far. You’ll probably just sneer and say I’m like Hitler. That’s whether or not you make silly gestures with your fingers.

    Frederic Morton’s (pro-Rothschild) book is useful.

    Snot-nosed colonialist Oxford academic Niall Ferguson’s series is less so, but even he mentions the Canadian deal.

    Have I been helpful?

  • Herbie

    “There was an agreement to hammer these issues out in discussion, but I think you’ll find that western oligarchs scuppered it with violence.”

    Angrysoba asks what I mean by this.

    This is what I mean:

    “Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have signed a deal to try to end the political crisis in the country.

    Under the agreement, a national unity government will be installed and a presidential poll will be held by the end of the year.

    The deal, reached after mediation by EU foreign ministers, also sees electoral reform and constitutional changes.

    Ukraine’s parliament has voted to reduce the president’s powers.

    It also approved laws which could see the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

    The deal follows hours of talks and months of demonstrations on the streets of Kiev and other cities.”


    And then the western oligarchs scuppered it with violence.

    “Fuck the EU”, eh.

  • angrysoba

    “And then the western oligarchs scuppered it with violence.”

    Who are these “Western oligarchs” and how did they scupper it with violence?

  • Herbie


    You suggested that the future be decided by Ukraine. I showed that such a deal had been done.

    We all know that this deal was subsequently undone, and the pro-western party with western assistance took power to itself claiming the whole country, with no agreement, no election, no nothing but moustachioed fascists prowling the streets.

    The pro-Russian group quite rightly thought this was a tad unfair and asked for protection from Russia.

    And so here we are.

    Had the fascists abided by the agreement then we’d be somewhere else, and let no one pretend otherwise.

  • fred


    Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that the missiles were merely defensive, more strategical.

    There seems to be an impression here that Russia doesn’t like NATO, this isn’t true, they like NATO because it has prevented Germany militarising and creates stability in Europe. These Russia sees as it’s greatest threats which history backs up.

    At the end of the Cold War Russia had concerns about the militarisation of Eastern Europe. Before they would agree to the unification of Germany they sought assurances from America which they received. Earlier this century America attempted to ignore these assurances by building missile defence systems in Poland. Russia retaliated by threatening to move short range missiles right to their borders which I assume would include the Ukrainian western border. America backed down.

    If America could control the Ukraine they could have a buffer zone and missile defence systems from the Black Sea to the Baltic and Russia wouldn’t be able to interfere so much with their plans for the New American Century.

  • N_

    @Herbie. Agreed. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on whether the western oligarchy wants war with Russia. And if so, war on what scale?

    (And…don’t feed the trolls. Even ones who work in doughnuts.)

    Clearly psychological warfare has already started. The Budapest Memorandum is only being mentioned as part of that effort. Shmudapest Shmemorandum. If it obliges the US to ‘come to the aid’ of Ukraine, then it obliges Russia too.

    Lazy journalist swine haven’t even read it. They’re just cutting and pasting the press releases which come from the US and UK administrations. Think I’m joking? The Telegraph links to the wrong bloody document – a memorandum concerning Belarus!! Don’t they know the difference between Belarus and the Ukraine?

    Have standards really dropped so far at the Foreign Office’s psy-ops department? What a lazy bunch of sods! Where do they recruit people from to the Foreign Office nowadays? From the ‘gentlemen’s thirds’ battalions at Oxford?

    Anybody who wants to read the real document, click here and start reading at page 8.

    But I don’t want to side-track people. Barrack-room lawyers should look at bilateral arrangements concerning the Crimea which were made between the Ukraine and Russia. And at the legality of the overthrow of Yanukovych – not just under Ukrainian law, but under international law – including, in fact, the Budapest Memorandum concerning the Ukraine.

    Oh, and at whose snipers did what in Kiev.

    Which, frankly, you are not going to be able to nail down.

    Here’s point 6 of the said memorandum:

    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

    Well – will they?

    But never mind all of that crap.

    Issues of war aren’t decided by lawyers, whether in the barrack-room or the Attorney General’s office.

    Will the Ukraine default on its debt?

    Have we moved on to a new style of IMF-type adjustment plan? Called ‘war’?

    @Angrysoba – Wikipedia is a western asset. See the above link to the Budapest Memorandum itself, for your perusal.

  • mike

    Haha…Obama talking about international law; Hague banging on about sovereignty. Maybe ask Lord Goldsmith about both of those!

    Oh my giddy aunt…

    Speaking about territorial integrity, how’s Libya getting on these days? We haven’t heard much from there since John Simpson liberated Ras Lanuf. I hear it’s a bit of a failed state. Maybe it’s time for more humanitarian intervention.

    It would be nice to have a Prime Minister who isn’t a war criminal. Ah, them were the days…

  • angrysoba


    You posted a link to an agreement (forged partly by EU ministers themselves!) that was not agreed to by most of the protesters and undone by security forces snipers shooting at demonstrators. Not by “western oligarchs” – whoever these shadowy figures are. Yanukovych was ousted by the Ukrainian parliament and disowned by his own party – The Party of Regions – for his conduct in having protesters shot. Again, not by “western oligarchs”.

  • angrysoba

    “@Angrysoba – Wikipedia is a western asset. See the above link to the Budapest Memorandum itself, for your perusal.”

