Streetwise Professor

February 28, 2014

Not to Go All Lenin on You, But: What Is To Be Done? Follow the Money!, That’s What.

Filed under: Economics,Energy,History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:59 pm

Russia has invaded Crimea-and hence has invaded Ukraine.  No Obamaesque circumlocutions about “uncontested arrivals” can gainsay that very basic fact.  The Russians have occupied a major Ukrainian air base in the peninsula, and have given an ultimatum to all Ukrainian military units to surrender their posts.

Yes.  All unopposed. So I guess that makes it OK.

But what to do about it?

First: a no brainer.  Eject Russia from the G8, and reschedule a meeting of the G7 somewhere far away from Sochi (as is scheduled for June).  But seeing as that it is the Obama administration and various EU factotums that will make the decision, no brainer is probably asking a wee bit too much.

Second: pressure FIFA to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup.  Even though the thought of Putin blowing another $50 billion on a vanity project has some appeal.

@libertylynx suggests persuading the Saudis to turn on the taps to reduce oil prices, and hit Putin where it hurts.  (Though since Obama has seriously alienated the Saudis with his Syria policy and his dalliance with Iran, there is serious room to doubt whether the Saudis would be at all accommodating.)  Indeed, in 1986, the dramatic increase in oil production by the Saudis struck the USSR a mortal blow, and Putin’s Russia is almost as dependent on oil revenues as the Soviets.  (See Gaidar’s memoirs for a blow-by-blow account of how the collapse in oil prices gutted the USSR.  I’ve often wondered whether the Saudi action was directed against the USSR, rather than OPEC cheaters as was stated publicly, and done at the behest of the Reagan administration.)

There are some differences, though.  In ’86 KSA had about 7 million barrels of spare capacity, at a time when world consumption was on the order of 60 million barrels.  By producing to the max, the Saudis drove the price from around $23/bbl in December, 1985 to under $10/bbl in mid-1986, about a 60 percent drop.  Now Saudi spare capacity is  around 2 million bpd, when world output is around 90 million bpd.  A 2+ percent increase in Saudi output would result in at most a 20 percent price decline.  (Note that other producers would cut back, so that world output would go up by less than 2 percent even if the Saudis produced to their capacity.) Certainly enough to hit Putin hard, but not enough to create the existential crisis that the Soviets faced in the 80s.  But every little bit helps.

Insofar as gas is concerned, the Europeans could cushion the blow of sharply reducing consumption of Russian gas by increasing use of coal, which is in abundant supply in the US because the shale gas boom has displaced large quantities of coal in electricity generation.  But I doubt Europe has the stomach for that, and it could not get along without Russian gas altogether.

This leaves one last thing: crying havoc, and letting loose the accountants of war, a policy I advocated in August, 2008.  There is nothing that would make Putin and his coterie of thieves and thugs freak out more than putting their billions in loot stashed in the West at risk.

The fall of the Yanukovych regime provides a perfect cover for such an operation.  An aggressive search for the boodle of Yanukovych and his spawn would no doubt serendipitously uncover other illicit loot from the FSU: after all, a Hermitage Capital investigation traced connections between Yanukovych-linked companies and the fraud that the martyred Sergei Magnitsky uncovered.

This suggests a potentially fruitful asymmetric attack on Putin.  Loudly and publicly announce a thorough investigation of Yanukovych monies in the West.  Through back channels, tell Putin that unless he backs off-way off, like back to Rostov-on-Don off-that any dirty Russian money (and is there any other kind in Western banks-hell, even Putin pretty much agrees with this) that just so happens to be discovered during the investigation of Yanukovych will go to covering the US national debt.  Then go ahead and investigate anyways, and keep track of the moneys uncovered, for potential use at a later date.

Alas, even though this is a bloodless alternative (though it would drain the blood from Putin’s already pale, Botox-injected face), I seriously doubt Obama has the stomach for it.  In part because he knows Putin would lose his sh*t, and he doesn’t want to deal with that.

But here’s the thing.  There’s really not much reason to be intimated by Putin’s bluster–outside the FSU, anyways.  Russia has economic feet of clay.  Militarily it is a pretend power, fit to intimidate other decrepit post-Soviet militaries in smaller states on its borders, but sadly outmatched against a real power.  So call his bluff. Guarantee full employment for forensic accountants.

Then buy ear protection to guard against the shrieks emanating from points east and north, grab some popcorn, and sit back and enjoy the show.

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97 Comments »

  1. > Europeans could cushion the blow of sharply reducing consumption of Russian gas by increasing use of coal

    That is a good proposition, but it should be implemented only under the condition that you agree to live within a 1 mile radius of a coal-burning plant and promise not to use any air filters.

    > Second: pressure FIFA to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup.

    Better yet: the USA and its Saudi allies should boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That will be as devastating as a Russian boycott of the world baseball championships.

    > An aggressive search for the boodle of Yanukovych and his spawn would no doubt serendipitously uncover other illicit loot from the FSU:

    Are you prepared for scandals around the economic crimes by Tymoshenko, her newly appointed chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv and the rest of her gang?

    Comment by vladislav — February 28, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

  2. More what-about-isms from the Putin ass-lick re: Timoshenko & co.
    Incidentally, why would a facist, banderist, western Ukrainian rogue state name a Russian from eastern Ukraine as interim president? Just askin’.

    Comment by Gordon — February 28, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

  3. Vladislav is just another treasonous Russian immigrant to the US.

    Comment by Andrew — February 28, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

  4. > Incidentally, why would a facist, banderist, western Ukrainian rogue state name a Russian from eastern Ukraine as interim president? Just askin’.

    Gordon, despite your childish insults, I will answer, because it seems to me that you are expressing genuine interest in Ukrainian politics. You see, Gordon, a person’s place of origin doesn’t totally determine his political views. In particular, many pro-Western and/or anti-Russian Ukrainian politicians come from the East. For example, Yuschenko and Tymoshenko.Yuschenko’s Prime Minister Yekhanurov came from Sberia, Klitshcko – from Kazakhstan.

    BTW, the new Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk is from Chernivtsi, Ukraine. You should look at the map to convince himself that Chernivtsi is in WEST Ukraine, near the border with Romania:

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/europe/ukraine/map_of_ukraine.jpg

    Comment by vladislav — February 28, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

  5. I clearly remember Ukrainian pro-independence propaganda in 1990. We’re subsidising Moscals! We are the richest republic in the FSU. As history has shown, only the second part was true. Ukraine had a much higher standard of living than Russia (Moscow and Leningrad excluded). In the Soviet Union the NKVD, the KGB, the police were dominated by Ukrainians. The politburo was practically Dnipropetrovsk. Ukraine produced everything from wheat to electronics, jet aircraft, space launchers, aircraft carriers and supertankers. But the fact is, all this, the whole Soviet project was subsidised by Russia. Central Russia was bled white to keep the minorities happy. The only “colonial empire” in human history where the metropole lived worse than the colonies.

    So now Ukraine is officially a failed state, and it’s all Putin’s fault? IMO, Stalin made a terrible terrible mistake by incorporating Galicia into Ukraine (khrushev compounded this later with Crimea). Galicia is a cancer that should have stayed with Poland. Instead the Poles were robbed of their poor East full of people who hated them and were gifted the much richer piece of (German free) east Germany. Poland is a mono-ethnic state with no internal ethnic strife, but full of phantom pains for their Kresi and ingratitude to Russia. Even Churchill thought that Stalin was bonkers and giving Poland too much for nothing. (The more historically aware poles are not deluded however, and have told me that it’s the only good thing that Russia has done for Poland.)

    Just to show how delusional the West Ukrainians are, the first order of the day was to ban the Russian language. The country is broke, the Jews have left for Israel, the poles were wiped out 70 years ago, so the idiots are baying for Moscal blood, discussing how the Russian question must be solved once and for all. The YouTube is full of it (all FSB fabrications, of course). NATO and the EU will save us! We just have to kill the Moscals! Yanukovitch looks like Einstein in comparison.

    Well, be careful what you wish for. What they don’t realise is that Russia is Germany’s Canada. Yes drunk, ugly and incompetent but a resource appendage and client state nonetheless. Better in some ways, because Canada refused to do America’s bidding in Iraq. Russia, OTOH, will do all the dirty work whenever Brussels (Berlin) snaps its fingers at Vladimir Putin (Valdemar Putler of the Resource Federation). The Reich has prevailed on its fourth attempt, albeit with much better terms for the defeated. I wonder how much longer the Germans will kowtow to the US. The German Chancellor obliged to fly to Washington after being elected is particularly cringe-worthy.

    Comment by So? — February 28, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

  6. Andrew, as we have settled long time ago, I am not going to deign your childish insults with replies. So, feel free to heave as many insults at me as you feel compelled, as long as you don’t resort to factual lies about me, like your recent libelous claims that in the old LaRussophobe blog I had expressed racial hatred towards Georgians and Ukrainians. Thank you in advance.

    Comment by vladislav — February 28, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

  7. The new putschist government of Ukraine is determinedly driving the country towards a civil war;

    http://rt.com/news/minority-language-law-ukraine-035/

    Canceled language law in Ukraine sparks concern among Russian and EU diplomats

    The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) abolished the 2012 law “On State Language Policy” the day after it voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovich. The law allowed the country’s regions to use more official languages in addition to Ukrainian if they were spoken by over 10 percent of the local population. Thirteen out of Ukraine’s 27 regions, primarily in Eastern Ukraine, then adopted Russian as a second official language. Two Western regions introduced Romanian and Hungarian as official languages.

    Ukraine’s swift abolition of the law allowing the country’s regions to make Russian a second official language has worried European MPs and officials, and has been condemned outright as a “violation of ethnic minority rights” by Russian diplomats.

    The European Parliament has approved a resolution on Ukraine, which among other things calls on the country’s MPs and the new government to respect the rights of minorities, particularly when it comes to the use of languages.

    Ukraine’s new leaders should distance themselves from extremists and avoid any provocation that might fuel “separatist moves,” MEPs said, the parliament’s press service reported. MEPs said that the new government should respect the rights of minorities in Ukraine, including the right to use Russian and other minority languages.

    The resolution, proposed by six political groups in the European Parliament, urges Ukraine to ensure that its new legislation complies with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

    Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Ukrainian MPs were wrong to cancel the law.

    “The parliament of Ukraine has made what I believe to be a mistake a few days ago, cancelling a law on regional languages,” he told CNN, commenting on the current instability in the Crimea, where the majority of the population speaks Russian. “The new Ukrainian government should signal very eloquently to the ethnic minorities in Ukraine that they are welcome in Ukraine; that they are going to be part of the new Ukraine. And also Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe, [with] its laws on protecting minorities.”

    //////////////////////

    The reaction of the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, who had lost their right to use their native language as official in their own provinces and to teach it to their own children in schools, is quite predictable and will be greatly reflected in the upcoming elections. Clearly, the putschists are knowingly using every possible mean to exacerbate hostilities with Russians and other ethnic minorities (who together quite possibly make up a voting majority) by violating their basic human rights.

    Comment by vladislav — February 28, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

  8. That is funny Vladislav. Considering that the only official language in Russia is Russian, minority native languages have been banned from being taught in Russian schools for a few years now.

    How do you feel about ethnic Georgians in Gali being banned from teaching Georgian in their schools by the Russians and separatists? The same thing happens in South Ossetia to the tiny number who the Russian army did not ethnicly cleanse in 2008.

