World Domination

by craig on May 3, 2014 3:58 pm in Uncategorized

Add together the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk and you don’t reach the economic output of Dundee.  World domination it isn’t.  Unfortunately both in the Kremlin and on Capitol Hill they, and their satraps, think it is.  Neither side cares at all about the millions of ordinary people in the zone of potential conflict.

The spiral of death in Ukraine is very worrying.  Following the tragic deaths in Odessa, the ball is very much in Putin’s court.  His bluff has very much been called.  We will now learn whether he was stoking clashes in Eastern Ukraine and massing forces on his border in order to give a pretext for invasion – which pretext he now has – or in order to destabilize and intimidate Kiev into moving away from relationships with the EU.

This has been a discussion of the deaf even more within intellectual circles in the West than between Washington and the Kremlin, where at least the Machiavellians understand full well what they are doing.  But their followers either, on the one hand, deny that there are any far right elements on the Ukrainian side or any CIA assistance, or alternatively deny that there are many millions of ordinary Ukrainians who genuinely want to be at peace in their own country and move towards the EU.  They either claim that all the separatists are Russian agents and deny the genuine minority population which yearns for the Soviet Union or Russia, or they deny the existence of Russian agents and special forces in Ukraine, and that most of the Russian nationalists are every bit as right wing and appalling as the equivalent tendency on the Ukrainian side.

First, some history.  The Ukrainian people really do exist.  They have been a subjugated people for centuries, most lastingly by the great Polish-Lithuanian  Empire and then by the Russian Empire.  That does not mean they did not exist.  Consider this: until 1990 there had not been an independent Polish state for over two hundred years, except for a fleeting twenty years between the two world wars.  Yet nobody doubts the Poles are a real nation.  I shan’t start on Scotland again …

None of modern Ukraine was Russian until the 18th century, when the expansion of the Russian empire and decline of the Polish took in these new colonies. As Putin famously remarked, it was called New Russia.  Yes, Vladimir, note it was New.  That is because it was a colony. Just like New York.  Because it was called New Russia gives you no more right to it than the Channel Islands have to New Jersey.  Ukraine had been Russian seven hundred years before its 18th century reconquest, but that population had migrated to Muscovy.

The expansion of the Russian Empire was exactly contemporary with the expansion of the British and American Empires, and other bit players like the French.  Like most of the American, most of the Russian Empire was a contiguous land mass.  The difference between the Russian and British Empires, on the one hand, and the American Empire on the other, was that the Russians and British did not commit genocide of the existing populations.  The difference between the Russian and the British Empires is that the British gave almost all of theirs back in the post-colonial period (a process that needs to be urgently completed). Russia gave back much of her Empire at the fall of the Soviet Union, but still retained a very great deal more than the British.  It is to me inarguable that, in a historical perspective, Putin is attempting to recover as much of the Russian Empire as possible, including but by no means solely by the annexation of Crimea and his actions in Ukraine.

Crimea, incidentally, had maintained its own independent existence as the last remnant of the Mongol Horde right up until the 19th century.  Despite the Russian colonisation of Crimea in the 19th century, it still had a majority Tatar population until the 1940’s, when Stalin tried his hand at genocide on them.  The Tatars were branded Nazis.  Opponents of the Russian Empire are always “Nazis” or “Jihadists”.  The deportation of the Tatars from Crimea was only twenty years before the British did the same genocide to a smaller people in Diego Garcia.  I call for the restitution of both.  Those who call for the restitution of one and not the other are appalling hypocrites.

Equally hypocritical are those who call for a referendum on Russian union for East Ukraine, but not for referenda on independence for Dagestan and Chechnya.  It is an irony insufficiently noted, that in Russia to call or campaign for the separation of any part of the state is a crime punishable by up to 22 years’ imprisonment.  There are over 7,000 people from the Caucasus imprisoned under that law.

There is absolutely no movement among the large minority Russians of the Baltic States to rejoin Mother Russia, because living conditions in the EU are just so much better.  As I have blogged before, it is undeniably true that living conditions for ordinary people in Poland have vastly improved as a result of EU membership, and are much better than in Ukraine – or Russia.

GDP per capita figures for Russia look quite good, but do not give a true reflection of living standards because of astonishing levels of inequality of wealth.  This is very bad in the West, and getting much worse rather rapidly, but is nowhere near as bad as in Russia which is the most viciously capitalist state in the world, made worse by its commodity dependency.  The Russian economy is completely non-diversified, manufacturing and services are miniscule and it is overwhelmingly a raw commodity exporter in energy, metals, grain etc.  That leads to extreme concentration of profit and a lack of employment opportunity.  Combine that with mafia state corruption and you have the oligarchs’ paradise.  Russia is a gangster state.  On top of which, if I were a Russian who campaigned against the Russian government in the same way that I do against  my own, I would be dead.

The desire of ordinary Ukrainians to join the EU one day, and move closer to it now, is understandable and indeed commendable.  It was also the desire of Yanukovich.  Those who claim Western pressure on Yanukovich forget – or choose to ignore – that Yanukovich’s government had actually, quite independently and voluntarily, negotiated the EU co-operation agreement and were on the point of signing it, when Yanukovich was summoned to Moscow by Putin and informed that if they signed the agreement, the energy supplies to Ukraine would immediately be cut off in mid-winter and debt called in.

That is a fact.  It was not illegal for Putin to do that; it was perhaps even legitimate for those who believe in a Machiavellian approach to great power politics.  Yanukovich temporized, between a rock and a hard place.  Ukraine seemed to be at a key moment of  balance, hung between the EU and Russia. The capital being in West Ukraine and overwhelmingly ethnic Ukrainian, pro-EU crowds started to build up.  Then things started to get wildly out of control.

Were western governments encouraging pro-western groups in Ukraine?  Yes, that’s their job.  Did this include covert support? Yes.  Were the Russians doing precisely the same thing with their supporters?  Yes, that’s their job too.  Did the Americans spend 5 billion dollars on covert support?  Of course not.

