What is really happening in Ukraine and Crimea.

elguero 4388 1911
Friends,

I understand that there are Russians reading this, so I will try to be nice. But, as some of you know, some of the Russians writing on this forum are not trying to be nice.

I live part time outside of Odessa, Ukraine.

I visited Kiev and the Maidan in December and January. I went, because I knew I could not trust western media. And Russian media is no better. So, I went to see for myself.

No one was scared (I was not there during the violence). One friend was there during the violence, she worked as a volunteer nurse during the shootings. Women were not scared to bring their children.

The Maidan was more like a festival than like a protest.

My friends were involved in organizing the Odessa Maidan celebrations.

Now for my observations: Maidan did not scare people. Ukrainians were free to express their opinions.

RUSSIANS frequently visited - there were a lot of Russian TOURISTS there.

BUT, Russians were petrified of having their pictures taken there .... I wonder why?

Ukrainians fear (FEAR) the Nationalists. The Nationalists trying to force a Soviet era reset upon Ukraine scares almost everyone in Ukraine.

Do NOT misunderstand, there are TWO nationalist movements. One Ukrainian, the other Russian. The Ukrainian movement has had support from the West. But, there is NO evidence of State sponsored terrorism. The Russian movement has support from Russia, and a lot of people are dead, and there is a lot of destruction.

Ukrainians are not a destructive people - normally.

Ukrainians break down into two groups of people. One group had grand-parents who were Ukrainian. The other group had grand-parents who were Russian.

Both groups see themselves as Ukrainian. Very, Very few see themselves as 'Soviet.'

If you want to get all of your news from western or Russian sources, great. Just don't expect me to accept either side's propaganda.

I live there. And the lives of my friends are at stake.

Wayne
April 2014
  • elguero 4388 1911
    PS: I regularly get Twitter feed from reporters on the ground.

    What the reporters say in their twitter feeds and what my friends tell me agrees about 60% or 70% with what western media reports. What I saw with my own eyes, and heard myself agrees with western media about 70% of the time.

    What Russian media reports agrees with what is on the ground about 40% to 50% of the time.

    The huge difference?

    Almost everyone has told me at some time, they are scared. The reporters. My friends. They are scared of the Russian invasion, and they are scared of the Russian nationalists. And some of the Russian nationalists report that they are not comfortable with the new Russian visitors at the protests.

    Wayne
    April 2014
  • evgueny40 70230 13969 42021
    I am not responding for your fair tales about the "peaceful" maidan which was throwing 'Molotov-coctails' to the disarmed milicemen, my smiling CIA- friend.
    Not me, but God will punish you.
    Good-bye, America!
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      It became violent after the people were pushed, but even then, it doesn't justify Putin's silly invasion. He is actually going to have more trouble with that region, and inside Russia itself,
      if and when he takes it over. Where is General Lebed when you need him? Oh, he's dead because he was too sensible and Putin had to stage o phony helicopter crash. But, this is what we get when we let psychopaths run our countries.
      August 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @ elguero

    I'm very pitty, but you are terrible liar.
    Evgueny40 is right.
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @ elguero

    Do you follow the news from Syria?
    What do you think about Obama`s treats to bring american troops into that country?
    Do you support the delivery of arms to the Syrian terrorists to fight against the government?
    May be it will be useful to impose sanction upon Obama`s regime to escape American Invasion?
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      I don't think that Obama will send troops into Syria. Arming the "rebels" was a mistake, just as going into Iraq was a huge mistake. The U.S. invading Iraq really destabilized the region. ( I could go on and on about that). Again, neither Obama nor any subsequent U,S, president would be stupid enough to invade Syria. But, speaking of stupidity, there was George W. Bush.
      August 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    Kiev threatens force against eastern Ukraine protesters

    The things are getting worser.


    Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister is threatening to resolve “in 48 hours” the situation in eastern regions where administrations of at least two cities are controlled by protesters demanding a nationwide referendum on the state structure.

    Arsen Avakov told journalists on Wednesday that the coup-imposed government is ready to use force in the mutinous eastern regions.

    "There are two solutions: a political one through negotiations or through force,” the minister said on the margins of a government meeting.

    After RT: http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-violence-thr...

    What do LingQers think about using ARMED FORCES against Ukrainian people?
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      I am totally against using force or violence in any form to solve this problem. It can be solved by logic and diplomacy. Think of Czechoslovakia, they agreed that they were separated by language (which is really the problem in Ukraine) and they drew a mutually agreed upon line or border and those who wanted to live on one side or the other moved. They were compensated for the equity in their real estate and had their moving expenses paid. A few moves and a few land swaps and the potential problem was solved. But, then again, half the people in the world have a below average IQ and they seem to be easily manipulated by the psychopaths in their respective governments.
      August 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      RT in America does give voice to American progressives like Liz Whal, who walked off the show when Putin invaded Crimea. But, the political news out of Russia is tainted. I told a Russian visiting my country that I occasionally watched RT and he simply said: "Don't watch it. It is full of lies." I'd be happier if Pacifica had a similar network, but they have very little money.
      August 2014
  • b4kemono 18284 4500 333
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26953113 "Ukraine in 48-hour ultimatum to east's pro-Russia activists"
    I'm trying to understand the different power centers in this situation. Each of them have their responsibilities (and world views and backers...).

    I think usually it would be quite normal for a country to use force if government buildings are occupied by groups of people. But this is not a normal country we are talking about. Because it seems to me that Ukraine is disintegrating in one way or another (autonomous areas in Ukraine, new countries or parts joining Russia, perhaps satellite states).

    If Kiev sends tanks and all to Eastern Ukraine, what will happen will also partly depend how the local folks will respond. And how will Putin try to influence the situation? Will the Russian tanks come 'save the day'?

    BTW the last few days, I've been reading the book by the historian Ian Morriss called 'War - what is it good for? The role of conflict in civilization, from primates to robots.'

    War is hell. But what is worse than war? Small gangs filling the power vacuum.

    What annoys me that some people seem to depict the situation that small gangs are only Ukrainian nationalists (backed by evil US) or only Russian nationalists (backed by evil Russia). In reality the situation is more complicated than that.
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @B4: "...I think usually it would be quite normal for a country to use force if government buildings are occupied by groups of people. But this is not a normal country we are talking about. Because it seems to me that Ukraine is disintegrating in one way or another (autonomous areas in Ukraine, new countries or parts joining Russia, perhaps satellite states)..."
    ---

    Yup. A culturally disjointed entity with unsustainable borders arising from a historical quirk - it had to come under severe strain sooner or later, I guess.

    ---
    @B4: "...If Kiev sends tanks and all to Eastern Ukraine, what will happen will also partly depend how the local folks will respond. And how will Putin try to influence the situation? Will the Russian tanks come 'save the day'?..."
    ---

    They would come to save the day - but the situation probably won't arise. The Kiev government is ultimately a bankrupt proxy for the US-EU. It won't go against orders - and those orders are surely to avoid provoking or initiating armed conflict with Russia at every cost?

    (IMO The bigger risk for war is that irregular fighters from the far-right elements will start a civil war of some kind. That would also give the Russians a legitimate excuse to finish the job militarily - if civilians were getting killed in large numbers.)
    April 2014
  • Ferdy 7062
    Something very similar happened here in Prague in 1968.

    I would be interested to hear if our Russian brothers condon that incident too........?
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Ferdy

    Actually I don't believe the two situations are terribly similar. As far as I'm aware, there were *not* large numbers of people living in Czechoslovakia who identified themselves culturally and linguistically as Russians? (Unlike in parts of the Ukraine today.)
    April 2014
  • Ferdy 7062
    Maybe not in that respect, but in the respect of invading, and suppressing the local community I'd say there's plenty of similarities.

    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    "Not me, but God will punish you.
    Good-bye, America!"

    You´re the spokesperson of the creator of the universe, Evgueny? How´d you get that job?
    Most americans seem to think that God is on THEIR side...
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      Yes, maybe She is, but I'm sure She's pissed with both of us.
      August 2014
  • evgueny40 70230 13969 42021
    Yeah,Paul, some Americans (especially some American politics) are very presumptuous.
    Maybe the half of all world crisises and wars happen because of it.
    They act like an international policeman.
    They impose their will and their values all over the world.
    For this aim they spend for their army more money than almost all other countries in the world.
    But nothing to do.
    And soon or later they will be punished for it.
    However, not all Americans are so impudent. (Gott sei Dank!)
    Some of them are very nice and friendly.
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      I'm all for Russia helping to keep the world from going to hell in a hand basket, I'm tired of looking at it all. You have an opportunity to do it in Ukraine. Like I said, draw a mutually agreed upon line:; move people around. End of problem.
      August 2014
    • Ozemite au Australia 100 561 3553
      Hi Evgueny, I'm going off-track to the thread here, but I want to respond to what you said. I don't agree there's no God:) - but I certainly do agree with you when you said,

      "Some Americans (especially some American politics) are very presumptuous. Maybe half of all world crises and wars happen because of it.They act like an international policeman.They impose their will and their values all over the world.... And soon or later they will be punished for it."

      I hate the propaganda that the American president is the "leader of the free world". I dislike how my own Prime Minister (and previous PMs) just bow and scrape and copy every line the American bureaucrats use.

      I believe very strongly that America will be punished for every heinous act they've committed, including rape, torture and murder of innocents (and every other country that fits the bill). I believe there are many cover-ups, and as a non-American, it wouldn't surprised me if America has staged "accidents" causing high civilian casualties in the past - and would do so in the future, just to serve their own interests. (But not referring to the recent Malaysian aircraft which was shot down).

      Don't forget the so-called "weapons of mass destruction" bull-dust intelligence so America could justify a second gulf war. (The excuse, Oh, but one guy lied to us, is probably part of the propaganda). And don't get me started on the sickening evil they did at Guantanamo Bay.

      Pretty strong words, but after all, I'm not American, and I'm middle-aged with a living memory of what they did in Vietnam, etc. So basically, I've grown up with a distrust of American politics over the years.