    Do you condemn the Russian state for it’s actions against minority languages in the Russian federation, in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, and in Transdeniestr in Moldova?

    As to Russian attitudes ‘Later, however, an address to men wearing the orange and black ribbons of the Russian military order of St George, was different. “Be faithful to yourselves, be proud to be Russians; we were here long before there were any ‘Ukrainians’. These ‘Ukrainians’, they have their Maidan [Kiev’s Independence Square, the centre of the protest movement]. Well, we have our Magadan.”

    There were loud cheers – the crowd knew he was referring to the gulag in eastern Siberia at the time of Stalin, where thousands perished.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/ukraine-latest–the-invasion-begins-armed-russianspeaking-gunmen-with-crimea-in-their-grip-as-barack-obama-warns-moscow-9161476.html

    So Russians are cheering the memory of ethnic minorites being sent to Siberia to die. Also the old myth that Russians existed before Ukrainians, sadly it is the other way around. Russian history is a sad story of barbarity and institutionalised racism.

    How typical.

    Meanwhile the racist attitude of Russians runs rampant as usual

    http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Death-to-Jews-graffiti-sprayed-on-Ukrainian-synagogue-343892

    Swastika painted on a synagogue in the town of Simferapol, a town under control of Russian ‘volunteers’

    Also there have been attacks on Crimean Tatars (the actual native population) by ethnic Russians.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 12:06 am

  9. Really So? Russia was bled white?

    Official figures say otherwise.

    With the exception of the Baltic republics, Russia was as well off as Belarus and Ukraine, and considerably better off than the other soviet republics.

    https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.roiw.org/1993/23.pdf&sa=U&ei=soERU9TbOI2V7Abb-oHIDA&ved=0CAsQFjAA&sig2=vRPOtCdgV02hCPluSjQUaw&usg=AFQjCNEyS8OCjYhVRYpYwiS1OS9E6C_0rQ

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 12:55 am

  10. The Soviet Union was not a market economy. Money did not matter if you could not buy anything with it. Plenty of kids in central Russia never ate a piece of fruit and rarely ate meat. I doubt this applied to Ukraine (the Soviet “granary, factory, sanatorium”). But the original question still stands, why did Ukraine being the most advantaged republic – agriculture, industry, climate, geography (warm sea ports, Russian transit) turned out to be poorer than Albania, 4 times poorer than Russia. And if your answer is oil… There were Ukrainian guest workers in Russia already in 1996, when oil was still very cheap.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 1:30 am

  11. Nice try So? but there were far more disadvantaged people in other republics. you still had to pay for goods and services, produce etc.

    plenty of minorities had a far harsher life than the Russians.

    Your statement that Russia was bled white to enrich the other republics is a lie.

    Russia asset stripped many soviet republics to enrich itself by their resources.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 2:10 am

  12. You failed to answer the original question. Why are the republics much worse off than Russia? Russians are no longer stealing Ukrainian pork and Georgian wine. Both should be like Switzerland by now.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 2:35 am

  13. @So? Your insinuation is built on a wrong premise.

    First of all, Russia, if by that we mean not just the Moscow and St. Petersburg regions but the entire country, is not better off than Ukraine or some other Republics. Generally speaking, being “better off” financially is no synonym of being “better.” A good example is Turkmenistan which financially perhaps is better off than Russia or even the United States. But what does that imply? Second, if need to be, a lot of arguments can be brought that for about 100 years, if not more, Russia has deprived many of the former Soviet republics from an alternative path of development.

    While I don’t think that the large-scale collapse of Russia is in anybody’s interest in the post-Soviet domain, I am afraid that it is imminent over a span of 50 years or so, and of all parties Putin I think understands it rather well.

    My sense is that he is taken a posture of “if we are going to go down, we are going to take you with us.” In fact, this is an age-tested imperial Russian policy. In early 1900, when the Russian empire was week, the way she managed to control the situation was to trigger ethnic conflicts on her periphery. And she succeeded. Due to the lack of creativity or something of that magnitude they are exercising the same policies now.

    Going back to Ukraine, despite the shameless allegations on the undermining of Russians or Jews, per se, in Ukraine, while not denying that there may be isolated anti-russian and anti-semitic centers there, these issues are artificially blown out of their proportions.

    There is no Russian ethnicity or language problem in Ukraine. Pretty much everyone speaks Russian and Ukrainian there and no one is persecuted or denied opportunity on that basis. The issue at hand is whether Russian language should be elevated to the level of a state-language – even at a regional level.
    My unequivocal answer is that no, it should not. It is a legitimate expectation for the Ukrainian language to be the state language in Ukraine – for the same reason as the Bashkirian or Tatar language, or the Ingushetian, per se, are not state languages in the corresponding autonomous republics of Russia.
    Generally speaking and unfortunately, the Russian population of other republics, in most of the cases, places itself into the position of a fifth colony by refusing to adapt to the local culture and language. So, if any conflict, there are more arguments to be made that they are created by the Russian Diaspora than the other way around.

    As to the anti-Semitism in Ukraine, of course there is such historic precedent. But there is no basis for alleging such phenomenon in current day Ukraine. In fact, ethnic Jews of Ukraine are some of the most comfortable minorities there today. Even historically speaking, one can attribute the anti-Semitism of Ukraine more to those under the orthodox influence than catholic. For illustration, the well known Russian publicists and critic Pisarev conveys stories of persecution of Jews and Catholics alike in Ukraine. One of the illustrative examples he brings is about the tradition in Ukraine of mid-19th century to hang a Jew, a catholic priest and a dog on the same gallows with a tablet on it “these are of the same faith.”

    Moreover, any favoring of Russia over Ukraine on the basis of anti-Semitism is extremely disingenuous, intellectually and otherwise dishonest. Same degree of anti-Semitism as it is alleged in Ukraine, has always existed in Russia and it continues to exist to this day. In fact, Russia is and has been the cradle of anti-Semitism in the region – starting from the fabrication by the Russian secret service of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and ending with the circulation of a fabricated letter allegedly by the academician Gel’fand to the Jewish minority of Russia, topped with historic and contemporary Russian contemporary theories of the conspiracy of “judeo-masons” and Russian oligarchs of Jewish ethnicity, conspiring to take over Russian and the world.
    As far as Crimea is concerned, I think a legitimate case can be made that she should have a special status within Ukraine. There are historic, cultural, ethnic, political and perhaps geopolitical arguments in favoring such autonomy. And I am sure Ukraine will be ready to rationally discuss that issue.

    However, even from the unfolding events once can conclude that Russia is not putting its “eggs” in Eastern Ukraine and is discouraging the exploitation of that card. Again, because the issue is artificial. It doesn’t exist in reality except by being used as a trump-card by some. One should not forget that the situation in Eastern Ukraine is totally controlled by a handful of Ukrainian oligarchs (of various ethnicities) and under no scenario they would agree to submit to Russia – first of all because they understand all well that their sphere of influence and their property will be transferred to Russian oligarchs – that is their utmost fear. Second, as the ordinary Russian people of the East Ukrainian provinces are concerned, they can afford traveling to the adjacent regions of Russia and compare their lifestyle to those in Russia, and understand that they enjoy a higher living standard than in Russia. But again, as I stated many times, anyone who has travelled to Ukraine (and by the way I have travelled a lot to the Russian language dominated parts of her) can see that there is no real divisive issue there and the issue of the Ukrainian vs. Russian languages is at best an issue which irritates to them rather than is a subject of heart-felt hostility. And the main reason of irritation is not the idea of it but that they do not have the command of Ukrainian language (not of the vernacular but the written Ukrainian) and it is a significant inconvenience for them to write documentation in Ukrainian. For example, I have been a witness of a process when in their state organizations they take the governmental correspondence in Ukrainian, utilize software to automatically translate it to Ukrainian, write their response in Russian, use the same software to translate it to Russian, then have someone edit is subject to grammatical and stylistic errors, and submit it. This is what they have complained me about – not the idea of the Ukrainian language being the state language.

    Anyway, I don’t want to turn something which was intended to be a response into an essay. And given the length of it, I am not in the mood to edit it before posting – so I submit my apologies for this unedited text.

    Comment by MJ — March 1, 2014 @ 3:29 am

  14. Professor,

    I appreciate your pledge of American taxpayer’s money to bail Ukraine out of its dire economic pit. I always appreciate it when people pledge somebody else’s money, especially taxpayers’.

    Ukraine government’s debt is only about $160 billion, or about $4 000 per capita. The US government should immediately gift this amount to Ukraine, especially because our own debt (the last time I looked) was $17 trillion, or close to $60 000 per capita, and and extra $160 billion isn’t going to make any difference at this point. Live it up, because tomorrow we default! Let’s buy an extra $1 trillion worth of tanks! We may need them when hungry mobs will be roaming the Midwest.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 3:41 am

  15. Галиция, слушай, давай разводиться!
    Без шума, без крови и драки публичной,
    Зачем нам бардак и побитые лица?
    Давай разойдёмся как люди, прилично.

    Я долго кормил тебя, я не буянил,
    Исправно бюджет наполнял год от года,
    А ты увлекалась бездельем майданным
    Меня называя рабом и уродом.

    Ты взгляды свои устремляешь на Запад,
    Мне, знаешь, родней Беларусь и Россия.
    Давай разойдёмся. Так лучше. Так надо.
    Как чехи, словаки — легко и красиво.

    Тебя уж давно дожидается Польша,
    Вот ей про Бандеру расскажешь подробно,
    А в центре Брюсселя погром и дебоши
    Устроишь. Уверен, оценит Европа.

    Галиция, слушай давай разводиться!
    Пора наступила. Подводим итог.
    Тебе — на майданах халявно туситься.
    А мне на работу. Твой Юго-Восток.

    Надежда Надник

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 4:04 am

  16. America’s greatest poet, Nobel prize winner Joseph Brodsky, put it well in the early 1990s during his reign as the Poet Laureate of the United States:

    Дорогой Карл XII, сражение под Полтавой,
    слава Богу, проиграно. Как говорил картавый,
    “время покажет Кузькину мать”, руины,
    кости посмертной радости с привкусом Украины.
    То не зелено-квитный, траченный изотопом,–
    жовто-блакытный реет над Конотопом,
    скроенный из холста, знать, припасла Канада.
    Даром что без креста, но хохлам не надо.
    Гой ты, рушник, карбованец, семечки в полной жмене!
    Не нам, кацапам, их обвинять в измене.
    Сами под образами семьдесят лет в Рязани
    с залитыми глазами жили, как при Тарзане.
    Скажем им, звонкой матерью паузы медля строго:
    скатертью вам, хохлы, и рушником дорога!
    Ступайте от нас в жупане, не говоря — в мундире,
    по адресу на три буквы, на все четыре
    стороны. Пусть теперь в мазанке хором гансы
    с ляхами ставят вас на четыре кости, поганцы.
    Как в петлю лезть — так сообща, путь выбирая в чаще,
    а курицу из борща грызть в одиночку слаще.
    Прощевайте, хохлы, пожили вместе — хватит!
    Плюнуть, что ли, в Днипро, может, он вспять покатит,
    брезгуя гордо нами, как скорый, битком набитый
    кожаными углами и вековой обидой.
    Не поминайте лихом. Вашего хлеба, неба,
    нам, подавись мы жмыхом и колобом, не треба.
    Нечего портить кровь, рвать на груди одежду.
    Кончилась, знать, любовь, коль и была промежду.
    Что ковыряться зря в рваных корнях глаголом?
    Вас родила земля, грунт, чернозем с подзолом.
    Полно качать права, шить нам одно, другое.
    Это земля не дает вам, кавунам, покоя.
    Ой да Левада-степь, краля, баштан, вареник!
    Больше, поди, теряли — больше людей, чем денег.
    Как-нибудь перебьемся. А что до слезы из глаза –
    нет на нее указа, ждать до другого раза.
    С Богом, орлы, казаки, гетманы, вертухаи!
    Только когда придет и вам помирать, бугаи,
    будете вы хрипеть, царапая край матраса,
    строчки из Александра, а не брехню Тараса.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 4:20 am

  17. America’s greatest poet Joseph Brodsky? Funny, thought it would be someone like Longfellow.

    Or Natasha Trethewey, the current poet laureate of the USA.