Victoria Nuland claimed in a speech America had put 5 billion dollars into Ukraine.  I used to write those kind of speeches for British ministers.  First you take every bit of money given by USAID to anything over a very long period, remembering to add an estimate for money given to international projects including Ukraine.  Don’t forget to add huge staff costs and overheads, then something vast for your share of money lent by the IMF and EBRD, then round it up well.  I can write you a speech claiming that Britain has given five billion dollars to pretty well anywhere you claim to name.

The problem is that both the left and right have again, equal but opposite motives for believing Nuland’s bombast about the extent of America’s influence on events.  I have been in this game.  You can’t start a revolution in another country.  You can affect it at the margins.

A military coup you certainly can start.  One thing we don’t really know nearly enough about is what happened at the end, when Yankovich had to flee.  The Maidan protestors would never have caused a government to fall which retained full control of its army.  The army can fail the rulers in two ways.  First is a revolutionary movement among normal soldiers – the French revolution model.  Second is where the troops remain disciplined but follow their officers in a military coup.  The latter is of course a CIA speciality.  More evidence is needed, but if this is the second model, it is unusual for it not to result in military control of government.  Egypt is the obvious current example of a CIA backed coup.

After Yanukovich we had entered the world domination game.  Putin seemed to have lost.  The annexation of Crimea was a smart move by Putin in that game, because there probably is a genuine small majority of the population there who would like to join Russia.  I have no doubt whatsoever that Putin himself does not believe the 93% for a moment.  As I said, the Machiavellian players of world domination are realistic; it is their purblind followers on either side who buy their propaganda.

The Kiev government and the West should have conceded Crimea before Putin moved his troops into it.  The sensible thing for the new Kiev government to have done would have been to offer a referendum in Crimea itself, under its own auspices.  That would have got the most hardline pro-Russian voters out of the country for good. But by that time, everyone had gone into Macho mode, which is where we still are.

None of the remaining provinces would opt to join Russia given the choice.  There is no shortage of existing and historic opinion poll evidence on that.   Crimea was the only province with an ethnic Russian majority.  The Eastern provinces have Russian speaking majorities, but most are ethnic Ukrainian. I base ethnicity here purely on self-identification in census (and, as I have repeatedly explained, absolutely everybody in the former Soviet Union knows precisely what is asked in the questions of Gradzvanstvo and Narodnosch). Just as some Welsh people speak English, some Ukrainians speak Russian but do not consider themselves Russian.  Putin’s frequent references to the Russian-speaking peoples coming back to Russia are as sinister as if we started talking of re-uniting all the English speaking people in the world.

As almost always with colonies, the minority ethnic Russian populations in the East of Ukraine are more concentrated in urban areas.  Hence it has been possible in regional capitals to mobilise gangs of disaffected and unemployed Russian young men (in view of Ukraine’s basket case economy there are plenty), and with a slight stiffening of Russian forces take control of town centres.  There is a significant minority, and possibly a majority in town centres, willing to support.  It is, I think, extremely important to understand that the thugs on both sides are very unpleasant.  I have the particular experience of relations with a lot of Uzbeks, and the incidence of racial attacks by Russian nationalist thugs within Russia itself is absolutely horrifying and almost completely unreported.  The swastika is a popular symbol among young macho men throughout all of former Eastern Europe including Russia.  I absolutely guarantee you that an equally significant proportion of the pro-Russians who have been attacking anyone who tries to show support for Ukraine within Eastern Ukrainian cities, are no more and no less right wing, racist and vicious than the appalling Pravy Sektor thugs included on the other side.  We have plenty within the EU – there is a serious problem, for example, with the official encouragement given to commemorations of pro-Nazi forces within the Baltic states which often have a distinctly neo-Nazi tinge.

Putin’s campaign of controlling the urban centres appears to have gone wrong in Odessa, which is simply too large for the numbers of available young men armed with baseball bats to take control.  The pro-Russians were badly beaten in precisely the same street fighting they had been winning elsewhere.  The culmination of this was the terrible fire and deaths. My expectation is there will not be many women, children or old people among the dead, but also there will not be many non-Ukrainian nationals.  I expect these will prove to have been local Russian young men.

Putin now has a real problem.  His own rhetoric has indicated that he will sweep in and defend these Russians, but there is one thing anyone with half a brain should have worked out by now.  The ruling 1%, the ultra-wealthy, in both Russia and the West are so interconnected with each other that they are playing the game of world domination while trying at the same time to make sure nobody super-rich really loses his money.  Hence the strange obviously bogus sanctions regimes. Real stock market disruption and confiscation of corrupt assets would be difficult to avoid if the tanks start rolling in earnest.  We may be saved from utter disaster by the sheer scale of global corruption, which is a strange conclusion.

I would like to think the awful deaths of the last few days would lead both sides to step back from the brink.  The time has come for a peacekeeping force.  Negotiations should be held urgently to make the Kiev interim government more inclusive of opposition elements from the East – and they must oust the far right at the same time.  The UN Security Council should then send in UN peacekeepers, which must include both Russian and western forces in close integration, to keep the peace while genuine elections are held.  I can see no other way forward which does not risk disaster.

Tweet this post



    4 May, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    ‘Why didn’t I take……..’ :)

  2. Alcanon

    Amazing. Are you sure it’s live?

  3. Craig.

    Yes live. It matches up with real time tweets.

    It is this tv channel

  4. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    For those who don’t think Russia has a fascist problem

    From Putin’s home town on Mayday

  5. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    And as expected the persecution of the Crimean Tatars has now started

    Do the Putinistas care?


    4 May, 2014 - 8:50 pm

    Many countries have a fascist problem. But for some, it’s no problema.

  7. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    For those who are interested in some balance when it comes to reporting on what happened in Odessa

    As I said before I don’t think either side comes out of this well – and something needs to be done to de-escalate matters rather than whipping them up PDQ

  8. RD

    In St Petersburg, where gay rights demonstrations have been attacked and dispersed over the past year, about 50 LGBT activists were able to march peacefully as part of a rally for democracy, while neo-nazis held a separate demonstration. A large police contingent prevented hostile political groups from clashing, said St Petersburg LGBT activist Igor Kochetkov.