      However, I have to say that most Aussies think Russian bureaucrats/media are even more propagandist than America. Just sayin'
      August 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    Well, if many Russians (including you, it seems) think that God is on Russia´s side, while many Americans think that God is on their side...well....who´s right and who´s wrong?

    How can you act like the spokesman of God ("God will punish you")? Where´s the difference between you and the americans who you´re calling "presumptuous"? One side must be wrong ;)

    "Maybe the half of all world crisises and wars happen because of it.
    They act like an international policeman.
    They impose their will and their values all over the world."

    My family can tell you about their experiences with the Russian definition of freedom. Most Germans will agree that "having american values imposed on you" was more fun than having Russian values imposed on you. And yes, the division of Germany was Germany´s fault.

    The US and Russia/the USSR have treated the rest of the world like a chessboard since WW2 has ended. I´m on neither side. I hope that both Russia and the U.S. will either get weaker or less agressive some day.

    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      But, what if the Germans step in and take on the role? Hmmmmmm.... also scary. Heaven is where the Germans are the mechanics, the Italians are the lovers, the French are the cooks, the Swiss run the hotels and the English are the police. Hell is where the Swiss are the lovers, the English are the cooks, the French are the mechanics and the Germans are the Police. (old joke)
      August 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    "They impose their will and their values all over the world.
    For this aim they spend for their army more money than almost all other countries in the world."

    America spends 682 billion Dollars on their military, but that´s "only" 4,4% of their GDP.
    Russia spends 90 billion Dollars on their military, which is 4,4% of their GDP.
    Countries like Japan, Germany, Canada, China, and Italy spend less between 1 and 2% on their military.

    Relatively speaking, Russia is spending as much money on their military as the U.S.
    It´s just that the GDP is 800% higher than Russia´s.^^

    If you take a look at the "global militarization index", Russia is on the 4th most militarized country (Israel is Number One...), while the U.S. is on the 31st place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_...)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_...
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Paule: "...Well, if many Russians (including you, it seems) think that God is on Russia´s side, while many Americans think that God is on their side...well....who´s right and who´s wrong?..."
    ---

    God is on the side of peace (and therefore of peace-makers in every nation) in my not-so-humble opinion :-)

    ---
    @Paule: "...My family can tell you about their experiences with the Russian definition of freedom. Most Germans will agree that "having american values imposed on you" was more fun than having Russian values imposed on you..."
    ---

    Mmm...maybe we are talking about 'Communist values' vs. 'Capitalist values', rather than 'Russian values' vs. 'American values'...?
    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    @ Prinz Wladi "God is on the side of peace (and therefore of peace-makers in every nation) in my not-so-humble opinion :-)

    In that case, history has shown that having God on your side doesn´t help that much ;)

    "Mmm...maybe we are talking about 'Communist values' vs. 'Capitalist values', rather than 'Russian values' vs. 'American values'...?"

    Well, they´re hard to seperate. But you do have a point^^
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    "...Well, they´re hard to seperate..."
    ---

    Really? So you would say that Russian values are intrinsically Communist - even today???
    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    No.

    I was talking about the occupation of Germany.

    April 2014
  • Ferdy 7062
    I'm English and I was against us backing America in the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. I know we have a tarnished history, from the. colonial days, to the occupation of Ireland, and I'll freely admit that. What I don't understand is people who support their country whatever. Russia has imposed itself since WW2 and yet not one Russian I've met will admit it. American is just as bad, but at least some of them are man (or woman) enough to oppose it.

    It is only when we release that it not us against them, it's not our God against their God, it's not East against West. It's simple right against wrong. Choose what is right, not the crap you were indocrinated with as a child.

    PS. There is no God. But that's another topic ;)

    April 2014
  • evgueny40 70230 13969 42021
    Yes, there is no God, but there are different cultures and different lifestyles.
    I was born in the Central Asia, my childhood was among the muslims.
    I have never any problems with them.
    The problems start arising when one nation (or one part opf population) would like to dominate the another one.
    And the same happened in Ukraine when the Western Ukraines which have their specific history and their specirfic church (=uniats) and specific values by the strong support of West Europa and first of all the US wanted to impact and to impose the whole Ukraine where the Eastern ans Southern parts of the land had compleately different history, different church, different values and even (mostly) different language.
    The financial peoblems are very difficult, but they could be solved gradually with the international money support. But no money can solve the problem of different cultures, different languages and different lifestyles.
    That's why I think that the integeraty of Ukraine could be solved for a long time only by the real federalisation where the Eastern, Western and Southern Ukrainians would be able to live together without striving to solve all problems by dominating one part over the other part violantly.
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Ferdy: "...PS. There is no God. But that's another topic ;)..."
    ---

    Not all of us agree with that...
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @Paule89: "The US and Russia/the USSR have treated the rest of the world like a chessboard since WW2 has ended. I´m on neither side. I hope that both Russia and the U.S. will either get weaker or less agressive some day."

    Do you really think that in nowdays Russia and Russians confess Communist Soviet ideals? And that Russia is following Soviet Union?

    In my opinion saying that way is the same as to say that Germany in our time is following ideals of Nazi Hitler`s Germany of 1930-1940. I really understand that it`s wrong.

    How would you feel if I say like "I hope that Germany will either get weaker or less agressive some day.", remembering Nazy Germany`s case against Soviet Union?

    @Paule89: "I was talking about the occupation of Germany."

    Do not forget about Nazy Germany`s assault upon Soviet Union in 1941 and about a cruell anti-human WW2 than was murdered at least 22 million Soviet people by German`s Nazy.
    Under Soviet "occupation" did Soviets really murder Germans?

    @Paule: "...My family can tell you about their experiences with the Russian definition of freedom."

    May be your family had experiences with SOVIET definition of freedom?

    Please make difference between Soviet Union and Russia. Like Third Reich and Germany.
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @Ferdy: "it's not our God against their God, it's not East against West. It's simple right against wrong."

    East is right and West is wrong, you said.
    Cold War is not over, as I see.
    April 2014
  • MADARA 3609
    @sdom: 'Do you support the delivery of arms to the Syrian terrorists to fight against the government?''

    Who's the actual terrorist, the one who kills people because they are against the regime or the ones who pick up weapons to defend themselves ? Either you are a total stranger to what's happening in Syria or you agree with the help that putin provides for one of the most disgusting regimes known in human history.

    The issue in Ukraine is pretty delicate ( I hope there won't be any combats between the two nations considering that my country is one of Ukraine's neighbors - if you know what I mean). But it's pretty clear who is right and who isn't .

    I for one think that putin should learn to sit quite in his bench one's in a while . The reason for this is that he brings bad name to the normal and decent Russians ( I mean ever since with his support toward bashar people have been cursing Russia when in fact he ,Lavrov and the other sick politicians are responsible for the Russian weapons delivered to Syria's army).
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Admittedly we are all influenced by the news we read and listen to. This does not mean that we should not express our opinions, opinions which reflect what we read and hear.

    From what I read and hear, the people who have seized buildings in Eastern Ukraine have limited popular support in the region. Even recent opinion polls show that the support for separatism, and even for the poorly understood term "federalization" is limited, and that Russian speakers there mostly do not feel threatened, despite the propaganda barrage from Russia. The violent "separatist" are no more representative of people in Eastern Ukraine, than Right Sector is representative of people from Western Ukraine, from what I can gather.

    People everywhere in Ukraine seem to be fed up with corruption, the power of the oligarchs in league with politicians and criminals and just want to lead a better life, and to have more control over their own affairs, which may lead to some increase in local government autonomy.

    There is an obvious conflict between the goal of many in Western Ukraine to see the "national language" become a key identifier of their country, and the desire of many in Easter Ukraine to have equal status for their language, Russian. We are used to these kinds of conflicts in Canada, and probably in Spain, Belgium and elsewhere. These are not issues that require people to seize buildings.

    There is no comparing the violence in Eastern Ukraine with the Maidan events. At the Maidan hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated peacefully, mostly against the Yanukovich regime rather than pro-Europe, and stood in the cold for months. I don't know the full details of how these peaceful protests turned violent, but it appears to me that it started with the violence perpetrated by the police, both on the barricades, and in kidnapping protesters, killing them and torturing them. In the end 108 protesters and over 20 police died. In comparison, in the Eastern Ukrainian events we see violent people seizing buildings, but we don't see tens of thousands of people peacefully demonstrating.

    To my knowledge no one in Eastern Ukraine has yet been killed by the police. If similar events had occurred in Russia I would imagine the reaction of Russian police would have been much harsher.

    as for Jay's comment

    "Actually I don't believe the two situations are terribly similar. As far as I'm aware, there were *not* large numbers of people living in Czechoslovakia who identified themselves culturally and linguistically as Russians? (Unlike in parts of the Ukraine today.)"

    I don't understand the point. Do you mean that the Sudeten Germans had every right to storm Czech government buildings in the late 1930's? Or that the Russians who live in the Baltics or Kazakhstan have every right to do so? And that the Germans had the right to intervene then, and the Russians now? Just to clarify what you mean.
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      Most of the worst wars have been fought over language. The Americans don't seem to understand that, hence the influence of the Spanish language here and the lack of a law declaring English as the official language. The was violence in Canada in the French/English language controversy in Quebec sometime ago. But, if you really need something to feel cynical about concerning human nature consider this: there are people rioting and killing each other over THE ALPHABET. Yes the alphabet. http://www.neurope.eu/article/cyrillic-alphabet... I think we Anglophones ought to riot over SPELLING since we have the worst spelling in the world. I can see the demonstrations now: banners that scream "I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER C...." And we'd have to attack England for spelling "color" with a "U".
      August 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @MADARA: "Either you are a total stranger to what's happening in Syria".

    I dare to say that it`s you who are a total stranger to what's happening in Syria.
    Syrian rebels are not only fighting against authorities, but killing civilians who not support them.

    How can you explain the fact that Bashar Asad was elected as president first time by 97,29 % in 2000 and was reelected by 97,62 % in 2007.
    You must say that people voted under "regime gun", do not you?

    @MADRA: "one of the most disgusting regimes known in human history".

