Streetwise Professor

March 4, 2014

Is Putin a Psychopath, or Does He Just Play One on TV?

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 6:51 pm

The consensus opinion after Putin’s press conference earlier today is that he has lost his mind.  It was rambling, angry, discursive, and at times just bizarre.

Of course all of the usual Putinisms were there.  Most notably, blaming the West for everything in a stream of whataboutism.  This was accented by claims that the Ukrainian opposition consists mainly of thugs and fascists; that Yanukovych was wrongly ousted and didn’t order any violence against protestors; and that the opposition was very well trained and professional, having passed through training camps in the Baltics and Poland.  (Take this as a very ominous warning, people.)

My dear colleague, look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork.  Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. Why do you think those in Crimea should be any worse?

Yes. Those evil Poles and Lithuanians, training crack troops to throw rocks and fashion catapults.  Definitely far more lethal than camouflaged masked men toting AKs.

More broadly, Russia and Putin are always right: the West is always hypocritical and wrong.

Putin also denied the obvious, claiming that there are no Russian troops in Crimea, just local “self-defense forces” which he denies were trained by Russia.

In other words, there is no agreement on the basic facts of the situation, meaning that any attempt at negotiation with him, either by the Ukrainian government or the West, is doomed to failure.  He rejects the legitimacy of the protests,  views the outcome as a fascist coup arranged by the West, and denies that Russia is directly involved in the occupation of Crimea.

These were the substantive elements of insanity (paranoia, specifically) of the conference.  But Putin added various asides that illustrated a man that feels no need to self-censor, but is so convinced of his own brilliance that anything that crosses his mind should be shared with the world.  These “thoughts” were truly bizarre and mendacious, and even more suggestive of madness.

For instance, when discussing the alleged self-defense forces in Crimea, Putin claimed they were just kitted out in store-bought gear:

QUESTION: Mr President, a clarification if I may. The people who were blocking the Ukrainian Army units in Crimea were wearing uniforms that strongly resembled the Russian Army uniform. Were those Russian soldiers, Russian military?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Why don’t you take a look at the post-Soviet states. There are many uniforms there that are similar. You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform.

They must have some awesome Army-Navy stores in the FSU: not only can you get up to date cammo, you can also pick up the latest AKs and military trucks.

Then he went on to criticize the massive corruption and social stratification in Ukraine, but denied there was anything comparable in Russia:

Corruption has reached dimensions that are unheard of here in Russia. Accumulation of wealth and social stratification – problems that are also acute in this country – are much worse in Ukraine, radically worse. Out there, they are beyond anything we can imagine imagination. Generally, people wanted change, but one should not support illegal change.

Words fail.

In the same breath, he gave a Ukrainian history lesson:

In my opinion, this revolutionary situation has been brewing for a long time, since the first days of Ukraine’s independence.  The ordinary Ukrainian citizen, the ordinary guy suffered during the rule of Nicholas II, during the reign of Kuchma, and Yushchenko, and Yanukovych.

Ordinary Ukrainians guys suffered under Nicholas II, Kuchma, Yushchenko, Yanukovich.  Anybody notice a name missing from that list?   Stalin, maybe?  (Lenin should get honorable mention too.)  The guy who killed one-third of the Ukrainian population via starvation and executions, a total of around 3-8 million people? Think there was a little suffering in 1932-1933? As bad as Yanukovych was, his total body count during the uprising is on the order of the body count every 6 minutes at the height of the Holodomor.

This omission is particularly disgusting given the immense psychological toll that the Holodomor took and continues to take on Ukrainians.  Don’t think that the omission will not resonate deeply in Ukraine.  It is a taunting reminder of how Russians deny, deny, deny the Holodomor, and get incensed-hysterical, actually-at any moral claim made against them by Ukrainians.

The impression of insanity is only reinforced by other actions during the past several days, including a live fire exercise in the Baltic (witnessed by Putin) and today’s launch of an ICBM test.  Put it altogether, and Putin gives the impression of approaching Kim Jung Un or Kim Jung Il levels of aggressive craziness.  (And for those who say these exercises and tests were planned in advance, they could have easily been canceled if Putin wanted to lower the tension level.  The fact he let them proceed tells you all you need to know about his intent and mindset.)

So what are the broader implications of his disturbing display of mental imbalance?  No doubt the Europeans are even more intimidated now, and will be all the more reluctant to challenge a leader with a nuclear arsenal that they view as mad.

And that raises another possibility: that Putin was playing the psycho for effect.  The Slavic version of Nixon’s Madman Theory, and which Machiavelli wrote about centuries earlier: he wrote that leaders can find it “a very wise thing to simulate madness.”

I will say, watching the video, that Putin did a very, very credible impression of a madman, but that’s necessary to make the gambit work, isn’t it?

I don’t know whether he’s truly mad, or merely feigning it, but the effect will likely be the same.  The disturbing display of mental imbalance will work to his favor, and lead the Europeans in particular to back away slowly, letting him keep his current conquests, and prepare for his next move.  He may back off now, but he will be back for more.  And quite possibly not just in Ukraine.  But in the Baltic states and Poland.

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75 Comments »

  1. I don’t think he is mad, but his whole life he has been steeped in Soviet agit-prop, and now as leader of Russia, Russian nationalist chauvinist agit-prop. Coupled with his many years of power, gradually getting more and more lost in his bubble of yes men and sense of historical destiny, he actually believes his own propaganda… wait a sec… I guess he is mad after all.

    Comment by Gordon — March 4, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

  2. Just a small correction – it’s Holodomor.
    Good point comparing to Kim Jung Un, I spoke to Russian friends and they are amazed against the current propaganda levels in Russian media. They said “it was not that bad before, now it’s just like in North Korea”.

    Comment by arthur — March 4, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

  3. SWP, Ukrainian sailors had exactly the same question as you – where could they go to buy military kit and AK’s and such?

    http://fleet.sebastopol.ua/articles/obraschenie/

    translation to English:

    http://20committee.com/2014/03/04/ukrainian-sailors-call-out-putins-lies/

    An address by the command of the Sevastopol brigade of surface ships, and the crews of the Ukrainian Navy ships Slavutych and Ternopil to the international media:

    We, sailors of the Ukrainian Navy, have listened attentively to the position and thoughts of the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, which he delivered during a news conference in Moscow on 4 March 2014.

    Speaking to a Reuters journalist, the Russian president subtly displayed the skills of a diplomat in avoiding answering questions. But we are military people and, as it is known, we tend to speak and act directly, after diplomats exhaust their mutual arguments.

    Proceeding from this, we think that we have the right to accuse the president of the Russian Federation of a baldfaced lie. A lie that concerns the direct participation of the Russian Armed Forces in the events which have been unfolding on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol over the last few days and today too.

    The Ukrainian Navy warships Ternopil and Slavutych, which are moored in Sevastopol Bay, are currently blocked by warships and vessels of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and they are all carrying detachments of marines numbering up to a platoon. They are armed with automatic weapons and equipped accordingly.

    Bearing in mind the remarks of Mr. Putin that such gear and equipment can be bought in any shop, we would like to seize the moment and ask which shop – as well as where one can purchase automatic weapons, pistols and grenade launchers in violation of Ukrainian legislation? We also would like to recall that no unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed in Crimea gave up even a single inch of the territory of their military bases or the weapons entrusted to them, let alone in such quantity, as all units remained faithful to the call of duty and their oath to the Ukrainian nation.

