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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  • Herbie

    “Oh, and who are these “Western oligarchs” anyway?”

    They’re like really really rich people. Some make their money by selling dodgy gadgets or in the provision of dodgy services. Mostly they just thieve from the public treasury.

    You know. Privatised profits and socialised losses.

    And of course they want to make the world safe for rich people like themselves, hence the wars, invasions and general slaughter we see all around.

  • N_

    @Angrysoba: “Why not just tell me exactly what is wrong about what I said about it.

    My remark wasn’t aimed at what you said about it. It was aimed at the way that the only link you gave was to the article at Wikipedia. I consider the Wikipedia article to be western propaganda in the usual cloak of ‘neutrality’.

    The first section after the “Content” section is entitled “Relevance to the 2014 Crimean crisis”. Its opening sentences say

    1) unidentified troops have “seized or blockaded” various airports and “other strategic sites” in the Crimea,

    (Establishment of the ‘issue’. Others could easily have been chosen in its place.)

    2) “official Ukrainian sources” say they’re Russian, “likely placing Russia in violation of the Budapest Memorandum”,

    (Positive statement. Veracity suggested by use of word “official”, even if citation is to US media. Absence of conjunction between clauses, together with the absence of a subject in the second clause, suggests that if they are Russian then the truth of the second, dependent clause is almost a foregone conclusion.)

    and 3) the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed some troop movements but says they’re within the scope of bilateral agreements.

    (Response. Everybody knows it’s usually what’s said first that counts most. “Bilateral agreements” left unspecified. Use of the word “but” to suggest that the explanation may be false.)

    It would be possible to choose words and arrange statements differently, so as not to give such an anti-Russian slant.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba, you asked about “western oligarchs” and the money supply. Did you read my link?:


    It certainly mentions more than “western oligarchs”. It links to a lot of further sources.

    Pierre Morad Omidyar is a French-born Iranian American entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is the founder and chairman of the eBay auction site. […] In 2013, he announced he would be creating and financing First Look Media, a journalism venture to include Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.

  • Herbie


    Surely the West in intevening in Ukraine’s internal affairs has violated the terms of the Memorandum you cite?

    That would make it null and void wouldn’t it?

  • Mary

    It gets worse on the BBC.

    Andrew Marr discusses Ukraine with Max Hastings and Jacqui Smith – Smith a Home Secretary even worse and sillier than May and Hastings, the old warhorse being paid by the BBC by way of a TV programme, The Necessary War, to flog his book, Catastrophe – Europe Goes to War 1914.

    Marr spoke to the BBC’s reporter, Christian Fraser in Sevastopol, at the start by saying ‘I know that your colleague John Simpson tried to get in but was stopped, foolishly not wearing a burka….’ Who the f*** do these types think they are? That was Marr’s idea of a joke presumably.


    PS Simpson is on a train to Crimea so do not fear. He will save the situation for mankind. Do you remember him in Baghdad?

    Hastings sounds as if he has a few lbs of plums in his mouth.

  • OldMark

    The cnbc link I gave earlier also includes a video showing some events from 18 Feb (the day when 11 policemen where killed by ‘demonstrators’)- events which some peace loving, international law abiding posters here would prefer to overlook.

  • Clark

    N_, we speak of ‘Wikipedia’, but of course we mean English Wikipedia – I’m referring to English the language rather than the country throughout this comment.

    English Wikipedia of course reflects the bias of English media, which of course is dominated by the US; that’s the way Wikipedia’s ‘verifiable sources’ rule is bound to work out. I have no doubt that various government, secret service and corporate teams (from many countries) do a lot of deliberately biased editing at Wikipedia; we have good documentation of the pro-Israel groups that do so, for instance.

    Nonetheless, anyone can edit Wikipedia, so it remains less centralised than any single corporate media source. Nothing’s perfect, but many Wikipedians, myself included, are just doing their best.

    What we really need is for John Goss or others who can read Russian to go and look at article histories and talk pages on the Russian Wikipedia, and report back here with translations. Of course, Russian government employees will be busy propagandising the Russian Wikipedia, just as the US/UK teams will be trying to knock the English Wikipedia into their own preferred form.

  • Clark

    OldMark, 12:13 pm

    events which some peace loving, international law abiding posters here would prefer to overlook

    Please assume they just don’t know about it. This is all too much for any one person to know all that’s going on. Accusations can’t help.