    You probably made a mistake and wanted to tell us about a most disgusting syrian terrorists who make terrorist attack on civilians and, by the way, eat human hearts of their victims (it`s not a joke). Go to YouTube and make some search.
    If you defend such thugs, I don`t know what to think...

    By the way, I live in Russia where terrorists are making their evil things killing peaceful citizens. You may be think they "are against the Putin regime"? Your unliking Putin have 80% rate here.
    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0
      As an American I have to apologize for any role we may have had in Syria. Both sides are barbarians and not worth the trouble by Russians or Americans to civilize them.
      August 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @Steve: "I don't know the full details of how these peaceful protests turned violent, but it appears to me that it started with the violence perpetrated by the police, both on the barricades, and in kidnapping protesters, killing them and torturing them. In the end 108 protesters and over 20 police died.".

    Steve, it`s unthinkable for me, that you believe that Ukrainian police "kidnapping protesters, killing them and torturing them".
    Do you really believe that in european country STATE POLICE kidnapping people and killing them? Of cause, Ukrain is not Canada, but...
    April 2014
  • MADARA 3609
    @sdom: ''Syrian rebels are not only fighting against authorities, but killing civilians who not support them.''

    Rebels? So if you want to express your aversion towards the one in charge of your country and then they start shooting you and later you try to defend , that makes you a rebel? A rebel is one you goes against a righteous leader not someone who fights against a regime that killed over 200,000 people and destroyed the homes of other 7 million .

    ''eat human hearts of their victims'' you shouldn't confuse horror movies with reality.

    And I can't be a stranger to this situation considering that my father is from Syria and he's been watching Al-Jazeera almost daily for the past 3 years or so. You may argue now that the Arab channel stations are biased but considering that they are the closest to the conflict zone proves the opposite .

    I'm sorry to say but the media you watch is terrible biased so I shouldn't hold your post against you .


    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    sdm, just so I understand your logic.

    Do you mean that rebels in Syria come from the 2.38% of the population who didn't vote for Assad?

    Even though Assad is an Alawi, and Alawis are only 12% of the population, you think that almost all the 80% Sunnis voted for him and still support him, in a tribal country like Syria?

    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    More hysteria from the Russian government.

    Russia’s foreign ministry has issued a blanket foreign travel advisory notice, warning Russian nationals to abstain from travelling to countries that have extradition agreements with the United States.

    The ministry had issued a similar warning on September 2 2013, saying that Russian nationals risked “being detained or arrested at the request of American law enforcement.” In its latest notice, the ministry said that “such risk has increased recently in relation to the anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the US.”

    “The US administration, baselessly refusing to recognise the reunification of Crimea with Russia, which is fully in line with international law and the UN statute, is attempting to make a routine practice of the ‘hunt’ on Russian nationals in third countries, with their subsequent extradition to the US and their sentencing on dubious, as a rule, charges,” the ministry said.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    From Human Rights Watch web site http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/01/23/ukraine-poli...

    "Riot police brutally beat several people, including a 17-year-old, who were detained on January 20, 2014, during a standoff in Kiev. In the early hours the next day, unidentified assailants kidnapped two activists from a hospital and severely beat them; the body of one of them was found the next day.

    “Police in Kiev face serious challenges, but nothing can justify the vicious beatings we’ve documented,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These are very serious crimes that need thorough investigation, and the people responsible "
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    http://www.dw.de/ukrainian-activists-fear-kidna...

    "A bearded man with clever eyes can be seen in it. Yuri Verbizky, a 50-year-old seismologist from the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, was found dead in a forest near Kyiv on January 22, 2014. His hands had been bound together with tape, and his corpse showed signs of torture.
    Few details are known, but doctors have determined that Verbizky died due to exposure. Temperatures of around minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) are common at the moment in Ukraine. Police are investigating the case as murder.
    Verbizky took part in protests in Kyiv and suffered an injury to his eye. Another activist, Ihor Luzenko, brought him to the hospital. Both were then kidnapped by around 10 unknown individuals and taken to the forest where they were beaten, Luzenko said in an interview with DW."
    April 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Steve: "...Do you mean that the Sudeten Germans had every right to storm Czech government buildings in the late 1930's? Or that the Russians who live in the Baltics or Kazakhstan have every right to do so? And that the Germans had the right to intervene then, and the Russians now? Just to clarify what you mean..."
    ---

    I support the right of all people to democratic self-determination. If a genuine majority of people in a particular city or region want greater autonomy from Kiev they should get it, IMO.

    However, I wouldn't endorse violence of any kind *unless* people are being denied a democratic process. (For example: violent struggle against white minority rule in South Africa would - arguably at least - have been fully justified, because in that context people were simply not able to enforce the majority-will by ordinary peaceful means.)

    As regards the situation in Ukraine, I generally tend to sympathise with the Russian position, as I have said in other posts. But ultimately this isn't my fight. People over there are going to do what they are going to do. It really doesn't matter a fig what I think about it.
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @Steve: "Do you mean that rebels in Syria come from the 2.38% of the population who didn't vote for Assad?"

    Not. Some of "rebels" (terrorists) are foreign mercenaries.
    They just do their job for money.
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @Steve: "In the early hours the next day, unidentified assailants kidnapped two activists from a hospital and severely beat them; the body of one of them was found the next day."

    @Steve: "Both were then kidnapped by around 10 unknown individuals and taken to the forest where they were beaten, Luzenko said in an interview with DW."

    You think it has done by police or secret service agents?
    April 2014
  • MADARA 3609
    @sdom: ''Some of "rebels" (terrorists) are foreign mercenaries.
    They just do their job for money.''

    I have to agree with you here. Considering that bashar's men are losing ground , they had to come up with another strategy to massacre all those who oppose the regime .
    April 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    I hold a rather simplistic view on this.

    The whole Ukrainian crisis is not about the Ukrainian people. It is not even about the Ukrainian economy or EU. It is all about the West and Russia.

    No doubt the riots are being backed, funded, and orchestrated by both sides, both in Kiev and eastern Ukraine. They are there just to fuel the media war. Arguing about which side is more right or more wrong seems pointless to me.

    I think it is obvious that neither side wants a direct war. Neither side can afford such a war. Sanction is a joke. It is now the matter of coming up with a diplomatic solution to ‘de-escalate’ the crisis, and most importantly to save face. Looks like to me Ukraine will be federalized somehow. At the end, I think Mr Putin will be the biggest winner. The West will learn not to stumble on Russia’s backyard again.

    As for Syria, people there are now becoming more and more sick of the war. At some point in the near future, the party will be over and they will say bye-bye to the foreign mercenaries. Like it or not, Mr Assad will likely to stand.

    The whole moral behind all these events, at least to me, is that you cannot play the same trick over and over again. Looks like somebody will need to come up with newer tricks in the future to topple other people’s governments.

    April 2014
    • scottpreston us United States 826 0

      I think the fight in Ukraine is over money, pure and simple. Putin is rich, psychopathic thug, in Russian parlance a vor v zakonye. There's no nationalism or ideology involved just the fear that the West will out bid him. When his billionaire cronies start to realize that all this nonsense is costing them money, Mr. Putin is likely to have a convenient accident. Maybe a helicopter crash.

      August 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    I fully agree with Edwin.
    April 2014
  • MADARA 3609
    @Edwin: I presume that you are as brain-washed as sdom is.

    ''topple other people’s governments.'' Excuse me? You think that bashar's government is a legitimate one ? In a normal country even if you spit in the face of it's president there's no risk of getting killed .

    ''Mr.Assad'' ? How can you respect a blatant criminal like that ? Syria is in ruin because of his people bombarding all over the place( you can't say its the revolutionaries fault because they don't have airplanes ) .Thousands of children had their throats cut(some of them were uploaded on Youtube ) , women raped to the death ,mosques,churches destroyed and many more things happened because of that filthy sorry excuse of a man and his flunkies .

    Trust me there's no way in hell that he will remain in power after all that happened .

    If you don't have the right information then you shouldn't try to convince others of it's 'veracity' .
    April 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @MADARA: "I presume that you are as brain-washed as sdom is."

    It is very uncivilized to say in a such way.
    There is your tolerance to other`s opinion?

    @MADARA: "Thousands of children had their throats cut(some of them were uploaded on Youtube ) , women raped to the death ,mosques,churches destroyed and many more things happened because of that filthy"

    You think that army kill children in own country? Only foreign mercenaries can do the same things.
    Somebody here told us about brain-washed men.

    @MADARA: "my father is from Syria and he's been watching Al-Jazeera almost daily for the past 3 years or so. You may argue now that the Arab channel stations are biased but considering that they are the closest to the conflict zone proves the opposite ."

    Being in the nearest place to the events is, without any doubt, guarantee of media`s telling only the truth.
    The closer the more honest.

    @MADARA: "If you don't have the right information then you shouldn't try to convince others of it's 'veracity' ."

    Undoubtly, the fact that your father`s looking Al-Jazeera is very important proof of knowing "right information".

    As you said, "I'm sorry to say but the media you watch is terrible biased".
    April 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Syria was on the infamous hit-list the U.S government originally composed after 9/11. The U.S government wanted to topple the Syrian government as they did to other Arab Spring countries, only that it backfired this time.

    If you look at the pattern, in all these countries, the legitimate governments suddenly become 'regimes' and their leaders become 'dictators' overnight.

    If it was not Putin, the U.S is already fully engaged at war in Syria, killing more women and children as they did in Iraq. Ironically, it was Mr Obama, not Mr Putin, who won the Noble peace prize. Even more ironic, Mr Obama is not the person running his country.

    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    @sdom

    "Do you really think that in nowdays Russia and Russians confess Communist Soviet ideals? And that Russia is following Soviet Union?"

    Nope. But I do think that Russia is playing a "geopolitical chess game" against America, just like the Soviet Union.

    "In my opinion saying that way is the same as to say that Germany in our time is following ideals of Nazi Hitler`s Germany of 1930-1940. I really understand that it`s wrong."

