Ukraine Crimea Crisis

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  • Ukraine Crimea Crisis
  • Premier Icon binners
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    Good article that Moses. The usual hypocrisy from the west. We’ll champion the cause of democracy as long as democracy delivers the leaders we want in power. If not, then anything that does is fair game really.

    41.5% of crimeans arent russian!

    And over a third of Londoners are foreign born.

    And if my auntie had bollox……

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    ninfan – Member

    I’m afraid that the right to self determination and democracy work that way, Crimea has long been an Autonomous republic and as such its pretty difficult to argue that they should not now be allowed to exercise that autonomy – we can’t just pick and choose because we think that the West/Europe is somehow inherently ‘right’.

    Yes it is that simple, and when you kick someone off their land you have the unchallenged right to exercise self determination in “your” country.

    The majority may speak Russian but the Russian nationalist movement in Crimea peaked in the early mid 1990s.

    Having said that it is probably one of the most ethnically and politically contested and complicated regions in that area. Not surprising when you were invaded by the nazis in ww2, Stalin deports the entire Tartar pop in ’44 and then you are given away ten years later by Kruschev. Then 91 complicates matters all over again. Hard to see how you make complete sense of all this.

    I wish the press/media would give less attention to UK and US views and more to the relationship that is key here ie, Russia and Germany. Any German STWers who can give the local insight?

    konabunny
    Member

    As a slight aside, have you seen Putins approval ratings this week?

    You can’t believe those figures.

    ninfan
    Member

    Yes it is that simple, and when you kick someone off their land you have the unchallenged right to exercise self determination in “your” country.

    If there had been a recent programme of ‘ethnic cleansing’ you might have a point, but the sins of the Stalinist era are a long time ago under a now collapsed regime – ‘we are where we are’ for want of a better expression, and its perfectly reasonable to now allow democracy to take its course.

    The ‘sins of the past’ are rarely a good basis to limit the democratic course of the future – otherwise you’d have to take a long hard look at voting rights everywhere from Bradford to Mexico.

    “Sins of the past” do however shape the lenses through which we view the present.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    ninfan – Member

    If there had been a recent programme of ‘ethnic cleansing’ you might have a point, but the sins of the Stalinist era are a long time ago under a now collapsed regime

    Hardly time-expired, there’s plenty of people who remember it- people living elsewhere who get no vote in this, but who would still be living in the Crimea had they not been run off. The russian majority was engineered, in living memory, at the cost of others who now have no voice in this.

    But this is beside the point- you asserted that the reason “the west” is unhappy with this is purely because they don’t like the results that democracy is delivering, what I’m pointing out is that there are legitimate grounds to quetion the “rightness” of that democratic process.

    How about the fact that the west gave assurances to Moscow in 1991 that it had no intention of encircling it by expanding NATO to include countries on Russia’s borders. And in effect, what has happened?

    The russian majority was engineered, in living memory, at the cost of others who now have no voice in this.

    I think you’ll find that ethic Russians formed a majority in Crimea even in 1944. The Russian tsars ruthlessly suppressed Ukrainian nationalism, that’s one of the reasons why so few speak Ukrainian in eastern Ukraine (western Ukraine wasn’t part of imperial Russia)

    Indeed the whole of Ukraine has been the subject of continual ethnic cleansing and engineering. Ukraine was the birthplace of the Russian nation and Kiev was the capital of Russia hundreds of years before Moscow was.

    The reason Ukraine has turned out ethically different to the rest of the Russian hinterland is because its geographical position has meant that it provided the territory for the clash of empires/civilizations/cultures/religions, including muslims, catholic, and eastern orthodox. I believe that Ukraine means “borderland” presumably alluding to the fact that it it represents the division between east and west, even today ?

    But whilst there is clearly a sectarian dimension to the present crises in Ukraine today, after all one of the first things the coup leaders did after seizing power was to repeal the law on regional languages and made Ukraine the sole official language (they later backed down under strong pressure from their EU backers) I suspect that it would be over simplistic to put it all down to narrow sectarianism.