    In response to all these insinuations, and the flows of mendacious information disseminated by dirty politicos and corrupt journalists, we – officers, warrant officers and sailors of the Ukrainian Navy – openly declare that we will honestly carry out our soldier’s duty till the end, we will defend our country and the Ukrainian people as we have been doing through all the years of independence, not for the sake of posts or salaries, but because this is our land and we cherish the lives of every person who lives on this land regardless of nationality.

    Personnel of the brigade of surface ships,

    4 March 2014

    Sevastopol

    Comment by elmer — March 4, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

  4. @arthur-Thanks. Corrected. Scary that Russian media is converging to NoKo standards.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — March 4, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

  5. @Gordon. Yes. This is the typical dynamic of dictators. The madness is endogenous. Produced by a feedback loop that is disconnected from any outside information.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — March 4, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

  6. A chief rabbi in Ukraine, Yaakov Dov Bleich, has accused Russia of staging anti-Semitic “provocations” in Crimea in order to justify its invasion of Ukraine, the Jewish Telegraphic News Agency reports. “Things may be done by Russians dressing up as Ukrainian nationalists,” he said, comparing it to the behaviour of the Nazis prior to the invasion of Austria in 1938

    http://www.jta.org/2014/03/03/news-opinion/world/ukraine-chief-rabbi-accuses-russians-of-staging-anti-semitic-provocations

    Comment by Andrew — March 5, 2014 @ 12:31 am

  7. > comparing it to the behaviour of the Nazis prior to the invasion of Austria in 1938

    I don’t know if Hitler used the “dressing up” provocations as a pretext to re-adjoin Austria (why would he need to?). He certainly did this as a pretext to invade Poland.

    However, I like the analogy between Russia annexing Crimea and Germany annexing Austria, because until the 1950s, Austrians and Germans were the same people, and the only thing that kept them apart was the brutal Versailles Pact whose main condition was that Austria was forbidden from joining the rest of Germany.

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 1:31 am

  8. Professor,

    Concerning your recent proposal for the US to take economic sanctions against the USA and the USA to use its money to bail out the Ukrainian economy. Here is an interesting piece of news:

    http://www.turnerradionetwork.com/news/341-pat

    CHINA THREATENS U.S. OVER UKRAINE; TELLS AMERICA TO CHANGE ITS POSITION ON UKRAINE OR CHINA WILL DEMAND REPAYMENT OF U.S. DEBT IN GOLD! Print
    Monday, 03 March 2014 23:29

    March 3, 2014 — (TRN) — According to “La Republica” newspaper in Spain, the Chinese government took three stunning actions today against the United States:

    China told the U.S. State Department that unless the U.S. changes its position on the situation in the Ukraine, China will demand repayment of U.S. debts in GOLD

    China allegedly came to an agreement with Turkey to prohibit NATO vessels from entering the Black Sea via Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait

    China made clear it will use its Veto power in the UN Security Council to block any UN action against Russia.

    —————————————————

    So, if the US government debt of $17 trillion (or $150 000 per taxpayer) defaults now, much earlier than expected, what are the Americans going to do? I mean, it was great while it lasted: we greatly raised our standard of living by borrowing money from the Chinese, Russians and Arabs, but when the bills come due, what can we do to survive? Maybe borrow $17 trillion from our friends in relatively more prosperous friendly countries of Ukraine, Albania, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova and Somalia?

    This information is not being reported in U.S. media for fear Americans would react angrily toward China and immediately boycott all goods made in China, which would wreck the Chinese economy within weeks.

    Turkey maintains absolute control over the Strait at Bosporus pursuant to the Montreux Convention Regarding Regime of the Straits , and does have the legal right to prevent warships from non-Black Sea countries from passing into the Black Sea.

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 1:52 am

  9. The conclusive evidence of lunacy would be if he annexed a NATO member in the Baltic.

    I don’t think he is a loony. I think he has excellent judgement and an accurate appreciation of EU and US resolve. Taken together, these have led him to believe, correctly, that if he annexes bits of neighbouring countries, nothing he need worry about will result.

    Comment by Green as Grass — March 5, 2014 @ 3:49 am

  10. @elmer,

    How’s the mobilization going? Have you enlisted to fight the Rashans?

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

  11. Well, it is not on any Chinese official media Vladislav.

    Comment by Andrew — March 5, 2014 @ 3:54 am

  12. The State Secretary Kerry, who voted to invade Iraq and at the end of a barrel of a gun throw Iraq into chaos and a humanitarian catastrophe and who, if I am not mistaken, voted to attack Serbia and at the end of a barrel of a gun steal its territory, ha sfinally condemned his own behaviour:

    “It is not appropriate to invade a country and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve,” Mr. Kerry said. “That is not 21st-century, G-8, major-nation behavior.”

    The funny thing here is that he was speaking of …. no, not the USA, but Russia!

    The hypocrisy and impudence here is matched only by Madeleine the “Collin, if you have a great army, it would be a shame not to use it against some other country” Albright, who in 2003, right before the invasion of Iraq, condemned President Bush by saying: “This will be the first time in American history that we invaded another country without an imminent threat to our territory”, making Mexicans, Spaniards, Serbs, Grenadans, Panamanians, Phillippinos and dozens of other nations cringe in laughter through tears.

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 4:25 am

  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93n-EmGknEU

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 4:41 am

  14. Andrew: of course not. Yesterday this crap was making rounds on Runet. Many believed.

    Comment by LL — March 5, 2014 @ 5:00 am

  15. SWP, not to be picky, but you didn’t fix it. The fact that you changed all the instances makes me think that you actually want to make it right.
    I spoke to one American today, he said if he were Putin he would do the same. To my amazement he brought in the article:
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/14/russia-attack-paul-craig-roberts/
    So who is this Paul Craig Roberts, is he American communist, or some kind of radical conspiracy theorist?

    Comment by arthur — March 5, 2014 @ 6:14 am

  16. +++who is this Paul Craig Roberts+++

    He is a nutjob of paleocon persuasion.

    Comment by LL — March 5, 2014 @ 6:21 am

  17. Ukrainian Jewish leader: pro-
    Russian rather than Ukrainian nationalist organization and groups are sources of antisemitism in Ukraine:

    http://espreso.tv/new/2014/03/05/zisels_same_prorosiyski_orhanizaciyi_ukrayiny_ye_antysemitskymy

    Comment by AP — March 5, 2014 @ 6:38 am

  18. The Austrians and Germans were the same until the 1950’s?

    Wrong as usual Vlasislav.
    Germany and Austria have been different political and cultural entities for some considerable time, even going to war on a few occasions, such as the Austro Prussian war of 1866.

    They are also somewhat separated from each other by Religion. That whole catholic protestant divide.

    Comment by Andrew — March 5, 2014 @ 7:34 am

  19. @So

    What about you brave Russian patriot, still prefer staying in the Californian sun and letting other men to fight the Ukrainians?

    Comment by Dixi — March 5, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  20. Prof,

    I think Putler is mad enough not to learn from the past, but not that mad to risk his comfortable living in his many datchas and palaces back in Putlerstan, therefore not even daring continue to Ukraine from Crimea. Playing even more mad is just in order to intimidate the West and the Ukrainian polation.