    Of course Vladislav, in your opinion only Russians can be great ;-)

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 4:37 am

  18. MJ,

    Russia is a poor country, of course. The richest in Ukraine are better of than the poorest in Russia, no doubt. But I’m talking about averages here. The per capita GDP in Ukraine is absolutely dire. And the country is insolvent. As for alternatives path of development, have you entertained the possibility that without the Soviet project, Ukraine would have probably been even less developed?

    It’s not just Crimea, Novorossiya has little to do with Ukraine. Ukraine can thank the Sovok legacy for that.

    (Estonia has a large Russian minority the has been successfully apartheided into submission. A lot of Russian transit goes through it, yet no violence, no strife, the Russian sheep just take it stride (bronze soldier a minor aberration). So maybe Georgia’s problem with Abkhazians is Georgia’s problem with Abkhazians, if Russia does not to stir up things where it actually matters, not some Black Sea backwater.)

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 5:17 am

  19. No So? There are a lot of attempts to stir up Russians in Estonia by the Russian government.

    It is just easier to do it in Georgia, it’s further away, Estonia is closely watched by Europe.
    All the Russian military interventions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the 90′s on give lie to your comment.

    As for “apartheid” in Estonia, actually all they have to do is prove proficiency in Estonian through a language test, and pass a test on knowledge of the constitution. The final requirement is a pledge of allegiance to Estonia.

    Hardly apartheid, especially as the government provides free courses to study for both tests.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  20. So?

    > The only “colonial empire” in human history where the metropole lived worse than the colonies.

    Cut the crap (but I know you won’t). The metropole in the Moscow Khanate was and remains Moscow, and it has always bled white all the occupied territories, be it Russia or Finland. That some nations under Moscow’s rule had been and remained much poorer than others is nothing strange: despite the insane general politico-economic system imposed by Moscow, different occupied nations still had and have very different cultures and thus different capacity to mitigate the insanity emanating from Moscow.

    Comment by Ivan — March 1, 2014 @ 6:25 am

  21. I wonder if So? has heard of the British Empire. Colonials lived much better in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand than the folks in the UK….

    Once again I point at the figures (given by the Soviet government no less) which show the ethnic minorities were (with the exception of the Baltic republics, Ukraine and Belarus) considerably poorer in general than the Russian center.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 6:31 am

  22. @So?,

    > if Russia does not to stir up things where it actually matters

    the “bronze soldier” histeria does not qualify as “stirring up”? The reason Russia is not able to do all that much harm in Estonia is that ethnic Russians know they are vastly better off in Estonia than they ever could be in Russia. Hell, I’m sure even you are not sufficiently dumb to want Moscow rule over the place where you live, even if it were a hypothetical possibility.

    Comment by Ivan — March 1, 2014 @ 6:43 am

  23. @So? I don’t find your argument to be persuasive. While surely the GDP/per capita is a proxy for estimating the overall situation in a country, under highly non-uniform distribution of wealth, of which Russia is the poster child, it doesn’t mean whole a lot. While, of course, the wealth in Ukraine (and perhaps elsewhere as well) is distributed non-uniformly among the population, Ukraine is geographically more uniform than Russia. If you isolate Moscow and St. Petersburg regions out and look at the per capita GDP of Russia outside these regions (with all the sparsness of population outside the European part of Russia), the picture will be rather grim.

    While not having proper statistics in my command, I can confidently claim that the population of Ukraine generally enjoys better lifestyle than that of Russia –this is a personal observation from my travels.

    As to Ukraine’s development being possibly much worse without Russia than with Russia, I cannot fathom that. In fact, I think quite the opposite is true. Ukraine enjoys several deep-water ports while Russian enjoys only one Black See deep-water port (Novorossijsk – 12.5m). The rest of the Black Sea Russian ports have draft of about 3.5-4.5m which prevents Russia from conducting economic activity through these ports. Ukraine has much better developed and better positioned transportation infrastructure and the second or third largest black soil in the world (after Russia and Canada). Its climate is much more favorable to that of Russia, its population is denser, thus renders itself to better economic development.

    Meanwhile Russia is a huge, under-populated country, with largely pressure depleted energy wells and climatic conditions which don’t readily render themselves to secondary or enhanced oil production. Ukraine doesn’t face foreign threat (other than from Russia) while Russia does face natural and growing threats – internal and external. Furthermore, Ukraine hasn’t considered herself as a base for exporting “world revolution,” has not had imperial aspirations, etc. Also her immediate proximity to Europe renders her better economic development opportunities than are rendered to Russia.
    As to Novorossiya, or Crimea for that matter, and the insinuations of their historic non-belonging to Ukraine, with all due respect, I find such arguments to be ridiculous. If history is to be the legitimizer of attributing this or that land to one country or another, we should not forget that those lands themselves have been kicked out from others by Russia sometime in the 18th century.

    A lot of BS is currently distributed through the media on Ukraine being an artificial state and being a composition of lands incorporated with the Russian/Soviet help from other countries. Fine. But how about Russia then? How would explain with your logic why Yakutia or Chelyabinsk, for that matter, are part of the Kievian Rus and why Russia has a more legitimate claim on being the continuation of Kievian Rus than Ukraine does.

    That the Russian population of Estonia has plaid the role of fifth echelon there, it is beyond any doubt. They tried to sabotage Estonian politics but failed. Clearly Estonians have succeeded it better than the Latvians.

    In all post-Soviet republics, Russian population has placed itself above the host culture – and not always justifiably so. While I think they should have cultural autonomy along with any other minorities, the natural aspirations of preserving their cultural identity should not be transformed into a political leverage in sabotaging the mainstream political direction of the host country. If Russians would view themselves as citizens of Estonia, first of all, or of Georgia, for that matter, I am sure they would have no problems. But when they put themselves into the shoes of colonizers and saboteurs, the reaction to it should not be viewed as unexpected.

    I didn’t follow your argument on Abkhazia, so I have no comment on that regard.

    Comment by MJ — March 1, 2014 @ 6:45 am

  24. I agree that freezing Russia’s pro-Kremlin kleptocracy’s assets in the West hits where it hurts most. But there is hardly any use of just sitting and waiting for Western politicians to see the “light”. An immediate “here and now” option works through civic activity. NGOs, political activists and ex-pats from the countries of the Kremlin aggressiveness should co-operate and focus on the Russian pro-Kremlin elite (especially their family members) living, working and studying in the West.

    There are many ways to make the Russian parasitic officialdom feel uncomfortable when staying in the West: organize demonstrations outside their luxury homes, spread actively information about their doings, whereabouts, home addresses and even pictures in the internet, follow their wives on their shopping tours (show them pictures of victims of the Kremlin’s aggression… and make sure that even random passers-by see the same pictures). Make sure that their children see the same pictures and let even the children’s working/studying pals to learn about their Russian friends’ daddies’ shady businesses back home. A human imagination knows no limits and therefore, my friends, the ways of harassment can be developed ever more efficient. Learn from the very “best”, i.e. use the same playbook the pro-Kremlin kleptocracy itself uses when it comes to harassing one’s fellow citizens.

    Comment by Dixi — March 1, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  25. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukraine-news-simferopol-airport-crimea-3194165

    yanukonvikt’s son owns one of the airports taken over in Ukraine

    Comment by elmer — March 1, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  26. http://www.voanews.com/content/ukraine-refuses-to-act-against-russian-provocation/1861975.html

    http://odessablog.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/he-who-shoots-first-will-lose-crimea/

    SWP, after yanukonvikt’s performance in Rostov, including breaking a pen, one of the commenters on hromadske.tv, Oleh (Alex) Rybachuk, dealt with the question of how yanukonvikt made it out of Ukraine to the Rasha. Yanukonvikt would not answer that question. Rybachuk thinks that yanukonvikt was simply let out of Ukraine, after prior attempts from Donetsk and elsewhere did not work.

    Follow the money – that is absolutely excellent.

    Crimea is hugely corrupt. The beaches are blocked, and tourist business is being affected by the “unopposed occupation” by “unknown forces.”

    I think people will be pissed about losing business.

    Comment by elmer — March 1, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  27. https://twitter.com/Dbnmjr/status/439785694815207424/photo/1

    Comment by elmer — March 1, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  28. @ vladislav

    You wrote: “So, feel free to heave as many insults at me as you feel compelled, as long as you don’t resort to factual lies about me, like your recent libelous claims that in the old LaRussophobe blog I had expressed racial hatred towards Georgians and Ukrainians.”

    Yet you engaged in the same behavior against me. You wrote about me “I am sorry you don’t see it reprehensible to persecute and prosecute people for their belonging to a certain ethnicity/race/religion,” when I had previously written ““Singling out Jewish organizations for investigation is of course anti-Semitic.” (which is, of course, reprehensible)

    Please retract your statement about me.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  29. @ So?

    “So now Ukraine is officially a failed state, and it’s all Putin’s fault? IMO, Stalin made a terrible terrible mistake by incorporating Galicia into Ukraine (khrushev compounded this later with Crimea). Galicia is a cancer that should have stayed with Poland.

    I suspect Khrushchev tried to balance the addition of Galicia by adding Crimea. As for Galicia being a “cancer” – this problem could only have been solved had Russia gotten Galicia rather than Warsaw in 1812. The Galician Russophiles would have maintained their local dominance and the central-eastern Ukrainian elite who brought the Ukrainian Idea to Galicia from the left bank would have had no haven. By 1939 it would have been too late.

    As for “cancer” – Galicia is the healthiest and best part of Ukraine on most measures. It’s wealth is about average because it lacks the steel export that provides hard currency, but it leads the county in other areas. Lviv oblast is the 4th highest % of people with university degrees – behind only Kiev city, Kharkiv oblast, and Sebastopol city. Lviv is Ukraine’s 3rd major IT outsourcing center (behind Kiev and Kharkiv, though per capita it beats these). And then we get into social issues – natural population growth (slight decline/stable in Galicia, collapsing in the East), violent crime (Galicia has the lowest rate in Ukraine, less than 1/4 as in the east for assault and 1/2 than the east for serious crimes in general). As for per capita regional product – Galicia doesn’t have oligarchs, so the average person lives better. The East may produces more economically, but the result is mostly lavish and vulgar estates around the world. Here is a nice map of yearly disposable income by oblast:

    http://pollotenchegg.livejournal.com/42524.html

    Lviv comes in fourth highest – behind only Kiev city and oblast, and Donetsk. It’s well ahead of Kharkiv, Luhansk. And note that other than Chernivtsi oblast every western Ukrainian oblast does better than Crimea.

    So, overall, Galicia is the best-run part of Ukraine. Which is obviously to anyone visiting Lviv or Ivano-Frankivsk (its twolargest cities) and contrasting this with Luhansk, etc.