    “Those who wanted to attack the LGBT column decided not to do this because the police were reacting harshly to any provocations,” Kochetkov said. “It’s the day of the year when the authorities allow all rallies and demonstrations, and so everyone comes out on 1 May, nationalists, communists, environmentalists,” he added.

  9. I didn’t really think I’d see anything balanced from you RD but thought I’d take a look anyway, and in a very short piece, hardly an article at all, I found this:

    “While 100,000 marched in official May Day parade on Red Square with aggressive patriotic messages, . . .”

    You have been weighed in the balancing scales and found wanting again.

  10. Might as well describe what we just watched on the live feed Alconon posted.

    A large crowd of Ukrainians carrying Ukrainian flags walked through the streets to the trades union building where the tragedy happened. When they got there, they posted guards to make sure the crowd didn’t accidentally trample on the floral tributes on the ground. Then they climbed a scaffold and replaced the Ukrainian flag on the large flagpole outside, at half mast (either from respect or because there was no rope and they couldn’t get it higher). They then took off their hats and held a silence for those who died in the building, which was completely observed. They then sang the Ukrainian national anthem, there were some shouts of “Glory to Ukraine” and then they went home.

    Waiting for someone to claim they were all fascists.

  11. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:13 pm

    “I didn’t really think I’d see anything balanced from you RD but thought I’d take a look anyway, and in a very short piece, hardly an article at all,”

    Well of course it is isn’t balanced from your perspective Mr Goss – independent Russian sources never are. On a factual level – to describe the coverage of Odessa as very short is just plain wrong – it covers 9 screens, contains a number of videos and several links to supporting documentation. Certainly rather more evidence than you have provided to support your ridiculous assertion about Moldova.

  12. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:19 pm


    Rather different story on the LGBT march on the link I have already provided from the Interpreter – you need to scroll down the page to find the details, perhaps you could help Mr Goss to do this so that he can get past the very short article at the beginning.

  13. I agree what we saw there was peaceful. Tweets from those on the ground say that there was a more sinister element present but they were out-numbered and kept away from the area in front of the building by the majority of the crowd.

  14. Alcanon

    Or it could be that you are following tweets from people who have a tenuous connection to truth-telling.

  15. RD,

    Yes the LGBT march in Moscow was attacked as per your article. The one in St Petersburg was apparently protected by the police.

  16. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Some nice people at Mr Goss’s May Day parade with a non aggressive message for us all

    Yes that really is Beria!

  17. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:27 pm

    Yes let’s all take our vacation in the Crimea, especially now that the Leader of the Crimean Tatars is now banned for 5 years.


    4 May, 2014 - 9:32 pm

    “Sieg heil’ should be the nomenclature for EU and IMF cronies. The die is cast in lead. Surrender or die.

  19. Keith Crosby

    4 May, 2014 - 9:35 pm

    ~~~~~the tragic deaths in Odessa~~~~~

    Is this a FO euphemism for a nazi crime?

  20. AlcAnon, Craig, I’m watching listening to a programme in Russian on your link which has two medical consultants discussing matters of a medical nature. Do I have to log in by any chance for the live stream? There is a blue button saying you can do so using Facebook etc.

  21. What do you do, when you suddenly had to grow up at the age of 15,and you work really hard for it and 10 years later it seems you have everything – and are literally flying…and the love of your life blows you away…for the final time

    Well I cried myself to sleep…

    In the morning I was a new man….then it gets worse…

    You’ve lost her – You then lose your job ….and you can’t get another…yet you tried so hard…..and you are about to lose your house…???

    What do you do then???

    Crawl into your hole and die?

    I was just thinking – can it possibly get any worse???

    But I had to grow up young, and my Mum had such incredible determination having survived 2 world wars…

    Maybe I am a bit Scottish…

    Cos today 35 years later was a Perfect Day…

    It took my wife and I 3 years to get the band on…and they played for 4 hours – with all their families and friends…and it was heaving…

    So you can survive…

    Just dust yourself off – get your bike fixed – climb back on it and ride it again.

    No one else is going to do it for you.

    You have to do it for yourself – prove to yourself that you are a Creep and a Winner. (there’s maybe a radiohead song or two in there). Sometimes you have to crawl your way back up out of the hole…

    Blimey the sun is shining…who are you????

    And the angel takes my hand


  22. Craig,

    They are mainly journalists I pay attention to. I can’t see any reason why there wouldn’t be a violent minority element looking for trouble – you can get that anywhere/anytime. I see it as a positive sign that the few who were out to cause trouble tonight were kept away by the majority.

  23. John

    Live coverage seems to be over for the night.

  24. The mess which is Ukraine was both predictable and predicted – and it could get worse, though I suspect that few inhabitants of that land actually want to get into some serious blood-letting. That is why it is not a particularly good thing for outsiders to interfere in it or for westerners to use the place as a rope in a tug-o-war with Moscow.

    If my memory is correct (and if, in its turn, the fact that I read was accurate),then neither Crimea or Donbass voted to go with Russia on the breakup of the Soviet Union [Connor O’Cleary; The Last Day of the Soviet Union]. Thus it is by no means clear that the citizens of Eastern Ukraine would vote to do so now, though if they feel rejected and unwanted they might. It is also a plausible assumption that the Crimeans might now feel as if they are better off out of it and be jolly glad that they are part of Russia again.

    But surely we could cut Russia some slack as regards eastern Ukraine and Crimea. They aren’t just any other part of the world bearing a relationship to each other similar to that between South Africa and Japan (for example). Is it not more like Germany & Austria, or Sweden, Norway and Denmark, or France and francophone Belgium. Refusal to do so would seem to suggest a complete inability to see anything from someone else’s point of view. And though Crimea has only been part of Russia since the time of C. the G., it has nonetheless featured strongly in Russian history being on the trade route from Kiev to Byzantium. It is not a far-away place of which they know little.

  25. RD you really do not know me. Not only was I not at the Red Square May Day parade, I was not at the London parade, though perhaps I should have been since it commemorated the lives of two great peace campaigners, socialists, and members of originally Socialist Parties, one of which is now a Neocon disgrace, though I have a good friend who would disagree.