    The tactics seem to be fairly clear by now: first take Crimea by surprise and second hope for a domino effect spreading to the mainland of Ukraine. But if that doesn’t start soon, Putler’s lost the game. I guess do not dare to face the risks a full war might contain…dominoes might start falling within Russia instead. It needs to remembered that despite Putler’s aggressive geopolitical adventures, he has not even once risked a real bloodletting of Russian troops a full war brings with certainty along… Even in Chechnya carpet bombing of Grozny was a chosen tactics in order to avoid own casualties.

    Ukraine is a “little” larger than Chechnya and the Ukrainians number in tens of millions compared to one million Chechens… To conquer the immense Ukrainian mainland would put Russian troops in real danger plus with million ethnic Ukrainians living inside Rasha would raise the risk of overall number of terrorist strikes against Russian civilians on so high a level the country could not bear. Therefore as long as the Ukrainians remain unified and stay calm, Putler achieves nothing even though clinging to Crimea.

    The Ukrainians are sensing now an existential threat, after all Putin does not accept their very existence + plus denies the Holodomor ever took place. The Russians do not feel anything even slightly of a resemblance even though Ukraine would stay outside Putler’s orbit once and for all. Therefore it is easy to predict which nation is more ready to take the heat when stakes are this unbalanced.

    Comment by Dixi — March 5, 2014 @ 8:51 am

  21. Hopefully fixed now. That word somehow triggers my dyslexia :-P

    Paul Craig Roberts was once a Republican stalwart, a Reagan admin Treasury official if memory serves. He appeared quite often on the WSJ oped page. He went batshit crazy in the Bush II years (maybe a bit earlier). Like Buchanan and some others, essentially became a real isolationist and paleoconservative seeing conspiracies everywhere. This is of a piece with that. Putin has quite a following on the paleo right, and the Alex Jones and Rand Paul self-styled libertarian right. In many respects, what we are seeing now is the resurgence of the isolationist right from the 30s, in another rhyme with that low dishonest decade . William F. Buckley basically routed those types from the Republican establishment in the 50s, but they are re-emerging.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — March 5, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

  22. ‘Russia, self-outcast, sharpens her bayonets in her Arctic night, and mechanically proclaims through self-starved lips her philosophy of hatred and death.’

    Churchill, 1929.

    Comment by Regulator on lunch break — March 5, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

  23. > Is Putin a Psychopath, or Does He Just Play One on TV?

    No, psychopaths are the leaders of Maidan who started the bloodbath by shooting their own people and then blaming Yanukovich, and the American officials covering up for these mass murderers:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/ukraine-catherine-ashton-phone-shoot-maidan-bugged-leaked

    British EU chief hears Ukraine shooting claim in bugged call

    In a leaked phone call, believed to be between EU foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister, it is claimed Ukraine protesters were shot on the orders of their own leaders.

    Above: YouTube video posted by Russia Today purportedly reveals a recent discussion between Cathy Ashton and Urmas Paet

    In the conversation the speakers discuss a suspicion that snipers who shot protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square, at the height of the Maidan protests, had been hired by opposition leaders, not the Ukrainian government of ousted President Yanukovych.

    “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” /Above: YouTube video posted by Russia Today purportedly reveals a recent discussion between Cathy Ashton and Urmas Paet

    In the conversation the speakers discuss a suspicion that snipers who shot protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square, at the height of the Maidan protests, had been hired by opposition leaders, not the Ukrainian government of ousted President Yanukovych.

    It is reported that Ukraine’s special services, friendly to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, bugged the conversation between Baroness Ashton and a man believed to be Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister. It is thought the conversation took place around the 26 February, shortly after Yanukovych fled the country.

    “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” /Urmas Paet/

    He continues: “And it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition [government], they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened, so that there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

    Mr Paet says the evidence “discredits from the very beginning” Ukraine’s new leadership.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8
    Breaking: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone

    Officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich have hacked phones of Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and leaked their conversation to the web. The officials discuss their impressions of what’s happening in the country after the revolution. The gist of it is that Ukrainian people have no trust in any of the leaders of Maidan.

    However the most striking thing of all is the fact which concerns the use of force during the revolution, particularly the snipers who killed both protesters and officers of the riot police. Mr. Paet reveals astonishing information which confirms the rumours that the snipers were employed by the leaders of Maidan.

    And here is a spin of the same news from a British propaganda machine, calling Ms. Ashton’s and Mr. Paet’s information a “conspiracy theory”. Yeh, right. The Foreign Minister of Estonian and a high EU official are both “conspiracy theorists”? Everybody knows that it were the opposition leaders who provoked and excuted the cold-blooded bloodbath. I have been saying this from day one!

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/ukraine-bugged-call-catherine-ashton-urmas-paet

    Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers

    Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet tells EU’s Cathy Ashton about claim that provocateurs were behind Maidan killings

    In the call, Paet said he had been told snipers responsible for killing police and civilians in Kiev last month were protest movement provocateurs rather than supporters of then-president Viktor Yanukovych. Ashton responds: “I didn’t know … Gosh.”

    The Estonian foreign ministry confirmed the leaked conversation was accurate.

    During the conversation, Paet quoted a woman named Olga – who the Russian media identified her as Olga Bogomolets, a doctor – blaming snipers from the opposition shooting the protesters.

    “What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” Paet said.

    “So she also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.”

    “So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet says.

    Ashton replies: “I think we do want to investigate. I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton says.

    Russia Today, reporting the call, said: “The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.”

    Asked about the emergence of a second embarrassing phonecall, a spokesperson for the US state department said: “As I said around the last unfortunate case, this is just another example of the kind of Russian tradecraft that we have concerns about.”

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

    LOL. The conversation, confirmed by the Estonian Foreign Ministry, is ” Russian tradecraft”. Our USA government is truly a force of evil, throwing its weight behind mass murderers and putschists and deliberately falsely blaming Yanukovich and Russia for the crimes of their opponents.

    I wonder how long it will take the EU and the European mass media to admit that Maidan shootings were a provocation from anti-Yanukovich forces and demand that Yanukovich must be re-instated and his opponents arrested and put on trial for mass murder and an illegal armed revolution….

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  24. In the haze of the Ukrainian events some declerations of Russia have remained unnoticed:

    http://ria.ru/defense_safety/20140226/997169612.html#13934734053984&message=resize&relto=login&action=removeClass&value=registration#ixzz2uW9Z1yGJ

    everal countries , including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela , Nicaragua, Seychelles, Singapore , told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday , Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu .

    “We plan to increase the number of military bases. Apart from Vietnam and Cuba, we plan to expand their number by countries such as Venezuela , Nicaragua , Seychelles , Singapore, and others,” – said the Minister.

    He stressed that negotiations are underway and Russia is close to signing documents.

    The minister said that talks are not only military bases , but also facilitation of visits of ships in ports of these countries , as well as the possibility of long-range aircraft refueling .

    ” We are actively fly , but to actively fly, need bases for refueling , it is necessary that our tanker Il-78 planes or waiting at the equator , or in other places,” – said Shoigu.

    Shoigu also said that the Russian air base ” Kant ” in Kyrgyzstan put additional forces , including helicopters and troops , and in Belarus in 2014 will be placed Russian fighter regiment . Currently, there is one link , the minister explained .

    Where are the Russian military bases abroad

    The Gabala radar station , located near the village of Gabala region of Azerbaijan Zaragan , considered the largest in the world. The station was designed in the 1970s and came into operation in 1985. It is a stationary radar type “DTV.”