    The dirt-poor areas in Ukraine are not Galicia but southern regions such as Crimea and Kherson, and non-Galician western Ukrainian regions such as Chernivtsi, Transcarpathia and Volhynia.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  30. What is Putler trying to protect?

    Putlerism.

    people in Ukraine have seen the brutal graphic corruption of yanusvoloch and his henchmen.

    the whole system was set up for just a few insiders to soak up money for themselves.

    same thing in the Rasha

    Putler is trying to protect his corruption. with an army

    unleash the accountants is an escellent idea – all the people visiting yanukonvikt’s palaces are absolutely sick with disgust – it is no wonder that ynukonvikt and his fellow mafiosi fought so hard to keep their lavish palaces from public view

    In the Rasha, you are either an accomplice or a victim

    here’s how petty yanusvoloch got:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26387168

    Comment by elmer — March 1, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

  31. Somehow, in the back of my mind, I suspect this is all a ploy to put Tymoshenko in charge. She is someone Putin can and has worked with it, and is acceptable in Ukraine’s west and center (though no longer really liked there); she also enjoys decent relations with the West. Tymoshenko returns from treatment in Germany, Russian troops leave, Ukraine’s oligarchs are safe (after the upstart Yanukovich and his Family have permanently erased from Ukraine and their assets redistributed) and Ukraine will be back in the 1990s and 2000s, still sort of in Russia’s orbit but a little Western without going full West. Major inconvenient crisis for everybody, averted.

    I may be wrong – this is total idle speculation. And, of course, bad.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

  32. AP,

    I spent several years arguing this very subject – Tyahnibok, OUN, UPA etc – with BM. Your own manner of arguing is identical to his, which leads me to believe that you are him. My view of him was:

    He is not an anti-semite, he respects Jews, he opposes anti-semitism and ethnic bigotry everywhere in the world. Except Ukraine. You see, to him, Ukranian nationalists can’t do anything wrong. He managed to find justifications not only for every bigoted word that Tyahnibok ever uttered, but also even for the extermination of Polish and Jewish civilians by OUN/UPA in WWII.

    Prior to our argument over Tyahnibok, BM spent years and years accusing modern Russia of virulent anti-semitism.
    He gave 3 pieces of “proof”:

    1. Russian politician Zhirinovsky who said that Russian jews should emigrate to Israel. the fact that Zhirinovsky is Jewish and his own father emigrated to Israel doesn’t deter his accusations.

    2. Russian politician Linderman whose left-wing anti-Putin party – National-Bolsheviks – contains the word “National” in its name and its flag is red and black, like Nazis’. The fact that Linderman is jewish, and he, Limonov and the rest of their party like Jews and that National-Bolsheviks are a major unit in the democratic anti-Putin oppopsition doesn’t deter his accusations. And he sees nothing wrong with West Ukrainian parties having Nazi-like red-black flags.

    3. He claims that Russia is a vicious anti-semitic country because the vendor, who had the licence to sell books in the Russian parliament building, sold a book by David Duke, a virulent racist and anti-semitic elected American politician and a former KKK leader. However, it was then pointed out to hm that David Duke is a Ukrainian scholar with a PhD from mAUP – the largest private university in Ukraine and all of Europe, which boasts to be the alma mater of the majority of young Ukrainian business and government leaders, and MAUP’s leadership is dedicated to infecting its students with virulent antisemitism and with being the world center of antisemitism “research”. His response? It’s nothing compared with that sale of a David Duke book in Russia.

    While dedicatedly denouncing even slightest antisemitism in Russia, he sees nothing wrong with mass Jewish pogroms by Ukraine’s Petlyura’s armies or with the role of OUN members in the Holocaust.

    While advocating the unification of Ukraine and Poland, he sees nothing wrong in OUN/UPA’s ethnic cleansing of West Ukraine and the extermination of 80 000 innocent Polish civilians and insists that the memory of these 80 000 victims must be forgotten, and calls anybody, who mentions them, “fascists”.

    Thus, we see a phenomenon of a man who uses any pretext to label Russians “racists” and “antisemites” but who denies any possibility of his own Western Ukrainian politicians being guilty of same.

    Even if you are not BM, my diagnose in your case is the same: you are not an antisemite and you condemn all acts of antisemitism, real or imaginary, except for those on the part of West Ukrainians and their allies, out of political expediency.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  33. AP,

    I spent several years arguing this very subject – Tyahnibok, OUN, UPA etc – with BM. Your own manner of arguing is identical to his, which leads me to believe that you are him. My view of him was:

    He is not an antisemite, he respects Jews, he opposes antisemitism and ethnic bigotry everywhere in the world. Except Ukraine. You see, to him, Ukranian nationalists can’t do anything wrong. He managed to find justifications not only for every bigoted word that Tyahnibok ever uttered, but also even for the extermination of Polish and Jewish civilians by OUN/UPA in WWII.

    Prior to our argument over Tyahnibok, BM spent years and years accusing modern Russia of virulent anti-semitism.
    He gave 3 pieces of “proof”:

    1. Russian politician Zhirinovsky who said that Russian jews should emigrate to Israel. the fact that Zhirinovsky is Jewish and his own father emigrated to Israel doesn’t deter his accusations.

    2. Russian politician Linderman whose left-wing anti-Putin party – National-Bolsheviks – contains the word “National” in its name and its flag is red and black, like Nazis’. The fact that Linderman is jewish, and he, Limonov and the rest of their party like Jews and that National-Bolsheviks are a major unit in the democratic anti-Putin oppopsition doesn’t deter his accusations. And he sees nothing wrong with West Ukrainian parties having Nazi-like red-black flags.

    3. He claims that Russia is a vicious anti-semitic country because the vendor, who had the licence to sell books in the Russian parliament building, sold a book by David Duke, a virulent racist and anti-semitic elected American politician and a former KKK leader. However, it was then pointed out to hm that David Duke is a Ukrainian scholar with a PhD from mAUP – the largest private university in Ukraine and all of Europe, which boasts to be the alma mater of the majority of young Ukrainian business and government leaders, and MAUP’s leadership is dedicated to infecting its students with virulent antisemitism and with being the world center of antisemitism “research”. His response? It’s nothing compared with that sale of a David Duke book in Russia.

    While dedicatedly denouncing even slightest antisemitism in Russia, he sees nothing wrong with mass Jewish pogroms by Ukraine’s Petlyura’s armies or with the role of OUN members in the Holocaust.

    While advocating the unification of Ukraine and Poland, he sees nothing wrong in OUN/UPA’s ethnic cleansing of West Ukraine and the extermination of 80 000 innocent Polish civilians and insists that the memory of these 80 000 victims must be forgotten, and calls anybody, who mentions them, “fascists”.

    Thus, we see a phenomenon of a man who uses any pretext to label Russians “racists” and “antisemites” but who denies any possibility of his own Western Ukrainian politicians being guilty of same.

    Even if you are not BM, my diagnose in your case is the same: you are not an antisemite and you condemn all acts of antisemitism, real or imaginary, except for those on the part of West Ukrainians and their allies, out of political expediency.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  34. Oh, one more thing. When some Russian antisemites wrote “the notorious “letter of 500″ demanding that the leaders of Jewish organizations be investigated for “crimes”, he declared this an act of vicious state antisemitism and neo-nazism. However, when a couple of years later Tyahnbok, the president of MAUP Schekin and a bunch of other Ukrainian politicians followed suite and wrote an identical “letter of 100″, he suddenly studied this letter and argued that it is nothing bad at all, using exactly the same arguments as you have.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

  35. @AP. You may be on to something. There were rumors, since denied, that Tymoshenko was going to Moscow to meet with Putin.

    If your conjecture is correct, she would vie with Quisling for the title of most disgusting collaborator.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — March 1, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

  36. > I suspect Khrushchev tried to balance the addition of Galicia by adding Crimea.

    Of course not. Khruschev’s motivation was quite different. He was born and grew up on the Russian-Ukrainian “border”, where everybody is part-Russian, part Ukrainian. He spent his youth in Ukraine where he got educated and became a party functionary. Then he was promoted to a high Kremlin position but was sent back a few years later to rule the Ukrainian SSR. This took place during the Stalin regime, and Khruschev was a big Stalin ass-licker, who implemented Stalin’s terror in Ukraine. Thus, after the death of Stalin, Khrushev was plagued by his own key role in Stalin’s terror. So, when the anniversary of the Ukrainian-Russian re-unification rolled along, he gifted Crimea to Ukraine.

    Another reason is that geographically, you have to cross some water to get to Crimea from the rest of the Russian SFSR, while the Ukrainian SSR was connected to Crimea by land, so the re-assignment of Crimea made sense from the Soviet bureaucratic point of view.

    Comment by vladislav — March 1, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

  37. At least on the onset, Tymoshenko expresses other sentiments: http://news.liga.net/news/politics/992571-timoshenko_predlozhila_plan_borby_s_voennoy_agressiey_rossii.htm

    Comment by MJ — March 1, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

  38. What ever happened to Putin’s demand that national sovereignty be paramount and that no state has the right to interfere in another’s internal affairs?

    That has been his line for the last 3 years in Syria…..

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  39. previously we heard all sorts of propaganda about how the “peace-loving” country of the Rasha is “brotherly” and wants to be “brotherly” with Ukraine.

    Vlad Dracul Putler’s true colors have now been exposed – he wants to preserve his corrupt Putlerism at all costs, including military force, while clothing his aggression in delusional rhetoric like “stabilizing” the situation in Ukraine.

    And then there is the standard litany of sovok propaganda relating to favorite sovok boogeymen – includin “nazis and fascists”

    poor, poor Putler – so many nazis and fascists surrounding his palaces

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/tensions-rise-in-armed-standoff-in-crimea-between-ukrainian-and-russian-backed-forces-337942.html

    Federation Council members heaped scorn on the EuroMaidan Revolution that ousted Yanukovych, condemning the activists as fascists, anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, and said that the Western-financed Ukrainian uprising needed to be stopped before it spread to Russia. There was, of course, no mention among Moscow officials of Yanukovych’s alleged complicity in the deaths of nearly 100 EuroMaidan protesters in the last month as well as his administration’s increasingly well-documented corrupt rule.

    Putin’s request was worded this way: “Due to the extraordinary situation that has taken shape in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation who are deployed on the territory of Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) under an international treaty, I hereby introduce, under Clause (g) of Part 1 of Article 2012 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, an appeal for the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the social and political situation in that country.”

    Putin’s request, however, comes after the fact.

    Comment by elmer — March 1, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  40. Tymoshenko rumors/conspiracy theories:

    http://hvylya.org/analytics/politics/yanukovich-vzamin-za-energetichni-aktivi-i-krim-yak-putin-zdav-ukrayinu-yuli-timoshenko.html?fb_action_ids=10153830488820361&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B466178310171987%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

    Kluyev met with Tymoshenko in prison in late January. He relayed a message from her to Putin: neutralize Yanukovich and you’ll get Crimea and energy assets. Tymoshenko’s people got in charge of the new government, and undertook policies to help make this happen.