  26. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:43 pm

    Just for Mr Goss to let him know that the International still unites the human race

  27. Alcanon, that will account for it perhaps.

  28. I wouldn’t want to live in North Korea, RD, nor even Russia. It is why I have chosen Birmingham. Regarding the International you need to talk to Obama and your Yankee friends about that. Live would be dreadful under a Trotsky world government, but even worse under a capitalist world government. Their already building the prisons in the US. You’ll have to look it up yourself. FEMA is the search word.

  29. Live = life

  30. Resident Dissident

    4 May, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    “Live would be dreadful under a Trotsky world government”

    Giving away your true colours there Mr Goss. The International continued to be sung in the Soviet Union long after your nemesis was despatched.

  31. John Goss at 954. Their = they’re. But this Californian blended red is rather good. Might regret it in the morning.

  32. Keith Crosby

    4 May, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    ~~~~~The difference between the Russian and British Empires, on the one hand, and the American Empire on the other, was that the Russians and British did not commit genocide of the existing populations.~~~~~

    Tasmania, Indian, Irish and Highland famines

    ~~~~~the British gave almost all of theirs back~~~~~

    No they didn’t they gave them to the Americans

    ~~~~~living conditions in the EU are just so much better~~~~~

    Come and have a look round Hull.

    ~~~~~That leads to extreme concentration of profit and a lack of employment opportunity. Combine that with mafia state corruption and you have the oligarchs’ paradise.~~~~~

    This is Britain.

    Has this essay been a party political broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Party (old style)?


    4 May, 2014 - 10:18 pm

    John; You’re not drinking Merlot, are you?

  34. Ukraine is volatile at the moment. I do not think anybody who comments here would want to see things get worse. Craig has said so, Resident Dissident has said so. neither do I, or anyone else with any sense, and I am sure nobody in the Ukraine would like to see a deterioration. There are enough failed states already.

    There has been unhappiness in Ukraine for many years, not just the last six months. But something happened to remove the relative stability. I will not spell it out again. People can make their own decisions about what happened and who was behind it. Historically I would like people who comment here, or everybody in fact, to think about how many reports of violence and death we heard of in Ukraine more than six months ago, and I don’t mean isolated incidents that a Google search might throw up.

    Similarly, look at Iraq before the terribly-named “Shock and awe” NATO attacks, other than deaths from ‘no-fly zones’. Likewise with Libya, where nearly everybody living there was happy before the war. Who benefited? Tony Buckingham for one. Buckingham bucks up the Conservative Party with donations that no doubt buy him favours.

  35. Can anyone translate this?

    British journalist working for RT has just tweeted it

    Apparently a claim that the death toll was far higher than so far admitted.

    I’m not posting that as a fact just hoping someone could translate.

  36. “John; You’re not drinking Merlot, are you?”

    I wish. No, it’s a cheap and pleasant blend which may have some Merlot in it. Actually this year is not as good as last year. If you want a good wine Ben I discovered a rather good organic French wine through a club called St Chinian. God I sound like a wine snob! :)


    4 May, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    JOHN; What do you suppose is the linch-pin or lever which distinguishes the Iraq debacle from the Ukraine, the EU?

  38. “JOHN; What do you suppose is the linch-pin or lever which distinguishes the Iraq debacle from the Ukraine, the EU?”

    Linch-pin, as I am sure you know is CHEKA in Russian, and I am sure the secret services of more than one country are behind this latest coup. The secret services, by their very name, are unaccountable. Putin came through the secret services and knows this. All the dirty tricks that destroy governments and therefore people’s lives which take place round the world are done by the secret services, including the Russian secret services. If we could get rid of secret services it would be a much better world.


    4 May, 2014 - 10:57 pm

    John; ‘Security services’ desperately want the EU, amirite? How does that figure into the region in question? (rhetorical question)

    The IMF must prevail.

  40. Sofia Kibo Noh

    4 May, 2014 - 11:04 pm

    AA. 9 37 pm

    “…I see it as a positive sign that the few who were out to cause trouble tonight were kept away by the majority.”

    Yes. Let’s be a part of that whatever continent we inhabit. Maybe today’s crowd of Ukrainians demonstrate that, once aware of a brutal reality done in their name, decent people can take a stand for humanity.

    It never was, and never will be, a bright idea to invite fascists to the party, for any reason.

    While it is clear that actual, fascists are a minority in Ukraine, I can’t imagine anyone claiming, with a straight face, that the mobilisation of violent ulra-right groups has not been a crucial plank in the scheme to bring Ukraine under the control of Western politico/corporate interests.

    Consider the words of Nuremburg prosecutor and Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, describing the Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg.

    Such figures, Jackson said, “are surprised that there is any such thing as law. They did not rely on any law at all. Their program ignored and defied all law, International Law, natural law, German law, any law at all was to these men simply a propaganda device to be invoked when it helped and to be ignored when it would condemn what they wanted to do.”

    Jackson argued strenuously that all those who supported or tolerated Nazis were guilty, not just those individuals then being tried.

    We’re responsible for being aware of what’s going on in our society. We can’t plead ignorance, especially now that technology enables us to check events and narratives from so many different perspectives.
    ( Part 1, 10mins )

    From the 1961 Academy Award-winning film, “Judgment at Nuremberg”.


    4 May, 2014 - 11:06 pm

  42. The contracted internet language is a new language to me Ben, full of acronyms and unfamiliar expressions. You can’t keep up when you’re an old goat.

  43. Alan,

    Hard to make him out with all the noise – but he does say 116 people, he does say bomb and grenade, and he repeatedly refers to women. But not a lot of context – I don’t think he says anything about Nazis or fascists, despite the caption. I don’t think he says he is a policeman either. But between my rusty Russian and all the background chanting, not entirely sure.


    4 May, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    Alan; AlcAnon?

  45. Ben, 11:06 pm, that is a truly disturbing piece of footage. It was shot by somebody undercover who knew what he/she was doing, though I think there have been additions. The music should not have been there. There was nothing wrong with the music but that makes me a bit suspicious. However they could not have got that footage out as fast as they did if it was not real. I have already read reports about the busing of fascists into Odessa, but that really does disgust me, if not stage-managed, and to stage-manage it seems hardly possible in such a short time. However, it was the music that made me think it might have been stage-managed. I know a little about the arts.