    I think it can be successfully argued that Russia doesn’t have the capacity to do it and it is infeasible for her to have that capacity in the foreseeable future. Therefore, there is only one plausible explanation – it is intended at the internal audience to feed and stimulate the growing chauvinistic schizophrenia. And that, in turn, has only one explanation – those at the realm of Russia are really concerned for the future of Russia and its likely breakdown.

    Comment by MJ — March 6, 2014 @ 1:10 am

  25. Sorry, I didn’t properly copy-paste the first paragraph of the translation. This is what it should’ve been:

    MOSCOW, February 26 – RIA Novosti. Russia intends to increase the number of military bases abroad and is negotiating with several countries, including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Seychelles, Singapore, told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

    Comment by MJ — March 6, 2014 @ 1:12 am

  26. Wow, looks like Russia is embracing the American values. Great!

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

  27. Here are my comments on the above sobject somewhere else:

    Я думаю, что каждому здравомыслящему человеку понятно, что Россия не имеет соответствующие мощности и в обозримом будущем она их не будет иметь.

    Тогда, возникает вопрос о том, для чего вводится в циркуляцию такой нонсенс.

    Мое единственное заключение в том, что она ориентирована на внутреннюю аудиторию – в целях удобрения шовинистической шизофрении. А это, в свою очередь, вызывает вопрос о том, зачем это нужно России – особенно сейчас.

    Велик соблазн заключить, что правители России слишком хорошо понимают насколько плачевно будущее страны и как сильно ей грозит развал в перспективе, скажем, 30-и лет – ведь они сами последовательно вели Россию к этой пропости.

    В то время, как я никогда не являлся сторонником развала России, наоборот, такая перспетива меня сильно пугает, и я думаю, что люди России заслуживают лучшего, уверен, что нынешняя политика Российских правителей служит всего лишь катализатором такого исхода.

    Подумать только, если Россия может так относиться ко своим собратьям на Украине, и такую политику могут одобрять самые образованные слои населения, которые так и не смогли по крайней мере за последные 20 лет надобным образом оценить суть продолжаемой Советской пропагандистской машины, то чего могут ожидать от России остальные народы региона – не говоря уж о народах и меньшинствах самой России.

    Comment by MJ — March 6, 2014 @ 1:39 am

  28. Subject, clearly.

    Comment by MJ — March 6, 2014 @ 1:40 am

  29. Clearly a leaked phone call between Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister is not a proof of anything whatsoever. They are simply discussing the threats to a new government. One of which is a spreading rumor of snipers being hired by opposition.
    Regarding delay of investigation, seems reasonable, taking that kind of cases usually take years and currently there are other more pressing matter, like for example the war.

    Comment by arthur — March 6, 2014 @ 1:51 am

  30. @Dixi

    What about you brave Russian patriot, still prefer staying in the Californian sun and letting other men to fight the Ukrainians?

    It takes two to fight.

    Comment by So? — March 6, 2014 @ 2:19 am

  31. The tactics seem to be fairly clear by now: first take Crimea by surprise and second hope for a domino effect spreading to the mainland of Ukraine. But if that doesn’t start soon, Putler’s lost the game. I guess do not dare to face the risks a full war might contain…dominoes might start falling within Russia instead.

    Baghdad Bob (Comical Ali), is that you?

    Even in Chechnya carpet bombing of Grozny was a chosen tactics in order to avoid own casualties.

    I don’t think you even know what it means.

    Ukraine is a “little” larger than Chechnya and the Ukrainians number in tens of millions compared to one million Chechens… To conquer the immense Ukrainian mainland would put Russian troops in real danger

    No-one wants to conquer your beloved Vkraina. She’s falling apart all by herself. The best republic in the Union worse off than Albania! Who would have thought that possible 23 years ago?!

    plus with million ethnic Ukrainians living inside Rasha would raise the
    risk of overall number of terrorist strikes against Russian civilians on so high a level the country could not bear.

    You really are delusional. Ukrainians in Rasha don’t pray to Saint Bandera every night. Neither do most Ukrainians in Vkraina. It’s mainly a Galician and emigre fetish. Besides, there are more Russian sympathizers in Ukraine than Ukrainian ones in Russia. Witness Crimea.

    Therefore as long as the Ukrainians remain unified and stay calm, Putler achieves nothing even though clinging to Crimea.

    He just wants the pipes. So does the Reich.

    The Ukrainians are sensing now an existential threat, after all Putin does not accept their very existence + plus denies the Holodomor ever took place. The Russians do not feel anything even slightly of a resemblance even though Ukraine would stay outside Putler’s orbit once and for all. Therefore it is easy to predict which nation is more ready to take the heat when stakes are this unbalanced.

    The Vkrainians were gifted a country 23 years ago. Literally. And pissed it all away.

    Comment by So? — March 6, 2014 @ 2:39 am

  32. Another English speaker leaves Russian agitprop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9_9eE7-XlU

    Soon So? and vladislav with their thick Moscow accent will be RT’s only anchors.

    Comment by Ivan — March 6, 2014 @ 3:11 am

  33. Ivan,

    Why so butt hurt?

    Comment by So? — March 6, 2014 @ 3:20 am

  34. Actually Vladislav, the Estonian foreign minister was discussing rumors going about in Kiev, the foreign ministry stated officially that he was not saying the Maidan protesters were responsible, but that the Yanikovich government was accusing them of being behind the sniper attacks.

    Pity for you, there are lots of videos of Berkut members sniping from rooftops into the crowd.

    Comment by Andrew — March 6, 2014 @ 3:38 am

  35. It would be quite sporting of the Maidan chaps to hire in their employ snipers for Berkeley.

    Putin is showing the entire world his weakness. Yanukovich loses control, spoils Sochi,and sneaks across the border whining for help. Putin needs to execute him to show he still has some masculinity left and before other dominos start to fall.

    Comment by pahoben — March 6, 2014 @ 3:42 am

  36. @arthur

    > Clearly a leaked phone call between Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister is not a proof of anything whatsoever.

    Of course not. Everybody is innocent until PROVEN guilty. What is required is an investigation and then a trial, where the defendants are given full freedom to defend themselves. Unfortunately, according to Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister, the new “leaders” of Ukraine are refusing to investigate, who is guilty of the Maidan bloodbath and thus of bringing them to power.

    And speaking of the presumption of innocence, the President of Ukraine can only be impeached and removed from office by the Parliament only AFTER a detailed investigation into his alleged crimes, a detailed parliamentary hearing in which he is given full freedom to defend himself, and the exact finding of what exactly he did that constitutes an impeachable crime. Just like in the USA. Nothing of this took place. There has been NO EVIDENCE that Yanukovich started the shooting. On the contrary, even the EU officials now suspect that it was Yanukovich’s ENEMIES (and I have been writing for two weeks in this blog pointing out the most likely organizers) that started the shooting, killing both the innocent democratic demonstrators AND innocent government soldiers.

    Therefore, according to the Constitution of Ukraine and the international law, President Yanukovich is not legally impeached and remains the legal president. On the contrary, the Parliament, that clearly broke the impeachment law, must be dissolved by the President, and new parliamentary elections held as soon as possible. Of course investigations into who exactly hired those snipers that started the bloodbath in Maidan, must be conducted before these elections in order to determine which (if any) parliamentary candidates are guilty of this mass murder and which (if any) are guilty of intentionally covering up for them and refusing to conduct a thorough and objective investigation.