    I agree.^^

    "How would you feel if I say like "I hope that Germany will either get weaker or less agressive some day.", remembering Nazy Germany`s case against Soviet Union?"

    Feel free to say that as soon as Germany tries to divide and annex their neighbours like Russia does. I´ll agree with you if that ever happens again. It´s interesting how your post doesn´t say anything about America, even though I critized them as much as Russia...

    "Do not forget about Nazy Germany`s assault upon Soviet Union in 1941 and about a cruell anti-human WW2 than was murdered at least 22 million Soviet people by German`s Nazy."

    That´s hard to forget, since people from other countries often start talking about Nazi Germany as soon as I disagree with their political opinion ;)

    I know about that my ancestors did horrible things to many other countries, then again, I don´t think that I have to feel guilty or responsible for things that happened more than 40 years before I was born. Just like you shouldn´t feel personally responsible for the things that happened in the Soviet Union.

    "Under Soviet "occupation" did Soviets really murder Germans?"

    As far as I know, Soviet war crimes killed about 200,000 Germans and another 200,000 died in Soviet labour camps.
    However, that´s not comparable to the millions of people who were killed when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
    I´m glad that the USSR didn´t apply a "an eye for an eye"-policy in Germany. Maybe they didn´t start a massacre for strategical reasons (like needing the GDR as an ally against the West), maybe Stalin was too busy killing people in his own country, maybe they stopped killing German civilians after a while out of human decency...

    Most Germans (though not all of them) will agree that being occupied by the US was better than being occupied by the Soviet Union. Is that better?^^

    "Please make difference between Soviet Union and Russia. Like Third Reich and Germany."

    I´m already making a difference, but I´ll continue comparing Russia with the USSR and Germany with...uh...Germany whenever I think it´s justified.
    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    I´d like to reformulate some things in my last post and correct some grammatical mistakes, but I can neither edit, nor delete my last post, lol.^^
    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    "Being in the nearest place to the events is, without any doubt, guarantee of media`s telling only the truth.
    The closer the more honest."

    That´s one of the funniest things I´ve ever heard. ^^
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Edwin, it is very easy to make simplistic statements like,

    "The whole Ukrainian crisis is not about the Ukrainian people."

    I suggest you read a little about the Maidan, how it developed and the sacrifices of the people who demonstrated for three months in large numbers reaching at one point 500,000 people. Any role foreigners played in this movement is, in my view minor, compared to what the Ukrainians put into it, and not only in Kiev. It is too early to say how these events will be seen in Ukrainian history, but I doubt if the conclusion will be that it was not about the Ukrainian people.

    The protests in the East are not nearly of the same magnitude, and don't seem to have nearly the the same level of popular support, although perhaps we have to wait and see.

    The survival of the Ukrainian state is playing out before us, or at lest that is how many Ukrainians see it.

    Watching the intensity of debate and discussion between people from both the West and East of Ukraine on ShusterLive certainly gives me a different perspective than the one you have.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    @sdm

    In the presentation Arsen Avakov made on ShusterLive he went into quite a bit of detail about the kinds of gangs that were organized by the Yanukovich government to intimidate and attack protesters. This was apparently not done by uniformed Berkut but some kind of criminal elements in the pay of the government or in the pay of oligarchs allied with the government.

    But I don't remember the details and suggest we wait until the final report is in from the government. You may, of course, choose to believe it or not.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Ukrainian national anthem in Ukrainian and Russian sung by Maidan activist singer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHcacjAe5wQ&lis...

    I think it is an act of arrogance to assume that the world is just using Ukraine as a playground, or can dictate the future of that country. They are a large country with 45 million people.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Here on the Maidan from Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_November_2013_a...

    The following paragraph is interesting.

    8 December marked the third Sunday in a row of mass protest in Kiev.[85] Opposition leaders billed the day as the "March of a Million",[94] and all opposition parties claimed the turnout met the 1,000,000 mark.[22][95][96] According to Interfax-Ukraine, initial reports estimated the number "greatly exceed[s] 100,000 people,"[97] which matched police estimates.[98] Associated Press correspondents on the ground and leading world media reported that 500,000 attended.[94][99] A survey of protesters conducted on the 7th and 8th found that 92% of those who came to Kiev from across Ukraine came on their own initiative, and 8% came as part of a political party or civil society organization. In terms of cause, 70% said they came to protest the police brutality of 30 November, and 54% to protest in support of the European Union Association Agreement signing. Among their demands, 82% wanted detained protesters freed, 80% wanted the government to resign, and 75% want president Yanukovych to resign and for snap elections.[100]

    April 2014
  • elguero 4388 1911
    Edwin made some good points.

    The intervention in Ukraine by Russian and Western militants is a 'proxy war.' Russia is responding to pressure from Western countries.

    @sdom .... OK, who beat Pussy Riot during the Olympics? Not state police? Then where were the police?

    I do not like Pussy Riot, what they have done is immoral, and too many westerners support bad morals.

    But, invading Ukraine after promising them peace in exchange for their nuclear weapons is ....

    What?

    A small lie? Or a HUGE lie?

    Wayne
    April 2014
  • elguero 4388 1911
    @Steve,

    The fact that most of Maidan was Ukrainian does not change the fact that Western countries, especially the EU, want to profit from Ukraine moving towards the west and away from Russia ....

    BUT, both the Western countries tax Ukrainian goods and so does Russia. Both sides tax Ukraine much more than their other trading partners.

    The last I checked, China had not become fully WTO compliant, and few countries place trade barriers on China, but they are all placing trade barriers on Ukraine.

    I said during Maidan, Ukraine was advantaged by siding with Russia more than with siding with the West ..... BUT Maidan was not about EU or Russia.

    Maidan was simply about Freedom. The media and western diplomats made the issue about Russia. Once they made the issue about Russia, Russia invaded.

    Wayne
    April 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Wayne,
    I don't think Maidan was about Freedom. It was about Ukraine joining EU. It all started when Yanukovych decided not to sign the EU deal, which by the way, was a kind of "either us or Russia" deal.

    Then as time went by, they needed to escalate and started calling Yanukovych a dictator and their lives being threatened under his 'regime'.

    But then you can argue it was about 'freedom', in the sense that if the deal was signed, the young Ukrainians could leave their country and work in other EU countries. Now they are stuck.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Edwin, I think the Miadan reflected the degree of dissatisfaction with all governmental structures, police, judicial system, corruption and all that Ukrainians have experienced in the last 23 years and the desire for something better. I think that same feeling is what is behind the actions in Eastern Ukraine as well.
    April 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Yes, I agree. But it really all started with the EU deal. Then people with different agendas joined in. The country is basically broke. I don't think anyone could be happy, except the oligarchs. Like Wayne said, other countries then tried to take advantage. But in my opinion, it has nothing to do with 'freedom'.

    I think it is good to hope that the Ukrainians can decide their own future, but in reality, when you are broke, you become slave of someone else, be it Russia or the West.
    April 2014
  • Sahar1994 801
    actuality i didn't know anything about that :(
    April 2014
  • obordal 317
    @dooo - The article is undeniably biased.

    Quoting the Google translation from French:
    "I expressly left mine in our room, as " Canada " [...] is a very dirty word in this region of eastern Ukraine under Russian occupation ," tells the reporter in a posting online on the website of the Toronto Star."

    What a bunch. "Canada" is a dirty word in eastern Ukraine? That's obviously a lie. Many countries openly supported Maidan, yet none of their names had become dirty words.
    Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine? Another obvious lie.

    Whether the "kidnappers" were monolingual Russians or not is also an open question: fluent Ukrainian sounds quite similar to fluent Russian for an untrained ear. Besides, Russian language spoken in Ukraine (and southern Russia) is closer to Ukrainian in pronunciation.

    As for the "kidnappers" themselves, the reporter is jumping to conclusions and guessing other people's intentions. I understand that if you are in a territory where people are allegedly being kidnapped, every stranger becomes a kidnapper for you. Yet, there is a difference between expectations and reality.

    What I can see from the report is this: a Canadian journalist went through the territory where civil unrest was flourishing. He and his interpreter were stopped by some kind of militia patrol or local security. So far, everything is perfectly clear.
    What came next is unclear and looks like panicky horror stories: "kidnapping" (though there were no threats), horror stories about how dangerous is to be a Canadian in eastern Ukraine, and horrendous omnipresent Russians. Vodka, troika, balalaika. A bear and nuclear missiles hidden in every shed.

    I remember seeing a video by some British reporter about his wanderings around Chechnya. The video is filled with panic, despair, and horrors, just like the Quebecouis' report above. The guys were so ready to be kidnapped for ransom, that when they met local cossacks, they decided that that must be it - their end. And while cossacks were exerting their aggressive hospitality towards the British (with vodka drinking and salo eating), the reporter was whispering his last wish into the camera's mike. :)
    April 2014
  • dooo 21 9383 2269
    obordal

    " jumping to conclusions and guessing other people's intentions. " pl-e-e-ase look in the mirror.

    In any case I do not accept this report as anything more than interesting whether true or fabrication.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    I have learned to mistrust most of what journalists write. The more familiar I am with a situation, the more the mistakes and distortions of the journalist are obvious. That is why I like to read and listen to many sources. It is just not possible for a journalist to be accurate all the time, nor is total objectivity really possible. Journalists, like all people, are influenced by many factors, including their own prejudices.

    Having said that, this reporter was on the ground in Slovyansk. Canada has been widely featured in Ukrainian media as being the most aggressive country with regard to sanctions against Russia and criticism of Russia's policy towards Ukraine. Therefore if the reporter thinks that Canada is a dirty word amongst people who fly Russian flags and shout "Rossiya, Rossiya", I am prepared to believe that he genuinely thinks so, and probably has reason to think so.

    Similarly, as a reporter in Slovyansk, I would expect him to know the difference between a Ukrainian army block post and one manned by "People's Militia " , who are Russian speakers, and wave Russian flags. These people have been involved in kidnapping journalists, seven so far, including Simon Ostrovsky, therefore the life of a journalist there is precarious.

    BTW Ostrovsky took an interesting video of Russian volunteers in Ukraine.