    I don’t vouch for the credibility of this, but it is interesting.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

  41. The rumors above may, of course, be false (by Klitschko’s team?) and designed to bury the slim chances she has of getting elected.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

  42. @ Vladislav

    I am not interested in defending “BM” but I note your ongoing false accusations against me:

    “my diagnose in your case is the same: you are not an antisemite and you condemn all acts of antisemitism, real or imaginary, except for those on the part of West Ukrainians and their allies, out of political expediency”

    I did write: “““Singling out Jewish organizations for investigation is of course anti-Semitic.” (which is, of course, reprehensible )”

    Please retract your false accusations.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

  43. @Andrew. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, dontcha know? Seriously though: the display of Russian hypocrisy is truly something to witness. In the UNSC today, Churkin spewed mendacious fantasies that would have made the North Koreans blush.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — March 1, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  44. So who is the fascist in Ukraine/Russia? Excellent article whose author is himself Jewish:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?pagination=false

    Relevant excerpt:

    The protests in the Maidan, we are told again and again by Russian propaganda and by the Kremlin’s friends in Ukraine, mean the return of National Socialism to Europe. The Russian foreign minister, in Munich, lectured the Germans about their support of people who salute Hitler. The Russian media continually make the claim that the Ukrainians who protest are Nazis. Naturally, it is important to be attentive to the far right in Ukrainian politics and history. It is still a serious presence today, although less important than the far right in France, Austria, or the Netherlands. Yet it is the Ukrainian regime rather than its opponents that resorts to anti-Semitism, instructing its riot police that the opposition is led by Jews. In other words, the Ukrainian government is telling itself that its opponents are Jews and us that its opponents are Nazis.

    The strange thing about the claim from Moscow is the political ideology of those who make it. The Eurasian Union is the enemy of the European Union, not just in strategy but in ideology. The European Union is based on a historical lesson: that the wars of the twentieth century were based on false and dangerous ideas, National Socialism and Stalinism, which must be rejected and indeed overcome in a system guaranteeing free markets, free movement of people, and the welfare state. Eurasianism, by contrast, is presented by its advocates as the opposite of liberal democracy.

    The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin’s major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.

    The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.

    Later that year Motherland was banned from taking part in further elections after complaints that its advertisements incited racial hatred. The most notorious showed dark-skinned people eating watermelon and throwing the rinds to the ground, then called for Russians to clean up their cities. Glazyev’s book Genocide: Russia and the New World Order claims that the sinister forces of the “new world order” conspired against Russia in the 1990s to bring about economic policies that amounted to “genocide.” This book was published in English by Lyndon LaRouche’s magazine Executive Intelligence Review with a preface by LaRouche. Today Executive Intelligence Review echoes Kremlin propaganda, spreading the word in English that Ukrainian protesters have carried out a Nazi coup and started a civil war.

    This blog is probably the best resource for info about far right movements in Ukraine (and Russia):

    http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.de/

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 7:44 pm

  45. One of the protesters murdered by Yanukovich’s police, Alexander Scherbatyuk, was Jewish:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-afghan-war-vet-killed-fighting-in-kiev-buried/

    But some misguided (at best) or malicious (at worst) people keep up the vicious lies that the protesters are basically Nazis.

    Comment by AP — March 1, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

  46. Ivan,

    Cut the crap and tell us how you really feel (but beware that ZOG is watching you. ZOG не дремлет, ZOG не спит!!! Берегись, антисемит!!!).

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

  47. I find it to be quite ironic that when Ukraine is on fire, the discussion of the state of her affairs has been transformed into allegations of anti-Semitism from one side and defense from these allegations from the other side.

    Comment by MJ — March 1, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

  48. Dixi,

    Lead by example. You have my moral support.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

  49. Andrew,

    I misspoke. The colonized certainly did not live as well as the metropole in the British Empire. In the Soviet Union, they did. Russia, Eastern Ukraine and to a lesser extent Belarus were the bank account from which everyone else drew. How else do you explain the fact that most are now well behind Russia in GDP per capita? Just look at the net flow of people. Georgians are moving to Russia, not the other way around.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

  50. MJ,

    Thank you for so eloquently describing why Ukraine is such a failure. The gifted high school football captain who became an unemployed drunkard 23 years later. What a waste, what a disaster. And GDP is GDP. Russia is not begging for money, Ukraine is. And I concur with you that Russians don’t have problems with Ukrainians. To my great surprise, every Russian I knew from Western Ukraine spoke, or at the very least understood Ukrainian. Even many Russian from the East do. The Galician propaganda once almost had me convinced that Ukrainian is almost as distant from Russian as as Swedish is from German. I was reassured by them that it is not. Galician nutjobs have problems with Russians, that’s Ukraine’s problem.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

  51. Actually So? very few Georgians go to Russia these days.

    There are a reasonable number of Russians coming here. My daughter’s school has a lot of Russian kids whose young parents are determined that their kids don’t grow up under Putin.

    Once again so,the official numbers from the Soviet government show that the overwhelming majority of the colonized in the USSR lived worse than their Russian conquerors.

    Your sad soviet myth is just BS.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

  52. There are more Georgians in Russia than Russians in Georgia.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

  53. @So? Ukraine’s economic policies clearly have failed and she is a country socked in corruption. But that’s exactly what people have risen against.
    While you pretend to criticize Ukraine for her failures, you degrade you own arguments by shifting the vector of blame towards the Galicians.

    It could be that Western Ukrainians are most passionate on the stage but to attribute all that is going on in Ukraine is a corrupt conclusion itself.

    Furthermore, I don’t see Ukraine being failure more than Russia is, or several other post-Soviet republics are. She might just be ahead on that curve.

    To continue your state of surprise let me assert that Ukrainians also don’t have problems with Russians. In fact even you asserted in your last response that the alleged issue of Russian language in Ukraine is an artificial issue. It doesn’t exist beyond mild irritation.

    For sure one cannot command Ukrainian leaders for the failure of economics. But Russia is not far behind the curve. If she is in such great condition, before “helping the brotherly Ukraine” she should first help her devastated cities beyond Urals.

    And what an incredible way it is to help Ukraine with “titushkies,” masked armed men, tanks and helicopters…

    Russia is a modern epitome of state banditism and the institutionalization of crime, a country which has always enslaved her own people above all. Outside some isolated societal enclaves even her most educated people are intellectual impotent and are infected with chauvinism.

    Russia is not far from following the economic path of Ukraine. While on a federal level her sovereign debt is perhaps negligible, instead her regions have high sovereign debt and the corporations are heavily indebted. So, “good” days are yet to come to Russia.

    For illustration, only three months ago the broke Moscow government appealed to the federal government asking for help. Now if you are a fair person you should characterize Moscow as failure. And if Moscow is failure, what is there left in Russia but a devastated wasteland?

    One should make no mistake. There is only one reason Kremlin has injected herself so heavy-handedly in Ukraine – to send a message to her own enslaved and impotent people and to the minorities of Russia on not being tempted to try the Ukrainian scenario.

    Kremlin is simply protecting what it has plundered over the last 20 years or so, or at least 10 years, when corruption as a system of governance was introduced as a governing doctrine of Russia.

    All this fluff about the Ukrainian nationalism and “benderism” is for the intellectually impotent.

    While Ukraine and Russia have come to this point following different paths and logic of corruption, they are converging at the same point – that is collapse.

    So, may the people of Ukraine who have risen up to correct the situation be glorified and may Russia be capable of giving birth to such people on her soil because unless it happens Russia remains the gendarme of the region beyond that of Europe.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:04 am

  54. The Resource Federation will be around for as long as she has resources. And that’s a few lifetimes. The Reich is content with the RF, the RF is happy with the Reich. The US is not happy with the two getting chummy, what can it do? The “New Europe” policy has clearly failed. Washington is far, Berlin is near (and paying the allowance). They are already prepping public opinion.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26394980

    Yanukovich may have a been a stupid dinosaur, but the revolutionaries are retarded. When you win, display some largesse, win people over, but no… abolishing the 2012 language law is the first order of the day. Triumphalism FTW. That’s when the economy is in ruins and the treasury is empty. Will you at least admit that that was stupid? Putin bluffs you in Crimea, you announce full mobilization. Never mind that you have no army. That’s right, take men out of the workforce and give them guns. The revolutionaries will be shooting each other, before they shoot any Moscals if Ukrainian history is any guide.

    Comment by So? — March 2, 2014 @ 2:30 am

  55. And I’ll add one more thing which may explain why there is no large-scale immigration out of Russia while there is a flow of immigration from such Republics as Georgia or Armenia, for example, and for a different reason, from Central Asian Republics.

    The average Russian person is extremely risk-averse – not in the sense that he/she wants more compensation for taking risk but in the sense that he/she is not a risk taker at all. He/she is a slave of the system and noncompetitive in free societies where creativity, entrepreneurship and risk taking are required qualities. That is the sole reason why Russians don’t venture out of Russia (on large scale) except when they are implanted by the Russian state as colonizers.

    So they don’t leave Russia not because things are so great in Russia but because the average Russian is noncompetitive. I am far from implying that somehow they are intellectually inferior to, say, Georgians or Armenians. Not at all!

    In fact, they are quite educated and mostly well-read. But they are slaves to their system. While their culture enslaves them, it renders opportunity to the more entrepreneurial and creative risk takers. Call it arbitrage opportunity if you wish. And this is no new phenomenon. Even the Russian czars have encouraged the settlement of certain nations of the region to Russia for the purpose of the development of commerce in Russia.

    Meanwhile as it pertains to the migrants out of Central Asia, well, clearly it is simply a cheap labor in order to fill the gaps left behind by the Russian laziness – and yes, laziness is also a Russian cultural attribute (contrary to the Ukraine, by the way, despite the cultural affinity with them).

    As a side note on creativity, has ever anyone paid attention to the Russian pop music? I cannot conceptualize any cheesier and lacking creativity over a span of decade music than the Russian pop. They are just incapable to create. All that comes out of their mouth on the stage (and I can observe it over a thirty or so period of time) is a static crap. I thought this argument may help to shed some additional light on the sources of evil in Russia and generally elsewhere.
    In conclusion I can repeat what is on its way to be understood in American politics (at least I hope so) – politics is downstream of culture.

    Anything that should be attributed to politics has its roots in the respective culture. And if there is a problem with that culture, its roots need to be searched in the morality.

    In the interest of not opening a new front I’ll stop here.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:43 am

  56. I do agree that abolishing the Russian as a state-language as a first order of the day was far from being smart politics and plaid to the advantage of Putin in helping to very dynamically shape public opinion inside Russia. But then, who did it? Those who had adapted it earlier they are the ones who abolished it.

    Now, to understand what really went down there one needs to know the local politics of Ukraine in more detail than I do. As to the Crimea, I don’t think that Putin’s actions here were predetermined by the “stupidity” of Ukrainians. It is a strategic issue for Russia and doesn’t depend on other factors.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:55 am

  57. MJ,

    99% of the human race is immobile and has always been so. People only move when their asses are on fire. The Irish went to America not for adventure, but because they were starving. People, like all matter, follow the path of least resistance. Not many Russians went to the New World simply because Siberia was closer. Some did go to America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Turchaninov . Russians don’t form “Ukrainian Societies” however. They simply assimilate.

    As for creativity, if you tally things, it looks pretty dire for Ukrainians (never mind that every second Ukrainian inventor or scientist is a Jew). If you compare both to Western Europeans, then it’s just laughable – it’s an argument about who’s taller between dwarves. I assert that the Russian dwarf is much taller.

    You lost me on pop music. That’s an argument about what kind of shit tastes better. 1985 was the watershed, however. Absolutely everything went to shit. Since then, not a single worthwhile film or piece of music in the whole of USSR and fUSSR. I wonder why.