    In the meantime Yanukovich is the legal president, and the Parliament is an illegal junta that has refused the legal order from the legal President to disband and run for a new parliament. As such, it is no the right but the duty of the legal President to call on any or all foreign countries to help him deal with the illegal putsch. I hope that our own American government, out of American alleged belief in democracy and the rule of law, will use all o fits power to restore the constitutional president in Ukraine. EU too, now that they themselves know that there is no evidence against Yanukovich. However, it appears that both the USA believe not in democracy but in warmongering against Russia and will help the putschists rather than the Ukrainian Constitution. In this situation Yanukovich has the full right to invite whichever legal country he pleases to come to Kiev and arrest the criminals that have usurped his office, which appears to be Russia.

    Let me point out to you that this is not the first time we see a civil war between the president and the Parliament in the former USSR. The other famous case was in 1993 when the USA and the West took the side of president Yeltsin against the Russian Parliament (and applauded it when he obliterated the Parliament with tanks). Why not now?

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 4:04 am

  37. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ukraine-protests-leaked-eu-phone-call-suggests-kiev-snipers-were-hired-by-opposition-coalition-1439035

    Ukraine Protests: Leaked EU Phone Call Suggests Kiev Snipers Were Hired by Opposition Coalition

    A phone conversation suggesting snipers who shot protesters in Kiev might have acted on the orders delivered by the opposition coalition – not former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich – has been leaked online.

    The phone conversation features Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet telling EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton his suspicions regarding sniper attacks on protestors that took place in Kiev in February.

    According to the description of the related video uploaded on YouTube, the call was taped by officers of the Ukrainian security services (SBU), loyal to Yanukovich.

    Paet is heard telling Ashton that there was evidence both protesters and security forces came under sniper fire during the deadly protests in the Ukrainian capital last month.

    During the conversation Paet airs the possibility that members of the opposition coalition might have had something to do with the shootings.

    “What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” Paet is heard as saying.

    “She also showed me some photos, she said that she is medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.”

    The woman named “Olga”, cited by Paet, is believed to be head of the Maidan medical service, Olga Bogomolets.

    “So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet says.

    “I think we do want to investigate. I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton replies.

    The Estonian foreign ministry confirmed the recording was genuine and the 11-minute conversation took place on 26 February.

    “The recording of a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and High Representative Catherine Ashton that has been leaked online is authentic,” the ministry said.

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 6:04 am

  38. @So?

    About Grozny and carpet bombing: http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/kerpe1/view/232299?page=0.

    “No-one wants to conquer your beloved Vkraina. She’s falling apart all by herself. The best republic in the Union worse off than Albania! Who would have thought that possible 23 years ago?!”

    No one wanting to conquer Ukraine… http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7632057/ns/world_news/t/putin-soviet-collapse-genuine-tragedy/#.UxiQB86M700. I didn’t know that even Aesop’s Fables were banned in the SU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fox_and_the_Grapes).

    And apropos “Union”. I first thought, what Union? Oh, but I see, you mean the “good” that “union”. Oh boy, I still remember during the 80’s when visiting Kyiv, Moscow, Tallin, Leningrad etc.. Not even one decent cafe’, restaurant or anything else taken for granted in the West, was to be found. For those not having witnessed the the GREAT GREYNESS (aka the SU) by own eyes…you wouldn’t believe… Therefore to talk about “best” in the case not merely ridiculous, but absolutely MAD. But then again, madness is the topic of this discussion…

    Comment by Dixi — March 6, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  39. My god, vladislav, you really work full time, don’t you.
    My answer is – you are wrong.

    Comment by arthur — March 6, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  40. Funny Vladislav, Olga says she said no such thing.

    15.17 Our correspondent, Damien McElroy, has spoken to the doctor at the centre of the claims that snipers that shot people in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders:

    Damien McElroy Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner.

    “Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people,” she told The Telegraph. “I have no access to those people.”

    But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. “No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

    “I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10677370/Ukraine-Russia-crisis-live.html

    Time for your lies to stop there Vladislav

    Comment by Andrew — March 6, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  41. Olga is a political candidate to pro-Western Ukrainian leadership and, in public, will deny EVERYTHING that she told Paet in private.

    Based on what my own sources in Kiev told me, I too have been pointing out that it was the right-wing extremist opposition from West Ukriane that provoked the bloodbath.

    But if anything, this story shines the light on the fact that there is no evidence that it was Yanukovich who hired these snipers that started the slaughterhouse. As such, there is no evidence of Yanukovich’s “crimes against humanity”. Thus, his impeachment was illegal, and he remains to be the President.

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

  42. There is a story of an American guy who murdered both of his parents and who, at trial, received a reduced sentence because he was an orphan.

    There is a story of Ukrainian politicians who murdered 100+ innocent people, and who used these murders as a pretext to oust the democratically elected President and grab the power for themselves. Brilliant! Let’s reward them more!

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  43. vladislav the Kremlinoid troll keeps trying – poor little guy, he just keeps LYING and LYING and LYING

    Dr. Bogomolets stated on February 27 2014 that she would not accept any government posts and she is not a political candidate for anything – contrary to what the Kremlinoid troll claims

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/27/7016456/

    Also, uh oh – it looks like yanusvoloch is —— “sick” and in “grave condition”

    According to Rooshan media he has had an “infarct” and is in hospital

    http://tsn.ua/politika/rosiyski-zmi-zayavlyayut-scho-yanukovich-u-tyazhkomu-stani-v-likarni-338512.html

    KGB history reveals that Putler’s imbecilic lumbering lummox buttboy is —- history.

    Comment by elmer — March 6, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

  44. As we all can see, lying for a Russian is as easy as breathing.

    Comment by LL — March 6, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

  45. > Dr. Bogomolets stated on February 27 2014 that she would not accept any government posts and she is not a political candidate for anything – contrary to what the Kremlinoid troll claims

    I certainly have never made any such claims, no do I know any “Kremlinoid trolls” who made them. Are you hallucinating again?

    The only claims, related to the negotiations about Olga Bogomolets becoming the Health Minister of Ukraine, come from that telephone conversation between the Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8

    PAET: Impressions are sad… There is no trust towards these politicians who will return out of the coalition. The people from Maidan and the civil society say they know everybody who will be in the new government. All these guys have dirty past.

    They made some proposals to the same Olga and some others from the civil society to join the new government, but Olga, for example, said directly that she is ready to go to the government only in the case if she can take her team with her, foreign experts, to start REAL health care reforms.

    ASHTON: Yes.
    ///////////////////////

    Are you SERIOUSLY claiming that the Estonian foreign minister and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are “Kremlinoid trolls”?

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  46. That’s “the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs”

    Comment by vladislav — March 6, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

  47. Vladislav, you do know the Estonian FM rejects the interpretation you and other idiots have of the excerpt from his conversation.

    As he and the Estonian government pointed out he was discussing RUMOURS.

    Also, if the russian government was so keen to prove their are threats against ethnic russoans

    Comment by Andrew — March 6, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  48. Why did they detain the OSCE observers sent to crimea, why did they allow the UN envoy to be threatened by a mob in crimrea?

    probably they don’t want any witnesses for when they start harassing, murdering, and driving out the 40% of the crimean population who are non Russian, and the portion of the Russian population who wish not to be part of Russia.

    Putin and his cohorts are the real neo nazi group.

    look at those weapons the Israelis intercepted the other day. high power rockets supplied to Hamas by Russia via Syria and Iran….