    It is perfectly feasible for someone who is not an ethnic Russian to feel that there are more advantages in close ties with Russia than with the EU. For example most of eastern Ukraine’s trade is with Russia, Moscow pays very large sums of money for its Black Sea Fleet Crimean facilities, Russia provides gas well below global market prices, all of which would be at risk if links with Russia were significantly severed.

    Furthermore as a BRIC nation Russia is widely seen as an emerging economic superpower. Today Russia has half the unemployment level that the EU has and twice the growth. Plus Europe is probably doomed to a long slow period of economic decline as the technological advantages it once had over underdeveloped world disappear due to modern easily transferred technologies – third world counties can now challenge Europe on the quality and quantity of manufactured goods.

    As a slight aside, have you seen Putins approval ratings this week?

    You can’t believe those figures.

    And yet the western press such as the Washington Post, which is unlikely to want to over emphasis Putin’s popularity at home as they continue to portray him as some sort of strong man/near dictator, are perfectly prepared to ‘believe those figures’.

    Quote :

    In a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) last week, Putin’s popularity level in Russia has reached 71.6 percent. That’s a 9.7 percent since mid-February, which seems quite obviously linked to the Russian president’s handling of Ukraine and the Sochi Olympics. As Ria Novosti notes, it means that Putin’s popularity levels are now at a three-year high.

    You might want to put that down to the fact that the VTsIOM is state-run, but that argument doesn’t really hold. The Levada Center, a well-respected independent polling center, has also found that Putin had a 72 percent approval rating, up 7 points from January and a recent record. To put that in context on a world stage, U.S. president Barack Obama is currently at 43 percent, according to Gallup, while 79 percent of the French say they don’t approve of Francois Hollande’s presidency. Putin isn’t just popular, he’s extraordinarily popular.

    We treat him like he’s mad, but Vladimir Putin’s popularity has just hit a 3-year high

    Do you know something which the Washington Post should also know ?

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
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    Well, the Beeb is reporting that one protester has been killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine – enough justification for Putin to move in to ‘protect’ ethnic Russians? Seems he’s moved all his troops there ready. Not that they’ll be going anywhere, I’m sure some local community figures will simply become very well equipped.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    ernie_lynch – Member

    I think you’ll find that ethic Russians formed a majority in Crimea even in 1944.

    Mmm, that’s not the breakdown I’ve seen but I’d be daft to assume I’m right, what’s your source?

    Nothing daft with thinking you’re right. I would stick with that.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    I think I’m right; I’m just not going to assume I’m right 😉 Right?

    rossi46
    Member

    The polls are in, here it is from the American viewpoint that is CNN.

    Its obvious that Crimea will vote to be part of Russia once more, that will be illegal to everyone but Russia.
    Could get messy from here on in…

    hh45
    Member

    Apologies, I’ve been too busy to post.

    Why are we threatening war with Russia over the Crimea? can it ever be worth it.

    The EU was at fault for stirring up trouble and the US thinks it is still the worlds judge, jury and policeman.

    It ain’t great but nor is Tibet, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan or frankly Cuba but we don’t risk everything to interfere in those disputes.

    Will the Americans not learn that their 50 years of glory are over and go home. I’m just baffled.

    Why are we threatening war with Russia over the Crimea?

    Unless you’ve heard a piece of news I haven’t, we aren’t.

    The whole exercise is limited to creating tensions with Russia for a variety of reasons. As examples, firstly it is important for global leaders to offer those they govern an enemy, a threat, something they should fear, real or imaginary. Secondly the West/US/EU wishes to expand their markets and political influence, pulling countries away from Russian influence and cooperation is obviously going to help them achieve that.

    It’s about power and wealth.

    hh45
    Member

    Apologies, I was exaggerating with my ‘war’ reference but you got the gist. I’m not as cynical as you but I do follow your logic. The military industrial complex in US has a lot to answer for and so it would appear do Eurocrats who just want a bigger bureaucracy to sponge off.

    rossi46
    Member

    You are correct ernie- it is about power and wealth. Should this escalate into a military situation we can add it to the list of conflicts that were about power and wealth. That’s all wars ever isn’t it?