    4 May, 2014 - 11:38 pm

    Fair point, John. Music is quite emotive. Film is even stronger propaganda and a bit of cynicism can be instructive. I wonder if Craig know this?

  47. Ben

    Actually I am glad that you posted that. Two things:
    a) The truly disturbing footage John refers to is of astonishing quality and the cameraman was able to go right up to uniformed fascists and put the camera right in their faces, again and again and again. Unless it was Adolf Hitler on the camera, was not their cooperation with the camera a bit strange? A very simple question for you. When and where was it shot? If you don’t know the answer, why are you posting it?

    b) Much more interesting are the comments beneath from Che Pasa in which he purports to give an account of the events which AlcAnon and I were watching live tonight. His report is completely tendentious. He doesn’t mention the silence for the dead, and claims the Ukrainians were all right sector – of which there was absolutely zero evidence on the video. AlcAnon says there were because someone tweeted it. Invisible Pravy Sektor shock troops. Presumably they weren’t there because they were too busy making feature films like the one you link to?


    4 May, 2014 - 11:49 pm

    Craig; I find it rather odd that you can see propaganda from that perspective, but seem unable to recognize the wealth and power operating out of camera range.

    Why are you so insistent on the push for the EU and IMF regardless of the obvious hatred of IMF reforms including austerity within the Ukraine?

    Isn’t this something most Ukrainians agree on?

  49. John Goss

    There are feature film quality shots of a night time rally by fascists. This may be real (there are indeed fascists in Ukraine – just as there are in Russia). It may not. But the night-time scenes are intercut with daytime scenes of the fighting in Odessa, in the hope that really stupid people will think it is part of the same sequence of events.

    There is no evidence at all of where or when those night time fascist rally sequences were shot.

  50. Ben

    I think the EU is the best place to live in the World, by a long, long way. I am not at all fond of the IMF. But what I cherish most of all is being able to say and to campaign as I wish without Mr Putin’s men killing me. Russians don’t have that privilege.


    4 May, 2014 - 11:59 pm

    Craig; can the Ukraine have EU without the IMF? The bundled package makes your point less persuasive.


    5 May, 2014 - 12:04 am

  53. Ben

    Theoretically, yes. The problem is that it has either to repudiate its debt, or take an IMF loan with all the strings attached. A dilemma poor countries face all the time. They need to combine for a universal debt repudiation.

  54. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 12:06 am

    Resident Dissident

    ““The real answer, Resident Dissident, is that John Goss – truly the Insolent Squatter – has no expertise at all in matters Eastern European or Russian. Apart, of course, from some knowledge of the language, a good indoctrination in Marxist thought and (possibly) a couple of cycling tours in the region.”

    I really would question the indoctrination in Marxist thought given his undying support for all things Putin.”

    The two things are not inconsistent with each other. He now undyingly supports rasPutin. Had this blog existed before 1989, you would have found him undyingly supporting the old Soviet régime. The link is his support for hardline, left-fascist “government” and, more widely, his championing of everything he thinks stands up to the “evil capitalist” West.

  55. Craig,

    Gulliver Crag of France 24 was amongst those tweeting about the presence of the Right Sector on the streets tonight. He also tweeted that their sources said that The Right Sector would not attack tonight. Instead the Right Sector went to meet the new police chief according to him.

    Gulliver Cragg ‏@gullivercragg 4h
    pro #ukrainian forces including right sector in #Odessa told jrnlists they r heading instead to meet new police chief

    Gulliver Cragg ‏@gullivercragg 4h
    outside burnt #odessa trades union bldng where young right sector guys caled to atak there are just 30 mourners

    Gulliver Cragg ‏@gullivercragg 4h
    one leader of #odessa’s pro ukrainian forces who has good connexions in right sector just told us they will NOT attack tonight

    Anyway there was no violence tonight. I’d just like to see that continue.

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 12:09 am

    “Answer please. Germany? France? Poland?”

    Germany and France are UCT+2, Poland is UCT+3.

    I represent the truth and am therefore timeless.

  57. “Russians don’t have that privilege.”

    I am not sure that is right any more. Oligarchs get imprisoned in Russia, but that is probably where most of them should be. However I am not sure that Russian executes as many people as the US (especially with the despicable extra-judicial killings that take out others regardless of who they are. I believe mobile phones are used to identify the victims. As to oligarchs perhaps Tony Buckingham who you know a little about ought to be in prison too (see The independent link at 10.28 pm above).

  58. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 12:13 am


    “I am deleting comments that simply post links to diatribes by one side or the other – be they Brzezinski or some equally odious Prof from Moscow University.”

    “equally” – objection, m’Lud! why do you find Dr Brzezinski odious?

    Dobra noc!

  59. Sofia Kibo Noh

    5 May, 2014 - 12:13 am

    The tragic loss of life in Odessa just happened

    after opposing pro and anti protesters just happened to meet

    and some of them just happened to enter a building

    which was near a protest encampment that had just happened to catch fire

    then the building just happened to catch fire too

    and regrettably lots of them just happened to die



  60. Craig… a response to your remark about the number of fascists in Western Ukraine because no-one else has gone there yet…

    IMHO, the thing about Fascism is that only a small number of very violent people are needed to terrorise much larger numbers of people into not speaking out against them, and the quiet ones then may appear to be fascist to an outsider through fear (and perhaps the use of a less toxic term… like, in the 1930s… National Socialism). How many Fascists were there in Germany before Hitler managed to get himself elected into the Reichstag? Probably not that many.

    How long has fascism been capturing the psyche of the Western Ukrainian, do you suppose. Four months? Yes, true, but they are building it also on the Bandera fascists of the early 1940s, which seems to be giving them a head start.

    Whatever you think of Russia, please acknowledge the other aspect of the unfolding story.

  61. Craig, please give me edit facilities like Squonk has on his.

    My last comment should have read:

    “Russians don’t have that privilege.”