    Comment by Andrew — March 6, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

  49. As to the claim those are not Russian troops, pity they post their private pics on the internet

    http://www.dailydot.com/news/russia-crimea-social-network/

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 12:36 am

  50. A leaked phone call has been released between Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet and the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, that poses fresh questions around the use of snipers in Kyiv during protests in late February.

    In the conversation, said to have taken place a week ago, Paet notes:

    “It’s really disturbing to know the new coalition doesn’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych but somebody from the new coalition.”

    Estonia’s Foreign Minister has since stressed that in this conversation he merely relayed opinions he’d heard and wasn’t drawing any conclusions. In a press conference on Wednesday he had this to say on the leaked phone call:

    “I didn’t give any evaluation. I stated that this information was going around. Anyone can put together things like that. The conversation was held a week ago. But it was put up now, a week later, now when the new government in Ukraine has started work.”

    Estonia has emphasised that Paet didn’t blame Ukraine’s opposition for Kyiv’s sniper killings, during his comments.

    Talinn also called into question how some media outlets have since interpreted his words.

    Ukraine’s interim government has now started an investigation into the bloody incident, for which both sides blame each other.
    http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/estonian-fm-denies-leaked-call-blamed-opposition/

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 1:42 am

  51. http://rt.com/news/russian-troops-crimea-ukraine-816/

    Russia’s 25,000-troop allowance & other facts you may not know about Crimea

    Ukraine’s statement at the UN that ‘16,000 Russian soldiers had been deployed’ across Crimea sparked a MSM feeding frenzy that steadfastly ignored any hard facts that got in their way.

    Especially unwelcome is the fact that the so-called ‘invasion force’ has been there for 15 years already.

    The media many trust described in hysterical tones how the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was under a full-scale Russian invasion with headlines like: “Ukraine says Russia sent 16,000 troops to Crimea”, “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” as well as “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?”.

    Facts, and ardent statements by top Russian diplomats were totally ignored by the western ‘war press’.

    Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin pointed to the longstanding 25,000 troop allowance while FM Sergey Lavrov stressed the Russian military “strictly executes the agreements which stipulate the Russian fleet’s presence in Ukraine, and follows the stance and claims coming from the legitimate authority in Ukraine and in this case the legitimate authority of the Autonomous Republic Crimea as well.”

    So here they are, the facts:

    1) A Russian naval presence in Crimea dates to 1783 when the port city of Sevastopol was founded by Russian Prince Grigory Potemkin. Crimea was part of Russia until Nikita Khruschev gave it to Ukraine in 1954.

    2) In 1997, amid the wreckage of the USSR, Russia & Ukraine signed a Partition Treaty determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea. The deal sparked widespread officer ‘defections’ to Russia and was ratified by the Russian & Ukrainian parliaments in 1999. Russia received 81.7 percent of the fleet’s ships after paying the Ukrainian government US$526.5 million.

    3) The deal allowed the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Crimea until 2017. This was extended by another 25 years to 2042 in 2010, with a 5-year extension option.

    4) Moscow annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequencies, and to compensate for the Black Sea Fleet’s environmental impact.

    5) The Russian navy is allowed up to

    – 25,000 troops,

    – 24 artillery systems with a caliber smaller than 100 mm,

    – 132 armored vehicles, and

    – 22 military planes, on Crimean territory.

    6) Five Russian naval units are stationed in the port city of Sevastopol, in compliance with the treaty:

    – The 30th Surface Ship Division formed by the 11th Antisubmarine Ship Brigade. Comprises the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship guard missile cruiser Moskva as well as Kerch, Ochakov, Smetlivy, Ladny, and Pytlivy vessels, and the 197th Landing Ship Brigade, consisting of seven large amphibious vessels;

    – The 41st Missile Boat Brigade includes the 166th Fast Attack Craft Division, consisting of Bora and Samum hovercrafts as well as small missile ships Mirazh and Shtil, and 295th missile Boat Division;

    – The 247th Separate Submarine Division, consisting of two diesel submarines – B-871 Alrosa and B-380 Svyatoy Knyaz Georgy;

    – The 68th Harbor Defense Ship Brigade formed by 4 vessels of the 400th Antisubmarine Ship Battalion and 418 Mine Hunting Ship Division respectively.;

    – The 422nd Separate Hydrographic Ship Division boasts the Cheleken, Stvor, Donuzlav and GS-402 survey vessels and hydrographic boats.

    7) Russia has two airbases in Crimea, in Kacha and Gvardeysky.

    8) Russian coastal forces in Ukraine consist of the 1096th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment in Sevastopol and the 810th Marine Brigade, which hosts around 2,000 marines.

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 2:49 am

  52. The Ukrainian UN ambassador defends the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists but claims the obvious: that among the 11 million people in West Ukraine “millions” are NOT nazi-lovers but “normal Europeans”:

    http://www.gazeta.ru/politics/news/2014/03/04/n_5989605.shtml

    However, he didn’t say how many millions exactly. More than 6 million or less?

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 3:08 am

  53. What Vladislav fails to mention is that all movement of Russian forces is strictly controlled by the 97 basing agreement.

    All movement between bases must be approved by the Ukrainian government, any deployment outside their bases must be approved by the Ukrainians.

    Russian troops leaving their bases, surrounding Ukrainian forces, setting up checkpoints etc is a violation of said treaty and that results in the Russian forces being classified as invaders.

    By the way Vladislav, did you miss the fact that around half of the parliament and cabinet are Russian speaking or Jewish? Also note the Ukrainian Jewish community has publicly stated the anti semitic threats they face come from Russia, not Ukraine.

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 3:38 am

  54. Here is an article from February 18, 2014 describing the preparations for the bloodbath in Maidan:

    http://timer.od.ua/news/praviy_sektor_prizivaet_vihodit_na_evromayda_s_ognestrel_nim_orujiem_965.html

    Bing translate:

    Leaders of the radical organization “Right Sector” called on owners of firearms to “protect the people” from the police, going to the “Euromaidan”. The message was posted on the official page of “PS” in social networks.

    “We have confirmed information about the high probability of acceleration of Maidan by using armoured vehicles and firearms. Therefore, we call on all firearm owners to meet in Maidan Square to protect the people there from the criminal authorities”, reads the message.

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 3:38 am

  55. Russia, land of real fascism.

    United Russia Duma Deputy Yevgeny Fedorov is preparing the new law on criminal charges against those heads and editors of the media who “allow to publish false anti-Russian information, give informational support to the extremist and separatist forces of anti-Russian character, including covering the events outside Russia”.

    A new amendment to the Criminal Code that makes anti-Russian publications a state crime will be added to Chapter 10, “Crimes against the state power,” that also includes articles on espionage, state treason, revolt and Article 282 — inciting hatred.

    http://www.rferl.org/contentlive/live-blog-crisis-in-ukraine/25287590.html

    I suggest Vladislav should go to the motherland and live there, he obviously worships the place.

    But like the poxed up whore she is, Russia is best worshiped from afar….

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 4:01 am

  56. > All movement between bases must be approved by the Ukrainian government, any deployment outside their bases must be approved by the Ukrainians. –

    It was. It was approved by the constitutional and democratically elected President of Ukraine Yanukovich, who has almost 1 year left in his tenure/term.

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 4:09 am

  57. No Vladislav, his own party voted to remove him prior to the troop movements.

    83% in the Rada, or did you miss that?