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/photo-video/2014/04/29...

    So while it is not accurate to talk of "Russian occupied Eastern Ukraine", it is true that there are Russian soldiers operating there. Whether they are officially sanctioned by the Russian government or not, is for now, open to question.

    These are not the only Russians in Ukraine. Here you can find an interview with the apparent leader of the people's militia of Slovyansk, who talks about who they are and admits that not all of them are Ukrainian. He is a Russian, Igor Strelkov, ( his nom de guerre). He is perhaps, although this is not yet proven, the key man behind of much of the organized violence in Eastern Ukraine.

    http://ural.kp.ru/daily/26225.7/3107725/

    He is allegedly implicated, based on a tapped phone conversation, in the abduction, torture and killing of a Ukrainian politician. He was also prominent in the video showing the three Ukrainian special forces soldiers who had been obviously badly beaten, and were tied up with duct tape, in a grisly violation of the norms of any conflict. Not a nice guy.

    A Ukrainian TV station interviewed some of his neighbours in Moscow.

    http://espreso.tv/news/2014/04/29/moskvychi_vpi...

    The situation in Eastern Ukraine is confused, and one can only grasp at different pieces of the puzzle to try to get a sense of what is going on.
    April 2014
  • obordal 317
    @dooo

    > pl-e-e-ase look in the mirror.

    I simply offered more realistic interpretation of the bare facts that this reporter of yours mentioned. As for strong words like "kidnapping", "occupation", "dirty word" and some others - well, I suppose the reporter may have had some grounds for using them, but he does not care to give any proof. Moreover, if what he says is true, eastern Ukraine must be hell on earth, which it is apparently not. E.g., here are webcams of Slavyansk - the epicenter of the alleged "separatist unrest": http://webcam.scs.com.ua/en/europe/ukraine/slav... Also, people from eastern Ukraine write blogs and articles, too - and they are quite reserved in their opinions (well, mostly).

    Thus, I suppose it is his own opinion, based on heresay and rumours. That doesn't mean I support Crimea's annexation, nor do I say that Ukraine is completely at peace and there is no civil unrest. All I say is that the report is clearly and undeniably biased.
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    I agree with obordal that we only see the scenes of violence which creates a distorted picture of life in East Ukraine. On the other hand the violence is there, and when we have assassination attempts at mayors, politicians abducted, tortured and killed, people with machine guns seizing and guarding government buildings, brawls in the streets between pro-Ukriane and pro Russian groups, we can assume that the mood amongst ordinary citizens is very tense. I am sure most people would like a return to normal.
    April 2014
  • OzzyHellBack 0 15 0
    @Steve

    Returning back to normal won't change the distrust between Russia and the EU/ U.S. What's done is done, what's done will be done. Soon or in the near future we'll see the effects of this play fold out, before our very eyes. This machine has been already set in motion. It can't be stopped, even if we had the power to do so
    April 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    @OzzyHB "This machine has been already set in motion. It can't be stopped, even if we had the power to do so"

    In other words, you think there´s gonna be a war between Russia and "the West"?
    April 2014
  • OzzyHellBack 0 15 0
    @Paule

    That's only my opinion of what might happen. I'm for surely certain the bonds of friendship has been broken between Russia and " The West".
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    People can remain friends. I think that people to people contacts between Russians and Ukrainians, and between Ukrainians in all parts of the country, can play a big part in defusing the situation. The West is not a primary participant.
    April 2014
  • obordal 317
    I agree with OzzyHB that the machine is set to motion, and the results are to be seen yet.

    @steve: "BTW Ostrovsky took an interesting video of Russian volunteers in Ukraine."
    Oh, interesting! Those are cossacks, whose extremities in lifestyle, views, and overall behavior are ridiculed in Russia (or sometimes even feared because they are very unpredictable).

    They live in communities and form an army-style hierarchy (although the names for their military ranks are funny nowadays - ataman, yesaul - reminding of Tsarist Russia). Their views are extremely radical: they think of themselves as of a separate "cossack" nationality, and believe they are the only force on planet Earth that can save Slavic peoples from the onslaught of "blacks" (meaning ethnicities like Chechens and Turks, not actually negros). In their communities, they practice flogging or whipping as punishment (though this is quite rare - I lived near cossack community for about 10 years, but have never actually seen the process). As for their outfit (military uniforms with huge shoulder insignia, lots of medals and self-made orders), here is a verse you may enjoy (in Russian): http://lleo.me/dnevnik/2013/06/17.html

    PS: Of course, cossacks are not officially accepted by Russian government as any "peacekeeping force". When cossack youth goes to serve in the army, they are treated as other conscripts. They are not allowed to carry weapons (in 1990's, cossacks asked permission to carry daggers and sabres, and even handguns and rifles as part of their "national costume" - their pleas were denied). Yet, they are given freedom in their communities: they can wear their funny uniforms (as long as they cannot be taken for real Russian military men), and they can even carry decorative daggers and ceremonial sabres as part of their costume. And inside their communities, they formed their own militia (with occasional flogging, see above:)).
    April 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Regardless of the number or origin of Russian volunteers, mostly organized in Crimea, amongst the marauding men with automatic weapons, the Kiev government has a bigger problem. It seems to have lost the propaganda battle in East Ukraine.
    April 2014
  • evgueny40 70230 13969 42021
    The Kiev lying authorities continue to look for the fictional Russian military men in Ukraine and hiding under the false accusation of Russian occupation, they kill their own citizens in the South and in the East of Ukraine.
    Here you can write the English translation of my article 'Killing in Odessa':
    http://www.lingq.com/learn/en/store/151476/3989...
    May 2014
  • Nexus-6 14545
    "What is really happening in Ukraine and Crimea."

    The answer is simple - Russia, govenred by a quasi regime, has invaded an independent state and inocorporated part of its territory. What is worse, it is now trying to steal an even bigger part of Ukraine.

    I don't think it really matters what the percentage of those supporting Russia in eastern parts of Ukraine is or who is attacking who. Ukraine is weak, impoverished and corrupt. But it's an independent state and it has the right to defend itself against intruders. The key point is that one country invaded another.

    If the West passes over the fact lightly Russia will soon want to gain "independence" for Russian-speaking population in Latvia, Lithuania and so on. Just like Germany before WW2. The Czeck Republic seemed a distant country then so the West didn't care. Germany invaded Poland and again the West didn't care. But later they had to pay a huge price anyway.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @nex_us: I understand your concerns, but you are stretching the limits of reality and speaking in strong terms that have no ground.

    First off, there was no military invasion in Crimea. First they voted ("voted", hehe) for joining the Federation, and only after that Russian military moved into the peninsula. Yeah, the vote may have been bogus. Yeah, Ukrainian government had no power to stop the process. BUT. Formally, no international laws have been breached, and thus, no invasion took place whatsoever.

    And even if we speak informally, there is still no invasion, because annexation was welcomed by the population (unlike annexation of Czech Republic that you are referring to: czech people did not welcome german soldiers). And you are skillfully "forgetting" the fact that Soviet Russia (which included Ukraine btw) payed the biggest price in WWII.

    In Crimea and eastern Ukraine Russians make big part (or in some places the majority) of the population, so there is no need of military invasion. Not so for western parts of Ukraine, where there is not much sympathy towards Russia. If Putin all of a sudden decides to annex western Ukraine, the people there will not be happy with the prospect. So, it will have to be military invasion, not a peaceful reunion.

    As for "Latvia, Lithuania and so on" - I see where you're going, it is in the direction of "all the world is in danger!!!111". Yet, as I said, people of these republics (and Poland, btw) are not eager to join Russian Federation no matter how many Russians live there. And invading any of those countries (Poland included) means declaring a war on the whole of NATO. What are the benefits of these, to you mind? Invading a part of Poland or Lithuania or Estonia - for what fruity bonus?
    May 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    What actual happened in Crimea? Was it legal or not? I am sure the Crimean themselves won't care much now, as long as they are safe and secured. I bet they are now thankful that whatever happened in Odessa or happening now in Eastern Ukraine, did not happen to them!

    The recent Pew survey (which has been endorsed by many Western media) has this report:

    "Crimean residents are almost universally positive toward Russia. At least nine-in-ten have confidence in Putin (93%) and say Russia is playing a positive role in Crimea (92%). Confidence in Obama is almost negligible at 4%, and just 2% think the U.S. is having a good influence on the way things are going on the Crimean peninsula."

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/05/08/despite-con...

    The survey was conducted before the Odessa incident and the recent ATO in Eastern Ukraine.
    May 2014
  • Bautov 0
    @ nex_us
    Is there a lot of people in Poland who really think that Russia is planning to invade it?
    May 2014
  • Nexus-6 14545
    No, not yet anyway.

    But most people think that if it possible to annex a part of a European country in the 21st century everything is possible in the future. Invading (or annexing) Crimea was unthinkable a few months ago. Nothing is impossible in politics. Fukuyama was so wrong. That's why the Polish government wants the US troops (they are already coming here because of Russia'a actions).

    I think that in Poland the general consenus is that NATO and the European Union turned out divided and ineffcient. It is so easy for Putin to divide the West. Poland is already paying way more for gas than other European countries for example for purely political reasons.

    The sad thing is people in Poland actually liked Russians as a nation. This is changning as we can see that so many Russians are supporting Putin's policy. It is also happening in other European countries too.

    I'm not sure if Crimea was worth it.

    (I will answer obordal's post later).

    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    In my opinion it doesn't make very much sense to compare Poland to Crimea (or even to the whole of the Ukraine, for that matter.)

    Poland has always historically been a nation in its own right. On the other hand, Crimea was historically part of Russia - even within relatively recent living memory.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    > But most people think that if it possible to annex a part of a European country in the 21st century everything is possible in the future.

    Sorry for intervening, but let me state the obvious: what "most people think" in a given country is the result of what mass media say (or choose not to say). Thus, the opinion of the majority cannot be used as proof in an argument.
    May 2014
  • Bautov 0
    @ nex_us
    The problem is the more American troops will be stationed in Poland, the more people will support Putin. That's just a closed circle and we already saw that.
    About gas prices. That's Macedonia what pays the highest price, just because its gas supply is totally depended on Russian import (as well as Bosnia). for Poland it's over 60%. The lowest price is in the UK, highly competitive market where Russian import is about 10%. Business is business.