    I am not sure that is right any more. Oligarchs get imprisoned in Russia, but that is probably where most of them should be. However I am not sure that Russia executes as many people as the US (especially with the despicable extra-judicial killings that take out others regardless of who they are). I believe mobile phones are used to identify the targets. As to oligarchs perhaps Tony Buckingham who you know a little about ought to be in prison too (see The independent link at 10.28 pm above).

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 12:27 am

    “I think the EU is the best place to live in the World, by a long, long way.”

    Seconded. The pity is that so many of the benighted fools who post away on here don’t realise it.


    5 May, 2014 - 12:37 am

    Nice attempt, Hab; theories, conspiratoriaial, or otherwise don’t make facts.

    It will be all but impossible for the EU to trump the IMF, if they wish to remain solvent.

  64. Ben, and everyone else,

    Feel free to set out your own views. But just post links to somewhere else, or just copy and paste what someone else said somewhere, and it will get deleted. This isn’t a junkyard for collecting bad prose and dodgy videos.


    5 May, 2014 - 12:54 am

    Hopefully my last entry experienced software issues, rather than deletion.

  66. You are welcome to quote other people, or paste links, to illustrate your own argument if you are making one.


    5 May, 2014 - 12:56 am

    You seem intent on a particular narrative, craig. Perhaps you should set up rules for commentary, so that we know just how far the deletions will go.

  68. Thanks for the deletion. I’ll try to correct the typo this time… :)

    Regarding my above post…. I sent it in haste without actually noticing page 2. I now see that there have been plenty of replies.

  69. Peacewisher,

    I know quite a lot of Ukrainians. None of them are fascists. Fascism does not have a grip on the psyche of Western Ukraine. That is a ridiculous slur on tens of millions of people.

    Regrettably there are fascists in Ukraine, just as there are everywhere in Eastern Europe, including Russia. The proportions do not vary enormously.


    5 May, 2014 - 12:59 am

    The selected paste from links should suffice as it relates to any particular point, craig. Maybe you should just shut-down comments so that your pov might be more prominent.

  71. No, you can set out your argument at absolutely any length you like. And then you can put a link to that non-entity. But you can’t just paste screeds of someone else’s prose here.

  72. Peacewisher,

    Actually, quite regularly over the last ten years I have been pointing out the dangers of fascism in Eastern Europe – Mary at least will recall the argument with Charles Crawford who was denying my concerns about it in Poland. What it isn’t is an excuse for Putin – who is a dictator himself with a well developed personality cult – to invade.


    5 May, 2014 - 1:05 am

    That is unfathomable as a directive Craig. It sounds arbitrary subject to your current pique.

  74. Peacewisher

    5 May, 2014 - 1:07 am

    I sincerely hope you are right, Craig. But the signs are certainly not favourable. These good Ukrainians can’t afford to just ignore them, and expect them to go away. Especially as billionaires appear to be funding their violent ways…


    5 May, 2014 - 1:15 am

    ” But just post links to somewhere else, or just copy and paste what someone else said somewhere, and it will get deleted”

    “Empire” my thoughts…no link or paste.

    “Imperious Rex” Also mine.


  76. Peacewisher

    5 May, 2014 - 1:23 am

    Incidentally, BBC coverage now seems to be a bit more even-handed, and Fergal Keane – in MM terms at least – is fairly independent. I still think the Ukrainian government are of questionable legitimacy, and an administration in such a precarious position should certainly not send the military, led by right sector, to “restore order” against fellow citizens.


    5 May, 2014 - 1:48 am

    Please remember that you are an even-handed broker. Isn’t that the crux of your reputation? If ever it were found that you, covertly, maintained a character which would not augment your bona fides as Excellent Whistleblower, what would happen on your speaking engagement bookings? It may be a Win/Win based on the demographics who are most appreciate in a fiscal way.

  78. having heard Yats on BBC today going on about kiev’s counte-terrorist ops in the East., it’s nice to see Guardian & Daily Mail presenting the pro-russian protesters as “terrorists” too. in the case of The Guardian, it’s not even Yats, but the writer who is framing them thus:

    Guardian: Kiev hits back at pro-Russia rebels as Ukraine moves towards civil
    Harriet Salem in Slavyansk
    Less than 24 hours after the counter-terrorism assault against the rebels
    began, Ponomaryov announced the release of seven Organisation for Security
    and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) officials and their civilian translator,
    who were taken by bus to Donetsk…
    The Kiev counter-terrorism operation is the first real attempt to dislodge
    the rebels from their stronghold…
    Behind her, a homemade banner taped to a statue of Lenin outside the rebel
    headquarters in the city’s administration building summed up local sentiment
    about the anti-terrorism operation…

    LinkedIn: Harriet Salem
    Photographer, field researcher & writer at Kiev Collective
    Recently she has worked with; Foreign Policy Magazine, Financial Times,
    Business New Europe, The Guardian, SETimes, Kyiv Post, New Eastern Europe
    and The Sun. Harriet has previously lived and worked in; Manchester, London,
    Amsterdam and Kiev. She also works in association with international
    independent media resource, Kiev Collective, as a journalist and researcher

    Daily Mail: Putin wants to ‘wipe Ukraine off the map’, says Kiev: Country’s
    interim prime minister blames Moscow’s secret service for fire that killed
    ‘What happened in Odessa was part of a plan by the Russian Federation to
    destroy Ukraine and its statehood,’ Mr Yatsenyuk alleged. ‘Russia sent
    people here to create chaos,’ he added.
    He went on to beg Ukrainians to bury their differences ‘so as not to give
    the terrorists backed by Moscow the opportunity to divide our people’…
    Engulfed by violence which is rapidly plunging Ukraine into full-scale civil
    war, the bespectacled Yatsenyuk begged his people to unite and to bury their
    differences ‘so as not to give the terrorists backed by Moscow the
    opportunity to divide our people’…
    But he was also critical of his police, firing all commanders on Odessa for
    failing to protect people and failing to counter ‘terrorist forces’…

  79. from Fars in Iran – anonymous propaganda? possibly/probably, but time will tell:

    4 May – FarsNews – S. Arabia Relocating Takfiri Fighters from Syria to Ukraine
    “A large number of terrorist Takfiri fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in its fight against the pro-Russian population,” an Arab security official told FNA on Sunday on the condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the issue.
    “The forces have been immediately dispatched to Kramatosk city in Eastern Ukraine, and are now fighting beside the Ukrainian army forces against the pro-Russians under the name of militias who support the government,” the source added.
    The source explained that Saudi Arabia seeks to take revenge from Russia and pro-Russian people in Ukraine due to Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war on rebel groups…

    btw why not say Russia is responsible for the war on Syria & even the war on Libya.

    true or not, no matter how many air strikes by Israel on Syria or anywhere else for that matter – there is no possibility of a UN Security Council meeting being held, is there? nice to have US politicians/officials & MSM NOTING/SPECULATING on the alleged strike:

    4 May – Gulf Times – Israeli officials confirm Syria strike
    Israeli officials have confirmed that the Tel Aviv regime has conducted an airstrike on Syria, following speculations by US officials that the Israeli regime had carried out the aerial assault….
    The officials speaking on condition of anonymity said on Saturday that the Israeli fighter jets targeted a shipment of “game-changing” weapons in Syria on Friday. ..
    There have been no immediate confirming comments from Syrian officials.
    Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said that he is “not aware of any attack right now.”
    Earlier Saturday, two US officials said that the Israel “most likely” conducted an airstrike on Syria “in the Thursday-Friday time frame,” claiming, however, that the regime’s fighter jets “did not enter Syrian airspace.”
    CBS News cited US sources as saying the Israeli warplanes targeted “a warehouse.” ….
    The CNN news channel also reported that the Pentagon had collected information showing Israeli warplanes overflying Lebanon during the time frame of the strike.
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also has confirmed that Israeli warplanes bombed Syria.

    btw funny how US MSM is full of Benghazi Attack accusations & counter-accusations yet NO-ONE, on the left or on the right, is in the slightest concerned that underlying the attacks was the transfer of arms to AQ-affiliated rebels in Syria & elsewhere in north africa. the subject is never even mentioned.

  80. Macciavelli. What a prat. Despite living 800 years after the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, he did not know that kaida shaytana dha’eefa/ the plan of the devil is weak.

    Lies are disturbing to the soul if you are unaware of the truth, but once the cat has got out of the bag lying simply makes the liar look incredibly stupid.

    Mark Golding has hit the button by concluding that this phoney war in Ukraine is a political distraction from the war in Syria, where USUKIS want to hit the genocide button, but have been prevented by Putin.

    Look at the western banks, look at the western psychologists, look at the western generals. They are frozen into their lies and are now a laughing stock. Do they really think they can keep spinning the same old economic, social and political garbage and anyone is still listening?

    The only cure for recession is to reflate the price of houses so that their assets can rise? The only cure for harmed souls is to burn out the bits of the brain that have been damaged by lies? The only way to win a war is, if you can’t beat them, join them.

    Craig berates the gullible general public and praises the Macciavellians for their honesty. No. The media are not the public. The public do not believe anything the stupid, neanderthal politicians or media groupies or advisors or think-tanks tell them.

    Embarrassing? Let’s have a fig leaf contest? Shall we have a referendum or an election? What about both at the same time? What about leaving the fig leafs off and just insulting the public full on?


    An innteresting evasive reply from Habbabkuk about the location of his time zone. I was not asking about UCT.

    I was asking about a time zone which is one hour ahead of BST.

    Time in UK now 7.50am
    Time in France now 8.50am
    Time in Germany now 8.50am
    etc etc

    I maintain that he is not posting from the UK.

    Time now in UCT – 6.50am

  82. RIP Elena Baltacha

    Born in Kiev 1983. Brave and spirited girl.

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 8:43 am

    “An innteresting evasive reply from Habbabkuk about the location of his time zone. I was not asking about UCT.

    I was asking about a time zone which is one hour ahead of BST.”

    Do you not know that UTC is (for all practical purposes) = GMT ?

    And that BST is UCT/GMT + 1 ?

    Which makes me recall a wonderful story I once read about a UK politican whom you’ll surely remember – one Edward du Cann.

    He was apparently extremely smarmy, slippery and evasive – to the extent, the story goes, that when a fellow MP once asked him for the time, du Cann answered :
    “what time would you like it to be?”.


    So if you ask me where I’m posting from, perhaps I should reply in like fashion…:)


    La vita è bella, tempus fugit!

  84. Resident Dissident

    5 May, 2014 - 8:46 am

    Since it is not a crime to live in a different time zone (or even a different era for some) perhaps Habba should tell Lady Dorking to mind her own business.

  85. Resident Dissident

    5 May, 2014 - 9:00 am

    “Oligarchs get imprisoned in Russia,”

    Only if they disagree with Putin – otherwise they are thriving. In 2000 there were zero Russians on Forbes billionaire list – Moscow alone had 78 in 2012.

    When will Mr Goss realise that things have changed somewhat since his beloved Soviet Union – you need to wind your watch on 30 years.

  86. More evasion from Habbabkuk, now supported by his sidekick RD. UTC is thrown into the mix as a decoy.

    My original post.
    ‘Habbabkuk seems to be in a time zone that is different to the UK’s?? He says he posted a comment to Technicolour at 13.25hrs on the apartheid thread. It actually went up at 12.25hrs BST.’

    It is obvious that he posts from a foreign country but purports to be UK resident.

  87. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 9:54 am


    I think you and the Mods should be aware that some deranged nut is attempting to impersonate you (cf post at 09h26 above).

    A nice day to the real Mary!

  88. Keep on with your silly evasion. Even a fool should know that our avatars do not change if the IP address/email address remains the same.

  89. I think this article is rather one sided Craig and as someone has pointed out, you do seem to have your Cold War, Establishment hat on when it comes to this issue. I’m not expecting you to refrain from criticising Putin’s Imperialism here, but you’re underplaying the US/NATO influence enormously. For example, the $5 billion dollar figure is probably not an overestimate, but and underestimate when you take into account all the covert, off the books money that has been spent recently – and for many years beforehand – to prepare the way for an IMF/US friendly government. The US has been at this for 100 years and has become very practiced at it – take for example 1953 and the overthrow of Mossadeq in Iran, the consequences of which are still affecting global politics today.