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 4:24 am

  58. Andrew,

    You are preaching to the converted. I condemn Putin’s crackdown on the freedom of speech and of the press. He is hardly my choice for the post of President of Russia. Neither was Yanukovich. However, like Yanukovich, Putin was elected by a democratic majority. And as a libertarian, I respect the Constitutions.

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 4:26 am

  59. It depends on the constitution Vladislav, do you also respect the constitution of Nazi Germany? According to that everything that sicko Hitler did was legal, same with Stalin.

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 4:38 am

  60. > No Vladislav, his own party voted to remove him prior to the troop movements.83% in the Rada, or did you miss that?

    The Constitution gives the Rada no right to remove the President, except for the case when he is found guilty of committing a major crime. Did you miss what I wrote earlier:

    The President of Ukraine can be impeached and removed from office by the Parliament only AFTER a detailed investigation into his alleged crimes, a detailed parliamentary hearing in which he is given full freedom to defend himself, and the exact finding of what exactly he did that constitutes an impeachable crime. Just like in the USA. Nothing of this took place. There has been NO EVIDENCE that Yanukovich started the shooting. On the contrary, even the EU officials now suspect that it was Yanukovich’s ENEMIES (and I have been writing for two weeks in this blog pointing out the most likely organizers) that started the shooting, killing both innocent democratic demonstrators AND innocent government soldiers.

    Therefore, according to the Constitution of Ukraine and the international law, President Yanukovich is not legally impeached and remains the legal president. On the contrary, the Parliament, that clearly broke the impeachment law, must be dissolved by the President, and new parliamentary elections held as soon as possible. In fact, as I recall

    Of course investigations into who exactly hired those snipers that started the bloodbath in Maidan, must be conducted before these elections in order to determine which (if any) parliamentary candidates are guilty of this mass murder and which (if any) are guilty of intentionally covering up for them and refusing to conduct a thorough and objective investigation.

    In the meantime Yanukovich is the legal president, and the Parliament is an illegal junta that has refused the legal order from the legal President to dissolve and run for a new parliament. As such, it is not only the right but the duty of the legal President to call on any or all foreign countries to help him deal with the illegal putsch. I hope that our own American government, out of American alleged belief in democracy and the rule of law, will use all o fits power to restore the constitutional president in Ukraine. EU too, now that they themselves know that there is no evidence against Yanukovich. However, it appears that both the USA and EU believe not in democracy but in warmongering against Russia and will help the putschists rather than the Ukrainian Constitution. In this situation Yanukovich has the full right to invite whichever legal country he pleases to come to Kiev and arrest the criminals that have usurped his office, which appears to be Russia.

    Let me point out to you that this is not the first time we see a civil war between the President and the Parliament in the former USSR. The other famous case was in 1993 when the USA and the West took the side of President Yeltsin against the Russian Parliament (and applauded it when he obliterated the Parliament with tanks). Why not this time too? The US and EU leaders don’t give a flying f**k about democracy and will support any criminal or even mass murderer (as was the case with the support, training and funding of Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the support of KLA narco-dealers and terrorists in 1999) as long as he serves their selfish short-term interests.

    Can you logically and legally refute my arguments?

    And just for you (and other readers), here is what Kasparov says about the Rada’s right to impeach the president (use Bing or Google Translate):

    http://www.kasparov.ru/note.php?id=4615F630DD466

    В соответствии с Конституцией Президент Украины может быть смещен с поста Верховной Радой в порядке импичмента в случае совершения им государственной измены или иного преступления. Вопрос о смещении Президента Украины с поста в порядке импичмента инициируется большинством от конституционного состава Верховной Рады.

    Для проведения расследования Верховная Рада должна создать специальную временную следственную комиссию, в состав которой включаются специальный прокурор и специальные следователи. При наличии оснований для импичмента Рада не менее чем двумя третями от ее конституционного состава принимает решение об обвинении Президента Украины.

    Дело проверяется Конституционным Судом Украины, который дает заключение в отношении соблюдения конституционной процедуры расследования.

    Затем дело рассматривает Верховный Суд. Он должен дать заключение о том, что деяния, в которых обвиняется Президент Украины, содержат признаки государственной измены или иного преступления.

    После этого решение о смещении Президента Украины с поста в порядке импичмента принимается Верховной Радой не менее чем тремя четвертями от ее конституционного состава.

    Under the Constitution, the President can be removed from the post by the Verkhovna Rada in the impeachment in case of high treason or other crimes. The removal of the President from Office by the procedure of impeachment is initiated by the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada.

    To investigate, the Verkhovna Rada must create an ad hoc temporary Commission of inquiry, which includes the Special Prosecutor and special investigators. If there are grounds for impeachment, there must be no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition for the prosecution of the President of Ukraine.

    After that, this case must be examined by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which must give an opinion on compliance with the constitutional procedures of investigation.

    After that, the Supreme Court must considers the case. It should draw the conclusion that the acts attributable to the Ukrainian President, contain signs of treason or other crimes.

    After that, decision to remove the President from Office by impeachment must be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of not less than three quarters of its constitutional composition.

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

    Have the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court of Ukraine reached their decisions as to Yanukovich’s alleged crimes?

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 4:42 am

  61. ‘There Was No Quorum': Crimean Lawmaker Calls Vote To Join Russia Flawed

    Lawmakers in the parliament in Crimea voted on March 6 for that Ukrainian peninsula to join Russia and hold a referendum on endorsing the decision. Several lawmakers opposing the move, however, say they were either not notified or physically barred from entering the parliament building to cast their vote. RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Dmitry Volchek spoke to one of them: Leonid Pilunsky, of the faction Qurultay-Rukh.

    RFE/RL: Did you take part in today’s vote?

    Pilunsky: Of course not. They didn’t let me in. Even yesterday I couldn’t get close, the building is entirely cordoned off by people acting aggressively. There are many faces there that I’ve never seen. They are rumored to be Kuban Cossacks….

    According to our information, there was no quorum. All these decisions resemble a schizophrenic outburst….

    Crimean Tatars will categorically refuse to be part of Russia. They have just started returning home and settling down after more than 50 years in exile.

    RFE/RL: You said there would inevitably be resistance to Russian rule in Crimea. What would this resistance look like?

    Pilunsky: It will depend on what kind of draconian measures they decide to slap on the population.

    RFE/RL: Ukrainian military bases are already refusing to lay down their weapons.

    Pilunsky: Of course they are refusing. [Russian forces] are behaving like Nazi troops, asking people to surrender. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Suddenly, people in an independent state are asked to hand over their weapons. All this brings many sad, unhappy thoughts. You start wondering what kind of place you live in and whether this really is the 21st century.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/interview-crimea-vote-ukraine-russia/25288146.html

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 4:55 am

  62. Andrew,

    So you agree that by law, Yanukovich remains the President of Ukraine, or do you have an explanation as to how his impeachment was done with full accordance with the Constitution? Which steps of the Constitutional impeachment have been fulfilled, and which remain to be undertaken in the future? And when will the process of the impeachment of Yanukovich be continued? I can’t wait to hear the Supreme Court investigate as to who hired the snipers in Maidan: Yanukovich or the Opposition. How about you?