  • fred

    “Marr spoke to the BBC’s reporter, Christian Fraser in Sevastopol, at the start by saying ‘I know that your colleague John Simpson tried to get in but was stopped, foolishly not wearing a burka….’ Who the f*** do these types think they are? That was Marr’s idea of a joke presumably.”

    Yes it was a joke Mary. It’s a reference to the Russian occupation of Afghanistan when John Simpson did get in by wearing a burka and has had his leg pulled about it by his colleagues ever since.

  • wikispooks

    Reference claims of legitimacy for Ukrainian parliament decisions following the EU brokered agreement with Yanukovych which it endorsed then promptly broke.

    This link goes a long way to explaining that and subsequent decisions. Our friendly terrorist thug Sasha Biliy and his string-pullers again. It is also worth noting that ALL subsequent decisions have been made by what can only be described as a ‘rump’ of the original 450 elected members – the remainder having either withdrawn to the relative safety of their Eastern region constituencies or simply declining the requirement that do the bidding of the terrorists like the one so ably intimidating their colleagues in that video.

    So I repeat my earlier assertion: Unless and until the Ukrainian parliament can muster a quorum free from the intimidation of gun-toting terrorists in its own chamber, Viktor Yanukovitch remains the only constitutionally legal representative of the Ukrainian state.

    As for ‘Security Force’ snipers shooting protestors; Does that REALLY need an answer? REALLY??. ANYONE seriously advancing such a claim is either naive or a committed promoter of the US_NATO agenda and official narrative of events

  • Clark

    N_, have you ever explored an article history, a talk page, or any of the individual contributors at Wikipedia? For instance, you can see everything I’ve edited here:


    By looking at User Contributions, you can assess the bias of any individual Wikipedia editor. This can be very useful; find the propagandist, and see what they’ve been up to.

  • Herbie

    Here’s Nuland’s boy and unelected PM of Ukraine, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, whining about the situation he and his backers created.

    Saakashvili Mark II.

    This chap isn’t about freedom for anyone but bankers, bosses and other ne’er do wells. His only function is to rape Ukraine and sell its resources off cheaply to his western oligarch mates, same as they do everywhere else they get their foot in the door.


  • Mary

    ‘It’s a reference to the Russian occupation of Afghanistan when John Simpson did get in by wearing a burka…..’

    Good job Mrs May wasn’t around. She would have had him into Belmarsh and then off to solitary in a Supermax in the US.

  • Resident Dissident

    When I read some of the comments here I cannot but help of another political grouping that hated the UK and US, wasn’t took keen on the Jews, falsely attached socialist to its name and was also quite happy to enter into deals that allowed a Russian autocrat to engage in a land grab.

  • fred

    “Good job Mrs May wasn’t around. She would have had him into Belmarsh and then off to solitary in a Supermax in the US.”

    It was in the days when Muslims were freedom fighters not terrorists.

  • Herbie

    “Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city’s Jews will be victimized in the chaos, Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.

    “I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too,” Rabbi Azman told Maariv. “I don’t want to tempt fate,” he added, “but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions.” ”


  • Clark

    Herbie, please don’t assume that Resident Dissident supports fascists.

    Resident Dissident, if you dispute any evidence, please refute it with links, not insinuations about contributors.

    I’m sick of the sound of my own voice on this matter. DON’T ESCALATE!

  • nevermind

    Thanks for keeping a cool head here Clark and for pointing to the fervent re writing of wikipedia that is occuring.

    Putin a hypocrite? why does he not use his gas lever then? he has the power to turn on the freeze but he’s not doing it. Most likely because this will also effect Europe, his Baltic gas pipeline alone can’t supply Europe’s needs.

    It would not be surprising that some resource hunting oligarchs now train their thoughts on Russias vast resource wealth, seeing that it is only defended by ex KGB and some flighty oligarchs who rather live in leafy London for fear of being apprehended or taxed too much in Russia.

    I think harbouring these people is a dangerous two way game and they should not get British nationality because they have misappropriated their countries money. How long before they engage in our politics, how many MP’s will be paid to join the Friends of Russia club?