    Russians may be lazy, but they are communal. That’s the key difference. Western Ukrainians are huge egotists. Yanukovich’s golden toilet is not a Sovok legacy. That’s the default human mental state which the Soviet project tried, but failed to overcome. Contrary to Western propaganda, it’s not the in-DUH-vidualism that makes the Western man superior, it’s communism. Self-interest is the default setting for all humans everywhere, except for the West. It’s an absolute anomaly. It’s the reason why a 100 Portuguese would defeat 1000s of Asians armed with nothing but cold weapons. Or why a bunch of conquistadors conquered millions in America. Or why Russians scattered Persians. Of course, the relentless propaganda is I, I, I, yet it’s the We that wins wars. You saw it in Georgia 5 years ago. Macho in-DUH-vidualist Georgians routed by Russkie peasant boys.

    Comment by So? — March 2, 2014 @ 4:57 am

  58. So? I disagree with you on multiple levels but will try to be brief. In fact, whether it is 99% or perhaps less, but the majority of people is mobile and human history is the testimony of that.

    The example of pop music I brought simply as such – an example. I can add the Eastern Europeans, contemporary Germans, etc. This is not a matter of taste. I may distaste country music or rap but recognize that they are superior in terms of creativity to that of Russian pop music. Furthermore, I believe that contemporary music is one of the dominant forms of contemporary human creativity. And when it comes to it, the United States is the absolute giant on that stage and the next tallest dwarf coming close to her is UK. This is not a matter of taste but it is a phenomenon.

    You make arguments on what the Russian pattern is post-immigration. I have made no arguments about it. My arguments have been on the reason why they don’t leave Russia on the large scale.

    Your arguments of cultural downfall of Russia post-1985 are also non-persuasive. The contemporary culture of Russia, borrowing your terminology, was the same s**t prior to 85.

    On the subject of communality of Russians… I am not one of those who tend to portray Russians as some kind of monsters. I know Russians from a first-hand experience. I think outside the circles indoctrinated with imperial ideology Russians are true Christians in the true sense of this word. But unfortunately, they are enslaved people. The percentage of Russians capable of independent and critical thinking is small. The past imperial “glory” of Russia (though one can argue that glory has not been part of the Russian history ever outside some isolated layers such as literature, classic music or sciences) distorts the Russian psyche.

    Moreover, corruption and bribery has been an unalienable part of the Russian character and psyche for about 1000 years now. If I was in the mood to open a new front, I could contemplate on the so- called «мзда» widely practiced within the Russian Orthodox Church effective the 10the century – a practice according to which Russian servants of the Russian Orthodox Church could sell their right of being church servant to someone else.

    This very practice with the overall corruption of the Russian church has resulted in the rise of what the Orthodox Church would call “heresies” in Russia – any attempts of purifying the church have been labeled as heresies and the followers of these movements have been severely persecuted (see Стригольники for instance).

    The secular power of Russia has never been any different. Any attempt of cleansing the Russian government from corruption is attributed to the “invisible and visible enemies” of Russia. The institutionalization of corruption and its utilization as a system of governance is the unalienable part of the Russian history reminiscent to that of the Muslim culture. And guess what, when Russia dominates other nations, this virus spreads there too.

    I also refuse to comment on the subject of Georgia.

    And since I don’t want to open a new front, as I mentioned before, will finish by reiterating my solidarity with Ukrainian rebels.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 5:50 am

  59. AP, let me provide the very first couple in an endless sequence of your defences of Tyahnibok’s antisemitism that I find highly objectionable:

    > Nowhere did Tiahnybok praise the extermination of Jews in concentration camps. He praised Ukrainian guerrillas (UPA!) who went into the forest to fight Russians, Jews and Germans.

    When UPA was formed in 1943, they didn’t fight any Jews: there were no Jews left. They were all exterminated by these very future UPA men with their machine guns under Nazi command in the Holocaust by December 1942. The only Jews that UPA men killed were in the Holocaust of 1941-42. By the hundreds of thousands:

    The reconstruction of nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999

    By Timothy Snyder, Professor, Department of History , Yale University

    Urban Jews were led from their ghettoes to pits a few kilometers away, stripped of the clothes and belongings, forced to lie down and machine gunned by SS men. The Ukrainian police’s duty was the murder of Jews who tried to escape the ghetto as it was liquidated, the murder of Jews who sought to escape along the way, and the murder of Jews who survived the machine gun salvos. The Final Solution in smaller towns and villages is less well documented, but here the Ukrainian police played a greater part. All in all, about 12 000 Ukrainian policemen assisted about 1400 German policemen in the murder of about 200 000 Volynian Jews. Although their share in the killing was small, these Ukrainian policemen provided the labor that made the Holocaust possible in Volynya. They worked right through December 1942.

    The next spring March-April 1943, virtually all of these Ukrainian policemen left the German police to join the Ukrainian partisans of the UPA. One of their major tasks as UPA partisans was the cleansing of the Polish presence in Volynia… People learn to do what they are trained to do, and are good at doing what they’ve done many times. Ukrainian partisans, who mass-murdered Poles in 1943, followed the tactics they learned as collaborators in the Holocaust in 1942…

    > You may argue that the UPA guerrillas whom Tiahnybok praised killed a lot of civilians but this is not the point: Tiahnybok did not praise such activities. If a politician, for example, praises the Soviet Army and its soldiers one can’t interpret…

    If somebody said about NKVD units that killed 20 000 innocent Poles in Katyn: “They took machine guns to the woods and fought Poles and other scum in the mountains”, will you say that there is nothing wrong with that? Yes, these NKVD units didn’t fight any Poles in the mountains. But they “fought” them in the flatlands of Katyn, i.e., slaughtered them in cold blood.

    The same here: yes, Tyahnibok misspoke that these men fought Jews in the WOODS. They took machine guns and “fought” Jews not in the woods but in the PITS, where these Jews were “stripped of the clothes and belongings, forced to lie down and machine gunned.” (see Snyder above).

    Do you want me to apologize for considering the man, who is praising the Holocaust, as a vicious antisemite? Never. And you have spent many hours defending him. I wonder what vested interest you have in this man…

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 6:38 am

  60. AP, let me try to explain it to you another way. You wrote:

    > Nowhere did Tiahnybok praise the extermination of Jews in concentration camps. He praised Ukrainian guerrillas who went into the forest to fight Russians, Jews and Germans

    Let us not argue about Russians and Germans yet. I am not aware of any significant number of Germans killed by UPA. Instead they concentrated on exterminating Poles and Jews. Tyahnibok conveniently doesn’t mention the 100 000 Polish civilians killed by these men. But let us talk only about Jews first. He said about UPA men and the Jews:

    “They took their machine guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Jews and other scum”

    You are saying that he was referring to a bunch of battles that these UPA men fought against Jews, which were NOT part of the Holocaust? Fine. Give me a few examples of such battles. When and where were they fought? Against how many Jews? Were these Jews armed? Please give me links to descriptions of these battles.

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 6:53 am

  61. > The average Russian person is extremely risk-averse

    The average Russian person can move to Moscow and make 10 times more money than what Georgians make. It is no wonder that between 20% to 30% of Georgians choose to live and work in Russia, while fewer than 0.05% of Russians choose to live and work in Georgia. The same situation as between, say, the USA and El Salvador.

    As as working in the USA or the EU, few Russians or Ukrainians are allowed by the USA to do so. In fact, the US Embassy denied by cousins’ request to come and visit me for 2 weeks (presumable out of fear that my well-educated cousins may seek a job here in America). Whenever I hear about the “emigration reform” to allow tens of millions of Mexicans (who broke the American law and sneaked into the USA) to become US citizens, I think of my Russian cousins who aren’t even allowed to come to visit me. Why is it “racism” to oppose the illegal immigration from Mexico, but high noblesse to ban Russians and Ukrainians from visiting their family in the USA for 2 weeks?

    The same goes for the EU. In fact, the new EU-Ukraine agreement will do nothing to ease the possibility of Ukrainians to work in or even visit the EU?

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  62. @ vladislav,

    You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two entirely different questions: was Tiahnybok historically accurate or did he defend the Holocaust? Let’s not change the subject about his historical accuracy or argue about whether or not there were any Jews among Soviet partisans or Soviet NKVD personnel whom UPA fought but instead focus on Tiahnybok’s actual words, which you (deliberately?) misquoted: “They took their machine guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Germans, Jews, Russians and other scum”

    Taking machine guns into the woods and fighting with those guns clearly is warfare, not murder of civilians. And placing those specific Jews who were fought alongside Russians and Germans (how conveniently you left those out), whose civilians weren’t massacred, furthermore supports the observation that Tiahnybok was not defending the Holocaust. Tiahnybok may not have been historically accurate but he certainly wasn’t defending the Holocaust.

    You quoted Snyder here. What do you think of the excerpt from Snyder that I posted, about the false claims that Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis? What do you think about the Jewish hero who died at the Maidan and who received a hero’s funeral by Western Ukrainians? Doesn’t this contradict your narrative?

    Comment by AP — March 2, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  63. While I am disgusted by someone’s narcissistic self-victimizing masochism here and don’t want to continue that subject, I thought the following article could be helpful to put an end to the subject which is not characteristic of what goes on in Ukraine:
    http://espreso.tv/new/2014/02/12/yak_na_maydani_zhyve_yevreyska_sotnya_samooborony?fb_action_ids=746953818650561&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22746953818650561%22%3A1423919377846502%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22746953818650561%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 10:32 am

  64. @So? Thanks for encouragement (I already do). And what’s most important, I’m not even the only one (http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/ukrainian-protests-follow-oligarchs-london). And it seems to work (http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/financial-times-akhmetov-joins-ukraine-oligarchs-in-pledging-to-protect-homeland-338112.html).

    Comment by Dixi — March 2, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  65. Congrats on all the comments. My dime sez between fracking and the Arab Spring as oil px goes lower that only fuels mo betta Arab Spring…meaning national oil enterprises may choose to sell oil at a loss ( a px below marginal cost of new barrel around 90). That’s when the VIX goes BitCoin volatile. Oil can easliy trade < 90 later this year w/o supply disruptions., ie, more war.

    Comment by t c phillips — March 2, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

  66. Vladislav, I don’t blame the US government for not giving your cousin a visa.

    As can be seen from Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania et al, having Russians in your country in any numbers is a real security threat.

    Also perhaps the NSA has been reading your posts (if Snowden is anything to go by) and have marked you down as a traitor.

    Comment by Andrew — March 2, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

  67. Something which may echo with the conversations held here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Vys9foF4o#t=234

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

  68. AP,

    > was Tiahnybok historically accurate or did he defend the Holocaust?

    Both. Tiahnybok is historically accurate AND he glorified the Holocaust, when he said: “They took their machine guns, went to the woods and fought Jews and other scum”. The Ukrainian nationalists indeed took the machine guns, went to the pits in the woods and exterminated innocent Jewish civilians, under the Nazi command. The only “inaccuracy” is that he used the euphemism “fought Jews” instead of admitting that they killed innocent unarmed Jewish civilians.

    Have you EVER seen ANYBODY admit that his side was shooting at unarmed children?! For example, even the most hardcore Hitler-admirers in Germany don’t say that Hitler killed unarmed Jewish civilains, but either deny the Holocaust or say that Hitler “fought” Jews. So, how is Tyanibok any different when he claims “fighting”?