    As for Russia being a “Gangster State” – well this is true, but how could you mention this without making the same description of the United States? It may hide behind a more “respectable” image, but this is merely a veneer to hide a fake and the Wall Street crooks who pass through the revolving door into Government/Pentagon/CIA appointments and back again are no less gangsters than their Russian Oligarch counterparts with whom, as you say, they are doing plenty of business.

    I see no evidence that Putin is attempting to restore the Soviet Empire to any degree – but that this is defensive against long term NATO encroachment on Russian borders. I’m not talking about the morality of the Grand Chessboard here, but the practicality. In terms of Imperialism, Putin has been much more restrained and cautious than his “Shock and Awe” counterparts in the West.

    On the subject of activism and protesting government, if you think similar things don’t happen in the US then you should take a look at what happened to journalist Michael Hastings whose extremely suspicious death in a car “accident” was wrapped up quickly and his body cremated against the wishes of his family.

    Finally, you keep banging on about how much better it is in the EU than in Russian Federation states. I’m not sure the Greeks would agree with that. The only reason the EU has a better standard of living is because of the illusion and fraud of international financialization and the “Imperial Wealth Pump” which feeds most of the world’s resources to the Western Powers. As you can see though, this arrangement is falling down around our ears as the Italians and Spanish are discovering and as the rest of us will find out in due course. So pray tell, what good to either the Ukrainians or the EU, will adding yet another IMF debt slave to this equation be?

  90. Resident Dissident

    5 May, 2014 - 10:09 am

    Lady Dorking

    I wonder if it has crossed your febrile imagination that Habba might have his computer time settings such that they might not update for BST.

    Now lets get back to commenters on Medialens who use the same terminology as yourself e.g. BiBiC?

  91. Pat @4.24am

    I continue to be gob-smacked by the fact that an American General who attempted to rescue an American Ambassador in Benghazi was sacked ON THE SPOT, even tho said Ambassador met his demise under horrific circumstances.

    Seems to me that Americans in general are PARALYZED by the atrocities perpetrated by their own ‘elected representatives’, who KNOW exactly what they are doing, and ‘disappearing’ any one who sees and says it AS IT IS.

    Many are those of us who would rather die than perpetuate the on-going lies and slaughter generated by the powers that be.

    This is an ages-old conundrum-like-2050 years-give or take a few?

  92. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 11:36 am


    I think I might adjust the computer time settings to give Tel Aviv time.

    I’ll let you know if I do so because I want to make you happy.Or perhaps not.

  93. RD brings up the rear again in this evasion. Laughable double act.

  94. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    5 May, 2014 - 11:45 am


    “Finally, you keep banging on about how much better it is in the EU than in Russian Federation states. I’m not sure the Greeks would agree with that.”

    Which might explain why Greeks looking for work abroad tend to end up going to the UK, Germany, France ..rather than to the Russian Federation?


    More generally, do you (or any of the other SFRs ) happen to have any figures for emigration from the EU to Russia and vice versa? By category figures (eg students, workers, pensioners, etc) if possible.


    SFR – Shill for Russia

  95. Sofia Kibo Noh

    5 May, 2014 - 11:48 am


    Those Russians are so sneaky. Not even the NYT can find where they’ve hidden their army in Ukraine…

  96. Copied from Medialens (where I am not a contributor as RD keeps suggesting)

    Lockheed Martin: Ukraine Crisis will Boost Sales
    Posted by zemblan on May 5, 2014, 8:59 am

    I wonder when this piece of news will make its way to the BBC’s website…What a racket!

    ‘Lockheed Martin is on the lookout for acquisition deals and expects the crisis in Ukraine to boost sales of its missile defense system MEADS, the company’s chief executive told German weekly paper Welt am Sonntag.

    “We see strong demand for defense systems in the world. Here in Europe it is for missile defense systems. Many of our NATO partners are also looking at our F-35 fighter jet programme,” Marilyn Hewson, company CEO, was quoted as saying.

    Across the world there are around 20 new clients for its Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Hewson told the paper.

    MEADS is a mobile system designed to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.

    Lockheed continues to be on the lookout for potential acquisitions, Hewson told the paper.’


    Sick or what? Just think. Lockheed Martin ran our census last time and have all our details.

  97. Craig 4 May, 2014 – 11:09 am
    “On the end of the British Empire, I have a different view to the dogmatic Marxists among you as to the extent this was entirely due to local resistance, or to which ideological change in the UK itself post 1945 hastened it. That is however irrelevant.”

    Straw man! I have never said the end of empire was entirely due to local resistance. I mentioned numerous causes.

    However, you keep repeating your nonsense that the end of empire was gifted by the British establishment. A ludicrous claim! Anyway, with this latest comment, you are now backtracking, so progress!

    Dogmatic Marxists? LOL. Reds in the beds! You guess at my politics to claim the middle ground for yourself like a good old establishment boy: I am reasonable and the rigid extremism is over there! Watch out everyone, we are now surrounded by one nutter and an extremist! I am the voice of reason!

  98. Acrually I think whoever it was who invented the term ‘BiBiC’ was rather clever. Instead of Z(Zionist)BC, there is a passing reference to Bibi Netanyahu included.

  99. Ha. Indeed, Sofia It really tickles me the way some folk go on about “Russian influence”. Do they mean Russian influence among ethnic Russians in a country that used to be part of Russia?

    Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs! Whoever would have believed it!

    ITN last night: “The deaths of 40 people on Friday as a result of clashes between both sides.”

    Er…not quite. They were burned to death by Nazis. Bit of a difference there.

  100. Mike

    You are so right. It used to be part of Russia. Russian influence is every bit as legitimate as British influence among the Northern Irish, or the Falkland Islanders. We should have given more support to Carson and Ulster will fight, yes? (Sarcasm alert)

    Look at yourself. You are a complete bloody hypocrite. You are in fact an imperialist, it is just your loyalty is to the Russian empire.

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