    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    I suggest that those interested in participating in the discussion of the Ukraine issue use this thread only for discussion in English.

    If people want to discuss this subject in other languages, such as Russian, they should start a separate thread for each language, but please only use small letters in the title of the thread.

    This will be more convenient and less distracting for all. Thank you.
    May 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    @Prinz Wladimir "Poland has always historically been a nation in its own right. On the other hand, Crimea was historically part of Russia - even within relatively recent living memory."

    I´m not an expert on Polish history, but I´m pretty sure that Poland was annexed by it´s neighbours (including Russia and it´s predecessors) quite a few times. "Historically", it makes sense that Poland is sceptical about Russia´s actions.

    The same thing probably applies to other countries like Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as well.

    @obordal "Sorry for intervening, but let me state the obvious: what "most people think" in a given country is the result of what mass media say (or choose not to say)"

    This seems to be particularly true in Russia. For example, there´s a huge spectrum of opinions among "the Westerners" here on LingQ, while it seems like "all" the Russians fully support the Russian government. I wonder if that´s because there´s less freedom of press in Russia...
    May 2014
    • [DeanHyatt] aw Aruba 356 84 614
      Bang on
      August 2014
  • [galina] 43 1070
    @Paule89 - "For example, there´s a huge spectrum of opinions among "the Westerners" here on LingQ, while it seems like "all" the Russians fully support the Russian government. I wonder if that´s because there´s less freedom of press in Russia..." ... Maybe, because nobody is blaming any certain "western" country here, but almost everybody is blaming Russia for all the wrongs happening in the world now... it's not about supporting government, it is deeper.
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Poland has not always been an independent country. It has often been invaded and divided by neighbouring powers. Much of Poland was in the Tsarist Empire in the 19th century. Independent Poland was invaded by both Russia and Germany in September 1939.

    The last time its borders moved was after WW2, when they moved westward, to accommodate Stalin.

    Edwin, your Pew opinion poll is interesting for a number of reasons.

    1) It differs quite a bit from a poll conducted in February 2014 before the recent events began.

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id...

    I quote.
    Integration with Russia into a single state is supported by 12% of respondents in Ukraine, and during recent years this number has decreased from 20% to 9%, but after Maidan – increased by 3%. The main part of supporters of this idea of unification with Russia is in the East (26%) and South (19%), while the smallest part is in the Center (5%) and West (1%) of Ukraine. By regions majority of integration with Russia in one state is in Crimea (41%), Donetsk district (33%), Lugansk district (24%), Odessa district (24%), Zaporizhzhya (17%) and Kharkiv (15%) districts, but even there support to the current status of relations with Russia - as two independent and friendly states – prevails.

    2) Your opinion poll also reports that

    Among Ukrainians, 77% say Ukraine should remain united, compared with 14% who think regions should be permitted to secede if they so desire. In Ukraine’s west, which includes the central region around Kyiv (Kiev), as well as portions of the country that border Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, more than nine-in-ten (93%) think their nation should remain unified. A smaller majority (70%) in the country’s east – which includes areas along the Black Sea and the border with Russia – also prefer unity. Only in the breakaway territory of Crimea do more than half (54%) voice support for the right to secede.

    Different polls, different dates, different questions, but it all suggests that any referendum or plebiscite should be carried out in a democratic fashion, peacefully, and in such a way that all people have the freedom to express their opinions without fear, and such that all sides can present their arguments. This was not the case in Crimea, and even less the case in East Ukraine.

    The referendum question also needs to be clear. The question was not clear in Crimea, and even less clear in Donetsk and Lugansk. All the latter referendum really achieved was to point out that there is a large number of people who are angry.

    No doubt the Party of Regions, who have, if I am not mistaken, hundreds of thousands of members there, and the Communist Party, were active in organizing this event, to get back at the present Kiev coalition. What percent of the population actually voted is not clear, and we may never know.

    The "winners" of the referendum now announce that they want to join Russia. But will Russia accept? What is the end game?

    Russian anti-terrorist actions in the North Caucasus have resulted in the deaths of over 1500 local fighters, and another 500 civilians in the past 5 years. In the Chechen wars, they were even more aggressive, bombing cities and killing tens of thousands of civilians indiscriminately. Russia doesn't like the kind of activity that we have seen in East Ukraine in the past month,

    No country, least of all Russia, would tolerate the secession of its territory based on the kind of pretend referendum that was organized over the weekend.

    It is up to Kiev to find people to talk to to defuse the situation. Russia should not only stay out of it, but in my opinion should stop demonizing the government in Kiev, which really doesn't help.

    If Russia doesn't change course, and maybe, unfortunately, even if it does, the isolation of Russia, with all of the economic consequences will continue for a long time. Russia has basically changed the way the world sees Russia.

    China is not going to replace economic relations with the West. Both China and Russia need the west. Russia is 2% of China's trade. The EU and US account for 20% of China's trade and up to 35% of China's exports. Russia will gradually lose much of its oil and gas markets in Europe, and will end up with China as its main market. The price will not be what Russia is used to.

    Putin has to be concerned about what he is doing to Russia's real interests. All of this may cause him to reconsider.

    Or perhaps he is fully in the camp of people like Dmitri Ragozin, vice-Premier, who, when not allowed to fly over Romanian airspace tweeted that he would be back and "show the Romanians who we are and what we think of you." I guess the pleasure of barking loudly has to be weighed against broader economic and strategic interests,
    May 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    @Galina "Maybe, because nobody is blaming any certain "western" country here, but almost everybody is blaming Russia for all the wrongs happening in the world now"

    I can´t think of anyone who fits that description.

    "Tt's not about supporting government, it is deeper."

    I´m listening. I´m here to learn.
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Steve: "...Russia has basically changed the way the world sees Russia..."
    ---

    I find that incredible. Does anyone (apart from our blustering political class and their little shoeshine boys in the media) really give a single cent about what Russia is doing in its own backyard??

    If most people even notice, it is only insofar as they now note that Russia doesn't like being pushed around on its borders.

    I believe most (ordinary) people in the West are pretty sick of seeing our leaders meddle in other countries affairs, starting wars and causing great and lasting misery. I suspect many people secretly applaud Putin for standing up to them.
    May 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    ""Does anyone (apart from our blustering political class and their little shoeshine boys in the media) really give a single cent about what Russia is doing in its own backyard??"

    The Ukraine is not "Russia´s backyard", it´s a country.

    "I believe most (ordinary) people in the West are pretty sick of seeing our leaders meddle in other countries affairs, starting wars and causing great and lasting misery. I suspect many people secretly applaud Putin for standing up to them."

    Yeah, now "the West" AND Russia are meddling in other countries affairs - how wonderful.

    I wish both of them would take care of their own problems instead.
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    EU leaders accelerate quest to reduce energy reliance on Russia

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/us-uk...

    ECB: capital flight from Russia has hit $220bn
    Outflows from Russia since the Ukraine crisis erupted may be four times higher than admitted by Kremlin

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcri...

    Foreign attendance at St. Petersburg International Forum is down 40% this year. Of those who are attending, and have commitments to Russia, like Boeing, or mining interests, I doubt if they would be so keen to start ventures in Russia today. It is not just the Ukrainian crisis, but the increasing plethora of laws restricting freedom, and the the generally less welcome environment and the sense of uncertainty.
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Paule: "...The Ukraine is not "Russia´s backyard", it´s a country..."
    ---

    Up until a few years ago it was practically the same country.

    I understand that some folks get hot and bothered about this (for some odd reason.) Personally I wouldn't really care a fig if Putin took over the entire place right now. I don't believe for a minute that he has any intention of doing so, however.

    ---
    @Paule: "...now "the West" AND Russia are meddling in other countries affairs..."
    ---

    In the case of Ukraine we have: action and reaction.
    May 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    "Up until a few years ago it was practically the same country."

    Yeah, the Soviet Union...

    "I understand that some folks get hot and bothered about this (for some odd reason.) "

    Ukraine decided to be an independent country, which is why "some folks" see Ukraine as an independent country. I don´t get what´s "odd" about that.

    "Personally I wouldn't care a fig if Putin took over the entire place right now."

    What about the baltic states? I mean, until a few years ago "it was basically the same country". Ukraine is Polands neighbour and Poland is...Germany´s neighbour. I´d definately give a fig if Russia would annex my neighbours neighbour.
    If a part of Ukraine wants to join Russia, they have every right to do so, but I´m not a big fan of annexations, you know?^^

    "I don't believe for a minute that he has any intention of doing so, however."

    I hope you´re right.
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Paule

    The way I see it is this:

    Regardless of the daily alarmism we are being fed, I don't think there is the remotest chance that this situation could spread to the Baltic states. Indeed, I don't believe that the Baltic states are part of the same equation at all. In the Ukraine, there was an agreed deal, which I believe the Russians would have adhered to. It was the EU-backed street-scum who scuppered this deal and seized control, with the aim of bouncing the Russian-leaning Ukrainians into EU and NATO membership, regardless of their wishes.

    Well, the Russians bit back and now the EU now has its tail between its legs.
    May 2014
  • Paule89 7739 101 2317
    Ah, okay. I think I can understand your POV a little bit better now.

    "It was the EU-backed street-scum who scuppered this deal and seized control, with the aim of bouncing the Russian-leaning Ukrainians into EU and NATO membership, regardless of their wishes."

    Is there convincing evidence for that?
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Jay, I try to avoid commenting on your posts, since you are more interested in appearing clever than in really discussing the issues. However, there is one important point that needs to be made over and over.

    There were up to 500,000 demonstrators at the Maidan in Kiev at one point. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, until the protesters were attacked by police and by gangs of thugs. This brought more violent elements to the fore. There was very broad based support for the protests mostly in Western Ukraine, but also amongst some in the East, amongst Ukrainian speakers and Russian speakers. There is ample evidence of this. To call all of this street-scum says more about you than it does about the people who participated in the Maidan. Klitchko, Poroshenko, countless thousands of other activiists who saw this as a unique chance to reform Ukraine, are not street scum.