    So, do you have any major examples, where and when the UPA men fought Jews in a fair military battle, instead of exterminating unarmed Jewish civilians, or not?

    > You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two entirely different questions

    You seem to be (deliberately?) mistaking euphemisms for historical scholarship

    > What do you think of the excerpt from Snyder that I posted, about the false claims that Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis? What do you think about the Jewish hero who died at the Maidan and who received a hero’s funeral by Western Ukrainians? Doesn’t this contradict your narrative?

    I didn’t read that post, but I totally agree that the nationalist militants, who shot and threw Molotoff cocktails at the Ukrainian lawmen and thus provoked the bloodbath, were a small minority. But they hid among the large crowd of peaceful, unarmed democracy-loving demonstrators and shot from behind their backs, killing several Berkut men and provoking them to shoot at the crowd in self-defence. And hundreds of innocent demonstrators and Berkut soldiers were killed.

    But that’s how most revolutions, including the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, get done: a small minority of extremists provoke blood-baths and then use them to grab power.

    Where did you get this weird idea that I wrote that “Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis”?! I think it is YOU who owes an apology.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 2:40 am

  69. > My dime sez between fracking and the Arab Spring as oil px goes lower that only fuels mo betta Arab Spring…meaning national oil enterprises may choose to sell oil at a loss ( a px below marginal cost of new barrel around 90). That’s when the VIX goes BitCoin volatile. Oil can easliy trade < 90 later this year w/o supply disruptions.

    Well, I am not sure the price of oil will trade < 90 any time soon, but I totally agree with you that the US indeed ferments and exploits Arab revolutions, promoting islamic extremist causes, to manipulate oil prices. Crazy! The invasion and occupation of Iraq served the same purpose. The US policies in Central Asia – too. The funny thing is that the main beneficiary – Exxon – is NOT a US company. It is an off-shore company (Swiss? Cayman Islands?) and pays $0 in US corporate taxes, which is infinitely times less than what our local mom-and-pop Chinese dry cleaning outlet pays in US corporate taxes. If we ever ban the Exxons and Halliburton of this world from contributing money to election and especially re-election campaigns of US politicians, we will see a much safer and more peaceful world and much lower taxes.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 2:53 am

  70. MJ,

    > I do agree that abolishing the Russian as a state-language as a first order of the day was far from being smart politics

    So, in which order should the destruction of the basic human right of minorities and regional majorities to their native languages have been done? As a third order of the day? Tenth order of the day? Or maybe not doing it on the first day at all, but instead doing it 3 months later, after securing all military and law enforcement power?

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 3:06 am

  71. Get the f*** out of my face, you little jerk.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 3:20 am

  72. http://02varvara.wordpress.com/category/roman-catholic/

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 4:29 am

  73. MJ,

    You are right, russophobic fascist, это была ошибка с моей стороны снова дотронуться до Вас.

    Не трогай дерьмо, чтобы не воняло.
    /русская народная мудрость/

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 4:33 am

  74. @Dixi,

    Now that the new Ukrainian hope is appointing oligarchs to run the country, will you boycott and harass them too? Jeebus, the most incompetent revolutionaries in history. It’s power to the PEOPLE, not the oligarchs. That’s how you win people over, not by banning their language.

    Comment by So? — March 3, 2014 @ 4:35 am

  75. Vladislav, once again, what is your opinion on the Russian government forcing Georgians out of their ancestral lands in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the banning of the use of Georgian in Gali where Georgians make up 98% of the population but are not allowed to vote, the forbidding of Georgians in Gali from gaining citizenship in Abkhazia, the banning of the use of Georgian in South Ossetia (not that there are many Georgians left there) and so on.

    Also please expound on the banning of ethnic minority languages such as Tatar from the Russian school system?

    Russia, and Russians, are the most incredible hypocrites and chauvinists in regard to talking about the rights of ethnic minorities.

    Comment by Andrew — March 3, 2014 @ 5:50 am

  76. @So,

    The hope of Ukraine is its courageous people. The Ukrainians have only made the Ukrainian oligarchs choice much more simple: either you go with the tide or you will surely lose all your toys in the West and, instead, will find yourself under Putin’s boot. By the way SO, do you still live in California? I mean which will be your choice? My Chechen, Georgian, Ukrainian etc. expat-friends are just DYING to meet ya. :)

    Comment by Dixi — March 3, 2014 @ 7:42 am

  77. An unedited Bing Translation

    Here is how it goes in Russia these days(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203145832516126&set=a.1714988723998.94116.1516606334&type=1&theater):

    Victor A. Vasiliev, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the Moscow Mathematical Society, one of the most famous Russian mathematicians of today, was known to neutralized and neutralised on February 21 at the building of the Zamoskvoreckogo of the Court by the RIOT POLICE.

    Here is a picture of a successful operation on his detention, the courageous members of the police. Here you can read the biography of offender: http://www.mathnet.ru/php/person.phtml?personid=8413&option_lang 5 MARCH, on Wednesday, at 15.20 in Conference Room # 203 ZAMOSKVORECKOGO DISTRICT COURT of ACADEMICIAN VASILIEV will be judged.

    It seems to me that this is the case when our right to be present during the open trial must be implemented.

    And the management of the Zamoskvoreckogo District Court of Moscow, and the President of the Court, federal judge Nikishina Natalia viktorovna,-to ensure the conditions for the citizens of this right.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  78. Another Bing translated note. I gather there is going to be a lot of these. I will stop since I cannot keep up with it. This is a story about those who demonstrated in Luhansk. They had arrived from Russia. Now they are getting the money they were promised for coming here.

    Friends! All of whom, like me, today be as Fireworks in the form of “Russian revolt” in Lugansk. All those who, like me, believe that we have a city without a fight that does not belong to us anymore in Luhansk. All those who, like me, today has already started to plan their future life in a more suitable place. Look at these photos. Here’s the Russians borcuny during a rally outside the monument to Shevchenko divide bag (!) and a package of money. While Granny still folded on stage at berkutât, and packages with knocked from the scene have directly pocančegam. Here it is-a sincere Russian-Luhansk.
    Friends Ukrainians, just look at these pictures and remember that money tend to quickly end. All will be well.
    Friends of the russkovesency, go to the Dick. Just go to the Dick. Better immediately with Russian passports. Us biological debris.
    Repost, friends! The country must know its superheroes.
    # Êvromajdan # Antimajdan # Lugansk #euromaidan ()
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=663584710351991&set=pcb.663585153685280&type=1&theater

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 10:57 am

  79. Tomorrow we will wake up in a new world. Nothing good is awaiting it.

    The responsibility of the new reality befalls on the American (and of course the European, but what is the relevance of Europe …) left and all the existential idiots who put the nincompoop in the WH.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  80. MJ – no question that Putler and the Kremlinoids have been sending rent-a-provocateurs into Ukraine to stir up severe civil strife.

    The idea is that the Kremlinoids are doing everything they can to provoke Ukraine into firing the first shot.

    Within Ukraine itself, the Party of Regions (Yanukovych’s party) used rent-a-crowds. Quite often, they stiffed the “demonstrators” and didn’t pay them when it came time to pay them.

    The Kremlinoids are still squealing like pigs about “protecting Russians in Ukraine” and all sorts of other pretexts.

    And vladislav has been told to carry out the Kremlinoid mission here on this blog.

    That’s why he’s squealing like a pig about Jews and Nazis and World War II and the language law.

    By the way, the language law that was passed by the Ukrainian parliament did not forbid or prohibit or destroy the Russian language. Rather, it canceled the status of the Russian language as an official government language. Which simply would have returned matters to where they were before – Ukrainian as the official government language of Ukraine, but people were free to use whatever language they wanted.

    The interim president, Turchinov, vetoed that law, in a conciliatory gesture to Russian speakers.

    Quite a few oligarchs in Ukraine have released public statements calling for unity in Ukraine.

    Meaning, of course, that they fully recognize what Kremlinoids do to countries where they have taken over.

    Just look at the before and after pictures of Ossetia and Abkhazia, and look at Russia today.

    Comment by elmer — March 3, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  81. elmer, I don’t even want to discuss that narcissistic idiotic degenerate.

    I know Ukraine from many of my travels and from having the privilege to maintain friendship with a number of Ukrainians. I have been there many times. I also know Russia. Generally, I feel equally at ease in Russia and Ukraine. I just feel sorry for the beautiful segment of the enslaved Russian people which cannot get rid of their own imperialistic yoke.

    You might want to see this (though in all likelihood you have already seen it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saooXEjR-Ac

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

  82. The EU and US can and should impose “smart sanctions” on Russia. For example, an 10% import tariff on Russian exports, including petroleum and gas to western markets. Any money raised should then be put aside in a “solidarity fund” to help fund any economic dislocation caused by Russian actions to vulnerable EU economies or to help the future reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy. Since the vast bulk of Russian exports are bulk commodities, they have little discretionary pricing power,the Russians will have to essentially bear the burden of the tax themselves by discounting their FOB prices to match prevailing market prices. The tariff can then be ratcheted up or down depending on political developments. Let Russia pay the price for its destabilisation of Ukraine and its economy and put the West on a path of finding alternatives to Russian “conflict” commodities.

    Comment by Ramblarou — March 3, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

  83. > I wonder if So? has heard of the British Empire. Colonials lived much better in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand than the folks in the UK….

    There is a huge difference between the “colonists” and the “colonized”. The English colonists in Australia, Canada, USA, and New Zealand may indeed have lived better than their compatriots in England. It is no-brainer that they lived better because they brutally exploited the native peoples. They stole all the land from the locals and all the natural resources on the. The vast majority of the natives died out from murder, forced deportation, and disease, while the survivors did the meanest and least paid jobs, further enriching the colonizers.

    Today, few surviving natives of Australia, Canada, USA, and New Zealand speak their ancestors language as a first language, almost all of them are native English speakers.

    This English policy wasn’t necessarily racist, as a similar genocide was committed against European peoples and countries occupied and colonized by the English, such as Ireland, where millions were starved to death, and where very few speak their native language as their first language, using English instead, even in the currently independent country of Ireland. The white Boers and Black people of South Africa suffered similar fate, as the British invented the concept of concentration camps in order to conquer and subjugate them.

    The Brits are not racists. They are race-blind, equal opportunity genocidists, thieves and murderers.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  84. They are still not as bad as the Russians.

    Russia committed the worst colonial genocides in history.

    Circassian genocide, numerous genocides of Siberian natives etc.

    Also note that in the case of New Zealand Maori have had political representation since the colony got a parliament.

    Also Vladislav, note that the Commonwealth is a voluntary grouping of former colonies and dominions, former colonies choose to remain part of it. Britain has a much much better relationship with it’s former colonies than Russia has wirh it’s.

    This should tell you something about who was worse.

    And back to the language question.

    You still have not answered the question about the language rights of ethnic minorities in Russia being oppressed. Or about the Georgians in Gali.

    Fairly typical hypocrisy on your part, typical behaviour for a racist Russian….

    Comment by Andrew — March 3, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

  85. Interestingly enough, when explaining the mindset of General Patton, who was a vicious Jew-hater and a great believer in the Nazi ideology, his biographers wrote:

    “The Germans were an Anglo-Saxon people, with proud military traditions. They were adept in the art of war. They resembled Americans”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RRolDua/hqPMC&q=anglo#v=snippet&q=anglo&f=false

    http://voices.yahoo.com/the-dark-side-george-s-patton-666204.html

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  86. > The EU and US can and should impose “smart sanctions” on Russia. For example, an 10% import tariff on Russian exports, including petroleum and gas to western markets.