    Comment by vladislav — March 7, 2014 @ 5:11 am

  63. @ Vladislav

    Re: rumors about who ordered the shootings. This is a rather silly point, sorry. The taped conversation simply indicated that there were rumors that people in the Opposition government ordered shootings, and the government isn’t investigating these rumors. Well, there are rumors that Putin ordered those apartments in Moscow destroyed, and these were not AFAIK officially investigated. There are rumors that Lyndon Johnson ordered a hit on JFK – also not investigated. There are rumors that Mossad or the Americans brought down the twin towers – also not officially investigated. Simply because a rumor exists and it is not officially investigated does not make it true. Unfortunately for rumormongers regarding Ukraine, plenty of footage exists showing government snipers shooting at demonstrators. And you yourself have admitted that there was a call to arms by Ukrainian demonstrators such as Right Sector, which would place guns in the hands of demonstrators and not in the hands of shadowy snipers.

    Re: Yanukovich the Constitutional President. Your argument is sound. The Rada easily passed the 2/3 mark needed to begin the impeachment process but the other conditions – investigation followed by a 3/4 vote – have not been fulfilled. Fortunately Turchynov is merely the acting president, a status that is quite legal for him. From wiki:

    “In the event that a President is incapable of committing his/her duties as President, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada becomes the acting president until a new president is elected. The acting president is not given the authority to address the nation and parliament, dismiss the legislative branch and appoint candidates for parliamentary approval of government and judicial posts. The acting president cannot call for a referendum, grant military ranks and state orders and exercise their right of pardon.”

    Clearly, Yanukovich has become incapable of committing his duties as president. He has completely lost control over it, his allies have deserted him, and he has fled the country. There is no way that he could rule the country now. Even Putin concedes he has no future in Ukraine. Yanukovich is now, allegedly, in a hospital in Russia after a cardiac arrest. He may die soon. Given that Yanukovich has lost the capability of ruling the country, the parliament elected a speaker who has become acting president. Given that Yanukovich is permanently incapable of being president of Ukraine, new elections have been scheduled. When the acting president is replaced by a president, the new president will presumably call new parliamentary elections. Ukraine will then have a democratic government in both elected branches for the first time since 2010.* You should be happy about that, if you care about democracy for Ukrainians.

    *Recall that although Yanukovich was indeed elected freely and fairly in 2010, almost immediately after taking office he subverted the parliament, illegally and nondemocratically giving himself a parliamentary majority. Yanukovich was elected president with limited powers, of a divided government; he was not elected president with total power over the legislature. So don’t pretend that his presidency was democratic merely because he freely and fairly won the 2010 election. The usurpation of power and locking out the majority of voters form the legal political process is the cause of Ukraine’s political instability and ultimately Yanukovich’s downfall.

    Comment by AP — March 7, 2014 @ 8:42 am

  64. vladislav, our own personal Kremlinoid troll, has been furnished with lost of foaming-at-the-mouth ammo by the Kremlin in its massive dezinformatsiya campaign

    thank you Andrew and AP

    yanukonvikt, Putler’s buttboy, is now reported to have suffered an “infarct” and in “grave condition” in a hospital somewhere near Maskva

    http://tsn.ua/politika/rosiyski-zmi-zayavlyayut-scho-yanukovich-u-tyazhkomu-stani-v-likarni-338512.html

    who ordered the snipers?

    from someone who knows – Hennady Moskal

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/03/7/7018031/

    “Було кілька груп снайперів — із СБУ (“Альфа”) та МВС (спецпідрозділи внутрішніх військ плюс “Сокіл”)”, – заявив Москаль.

    Він переконує, що накази стріляти спецпідрозділам МВС міг тільки екс-міністр Віталій Захарченко, а “Альфі” – екс-керівник СБУ Олександр Якименко.
    There were several groups of snipers- the Alpha group from the Security Service and also from the Interior Ministry, special divisions of the interior army plus “Hawk”

    The orders to shoot were given by ex-minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and the ex-director of the Security Service Alexander Yakimenko.

    In Crimea, the Putlerists have eliminated the only independent TV station, and have now converted 4 other stations to Rooshan TV

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/03/7/7018037/

    In addition, the Putlerites are engaging in cyberwar against Ukraine – just like in Georgia

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/07/opinion/bergen-ukraine-cyber-attacks/

    Oh, and guess what – the new “speaker” of the Crimean parliament owes Ukrainian banks over $1 billion

    what better way to get out of paying debt than to ask Der Fuhrer Putler to come in and “help”

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/03/7/7017988/?attempt=1

    And the Crimean Tatars have asked Turkey and other countries for help

    http://euromaidanpr.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/crimean-tatars-ask-turkey-kazakhstan-and-azerbaijan-for-help/

    In addition the Putlerites have scuttled Rashan ships to prevent the movement of the Ukrainian Navy in Crimea

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/03/7/7018008/

    Comment by elmer — March 7, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  65. the Crimean ballott

    https://twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/status/441540983235170304

    Comment by elmer — March 7, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  66. Elmer good points as usual.

    Comment by Andrew — March 7, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

  67. @vladislav
    Your statements are hysterical and overblown. I was under the bridge in 93 maybe ten meters from the tank closest to the bridge in front of the Hotel Ukraina (there you go for coincidence) when they fired the first volley. The parliament was not obliterated, there was no outside interference (except for a few US Marxists holed up with the other idiots in the White House), and no one but no one requested international support. As for me personally it did take a minute or so to determine I was not missing any important body parts.

    Your anti Americanism is shrill at least to the point of hysteria

    Comment by pahoben — March 7, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  68. @vladislav
    Fortunately for me the snipers that day in the White House were no match for the efficient snipers at the Maidan. There were a lot of people on the bridge later in the day. There were sniper rounds coming in but I personally didn’t see anyone hit. The snipers at the Maidan were extremely efficient well trained snipers and current snipers. It begs credulity to suggest someone placed a snipers wanted add on Liviv Craigslist and these guys showed up.

    Comment by pahoben — March 7, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  69. > vladislav, our own personal Kremlinoid troll…

    elmer, our own personal Hitler worshiper, stop personal attacks on me and try to stick to facts, if right-wing extremists like you are capable of that.

    Comment by vladislav — March 8, 2014 @ 12:05 am

  70. Vladislav, is that a Russian name that means hypocrite liar?

    Comment by Andrew — March 8, 2014 @ 1:29 am

  71. Vladislav (Belarusian: Уладзіслаў (Uladzislaŭ); Polish: Władysław, Włodzisław; Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian: Владислав; Ukrainian: Владислав (Vladyslav); Hungarian (a non-Slavic language): Ulászló) is a Slavic male given name.

    The name is of old Slavic origin, meaning “one who commands glory/fame” from Slavic vlad- (to posses, rule, command) and slav- (glory, fame).

    Comment by vladislav — March 8, 2014 @ 2:09 am

  72. Inappropriate then.

    Comment by Andrew — March 8, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  73. @Andrew
    Very funny.

    Comment by pahoben — March 8, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

  74. Andrew,

    Let us decide again, which of us is a liar and a vicious deliberate slanderer. Here is a direct factual libel that you wrote about me recently:

    > “given your violent racism towards Georgians and other non slavs, I well remember your descriptions of Georgians as animals on LR, and your intense hatred of ethnic Ukrainians.”

    If push comes to shove, I will also produce here dozens of other pieces of lying and libel from you, along with hundreds of quotes of your vicious attacks on Russians, Jews and gays.

    Now can YOU quote me any text from me where I deliberately lie?

    Comment by vladislav — March 10, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  75. any post under your other pseudonym of Ostap Bender, Mr X, and various others at LR.

    Particularly those around 2008 relating to the war.

    Comment by Andrew — March 10, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

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