    There has been nowhere near the same level of support for the rebels in the East, where the action is been more of an armed uprising, with many imported "volunteer militia" and weapons from Russia.
    May 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Steve: "Russia should not only stay out of it, but in my opinion should stop demonizing the government in Kiev, which really doesn't help."

    What makes the West more legitimate than Russia to interfere Ukraine and demonize their elected government in Kiev?
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    No western country annexed a part of Ukraine.

    No Western country constantly and relentlessly spews out government sponsored hate propaganda directed against the government of Ukraine, calling them Fascists, Banderaists etc. Right Sector is the most frequently mentioned political organization in all of Russian media, other than the ruling United Russia party, and no other organization is even close. Is this normal?

    Have any Western citizens been identified as fighting in militias on behalf of any party in the Ukraine? Russians have, and the leader of the militia is a Russian citizen who admitted on Russian TV to recruiting his militia in Crimea, and has been intercepted in conversation with his Russian backers. We just don't know for sure to what extent the Kremlin is involved.

    The West has a legitimate interest to ensure the rule of law, respect for international borders and the respect for human rights in Europe.

    BTW Ukraine is reported by Amnesty International to have had the greatest level of police torture in the Port-Soviet world.
    http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/article/253...

    Much of this was in evidence during the Maidan.
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-activist...

    People in Ukraine want a change and they deserve it in my view. Russia can cheer from the sidelines, or try to influence the government, or try to garner favour with leading politicians. That is diplomacy. To deliberately encourage rebellion in another country, and to threaten invasion, under the guise of self-declared right to protect ethnic Russians who are citizens of another country, is not acceptable to the rest of Europe and even to countries not in Europe who have important Russian minorities.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @steve:

    It all sounds very true and nice, but in the essence you are using double standards. You are opposing the West (the Good Guys, upholding the Law) to Russia (the bad guys who must be stopped).

    In reality, neither the West nor Russia are ideal. Both the West and Russia waged wars in last 20 years. Both the West and Russia heavily employ propaganda to justify their cause (here I must admit that western media do better job of making a good face, while Russian media are more clumsy in manipulating the facts... yet).

    Ideally, the West has no right to meddle in the Ukrainian crisis, and neither has Russia. Practically, as it has always been, he who has power makes decisions. Yet, the weak party can gamble - and oftentimes it works. You feel that the West is stronger, and Russia must hush; I agree in the first part, but whether Russia must hush and obey is debatable. If the gain is big, and the risks are small, why not venture?

    In Crimea, there are bases of Russian Black Sea Fleet. By annexing the peninsula, Russia finally has these bases on her own soil. Personally I am skeptical if it was worth the risks, but what is done is done.

    One final note: it is often said that, quote "Russia has basically changed the way the world sees Russia". This is not quite true. The world (which of course means the West, and not the world) has always seen Russia as a threat. The only difference between "now" and "then" is that "now" western media has a formal pretext for making Russia a scarecrow.
    May 2014
  • sauliokas 10392 12366 107
    @obordal "..The world (which of course means the West, and not the world) has always seen Russia as a threat..."

    What Russia did, that the world could think differently?
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Steve: "...since you are more interested in appearing clever than in really discussing the issues..."
    ---

    Do you know, Steve, that is possibly the most feeble debate cop-out I have ever heard.

    "I'm not going to answer your arguments because (I deem) that you want to seem clever."

    That's pretty pathetic - sorry.

    (Even if it were true, so what? Maybe your real problem is dealing with disagreement?)

    ---
    "...to call all of this street-scum says more about you..."
    ---

    I guess we can all dress it up however we want. Certainly my perception of large numbers of people surrounding government offices is that they are hoodlums. Whatever. It is a fact that they overturned a democratically elected government with a valid mandate. They rode roughshod over democracy and rule of law. And they scuppered a negotiated agreement.

    If I wanted to be a little cheap, I might say that your instinctive support for these people says some things about you, hmm? :-P
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    (In fairness, though, you do allow all points of view to be stated here. I would acknowledge that all credit is deserved for that.)
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @sauliokas: "What Russia did, that the world could think differently?"

    Let me again state the obvious: every major country did things in the past we now consider bad. Major countries of today continue doing things that may be considered bad tomorrow. As I already said, western "world" did wage wars in the last 20 years (which is pretty recently), so no one is immaculate. Politics is a dirty business (sorry for another obvious banality).

    Yet, your question implies that Russia alone has done things so horrendous that it has no excuse to merely exist. Is this not a biased attitude? :)
    May 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Galina: "Maybe, because nobody is blaming any certain "western" country here,"

    Just a bunch of western countries led by a particular western country.

    Galina: "but almost everybody is blaming Russia for all the wrongs happening in the world now..."

    Pretty soon, they will blame Russia for bringing down the European economy.

    Steve: "No western country annexed a part of Ukraine."

    They actually wanted the whole Ukraine. The plan only failed after Russia grabbed Crimea by surprise. The West toppled the Ukrainian elected government and installed their own, Russia got their naval base. I think it is now a 1:1 draw.

    Like I said before, federalization would be the best option to keep Ukraine sort of 'united'. Putin openly supported this. Who is opposing this? The West. Why? Because they want the whole Ukraine, not just part of it.
    May 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    Europe does not know what to do with Greece. What for do they need the whole poor Ukraine with about 40 million of people?
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    Another great blog post from Peter Hitchens on this whole sorry saga:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2014/05/...

    He sums up pretty much exactly what I think on this:

    "...And now this lawless regime in Kiev has authorised the killing of its own people. So where are the condemnations of those who said that such an action destroyed the legitimacy of the previous government? Nowhere. They are invisible and inaudible, because they have not been uttered and do not exist..."

    He's right. It's the sheer cynicism and double standards that sicken me. When people died in Kiev our politicians were loudly huffing and puffing with synthetic indignation. Now that *their* people are the ones doing the killing, they are suddenly strangely quiet. (Yet the poor twits still posture as though they were the ones with the moral high ground...)
    May 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    "...And now this lawless regime in Kiev has authorised the killing of its own people. ...."

    Well actually, CIA authorised the latest phrase of ATO. The first two phrases failed because the army just did not want to kill their own people. The operation resumed right after the visit of the CIA's head to Kiev. Kiev just follows the order. Now Kiev has introduced the National Guards, which are supposed to be loyal to Kiev.

    So far the operation is not going anywhere. But the main goal of the ATO is to provoke Russian troops to enter the Ukrainian soil. If this happens, NATO will have a 'real' mission to 'liberate' Ukraine. Somehow Putin spotted this trick. Right after the Odessa incident, while the whole world was expecting Russia to invade, Putin did nothing.

    A few of us in this forum mentioned about "double standards". I agree, but I think this is just politics. The West has double-standards, but so does Russia and many other countries.
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    In other words, for those who don't understand Russia, Donbas has four options.
    1) Status quo, with power centralized in Kiev, regional governors appointed by Kiev.
    2) People's Republic, which will not be recognized, meaning sanctions and economic disaster.
    3) Union with Russia, which will not be recognized, meaning sanctions and economic disaster .
    4) Decentralization within united Ukraine, which is the only possible path.

    On this all sides, including Kiev, seem to agree. It is just a matter of how to reform the constitution to allow for regional elections and more regional powers. Whether Ukraine officially becomes a federation or remains a unitary state doesn't matter, more power will given to locally elected officials. The details are for the Ukrainians to work out.

    Note that Russia is a federation in name, but almost all local officials are appointed by the central government.
    May 2014
  • edwin 109 12588 6126
    Option 3: A significant number of Eastern Ukrainians don't want to join Russia. They just don't trust the Kiev government. We can tell from their referendum questions. It did not mention about joining Russia, because they knew not many people would support that. Even Russia does not want to take this economic burden directly. Russia just wants to assert influence.

    Option 4: I don't think Kiev wanted this. It is no more an option now. With the new phrase of ATO, I believe even a 'loose-federalization' is hardly feasible.

    Option 5 would be a hybrid between #2 and #3. They will declare independent, but will be unofficially protected by Russia, with their economy supported by Russia. They will still corporate economically with Western Ukraine though.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @steve:

    "2) People's Republic, which will not be recognized, meaning sanctions and economic disaster."

    Transnistria is an example of one such republic. While they are not recognized, there are no sactions and there is no economic disaster.

    "3) Union with Russia, which will not be recognized, meaning sanctions and economic disaster ."

    Abkhazia is an example of one such republic. While they are not recognized, there are no sactions and there is no economic disaster.

    "4) Decentralization within united Ukraine, which is the only possible path."

    What exactly is meant by "decentralization" and why is it the only possible path?
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Transnistria and Abkhazia achieved de facto independence in the 90's. There were no sanctions. The Ukraine situation is front and centre in a way that Abkhazia and Transnistria never
    were. There are already sanctions against Crimea and there will be sanctions against any separate state of Donbas, wither independent or part of Russia.

    As to the economic viability of states that live in isolation from most of the world economy, I would imagine that only with a massive subsidy from Russia could present living standards in Donbas be maintained. I can' imagine what will happen to the Donbas coal mines for example.

    Decentralization will mean electing local governors, devolution of certain responsibilities and tax revenues to local levels, oblast, or even municipal. Details will be subject to constitutional negotiations no doubt. Kiev has already announced their intention to do this.

    In any case, I was only translating the commons of Akhmetov, a prominent Donbas oligarch who does considerable business there, and is closer to this than you or me.

    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    Steve, let me state the obvious again: sanctions are only possible against recognized states. If a government does not recognize some breakaway republic, it cannot sanction it. Just give it a thought: if e.g. Canada wanted to sanction e.g. Abkhazia, it would have to sanction Georgia's province instead (because Canada does not recognize Abkhazia and sees it as part of Georgia).
    Thus, items 2 and 3 are of manipulative sort. They refer to world of fiction rather than reality (because only in the world of fairy tales can sanctions be officially applied to entities that don't officially exist). The aim of such tricks is to create a certain impression.