    Edit: just seen Sky news- it seems the first steps to conflict are upon us- a Ukrainian soldier has been killed after a military base in Simferopol was stormed by armed men. Probably Russian.
    And so it begins…..

    That’s all wars ever isn’t it?

    And all politics. And all history. It’s all about power and wealth.

    Premier Icon JohnClimber
    Subscriber

    So, Crimea is a bit of land originally Russian, populated by a majority of Crimean Russians which is sitting of a bit of land that broke away from Russia, taking the mainly Russian populated Crimean region away from Russian.

    There was a vote by people of the Crimea where over 80% of the population voted and they voted 93% to join Russia.

    Where’s the problem?
    If the people want it, let them join back up with Russia where they want to be.

    On this one I feel our leaders should back away and live and let live

    I have no problem with any of the above process, were that process to take place in peacetime. I feel a little uneasy when the referendum to join your neighbours is carried with overwhelming support and those neighbours’ troops are at the gate, and in some cases through the gate, performing operations wearing uniforms with no insignia.

    All history is about power and wealth, Ernie? That implies no-one has ever tried to change the world for the better through self-sacrifice. I’m not sure I take such a cynical view.

    That implies no-one has ever tried to change the world for the better through self-sacrifice.

    Of course they have. Many have tried to change the world for the better through self-sacrifice, take Nelson Mandela as an example.

    Nelson Mandela sought to increase the power and wealth of those he represented. To do so he had to challenge the power and wealth of others.

    It was all about power and wealth. All history is about power and wealth

    redthunder
    Member

    Time for a re strike 🙁


    Crimea Medal by SGMTB, on Flickr

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    JohnClimber – Member

    There was a vote by people of the Crimea where over 80% of the population voted and they voted 93% to join Russia.

    Where’s the problem?

    Such highlights as armed gangs outside polling stations, police throwing all the observers out of vote counting locations, video footage of people casting multiple votes, foreign nationals being allowed to vote, the voter turnout in Sevastopol being 120%… Oh and the minor matter of the limited choice on the ballot.

    Course, none of that means that the result is crooked but we’ll never know what the actual vote was.

    dannyh
    Member

    Hmmmmm.

    So large powerful country annexes part of a smaller country on the pretext that the majority of the population in that area are ethnically and temperamentally of the larger country? Larger country cites a list of grievances on behalf of the ‘oppressed minority’.

    I’m pretty sure that this has happened somewhere before in Europe, but I can’t quite put my finger……….

    Oh yes, for Crimea read ‘Sudetenland’.

    Who’s going to play Chamberlain this time?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    Who’s going to play Chamberlain this time?

    NATO?

    rossi46
    Member

    All this talk among European and US politicians about ‘we don’t want to get involved in a war over Ukraine’ how about not wanting to but being pushed to it anyway. No one wanted a war with Nazi Germany at first, but it happened anyway.

    ninfan
    Member

    Is the Crimea crisis the worlds biggest ever collective submission to Godwins law?

    I have particularly enjoyed todays intervention by Gorbachev, rightly pointing out that Crimea was given away by soviet-era leaders without ever asking the public what they wanted.

    You enjoyed that? Did you not already know that? Wow.

    ninfan
    Member

    I knew it, however I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Gorby back on the scene

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfqJIf1Pn60[/video]

    rossi46
    Member

    Speaking of Gorbachev, I’d like to see a Spitting Image version of this situation!!
    Wonder what they’d make of Putin?

    Sancho
    Member

    Due to the hypocrisy of the west there is no credible alternative to what russia is doing.
    Why arent the EU and USA and UK hounding Israel for its land grabs or china for tibet etc,

    just pure jokers in the west.

    Russia is just not going to be bothered by anything the west has to say or do, and we wont do anything.

    rkk01
    Member

    Thinking about this last night, watching C4 News…

    Western military is equipped, er, well practised and their diary is a little clearer than it has been.