    That’s an interesting idea. Which companies import Russian gas into, say, Germany, France, Netherlands, etc? I.e., which companies will have to pay an extra 10% of its revenues to their own government. If these are government-owned companies, are you proposing that the government tax itself? isn’t that a redundancy? That’s like taking a dollar bill out of your own pocket and then putting it back in…

    And if this importer is not government-owned, then if a European government increases its tax, this government will be making more money off of Russian gas than before and thus will have a huge incentive to help Russia as much as it can.

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 1:02 am

  87. I have a very simple and highly effective and economical proposition as to how to save Ukraine, make it part of the West, turn Eastern Ukraine into a pro-Western land and even to make Crimeans beg to return back into Ukraine. I don’t have time now to translate it into English, so let me post it in Russian, and maybe translate later. I would like you and the readers to co-sign it and send to Obama and the Congress:

    Друзья, у меня есть предложение, с которым согласятся абсолютно ВСЕ здесь собравшиеся. Единственное, что спасет Украину и повернет Украину на западный путь, это немедленная экономическая интеграция с Западом. Так как Евросоюз отказался открыть свободную экономическую зону с Украиной и разрешить украинцам свободно работать в Европе, американское правительство должно, как всегда, взять инициативу на себя.

    Если США разрешают десяткам миллионов нелегалов из Мексики жить и работать в США, и периодически устраивают амнистии, позволяющие десяткам миллионов нелегалов из Мексики стать американскими гражданами, что может быть лучше, чем дать возможность нескольким миллионам украинских граждан работать в Америке? Нет, даже не надо давать им американское гражданство. Просто разрешить им поработать тут несколько лет (сколько им нужно) и потом уехать назад в Украину.

    Это, кстати, будет полезно и для американской экономики, и вскоре приведет к тому, что уровень жизни в Украине превзойдет европейский, и Крым будет молить власти Украины, чтобы они впустили Крым к себе, назад в Украину. И все это абсолютно мирным путем, без жертв!

    Друзья, давайте пошлем открытое письмо нашим лидерам:

    “President Obama, Congress, save Ukraine!

    We demand that you immediately establish a free-trade duty-free economic regime with Ukraine and allow all Ukrainian citizens the right to freely work in the USA if they want and as long as they want. They will, of course, be responsible for paying US Federal and state income taxes and will not be necessarily eligible for US citizenship. After they make enough money to start their own business, they will return to Ukraine, start a business, become job-creators, and make Ukraine a prosperous country.”

    Who wants to sign it?

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 1:25 am

  88. @dixi,

    Congrats on putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop. I’m sure you think you can deal with them later… somehow. The most important thing is not to think too hard, just go with the flow!

    Comment by So? — March 4, 2014 @ 2:17 am

  89. @ vladislav

    “Both. Tiahnybok is historically accurate AND he glorified the Holocaust, when he said: “They took their machine guns, went to the woods and fought Jews and other scum”. The Ukrainian nationalists indeed took the machine guns, went to the pits in the woods and exterminated innocent Jewish civilians, under the Nazi command. The only “inaccuracy” is that he used the euphemism “fought Jews” instead of admitting that they killed innocent unarmed Jewish civilians.

    You misquoted him again. He stated that they went to the woods and ” fought Germans, Jews, Russians and other scum.” He did not talk about execution pits and he used the word “fight” not “execute.” So, he did not glorify any Holocaust.

    Have you EVER seen ANYBODY admit that his side was shooting at unarmed children?! For example, even the most hardcore Hitler-admirers in Germany don’t say that Hitler killed unarmed Jewish civilains, but either deny the Holocaust or say that Hitler “fought” Jews. So, how is Tyanibok any different when he claims “fighting”?

    Well, if someone denied the Holocaust existed, he obviously is not defending the Holocaust, is he? How can someone deny that something happened and then glorify that which he denied occurred? I thought you were proud of your logical capabilities.

    Tiahnybok, AFAIK, has never denied the Holocaust’s existence. He almost certainly denies the OUN’s role in the Holocaust. How can someone who denies that the OUN participated in the Holocaust “glorify” the Holocaust? Although Bandera was no Stalin, at worst Tiahnybok is like those Russians who deny Stalin’s genocidal actions but celebrate his role in the defeat of Nazi Germany and in presiding over the USSR’s emergence as a superpower.

    So, do you have any major examples, where and when the UPA men fought Jews in a fair military battle, instead of exterminating unarmed Jewish civilians, or not?

    Again, you are trying to change the subject from whether or not Tiahnybok was historically accurate, to whether or not he glorified the Holocaust. His own words were quite clear: the Ukrainian resistance fought Germans, Jews, Russians.

    BTW, do you believe that there were no Jews among the Soviet partisan forces or the NKVD units whom UPA did fight against? Do you think that the Soviet partisan forces and NKVD units in Ukraine were somehow free of Jews? I don’t feel like spending time researching this because, as I have noted, it is irrelevant to the point we are discussing. But it seems to be an odd claim, that the Soviets refused to accept Jews into their ranks and that nobody from among the Soviet forces that UPA fought against was Jewish.

    “I didn’t read that post, but I totally agree that the nationalist militants, who shot and threw Molotoff cocktails at the Ukrainian lawmen and thus provoked the bloodbath, were a small minority. But they hid among the large crowd of peaceful, unarmed democracy-loving demonstrators and shot from behind their backs, killing several Berkut men and provoking them to shoot at the crowd in self-defence. And hundreds of innocent demonstrators and Berkut soldiers were killed.

    If you had read the article from the Times of Israel:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-afghan-war-vet-killed-fighting-in-kiev-buried/#sthash.mDx0zuAS.dpuf

    You would have read that one of the men training, drilling, organizing the militants was a heroic Jewish Afghan war vet. He gave his life for Ukraine and received a hero’s funeral in western Ukraine. A rather strong refutation of the claim that the militant subgroup of the protesters are Nazis, no? (do you make this claim btw?)

    Where did you get this weird idea that I wrote that “Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis”?! I think it is YOU who owes an apology.

    Thank you for the clarification. I retract my statement and apologize for it. Now please retract your smear about me: “I am sorry you don’t see it reprehensible to persecute and prosecute people for their belonging to a certain ethnicity/race/religion,” when I had previously written ““Singling out Jewish organizations for investigation is of course anti-Semitic.” (which is, of course, reprehensible).

    Comment by AP — March 4, 2014 @ 8:12 am

  90. @So? You’re right to follow the tide is not about thinking, but about surviving and that’s what the oligarchs do now. If they do not learn this time, then adios by the Maidan to Putlerstan and … adieu to the sweet life in the West.

    Apropos of leading by example, when will you put up the fight yourself? I mean, you still living in California? Talk is cheap, otherwise you’d been in Kyiv at the Maidan bleeding with the fellow titushkis a loooong time by now.

    But of course, just like Putler sitting safe in the Kremlin and letting ALWAYS the others fight…you yourself like it better to stay in every real Russian patriot’s favourite place of all, that is, California (just for my Chechen pals to know). :)

    Comment by Dixi — March 4, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

  91. AP, clearly you either don’t understand logic or pretend not to. We have already spend 100000 times more time discussing Tyanibok than he deserves. Life is short. So, let us agree to disagree. I will remain knowing that he is a vicious xenophobe, chauvinist and antisemite, and that the US government should stop supporting Tyanibok and stop ordering Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to consult Tyanibok at least 4 times a week on policy matters. And you will continue to know the opposite.

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

  92. poor, poor little Kremlinoid vladislav

    First he brings up Tyahnybok – “see, see, he’s a Nazi, Ukraine should not have democracy, it should be under the rule of Vlad Dracul Putler”

    He brings it up because he thinks it is important, and it will “resonance” in the West and convince people that Vlad Dracul Putler is fighting to conquer Ukraine because Ukraine is all nazis and fascists or under the influence of nazis and fascists and Ukraine must be “saved” from nazis like Tyahnybok”.

    Then when knowledgeable people poke through his Kremlinoid WWII sovok mythology script, yet again he says – “well, I’m taking my marbles and going home, it’s not important, we really shouldn’t be discussing Tyahnybok.”

    vladislav, the Kremlinoids really do need to get you a new script

    Comment by elmer — March 4, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

  93. elmer, why don’t you go and rent out the space between your ears as a vacuum cleaner, and get your nose out adult conversations that oyu can’t understand.

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 1:24 am

  94. @Dixi,

    To believe that the puppet masters have now become the puppets makes you beyond naive. Good luck in your career as cannon fodder. Tell your friends to blow up the gas pipelines and free Ukraine of its Mongol yoke once and for all.

    Comment by So? — March 5, 2014 @ 3:46 am

  95. WHOOAAAAA – to filch a line from Pulp Fiction – check out the B-I-G B-R-A-I-N on vladislav

    vladislav protects “his country” – you know, the good ol’ USofA – by advocating that Vlad Dracul Putler should institute Putlerism in Ukraine, in order to “purify” Ukraine from nazis, fascists and anti-semites” for the glory of holy moozer oily orthodox roosha

    which makes sense only to a Kremlinoid troll who is impressed with Vlad Dracul Putler’s shirt-baring and kissing-little-boys-on-the-belly antics.

    Borrowing from the Kremlinoid script, maybe Putler should clean up his own backyard before he tries to institute Putlerism in Ukraine.

    «Уважаемый Владимир Владимирович.

    Мы узнали, что вы хотите ввести войска в Крым, чтоб защитить права русскоязычного населения

    В связи с этим у нас большая просьба — ввести войска в Вологодскую область. Мы здесь все сплошь русскоязычные и наши права очень ущемляются. Наши больные не могут получить нужных им лекарств и лечения, уровень нашего образования падает с каждым годом, закрываются детские секции и кружки, сельское хозяйство практически уничтожено. Мы все очень страдаем.

    А оккупанты, захватившие власть при помощи нечестных выборов, ничего НЕ делают для защиты населения. И тратят деньги на себя, на свой пиар, на свои кабинеты и загородный дома, на покупку квартир и авиачартеры.

    Мы будем вам очень благодарны и гарантируем, что никакой партизанской войны против освободителей Не будет. Да и международных санкций, наверняка, НЕ последует.

    А еще мы узнали, что вы собираетесь потратить много денег, чтоб нормализовать жизнь в Крыму. Стесняемся спросить: можно ли потратить эти деньги на нормализацию жизни в Вологодской области. А то наша область в такой Долговой яме, что ни на что денег Не хватает. А нам очень нужны мосты, дороги, спортивные сооружения, промышленные объекты, новые рабочие места …

    С уважением и надеждой на освобождение, русскоязычные жители Вологодской области».

    Читать полностью на http://news.eizvestia.com/news_abroad/full/454-zhiteli-rossijskoj-vologdy-prosyat-putina-vvesti-vojska-dlya-zashhity-ih-prav

    Comment by elmer — March 5, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  96. elmer, funny that you have posted a letter complaining that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the economy and prosperity of average Russians has plummeted, and asking the government to create government-owned jobs. Are you a Communist? :-)

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

  97. no, vladislav, I’m not;

    the letter obviously recognizes “managed democracy” in the Roosha under Putler and his Putlerist system of brutal corruption and kleptocratic oligarchy and authoritarianism.

    “In Roosha, the president of Roosha nominates the president of Roosha, who is then elected by the president of Roosha.”

    Comment by elmer — March 5, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

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