    In the case of Akhmetov's theses, items 1, 2 and 3 are meant to be "alternatives" to item 4. While item 1 is clearly not an option (status quo has already caused trouble for all Ukraine), items 2 and 3 are clearly bogus (creating an impression of false alternative). So next comes item 4, which is presented as the only solution available. So, no matter how close Akhmetov is to Donbass politics, in essence he presses his point of view (which is not necessarily sane, let alone optimal).
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    Can't follow your logic. Citizens and corporations in Crimea are prevented from traveling to and doing business with many countries in the West. International flights into Crimea have stopped, as I understand it. Relations with Ukraine have largely stopped.

    Same would apply to Donbas, whether independent or part of Russia. Most of Donbas' coal goes to Ukraine and Europe. Coal industry is heavily subsidized by Ukraine government. Cost to Russia of maintaining Donbas would be very high.

    Russia already spends a fortune in supporting Caucasus and will now spend a lot on Crimea, where at least there is a tourist industry. Taking on responsibility for Donbas would be tough for Russia, whose own economy is already in rapid decline.

    Russia's Ukrainian gambit is of no benefit to anyone.
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    "...whose own economy is already in rapid decline..."

    Evidence for this?
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @steve: "Can't follow your logic. Citizens and corporations in Crimea are prevented from traveling to and doing business with many countries in the West."

    First off, there is no such thing as "citizens of Crimea". They are citizens of the Russian Federation by now, with passports and all other civil regalia. Thus, the only restriction they are facing is that crimean international airports are not yet fully functional (which can be treated as temporary difficulties of transition time).

    As for doing business with the West, well, in exchange corporations now have no barriers for doing business with the East. :)

    "Cost to Russia of maintaining Donbas would be very high."

    That is why Russia is reluctant to annex it. :)
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    I guess the word "citizen" is often or even most often used to designate a national of a certain country. However, we often talk of citizens of Vancouver, of British Columbia, etc. Citizens and corporations resident in Crimea can and are being identified and their Russian passports are not recognized in Europe from what I understand.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    "Citizens and corporations resident in Crimea can and are being identified and their Russian passports are not recognized in Europe from what I understand."

    As for corporations, that I can believe (though ways to circumvent the restrictions are many).

    As for individuals, that is another story entirely. Russian so called "foreign" passports (travel passport used when going abroad) does not have information about place of residence within Russia, so the whole identification affair seems doubtful.

    And of course it is not fair to punish individuals who live in a territory for what some distant leaders did.
    May 2014
  • sauliokas 10392 12366 107
    Умом Россию не понять...
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @sauliokas: if you are referring to the system of two passports (one domestic and one for traveling abroad), then you are not quite correct. This scheme is not unique to Russia (e.g., citizens of Germany travel with Reisepass too).
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Steve: "...Citizens and corporations resident in Crimea can and are being identified and their Russian passports are not recognized in Europe from what I understand..."
    ---

    Again, where is actual the evidence for this?

    (I note that you haven't substantiated your earlier comment about the Russian economy, either.)
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414


    The Ukrainian passport would be also required for Crimeans to obtain Schengen visas. The European Council decided that the EU visa will be issued to residents of Crimea only in embassies/consulates located on the territory of Ukraine and only into Ukrainian passports as the EU does not recognize the annexation of Crimea.

    News
    Russia GDP Growth Eases Sharply In Q1
    MOSCOW (Alliance News) - Russia's economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter, as ...
    Alliance News15 May, 2014 | 3:11PM Email Form
    MOSCOW (Alliance News) - Russia's economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter, as the fallout from the Ukraine crisis hurt the economy as investments left the country.
    Gross domestic product rose just 0.9% year-on-year, following 2% increase in the fourth quarter of 2013, figures from the statistical office showed Thursday.
    Economists had expected a weaker growth figure of 0.7%. The country's economy ministry had forecast 0.8% expansion for the first quarter.
    "We estimate that that slowdown in annual growth is consistent with a substantial fall in output of around 1.0% q/q in the first quarter," Capital Economics economist Neil Shearing said.
    "And with a further fall in q/q output possible in Q2, Russia may now be in recession."
    Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
    - See more at: http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/AN_1400163...
    May 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 0 6511 0
    @Steve

    Okay. But it seems to me that the jury is still out on the economy - at least regarding the medium-to-longer term.

    (As regards the passports: it may be that I'm missing something here, but I still don't really see how anyone could have a way of knowing where a Russian citizen is from. What about if a Crimean moves to live in Moscow, and then travels abroad at some point? Or what if a person from St Petersburg goes to live in Crimea, and then wants to travel? Is there going to be some kind of EU-funded secret police that will check on a person's life history, and decide whether they are sufficiently Russian? It just doesn't seem very feasible to me...)

    May 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    Application for Schengen Visa
    ...
    17. Applicant's home address and e-mail address
    ...
    20. Employer and employer’s address and telephone number. For students, name and address of educational establishment
    ...
    I declare that to the best of my knowledge all particulars supplied by me are correct and complete. I am aware that any false statements will lead to my application being rejected or to the annulment of a visa already granted and may also render me liable to prosecution under the law of the Member State which deals with the application.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    "Application for Schengen Visa
    ...
    17. Applicant's home address and e-mail address
    ...
    20. Employer and employer’s address and telephone number. For students, name and address of educational establishment"

    That is all nice and true, but devil is in the details. :)
    In Russia, there is permanent and temporary registration. Temporary registration is easy to obtain, so citizens of Crimea simply have one extra step to do.
    Employer's name and address is only really required for business trips. Self-employed citizens can write anything at all there.

    As far as I can see, EU's anti-Crimea sanctions are aimed at people who are innocent of their leaders' guilts.

    As for sanctions against corporations, so far they are presented as one-way only: the EU denies Crimean corporations access to its riches. The reality is usually more balanced: business works in both ways. Thus, the EU also put sanctions on its own businesses that were benefiting from Crimea.

    PS: And there is a slight difference between "predictions of economic slowdown, with recession looming in the distance" and, quote "[Russia's] own economy is already in rapid decline".
    May 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    Would EU be glad to give visas for unemployed? The applicant should also show the regular incomes. The chance for a visa is too low without this information.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    "The applicant should also show the regular incomes."

    Regular? There is no requirements for regular incomes. Not when applying for visa, anyway.

    The applicant *may* be asked for proofs of his/her financial sustainability *when crossing the EU border*. This usually means showing a bank statement for some amount of money on his/her personal account. If you are going for 2 weeks, you'll need to prove that you have at least 14 * 50 = 700 euros total.
    May 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    It is funny but I just came back from the Estonian ambassy. It was an unemployed woman before me. They told her the employer and employer’s address should not be empty even for her. She had to write something there.
    I just want to say it will be more difficult to get the EU visa for those who live in Crimea.
    May 2014
  • obordal 317
    @Ress: Well, some fields must be filled - and for that matter, any reasonable text will do. Giving a spouse's telephone number as an employer's contact is not uncommon. It is a formality after all.

    Yes, I agree that obtaining Shengen visas for Crimeans can become a difficult task. Yet, the whole purpose of this so called "sanction" is beyond me. Are these people guilty in that their peninsula has been annexed? Are corporations guilty of it? I think they are not.
    May 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    We all know who is guilty of it ;)
    May 2014
  • cambusken 178 4125
    This is not an appropriate topic for a language forum.
    May 2014
  • dooo 21 9383 2269
    Luckily this is not a language forum only.
    May 2014
  • sdom 12475 3020 17369
    @cambusken: "This is not an appropriate topic for a language forum.".

    Ok, may be it would be better to find this thread in the more proper one, I think it`s "Open Forum in English" (http://www.lingq.com/forum/4/).
    There we can "Talk about anything you like as long as you write in English!".

    But generaly there are not restrictions for such topics.
    Contrary, speaking about actual themes is great for language acquisition. Thanks to Steve his LingQ is a great place for it.
    May 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7658 201 33414
    I agree. Most of the people commenting on this thread are doing so in a second language. We learn languages best when we are passionate about the subject we are reading about or discussing.
    May 2014
  • dooo 21 9383 2269
    Putin approaches Chinese
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27481454
    "It would be no exaggeration if I said that the cooperation between our two countries is at its highest level in history," the Russian leader said. (To Chinese language news)
    http://news.sohu.com/20140520/n399770985.shtml

    Meanwhile...
    Chinese chastise American ambassador Baucus for US hypocrisy: US detained 5 Chinese army officers wokring in the US for industrial espionage - Chinese cite wikileaks and Snowden

    (French language article) http://www.liberation.fr/monde/2014/05/20/pirat...
    May 2014
  • Nexus-6 14545
    Putin understands that all the advantages of his invading Crimea will soon wear off so he needed this success badly. Russia will have to pay through the nose to support Crimea's existence and Europe is going to be less and less dependent on Russian gas supplies.
    May 2014
  • scottpreston 826 0
    Interesting comments and observations. I have some Facebook friends in Russia and I don't think that they like Putin--they are very liberal. I have about 5,000 friends on facebook (the limit) and over 5,000 "likes". This has been a method of getting news and ideas around. When over 80,000 Russians protested the crooked election of Putin, I think he may have something to worry about. I would like to be able to post your news and comments on my Facebook page under wthat ever nom de plume you want. My page is: https://www.facebook.com/occupy.wallstreet.1217 I'm always looking for news and opinion. -- Scott
    August 2014
  • scottpreston 826 0
    qq
    August 2014
  • Moderator
    Ress 33775 8744 13224
    I can see this thread at the top of the Recently Active Threads. Today is August 14. Where is the recent update? I just can see 2 messages from August 03. Is it a bug?
    August 2014
    • Moderator
      alex ca Canada 1705 656 31848
      Yes, I believe this happens when someone edits their post. We'll be fixing a few more issues and making a few more tweaks to the forum in the next month or two to hopefully make things better :)
      August 2014