    I have watched the video of Sasha Billy, and his physical and verbal fascist tirade, as yet untranslated by our resident Russian speakers, sounds ominous, I would have left the country if these types are trying to get their hands on me, it is no wonder Yanukovich did a runner.

    Now what was Sasha Billy saying to the state prosecutor?

  • Resident Dissident


    I don’t support any fascists anywhere – I notice Zhirinovsky is visiting the Crimea along with the invasion troops so I think you will find that there are fascists on both sides or the argument. If you know anything about that part of the world you would know that anti-Semitism is something that still finds support today in Russia as well as the Ukraine.

  • Herbie

    Well, Res Diss

    The good rabbi wasn’t calling for his flock to leave Kiev until the western backed fascists rolled into town, now was he?

    I’m correct that you supported this coup, aren’t I, or do you just support bits of it?

    It’s worth asking do you support all western backed coups or just some of them or none of them.

  • Clark

    Comments are closed on this article, which I find worrying. That’s the whole article pasted below; nothing more.


    (Reuters) – The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said on Sunday armed groups had tried to cut off a road leading to Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported.

    “Armed men are roaming the area … There was an attempt to close off the road from Moscow to Crimea,” Yevgeny Savchenko was quoted as saying about events on Saturday. “This is really troubling.”

  • mark golding

    Craig makes a valid argument against territorial integrity which is the thrust of his piece. Pity Craig said, “That is what is so amusing about the deluded left wingers supporting him[Putin] against the nationalists of Kiev, which somehow weakened that thrust.

    Personally I embrace Putin for his stand against the destruction of Iraq/Libya and his bold reactions to the Syrian dominion stratagem from UKUSIS prepotence.

    Some excellent posts here by those that ‘get’ the Ukraine/Syrian connection.

  • angrysoba


    In answer to your question about that Pando article, I must say that my expectations were low when I saw it was written by Mark Ames who used to be the owner and editor of the Exile, until Ames later appeared on Russia Today making weird “documentaries” about how Russia was a great place and a good investment choice.

    So it is pretty rich indeed that he claims Omidyar is some all-controlling megalomaniac who “co-financed the “coup” in Ukraine with USAID, also has exclusive access to the NSA secrets”. It’s all part of Ames patting himself on the back and telling himself and anyone who is bothered to read his stuff what a brave and edgy journalist he is, and Greenwald rightly takes him to task on this, dismissing his claim about funding the Ukrainian uprising as “laughable hyperbole” in his reply:

    “The Pando article adopts the tone of bold investigative journalism that intrepidly dug deep into secret materials and uncovered a “shocking” bombshell (“Step out of the shadows…. Pierre Omidyar”). But as I just discovered with literally 5 minutes of Googling, the Omidyar Network’s support for the Ukrainian group in question, Centre UA, has long been publicly known: because the Omidyar Network announced the investment at the time in a press release and then explained it on its website. ”


    Another person quoted by Ames is Marcy Wheeler who says of Ames’s article:

    “I don’t see any evidence here that those donations were explicitly intended to pay for regime change (indeed, Ames’ evidence for that post-dates the awarding of the grant and leaves out the bit about grassroots networking, though I suspect Rybachuk can be found saying he wanted to support more grassroots change before 2011, too), unless you presume transparency and better governance equates to regime change.”


    And of course, that still conveniently leaves out the fact that Yanukovych was voted out by the Ukrainian parliament.

  • Mary

    Craig has a new post. Nothing that we say or think will change any of the actions of the gangsters in charge in Washington or London. NATO are meeting tomorrow.

  • angrysoba


    “Surely the West in intevening in Ukraine’s internal affairs has violated the terms of the Memorandum you cite?

    That would make it null and void wouldn’t it?”

    No, Herbie, because nothing the West did was a breach of those terms. However, with Putin disrespecting the borders of Ukraine and buying into the assumption that Crimea is Russian, he has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty. Or do you suppose that international law is null and void whenever someone breaks the law?

    How would that work in our daily life? I saw someone steal a loaf of bread therefore the law is now null and void. Is that your argument? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

  • Clark

    Angrysoba, thanks for the critique on the Pando article. Nevertheless, money is coming from somewhere; have you seen the videos? There’s some sort of independent paramilitary force, all done out in heavy duty clothing, helmets, masks and shields. They seem quite regimented, and under orders. Surely that must have been prepared in some way? And it must have needed money.

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