    Russian military is broke, Cold War kit that they haven’t upgraded. Our political leaders love a quick “surgical strike”, so why the reluctance.

    Best thing for the interim government might be too let Crimea go. With elections coming up in the spring, they’ve just lost several million of their political opponents.

    And they would look better in the international PR battle. The victim of its big bullying neighbour and all that.

    Not much consolation if you are a Crimean tartar though.

    mt
    Member

    Those Tartar’s are always complaining. That nice man Mr Stalin gave them their own land a bit further east, lots of forests, communal living and plenty of winter sports. They were unhappy with that.

    And they would look better in the international PR battle. The victim of its big bullying neighbour and all that.

    Which bullying neighbour is that…..the EU who supported and encouraged the violent overthrow of an elected president because he wouldn’t sign a trade deal with them (he was elected on a ticket of closer links with Russia) and who weren’t prepared to wait another year until his term expired in case the next election didn’t go their way, that bullying neighbour ?

    Well yes, they have certainly played an international PR blinder…..just look at the some of the comments on this thread for proof of that.

    popstar
    Member

    Ernie +1 ^^^

    RKK01 Western military is equipped, er, well practised and their diary is a little clearer than it has been.

    Russian military is broke, Cold War kit that they haven’t upgraded. Our political leaders love a quick “surgical strike”, so why the reluctance.
    Georgia events proved otherwise.

    If West tiptoes around NKorea, who might have nuclear weapons … give it a go with drunken russians. Start WW3, in the name of democracy and high morals.

    Even then, when all this BS started, why ukranians were visited by different EU countries politicians to prop up higher morale to overthrow government?

    Granted WUkranians will kick Ivan out, but how will they deal with their own problems later? They think West will come and fix all their issues for free. Right, if thats true I am in!

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    sending Baroness ashton into Kiev may have been provactive
    but the russians flooding Crimea with troops before any referndum had been held isnt?
    and Putin cutting off the gas supplies 2 winters ago wasnt intimidation/blackmail on a massive scale?

    dont think either side is blameless here

    Well yes, they have certainly played an international PR blinder…..just look at the some of the comments on this thread for proof of that

    Wow! I didn’t know the opinions expressed on this forum carried such weight in international diplomatic circles.

    Does Barak Obama post on here regularly?

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    hes more of a lurker

    Perhaps Russia “flooded” Crimea with troops before a referendum because if they hadn’t no referendum would have been allowed ?

    I’m fairly sure that the US and the EU were opposed to any referendum – they see the Russian Black Fleet naval base as an important Russian asset which they would dearly like to be in the hands of the EU.

    And the Russian/Ukraine dispute over gas prices, which was more than two winters ago btw, and which was over Ukraine paying well below the global price for gas, was “intimidation/blackmail on a massive scale” was it ?

    So let’s get this right. If “the West” refuses to sell and trade with Russia, and refuses the freedom of travel to their politicians, it’s called “sanctions”. But if Russia should dare to do anything even vaguely simular it’s called “intimidation and blackmail on a massive scale”.

    A nice example of some twisted moral logic there.

    But then of course there is nothing vaguely moral about the EU saying that they are perfectly happy and content to work with Yanukovych, as long as he signs a trade deal with them, but that if he doesn’t they will fully support his overthrow.

    I call that intimidation and blackmail on a massive scale.

    .

    BTW somewhatslightlydazed, public opinion is hugely important to EU/US politicians. And when you get “lefties” like kimbers agreeing with politicians such as William Hague it shows jut how successful they have been with regards to Ukraine.

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    so freezing the bank accounts of 20 politicians compares to shutting off gas supplies of the 45million Ukrainians and the rest of eastern europe?

    I wonder what russia couldve hoped to gain from such a harsh move during the brutally cold winter of 2009

    …oh yes as part of the deal to switch it back on, they got Ukraine to extend their lease on the Russian Naval base in Crimea by an extra 25 years

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