    Why not just tell me exactly what is wrong about what I said about it.

  • wikispooks

    @ N_ and Clark – and anyone else evidencing an understanding of what is really going on here (and in the globalisation end-game thrust generally) and believing wider understanding of it is desperately needed in our ever-gullible, manipulated and herded western populations:

    Wikispooks is a genuine effort (with a proven track-record) to disseminate suppressed information more widely. Discussion is fair enough and it is NOT a discussion site; neither does it seek ‘recognition’ personal or otherwise. But it DOES need capable editors/contributors to further its effort.

    PS … @Clark: Thanks for Wikipedia edit-war link – That will go up on Wikispooks too.

  • N_

    The Torygraph’s Harriet Alexander does her bit for queen and country by allowing her byline to go on an article entitled “Ukraine pleads for Britain and US to come to its rescue as Russia accused of ‘invasion'”. By ‘Ukraine’ is meant a number of unnamed MPs. Then she cuts and pastes about the Budapest Memorandum.

    What a dirty little scribe!

    OK so what do honourable people reckon?

    Does the western oligarchy want war with Russia? If so, they will certainly get it.

    Other possibilities include that a deal has already been struck. I think that’s unlikely, given what appear to be the military movements and given that there is no possibility of any war-stopping deal that involves Russia giving up the Crimea.

    If armed forces are already inside Russia (Belgorod region), trying to cut roads from Russia to the Crimea, someone is certainly trying to make war more likely than less likely.

  • Herbie


    This is merely a tercio de varas and I expect the west is hoping that will be enough.

    We shouldn’t underestimate however the hatred for Russia and Russians amongst the former Warsaw Pact, nor indeed amongst US planners like Zbigniew Brzezinski, he of the Afghan campaign, and we know where that eventually led.

    Hatred doesn’t make for good policy making, and the west has been making some very poor choices of late.

    Hatred and stupidity can lead anywhere.

  • Herbie


    Are you claiming that the Ukrainian parliament did not agree the deal?

    Are you claiming that the “protestors” were not backed by the west, including financially?

    Are you claiming that Victoria Nuland was not involved in discussions as to who should lead Ukraine?

    Don’t you remember who was responsible for those oh so important shootings in Venezuela, another US brokered coup effort.

  • fred

    “Does the western oligarchy want war with Russia?”

    Hell no, they want war with Iran while avoiding war with Russia. They want to create a situation where Russia would have more to lose than to gain by interfering.

  • Mary

    Harriet Alexander, referred to by N above, comes to the support of Israel and Taub. Says much about her stance.

    Israeli ambassador joins chorus of criticism of Amnesty report on Israel’s ‘trigger happy’ army

    Israel has reacted angrily to a report by Amnesty International which accused it of being “trigger happy,” saying that the study showed bias and “lack of experience”


    She also wrote about Pistorius whose trial starts on Monday. The media will drop Ukraine and go big on the trial. Sky News are even carrying it live.

  • angrysoba

    No, I am not making those claims. I am claiming that the Ukrainians themselves kicked Yanukovych out. And he fled to Russia. It’s pretty simple. Now Putin is deploying troops in the Crimea against the terms of the Budapest Memorandum. Here are the relevant parts that I have taken from the link N_ provided:

    “The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and
    the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
    Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on
    the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a
    non-nuclear-weapon State,
    Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to
    eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a
    specified period of time,
    Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation,
    including the end of the Cold War, which have brought
    about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.
    Confirm the following:
    1. The United States of America, the Russian Federation,
    and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
    Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in
    accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act,
    to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the
    existing borders of Ukraine.
    2. The United States of America, the Russian Federation,
    and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
    Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the
    threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
    political independence of Ukraine, and that none of
    their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except
    in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the
    Charter of the United Nations.”

    You can surely see that Russia has violated the terms, and your attempts to smokescreen with an irrelevant article about an agreement that was signed amid the violence, still does not explain how deploying Russian troops to the Crimea is not a violation.

    Oh, and who are these “Western oligarchs” anyway? You still have not explained this despite my asking you three times.

  • Clark

    Herbie, Angrysoba doesn’t seem to be denying those things you mention, but rather pointing out other things that happened too. Let’s not have a war here; there’s enough going on in Ukraine.

    Angrysoba, links are always good. Do you have one about the snipers?

    Please everyone, don’t assume that others have read the same things you’ve read yourself. No one has that much time, and the world is too big and complex to fit into any one human mind. Cooperation is our only hope of getting a reasonably complete picture.

  • OldMark

    Angrysoba @10.35-

    Here’s rundown of Ukrainian oligarch; the article succinctly outlines their twists and turns to the prevailing political winds. Firtash and Poroshenko between them could undoubtedly have the clout and the funds(if given the nod by Nuland and her chums)to scupper the deal initially arrived at, which would have meant elections this December, and Yanukovitch holding the reins until then-


    Craig is right to call Putin a total hypocrite on his selective application of the self determination principle. Sadly, hypocrisy is the prerogative of all major power players , both past and present. Britain and France defended self determination in Europe at Versailles in 1919 when denying the same to their colonial subjects. US support for democracy and apple pie in the Americas has, since around 1900, also been very selective- and is forgotten when the outcomes are contrary to US corporate interests (United Fruit in 1954, ITT in 1973 and so on).

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